Wednesday, December 31, 2014

What I DON'T want to see in the next year...

It's the last day of 2014. I am very ready for this next year to begin. Some crap
happened this year that sucked not only for me, but for our country and for our world. Here's what I don't want to see any more of in 2015...

Mitch McConnell's face - Aside from him being ugly as hell, he's an obstructionist, a villain and a self proclaimed "master of gridlock." His voting history makes a statement. It says, I'm against the following...

  • Women rights
  • Rights of minorities
  • Equal rights for homosexuals
  • Better education for our children
  • Making college affordable
  • Cleaning up our environment
  • The rights of injured people
  • A healthier America
  • Immigration 
  • People being able to earn a living wage
What is he for then? Guns, big money, combining church and state, and a Big Brother type government. Frightening.

Pandemics - People die. This is the #1 reason. But also propaganda spread by the media makes people go crazy. Media spins stories in a way that gets ratings. It's not different with the spread of diseases. They want us to panic so we stay glued to their every word.

Decapitations - We almost saw as many in our reality as we see on Game of Thrones. I don't mean to make light of these murders, but they're so horrific, it seems like a good way to separate myself from the atrocities of the world. But of course I can't. And the bigger problem is ISIS, a name I would rather not hear any more of in the news.

Racial profiling - Don't tell me racial profiling doesn't exist, because I know better. From Trayvon Martin to Michael Brown to Ezell Ford (and of course long before that, but I'm talking the last couple years), if racial profiling didn't exist, these men would still be alive.

Cowboy cops - Yes, I understand that not all cops are cowboys. Some do a wonderful job in protecting us from all the ill will and harm out there. But there have been too many senseless deaths as of late because a cop was trigger happy or acted with an unreasonable level of violence. Michael Brown, Eric Garner, John Crawford, Dante Parker, Tamir Rice, Akai Gurley, Kajieme Powell, Yvette Smith...I will note, all of these victims are African American. Does this happen to white people, I'm sure it does, but all too often it's the result of racial profiling in the first place that allows this to happen.

Airplanes disappearing - 2 right? That's 2 too many.

NFL players getting off easy - Yes, the NFL has been better about disciplining their players, Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson...of course, it took the video of Rice's punch to get that ball rolling. 48 players have been considered guilty of domestic violence under NFL policy between 2000 through 2014. In 88% of those, the league suspended players for one game or not at all, 56% received no suspension, and 15 others were forced to sit out one game. These guys are role models for men and boys alike. Punishment should be quicker and harsher.

Obama bashing - Yes. This. The man has done a lot of good for this country. Here's
just a few things he's accomplished:

  • Allowed millions health insurance
  • Got rid of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"
  • Brought our troops home from Iraq
  • Instituted equal pay for women
  • Saved the auto industry
  • Created millions of jobs and lowered the unemployment rate
  • Dow Average is up
  • Gas prices are down
  • Consumerism is higher
  • Interest rates are lower
  • Expanded hate crime definitions to include gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability.
  • Expanded access to affordable government loans and Pell Grants for college.
  • Eliminated Qaddafi and Bin Laden
  • Started a nuclear arms reduction pact with Russia
  • Removed restrictions on stem cell research
I could go on, but you get the idea. Stop bashing. Let's support our president by coming together. It's time to stop ripping our country apart.

School shootings (or any shootings for that matter) - Self explanatory. Of course, this won't happen without some kind of gun control initiative. And don't even argue with me on that because I will disagree with you.

College rape - Nice that the federal government is finally cracking down on universities who are not following laws put in place by Title IX. I'm glad they're investigating, but it took long enough. Sexual assault is rampant on college campuses and colleges need to do a better job of protecting victims and reporting offenses.

And for good measure let's throw in an end to racism, xenophobia, homophobia, misogyny, misandry, and any other kind of hate and intolerance that might be out there.

I'm sure I could think of more, but these are high on my list. What are some things you want to see end? What are you tired of hearing about? Let me know.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

More accounting, more goals

 I actually found my goals from last year. I'm not sure I did a great job attaining
them, but let's see what I did get accomplished.

Last year's goals - screw balance and take things one by one.
Um, seriously, that was my goal. I am pretty sure I did that although some of the other stuff in this section...I'm not sure. Here they were...
  • Work - Who cares?: Pretty much nailed that.
  • Writing - An hour a day. Um, no. I mean technically, probably yes, but not fiction writing. Writing for work, proposals and no, I'm not even counting my social media, but not the writing I intended to do although I would almost guarantee I wrote more this year than last. My plan is to finish the book I'm writing and rewrite another.
  • Marketing - An hour a day. Probably, though again, not the marketing I intended to do which was for my book, Dissected. The marketing I did was for my new business. I'll continue this.
  • Kids - My kids and I have already decided to commit one day a week to each other in which we have dinner and spend the evening together doing something, with no one else, just us. Hahahaha. But seriously, Um...I blame them.
  • Organization - Um...I'll work on it. That's all I can say. Pretty much all I can say for this year too. I'm just not an organized person. I mean, I know where all my piles are, and where the important things are in those piles, but...yeah.
  • Travel - Yes. I did this: Ocean, AZ, Mexico, Florida, San Francisco...I'll try to keep it up this year. I love to travel. And I still have my dream to drive cross country. Anyone want to go with me?

2014 goals - If I want to throw my heart at someone, it's mine to throw. If they break it into tiny pieces and throw it back at me, it's just another of life's lessons learned the hard way and I have another story to tell. Er, I'm not sure that was exactly a goal. I went on and on in this one last year and made absolutely no sense.  Soooo, goal #1, love me first, everyone else second. Goal #2, as far as relationships are concerned, don't look for love, let it find me if it will. If it doesn't, just be happy and take advantage of the time alone to get things accomplished. What more can you do?

A few more goals I had last year:

  • Smile more. :) - Maybe I did this? Who knows? I'll keep trying.
  • Visit my parents at least once a week. Probably pretty close. Still intend to do so and throw in, make sure my kids visit them once a week. Life is shorter than we think. Show the people you love you care.
  •  Learn patience or at least learn to breathe a little. Hahaha, er...okay, I'll try again this year.
  • Shut up and listen. Yes. I think I do this. I think.
  • Dance in my living room when no one's home. Um...I don't think I did this, but it's a good idea, so I'll try again.

Those were all last years. I think I will add one about Friendships - Handle them with care. Broaden my horizons more. Meet up with people I haven't for a while and try to meet new people. Don't let anyone define who I am. Don't let anyone bring you down. If a friendship isn't working or feels like it's one sided, end it.

Another goal is to Read More - I tried this last year. I'm really not sure how I did. I mean, I didn't read all the fiction I wanted to. I set out to read 12 works of fiction and that didn't happen. From my list, I did read...

  • Insurgent
  • Allegiant
  • The Summer of Letting Go
  • The Fault in our Stars
  • 1/2 of the Bell Jar 

I stopped reading Bell Jar because I was in a bad place while reading it and it's not exactly a picker upper. I did throw an extra book in there that was not on my list, Grasshopper Jungle. Also, I read a ton of business books, so I would guarantee I read at least 12 books last year if not more.

So, I'm going to get back to the 12 fiction books again and here's my plan:

  1. Finish the Bell Jar
  2. Another John Green Book, don't know which one yet.
  3. Sharp Objects - Gillian Flynn
  4. Eleanor and Park - Rainbow Rowell
  5. 100 Sideways Miles - Andrew Smith
  6.  Anything one of my friends publish. If that happens.
  7. Nothing Special - Geoff Herbach
  8. Before I Fall -  Lauren Oliver
  9. Very Bad Men  -  Harry Dolan
  10. Noggin - John Corey Whaley
  11. Go Ask Alice - Anonymous
  12. Auracle - Gina Rosati
What are your goals for the next year? Have any reading goals? Where will life take you in 2015?

Monday, December 29, 2014

It's over: Accounting for 2014

The biggest holiday of the year is over. May the Christmas let down commence.

I'm looking forward to 2015. I will just say, my last two years pretty much sucked balls. I was going back through old posts about resolutions and goals and whatnot. Last year I posted 10 resolutions I would NOT be making. I think I have the same mindset as last year. It's best NOT to make any promises to yourself.  It's okay to set some goals  however.

So what happened this year. Why did it suck? What didn't suck? What do I want to accomplish next  year?

The Bad:
  • This year I fought with the Tacoma School District. Without going into detail, they have a horrible policy that needs to change. It helps no one and I think actually harms the students it affects. 
  • Dad got into a car accident. He turned out fine, but scary stuff.
  •  Did not win the Charlotte Award from the New York State Reading Association. Didn't think I would, but there's always that sliver of hope. Of course I was nominated, so that's something.
  • Work problems. That's all I'll say about that.
  • A sad break up.
  •  Family health problems.
  •  Helped my best friend get through the death of her dog of 17 years on July 4th.
  • Robin Williams death. I know this isn't exactly personal, but in many ways it is. Especially for those of us who suffer from depression and other mental health issues. It helped bring those problems to light and maybe make people understand them a little better.
  • Growing weary of a world full of racism, homophobia, xenophobia, and sexism. Also tired of shootings, senseless deaths and other random acts of violence.
  •  Thing 1 getting in a car accident that totaled her car. Luckily she and her passenger weren't injured.
  • Losing a best friend.
  • Still dealing with health issues that have been happening for over 2 years, with the addition of gross allergy problems that make my eyes and face swell.

The Good:

  • Books are still selling.
  • Seahawks win the Superbowl.
  • Being on a panel at the AWP Conference with great writers, Jolene Perry, Selene Castrovilla, and Katherine Ayres.
  • Thing 2 got her license and I was done driving the minions around for good.
  • With the help of a friend threw the most awesome, bitchin' bachelorette party for two of my favorite people in the world who just recently won their right to marry in our beautiful state of Washington. Also attended the wedding, which was amazing.
  • Made the quarter finals in the ABNA contest for the first time since the first year. Got lousy review in ABNA contest, but it was totally on spot. So there's that. 
  •  Instigated a win of Best Small Business and Best Attorney in the South Sound for my work and my dad.
  •  Thing 1 graduated high school and received a soccer scholarship at the local community college.
  •  My parents celebrated 50 years of marriage.
  •  Seeing my younger daughter make Jazz and Concert choir at school and watching performances.
  • Starting my own business.
  •  Finally got a diagnosis on my health problems and getting better.
  • Fun with friends and family at a variety of different places: Taste of Tacoma,  Office Retreat, Seahawks games, Rainiers games, outdoor movie night, Tulalip casino, Bunco party, Deck the Hall Ball.
  •  Traveling: The ocean, Arizona, Orlando, San Francisco, Cabo

 So based on all this, what is in store for me for 2015. I can only imagine it's better than this year.

  • Work is good. I love what I do. Starting a business is good too. I hope that it will be successful. A friend and I will be doing marketing for small business and authors. We already have some work, so that's good.
  • I will continue writing. Actually, I'd like to write more. I have a novel I'm still
    working on and one that needs a rewrite and a slew of other ideas to keep me busy for a long while.
  • Not looking for love. If it finds me, fine, but not going in search of it.
  • Now that I know from where my health problems originate, do what it takes to get better.
  • Get back to exercising. My condition truly doesn't allow me much exercise. I'm joining a gym and getting back into it slowly but surely.
  • Continue traveling. Places to go this year will hopefully include, New Orleans, San Diego, Scottsdale, and hopefully more.
  • Make new friends. I think I need to expand my horizons. You can't have too many friends.
Other things, which I'll talk about in another blog. How was your 2014? What are your goals for the next year?

Friday, December 19, 2014

Are you meeting your wife/girlfriend's needs?

Okay, I'm writing another response article, this one goes along with yesterdays blog in which I responded to the article, Your husband has 5 basic needs, are you meeting them?

So, I'm writing this from MY point of view. I know all women are different and I can't speak for them all, but I'm sure many women are like me as well, and these are the things I think are possible big Man Fails in my book of relationship wisdom. (note that I say possible. You may be the most perfect man in the world and if so, I'm not talking to you).

1. Listening to her when she has a legitimate issue with you. Right. I know, I know. Note that I say legitimate though. I'm not talking about the women who nag all the time. I'm talking about the ones who know you don't like to talk about feelings so for the most part, keep them to ourselves. So when we do come to you and tell you something that's bothering us, at least have the courtesy to listen and maybe have a thoughtful response. Even if you don't agree with us, can you try to see where we're coming from and why and maybe try to find some middle ground. K? Thanks.

2. Respecting her. Please. This. Always this. Don't treat her like a submissive in front of friends or guests. It's embarrassing and demeaning. Definitely treat her with respect in front of your children. If you don't, you are teaching them how to treat her as well and that's not right or okay. Don't call her names. Don't tell her she's stupid. Don't do emotional, mental or physical harm to her in any way. You have no idea what this does to a person unless it's been done to you. And if it has been done to you and it's the only way you know how to be in a relationship, get counseling. Yeah, seriously, why are men so opposed to seeking counsel to save their relationships?

3. Giving her praise or show her you love and appreciate her in little ways every once in a while. You don't have to do this every day. No. We don't expect this. We NEVER expect this because it rarely happens. But we get used to finding out how NOT to do things. Or how NOT to cook things or clean things. When we do something you appreciate, let us know. "Wow, dinner was great tonight, honey, where'd you learn to cook like that?" "House looks great today, babe." "What'd you do, slave all day?" Give her flowers. Yeah, again, you don't have to do it all the time, but do it when she'd least expect it. And they don't have to be expensive. One stem. A tiny arrangement every so often. Leave her notes. For me, I don't need expensive gifts, but to be TOLD I'm loved and do a good job feels awesome. Oh, and yeah, I like flowers.

4. Giving her some "me" time. I'm not talking a lot. I mean, family first, right? But listen, a night out with the girlfriends a couple times a month isn't a death sentence. A girls weekend a couple times a year won't kill you either. And hey, when a stay-at-home-mom says she's going to the grocery store at night, don't suggest the kids go, even if they want to. In fact, YOU be the one to tell them they can't. Sometimes that's all the time the wife needs away to unwind after a long day cooking, cleaning and watching the little ones. Maybe a bath, going to get a massage. You and the children are not the end all be all of her existence...which brings me to number 5.

5. Letting her be her own person. Many women lose their identities when they get married. Especially those who decide to become stay-at-home moms. They live and breathe the family, doing nothing else but familycentric activities, vacations, etc. While that may be okay for some, for others it can eventually be utterly devastating. They get tired of being known as "Bob's" wife or "Jake and Emma's" mom. They are dejected  when friends stop calling asking them to go places because they're always busy with family. They need their own friends, own activities, own hobbies. They need to remain individuals apart from being a mom or a wife. Otherwise, they will get caught in an unhappy rut and will feel stuck, like the world is moving on without them like they are standing still.

So, that is how I feel and I don't think it's too hard. And guess what, guys? And ladies, you should read this too. It goes both ways. Your wives and girlfriends should be treating you the same way. See, this is being an equal in a relationship. This is having a mutual respect for each other while not pandering to or being dutiful like a servant.

A relationship is a partnership. Sure, there is give and take, but there is reciprocity, collaboration, support, understanding, affinity, and courtesy. Be kind always. Communicate. Always remember, that person you're with isn't just your significant other, but an individual who has interests outside of you. Those individual interests should be pursued with your support, otherwise they may be pursued, devoid of you.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Are you meeting your husbands needs?

Okay, I know I'm kind of down on Family Share this week, but honestly, all their articles aren't that bad. However, I found another one on their website that made me throw up in my mouth. Your husband has 5 basic needs. Are you meeting them? And the blurb: Fulfilling your husband's needs does not mean you're inferior to him. It means you love him and want to make him happy. Are you doing that?

Um... But then the author goes on to say that we should be unselfish and put our husband's needs above your own. I mean, we should want to make him happy, after all, he only has 5 basic needs to be fulfilled...right.

1. Recreational companionship

Basically the author says that whatever your husband wants to do, you should do. Yep. If your husband likes to golf, you should take up golf. If your husband likes to snow ski, you should go snow skiing.

Let me tell you what happens when you do whatever your husband wants to do and put your own hobbies aside.  Frustration. Anger. Resentment. How about you do things together that you both like to do, but you both have things you do on your own because having individual hobbies and interests makes for a healthy relationship. You cannot spend every waking hour of free time together or you will go crazy and end up hating each other.

2. Sexual fulfillment

 She's telling you not to make sex a game. Okay, I agree with this. Don't use it as a weapon or a chess piece. But her condescending tone about our attitude and effort involved in our sexually fulfilling our spouse's needs is a bit sickening. Hey lady, at my age, I'm the one who needs the fulfilling, not the other way around. Capisce?

3. Admiration 

Okay, this truly wants to make me retch. The article states how hard your husband works for you, how he's doing his part and how we need to tell him how much we love and appreciate him.

I didn't realize I was sitting on the couch watching soap operas and eating bon bons all day. I'm so sorry. Let me get a tub out and wash his feet and then feed him grapes and fan him while he lies down on a chaise lounge. Perhaps I should wait on him hand and foot after his hard day. I mean, I've done nothing all day but work, do the grocery shopping, tended to the kids, cleaned the house and washed the laundry.

4. Domestic support

"Domestic support involves the creation of a peaceful and well-managed home environment."  While the husband is "doing his part" we should be cooking, washing dishes, keeping the home clean, etc.

In my experience "doing his part" usually consisted of playing Mafia Wars, checking fantasy football stats and taking a shit. Um, I even took out the garbage and mowed the lawn. But sure, let me take care of all that while he's "doing his part."

Oh, and here's my favorite...

5. An attractive spouse

 Did you get that? I said An attractive spouseApparently we as wives and mothers get comfortable, i.e. dumpy, in this woman's mind.  We need to make an effort to be attractive for our spouse. We should freshen up before he gets home. Because there's nothing like feeling pretty when you've been slaving over a hot stove after a full day at work feeling like your face has melted, and you're covered in baby spit and boogers. Meanwhile when he gets home he flips on the TV, gets in some kind of crappywear, such as sweats or baggy shorts with holes in them and that shitty t-shirt he won't let you throw out, grabs a beer, makes himself comfortable, sticks his hand down his pants and farts on the couch. You know, because that is oh, so attractive.

The author of this article says that if you meet these five needs of your husband your will build a stronger marriage. Just like the article I wrote about Tuesday and yesterday, I say, what makes a strong marriage is mutual respect, open communication, honesty and spending time together, but also having interests outside each other and the home.

Without the things I mention, a marriage is bound to fail. With the 5 things the author of the Family Share article mentions, you're bound to turn into June Cleaver, telling your husband over a martini that he was a little too hard on the Beaver last night.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

4 ways, as a woman, you are destroying women's rights.

This is my response to the article 5 ways you are unknowingly destroying your husband and killing your marriage. I blogged about it yesterday too because I think it is such utter bullshit I can't help but blog about it again. While this blog is about that, it also transcends that though. It's about women who fight against women's rights, sometimes unknowingly, sometimes with purpose. Let's know turn the clock back, let's move forward and become the women we were meant to be, strong, powerful and equal to men.

So here are

1. You write articles that set us back 50 years. Whether we are working mothers or stay at home mothers what we do is important and difficult. I know as I've done them both. So, tell me, why is it automatically the wife's job to cook dinner when she's worked all day too? And tell me, is cooking, cleaning, doing all the grocery shopping, running errands and tending to all the children's needs not as important as the work our spouses do?

No matter if you are a single mom or married, it is hard to raise a family. I know, because I've also done both. Also, we should be in relationships in which we are equal partners. We should not need to coddle, pander to or be submissive to our husbands, boyfriends or significant others. I am not June Cleaver, Donna Reed or  Harriet Nelson. I am SuperMom, BadAss Mom, who does it all and will second to no one in my household. If I'm not an equal, I am gone.

2. You equate feminism to misandry. Specifically I am talking about the group Women Against Feminism (WAF). They post pictures of themselves with posterboard signs stating things like, I don't need feminism because...:

"Because I enjoy being feminine" "If every man is a potential rapist, so is every woman"  "My husband loves and respects me" "I always enjoy making sandwiches"

There are so many more. Let me see here. Not all feminists are butchy. Yes, women can be rapists, but the majority are men. I'm sure many feminists have husbands that love and respect them. And wow, go make a fucking sandwich then. And come one, the whole sandwich thing has gone too far and there are groups of men out there that are sick and post disgusting "humor" out there such as the meme below.

This is what feminists are against. Not making a damn sandwich.

But if you are for...
  • Women earning equal pay for equal work.
  • Being able to decide what you do with your own body.
  • Being able to pursue any kind of career you like, even if it's physically demanding.
  • Wearing whatever you like without it being seen as an invitation to be raped.
  • Not being fired for being pregnant.
  • Not being passed over for promotions because there is the possibility that you may become pregnant.
  • Your little girl being able to play any sport she wants, be it football, wrestling, or whatever. 
  • Not being sexually harassed at the workplace.
...then you already are a feminist because this is what true feminists are working towards. Yes, there are some bad apples in the bunch, and some of them are vocal, but you find that everywhere in every social and political group. 

But WAF believes we don't get equal pay because of the jobs we take (what about the ones that are the same?) and that alcohol fueled sexual mistakes are mistakenly equated to assault (which may be true in some cases, but not all, probably not many and it actually disgusts me that a woman would think that about another woman).

I consider myself a feminist and I enjoy being feminine and I LOVE men, and sure, I even like catering to a significant other sometimes, but not all the time. Again, I want to be treated with respect and equality and frankly, there are still a lot of misogynists in the world. Maybe the man haters are sometimes more vocal than true feminist and it's time to take back the name, but the cause of WAF is not the way to go. 

3. You pretend your politics protect my rights.
  • Concerned Women for America, for example, contends that abortions lead to depression, anxiety, and breast cancer. The American Psychological Association reported in 2008 that "the relative risks of mental health problems are no greater than the risks among women who deliver an unplanned pregnancy." And according to the American Cancer Society "Scientific research studies have not found a cause-and-effect relationship between abortion and breast cancer."
  • In opposition to gun control, Gayle Trotter of the Independent Women’s Forum testified that guns reverse the gender “balance of power in a violent confrontation. Armed with a gun, a woman can even have the advantage over a violent attacker. "An armed woman does not need superior strength or the proximity of a hand -to-hand struggle.” How about taking self defense classes to learn how to disarm someone instead? I would rather do that than carry a gun. What if the violent attacker disarms you? Then what?
  • The Independent Women’s Forum challenges the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. It opposes the law, because they think funding isn't used to address “proven causes of violence" such as substance abuse, psychological disorders, and marital instability." They don't believe that sexism could be a possible root cause of domestic violence. 
4. You are a woman who has joined The Red Pill. If you don't know what The Red Pill is, this is a tiny summary according to the site on Reddit: Discussion of sexual strategy in a culture increasingly lacking a positive identity for men.

I tend to disagree with this summary. I think The Daily Dot got it right. "The forum is a trove of horror stories disguised as men trying to “better” themselves. While there are plenty of posts about becoming the sort of guy women want to be around,” most members of the subreddit must have a delusional image of what that means"..."this section of Reddit (or subreddit) is one of its darkest corners, populated by rape apologists, revenge-porn enthusiasts, and those who would justify domestic abuse." I have read some of the stuff on there, and that's exactly what much of it is.

Feminism is not a bad word. If you think it is, you have no idea what it truly means. We do not seek special rights or superiority. Yes, as I said there are those who spoil the bunch. If you're working for women's rights and equality though, you are a feminist. If you're doing any of the things above? Not so much. Rethink what you're doing in the name of women and in the name of your rights as a woman. Don't set us back, move us forward. There are men who support the cause of equal rights and women's issues as well. Do your homework, do your research and make informed decisions.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Don't destroy your husband - be like June Cleaver

There is a website called Family Share. It has articles. I have read some of their
relationships/marriage articles.


One is titled 5 ways you are unknowingly destroying your husband and killing your marriage. Yes, you single-handedly are destroying your husband.

1. You should show him respect and appreciation by following a budget. Stop complaining about your "lavish" desires. Is that any way of saying "thank you" to a man that works all day?

Um...last I checked most households were two income households these days and most women are not selfish bitches who live like the Kardashians. How about we communicate with each other about spending so WE don't go in the hole.

2. Stop your constant complaining. That's right, I'm talking to you. No one likes a Debbie Downer. Your constant negativity will bring your hubby down and make him sad.

Yes, because women do nothing but complain all fucking day. Er...really?

3. You must put your husband before all else. Okay at least she says on this one, put each other first, but...

Job? Who cares? Friends? Who needs 'em? Kids? Make 'em fend for themselves. You should put each other first when you can, but seriously, marriages fail when you don't have your own lives and own interests, and um, children are kind of important.

4. Don't withhold physical affection. EVEN IF YOU AREN'T IN THE MOOD.

Right, because there is nothing sexier then a women who isn't in the mood  but gives in anyway because her husband wants her to. Jesus. Really? Rape culture anyone?

5. Speak his language. Stop dropping hints like women do. Speak plainly about your feelings. Don't expect him to know what's wrong.

Right, and men love it when we talk about "feelings" don't they? Speak their language? How about, once again, we meet somewhere in the middle. Communication is key here. There needs to be effort on both sides to make a marriage work.

This article truly made me retch. We need to cater to, pander to, bend over backwards and put everything aside for our significant others while they just sit back
and enjoy the ride? I don't think so.

Marriage is a partnership. An EQUAL partnership. At least to me it is. You share
money, share burdens, share problems. You talk to each other about your troubles and your successes. Sure, you put each other first, but hey, when you have kids, they have to come close to the forefront, and you nurture them together. You respect each other's mind, body and spirit.

If we want to follow the rules like this article states, we may as well give up our jobs, and move the clock back about 50 years when a women's place was in the kitchen wearing a dress, high heels and an apron, always made up and drunk on martinis.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Reserving judgment

I'm truly getting sick of people and their judgmental attitudes. It's one thing to give someone a little hell for some bad behavior. But then there's this guy. Go ahead, go look. I'll wait here.

Yeah, that guy. The guy hanging out with his kids. He's playing video games. One daughter is painting his toe nails, the other daughter seems completely fascinated with what he's doing.

But for some people it's not enough that this dad is hanging out with his girls, chillin'.  No. He should be engaging. He should be paying them attention. He's ignoring them?!?

I'm sorry, how the fuck do you know what goes on in their home by one picture? And from where I'm sitting, it looks like everyone is having a damn good time. He's cuddled up next to one child, he's got a fun girlcentric coffee table that those daughter's (and maybe with his help) obviously decorated, the house is decorated for Christmas. Who the hell are you to judge? He's a guy spending time with his kids. He didn't tell them to leave him alone. He's not out with the guys at the bar.

I never played with my kids. Playing wasn't my thing. I read to them, colored with them, watched movies with them, talked to them. I stayed in the room and watched them play and engaged with them. Does that make me a horrible mom? I never joined the PTA.  Am I bad now? My girls and I are tight. They have always been well behaved. Never through tantrums in public. But no, I didn't play "with" them. That doesn't mean there wasn't some kind of bonding happening or involvement taking place.

Get off your high horse and get over yourself.

And truly, just stop being so judgmental period. That article, that dad, and my own situations remind me that it's easy to judge and pontificate, it's more difficult to try to open your mind and heart.

I need to stop and think before I so quickly jump onto a soapbox. There are people out there fighting battles we know nothing about, going through torments we don't understand, or reeling from with something they find hard to express or explain. I, we, the human race, especially this time of year need to find it in us to feel compassion, realize tolerance, and find forgiveness.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Yet another author behaving badly

I'm not going to post everything that happened but I'll share a link to bestselling author, Ayelet Waldman's atrocious behavior.

Now that you've read that, let's discuss.

Not dealing with making the NYT most treasured list: Most authors never make a list at all. You're a best selling author. Shut up.

Books on the list with reviews that were nowhere near as good as mine: Waldman's reviews really aren't that noteworthy. I mean, they're okay. I didn't read them all, but here is the tally on Amazon.

  • 60 - 5 star
  • 60 - 4 star
  • 43 - 3 star
  • 15 - 2 star
  • 14 - 1 star

Now, her editorial reviews seem to be glowing, but as authors, we know how to take the good bits even out of the worst review. *grain of salt* cough* So the shorter ones, may be, well, not at "noteworthy" as they may seem.

We also know that reviews are an opinion. One person's opinion. Guess what, so is this list, only it's a few editor's opinions. Get the fuck over it.

What do they mean by "Notable?": Well, these are the dictionary definitions. I hope this helps.
1. worthy of note or notice; noteworthy: a notable success; a notable theory.
2. prominent, important, or distinguished: many notable artists.

A book with a mediocre review counts as "notable" and one with a good one (hers I presume) didn't: Group of editors chose. Group discussions. Difference of opinions. It makes for different answers to the same question.

Sometimes being a writer sucks she thinks she should go back to being an attorney: Yes, being a writer sucks, especially when you're on the B list and are not a bestselling author AND don't make lists. And I'm sorry you have a career that makes a lot of money to fall back on if this doesn't work out for you. Man you have it hard.

It's demoralizing. You pour your heart into your work, you get awesome reviews, and someone decides it's not "notable.": Yes, it is. It's especially demoralizing when you pour your heart out into your work, get awesome reviews and you get no attention at all because your publisher didn't back you, or your book didn't fall into the right hands, or for some other reason. And you never see a royalty check. And even though you've got a ton of great reviews you're not a bestseller or been on a list or won any awards. THIS is the experience of most the writers on the face of the planet. Shut up.

Why do I bother? I could write a fucking journal: Yeah, that's a good idea. Follow your dreams and go write a fucking journal. b'bye. SMH. You do it because you love it and you are obviously good at it since everyone thinks you're great. Jesus. Enough already.

I'm being such a (Expletive I don't like, yes there are some). There are real problems in the world. I'm just going to suck it up...: I think we are beyond sucking it up at this point. Don't you?

And then she asks the world to order her paperback so that too can become a best
seller and she can make more money and love herself again be on top of the world. All right Mr. DeMille, she's ready for her close up.

And then she'll donate a dollar of each sale to because fuck the fucking NYT for not putting her on the list.

However the Washington Post liked her book enough to put it in their Top 50 Fiction Books for 2014. She could have used all that energy writing 5 million Tweets about the NYT NOT putting her on a list to write 5 million Tweets about the WP putting her ON a list. Of course, we wouldn't have like that any better because then she'd be gloating. But she barely acknowledged it.

By the way, thank you WASHINGTON POST, with a link. Uh, I think I'd at least have thrown in a squee or an exclamation point or something. Of course I'd have been excited because I'm not a bestseller, never won any awards or been on a list before.

Meanwhile, Waldman continues to tell people to fuck off on Twitter as they chastise
her for her childish tantrum.

When did the writing world fill up with a bunch of cry baby bed wetters? I mean, seriously? We're supposed to have thick skins. After all we get blasted with bad reviews all the time. But now we're stalking and assaulting people and going on all out ranty tantrums because we're not making lists? Jesus H, people. Get your balls out from wherever they're hiding and start using them again.

We're writers. This is what we do. We take the good with the bad. True writers don't write for the glory: not the money, the awards, or the lists. They write for the pure joy of writing itself. If you lose sight of that, I'm pretty sure your writing will suffer.

Next time you get pissed off at a bad review, or because you lost an award, or god forbid you didn't make a list, put the vodka bottle down, step away from the computer and take a deep breath. Do anything else, just don't go there. Go for a walk, go watch TV, go to bed. Don't make yourself and the writing community as a whole look like an ass because you got your feelings hurt. Take it like a writer. Thick skinned, strong willed, and wholehearted.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Double standards

Two deaths, two grand juries choose not to indict the cops that killed  the men. One was Eric Garner a large black man selling cigarettes illegally. The other of course was Michael Brown.

I am disturbed by both of these incidents. Eric Garner specifically told the officer that he couldn't breathe. Sure, maybe it's a ploy, but you have him surrounded by multiple officers with weapons, what's he going to do?

You all know about Michael Brown. Struggle or not?  Facing or back turned? 35 feet or 148 feet? I don't care. He was an unarmed child. I don't care how big he was. It seems like as easily as Darren Wilson could reach for his gun he could have reached for a taser or billy club. Of course, if Brown was 148 feet away, I guess he probably couldn't have reached him with those other two items from there.

Then there's Dawon Gore. Have you heard of him? He's a black police officer in Ferguson. He hit a man in the hand with his billy club. The man didn't die. He was injured for sure, and Gore didn't go about things the right way. He didn't report it, and his precinct knew nothing about it until the injured man called them a few days later.

Gore was indicted by the Ferguson Prosecuting attorney. I'm not saying that was the wrong decision. That was probably the right decision. I'm just saying, if Gore was indicted, Daniel Pantaleo, the cop who killed Garner and Wilson should be indicted. Maybe they would be found innocent, who knows, but they should at least be held responsible and tried for taking a person's life in the manner that they did, with excessive force.

Those who say racial profiling  isn't real are wearing blinders. Wilson said he would have done exactly the same thing had Brown been white. We'll never know, but I truly doubt it.

Politics need to remain unbiased when it comes to justice. Even people who kill accidentally are put on trial for manslaughter. A crack on the hand, a shot in the head. Which of these injuries deserves a greater justice?

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

I'm unfriending you

I'm tired of you. Yes. You. Okay, maybe not specifically you, but I am tired of trash talking on social media. And I'm not just talking your city's football team. I'm talking your gender, your race, your culture, hell, our own fucking country.

I cannot believe in this day and age there are still misogynists and misandrist, racists, xenophobes and homophobes. We are all people!! We are made up of the same bones, organs and muscles. We all bleed red.

And stop hating on the POTUS! He is doing the best he can and he's doing a damn good job. People had health care that didn't before. Unemployment is down, the stock market is up. He ended the war in Iraq and brought our troops home. Osama Bin Laden - gone. Moammar Gaddafi - gone. He repealed "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." I could go on...

I'm tired of the ignorance. I don't mind a debate as long as it's thoughtful and you're being respectful of me and my opinion on my own damn profile page. But if you come onto my profile telling me how stupid I am for having my own thoughts, um, b'bye.

It's come to a point in which I just need to shed myself of all the negative surrounding me and if that means I have to unfriend you, I will. If that means I have to block you, I will.

Spend your time on the people who make you laugh and think, the people who make you feel are warm and fuzzy inside. Spend it on those people who inspire you to learn more, work harder and to be better. Life is too short to waste your time and breath on people who make you miserable.

Monday, December 1, 2014

NoNaNo this year

I didn't complete NaNoWriMo again this year. Honestly, I'm okay with it. It motivated me to get writing again, which I'd been putting off. So I'm at 37,588 on this novel which was way further than I was anyway. Life is just busy right now. I've been out of town twice, it's the holiday season, and other life things are happening.

Another thing. I have SUCH a hard time writing without researching. I'm not sure I can do it. People have told me the tricks, leave a marker to search for later or make a note and such, but it just seems like more work later. But really, if I'd done it, I may have been able to finish NaNoWriMo. Maybe.

Of course when you're researching along the way there are all the shiny distraction on the internet like Twitter and Facebook and memes and funny cat videos...

I WILL finish this book though. It's taken a long time. I actually tried writing it during NaNo last year, but realized it was too hard to write in one piece. I had to write it in two separate sections from the two differing points of view, one at a time because they were from two different time periods and those time periods were different lengths. One stretches through an entire school year, one just a few weeks. I'm having a much easier time now.

I'll probably keep trying at NaNoWriMo. I'm a two time winner, and one of those books went on to be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (Never Eighteen). Even if I don't win, I usually am able to get out a few thousand words (or tens of thousands).

Friday, November 28, 2014

20 random thoughts

Random thoughts. I'm reliving conversations from last night, pondering things I've
seen browsing on Twitter and Tumblr this morning, thinking about the weekend. Granted, some of them you won't understand, just my personal inside musings.

  1. I'm starting resolutions before next year. I'm joining a gym Monday. I really need to make these changes.
  2. There had to be a taser, a billy club...some other option. 
  3. Richard Sherman is funny and a class act. People don't like him because he's the best and he's loud. Well, people outside Washington. And maybe Oregon and Idaho. Maybe Montana.
  4. I'm all about women's rights, but I don't think we need to trash men to get them. We're trying to be equal, right, not superior?
  5. People that go shopping today are CRAY!
  6.  Some of these people on the Tumblr, I really don't want to see their shit.
  7. I didn't realize how much I enjoyed Facebook until I left it.
  8. Peeta and RePeeta were in a boat...
  9. Speaking of...someone told me he thought Mockingjay was boring. I asked where they left off and he said basically they just got Peeta back (who up to this point he thought was named Peter hahaha). And I was like O.o I could see that being boring because NOTHING REALLY HAPPENS until then.
  10. I need to remind my daughter for the millionth time that I am a POOR SINGLE MOM WHO CAN NOT AFFORD TO FEED ALL HER FRIENDS!
  11. I need to buy more Christmas lights.
  12. I hope the tattoo artist can get my design right.
  13. I can't wait to get on the road and get the fuck out of here.
  14. My dreams need to stop toying with me. It's hard to dream about someone you love then wake up realizing they're not a part of your life anymore.
  15. Always ask someone if they want some pie before you eat the whole thing. Even if you were told to take it home and eat the whole thing.
  16. Do I really need to Tumblr when I Blogger?
  18. NaNoWriMo - okay, so I may not finish, but I got a lot accomplished, which is more than I can say for the last two years.
  19. There are 4 kinds of people in your life:
    1. the ones who give, never expecting anything in return
    2. the ones in which you have a give and take relationship and that's okay
    3. the ones that take and never give
    4. and the ones you just want to punch in the face
  20. My dad is awesome.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Time to be thankful

I'm not going to do the usual "what I'm thankful for" post. This has been a hard year for me. I've faced a lot of adversity, some I'm still working through, and so, I want to see the positive side of these hardships I've been through this year.

And first off, I'm going to say to my Facebook peeps, this does not mean I'm back on Facebook. This automatically loads to Facebook from blogger. I don't even have to go there. In case you were going to accuse me of being weak and coming back. :)

  1. Parent illness/aging: I still have my parents. I know a lot of people my age have had one or both of their parents already pass. And I do think about that. All the time, really. I actually do. I'm lucky. I know this. I can only think of one other friend that has both her parents. So, though we've seen some hard times this year, I'm so thankful they are still around.
  2. Break ups: I had a hard break up earlier this year. It caught me by surprise;
    truly, I wasn't expecting it. I'm thankful that it happened though, because he was awesome. That time also made me reflect on myself, because since my divorce, I'd not been broken up with. It made me remember that I'm fallible and maybe it was time to regroup and focus on things other than dating.
  3. School problems: My daughter's school pissed me this year. There were emails passed back and forth, meetings. I'm still not entirely pleased with the situation, but if I want it changed, I need to take action, which I'm going to do. But for the most part, I'm thankful for both my daughter's education. We are lucky to have the resources we do in the United States. Those resources may not be perfect, but I'm thankful my children have access to them in order to learn and grow as little human beings and to choose what they want to do with their futures.
  4. Children: They face challenges through their lives. They challenge you. They
    cause trouble, drama, stress. Children make messes, cost money, don't contribute. So many reasons to dislike the wretched little things. Yet I am so thankful for these little souls I've brought into the world. They're my light. My life. I live for them. Without them, I would be nothing.
  5. Friendships: I've lost one. For now at least. I've learned a few things along the path from this fall out. About me and about her.  I'm thankful for that. I also know now that I have things to reevaluate, and that will be a good thing. It doesn't matter how much time passes before our lives come back together, if they do. I will take that time to take control of some things in my life and reel them back in. I think the break in this friendship will be good for me.
  6. Health: I've been tired, achy, I've had a swollen eye for most the year. I've had
    to sleep, I've not been able to exercise, or keep a clean house, or a nice yard or garden...but I'm grateful to have a diagnosis. To have a goal finally. To finally see if this can go away.
  7. Things I can't talk about: Let's say they're stressful and can be ugly. But the ugly things in life, they educate you, they make you strong. They mold you. It's the hardest things that make you who you are. I don't dislike me. I need some work to be sure, as I'm sure most people do. I've gone through some hard stuff these last few years, but the person that has come out the other end...she's not so bad.

So, that's most of it. These are the things I've struggled with and the positive side of them. I don't want to dwell on the past or beat myself up about things. It's time to move forward. Get healthy, get control. I'd like to write, work, play, in a healthy, atmosphere that is conducive to they way I want to live life - with passion, adventure and wisdom...and maybe just a tiny bit of chaos.

I started last night, reaching out to people I've not talked to in a while, at least some of them, by text, wishing them a Happy Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving to you too! Enjoy your friends and family see the positive in the negative and the light in the dark. Start the next year off on the right foot.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Good people make mistakes

We are human, and for that reason, we make mistakes. Sometimes they are no big deal, but other times, they're very hard to bear. Why does this happen? Many reasons. Misunderstandings, the failure to act on something, bad decisions.

Many times we have no idea we're making a mistake until the negative outcome manifests itself. Sometimes we know when we're making that mistake and for some reason do it anyway, knowing there could be negative repercussions, knowing it could hurt people.

Why do we make those decisions? The ones we know are mistakes but for some reason can't seem to turn away? Especially when other people's pain will be involved.

I can only answer that question for myself, and I'm not really sure. If I were to guess, I think many times it would have to do with insecurities, stress, envy, anger, coping mechanisms. But it's not purposely. All on a subconscious level.

Then what can we do?
  1. Feel remorse
  2. Apologize
  3. Forgive yourself 
  4. Move on

That's it. The rest is up to them. You can't pressure them to forgive you. If they do, they do it on their terms taking as much time as they need which could be a week or a year or never. And that may be hard, but that is what you've caused and you'll have to live with it.

Forgiving yourself is important. If you can't do that, you'll be a prisoner to this one mistake, and you will let it define you. You shouldn't have to pay for one mistake for the rest of your life(well, unless you've killed someone, maybe then). So forgive yourself, learn to like yourself again, and start over.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Now I really know...

I mentioned some health issues a couple weeks ago, and though it's not life threatening and other people are dealing with way worse things, for me it's very debilitating. I am a person that is always going, always doing, has 10 things on my plate and a bucket list a mile long. I don't have time for my body to shut down. But that's exactly what it has done.

So after a millions tests my doctor diagnosed chronic fatigue syndrome. Not satisfied with that diagnoses, because you see, there's really nothing you can do about it except wish it away, I went for a second opinion  - to a naturopath.

I swore the heavens opened up and I heard choirs of angels singing because after reading my paperwork and talking to me for a few minutes she seemed to know exactly what was wrong with me. And the thing is, there's a chance I can make it go away. I may not have to just learn to like myself this way and learn to live with it.

Adrenal fatigue. There's some controversy. I've read up. Medical doctors don't really believe in this diagnosis. It's not accepted medical diagnosis because it hasn't been scientifically proven. Doctors are concerned the real cause of the symptoms may not be found and treated correctly. But like I said, I have been tested for everything and they found nothing. So this makes sense to me.

You see, adrenal glands regulate stress (physical, emotions and psychological) through hormones adrenaline and cortisol, and if you have prolonged stress, those glands may not be able to adequately meet the demands of that stress.

You have no idea how much is involved with stress regulation.
  • Immune function
  • Muscle tone
  • Blood pressure
  • Sleep
  • Production of energy
Etc, etc, etc...

Adrenal fatigue could be caused by one big emotional crisis or repeated or constant stress. For me it is the latter. Adrenal fatigue causes

  • Lack of energy
  • Back pain
  • High blood pressure
  • Decreased immunity
  • Hair loss
  • Sleep Problems
  • Skin Problems
  • Increase in allergies
  • Weight gain
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Anger
  • Loss of focus
  • Forgetfulness
  • Crying spells
  • Relationship conflicts

The list continues. I've highlighted all the symptoms that have affected me the last almost three years.

I'm super excited about this new diagnosis because I see an end to my malady. also now understand why I've been sleeping during the day, why I haven't been able to finish the novel(s) I've started. Why I can never find the right words.  Why all of a sudden I have high blood pressure when I never have in my life.

I'm excited to write more, get active again, have a clean house, and have more time to spend with my daughters and scratch things of my bucket list.

I highly recommend if you think you have something like chronic fatigue or Fibromyalgia you go see a naturopath and see if you don't have adrenal fatigue.

If you're interested, here are some articles I found with more info:

Eighteen Overlooked Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue from Natural News
Recovering from Adrenal Fatigue from Natural News
Adrenal Fatigue: Myth vs Fact
Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue from Women to Women. This one has an Adrenal Health Assessment you can take as well.

My Dad. He's awesome.

John Messina, Personal Injury Attorney

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