Meme’ing in the New Year


English: Fireworks over Reykjavik on New Year'...

Fireworks over Reykjavik on New Year’s Eve (Wikipedia)

 

Last New Year’s Eve, I stole a meme from my husband’s blog that proved to be quite an enjoyable retrospective in an end of the year sort of way. I was reminded of it as I browsed stats today and noted that the post had generated a bit of traffic. So because I don’t make resolutions or really do anything to commemorate the change over from one year to the next, I decided to haul this Q and A out and see how it applies to the year nearly past.

 

1.  What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?

 

I didn’t really write. I thought about it. Plotted. Vaguely outlined. Mused. But in the end, I didn’t write a single piece of fiction. A first in the entirety of my life really because I have always been a storyteller. Even when I was too wee to write them down – I told stories.

 

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

 

Again, I don’t make them and I wonder at people who do as they don’t seem to follow through on their self-promises much or at all. If you can’t even keep a promise to yourself, why bother?

 

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

 

No. Rob’s niece by marriage and more marriage is expecting in the new year, but no one we know in person gave birth. Though a Facebook friend had a little boy on my birthday, I don’t think that counts. There are no flesh and blood babies in my life.

 

4. Did anyone close to you die?

 

No. Edie’s cat died not long ago. His name was Nike. 18 years old and with a personality and stories that have the potential to be a best-seller … in America anyway. They just love their feisty pets with personality plus adventures down there.

 

5. What countries did you visit?

Went to the States as we do at least once every year. Last time we will pull the holiday trailer however. Longest to and from ever. While we were there we did the tourist thing. Saw sites I hadn’t visited since I was a teen. House on the Rock for instances, which is a highly overrated hoarder’s heaven and Galena, which is little more than an arts and crafts sale masquerading as a hip artist enclave.

 

 

6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?

I don’t lack. it would be awesome if we could finish the renovations we started in 2010, so we could think about selling and moving closer to, if not actually in, civilization, but it’s not the most pressing matter.

If I wanted at all, the want was a tablet and after much assessing and comparing – Rob’s boss gave him an iPad as a “thank you” for a job well done. Want granted.

Oh, I would like a new bike. My husband has an awesome bike. I ‘d like one like it. But again, not a burning in my soul desire.

 

 

7. What dates from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

Um …. can’t think of one. Nothing really happened. Okay, things happened, but not events that impacted me in a way that would etch a date on my brain matter.

 

 

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I have cemented myself as a local teacher of yoga. I am surprised by how many people know of me or what I teach and when/where. I consider that an achievement.

 

 

9. What was your biggest failure?

 

Hmmmmmm. Failure? I would have said chocolate angel food cake because I haven’t been able to make one successfully from scratch, but I pulled that one off on Christmas Eve. So, no big failures this year.

 

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Well, if you want to think of perimenapause as an illness (which it is and isn’t depending) than that.

You know how some people are always laying blame for this or that malady on hormones being out of balance or something? Turns out mine actually are. Working on that.

 

 

11. What was the best thing you bought?

 

A pair of 1969 Curvy jeans from the Gap. Awesome. Also, a down filled winter jacket from Mark’s. Money well spent.

 

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

 

Well, my husband, Rob, continues to be fabulous. He re-roofed our house this summer, single-handedly, in spite of tornadic weather and gout in both of his ankles. Seriously impressive considering the rook is a 12/12 pitch that even had professional roofers bowing to him in homage.

 

13. Whose behavior appalled you?

The whole POTUS campaign in the US and pretty much everyone associated with it. The level of willful ignorance and appalling amount of disinformation on both sides decided me on whether or not to hang on to my US citizenship once I have become a Canadian citizenship, which will hopefully be in the coming year. I am just not like homelanders and I think that I never really did fit in down there.

 

 

14. Where did most of your money go?

Necessities and home improvement.15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

I let myself care too much about the outcome of the US POTUS race. Not that there was much of a choice between the resident evil or the evil wanna be. One of my Facebook “friends”, a blogger of some renown who doesn’t know as much about politics, or reality, as she thinks she does, replied to a comment I left about “lesser evils” to the effect that I was morally bankrupt for not realizing that Obama was clearly not the evil one. He’s a “nice” guy. After all, his wife and kids love him.

But that just prompted me to recall Sondheim’s use of the word “nice” in Into the Woods. Nice is a catch-all word that means nothing of the kind. It’s the word we apply to things when we don’t want to really say what we think for fear of what others will think about us.

I also got really jazzed up about the provincial election here in Alberta and was frustrated by my inability as a landed immigrant to vote. I am so glad that when the next federal election rolls around, I will be a Canadian proper and able to participate in the electoral process. Though I twisted my husband’s arm on voting the PC’s back in – because Wildrose was simply unacceptable – if Trudeau ends up leading the Liberals, I might have to change allegiance even though the Alberta Lib leader, Raj Sherman, is an utter nob.

16. What song will always remind you of 2011?

Goyte’s Someone that I Used to Know or anything by Fun.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder?  I continue to be remarkably happy.
b) thinner or fatter?  I am thinner and probably in better shape than I have been in years.
c) richer or poorer?  Personally, I am poorer because I have cut back on my self-employment, but on the whole, status remains quo.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Gotten away for short holidays. Especially over the summer. We were far too home bound this year.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?.

Wasted my time on US politics.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

With family. Children and Rob’s mom. Probably a bit more of the latter than we needed. There is a reason why after we’ve grown and moved out of our parents’ homes and on with our lives that we keep visits short and try to always stay in hotels when we do visit.

21. Did you fall in love in 2011?

I remained in love and blissfully so. I know that sounds unreal that approaching six years of marriage, I am still very much into it, but I am.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

Don’t watch actual broadcast tv. Don’t even have cable. We do have Netflix and I have tried to acquire a taste for tv shows ala carte, but tv is so boring. The acting is “meh” and the writing is generally atrocious.

If you like tv, nothing personal, but I have to wonder why and if something might be wrong with you.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

No, I still have a general distaste for the same few. No outright hate but I wouldn’t shed tears if any of these people were to meet with an untimely demise.

24. What was the best book you read?

Hilary Mantel’s follow-up to Wolf Hall called Bring Up the Bodies was excellent, and Susanna Kearsley’s The Rose Garden was brilliant.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Discovered nothing.

26. What did you want and get?

I wanted a tablet and lo, one appeared.

27. What did you want and not get?

I kinda hoped that Obama wouldn’t get re-elected simply because a new POTUS takes time to get up and running. Anything that would slow the evil that emanates from down there would have been a good thing.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

 

Didn’t see a single film in the theatre. Can’t stand going to movies.

 

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

 

We went to this great Indian buffet in Sherwood Park called A Taste of India. Excellent food. And I turned 49. It really feels about the same as the last two or three-ish years.

 

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

 

If I had gotten my letter from Canadian immigration telling me when and where to come to take my citizenship test.

 

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?

Still very yoga.

 

 

32. What kept you sane?

 

Rob, as always. Though I don’t know if I keep him sane, but that wasn’t the question, was it.

 

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

 

I don’t really do that.

 

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

 

The issues surrounding the extra-territoral taxation that the United States is attempting to foist upon Canada in contradiction of our Charter Rights. It’s clear over-reach and it threatens our sovereignty.

 

35. Who did you miss?

 

Not really sure what this question is asking, so I am going to ignore it again.

 

36. Who was the best new person you met?

Did I meet anyone new?

 

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.

If you can’t disagree without getting personal, foot-stomping or name-calling, you are probably not old enough to be allowed in a serious discussion.

 

 

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

Some nights, I stay up cashing in my bad luck.
Some nights, I call it a draw.
Some nights, I wish that my lips could build a castle
Some nights, I wish they’d just fall off

But I still wake up, I still see your ghost
Oh Lord, I’m still not sure what I stand for oh
What do I stand for? What do I stand for?
Most nights, I don’t know anymore…

 

 

 

Wasting Myself on Facebook


facebook

facebook (Photo credit: sitmonkeysupreme)

In contrast to the 2008 election year, I have barely written a word about politics or the POTUS race here on my blog.

One of the reasons is the fact that I have decided not to vote. After all, I am working toward the disgruntled American liberal’s unicorn known as Canadian citizenship.  In terms of immigration, a person should – in my opinion – be all in or all out.  I am moving towards “all in” and this means I need to disengage from America politically though I concede it is difficult for me not to give voice to my concerns and frustration as I watch the land of my birth spiral down the toilet.

But mostly I haven’t written much because I have Facebook, which makes it easy for me to share, cut/paste and move on.  Writing a blog post requires more of my time because I have to explain my views in my own words where Facebook just needs a link and a blurb.

This morning I shared yet another article stating that President Obama still isn’t hope, change or all that remotely different from Mitt Romney despite the valiant efforts of the MSM (main stream media) to keep actual facts about the man’s first term from a public that it has stirred into an irrational frenzy over vagina politics and health care.

After my husband read the following quote:

“…during the transition itself, Bush’s Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson offered a deal to Barney Frank, to force banks to write down mortgages and stem foreclosures if Barney would speed up the release of TARP money. Paulson demanded, as a condition of the deal, that Obama sign off on it. Barney said fine, but to his surprise, the incoming president vetoed the deal. Yup, you heard that right — the Bush administration was willing to write down mortgages in response to Democratic pressure, but it was Obama who said no, we want a foreclosure crisis.”

He looked up at me and said, “Is this true? You should really blog about this rather than waste it on your Facebook friends if it is.”

It is true.  The article goes on to state that Neil Barofsky’s book, Bailout, discusses how that tax cheat, former Goldman Sachs employee and now Secretary of the Treasury, Timothy Geithner, revealed that the foreclosure mitigations were never about homeowners but about slowing down the process to allow banks the ability to slowly absorb the pain.  It was all about financial institutions for Obama – because he was their candidate not yours – before he even took his oath.

Obama the hope and change was only about hope for Wall Street, who backed his horse, and the change has allowed corporations to come to the point that they are at today. A place that allows them to pocket 93 cents of every dollar  as opposed to the mere 63 cents they collected during the administration of Bush II.

That Obama and Romney approach the near twinship on more topics than not was neatly driven home during the third Presidential debate when Romney seconded the POTUS so often it was almost embarrassing, but my Facebook friends, the majority of whom are female, many bloggers and/or political commentators in one form or another, have been drinking so much MSM kool-aid that a person might think they were already living in a Margaret Atwood dystopian novel, have their fingers in the ears or have muted my feed via the “unsubcribe”.

The truth can’t free them because the truth is too depressing to contemplate and they don’t want to hear it.

That they have been duped by yet another male politician who only finds his inner vagina when he needs actual vagina-possessors to vote for him.

If a person stops believing in the mirage the media pushes so relentlessly, the real Obama is not that inspiring. He professes to be in favor of immigration and making things easier for long-term undocumented workers to become legal Americans while sanctioning the aggressive deportation of them.  More illegal aliens – 93% of them law-abiding and productive – have been deported under the Obama regime than any other POTUS.  He’s launched a hard-ass crackdown on perfectly legal under state law medical marijuana businesses and their customers in states like California, for example, despite the fact that he has been an admitted casual drug user in the past and used that admission to sell himself as a friend of medical marijuana to get himself elected in 2008.

His administration has softly and covertly promoted Chinese investment in American infrastructure and actively pursued trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership that would off-shore American jobs even while it accused Republicans of being the reason so many American manufacturing jobs have disappeared over the last decade.

He favored charter over public schools and the linking of teacher pay to standardized test scores, removed labor protection from the FAA authorization bill, promotes the punishment of whistle-blowers, lied repeatedly about NDAA and has second term plans for expanding his kill or indefinitely incarcerate list over which he, and only he, is judge, jury and prosecutor.

In terms of women’s rights and issues, Obama is no less a man than any other man in Washington D.C., refusing to back Plan B for over the counter until it began to cost him political points with women and then refusing to make it available to teens under 17.  He supports the Hyde Amendment, which means that women who access health care via Medicaid programs have no access to abortion – even if their lives are in endanger.  He’s done nothing about predatory lending practices, which disproportionately affect women, nor has he done anything of consequence to stem the corruption in the foreclosure industry that hits women more than men as well. His amped up drug war and deportation jihad are also “women’s issues” because of the disproportionate effect that he chooses to ignore while touting instead his “johnny-come-lately” stance on birth control access.  Because it’s an election year.  And he crows about a health care act that is losing teeth by the day as employers began to strategically shift to the “part-time is the new full-time job” regime to avoid having to provide health insurance to workers once the HCA kicks in.

In 2008 he decried the Patriot Act, which as POTUS he fought to extend to 2014. He said he’d close GITMO but instead he is having it renovated. He said he’d get the troops out of Iraq, which he did, but only because the Iraqi’s kicked America out when it wanted to leave a few thousands troops behind and expected the Iraqi government to grant them immunity if they broke Iraqi law or … killed people without cause.  Apparently both things were a problem.

One of my Facebook friends responded to the article I posted with the following:

“The final point of this article is to vote for a 3rd-party candidate.  I have done so in the past, and found that my ideological stance did nothing to change things.”

But the point of voting is not to change things as much as it is merely a granting of permission or assent. Voting for X candidate or Z candidate means you are okay with what he/she is going to do and/or has already accomplished, and I find it hard to believe that anyone can be okay with the steady erosion of privacy, civil rights and the wholesale power grab of the Executive Office that includes – but isn’t restricted to – the arbitrary slaughter of civilians in the pursuit of alleged terrorists who haven’t been publicly charged or legally adjudicated.  Fine with that?  Dead children?  Or the support of Al Qaeda groups (the terrorists who supposedly caused 9/11) to topple the governments of other countries like Libya and Syria?

I wouldn’t begin to claim that Romney will be an improvement. He is such an enigma his own party is afraid of what he might or might not do, but knowingly casting a vote for Obama is to sanction all that he has done and all that he plans to do. It’s saying that you totally approve things like murder and skirting the Constitution whenever it is inconvenient.

My father, who died four years ago today, stopped voting for mainstream candidates after casting his ballot for Gerald Ford in 1976, which he did even as he encouraged my 12-year-old self to stump fervently for Jimmy Carter. He was quite proud of me despite not agreeing with me.

From 1980 on, he voted third-party. It was John B. Anderson in 1980 by the way. Unlike me, he went to his grave knowing that he never sanctioned politics that have effectively ruined what little credibility America has left as an actual democracy and plunged it -perhaps prematurely – into its twilight years though arguably that might not be a bad thing for the world in the longer run.  Dad changed nothing in the grand scheme but his efforts locally – through his work in building up a small parish credit union to an independent banking institution that has supported the efforts of thousands in my home town – counts for more than any ballot I ever cast – including the one for Obama in 2008.

Change is local. Your local candidates matter because you can access them, and they are more directly responsible to the people in their community than any POTUS ever was.

A week from this coming Tuesday, you will vote. Although I have promoted defensive and lesser evil voting before – I won’t ever again.  It’s bad for one’s karma, which always circles back at some point and it’s often bitchy when it does.

When Did Being Female Become a “lifestyle choice”?


1926 US advertisement. "Birth Control"

1926 US advertisement. “Birth Control” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was passively enduring talk radio on the drive back from Dee’s soccer game this evening and caught the FOX shoutfest that is Hannity. They were yelling over each other about small government, which no American under 55 can seriously claim to have ever lived under or even have the slightest idea of what small government means in terms of daily life, but nevermind. Small government diatribes these days almost inevitably detour through the vaginas of America’s women, who are the true root of the horror that is big government.

“If they want birth control (I love it when “they” refer to us as “they”, don’t you?) then they can pay for it themselves,” Hannity opined like a Catholic bishop from the pulpit. “I don’t need to pay for their lifestyle choice.”

Lifestyle choice?

Let’s see. I have breasts, a vagina, uterus and two XX’s. And that’s a choice I made?

Being female is not a “lifestyle”.

Why is it that everything small government conservative types are opposed to is slapped with the “choice” sticker?

First it was choosing to be gay and now, apparently, one can choose to be female too. Like anyone would, knowing the world as the female non-friendly place that it is. Who wouldn’t choose to the male? And straight and white while one was at it. Why not? If life were a simulated reality video game, as was recently pointed out, smart money is on picking the easiest setting – straight, white male. A penis is like finding a gold ticket in a Wonka Bar.

But here is the real beauty behind the “lifestyle choice” strawman argument, it allows “them” to define “us” as sluts. Only a slut would use birth control. My mother certainly never used birth control. Except if she is a baby boomer, she most certainly probably did. Just as your sister probably did. And your girlfriend because the god of your straight white maleness forbid that you deny yourself anything by stuffing your burgeoning manhood in a condom as opposed to a sassy wet slutty cunt.

But your daughter, and likely many of her friends, use birth control. Your nieces. Your cousins. The women you work with.  The one who checks your groceries at the store and the one who cleans your teeth, make your lattés and tells you to “have a nice” day when you are strolling out of Walmart, all have a better than even by a long shot chance of having used birth control at some point in their lives.

Damn slutty female lifestyle choice. Can’t escape them. They are everywhere, tainting the landscape with their tending to their femaleness and thinking you don’t know it. They should be ashamed of their lifestyle choice.

I know I am.

If only I had chosen to be my brother, who’s had two children out-of-wedlock to my NONE.

But no, I chose the female lifestyle. With its monthly bloody shedding of uterine lining and sole burden of child incubating and birthing and breastfeeding and putting nearly all my own wants, wishes and desires on hold for ten or twenty years, so it can grow, learn and hopefully leave home before I am too old to get back to focusing on me for more than snatched minutes here and there.

Being female is a perk-filled lifestyle. I can’t imagine why more men aren’t choosing it.

When we are not bleeding, pregnant or lactating, we are being paid less for the same work and bruising ourselves against glass ceilings, doors, and walls. We cart home the bacon after having shopped for it only to cook it, be criticized for getting fat if we eat more than a bite of it and then clear it from the table and wash the plates from which it was eaten.

If we show cleavage, we are whores, but if we try to disguise our breasts, we are anal prudes with no sense of humor who should, “Just smile, Sweetie, because you are so much prettier when you smile. Don’t look so serious all the time.”

We get to have a special “place” and straight white god in heaven forbid that we shouldn’t recognize it and plant the asses we should not let get too fat right there where they belong.

What kind of bullshit is this lifestyle choice crap?

No woman on the planet would choose to be female. Why? Because as lifestyles go, it sucks. Lifestyles should be rich, famous, and packed with privileges. Being female is none of those things.

When the small government folk go on and on about “lifestyle choices”, they are attempting – and in the US with great success – to redefine what being female, or gay, really is. It’s not a choice. It’s a condition of being. Part of being female is managing the plumbing, and no one gets to stick his nose up my plumbing unless he’s my husband or has an M.D. behind her surname.

I am female by random chance, and I have lived a female’s life of which I am not ashamed of. Nice try, Hannity.