Ahhh, the Fourth of July

That time of year that will always represent, to me, that a whole cavalcade of kids will be parading down my street, heedless to my haphazard sleeping patterns, decked out in garish and sparkly bikes, oftentimes followed faithfully by a loyal dog, similarly festooned. A neighborhood parade organized by the sweetest, most soft-spoken woman in the area, someone who is so gentle and kind it is quite easy to forget she’s a highly intelligent lawyer. I remember when this first started, just a handful of kids parading down the streets for their neighbors, ending at the elementary school for a a picnic. We have since escalated. We have police officers in patrol cars, we have horses, we have a freaking miniature airplane, and we have the freaking mayor. We have a freaking neighborhood band, catered food, chili contests, water balloon tosses, egg tosses, water gun fights, homemade rootbeer, pet contests, bike contests, speeches. Everyone in the area knows about the 4th of July parade, and looks forward to it. It’s very community-central and camp and pretty much what you expect on the 4th.

Those who know me will affirm to the fact that my mother is a badass. She is a tough, hardcore woman who’s lived through a lot, survived a lot, and built herself the life she always wanted, with nothing more than her bull-headed stubborness and her strength of will. There are some that would say that this kind of affair would be exactly the one she would look at askance, that she would roll her eyes at and make sarcastic comments about. You would not be wrong. But, you would also not take into account the fact that my mother, badass though she is, is also a complete soft touch for certain things, namely animals. We joined the 4th of July parade organizers simply because one year there was a huge, shaggy dog that went right by our house one year, panting its little heart out, and my mother practically ran into the house to fetch it a bowl of water. Of course, this started her down the path of ‘well, what about the other dogs?’ and soon we became known, officially, as the ‘dog water providers’. And because our neighbor, as sweet as is she, is also exceedingly clever, she also managed to get my parents to start the pet judging contest, with them as the judges. And where our parents went, my brother and I were (often gently forced) to follow.

All of this has culminated in my mother, who is now the president of the Home Owner’s Association somehow (it would be more of an honor if the association wasn’t made up of four women and their husbands, or if it had actually involved a vote instead of my mother demanding, in her usual blunt way, if they wanted her to be president and their subsequent immediate agreement), being forced to make a little speech and present a gift to the mayor (she hates being the center of attention), while my father and I judge pets and hand out prizes to every one of them (strictly on my mother’s orders; ‘can you imagine dressing up your beloved pet, entering them in them in the neighborhood pet contest and not have them win something? Now divide your age in half.’) which she bought with her own money, excepting the pet beds, which she asked my aunt to make (since she owns a cat bed/toy business and makes them all herself) while my brother works the flavored ice machine (this sounds easy until you realize you have to grind all the ice by hand. Last year we ended up having a production line) while another table is set up for voting on what should be done with the neighborhood signs, which is being monitored by my aunt (who does not live in the neighborhood).

Why. Why mother, why. This is your fault, mother. Why.

Having now torn apart and more or less slapdashedly put back together every known, secret or forgotten cache of books in the household I, with some dedicated help from my father have; broken and subsequently cleaned up a florescent bulb that shouldn’t have been back there anyway; freed up at least three boxes of books that have been in storage for the past three years; asked my old lady cat at least ten times in increasingly exasperated tones of voice if I could help her-say, out of this plane of existence, maybe; and found every single Orson Scott Card book we own except the one I was looking for, an extremely extraordinary feat, given that I didn’t know more than two existed. All I wanted to do was reread a book I have studiously avoided for just over a decade to wash the taste of the absolutely horrible movie adaption of it. Was that too much to ask?

strangeasanjles:

the-fly-agaric:

caring more about animals than humans is not a sign of empathy, it is a way to distance yourself from problems that makes you uncomfortable.

when you talk about the treatment of animals and say “what if this was done to humans!?” remember that this was, or still is done to humans.

I have zero patience for people who prioritize Veganism over anti-racism and feminism

Exactly my stance.

Fun fact: while some people would be more than content to eat ice cream, pudding, and jello for three days straight after getting their wisdom teeth out, I got sick of it about three hours in (not counting the period of time where I was atually sick and the only thing I could keep down was gingerale). Apparently my body doesn’t condone this whole ‘don’t eat anything for 16 and half hours and then scarf down a pudding cup and half a bowl of jello with pain pills crushed into it’ ordeal.

For anyone who’s wondering, pureed spaghetti sauce tastes pretty much just as delicious as it does regularly.

Did you know that cats who live indoors live longer? Because there are bad things outside, like infectious diseases, coyotes, cars, and horrid people. It’s hard to believe that anyone who loves a cat will let it go outside. Rrrgrahfrazle.

Cats aren’t stupid, people. Even the dimmest cats I’ve ever had (and I’ve had a lot, considering young I am) have only rarely fallen victim to the horrors of the outside world. Twelve cats that I can remember having from childhood to now, and of them, four still live with us today, one had to be sent to a family that had a barn because she was too feral to live in our suburban home, and is living quite happily, one who ran away because he was too feral, three died of old age (the two I remember dying being 18 and 17, respectively), two died of cancer, and one died of unknown causes that we strongly suspect was because our neighbors of the time had put out poisoned nuts for the squirrels and we think he may have eaten some of the grass they were on. All of these cats were indoor/outdoor cats. Adding on the cats from my friends and family, we can add at least three more that died of old age, one that got run over by a car, and six that still live today. Of all these cats, only three are/were strictly indoor cats (one cat has just recently become an indoor cat and let me tell you how miserable he is) and one is an outdoor only cat. All the rest were indoor/outdoor.

Adding all these up, we come to 22 cats that I am personally aware of. Of those 22, two of them have died due to avoidable outdoor causes. That’s about a 9% fatality rate. I’m not talking feral cats here; feral cats generally do have a much higher mortality rate, because they don’t have constant access to food or water, or a highly defended safe place to retreat to that’s warm, or people who take them in to be checked and to forcibly feed them medicine, whether they like it or not (hint: they never like it). Feral cats have high mortality rates because of this, it’s true. But cats that are owned by people who care about them are perfectly safe going outside, as much so as humans are. After all, a human could get bitten by a mosquito carrying the West Nile disease and die, or get run over by a car, or trip down a flight of stairs and break their skull open, but you don’t see people advertising we keep all humans inside for their own safety, now do you?

So I have not yet sunk to the levels of reading porn at work, but oh god was it so tempting today.

And I just want to make something perfectly clear.

I am a cashier at Home Depot. Do you know how hard it is to browse the Internet at work? Basically impossible. The moral of the story, kids, is don’t open up your garden department register when it’s still averaging 28-30 degrees out.

I had nine customers over a six-hour period. Nine. Ugh, I’m doing it again tomorrow. I’m so going to end up reading porn at work, I just know it.

When you are hurting, there will always be people who find a way to make it about themselves. If you break your wrist, they’ll complain about a sprained ankle. If you are sad, they’re sadder. If you’re asking for help, they’ll demand more attention.

Here is a fact: I was in a hospital and sobbing into my palms when a woman approached me and asked why I was making so much noise and I managed to stutter that my best friend shot himself in the head and now he was 100% certified dead and she made this little grunt and had the nerve to tell me, “Well now you made me sad.”

When you get angry, there are going to be people who ask you to shut up and sit down, and they’re not going to do it nicely. Theirs are the faces that turn bright red before you have a chance to finish your sentence. They won’t ask you to explain yourself. They’ll be mad that you’re mad and that will be their whole reason alone.

Here is a fact: I was in an alleyway a few weeks ago, stroking my friend’s back as she vomited fourteen tequila shots. “I hate men,” she wheezed as her sides heaved, “I hate all of them.”

I braided her hair so it wouldn’t get caught in the mess. I didn’t correct her and reply that she does in fact love her father and her little brother too, that there are strangers she has yet to meet that will be better for her than any of her shitty ex-boyfriends, that half of our group of friends identifies as male - I could hear each of her bruises in those words and I didn’t ask her to soften the blow when she was trying to buff them out of her skin. She doesn’t hate all men. She never did.

She had the misfortune to be overheard by a drunk guy in an ill-fitting suit, a boy trying to look like a man and leering down my dress as he stormed towards us. “Fuck you, lady,” he said, “Fuck you. Not all men are evil, you know.”

“Thanks,” I told him dryly, pulling on her hand, trying to get her inside again, “See you.”

He followed us. Wouldn’t stop shouting. How dare she get mad. How dare she was hurting. “It’s hard for me too!” he yowled after us. “With fuckers like you, how’s a guy supposed to live?”

Here’s a fact: my father is Cuban and my genes repeat his. Once one of my teachers looked at my heritage and said, “Your skin doesn’t look dirty enough to be a Mexican.”

When my cheeks grew pink and my tongue dried up, someone else in the classroom stood up. “You can’t say that,” he said, “That’s fucking racist. We could report you for that.”

Our teacher turned vicious. “You wanna fail this class? Go ahead. Report me. I was joking. It’s my word against yours. I hate kids like you. You think you’ve got all the power - you don’t. I do.”

Later that kid and I became close friends and we skipped class to do anything else and the two of us were lying on our backs staring up at the sky and as we talked about that moment, he sighed, “I hate white people.” His girlfriend is white and so is his mom. I reached out until my fingers were resting in the warmth of his palm.

He spoke up each time our teacher said something shitty. He failed the class. I stayed silent. I got the A but I wish that I didn’t.

Here is a fact: I think gender is a social construct and people that want to tell others what defines it just haven’t done their homework. I personally happen to have the luck of the draw and am the same gender as my sex, which basically just means society leaves me alone about this one particular thing.

Until I met Alex, who said he hated cis people. My throat closed up. I’m not good at confrontation. I avoided him because I didn’t want to bother him.

One day I was going on a walk and I found him behind our school, bleeding out of the side of his mouth. The only thing I really know is how to patch people up. He winced when the antibacterial cream went across his new wounds. “I hate cis people,” he said weakly.

I looked at him and pushed his hair back from his head. “I understand why you do.”

Here is a fact: anger is a secondary emotion. Anger is how people stop themselves from hurting. Anger is how people stop themselves by empathizing.

It is easy for the drunken man to be mad at my friend. If he says “Hey, fuck you, lady,” he doesn’t have to worry about what’s so wrong about men.

It’s easy for my teacher to fail the kids who speak up. If we’re just smart-ass students, it’s not his fault we fuck up.

It’s easy for me to hate Alex for labeling me as dangerous when I’ve never hurt someone a day in my life. But I’m safe in my skin and his life is at risk just by going to the bathroom. I understand why he says things like that. I finally do.

There’s a difference between the spread of hatred and the frustration of people who are hurting. The thing is, when you are broken, there will always be someone who says “I’m worse, stop talking.” There will always be people who are mad you’re trying to steal the attention. There will always be people who get mad at the same time as you do - they hate being challenged. It changes the rules.

I say I hate all Mondays but my sister was born on one and she’s the greatest joy I have ever known. I say I hate brown but it’s really just the word and how it turns your mouth down - the colour is my hair and my eyes and my favorite sweater. I say I hate pineapple but I still try it again every Easter, just to see if it stings less this year. It’s okay to be sad when you hear someone generalize a group you’re in. But instead of assuming they’re evil and filled with hatred, maybe ask them why they think that way - who knows, you might just end up with a new and kind friend.

By telling the oppressed that their anger is unjustified, you allow the oppression to continue. I know it’s hard to stay calm. I know it’s scary. But you’re coming from the safe place and they aren’t. Just please … Try to be more understanding. /// r.i.d (via inkskinned)

Should I do it? Should I do the thing, Tumblr?

Should I finally get tired of how I’m spending my days rereading old fanfic and replaying old games? (I started Persona 4 a day and a half ago and I’m already partway into June, how)

Should I finally give into the growing frustration that’s been building inside as I impatiently wait for spring to get here and my seasonal depression to melt away with the snow?

Should I, in fact, go to bed early tonight so I can get up at 5 in the morning to go to the YMCA and swim for an hour?

Do I, in fact, have enough Courage to even attempt to do such a bold thing, despite the fact I have never been before and have exceedingly limited information about how to proceed or who will be there or (nonsensically) if I’m even allowed?

…………..

Fuck it, I’m doing it. Worst case scenario, it turns out I’m not supposed to be there and I go home and sleep, and despite what my brain is telling me, acute embarrassment can’t actually kill me, and perhaps I will feel less like crawling into a hole and dying when I’m 3/4 asleep. If it happens at all. Which I highly doubt. Well. I doubt it.

Friends I am here to tell you my high score in Flappy Bird is 27. Also, I giggle like a loon every time that silly bird goes nose first into the dirt. I’ve gotten a few looks from my coworkers already. :D

The Sisterhood of the Dragon : a tale of lady knights and dragons

When a kingdom is born on the outskirts of the dragons’ domain, the king and his advisors began the ritual of sacrifice to appease the winged creatures. At the beginning and end of each year a girl would be sacrificed to the dragons.

But the dragons were horrified by such a brutal and barbaric offering; so they took the girls and brought them to their nesting grounds, giving the abandoned young women new homes and purpose - to guard the dragons’ eggs. So the Sisterhood of the Dragon was born; those betrayed by their kingdom were welcomed with open arms and wings - trained to fight and protect, some to heal and some to sew and some to cook and some to nurture and some to hunt, each woman finding purpose and her own calling.