Sunday, July 13, 2014

Sunday Snippets: Vacation!

I have a beach vacation coming up; the first vacation since my husband and I's very simple honeymoon more than four years ago. And I need it. Car broke down and we realized I'm going to need a new transmission by the end of the year. Ugh.

Welp, there you go & More on the Hobby Lobby mess & Counterprotests

If a store brags of their discount merchandise brought to you with this primary goal in mind:

Honoring the Lord in all we do by operating the company in a manner consistent with Biblical principles,

…it makes you wonder which Biblical principles they are referencing. You would think they would produce their goods in a state or country with the strictest adherence to “Biblical Principles.” This is far from the case. Most of their merchandise is imported from China: where female infanticide and forcedabortion is the highest in the world. China truly is the most egregious abuser of this form of population control.



Great website for those across the pond Ten thousand percent agree, I can't begin to imagine how terrifying it would be to have an abusive caregiver as a disabled woman.






Because puppies

Wanderlust I love pictures of roads like this.

This needs to be known. He was a creepy ass motherfucker when I saw him on campus and his response is disgusting. #HumanityAgainstSexualAssault

In case you need to vomit today.... #jadacounterpose

Boost and donate if you can

The Eagle Bull- Oxendine family is being sued by their child’s school for defamation, because they asked the school to permanently change their offensive and culturally insensitive Thanksgiving curriculum and to honor a two-year scholarship taken from their daughter after they voiced their concern over Native appropriation there.

Some happy pictures of books I need some happy after this week.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Sunday Snippets: Summer Swampiness

Every summer I tell myself I'm going to move. I could bathe in the humidity this week. But avoiding the outdoors for the most part meant I got all the things done. So that's the good flipside.

Love old places

Ah, yup

(TW) Heartbreaking

Her aunt, Beatrice Loggins, spoke lovingly of Shancez, citing her uniqueness as a person. "Nobody deserves that. Straight, gay, purple, pink, white, black. Nobody...There will never be another T, you couldn't clone her, couldn't mold her."

*insert gif of Shut up and Take my Money*  Alternatively, why aren't we funding this? Oh, right, oil companies.

Yup, because cats I do this when I see dogs or cats out on the street.

Two Sides of Baltimore-GO read now.

My black friends call it Baldamore, Harm City or Bodymore Murderland. My white friends call it Balti-mo, Charm City or Smalltimore while falling in love with the quaint pubs, trendy cafés and distinctive little shops. I just call it home. 

Well, that's completely adorable

Fucking preach Especially important after this week

LOL

Because kitties & No matter their size, they all love to cuddle Gah. Want to pet.

People wonder why I'm terrified of deep water It's because if I saw this, I would bend over and kiss my own ass goodbye.

Very important. Words do matter.

AWESOME photo & Buh. What?!?

The hell? Not that I'm surprised or anything

Awesome idea. Props to these guys

Hells yes

When was the last time you put yourself out there? I have found the more you do it, the easier it is. Promise. Try it. It's secretly addicting!




Anthony Weiner being correct and relevant? Huh?

All aboard that Nope train to Fuck It Ville


Yup. Ruth Bader Ginsberg for the win

Monday, June 30, 2014

Adventures in Homeownership: Cabinets Aren't Supposed to Stay on the Walls, Right?

Apparently, I'm determined to rip most of the cabinets off the kitchen walls. They work better as kitty hideouts anyway.


(Midnight inspecting things)

I wanted to open up the kitchen area more over the large countertop because before I removed cabinets next to and over the fridge, I felt like I was in a hobbit hole every time I stepped into the kitchen.


(cabinet on the wall)


(Husband helping to remove things that may crash upon our heads once we attempt to wrench cabinet off the wall)


(Naked wall! Avert your eyes!)


(Fresh paint!)


(All pretty again!)

I can't wait till I can take down the cabinets over the sink....open shelves....mmmmm

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Sunday Snippets: Almost July?

I've gotten so much done in the last few weeks but can't believe it's almost July.

This. All this. Fuck that racist twat waffle.

See gifs for explanation


or






Extreme TW for an awful case of domestic violence Beyond heartbreaking and awful.

Indeed. A case of WTF? How dare you?





Late last year, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Representative Rose DeLauro of Connecticut, both Democrats, introduced the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act, which proposed offering new parents and caretakers the ability to take 12 paid weeks off each year. Workers would contribute 0.2 percent of their wages to the Social Security Administration, which would handle paying bills. Employees could only get up to 66 percent of their monthly income, but that's a great deal more than the 0 percent workers in 47 states currently receive if they stay home with a loved one. 

Feels. All of them

Because puppies

Because goats

Because guinea pigs

Monday, June 16, 2014

Adventures in Homeownership: Decoration & Restoration

So I've done things to the house. We finally took a weekend to wash the exterior and seal it. It turned out to be easy, but since we got the five year Behr stain (in coffee, if memory serves) we won't have to do it until I can command any future children to do it for me.


Using a roller means my arms were covered in the stain.


Pretty house! (Ignore the deck now in need of love)


So in my zeal to de-clutter, I decided to tackle hanging art and pictures. I love having pictures of loved ones up on the wall. But since a good chunk of the house has wood panelling (and I don't feel like patching holes in wood) most of the pictures are sequestered in the dining room.


It just looked too messy and disorganized. So....


Everything came down.


I don't have frames for all (purged those too) so I just taped a few up, so get a sense of how big future frames would need to be. I also plan on painting the trim so that might help that wall look more finished.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Sunday Snippets: Yay summer!

I am rejoicing the warmer weather. Even when I drive a black car with leather seats. It's okay, I didn't need skin or anything.

Because cats & This is what is like to have a cat, period. & Even big cats are kitties at heart

Wonderful news

AHEAD OF HER TIME’: YURI KOCHIYAMA (1921-2014)

Disgusting

Very Cool!

Now, though, she's planning to embark this month on a flight around the world, a trip that closely replicates the 1937 journey of the original — and more famous — Amelia Earhart. If she's successful, this Amelia, at 31, will be the youngest woman to circumnavigate the globe in a single-engine aircraft.

Completely awful

Alba Quiñones Flores started her period the first week that she was in the custody of US Customs and Border Protection. Every morning, a guard delivered sanitary napkins to her cell of 20 women—but only four or five pads for all of them. Quiñones couldn't scramble to the door fast enough to claim one. She'd injured her ankle crossing the Mexican border before CBP picked her up near Falfurrias, Texas, and she still hadn't received first aid. A CBP agent had thrown out the pills and insulin she needed to treat her myriad health problems, including hypertension, diabetes, migraines, anxiety, and convulsions. So Quiñones wound up using the same, single sanitary pad for her entire period.
Bad-ass

If you are reading this, thank this woman. Her name is Grace Hopper, and she is one of the most under appreciated computer scientists ever. You think Gates and Jobs were cool? THIS WOMAN WORKED ON COMPUTERS WHEN THEY TOOK UP ROOMS. She invented the first compiler, which is a program that translates a computer language like Java or C++ into machine code, called assembly, that can be read by a processor. Every single program you use, every OS and server, was made possible by her first compiler.
Ah, childhood.

The third one makes me want to scream and punch something Because WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU.

Heartwarming "Mommy Wars" my ass

Say what you will, but this is a family that seems to really love each other

Welp, that's one of the most adorable things I've ever seen

To Read: Yes, all I had no idea about the first one.

And people wondered why I'm terrified of the ocean/deep water Because it will eat your soul.

Fuck. Yes. Awesome and lifesaving idea.

Because if you deviate from the norm.... *off to find the book*

Ugh. Truth

Smaller Closets I also did some thinking on this subject this week.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Capsule Clothing & Closets

In my quest to have less things to clean and organize, I purge my clothes on a regular basis. It has taken me a while to fine tune my wardrobe, but I now rely on a few proven techniques, which include whether or not I love (not just like like) and whether I've been patient. With regards to the second point, I was attempting to find a dress for a coworker's wedding last year. I waited until the last minute and while the dress I wore was decent, I hated that it wasn't exactly what I wanted. It got donated.

The husband and I share a closet with room to spare. We share a dresser, too. The less I have, I find I have more creativity and stuff to work with. Granted, I have a few pieces of jewelry and come fall/winter, scarves are my BFF.

Thrifting has helped for sure. I've been shopping in thrift stores since I was a teenager (my parents were lucky I didn't give much of a shit about brand names, aside for an ill-fated attraction to JINCOs. The 90's were everywhere, people.) so I can usually find great deals and buys.

I have (at current count):

Bottoms:
-three pairs of jeans (one I specifically sequestered for winter because they are heavier denim and I'd melt in Maryland humidity wearing them-and all three pairs are from thrift stores)
-one pair of capris (which I wear with boots in the winter, all hail double duty!) (also thrift store)
-two pairs of black dress pants (one plain and one pinstripe)
-four dresses (although one is my wedding dress so unless Causal Friday gets redefined, I won't be wearing that on the regular) (one is from the thrift store and it's to die for)
-one pair of shorts (that I stole from the husband)
-three skirts (one thrifted)
-one pair of knit tights (also known as how I stayed warm during the Polar Vortex this past winter)
-two pairs of sweatpants (one pair stolen from a college roommate)


Seasonal:
-one swimsuit
-one winter coat
-one pair of snow pants (aka I stole an old pair of husband's work pants)

Tops:
-two blazers (both thrifted)
-two sweaters (both thrifted)
-two sweatshirts
-two long sleeve shirts
-one vest (found an H & M pinstripe vest at a consignment store for under $10-Uh-mazing)
-four blouses (button up-two of those are thrifted)
-two cardigans
-shirts-three categories (seven-nightwear, six-causal/around the house, five-work-most thrifted)
-three tank tops (Target, of all places, has the best ones I've ever worn. They haven't faded, they wick away sweat and fit really well. I've had all three for 4+ years.)

Shoes:
-two pairs of heels (one high/low)
-two pairs of slippers (one are specifically for winter)
-one pair of sneakers
-one pair of boots (sidenote-can someone PLEASE make adorable boots that accommodate wide calves? Years of karate training have left me with gorgeous legs, but the only place I have ever been able to find boots is online at Victoria Secret's. Not even DSW has stuff that works)
-two pairs of flats (both thrifted!)
-one pair of flip flops (despite advice from my chiropractor)

I don't think I could stick to just a single wardrobe selection for a three month stretch, I prefer to purge and update as necessary. But these are both great resources (I LOVE reading Un-Fancy). I would like to have a baseline of clothes that I maintain (one item in and one item out). I think I could stand to lose a few more pieces, too.

And now for the good stuff:

(see aforementioned to die for dress)

It's a gorgeous blue (damn my awful lights in my house) and the material Does. Not. Wrinkle. Like, for reals. You could scrunch it in a ball, let go and it looks freshly ironed.

I nearly ripped this shirt when I yanked it off the rack at the thrift store. It's a snug fit and works well dressed up or down.

I need to rant for a bit about women's jeans. Specifically, how flipping hard they are to find in a decent fit/cut. If they are long enough, they don't fit around the waist. And vice versa. Express had an amazing line of jeans (Eva) which they discontinued and simultaneously broke my heart. So now I pretty much stick to thrift stores for jeans. These are very comfy and work well with flats or low heels.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Sunday Snippets: I'm a Godmomma!

My new goddaughter, Zora, came into the world Thursday night after almost 22 hours of labor. It was an honor to be in the room. And today is also my brothers' 21st birthdays. I remember when they were born too!

I love seeing cats be badasses I would try this with Midnight, but we'd get maybe five feet per day because she would have to stop and sniff every single blade of grass.

Go. Read. NOW

The lives of black Americans are better than they were half a century ago. The humiliation of Whites Only signs are gone. Rates of black poverty have decreased. Black teen-pregnancy rates are at record lows—and the gap between black and white teen-pregnancy rates has shrunk significantly. But such progress rests on a shaky foundation, and fault lines are everywhere. The income gap between black and white households is roughly the same today as it was in 1970. Patrick Sharkey, a sociologist at New York University, studied children born from 1955 through 1970 and found that 4 percent of whites and 62 percent of blacks across America had been raised in poor neighborhoods. A generation later, the same study showed, virtually nothing had changed. And whereas whites born into affluent neighborhoods tended to remain in affluent neighborhoods, blacks tended to fall out of them.



(credit: http://jessehimself.tumblr.com/post/86976462558)

Can't wait to buy this issue Go out and get your copy

American Girl was my jam back in the day Makes me happy to see this



The whole point of all of this is to take care of stuff that needs taking care of so that you feel like your day has beem productive and you feel genuinely tired and happy at the end of the day.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sunday Snippets: Happy Memorial Day!

I have military members on both sides: late uncle Brian, late maternal grandfather, late paternal grandfather and then Air Force and Navy on my husband's side. I may not agree with why we go to war, but I support the men and women who put their lives on the line.

Local abandoned hospital & Abandoned New York Island

I'm going to need all of these. My love of fluffy knows no bounds.

Oh, kitties. & Now dead of cuteness & Typing this from the afterlife

(High TW) Disgustingly awful. This poor family

On January 11, 2013, Kendrick Johnson, 17, was found dead rolled up in a wrestling mat at his high school in Valdosta, Ga. An athlete, Johnson was found dead in an upright athletic mat behind the bleachers in the school’s gym on January 11, 2013.

The first autopsy performed by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) on the teen revealed he died from “positional asphyxia” and his death was ruled an accident. A second autopsy was performed by a private pathologist, Dr. Bill Anderson, at the request of his parents, Kenneth and Jacquelyn Johnson, who believe their beloved son was murdered revealed something more horrible. His organs – brains, heart and lungs – were missing and replaced with balls of crumpled newspaper.






Over the past 30 years, more than 1,200 indigenous women have disappeared in Canada. The aboriginal community estimates that some 43 of them have been plucked off what is known as the Highway of Tears, a 500-mile stretch of road that runs through the wilds of British Columbia. It may not sound like a whole lot, but consider 43 families not knowing what happened to their daughters or why. The majority have not even had their losses acknowledged by the police, who only count 18 missing.

Awwww I love baby reveal videos.

Breathtaking photos

Given the state of the prison complex, this doesn't surprise me.

While the jail initially said there had been no health concerns, multiple inmates say they suffered problems ranging from minor rashes to respiratory infections and fainting spells. Prisoners also described a policy implemented after the spill, which could land someone in solitary confinement for asking to see a nurse too many times.


Monday, May 19, 2014

Book Review: Dear Sister

Lisa Factora-Borchers has given the world a great gift in this collection, entitled Dear Sister: Letters from Survivors of Sexual Violence


The book is divided into six sections, excluding the foreword and introduction: What Every Survivor Needs to Know, A Child Re-members, Family Ties, From Trauma to Strength, Radical Companionship, and Choose Your Own Adventure. Factora-Borchers begins the anthology with this statement:

"True spaces of justice are the spaces where vulnerability is a sign of strength, where choice is honored, and listening is a transformative tool for activism."

Such a declaration sets the stage for the rest of the book, where pain is explored, lines are drawn, but most of all, love is given so very freely. Nearly every essay implores the reader to hang on, to put one foot in front of the other and to know there are survivors (or the identifier they choose) out there who love them.

In Letter #18, the author closes with this short paragraph:

"Surviving is the process of finding new connections each day. An hourly reckoning. It's the ability to trust even though it seems impossible to look anyone in the eyes again. Sometimes we stumble toward each other and find a community whose energy will keep us alive."

In the last section, one of my favorite essays is one between the editor and Sofia Rose Smith, called "The Place of Forgiveness: A Conversation." They state that not everyone is at a place to even discuss forgiveness, but the piece goes beyond that, to discuss ways beyond seeking justice for the harm done. They want accountability and acknowledgement, a "kind of communal grieving...of our losses would have been (and are) so healing."

Another very important quote talks about the realization that "forgiveness isn't binary." It's complicated, which does not fit into "Western culture...obsessed with straight and clear processes-boxes of milestones we check off to prove we are 'normal'...I cannot honor my own complexity within...systems that ask me to exist only in the binaries. What kind of system is that? Not one that creates the possibility of healing justice."

Healing and justice and forgiveness are going to look radically different to each person who undertakes and incorporates these actions into their own lives. The conversations that need to happen, to advance both these systems, along with reshaping the communities, start with books like this one.

To say that this book is important would be a gross understatement. As a reader, it took me many weeks to finish this book, which is not a reflection upon the quality or writing style. There is much to digest and among the beautifully written pieces, are heartache and words that are painful to read. The essays are raw, but authentic. It was remarkable to hold such an honest book in my hands.

(Photo Credit: AKPress.org)