Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Day 95: A Political Update

Some of you may have noticed that I've not been blowing up the political posts recently.
No matter how tempting it is.


Some of that, undoubtedly, is because my life has been a wee bit hectic, with shows and birthdays and not one, not two, but THREE medical hurty thingies. I have allowed myself to turn away from the twenty-seven ring circus in DC due to personal concerns.

















But some of it, quite honestly, is because WHAT THE HELL WOULD I SAY?

There's a decent chance Russia rigged our election. That's some spy novel shit right there. What's far more worrisome, fully half our government doesn't seem to want to know. I mean, honestly, I disagree with politicians all the time, but this is the clearest example of obvious corruption that I can think of in my lifetime.

We're pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement. Some of our politicians are working very hard to remove health care from poor people, women, and the elderly, and to make it more expensive for everyone else. The prevalent racism we have in this country is becoming more apparent than ever, to white people, at least (minorities have known about it for a long time), and yet little is being done about it. The head of the executive branch of our government seems to have no real concept of foreign policy, which leaves us in very real danger of being catapulted into a war no one wants. And our media seems more interested in reporting on the dumpster fire in the White House than in actual world events.


Meanwhile, terrorist attacks are on the rise in Europe. The Great Barrier Reef is dying, and soon it will be dead. We're approaching a massive global extinction event. And in the time of what is undeniably the greatest level of wealth for humanity as a whole, half the world lives in extreme poverty, while 80% of the world lives in your average, run of the mill poverty.

Things are fucked y'all.  No joke.

And yet... and yet...  

A Muslim man in the Philippines sheltered 64 Christians in his home, hiding them from militants.

The acting US Ambassador to China quit over Trump's decision to pull out of the climate agreement.

An Australian nurse lost her life, running towards the London bridge victims, trying to help.

Countries all over the world are making the push for renewable power.  A few are on track to supply themselves completely with clean energy within the next five years.

Dutch prisons are closing, because their rehabilitation systems are so effective.

Taiwan legalized same-sex marriage.

The rice around Fukushima is now safe to eat again.

They discovered a new species of skink in New Zealand, and immediately saved it from extinction.

People everywhere, all the time, are taking actions--both small and large--to prove that humanity as a whole has as much good in it as it does evil.  And these things give me hope that maybe, if we don't kill ourselves, we're gonna get wiser.



I'm feeling, dare I say it?  Hopeful.

So I'm not spending a lot of time bitching about politics.  Because, honestly, I'm starting to feel like there are better uses for my energy, like helping with that whole "getting wiser" thing.  

Not gonna lie, though, it helps that some folks are stepping up to fill the gap.  And some of them have material that is solid gold!


Saturday, June 3, 2017

Day 94: The Growing-up

 
Seven years ago I walked into Anna Jacques maternity ward, laughing over some joke Natalie had made.  In fact, I was so cheerful that the on-duty nurses were suspicious that I was actually in labor, until they checked me in and found out I was already 4 cm dilated.  They just didn't think I looked like I was in enough pain to be in labor.


The truth was it did hurt, but I didn't care.  I was so happy my baby girl was on the way.


She came so quickly that she aspirated some amniotic fluid on the way out, and turned a little blue.  She was fine, but whenever she wasn't with me they kept sticking her in the baby baker, to help her dry out a little before we took her home.

In retrospect, that story--what we might call the very first "story of Charlotte"--set the tone for all her future stories.  Charlotte is my deceptively easy child, who sometimes trips me up just because of how easy she is in general. :)


It was a blessing and a wonder to take her home and find that she, unlike her brother, was interested in sleeping.  She had a tiny, reddish mohawk for her first three months, until her hair grew too long and started flopping over from it's own weight.  And she was always firm in her opinions, even when her only manner of communicating them was in baby noises.

She smiled very early.


As she grew it was clear she adored her big brother.  She followed him everywhere, and her most heartbreaking moment of all time was the day he left her to go to school.  Who could have guessed that, five years down the road, they would fight like Cats and Dogs?  And yet, if there's ever an outside threat, they band together in an instant.  They come at the world in different ways, but they're totally willing to take it on together.


Charlotte has grown to be a beautiful child, creative and funny, energetic and strong willed.  She wears her heart on her sleeve, which I both delight in and ache over, because I know how much it can hurt when your feelings are so exposed, and yet I also know how much joy it can bring.  She does everything with her whole heart, and while that can be trying when what she's doing is "throwing a fit and falling in", most of the time that means that she is awe inspiring.  She doesn't know the meaning of half measures. 


My darling baby is getting bigger, and sometimes I look at her old pictures and sigh for that baby face.  I miss her little girl grammar and the sweet inquisitiveness that has become a more demanding search for knowledge.  But I cannot deny that her growing maturity is also a delight, and when she can see I'm having a hard day and comes to hug me and tell me she loves me, my heart is so full of joy over the wonderful person she is growing to be.






Happy birthday, Charlotte.  I love you to the moon and back, and back again, for infinity.







Friday, May 26, 2017

Day 93: Online Dating Suggestions; or How to Get Women to Go Out With You Instead of Running Screaming Into the Night

I've been giving online dating a whirl for about two months, now, and I have to say, it's been an eye opening experience for me.  I had no idea that the world was so full of men willing to make complete asses of themselves in the search for a woman who could tolerate their bullshit.  I mean, seriously, if I'd known what a treasure trove of amazing stories this would yield, I'd have started dating years ago.  I have my doubts that it's going to magically provide me with a worthwhile companion, but at the very least it's super amusing.

However, with all this entertainment coming my way, I can't help but feel sorry for these poor guys, who are clearly trying A LOT harder than I am.  So I thought I'd write them a little guide to help them out, and while I can't guarantee it will work with every woman, I think I feel safe in promising that it will improve your chances immensely.

First:  Know Your Audience

Read her profile.

 My actual, real profile text on OKC.  
Not really too much to ask, that someone read this, is it?

I cannot stress this enough.  I know, I know, she looks SUPER HOT in that profile pic.  Really, just amazingly hot.  So hot, you are thinking to yourself "I need to ask her to a ballgame RIGHT NOW"--

But hold on there, sparky.  That's precisely what I'm talking about.  What if this woman, a mere paragraph into her profile section, says "I cannot stand any form of sports ball.  No, I will not go to a game with you.  No, I won't even watch it on TV.  And, if our relationship goes anywhere, I won't let you watch it on the TV while I'm in the house."

First of all, offering to take her to a game will blow it right off the bat.  But, second, and probably more importantly: DO YOU REALLY WANT A WOMAN YOU HAVE TO GIVE UP SPORTS FOR?

*don't say yes*

The truth is, you don't want a woman that isn't compatible with you.  It doesn't matter how hot she is, if you don't have anything to talk about.  So read her profile!  Even if it's long!  It's worth it, I promise.  Plus, it will give you things to discuss with her when you message her.  Which leads me to...

Second: Message Her Like She's a Person, Not A Blow Up Doll.

Here are some things you should NOT say in your first message:

"Call me Daddy."

"Who's a dirty little slut?"

"I'd like to motorboat those boobs."

"DTF?"

Look, I'm not saying she won't call you Daddy, she isn't a dirty little slut, she wouldn't like to be motorboated, or that she's not DTF.  She might be all those things and more!  But (barring a few very specific people with some very specific kinks) you'll generally get farther with a woman if you do not START with these things.  Most of us (aforementioned kinks excepted) enjoy being spoken to like we're people.  In fact, we'd like to be acknowledged as people BEFORE you zoom in on the erogenous zones. 

 Also, you know, you might get a response like this.

So, reading her profile comes in handy!  Does she have an almost pathological love of Thai food?  Does she want to run away and join the circus?  Has she founded her own cult religion?  Find something she said that you think is interesting, and then ask her about it.  I swear, if she's actually DTF you'll find out eventually.

Third:  Message Her Like She's a Person, Not A Goddess.

I like a good compliment, as almost every human being does.  But there is such a thing as going TOO FAR.  If you tell her that she's gorgeous, and brilliant, and witty, and amazing, you had really better know more than three paragraphs about her to back that up.  Otherwise (particularly if she actually IS brilliant and witty) you are likely to make her suspicious that you're just flattering her.  Which she is not likely to appreciate.  I cannot speak definitively for anyone else, but insincere compliments are way worse, in my book, than no compliments at all. 

 Also, not this.  Just no.  Let's make a rule that any "compliment" that comes 
with a put down of a group she belongs to is a no-go.

If you want to compliment her, pick a thing.  *A* thing.  Preferably a non-physical thing?  This one I'm less sure on.  Some women really, really want to hear that they're beautiful, more than they want to hear that they're witty.  I actually like hearing both, but for an opening gambit, I say when in doubt, start with something that isn't about how she looks.  In fact, the prettier she is, the more she likely hears that way too often.  So, seriously, compliment her on something else. 

Fourth: Complete Sentences Are Your Friends.

Again, profiles are helpful here.  You'll know how casual you can be with your vocabulary and grammar if you bother to see how precise and accurate she is with hers.  But, in general, there's nothing wrong with appearing literate.  So proof what you're writing.  Maybe you're a terrible writer, but still, you can catch some little stuff.  No reason to leave out whole words, or anything.  And I'm not trying to be a punctuation snob, but periods REALLY help in order to make sure you're communicating discrete thoughts.  Just put in a little effort, is all I'm saying. 

 FWIW, I didn't say a thing about this guys grammar.  I sincerely think he didn't know better.
But, for the rest of you, let's all remember that this is not how we English.

Fifth: If She Does Answer You, Pretend You're Talking to a Guy

I mean, don't ask her if she's ever gotten a weird rash on her balls, and what she did about it if she has.  (That's what men talk about, right?)  But, for the purposes of discussion, try to treat her like you would another man.  This means:

*Don't explain things to her unless she's specifically said that she doesn't understand, and then gone on to express an interest in what you're talking about.

*If she asks a question, answer it.  Don't explain that it would be too boring, or too technical for her to understand.

*Don't try to steer everything around to sex.  Feel free to discuss other things, like badminton or ballroom dancing.

*If you disagree with her, be prepared for her to disagree with you right back.  Under no circumstances should you assume that she will accept your word as law.

*I know this is going to make some of you uncomfortable, but keep in mind that it's entirely possible that she's smarter than you.  It is far safer to assume that she is, and be wrong about that, then to assume that she isn't, and be wrong about THAT.

Sixth: Taking it Offline

Okay, so, you found a woman with some basic overlap, and you've managed to converse and you seem to like each other.  Great.  Now, it's time to meet in person.  Maybe you suggest this, maybe she does.  It doesn't really matter.  What DOES matter is the following:

*You need to suggest meeting in a public place.  DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES ask her to come to your place or, worse, ask if you can come to hers.  That is creepy. 

*Do not make jokes about raping her, jokes about kidnapping her, or any references to Buffalo Bill whatsoever.  That is CREEPY.


*Do not make any assumptions about getting into her pants during this meeting.  FOR SURE do not make any out loud assumptions about it.  If you can't help getting your hopes up, at the very least you can keep quiet about it.  Talking about how you assume you'll be headed back to her place after dinner is CREEPY.

*Do not suggest she meet you in a parking lot and blow you in your car.  This may or may not be creepy, depending on who you talk to, but it is TACKY for a first date.



Okay, this advice was geared for actually getting the woman to go out with you.  Stay tuned for Day 94: Offline Dating Suggestions, for what to do once she does.




Sunday, May 14, 2017

Day 92: Mrs. Whatsit is Motherhood Goals

"That's what I have to think about. Not about being afraid. Or not being as smart as IT. Mrs. Whatsit loves me. That's quite something, to be loved by someone like Mrs. Whatsit."
-A Wrinkle in Time



I've been thinking a lot, recently, about what my goals for motherhood are.  It's tempting to focus on who or what I hope my kids will grow to be, but the truth is that, while I can influence that, I can't really control it, and even if I could I probably shouldn't.  Instead I think about the kind of mother I want to be, and after reading A Wrinkle in Time to the kids, I think I've finally figured it out.

See, there's this scene at the end of the book, where Meg is scared out of her wits, and going to face a foe that is way, way stronger than she is.   She doesn't know how she's going to fight him, and she's terrified she'll fail to save her little brother, and--all in all--it's a pretty dark hour for her.

But then she remembers that Mrs. Whatsit loves her.  And while that doesn't make the fear go away, or really give her any ideas about what to do, it does help.  Because knowing that someone like Mrs. Whatsit--someone that special and wonderful--loves her, gives Meg the strength to keep going even in the face of her fear.

And that's who I want to be as a mother.  I want to be someone so special and wonderful that just knowing that I love them makes my kids stronger and better people.  It gives them courage in the dark times and helps them carry on when things seem hopeless.  I want the experience of having my love to be "quite something."

I know.  It's a crazy goal.  And maybe even unattainable.  But it seems like a worthy one, and so, on this Mother's Day, I am dedicating myself to this idea.  That Mrs. Whatsit is my new Motherhood Goal, and that someday, even if I don't know it, my children will remember that I love them, and it will be enough to see them through.

Mother's Day kisses to you all!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Day 91: Everything I Am...

I hate Celine Dion.

Look, I'm sorry, y'all.  She's got an amazing voice.  And yeah, if we're out at Karaoke there's a decent chance I'll do an impassioned rendition of All Coming Back to Me.  But none of that matters.  You know why?

Because of this stupid song:



She wrote this song for a man.  A MAN, PEOPLE.  Let's go ahead and dissect why I'm so angry with it, shall we?  Lemme make sure you've really taken in the lyrics.

I'm everything I am
Because you loved me.

Really?  REALLY CELINE?  EVERYTHING?!?!?!?!  Like, there was no foundation or basis for your being until this man came into your life?  You have no sense of self outside of what he shaped you to be?  YOU'RE EVERYTHING BECAUSE HE LOVED YOU?

It makes me want to foam at the mouth.  Honestly.  If it comes on the radio I start yelling at the speakers.

BUT...
 
I had a sudden epiphany the other day, when this--possibly my least favorite song in the world--came on the radio. If I forget that Celine wrote this for her husband. If I pretend, instead, that it was for her parents, then, suddenly, I don't hate it at all. In fact, it becomes a beautiful song that illustrates a truth that is known to all of us who were lucky enough to be cherished by our parents.

Their love is what made us into the people we are today.

It is the root of who we are.

We are, without a doubt, everything that we are, because they loved us.

So, on this eve before Mother's Day, I am going to forgive Celine, for writing the perfect parental anthem. She did it by accident, but I'm just going to grit my teeth and let that go. Because for every mother, father, step-parent, grandparent--for everyone who raise us, loved us, and helped us grow, this is really, honestly, a great song.




For all those times you stood by me
For all the truth that you made me see
For all the joy you brought to my life
For all the wrong that you made right
For every dream you made come true
For all the love I found in you

I'll be forever thankful baby
You're the one who held me up
Never let me fall, you're the one
Who saw me through, through it all
You were my strength when I was weak
You were my voice when I couldn't speak
You were my eyes when I couldn't see
You saw the best there was in me
Lifted me up when I couldn't reach
You gave me faith 'cause you believed
I'm everything I am
Because you loved me

You gave me wings and made me fly
You touched my hand, I could touch the sky
I lost my faith, you gave it back to me
You said no star was out of reach
You stood by me and I stood tall
I had your love, I had it all

I'm grateful for each day you gave me
Maybe I don't know that much
But I know this much is true
I was blessed because I was loved by you

You were my strength when I was weak
You were my voice when I couldn't speak
You were my eyes when I couldn't see
You saw the best there was in me

Lifted me up when I couldn't reach
You gave me faith 'cause you believed
I'm everything I am
Because you loved me

You were always there for me, the tender wind that carried me
The light in the dark shining your love into my life
You've been my inspiration, through the lies you were the truth
My world is a better place because of you

You were my strength when I was weak
You were my voice when I couldn't speak
You were my eyes when I couldn't see
You saw the best there was in me

Lifted me up when I couldn't reach
You gave me faith 'cause you believed
I'm everything I am
Because you loved me

You were my strength when I was weak
You were my voice when I couldn't speak
You were my eyes when I couldn't see
You saw the best there was in me

Lifted me up when I couldn't reach
You gave me faith 'cause you believed
I'm everything I am
Because you loved me
I'm everything I am
Because you loved me



Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Day 90: My Kingdom For a Fighting Woman

Okay, so...

This post kinda came from a mental rabbit hole, but whatever.  It's tech week, I'm tired, and y'all like it when I ramble.  Right?

RIGHT?

I went searching for a picture of a warrior woman.  I wanted to use it to make an image with the word "FORTIFY" emblazoned across it, for a Facebook post.  I thought this would take, maybe, two seconds.

I should know better.

So, let's start with this.  If you search "warrior" on Google Image, this is what you get:


My goodness.  That's a lot of dudes.  A whole-frakkin-boatload of 'em.  Not a lady in the bunch.  Let's just scroll down, shall we?  And see how long it takes us to find a woman?

 Nope
 Nope

AH!  Here we go.  Some women, at last.  But... hold on...




 Original by marko djurdjevic at deviantart.com

Seriously?  That's a thief, and a sorceress, and... Okay, that last one IS kinda cool.  But she's also NAKED.  She's got boots and drawers and then a whole bunch of accessories.  I'm not one to scorn a good accessory, but how is she gonna fight with her boobs flying all over the place?  Not to mention, that just seems impractical in the way of armor.

Okay, I think to myself, clearly this is just a searching problem.  Lemme refine my search.  Here we go.  Warrior WOMEN...

Da Fuq. 

Seriously, we got naked ladies, more naked ladies, and, oh yeah, some naked ladies!  Also, they're all very "oh see how pretty I am, as I stand here with my weapon of choice."  Apparently archers get a little more love.  They're allowed to actually wield their weapon, and not just display it like some geek porn check marker.
"I wanna see a girl with a big axe.  Like, a REALLY big axe.  But make her soft and vulnerable."

UGGGGGGGH!

Wanna see some of my favorites? 

You know you do.


Let's hear it for the mother of crows!  Who doesn't protect her heart, but has some truly stellar NIPPLE armor.  Cause that's the most important part, obviously.

original available from wallpaperup.com

"But, how does that protect your vital organs?"
"Oh, I'm not human.  Everything critical to life support fits neatly behind this chastity belt."
"Oh, well, that's--"
"Also I wax.  In this traditional high fantasy world.  Candles are expensive to melt down just for some grooming, but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do."


This one is better!  She's got armor and a sword and everything!  Probably good they have her standing in a traditional sex kitten pose.  OTHERWISE WE MIGHT NOT HAVE NOTICED SHE'S A LADY!!!

original image from spynet.ru

I literally cannot even.
I just can't.

WHERE ARE MY FIGHTING WOMEN?!?!??!!  Not the ones in pretty poses, the ones "accidentally" being gorgeous while they fondle their bo staffs.  Where are the ones streaked with blood, screaming with unbridled battle fury at their opponent? 

I KNOW THEY MUST EXIST SOMEWHERE!

But I cannot find them

So, I'm off.  Leaving you with one final question.

What the hell is THIS shit?

unmarked image available for download at dreamstime.com



*All the image in this post are screenshotted from a google search.  Where I could find the original, I've tagged the source.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Day 89: Sometimes I Write Poetry.


I left my window open to the Spring
Hoping the air would steal into my room
And whisper in my ear of possibilities
Of flights of fancy and what may be
Of daydreams and hopes and longings

I left my window open and the Spring
Crept in on the heels of Night
Easing gently into my bed and settling beside me
Caressing my skin and teasing my senses
Murmuring a summons to my long dormant soul

I left my window open and Spring came to me
Like a balm and a blessing, a lover and a friend
Soothing and awakening and offering delights
That waited only for me to free myself
From the chill of winter's grasp

I left my window open and awoke to Spring
And laughed--glad
To finally see myself in bloom.