hillary: i see you

Day 3

Betsy: Dear precious friend. This is a momentous time.

Hardye: We now have the right person for the job. And she happens to be a woman. Yes.

Besty: It sure opens up the possibilities, doesn't it? For our daughters. And everyone's daughters.

Hardye: And our granddaughters.

Statements made during a July 26, 2016 interview with Hillary Rodham Clinton's childhood friends, Betsy Henderson Bowles & Hardye Simons Moel

conversations with max & zan

We grew up in the 70s. Came of age in the 80s.
It was rad. So rad, we often talk about how rad it all was.

So you know, we edit, but never censor. Not language or ideas or emotion.

In this edition: Vans, fashion, judgement

Max: So, I posted this picture and not one person commented on the totally rad shoes I’m wearing in the photo.

Zan: Love the shoes. Like, totally heart. As you can see, I’ve got my whites on today.

Max: Are you going fishing? Wait. Why make a sad face?

Zan: I like cuffed jeans. I cuff often.

Max: If that’s the style, I’m clueless. I’m just now joining the 90s. Actually, I should do that too. I have tiny feet and my awesome shoes are often hidden under the hem of my jeans.

Zan: Just be sure the cuff doesn’t get out of hand and make your jeans look more like old lady peddle-pushing slacks.

Max: What the hell is wrong with old lady slacks? I can’t wait.

Zan: Old lady slacks equals never. Never.

Max: You’ll come around.

Zan: I’d do a sansabelt pant or the permanent crease pant. But NOT a capri.

Max: I don’t know what any of that means.

Zan: Okay, let’s get this shit together. Vans. Go.

Max: Check it…

Zan: I knew the story, but hadn’t seen the video. Cool. What say you? Lace up or slip on? And how many pairs does a person need? Did you skateboard—I don’t remember us doing that together?

Max: I prefer slip on. Although, I do enjoy a nice pair of deck shoes. Can’t have too many. And yes, I skated a little in junior high, but sucked at it.

Zan: What did your skateboard look like?

Max: My skateboard was lame and generic and guys made fun of me. It was neon pink originally and when I spray-painted it dark red, those same dudes said it was cool. Suckers.

Zan: Those jerks. I rode my sisters’ skateboards. One had been around the garage since the late 70s. It was metallic blue and made of heavy grade aluminum. Kinda badass. But I never had a cool one of my own. I just remember everyone in my neighborhood had some kind of board—shitty or rad, it didn’t matter. We’d get together and create a base with the boards and then pile everyone on so we could hot dog down the hill. So fucking dangerous. And awesome. Anyway, what I was really into was skater fashion. In junior high, I only had checkered Vans—and I think they were used. I mean, I don’t recall buying them. Could my sister have lifted them off someone and given them to me? That’s a stretch, but it seems like there was some story around those shoes. Later, in high school, I bought lace-ups. I also had this keychain...a miniature pair of Van’s board shorts. Wait. I still have it.

Zan: Oh, and I was flipping through this old MAD magazine the other day and had to smile when I saw the kid's shoes. PS: he cuffs.

Max: That’s rad. PSS: his jeans aren't high-waters. Anyway, I never had a pair back then. Too poor, and if I got new shoes, I got Nikes.

Zan: Nikes, pronounced without the e-sound before the s.

Max: Right. I got a blue pair with a yellow stripe with my birthday money one year.

Zan: Blue with yellow were THE best! I had two leather pair, but one was a knock-off. The other pair was also a birthday gift—white with a red swoosh. Once I got to junior high I regretted some of my fashion choices from sixth grade. Those shoes ended up feeling too rocker. So, how many Chucks and Vans do you have now?

Max: I have a lot. I think I have so many because I couldn’t have them then.

Zan: Right. Right. Okay, let’s fill in the blanks. A good outfit day in ’85 would’ve been…

Max: Parachute pants—dorky, but I wanted a pair so fucking bad—big, fat white leather high tops, and a cool t-shirt.

Zan: I say Calvins, a white men’s Hanes tee, and Vans. Okay. Next. Fill in the blank: Other cool tennies besides Converse and Vans are…

Max: Air Jordans. Didn’t those come out around then?

Zan: Air Jordans? I’d have to check. Hold please. Ah-ha, here it is. Yes, Jordans were first released in 1985.

Max: But let’s back up. I’m saying no way to you wearing a tee back then. Shelley Call would’ve called you tacky. Like she did when I wore one.

Zan: White men’s tee equals totally. I used to snag my dad’s and wear them. They were beefy tees. Which I loved 'cause oversized was in—gag. And by the way, Shelley Call had a shitload of tees, so if she said that about t-shirts she was being a dick.

Max: How about Ocean Pacific? Or Panama Jack?

Zan: OP. Yes. I loved OP everything. I had a few pair of the corduroy board shorts. One was the boy version and the other was the girl version. Jesus, I’d forgotten about OP. So good.

Max: Okay. So. Taking this in a different direction, remember Night of the Comet? It’s been playing on some of the movie channels so I DVR’d it.


Max: You gotta find and watch it. I also came across The Wedding Singer. Such a kick ass movie. I just I hate how Adam Sandler is the romantic interest.

Zan: He’s so stupid and gross. Not funny at all.

Max: Also not funny? Our good buddy Robert Smith in ugly, dirty white high tops. Look it up. Coolest person in the worst shoes.

Zan: You are such a pop culture whiz. I forgot about Smith always wearing those dirty shoes. Why? Such a style killer. I mean, clean your kicks, dude. And so, if he’s the coolest person in the worst shoes, who’s the dumbest person in the most kickass shoes?

Max: Easy. DiCaprio. Seems like he’d be such a douche bag. But I’ve noticed he usually wears shoes I’d totally wear. So annoying.

Zan: We’re being very judge-y.

Max: We are.

Zan: All righty then.

Max: If it makes you feel better, let’s judge shoe brands from the 80s.

Zan: I love it. Here’s some that spring to mind: Kappa, Reebok, Tretorn, Keds, Sporto.

Max: Tretorn was a good one. I had a pair of those.

Zan: And…

Max: And?

Zan: That’s all you got. I thought we were being judge-y.

Max: I might do better with something that really captures the 80s experience. Like coca-cola rugby shirts or boxer shorts as, well, shorts. I mean, shoes are one thing, but consider this: would you wear a pair of Guess jeans today?

Zan: Hmm? I don’t know. Jordache, Gloria Vanderbilt, or Calvin, maybe. If I could get a modern cut. I saw some vintage Calvins at a thrift store recently, but they had a big ole 20” zipper, zipping from the change basket to just under the tits. Horrible.

Max: Right.

Zan: Would you rock Guess jeans today?

Max: No fucking way. They fit weird.

Zan: Exactly. All jeans from the 80s fit weird. And the high-waisted jean is back in style. Gross. Totally constricts the belly and innards. Wait. I’ll revise that statement. Most jeans from the 80s are weird. Some Calvin Kleins had that boyfriend fit. Lower waist, straight leg. Due to cost, and me generally being a pussy, I bought other brands and pegged. But if I could find those Calvins…

Max: Levi’s were the way to go. Classic.

Zan: True. I still pegged the leg though. Ugh.

Max: See, it’s easier to judge clothes than shoes.

Zan: Okay. Let’s see how many awful, but also awesome, 80s fashion trends we can name. I’ll start. Neon anything.

Max: Belly shirt, off-the-shoulder shirt, lace shirt.

Zan: Over-accessorizing, Madonna-style. Push-down socks.

Max: Forenza sweaters, oversized blazers, shoulder pads, sleeves rolled up on tees.

Zan: High cut bikini underwear. Just. Hideous. And stealing from earlier, pegged jeans and tapered jeans. Also, remember layering oxfords over polos?

Max: Oh, that was straight-up rad.

Zan: Yeah. Maybe. What about collars flipped up? I still do that.

Max: Of course you do. Fisherman cuffs and collar flipped up. That’s my Zan.

Zan: Checkered Vans with a sarcasm suit. That’s my Max.

Max: If we’re talking about the 80s, it’s a power suit, my friend.

Zan: The power suit. Right. With slacks.

Max: Old lady slacks.

Zan: Off the wall.

Max: Totally.


hillary: i see you

Day Two
hillary: i see you

excerpt from Living History by Hillary Rodham Clinton


hillary: i see you

So. It’s over. Two weeks of heightened politics, back-to-back conventions for each major party, and all the excitement and controversy of protests, other parties’ candidates’ input, and media hype. Like you, I used my own inner compass and life experiences to evaluate the process and choose a side. It won’t surprise most that I’m a democrat. A liberal. Who likes to see progress, as in progressive, as in the progressive agenda. And though I would’ve been fine with Bernie as our nominee, Hillary captured my attention in a way she hasn’t before. How? By being deeply determined, truly human, and surprisingly flexible.

Now, look, the name of the game is politics and no candidate—however honest and forthright—opts out of strategy, positioning, or the goal to win. This game has been going on since the dawn of elections, and if you’re frustrated or shocked by the stuff that’s been revealed to us about the political process in the past decade, research the earliest elections. There weren’t microphones, cameras, or iPhones recording every word, eye roll, and wink. And there wasn’t a way to broadcast those secret moments within minutes of their recording. Also, news wasn’t on a 24/7 cycle, and in the end, lots of shady stuff went unheard, unseen, or became boring and unimportant by the time it hit the masses. But shade was there, and sometimes worse than the shade we have going today.

But here’s the thing…

I’m noticing a shift. A big shift. And I’m certain that Hillary Clinton sees it and embraces it. Why else would she admit, on stage, at the national convention, in primetime, that she had moved on some of the most important issues for today’s democrat? And then give credit to her party opponent, Bernie, and his supporters for opening her eyes? Why else would she invite disillusioned republicans to the podium to speak and continue mentioning their concerns in her own speeches? Sure, sure. It’s easy to dismiss it as part of the game, but if we pull back the cynical curtain, we see a real woman standing there. Determined, human, flexible. And we see that what she’s always wanted is this big shift. The shift into unity. We ache for it. Regardless of party affiliation, spiritual views, skin color, sexual orientation, gender, we ache to relate. To work together to improve humanity. And she aches for it too.

In the end, I believe, media coverage of Hillary's fierce democratic competitor and a failing, fear-mongering opposing republican party brought the story of equality and unity out of the shadows. And as we, the people, voiced our desires, Hillary listened. Closely. They say that about Hillary—that she’s an excellent listener—but what puts me squarely on her side is that she listens and she acts. And in that order.

So. I rarely write and share things like this on the Writes blog. But during the DNC, the comments about how Hillary will continue to be portrayed for the 101 days until the election struck me as noteworthy. Truly, she’s a bit of an unknown—not in her service to the people, but as a woman. A person. This has allowed a caricature of her to be developed and many people believe the caricature over the person. They believe she's cold, untrustworthy. A liar. Someone with a sketchy past. It's certain she's made mistakes. Like all of us, she's not without faults and has had moments were she was aloof or made a questionable comment or decision. Like all of us, some of those moments were important moments. Not because of the error, but because of how she recovered and returned to her true, better self. Which got me thinking...

What if there was a more honest, factual expression of Hillary?

And what if, as a daily ritual, I created it? A practice in art. And listening. Learning. About Hillary. 

Yes, I could do that.

I will do that, I decided.

And so, here it is.

 Day One
hillary: i see you.

quote sources: DNC Hillary film and HRC's Tweet


rainbows: everywhere

this unassuming 
boutique punch card
feels worldly & inclusive.

also, like a game of twister.
love that too.


people are capable, 
at any time in their lives, 
of doing what they dream

paulo coelho