Saturday, November 21, 2015

A real post for a change but still with 365s

I’m not going to minced words—I’ve been struggling with keeping my eyes and nose above the water level this past year. I hate that I now sound like one of those people who annoyed me to no end talking about their medical issues; “Oh, my sciatica is just killing me these days….” And “The migraines are just incapacitating…”

I’ve developed a bit of a soul over the past having been humbled by the development of my own medical issues. The anxiety has become a part of my life I can no longer ignore and it has made my already hermity and anti-social nature even worse. I’m on medication, naturally, it’s now a regular part of my routine. It has helped normalize me as far as it can. But it does not stop the insomnia, the constant self-censure, the insecurity, the sense of helplessness and it has made my RLS so bad at night that sometimes I cannot sleep at all because my legs feel like they want to run off the bed. Anxiety sucks balls. I have been working to be better; forcing myself out of the house, and all those things. I’m getting better, but it’s up and down.

I have little to no interest in the regency stuff right now. I love being around my ‘peeps’ when I’m with them, but revving up my motivation to even participate is so hard. I try. I go to things, but honestly, most of the time I just don’t want to. I hope that passion comes back. It was awesome and I miss it. I am also pushing myself to finish my newest book and get it to the editing process. It’s easier to focus on that because it’s part of being creative and I’ve been missing that very much since Alex was born. I think the inability to use the creative outlets I have has probably contributed to my anxiety and depression issues. I have been ruminating on how little I’ve posted on my blog these past months besides my 365s. I’m amazed I’ve kept up with them as long as I have. I think I might make the full year! I confess the weeks after my trip to Florida, I did flag a bit, but I was overcome with a hideous case of giardia (NEVER.AGAIN.OMG), and I wasn’t in any shape to do anything, so a few photos were taken on the same day or many over a few days to catch up. Some are also out of sequence.

In the meantime, I decided I need to write something serious. I’m not quite back to my snarky self yet, she’s coming, I’m sure, but since I do go just about everywhere in this blog, I figured my next rant will fit right in. My rant is about the state of the world right now. About terrorism and refugees. It’s about the privilege of being a detached and indifferent American. Privilege comes in many forms. In the United States, especially. And there is an additional privilege that I think (and this is my own conjecture alone) is part of the reason why Americans are so quick to jump into war.

You see, the USA has enjoyed a charmed existence compared to Europe and other parts of the world; at least when it comes to war. That doesn’t mean I’m in any way diminishing the losses from either world wars, the Korean war, Vietnam etc. What I mean is that the USA has frequently found itself sending its sons and daughters overseas to fight on foreign soil, but with the exception of Pearl Harbour, the USA has seen little to no really intense war action on its own soil -- since the civil war.

Why this is relevant is because, for example, in Europe, especially the UK, France etc, there is a very fresh, short memory of the last war that ravaged the countryside. World War I and World War II were devastating. Landmarks decimated, millions killed and injured, cities bombarded continuously. The US arrived late into both of these fracases, and they sustained comparably fewer losses than most of the world-war countries. It took the direct engagement of American interests to even get them fully involved.

But war is profitable, and the US has since been at war almost continuously ever since; but American civilians have never experienced a blitz in their back yards. They aren’t still digging up live ordnance from the soil. They don’t have graveyards upon graveyards laid out like a quilt of nations, filled with the bodies of the dead taken down in their towns and villages.

The atrocities of war are a real thing for most of Europe still, and for many countries, they are a thing people are living with every day. And it’s our privilege as Americans to dismiss this because we don’t have any recent experience that can help us empathize and relate to what other people might be enduring. We have become a nation of insensitive fools because of it.’

9/11 only took 3000 lives, and yet it hit such a raw nerve, the country went into a collective state of shock, and turned to fear and xenophobia instead of defiance; as the countries who understand conflict directly do. We sent out our sons and daughters to fight on our behalf on the soil of countries not even related to the acts performed on that day, but somehow it soothed our collective fears to know someone was dying for what happened to us.

Imagine, if you will, how the US would react if it was pummeled like France or Britain in WWII. Imagine what real conflict would be like. Most Americans cannot. Their lawns remained meticulously pruned and their daily lives were largely unaffected by the succession of wars since the Civil War. The loss of their sons was a sufficient price to pay for this peace; while their children wreaked havoc on foreign soil on behalf of our government. We are attacked and we send a couple of massive thermo-nuclear devices and watch it from afar. We have grown arrogant and cocky because of this. We believe ourselves untouchable; while realizing deep down that we aren't, and feeling the fear of that bubbling up.

The Syrian refugees are fleeing violence that most American people cannot even begin to relate to. They don’t want to. They’ve never had their homes mortared. Their grandparents haven’t sat with them to recount how their homes were taken over by invading forces, and how certain people were taken away for their beliefs and killed in massive death camps. Americans were rationing stockings. That was the hardship the home-front suffered—while the eastern hemisphere literally burned.

So privilege it is. Even if we lost sons for the sense of near arrogance; the lack of humility and the zest for confrontation, as long as it’s not on American soil.

The attacks in Paris only made France more defiant. There is an element of fear, don’t get me wrong, but the predominant response in the country is FUCK YOU TERRORISTS you are not going to change our way of life. In the US, the mere whisper of terrorism means shouts to close borders and to turn away refugees; it means brown people being persecuted for being brown, and people buying more guns and bigger cars. The privilege of fear.

It’s upsetting to me how the USA has turned from a country of greatness and goodness to one of fear and paranoia. I can see where it happened, and where it continues to happen, and as long as we foster this culture of fear, we have allowed the terrorists (note how 'terror’ is part of this word)  to achieve their ends. A small faction of extremists, having such a powerful effect that it stuns an entire nation into fear… crazy isn’t it?  Americans merely wash the muslims with a sweeping generalized term of terrorists, and imagine millions of brown skinned people hoping to destroy the west—instead of even opening their ears to the fact that ISIS is about the same threat as the next five or six mass shooters that have attempted to enact their own terror in this country, but somehow not instilled that same level of fear.

Here is what’s true: You are more likely to be shot by a police officer than you are being harmed by a muslim extremist.  You are WAY more likely to be shot by your OWN gun in your OWN home (or someone in your household) than you are being harmed by a muslim extremist. That is just the truth. And fearing the Syrian refugees… well, that’s like fearing meteors falling on your head. With the intensive vetting process, no self-respecting extremist would bother. It’s easier to just hop on a plane and come as a tourist. And heck, it’s easy enough for them to get a gun here, so there you go.

You can crow until the cows come home about your security but you don’t know what being in danger is. Not compared to the Syrians. Even the French can claim the privilege of far better security than that of the truly afflicted nations like Syria and Lebanon.

And finally, a salient point here... We built this. As much as many Americans like to avoid responsibility for the consequences of our global actions, we have to face it; as a nation we have a duty to start fixing the disasters our policies and war mongering have caused. And if that means finding ways to support the hundreds of thousands of people fleeing their war-torn homes, then that is what we should do. If we risk a terrorist event in our country doing it, then so be it. Honestly, it’s not like we don’t already have our own home-grown terrorists who do much greater damage. Between the mass shootings and the church burnings and all the other crap going on, why are we focusing on ISIS? Is it that we fear that they will bring war to our back yards? Imagine that.

This is my next set of 365s for you. Enjoy.





305/365 - I got this cat in 1984 for my birthday.
He's one of the few things I have from my
childhood. Alex is giving this old dude
a run for his money.

306/365 - I took this pic with my husband's phone. It's Halloween.









315/365 - Happy third birthday baby boy,





Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Project 365 - Days 260 to 300 - A double-post

Yeah, there's a need for catching up. I've been both unusually busy and overwhelmed and at the same time, completely unmotivated and exhausted.  It's been a wild 40+ days, that I have to say. From Rose City Comic Con to the trip to Pensacola and New Orleans. Here it all is in pics.

261/365 - some self-indulgence

262/365 - Rose City Comic Con
The Riker Pose

263/365 - McMenamins Edgefield for a post-convention dinner


265/365 - Alex and Annie cuddle little miss Maxine

266/365 - Some Skyping with Dad

267/365 - Some play at the local café



270/365 - Fall has arrived



273/365 - Monster Feets

274/365 - Retreat day 1 - Some gambling fish

275/365 - Retreat day 2

276/365 - Retreat day 3

277/365 - Retreat day 4

278/365 - New copper penny roof

279/365 - Passenger pacification candy
earplug bags are ready to go.

280/365 - Some fall colours before we go

281/365 - Deathhead buttons on the plane. 

282/365 -  New Orleans -- hunting for dinner

283/365 - Some Nola-themed decor at the Union Lofts

284/365 - Insectarium was cool

285/365 - the dock at my sister's home
in Pensacola. The house is on the bay
across from the naval base. We awoke to
Blue Angels practicing formations in their
F18s and Reveille.

286/365 - My morning stroll to the edge
of the dock

287/365 - Pensacola Beach. Really beautiful.

288/365 - The museum at the naval base in Pensacola

289/365 - my vow renewal bouquet.

This is our tenth anniversary. We renewed our vows on the dock by the water, and had dinner at the country club afterwards. It was a sweet, tame and intimate night.

290/365 - Last full day at the bay house

291/365 - Homeward bound. My boy loves
planes. He got to sit in the cockpit with the
captain and copilot.

292/365 - Simon really missed his dad.



295/365 - Smile mommy

296/365 - Time with friends at Ant Farm

297/365 - Light saber/Glow stick battle

298/365 - Fun at the pumpkin patch


300/365 - Deepened gold.


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