Thursday, October 27, 2016

It's not a birthday. You are just leveling up.

Brace yourselves, readers. I'm about to write something that will probably be mushy and sweet. It won't last long. Regular Kelly will return shortly.

Beeeeeeeeep.

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Dear Mr. Hive,

It is your birthday tomorrow. The big one. The one that starts with a four and ends with a zero. I won't type out the actual number here. I'm not a monster.

I know that birthdays and you don't always get along so well. I know that you try your best to age gracefully and all that, but we're years past the "at your age" conversation from the doctor.

We're decades past that whole thing that happened where we were in our early twenties and had to deal with the fact that we weren't invincible. 

At least, not anymore.

We thought we were, sure, just like most young people do.

We thought we had all the time in the world.

We had these magnificent plans. 

Yeah, well...life had other plans. 

And here we are now. Healthy and well and still traveling along on this planet together, even if there were times it might not seem like it'd have remained that way.

I know that you want nothing more in the entire universe than to attend a Cub Scout Pack Meeting on your birthday. I know that you really want a house full of teenagers over to celebrate the day of your birth. 

Sure.

I'm kidding.

I know you'd probably pretend it isn't happening at all. 

(Hey, it's better than the year we had to sit on the floor of the gym and watch squaredancing for your birthday, amiright???)

Our birthdays don't generally carry much significance around here, yours and mine. We're mom and dad before any of that other stuff, and mom and dad have obligations.

This is what life is like when you have a small herd of children. This is what life is like when you're able to have all these kids that you were never supposed to be able to have. This is what life is like when you fought like hell to keep your family together after traveling to and from hell a few times together. 

This is what life is like.

It's messy and busy and complicated. It has the constant hum of dishwashers and dryers in the background. It's juggling work schedules and volunteer positions and running to the grocery store five minutes before dinner is supposed to be ready because some kid already ate that thing we're supposed to be eating right now. It's signing checks and creating meal  and holiday spreadsheets and somehow making all the magic happen for these little people, some of whom aren't so little anymore. It's usually sticky. It's always oppressively crowded. It's screaming at the television when you know the name of the Disney movie first. It's gloating when you beat a teenager driving go-carts. It's getting lost in corn mazes on purpose. It's teaching a kid to play chess even when you know he's going to be able to destroy you soon. It's ordering headphones for yourself, then just handing them over when they arrive because someone else needs them. It's laughing and crying and screaming and playing and napping on the couch with someone tucked beside you. It's somehow reconciling the fact that we have teenagers and a baby at the same time and coming to grips with how we became the people who do things like that.



And you know what?

It's pretty goddamn amazing.

The most amazing thing about all of it, though, is that I get to do all of it with you.

I get to witness your evolution, as a husband, as a father, as a man. You haven't just grown older. You've grown.

I get to see who you are now, I get to watch you be the person you are now, I get to stand by your side when the pride at the people they're becoming washes over you and overwhelms you. 

There is so much more to who you are than this man who happens to be a father. You are kind. You are nerdy on levels I haven't even realized. The outdoors calls your name even louder than it calls mine. You don't just love your hobbies; love isn't strong enough of a word. It's something bigger than all that. You are humble. You are strong. You are passionate about what you do, and you're damn good at it. Then there's the issue of that beard.

Oh, and the thighs. Damn. Those thighs. 

(look away, kids...)

You are my safe place to land, and I hope that I am yours. 

This number tomorrow, it's just that. A number. 

Numbers are kinda your thing, though. You can manipulate them in ways that amaze me, you can make them seem bigger than they are, you can make them disappear. You can insist that they aren't material. 

And they aren't material.

You aren't getting older. 

Nah.

You're just leveling up.

I love you, honey. 

Happy birthday.

p.s. find a bird statue...

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Things That Piss Me Off Tuesday - the OMG spoilers edition

I can't even believe how long it has been since I wrote one of these posts. It's been a fairly epic week as far as assholery goes, so buckle up.

Let's hope nothing else happens in the time it takes me to write this out.

For the love.


Enlistment Bonuses - just kidding, give it back
If you haven't heard about this one, it's pretty ridiculous. Back in the 90's, as an incentive for current soldiers to re-enlist in the military, they were offered bonuses. Many of them had already served through multiple deployments, often to combat zones. The bonuses probably pushed more than a few of them to re-up for another term of duty, which was the point, right?

All well and good. No one reasonably would take issue with enlistment bonuses, right?

Well, it turns out that there are allegations of fraud involved and many of the bonuses paid may not have been eligible in the first place, though none of that is alleged to be the fault of those who received the bonuses and re-enlisted because of them. The federal government wants the money back, decades later. Plus processing fees. I wish I was kidding.

THIS IS WHY WE NEED SCIENCE EDUCATION YOU GUYS
In a shockingly sad story this week, a meninist with a tiny little man brain tried to argue that tampons should be taxed because they are a luxury item. 

Wait. Let me back up a second. 

Essentially, women have been advocating for the taxes on menstruation products to be dropped for a while now, saying that they should be seen as a necessity and therefore exempt from most sales taxes. This charming little fella made a doody of a rant online saying how he thought they should still be taxed because tampons aren't necessary and that women should really just learn how to control their bladders.

I'll wait.

Go ahead. Laugh your ass off.

Maybe wipe the spit off of your computer screen.

Yeah, this dude honestly believes that period blood comes out of our urethras, ladies. 

***and other signs that we need science....

My Raging Anxiety and Weirdness and Forgetfulness
I still haven't written about the conference I attended, and I will. I swear. I am in the stage of dealing with the conference aftereffects where I'm just mostly pissed at myself for not meeting all the people I should have met, or talking to all the people I should have talked to, or taking pictures with all the people I should have taken pictures with. 

Yeah. 

That. 

I literally went to my room and put myself to bed early rather than interacting with people. And I hate myself for it.

Rawr.

Slavery language is on the ballot and there are really people arguing that we should keep it....
I live in Colorado. Our state constitution, like the constitutions of most states, is modeled after the US Constitution. And tucked within the 13th Amendment is a little clause that most people don't even realize exists. The Amendment, the one that supposedly freed the slaves and abolished slavery, only partially did that. 

Instead, the language persists to this day that slavery (i.e. forced labor) is permissible during imprisonment. 

There is an entire documentary about the history of this portion of the amendment, and the implications of it and how it has been used and continues to be used today....including the resurrection of chain gangs in Arizona recently. It's called 13th, and is playing on Netflix. I highly recommend that you drop whatever you are doing and go watch it right now.

This language is in the state constitution here currently, and there is a ballot measure to have it stricken from the document. There are actually people who don't see a problem with it, quite a few of them who believe that compulsory labor is perfectly fine for those who are incarcerated. 

SMDH.

OMG SPOILERS
So, this is the part where I am not going to tell you who died on The Walking Dead this week, because I don't do that whole spoiler thing, but HOLY SHIT the internet for the past 36 hours. My god, people.

For real, there are people online who maintain radio silence through every kind of horrific news story and injustice in the world, who are content to ignore major inequalities in the world....but throw a time zone differential and a television show into the mix and suddenly they've never been more angry in their lives?

Really?

It's a show. It airs in different time zones. If you don't want to know what happens, then stay off the internet for a few hours. It's called self control. You can't expect the rest of the world to protect your precious anticipation. It doesn't work like that.

Also...it'd be nice if you could get this fired up about shit that matters, people.

It's particularly amusing that so many of those pissed at the internet right now, to the point of unfriending people loudly and making threats, are the type of people who generally are all about personal responsibility, pretty frequently the ones who refuse to believe in things like privilege and unfairness. Hmm. 

Mmmmhmmmmm.

Also, let's talk about the violence for a second because that's the other thing everyone is fired up about. IT IS A VIOLENT SHOW. This isn't new information. If you've read the comics, you knew what was going to happen and how. If you've seen the show at all, you know that the zombies aren't the monsters, the people are. People have been waiting with bated breath for literal months to find out who was going to get their head bashed in with a baseball bat, and then they freak out when it actually goes down? 

No. You don't get to complain now.

There is a whole side of this that isn't being talked about much, and it requires me to write spoilers, so if you haven't watched it yet, skip to the next section. 
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The fact that Glenn died has some people really upset. He was the only Asian-American character on the show, the emotional center of the group, and a soon to be father. People of color haven't fared well on this show (or really any show in the history of time if we are being honest...) He was the one that met Lucille in the comics, though, so for people who've read them, this is finally a means to get the show back on track with the comics. However, it is worth asking why the stories were written this way to begin with. It's particularly troubling when you realize that Glenn's death is eerily similar to an actual crime that took place. Vincent Chin was beaten to death with a baseball bat in a horrific hate crime. 

Suddenly, fiction isn't so fictional anymore...

This Week in Racism
I'm doing this as a bulleted list because it's so bad. Holy shit. This election is really bringing out the worst in people.





America, 2016.

Get your shit together.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

My brain is mush and flying is magic

I haven't written anything in so long that I was starting to wonder if my fingers would remember how to actually type on a keyboard.

I kid.

Sort of.

I've really been slacking at this whole writing thing lately. It's not for lack of desire, truly. It's mostly a complete lack of time, combined with the fact that once I become stationary at night, there's not a whole lot that is going to change that.

I've had my hands fuller than normal these past few months with my homeschooler. It's mostly good in that we are figuring out why things have always been harder for him, addressing them. His general situation is vastly improved...but it also means that I've been fully immersed in that. There's not a whole lot of time left for me to just sit long enough to write anything down.

You all should see the half composed posts that are floating around in my head, though. They're pretty fucking amazing.

Anyhow.

I went to Atlanta this past weekend for the Warrior Mom Conference and while I absolutely plan to write about that entire experience at some point, I know that I'm not ready to do that yet. I'm still processing all the sessions and speakers, still speechless about meeting all the people who'd only lived in my computer before last Thursday. That, and I'm still not fully recovered from the asthma attack I totally had Saturday night that left me lying on the bathroom floor with the shower running so I didn't die.

Note to self: YOU ARE ALLERGIC TO THE ENTIRE STATE OF GEORGIA AND IF YOU EVER GO THERE AGAIN, TAKE ALL YOUR DAMNED MEDICATION WITH YOU JUST IN CASE.

Yeah, that one needed to be in all caps.

I'll get there. I have some profound things to say about the whole experience, some really important information to relay to you all, some important healing I did for myself. All that jazz. And I'll get there. Just not today.

Today, though, since we're here, do you want to read about flying?

Up to you, I suppose, but I'm writing it either way.

I'm terrified of flying. Like scared to death.

I really should be medicated but the truth is that ativan knocks me flat out for too long, longer than the flight lasts and no one wants to drag my half conscious ass anywhere. So, I don't take it. I mean it would help, but I consider my not taking it to be a community service to those around me.

Like, I cannot be held responsible for the things I do or say level of community service.

So, instead I drink.

I know, I know, I know.

It's a really shitty coping mechanism. I'm aware. I'm doing it anyway because without it (or the threat of an impending trip to an out of state ER...more on that in a later post, I am sure), there's no way I'm getting on a plane.

All the nope.

I have raging anxiety issues and am a next level control freak. I drive everywhere. For real, my husband has a chauffeur. He doesn't mind, I get to feel like I have some semblance of control over my fate. It works.

So then you can imagine that flying scares the shit out of me.

It scares me because I don't understand it.

I can explain all the physics involved, sure. I can tell you all you'd need to know about lift and thrust and speed. But none of it holds any weight in my head when the metal tube accelerates enough for the front wheels to lift off and I'm just hoping hoping hoping that science isn't all some terrible lie we've been told while we were paying extra to check a bag.

For my life long love of all things science, I'm still totally convinced that flying is magic.

This is the part where I like to remind people that anxiety and fear of flying isn't rational and that I'm fully aware of the fact that it is not rational and that fear and anxiety aren't rational, so you can point out the fact that I'm far more likely to die on the highway on the way to the airport than I am in the plane, and it won't matter. Not even a little bit.

I am not to be reasoned with.

My flight to Atlanta was early-ish. I had to be at the airport by 9am or so. You'd think that would be too early to drink, but NOPE.

I had a bloody mary with an extra shot of vodka before I got on the plane, which ended up costing more than my food did but I was willing to accept that as a small price to pay for my ability to walk down the ramp and get into the flying metal death trap.

I texted a friend waiting for me on the other end as I was waiting for the check. She knows of my issues. Likes me anyway. The waitress was taking her time getting the check to me and the panic started to set in a little bit, because I knew that I had to go to the bathroom at least three more times before I got on the plane because this digestive system and anxiety do not play nicely together.

No lie, this is the text I sent her.


I'm amazed that people put up with me.

When I got on the plane, I was nervous enough. Because have you met me?

They serve booze on planes for people like me.


And they have bulk discounts.

Also for people like me.

Then a mom with three small kids slid into the row behind me, and I knew that I had to keep my shit together at least marginally because there were kids right there. I can compose myself like a boss when there are children present. When there aren't....well....

The kids did great on the flight, SO MUCH BETTER than the obnoxious woman next to me. Although, truth be told, I think the airplane gods put her beside me on purpose so that I'd be so annoyed that I wouldn't even notice how worried I was that we were going to die.

It worked pretty well.

The best part about that flight was that I was reading Luvvie Ajayi's new book I'm Judging You, and I totally was. If you haven't read it yet, please go get it.

Side eye.

We lived, obvs. I got off the plane and did the things I was supposed to do and didn't make too much of an ass out of myself over the weekend, although my assessment is just that and could totally be wrong and skewed. So, more precisely, no one told me that I was being an ass. So there's that.

I did get this too.


I've wanted this tattoo for YEARS. My name means "Warrior Woman". My superhero patronus is Wonder Woman. I was at the Warrior Mom conference. So, basically the stars aligned and I had no choice in the matter.

I'm madly in love with it.

I love it even more after some rando dude in the airport told me that while he "loved" my tattoo, it was too big and shouldn't be on my arm.

Oh.

Okay, then.

I didn't realize your opinion meant shit.

OH THAT'S RIGHT IT DOESN'T

***twirls fast pew pew pew***

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