“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”
my father tells our dog, “don’t act mortally wounded, i barely hurt you,” and i fall silent because those words have been used in my childhood after slaps that left welts on the side of my cheek and a scream in my ears that has never stopped ringing and
i have my father’s talents i have his hair his eyes and i have his love for teaching and every time i lose my temper i am afraid of who i will grow up to be because what if one day my child will be at my feet begging me to please stop hitting
your mother has hair that touches her shoulders and you’re twice as pretty but she never feels like you deserve the spotlight so when we were thirteen the first time i met her she stormed into your room where we were working on a project and poured the cat litter out on your floor because you had forgotten to do your chores and you have her thin frame and her blue sky eyes and you can see other people’s weaknesses with the same sniper-like accuracy and you once cried in my lap for three hours because you hated being able to hurt people the way she’s hurt you
and my best friend never talks about her dad because her dad is never home until four years ago at senior prom when he showed up at the front door and spent one hour screaming in another room while we turned up the music and smiled broad at her like we were trying to outshine the darkness we saw creeping into her eyes and when he left again he slammed the door so hard the floor shook under us and she collapsed – she was raised with his ambition, his wit, his constant need to be doing something – she was in fifth grade when she looked at me and said “i’m never having kids”
and i am talking to a boy with sad eyes and he says that he thinks that we’re all messed up because our parents never really cared enough – he says “there’s a reason they call us the ‘me’ generation: it’s because we always asked for too much” because so many of us just never felt loved there was always something more important than us
we are raised in four white prison walls rather than outside, we are in schools that everyone knows are teaching us poorly, we are succumbing to more mental illness than ever and we’re still told it’s just a “teenage affliction,” we are clutching degrees that amount to a waste of time because there are no jobs there are no options there is nothing for us in a world that is burning
we were born to solve the problems that those before us built and we are called selfish when we ask for help – we are so scared of being like the ones who raised us we are so scared of messing this up we just want to do good we went to do well we want to stop fighting in the wars other men built
but what have we to protect ourselves in this wide world that spits our names like they are toothpicks what have we to fight our own battles how do we go forth into that dark place when they made the caves and called us canary
what do we carry
but the skeletons
our parents buried?
—INHERITANCE // r.i.d (via inkskinned)
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
My german professor in college had a poster with this quote hanging on his door. I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately.
There’s two ranges where a groin kick works: close and mid-range.
Say someone grabs you face to face, or pins you to the wall, and your hands are blocked.
Now you’re close-range. What do you do?
You come in closer, as close as you can, and with every ounce of adrenaline and aggression in your body, you do a can-can kick.
You know the first step in the can-can, where you raise your knee up as high as it’ll go as strong as you can?
Do that, as hard as you can, repeatedly.
If that doesn’t work, here’s the alternative. You’re going to take your hand, grasp between the thighs underhand. Its going to feel like you’re “cradling” the testicles. Dig your fingertips into the fragile skin BEHIND the scrotum. Then, once you have a good grip, you turn your hand into a vise, with your fingers digging inwards to the material. If you do it right, you should feel the testes INSIDE the scrotum. You want, whenever possible, to hook your fingers under them.
Then, with your hands in a claw and your fingertips latched behind the testes, you turn your hand sharply, as though you were turning a doorknob. Simultaneously, haul your elbow back and up as hard as you can.
If done properly, this technique can tear the scrotal tissue, and done with enough force, can tear the testes out of your attacker’s body.
No matter HOW pissed he is, he’s gonna drop. I’ve tried this technique on guys wearing cups and even with protection, it is not a fun feeling.
If you’re mid-range and have enough room for a kick, the goal becomes to use your shin.
The shin is actually called the tibia, which ounce for ounce is one of the strongest bones in your body. So, here’s what you do, my little bloodthirsty beaus:
You aim, you scream “DO NOT COME CLOSER I SAID NO!” (legal purposes, because now you’re officially exercising your right to self-defence). Maintain a 360 degree awareness, just in case he has friends, and then, when he’s close enough, connect your shin full on soccer kick with the delicate squish of his testicles.
What you want is as much upwards force as possible in combination with as much momentum as you can manage. When he collapses, which he will, then stomp on his groin again, and then run.
The latter has less of a trick to it. It’s primarily about momentum and force.
Remember, if you’re close enough to put your hands on him, use your knee. If he’s coming at you, use your shin.
Near the end of Summer I was faced with the prospect of going back into an office full-time and quietly panicked about not having anything to wear. I still had many of my clothes from my last office job but it had been so long since I had worn them I wasn’t sure what kind of shape they were in.
That anxiety was what made me jump when I came across Stylebook.
Pretty much anyone with an interest in fashion and a Pinterest account knows about Polyvore, that website that lets you put photos of clothing and accessories together to create a collage of an outfit. Stylebook is a free app that lets you do that with your own clothes.
I immediately saw the possibilities in having an inventory of my wardrobe to see what I might need to get and a place to record good combinations.
Work, Work, Work all the time
So this is where the ton of work came in. Before you can play with the electronic closet, first you have to put your clothes in it. I started by trying on everything I owned, putting the discards in a pile and making notes on things that needed to be done. I then set up a makeshift photo studio with a bright white tablecloth I scrounged up and took photos of all my clothes and accessories. Broken up into days when I had time and sunlight, it took a couple of months all told.
Mixed in with the photo-shoots was processing. The app has a built-in editor that will let you take the background out of a photo but it’s pretty primitive and there’s no way to adjust colors. Even making sure I had as much natural light as possible, almost all my photos needed color adjustment to be true to life. There are a lot of photo editors out there, Gimp is free and has a ton of tutorials.
After all that it was pretty easy to get the photos into the app. I used iMessage to send the finished images to my iPad, then copied them into the Stylebook app. If you have a pc, you can just email them to yourself. Just tap and hold on the photo and select copy from the menu that pops up. Then switch to the Stylebook app, tap “+ Item” in the bottom left-hand corner, “Add Clothing”, and “Paste”.
It comes pre-populated with categories but you can edit them and add your own. Once an item is in you can also add metadata like color, manufacturer, fabric and there’s a text box for random notes.
Doing all this told me what I had and gave me an idea of what I need to get next (I buy my own Christmas presents so that’s pretty much figured out). It also gave me a to do list to make some stuff I wasn’t wearing better for me.
A Little More Work and Some Money
The camisole straps that had been shortened with safety pins for years got sewn down. So did the belt on the dress that never stayed in place. I have a pair of really cute shoes that I never wore because they weren’t comfortable. I found a really strange way of stretching them on Pinterest. It worked so I have basically a new pair of shoes for free.
Next were a pair of skirts I never wore because they were too long. I took them to be altered and have a pair of new skirts for about $20 each, including a black pencil skirt which fills one of the holes in my wardrobe. I also have a problem with lack of color so I found a couple of inexpensive statement necklaces.
And Time to Play
There’s another feature called “Inspiration” where you can save images with categories like “Blogs,” “Runway,” and “Lookbooks”. I created a new one called “Selfies” I’ve been trying on outfits to see if they worked together and taking pictures so I remember. You can add a photo from “Inspiration” into an outfit like the Polyvore shot above. It helps me to be able to see how the clothes look on me.
It was a lot of work to get my real closet duplicated into a virtual one but it’s really paid off already. I did a couple of more marathon sessions where I tried every work top on with every cardigan and blazer. I created outfits in Stylebook with the ones that worked so I’ve got plenty of outfit ideas for Fall and Winter. I’ll have to go shopping in the Spring for more office-appropriate warm weather clothes but I’m good for now.
Just putting out a list of places to look when I need to shop for clothes
- Chadwicks of Boston More expensive but nice basics. Doesn’t go over 24w
- Fashion to Figure
- Forever 21
- JC Penney
- Jessica London
- Just My Size
- Land’s End
- Madison Plus Select
- Old Navy
- Charming Charlie
- Clarks (moderately expensive but worth it – heels I can wear all day)
- Duo (expensive and international but wide widths)
- The Walking Company
- 25+ Places to Shop for Wide Calf Boots
As a result of all of this musing about satiety, I have made a few changes in my way of eating that I think have helped. I try to eat a lot more vegetables, as 1) the physical feeling of fullness does contribute to satiety and vegetables provide that without adding many calories, and 2) fiber helps to slow down digestion, as I said above. I’ve also incorporated lean protein and whole grains (which have protein and fiber present instead of only the pure carbohydrate portion) for similar reasons. This is how I’ve been losing weight without the pain of having to go on “a diet”; I still get to eat a lot of food, but since my blood sugar is far more regular now, I don’t feel the constant need to be eating. I physically feel full after meals without having eaten more than I will burn off in a day.
This makes so much sense to me. It’s hard for me to do because there always a ton of sweets in the house but I keep trying.
eShakti is an online store where you can customize your order for just $8 with your measurements and (depending on the garment) your preferences for length, sleeves and neckline.
Besides being one of my favorite writers, Gail Carriger is a devoted fashionista and knowledgeable sewer with her own wardrobe challenges so I was happy when she said she’d placed and order and anxious to see her review.
I’m going to cut out all the suspense right away, and tell you my feeling instantly. I know, bad storytelling.
I am THRILLED!!!!!!
See the full review (good and bad) at Retro Rack: The eShakti Dresses Arrive, Gail’s Report!.
So stoked about the Hobby Lobby ruling today. Officially going to incorporate myself so I can get a religious exemption for my student loans debt they violate my deeply held religious conviction that all debts are supposed to be forgiven every seven years, as per the book of Deuteronomy.