Mansplaining or Dental Work. Which is worse?

Ok, so I’m going to disappoint you because I really can’t tell you which of these horrid phenomena is worse.

Let me say up front that I generally try to work hard and pay my bills. I have some rather expensive dental work I keep putting off simply because I can’t afford it. I’m still paying off my dental work from November of 2015. I inherited my mother’s teeth and jaws. And they have really bad problems – and stiffness now. It’s odd. The joint pain is more like stiffness some days. Can you get arthritis in your jaws? Does it result from TMJ? (I have had osteoarthritis in both knees and both ankles since I was very young.)

Anyway, I am trying to find a way to consolidate my debt and move forward so I can (yippee!) get more dental work done.

Yesterday, I had to listen to a banker lecture me on how he was ‘on my side’. And he didn’t like my ideas. So I walked out of the bank I’ve used for more than 12 years with no satisfactory answers or timeframes.

Did he want my business? I’m rather doubtful. And I’m not sure I want to listen to the patronizing mansplaining any more.

The real kicker is my current credit score is 736. Which is, as I understand it, pretty decent.

I guess I’ll deal with the pain for a little while longer.

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A Symbol of My Freedom… and A Bit More Inspiration

So, my gun-toting, Republican brother posted another Meme of Brilliance today. Sadly, I’m sure he found humor and truth in this picture:

I grew up around guns. I even learned how to shoot. And because of my family’s choices, and my subsequent life experiences apart from my family, I can see both sides of many perspectives. I am rather happy to have found freedom in other choices. I don’t have to live constantly on the defense and crippled by stereotypes because my choices and habits allow me independence of mind and body.
With that background, let me me share a symbol of my freedom:

So what is that? An incomplete sock? Those five little U.S. size O double point needles, to me, symbolize a skill of independence, a tradition of artistry and self-reliance, and a small way for me to separate myself from the Corporate Monster that forces us to all wear the same things, eat over-processed foods that kill us, and give up our ability and thought. 

I can spin my own yarns (although I did not make the yarn pictured), take a few measurements, and create something I need and will use every day. If I see a pattern in nature while I hike, I can translate it to yarn and carry that moment of joy and inspiration with me every time I wear that pair of socks or gloves (for I use these needles for both types of projects).

While the yarn pictured makes an interesting fabric due to the way it is dyed, the real interest for me is on the other side of the sock:

I really want to name this pattern “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend”, but I’m afraid that name might be taken. 😉

I have said it before, I am a girl who likes dirt, plants and the great outdoors. I got the idea for this pattern after seeing a rattlesnake slithering along the ground at one of my former parks. Diamonds don’t have to be set in 14 karat gold to be special. And lots of folks like many types of diamonds.

I haven’t bought a pair of readymade socks in 15+ years. But I have a rainbow of pairs of socks that reflect my travels, observations, and experiences. Freedom of creation and supplying for my needs. 

My kniiting needles are indeed a great symbol of freedom.

Things That Need Fixing

In the spirit of yesterday’s post about the future, I am going to point out a few situations that need to be fixed. I find myself hashing and rehashing these same issues over and over again. Probably because I care about them and I see little change to the positive around me.

  1. We need to listen to multiple viewpoints, and we need to learn to work together. Of course, the current cadre of political candidates might tell you the opposite. We need to stop preaching and just listen. The reality is that we all must exist together and we have finite resources to sustain our species, at least for the moment. (Now is not a time to discuss space travel and related topics, as science and technology funding is ever decreasing and pushed to the back burner.) How can we make this country work? We all must work together, find common ground, and take care of each other. It’s that simple.
  2. Every single U.S. citizen ought to learn – and care about – from whence their drinking water comes. I am convinced that our domestic water supply (or lack thereof) is one of the biggest – if not THE biggest – domestic issue facing our nation going forward. Name for me, if you will, one watershed (or one city, for that matter) that isn’t facing some sort of water crisis. Pollution, drought, water rights based on historic numbers (either in supply OR demand) that no longer hold true, water rights disputes, allowing of non-essential uses (i.e. watering things like golf courses and lawns in drought years), etc. etc. etc.  I can’t tell you how many people have told me something like, “As long as the water comes out when I turn the faucet on, I don’t care where it comes from.” Ignorance is NOT bliss and people who hold attitudes like this are just ignorant and selfish.
  3. People need to openly admit that we, as a species, CAN and DO affect the climate and ecology of our planet. Here in North America, we have done a lot to change our section of the world, just to name a few: suppression of natural forest fire regimes, water diversion projects (dams, reservoirs, etc.), and even the forced removal of free-ranging bison on the great plains have all had impacts on water regimes, air quality, plant communities (and how plant communities function), and wildfire behavior, just to name a few. Each of these processes then affects our neighborhoods and the resources we need to sustain our lives. (Think we don’t need clean water? Ask the people of Flint, MI, what they think of that statement.) It is our own arrogance and dislike of responsibility that causes us to deny our innate ability to change our environment and climate.
  4. We need to take an honest, fresh look at what we consider “hard work” and “skills” and make ourselves willing to do just a bit more. This country’s infrastructure was built by hard work, and while some people still must work very hard, technology has made our lives a lot easier and more simple. But here’s the kicker: some things have not changed. For example, we still use toilets. They often require plumbers. Do you do your own plumbing? If so, great! But many people wouldn’t know where to begin, and that is the problem. Many skills have gone by the wayside for various reasons. We need to see a resurgence of skilled tradesmen and tradeswomen in the U.S. citizenry, and a respect for such trades, if we are going to close our borders and ‘make America great again’ (as one current candidate keeps blathering). There is a lot of work out there, if we had the skills – work that needs to be done and done WELL. We need to learn these skills and work hard enough that we feel pride in stamping our name to a job completed. Frankly, I’d love to see projects brought back like the Civilian Conservation Corps. Get young people out of their homes, away from technology, teach them some skills and trades, and send them home with a bit of money upon which to start the rest of their lives. (Maybe fewer people would raise an eyebrow at me when I say I knit my own socks, gloves, hats, and scarves. I have skills.)

 

Now, you might have thought I was going to talk about which political candidates I thought needed fixing. (Too late; they’ve already reproduced.) But I think our nation’s problems are deep and the Reactionaries trying to get into the White House are just the outward manifestation of these problems.

2016: The year that will NOT be my circus.

Today is New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2015. I had to work today, and although it was slow at work, I had two conversations that stood out. They stood out because I said the exact same thing to two different people facing two different situations.

First, I have a friend who has a confusing man-friend situation. Single ladies out there, you know exactly what I mean. She is frustrated by several aspects of their relationship (or non-relationship, as it seemed to me). I told her to stop beating herself up for the sake of someone who treats her the way he does. I told her to repeat after me, “This is NOT my circus. This is not my circus,” whenever she felt herself getting pulled into a troublesome ‘situation’ with said man-friend. Walk away, girlfriend! You will be happier and healthier in the long run.

Second, a friend/coworker called me at work today to check if I saw a message left for me. I had seen the message, and our conversation soon turned to work-related venting. Apparently, she was rather frustrated that other coworkers of our had not followed procedures, not informed her of a specific detail of a work assignment, and left her (by omission) out of the loop such that she didn’t accomplish something she should have accomplished earlier this week. (Incidentally, I also assured her, had I not been out of town on vacation, the situation would have never happened. Little good that did. She reminded me I needed the vacation as much as anyone.)

I told her to remember that this isn’t her circus and she can’t be blamed for someone else’s proven inadequacy. But here’s the kicker about friend #2: she is leaving her current work situation for (we hope) greener pastures, just as I am about to do. I reminded her that it’s going to be over soon. She’s moving on to a place where she can affect positive change and not just stagnate in the quagmire we find ourselves in here at our present location.

A bit later in the conversation, we came upon another topic of frustration to both of us and I repeated my earlier utterance: This is not my circus. I need to walk away and so do you.

Now at the risk of using too many cliches, let me tell you why this isn’t my circus:

  1. I cannot fix stupid.
  2. I cannot make people do understand their job, much less do their job.
  3. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Equally so is the lack of knowledge.
  4. These people are, believe it or not, adults. I don’t get paid enough to babysit my adult coworkers. One other coworker asked me last week what, if anything, will happen when I leave my job because no one else in the park has my skill set. (I really believe she was trying to point out the obvious, although I might not have been her real target audience.)
  5. All hell seems to break loose here on a regular basis. It stresses me out. It prevents me from being productive, which in turn, makes me feel lousy – physically and mentally.

So I must remind myself that I am a short-timer here and this is most definitely NOT my circus.

On that thought, I will begin the new year. I have a LOT of work to do in the next three weeks before I move to my new job. I am attempting to pare down my personal belongings before moving; I am trying to finish up several knitting orders and knitted projects/gifts; I am hoping to finish a book or two; I am trying to work towards my goal of drinking more water so I’m not dry and dehydrated this winter as I move back up to a higher altitude.

We all have goals for the new year. I have lots of things I want to accomplish. But for now, I’ll be content if I can just remember, “This is not my circus,” and just walk away.

Topic of the Day: What You’d Say to the Bully Who Tormented You

Well, let me preface by stating that I would never be able to actually say this. Because it would hurt a third person whom I care about deeply.

But here goes:

It must be so hard for you to keep up appearances. You and your guns and your racial slurs and your “house”.

You are just another example of the 1%, the white male privilege in the U.S.

Do people know that you are married, and expecting a baby, and yet you and your wife live for free while your parents foot the bill? Parents that are now on a fixed income. You got a free house, free utilities, and yet you talk about Obama taking away your lifestyle. You know, my mother sent me $40 for my birthday and I actually felt guilty.

You are really not fooling anyone. You are living a hypocritical lifestyle and you must be exhausted, keeping up those appearances, trying to find new ways every day to hide the truth. Like it or not, you’re a welfare case.

I was conditioned from an early age to not “squawk” and let you do to me whatever you wanted, just so we wouldn’t “fight”. “Fighting” was so bad. Ironic that the same person who enforced that voted for every war-mongering Republican as far back as I can remember. Obviously, he believed in standing up for yourself at some point. But clearly, that standard was not meant for me; I was never allowed to stand up for myself.

I have had to choose between health care and keeping a roof over my head. I have had to go without meals because I had to figure out how to pay bills. I know I have it much better than some, and I have learned how to get by. I have learned lots of things that help me every day. But every time I see you getting a free weekend at a winery or some other little getaway, I can admit it: I get jealous.

I have worked in some pretty amazing places. And travelling to and from those places has been really cool. But you know what? I always had a job waiting for me at each destination. And no one found those jobs for me. I had 2-3 part time jobs several semesters in school, just so I didn’t have to beg mom and dad for everything in life. I was trying (and sometimes failing) to be an independent adult. Have you ever even tried? Failure is guaranteed if you don’t try.

And people wonder why I just walk away from a bad situation and find something else today. How does one, conditioned to be a doormat, learn to stand up again?

Dear God, Again?!?

I don’t get it. And I can’t get my thoughts in a logical order tonight. So here’s my rant:

Who would target a place that helps disabled people?

Of course there are two statements I am sure to hear/read if I ask that question.

1. The shooters were mentally ill.
2. Guns don’t kill people. People kill people. And people are going to get guns anyway, so why limit gun ownership?

Fine. If it makes the streets so much safer if everybody and their blind uncle owns a gun, where were the heroes today? Why did those shooters feel empowered to go kill 14 people at a time? Why am I to be ok with these headlines; sigh, it’s just another day.

Yes, I know the police then killed two suspects.

But why did it have to come down to another mass shooting? Why do people feel the need to go shoot at hoardes of people? Why aren’t we trying to deal with the root of the problem?

Oh wait, that involves health care.

Seriously. Reasonable health care for everyone is supposed to be awful for this country, or so many people would like me to believe. But we have real problems, and to those who are opposed to universal health care, what is the solution?

Health care is evil, but we can have as many guns as we like?!? I’d rather have the former, thank you very much.

Oh, I do have answers to my questions, but I just want to pose the questions first.

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Think Parks Canada would give an ex-pat an interpretive ranger position? I’m willing to relocate.