Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sunday Snippets: SPRING!

Thank goodness!


Cherry Blossoms last Sunday and the weather since has just been glorious. I didn't realize how much I missed driving with the windows down.





"Quite frankly, I would've said, 'C-section before the season starts,' " former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason said Tuesday on his daily morning radio show, Boomer and Carton, according to Today.com. "[I'd say] 'I need to be at opening day. 

Wow, what an asshole.




Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sunday Snippets: Oh, look snow....again.....*cries*

Rape culture, what rape culture? & An article by Zerlina Maxwell

Gah! SO cute!

Feels! I love random acts of kindness.

YES! I'm so beyond tired of blackface, it's wrong, plain and simple.

What. The. Hell. Footage I got of being HARASSED by Lou Ann Zelenik and others after a court hearing. Islamaphobia is alive and well in this part of the U.S.


Endo Awareness Month Endometriosis is a weird and kind of unbelievable disease. It’s hard to describe, and it involves a top-secret body part called the uterus that you don’t hear about it much, but it affects 157 million of women across the world. (Check out this video.) Because it's underrepresented in medical training and causes debilitating pain that can’t be measured, tested, or seen on scans, you have a nice recipe for an invisible disease relegated to "crazy women."

Yup! I remember being told by a coworker, after I said I wasn't feeling well, I had to leave early and they just looked at me, sighed, and said, "You don't look sick." I had a boss tell me that, that she couldn't stop me if I really needed to leave early.

Exactly! As you can see from the chart above, the Zero Waste lifestyle is actually more about not doing(i.e, not participating in unsustainable activities) than it is about doing (working on Zero Waste) as one would expect. For me, Not participating in unsustainable activities has made room for living more, along side working a fulfilling full-time job.

Interview with Ariel Gore Her new book, The End of Eve, is out. Go buy it. Seriously.


(Photo credit: http://i-am-a-child-of-time.tumblr.com/post/80903611484/jake-english-i-teach-my-class-about-privilege)


Yay!!! That human rights wrong was corrected today when the Maryland House of Delegates voted 82-57 to pass SB 212, the Fairness for All Marylanders Act! This bill, unlike the unjust 2011 one I blasted all over these TransGriot pages at the time along with a coalition of trans people just as pissed off about the unjust bill, expand Maryland's anti-discrimination laws to protect transgender people in employment, housing, access to credit and public accommodations.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Book Review: The End of Eve

Ariel Gore's latest memoir, The End of Eve, leaves you feeling completely spent, as though you've run a marathon, but simultaneously, elated for your life and all of the people in it.

The book has been compared to Gore's last memoir, Atlas of the Human Heart and while the resemblance is apparent, Eve is something different. It is stripped down, to the barest essentials, with the words clinging to the page as they tell the story of the author's mother, Eve, who the reader will want to hug and throttle, usually at the same time. She is abusive, narcissistic, stubborn; a generally awful person and even more so as a mother with the book depicting the following scene: Gore standing up for herself and her mother's retaliation being throwing every possession of Gore's out on the front lawn and changing the locks.

But while the title may hint at the mother, the book is really about the author and how she transitions from being a daughter to being motherless and being a partner to being single. Gore takes on the seemingly routine task of care-taking because her sister lives out of state and is estranged from her mother for most of the book. She uproots her life in Portland, Oregon to move to New Mexico. She, by most normal standards, is an amazing daughter, who supports her mother, regardless of what Eve puts her through. And what Eve does, on a daily basis, would destroy many people. She has remodeling done to her home and fires one of the employees for crying in the bathroom. She tells Gore that she is disinheriting her at Thanksgiving. She calls social and child protective services on her, to get her to her son, Maxito.

As the end draws near, Gore manages the caretakers and hospice nurses, shops for her mother, all while managing a teaching and writing career and caring for her own children. When her mother is in the hospital, she says, "Waiting for love is not love, even if we always call it that." That statement, in part, is at the heart of the book. Eve doles out "love" when it suits her and her needs; Sol, Gore's former partner, does the same.

When Gore has said goodbye to both people at the end of the book, she says: "I thought about...about the way abuse invents us, sure, but as long as we're alive there's time for reinvention; time to imagine some way to integrate the enormity of it all." The author is able to integrate the enormous undertaking of spending two and a half years caring for a terminally ill parent, who was an awful person to her. She is able to say goodbye to two people in her life on her terms. Only fitting that the last line of the book is "And now I was free."

The memoir is in the running for my favorite book of the year. It is gut-wrenching to read and bear witness to this period in the author's life, but by the end, the reader has been given a hard-won gift in this beautifully written book. A worthy addition to anyone's bookshelf.


(Photo Credit: Hawthorne Books)

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Sunday Snippets: Ugh, body

I had grand plans for this weekend (raking leaves, cutting up the old christmas tree, turning compost, etc) and instead my uterus decided it was the Kraken.

Some important images:

(photo credit: http://i-am-a-child-of-time.tumblr.com/post/80113430293)

What fresh fucking hell is this shit?! No, of course we don't have a problem with race/racism in this country.



(photo credit: http://i-am-a-child-of-time.tumblr.com/post/80379417141)



I laughed so hard. To be fair, earthquakes are scary as hell. When we have the one in August 2011, the floor was rolling in my office and I got knocked into walls trying to make it to a doorway.




I need white people to stop pretending consent was possible during slavery.

Stop lying to yourselves that those black cousins are the result of illicit love affairs & grasp that slaves could not say no.

When consent is not an option, when you’re only seen as 3/5ths of a human being & you have no legal standing? You can’t say yes.

I need white America to sit down for a sec. Look into the faces of black Americans with the same last names & figure it the fuck out.
“Hurricane Katrina shrank the Black population in New Orleans by 57 percent.”

Friday, March 21, 2014

Distractions

One of the latest trends is "unplugging." I kind of like the idea because I survived the first 19 years of my life without a cell phone just fine. I stumbled across this post and it gave me some more ideas to chew on.

i know that i won’t ever give it up cold turkey. & to be honest i don’t want to, even after these revelations, but i do really hope that i can be more aware & that the people around me can to. there is honestly nothing worse than talking to someone & they take out there phone & look away from you. people underestimate the importance of eye contact & good conversation. it’s rare to have someone’s full attention. i want to give it. & i plan on being as hands free as possible when in the midst of my friends & family.

For me, I was shocked when I looked at my year end list at the beginning of the year; I keep a running tally of books I read and last year, I didn't even break 30.

Now granted, it was my first full year of owning a house and let's face it, Netflix isn't going to watch itself.

But I've noticed something else. My attention span isn't even what it used to be. And it went through the floor and hit the basement subfloor when I got a smartphone. I enjoy being connected and sharing photos, but the instant gratification of clicking meant that other things have suffered.

I would choose tv over reading at night. My commute isn't the worst I've ever had but I'm still worn out by the time I get home and after staring at a computer screen for most of the day, I want to turn my brain off. But it also means I have a pile of books that have stayed untouched and stagnant on my bookshelf. It means I pick the less challenging books to read.

I don't like that.

I want to reacquaint myself with getting lost in a book. Or going on a walk without checking my phone. I consider myself luckier than younger folk (and wow, do I sound old saying that!) because I didn't get internet in my house until I was in high school and even then, it was dial up. (That noise will haunt my dreams.) I know what it's like to not be attached to technology and I want more of that.

One of my goals for this year was to clear out all the books that had been sitting and so I've started reading a few pages each night before sleep steals me.

Here are the first two:





It helps to center me and since I usually daydream in the shower, reading lets me focus and relax before bed.

Does anyone else have this problem?


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Sunday Snippets: Oh, there's snow again edition

How marvelous. I'm going to go cry into wine.

Truth about cats and Part II

(TW) Completely awful

Relatives say the two women went to Galveston for Mardi Gras. Detectives believe they were killed elsewhere and their bodies moved. Reports also indicate that they were murdered in different ways. It’s currently unclear whether this was a hate crime or there was some other motive for the murder. “That was her girlfriend, that was her soulmate,” James Randle, neighbor to Britney Cosby, told ABC.

Who in the what thought this was a good idea? Me, shuddering in the corner


As same-sex couples marry, they will be forced to re-imagine many tenets of your “traditional marriage.” In doing so, they will face a series of complicated questions: Should one of us change our last name? And if so, who? Should we have kids? Do we want to have kids? How do we want to have kids? Whose last name do our kids take?

LOL-They are hysterical


I was talking about Occupy Wall Street, which kind of gave us elements of activism. But we are not in a 99 percent world. We are in a world with serious class complexes. It is one thing to be a college student with loan debts and another thing to be just dirt poor for your entire life.




That means moving away from the incremental strategy – 20 week bans, admitting privileges laws for clinics – and sticking to banning all abortion without exceptions, equating hormonal birth control (even the daily pill kind) with abortion, and advocating that women who have abortions be tried as murderers.


Venezuela’s soldiers are killing their people. The Government is sending their armed gangs to kill them and they have censored all the media in their country, even blocking photos posted on social media sites. They shut down all the cable channels that broadcast news, so they can’t know what’s going on. The people have no source of protection at all.
 
(Photo credit: http://jessehimself.tumblr.com/post/79032254235)


Sunday, March 9, 2014

Sunday Snippets: Happy National Women's Day (the day after) Edition

And a beautiful one at that. I threw open all the windows in the house and I could almost smell spring.

Ugh. Double ugh. Of course she wrote a book.

It's sad that I'm not even surprised anymore. What the fuck? I feel like I should have that on a bumper sticker at this point.

Gah, love this tiny house!

Another fantastic discussion over at A Practical Wedding on my favorite subject I love reading stories about surnames.

LOL x 1000000 I may have to use these for our vow renewal.

Beautiful flowers

This is fantastic news

On Tuesday the Maryland Senate voted 32-15 to pass the long overdue Fairness For All Marylanders Act, which would expand Maryland's anti-discrimination laws to protect transgender people in employment, housing, access to credit and public accommodations.

Interesting spring cleaning idea (excusing the fact that I'm not Catholic aside) She includes a list of non-stuff to purge too.

A forty day period in the spring (coinciding with the 40 days of Lent) where you focus on cleaning one area per day. In this one area you challenge yourself to declutter, simplify, decrapify, and get rid of things you don’t need. The goal is one bag a day but you can have more or less.


According to the Six Items Challenge, the average American purchases nearly 70 pieces of new clothing per year. “This equates to 20 billion new garments bought in the USA alone, many of these are contributed to clothing that costs about as much as a newspaper or cup of coffee at Starbucks.

This poor beautiful ship On one hand, I love seeing abandoned places, but I see how beauty has rotted away and it's heartbreaking.


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Book Review: Redefining Realness

Janet Mock's debut book, Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love and So Much More is the memoir to read this year. I would almost hesitate to call this book a coming-of-age story because the former lumps Mock's words in with contrived messages and the latter doesn't convey the significance; it is not a story, it is Mock's truth, exquisitely written.

Mock opens the book with an eloquent introduction, where she states:

"I was reluctant to open up to the world for the same reasons I had been afraid to reveal myself as Janet to my mother and siblings at thirteen, to wear a dress through the halls of my high school, to tell the man I loved my truth: I didn't want to be 'othered,' reduced to just being trans."

But she realizes that given the harsh stigma, discrimination and violence that the trans community faces, "the reality was that I was one of these women" and
                   "we need stories of hope and possibility, stories that reflect the reality of our lived experiences...trans women, specifically those of color and those from low-income communities, who aim to reach  the not-so-extraordinary things I have grasped: living freely and without threat or notice as I am, making a safe, healthy living, and finding love. These things should not be out of reach."

As a reader you end up cheering for her, as she crosses Hawaii, California, Texas and finally to New York, meeting treasured friends along the way. Her family, while not always being the most supportive or understanding, never stops loving Mock and makes the journey, albeit a different one than Mock, with her.

Her journey is not to a perfect or idealized self; it is to her true self. One of the doctors she encounters tells her that it is a "blessing that I get to make people like you more happy." The scene is very touching as Mock realizes how true the statement is, that she has a very wonderful life, but knows that the appointment will help her "to more fully inhabit my most authentic self."

To call this book brave falls short. In fact, most words like courageous and strong, all fall short to fully describe this memoir. Mock lays everything on the table, including past sexual abuse, violence, family drug abuse, and her time in the sex work industry. Her determination is clearly shown on every single page of this book and it's a beautiful thing to witness.

(Photo Credit: janetmock.com)

Monday, March 3, 2014

Sunday Snippets: Posted on Monday Edition

All the things happened this weekend, including prepping for yet another snowstorm! I think Mother Nature is just trying to shake us all off like fleas.

How friggin adorable is this dog?

*grabby hands* Want! Those photos are intense.

Because cats win at everything

All the truth

Just today it decided to snow. Naturally this led to poor visibility. While dodging folks doing 30 with flashers on and idiots doing 75 in all lanes, I noticed one very distinct thing. Nobody bothered to have lights on in these conditions. Flashers? Sure. Go wild! But the set of headlights that come as a no cost option?


Give yourself the gift of a new start. Forgive yourself, let go of the past, and with confidence move on with your life.




Mrs. Herz-Sommer, who died in London on Sunday at 110, and who was widely described as the oldest known Holocaust survivor, had been a distinguished pianist in Europe before the war. But it was only after the Nazi occupation of her homeland, Czechoslovakia, in 1939 that she began a deep study of Chopin’s √Čtudes, the set of 27 solo pieces that are some of the most technically demanding and emotionally impassioned works in the piano repertory.

brb, dying of all things cute Especially puppies


LOL. I love it. I get so sick of seeing trite couple photos, so this is hysterical, if not heterocentric.



“It’s unimaginable that a woman acting in self-defense, who injured no one, can be given what amounts to a life sentence,” said Free Marissa Now spokeswoman Helen Gilbert. “This must send chills down the spine of every woman and everyone who cares about women and every woman in an abusive relationship.”

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sunday Snippets: Cold Edition

The up and down weather has succeeded in giving me a cold. I'm making a bubble to live in.

Jesse Williams is now a favorite Not quite sure how he keeps calm with the rage inducing questions the interviewer was asking...

Jordan Davis

THE “LOUD MUSIC” COMING FROM THE CAR WHERE JORDAN DAVIS SAT WAS NO DIFFERENT THAN THE “LOUD MUSIC” THAT CAME FROM THE OUTLAWED DRUMS OF OUR ANCESTORS. THE FEAR ISN’T NEW. IT’S HISTORICAL. WHEN WE WERE ENSLAVED AND UNDER VIOLENT SUPPRESSION, AFRICAN AMERICANS HAD NO CHOICE BUT COMPLY, TO USE A STICK INSTEAD OF A DRUM, TO MAKE SURE OUR FEET DIDN’T LEAVE THE FLOOR SO WE WOULDN’T BE PUNISHED FOR DANCING.

Oof, this poem

This is horrible. (TW)

Michael A. Geldrich, 36, and Michael J. Watson, 39, are both being held in the Warren County Jail for the December 1 beating death of the young Payne. Miami Valley Hospital workers discovered that Payne had been sexually assaulted during the attack. Hospital personnel contacted Middletown police and stated the teen had been sexually assaulted, according to the police report. But thus far, no rape charges have been brought, and hate crime charges have been dismissed point blank by Franklin Police Chief Russ Whitman, who said there is “no evidence” that there was a racial motive to the rape and murder of this 16-year-old African American.

Love this photo project

Life Once Removed is a whimsical yet thought-provoking portrait series by photographer and self-described spinster Suzanne Heintz that explores the societal expectancy of women to get married and start a family. The photographer places herself in front of the camera with a set of mannequins, posing as though they're a nuclear, all-American family from a postcard or perhaps a 1950s sitcom.


Throughout the late 19th century, and well into the 1950′s, Africans and in some cases Native Americans, were kept as exhibits in zoos. Far from a relic from an unenlightened past, remnants of such exhibits have continued in Europe as late as the 2000′s.

Kick ass teens!

What. The. Fuck: Part 2 (TW)

Charda Gregory abducted, humiliated, violated, restrained, scalped and tortured.
If this were reversed, with black police officers who were sworn to uphold peace and justice but instead were documented victimizing a white woman (who was already a victim), this news would have trumped the Olympics!

Fucking truth I'm furious every time Beiber is mentioned as some poor young kid.

More reason to love Orlando Jones

The prison system is a thousand words for disgusting and abhorrent.

Awesome new project

D'aww, kitty paws!

Pretty much. Pawing through used bookstores is one of my favorite things to do. More book love