Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween Friends

Happy Halloween Friends, my monthly wrap up should be up sometime this weekend. Hope you have an awesome night and I can't wait to hear about your epic adventures and see pictures of all the shenanigans.  Don't worry, I'll recap mine, I'm just not through with the celebrations yet and I don't want to leave anything out.
To all of those affected by Hurricane Sandy on the East Coast, my heart and thoughts go out to you.  I can't seem to find the words to express my feelings, they all come out wrong, so just know that I'm thinking about you and hoping for the best even in this terrible situation. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

It's Your Choice: Victim or Survivor.

I keep seeing posts about how October is Anti-Bullying Month.  I want to say that while I think bullying is wrong and is something that we should teach people to avoid; we also need to teach people how to respond to it when faced with someone who is a bully.  I don’t want to be accused of blaming the victim, but while you cannot control how someone treats you, you CAN control your reaction to it.  Yes, being picked on hurts and can cause long term emotional damage, but it doesn’t have to define you.  You can choose to be a victim just as much as you can choose to be a survivor.
Picking on someone that you see as a weakling, a threat, or even something as basic as different from what you consider normal is wrong.  However, it’s just as wrong to commit or attempt suicide because someone is being mean to you.  If someone is picking on your via social networks you have the ability to delete/block/report them, if EVERYONE is trashing your profile, you have the ability to disable your account.
I remember in Girl’s PE my freshman year in HS we had to do a section on self defense…against a physical attacker, maybe schools should have a seminar/class regarding self defense against verbal attacks too.  Words hurt; they can leave long term damage that takes longer to heal than broken bones and bruised limbs.  Honestly, I still haven't forgiven the scum bag who started nasty rumors about me in high school, however, I know that the words that he spread about me were completely false and I didn't allow him to destroy me, or even know how much it hurt when I found out that people actually believed him over me.  I chose to be stronger than his words. I think we need to teach people that they can choose to be a survivor instead of just a victim. 
Instead of encouraging “why me????” behavior, we should teach them, “yes, it happened, it was awful, this is how I’m going to get better.”  It is really hard to take the initiative to heal, just sitting around and waiting it out without making the efforts just makes it that much harder.  Deal with your pain, face it head on, and fight the fight every day even when it’s exhausting. ESPECIALLY WHEN IT’S EXHAUSTING.  One day you’ll look back and be grateful that you had the perseverance to pull through.  I think being picked on, while terrible and gut wrenching in the moment, teaches you empathy for the future.  You can put yourself in the position of someone less fortunate and understand on some level what they might be going through.
The world is a scary place, but you don’t always have to be afraid.  Be brave, fight back, stand up for yourself.  You don’t have to turn into a bully yourself, but you don’t have to be a doormat either.

Friday, October 19, 2012

You Know What Chaps My Hide

I know a lot of this has already been said (not necessarily here by me, but it has been circulating the Internet for months now... maybe longer), but with the encouragement of The Elitist I decided to let the fire breathing monster out of her cage again.

Its a fairly short rant today, the first a minor annoyance and then it escalates from there.

October is Awareness Month: For seemingly EVERYTHING. Anti-bullying month, Breast Cancer Awareness (more on this later), Lost Children, etc. It seems like every time I log into one of the various social networks I'm a member of I'm being told that in honor of October's ________ Awareness Month I need to take a moment of silence for {insert cause here}. There are 12 months out of the year people, spread your shit out. Okay, sorry, that was harsh and mean for any one of the millions of people who have been affected by whatever cause they're supporting, and I'm not saying your cause isn't worthwhile... it probably is, but why is October so special?

Breast Cancer and it's Pretty Pink Ribbons: First of all before you jump on my case for being a heartless jerk, let me say this FUCK CANCER. It's scary, deadly, and as of yet we don't have a solid cure... yes there are treatments that might force it into remission, but it's like a time bomb ready to go off at any time. Breast cancer (and all other forms) is serious business and I feel like "pinkifying" the world for one month out of the year makes light of it. T-shirts that say "Save the Boobies/Ta-Ta's/Second Base" across the chest is not only sexualizing something that is clearly NOT SEXY but it's reducing women to one piece of their anatomy. Women are more than their breasts. I've never seen a pair of men's sweat pants that say "Cure Colon Cancer" or "Protect the Prostate" across the ass, so why are we turning a very serious medical issue into something campy at best.  Yes, sex sells and gets people's attention, and sure it will bring dollars in... but just because you can get attention that way doesn't make it the right way. 

Professional sports teams, firefighters, and other companies spend thousands of dollars purchasing pink uniforms for their employees, who does this help?  I know they have the right to spend their money on whatever they want, and it's not up to me to decide what their budget gets allocated toward, BUT I think it would help a lot more people if they would donate whatever funds they use to purchase uniforms that they only wear for one month out of the year to cancer research. To something that will actually help cure cancer instead of just giving it attention. Let's fund research instead of rallies. We're aware, now let's do something about it. 

Why is Feminist Such a Dirty Word?: Is it because it conjures up an image of an angry woman in a pant suit? Or a hairy-legged, man-hating, sandalwood smelling, anti-deodorant-wearing, bra-burning hippie woman? Is that why strong women want to distance themselves from that word?

According to a feminist is someone who advocates social, political, legal, and economic rights for women equal to those of men.

Doesn't seem like such a bad thing does it? There's no mention of hating men, wanting more rights or privileges than men, no requirements for setting your bra on fire or tossing out your razors ladies. 

Do you want equal rights? Do you want equal pay for equal work? Do you want to be treated the same as your male counterparts? Do you want to be able to take your car to the mechanic and not get ripped off because you have a vagina? Do you want your daughter to grow up in a world where she has the same educational and career opportunities as your sons? Do you think your sister should be able to walk to her apartment at night after her last class without getting raped on her college campus? Do you think that your best friend should be able to have a cocktail at a bar or party without the fear of getting drugged? Do you want your major medical decisions to be between you and your doctor without political interference? Do you think that its ridiculous that single mothers are currently being blamed for society's problems by a certain political figure? Congratulations, here's your membership card to Club Feminist. Men are welcome here too.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Life Lessons Shouldn't Come from Hollywood.

I just read an article, not sure which news source because there were too many and I opened a few articles, saying that it was bad for America if Rihanna and Chris Brown get back together. Ummm no. It's NOT bad for America, its bad for Rihanna.

They went on to say that whether she likes it or not she's a role model and is setting a bad precedent for young girls/women that its okay to forgive/forget/go back to your abuser. Maybe parents/teachers/friends/counselors/other family members of young girls/women should use this opportunity to talk to them about why this behavior is dangerous and sadly normal.

It's not a celebrity's job to raise your children, and while it might take a village, the largest life lessons are taught in your own hut. Teach your daughters to be strong, independent, and that they don't need no stinking man who thinks its okay to knock them around.

Teach your SONS and DAUGHTERS that a REAL MAN would never raise his hand in anger towards a woman. That a REAL MAN handles his anger and frustration without resorting to violence. Ladies, that isn't a lesson just for the men either, violence isn't the answer. Abuse is abuse regardless of which gender is the assailant. Teach your sons that no means no NO MATTER WHAT. Teach your children that they are responsible for their actions and reactions. They are not responsible for their abuser's behavior, and while they might eventually get to a place where they can forgive someone for hurting them, they should never forget.

Don't expect Rihanna to teach that lesson to your children, it's not a lesson she's learned yet.

Spectacular Spectacular: My September

So its time to wrap up last month, and what a fabulous month it was. September was full of adventures, laughter, spending time with friends and family.  It wasn't all fun and games, it was also a time to say goodbye to a loved one.

Are you ready to get this party started? I am.

  • Boyfriend Adventures: Yes, I said it, BOYFRIEND adventures, we're all facebook official now so I can use the title.
    • Labor Day Weekend when he came home from school for the long weekend. It began with a Friday night Cook Your Own at the local Elks Lodge for a friend of his family's birthday party... PS I can cook fish on the BBQ like nobody's business.
    • Boats & Hoes!
      • Saturday we took a day trip with the intentions of going to Pfeiffer State Beach in Big Sur, but missed the turn and ended up at a BEAUTIFUL beach in Carmel that we basically had to ourselves, we maybe shared it with 20 other people, tops. After spending a few hours picnicking, watching new scuba divers venture out into the water, and yelling at seagulls (more him than me, can you believe it? I found someone more irritated by those winged rats than myself.) we decided to drive into Monterrey to see Fisherman's Wharf. We walked around the harbor, had fish and chips on the wharf, window shopped in all the tourist traps, walked through a Greek Festival, grabbed Starbucks for the drive home and made our way back to Santa Barbara County.
      • Sunday we went wine tasting with his mom and her BF in Tepusquet Canyon, went dancing at Harry's Nightclub and Beach Bar in Pismo Beach, hung out at Mr. Rick's in Avila Beach (word of advice, if your boy wants to give you a piggy back ride, make sure you've got hops, because if you're like me and don't you'll both end up falling down and rolling around the parking lot at the beach), and finished the night with nachos at my aunt's house.
      • Monday I introduced him to my parents. Big step right? I haven't introduced anyone I've dated since college to my mom. We met up for lunch at a local BBQ restaurant everything went smoothly and it was a lot less nerve racking as I had anticipated. Maybe I haven't given my parents enough credit over the years, but seriously when a shot gun gets brought out when you're sixteen to intimidate the guy who wants to ask you out, you learn to be cautious.
    • Weekend in Fresno:
      • That Good Old College Experience: When I was in college I was never really part of the "scene" I lived a half an hour away from the campus and wasn't close enough to the people who partied to trust them enough to play all the games that university students partake in. I never really felt left out or like I missed anything, but I have been assured that I have (LOL). So like any good boyfriend, mine has promised to show me the full experience of reliving my college years, without midterms, finals, or essays (at least on my part, so basically all the fun and none of the work). I learned how to play "King's Cup" (its so NOT my game, I lost both times we played) and learned that I excel at Beer Pong (or maybe he was just being encouraging?). Sunday morning we got up early(ish, okay not really) and went to go watch the COWBOYS! game at BC's... I guess all the festivities of the weekend were too much for me though, because I may have accidentally fallen asleep for a minute in the bar (oopsies! and I was only drinking water).
      • Winchester Mystery House and Downtown San Jose: I've wanted to go to this house since I first saw the billboard posters when I was in high school, but never really had an opportunity. When BF found out that I haven't been there he decided that San Jose was the next stop on our journey and I'm so glad he did. The whole experience was fantastic. I do have to say the only disappointment was that the tours are no longer guided by actual docents, you are assigned a headset and a remote and have to listen to the tour. I think it would have been a much more personal experience had we had someone leading us through the house, especially considering the price of admittance. My favorite part of the visit to the house was the wine tasting on the patio, it was such a pretty day and was so relaxing. I was nice just to have a glass of wine (our bartender had a heavy hand, with 4 tastings I practically had two full glasses) and just visit with each other.  Don't get me wrong the house was beautiful, interesting, and not at all scary (I was kind of hoping it would be creepy and haunted). After our tour concluded we met up with my aunt who wasin the area visiting my cousin, and cousin's boyfriend who had just moved into their first apartment together. We spend a few hours with them, had dinner at the Gordan Biersch Brewery in Downtown SJ (their appetizers, mojitos, and lobster bisque soup are amazing, you need to go try them out), then finished the San Jose experience at the Cinebar, a cute little dive bar a few doors down from the brewery.
      • Fresno State University: I received a tour of the campus, its beautiful, hung out in the library for a few minutes, and visited the cadaver lab... no dead bodies for me thank you, but I did go inside the lab where the bodies are housed, that counts for something right?
  • Zombie Nights: My whole September calendar wasn't filled with boyfriend adventures, I also have maintained our weekly Girls' Night In, although now we call it "Zombie Night" since we've been watching The Walking Dead for the past few weeks. It is getting us in the Halloween spirit (one of my FAVORITE holidays), and the new season starts on October 14th so we've got to get caught up. Sometimes we go to out to dinner, sometimes Karla or her roommate cook, sometimes we order in, what matters is that we're together and having a great time. We all snuggle on the couch together, turn off all the lights, and prepare to be scared by all the brain eating gore. 
  • Aunt's Funeral: This September we said goodbye to my great-aunt. She really was a great person, she raised me and other family members, she was always there with a hug and a story to tell. The funeral itself wasn't as traumatizing as many can be, we celebrated her life and wished her well. She is finally with all the loved ones that had already left us, and I know she'll continue to take care of us even though her body is gone.

We'll miss you Auntie
There you have it, that was September in a nutshell, can't wait to see what October brings. Keep smiling friends, its the moments that matter.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself

Lo's Firebreathing Anger Monster

I should preface this with the following is a response I wanted to post on a facebook status one of my "friends" posted on her page implying the administrator for the "Sluts for Obama” facebook page (who has been ill and suffering from migraines) is getting what she deserves and should "check her life." (Friends is in quotes, because she was a friend on facebook, I have since deleted her, and she was only a "friend" because of a long family history, not because we were close or I consider her to be part of my inner circle)

 Now I didn't post it to her page directly because 1. It’s not going to change anything, except possibly my "friend" count (and I'm not a friend-whore, numbers change daily) 2. It will just stir up mad drama if I post it on my page (and I really don't need that kind of attention) 3. while I'm not fond of religion myself, I think it would be rude to question a "firm believer's" faith in such a public forum, she's allowed to believe what she wants as much as I am allowed to believe what I want. Thank you Constitution. 4. I don't want anyone to think this post/response is a commentary on all Christians or the Christian faith in general, I'm just calling out the people who like to throw stones at their glass houses. As the wise Phoebe Buffet once said "Hello Pot, I'm Kettle, you're black"

Let the white hot angry rage flow. I was so unbelieveably pissed off when I was typing this that my hands were shaking and I wanted to scream. I've been needing to write for awhile now, who knew it would take pissing me off to my core to make the words flow.


Maybe so-called Christians should "check their lives" before doling out judgment that isn't theirs to give.

My first suggestion is to read the "ABOUT" section of a page before you start spewing hate about something you clearly do not understand. Who know's you may actually learn something, like how the page adminstrator isn't a woman? The page is to inspire women (and other minorities) to take control of their lives and to empower us to not take crap from people who would like to take our rights away or diminish us because they don't feel we are equal to our male counterparts. Yes there are political cartoons about the upcoming election that don't paint that pretty of a picture of Gov. Romney, but show me any Pro-Romney page that doesn't have similar posts about President Obama. Does "liking" this page make me a raging liberal? Not at all, but mess with my rights, mess with my health, and you can bet your life I'm going to fight like a bitch over her bone.

The "sluts" part is taking back that ugly term that Rush Limbaugh plastered all over Ms. Sandra Fluke because she has the audacity to take birth control pills. I'm sorry if taking responsibility for your reproductive life makes you a slut paint me with a scarlet letter and feel free to unfriend/block me. You know Rush, the guy who was stopped at customs for have massive amounts of erectile dysfunction medication that he was trying to smuggle into the states? This is the same guy who has been married and divorced multiple times... and who blames strong women for his ever shrinking penis. Yeah, that's the guy who we should all be listening to for moral decisions.

I'm not one of those people who hide behind religion and try to call myself a righteous person, because I follow some parts of a book that was written by men for men. It wasn't emailed down from Heaven by the Big Man in the Sky it was written by people who no doubt filled it with their own opinions and agenda.

That being said I don't want to upset the people who are Christians and are actual decent people. People who help the needy, people who realize that ONLY God has the authority to judge, honest people who love their families and open their arms to strangers. There are people who would never imply that someone deserves to be sick because they have a different political affiliation. There are people who live their faith without ringing hypocrisy.