Human Nature, Ranting, Raving

Going Out Should Be Positive

After a long day of (insert activity/job here) you want to do something to bring your energy down so you can relax. If you go out for five hours, return home, and are still on edge, you are doing something wrong (or there is something wrong).

There is someone who has been living with us since August. We wanted to help her because she was pregnant with a family member’s son. She has be ridiculing everything we do in our house: the way we clean, the way we organize our things, the way we relax. Even during the holidays, we were told how to use the Christmas decorations we had. At first we thought it was a pregnant thing, but she has since given birth to their son, passed the six weeks post-labor, and she is still exhibiting the same controlling behaviors. Except now it’s just worse. There is a baby in the mix.

She is living in my mom’s house because my mom saw that this young teenage mother had a need. None of this teenager’s wealthy family members will help her. She has been moving around since she was fourteen. It sounds like she burned all the bridges she had with her family during that time. They will only take her or only take the baby. What’s that about?

So this young mother and young father (our family member) went out today to shop at target and get a haircut for the father. As soon as she returned, she noticed that some of her things were moved. Yes, they were moved. My mom had cleaned the kitchen and family rooms because they were filthy from being dirty and had trash (at times/sometimes picked up) and had blankets and a baby seat for a 6 month old (FYI the baby is only 2 months old currently). If you are living at someone’s house, the least you can do is pick up after yourself. Then if you do leave your stuff lying around, don’t get upset at the owner of the house because she moved it, but they were still in the same spots the young teenage mother left it (but now the area was cleaned). Put all the stuff in the room given graciously to you if you don’t want people to touch it.

This young teenage mother is recently a legal adult. She has said to us that her doctor prescribed her medicine to deal with her anxiety and post pardon stress. This adult refuses to take it, so all the effects of her behavior weighs our shoulders down with stress. This sounds like it isn’t just a pregnant or post pregnant behavior. It sounds like something she has been doing for a long time. It also sounds like some terrible things happen to her in her childhood, so she looks at everything differently. But again, now she is an adult, she needs to take charge of her behavior especially when a professional has told her what she needs.

Being upset because the owner of the house cleaned the kitchen and living room they use and don’t clean after they use it is not the correct response. I have been sent and read several articles on dealing with people with behavioral problems. You’re suppose to ignore them. You’re supposed to have a neutral third person with you whenever you talk to or confront them. Talk in “I” statements rather than “you” statements. The list goes on.

We have lived with a pregnant woman before. We have been around crying newborns before. Neither of those bother us. We know the mother will be tired. We also take in consideration that this particular mother is a young teenager. Yet how she reacts is a whole other thing. We don’t know how to deal with this young teenage girl. Especially now since she threatens to say bad things about the father, our family member, so she can stay in our home and he would have to live somewhere else. Our patience is definitely being tested. And our hospitality and kindness can only go so far until we are beyond exhausted from dealing with someone who should be under the care of a medical professional.

I tried not to drag on this post too long or jump all over the place, but it seems like that’s what I did. If you know someone or have been in a similar situation please feel free to comment and share it and any advice that worked for you. There were thousands of comments on each article I read. I know there are many kind people being taken advantage of. This is my way of venting and sharing our own story. You are not alone.

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Human Nature, Social Standards

Stroller Stigma

The other day at two in the afternoon, I saw a girl with a stroller, a stuffed baby doll in tow. Stopped further down the same road, I saw another girl pushing her stroller proudly alongside her mother. At first I was happy that her face was showing so much happiness. Then I began to think beyond the emotion. I saw the facts.

These were junior high school kids being released from school. There were no boys pushing strollers. There were no boys carrying the baby in their arms. What I saw one boy do is spin himself, laughing carelessly towards the first girl pushing the stroller. Is this what we are teaching boys to become–bystanders to child raising.

In this day in age both men and women can have more equal opportunity at jobs. It is socially acceptable. How come boys cannot begin learning the basics of stroll pushing and baby carrying? Are we telling them that because it isn’t a 5-ton heavy object (like in construction work) or because it is merely carrying a baby around that it isn’t important. It’s not the weight of the job that counts. It’s the impact of your effort on a child’s life.

Why can’t testosterone or estrogen be a human trait? Many men have embraced their feminine side, but not with the help of early education. From what I saw that afternoon, I gather that we are still pushing gender roles on boys and girls. More women are working alongside men. Why can’t more men confidently be homemakers. Being a homemaker is an honorable job for anyone. How can we stop perpetuating the stigma?

There are also variables that I could have missed: there were also boys pushing carts and I didn’t see them. Perhaps, if this is true, they wanted to wait until home to push a stroller around. Secondly, the two girls I saw might have volunteered for the project at the encouragement of their mothers (who did come from a time where mostly women still cared for children).

It is possible for men to become caretakers. You see proof of this in families were there are two dads. You also see families with two moms take on both working and caretaking. Too many people are making excuses for why they cannot do something. Society keeps telling us how we should run things. Most of us keep letting them. If you have a child or related to one, please tell them both sides of the story. The possibilities are unlimited. I want to see both boys and girls become the best people the can be.

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Human Nature

Oh? Did I Say That?

Today I surprised myself. I was guesting a gym with a friend’s membership. We were on the elliptical talking about everything and anything. This is unusual because this is the first time I hung out with her outside events/parties.

We talked about being in our thirties. She had seen a image of an senior citizen with an oxygen tank at the gym at one of the machines. It said something like, “I’m at the gym. What’s your excuse.” She said she would send it to me when she found it again.

My friend said that if he can go to the gym and do a full work out, then she can too. Then one of us said at least we were alive. Some people aren’t so lucky. I agreed while thrusting my arms forward and backward on the elliptical machine. Then I said, “It’s better than the alternative.” Did I just say that?

It was morbid, but it was strangely positive at the same time. Being older was better than the alternative–being dead. I didn’t have time to fully digest what I had said until my friend and I parted ways. Can you imagine the time you could spend on thinking of that phrase alone?? It is better than the alternative.

Maybe I’m making more of a big deal out of it than I should. Despite being a new year–jobless, lack of money, lack of romance, living at home, sharing living space with a pregnant teen and teenage father–out came this little positive inspiration. It was something like a Freudian Slip. That even though I may be in a lackluster situation, my mind was reminding me that it was better than not having a chance at life at all. It’s sad, but true.

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Human Nature, Love

Happy New Year 2015

We’re already almost halfway through the first month of the year. These twelve days have been so fulfilling. You won’t believe the reasons why. Firstly, I signed up for a wilderness course in my county. I’ve wanted to sign up for this course for several years. I finally collected the money to do so. Included with the class is a trail hiking book and compass. The 40+ staff all volunteer to teach students how to be prepared and trek in the wilderness safely. To know that I will be wilderness capable by mid March is wonderful. Secondly, my dad bought a new car, so he told me his 2012 van (valued at about $30K) was mine. I said okay, but I am going to give it to someone who needs it. For I already have a car that I love. I’ve taken care of it and it’s taken care of me. So the person the van went to was a 16 year old girl who has no use of her arms and legs, goes to regular public school facing so much bullying. With the van her uncle and parents (anyone available) can drive her wherever she needs/wants to go. To be apart of helping out someone like that is worth more than owning that van. For a long time I’ve known money isn’t everything. It sure helps pays the bills, but what after that. Does it make you happy if you’re an already unhappy person? I don’t think so from my experience. It’s another sad, but true fact of life. It’s never too late to change how you look at the world. Since it’s the beginning of the new year, many people are making resolutions that they may or may not keep. If there is any resolution worth keeping it’s to help someone out, even if it means just moving some boxes, saying hello to a neighbor who you know has been in the downs, anything that will brighten someone’s day. In the long run you will feel better too.

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Television

Jenji Kohan Hit Television Shows

Weeds aired for eight seasons via Showtime. I watched them all via Netflix. From the title alone you can guess that the show is going to be risque. Any show can have drama, but can the director/creator give it an edge? I think that the show’s creator Jenji Kohan did just that with this show.

Every disturbing or controversial topic you can think of was in this show. A recently windowed mother turns to the business of drugs to maintain a family of two boys. One of these boys has an attitude issue, but it’s all right because it makes for shocking television viewing. Also, during the course of the show the boys’ uncle gets into making porno movies and running a store that sells bicycle accessories that he himself invented. Furthermore, there aren’t just drug battles within the state, but also across the border. Jenji Kohan ingeniously finds ways to make the story exciting while still showing how dangerous the whole gig of drug manufacturing and selling is. When you get right down to it, it’s good entertainment.

If you or I were to meet any of these characters in real life, we would run away or, perhaps, be intrigued for the first few hang outs. It’s sort of like going on a date with someone who seems to be exciting, but they are merely crazy.

People who live mundane lives love a good fictional story. Sometimes the people we find entertaining in our lives wouldn’t be so to millions of viewers who show creators are hoping to get. So it’s no surprise to me that Orange Is The New Black seems like a story with a few exaggerated characters. It seems to me that this is done because the real story might not be as well-received a few crazy female prisoners here and there.

Piper Kerman is a real woman who wrote a memoir about her own experiences in prison. I haven’t read the book, so all my theories are just theories. I have never been to prison, so I don’t know just how crazy the women were whom Piper Kerman interacted with.

Crazy Eyes is one of the characters I think is more exaggerated even though the actress who plays the character does an excellent job. I don’t like Jason Biggs as Larry Bloom, but that’s probably because I never liked any of the characters Jason Biggs has done that I’ve seen.

The only two things I want to find out at the end of this story is if Alex Vause really betrayed Piper Kerman and if they end up back together in the end. It seems to me that Alex is genuinely sorry that she and her ex-girlfriend were both sent to prison (the same prison no less). I just want to know if it’s all a ploy to lure Piper into a love/drug business trap.

It’s also humorous to me that Nicky Nichols keeps taunting Piper to come “out” as a lesbian while she is there in prison. It’s almost as if the show is foreshadowing the ending, but I can’t really know. It could just be a tease, plain and simple.

I have only watched three episodes so far. I wanted to write down my thoughts on the two shows and make a prediction (and hopes) on Piper and Alex getting back together  at the end of the series. It’s hard to know because there is a curve ball in the mix. Larry Bloom is married to Piper Chapman. That’s pretty official. It makes it seem that much more difficult to have an ending where Piper and Alex end up together.

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Human Nature, Social Standards

The World

Today I heard someone refer to “the world” when they were talking about something they didn’t agree with. It’s a kind of reference that I hear many religious people use when talking about people who do things “against the Bible” depending on what translation you follow. Using “the world” in that way isn’t just used with religious people. It can used by anyone who doesn’t agree with something.

Everyone has had their own way of being raised. Even the upbringing of my older sister and younger brother is very different from each other as well as different from my own. People are unique and some are more different than others. We all know how it feels to be different in at least one way if not more. So why is it that minority people are against people from other minorities? I don’t have the answer, but I would like to explore the possibilities.

The other day I read this quote by an author (sorry I can’t remember), it said that no matter what intellectual conversation was being had, there will always be someone who will dissagree. So why try to figure out why people who are different and know what it feels like be against someone else who is different. My theory is that most people really don’t like things that are different. Also, most people don’t like change. if something that has been around for thousands or more years has been working, why try to fix it? My answer to that, is that it may have been working for a group of people, but it wasn’t working for another group of people. There are so many instances in history where that was evident. Slavery worked out for the “masters” who owned them, but not the people enslaved. Marriage worked well for the people allowed to be married, but it did not work out for the people who couldn’t be married. In addition, teaching Deaf kids worked out well for the hearing people who didn’t want to give Deaf people their own language and avoid having to learn sign language work out for the instructors, but it didn’t work out for the Deaf kids who spent mass amounts of effort with one pronunciation alone. Even left-handers have to live in a right-handed world. Wouldn’t it be nice if there were some left-handed doorknobs? Maybe some higher ceilings and archways for taller people?

If someone doesn’t like certain foods. They don’t eat them. If another girl doesn’t like pants, she will wear dresses. Once you start telling someone who lives differently from you that they can’t have the same thing you have or that they have to be treated differently because of it, that’s where inequalities happen. And that’s when people start to refer to things they don’t like as “the world”. Crime happens. That’s the way the world is. It doesn’t make it any less important.

Next time you’re talking with someone who brings up something they don’t like, listen to see if they refer to “the world”. You would be surprised at how many people use it. To me it is almost saying, “I give up,” or “I can’t change the way the world is”. Alcohol Anonymous even has a motto that says, “Let live and let God.” Can you imagine if we had that motto for everything from “I’m failing Math” or “My job sucks”. I don’t think anything would get done. We would just be stuck in the same ole place.

Here is a quote that I do have the author for. Just something to think about when you go out there in “the world”.

“When any prevailing prejudice is attacked, the wise will consider, and leave the narrow-minded to rail with thoughtless vehemence at innovation.” By Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

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Human Nature, Social Standards

Fruitvale Station 2009

Five and a half years ago, my brother, our friend and I embarked on our first road trip together. We drove eight hours to San Francisco. We stayed at a friend’s apartment on the first floor. We chose this time in particular so we could be in the city for New Year’s Eve/Day.

My brother and our friend went out clubbing while my friend we were staying with and I went to Tank Hill. We took three cars to fit everyone in our group. We were all very close in those tiny cars, but we made it. Everything was all and well. We enjoyed our time together. It was a lot of fun.

Little did we know that eighteen miles away at the Fruitvale Station, some people were wrongfully taken off the Bart due to some fighting that went on while on the Bart. All I know about the event was what I saw in the Sundance Independent film “Fruitvale”. What I saw was some other guy started the fight. And this particular group of friends got the entire blame for it. And the rest of the story you just have to see for yourself.

My brother had the opportunity to work at Sundance in 2012 and this year. He said that the people whose lives the film is based off were there at the screening. They said that the film was accurate and “it was like reliving it all over again.” Which tells you a little about how well the independent film was made.

Today was the last day the film was showing in the theatre closest to me. You might be able to see the film in a theatre near you. See the film in theatres if you can. If it isn’t available in a theatre near you, watch it on dvd.

Michael B. Jordan, Melanie Diaz, and Octavia Spencer all did an outstanding performance on screen. Michael played the role of Oscar, the guy trying to make a living for his girlfriend and daughter. Melanie played the role of his girlfriend. Octavia played the role of Oscar’s mother. All really difficult roles to play, but all three achieved it.

There is a scene at the hospital where Oscar’s mom, keeps the boys waiting with her in check while maintaining positive vibes. The whole scene is tense. It takes a very strong woman to keep her head up until the verdict is known.

The actors who played the policemen involved also had a hard role to play. To play someone who is so despised for their part at Fruitvale Station, can be a lot to bare. You really hated them.

At the beginning and the end of the film, they played lived footage from the event. It really brought all the emotions home. As someone who was close-by, but did not experience the event like the real people who did, I feel emotionally connected to the incident. I cannot imagine how much emotional pain has taken place because of someone’s mistake. But I know that the family can get by each day a little easier knowing that their story is out there and people are watching it and joining their side.

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