Janus Gift #2 – Reclaim Journaling

Silver fountain pen nib on a journal page

Silver fountain pen nib on a journal page

One of the disadvantages of the digital world is that the content normally consigned to diaries and journals is now something that can be put out into the world for consumption by anyone. As someone who wrote diaries and journals avidly before my age hit double digits, I started putting my thoughts out in public back in 1995, when personal websites started becoming a thing.  I also hopped into LiveJournal fairly early, as the benefit of being able to tailor one’s viewing audience was incredibly appealing. That said, since I was talking about my real feelings and issues, I also had the bad habit of taking my journals and blogs down on a fairly regular basis, feeling like I’d said too much.

But the REAL reason I shut everything down and stopped journaling for a while was because journaling for public consumption turned out to really compound any anxiety, depression and PTSD I was experiencing.* I tried writing non-authentically for a while, talking about events but not any emotions associated. Then I tried blogging only about writing stuff, but in the end I shuttered all my regular daily journaling efforts over 10 years ago.

But I missed it. I absolutely missed it. I tried a few times to restart only to come up against some big internal walls.

Almost two years ago I attended a webinar with the incandescent Andrea Schroeder and the truly marvelous Dionne Ruff-Sloan on journaling and trusting my voice again, and I worked more closely with Dionne after that. She provided me with some prompts to use to get me back into journaling in a gentle fashion, focusing on my emotional state and what . The only problem was that it felt selfish. Unauthentic. Wrong, in some strange way. I kept starting and stopping the process because of how it felt.

So one of my gifts to myself is to work on that. To see what part of journaling feels what way, and experiment with what might feel better. Reclaim the old way of writing only for myself and my future Selves who might want to read and relearn.**

 

* I also don’t do well in group therapy situations. I go downhill FAST.
** This was an important note because I’ve often read and reread what I wrote in past journals. It has been pretty useful to see how far I’ve come and what I need/ed to remember and reinforce.

RIP Stan Lee

Many people have said all the things about this guy, better than I could. But there’s one aspect to Stan I haven’t seen mentioned explicitly yet, and want to get my take out there.

What always amazed me about Stan was how many amazing, sympathetic characters he created in collaboration with other creatives. I often think about how many more of his creations I identify with than other worldbuilders. (Even more than Le Guin, and that is really saying something.) I mean, sure, when I was very young and watching superhero media, I loved Wonder Woman more than any other icon. But she was aspirational. I actually identified more with the Hulk, because the Hulk was always messing things up for Bruce Banner, even though Banner tried really hard to keep things together.

Yeah. As a kid, that really hit home.

Jean Grey/Phoenix and Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch were similar. I identified with them because even though they had a lot more power than nearly anyone else, they also didn’t have the best control of it. Shit could blow up, sometimes despite their best efforts. As a kid with poor hand-eye coordination and not great fine motor control, in a family who had both in spades, that was kind of a balm. Knowing that sometimes, even people who are super can fuck things up.

Stan Lee and Jack Kirby brought these characters (and more) to me, and gave me a context to understand myself in a different way. Kirby was gone before I really had gotten my arms around my fandom, but Lee? I got to see him as separate from the comics, and for that I’m grateful.

Thanks for everything, Stan.

Spring Cleaning – The Facebook Version

Just did a quick pare-down of my friends list. I’ve been spending waaaay too much time on FB and it’s about time for me to take a rest. Before I do, I’m trying to clean up not only what I see but what others see from me, and make my “friends only” posts mean a little something.

No one’s removal was personal at all. My metrics were:

– Has the person commented on my posts or comments in a positive fashion?
– Have I commented on the person’s in a positive fashion?
– Have I seen a post from the person in my timeline recently?
– …did I particularly like any of the posts if so?
– …do I feel liked I missed out if not?

or

– *Would* I miss the person’s presence on FB, or do they crosspost/mostlypost from Instagram or Twitter enough we could interact there?
– …or do I enjoy their content a lot more on one of those? (That was the case for two folks.)

When I made the qualifications based on “do I enjoy it?” things changed quite a bit. I kept a few people who challenge me – this isn’t a blue-bubble situation – but are not snarky about any disagreement they might have with my content.

 

So hopefully I can have an easier time on the Blue Beast for the next few weeks before my break goes active. Fingers crossed!

Regarding the 2nd Amendment

It’s been a fucker of a week. Lots to say over here. But I’m going to start with the respawn of the gun control/gun sense debate in the wake of the horrific shooting in Parkdale, Florida.

I’ve been really annoyed by people who regurgitate old, already-debunked talking points like “What about Chicago” (not the gun murder capital of the US, people) and “It’s not about guns it’s about mental illness” (no, it’s really not) and then say the 2nd Amendment must be protected.

Thing is?

The 2nd Amendment is already not being followed because we don’t have any well-regulated militias. That’s what the damn amendment STARTS with. It’s supposed to be part of the whole dynamic.

Because of that, when talking to 2A proponents I’m gonna REALLY put the 2nd amendment in their faces. So – you want a gun? I propose you join a militia. I propose militias be legal entities registered with the Department of Defense, which would be put into play during disasters in their local areas, helping clean and protect people who have lost walls and locks and whatnot. Anyone can start a militia… and this means even a new Black Panther party. (The number of concealed carry license applications are up for Black women in Chicago, so I can totally see women starting their own militia.) Gun purchase would require proof of current well-regulated militia membership in good standing. Any gun carry requires valid and current militia membership card, and any citizen who sees a civilian carry is entitled to demand they show their card. Militias would be responsible financially for ANY collateral damage one of their members inflicts or suffers…. including paying for toddlers’ funerals. If someone goes off the rails, the militia is fined for not regulating their membership and no one can buy, use, or carry a gun for the next however long. Militias are not allowed to lobby, and no one is allowed to bring a gun to a political protest where emotions will run high.

Let’s tell the 2A proponents we’re making this as obvious as asking someone for their keys when they’re too drunk to drive – asking someone for the keys to their gun safe when they’re angry or frightened, and assure them they’ll have protection from the rest of the militia.

And since that’s all in alignment with the 2nd amendment? the NRA should be on board, right?

 

As if a tweet is going to bug Kirsten Gillibrand…

In case you haven’t seen it, content warning for the tweet mocking KG having shaming implications.

I’m not going to post it here, because this isn’t a news blog.

But.
But.

44.5 called Senator Gillibrand “Schumer’s flunky.”

ahaha. aha.
*snerk*

*reads it again*

BAHAHAHAHAHA!

The woman who is the ONLY senator in Washington who voted against all 20 of 44.5’s nominees, a flunky for that guy? THAT guy? Ohhh that just shows how desperate 44.5 is. Deeesperate. She stood stronger than either Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders in those hearings and continues to stand strong. I mean, sure, she’s a politician like any other, and has her flaws. But she’s placed her flag, and it’s firmly on the progressive side.

Woooo I had been avoiding the news because it’s like everything is opening a new wound, but that one had me laughing.

“A Real Catastrophe”

Lin-Manuel Miranda was right. 44.5 IS going straight to hell.

He’s the real catastrophe.

Between that awful, evil statement about Puerto Rico today and this article on Vox, I might explode from rage. And I don’t even have any relatives there – just an ex-coworker from there. I can’t imagine what folks who have family/friends there are feeling right now. Particularly since they’ve been in budget crisis for years, so this is the worst of all possible scenarios.

I send anyone affected all my love.

So Much Going On In the World

It’s the time of year when sorrows overflow. Hurricane season is beating up the coasts, from the Caribbean and the US southeast to South Asia on up to freaking Nepal. Brutal forest fires line the whole West Coast of America. Rohingya refugees flee from Myanmar to flood-wracked Bangladesh. Earthquakes in Mexico. We’re fighting real Nazis here in America, as well as people who claim they’re just conservative but who are really Nazi-adjacent. They’re like Vichy America.*

Finally, there’s 44.5 and his bullshit over DACA.

Seriously. If a group of politicians really wanted a better replacement for something, they would not suggest repealing it first. They come up with a bill to modify or replace, and submit that fucker to Congress.  44.5 tried the whole “get rid of it then we start over” with health care and no one bit.

These kids are amazing, extraordinary kids. They’re *paying* to stay here; they’re not getting anything for free. This has been as much their home as anyone who grew up here. For most kids, we don’t think of home as where our passport is from – we think of home as where we went to school, or learned to ride a bike, or first realized that that kid on the swingset with us was our best friend.

This jackass up there in the seat of power doesn’t care how cruel he is. And I’m seeing a lot of similarities in the people who support him.

In the middle of all the other devastation happening in the world, I can’t even wrap my mind around why.

 

 

* More about this one later. It’s been wriggling around my mind since Charlottesville.

No Justice For Philando Castile

I’ve been trying to figure out what to say, here.

The man who shot another man – he shot an innocent man, a man who did *everything* right according to law and public opinion – was acquitted.

It’s not like I’ve seen justice for others. The list of names to say is very long.

The thing that hurts here is that Castile did everything perfectly. There’s nothing to argue with here (though I know tons will try). On the live tape, when his partner asked, in terror, why the officer shot Philando Castile… the officer answered “I don’t know.”

Twice.

I saw that. I saw that on that video. The officer *didn’t know* why he pulled the trigger.

For that to be excused, to be glossed over? That’s nauseating. So any person at any time can be gunned down by a police officer and nothing will happen….

Oh wait. Except for white folks who shoot at people of color. They don’t get gunned down at all. They get taken alive.

Seriously, what the fuck?? There’s no justice here. The system worked the way it is supposed to work but there is no justice. I have believed that for years, but now I really know in a way I didn’t before.

Also, this travesty was just a few days after the shooting of GOP politicians. Those folks are crying and accusing “the left” of causing this.

Oh really? *looks pointedly at the list of acquittals*

Things have GOT to change.