Rules to Live By

by Ilinap on February 24, 2017


I am a woman who loves rules. I also love pushing and stretching and bending rules that don’t make sense. I appreciate civil disobedience. I love a good protest. I’ve been writing letters to CEOs and Senators since I was 10. While I appreciate rules, I also appreciate using my voice to influence change. Rules are made to protect people and places (for instance, stop at crosswalks to let pedestrians cross safely). Arbitrary rules or downright harmful rules are another thing all together (voter ID laws, for example). I see you rule makers who impose rules just to bolster your own station and power. And I applaud you rule breakers who are leading the resistance.

Personally, I have my own set of rules to live by. My sons would tell you I have a lot of rules. I don’t deny it. I’m a Virgo so I appreciate order and tidiness. Rules help keep chaos away. Most of the time. I have a little litmus test of my own to gauge someone’s character, just a few rules I use to generally lump people into my Nope or Hell Yes buckets.

Must vote.

Seriously. I cannot tolerate when people do not vote. We are in this Trumpian dystopia because of the millions of Americans who simply didn’t vote in November. And by the way, when I say “vote,” I mean in every election, big and small. I mean really, they’re all big if you think about it.


Must like pets.


Let me clarify, I mean the furry variety. If you think snakes are pets then you go into my Nope bucket. I understand that some people cannot have a pet for a variety of reasons. But if you’re the kind of person who simply hates animals, you’re not my people. I’m talking to you, guy who kicked my dog at a party the other week. If I ever see you again I’m going to kick you back.


Must eat.

Food is everything in my family. We all love to eat. We choose our vacation destinations based on food. While we sit at the dinner table we talk about what we ate two years ago in Portugal or what we’re going to eat for breakfast the next day. Food is our balm. If you’re the kind of person who picks at rabbit food and doesn’t audibly enjoy a meal, you’re going to be low on my Hell Yes list. This is especially true if you don’t appreciate dessert. Life is short, enjoy a decadent meal.

So…now I’m off to do my part in the resistance, walk my dog, and plan what’s for dinner tonight.

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by Ilinap on February 8, 2017

We’ve been in some state of mourning since November 9. No joke. The DeVos confirmation about put us all over the proverbial edge. The tough part in all this has been the effect on my children. They saw us campaign and canvass for much of last year. Our candidate lost. They saw us write and call our senators, literally daily, about cabinet nominations and campaign donations. They even wrote letters themselves to share the their positive public school experiences with elected representatives. And despite it all, DeVos was confirmed. The boys are disheartened and are having trouble seeing the value in being an engaged citizen. They’ve seen us do all the right things to no avail. At least we can tell them we were on the right side of history. We can tell them we did not sit idly by. We can tell them we used our voices.

And so with the confirmation of DeVos, my 11-year old son wrote a thank you letter to his teachers. It was one act of resistance that he knew would make a difference.

Kids today…


Dear Teachers,

I am writing to you to tell you how much I appreciate you guys. To all my science teachers, you helped me make my school’s Science Olympiad team. To all my math teachers, you helped drive me to do great in math, and now I do 6+/7+. To every teacher who taught me ELA, now I am an avid reader and a better writer. Lastly, to all the teachers who taught me social studies, I am now taking a global conflicts class. To ALL my teachers, thank you for being great and inspiring me to do great things.

Your student,


Teachers. Making America great one kid at a time.

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