Sunday, September 11, 2011

Time to Update Your Subscriptions/RSS Feeds/Bookmarks/Etc!!!

Hey all! Kittens With Mittens is up and running and full of news posts! If you were a subscriber to KWM at this location, you'll need to go to the bottom of the new blog, find the subscribe button, and follow the instructions. I apologize for this extra step for getting updates, but there doesn't seem to be a way to move your subscription to the blogger page to the wordpress one...

You can also follow me on Twitter @squidgykitty, to get new posts OR you can "like" my Kittens With Mittens facebook page. This will get the new content put directly in your newsfeed!

Thanks for being my supporters and loyal readers and I hope you continue to be!


Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Jumping (the Google) Ship

(This is a retry for y'all that got an error message as subscribers)

After 5+ years on blogger, I've decided to switch to wordpress for the relaunch of Kittens With Mittens. Mostly cause it's a more flexible platform... and cause I'm shaking off the old and putting on the new :) remains the address, it's really just the innards that are changing.

Hope to see y'all there! Posts should start appearing over the next few days! Woot woot!


Friday, July 15, 2011

For Really Realz...

Well, folks, 2011 is most definitely upon us and, yet, there is still no new Kittens With Mittens. As I know many of you are waiting with bated breath and I most certainly don't want you to suffocate, I'm here to make an important (to me) announcement:

Kittens With Mittens is currently gestating and will be born in about a month, cute and sweet and ready to meow and purr and take over your daily blogrolls. Rest assured that this time, IT'S FOR REAL. For REALLY REALZ. New logo, new design, and new features, all with a side of my patented snark.

But how can I promise such a thing, when clearly I make promises all the time that I can't keep!?! Well, after three years of deteriorating health and seemingly constant doctor's appointments, following a lifetime of trying really hard to "fit in" and "do the responsible thing," I'm quitting my job, packing up my life, and moving to Philadelphia to follow my bliss! Which, for some apparent reason, includes talking to the internets at regular intervals. Often in run-on sentences. So, get yourselves ready for more of the same feminist knee-jerk rantings, emotional overshares, and random frettings, plus regular reviews of tv/books/music/films, original media creations, and much longer-and-in-depth-than-necessary editorials on anything and everything popular culture.

As a teaser, here's my most recent logo brainstorming mock-up. Can't wait to snark and share with y'all superdy-duperdy soon!


Friday, December 17, 2010

Kittens At Play Here... Please Excuse the Mess.

Well, everyone, the times they are a'changin'. Kittens With Mittens is relaunching in the New Year with an updated look to share the same old snark with you.

In the meantime, hold onto your mittens and mind the mess... Oh and if you are jonesin' for some of the old content, head on over to the new "archive" site, Squidgy Kitty's Memory Box.

See you soon, kitty kats!


Saturday, July 24, 2010

A New Day, A New Kitten

Hello friends and family and lurkers!

This site is essentially serving as an archive site to www.kittenswithmittens.come, which has be relaunched with new content and focus and snark.  I didn't want to throw out the kitten with the bathwater, so the speak, thus, this site.  So, poke around.  Relive your memories of being bored the first time.  Wallow in our lost friendship.  Most importantly, get your ass over Kittens With Mittens and get with the times!


Tuesday, June 01, 2010

5 Years to Grief

Well, it's been five years since "the day it all changed," the day I witnessed my Grandma die suddenly.  Every year at this time,  I'm a wreck.  Okay, let's be honest, for the first several years after, I was a wreck!  And each June 1st, I would mark this day by crying at home, becoming a blob of emotional wreckage, and sometimes writing a post about how much it affected me, about how shitty post traumatic stress disorder is, about how my whole life shifted with one afternoon...

This year, however, I haven't been upset about how she died.  In fact, I've worked really hard on the what/when/why/where part of the whole ordeal and can, to some extent, accept it.  This anniversary, I've still been a wreck, though, consumed with sadness about the loss of my grandmother.  A loss that feels like a horrible, crippling cavity in my chest, empty because she's no longer filling it up.  I know that pain is normal to feel after people die.  But this isn't the dull ache of a family member now gone yet always missed.  This is grief.  Minutes-after-it-happens, bone-shaking, wailing-to-the-universe grief.

Which is actually amazing to feel.

Let me explain.   See, I've spent the past five years feeling the trauma that came with how my grandma died and the part I played in it.  Feeling responsible.  Feeling guilt.  Feeling isolated.  And yes, feeling sad that my grandma wasn't here anymore, but those feelings were either so small compared to the nightmares and the guilt, or barely dwelled on because all thoughts of her led to images of that day...

And now?  Well, now I can see my Grandma's face.  Her deep wrinkles.  Her smile.  I can hear her full belly laugh.  And her rapping her knuckles on the mustard yellow formica island while her beloved songbird clock tweeted every hour on the (wrong) hour.  I can picture her gold stud earrings.  And her "old lady" t-shirts with embroidered flowers on them.  And her tweed slacks that always had to have deep pockets and usually mismatched her many pairs of socks.  I can taste her chili, which she always had supplies for in case one of us kids might drop by.  And her cornbread, made in the same perfectly seasoned skillet every time and still the best cornbread I have ever eaten.  I can smell her, a mixture of something uniquely-Grandma and Dior's Dune.  And I can feel her hugs.  And her unwavering support.  And her love, imperfect as she could be at expressing it.  I feel that love, for me and my dad and my grandpa and my sister and her brothers and my aunt and cousin... I can feel it so keenly now that it has almost erased all memories of that horrible, horrible day.  Almost.

Sure, she wasn't a perfect parent or grandparent or wife or human being.  Sometimes she was codependent.  Sometimes she made racist or ignorant comments.  Sometimes she got really, really sad. She almost never cleaned.  And, as much as I loved the food she made me, it was usually just this side of burnt.

But everything she did, she did with the best of intentions.  For every slur she would use, she was making friends with anyone and everyone, sometimes to the point that we'd spend an hour just trying to get into the grocery store.  And for every time she didn't support her children in the way they had hoped, there were the millions of times she had food ready "just in case," even if no one showed up.  For every time she was depressed and anxious, there were the times that she picked us up at school, or took us shopping, or babysat us no matter how she felt.  And for every time she was ridiculous about something, there were all the times she let us spend the night and never failed to rub Vicks on our chest when tucking us in.  For every time she was petty or shallow about someone, there were all the times she treated her children-in-laws better than their own families sometimes treated them.  And for every time she didn't understand me, there were all the times that it didn't matter any-which-way because she loved me for exactly who I was. 

She loved the best she could.  And based on how terribly I miss her, she loved me a whole, whole lot.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Forgetting to Remember

I woke up in a funk today.  It took me a while to realize why I was feeling sad when nothing sad had happened to me--turns out that today is the six-year anniversary of the passing of a dear friend, Cathy Fleming.  It's crazy because I actually spent today's therapy session talking about how lucky I've been to have amazing friends like her, who are so diverse in their beliefs and perspectives and self-expression.  And I'm especially lucky because I've gotten to this place of openess and thankfulness after spending years wanting to be accepted and giving my energies and time to people who weren't the types who could ever appreciate me, my friendship, or, in some cases, what it means to be a decent human being.  And yet, though I thought about my friend during therapy, it didn't even occur to me that perhaps I was suffering her loss today and that's why I was in a funk.  It's amazing how the body can remember our emotional trauma, even when our worries about day-to-day minutae push out the more important thoughts.  Like, for instance, how friendship is a gift and should be cherished, nurtured, and valued.  Or how life doesn't always turn out how we planned.  And (perhaps the most important lesson I learned from Cathy) how, even when things feel crappy, that doesn't mean we have to act crappy. 

Anyhow, I am linking to last year's post about Cathy.  Please read and also considering donating to a good cause.

In closing, here's a video to say "thanks" to all my friends out there!  I love you and couldn't navigate this life without each and every one of you!


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I'm Still Here! I Promise!

Okay, I haven't posted anything since January...  Wowza.  What in the heck has happened to me, you might ask?!  Normally, I'm rantin' ready.  In fact, I had a life-changing moment and I haven't really been to put it in writing yet... I mean, I've certainly verbalized it.  Non-stop.  To anybody who'll listen and join my pity party.  But writing requires a whole other level of energy I just don't have yet.  See, I just found out the reason I've been exhausted and tired and fuzzy and depressed and gaining weight and having itchy skin for the last, well, ten years.  Apparently I have hypothyroidoism, which isn't fatal, but really affects quality of life.  Like, stuff that makes you unable to remember anything, cry all day, and be so bone-tired you weep when the alarm goes off.  So, I'm on the medicine now and attempting to recharge my little thyroid battery.  I'll have to take a pill every day for the rest of my life, most likely, but that's okay.  I know what's wrong, have a plan of action, and I'm already feeling better.  It's all going to be okay.  And, hopefully, that means that I'll be back to writing and analyzing and bitching and moaning and laughing and snarking until all of our little hearts are content very, very soon.

Until then, everybody, rest up, don't be so hard on yourselves, and, last but not least, get your thyroid checked.


Friday, January 22, 2010

Blog for Choice Day: It's the Meaning That Counts

Today marks the 37th anniversy of the Supreme Court ruling on Roe V. Wade, which finally allowed safe and legal access to a reproductive choice long practiced in back alleys, with dangerous medical complications. I'm not going to get into the myriad of reasons why I think women have a basic medical right to access safe and legal abortions, other than to say, My Body, My Choice. Oh and also, Trust Women. And perhaps I should also add, Don't Like Abortions, Don't Have One. Oops, mustn't forget, If You Can't Trust Me With a Choice, How Can You Trust Me With a Child? And, perhaps my favorite, Every Child a Wanted Child.

Maybe some other time I'll break my support down for you in more detail, but honestly, though these slogans are pithy and catchy, they really capture the deeper meaning of the movement for me: the complex (and personal) decisions women make in their lives, the value of having protected reproductive choice in this country, the struggle for gender equality, the lack of resources and care that many born children face. One day, I sincerely hope that anti-choice people can start caring as much about the infants and children out there in this world as they do the fetuses in women's bodies. Furthermore, I hope that they can also realize that women, with the help of doctors and counselors, are perfectly capable of making up their own minds.

Keep Abortion Legal.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

What's Happenin' Here?

So, as you all know, I've started a new blog project to chronicle my give back: Ten Thousand Minutes. I'm trying really hard to keep that blog up-to-date and that might mean that I post less here (like that's even possible!). The two blogs are totally different--this one is more of a political, social platform and the other is more of a diary. It would be nice if writing in one made me want to write in the other, but let's face it, I only have so much time in the day. In fact, I only had time to post right now 'cause I'm home sick from work.

But... I hope y'all keep checking back here (and there!) every now and then, as I really enjoy sharing my snark. And let's face it, every minute of the day gives me something new to criticize, as long as Fox News is still on the air. Ha! I crack myself up!


Surprise, Surprise

Thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of people, died yesterday in Haiti due to an earthquake. Thousands more will die because of lack of water, medical attention, and other basic services. The world, including the US, is answering the call for help. As we should, because it's the right thing to do. But what do conservative "Christian" pundits go and do? That's right, they spew off ignorant vitriol that I'm sure would make their Jesus cringe in embarrassment.

Pat Robertson: (my paraphrase of the video below if you just can't stand to hear the ignorant asshat speak) The Haitians were punished because back under their colonial rule of the French, they made a pact with the devil in order to get the French out. But, because of this pact, they have forever been cursed.

Riiiiiighhhttt! Obviously the Haitians haven't had trouble after colonization cause of, well, the effects of colonization. It was *totally* the Devil. Oh wait, that was redundant.

Rush Limbaugh: (again, my paraphrase if you are physically unable to stand this dude's voice) 1) Obama is only pretending to care about Haiti because he wants to look good to black people. Both the light and dark variety, might I add. 2) Why do you have to see where to donate through It's a conspiracy! We already give Haitians money through income tax (har har har). Oh yeah, and no one is allowed to complain that we don't do enough for Haiti 'cause some church missions here and there go over and try to help.

Me: dkjldfjkladsfjkadjkhfhjkgfjkdkajlfjkdkjfhjkgahjkajkf!!! ::head smacks keyboard::

1) Seriously?! Turning this into a race issues makes a point how? If Bush were president (God that made me feel sick just to write), even he would try to give something 'cause this is too serious to ignore as one human to another human. His giving wouldn't be about race, would it? He'd just be showing his Christian values.

2) You're right, Rush, some people in this country on days that aren't disasters do care about others and spend their time and resources and money to try to help. Sure, the cynic in me says that they also are doing so in order to convert people and get into heaven, but I'll quiet that voice for a second and say that I admire the people who, for whatever reason, take time out of their lives to care. If I believed in a higher power, I think the appropriate line would be, God Bless Them.

HOWEVER, just because a couple of hundred people try to make a difference does not negate that most of us don't! And that rampant social injustice and poverty exists all over this world and we need to do something about it not only when hundreds of thousands of people are affected by an earthquake. We need to do something now, not then. But, when hundreds of thousands of people are affected by a disaster, don't negate the giving that happens. Sure we should be better, but now is not the time to make that point. Now is the time to help our fellow human brothers and sisters.

Okay, rant over. I know I tend to wash people like Rush and Pat with the same paintbrush of ignorant and hateful, but I sometimes still can't believe the things that come out of their mouths and into their listener's ears.

Let's just hope it doesn't make it into their hearts or we're all doomed.

UPDATE: Also, putting my money where my mouth is, I would like to urge everybody to donate to aid efforts for the victims of the Haiti earthquake by either texting "Haiti" to 90999, which will give $10 to the Red Cross by charging your cell bill, or giving to this amazing health care organization, founded by Paul Farmer, Partners in Health. Since geography means I can't donate time, at the very least, let's donate some money.


Wednesday, January 06, 2010

10,000 Minutes Project

Friends, for those that are curious and want to see how my resolution turns out, I've created a new blog. I'll continue to update my "opinion" pieces here, but will spend time chronicling what I do to give back over at Ten Thousand Minutes.

So, please, go check it out!


Friday, January 01, 2010

The Minutes to Come

It's officially 2010 and I am officially relieved. 2009 wasn't my best year, nor was it my finest moment. Although I had a lot of good things in my life last year, like our house, good times with friends, a brand-new nephew, travel, great work opportunities, I feel like I was living in anxiety quicksand for most of it. I conquered a lot of anxiety behaviors this year and gained a lot of really great coping skills, but the struggle to get to today was very difficult. It's exhausting to constantly do cognitive thinking, to reframe every thought you have, to question if your feelings are anxiety-driven or just how you feel, and then to chose the best way to respond when you really want to scream, cry, or hit something. E-X-H-A-U-S-T-I-N-G. Couple that with living in an OCD nightmare of boxes, construction, and instability and we had a recipe for me, well, flipping the fuck out. I damaged my marriage, my financial future, my career, my health... I bought massive amounts of crap to feel better, I drank alcohol to distract myself, I emotionally ate to the point that I gained thirty pounds, I checked out at work, and, worst of all, I failed to support my partner while he worked soooooo hard to make our house beautiful...

But, with a lot of support from my amazing husband, my family, my friends, my mental health practitioners, and last, but not least, from myself, I finally feel like I'm ready to live, and enjoy, the life that I want, that I worked for, even as I was drowning. More importantly, I'm ready to spend 2010 fixing my cosmic balance sheet. I took a lot in 2009, now I want to give.

Instead of making general and vague promises to "give back," I've decided to do something a bit different. I've added up all of the money that I spent in 2009 on emotional purchases and for every dollar I'm going to spend one minute doing something good for the people my spending most affected: the boy, myself, and those in my community who went without while I went with too much. In the spirit of openness, I'm going to share exactly how many minutes this actually is: 10,000. That's right, I spent 10,000 dollars on clothes, books, dvds, on crap, and now I'm going to spend 3,333 minutes helping the boy paint the trim or build the headboard or work on his art or watching movies he wants to watch or playing frisbee; 3,333 minutes eating well or exercising or taking advantage of opportunities at work or learning a new skill; and 3,333 minutes volunteering at homeless shelters or urban gardens or tutoring or job training.

It's going to be hard, not because 3,333 minutes is a lot--it's only about 55 hours--but because I'm not magically "cured" of my mental illness. I'm not suddenly anxiety free, able to handle whatever, whenever. I'm still going to have squidgy days where I don't quite know what to do and don't know how to fix what I'm feeling and make an unhealthy choice. But with everything I've learned and with all the amazing people in my life who were there for me and loved me despite me being soooooooo weird sometimes, I can do this. I know I can, because I already spent 2009 doing it, and I came out on the other side.

I'm ready, world. I'm ready.


Review of a Lifetime

Here is the beginning of my post. And here is the rest of it.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Dances with Blue Aliens

Just in case anyone was curious (and since this is the MOVIE THAT WILL CHANGE ALL MOVIES), I would like to say that I have very mixed feelings about Avatar. [SPOILER WARNING] While I thought it was beautiful and "entertaining," I also thought its paradigm was horribly colonialist and, one could argue based on the rampant stereotypes of our indigenous persons, racist--seriously, horse-shaped animals for the "natives" to ride? feathers? "Mohawk" style hair? nose-bones?

::head bangs on desk::

And, although my giant sucker heart got tugged in all the right spots (and perhaps, admittedly, a bit weepy at one point), this is partly due to the very, very cliched use of the same ole' archetypes we've seen before: troubled hero, wise spiritual mother, beautiful young enchantress, evil greedy white dude. I'm practically programmed to respond to these sorts of stories. But, as engrossed as I was, I couldn't help it, my brain kept having internal "eye roll" moments throughout the film at some of the plot and characterizations. Particularly bothersome to me was that the colonialist dude goes in and makes the indigenous persons better than they were before. Sure he empathizes with them and helps us (the audience) see the error of our (past and future) ways, but why couldn't the Na'vi do it for themselves? And why couldn't we see a film from their eyes, for once?

io9 actually had great write-up about this type of film last week. Here's an excerpt:

These are movies about white guilt. Our main white characters realize that they are complicit in a system which is destroying aliens, AKA people of color - their cultures, their habitats, and their populations. The whites realize this when they begin to assimilate into the "alien" cultures and see things from a new perspective. To purge their overwhelming sense of guilt, they switch sides, become "race traitors," and fight against their old comrades. But then they go beyond assimilation and become leaders of the people they once oppressed. This is the essence of the white guilt fantasy, laid bare. It's not just a wish to be absolved of the crimes whites have committed against people of color; it's not just a wish to join the side of moral justice in battle. It's a wish to lead people of color from the inside rather than from the (oppressive, white) outside.

Think of it this way. Avatar is a fantasy about ceasing to be white, giving up the old human meatsack to join the blue people, but never losing white privilege. Jake never really knows what it's like to be a Na'vi because he always has the option to switch back into human mode. Interestingly, Wikus in District 9 learns a very different lesson. He's becoming alien and he can't go back. He has no other choice but to live in the slums and eat catfood. And guess what? He really hates it. He helps his alien buddy to escape Earth solely because he's hoping the guy will come back in a few years with a "cure" for his alienness. When whites fantasize about becoming other races, it's only fun if they can blithely ignore the fundamental experience of being an oppressed racial group. Which is that you are oppressed, and nobody will let you be a leader of anything.

Sure, Avatar goes a little bit beyond the basic colonizing story. We are told in no uncertain terms that it's wrong to colonize the lands of native people. Our hero chooses to join the Na'vi rather than abide the racist culture of his own people. But it is nevertheless a story that revisits the same old tropes of colonization. Whites still get to be leaders of the natives - just in a kinder, gentler way than they would have in an old Flash Gordon flick or in Edgar Rice Burroughs' Mars novels.

I'm not trying to be a Negative Nellie or ubercritical--there are, in fact, lots of books, tv, and film that I enjoy despite my intellectual reactions to them, like Twilight (anti-feminist, chastity-glorifying, domestic violence model), Star Wars(white, male, sexist), or, honestly, pick nearly any romantic comedy, I'll watch it, because, despite being bothered by the sexist gender roles and punchlines, my heart goes pitter-patter. What can you do? Sometimes you just have to take things for what they are, admit what kind of societal rules are in play, and turn your brain off for a tiny second.

However, I do think there's a danger with never turning your brain back on, especially with films like Avatar, where people go and think they've seen an amazingly different story about how "we should all get along," when in fact, it's another movie about white, male privilege. Just because the hero is right in saying we shouldn't destroy the cultures of other peoples doesn't mean that he has to be the only one we were willing to listen to or, worse, the only one who can "save" them.

In sum, I thought Avatar (or as I'm calling it now, Dances with Blue Aliens) was a beautiful film, with a deeply detailed landscape just different enough for people to forget the movie is a story we've actually seen before. In my opinion, it's not a "game-changer," but rather another colonialist trope with exciting, tasty, and sometimes emotionally moving, eye candy. Did I "enjoy" it? Yes! My eyes were glued to the screen for two hours. But, like real candy, after I've eaten it, I'm not so certain it sits well in my belly.


Wednesday, December 02, 2009

::face palm::

"Well, see, I got 15 emails that said it was true, which makes it more true than just one email saying it isn't true, you know?"


Identity Crisis Part II

So... I just wasn't happy with snarky_kittens. What did I do? I obsessed and brainstormed and everything I wanted was taken (elizabethbitch, for example, or kittenface). I don't want something with numbers at the end. I want to be THE FIRST. THE ONLY. THE SELF ABSORBED. So, it came to me in a flash, here I am being squidgy (my word for anxious or weird or ocd-ing), so squidgykitty.

The end.

For now.


Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Identity Crisis

So... I just spent the last hour changing my online handle.  That was WAY more complicated than it should be.  I've been motorhomejesus for about three years now and really want something more tied to this here lil' blog, you know, in case I decided to do something bigger with it.  Like post regularly.  Also, I don't want anyone to confuse me for being a Jesus-fan OR of being disrespectful of someone's faith (If you're scratching your head, it's like they say, hate the sin not the sinner, right?! I dislike your "Christian" behavior sometimes, not your faith.) 

Obviously,  I really wanted to make all of my main accounts kittenswithmittens, but that's been taken.  Stupid common cute moniker!  So, I finally, after much hand-wringing and changing my mind, decided on snarky_kittens.  I think it captures the kitten part (see how KITTEN is in the name??? I know, I'm soooo smart at branding!) and also my general intent to deconstruct social commentary and cultural products.  In other words, bitch.

Should I go ahead and buy up the website names too?  Blerg.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Midweek Feminist Brainfood

Here are a couple of great videos passed to me by awesome, thoughtful, feminist friends. The first one, which is a bit long, but sooo worth it, is about the danger of "the single story" in narrowing our narratives about other people and places. The other is about how changing the way that women and girls are treated in this world will help change humanity for the better.


Friday, November 06, 2009

The 11/3 Project

If only the people that this is a satire of could get what's satirical about it, this country would be a lot better off.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
The 11/3 Project
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Crisis


Friday, October 09, 2009

To Infinity and Beyond

Forever ago, I wrote a little piece on the Duggar family, you know the ones with a mazillion* "J"-named children?

Well, it seems as if one of their children has now had a child.  And do you know what occurred to me, in a moment of pure, adrenaline-rush fright?  That if this family has a mazillion children, and their children do the same, the Duggars will exponentially grow in size.  EXPONENTIALLY.

It was not a good moment, sufficed to say.

*to be exact, it's 18, with the 19th on the way


Barrel Gone Dry

About a month ago I wrote a post about how I was dealing with the house rehab and unpacking and decorating.  I talked about how I was doing all my cognitive-behavioral therapy stuff and trying to "change my language" about the situation and that it was working...

Well, since then I've had major coping skill FAIL.  I mean F-A-I-L.  Like, crying at work, screaming at the boy, giving up and hiding under the covers at 6:30pm on a Sunday, feeling (honestly and truly to my very cells) that it would NEVER get better, that it had gone on for too long and that all of the work I had done to improve living life with a mental illness was, "bam!" out the window.  It was baaaaaaad.  Like, right after my Grandma died bad.  I couldn't even go into work even though it meant not getting paid... I didn't go to U2 even though Em scored us last-minute tickets... and I honestly wasn't sure why it was all worth it.  The way that OCD makes me feel is so counter to who I really am that sometimes I just feel like I will never be able to live life how I want to... how I deserve to. And that makes me really, really sad sometimes.

So, what happened?  What made me flip my shit despite having techniques in my arsenal to avoid such a situation?  Well, for one, I have a mental illness that I can't "cure," one that I can only work with in hopes of having a functional and fulfilling life.  Treatment isn't foolproof, which can be really daunting because even if you're doing everything "right," you still get fucked over sometimes.  Out of nowhere.  In public. With everyone watching.

For two, it's been almost a year, 365 days of constant anxiety, at levels similar to how I felt on my worst days after Grandma passed... my "dark days."  That's a lot of anxiety to cope with on a regular, consistent basis.  I think that my barrel just went dry, my well was empty, my breaking point met.  I didn't have any more energy to deal with the intrusive boxes, the lack of organization, the lack of control.  I know, I know, it takes people YEARS to unpack.  Well, I am not people and I do not take years to unpack.  (There are those absolutes again...)

Finally (or for third, whichever you think has better symmetry), I had the flu.  It's true! Being sick made me a complete disaster.  It's like when I was a kid, whenever I was totally irrational or cranky or whatever, my mom would say, "Ooo I hope you're not getting sick."  And then, the next day, "poof," I was sick.  I personally think my mother is some sort of evil sorceress who would create "sickness" so that I would be quiet and asleep and weak instead of healthy and just plain annoying.  I have no proof, though, so I guess we'll just have to say she was right.

I'm clearly feeling better now, you know, with the "sharing" and the "jokes" and all.  I'm not sure how or why, but I woke up a couple of days ago feeling like a human being again, albeit one that now recognizes that there are some things I will (here I go with strong language again) not be able to compromise on, no matter how much I wish it.  Having a stable, organized, uncluttered home is one of them.  It is very clear that in order for me to be a person out there in the world, one who has enough energy to stop the need to control the uncontrollable or the intrusive thoughts about what did or didn't happen or pick your favorite OCD issue-of-the-day, I need my "safe space."  I need a place to come where, when I look around, I don't see a million things that I need to do and no clear way to start, I don't see something out of place that sparks an intrusive, repetitive thought that won't go away, I don't feel uptight and crazy and untethered to this world.  Instead, I just feel like I'm home.

Maybe one day I'll be able to be a "person" and be lax about my personal space.  Last week was proof that this is not that time.  And, in all honestly, admitting this and allowing myself to be a complete basket case helped me get over it.  As weak as it might sound to some, I honestly think that being able to say to ourselves, "this is my limit," can be a powerful, even empowering, thing.

So, what now?  Well, we are nearly unpacked, though we are waiting on some additional storage items to be shipping.  We have some painting to finish, including all the trim.  And we have some furniture to buy.  All, in all, though, it feel like the storm has broken and the pieces are falling into place.  It's starting to feel okay, though there's a nagging pressure in my chest if I think about how much we have left to do for too long...

Here's to hoping that my renewed strength can hold out until the puzzle is complete!


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

How NOT to Rape Someone

Awesome piece about how to really prevent sexual assault! Via Femin-Ally.  Hat tip to Sara!

Kat reposted a nice piece about true rape prevention, which reminded me of this little list I whipped up a few months ago. As I just did a college RA training yesterday, re-reading this made me laugh. I mean seriously, the "tips" they give potential victims are so condescending. It's fun to turn the tables.

Sexual Assault Prevention Tips Guaranteed to Work!

1.   Don't put drugs in people's drinks in order to control their behavior.

2.   When you see someone walking by themselves, leave them alone!

3.   If you pull over to help someone with car problems, remember not to assault  them!

4.   NEVER open an unlocked door or window uninvited.

5.   If you are in an elevator and someone else gets in, DON'T ASSAULT THEM!

6.   Remember, people go to laundry to do their laundry, do not attempt to molest someone who is alone in a laundry room.

7.   USE THE BUDDY SYSTEM! If you are not able to stop yourself from assaulting people, ask a friend to stay with you while you are in public.

8.   Always be honest with people! Don't pretend to be a caring friend in order to gain the trust of someone you want to assault. Consider telling them you plan to assault them. If you don't communicate your intentions, the other person may take that as a sign that you do not plan to rape them.

9.   Don't forget: you can't have sex with someone unless they are awake!

10. Carry a whistle! If you are worried you might assault someone "on accident" you can hand it to the person you are with, so they can blow it if you do.
     And, ALWAYS REMEMBER: if you didn't ask permission and then respect the answer the first time, you are committing a crime- no matter how "into it" others appear to be.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Judging a Book By Its Cover

I honestly don't think that I need to say anything about this video. I really think that the individuals in it speak for their ignorance just fine without me chirping in. Rebutting their claims that "fascism, socialism, and communism are all the same thing" is pointless...besides, I've already tried it before. Just watch and be appalled--as the boy said, "I really hope that this represents the lowest common denominator in our country or we're in trouble."


Saturday, September 12, 2009

Thanking the Partner Stork RIGHT NOW!

These two voicemails make me soooooo thankful for the boy. Wow. People like this not only help other run-of-the-mill men look insanely awesome, but also provide hours of endless entertainment.

Via Melodymaker's Posterous:

August 17, 2009
The reason some girls stay single - very funny!

This guy is a "class" act!


The story is this: a girl was out with friends having drinks on King St (in Toronto ). This guy approaches her and won't leave her alone -saying how cute she is. She finally gives in and hands the guy her business card to get rid of him.
The attached is an MP3 file of not one, but TWO voicemails this guy left. This goes down in the history books - especially the second voice mail.
After hearing them you can clearly see why she didn't call him back - instead she called in to the Z103.5 morning show & had them play this on the air.
Ladies: He is out there... :)

Click here to listen.