Thursday, July 31, 2014

Canned Food Can Drive

We're having a canned food drive at my office and that's great because there are a ton of people in this place and so we always raise a lot of money or box up a ton of food when we do our charitying. But, because I'm a jerk, I started thinking about the whole thing while watching a friend put poster type notices on the boxes.

Alternate Names 
Cans of Food Drive
Food in Cans Drive
Anti Uncanned Food Drive
Canned not Banned Food Drive
Cans with food in them drive

Food drive! Take it easy!


Driving Campbell's Chicken and Stars
Why do we call these things 'drives'? I was unaware that any type of food, canned or uncanned, had the ability to move, let alone drive. I guess I better be careful about accusing the Bat of eating the last of anything because for all I know, it drove away. I know if I Google it, I'll most likely find the history of the phraseology but I prefer just wondering about it endlessly and imagining Darwinian champions of food making a break for it and getting the hell out of my cabinets and fridge.I have a feeling that refrigerated items have it the hardest because - as anyone who has ever watched Punky Brewster knows - you cannot open a fridge from the inside. Therefore, refrigerated items have to wait until someone opens the door from the outside and then try to make a break for it without anyone noticing.

Oh my god... I've seen that happen, twice! I'm not making this up, I swear. A few weeks ago, I opened the refrigerator and a carton of eggs that was in the side shelf thing (you know, the place where you keep eggs) legit just fell out. I stood there for longer than necessary just looking and thinking "what the fuck was that?" And I was telling my friend about it when we were standing in the kitchen and the Bat opened the refrigerator and it happened again. Holy shit! I thought I was just being a jerk for making fun of the whole "drive" part of the Canned Food Drive but I think I've actually just made a scientific discovery of some sort.

Liars
On the big cardboard boxes that say "Canned Food Drive", there are suggestions for what to donate and you know what? There are two categories, one for canned items and one for packaged items! So why are canned foods getting the glory here? Why isn't it just a food drive? Are they afraid people are going to bring in unwrapped pieces of meat or something? "Here you go, a big old unpackaged slab of bacon and a rack of ribs". One of the things listed under packaged items is "Shelf Stable Milk". What the fuck is that? Milk that will stable a shelf that is broken, like when you put random shit under the leg of a table to make it stop wobbling around? Milk that comes out of a stable of shelves? Yes, I know, evaporated milk or whatever, but what a weird way of listing it. Also, why they list suggestions is beyond me because you know it's just going to end up being big cans of pinto beans and boxes of nearly expired mashed potato mixes because people are assholes and use this as an opportunity to clear out their cabinets. Peanut butter is listed under canned foods. Can you get peanut butter in a can?
Because house warming gifts can be fucking bizarre


Racists + Detailed Boxes
Why is the kid pictured on the box gotta be a black kid? And why is it just the one girl? Is this drive specifically for her? If that's the case, I take back my racist accusation but I doubt it. What is she going to do, build a fort out of all the canned goods and act like she is the queen of her poor neighborhood and not let anyone else have any food? "Touch my French Style Green Beans and I will cut out your heart!" I know, made it fancy by qualifying them as French Style, didn't I? That's the kind the Bat made in the microwave for last week's date night and what I nearly choked on trying to eat. Because they are disgusting.
Don't fuck with me bitches, these are ALL mine


But anyway, why do they just show one black girl on the box? I'm not trying to say that my people (whitey mcwhitersons) need to be represented because there are so many poor white kids (but there are), but it just seems racist to use one black child. I'm surprised she isn't in a wheelchair. I mean, if you are going to put pictures of people on the boxes, do what Barney does and throw in a whole passel of colors, not just one. And maybe have them look more pathetic and needy because that girl is smiling way too brightly. Or better yet? Don't use pictures of anybody. We aren't going to ask questions about where the food is going if you don't put pictures on the box. "Should we be bringing in canned dog and cat food? Is this an animal shelter thing? The box doesn't give me enough information." Yes, yes it does. In fact, these are really detailed boxes. On them you can find the following:
  1. A banner at the top reading CANNED FOOD DRIVE 
  2. Pictures of cans falling, indicating that you should put your canned goods in the box. Or else depicting a land where it rains cans of food. I do not want to live in that land.
  3. A directive to "Fill Me Up!" 
  4. Information letting you know that each box provides 200 meals. I take that as a challenge. If I just put in giant cans of pinto beans or something, would that lessen the number of meals? 
  5. A stamp showing which food bank we are contributing to.
  6. A teeny, tiny thank you message.
And that is only one side, the side without the little girl. I would describe the other sides but A: NO1CURR and B: that would necessitate my getting up and turning the boxes around and I've already looked over there enough that my colleagues might be getting a little suspicious.  And my neck is hurting.
We are having a food drive but all I see are boxes.... what do I do?


The End
That's all I got. Did you ever imagine one could put this much thought into dissecting a charitable cause? And I would just like to say that I know there are, actually, individuals who donate thoughtful items and don't just grab whatever looks grossest in their cabinets.

Also, for those of you who care (which is none of you), I'd like to inform you that I had a decent date night this week. I bitched a bit about it a little before because my date nights had been sucking, but this week wasn't too shabby. And the Bat gets major kudos because he was exhausted and crashed when he got home at 4 and slept till I woke him up at 5:30. He totally could have been all "let's just go to Kyoto's" or "can we just get pizza an stay in?" But instead, he followed through with the plan we made that morning and so we went to the Italian place where the owner was asking him all types of questions about his job until he realized "shit, this guy is exhausted and just wants to relax" and so moved on to talking to me about wine.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

My Love and Hate of American Narcissism

Selfies
Can we knock this shit off already? Apparently selfie now refers to any picture you take of any part of your body, whether it be your face, your injured, hairy leg, or your butt (assuming dick pics are still considered dick pics). Look, if you are a teenage girl, I get it. "OMG I am so hideous yet I take selfies all the time" is right up there with "OMG I am so fat as I walk around half naked in the house." Teenage girls get a pass because they are teenage girls and those are the worst. Today they are addicted to their phones, constantly talk about how OMG ugly/fat they are to fish for compliments, and say, with a straight face "this is why I hang out with guys, no DRAMA" when you know for a fact that they hangout with their girlfriends as much as possible.

It's OK, I live with a teenage girl so I'm not making shit up but have done some anthropological research.

In my day, we were angsty and OMG everything has SO MUCH FUCKING FEELING and no one understands and I'm going to play the Smiths and Nirvana on a loop, throwing in some Nick Drake so that you will understand that I have all the feels. Oh yes, we teenage girls in the 90's were insufferable as well, just in a different way. My point is, teenage girls get a pass because they are meant to be insufferable what with all the hormones and mybodyischanging and what not.

But I'm eyeballing anyone over the age of thirty who continually posts selfies. What the fuck is wrong with you? Why do you need - and assume the world needs, according to your public Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram - so many god damn pictures of you? We don't. I am especially throwing shade at those who are nearing forty and still posting thigh gap pictures. Knock that shit off. No one believes for one second that you are trying to post a picture of the beach but, teehee, accidentally captured how thin you are. Also, NO1CURR.

I have literally unfriended people on Facebook for doing this shit because I felt it brought down the intelligence level of the rest of my 70 friends (yeah, I'm that person without a lot of friends on Facebook). And do not even try to justify it by saying you are taking part in the whole 365feministselfie project because there is nothing at all feminist about posting a picture of yourself every day. Feminism, last time I checked, had nothing to do with vanity. And OK, I hear you saying that it is a way of showing all women, regardless of race, sexual orientation, and/or size who are absent from the media. But this is slacktivism and does nothing. Would I rather see a black, gay woman as a character on a sitcom or a black, gay woman working for NASA? If you have to think about that for a second, please unfriend me on Facebook. Bottom line, the 365daysoffeministselfies or whatever it is called is just an excuse for bloggers to keep posting pictures of themselves on the internet so that they can get head pats and compliments. It does nothing to help the cause or whatever. Women still make less money than men working the same job. Taking a god damn selfie isn't going to change that. What fucking glass ceiling are you breaking through ladies? The one in which only men can take selfies? Good job.

Local News Stories

For some reason, I really, really like local news broadcasts. Not only do I get to hear about weather and traffic, I get to hear about local politicians who are up to no good and fire fighters who save dogs. But my absolute favorite are the local news exposes that ostensibly fight for the rights of citizens. I have a GREAT example but I need to preface it by saying that I never saw it myself but learned about  on a snarking website that I frequent. In a certain thread, a poster talked about how a friend of hers was all up in arms because her HOA wouldn't allow her to have a free standing free library on her property (picture a giant birdhouse with books in it that folks can come and take for free and return at their leisure). Don't get me wrong, I think HOAs are bullshit and I don't like them and never have, even though I've never owned my own home. But if you choose to live in a neighborhood that has one, thems the breaks. But not for this chick. She got so upset that she went to her local news station and they did a bit on her, showing video of her playing with her kids in the backyard and, according to the poster, broadcasting it in such a way to say "this mother of three simply wanted to encourage literacy in her neighborhood but the home owners association hates reading." 

Let's break this down, shall we? Some chick who lives in a neighborhood with an HOA built something on her property without getting the go ahead and is now bitching about it. All she wanted to do was promote literacy. You know what? There are these things called local public libraries that are risking dying out because people don't want to read. You really think that your box on a stick filled with books is going to stamp out society's refusal to read? Bull. Fucking. Shit. You are upset because you can't Instagram and Facebook the shit out of what you are doing because you are one of those people who will do volunteer work but have to tell the world that you volunteered because you are such a good fucking person and the rest of us are lazy, selfish assholes. And this was on the news! I love that! I love when bullshit stories make the news when things like a civil war in Syria and whatever the fuck is going on in the Ukraine occur at the same time. "For some reason, Malaysian Airlines decided it made sense to fly over the rebel held Ukrainian area and got shot down and everyone was killed. In other news, Jane Stupid Doe in Bumb Fuck Egypt America is being denied her rights to have a free standing library on her lawn. We will now go live to Reggie who is on the scene. Not one in Syria or the Ukraine, but at this stupid bitch's house." 

Fucking. Love. That. Shit. Narcissism people, narcissism. All we need now is for this bitch to take a selfie in front of her box on a stick, preferably with a book by Proust in one hand and an American flag in the other. 

*As a note: Both images used were the first to pop up when I google/imaged selfies and action news. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

I'm a Jerk with MS who is a Jerk about MS

My friend Tits routinely tells me that she and I are going to go to Hell. She says it like it’s a terrible thing but I always remind her that we are going to push Charon off the boat and be the cruise directors of the River Styxx because we are hilarious and awesome and have hearts made out of ice that will keep us cool. This usually comes up because she and I are making fun of something that is really inappropriate and which would cause other people to legitimately eyeball us with displeasure.
Remember this? I thought it was awesome when Tupac said she had to get an HIV test too.
 
One of the treatment options for MS is Copaxone, which I take and which is made by a company called Shared Solutions. At least, I think they make it. They are the ones who supply me with all my MS swag so I kind of just assume they make it. I routinely receive invitations from Shared Solutions to go to educational events being held in my area. You know, come join us at the Plano Marriott on August 19th for “Living and Loving with MS”. Speakers Janet Brown, PhD and Ralph Macchio, MD, will be featured and dinner will be included. That sort of thing. Welp, when I still lived in Ohio, I registered for an event twice, and Tits was my plus one. We didn’t end up attending on either occasion due to bad weather and I felt bad so I never registered again.
 
Why did I ever register in the first place and why did I only ever even think of going twice? Well, the only reason I even considered going was because Tits told me it might be good for me and I might get something out of it. Recall that Tits is so named because she defeated breast cancer. The Komen Foundation helped her out tremendously (so now I can’t openly hate on them anymore, assholes) and she attended a few support meetings (I think… I know she went one time when she was feeling really low and it had be canceled but no one had told her and so she showed up and the joint was empty but I don’t know if she went back or not). Tits has been through some rough times and she’s a really positive person so sometimes I try to take her advice. The reason I never thought of going before is kind of horrible.
 
I don’t want to be around a bunch of jerks with MS.
 
Tits agreed to be my plus one after I told her that I was afraid I’d end up at a table with one of those really upbeat guys who can’t walk anymore so he’s in a wheelchair but it is a sporty wheelchair and he is all great attitude and this disease won’t beat me and you should join my MS-thletes club and do 5ks with us. At which point Tits put on her disabled voice and said “I tan dill dance” because she knew exactly what I meant. We then continued to make fun of people with MS before she said she’d go with me and that having a positive attitude when you have a disease isn’t a bad thing. And she’s absolutely right, it isn’t a bad thing. But for some reason, I really, really do not want to be around other people with this disease. Sure, there would probably be a bunch of people like me, ones who present no symptoms, but then there will be those who have progressive forms of the disease and I don’t want to see my potential future. Hell, I don’t want to see the people like me for christ’s sake. I think it is like how some old people don’t want to hang around with old people.
Old people

The me of old people apparently.
 
I also don’t really want to read about it or anything, which is super dumb for multiple reasons, one of which being that I “liked” the NMMS page on Facebook so it pops up from time to time and I just roll my eyes at the positive topics. Actually, they aren’t always that positive. I did, once, click on the blog post and it was about this woman and how she hates summer (because summer fucking sucks) and how she has to go out of her way to dress for it and step only in the shade or whatever. It’s true, heat is a bitch for peeps with MS but I thought there would be some message about “I’ve found out that x y or z really helps” beyond wearing a floppy hat and staying in the shade. So it can also be a bummer, not just inspirational. Regardless of what it is, I totally roll my eyes at it every damn time it pops up. So why don’t I just unfollow that page? I don’t know, why don’t I take care of returning that thing I ordered online that doesn’t fit? I HAVE A DISEASE! DISEASED PEOPLE GET A PASS ON LOGIC!!!
 
So I guess the gist of this post is that if you are upbeat about your MS, I will make fun of you. If you talk about inspirational shit about MS I will make fun of you. As a matter of fact, anything associated with MS and I will make fun of it. Because I am a jerk like that.
 
I blame my MS.
See you in hell folks!
 

Only Interesting to Me at this Late Date

I've told you that I've been reading Jenny Trout's recaps of each chapter from the 50 Shades of Suck trilogy, which she did in 2012. Whatever, I tend to be late to the party at all times (remember, I began watching Breaking Bad immediately after it ended). I've been finding her blog posts hilarious but there are things I've learned about these books that I didn't realize before or that I didn't know/notice.

1: The Fanfic audience felt a huge betrayal by E. L. James. I don't know a lot about this community (READ: I know nothing) but evidently, it is just something people do for fun, taking characters from stories or games they love and writing new events and situations for them. I did know that 50 Shades was originally Twilight fanfic but I didn't realize that James essentially profited by plagiarizing Twilight. Now, I've never read Twilight and only got through the first movie with a huge drool face. But apparently, 50 Shades is a total rip off and that would be one thing if it was kept as free, online fanfic, but James has made a ton of scratch by exploiting the genre.

2: I'm super slow so I didn't see this but probably a lot of non fans did; the relationship between Ana and Christian has nothing to do with BDSM and everything to do with a flat out abusive relationship. I will refer you to Google because I am tired and not eloquent enough to explain this. Actually, here is the post that really outlines it. I went and found it for you. You're welcome. There are some things listed that are scary because I read them and thought "OH MY GOD I AM IN AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP." I'm not even joking. I'm going to have to tread carefully.

3: This one I did know: with this trilogy, E. L. James insulted the BDSM community as much as she possibly could. This "mommy porn" may have led to a bit of mild spanking and role playing but the books portray those who truly engage in that lifestyle as being ether perverted or having some traumatic background leading them down this path. Basically, something is fucking wrong with you if you engage in bondage, domination, sadomasochism. Not only that, it is portrayed as an abusive relationship between the dominant and the submissive when that is far from the truth. Yeah, there are those out there with fucked up, abusive relationships, but the basis of a D/s relationship is trust and care. It isn't about the dominant beating the shit out of the submissive and jerking off to it. It's about a careful balance of power, pain, and pleasure. A dominant will never want to cause his or her submissive any pain beyond what they can take. That is why there are safe words. Yes, the submissive is just that, submissive to his or her partner. S/he takes orders and punishment and is the recipient of a certain amount of pain. But s/he also has a word or words to use to indicate that it needs to stop, at which point the dominant does just that, stops and checks on the well being of his/her partner. Submissives are also willing participants who trust their dominant partners. Equally important is that the dominant trusts his/her submissive. It is an equal relationship, regardless of the role and not some bullshit Ike and Tina thing. Oh, and most importantly, both the dominant and the submissive enjoy themselves and want to engage. Ana and Christian are just vapid, idiotic, misrepresentations of consenting adults. Actually, they are misrepresentative of adults with brains in general.

Basically, not only am I being entertained, I'm learning things. Things like E. L. James pisses off communities and is a shitty writer. No, I knew she was a shitty writer already because, as I've said, I read most of the first book.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Remember How I Said I Was Going to "Try" with this Blog?????

Below is a picture of a sleeping mask that I found using a Google Image search (because I heart Google so fucking much).
I know what you're thinking. You're thinking "that is a grumpy looking sleeping mask." And you are correct, 100%. Do you know why I chose that particular image to post here? Because that is how I feel after a night of truly shit sleep.

As you may recall, I returned from a weekend of camping yesterday. Trucker, the Bat, and I were the only ones in for the evening and we basically vegged out on the sofas reading things on tablets and laptops (because we are nothing if not a 21 Century household) and watching random things on television. By 8PM, we started taking anti-inflammatory drugs, pain pills, and muscle relaxers because we all felt hurt regardless of the fact that Trucker is too young for that shit. We took said pills at 8PM so that we could retire by 10PM and wake up feeling like champs. I was the first to fade and went to the bedroom at 9:45PM after finding my eyelids drooping as I continued reading Jenny Trout's 50 Shades recaps. The Bat came in at 10PM and promptly fell asleep, lucky bastard.  He slept very well save for two instances of waking up because he and I were both overheating. Other than these two occasions (during which times he flapped the covers to fan us and get the heat out), he was out of it, making little noises of content when I put my arm around him to snuggle, shifting me into different positions so he could snuggle me back, etc.

The Bat asked me how I knew he slept well and I told him that I'd been there as a witness for almost the entire damn thing. Not only did I have trouble falling asleep, I kept waking up with acid reflux because that is a thing with me from time to time now. It wasn't nearly as bad as the last time I had some weird problem that seemed like acid reflux (last time I think it was caused by popcorn and it lasted so long and hurt so bad that I had to call out of work) but it was still annoying and I still puked up some bile before getting ready for work. Because that's right, even though my back hurts and I'm tired as fuck, I still have to work every damned day. If I don't, I end up with a very sad and empty piggy bank.

Isn't that sad and pathetic looking? Wouldn't YOU go to work if the alternative was coming home to that? So yes, dead tired Simply with back and ass pain still drove in to the office because it's not like the pain and tiredness would go away if I stayed home. Unless I wasted my PTO, which I'm not looking to do.

Fortunately, I don't have a ton of stuff on my plate at the moment and what I do have doesn't require much of my brain as I'm pretty much just revising documents I've previously written to include new data. All that is a long way of saying "today is an OK day to be basically brain dead." And if I end up in worse shape from sitting in my office chair and from my commute, I'll suck it up and work from home tomorrow, even though I really, really don't want to. Home is home. Work is prison. I don't like to live in my prison.

So whiny, aren't I? But I feel like an overly tired child who has an owie and doesn't understand that it will eventually go away so I guess that is coming out in my writing. But, to make it up to you, I'll post a few more ideas for things I'll do while I have the house to myself.
  1. Let Johan have a ton of floor time
  2. Let Bubbles rule the house. She's gone from fireplace only to bookcase in my room only, it seems.
  3. Cook weird food using only items that we currently have in the house. 
  4. Possibly buy some white material and a pattern and bust out my sewing machine (and manual) and attempt to make my own shirts. I've been thinking about doing this for awhile now. 
  5. Knit
Not that exciting I guess but at least it is positive, right? It's a lot of days to be on my own when I usually have two roommates. I'll have to remember to do things like "turn on the radio" so I don't feel too lonely and "make sure the dogs have food and water" so that I don't kill Monkey's pets.

Super sleepy Simply over and out.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Camping - Daingerfield 2014 (July)

I went camping this weekend. Here is a picture of me camping:
This is actually among my favorite pictures of myself of all time because I look upset and creepy as Hell. I wasn't upset though. Monkey and I were showing off our hyper extended limbs and she took this picture to prove my elbows did that weird thing where they look like they are pushing out just like hers did (because that creeped me out big time.) I call this Simply a Girl Portrait 9 - Imitation of  'The Ring'. It is the only picture from the weekend that I've put on my Facebook so far and I am about to make that shit my profile picture. If I could make a living by writing erotica novels I would also make it my LinkedIn profile picture. Sadly, that cannot be.

This was my fourth time camping (I think...I get it confused and I also fell and busted my back on the floating dock last night so my memory is not to be trusted) and, as usual, we did it at Daingerfield State Park, which I will one day purchase. I took pictures for once because a friend at work asked me if it was a pretty area and seemed surprised when I said it was (I guess he thinks there is nothing pretty in the eastern part of the state). Also, people seem to like pictures and capturing memories and all that bullshit. I'm terrible about taking pictures because in these digital days, I think "what the fuck am I going to do with pictures? Look at them in my phone?" That is why I pretty much just have pictures of Johan and Bubbles in my phone.

This is a view of the canopy of trees that I looked upon as I lay on the ground trying to take a nap.

View from the public day use area, which is directly across from the camp sites we always try to book.

Pathway to the lake if you turn left and the bathrooms if you turn left from the campsite.
Another shot from the day use area but one that kind of sort or not really shows more of the lake. Actually, during my proofreading of this post, I think it is the same exact picture. I'm keeping it here though, because it makes it look like I have more pictures than I really do.
 
The Bat and I went for one final swim this morning while Trucker, Monkey, Squirrel, and Son of Our Friends stayed at the site. Squirrel and Trucker had sun burns and wanted no part of the son. SOOF I don't know. Monkey is slow to wake and she was covered in bug bites. Or, as the Bat prefers to think of it, they are all pussies. I don't know but they fucking missed out. There was one family there at the time but they took a break almost as soon as we got there. I miss the lake. I wish we had one at work so I could swim at lunch. I also think it would be badass if the Bat would build one in his backyard. The minute we set off for home, I want to know when we can go back because real life sucks. See not being able to make a living writing erotica.
 
Because there were so many of us, we took two cars, the pickup truck with Bat and the kids and a 2008 Chevy Impala for me and Trucker. Trucker, as you may or may not remember because I suck with pseudonyms sometimes, is the Bat's long haul trucker cousin. He's 25 and 6'7 and acts like a giant kid. He gives Monkey shit a lot and it took me awhile but I realized that he does so because he has a sister a year younger than Monkey. He's a nice guy and pretty good company for a nearly two hour car ride. He also has great stories from his work, especially the ones regarding lot lizards. At first I was all "why can't I ride with you Bat?" Then I thought about it and remembered that the truck isn't that comfortable and not being trapped with three 15 year olds is a major bonus.
 
We got there on Friday evening and left this morning. We spent a ton of time in the lake because the heat is incredible just now. There were sandwiches, a picnic for me and the Bat, s'mores, beer, naps, and hanging out. It was fun. It was camping. It wasn't perfect as the Bat and I pissed each other off beginning Friday afternoon and ending Saturday morning. There was also my slipping and hurting myself. But that happened after the Bat and I went skinny dipping, something I'd never done before so that balances it out. Besides, things are never perfect and that is completely OK, especially when you've spent a lot of time in a very pretty lake.
 
Next weekend the Bat and Monkey are going to California for seven weeks (or ten days, I don't know) so I'm going to have the house to myself. It'll be lonely but I have already checked with Spectero and she said I could hit her up and she and I already have plans for that Tuesday when we will induct a new girl into our Awkward Chick Girls' Night. I will also be able to clean if I feel like it, walk around without pants on, and watch things on the television that I usually can't because it is being dominated by someone else. And I can start working on those erotica novels because for some reason I think that is where the money is.
 
And that's all folks. I'm actually going to make an effort with my blog from time to time to make it less boring. In the mean time, look up Jenny Trout and read her chapter summaries for the fifty shades of awful books because it is hilarious and genius. I'd link you but I'm on chapter ten and don't want to open another link. It is totally worth it though, take my word for it. I was right about Samantha Irby and her blog, wasn't I?

 
 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Faux War Against Mothers


Let's talk about this for a moment, shall we? There have been a few stories in the media lately where women are claiming that motherhood is being attacked unfairly by such social media sites such as Instagram and Facebook. The claim is that these sites are removing photos and/or suspending accounts for those who have pictures of themselves breastfeeding their infants/children. There is even a very ridiculous article on a ridiculous web-based magazine (whose name I will not mention because it has to do with a blogger in particular who is trying to garner attention) with the headline "Is This Picture Pornography" or something like that. Below is a picture of a woman breastfeeding her two year old as she (the mother) walks down train tracks. This woman has had her Instagram account suspended at least three times I believe, and other mothers are having their accounts suspended as well, and the cry from this new "movement" is that Instagram and Facebook need to change their terms of service (TOS) because it isn't fair and is totally mommy-shaming to not allow pictures of breastfeeding.

I'm all for breastfeeding. I mean, I wasn't breastfed myself and I will never breastfeed in my life, but go nuts with that shit. And I see nothing wrong with doing it in public. I do find it a little weird that some women take multiple photos of such an ordinary activity but hey, whatever blows your skirt up, right? But breastfeeding has zero to do with the suspension of these women's accounts; the accounts were suspended because these mothers continually post nude or semi nude photos of their children. "I am teaching my child/ren that nudity is not something to be ashamed of and that we should all embrace our bodies" some say. Others whine on about how they are capturing the innocence and whimsy of these childhood years.

I get it. The Bat has a two year old niece (or somewhere around that age) and I don't know if this is still going on but for awhile there, pants just weren't her thing. Pants, underpants, skirts, bottoms of any kind. So usually when I'd see her in the house, she'd be, at very least, bottomless. Kids are like that. They like to run around naked or half naked at certain ages. I have never seen the Bat's sister in law whip out her phone to take a picture of these occurrences, nor have I seen this type of picture on her Facebook. And yes, my mother has at least one picture of my brothers and me in the bathtub and you can see all of our chests. But you know where that photo is? In her guest bathroom in her house. NOT on her Facebook page.

I also encourage the idea of teaching your children to embrace their bodies, especially girls because we all know what society has done to them at this point. But none of that is why these women continually post these pictures; they post these pictures out of their own vanity and narcissism. "Uhm, Simply, they are just posting pictures of their cute kids. Most parents are proud of their cute kids and want to share them, OK?" Yep, OK, perfectly understandable. But you know who looks at your public social media sites with these pictures other than friends, family, and fangirls?

PEDOPHILES

That is why the TOS are in place. People have been contacted by authorities to let them know that pictures of their children (naked or fully clothed) have been found on a pedophiles computer. These photos were taken from these public sites. If you explain this to most mothers who have public sites with naked kid pics, most of them will grasp their pearls and either make their accounts private or scrub all their social media sites of any pictures of their kids. But there is the other type of mother, the one who has started this hilarious and disturbing movement, who refuse to listen. I've read things like "I'm sick and tired of people oversexualizing children" (uhm, so what is an OK amount of sexualizing when it comes to children, nutbag?) and "anyone who looks at these pictures and finds them at all sexual or anything other than perfectly innocent is just sick." Yeah, lady, that's the fucking point. There are sick individuals out there who do view your naked kid pics in a sexual way. These are the women who get their accounts routinely suspended and keep posting the pictures.

In my opinion, if the authorities ever find photos of these particular women's kids on a pedophiles machine, the mothers, too, should be punished because even after they've been educated, they've continued to post the pictures. Not only are they not allowing their children any sort of privacy, they are, essentially, peddling kiddie porn. That sounds really dramatic but if you are told why you can't post those photos and continue to do so, that is what you are doing. I understand your intentions were innocent; you need to understand that the consequences can be dreadful.

And the only reason this stupid movement is gaining any traction at all is because the mothers continue to insist that it is about breastfeeding - pictures of which both Instagram and Facebook have said they are fine with - and completely ignore every comment about how that isn't the issue. That article I mentioned earlier about the woman breastfeeding on train tracks (way to endanger your child by the way, dumbass)? The comments on it, from fans of her blog and non fans alike, both called her out stating that that was not the picture that got her Instagram shut down. People commented the same things in response to her blog post that linked the article and the only thing she said in way of a response was that it takes more than one picture to get your account suspended and that that picture had been taken down as well.

So for anyone who sees any sort of headline or news at 11:00 about a War Against Mothers or a War Against Breastfeeding, don't be take it at face value but research it before you join the bandwagon. A mother getting thrown out of a restaurant for whipping out her titty to feed her infant is one thing. A woman claiming a social media site shut down her account because of breastfeeding pictures is quite another. And never mind that stupid bitch who went to the media claiming she was kicked out of a concert because she was breastfeeding her infant when it turned out that she was asked to leave the pit area because security and police officers were worried about the child's hearing and about the possibility of a crowd surge causing the mother to fall or be crushed against a gate/wall, therefor injuring the child. She was offered a seat in a safer area or a full refund. How do we know? Because the stupid bitch posted like four videos on You Tube about it and you can see/hear the officers routinely state that it was not her breastfeeding but her endangering her child that led to her removal.

In all these instances, everyone is more concerned about the children then their own mothers and that is a god damned shame.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Q&A: Bipolar



A friend recently asked me about my experience with being bipolar. This person did not ask “what is it like”, which is a small mercy. Asking me what it is like to be bipolar is, I think, like asking someone who is a twin what that is like. I was diagnosed about 11 years ago; my onset of bipolar was almost definitely earlier. I don’t know what it is like to be bipolar because I don’t know what it is like to be “normal” anymore.

I know memory is shit, that we have “flashbulb memories” that aren’t true. But I’m pretty sure about this one. It was 10/31/2003 when I went to the psychiatrist at my university and, upon being asked why I was there, answered with “I’m pretty sure I’m bipolar.” I was studying for my degree in English and Psychology and things had gotten beyond fucked up in my personal life because of my brain. It was a mixture of reading a book called An Unquiet Mind and taking a Psychopathology class that made me realize I had a problem, one that could be treated rather than just being crazy without help, as I’d thought for so many years.

And it was years. It was years of somewhat losing my mind, having mini breakdowns and just assuming it was either the way of the world or I was just fucked up without hope. I would hug my stuffed cow and cry and rock back and forth and hope that no one would hear me whilst also hoping my mother would so I could finally come clean.

At the age of almost 23, I did come clean to the psychiatrist. She diagnosed me as bipolar II after a few sessions, having asked me a few questions. I was relieved in one respect. Oh my god! I’m not beyond help! I’m not crazy! There is something wrong with me, yes, but there is help. That was the best news I’d ever heard.

Oddly, as good as the news was that a couple of medications would help me, I wasn’t great about taking them for the first two years. If you don’t know bipolar, you won’t understand. Here is the thought process, at least for me: “Why do I have to take drugs to know how I feel?” “Why do I have to always fucking question what I’m feeling and ask myself ‘do I feel this way or is it my neurotransmitters?” “Why doesn’t everyone have to go through this, because this shit is bullshit.” This is, I believe, common amongst those with mental illness. I know it took me awhile but, eventually, I changed my thinking because I was better with the drugs and I realized it was the same as having diabetes or a thyroid disorder (which I was also later diagnosed with). I have a medical problem, not a mental problem. The worst thing to ever happen to mental illness, as I’ve said many a time, is the term mental illness. It is a chemical imbalance, which is physical. I have a problem which needs help. I need fewer of one neurotransmitter and more of another. It took me at least two years to understand that and to accept it because, fuck this shit, I have an issue, I have medication to help and god damn it, I want to be a normal, functioning and, most importantly, HAPPY fucking person.

Bipolar is a fucking bitch. Once you finally accept it, you realize, sooner or later, that you have to keep it to yourself because there are a lot of assholes out there. It sucks. You can’t be honest because people will judge every action based on your disorder. You don’t want to tell people because you feel this weird sense of shame; you don’t necessarily feel ashamed but you feel the shame people expect you to.

You know what? I have bipolar II disorder. I take medications for it. I take a puppy upper (anti-depressant) and doggy downer (mood stabilizer). I don’t need therapy anymore because I’m 33 at this point and I see a psychiatrist. I was in group at first, and it was part of the whole saving my life. I had a lot of shit going on and they just, well, they were there for me. I do, however, have to see a psych to get my meds at this point because of where I live but I’m good and don’t have anything to talk about. But there were years where I did, years where talking helped, years that helped me learn and understand that a LOT of people have fucked up problems like diabetes, cancer, endocrine problems, illnesses much worse than mine, years that helped me realize how fucking lucky I was.

Later, like almost 10 years later, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. I had been terrified of MS my entire life for no reason. Didn’t know anyone with it, didn’t know anything about it beyond the whole losing feeling in your fingertips. This I learned from TV and movies. My family dies of cancer but I was scared of MS. When I was diagnosed… my god, I lost my shit. I have bipolar II for fuck’s sake I have psoriasis, now I have this? But it could have been worse, I could have had ALS or Cancer or something horrible. MS is livable. Just as bipolar is. MS is worse. MS is less well understood. MS affects me physically. I can live with both but I’ve been dealt a worse hand. Oddly, I think being diagnosed with bipolar II helped me be OK with the MS, even though the latter will most likely kill me. Because there are treatments and it COULD HAVE BEEN WORSE.

I am 33 and ½ years old now (well, I was 33 ½ in June and we are now in July so…). I have bipolar II. I take my meds and I am good. My biggest concern, my biggest fear, my main thought should it happen is “what if I can’t have my medicine?” Without my medicine, I am not myself. Without my medicine I am fucked up and out of control. Not even THAT out of control based on your standards but I am not myself and I don’t like that. I am better than my bipolar. It doesn’t define me like I thought it would. What defines me are the thoughts and feelings and values I have when I am myself without the influence without my fucked up brain.

Medicine is the best thing to happen to this girl. I wish I could go back and tell my 22 year old self that because I would have saved a lot of heartache. When people tell me they thank God for my deliverance or whatever, I think “fuck you, God had nothing to do with this. Science did. I am normal, I am me, I am OK, because of science.” It was hard at first but when I found myself again? It was fucking epic.

And, honestly, I wish I could go back to the 8th grade and tell myself that I needed help because it may have started as early as then. I wish I could go back and save myself and my family a lot of drama and pain. But I’m proud of myself for identifying my issue at 22, almost 23. And although it took me awhile, I’m proud of myself for having been great about taking my medication from the age of 25.

Because that girl? That one without medication? That isn’t who I am. I don’t know what non bipolar Simply is like because I don’t remember. But I DO remember what bipolar untreated Simply is like and I never want to go back there. I just wish I’d gotten here sooner. But hey, I’m here now, right?

Friday, July 18, 2014

Plan Fails and Sulking

Weekend is upon me and I have no plans. I guess I could make them but I'm too busy being annoyed and butthurt to bother. Why you ask?

Exhibit A: Wednesday is date night, the night where we go out and do something (almost always have dinner) and the one night where he has to be super nice to me. That afternoon while we were chatting back and forth over Facebook, the Bat suggested we go shopping. I was all for it and was happy go lucky for the rest of the day. When I got home from work, he informed me that Phoenix was in the area for a job and would be stopping by for awhile. No big deal, we hadn't seen him for awhile, and we usually don't go out until 5:30 or 6 anyway. But... because the Bat had been socializing (read: had drank 2 or 3 whiskey and Sprites) he wasn't in the mood to drive all the way to the particular store we were going to. So date night ended up being a meal at Applebee's. Yes, Applebee's.

Exhibit B: I asked during date night if we could go shopping the following day since our plans had been trashed for date night. The Bat said sure and that it was going to rain so we'd need something to do. Once we were both home from work and had discussed our days and whatnot, the Bat informed me that he wasn't in the mood to go shopping because he didn't want to drive that distance and deal with other drivers because of the rain. Do you see what happened there? At first the rain was a good reason for us to go but then it became the reason for us not to go. Was I disappointed? Yep. Was I surprised? Nope. I really had seen it coming. Plans with me are the ones he'll break; I have to assume it's because we see each other all the time and so plans with me don't matter as much because he can always make it up to me. He did once. He made up for Valentine's Day by taking me on a picnic when we went to Oklahoma. I think there are a few outstanding owes out there but I just let it go because that way when it doesn't happen, I won't be upset.

So why bother making plans? The Bat's friend is coming over tomorrow morning to help work on the air conditioning, which is in dire need of repair (poor Monkey's room is stuffy and hot) so they'll be busy. Monkey gets home tomorrow so the Bat will want to hear all about her trip and spend time with her (because that was a long time to spend away from his kid). So I'll just wing it and entertain myself by reading The Fault in our Stars, which has already made me cry half a dozen times, and watching Midsomer Murders on Netflix. I want to clean Monkey's bathtub/shower because I've done the rest of it but that's going to take some courage as that bathtub is fucking gross and still has all sorts of dog hair in it from the last time said dogs were bathed there (weeks ago).

I hate when I'm being annoyed and butthurt. I mean, I don't like feeling that way but it is especially annoying when I'm choosing to feel that way. But I've had a not so great work week, the Bat was an asshole to me intentionally today (not in a very serious way but just enough to make me think "really? You had to ruin that for me?"), and he isn't exactly winning a ton of points lately by breaking plans we made. I think I'd like some nice white wine, a hot bath, and my book (or maybe one that won't find me weeping in the tub). Maybe that would help snap me out of it because in the grand scheme of things, everything is fine (outside work) and I'm just choosing to be cranky and annoyed and hurt. I also forgot to bring something with me for lunch so all I've had is a gross Nutri Grain Fruit & Oat Harvest Blueberry Bliss bar and I get pretty fucking bitchy when I'm hungry. I am also frequently too lazy to do anything about it so just wait until I get home to shove something down my gullet.

It's been a shitty day. Hopefully it will be a better evening. And at least I have an afternoon radio show that makes me laugh for my homeward bound commute. Fingers crossed that I can wedge myself out of these cranky pants and enjoy my evening instead of sulking like a goddamn teenager.

UPDATE: I ended up going to the happy hour for my bosses former boss who has left the company. I planned to get there by 3:30 and leave by 4:00 but stayed till 4:30. Glad I did. I had fun and I wasn't a dick who said "no, can't make it, shitty commute."

Still not pleased on the home front, but I also haven't eaten.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Weekend Report

Two days ago I went into the backyard to dump Johan's cage (it was cleaning day). The grass is about up to my knees at the moment because it hasn't been mowed since Memorial Day weekend. As I was walking through, I glimpsed something small, fury, and quite obviously dead. Somehow I managed to not completely lose my shit. Instead, I finished what I had to do, hurried into the house, and said to the Bat "there is something dead in your backyard."

He was unconcerned. Granted, he wasn't feeling well and had been napping, but still. If I tell you there is something dead in the back yard your response shouldn't be "good, I hope it's a cat"* but, rather, "I'm so sorry! Are you OK? Did you accidentally touch it? Let me go take care of it right away. No, let me fix you a drink and fetch your beloved stuffed cow and then I'll go take care of it. You stay right here ok, sugar plum?" But not our Bat. He did eventually go check it out and informed me that it was a rat. That made it worse and I became obsessed and made him tell me if it was a particularly ugly rat. He thought I meant was it decomposing or eaten but I just meant, was it an ugly rat. It wasn't. That made it somewhat better.

But I still can't go back there ever again because either 1: the backyard has turned into rat kingdom or 2: the backyard is riddled with big rat corpses.

Fortunately, that was the only trauma suffered this weekend. Not a lot got done but it was still nice. The Bat and I watched a lot of movies, I did a lot of laundry and did some cleaning. There was a lot of lunch meat involved. OK, that sounds really awful. I just mean that the Bat and I have taken to getting lunch meat and cheese from the deli section and making awesome sandwiches. He makes true Dagwood's but that's too much for me so I make mini Dagwood's. So mostly, it was just a chill weekend. We didn't go anywhere other than the occasional (and separate) trips to the store and his trip to his folks' house to talk with his dad about work stuff. The Bat does owe me one nice thing though, because he didn't want to go to Target with me but then asked me to pick things up for him. I did, because I was nice. Now he owes me. I want a massage but, unfortunately, the Bat hurt his back yet again, whilst at his parents' house. Woe is me.

Work has picked up a bit but I'm still a little nervous about this whole reorg business. Two of our remote people are flying in tomorrow and my friend KC and the Sunshine Band suggested it was so that we would all be together for part two of the reorg news. Maybe I'll find out where I'm going, if I'm going somewhere, and who I'll be reporting to. My main concern is that I still have a job, which KC assured me was the case. I always get freaked out about unemployment for some reason. But let's not think of that and end on a happier note.

I watched so much Pretty Little Liars that I've finally started wearing jewelry again and putting more effort into my appearance on a daily basis. I have no idea why and simply blame that show because I marveled at how accessorized the characters are. It feels good and it was about damned time that I brush off my long neglected pretty things. I even bought some cheap stuff from Walmart yesterday because cheap bangles and necklaces are fun and at $5 a pop, totally worth it. Now all I need to do is start remembering to put on lipstick or at least lip gloss because even with the other makeup, I look faded without it. But if that is my main concern, I've nothing to complain about.

Here's to a new week. Cheers! 

*I've mentioned before that the Bat shoots the feral cats in the neighborhood. He does, with an air rifle. He doesn't actually kill them but he'd like to since the city won't do anything about them unless you catch them. At least one of them just had a litter of kittens so there are a ton of them running around. I don't know when this happened, but sometime in the last few years, four of these cats pinned Bailey to the fence and tore up her face. I think that is when the Bat started shooting them, because not only did they hurt his dog, he was also worried about what might happen to Monkey should she be sunbathing out back.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Sandwich Post - Annoyances, Randomness, and Giggles

Trivial Things I Don't Care About
  1. Cutesy/quirky news stories. If I see a headline such as "Monks brew beer to keep abby open", I immediately roll my eyes and just think "nope."  I don't know why, but these fluffy pieces that are meant to give us a break from the horror stories just don't do a thing for me. 
  2. The mommy wars. I'm impressed that there is still controversy between working mothers and stay at home mothers but who gives a shit? Mind your own business bitches and quit worrying about what the other team does/feels.
  3. Soccer. Suddenly Americans give a shit because the World Cup happened/is happening? No, I get it, some really do love the sport and follow it every year but I'm tired of seeing it playing in bars because NO1CURR really. It's like being in Ohio when the Winter Olympics come on and suddenly people are talking about curling. Why aren't you talking about curling every year if you love it so much? 
  4. Summer Blockbuster Movies. I've never cared. I like movies and watch my fair share but I don't cream my pants over the release of the latest super hero movie. Also, there are far too many sequels of certain franchises (I'm eyeballing you Fast and the Furious). 
  5. Summer. I like that the days are longer but I never understand why adults who are not teachers get excited about the summer. It's hot and gross and we still have to keep going to work. As a matter of fact, if you are a home owner/dweller, you have more work because you have to attend to your yard(s). 
Little Orphan Simply
One of the things that is very different between me and the Bat is family. He is very family oriented and takes his role as eldest brother very seriously. Being a father is also a huge part of his identity. I think it is lovely and I'm glad that he is close to his family and cares for them and likes engaging with them etc. What he doesn't seem to understand is that it is perfectly OK that I'm not from a close knit clan and that I'm fine with it. My brothers and I like each other well enough and wish one another the best but we don't keep in touch and we don't see each other. And I'm 100% cool with that. I have to assume they are as well because they don't reach out any more than I do. The Bat and I were talking about this last night and I swear I could feel him either judging me, feeling bad for me, or just not believing me when I said I was fine with it. It was funny because I spent a great deal of my life not realizing that my circumstances were the weird ones, not those of my friends. "You have two parents who are divorced and you have a relationship with both of them?" "Your divorced mother/father is dating?!" "You and your brother are friends now? What the fuck?" So yeah, when I was younger I acted and thought based on my situation and what I knew and it took me awhile to realize that I was the odd one with regards to the people I knew.

I'm not an anomaly though. There are plenty of people who have families they aren't close to and who make families out of those who do not share blood. There are people like me who understand that you do not need to have come out of the same vagina in order to be considered family. I keep in regular contact with girlfriends and have done so for years. I have people I connect with and who I would like to visit and who I consider my family. They just happen to not be related to me. I don't understand what is sad about not having a close knit clan or not rushing to visit family when they are back in the states. The Bat said he would jump at the chance to go to Arizona in my place in order to visit with his nieces if he had a brother who lived over seas. I just looked at him and said "those kids are never going to know me so why bother?" It's not like they are going to remember that summer when they were five and two when Fraenka Simply came out to visit. And if my brother cared enough about having visits with me, he would have flown out to see me a couple of times all those years we lived in the same country. He has his own life to live and so do I. We are both fine with the occasional asinine Facebook post.

So I told the Bat that I would try not to talk about anyone in my family other than my mom and he should just try to pretend that she's the only family I have. I think that will make it easier for both of us.

Trivial Things that Make Me Giggle
  1. The way the view out of my office window makes it seem like I am high up on a hill or mountain. I'm not. I'm on the first floor but my chair and desk are so low that the bushes and crepe myrtle trees give the appearance of being lower than me. 
  2. The way my coworker fucks with the newest member of the team. Well, fucked with I should say. When he first started, my coworker El Salvador would tell him things like "as the newest member of the team, you have to bring us breakfast on Fridays." She would really push it too. His first Friday, the new guy brought us bagels and we all had to back pedal and apologize and tell him she was just messing with him. He knew it, he was just being nice. 
  3. The way Bubbles runs. I don't know if it was Trucker or his brother but one of them commented that she runs funny. I defended her but I already knew that. I can't even explain it but she does run funny. I also get tickled every time she slides by accident. 
  4. The way the Bat laughs when he finds something really, really funny. Not just your run of the mill funny laugh, but laugh at something hysterical. It is rare and it sounds funny and it tickles me greatly

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Dulldrums but Trusting in the Universe

Remember how I applied for a job within my company and interviewed with two people? Welp, that job is presently on hold because one of the higher ups is deciding whether or not it is needed. In order to post a new job in this company, you have to get approval from the very, very top, going through all chains of command. So which super important muckity muck decided that this job might not be necessary after having it posted on our public website and having two candidates - one internal, one external - interview for it? I don't know, but it evidently has to do with a company reorganization that directly affects me and my colleagues. The announcement email went out yesterday and was followed up by a mandatory team meeting led by my current boss. After explaining what the email meant and lamenting the loss of one of our team leaders who will be leaving later this month, she essentially said that it has not yet been decided how the report structure will work out; meaning, she doesn't know who my colleagues and I will report to yet. That is incredibly frustrating because there are a few terrifying options out there. But I suppose I need to just focus on my work, keep my head down, and trust the universe to take care of things. Surprisingly, that seems to work out.

Monkey is still in Missouri and I'm not sure when she is coming back, this weekend or the next. As weird as it is to live in the house when she and the Bat are both gone, it's actually weirder when she si gone for an extended period of time because her absence is hugely felt. I think that is partly due to the fact that she is a teenager, full of energy, and in and out with her friends. When she gets back, she'll be here for maybe a week before she and her dad fly to California. I know the Bat is staying just a week but I don't know if she will stay on longer, as she has done in MO. All I know is that I miss her and I wish we could get the air fixed because I know her room - which has been closed up this entire time - is hot and stuffy.

On Tuesday I went with Spectero for girls' night or, as the Bat calls it, my girl date. We met up at the bowling alley across the street from where I live and had a good time. Spectero spent a good hour trying to remember the name of a third cafeteria style restaurant that used to be in Garland, going so far as to drag an innocent bystander into it. Said innocent bystander ended up being our friend as she fit into our groove. So I gave her my number and told her to hit us up next time she's in town (evidently she isn't this way often but still, why not?)

No date night this week and I'd hoped to make up for it tonight but the show I thought premiered tonight (Extant, woman goes to space alone and comes back pregnant) actually premiered yesterday. So now I'll have to see if the Bat is up to having date night at home with sandwiches and something to watch. Or we could talk to one another I guess. Every so often I tell him we are doing it wrong when we are hanging out outside interacting with one another and there are people - usually the Monkey and her friends - all inside on their phones. But a chill night is what I'm looking for, especially as I have a lot of chores I need to attend to that I totally blew off during my very long weekend. We shall see. It also includes getting the Bat on board with this semi formed date night plan.

Wish me luck. I know this sounds a bit dull and down but I'm in a perfectly fine mood and I really am trusting the universe to take care of things if only because they are out of my control. Now back to it.