Tuesday, January 29, 2019

crustacean from the monophyletic suborder oniscidea

My son has been gone for eight weeks, and it's been mostly fine.  The first few days were very sad and hard, and now that he's in another country I think it will get sad and hard again.  I miss him a lot.  

In the recent past I have had two different people raise the specter of the "false rape accuser," one of them in the context of the Kavanaugh hearing, and one when I was telling him about the training I am attending to learn how to be an advocate for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence.  Both of them talked about the ruined lives of the men who are falsely accused, and both times I was so frustrated and taken aback by their ignorance that I responded angrily.  I did a little better with the second one, and reminded him that false accusations are extremely rare and that the best approach is to start by believing.  And here's the thing--I don't know for sure, but I doubt either one of these people knows even one man who has had his life "ruined" by a false accusation (heck, I don't know many men whose lives have been ruined by a true accusation!), but I guarantee that both of them DO know a woman who has suffered sexual violence, probably multiple women, and I am so disappointed in both of them.  What reason could they have for spending more emotional energy on something that rarely happens than on something that happens ALL THE DAMN TIME, TO PEOPLE THEY KNOW, other than misogyny?  

I need to workshop a succinct message that I can deliver calmly and persuasively when I am in situations like this.  I got the facts and statistics out in the second instance (in the first instance I tried to warn him when the conversation starting heading that way by saying, "Are you sure you want to discuss this?  Because we cannot have this discussion and have a lovely evening," but he plowed ahead and started into the lunatic fringe talking points and I think my eyes may have gone obsidian black and I excused myself from the table and didn't speak to him for a month, and our relationship now is at best distantly polite), but I also need to make sure they understand that by focusing their concern on false accusations (rare), rather than on prevention of and treatment for actual assault (common), they have broadcast very loudly to every woman in their circle that they are unsafe confidantes, and that they cannot be trusted with her story.  Because to them, hypothetical men matter more than real women.  Same as it ever was.  

Thursday, December 6, 2018

with scarves of red tied 'round their throats

This morning I read a thread about the Joy of Cooking and was tweeting my affection for that cookbook, and as I leafed through my battered copy and thought about how the recipes in Joy have fed and nourished my family for the past twenty years I found myself welling up with nostalgia.  Part of it is my love for books, especially those that have educated me and made me a better person, part of it is the holiday season, which is centered around food and family memories, and part of it is that my oldest son, currently still in bed upstairs, sleeping off a night of bingeing "The Legend of Korra," will be leaving next Wednesday for his mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (TM), and our family will be irrevocably changed.  I am a crier anyway, but it's worse now than usual.  My feelings about missions and baptisms and the church in general are complicated and beyond the scope of this particular post, but in a nutshell:  I want him to go, he needs to go, and I hate that he's leaving.  It's not just him being gone, it's also that it begins the emptying of our nest.  In two more years our second child will leave, then our third, then our fourth, and we'll be on to the next phase of our lives.  Which I am excited for!  But the last fiveish years have been the best years of my life, and I have cherished them.  We have loved and joked and argued and played and eaten most of our meals together for a long time now, and I will be sad to see these years end, even if they are being replaced by something else that is (possibly) just as good.  Parenting is a wonderful, heartbreaking endeavor.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

motherless child can you hear me

We were in Las Vegas for a couple of days last week, which was better than not going anywhere at all, but not much.  I like the Disneyesque trompe l-oeil architecture, the availability of many different kinds of food, and the time-warp neon sections of seventies you can still encounter here and there, but man, do I hate cigarette smoke.  I had a hacking cough the day after I arrived.  And the number of people who have remade their bodies to please the male's a little depressing.  It's hard to parse my opinions and figure out which ones are informed by feminism and which by prudishness, but I feel sad when I see somebody whose boobs are so big they look stretched to the bursting point, and when somebody's bodice is so tight it has made welts.  It seems exhausting and uncomfortable.  But!  People get to spend their money and live their lives the way they see fit.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

that in the spring becomes the rose

This morning I read the president's tweet about the wildfires in California being due to gross forestry mismanagement and, like, there he goes again, running his big stupid mouth about something he is a reverse-expert in.  There goes another tally mark in the column of offenses of our Dunning-Kruger president.  And it's frustrating to know that he's so impervious to maturation or growth that at no point will he gain enough knowledge to begin to realize how ignorant and incompetent he is.  And I assume he's going to whatever hell awaits us all after this life, but the thing is?  He's already in hell, right now.  In Mormon belief, being damned means you no longer progress.  Part of what makes hell so terrifying is that you live for the rest of eternity never learning or changing or growing--and that's how he's chosen to live the only mortal life he gets.  He's put himself in that prison voluntarily!  It boggles the mind.  

But I guess we are all damned by choice, it's kind of how the whole thing works--you know the difference between good and evil and you choose evil. 

Good talk, everyone.  See you all in hell.  

Friday, January 19, 2018

my wild Irish rose

Image result for a tree grows in brooklyn

This is the most beautiful, heartbreaking, wonderful book I have read in a long time.  It's not sad though!  I mean, it is sad, very sad, in many places, in the ordinary everyday ways that life is sad, but it's also hopeful.  I found it at a used bookstore in town and thought I'd give it a try since I had a vague idea of it being famous.  I'm so glad I did--I cried through the last few pages because I was so sad to see it end.  Please, please read this book.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

da traten die junger zu jesu

Every week I get ready to write something about the new nadir our country has reached, but then I get interrupted by something else and by the time I get back to the computer darn if we haven't plumbed new depths.

A big problem I see is that even if Trump were impeached, it's garbage on down the line of succession until you get to where, exactly?  I mean, I guess Orrin Hatch would be sort of okay because he probably wouldn't start a nuclear war and is maybe slightly less hostile to the LGBT community than the people ahead of him in line, but even that would be a nightmare.  And I don't know how far you have to go before it's somebody who's an actually decent human being.  Is there even anybody decent on there?  I guess I can google it.

I was going to post pictures of what my house currently looks like, but my computer is on the verge of eating all my photos and I don't dare do anything to it.  But the house is looking great and maybe it will even get painted before Thanksgiving, but don't hold your breath.

Monday, September 25, 2017

siempre, siempre con las moscas

I read a thread yesterday discussing President U Bum, and it helped a few things crystallize in my mind, like why I've been so down and frustrated and hopeless.  John and I see eye-to-eye on most things, with the marked difference that he believes most people are still basically good and decent, and I believe that most if not all people, myself included, are merely lacking the proper motivation to become monsters.  He's a day person!  So this last almost-year since the election has been a real picnic, as I read more and more awful and infuriating things and become more and more upset, and he goes to work with nice people who most of the time are trying to do the right thing.

We had a heated discussion last night about the level of racism exhibited by a person who instinctively thinks that it's disrespectful to kneel during the national anthem before a sportsball contest, and they don't spend any time trying to figure out why people are kneeling in the first place.  John and I are always having these talks, where he tries to get me to consider the upbringing people have had and how that informs their worldview, and I argue that when opportunities abound for people to acquire new information that could inform their worldview in new ways and they steadfastly, obstinately refuse, that I have to call them what they are.  We are more than just our choices, but we eventually become our choices.  

I'm still kind of chewing on it.  Obviously people don't have a lot of say in what goes into their brain for a long time, but at some point, don't we become responsible for what we learn and ignore?  And I know I have huge blind spots of my own.