Saturday, November 10, 2012

Bonus Post: Two Men - the Difference

President Obama won re-election Tuesday night. A lot of other fantastic things happened and fantastic people got elected Tuesday night, but this entry is about the difference between my President - a man who's tried to better the lives of everyone in this country - and Governor Mitt Romney, a man who admittedly only cares about 53% of the country.

This is President Barack Obama thanking some of his campaign workers, after he won the election:

And this is Mitt Romney's thanks to his campaign workers: Mitt Romney's Campaign Cancels Staffers' Credit Cards in the Middle of the Night

This is the difference between these two men. One of them fucking CARES.

Friday, November 9, 2012

PBP - Woman, Phenomenally

When I was in high school, I was big into poetry. Still am, but in high school I had a few poems that I wrote on papers and pasted onto my walls. (Come to think of it, I still do that, too!) One of my very favorite poems at the time was Maya Angelou's Phenomenal Woman. I ADORE this poem. Why?

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.

I am a woman. I am not my society's ideal of beauty. I'm rather far from it, actually. As I write this, I'm snacking on leftover Halloween candy which is only going to take me farther from said ideal. But you know what? I am a woman, and I am phenomenal, and I am loved. It only took me, oh, YEARS to realize this!

I say,
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.

When I met Sascha, I was at the end of a long-distance, mostly-online relationship that was spiraling downwards fast. The ex in question wasn't making any effort to make the relationship NOT long-distance, and my self-esteem, never the greatest, was taking hit after hit. And then I met Sascha, who put such effort into wooing me that I began to realize I was actually quite a catch after all.

I'm a woman

And that was simply the kickstart I needed. In the years since, I've come to appreciate my own personality, my own mind, my own REASON. It seems a little sad, looking back on it, that I needed a man, a relationship, to prove this point to me, but that goes back to the way I was raised.

I was raised in a very conservative Christian household. Dad was the head of the household, and he was the one that made the decisions. Mom voted the way Dad did; not because he told her to, but because she believed he knew best. My older brother was more...extroverted, outspoken, braver, etc...than I ever was. So to go from that environment, to a man that wanted to know what I thought, what I believed, what MY reasons were for was unexpected. And to go from the environment of "Pray to God, he has the answers, he knows best, don't trust your own judgement, read the Bible" to "Harm none, do what ye will" and "Look inside yourself for the answers" was even more mind-blowing and eye-opening.

Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

And then! And then I discovered the GODDESS. Some of you have been raised monotheistic and understand; some of you probably can't. The GODDESS. The female half. Suddenly, instead of having my life dictated by a masculine god who just. didn't. get it., there was a divinity who was part of ME. Or perhaps a divinity I could be part of. This was a world-changing idea. A few of my more experienced pagan friends were afraid I would devote myself too much to the goddess and forget the balance, but I think I simply needed a few years of immersing myself in the divine feminine. Now I can look at the masculine half with new eyes, and re-accept that energy. I just needed time. Time to learn that I, too, can be divine. I am not lesser than a man by the chance of being born female. I am a WOMAN, and I am phenomenal.

Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

^This was going to be the end of this entry. But I wrote this before the election on Tuesday, and I suddenly have a lot more to say. WOMEN. Women are the winners of this election. I have several things to share with you that have been floating around Facebook and elsewhere.

"You know your party is in trouble when people ask did the rape guy win, and you have to ask which one." - Alec Baldwin

And also this story: Women and Minorities to dominate the Democratic Party

This is the difference between the Republican party and the Democrat party. Republicans - 90% white males. Democrats - 47% white males. New Hampshire elected a completely female delegation for the first time in US History. We elected an openly lesbian senator. We elected a Hindu woman. A Buddhist woman. A disabled woman. An openly gay congressman. We re-elected an African-American President, with two daughters, who has pledged to protect and fight for a woman's right to choose, for women's access to contraception and preventive healthcare, for equal pay for women, for marriage equality. Marriage equality passed in three states, and a marriage equality ban failed in a fourth.

It wasn't until LAST YEAR that a woman's bathroom got added to the House floor. LAST YEAR. Tuesday marked INCREDIBLE strides for women and minorities. For the first time in a long, long time I feel proud of my country. I am cautiously optimistic about the turn we're taking. Actually, no. I'm not cautiously optimistic. I keep saying I am because I don't want to get my hopes up. But really, I am FREAKING EXCITED for the step we've taken. I am ECSTATIC. I cannot WAIT to see what the next four years bring.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Book Review: How to Spot a Bastard by His Sun Sign

How to Spot a Bastard by His Star Sign: The Ultimate Horrorscope

So - I'm not going to pull any punches here. This is a terrible book. It's mean-spirited. If it's satire, it's not very funny. If you took the fictional, awful, hateful, stereotypical, man-hating, bitter feminist and asked for a book on astrology and why men suck, this is what you'd expect to get.

There are no positive sides of men in this book. None. It is completely one-sided. I think it's a terrible book to even have out there; things like this are what people point to and say "See? Feminists hate men!"

The chapters are organized as follows:
"The [sign] bastard" (3-4 page description that's painful to read)
"How to spot one" (2 sentence stereotype)
"Where to find one" (2 sentences)
"How to intrigue one" (short paragraph)
"The first date" (shorter paragraph)
"When to do the deed" (two sentences)
"When to pop the question" (never. It's always some version of never)
"If he dumps you" (two sentences saying you're better off)
"If you dump him" (two sentences also saying you're better off)

Don't waste your money on this book.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Tarot Tuesday - An old (but new) deck

The first Tarot deck I ever owned was "The Tarot of the Cat People," gifted to me by my first boyfriend on my 18th birthday. I've always been a cat person, and the illustrations on this deck are beautiful. At the time, I was very much into Vampire the Masquerade Live Action RolePlay, or LARP. This involved getting together with a bunch of friends and pretending to be our characters for a few hours each weekend. My character was a gypsy-raised vampire who told fortunes with her Tarot deck.

I loved that character; I had some evenings I will never forget playing her. And the Tarot - I told some amazing fortunes. I told one of the Storytellers all about the character he was playing, to the extent he pulled me aside and demanded to know who'd let me look at his notes. I played this character, and used those cards for game, for several years. And the cards took an imprint. Whenever I attempted to do a spread for me or a friend, inevitably the response would be "well, that's a perfect spread for my character, but completely wrong for me!"

So, sadly, I set that deck aside. I went through a few other decks. The Dragon Tarot that a friend had in high school, though it had cool illustrations, just never clicked with me. I couldn't read it. The Celtic Dragon Tarot is GORGEOUS, and I use it with my spellwork, but it never worked well for spreads. The Housewives Tarot is brutally honest and blunt, but still hard for me to read. I just never found a deck that was as intuitive as the Tarot of the Cat People was.

So about a month ago, at The Crystal Fox here in Maryland, I happened across the Tarot of the Cat People. A new deck. Same illustrations, just - not the deck that I'd used in game. So I bought it. It's like finding an old friend who you'd lost touch with. It's so familiar, but I still find myself relearning the details.

Do you use the Tarot? What deck do you use? Did you have to go through many decks to find the right one?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Monday News Roundup

This is an extremely interesting case study of FEMA - an organization in GREAT demand right now - and its management under Democrat presidents vs. Republican presidents. The most striking thing I saw? Democrats appointed actual emergency management professionals to head the agency. Republicans appointed former heads of transportation agencies, or their CAMPAIGN MANAGERS. Like they have experience in that field?

And now for something completely different.

While the above link is interesting, especially in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, I don't think I can keep up the Monday News Roundup. It's always been my least favorite of the days, and I think I want to change it to something more interesting. I'm not sure what, yet.

I've thought about "Magical Mondays" or "Meditation Mondays" but I'm just....ambivalent, I suppose. Perhaps Monday Madness, and I'll just blog about whatever I feel like talking about on Mondays?

Are you guys interested in random ramblings on Mondays? Or would you like a theme so you know what to expect?

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Photo Sunday

This was the line I stood in to vote on Friday. The door to the building is in the far left; and that was not the end of the line, by a long shot.

But at the end of the line, three hours later, I voted.

I voted for dreams.

I voted for love and equality.

And I voted for hope.

I think those are things worth standing up for.

Have you voted yet?