rants

Art imitates life, which imitates art…

On a plane to Paris, and I manage to pull up 12 Years a Slave. Thanks to my parents, I’ve always been one to seek out the art that pulls some type of emotion out of me. Stirs my thoughts in ways that my environment might otherwise not let me explore.

There was a point, where Fassbender’s character has a conversation with Pitt’s character, about how there will come a day where there will be a reckoning. It echo’s me back to Lee’s White Man’s Burden, where the societal rolls are flipped in order to explore the human experience.

That brings me to our current events, in the States, where I do believe we are on the precipice of a reckoning. First Nations are no longer relegated to the “out of mind” position that the reservation system sought to contain. Voices are now being heard, that should be heard. They’ve been drowned out by the arrogance of those who think they know best. And now, those who have consistently been trampled upon and shouted down have the opportunity to rise.

But…and there’s a big one…we run the risk of just letting the pendulum swing back the other way instead of stopping it in its tracks. So the choice is ours, all of ours. Will we return the favour and punish all for the sins our predecessors committed, or will we – as T’Challa found – find a better way forward for all by recognizing the failures of those who came before us and recognizing that we are not them. We are better. We can be better. We can listen to each other, learn from each other, and grow into a better society.

The phoenix must be consumed by its fires before it can be reborn, renewed. All of our myths talk of this. And now, we must be part of it, without letting the chaos consume us and burn us with its hatred.

Ugh…(much bitching ahead skip if needed)

This day can just not get any better. Started out great…then I got to the office. It seems over the weekend something happened and the top drawer in my file cabinet decided to relocate further towards the middle drawer. In doing so, it jacked up the lock on the locked drawers – you know those ones that only I'm supposed to have access to? Well, 3 hours later, I fixed it. Still can't fix the lock, so I'll have to get a new file cabinet. Also found out that my printer doesn't feel like printing. It didn't feel like scanning either, which would be nice, except for the fact that all of Pastry's gov't bullshit has to go out tonight. Then, go to write the check, well – not enough money in the checking account and I don't have any checks for the account that does. Basically, the fees add up to half a month's check. Nice, isn't it? Gov't punishes those who do it legally and rewards those who don't. I wish he'd come from a country that gets the sympathy vote and an Executive Order that allows a mostly free pass with fines that aren't near what the legal folks have to pay. Oh, and Google has decided that I can't log in to my mail. Isn't that nice?

I'm so over this day. I'm beyond pissed.

Oh, I signed the check "Legal Immigration fine". Yeah, I'm in that kind of mood. Hopefully, sleep makes it go away.

I missed it…

But our internet has been out from 2am Sunday to this afternoon, and like hell if I'm going to type a blog post on my phone. Um, no.

At any rate, Pastry's provisional GC is up next month, did we send this shit out last month? No. So I'm getting everything together to send it out tomorrow. Base stuff, and a letter why it's base stuff. My bitch is that some of the stuff they expect is that we want to document EVERYTHING. Makes me want to send in a sex tape instead of anything else. So fucking annoying, I hate the gov't, especially considering I have to go through this, and drop another $590 "filing fee" and biometric appt (will be the 3rd one), but there's a bunch of "undocumented" people running to a DMV in California to get their DL. Seriously, how the fuck does that make sense? I have a ton of other opinions on the subject, but those will have to hold off and probably put under a lock. Immigration here pisses me off, but at least it continues in the "good faith" of the US government – punish those who play by the book and reward those who don't. And please, if you want to comment on this, don't regal me with the dangers of South America, because E. Europe and Asia ain't very pretty either – and you can bet that they aren't included in that EO. At any rate, I'm glad the interview isn't this week, I'd probably not be the greatest candidate – would definitely be overly sarcastic and rip the poor schmuck a new one.

But, we got a new dishwasher working. It's pretty. And my sink is much cleaner now. I also got my email program working again. Nightmare to wait on the answer, but now I can say Yosemite isn't that bad.

Going back to work wasn't too bad. Full schedule, so that's a positive sign for the new year. Also, the gym is picking up, so they need people to take over some beginner and advanced classes. Works for me.

Still tired. Want to sit with coffee in bed with the cats, but I'll take some work. Work is good, makes me feel useful. Need to start teaching yoga classes now. I'm at the point where I'm ready to start my home practice. I'm one of those folks who has to go backwards. I had to put in the actual practice before the physical practice. And that's ok, because that's where I'm pulled anyway.

I think I’m mad…

But I may be irritated or just plain pissed off. I'm still trying to decide. The one thing I have decided is that I'm tired of watching everyone else's passive aggressiveness. I'm getting better about scrolling through FB and just not responding, to the point where I may just not scroll at all and read through my forums. I'm normally cool with sitting around and watching people evolve and discover themselves and grow and tossing my $.02 in when needed or wanted. I'm also cool with people I toss that in tossing it into the road and never looking at it again. Unfortunately, I guess there's a lot of stagnant water sitting around because the definition of insanity is slowly becoming the definition of life – at least that's how it's looking from my end. It saddens me.

So I need to work on that – namely, not being depressed about it and being hopeful that one day, that brick wall will jump up and support a mirror to crash into. Yeah, we're all on a journey, and I get that some of us just want to cruise through with no pause for self-reflection. But I'm not a huge fan of lather, rinse, repeat. If you know what I mean…

In light of the #yesallwomen…

I wanted to make a list of habits I've developed or red flags that set off personal alarms because of situations I've been in with, or because of, men. So here we go:

When driving, if there is a car pacing next to me for a length of time, I avoid looking to see who it is because of a time when I was driving home. The guy in the SUV next to me had his rear view mirror angled so that I could see him masturbating (and doing a very poor job of it).

If I go on trips involving a team I'm on, I either room with guys I can trust, or I room alone (assuming there are no women to room with). Because a teammate made sure I got no sleep one night.

I have trouble accepting compliments on how I look, because a friend thought I was dressing up for him, and tried to force himself on me. And, when I went to a gala after I got out of an abusive relationship, my bf at the time leered at me and said, "I can't wait for you to get home so I can molest you."

When I go to concerts alone, or in strange places, I sneak my spiked wrist bracelet in with me. I wrap it around my fist so I can interest people to move away from me. Because someone at a concert thought my being near him was reason to put his hands in places they shouldn't be.

On a trip to my favourite swim spot on the river, I made the mistake of taking a teammate who I wasn't comfortable in being around (I chalked it up to cultural differences). He tried to force himself on me. When I told him no and decided we were going home, he went and told the inner circle of the team that I had sex with him.

I learned BJJ because an ex used leg locks and choke holds to "keep me in line". Learning it led to the one above, along with learning that someone I respected wasn't worth the respect.

I locked myself up both emotionally and sexually, because I was told by an ex that I was too emotional and I needed to get control of it (I'm still trying to unlock all of that).

I'm fearful of overly affectionate drunks both because of the demon I call my grandfather, and because I'm fearful of having to hurt someone because they won't listen to the word no).

I have bolted away from what might have been first dates, because the guy was just trying to be nice, or paid for something I didn't expect, because I was getting the wrong signals. I'm pretty sure they were both just nice guys, but it set off alarms from "nice guys" who were expecting repayment.

A guy who decided I had wronged him, put my unlisted home number up in a gas station bathroom, with the note "for great anal sex call *my name misspelled*". I got so many phone calls between the hours of midnight and 4AM that I almost had to quit my corporate job because I wasn't getting any sleep. I called the cops, they took my statement, and I never heard from the detective on my case. I ultimately had to change my number and move. This is why I don't answer calls from numbers I don't know.

In college, a guy called me – wrong number. Apparently, he had a female friend who would let him talk to her while masturbating. He did it to me quite a few times. I hung up on him, a lot. The only way it stopped, was when it turned out a friend of his fiancee was on the hockey team with me. He told her. I started making sure my dorm number was unlisted. As an RA, it was only available if you were a student in my building.

I won't get into the catcalls I've gotten, walking down the road. I also make sure that, if I'm on the bus or the train, I'm sitting or standing with my back against a wall and my bag between me and other people. I also walk with headphones on, normally – not necessarily listening to anything. I used to walk with my keys in my fist, now I only do that in places I'm not familiar with, or when I'm alone. I'm always looking at my surroundings and sizing up everything and everyone.

None of this is fair to the really nice people who don't deserve this. But it is because of a few – because I don't know who they are and they are good at hiding. I differentiate between the "nice guys" and the Nice Guys. I love the Nice Guys because I'm like their sister, and they protect me like their sister. And I have their back like a little sister and will beat the crap out of anyone who messes with them. I just wish there were more of them, so everyone can have a little sister.

Edits:

The other day, while I was waiting on the train. A stranger walked up to me and asked if I could use his phone. I stood there frozen, not willing to let my phone go because I had been witness to how phones get stolen, and conflicted on that. I was very hesitant on calling the number because I felt sorry for the excuse he gave me (and his phone really was dead), and afterwards I kicked myself because he now had my phone number. How messed up is it, that those thoughts go through my head in trying to be nice and help someone out.

Samhain…

Usually, this time of year is great for me. I don't know if this is the combination of a bunch of stuff colliding and the ensuing chaos is more evident, or just the fact that I am just not handling things all that well.

On the work front, I'm trying to get the yoga program up and running, which requires me to transfer everything over to a new database. That conversion is in the final processes. The downside, getting everyone in the office to use the new system and double check on the old system. That came to a head yesterday, when I asked someone to handle the scheduling, which resulted in me being double booked for tomorrow. The damage control is not to my liking, and right now, I just want to skip today and tomorrow and head to my vacation already.

On the yoga front, I started a 2 week daily yoga practice on Monday. That didn't start off well. I gave my gym a try, because I've had awesome classes at gyms, so I'm not turned off by them. The physical practice was good, but it left my mental state in an absolute jumble and the instructor didn't even give me time to remotely process. So I walked out of class with the view that I am an absolute judgmental bitch. And that is true, I just temper it as I process info. This is the first time I have truly felt that way after a yoga class (since I'm pretty good about just being observant of what I'm feeling and letting it go). It stuck with me. So, day 2 was back to my normal studio. All was righted in the world. Day 3 was amazing. I took the whole day off to prepare for ritual, I wanted to be "in that space". Normally, not a struggle. The class did exactly what I needed it to do, unfortunately, work issues yanked me out of it (see above). I managed to put them on the back burner, not thinking that it would be an issue.

Ritual, still processing, not planning on talking about it.

Damage control, still working on it, client sent an email saying, "So I don't have a massage tomorrow?" Well, yeah, that's what I said. I have a client during the time that you were scheduled because someone didn't look at the master schedule. Instead chose to look at the tertiary schedule that no longer updates, because my schedule has been completely uploaded to the master.

Vacation, I am struggling to not make the decision to work over this weekend. There are things that need to be done, but at the same time, I need a complete break. I haven't had a chance to take a vacation this year, not even something that remotely resembles one. I have not had a day where my brain was no where near my office, and a line HAS TO BE DRAWN. If I do not, I will walk away, and it's not something I want right now.

What I need, someone at the office I can truly depend on for back office related stuff. I do not feel that I have that. Some of it is my failings, for not properly teaching all the stuff that I need, and some of it is being too accepting and generous of where others are in their personal lives. Yes, I need to get someone in there, but I cannot, at this time, justify the cost. And I do not have anything that could remotely justify rewarding a volunteer.

You can’t see me…

Not because I'm invisible, even though I might be, but because you choose to not see me.

That's pretty much a summary of the waters beneath the surface for the past 3 weeks. I'm usually content to be in the background, doing the things I do because it's who I am, or how I choose to express myself. But the one time, the one time, that I made the choice to step up and say "HEY EVERYONE, REALLY LOOK AT ME!!!" I received the biggest smack down I could ever imagine possible. Worse than any of the shit I put up with going through middle and high school (and believe me, not all of it happened at school, so let's just say girls can be bitches and leave it there). So yeah, not planning on doing that ever again. But at least I know who my family consists of, and I'm grateful to them, even if they were part of the reason I broke before I was supposed to. But I shattered and I'm trying to pick up the pieces, little by little. The universe hasn't been totally helpful, because every time I try to take down time to hit up the mountains, or the river, or something; it manages to pop up and say, "Oh, you want time off? You sure about that?" and when I prove that I am, I come back to a clusterfuck bigger than I left to say, "See, you really shouldn't have taken that downtime. Normally, by this point in the year, I've had a month and a half of vacation. It's what keeps me sane, because I really do need 2-3 weeks to decompress from my job. So far, I've had a week and a half – and that wasn't a real, don't deal with anything work-related, vacation. I really need to just hole up in a cabin with no cell signal or wifi. Just me, coffee, a book, nature, and maybe Pastry (if he can get the time off).

I'm finding I need to re-establish my boundaries. I put myself out there for people, for whatever reason, and find that my margin of returns are exceedingly slim. Those who will continue to be blessed by my thoughtfulness are the ones that have shown themselves to return it, in some way – whether it's "paying it forward" or "kicking it back". I love them, and they get it. But I'm really tired of the dead ends. I'm really tired of looking out the window and seeing what is happening outside. The level of stupidity is astounding to the point I want to slam heads against a mirror and say, "What the fuck are you doing? Don't you see what you are doing?" But it would be useless. Very few are interested in self-reflection, and those who don't even consider it till they hit the proverbial wall are so blinded that they don't even know they've hit anything. It's disheartening to me. Depressing.

I have no clue where I'm going with this. I had some totally awesome stuff in my head earlier. Fluid and descriptive. All the stuff my writing professors loved. All the stuff my muse would pour out on to the paper before she was blindsided and muzzled because she "just wasn't good enough". Stupid people. Stupid me.

My office has a purple rug with yellow and lavender flowers on it. That makes me happy. I need more purple and lavender flowers. I need more solitude. Whatever fire is burning inside needs to come out. I can't handle it anymore, I'm tired of containing it within. It's being fed by something I don't know, and something I'm not familiar with. I don't know how to calm it down. And I don't want it to destroy me.