no. 21: surprise trip, and other things

don't even know where to begin

I’ve been doing this thing a lot of people do which is trying to List myself into happiness and self-actualization, writing down goals and ideas and intentions in categories like “New things I want in my life,” and “Things I want to change from the way they are now,” “Things I’ve liked before,” and “Things in my life I love and want to keep.” The Lists live in my notes app, where I can add a thought when it comes to me, no matter where I am. Where I can read and re-read them so I can think about them, so I don’t forget. So maybe I suddenly and finally become self-actualized.

Over the last two years or so, accelerated by becoming elected and then seeing the men behind the curtain which left me cynical and disenchanted, plus being in my mid-30s, plus the closure of my business, plus the pandemic which left us all alone with our thoughts, I have felt myself feeling pulled closer and closer to the temptation of PRIVACY.

Privacy is a theme throughout my List. Seclusion, privacy. That may seem weird since my job is so public and I may seem like I never ever behave like I want privacy, but I realized that’s because everything I do to make money is tied up in public work, and always has been my whole adult life, and I think it has taken a lot out of me. There is something in that about modern capitalism - I am my own boss, yet my income is totally dependent on Instagram or whatever. And that’s not freedom.

Anyway that was not the point I came here to make. A LOT has happened this month. Day after day shit keeps happening. I will get into detail about what that shit is over the next several newsletters. In my quest to live in the moment and Have My Privacy, I have forgotten to talk about all the shit that continues to occur. Wow there is so much.

In my last newsletter, I said I was going on a surprise trip and I want to revisit that and say what it was because it was VERY special. Danny has two close friends who he has known since Little League, and although they now live all over the country they have kept in close touch over the years. During Covid, we started a standing weekly Saturday Night Game Night, with Danny’s close friends and their girlfriends, which we did every week without interruption. We played online word games, trivia games, drawing games, board games, everything. We also talked every week and became very close. We became each other’s cheerleaders. We know each other well now. Eventually my daughter started joining us, and it became a very special and important keystone every week. It was family time. And I had never met these people. I only knew them from Zoom. Zoom, every week, for over a year.

So I get on this plane with Danny on a Thursday, not knowing where we are going (my favorite thing), and arrive in Reno. We wait forever for a rental car. We drive through the beautiful mountains, I don’t know where, I am deliberately not being thoughtful or curious about the destination because I love the ride and and I love the surprise. I love not being in control of this one thing. I don’t even want to know. And we eventually arrive at this beautiful little cabin. I am thrilled, I get out of the car, sleepy and hungry, and I get my bags and walk into the cabin.




It was like a made-up dream come to life.

So the surprise trip was Lake Tahoe with my Friends From Game Night, and we finally got to have game night in person. I finally got to meet all of these people. We also saw bears, went for walks and hikes, and had a lot of time in the water. Drank lots of wine, ate lots of food. (These people all eat way healthier than me, wow.) It was just a long weekend, but it felt like a great punctuation mark on the year. And all of this was made possible by the vaccine.

I did something very risky, and it took a lot of nerve for me. I have been making weavings over the last year, and I submitted two of them for the super-cool Event Of The Year annual Bemis Art Auction, which felt scary. (“Is this art?”) I was a working textile artist for about 8 years but I have been out of the game for about as much time. Today I found out that both pieces were accepted and I am over the moon. More on that later.

I worked with designer Justin Kemerling and our friends at Ink Tank to launch a merch site for my colleague Senator Adam Morfeld who is running for Lancaster County Attorney. This red tee with Nebraska’s iconic (if in name only) state motto, "Equality before the law," is by far the best-seller.

Check it out:

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