Tag: news

Everyone Believes in Weird Shit


Dream scraps: I don’t remember dreaming at all which might explain why I feel slightly more rested today. So weird. It’s rare that I don’t at least wake up remembering that I did dream even if it’s too hazy to pick out a single detail.

I cleaned house yesterday and it felt great. I feel more clear headed today as a result. The guys cleaned the upstairs too so things are pretty shiny around here. Except for the cobwebs on the ceiling, some of which have become large enough to house a morbidly obese family of arachnids.

Oh shit. I just remembered a scrap of my dream and it was awful. Speaking of arachnids reminded me. Max and Philip and I were in a basement or a car garage (public kind) or something and suddenly I saw a huge light yellow (semi-translucent) scorpion headed for Max and I yelled for him to watch out and he and Philip just stood there while the scorpion headed for him and I started screaming for them to move and get out of its way and they wouldn’t.

The humming birds are back in the garden!

I need more graph paper.

My inspiration boards are pretty great.

This is the kind of inane shit that must be released into the atmosphere in order for greater thoughts to be heard and transcribed. The way I said that reminds me of when my mom was really into “channeling”. Not just my mom, but talk of channeling spirituality, messages from divine beings, your inner child, and maybe your dead asshole uncle was everywhere.

I do not channel my writing. I write. I do not channel things through me. Channeling is bullshit.

I used to say I was a spiritual person. I think I said that because I believe people have spirits and I believe that there is “something bigger than me” out there. But I’m not spiritual. Not in the way people understand spirituality. I’m not spiritual. I do not believe that there is any greater purpose in life than to survive as long as you can and then die. I don’t need purpose. The purpose of living is that we’re born and therefore alive and make the most of it you can and stop bitching about how little time you have.

I don’t believe in a “higher” power. I don’t believe there’s some BIG PLAN for us all or for any of us. We make our own plans and then most of the time shit goes down we don’t expect so we make a new plan and then we learn shit and realize that the old plan no longer works and we just keep planning as we go because that’s how you get from point A to point B.

I DO believe in karma and karma is pretty much the same as “reaping what you sow” (isn’t that in the bible or something?). How you treat people, how you treat animals, and how you treat the environments you come in contact with will usually determine the kind of life you have, how you’re treated in return, your health. In one way or another you will get back what you put out there. I don’t think humans always see karma in action. Karma isn’t arranged by a deity or other human beings. It’s just the concept of balance.

I believe in balance. I suppose. I believe there can’t be good without bad, dark without light, true joy without sorrow. Nature is constantly trying to balance itself. Ecosystems get thrown out of balance and life dies and toxins rise and eventually it comes into balance again. On a cellular level we’re always fighting for balance. Our white blood cells multiply to fight sickness and prolonged heightened white blood cell count can kill you. Too many red blood cells can kill you.

Balance is what nature is always striving for.

It’s what humans are constantly fucking with and fucking up.

I’m sick of religious intolerance all across the world. I’m sick of people saying their God is so righteous and GOOD and then torturing people who don’t agree, killing people who don’t agree, segregating people who don’t agree. There will NEVER be one single religion in the entire world. Ever. So everyone needs to learn to live together with respect. The only evil religious people are intolerant zealots and they come in every religion.


If you don’t realize this then you need to go back and take more world history classes. No major religion is without blood and evil on its hands.

I don’t hate any religion. If I hated one religion I would hate them ALL equally. But religion serves a purpose for many human beings and I wouldn’t dream of taking it away from anyone. And as long as religious people don’t try to convert me or force me to live by the laws of their religion, I will live in peace and harmony with them.

I happen to love quite a few religious people. People who I think are fine and smart and cool. Religious friends who are open minded non-hateful religious people. Can we have MORE of these wonderful people in the world, please?

I will make fun of religion, though. Because religion is WEIRD SHIT.

When I make fun of religion or talk about it with irreverence, it is never from a place of hate or true derision. Just total wonderment at the weirdness of religious belief.

Come on! Walking on water? That’s WEIRD SHIT.

1,000 virgins when you die? That’s WEIRD SHIT.

Putting your face in a magic hat? That’s WEIRD SHIT.

Atheists grow terrorists too. And I am not okay with that. I am not okay with atheists who think all religious people are ignorant and inferior because they believe in something different. Nature is full of weird shit.

Platypus. WEIRD SHIT.

We can look at that animal from a scientific and evolutionary stand point and it’s still weird as hell. Atheists generally believe in science and provable things. I think this is reasonable. But that doesn’t make it less weird.

Let us also remember that many religious people have not only their religious beliefs but also believe in science.

Religion and science are not mutually exclusive.

People who don’t believe you can be religious but also value and believe what science tells us are, in my opinion, just showing off their limitation of imagination and limitation in their faith. How great can your faith in God really be if you can’t see how evolution and God do not disprove each other?

Can we all please agree that there’s weird shit in science AND religion and that it’s okay to notice it and okay to laugh, but not okay to hate or look down on people who see things differently or who believe in weird shit?

Because as far as I can tell, all humans believe in some weird shit.

Let’s learn to enjoy each other’s weird shit and also respect it for what it is – personal outlook, philosophy, what makes you get up in the morning, what makes you feel better at the end of a bad day, what soothes your soul when you lose loved ones, what inspires you to be a better human being.

Then let’s kick the shit out of all the people who are shedding blood in our names. Let’s say NO to this evil.

Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindis, (and all the other ones I can’t name but are there) – all capable of greatness and all responsible for evil events in this world.

But please, people, Muslims have taken the greatest hit lately. Muslims have lost the most people to other people’s hatred. Because of a few extremists. It needs to stop.

Malala Yousafzai is Muslim and was shot by the Taliban.

Malala Yousafzai is an incredible human being. She’s brave, she’s smart, she believes in education and religious acceptance and peace. And she’s Muslim. So many Muslim people are like HER. So stop equating all Muslim people with the Taliban.

You want all people to equate Christianity with Fred Phelps?

Oooh – or how about if all anyone thinks of when they think of Christianity are the priests who rape little boys? You want everyone to believe that ALL Christian men rape little boys?

It would be the worst kind of bigotry and untruth.

So stop equating all Muslims with 9/11. The Taliban was responsible for it. Rail against the actual people who committed that evil.

I know that not a word I’ve written here will make the least bit of difference. I say them anyway in hopes that if enough of us say no to shedding blood and oppressing others in the name of belief (God, science, political, racial) – maybe eventually no one will allow it to keep happening.

I didn’t plan on writing about religious intolerance today. I think it’s just been on my mind because of the the horrors going on in Gaza and the horrors going on in my own country where so many people are fighting to hang onto bigotry in the name of their religion and here in the States it’s the extreme Christians. Eroding women’s rights. Chipping away at their hard-won autonomy of body and spirit.

It all gets me down. I suppose I needed to write all this out because I have to remember and keep close in mind my religious friends who do not represent this hateful crap and whom I love very much. Every time I get angry at extreme Christians closing their fists around the neck of our politics and civil liberties for women and people of color and the LGBT community – I need to remember that there are many Christians in this country who are smart and open minded and cool and loving and accepting of most people. I need to remember that I know tons of Jewish people and 95% of them are against the oppression of Palestinians. I need to remember the few Muslims I’ve met and hung out with who I’ve admired and liked and respected because they were kind and smart and educated and inclusive.

I need reminding all the time not to confuse all the extremist religious people with the reasonable peace loving ones.

That’s why I wrote about this today. Because I needed this reminder in face of all the news stories about the evil side of religious belief.

I’m glad I could have this little talk with myself today.


Purging the Ugly and Going on a News Fast

wig window san rafael

As of today I’m going on a news fast.  I will still watch The Daily Show because that’s “fake” news and puts things in a perspective that doesn’t make me want to punch things.  The last post I wrote is what I want to believe in and hope for and reach for.  I can’t do that while watching the news which only proves to me that human beings, as a whole, are scumbags.

Here are some things on my mind that I need to get out in order to make room for much better and lighter things:

  • I’m so worried about the backlash the Boston bombing is going to create for Muslim Americans.  There is already such widespread racism against Middle Eastern-looking people and such anti-Muslim sentiment in the United States and every single time there is a whiff of terrorism connected to Islam – it feeds the hate machine.  I’m not pro-Muslim any more than I am pro-Christian.  As an atheist I am not pro any religion.  But racial and religious intolerance is unacceptable to me.  And I’m really worried about Muslim Americans and especially those who are or look like they are Arab.  So – I’m thinking of them today and hoping that things do not get worse than they are for them after this week’s events.
  • Greg Ball is an inhuman asshole.  He tweeted (regarding Dzhokhar Tsarnaev) “So, scumbag #2 in custody.  Who wouldn’t use torture on this punk to save lives?”  First of all – how does he imagine that using torture on this suspect is going to “save lives”?  Torture is not known to produce useful or accurate intelligence.  Basically Ball just wants Tsarnaev to be tortured so that he can feel the worst kind of pain and suffering a human can endure without dying.  Think about that impulse for a minute.  Think about what kind of moral center you have to have to endorse the torture of ANY human beings.  Really let that blossom in your gut and your heart.


  • If you share Ball’s feelings about torture and think it’s an appropriate treatment for human beings under any circumstance then you are no better a human being than the people you hate the most.  If you think torture is okay under any circumstance then your moral center is broken.
  • I’m glad that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured alive.  I hope he makes it out of critical condition in the hospital so that maybe we can all have some answers as to why he took part in such an awful crime.  I also feel compassion for him and I’m worried about him.  I want him to be prosecuted for his part in the bombings – people must take responsibility for their actions – but I’m concerned that his rights as a suspect and as a criminal will not be upheld and it is absolutely not okay to suspend someone’s rights just because you hate what they did.  He should be prosecuted to the letter of the law, completely by the books.  But already it seems that may not be happening.  I have read that they have decided not to read him his Miranda rights by invoking a public safety exception.  Which is total bullshit.
  • I’m worried that the corporation that owns the factory that exploded in West (Texas) will not be forced to pay for what appears to be criminal negligence.  It seems the factory hadn’t been inspected in over 5 years and there was reason to inspect it as the equipment was old and there had been complaints of smells coming from the factory that weren’t fully investigated.  If the government is willing to give corporations “person-hood” then corporations should be responsible for their actions in exactly the same way as individual people are.
  • The inability of the Senate to pass a fairly milky bill that would expand the requirement for background checks for purchasing guns is pathetic.  I loved the President’s strong speech about how shameful it was that we couldn’t pass such a small compromise.

Okay.  Now I’m going to refuse the news.  I can gain nothing good from it.  I am going to clean my office today and maybe my house.  Then I’m going to finish sewing the clothes that are on my desk unfinished.  Then I’m going to cut some more out.  I aim to get these things done so I can move on to new projects.  I also need to clear my space of enough projects that I can focus on making healthier food and getting more exercise.  Knowing what’s going on in the world at large makes me feel heavy of heart and hurts my head and makes me feel like I’m moving in sludge.  My news fast will help lighten me up and in spite of the coming heatwave (mid 80’s for several days!) I want to move my body more.  I must not be bogged down by the evil in the world but actively seek the good and it aint gonna be found in the news.

What are you doing to lighten your heart up?  What are you doing to combat the ugliness in the world?

Relief is in the Details (and in SNL)

This gutted abandoned shell of a house is how I feel about myself, my country, and my countrymen right now.

While that’s a pretty dismal thing to say and feel, I can see for myself that even in the decrepitude of this emptied house there is value.  Someone was using it for a shelter.  They hung themselves some thick plastic tarps to the ceiling to enclose a small space, like a tent.  Insects have also found shelter in it too.  It is strangely beautiful standing in a field of spring dandelions and English daisies with the trees reaching down to it.

I don’t like myself very much when I’m around people for too long or too often.  I start behaving the way they do which points to how easily I am provoked into pettiness, anger, bitchiness, snarkiness (of the hurtful kind), and bickering.  This is something that has been brought out in everyone on social media since the days leading up to the Royal Wedding.  Damn me if I’ve ever heard so many people who don’t live in England speak so bitterly about the Royal family, about the wedding (which polarized people between hating or loving it where most people who claimed to not care at all were the most bitter about it and then there was myself who started off genuinely not being intersted-but certainly not annoyed by it- who ended up enjoying the coverage and the event quite a lot) and just when everyone is done bitching and moaning and expressing their hatred for Royalty more strongly than I could have thought Amercians, so completely UNAFFECTED by Royal rule, could possibly have felt… Osama is assassinated.

That set off a similar polarization.  There are those who are happy, jubilant, celebrating the killing of Osama as a rightful just event that rights the wrong of 9/11.  Though in the news the people most affected personally by 9/11 also say that NOTHING can really right it.  So let’s go ahead and kill people to feel better, even though it will never be enough?  Nice.  I find this sentiment disturbing.  I find it hateful and willfully vengeful.  And then there are those who are not rejoicing in Osama’s death, who are sad that any of this violence has to happen and who want to see everyone rise to a higher place, a more sober understanding of what it means to kill a person, whether or not that person did evil things.  No one I have heard who is sad by all the blood lust is a fan of Osama, though it seems that many people who are firm believers in an eye for an eye think that not being happy about Osama being killed must be in support of him, a completely irrational supposition.

I have shut myself off from Facebook (and Twitter, though that hardly matters because no one talks to me on Twitter anyway) because I don’t want to be further disappointed in people I generally like and I don’t want to keep myself in a situation that provokes my own weakness and hatefulness.  This is not what I believe in.  This is not the kind of behavior or sentiment I aspire to.  I am finding myself looking at friends in new light, as people I can’t understand and don’t want to.  Following the massive reposting of a quote supposedly from Martin Luther King, Jr., one I posted myself, there are a bunch of people saying it isn’t a correct quote.  It turns out that most of it was except for the first sentence, which nevertheless reflects the same sentiments that are in the rest of King’s speech.  What all the correcting and the snarkiness feels like is an attempt to make the non-violence crowd look stupid and ridiculous.  I found myself commenting on it and the more I did the angrier I got.  People are mean and petty and I get caught up in it all and then I wanted to fight.  To FIGHT, people.  Exactly what I am against!!

I don’t believe in FIGHTING like that, where people are just trying to discredit and take others down over ridiculous details.  I had to hit myself and shut things down.  If I go on like this I’ll have zero friends.  If I’m to be the person I want to be then first I have to let go of the petty motivations of others to make me feel bad or make me wrong (or both) and secondly I need to refrain from turning around and doing the same to them.  My best way of dealing with this is always to go inward.  To disconnect from people.  My own blog is still safe.  It has experienced a funny arc over time of readers and commenters and right now I’m relieved that it is quiet here and no one really reads it from facebook unless I post my posts there.  This does not annoy me as it might have done a year ago.  It is a place I still feel mostly safe to speak my mind and not be kicked around.  Back when I had a lot of readers and commenters I couldn’t say the word “homeschooling” without someone picking up the cudgels and taking a swing at me.

Lest anyone think I sat around whining and crying all day yesterday in my depression and disappointment in myself and everyone else, I would like to say that I did a number of things yesterday to restore my sense of hope, of peace, and of self-respect:

  • I made really good food.  I made lentil salad and crustless spanakopita.  I let the cooking be a meditation while I thought on King’s (and the anonymous person paired up with him in that quote) words about loving your enemy* and I found a measure of calm in this quotidian activity, as I always do.
  • I rode my bicycle downtown.   That’s not a lot of exercise but it felt good to get the fresh air and feel my muscles working.  When I returned home I did 25 crunches with the help of Max (he sits on my legs so I can do real ones without hurting my back- it feels great!) and truth be told, I did 25 instead of 20 because of Max’s cheering me on.
  • I didn’t eat anything I regretted.  I ate just enough to feel full and everything that went in my mouth was wholesome and modest, yet nothing about my food was stark (I had butter on my toast but I never use a lot, I had some feta cheese but a modest amount, etc).  Every day I don’t give in and eat the giant cookies or whatever else I eat because it seems like a good idea to spite myself even though I don’t like sugary crap is a good day.
  • I didn’t drink alcohol.  Usually when I don’t drink beer I have something just as fattening to replace it like ginger beer or tonic and lime.  I did have tonic and lime but only one glass of it.  That’s okay with me.  It’s even okay to have two, but if I’m going to have 4 I lose so much of my progress and self respect.
  • I went to bed early.  Okay, I crawled into bed because I couldn’t bear to expose myself to anything online and I didn’t want to hang with my family or do anything but hide and read.  I was in bed by 9pm and fell asleep by 10.  I guess I really am depressed since I then slept until 7:30am.  Almost ten hours of sleep.  I could have stayed in bed longer.  I usually only sleep 6 hours.  It’s okay.

Unlike on Sunday I didn’t cry or feel sorry for myself a single second.  I usually only let that go on for a few hours, tops.  I’m still in a complete crisis and am still deplorably depressed.  I think it’s not going to dissipate quickly this time.  The world feels so sickened and depleted and I feel it in my bones.  I suppose I’m also finally breaking down myself because I held myself up pretty well, for the most part, through the last two intensely stressful months of parenting challenges that broke my heart and scared the shit out of me.  Things are so much better with Max right now that I can finally afford to fall apart a little.  Except I can’t, really, can’t ever really afford it.

I told a friend I’d do something with her but I realize now that I don’t want to see any people today.  (Sorry, friend!) and as seeing her was going to involve also seeing at least 6 other people, no.  No.  Taking care of myself and my mental state is much too important to go and fill it with other people’s stuff.  Especially since at least two of the individuals I would be exposing myself to are paranoid anti-government weapon freaks.  No.  I need to be inward.  I need the quiet of my tower.

From here I can see the tulips giving their last hurrah.  I can see the Elephant Heart plum tree leafed out, my comfrey settled into its new bed, the volunteer California poppy I’ve nursed along growing more robust, and the columbines my mother planted are flowering and presenting an alternative opinion to all the ones us more restless riled up people have to share.

Let me tell you all, I’m really missing all the wedding coverage right now.  Aside from all the haters it was a fun and frivolous distraction.  When so many people complained of there being more important news to report on it made me think of the Great Depression.  That was a badass depressing destitute time and during that time the talkies took off to a new dimension of popularity.  People would spend money they couldn’t afford to see the pictures because their lives were so depressing and hard already.  Life all around them was mean and hungry but you could pay a few pennies and for a little while you could watch people living glamorous lives full of maribou and cocktails and witty repartee.  People NEED frivolous distraction from poverty and war.  While so many people starved the movie stars that “made it” became insanely rich and I’m sure there were plenty of people who resented them their power and influence over fashion, entertainment, morals, and soon spreading to political influence as well.  Hence the Hays Code and later the great McCarthy inquisition in which many movie stars were blacklisted for being suspected of being communist (mostly they were just liberal).  These attempts to diminish their power and influence are proof that it was feared.

Maybe you don’t need relief from the constant influx of grim truthiness but I do.  I need to laugh, I need to see the rich entertain me with their wealth because I haven’t got any of my own.  Noblesse oblige!  Show me your jewels and do something wonderful that I can either rejoice in or criticize for fun (though I’ll try not to be too mean).  Ostentation can be quite obnoxious but seeing a little glamor in the world lifts me up.  I want to know that some people still have fun getting dressed up.  Sure as hell isn’t me.  Which isn’t the fault of money, just my own lack of self discipline and dark depression that cements my overindulgence- if I got my body back I could have a shitload of fun getting dressed up without spending a penny- I still have so many of my fun clothes that aren’t tiny, just smaller than me…)

I’m so sick of war and poverty and politicians and lies and killing and stealing and ignorance and oppression.  I want flowers, music, light, more skits like the SNL “British Film” skit (that’s my favorite@!!)

Okay, I have to pause a minute… I’m really happy I’m alone in the house right now or I’d have to explain to my  mom why I’m laughing up here by myself.  That is already the best thing I’ve seen today.  Seriously the best television I’ve seen in weeks.  (I saw it weeks ago)  Watching it 56 times does not diminish its greatness a speck.  (Note to self: have this clip ready to watch any time you feel ungenerous thoughts about anything and it will restore your good humor making it possible not to hate people again… put it somewhere safe and accessible!)

My Canon 850SD camera is dead.  I miss it.  It’s times like these I like to have that camera with me so I can find all kinds of tiny worlds to admire through the macro.  My DSLR is great for some things but I can’t afford a macro lens for it and so I can’t get up in the faces of ladybugs or get super personal with my lilac buds.  I can’t afford to replace it yet but we’ll send it in and see if we can get some credit towards a refurbished one through the Canon program.  Today would be a marvelous one for going on a walk and catching specs of dust in the sun or slinky little creatures who don’t think I can see them.  It’s okay, I won’t let that add to my depression.

I think I’ll see if there’s a lilac bunch ready to pick and bring inside.

If any of you are feeling much like I am right now I hope you’ll join me in doing small things to alleviate the tension and the bleak state of the world like making yourself some really good food in your own kitchen (play loud music if you can!), make something pretty, take a walk, do some little action that will make you feel proud of yourself because normally you can’t convince yourself to do it (the crunches, I say every day that I’m going to do them every day and almost every day I go to sleep wondering how I managed to slither out of the simple act of self appreciation?), and if you’re surrounded by corrosive personalities or sentiments, remove yourself to some place quiet and positive.  Fill the space with peace and thoughts of charity, warmth, love, forgiveness, and heal a little.  Or a lot.  The more depressed you get the harder these small acts become so even if you can only manage to do one – do just one.  The more you do the better you’ll feel.  I know I’m already feeling better for having gotten these thoughts out, both the bad and the good.

I still love all my friends, even when I can’t be around them temporarily (generally this is because of my own problems and not anything my friends have done) or when they disappoint me.  Most of my friends, I know, still love me even when I exasperate or anger them (or bring them down, which I’ve been guilty of much too often, I’m shamed to say).  We can disagree and remain steadfast in appreciation so long as we take a break when things are too heated or unhappy.  All of us go there sometimes, to that bitter space where everyone displeases us or we become petty and small to each other.  I am no exception and though I can’t change anyone else I can step back and address myself, as I’m doing today.  I can bitch-slap myself and demand I knock it off and then do something to make up with myself like 25 crunches.  Nothing says I care about myself more than dreaded (but awesome!) crunches!

I am also returning to Kung Fu this week but not to the regular classes.  I’m going to take forms classes for a while.  This will put on hold my belt advancement but it means I’ll be going to do something for my body every week that stretches my limits, that helps me get stronger, and that keeps me in touch with myself on that level.  For anyone who doesn’t know, forms class is learning a set of actions that string together fluidly, they are challenging and require much strength and and concentration.  It’s slow, mostly.  There is no grappling with other people, it’s a solitary exercise.  This is why I’m choosing it.  I want to get back into Kung Fu but I don’t know how long it will be before I can allow people to get up in my face and touch my body.  I have the words “Oh God!  You’re so huge!  God, you’re really huge!” in my head.  It was spoken by a person who cannot control such comments and I totally forgive him but every time I think about doing exercises with other people I have this terrible feeling that everyone is thinking what this man actually said out loud repeatedly a long time ago when we were doing joint locking exercises.  It’s true, of course, I AM huge.  But I need to keep myself from being in situations where others may inadvertently derail my progress by making me feel disgusting.  It was another student at the school who said I ought to do something about my obesity.  So, you see, I can’t let anyone touch me right now.  Forms is really quite beautiful.  I have watched the forms class and wished I was doing it.  It’s quiet, it’s slow, everyone goes at their own pace.  It’s a little like Tai Chi but more fierce.  I’m excited.  It’s more expensive and there’s only one class a week instead of two, but I think this will be really good for me for a while.  I need to go with my gut in all things at the moment and put myself in gentle situations and be careful where I put my spirit and careful how I am exposed to others.

Coffee’s gone.

Take Care until next time.

*You will all know that he was taking Jesus at his word, for a non-religious person like myself it loses no importance or meaning no matter who said it first-I simply substitute “my conscience” for “Jesus” and it works quite well.  I read his whole sermon today and I have to say that if Martin Luther King, Jr. was the pastor at a local church, I’d totally join.