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It’s not a perfect world we live in. You know it, I know it. The core of it is that we need to make the best of what we’ve got.

There are some who want to throw out everything our Founding Father set up and start up a new world order in the vision of whatever ideology they follow. I can tell you some of this is pretty downright scary. We don’t have a perfect government, but who does in this world? If it was perfect, we’d be living in a utopia. Some things work out great on paper, but when you actually implement it into society, it doesn’t quite work as planned.

I have to wonder, would we really be better governed by corporations and big business? Would any of us be better off under their care? Seriously, can you answer that for me? Would this country do better if we scrapped the governmental system in place for a completely new one? Say one with Christofascistic overtones? If you don’t know the term, I urge you strongly to go research the term. I’m not doing your homework for you–I fully assume those who follow me are intelligent enough to want to find out what some of the things I talk about here.

Could you picture yourself living in an America that is run by a theocratic agency? You might want to read ‘The Handmaid’s Tale‘ by Margaret Atwood. Or V for Vendetta. Or, just imagine, the government model that was in WALL-E. Basically the government became a big coroporation. Some people like this idea, because so many politicans are just puppets for big money.

What kind of world do you want to live in? Ask yourself that. In November, when you’re in that voting booth. Do you want to be ruled by the cheap car salesman, Mittens, or or our sitting president, who got a crapload of misery dumped on him by the previous one?

Another point. The tought times we’re in? They’re not going to vanish overnight. There is NO magic wand to be waved to make all these problems disappear. It took time for them to grow, and it’ll take time to make them go away. We Americans need to get rid of our instant grtification mentality, because it’s utterly and completely unrealistic to think that way. We have to fix our own problems, and sometimes amputating a limb (as in dumping our current president) is not a good solution. As the old phrase goes ‘would you cut off your nose to spite your face’?

Big business does not care about me or you. It only cares about how much money it makes at the expense of the public. It doesn’t care if you lose your home, everything you have, your job, your family. So why do you think having these rich CEOs meddling in politics will make it better for YOU? You are simply slave labor to them. You are an automaton, a drone that they don’t want to pay because it means more money for THEM.

Life is an enormous struggle, people. Get used to it. You can either blame everyone else for your problems and hate everyone, not contributing a whit save your vitriol, or you can roll up your sleeves and try to make the world a better place. I know it, because YES WE CAN.

I love Tardar Sauce

I think I’ve found someone who can make me smile even when I’m in my darkest moments. Tardar Sauce. You have to know her by now, especially if you’re an internet junkie like me. Tardar is a cat. A rather peculiar-looking cat. She is dubbed the ‘grumpy cat’, and there’s a couple of YouTube videos of her interacting with her humans.
I’m eternally grateful to her owners who decided to post her on the web, because if I hadn’t stumbled across this cat’s disapproving visage, I’d be a great deal more depressed. The moment I saw that furry face, I laughed. I was wondering, ‘what did someone do to make this cat so grumpy?’ The expression was nigh upon human, in my view. Some people thought the cat had been deliberately photoshopped, but Tard is the real deal. She’s been in heavy rotation on Tumblr, which is where I first saw her pop up.
Some people think she’s ugly, but I don’t think so. I think she’s cute and adorable. She’s unique. Her face (and big blue eyes) are very endearing. I read that one of the reasons (humorously phrased) that Tard was so grumpy was that she was the center of attention to a little girl, who was overly affectionate. Cats are known for wanting their space at times.
This really got me out of a serious slump, I have to tell you. The reason why I haven’t written in a while is that I’ve just been having a very hard time emotionally as of late. I’ve been finding it very hard to keep my spirits up, so this was really divine intervention for me.
So, wherever you are, thank you Tardar Sauce and your humans. You made my day.

The Conversation Part 4 by A.D. Morelli

The Conversation Part 3 by A.D. Morelli

The Conversation Part 2 by A.D. Morelli

The Conversation Part 1 by A.D.Morelli

I wanted to do something a little out of the ordinary and take on a subject I’ve not really explored before. I began writing some short stories on another blog and posted them online. I have never done this before, and it was very intimidating.

I’ve always loved to write, ever since I was young. I wrote stories, poetry, I like to sketch and paint as well. Although some of my art has been published, nothing in anything you’d know, just locally, I’ve never published my writing. Mainly because I was just scared to death, to be honest.

Being someone with very poor self-esteem, I was terrified to do so because I didn’t think I could handle the criticism and rejection that inevitably all writers must face at one point in their lives. I don’t have a degree in creative writing, nor am I even a professional writer. I write mainly because I really enjoy doing so. Creative writing is especially difficult at times, when you have no inspiration, or are stuck in a bout of writer’s block.

I began writing these little pieces several months ago, partly as a whim. I was toying with the genre of fan fiction, and decided to try my hand at it. Mind you it’s MY brand of fan fiction, so it doesn’t really follow the standard rules, but I really don’t care, to be honest. I wrote it for me, and my own enjoyment, but I also hoped that if I was bold enough to share it, others would enjoy it as well. I was on a bit of ‘The Avengers‘ kick a few months back, so this was the background for my inspiration. It revolves around me and Loki, or at least my own personal version of him. He’s certainly a trickster in the stories, but without the wicked malice he shows in the movies.

There was a second purpose for these pieces. I wrote them for me, yes, but with a purpose. I wanted to try and get myself to modify my personal self-talk, since it’s so negative. So I decided to use the character of Loki to ‘trick’ myself into loving who I am as a person. So far, it has evolved into four chapters. It may spawn more, but I’m taking it as a work in progress. I also wrote it without any preset story in mind, just allowing it to flow naturally. At times I even spoke the dialogue out loud to try and give it as natural a feel as I could. I then took it a step further and shared it on a fan page dedicated to Loki (the Marvel character). The feedback from it was very positive and one member told me she loved it bcause it felt so real. I almost cried because it meant I had done something right for once.

This is groundbreaking for me. Me, who has been scared to death of being judged, dared to put herself out there for others to see in a very personal way. I have always been extremely private about my fiction, only allowing a certain few to read what I wrote. Now I have let an audience of who knows how many to see it, and I’m hoping for the best. I’m going to take another step and share it here now. It’s up to you whether you like it or not. I’ve taken to using the pen name A.D. Morelli for any future fiction, so if you see that name, you’ll know it’s me.

I have now received two threats from commenters today. One had the charming name of ‘death to parasites‘ as a handle and an e-mail of I’m sure it’s fake so that they can’t get caught or traced. They called me a moron, a racist and a parasite. The other accused me of being a parasite as well, so I’m wondering if it’s the same person making threats to me.

It scared the daylights out of me. It was childish and evil, and clearly the work of a coward who hides behind anonymity and implied violence. I hope WordPress takes note of this, because I don’t take kindly to stalkers nor bullies.

I’m going to keep posting my blogs, because I know I have people who DO support me and respect my point of view. If someone has an opposite view, fine. Just don’t couch it in menacing terms, thank you. I enjoy a good debate, but when one says I should die because of my point of view, well……you’re going to get your sorry butt reported. Threatening to hurt someone over words is just…….pathetic.

I don’t think I’ve ever been so frightened by a political election until this one. I’ve never seen one get so ugly fast. And it most certainly will get worse. It’s made me feel at times that if the GOP overthrew the government, I’d be better off dead. The GOP would like that, because it means they won’t have to shell out any money for my care anymore. More for them.

I don’t understand how women can vote for Romney/Ryan. Do they really hate themsevles that much that they’d be willing to give up their civil rights once those tow clowns get in office? Do conservative women honestly like being obedient Stepford Wives? I guess so, because it was how they were raised, sadly. They were indoctrinated from childhood to be dutiful, subservient slaves to men.

They say Obama is anti-business, and would take away everything from job creators. I think that’s crap. The right thinks that completely deregulating all business would make life better. Okay. So the public has to risk buying defective products from businesses? That people should just put up with mass pollution from factories because profit is more important over safety? You would really risk voting for people who would destroy the world around us in order for others to make piles of money they won’t share? I DON’T GET IT.

These people who vote Republican see nothing wrong with women, minorities, LBGTQ losing their civil rights because it doesn’t jive with their religious philosophy. They see nothing wrong with America becoming a theocracy like Iran. In the 21st century, there are people who still believe that fellow human beings do not deserve to have the same rights as they have. That’s horrifying. That’s the mentality of the Dark Ages. That’s antiquated, fossilized thinking. In the 21st centruy, there are those who want to destroy science and replace it with the inconsistent, contradictory messages of religious texts. I don’t hate all religion, only when it become toxic like it has in this country, and like it has become in the Middle East. I am a deeply spiritual,  but not religious person. I take my faith very seriously.

It’s useless arguing with them because their minds (or whatever they call a brain in their heads) are made up already. They won’t vote for the president because he is everything they are not. You know, I wonder if that’s because those right-wingers are jealous. That a person of color is smarter than they are and is holding the highest elected office in this country. Aside from being hardcore racists.

There are those who say they just won’t vote because they hate both sides. Fine. You know what that says? It means you are giving up your voice in this country. It’s saying you don’t think you matter, so why bother registering your point of view? It’s LAZY and cowardly. It means you really don’t give a crap about anyone or the Constitution. Oh sure, you can toss it around all you want, but if you don’t even KNOW what it says, don’t bother using it as a defense.

There are those who say that we shouldn’t even have goverment anymore, that we should embrace sovereign citizenship as the law of the land, allowing everyone to do whatever they please. That’s just a pleasing euphemism for anarchy. I’m not that stupid. You know what happens to an anarchistic society after a time? I give you Somalia. It’s the people with the most power, supplies, influence and funding that gain power. You really want big business to hold the strings to your life, to be completely at their mercy if you don’t give them everything you own in order for you to survive? You really think big business, corporations, banks have YOUR best interests in mind? Rather than this current president? Is that what you people who hate our president really want America to become?

The sad thing is that I’m preaching to the choir. You know this. I don’t know if my words can possibly change a hater’s mind. If they can, it would be a miracle. I am praying for a miracle. It’s why I’m voting in November. We cannot afford to sit this out  in pure spite. I really hope somehow Mr. Obama could read this, see my words and take them to heart. I believe in him as the future of this country. Please tell me that what I’ve written speaks to you, that you would tell others. That others would hear what I have to say. It’s for all our sakes.

Thoughts from a frustrated liberal

I love my readers, I really do. I appreciate whenever you comment on what I post, most especially my political rants. Still, there are times when I feel like giving up, because I just don’t think I’m getting through to anyone. Let’s be honest: I’m preaching to the choir. You and I are pretty much on the same side when it comes to politics. My gripes are your gripes, except I have the big mouth to say so.

I hate what this country has turned into. It’s terrifying. Our government isn’t perfect, but it’s what we’ve got. The idea that some people want to completely do away with our current model and set something new up is pure insanity. I’ll tell you what they want. They want anarchy. They want sovereign citizenship and corporate anarchy to be the law of the land.

As much as some people think having no one to tell you what to do is such a grand thing, there are drawbacks. Eventually, a structure of power is going to rise. It’s going to be the ones with the most power (money and influence) who will assume control. The fat cats, the ideologues, the religious fanatics. They are going to be battling for control of all of YOU, in a government-free world. It will become an era of neo-feudalism.

People are going to suffer. I think the first to fall will be the sick, the poor, those without any kind of voice or influence. If anyone wants to survive, they are going to have to ally themselves with some kind of group. basically, you’ve got social Darwinism in action here. Only the strong will survive. Only those devious and cruel enough to get what they want will gain power and everyone will be at their mercy. Just look at the GOP.

I’ve gotten to a point where I actually am afraid to admit being a liberal, because I may be attacked for my way of life. We have crazies like Palin using targets and other images against Democrats. I don’t recall this ever happening under Bush.

That’s the next issue that bothers me. When did we become so violent when it comes to elections? Someone doesn’t like a candidate, so they make threats of violence against them?! We like to claim we’re nothing like the Middle East, but that kind of thinking is straight from there. So saying a candidate for office should die is ethical behavior in an election? What planet do these people come from?!

We don’t do that in America. We SHOULD NOT engage in that kind of behavior. It’s downright un-American for anyone in ths country to act that way towards anyone. The fact that this kind of mentality is thriving right now should give us pause about another thing. We can claim to be the land of freedom, but we are most certainly not. Women are on the verge of becoming property again, minorities and LGBTQ are second-class citizens, corporations buying polticians to promote their agendas…….that’s not freedom. We need to get our heads out of our collective butts and deal with this. We thought the 21st Century would be an era of wonder for America. We deluded ourselves. We screwed up royally. This country will not be the dream we want it to be unless we can ALL be considered on the same level.

That’s right sir. I’m not done with you, not by a long shot. I’m going to take on that phenomenally stupid remark you made about ‘legitimate rape’. Do you honestly think people are so stupid that they wouldn’t comprehend the obscenity that that phrase is? Do you know what rape is? Have you EVER sat down with a rape victim and tried to understand the absolute horror that they go through, even years after the assault? You declare in your reference to ‘legitimate rape’ that women are automatically asking for it. You really believe women are meant to be raped? You take it back, NOW.

When you said those things, it made me really wonder about how you perceive the world, because the impression I’m getting is that you have a very twisted worldview of how people are to be treated in society. Let’s get some things straight here, sir. Women are NOT breed cows. Women are NOT property. I don’t care what it says in your little bible, but that book is not the law of the land, the Constitution is, and it says women (or any minority) are not property or slaves. Thanks to an amendment or two, of course.

Then it occurs to me how in the  world dies it come into that shriveled organ you call a brain that something so horrible as rape could be legitimate? Do you EVER listen to yourself speak, sir? Do you have any idea of the kind of impact your words have had on a certain percentage of this voting population? If you say there’s a thing as ‘legitimate rape’ then you basically say you believe it’s okay for someone to be raped. What kind of human being are you to even think that way?

The fact that you won’t back out of this race gives me clues that you really do believe everything you say. Would you ever wish for your political opponent to be traumatized in that fashion? All your backtracking on that spiel really hasn’t done much for me, because in your dessicated little heart, you believe every word you said. If you were truly sorry for what you said you’d be apologizing to every American woman on your knees, weeping. You’re not, though. You’re rabidly defiant, standing by your resolve to stay in the race. And guess what? Those words will never leave your side. They will hang around your neck like a millstone until it drags you to the ground. You cannot escape them.

Know why you said those things? You fear women, and the only way you can show yourself to be the stronger is to tear women down, to put them under your heel. So you call women tramps and sluts and say we deserve to be raped, all the while turning a blind eye to the rapists out there. I’ll bet they’re all high-fiving one another because you just gave them a free pass to rape as much as they want without punishment.

You’ll never understand a rape victim, because to you, we’re beneath you. We’re dirty, wicked women who ‘asked’ for it. Really? You ever wonder how many rapes take place in nursing homes, with victims unable to fight back? I know disabled people are easily victimized and easy targets, because they can’t get away from their attacker. Did they ask to be raped? How about children? Tell me how a child asks to be raped. I’m listening.

I dare you to look me in the face and say I deserved what happened to me. Shame on you.

An open letter to Mr. Todd Akin

I honestly wonder what planet or alternate reality you hail from, sir, because what you say makes absolutely no sense. Maybe in your tiny, twisted mind it does, but a majority of this country does not.

You have managed to denigrate, humiliate, and dehumanize every single woman in this country singlehandedly with your monumentally stupid and ignorant remarks. Including this one. I’m quite willing to bet you don’t know of any woman who has ever been raped, so you have no clue what one actually goes through, do you? You ever go to bed, hoping you’ll never wake up in the morning, so you won’t have to think about the rape ever again? You ever have a complete freak out in the gynecologist’s office when it comes to an internal exam, unable to allow anything to touch you down there? Of course not. You’re an old white man. Never would happen to the likes of you. Get scared when a man takes interest in you, when you’ve scrupulously avoided drawing any attention to yourself in regards to looks? The fear that every man who shows interest is a potential rapist.

Not every woman gets preganat from rape. Some rapists are cunning enough to wear a condom. They just want to hurt the woman bad but not leave her with a child. It’s all about domination, control, keeping someone under their heel. Rather like your party, sir.

You are a disgrace to elected office, sir. You are an embarrassment. You are only in the position you are for your own ideological agenda and schemes. You do not represent your constituents, nor do you have any sort of respect for them. And when you make such disgusting, uneducated blather like you did, you are basically crapping all over those who elected you. Maybe some of them deserve it, because they were stupid enough to vote for you.

This country does not need any more deranged, fanatical idiots like you in elected office. And when you go on to smear your political opponent, it only gives proof to your rabid hatred of women. If you’re married, your wife ought to be ashamed of you. She should be enraged and offended by what you said, unless she’s some witless Stepford wife you indoctrinated long before you married her. If I was married to you, I’d throw you out of the house and be filing for divorce immediately. You’re pathetic.

You do not speak for the American people and you most certainly do not speak for victims of rape and assault. My advice? Shut your big mouth and get out of the race. This country doesn’t need an ignoramus like you spouting the despicable things you believe in.

The real domestic terrorists

Nobody wants to talk about it, because they’re too cowardly. They don’t want to admit it either. More mindless, rampaging violence strikes again, this time at a Sikh temple. Oh, but hate speech is protected speech. Yeah, until some deranged psycho with a gun pulls the trigger. Some loser white supremacist decides to go hunting at the local Sikh temple and murders six people and injures many more, including a veteran police officer.  The shooter was taken down by police, thankfully before he could kill any more innocent people.

I hate these moments. I hate it when evil, bigoted morons go on their bloody-minded crusades to purify America from anyone who isn’t white, evangelical Christian, and right-wing. I am sick of these monsters destroying this country with their fanaticism. Oh, they’re against ‘Islamic sharia law’ being instilled in America? How about your deranged, fundamentalist Christian regime you’re trying to force down everyone’s throats, poorly disguised as anti-women amendments and laws? How about that? And they have the gall to complain about Muslims?

I want these monsters out of my country. They do not represent me, they do not represent America, and they are an abomination to all that this country stands for.

Besides the massacre in the temple, for the second time in a month, a mosque in Joplin, Missouri, has been burned. This time, the little cretins burned it to the ground. That’s no accidental fire. That was arson. I’ll go further than that and call it what it should be named; an act of domestic terrorism. I pray to my gods that the scumbags who did this get caught and are prosecuted to the maximun. They are filth, the ones who did this. They are gutless cowards fueled by hate to inflict fear and terror on a community. I’d like to see them once they’re caught to be paraded around town, humiliated and condemned by everyone.

What infuriated me even more is that this mosque burning was given very little attention by the media, as if they wanted  it to disappear. No. This needs to be front and center, in everyone’s faces until they choke on it. I want to see the public up in arms like they did for Trayvon Martin. Those people who were targeted—they are as human as you and I. They are AMERICANS. Would you ever consider doing this to your neighbors? Why is it okay for it to happen to someone who isn’t Chirstian? You give me a good reason why.

More terrorists lurk in our midst. They flooded town hall meetings a few years back, armed with guns, holding rallies against our president, brandishing loaded weapons. That’s right, the Teabaggers. They are just waiting for hte right opportunity to strike. People are too cowardly to call them what they really are, domestic terrorists. They walk around with guns, hating on the president, itching for a confrontation. They want to start a war, where their Christofascist regime will be installed over the nation.

All of this, I’ve had buliding inside me like poison, and I had to lance the boil. I had to get this out of my system. I am so angry that such evil, hateful people are ravaging the soul of this land, setting us against one another. More violence won’t stop this. people need to stop being afraid of bullies and stand up for what is right. It’s never the popular choice, but it is what is needed to save us.

Rise above the violence

By now, everyone has heard of the horrific shootings in Aurora, Colorado. I couldn’t get it out of my head today at work, it just filled my thoughts. The more I learned about this, the angrier I got about how many unhinged, dangerous psychos have access to deadly weapons. Not a SINGLE responsible gun owner had the nuts to stand up and denounce this horror. They are too gutless and too cowed by the psychos of the NRA and other assorted gun freaks to do so.

The guy who perpetrated this crime was loaded. He had law-enforcement grade body armor, law-enforcement grade weaponry that he used on the theater patrons. I’m sure the ammunition was to their scale as well. I have to wonder how a civilian gets his hands on that much firepower and NOT set off any alarm bells? Seriously, I don’t get it. Oh, that’s right, everyone has the right to be loaded down with guns like a military armory thanks to the Second Amendment. I wonder how all those bloody gun freaks are feeling about this right now. I hope they’re feeling bad. I hope they’re feeling damned ashamed of themselves because of this horrible incident.

Of course, there is going to be some monumental horse’s arse who will say that if people had concealed carry permits, they could’ve killed the shooter. I KNOW there are morons who think this, who have said it already in response. So instead of Bruce Wayne, some yahoo with a gun wants to be John Wayne and blow holes in the shooter. In a DARK, smoke-filled theater full of frantic people. And they’d be able to aim perfectly to take down the madman, saving the day through more gunfire. Sure. Go ahead, try it, hotshot. Unless you have the pinpoint accuracy of Hawkeye, I wouldn’t bet on it. We’d end up with even more innocent people lying dead and wounded because some mental midget wants to play shoot ’em up cowboy and play hero. That’s LAW ENFORCEMENT’S job, not some jack-off wannabe hero with a gun.

12 people are now dead, at least 71 wounded from what I heard on the news. I don’t know if more will succumb from their injuries. I am PRAYING that no more die. I’m not saying that people should not have gun ownership, I am saying people need to be gods-damned responsible when they own such a thing as a gun. I would love to have people be required to undergo a mental evaluation to prove they are stable enough to own and use a gun. How many more times is this going to happen before people wake up and demand something be done? I’m tired of this. I am so sick to death of hearing about these kinds of things happening. Gods help us all.

Captain America saves the day

” I don’t like bullies. I don’t care where they’re from”. So says Steve Rogers, before he becomes the iconic symbol of American patritoism. I can’t tell you how much that one line has affected me, because it really makes me feel so much better.

Imagine my rage when I see this photo of a Tea Party rally and some fat slob dressed as Captain America is holding up an anti-Obama sign.  I was literally trembling with anger at the sight of it. The Captain America I know would be utterly horrified and insulted at the perversion of his image if he saw it. Captain America is one of my personal heroes (okay, Chris Evans is really easy on the eyes, what can I say?)

Now let me tell you a story about another iconic superhero who was used in a very powerful way  via comic books to bring down an enemy in our own country. It took place decades ago and was the result of a very daring reporter who literally risked his life to bring this project to life. His name eludes me right now, but what this man did was to infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan, learn its secrets and agenda, and expose it to the public. he went all over in the hopes that someone would pick up his story, but no one would touch it out of fear of retaliation. He wound up pitching this to the most unlikely of places, DC Comics, who eventually did do something with it. They created a comic book where Superman, the Man of Steel, takes down the Klan. They based the story on his investigative reporting, and admittedly, the reporter DID embellish things a bit, but what he did was revolutionary. When that comic was released, it tarnished the images of that racist hate group for a good long time. They were humiliated, sconred, their membership dropped significantly. They went underground because of it. It took them a long time to recoup from that thrashing a very intrepid and daring reporter with the help of a beloved comic company did.

So when I see nutbag losers dressed up as the Cap hating on the President and what he represents, it makes me physically ill. Cap represents EVERYTHING the the Tea Party is not. Yeah, so he’s a comic book character. I get it. Thing is, people are inspired by images and characters. The Cap represents everything good about this country, about what makes us great, what makes us proud. The Tea Party is nothing but a pack of rabid, unhinged bullies who will stop at nothing to achieve domination over everyone (kind of reminds me of HYDRA, personally).

We need something like that Superman comic again. I really do think so. You would be surprised at the social awareness that is a part of comic book plotlines–the writers are NOT stupid. They get political. They take on social issues (remember same-sex marriage?). I’ve seen storylines that deal with sexual assault, domestic abuse, drug addiction. Comics are a superb medium to get social issues across to large portions of the population.

So here’s what I want to see from Marvel Comics. Maybe even the legendary Stan Lee will take notice. I want to see Captain America take on the Tea Party and run it into the ground. I want the writers at Marvel to get over ego and do what’s right. I want to see some brave writers and artist make this come to life. I’d even be ready to start an online petition to make this happen. Are you in? Because I sure am. I don’t back away from bullies.

The logic of illogic

There’s something that has just baffled me about the far right, and I have yet to get a clear answer from any of them. They do not want government of any kind, as I see it. They want people or states to govern themselves independently. So are they advocating city-states, sovereign citizenship, or plain old anarchy? If someone is going to govern, who would it be? Those with the most money and power?

They don’t want any sort of regulation over business, so if a company produces a product that is harmful to customers, they’re not liable for the consequences? Even if a customer dies from use of the product?

Education. Those with the means to afford it can get educated, but everyone else is out of luck. In regards to that education, what quality will it be? Who will be responsible for dispensing that education to people? I haven’t heard any concrete explanations on that subject.

Religion. Will there be a nationally recognized faith that all citizens must follow, or will there be religious freedoms in place? Does faith equal citizenship? It seems to me that if you follow the extreme, evangelical brand of Christianity, you are a recognized, legal citizen and if not, you are a criminal traitor.

Lastly, there’s the matter of individual privacy. How one lives their life seems to be the intense preoccupation of the far right.Whatever you do in the privacy of your own home is now a matter of national concern that could threaten the integrity of the country. Your gender, your orientation are all subject to scrutiny, and if it does not comply with the dictates of the far right, it is illegal. Since when is one’s EXISTENCE illegal? Being a woman and all that entails is potentially criminal behavior. Honestly, are Americans SO STUPID as to not find any of this disturbing?

No regulations on anything else. So they can destroy the ecosystem, pollute and poison the land to their heart’s content, sell toxic merchandise and food at the buyer’s expense, and that’s okay. It’s okay to rip off the citizens in the name of profit, but when one’s private life comes into question, they have to have complete control over it.

All right. So if they want NO government, WHO is going to go around and spy on people’s intimate lives to monitor sexual purity? If they eliminate all government, there will be no department to do so, yet they are gung-ho on making sure they know everything about your sex life.

Tell me if this makes any sense to you. I just don’t get it at all. It’s ridiculous.

Y u no like my healthcare?

I think I lost a friend recently. Over the healthcare ruling, of all the insane things to get mad over. To be honest, I am deeply hurt, because I really enjoyed interacting with him. He was an online friend, one I got to know over several years. I worried about him, I gave him emotional support when his partner died and he was a complete mess. I talked to him about deeply personal issues that I felt he could understand.

We were on opposite political sides, and i forgave him for that, because I was more intersted in his friendship than political ideology. He was in a rage the other day, the angriest I have ever seen, and it frightened me. He hates the president, he hates the new healthcare ruling, he hates liberals and went on a tirade, banning and deleting people from his friends list. He has not communicated with me in days and I think it’s because of my liberal progressive views. I know I’ve been prone to posting certain links on my page about my views. If people want to disagree, that’s fine. I cannot force them to change their views, even if I disagree with them. But when people come at me telling me I am a monster for being a progressive liberal and damned to hell, I’m going to fight back. I will not be threatened and lectured on MY page by someone I don’t know about how evil I am for my perspectives. Mind you, I had some drama from someone else who attacked me on my page for my views last week. They got removed, because I will not tolerate menacing and inexcusably rude behavior from people, whether it be online or real life.

I can disagree with people and still be friends with them. I have friends who are pro-gun and I’m not, and we get along, because THEY understand my reasons why I don’t like firearms. When it comes to this healthcare mess, I NEED it. When I found out it had passed, I broke down in tears of joy and relief. I have serious medical issues that need covering, and if I didn’t have insurance, I don’t know what I’d do. If other people don’t want healthcare, fine, that is their choice. But what I want to ask those who say NO ONE deserves healthcare coverage is WHY? Why is it bad for me to have healthcare coverage? They won’t answer my question. They just go on how the president should die, that he’s a monster and a tyrant and all kinds of craziness. All I want to know is why they don’t think it’s right for ME to have healthcare. If I laid out all my medical issues on the table before them, would it still change their point of view? Would they still see me as a friend?

This is heartbreaking. This is madness. This should not drive people to hate one another in blind rage.


Came across another jewelry artist that is worth sharing with you, by the name of Danielle Lewandowski. Her business is called Bent N Twisted Creations. She does hammered metalwork in silver and copper, and other assorted designs. Lovely, unique pieces that you know time was spent on. I recently purchased a pair of dangly copper earrings from her. I fell in love with them upon seeing them featured in a jewelry forum on Facebook. She was quite happy to make me another pair, for the initial pair had sold.

I had a chance to chat with her online, because I was curious to learn how she got into the jewelry trade. She’s been very pleased with doing her business on ArtFire, and I’ve heard a lot of positive feedback on the site.

As well as doing metalwork, she’s done marvelously clever things with antique silver forks, hammering them into pendants and bracelets, the tines worked into curls and loops. I was very impressed with them. She also created a wire cupcake pendant, which just delighted me, because I’ve never seen anything like that. It’s adorable.

I also believe very strongly in supporting individual artists, like her and others, because they work very hard at what they do. It’s a means of living for some, and for you to take interest in their work, and even purchase items means a great deal. Not to mention she is a very sweet person to chat with, and she was very obliging to allow me to do this piece about her work.

I wanted to feature another jewelry artist I met online, by the name of George A. Newman. Very pleasant fellow, works with silver and other natural materials. I thought his work deserved a shout out because i really like it and it’s very unique. It has a very organic, rustic feel to it, very simple. Strong, masculine lines to it. The pieces I’ve seen feature hand-carved bone and shark teeth. I have a set that  I purchased from him and I love it. It features a shark tooth that is held against an oval of bone with silver. The bone is enclosed with a strand of silver rope, an echo to his days in the Navy. He learned his skill of jewelry from classes and mentors, and has done this for quite some time. Another piece he did for a friend was of a heart with a tiny hand over it. The friend was a heart patient, and he made it specially for her. One story of another piece was of a wolf’s tooth pendant, which he sold to a young fellow for a lower price because it meant a lot to the kid. That I found deeply touching, because that kind of sensitivity is not so common these days. Jewelry work, especially small, independent artists, is HARD WORK. It’s their livelihood, their way of paying the bills, so it’s not something one picks up as a hobby. I’m learning that myself the hard way. They take their creations seriously, and each creation is a part of them.

I also got to know him as a person, and he’s a genuinely sweet, caring man (a grandpa!), with a gentle sense of humour. I enjoy chatting with him online, and he puts up with my zaniness with an incredible amount of patience. He’s on Facebook, and I’ll try to look up his website when I have a free moment elsewhere.

I included a picture which he so graciously sent me of the earrings I got from him. These are statement pieces, and i modified them slightly by attatching them to horn hooks so I can wear them in my stretched lobes. They make excellent weights, I have to say. I feel like a warrior princess when I wear them, and it’s a very empowering feeling, I might add.

So, if you have some free time, consider taking a stroll and look up his work. I think it’s worth the time and I know he’ll appreciate it.Image

Ever look at some people’s cars and check out the bumper stickers on them? You can tell what kind of person they are by what they say. I notice a lot more anti-Obama, bigoted, hateful ones more than those in support, and some of them really come across to me as inciting hate.

It makes me wonder about these people. Do they really like being so hateful? Of course, in their eyes they don’t see it that way. They believe it’s free speech, even when saying they’d like to see the president and his family die. They believe it’s their patriotic duty do say such things, and when someone objects, they scream ‘they’re taking away my civil rights’. They hate the idea of someone with intelligence, so they trash-talk teachers, anyone with a scrap of brains in their skulls as ‘elitist’.  It’s THEIR free speech, just not for those of us who disagree with them.

I mean, do they really like advertising how stupid they sound? Or crazy, unhinged, violent? Yes, there are some liberals on the fringe who do similarly stupid things, but not as many as the crazies from the right. These folks might as well drive around with a neon sign attatched to the roof of their car saying what demented psychos they are to the public. They public advocate violence in the name of ‘freedom’, while seeking to deny freedom to those they hate. How does that make any kind of sense?

If you ask them why they’re filled with so much hate, they’ll deny it, but why do they support such hateful rhetoric? The core of it is that your can’t argue with someone who has their mind made up about something. That kind of mentality is bred into someone, through their upbringing, through how their family views the world.

They feel threatened by anything that challenges their narrow worldview, because they like being in control. Throw a wrench into the mix and it sets their whole world out of whack. Humans have a tendency to hate what they don’t understand, and attack it with savage ferocity when it won’t go away quickly. That’s why we are living in a time of so much hate right now. They see change as evil, and a pestilence that must be wiped out, so they use what comes naturally to them to combat it: violence.

Maybe it’s time to do a little unscientific survery on your own. Se how many haters there are in your neighborhood by reading the bumper stickers. It’s not necessarily accurate, but it may give you an idea of what the political climate one lives in. I’ve heard people say the further south, the more hateful and violent the stickers are.  My last bit of advice is this, though. You cannot reason with a hater. You will not change their mind on things, nor will you alter their perspective. Let them go on with their bigoted scope, because while they are very loud, they are a minority and will find their message of hate fizzle into obliviion.

Me again. I haven’t written in some time because I’ve been recovering from major oral surgery about 2 weeks ago. I’m still in pain, but it’s much better than what it was earlier. I’m excited and yet depressed. It feels as if that every step taken by the doctors to make me look more ‘normal’ also make me uglier in the process.

So what happened? I had all of the remaining teeth in my upper jaw (all five and a half of them) extracted. I then had four dental implants placed, two to a side,  in the places vacated by the teeth. I’m toothless on top, basically. I wanted to cry when I looked at myself in the mirror once I was feeling better. I thought I looked like a monster. I was in tremendous pain, my face was swollen all over, and I could barely eat anything. All I could think of at the time was ‘how could I let them do this to me?’

When you come down to it, this was for the best. It was the best option available for me. I am praying that the implants take  and prove to be viable. I am presently wearing a denture as an intermediary step before the final procedure, and that has been a sobering experience. I’m learning to chew properly for the first time. I’m learning how to speak with it in my mouth. It’s awkward for me and uncomfortable, but it’s what I have to deal with right now. I feel embarrassed. I am so scared that somehow it will come loose when I’m talking or eating, and I would just die of shame if it did. I’m not even forty, and I’m in dentures.

Oh, I should be grateful, yes. I should be damned glad I could get this covered, that the insurance decided not to screw me over and cover this. I have spent my whole life aching to be normal and fit in. I don’t have to wear that ancient, broken retainer anymore, a retainer that was easily over 10 years old and not supposed to last that long. I had no choice, though. I’m glad this is done, though. I’m closer to my goal. In a few months I’ll go back to the oral surgeon and he’ll screw in the implants, and I’ll have a solid, removable bridge that won’t fall apart like that sorry retainer.

There are upsides to all of this. I can smile without feeling like a moron anymore.

I’ve been thinking about this phrase again, and pondering what it means. I think I’ve come to a realization that it doesn’t necessarily mean you dump all your problems on a possibly divine being and go on with your life.

There are some things in life that we, as human beings, just can’t handle. They are not humanly possible for us to fix, because they are such enormous issues that one person can’t possibly do it on their own. We do what we can on our own, hoping our little bit is one little piece making things better in the world.

Let me go into where this all came about. It was one of my past jobs at a pharmacy, and I was working the cash register. One of my regular customers came in for his items and asked me how my day was. I answered him honestly, not that great. He was a very sweet man, a widower and religious in view, but it never really bothered me. he looked at me and said ‘sometimes you just have to give it to God, because we’re not meant to take on those kinds of burdens’. I thanked him and his words just stuck in my head the rest of the day.

The fact is, those words made a real kind of sense to me. I was not in the best of emotional states at the time, I was deeply depressed, stressed out and close to breaking down. I was trying to hold it all inside at that job, all the while ready to fall apart internally. I was pushing myself so hard that it was affecting me physically, trying to be the perfect employee and perfect daughter, and failing spectacularly at both. I was neglecting my own mental and phsyical health for my job, because i felt that the job was more important than how I felt.

Let’s also understand something here. I am not a holy roller in any way, shape or form. I despise fundamental religions with a passion. Especially those of the evangelical bent. If anything, I see myself as a fervent agnostic, not willing to blindly place any faith in one place without question. I do not believe faith will cure any illness one suffers. I’m quite militant about that. I’ve ticked off a lot of people for having that philosophy, and will CONTINUE to tick people off, because I will not swear mindless allegiance to any higher power. The concept going on here is that any one person is incapable of solving all the world’s ills. It is an impossible task, and we cannot torture ouselves over that. We take care of ourselves first, our physical, mental, and spiritual health. The rest just follows. If any of you can’t grasp what I’ve said here, or just cherry-picked what you liked from it, you haven’t paid attention to me at all. You just glommed onto this because it had ‘God’ in the title, so therefore it was good. It’s up to each person whether they want to see this in a religious light or not, but what matters is that what I’ve said means something to you. Simple as that.

I’m not perfect, and I never will be. That’s reality. I keep trying to do everything at once, thinking that people will love me more if they see me doing all these things at once. I’m not Supergirl, I’m just me. That’s where the concept of ‘giving it to God’ comes in. I CAN’T do everything at once, and I need to let that go. It’s impossible for me to solve all of my problems in one fell swoop. I have to break things down, take it one task at a time. Doesn’t make me a bad person. It just makes me human. I can’t fix everything, I need to fix me first. It’s not about giving up one’s responsibilities, but knowing exactly what YOU are capable of handling on your own.

We push ourselves so hard, past the breaking point at times, and I’ve seen personally how destructive it can be to ourselves. We don’t necessarily have to believe in a higher power to know we are loved, we just need to understand what our abilites and limits are, and NOT condemn ourselves for that. That’s the lesson I’m trying to learn. It’s what we all need to learn.

I’m going to be featuring another online discovery that I think is worth investigating. I met this witty, sassy young woman on another online social forum and I think she has heaps of talent. She makes handcrafted jewelry and sells it on Etsy. It’s offbeat, funky, pop-culture fun stuff. Why is she so different? Picture yourself wearing little doughnuts, complete with frosting and sprinkles in your earlobes. Or chocolate chip cookies. TEENY PIZZAS. She makes these marvelous miniatures and attatches them to steel eyelets in various sizes. I should also mention these are designed for people with stretched earlobes, but just to look at them is fun enough.

One of her latest creations was waffles, I think. This is tedious work, mind you. The detail she puts into them gives you an idea of how serious she is at making them. She also makes funky cameos that she mounts on eyelets, in bright, neon colors. They feature all kinds of things. There’s a few sites on Etsy who try to rip off her designs shamelessly, but they don’t have the quality of hers. I’ve looked at them and compared.   And besides, I felt she deserved a bit of a shout out for her hard work.

Watch this S.P.O.T.

I am going to promote another’s blog in this latest entry, because I frankly think it’s worth reading and deserves more readership. It’s another WordPress blog called the Society for the Promotion of Tentaclebeasts, and I believe its creator is named Stevie Miller. I came across this via the Steampunk group on Facebook and what initally snagged me was the great logo design for it. I was already picturing it on a t-shirt, because I thought it lent itself so divinely to print medium.

So, I had to check out the actual blog, and I was hooked. It grabbed my attention from the start, had me poring over the episodic stories intently, and my overactive imagination happily provided me with visuals as I read. I found the characters charming and intriguing, including the tentacled ones. I was trying to imagine what they looked like in my head, how big they were, the colors they were described to be. You’re dealing with Victorian era, with a dash of women’s lib for good measure, as in the female protagonists are just as bold as their male counterparts. The tentaclebeasts (I LOVE that word!) are also just as much genuine characters, because they have their own parts to play in these tales, and I look forward to more.

I also discovered S.P.O.T. has a Facebook page, which I’m sure I will be joining soon, because I am genuinely enchanted by this. It looks like a lot of fun, and I’m sure the creator of this is also enjoying it. I even like the template for the page, rather like a worn leather portfolio or blotter, with frayed threads at the edges. Visually, it adds even more character to the stories. It is worth a read, it is worth taking a look at, because if it affected me this strongly to write a blog about it myself, it’s worth passing along to other readers.

No health care for you!

Instead of telling people why I should have health care, I want to know why I don’t deserve it. Or anyone else, for that matter. Why is having health coverage such a bad thing? I REALLY want to understand this, so please, I’m giving the anti-healthcare advocates step up and tell me why someone like me does not deserve to have healthcare. Is it because I’m low income? Slightly disabled? Oh, maybe it’s because I’m able to function normally for the most part, so I’m not really ‘sick’. I honestly don’t know.

Why exactly is is so absolutely horrific for people to have coverage for medical issues? What about people who have a chronic condition that REQUIRES frequent medical attention; if they should not be allowed healthcare, what should they do instead? Just tough it out? Maybe put up with as much of the condition they can tolerate? What about someone profoundly disabled any completely unable to care for oneself? Should they just lie in a bed all day? What about that disabled person’s family–if they can’t take care of that child. Not enough money, or the necessary skills to care for the condition. If no one is entitled to healthcare, what does a family in that situation do? Turn to religious charities to help?

We are required by law to have car insurance in order to own a vehicle. Same goes for owning a house. You can’t even get a mortgage without first having homeowner’s insurance. No one is screaming about how unconstitutional that is. Yet God forbid everyone in this country should get health insurance in case they get sick or injured. Is it just me, or does anyone else think the anti-healthcare goons have a cockeyed argument?

I don’t think I’m being facetious; I’m completely serious about this. So was it criminal that my parents made sure my surgeries were taken care of, to fix my birth defects, or should I just have been allowed to develop without any treatment? That I really don’t deserve to have a prosthetic eye fill the empty socket, and just go about life wearing an eyepatch to cover the hole in my face? Maybe I should’ve just had all my teeth pulled out and gum all my food instead, because I apparently don’t deserve to have dental care either.

How far ahead do these anti-heathcare nuts think about this? Do they really believe heathcare is an entitlement for those with money, and anyone else should just die? I want to hear them give me a coherent answer to my questions, because I have right to know. What gives THEM the right to decide whether I, or anyone else, should have healthcare? I want to know exactly why they feel this way and not some stupid talking point from the GOP. Their mentality has a lot in common with social Darwinism, in my opinion. Let the ones with the means survive, and the rest will die off. Except that the rich need to live off the backs of the poor to survive.

So let’s hear it. Please explain in clear, understandable terms why no one in this country deserves healthcare. Inquiring minds want to know.

Making appearances

How one appears in public seems to be a trend these days. Some of us just can’t help basing our opinions of others by the way someone looks. If they saw me, a white woman in a hoodie, they’d never give me a second glance. But make it a young black man and automatically he’s a criminal in some people’s eyes.

I can’t even begin to express how enraged I am about that murder. It’s the 21st century, a time when people claim to be enlightened and above prejudice, and some of us can’t get our mindsets out of the segregationist 1950s. Some of us in this country just cannot alter their thinking, that they still believe discrimination based on ignorant prejudice is acceptable. The face of this world we live in is in constant flux, we are changing, evolving into something else. Change scares some people, scares them so badly that the only way they feel they can combat it is to try and obliterate it from society. They like their little world where everyone is categorized into neat little boxes, so that they can identify who is right and wrong, who is acceptable and who is not.

There’s a flaw to that line of thinking, in my opinion. True, there will always be the exceptions to the rule, but for the rest, it’s all grayscale. Life is no longer black and white, right and wrong, good or bad. It’s complicated and difficult. We can’t always depend on outside appearances as a guide to decide who is a good, moral person and who isn’t. We can’t decide what is a good or bad person based solely on looks, or what one wears, or what faith we hold. It’s short-sighted and ignorant. We can’t say that someone with lots of piercings and tattoos is a dangerous, evil person. That’s a very narrow-minded perspective and not very helpful. Appearances are deceptive. Someone can be the most prim and proper, stuffed shirt and also be a raging maniac.

I suppose I have this great desire for everyone to be colorblind, that we could see the quality of a person not based on looks, but who they are inside. I recall years ago, when I found out a guy I liked in high school was gay, it didn’t turn me against him. I’m surprised it took me such a long time to figure it out. I still considered him a great guy to hang out with. We still have these bonehead mentalities that just because we learn something so surprising about another person, it means we have to hate them now. When I told people I was no longer a practicing Catholic and followed pagan beliefs, some people thought I was mentally disturbed and wanted me committed. Other people didn’t care and still saw me as their friend. If you knew me as a good, kind thoughtful person before this, why would anything I say now change your persepctive of me? Or anybody else? How many more people have to be hurt before we realize that judging one another based on what someone looks like is wrong? It’s using common sense, which seems to be severely lacking in a lot of people these days. Nature is a million, billion different colors and varieties. We humans, as a part of nature, are also varied. We need to accept that FACT now, not sweep it under the rug. I won’t live the rest of my life in the Dark Ages, in a world ruled by fear and prejudice.

Second chances and forgiveness

This has been on my mind lately. I don’t think Americans are very forgiving people, as much as some would claim they are. We’re altogether too eager to write someone off if they don’t satisfy us in 30 seconds or less as a complete failure. We do not forgive and forget, as the phrase goes. We nurse our grudges, we feed our resentments by taking out our anger on other people.

Human beings are naturally prone to mistakes. If we didn’t make any kind of mistakes, I don’t think we’d be human anymore. We make bad choices at times, bad decisions, things we will regret for the rest of our lives. Yet some of us think that if one person makes an awful choice, they are forever unworthy of ay kind of redemption, respect, even love. When we ‘turn the other cheek‘, I don’t necessarily think it’s weakness. It means you are strong enough to take another blow and remain standing. Despite incredible hardship, people CAN survive, people can keep going. Maybe they have a certain quality within themselves that keeps them going.

I think of people living with AIDS, and how some of them got the disease from bad choices. Maybe some never learned their lesson from getting infected and keep living a self-destructive life, but I wouldn’t classify all victims like that. How many were too scared to find out? How many just had no idea? Is it fair to blame every person who acquires the disease as ‘they deserved it’? No. People can learn from their mistakes, people can turn those tragedies into  educational experiences, to teach others how to make their own lives better, to not make the mistakes people before have done.

I can’t always condemn people outright for things done. I don’t have the knee-jerk mentality others do, that once something is done it can never be taken back. I’ve made plenty of mistakes in my life, but those mistakes should not define WHO and WHAT I am. Just like everyone else. There are always exceptions.There will always be people that go beyond the rules, but those are the not the majority and should not be used as the standard to judge everyone. There are people in my life I will not forgive, because of what they’ve done to me. They knew when they did those things to me that they intended to hurt me and they weren’t sorry for it. There are some things that cannot be forgiven.

Maybe what I’m hoping for is that people will learn to become less judgemental of others. It’s not one’s looks that define someone; it’s their spirit. It’s not their faith that automatically declares them as a better person, it’s what they DO in the world that really matters. Our bodies should not define whether we are good or bad people, but what we do for others that define it.

What are YOU looking at?

As much as we would like to say we are an accepting culture, we have our moments where we fail miserably. I really don’t understand why some people feel compelled to stare at others. I can understand when children (most of them, not all), stare,because they’re curious and it’s something they’ve never seen before. There are others though,that stare just because it’s rude and they know darn well how rude it is, and do it anyhow. Someone with disabilites, or religious dress, or whatever moronic reason that goes through the vacant place where  a brain should be in their heads.

Some people make the claim that Europeans are more sophisitcated, but I’m going to have to disagree with that one. Talk about staring. Both times I was in Italy, I got gawked at as if I had two heads. It wasn’t just kids who did this, but grown adults. I had one old lady make the devil horns at me, and I was so angry I was nearly in tears. Italians are notoriously fashion-conscious; they can’t even go out for a simple walk without being perfectly coutured. They stared at me because I was a tourist and they stared at me because of my face. First time I went there, there was one trip to the beach that was just awful. A bunch of kids kep running past me, bothering me about what time it was. My mom finally caught on and sent them packing with a sharp reprimand. I spent the rest of the time with my hat over my face. I couldn’t bear to see them coming to stare at me again. It didn’t help that the month before I had surgery on my nose too, so it was pretty sore and healing. Maybe it’s a little relaxed since I’ve been there, but you don’t see many people with disabilites in public in Italy. They think it makes them look bad. Something about aesthetics. I’ll challenge any of them to prove me wrong on this.

So, back to staring. One could say that  person only deserves to get stared at because of how they dress, or their tattoos, or numerous piercings. That’s a tricky area, because in some ways, how they look IS going to draw attention. Some of them who do this do it for themsleves, regardless of the attention, because of their own personal reasons. They have osmething about themselves that is resistant to the stares, the mockery, and condemnation of others. Some people have views that ALL people who are heavily modified (as in piercings and tattoos) are dirty low-lifes and criminals. That they’re stupid, uneducated and violent. Those are stereotypes. Through participating in forums on the subject, I’ve gotten to know some of these people and for all their looks, are human beings underneath. Maybe they’re a bit more bolder than I am, strong in their convictions, but they’re also very human beings. I think some of them are very kind and loving people. And as much as they say they don’t care about the looks they get, I think it does get to them at times. There is a whole multitude of reasons why they make the choices they have, and not all of them have a deep philosophical meaning. Not every choice is a logical one, but simply because of that doesn’t necessarily make it stupid. I don’t expect to convert anyone to my way of thinking, but what I would love is that what I say here makes people THINK the next time they pass judgement on someone who doesn’t fit within the norm.

Looking different is not a crime. Being non-conformist is not criminal behavior. It means you refuse to be categorized, boxed-up and labeled as a certain type of person. Looking like the poster child for Snobercrombie & Itch does not automatically make you a wonderfully kind and generous person. Some of the most prim and properly dressed folks have come across to me as the meanest, bigoted people ever. Or people who were heavily pierced and covered in tattoos treated me with absolute kindness. The reverse is also the same. We really need to make an effort to overcome this idea that looks define a person. When you stare at someone, you reduce them to the status of a THING, something not human. You convert a person into an object to be reviled and scorned. You are saying without speaking, that the object of your staring is to be hated and condemned. I wonder about that, whenever I see people looking at me for longer than is necessary. When they look at me, are they seeing me as a human being or as a piece of garbage. I have a hard time telling myself that people look at me because they may think I’m attractive. People who have taken the time to know me find out what I’m actually like, and they can see past my looks to see the personality within. We need to overcome this obsession of judging people based on looks, because this world is becoming ever-increasingly diverse. Nothing is black and white anymore. I prefer to say that life is more like greyscale. We are all a million shades of grey when it comes to each of us. We need to learn to see the INSIDE of a person first, not just seeing the outside.


Warning–life under construction

Although I have to say right now it feels as if it’s in the middle of a demolition project. Lot of changes have happened for me, some good, some not so great. Some are downright terrifying.

I have to look for a new job, because I most likely will be moving by the end of this year. i am praying that I can find one that will provide me with enough income to survive on independently. I’m not exactly happy about it, but I also have no choice, really. I was told by some people to stop my blog because future employers will look up everything about you via the internet and use it in their decisions to hire, so what I’ve been writing would be detrimental to my chances of better employment. I think my blog is the only outlet I have left that speaks for me, and to kill it would be asking me to cut off my arm. It’s for my own good, they tell me.

i just don’t know what to think anymore. I’ve made some sad realizations, though. I don’t think I’m capable of living on my own.  I’m high functioning in a lot of ways, but some areas I can’t seem to be able to handle independently. If someone were to (gasp!) actually fall in love with me, they’d also be taking on the role of caretaker in many ways, because I can’t seem to be able to take care of myself in certain ways. Would they be willing to be shackled to an emotionally handicapped woman the rest of their lives? I don’t think most people could.

So. The house is going up for sale. I watch all of this with ever increasing anxiety because I have to get my resume in top shape, good enough that it will impress whoever I present it to that I am worth hiring. I’m making myself sick with worrying over it, scared that whatever changes I make will never be good enough. I cannot picture myself doing menial labor the rest of my life. I cannot see myself holding down some miserable retail slave position for time immemorial. This is what I’ve been doing recently, over the past month or so, having these nightmare scenarios run through my head nonstop.

I wouldn’t be living alone once I move. I’d be with one of my sisters, but I don’t know how long she could bear to have her older, incompetent sister with her for an extended period of time. I won’t live off her charity, or anyone else’s. I couldn’t put anyone through that kind of burden. I already feel like a parasite.

First time in my life where I have to face the cold hard reality of things. Yes, I am scared. I don’t want to screw it up, I don’t want to have to do it over and over until it’s right. I want to get it right from the start, because I can’t afford mistakes.

You have any ideas for someone like me? I’m at the end of my rope.

Cats love to explore new objects

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Considering my life, it’s more than likely I will end up an old spinster, unable to find a husband. To fill that void, I would probably turn to filling it with cats. So, faithful people who read my blog, I am giving you a heads up. I love cats. I can talk about cats all day without getting tired. I know I could drive just about anyone up the wall with endless stories about felines. I have NO social life, and since I can’t seem to be able to find people who can bear to be around me for extended perionds of time, I might as well lavish that attention on cats. I treat the kitties well, they give me love in return. Seems a pretty fair deal to me. Why bother trying to impress self-centered, shallow humans who only care about their egos and desires when you can spoil a cat rotten and be loved back for it?

I talk to cats, have one-sided conversations with them, because it amuses me, or I will meow back if they’re a particularly vocal creature. I play with them, get right down on the floor and roll around, not caring if I look like a complete moron to other people. I try to find things they’re interested in, or just simply hang out with them.

Cats are not as cold-hearted as some people think. A mean cat is an abused cat, one not shown love, respect, kindness or sympathy. Treat a cat (or ANY animal, for that matter), with a good heart and you have formed a bond that transcends everything. I had a cat for 13 years, and he was one of the most gentle, good-natured cats I’ve ever known. He wasn’t some fancy pedigree feline, just your average tabby cat. What made Dart the way he was, was HOW he was treated. I spoiled him, and my dad did too. I never showed any kind of violence toward him, never hurt him out of spite, never mistreated him. I talked to him as if he were a person, because I felt in some fashion he did understand me. I showed him love through brushing him, which he adored, gave him treats, played with him when he was frisky. He kept me company at night, and knew, just knew, when I was having trouble sleeping. Dart would begin purring like a motor and the sound would automatically soothe me back to sleep. He’d hang out in my room, even when I wasn’t there at times because I think he felt my room was a safe place for him. He wouldn’t mind when I’d curl up on the bed with him and hold him close.

I say hello to stray cats, or neighbor’s cats if I’m out. I make friends with them, even some whose owners say they’re a one-person cat. I have been adopted by cats when visiting people who own them, giving their special feline treatment to someone outside of their human family. My family  thinks I have a certain talent for this sort of thing, being able to befriend animals. I don’t know what it is; it just exists. Maybe they just know I’m someone they can trust. I wish human beings could do that with me. Most of society will just ignore me or treat me like crap. Not everyone, but I’d say most would.

And yes, I have been known to wear cat-themed clothing. I don’t care what others think, because it makes ME happy. I’m always on the lookout for a new cat shirt, or article of fashion that features cats. Most of what I’ve found is pretty obnoxious, though. I’m very picky in that way. I’m a crazy cat lady with a high sense of fashion, so if I’m going to wear it, it has to be good. I have a fleece winter hat with cat ears I still wear, because I love it. I have cat t-shirts I wear on a fairly regular basis in the summertime. I wear cat earrings and rings, because I like them.

Have I driven you thoroughly nuts yet about felines? I mean, I did warn you I was going to ramble long and loud about cats, so don’t get upset that you decided to read this. Why do I love them so much? I think it’s because we humans have made the conscious choice to place a living creature under our care, to be completely responsible for their well-being, their life, their loves, their socialization. If you can show that level of devotion to an animal, it is entirely possible to extend it to people, and maybe those people will share it with you in return.

The meaning of poverty

English: Differences in national income equali...

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I think we Americans have a distorted idea about what it means to be poor, low-income, or homeless. We have this idea cemented in our minds that the REAL poor people are those living on the streets with only the clothes on their backs, sleeping in cardboard boxes at night, begging on the corner for money. We sneer at the people who already have a place to live, have a job, and say they can’t be poor, because they have all that. Sure, they have a roof over their heads and a job but for how long? How about not making enugh moeny to afford rent? The typical reply is that the person then shouldn’t try to live beyond their means. What if that’s ALL they have, that daring to apply for government services is so criminal in some eyes that they don’t? Rather than try and get assistance, the person picks up a bunch of part-time jobs to make the money, but is killing themselves emotionally and physically as a result. What if all that work pushes them past the breaking point and they are thoroughly burnt out from all that pressure? Are they now a ‘lazy’ person? How long could any of you hold down three or four part-time jobs, working from sunup to sundown every single day, no breaks, just to prove to everyone you are a good, hard-working person? What happens if you get sick, or hurt from pushing yourself so hard at your jobs and are unable to work? Gods forbid you get unemployment, because that means you’re just a lazy slob feeding off everyone else. None of this makes any kind of sense to me.

I do not believe every poor person is lazy and incompetent. I think it’s a lie perpetrated by some to further their own agendas. I know a lot of people who are low-income who are the hardest working people I have ever met. And a lot of them are minorities, which is the group du jour to bash as economically parasitical.

Not everyone can handle retail jobs. They’re thankless, overly stressful environments for the most part. Retail employers do not care about those they hire, just that they have bodies to sell merchandise. The turnover rate is very high, because the stress is so high in those areas. I have worked retail in the past and it was one of the worst experiences of my life. Not everyone is cut out for that line of work, but sadly, it’s the most available opening for people. There are NO benefits from retail jobs, no real career. You can’t survive on one of those jobs because the pay is menial. Okay, I can see a rebuttal here–just work lots of hours to make more money. So working from dawn to dusk, with a few hours to sleep and maybe eat is real living. I’m sorry, but I won’t accept that argument. It’s NOT healthy, for one. You NEED to have a social life as well. One’s emotional health is just as important as the physical. I nearly put myself in the hospital on at least two occasions because of work. One job I was working full-time, hardly ever getting a break, going from morning till late at night at the job. I stopped caring about my body, my anxiety was eating me up inside, and I stopped eating, going through a whole day on perhaps one meal. I was so worried about making enough money, and I couldn’t even afford to live on my own. I was severely depressed, not getting treatment for it, and I even collapsed at the job from sheer exhaustion. I lost an alarming amount of weight because I just stopped caring about everything. People do this. People work themselves to death because they’re so afraid they won’t have enough money to afford anything anymore. They’re afraid to take a break to care for themselves because they don’t want to be seen as lazy. If this is the American Way, it’s a sick one. The other retail job that nearly broke me was because of an emotionally and verbally abusive supervisor. She harassed and degraded me to the point I had debilitating panic attacks. My attempts to file complaints were countered with er trying to get me fired. I was forced by the company into a leave of absence, and when I returned, she continued her abuse.  People don’t need that kind of garbage on the job, nor should they have to be forced to put up with it, like the company expected me to. I filed complaints, spoke to HR, all to no effect. That’s unacceptable for ANY work environment. No one should have to live with that on a daily basis for any reason, much less work. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has had this happen to them. It happens every day in this country.

Low income does not equate low intelligence, or low quality. Low income people are not mindless automatons but human beings who ought to be treated as such by their employers. We are not slaves, nor should we be overworked to the point of collapse. Some of us have these miserable jobs because there’s nothing else left. Some of us have these menial jobs because we lost our original ones due to downsizing or that the employer thought it was cheaper to send work overseas. Not because we’re lazy and don’t want to work. I’m going to leave it here for now, but I have much more to say on this issue.

Hole in my head


Image via Wikipedia

In writing these particular posts, I am revealing a great deal of personal information to the public, but part of my reason for doing so is to help educate others in understanding certain kinds of medical issues. I’ve touched on my birth defect in previous posts, but I’d like to share some of my recent experiences with you and how it has altered my perceptions of myself. Now, I’ve come to learn that I have what’s called a bilateral cleft palate, meaning the cleft does not just run up through one nasal cavity, but both. I originally thought this cleft ran vertically up through my nasal cavity up to the corner of my left eye, and that was it. It was significant, but that’s what I thought it all was. Ah, the wonders of modern technology!  Last month, I went for a CT scan of my skull, as part of preparation for my upcoming dental surgery to fix my  teeth. When I went to review them with the dental surgeon, I was in for a tremendous surprise. I have almost NO upper jaw left. The cleft also ran through the roof of my mouth, practically splitting it in half. I could not believe what I was looking at on the computer screen. I was looking at my own skull, and there’s this huge….HOLE in the middle of my face. Now, let me add that this cleft was only on the inside, that there was no break in the skin on the outside. Instead of bone, there was just a mass of gum tissue. My upper jaw is the size of a child’s, and I’ve lost almost all the teeth up there, not from poor hygeine, but from the lack of bone to hold them in place. A lot of things now make sense in retrospect, now.

The doctor’s intial plan had to be completely scrapped, because it won’t work anymore. I’m going to lose what teeth I have now on top for the revised plan to work. It’s upsetting to say the least. I can deal with whatever pain is involved, but what is killing me inside is the financial cost. Tops, I’m looking at roughly $15,000. No joke. I could sell every single thing I own and still never afford it. Of course, my insurance is going to screw me over every which way from Tuesday over this, and I plan to fight them every step of the way in return. I’d like to see the CEOs of my particular insurance company squirm and grovel instead of rolling in all that money they collect for doing nothing. I am hoping and praying that someone there will see reason and grant me the coverage I need for this, instead of trying to brush it off as a ‘cosmetic procedure’. I already cannot eat properly because of my lack of teeth. The retainer I wear is over 10 years old and falling apart, literally. It’s beginning to interfere with my ability to speak clearly; the slight lisp I have has grown more pronounced, because the retainer no longer fits as well as it should. I am in constant pain from my loose teeth, and that’s not from lack of care, it’s because the bone shrinks when there are no teeth. That’s what the dentist told me, and if I lose the others, I may have nothing left.

This has been one of the most frightening diagnoses I have ever been given in my life. Some people are ashamed to have dentures—I just want to have a normal life! A 37 year old woman shouldn’t have to deal with this sort of thing. But I have to. I’ve gotten through all those surgeries, all 12 of them. I’m here for the long run. I can’t quit now.

My parents and I are going to figure things out, one way or another. I’m glad I’m finally getting this mess dealt with, even though it’s so intimidating. The one good thing about all of this is that I’m not going into this fight alone. I’ve got family, and they’ve got my back.


So I am trying to start up a home business, but I have some major stumbling blocks in my path. Biggest being I have absolutely NO business sense whatsoever. I don’t know anything about how to run a business, promote it, fund it… see a trend? One positive step is that I created a page via Facebook to show off some of my work. Just look up WeaselWorks if you’re on Facebook. I don’t have a lot of pictures, and some of them are dreadful. I have discovered I am the world’s worst photographer, because I tried to take some additional photos of my other pieces with a disposable camera and they came out awful. I was very annoyed, to say the least. Hopefully I’ll be able to get better images with the help of my mom’s digital camera, and she’ll take the pics, because I’m just hopeless.

I seem to have a lot of positive feedback so far, though that’s only based on my friends who have checked out my work. I’ve done some one on one sales, and those have been promising. Then there’s Etsy, of which I’m trying to establish a shop, but I want to get some high-quality images before I officially present it for the public. I don’t want to come off as cheap and sloppy, and I take my owrk seriously. If I’m going to be selling something to the public, it’s going to be a s good as I can make within my own ability and means. I am NOT going to sell people junk.

I love making jewelry, and it’s one thing that gives me happiness in life. I love the creativity of this work. I know it can’t fully support me, but if it can help boost my quality of life, it’s worth pursuing. Maybe someone has ideas to help me improve this venture. I’m not going to be taken for a ride either, by some slick con artist. There’s always someone who’s going to try and rip me off with my work, so I need to be careful, and someone as new to this as I am is prime meat for some devious cretin. SO that’s where I am. Maybe you might go on Facebook (if you can tolerate it) and see my work. If you like it, maybe you’ll pass it along. So, here’s to new beginnings. I hope it’s a good one. By the way, the image you see in this post is one of my own work.

Misrepresentation of the masses

English: White House Oval Office during the ad...

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Let’s be clear about something. When I speak my mind, I am speaking for ME, nobody else. I have no intentions of making myself the self-imposed speaker for any group of people. Which brings me to my most recent gripe. I really dislike being spoken for by right -wing extremists. They say they speak for the ‘American people’, which in some sense would include me, but I am not a right-wing nutbag. I have absolutely nothing in common with them. Why on earth would I want someone who hates everything I stand for represent me? I believe in equal rights and social justice, they don’t. I want religion to stay the heck out of politics, but they combine the two constantly. I want my damn healthcare–they’d rather see someone like me die first before I could qualify for healthcare. I am rather liberal in views and consider myself a progressive, which is comepletely the opposite of them. I oppose the corporate anarchy proposed by the likes of Ron Paul and his minions, or the foaming, wild-eyed ravings of Santorum. I’d like to see CEOs forgo their obscene paychecks for doing absolutley nothing and donate it to helping the helpless, instead of lining their pockets. I do not want to see MY reproductive rights denied to me, just because of some evangelical kook gunning for the White House. You can keep your bible off my body, thank you very much. I am low income, which is ironic, since many low income folks also claim allegiance to some of these candidates running about the country. Do these people honestly pay any attention to the true intentions of some of these candidates? If given power, these people would strip away what little rights the poor have left.

And yet, these people claim to speak for me. They claim to know what’s best for this country while squashing the rights of those they disagree with. I never said the opposition couldn’t talk, I’m most likely going to tune them out because they bore me. Or laugh at them, because I think their rhetoric is insane.

They say they speak for the likes of me, because they believe their ideology is the best course for this nation, even if I don’t like it. They would force their dogma down my throat if given the opportunity, but I won’t let them get close enough to do that. So they hate liberals like me, call us ignorant and led astray by wickedness (more of that religio-political drivel again).

When I hear them talking about how they, the Right, represent the true values of the American people, I scratch my head. Then I ask myself, WHICH of the American people do they represent? Not me, or anyone who shares my views. These guys represent the 1%. They do not speak for minorities, for the disabled, the poor, the unemployed, non-Christians, LGBTQ, oh, the list could go on. Who do YOU think they speak for? When you hear them out there preaching, do you really believe they are speaking for you? That they care about your own personal values and beliefs? Think about it when you go vote.

Great White Right, I am quite capable of using the brain I was given, thank you, so please, don’t speak for me anymore. I’m also quite capable of using my own voice to represent myself in the public vein, rather than allow bloodthirsty religious plutocrats do so.

Trust animals over people

English: Sleeping Tabby Cat.

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I think I have reached a point where I’d rather spend my time among pets than actual human beings. Pets do not stab you in the back, lie to your face, cheat on you, or gossip. The more I deal with people, the more they seem to be nothing but false advertising. They claim to be a friend, then dump you the moment you no longer interest them. Humans are so petty, small-minded, jealous, selfish, bigoted creatures. They love to hate anything and everyone that doesn’t fit into their worldview.

When my beloved tabby cat passed away, a part of my soul died with him, and I have never been able to recover from that loss, 6 years ago. He kept me sane, he was the one thing that kept me from falling completely apart, and when he was gone, I DID break down. I talked to him about everything in my life, how much it sucked, what a pathetic excuse of a human being I was. All he did was give a meow or a purr, gaze at me with those great big yellow eyes and the whole world felt more tolerable. He kept me company at night, when I’d spend half the night tossing around, unable to fall asleep. He’d start purring, and that sound would, without fail, ease me into sleep. I knew I could get through a lousy day of work, knowing he’d be at home waiting for me. After dealing with nasty, rude, unpleasnat people, I looked forward with joy to curling up on my bed with him, enjoying his presence. I could leave the ugliness of theo utside world and work behind, feeling completely safe with my cat.

Now he’s gone, and I am forced to make friends with people, because I HAVE to, not exactly because I want to. I have to make friends in order for me to stay where I am now, have a support network so I can function. No one wants to be friends with me and after reading this, maybe I don’t blame them. I’m not good enough for people, I don’t have piles of fancy degrees that would get me high-paying jobs, I’m not a technical or mathematical genius that would guarantee me a good job. People snub me because I’m weird, because I’m shy, because I don’t fit it anywhere. I’m not popular, I like being a non-conformist, I have (gasp) liberal and progressive views of society. I’m too ‘nice’ perhaps, as in I’m not cold-bloodedly analyzing everyone for their weaknesses in order to use them for my own gain. Sorry for the run-on sentence, but it was necessary.

There’s not enough kind people in the world, I think. Kindness and showing kindness has been looked down upon as a sign of weakness, a fatal flaw. Having a conscience is considered cowardly in this cut-throat society. Being an ‘animal-lover’ means you’re a gutless loser to many. It’s why I choose to avoid interacting with people, because they’re only going to screw you over when you no longer have any use for them. I don’t think ANYONE would bat an eyelash if I dropped dead in front of them. That’s how I feel. I have been used and abused by human beings that I no longer trust them to do anything. I don’t trust myself. I don’t see myself as a human being, because I was tormented so much as a kid that I was more of a freak than human. It’s a horrible way to think, and I know deep inside it’s not true, but it’s a hard concept to overcome.

I wish I could see my faith in people restored, that there  ARE good, wonderful, loving people in the world. I wish I could meet some of those people face to face. I want to be proven wrong, that all these terrible thoughts I have are something to be washed away. I want to believe there still is such a thing as love in humans for one another. An animal puts its life, its very being into your hands for its survival. Why can’t we do that for one another?

English: Logo of Muse in SVG Español: Logo de ...

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Music has its uses for me. Mainly as therapy, or enjoyment. Sometimes when I’m at my worst, it’s music that helps me cope with the stress and emotional overload. Sometimes I just don’t know how to describe my feelings, and a song often fits better than anything I could say.

If someone were to ask me what I’m like, I’d probably offer them a piece of music instead, being the socially-awkward freak that I am. I could probably use a song from my favorite band, Muse, to explain how I feel half the time, since a lot of the lyrics suit my emotional states. For example, the song ‘Hysteria‘ by Muse is a good way to describe the way I’ve been feeling lately.  Okay, their earlier stuff, because of the angst. Or I just came across a song called ‘I Don’t Speak Human’ by a group called Omnia that pretty much nails how I feel compared to everyone else. I’ll let you do the homework and find out for yourself, okay? I rather like them, it should be noted.

Sometimes it’s the sounds used, or the arrangements in the song that resonate in me a lot. It may be the melody, or even the key it’s in that just clicks with me. Music is emotions given voice. Sometimes all I want to hear is the music and not have anything from the outside world bother me, because I just can’t stand it anymore.

Okay, here’s another example. Muse (and be warned, I’m going to talk about them a LOT here, because I adore them so) has a song called ‘Con-science’. The play on words is deliberate, but it’s the whole sound, the whole effect of the song that makes this kind of connection deep inside me. It builds, swells into this tsunami of sound that will just come down on you like a tidal wave. And that’s the intention; I visualize my music as well as listen to it. I let it create scenarios in my head while I listen, which is how I try to separate myself from reality when I’m overstressed. It’s my solace and life preserver at times, I believe. Their music has just made this core-deep bond inside me, and it may come off ridiculous for some, but that’s how it is for me. (Is this also a sign of hard-core fandom? Perhaps one could enlighten me…)

I’m admittedly a weirdo, the way I go about things, but sometimes it’s  done out of a desire to protect myself. I use music to block out the ugliness of the world, and sometimes to block out my problems. When I’m with my music, I’m safe. It’s not a perfect system, and needs refining, but it’s one thing that has kept me from going completely insane. I don’t expect anyone to truly understand me, but I felt I needed to explain some of my habits.

The meaning of friendship

English: me and my friend

Image via Wikipedia

Okay. Last post of 2011. As I reflect on this past year, it’s led me to do some serious thinking about the world I’m presently inhabiting. There is one issue that has been nagging me for some time, and has taken on great significance over the year, and that’s friendship.

The truth is, I don’t think I understand what it means to be friends with someone anymore. I don’t HAVE friends. At least I don’t think I do. I have ‘friends’ on Facebook, but can I consider them ‘real’ friends or just acquaintances? I don’t know what to think anymore, really. It bothers me a lot, to be honest. People who know me are deeply concerned that I have no friends in real life, and they are worried how I will survive once they move away from me. I thought I could manage on my own, but they don’t think so. I have no support networks in place, no one I really trust. Part of the problem is that they have no idea what it’s like to be in my shoes, how I feel. It terrifies me at times, being placed in social settings. I don’t know how to act around people and it makes me just want to hide. The anxiety I get at times is so bad I feel I’m in a blind panic and need to escape. I don’t know what to say to people, i feel ridiculous just being part of a discussion and not having anything to say. I’m too self-centered, I’m told by some people. I focus too much on myself and not enough on others, so I just shut up. I try to ask others about their lives, just to make the effort, but it seems never enough for those who know me.

When I think about what a true friend is, this is what comes up for me. A true friend can look you in the eye, tell you all the things you don’t like and you still love them no matter what. They are that shoulder to cry on when you don’t want to deal with anyone else. They are someone you can do all kinds of crazy, fun things with and remember those experiences with fondness. They are people you can trust with your deepest, darkest secrets and know they will not betray you. Maybe this is an idealized view, but it’s what I truly believe in.

If I don’t make friends this year, I’m screwed. If I do not firmly establish a connection with actual people, meeting face to face within this year, I don’t know what’s going to happen to me. I don’t know how to make those people who know me happy; it’s like being given an ultimatum, as if I have to walk up o a crowd of people and demand their friendship or suffer the consequences of loved ones for failing. I want people to like me, I want to make people think I’m a good person, but I can’t force friendship on others. I keep getting pressured to join book clubs, or do volunteering, but I get scared. I love books, and I love animals, so they keep thinking both areas would be good for me. I feel like if I don’t get immediately accepted by others, or liked, it means I’ve failed in my pursuit of friendship. I have this idea that about 90% of people hate or don’t care I exist. 9% maybe would consider being my friend, but probably not. The last 1% would be the true friends, but those are rarer than hen’s teeth.

Maybe some of you have something to offer; maybe one of you has advice that I can put to use right away. I can’t live alone my whole life, it seems, so I must make connections. How? How does someone like me, with my fears and self-loathing do this? I can’t afford a life coach, as much as one would be extremely beneficial in my case. Tell me, talk to me about something I can do for the new year. I have to get this done by the end of the new year, for my own survival. I want to enter 2012 with a positive outlook, and I’ve discovered I just can’t do it all alone.

English: Religious symbols from the top nine o...

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I can generally tolerate people, but the ones that get under my skin are the militant types. Most especially rabidly religious ones and rabidly atheist ones. I have no problem with anyone’s general beliefs, as long as they don’t go shoving it in my face or anyone else’s. I don’t do it either, because I frankly don’t see the point. My personal, spiritual beliefs are none of anyone’s business but mine, unless someone asks me about them. I don’t grandstand like a Pharisee about what I believe in, because I find the idea of bragging about one’s beliefs morally offensive.

So let’s take on the first lot, the rabidly religious types. Why do they annoy me so much? Because they won’t shut up, take no for an answer, or back off with their rhetoric. They are literally hellbent on making you one of them through whatever means at their disposal, including threats of violence. I dealt with some of these bible crazies in college, when they terrorized me and some college friends for weeks on end, simply because we were pagan. They followed us across campus, cornered us in the library to proselytize and witness to us, sent us religious tracts in the mail (I have NO idea how they got my mailing address), followed me to class and tried to waylay me with more scripture. I was either going to follow their God or I was going to get hurt, basically. I really don’t think that’s how the Good Book was meant to be shared, honestly. Don’t recall Jesus ever making death threats to people in order to make them convert. Most people I know are Christian, and I have no problem with it for the most part. It’s when they start making ugly comments about other faiths, putting those down while extolling their own that disgust me. It’s when not being a member of some form of Christianity is seen as bad that I get upset. Forced conversion is religious slavery, bottom line. If some Christians don’t like how they’re being portrayed, maybe they ought to look at how they go about sharing their faith. If they go spreading it through fear, hatred, and violence, it’s no wonder people are resentful of them. Being overly smarmy and sanctimonious doesn’t really work either, because most people can’t stand that attitude. I know for certain I hate it. Some of them also have this deliberate ‘martyr’ mentality, in order to help spread their word. They go into a place where they know there is going to be resistance to their extremism, and make themselves out to be ‘victims’ or religious persecution, when they alone are the insitgators. The Westboro Bible Cult is a prime example of this kind of activity. They travel to cities, terrorize a segment of the population, and when they get cited, they turn around and sue the heck out of the city for discrimination. (Half the family are lawyers, so they like to throw their weight around). Most city governments knuckle under, just so they won’t have to waste any more time with the nutters.

Now for the atheists. I have no issue with people who have no faith, because it’s not that much of a big deal to me, really. I know many people who are atheist, and they are perfectly normal folks in my view. Nothing monstrous or amoral about them whatsoever. What does annoy me about the militant atheists is that they seem bent on picking fights with everyone, just because they can. They go out of their way to trash and smear religion in the most vulgar and offensive means possible. Okay, I get it. You don’t like religion. Wonderful, so happy for you. But really, can you get out of my face first? I really dislike it when I see them call religious/spiritual people stupid, ignorant, superstitious, and hicks. That’s over the line. To say that ANYONE with faith is an uneducated moron is pathetic, not to mention tremendously rude. Having faith does NOT make one a brainless tool, or some wild-eyed zealot. What makes me laugh is that when the militant atheists get all angry over the rebuff, maybe they ought to look at how they’re behaving first? Everyone is entitled to their own point of view, even if it’s absurd. Calling people ugly names and expecting others to happily accept those insults is ridiculous. Being called a ‘retarded loser’ for being spiritual, as one atheist said to my face, is not going to win them any points for a charming attitude. I’d turn around and call them an arrogant prick, in which they fully deserve to be called so. And believe me, I’ve done so too.

It’s funny. Both sides here are more alike than they’d ever admit to one another. One side is determined to force everyone into their microscopically narrow-minded ideology, where the other wants everyone to disavow every single notion of belief. Both of you, you’re not going to win anyone over, so you might as well suck it up. Most of us are really not impressed by your screaming and raving. You don’t do either side any favors with your antics, so please, give it a rest.

An ocular prosthesis

Image via Wikipedia

If you know what I’m referring to by the phrase ‘surplus population’, good for you. If you understand why, even better.

I’ve been thinking about the state of healthcare in this country, which is a huge joke, in my view. The healthcare companies will do EVERYTHING and ANYTHING to deny you coverage of procedures that are desperately needed, but are always happy to help out those with the most money to get whatever THEY need covered. I’m beginning to see that it’s really about how much money you have.

I don’t have a lot of money. What I make can’t even get me a studio apartment, and it’s sad. I also have some significant medical issues that are also sadly, rather expensive. Might I add, this is not because of poor health choices, but birth defects. An ocular prosthetic costs $2000 without insurance, and the one provider I had at the time I needed a replacement refused to cover it, claiming it was purely ‘cosmetic’. So I was expected to go around with an empty eye socket instead. I gave Aetna hell for months over it, me and the secretary from my doctor’s office. They gave me all kinds of excuses for why they didn’t want to pay for it; it was cosmetic, it was unnecessary in their view, I had to see a specialist that was in California (!!) of all places—I live in New York, by the way. I already HAD the specialist who’d been making my pieces since I was 4 years old, and he was located in my own state, but they didn’t want to cover it, but they would cover a small portion if I saw the person out on the West Coast. Bull. Dinkies.

Do I sound like a scam artist to you? Do I come across as one of those ‘welfare parasites’ the rich whine and moan about endlessly? Do I seem like someone bent on cheating Medicaid out of money for my own nefarious purposes? You really want to go there? You think just because I have a job, a car, shelter, health insurance, life is perfect for me? I get told by some insensitive, heartless boor that I ought to pick up a few more part-time jobs to make more money in order to survive. So I either work myself to death to make more money or I try to survive on what little I have? Not everyone is built to be a human automaton, working themselves in to a frenzy for money. I can’t do that, with my medical issues. Of course the next thing I get called is that I’m just lazy. Bite me. You trade places with me and what I’ve lived through and you call me lazy to my face, rich conservative pigs. I challenge you.

So healthcare is really only for those who can afford it, which comes out meaning only the wealthiest of Americans should have it, and everyone else can just die. I shouldn’t get healthcare because I’m low income? Not everyone who is low income is a criminal. Or an illegal immigrant. Or whatever racist stereotype the far right chooses to insert into the slot. I am just trying to get by in this life. I’d be happy to do it without all these stupid health issues. Did I also mention that my wonderful birth defect screwed up my upper jaw and I need a crapload of dental surgery to repair  it? I am praying that the dental coverage I have gives me some kind of support, because otherwise it WILL eat up EVERY penny I have. I am praying to every deity I know that I will be able to have this work done without bankrupting me in the process. I either get my teeth fixed or I find an apartment. I need both, but I can’t afford both. There are people in this kind of situation EVERY LIVING MINUTE through no fault of their own. Oh, it’s just teeth. I can’t eat properly without this work, or speak clearly. It goes beyond aesthetics, people. It’s quality of life care, damn it. Everyone should be entitled to it, not just the rich and useless. I’m in pain from this. I have several teeth on the verge of falling out, NOT because I have poor hygeine, but because of this damn cleft palate. I worry if I’m going to lose them during my next meal, or if they’ll just come out for the heck of it. Family is going to help me pay for this, because they know how important this is for me, and how much it would improve my well-being. I don’t like it, but I should be grateful that I have people who care that much about me.

Aetna finally caved in after at least 6 months of me and the secretary badgering them, and when I threatened to take Aetna to court over their refusal. They still left me with $800 dollars to pay myself, but they swallowed the rest. I hope it hurt them going down. I don’t have that insurance anymore. Not after screwing around with me like that. I’d say ALL of the healthcare companies act just like that, though they’d deny it. They’re welcome to prove me wrong. Maybe they’d like to cover my expenses this time around, just to show that they perhaps DO care about their customers instead of how much money they’re bleeding off us.

In closing, I don’t want anyone’s damn money. I just shared some of my issues because I am only one of far too many who are in the ‘surplus population’ that don’t get the things they depserately need to have a decent existence. We’re human beings too, and it’s about time we were treated as such.

Muslim American Flag

Image via Wikipedia

There are times when certain segments of the American population really disgust me. I am sure everyone has seen this absurd brouhaha over the show ‘All American Muslim‘ and how a passel of ignorant, inbred hicks in Florida pressured big name companies to drop their advertising because Muslims were not being prtrayed as murderous terrorists. Fine. If people want to scream ‘freedom of speech’ till the cows come home, go right ahead. You can go declare to the world what a hateful, intolerant bigot you are, and I ALSO have the right to think you’re a bunch of  small-minded morons. Oh, and I can say that too, because it’s MY freedom of speech.

Lowe’s can go shove it, along with all the other companies that caved in gutlessly to these religious lunatics. I won’t set foot in their stores again, not after this. The Arab/Muslim community has been around for decades in Dearborn, Michigan, and now all of a sudden a pack of yahoos insist they’re bloodthirsty killers, claiming that they’re lying about Islam. Lowe’s gave the pathetic excuse that they only dropped their ads because they thought it was a ‘bad show’. Not good enough, sweetheart. There are more holes in that defense than a piece of Swiss cheese. Try giving an honest answer for once. People may actually thank you for it.

So, let me try and understand this. According to the Florida nutters, ALL Muslims all over the world, are evil, vicious terrorists, and Christians like them are saintly, pure and virtuous. Do I look like an idiot to you? They actually expect someone like me to swallow that half-arsed argument without hesitation? The purpose of doing a show like ‘All American Muslim’ was to show that they are HUMAN BEINGS just like the rest of us, not some monstrous race. They are as American as you or I, regardless of their faith. And to insinuate that non-Christians are less worthy of being called American turns my stomach. This country is NOT a Fundamentalist Christian theocracy and it NEVER will. All those companies who bowed to the threats and abuse of a tiny, loudmouthed horde of religious bullies should be ashamed of themselves. They are cowards who did it to save their own hides rather than stand up with their own moral convictions. They would rather kiss the backsides of raving fanatics than do what is morally right.

I have a counter proposal for the network who put out ‘All American Muslim’. How about you do a show on those militas out there, or those extreme Christian groups? How about YOU chronicle their daily lives, WITHOUT censoring a thing and see who is more violent? How come we don’t see a show about the daily lives of militas who hate the current President and wish him dead, or advocate government overthrow? Problem is, the networks don’t have the rocks to do it. They’re too cowardly to even consider it and I think it’s a shame.

I say boycott the Florida Family Association. Boycott intolerance, willfull stupidity, and right-wing ideologues.  I don’t want their ilk near me or my family. I don’t want their hatred and rabid ideology infesting my community. They are a public disgrace and should be held in contempt for their atrocious behavior.

Neko (cat) love <3

Here's a picture of Aimee saying hi. She's so ...

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I want to visit Japan. I think Japan has to have the most devoted cat lovers in the world and I want to see them. There are several examples why. Biggest one has to be Basil Yuen Farrow, that marshmallowy cute Scottish Fold who belongs to La Carmina. I mean, how can you NOT love that cute, round owly face?

Next on my love list is Maru, who is also a big cuddly squishball I want to hug. Maru is famous for diving into and through carboard boxes and his exploits recorded to YouTube. Yes, I follow him on YouTube. He just makes me laugh with his antics and because he’s so darn cute! He has a HUGE following—he should get on Twitter so he can promote his cuteness even more. Just discovered something else–Maru has his own book! William Morrow publishes it. I want it now.

Oh. How could I also forget Shiro? Shiro is also a feline YouTube star who has me giggling madly because he is……just so Shiro. He’s so zen I want to know his trick for being so calm and mellow. It would do wonders for my stress levels. His human likes to put him and his friends in various settings, with various assorted objects balanced on his head or front paws. Like oranges. Sometimes I swear he’s sound asleep while it’s done. I was particularly amused when he was sporting the radishes on his head. I about fell off my chair laughing because he didn’t even move! I think they’re hilarious, but then again, I adore cats, so just about any cat makes me happy.

There are SOOOO many cat videos from Japan that you have to sort through, though. They really love their cats, and it makes me feel so warm inside, because I don’t think they’d care that much if the animals meant that much to them personally. You can see how much love goes into their individual stories, why they felt it was worth posting online, why they wanted to share their furry companion with the world. I feel as if I’ve made a hundred new furry friends through watching. Maybe I’m silly. Maybe I’m a crazy cat lady in training (which is entirely likely). And not a bad thing after all, when you think about it.

On love…

Tibetan endless knot

Image via Wikipedia

No one person, group, or faith has sole provenance over love.  It exists on its own quite well, I think. People are always trying to corner the market on love, creating doctrines and legislations and laws on love, but really, it’s stupid.

Love is always, ALWAYS going to exist, no matter what people try to do to it. They can try to claim it’s THEIR sole factor that makes THEM better than everyone else but in all honesty, they’re being pretty ridiculous. How would you feel if someone declared to your face you can only love these kinds of people because ‘they said so’ or ‘their religious doctrine said so’?

I’d probably burst out laughing, because it’s so incredibly ABSURD. It’s like telling the ocean it can only make waves at 6 AM on a Tuesday afternoon when the sun is out. It is a FORCE OF NATURE. You cannot impose doctrine or dogma on a force of nature. You cannot force love into a shape it was never meant to fit because it HAS NO FORM to begin with.

Love is like the Universe; it just IS. It just exists, it doesn’t belong to ANYONE. We are all exposed to love, and we either allow it in, or we deny it.

Some would use the false argument that ‘some forms of love are abominations’, and would force us to swallow that lie, beat us down with ominous railings and ravings of how wrong it is. The moment one forbids love, TRUE love, they have engendered an abomination. They are saying that love is ‘only for certain people’, not everyone. THAT is reprehensible. That is amoral. That is declaring that another living being is not worthy of being loved. If we are ALL creations of the Divine, to deny love to just one is to deny it to every single living being. THAT is an abomination. I’ll give you some examples of perversions of love. When a woman is forced to marry her rapist because religion says so. When a spouse is forced to remain in a violent relationship against their will because religion dictates divorce is evil. When a parent abuses their own spouse and children. When a parent disowns their own child because that child didn’t turn out the way the parent wanted, according to some personal doctrine. You don’t do that to your own flesh and blood. You don’t tell your own child you wish they died because they chose a different life than the one you have. That is not ‘tough love‘–that is unadulterated EVIL. There is NO argument to support such things. You can try and prove me wrong, but I think you’ll have a very hard time justifying yourself.

‘Obey me without question and I will love you’ is not love. ‘Only followers of THIS ideology are worthy of love’ is not love. ‘Love me or I’ll kill you’ is not love. Blind, unthinking obedience is not love. You need to be able to think for yourself in order to love. You need to have a soul in order to love. When you give up everything that makes you a human being for blind dogma, you kill a part of yourself and you kill love. Love, like nature, is NOT a rational creature. Logic has no bearing on love, because it operates outside the box.

Having faith should not be the prerequisite to be able to love one another. Faith is completely beside the point, because I’ve met plenty of very religious people who are also the most hateful, intolerant bigots I’ve had the misfortune to encounter. They consider themselves very caring, devout people, and I’m sure they are in their own view, but they are also very narrow-minded and censorious. I have also met devoutly religious folks who are so filled with spirit they care about everything and everyone. We may have different faith, but we can embrace one another because we both have the capacity for love. I have met people who have no faith whatsoever and believe our life, once lived, is it. Yet they are loving, caring people because they believe that it’s the right thing to do. There are those who have no faith who are complete misanthropes and live to make others as miserable as they. There are all kinds of people.

I really don’t care what one looks like, as long as they can love another human being for who they are. I don’t care what faith or not they have, as long as they can love. That’s what makes us human. Love does not discriminate, PEOPLE do. We do this to ourselves, when we try to tell others how to live their lives, when one group of people arbitrarily decides how others MUST live, else be condemned. Love is a law unto itself. Love sees past everything, straight into our souls. We may be blind to love at times, but love sees all.

Goodness Bliss

Image via Wikipedia

This was something I shared with firnds on Facebook, but I’d like to share with all of you.

Like love, I think goodness is a universal trait. We all have the capability for goodness, it’s just a matter of whether we CHOOSE to use it, express it, or share it. It is not a sign of weakness, as some misanthropic sourpusses believe.

Goodness is what makes us all better people. It’s what makes us see the world with intense clarity ,and sometimes that can be a hard thing to bear. Sometimes we want to be selfish and not care about others, but that’s not a failing, it’s part of our human nature.

I like being good to other people who need it, because it make ME feel good, to be honest. There are some who try to use our good natures for their own selfish gain, but in the end, they only end up hurting others and themselves. Being good to others should not be something to ridicule, because it is an indication that we have a soul, a conscience, and have the willingness to love. It’s not a duty, it’s something that comes directly from our own hearts.

Goodness owes no allegiance to ANYONE, or any group, most of all, any faith. No one owns the ability to be good; it’s within all of us, and as I stated in the beginning, we all can choose to use it or not. Being good to others in the hopes a Deity will give us higher status in heaven completely cancels out the whole meaning of it all. You either mean it, body and soul, when you do good, or you don’t at all. There is no middle ground when it comes to this issue. Deception doesn’t work in this situation.

Doing good makes the universal soul better, and in doing that, makes each of us better people.

Where I’ve been……

There is no fear, until we make it up.

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I haven’t written in over a month because of a certain issue that has been giving me a lot of grief lately. And has been, for many years now. Truth is, I’m at my wit’s end over how to deal with it, because I don’t seem to have much legal recourse.

I have a stalker. An online stalker, who has been following me around the internet for years now, who thinks he’s just trying to maintain old friendships. He thinks we’re best buddies, pals, amicable ex-lovers. He doesn’t get it. He has tracked down my e-mails, found me on Facebook, on Twitter (using various accounts), other social media outlets. I thought he would get the hint that my not replying to his letters, his messages and such would be enough for him to leave me alone. I begged the acquaintances I had before I moved to NOT tell him where I had gone, but he found me anyhow. Not long after being in my new home, I began getting letters from him. ‘Miss you’ cards, chummy letters about the ‘good old days’ when we were together. How he hasn’t seen anyone since breaking up with me. Some I read. Most I threw out in the trash.

Do you know what this does to someone? The kind of fear it plants inside, wondering when the letters become more than letters, become demands, finding your e-mail accounts hacked, gifts showing up unasked for on your steps? The latter hasn’t happened, not yet, but I dread that it will one day.

The letters came every couple of months, then maybe one a year. I thought it had stopped, until I began getting e-mails from him. It frightened me a lot at first, because I was wondering how he got hold of it. The downside of social media, of course. What was I supposed to do? Become a literal hermit? Cut off all ties with everyone, even delete this blog (which I had actually considered in order to keep him from contacting me)? I have every bloody right to be here, share my thoughts, have an online presence without having to be stalked by some loser who can’t let go of the past. I am not going to curl up and hide because of this; I shouldn’t be forced to hide because of this.

I had never been in ANY kind of relationship till him, never knew what I was getting myself into. I never had those kinds of ‘girl talks’ with friends or my mom. I was utterly clueless and it makes me wonder if my naievete was the reason why the relationship blew up the way it did. He still thinks he did absolutely NOTHING wrong. Oh, I must be a silly, hysterical female, looking to blow everything out of proportion, or that I’m a pathological liar, or any other number of reasons to blame ME for this mess, rather than the opposite.

I haven’t dated in years. I’m afraid to get close to any guy now, out of fear they’ll just try to abuse me for their own personal gratification. It has all but destroyed whatever sense of trust I ever had in people. I was plagued with nightmares of getting menacing letters, or being followed by cars, having people say they saw someone looking for me where I work. I even appealed to WordPress for help about this, but they’ve given me absolutely squat in terms of help or support. This is my last resort. If posting this doesn’t do the trick, I don’t know what will. I fear he will seek retribution by smearing me online, making up ugly lies about me, posting pictures to destroy my reputation, anything to get revenge. It left me so enraged I was nearly hysterical.

So, there you have it. No one should have to go through this kind of garbage. No one should have to live in fear of someone they don’t love and want out of their lives. I want my life back, free of those who would keep me under their foot through intimidation. Enough is enough.

Bronze wall mural dedicated to the fallen fire...

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No doubt this is going to rub people the wrong way, but I’ve reached a point where I can’t be silent about it anymore. No doubt there will be umpteen million memorials next week to honor the horrors of that day. It’s become a figure of speech in only 10 years–I think you folks know what I’m referring to. Yes, it’s 9/11. I wish I could just sleep throug that day, not have to revisit the nightmarish images plastered across every media outlet. Plug my ears in defiance so as not to hear the awful memories. It’s not that I don’t honor those who died, it’s what’s being done in their names that makes me want to scream.

We in America have been brainwashed into believing 9/11 is strictly and AMERICAN tragedy, it belongs ONLY to Americans, and that all memorials need to be conducted in conservative Christian format. Funny how it was the WORLD Trade Towers, not the American Trade Towers that were hit, and yet this country would have everyone believe ONLY white Christians died in this abomination. And people have swallowed that lie, hook, line and sinker, without reservation.

People from all over the world worked in those towers, were on those planes used as weapons, but we are made to see only a certain percentage of people have suffered the most. Every memorial out there is saturated with right-wing Christian rhetoric, crosses are the only acceptable religious symbol to be honored at these memorials, all the prayers said are unquestionably Christian. People would be raging in the streets if a rabbi gave any kind of Jewish prayer for the departed, or any other faith. Certainly not Muslim, because American has been successfully indoctrinated that every single living Muslim on the planet is a terrorist, even a baby, because they could be raised to be a terrorist. How many people of other faiths died that day and we can’t even be bothered to honor them? How is it we only respect the Americans who died, but everyone else is just garbage? When we disrespect one, we disrespect all who died. Shame on us.

9/11 has become the best propaganda tool for the crazy evangelicals ever. They couldn’t have asked for a better tool if they’d prayed for it, and the worst thing is, people are eating up their lies like hotcakes. We think it’s the height of patritoism to engage in racial/religious discrimination in the name of security, all the while allowing other dangerous types run rampant. We Americnas think all Muslims are terrorists but the sicko who murdered Dr. George Tiller is a HERO. That’s the mentality we revere in this country now. We celebrated when that lunatic pastor down in Florida was burning Qurans, but turned a blind eye to when a mosque, whose people had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with terrorism was vandalized ad burned. Heck, people thought it was a public service, for the criminals to destroy that house of worship. We are truly sick if we think that kind of behavior is upright, patriotic action. Shame on us. Shame.

Everyone suffered that day. People of every race, of ethnicity, of culture, disability, gender, religion, what have you. I could make a list forever. Everyone lost something that day. This tragedy belongs to the entire planet and it should be what draws us together in shared grief, in the ability to comfort one another, to work together in order to become stronger. Instead we have become paranoid, rabidly xenophobic, rabidly religious, and vindictive. We demonize one another now over the stupidest things, we think that being evangelical Christian and adhere to Tea Party rhetoric is the ONLY true American and that any other is treasonous and unpatriotic.

You should also read about what happened on September 15, 2001. A man by the name of Balbir Singh Sodi was murdered. A legal immigrant, shot in cold blood by a crazed ‘patriot’, who wanted to kill anyone he thought looked Muslim. Mesa, Arizona. That’s where it happened. No one cares about it. No one knows about it, because it wasn’t a white person being murdered, but someone who didn’t look American. You can thank 9/11 for all the hate crimes that took place after the attack. Maybe some of you shared in that hatred of anyone who didn’t fit into what America should look like. Maybe you grew a conscience since then and tried to educate yourselves about your prejudices. I hope so. I pray that you do.

Everyone suffered that day. My brother in law worked a block or so away from the Towers when they were hit and saw everything. It affected him. My sister almost went into the city that day, but other things prevented her from doing so. I had relatives who worked downtown that we couldn’t reach, leaving me and my family nearly hysterical. In Washington, DC, my youngest sister was attending college and there was the flight that struck the Pentagon. I went nuts, not able to reach her for days. For almost a year after, I would get nervous every time I saw a plane fly overhead, or if I was in a tall building. I had nightmares of the uncensored footage of the aftermath, of what the rescue personnel witnessed, of all those lives lost. I felt so useless that I wanted to die myself. I couldn’t serve in the military because of my disabilities, I didn’t have the right kind of skills to train for paramedical service, and I wanted so badly to trade places with any of the victims so they could be with their loved ones again. My own existence was pointless, because I was still alive and I hadn’t contributed anything.

I am going to try and make it clear to everyone: this was a WORLD tragedy. On that day, the whole world was attacked, not just one tiny portion. It may have happened in America, but it affected the whole planet. We need to recognize that fact. It’s about time we stopped building walls and began building bridges. You can’t get from one place to another with a wall blocking your path, you reach your destination by crossing a bridge. I will not live in fear, I will not live under the domination of religio-political ideologues who infest the airwaves, and I will not be a slave to intolerance. That’s how it is for me. What about you?

Smoking irritates me

I took this photograph.

Image via Wikipedia

If you want a quick way of turning me off completely, just light one up in my presence. I may actually puke in reaction. I don’t hate the person; it’s the habit that I hate. I just find the sight of smoke oozing out of a person’s mouth and nostrils so utterly revolting it triggers my gag reflex. Dragons I can understand, because some of them evidently breathe fire, but humans….not something I really am accustomed to seeing.

Thanks to my lovely deformed nasal passages, I have a great deal of difficulty breathing as it is, and when I inevitably have to pass through a gauntlet of smokers right outside the doors to buildings (yeah it’s supposed to be enforced, but don’t you dare say that to a smoker. Last time I did politely, the person threatened to beat the crap out of me, despite my streaming eyes and gasping for breath). I gave up on that effort. Also because of my condition, it’s permanently ruined my sense of smell and taste. I can taste the smoke, though, and it makes me ill. This nasty, metallic-rancid flavor that I can’t get rid of for hours, no matter what I eat or drink to eliminate it. Note to guys: don’t ever smoke if you wish to date me, because as soon as I see you with a cancer-stick hanging from your slack lips, I’m splitting. Not to mention I consider it a major flaw when it comes to a potential romantic interest. I am not going to make out with an overflowing wet ashtray, which is how I picture what it must be like to kiss a smoker. Ugh. Despite my ravaged nose, I am able to detect very strong odors, and some  people think they can disguise it by chugging mouthwash, breath mints, or wearing lots of perfume to disguise the stink of their cigarettes.

From the start, I just never understood what was so beautiful and attractive about smoking. Maybe for some it made them look bold, or tough, or dangerous, but for me, it just made me ill. I got mocked in college because I didn’t drink, smoke, or do drugs–I was the freak in their eyes, and I remained defiant in that stance.

It’s a costly habit too, and I just cannot fathom how people who are extremely low income just HAVE to have their cancer sticks. They could go without nutritious food, or pay their bills, but they have to have their cigarettes above all else. Why should I feel pity for them? They could be saving so much if they gave up the habit (which I know is VERY hard to break), but they’d rather go broke than give up their habit. I just don’t get it. I’ve seen people’s teeth get all nasty, yellowish-orange, with a grey tinge and think it’s so gross. Some have the money to get their teeth capped, to hide the rot, but they still look fake.

I know I’m making people angry with my opinions, but I feel I’m entitled to voice them, since I also breathe the same air as them. I have acquaintances who do smoke, nearly all my coworkers do, but they also have enough conscience to not do it in my face, or if I’m outside with them, they make sure they’re downwind of me. I’ve developed allergies recently too, and smoke is one thing that sets me off violently.

When I said smoking is an unattractive habit, it’s not just to the person, but the environment they inhabit. I see butts all over the entranceways to buildings, on the ground, all over the beach, in parks. I see them flicking their butts out of car windows (some inconsiderate moron used my first car’s hood as an ashtray once—I would’ve pulped the guy if I’d caught him), puffing away with the windows cracked a fraction with kids in the car. I see mammas sucking away on their ciggies while bottle-feeding their babies and the babies are coughing up a storm trying to feed. Heaven forbid you tell them to stop when the kid is clearly suffering from all that exposure to cigarettes.

Pets suffer too, from the effects of smoking. I briefly shadowed at a local vet clinic and met a very unhappy cat with the unfortunate name of Lucky. Lucky was suffering from chronic lung inflammation and asthma, not to mention the poor fellow was obese. His lung problems were the result of his owners smoking like out of control locomotives, and the vet warned them to improve Lucky’s environment or he’d likely die. Just listening to this poor cat wheezing and laboring for every breath was a physical pain for me. His owners didn’t believe their smoking was killing him. Animals are so much more susceptible to the chemicals from cigarettes than people, because they’re a lot smaller than we are and it impacts their systems at a greater scale due to their size. Most people never give this any thought, but I do.

Why does this habit bother me so much? My grandfather, who died last year, died from a combination of exposure to asbestos and being a smoker for over half his life. I saw him a week before he passed, and he could barely breathe on his own. Ultimately, it’s up to each person–if they want to smoke, I’m not going to stop them. They’re going to do it regardless of what I do, or to simply spite me. I’d just like people to have a little more consideration of the world around them before they add to it, for better or worse.

Fast as a hummingbird

Female Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Gadsden Co. FL

Image via Wikipedia

I had an incredible experience last week, in my own backyard. I keep thinking of the phrase ‘infinity in a grain of sand’, and it really did feel that way, for a brief moment of my life. My back patio is a veritable Eden in the capital region of New York. It’s due to my father’s passion for gardening, and because he put so much love into it, it draws so much life into it.

My joy of late, over this summer, has been watching the hummingbirds visit the flowers on my patio. I do believe we have two mated pairs of ruby-throated hummingbirds that have staked out my backyard, leading to some heated confrontations over the feeder. They excite me, because they’re so quick, these gilded bits of life that flit across my field of vision. it’s like seeing rainbows; for me, they bring me such a sense of pleasure. i have yet to be able to capture one with a camera; I’m just not that agile with a telephoto lens.

The past few weeks have been brightened by these little dynamos racing across my yard, visiting the feeder, the flowers, and the environs. One evening, I was in my room working on yet another jewelry project when I spotted one hovering about one of the oleanders. I watched it for a good five minutes before getting up and making my way to the patio. Carefully, I went out, moving quietly so as to not frighten away my winged visitor. It was a female this time, her back a viridescent shimmer. I knew she saw me, for she had angled her body so as to keep watch on me while she feasted on the flowers. I moved closer, trying to contain my excitement and then it happened.

My little visitor swooped right up to me, just inches away from my face and my breath caught. She regarded me with these tiny onyx bead eyes, first one side, then the other. She was so close I could hear the sound of her wings, like miniature power fans as she considered whether I was friend or foe. My heart was beating like those delicate wings, so awestruck was I by this encounter. It felt like eternity, and yet it was no more than a brief moment. It filled my whole world, my entire thoughts and yet it was just this miniscule beauty before me.

And before I knew it, it was over. She soared away, perhaps as overcome with it all as I was. I felt as if I’d been picked up, shaken vigorously, and set back down; nothing was the same. It was very like a religious experience for me, because it makes me tremble inside, my throat closes up with tears of joy. It makes me look at the world in a whole new perspective, because it wasn’t me judging this delicate creature, but vice versa. I don’t know what birdish thoughts she was having, but I’d like to think she was satisfied that I’d do her no harm. Maybe she was as curious of me as I was of her. My mind was racing as fast as her wings beat, as her heart raced. After she left me, I raced around the house, whooping with excitement because I’d never had this happen to me before, and it was simply glorious. Every moment like this is like something greater reaching into the mundane world to awaken a part of us we never knew existed. My little feathered tourist left a trail of emerald shimmer in my mind, in my dreams.

Husband beating his wife

Image via Wikipedia

I’ve been doing some more thinking over how the extreme right is trying to hold marriage hostage because of gays. Coming down to it, a marriage license is issued by local governement, NOT religious institutions. You can have as many religious wedding ceremonies as you want, but what counts in a court of law is that documentation issued by the city hall.

They keep bringing up that the only true acceptable marriage is between one man and one woman, and it led me into some other thoughts. What if a marriage between one man and one woman turns out badly, that they are at such odds with one another that there is severe emotional, even physical suffering? Is it ethical to force that couple to remain together, depsite the facts that there is no love between them, that they do not want to be together? Does religion have the authority to force that couple to remain married, even when they are in such a state of misery? What if one of the spouses is abusive? What if we can see the evidence of that abuse on either the husband or wife? What if it’s a family? What of the children? Should the children be forced to live in a state of abuse and fear because a religion declares divorce a crime? Do we sit by and allow children to be tormented by domestic abuse? How about Warren Jeffs, then? A grown man with dozens of child brides, that doesn’t bother any of you? Gays getting married is monstrous, but adult men marrying little girls is no big deal, right?

All I hear over and over from the right is that gay marriage  is an abomination, a perversion, yada yada yada. Over and over again, about how evil gays are and how it’s destroying marriage. Really? Explain divorce rates in the Bible Belt, which are sky high. The heartland of morality, and yet how about all those children out of wedlock and single parents? What about the parents who molest their own children? Sure, ban gy marriage, but it’s okay with God for a father to assault his own children? or a husband who beats his wife and kids bloody–that’s good Christian values there. If the right is so concerned about marriage, why do they say NOTHING about these atrocities?!? Not a word. Nothing. I have yet to hear one evangelical condemn domestic violence, or demonize a wife-beater. If there has been such, please show me proof of it, because I’m apparently looking in the wrong places for that information.

Any man who expects me to be submissive is going to get socked in the face, because I don’t bow down to any man. I am not a slave to men, nor will I put up with ANYONE being treated in that fashion. The idea of a faith that would permit degradation and abuse of another human being, or any living being because their god said so is despicable. They regard family values so highly, yet have absolutely no idea of what it actually means. They think gays being allowed to adopt children is criminal, but how about all those kids in foster homes who are treated like garbage by those ‘foster parents‘? I don’t think all are bad, but there’s enough to taint the whole of it. They think kids raised by gay couples will be irrevocably and emotionally damaged, yet what of the kids in regulat heterosexual couples who have been abused horribly? That’s okay? The right is remarkably silent on this, I’ve noticed. Why is that? It’s more than marriage, when you give it the long view. It’s about people, it’s about respect, and frankly, there has been very little of that lately, for one another. It’s about fair treatment. Women are not simply subservient baby-factories for zealously religious men. Women are human beings too, and they deserve better than to be kept in a kind of pregnant slavery to a man. Any woman who believes that is blind and ignorant. I don’t think people realize how many different angles there are to this, because it’s not just gay marriage. It’s equality of the sexes, it’s about decent treatment of one another. It’s saying no to physical and emotional abuse. All of us deserve better.

Emotional survival skills

I have a problem that I really need a lot of advice to help me deal with it. Here’s my problem: I have a great deal of difficulty handling criticism.  There’s not a doubt that most people have a lot of difficulty with this same issue, but this is me and my problem. I have a very hard time not only trying to accept criticism, which I take very personally, but how to accept positive criticism. I think it’s a matter of seeing both in the same light, which is negative. My typical reaction is to take any kind of criticism as an indictment on my character, and that there’s no way for me to counter it. I get demoralized, I get very upset, and I then am afraid to continue to do anything for fear of failure. As soon as I get singled out for a mistake, I take it to heart and end up snowballing it into my whole life. A clinically aloof part of me realizes this is very distorted thinking, that it’s unrealistic and irrational, but my emotionally sensitive part seems to overrule any logical thought pattern. I seem to put my emotions over rationality and this is where my problems come from. Here’s another aspect to all of this. I have abysmal self-esteem. I don’t view myself in very kind terms, and I’m the first in line to beat myself up over something. I’m always apologizing for whatever I say, expecting to offend everyone for simple as opening my mouth to speak. I am very much my own worst enemy in practically everything, and it’s a not a good place to be. For that matter, it’s not emotionally healthy to live like this, because of the corrosive negativity of the way I treat myself. It’s not a good way to live, frankly.

I don’t know how to handle this. I’m not sure what I should be doing to counter the negative thought processes, because I’ve never really even made any attempts to do so. How do I begin to change my behavior when it comes to someone offering criticism, even if done in a beneficial manner? I think it’s more than just ‘well just stop thinking that way’. This is a learned behavior for me, so it’s a matter of reprogramming my thoughts, if you will.

In regards to positive steps forward, the obvious one is that I realize my actions are irrational. I’ve been able to see that the way I’m thinking doesn’t mesh with the situation, so now comes how to fix that matter. The old bitter standard of ‘suck it up and get over it’ I think is incredibly antiquated and unhelpful. It doesn’t give you any sort of instruction for how to deal with a situation. It’s inflexible and unforgiving, making no distinction of circumstance.

This isn’t a matter of babying someone, or coddling, or lowering standards. For some people, it’s very hard to deal with others because of certain life experiences. When someone has spent a good portion of their life feeling they are worthless, depressed, being emotionally abused, anything one could say could be taken in the wrong way. In my own experience, I saw myself as incompetent, stupid, ugly and useless. I really thought I was a dumb, pathetic creature that was past hope of any recovery. It’s taken me a long time to see this is wrong thinking, but I am now at a stage where I can see it for myself. It’s nowhere near a perfect process, but I now need to find ways of improving my life, because I have to. I can’t go through the rest of my life afraid of everything. How do you cope with these sorts of feelings? Do you have any ideas or advice that might be helpful for someone like me? What would you do if you were in my place, things you might do differently. As the title says, it’s emotional survival skills that I need to develop in order to keep going in this crazy world. I have no intentions of caving in to my nightmares. I mean to fight.


Viktor Oliva: The Absinthe Drinker. The origin...

Image via Wikipedia

This is my project for this soon-approaching Halloween. I typically handle door duty handing out candy to the kids (and occasionally rude, drunk college kids). I love doing this in costume, and I frankly don’t care how old I am. This year’s idea is quite ambitious, and I would really love to see if I can make this happen.

So, this is what I want to do. I plan on dressing up as the Green Fairy, steampunk style. Now, to educate you on the Green Fairy, it’s a reference to the euphoric drink, absinthe, which is a lovely shade of green. One of its euphemisms was the ‘Green Fairy’. When talking to my sister, who is a seamstress extraordinaire, we thought it might be fun to put a twist on the character, and absinthe certainly has a niche in the steampunk genre.

The main feature of the costume I believe will be a corset. I am either going to have to have one custom made (which I know will be obscenely expensive), or find one and embellish it. My sister won’t be able to make me one, because she has her hands full already with her family, and I have no intentions of overburdening her with something like this. So. I need to come up with a style for it, what colors of green I plan to use, accessories to be used for this project. I also am pondering some kind of wings with a mechanical aspect, and that’s going to be a bit tricky as well. I thought maybe some kind of knickers with striped tights would be a fun bit, and add a bustle feature to the knickers/bloomers. I’ve only a few preliminary sketches at the moment, so I’m not anywhere with a concrete idea. One thing I think will be part of it are long gloves. I do believe I have a pair somewhere in my closet that go past my elbows, and I thought maybe cutting off the fingers to them might be a nice look. Some kind of intricate necklace or collar would be a nice addition as well, maybe coordinating bracelets over the gloves? Not sure about a hat; I thought I’d just play up my hair in some kind of tousled style with some jeweled clips. I think the metallic elements should be a brass or antiqued gold color. As for the green, I’ll need to play around with it. Maybe go based on the color of absinthe? I thought the corset might be nice with some kind of metal fasteners up the front. The wings would need some kind of strapwork which could be worked into the corset, either separately or incorparated into the design. The wings might be interesting to be rudimentary, combining the mechanical with the organic in the form of a metal frame and feathers.

I am going to put out a call for artists out there who could possibly help me with this, because I very much want to see this come to fruition. This is a serious challenge, and I really want to make it happen. I want to build this thing, but I would love some collaboration from fellow artists. Maybe we can do an exchange for pieces; I make something this artist doesn’t, they make something for me I’m not able to do. We both leave happy, knowing our work has gotten out there and is appreciated. I want to read your ideas in my comment section; pictures, what have you that you think would help me make this come to life. I’d love to meet fellow artists on WordPress and talk shop anyhow, so I think this would be a great opportunity to make some new connections.

First time I’ve reblogged someone, but it is utterly worth the read. A marvelous piece as well.

Adventures and Musings of an Arch Druidess

If you vote for Romney, you are not my friend because secretly or not so secretly you think I have no civil rights and further that I don’t deserve them for just being who I am. Romney coming out this week and saying gay people didn’t have the right to visit their partners in the hospital was the last straw for me and I can no longer ignore his ignorance and his evil and yes it is evil to be that bigoted and self righteous especially from a man whose family fled to Mexico to avoid prosecution for polygamy with his 12 wives.

So let me tell you a few stories.

When I had my appendix out in 1986 they would not allow my partner in as my partner. She had to lie. Why should she have had to lie?

When Cam had his first seizure with brain cancer in…

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