#AtoZChallenge — Katharine Hepburn

This post is part of the April A to Z Blogging Challenge, where I am challenging myself to reflect on other A to Z posts that I come across.


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As a mostly-lesbian, my first instinct is to wholeheartedly agree with this quote. At the same time my partner is, at heart and gradually more and more in body, a dude. (Fun story: This is also not the first time I’ve had feelings for someone who later ended up transitioning or being genderqueer.) And although I tease him quite often about how boys are gross and stinky and please for the love of god stop biting your nails and leaving the resulting bits in my car, I am totally okay with that.

I suppose it helps with the “boys are gross” thing that he’s an OCD and a neat freak. (These are distinctly different things: one is a wired-in brain compulsion that often leads to frustration, vicious self-reproach, and tears; the other is more like this…)

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Here’s the thing about men and women… they’re often raised differently, and the respective upbringings don’t always include a detailed understanding of the other. 

“Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”
~ MLK (source)
(I did take this quote out of context from the post I found it in, but I feel it can be applied to gender inequality as much as it can to racial inequality.)

Living with a trans man is different. If I have cramps or period-related back pains or ridiculously sensitive nipples, I get sympathy born of genuine understanding. He never leaves the seat up, or drips pee on the floor. (I’ve never dated a cis guy, but I’ve lived with them and so has he.) There are probably other stereotypes I’m forgetting that equally do not apply, but I can’t think of them at the moment.

Really, the biggest stumbling block we’ve had in the relationship is the OCD. On basically all other fronts, we coexist quite suitably together. So I’m not sure if I do agree with that quote after all.

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#AtoZChallenge — Hair

This post is part of the April A to Z Blogging Challenge, where I am challenging myself to reflect on other A to Z posts that I come across. 


Hair

https://bethlapinsatozblog.wordpress.com/2018/04/09/hair/
— Read on bethlapinsatozblog.wordpress.com/2018/04/09/hair/


I don’t get my hair cut often, partly because I’m broke and partly because I just don’t put much effort into my hair. Sure I wash it, comb it, etc., but I never got into blow drying it or putting product in it or anything like that. My wake up routine when I have somewhere to go is usually roll out of bed, get dressed, comb hair, walk out the door.

But last week while my partner had an appointment in town, I tagged along and checked out the salon next door. I did very little research before hand and did not make an appointment, despite my best intentions, but they accepted walk-ins and I only had to wait fifteen minutes.

The shampooing my is my favorite part. It’s a glorious scalp massage, with warm water.

The talking is my least favorite part, because I’m awkward as hell. It seems like it would be rude to just sit there in complete silence, especially since they always try to start conversations. But the lady cutting my hair was nice enough. I told her I just wanted a trim because I’m growing my hair out for the wedding next year.

She asked, “Who’s the lucky guy?”

Awkward alert! I’m used to correcting that sort of thing with “lucky girl,” except now my partner is out about transitioning. So there was this pause in which my brain went durrrrrrr for a while, then I think I said something like oh it’s my partner we’ve been together for five years and lived together for three.

After a while she started to catch on that I kept saying partner instead of using pronouns and apologized for being heteronormative. I was so inspired by that I explained that my partner is transitioning and I’m still getting used to the pronoun switch, and we ended up talking about hilarious ways our dudes have been startled awake — mine by a cat biting his nose, hers when she yanked the pillow out from under his head because she was worried he’d roll over on the baby.

I think I’ve posted about this before, now that I’ve written it, but whatever. It’s important. It was a refreshingly good encounter, both in terms of non-awkward acceptance (cough cough my parents are awkward as hell, wonder where I get that from) and me being more talkative while using the new pronouns. It’s just, you never know how people are going to react, you know? This is a pretty liberal town, but still. And… I kind of loathe the idea of being mistaken for straight. We’re a queer couple, but the pronouns no longer indicate that without the extended explanation, and it feels as though my identity gets lost or that I’m lying about it by omission. Both of our identities, really.

So… that’s part of the quandary of getting my hair done now. They always want to talk. I always feel awkward about the talking and end up telling the story about how our last apartment gave me fleas. Every time. It is not a story that makes me sound like a classy person. I don’t know why I always tell that one, it just pops out.

Are there such things as silent hair salons? Because if not, introverts of the world! We should rise up and demand quietly mumble a request for them!

Can you really never go home again?

Conventional wisdom holds that reading fanfiction you wrote six or seven years ago should be a cringe-worthily horrible experience. So… am I weird?

Because I’ve spent the past week reading through stuff I wrote in the last year or so of college and slightly after, and I don’t hate it. After all this time I’m basically my own, relatively unbiased beta reader and I’m polishing things up to post on Archive of Our Own.

Of course, I’m being selective. It’s only one specific fandom and only one specific pairing from it. Well… mostly. I have, like, three favorite characters that didn’t lead me to write things that make me want to dash my head against a wall and/or get a super-sized insulin shot from all that sugary sweetness crap.

That said, even some of the stuff I still like is pretty weird. Like, ‘oh my god why did I write this’ weird. But in a funny way.

Continue reading “Can you really never go home again?”

The Keto experiment has begun.

I have a confession to make… This is the first diet I’ve ever been on.

Growing up in my parents house, my dad basically fed us like we were all on a diet — protein, starch, and vegetables with every meal, plus the built in kind of portion control you can only get from a man who buys things in bulk at Costco and then vacuum seals his own portions of “enough for four,” “enough for three,” “enough for two,” etc. We didn’t have much in the way of snacks around the house, usually, but when I did snack it was usually stuff like a slice off the big brick of Tillamook mild cheddar. Desserts were infrequent, and when they happened usually involved fresh fruit in some way.

I’m not saying I always ate my veggies, but I didn’t eat all that much.

But now I’m going to be thirty in a few months, and I want to lose the stress weight from the past few years… Long story, mostly work related. My partner and I have both decided to try it the Keto diet, which basically means we eat so few carbs our bodies start to metabolize fat for energy instead.

THE EXPERIENCE SO FAR

I feel like crap. Crap in that special way where I’ve been ramping down my carb intake since mid-January and I’m still sliding down the slope of a major sugar low. One day I could barely make myself move for apathy and despair. Another day I kept crying about everything.

Sugar withdrawal is brutal.

The diet started officially a few days ago, and I’m not entirely sure I’ve limited my carb intake enough. Still, I feel like I already have the keto flu. If I do, that means I’m already done with some of the three to five days it usually lasts!

I made some real cool cream cheese truffles. Gotta love Pinterest as a recipe source.

Tonight we both downloaded the KetoDiet Pro app, and that should help with carb counting.

Have I mentioned that I feel like crap? It’s also entirely possible that I have an actual cold still. That, or the weather is warm enough that the plants have decided it’s spring and I’m getting seasonal sinus headaches again. Or maybe both.

GOING FORWARD

I’m going to keep a better eye on my carbs, and start taking some vitamin B and C supplements along with my usual daily boost of vitamin D. Everything is still full steam ahead.

I’ve lost my mind and started rereading my old fanfiction, and actually still like a bunch of it. I mean, I’m editing it before I repost anything on Archive of Our Own, and not all of it is going to make the cut by any means, but a lot of it still makes me laugh in a good way. If nothing else it is nice to have a project.

IWSG Post #13

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FEBRUARY QUESTION: What do you love about the genre you write in most often?

Before I googled some stuff to help me write this post, I didn’t even realize that New Adult was a genre. That’s entirely, completely what I write, and I love that I now have a label I can put my finger on! According to Wikipedia this genre “focuses heavily on life after an individual has become of legal age, and how one deals with the new beginnings of adulthood.”

In college, my usual MO for research papers was to navigate course concepts through whatever I was writing. A psychology/physiology class on emotions resulted in a paper where I explored the science behind emotions by comparing Vulcans to humans. An art history paper turned into an investigation of color choice and medieval pigments as I recreated an unfinished page from an illuminated manuscript and attempted to explain my color choices based on historical precedent.

In the present, I’m turning thirty in May and still don’t feel like an adult yet. So. I’m exploring that in my writing too. I love being able to do that.

Continue reading “IWSG Post #13”

Self-Care for People Trying to Adult Good

This guide was meant specifically to help people with ADHD and ADD. While I don’t have either of those (as far as I know, I am increasingly less and less sure of anything about myself these days), some of the self-care tips struck me as Really Good Ideas. Halfway through reading it I stopped and downloaded the Grid Diary app. Sam’s examples of his own questions he’s set for himself to answer at the beginning and end of every day are, after some slight tweaking, a good reminder for me to be more mindful. Some of these are (tweaks included):

  • What are some strategies I can use to be effective and get shit done today?
  • What’s one way I can support my mental health today?
  • Am I worried about anything?

And one suggested by the app, which I decided to keep:

  • What problem did I encounter today? How did I solve the problem?

As Sam comments in there somewhere, these tips won’t be perfect for everyone but work for him as he spends a lot of time on his phone anyway. My partner, who most likely does have ADD, swears by bullet journals and didn’t seem as interested in this app as I am when I mentioned it — but then I’m more of a phone person, and any time I spend on my phone that’s not noodling away on Candy Crush Soda Saga or Solitaire Tri Peaks is probably a good thing.

 

That’s when I knew: I didn’t want to live like this anymore.

via ADHD Survival Guide: How I Stopped Procrastinating and Got My Sh!t Together — Let’s Queer Things Up!

Sunday Gratitudes #46: The Little Red Number

You know that little red number. It signifies unread texts, unread emails, missed calls, voicemails waiting for you to listen to, and other notifications. There are so many demands on our time and attention these days that it’s like omg overload all the time — depending, of course, on how many apps you have, how much friends and family members text, and whether or not you have your work email synched to your phone.

I really do not recommend that last one. I synced my work inbox to my phone once in 2013 and that only lasted a couple days before I undid it because that little red number was staring at me like a little red eyeball from hell.

This doesn’t bother everyone. My officemate has over 1000 unread emails and I just can’t even comprehend that. When I pointed it out, she said she hadn’t even noticed! Now, I’m a millennial and most of my coworkers are… well, if I had to guess, I’d guess they’re Baby Boomers. They are badass women who know what they’re doing and give very few fucks, and I like them all a lot, but there is an undeniable difference in the way we think and the way we approach certain tasks.

Some days I wish I was the kind of person who had one email addresses and didn’t care if it had hundreds of unread emails in it. Instead, I have upwards of ten, including six different work inboxes, and I start to get a little antsy if a double digit number is staring me down anywhere for more than a couple days.

So this Sunday, I am grateful that my personal inboxes (the most relentless red eye on my smartphone) are now down to just one unread email. That means I’ve paid my bills for the month. I’ve caught up on all the blogs I want to read. I’ve even finally remembered to update my FasTrack mailing address and dig through the stack of unopened mail to find three our of four of the W4s or whatever that I’m supposed to have. Despite being so sick yesterday that I threw up and slept nearly all day, since Friday afternoon I’ve also scooped the litter boxes/swept up the litter on the floor twice, neatened up the dining room table, washed some dishes, and voluntarily initiated a phone call with my parents.

And I’d like to thank a friend of mine for emailing me the link to this TED Talk video about stress, which I finally watched today. Did you know that stress isn’t as bad for you as simply believing that stress is bad for you? I knew it was a motivator, but I didn’t know that oxytocin, a stress hormone, helps strengthen your heart. If you stop to think about it, it makes a lot of evolutionary sense. I’ll leave you with the video — please feel free to comment on it and/or about how you feel about the little red numbers.

Grateful but not posting about it this week

I have a lot of things in my life to be greatful for. I’m in love with someone who loves me, and we have two snugly kittens. I got to meet three of my great-grandparents and all four of my grandparents. I am in good health. I have a job and a steady paycheck. I qualify for Covered California. I have a home. I have a really good pie crust recipe. I am on good terms with everyone in my family. 

Lots of good things. 

But right now I’m sad. Last week, my father’s mother passed away at the impressive age of 102, the same age her mother was when she died. Grammy had been saying she was ready to go for the past few years… but it’s still sad. It happened right before Thanksgiving and my dad’s birthday. 

I will miss her so much. I will, as soon as I get to Montana next week for the funeral and all the nostalgia is going to hit me all at once. For now, I am merely sad. 

August 1914 – November 2016