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Oh god, another Fairytale Reimagining!

I love them really. They are just very very very common, and I think I might be getting sick of them. But know my brain has gone and done a horrible, horrible thing: it has come up with its own fairytale rewrite (for those of you who know my previous rewrite, much better than my morbid little sixth-grade "Black Cherry and the Seven Dragons")... series.

Short stories. Or interweaving stories. Goddess forbid, an actual novel in which the protags (who are survivors of various kinds of awful - morbidity hasn't left me) join together to be epic badass protags, overthrowing their assailants, or not. I haven't figured that part out. But I "finished" the one that started it all (again), a flavor of Cinderella, and the seeds have been sown for her fellow princess stories.

Hmm... maybe I'll redo Black Cherry...

Weird Dreams

Recently I was in a theater with some friends, watching short plays, and accepted a pill (for a headache?). I was totally out of it, and everything was shiny and fuzzy at the same time. I had to hold myself to keep all my feelings inside, and eyeballs were kinda freaky. My group got up to do our short play. I really couldn’t tell you want it was about, because I was avoiding eye contact and checking out all the super bright lights that were burning my eyeballs, but according to the compliments I received after the play, my role was a child with autism.

Then I woke up.

I have a few ideas about what it could mean other than to get more sleep and learn more about autism, but frankly I haven't been following my own advice about sleep. Any ideas?

Co-Worker

Confessions of a Co-Worker

Listen, dude-I-just-met-and-happen-to-work-with, I don’t like it when you come over to my station, clap your hand on my shoulder, and make territorial/possessive jokes about me to the other men we work with. I did not volunteer to be your object of attention. I signed on to have a job as a line cook.

I did not sign on to be joked at to not go back to my station when my supervisor calls me, to be herded into a freezer, to have the door fall shut and not be able to get around you, and for the lights to shut off.

I did not sign on for you to respond to my calls for "Lights on!" with "No need to scream, it’s not like I’m raping you,” and your privileged pouts.

I am so glad I said no when you offered me a ride the other night. Because my instincts are telling me to run, as far away from you as possible. You might not look like a predator, but my prey instincts are honed by years of absorbing verbal abuse, slut shaming, and violence towards women. I know when there is the potential for danger.

And you, dude-I-just-met-and-happen-to-work-with, reek of potential danger.

Religious People Come Knocking

As I plated my eggs and started arranging my tomatoes for breakfast, the doorbell rang. Cel scrambled for the door, barking and yapping, sliding on the wooden floors. I was expecting people to pick up the furniture currently occupying the front room, so I tossed Cel into the library, and shut the door, cutting him off from the front of the house.

At the door were two women in flowery dresses, carrying purses. As unlikely as it was, I asked them if they were here for the furniture. They laughed and said no, they were here to talk to their neighbors. These women knew their stuff, they didn't mention a creator until I was already talking to them, and politeness would beg me continue to listen.

They asked what I saw in the future, and I prattled about hope, and cross-generational collaboration, knowing my complete view of the future wasn't necessary. Then they introduced their beliefs, identifying as believers in a Creator (they didn't say which Church or faith). They briefly touched on intelligent design and the complexity of nature, citing my barking dog, the trees, ourselves, and even an amoeba (which while somewhat complex, is one of the simplest organisms). As I glanced around, I didn't see the static images they were suggesting as the intelligent design of a Creator. I saw the endless possibilities that brought them to this exact spot, and the endless possibilities that will change their seedlings evolutionary path. I know exactly how difficult it is to shape a tree and all it's leaves out of clay, and maybe it was that part of my brain saying, "No, the Creator, if there is one, probably just threw a lot of potential down, and walked away laughing." Also, landscaping.

They continued and suggested it would be nice if no one grew old, sick, or died, and always took care of the earth. An endless eternity to delve into my subject. My mind of course went to the elves of Middle Earth, and in Eragon. Now it lingers on Tuck Everlasting. Point is, I don't see the appeal of living forever, it's unhappy shit, and gets boring. I'm perfectly happy to toil away for at least three score and leave the world in the capable hands of the next generations (assuming they were raised well, this shouldn't be an issue). I like that I feel a huge range of emotions, and that I'm not perfectly content, because then what would I do with my life? There wouldn't be a reason to write books, to study at college, to adventure, to do anything but dance and eat. There wouldn't even be a point to have kids, because then it would get crowded. I like people, but not that much. I mean, every story ever that involves an immortal, involves said immortal getting bored, doing something stupid and dealing with it or saving mortals. I don't see the hope in that. Only the hope in striving toward that. I wouldn't want to live in that garden.

They continued to ask questions, and pulled out a line. "From one man, He created all nations of men, and determined their place and when their time would end." or something like that (17:26). Point is, "He" apparently designated the rise and fall of humanity, placing boundaries on our existence, and then suggested we might live for all eternity? I think they are talking about Heaven, in which case, don't you have to die first? Speaking of dying, my favorite quote of the conversation is when they said that without the hope God gives, people commit suicide. No. No no no. I have been there, and it wasn't for any Godly hope that I made it out and can never see me going back there. It was the love I have for my friends, and for the adventures I had yet to have. There was no God in that equation, before, after, or during. I may be an exception, but there are also people who commit suicide so they can take the shortcut to Heaven. Clearly, the hope God gives is not the only variable in this equation.

I will say that I appreciated their faith, humor, and kind will, even while I silently sniggered at the content. They believe in something so strongly that they are willing to risk people disapproving their beliefs, sharing their good wishes for everyone. This can be dangerous too, but in that moment on the porch, they were committing no violence. They laughed with me, when I was deliberately questioning faith, and they clearly wished me all the best. Even though I disagree with the details of their faith, there were no hard feelings, and we all went away smiling.

Sometimes it's okay when Religious folks come knocking at my door.

Employment Acheived! Privilege Analysis.

On Thursday last week, I started looking for a job, and by the next day was getting a number of calls, and had three interviews set up by Saturday morning. I was really excited by how fast everything was moving, and a bit freaked out, because what if I made the "wrong" choice? It quickly became clear the "right" choice, and suddenly I wasn't all that worried.

Both the interviews went well. In both I was offered a better wage than I have ever had, in both it was clear they wanted me on their teams, and in both I feel I presented my best self. There were note worthy differences, and needless to say, I picked the higher-paying, more challenging job, with the best atmosphere: Line cook at the Cheesecake Factory.

It struck me though, as I was filling out paperwork and stuff, that I'm incredibly lucky. I have no experience whatsoever in the restaurant business, and I skipped several of the usual jobs people work before working as a line cook. How did that happen? I'm inclined to say it was my own work, but I don't think that's all that played into my good fortune. The largest part of why I'm apparently so employable is due to my first year college experience. I had amazing opportunities to participate in leadership training, free of charge. I tucked away three more jobs (held simultaneously - so yes, a fair amount of elbow grease went into that part) into my resume. Two of those jobs required either intense training or prior knowledge and a willingness to continue learning. But those jobs were offered through my college, and fairly easy to get.

College is a privilege, and I'm intensely grateful I'm able to study in a private, liberal arts college of my choosing. I'm lucky that I have parents willing to help with loans, let me live with them, and support me.

Getting into college was also easy. I had an outstanding score on my ACT, my grades were almost all good, although there were a few failed classes and other rough spots. I started my high school career in suburbia, in a place where I was expected to perform top of the game, along with all the other AP track kids. I went to five different schools, and realized that the expectation of high performance is not universal, and I was lucky to have been to a school that expected those grades, scores, and performance level. The teachers clearly cared (possibly paid more than big city teachers?), and were not very worried about discipline (a frequent concern in big city schools). Quality education is a privilege. It's a white privilege. I could continue, and talk about how my housing and finances were secure enough I wasn't exposed to budgeting and money issues until halfway through high school, and how I am taken seriously in classes.

I grew up in a privileged household, and this gave me opportunities not everyone is afforded. I do not have to worry about how to make ends meet, or whether I will get harassed by officers on my way to the grocery store (or worse, racist bigots), and that's a privilege. I don't like accepting I live a privileged life, and that the things I "earn" sometimes come at the expense of others. It's a fact of being white though (the examples above are not necessarily the best to illustrate this point).

I wonder who else applied for the position I "earned"? Was it a parent, who desperately needs that second job to make ends meet? Was it another college student, not so fortunate as I am? Was it someone who moved to the country, hoping to send money home, because jobs are supposedly so available here?

I am not saying I would like to relinquish my job, because that's far from the truth. However, it's startling to realize I have had life so easy. It's also very sad, that the fortune I have been afforded, things I once took entirely for granted, are not universal. These things should not be associated with privilege. Quality education, solid employment, and stability should be available to everyone. Not just everyone, especially white people.

Tomorrow is day four of the training.

The Wish-List of a Not-Yet Mother

Inspired by this.

When I have a child, I wish for love
Love in abundance, so they never have to wonder if I really love them, or if there is really enough love to share with everyone, indiscriminately.

When I have a child, I wish for patience
Patience to listen to the burbles, nonsense, stories, and tears that they will share with me throughout the years.

When I have a child, I wish for an open mind
An open mind to allow my child to be their true self, without compromise to my imagined morals.

When I have a child, I wish for strength
Strength to discipline, strength to love them one thousand two percent, strength to protect them, and the strength to let them grow.

When I have a child, I wish for connections
Connections that ground me, support me, and remind me I'm not fucking insane for having a kid.

When I have a child, I wish for energy
Energy to share with my kid at the end of a long work day, when I still have a hundred more things to do and just want to sleep.

When I have a child, I wish for resourcefulness
Resourcefulness so I can give them the world as their friend, without going broke... again.

When I have a child, I wish for flexibility
Flexibility to be spontaneous and still get everything that needs to get done, done.

When I have a child, I wish for magic
Magic so my child sees fairies in the dew, and possibilities in the dark, so I can turn the terribly mundane into a child's pleasure.

When I have a child, I wish for humility
Humility to make mistakes, learn from them, and know my child will still love me even if I'm not always the Infallible Goddess of Motherhood, and even when it isn't said.

When I have a child, I wish for thankfulness
Thankfulness for the people who showed me what it takes to be a mother, the best mother, for the unique snowflake(s) I hope to bring into the world.

--Kethry Burke-Scovill, A Not-Yet Mother with an Incomplete Wish List

Arrival

So I've successfully arrived, and so far managed to whine about almost every security measure EVER, unpack a fair number of boxes, burn things, get ridiculously excited, and make adorable little Work Reference/contact info cards. And take a picture or two of my giraffe, Girard.
Girard helps me make fries

Brain Power

I really wanted to write an awesome post about how angry the phrase "Marriage Equality" makes me, but I ran out of brain power and focus.

So now I'm trolling the internet.

Here, have a cool link. Sorry the words kind of run off into the margins. Copy/pasting into another document may work, and will make for much amusement.

Love you, I'm sleeping and TOTALLY not watching Cabin in the Woods, even though it's on the screen right now. Going to bed now, promise.

Blog Addict?

Before Tumblr, I was a happy person, who stuck to Facebook and did awesome things.

Then Tumblr happened, and suddenly I realized I could manage more than one social media site at a time. The whole interwebs opened up very unexpectedly before my eyes.

Between Facebook, Tumblr, LiveJournal, and Stories in Tanzania, I'm doing crazy amounts of input and output on the interwebs. Daily.

I'm not managing to make it to every site daily, but I don't know how to structure my day without my blogs. Morning, finish SIT post; throughout the day, FB and Tumblr; evening, LJ, and set up a new SIT post.

My life may not revolve around blogs, but it is definitely structured by them. I'm not sure how I feel about this.

I really like that I have all this space to express myself, and to learn new things constantly. At the same time, I don't want my life eaten up by the interwebs. That's not healthy, and I like going outside.

I still do awesome things.

OH MY GOODNESS! A BLOG!

Guess what? I'm doing a new blog! It will be a place specifically for all my stories from Tanzania. Each day I will wake up and write a story, related to a picture, and post it to Stories from Tanzania. I'm very excited to share my adventures, and I hope that you will enjoy it!

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