Category Archives: Fandom

“I want a brighter word than bright.” -John Keats

I am imperfect and so are all of you. There is beauty and frailty in that. I feel beautiful and frail tonight. I have for several days now. I want a brighter word than bright, but I can also relate to how Keats felt here:

“I am in that temper that if I were under water I would scarcely kick to come to the top.”
― John Keats

I feel wonderfully stable in my personal life, yet my blogging life is giving me quite a bit of woe. This is the first time that is the case. This is me kicking to the top as best I can.

I have made mistakes. I have witnessed mistakes. There has been a lot of talk (read: disagreement) about what those mistakes are. Everyone has a piece to say and everyone feels they are right. There is listening and hearing and ignoring and criticizing and dehumanizing and pontificating and thoughtfulness and respect and anger and frustration. There is all of that and more, often studded with orange stars.

I believe in peace, compassion, understanding, and empathy. I know that my fellow bloggers do as well. So how can it be that we are all so sideways? We are imperfect, but that is no excuse. There are only a couple of people whose heads have remained completely cool. Other than those few, are we all just giving lip service to these ideals? Do we abandon them when push comes to shove?

No, it isn’t that simple. Still, there is a small fact that has been burrowing through my brain like a cancerous tapeworm. I do my best to be compassionate and empathetic in my blogs. I don’t always do this well, but I try. As a result, I don’t get controversial often. The one time I post something knowing it would incite controversy (but still believing it the right thing to do), my stats exploded. It was one of my highest comment days ever and broke my page view record.

Compassion and empathy are what I believe will make the world better, but they are all but ignored when standing beside controversy. This makes me sadder than I can possibly state.

There is but one small seed of hope. The page view record set by controversy was surpassed by something better, communion. Alan Rickman died and my post with Dumbledore’s quote about death was suddenly in demand. This wasn’t about me or my post, it was about people grieving a life well-lived and remembering a time when they read something that touched their humanity.

I watched the page views soar hopefully. I wanted so much for communion to beat controversy, even in this smallest microcosm. It did and I felt better.

The disagreements have continued and my reservoir of compassion and understanding is nearing empty. I know I do not understand you all perfectly. I know that we do not agree on all things. I don’t want that. I want honesty. I want recognition of truth and I am willing to fight for it. Compassion and empathy are necessary, but so are grit and passion.

I spent too much of my life smiling and saying things I did not mean for the benefit of others. Those habits are still with me, but I am breaking them down a little more each day. This week has not changed me, but it has shown me where my line lies. I champion peace and understanding, but not at the expense of truth.

There can be no peace or understanding where truth is forfeit. My mind is open to the fact that what I think of as truth is not always so, but I will drown if I sacrifice honesty for peace. I want a brighter word than bright, but also a brighter world, so you can find me kicking towards the sun.

“We are not lost yet.” -Sifu Hotman

I’ve been absent from WordPress. I’ve got an inbox full of blogs to catch up on and I will. I won’t bore you with the mundane details of what has kept me from blogging, I’ll keep it to a mundane list.

-Homeschooling. (We’ve been doing really well and are nearing our break though.)

-Visiting family.

-Going to an Amanda Palmer concert. (It was thrilling. I talked to her. Okay, I requested a song when she asked me and then she played it. Still. Thrilling. All my photos were blurry. Forgive me.)

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-Reading Murakami and Jim Shepard. (I found two autographed copies of Shepard short stories at my local used bookstore. Some glorious proof below.)

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-Editing the novel. (Just passed halfway for this round. Woot.)

-Being down, really down, then kind of up, then down. Right now I’m super up, so yay!

-Starting a better routine. (Maybe this one will stick?)

-Seeing Newsies live on stage. I ❤ musicals and the Newsies movie was one of my firsts, so seeing it as an adult was uniquely satisfying.

-Watching the series finale of Mad Men. (Have you watched this yet? No? Go watch now. If The Great Gatsby is The Great American Novel, then Mad Men is The Great American Television Series. Seven seasons are on Netflix. Go watch now. If you have seen it…please call, write, email, text, or knock on my door. I need to gush about this series with someone. Please. I’m willing to forgo my social anxiety. This is how you know I’m serious.)

-Discovering some great music. Example:

-Pulling out my loose hairs and making designs on the shower wall. (I am not the only one who does this. Admit it, my longhaired brethren.)

– Other stuff.

I have a few posts planned. Which will probably come soon. Probably. Anyhow, I miss you all and will be commenting soon. Ish. Promise.

“I’ve got nothing to do today but smile.” -Paul Simon

Several things that have brightened my last twenty-four hours of life:

1. Looking at these weather gifs that Sonmi linked to.

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2. Finding out that Obama officially vetoed the Keystone XL Pipeline.

keystone
3. This tweet from NASA:

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4. The news that Crash Course is starting a new series for kids!

5. This cartoon from the always brilliant Zen Pencils, featuring a quote from the infamous Isaac Asimov:
(Click and click again for a legible view.)
ASIMOV01
6. The poem The Laughing Heart from Charles Bukowski:
(Nevermind the mention of deities, it makes me happy.)

your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is a light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
know them.
take them.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
in you.

7. Finally finding an efficient way to edit my novel.

Via mayalittmanctm2012
Via mayalittmanctm2012

8. Getting to share this with all of you.

Via Starsofneonlights
Via Starsofneonlights

“The Internet is just a world passing around notes in a classroom.” -Jon Stewart

The notes are being passed around as fast as the broadband will allow today. Anyone that watched The Daily Show last night likely started watching like this:

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But then Jon made an announcement that turned that to this:

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Jon Stewart is retiring.
Many, many people have already begun talking about what an icon he has become and how very missed he will be. Still, I want to let his own words (from the funny to the profound) remind us of what we’re losing.

I’m not going to censor myself to comfort your ignorance.

If you don’t stick to your values when they’re being tested, they’re not values – they’re hobbies.

The reason I don’t worry about society is, nineteen people knocked down two buildings and killed thousands. Hundreds of people ran into those buildings to save them. I’ll take those odds every fucking day.

Maybe we should always show pictures. Bin Laden, pictures of our wounded service people, pictures of maimed innocent civilians. We can only make decisions about war if we see what war actually is — and not as a video game where bodies quickly disappear leaving behind a shiny gold coin.

The bias of the mainstream media is toward sensationalism, conflict, and laziness.

Parenthood is an amazing opportunity to be able to ruin someone from scratch.

You have to remember one thing about the will of the people: it wasn’t that long ago that we were swept away by the Macarena.

Why is it that if you take advantage of a corporate tax break you’re a smart businessman, but if you take advantage of something so you don’t go hungry, you’re a moocher?

We called her Mother Earth. Because she gave birth to us, and then we sucked her dry.

If everything is amplified, we hear nothing.

What would Jesus, or any human being who isn’t an asshole, do?

You know what they say: If at first you don’t succeed, fuck it.

Evil is relatively rare; ignorance is epidemic.

The press can hold its magnifying glass up to our problems bringing them into focus, illuminating issues heretofore unseen or they can use that magnifying glass to light ants on fire and then perhaps host a week of shows on the sudden, unexpected dangerous flaming ant epidemic.

Thank you, Jon, for illuminating far more than fire starting. Now, if you’ll excuse me…

vRC9o

P.S. – Dear Comedy Central, Please give the job to Jessica Williams. Thanks!
AbhjZSm

“Forever is composed of nows.” -Emily Dickinson

I have been trying to live in the moment, if you’ll forgive the cliché. I’ve been attempting to be more mindful for some time now. I’m getting better at it, but it is (ironically) slow going. I’ve focused on two things recently that have had an interesting impact: eating and meditation.

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Ever since I became a mother, eating has been a competition. Can I finish before my child needs me? If I finish faster, will I have time to do the dozen things I wanted to get done today? Will I finish my plate without dripping something on my clothes? For a while my shirts were endlessly stained with breast milk and spit up and drool and other unidentified substances, but that time has passed. I got into a routine where I shovelled food in my mouth, barely tasted it, and moved on. Now my kids are less demanding and I have more time, yet speed eating has remained an everyday pastime, though it isn’t any fun at all.

It is a pretty well-known fact that it takes our brains 20 minutes to realize that we’re full. That’s a pretty long time to take to eat a meal, especially by today’s standards. A few weeks ago, I was chowing down on a slice of day old pizza while I waited for my morning tea leaves to unfold. In the three minutes it took my Doctor Who mug of hot water to turn black, I had finished one slice and started another. Two things are immediately obvious:

1) I don’t like breakfast food too much.
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2) I was eating way too fast.

Sure, pizza is one of those foods that is easy to eat quickly. No plate or utensils are required and it is oh so yummy. But I stood there with my tea wondering just how yummy it was. Had I even really tasted it? Nope. In response, I’ve been taking more, smaller, slower bites and really paying attention to what I taste. It slows my day down. It slows my mind down.

Yes, my food is colder when I’m done, but I know I’m full. Have you ever tried eating junk food one unhurried bite at a time? I have to say, grease and unidentifiable foodstuffs are not as appealing in slow motion. When I’m bored, I’ve been reaching for a book, a pen, or my ukulele instead of something sweet and/or salty. I like the change, it’s worth it, but I can’t stop thinking of all the people with lunches that can’t last more than 30 minutes from clock-out to clock-in. It’s hard to take your time when you’re busy watching the clock.


There is a fine line between distraction and detachment. It is incredibly easy for me to get sucked in by the internet vortex that hangs out in my pocket. I can lose entire chunks of the day before I’ve even looked at the clock.

4673-clocks-81

Sometimes this is productive time spent. I will have learnt more about people, how we affect our world, and our place in the universe. But when the distraction comes without any connection, it is time spent mired in thoughtless chatter and jejune entertainment. Not every moment has to be spent thinking critically, but if I don’t pay attention to the moments as they pass, they’re gone without my knowing what I’ve done with them.

The other night I was putting my daughter to bed and stayed until she was asleep. As her breathing turned tranquil, my thoughts turned to turmoil. I was suddenly overcome by the suffocating nature of our schedule. We’re awake long before we’re ready to rise and by the time we all reconnect, it’s the end of the day. I feel like I never play, talk, or teach my children enough. I feel like I’ll never have the time to do all the things I want to do with my husband or the things I want for myself, nevermind friends and extended family.

calm

It’s not that there aren’t enough hours in the day, it’s that the days are too repetitive. For now, the only solution I have is to take back my time where I can. The best way I know to do that is taking notice of the world around me, which gets easier with meditation. I’ve tried and failed to regularly meditate for years, but I recently found an app that is helping me do so for the first time. I’ve already caught myself slowing things down with some breath and awareness.

As far as I know, this is the only life I get. I’m doing all I can to live in it, rather than just be in it.