smibbo: (Default)
I would very much like to use this and stay here. The problem is that hardly anyone else is here and the few people I know who are? Haven't used this for years.

COME BACK!!
smibbo: (blue hair is my normal)
it's been a long time so I cleaned up my friends list. If I took you off and you think I shouldn't have, then comment here. I probably took you off because I didn't recognize your username and I think we don't actually know each other.
smibbo: (Default)
I keep an LJ alive and running because I want to keep up with my friends and post more private kind of things. I have a Facebook to feel a more general connection to my wider circles.

If you decide people are automatically racist because they have posted something in sympathy with Paris but not (to your knowledge) on the super-long list of other human rights fails (that you decided were important) then you can just stay out of my circle. My feelings and thoughts MIGHT be reflected by what I put up here or on Facebook, but they might not. You don't get to brand me any-damned thing just because I don't follow your chosen protocol of concern. Bye.

wow

Aug. 2nd, 2012 10:50 pm
smibbo: (Default)
I got the disability. A year of retroactive too.

I'm so blown away I just keep saying "wow" and grinning and laughing and crying.

A large part of that is just relief, I'm glad its over, but DAMN does it feel good to know there's now a "safety net" behind us at all times. We can take me off the private health insurance too because medicare is part of it. I don't have to clean houses anymore!
(I will still keep my current regulars as they're all sporadic clients and I like them. The point is that I don't HAVE to clean houses then see all the money I sweated and hurt myself to earn go to the grocery store and STILL not have enough for next week. OMFG I cannot tell you how relieving this is. Truly. Things are really truly going to be better.

I feel like my entire life of busting my ass, scrounging and going without and sacrificing and giving myself migraines and bruises on a regular basis, it FINALLY comes back and I can...

relax.

For the first time ever I feel like I have permission to truly relax about life. Just a little bit. Stop being scared. Just stop worrying. A little bit.

Wow. Just wow.
smibbo: (Default)
The reason I am no longer friends with quite a few people is very simple:

They offended me more than once.
I let them know they offended me in as neutral a way as possible.
They got pissed at ME for being offended and proceeded to berate me for being offended.
They then further maligned me when I refused to engage any more.

Here's a hint:if you have upset someone you care about, I should think you would WANT to at least TRY to make rights. By deciding to attack me because I was offended, you pretty much scream that you don't care about me at all. Which makes me question the whole of our previous friendship.

I'm not saying you have to agree with me or beat your breast, or declare yourself an asshole. Just allow that if I am offended, I have a RIGHT to be offended and since you CARE about me then you want to make things right. You may end up feeling like *I* am the asshole. That's fine. Maybe I am. But I guaran-damned-tee you won't get me to apologize to YOU if you don't have the wherewithal to approach the situation in a decent respectful manner.

Have I made it clear? There are three people in particular I am thinking about here. Very specific situations. They all did something that gravely upset me - and not for the first time either - but when I expressed my chagrin, i was basically treated WORSE. So I realized we must not really be friends. Because that's not how you treat your friends.

Trust me, if in the course of our interaction, you tell me I have upset you, even if I am pissed at you, I will approach the situation with something of an olive branch if not an outright immediate apology. Because no matter how irascible I can get? I am not actually looking to piss off my friends. And I am not just flapping my gums here; I have on MANY occasions humbled myself and apologized to a friend for upsetting them. Sometimes I had no idea I was doing it and sometimes I had gone overboard. And a couple of times I was just feeling shitty and took it out on the first person to make a minuscule mistake in my presence.

And yes, as soon as they told me they were offended, I apologized. Regardless of my feelings on the subject at hand. Because my friends mean more to me than "being right". Even if I was still upset or thinking they were "wrong". Someone being wrong it not license to make them feel shitty.

Always, afterwards we have been able to work out some shit, if it was needed.

but I don't work anything out with people who dismiss my feelings outright. Fuck that. once you make it clear you have no intention of examining your behavior, we're done. DONE.

And a couple of those people? I kind of miss the friendship I thought I had with them. But I don't want them back. Because that friendship was just what I THOUGHT was there. Obviously, I was mistaken. Because friendship is not predicated upon ME putting up with abuse from someone silently. Oh hell no.
smibbo: (Default)
I actually like facebook - its simple and easy to share websites, articles and news with friends. not to mention George Takei's picture memes.
But OMG every day it gets more and more soapboxy. I'm really getting fed up with it.

Yes, yes, I know, everyone's allowed to post whatever the hell they want on FB. But I'm sick of being bombarded with people's political, religious, parenting, and conspiracy views ALL THE DAMNED TIME.

I swear when I first got on there it was mostly people sharing web related stuff and posting pics of their kids. Telling funny short stories and relating basic ideas of what they are doing in their lives. Now apparently no one just LIVES any more they march around with signs screaming about pet issues.

Don't get me wrong, i've used it for pet issues occasionally too. BUT I swear to god some people spend precious hours of their life LOOKING for more shit to post about their pet issues. Now I expect that from the couple of anarcho-paranoid friends I have. Sure, they think the whole world is out to get them and enslave them or whatever so they go looking for more evidence of that. But in the last six months I've also had to "hide" the posts of people who
  • post incessantly about their DOG (including videos of his "first real bark!!")
  • brag about how nasty they treated someone based on their looks (they did this CONSTANTLY)
  • talk about being violent against political opponents
  • post nothing but zen-ish "serenity" crap and then get offended if I point out that its unrealistic advice
  • find news articles about racism no matter how unsubtantiated, dated or otherwise suspect (not to mention trivial. and yes, posting about some lone 80yr old racist man who sneered at someone in church even though the rest of the WHOLE TOWN repudiates that one man is IMHO trivial. Yes, racism exists. I know there are still racist people around, especially in deep south. No shit sherlock)
  • post about the ONE TRUE PARENTING (that includes the ONE TRUE PREGNANCY and the ONE TRUE CHILDBIRTH)
  • post about the ONE TRUE DIET
  • post about how "evil" some methodology or philosophy is when they obviously don't know ANYTHING about said
  • post about the ONE TRUE VIEWPOINT on the disabled
and the worst offense of all? People who post articles/essays without actually taking a minute or two to cogitate what said piece is ABOUT. I gave up expecting anyone to cross-check the veracity of anything anymore. I appear to be one of the FEW people who do that. and even I've been fooled before and had to delete stuff. That's why I'm extra careful about posting incendiary stuff. I've gotten into more arguments with "friends" about stuff that was posted before they bothered to actually look up that shit. It's gotten OLD.

yes, I'm done with all that.

smibbo: (Default)
our dimension/universe is limited because one of the dimensions we perceive but cannot master is that of movement. Numbers are static, the closest we come is functions but we have to translate them in terms of numbers. This is the base of innumeracy - that most people have severe difficulty perceiving movement conceptually. We label movement in terms of points as if objects were existing from one place to the next however this is not accurate. It is, however, the closest most people come to grasping movement. Zeno's paradox is a perfect example of this particular innumeracy - the attempt to translate movement into points of stasis shows the broken translation.
smibbo: (blue hair is my normal)
Why having a child with a disability is not like being sent to Holland.

This parable bothers me. It bothers me a lot. While it is certainly uplifting, it makes me uncomfortable, because it denies a central and in my mind, undeniable fact about the experiences parents of children with life altering difficulties face: It is much harder and more difficult to parent a child with a disability than it is to parent a neurotypical child with no health challenges.

In my mind, a more accurate analogy would be this:

Imagine planning a trip to Paris for you and your partner. You get your guidebooks, your luggage, your wardrobe and your plane tickets. You research everything about Paris so you'll be ready when you arrive. You make make reservations. You talk with friends and family about their wonderful trips to Paris and how much fun they had. The two of you talk everyday about how much you want to go to Paris and how amazing it's going to be when you get there.

You get on the plane and take off. Suddenly, without explanation, the plane is diverted. Then at 5000 ft you and your partner are yanked out of your seats, strapped into parachutes you only vaguely understand, and tossed out the door.

Some how you manage to make it to the ground.

At first, you just sit, clinging to one another, checking to see if you have any broken bones. Once you're done thanking god that you're still alive, you dust yourselves off and look at the terrain. You look at each other and reassure one another that you're going to get out of this place.

Your first few days in the desert are exhausting. Just getting your basic needs met feels overwhelming. You feel alone, terrified and honestly- You're not sure if you're going to make it. Sometimes you fight, not because either of you is doing anything wrong- but because you're both tired and frustrated, there is sand everywhere, not enough water and there is no one else to yell at.

After many days of struggle, you finally make it to a village. The first thing you find out when you arrive, is that this settlement is made up of people who also got dumped out of a plane. This is what they tell you:

We are on the moon!
No, this is Arizona.
No, we're in the Australian Outback!
It's the airlines fault.
No. It's the flight attendant who pushed us out.
Oh! Another passenger pushed me out. How did that crazy person get past TSA?
There is no hope of rescue.

Wait! There is a rescue effort underway.

There is an 80% chance you and your treasured partner are going to crumble under the strain of this experience.

No, you won't, this experience will make you stronger!

The desert is a gift!

No, it's not. It's a war and war is hell!

Trying to make sense of this, you look around and say, "How did this happen? What made our plane go off track, when all the other planes made it to their destination just fine? If only we'd flown on a different airline. Who is right? Are we going to end up divorced or not? Is there a rescue party coming? Why are all of you talking at once?

Everyone in the crowd starts to shout LOUDER. Their voices jumbling into a unintelligible cacophony . Then, it dawns on you that maybe there are no right answers, because no one really knows. This is more terrifying than any answer you could have heard.

So despite being overwhelmed, despite struggling for the basic necessities and despite not knowing how you got there, you get on with the business of living your life. It's hard. It makes you angry, not at anyone in particular, just angry because it wasn't supposed to be this way. There are moments when the absurdity of it all makes you laugh. You and your partner discover that there are gorgeous sunsets in the desert and here, the stars shine with crystalline clarity. You smile a little more often and you realize that going to get water every day is doable once you know where the water hole is. You're scared sometimes, yes, but not as often as when you first landed. There are days when you wake up and wonder how you are ever going to make it through. At times, you're lonely for all the friends you had who went to Paris. Sometimes you don't recognize this person you're becoming or the person your partner has transformed into.

The desert is your new normal and once it becomes familiar, it's more understandable. You know which plants are poisonous, how to get sand out of your sleeping bag and how to be patient when your partner is screaming "ALL I EVER WANTED WAS A CROISSANT!" The path to the water hole is well worn. You learn how to handle your own meltdowns and you figure out that there are some wonderful people here in the village. Your skin gets toughened by the sun, and you realize you don't need Starbucks to get through the day.

Sometimes at the end of the day, as you gaze up at the endless sky, you wonder, "What would Paris have been like?" But then you realize that the desert has become your home- and you wouldn't give it up for the world.

Rhyannon Morrigan(c)2011

words....

Oct. 21st, 2010 05:37 pm
smibbo: (Default)
Recently, a friend pointed me to a blog by someone she really likes. Unfortunately, the entry I started reading was about using a word that the author does not like.
I liked her writing. I did not agree with her plea at all. Being as I am unfamiliar with that writer, I didn't feel "right" about leaving a comment disagreeing. So I'll talk about it here.

The word she is opposed to is "crazy"

From the bulk of the entry, I surmise she is someone who is psychiatric care. Like me. And my husband. And my son. And most likely eventually my daughter. Then there's all my friends and some family.
As we all know, its not that our society has gotten more crazy, its that our understanding of brain disorders has widened and deepened and many disorders are treatable now that weren't even seen as brain dysfunctions before. When I was a teen, depression was something you talked about with a counsellor. THere were anti-depressants but they were based on amphetamine and they were being phased out for myriad reasons. Brain science was very much in its infancy. Sociology was barely talked about. Cultural anthropology and evolutionary biology weren't really on the radar. Certain conditions were considered "crazy" if you had to be medicated. Because generally, back then being medicated meant you were probably incarcerated. (except for the upper-middle class who had drug dealers called doctors and everything was all about anxiety)
So when I was younger, "Crazy" when used to describe a person wasn't so much perjurative as it was damnedably descriptive: a crazy person was someone out of control and probably locked up, or SHOULD be locked up.

Now we're in an age of science that's just dazzling. The things we understand (and the things we know we don't understand and are looking for) are just astounding to me. They've proven that depression can be chemical. They've proven that Tourettes is a brain dysfunction, not a rebellious nature. They know the difference between someone with epilepsy and someone with dissociative disorder. It is amazing to me the things we've "discovered" in the last thirty years.
So to me, "crazy" has never really meant "someone who needs meds". When using it to describe a person, "crazy" means psychotic, chaotic, uncontrollable, dangerous, incomprehensible... etc you get the picture. But a person who takes zoloft? or Paxil? Or anxiety meds? that's not "crazy" that's just someone with a brain dysfunction.

So reading her essay about how hearing the word "crazy" makes her cringe and she finds it "ablist" rather bothers me. Not in an annoyed way but in a sad way. As I see it, the problem is in her point of view. SHE identifies as "crazy" but feels that "crazy" is a perjurative. But from what I read, she's not in need of incarceration or sedation or restraints. She's not "crazy" she's just got some brain disorder.
As many people pointed out, the word "crazy" is a very contextual word. Its useful to describe all sorts of chaotic situations and incomprehensible objects. I do agree that our society has gotten a tad lazy at times and "crazy" is overused. It's not a light word or it shouldn't be. "silly" isn't "crazy" "amusing" isn't "crazy" "mixed up" isn't "crazy"
But that's just English and slang for you; some words get favored for a while and come to mean all sorts of shades that it never covered before. So it was with "dynamite" and so it is with "crazy" (and the next word I'll talk about) I could go on for years about words that fell into favor and got completely overblown until the next word (I had a particular loathing for the all-purpose word "tight") came along. But "crazy" isn't really one of them. It's always been used in many contexts. It's a very all-purpose descriptive. Chaotic, stressful, untenable, degenerative, destructive, insane, disordered, uncontrollable, not to mention it can replace good ole "very"
That's how our language works sometimes. "crazy" was never a medical term or a technical term. It has always covered many shades of meaning. So to pull out one aspect of it and say "because it has this meaning to me I don't like people using it in ANY context.
I just don't agree. You can't dictate that to all of society. Not when its a word that has always had a wide basis.
If you think one word is perjurative, I can get behind that. Calling someone "crazy" directly can be a serious insult. It can also be a term of affection. It can also be a flippant comment. It can also be a strengthener of a more important notion. But to think that every time someone uses it it somehow belittles you because it CAN be a perjurative... I have a hard time with that.
I'd feel the same way if the term discussed was "Dark"
There is a difference between the word "dark" and "darkie"
If someone tried to tell me I can't say "its a dark night" because they are too reminded of the term "darkie" I'd have to respectfully say "sorry, no can do"
So I'll say things like "I had a crazy day" and if that makes some odd person somehow cringe, then I am sorry their self-image is so skewered.

Then there's the "R" word.
Let me be frank: I use the "R" word when referring to objects or situations. I am totally okay with that.

I do not use that word about people unless I am being flippant and assuredly private. It is not acceptable to use that word as a descriptive term and I agree.

No, The "R" word used to be a technical/medical term and thus has many more applications than just people, but of course it evolved in slang and came to mean one thing: "irrevocably stupid"

Mentally disabled people are not irrevocably stupid. The new meaning of the "R" word is incorrect historically and technically but it is too late. Furthermore, our ability to diagnose and label the forms of intellectual impairment have widened dramatically since the "R" word was first used and in some sense, it no longer applies anyway. Thus it can no longer be used in its original form to describe a medical condition any more than "crazy" can be used to describe someone with a brain dysfunction. It simply isn't accurate. The difference is that the definition of "crazy" has not changed in either general use or slang use. Because it has MANY definitions. The "R" word has only ever had one definition. Originally it meant "slow growth" It doesn't mean that anymore and everyone knows it. So we cannot justify using that term on people anymore. Perhaps in private conversation when referring to someone everyone agrees is in fact "irrevocably stupid" it will get used, I'm sure, but I think/hope its use is dying off. I like to think society is coming around to the understanding that just about no one is irrevocably stupid. I like to be naive like that sometimes.

The last word is "gey"
I don't think I really have to get too into it here to outline why I just won't use that word and I hate it and I will call out anyone who uses it. IN light of everything I've said about "crazy" and the "R" word, I should think everyone can grasp why "ghey" (I don't give a shit how you spell it, we KNOW what you mean) is just wrong.
smibbo: (Default)
there's a huge industry based on profiting from parental guilt.

In this society, the fact is, most cannot realistically have their baby and feed it too; going back to work and putting baby in daycare is a source of guilt and anxiety because it feels wrong to leave the bulk of care to someone else. Yet the aftermath of behaviorism is still resonating. Supposedly everything you do will have ever-lasting effects that could possibly scar your child for life. Saying "no, you must bow to the needs of the rest of us" feels wrong because its a baby and cannot understand but more importantly, it underscores the helplessness we all feel about our social predicament. We are mired in the constrains of our culture to over provide lest our shortcomings cause "irreparable damage"

The fact that so many children survive and thrive despite dire poverty, lack of cultural exposure, and undereducation and even sometimes abuse/neglect seems to have been swept under the rug. Of course the fact that a negative environment isn't guaranteed to damage is not an endorsement of same but turning a blind eye to that truth pushes the behaviorist agenda.

The true irony of the situation is that although Watson's dismal failure with his own children helped loosen the iron grip of regimented childcare, the leaning of "nurture" over "nature" had become entrenched. Dr Spock was considered "soft" in his day because he advocated for parental instincts overriding scientific assertions and contended "you cannot spoil a baby" - a direct contradiction of behaviorists even as it agreed with the basic tenet of "what you do affects your child greatly"

So although today's modern child psychologists do not agree with the originators of behaviorism it is not that they disagree with the "whether" you can permanently indent your child, but the "how" you do so.

The very notion that children are resiliant, adaptable and have their own individual natures predisposed seems to still be ignored despite major advances in evolutionary pschology. Its astounding how far behind sociology and adult psychology child psychology lags but it does and always has.

Parenting brings a lot of guilt and anxiety as it stands in our culture and rather than find ways to mollify this negativity, science has capitalized on it and deepened it.

I'm sure a large part of that stems from the atomic age as well. Living under such a dire threat that creates a sense of impotence will turn any person,, no matter how secure and serene towards that which is controllable. and in the end, the one thing that is ultimately the most controllable aspect of life is parenting. Parents were clamoring for ways to "modernize" parenting in the atomic age and they got it. In order to circumvent a parents natural tendancy to use instinctual methods and build upon familial history, science became "authorities" on child-rearing (and childbirth even! ponder that for a second) and used natural basic guilt and anxiety (two tools "designed" by evolution to keep parents on-the-job and aware of their actions thus creating mindful parents that evolve as well) to push their theories and modes upon everyone.

Its everywhere; the media plays upon it, entertainment plays upon it, professionals play upon it, even legislators play upon it. Everyone is ready to tell parents how to "not fuck up their kids" and everyone is figuratively sitting in the wings ready to inject more guilt and anxiety at the slightest sign of parental infraction. And parents, true to their nature, fall for it because evolution has conditioned them to do so.
smibbo: (Default)
When I was a little girl, I used to draw and write stories. I think I wrote my first "real" story when I was about seven years old. I got an idea in my head and persuaded my mother to type while I dictated. It was called "The Bus Driver's Adventures". Looking back on it, it was not very good but then again, I was only seven years old. Then, as now, I had difficulty bringing it to a close. I think I just abandoned the storyline after about four chapters and began other projects. I was very project-oriented as a child, come to think of it... I can recall building Radio Shack kids' science kits (a radio, a generator, an electro-magnet), trying to use all the legoes to make a city, sewing and knitting for my doll-house (more fascinated with the house than actually playing with the dolls themselves). Miniatures especially entranced me. I would spend hours putting things in the dollhouse and then close it up and look through the windows. I was somewhat obsessed with making things "realistic". I collected stuffed animals but I only liked animals that looked "real" - no pink bunnies or blue doggies for me!
But mostly, I made up stories. Once I learned to write, I wrote stories all the time. I tried to draw pictures to go along with my stories but my impatience with my own lack-of-talent and technical ineptness often made me ask my best friend Jill to do the drawings for me (she was extremely gifted).
I wrote a lot of wacky stuff back then, usually because my wackiness was what got the rave reviews. It was easy for me to begin a tale and wind it all over the map of the imagination before bringing it to a bizarre ending. I discovered that bizarre endings were not only popular, they often solved the problem of how to finish off a tale that actually has no moral tale or "message". My protagonists had a habit of turning into other creatures (or other genders!) and flying off to enjoy other (untold) adventures elsewhere. Elsewise, they ended up marrying someone and living "happily ever after"

You see, I grew up with tons of fairy tales told to me all the time. The hidden part of me that was naiive and romantic, clearly showed whenever I told a story. It also showed in my drawings. Psychiatrists and psychologists believe that children tell their innermost feelings through their drawing and imaginative play. If that's so, then apparently I had a secret deep longing to be a princess. Despite my tomboy nature, I obviously coveted long beautiful dresses and waited to someday meet my prince (or princess) who would wisk me away to an imposing castle where we would live happily ever after.
On the other hand, if drawings and imaginative play show what lies deep within the heart of a child, I must have had a serious dichotomy going on. Because the other half of my imagination was one of swashbuckling and heroism. Just as I might tell a tale of a princess who turned into a snake before meeting and marrying her alligator prince who later turns into a princess so they can get married under the lake, I would weave a story of being a pirate who one day decides to go on land and save the hapless old man from the fierce dragon who has put a spell on the old man because he's really a handsome prince in disguise and now they can both jump on the back of a turtle and fly up to the moon to get married and live happily ever after.

I dreamed of being a princess and being saved. I dreamed of being a pirate and saving a princess.

(Good gravy, I've been bi-trans-gender-sexual since I was a child!)

What did you used to imagine?
smibbo: (Default)
(overheard at [livejournal.com profile] wolven's party the other night)

"and then I have to ask myself, why is there always a giant bag of cheese trying to kill me?"
(man listening nods understandingly)
smibbo: (Default)
when you are in a relationship
and you love your woman
but you look at other women (I mean you're not dead)
do you ever think
"I wish my girlfriend looked like that"

cuz I'll tell you secret
women do that all the time.

and most women believe that men do it too.

Men don't seem to be insecure about their looks
...but women are.

So, anytime a man mentions looking/appreciating/lusting another woman, his girl thinks he's really wishing SHE looked the same and she hates that feeling.

...But I wonder if men really do think that way. Because that's not the same way women are thinking about it. Women generally wish their men looked better because of status, not for sexual appeal. Although sexual appeal has its place too, women usually want their men to look their best because they know they are being judged by the appeal of the man they "caught". As men like to have something lusty to look at, women like to have something prized to look at. Neither side can claim the other to be more superficial.

Do guys have any idea how much their women worry about the looks of their men?

"yall don't notice 'hints'"
(until we make it a proclamation in the fucking daily paper)

I quote com0rbid: subtlety works on every man...except the one you're directing it toward.

See, one thing women complain about A LOT is how their men "goes to pot" after a certain amount of time passes in the relationship yet he will still look at booby women and comment thereon.
...and she's thinking "what about YOU jackass?"

Am I just insensitive?
are women just WAAAAY more superficial than we think?

or are men just WAAAAY more sensitive to being criticized for their looks than they pretend to be?

What women, by and large, complain about is a man's looks going downhill because he isn't taking care of himself anymore; he doesn't seem to care.
When men are ogling other women, it's usually a young woman who is simply built in a fashion that the guys' girlfriends could never mirror.
So we feel that we are being compared by using an unfair yardstick but when we compare, we are using the yardstick of the man himself, i.e. what he looks like now, against what he looked like a couple of years ago.
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