Moving on…

Well, that was an interesting year of weirdness. And now it’s officially coming to an end. The so-called “manosphere” can go do whatever it wishes — I think I’m done engaging in all of that. Idiots and assholes aren’t my cup of tea, and so long as there remains a healthy number of those types among their ranks—fuck it—I’ll cease wasting my time there.

I realize my points don’t always come out as clearly as I’d like, but I did come in good faith and was willing to listen to people who weren’t just hunting for an endless online feud. Still think some of them are cowards, and why they take such incredible issue with being noted as such when they’re running around online calling out everybody else with all kinds of rude pejoratives remains a mystery to me. In short, don’t dish it if you’re unwilling to take it.

We’re all in this ship together, headed in the same direction, whether we like it or not. I don’t expect things probably will change for the better during my lifetime, but I am interested in pondering the possibilities. That doesn’t do much for those promoting their brand of activism, so I’ll leave them be and continue on my own little way. We’re not all destined to get along, that is a given.

Off to more interesting corners of YT and the internet…

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Update 11/01/2013: It’s been shown I can stare into an abyss for months or years on end.  Ha  Yay, stubbornness and curiosity!  clap  heh

A passing thought

Ya know, I can handle being called a “whore,” that word I’m pretty used to by now. But the insult that gets to me is “just a hole” (which I’ve read more posted online than ever heard discussed in person – as a woman I can’t help but wince).

But then again, when I really stop and think about it, the truly most offensive and degrading insult is simply “just a …”

On the menu this evening: Slow Cooker Chicken & Dumplings

Or something like that anyway. I’m working off of this recipe, making alterations as seem fitting and getting ideas from the reviewers.

Here’s what I’m doing. Cut two chicken breasts in half and placed them in the crockpot, then added two cans of cream of chicken soup, plus part of a can of low-sodium chicken broth (in place of most of the water called for). I then tossed in half an onion (not cut up, just one big chunk thrown in for flavoring — I don’t care much for eating onions), a 16 oz. bag of frozen mixed vegetables, a couple stalks of celery, and I seasoned the pot with poultry seasoning, garlic powder, and black pepper. Gonna let it cook on high for 3.5 hours before I add in the refrigerated biscuit dough and one chopped up Russet potato.

Hopefully it will turn out to be a reasonably satisfying meal.

chicken-dumplings-recipe

On the drink menu this evening, I’m sipping a concoction that includes a little bit of vodka, a few drops of lime juice, topped with ginger beer, served over ice. Got the idea for that little Moscow Mule cocktail from my good buddy.

MoscowMule

(Photos borrowed from the internet and do not belong to me.)

Giving cooking Chicken Parm a try at the end of a long week

In the mood to try my hand at making Chicken Parmesan tonight, and I’m following two recipes from Laura in the Kitchen, the first being for her Basic Tomato & Basil Marinara Sauce:

Because the sauce she uses in the following Chicken Parmesan recipe doesn’t sound like it’d be for me:

Not an olive fan. Not sure how this is going to turn out. Starting to think mediocre, but the chicken will be out of the oven in a few minutes and we’ll see. Certainly not Laura’s recipes’ fault — my domestic skills are just lacking.

Update: Actually didn’t turn out too good. My friend claimed to like it, but I definitely will do a lot differently next time. Mostly due to my own errors — damn this wine for distracting me!

Byenia, supposedly full of rage

Navel-gazing. Sometimes I think it’s underrated.

Someone said to me recently in person that I seem “full of rage.” Hmm. How does one respond to that? Is it even true? Guess it depends on what we mean by “rage.” No, I don’t feel terribly rage-filled, at least not at this point in time, though I do get irritated a good bit. Must all anger be equated with rage? I’m a disgruntled person, that’s a given, but such is life. Not everyone out here can be cheerful in the face of what all we see going on around us. Realizing there isn’t much of anything that can be done to reverse seemingly problematic trends adds to the frustration. A measure of comfort comes from the belief that this is just how life cycles on, that stopping it would be like trying to stop the wind from blowing. Impossible. Gotta learn to live with it.

You know what I don’t understand is how people are trying to police what emotions one another ought to be experiencing. Our emotions are no longer free either? If I’m not harming anyone physically (and have no kids around to damage psychologically), am caring toward animals, am not engaging in “road rage” to such an extreme where people’s lives are placed in jeopardy, am not planning on blowing anything up or shooting anyone — then what does it matter if I’m an angry person? If there’s rage simmering down inside of me, so be it, it’s mine to deal with. For plenty of folks such feelings are earned honestly, so what’s the point in this public press for suppression? So that people never feel free to let on how they may be feeling inside, leading those who are in danger of snapping away from seeking help and airing their grievances? And what’s the good in that? Aren’t we better off being free to acknowledge our feelings versus feeling pressured to push down the “bad” and play up the “good,” living like actors at all times?

But people prefer we make them comfortable rather than be our selves. If who I am or what I’m dealing with makes another person less than perfectly comfortable, I am apparently in the wrong. Huh. But that makes me uncomfortable, does that matter?

Come to think of it, what she assumes is rage is likely just my bewilderment.

Personal disclaimer and ramble for September 2013

No group of people is above being singled out and discussed. We all generalize as needed to point to cultural or social phenomena we’re trying to make sense of and call attention to. But, at the end of the day, these are only generalizations. Take them with a grain of salt, especially coming from me, because my mind has and does change over time in light of new information and experiences. It’s called personal growth and life exploration and it’s good for us.

I could gripe about the working class and poorer folks too, and likely I will at some point. Can’t do all my griping in one day, so give me time.

Gonna say some things that sound pretty ignorant, especially in my videos, video-making being a whole new concept for me and not one I’m catching on to quickly. Think: monkey with a handycam, editing during free evenings while drinking.  drinker  There’s no point in holding high expectations here. ha  There comes a time to take your time, does there not?

But I like writing on here, and hopefully my elaborations help clarify some of my points not discussed in detail in my videos (otherwise they’d be hours long).

People along with all of our social sphere remains fascinatingly complex and interesting to me. Anytime we attempt to discuss one issue from one particular vantage point, it can’t help but be a freeze-frame of just that one type of perspective. But it’s never the whole picture. This is my qualm with statistics as well and how they’re formulated, interpreted, and then misinterpreted by people attempting to bolster their arguments and promote their own perspectives and agendas. No issue is limited to only one or two ‘sides’ worthy of consideration.

We can skate eerily close to talk of relativism here, because yes, everything is indeed relative. Including our own perspectives in how they can shift from year to year, month to month, and day to day depending on what’s impacting us at any given point in time. Makes it tough for me to toe one line when my disgruntlement shifts its focus by the hour. heh

Some of us apparently were born and bred to be bitchers. The world takes all kinds.

I’m not sold on many claims being “cold, hard facts,” preferring to keep more of an open mind. If my brain falls out, so be it.

No group or position or stated ideal deserves to be placed on a pedestal and claimed above critique and scrutiny. That’s religious mumbo-jumbo and little more. Even the most sacred calls for our inquiry and inspection, and why would it not? All of nature is here for us to experience and explore, including ourselves and one another and all ideas brought to the table. One thing we should know by now is any group of people elevated above being scrutinized, inspected, and critiqued will wind up abusing their power in such a position of privilege. In short, we all deserve reality checks from time to time. Me too.

We live in crazy, weird times, and we have this amazing technology at our fingertips, whether we’re any good with it or not. The possibilities are endless on what can be communicated to one another now that so many of us are connected through the internet, and who knows where it all might lead? I assume it’s a matter of time before the internet shrinks in scope thanks to Google buying up all the popular hangout sites, and likely it’s already the case that anything we say and do on here might wind up being wielded against us eventually in the public court of opinion, but screw it. What are we so afraid of? Looking stupid? Saying something we might regret later? Calling potentially negative attention to ourselves? Appearing nuts? Well, so far as I can tell we are all nuts. Some nuts just subscribe to similar beliefs and hence don’t appear as nuts to one another thanks to confirmation bias. But we’re still all nuts.

Oh, and I suppose I’ll add here my belief that all persons are capable of spells of going “psycho.” That’s not a put-down, just an observation from knowing myself and others. Guess it’s not such a big deal so long as it doesn’t get taken to too crazy of extremes to where we’re doing major unnecessary damage. Just part of living. Though ramped up societal pressures and endless bullshit certainly isn’t helping any. Humans get stressed and act it out in various ways. No getting around that, especially not in crazy-making times. But we can try to make sense of it the best we can and think on what might help alleviate the mounting pressure that’s driving people toward anxiousness, depression, and resentment. Would be nice to see more thinking outside of the box here.

But people like to poke one another with sticks and escalate shit. Seems to be a popular form of entertainment. And perhaps we really are descending into an idiocracy, willfully, thanks to so much pandering to the lowest common denominator and technologies that let us be lazy. Perhaps we’re coming to the end of our evolutionary cycle in terms of long-term progress and healthy survival, likely as a result of contaminating our environments and consequently the gene pool. And maybe we, as a species, are already past the point of no return. It’s possible. And maybe it’s not necessarily such a bad thing either, just the way life can go. Life’s irony. Who knows? I surely won’t claim to, but it’s all interesting stuff to ponder. Nothing is off-limits for pondering.

Gossip that could’ve waited for a better time

Went to a local bar last night to have drinks with my man in celebration of my birthday. While there a guypal came up and asked if I’d like to hear a story. Turned out he’d had a weird experience with a female bartender at that establishment — she went kinda nuts on him back at his place. Anyway, not to share gossip … he followed up by saying “and she fucking hates you.” Huh. Really? That’s weird. Because she’s always been nothing but nice to my face, and she and I don’t barely know one another outside of our bartender/patron relationship. Hmmm.

I’m beginning to think I must be some sort of idiot savant when it comes to understanding and dealing with other women.

The Comfy Sacks lounger has arrived

In a blogging mood once again.

Received the Comfy Sacks 7.5′ lounger via FedEx today, and, of course, the cat thinks she’s in love. This is intended as a sofa replacement since my old sofa was falling apart and had to be dragged out to the dumpster, then the new one I tried ordering turned out not to fit through the front hallway. So we’re moving on to “bean bag” furniture to deck out my woman cave. Still waiting for it to fluff up a bit more, but eventually I hope to snap a photo or create a video review (since there’s a severe shortage of those available, having looked all over for info before making this purchase). My guy fell asleep in it right away while waiting for his meatloaf to finish baking, but I haven’t taken up much time yet to get cozy with it. It still has a strong, plasticky scent after being unpackaged that hopefully will fade away in a day or two.

Total cost (shipping was free, plus discount) for the Comfy Sacks lounger: $380. So a little cheaper than most new sofas I looked at.

I checked out several websites selling similar products, from Yogibo to Ultimate Sack to CordaRoy’s to Lovesac. Can’t even begin to afford that last one. Decided to also order a smaller (full sleeper) “bean bag” chair from CordaRoy’s to set beside the lounger to add a little extra seating and to give us an opportunity to compare both brands. That one should arrive in a day or so.

Fun times. Also recently replaced my mattress and box-spring with a firmer set that hopefully will prove better for my back. Nice to have a few new furnishings, having lived in this particular apartment for nearly 5 years with my same aging stuff.

Not the most exciting news, but I felt like sharing.

Update in Feb. 2014: The Comfy Sack lounger isn’t working out and I’m seriously considering getting rid of it. Unfortunately it’s very bad on my back and isn’t nearly as comfortable to sit on as we had hoped.

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Update Oct. 12th, 2014: I hate the frickin’ Comfy Sack lounger and have felt this way for many months now, as has my companion. We avoid sitting on it as much as possible, and heaven forbid I take a nap on it. Wrecks my back. Apparently this sort of contraption is more suitable for kids, so mine is currently looking for a new home. Plan on keeping the other CordaRoy bag chair since my cat has made it her bed.  damn  Hundreds of dollars wasted so far as I can tell.

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Update Mar. 2016: Still own both “bean bags.” The cat claimed the CordaRoy one so she’s the only one who sits there these days. Felt comfortable to chill in though when I did used to sit there on occasion. As for the Comfy Sack lounger…well, I still own it and actually sleep on it more nights out of the week than not. Got a very comfortable bed but tend to prefer to crash in the livingroom while watching videos. Funny thing is the lounger isn’t hurting my back as much as before. Since last spring I began exercising regularly which has really reduced the nerve pain in my lower back and hip. No more shooting pain down my leg. So the lounger apparently was only a problem when my back pain was already at its worst. Not the most comfortable place to sleep and it does require regular re-fluffing, which for a 70-lb. 7-ft. bag of fluff can be a bit of a chore, but I haven’t gotten rid of it yet and currently don’t intend to. It fit through my doorway when other sofas wouldn’t, and it can be moved rather easily when more space is needed. Visitors don’t tend to like sitting on it since it bothers their backs, but perhaps we’re all getting too old. lol I still think it’s most appropriate for kids and maybe young adults (e.g. college students). Forget trying to have sex on the darn thing.  mybad

Update Oct. 2017: Still own both sacks. And one still remains in the sole custody of my cat. The larger Comfy Sack lounger I do continue to sleep on most nights. Long since ceased attempting sex on it, so that too remains unchanged. I’ve actually come around to appreciating the Comfy Sack for its versatility and maneuverability. It’s held up well with no rips or tears and continues to look decent. The back problems I was experiencing a few years ago turned out to give me hell no matter what bed I tried sleeping on, so it wasn’t a result of owning this lounger. Regular exercise and stretching helped a great deal in managing that pain/nerve pinch. So, after 4 years of sleeping and lounging on this Comfy Sack I have to say that it’s nice to have around, despite my earlier feelings about it.

Changes

A personal update: Been a long month. Been a long summer. Been a long year. Happens like that sometimes. Things get heavy. Sometimes it’s even your own damn fault. Sometimes I get to be the asshole, I get to play the part of “bad guy.”

Living and learning.

And what can you do about that? Takes time for things to turn around, even under the best of circumstances. And yes, of course, things could always be worse, as we all know. This is not the end of the world, this is just a tough spell, but things are improving. Turning over some new leaves. Making necessary changes. Keeping the faith and “nerdling” toward a better position. [Note: “Nerdle” is a term conjured up my boyfriend to describe my “nerdy turtle” tendencies. In other words, I apparently qualify as a slow nerd. Ha!] Not everything will happen overnight, and this isn’t the beginning of this transformation process — just another leg in an ongoing journey. This is an opportunity to redouble my efforts and to reassess what all I expect from myself and wish to explore in this life from this moment forward.

Everything winds up being a learning experience in the end. Down certain avenues I’ve seen enough. But change doesn’t come easy and we all have a tendency to gravitate toward what we’re most familiar with. The problem with aiming to change oneself isn’t only identifying where you’ve fucked up or pondering on what a better outcome might look like, but rather it’s figuring out how to get there. It’s the steps needing to be taken along the way that I’m still figuring out.

So, yeah, times like these demand comedic entertainment and lighter-hearted distractions. And a few beers in the evenings when time permits. There’s a time to be a go-getter, and there’s a time to stop and spend time with yourself and to think deeply about all that needs to be thought about. And that requires mental breaks sprinkled throughout, to add levity and keep it all in perspective.

That’s what I understand right about now.

Haters will hate. That’s a fact of life. People like to bark about what others ought to be doing at any given time, dictating how they think they should be living. Flinging guilt trips where able. People say to one another that we should be activists out there running around in the streets, holding signs and getting angry, screaming about how we demand change. Others content themselves with at least playing the role of online activists, spreading their messages far and wide, shaming and harassing those they feel deserve it. Doesn’t strike me as a particularly productive use of one’s time, but hey, folks can knock themselves out. The people who make the greatest impression on me both online and offline aren’t always necessarily witty or the smartest, but they come across as having heart. And if they’ve got that, there’s something to be worked with.

Much of the rest are just spewing frustration and rage. And much of that gets misplaced on people who appear to be standing in opposition to us. But are they really? Are their motives automatically sinister? Are they completely lacking in rationality and civility? What makes us so sure that they know what they’re doing any better than we do? And what makes us so sure we know what the hell we’re really doing? I don’t know about all of you, but life’s affected me every step of the way. Amazing the difference a decade can have on your outlook, or even a couple crazy years. Everything we do in this life impacts us, shapes us, opens or closes the door on so many future opportunities. We may not possess 100% free will, but we possess enough of it to where we can’t help but be responsible for a good bit of who we become and how we act. And I’m writing as a bit of a hypocrite, admittedly, but that’s understood already. Who isn’t a hypocrite? And do we remain as such if we’re able to be honest with ourselves and, to whatever extent, others? No human is an island, and like that Brodie man mentioned in the Memes audiobook I uploaded clips from, we exist in constant conflict between what others expect of us and what our own selfish interests try to lead us to. Welcome to the human conundrum.

Rambling periodically is good for some of our souls. I’ll aim to edit this post tomorrow. Out.

Quick clarifications

Thoughts strike me from time to time that I’d like to share on here but don’t due to not being up for writing some long piece. Blame laziness and beer. Worn out. Had a LONNNG month. August will be busy as well. Which is good, not complaining, just not up for doing much in the evenings that requires concentration.

So, tonight I’ll stick with basic, quick replies.

I’m not anti-feminist, per se. Feminism as a movement is problematic, as are plenty of people who refer to themselves as feminists. BUT, lots of women call themselves feminists yet don’t deeply look into or keep up with what their movement is up to. So I try to be clear that I take serious issue with the direction the feminist movement is heading in, but not with each and every person who happens to call themselves feminists for whatever reasons.

Don’t see myself as an anti-natalist. Love it when people use birth control and wait to plan their pregnancies with one another when they’re ready and after they’ve thoroughly assessed their situations. But I’m not against all breeding, even though I do use the term “breeders” sometimes.

Not a foreigner, for those out there who keep telling me to go back to my native country on YT comment threads.  lol   american_smilie

And I’m not Hispanic, for the record. In everyday life people mistake me as well sometimes, even actual Hispanics. *shrugs* Took some Spanish courses in high school, and have tried learning the language via instruction CDs. Haven’t had much success and probably never will considering how much English trips me up already. haha  But yeah, not of that ethnicity.

What else?

Ya know, returning to this entry a couple hours later while listening to Mama Cass sing:

…I’m struck with a thought that dumbfounds me regularly when reading comments or watching videos posted by disgruntled men, some of whom refer to themselves as MRAs. They talk like women have always been using men, never giving them their props, not loving men, just using them. Yeah, right. That’s asshole talk. If you can’t look back in history and around you and see that there’s plenty of evidence of love and gratitude (though it may be waning), then what’s there to discuss? Love was real and always has been. Daddies and Papas mattered and plenty still do. How is that not noteworthy?

Johnny Cash wrote in his memoir how much his family meant to him and how much joy they brought to his life. They shared real, deep love and committed bonds. They were right for one another. They stuck by and aimed to be good to one another.

Love is not dead. Yet people speak as though it’s a non-issue, like it’s somehow becoming irrelevant. And to that all I want to say is it’s the only thing that is truly relevant anymore. Extremely relevant. Without the bonds of love, who and what are we all? Strangers who go bump in the night?

We’re not all going to love one another, that’s a given, but we can carry a love for humanity, and we can and do form close bonds with special others. And that’s life’s joy. That’s what makes this stupid rat race tolerable. That’s what makes us look forward to coming home at night and motivates us to head out to work everyday. Love is what challenges us at our core to change our evil ways, because we hurt people when we act recklessly, impulsively, compulsively, selfishly, without thinking deeper about the consequences of our actions to ourselves and others. I’m typing this to myself mostly, because I need to read it.

Life is crazy, life is mad…. to quote an Enigma song. That’s all I’ve got this evening.