Archive for May, 2013


Blarghy blargblarg…

So much friggin’ rain.
The change in pressure fronts, and how swift they are, is wreaking havoc on my head.

I can’t wait for steady sunshine and warmth.

I also need to go to bed, as it’s getting late. I have a short rehearsal tomorrow night, the KCDC students are performing at a student showcase next weekend… they need the practice.

::sigh::

My last post was a semi-reblog regarding sine severely biased policies on Facebook. Images of abused women are left alone, while pictures of breastfeeding children are banned as inappropriate.
It looks like Facebook might have gotten the message!

Small steps toward a more equal day.

Women, Action & the Media’s open letter to Facebook recently made it to my news feed.
I was incredibly humbled by it’s compassion and intelligence, and I want to spread the word.

There are so many pages on Facebook glorifying the abuse and exploitation of women and children that get past monitors, but someone’s photo of a contented, breastfeeding child is considered lewd.

Stop the hate.

A Short Story

Fawn sat in her rocker, sipping the lavender tea that Mazarine so diligently whipped up.

“A good herbal shouldn’t be too hot, nor should it be too cold.”
Mazarine scrunched her nose at the quip, as Fawn had often repeated it.

As Mazarine took her seat on the front porch of the cottage in the woods,  broke through the trees, sailing so quickly on the air that the flowers bent to the ground and leaves were ripped from their branches. She rushed into the cottage, a blur of pink. Mazarine and Cora worried that she may break the door again.

“What do you suppose has her worked up again, Mazzie?” Asked Fawn.

“Probably another dead-end prophecy. You know, sometimes I feel like she’s not happy unless the end of the kingdom is upon us.”

“I suppose there may be truth to that…. So many prophecies, it’s hard to know if any of them will come about in our lifetimes.”

Cora could be heard in the study, rifling through pages of tomes older than this forest – the women had seen this kingdom grow from seedlings, seedlings that they had planted.

“How long before she comes to sqwak at us?” Mazarine adjusted her shawl. It had been a gift from the land’s first queen, though she couldn’t remember her name. Oh, but she was quite talented with wool and dyes. The green was as vibrant as the day she was given it.

They both sipped their tea and rocked a bit, taking in the sounds of the birds and bugs and branches of their little homestead. At a glance, the cottage was much like any other – lumber and thatch and mud. A close look, though, would show that the cottage was not cut lumber, but was actually a hedge of bushes, grown so tightly together that the had woven themselves into walls, and the roof was a thick patch of mosses and mushrooms.

Cora burst out of the door, red-faced and panting, holding an aged book encased in a glass box.

“Do either of you remember how to open this damnable thing?!”

Fawn and Mazarine looked at each other, quite worried. That book was the oldest, most powerful, and serious in the collection. Even at her most panicked, Cora would NEVER reach for it.

Her voice shaking, Mazarine answered, “All three of us need to open it.”

“You better come inside.” Cora wiped the sweat from her brow – which was still quite furrowed. Fawn had often cautioned her that wrinkles would stick if she kept making that face, but today was not the day to warn Cora about her aging.

“Cora, dear, what is going on?” Fawn set her teacup down on a small stump that doubled as a side table. Mazarine did the same, and smoothed out her dress as they all walked into the drawing room.

“Ladies, we have a situation.
The darkness that we have feared has grown and is about to rear it’s ugly head.
We’ve known this day would come, but Heavens help me, I never thought it would happen so soon.”

Still a bit dazed, each woman set a hand on the glass case, focusing their special “talents”, as they liked to call it. Soft lights emanated from them – green, red, and blue – and the case seemed to melt away.

They looked at the book, sitting there on table. It was just so….  unobtrusive. There was nothing on the cover, no title on the spine. It was brown (which, frankly, they all agreed was an ugly color when it wasn’t out in the woods) and boring.

They all took a deep breath, hoping that which they feared would not come to be.

After a moment, they looked at each other, slightly relieved. The book just sat there.
Doing nothing.

“Well,” said Mazarine, “all that for nothing. You need to learn to rela—-”

A gust of wind blew through the cottage, flipping the pages of the book. When it stopped, Fawn’s heart sank.
Mazarine crinkled her nose, upset that she had spoken too soon.
And Cora…

Cora stared down at the page, a tear rolling down her cheek. It is as we have feared.

Before them was what amounted to a yearbook. Every witch, magician, wizard, and warlock to ever live would have a portion in the book. Some would have a paragraph, others a chapter. As new mages were born, pages were entered into the book.

This page was one of many; it was filled with legends, stories from around the world, of great evils. It hadn’t always been this way, there were many pages of wonderful things.
Melody had such promise. She could speak to the wind and rain; she could heal the land and help crops grow.
She had helped create this kingdom.

The fairies recalled the dark day when things changed.

A wizard, quite mad, had come upon their little cottage. He demanded that they teach him how to manipulate the Earth.
Trying to explain to a madman that you do not manipulate, but simply ask nicely, was impossible.

So he burned it to the ground – all of it.
Cora guessed it was because he wanted to see a new cottage spring forth from the remains or some such nonsense.

Melody was devastated. She had spoken to the walls. She knew every animal and insect that burrowed within the walls and floors and roof.
She could feel the ones that did not make it out. She tended the ones that barely did.

And then she tracked him down.
The forest was angry, and she began to feed off that anger.

Rage boiled in her blood.

Her once shimmery, lavender aura blackened. Her hair twisted and knotted as burnt branches.

And when she found him, she devoured his magic – which she found quite appealing. The power flowed through her, and she could harness it.
He was a shape-shifter…. dragonkind.

She gave his wasted body to the ground, where a small rose bush rose up. The thorns were quite large and very sharp.
Here, she grew her fortress.
Never again would the forest, her forest, be ravaged by men.

Cora, Fawn, and Mazarine had tracked her for months; the tower of thorns had become impressive.

They found her, dirtied and bloodied and burned. Tears had caked the mud to her face.
Fawn tried to hug her, to heal her, but she recoiled.

“Don’t come near me; I fear I will devour you, too.”

“Let us help you.” Fawn sang gently.
“We’ll get you cleaned up and back home.” Whispered Cora.

Before Mazarine could speak, Melody stood up.

“There will never be a home for us. These humans no longer revere us; they fear us. They attack for no reason, they kill without regard, they burn and chop and destroy. Just like the mad wizard.

Now leave, before I take your powers, too.”

“Take our powers?” Mazarine trembled, astonished at what she heard.

“I have been threatened, beaten, and bruised. But in the end, I am strong. Warlocks and druids have come to me, seeking to destroy me. I am a threat, they say!

And they are right. I drain them of their magic and throw their bodies to the rose bushes. My tower feeds and grows.”

Cora dropped her gaze a bit. “Sweetie, you know that it’s wrong to take another’s power.”

“I was defending myself!”

“It’s still wrong, and we can’t let you do it. Come home with us. The trees miss you. The chipmunks are in a tizzy.”

“NO! Now leave!”

Melody was so angry, so sad, so frightened, that she hadn’t noticed the three fairies weaving their spell. The faint lights from their hands wrapping the room like ribbons.
By the time she realized what was happening, it was too late – she was trapped.

Mazarine stepped forward.

“We took you in as a child because you had such potential, such love. We taught you everything we could about kindness and generosity.

You know this is wrong, and it is our duty to stopped you if you cannot stop yourself. You’ve lost control.”

She straightened her skirt and continued, “There will come a day when you are clearer in your head. When that day comes, you will free yourself from this prison. Until then, know that we love you, and always will.”

Fawn looked to her.
“The birds and animals will see to your well-being. Do not worry.”

They left, hearts filled with sadness and regret.

Looking in the book, Cora saw what they dreaded: A dragon, slain by a magic sword. They knew she had the power to free herself now, and they must put things in motion.

“Mazzie, you hop next door and make sure the blood line continues. We’re going to need a prince in a few years.

Fawn, get us an invite to the baby’s party.”

“What baby, what party?”

“Oh, I took care of that last night.” She smiled wryly. “Just get us in the good graces of Their Majesties. Now, go, the both of you! I have work to do.”

When Mazzie and Fawn had left the cottage, Cora got straight to work. This would be the most beautiful sword ever created. It’s powers would remain dormant until the right prince at the right time needed to battle a dragon.

“Maybe I should leave it lodged in a stone somewhere. Only he of pure heart can draw it or some such nonsense…. No, that’d never work.”

“Sleeping Beauty” by Thomas Spence

 

Please go here to see the original Tumblr blog.

Copied and pasted, for you reading pleasure (in case you don’t want to or cannot click the link)

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“Why Society Still Needs Feminism

Because to men, a key is a device to open something. For women, it’s a weapon we hold between our fingers when we’re walking alone at night.

Because the biggest insult for a guy is to be called a “pussy,” a “little bitch” or a “girl.” From here on out, being called a “pussy” is an effing badge of honor.

Because last month, my politics professor asked the class if women should have equal representation in the Supreme Court, and only three out of 42 people raised their hands.

Because rape jokes are still a thing.

Because despite being equally broke college kids, guys are still expected to pay for dates, drinks and flowers.

Because as a legit student group, Campus Fellowship does not allow women to lead anything involving men. Look, I know Eve was dumb about the whole apple and snake thing, but I think we can agree having a vagina does not directly impact your ability to lead a

college organization.

Because it’s assumed that if you are nice to a girl, she owes you sex — therefore, if she turns you down, she’s a bitch who’s put you in the “friend zone.” Sorry, bro, women are not machines you put kindness coins into until sex falls out.

Because only 29 percent of American women identify as feminist, and in the words of author Caitlin Moran, “What part of ‘liberation for women’ is not for you? Is it freedom to vote? The right not to be owned by the man you marry? The campaign for equal pay? Did all that good shit get on your nerves? Or were you just drunk at the time

of the survey?”

Because when people hear the term feminist, they honestly think of women burning bras. Dude, have you ever bought a bra? No one would burn them because they’re freaking

expensive.

Because Rush Limbaugh.

Because we now have a record number of women in the Senate … which is a measly 20 out of 100. Congrats, USA, we’ve gone up to 78th place for women’s political representation, still below China, Rwanda and Iraq.

Because recently I had a discussion with a couple of well-meaning Drake University guys, and they literally could not fathom how catcalling a woman walking down University Avenue is creepy and sexist.

Could. Not. Fathom.

Because on average, the tenured male professors at Drake make more than the tenured female professors.

Because more people on campus complain about chalked statistics regarding sexual assault than complain about the existence of sexual assault. Priorities? Have them.

Because 138 House Republicans voted against the Violence Against Women Act. All 138 felt it shouldn’t provide support for Native women, LGBT people or immigrant women. I’m kind of confused by this, because I thought LGBT people and women of color were also human beings.

Weird, right?

Because a girl was roofied last semester at a local campus bar, and I heard someone say they think she should have been more careful. Being drugged is her fault, not the fault of the person who put drugs in her drink?

Because Chris Brown beat Rihanna so badly she was hospitalized, yet he still has fans and bestselling songs and a tattoo of an abused woman on his neck.

Because out of 7 billion people on the planet, more than 1 billion women will be raped or beaten in their lifetimes. Women and girls have their clitorises cut out, acid thrown on them and broken bottles shoved up them as an act of war. Every second of every day. Every corner of the Earth.

Because the other day, another friend of mine told me she was raped, and I can no longer count on both my hands the number of friends who have told me they’ve been sexually assaulted. Words can’t express how scared I am that I’m getting used to this.

Because a brief survey of reality will tell you that we do not live in a world that values all people equally and that sucks in real, very scary ways. Because you know we live in a sexist world when an awesome thing with the name “feminism” has a weird connotation. Because if I have kids someday, I want my son to be able to have emotions and play dress up, and I want my daughter to climb trees and care more about what’s in her head than what’s on it. Because I don’t want her to carry keys between her fingers at night to

protect herself.

Because feminism is for everybody, and this is your official invitation.”

Caitlin O’Donnell, Drake University.

http://sorayachemaly.tumblr.com/post/50361809881/why-society-still-needs-feminism-because-to-men

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In related news:

Topless Women in Public Not Breaking the Law, Says NYPD

 

Today, Minnesota – my home state – became the 12th to allow same-sex marriages.
Yay!

We know how to celebrate.

35W Bridge

Outside the Capital building

 Rainbow half  Rainbow close

I know how to celebrate, too.  🙂

 

My mom is pretty darn cool.

Mom & her husband dressed up for our wedding.

Mom & her husband dressed up for our wedding.

Happy Mothers Day!

Mom with her first grandchild (my niece).

Serenity

I sat on the dock, feet dangling in the water, a warm breeze blowing gently over the lake; it felt like  fingers running through my hair.

I could hear the water lapping against the dock and the shoreline, rhythmically sliding over the rocks.  Birds chirped quietly and the crickets were just starting to hum.
I recall thinking, briefly, that there weren’t any mosquitoes biting at me.

And the trees… oh, the trees. They danced on the breeze – especially the big willow in front of the new cabin, its branches swaying back and forth, almost touching the grass.

Strange, though, that no one else seemed to be out enjoying this beautiful day.
Usually, there are fishermen out in their boats, children playing in the sand,  families out swimming. It was remarkably peaceful.

I was totally at ease when I heard footsteps on the dock behind me and felt the dock rock a bit.
I really didn’t expect anyone else to be there.

We sat there, together. Our shoes tossed up on the grass and jeans rolled up to our knees. We shared a drink… Jameson & ginger ale. It was really, really refreshing in the warm air.

No words had been exchanged, just a shared glass and occasional splash.

As the sun started to drop, the terra cotta sky reflected on the lake. It was like an impressionist painting.
The crickets were  really going at it, I thought.
But then I realized that it wasn’t normal chatter. It was harmonious. It was lyrical.
They were playing for me.

I stood up and walked toward the cabin, and once my feet touched the grass, the music became louder, clearer. They wanted me to dance.

I found a flat section of the yard and took my position.
There was no choreography, no defined movements, just me, dancing with the birds and bugs and trees.
The willow tree swayed with me, caressed me as I twirled around it.

It was lovely, and freeing, and wonderful.

 

A Year and a Day

It’s been a year and a day since we said goodbye to Peanut.

Peanut was part of the reason I started this blog. It’s been a place for me to soul-search and try to find purpose without her around.

She was a very special cat, indeed, and I miss her very much.

Tongue

bully