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20 Years of me

20 Years Ago, I...
Had just finished my Freshman year at UCF and was at home about to sell t-shirts at and enjoy the hell out of the Atlanta Olympics.

15 years ago, I...
Was kinda lost but getting help and doing a depression medication study.

10 years ago, I...
Was about to start working at Visual Dynamics in one of the best jobs I've ever had. (Damn I miss being a Mac Service Tech. (Don't miss that boss tho...))

5 years ago, I...
Was about to celebrate my 2nd wedding anniversary.

2 years ago, I...
Had just found out I was pregnant with our 2nd child.

1 year ago, I...
Was realizing I really was quite depressed and needed a meds change. Rocky period, but I am in a MUCH better place now.

So far this year, I've...
Helped move my family from Florida to Colorado. Trying to figure out what my next career should be after Stay at Home Mom.

Yesterday I...
Enjoyed my 15 month old daughter, Reveled in the Love and Curiosity in my 3-year-old son's eyes, signed up for a quilt class, and deactivated my FB account.

Today I...
Mourned for & held space for the toddler taken by the gator in WDW, was *super* active on twitter, sewed more of my patchwork curtains & called my two Senators to let them know that I (and millions more) want universal background checks (at a minimum) on guns.

Tomorrow I'll...
Make my husband's lunch, take care of my children, sew some more, and try hard not to feel like a failure.


I need help

I have a 5 month old son. He is growing up in a country where an innocent unarmed boy walking home from a store can be shot to death and the shooter can go free on the grounds that he was "defending himself". My son is growing up in a country where gun regulation is nothing of the kind, and someone can just shoot up a movie theater or an elementary school and nothing is done about curbing gun violence. My son is growing up in a country that wants to treat women like 2nd class citizens and force them to give birth to children that they cannot afford or do not want because religious zealotry is taking the place of reasoned humane morals. My son is growing up in this country that has a government that is for all intents and purposes defunct because an entire political party have reverted to whiny kindergartners and refuse to govern or listen to the voices of anyone but the most radical fringe of their party.

My son is white. My son starts with privilege. He starts life on the lowest difficulty setting. We are not poor. I want to give him every chance I can to succeed in whatever makes him happy. My problem is this: how, as a mother, can I teach him NOT to become a racist, sexist, pigheadedly blind asshole? How do I help teach him to think of others and give of himself? How do I start teaching him what privilege is and how to recognize when it is getting in the way of seeing the truth in other peoples' lives? How do I do this without making him sick of it and his nutty mum?

I am looking for books, media, anything that will help me explain to my son that just because he is a white male, does not mean that he has all the answers. He will get enough of that pernicious message from school and culture. I want to help him understand that the stories of people not like him are just as important (and sometimes more so).


Life Updates

I doubt anyone actually reads this journal anymore...

However, in case anyone is interested, I found out I was pregnant last June, and as of this Monday, I had a son. Ian Vincent was born at 12:46am 2/19 after being induced for high blood pressure.

24 hours of labor, 4 pushes, and I had a 22" baby boy in my arms. Danny is completely in love and is being an amazing partner in all things. A little jaundice, but nothing that some phototherapy can't cure. :)

Ian Vincent

We are enjoying being home with him, and trying to adjust to the newborn sleeping, eating, and everything else cycle. :)



She was my baby for 16 years. The first cat that I adopted on my own. I helped her cross the Rainbow Bridge Monday morning. Kidney failure. I love her so much. I miss her. She will stay with me forever and I have been blessed to have cared for her and shared our 16 years together.


In Great Waters Review

Read In Great Waters for calico_reaction's Theme Park Book Club.
The beginning was very confusing - I was very confused by the descriptions of the man in the boy's life. It was quite unclear if there were one or two. About 1/4 to 1/3 of the way through the book it became clearer that there were two men visiting the boy in the house.

I thought the world building in this book was quite well done. The history behind the royal houses of Europe was well done. Perhaps simplified the politics of the time but it was conceivable that the situation could play out that way. Even with the hand waving of "and then Angelica had children and made sure they got put on the thrones of Europe." I can see how in England there would be a very strong desire to have good alliances with the Deepsmen, since they are an island. :)

I was cheering on Henry pretty much the whole time, however I found him becoming less and less likable as the book progressed. I really liked Anne, I hated that she made people think she was a simpleton when she really wasn't, but again, the realities of court are harsh. I was happy that at the end she became the ruler and was respected even though Henry went back to the sea.

All in all a good solid read. Not one I would have voluntarily chosen on my own, but that is what book clubs are for. :)


What do I want to be when I grow up?

I went to college and got a degree in theater.
I went to graduate school and got a Teaching Certification for Early Childhood Education.
The job I found the most joy in (that paid) was servicing Apple products and teaching people how to use them. (I'm weird, I *like* upgrading Operating Systems.)

I have discovered over the last year or so that I do not do well in small offices with people. Too many people over stimulate me. Working in an office by myself is closer to ideal, but I do still crave the occasional meeting for some social interaction.

My interests have always centered around women's rights/issues, digital communications, technology, education, and literacy. I have frequently looked at being a technical writer, but that requires that I actually put the butt in the chair and write. I frequently lack the motivation to sit and just write. If I go back to school, I do want to take at least one or two writing classes with structured assignments that will make me sit and write. Creating drafts of stuff in my head is great, but does not put words on the page.

Also, the job I am currently in is ending...soon. I would like to have some idea of what I am doing when I finally finish training my replacement. Taking a couple of online classes seems like a good idea, but are they really a good jumping off point, or am I just throwing away money?


I have done some research, and most technical writing positions require min. 3-5 years of technical writing experience, so how do I get started?

I have decided that taking a 6 week online course in Technical Writing and a prep course for Security+ is a good way to figure out what to do to. When I was working as tech support I nearly went for Sec+ several times, so this way I can be a bit more up to date if I choose to stay in tech support.

Being an adult is hard, but I guess I am muddling my way through as best I can...


Review of Redemption in Indigo

I cannot remember any names, and I read this on audio about a month ago, so forgive my lack of details and names.

Can I just mention how much I loved this book? Female protagonist that is not stupid, does smart things, gets exasperated with stupid stuff, but still loves her family and her husband? Wow.
I think this is something more along the lines I was hoping to read when we read Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor last year. Which was an excellent book, just...heavier than I could handle at that time.

Redemption in Indigo was full of lessons, like all great folk tales, for all the characters involved. Not only did the "bad" guy learn a lesson, so did the chaotic neutral 1st husband, sister, and the main character. When I first finished it I thought that the ending was a little too neat. After thinking about it for a while, it was the only ending that really made sense. I first thought the female djembe wanted the Indigo Lord to learn from Paama (I looked up the names), and hence, be redeemed. But the ending is what she was really pushing for. She wanted him to be redeemed through starting over.

The narrative setup is a storyteller in a courtyard telling the story, which was pretty awesome on audio. It made everything flow so naturally. :)

This book was read for calico_reaction's Theme Park Book Club.

More women need to be politicians, clearly.

The men long ago let the power go to their heads and it is time we fight back and get our rights back. I am appalled at the state of reproductive rights in this country, and all of the stuff that makes me the angriest has all happened within 2012! And we aren't even finished with February yet damnit.

Ready to be outraged?
1. Republicans do a hearing on the legislative issues of the new provision that birth control pills are now required to be provided, (but maybe not so much if your boss is a religion) and do not let any WOMEN speak at the hearing. Not even one that has personal experience with this legislation. All the "expert witnesses" are male and church officials. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/16/contraception-hearing-house-democrats-walk-out_n_1281730.html

2. The Virginia Legislature has passed a vote that requires a woman to have in invasive intrauterine ultrasound (they stick a metal wand up the vagina) in order to "show her the fetus" before aborting it. http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?121+sum+HB462 and http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?121+sum+SB484

3. The Virginia Legislature (on the same day as above) passed a bill that states life begins at conception "Provides that unborn children at every stage of development enjoy all the rights, privileges, and immunities available to other persons, citizens, and residents of the Commonwealth, subject only to the laws and constitutions of Virginia and the United States, precedents of the United States Supreme Court, and provisions to the contrary in the statutes of the Commonwealth." So, basically they are saying that fetuses are "persons" but the women that conceived it from rape isn't and can be forcibly required to look at the fetus during a very stressful time.

4. I recently underwent an intrauterine ultrasound as part of the diagnostics to figure out why we are having trouble getting pregnant. It was incredibly difficult and, yes, invasive. And I did it because I wanted to. I cannot even imagine having to go through the process because you need to abort a fetus.

My reps in the VA legislature voted nay on both these bills, but I am concerned of the trend this country is heading in.

I am seriously wondering if doing a crowd-funded campaign would be viable. I am sick and tired of the male politicians thinking they and their christian views are the norm for everyone.
About a third of the way through the book I remember reading somewhere that the author wrote it more as a memoir than a novel. I'm still unsure if that is true or not.

Ultimately the book is actually two books in one. A memoir of a son and his relationship with his father. A stream of consciousness book of a time traveling fix-it man trying to make sense and explain what he does for a living.

I would have rather had the time traveling guy and his world more expanded. There were some really interesting tidbits in there. I was left with several unanswered questions about the nature of the "science fictional" world he lived in. Was it kind of meta like the Thursday Next novels where he actually was patrolling the interior of fiction and helping to fix it? The memoir portions were written like he grew up in our world in the 80's until he and his father started becoming successful with their tie machine building. I had a difficult time bridging the world the narrator existed in and the one he reminisced about. That may have been why the book felt so…split and confusing.

I even thought about putting the book down and not picking it back up again, but since it was so short (and it is difficult to judge how far into a book I am when "reading" an audiobook), I just kept going. Fortunately, the last few pages were absolutely sublime. I actually found myself caring for a narrator I did not connect with in any way. That kind of made the whole thing worth it. :)

Book is the January selection for calico_reaction's Theme Park Book Club.

Libya and friendship

So, I am not very vocal about supporting or not supporting the uprising in Libya. However, it has been a situation that I am watching and following with great interest. One of my dear elementary school friends was from Libya. Her father took the family back home in the late 80s for reasons I do not remember. (I was like 10 or so at the time) I do remember her though. I remember how quiet but friendly she was and how we got along quite well. I remember that she was very smart and made frequent observations that made me smile. I received a picture from her in a letter sometime after she moved. (We were pen pals for a few years, although life happened and we (probably me) just stopped writing.) I still have that picture to this day and look at it every once in a while wondering what happened to her.

Hend, you are in my thoughts, now and always. I hope you are safe. And I hope you are helping your country do the right thing. :)

Love you and Miss you.