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11 August 2008 @ 10:03 pm
so i registered the community lamiawines ages ago but never did anything with it. i finally decided to do something with it, i guess i was feeling productive after staring the morningswithmom blog.

i would love to have guest posters over there. join the community, post a recipe or wine review or restaurant review or anything having to do with food and/or wine. or at least go visit me and read :)

i'm really excited about this. i know rainy_kate was interested in contributing back when i first mentioned it, perhaps it could turn into something really cool!?
existing: couch
girl feels: excitedexcited
melodies: emm gryner ~ symphonic
10 August 2008 @ 09:54 pm
hey guys,
i want to invite you all to check out morningswithmom which is a new blog i started to post the quotes & inspirational messages that my mom sends out each weekday.

please go join and leave comments if you like the posts!!

thanks. :)
girl feels: hopefulhopeful
06 August 2008 @ 09:09 pm
i wrote this at work (lol, yeah i know) this morning, so i didn't have a chance to do a ton of research, but i think i am going to read more about hiroshima.

i send to some people on my mailing list the "on this day" from my daily nyt newsletter, if i find it interesting and think they will too. i started off just writing a little blurb and it turned into this. i didn't realize that i had such an interest in the subject but obviously i do.


On Aug. 6, 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, that instantly killed an estimated 66,000 people in the first use of a nuclear weapon in warfare.

wow. 63 years ago today that horrible thing happened. some would say that if we had not been the first to use a nuclear weapon that someone else would've shortly after, but i'd say that's one of a few things that the US will go down in history for in a negative way. to kill so many people and to be so far removed from it has to be a truly modern form of cruelty. at least with terrorists and suicide bombers they more often than not are killed too. they say to look into a man's eyes before you kill him is what lets you know that you are truly taking a life.

the attack on pearl harbor killed 2,388 people, 55 of whom were civilians. most of the civilians were killed indirectly by the japanese, as a result of american anti-aircraft shells falling into civilian areas. the waves of planes from japan had specific strategic targets such as american aircraft and equipment. this attack is what prompted the us to enter world war II. thought the nyt says 66,000 were killed by the dropping of the atomic bomb "little boy" on hiroshima, some reports say that number is closer to 80,000. the radiation and other after-effects of the bomb harmed some 140,000 people. to put that into perspective, that's the same as if nearly 80% of the population of jackson, ms were effected by something. it's important to note that the figure of 66,000 is based on the census of hiroshima HOUSEHOLDS and does not account for soliders or military personnel. in truth, we do not know exactly how many innocent people died and/or suffered as a result of that nuclear bomb.

we can however say that based on the statistics, the japanese killed 55 non-military civilians with their attack, and we killed at least 66,000 just with the initial bombing. let's put it into perspective again: the terrorist attacks on september 11th 2001 killed 2,998 people excluding the terrorists themselves. can you imagine if an attack were to kill 66,000 innocent people? look at the way the deaths of 3,000 effected this country and each american personally. the innocent people that died in hiroshima are no different than many of the people that died on 9/11. they were going about their every day lives, most of them probably had an opinion about the war but they had jobs, kids, responsibilities, lives. until those lives were taken from them by a nuclear device that fell from the sky, like a meteor, taking their lives from them as casually as a president orders breakfast.

i believe in wrong and right, and i do not believe that any government is amoral. in war, i do not believe that many - if any - are in the right. soliders, whether they know what they are truly risking or not, accept the fact that they may die in service to a country or cause. innocent civilians do not. as the "war" in iraq has proven, the opinion of the majority of the citizens of a country is not necessarily the opinion of the government. though there are many things i would die for, i would not die for a war and i am sure that many of the innocent people who were for all intents and purposes slaughtered in hiroshima did not deserve to die for the actions of their government. many died because of decisions made by a few powerful men in japan and the united states.

not to disagree with president roosevelt but i think more than the attacks on pearl harbor that august 6th, 1945 is more of a "day that will live in infamy". to quote a great american, benjamin franklin: "there has never been a good war, nor a bad peace."

and to go along with my strong opinions (which frankly i didn't even realize i was going to write all this until i began) the quote of the day:

"politeness is the art of selecting among one's real thoughts."
~germaine de stael, influential intellectual of napolean's day

if that's true i guess blogging, the art of expressing even the most controversial of thoughts, is the opposite of politeness. :) i wouldn't have it any other way.

wikipedia - hiroshima
wikipedia - pearl harbor
the war bird's forum
The Chugoku Shimbun
existing: couch
girl feels: contemplativecontemplative
melodies: 3:10 to yuma dvd
02 August 2008 @ 09:28 pm
so this is a topic i've been marinating on for a while now, partially because it's come up so often lately.

communication. one little word, but what does it really mean? we all think we know, and we tend to all think that we do it well. i have a news flash for you - we don't all communicate well. it's a bit like one of my favourite scenes in the film "when harry met sally": two people who have just moved in together are quibbling over an ugly coffee table. the woman says to the man, "everyone thinks they have good taste and a sense of humor but they couldn't possibly all have good taste and a sense of humor."

there are two things that really push this to the front of my mind. the first is work-related. there seems to be a very bad habit where i work of people assuming that you know what they know simply because they know it. that's all fine and good if you are the one who has the knowledge but unfortunately it gives the rest of us the shaft. that's not really what's been getting me lately though, it's this particular client who cannot seem to give me an answer to the simplest questions. perhaps it's because we are dealing with each other in email and people are infinitely less professional in email, even if it's work related. i deal with email the way i would a business letter, if i am sending email at work it has a proper salutation, body, and closing. that however is not my problem. here's a rundown on our conversations.

her: "great. deliver the items to our new office."
me: "absolutely, that's no problem at all. what is the address?"
her: "i don't know ask ________ "

now here's the problem. i don't know ________. i've never spoken with _______. i don't know how to get in touch with _______. this is the first time i've ever heard _______'s name mentioned. this woman obviously assumed that i knew who ______ was, but she was wrong. i have only been dealing with woman #1. that's ok though, i emailed her and i said "no problem, how do i get in touch with ________?"

then i email ______ thinking that the woman that works for her is an idiot. apparently poor communication is a company-wide trait. i email ______ and tell her i've been dealing with woman #1 who doesn't know their new address and if i could please get it from her i'll get everything set for her delivery. may i please have their new address?

she replies: "actually we're not moving until the following friday. can you deliver them then?"
me: "of course, absolutely. to the new address? what is it?"
her: "actually can you deliver them on wednesday instead of friday?"
me: "yes, we can! i'm so happy to get this all going smoothly for you. what is your new address?"

i still do not have their new address after at least seven emails with both of these women. i'm sure neither one of them thinks she is a poor communicator, or doesn't really think about it all. that's fine, it'll get sorted out eventually (i hope).

it seems that everyone agrees that communication is the pillar of a happy healthy relationship. how we go about doing this communication is much much more tricky. i have an ongoing conversation with a friend about this very subject. she says things, her significant other appears to be listening, yet more often than not whatever she has said doesn't sink in. it's causing her a lot of frustration. i told her it's a communication problem, but it's a problem they both have which she wasn't really receptive to. the thing is, everyone thinks they have good taste, a sense of humor, and know how to communicate. she's chic and hilarious so it's not so wrong that she assumes that she can effectively communicate - yet this problem keeps arising. is it just significant other? perhaps, but i find that highly doubtful.

it seems that we human beings have somehow gotten the very mistaken idea that we are born knowing how to effectively communicate with each other. because this is engrained in us, we don't actually work at communication unless there's a problem. we may have had to take an interpersonal communication or business communication class if we've attended college but i know of no such classes on a high school level. at least not when i was in school (back in the dark ages). i think that perhaps, like me, if we took those communication classes we probably didn't take them very seriously. they aren't our major for most of us, and who really needs a class on how to do what we do all day every day?

are we born knowing how to communicate? not really. we learn how to speak from listening our parents. when we are infants we scream and cry no matter what is wrong. hungry, tired, wet, it's all the same. as we progress verbally what we learn is from what is around us, and hopefully from the books we begin learning how to read. what if our parents and family didn't communicate well though? are we doomed to repeat unhealthy patterns? not doomed, no, but we have to admit that perhaps like everything else we've learned over the years that communication is not only a skill but an art and something that we need to practice and study. we do not just know the best way to do this and it becomes clear as we get involved in serious relationships with others. friendships are one thing, because we don't tend to go through hardships together with our friends. we are there for them, but generally it is not something shared. in a relationship hardships are shared, problems must be overcome and communication if not done effectively can add stress to an already overwhelming situation. it can undermine our bonds and ultimately can destroy what could otherwise be a good partnership.

as a student of psychology for many years and having always planned to go into some sort of counseling communication is one of the pillars of my education. what people say, how they say it, how i hear it, how i interpret it, that's all central to me doing my job. to do it well, i have to hear what they are saying and what people say is not usually what they mean. this is why i practice something called "active listening" which i actually learned most about not in school but in marriage counseling. i'd studied it but putting it into practice wasn't something i'd actually had to do before that. active listening is taking something that someone has said and saying it back to them in your own words to confirm that you are understanding them. over the years i have gotten better about not using phrases like "what i hear you saying is..." because generally that makes an angry partner huffily inform me: "you are not my therapist".

still i find that active listening is the best way to see if i am understanding what someone is saying to me. i might also probe while doing it, say something about what i think they are feeling or what is underlying the statement but ultimately i am trying to make sure that we are on the same page. a huge part of your ability to effectively communicate is your ability to not only listen but to hear your partner. i have seen this in group situations a lot, in fact when we had "team meetings" at one of my jobs i would often explain to our boss what someone was saying because they couldn't seem to get their point across.

here's an expirament if you are really interested in seeing how well you communicate. with your partner, or a family member or friend after you say something ask them to repeat what you just said back to you in their own words. chances are you will be surprised by what they say. often when we are "listening" we are actually thinking about other things, or thinking about what we will say when the person talking takes a breath. many times we're just not focused on someone, even in conversations that one or both of us deem to be important.

the truth is that no matter how great we become at communication there's always something to learn, and practice is important but it's never going to make us perfect. everyone is different, so each person we communicate with is going to be different. they are going to speak differently, listen differently, and it's up to us if we truly want to connect with them to figure out the way that it's best to communicate with them. don't leave it up to them to do all the work. they may, like most of us, not realize that there's any type of skill involved in communication - i hope that you do if not based on my ruminations than on your own experiences and intuition. talking and listening are basic functions of our bodies really, but communicating and hearing are learned. like anything we learn it's important to practice to become better at it. at the very least, all you've lost is a little time, but what you can potentially gain is really without measure.

(my particular communication issue i'm sure you've realized is that i have a tendency to pontificate endlessly, long past the average person's attention span. at least when it comes to blogging. lol!) read more about active listening.
girl feels: thoughtfulthoughtful
so last week i found this amazing website radical homosexual agenda. i love these queers!! it's sorta the "pink posse" but without the guns (i hope...)

it really came about because i was thinking about radical politics, queer activism, and what it is that separates the extremists from the young democrats (and how i want to be an extremist not a democrat...) i started looking for ACTup! chapters in the south, or anywhere. i wasn't sure if ACTup! was even still around.

i love the feeling i've had since going to the first pflag meeting, this sense that i am a part of something real, something that will change the place i live. that's not to say that pflag hasn't been around my whole life, because it has...however pflag in mississippi was nonexistent. thank God, the goddess, whomever you believe in that D decided to start a chapter because we need one here. and that's also not to discount unity mississippi and the sisters of jackson who i sadly hadn't heard of before pflag. i got really used to being inactive, just taking things forgranted. i did a lj phone post about pride when i couldn't get online and talked about how cincinnati pride the last few years i was there was so important because of Article XII (visit http://www.equalitycincinnati.org/about.php for more info) i always lived in northern ky (the "greater cincinnati area") but for my friends and loved ones that lived in cincinnati they knew that by marching, by being seen at pride that it was legal for them to be discriminated against based on their sexual orientation because of Article XII.

that didn't stop us all from marching with the Kerry people chanting "george bush has gotta go, hey hey ho ho" before the last election. which incidentally was the first election i got off my high horse and voted for someone that didn't necessarily support equality...which is the point of this post. i refused to vote for someone that didn't support my issues (choice and marriage equality) until the last election when i felt it was important to vote against bush. anyone was better than him imho.

this current election i don't know where i stand. it's important for people to vote which is why i've volunteered with the aclu to register people to vote. whether or not i will vote is still weighing on my mind. my issues are too volatile, sadly no one is going to stand up and say "gay people should be able to get married" at least no one that is going to get a nomination. which brings me to my latest thoughts: "why is it that i'm fighting for something i don't want?" and to the radical homosexual agenda.

i fear i have fallen into a quagmire of "we're just like you, we want what you want, don't hate us we're like you!!!" but am i? no. i think any of you who know me or even occasionally read what i spout know damn well that i don't want to settle down and get married and have kids, with a man or a woman. i support those that do. (aside from the precarious issue of the pregnant trans-man thomas beattie who i feel is setting trans people and activism back DECADES - but that my dears is another rant. one that i am afraid my mother didn't understand as i was trying to explain it to her...)

on the one hand, if it keeps people from being killed i am all for people seeing us as being "just like them". but even if i were straight am i just the same as an ignorant redneck who is going to kill someone for being different??? uh, no. i remember myself 12 years ago, when i was wanting to handcuff myself to my straight friend katie and walk around the mall in my small hometown. when i was all too willing to shriek "i'm HERE i'm QUEER, GET USED TO IT!!!!" when i had green hair or purple hair or a nose ring and was a freak because i didn't drink beer in parking lots and fuck lots of guys... what happened to that girl?

life, and the politics of life. grew up, got a real job, learned to pass without going back in the closet, learned how to compromise - but what has compromising ever done for the person that is doing it? what happened to the girl who was willing to die because she was queer? what happened to the fifteen year old who had a t-shirt that said "strong enough for a man but made for a woman"? what happened to the teenager who walked around san fran with her (much much older) girlfriend holding hands and talking to the homeless guys panhandling outside the mcdonalds?

where did i go?

i'm learning more and more about compromise, and more and more about being who i am. though i have always been a lot more willing to shout "i'm here i'm queer get used to it" i have always been more hesitant to "come out" as a gay christian, yet i am. i'm uncomfortable in my classes at a christian college when the professor asks for prayer requests yet bow my head and close my eyes and pray, though in my head i may be asking God for something other than what the professor is praying for. i fear that someone will come up to me at school and begin to hassle me for my gay or feminist or pro-choice bumper stickers and yet we are all "christian" aren't we? how do these things get put to rest? i don't know. i'm just rambling really at this point, it's been a long day...

i like the radical homosexual agenda people because they aren't afraid to say NO! i'm not like you. isn't that ok? when did it get to be so wrong to be different? ha, i guess it always was. i didn't know about the HRC's anti-trans stances, and after what i read there i'm questioning if i want to do an internship with the HRC afterall... i'm considering taking the sticker off my car or at least changing it. LGBT is B & T which i have often raged about. not just gay, not just lesbian - bisexual, transgender, questioning, queer, we're ALL a part of that rainbow flag. and when i look at the things that i am supporting, i know that it's important that all americans get the same rights, but i am also beginning to realize that it's also important to say - NO WE ARE NOT ALL ALIKE.

that's not "like you" but ALIKE. i mean my sister who is straight has more dreams and goals beyond wife and mother. why can't a gay man or a lesbian? do we have to reduce ourselves to this issue - marriage? i'm so torn. equal rights aren't special rights. i want those rights for all people, all americans, even if i don't necessarily want them for me...but at the same time i'm remembering that no. i'm NOT just like you. i'm not. never was.

in the trend i've been following this year of healthier living and lifestyle i decided (somewhat arbitrarily) to give up diet soda. the basis of this decision was a combination of factors. first, i have for the most part given up eating items with artificial ingredients or things i didn't know what they were - yet diet soda is full of things that sound like you could create a bomb with them. most notably potassium benzoate (to "protect taste" whatever that means). also, citrus acid sounds benign doesn't it? according to wikipedia: "most citric acid in the food industry is not extracted from citrus fruit, but fermented by Aspergillus niger mold from scrap molasses, waste starch hydrolysates and phosphoric acid."

fun! mold. i like that in my diet coke... today i felt like i needed caffiene, so i checked out regular coke. it has citrus acid as well as the #1 evil i've given up high fructose corn syrup. please, everyone remember i lost 20 pounds by doing nothing but giving up things that have high fructose corn syrup in them.

there have been many studies about what diet soda does to your body, my sister mentioned one that linked diet soda consumption to osteoperosis. really i think what it comes down to is why bother monitoring what i put in my body with food if i'm not going to do it with with liquid as well? what's the point of doing something 90%?

the amazing awesome thing about the access we have to information today is that you LITERALLY do not have to consume anything without knowing what it is. between google and wikipedia you can take your lean cuisine and find out what each and every thing in there is and what it might be used for. (though often it seems that those fun little chemicals are put in there randomly, for no real point at all).

MSG is one of my personal favourites. we have all heard about Monosodium glutamate for years. we've all see the signs in chinese restaurants "No MSG". MSG is a "flavor enhancer" why exactly it is needed in processed foods remains a mystery to me. Things i read (written by MSG manufacturers and supporters ie anyone getting paid) say that it makes things taste better, perhaps illicits a taste that is beyond what we scientifically know like "sweet, sour, salty, bitter". They're basically creating another taste. Perhaps it appeals to our 6th sense as well?... hmmm. check out this great website with foods to avoid and more information about MSG.

at this point, i know what you're probably thinking: "why do i want to go to all that work? i'm busy, and i don't really eat that badly." i ask you, "are you sure?" how healthy are you really? what is health anyway? here in america we are conditioned to believe one thing: health = dress size, especially in women. if you are a size 6, is it possible to be in worse health than someone who is a size 12? the answer to that is yes. think about it. a size six smoker who lives on fast food but has a really high metabolism is actually not healthier than a size 12 nonsmoker who eats right and exercises regularly. but we are taught that what is outside is what matters.

instead of thinking "why do i want to do all that work?" i want you to think "why am i putting this in my body?" eating is very basic, our bodies need fuel to function. yet for many of us we are busy (hell, there's no one busier than me lately! i'm organizing a new house, i'm a full time student, i work full time, i'm a founding member of the jackson pflag chapter, i'm volunteering for the aclu when i can, i'm training with the lukemia and lymphoma society's team-in-training, whew! is that all? i feel like i'm forgetting something...oh yeah. i write - lj rants and other stuff.) you don't have to change your lifestyle. i'm simply asking you to be mindful of what you eat. if you want to take a step after that, well, good for you. the knowledge is at your fingertips, literally. if not, what have you really lost? a minute or two out of your day thinking "why am i getting the mcchicken"?

the biggest question i have is this

what exactly is it that you are doing that is so important you don't need your body for it?

let's get down to basics, because really it's not as complicated as we all make it. i'm not perfect. i have yo-yoed for years, size 12 size 6 size 9 size 6 size 16. i know what i need to do, in fact - we all do: eat right, avoid fast food, exercise daily. those simple little tips are pretty much all we need. easier said than done, and secondly - what is eating right?

lean cuisine is better than mcdonalds. we know this because we are taught this by advertising, and we learn more from advertising in this day and age than we do in school. even more so today than ever before we are bombarded by advertisements. the lines are blurring, what is us? what is suggestion? is it really that big a conspiracy? well let's see...40 years ago we were taught that smoking was good for you. was it? um, no. we know that now. do people still do it? oh yeah, but we know what we are doing. so let's not pretend that Nestle (the maker of lean cuisine) really has your best interest in mind. Lean Cuisine "do something good for yourself". Nestle "just a corporation that wants to make money". hey, i'm not knocking it, we all gotta make a living. yet i wonder at what point will the food industry begin doing what the cigarette industry did and actively trying to replace the consumers its killing? oh wait...they have. "Soft drink companies spend billions on advertising. Much of these marketing efforts are aimed at children through playgrounds, toys, cartoons, movies, videos, charities and amusement parks; and through contests, sweepstakes, games and clubs via television, radio, magazines and the internet." (american trends, the dangers of soft drinks. think they're the only ones? really?

ok, but i mentioned lean cuisine and they're "healthy" right? well, that depends on your definition of healthy. from lean cuisine's own website let's check out the ingredients in their "cafe classics glazed chicken." now don't look at the "nutritional information" because that is going to mislead you. 220 calories, 30 calories from fat. wow! that's pretty good right?

look at the actual ingredients. ingredients are listed in order of what is most in a product to what is least. so in this, the #1 ingredient is chicken. that's a good thing considering that you are buying it because you want a quick convenient chicken meal. now let's look at the 2nd ingredient: high fructose corn syrup. WHAT???????? now think about this people, it's not that difficult to figure out. in your chicken dish the one thing that you find most of is chicken. the 2nd thing is high fructose corn syrup. what is hfcs anyway? why is it bad? why do i care? well anyone can pretty much figure out corn syrup = sugar. ever heard of the mayo clinic? click here to read what they have to say about it. for those of you who just want a portion: "Despite the lack of clarity in research, the fact remains that Americans consume large quantities of high-fructose corn syrup in the form of soft drinks, fruit-flavored beverages and other processed foods. These types of foods are often high in calories and low in nutritional value. [emphasis added by me] This fact alone is reason to be cautious about foods containing high-fructose corn syrup. To reduce high-fructose corn syrup in your diet, read food labels. [emphasis added by me].

sodium phosphates (yes that's plural), potassium chloride (there's that bomb...), do you know what these things are? i don't, so that's why i won't buy lean cuisine. if i really want it, i'll write it down, google it and then decide. why do they modify cornstarch and why is it in there not once but twice? sugar is in there too, not just corn syrup. let's see, what is potassium cholride? back to wikipedia: "The chemical compound potassium chloride (KCl) is a metal halide salt composed of potassium and chlorine. In its pure state it is odorless. It has a white or colorless vitreous crystal, with a crystal structure that cleaves easily in three directions. Potassium chloride crystals are face-centered cubic. Potassium chloride is also commonly known as "Muriate of Potash". Potash varies in color from pink or red to white depending on the mining and recovery process used. White potash, sometimes referred to as soluble potash, is usually higher in analysis and is used primarily for making liquid starter fertilizers. KCl is used in medicine, scientific applications, food processing and in judicial execution through lethal injection."

so yes, it's different but from the same place, the 10th ingredient in this lean cuisine is derrived from the same thing used to lethally inject convicted inmates on death row. well, it's not a bomb.

is this all a coincidence? well, why don't you find out for yourself? it's very simple. the next thing you eat, take the ingredients you don't know and google them. you can do it with fast food too, because all that information is available to you - most of it just a click away. if you're ok with it, well that's awesome. i hope though that by educating yourself to what you are eating that you will take the really simple steps to making sure what goes into your body is something that you want and need.

god knows i'm a foodie. i do have my indulgences (red baron mini cheese pizzas) that are chock-full of awful things but taste so good that i overlook it every now and then. the point is - this is the only body you get. if you are around my age then you hopefully have around 65-70 more years in it. the things we indulge in - shoes, tech goodies, cars, houses, whatever... those things aren't probably going to be in our lives 50 years from now. (ok, if you buy a pair of christian louboutins they probably will be but still) but our bodies are. what we do to them now, today, has lasting effects. it may seem obvious but this is the one and only body you get. we think and talk a lot about how we look or how we feel we look, but i think it's high time that everyone start thinking more about the things we cannot see.

make no mistake it is a lifestyle change, and while we may all die from cancer that our deoderant may or may not cause, at least we can say we tried. :)
girl feels: thoughtfulthoughtful
08 March 2008 @ 11:39 pm
that because i love women that people in this "great nation" of america seem to think that i (and believe me i do take it personally and so should everything thinking person be them lgbt or straight ally) am somehow after your children? i don't even really like kids. if i did, i certainly wouldn't wish them to be part of a minority that is vilified, misunderstood, discriminated against, and yes in this day and age still killed for simply being who they are.

in what fucked up world would anyone wish a life like that on anyone? and why it doesn't change is not because we are going around trying to brainwash kids into some "gay lifestyle" the way people are trying to brainwash kids into being heterosexists. i mean of all the things forced onto kids - religion, racism, sexism, heterosexism... is acceptance something we really do no want our children to learn????? is celebrating people for their differences a bad thing?

it's true, that of all of the teachers i know 96% of them are gay. these are people that give their time, their careers, their own hard-earned money (and God knows they don't earn a lot) to try and give something back to kids and their community...and that's a bad thing?

watch this, (or rather listen to it) and get as sick as i feel.

we sit back and we get comfortable in our little worlds. we, yes even i, sometimes forget that this still happens. people feel this way, people say this. she even says flat out that she puts herself in jeopardy for saying it. perhaps because it is wrong? i'm not the activist i should be, that i have it in me to be, and that is going to change. i am working on changing that. because for every moment that we are idle, we have to remember that there are people that hate. they hate me though they do not know me. perhaps i am naive that believing that by educating people, by talking with them, by knowing them, we can show them that gay people are just people. i've seen it happen, i've lived it.

it's really hard to stand up and say that gay people are corrupt and wrong when you know and respect one. this is why i believe in being out, this why i believe in speaking out. this is why even though i "pass" i try to be out as much as i can in my everyday life. i'm not going to go to work and say "i'm here, i'm queer, get used to it." but i'm not going to lie. because people's minds and beliefs will not change unless you challenge them.

the thing that angers me, and yes i have lost friends because this difference of opinion, is that this woman would not even in oklahoma, even in the south still be in office were she saying these things about african american people. there was a time when you could say things like that, and i am thankful that things have largely changed. because people with predjudices can think whatever they like, but they know that they cannot say them. they cannot actively live a life of hate. i know there is still a racist influence especially here in the south. some minds will never change and some people don't see how things are wrong.

i'm glad though that when a guy at work makes a reference to "colored people" i can say "excuse me? what did you say?" (yes that did happen). it's not so easy yet to call someone on heterosexism the way you can on racism or sexism. those changes happened because people fought against what was wrong in this country.

i know that i make some people uncomfortable with my opinion when it comes to being out and outing. the majority of people i know just live their lives and they don't feel a particular need to be visible. we need to be visible. when you hear shit like this, you have to know that it is not extreme to think that we cannot sit idly by and fly under the radar. i for one want to live without fear that i might be hurt or killed or someone i love hurt or killed for being gay. i want to live in a world where a man can hold his boyfriend's hand on the street of bum-fuck alabama and not be afraid. not even have to think twice about it. i want that world for my dear friend lisa's children, and my own if i decide i want to have them some day.

being different isn't easy. being hated? that's not an easy thing to deal with. i find it ironic that she talks in her ("i'm not anti-gay..." yeah right) tirade about the suicide rate for gay people. perhaps the suicide rate would not be so high if it were not for people like you, sally kern, and your message of hate.

i am even more sure after hearing this that i am right in my decision to apply for internships with lgbt activist groups and take the summer of 09 off from school to do one. i don't know that i will get any of them because a lot of them are political and legal in their focus and i am a social work major, but i will be damned if i am not going to try and begin to give something back. once math is over and my next class begins and i have a good idea of how much studying time i need, i am going to begin volunteering. i'm not sure what i can do in jackson on the lgbt front, but every day i go past the women's health organization with the protesters outside and that's another cause i firmly believe in.

that's also another rant. :)

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever does." ~ margaret mead
existing: living room
girl feels: pissed offpissed off
i know i haven't been posting a lot here. sadly most of my entries of late or more of a personal nature than intellectual, so they have all been on ladylamia and usually pretty filtered.

i plan on changing that, and i do have more to say on this article, but i have been sick today and i'm not really feeling like i'm up to snuff to tackle it now.

check out this article in the times about "guerilla gay bar". i found it to be interesting, and i like the concept.

"...the real motivation, according to the group’s manifesto, is to overcome boredom with a “ghettoized and sub-ghettoized” gay scene — which in Los Angeles is synonymous with the club and bar circuit in West Hollywood."

although i think that the most interesting thing about it is that this particular article appeared in the "fashion and style" section...

i would say more about it but my brain isn't really working well today and my head still hurts. i'm going to bed.
existing: couch
girl feels: draineddrained
melodies: scrubs on the tv
31 May 2007 @ 12:33 am
* disclaimer: i have spent about 2 hours reading and researching on this. while i believed at first that it was a hoax i am now convinced that it is not. *

perverted justice reports:

LiveJournal continues stupidity... just differentl LiveJournal/SixApart deleted a ton of LJ's that violated their "terms of service." We went after LiveJournal/SixApart months ago, with a very specific list of pedophile blogs and communities. Not only were the staff at LiveJournal/SixApart beyond condescending and rude in their replies, they defended the advocacy of pedophilia and pedophile communities as being acceptable under their Terms of Service, something we contested in our original Writeup about them.

So today, LJ decides to finally do something about the pedophile communities that had sprung up on their service. However, rather than listening to us months ago, they decided to just wipe out whole fields of communities whether they were related to those who advocate child rape or not. We're not quite sure who is running the show over at LJ, but until they state without condition that actual pedophile activists and those promoting child rape are disallowed from their service, we will continue to list them as an aggressive Corporate Sex Offender.

Apparently LiveJournal can't tell the difference between what a pedophile community is and a Harry Potter fan-fiction community despite being told months ago which is what.

it is of note that several lj users have noted similar responses in the past year or so when trying to alert lj of pedophile or other related lj communities. suddenly they clean house without heed? do we need to "thank" warriors of innocence for this? (no link given because reports state that visiting their website has infected some people with evil spyware. i heard about them the first time a few short weeks ago in the local newspaper the clarion ledger (no link for i hope obvious reasons - at least those of you in ms!) about how the ms governor was part of a movement to get myspace to crack down on sex offenders trying to troll for victims.

see this scares me. "our children". it's always "our children". i don't have children. i don't like children. while i in no way, shape, form, or in any stretch of the imagination feel that it is ok for the internet to create a way for pedophiles to get at kids i also feel that these groups and the people that support them are generally reactionary, irrational,
and want to use mass hysteria for their own purposes
. you tell parents "livejournal is allowing pedophiles to talk to your kids..." well, parents will freak out, and of course they should! but groups like this use half-truths, information slanted to their own agenda, and propoganda to not only shut down "sex offenders" but also anyone they deem morally unjust.

on lj alone these groups have targeted people who are part of fandoms like manga, s/m and bdsm, even harry potter! i am not fooled for a second. it is not sex offenders in the sense of pedophiles that they are after. it is "sex offenders" in the sense that anyone who doesn't subscribe to their hetero-normative vanilla ways. bdsm, queer, none of us are safe from this kind of reactionary censorship which is based not on the content of these journals but on miniscule things like lj profile interests.

people are deleting user pictures, people are deleting their entire userinfo. afraid. i started to panic, even thought about taking things like "genderqueer" "queer" and "nude women" out of my userinfo, but this isn't something that we need to fear. in fact, i think anyone with a strong heart and voice would be lucky to be deleted without notice or warning.

at least then we would have a platform to call them on their censorship and witch-hunt mentality. as bloggers, we have a duty to call it like it is, and censorship will not, cannot, should not be tolerated on the internet, especially not in the name of "protecting children". as an abused child, i am all for them making sure that predators do not have access to anyone on lj, but there needs to be not only inteligence but also investigation before journals are randomly deleted.

more information is avaliable here and here
existing: couch
girl feels: distresseddistressed
melodies: imogen heap ~ getting scared (live)
21 May 2007 @ 08:48 pm
ok, so the one really great thing about working at bam is that i have been reading a lot more. not at work sadly, but because i can borrow books i am taking full advantage of that. also, i see books that look cool, so i have started a list of books i want to read.

even before i started working at bam i used the fact that i have no tv to distract me to read. so far since i have been in mississippi i have reread some old favourites, liquor & prime by pzb docbrite, and after all these years by susan issacs. after all these years is sort of a trashy type novel, a beach read kind of thing but i have always really liked it. it's about a woman whose husband leaves her on their 20 year aniversary. when he shows up in her kitchen dead, she has to go on the lam to prove that she didn't kill him. she's a high school english teacher, and it's humorous at points as well as very poignant and suspenseful.

a new one (for me) lolita by vladimir nabokov which i have been meaning to read for quite a while. i always loved the film but never got around to reading the book til now. i loved it, i was surprised how true to the book the film (jeremy irons/dominique swain version) is.

then of course once i started working at bam i started borrowing. i decided my first one would be:
more info at amazon the spellman files by lisa lutz. it is the bam featured book, and after looking at the sign right by the door advertising it, i picked it up one day when i was bored at the cash register (the gm david wasn't there so i could actually read. when he is there we aren't allowed to sit or read we just have to pretend to straighten stuff and stare off into space. i wasn't expecting much, but the cover was interesting - and i do judge books by their covers *lol* click here for my minireviewCollapse )

more info at amazon after that my next book borrowed was mississippi sissy by kevin sessums. his brother dr. sessums lives in v'burg and was our doctor for a while when i was a kid. he was a lumeria for a signing right when i first moved down here but we were too exhausted from the unloading the truck & unpacking to go. still i was intrigued by the memoirs of someone growing up gay in mississippi back in the 60s/70s. when i picked it up i immediately loved his writing style. i ended up giving it back before i read all of it, because it went 50% off. with my 20% employee discount it ended up being about $10 and i figured $10 for a hardback first edition was a steal. i could tell i was going to want to own it, and d wants to read it so it was my first book purchase at bam.

i haven't read it all yet but i will post about it once i do.

more info at amazon now i have borrowed haunted by chuck palahniuk. gay kevin @ staples recommended it to me after he read it and i have wanted to read it ever since. i just started it, so more on it later. it's the first palahniuk i've read. i loved the film fight club but haven't gotten around to reading the book yet. if i like haunted i'm sure i will.

i've decided even if/when i get a better job i will try to stay at bam one day a week or so, that way i can keep borrowing books!

the somewhat bad thing about it is that i keep seeing books that seem really interesting that i want to read. so my list keeps growing and growing more quickly than i can read them all! also the university of nebraska press sent a catalog that i thumbed through which provided waaaay too many books that were intriguing, and we don't have them at bam so i'm going to have to get a library card. these are all of course in addition to the ny times 100 best books of 2006 list that i vowed to try and read back in december!!

new book list:

  • special topics in calamity physics by marisha pessl (which katie rainykate just reviewed here.) this is my most recent addition to my list, it has been featured on display at work for a while now and i finally looked at it.

  • how to be lost by amanda eyre ward

  • the memory keeper's daughter by kim edwards. this one sounds really interesting, i think it will be my next borrowed book after...

  • shopaholic & baby by sophie kinsella. the shopaholic series is one of my ultimate guilty pleasures. i will buy it once it's out in trade paperback.

  • eight women, two model Ts, and the american west by joanne wilke (nonfiction)

  • living blue in the red states edited by david starkey, this is a series of essays.

  • dueling chefs: a vegetarian and a meat lover debate the plate by maggie pleskac & sean carmichael

  • tomboy by nina bouraoui (french, translated by jehanne-marie gavarini)

  • the living by pascale kramer (translated by tamsin black)

  • queer lives: men's autobiographies from nineteenth-century france edited/translated by william peniston & nancy erber

  • performing the literary interview: how writers craft their public selves by john rodden

  • modern terrorism and psychological trauma by brian trappler, md

  • crazies to the left of me, wimps to the right: how one side lost its mind and the other lost its nerve by bernard goldberg. though i believe personally the side that lost its mind should be the right not the left, i find this book to be intruiging and i think too often i just ignore the conservatives because they piss me off. perhaps it will be good to read an opinion that differs from my own, and though he is conservative he's not a big fan of republicans so perhaps i can keep from getting too pissed off?

  • the culture of fear: why americans are afraid of the wrong things by barry glassner

  • nickel and dimed: on (not) getting by in america by barbara ehrenreich

  • mardi gras mambo by greg herren
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    existing: living room
    girl feels: quixoticliterary
    melodies: none