Posted in Apartment Living, Mental Health, Stay at Home Wife

Vacation Bible School nearly drove me insane…

I live right across the street from a church. When I look out my windows, I see the parking lot and then the building.

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This is the church across the street.

Most of the time that church and I get along just fine. I am in no way religious so I will never be stepping foot inside the church, but the church doesn’t bug me to come and join, so we’ve been good. I know that on Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings there is going to be a lot of traffic on the little road in front of my apartment, and that sometimes people will get a little loud standing out in the parking lot after church on Wednesday nights. I can deal with that. I check out the window to make sure that there isn’t a fight breaking out and then I get on with my life. But this week the church across the street crossed the line. This week it messed with my sleep.

I stayed up late Sunday night/early Monday morning. I had a Spider- Man comic collection book that I was borrowing from the library that needed to be returned the next day, so I stayed up till 4 am finishing it. I figured that there was no reason why I wouldn’t be able to sleep in the next day, and I really wanted to finish that book. I went to sleep around 5:30 am Monday morning. I was first awoken by the sound of construction outside at about 8:30 am. I realized that it was road construction sounds that I was hearing, got up and checked to make sure that my husband had remembered to lock the door when he left for work, and then went back to bed. Only to be woken again around 10:30 am to the sound of some guy talking really loudly. I lay in bed for a while trying to figure out where this guy might be. I determine that he doesn’t sound like a construction worker and that he more than likely is not inside my apartment because I just checked the locks the first time I was woken up. So I get up out of bed and go to the window to investigate. Then as I spot some guy in front of the church holding a microphone standing next to some speakers I realize that there is music playing too. I have no idea what this guy is going on about while yelling into his microphone, other than it was “FREE!!!” and that random people were “IN THE HOUSE!!!!” And then I hear the most disturbing words yet… they will be there tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday as well. I notice parents rushing into the building with their kids. But I still have no idea what is going on over at the church. Nor do I really care. All I know is that I was planning on still being sleeping at this time, and this idiot with the microphone is ruining that plan. I went back to bed to try and wait it out, and although he stopped yelling into the microphone fairly soon after, I was unable to go back to sleep again.

Later that day I went online and checked the website for that church. The event that the guy was outside yelling into a microphone about was Vacation Bible School and it was going to be happening up till Thursday. I hoped that perhaps the guy yelling into the microphone thing might just be a first day thing.

Tuesday morning I get woken up by the sound of the idiot with the microphone again. This time at 10:20 am and the music is even louder. I know from the church’s website that it’s supposed to start at 10:30 am, so I try to ignore him as much as I can and try to go back to sleep. Only the guy is outside yelling into his microphone telling everyone “who can hear the sound of his voice” to “not miss this” until 10:50 am. I was not able to get back to sleep. Day number 2 of sleep deprivation.

I realize that the idiot with the microphone will probably be out there for 2 more days, so I decide to try and prepare myself to deal with it ahead of time. Before going to bed Tuesday night I moved the 2 extremely loud stand fans that we own into the bedroom. When I was awoken by the sound of his voice again at 10:10 am Wednesday I crawled out of bed and moved the fans over to right next to my side of the bed, plugged them in, and turned them on high. Then I turned up the “waterfall” sound that I listen to on my clock while I sleep. I was able to pretty effectively drown out the sound of the guys voice and his music, but was still unable to fall back to sleep because now the sound of the fans is too loud and it took too long to get them set up and on. Day number 3 of sleep deprivation.

I leave the fans plugged in next to the side of my bed so that I can just quickly turn them on Thursday morning when I am awoken again by the idiot with the microphone. I sleep poorly Thursday though because the road construction is continuing and whatever they are doing outside is shaking the bed and waking me up a lot. I end up waking up a little before the time when I expect the idiot to start yelling into the microphone and I preemptively turn on the fans and turn up the “waterfall” sound. I managed to only have to listen to a very faint murmur of the guy’s voice. I also manage to fall back asleep again. My dreams however are filled with dreams of continuously trying to turn off loud fans that keep getting turned back on by other people. I turn off the fans so that I can hear what someone else is saying to me, turn my back on the fans for a few seconds and all of a sudden hear the sound of the fans running again. But annoying dreams aside, I managed to get a bit more sleep and that should be the last day that I should have to deal with the idiot with the microphone.

He had better not wake me up again Friday morning.

Posted in Blogging

My plug must have been loose…

The irony of the fact that my last blog post was about plugging back in again which was then followed by a long span of nothingness from me is not lost on me. I had every intention of staying plugged in after that last blog post, but soon found myself unplugged again. Oops.

My time unplugged again was not wasted though. I finished the Wheel of Time series. It was amazingly good. I am still in a bit of a state of mourning for the end of that series. I spent over a decade of my life reading and rereading the earlier books in the series, never really believing that I would ever actually hit the last book in the series. When I finished it I couldn’t tell if I wanted to cry because of what happened to some of the characters in the book or because there would be no more books. Perhaps it was a little bit of both.

I also finally got around to reading the Hunger Games series. That didn’t take me all that long though. Maybe a week. I was completely sucked into it though and found myself sobbing while reading the end of the last book. Another very good series in my opinion.

What plugged me back in again this time was one of my friends on Facebook commenting about how I had fallen off the Facebook world on my timeline. So I commented back and then wrote a status update about how I was still there, but had just unplugged for a while. I then asked if everyone missed me… Turns out that people did. Maybe I’ll be able keep myself more securely plugged in this time around knowing that there are people who will miss me if I go away again…

Here’s some random photos from while I was unplugged.

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My nail polish that I am currently wearing before it became a horrible chipped mess…

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My purple streak very quickly turned into a blonde streak when all the purple faded…

Posted in Apartment Living, Blogging, Cat Mom, Childless by Choice, Family, Food, Marriage, Stay at Home Wife

I’ve plugged back in again…

The thing that you never think about when you decide to unplug from technology is how long it will take you to catch up once you plug back in again. Especially if that technology that you have unplugged from is your laptop. I just stubbornly decided a few days back that I wasn’t going to turn on my laptop at all that day… and then that day turned into days where I did not turn on my laptop. I still had my smartphone (not sure if I could ever get my self to go without that…) so I was still getting emails and Facebook messages, so I wasn’t completely unplugged. But I was only looking at the emails that seemed the most important and all of the emails that I got during those days where I was unplugged were still waiting for me in my inbox once I turned on my laptop again. I had over a hundred emails waiting for me…  I haven’t had that many emails waiting in my inbox since the time that we went without home internet for a while and we had to use the library’s free Wi-Fi to do anything online. I usually check my email and clean out my inbox several times a day. It took me forever to sort through the email that piled up during those few days.

And then there was Facebook. I had been on Facebook Messenger on my phone, but had not looked at my News Feed in days… my friends post  a lot of crap interesting stuff every single day. I knew that there was no way that I was going to completely catch up on everything, but I still ended up spending hours trying to catch up as much as I could. 

And of course while I was unplugged I wasn’t keeping up with reading the blogs that I follow either… or writing any new posts on my blog. I have spent a lot of time going through and trying to catch up as much as I can on some blogs, but I think that I will just have to stay a bit behind for a while. If I continue to try to make sure that I am 100% caught up I am likely to need to unplug again and that will just start this whole process over again…

I was also without my music for those days… I am currently getting my Breaking Benjamin fix. I think that I might need to reconsider how I go about unplugging next time and find a way to keep my music… I have an mp3 player, but I haven’t updated it in a while. I should think again about putting some mp3s on my phone since I’m never without that…

                                                             (one of my current song obsessions)

 

But while I was unplugged…

I finished reading book 13 of the Wheel Of Time series and got the final book in the series out from the library. I am currently 380 pages into it. I have been working on reading this series for years. I have read the first few books a bunch of times, because I start to try to read the series and then I get distracted by something else and put it down again and then feel that I need to start over again at the first book… and then repeat that process again a few times. I can not believe that I have finally made it to almost the middle of the last book in the series… I don’t know what I’ll do with myself once I finish it… it’s been a part of my life for such a long time and I think a part of me never really believed that I’d ever actually finish it.

EmotionalBookTrauma

 

I also watched a bunch of movies with my husband. We had a comic book movie marathon that lasted a few days where we watched all of the DVDs that we recently added to our collection. We bought a bunch of movies recently that we had never seen before but knew that we needed in our collection. A bunch of them happened to be based on comic books. I think that we have managed to watch all the ones based on comics, but we still haven’t seen all the movies in our collection yet… we got distracted by Hulu offering a bunch of Akira Kurosawa movies for free over the weekend. I found out from one of my best friends messaging me about it on Facebook. He said that this director is one of his favorites as well as a role model for him. I had never seen any of his movies and my husband had always wanted to see Seven Samurai, so we began another movie marathon. I never was one to like subtitled foreign language movies in the past, but I found that I really enjoyed the few movies that we had time to watch. Just goes to prove that I should always keep an open mind and be willing to give things a chance, as I am finding that I quite like a lot of things that I had previously turned my nose up at.

In addition to our movie marathons, we’ve been watching a bunch of Doctor Who. We are currently in the middle of the second season. I somehow managed to never see this series before a few weeks ago, but once again it came highly recommended by my best friend, so I decided to give it a chance since we are currently out of available episodes for Supernatural on Netflix… And now I am thoroughly obsessed.

There were also some not so fun things during my time unplugged. I had been experiencing some pain in my mouth for the last few days and it got pretty bad on Friday night. It probably has something to do with the broken tooth that I have. It broke a while ago, but we don’t have any dental insurance so I haven’t done anything about it. Well, my husband decided that it was time for me to see a dentist. Luckily there is one that isn’t even a 5 minute walk from where I live, but we had to wait until Monday to get an appointment. So I was constantly on painkillers the entire weekend, but luckily the pain was never as bad as it briefly was on Friday night again. Unfortunately the dentist appointment was a complete waste of time and money. They did absolutely nothing to help me; they took x-rays, poked at my gums, and tried to get me to agree to spend $1500 on a root canal on a tooth that hasn’t even been bothering me at all. Oh, and they tried to get me to agree to an Orthodontist consult, “Payment plans are usually only about $100 dollars a month”… How many times do I need to tell you people that I have no money? $100 a month is a lot of money. But even with all this, they completely ignored the entire reason I was there, my broken tooth. Turns out it’s a wisdom tooth and their wisdom tooth guy is only there on Tuesdays, and he wouldn’t have time to see me till next week anyway… But even if I made an appointment I still wouldn’t be able to afford to pay to have any work done. Their payment plan options are all subject to approval based on credit, and I couldn’t afford the monthly payments right now even if I was somehow approved. So for now I am compulsively brushing my teeth after every time that I eat and have started using two different kinds of mouthwashes at different times of the day. I even started flossing again. I am hoping that I will at least be able to slow the damage that has been done to my mouth until I can get dental insurance next January. I haven’t needed painkillers for the last couple days, so that’s something at least.

Also on Monday, my cat had an appointment at the vet. He was able to get some dental work that he needed done. He lost the last 2 teeth that he had left in the top of his mouth. He now has only 5 teeth left on the bottom of his mouth. Poor cat. The Vet thinks that he has some disease that causes his immune system to attack his teeth, so he may not be able to keep his remaining teeth for very much longer.

So, yeah, my cat can get the dental and medical help that he needs, but me being able to do so depends on how much money I have and how good my credit is… I love my cat and I’m glad that he can get the help he needs, but I do find it a bit messed up that my cat gets better medical and dental care than his owners do… Hopefully someday soon we’ll be able to afford to actually use the medical insurance that we have and will be able to get dental insurance as well…

And to end this post on a positive note… I have now written a blog post. I am fully plugged back in again. 🙂

Posted in Abusive Relationships, Blogging, Bullying, Mental Health, School Violence

Toxic masculinity and our rape culture…

So, I just finished reading this article that one of my Facebook friends shared. It was talking about the  juvenile court case in Steubenville, Ohio where 2 young football players “carried the unconscious body of a local girl from party to party, violating her in ways you’d probably prefer not to think about.” The defense is arguing that this young girl, who was either fully or mostly unconscious the entire time, wasn’t raped because “she didn’t affirmatively say no.” …Excuse me?! I’m sorry, was the fact that she wasn’t conscious not clear enough?! This isn’t the way this works, you don’t get to just go and do whatever you want as long as the girl doesn’t “affirmatively say no.” You need to get consent. You need to be given permission. You are not entitled to do whatever you want to someone as long as they can’t say no. 

If someone is in a position where they cannot say no, and you “have sex” with them, that is rape.

Then of course there are the people in the community that are blaming the victim. Suggesting that she “put herself in a position to be violated.” … Oh, well then, in that case… that totally excuses the boys for violating her. Because never mind the fact that someone violating someone else is always wrong. No matter what the girl did or didn’t do, the boys should not have done what they did.

No one asks to be violated.

There is no “putting yourself in a position to be violated.” Because if you were violated, it doesn’t matter what you did, the person who violated you is in the wrong. It is not your fault. Do not dwell on “If onlys…”. “If only I had worn something different that day, maybe I looked like I was ‘asking for it’ ” “If only I hadn’t decided to go to that party.” Or any number of other situations. This is not your fault, the blame is not on you. You should be able to live your life not having to worry about “putting yourself in a position to be violated”, because there is no excuse for someone violating someone else.

Don McPherson recently said, “We don’t raise boys to be men. We raise them not to be women, or gay men.”

I am going to end this post with a direct quote from the article. The emphasis added is mine.

“It’s time for a serious intervention in masculinity. It’s not enough to not be a rapist. You don’t get a cookie or a Nobel Peace Prize for that. If we want to end the pandemic of rape, it’s going to require an entire global movement of men who are willing to do the hard work required to unpack and interrogate the ideas of masculinity they were raised with, and to create and model new masculinities that don’t enable misogyny. Masculinities built not on power over women, but on power with women.
This is going to take real work, which is why so many men resist it. It requires destabilizing your own identity, and giving up attitudes and behaviors from which you’re used to deriving power, likely before you learn how to derive power from other, more just and productive places. There are real risks for men who challenge toxic masculinity, from social shaming to actual “don’t be a fag” violence—punishments that won’t ease until many, many men take the plunge. But there are great rewards to be had, too, beyond stopping rape. Toxic masculinity is damaging to men, too, positing them as stoic sex-and-violence machines with allergies to tenderness, playfulness, and vulnerability. A reinvented masculinity will surely give men more room to express and explore themselves without shame or fear. (It will also, not incidentally, reduce rape against men as well, because many rapes of men are committed by other men with the intention of “feminizing”—that is, humiliating through dominance—their victim.)
These interventions start with a “feminine” activity: introspection. What did you learn about “being a man,” from whom? How are those lessons working out for you, and for the people you love and your communities? Taking action can be as simple as men publicly owning their preference for “female” coded things, whether that’s child-rearing, nonviolence, feminism, or anything else—and being willing to suffer the social consequences. It can be more formal, working with established organizations like Men Stopping Violence. As more men take responsibility for the work, it will surely also take on forms no one has yet envisioned.”

Posted in Abusive Relationships, Awards, Blogging, Mental Health

Best Moment Award…

I would like to thank Jane from the blog About A Girl… for nominating me for the Best Moment Award.

first-best-moment-award-winner

 

When I wrote “Keeping my promises…” I was reluctant to actually post it. I kept finding myself wanting to censor myself or my experience. But then I stopped and thought about why I was reluctant to share. What was it exactly that made me think “Maybe I should just keep this private.” ? Then I realized that it was shame. 16 year later and I still fell shame and confusion over what I went through. I still have moments where I think to myself  “You can’t call what happened to you rape. He wasn’t all that violent with you. He did stop when you asked him to after the fact. Besides, it’s possible that you asked for it in some way, or that he thought that you had.” But I also know that I am not the only one to have these sort of thoughts. As survivors of rape, we tend to find a bunch of ways to put the blame for the situation squarely on our own shoulders. And society, for the most part, is happy to allow us to.

I refuse to continue to be ashamed of what happened to me. This is not my fault. He never should have done what he did. And even if I may have sent “mixed signals” the fact that I was only 14 and the fact that I did indeed say no several times earlier negate any blame that I might want to put on myself.

Here are the rules for this award:

Winners re-post this starting with their acceptance speech. This could be written or video recorded.

Winners have the privilege of awarding the next 15 people with this award! The re-post should include a NEW set of 15 people/blogs worthy of the award; and winners notify them the great news.

Now, any of you that read my blog regularly should know by now how I feel about blogging award rules. It says that I need to nominate 15 more people for this award, we’ll see how close to that number I get.

Pondering Spawned

Sorta-Ginger

nomorefreerent

A little bit of me…

RheasOfHope

 

 

Posted in Awards, Blogging

REALITY Award…

I would like to thank djmatticus from over at The Matticus Kingdom for nominating me for the REALITY Award. I am both grateful that people like (or even read) my blog enough to nominate me for these awards, and slightly amused that people would continue to do so when I have made it clear that I do not like to follow the rules on these things. 😀

REALITY Award

Anyway…

Here are the “Rules” (that are meant to be broken…) for this award:
1. Visit and thank the blogger who nominated you
2. Display the award on your blog somewhere
3. Acknowledge the blogger on your blog and link back to them.
4. Answer the 5 simple questions about yourself.
5. Nominate as many as 20 bloggers for this award and notify them.

Well, those rules aren’t so bad… Seeing as number 5 says “as many as” I suppose I could technically not nominate anyone and still not break the rules… Maybe I’ll nominate at least one blogger… 🙂

Anyway, Onward to the questions!

1.  If your life could be like any book you’ve ever read, which one would you choose?  Hmmm… just one book or a series of books? Cause if it can be a series of books the answer is easy. The Chronicles of Narnia.

2.  Would you want to be a specific character in that book or just be who you are now living in that time/place/setting? I would want to still be myself, but living in Narnia. Preferably with the ability to easily travel between this world and Narnia whenever I felt like it.

3.  If you had control of the moon, would you change its color, and what color would you make it? “That’s no moon. It’s a space station!”  Okay seriously though, purple. I would make the moon purple. Possibly blue or green some of the time.

4.  Which you prefer to live in the DC Universe or the Marvel Universe? “I’m Batman”…. Why do I have to choose just one? Why can’t I have the super power (among others) to be able to travel from one universe to the other? Have breakfast at Wayne Manor, ride around with Wolverine on the motorcycle that he “borrowed” once again from Cyclops, then check out Tony Stark’s latest creation before heading back for a quick flight around the world with Superman… I clearly have put far too much thought into this answer… 😀

5.  Which character on the Big Bang Theory are you the most like? “I’m not insane, my mother had me tested!” I’d probably have to say Sheldon. Maybe minus a bit of the social awkwardness… not all of it mind you, just a bit. Oh, and you could probably keep all the O.C.D. tendencies as well…  slightly less intelligence as well…

Well, that was fun. Now for the next part. Nominations and questions for those nominations. Now it doesn’t state anywhere in the rules that I have to come up with my own set of questions for the bloggers I nominate, but djmatticus did on his blog when he handed out this award to others… I think that I will keep some of the questions the same, maybe change a couple…

My questions for my nominees:

1. What… is your favorite color?

2. If your life could be like any book you’ve ever read, which one would you choose? 

3. Would you want to be a specific character in that book or just be who you are now living in that time/place/setting?

4. Which you prefer to live in the DC Universe or the Marvel Universe?

5. What super power or powers would you most like to have?

And my nominees are:

memoirs of an unremarkable man

Pondering Spawned

Sorta-Ginger

Posted in Apartment Living, Blogging, Childless by Choice, Food, Marriage, Mental Health, Stay at Home Wife

My impulse buy in the battle against stress…

The other day my husband and I finally got out and did some grocery shopping. We had been putting it off, and putting it off, but the longer we waited, the more things we ran out of. (Funny how that works…) We finally had to go ahead and get it done.

Of course, when we finally did get out and do it, it happened to be a rainy day. Now normally, rainy days make me happy. I love the rain and watching storms. This is something that seemed to grow stronger when my husband and I moved from the East Coast out here to the relative desert that is northern Utah. I found that when it goes too long without raining, or if we haven’t had a good thunderstorm in a while, I tend to go a little crazy. When it rains, when I get to watch a good lightning storm, I feel recharged and refreshed.

But this day the rain did nothing to help my already foul mood. Instead it added to it because I would have to go out in it in order to get the shopping done. Rain in the spring or summer is one thing, rain on a relatively chilly winter day is another thing altogether. Neither of us were all that enthusiastic about heading out, but it needed to get done.

While we were shopping, I wandered into the seasonal aisle where they already had all of their Easter stuff out. I mostly wanted to look at the candy, but the stuffed animals also caught my eye. Especially the giant fluffy rolly-polly sheep that they had. I managed to talk myself out of that purchase,  only to turn around and see this across the aisle.

PurpleSockMonkeyBunny

He also came with a small bag of jelly beans, but since they weren’t the good kind, I wasn’t interested in those. No, I just wanted a purple striped sock monkey with purple fuzzy bunny ears. I figured this guy would at least be a bit more responsible of an impulse buy than the giant sheep…

I’ve been really stressed lately, and after reading this post and the comments on it, I decided “You know what? Who care’s if this is geared toward children? If I want it and it makes me happy, I can buy it.” If I have to do this whole being an adult thing, I’m going to do it my way.

grownups