Bag Lady

Sep. 27th, 2016 01:50 pm
missroserose: (Default)
I've been saying to people lately that I wish I had one of those "It has been XX days since our last workplace accident" signs, modified to fit my mental health. For the record, it has been 09 days since my last full-blown anxiety episode, and only one of those days started with the quick-trigger adrenaline response that heralds a bad day. Luckily it was a workday, so I was able to breathe through it until I got to the spa and got into the swing of things. Hurrah for working in a field that requires mindfulness and focus. (My friend the yoga teacher/Instagram happiness guru was telling me that she enjoys teaching yoga for much the same reason, and we compared notes on the similarity of the experience. When you have to hold that space for someone else, somehow the effort seems much less than when you're trying to do it for your self. I wonder if some of that is our brains' well-known ability to downplay their own problems, or if it's yet another example of how it's so much easier to go the extra mile for others than for ourselves. Maybe both.)

It's hard not to feel like a little bit of a drama queen for saying "I feel better" - it's not like I've been nonfunctional. Life has been fine, what with work and hanging out with friends, and even enjoying myself here and there. There's just been a cyclically encroaching-and-receding-and-reencroaching cloud of dread hanging over a lot of it, which makes it hard to find that deep-seated gratitude and joy in life that marks the really good days. But despite the relative lack of difference from an outward perspective, I do feel deeply and fundamentally better of late, so I'm going to own that. It's good to be feeling better! Even this insane election hasn't managed to cast a pall; I'm not sure if that's the effects of the changing seasons (hurrah for fall!), or me getting better at accepting things, or what. But I'll take it.

Another potential contributor has been my latest project. To wit: after seeing this post on Facebook, I decided on a whim to gather supplies to make 100 bags to take down to the local homeless encampments. (Aside: I find the term "blessing bag" to be a little twee and condescending, but I haven't been able to think of anything to replace it with. Does anyone have suggestions? End of aside.) My gut told me that having something positive to focus on would help me regain some sense of control and contribution, and I was willing to trust that feeling, even if it wasn't likely to effect any real change in the grand scheme of things.

Unfortunately, my gut does not understand finances well, and initially I was worried that my plans had been far too over ambitious. Toothpaste, deodorant, toothbrushes, maxi pads, and even condoms are all relatively cheap in bulk, but stuff like high-quality granola bars and wool socks (winter is coming, after all) add up fast, and while I don't begrudge the money for the needy, there's only so much I can justify shelling out while still sticking to our saving-for-a-house budget. To my surprise, though, when I started spreading the word in hopes people would come over Sunday and help me assemble the bags, I got lots of offers of financial help as well. One friend found a great deal on the socks, another sent me a contribution that ended up almost perfectly covering the granola bars, and other folks have been sending smaller-but-cumulatively-helpful amounts as well, or ordering things off our Amazon list. All that, plus several folks have offered to come help assemble the bags, when originally I had expected maybe one or two. I feel a little bit like my life has turned into the Stone Soup parable; one of the contributors even thanked me for having the idea and putting things together so she could do something to help. I'm more than a little humbled by the experience. And I think Sunday's going to be a lot of fun.
missroserose: (Masquerade)
I hosted guests for a week...and survived. I guess that means we're officially moved in.

Granted, our guests - my dear friend CJ and my mother - were lovely people. And we had a fine time together. Friday CJ took us to the Matt Nathanson concert, where I discovered that [a] concerts at venues within a mile of your home are awesome, and [b] to his credit, Mr. Nathanson plays just as hard to a small college-town crowd as he does to a big-city sold out one. (Personally, I kind of preferred our experience in Tempe - less crowding, more intimate, and the opening act was rather better - but I know a sold-out crowd is far better financially/reputation-wise for the performer, so I can't really complain too much. And it was sure nice to be able to just walk the half-mile home afterward rather than having to book a hotel/drive four hours the next day.) Saturday Mum came in, and CJ and I took her coat-shopping; somewhat amusingly, she couldn't find anything she liked but I found one I quite liked for $165 that goes rather well with my new look (more on that in a moment). Sunday we had early-Thanksgiving dinner. And Monday Mum and I took the train up to Evanston to see the Ba'ha'i House of Worship.

That last was an experience I'd almost describe as "surreal", except that has negative overtones that are completely inappropriate. The building itself is architecturally stunning, but what the pictures don't quite get across is the sheer...well, glory of it. Some of it is the size - looking at it on Google Maps gives an idea, though it's entirely different seeing it in person. The presentation, too, is amazing; even with the reflecting pools and fountains drained and garden pruned back for winter, the afternoon sun hitting the white-quartz concrete exterior is enough to make it painful to look at without sunglasses. And the interior...I don't have pictures of my own as they disallow photography, but frankly I wouldn't want to post them anyway, because they can't do it justice. It's not just that the decorations and calligraphed stonework are visually amazing, but the use of light, the symmetry of the design, and the amazing acoustics (we arrived during the 12:30 prayers and could hear each of the readers perfectly from the back to the front)...even for a not-particularly-religious pragmatist like me, it's the sort of place that induces a sense of elevation. Though I think my favorite thing about it is that, unlike certain analogues from other religions I've been to, they have signs everywhere saying "All Are Welcome", and it truly feels that way - there's no cliquish sense of "oh, well, you're not a member of the club, you can't come inside, but here watch a video about how awesome our club is and if you join maybe we'll think about letting you in". It's a truly beautiful manifestation of what human dedication and love can do, and the people who built it want to share that sense of joy with everyone.

The surreal part kicked in on the way back, realizing that this place - this place that felt like it was not of this earth - was all of a forty-minute train ride away from my new home. The woman running the bookshop mentioned that the House of Worship Choir doesn't require you to be Baha'i in order to join; after seeing their venue I may well audition, just for the chance to sing there.

On a more earthly note, I've cut my hair short-short for the first time since early college, a good twelve years ago (gack). I never thought I'd go back to a pixie cut, as the one I had then made me look like a lollipop, but after seeing so many girls in the area it looked great on I thought I'd see what a real stylist (as opposed to the Supercuts one I had back then) would suggest. She came up with a great longish-on-top/layered look that works far better and helps balance out my cheekbones. (Though there was one stage partway through, before she started the thinning/layering, where my hair was sort of in a helmet shape that looked fabulously 60s mod. All I needed was a geometric-print or silver lamé minidress and white go-go boots and I would've been a perfect pink-haired Star Trek alien love interest.) I don't know if it's the skill of the stylist or the fact that I'm older and my face has more definition now (or both), but I look far less round-faced this time.

Similarly, the coat I mentioned earlier is a Kenneth Cole A-line black wool number with silver studs on the shoulders - a very 80s asexual silhouette, so it goes rather well with the hair. I find this fairly entertaining, since up until now I've been pretty unabashedly girly (even my t-shirts are form-fitting), but with this particular combination, walking through Boystown (the local gayborhood) the other day, I noticed a dude start to check me out until he got to my face. I guess it was time for a change. Though I've been joking with Brian that we can't move again, since every time we move my hair gets shorter and at this point I'd have to buzz it all off.

And on a more pragmatic note, now that I've gotten settled in, today is the day I start up HabitRPG and tracking my daily goals like yoga and guitar that I've been slacking off on (the former more than the latter, but still, my consistency's taken a hit). So it's off to go start correcting that. And possibly call the trapeze school about classes, and write a bit of the short story that's been bouncing around my head, and take other steps to start accomplishing things. I would say "wish me luck", but this is all entirely under my own purview, so instead...wish me motivation!
missroserose: (Not-So-Virgin-Rose)
Now, that's how you write an urban fantasy heroine!

Twenty pages in, I was completely in love with the main character of this series. Karou is her own person, with her own life, her own agency and decisions, and while not all of her decisions are good ones, she obviously values the fact that they are hers alone, and resents people who try to make them for her. She's the sort of independent female character many authors attempt to write, but relatively few actually manage. And when she does fall in love later, it's...well, not exactly on her own terms (does love ever come along on one's own terms?), but she has believable reactions to it.

My biggest complaint about this book as a whole is where it ends. Arguably that's not so important, as it's the launching of a series (and it works quite well on that level - the worldbuilding is fantastic), but to utilize Penny Arcade's example: Star Wars: A New Hope wouldn't be as good as it is if it ended before Luke blew up the Death Star. This book feels as if it ends just before, when all the X-Wings take off from the Rebel base. It's still incredibly well-written with some excellent characters and gorgeous worldbuilding, but the entire last third of the book is basically an extended flashback to other characters to fill in backstory, and we barely get a page more of Karou before the book just...ends. Given that she's the character we're supposed to (and do, in this case) care about the most, it's a little off-putting. I would have liked, too, to see a little more of Karou and her life in Prague before stuff got real (as the kids say these days).

Still, I'm willing to forgive that not-quite-minor flaw for the sake of the aforementioned worldbuilding and character development. And for the fact that the author has pink hair, as I discovered to my delight when the rear flap flipped open and I saw her picture. A-
missroserose: (Balloons and Ocean)
I'm not certain I can really review the movie version of Cloud Atlas properly. I loved the book so much that I've listened to/read it multiple times in the past couple of months, so I'm already fairly familiar with the various stories it presents. However, speaking as someone who did love the book (and shared in the author's doubts that it could be adapted at all, despite having watched the glorious trailer multiple times) I can say that, even with the necessary compression of each story for film, there were only a couple of places where the movie disappointed, and those were fairly minor.

I'm amused to see it hanging on to a 55 on Metacritic; honestly, that's about what I would have predicted. Personally, I will happily admit its flaws but feel it greater than the sum of its parts; however, in order to realize the latter aspect, one has to understand its individual parts, which for those not already familiar with the story would almost certainly require repeat viewings. And, of course, if you don't connect with the film on an emotional level, you're not likely to sit through its three-hour length again just to work out the details. On that level, therefore, it's something of a binary experience; you're either going to 'get' it intuitively, or you won't. Even if you don't, though, I'd argue that it's worth at least one viewing; the pacing is masterful (it truly doesn't feel like three hours aside from the inevitable bladder pressure) and combination of its ambition and cinematic mastery are both well worth appreciation.  Just don't go in expecting it to spoon-feed you a formulaic story, as I suspect a few of the critics did.

Anyway, that's the objective review/recommendation part done with, inasmuch as there is one. Now, much as I did with another rather ambitious adaptation a few years ago, it's discussion time! Following, some fairly detailed thoughts on what worked, what didn't, where the source material was better and where it manages to supersede the original work.

My thoughts below. Spoilery, and not really very sensical if you don't know the story, anyway. )

I'm interested in other folks' thoughts, so if you've seen the movie (or read the book), please comment.  (Disagreement is allowed, I promise. :)  And if you haven't, hurry up and go see it so we can talk about it! 
missroserose: (Psychosomatic)
Disclaimer: I was not present for this. However, my husband called me immediately after it took place, and he's not the sort of person to embroider the truth (much). And since he's unlikely to write it up himself, I'm preserving it here for posterity.

It's always a little worrying when you get a call from your significant other that starts out with "First off, don't worry, I'm fine and the car's fine." Which isn't to say I don't appreciate the disclaimer, but you know the following story's either going to be harrowing to listen to or a bit of a letdown. In this case, it was probably the former.

According to Brian, he was in Sierra Vista, gassing up our little BMW compact sedan when a dude pulls up to the pump in front of him in a giant pickup truck with Alaska plates. (Cultural point of note which will be relevant in a minute: in Alaska, it's actually mostly women who drive these trucks - I can't tell you how often I've seen some hopped-up Dodge with a Hello Kitty or swirly-logoed "Daddy's Girl" sticker on the rear window.) Guy gets out and starts fueling.

Brian, being a friendly sort, says "Hey, you from Alaska?" The guy's all "Yeah, I got transferred to Fort Huachuca last week." So of course Brian's all "Neat. I moved from there a few years ago." The dude kind of looks over at our car and goes "Hunh. So why do you drive that faggoty-ass BMW?"

Now, for those of you who don't know Brian well, he doesn't have what you'd call a temper. He's far too mature and confident about most aspects of his life to get angry easily, or to take offense at some dipshit's provocation. But there were two factors that (I suspect) contributed to his response here - [a] he's actually fairly proud of our car, and [b] some straight lines are just too good to pass up.

He answers, perfectly calmly, "That's funny. Coming from someone who's driving a girl's truck."

Now that had me cracking up already, but it gets even better. Again, according to him, the guy sort of stood there getting red in the face while Brian unperturbedly hangs up the gas nozzle and gets in the car. But just as he starts his engine, the dude jumps into his truck and starts revving the engine as if he's going to throw it in reverse and crash into the BMW.

I don't know whether he decides against it at the last second, or just puts the truck in the wrong gear, but instead he peels out of the lot, pulling the gas hose out of the station in the process.

And promptly T-bones a police car.

Needless to say, the police were Having Some Words with him shortly thereafter. Brian asked if he needed to stick around, but they told him they were fine, so he just drove on past, leaving the dude looking like a six-year-old who'd just gotten caught microwaving the family cat.
missroserose: (Psychosomatic)
Disclaimer: I was not present for this. However, my husband called me immediately after it took place, and he's not the sort of person to embroider the truth (much). And since he's unlikely to write it up himself, I'm preserving it here for posterity.

It's always a little worrying when you get a call from your significant other that starts out with "First off, don't worry, I'm fine and the car's fine." Which isn't to say I don't appreciate the disclaimer, but you know the following story's either going to be harrowing to listen to or a bit of a letdown. In this case, it was probably the former.

According to Brian, he was in Sierra Vista, gassing up our little BMW compact sedan when a dude pulls up to the pump in front of him in a giant pickup truck with Alaska plates. (Cultural point of note which will be relevant in a minute: in Alaska, it's actually mostly women who drive these trucks - I can't tell you how often I've seen some hopped-up Dodge with a Hello Kitty or swirly-logoed "Daddy's Girl" sticker on the rear window.) Guy gets out and starts fueling.

Brian, being a friendly sort, says "Hey, you from Alaska?" The guy's all "Yeah, I got transferred to Fort Huachuca last week." So of course Brian's all "Neat. I moved from there a few years ago." The dude kind of looks over at our car and goes "Hunh. So why do you drive that faggoty-ass BMW?"

Now, for those of you who don't know Brian well, he doesn't have what you'd call a temper. He's far too mature and confident about most aspects of his life to get angry easily, or to take offense at some dipshit's provocation. But there were two factors that (I suspect) contributed to his response here - [a] he's actually fairly proud of our car, and [b] some straight lines are just too good to pass up.

He answers, perfectly calmly, "That's funny. Coming from someone who's driving a girl's truck."

Now that had me cracking up already, but it gets even better. Again, according to him, the guy sort of stood there getting red in the face while Brian unperturbedly hangs up the gas nozzle and gets in the car. But just as he starts his engine, the dude jumps into his truck and starts revving the engine as if he's going to throw it in reverse and crash into the BMW.

I don't know whether he decides against it at the last second, or just puts the truck in the wrong gear, but instead he peels out of the lot, pulling the gas hose out of the station in the process.

And promptly T-bones a police car.

Needless to say, the police were Having Some Words with him shortly thereafter. Brian asked if he needed to stick around, but they told him they were fine, so he just drove on past, leaving the dude looking like a six-year-old who'd just gotten caught microwaving the family cat.
missroserose: (Book Love)
Like much of rural Arizona (i.e. places that are Not Phoenix), Bisbee's a pretty low-income area. The median household income here is just under $28K, or only a little over half the national average. Brian's and my household income took a huge hit when we moved here thanks to my un/underemployment, but we're still firmly in the top 25% of earners here. Additionally, there's little infrastructure or aid to be had from either local or state government; they'd all planned their budgets around the obscene property taxes they were collecting during the housing bubble, and are therefore still reeling from the sudden evaporation of that anticipated money. (Visiting Alaska made the contrast especially stark; they're both "frontier" states with some definite similarities in attitude, but Alaska has a well-funded and relatively well-managed government that actively works to build infrastructure and has numerous programs to help its rural areas. Arizona has far less cash coming in, and what does come in through taxes or grants from the Feds is almost exclusively kept within Maricopa County, a point of some resentment for the rest of the state.)

I'm not writing about this to complain; one of the things that I really love about this place is that, even without a lot of ready cash, people here do their best to pull together and make a community anyway. Lots of potluck dinners, lots of live music, lots of inexpensive classes for yoga or dance or art of all sorts. But there are absolutely some downsides, especially if you're a kid - geographic isolation, very few things to do, very little money for new programs - they can only afford to keep the schools open four days a week.

That's why I'm posting a link to this fundraiser for the Community Montessori School here in town. This is grassroots work at its finest - a bunch of people getting together and saying "This situation sucks. What can we do to change it?" and then actually working to change it. I know many of them personally, and have helped with the renovation work on on the house they're renovating - it's a beautiful building and is going to be a fabulous school. Additionally, Emily Munoff, the proposed director, is both eminently qualified and one of the sweetest and kindest people I know. They've been working on this project for four years, and they're getting very close to opening; hopefully this fundraiser will help put them over the edge.

One would hope that this goes without saying, but I'm not posting this with an inherent expectation of contributions from anybody, nor am I going to think less of anyone for passing on the opportunity. I don't think anyone in my LiveJournal friendslist lives in this area, so none of you have particularly close ties to what happens with the community here, and we all know how many worthy causes there are for any spare cash you might feel like donating. But I wanted to post it anyway, because it gives me heart to see people actively working to change a crappy situation, and perhaps to inspire others to do the same. They did it...maybe you can too.
missroserose: (Book Love)
Like much of rural Arizona (i.e. places that are Not Phoenix), Bisbee's a pretty low-income area. The median household income here is just under $28K, or only a little over half the national average. Brian's and my household income took a huge hit when we moved here thanks to my un/underemployment, but we're still firmly in the top 25% of earners here. Additionally, there's little infrastructure or aid to be had from either local or state government; they'd all planned their budgets around the obscene property taxes they were collecting during the housing bubble, and are therefore still reeling from the sudden evaporation of that anticipated money. (Visiting Alaska made the contrast especially stark; they're both "frontier" states with some definite similarities in attitude, but Alaska has a well-funded and relatively well-managed government that actively works to build infrastructure and has numerous programs to help its rural areas. Arizona has far less cash coming in, and what does come in through taxes or grants from the Feds is almost exclusively kept within Maricopa County, a point of some resentment for the rest of the state.)

I'm not writing about this to complain; one of the things that I really love about this place is that, even without a lot of ready cash, people here do their best to pull together and make a community anyway. Lots of potluck dinners, lots of live music, lots of inexpensive classes for yoga or dance or art of all sorts. But there are absolutely some downsides, especially if you're a kid - geographic isolation, very few things to do, very little money for new programs - they can only afford to keep the schools open four days a week.

That's why I'm posting a link to this fundraiser for the Community Montessori School here in town. This is grassroots work at its finest - a bunch of people getting together and saying "This situation sucks. What can we do to change it?" and then actually working to change it. I know many of them personally, and have helped with the renovation work on on the house they're renovating - it's a beautiful building and is going to be a fabulous school. Additionally, Emily Munoff, the proposed director, is both eminently qualified and one of the sweetest and kindest people I know. They've been working on this project for four years, and they're getting very close to opening; hopefully this fundraiser will help put them over the edge.

One would hope that this goes without saying, but I'm not posting this with an inherent expectation of contributions from anybody, nor am I going to think less of anyone for passing on the opportunity. I don't think anyone in my LiveJournal friendslist lives in this area, so none of you have particularly close ties to what happens with the community here, and we all know how many worthy causes there are for any spare cash you might feel like donating. But I wanted to post it anyway, because it gives me heart to see people actively working to change a crappy situation, and perhaps to inspire others to do the same. They did it...maybe you can too.
missroserose: (Show Your Magic)
This morning, my grandmother sent my mother one of the many iterations of the "Hiroshima vs. Detroit - 67 years later" email that's been going around, showing pictures of a glittering Japanese city set against some of the poorest and most run-down sections of Detroit and claiming that this was where the welfare state and Democratic politics in general had gotten us. The blatant confirmation bias, the complete disregard for the differences in culture and situation, and the demonstrable falsity of the email aside, my mother sent her back a couple of pictures of the Detroit skyline along with this response:

Mom, your message entitled "67 Years Later" is so one sided it was difficult for me to read. It showed a glistening, modern Hiroshima and photos of impoverished inner city Detroit. Please look at the photos of Detroit up above - doesn't look so bad, does it?

Anyone can make a situation look terrible by telling only one side of the story. Hiroshima was rebuilt by one of the biggest US bail outs in history. Guilt money for what we did to them in WWII. The Japanese did not rebuild it all by themselves! This message is absolutely ludicrous to suggest otherwise - and according to my daughter's web research the photos aren't even of Hiroshima, they are of Yokohama - a wealthy port city near Tokyo 420 miles EAST of Hiroshima!

While I do agree that an economic system that does not reward production will end in an economy that stagnates, I also believe that it is right and just to help each other - individually and collectively as a government.

The gap between the wealthy and the impoverished in this country is absolutely shameful. And it isn't just because the poor don't want to work or are always looking for a handout. Some very good people find themselves in a cycle of poverty because of things they can't help - like Hurricane Katrina or the 2009 Economic Crash that caused them to lose their jobs. That happened to me and I was fortunate that I had you and Rowland to take care of me when my job ended in 2009 due to no fault of my own. Some good people are still looking diligently for work two years after the crash and can't find it, while the rich keep on taking risks that shake the economy, e.g. JP Morgan's recent $2 billion fiasco.

Instead of sending around one-sided messages that wrongly blame the democrats for all our woes and smugly attempt to make the Republicans look like the only one's who are doing anything good for the country, I suggest you send out this link:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/20/it-aint-over-the-business-secret_n_1607385.html

It is about nine women who make a difference - and who have been quietly making a difference for 30 years. It is not political parties that change the world - it is people with caring hearts. Please Mom, be fair and don't forward one sided messages that only add to the anger and frustration in the world. Send out messages of hope that harm no one and help everyone. I am fine with you promoting a Republican agenda - but do it fairly, OK? Love, Faith
missroserose: (Show Your Magic)
This morning, my grandmother sent my mother one of the many iterations of the "Hiroshima vs. Detroit - 67 years later" email that's been going around, showing pictures of a glittering Japanese city set against some of the poorest and most run-down sections of Detroit and claiming that this was where the welfare state and Democratic politics in general had gotten us. The blatant confirmation bias, the complete disregard for the differences in culture and situation, and the demonstrable falsity of the email aside, my mother sent her back a couple of pictures of the Detroit skyline along with this response:

Mom, your message entitled "67 Years Later" is so one sided it was difficult for me to read. It showed a glistening, modern Hiroshima and photos of impoverished inner city Detroit. Please look at the photos of Detroit up above - doesn't look so bad, does it?

Anyone can make a situation look terrible by telling only one side of the story. Hiroshima was rebuilt by one of the biggest US bail outs in history. Guilt money for what we did to them in WWII. The Japanese did not rebuild it all by themselves! This message is absolutely ludicrous to suggest otherwise - and according to my daughter's web research the photos aren't even of Hiroshima, they are of Yokohama - a wealthy port city near Tokyo 420 miles EAST of Hiroshima!

While I do agree that an economic system that does not reward production will end in an economy that stagnates, I also believe that it is right and just to help each other - individually and collectively as a government.

The gap between the wealthy and the impoverished in this country is absolutely shameful. And it isn't just because the poor don't want to work or are always looking for a handout. Some very good people find themselves in a cycle of poverty because of things they can't help - like Hurricane Katrina or the 2009 Economic Crash that caused them to lose their jobs. That happened to me and I was fortunate that I had you and Rowland to take care of me when my job ended in 2009 due to no fault of my own. Some good people are still looking diligently for work two years after the crash and can't find it, while the rich keep on taking risks that shake the economy, e.g. JP Morgan's recent $2 billion fiasco.

Instead of sending around one-sided messages that wrongly blame the democrats for all our woes and smugly attempt to make the Republicans look like the only one's who are doing anything good for the country, I suggest you send out this link:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/20/it-aint-over-the-business-secret_n_1607385.html

It is about nine women who make a difference - and who have been quietly making a difference for 30 years. It is not political parties that change the world - it is people with caring hearts. Please Mom, be fair and don't forward one sided messages that only add to the anger and frustration in the world. Send out messages of hope that harm no one and help everyone. I am fine with you promoting a Republican agenda - but do it fairly, OK? Love, Faith
missroserose: (Show Your Magic)
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] tygenco_x at Sage Words
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] etcet at Sage Words
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] ceosanna at Sage Words
Posted/written by [livejournal.com profile] seanan_mcguire:

Dear girls of the world today;

There is nothing wrong with you.

Everything I see, everything I read, everything I hear, is geared toward telling you that something is wrong with you. You're too fat. You're too thin. Your skin is terrible. You look too young. You look too old. You're too smart, you're too dumb, you talk too much, you don't talk enough, you're broken, you're flawed, you're bad. And all those things are lies. They are exaggerations. They are designed to pick on the things you feel insecure about, and convince you that you will never be happy unless you force yourself into their standards of perfection.

They will tell you that you are weak; that girls can't deal with spiders or do math or love snakes or run nations or be scientists. They will tell you that you must be indecisive, flighty, more interested in the interests that are chosen for you than the ones that you choose for yourself. They will tell you that you have to change yourself to suit them, and then they will keep moving the goalposts, so that you're never done changing, and you're never allowed to be you. And they are wrong. They are so, so wrong, and you are better than the lies they tell you.

If you are a girl, you are a girl. Period, finish, end statement. It doesn't matter what you look like or what you enjoy doing. It doesn't matter what your biological gender is or was. It doesn't matter who or what or why you love. All that matters is that you love, and that you accept that you are you, and you are awesome.

It's okay if you love pink. Some girls genuinely do. I genuinely do. Once, we would all have been viewed as cross-dressing and weird for liking pink, which was a male color. Times change. If you want to own your own pinkness, do, and don't let anyone tell you that makes you less of a feminist.

It's okay if you hate pink. You're not denying your gender or letting down the side, or anything else like that. You're a person, and there are a lot of colors out there to fall in love with. I recommend orange, green, and anything that sears your retinas.

Frills and lace and high heels and makeup are all fine. So are denim and combat boots and tattoos. So is everything between those extremes.

Collect dolls or knives or books or interesting rocks. Watch horror movies or romances or cartoons. Run races; go to spas. Eat cake or lettuce. Buy yourself a toy light saber and make your own wooooom noises while you wave it around; build a cardboard castle and chuck plush mushrooms at your would-be rescuers. Live your life, the way you want to live it, and understand that no one can kick you out of "the girl club" for doing it wrong, because you're not.

You're doing it exactly right, and I love you for that.

Corn maze love,
Me.

missroserose: (Show Your Magic)
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] tygenco_x at Sage Words
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] etcet at Sage Words
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] ceosanna at Sage Words
Posted/written by [livejournal.com profile] seanan_mcguire:

Dear girls of the world today;

There is nothing wrong with you.

Everything I see, everything I read, everything I hear, is geared toward telling you that something is wrong with you. You're too fat. You're too thin. Your skin is terrible. You look too young. You look too old. You're too smart, you're too dumb, you talk too much, you don't talk enough, you're broken, you're flawed, you're bad. And all those things are lies. They are exaggerations. They are designed to pick on the things you feel insecure about, and convince you that you will never be happy unless you force yourself into their standards of perfection.

They will tell you that you are weak; that girls can't deal with spiders or do math or love snakes or run nations or be scientists. They will tell you that you must be indecisive, flighty, more interested in the interests that are chosen for you than the ones that you choose for yourself. They will tell you that you have to change yourself to suit them, and then they will keep moving the goalposts, so that you're never done changing, and you're never allowed to be you. And they are wrong. They are so, so wrong, and you are better than the lies they tell you.

If you are a girl, you are a girl. Period, finish, end statement. It doesn't matter what you look like or what you enjoy doing. It doesn't matter what your biological gender is or was. It doesn't matter who or what or why you love. All that matters is that you love, and that you accept that you are you, and you are awesome.

It's okay if you love pink. Some girls genuinely do. I genuinely do. Once, we would all have been viewed as cross-dressing and weird for liking pink, which was a male color. Times change. If you want to own your own pinkness, do, and don't let anyone tell you that makes you less of a feminist.

It's okay if you hate pink. You're not denying your gender or letting down the side, or anything else like that. You're a person, and there are a lot of colors out there to fall in love with. I recommend orange, green, and anything that sears your retinas.

Frills and lace and high heels and makeup are all fine. So are denim and combat boots and tattoos. So is everything between those extremes.

Collect dolls or knives or books or interesting rocks. Watch horror movies or romances or cartoons. Run races; go to spas. Eat cake or lettuce. Buy yourself a toy light saber and make your own wooooom noises while you wave it around; build a cardboard castle and chuck plush mushrooms at your would-be rescuers. Live your life, the way you want to live it, and understand that no one can kick you out of "the girl club" for doing it wrong, because you're not.

You're doing it exactly right, and I love you for that.

Corn maze love,
Me.

missroserose: (Christmas Picard)

I'm currently posting this from a tiny handheld computer with a touchscreen and actual usable dictation abilities. This same machine is wirelessly streaming the new Owl City album to the family room speakers, which it did when I asked it to. Like, with my voice. And that isn't even a tenth of its capabilities.

The future is here, people. And it is awesome.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

missroserose: (Christmas Picard)

I'm currently posting this from a tiny handheld computer with a touchscreen and actual usable dictation abilities. This same machine is wirelessly streaming the new Owl City album to the family room speakers, which it did when I asked it to. Like, with my voice. And that isn't even a tenth of its capabilities.

The future is here, people. And it is awesome.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

missroserose: (Balloons and Ocean)
I've been a proponent of credit unions since long before it was fashionable to abandon large banks; I made the switch when we moved to Arizona, having gotten increasingly tired of Wells Fargo's increasingly labyrinthine requirements to avoid monthly fees. It's been nearly two years now and I've never regretted making the switch. Sometimes it's a little inconvenient not being able to find a fee-free ATM nearby, but given that [a] I barely ever use cash and [b] you can get cash back at the grocery store with no fees, I can't say as I've found that aspect particularly problematic.

But I wanted to send a shout-out to American Southwest Credit Union in particular. Not only have they had excellent service whenever I've been by, and not only did they give us a screamingly good deal on our used-car loan, but they have all sorts of nifty little touches that really make you feel like a valued customer. One program is their holiday skip-a-payment - if you have non-real-estate loans through them, you can fill out a form and skip your loan payment for the month of December, which makes budgeting for gifts much, much easier. (I assume that it still accrues interest, but with an APR of less than 7%, one month doesn't worry me overmuch.) Additionally, they've been advertising for a while on their website a "knock of 1%" promotion - refinance one of your loans with them, and they'll take 1% off the interest rate. I'd assumed this was only for outside loans, but today I looked at the fine print, and they'll do it for in-house ones as well, once they're 24 months old. So hopefully next March, when our auto loan qualifies, they'll still be running it.

Seriously, it's not very often that I feel this valued as a customer by any institution. Here's hoping that the hundreds of thousands of other folks who've made the credit-union switch have equally good experiences.
missroserose: (Balloons and Ocean)
I've been a proponent of credit unions since long before it was fashionable to abandon large banks; I made the switch when we moved to Arizona, having gotten increasingly tired of Wells Fargo's increasingly labyrinthine requirements to avoid monthly fees. It's been nearly two years now and I've never regretted making the switch. Sometimes it's a little inconvenient not being able to find a fee-free ATM nearby, but given that [a] I barely ever use cash and [b] you can get cash back at the grocery store with no fees, I can't say as I've found that aspect particularly problematic.

But I wanted to send a shout-out to American Southwest Credit Union in particular. Not only have they had excellent service whenever I've been by, and not only did they give us a screamingly good deal on our used-car loan, but they have all sorts of nifty little touches that really make you feel like a valued customer. One program is their holiday skip-a-payment - if you have non-real-estate loans through them, you can fill out a form and skip your loan payment for the month of December, which makes budgeting for gifts much, much easier. (I assume that it still accrues interest, but with an APR of less than 7%, one month doesn't worry me overmuch.) Additionally, they've been advertising for a while on their website a "knock of 1%" promotion - refinance one of your loans with them, and they'll take 1% off the interest rate. I'd assumed this was only for outside loans, but today I looked at the fine print, and they'll do it for in-house ones as well, once they're 24 months old. So hopefully next March, when our auto loan qualifies, they'll still be running it.

Seriously, it's not very often that I feel this valued as a customer by any institution. Here's hoping that the hundreds of thousands of other folks who've made the credit-union switch have equally good experiences.
missroserose: (Life = Creation)
Wednesday night, I was coming home from work and Brian was stuck working late at the County's server office, which is on a short but very steep hill right off of my usual bike route home. So, just for the hell of it, I decided to see if I could make it all the way up that hill to give him a kiss on the way home. Much to my amazement, I did - it helped that the bike managed to shift into the lowest set of gears (something that's it's a little iffy about, and I need to have fixed). My thighs were sore that night, but the sense of accomplishment was worth it.

Then, yesterday afternoon I felt kind of out of it, so I left work early and caught a ride home with Brian, leaving my bike chained to a post in its usual spot. This morning, I had Brian drop me off downtown on his way to work, took a minute to swing by the coffeeshop, and then put M83's new album on my iPod.

And...I managed to get all the way up the Tombstone Canyon to our street, with no breaks, in ten minutes flat. I even walked the bike all the way up Locklin without needing a break, either - another first. Now for Challenge Mode - biking all the way up the canyon, *and* all the way up our (very steep) hill...

Oh. And yoga. Did I mention the yoga? Just finished a month of the twenty-minutes-every-weekday-morning routine.

Now to see if I can transfer the self-discipline to some of the other stuff I've been wanting to do. November is coming up, after all. Perhaps this time I can start with an outline and actually write something publishable.
missroserose: (Life = Creation)
Wednesday night, I was coming home from work and Brian was stuck working late at the County's server office, which is on a short but very steep hill right off of my usual bike route home. So, just for the hell of it, I decided to see if I could make it all the way up that hill to give him a kiss on the way home. Much to my amazement, I did - it helped that the bike managed to shift into the lowest set of gears (something that's it's a little iffy about, and I need to have fixed). My thighs were sore that night, but the sense of accomplishment was worth it.

Then, yesterday afternoon I felt kind of out of it, so I left work early and caught a ride home with Brian, leaving my bike chained to a post in its usual spot. This morning, I had Brian drop me off downtown on his way to work, took a minute to swing by the coffeeshop, and then put M83's new album on my iPod.

And...I managed to get all the way up the Tombstone Canyon to our street, with no breaks, in ten minutes flat. I even walked the bike all the way up Locklin without needing a break, either - another first. Now for Challenge Mode - biking all the way up the canyon, *and* all the way up our (very steep) hill...

Oh. And yoga. Did I mention the yoga? Just finished a month of the twenty-minutes-every-weekday-morning routine.

Now to see if I can transfer the self-discipline to some of the other stuff I've been wanting to do. November is coming up, after all. Perhaps this time I can start with an outline and actually write something publishable.
missroserose: (Balloons and Ocean)
--Remind me never to doubt my mother again. When I arrived with my increasingly-decrepit 2007-era black MacBook and worried about how I was going to need a new computer soon but couldn't afford it, she said she'd postulate a new computer for me. Which I couldn't help thinking felt like a bit of a cop-out (though I could totally understand her unwillingness to offer to buy me a new computer in the wake of moving, remodeling her condo and the various other expenses she'd had lately). Then, three weeks later, her boyfriend shows up with his year-old (and recently replaced) 13" MacBook Pro in fantastic condition, barring a few smudges from his smoking habit that cleaned off just fine. He'd even upgraded it to Lion and installed MS Office for me. True, it's not the Air that I was ogling, but it's far more powerful and far cheaper - I just have to get a new charger for it. So hurrah for generous people.

--Speaking of Lion, I'd expected to (and originally did) find the infamous reverse-scrolling a pain. I was all set to turn it off when I remembered what they said about making it more like an iPad - and suddenly it was like a switch flipped in my brain. Hardly any trouble adapting, and it feels far more intuitive than the other way. I swear, Apple's design team is like that annoying friend who's continually argumentative, and worse, almost always right, so you just want to smack them sometimes. (And yes, I'm aware that I'm usually that friend...stay off of my turf, Jonathan Ive!)

--I've read the doomsday proclamations about ad-blockers and how they're killing content on the Internet, and since this was a fresh copy of Firefox with no plug-ins installed, I was all set to give the ad-supported Internet another try. And within fifteen minutes of browsing, I'd been bombarded with shady product offers, made to listen to annoying commercials when I couldn't figure out which tab was playing them, and prevented from reading content thanks to floating ads with a "close" button so tiny you needed a magnifying glass to find it.

Look, Internet, I like you, and I want to support you and the people who produce your content. But do you really have to make it so bloody inconvenient? 'Cos if you're going to insist on that kind of shenanigans, I'm certainly not going in without protection.
missroserose: (Balloons and Ocean)
--Remind me never to doubt my mother again. When I arrived with my increasingly-decrepit 2007-era black MacBook and worried about how I was going to need a new computer soon but couldn't afford it, she said she'd postulate a new computer for me. Which I couldn't help thinking felt like a bit of a cop-out (though I could totally understand her unwillingness to offer to buy me a new computer in the wake of moving, remodeling her condo and the various other expenses she'd had lately). Then, three weeks later, her boyfriend shows up with his year-old (and recently replaced) 13" MacBook Pro in fantastic condition, barring a few smudges from his smoking habit that cleaned off just fine. He'd even upgraded it to Lion and installed MS Office for me. True, it's not the Air that I was ogling, but it's far more powerful and far cheaper - I just have to get a new charger for it. So hurrah for generous people.

--Speaking of Lion, I'd expected to (and originally did) find the infamous reverse-scrolling a pain. I was all set to turn it off when I remembered what they said about making it more like an iPad - and suddenly it was like a switch flipped in my brain. Hardly any trouble adapting, and it feels far more intuitive than the other way. I swear, Apple's design team is like that annoying friend who's continually argumentative, and worse, almost always right, so you just want to smack them sometimes. (And yes, I'm aware that I'm usually that friend...stay off of my turf, Jonathan Ive!)

--I've read the doomsday proclamations about ad-blockers and how they're killing content on the Internet, and since this was a fresh copy of Firefox with no plug-ins installed, I was all set to give the ad-supported Internet another try. And within fifteen minutes of browsing, I'd been bombarded with shady product offers, made to listen to annoying commercials when I couldn't figure out which tab was playing them, and prevented from reading content thanks to floating ads with a "close" button so tiny you needed a magnifying glass to find it.

Look, Internet, I like you, and I want to support you and the people who produce your content. But do you really have to make it so bloody inconvenient? 'Cos if you're going to insist on that kind of shenanigans, I'm certainly not going in without protection.

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