Saturday, October 31, 2009

must. not. fail.

This has not been a pleasant week by any stretch of the imagination. I enjoyed attending a drag show my friend was in and eating Chinese last night for dinner, but that's been about it. I found out I'll have to retake the first core course in grad school. I say "retake" because it makes me feel less like an idiot than the truth, that I FAILED. I failed a course. I've never done that before. I'm always the first test taker done, and almost always do quite well. I tend to retain information the first time. But, anxiety, that evil bitch, had a different plan for me. When I looked at that exam, I couldn't even read the first professor's questions, because I was so sick to my stomach. In the end I wrote some crap that was wrong. Later, looking at the exam (we got it back less than a week before the next exam), I could have answered them better, and probably passed, if only my anxiety had stayed away.
I had a meeting with one of the faculty, about "how the department could help me", which they really can't. I'm seeing a therapist, going on medication, taking up mindful meditation again, but these methods all take time. I'm not going to be much better by the next exam (Monday). At least I have a meeting with my therapist that morning, so as long as I can actually study this weekend, maybe she can help talk me off the ledge. If I fail again, I'm going to have to take a leave of absence. I can't risk failing another class; if I fail this next class, I don't see myself conquering that hump of personal doubt. And if I fail three? I'm out. Kicked out. Stuck finding a job I don't really want.
So, I'm going to make myself some art. It's going to have my goals on it. It's going to remind me why I come home miserable and drained. Why I'm putting myself through this difficulty. Not just because I'm a stubborn pain in the patootie, but because I want to teach. I want to be the first in my family with a PhD. I want to be Dr. Ladydid. I want to encourage students-especially women, in higher education. I want to do research. And most of all? I DON"T want to be that one person who fails the first year. I want to be standing at the end, successful, proud, and independently thinking. So, with that said, I'm off to study!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Dog parks and mini shows!

I took Half Pint to a local dog park on Saturday-she was rather confused, and didn't quite know what to do. But we shall return every Saturday so she gets more comfortable with other pups and peeps! While there I fell in love with this huge adorably sweet rottie Raven. Sooooo sweet! We played tug-o-war with Half Pint's rope until I fell out of my chair.

When to a mini show in the area; I'll try and post a photo of my purchases when I get home. I try to only buy things I can't make-or don't make.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

change in calling?

I've been sick with the H1N1 flu, and instead of being semi-productive and studying, I instead discovered some amazing dog blogs, and bloggers that mention their dogs. I'm thinking, instead of procreating and increasing the human population and possibly losing my mind in the process (someday if and/or when I have a stable long-term relationship), maybe I should just adopt and rescue dogs. Actually, I'd LOVE to be able to do this right now, but it wouldn't be fair to my Half Pint right now to have to share my limited time, and I honestly can't support more pups while in grad school. Arg! Curse you situation. But, I have a goal now. I want to be stable enough to have a healthy horde of pooches. Yeah. Cause dogs are awesome. And sometimes I love them more than people.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Not sure how I feel about this yet...

So, I've been playing the "clicking game" for a few minutes now (ok, probably an hour or two), and have stumbled across some interesting things. (The "clicking game" is where you start reading one person's post, click their link, read that, click, read, click, etc. until you don't really know how you got to some very strange topics.) What I ran into, in the long run, were sites devoted to environmentally and eco-friendly sanitary products. I blame you, Dr. Isis. I started on your page, and now look at me!
Now, I like to think most of us girls grew up reading some Laura Ingles Wilder, which was my first memory of learning what a sanitary towel was, and how women handled their oh-so-fun periods. "Back in the old days," women would use cloth, wring it out, and dry it on the line. Not exactly something I see myself doing (I'm sure my neighbors would LOVE that!), but I digress. Now, we have modern (not always comfortable) conveniences like tampons and pads. But, with all the women on the planet, and a large group having a period every month, that's a lot of waste. There's not much we can do about that-once puberty starts, we're pretty much doomed to bloating, food cravings, lethargy, and dealing with a mess. Yes, we can take prescriptions to knock down the occurrence to four times a year, yes we can take prescriptions and meds to decrease discomfort, huge flows, pain, bloating, and most other ailments that can be brought on by our monthly cycle. But there's not much we can do about the waste. Or is there?

There's a growing trend (albeit slowly, since I've never heard of it til wandering the web a while), involving the use of reusable, eco-friendly sanitary products. For those who like pads (and overnight use), there are some rather pretty organic, reusable (washable) products available (second image). I like this site. For those who prefer tampons, there's the Mooncup (first image), and... sea sponges (third image). I really like this idea of reusable, sustainable products, because well, not all of us are strong empowered women who don't care about taking up space in the sanitary aisle. I at least, hate bringing tampons through the register when the cashier's male. I just feel bad for him! Most guys don't like talking about it or acknowledging that we're menstruating, except when it bothers their lives (no sex, we're "PMSing", we're moody, blah blah blah, whine whine whine). Even more that my dislike of shopping for tampons, I love this idea of a reusable product because I hate throwing shit out! I try to recycle everything I can, give things second lives, freecycle, and I shop at the Goodwill! Ok, that last bit's partly because I suck at spending money, but still. While I applaud these sites for developing and marketing environmentally friendly products, I'm wondering if I can actually trust them to try them. Because no matter how many testimonials I read, I'm still going to wonder about the Mooncup leaking, falling out, the sponge getting lost, and getting stains out of the pads (unless they're black or burgundy fabric). But, spending a bit of money to save a lot of money and help the environment might be worth me risking a little embarrassment. What about you?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I didn't know your name, but thank you.

I'm watching President Obama's speech at the Human Right Campaign, and well, am moved to tears. For starters, it's amazing to have a president again who can speak fluently, eloquently, and with purpose. It's amazing to finally have been able to vote, and have my opinion be known. It's even more amazing to finally have someone who cares about righting the wrongs done to so many people for so many years. It's incredible to hear someone speak of change, and actually believe in it.
This issue of equality for the LGBT community has been near and dear to my heart for many years. I grew up attending services on Sundays in a small church, with a lesbian couple. They were (and still are, thankfully) two of the most amazing people I have ever known. Their incredible kindness, caring, and strength have affected many lives for the positive. They're both nurses, and now getting on in years. But they still keep their home a warm and loving environment for children in need. For children who's parents can't care for them because of medical need or developmental need, these two women have stepped up. I have seen many children come, age, and go, departing this world after only a short time because they were born so sick. I love these two women so much, but am greatly angered that they do not have the same rights as I do. They are denied basic rights that I have access to, should I marry. I can marry. They cannot. I want this to change.
I've known those two women my whole life, but there's another who I'd love to recognize for her outstanding courage and strength to not deny who she was. When I was a freshman in high school, there was an eclectic, unique woman who was interning with my geometry professor. This girl wore colorful clothes, baggy shorts, short hair, many piercings, and buzzed hair. She didn't shave her legs. She was the complete opposite of the standard high school student. She refused to lie to the world about her identity, and I loved her for that. I was confused by her, until I heard a poem she wrote performed at our Reverie club afterschool. She wrote and performed a poem about the death of her razor. She was so strong, so powerful, so unabashedly gay, that I wanted to hug her and kiss her.
I know what it's like to be gay in high school. Maybe not completely, because I myself am not gay, but I've been there when a friend was too afraid to get his things from the locker room, because the other guys couldn't handle his homosexuality. I've been there when friends have been humiliated, both publicly and privately. I've tried my hardest to support them and defend them, to encourage and protect them, from the harsh cruel world high school can be. Not all LGBT individuals survive high school. It's an absolute abomination and travesty that we can go about our lives not acknowledging this, and doing something about this.
I've written my new representatives, I've celebrated Day of Silence (April 16th!), I've supported my friends and strangers. But it's not enough. Nothing I do will be enough until equality is reached. Please, if you have felt love, think what it would be like to be told your love is wrong. Your life is wrong. That you, your identity, is wrong. If you have children, or want children, think how it'd feel to be told you're not fit, that you can't HAVE them. Think how much that would hurt. And remember that pain, because that's what many LGBT individuals experience daily. So, please, don't sit idle waiting for change to find you and your community. Help change come. Contact your representatives, email the president, march peacefully, and support and love your neighbor. Love is human instinct. How dare people try to take that from others.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

appology to a friend

Dear L;
I am so very sorry that during high school, I gave you weird looks for talking about feminism, and reading the standards. At the time, I was foolish and naive, believing that equality had been restored to the world for women before we were born. Now, I realize, I was an idiot. Yes, women have made great strides, but men still outnumber us everywhere but the grocery store and salon. There are more male CEO's. More men who've received a Nobel prize. More men in high ranking positions than women. At the time when we were at school together, I thought you were behind the times. Little did I know that some years later, I'd be trying to catch up to you. You were and probably always will be, lightyears ahead of our time. I love you, and you are an amazing, powerful woman, and I hope you manage to kick some serious patriarchal ass in law school and beyond. Show them who's boss. And keep reminding me that I need to remove my rose colored glasses and exchange them for your yellow ones.

Again, I'm sorry for being a sodding boob in high school.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Oh anxiety, you evil friend.

So, we had our exam for our first module in grad school on Friday. And now I have maybe half my eye lashes, and half my eye brows. Woot. Trichotilomania is currently classified as an impulse control disorder, though some are starting to classify it with "body-focused repetitive behaviors" (BFRB's). It can manifest itself differently between individuals; it can include hair pulling from eyebrows, beards, eye lashes, arms, legs, armpits, and pubic regions. For some, it's a mild nuisance that can be controlled by remaining focused on one's actions and thoughts. For others, it completely eliminates the ability to think until the tic is completed.
The act itself can be both relieving and stress-inducing. Some people feel tension before pulling, some during, and many, after. The actual act itself of pulling out one's hair for many, is relaxing and slightly enjoyable. Some feel as though there is a particular hair that hurts, and once it is removed, the stress leaves. However, by this time, they may be missing a rather large chunk of hair from that part of the body. After the tic is completed, the damage may be significantly noticeable. Individuals often feel stressed and self conscious that others can see the destruction the behavior has. For me, I can at least fill in my eyebrows with makeup, but I can't cover up my missing eye lashes without fake ones, which just make the tic worse for me. If the tic is affecting your every day life, you should try to seek help for it. For more information, visit the trichotillomania learning center.