Tok Around the Clock

When everything started shutting down last March, Tik Tok was barely on my radar in terms of preferred social media. Tik Tok was decidedly my high school aged son’s thing. But one year later, 40-something moms have arrived! Ok they are there, but that’s not the point of this post. I must preface this by saying while I do have an account, I only have one so that I can like and make comments (always affirming, I don’t do that mean trolling crap). You will never see me in videos of my own creation. That is my promise to you. But for all you Tik Tok creators, keep doing you! BECAUSE I LOVE IT!    

Almost a year into quarantine, Tik Tok has become a part of my life. That’s right. I’m saying it. And while my family thinks I have an addiction to it and can’t control myself, you tell me. Does someone who is addicted designate a specific time of day to look at Tik Toks, then and only then, without interrupting the flow of the day to “cheat” the schedule? Yeah, I thought so. I do set aside the time after I log off work for the day and before I have to cook dinner, as Tik Tok Wind Down time.

Sure, back in March 2020, Tik Tok was a place to find families doing all those dance challenges (Savage anyone?). And yeah, they were pretty funny and nice escape from mess 2020 was quickly becoming at that time.

But over the course of the summer, the lead up to the elections in November and through to now, Tik Tok evolved from this kind of silly social media platform to a legitimate space for learning just about anything. Thanks to the algorithm, Tik Tok is pretty good and feeding me content that I actually care about (Nope, I have not found myself in Trump Tok, thank you Lord). Of course, algorithms are determined by the level of interaction one has with specific accounts (at least that’s how I understand it), so what I’m shown is pretty predictable if you have any sense of my interests.

That said, I’d like to share some of my favorite Tik Tok creators, whom I follow for a variety of interests they address. After several of my more serious posts, I thought lightening up to share some great accounts to check out would be a good thing.

So herewith is my collection of Tik Tok that is more than just pandemic entertainment.


This category has a two-fold purpose. Easy and tasty recipes (got my best Shawarma Bowls recipe from Tik Tok) and DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia) spots to check out. When there is nothing to do besides go for a drive to pick up takeout, recs from people in the know are extremely helpful. It also makes for great exploration of your locale.

Italian food the way Italian people make it in Italy. Nuff said.
A foodie from Cornell University who knows his way around a kitchen–both at home with his parents and on a budget at school.
Her recipes are delicious! She also seems to live a pretty charmed life in the hills of LA. Fun to watch, fun to cook.
Come for the Chai (chai means tea. stop ordering chai tea lattés. you’re only saying “tea tea lattés.) stay for the hope.
Where ever you live, someone has an account about food treasures in your zone.
This DMV foodie has the deets on great spots to try. (I was so tempted to say deets on eats!)


These are actual board certified medical and nutritional professionals who dispense real science and logic. No, they aren’t there to diagnose your issues online. But you can learn a lot from their content which has proven to be super helpful to me, personally.

A registered dietitians with real facts on good nutrition and listening to your body. Love her!
Another fab RD who knows what she’s talking about. She also has fun with TT trends. Don’t judge.
After 45 years on this planet as a female, this OB/GYN is literally the one who told me things I never knew. 100% recommend her page.

Feeding the Mind

Politics, history, current culture, faith. These are creators provide necessary content for today.

If you don’t know Quentin, get to know him. A follower of Christ who walks the walk and gives you straight talk on politics and doing the right thing.
He’s intro’d himself as that pastor from Oklahoma who voted for Biden. He doesn’t mince words about what it means to authntically follow Christ and how that influences voting and life.
It’s that type of stuff that makes great conversation starters and helps you remember there is still good in the world.
Fascinating insights on American politics, culture, and history from someone outside the U.S. who knows what she’s talking about.

For Fun

These creators just make me laugh, smile, and say “whoa.” There are a lot of them out there to discover, but these are favorites.

This woman lives on an island near the north pole where polar bears roam around and there is no light for four months out of the year. Her page is just cool.
This child and her mom are adorable. Both have recently gone internet-famous for morning affirmations they do together, which we all could benefit from repeating.
His guitar playing is sooooo good. He also made to Jimmy Fallon for playing background Uke music while his brother got busted by his mom. Very cool content.
Last, but not least, Meg, the South Asian student who’s delivery and unabashed accent as the best! Shaddap! #IYKYK

So there you have it! If Tik Tok brightens your day during these very tough days, don’t be ashamed! Right now, to keep laughing and learning is the best we can do.

Peace Isn’t Always Peaceful

Before anyone goes off thinking I’m advocating for war, please understand I am not. Ok. With that out of the way, let’s talk making peace in the United States of America, because we haven’t been this close to civil war since well, the Civil War. And forgive me if this post seems like it’s all over the place. Heavy topic.

Those on the far right have been saying the divide between right and left will never be bridged unless those on the left knock it off already. Those on the far left have said pretty much the same. There have been many a Tik Tok featuring a toothless, aging white man with a huge beard and a dirty trucker hat threatening to come for the sheeple and snowflakes for their deft thievery of the national election. It’s been super easy to laugh at the images and roll my eyes.

Then January 6 happened. As more details are emerging, the intent of the insurrection at the capitol has now been revealed to be much more sinister than many dared to believe. After all, why storm a building with zip ties unless you were planning to tie someone up and do harm?

This week, 20,000 National Guard troops have been setting up in DC ahead of the Biden/Harris inauguration. Everyone is on high alert because the toothless and those with a mouthful of chompers have been pretty open about what they hope to do with January 20. Thankfully, law enforcement appears to be actually listening.

So, where do we go from here?

I’m a history nerd and love the fact that I live in one of the 13 original colonies. I love our proximity to Washington D.C. and the fact that when we stroll the mall on a Saturday afternoon or take pictures on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial we are literally standing in the steps of history. This capital and this nation and all its stands for has its stories.

The world has seen great divides for centuries and at some point, amends have been made—sometimes freely, other times with great caution. Watching the World War II movie, Windtalkers the other day, a bigoted character in the film exclaimed disbelief that the Indigenous fellow GI he’d taunted actually saved his life, before saying the following: “Wouldn’t it be crazy maybe in 50 years we’ll be sipping beers with the Japanese?”

He spoke prophetically, did he not? The same can be said of Germany, (well prior to Trump messing things up), now one of our staunchest allies. How was peace brokered and nurtured there?

Well, one side had to surrender; one side had to admit defeat and accept it. That’s a starting point. But ideologies don’t just disappear overnight. Did Nazi ideas of racial supremacy evaporate once the Allies occupied and split the country into two? In Japan, did Emperor Hirohito cease to be a god in the eyes of his faithful when the articles of surrender were signed?

Interestingly enough, both Japan and Germany’s aggressions against the world were built on the ideas of race supremacy. To my knowledge (and I could be wrong), splinter groups in Japan embracing the ideas of their former emperor haven’t gained the footing that Neo-Nazi groups have throughout the world. As we’ve seen here in America, the flag “with the ugly spider,” as described by Gretl in The Sound of Music, is still waving—in the very nation who stormed Normandy to stomp it out.

Peace can be made in theory, but not always in action.

What will it take for the United States to truly be peaceful in action, not just in word? I wish I had answers. There are too many people entrenched in conspiracy theories, lies, and white supremacy right now. And unless you let those things go, there is no hand holding with truth tellers and people of different colors. In other words, you’ve got to get on the correct side of history in the eyes of humanity or common ground can’t be found.

You see, there are issues that go beyond the politics of running a country where compromise can’t be found. And those issues center around life and death. Racism leads to death for many Americans. As some have lamented their shock at why friendships and families have been ruined over Trump-following, I’d assert the issues of equality, justice, and the denouncement of racism and white supremacy are deal breakers. You either value all life in its diversity as on par with your own or you don’t. On issues like that, the side against that notion must capitulate or there is really no place to go.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., always chose a path of nonviolence, even when confronted with violence. All these years later, he is not wrong. Going high when others go low? That allows you to hold on to your dignity.

That said, I don’t believe in saying nothing. As Dr. King did, speak, write, and engage with others. Set people right when they are spouting wrong. Don’t shy away from the hard conversations. Have them and be firm about dispelling untruth with truth, facts, and a steady hand. Resist hysteria and lowering your standards out of anger. Stay even keeled and stay the course. I don’t know how or when or even if the nation will reach a point of peace at this point. But I do know that peace doesn’t come from standing back doing nothing.

For peace to truly win out, the method has to outweigh the madness.

2016 PTSD

Who remembers Wolf Blitzer on CNN popping up every few minutes with a “breaking news!” alert? I wanted to swat him into eternity after about an hour of it. My heart couldn’t take it. His alerts only announced that what we thought was a dream, was actually becoming reality.

The night before the election, we celebrated my daughter’s 17th birthday with friends at an Argentine restaurant. All of us thought there was no way Trump could or would win. The word “buffoon,” was used quite frequently during the course of the conversation. Most of us were feeling solid in the idea that by that time the next evening, the first woman president of the United States would be elected.

How wrong we were.

In retrospect I can see how polarizing Hilary Clinton was as a candidate. I can see why so many people thought that voting against her to take a chance on a loud-mouthed reality TV person with questionable morals and financial history couldn’t be that bad. I mean that with all sincerity.

Of course, if you were someone who wanted to slap progressive Americans back for eight years of the suavest, sanest, smartest, most likeable, president and first lady we’ve had, November whatever, 2016 was the best day of your lives. As Van Jones boldly put it that night, Trump’s election was “white-lash.” Was that harsh? In many cases yes. But in others, it was spot on.

So, we cried and anguished for a bit. Quit certain friends on Facebook whose true colors were brightly revealed, and stopped watching the news. I used to start my mornings prepping for work with GMA on. The morning after, I couldn’t bear to hear the president-elect’s voice or listen to more analysis. I turned to Friends on Netflix. Joey Tribbiani and Phoebe Buffay particularly, kept me sane.

That’s something I actually have kept up for these past four years. Once all 10 seasons of Friends was behind me, I watched Say Yes to the Dress, The Great British Bake Off, The Office—anything that wasn’t a reminder of the mess we were rolling deeper and deeper into with every passing day.

So, election night 2020 is days away. I don’t plan on watching the returns. When I went to the grocery store yesterday, it was crowded like the day before Thanksgiving. Turns out, a civil war might erupt, and people are stocking up on essentials again like they did in March. Just when Wegmans started stocking Lysol wipes again, the shelves were empty.

Man, this blog is bleak. But I think it proves my title right: 2016 and the ensuing four years have left a lot of us with PTSD. No joke.

So, what can we do as we face an uncertain future:

  1. If you believe in God or your version of a higher power, pray. Since I am a God-loving woman, I’m going to keep up with my talks with Him.
  2. If you take meds for depression or anxiety, make sure your prescriptions are stocked. Don’t miss a dose.
  3. Exercise, eat well, rest, drink water, take your vitamins—all the things your body needs to keep going. Now is not the time to neglect your health.
  4. Make plans for zoom calls with friends and family who are on the same side of the ticket as you are. You’ll have time to reach across the aisle when things calm down. You don’t need extra aggravation right now.
  5. If you are in therapy, keep going. If you think you might need therapy, set that up and follow through.
  6. Remember that you are not alone.

Now I’m writing as if Trump will win again. Honestly, I don’t know. But these tips are wise even if we do manage to send him packing.

If things go your way, don’t gloat over the “losers.” If this country is going to knit itself back together it’s going to require compassion, kindness, and a swallowing of pride from all involved. Take the high road.

Finally, resist the urge to cyber clap back at people. In fact, maybe this is a good time to take a social media break altogether. Focus on the humans who love you. Focus on the bigger picture. Focus on your spirituality. Focus on making the world a better place right around you.

I think that’s good advice for life overall.

Good luck and God bless. 🙂

You Give Christ a Bad Name

There just might be a difference between being a follower of Jesus and a Christian.

There’s a Tik Tok trend I’ve seen recently that rings pretty true in my opinion. It portrays a group of people in a contemporary Christian praise/worship service, singing away, arms upheld to God. The caption says something like, “Christians in church after they’ve voted to cage children, suppress women’s rights, and worship a cheater, etc.” I’m paraphrasing, but you can look it up and check me.

I’m a Christian who, because of folks like this, is feeling more comfortable calling myself a follower of Christ rather than the name that associates me with people like that. And that sucks. Because with all the divisiveness in this nation of ours, faith should be one of those things that unite. And yet, even that has gotten messy.

In trying to figure out where I should stand on issues because I care about clarity and integrity on the stances I take, I look to my north star, which for me is Jesus. As someone who believes in Christ and His care for all of us, I need to know what He thinks. The more I’ve studied and reflected on His life and the way He lived when He walked among humans, the more convinced I am that Trump-supporting Christians who refuse to denounce his dishonesty, infidelity, racism, cruelty, lack of integrity, and disregard for humanity, have got it so completely wrong.

Remember this: The KKK uses the cross to terrorize people.

All the God-talk during the RNC made me want to throw a vase at my TV and then projective vomit all over the smoking ruins of my Samsung. But my TV needed to live another day, so I did some Bible study while watching. And that only proved that what I was seeing—what these Christians were supporting—was very different from what I was finding in the good book. Hypocrisy aplenty.

If you read about Jesus in the Bible, He was the opposite of what many Christians are currently standing for. Which is, in my opinion, a way of religious life more closely resembled Pharisees than anything. And you all know who lobbied real hard for Jesus to be crucified, right?

Christ hung out with “questionable” people, not the upper echelons of society. He didn’t do things the way the ruling class did, he called them out on it. He told rich people to give up their money and follow him. He welcomed the lowest of the low in society to eat with him talk to him. He told us to care for widows and orphans—as in feed and clothe them from our wealth—not expect them to claw their way out of the hovels of their poverty by themselves.

What did he think about rich people getting richer and twisting religion up in it? Check out the story of what happened when greedy fools took over the temple to line their pockets. Jesus let them have it, and in doing so made a very strong point about the sanctity of faith and what He thought about greed and greedy people. Was he going to stand by for such a hijacking? Nope. He didn’t, and neither should we (if you are a believer).

The modern-day irony of it all: the hijacking of a faith that came from a man who taught goodness, mercy, compassion, and forgiveness, by people who play by a different set of rules than that.

If you care about fakes as opposed to real deals, now is the time to set yourself apart. If you identify as a Christian and care about being true followers of Christ, your best examples aren’t going to be found in “Christians” whose actions fly in the face of the teachings of Jesus. The real deals might not be found in abundance in many churches for that matter, but they’re out there.

To riff a line from a campfire song that sounds like it was written in the 60s by a bunch of flower toting hippies, “You will know we are Christians by our love.”

So if you happen to be looking, that’s the thing to look for.