My cat, Devin, playing with catnip under the Christmas tree. Admittedly, catnip was used as a ploy to get her to stop climbing the tree and knocking ornaments off to play with.
Did you know YouTube actually sends you an email to congratulate you for uploading your first video? Makes me feel like I did something awesome, other than exploit my cat a little bit.
And yes, it’s true that most feminists are cat lovers.Tuesday, December 15, 2009
No one is really immune to a classic case of winter blues; when you live in a northern state known for brutal winters while all other seasons last a good few weeks and no more, you become quite used to more dark than light and a day when you wake up in the morning and there isn’t snow on the ground is an odd one. But this winter has brought a whole new slew of problems on me this year. Winter skin blues.
First and foremost, we had our first good snowfall where all you could see outside is white on October 16th. The middle of October! No nice colorful leaves of autumn goodness, but snow. You can see a picture of that below:
So that alone was a great indicator that this winter would be bad.
My gene pool pretty much sucks, to say the least. In addition to the fact that I live with Periodontal Disease and my father as well as my grandmother suffered through the same dental ailments; my grandmother had dentures at 17 years old and my father had them at 45, and I can pretty much assume I will have them by the time I’m 30 or so, if I’m lucky. My father, sister, as well as myself also have a wonderful case of stress-induced psoriasis. As soon as stress creeps up into our lives, bam! my hands break out with itchy, bumpy rashes. But apparently that was not enough because as soon as winter set in here in Pennsylvania, my skin went completely downhill and spazzed out!
For a few weeks I had a wonderful case of eczema. After numerous oatmeal baths and weeks of applying cortizone cream and hydrating lotions to my legs, arms and stomach, it healed and went away. After a few days of thinking Hooray, it’s gone! I am victorious! Take that, skin! it got below freezing outside for a few days, we had more snow and freezing rain, black ice, the whole brutal winter thing and then my left arm broke out in a rash that turned into what looks like blood vessels that had burst. I would be lying if I didn’t tell you that for the past few weeks I have Googled every infection, disease, cancer, everything that could result in disgusting rashes. At the end of my “research,” all I have to do is wait out this horrendous winter weather while feverishly applying prescription creams and hydrating and moisturizing lotions and keep my stress level down or I’ll have even more skin issues to deal with.
Fun! Thank you, winter!Friday, November 27, 2009
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Here’s a hilarious Fun With Shorts video that greatly depicts what would-be Glenn Beck’s Paranoid Thanksgiving.Friday, November 27, 2009
Miriam Mercado’s son, Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado, was brutally murdered, dismembered, decapitated, and his remains were partially burned two weeks ago in Puerto Rico. News of this devastating hate crime has sparked outrage within and around the GLBT community and their allies throughout the world and earlier this week, candlelight vigils took place all across the United States. The photos and video footage of those candlelight vigils will be used in efforts for full prosecution in the case, as well as getting this case prosecuted as Puerto Rico’s first ever hate crime on the books.
On the day those candlelight vigils took place, Miriam Mercado spoke out against her son’s murder and she had a sound message to deliver to everyone–that love conquers hate and together, we have strength. I am so in awe of this woman’s strength and the compassion she has that she is sending to those around the world who know her story and keep the memory of her son alive today.
Keep in mind that this is a loose translation from Spanish to English, some sentences frankly don’t make a lot of sense but the tremendous message that love conquers hate and no person, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, deserves to be treated any less than any other person is very much in tact.
Friday, November 20, 2009
Hi. My name is Miriam. I am Steven’s mom. My family and I are incredibly grateful for all the love, the unconditional support that you have given me. That’s what gives me the strength, in part, it gives me the force for me to bring a message: Love conquers hate. And this we have to shout to the world because… Steven was a human being. He was my son. He was a brother. I ask you and beg you, everyone in the world, that we should love everyone else no matter what’s there. Behind of what is there, there is a human being, just like my son, who did not deserve this. In the name of my family and my own, I offer my hand, I don’t have how to pay back every… the demonstrations and the love that I have received. So we are all going to bring a message: Love conquers hate. And together, we have strength.
Will Phillips is an exceptionally bright 10 year old boy who recently skipped a grade in school and whose family had always taught him to be aware of what’s right, wrong, and what’s fair. The family has many friends in the gay community and they are allies for the community, having attended pride parades and standing up for the rights of their gay and lesbian neighbors, including their right to marry and to adopt. Will has always tried to analyze things (because he wants to be a lawyer) and it is that logic he uses when he hears the pledge of allegiance and has determined that we do not really live in a country that gives liberty and justice for all, which is why he has refused to stand up and recite the pledge of allegiance in school–after asking his parents if it was illegal to not recite it, of course.
The first time Will refused to stand and recite the pledge of allegiance he had a sub at school, a woman who had known his mother and grandmother. When he refused, this woman got angry and resorted to telling Will that she knew his mother and grandmother and that they would want him to stand up and recite the pledge of allegiance. Will is very, very lucky because he has a supportive family who raised him with respect and taught him about the unfairness that GLBTQ people are treated with by their own country. Of course this substitute teacher was incredibly out of line to tell him that she knew his mother and that she would want him to stand up and recite the pledge when if she truly knew his mother for the woman that she is, she would know that his mother lets him make his own decisions and come to his own conclusions with his analysis, and as long as he is not hurting anyone (and in this case he is actually extending love to others and standing up for the same people that are discriminated against) I do not see the problem.
There are undoubtedly people all across the country who have heard Will’s story and support him for exercising his right not to stand up and recite the pledge of allegiance, but where there are supporters, there are people who are condemning him and taking the completely close-minded ‘America: Love It or Love It‘ stance. One comment I saw on another blog that mimicked everything that we constantly hear from people who think they stand for the people of this country but really all they stand for is homophobia, bigotry and blind admiration for the country:
This kid doesn’t deserve to live in this country. We have soldiers overseas fighting to save his sorry *** and he can’t have the respect for the nation that he lives in to say a simple pledge? If he doesn’t support this country he can find someplace else to live because anyone who takes dislike to this country can feel free to take their ignorant selves elsewhere. I understand him supporting gay rights but first of all, the national government doesn’t even control laws about homosexuality because it was not a power given to them in the constitution; it is a right reserved for state legislation. If he is so knowledgeable in this area of politics he should also be aware that Arkansas, like most southern state, is a very traditional, conservative state and one that frowns upon homosexuality, in this case i could understand him not supporting his state because they do exactly what he is against. That being said, even if the national government did have control over issues like this, it’s still not an excuse to support the pledge. It’s very simple, if you don’t support the country than the country shouldn’t support you and you can find somewhere else to live like Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Somalia etc. and then see how bad it is to live here! This kid has a lot to learn! He is being just as ignorant as the gay bashers that he is fighting against and if you’re supporting this your just as ignorant as that kid too!
I seriously love this kid and sticking to his convictions about the discrimination against GLBTQ people in this country. When the war in Iraq started I was in high school and I was (and still am, obviously) opposed to the wars that we are currently sacrificing our soldiers for. So in the mornings in home room, I refused to stand or recite the pledge of allegiance. Of course, just like in Will’s case, it caused quite a stir with my teachers who were offended by me and my refusal to “support my country.” I ended up having to get a note written by my father saying that it was fine for me not to stand and recite the pledge of allegiance and present it to the principal. Thankfully, my father has always respected my opinions and decisions, in life and my political stance, and because I have been gifted with my father’s sarcasm and sense of humor, he did write a letter to my principal… telling him that he does not remember having to write a note giving me permission to stand up and recite the pledge of allegiance in the first place. No, the apple does not fall far from the tree.
Way to go Will, keep fighting the good fight!