Rejected Lyrics from Dr. Seuss’s ‘You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch’ – A Guest Feature

Hello friends! I’m dropping in to share with you a little nugget of holiday delight, brought to you by Mr. P&P. An expert in all things Seussical, Paul would like to share with you what he considers the MOST ACCURATE rejected lyrics from “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.”

First verse:

You’re a godless heathen, Mr. Grinch
You’re a filthy, dirty Commie, Mr. Grinch
I’m not angry, I’m just disappointed, Mr. Grinch
You’re what’s wrong with America, Mr. Grinch
You’re one of those guys who talks about saving the environment but drives around in an SUV, Mr. Grinch
I can’t even – please don’t try to talk to me right now, Mr. Grinch
You never really loved me, Mr. Grinch
If I can’t have you than nobody can, Mr. Grinch
I have your son – maybe now you’ll know what it feels like to lose someone you love, Mr. Grinch.

Climax verse:

If your prospective employer called me for personal reference, I’d passive aggressively make you look bad!
If you called and said that you wanted me back, and you really made me believe that you meant it this time, I’d still turn you down just because I’d never be able to look at you and not resent you!
If it turned out that you needed a blood transfusion and I was the only person who had your blood type, I’d give you the blood but I’d make you feel really guilty about it!
If I could somehow get away with killing you and know for a fact that I’d never get punished, I don’t know that I’d do it but by god it would be tempting! I’d like to say I’d resist the urge, but I’d be tempted Mr. Grinch, boy I’d be tempted.

LOLZ, amirite? I think I’m right.

Hope you’re all wrapping up your years in restful, satisfying ways. Thanks so much for checking in with me. One of my New Years Resolutions (ah, those dreaded buggers) is to post more regularly even as I continue to freelance. You can always check the publications page of this blog, my Twitter, and the P&P Facebook page to stay updated on what sorts of noise I’m making elsewhere on the internet!

❤ P&P


An Experiment with the Public Facebook Page

G’day friends,

As most of you know, I some time ago created a Facebook page, also entitled Positive and Promise, to correspond with this blog. At first it functioned primarily as a place for me to post updates whenever I had published a new piece, here or elsewhere. I also began to share the excellent work of other writers.

I’m continuing all of the above, but I want to expand the page’s purpose. I love Twitter’s gift economy ethos, and I would like to, in as many ways as I can, carry that over to the Positive and Promise Facebook page. I’m posting more frequently now, sharing writing and other cultural tidbits that are generally tied to feminist culture. My hope is that the page will become a space for conversation. I want to use it to brainstorm specific pieces that I need to draft, but, beyond that, I envision it as another safe space for us to talk amongst ourselves.

So, what might you see on the page? Well, here is a sampling:

– Personal essays by women and gender non-conforming persons
– Articles relevant to feminist and LGBTQ culture
– Fashion posts, especially if there is a feminist or intellectual twist
– Victoriana, because I worship at the alter of the 19th Century
– Music by fabulous female/gender non-conforming artists
– Pieces that focus on sex-positive and sex worker issues and culture (think
– Articles on mental health

But really, this barely begins to cover it, and if there is, say, an article, music video, or film that you want to think through, just holler, and I’ll post it (although I do of course reserve the right to curate the page and monitor the comments). I’m excited! Are you excited?

Here is the link to the page: I hope you’ll join us and tell your friends!


Dropping in with a Poem

Hi guys!

I’m still contemplating how to best utilize the blog space as a freelancer, so stayed tuned for updates on that. In the meantime, please accept a poetic offering from your resident eccentric.

The Inspiration: Lately the Democratic National Convention has been spamming Paul’s inbox with all manner of histrionic emails. Despite our bleeding hearts, we’ve both gotten a kick out of this and, last night, decided to write a poem entirely comprised of statements and phrases from these messages. Also, our apartment is bloody hot, and sanity is tenuous at the end of the day.

And so, without further ado, the fruits of our labor:

Now, I’m Emailing You Again

Dick Durbin emailed you.

Nancy Pelosi emailed you.

Now I’m emailing you again.

We keep emailing.

This is so contrived, and we can hardly believe it.

We need your help to fight back.

We’re nearly out of time.

To be blunt about it: 

If we fall behind now, 

We might as well throw in the towel.

We keep emailing.

I wanted to personally share the news

…this kid will be pretty darn happy.

But look, we’re not there yet.

We keep emailing.

Hey, just wanted to make sure you saw Senator Durbin’s email?

We keep emailing.

I come right out and say it: 

I’m a Democrat.

I don’t want to be one of those candidates


Hides their party.

We keep emailing.

If you care about health care reform, you need to be part of this.

Boehner’s gonna to be FURIOUS!

We keep emailing.

I wanted to personally share the news:

All hope is lost.


Hope all’s well in your worlds. Please keep in touch on Twitter and Facebook!

– Rach

A Prolonged Hiatus

Hi everyone,

Positive and Promise has been on hiatus for a few reasons. First, Paul and I got hitched! And it was happy and intimate and so, so lovely! If you have not yet had the pleasure of visiting Boulder, Colorado, please do yourself the favor of booking a ticket immediately. I think it may be the most perfect place in the United States, and it certainly was a majestic setting for nuptials. To all who have already extended congratulations, thank you, it means so much to me and to Paul. As for Hobo, well, she’s nursing the emotional wounds sustained during our absence. We hope she will soon feel less of an impulse to meow pathetically at our sleeping faces, or, when that yields little to no reaction, to lick them plaintively until cuddles are distributed. This routine tends to be performed between 3 and 4 in the morning.

But other, more serious, circumstances have made it especially difficult to write regularly, particularly as I am balancing creative work and academic work. I’m not able to go into details here; I will only say that the summer has taken a turn for the tumultuous.

But I will be back as soon as I can and am so excited to continue. Please say “hi” on Twitter (@RVoronaCote), on the Positive and Promise Facebook page, or, of course, on the blog itself.



Back Because of a Bang

So, I’m back.

Like every other aspiring writer with an internet connection, I firmly resolved that 2014 would be a productive blogging year for me. I also resolved to make good headway on my dissertation, which just so happens to be the reason why blogging fell by the wayside for the remainder of 2013. Hopefully I can budget my time in such a way that I am able to write for pleasure more frequently this semester. I do not want to suggest that there is no pleasure in writing a dissertation – if there was not, I would not do it. But it is work, and once you label something “work,” it inevitably becomes that thing you HAVE to do every day, even if you enjoy it. And the thing you have to do can take extraordinary amounts of time and energy. Example: How did the process of writing one sentence–ONE–become so intellectually, emotionally, and physically taxing? Jeezy Creezy. I have nearly finished my first chapter, though, so my hope is that as I get the hang of this dissertating business (to the extent that one can, anyway), I will be able to devote more time to the blogosphere.

But, to be honest, I did not originally plan to return to Positive and Promise tonight. The day’s events prompted me to do it, in part due to the BWD situation that resulted. Late this morning, there was a shoot-out directly outside of my apartment.

No one was hurt, thank goodness, and no stray bullets hit the apartment. It was, however, terrifying. Paul was at work, so I was alone with the cat (who, while frightened of well-meaning, cooing visitors, is apparently immune to the sound of gunfire ripping through the air). I learned from my downstairs neighbor that, for as long as he can remember, there has been some sort of turf war between two local groups, and drugs are likely involved. Lately I had noticed a little graffiti across the street that suggested some sort of extant dispute, but I didn’t think much of it. As it turns out, that graffiti–completed by two different people, each representing a different group–may very well have been evidence of the turmoil that led to today’s near-catastrophe. The shoot-out was so close that it is a mercy no stray bullets flew through my downstairs neighbor’s window – the window he sits behind almost all day (he is wheelchair-bound). And while the altercation occurred a couple of hours after Paul left for work, I still…well, I can’t even finish this sentence.

So, needless to say, I have not been a paragon of productivity today. Paul came home from work early because I was so distressed, and we discussed whether or not we will remain in this neighborhood. We are not sure right now. Frankly, two graduate students have to go where the rent is cheap, and because neither of us own a car, we rely on public transportation. A one-bedroom apartment walking distance from a metro stop in a decent neighborhood? In this area, that would cost more than what one of us makes in a month. Obviously this is a matter that will require far more discussion and, if we do decide to move, some significant budgeting to boot. Furthermore–and as will become clearer–I have mixed feelings about leaving a neighborhood that has become special to me, in spite of the caution required to live here.

Before Paul returned home, I occupied myself by searching through various news sources, to see if anything had been posted about the shoot-out. Nothing. I wasn’t surprised, especially since there apparently had not been any injuries. But since the event occurred in broad daylight, I thought that it may have piqued the interest of a local reporter. However, I did find tucked deep into the online crevices of the Washington Post, a brief article about an 18 year old boy who had been shot and killed recently. He lived nearby. In 2014, there has apparently been one other, relatively local homicide, and a stabbing that resulted in critical injuries. I would not have discovered this information if I had not been looking–carefully–for articles on violence in South DC. And I am nearly positive that there will be no article on the shoot-out in tomorrow’s paper.

Paul and I live in a historically black area, and most of our neighbors are lower-income. And, for the most part, it is a happy, close-knit community – one that we have come to love. Some of our bus drivers live nearby – they pick up their children from the local elementary school during their shifts, chat with them about their days, and deposit them at a family member’s house en route. Our downstairs neighbors immediately took us under their wings, providing us with safety tips and, during the holidays, stuffing us with cookies. A warm, sunny day means cookouts on every corner – and that we’ll be listening to Marvin Gaye at full volume, well past nine p.m. (we do not always love this, although it is endearing). One of the little girls two doors down initiated a routine where, upon seeing “Mr. Paul,” she curtsies and he, in turn, bows to her. Ninety-five percent of the time, I end each day perfectly content to live in a cozy apartment, surrounded by friendly neighbors.

But today, after the shoot-out–and after I did a little reading around on the Washington Post–I was reminded of a truth as dismal as the above paragraph is precious. We do live near the most violent section of Washington D.C., not far from one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the country. Lives end frequently around here – generally young, black lives. To some degree, everyone in the DC area knows what happens “over here.” None of it is considered newsworthy because it is expected. In Precarious Life, Judith Butler writes about the difference between lives perceived as valuable and those that are deemed–consciously or not–expendable. She emphasizes that this is a global trend, but we also see its effects locally in a deeply profound way. When we do not recognize the violence inflicted upon black bodies, the socioeconomic circumstances that perpetuate cycles of violence and pain, we endorse a hierarchical system that privileges some lives over others.  I do not pretend to know what we can do in order to ensure more visibility for people of color in DC. And living in this neighborhood does not affect an ounce of my privilege. But I cannot tolerate a world where any life is regarded as expendable, and I am determined to find a way to do something, however small, to help this–my–neighborhood.