So, While I Was Away:
**Yes, I steal liberally from The Bloggess, but I figure it's okay, because I'm nowhere near as funny as she is: You can scroll to not-deep thoughts if you're tired of the Bathroom Wars.
People are losing their minds STILL over who can use what bathroom. It's just a 'thing' our bizarre junk media can play over and over to instill paranoia and fear into our culture. I fear that this will lead to tomboys being kicked out of girls bathrooms and boys with long hair being kicked out of girls bathrooms, and then we'll have people concerned that lesbians are using female bathrooms and gay men using male bathrooms, and isn't that just awful because... I don't really know. See, this whole issue wasn't an issue until some buffoons made a law that made it an issue. Soon, we'll have TSA-style screeners that will screen people prior to entering public restrooms to ensure that everyone is using the correct bathroom. I can see school districts implementing this - to keep kids safe from diversity, I suppose. The best way to solve this problem is to make all bathrooms unisex with full doors. Sure, it'll cost more, yeah, but at least then we'd be able to move on and solve actual 'real' problems.
I've had a conversation with a parent who was wondering if her child was gay. It's pretty heavy stuff, because her child may not know, so she's gotta play it kinda cool. He is a unique kid, he likes girl things, but he likes boy things too. He does his nails and sword fights with the other kids. He hangs out with girls and plays with their stuffed animals. Then he runs off with the boys. I don't know that there's an answer until there's a definite recognition in the individual. I also think this generation of kids are really truly throwing gender classifications away. It no longer serves them and they are not under the same limits we were growing up. I look at my Bear, and I see my Bear. I see who he is as a creative, emotional, driving-me-crazy-currently 12 year old boy. He's different, but in ways that can't be classified or easily defined, just like this other parent's child. They all run around the neighborhood together, blissfully unaware of labels, categories, or heady discussions about sexuality. Oh, that's coming, but for now, we're in the sweet zone.
Despite my optimism about this younger generation throwing gender classifications out the window, I'm sad that we haven't yet risen above the internet and media's obsession with ridiculously unhealthy and unrealistic photoshopped and de-humanized portrayals of women. The majority of women are trying to lose at least ten pounds on any given day, haven't seen a size under a double digit since Jr. High, and still, still, beauty is a wafer-thin reed that has no signs of life on its face - no laugh lines, no scars, no stray hairs, no pores. I think pores are passe. Someone, help me eliminate my pores!
I'm also a little tired of women getting attacked online for having an intelligent voice or opinion. This Internet Bully Monster we've created is to the point where, by now, I'd think we had some laws in place. I understand that technology moves faster than law enforcement, but still, there's little that can be done aside from publicly outing the offenders, but the damage to not only women, but our culture as a whole, is significant. It goes beyond adults, though, because children can be cruel to each other, and it's really easy to be cruel online. I don't believe we have satisfactory tools in place to help parents help children understand the effects of their online actions.
We can't move forward as a society with so much hate going on. I think there is a deep illness in our society. There are people trying to throw the country back to a pre-civil rights time. Corporations have more rights than actual human beings. The divide between rich and everyone else is beginning to remind me of the robber barrons of the 19th century. Fundamentalist beliefs are crippling and interrupting any serious attempts to move forward as a society that respects race, gender, sexuality, religion, civil rights for all etc etc. Most of you are with me on this, so no need to preach. It is scary, though, to see it. I hope people remember to vote out the current members of Congress, and insist on term limits and campaign spending laws!
Not Deep Thoughts
My keyboard went completely bonkers insane and started randomly typing not letters, but strange symbols. I think it was first alien contact. Or my computer is possessed. But it's probably alien contact. Now, I'm typing on the teeny keyboard that comes with Mac computers rather than my awesome, comfortable, mechanical keyboard that is huge and has bright red lights.
My poor fat cat Bounder has to go on a diet. He went to the vet today and had an x-ray and his hip joints are inflamed. I got him fat cat stairs, but my friend, who's way smarter about animals than me, said I should have gotten a ramp, and now I fear I wasted $30 because he won't use the stairs. How will he ever climb the bed? Poor guy.
I'm addicted to Liz Ryan's Human Workplace articles. I am now feeling my awesome, bad ass self after months of her columns and good advice. It's kinda creepy, but she's really on to the whole concept of working at a place where you are valued, allowed to thrive and shine, and treated like a human, not an industrial-error drone-bot. Soul! Humanity! All that stuff.
I found the perfect job that i won't get because it's too sweet - a not-full time job with full time benefits and pay. One can dream. Of course I applied, because Duh, but, no bells to indicate this was to be my fate rang. I use these jobs to practice my cover letter writing skills. I write amazing cover letters.
I'm supposed to plan a trip to Yellowstone, but I'm not really sure I want to go to Yellowstone again, so I'm procrastinating, which means we'll end up not going anywhere and I'll have to schedule a random trip in September and try to convince the kids off-season vacations are the best.
Scary Mommy is my dream. I'm dying, dyiiiiinnng to get an essay, just one, published there. I will not stop until I succeed. That, and an essay in Brain Child Magazine. I can totally do this!
My characters in my YA space adventure keep running off on me and doing things not in my outline. Jerks.
That's what happened while I was away!