Author: Hobbie DeHoy

Hobbie DeHoy is (surprise!) not my real name. I like pseudonyms a lot. I wanted one that is as quirky and strange as that of Lemony Snicket. I hope I have achieved that. I like to read and I am having a lot of fun writing this blog. Much more fun than posting to any social media site.

Simmering Rage

Okay! Here I am back after a long long time! Because for a year I was a part-time worker and now I am a full-time worker and boy howdy, has that been an adjustment for this little introvert who doesn’t like to juggle too many balls in the air. Both my children are in high school and I am now in my middle forties instead of my early forties and time is just rushing along.

And I’m back because I’m experiencing simmering rage again and this is the place for that. Whether anybody else wants to read my simmering rage or not.

I am angry because I am a woman living in a patriarchal society and all the ugliness keeps coming up over and over and OVER again. Taking away women’s access to birth control and the way the media treats ambitious women (spoiler: horribly) and famous rich white guys getting away with predatory behavior and I really hate pink and I really hate high heels and I really hate sparkles and glitter and makeup and I am Just So Mad about Everything.

We could have had a competent, knowledgeable woman as President, someone who believes in the role of government and understands how steady progress and compromise work and doesn’t tweet terrifying things that keep me up at night.

But no. We are constantly pushing through a miasma of really toxic sexism and my only comfort is that more women are running for office and I get to keep voting for them. We’ve got this judge’s race in my community, and one of those candidates is a woman, and while I’m not voting for her JUST because she’s a woman she’s also got the endorsement of the major news outlet around here so I’m voting for HER. Oh, that sounds so terrific, so very November 8, 2016. It’s almost a year later and everything kind of sucks but I get to say I’m voting for HER.

And I’ll never run for office myself because I can’t ever remember people’s names and I stammer when I’m nervous and I’m not very likable and being front and center in a political campaign sounds frankly hellish to me.

But I can go around saying, I’m voting for HER. May I be able to say that in every election for the foreseeable future.

Love you & leave you,

Hobbie DeHoy

A Post-Election List

A list (not exhaustive, but a list all the same) of Things That Hillary Clinton Voters are Expected to Accept This Election Cycle:

  1.  Instead of our First Woman President, we’re expected to accept yet another white man.
  2. That white man is basically feminists’ worst nightmare.
  3. We are expected to accept the results of an election in which our candidate won the popular vote by a huge margin, but lost the Electoral College vote. Again. See Election 2000.
  4. We are expected to accept the results of an election which was possibly affected by a pointless communication from the Director of the FBI, who broke tradition by getting involved in electoral politics very close to Election Day. Why does that guy still have a job again?
  5. We are expected to accept the results of an election that our Intelligence agencies believe was affected by hacking from a foreign government, oh yes, that would be Russia. Isn’t this a problem that should stop this whole process in its tracks???

I don’t know, that seems like kind of a lot to me.

Love you & leave you,

Hobbie DeHoy

A New Book for White Women

Hey! There’s a new book out for white women! It’s called Let’s Cozy Up to the Patriarchy! You don’t need any help with that, but why not give it a whirl? Likeable selections include:

  • A list of occasions to drink some wine. Because it’s easier to get a little buzz on than to face uncomfortable truths, amirite?
  • A free coupon for YOUR photo with the President-Elect! His hand will be on your ass at no extra charge, and you’re okay with that. It’s how guys are!
  • Some sample letters to send to the President-elect, so you can send your photo and ask him to rate your appearance from a one to a ten. His reply will include some beauty tips from famous supermodels! Because how can you feel good about yourself if the future leader of the free world thinks you’re only a four?
  • A list of unconvincing things to say to prove you aren’t racist.
  • A list of unconvincing things to say to prove you aren’t sexist. This page is perforated so you can just tear it out and throw it away. Because who cares what those angry feminists think? They’re always getting their panties in a wad about every little thing!

Get your copy today! Free signings on Inauguration Day!

Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump

So I don’t exactly expect modest, circumspect behavior from the 2016 Republican Presidential nominee.  He’s famous for provocative words and behavior, one sterling example being referring to his rival as “Crooked Hillary.”

Really. I don’t expect anything better from him. Probably nobody does.

However, hearing Hillary Clinton refer to him as “Donald” in a couple of speeches does trouble me, because I do expect a lot better from her. Her acting all Presidential, as she does. Not least during the eleven hours of the Benghazi hearings.

Seriously. You two are campaigning for the highest office in the land. Can we not do first-naming each other during the campaign? Please? Pretty please?

Even President Obama, Mr. Awesome POTUS himself, refers to her as “Hillary” when he’s campaigning for her. And yes, he does call Joe Biden “Joe” an awful lot too. But that’s not in the context of a campaign. I really, really, don’t want to go through a whole season of Presidential debates listening to the candidates first-name each other on the national stage.

You know what I think would be really terrific? This dialogue, during the first Presidential debate:

DT: Hillary, I have to tell you…

HRC: Excuse me, Mr. Trump. That’s “Mrs. Clinton,” please.

DT: Seriously? SERIOUSLY? How many years have we known each other? You were at my wedding!

HRC: Yes, that’s true. However, this is a Presidential debate. It’s customary in Presidential debates to refer to your opponent more formally. Out of respect for the office of the President of the United States. You do respect that office, I’m sure, Mr. Trump.

DT: Of course I respect that office! I’m running for it. (to audience) Can you believe this?

HRC: What do you think of my new family leave policy, Mr. Trump? It will really help out so many struggling American families!

*** debate continues, HRC continuing to get up in DT’s grill and insist upon being called “Mrs. Clinton” at every opportunity***

So? What do you think? Wouldn’t that be cool for Hillary Clinton to stand up to him, insist on the proper debating protocol, and by so doing demonstrate to everyone watching that she looks Presidential and he doesn’t? At all? Not to mention flashing her creds for being one tough cookie?

Well, I think it would be. I may be alone in this, but I hope I’m not.

Love you & leave you,

Hobbie DeHoy

 

Please stop talking.

Hey, wow, look, WordPress has completely changed its formatting since I was here earlier this year.  How about that?

Anyway, I’m back and filled with the usual simmering rage I usually bring to my blog posts. This is because I keep this blog to let out all the things I can’t say in real life (if I were a hipster I’d call it IRL) on social media.

You all don’t know that I get really into politics and elections. Guess what this post is going to be about? Go on, guess.

Oh! You got it! Primary season! Yes! It’s finally over; except for the people who are behaving as though it isn’t. But, really, yes. The primary season is over, especially on the Democratic side, because that uppity female candidate WON, guys, in the popular vote and the delegate count and the superdelegate count, and gosh, these are the ONLY THREE MEASURES THAT COUNT in the primary process.

Earlier this year, specifically in February, I broke a self-imposed law. I had vowed, originally, that I would keep a lid on it on social media during the primary season. I am an enthusiastic Democrat, and I thought I would be all high-minded and not come out in support of either candidate during the primaries, because I knew I’d be backing whoever won it in the general election.

Why did I break my silence? Because all those people who support Bernie Sanders would not shut up on social media. Not content with merely one Bernie post per day, they would post about five in a row.  Not content with simply being pro-Bernie, they also became very anti-Hillary very loud and very early. Also also, they became condescending and misogynistic about Hillary Clinton supporters and her campaign. Up with which I would not put.

Seriously, guys, we’re all Democrats. Fine, okay, get behind Mr. Left-Wing-I’m-Using-The-Democratic-Party-To-Further-My-Political-Ambitions-Because-I-Just-Realized-That-Independents-Don’t-Have-The-Infrastructure-To-Take-My-Message-To-The-National-Level.

Oh, dear. Here I meant to be all respectful and everything, even though I’m angry. But, well, venting my spleen is what this blog is all about. Stop reading if you don’t like it.

It was also distressing to my feminist feelings how nobody, but nobody, was being very public in social media about supporting Hillary Clinton. It kind of had me worried there, for a while. Until the primary results started revealing the beautiful truth: Bernie supporters yapped away incessantly on social media AND Hillary supporters actually turned out to vote. I knew I was in the right camp!

One of my favorite quotes from this primary season came (I’m pretty sure) from sci-fi writer and political blogger John Scalzi, who noted that, “Democrats have come out in large numbers to quietly vote for Hillary Clinton.” (I may be paraphrasing here. I just spent a lot of time on Mr. Scalzi’s blog, hunting around for the original post, and I’m too lazy to look any more.)

To me, the key word here is “quietly.”  When I said the hell with it, I’m posting about how much I adore Hillary Clinton and her policies, back in February, only a couple of people liked my status updates. Last week, when I had the effrontery to be jubilant because, by golly, Hillary Clinton EARNED her victory, I had more than twenty people liking my post. And most of those people didn’t post their own “YAY WE MADE HISTORY!!” remarks on their status updates, even though they liked what I said.

I do wonder why Hillary Clinton supporters, at least in my community, haven’t been more vocal all along about their support for her. Do they simply choose not to get political on social media, because it’s a good way to get some really heated comment threads going and they want to stay the hell out of the kitchen?

Or is it because the level of vitriol against a female candidate for a major party in a Presidential election has a special kind of vile that they were consciously avoiding?  There’s been an upsetting amount of verbiage around that Hillary Clinton supporters don’t really understand the issues, that if they would stop voting with their vaginas and listen to Bernie Sanders, of course they would vote for him instead!

Um, no. I’ll be damned before I vote for someone who joined the Democratic Party five minutes before his campaign started so he could use the infrastructure other people have spent decades putting together while at the same time vilifying that very same Democratic Party and the head of the DNC who happens to be a woman. I’ll be damned before I vote for yet another white man against a woman candidate who’s smart and knowledgeable and has spent part of her career actually working with Republicans to get things done, back when that was still a thing.  I am tired of issues like abortion and family leave and equal pay taking a back seat because a male President will never feel the same urgency about these things that a female President will.

So, I think everyone in D.C. who wants to vote for Bernie should totally do it, because I think everyone should vote for whoever she wants, no matter when that primary is.

Everyone else, especially men: Hillary won the primary, fair and square, by every relevant measure, so shut up. I’ve already heard enough of your nonsense this season.

And I know I’ll hear a lot more, during the campaign and during her Presidency.

Doesn’t matter. #ImWithHer.

Love you & leave you,

Hobbie DeHoy

 

Slackers Versus Narcissists

I’d like to get it out there that my birth date is smack in the middle of the decades that define Generation X. Woo-hoo, baby, we’re the slackers! At least, we were twenty years ago. Now it seems that we’re becoming curmudgeonly, a stage reached by every generation when they start settling into middle age.

All this complaining about the millennials is really starting to annoy me. People my age, and older, are not hesitating a moment to label them as narcissistic and entitled.

Come on, Gen X-ers, really? I guess age does not always bring with it wisdom. It would be nice, instead of aging making us critical and cranky, aging also brought a little bit of perspective. Do we really want to criticize the young cubs the way the baby boomers criticized us? Can’t we be better than that, if only because we’ve been there?

News flash: most people, when they are in their twenties, are slackers. Or at least they might look like slackers, because they are trying desperately to figure out what in the world to make of their young lives. Most people, when they are in their twenties, are impossibly self-centered. Were we really any different?

The answer is: no. No, we too were narcissistic slackers when we were in our twenties. Just as every generation is.

At least, I think so. It’s not as if I’m five hundred years old and have been overseeing humanity for generations upon generations. I guess I think this because I never have felt really part of my generation. Not twenty years ago, and not now. When I graduated from college in the nineties, I remember thinking that rooming with anybody I had known from college sounded just like signing up for some nice fresh hell for a few more years. I worked as a nanny, with adults who were older than I was and children who were clearly much younger, and there was nobody my age in sight. I did that on purpose, because I wanted to remove myself from people my age as far and fast as I could. Because people my age were behaving in the self-centered manner of young adults from time immemorial, and that annoyed me.

Now, twenty years later, the complaining of my generation annoys me. Especially when we complain about millennials, as if we were so much better.

Because? We weren’t.

Love you & leave you,

Hobbie DeHoy

The Mommy Updates

Don’t you sometimes feel a little sorry for small children whose lives are being relentlessly documented on social media? I totally do. The way I see it, the oversharing occurs on two different levels:  one, way too often; and two, way too much private information.

I mean, small children are totes adorbs. No question. I understand the temptation to share. But, you know what? Little Nathan looks pretty much the same as he did yesterday. Or two days ago. Or last week. I have this friend with twin babies, and the babies frequently tend to adopt mirror poses; i.e. they are both sleeping on the same side with their arms spread out in the same way and clutching a stuffed animal in the same kind of grip with the same hand. Absolutely cute, the first five times I saw it. Now, I just can’t make myself join the one hundred and seven other people who have “liked” the post. It’s still cute, but it’s hard to really appreciate them as often as the frequency of posting demands.  My response is more like, “Yep. There go the babies again.” They’ve turned into another spot on the wallpaper, which is too bad because they really are cuties.

Also, and I say this as the doting mother of two, isn’t there anything else these people want to share on social media? Too well I remember the feeling of being sucked down into the vortex of parenting the preschool set. At that time, I really relished the opportunities I had to discuss topics that weren’t about addressing basic needs and civilizing the little darlings in my care. Social patter on That Certain Social Media Site really isn’t that challenging. Can’t some people find something to say instead of something to show?

Well, no. No, they can’t. Because TCSMS has turned into one endless scroll down pic after pic after pic. Show and tell. And evidently little kids are perennially popular exhibits. At least to the people who are showing and telling about them; namely, their parents. For the rest of us, maybe not so much.

For me, definitely not so much. I think I’m making that pretty clear.

On to the second, and to me, more troubling problem: way too much information. Yes, most children are learning the same major life skill between two and three years of age. Do we have to write it down? Do we have to talk about how it’s going? Or, in far too many cases, how it’s NOT going?

Ew. Yuck. Just stop it with these kind of updates on social media, parents. For one thing, this is not about YOU, it is about your CHILD and his or her readiness to acquire a new skill. Also, it’s pretty disgusting for those of us who don’t care. I will never get a medal for this, I know, but I  had nothing to say on this topic even when it was a high subject of interest on a very personal level at my house.  Because I can recognize that certain topics are off limits for polite conversation.  They’re called boundaries, guys. Let’s recognize them. Also also, how do you think your kids will feel when they’re old enough to realize exactly what you’ve been sharing about them on social media? Okay, yeah, maybe they’ll never find out. I imagine that by the time a person is old enough to have a social media presence, he has better things to do than go years back into his mom’s status updates from the year when he was two. But still. It could happen. Or, what is more likely to happen, a person’s sibling could go back and find photos and status updates and use them for merciless internet taunting. Fun times.

So, mommies, it’s time to get a grip. Just because you can share it doesn’t mean that you should.

In fact, if it’s not a proud moment for your child, it shouldn’t be up there. Because any more than that is boring to your friends and unkind to your child.

Think. Think, think, think before you post. I realize that’s a lot to ask in the context of social media.

But I think it’s worth a try.

Love you & leave you,

Hobbie DeHoy

The Quiet House

How can you tell that you live in a houseful of introverts? When you have a three-day weekend with virtually nothing planned, and everyone in your house thinks that’s terrific.

On Saturday afternoon, my husband and I went in to Cleveland to see a terrific new Eric Coble play called Fairfield. If you live in Northeast Ohio, you should see it too. If you don’t live in Northeast Ohio, why then when Fairfield comes to your city, as I sincerely hope it will, you should go. How Eric manages to be so utterly hilarious about seriously uncomfortable topics confounds me. But he does. Seriously. Go see it.

Then on Sunday night we all four went out to *finally* see the new Avengers movie. Because, you know, Joss Whedon.

Also, we ran some errands. I did a ton of laundry. My husband did a ton of yardwork.

Please notice what is missing here.  We didn’t go to any picnics. We didn’t go to any parades. In fact, I lied about our weekend plans in order to avoid going out to Chagrin Falls, that bastion of evil, for Blossom Time. If you want to know what that is, then google it. I refuse to discuss it here. To be fair about my actual lie, we did kind of talk about possibly going away for the three-day weekend. Kind-of, sort-of. But these plans never got off the ground. Because we all think hanging around the house for a holiday weekend is an excellent use of our time. We are all the victims of total Introvert Inertia. And if that’s not a thing, then by golly, it should be. It’s definitely a thing at our house.

We were all a little tired out anyway, because my daughter and I spent Thursday and Friday, and my husband and son spent Friday, down at the College of Wooster because my daughter was taking part in an middle school writing event called Power of the Pen.  I suppose there’s no need to say that I think it is terrific beyond words that Ohio has an event like this for young writers. No other state has Power of the Pen. Only Ohio. I guess it makes sense, if you consider that Ohio has Wooster and Kenyon and Oberlin and a whole bunch of other liberal arts colleges with excellent writing programs. I’m beyond glad that my family lives in a state that has Power of the Pen. Back in my day, thirty years ago, the only school opportunities for middle-school kids were student council and sports. We live in a much better time now. I’m sure of it.

Next year, my daughter will be in high school, which means no more Power of the Pen for her. And my son adamantly refuses to consider taking part in this event, probably because it’s not soccer. So maybe next year, we’ll have the energy to go someplace for the holiday weekend.

But I seriously doubt it.

Love you & leave you,

Hobbie DeHoy

Blogging’s More Fun

Of course blogging’s more fun… that’s why we do it. Without thought of pay, fame, recognition (okay, a little bit of the last is always nice) we sit down at our PCs and blog, blog away!

More fun than what? More fun than That Certain Social Media Site, that’s for sure. You know the one, right? The one that’s so famous it had a movie made about it. That social media site. I’m becoming increasingly disenchanted with the whole TCSMS experience. I mean, even more than usual. I’m pretty sure it used to be better, back in 2008 when all you could do was type something into your status update. No pics, no links… gosh, people actually had to think before they posted something. I mean, there was certainly evidence that some people didn’t think a whole lot before they posted, but at least they were saying something.

Here in the halcyon days of 2015, TCSMS has devolved into one long painful bout of Show And Tell. For adults. Who aren’t supposed to need Show And Tell anymore, because we can converse with one another on more nuanced topics. Except that we don’t.

Look! Look at my pic of my adorable children! Look! Look at my selfie posing during my vacation! Look! Look at my kitty! Never mind that I post a kitty picture of this very same kitty at least a couple of times a week! Look at him this week! He’s looking out the window!

Look! Read this article! Laugh at this meme! Get a little weepy when this inspirational quote touches your heart!

Look! Anyone who’s really my friend will comment! Anyone who is really a decent person will share! I will know who you are when you do what I say!

Oh, my. Just stop. Please. Tell me how your day was. Tell me what your plans for tomorrow are. Tell me what you’ve read lately. Tell me what kind of year you’re having.

Don’t show me. Tell me. In your very own words.

Well, I guess that’s what the blogosphere is for. Writing, writing, and writing. Much more fun.

Of course, plenty of people link to pictures and videos and articles from their blog sites as well. But, in my opinion, on the more enjoyable sites these aren’t the content. They can add to the content, for sure. But they aren’t the centerpiece.

I’m getting a strong sense that a TCSMS tantrum is imminent, the kind where you say all the unkind things that you’ve been suppressing for far too long and flounce away from the site, signing out for one last beautiful time. I did that, once. I announced that I was leaving TCSMS, and I stayed away for quite a few months. I think I’ll do it again. Minus the tantrum and the flounce.

I don’t think there’s any point in announcing it this time, though. I don’t have much I want to say there, anymore. I’m not a jumper and shouter. I don’t wave my hand in the air for attention. And that’s all the site has become. An online forum for people who want your attention — quickly! — right now! — and then move on to the next thing.

Okay, that’s what I’m doing. I will log in once a day to see if anyone’s left me a private message, just in case, and then I’m out of there.

I’m pretty sure I won’t miss it.

Love you & leave you,

Hobbie DeHoy

Now They Pay Me

Guess what, blogosphere? Guess what I get to do as part of the new job I started in January? I get to write blog entries on work time! For legit! I mean, I’m not just sneaking in personal blog entries on my employers’ time out of boredom and resentment, the way I did at my old job. I am on our library’s readers’ advisory team, and as part of that, I get to blog about books I’ve read! Yes! I’m getting paid to blog!

Of course, my library blogging is done under my real name. I don’t think I could sell them on my pseudonymous blogger identity. Not that I’d want to, anyway.

Because there, you know, I’m representing the library, and I have to be more careful about what I say and how I say it. I have to try for humor without too much snark. Not like here, where I can simply write whatever I want because nobody knows it’s me. My safe, safe world of pseudonymous blogging.

I’d just like to add that my grammar, usage, and punctuation are flawless in both kinds of blogging. Unless you don’t like the Oxford comma, in which case you will have an issue with this particular choice of mine. I care about perfection in both contexts. It’s just in the real world that I feel I have to watch my tone.

I just finished reading a book about Dorothy Parker. I’m not sure if it’s the best book there is about Dorothy Parker; in fact, I imagine that she, like me, would take issue with some of the English language usage chosen by this author. In any case, this author makes the point, at the end of the book, that Dorothy Parker gave American women a voice during the first half of the twentieth century. She became famous for saying all kinds of outrageous things, and for writing immoderately clever prose, and for turning out formally perfect and witty poetry.

I think the author was also admiring her bravery for saying all the outrageous things that she said, for not falling into the trap of being nice all the time. Sometimes I wish I had a little more of that. But then I remind myself that Dorothy Parker was also a profoundly unhappy person. Maybe if you’re that unhappy, that’s when you care less about the consequences of what you say. I have noticed, myself, that it is very difficult to be witty and kind at the same time. Wit often comes at the expense of other people’s weaknesses.

So it’s a new challenge for me, at work, to be amusing and bright while imagining the library director looking over my shoulder and judging whether or not what I’m saying is appropriate. Because at work they know me. And it’s a little scarier to put my writing out there.

I’m also enjoying the irony of having prepared myself for blogging at my current job by sneaking around blogging at my previous job. I do have some familiarity with WordPress, and I do have a certain tone I like to adopt while blogging, even if I feel the need to adapt that tone for public consumption.

And blogging for work has reminded me just how much I like it. So I’m back. I’m thinking of trying for twice a week, the way I did at the beginning, when I was all ambitious and disciplined. Twice a week. Yep. Because I’m the only one who is going to make myself do this.

Love you & leave you,

Hobbie DeHoy