- I let the bathtub overflow….while I was in it.
- I failed an online quiz twice…and it was the same questions both times.
- After cleaning the litter box I placed the kitty litter scoop over a pile of clean laundry.
- I tried to remove waffles from the toaster with a fork.
- I was wondering why the camera on my phone wasn’t working and all I saw was a blue screen when I went to take a picture. Turns out I had my phone’s blue carrying case folded over the lens.
- I walked up to my mom in the bookstore, shoved my phone in her face and said “Hey, look at this picture on Facebook”…turns out that wasn’t my mom.
- I can’t figure out how to set up Jenga….or Connect Four. An intellectually impaired person did it for me.
- The first time I entered my house I banged my head on a light fixture in the living room…twice.
- I can’t tell you how many computer cords I’ve broken, ID cards I’ve lost and passwords I’ve forgotten.
- I complain abut how I’m always tired and have such bad sleep problems…and yet I was up until three last night reading a personal essay about an emergency appendectomy in Egypt that mysteriously still left the author with her appendix.
1. Moved to a new house- I finally got away from my evil stepfather. It’s so nice to no longer live with someone who treats me like shit. It’s also nice to live within walking distance of my father, the pond I’ve loved since childhood and a bunch of stores and restaurants. It’s done wonders for my self esteem and happiness.
2. Got a cat- I finally have a kitty! I’ve wanted one for years and in September I adopted a black cat named Dr. Zeus. And oh, what a fine feline he is! He’s so cute and has so much personality.
3. Went to Florida- I finally got to visit Key West, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami for the first time and I finally got to go to Disney World again. Other Floridian places I visited included Naples, Bonita Springs and Jensen Beach. I had some fun and exciting experiences including swimming in natural springs, snorkeling and having my nose picked by a lorikeet.
4. Gave blood-I finally gave a potentially life saving gift. I got the idea to donate blood in late 2016 after I had blood drawn for medical testing. I donated three times in 2017. The process didn’t always go smoothly but the end result is gratifying. I even got to learn when and where my blood was donated.
5. Became a Blogmutt writer- I finally have a source of income. It’s not much income but it’s good to know that someone will pay me to do something. I was so excited when my first blog post was purchased and I got my first payment. I don’t think any adult has ever been that happy to make $8.
6. Became an ESL/literacy tutor- I finally have an answer to the question “So, what are you doing these days?” When I went to the training session I realized I had more in common with the literacy students than with my fellow tutors. Even though I’m very literate, like the typical ESL/remedial literacy student I struggle with employment, independence and social interactions. I have feelings of shame, embarrassment, fear, anxiety, nervousness, isolation, shyness and low self worth. This realization made me uncomfortable at first but I’ve also realized that empathy is a good thing when it comes to working with people who are struggling.
7. Made new friends/reconnected with old friends- I finally have friends again. I came out of my shell, reached out to people and was receptive to people who reached out to me. Many of those friendships are online friendships but anyone who thinks online friendships aren’t real has never had a good online friend.
8. Had a birthday dinner with my friends and family- I also have real-life friends and I got to celebrate my birthday with them. I’m finally fulfilling my promise to my friend and party planner extraordinaire, Delilah, to mention that birthday dinner on my blog. One of the presents Delilah gave me was a stuffed pig that has a funny story behind it (that will have to wait for another blog.) It has personal meaning to me and another friend who was present at my birthday dinner. Although I was quite traumatized by that pig when I first encountered it twenty years ago, today I treasure it. I also treasure everyone who was present at my birthday dinner and all the presents they gave me.
9. Got an Instagram account- I finally got with the times. For all the bitching I hear about how social media is destroying our relationships and mental health, it has truly done wonders for me socially and emotionally. At first I didn’t see the point of having Instagram when I already have Facebook but in April I decided to give it a try. I’m glad I did. It somehow has a different feel from Facebook and since the younger generation is starting to see Facebook as a place for old fogies, it’s allowed me to have an online connection with some of my younger friends and family members who don’t have Facebook. Now not only do I have an Instagram account, my dog and cat do as well.
10. Let go of shame- I finally stopped letting shame rule my life. As I mentioned in #6, I do still struggle with shame but the fact that I did all these things on the list shows that its hold on me has loosened considerably. They may not seem like a big deal but for most of 2016 I was not ready, willing or able to do most of the things on this list.
Here’s to doing at least ten more great things in 2018.
1. Accusing the victims of lying- Very few sexual harassment victims who publicly come forward and pursue legal recourse are lying about their experiences. Being examined, cross examined and picked apart in the court of law and public opinion about sexual matters is not a pleasant or easy experience so it’s unlikely that someone would be willing to subject themselves to that if they didn’t have a legitimate claim. By accusing victims who do come forward of lying you are making victims who have so far remained silent afraid to come forward. That’s not to say that no one has ever lied about sexual harassment but the exception to the rule should not be our default response.
2. Discounting their experiences because they weren’t bad enough- Don’t turn sexual harassment in to the suffering/trauma Olympics. It’s not kind or productive to tell someone their trauma doesn’t count because you had it worse. Rape is not the only kind of sexual assault and sexual harassment takes many forms. It is any kind of unwanted sexual advances or comments. Just because you think you wouldn’t be traumatized by certain words or actions doesn’t mean other people aren’t traumatized by them. By excusing and minimizing microaggressions you are contributing to rape culture. I’ve heard rape victims say that women who come forward about ‘lesser’ sexual transgressions are being disrespectful to rape victims. I’m going to respectfully disagree and say that I think it’s the people who minimize the experiences of sexual harassment victims who are being disrespectful and are doing a disservice to women everywhere.
3. “Boys will be boys”- This is such a lame and problematic thing to say. First of all, these aren’t boys we’re talking about, they’re grown-ass men. I’d like to think being a sexual predator isn’t hardwired in to every male’s penis but even if it is, living in a civilized society means taming your impulses and behaving in a pro-social manner. Unfortunately our society conditions men to do just the opposite with its toxic masculinity and rape culture. I liked the shirt I saw on social media that said Boys will be
boys decent human beings.
4. “Not all men are awful”- Yes, we know that, there’s no need to point that out or to take “Men are scum” type statements so literally (and Facebook, there’s no need to ban women for saying “Men are scum” while letting misogynistic and racist statements fly.) Ironically it never seems to be the men who actually are decent who feel the need to respond to such statements by pointing out that decent men exist. If after hearing a woman talk about how awful men can be your immediate concern is for the feelings of men who are butt hurt by that statement and not for the physical/emotional safety of the women who are preyed on by men, you need to readjust your priorities.
5. “Oh no, now men have to worry about being accused of sexual harassment. It’s so hard to be a man these days!”- Replace the word man with the word sexual predator and that statement makes more sense. Don’t be a sexual predator and you won’t have much to worry about. Please don’t insult our intelligence by suggesting you’ll be charged with sexual harassment for hugging a woman, shaking her hand or accidentally bumping in to her in the stairwell. It’s hard to be a man these days in the same way it’s hard to be white these days, meaning it’s not. It’s an obnoxious example of victim reversal- when the privileged oppressors turn themselves in to victims because they’ve been called out on the shitty way they treat the underprivileged oppressed group.
6. Pointing out all the good things the sexual predator did- I’m glad that predator did some good things but that doesn’t mean he should get a pass for sexually harassing or assaulting people. The sexual predators are real people, not Disney villains, so of course they’re not all evil, all the time. Sexual harassment is still wrong and they should still face consequences for it.
7. Expressing outrage that Al Franken was forced to resign- Most of my Democrat friends reacted with outrage to Al Franken’s resignation whereas my reaction was “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out,you smug son of a bitch.” He’s not sorry about what he did and I’m not sorry to see him go. I agree that it’s outrageous that he was forced to resign while Trump is still in office but that means I think Trump should resign too, not that Franken shouldn’t have resigned. If you want to point out that what Franken did isn’t as bad as what Trump did I feel the same way about that as I do about # 2 on this list. To touch on my previous point, I’m glad he was a champion for women politically but he still needs to go. Maybe he’ll be replaced by a man who is a champion for women without also being a sexual harasser. I’d like to think such men exist but how about we replace him with a woman?
8. Blaming the victim,saying she had it coming, smearing her reputation- Slut shaming is not cool. A woman does not ask to be sexually harassed or assaulted by the way she dresses, speaks or behaves. You can wear revealing clothing, you can flirt with a guy and you can accept his offer of a date without deserving to be sexually harassed or assaulted. You can work at jobs or environments that involve sexual or flirtatious behavior without deserving to be sexually harassed. You can even engage in questionable behavior yourself without deserving to be sexually harassed or assaulted. And guess what? That even applies to people I personally dislike or am opposed to politically, as do all of my above points. So Leanne Tweeden being a Trump supporter, accusing someone on ‘my team’, being involved in a show that included lascivious acts, possibly forcing kisses on other men-all of that is irrelevant. She’s still a victim of sexual assault who deserves to be believed. There’s even photographic evidence of it for god’s sake.
9. By sexually harassing a woman on twitter and gaslighting the people who see it as sexual harassment- To both Donald Trump and Sarah Huckabee Sanders I say fuck you and suck it. If you see anything sexually suggestive in that statement your mind is in the gutter.
10. By voting for a pedophile- Too many people voted for a pedophile. The 65% of white women in Alabama who voted for a pedophile were also voting for a man who doesn’t think they should be allowed for vote. Thank you, black women for having more sense than that (the guy also supports slavery.)I’m so glad that Roy Moore lost (I cried with joy when Doug Jones’ victory was announced) and that this blog post can end on a happy note. It’s good to know that the republicans of Alabama do have some moral standards and they do draw the line somewhere. We still have a long way to go in terms of addressing sexual harassment and assault but this is an encouraging sign, as are all the sexual harassment victims who are coming forward with their stories. There’s hope for humanity yet.
1. Statistics- I’d heard that quote “There are lies,damn lies and statistics” but before the 2016 election I trusted statistics. Since statistics had Hillary’s chances of winning at around 97% I was confident she would win. Yeah, we all know how that turned out.
2. Red hats- Whenever I see someone in a red hat from a distance there’s that moment where I wonder if they’re just harmlessly showing their support for their favorite sports team or their alma matter or if they’re someone I should avoid because they want to Make America Great Again.
3. Tiki torches- They were a regular staple at outdoor meals at my father’s house but after Charlottsville I’ll just never look at them the same way again.
4. The name Donald- Before I associated it with a duck that was kind of silly and stupid but harmless and lovable. Now I associate it with that dangerous, unlikable orange idiot who occupies the White House. Mamas, don’t name your sons Donald.
5. Thoughts and prayers- Before it was a sweet way of telling people who were going through a hard time that you loved them and were concerned for them. Now it’s the stock phrase thrown out by politicians in the wake of every mass shooting in lieu of actually trying to do something to prevent gun violence.
6. Snowflakes- Before they were those beautiful, magical, unique wonders of nature that fell from the sky. Now it’s a lame-ass insult that conservatives hurl at liberals when they suggest behaving with compassion and human decency or are upset by a lack thereof.
7. “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas”- Because you know that when Trump and his ilk say that they’re not just referring to the snow.
8 . The number 45- I often use it in lieu of his name to avoid giving power to his name and it now seems much more unlucky than 13.
9. My relationship with my brother- I still love him despite the fact that he’s a Trump supporter but I’ve discovered he’s the stupidest smart person I know. We always vow not to talk about Trump with each other because it just results in raised voices and frustration but we always end up discussing it anyway. Arguing with him about Trump really is like banging my head against a brick wall ( hey, ‘wall’, there’s another term that’s been ruined for me thanks to Trump.)
10. The Republican Party- It’s been going downhill for a while now but a big orange straw broke the elephant’s back ( and then lifted the ban on hunting it for its tusks.) Now it’s taken the leap off of batshit cliff and the nail is being hammered in its coffin.
1. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people – No, people with guns kill people. It’s not like guns are only dangerous in the hands of evil people who want to cause harm either. Just look at all the kids that are accidentally killed by guns that have not been properly secured.
2. Gun control violates the second amendment- No, actually it doesn’t. The second amendment gives us the right to bear arms. It does not give every single person an inalienable right to high power assault rifles. Most freedoms in this country are not absolute. The first amendment says we have the right to free speech. However, we do not have the right to shout “Fire!” in a crowded theater or publish lies about our neighbors in the newspaper. Why? Because those actions harm people. Unrestricted access to guns harms people. If only those people who are so hung up on honoring their interpretation of the second amendment were as concerned about honoring those other amendments or the spirit in which the constitution was written.
3. If guns are restricted people who want to commit murder will find another weapon to use- If they’re really determined to kill they might find another weapon but it’s highly unlikely that they will find another weapon that will allow them to pull off killing such a large amount of people in such a short amount of time. When was the last time you heard about a knife attack that killed 60 and injured 500 within 15 minutes? It’s nice that these anti gun control people have such faith in the inherent human determination to murder but I have faith in man’s inherent laziness, stupidity and impulsivity. I would bet that being deprived of a gun many of these would be murderers would abstain from murder (and suicide) altogether.
4. If you’re going to ban guns you should ban knives, cars, planes and pillows too because they also kill people- Maybe the people who use this argument could use a little help from Big Bird. One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just doesn’t belong. Can you guess which one of these things is not like the others before I finish my song? Well, if you guessed the gun was not like the others, you are absolutely- right! The gun is the only item on that list designed for the express purpose of killing. The other items on that list are mostly used for things like eating, sleeping and transportation.
5. Now is not the time to discuss gun control- Someone says this after every mass shooting and it’s such bullshit. On the contrary, the aftermath of a mass shooting is the perfect time to discuss gun control. When someone dies in a senseless tragedy, it usually comforts their loved ones to know that they did not die in vain, that something positive came out of something overwhelmingly negative, that their death might prevent others from suffering the same fate in the future. Right after a shooting is when people will be most emotionally impacted by pleas for gun control and most likely to take action. However, I will confess that when 20 first graders being shot and killed at Sandy Hook failed to bring about gun control changes, I began to suspect that nothing would. (And I do realize that when GOP leaders say now is not the time to discuss gun control, it’s not out of respect for the victims or an attempt to maintain decorum. They just don’t want to acknowledge the tragic results of their opposition to gun control. )
6. Just because people are getting shot doesn’t mean I should have to give up my gun shooting hobby- No one is asking you to give up your hobby. I’m sure you can shoot targets or animals without the kind of high powered assault rifle capable of killing dozens of human beings within a matter of minutes. If you’re a responsible gun owner with no criminal history, in the end you should have nothing to worry about. If you’re whining about the fact that increased gun control might subject you to stricter background checks or it might make it take longer for you to purchase your guns, then I’m sorry but the violin I’m about to play for you is so small, I’m having trouble locating it right now. It’s kind of selfish to say your right to practice your hobby is more important than the rights of other people to remain alive and safe. You should probably reconsider your priorities.
7. This shooting was a government conspiracy to deprive citizens of their guns- I guess your head is shoved so far up your ass you’re unable to loosen your tinfoil hat.
8. There was this horrible mass shooting in Las Vegas, which reminds me of this horrible person named Kira who said mean things to me online a few months ago- That’s a very bizarre, disgusting and creepy false equivalency (I wish I was kidding with this one.)
9. America is the best country evah!!!1! Just be grateful that you live here rather than protesting against any of its injustices- This notion that America is better than any other country is very outdated and inaccurate. There are many countries that are better places to be than America in many respects. One of the ways in which countries such as Australia and The United Kingdom are better than the U.S. is that they enforce gun control and thus have little gun violence, whereas we do not enforce gun control and thus have a lot of gun violence. Yes, there are also things to be grateful for in America but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t protest the things that are wrong with America. Protesting injustices that go against the ideals our country was founded on and is supposed to represent is not disrespectful. Au contraire.
10. Give blood to help the victims of the Las Vegas shooting- Unlike the rest of the shit on this list, this is a message I wholeheartedly support. Personally I’m just not in the mood to hear it right now because I’m feeling frustrated by a failed attempt of mine to give blood yesterday. I filled out a long survey about my sex life and drug use, answered another series of questions confirming that I had not had sex or done drugs since I filled out the survey 20 minutes ago, endured two painful needle pricks to test my iron levels, followed by 15 minutes of the nurses poking and prodding at my veins while complaining about how difficult they were, only to ultimately be told that I could not give blood. When I got to the car I started crying. However, the grief and frustration I felt over not being able to give blood are nothing compared to the grief and frustration I feel, that many of us feel, over all the senseless gun deaths and our country’s failure to do anything about it.