partly: (Girl)
I know I don't post that often, outside of reposting tweets. Because of that, I may be something of an unknown to some of the people who occasionally glance at this. There's a lot of reasons I'm quiet on here, and most of the time, I'm happy just lurking. But the lead up and fall out from the US elections has prompted me to share here something that I also put on facebook:

If you can't be friends with someone who would vote for a candidate you don't like, just go ahead and unfriend me now. I have no idea if I actually -- in your opinion -- "voted wrong", but frankly, I don't care. If you can't tolerate a difference of opinion, if you can't handle people who think differently or who act in a way you do not, I don't need to have you cluttering up my friends list. If you are frightened of diversity or unable to hold your own beliefs when faced with opposing views, it's best to leave now. Go live in your homogenous world and I'll live in mine where I expect people tolerate differences of opinions with civility and kindness.

Thank you.

Crafty!

Sep. 23rd, 2012 10:48 pm
partly: (That Girl)
I decided to be a bit crafty today, so I decorated my receipts box. It was just a brown box that we toss all our receipts in, but I thought I'd fancy it up a bit. So I took some old comics I had laying around and gussied it up. Nothing fancy, just panels from the comic books and some mod podge. Still, I love how it looks.

Bugs Bunny and Porky Pig!


And just to prove that I'm not entirely insane: the comic book was a very old, extremely used copy. The cover was already gone and the staples edge was worn and torn. I will confess some momentary pangs of guilt in destroying a compete story that could still be read, but since I would never read it again and no one would ever buy it to read it, I got over it.

Mind, I didn't cut up one of the tattered cowboy comics I had. Or any of the Donald Duck ones. I may work up to those.
partly: (Girl)
I've never been able to use to-do lists. I usually consider a to-do list as a failure list -- at the end of the day, it lists all the things I've failed to do. I've tried to change that because I know a lot of people who use to-do lists and they get a sense of accomplishment from them. But I can't.

I think, in some ways I'm too contrary for the list. I mean, my first response to any order is usually 'hell no', so it's possible that I just do that same thing when I look at the list.  The fact that I made the list doesn't change that reaction at all.

And posting the list so others can read it and hold me accountable? No way am I going to do that. The last thing I need is everyone seeing what a failure I am. I'm usually really good at hiding my ineptitude, the last thing I want to do it put it out for the whole world to see.

There's really no point to this post outside of permanently recording that little slice of crazy that is me.
partly: (Cowboy)
I rarely manage to find a post that sums up everything that I think about a political topic, but I ran across this today and it sums it exactly what I think/feel about OWS:

No, Please, Not….DRUM CIRCLES!

I'm too pragmatic for the OWS. I'm going to side with the police and firefighters, with EMTs and the bus drivers and sanitation workers. With the hourly workers just trying to get enough money to pay the bills and with anyone who has to decide between groceries and rent. I don't see how making their lives hell makes the world a better place.

Of course, I don't see how living in squaller in a public park makes the world a better place either because up here, right now, that's an all too real possibility for too many people.
partly: (Poised)
I was watching my cousin's little girl today. She's six and adorable. She loves to play games, so we were doing all the standard kid games and she wanted to play a Memory card game. Now, I hate Memory. Always have, but it's a good enough game to play to pass some time and she loves it. She's also VERY good at it. She rarely misses a pair when one has been flipped over. It was fun watching her play, so very sure and quick.

But the most interesting thing was what I learned about myself and my inability to see things the way they are.

There were 36 cards laid out in four rows of nine cards each and we sat across the table from each other. Once we started playing I'd flip over a card that I know I had seen a match to and then I would reach to where I was really sure the match was. I was usually wrong. She would laugh and, before I even flipped the cards back over, would flip over the match I'd been looking for.

The interesting part? Eight times out of ten the matching card would be in a spot that was a mirror image to where I was looking. If I had thought it was in the row closest to me, it was actually in the row furthest away from me. If I flipped over a card two columns in from the right, the actual spot it would be was two columns in from the left. It wasn't that I was flipping over the wrong card right next to the correct card, no, I was completely in the wrong quadrant of the playing field.

I actually started to do the opposite of what I thought was right and my game improved. If my first impulse was to reach to the right side, I would force myself to go to the left. Instead of picking the side closest to me, I would do the side furthest from me. Granted I still sucked, but I did better.

I don't know why that surprised me, really. I mean, I know I have issue with things like that. Left and right, for example. I understand that most people do the left and right thing with no issues but I can't. I mean, I can't. If I'd be ambidextrous, I would never know which way is right because I know right is the side that I "write" with. I actually have to hold my hand as if I'm holding a pencil and then I know which side is right.

I usually don't tell people this because it immediately places me in the "dumber than a kindergartener" category, but it's something I've had to learn how to deal with all my life. Ask anyone who's ever taken directions from me. They will tell you that they always follow the way I point rather than what I say because if I want someone to go left I will point left but I will often say "go right".

It's always interesting, what people chose to judge "smart" and "intelligent" by. You screw up right and left? You will never be seen as smart. Have a hard time memorizing the multiplication tables? Dumb becomes your middle name. It doesn't matter if you can recite the whole damn Hamlet soliloquy, if you mess up "7 x 8" and you're automatically in the shallow end of the gene pool. Misspell common words? Hell, might as well just curl up and die before you infect the rest of the world with your obviously contagious stupidity.

Ok, that's probably an overstatement and most people over the age of 18 probably won't say those things to your face, but it's not exactly wrong, either. Our society -- especially our on-line society -- places a great deal of emphasis on "smart". Defining "smart" is a lot harder than one would think, though. So people chose to define "dumb" instead. And they usually define dumb as "people who can't do the things that come easily to me". That's just human nature -- we think of ourselves as smart, we quantify those things that we do that "make" us smart and we judge other people by those same standards.

I understand all of that. And quite frankly, I'd like to think that I'm too secure (or at least too damn old) to care what people I've really never even met think of me. Most of the time I manage that, too.

I think what really bugs me about these things is that if I could come up with a label to give people -- like "I'm dyslexic" -- that covers all of these "shortcomings" everyone's attitude would change. You see, we will accept people's shortcoming if there's a nice, neat label to toss on them. If someone's dyslexic, we'll benevolently forgive their "stupidity". We will overlook their "failings" as long as they can have a label that excuses them. You don't have that label, well you're out of luck. You're just dumb.

It pisses me off that people need a label to be considerate or in order for people to accept that intelligence comes in more than one flavor. It's wrong that a diagnosis is needed in order for people to be tolerant and accepting.

Obviously, this is a sore spot for me. This post has been sitting around in one form or another for years. I've come to terms with the fact that this will never change. I understand that most of the world needs such labels in order to know how to treat people. I only pull out the "I'm dyslexic" defense when I'm really stressed. Usually, I don't need to. Most times, I just try not to care what people will think. The rest of the time, I know my limitations and work hard to address them or avoid situations where they will cause me problems. I work hard at hiding my shortcomings so I don't have to justify them to the world.

It is, after all, the smart thing to do.

Tornado!

Apr. 11th, 2011 11:43 pm
partly: (Home)
For those of you who don't know, I live in Merrill, WI. A small town in north central Wisconsin which is all over the news the past day because Mother Nature dropped a couple of tornados on us yesterday. The sirens in town went off three times. Were we were, we got very little rain, very little wind, and our electricity never went out. However, it was spooky out -- the air was still and heavy, the clouds that odd green-grey.

At 6:22 I twittered this: It started thundering here about 5 minutes ago. It hasn't stopped. No rain. Rather unsettling. #DoNotLike #storm. Turns out that right around then a tornado was taking out a large part of the neighborhood around the airport. The airport this is about a 1/2 mile from were we live.

My folks and brother (who both live about 5 miles to the north of us) called shortly after that to let me know that they "were fine" which freaked me out. Turns out my brother videoed the tornado that passed just a 1/4 mile south of their places.

No one was seriously hurt. Houses and business are gone, but the people are safe. More than half the town was without power. We had it but a block or two in every direction and they were dark. We went out and helped my brother bail his basement until he could get power to his sump pump. My folks had their generator hooked up, so they were good to go for the night.

I went out to their place again today and then drove to the east side of town to check on my Aunt's place (for reference they live at least 15 miles apart). They were without power, too, and had a foot of water in their basement. They had just gotten a generator and set it up. Of course, five minutes later the power came on. *headshake* The power came on at my folks' place around two, so I think the power company is doing a great job getting the outlying areas up and running.

Anyhow, while I was out I took a bunch of pictures of the damage. Just on the road to where we were going. We didn't drive through any of the hardest it areas, but there was plenty of damage where we drove. I posted my pics over on my facebook album along with comments. (Non-facebook people can see it now. Sorry about that.)

For some shots of the really badly damaged areas, check out this video of Gov. Walker's visit. I saw a video that showed the aerial view of the damage, but I can't find it anywhere online.

In that piece Sen. Duffy says: "As I'm driving in, I see 10 people in one yard and 12 and 8 in another and they all have their saws out and I think that says a lot about our community," said Duffy.. And that's so true. Most of the work is being done by those who just have a chainsaw and a truck. School was out today and to see what 17-year-old young men will do when faced with a disaster, check out this article and video.

Our town may be small and it may not be the richest in the state, but we know how to work and we know how to help each other. Not a bad face to show the world, really.
partly: (Battle)
I don't make plans. I know that sounds odd, because so much of the world everywhere is about making plans and keeping them. In fact, not planning things is often seen as a failure of character. A sign of a person with no vision and no drive.

I don't know, it could be.

I hate making plans because I feel like such a failure when they fall through. Everyday Wil says to me "What's the plan for the day?" If I say "Writing" but don't write, how do I explain that? If I say "Cleaning" but don't clean, then what? I mean, if I can't even do something as simple as keep that kind of a plan, what does that say about me?

And big plans -- going out, getting together, going to Madison -- those are really hard. When those plans fall through, then I've got nothing. No way to make it better for everyone. No way to fix the issues that come with all that uncertainty.

When plans fail, it affects everyone around me. My job -- my only job -- is to make sure that everyone around me has a smooth ride. When plans fail, I fail. Wil and Myr have so much that they are dealing with, they don't need the added stress of me being unable to handle the plans, of me not being able to keep things going and smooth it out.

And that makes me seem way more self-sacrificing than I am. Not to mention it makes my family seem unreasonable and inflexible. And that's not true. In either case. If anything,

I'm made of fail so often lately that not planning eliminates some of that fail. Not to mention, if I don't plan then I'm sure that I'm not forcing Wil and Myr to do something they don't want to or would rather not do or that they would be unhappy about. I know that they cater to me and I'd rather not have that happen. Lord knows I'm wrapped up in myself enough as it is, I don't need to dictate what everyone else does. And, in all honestly, I'm more than likely not going to be able to keep any of the plans I make anyhow.

Of course, none of that really matters. Life events require planning, even if I'm not the one who wants to do it. And life, being what it is, makes those plans totally worthless.

And I am, once again, made of fail.
partly: (IMNSHO)
My mom was telling me of a discussion that she had with a good friend of hers and, as things tend to do with this friend, the conversation drifted into politics, specifically Sarah Palin. And, as also always happens when Sarah Palin is mentioned, the commentary became much more personal than political. The conversation ended with discussion on how Sarah Palin went hunting and killed a caribou. “Anyone who can enjoy killing an animal like that,” said this friend of my mothers, “is a really horrible person.”

At which point my mother – a farmer, hunter and outdoorswoman all her life – looked at her friend and said, “Well, it’s nice to know what you really think of me.”

It hurt my mother, I know, that this friend of hers said that, felt that way. I also know that insulting my mother was not the intention. People get wound up and entitled and say things that can’t be unsaid. There were apologies and changes of conversation, but that realization can’t be removed. It’s always there, that little bit of truth of what people think of you. I know that it lingers in my mom’s mind.

It’s a situation I run into online. People’s journals are private, personal things. I know this. It’s true even if the journal is called a blog and is posted for all the world to see. Because of this, they are full of the overstatement and hyperbole that comes from that freedom of private catharsis. There’s also a tendency for bloggers to assume that those they interact with are just like them. There’s logic behind it “If you like X, Y and Z, as I do, then you must also agree with A, B, and C”.

Most of the time the commentary isn’t even specific, they don’t mean any particular person. They just write in the general “Us v. Them” form: “People who do/think/believe/are WHATEVER are evil”. “People” not a specific individual. No. They would never actually insult a friend of theirs. It’s other “people” who are that way. It’s like that line in Men in Black “A person is smart. People are dumb”. It sounds really good until you realize that every one of those “people” is a person and that the “them” you are talking about may actually be one of the “us”.

The fact is I’m often the “them” on these rants. We don’t even have to get into the big stuff like politics or religion or how organic is the food you eat. Nope. You can throw a dart at fandom and hit an unpopular opinion that I hold.

Usually it’s not a problem. I can skip over posts that are blatantly hostile and have a bit discussion with those who aren’t. I don’t wear my heart on my sleeve and I don’t tend to wield my opinions like a sledgehammer (despite what the icon shows). I understand the harshness and exclusivity of such posts may come from the medium rather than the intent of the author. As a rational, logical, thinking person, I can do that. Usually.

But still, sometimes when I read what’s been written, I can’t help think, “So this is what they really think of me”. It’s kind like finding out you’re the enemy when all along you’ve been treated as a friend. And I never know quite what to do with that.
partly: (MadCity)
Down in Madison again. This time so that Myr can go to a play with her uncle. We have to be back in Merrill by 1 pm on Sunday so it's a shorter visit, but we got to walk state street this afternoon, so that's great.

I get to spend tomorrow with the splendiferous [livejournal.com profile] finabair. Well, tonight, tomorrow and a short time Sunday AM. We're going to start with steaks, baked veggies and mojitos tonight and it's all up from there!

Ho[e you all have a great weekend.
partly: (Great)
They picked up trash early on my block today. Not the block before us or after us or even across from us, but just on our block. You may wonder why this even came to my attention. Well, I usually put my trash out around 7 the morning it's pick up, so I tend to notice when it gets picked up early. Which would just be a cautionary tale to take my trash out the night before, except for the past history of my block.

You see, this early pick up has happened before. Back when the drug dealer's rented the apartment above ours. See the cops would get the city truck to run down our block first, picking up all the trash on the block and then delivering it to someplace the cops could sort through it all. I suppose it's less suspicious to take the whole block's trash than just one buildings. And the glory of trash is that no search warrant is needed.

Now, I don't think the new upstairs renters are drug dealers. They are under 21 and I know that they get rid of more alcohol-related trash than any other type of trash. I also know that the young (under 21-year-olds) that live in the building next to use have been in trouble for under-age drinking, disorderly parties and ending up passed out drunk in public sight. So I suppose that drugs could be involved in some way.

My opinion on this? If you are so stupid as to get piss-assed and pass out so the cops have to come and drag your sorry ass off to detox and jail, they ought to tack a "You-Are-Too-Stupid-To-Live" fine on top of whatever else you're getting. If you are so stupid as to toss out incriminating evidence in the trash and then just put it on the curb, you again fall into the "You-Are-Too-Stupid-To-Live" category.

I would prefer if it was just a case of the trash being picked up early. But that just doesn't feel right. And I'm pretty good at picking up on when something's hinky. Right now my money would be on the next door neighbors. Because I have a feeling that youth, alcohol and stupidity are going to catch up to them.
partly: (Desolate)
Real life is conspiring to kick my ass. Well, there is some good news but that's immediately followed by major suckage. The ratio is just enough so that I can't spend my entire day sobbing into my pillow, no matter how much I want to.

I'm sorry if I'm overly touchy here or when I chat/email with you all. I'm finding it difficult to keep balanced.

It's odd. I haven't processed everything enough to talk about it (in some cases don't even have enough information to even do so), but at the same time I find that I am impatient when talking to others about their lives and interests. This lack of social ability annoys even me, I can only imagine how it must be for those I'm dealing with.

I don't know if it would be best to focus on happy, cheery things or delve deep into brooding, dark themes. Mostly, I don't want to think too much at all. So, I flit from one thing to another, like a hummingbird on speed.

I just thought I'd warn you.
partly: (Default)
Hurray!

Heard from the Folks, Dad is home and doing good. They have to wait for a test result, but there were no complications.

Thank you, God.

I'm going to take this as a sign that the rest of my problems will work themselves out.

I'll think good thoughts for Jenn's glow-in-the-dark check....

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partly: (Default)
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