So, This is Happening, I Guess.

We’re all shaken up.

We white folks are shocked, heartsick, sad, angry, embarrassed, and defensive as fuck, apparently.

I’ve offended people about 50 percent of the time on facebook since it happened. By sharing articles that made my white friends uncomfortable. “We don’t appreciate the divisive tone of this article,” they say.

Well, fuckadoodledoo.

We BRED that divisiveness. First by not seeing the racism and hate. Then, by glossing it over because it made us uncomfortable. Then, by “solving” it through rejection of racists and bigots when we could cull them from our lives. Some of us stepped up and opened discussions amongst our fellow caucasians about the injustices and the ugliness. Some of us have black friends, even. We listened to Macklemore and defended his value, pooh-pooh’ing the whole white savior thing. Because there’s such a thing as “too far left” and “too much political correctness.”

You know what? No, there isn’t. Because this isn’t a left-or-right thing, a political thing – it’s a moral thing. Because political correctness isn’t actually a thing. It’s just a term we’ve put on an effort to be conscious and considerate of others in all their variances. It’s “Not Being An Asshole.” Or hey, maybe something like, “Respecting the Comfort Level of Others.” Or maybe it’s just fucking EMPATHY.

And now white people are getting upset because their “help” isn’t being accepted the right way by those who have for generations been oppressed, abused, marginalized, ridiculed, or flat-out murdered. Oh, you don’t like our safety pin movement! “YOU’RE BEING TOO ANGRY AND DIVISIVE WHEN WE SHOULD BE COMING TOGETHER.”

NO.

NO FUCKING NO.

It is not the responsibility of the oppressed to accept our gestures and platitudes and make nice just because we’re finally opening our eyes to what has been going on for generations. It is OUR responsibility to shut the fuck up and LISTEN to them, to let THEM have the floor, to boost their signal, to be their support and not their white saviors. And if that means swallowing our pride when they tell us where to shove our safety pins and white tears, then so be it. We shut the fuck up and listen and get educated on how we CAN help, how we CAN make them feel safer and more supported. Because you don’t get to dictate another person’s trust.

And those safety pins? Great! Wear them to your hearts’ desires! But don’t stop there. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that just with your pin you’ve done some great service, any more than you have actually helped cure breast cancer by wearing a “save the ta-tas” tee shirt. If you really care, really want to help, here’s a good starting list of ideas:

UPDATE. @SunnyMegatron on twitter shared this more comprehensive googledoc of sites, lists, and links on how you can get involved and really help: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1bIAbOOmyyuZ6PR2hHor4egYSQRt30p9wnTT41A8sPJY/edit#

Good Morning?

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First hot coffee of the season here in GA.

And no, it’s not the stuff from the can shown in the pic. I’m a freshly-ground 8 O’clock girl, and/or home-roasted espresso girl. The colorful Chock full o’Nuts can is an item appropriately left over from my Father-In-Law who stayed most of the summer with us. THAT was an adventure, let me tell you.

But I won’t tell you – not all of it, anyway. Because while he’s not a bad person, the man gets on my last damned nerve, and it’s not fair to my husband to air out every last grievance about his parents on the internet. At least not the public part of the internet. But let’s just say I am very, very introverted, and FIL is very, very socially inept and pushes his unsolicited opinions and advice on everything and everyone. He also has little understanding or respect for boundaries. I think I’m allowed to say that much. There were some good things about him being here for almost three months: he helped with the bills while I was in my slow work season. He made our back deck somewhat functional, even though I’m pretty sure his “repairs” will ultimately add to the rotting problem in the long run. He cut down a lot of tree limbs and underbrush, some of which we didn’t really want cut down, but hey – it’s Georgia, and it’ll be back threefold next year. He pulled the bridge from our creek that got destroyed by a fallen tree (not his fault). And his stay required us to rearrange a couple of rooms in our house, which turned out to be a slight improvement.

I am glad he’s back on his side of the country and living his best, though – he was sent to us under a severe misdiagnosis. Also a good thing – the docs here at Emory know their shit. The man has heart failure and was sent to us with a terminal, needs-surgery-or-will-die-in-a-month diagnosis. The docs here fixed his meds and he spent the rest of the time doing all of the above crazy-ass shit until we finally told his medical team what he was doing, and they said, “er – yeah. If he’s doing all that stuff he doesn’t need to be here.”

So, that was my summer – creativity squashed by the stress of an obnoxious in-law living in my space at full volume all summer.

Once he left, I think something in me just collapsed, and I fell from jaw-grinding stress into a physical depression. One that I am hopefully starting to come out of, but man, it was rough. Also rough: having depression and ADD while being self-employed. My business has really taken a hit. Which, in turn, becomes a blow to my self-esteem and sense of self-worth, which then feeds my depression, etc. Good times.

This week I am working on pulling it together, though. My driving force is actually my dog:

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This precious bundle of soft, squishy sweetness who owns my heart. She’s perfect, save for some separation anxiety and subsequent piddle issues. I know, non-dog-people – just skip this part. Our carpets were crap before the dog, and OxyClean is a motherfucking godsend. Anyway, I take full responsibility for her accidents. She needs routine, and she hasn’t been getting it, because *I* don’t have any routine. Some days I’m here all day, sometimes I’m gone in the afternoon, other days I’m gone in the mornings, and it’s anyone’s guess as to what’s going on or when we’ll be out of bed (again with the depression). And all of our animals – cats included – are bed-potatoes. Seriously, our cats do not wake us up for food. If anything, they stay in bed and suck away all will and motivation to get up. The struggle is so real.

So my October resolution is to get us on a routine, field work or not – up and piddled and coffee/yogurt/back-deck-notebook by 8am.

Today was all luck. I haven’t had enough sleep, really. But I got up anyway. And here in another hour I’ll be in the water, swimming. After that, I might be in the local art studio, practicing with clay. Later today I’ll be working on finishing up this damned Steinway I’ve had in my dining room for too fucking long. And I will also be writing new scenes for two stories.

Yes, I am still a writer, too.

I am so fucking happy October is finally here. Maybe I’ll do a daily or weekly spoop to celebrate. Meanwhile, here’s this:

Spoopy Halloween!

Spoopy Halloween!

I’m just going to go ahead and say it.

I think Nutella is overrated. Don’t get me wrong – I’ll spoon the fuck out of that shit. But I keep seeing all these “OMG AMAAAAZING” recipes involving gobs and gobs of Nutella in like, everything. It’s not THAT great, people.

Come at me.

Or come back to me when they start making Nutella with dark chocolate. Then we’ll talk.

First Music Monday of 2015, OK… GO!

Excuse me while I be a crotchety old hag for a minute and… or… er… is that supposed to be crotchety old hipster, instead? I don’t know. Anyway, my point is, OK Go is one of those bands that I loved WAY before they made it. I saw them open for They Might Be Giants in Boston, before they had an album to peddle, when they only had two EPs of awesomeness. And I have loved them ever since. They just never stop being awesome. Case in point? Their new album. And everything on it. EVERYTHING.

 

See? Awesome.

Friday not-so-random shit

HI INTERNETS!

Welcome to 2015 and all that shit. I have some mish-mash links for you at the bottom of this post, if you want to skip the “me” stuff.

So. I’ve been kind of at a loss for anything heartfelt to say these past months, what with all the racism, transphobia, homophobia, sexism, classism, and general bigotry flying around. It’s crushing to see how fucked up the human race is, how much hate there still is in this world, and combined with the awareness of my own privilege as a cisgender, white, lower-middleclass American, I’ve struggled to find anything eloquent and organized enough to say, so I’ve pretty much been reduced to reblogs and link-passing.

On the non-political/humanitarian front, I’m officially burned out on book blogs and writing blogs, very lightly skimming headlines and occasional content. My two, mediocre little self-published releases frankly don’t bring in enough attention or money for me to give two shits about what Amazon is doing, or where the future of ebooks is. I just need to focus on writing actual stories, so fuck all the sniping and gossiping and hand-wringing.

Writing has been mostly “off” as well, while I figured out what my problems are: mainly a weakness in understanding and utilizing plot structure, and general frustration with trying to shoehorn stories into a romance formula. Both can be corrected, but that means taking a deep breath and patiently refocusing. All behind-the-scenes shit.

So what I’m saying is I’m still here. Same-o, same-oh.

Resolutions? Eh. Read more – a LOT more. Listen more – a LOT more. Treat every day that’s not a planned day off as a work day. Get health insurance, somehow. See a doctor and make my husband do the same. Fix up / restring my piano, get rid of the three other pianos in my house, fix up the digital piano I picked up. Polish off all the old pieces I mis-learned and add some more music to my repertoire. Blog more. Write. None of this is anything exclusive to January 1st, 2015.

All that said, have some links that are relevant to my mood, plus some urban exploration:

When you start to do these 20 things today, your life will be greatly improved. Okay, 20 is kind of a high number. Try just one at a time. They’re all pretty good, and none of them involve stupid shit like dieting or abusing your body or psyche.

20 Signs you Really Hate People. Gif-stravaganza. Oh, man, is this me to a tee. An oldy but a goody.

Urban exploration of the Burlington Bunker. “Under the Corsham Cotswalds approximately eighty feet below ground beneath RAF Corsham, lies the UK’s largest underground bunker and for sixty years one of the best kept secrets in modern MOD history. Burlington bunker. Assembled as an emergency relocation site for the British government if the threat of nuclear war ever became reality. The bunker boasts some impressive ‘sections’ from a BBC broadcasting suite to a Hospital all accessible via 10 miles of ‘road’.” AKA Really Cool Shit.

And finally, if you just want some pretentious hipster eye candy, there’s an Instagram of nothing but Men and Coffee. You’re welcome.

Currently listening to: Pure Heroine by Lorde