Saturday, December 29, 2012


I have a couple rants on my mind but I just don't feel like putting them down yet. As I mumbled in my book review blog, I always feel bad when it's been a while since I've posted something. It's almost the new year, and with that new year, I may possibly have a job. I'll have to wait for the HR person at the place to get back to me, but damn, a job! And at a place where I won't have to worry about covering up my tattoo, nonetheless.

So I just realized that I'm sitting here reading articles on Buzzfeed instead of writing but my headache is largely gone. Also, I just had my mind blown as I looked at my cover of Battle Royale and realized that in the negative space between the boy and the girl on the cover (likely Shuya and Noriko) is a shotgun. I never noticed it before, as much as I looked at the cover. Mind. Blown.

Okay, I'll write more another time when I'm not so distracted.

Friday, December 21, 2012

An Adult's Letter to Santa, part 2

Dear Santa,

You must have gotten my letter (my faith is renewed in the Postal Service, either that or you read my blog) and I just wanted to thank you for the job interview I have on the day after Christmas. Now if you have any sway over the IRS to erase my tax debt and Congress to pass unemployment extensions, that would be super. But seriously, the fact that I got an email the day after I submitted my resume asking if I could come in for an interview on the 26th was awesome. Thanks, buddy (not to be confused with Buddy). Even though I still can't afford presents for my family, my faith in the season is a little bit restored and the crushing depression I have felt for the last week is lifting a bit.

Thanks again,


Friday, December 14, 2012

Everyone has an Opinion on Welfare

The subject of welfare is often a touchy subject, and one close to home for me, because, if you've been following along, I have been unemployed for over a year now and have been on food stamps that back in August got cut down to only $16 a month. Most of the time, I have huge guilt over buying food because it means money is coming away from a bill. I struggle to pay my medical bills and to pay for prescriptions because I didn't bother to apply for MaineCare, knowing I'd either be denied or waitlisted. It's extremely stressful, to say the least.

Being in my position, it's very hard to keep my mouth shut when people voice opinions about how welfare and assistance programs should be run. And these people, 100% of the time, are securely employed with no risk of ever being in my position. I won't lie, I had my opinions, and still do about some things, but I think some people don't stop and think about the people they actually know that are on assistance, or they throw in a quick "but not you, you're different!" to assuage the situation, as if it really takes back the harm that was done. For someone as liberal as myself I have a surprising amount of right-wing Republican friends, and they always seem to be the most vocal. I hate to pick on them, but I wrote about it before that being Republican is becoming synonymous with hate, and it's a very disturbing trend. It seems so much more prevalent with social media that at times, it's hard not to tell my friends just what I think about them when they post ignorant, bigoted, biased things without real thought.

It's so easy to look at a person and say "well no wonder they're poor," or "they're so lazy!" or "look at all the luxuries this person has, and on welfare!" but let's stop and look at the bigger picture. A friend of mine shared a graphic and I thought it exemplified a point I wanted to make quite well. Yes, it's a bit glurgy, but I can relate to it. On a personal level, I have a Coach purse, a large 40" TV, an Xbox, a bluray player, and more shoes than any one person needs, as well as high-end cosmetics. My own brother-in-law tried to give me grief over these things when I was unemployed, to which I replied I bought them all when I was still working and making good money. Yes, I do have an expensive cell phone and data plan, which are a necessity, because not all of my job hunting/networking is done from home. Yes, I just got a tattoo while unemployed. Know how I payed for it? Can and bottle returns (actually, that's how I paid for the TV). So, it's easy to judge someone on the superficial things without knowing the whole picture. And when I shop for food, I paw through every package of meat and buy bare minimums to get me by, and when I can, I buy things that will freeze well. I have learned, in this past year, to make money and food stretch. It has been a hard lesson.

Am I bitter about some aspects of public assistance? I would be lying if I said no. In fact, socialized healthcare frustrates me to no end, because I feel as if I am seen as nothing more than a uterus instead of a person. Remember how I didn't bother to apply for MaineCare? That's exactly why. Publicly-funded healthcare is always doled out to women with children first and the rest after, and that's monumentally unfair. Are my health needs any less than someone who is breeding more burdens on the state? But there's me, poor-shaming and victim-blaming. But this is my hot point of contention, because one of my biggest stresses are the medical bills I can't pay (lab fees are expensive) and the multiple prescriptions I can barely afford. It's hard for me to be sympathetic to someone with insurance complaining about doctor's bills, when I pay everything out of pocket with no help.

I don't wish loss of job on many people (yes, I've said people should be fired, and meant it, I won't lie about that) but if there was a way I could have people live in my shoes for a month, with my budget, I would. Suddenly losing an income and having to live on less than half of what you were making, with no insurance or any other benefits is humbling and life-changing. You learn not to be wasteful. You learn what are necessities and what is not. You learn to prioritize. And, when you have friends in the same boat, you network. You share info about who has sales going, who's hiring, and who has prescription plans for the uninsured. And when you go on public assistance, you learn who people are, just from their attitudes. And that's probably the saddest thing of all.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

An Adult's Letter to Santa

Dear Santa,

I know I haven't been full of the holiday cheer this year, and I know from one of my favorite holiday movies, Elf, that you need that to fly your sleigh, but I've been really depressed this holiday season. I'm finally understanding holiday depression, and I wish I wasn't. I am someone who is, by nature, greedy and avaricious, but when it comes to the people she loves and cares about, is generous and giving and caring. This year, I can't afford to buy my loved ones gifts. I can't even indulge in the pleasure of wrapping gifts, which is something I find soothing, because there are no gifts to wrap. I haven't even bothered to put up the tree. It's too depressing. So Santa, I don't want gifts, necessarily. What I want for Christmas is a job. I've been looking and trying so hard and can barely get an interview. I would love a job, I would love to stop feeling guilty for buying groceries because that takes away from the bill money. I'd like to be able to start paying my parents back the money they loaned me and have helped me out with. I would like to stop depending on my boyfriend for gas money. Most off, I'd like to not cry any more when bills come in-- I want the confidence to know I can pay them without concern that my bowling check will bounce (or that they will). So this small request, Santa, for all the resumes I'd sent out, please whisper in an HR administrator's ear to hire me, and maybe, just maybe, I can believe in holiday magic again.



Sunday, December 9, 2012

Please, I Don't Need Your Help!

Because I don't have a DCUO pic...
John and I just wrapped up a 20 hour gaming marathon over two days on DC Universe Online. In that time our goal was to get my character from level 22 to max level 30 (we were successful) by clearing out all my quests and doing instances (if you want to know, I dinged level 30 taking down Fire). During that time, I did go off on my own to grind and farm. Let me point out that I almost always play a female character (the exception being my paladin from WoW) and while yes, I am a female gamer, I'm by no means new to this thing.

That being said, there are things that just make me rage. So you see a female character surrounded by mobs. She's a magic user, no way she can handle those by herself! So you run over and start killing mobs for her. I HATE THAT. DON'T DO THAT. I didn't ask for your help, so why the hell do you think you need to be a hero and save me? I pulled those mobs, and I'm going to AOE (area of effect) them down. I'm fine. Unless you see something in world chat or whatever that says "HALP!" I really don't want to see you hovering around. And if you're opposite faction and you try to "help," you're going to make me really fucking nervous. If PvP (player vs. player) is enabled, I may just go after you. I'm a PvPer, and I can't read best intentions, and cross-factions can't communicate. So if you're trying to do something nice, emote, okay?

I decided to dick around on some ridiculously low quests today because I never go to Metropolis in DCUO. I just hate the zone, but since I never really did anything there, I figured I could get some investigations completed (I'm a wicked completeist) to try to boost me up and get some extra skill points. So I'm flying around, killing shit and I get a tell (private message) from another player, telling me he/she would teach me about my class. I said no, grinding my teeth all along. They continued to talk at me about how hard my class can be at max level and I again declined, stating "I'm not an MMO noob." Then they bothered to look at my level (I was 27, almost 28 and 30 is the max, remember) and they kind of ate crow. I went back and talked to them, but seriously, I absolutely hate-- not just in gaming-- unsolicited advice/mentoring. I didn't ask. Don't assume I don't know my class or that I don't already have someone in my pocket. When I say "no thanks," please leave it at that.

Anyway, I should have taken a screenshot of my new armor set, because it looks fucking amazing.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

I'm Not Uptight About Political Correctness

I've identified myself on this blog by many labels: poor, white, feminist, democrat, liberal, childfree, bipolar. But you know what? In no way am I politically correct. I say "retarded" all the time. I say ageist things, sexist things. I laugh at fart jokes. I laugh at racial joke. I say "black" instead of "African American" because that's just too many syllables and I'm lazy.

A lot of people will say "if you laugh at [x] joke then you don't really hold [x] values." I don't think that's true at all. I can still be a feminist and made crude abortion jokes about pushing/being pushed down some stairs (always with a Southern drawl). I can be horrified by sweat shop conditions in Asia and still think this is funny:

Why is this the only clip I can find? This isn't nearly as funny.

We live in such an over-sensitive society where we're so afraid to offend everyone that we keep everything as G-rated and Clorox clean as possible. I was thinking about this last night on my drive home, after watching The Soup and Tosh.0 with John, and the drag queen Manila Luzon came to mind. In her season of Ru Paul's Drag Race, she came under fire for perpetuating Asian stereotypes twice in her portrayal of Imelda Marcos and an Asian reporter (the Marcos impression was hilarious, by the way. Full episode here.). When asked about the backlash, Luzon said "The feedback I’ve gotten from other Asians don’t really think it’s offensive and honestly I didn’t think it was either."

People, we need to laugh, and if we can't laugh at ourselves and each other, what else is there? I'm not saying be mean about it, just have fun for Christ sake. I make fun of my own heritage and hobbies all the time. Take for example this weekend,  John and I are going to set up our  laptops at his house and pretty much give ourselves tendonitis from playing DC Universe Online all weekend. I made a crack that I planned to be in a cheeto-stained wife-beater with Mountain Dew and a new beard. "Wait, what, a beard?" he said. "Well I am French." I replied, taking another bite of my soup. There. Harmless fun. 

So relax, people, and enjoy this cartoon Asian thing not being able to say R and L properly:

Saturday, November 24, 2012

There are Times I Miss WoW

I was a hardcore World of Warcraft player for about 2 1/2 years before I got bored and quit. I had two accounts with (at the time) five max-level characters and a ton of alts. I made my own silly guild mainly for the bank. I was Horde, through-and-through, although I did condescend to make an Alliance character to play with some friends.

My beloved warlock

I haven't played in years. Lately I've been watching The Guild on Netflix and man, does it make me miss playing WoW. I've been playing Runes of Magic, which while free and a very good rip-off of WoW, just isn't the same. I can play for a couple of hours and enjoy myself, but it's just not satisfying. It's not the familiar terrain, it's not the 50+ mounts that I spent hours and hours grinding to get. It's not the battlegrounds where I can take my warlock in to destroy paladins and make them cry.

Paladins are kind of effeminate

Despite not having the money to play, my friends don't play any more. There would be no familiar names in the chat list, no voices on ventrilo. There have been two expansions since I quit, and I'm just not feeling either of them. Maybe some day I'll play again. Until then, all my pretty characters are in stasis, waiting.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I Had This Awful Dream

I took a nap this afternoon and had an awful dream that John got someone else pregnant and wouldn't tell me who. In the dream, I got the impression that he wanted the other woman to keep the baby. It really bothered me, and when I woke up, I realized that this dream was based on fear over loss of control. In the dream, I had no control over the situation. In real life, I do. I'm on birth control, and I'm never worried about pregnancy. I'm staunchly childfree and have stated, in no uncertain terms, that if I got pregnant, I would get an abortion. Period. The end.

Sometimes my open talk about abortion makes John uncomfortable, and I think it's mostly because he's a lot more conservative than I am. I think I surprised him the other day, though, when a Palmer's Cocoa Butter commercial came on and I hid my face and asked him to tell me when it was done. I am thoroughly grossed out by pregnant stomachs. Not only do I never want to be pregnant, I don't want to see it. It's gross. It's not a miracle, it's a biological function, a parasite. But I think I actually have a legitimate phobia. I was Googling images for this post and had to stop and use a different search term, because I was being visually assaulted with pregnant bellies. Not pretty.

I'm still a feminist. But I'm allowed to be grossed out.

Monday, November 19, 2012

When You See Stereotypes in Real Life

Stereotypes are stereotypes for a reason: they're exaggerated caricatures of a race or subculture or sexuality or what have you that don't exist. Stereotypes are painting something with a broad brush. So when I see one in real life, a person actually embodying a stereotype so ridiculous that I thought it was the proverbial black astronaut, I'm taken aback.

I've been waiting forever to use this reference here

So here's two tales of my encountering actual living stereotypes in real life.

The sway-backed gay
So I don't have a graphic for this, because I have only seen this elusive creature once, and Google image searches have come up with less than satisfactory results. Several years ago I went to a gay club in Portland (Maine, for those of you who think the only Portland is in Oregon) with a couple of friends, one gay, one so Catholic and straight she was uncomfortable. We went in, ordered drinks (they made really good Midori sours) and stuck to the emptier back room away from the DJ booth out front. The back room was one that had a mirrored back wall with a tiny bit of staging. There was a fledgling queen in a very bad wig dancing with her reflection back there, a few random people, not crowded at all. We settled on a couch to chat.

Then he pranced by. Skinny jeans, tight T-shirt. He wasn't with anyone, dancing by himself from one room to the other. We continued our conversation, got more drinks. He pranced by again, back swayed, lifting his shirt to show his skinny boy not-abs. He was in his own world, just dancing and being the gayest man I'd ever seen. Even my gay friend was like "wow, what a fag." The third time he pranced by (yes, he pranced. Pranced.) he had worked his shirt up over his head but still hooked on his arms so he didn't have to take it all the way off. And he was prancing for all he was worth. I actually thought his back was going to snap, or spasm, with how arched it was.

I have a lot of gay male friends. Never, never, have they looked like this stereotype. It was almost like someone projected anti-gay propaganda into the club or something, with how stereotypical this guy was.

The Unwashed Geek
 Okay. I know the kid in the picture to the left. When Google was being fail, I remembered him from college and looked him up on Facebook. No I won't use his name here, and yes I'm a horrible person. This story isn't about him, but in retrospect, he fits this profile. No, this story is from... last week? John and I went to the video store (I know, right? There still are some, hanging on) to see if there was anything worth seeing. We started at one end of new releases (which they should just name "anything that has come out in the last 12 months") and we noticed that there was Jeepers Creepers number 267 or something. I was commenting on this when the clerk stocking things just interjects and starts talking about how great the first one was while I was in the middle of saying "they should have given up with the first movie" (I have feelings about horror movies). Then I gave him my "why are you talking?" look and there he was: greasy, uneven hair cut, no chin with stubble and acne. Mouth breathing. Since I don't make eye contact with strangers, I didn't see if he had a googly eye. But the only other person I'd ever know to meet the stereotype of the unwashed gee was  that fellow in the picture there. And that damn video store, there were two of them.

None of my geek friends are unwashed, unkepmt, Cheeto-dust covered nasties. Socially-awkward, yes, sometimes. Sometimes neck beards grow; I try to look past that. But they are clean.  I must emphasize, friends, that these two clerks were not hygienic in appearance whatsoever. And I've been in gaming shops.

My mind always reels, when I see these walking stereotypes, so these memories stick. I'm a people watcher by nature, but the stereotypes sneak up on you, when you're not paying attention. Like, when I walked out The Great Hungry Bear in Portland and came face to face with actual hipsters. That took me by complete surprise so much that I talked to John about it on the way to the car like we were tourists and had just seen an attraction. I can't wait to run into my next walking stereotype.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Not Even Taking Time to Cry

I have been a tightly wound ball of stress lately, so badly that I'm snapping at people and crying at inappropriate times. The thing is, I have been so focused on my stress, so focused on trying to find a job before my unemployment runs out, trying to figure out how to pay bills, buy gas for my car, buy presents for Christmas, afford medications, pay medical bills, everything has been piling up and up and up into one big shit pile that I have not left myself any time to just cry. In fact, I found myself crying in my car Thursday night when I found myself with ten minutes to spare before going in to the bowling alley. And then I just started to cry in John's car last night on the way home from the store. I have been so stressed out that when I get bad news my first reaction is to go into fix-it mode now, instead of my old first-reaction which was to collapse and cry and feel helpless. But the problem is, I'm keeping the stress pent up inside, and when I sit alone, I stew over it and obsess and that makes it worse. But now, when I'm alone, I just feel like crying all the time. I told John I wished there was a way I could have him around all the time, because he distracts me. Hopefully soon, I'll have a job to distract me.

If anyone has any leads to a job that doesn't involve wiping asses, drop me a line.

Friday, November 16, 2012

My Not-Quite-Definitive Wine List

When I say "not-quite-definitive" I mean, I'm a niche market. I don't care for red wine. I used to exclusively drink Pinot Grigio, until I discovered Moscato. My lovely, sweet, bubbly heart's desire, perfect, I have determined, with everything, even red meat. So here is my penultimate (for now) list of the best of the best. And guess what guys? They're all under $15! Score! Be a cheap drunk with me, okay?

1. Villa Rosa
2. Cupcake
3. Cavit
4. Yellowtail
5. Fisheye

I first tried Villa Rosa Moscato D'Asti at a tiny Greek market in Tarpon Springs, Florida. The shop keeper offered free samples of all of the wines in stock and I eagerly asked for a sample. Have you ever tasted something that immediately made you smile? The burst of pears and peaches and subtle white grapes that danced amongst the bubbles were like happy friends. Fast forward many months when I actually found this in a local liquor store in Augusta, Maine. I may or may not have screamed and alarmed John. Okay, I screamed. And begged him to buy a bottle. And got him hooked. So far, I haven't found a Moscato to knock this off the top of my list.

Cupcake was my number one for a very, very long time. It was, you might say, my gateway Moscato. I first tried it at John's aunt's house. She'd bought it at the grocery store to try, and the bottle was empty very quickly thereafter. Cupcake makes a lot of stuff, and their Sauvignon Blanc is decent (I've used it in my mussel recipe). I've also seen that they have a line of flavored vodkas that I've been curious about. But this Moscato, again, has notes of pear and is delightfully sweet and crisp. Extraordinary with brie and crusty bread.

Cavit has been my go-to for wine for ages upon ages. I've been drinking their Pinot Grigio since I started drinking wine, I think, so it was only safe to assume that once I saw that they had jumped on the Moscato bandwagon, I had to try it. It's excellent, really, and it's honestly a tie for second with Cupcake, or just a really, really close third. It's clean, it's crisp. And if I'm opening the bottle, you get bonus bits of cork! (Seriously... I can't open wine bottles for shit, but that is an entire blog post, and possible dissertation) Of the listed wines, this is the most expensive unfortunately, so I don't get this one as often, but as wine goes, it's something like $14.99, so that's still not bad. Just not in my budget.

Yellowtail is what I drink the most regularly now because it's the second most cheap on this list. By being fourth on the list in no way makes it terrible (I'll get to that), on the contrary, it is tasty, crisp, and fruity. I have a bottle chilling in my fridge right now, for whenever I have a wine emergency. I can drink a bottle and feel okay about it, because it doesn't cost a lot. I actually tried this because John and I had bought a bottle for someone as a gift, and I got curious, so I tried some. I had my sister try it, and she was pleased to find that it did not trigger a migraine (which wine sometimes does to her). So yay Yellowtail! And, twist-off cap!

Fisheye was an unexpected surprise. I just tried it last weekend. I had stayed away because it's so cheap.  It's good, but the key is that you have to let it chill, because if it's not cold enough, it tastes like cheap wine. But properly chilled, those wonderful fruity notes come through. Now that I know it actually tastes good, I'll get it again. Also, my grocery store often has it on sale, so score! And another huzzah for a twist-off cap! No cork for me to fuck up!

So you know how I like all of these and I didn't include anything bad on the list? It's because I can't go to wonderful and yummy to absolute terrible skunk water in the same list. So, take it from an avid Moscato fan, avoid Barefoot and Gallo like the plague. They are absolutely, hands-down disgusting. Cheap wine disgusting. They didn't even taste like Moscato. Absolute crap.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Loneliness of Roads

I  was going to write about wine tonight, thought about it on my drive home, but I had an Angela Chase moment and started to just think.

Driving on the Interstate at night is a lonely thing. It's very dark, because it's rural, and although you can't interact with them, you just wish for another vehicle. It's one long stretch of darkness from John's house from mine, and my mind is sometimes just too active. Sometimes I worry about a deer jumping out in front of me, sometimes I have full-blown fights with people in my head, sometimes I compose entries for this blog.

And sometimes I just look into all that blackness and despair. It just seems so overwhelming, a living metaphor for my life. It is all encompassing and closing in and there are no other headlights or tail lights to break it up. Sometimes I cry when I drive.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Intimidation by Pretty

I'm pretty; it's fact, not vanity. Even before I became vain about it, it was the unspoken reality that I was "the pretty one." There's a certain power in being pretty, and it's not just  getting free drinks at the bar or getting your way all the time.

Within the world of female politics there are intricacies of social dance and appearance plays a larger role than we let on. Tomorrow night (or, since I'm writing this at 3:20am, tonight) I am supposed to go on a double date with John and his cousin and his cousin's new girlfriend. Despite the fact that my depression has been in a downward spiral and I've been stressed and headachy, I will be there, and I will turn it out. Despite being secure in my relationship and in no way wanting his cousin, I need to make sure I am the best looking female on this date, even though we will be, for a majority of the time, in a dark theatre.

So why will I beat my face to sit in a dark theatre? Intimidation. Ever since I became fully aware of my prettiness, I have used that fact to intimidate other women in an utter unabashed display of feminine superiority and dominance. I used to come to work in full makeup to a gas station job when a new female employee was starting on her first day, just so she knew her place. So I'll spend tomorrow making myself pretty so the other girl knows I mean business.

Don't be jealous of my boogie.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

My So-Called Youth

I just ended a marathon re-watching of Parks and Recreation and not yet ready to turn off Netflix, I remembered that I had put My So-Called Life in my queue with fond reminiscence. I must have started watching it at a previous time because it started me on episode two. I watched this show when it first aired on TV, when it was so relevant to me because I was that age, I was a teenager and I related so much. I had angst, I thought Rayanne was so cool and wished I had an emotionally unstable yet street-smart friend like her. Sure, I had gay friends, but none of them were out yet. I had an unhinged slut of a friend who got pregnant at 17 and told her mother that if she smoked, she got to, too (I ended the friendship) and a very modest Catholic best friend, but we had good times.

But man, did this show speak to me. I wore all black and sulked. I didn't dye my hair but I used a hair crayon to put temporary blue streaks in my hair. I fought with my parents. I had a crush on the mysterious guy that leaned. Really. He had a great lean. And amazing green eyes. We all passed notes and gossiped and rumors with absolutely no grain of truth got spread. Unlike Angela and Rayanne, I spent no time in the ladies room. The facilities in my high school were less than stellar for hanging out in.

Watching the show now in my 30's, I can still enjoy it, but I don't relate as much. We grow up. In hindsight, I would have slapped some sense into Rayanne and probably encouraged her to see a therapist. Same with Rickie and his struggles with hate crimes and bullying. And Angela's catty little friend Sharon? I've always wanted to punch her in the face, so that feeling has never changed.

I think of people my age who are still stuck in the high school mentality and and I wonder why? It's so puerile. I know of someone whose behavior is perpetually that of someone who is seventeen and it's ridiculous and tiring. Part of life is growing up, learning who you are, and discovering yourself. I've really enjoyed the process of getting to know me. I recently showed John my senior picture from high school and he said "I wish I had known you back then." I said to him, "no you don't. I wasn't who I am back then." And it's true. Even in college, I was a different woman than I am today.

I was going to wrap this up with an inappropriately out of context quote from Red Dragon by Thomas Harris but I couldn't find a good quote. You have been spared.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Driving on the Lawn

I can be pretty passive aggressive sometimes. It's a skill I learned from my mother (hi Mom!) and honed over a sulky adolescence. It's one of my greatest weapons. I also hate my neighbors directly across the street with a passion and I don't hide it. Oh no, I exercise every passive aggressive muscle in my body.

It started by using my natural inability to back up my car properly by backing too far out of my driveway and backing a little onto their lawn, which they mow twice a week in the summer. My Dad raised me to never walk on anyone's lawn (so dealing with the neighborhood kids who cut across the lawn because they're too lazy to walk around the corner is going to be something I'll have to do without throwing rocks at them) and god help you if you ever let your car tire hit the lawn. So in my passive aggressiveness, deliberately letting my tires roll onto their lawn and grind in as I turn my wheel is the ultimate disrespect. At least in my book.

My neighbors also have a small, football-sized white yap dog named Bentley, which will heretofore be called "my hat" because that's what I call it. I always say I'm going to make a hat out of it. As a disclaimer though, I love animals and would never hurt one ever, but I would love it if they would train it to not bark constantly. Constantly. When they let it outside it's like letting off a bomb of barking, you know, that annoying little dog verbal assault? Also, they never leash it so it's always in the road, and it really would be a bad think if it go hit. At times, it has come over to my yard. My yard. God help me if I find dog shit in my yard. We had a neighbor who let their dog shit in our yard and my cousin had to deal with it. This neighbor won't like me. Anyway, when I realized my tomatoes were blighted this summer I started throwing the rotten ones out in the road in the hopes that My Hat would roll in them, because  dogs roll in disgusting stuff.

One thing I did that wasn't passive aggressive though, was calling the cops on my neighbors about two or three times this summer because they broke the town ordinance on fireworks. I really hate fireworks.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Losing Something and Wanting it Back

I used to beat my face every day just to go to work in a call center. I constantly watched Youtube videos and was very active in makeup communities. I have a vast collection of MAC eyeshadows and many of their cheek products. I used to do it every day. Sometimes, I'd hang out in my bathroom swatching eyeshadows and pigments to come up with new color combinations. I lived for it. I could spot counterfeit MAC brushes and products on ebay easily. I was wary of swaps with poor feedback. I craved the discontinued product and pounced on any new-in-box item I could find on ebay. I have a full brush roll of MAC brushes, some of which are duplicates because they are some that I use a lot. Expensive brushes. Expensive cleaner for them. 

I'm trying really hard to remember when the last time I did a full face was, aside from Halloween (and that was greasepaint, not real makeup unlike previous Halloweens). A full face: primer, concealer, foundation, contour, blush, highlight, shadow primer, multiple eyeshadows, eyeliner, mascara, brows. Lipstick and gloss. Lipliner if it's red. I'm sad to say, I think it was last September, when I attended a wedding with John. I don't even think I beat my mug for his company Christmas party.

A Halloween past
On Halloween, even though it was greasepaint, I realized I missed the process, I missed being the pretty girl. It's so hard, though, when you have absolutely nowhere to go, no reason to be done up. I've realized it's been a huge blow to my self esteem. I went to put on eyeliner last week and had to use one I didn't like much because my gel liner had dried and cracked. It upset me more than a dried out liner should. That dried out liner symbolized how much I just haven't cared in the last year or more. About anything. It's so fucking depressing. I used to be makeup and heels every day and now I can barely deal with putting on eyeshadow any more. 

I want that life again.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Way We Overreact About Things

To preface this so that people don't jump my shit about being insensitive or making light out of a bad situation, I'm talking specifically about Maine here. I'm grateful that my friends and family in New York, Connecticut, Maryland, and Virginia (and any others I missed) are safe and sound.

Maine. So far north of landfall they didn't even label it.

However. Mainers fucking freak out during hurricane season if one makes its way up the Eastern Seaboard. Last year, with Irene, people panicked. I will say that conditions are always different on the coast, but where I live, snugly in the central part of the state? People still panic. Buy all the water. All the batteries. Freak the fuck out. And I roll my eyes as it rains no more than it would in the summer, as the wind blows no harder than it does in January. Maybe the power goes out, maybe it doesn't. But it's absolutely stupid to panic about hurricanes in Central Maine. I honestly think the last one that actually impacted the interior of the state to any degree was Hurricane Bob in 1991; I remember our neighbor at camp coming to tell us to chain up our boat because he'd heard it on the radio that we were going to get hit.

No, we don't need to freak out about hurricanes, Mainers. It's Nor'easters and ice storms we need to be concerned with (and people still freak out and panic). You know, thinking about it, if we didn't have so much media bombarding us, I don't think the panic would be as great. But no, we have to have round the clock satellite coverage with stressful music and strategically placed WalMart ads. It's all kind of nauseating. I was so not worried about things that I completely slept through the thunder storm we had this morning and guess what? I didn't watch a lick of news beforehand!

So really, people, stop panicking, or I will mock you and make fun of you. You're not being hit by any hurricane so why not worry for the ones who did?

Sunday, October 28, 2012


I do most of my best thinking in the car. Recipes, blog posts... I even do the "female thing" where I have a full blown fight with someone, beginning to end, entirely in my head, in the car. Sometimes, when I'm restless, I go driving, and when I come back, I'm full of ideas.

I used to write a lot. I was writing short stories and poetry constantly. I've had, since 8th grade, a story running through my head, that I tell myself. A little bit of escapist fantasy, and I've only written one very small part of it down. It just hasn't come to me in written form. I know that non-writers probably can't understand this, but the other night, as I lay in bed trying to sleep (for some reason, I have a hard time sleeping at John's. It's probably the mattress) a new character showed herself to me. Piece by piece I saw her. Just her, and her immediate surroundings. She did not tell me her story.

There was a period of time that my roleplaying character kept tapping on my brain, showing me her story; it drove me crazy until I wrote it down, even if it meant getting up from bed to do it.

It's been a while, then, since I've had someone new come knocking. I know it sounds crazy. I just need to figure out who she is.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Why Half-Vampires Don't Work (For Me)

It's okay. Twilight is often a source of my anger.

As we get closer and closer to the release of Twilight: Breaking Dawn part 2, the more and more I stew over the idea of half vampires. It's an idea I've never been comfortable with, and I feel I am predisposed to have these feelings, since I am possessed of naturally long and pointy canine teeth and love vampires (but not in that way). So it bugs me when someone tries to use a half-vampire (or damphir, if you will) as a plot device.

A vampire, by nature, is not a living creature. Regardless of how the exact process goes down. the vampire bites its victim, transfers some of its blood (or if you sparkle, venom), the victim's body dies as the vampire infection takes over and the body metamorphoses a bit, then it reanimates with fangs and night vision and all that cool stuff. Some key points to address here: when your body dies your lungs cease to breathe and your heart to beat.* Of course, there's no explaining higher brain function, but that's not what we're discussing here...

So. No heart beat, eh? Without a heart beat there can not be blood flow, and without blood flow, there is no male erection (because let's face it, it's always a male vampire and a human female). It was in Anne Rice's novel Pandora that I first saw this addressed, and I apologize in advance since it's been so long since I've read it that I have only a vague recollection of the scene, but the main character, Pandora, was begging a vampire to make love to her and went so far as to try to put his penis in her and he was just "sorry... it doesn't work any more." Because it doesn't. If you don't have a beating heart, you can't get an erection, and you therefore can't get someone pregnant. It's absurd.

And say, for shits and giggles, you could get an erection. Why would you have viable sperm? You already have a means of propagating your species that is both tasty to you and almost instantaneous, without the tedium and mess of childbirth and infancy. Think about it: you bite someone, get a little tasty snack in the process, make a buddy. Such efficiency!

So please, let's stop this half-vampire bullshit. It's just ridiculous. And can we stop the plot device that half-vampires are the only ones that can effectively kill vampires? It's been done. A couple of times.

*I'm giving author Kresley Cole a pass here because she actually uses a vampire's sudden beating heart and breathing lungs as a sign that he's found his Bride. It's actually pretty funny because it usually scares the shit out of him because he doesn't know what the sound is. Yeah. Anyway, as a plot device it shows a major vulnerability to his enemies when they can tell he has a pulse again, so while yes, her vampires can have sex once they find their Bride, they still can not impregnate them.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Whales and Unicorns

I was sitting on my bed, eating pumpkin ice cream and listening to Enigma when I heard whale song. It was something they commonly sampled into their music, and quite effectively. But at that moment, mixed into the ethereal music, I thought of unicorns, a green forest dappled with sunlight. In the 1985 movie Legend, the sound of whales was used for the unicorns, and I have associated them ever since.  When that song played, it was like I was Lili kneeling before the mare in the stream. I even saw the scene in my mind.  In fact, sometimes when I am in the forest, I am almost expecting to hear, amidst the bird song, a peal of whale song, as it has become to seem so natural, thanks to the wonders of music and media in general.

I'm going to put the song in this post. Listen to it. Imagine yourself in a verdant, virgin forest of dappled green light, fresh air, life. I'll bet you see unicorns.

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Hot Topic Today: Bullying

I've been thinking a lot about bullying lately. I don't know if it's that kids these days are just too damned sensitive and coddled, but bullying just didn't seem like a big deal when I was a kid. And before you jump on me for being insensitive because yes, I understand a little girl just killed herself over it, and that's not okay, but I was bullied as a kid too. So looking at my experiences, and with kids today, even though there is an added element of the Internet, I'm wondering, is the generational  gap so wide, is how kids are raised now vs thirty years ago so different?

See, as a kid, my ears developed a lot of wax. No matter how often my mom would pin me down and have at me with the Q-Tips, the next day I would be full of earwax again. It was just how I was. I knew it and accepted it. Unfortunately, when you develop a lot of wax, it's visible in the ear canal, especially when you always wear your long hair in a ponytail. Kids are cruel, and would make comments, and once or twice in junior high, an eighth grader would put Q-Tips on my lunch table and run off snickering. I shrugged it off. Earwax wasn't something I could control, and frankly, at that age I was surprised they weren't picking on me for my acne or the fact that I didn't shower or wash my hair. It just wasn't a big deal. And while hurtful, it wasn't exactly malicious. Not what I would consider malicious, anyway, and certainly not life-damaging. I had no reason for retaliation or tears.

High school was a different story. A very horrible rumor was spread through school that I had used a racial slur in reference to a student that had passed away in a car accident the year prior (people that know me know I will jump people's shit for using the N-word). This  could have gotten me kicked out of school. However, I realized the root cause of this rumor, the source, and worked with my guidance counselor and dean of students (my school didn't have a vice principal, but a rotating pair of dean of students) to address the situation. It didn't stop the threats I received from the student body to beat me up, but some people were reasonable enough to listen to my side and no violence ever happened.

I also had a friend named Chris in high school and sometimes I think I was his only friend. He was a huge geek and I used to make him pay me in Magic cards for my geography homework. He had the worst acne I've ever seen in my life, but he was a pretty decent person. His family raised Arabian horses and I was fascinated by that. Unfortunately, everyone seemed to hate this kid, and I'm not sure why. Granted, it's been a long time since high school, so he could have been a jerk to people, we all have it in us. I remember him being bullied pretty frequently. One day, I remember going between sections (our school was color coded into sections) to another class and seeing him being separated from another student. Have you seen what a fist can do to severe cystic acne? It's not pretty. He'd gotten some punches in, too, and his nostrils were flared, panting, filled with adrenaline and rage. He'd snapped and had enough. Of course, it got him suspended, but he fought back instead of laying back and taking it. I don't think that was his only fight in our high school career, either.

So now, when I hear about bullying, I think, why don't kids talk to their teachers/guidance counselors/principals/parents? Sure, some are apathetic, but I keep thinking of the articles I've read about Amanda Todd, and how she didn't really have much parental involvement. Sure, she was driven to the hospital when she drank bleach, but she was cutting for a while. Why didn't she have a behavioral therapist working with her, why didn't anyone get involved? You can know for damn sure when some malicious cunt was trying to get me kicked out of school by spreading rumors about me, my mother was there like a rabid bear.

John's very disingenuous roommate that I wrote about a few days ago has a 19 year old daughter that was getting bullied last year on the bus. I don't know if it's still happening, but their response to it? Just let it be. Doing anything will make it worse. I'm not saying get violent. But if you're getting consistently harassed by a kid that already has a probation officer, grow a fucking backbone and report their behavior! I just don't get it! Retaliation isn't always violent, sometimes it means protecting yourself and others and doing the right thing.

Before I blocked the person on Facebook, I read a thread about bullying in another local school posted by someone that is a friend of a friend. Parents of kids who had been bullied actually said that their sensitive and gentle children shouldn't have to stand up for themselves. People. Seriously. Do  you think weakness of character is going to get your child far in life? Standing up to a bully is only going to make a stronger individual. If you are always afraid that you're going to be hurt by the bully, then you're going to be afraid of everything your entire life. Parents, raise your kids with some goddamned backbone and stop coddling them! Bullying will always happen as long as there is someone bigger/stronger/more aggressive/more cunning but that doesn't mean the whole world must cower to them.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Prostitution Should be Legal

With the recent scandal (ohnoes!) in Kennebunk about the Zumba instructor who was also serving as her own pimp and whore, I thought I'd bring out an old post from my sexuality blog (no, you may not have the link) about prostitution and why it should be legal.


A good friend and I were taking about jail and how celebrities are released due to over crowding because we frankly have the wrong "criminals" in there. What do I mean by the wrong criminals, you ask? Let's talk drugs, for a moment. Now, I am one of the most anti-drug people you'll ever meet, but jailing a small-time user or dealer of marijuana is ridiculous and a waste of time and money. Fine them and be on their way. Now white-collar crimes like tax evasion. Not only are the taxes not getting paid, but it actually costs taxpayers money to have tax evaders in jail. Way to go, the legal system.

So what does this all have to do with prostitution? A number of things. Since I'm composing this on my phone (anyone wanna donate a Samsung Galaxy Tab? *wink*) and it's becoming cumbersome, I present to you the numbered list. Besides, people feel tl;dr with paragraphs sometimes.

1. Legalization would allow for federal regulation, meaning taxation (because really, it's only illegal because the government isn't getting their cut) and access to healthcare programs.

2. Also, legalization would decriminalize the sex worker industry, freeing up space in the jails for rehabilitation of real criminals and would help our government save on wasteful spending.
3. No more pimps! No more girls or boys abused, held hostage, raped and kept strung out and controlled by the god-damned pimps. Prostitutes in a legalized sex industry would have a safer work environment due to the lack of pimps.

4. Regulation... I touched on this briefly. One thing that there is no control over now that legalization could enforce is something that is done in the porn industry: mandatory STD and AIDS testing every 3-6 months as well as immunizations for hepatitis.

5. Oh, and let's put an end to human trafficking, shall we? Of course, legalizing prostitution doesn't put an end to the exploitation of the impoverished and desperate denizens of third world countries, but it will help.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Season of Death

Sandy River photo by Ben
It's Fall, and I don't have the excitement that so many people have for the season. It makes me cranky. Sure, apples are ripe and ready to pick and every coffee shop and bakery is putting pumpkin into their stuff, but I'm still miserable. For me, Fall is the season of death. It's not just my Paganish leanings  that make me feel this (the Fall and Winter are traditionally the domain of the Horned God, lord of the hunt, a god of death) but it's all around. The beautiful green deciduous forests of Spring and Summer that I love so much turn quickly and briefly to brilliant scarlets, vermillions, and oranges. But those colors don't last and with the wind and rain of October, the leaves fall away and rot on the ground. The flowers have died back, frost has killed the tomato and squash vines. The last of my already blight-rotten tomatoes are putrefying in their buckets in the yard.

I don't suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) in the traditional sense, because I don't give a damn if the sun is there or not. What bothers me is that the birds are silent. My only comfort is the massive flock of non-migratory crows that covers the town; last year they did not leave until nearly Spring. But with the crows gone and no birdsong to ease my mind, I start to get depressed. It took me a while to figure this out, and this is  what makes me crave leaving the state in the winter. It's why Florida this past March helped me so much in my road to understanding my mental illness. I was hearing birds, I was seeing green growing things again, smelling flowers. I wasn't near deciduous forest (I love palm trees though, I have no idea why I am so fascinated with them) but there were still trees. If I could afford to be a snow bunny, I would.

This is what March 3, 2012 looked like for me

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


26 minutes ago, there was an earthquake. They're not common in New England, but they happen; there is a fault line in Quebec somewhere, so sometimes, the earth shakes.

I distinctly remember my first earthquake as a kid. It was probably some holiday, because all of my cousins were there and we were at my Grammie's house. Now, her house would occasionally shake anyway, being not far off from a major route that big trucks would speed down. It's a fact of life up here. Big truck speeds by, house shakes. It just so happened that my cousins and I were in the living room playing bullshit (it's a card game)  behind the couch when my mother yelled at us to stop  running and jumping.

That's right. I got blamed for an earthquake.

Naturally, my first instinct was to blame my cats tonight to "knock it off" and "you better not be in that pan of shells" but I couldn't even get it out because Calypso was napping in the warm exhaust from my laptop and Eden was begging for my dinner right in front of me. I couldn't even blame big trucks because they have no reason to pass through my neighborhood. So. Earthquake.

It's now been 33 minutes and my phone has finally quieted down from all the Facebook alerts. It's how we do. We get excited, make sure people are okay, and go on with our lives.

Edit: Here's some info on the quake if  you're interested (or concerned out-of-state family).

Monday, October 15, 2012

Fakey McFakerson

I don't know why I fall into the snares of disingenuous people and become their friends, but I do, and when I end the friendship and burn the bridge after, it's not pretty. One of those former friends is one of John's roommates. I've written about her before. For the sake of anonymity, we'll call her Munchhausen.

Several years ago, Munchhausen and her family used to live with another friend in his large house, since they can't own their own home due to being financially irresponsible. Another person, we'll call him Mama's Boy, is best friends with the home owner (since their days at boarding school) and lives in the adjacent apartment. Everyone lived in harmony until the homeowner's wife and stepdaughter (who are both massive cunts) made life difficult. Munchhausen and her family moved into an apartment down the road, and the next summer I met them.

As I was introduced, I was told all about their life there and how terrible a person Mama's Boy is. How he cheats at games and lies and cries. His racism, lack of grasp on reality because he can just run  to Massachusetts and come back with a check from his mother if he can't pay his bills. How, overall, he is a shitass. I met him. I didn't think he was all that bad, and in some ways, I could see why he acted the way he did. I didn't get the big deal. That September, we all went, as a big group, down to Cape Cod to Mama's Boy's mother's house and had a lovely weekend with him and his mother.

Now fast-forward to the present. I am no longer friends with Munchhausen and there is absolutely no way in hell I will rebuild that bridge. I listen to her and her husband call Mama's Boy all kinds of horrible names whenever his name comes up, and constantly talk shit about him. Last night, I overheard them arguing about it. See, John and Munchhausen's husband just don't enjoy Mama's Boy's company. They're gamers and yes, Mama's Boy does cheat. They'd just rather sever ties. Munchhausen doesn't want them to. Wanna know why? She doesn't want to give up the Cape.

That two-faced sack of shit will use someone for their mother's Cape house.

This morning, John and I were enjoying cuddle time in bed when he froze, arms actually locking where he held me. We heard a voice downstairs. It was Mama's Boy. And what was Munchhausen doing but laughing and being jovial with him. John didn't want to go downstairs. I told him Munchhausen was the most disingenuous person I'd ever met. He already knows I have no respect for her. Needless to say, it was an unpleasant morning.

Some people, man.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The State of my Life at this Moment

For those of you not in the loop, John and I are officially back together.

If you've been following along, it's been a difficult time for me this summer, dealing with our separating, self-doubt, depression, mental illness, unemployment, money.

But I've also had good times, reliving the summers of my childhood, devouring books, going to fairs, eating good food, going sailing.

I've been accused of being overly negative, of the "poor me" syndrome. I beg to differ. Life's been tough, but it's been a learning experience. I've been frustrated and angry a lot, but I have also used my time to really turn an inward focus on my feelings both physical and emotional, to understand that what I feel is okay. I've reexamined my spirituality again, as I do every 10 years or so. I've stopped being afraid of the word "feminist."

I'm not going to say my summer has been great, it's been tough, but it's been okay. Despite my struggles, I count myself fortunate that I've been able to experience the things I have, go to the places I have. I appreciate those of you who log in every day to read, and hope you keep reading.

Here's to hoping Fall and Winter are just as interesting.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The State of Horror Movies Today

There are few movies I can say lately that have actually scared me to the point where I had all the lights on and  plenty of things making sound so that I wasn't sitting in silence. The last one  that I can really remember doing that to me was White Noise because fuck ghosts. When you grow up in century-plus old houses your whole life that people died in, you hear ghosts in everything. So White Noise freaked me the fuck out and I texted a friend through the whole damn thing, because I was watching it alone. I recently watched Insidious,  and that had elements of White Noise along with demons, exorcisms, psychics, possessions, murder... it was like a mixed bag of horror, but it wasn't really nightmare fodder for me (it should be noted I don't have nightmares).

Hahaha wtf this is perfect
I don't think it's that I've become numb to the horror genre, growing up in the 1980's which was Renaissance of Freddy, Jason, and Michael Meyers, or the 1990's with Chucky (okay, I admit, Chucky did give me the creeps, because I don't like automata, and a doll moving by itself is less possession and more automata to me).  I grew up watching horror, Tales from the Crypt on HBO (I loved the Crypt Keeper, there was something endearing about him) and all the new movies rented from the video store. My parents took me to see Pet Sematary at the local drive-in when I was 9, and once it came out on cable, they taped it and I watched it on repeat every day of my summer vacation. I'm not numb to it, and it's not that I've seen it all, it's just that it's not scary to me.

Maybe that's not it, either.

You see, I'm one of those annoying movie-talkers. I can't enjoy something unless I'm ripping it apart. Horror movies these days leave too many gaps, too many plot holes and inconsistencies for me to notice, to ferret out and expose. By then, I've figured the movie out and I'm no longer entertained by it. Screenwriters and directors are getting sloppy. They're churning out crap to make release dates in order to gain the top spot in the box office. Sure, less intelligent, less discerning moviegoers will enjoy something that will leave me bored to tears. I enjoy gore too. Don't get me wrong. That's why I enjoyed the reboot of Texas Chainsaw Massacre but honestly? The girl and baby live? Fuck that noise.

I want an intelligent, well thought-out horror movie. The Saw movies offered that, until they kept churning out sequels for the money machine that I never bothered to see. But when I first saw Saw, I was mesmerized. Here was gore, here was a mindfuck, here was a brilliant killer who didn't kill. It was executed so well. The next two movies worked so well also (although Saw 2, I admit, was weak). It was almost cerebral. The FX series American Horror Story has me absolutely in love. It has a certain creepiness, a lot of intelligence, and a subtlety to the horror that I can really appreciate. In the first season, there are characters that are dead that you don't realize until the season is almost over. If you can, pick it up in stores, season two starts this Wednesday, and looks to be awesome, from the teasers they've put on Facebook.

Tonight I saw Sinister, which I had been looking forward to since I saw the first trailer. I'm not going to say that I was disappointed, because I wasn't, but it wasn't all I had hoped. Certain plot elements were introduced but not built up enough or enough back story presented. It was, however, scored exceptionally well, and there was a delicious creep factor. It just needed more. Sinister just didn't feel like a complete film to me. Don't let this prevent you from seeing it-- there were some great scary moments, jump out at you moments, and as I mentioned, scored exceptionally well to fit what was happening in the scene. I  will note that in the previews before the movie there was one for a movie called Mama that looks really, really promising. Like, creepy dead shit good.

Please don't let it suck.

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Best Role Model Today

This post was bound to happen eventually.

I can't help it. I have a huge love for drag queens in general, but I really have to dedicate an entry to RuPaul, and not for the reasons you'd think.

In this day and age when reality TV is flooding our senses and young people with less than savory characters and athletes are doping and movie stars are drunk driving and snorting coke in bathrooms,  we despair that there are no more positive role models left. I beg to differ. There's RuPaul. Despite being a drag queen, there's nothing disingenuous about him. He doesn't lead you to believe he is really a woman; on the contrary, he's quite frank about having to tuck.

The big thing about RuPaul that makes him such a great role mode though, is his positivity. Watch his shows, Drag Race and Drag U, some time. Sure, Drag Race is a little gritty, since it's a competition between drag queens, but the core message he gives the competitors is "if you can't love yourself, how the hell are you going to love anyone else? (can I get an amen?)" You have to remember, a lot of the competitors on Drag Race are coming from less than supportive homes, were bullied, disowned, had their self esteem ripped apart, and were only brought back up through the drag community. RuPaul as a pioneer has provided them, by his very presence, a safe space and a positive place to grow. Let's look at Drag U, since I just finished watching season one. In Drag U, three women with image issues come to be made over by previous contestants of Drag race. Maybe they've always been picked on, maybe they're overweight, maybe they just don't feel sexy or happy in their own skin any more. RuPaul assigns each woman a beautiful drag queen to help her regain her femininity, confidence, and make her over.

Even RuPaul's music is positive. It's always upbeat, poppy, and full of positive messages. And some of it is actually really good. You can't help but feel uplifted and in a better mood after listening to it. I mean, look at the lyrics for Champion. That's some motivational speaker material there if I ever saw it.

You don't have to love RuPaul, but certainly, even the biggest drag queen hater (if they exist) can admire the positive energy he puts out in the universe. Everybody say love!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

TV is Bad for [Your Cat's] Health

Last night, I settled in to bed, not ready to sleep for a while, but as I normally do, I popped a movie in and grabbed my book, ready for a night of cuddles from the cats. Calypso hopped up on the bed, walked all over me, purring and shedding (thankfully, not drooling this time) and then she sat on the edge of the bed to watch TV. At this point, it was just previews, but she was rapt, her satellite dish ears fully forward, big eyes fixed. And then I hit play on the main menu (tonight it was Snow White and the Huntsman) and she kept watching, even through the parts that were slow, boring, or otherwise known as Kristen Stewart trying to act. All jesting aside, she was watching the parts where there was no fast movement or sound that would otherwise keep a cat's attention.

Amongst her other hobbies, knocking over stacks of shoe boxes
This isn't the first time she's sat and watched TV. She used to love Ugly Betty, sitting by her water cup on the side table to watch. If anything, Calypso always sits a safe distance from the TV. That's what makes it so hard to get photographic evidence. She's not one of  those cats that wants to get up and chase what's on the screen. She watches. Sometimes I wonder what's going on in her head. How much she understands.

She also enjoyed Hunger Games

Now, Eden will sometimes watch TV, but I don't think she has the patience for it. And some cats will only watch stuff that's obviously grabbing their attention, like action sequences. I had a  cat named Spunky once who would watch an entire episode of Xena with me on a Saturday because it's all action. It's like watching birds to them, I guess. But what would possess Calypso to sit and watch a movie? She watched maybe a half hour of Snow White and the Huntsman last night until she decided to nap, then woke up and watched more. I have no idea how much she actually watched while it played on repeat while I slept.

Eden, watching Hoarders 
Eden did watch half an episode of Hoarders with me on my laptop one evening. I think she can relate, since she steals things and then hides them in her favorite hidey-hole. She did leave, with an angry brr midway through, though; I think she got frustrated with the people in the episode and their obstinance.  But why would a cat sit and watch Hoarders? It baffled me, but she sat there, on the back of my bed, eyes glued to the computer screen.

So I propose this: cats are using media to learn more about us in their eventual takeover of the planet. Based on what they're learning from, it's not going to be pretty.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Hug Your Local Stripper Today!

Why do we vilify strippers? Look at the graphic, then think about it a minute.

The smaller font says "I'm sorry daddy never hugged you now take your top off"

Okay, done thinking? What's the public opinion on strippers? That they're sexually abused drug addicts that double as prostitutes willingly? Does that about cover it? That they're nasty, stupid, and inarticulate? Now, there may be some like that, but man, do we like to paint everyone with one brush. I love strippers.

I'm not talking out my  ass with this. I've been to a strip club. Probably the grimiest, nastiest one in my state. So low-budget they didn't even have poles. Oh yeah, and panties came off at 10pm sharp. But not for one minute did I think these women were dumb sluts until I talked to them. Yes, I talk to strippers. There was White Boots (I don't recall her name--I'm terrible with names-- and it was loud) who had been stripping for a long time, in different states. She enjoyed  her job. That's right. Some strippers do it simply because they enjoy their jobs and don't want the monotony of a 9-5. White Boots was clearly pushing her late 30's, if not early 40's (or maybe too much tanning) but she still was fit, muscular, and had great (fake) tits.

Then there was the girl that looked younger than me who was a true carpenter's dream that had her children's names tattooed on her pelvic bone and wore 6 pairs of knee socks to make it look like she had calves. She... wasn't the brightest crayon in the box, but I tipped her well for a dance because she was working to support those kids (there was a fourth name to be added, she told me) and be with them during the day and she was so pathetically skeletal I kind of felt bad.

Stripping is a job. It offers safe fantasy without cheating, and an income for what is, quite frankly, a physically demanding occupation. To quote Marg Helgenberger's character Catherine Willows from CSI: "You try shaking your ass in 4 inch heels." So if you disrespect these women that are working hard, on their feet, to feed their family, to get themselves through school, to support themselves so they're not on the system, why do you go to them? It's disingenuousness and hypocrisy  at it's best.

So yes, realize when you go to a strip club, you're helping the economy. You're helping someone get a job, supporting a local business (they have a bar, the bar buys from a distributor, etc, etc) but treat them like people, because they are. Wonderful people who have stories to tell, if you ask.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Evolution of the Human Peacock

Look at me, I'm pretty!
When you look at humans as a species, we're pretty damn plain. Aside from our huge brains, and perma-boobs, animals and birds (even fish and bugs) are way prettier. Humans have to work so much harder to look appealing to the opposite sex, but, paired with that hugemongous brain of ours, the results are fascinating. I've always believed that the body is a canvas, but recently I saw a little macro in a tattoo community on Facebook that said "If the body is a temple, why not decorate the walls?" I so agree!

I was in my teens when I realized that my blue-green eyes and long hair could get me things if I played my cards right. Granted, I practiced this at the fair, on carnies who don't have much of a discerning taste, but at least I got extra-long rides on the tilt-a-whirl and that's what's important, right? I learned, early on, how to wear makeup, and over time, with the advent of the Internet, Youtube, and a sizable investment in MAC cosmetics, I perfected my art. If I don't see glowing eyes and bedroom smoulder looking back at me, I'm not done.

grr baby

And hair. Flip long hair around, twirl it around your fingers, keep it long and shiny and healthy. Maintain it. I always swore I'd never dye it until college when I went full-bore adventurous and put 10 blue streaks in my hair. It looked awesome. I semi-regularly touch up my root color and add low-lights, and have done pink dye and purple extensions. The great thing about hair is that it can always be colored, it can be grown out. It's a living organism and never be messed up that bad.

I have yet to master drinking coffee while taking a self portrait though
And, of course, tattoos. I've talked about tattoos twice before, and like I've mentioned, while I get them for me and no one else, they're awesome to show off when you love them. And why shouldn't this be a mate-procuring method? They get you noticed. Since I had my outline filled in, so many people have just stopped, looked, and complimented. Most of those people men. Now I have designs on one man and one man only, but the compliments and attention are always flattering. I spend a stupid amount of time online looking at other people's tattoos, and some of the most beautiful women I have seen have had extensive ink.

So we are all peacocks in our own way, whether it be the clothes we wear, or makeup, or hair, or even going through the extreme of body modification.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Awareness and being Aware

Every month now is an awareness month, and with so many causes out there to be aware of, they often overlap*, but in the month of October, you can't go into any retail location without seeing a wash of pink everywhere. And, it kind of bugs me. Now, before you call me a sensitive ass for being offended by breast cancer charity let me explain. The lady in the picture to the right is my Nana. She is sadly no longer with us (it is suspected she was reincarnated as my Aunt's cat, but she was Catholic, so I don't know how that works) but she was a three time  survivor of breast cancer. See, back in the day, we didn't know much about breast cancer, because no one we knew was directly affected by it. It happens. We knew about heart disease and lung issues, but not breast cancer. You become aware of a lot in a short period of time. Now all the women in my family get checked yearly when they're of a certain age. My doctor does an exam on me every year too; breast cancer is not a disease that affects only older, post- or parimenipausal women. In fact, when it hits younger women, it is often very aggressive. Early detection is key. So when you have to live through someone you know and love going through radiation, extensive surgeries, lymph node removal and eventual mastectomy, you tend to become very aware, very quickly. And men, you're not immune. Please, always talk to your doctor if you even have a fear that there may be something wrong.

So now you know, I take it personal when people commercialize breast cancer. It's not so much the commercialization and the splashing of pink on everything, it's the legitimacy of the products that is alarming. Big-ticket causes like Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a prime revenue source for scammers setting up fake charities and milking the sympathies and good intentions of people who think their money is going toward research and helping women. This article published on last year has some alarming statistics about breast cancer scams, and even the results of a Yahoo search on "breast cancer charity scam" are frightening, but taking money out of the hands of scammers and back into research and development is fully possible, just through a little more awareness. Look at the labels on products stating they are for breast cancer awareness. Do they say a certain percentage of proceeds go to a certain fund or charity? If so, is it one you've heard of? If not, look it up. Real Simple has an amazing list of approved, legitimate breast cancer charities.

One foundation that is not on the list, and is often over-looked, perhaps due to a lack of awareness, is Planned Parenthood. That's right, the organization the conservatives love to hate provides early detection screenings, mamograms, and education:
Planned Parenthood doctors and nurses teach patients about breast care, connect patients to resources to help them get vital biopsies, ultrasounds, and mammograms, and follow up to make sure patients are cared for with the attention they need and deserve.
Planned Parenthood also works with the Susan G. Komen Foundation to help low-income women get the vital early detection screenings and exams to help save lives.

So "think before you pink" and ensure your money is going to the right place. And if you want to be a geek about it even the WWE is in on the action with their Rise Above Cancer partnership with Susan G. Komen. I happened to see one of the shirts yesterday on a young lady at the fair.

*October is also Rett Syndrome awareness month. Rett Syndrome is a disease that only affects girls, my good friend Ben's daughter Campbell is affected. He has written some amazing blogs over time about it and his struggles as a Rett parent. Until I met him, I had never even heard of it. Go read the two links there. They're humbling.