Friday

24 June 2016

This guy.


He is why my office is set up the way that it is. There's the TARDIS, tall bookshelf, less tall bookshelf, and his tree, so that he has access to the top of the TARDIS, which is his favorite place to hang out.


He also likes the top of that bookcase.

But.

At some point, he dragged a nip banana to the top of the TARDIS, and goes up there just about every day to get high. I don't mind this, it keeps him out of my hair.

But this...


...this is how the tops of the bookcases look all the freaking time now. I tell him to clean his mess up, but does he listen?

Damn cat.

Don't get me started on the footprints all over my desk...

Wednesday

15 June 2016

...and the winner is...

Of the Kodak Digital Camera

#117

Jerri Hodges








Of the Roku Stick

#140

Deborah Zemek







Of the Kindle Fire 6

#349

Susie McGavin







CONGRATS AND THANK YOU!!!

I'll double check to make sure I have your addresses, and if I do they'll go out no later than Friday. If I don't, I'll be emailing to get it.

The next drawing will be on August 1st, and the prizes up for grabs are a Samsung Galaxy Tab E, and a Dell 11" laptop.

Sunday

5 June 2016

In 10 days, someone is going to win a 14 MP Kodak digital camera. And someone is going to win a Roju stick. And someone is going to win a Kindle Fire 6.

All it takes to have a chance is to donate to my upcoming SGK 3 Day Walk; every $5 gets you an entry, and donating now still keeps you in the running for prizes the rest of summer (and there are 2 laptops coming up!)

Once my walk is fully funded (I'm only $600 from it) then I'll remove links to my walk and put the Spouse Thingy's in instead (and if you prefer, go ahead and donate to him! It still counts towards the drawings!)

And again, if we both reach our minimum goals by the end of September, one of my generous friends is springing for a pretty spiffy prize (yet to be determined, but we're pretty sure it will be of the 4K variety.)

Training in earnest will begin soon..we're kinda waiting for the Spouse Thingy to recover from surgery, but a couple weeks from now we'll head out on our first training walk...there's lots of time to get ready for this, and maybe this will be the year with no blisters!

Hush.

I can dream.

Monday

30 May 2016

Here's an idea: how about we don't judge someone else because their kid got away from them? It happens to even the best of parents; you turn away for 3 seconds, and the kid is gone. And yes, I realize you're all perfect and you special little snowflake would never get away from you. But those parents who have runners, you get it. You can have one moment of being human, and off the kid goes. It happens, and it happens to most parents. Generally you're lucky and catch them quickly, but go spend an hour in Disneyland and see how often kids take off. Hell, go to your public park on a busy day. Or the mall.

It happens.

And here's another idea: how about we don't judge a zoo for placing a human life above an animal, based on the little bit of video they could show on the news? The full video is online, and if you watch it you'll have a clearer understanding of the scope of what was happening. The gorilla was not going to protect that child; as a male, when presented with a child that was not his own offspring, he would have killed that boy.

Yes, other gorillas have cared for human children under similar circumstances...and those gorillas were female. Big difference.

Yes, it sucks that they killed the gorilla. But the truth is that if they had not, that little boy would be dead. Tranquilizers would not have worked fast enough and in his already agitated state would have further enraged him. Would you really have preferred a blood bath? A dead little boy over a dead animal?

There was no winning in this.

But now those parents are facing unbearable public scrutiny and are getting death threats. And unless you were right there, you don't really know what happened or how the kid got away from them. Your knee jerk reaction is not helping anything. The posting of memes proclaiming the gorilla to keeping a better eye on the kid than the parents is, frankly, mean.

If you have kids...you're not a perfect parent. None of us are. None of us can be. We all leave scars on our kids, no matter how hard we try not to.

What we can be is compassionate, and try to understand that these parents and that little boy are scarred for life, and now because of public reaction are probably terrified for their lives.

Do you really want to pile onto that? Be that kind of person?

It sucks all the way around, but no one deserves the hell these parents are getting online, no one deserves the death threats, and to contribute to the pain they will be weighed down with for the rest of their lives--they're never getting over this, you know that--is terribly unkind.

Saturday

28 May 2016

Three years ago today, my mom died.

Three years ago tomorrow is my parents wedding anniversary; it would have been 67 years.

Like the last year, when a normal person might feel the sting of mourning slap them in the face, I feel more grateful than anything. Religious convictions aside (and I am not dripping with religion, since I think it's one of those things best left 99% private 99% of the time) I do think there's something after this life, and knowing what tomorrow is...I'm just glad my parents are together.

So no, I haven't been sitting here dwelling on it, other than to note the date...but I did note it. And I hope they're having one hell of a good time together.

Wednesday

25 May 2016

The first draft of this book--including roughly 10 passes through it to make additions and subtractions and to hunt adverbs--is done. The file is off to my editor and a copy has been printed out for the Spouse Thingy to proofread (and yes, Charlie, I will send you one to proofread, too.)

I am nauseated.

Unless you count a manuscript I wrote in high school--and I don't, though I may rewrite that one someday--this is my first venture into young adult fiction, doubled by it also being light science fiction. Add to it the pressure of this being Max's book (and he sat on the back of my chair, thumping his thinks into my head using his tail during a large chunk of the writing) and I'm about 13 kinds of nervous.

I'm also about 13 kinds of excited so while the editor tears it apart (and she surely will; I left a lot of stage-direction type things in the narrative for...reasons...and it's dialog-heavy [which she expects from me but that won't stop her from pointing it out] ) I'll dive into taking notes for the next one.

I realized during one pass, while I was hunting adverbs, that I used some familiar names; one was intentional, because a friend really wanted to be a princess, others were not but I'm not inclined to change those names because they fit well. I do need a female name for a queen that shows up toward the end but will be in the next book...she may or may not be a little bit bitchy, but she will surely be somewhat flaky and unsure of herself.

Who wants to be the possibly bitchy but surely not-great-at-the-job queen? I don't want to keep the name I used as a placeholder; it fell into place because I had the TV on and when I glanced up Raven Simone was on the screen and it was like, "phkit, I'll use that for now." Not really feeling that choice.

So.

The first draft of Max's first piece of fiction is in the can, but needs a character name.

Possibly a title, too...

Sunday

22 May 2016

Oddz N Endz #983,102,344.6/2(4.66*9.1)+(1.2.3.4/5)[mathishard]

♦ Max and I are coming into the home stretch with his first piece of fiction. He's been like the little angel on one shoulder and the little devil on the other, reminding me that this piece is targeted for young adults so we can't say that, but then taunting me with other inappropriate material because kids today.

♦ I believe he is also upset because I nixed using the word "dood" in favor of its more traditional spelling. Proof of this was the tail thwacked at my face as he lounged on the back of my chair, when I informed him that "dood" is technically not a word. Ok, not proof, you'll just have to take my word for it. But I did get a face-full of Max tail.

♦ Speaking of the furry monster, his late night concertos have turned into a raging bitch-fest held less than 6 inches from my face. It's one thing for him to sit in the hallway, singing; it's a whole other thing for him to be right there, yowling his head off as he tries to get me out of bed. Yes, the answer is to close the door, and I do that once he wakes me up, but there have been nights when he's been genuinely distressed, so I leave it open just in case.

♦ I have high hopes that sooner rather than later he'll learn that being a little bitch at night gets him removed from the room and the door gets closed. I also understand that I am seriously deluded.

♦ This morning the little shit was fed by the Spouse Thingy when he got home from work; an hour later both cats were banging on the bedroom door. I got up, because hey, maybe the Spouse Thingy was late and they hadn't yet eaten, but no...they had. They just wanted me up so that they could have the bed, and they wanted it RIGHT NOW so they could steal my warms.


♦ This is the current look I'm getting from him. It's past snack o'clock, and I am clearly failing him.

♦ Fine. Crunchy treats, and then back to work...though I may go over to Starbucks just so I can have some task-master free thinking time.

Friday

13 May 2016

I was thrilled when I went into Starbucks today; it was nearly empty, save for a few people sitting on the far side of the room, their faces bathed in the glow from their MacBooks screens. My favorite table on the close side of the room was available, and no one else was near. So after I got my tea I sat down, cracked open my notebook, and began scribbling furiously.

There was a metric ton of crap I wanted to get out of my head and onto paper, notes for the Max's current work-in-progress, and the solitude of my little corner of Starbucks was perfect for dislodging all of that from my brain. I worked in near-quiet, save the music playing and the sounds of the baristas working, for half an hour. It was the perfect ratio of noise to quiet that I like, and I was getting copious notes written.

And then came John and Jane Doe, who picked--from all those empty ones--the table right next to me, and they began a very not-so-quiet conversation. Granted, they had every right to sit there and do what they wanted to do, but dammit, I was on a roll. Eavesdropping was not on my list of things I wanted to get done today.

I kept trying to work, but everything came to a screeching halt. Their conversation went from admiring their drinks to the weather to what to do about "the bathroom issue."

People...the older I get, the less I care about social convention. I know I need to keep my mouth shut, but I'm rapidly nearing the point where I don't give a shit, and I am going to say something that gets me into trouble. Today was close to being that day.

Jane was sympathetic, a little bit. "I sort of get where they're coming from, but I don't want to share a bathroom with a man."

No, Jane, you do not sort of get where they're coming from. Not even a little. Because if you did, you would understand something very fundamental: that transwoman in the restroom is not a man. That transwoman is a woman, in every way that matters. The junk between someone's legs? That doesn't matter. She is a woman, and deserves to pee in peace, the same as anyone else.

I think that's what's missing from the national conversation. It's not about men using women's restrooms, or women using men's; it's understanding that regardless of biology, some peoples' parts don't match who they really are. Yes, she might have a penis, but she's still a woman. She doesn't exactly have much in the way of testosterone anymore, so she really isn't a threat to you. And yes, that muscle-bound, gorgeous gentleman might still have a vagina, but he's still a he, and is not some goofy chick trying to sneak a peak at your inadequacies.

You've been using restrooms with trans people for years and had absolutely no idea.

And wrap your brain around this: that woman in the restroom who looks like a man but is still obviously a female may be gay, may be not; she may be gender fluid or gender queer, or may be not. She may be on the precipice of transitioning, or might be perfectly happy where she is: completely hetero but still gender fluid.

You may be confused, but your confusion doesn't give you the right to make her uncomfortable.

It certainly doesn't give you the right to eject her from the restroom.

But maybe, if we stop talking about men using the women's restroom and start grasping the fact that the person making you a little uncomfortable is a woman regardless of genitalia, we can get past the idea that it's all right to shove someone out of the restroom in the first place, and it's all right for someone else to be different than yourself and to pursuit their own identity.

You don't have to like it. Just accept it.

And before the Bible-thumpers weigh in with "God doesn't make mistakes and if He wanted that person to be a woman He'd have made him one to begin with" consider this: we interfere with the way people are all the freaking time. We "fix" mistakes of biology as a matter of routine when we think we understand them, and we do it because fixing things makes their lives easier (or we hope it will.)

Consider the kid born with a cleft lip. Are you going to tell him he has to stay that way because God wanted him to have it? How about the kid born with her heart on the outside? Does she have to live with that until she dies? Doctors can fix it, but why bother if that's what God intended?

And you...someone who has undergone mastectomy to rid yourself of breast cancer. God fully intended you to have both breasts, did He not? Or is that all right because it's you and you want to live? What about you, dude? You lost a testicle to cancer, had it removed so it wouldn't kill you. You were clearly born with two, apparently because that's what God intended. Hey, keep both of those disease-riddled kidneys. God wants that.

Ah, but that's different, no? That's life and death.

So is someone's transition. Not being able to, not having access to the health care that makes it possible, drives people to suicide every day. It is most definitely a matter of life and death, and deserves the same intervention that any other hiccup in the process of biology gets.

We play God all the time. We interfere with the seeming order of things because sometimes biology screws up. We do it because to do anything else is unkind. We fix mistakes of biology, because the person affected is not a mistake, but someone living with one, and to refuse is to be on the wrong side of morality.

God doesn't screw up. But the clear fact is that He allows processes to, for whatever Giant Cosmic Reasons we're not yet able to comprehend. He also gives us the intelligence to do something about it all, to reason our way through it, to study and develop ways to cope and repair. He allows the kid to be born with a cleft lip for His own reasons, but he also gave us the smarts to fix it.

This is no different. You don't have to understand why someone needs to correct the gender of their birth any more than you need to understand why the narwhal bacons at midnight.

(That probably doesn't make sense to you, but it does make sense to thousands of people online right this moment. And I'm willing to bet you accept that.)

So maybe just accept, too, that the transwoman in the stall next to your wife is a woman, and nothing else. And truthfully, if you're worried about who's in the restroom with your kid, maybe think about not letting your kid go in there alone.

Frankly, I would be more worried about the men in the restroom with my son if he was still little... statistics and all that.

And if you're that concerned, instead of tossing people out of a restroom and making them feel less than human, direct your energy into something that makes more sense: advocate for unisex, single stall restrooms. Then everyone gets to pee in peace.

And me?

Next person to whack me with a purse in the ladies room because they have a knee jerk reaction to the short hair and tattoos is not getting off as lightly as before. I will defend myself, even if it means breaking that little old Asian lady in half, because people? I am tired. I'm done with the crap.

I shouldn't have to worry about it, but I do. And I have it far, far easier than my trans friends, and I know that.

Saturday

30 April 2016

...and we have a winner...

Drawing for the first prize in this years' 3 Day Walk Prize Pool is #137, Leslie Smith.

I'll contact you tonight and arrange for delivery!

Thank you!

Next drawing is on June 15 for a 14 MP Kodak digital camera, a Roju Stick, and Kindle Fire 6--3 people are going to win something!

Friday

29 April 2016

It could have been uncomfortable...

I was standing in the cat food aisle at the pet store, poking through everything to find the varieties that Max will (and can) eat, and behind me heard an almost-adult male voice very near me, chanting can I touch you, can I touch you, can I touch you?

The hairs on the back of my neck did not stand up; I didn't have any sort "oh, hell, I'm in trouble here" feeling. I stood up and turned around, and there was a teenage boy, apparently a bit developmentally disabled, and a woman was rushing to get to him, apologizing profusely with, "He saw your tattoos, I am so sorry."

I held out my arms and told him he could touch, but only from my wrists to my elbows (because really, some limits seemed to be in order), and then thanked him for asking first.

Some people? They don't ask. It's rare, but every now and then someone reaches out without thinking about it, because they're drawn to the ink and not the person. This kid asked, and I appreciated it.

That's Thumper and that's Chip and that's Dale and that's Mickey and I don't know who that is but one's a tiger, and you have a kitty and oh! Grumpy with Thumper! 

He carefully traced one finger over each arm, fascinated by the pictures, and then asked, sincerely, "Does your mom know someone drew on you?"

I assured him she had, and she was okay with it...and asked him to not draw on himself unless his mom said it was all right.

His eyes lit up; I could hear the sigh she didn't exhale.

"We'll talk about it when we get home. I'm not promising but IF I say yes, we have to use a washable marker, okay?"

She thanked me for letting him look so closely, but I'm not entirely sure she was really happy about it, because I guarantee, when that kid gets home, he's drawing on himself no matter what anyone else says.

My day...totally made.

Wednesday

27 April 2016

You know the old adage, "It doesn't matter who you vote for, just that you vote?"

I believe that. If you're an adult, get your sorry ass registered to vote if you haven't, and on election day take that sorry ass to your assigned polling place and cast your vote.

All the whining about "my vote won't count" or "my candidate isn't going to win so why bother?" is bullshit. Just vote. It's not that hard.

California's primaries are so late that a lot of the time it feels like it doesn't matter. I'll still go vote, because CIVIC RESPONSIBILITY.

And no, I am not voting Republican. I probably won't vote Republican again until the party returns to a sense of sanity over Tea-Party hysterics. And make no mistake, I see a very sharp divide between Republicans and the Republican Party. Most of the former that I know are perfectly nice, thoughtful, reasonable people; I'm seeing none of that in the former. Republicans are mostly sane; the party is broken.

Still...if you are a registered Republican and haven't voted yet, it might surprise the hell out of you to know that if you're voting for Trump, it doesn't bother me. In fact, were I a registered Republican I would vote for him over Cruz, ten times over (if voting ten times were legal.)

Here's the thing...I initially wondered (out loud, on social media) if Trump was mentally ill. It would explain a lot. Then I wondered if he was perhaps trolling the entire political process; face it, the Trump who is running for the Republican nomination is not the Trump people who know him personally say that he is. He has the money to stage a whim, and the entire political process is so fractured, so why not?

I don't like the things he says or the way he says them--the racist, misogynistic, homophobic, Muslim-hating rhetoric is just plain wrong--but I also don't think he truly means them. He's tapping into the underlying anger of the masses and playing on it, and while he's at it has exposed the really ugly underbelly of our culture. If he's somehow elected, there's no way--and he knows it--he can carry out most of the things he's claiming he can do (while also never stating HOW he'll do any of it.)

Trump comes off as crazy, and it's by intent. He knows what he's doing, he knows the room he's playing to.

I actually get the appeal of Trump. He's the anti-politician playing the politician's game, and beating them. He's not the establishment, while also being very much a part of the establishment. But I hate that so many of his most vocal supporters are swallowing whole the fear he's whipping up and calling for that wall to be built and for Muslims to be deported. Trump knows those things won't happen, but I'm not so sure about his supporters.

Cruz, on the other hand...this guy is the real deal: Tea Party, backasswards, vile, evil (IMNSHO, of course.) I've had the chance lately to talk to a couple of people who actually have met him and worked with him, and the consensus: you want real evil, vote for him. He's loathsome, tiresome, and eats giant bowls of Jerk Flakes for breakfast.

(Ok, so maybe not that last one...but the labels I've heard are "jerk," "asshole," "mean," and "possible Anti-Christ.")

((I do not for one moment believe he is actually the Anti-Christ.))

I have no desire to turn the clocks back so far we wind up back in the 50s. I suspect Cruz would be happy to take us there. And I'm sorry (really, I am,) because this is so freaking childish, but I really do want to punch the TV every time I see him on it. He evokes in me a visceral response that is not reasonable at all, but it's real enough to make me trust my gut.

So who am I voting for?

Haven't decided.

But I WILL vote.

Monday

25 April 2016

Random Stuffs

♦ In just 5 days, someone is going to win a Garmin Vivosmart HR and a Garmin Index Smart Scale. All it takes to be in the running is a donation to either my 3 Day walk fund, or to the Spouse Thingy's fund. Every $5 donated gets you an entry...and it's for all the prizes we have this year, all through the summer.

♦ I keep seeing this posted on Facebook (literally, over 20 times yesterday):


Come on, people. Stop sharing this. If you made it past 6th grade history class, you SHOULD already know that two of those men were never President, and one who is would probably be pissed off that he's on money. If you're aware of this, I can only think that what you really mean is that you only want old white men on your money. Because it's never been just Presidents (and I truly want to see your head explode if Obama makes it on our cash at some point. Hey, he's a President.)

I have to admit, the first couple of times I saw it I thought it was a joke, being passed around with a sense of irony, but then...cripes...there are a whole lot of people who took it seriously and shared it with genuine intent.

♦ I'm getting real tired of 2016 being the year of celebrities dying. Maybe in the grand scheme of things, compared to the thousands who lead quiet lives but die everyday, it seems worthless to be upset over the death of someone I would never have known personally, never have spoken to, and might not have even liked, but... the truth is that the nice, upstanding guy who lives 5 streets over who drops dead from a heart attack probably had no impact on my day to day life; to hear he died would make me a touch sad, and I would send genuine warm wishes for his family, but that's it. A momentary wish for better for his family.

On the other hand, the musician I never met, never would meet, wrote and sang part of the soundtrack to my life. They invoked emotions in me, defined moments for me, and helped me get to know myself just a little bit more. That writer? They drew me into new and different worlds, taught me that the picture doesn't have to be in front of my face but can instead be created inside my head. When that ends, it's like a tiny piece of soul goes with them.

♦ New Doctor Who companion has been announced...and with the excitement of that comes the bummer of the remembering that we don't get the next season until 2017. We get the Christmas special, and that's it. If I croak before then, I'm going to be super pissed.

♦ Next week...we were supposed to be on our way to Disneyland to run in the 10K and half marathon. Instead, we're going to the Monterrey Aquarium, because we had to pull out of the races, owing to the expectation that the Spouse Thingy was going to be off his feet for a month because of some (minor, don't worry) surgery, but the paperwork chase to get all the before-surgery things done, the date was pushed back a month.

♦ Yes, I realize that's a clusterfark of a sentence, but this is stream-of-consciousness blogging today, so I'm leaving it.

♦ Don't forget...I got toys you can win.

Thursday

7 April 2016

A couple of years ago, maybe three, I took a motorcycle ride and partway through stopped at a McDonald's/gas station to get a drink and use the restroom. I was decked out in protective riding gear--blinding-his viz jacket, silver mesh armored pants, helmet in hand--and as I came out of the stall in the restroom, there was an older Asian woman who had just come in.

She freaked out. She stammered, "Not for men, not for men," and started hitting me with her purse.

She literally hit me. More than once.

I did not hit her back, though I threatened to if she did it just one more time...she then hid in the handicapped stall until I left, probably because she 1) realized her mistake or 2) did not and assumed I was there to rape and pillage in the gas station ladies' room.

All I wanted to do was pee.

I had every right to be in there.

But what if instead of assaulting me, she had gone for help? What if, because of the gear and the super short hair making me look a hell of a lot more male than I felt, I'd been held there until the police came, and forced to prove my gender? What if I HAD hit her back--and given the difference in our sizes, I probably would have really hurt her--and then had to prove I wasn't an M2F transgender, ripe with muscle mass still, using a restroom that made sense to me, but perhaps not to anyone else?

The gist...if she hadn't decided to hit me and then hide, if she had instead gone for help, at some point there's a chance I would have had to let someone else see for themselves that I have the "correct" parts that allow me access to the ladies' room.

Make no mistake: I was assaulted in that rest room. I was physically hit, emotionally punched, and deeply humiliated. If she'd screamed for help, those who would have come to her aid probably would have been men milling about in the gas station or McD's...and there's that real possibility that they would have taken me down first, before asking questions.

People who are awash with cortisol, trying to defend those they perceive as weaker? They can go a bit overboard, and do more damage than that likely intended. I could have wound up as a bloody mess on the restroom floor, all for the horrible crime of not looking like someone else wanted me to, and because I had to pee.

Let's suppose I was transgender. Someone in transition, at that point where I still looked a bit masculine, but on HRT, facial hair gone, and had significantly reduced muscle mass.

Would that have made the assault okay?

Would that make it all right for some gas station manager, or perhaps a police officer, demand I prove I have the "right" genitals to be in that rest room?

Who gets to decide, people?

I have been yelled at, made fun of, sneered at, followed and mocked, and literally assaulted because I don't present the typical, expected notion of what a female looks like. I have been afraid, I have been angry, and I have felt overwhelming humiliation--not because I am who I am, but because of the way other people have treated me.

I shouldn't have to prove my gender.

No one should.

31 March 2016

I may have mentioned once or twice, that the Spouse Thingy is joining me in walking the SGK 3 Day Walk in San Diego this year. We have until November to raise a total of $4600 ($2300 each), and like always, I am willing to do things to raise the money.

To start… In gearing up for fundraising this year, a couple of pretty freaking generous people (who wish to remain anonymous) coughed up some freaking fantastic prizes. I am blown away by their generosity, and haven’t been able to thank them enough…because, damn, these are super spiffy with sprinkles on top. In total, the prizes exceed $1000 in value.

As in previous years, for every $5 you donate to either my or the Spouse Thingy’s walk fund, you’re entered to win.

In no particular order, we have:

A Garmin Vivosmart HR* and a Garmin Index Smart Scale
Kodak 14MP digital camera
Roku Streaming Stick
Kindle Fire 6
Samsung Galaxy Tab E
11" Dell laptop
13” Dell laptop

*The Garmin Vivosmart HR is an open-box, used for 5 days during a merchandise test. The scale was not opened.

Because it’s the most valuable—at $500, or priceless in terms of health, and the sooner you get healthy the better—the first up will be the Vivosmart HR and Index Smart Scale. Winner will be drawn on April 30th after 6 pm Pacific, so don’t wait!

Other prize dates:
June 15: Kodak camera, Roju Stick, and Kindle Fire 6
August 1: Samsung Galaxy Tab E and 11.6” Dell laptop
September 15: 13” Dell laptop

The earlier you enter, the more prizes you have a shot at; enter now and you’re still in the running for the past prize in July, even if you’ve already won something.

Here’s the kicker: if we both meet our fundraising goals by the end of September, we’ll have one more, hopefully really big, prize…details are still being worked out, but one donor has offered to get something really spiffy.

OK THUMP, HOW DO I DONATE & ENTER?

To make it easy…Donate directly to my SGK fundraising page [click here] and be sure to use your correct email address, so that I can contact you for shipping when you when. Once I hit the $2300 minimum, we’ll change the URL and you can donate to the Spouse Thingy’s page.

OK THUMP, **WHY** SHOULD I DONATE?

Other than you might win something? Because 80% of the money raised from these walks goes directly to the research that will eventually find a cure for breast cancer.

You’ll help save the boobies.

You like boobies. I know you do.

OK THUMP CAN I DONATE MORE THAN ONCE?

Sure. You can make more than one donation, or if you prefer you can split a larger donation and Komen will charge your credit card in equal installments every month for 4 months.

OK THUMP BUT WHAT CAN WE DO TO MAKE THE WABBIT **DO** THINGS?

Suggest something. I've overplayed the hair dye thing and I like it, so that's not really a perk...but hey, I will do things.

And guys...it's your generosity that makes these events happen, and because of that progress is being made. And for that, I thank you.

http://www.the3day.org/site/TR/2015/SanDiegoEvent2016?px=3376866&pg=personal&fr_id=1956

Sunday

27 March 2016

I'm sitting in Starbucks at a table where I can see the bar; this guy comes in with his kid, who practically drools on the bakery display case while Dad orders drinks.

After a minute, the kid shouts out, "Hey, Dad, if you get me a cake pop I'll be good all the way home."

Dad. "Do you mean to tell me that if I don't get you one, you won't be good?"

The kid hesitates a beat, then, "Pretty much."

Random dad, I'm sorry I LOLd.

(No, the kid did not get the cake pop.)

Thursday

24 March 2016

Oddz n Endz #3,945,012v2

 ♦ Every time I plop down here and start to blog, my brain engages and every freaking thing I've been working on lately comes rushing at me. On one hand, it's good because I then take lots of notes and am making some pretty serious headway in Max's newest literary venture (and trust me, a cat writing fiction? I have to pay close attention) but am also getting seriously distracted by other ideas that are clamoring for equal time.

♦ Max's book was, originally, supposed to be a one-off. The potential is there for so much  more, though, that it will be at least 2 books, and could go on as long as people want to read the stories. Hell, the volume of notes and ideas is long enough to outlast us both. I may need to teach Buddah to write.

♦ Getting back to the gym has been going swimmingly. =snort= see what I did there?

♦ Now that the convertible is gone, and the weather is awesome, I'll probably ride the scooter to the gym more often than not. The only downside to that is all the protective gear. It's enough to make me wish I was like 90% of the other riders I see around here, in just jeans and a t-shirt.I hit the ground once, though, and even at just 35 mph I'm not willing to do that again without gear.

♦ Not really willing to with gear,, either, but, ya know...

♦ Ice cream for dinner may have been a mistake.

♦ I am so ready for this election cycle to be over.

♦ I want donuts.

♦ Seriously. Someone bring me donuts.

17 March 2016

Last year, I was swimming. A lot. In fact, I did so much swimming—about 1.5-2 miles 4x a week—that I killed my shoulder. It got to where I could barely move it, so I backed off on it (the timing was good because it was getting cold out, and the pool is outdoors) and decided to ramp up the walking, specifically trying to trim time off my pace, shooting for under 16 minutes per mile.

Here’s the thing when you’re kinda fat and in phfft shape…you really do need to approach things at a slower pace until you’re not as fat and in slightly better than =meh= shape.

I did not do that, and wound up with significant hip and lower back pain.

Now, did I go to the doctor about any of this?

Hell, no. With my shoulder, there was that little voice that said my doc would send me to another doc, who would declare my rotator cuff shredded and it must be reamed out. Clearly I know better than the medical professionals, so I decided to rest it.

My hip and back…well, I have arthritis in both, and a narrow lower spine, and have been told before to just back off and rest it. So that’s what I did. I rested and gained back 5 unhappy pounds.

In the bigger picture, I just wanted to be able to get back to walk-jogging soon enough to get my time fast enough to survive the Pixie Dust Challenge. And I was getting there, I really was.

But then the Spouse Thingy had something come up, something that’s not really mine to tell (but it’s not horrible, so don’t worry) but that, if it comes to pass, will mean I should stay home and we would both miss the races we registered for. I was seriously looking forward to this (because it’s at Disneyland) but honestly, I am not disappointed.

And I’m not disappointed because for once MISSING SOMETHING IS NOT MY FAULT!

Insert Snoopy Dance.

Since I don’t have to focus on cutting my walk pace, I can get back into the pool. I swam for the first time since October the other day, making sure I didn’t push too hard, and it felt great. It was half an hour of oh yesssss, and I wanted to keep going but forced myself out of the pool. I’m going back tomorrow and will swim for 40 minutes, and see how that feels (though this time, if at 40 minutes I still feel great, I’m staying in the water and will just work on kicks.)

I’ve also managed to drag myself out of bed most mornings between 7-7:30, which gives me the cooler part of the day to get out and walk…with my eye on the Yosemite Half in October, and the 60 miles of the 3 Day in November.

Max’s book is also coming along…so this will be a busy spring and summer, and as long as it doesn’t get too horribly hot, don’t count on me for much of anything else.

I got some sweating to do.

And some writing.

Sometimes, both at the same time.

Tuesday

8 March 2016

With one charity event down, we’re looking far forward to November, when both the Spouse Thingy and I are walking the San Diego 3 Day. He’s crewed before, but this will be his first time walking…so no horror stories, y’all. We don’t want him crying before Mile 12 on Day 1 ;)

The fundraising won’t begin in earnest for a while—and there are fun prizes planned!—but I’ve already got the ball rolling on one thing, The Pink Belt Project. The idea behind it: you commit to walk 500 miles in 365 days, and you earn a pink belt—it’s the breast cancer fight equivalent of a black belt—because by joining the fight and walking the miles, you become a pink warrior. It’s only $20 to play, and it’s on the honor system. Keep track of your miles, from day one to day 365, and you’ve earned your belt.

If you don’t want to walk, you can gift a belt to someone else, or buy one of the really cool t-shirts we’re selling. Those are $25, and there are 7 colors to choose from.

All of the profits—100%—are being donated to a breast cancer charity. After we’ve raised our minimums, anything else will be given to other walkers who are still short.

The shirts are really spiffy, guys.

And hey, if you don’t want to earn a belt or buy a shirt, you can still donate directly to my 3 Day fund or the Spouse Thingy’s…and like always, every $5 will count toward the prize pool. The first prizes will probably be announced at the end of March (and one has already been donated and shipped to me, and for anyone looking to get in shape, it’s really cool!)(and worth $500!)

So go check it out… The Pink Belt Project (or jump right to the order page here.)

We also have a Facebook page that’s just barely gotten started—no purchase necessary, you can join and just hang out!.

1 March 2016

RANDOM IRRITATED MUSINGS BECAUSE MY BACK HURTS
AND I HAVE A HEADACHE AND I WANT TO SHARE THE PAIN

Should of. Would of. Could of. NO. Stop it. It makes my eyes bleed. Should’ve or should have. Would’ve or would have. Could’ve or could have. YES. Farking contractions, people. It’s not that difficult.

Bitching at me over and over and over will not get you fed any sooner, cat, and I’m starting to get mentally twitchy at the sound of your voice tonight. YOU WILL NOT STARVE TO DEATH IN THE NEXT 40 MINUTES.

Any article (or talking heads on TV) saying “the male penis.” As opposed to what? WHO ELSE HAS ONE?

This election cycle. It’s disheartening to realize how many people I know are racist and xenophobic, and they have no clue.

No, it’s more than disheartening. It’s making me sad.

Seriously, cat, I will not let you starve.

Pizza rolls. They should be low cal. So that I can eat 20 at a time. Yes, I know I’m complaining about the cat wanting to eat while contemplating junk food.

I want to reach through the TV and punch Donald Trump. I want to punch his supporters even more. I realize this is a horrible thought. The difference between them and me is, I think, the fact I am willing to admit it’s a horrible thought upon which I would never act nor expect anyone else to condone.

Matthew Gray Gubler’s hair. Dude, you’re a fine actor and I like you on Criminal Minds, but freaking wash and comb your hair more than twice a year.

OMG cat.

Fine.

I’ll feed you.

Holy hell.

I totally get to have ice cream once you're fed...




Monday

22 February 2016

Okay. So.

If you donated to my St. Baldrick's event...there's a 90% chance I am not shaving my head this year. Nothing came up, it's not that I don't want to--I do--but I had an offer I don't think I can refuse.

Basically, if after 4 pm on the 27th I can prove I still have my hair, one of my weird little friends says they will donate $3500 to St. Baldrick's.

The dilemma I am faced with is getting a donation bigger than what I can actually raise versus pissing off the people who donated thinking I would end up bald and living with it until my hair grows back.

The only thing I think I can fairly do is offer a refund to those who donated to see me shave. So if you donated and I can dig your info from the St. Baldrick's website, expect an email from me. You'll still get to keep the receipt for your tax deduction for donating to this charity, but will get your money back.

'Tis only fair.

Wednesday

17 February 2016

In 10 days, I'mma gonna be bald again.

That's 10 more days to raise a few bucks for St. Baldrick's.

Ten more days to be the one to make me wind up like this post-shave:


As it stands now, I'll be going au natural, but with the longest hair I've had in years. Granted, it's still short by most standards, but I haven't let it get this long in a good ten years.


 Look...I practically have a damned mullet. It's getting CURLY back there. If I let it grow, I could wind up looking like an actual adult female.

But...kids cancer. By shaving it all off, I can raise a few bucks that goes towards research and treatment of and for kids whose lives have hit the pause button because of cancer.

Last year, the first person to donate $150 got to pick green as the color I'd show up with. And I did it so close to the event that when the hair came off, I had a stained scalp. You know what doesn't just come off in the shower?

Neon hair dye, that's what.

Because it was a layer of extra discomfort on top of how hard it actually is to wander around as a 54 year old bald woman, I'm upping that a bit this time. First person to go to $200 gets to choose whatever neon color makes their heart beat happy beats.

And if anyone goes to $1000 (other than the Murfs and they know why they're excluded)...I will not only show up with my hair dyed, I will show up wearing metallic pink mermaid tights.


So here we go...me, asking for donations to one of the only 2 events I'll bug y'all about this year. Send me off in style, y'all!

https://www.stbaldricks.org/participants/mypage/811721/2016

Saturday

13 February 2016

I rarely eat out on the weekends; it was a bad habit a long time ago, when I would run errands and stop for whatever fast food struck me as being edible, just because I could and eating out alone doesn't bother me. Yet today I found myself at Wendy's, scarfing down a burger, and halfway through I wondered why.

Not like, why was I hungry and eating a burger instead of something better, but why was I having fast food on a weekend at all? For most of last year, I was doing pretty good at losing weight (slowly) until I hit a wall in September...but I've done really good at maintaining that loss. Part of the losing weight was not eating out on the weekends when I'm out running around by myself (the Spouse Thingy and I during the week? Uh, yeah, we eat out too often...I track the calories, but still...) and I have been super frustrated lately for having lost that traction I had.

Now, the burger was good, no denying that. I wasn't going to stop eating it and throw it out. For a fast food burger, it was freaking tasty.

But why now? Why break my own don't-eat-out-alone not-really-a-rule-but-a rule? I'd been at Starbucks, went to the grocery store to pick up something to make for dinner (because I do cook on weekends, even if I suck at it) and without really thinking about it...there I was at Wendy's.

Then I realized I was kind of ticked off. Not at myself, because burgers happen, but had that deep-down, simmering, bitch-I-will-cut-you anger going on.

Then I was annoyed with myself, because in one giant thunderclap of a you're an idiot moment, I realized I was doing the whole cliched eating-my-feelings thing. I didn't even think about it, I just did it. Instead of lashing out at the person who had upset me, I went about my business, and while doing that I wandered straight into Oprah territory.

While I was at Starbucks, I posted a picture of my spiffy Doctor Who backpack that the Boy and his Significantly Better Half gave me for Christmas. I don't carry a purse, but I carry this, because it's awesome and I :heart: :heart: it.

I posted the picture because of this overly-enthusiastic woman sitting next to me who coveted it and was several degrees of OMG IT'S ADORABLE and OMG I HAVE TO HAVE ONE, and this little nagging voice in the back of my head thought she just might be the sort of person to grab and run. So I sat on part of it to make it harder to grab, and then took the picture.

No, she didn't take it. If she had, I would be asking y'all for bail money, not whining on a blog.

After I posted the picture, mostly amused, I went back to what I was writing. While I was lost in a scene in San Francisco, where Wick the cat watched as one of his companions walked right into a lamp post, a woman came in with her adult special-needs son, and I only noticed they'd come in because he was loud, making a singular sound over and over, and not noticing was (honestly) impossible.

Mom headed to the restroom with him, and we could all still hear him.

I went back to my writing. Tapping away at the keyboard, Wick was hiding his face in the Emperor's sweatshirt, because he did not want to see the aftermath of his friend stepping out into the street in front of a car. Just as Wick was about to look up again--because no one was screaming and the Emperor was only muttering things from the Bad Word List--the woman next to me leaned closer to me and said, "God, I hope those people leave. I don't know how I can stand it if they stay."

I didn't even look up, but she went on. "Really, what if they sit right here?"

I admitted, I did not care if they did.

"But you're working on something. He'll distract you."

I refrained from pointing out the obvious. "That's my problem, not his. He has every right to be here."

And that's when she went from just annoying me to me wanting to punch her square in the face. "Those people need to be kept at home so that normal people don't have to be bothered."

I have a temper, I know that.

I have the ability to inflict injury, I know that.

I have far less patience for idiots than I did even five years ago, I know that.

I wanted to punch her, and punch her hard, I know that.

What I did was close my laptop, and while I shoved it into my bag I said, "You know what? Fuck you."

And I left.

Then I went grocery shopping, and found myself at Wendy's, trying to smother that anger with a burger I didn't need, and trying to figure out what I was most angry about. That she was a raging farktard? Or that I lowered myself to her level with my parting words?

I don't know.

But I do know that heading into Wendy's was something I did subconsciously; I wasn't all that hungry, and there was food at home had I been. I wasn't eating a burger, I was eating my anger, and that, frankly, bothers me.

30 January 2016

When it comes to people online, I can be fairly easy going. If I find, after knowing you for a while, that you made up a background story for yourself just to make online life more fun—and you don’t do it to for emotional or financial manipulation—I can shrug it off. I’ve known a few people over the years who have changed the details of their lives to make themselves more comfortable in chat rooms and interest forums, but they didn’t do it for any gain other than to have someone else to talk to. The person that stands out the most in my head is someone I met on Prodigy a billion years ago; “he” was actually a woman, but inverted the details of her life because she frankly did not want to deal with the way some men online behave toward women. She never asked for anything, never made up any horrific stories garnered to reap sympathy, never used personal tragedy for money.

She simply wanted to play online without being hassled. I get that. It didn’t bother me when I found out, because I understood it.

What I have a more difficult time shrugging off are the people who exist online to get something: attention, money, or both. Half the time I can’t figure out what it is they really want, but what they’re doing is several levels of wrong, and it’s hard to shrug off.

There’s a cat blogger who has created quite the life for herself online, even going to the extreme of sucking up pictures from random of other peoples’ kids and someone else’s husband, and presenting them to the world as her own. I’m guessing about 80% of the people involved in the Cat Blogosphere know that most of what she posts is complete bullshit (other than a couple of cats, we’re not even sure she’s had most of the cats she’s claimed to have) and I don’t think anyone would care…except that she’s taken money from us under the guise of some hard times (that some shrewd CBers have proven to be false) and she’s claimed to have had breast cancer (which I seriously doubt, given the details she provided.) If she’d just created this fantasy life, I would have uttered =meh= out loud, and moved on. But she didn’t: she took money and she played the cancer card.

Wrong.

Poke around online long enough, and you’ll find a plethora of similar stories, people who have this horrible disease and get others to host fundraisers so they can meet their rent, buy food, put clothes on their kids’ backs…and then they’re outed as being liars.

It’s a crime, you know. Some have been prosecuted, most have not.

The whole crapfest came to mind again today when presented with evidence that a 3 Day rock star—someone who has, through cultivation of a very large team of walkers and crew members—raised over $300,000 for the 3 Day. She’s done an incredible amount of good work by claiming to have had breast cancer multiple times and using that platform as the basis for her fundraising.

But…she apparently never had cancer at all.

And, you know, I could almost shrug that off. This is a cause that becomes so personal to a lot of people that it becomes a mission. There are, within the 3 Day community, a few people that I honestly feel have a calling to do this. They walk multiple events each year (some walk all of them, raising a minimum of $2300 for each walk) and they do it because they NEED to be a part of the process that eventually finds a cure.

I thought she was one of them.

But…but…but…other people, online and in real life, have held fundraisers for her, and she took the money. All the bits and pieces of fine details are not yet clear, but the big picture is this: she manipulated literally thousands of people into honestly giving a damn about what she was supposedly going through, she had people in emotional turmoil and agony over it, crying real tears, and more than once. She was fine with other people hurting for her, and she was fine with their efforts to raise money on her behalf, and fine with taking it.

And that’s where I draw the line.

Play the cancer card, take the money, and you’re quite the wretched person in my book.

I don’t know how she started down that path; maybe in the beginning it really seemed like a good way to fundraise for a decent cause. Maybe she never intended for it to go that far. Maybe all she ever really wanted was to cure a disease, and this was the only way she could think of. Maybe. Lots of maybes.

I’m annoyed by it all; I have no personal stake in her charade other than being a part of the same community, and being a face in the crowd that cheered her on as she created this amazing team of people and as she became a motivational speaker for the cause. I’m not broken by it, but I know others who are clearly gutted because they developed a real and personal connection to her.

There are a whole lot of totally gobsmacked people in the 3 Day community right now. They want answers, and those may never come. I have no idea what will become of the team she created, but I hope they stick together, change their name, and soldier on. I hope that their spirit isn’t broken.

For everyone else who takes up a cause—any cause—people who do this make it that much harder. Fundraising is already difficult, and when news like this surfaces it can make wallets snap shut with a loud pop, because potential donors can’t trust the information being given to them.

If you do this, if you lie about being sick for the sake of attention and money, you not only put yourself at risk for the repercussions, you make life that much more difficult for those caught up in your web and the people around them. You destroy trust; it’s the bridge that you not only burn behind you, but incinerate everything within a 5 mile radius.

Not everyone is outed (the cat blogger in question has never been publicly outed, but has been privately…if she was unaware, she’s probably figuring it out right about…now) and that’s where several levels of wrong exist: when people come to understand that there are more liars out there than they realize, their support ends. In the case of the 3 Day, this will probably cause a few participants to walk away.

I can’t blame them. It’s hard to walk 60 miles in 3 days when your soul is bleeding.

I will walk this year; the Spouse Thingy will walk this year. And I promise you this: I will not engage in emotional manipulation to raise the money for that. I may beg, I may offer to do weird and humiliating things, I will have prizes, but I will not lie about something so important just to call attention to myself and reap whatever benefits that might bring.

If you got caught up in any of it, I am truly sorry. But know this: whatever you donated, whatever tears you shed, however deeply you cared and how hard you worked to help her, it came from a very good place, and you deserve the karma that brings.

And people do actually do things like this: karma’s gonna bite you in the ass.

Karma always wins.

Thursday

21 January 2016

THINGS THAT ARE ANNOYING ME TODAY

♦ The treadmill. Why does the treadmill have to be so freaking boring? Even with the TV on…boringboringboring. Today’s 5-7 miles will be done one at a time. On for a mile, off for distraction, on for a mile, off for lunch…until I get the damned miles in.

♦No, cat, I am not making a lap right now. I am using the computer on it while I muster up enough maturity to get back on the treadmill.

♦ Having to wait for the delivery dude. He’s the reason I’m stuck inside. I could be outside, plodding through town while I pretend to jog but am really just walking. But no…they won’t just leave beer by the door without a signature. Sheesh.

♦Seriously, furball. Stop practically humping my head while you lounge on the back of the chair, trying to get me to make a lap.

♦ Politicians. Holy hell. Stop saying you’ll fix something, and freaking tell us HOW you’ll fix it. Stop blathering on about everything you think your opponent is doing wrong and start telling us what you’ll do right. Right side, left side, I don’t care…the campaigning sucks.

♦ STOP MEOWING, CAT! I swear to Bast, you talk more than an 8 year old girl.

♦ Memes offering up “less desirable” celebrities in lieu of popular ones dying. I hate that Alan Rickman, David Bowie, and Glenn Frey have died, too, but come on…these memes saying “take the Kardashians” instead are just mean.

♦ Jesus, cat…

♦ That I have no idea if I spelled “Kardashians” correctly. I either spelled out the Hollywood family, or the Star Trek Deep Space Nine bad guys.

♦Licking my hair is not going to make me cater to your whims, cat.

♦ We are out of tomato soup.

♦ Really, furball? You’re going to beat me to death with your tail? At the rate you’re going, it will take another 24.8 years of popping it against my neck for that to work.

♦ Ok, great, the delivery dude has come and gone and I am free to go about my business. But I just ate lunch and I know better than to try to do anything for an hour, and then after that I need to go grocery shopping and I’ll buy more than I can carry while on foot, so… blah.

♦ Seriously cat, I am trading you in on a new model. Get your damned nose out of my ear.

Friday

15 January 2016

A few months back, after declaring defeat in the 14-year long battle of Max in The Morning, I started going to bed at a normal-people time and getting up at Food O’Clock, which happens to be right around 7 a.m. My natural body clock wants to stay up until 3 a.m. and get up at 10, but I’m starting to get used to the change. Morning still burns, but I can deal with it, at least on the days when Max hasn’t spent the night wandering the house yowling at the top of his lungs.

Sometimes I think I should worry about that, but then I realize he’s always been a pain in the ass during the night, and has always coughed up a song or two, and does it loud enough to wake me up.

It’s like having a baby that wakes you up 2-3 times a night…for 14 years.

Anyway. I’ve been getting up in the actual morning, when normal people are awake doing normal people things. It really didn’t surprise me to discover I can get more done during the day, since my errand running and the like is no longer blocked by the frustrations of being night blind (oh, I’m still night blind…I just get things done before dark now.) It also didn’t surprise me to find a little extra energy, because I’m actually getting more sleep now than before.

But what has surprised me?

The hunger. I’m hungry all the time now. I was losing weight before; now it’s just stopped because I am so much hungrier than I was.

I used to have breakfast at 10:30-11:00, an hour after getting up and taking my meds. Now I’m struggling to get past 8 before having breakfast, which means I want lunch far earlier, and making it to dinner without a snack?

Not happening. Or if it does, when dinner rolls around I want to eat everything in sight, and then want dessert…which I used to eat, like, never.

These days, I think I would eat the soul of crying toddler if it was sweet or satiating enough.

The easy answer would be to follow my hunger cues and go back to my old schedule…but come summer I want to be up and outside while it’s still cool, and when you sleep until 10 a.m., outside is not all that cool around here. I have lots of training coming up, and it would be nice to get it done when it’s not 90 degrees of ohhellno.

So clearly, I need to go back to school, get a degree in biochemistry or agricultural medicine or whatever, and develop a line of tasty, filling, calorie-free foods so that I can still get up in the morning and eat my way through the day.

ZERO CAL DONUTS Y’ALL!

Because honestly, I think that would be a whole lot easier than developing some self-discipline and embracing the idea that being hungry for an extra hour is truly not going to kill me.

It might, you know.

It really might.