Sunday, August 24, 2014

Tina

     For those of you who don't know, Tina Downey of Life Is Good passed away last night, on August the 23rd. She was a host of the A-Z Challenge, a blogger, a writer, a poet, a sister, a mother, a wife, a daughter, an aunt, my math teacher, and a personal friend. And so much more.

     She was in and out of the hospital this year for various reasons. She struggled with pulmonary hypertension, hypoglycemia, severe asthma, and depression, among other things. After being in the hospital for a few weeks, she was finally able to go home for another few weeks.

     On Tuesday, she was readmitted to the hospital. The email that she sent me, but her sister typed out for her, said that she was having problems with her heart caused by the asthma. Her blog says that she appeared to be getting better and it was discovered that she also had sepsis, until Saturday evening when she took a turn for the worse. Someone on Facebook said that she was surrounded by those that she loved.

     Tina had a lot of influence on the blogging world and changed a lot of lives. She was always, always supportive and willing to do everything in the world to help her friends and her family. She was funny, sweet, and had a heart of pure gold unlike anyone that I've ever known before.

     I'm never going to get to ask her what the "KMD" in the blog link is. I'm never going to get to apologize for telling her about my weird/bad week that I told her about just before I found out that she was back in the hospital. I'm never going to tell her I'm sorry that I was wrong, when I promised her that she would get better and it would be okay. I'm never going to get to hug her and tell her thank you for changing my life.

     So here I am now. Brokenhearted, crying, and missing my friend.

     Last night, not long before I closed the store, my coworker went into the bathroom in the back. She said a plastic shoe shape-holder fell from on top of the door. I had been in there a few minutes before her and there was no way for one to be up there, but still be able to close.

     This morning at work, I turned on the music when I arrived. I couldn't help but think of the music game that Tina and I had going on, to introduce new music to each other. I thought, "Wow. She would really hate this song." (To be fair, it was 'Pop, Lock, And Drop It' by whoever that guy is. I don't know anyone who likes that song.) And the stereo shut off. I went to the back room and everything was fine, nobody was there, but the stereo itself had been shut off.

     A little while later, a little boy was looking in the mirror and said, "There's a blond lady!" His parents were brunette, I'm a (fake) redhead. We were the only ones in the store. His father tried to brush it off, but he kept pointing and saying, "There's a blond lady there!"

     I'm certainly not saying that Tina is haunting me, but I'd like to think that those are signs that she's watching over me and that she wants me to know that she'll still be around, even if it's all coincidence. I know that she's watching over her family, her friends, and probably anyone else that she sees may be in need. That's just who she was and I don't think that even death can change that.

     Tina, I just wanted to let you know that I love you and I miss you. Don't worry about me graduating high school now. You were my math teacher and you taught me things that dozens of other people never succeeded in teaching me before. You changed my life. I'll get my diploma. Not for me anymore, but for you, for all the work you put into making me understand something that nobody else could. Thank you. Now, just rest. You deserve it and you deserve your peace.

     As she always said, "Stupid asthma".

Monday, August 18, 2014

Tough Topics: Rape Culture

     I'm not entirely sure where to begin with this one. Maybe I should explain what rape culture is, first of all. It's something that I actually only heard of within the past year. I never knew what it was until then, so maybe it's phrase that not enough people know.

     Rape culture is the society blaming a rape victim for their assault. It's when people say, "She was wearing a skirt so she deserved it" or "She was at a party so she deserved it" or "She was flirting so she was asking for it" or, basically, "She has a vagina so it's all her fault". It's when people say, "Well he's gay so he wanted it". It's when the victim is accused of wanting to be attacked. It's what lawyers use when they can't just say that they never even saw each other before.

     Rape culture is society teaching women that they need to try not to be raped instead of teaching men not to rape. Now, don't get me wrong, I am fully for being smart and safe. Safety in numbers, always have your keys and phone in your hand, try not to go alone at night, all of the party rules like not accepting drinks from strangers or ever leaving your drink unattended. Safety is extremely important and I would never, ever suggest that it's not. But the problem is that women are being taught all of these safety rules to live by, but men aren't being taught "Yo, raping is a bad thing, don't do it". Or if they are, society isn't doing a very good job of it.

     Rape culture is women, men, and children being too scared to seek help because of the fear that they'll be blamed. So many people are assaulted but don't go to the authorities, or anyone else for that matter, because it's been drilled into their heads that they could have done something more to prevent it, so it just must be their fault. And it's not. It is absolutely not their fault but too many people are too ashamed of what their attacker did, instead of their attacker being ashamed of it.

     Rape culture is when somebody goes to a party and ends up drunk, high, or drugged and wakes up wondering why their underwear is on the floor. Later, they see the videos or pictures of them being attacked while barely conscious and completely unable to consent to what is happening. But instead of the rapist (or, many times, rapists) being blamed and arrested, they're being congratulated for "getting laid" while the victim is accused of being a slut or a fag.

     Rape culture is when somebody goes on a mass murder killing spree because "girls just aren't interested in him" and people actually support his actions because of it.

     All rapists and attempted rapists need to go to prison and stay there until it's time to put them in a coffin. All victims should feel the support behind them to stand up and say, "That bastard attacked me and I want justice". And they should have that justice.

     Bottom line- Rape culture is absolutely fucked up and needs to change.





Disclaimer: I am not a professional or an expert of any kind. What I post here is from the research that I've done mixed with my own personal experiences. If you feel that you need help of any kind, I urge you to seek it with local professionals who know what they're doing.

Rule: This is a judge free zone. I welcome you to express your opinions kindly. If you leave a hateful comment, I will ask that you remember that we discuss sensitive topics and don't want to upset anyone with these posts. If you continue to leave rude or hateful comments, I will screenshot them and use them in my next anti-bullying post, before deleting them from my blog.

Guest Post: If you want to write a guest post, you will be kept anonymous if you so request. Just contact me at pertinax_puella@hotmail.com to discuss it!


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Friday, August 15, 2014

Life Updates

     This post is really just going to be what the title says. Updates. I've had a lot going on and I haven't really shared anything with ya'll so here it is, I guess.

     Since my restaurant job was (and still is) only giving me two-three shifts a week, I was considering getting a second job. Then one day, I literally made enough to buy a soda, so I said, "Fuck this, I'm going to get a second job". Except I texted that to my friend and didn't actually say it, because I didn't want to be fired. Well, I walked around the mall getting applications and saw a sign in a store that they were hiring, so to go in and speak with the manager. Fifteen minutes later, I was walking out and on the schedule to start three days later.

     The second job is in a shoe/accessory store. I work by myself almost constantly and I get very bored. Unless it's busy, there's not really a lot to do. I'm used to fast paced work from being in restaurants so being in the shoe store is weird for me, even though its been about six weeks or so. With both jobs, I either end up with one day off a week or no days off at all. Yesterday is my first and only day off in two weeks.

     Besides working, I've also been wanting to pull my hair out because we are stuck with Roommate for another year. A whole. Fucking. Year. I got the new job about a week too late for us to be able to move into a new apartment. Not only that, but the only available apartments were third floor and we wanted first floor. To top it off, just to have my name on the lease, they want to charge $165 for a background check. My name isn't on the lease.

     Roommate now has a girlfriend. I told Wolfy that I give it two weeks, tops. She's been over a few times and has said a total of four words to me. I said, "Oh hi, it's nice to meet you". She said, "You too". That was all when I met her. When I saw her again, I was washing dishes and she had her phone on the counter. I head it vibrating but she didn't, so I said, "I think you're phone is going off". She said, "Thank you". Beyond that, she gives me a dirty look every time I walk into the room, so that's nice.

     Does anyone remember when I bitched about getting the 4S phone instead of a new one? I said that, just like the 3G, because it was a $1 sale phone it was going to be shit within the year and that I just wanted a couple more weeks so that I could buy a new one but my grandma wouldn't let me. Well, my mom has the same phone. Her's is dead. Literally. The phone will not charge what so ever. She's tried two different chargers and taken it to the Apple store. The only thing they can do is sell her a new 4S for $200. Nobody has $200 for a shit phone that already broke once.

     The only way we can talk, is because she now has a Facebook account. My dad is an ass, for those of you who don't know. His family are all asses. But they're my friends on Facebook so I know when they get married or have a kid (literally- its the only way I stay updated). So I just spent the past two hours trying to get my mom's password correctly and then updating all the security settings to block my dad, but also keep it so only friends can see basically everything.

     The problem is, my aunts constantly make new accounts and then add me so I can't keep up with it to make sure that everyone is blocked. So I've been trying to make sure that nothing my mom says will show her location or any personal info, but not bothering to block them. It's a pain in the ass. I've been signing onto her account every few hours to make sure nothing can be seen that shouldn't be seen. One aunt, who doesn't have much to do with my dad's family but still has ties to her sisters (the sisters are all adopted into the family, they can't be trusted but they can't be fully blamed), has already contacted and has been looking for her for a few years. Why she didn't just contact me and ask me to put them in touch, I have no idea.

     Now, I guess, I need to write up the second post for my Tough Topics series. Already. I can't believe it's been almost two weeks since the debut post. I do want to thank you all for being so kind about your opinions in the comments. I think it's off to a good start and I'd like for it to just get better.

     Just before I could hit publish, Roommate walked in with his girlfriend. One more week and we'll see if my two week prediction lasts. You're welcome to leave suggestions for her nickname. Nothing derogatory. She probably doesn't know better yet.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

The Three Tigers

     When I was in second or third grade, we had to write a story that had to do with threes. Our examples were The Three Little Pigs and The Three Bears, but we could write whatever we wanted. It just had to involve three of something.

     My favorite animal was white tigers (still is, actually). I decided, I was going to write about The Three Tigers (Snowy, Snowball, and Snowflake. Shut up. I was like 8. I had a stray-adopted cat named Tiger and a house cat named Tigeress, names were not my strong suit.) They lived on an island and sort of ruled it, like Simba ruled The Pride Lands in The Lion King. (...Favorite movie since I was 2.)

     Well, thanks to my mom buying the non-fiction informational books about various large cats, I knew what poachers were and I thought they were some of the worst people in the world. I decided that since I was writing about tigers, the only logical bad guys would have to be poachers.

     The story went, that the poachers were tearing apart the island and hunting all of the animals. If they weren't in hiding, then they were hunted, so all the animals were hiding in the trees, the caves, and the water. Even the fish were avoiding the area. The tigers decided that something must be done about it, so they had a meeting together.

     They decided that the only way to get rid of the poachers was to scare them to their boats. Being three, angry tigers, they thought it would be simple enough. Then, from there, they could ask their underwater friends (I think I specifically said sharks, but I can't remember) to scare their boats all the way back across the ocean.

     One of the tigers, however, was concerned. It said, "What if it doesn't work? What if they come back?"

     Another tiger replied, "Well, there's always the volcano."

     I'm pretty sure that I ended it with the poachers never returning to the island and all of the animals living happily ever after or something. I was 8. That's how all stories end for an 8 year old.

     But let me get this straight- I was in grade school, openly discussing how poachers were such a huge problem, that they should be scared into a mother fucking volcano.

     I specifically remember wondering if my teacher and my mom were going to think that my story meant that I was bad, evil, or crazy. After I turned it in, I waited for like two months to see if I was going to get in trouble for having such a violent suggestion in my story. It never happened.

     I don't know if it's worse that I wondered if I would be in trouble or if it's worse that nobody questioned why an 8 year old was writing about potentially throwing people into a volcano. I asked my mom why she was never concerned that I might grow up to be a psychopath and she just laughed.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Tough Topics: Birth Control

     Thank you very much to Sherry Ellis for suggesting the title for this series. It won 3-1 in the poll I had up.

     Welcome to my new series, Tough Topics. It will be taking place every other Monday until further notice. Before we go any further, I would like to say three things:

     Number One- This is a judge free zone. If you post a hateful comment, you will have one warning. If you continue to bully, I will screenshot your comments and use them in whatever anti-bullying post I have coming up next. I want everyone to express their opinions and feelings, but I want it done as kindly as possible.

     Number Two- If you want to write a guest post on any sort of controversial/important/hard to discuss/generally tough topic, please email me at pertinax_puella@hotmail.com so we can discuss it. You will be kept as anonymous as you want.

     Number Three- Massive disclaimer. I am not a professional or an expert of any kind. What I post here is from the research that I've done mixed with my own personal experiences. If you feel that you need help of any kind, I urge you to seek it with a local professional who knows what they're doing. After this post, the disclaimer will be at the bottom of each post, along with any links to sources and contact information for help on relevant topics.




     With the new health care laws going around, there have been a lot of changes happening. One of the biggest, to my understanding, is that employers must provide health care, including birth control, to their female employees. That's a big enough scandal/political issue already that I'm not even going to get started on in this post, because it's not what I want this topic to be focused on.

     Apparently, there are a lot of religious companies, that want to opt out of some birth control options for their employees. Most birth control pills will not be on the list (meaning, some will), but IUD's and the morning after pills will be on that list. (For specific companies. I am referring to Hobby Lobby specifically, because that it what I have sources to).

     That may seem like it's not that big of a deal, but I think it is.

     If a woman is raped and goes to the hospital, they offer her the morning after pill to help prevent pregnancy. Do you know why they do that? Because that woman probably doesn't want to be pregnant with her attacker's child. If a mistake or misunderstanding occurs between the two parties and they discover that no birth control was used (missing a pill, a hole in the condom, thinking the other person was responsible for it, etc), why should they have the right taken away to decide if they are having the child? It's an option to give her the choice, before she ends up pregnant and has to make the choice of keeping it, abortion, or adoption.

     Why are those specific things on the list? With the specific pills (birth control) and the IUD's, the uterus walls are thinned out so that the fertilized egg cannot attach itself. With the morning after pills, it brings on the period before the fertilized egg can attach itself. According to the companies that want to opt out of those specific methods of birth control, they say that it's a form of abortion.

     Can I just point out three little things?

     If they think that an egg that's been fertilized but has no chance to attach, grow, or even become a fetus being "aborted" is bad, how would they feel knowing that they took away the birth control option that could have prevented a pregnancy that resulted in an actual abortion?

     If the egg has already implanted itself to the wall of the uterus, the morning after pill won't even work.

     Not to mention the fact that 30%-70% of eggs fail to attach anyways and then another 25% have natural miscarriages within the first 6 weeks. The statistics add up to being 50%-70% of the fertilized eggs never resulting in "established" pregnancies or birth. So, by their logic, those 50%-70% of fertilized eggs are all miscarriages? (That's a question, because I'm not assuming what they believe, but that seems to be my understanding if a form of birth control is "abortion").

     A woman should have every single available right to whatever form of birth control she wants. It is her body that will be carrying the child. If she is not financially, physically, mentally, or emotionally ready for a child (or if she just plain doesn't want one) then she should not be pressured or forced into having one because she doesn't have access to whatever it is that's needed to prevent a pregnancy in the first place.

     A man should have every single available right to whatever form of birth control he wants. He may not be carrying the child, but he would be just as financially, physically, mentally, and emotionally responsible for it as the woman. (Assuming he's not a rapist. But if he is, throw his ass in jail, never let him out, and fuck anyone who thinks a rapist should have any sort of parental rights. But that's another topic.) He should not be forced or pressured into being a father because he doesn't have access to whatever is needed to prevent pregnancy.

     To my knowledge (and what I just found online), men have five forms of birth control. This may be the most awkward thing I've ever typed on here. Not doing it at all, "outercourse" (that's what the website called it and I personally find it a hilarious name), condoms, "withdrawal" (which shouldn't be on the list at all in my opinion), and a vasectomy. So, basically, they can just not do it with a girl's girly parts, they can use a condom, or they can get the snip snip.

     Why don't men have more options? Am I the only one who thinks that it makes sense to give equal options to both parties if both parties are responsible for the outcome? Not all birth control works 100% of the time (except not having sex, unless your The Virgin Mary, so not even that is 100% effective if you believe in that). It makes sense to me that there would be a lot less unplanned pregnancies if both the man and the woman had some other options, for instance, a daily pill.

     I fully believe that everyone should have the access to whatever birth control that they want to use. If they had access, there would be less unplanned pregnancies. Less unplanned pregnancies would mean that the abortion rate would also be lower. If the goal of those companies is to keep their employees from going against their views (no abortions) then they should be taking steps to help prevent pregnancies to begin with, not taking the options away.


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Not A Source But A Very Good Article