jianantonic: (Default)
I've been judgy about a lot of stupid baby names, but I'd have to say I hit a new record when I saw "Kynzli."

jianantonic: (Seahorse)
One quick tale of human suckitude before I pack up and leave.

At breakfast this morning, I was getting some water. The setup is that there are cereal dispensers on the left, then a water thing, then two things of milk. A guy was getting cereal, but the coast was clear to the water, so I walked up and began to fill my glass. Without looking to his right at all, dude just slid over to put milk in his cereal, and knocked me sideways, spilling my water. He looked at me, said "Sorry!" then stood in front of the water, blocking my way, while he filled his cereal bowl.

Seriously. People are the fucking worst.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
I'm in a community on Facebook called I Run 4 Michael. It matches runners up with special needs individuals (mostly kids) and we dedicate all our runs to our buddies. It's a really special group, and I love my buddy, Emma. There are tens of thousands of members in the group, and a lot of them are incredibly religious. There are constant calls for prayer and discussions about god and angels on the group, and whenever a child dies (pretty frequent, given some of their special needs), the whole thread gets crazy religious. It's...not my thing.

I understand how faith can be especially important to people who have terminally ill children. They want to believe there's a reason, and that they'll be reunited with their children again one day. Shit, I wish I could believe that, too. So I get it. I'm used to these folks being really religious and that in itself is not a problem.

The groups is non-political, of course. It's 100% about supporting our buddies. But when someone posts about a death (they ALWAYS say "X gained his/her angel wings today"), I always click through to the poster's profile to read what they've said publicly about their relationship with the deceased. Many of them had facebook pages dedicated to their child's struggles with daily updates, and I like to read stuff like that when it's available. It's really sad, but I also feel like I'm kind of getting to know the child who died, maybe? Or maybe it's just pure curiosity. But it's a thing that I do.

Today, one of the buddies that I see a lot of in the group passed away. His mother always posted updates to the whole group and he was one of the ones that everyone knew. He was an older man with Down's, but I didn't realize he was dying. So anyway I clicked through to the mom's profile to see more, and boom...racist, hyper-religious, right-wing bullshit everywhere. White supremacy, guns, Donald Trump, and her very misguided idea of what Jesus is all about.

And I just...ugh.

I can't feel for this woman now. I know her pain is terrible, but I also know now that she's not empathetic to the struggles of others. She's even doing what she can to KEEP them down. I feel for her son. I am sorry for her pain. But I can't believe that raising a child with special needs wasn't enough to teach her some god damn empathy for the rest of the human race.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
I had an abortion.

I am not a murderer. I don't believe the fetus I aborted was a human. Sure, it was life, but so is an amoeba. I'm not in favor of mass amoeba killing just for sport, but if you have a reason to kill an amoeba, like you're walking and you just didn't see it there, well, that's okay.

If you believe my abortion was murder, that is your right. We have different beliefs on what it means to take a life.

But I'm a pacifist. I'm anti-gun. I'm anti-war. I'm anti-violence. Anti-death penalty. And I'm a vegetarian. I don't kill individuals -- human or not -- that can feel pain, and I don't support anyone else doing that, either.

A stranger called me a murderer today. A stranger who is pro-gun, pro-war, pro-death penalty, and pro-killing-animals-to-eat-them, thinks that the fetus I aborted was a life and I deserve to rot in hell for ending it. But she's in favor of activities and policies that kill people who walk this earth. And animals. I understand if you don't think animals = people. I think a lot of the animals we eat are a lot smarter than most infant humans, and certainly moreso than fetal humans. But anyway, I think we can all agree that a human being who walks the earth is definitely alive. A person. But you call it un-American to not support our violent efforts against others, and will talk yourself blue in the face over the idea that terminating an unintended pregnancy is murder? That's where you are WRONG.

If a vegetarian pacifist anti-death penalty pro-lifer wants to call me a murderer, that's fine. Their beliefs line up. I still disagree, but they have integrity anyway. But unless you are all those things, calling me a murderer is disingenuous at best. And kind of rude, don't you think?. 
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
When I complain, I am not asking for advice or solutions. I am venting. My diet right now is THE SUCK and I bitch about it on Facebook and everyone is like "have you tried ____?" and I'm like Is ____ saag paneer? Or chocolate? Or even a bowl of fucking cereal? I don't want consolation prizes. I want what I can't have and I want to bitch about it. NYEH.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
I am shaking with rage right now and I just need to get this out of my system. I was driving home on TV highway today, and I had tweezers in my right hand, using them to scratch at an itchy spot under a callus on my left hand. My left hand was on the steering wheel (at 6 o'clock), and I was watching the road. All of a sudden, the driver next to me lays on his horn and starts making WTF gestures at me. Had I cut him off? No, I had definitely stayed in my lane. Was I driving to slow or too fast? No, traffic was pretty thick. I was with the flow. At the next light, I pulled alongside him and made a WTF gesture back at him. He angrily mimed texting, and then sped out in front of me when the light changed. When we got to the next red light, I changed lanes to be right beside him. I rolled down my window and gestured for him to do the same, but he just shook his head. He didn't make eye contact. I wanted to tell him to CALM DOWN. I was scratching an itch. My phone was in my purse. My eyes were on the road. And what was more dangerous in this situation? My presumed texting or his vigilante road rage? The fact that he wouldn't roll down his window and hear me just pisses me off so much. Sure, you can lay on your horn and swerve your car at me and make angry gestures when you get my attention, but you won't hear my response? You won't entertain the possibility that you're falsely accusing me of being reckless when you're actually the one creating a hazard? ARGH. Fuck you, road rage guy. I hate you. Thanks for ruining a fine mood. I hope the local E. Coli outbreak finds its way to your immune system and you have to spend the next week on the toilet thinking about what bad choices you've made.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
There's kind of a mini-scandal brewing in the bridge community right now. If you want to read about it in detail, start with this post on Bridgewinners and follow its links to go further down the rabbit hole, as I find myself doing right now. But here's the short version:

Some events at the fall nationals are named as memorial events for a recently-deceased player who confessed to cheating in 1979. He was suspended for a while, but then came back to the game an really reformed himself, gave a lot to the league, etc, etc...there is some debate as to whether this reform is enough to deserve the honor he's being given.

So there's that debate, but the article and its subsequent links go on to discuss the issue of the 1979 affair -- the confessed and convicted cheaters won a national event that year. Suspicious observers cracked their code during the event in question and brought it to the attention of league officials, and a shocking little was done about it. In 2008, some bridge blogger I don't know did some pretty in-depth investigation of the whole thing to find out why the fuck the league never made it right -- I'm unclear on whether the cheaters' title was vacated, but the 2nd place team was never named winners, even though they asked for a committee to investigate a hand that the cheaters played against them in the event. (The members of the 2nd place team were not the same people who cracked the cheating code and tattled on them.) I'm still going through the very long writeup about the league's actions (and lack thereof) regarding this incident, and it's glaringly obvious that the actions taken and not taken with regard to the cheating really screwed a lot of people over, most notably this 2nd place team that honestly earned a national title.

The author of the blog writes this as a call to action -- he is trying to call attention to the facts and get the league to act, or get the members to pressure the league to do more. At this point, action would be largely symbolic -- many of those involved in the 1979 scandal are dead. But I agree with the author that the league should do something. It is not too late to address what should have been addressed in 1979, and it's ridiculous how little was done. That is clear to me. BUT.

This blog is REALLY poorly written. It's very difficult to follow the story the author tells, and I can only do so because the names are already familiar to me and I'm reading every sentence three times before moving on. The guy who wrote it worked hard, and because the subject matter is interesting fascinating to me, I'm sticking with it and piecing it all together. But I really wonder if more would be done if only the story were more comprehensible. I don't know; I guess I can't say that if I'd written it, for example, it would have made some waves in the community (as it is, I'm reading it for the first time six years after it was written), but I can say that if it were clearer, more people would get past the introductory paragraph.

I do hope the league takes some action here. Bridge is a game that demands ethical conduct, and depends on strict enforcement thereof. I've been cheated in events of little consequence, and it boils my blood every time it happens; I can't imagine how it would hurt to be cheated out of a national title.

It's kind of ironic that I've taken as long as I have to roundaboutedly (totally a word) get to my point, which is that writing well is important! It's hard to take a person seriously when their presentation is disjointed. How much more might have been accomplished on behalf of the would-be 1979 Men's BAM National Champions if only someone had published the facts clearly and concisely? It's not too late, and maybe one day I'll take up that cause, but right now I just want to bitch about terrible writing.

The bridge community is made up of geniuses, but I can't stomach reading the message boards and blogs because they're all just word vomit. It makes me angry that players way more accomplished than I can ever dream to be can't be bothered to use a fucking apostrophe correctly. Bridge comrades, we can do better.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
I've been meaning to share this story for a while. I often complain about both sexism and ageism in bridge, and in the finals of the IMP Pairs in Dallas, Jen and I got a huge helping of both from a pair of men in the penultimate round of the event. On the first board, they had a quick auction to 6N, I made a lead, dummy hit, and declarer started to claim. Before he had faced his cards, dummy shuffled his up and put them back in the board. Jen and I both stared incredulously before asking to see the cards. Both dummy and declarer treated us like we were idiots for this. "I've got six diamond tricks, four heart tricks, and two black aces. Twelve tricks. What's the problem?!" The problem is, you pompous ass, we haven't SEEN the cards. Dummy grudgingly pulled the cards back out, we looked over the deal for the two seconds it took to figure out the claim, and put our cards away, too. The opponents continued to mumble some bullshit about how could we possibly have a problem with this, gosh.

On the next hand, the previous hand's dummy was declarer in 4H. Around trick 9, he attempted to claim, and again didn't show his cards, just told us that Jen would get her high trump and he was making 4. We had to insist that he show his cards before he actually faced them. When we saw the cards, it was clear that he thought his long spade suit was good -- but it wasn't. I had five to the jack or some such holding guaranteeing me a trick in the suit for down one. He then insisted that we play it out. No, you fucking prick, you claimed. So we call the director over, and once again he trots out his "these bitches are bitches" line -- he says, "I have 10 tricks, she gets the high trump, making four, what's the problem?" At this point, there's more than one problem, actually. One, you've made a bad claim, and two, you're being a huge jerk. Anyway the director sets him straight, saying that he should know better than try to play out a hand after a claim and of course we get a spade trick, down one. He did not take this graciously.

When we moved on to the next table, our opponents remarked that it sounded like we'd had a nice time against the two previous "gentlemen." Ha. I said to Jen, "I wonder if he thinks he can get away with treating us like that because we're young, or because we're women, or both?" The female opponent chirped up to that, agreeing that this game is full of sexism and women do get disrespected all the time. Her husband and bridge partner couldn't let this sit, and he said, "Now, wait a minute, there's a female pair at our club that no one would dare disrespect!"

"Oh, well, good to know there's one pair."
"Yeah, Shawn Quinn and Mildred Breed."
"AH! I SEE! So all I need to get respect at the bridge table is either multiple world championships, or a penis. Got it."

You know what? Go ahead and underestimate me because I'm female or because I'm young. You'll soon learn that was a mistake. But disrespect me and I will fucking castrate you. Then you, too, can experience the bridge world without testicles.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
If this is the biggest complaint in my marriage, I've got a pretty great relationship, but I need to vent about it for a moment.

McKenzie loves to drive, and will often spend his free time just driving for the sake of driving. I don't love that this is his chosen hobby, but it's not that big a deal. Our car gets great mileage and it makes him happy, so I'm happy he is enjoying himself. But he never fucking fills the gas tank after these drives. He would say it's because he doesn't need to -- there's still "plenty" of gas in it. We have different definitions of "plenty." His definition is "enough for me to get to and from work without refilling the tank," which is fair and makes total sense. Mine, though, is "enough that looking at the gas gauge won't make me panic," and that quantity is much higher than Z seems to realize.

With my therapy and medication, I've greatly reduced the number of things that make me anxious. In fact, there are very, very few of these things left at all. It's awesome, having spent the first 27 years of my life either in or on the verge of a panic attack. I can trace my fuel level anxiety to two sources. First, when I was in driver's ed, I was taught that it's bad for your car to let the gas tank dip below 1/4 full. Now, I have never bothered to do any research to back up this claim, and I've been told by knowledgeable sources that it's not really true. My understanding is that this may have been the case on older cars, but now it's not much of a concern. My car is a 2012. Not considered "older." But it's hard to shake these little things that you learn at impressionable stages, you know? And what's the harm in refilling the tank before it drops that far? Absolutely none. So the way I see it, it just makes sense to always keep it above a quarter tank, 'cause there's no harm in doing so and there's even some miniscule chance that it's better for your car. The other issue is that I have been in situations where a car has run out of fuel before, and these situations suck ass. So, you know, do your best to avoid that shit.

I also really, really hate being late, or off schedule at all, and I time my daily activities very carefully to avoid any kind of stress. I always build extra time into my schedule to account for things like traffic or random unexpected circumstances, and I realize that because I always leave room for this stuff, I should be perfectly okay with using that time when necessary...but no. I still stress out in traffic jams even when I know I'm going to be on time anyway, and anything that forces me to use that built-in time just creates stress. I suppose I could build in even more time, but I honestly don't think that would alleviate the stress at all. It's just one of those contradictions in my life that I am intellectually aware of but emotionally unable to handle with grace. So even though I have enough time built into my morning commute to stop and get gas, having to do so stresses me out. If I know I need gas, I'll leave a few minutes earlier and all is fine, but usually what happens is that I get in the car at my usual time in the morning and then see that the tank is low and it throws me for a loop. Enough of a loop to write a dissertation in my blog when I know I could just go get some fucking gas.

Let me be perfectly clear that I am aware that this is a stupid quirk.

But here's the thing. McKenzie is aware of this quirk. I constantly ask him to please fill the tank after he goes for a drive, and he constantly tries to educate me that when the car says it has a range of 100 miles left, that's PLENTY of gas to get me to and from work and anything else I do all week. The disconnect is that I do know that, but I still would prefer a full tank, especially when I've just filled it up myself the day before. Does this merit a fight, or even anger? No. It really doesn't. I wonder if the amount that this bothers me, though, is a sign that I need to up my meds again, because I'm letting a silly thing drive me nuts. I'd prefer to think, though, that this is just a quirk that is part of me and while it's silly and illogical, it would be best for everyone if McKenzie would do what he can to alleviate this particular stress in my life, rather than try to educate me that I need not stress over it. I mean, I do know that. And I know it's ridiculous that it bothers me as much as it does. But the stress is still the dominant brain function in this scenario.

So here's what's going to happen today. Even though my car says it has a range of 100 miles left on it, it's down to the last three bars on the fuel gauge, and that will bother me every time I look at my dashboard, so I'm going to go fill up the tank when I run to the post office for work in a little bit. This is a totally easy thing for me to do and I don't mind doing it, so really what's the problem? I wish I knew. But if this is the worst manifestation of my mental illness, and the worst conflict in my marriage, then I think we're doing pretty well. Still, for the two minutes I spend at the gas station this morning, I'm going to be grumpy and annoyed with my husband. And then it will pass and I will go on with my day and will forget about this completely for the next 300 miles or so.

Ironic how I can write a thousand words (from my desk at work) about how much it bothers me to take two minutes out of my scheduled day. I know, I know. I'm an asshole.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
I woke up this morning feeling fine. Then I got to work and my left eye was suddenly all blurry. It didn't go away and there was nothing in it, so I posted to Facebook, and everyone was like "that could be serious, get it checked out." I called a vision clinic near my office, described the condition, and the woman scheduled me an immediate appointment, saying "we do NOT take this kind of thing lightly." So I was freaked out and glad I made an appointment.
Turns out it's no big deal. I likely have an ocular migraine, which will go away on its own and may or may not be the precursor to a migraine headache (let's hope not). But no detached retina, no neurological bullshit, "just" a migraine. So that's good.
And then I go to pay for my 20 minute appointment...the doctor looked at me for about 5 minutes total, and they did use some fancy equipment to photograph the inside of my eye, but other than the wipe they used on the camera stand thingy where I rested my chin, my visit didn't cost them any one-time-use supplies or anything like that. I'd guess my actual cost to the office was somewhere in the neighborhood of a dollar, and then whatever five minutes of the doctor's time costs. My bill was $200, which was a discounted rate because I don't have insurance and paid out of pocket.
Then I posted this on Facebook, to follow up to my earlier post:
Just paid $200 (that's the DISCOUNTED rate for people who don't have insurance, sigh) to be told "it's nothing serious, but you may get a migraine headache." That bill is giving me a migraine  Can we please have socialized health care now?

Like · · Promote ·

  • Danny Sprung likes this.

  • Michael Lane Who do you want to pay for your appointment?

  • Meg Massie Myers I want it to work the same way many other public services and institutions are socialized. We all pay our share for everyone to have use -- I pay taxes that go toward plenty of things I don't use, or don't use my "share" of. However, health care seems as fundamentally important to me as things like education, roads, law enforcement. It's despicable that I CAN'T get coverage, even in the current system. I would pay for insurance if I could get it, but no one will approve me because of my depression, or maybe it's that time I broke my foot. I want public health care. I would settle for ANY.

  • Leanne Inge Last month I had to have a whole slew of labs run---the bill totaled $800. I about had a heart attack until I realized that the lab had run it through an old insurance company. When I got the new bill the total was $45. I haven't even come close to meeting my deductible for the year so my insurance company didn't pay a penny to cover the difference--it was all in the insurance companies negotiated price. Perhaps Meg is suggesting that we need our collected group leverage to make up this HUGE difference in health care expenses.
    9 minutes ago · Like

    Mike Lane is a former bridge partner from Charlottesville, and a card carrying Republican, so yeah, okay, he's anti-public health care. He can also afford whatever the fuck he wants because he's a gazillionaire and will never have to worry about where the money will be in an emergency. The girl who "liked" his comment is some girl I know from high school, who never posts political things and I know nothing of her politics, except that apparently she thinks, like Mike, that public healthcare is some sort of welfare request.

    This attitude is so frustrating and upsetting to me. No one should have to choose between staying healthy and staying housed. People in countries with socialized health care are overwhelmingly happy with it. I haven't heard any stories of people who are destitute as a result of the taxes they pay toward health care programs, whereas here, people die ALL THE TIME from treatable maladies because the treatment is too expensive for them. Hospitals turn people away when they can't pay for their treatment. The fear of paying taxes is KILLING people. And my guess is that for a lot of people, the tax won't even be as much as their current premiums.

    Now let's just pretend that public health care is never going to happen and we'll always have the private insurance system that we've got. Fine. I'd fucking pay for it if I could. It's not a matter of affordability in my case -- I cannot fucking get coverage. I have applied to every program I can, and I have been flat-out rejected for coverage. Not, you can have coverage if you pay us $5000/month (which, no, I can't afford), but just straight up "we're not going to cover you. Tough titties." I'm fucking willing to pay for the coverage, be it through taxes or private insurance. But I can't get it at all in our current system and that is not OK.

jianantonic: (Seahorse)
Yesterday was not a good day.  I woke up to news that my husband's grandfather had passed away in the early morning.  This was completely expected and non-shocking, but it is still difficult for the family, McKenzie especially.  His dad came and got him from the regional, and I met everyone in Salem after work.  Most things are taken care of, and by the time I joined them, there wasn't a lot left to do.  I wrote the obituary, which I'll post here later.  I also wrote Vi's when she died in 2008.  I think it's a real honor to do that, and the family loved what I wrote, so that's nice.

An unrelated incident has been eating me since yesterday, and I don't know if my reaction is just displaced sadness/frustration or what, but I thought maybe venting would help me feel better anyway.  This is a venting post.  I'll do something more proper to honor Grampa when I have a reasonable amount of time to put into it.

In my training program, Thursdays are the longer of my mid-week runs, and this week is the first of five weeks of five-mile Thursdays.  I brought outdoor running gear, but it was shitty outside, so I wore shorts and ran on the treadmill at work instead.  There's a tiny little gym here with about five cardio machines and random weights and other equipment, and basically I'm always in there alone.  Occasionally there will be other people overlapping, but only once have I seen someone else use the treadmill while I was there.  And I go at 11:30 every day.  Every.  Damn.  Day.  (That I'm here, anyway.)  Anyway, I got on the treadmill in a foul mood already, and dreading the longer run, and as soon as I got on, a girl I'd never seen before came in and asked me how much longer I had.

Her:  How much time do you have left?
Me:  I don't know, I just started...like an hour?
Her:  AN HOUR?!
Me:  Well, 50 minutes or so.
Her:  Isn't there a half hour limit?
Me:  No...?
Her:  Are you sure?
Me:  Yes...(it's an office gym that hardly anyone ever uses and there are no rules posted anywhere.)
Her:  Seriously, an hour?
Me:  Yes...sorry...

Then she stormed out and I didn't see her again.  I had never seen her before, either.  I wanted to explain to her that I would go outside if I could, that I'm on a strict training schedule, that I was having a shitty day and didn't need her attitude, that I was there EVERY FUCKING WEDNESDAY, THURSDAY, and FRIDAY at EXACTLY THE SAME TIME and while that doesn't grant me ownership of the treadmill, it just felt like a slap in the face for someone who's never in there to question the appropriateness of my use of the machines.  But I didn't have these conversations with her, because she rolled her eyes at me and stomped out, and honestly I'm pissed off that the last thing I said to her was that I was sorry, because I'm fucking not.  Fuck you.  I would have been empathetically sorry if you had been nice.  I know how much it sucks to be planning a specific workout and then the equipment not be available.  I HAAAATE that.  But I also hate you for being so rude to me.  It felt like a kick while I was already down, and I had a terrible run anyway, and believe me, I didn't wanna be there for an hour.  But I got through my run and I'm about to head down there again now, and I hope I don't see that bitch.  Actually I hope it's nice enough to run outside.  But gah why can't it be a person's default to be nice to others?  I know I haven't always been that way, but my life has gotten so much better since I started making a conscious effort to default to nice, and I wish others would do it, too.  Sigh.

Time to run.
jianantonic: (Default)

I took yesterday to be lazy and recover a bit from my whirlwind trip.   I'm doing much better today.  Not nearly as sore, so probably no permanent damage from my tumble down the mountain.  

I woke up early and took the MAX into town for a meeting with some tourism reps from Maui.  We talked a lot about what kinds of vacation experiences are available there (awesome ones) and potential press trips in the coming months.  I'd love to go...hopefully I can work something out with whatever new job I take.  The woman I need to speak with about that is allegedly going to call me back this afternoon, but we're kind of running out of afternoon in the workday...bleh.

I went to the gym for a bit, not sure how much I'd be able to handle given my residual soreness, but I actually had a really nice warmup run and then biked on a higher resistance level than I've been using for a while, so that was good.  Didn't do any weights, because ow.  But aside from the soreness, I do feel like I'm getting back into the shape I want to be in.  As I told Max, I lost enough of the extra weight I'd put on that my clothes fit me again.   Now I'd like to lose enough more so that they actually look good.  Maybe another 5-10 pounds :)
And now for the rant that has nothing to do with any of this.
The other day, I was at Old Navy taking advantage of their Independence Day sales and I bought a few things.  At the register, they asked me if I'd like to buy a pair of flip flops for the troops.  Um, no, I would not.  Let me explain why.
The troops already get my monetary support, against my will.  Too many of this pacifist's tax dollars go to war spending.  Not cool.  
The troops don't NEED my monetary support.  THEY GET PAID TO DO WHAT THEY DO.  They get a salary, they get housing, and the government gives them all the health care they won't provide people like me, and while no one strikes it rich as a soldier, they make a  pretty good living to go off and do something I completely disagree with.  
So no, I don't want to buy a fucking pair of flip flops for the troops.  And I wish everyone that did donate to "support the troops" would rethink those expenditures and direct them to something else instead, like Heifer International or a charity that actually makes the world a better place.
I have nothing against any individual member of the military, and it's not like it disgusts me to think of people sending care packages to soldiers overseas.   That's totally cool -- they're people, and they're far from home, and they deserve a little love and long distance tlc.  But the fact is that the military is not a charity.  They may not have enough money, but the solution to that is to dial down all the killing instead of asking me for a fucking donation.


jianantonic: (Default)

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