Wednesday, November 30, 2011

How Knitting Saved My Sanity and Helped End My Marriage

No really.

So ending a relationship makes people reflect. I mean that's normal. And with the relationship I just left Mrs. IdB and I kept saying "the beginning of the end," and stepping that incident father and farther back closer and closer to the beginning of the relationship until finally, Mrs. IdB pointed out to me the beginning of the end was really when I learned to knit.

It was through knitting that I finally managed to escape from the house and go interact with other adults who weren't constantly gaslighting me or being gaslight by Fuckwit Ex.

It helped me be more confident because I could make things. I could make useful pretty things and I loved it he couldn't prevent me from doing it because there was no logical reason for him to object to my sticks and string.

Don't get me wrong, he tried to object to my sticks and string but the objections were so spurious as to be laughable so they failed.

Because of the time and location of my knitting group there was no way Fuckwit Ex was going to extend himself to go straight instead of turn on a regular basis so he wasn't driving me anywhere. As a result, Mrs. IdB ended up being the person who drove me there every Monday. And we decided to make that a required date; no cell phones, no laptops, no distractions. We were going to sit across the table from each other and interact if it killed us godamnit. It nearly did but you know what? It worked. At first it was hard and awkward and sometimes a little bit stilted but we started talking. Talking led to more talking which eventually, over the course of several years led to realizations about our lives and the abuse that we were suffering.

Only now do we realize that we were so afraid of Fuckwit Ex's anger that we had not only started presenting a false facade to the world because we were afraid of the consequences if we talked to people outside of the relationship, we were doing the same thing with each other. Even more sad, we were doing it for the same reason. We were scared of his anger if we spoke the truth even to each other.

That anger eventually materialized but by then we didn't care that much any more.

So yeah, thanks to knitting, little loops of string around sticks, we are both free.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Why I'm Not a Parent

I spent today with a friend and her four-year-old. Wow am I tired. Don't get me wrong, the kid is cute and fun and her mother is totally a model of parenting. I interacted with her for maybe an hour of the several hours we were there.

The kid won. I'm a big girl but that little girl had stamina like whoa.

She just wore me down. It was like a play date rope-a-dope. I have no idea how parents do this. I just don't. Because I was pretty much just  reviving to react to her after about thirty minutes.

This is why I like knitting. It is quiet and doesn't run away. Sleep now. Blog more later.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

It's the Weekend After Thanksgiving and I am Listening to Christmas Carols

Why? Because I do not work retail.

If I did I would already be fed up with Christmas cheer but as it happens I do not so I am not. Also, the songs are fun.

I make it a habit never to step foot out of my house on Black Friday unless I am forced to work so I missed all the fun time pepper spraying and riots although I'm confused as to why these things are news as they happen every fucking year.

But I amk finding the new and exciting hate for major national and international chain stores to be entertaining if for no other reason than it makes clear those people who are political thinkers and those people who are politically trendy.

The hate for major national chains is a trend. Anyone who expresses random hate for a national chain store can probably be dismissed as a political thinker. Why? Because national chain stores are not something that came as a result of a vast corporate conspiracy. Neither are they something that came about as a result of abject consumer stupidity.

They happen to be a fantastic business model that consumers like. So they shop there. It's the same reason that McDonald's is the most brand recognized fast food chain on earth. The are the same wherever you go so a Big Mac in Tiny Town, USA is a Big Mac in London and Moscow and Sydney. It works.

Also, those stores offer things that some local places can't like a steady job and long term advancement. Mom and Pop are going to give the store over to their son, not Bob the really amazing talent they hired out of high school.

You know what else they offer. Jobs. Big stores have a minimum number of staff that they must, by policy have at all times. As a result, the area where they open has a minimum number of jobs that must be filled from their community.

So maybe, the next time you hear someone whining about national chains you should mention some of these facts. If they keep whining they are probably not someone with whom you should be attempting to have a rational discussion.

Friday, November 25, 2011


I'm sure I'll figure it out at some point. Right? I mean, you would think just by dint of my age I would get it eventually. I could pay bills or do something rational with some left over money that we got unexpectedly but I am totally trying to convince myself that I don't need yet another pair of shoes.

Apparently I haven't reached the level of emotional maturity wherein I can avoid an internal temper tantrum from my id whenever I don't get what I want right away.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Full of Thanks

I'm not doing one of those "This is My Life," posts. I'm not. I'm not going to post about food or family because that is trite and you don't care. But there are things I'm thankful for.

I'm thankful for the Queen performance at Live-Aid. I'm thankful I was old enough to be alive to see it and young enough that it was formative in my understanding of music and performance. To me, that moment was like church and Feddie Mercury was our priest.

I'm thankful for first world problems. I want a case for my Kindle and we can't afford it right now so I'm concerned that I'll drop said Kindle and be forced to go back to reading regular gasp books.

I am thankful for cute shoes and fat girl clothes.

I am thankful for Facebook and cell phones so that I can wish a bunch of people Happy Gluttony Day without having to talk to them. Because I know a lot of people and even a five minute conversation is going to eat into my life.

I'm thankful for whatever clever little proto-human picked up a feather or a flower or whatever and decided that it needed to go in the hair somehow and thus invented accessorizing.


I want it!

Also this one.

Shut up. I do too need two red wool hats in Florida.

I am thankful for pets. 'Cause even though I don't have one right now I remember what it was like to be the bipedal food deliver system. They seem to like that.

I am thankful for Netflix, which I will not go watch until I fall into a food coma.

Happy Gluttony Day youse guys.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Take Your Guilt Bell...

...and shove it up your ass.

The Salvation Army bell ringers are out in full force as of Friday. I hate them, not in a personal way. I understand that people don't have a lot of choices job-wise right now. I do not begrudge anyone their pay check. Make your paper, people.

But the Salvation Army itself. Yeah, them I hate. I feel comfortable in this hatred because they hated me first and they hate me more. They couch it in friendly language but they aren't fooling anyone.

The Salvation Army holds a positive view of human sexuality. Where a man and a woman love each other, sexual intimacy is understood as a gift of God to be enjoyed within the context of heterosexual marriage. However, in the Christian view, sexual intimacy is not essential to a healthy, full, and rich life. Apart from marriage, the scriptural standard is celibacy.

Sexual attraction to the same sex is a matter of profound complexity. Whatever the causes may be, attempts to deny its reality or to marginalize those of a same-sex orientation have not been helpful. The Salvation Army does not consider same-sex orientation blameworthy in itself. Homosexual conduct, like heterosexual conduct, requires individual responsibility and must be guided by the light of scriptural teaching.Scripture forbids sexual intimacy between members of the same sex. The Salvation Army believes, therefore, that Christians whose sexual orientation is primarily or exclusively same-sex are called upon to embrace celibacy as a way of life. There is no scriptural support for same-sex unions as equal to, or as an alternative to, heterosexual marriage.

Likewise, there is no scriptural support for demeaning or mistreating anyone for reason of his or her sexual orientation. The Salvation Army opposes any such abuse.

In keeping with these convictions, the services of The Salvation Army are available to all who qualify, without regard to sexual orientation. The fellowship of Salvation Army worship is open to all sincere seekers of faith in Christ, and membership in The Salvation Army church body is open to all who confess Christ as Savior and who accept and abide by The Salvation Army’s doctrine and discipline.

Scriptures: Genesis 2:23-24; Leviticus 18:22; Mark 2:16-17; Romans 1:26-27; Romans 5:8; I Corinthians 6:9-11; I Corinthians 13; Galatians 6:1-2; I Thessalonians 4:1-8; I Thessalonians 5:14-15; I Timothy 1:15-16; Jude 7

Who among my readers is a far of the West Wing? 

I wanted to ask you a couple of questions while I had you here. I'm interested in selling my youngest daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. She's a Georgetown sophomore, speaks fluent Italian, always cleared the table when it was her turn. What would a good price for her be? (Pause) While thinking about that, can I ask another? My chief of staff, Leo McGarry, insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly says he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or is it okay to call the police? Here's one that's really important, because we've got a lot of sports fans in this town. Touching the skin of a dead pig makes one unclean. Leviticus 11:7. If they promise to wear gloves, can the Washington Redskins still play football? Can Notre Dame? Can West Point? Does the whole town really have to be together to stone my brother John for planting different crops side by side? Can I burn my mother in a small family gathering for wearing garments made from two different threads? Think about those questions, would you? One last thing. While you may be mistaking this for your monthly meeting of the Ignorant Tight-Ass Club, in this building when the president stands, nobody sits.

In other words, two thousand year old books aren't hard to cherry pick to support whatever position the speaker happens to hold. Further, one of the most common marriage vows; “Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if aught but death part thee and me,” is spoken by one woman to another woman. These people need to read their fucking book cover to cover instead of picking and choosing like it’s a menu and a Chinese restaurant.

No you can't have my money and I'll try not to force your bell ringers to suffer my disdain. I probably won't succeed but I will try. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Why Are People Surprised?

Rush Limbaugh called the First Lady uppity. OK technically he said of the NASCAR fans who booed her and Jill Biden, "They understand it's a little bit of uppity-ism."  So yeah, he called her uppity.

Now, let's get past the sad, pathetic attempts to deflect attention from what Limbaugh might have meant. Because he meant to say that Mrs. Obama is uppity. Don't kid yourself and most of all don't kid me. I know a dog whistle when I hear it.

At some point we're going to ask ourselves why this is acceptable in our day and age, aren't we? Rush hates Mrs. Obama because of her race. I mean, her husband's political vies help too but a lot of the attacks are racially based. In 2011, uppity is still something that a professional person with a public job says out loud.

And people are acting shocked; as if Rush Limbaugh saying something horrifying is a new phenomenon. It is, in fact, his bread and butter.

But there is something that we can do. Honestly I think it's something that everyone has a responsibility to do and it's long past time we started doing it.

Learn to speak the following sentence: What you just said was racist. Then refuse to back down or apologize for it. You know racist things when you hear them. You also know, because I assume that you live in the world, that people will do almost anything to avoid taking responsibility for their racist comments. Don't let them. It might behoove you to learn this sentence as well. You know that it was racist. That is why you said it. The best possible thing you can do in this situation is let people twist in the discomfort of their own words until they learn or go the fuck away.

Be part of the solution.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Organized Sports are to War...

...what pornography is to sex.I heard that on one of the TED Talks and it always resonated with me.

From the time they are young, we encourage athletes to push themselves harder and harder. We tell them to push through the pain and shake off injuries. We look at athletes in sports movies or television shows who bleed to win. We call those people heroes. What's more, we call the coaches and the parents who train them to do those things and allow them to be trained to do those things role models.

But that's not true. Athletes aren't heroes. Athletes are modern gladiators and their parents and coaches are modern day lanista who profit from the bodies of their slaves. Go bigger, push harder,shake off the pain.

Gladiators were gods in their time and were allowed liberties no other slaves would have been granted; women and boys were brought to them when their masters were pleased with the results of that day's games. They had the best places to live, the best food, the first and best of everything among their social peers. And when the gladiator is no longer profitable they were tossed aside like garbage.

Sounds a lot like your standard collegiate or professional sports league, doesn't it?

So how can we be surprised that in a culture that systematically devalues the people upon who it profits people like Jerry Sandusky are allowed to thrive for decades?

He gave the people bread and circuses and helped bring in huge profits for his team. In return they allowed him to prey on little boys.

I'm just surprised it took this long for something like this to be uncovered.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

I Hesitated...

...before I posted about this subject. I thought long and hard about it. Then I thought, "it's my blog and anyone who doesn't like what I have to say can fuck right off." So here we go.

I am the child of a parent who committed suicide. This information will inform the rest of what I write. So last night one of the people on a board I frequent post what appeared to many people to be a serious intention to commit suicide. So we mobilized.

The person who made the post is OK. That person is not the subject of this blog post.

Here's the subject: As a result of the threat the person who made the it got a welfare check, That's what happens when someone makes a suicide threat. That person is very angry as a result of the welfare check. I understand the anger. People who are actively suicidal are selfish by definition. What I find surprising is the number of people who pivoted from "Are you OK? Are you alive?" to "we are so sorry that we ruined your safe space to vent." Frankly I was shocked that there were any people who reacted that way.

Because that reaction is crazy.

The concept of a "safe space," or "private conversations," in a public internet forum is mythical. With the advent of the Wayback Machine every single thing you type on the internet is there forever. So the suicide threat is just out there and if the person making the threat had been serious, our failure to act would have been out there forever.

Aside from that there is the actual tangible concern for the life of someone in need. And, you know, the direct knowledge of what happens when someone you love offs themselves.

I found the act of watching people get scolded for making sure someone didn't die to be shocking and horrifying and utter bullshit.

I realize there's an element of "don't poke the crazy here," and I get that but there's got to also be an element of personal responsibility that some people just dumped as soon as they got the opportunity.

If someone says something that strongly resembles "I might kill myself," in such a way that you can't hear them or see their faces moral people have an obligation to take that information on its face. Anger about that fact is clearly misdirected as is sympathy with that anger.

Friday, November 18, 2011

We Didn't Star the Fire

Some of the people reading this are too young to get the title reference.

So Sunday is the International Transgender Day of Remembrance. Did you know that? Yeah me either which is a shame because this is something that is worth remembering. Trans folks are at the very bottom of the heap of people who are oppressed, actually oppressed as opposed to the bullshit I talked about last night. But honestly, I'm not in a position to talk about that. I'm not trans. I'm female and mixed race and not Christian and bi but I'm not trans. I'm not going to try and speak for trans people.

I am, however, going to speak to the people in the comments of the two articles I read today. Fuck you. I'm not talking about the assholes who just hate everyone. I'm specifically talking to the people who reply to the pain and fear and very justified anger in oppressed communities with what they think is helpful advice; "don't be so angry." Once again, fuck you.

That is one of the most insidious ways in which people protected their privilege by devaluing the feelings of those people with less privilege. They try to change the discussion from what was said or done to the attitude of the person who is pointing out the problem. Part of it is the way that so many people react to anger . People avoid it and try to deflect or overcome it. That's fine. But when people scope-lock on the tone and the attitude, rather than the content of a message it's clear that the listeners don't care about the message. They want to control the conversation to the point where the person suffering from whatever "ism" happens to be on display shut the hell up and put on a happy face.

Once again, fuck you. What that becomes is a demand that people who are suffering lie about their suffering for the comfort of the people who benefit from or cause that suffering. On behalf of all the people who have to deal with this, NO. Not playing that role for you and when you ask me I am much more likely to get even more angry right up in your face. You have been warned. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Things That Are Not Oppression A Rant.

When you publicly refuse to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple and other people in your community refuse to patronize your establishment as a result, you are not being repressed. You are reaping the consequences of your actions. Those two things aren't the same.

When two people who are not you want to share the same legal protections as everyone else and want to have the ability to use the same word to describe their union, you are not being oppressed. You are leaping into a situation that does not concern you and then getting huffy about it. Those two things are not the saime.

If that married couple wants to adopt a child who is in no way connected to you, who needs a loving family and who you, yourself are not trying to adopt, you are not being oppressed.

The fact that religions other than yours exist and are spoken about and even gasp practiced publicly does not oppress you.

Oh and you lefterly leaning people; you who are feeling smug and superior reading this? You're not innocent.

If someone wears fur they are not oppressing you.

If someone eats meat they are not oppressing you.

If someone is religious that fact alone does not oppress you.

I'm tired of this shit. I'm tired of the sudden and inexplicable acceptance of the assertion that disagreeing with someone equates to oppressing them.

It's ridiculous and it insults my intelligence.

You have the freedom to express your opinion withing reason. You do not have the freedom to express your opinion free from criticism.

Grow the fuck up.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Like Walking on Hot Coals

I had someone ask me today what racism is like if you're the one it's directed at. That's an interesting question and one I was glad to get. It's not often that someone will look you in the face and ask you how their privilege harms you, especially not on an emotional level. So props to you Caucasian friend.

Now to the answer...

It feels like that. It feels like walking across hot coals every day, all day long and sometimes you step down wrong or one of the coals is just hotter than the others, or someone throws one at your head. That hurts over and above the normal everyday pain. But it's not just that.

The pain? That's something that you just get used to, like the ache of the shoulder that you wrenched when you were in high school. It still hurts but you don't notice unless something happens to irritate it. Sometimes though,  sometimes you look up from your journey and you see that your road isn't the only one. There are other roads and one of them is smooth and clear and covered in soft cool grass. The people on that road are moving so fast and so easily and no matter what you do you cannot catch them. You try and you try and the people on that road just keep passing you. And then you look back at your own path and it hurts even worse. 

That's what it's like to be non-Caucasian in America. As someone of mixed race, the pain is even more insidious because we see the other road. People we know, people who share our last name and at least half of our DNA walk that road, but we aren't allowed on it.

There's a point, when you're a child before you realize that your path is different, when you believe the "all you have to do is try hard and you'll succeed," story that is a part of our national mythology, when you are innocent and not jaded and wary. Then one day, someone pushes you onto the path you have to walk for the rest of your life and there's no way to detour.

Even if you are successful, people might allow you to live their lifestyle but you're still walking the same old sulfurous path.

Don't believe me?

See what happens when you stumble.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Question About Health Care

So I've been watching the Republican debates because that right there is pure comedy gold and today when I went to the coffee place one of the old gentlemen who spends time there was pontificating on "Obamacare," and how the Supreme Court was going to "fix all that nonsense," so the free market can take care of the health care costs. (Clearly, he too is a right wing comedy fan.) So I asked him, "What was the total cost of your last medical visit?" He said he thought it was $50 or so. That's a common answer but it's not the answer to my question . That's how much he paid. That's not the total cost.

To know the answer to my question each consumer would have to have a goodish idea of the cost of each test and be able to judge a fair market price for a doctor's time. But it's more than that. Each consumer would also have to know whether or the test that they are being given is necessary. Are there other tests that cost less? How effective are they? What about treatments? What is the best most medically effective treatment? What is the most cost effective treatment? Are they the same? Since they probably aren't, one has to ask where the middle ground between cost effective and medically effective lies?

The Republican health care plans is that they only apply if you are talking about something tangible. You can't treat your medical care like buying a car because no matter how much a consumer wants to they will never, ever be able to educate themselves enough to make free market decisions without an advanced degree.

As it stands right now and will probably always stand unless Leggo starts building people, medicine is too involved for a non medical professional to make informed decisions about. That's why we can't go with the Republican plan on health care. In reality there is no plan.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Return to the Land of Normal

Always assuming that's a place I ever knew how to find.

We did nothing today. OK, that's not true. I paid some bills online and stuff but I didn't leave the house. The most taxing thing I did was take a shower. And you know what? It was great!

Mrs. IdB had off too so we just chilled and chattered about movies and tried to figure out who the hell thought it was a good idea to re-make Straw Dogs.

It was fun. It was non-stressful. It was so very different than what life was like living with an abusive narcissist that we both kind of freaked out a little bit. Which is crazy, I know, but that's the mindset of someone who is recovering from an abusive relationship. We freak out when we pay bills not because we are poor but because we are so used to getting berated about the state of our funds, despite the fact that when we were with him we were making triple what we make now. We freak out when we sit down for dinner because that was always the prelude to an argument. We freak out when we want to buy or save for something because we were never able to buy things for ourselves.

Not freaking out? Yeah that makes us freak out.

But you know what's nice? Being able to just be normal and love the person I'm with and not have it be excruciating. It's novel but it's really lovely.

Sunday, November 13, 2011



Don't get me wrong, I'm a liberal and a part of me is cackling over the Republican field of candidates. I mean, literally cackling out loud. I can't help it, a lot of what they are doing is just funny. Funny in the way that the very worst of the Three Stooges is funny. It's slapstick up there which is great for me and other Democrats but not so good for the nation.

The Republicans had an opportunity. After President Obama spanked John McCain in the general election they had a chance to examine their own party. They could have taken stock of the direction in which they were traveling, They could have recognized their problems; the way they are seen by the people.

Everyone knows about the Southern Strategy. Everyone can see it at work and the Republicans have never truly repudiated it. I mean, they say that they don't use it anymore but no one believes them because people have, you know, eyes and ears and things.

They could have examined the transition of McCain's image from maverick to curmudgeon. They could have looked at the way that their numbers plummeted after the started letting Palin talk to humans. They could have done so much to repair their issues and really come out of the gate this election cycle with integrity.

What was I thinking? Republicans with integrity. That is a pipe dream. I wish it weren't. I would love it if the Right would suit up and do a damned job. It's not about winning. It's about governing. They are failing to do that.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Book Review...

...because I couldn't think of anything else to write. This is also, possibly a love letter to my Kindle.

I recently finished Georgette Heyer's Regency World,  which was interesting and well written but not long enough for me. It read like an encyclopedia entry. Don't get me wrong, it was a very interesting encyclopedia entry. I did learn a good deal of vocabulary though. Nuncheon, for example which apparently meant eat when you're hungry is a fun word. Although eating when you're hungry seems simpler, nuncheon is shorter.

Then I picked up Flapper: A Madcap Story of Sex, Style, Celebrity, and the Women Who Made America Modern, which sucked. Because the title lies to you. It's not about Flappers at all. I mean, they are mentioned a bunch of times but it's really a book about F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, a couple about which I could not possibly care less. If I wanted to read a biography of an author I can't stand I would have, you know, bought it.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Blank Minds and Writer's Block

It's 15 minutes to midnight and I have nothing to write. When this happens I start looking around for prompts, and the NaBloPoMo website is good for those. Not so much today but it is usually good for those. And sometimes I'll start trolling news sites in an effort to find something to be outraged about. But I already ranted about Penn State. At worst I'll crib a subject from West Wing or some other show or Ravelry. But that isn't working today.

I got nothing, like nothing. Nothing at all. Again, I think that's because my life is boring and also, possibly because I'm a moron.

This is the best I can do.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Smattering of Subjects: First World Problems, Rant Revisited and a Little Love

I have them and sometimes I am embarrassed by the fact that they annoy me so much. I have a Kindle. It was a gift from Mrs. IdB because she is lovely and generous. I love my Kindle. I love it like some people love their cars or their children. And there is a sad dearth of historical non-fiction available.Biographies. I want them. Kindle does not have them and apparently my continually pressing the "I would like to read this book in Kindle format," button does not yield the instant results that I want. 


So yesterday, that whole thing I did on integrity. Apparently certain people were confused. It is also possible that I baited my hook on my Facebook status. Sue me. Slap-fights are what make Facebook fun. It seems their argument is that Joe Paterno did so many good things for his football players and we should take that into account. OK...pause, ponder, take into consideration...yeah fuck that. I don't care if he glows with holy football light (and some people clearly think that is, in face, what he does) if you allow someone who spends his free time anally raping young boys to retire in order to spend more time with at risk young boys without, you know, telling the whole world about his hobby you fucking fail and humanity forever.

Someone drew a chart in case people were confused.


LSG is doing a watch-along of the West Wing and I must say that I still think it was probably the very best show ever. A not small portion of the rhetoric that you will read on this blog had its genesis on that show. I do my own research, don't get me wrong, but the issues themselves? In a lot of cases I first learned of them by watching  this show. Smart writing, great characterization and I get to learn stuff. What's not to love? 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Integrity and How to Swing it

I am sorely disappointed in a not small number of people today.

It seems that Joe Paterno is leaving Penn State and many people are mourning and expressing sympathy for his plight. I would like to slap those people.

Paterno is leaving because of his alleged participation in a cover up of Jerry Sandusky's decades long molestation of various young boys.

The grand jury report can be found here. I'll warn you, it's triggery. Sandusky is accused, among other things, of anally raping two boys under the age of 15. And people feel bad for Joe Pa.

Here's what I think after reading the grand jury report and the messages of support and condemnation that have been flying around tonight.

Most of the adults in this situation refused utterly to protect small children from harm and they did it because it was the easier choice than stepping up and doing the right thing. Now, I have been accused, on more than one occasion, of being "honest to the point of stupidity." I generally take this as a compliment, although I'm sure it isn't generally meant as one. I have also been accused of being a bitch which is true so I say thank you because it confuses people. So I don't really get the attitude of people who keep silent out of fear. It just does not compute for me.

Further, I live in the world and for part of that time I lived in PA so I don't buy the argument that Paterno was somehow concerned for his program or his job. The man could do anything short of stand on the sidelines at a home game eating a baby leg and he would have been fine. He kept his mouth shut because it was easier to do that than it was to step up and do the right thing. In keeping silent he created a culture of silence that affected everyone else in the program down to the janitors.

So most people said nothing when they caught Sandusky in the showers with young boys and most people said nothing when they caught him "wrestling" with these kids inappropriately. Let me remind you all that this guys was a football coach. Most of all, most people said nothing when he was caught twice anally raping young boys.

Those people who did say something took the problem to their immediate superior and then stopped pushing. And those superiors made noise and gave toothless punishments and didn't let him become the head coach but they didn't warn anyone when he retired and began to devote even more time to his charity for at risk young boys.

They knew he was a danger to children and they didn't warn anyone. They just let him keep pretending to be a good guy who was helping out.

This is a failure at adulthood. It's easy to "do the right thing," when they right thing and the easy thing are identical. That's not a test of character, that's a gift from the universe. When the right thing and the hard thing are identical, that's where you learn who has integrity and who doesn't. When the right thing is unpopular, when it's dangerous, when it could hurt you too? That's responsibility and values.

So, just fair warning to the world; if you spend the next week pining for JoePa and talking about his values I'm going to challenge you to explain to me how his values encompassed allowing children to be molested and if you you bitch about Penn State football and I'm going to verbally bitch slap you because football does not matter one tiny little bit in the face of the health and welfare of children. And if you disagree with me on that point I'm going to invite you to outline for me the "pro anally raping little boys" side of the argument. If you can't, don't step up.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Shock, Shout outs and Mad Props

So I was wrong. 

Personhood USA, a group that I'm not linking to because fuck them, they don't get traffic from me, put an initiative on the Mississippi ballot that would have defined life as beginning at natural and cloned conception. Let's leave aside for a moment that we're nowhere close to successful human cloning and examine the process.

Because I am a geek and process stories get my juices flowing.

This group has been shopping their little attempt at running my fucking uterus and those of every other woman to various states and in Mississippi they thought they had a winner. It's Mississippi. Everyone thought they had a winner. 

And the governor, he was right there with them. He's a moron, as anyone who has listened to him talk about anything, ever can tell. And his stupid ass came out for it.

It was a useless gesture. There's no way it was going to make it through the judicial branch but that doesn't matter because the push against reproductive freedom doesn't need to gain any more ground.

But you know what? The people of Mississippi stepped up. They surprised me. Because they slapped that piece of shit, waste of right down.

This is the shock part of the post because I honestly thought we were going to spend a year dragging through the courts until it died.

Oh and Ohio voters, you did a great job too. Because that collective bargaining thing? That's something you'll want to keep around.

So all in all, despite the bullshit and the flailing and the tragically stupid, it seems that serious people can still make serious decision.

Mad props people.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Knitting Quirks

Why is it that I am absolutely required to frog something three times before I can just knit the damn thing? I started a pair of Cafe au Lait mitts yesterday, messed up, frogged them and started again last night and started them again this afternoon. It's like this curse I have. Every project goes through this process. Why?

But aside from that, I'm knitting. Because suddenly I want to knit again. Dropping the excess baggage seems to have reawakened my creativity. Probably not working anymore helps too.

On a totally different note, there need to be more knitting books available for Kindle. Because I just got a Kindle and I wants my knitting books. But they only have like five and they are crappy.

And I really don't have anything else to write today. Nothing happened. I'm sick so I basically just stayed home and watched the West Wing.  

Sunday, November 6, 2011

In Which I am Honest and Alienate People

I’ve spent a lot of time lately thinking about the Occupy Whatever Location movement. They seem to be a popular movement among people on the Left and a part of me, a tiny part, thinks that could be good. It’s good when people get involved. A not small number of people who know me and know how politically active I am have asked me if I am a member of or am planning to organize an Occupy My Town protest. No I’m really not. Let me tell you why.

The short version is; nobody promised me a pony.

I have no respect for these people. They are the Tea Party of the left. All I can think when I examine their behavior is of the Alexandre Auguste Ledru-Rollin quote, “There go my people, I must find out where they are going so I can lead them.”

That’s the best I can come up with, a sort of funny quote from the past because these people have worked my last fucking nerve. The Occupy movements, specifically the Occupy Wall Street movement has no direction, no function and no fucking idea what they are doing. They tried to make some goals. For a brief and shining moment it looked like they might get their shit together and actually do something, but alas the Demands Group was silenced and shunned as soon as they started to do a job.

"If anyone is attempting to speak for OWS, that's bullshit," said a red-haired protester who goes by the name Ketchup.

OK, you know what? If you call yourself condiments, no one will take you seriously.

No goals. In fact, a concerted effort to avoid anyone or anything that might look like they are making or working toward tangible goals. Because that would require them to actually take responsibility for their action and the consequences. And we all know that’s not gonna happen.

Yeah, fuck you guys. You don’t speak for me.

Some of them have called for a National General Assembly so we can get a bunch of disparate people with varying and often opposing views together in a room and they can hammer out how the government is supposed to work. As it happens, we actually have a National General Assembly although it calls itself the Congress of the United States. So shut up about that. This demand, makes it clear that the basis of this movement is laziness. Responsible citizens, finding that their government is not serving them in the way that they want to government to serve them get involved in campaigns and they vote. But that would take work and pull these people from their slacktivist vacation. It also makes it clear that the people of this movement need to take a basic civics course.

They whine about Capitalism and how they “followed all the rules and now they can’t find a job or buy a house.” Boo fucking hoo. That’s how the people I know have lived their whole lives. This could be a movement about change, about fixing things and making life better for everyone, making the tide rise so that all boats are lifted. But that’s not what is happening. What is happening is that a large number of people who, are standing in one of the most racially diverse places in the US, screaming and most of the faces I’ve seen on the footage have been White.

Let’s examine why that is for a moment? People of color in the US tend to have less access to education. We tend to have lower wage jobs and less access to any number of resources. So while the Occupy Wall Street protesters are whining a lot of other people are at work.

They may not realize it but when the protesters hold up their signs and cry about how hard their lives are what many people hear is “I had so many privileges and now I have to live like the rest of you! That’s not fair! Let’s totally rework the government!” In other words; “I want a pony!”

I say again, fuck you. Nobody promised me a gad damn pony.

You know who really likes it when the economy is strong? Bankers. So maybe bitching at them is not the wisest use of time. It’s like trying to remedy the problems of the public school system by screaming at your taxi driver. Your taxi driver can’t help your kid get a better education and the bankers being screamed at can’t fix the economy.

They want term limits and a “fair tax code.” There are already term limits. Most people call them elections. If a lawmaker isn’t doing his job or is simply doing their job in a way that the voters don’t like it is the obligation of those voters to not vote for them. It is not the obligation of a privileged few to think for me or take away my choices and that’s what term limits do.

As for a “fair tax code”…seriously, if I hear that one more time I might roll my eyes so hard they fly right out of my head. As it stands now, the top 1% of taxpayers (AGI over $364,657) earned approximately 21.2% of the nation's income (as defined by AGI), yet paid 39.4% of all federal income taxes. That means the top 1% of tax returns paid about the same amount of federal individual income taxes as the bottom 95% of tax returns and the police don’t come to their house 95% faster, they don’t get water that’s 95% hotter.
So we need to stop demonizing fellow Americans just because they are rich, especially since the people doing the demonizing have predicated their protest on the fact that they aren’t rich enough.

Further, there has been a not small amount of violence and crime. And do you know what the response from the Occupy movement has been? “Those are just a few dozen people. They are extremists. We are not like that.” Except that’s an excuse that the Left has decried from moderate Christians, moderate conservatives and moderate everyone else on the Right. The crowds and the screaming and the absolute refusal to take any kind of responsibility are what allow the crimes and violence to happen.

Yep, those are kids being shoved in front of cops. Stay classy Occupy DC. 

And now Anonymous has decided that they should partner with Occupy so as to shut down the Iowa Caucus. Because the way to save the nation and to serve the liberal/progressive cause is to stop people from voting because you don’t like who they might vote for. That's a right wing tactic that the left has been screaming about for years.

The Occupy movement is, frankly, disgusting. It took seventy years to dismantle the protections that were put in place to prevent another economic disaster like the Great Depression. It really geared up in the 1980s. Do you know why it was allowed to continue? Because citizens, many of whom are currently occupying wherever kept voting the people who were doing the dismantling into office. The Republicans kept promising a pony and people kept falling for it. And now, because the Democrat they voted into office less than one term ago couldn’t magically fix seventy years worth of problems they are screaming about tearing down the government and whining because they have to live like everyone else because nobody gave them a pony. Oh, and in the process they’ve put children in harm’s way, provided cover for criminals and militantly avoided every bit of responsibility.

I am the 99%. I have been all my life. These people do not speak for me.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Self-Indulgent Saturday

When you break up with someone it’s natural to go through a period of introspection. At least I hope it is because that is clearly what I’ve been doing these past few months. That’s acceptable still, I think, because it’s been less than four months.

Here’s the thing, when you’ve been in a six year relationship with a raging narcissist you have to be honest with yourself, if for no other reason than the novelty. Honesty? Not big with the narcissistic set.

During these sessions of personal honesty I came to a realization. All of the lies and the money shenanigans and the gaslighting and the pile of tiny, shredded pieces of my self-esteem and confidence that I’ve had to start repairing led me to the understanding that, yeah I’ve been abused. In fact, every single person that I’ve given the narrative of the relationship to has come to that realization. I kind of wish someone had mentioned that half a fucking decade ago but I understand why they didn’t. How does one just casually mention "your boyfriend/husband/significant other is an abusive loser." Is there a way to do that? If so, please comment and tell me because other than just coming right out and saying that thing, I've got nothing.

The realization that one has been abused is troubling and working through it is going to take some time.

After that realization came another, even more troubling one. I have been abusive. I would put forward that everyone who has been in an abusive relationship has been abusive.
Un-clutch your pearls, bring that jerked knee down and hear me out.

In an abusive relationship, eventually you just start doing the work for the abusive party. Even if you aren’t a polygamist, which adds a whole new dimension of drama as it does with everything else, you start anticipating the abuse you’re going to receive and acting accordingly. Because if you do it to yourself, the abuser won’t have to do it. Maybe you’ll squeeze a tiny bit of control out of the moment and a tiny bit of peace for the stress. At least that’s what you tell yourself.

It’s not true, by the way. That’s not how abuse works.

This is how abuse works. The more you give the more they push and they don't stop pushing until they destroy you.

Getting out of that mindset, learning not to abuse yourself and the people around you? That’s the real work of recovering from a break-up with an abuser. That part is really hard. I'm working on it. I'm not really sure how well I'm doing thus far, but I am working.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Still Random, Probably Even More Dull

So writing. Every day. I am writing. Because today is another day. And I have no idea what to write because my life is dull. I used to have a job about which I could have written but I wouldn’t have done so because that is unprofessional, at least the way that I would have written. I quit when we moved because of the non-driving thing. I don't drive as a courtesy to others because my depth perception is so bad that I can't always tell how far things are away from me. In an effort to not randomly hit things with a vehicle I choose not to drive one. You're welcome.

But you know what? Not working has brought home some truths to me. I really need a fucking job. Like, whoa. Because I am so damn bored I could spit. I spent a small part of yesterday singing a song about a chicken sandwich. I DIDN’T HAVE A CHICKEN SAMMICH YESTERDAY! I was just singing about it. That can’t be normal.

Also, I’ve learned that being a housewife when not married to a raging narcissist isn’t half bad. I mean, it’s not the super best thing that I’ve ever done. I’ve had a job since I was fourteen. I’m not good at not working. But I’m having some fun for the moment. I made Maggie and Mary’s Wild Rice Soup for dinner tonight along with some yummy grilled cheese on whole grain bread. Mrs. IdB wasn’t feeling well and I felt like it would be a good idea after we picked up her prescription to let her spend as much time as possible sitting quietly and not doing work or anything at all. So I made some dinner.

Here’s another thing about food that’s been happening to me lately. As soon as we got moved in Mrs. IdB and I got sick. She got an ear infection that morphed into strep. I just got a wicked cold. And somehow, in the time I was busy trying to keep some fluids in my body and sleep for more than nine seconds because of my stupid cough my stomach shrank. A lot. Because what used to be two servings for me is now one serving. Bodies, how the fuck do they work? Further, I guess I am a vegetarian now or, mostly. Because I’ve been pretty much an herbivore for a few weeks. And that means I’ve got to figure out how to cook things that are not bruschetta.

Finally, it seems I got my knitting mojo back. But I’m saving that to talk about tomorrow…maybe.

In Which I Ramble and am Dull

So the title of this blog, in fact the whole reason I started this blog is a long and complicated story. Given that this is my blog that’s kind of, you know, the point to tell stories. Apparently the more long and complicated the better according to some metrics.

So yeah…rebirth.

I used to be a polygamist. Not in a scary, religious way. I was just in love with two people. That started a long time ago. We were friends first, while in the military. They were dating each other and I was their best friend. Then I started dating someone and were because four best friends. Then they got married. I was the maid of honor in their wedding. Then I got married and they were both in my wedding. Then we left the military. We eventually all moved to the same town and for a while that was good, but not for long. A large part of that was my own insanity in the literal sense. I’ve had some issues and as a result of them and other things my two best friends and I lost contact. .

And then my marriage ended. That, as it turns out, was a good thing for a lot of reasons. I learned about myself. I grew as a person. I got a hell of a lot more responsible. He’s not a bad person. We just weren’t good together.

Then the people who were my best friends? We reconnected.

Yeah so that’s the background; the shortish to mid-length version of “How I Became a Polygamist.”

The very short version is; because I loved them, both of them. It worked for six years. I mean, it didn’t work well but it did work. We were committed to each other as a family, at least that what I thought.

As it turns out, former Mrs. IdB was a narcissist. He wasn’t diagnosed or anything but if you read the list of narcissistic characteristics he had all of them. It’s like they came to our house, observed him for a while and then made their list of characteristics. See?

1. Self-centered. His needs are paramount.

2. No remorse for mistakes or misdeeds.

3. Unreliable, undependable.

4. Does not care about the consequences of his actions.

5. Projects faults on to others. High blaming behavior; never his fault.

.6. Insensitive to needs and feelings of others.

7. Has a good front (persona) to impress and exploit others.

8. Low stress tolerance. Easy to anger and rage.

9. People are to be manipulated for his needs.

10. Rationalizes easily. Twists conversation to his gain at other’s expense. If trapped, keeps justifying, changes the subject or gets angry.

11. Pathological lying.

12. Tremendous need to control situations, conversations, others.

13. No real values. Mostly situational.

14. Uses sex to control

15. Does not share ideas, feelings, emotions.

16. Conversation controller. Must have the first and last word.

17. Secret life. Hides money, friends, activities.

18. Likes annoying others. Likes to create chaos and disrupt for no reason.

19. Seldom expresses appreciation.

20. Grandiose. Convinced he knows more than others and is correct in all he does.

21. Sabotages partner. Wants her to be happy only through him and to have few or no outside interests and acquaintances.

22. Is not interested in problem-solving.

We lived with all of these things. All of them.

Mrs. IdB lived with it for twelve fucking years. I lived with it for six.

Then suddenly, we were done. And now life is all shiny and new.

The how we were done process is probably a longer story than I can fit in one blog post so I might go over that later.

But here’s the thing about my break-up. It really had nothing to do with polygamy.

Polygamy makes the relationship more complicated, natch, but the problem wasn’t the polygamy. The problem was the husband with a personality disorder. The fact that there were three of us made his gaslighting easier. And he had built in Madonna-whore players right in the house which was nice for him but three in a bed didn't destroy us. He did.
We fought our asses off for that relationship, but that fight was predicated on the assumption that there were three people who were relatively sane and all interested in making the others happy. That can't happen with a narcissist.

So we left. And things got way better. That’s what I’m going to try to blog about. And I'll talk some about knitting. But this isn’t going ot be the story of how knitting has helped me overcome the pain of my break-up because Crazy Aunt Purl has already done that.

Also, she’s funnier than I am.

But I’m still going to talk about knitting sometimes.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

New Blog!

I has it. Because a lot of things have changed. And since this is NaBloPoMo and I wanted to participate I got off my fat ass, metaphorically, you know, not in real life, and made a new blog for a new life.

I'm ignoring the NaBloPoMo prompts for the past two days so I can update those of you who may give a shit about the things that have been happening in my life.

I don't live in Crestview anymore. I've moved to Panama City and it's wonderful with a capital WONDER! The ability to move about without someone driving me somewhere is a blessing, let me tell you.

Mrs. IdB is loving it too as she doesn't have to drive 3 hours every day just to get to her job. I love that for her. I also love that we don't have to spend the equivalent of a car payment every month on gas.

Oh and that whole polygamist thing? Yeah, we're not doing that anymore. When one of the three people in your relationship is a raging narcissist it makes familial harmony hard. Now that we've dropped the narcissistic baggage everything runs much better and we are both much happier.