Sunday, June 26, 2016

PRIDE In Yourself

It's Pride in Chicago, and while I'm a straight supporter, I'm also a crowd adversary.  So while I'm with you all in spirit I'm not going out in the hot to parade around in tight while sexy and appealing to my nature, clothes.  I am going to venture forth for necessary supplies and then retire back into my internest for gaming and video and other distractions to keep my mind from wondering.  (cue Beatles)

(If anyone needs a last minute rainbow umbrella just hit me up)

My hope is that this years Pride celebrations go on without anything tragic happening.  After Orlando I'm scared for everyone.  And while I adore that Pride has become a celebration of unity among a community of like minded people.  It's not where we started.  Pride started with the AIDS quilt, with solidarity, with a screaming need to be recognized and helped by the medical community before it was too late.  With a gay lives matter, before it was popular to be gay, before it was safe to be gay, wait a it now?  I can't believe we're still arguing about this?  That for thirty years I've watched my gay friends, and relatives die too young.  Or have to fight for basic human rights, you know like in the Bill of Rights, that all humans get, Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.  Oh...wait, its all men are created equal...hum....well we're still working on that fourty years later...wait...that's ninty-six years. 

I keep getting into arguments with men on Facebook who end up calling me names and cursing at me just for my opinion.  I say men because the women don't do this to me.  If our opinions differ we just stop talking about that topic and move on.  But every man that disagrees with me starts calling me feminist, like that's a bad word.  Or saying 'fuckin' in front of almost every adjetive and adverb, or instead of, to express their differing opinon back.  And here I thought we were just exchanging ideas.  Like I see men do on line together, and when they disagree they say their mind and then get scarastic not demeaning.  They say things about my intelligence or demenor.  Or my appearance, like that has anything to do with anything.  And jumping to indredibly steriotyped and incorrect conclusions about who I really am because of an opinon I might share, in part, with a large group of people.  I find that very unfair, and can relate with some of my gay friends.  Some of the largest violet crimes against humans are to women and the LGBTQ community.  So they get it when I talk about, as a woman being trained at a very young age to be afraid of men, and why?  That certain people will want to hurt me because of my gender alone, or how I'm dressed, or by refusing their attentions.  It's a hard life.

But see, it doesn't have to be.   We can all just try to be a little be nicer to each other, and try even a small bit of understanding.  Instead of being angry with us for fighting for our rights, fight with us.  Instead of being angry at us for finally having the courage to stand up and say, yes I want Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness too, be proud of us for trying and help us achieve it.  Be a feminist.  Support a woman's rights to be treated human.  Be a straight supporter.  Support the LGBTQ's rights to be treated human. 


Sunday, June 19, 2016

Appearances Are Always Deceiving

"It may not be the way it looks, but sometimes that's all anyone can see" Nicky Nichols-Orange Is The New Black.
How true and how sad a statement that fits into anyone's life at almost any time.  For me, this seems to be a reoccurring theme. My life will never appear to strangers and even friends the way it really is.  For most of you, you would see my life as some kind of lonely self-imposed exile.  Perhaps because of the hurt I've caused in the past or perhaps because of the hurt that has been done to me.  Gun shy works both ways if you can still feel.  And apparently, on a good day, I do.  Most of you will never see it as me being happy alone and exactly where I want to be.  You superimpose your ideas of happiness onto my life and if it doesn't measure up I must be sad.  Appearances.

How many of you feel like on paper you just don't look as experienced as you are?  Or that that same piece of paper makes you appear like a job hopper rather than a victim of the job shrinking economy?  That no one looks at all of your experience as invaluable free knowledge, over and above what the position calls for.   

Or that your relationship from the outside looking in is quite different than what happens behind closed doors?  Your family pictures displayed traditionally in matching frames and matching outfits, only mask the fact that you have enough time alone to create the perfect room.  Your Sunday best outfits that you wear to church disguise a prideful heart or painful bruises.  The fast cars, latest tech gadgets and most current fashions flaunt a fat wallet, or do they point to a fat credit card debt?  

White privileged children in the park are only playing while children of color are a gang?

An unescorted woman is going to meet her husband/boyfriend/girlfriend(s), but is treated like fair game to publically ask to "smile baby" or to follow her down the street and say much more explicit things regarding her wardrobe or body type worse to try to 'compliment' or shame her.  Or leer at until she feels uncomfortable enough to take your picture or call the police?  While an escorted woman is left alone.  Ask yourself would you say these things to her if she were your daughter, wife or mother?

Two men (or women) alone, talking or sharing a meal, must be gay?

A homeless person is a bum and a loser, rather than a person living from paycheck to paycheck and the paychecks stopped?  Or an ignored Vet who gave everything for your freedom? Or an abandoned wife and mother with nowhere else to go?

A bully on the playground is a child that has not had enough discipline and the child that is bullied is a wimp or are they verbally and/or physically abused at home?  One acting out in anger and other self-preservation habits from that physical or verbal abuse called 'love'.

Tolerance, respect, inclusion, basic manners, patience, understanding, putting yourself in others shoes, love...these are all emotions and frames of mind that I find grossly lacking in my fellow humans. 

We need to start treating each other the way we want to be treated.  I believe some religions call this The Golden Rule, and that seems like as good a name as any.  It's a very simple thing to do, but so few even try.  As a writer, I watch people every day, and the automatic judgement I see in their eyes frightens me for the future of humanity.  We are all guilty of this, and we need to question our first reactions to people, our first impressions or appearances.  I'm not saying that you need to alter who you are or who you want to present yourself as.  I'm suggesting the opposite.  For if everyone took a moment in time to just think of an alternative to their first judgement call on an individual, we might all be nicer and safer out there.   


Sunday, June 12, 2016

Where To Explore In Chicago?

I'm feeling a need to explore my city, but I hate crowds.  As much as I love to see the sites I wish there was a day or a time where I could walk about without having to see or be pushed around by so many people.  Of course, it adds an element to the view, depending on your height, (both physically and in elevation) that is also entertaining.  And I do enjoy people watching as long as it's not too evasive.  I think I'm missing nature the most and wish I had a place to sneak away for a weekend.  A tiny cabin or house somewhere in the woods of Wisconsin or Colorado or Washington.

I know I haven't explored as much as most would in a new city, so there is still a lot I haven't seen and experienced.  Mostly the tourist trap stuff, like the sky deck and 360 Chicago, the 606 elevated park, or water tours or bus tours.  I have seen a few plays, and concerts and tried to support the arts with that and museums.  And being a nanny I've seen the zoo and children's museums countless times.  I've shopped in stores I can't afford, and shook my head at the prices while clerks that make about the same as I do judge my shoes and waistline.  Sometimes I feel like Pretty Woman in the scene where she has the cash and can't get waited on.  Truth is I could afford some things, if I thought it was worth the price.  But I wont spend my money in a place where I'm dismissed before approached.  But for the most part most places I've visited I'm treated like an old friend, so I spend my money there and know they appreciate my business.  Local stores in my neighborhood rather than the miracle mile of greedy business.  In fact the only time I really enjoy seeing the miracle mile is at Christmas time when the city is all dressed up.

Somewhere between Friday and Saturday my allergies have decided to wake up.  At least that's what I hope this is.  I took what I thought was going to be a cat nap yesterday and slept for three hours.  And today I have all the symptoms of a summer cold.  Well better this weekend with no plans. I was going to do chores (laundry/cleaning) and errands (bank/bills) today as it's suppose to be a lot cooler and less pollution but it may all have to wait until after work tomorrow.  Getting to work is more important next week as both parents are traveling for work, her on Monday-Tuesday and him Wednesday-Thursday and I may have to stay a little later.  Allergy meds are calling my name, and I must answer and rest, so if you're one of my Chicago readers feel free to comment with ideas for places or sites for me to visit this summer. 


Sunday, June 5, 2016

When The Need Outweighs The Excuses

I'm having one of those days where I want to write, but I want to write on a project that I'm waiting for feedback on.  I could write on one of a couple of different projects I have going, but as usual, on my day off, I'm just not feeling it.  I should be more disciplined in my writing, but not being a professional, I really consider it a hobby.  Not exactly a relaxing one, but a cathartic one, in my case.  Like most writers, I tend to use personal experiences for the characters in my writing.  Sometimes they are based on me, sometimes on others I know, sometimes composite of many people I know.   Sometimes my own stories as is, or embellished for drama or humor, sometimes stories that are purely fiction.  But always the finished product is a mixture of the two.  I suppose that's why it's much easier for me to have other writers that aren't that close to me read my work than people that might find themselves hidden within the pages.  Or not so hidden depending on the healing I'm writing through.

I don't know if all writers get some of their angst or trama out in their writing, it's almost horrifying to imagine that authors like King, or Poe or Lovecraft or Shelly were writing about their own personal demons, but  knowing about some of their short lives, it could be.  King is winning, I'd say, if that's the case.  And perhaps it's what keeps writers sane.  That ability to get it out on the page, rather than have it cluttering up their minds.  Maybe that's why it takes me so long to actually get in the mood to write, but once I start I'm fast at getting it down.  Unlike a professional writer, I write for myself.  I guess you could say I'm my target audience. 

And while that is freeing, as I only have myself to please, it's also crippling, becuase I only have myself to please.  How do I know if it's really any good?  How do I know if it could help others as it's helped me?  My guess is to release it to trusted editors for opinoins.  And then, if brave enough, releasing to the world.  Now that's a very scary prospect to me, because I'm never sure if the world wants to hear my thoughts.  Equally I'm not sure they deserve to.  I don't write to 'become famous' or 'be heard'  I hear myself just fine.  Sometimes I hear too much.  And that's when it must get written.  Those are the times many of you have heard me say, 'I need to write because the characters in my talking too much.'  But that usually happens only when the need outweighs the excuses and distractions.  I've been known to hide out in my studio for an entire vacation just to get a play written and formatted.  I've also been known to be distracted by my electronic life for entire weekend.  Many, many times.  Technology has replaced personal relationships for me and I have dove into it with the same love and attention I would give a partner. 

You might think that's sad, those of you that frequent the outdoors or believe I should.  But unless I'm camping or in a very beautful natural surrounding, I find outside in the city to be just a transistion from one indoor duty to another.  Like my comute from home to work and back again is spent reading on the train. Not looking at the man made nature.  I miss grass beneath my bare toes, and bon fires with friends.  I miss mountain air and looking at an endless view from treeline atop Pikes Peak.  I miss the ocean crashing on the rocky shores of the pacific northwest.  I miss the hikking trails of Hixon Park in Wisconsin.  And long drives just looking at stars or the moon as it sped to keep up with the car.  City parks just aren't the same.  Perhaps its the stark absense of any wild life.  The animals aren't fooled either.  So I try to surround myself with cut flowers and some hardy plants, and although they always seem to die on me.  I just don't have a very green thumb.  And no space for any type of garden.  Thankfully Chicago rests on the shores of Lake Michigan, the third largest great lake and the beaches are bigger and nicer than you'd imagine.  The lake is so large it has tides and of course you can't see the opposite shores.  This feeds my need for nature when I need it, but I admit I don't go as often as I should.'s the crowds of people I don't miss on my days off.  But soon I'll get there again this year, perhaps more than any year before.  For the water is the element that I need the most to feel balanced.  I have always been happier when living next to water.  Weather a lake or river or ocean.  But it is necessary to my wellbeing.  I'm almost motivated to go today....except it's very gray and rainy looking....not the best day for the beach.  And there is laundry to do....and dishes to wash...and more excuses that outweigh the needs.  Perhaps in two or three weeks I'll make it down again.  Perhaps by then I'll be wanting an adventure.