30 January 2017

The New World Order Is Making Me Stabby

Well, things have certainly gotten off to a depressing start this year, no?  Between The Orange One and his ilk trying to shut down the Constitution, and me gimping around on crutches, it's been hard to be Little Mary Sunshine.  Not that I ever am Little Mary Sunshine, but it must be really hard for those who are.

I am proud as can be of my family, they all participated in the Women's March, and those in Baltimore attended the marches this weekend in support of allowing refugees into the country.  We are a committed group, I have to say, and that makes me both happy and proud.  We are also a loud group, so I'm glad we can use our loudness for good.

I don't understand why refugees are the enemy.  From what I know, those who would do us harm are seldom interested in entering the country legally, and our vetting process for immigrants is already very intensive.  And frankly, some of the scariest people in the world to me are white Americans, and they always have been.  And I say that as a white American!  I mean, look at the Sandy Hook shootings if you need an example.  And yes, I know he was mentally ill, etc., but nonetheless he was a white American with access to guns.  Ugh.

Wow, Bridget, tell us how you really feel ...

Anyway, as mentioned above, I am gimping around on crutches these days, going into my third week.  I have a broken ankle, and frankly it sucks, though I am grateful I can get around at all, and that it wasn't worse.  As I was walking home from work a few weeks ago, one of the construction workers at the site of the 534th Comcast Center bumped into me, and I turned my ankle.  At the time I didn't think it was a big deal.  But the next morning it was really swollen and extremely sore, so I stopped at Urgent Care and x-rays showed it was broken.  I have never ever broken a bone in my life, so this is all terra incognita to me.  I remember in elementary school, there were a few kids who always seemed to have broken arms or legs, but maybe because I spent most of my time reading instead of running around or skiiing or whatever, I missed that childhood experience.  I daresay it's probably easier to deal with when you are a kid.  Oh well.

Fortunately, The Tim is willing to do the cooking, laundry, etc.  Though I do wish he did not feel the need to bleach everything, but that's nothing new.  I know he's not thrilled about it, but to his credit, he hasn't been whining.  However, I know that when you are used to a certain routine - particularly on mornings when you need to get to work on time - having that changed in a major way is disconcerting at best.

I am knitting, reading, and anything else I can do to both keep myself busy and also keep myself sane.  We have some movies and TV shows recorded to watch, so when we are both at home, that is a good distraction as well.  This past weekend, I managed to make it to get my hair cut, which improved my mood immensely (not to mention my appearance!), and also meant that this morning, I didn't have to spend valuable minutes getting ready for work trying to get it to look at least OK.

So, as you can see, things are pretty quiet in everyday life around here.  But I'm watching, and have no plans to sit back and say nothing whether I'm on crutches, or once I can get around on my own.

19 January 2017

The High Road

Today is monumental in my mind.  It is the last day we will be living in the U.S. with a decent, honorable, and respectable person as our president.  Beyond incredibly sad, I also feel worried, frustrated, annoyed, and just plain old disappointed.

Now don't get me wrong.  I'm not going to go quietly into the next four years, or just sit and home and feel sorry for myself.  The same things that have always been important to me will be, even more so if possible, and I will continue to act when I feel it is necessary.  But everything is going to be different, and I'm not convinced it will be OK or better.

I have been doing my best to try and remain level-headed and civil around others who feel that the ascendancy of the Orange One will be a wonderful thing for our country.  It's been difficult, but I do believe in manners, civility, and human discourse.  Likely they will not change my mind any more than I will change theirs, but if we can not devolve into fisticuffs, we will all have our say.

That's the problem with The High Road, at least for me, and it always has been that way.  As a child, I had a really violent, hair-trigger temper that I could not control.**  At all.  No one else in my family is wired that way, and I think I was a constant worry to my parents and often made them fearful.  For as long as I can remember, my parents would try to instill in me that even if I got angry and lost my temper, that I should try my best to apologize.  I used to ask my mother, "Why do I have to apologize, and the other person never does?" and her answer was always, "Because it takes a bigger person, a better person, to admit that they were wrong.  I want you to understand that, and to take the high road whenever you can."

And I get it. Really and truly, I do.  And at least in my heart, I do want to be the bigger person, the better person, even if it's not for the most noble of reasons.  I think it's worthwhile to always try and be that person.

But why do I always have to do it, and the others don't?  Why is the double standard OK?  Why did I *always* have to apologize to my brat of a cousin Billy when I'd called him a name or punched him (I was not above physical confrontation), but he never ever ever had to say "I'm sorry" for anything?  I mean, he was usually the one who started the problem in the first place!  (His mother always claimed he couldn't help what he did/said, because he was "sick."  Even as a young kid, I'd respond to my mother, "Oh, he's sick alright.")  He knew that he had a pass on his behaviour.  So why act differently?

Fast forward to our current situation.  We are being told to "just get over it" with our concerns about our new leader, new Cabinet, new everything.  We are sore losers when we express a different opinion.  We are the ones who are criticized for criticizing, even if it is done in a peaceful and respectful way.

All of the members of  Congress who skipped Obama's inauguration?  That's different than the disrespect being shown this time around, when others are saying they will not attend tomorrow's event.  Blocking judicial and other appointments made by Obama?  That's not the same thing as the HORRIBLE shade being thrown at some of the new Cabinet nominees, by calling them "unqualified."  It was the same during the Reagan years, the Bush years, the Clinton years, and I'm sure probably since the Caesar years.

I support The High Road.  I don't think anyone should confuse it with becoming a doormat, and I do believe there is value in the saying and the practice of, "Whey they go low, we go high."

But boy, do I wish The High Road was a two-way street.

NOTE: I know I'm likely preaching to the choir here, but it felt good to get that off my chest.  I hope that for all of you, tomorrow and the coming weekend will be filled with meaningful and peaceful activities that will allow you to cling to your soul.  We're all going to need that moving forward.

**I do a better job now.  Most of the time.  Especially the physical confrontation part ...

11 January 2017

I Really Don't Mean to Be Contrarian, But It Seems to Just Happen

Hello, and before we go any further, Happy New Year!  I've been dealing with the cold/crud/whatever that is going around, and though I've been reading the blogs I enjoy, and occasionally commenting, I've usually felt too out of it to post much myself.  But here I am, and I hope that so far, 2017 is treating you well.

I decided to write this post, because not feeling well usually makes me even crankier than I usually am.  Now let me start by saying I was an old-person crank even as a teenager.  So it's not like being sick or getting older has suddenly turned me into one.  But sometimes it's just worse than others.  And various things can trigger a particular bout of the cranks, so you cannot always predict when it might happen.

A lot of the time, my crankiness is due to feeling quite differently about things that others assume I like because I fall into a certain group or type.  Now sometimes I agree, and it's no big deal.  I can appreciate the Cat Lady things, and find them amusing, because I see a lot of myself in them.  And though I don't feel I'm as squirrely as the typical Librarian stereotype, there's a lot in that concept that reflects my personality (i.e., I wish I could get people to just shut up about 99% of the time).  I have even been known to point out to others that I am a potentially perfect combination of what others may find to be a frightening concept:  I am a librarian.  I wear glasses.  I have lots of cats.  I like to knit.  I'm guessing for a lot of people, this is what they see:

But you know, with cats everywhere, and knitting stuff on the desk as well.

Lately though, I'm getting annoyed, cranky, and even offended by things that everyone else is embracing.  This is not unusual, and to be 100% honest, I really and truly do not care if others are amused, thrilled, inspired, or whatever by these things.  I just wish they would not assume that I am.

Case in Point #1:

a. I am a breast cancer survivor.  This apparently makes the majority of people I know think that I am completely inspired by things like women who have had mastectomies getting large tattoos where there breasts used to be and then posing for photos to prove their strength.  I'm not inspired.  I say, good for them, do what makes you feel the best and that you are reclaiming your existence.  But I don't really care, and frankly I don't really want to see it.  

b. I am also annoyed by things that are meant to be amusing about "boobies" (which except for the word when it refers to a bird, I think should be banned from the English language).  I am not amused by "Boobie" scarves, hats, blankets, whatevers.  Do a quick Ravelry search on the word - ugh.  I find it to be demeaning, frankly.  But an awful lot of people I know think it's adorable, hysterical, empowering, and will create world peace (OK maybe not that last one).  Fine.  Just do not assume I'm on board.

Case in Point #2 and the current reason I am feeling contrary:

Pussy Hats.  I get it.  I appreciate the point attempting to be made and why.  I really do.  But I am one of those people who truly believes that the word should only ever be used to talk about felines, aka pussy cats.  Part of it is my age, my upbringing, and my own personal idiosyncratic belief system and personal rules.  I am perfectly fine with people who are embracing the idea, and making hats, wearing hats, and are 100% on board.   I am not. 

Don't get me wrong.  I plan to participate in the Women's March here in Philadelphia.  I have no confidence in, or respect for, our incoming administration, and though it isn't much, I feel my participation will at least be something I can actively do.  If I have the yarn (I have no pink yarn, but some reds), the time, or the inclination to knit anything, I'll knit a Resist Hat, which to me is more relevant, something I can see wearing more than just one day, and whose message is more in line with my concept of why I'm even bothering to join the others.  

Again, to each their own.  I'm just not interested in that part of that particular bandwagon.

And then, on a much smaller scale, Case in Point #3:

This is so minimal, it's not even worth mentioning, and yet I am.  (Being contrary again, you see!)  Apparently there is a big recall of Hostess Twinkies.  I have never been a fan of Hostess Twinkies, though admittedly, I can plow through Hostess Cupcakes in record time.  Currently I live in Philadelphia, home of Tastykakes:

Let me assure you, Philadelphians take their Tastykakes VERY SERIOUSLY.  I learned that when I first moved here, and happened to mention that I liked Hostess Cupcakes better.  The horror!  

The truth is, at this point, I think it's been years since I've had a Hostess Cupcake.  And I do like the KandyKake flavor of Tastykake (peanut butter and chocolate), so I'm not a complete barbarian.  But frankly, if I hear one more person around me talk excitedly about how Twinkies have been recalled, but Tastykakes never have been and that is why they are so superior, I may have to go into the fetal position for several hours.

Clearly, I just need to stay in my house and never engage with the world ... ;-)