An Impassioned Plea

I’ve been conversing on facebook with my younger cousin lately about politics (G-d help me!), and we’ve gotten into some pretty heartfelt stuff. I wrote a reply to him tonight that was so long, facebook wouldn’t let me post it. I had to break it up into two posts, and even they were two very long posts.

We were discussing something I’d done earlier tonight. This blog post will consist mostly of quotes from facebook, but that’s because why type all this stuff twice? But I think it will make for interesting reading for a wider circle than just those three or four people who might click on a nested thread. You see…

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On my way home from running errands tonight I stopped and picked up an elderly woman who was out in the flying snow and the dark, begging on a streetcorner. I drove her in my warm car to a drive-thru, bought her a meal and hot coffee, and returned her to her spot (at her request), after ascertaining that she did in fact have a warm place to spend the night and people to take care of her. She hadn’t eaten today, and was trying to raise enough money to make it to the next town over from here (about 120 miles, two hours’ or so drive on the highway) to see her daughter for Thanksgiving.

I did not ask if she was a veteran. I did not ask if she was a refugee. She is a human being in distress. She is absolutely no different from me in any way except the random luck that life handed her. I’m no better than her, she’s no better than me. I believe the Christian phrase is “there but for the grace of God go I.” I fed her, warmed her up, gave her a few bucks, and sent her on her way. It is really cold and snowy out tonight in Butte, and supposed to be getting worse as the week goes on. No one should be out in the cold begging on a streetcorner tonight.

Turns out she was from Newport, Mass. Small world, eh? She’s been out here for about thirteen years, she said. I told her I’d been here a bit longer, and explained about the small hill towns “west of Greenfield.”

Does her being from Massachusetts make her somehow “more worthy” of being helped by me, a fellow Massachusetts native? No, it does not, in any way, shape or form. No more than her being female makes her more worth of being helped by me, a fellow female, or her being American made her more worth of being helped by me, a fellow American. Those distinctions did not come into play in my mind or my heart. A human being in need was the metric I was using. The rest was a coincidence, and something to talk about while I drove.

I would have done exactly the same thing if she were a Syrian refugee. I don’t care where she was from. I truly don’t. She was in my car five minutes before I found out where she was from, which was information she volunteered. She blessed me by giving me this opportunity to help, to put my action where my mouth is.

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To which my cousin replied,
“That’s pretty unbelievable that you did that for someone, I’m sure not many people would do that these days! When you think about it, random acts of kindness like that were so much more common a few decades back. Hitchhiking was a commonality because people were more willing to help out their fellow man. It’s too bad how the world and our cultures have shifted…

I think where I differ from you is the fact that our country and our society is not built to take on helping EVERYONE all at once. We focus all of our attention on ONE subject, ONE problem, ONE solution at a time. The only topic our president has been talking about for the past couple weeks is his strategy on ISIS and his plan for refugees. He doesn’t mention anything about the bills recently struck down for veterans, nor addresses the problems in his own country. While I’d like to see everyone get the help they need, I know it’s simply not possible. And therefore when the choice needs to be made, I’d choose my people first.”

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And I replied (abridged)

“… when the choice needs to be made, I’d choose my people first.”

I can understand that. You start right where you are and you do as much as you can with what you see around you with the resources you have. Which is precisely what I did today, because I am only one person, as are you, as is N_____ (as she angrily pointed out), as are we all. Well, most of us are, anyway.

….. long political rambling here…..

… but I wanted to talk about the personal stuff. There are so many things I try to live my life by that get boiled down to sound bites, snippets, and memes, and sometimes those are so infuriating, but sometimes, that’s the best way to get complex ideas across.be the change 2

BE the change you want to see in the world. Don’t wait for it to happen, MAKE it happen! Why is it “pretty unbelievable” that I would help this woman on the streetcorner? It shouldn’t be. It should be plain, simple, common decency. The fact that anyone would consdier it “pretty unbelievable” makes me horribly sad!

Usually (not sometimes, not when I’m in the mood to, but USUALLY), when I see someone on that particular corner, I bring them food, because a lot of people in Butte beg for alcohol or drug money. My logic is that if they are reduced to begging, they’re probably hungry. Even if they have food at home (and have a home), they’ve been standing on a streetcorner probably for hours, and are likely hungry. If they are druggies, they probably need a good meal, even if they don’t want one and would rather have my cash. So I drive down to the nearest fast food restaurant, which is a Wendy’s, and drop a couple bucks on a few burgers and a soft drink (or coffee if it’s cold out) instead of handing them cash. That way I *know* my money isn’t going to feed a drug habit, and I’ve still done something for someone. I do this quite regularly. But when it’s cold out, often by the time I get back, the person has left, and I’m left with food and drink I don’t want/need because I’m not hungry. So with this lady, because it was cold and dark, and I was worried about her, I took her into my car to make sure she was okay, and when I found out she was, I returned her to her spot. After feeding her. That way, she didn’t leave before I could get back with her food.

Don’t wait for society to change. Change it today. Change it inside yourself. It’s never gonna change if you expect it to change from the outside-in. You have to change it from the inside-out. Start inside yourself, and work outwards as you go. You’re absolutely right when you said, “…our country and our society is not built to take on helping EVERYONE all at once…” and it never will be if we don’t MAKE it that way. One human soul at a time. We can’t do that with laws, edicts, rules, and regulations. We have to do it with our hearts. Because (here’s another sound bite) you cannot legislate morality. People have tried that for millennia, and it doesn’t work. Whether it’s recycling or abstinence or drugs or whatever, you just cannot pass laws that will force people to be “good” people. Which is why you’re right about our country and our society not being able to help everyone at once.

But if enough people just suddenly started being nice, and saw how good it felt (I got so much of a high off of helping that woman, I can’t tell you how much more than money it’s worth!) to do that, they’d all become addicted to doing good. You can’t get that high anywhere else, I’m telling you. If people did that, and other people saw them doing that, and saw that high, and said “Hey, what’s going on? I want that!” and tried it too, and it spread like a virus or a drug… people would be lining up to change legislation for the good, and it wouldn’t be an effort, or a sacrifice, it would be a joy.

But if people don’t start with themselves, then no, of course that’s never gonna happen. It’s all purely hypothetical. Point is that it’s possible, though. We’ll never know if you aren’t willing to try.

I’m not singling you out, mind you. Not putting blame or guilt on your shoulders. I’m trying to plant seeds in your mind. Little idea seeds of hope and love and courage. Yes, someone getting in your car might have a gun or a knife on them. They might car-jack you or rob you or hurt you. That could have happened to me tonight. I took the risk. Willingly. Because of what *might* have happened, and DID in fact happen, which was that a nice, elderly lady got a warm meal and some gas money, and she now knows that there’s at least one nice person in Butte who cares about her well-being. And she’ll carry that with her for the rest of her life. And maybe she’ll pass it on to someone else somewhere down the road. I faced the fear, the possibility of death, to share some love and compassion with a stranger, because I would rather die with love in my heart, than live safely behind locked doors in fear. And today, I practiced what I preached in the main post above.

And you can, too. I believe in you. I believe in all humanity. BE the change you want to see in the world. Don’t wait for it to come to you. Create it yourself.

My Real Life Candy Man Experience

So I’m sitting here watching a documentary that talks about an urban legend, The Candy Man, who kills children on Halloween by giving them poisoned candy. Interestingly, there are no actual verifiable instances of poisoned candy being found anywhere that the documentary is aware of anywhere in the U.S. It made me stop and think of a childhood memory of my own. When I was in the first grade, attending Lowell School on Sherwood St. on the north side of town (Missoula, MT),  there was a local Candy Man. He lived across the street from the school to the south of the school (so, across Sherwood St., between Shakespeare and Hawthorne Streets), and I lived several blocks away to the east, right by the railroad tracks, also on Sherwood St.
 photo map.pngThe thing is, at the time, we never thought anything about it. This would have been 1977 or 1978, roughly. I was six or seven at the time. The neighborhood kids, we all knew about him. Surely the grown-ups must have known? I don’t remember keeping him a secret from my mom or her boyfriend. I don’t remember ever being told not to talk about him to other grownups. But this was an older man (grandfather aged guy, white hair, wrinkled face, you know, an OLD guy) living across the street from an elementary school handing out candy to children. I’m not talking about Halloween, now, I’m talking about all the time, every day. You want candy? Go to the Candy Man’s house, he’ll give you a piece. He’s a nice old man. All the kids like him.

I don’t know the man’s real name. And he’s probably long dead by now. Please, no one reading this try to look him up. I’m making the point here that I know of no one who was ever hurt by this old man. I don’t know his name, no clue who he was. He was some old guy. Some old white guy. I’m not sure exactly where on the block his house was, I’m only guestimating on that map.

Was he a child molester? Maybe. He never laid a hand on me. My stepfather did, and I remember it quite clearly, so I don’t find it likely that the Candy Man did and I suppressed it. Also, all of us went to his home, boys and girls, of several ages, and if he was molesting us, surely we would have spoken of it amongst ourselves, or he would have gotten a creepy reputation. Candy or no candy, we would have stopped going. In fact, I can’t recall ever being IN his house, just on his porch. We all went TO his house.

Is it possible there are (or were, anyway) people who just happened to like children, and just happened to be genuinely nice people and just wanted to see us smile and hear us laugh, and were just giving out candy because they liked children?

Or maybe my memory is all fuzzy and soft and nice, but he was a monster, and other kids were molested and have lived with horrible memories all these years. Maybe I just wasn’t his type. Maybe he only liked little boys, but gave candy to all kids to “maintain his cover.” Gawd, who knows?

But what if he was just a genuinely nice, innocent person? They do exist in this world. This could have been one of the last hurrahs of an innocent tradition from a bygone era. I may have witnessed one of the last of them. Of a time when neighborhoods were a place where people all looked out for each other, and it took a village to raise a child, and the grandfatherly type would look out for all the neighborhood children, and honestly love and care for them all? Wouldn’t that be… kinda wonderful?

You know what? I’m gonna cherish my memory of the Candy Man, because whatever was really going on, he never hurt me.

As Some Of You May Know…

This is a WordPress blog. Well, I mean I’m sure all of you know that. Or could, if you cared to, because it’s right there in the URL. But there’s a reason I mention this.

Stats.

For those of you who do not have a WordPress blog of your own (many of you who came here, for instance, by clicking on the facebook link), you may not be aware that WordPress allows its users to track visitors by geography (well country, at least), and frequency of visit, and which post they read, and when they came by. Other stuff, too. And no, it does not record MY presence on my own blog more than once.

I find those stats fun. And revealing.

Most of the time, for example, a blog post will have, say 12 visitors with 14 views. Which means that twelve separate individuals visited the blog, and two of them came back to view it again. Or possibly one of them came back twice. And yes, I will sit, camped out on my blog after posting something new, refreshing the stats page to see if I’ve gotten a hit, and whether they’ve commented. You devastate me when you read and leave. No comment. Not even a like. Sigh. I’m not able to track your locations, or who you are, or anything that fancy, don’t worry. I’m no cyber-sleuth, and frankly I don’t care that much. Stay in the shadows, oh ye stalkers! That’s fine by me. Read and leave. See if I care. Don’t comment. I’m fine here. Alone. Sucking my thumb. I don’t live for your comments. I don’t care what you think.

On the day I posted my rant against 9/11, I got fifty-eight visitors and sixty-eight views. Because tags work. Brought in a lot of visitors. Musta pissed off a good number of them with that post, too. Not one comment. No one even stuck around long enough to tell me what an un-American, scum-sucking pig I am. Betcha a dollar most of ’em didn’t finish reading the post, even. Same thing the day after: 14 visitors and 17 views.

Anyway.

Sometimes, my stats will change. Take, for example, my last blog entry, about boobs. BOOBS! Oh, people, you LOVED that post, didn’t you? Now, now, no point in denying it! The stats don’t lie! The day I posted it? Six visitors, thirteen views. Y’all came back to read it again, dincha? The second day, seventeen visitors, twenty-one views. And today? Oh-ho, today! Four visitors, fourteen views. Four of you. FOURTEEN views. Somebody just couldn’t believe what they were reading, could they? Had to come back and read it again. And again. And again. Don’t bother denying it now, the stats don’t lie. You were here. Of course, I have no clue who you are. But you were here.

“Ethel, you’ve got to hear this! She’s talking ’bout her titties! I gotta bookmark this one!”

I can just hear it.

You amuse me, phantom readers. Whoever you are…

Boobs are Weird

I lay in bed thinking about this last night, thinking “I could write a whole blog post about this.”

Boobs are weird.

Hear me out, now…

I’m a fat woman. I’m not gonna get up and walk to my kitchen right now to weigh myself, but I weigh somewhere north of four hundred pounds. That’s a lot of fat. I have fat arms, fat legs, a fat ass, fat belly, fat fingers, fat chin, everything about me is fat. Hey, my boyfriend loves it. Thinks I’m one of the sexiest things on two feet. Don’t judge, it’s not your place to judge me. I’m just stating facts here.

Boobs are also fat. Well, kinda. They’re specialized fat, modified sweat glands that, when you’ve just had a baby produce a special, nutritious kind of sweat which larval humans eat until they’re big enough to eat solid foods. But they’re mostly fat. Big lumps of fat deposits on your chest.

The evolution of boobs is also something of a mystery. I studied this in college, actually. Scientists (I’m not making this shit up, this is science) think breasts in humans may have evolved to their current shape in order to encourage human males to mate with human females face-to-face. How? Because they look like a human female’s ass, and the male would look at it and say “Hmmm, nice ass, I’d hit that!” and proceed to mate with the female, only instead of doing it doggy-style, he’d be looking her in the eye, and perhaps make conversation while he was there face to face with her, and hey presto! civilization happened! Or at least inter-gender communictaion. And this is how humble baby-feeders (which boobs still are in other species) became objects of lust.

Do I look like someone capable of making this up? I swear, I learned this shit in school, because anthropology. Now mind you, I’m not saying it’s a fact, just a theory I learned among other theories while studying theories. But it all goes to my point – – boobs are weird.

Other fat deposits, like the one on my belly, well those are a different matter. My belly fat has a name. I don’t mean a name like “Susie” or “Spot” or “Josie’s belly fat,” what I mean is, in the fat society, if you have belly fat which hangs down and covers your genitals, it’s called an apron. Which makes sense, because it kinda looks like an apron. And it’s not full of anything else. No organs, muscles, intestines, nothing like that. Just fat, blood vessels to feed that fat, nerves, and the skin to cover it all.

So I have an apron. I have tremendously fat biceps (really, when I shop for shirts, the hardest part is finding anything with sleeves that fit). A shelf-butt. A second chin. Legs like tree trunks. And boobs. Every ounce of my body fat causes revulsion in most people, except my boobs. Which could be a little bigger.

HOW FUCKED UP IS THAT?

I do not have children. And having had a hysterectomy, I never will. My breasts will never be used for the purpose they were designed. They will never feed a child. They will never produce milk. I have no use for breasts, as a woman. They are functionally nothing more than blobs of fat no different from my apron. But they cause no revulsion in anyone. Well, no one but a doctor. I’ve had a doctor tell me he could get medical clearance to get me a breast reduction to help ease my back pain, but I cannot get an apronectomy, because that would be nothing but vanity. Never mind that my apron outweighs both my breasts put together. People who are fat are bad, lazy, and gluttonous. Women with large breasts are a threat. Doctors are more than willing to cut them down to size.

HOW FUCKED UP IS THAT?

So I wonder: if I had nipples on my apron, would that make it sexy, or extra-creepy? How about my arm-flab? If my arms produced milk, would that make THEM sexy? Would that turn men on?

Boobs are weird. Really. You can’t convince me otherwise. Boobs are weird. I should know. I have ’em.

Why I Hate Urban Fantasy

Um… I don’t know, to be honest with you. I just know that I do. But I’m more than willing to spend a blog post breaking down the curious fact and looking at it.

For those readers who are unfamiliar with the term, “Urban Fantasy” is fiction with fantasy elements (magic, monsters, etc.) which takes place in the modern everyday world. It’s a pretty popular genre. I just can’t stand it for some reason. Well, let me elaborate.

See, the thing is, it really depends on the format. In movies and on television, I adore urban fantasy. I love vampires and zombies, even the occasional werewolf. But books? Fergeddaboutdit. For whatever reason, I have just about zero interest in reading about these things. I will watch almost any zombie movie, but zombie books just leave me cold. I am an avid fan of Buffy and Angel, but vampire books, unless they’re pre-industrial-revolution, are snoresville. So I love *some* Anne Rice books, others make me cringe.

And if we remove monsters from the equation, and just deal with humans, just ordinary fiction, you might as well not even write the book. Not if it’s taking place in the real world. Like, ordinary fiction. If your character can pick up a telephone, get on a computer, or drive a car, I won’t even read your book. I read to escacpe from reality, thanks. I don’t want to read about people who could be my neighbors, or who could be me. I already know about the real world, there’s nothing interesting here, that’s why I’m reading a book. It’s called “escapism.”

I can tolerate it for a short time. Like the Chronicles of Narnia, stuff like that. “Crossover,” I believe the term is. As long as we end up somewhere else, I’m okay with a little bit of real-world stuff. As a vehicle to get to the interesting part of the story. But not as the focus of the story. Not a page turner of any kind. Don’t care if you’ve got murder, mahem and bloodshed. Supernatural stuff left, right and center. Celebrities, royalty, magic. Nope. Makes no difference to me whatever. Not if it’s happening in the real world. Not the world I’m living in.

Why should this be? I love history books. Eat that stuff right up. I love to know what actually happened once upon a time right here. But I don’t want my fiction to happen here. Not now, not ever. I’m not even really comfortable with biographies or autobiographies for some reason, because most of them take place within the last hundred years or so. That particular genre didn’t gain much popularity until recently, you know. But I also tend to think of “history” as meaning “everyone who experienced this is dead now” which means that the American Civil War is recent history, and WWII is still (though just barely) current events. I take a very loooong view of the word “history.”

But back to Urban Fantasy. What is it about UF that grinds my gears? I wish I knew, because I don’t like not understanding myself. But I know that I pick up UF novels, start on them, and put them down out of sheer boredom. I can’t get into them. I can’t care about the characters. The writing can be top-notch, highest quality, and I’ll just drift away from the book and not even remember it because it’s so dull that nothing sticks in my mind. I’ve had some UF books recommended to me over and over, and I’ve tried to read them, and nothing comes of it.

The Mercy Thompson (or Thomas… something like that) books come to mind in particular, because Patricia Briggs is a relatively local author who comes to MisCon every year, and I’ve seen her many times, met and spoken with her a few times. She’s a really nice lady, I like her. She has lots of fans. They are nice, intelligent people whose opinions I respect. I’ve picked up a few of Patty’s books and tried to read them without success. I just don’t give a flying fig about Mercy, who apparently is a shapeshifter and also an auto mechanic. Why don’t I care about Mercy? I should, by all rights. I just don’t. I can’t even remember anything about any of her stories, except that she works in an auto repair shop, I think… and that’s because I put effort into it.

I like my fantasy in a fantasy world. Narnia. Middle-Earth. Prydain. Pern. Okay, Pern is sci-fi, but it reads like fantasy because there’s dragons in it. I even got mad at Katherine Kurtz because in her completely fantasy world, the religion was perfect Catholicism. Why did that bug me? Because at one point, they referred (I think it was at a Christmas Midnight Mass) to when Christ was born in Bethlehem. I got so mad, I threw the book across the room. No, I’m not exaggerating. I snarled, “Bitch! Fucking show me Bethlehem on your fantasy world map! I fucking dare you, cunt!” I was so mad. She broke the fourth wall completely. Shattered her own story’s credibility from within. WHY? She had created this beautiful fantasy world, with so many great details, then plopped Catholicism in it like a lazy bastard. Couldn’t be bothered to make up her own religion for these people. I was so pissed. Yeah, she researched medieval Catholic rituals and ceremonies, and the detail was exquisite. She’s a member of the SCA, and did the research for historical accuracy, it’s beautiful. But it has NO PLACE in a god-damned fantasy world! Make something up, for fuck’s sake! Make something the fuck up. Oh, that still burns me after all these years. Obviously. But if you can overlook the religious parts, her stories are really good.

Maybe that’s why I don’t like UF. It’s half-assed. Maybe that’s it. You can come up with a story, but not a world to put it in? Laaa-zeee….. Invent a universe, already.

I dunno. I’m gonna hafta give this some more thought. Because I’m perfectly aware that sometimes, the whole point of the magic, or monsters, is the shock of it being right in the ordinary everyday world. Shock value. So it needs to be in our world. Why wouldn’t I consider that valid? Why don’t I like that? Yeah, that’s not a good enough answer. I can’t accept that answer, Josie. Judges say “No.” Okay, so that’s not it. Why, then?

Again, I love the movies. Zombie movies are my favorite genre. Can’t get enough of the gore and the horror. I was even IN a zombie movie! One of my best memories! Fan-friggin’-tastic! I’ve got a couple of zombie books on my Kindle, and they are sooooo dull. I cannot understand what would drive anyone to write such drivel. Wow. Big attitude difference going on there. What’s up with that? Where is the reason, the sense, the logic? I love logic. I don’t like that I’m not making sense. It makes me uncomfortable.

Three Buildings, Four Airplanes, and a Field

Okay, so this is gonna be unpopular. But I’m gonna say it anyway.

9/11 is stupid.

Yeah, you heard me, America. You’re all a bunch of stupid, whiny babies for getting your panties in a bunch over 9/11. It was fourteen god-damned years ago. Get. Over. It. I am sick to death of reading all these chest-thumping proclamations of brain-dead blind patriotism over this stupid event.

And I’m an American!

Listen up, America: we deserved 9/11. We are assholes. We are the bullies on the international playground, who beat up all the other countries and take their lunch money and then pee in their hair. Yeah, you heard me, that’s us. Nobody likes us. But there’s a reason for that. Nobody likes us because we are assholes. So when another country (or even a few private whack-jobs) dared to stand up to us and spit in our face by bombing a few buildings, we totally and completely had it coming as a nation.

WE DESERVED IT!

I remember watching tv that day. I was watching M*A*S*H when it was interrupted by the news, showing live footage before the buildings came down. You know, the footage they don’t show anymore, of the people jumping out of the buildings and stuff? Yeah, I saw that shit live. I remember. I was pissed, because I wasn’t really impressed, and wanted to get back to my rerun of a comedy about the Korean War. A bombing in NYC? Using airplanes full of innocent civilians for bombs? Really? Who the fuck cares? I’m in fucking Montana, for god’s sake! And the Pentagon? Good fucking riddance! Please, blow up some more warmongers, and then get back to me when you’ve finished the job. That building’s still mostly intact. Jeezus, put M*A*S*H back on now, ya bastards!

I was a little bit impressed that someone had finally gotten the balls to stand up to America the Bully and given us a black eye. “Yes, we deserve that,” I thought. Okay, I may have even said it aloud. “This is entirely fair. Good for them, they did what every nation out there wants to do to us, but doesn’t have the courage to do, or even admit that they want to do. It’s only what everyone was thinking of doing all along.” But more than that, I didn’t really worry about it.

Okay, I felt sorry for the individuals who lost their lives. Did *they* deserve, as individuals, to die? No, of course not. But we, as Americans, most definitely and without question deserved to have a handful of innocents brutally ripped from our midst for no good reason. Because we do that to people all around the world every damned day. And we deserve to know what it feels like, to get a little of our own medicine back for a change. Yes, I said a handful. Because in comaparison to the numbers of innocent deaths WE inflict globally, it *was* a handful. Chump change. Fergeddaboutdit. It was a mosquito bite.

FLASH FORWARD

It’s 2015. 9-11-2015. Fourteen fucking god-damned years later.

And everyone in America has lost their fucking minds. Why? Because it’s fucking 9/11 again. And that date has this mystical quality about it that makes Americans go batshit insane. We have this double standard that it’s okay to do this unto others, but woe betide anyone who even thinks about doing unto us.

You know what? Fuck you, America. That’s not fair. That’s not right. You can do this to everyone else, but they can’t do it back? No. That mentality doesn’t work on the playground, and it won’t work in the international court of opinion, either. You knew that wasn’t right when you were five years old, and you know it now. Just because you can get away with it doesn’t make it okay. You are bullies and assholes, and you deserve everything you got and a thousand times more. Fuck you up the ass a thousand times with a rusty cheese grater. It’s for your own god-damned good. Maybe you’ll develop a little bit of compassion after you’ve experienced the pain from the other side for once in your priveleged, white-collar, spoiled life.

But you know what? That just didn’t happen.

Because some people are incapable of learning. They’re too stupid to learn! And those of us who already knew, we didn’t need the lesson, we were already compassionate, but we don’t make policy. 9/11 did not create a more compassionate, kind, and caring America. It just made the bully meaner and bitchier, and now whinier, too. And it made me that much more ashamed of my fellow countrymen.

So on this anniversary of nothing very important, I would like to encourage all my fellow Americans to put on their big-girl panties, say a prayer for the innocent lives lost (but just a quick one, for the love of Pete, it’s been fourteen years!), and get on with your lives. Stop waving flags, stop beating your chest, stop thinking you’re the center of the universe, stop killing people, stop hating your fellow man, stop beating up innocent Muslims because you’re an ignorant bigot, stop oppressing women, stop killing dogs, stop poisoning the environment, stop fighting over who has the best imaginary playmate, stop all that shit. Grow a pair, grow the fuck up, get a life, and go live it!

Thank you.

I don’t have one…

So, my poor, poor, blog, I’ve ignored and abandoned you again. My life happens, and I forget to write about it. Yup, I’m a bad person. Oh yeah.

No, really, it’s hard to remember this thing is even here. How do people manage to write in these things every single day? There are very few things that I do every single day. I don’t have a set schedule, that’s part of my disability, oddly enough. No, really, it is. I don’t eat or sleep on a set schedule, I don’t get up and go to … anywhere regularly. I don’t even eat the same kinds of food all the time. I’ll eat something obsessively for days, or weeks, then switch to something entirely different, with no warning, dropping my previous cuisine as though it were poison, for no reason whatsoever. Likewise, I have no set sleep schedule. I have no daily responsibilities. These things drive me batty. Having habits, that is. I am SO not a creature of habit. I am exactly the opposite. I am a creature without habit. Do I take my meds every day, without fail? No, of course not. I try to, but sometimes I miss a day here or there, and certianly I don’t take my meds at the same time every day, even when I don’t miss them. No, habits are not for me.

Used to be you could set your calendar by Josie’s Nervous Breakdown[tm]. Two weeks was my limit. Two weeks of habit, routine and consistency, and I’d be ready for a padded cell at the local loony bin. I’d try, I’d really, really try, and then – ppft! loony as you please I’d go. I don’t know how normal people do it. I truly don’t. My brain does not function the same way as other peoples’, it’s wired differently, hard-wired in another way. This is one of the reasons I ended up on disability for stress and anxiety. Because I am unable to make myself fit in with normal human life patterns. Not unwilling. Unable. Yes, there is a difference.

Humans are creatures of habit, and they are diurnal, for the most part. Not me. I am just as likely to be awake at 4am as at 4pm. The odds are pretty even on that one. Noon and midnight are pretty much the same thing to me, too. The only real difference is who is available to socialize with at which hours, and who can I do business with? Like, office hours are so very, very limited. I have to try to be awake during some of them. I find that quite restrictive. Grocery shopping is much easier to do, since Wally World is 24/7. A lot of my local friends are asleep when I’m awake, but I have online friends internationally, so there’s usually someone awake out there to talk to. My primary pets are cats and snakes, both of which are nocturnal, so they don’t mind if I’m up half the night and asleep half the day.

Really, why should I worry about conforming to society’s norms? I guess I don’t. Except that deep down, everybody wants to belong a little bit. Because like it or not, society hates the outsider. I have done nothing to earn hatred, except to be different, but that’s enough. And it doesn’t feel good to know that you’re hated. Even if you’ve done nothing wrong. Perhaps especially if you’ve done nothing wrong. But I’ve always been different, been fat, been outspoken, been shy (yes, both outspoken and shy simultaneously. I have talent), been a democrat surrounded by republicans, been the rebel, the underdog, the outsider, the hated, the scorned, the worthless. That’s just me. So I’m pretty used to it.

Doesn’t mean it doesn’t still hurt sometimes. But I’m getting better at ignoring it, and just being me anyway.

Because there is something deeply, fundamentally different about my wiring, as I said before. I don’t have those diurnal instincts, nor the instincts that make one form habits, any habits at all, that one relies on, that help you form whatever is normal for you. For me, random is my normal. And that’s odd, because I have some seriously strong OCD traits, as well. Who said I was sane? Hah!

Here’s a photo I snapped just moments ago, of Orion’s new favorite perch: on top of the thermometor/humidity gauge in their tank. It’s held to the back wall with velcro. Yesterday, BOTH snakes were up on top of it and it didn’t fall, so it’s pretty strong velcro!

Orion on the thermometer

Orion on the thermometer. Sauron basks below.