Defending the use of labels (aka adjectives)

I wrote this for Zinnia Jones yesterday, but then realized it was Sunday and I had already hit the Publish button. Whoops.

I really feel like I shouldn’t have to justify this, but since it’s such a common argument that we-who-choose-to-use-labels come across on the internet, I figured it deserved some actual attention. Quick note: the labels that usually come under fire are ones specifically geared to describe gender and/or orientation.

It goes like this: “I don’t get why people are so obsessed with using all these labels. Why can’t you just be, like, a human being? Aren’t you just creating more division by making up all these categories? Blah blah blah, special snowflake, blah.” (I was going to add more to that, but it kinda sounds like that to me after a while. You get the point.)

Well, to start, it shouldn’t matter to you what language people use to describe themselves. If someone asks you to use certain pronouns or something, respect that. Apart from that, your involvement is not needed.

Here’s the main thing. To quote Anita Sarkeesian: “I know it sounds super basic — Comm Studies 101 – but having the language to name things in the world is really powerful.” Sarkeesian is talking about naming certain tropes in media, but it seemed like a statement which perfectly matches this argument.

Read the rest of the post here!

A New Way to Battle Depression (FTB)

Signal-boosting my post on Zinnia Jones!

Normally, I’d reserve this type of post for my personal blog, but I figured if I’m feeling inclined to write, I might as well put it in a place where it might be useful to someone. My friend JT Eberhard convinced me that my way of thinking might help someone else put to words how they feel, and moreover this is actually an awesome idea for fighting mental illness and it might literally help someone with their brain weirdness. So, forgive the somewhat personal nature of the post.

Being depressed is about more than just emotions and moods. Yes, that’s a big part of depression: feeling bad all the time for no apparent reason, having disproportionate emotional responses, having a hard time enjoying things, etc. One of the most impactful struggles, however, is that your brain creates logical loopholes and selectively discards relevant information. It cripples your ability to think on a perfectly rational level.

Depression ebbs and flows for me, so some days I think more clearly than others. I take an ADD medication which helps immensely. I’ve also noticed that Ambien has an interesting effect on me. Ambien is a sleep medication that I take pretty regularly. If I don’t actually attempt to sleep within about a half hour of taking it, I find myself incredibly motivated to create things, organize my life, clean my apartment, and begin planning and working toward various goals. As you can imagine, this sometimes leads me to stay up even later, but I digress…

Read the rest of the post here!

“I Don’t Know” Isn’t Good Enough

TW: abuse

My mother has bipolar disorder of some flavor. This impacted my childhood pretty heavily, as you can imagine, since she was often noncompliant with her medication and thus tended to be out of control with her emotions. She was abusive, both physically and emotionally, in indirect and direct ways.

This is just a subtle facet of the whole issue, but I was thinking of a particular thing that happened a lot: She would ask me a question, and I would say “I don’t know.” And she would tell me that that wasn’t an answer (“‘I don’t know’ isn’t good enough.”) and demand that I actually answer her question.

By itself, that doesn’t seem super terrible. Except that, when these situations popped up, my “I don’t know” was a defense mechanism. I can’t think of any specific examples because I’ve blocked a lot of that shit out, but the thing is that she’d ask me something, and I could tell it was a loaded question. I felt fear in those moments, because I knew she wanted a specific answer from me, and if I answered incorrectly, things could go very badly. Continue reading

Cats!

Welll, it’s been a pitiful summer for blogging. So, here’s a post about cats!

Earlier this summer, Degon and I went to his mom’s for a visit. She has about a bazillion cats (not really, but it seems that way) and we decided to take one of them home with us. We’ve had the same two cats (brothers from the same litter) for a few years, and it seemed like a good time to introduce a welcome element of change to our house.

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This was the first picture I snagged of Mitternacht after bringing him home. He was in the middle of cleaning himself. Continue reading

Woah, I’m Still Alive!

Ohai! I’m in a relatively good mood at the moment, since I just finished up my trial episode for Timelined. Supposedly, they’re hiring editors, and I think the ad said it would be like $15 per content hour? I’m not 100% certain that it isn’t a scam (and that’s not a ton of money), but that’s why I’m waiting to see what they ask for in terms of how they intend to pay me, and whether the first payment goes through before I go quit my job. Kind of silly to have to do that, but hey, this is the Internet we’re talking about. Continue reading

It’s Mother’s Day Again

TW: abuse, family alienation, noncompliance

Mother’s Day is a weird thing for me. I don’t pay close attention to holidays in general, since it’s just kind of not my thing. Mother’s Day is especially under the radar because I don’t talk to my mom any more. People just start posting things about it the week prior and then a bunch on the day of, so my regular internet perusing is enough to force me to pay attention to it.

It fills me with mixed emotions. Sometimes I think I miss my mom, but I’m pretty sure it’s just the idea of a mom that I’m missing. There are cool things about her, and in terms of our mutual interests we might be friends. But she’s incredibly way too unstable for me to try to be around. You can be a cool person and also be abusive, and I don’t know that anything will ever cause me to forgive her for the years of physical and psychological damage she did to me. Continue reading

POLYPOLYPOLYPOLYPOLY

For a teensy bit of background information, my husband and I started out as a monogamous couple and decided to open our relationship in December. :D :D :D

So, hubby has branched out a little bit with the poly stuff, but I haven’t had anyone I’ve been particularly interested in (within a reasonable proximity to my location). UP UNTIL PRETTY RECENTLY.

One of our guy friends hangs out with us fairly often. There aren’t a lot of people that we enjoy being around in person all the time, so it’s pretty cool that we all like each others’ company so much. There’s lots of anti-capitalism and religion bashing in our conversations, which is usually fun. XD

I get “aw you’re so cute” sentiments relatively easily, and that started a couple weeks ago with this friend. Finally, I decided it would be fun to see if we could play, so I asked the Degon what he thought, and he was cool with it. Funny story: The day after I started planning my proposition to said friend, he brought up that he wanted to ask a “favor” of me, which I found out a couple days later was just HIM PROPOSITIONING ME, WHABAMM. Continue reading

Reasonfest 2014!

Goodness, it’s been a while since I posted. Sorry about that. I started a post covering some thoughts on being two-decades-old but apparently never finished it. Whoops.

Anyhow, there’s this group at KU called The Society of Open-Minded Atheists & Agnostics (SOMA) and they put on this con called ReasonFest, which was this past weekend. It was a really good show, though I wish there’d been more people in attendance. There was a debate between Dan Barker and a baptist pastor and I expected more of the pastor’s flock to be there. I’m actually not certain anybody from his church came, so there wasn’t the swell that usually accompanies the debate.

The main theme for the weekend was Joy. JT talked on Friday night about how atheists and secularists find joy in life. Lyz Liddell from the SSA talked about reframing the way we view the fight (sort of as a way to prevent burnout–giving the good things the attention they deserve). The interfaith panel was kinda boring but in the ways you expect “interfaith” to work; nobody wants to step on anyone’s toes. Ed Brayton talked about the harm Christians actively do in our communities today. Darrel Ray tackled the question of whether Jesus masturbated. (There were a couple other talks that I didn’t see because I had to sleep for a bit Saturday morning.) Continue reading

There’s a Tumblr Now…

I’m not a giant fan of Tumblr for a number of reasons, but I figured I’d start one up so I have a more casual setting to share stuff in. Mostly it will just be blog posts from here put over there for more traffic and accessibility, but I’ll probably also begin using it for random selfies and NSFW stuff. Or anything that’s not dignified enough to go on my blog, not that this is the most dignified space on the internet.

Hah, anyway, you can follow me over on Tumblr if you like.

I’m Tired of Dealing with Bullshit

My threshold for dealing with other people’s bullshit has been pretty high for many years. Honestly, I think part of it is the typical socially-ingrained things we teach females about not making a fuss when people make us uncomfortable or are rude to us in some way. My entire life has been spent minimizing my negative impact on others while attempting to deflect the negative impact others have on me. And lately, I’m just fucking tired of it.

The thing which spurred me to actually put these thoughts into words was this photo that the Facebook page Word Porn shared:

I’m so fucking sick and tired of being ON THE INTERNET and seeing things like this which are shaming me for being on the internet. There are a lot of reasons why I spend more time staring at a screen than drinking wine, tongue kissing, and dancing. For one thing, I’m not old enough to legally drink and I only like to drink socially so I pretty much can’t. I have one partner with a low libido and I don’t really like dancing or being outside in the winter.  Continue reading