Monday, July 15, 2019

Edith Ann says: Calling Bullshit

Sometimes you just have to pass along good stuff!

I'm feeling ill today, so I'm sitting, wrapped up, watching a video set shared with me by my brilliant friend Edith-Ann Zecca.
You can check this series, "Calling Bullshit", out at this website:

Their lectures are available free on Youtube or through that link.
These guys, Jevin West and Carl Bergstrom at the U of Wash, do a NICE, approachable, and understandable college-level course's aim is to teach you how to think critically about the data and models that constitute evidence in the social and natural sciences.

They're also on FB:

If you watch it, tell me what you think!

The Debunking Handbook

Saturday, July 13, 2019

21 Grams

No, not that kind.

What do you think of when you hear the word soul? This is a word that I resist like crazy because so many people think of a soul as an actual thing, as a spiritual, incorporeal part of a human being, an eternal and everlasting immortal identity.

And the interesting thing about this particular way of viewing soul is that it's not only old, it's also new. *Some ancient religions often include the belief in a spiritual part of a human being that continues on after death. The ancient Egyptians had an incredibly complex conception of a soul, a conception that has many parts to this non-physical thing: the Ren, the Ba, the Ka, the Sheut, and the Ib, among other parts. Ancient Hinduism and Jainism both have concepts called jiva and atman which is the immortal essence or soul of living things that lives on after death. The Muslims have Rūឥ and Nafs, and many shaman and spiritual traditions have concepts of spiritual components to humans. Some even teach that non-biological entities (such as rivers and mountains) possess souls. Yes, souls are all over the place in religion.

The current Christian concept of the soul, uncomfortably for some, seems to have developed about 600 BCE as a result of contact with Persia and Greece. Someone else can debate the Biblical references and the myriad of various Christian conceptions of the soul...

HENCE, I cannot tolerate any use of the word soul unless it is defined carefully.
I am perfectly willing to discuss a soul when we discuss a soul as an essential part of a human being, their basic identity or humanity. That idea allows for the soul to stand in the place for the psychological term self. And I'm OK with that. Even the philosophical idea of essence appeals to me because it refers to the essential properties that make a person who they are. No spirits or woo necessary. Thank you to Aristotle for that one.

The idea of the soul as being an intellectual or creative energy, this I like too. The True Self. The persona or personality. The subconscious. All of these are perfectly fine with me.

I'm thinking about this quite a bit these days because I've been reading a bit about neuroscience and there is a great deal of talk about the unique mental and psychological processes that create thought, identity, and behavior in a person and, in some circles, some people might call this thing the soul. If the word soul didn't have so much religious baggage, it would be a perfect word to use in this case.

Our brains, our very identities are infinitely complex and changeable. The entire field of neurology intrigues and occupies a place about ten notches above my head. I try to understand, but can only comprehend small bits. But I'm determined, deep down in my soul.

I'd enjoy hearing your thoughts.

* This is a very, very simplistic discussion of these complex ideas.
* 21 Grams

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Friday, July 12, 2019

99 Things I Love

  1. The Kids and Jerry, of course
  2. John's Humor.
  3. Bollywood Movies
  4. Floral Scents
  5. Pistachios
  6. Ellie and Maddie
  7. Hot Tea 
  8. Traveling 
  9. Taking Pictures
  10. Winged Victory of Samothrace
  11. Mary Oliver Poetry
  12. Steak: Medium Rare
  13. My Children's Eyes
  14. Swimming Pool Smells
  15. Hydrangeas 
  16. Embroyered Pillowcases from my Grandma
  17. Sunday Afternoons
  18. Calvin and Hobbes
  19. Scrabble
  20. R&B
  21. Saturn
  22. The Moon
  23. My Jewelry
  24. White, sheer curtains
  25. Sleeping
  26. Clean Hair
  27. Hockey
  28. Beat Boxing
  29. Old, Wavy Window Panes
  30. Going Barefoot
  31. Mom's Plants on the Front Porch
  32. Family Pics on the Wall
  33. Cottages
  34. Real Kindness
  35. Gorgeous Wood
  36. Leather Shoes with Tassels
  37. Completed Laundry
  38. Root Beer Barrels
  39. Wildflowers
  40. Antiques Roadshow
  41. Amazon.Prime
  42. Cat-eyed Make Up
  43. Dreadlocks
  44. Movies of the Babies
  45. Kitchy Glassware
  46. College Campuses and Libraries
  47. Leather Satchels
  48. Clouds
  49. Autumn Leaves and Snow Flurries 
  50. Hippie Jeans
  51. Being 55
  52. The Great Courses
  53. Bikes with Baskets
  54. Street Art
  55. The Saxophone
  56. Katherine Hepburn
  57. Flossing
  58. Streetlights
  59. Cool Shades
  60. Minty Breath
  62. Smooth-Writing Pens
  63. White Teeth
  64. Word Games
  65. Flowering Trees
  66. Appetizers
  67. Garden Monuments
  68. National Geographic
  69. Maps
  70. Paleontology
  71. The Venus of Willendorf
  72. NASA
  73. Les Miserables
  74.  Pizzelles
  75. Doodling
  76. Geology
  77. Lip from Shameless
  78. Marsha Linehan
  79. Reading
  80. Beautiful Glass
  81. Our Brains
  82. Youtube
  83. Terry Gross and Fresh Air
  84. Random Acts of Kindness
  85. Northern Exposure
  86. Blue Hair
  87. Earth
  88. Richard Armitage
  89. Fiber Arts
  90. Lexapro
  91. Being Happy
  92. Stealing Spoons
  93. RCT2
  94. Tyler Knott Gregson
  95. Genuine People
  96. Dinosaurs
  97. Control F
  98. Hot Baths
  99. Myself

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Thursday, July 11, 2019

A Letter to Elizabeth in Korea

Dear Elizabeth:

On the other side of the planet, you are spreading your wings, stepping out, dancing in the sun, and exploring what you can do on your own. It's been incredibly surreal that I, a little girl from a small town, a girl from a very racist family, a girl from the wrong side of the tracks, have a daughter in KOREA, making meaning in her life! It's weird to think about how far your generation has moved from the generation before me!

This trip to Korea, I sincerely hope, is life-enriching and goal-creating for you. You have many secret dreams and wishes for your life and I hope that this brief trip to the literal other side of the planet, ON YOUR OWN, shows you your ability to rise above the difficulties and shows you your ability to absolutely shine in your own skin. With some time to ease into the summer, you have learned resilience and commitment in these first few weeks, Elizabeth, and it has been a real honor to be your mother, your life line, as you learn these things about yourself.

You have extended your hand again and again until some people finally had the courage to extend their hands back. I hope you notice that they were there all along, just unwilling or unable to take that courageous step as quickly as you could. Humans are difficult things to understand and to live with. But SOOoo worth it.

And, Dear Korea, you small far-off country of large culture:

Look out, Dude, Elizabeth is COMING!!!!!!

With love, Mom

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Sunday, June 30, 2019

Bucket List

Do you have a bucket list?

I had never even heard of the concept of a bucket list until about ten years ago! lol I remember someone using the term and me going What is that, a bucket list? 😄

Since then, I've developed quite a list of things I'd like to accomplish in this life time. Some things that can and will never happen and some that just might! If I share my list with you, will you share your list with me?

Cool. Here's some of mine.

Let's begin with concerts and performances that I would really love to see some how, some way, in no particular order.
David Garret
German Violinist
  • Ray Charles
  • Luther VanDross
  • Anita Baker
  • Michael Jackson
  • Led Zepplin
  • The Beatles
  • Super Junior
  • Paul McCartney
  • David Garrett
  • Whitney Houston
  • Bo Burnham
  • Les Mis on Broadway
  • Tim Minchin
  • Chris Hitchins
  • Penn and Teller

And then there are the places! So many places, real, imagined, and past that I, sometimes, long to see, to experience, to be moved by, filled get it. Here's my list and, before I even write it down, I'll bet most of it is more of a spiritual nature than an excitement thing. Beauty. Sublimity. Nature. Force...
Here we go, again, in no particular order:

Predjama Castle,
  • Lake Bled, Slovenia
  • Stonehenge
  • The Library at Alexandria
  • Castle Island, Dublin
  • The caves at Lascaux
  • Bryce Canyon
  • Norway
  • Verona
  • The Guggenheim
  • The Isle of Skye
  • The Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem
  • The Roman Colosseum
  • Venice
  • The Acropolis
  • Niagara Falls
  • Platform 9 3/4 at King's Cross Station
  • Yosemite
  • The Louvre
  • Amalfi Coast
  • Lots of Italy
  • Surat, India
  • The Harrapa Ruins
  • Fingal's Cave
  • Istanbul 
  • Athens
  • Scotland
  • Cappadocia, Turkey
  • Sun Temple in Modhera, India
  • Ljubljana Slovenia
  • The Great Rift Valley
  • Mackinac Island

And, finally, things I want to do or experience, some completely impossible, but you get the idea:
Magic School Bus
  • Meet Marie Curie
  • Meet Galileo
  • Get matching tattoos with Elizabeth and John
  • Go to a Kennedy Center Honors
  • Meet Leonardo da Vinci
  • Ride on the Magic School Bus
  • Watch the launching of a rocket from Cape Canaveral 
  • See the Northern Lights
  • Go to a concert at the Royal Albert Hall
  • Meet Urska and a few other online friends 💙
  • Meet my daughter
  • Watch a quiddich match
  • See Isengard
  • Own an invisibility cloak
  • Cure cancer, the common cold, all mental illness...
  • Spend millions and millions on important causes

Gosh, I now realize that this blog post could go on and on!
But I think I'll end it with a list of bucket list things that I've accomplished in this life time, much as I could never have seen it happening when I was young. 

  • Marry the love of my life
  • Have an amazing, happy family
  • Have children who are best friends
  • Snorkel
  • Air Balloon
  • Swim with dolphins
  • Visit New Zealand
  • Live in Australia
  • Be a grandmother
  • ...MORE TO COME!

What is your bucket list? What have you accomplished?

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Thursday, June 20, 2019

You Don't Comment...

It's a funny thing, being a blogger.
As a blogger you have this awareness that you are writing mostly for yourself, but every so often you are reminded, I am reminded, that there is an active readership out there, reading my stuff.

I've been blogging for about nine years now and my awareness of the readership goes in and out. Mostly because you guys are so quiet. I'm pretty sure that people drop in and drop out following clip art and such, and, of course, that's OK. It's a blog for goodnesssake. 

And I'm perfectly capable of sustaining my own motivation for blogging and for regular postings and, just, for creating content that is readable and relatable and maybe a little bit provocative. I do think of my writing as a thing that I do for myself too...IOW.

The thing about a blog, though, is that it is an oddly intimate, so I'm going to share this little secret about myself with you.

  • I like hearing from you.
    I do.

    Your voice matters to me and, in a way, if you are are here, we are one-way confidants, you know? And I prefer two-way.

    I guess that's my problem though.  ☺️

Anyway, I like comments. I like communication.
I like quality over quantity.

But if I'm not earning it, I'm not, I get that.
🀔  Hmmmmmm, your input is welcome.
This post isn't about guilt tripping anybody and it's only a little bit about begging. It's actually more looking for feedback. 

Maybe I'm not offering enough to read? Maybe my content isn't gutsy, provocative, inspirational, authentic, unique, or readable enough. In that case, I'd appreciate hearing that. I don't know what I'd change, but I would love your feedback.

Thanks for your time.
You don't comment...and that's OK.  😊

Please Share This Post With Your Frends.

Khan Academy Math: Not Shaming + INCLUSION = PROMOTION?

If you are a homeschooling parent, chances are you are quite familiar with Khan Academy website. If you're not familiar with it, make sure you check it out; it is an invaluable resource!

Khan Academy is a website started in 2008 by Salman Khan, a former hedge fund analyst, who began tutoring his cousin online. After awhile, other of Khan's relative's children began using his tutoring videos with their own children. Before long, his videos took off! And I mean through the roof! Through a combination of relatable lectures and SmoothDraw, Khan brought clarity to complex math ideas.

Before long, maybe a year!, Salman Khan quit his full time job to focus on creating and building Khan Academy School, a website with thousands of videos of discrete concepts and ideas for teachers, classes, and students. All of his work is completely free to users of the website. 

We used Khan Academy during our homeschooling years for higher math concepts that I was completely unable to understand, much less convey with any clarity to the kids. My kids became self-learners, in part, because of Khan Academy. I send my sincerest and heart-felt appreciation to Salman Khan.


Anyway, the reason for bringing up The Khan Academy is this. My friend Janeen brought a Christian website to my attention, specifically an article criticizing Khan Academy for promoting the LGBT agenda. The purpose of the article was to discourage Christian parents from using the Khan Academy because of its Leftist agenda, based on those who fund KA. The so-called evidence of this claim is coming through in the material presented as exercise problems. Take this example given in the OP:
The lesson is on "Irregular Plural Nouns: from 'f' to 'ves.'" The unsuspecting student is told to "Choose the correct plural noun to use in this sentence":
'Brittany and Sofia went to lunch with their _____ every Saturday.'"
Khan Academy's "correct" answer reveals the gay agenda behind the English "problem":
The only choices are "wifes" or "wives."

GASP, the gay agenda (as Janeen texted to me)!

And my educated and intellectual opinion is this: 
Those bitching about this can fuck right off.

On the other hand, I strenuously endorse Khan Academy as a source of inclusive, well-executed personal learning opportunities that are absolutely FREE and much of the material is available on YouTube. Subject matter on KA ranges from beginner to extremely advanced math to science to computing to arts and humanities to history or econ to test taking to career exploration to support resources for parents and teachers.

Khan Academy is truly an AMAZING resource that, sometimes, I think we don't deserve!  LOL
Salman Khan, many thanks to your dedication to the spread of accessible resources for all! Khan has also given us some wonderful TEDtalks and other resources on YouTube, please check it out!

No, REALLY, What Do You Think?

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Monday, June 17, 2019

Rorschach Revelations

The other day I was reading stuff on social media when I ran across a story of some minister dude just blazing "the gays". This minister was shouting stuff about the book Leviticus from the Old Testament of the Christian holy book while standing on the side of his little cardboard pulpit while other dudes in the folding chair pews were shouting hostile "AMENs" and stuff. I just scratched my head.

Not only do I not understand the vehemence of their derision (though I think I do... 😠...and OMGOD, this one.), I don't understand why they are reading so little of their special book.

Have you seen a Bible lately? The standard KJ version of the Bible has over 1000 pages, all with writing on them! I'm saying that of the SIXTY books in the standard bible King James and the over 31,000 verses of the book (that's more than 23 thousand OT and nearly 8 thousand NT), these people are maniacally focused on ONE verse.


Why not focus on some of these verses from KJ?:

But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only,
deceiving your own selves.
James 1:22

Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not;
neither decline from the words of my mouth.
Proverbs 4:5

Riches profit not in the day of wrath:
but righteousness delivereth from death.
Proverbs 11:4

And forgive us our debts,
as we forgive our debtors.
Matthew 6:12

Create in me a clean heart, O God;
and renew a right spirit within me.
Psalm 51:10

Wash you, make you clean;
put away the evil of your doings
from before mine eyes; cease to do evil.
Isaiah 1:16

By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, 
if ye have love one to another.
John 13:35

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, 
forgiving one another, 
even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.
Ephesians 4:32

I ask the question, yet I think I know the answer.
I see the Bible and other books of that nature as a type of Rorschach test, if you will. In case you don't know what a Rorschach Test is, it is an instrument that psychoanalysts in the 1960s (mostly) used to use with patients. Often called the Inkblot Test, it is a set of cards with random patterns and shapes that are presented to the client. The client then describes what the inkblot looks like to him or her, thereby, so the old wisdom suggested, revealing something about the subconscious or personality of the patient.

Why is the Bible a Rorschach test?
You find what you are looking for. You find what you seek.
It is your interpretations that give a thing meaning.

YEEEARS ago I used to open the Bible to random pages and read there. And I would be AMAZED to discover that that particular page held some special words that addressed what was in my heart. I believed this and, yes, I would KEEP READING until I found those special words, meant as guidance just for's a little bit like that too.

My point being, of course, that we find what we are looking for. And those dudes who are so very disgusted, angry, ...focused on homosexuals, seem to me, to be revealing something of themselves.

And, know what, Gay Clergy? BE GAY. DO YOU.
But then have the courage and the integrity to fight the religious shackles that have you caged and bound in their hateful, violent dogma. And fight for the abolishment of all religious policies that require abstinence for clergy.

After all, you're only human.

What do YOU think?

 Ironically, I just saw this meme on Facebook:

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Monday, June 10, 2019

If My Child Became a Believer

One of the questions that first-generation atheist parents ask ourselves (and each other) quite a bit is this: What if my child became a believer?

Yeah, we like to torture ourselves.  😄

So many of us have come so far from the mythologies of our upbringing, yet we recall the strength of the methodical brainwashing of the religions of our childhoods. In the early years of parenting my children, the sheer thought of allowing my children to be in the presence of any of that brainwashing treacle was enough to place terror in my heart.

I didn't know yet.
I didn't trust reason and logic yet.

I still lived in fear from the brainwashing.

What I didn't know then yet was that raising our kids in our home with reason and logic and freedom to explore ideas was total inoculation against the religions of the world. They were set.

We had science in our lives continuously. If we weren't looking at the stars or the rocks or some energy source, we were talking about the concepts behind those things. It was regular and natural and barely required any planning or deliberate action, because it is how we live our lives. We love to learn, my husband and I, and we would share our enthusiasm with the kids. Even if they weren't completely bowled over by the science behind the rainbow or the rain, they still absorbed all of that knowledge, all of that beauty.

Kids are always so enamored with the flashy sciences: dinosaurs, race cars, pretty rocks, water guns, thunderstorms, farts, flight, the ocean, bugs, etc and it's so easy to simply get excited about all of those things that grab their attention and to explore every part of it that keeps them interested. Momma, watch the Bill Nye videos from a very early age! So fun and so engaging. 

But what about Santa 
and religion 
and the religion in the media?
Well, I didn't say that that crap isn't omnipresent, because it totally is. And it's beguiling and flashy. Early on, Man, I remember my heart clinching in my chest when something from the noise would attract the attention of Elizabeth. Because she wanted magic. She craved it. And she wanted it to be REAL.

So, one day I decided to simply embrace the magic.
Let her believe. Let her take on the nonsense in her own head and trust that she knew enough to keep her safe.
Oh geez was I frightened.

But I needn't have been.
She explored lots of magical ideas when she was, aw, between five and nine years of age or so. And if SHE explored it, so did John. He just followed her in whatever she did.

Once, for about a year they both believed and acted like they had some sort of wind magic.  😊  They would call the wind. And, not surprisingly, sometimes it would come. And one day, Elizabeth and John John has been calling the wind when Elizabeth sidled over to me, keeping her confession a secret from her little brother, and said, You know, Momma, I don't really call the wind; the wind just comes and I call it after I see it happening.

I know, Honey. Isn't it fun to pretend?


The two of them went on to "believe in" several other gods and spirits and things (for awhile during the Rick Riordan years, they pretended to believe in the Greek Gods.) They would act serious about it, like they saw some grown ups act about their god. 😆 And always, always, they knew that they were pretending.

~~~~~~~~~~~~ 😊 ~~~~~~~~~~~~

Now that the kids are older I have asked them about all of that and they both have told me that they enjoyed pretending, but the cognitive dissonance was strong! 

So, while I don't advocate for any VBS or "going to church with Grandma", I do hope that you can relax about this. If you're doing your part, in a relaxed fashion, of exposing them to the beauties and fun of science, you can consider them inoculated.

Of course, if you EVER feel uncomfortable
with what's going on,
ignore this and trust your own instincts

What would YOU DO if your child
became a believer?

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Friday, June 7, 2019

Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman by Lindy West

Fergoodnesssake Go Read This Book! 

Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman by Lindy West

How did I locate this amazing gem at our local library? Did I just browse across it? YES, I think that is how it happened! However it happened, let me just say that, during these early weeks of my job that has had me truly overwhelmed, this book has been a GO-TO, in spite of my busyness. I didn't want to miss a word of it.

Lindy West, mostly according to Wikipedia, is an American writer, comedian and activist. She is the author of the essay collection Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman and a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times. The topics she writes about include feminism, popular culture, and the fat acceptance movement. But she's so much more than that. She's me. She's you. She's all of us in spades.

Her realism had me literally laughing out loud, crying, again laughing out loud, and then closing the book to think...all in about a two page tirade...just READ IT. 

West uses her platform to talk about being fat. Yes. Fat. I have always lived in a culture of tiny*; so have you. Tiny waists, tiny bottoms, tiny tops, tiny necks, tiny ring fingers, tiny thighs (PLEASE get the center fat from your thighs removed so that the thighs no longer touch each other!), tiny feet, tiny wrists. We have all lived in this weird cultural obsession with thin. Not healthy, thin. We barely see it, we barely notice its power. But it's there and it's in our heads.

We females and males who are "larger" know that moment that someone looks from our eyes to our hips, to our thighs, to our oversized tunic. We know the second we're so very seen and unseen at the same moment. We know the exact second the other person's eyes squint in frustration at having to be exposed to "larger". It's unfair to them. It's uncomfortable for them. 
We're SO sorry.

Lindy West opened my eyes to this in this book full of essays that range in subject from Kick Ass Femaling to Body Pride to the hilariously unfunny career of comedians to The Abortion Story to painful relationships that make you laugh until you cry to revolutionary self love to self loving ANYWAY to those compromising, painful years of young adulthood. Shrill is the book I've been looking for this year. All I can do is share some moments from the book with you and hope you'll go out and get it. It's about body positivity, yes, but it's SO much more.
Go get it.
Because I care about you; I want you to read it.

Here are a few of my favorites:
I believe unconditionally in the right of people with uteruses to decide what grows inside of their body and feeds on their blood and endangers their life and reroutes their future. There are no ‘good’ abortions and ‘bad’ abortions, there are only pregnant people who want them and pregnant people who don’t, pregnant people who have access and support and pregnant people who face institutional roadblocks and lies.
For that reason, we simply must talk about it.

I reject the notion that thinness is the goal,that thin = better—that I am an unfinished thing and that my life can really start when I lose weight.That then I will be a real person and have finally succeeded as a woman.
I am not going to waste another second of my life thinking about this. I don’t want to have another fucking conversation with another fucking woman about what she’s eating or not eating or regrets eating or pretends to not regret eating to mask the regret.

Please don’t forget: I am my body. When my body gets smaller, it is still me. When my body gets bigger, it is still me. There is not a thin woman inside me, awaiting excavation. I am one piece.

One time, I noticed that the little waxy strips you peel off the maxi pad adhesive were printed, over and over, with a slogan: 'Kotex Understands.' In the worst moments, when my period felt like a death - the death of innocence, the death of safety, the harbinger of a world where I was too fat, too weird, too childish, too ungainly - I'd sit hunched over on the toilet and stare at that slogan, and I'd cry. Kotex understands. Somebody, somewhere, understands.

When I look at photographs of my twenty-two-year-old self, so convinced of her own defectiveness, I see a perfectly normal girl and I think about aliens. If an alien came to earth - a gaseous orb or a polyamorous cat person or whatever - it wouldn't even be able to tell the difference between me and Angelina Jolie, let alone rank us by hotness. It'd be like, 'Uh, yeah, so those ones have the under-the-face fat sacks, and the other kind has that dangly pants nose. Fuck, these things are gross. I can't wait to get back to the omnidirectional orgy gardens of Vlaxnoid 7.

...who decided that “astronaut” would be a great dream job for a kid? It’s like 97 percent math, 1 percent breathing some Russian dude’s farts, 1 percent dying, and 1 percent eating awesome powdered ice cream. If you’re the very luckiest kind of astronaut ever, your big payoff is that you get to visit a barren airless wasteland for five minutes, do some more math, and then go home—ice cream not guaranteed. Anyway, loophole: I can already buy astronaut ice cream at the Science Center, no math or dying required. Lindy, 1; astronauts nada. (Unless you get points for debilitating low bone density, in which case… I concede.) Not

Feminists don’t single out rape jokes because rape is “worse” than other crimes—we single them out because we live in a culture that actively strives to shrink the definition of sexual assault; that casts stalking behaviors as romance; blames victims for wearing the wrong clothes, walking through the wrong neighborhood, or flirting with the wrong person; bends over backwards to excuse boys-will-be-boys misogyny; makes the emotional and social costs of reporting a rape prohibitively high; pretends that false accusations are a more dire problem than actual assaults; elects officials who tell rape victims that their sexual violation was “god’s plan”; and convicts in less than 5 percent of rape cases that go to trial.

I had been erroneously led to believe that “veterinarian” was the grown-up term for “professional animal-petter.

The active ingredient in period stigma is misogyny.

As a woman, my body is scrutinized, policed, and treated as a public commodity. As a fat woman, my body is also lampooned, openly reviled, and associated with moral and intellectual failure. My body limits my job prospects, access to medical care and fair trials, and – the one thing Hollywood movies and Internet trolls most agree on – my ability to be loved. So the subtext, when a thin person asks a fat person, ‘Where do you get your confidence?’ is, ‘You must be some sort of alien because if I looked like you, I would definitely throw myself into the sea.”

When you raise every woman to believe that we are insignificant, that we are broken, that we are sick, that the only cure is starvation and restraint and smallness; when you pit women against one another, keep us shackled by shame and hunger, obsessing over our flaws rather than our power and potential; when you leverage all of that to sap our money and our time—that moves the rudder of the world. It steers humanity toward conservatism and walls and the narrow interests of men, and it keeps us adrift in waters where women’s safety and humanity are secondary to men’s pleasure and convenience.

To be shrill is to reach above your station; to abandon your duty to soothe and please; in short, to be heard.

And for those of you who wondered if I would ever give out full stars for a book review, today is the day and I thank Lindy West from the bottom of my heart for Shrill.

Except for the HUGE hair and shoulder pads of the 80s.

Thursday, June 6, 2019


Well, an amazing blogging milestone just silently passed for me with no fanfare. I posted my 1000th blog post the other day, the one where I celebrate OCCUPYING SPACE!

 Thank you so much for taking this journey with me!
I truly appreciate you
and I love the friendships you have brought to my life!

Transcendentalism: Ralph Waldo Emerson

From or Dictionarys.rus or something like that, transcendentalism is described as:
1. an idealistic philosophical and social movement which developed in New England around 1836 in reaction to rationalism. Influenced by romanticism, Platonism, and Kantian philosophy, it taught that divinity pervades all nature and humanity, and its members held progressive views on feminism and communal living. Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau were central figures.

2. a system developed by Immanuel Kant, based on the idea that, in order to understand the nature of reality, one must first examine and analyze the reasoning process which governs the nature of experience.

Or, in every day English:
People have knowledge that comes from intuition and/or imagination that goes beyond sensory knowledge or logic and people can trust themselves to be their own authority on what is right. Therefore, ideas, and not religion, is the path to understanding life and whatnot. Or there bouts.

I can kinda get behind that.
Except for the parts that I can't get behind. (There's a bit more to it than that, as most philosophies are. 😉)

I'm just interested and thought I'd take a look, so, Lucky You, you're about to learn something...

Transcendentalism was a mostly nineteenth century thing, though it started waaay back with Plato who was heard to say:

Human behavior flows from three main sources: desire, emotion, and knowledge.
The community which has neither poverty nor riches will always have the noblest principles.
No law or ordinance is mightier than understanding.
And what, Socrates, is the food of the soul? Surely, I say, knowledge is the food of the soul.

And weeks pass since beginning this post, as they do.
I'll post it for the fun of looking super-intellectual to you.

I was going to explore this some more
but with my new job,
my brain is jelly

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

I Did It For Me

SOMEHOW I Deleted this Post.


And it was my most brilliant post of all...  😁

Thursday, May 23, 2019

The Beginning Point. The Jumping Off Point.

A few weeks ago I did a writing exercise based on a writing challenge from another blog that I found intriguing called The Prose of an Electrate Mind written by a woman named Meredith. Meredith, a student of the humanities, is no longer blogging for her own reasons, but I found her photography compelling and her writing interesting. So, tonight, I'll check out another of the writing exercise from that 2016 writing challenge:
Our freedom can be measured by the number of things we can walk away from.
Vernon Howard

  • My questions would be what has give you freedom?
  • Was it from letting go of something, or from jumping into something new?

Of course, this one is perfect for me right now because I am embarking on a terrifying, exciting new journey. One that will take the very best of me. And while doing this, I'm also doing other new things, new to me anyway, and just kind of reinventing myself. (I'll say more about this in a moment.) But what's weird, if you had asked me two months ago what, if anything, was I planning on changing in my life, I would have had no idea. Weird to think of it that way.
I had no plan.

So what has given me this freedom at the age of 55?
I have, of course. My husband is always, eternally encouraging. The kids have done a fair amount of encouraging... But I think, one day, after being passed over for a fairly menial job, I got bummed, then angry, then determined. I decided that it was time to take my future into my own hands and to make a huge gesture. I decided to make it happen: I made the decision to do whatever it took to get my professional license back.

I had let the license lapse back in 2004, somewhere in the midst of children, homeschooling, carpooling, creating lessons, living a very different life from today. Somewhere in there, silently, without a second of notoriety or choice, I allowed my professional license to lapse: A GRAVE ERROR. This license takes a prohibitive amount of work to reinstate at this stage of the game. In fact, I'm not at all sure that anyone else has gone back to this profession so many years later...seemed to me that the licensing board was kind of playing it by ear a bit.  

It took me several months, several hundred dollars, about two dozen leaps of faith into unknown air, and so so so much researching to get that thing back. 

I, then, set out to find a job with a new license and absolutely nothing to show on my resume. I have been out of the field for over eighteen years. EVERY SINGLE TOP REFERENCE no longer exists, some people have died, agencies have disappeared from the surface of the earth, and I've even forgotten some people's names.
I felt pretty screwed. 

I've now jumped in.
I'm now employed and working hard HARD to get myself current and prepared to work with clients.
GRRRRL, I'm stressed. I'm in a total hurricane of new information, skills, procedures, insurance apps, organizational stuff, orienting, so so much.
Who in the world saw this coming?!!!

But that's not all!
I also started volunteering for my local public radio station, our local station of NPR. It has been a freaking delight and I absolutely look forward to more chances to do this work. If you can swing it and if you like meeting people, I highly recommend it!

And, even more!
My dear friend Anna-Marie has been kind enough to take me on as a student of her hobby: stained glass! I've been working on a project that should be finished quite soon. I'm pretty terrible at it at this point, but that's not the point. I'm doing these new things!

Not only am I freaking myself out, I'm also making myself feel something I haven't felt in a long time: Personal Pride.

Personal Pride. It's exactly why I feel freedom right now.
It's the beginning point and the jumping off point.

You Might Also Enjoy:

My Emotions of Change

With Sincere Gratitude: Through the Blue
Your Self Worth

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Love and Pride for Elizabeth and John

Know what?

I'm freaking EXPLODING with joy and pride right now. 

My daughter is studying media and has several "on the radio" spots that she does in various places around town. Today she took her brother, my son, to one of the radio stations to record her spot. While there the station admin asked my daughter to record a few other spots while she was there.

She gestured to her brother and said "My brother is doing some voice acting; wanna give him a try?" (Because he has been looking into voice acting opportunities online and has LANDED some cool voice roles!)

So, at this very moment, my son is recording some spots for the station.

Not only did my daughter generously offer this time and opportunity to her brother, she, herself, is beaming with pride for him.

I'm freaking overwhelmed with love and pride at this moment.

ADDITIONALLY, my daughter has made some very complicated arrangements to get herself to SEOUL SOUTH KOREA this summer for an opportunity of international studies. YES, she has checked in to it, completed all requirements, and has found ways to fund nearly all of it...herself.

I'm beside myself with pride for this kid!
And for the other kid!

What are you proud of today?