Donate to Abortion Funds

I’m sitting at my desk and trying to think through a full sentence. Just any sentence that expressed how I feel right now. I mean I already said I feel tired and gross and less than important, and that feeling hasn’t really changed.

I guess the real thing for me right now is the fact that I’m trying to keep up my momentum. The last couple of years have been really difficult. I mean, tough not just for me, but, for the world, for the country, for my family – just all around craptacular.

This year I wanted to really dedicate myself to the creative pursuits that I’ve put off for decades. I really wanted to follow through on the things that I’ve dreamed out loud about doing since I was little. All these good intentions, but I am still frightened when I try to put my thoughts all together and have them form words leading to sentences to paragraphs to pages and pages.

I am frightened into inaction very easily.

Which is part of my problem right now. My initial thought when I started reading the leaked SCOTUS draft on Tuesday morning was that I needed to get back into the medical field and bust some doors and try to advocate more and more and give more and more. It isn’t a bad thought, and chances are I am going to get back into volunteering and escorting when able, but there is also this thing inside of me that has recognized that while my instinct may be to help and do helpful things, it is also me running away from my goals.

How do I continue to do the things for me that I promised myself I would do this year and continue to fight for reproductive rights for everyone? For me, this is one of those times where I recognize the choices I want to make as me trying to save everyone but me, and I’m a little freaked out by the fact that I recognized the pattern, and very very freaked out by the fact that I don’t quite know how to turn that desire off. Because I really do want to help, and if I spend too much time thinking of the ways that I can give of myself to others so that I can continue to ignore my own desires and needs I will just shut the door on myself with no hesitation.

For now, money to abortion funds is a place for me to start helping without turning my back on myself.

Recognizing my ignoring my own feelings and needs pattern is also helpful in helping me remember that I am not sure I can ever safely go back to the medical field.

Being aware that I can’t fix everything is also essential.

While this is very self-centered, and I am actively talking myself through my own emotional needs, I feel like offering the help I’m capable of instead of over committing and losing myself is a pretty good step. I guess as long as I’m allowed to have free thought and make some choices, I am going to do what I can to help others without giving up on myself.

Donate to Abortion Funds.

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SCOTUS Draft Leak

I’m sitting here at my desk and I’m trying to get something out of my brain and spill it around to try and make sense of what is going on in my head.

I wanted to write something about my emotional fury and frustration about the SCOTUS draft leak. I wanted to try and stand up and say something meaningful.

But I’m tired. I’m painfully bone weary. I know nothing is final, I know this is a leak, I know more information is coming in a couple weeks, but I feel gross. Gross and tired.

I want to process and fight immediately. I want to put on some comfy clothes and not talk to any people while I eat gummy bears.

Although I guess what I really want is to be a person with rights.

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What little I know.

Every year or so in April I try to get to a bookstore and buy some books on or around April 23rd to celebrate book and lover’s day. It is just another reason to go out and buy books at local shops, and it is usually a nice semi-warm day filled with books, maybe some brunch, and, if someone goes with me, a nice little bit of conversation.

Having Covid this year I didn’t get a chance to go out and get some books. I lay in bed and coughed a whole bunch instead. Then, when I was feeling able to move around and think I decided to do a little book shopping on my own bookshelves.

I can always find at least something to read around the house when I look, and I found a bunch of stuff to read, some of which I’m hoping to write about in the next couple of weeks. The big thing I realized while going through some of my books is how many collections of short stories I own.

It is really a lot.

When I was younger I wanted to write novels and short stories and poetry and be surrounded by books and stories all the time. I still want that, but I’m much much more afraid of trying than ever before in my life. I sit to write anything and I freak the hell out thinking about all the ways I suck.

Looming panic attack aside, I started thinking about all these short story collections. The group I have the most of is the O Henry Awards. I have an insane amount of these award winner collections. I used to pick them up all the time, and while I don’t have a full set going all 100 years back, I have a pretty healthy amount.

What I know about O Henry, and the awards, is pretty limited. Since I’m not in school anymore, and I’m not teaching anymore, I’m going to assign some O Henry research to myself to help fill my time and mind. I’m going to learn about O Henry first, then I’m going to start going through these short stories.

Things I already know before I start this process. O Henry was a pen name for William Porter. O Henry wrote stories kind of with a moral, and kind of with a twist. I know one of his most famous stories, The Gift of the Magi, follows that moral and twist blueprint. The awards were named for his memory, so O Henry never received an O Henry. It isn’t much, but it is a place to start.

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Some movies appeal to my brain and tell great engaging stories. Some movies give a mere hint of a story and are violent fantasies that really have no good beginning or end.

Nobody had some great violence and some easy to digest simple story points. The movie is also short, something that I appreciate for being engaging in a clear time frame. Nobody doesn’t take forever to unfurl, and it has some gorgeous super simple storytelling tricks that I adore. The passage of time, the monotony of life explained while not being painfully monotonous to watch, the lack of explanation to keep things small and simple, and a general vibe of being a moving manga or graphic novel. These are all things that are done well in the film, and that breathe more life into a story that could easily be a blip of nothing.

No one was crazy sexy or crazy ugly. No one was over the top overwhelming or underwhelming. It was violence and midlife ennui in a deliciously vicious package. Bob Odenkirk was believable as a man that has a jaded past, Connie Nielsen was lovely and honestly more screen time with her could only help the film. Christopher Lloyd was a delightful surprise, RZA was better than just a throw-away bit of silliness. The humor and the jokes created a nice bit of counterweight to the heavy violence.

There were of course things that bothered me as a viewer, and there is very little clean and clear wrap up in the slice of life story. A lot of what the film does well is let us be the nobody along with the nobody on screen by allowing us to put a lot of our own violent fantasies onto our main character.

I don’t really have a rating system or anything, but I can say I enjoyed it, and if you like some prime violence and overdone fighting in the old man action star genre it is definitely worth a try.

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Brain Training, Book thoughts, Fuck TERFs

At work, I wanted to see if I could listen to books even if the folks I worked with were super loud. I wanted to try it out with books I’d already read and if I missed a couple of lines because the dudes around me were yelling about something inane I would still be able to catch up in the story because I’d already read the book in question.

I figured the Harry Potter series was a good place to go for familiar and easy to dip in and out of here and there. It is something I read to my kid, it is something I’ve read more than once, and for the most part, I wanted that familiarity. But, and I say this with all the ferocity I can muster – fuck TERFs.

It is funny, I was going along in life perfectly okay and several years ago a Twitter storm of doom cropped up and I had to learn the definition of TERF, and I had to learn that Rowling was a big stinking TERF, and honestly I still regret gaining that knowledge.

Although, it is interesting to me listening to these books again how many different thoughts crop up in my head. When I first started reading these books to my son it was a fun way to get him to enjoy bedtime, and for him to feel included in what was a very popular series with kids his age, and it was something we could share that had magic and wonder. The things I picked apart when he was small were the fucked up child abuse, and how it repeated so many of the books I’d read as a child and some other things that seemed small and nitpicky to me all those years ago.

Listening to the series this time I was almost overly aware of things that were gender or role-based and I found a lot more things to be annoyed by in the story. Weird things bugged me – like getting Moody off on lighter charges because he is a friend and how if they’d just arrested him maybe they would’ve discovered he was a freaking escaped convict in disguise before he’d ever even gotten to the school. Or how deeply fucked up the variety of stereotypes rang out in this reading. I know that I will finish the 7th book tomorrow at work and the prologue will annoy me fresh and anew and I will rant and rave to myself driving home about how much it is bullshit that marrying someone you dated in high school is not the norm and also the fact that apparently Ginny isn’t allowed to name any of their children after someone she fucking loves.

Anyway, I guess I’ve mostly trained my brain to listen to the book and not the loud ass folks around me, and hopefully I can start reading and think typing about some more books soon. In the meantime, I should probably find some Potter fanfic that will cleanse my palate a bit and let me find some of that old fun magic and wonder in a new place.

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