Thursday, May 05, 2016

Thursday Thirteen

1. Gas prices are inching back up, but then they always do in May - Memorial Day is a big travel day and the unofficial start to summer. The big oil companies can't miss out on their profits from travelers, now can they?

2. How I developed my cynicism about the world is not a mystery - I have lived. I don't see how any one can live in this world and not be a cynic, and disbelieve practically everything one hears. The disinformation in the "information age" is astounding.

3. I asked my doctor for a special prescription earlier in the week - one that will hopefully will have me writing if not here, then in my journal daily. I have plenty to say but not necessarily the will to say it anymore. Maybe a doctor's order will help.

4. Just because I asked a friend about him. Just because I spoke his name somewhere. Just because I saw him then went all to pieces, he think I still care. That's a country song from my childhood. Here's a version by Anne Murray which seems to be from a record player with a skip in it. I remember playing this song with my father about 35 years ago. Sometimes the words come back to, though I am not sure they are the right words or in the correct order. I grew up on country music but when I found The American Top 40, country music was no longer part of my listening experience.

5. Kisses are the most second wonderful thing in the world. Hugs are the first most wonderful thing, I think. If we kissed here like they do in Europe (friends on the cheek) and weren't so weird about our sexuality, maybe kisses would be first on my list. But we don't do touch well here in the U.S.A., and I think that is a very sad statement. I wish I could put my arms around the world.

6. Last night I dreamed something about peanuts and bombs. I have no idea what the two have to do with one another, and I haven't eaten peanuts or peanut butter in ages . . . so clueless as to where that came from. However, I dream a lot, often waking myself and my husband with yells or cries. I don't have nightmares, I have night terrors, and sometimes they are pretty intense.

7. Magic in every day life is hard to find, but I like to look for it. I see it in a child's smile, or when a tired clerk responds to my wink of encouragement, or when some fellow takes my grocery cart from me so I don't have to haul it to the storage bin or the store. Every day magic is an important part of our lives, but we miss it most of the time.

8. Nothing on my desk needs to be there, but it is there anyway. Piles of papers, notebooks, tissues, an empty water glass - is this what I want to surround myself with every day? I must, or it would not be there. Thank goodness for walls, where one can place pictures of beauty.

9. Occident is a word that means countries of the west, esp. Europe and the Americas. Occidental is a person from those countries. I learned this word when I was quite young, and in trying to use it in a sentence, I informed my uncle he was an occident. He heard "accident" and bristled at the thought that he was not a planned child (he was four years older than I).

10. Partisanship seems to be tearing the country apart. Is there an answer? I wonder if these United States will remain united, or will we end up a divided country yet again? History repeats for those who refuse to learn, and we obviously have slow learners amongst our population. It makes me sad to see so much infighting and disagreeing amongst ourselves. I think ultimately we want the same thing; safety, good economy, the right to be left alone and live our lives as we want. So why does everyone keep getting into everybody else's business?

11. Quizzes on Facebook are frequently weird but I sometimes take them anyway. Why I find it comforting to be a Unicorn or a rainbow or the person who is thus and so, I do not know, but the quizzes are popular.

12. Rolling Stones is my husband's favorite musical band. He has most of their albums, I think. He saw them live in Charlottesville several years ago and I was so glad he was able to see them. They are in the news this week because they don't want a presidential candidate to play their songs. I wonder if he will ignore their request?

13. Sometimes I find I have nothing to write on Thursday 13, and grasp at straws. Today is one of those days. I chose a letter from the alphabet to start each number, beginning with "G" and ending with "S." So here we are now, at the end.


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Thursday Thirteen is played by lots of people; there is a list here if you want to read other Thursday Thirteens and/or play along. I've been playing for a while and this is my 446th time to do a list of 13 on a Thursday. 

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Amongst the Herd


Tuesday, May 03, 2016

What Bathroom Do I Use?

Every year, about 1/2 million women in the United States have a hysterectomy.

That means they have their lady parts removed, usually because of something like endometriosis, fibroids, cancer, or some other issue.

It is not a decision most women make lightly.

My hysterectomy occurred when I was 29 years old. That is young to have such a surgery. It was the only option left, in the end, and the only way I would live and not die of extreme pain and intense bleeding.

I was born female but now I have no lady parts. I don't have a male organ, either, but technically speaking, I am, well, a heterosexual androgynous sort of person who identifies as female. Or something like that. If you want to be detailed about it. I've always just thought of myself as a woman, and until the Republican parties in southern states started making all of these weird bathroom rules, I never gave it any thought.

But now I must ask - what bathroom do I use?

I look and sound female, and if anyone forced me to take off my pants they would assume I am female. But my reproductive value is nonexistent. So what does that make me? Besides, you know, useless in the eyes of some evangelicals who believe if you can't reproduce then you must have sinned big time. (And yes, I have been told that.)

It is hard enough in this country to have fertility problems, to have to endure physical trauma to your body, not to mention the emotional toil it takes to deal with the fact that you can't have children, without having a bunch of dumbasses start bringing up weird crap about who goes to what bathroom.

As if transgendered people or people like myself or other people who do whatever they do haven't been going to the bathroom for years and years without stupid laws.

And then they bring up the "pharmacists, doctors, therapists can say no" to whatever they disagree with, as if they know the whole story. I mean, I took birth control pills to control endometriosis so we could attempt to have children. They were part of my fertility process, a hope that by slowing down the growth of the endometriosis, we might have a chance to produce a child.

This stuff is nobody's business. If more people would mind their own business and keep their fantasies to themselves, and leave other people alone to live their lives as they need to, we wouldn't be having such stupid public conversations. I wouldn't be writing this admittedly stupid and sarcastic blog entry. I know where to go pee, and I know I'm a woman. I'm just not sure that the idiots in charge now would agree with me.

You do know the rest of the world laughs at us, right? The only thing that keeps them from actually laughing in our faces is the fact that we have the largest military machine ever and they don't want to piss off anybody who has the codes to the nuclear bombs.

What happens in my body is not your business. Where I go pee is not your business. Who I sleep with is not your business. Why do you think it is your business? I don't poke my nose into your business. Why must you stick yours in mine?

I think it is a lack of empathy, I really do. That means a person can understand and share the feelings of other people. Ultimately there is a certain and admittedly large group of people who cannot think of other people without judgment or any ability to feel or think about what the "others" might be thinking or feeling. I don't know where this comes from, if it is genetic or upbringing or religious indoctrination or what, but it is there. Maybe it's the result of the 1970s "me" generation, the bunch of us brought up on 7-Up who believe we're the only ones who matter and to hell with everybody else.

If you have empathy, generally speaking, you don't have "others" in your life. You have people who think differently, who seem to be thinking with their emotions and not their heads, or you have people of other races who see things in a different way, but they are still human beings to you and they still function like you do, peeing and putting on their pants one leg at a time. Sleeping and eating, drinking, trying to do the best they can with whatever their lot in life has turned out to be. And if you have empathy, you can see that lot, and see perhaps how a person ended up there, living in a box or living alone, or living with a house full of 19 children. You can see how they are doctors or plumbers or farmers or writers. Maybe you disagree with the decisions that got them to that place, but you can feel for them and understand that maybe they need some help, or maybe not, or maybe they are happy, or maybe not, and that all of them need to go potty somewhere or another and holding it in the shopping mall isn't always possible.

Much of the stuff in the media today - the war against women (yes, I believe there is one), the backlash against the same-sex marriage ruling by the Supreme Court, immigration - all of the issues that make headlines because they sell news, exists simply to divert our attention away from the really important matters. The really important matters are things like appointing another justice to the Supreme Court because we are one short. Or how companies do not pay taxes. Or the lack of jobs and the loss of the middle class. Banks that are too big to fail. Big money that pays for politicians. More people in prison than any other nation per capita. Cutting welfare and trying to end Social Security and undermining all of the social safety nets that a truly modern and progressive and yes, the very best country in the world, would have in place, not destroy.

We would be focusing on making unions strong again, bringing power back to the people and taking it from the hands of the few and giving it back to the arms of the many, but instead the media - big corporate power - plays to our emotions and gives us stories about who goes to what bathroom.

It's a farce. It's a ploy. It's a game created to divert our attention, to divide and conquer, to destroy the things that keep people hopeful and happy. A game played by people who don't have to worry about their next meal. They don't care if you have one, you know. They would just as soon take your pennies as give you a free lunch.

When will we wake up? It's a bad dream, the world we live in now. Wake up America. Because of the things that we've dismantled, we are no longer great. We're just a third world has-been of a nation now, with a growing population of poor. All of those hot-button issues aren't going to make us a great country again.

Where you pee doesn't make you a great country. Great statesmen who have empathy for their fellow human beings make great countries.

Find those leaders, men and women. Vote out the assholes in the Congress and Senate. Find the empathy, and you will find your country.

And then we'll all know where to go pee.

Monday, May 02, 2016

Moving a Tree Limb

The other night, a very large dead limb fell from one of our trees in the backyard. It landed standing up, like a tree itself, leaning against its former owner and another tree.

We could not leave it there for fear it would fall on someone's head.

So hubby brought up the backhoe.

Hubby on backhoe getting ready to attack tree limb.


He moved the backhoe bucket ever so gently, like a mother cat stroking her young.

He moved the bucket and pushes on the limb.


The limb caught on another tree, of course. So he lowered the bucket and lifted from the end of the branch.

Tada! The big branch is down on the ground, ready to be sawed up and placed on the wood pile.
 

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Sunday Stealing: A to Z

From Sunday Stealing

A to Z Meme

A) What does the last text you sent say? And to whom?

A. I don't text. However, I do email to people who receive my emails as texts on their phones (you can do that for free, in case you didn't know). The last one of those I sent says, "Looks great to me" and it was to a friend.

B) What does the last text you received say? And from whom?

A. From same friend: "Trying to do a flattering caricature."

C) What time do you wake up most mornings?

A. 6:15 a.m.

D) Are you afraid of walking alone at night?

A. Depends on where I am.

E) What do you do to relax at the end of a stressful day?

A. Read, watch TV, or just go to bed.

F) Where did your last kiss take place and with whom?

A. My husband, today, in the living room.

G) Do/did you get into trouble a lot at school?

A. I am sure I was in more trouble than my folks thought.

H) Do you enjoy your job? If unemployed, are you content being so?

A. I am not working at the moment and no, I am not overly happy about it.

I) Do you often pick up on double entendres and innuendos?

A. How do you define "often"?

J) Have you ever been offered drugs but declined?

A. Yes.

K) Have you ever met someone who has completely altered your way of thinking?

A. Yes.

L) Have you ever been offered drugs and accepted?

A. Yes.

M) Tell us something weird that turns you on.

A. No clue how to answer this one. I'm pretty much a prude.

N) When did someone last admit romantic or sexual feelings for you? Was the feeling mutual?

A. That would be my husband of 33 years and yes, it is mutual.

O) What is something you have given a lot of thought to lately?

A. Whether the sofa would be on the left side or the right side of the room, and whether it would it smell.

P) When did you last swallow your beliefs to avoid an argument or confrontation?

A. I refrain from speaking on many occasions.

Q) Do you usually initiate hugs?

A. Yes. I ask for them if I want one and know the person well enough to feel comfortable making said request.

R) Are you a very affectionate person?

A. I am a bit reserved but if you are someone I know and love, then I am very affectionate towards you.

S) Can you roll your own cigarettes?

A. I don't smoke so I am not sure why this would be a skill I would need.

T) What are you looking forward to?

A. My husband is going away with his mother soon to visit her relatives. While I will miss him, I will not miss the dirt he brings in with him every evening. I am looking forward to a clean house for a few days.

U) Do you have any tattoos. Do you want any/more?

A. No and no.

V) Are you mentally strong?

A. I don't think so but I have friends who tell me I am the strongest person they know. So I suppose that is a matter of perception.

W) Are you physically strong?

A. No. I think we all agree on that.

X) Do you think you’re a good person?

A. I do my best to be.

Y) Name one thing you wish you could change about your life right now.

A. I would be healthier and not in pain.

Z) What do you usually eat for breakfast?

A. It varies from oatmeal to egg to nothing at all.

__________

I encourage you to visit other participants in
Sunday Stealing posts and leave a comment. Cheers to all us thieves who love memes, however we come by them.