Sunday, April 12, 2015

Sunday Snippets: The Year of all of the Things

I have two first birthday parties, a bridal shower, a wedding, our vow renewal, and a huge work conference in the next two months. I miss sleep.

Belgium is abolishing all prison sentences under one year

“A short prison sentence, a try-out in jail, rarely leads to good results. It does not contribute to re-integration, but helps inmates to learn bad habits,” Mr Geens told MPs on the announcement of the measures.



Cats in a nutshell

I love dogs When I lived with friends during college breaks, they had the most hyper dog ever. She was a sweetie but a nut. Whenever I had bad endo pains flare, she knew immediately and would come and lay her head on my lap until I felt better.

My jaw hit the floor  In what universe is this ok?

Very cool! And not just because I'm married to a mechanic.

Important PSA

Yeah, fuck Indiana

Stuff it: Millennials nix their parents’ treasures

Because this makes sense

Color me surprised that this was a response

Awful

22-year-old Ramsey Orta, the young man who filmed the NYPD killing Eric Garner, was arrested shortly after on trumped up charges. He has since been locked up at the notorious Rikers prison in New York.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Origins of #TeamSchwopkins

Given my penchant for talking...ranting about the last name debate, I would have thought everyone from here to Pluto would know how Schwopkins came to be.

I was coming home from a wonderfully pleasant bachelorette party (and no I wasn't even drunk!) and the topics of names came up. When I gave the tl:dr version of Schwopkins, one of my friends looked surprised and said "Oh, that's where it came from. I didn't know."

So in non-tl:dr format, the origin story.

I actually, once up a time, toyed with the idea of changing my name upon saying I do. My father isn't in my life and hasn't been for a long time. The Schweitzer side of the family was not all that kind to me and my brothers after my parents split up. Etc, etc.

But then I kept trying to say Jillian Hopkins without choking. I didn't know who that person was. I have been published under Schweitzer. My three names flow together very well. There is also the fact that frequently women are told, "Well, it's just trading one man's name for another." I've never heard a man being told, "Well, your surname really isn't yours, it's just your father's." I've accepted that we have a patrilineal naming system but I've made my name my own and to be told I needed to pick one man's name or another makes my damn teeth itch.

Ahem.

Once I graduated, I had decided that I was keeping my name. All things were hunky dory until our first Christmas. Cards were rolling in to the new Mr. & Mrs. Hopkins. I may have growled repeatedly at the mailbox.

And then a dear friend sent a card.



She came up with Schwopkins all on her own.

I texted her my undying love and we started jokingly using Schwopkins whilst in our social circles. And it has since stuck. We use it for our holiday cards and I've been tempted to use it for our future kids, too.

I really really love the idea of a team name. I get the excitement many women have when they get to declare themselves TeamNewLastName. I'm glad I get to have that team feeling, but with a name that is literally both of ours.

Like our marriage, it's a team effort.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Sunday Snippets: Harry Potter

I decided to start this year with a reread of Harry Potter and catch up on most of the movies, since I've only seen three.

I'd forgotten how much I love this series. Also, werewolves start on page 394.


Marissa Alexander: In Her Own Words So very powerful.

"To all the women who silently made history"

Well, damn, there it is Absolutely shameful

Remembering International Working Women's Day

Pictures from the March from Selma

Awful

19-year-old unarmed teen, Tony Robinson, was shot and killed by police in Madison, Wisconsin last Friday night. According to several news sources, Madison Police Chief Koval said they received calls looking for a man who had committed battery and was jumping in and out of traffic One of the police officers, Matthew Kenny, spotted Tony and then proceeded to follow him into his apartment and forced his way in after claiming to “hear a disturbance inside”. the unarmed teen then “got into an altercation” with the Officer who then shot him 5 times in the chest, and dragged him out to the street while he bled out. He was later rushed to the hospital where he later died.

File under badass people I would have liked to learn about

God bless Jessica Williams

Yup, because rape culture isn't a thing at all

The victim was able to escape the male classmates after fifteen minutes of torture, running into a fifth grade classroom and alerting a teacher of what had happened. The principle of the elementary school said he had a “man to man” talk with the boys and their parents, giving them two days of suspension. He neglected calling the local authorities claiming “it did not seem like a police matter, just simple rough housing gone a little too far”.

Well....shit

Powerful photo

This week in Things We Should Have Been Taught in School

Repugnant

Heartbreaking For taking a picture of snow?

TW: This 21-year-old woman faces decades in prison for trying to escape her abuser

“If there’s a court order protecting a woman, at the very least the woman who is the beneficiary of that order shouldn’t have to retreat,” Gerety said. “Fifty percent of these orders are disobeyed. The woman should not have any duty to retreat from the person who is told not to assault, harass and threaten her. It’s as if that order didn’t even exist.”


FEELS Not all cats are assholes



Between 1971 and 1991 in Czechoslovakia, now Czech Republic and Slovakia, the “reduction of the Roma population” through surgical sterilization, performed without the knowledge of the women themselves, was a widespread governmental practice. The sterilization would be performed on Romani women without their knowledge during Caesarean sections or abortions. Some of the victims claim that they were made to sign documents without understanding their content. By signing these documents, they involuntarily authorized the hospital to sterilize them. In exchange, they sometimes were offered financial compensation or material benefits like furniture from Social Services – though it was not explicitly stated what this compensation was for. The justification for sterilization practices according to the stakeholders was “high, unhealthy” reproduction.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Sunday Snippets: Dear Spring, Is that You?

I was able to shed my winter coat on Saturday. And it's supposed to be in the 50's all this week!

Bonus: National Women's Day is today!

And there it is

Flying kitty!

TW: Rape in the American Prison System A very hard read but a necessary one

Fucking this

YES

Dear God, fuck the phrase "choreplay"

Besides, those men who will only pick up a broom because the faint promise of fellatio is in the offing are not the type of men who are likely that interested in ongoing equality at home. There are but a few men who don’t know that the cultural expectation today is that they’ll do a fair share of the housework; saying that it’ll take a little T&A to convince them to vacuum just reinforces that women are supposed to provide sex and do all the housework in the first place. That’s not leaning in as much as it’s going in reverse.


You have a problem with children being children?

Selma Anniversary

Even as the nation continues to deal with the harsh realities of racism today, the quality of life for black Americans has improved in many ways since Selma's "Bloody Sunday" 50 years ago. But we still have a long way to go. As the ceremonies begin this weekend to celebrate the landmark civil rights march, it is important to reflect on the progress -- or a lack of it -- that's occurred when it comes to true racial justice and equality for all African-Americans.

So sad, but a happy ending Also file under, Fuck People

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Sunday Snippets: It's been a week

Um. So this week. I got food poisoning, bruised myself shoveling snow, my car's hatch dropped on my head and I also gave myself a minor concusssion and dented a table, when I bent down to put my snow boots on.

Which goddess did I royally piss off?

An interesting concept

Horrible

A Moroccan man in France was brutally killed after being stabbed 17 times in front of his wife at his own home by a neighbour in what is described as a “horrible Islamophobic attack”.

Oh, kitties.

Powerful haiku

Sandy beach picture So calming

Welp, there it is

Peaceful woods picture

5 Black Trans Women Who Paved the Way

Well, this baby is hysterical

Horrifying (TW)

The media attention surrounding the Isla Vista shootings was a twofold gift for the group, driving new recruits to the movement and allowing A Voice for Men to present itself as the moderate middle. Some men tried to distance themselves from Rodger with a hashtag, #notallmen. Many more women—a million within days—responded with #yesallwomen, as in, yes, all women have experienced variations of the misogyny that led Rodger to his crimes. The manosphere did not like this. "Men are your benefactors, your protectors, and your providers," a writer at A Voice for Men explained. "So the next time you trend a hashtag about us, maybe you say 'thank you' instead."


“The truth is: Even though we sort of feel like we have equal rights in America, right under the surface, there are huge issues that are applied that really do affect women,” Arquette reflected. “And it’s time for all the women in America and all the men that love women, and all the gay people, and all the people of color that we’ve all fought for to fight for us now.”

*rubs eyes* BUh-what?! No, no, no, no. Has she never heard of intersectionality?!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Wardrobe Update


I'm trying to keep that quote in mind for most areas where I spend money this year, but in particular with clothes. There are few pieces I'm on the hunt for, but all in all, I'm trying to hone my style.Which apparently is looking like a bruise. It's easiest for me to throw on a black t shirt and jeans with flats. I don't mind attempting to venture out (see: trying skinny jeans for the first time), but at the same time, I'm not trying to impress anyone.

I wrote previously about my entire wardrobe (here) and I wanted to do an update to that list. I'm trying to dress myself, cheaply, with decent clothes that will last longer than a year. Of course, quality versus cost, where said items are made, etc is a whole other conversation. I know that many clothes are not made locally. I try to balance what I enjoy wearing with the least impact, which is why I haunt thrift stores like it's my second job. For example, there is one in Laurel, Maryland called Second Avenue. It's the size of a smaller Target and they have 50% off sales on Sundays. It's well organized and they have a great selection. A must see if you're in the area.

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)
-still have three pairs of jeans, but one pair is now skinny, one is long for heels, and one is flare
-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)
-five dresses: one wedding dress, one to wear to weddings, one aforementioned to die for, and then I scooped up two black ones at a recent 50% off sale at a thrift store. One is a button up t-shirt style with pockets and one is a slimmer fitting, dressier one.
-one pair of shorts (that I stole from the husband)
-three skirts (one thrifted)
-I have one black skirt and one long grey skirt. I would like one more short one, to work with our blessed state's humidity in the summer.
-one pair of knit tights (also known as how I stayed warm during the Polar Vortex this past winter)
-my tights ripped, so I'm on the hunt for a new pair. In the meantime, I do have a pair of grey leggings that I can work into layers.
-two pairs of sweatpants (one pair stolen from a college roommate) <--Both pairs are on their last legs. I've repatched the stolen pair more times that I remember. These are definitely on the list for the next thrift visit.


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

Tops:
-two blazers (both thrifted) just down to my purple one. The black one was too stuffy.
-two sweaters (one long sleeve and baggy and the other is a long coat like one: both thrifted)
-two sweatshirts (one hoodie/one decorative)
-three long sleeve shirts (one blue/one black/one grey)
-one vest (found an H & M pinstripe vest at a consignment store for under $10-Uh-mazing) As cute as the vest was, I barely wore it.
-four button up-two are short-sleeve and thrifted. And I need to find a good white basic button up. It is so hard to find one that can accommodate busty women.
-two cardigans -My black cardi is still great, but my red one would get too stretched out. I did find a lovely plum one at the thrift store, since my black cardi is getting thin in places.
-shirts-three categories (seven-nightwear, six-causal/around the house, five-work-most thrifted)
-shirts (I finally graduated to grown up nightwear-three long nightshirts that keep me warm in the winter, four causal shirts, one dressy, two basic colors, one summer sleeveless). I need to find a white short sleeve shirt.
-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 (they will need replacing in the next year)
-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)
-scored an awesome pair of brown boots from ModCloth
-two pairs of flats (both thrifted!)
-decided to donate one pair of flats, since the basic black pair worked with  more outfits. I did get another pair but they are for our vow renewal.
-one pair of flip flops (despite advice from my chiropractor)
-will actually try to shy away from flip flops this summer. I'm on the lookout for a nice pair of wedge sandals instead.


(Photo Credit: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/509188301594371200/)

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Adventures in Homeownership: A tiny update

We got four inches of snow last night, so I did a quick little update to my jewelry display.

I've been up to my neck in cardstock, getting things ready for our vow renewal at the end of February and I came across a gorgeous piece that was gold and glittery.


This is what my jewelry display looked like before. Fairly tame.


Behold! Glitter!


Nearly done....


Voila. Who doesn't love sparkles?

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Sunday Snippets: I've decided to hibernate

The high isn't supposed to make up to the 20's today. And I'm up at 5:15 to drive my mom to the airport. Can't I just sleep until April?

Exactly. 

Hell yes. Go for it.

#50DollarsNot50Shades YES

LOL, love this! Every princess should have a dragon friend.

One of these days....I will go on a road trip that can involve shots like this.

HOLY SHIT YES Birth control purchases, ugh. Especially when you're in college and trying to find a bus to the nearest pharmacy, getting there and finding out that the copay has doubled again.

Awful and disgusting #BlackLivesMatter RIP Jessie Hernandez

YUP Putting mirrors to good work

Oh, Canada

I knew I loved this country for a reason

Bad ass women

Yes, agreed  I'd wager this would need to happen with many police departments, but I digress.

No, say it isn't so? Zimmerman is bananas? Really?

Adorable seal is adorable

Hahahaha, oh, the truth

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Sunday Snippets: Superbowl Sunday

None of my teams are playing so I will be Netflixing it, avoiding the next snow storm. I'm the life of the party, I tell you.

Disgusting (TW racism/physical injuries)

Oh, just follow the rules, right?

What does it show? An unarmed Reid with his hands up, in compliance with the officer’s orders, shot 9 times by to officers.


Leopold famously said when he was forced to hand over the Congo Free State to the Belgian nation: “I will give them my Congo but they have no right to know what I have done there,” and proceeded to burn archives.

Fucking awful Yet again, we are just supposed to be brood mares. Not wanting children is A FUCKING LEGITIMATE PATH TO TAKE.


A lawsuit filed on Thursday against Corrections Corporation of America, the largest private prison management company in the US, alleges that a visitor at a South Central Correctional Facility in Clifton, Tennessee, was forced to expose her genitalia to prison guards to prove that she was menstruating after she attempted to bring a sanitary napkin into a visit.

What the hell?

Last night Native students and staff left the rez to attend a Rush Hockey game, it was meant to be a reward and a night of fun. Instead the students AND staff were harassed by white men sitting in the VIP box and beer was thrown on them. They were told to “go back to the rez”. No Natives deserve this treatment.

Nobody was talking about this. Shameful.

In America the most comprehensive and intelligent news is provided by comedians on the Comedy Central channel while those channels purporting to be actual news stations are laughable - yes Faux/Fox News & CNN in particular. It’s no wonder that American politics is so fucked up.

This needs to always be a thing

All the feels-Adopting Shelter Pets

YES. Exactly

Did you know LGBT couples are more likely to adopt older, children of color and disable children than straight couples? LGBT couples tend to adopt ‘undesired’ children more (basically kids no one else wants.)

Disgusting #BrownLivesMatter

Aww, snuggly puppies and kitties

TW for domestic violence

Yup, pretty much!

Awww, poor koalas

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The journey

I can be an impatient person. Particularly when hungry or sleep deprived. If you've ever had the joy of seeing me as either, I offer an apology and flowers. Or vodka.

I like being able to get things done the moment I think of them. When we first moved into our house, I nearly went out of my mind because I wanted to do all the things all at once. Now I know that letting things simmer is better; I found new uses for old items, radically shifted ideas and even got rid of stuff before I started to decorate areas in the house.

It's hard when it becomes more personal. My biological "clock" went off at 20. I have always loved kids, even when holding one 4 month old and he threw up on me. Eh, clothes/bodies wash. And as soon as we got married, we got the questions. And now that we are approaching our five year wedding anniversary, the questions have intensified. I don't mind them anymore, people like big events/new tiny things to hold/etc. (Disclaimer, I do mind when my FIL asks when I'm presenting him with a grandson. Like my uterus can be programmed to spit out the correct gender in his arms. But that's a whole other story.)

And yet.

We were planning on trying this year. But the money gods are not playing nicely. To be honest, I'm still paying off debt, we have projects lined up for the house and I want a healthy savings account before I embark on maternity leave (which since it is unpaid WHOLE OTHER ISSUE HOW THE FUCK IS THE US ONE OF THE ONLY COUNTRIES THAT DOES NOT HAVE PAID LEAVE).

Ahem.

I'm sad that we may not be able to try this year. I'm sad that my plans aren't lining up like I want them to. I'm sad that a recession greatly fucked us for awhile. I'm sad when I see a baby announcement and I know we aren't there yet. And on the flip side, I'm relieved. Relieved that I get to go home and nap for two hours if I so choose. Have a box of mini brownies for dinner while Netflixing. Relieved that I'm not terrified for a while. I'm excited to be a mother, but absolutely ready to crap my pants terrified too. What if I damage the kid? What if I realize I don't want to be a mother and can't return the thing? What if my marriage can't survive it?

And then Lara Casey tapped into my brain:

How many of you have ideas about your goals as we’ve gone through this series and you are already overwhelmed or anxious about HOW to make them happen? You want all of your goals to have been tackled yesterday. This series is an exercise in patience and doing things little by little to produce lasting results. If you are feeling overwhelmed, we’re about to dive into some clear waters as we set goals that have meaning. Because, you know what? The journey to making those things happen is where the good stuff lives.

I keep repeating that. The destination is nice, but the quality of the journey matters too. I was in therapy for nearly four years. It sucked so much, the slogging through all of the crap that needed to be dealt with. But now, having finished that journey, I maintain that is the best present I've ever bought myself, bar none. I healed, my relationships got 10000% better and I'm not crippled by anxiety attacks as I once was.

This is about progress, not perfection. I know you overachievers want to have done everything yesterday, but I have also been reading every single comment on this series. Taking this step by step is helping many of you make remarkable discoveries! I’m so pumped by all the lightbulbs I see going off! Little by little, babies grow. Can you imagine if we got pregnant and the next day have birth to toddlers?? We wouldn’t be ready and we would have missed so much sweetness. It is the same with our goals. They matter enough to make them happen well.

It's hard to accept the waiting, the journey. But it's worth it.