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A$$hole

To the troll of a “man” who showed up at a vegan festival and ate a raw steak dripping with blood…I’m not really sure why anyone is surprised. People who don’t care about or respect people cannot honestly be expected to care about or respect animals.

But…dude, you’re still an asshole. And by the way, get a haircut – this isn’t 1986 and you look like an idiot.

So, I frequently read/view stories and articles about animals who have been horribly abused – it’s not some idle fascination for me, it’s work. Looking over my shoulder  recently, someone asked me, “How can you stand to look at that sh*t?”

Well, the truth is, I can’t stand it. I hate it. I hate that we live in a world where some people perceive that some lives matter so little. Hate it. Abuse against all living beings sickens me, disheartens me, leaves me angry, and fills me with sorrow.

But if I don’t see it, if I don’t read about it, if I pretend to not KNOW about it, how can I be in any position to help?

Ignoring what’s ugly out there doesn’t make the ugliness disappear. Only knowledge,  effort, and an awful lot of love can do that.

Spontaneity

So, while it might seem like an ultra-cool idea to take off, plan-less, across the US in a 38′ RV just for the fun of it, turns out that it’s SUPER tricky to find places to camp/sleep at night if you don’t plan ahead. You know, in case you find yourself in Waukesha, Milwaukee, Chicago, somewhere-in-Indiana, Cincinnati, somewhere in Kentucky…

On the up-side, I did get to dip my toes in the incredibly warm waters of Lake Michigan.

 

I’m on the cusp of a massive kitchen/dining room/master bedroom and bathroom remodel and something I’ve always known about myself is coming to even more glaring light – I’m a packrat-collector-of-things kind of crazy. Losing my mom and my grandparents and selling the second house in the country over the past 5-6 years means I ended up with a LOT more sh*t than I care to discuss with anyone and it’s all taking up lots of space in my house. THAT, my friends, is nuts. Granted, I don’t have obvious piles of anything laying around. No one needs to crawl around or over anything to move from room to room, either. I’m unlikely to be featured on an episode of Hoarders. What I do have, though, are cabinets and closets full to brimming with nonsense that I don’t necessarily love or use, but have talked myself into keeping.

I mean, as a vegan, do I really need 100+ cookbooks that also include recipes for meat? Do I really need 4 sets of china (I can keep my mom’s, but do I need the other 3)??? Do I need TWO KitchenAid stand mixers, just because I couldn’t make up my mind between creamcicle orange and fuchsia?? I mean, seriously? Does it make sense to stockpile Paul Mitchell products like he’s going to go out of business next week?

Plan to hear from me pretty regularly for the next 30 days, as I begin to unpack my life and declutter the madness that currently exists behind the many closed doors in my house. My guess is, it will be as much a mental and emotional journey as it is a physical road to less chaos.

Stop. Just…stop.

Stop blaming kids for school shootings, telling them it’s their fault/responsibility/whatever because they’re not nice enough to their peers. That kind of logic is what society keeps using against women for being abused or raped, too. Victim blaming is basically re-victimizing victims, people. And with that “they need to be nicer” logic, can someone explain to me Sandy Hook? Didn’t think so.

Stop saying all these shootings are caused by a lack of God in schools, because shootings happen in CHURCHES, too, and I’m pretty sure God has those joints covered. And hey, what about all the other shootings that happen nowhere near a school?

Stop saying that we should arm teachers – the lunch lady shouldn’t have to carry a Glock in her bra while she’s dishing up brownies and tater tots – especially since all the cops I see during these things seem to be taking cover outside behind their cars.

Stop telling children that CPR training would be a better tool for school violence than activism, because it’s absolutely ridiculous that grown-ass people think it makes more sense to triage bullet-ridden bodies than to preemptively strike against violence in the first place. (don’t even get me started on the school whose idea it was to arm children with ROCKS against guns – I could honestly puke at the stupidity of humanity)

It is absolutely pathetic that we, as a country, are pretending that these shootings are just freak accidents and not perpetrated largely by a specific group of individuals (you all know who they are, and it’s so obvious I won’t even call them out, other than to say, “How nice it must be to be born with such privilege, that if anything at all doesn’t go exactly your way, you feel it’s your birthright to decide other people no longer deserve to live.”)

So stop – stop making these kids the problem and start figuring out how we protect them from being shot in school or anywhere else. My 6 year old granddaughter shouldn’t have to hide under a desk and “play the silence game” at school so some random cretin doesn’t hear her crying and shoot her when all she’s trying to do is live long enough to grow up.

Today is March 14, a day where kids across the nation are walking out of schools to protest gun violence and where adults are calling bullshit because apparently kids don’t get a say when they’re the ones being shot. I, for one, stand in awe of these kids for sticking up for themselves and each other – the only time anything that matters changes is when enough people say, “This is crap, we’re done, fix it.”

It’s sickening that ADULTS are sending death threats to CHILDREN protesting their own massacres. It’s sickening that POLITICIANS (who I can’t bring myself to call adults, generally) are doing their best to discredit these kids like they aren’t all secretly scared sh*tless that every one of these kids will be voters within the next 4 years. In my experience, teenagers hold grudges for a really long time… like, forevah.

 

Kids – so many of the grownups have your backs and we’re so proud of you. WELL DONE for speaking up about something that really matters. Great job for organizing and speaking in a way so as to make many voices ONE voice. Seriously, way to step up! Keep making yourselves a nuisance, because it’s truly the only way to be heard. And come fall, when you’re old enough, get your butts out there and VOTE.

Be a nuisance when it counts. Do your part to inform and stimulate the public to join your action. Be depressed, discouraged, and disappointed at failure and the disheartening effects of ignorance, greed, corruption, and bad politics – but never give up.”   —Marjory Stoneman Douglas

A title escapes me.

I’m sure you’ve noticed the recent ranty-ness of my posts, and I would like to apologize…apologize-ish. Clearly there is all sorts of unrest is at play, and I can’t change that so I vent here. For everyone and their brother to see. *sigh* Whatever, moving along – nothing to see here. 🙂

Today, let’s focus on what is right and good with the day. Yoga is still proving to be both calming and a challenge (both excellent things). Meditation is still proving to be mostly a challenge. I know that practice makes perfect, but man, shutting my brain up seems so difficult, even after working at this daily for almost a year now. The rest of the “things,” handsful of vitamins and supplements, guzzling filtered water, eating primarily raw foods (primarily vegetables) , getting enough sleep – those things have seemed simple for quite some time, though I still hate cleaning the juicer filter! Someone told me to treat cleaning the filter as though it’s a mini-meditation, but you’ve all just heard how meditation is going for me.

I made the decision about a month ago to stop dying my hair. It’s toxic, I don’t have that many grays (yet), and really, it’s toxic. Toxic. That’s reason enough. Worst case scenario, I’ll have some sort of existential crisis one day and delve back into the seedy underbelly of tinted locks, but for now I’m going to ride out the waves of vanity and see where that takes me. I have officially phased out any and all household cleaning products that aren’t labeled cruelty free and non-toxic, and all of my makeup is finally vegan and natural (“natural,” it turns out though, has varying degrees of “not that bad for you, anyway” incorporated into the adjective).

So yeah, that’s where I’m at right now. Trying to adhere to my now-strict protocol of not watching the news, not peeking at Facebook (which I only do after disasters so I can be mad about “thoughts and prayers,” apparently), and making sure I hold on to any remnants of hope and sanity I can in these troubling times.

Our thoughts and prayers…

I have had ENOUGH of the pointless, weak, thoughtless posts and news interviews where I see/hear people “sending our thoughts and prayers” to victims of shootings. It doesn’t do anyone any good, and frankly, it seems to allow us to all believe we’ve somehow done our part to make things better. “What more do you want? I sent my thoughts and prayers, for Pete’s sakes.” It’s lazy, at best – but at worst, it is enabling more random killings.

Personally, I don’t believe that guns are really the root of the problem here. Assuming the probably uncountable number of guns in the country, there are relatively few shootings (though one shooting is one too many). Guns are merely tools horrible people utilize to get their way or make a point (it’s a really, really messed up kind of tantrum). There is a systemic problem of American (frequently white American) privilege and entitlement. That whole “I matter and you do not” thing. I mean, UGH, the overwhelming sense of entitlement in our country – EVERYONE is Number One; you see it even just driving a car or standing in line at the grocery store. And apparently when some folks feel their Number One status has been infringed upon, “someone hurt my tender little feelings,” or “I don’t like/agree with that person or their way of life,” it somehow grants permission in those people’s heads that it is perfectly okay to kill those who have offended them so. It’s almost like we’re living in a country full of “I’m the only person who is even a person, so taking lives is my god given right because I’m the only one whose life really matters anyway. Serves ’em right for not doing what I do or thinking the way I think.” We’ve stopped seeing other people as people just like ourselves, who are trying to get through their day, their week, their life, as best they know how.

So stop. Stop sending your thoughts and prayers and start figuring out how you can prevent this in your community by being a better, less entitled person, and by raising better, less entitled people.

Okay, so I heard that muttered by a guy on a television program the other night about a project he wasn’t having much success with, and it really shouldn’t have sparked any feminist fire in my belly, but…it sorta did.

I mean, this actually happens – a guy asks a gal out and she tells him no and he keeps on asking. It happens a real whole lot, frankly, and it’s annoying AF. Real life isn’t the movies, guys. If a woman isn’t into you, she simply isn’t, and asking her 100 times is unlikely to change her mind (in fact, it will likely solidify her reasons for declining your request for company). We aren’t waiting around for you to prove how much you dig us, which will in turn inspire a mutual love and admiration. And honestly, you digging us isn’t a guarantee we’re going to dig you back, no matter how politely (or impolitely) you try.

Oh, and not opting to fall for your charms does not make her a bitch, or a whore, or uptight, or frigid, or a lesbian, or stupid, or any of the other ignorant words that fall out of some men’s mouths when a woman isn’t interested. Sometimes the chemistry isn’t two-sided and that’s just how it is.

 

 

Too much travel.

The past two weeks have left me a bit out of sorts – Pasadena last week, Portland this week. Travel for my job means a degree of busy-ness that leaves less time for self-care and too much room for LOTS of crappy food/drink/sitting on my arse-ing. Let me just say that “vegan” doesn’t really necessarily mean “healthy.” Mmmmm! Cookies! Bread! Rose-infused vodka!

Thankfully, I’m flying home tomorrow and won’t have to go anywhere again until late March (I hope), so I can regroup and get back on my better habits track, and hopefully have something remotely interesting to talk about. (also thankfully, all this travel meant I missed the State of the Union address, so I feel I dodged an idiot bullet there)

I hope this finds everyone out there doing well and living at least a little healthier than I have been… for me, I’m feeling overfed, under-nourished, and filled to brimming with the spastic energy that can only come from lack of yoga and meditation. My skin (and definitely my waist) are NOT in optimum shape. *sigh*

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