about sarah, life

It’s my birthday!

I turned 34 today.

And here’s what I did:

  • slept in
  • lounged and drank iced coffee
  • ate a taco at Torchy’s
  • got a manicure and pedicure
  • read a book in bed
  • went to dinner at Liberty Burger
  • had a movie night at home

It was a great day.

feminism & equality, news & politics

Justice Sotomayor is Right.

When I saw the news of Alton Sterling being killed by police last night, I was reminded of a dissent I’d recently read by Justice Sotomayor. I have a feeling the story the police give about why they approached Sterling, and why deadly force was used and is okay, will not being something with which I agree. Extrajudicial execution is NOT OKAY and it’s against what we’re supposed to stand for as Americans.

Each time, this is heartbreaking, for every victim of this kind of treatment by police, and every black person who watches these things happen over and over and feels hurt, less welcome, less cared for, and that they are treated as less than fully American. It breaks my heart, and I’m watching from the view of being white. I can only imagine what it feels like from the other side, and it’s too much.

And I know there are police officers out there every day not doing these horrible things, but even when acting within the law, our punishments have gotten out of control. Expecting citizens to be okay with being stopped anytime and forced to answer to a cop for seemingly no reason is ridiculous. And decades long prison sentences for theft, in which no humans were harmed or threatened, are horrific. It’s stuff. But that’s a topic for another day.

###

On June 20, the Supreme Court’s decision in Utah v. Strieff weakened the Constitution’s protections against unlawful police stops. The ruling said that evidence found could be used in court if the officers found an outstanding arrest warrant during the stop.

Sotomayor’s dissent is not directly related, but there was a line that stuck out to me and following the Sterling story today reminded me I’d wanted to document it here so I’ll remember it later and forever.

Her dissent is powerful, smart, and important. Here’s a small piece:

By legitimizing the conduct that produces this double consciousness, this case tells everyone, white and black, guilty and innocent, that an officer can verify your legal status at any time. It says that your body is subject to invasion while courts excuse the violation of your rights. It implies that you are not a citizen of a democracy but the subject of a carceral state, just waiting to be cataloged. We must not pretend that the countless people who are routinely targeted by police are “isolated.” They are the canaries in the coal mine whose deaths, civil and literal, warn us that no one can breathe in this atmosphere. See L. Guinier & G. Torres, The Miner’s Canary 274–283 (2002). They are the ones who recognize that unlawful police stops corrode all our civil liberties and threaten all our lives. Until their voices matter too, our justice system will continue to be anything but.
* * *
I dissent.

(Bolding mine.)

And this little bit again, just to make sure you didn’t miss it:

We must not pretend that the countless people who are routinely targeted by police are “isolated.” They are the canaries in the coal mine whose deaths, civil and literal, warn us that no one can breathe in this atmosphere.

The canaries in the coal mine. And we can’t breathe.

We’re lucky to have her on the Court.

  • Find SCOTUSblog’s coverage of the case here.
  • Grab a PDF of the official decision here.
  • Read The Atlantic’s recap and praise for Sotomayor’s dissent here.
my house

I have a new bathroom, y’all!

Soooooooo, you may recall we’ve been working on a full bathroom remodel (like, the down to the studs, I could see the dirt under the house, city permit kind) and it’s ALMOST DONE. We’re being kinda lazy/slow about it right now, since we’re able to use it and it’s lovely and glorious in there, but will wrap it up fully soon.

So, here’s the list from a while back with lots of new lines crossing things off.

Master Bathroom To Do List:

  • Obtain permit from city.
  • Demolish everything!
  • Install all new plumbing/fixtures. 
  • Update electrical & add outlets/lights.
  • Install sheetrock & paint.
  • Build new shower.
  • Tile shower, walls and floor.
  • Replace door, including new hinges and knob. (Need to install knob!)
  • Install new window. 
  • Install vanity with sink & cabinet. 
  • Hang mirror.
  • Install toilet paper holder. 
  • Hang hooks.
  • Pass all city inspections. (One more to go!)
  • Add finishing touches!

As you can see, we’ve mostly cleared the original list. So, what’s left?

  • Touch up the wall paint.
  • Install baseboards and paint.
  • Paint door and window trim.
  • Install the door knob.
  • Add some art or something to the walls.
  • Hang a window treatment of some sort for privacy.
  • Decide on a shower door and order/install. (Using a curtain for now!)
  • Pass the final city inspection.

I’ll probably also pick out a small plant for the countertop and buy some new towels. 😀

So, now that I’ve recapped what we’ve done so far and what still needs to happen, let’s check out a quick reminder of what the bathroom used to look like:

OMG MY EYES. It was so small, and smelly, and leaky, and we never used it. And when I say “small” I feel like you’re not imagining how small. The photo on the left is the ENTIRE BATHROOM (the toilet is right behind that door) and I took the photo on the right while sitting on the counter because that was the only way to get the toilet and shower sort of in the photo because they were so close.

Now that we’ve given up two small closets to make the new shower and left the original square footage for only the vanity and toilet, it feels so spacious in there! And the shower is fantastic!

I mean, look at this:

bathroom_progress_vanity
Instagram

Yay! That tile is perfection.

And a corner of the shower:

bathroom_progress_shower
Instagram

Love it in there! The shower is so nice and the drawers are soft close and sigh. It was sort of horrible and I had so many stress dreams and it’s not even done yet, but I’m a fan!

Full tour, details of what went right (and wrong!), and sources coming soon.