Posted in anxiety, asexuality, bugaboos, community, crowdfunding, dragon, dreams, feminism, friends, gender, life, Personal, society, storage, urgent

8/2: Dragon Dreams, Toxic Masculinity & #crowdfunding

I mentioned last week about going to Europe and all that. Well, last evening I was reminded of a phrase I get a LOT from people: “It’s very different living in Europe.”

No. Fucking. Shit. Sherlock.

I’ve asked people to elaborate. Some give me reasonable answers, etc, such as about grocery shopping (usually daily and no stocking up like we do here) and the like… but then I get the “American stereotype” answer: “Well, there aren’t as many malls and fast food places like you might be used to there. America has so much excess…” you get the idea.

Whenever people tell me this one, it makes it abundantly clear they don’t know jack shit about me. Do I like having up to date computers? Sure. Do I need the latest and fastest thing on the planet? No. Having worked too many years in retail, I HATE Black Friday. With such an unadulterated passion, you would likely question my sanity… or my drug use. Both of which are reasonably fine.

I have no interest in the latest and greatest items out there. I don’t care about name brands to the point of obsession. I certainly don’t go nuts over designers. I’m not a stereotypical “American.” I have things, yes. Many of these things mean something to me. They aren’t the “latest and greatest” out of whatever company.

So, yes, it’s different there. I WANT that. I CRAVE it. I want to see what life is like outside of this materialistic economy and mindset. I like change. I like new experiences. I’m the one who just picked up and moved to different states THREE TIMES in the last 16 years. I have to plan things a lot more with going overseas, but still, moving there isn’t the issue. Living there and adapting to the culture isn’t an issue. It’s the closed-minded attitudes of people who prefer to stay close to home, as it were, that is the issue.

And don’t get me going on the whole “American Dream” bullshit. The white picket fence, husband, 2.5 kids, dog and cat, nice working cars in the garage, etc… BLECH.

Give me a space I can adapt to my own needs. A place close to a food market, flower stalls, quiet streets with some solid history emanating from the walls of the buildings lining it. Let me be free to live MY life, by my standards and choices. I’m not interested in having a husband and kids (and really, I’m almost 45. I ain’t pushing babies out at this point). Don’t tell me what my life should be like. Let me determine that.


Yesterday, I had my first (in a while) catcalling run-in. Yeesh. I have a fucking mohawk. I’m not some uber-femme type. And yet, some jackass in a van was catcalling me. I had a brief moment of being tempted to yell back at him to go fuck himself… or at least give him the finger.

But I refrained. Why? Because of Toxic Masculinity. Far too many men think we, as women, even those of us who are genderfluid women (that sounds odd, but I do mostly still identify female… my boobs ain’t going away), OWE them. We’re supposed to acknowledge their catcalls and pushiness and be delicate little femme flowers and be appreciative of their attention.

Fuck their attention. I’m not on this planet to be put on some fucking pedestal for some jackass to catcall. I’m not here for their fapping fantasies. I’m here for me. To do the things I love to do… which, if you have not figured out by now, is not being a girly girl fragile little princess needing to be saved by some ego-maniacal jackass on a white horse.


The only saving I need is a little financial help to regain access to storage. So, help if you can, share the YouCaring link or PP if you can’t donate… or do both… I’m cool with that.

~Dragon

Posted in bugaboos, chronic pain, crowdfunding, feminism, health, history, life, Personal, storage, urgent

7/28: Living While Female

(Yes, I’ve said I’m genderqueer/genderfluid, but emphasis on “fluid” as I am totally okay with female pronouns)

Yes, still need more help with storage before Monday and month end. Whatever anyone is able and willing to help with via PP. You don’t need an account with them with the donate button… just a credit/debit card.


I admit I look younger than I am. Most guess my age to be mid 20’s to early 30’s when, in reality, I’m almost 45. But this isn’t about looking a certain age or anything like that.

This is about being female, knowing my body and its quirks such as pain and congenital things (missing vertebra and row of ribs, FTW!! Yes, really) and dealing with doctors and medical professionals in general.

It really started, or I at least became more aware of it, when I was 17 and had slipped on some ice in the parking lot of a ski lodge in the Sierras on a group trip. I had landed on my right hip. Hard. The medical personnel there couldn’t figure it out, but there went the cost of my ski and boot rentals up in proverbial smoke. Ouch. I was ordered to stay in the lodge with the adults and other non-skiers. I hadn’t packed much of a lunch and only had a few bucks on me. I think the adults in our group took pity and got me food later, but I can’t remember. I do remember the pain and the only thing I could afford to keep my mind occupied: a deck of cards.

When we returned home at the end of the weekend, I was also sick (a bad allergic reaction to the down in the ski jacket, pillow, and sleeping bag my mother insisted I use because I MUST have outgrown the allergy. Nope). I stayed home from school most of the week and so on… lots of pain, trips to the family doc at first (don’t get me started on that asshole), etc.

Starting with that family doc, I spent the next year bouncing from doctor to doctor. X-rays, CT scans, MRI’s… PT, mild pain meds. You name it. One problem: there was never an actual diagnosis. Since I had landed on my right hip, every one of these doctors -many of them orthopedic surgeons- did tests, etc… and when nothing showed up and things didn’t help with my hip, they each did the verbal form of a patronizing ‘pat on the head’ and “well, there’s nothing wrong with your hip. It must not really be anything.” and shooed me out the door while billing my dad’s medical insurance for a lot of crap.

I went through roughly 8 doctors in that year. Then a neighbor recommended Dr. Nolan. I will mention his name. He’s retired or soon will be as he is transferring his practice. I hope the new guy is as damn good as he was. Dr. Richard Nolan was one of the best, if not THE best Ortho Surgeon in the SF/ Bay Area at the time.

At first, he looked at previous films and reports and notes and… yeah. A couple of visits, we tried a cortisone shot and a tens unit… nothing worked, as usual. ON the 3rd or 4th visit, he chatted with me and made the pronouncement, “well, there’s nothing wrong with your hip.” My shoulders dropped and my brain was inventing new swear words. Then he cleared his throat:

“So let’s look somewhere else.”

He had his tech do quick x-rays of my mid to low backin the office and after looking at them, he came back into my exam room and showed them to me.

Two. Slipped. Discs. Lumbar Region.

HALLE-FUCKING-LUJAH!!!!

By this time, I was 18, taking classes at a local community college, and a HUGE weight lifted when he said that. They were pinching my sciatic nerve down my right leg and sometimes the pain also went down my left leg.

So, why am I telling this story?

Because I still -at 44- get the same treatment from doctors. Especially male doctors.

I’ve dealt with countless MD’s and others over the years since who have behaved the same as those doctors before Nolan. What was the difference?

Nolan LISTENED. He took a step back from the accepted idea and decided to try looking elsewhere. He heard me and believed me when I said there is PAIN. It is not in my head. It is very real.

Earlier this month, I started getting this excruciating pain from my neck, thoracic and shoulders area down BOTH arms to my fingertips. The only thing I failed to mention to the doctor I saw was something I just hadn’t focused on: yes, there was -and still is at times- numbness and tingling in some of my fingertips.

But here’s the thing: I told him -REPEATEDLY- that the pain was not just my elbows (both elbows hurt… that’s be the biggest constant, but the rest of it still hurts as well) but all the way across from fingertips to fingertips. And it was NERVE pain.

I have, in the past, snapped at doctors who treat me like shit and told them, “You may know general anatomy… fine. I concede that. But you do NOT know my body. You don’t know its quirks and pains and little things that make me physically unique.”

I’ve been dealing with nerve damage for 27 YEARS. I think I know what nerve pain feels like… yanno? I know something is pinched. I went to my PT for my low back and knees on Wednesday and she pulled up the referral this doc did for what I thought would be “upper back and neck/arms” but it wasn’t. It was for “elbow pain.”

I…. but…. wait… holy motherfu… someone will pay.

Today, after getting ZERO sleep last night until dawn, I managed a few tasks, including a round of things for this one client. And I made a phone call to the clinic. I asked that they put a note in my chart to not schedule me with him ever again. She asked why and I told her about his not listening to me, the asinine PT referral, the fact that I know nerve damage, etc… and that he wouldn’t do any kind of scans to see if a disc was out of place… SOMETHING other than asking some questions. FFS. She noted all of my comments in the chart and will be passing my comments along to the people in charge of that specific clinic for OHSU. I love my clinic, I love my GP, I have zero interest in breaking in new doctors here. For someone like me, that’s no small feat.

I don’t know what, if anything, will come of it. If I’m still dealing with the pain (which, honestly, I am. It’s been around a 5-6 on the pain scale. The day that it started? 10 wouldn’t begin to come close to how bad it was), I’m to come in and see someone else. The problem is that even my current GP, as well as the sports med doc who is only at that clinic on Mondays, are loathe to do any scans or x-rays unless there was a clear point of injury.

I get that, I do. I can understand it. But I’m one of those patients who gets hurt walking down the damn street… alone. Hell, I fractured my kneecap in 2009 just by tripping on the sidewalk and landing on that first. MY KNEECAP, PEOPLE. Not an easy bone to break in general.

If I try to get another clinician to figure it out and they give me the same BS, I have the option of getting the Patient Relations office involved. The girl today even said it’s an option. I want answers. Pure and simple. I want them to acknowledge and understand that some of us patients know and listen to our bodies pretty damn well. I just need them to listen to me and help me figure out what’s going on. I’m not asking them to bring world peace… just help me solve an issue with some nerve pain.

So, what does this have to do with being female? A lot. Especially when it comes to male doctors, female patients are dismissed even today as being “hysterical” (and I’m not talking about funny hysterical either) or not knowledgeable.

I would love to make Robin William’s movie Patch Adams mandatory viewing with essay for medical schools. Teach humanity and humility along with anatomy. 

Well, pain meds and muscle relaxant are kicking in and between those and the lack of sleep last night, I need to curl up under the covers and get offline.

See y’all on the flipside…

~A

Posted in bigotry, community, cosplay, dragon, faith, feminism, friends, life, politics, research, Science Fiction and Fantasy, society

7/15: Trek and Overcoming Human Cultural Differences

A few years back, I was doing some demographics research for a project my boss was working on. While I don’t have the work I did (everything I did is still protected by an NDA I signed), I remember what I found.

There’s been a long-standing misconception that the SF/F fandom is predominately male. HA! Nope. Women are equal, if not a higher percentage, of SF/F fandom than men. And yes, that statement comes from research I did a few years back. Based on research done over the years…. *ahem* …. decades. Even back in the 50’s and 60’s, female readership of SF/F books and periodicals (such as Asimov, etc) was roughly 49-50%. Today? I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s higher. Fandom is just as much for US women as it is for men.

So, what sparked this post? The following image:

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And then the ensuing “discussion” on a friend’s posting of this on FB. Filled with Trek fanboys who think they know better than us “females” …. guess what, Ferengi wannabes, you are not better than us, you are not smarter than us, and you most definitely do NOT grasp the concept that women can have a better fucking grasp of Trek than your Neanderthal-esque selves. Crawl back in your caves, boys. Us ladies got this.

Here’s the thing:

How do they know religion isn’t practiced in the Trek future? Because it isn’t as fucking obvious? Trek showed how humans, as a global society/race, have moved beyond differences and work WITH each other. Even if those differences may still exist. We know from later shows and films that the French still make wine (Picard facing his brother), the cuisine and such of Cajun/Southern life survives (Sisko)… and what else? I mean there are all kinds of things that survive a few centuries… if Cajun culture survives, I’m pretty damn sure Islam (not the terrorist shit, but the peaceful religion practiced by nearly all Muslims, save for that percentage of a percentage that have skewed it for their own purposes) will survive. 

The individual episodes don’t have enough airtime to show every aspect of life in Starfleet. So we don’t really know if religion is still around on Earth in Trek. I know one thing: Sisko and other humans in Starfleet are respectful of Bajoran faith. For all we know, there may be a ship chaplain or multiple ones for different faiths represented. Or, in TNG and later, programs on the holodecks for various religious ceremonies and services.

We simply do not know.

But having someone of a specific faith represented doesn’t mean indoctrination (man, I can hear that bigoted outcry now) or pushing any one faith or anything. It’s merely giving a chance to represent the beliefs of Roddenberry and his vision of unity. Just as Chekov was a representative of Russia (who was a major enemy of the US until the end of the Cold War in the 80’s) and showing that we can one day overcome our differences. Just as a Muslim woman would be representative of what many white supremacists and others hate and fear in the here and now. To show that the differences we have TODAY can be overcome in the future.

Showing that humanity on this planet can overcome our hate, judgment, fear, and violence and thus come together to form one world coalition so we can explore the stars without infighting and competition amongst ourselves. We will still have differences and cultural diversity, things that are shown in the later shows. Humans are not “homogenized” in Trek. The military aspect may show some of that to some degree…

But…

Remember, Starfleet is not all encompassing of humans. It is essentially the Navy in Space. One part of Earth’s culture as envisioned by Roddenberry and his people.

~Dragon the Geek

Posted in anxiety, chronic pain, community, depression, domestic abuse, dreams, empath life, eviction, faith, feminism, grief, history, LGBTQIA Pride, life, peace, Personal, PTSD, sexual assault

7/4: Open Book

After our internet came back up (finally), I was musing on a conversation I had over the weekend. I am very open about who I am, where I’ve been, what I’ve done, what I’ve been through.

What I’ve survived.

So I wrote a short post.

And then I decided to turn it into word art. Found an image that fit (and could use) and added the words to become the featured image above.

I am a survivor of a lot of life stuff. I share much of that history… my experiences and lessons learned…  with anyone who wishes to listen.

My life is my journey. This blog gives me a voice to share that journey.

… and so it continues.

~Amanda

Posted in feminism, life, Personal, society

6/13: Girl Power

I’m no Wonder Woman or Supergirl or… hell, even Black Widow (and she TOTALLY needs her own damn movie), but I have noticed (and been told) that I get a lot of direct-hire tasks on TaskRabbit. Now, sometimes the tasks are normal-ish things, but more and more, I’m getting hired for something that is stereotypically a “men’s job” … furniture assembly.

Most of the time it’s IKEA, but I also get Wayfair pieces (do NOT get me started on their shitty directions). I enjoy doing it, even when it’s a challenging piece (that one bed frame was hell, but I got it done). One of my last jobs before the eviction was that bed frame I just mentioned in the parentheses. The wife of that couple helped bring parts to me when needed. Her husband had just had surgery, so he couldn’t do it. She was one of a handful of my past clients who said they were happy to see a woman doing this type of task.

When you think about it, my work on furniture is very empowering. I enjoy it, but also it’s helpful for the clients. For one thing, they see a female person doing furniture assembly… again, something you mostly see men offering. The more important factor is that I’m typically going into single womens’ apartments. Many would feel uncomfortable having some strange dude doing this. And being a survivor myself, I understand that concern. I’m here for my clients so that they can feel safe and still have whatever furniture they need help getting assembled taken care of.

I think it’s only once I started talking to my clients about it that I realized this isn’t “normal.” As I’ve said in the past, I grew up around power tools and a fixer-upper house that never quite got completed. I’ve built my own rough furniture (I still miss my rolling TV stand). Assembling pre-fab isn’t usually too difficult. Because I’m such a tomboy, I don’t really think it odd that this stuff is second nature to me. Or that it isn’t natural for other women.

This is just something I do.

I had to take a break from TR during the eviction. I had too much on my mind. I certainly could have used the income, but I just wasn’t able to focus. Now I’m able and willing. I have to be careful with my back and such, but in short bursts such as these tasks, I can handle it.

I’m back.

~Amanda