Category Archives: ranting

friday’s 5 minutes

Technically, it’s Saturday…but since I get off work at 12:30am, and often don’t have time before then…I’m counting this as Friday’s. 🙂

How bored would we be without the internet? How awful would life be without the opportunity to communicate with someone thousands of miles away virtually immediately? Could this society go back to that if we had to? I don’t know. I’m pretty sure someone like me would be okay mostly; I’d return to my deep roots of libraries, books, and writing with pens. Of course, I would also no longer have a job…but that’s kind of beside the point right now. I would love a lot of things about only having books and telephones again, and needing to write letters instead of emails and such. Of course, with the state of my hands and wrists, I’d need to actually dictate those letters, but that’s okay. I’ll be employing someone else who will need a real job for lack of internets. This kind of sounds like a rant, but it really started out as a “what if”. I think I like the “what if” stuff, sort of. Not the kind of “if only my life were like THIS” what if, but the actual wondering “what if”. After all, most story premises kind of go along with the whole, “What if I had a character who knew…and who could…and drank vodka gimlets all the time?” Well, not exactly. But I think you get the point. 🙂

gp


crappy mood

The title card for the musical comedy series G...

Image via Wikipedia

Almost didn’t make it in to work this morning; it’s so hard to get up and walk away from my comfy bed and my adorable kitties.

Then midday today my boss calls me into his office to tell me that he’s taking another position in the company, effective May 2nd.

And nothing I’ve tried to listen to or think about or anything is helping me get out of the SHIT!!!!! mood I’ve got going on. I’m sleepy, I wanna go home, and I don’t wanna work anymore.

Unfortunately, I can’t take a name, I don’t get to go home, and I have to keep working. I have figured out that I can listen to “Glee” episodes and that helps. Of course, listening to them sing “Somebody to Love” just made me tear up…but that’s better than rage at the moment.

Next episode, please?

gp


TSA

My mother, who is a wonderful, caring, sarcastic, snuggly, amazing woman, went through TSA security a few weeks ago from SeaTac airport. She refused the new scanners, and was “treated” to the new uber-invasive, horribly insulting public feeling up that is now common-place–and disgusting.

My mother is also a breast cancer survivor. Three years ago, she discovered a very small, very “well-behaved” tumor in her left breast (quote from the oncologist). Instead of chemo or any other type of treatment, she decided to get a bilateral mastectomy so that she would never, ever have to worry about breast cancer again. Don’t worry, this has a very happy ending; she’s still here, still kicking, walking, making amazing quilts, trading snarky comments with me, and being the fabulous person she’s always been. She didn’t get reconstructive surgery; she doesn’t wear a bra or undershirt with prosthetics inserted. She wears what she wears with dignity and grace, and other than the occasional scarf, she doesn’t hide the fact that she clearly doesn’t have breasts.

This is the part where I really get going, and you’ll see why I described my mom in detail. I read an account written by a woman who recently went through TSA security to get on a plane so she could go home. This woman, who is a rape survivor, describes how she was treated in this TSA “pat-down”, as they’re calling it. Here’s the link to that article:

http://www.adn.com/2011/04/16/1813827/i-was-gate-raped-by-my-government.html

My mother, who refused to go through the new TSA x-ray machines on the grounds that these machines are not as safe as TSA and the government say they are (http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2011/03/tsa-radiation-test-bungling/), was also treated to one of these “pat-downs”. In full view of everyone else in the security line, the TSA screener did her job. She did ask my mom if she wanted to go into a screened area for some privacy, but my awesome mom said, clearly, “No. People need to see what you do here.”

Thankfully, my mom doesn’t have a horrifying sexual assault in her past whose memories were triggered by the TSA pat-down. She said she stood and let the TSA screener do her job, in full view of all of those people. She described the gloved hands that felt along the inside of the waistband of her pants, down around inside the edges of the collar of her shirt, down both legs and arms, and then down the center of her chest and under her breasts.

Wait… Remember how I said my mom had that bilateral mastectomy? The screener swept her hands down the center of my mom’s chest, as though my mom was wearing a bra, and then swept her fingers underneath…nothing. Apparently the screener was a little bit puzzled by this, but she was very professional and went about completing her job. My mom put her outer layer of clothes back on (the shoes, the belt, the jacket, etc.) and went about getting on her plane.

Wil Wheaton, star of TV and screen, also recently had an encounter with a TSA screening:

http://wilwheaton.typepad.com/wwdnbackup/2011/04/i-dont-feel-safe-i-feel-violated-humiliated-and-angry.html

And then there’s this poor little girl who was selected for further screening:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/tsa-congress-vow-to-review-pat-down-of-6-year-old-girl/2011/04/13/AFZD9LYD_story.html

I am going to be getting on a plane in June to fly across the country for a yearly convention I attend. I will most definitely be opting OUT of the x-ray machine. If that means I get the pat-down, then I’ll take it. But TSA should know: I’m not going to be quiet about it. Don’t worry, I’m not going to do anything to get myself arrested or kicked out of the airport. I will, instead, blog about my experience, tell everyone I know all about it, and add my voice to the thousands of people who are being singled out, humiliated, and even violated by the new TSA screening processes. Hopefully, my small voice will help this issue to be heard, and force TSA to make changes–to the x-ray machines and to the pat-down process.

gp


for wisconsin, from washington state

For WordPress, written 2.18.11, posted 2.21.11

We didn’t have a very busy day today at work; consequently, I did quite a bit of internet surfing. I usually spend time on things like music or writing my own fiction or looking up interesting things when I’m not working. Today, though, I found myself looking for news articles about the protests going on in my former home state–Wisconsin.

In the November 2010 elections, Wisconsin’s Democratic Governor, Jim Doyle, was replaced by Republican Scott Walker. I didn’t hear any of my friends back in Wisconsin rejoicing or lamenting one way or another; in fact, I didn’t even know it happened.

Then last week, I started seeing news about Governor Walker introducing and attempting to push through a bill that would remove collective bargaining rights from the state employees’ union. I worked for the State of Wisconsin for several years–first as a student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and then as an actual employee of the University itself once I had graduated. I didn’t know anything about the money, the insurance, the benefits, or any of that. All I knew–all I saw–was that I was making more money than I ever had (which was still a relatively small amount compared to private sector jobs, btw), and I had my own health insurance. And it was good health insurance!

During that time, I was only supporting myself on my wages (which were under $11). If I had been attempting to support a child, children, or another family member, it would have been much more difficult. At one point, I was informed that my union was doing some bargaining for me on health care for the new year’s contracts. I didn’t even know I had a union; I didn’t pay dues. Turns out it’s not that kind of union. Being employed by the State of Wisconsin automatically means you’re a union member, and you have people looking out for you.

Anyway, I never had any complaints while I worked for the State of Wisconsin, other than that they actually wanted me to WORK for the money they paid me. 😉 But that’s a different story…

I have friends–very good friends, though some more along the lines of acquaintances–and family who still live in various places in Wisconsin. Many of them have Facebook accounts, or have been emailing various things to me (as forwards, mostly). I have seen anger at closed schools, pride in the people of Wisconsin standing together to protest something they see as unfair, resentment toward the protesters and their various attitudes, and some indifference toward the whole thing. I’ve done some reading about the bill being proposed (and I continue to do so), and given a lot of thought to what I would be doing if I were in Wisconsin, whether I worked for the state or not.

I was going to say something soothing and practical now about everybody working together to make needed cuts and keep needed benefits throughout the state. I think every state individually needs to do this–and so does the federal government, as well as every person in the United States, richest to poorest. What we’re doing–all the “gimmie gimmie!” and “me first, all mine!” is not working for everyone; it’s hardly working for anyone, in fact, except for the richest 1%.

Instead, I have to let a tiny rant out.

<rant on>
I am appalled that Governor Walker is trying to bully this legislation through without the popular support of the people in the state who elected him. I am appalled at the sheer gall it takes to become a public servant–someone who is duly elected by the people for reasonable government–and then turn around and push his “my way or the highway” agenda. Passing this bill will hurt more of the middle class in Wisconsin than it will benefit–including all of my friends and family still living there and attempting to earn a living, whether they are employed by the state, self-employed, or otherwise employed.
</rant off>

Now, I need to say something else: I am SO PROUD to be from Wisconsin. Wisconsin has a great political history, including the beginnings of at least one major political party and some amazingly dedicated public servants–not to mention being on the ground floor of passing measures to protect workers in both public and private sessions. I take pride in being from Wisconsin, and it’s not just because my football teams do amazing things like go to the Rose Bowl and the Super Bowl (though I do look very good in cardinal and white, as well as green and gold!). It’s because the people there are not afraid to stand up for the things they believe; because of the work ethic I learned from the people around me; the solid humanist values I inherited from my family and friends (no matter their religion or skin color).

And finally, to all the protesters: be peaceful. Be fair. Be strong. You’re not alone outside of Wisconsin; there are people all over the United States standing beside you–even if we can’t actually be there.

gp


wanted: someone to be the boss of me

I spend a lot of time in my life trying to decide what to do. What should I eat? What should I wear? How should I pay that bill? What should I do with my “extra money”? (Okay, that doesn’t happen too often, I admit.) How can I start cleaning my pig sty of a room? What’s the best way to pay off my debt? What can I do to get through my next months at my job that I HATE without melting my brain and being absolutely miserable???

The one that’s been bothering me that I feel like I can do something about it is cleaning my room. That shouldn’t be hard, right? I just start picking stuff up, putting stuff away, and folding clothes. Then there’s paper shredding and deciding what to keep and what to throw away, and how to throw some of that stuff away, and then dealing with the actual disposal and going and doing stuff and… I get all lost in the contemplation of all that, and I totally get caught, and then I have to lie down and read or something equally as non-constructive. It’s like writer’s block, only room-cleaning block.

So in the car on the way home, I got the idea to get an organizer–just bring someone in for a day or a few hours over a couple of days. I remember last year sometime one of my roommates had an organizer for a little while, and I was thinking I could maybe get her info from him and see if she can come help me out. Depending on how much she costs, of course.

Then I got to thinking that I really need more than someone to just organize my room. I need someone to tell me what I need to do. Not what I should do; not my options of things from which to choose; not a soft little suggestion. Someone needs to tell me what to do–with my money, with my time, with my stuff. There can be some discussion, because I discuss, and the boss of me needs to be able to adjust every now and then if I have good reasoning for not doing something specific.

From here, I’d say the best person for this position would be my mom, but I don’t think she’d be up for that anymore. Yes, she’s still my mom; yes, we talk and discuss various avenues of actions and things, and I actually tend to take her advice on a lot of stuff. But the last time I asked her to help me organize my stuff, it didn’t go well. She was worried that she might push me into something I didn’t want to do. But I needed her to tell me what to do… *sigh*

So I’ll start with the organizer, I guess, and see what I can do from there.

But a regular boss for all the decisions I need to make from day to day…that’s what I really want. You know, until I wake up tomorrow morning after sleeping well and everything looks better than it does tonight. But still getting the organizer.

gp


something to say

Or I thought I had something to say. It seems to have gone away…

Maybe I should write poetry. 😉

gp

Editing this now…because I remember.

Remember that guy (or girl, depending on who’s reading this!) you fell in love with when you were a freshman in high school? How awesome he was, how smart, how nice and funny and sweet and just adorable?

Think of encountering that guy in your life twenty years later. You’re grown up, he’s (supposedly) older and wiser, and every time you think of him, your silly little heart goes thumpa thumpa. You chat on FB, you email some, you text some, you laugh, maybe meet up once or twice. And you realize you still totally carry a torch for this guy. And he’s having some marital issues, and he talks about divorce. Not as a promise of anything, mind you–just in general.

Through a series of ridiculous “meet me”s and “sorry, plans changed”s, you realize that this is not going to go anywhere. No matter how often you’ve told yourself ,”This is NOT going to go anywhere. I’m going to wait for him to call me, and not wait around for him!”, you find yourself thinking about him, dreaming about him, imagining dates, imagining going for walks together, hanging out watching movies and being silly together, imagining sex…

I want this to go away. Every time I see a comment on FB from him, or an email from him, my heart goes thumpa thumpa thumpa. Again. It’s not a constant torture or anything, like something that keeps me awake at night; just something that pops up from time to time. I’ve told people I’m completely over it and soooo not waiting for him to make any sort of move (since now he apparently seems to be making up with his wife), and yet… Here I sit, on the chaise with the cats and my laptop, griping about him AGAIN. Not out with someone else, not even having a possibility of something else. Just me, cats, chaise, laptop.

So…that’s what I wanted to say.

gp


random dan to unrandomize…

…and re-randomize somewhere else. He just quit! Today! Well, he gave notice today; not sure when he’s going. Apparently this “corporate life” just isn’t for him.

If he thinks this little programming job is a decent slice of “corporate life”, he is sadly mistaken. But…whatever. He’ll be randomizing someone else’s life soon enough, which is really going to work well for me.

He just dumped tea onto his “brand new” refurbished personal laptop, and while cleaning it up, he was muttering something about “…surface tension…” I understand how surface tension could be useful in figuring out how to clean up spilled liquid, which is the scary part–the randomness is not exclusive to him.

On a different note, I started a Whole Foods Body Cleanse this morning, with the goal of eating smaller meals of whole, non-processed foods. Four pieces of pizza and 6 pieces of Trader Joe’s chocolate later… Ah, well. Not a failure; just a day. Perhaps a learning experience, even. No chocolate left, and I did have two pieces of fruit and at least a serving of veggies in my incredibly bland “Eating Right” lunch entree. Not eating that “Five Grain Chicken with Plum Sauce” one again–pretty gross. Tonight I’m going to go through my soup book again and find at least one recipe I can make that has no/can be made with no processed foods whatsoever. Maybe I’ll even run out and get the ingredients and MAKE THE SOUP tonight. No promises, but I may give it a shot.

gp