Posted in bugaboos, crowdfunding, homeless, life, poetry, poverty line, society, urgent

8/5: the bubble

People holding onto
Their own needs.
Ensconced in
Worlds of their own.
Blinders on.
Walking unaware
Life merely about getting
From point A
To point B.
Upheaval unallowed.
Staring.
Blank.
Never looking
Beyond.
The bubble.
The blinders.
Stepping on the
Bodies
Of those
Less
Fortunate.
Every step taken.
Another broken body.
Another broken soul.
No one sees the
Invisible.
Not because they can’t see.
But because they won’t.

~A

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 chronic pain, community, crowdfunding, emergency, eviction, faith, family, friends, health, life, Personal, society, storage

7/29: Need & Hope #crowdfunding too

(Still scrambling to get the last of my storage rent covered… anything helps)

Ideals give us hope.
Treat others as
You
Wish to be
Treated.
Give and take.
Life is about more than just
Taking.
Help others.
As if your life
Depended on it.
Ideals of equality
The hope of sharing and love
Make us better.

(This comes out of spending a few hours helping a friend move from one independent living unit to an assisted living unit because of her fiance needing more help. For me, helping a friend who needs that help outweighs my own desire to have a day of chilling out. 

The least of us gives the most… as we know the feeling of true need.

I try my best, pushing myself beyond my limits at times, to do for others what I hope is done for anyone in need. I got help from people during my eviction. I needed to give back in some way. This working to help each other is how society should function. I see too many flaws and things not functioning as they should. I can expand on this later… right now, my back is telling me to get rest. I’m going back tomorrow.)

~A

Posted in activism, bugaboos, chronic pain, community, health, life, Personal, society

7/26: public transit blues 

Public transit has space set aside for disabled and elderly. But I routinely end up next to able-bodied people who use those seats because they’re “convenient.” There are signs all over the area explaining the priority for these seats, but they go unread. Ignored.

Since I use a cane, I use these seats. Unlike those in a chair or with a walker, I could use other seats, but I walk a bit slower and am unsteady on my feet while the train/bus is in motion. So I would likely miss my stop if I sat anywhere else. The train doors don’t stay open that long.

I wish able-bodied people would respect the need for people like me who need those seats. They don’t need them.

Posted in asexuality, bugaboos, crowdfunding, depression, gender, life, Personal, PTSD, semicolon, sexual assault, sexuality, society, storage, tattoo

7/22: I’m Not Broken… (open book)

The phrase “Don’t try to fix me. I’m not broken” from Evanscence resonates with me on many levels and for many reasons. From my depression to my C-PTSD, from my phases of suicidal ideation to my sexuality. Even something as mundane as being a Creative and trying to find my place in a working society with gainful employment.

Whenever I get frustrated with my job search, I get told to just take whatever comes along. But I end up sacrificing who and what I am to “fit in” … I’m told I need to be just like everyone else and why can’t I be that way? I need to conform, etc…

No, actually, I don’t. No one should be forced to conform to what our society thinks is the ideal. I tried to blend in during my 20’s. Yeah, that didn’t work so well.

And then there are more serious things. My history of suicidal tendencies, sexual assault, emotional and psychological abuse. Did these things damage me?

Yes.

If they didn’t, I wouldn’t be human (although Dragon does come out and play, I am still very much a human… she just gets cranky sometimes and wants to take over). Did these things break me?

No.

If they had, I wouldn’t be alive today. If the hell my ex has put me through had broken me, I would have killed myself long ago. But I didn’t. I still haven’t. In fact, I find myself getting stronger emotionally. I am no longer afraid of him.

And then there’s my sexuality… and now I’m leaning toward being genderfluid/genderqueer. I know one thing… I’m glad my mother wasn’t of sound mind when I realized I was asexual in 2009. She would have flipped her shit. Dad understood, but still wasn’t fully on board. My gender would likely have been slightly different, yet I don’t know exactly how he would have acted. I was his baby girl. But he also always knew I was a tomboy as a kid. I have always been more at home in hardware stores than dress shops.

One almost constant remark I get from people (usually men, older people, etc) is that I just “need to find the right guy” to change my mind about sex. My sexuality, which has NOTHING to do with the act of sex, is not a sign of being broken. This is how I was born. I’m wired this way. Did “you” choose to be heterosexual? Likely not. I did not choose to be asexual. I experience no sexual attraction (I do admit to admiring some male actors and such and make comments about them that could be construed as sexual.. I mean, I’m sorry, but Tom Hiddleston is damn gorgeous, but that doesn’t mean I want to do anything with him… other than hang out on the couch and watch movies and cuddle… I could handle cuddling with him).

The attitude is that because I’m not sexually active and dating and showing an interest sexually in anyone, that I *must* be “broken.”

I’m not.

It’s in my genetics. This is how I’m wired.

So I want to get a tattoo. Well, I want to get several of them. I still want my Rat, and the semicolon. But unless I find a better spot, I want to put this one down my spine, one word at a time:

Don’t

try

to

fix

me.

I’m

not

broken.

~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:

20023784_10154719646601546_3572358340627745923_o

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 artsy stuff, chronic pain, convention, cosplay, friends, job hunting, life, Personal, PTSD, sexual assault, society, storage

7/8: My week…

If anything below has already been said earlier this week, my apologies… I’ve had a crazy-weird week.
I survived GearCon with my sanity intact. Mostly thanks to certain people setting me up with my own sleeping space so I could retreat to a quiet place when needed. Which I desperately needed. To those people, I am in your debt and I intend on reimbursing you for the room. I know they aren’t cheap. Even those little ones. After four months of sleeping mostly on cots and rollaway beds, having a couple of nights on a real bed was heavenly.
I made my black waist cincher to wear at con on Saturday. I finished it that day and wore it a fair chunk of the rest of Saturday. It’s fairly thin plain tanned leather that I did a second layer to give it a bit more body, painted black, drew gears in silver and bronze Sharpies… and will be adding more later. It came out pretty damn well considering I only starting working on it the Thursday before.
(pics here)\
The Front

The Back
I enjoy working with leather. It’s a pricey hobby, but I have fun with it.
I had appts Wednesday and Thursday and have been strongly encouraged by my GP and my therapist to start creating a local in-person group for those of us with C-PTSD from domestic/sexual abuse. I won’t discuss it too much here, as it’ll be a peer-run (non-clinical) confidential group.
I also met with my VR trainer and we’re getting going on redoing my resume, etc and switching gears to finding work in research instead of social media. SM is over-saturated here in PDX, hence why I’ve had shitty luck in even getting interviews. Research isn’t AS saturated… likely not saturated at all, honestly. I may have a better chance at solid employment there.
Now, here’s an interesting thing. I’ve pondered about it on FB and have been told that this is actually very possible. A few months back, I fucked up my SI Joint (sacroiliac joint) on my left side. It’s right next to the tailbone and has affected my walking ability among other issues. I was already having issues with my right knee, and then this… but on Sunday, while at the con, I was room-sitting our hospitality suite while others were off doing things. I’m fine with this… I actually enjoy just hanging out and watching the room. I got up to make a sandwich (yes, we had gluten free bread), and on my short walk back to my chair, I had a severe sharp jab of pain right in that spot next to my tailbone. I couldn’t move that hip, could barely put weight on it, etc. One girl was also in there and I had her set my sandwich down on the other chair and then help me over the last few steps. I managed to get pain meds, etc… but before they could take effect, everyone returned in one big blob of happy people… some noticed I was having problems and asked if I needed anything. They got everyone else mobilized to set the sofa-bed back to sofa form and my stuff was carried over there, pillows set up, and 2/3’s of the couch set up for me. That’s pretty much where I stayed most of the rest of the day. I got a ride home and stayed in bed for about 95% of the next two days and nights.
By Wednesday, when I had a doc appt for other things, I had almost no pain on the left side. I’ve since wondered if that pain on Sunday was my SI joint basically resetting itself. That hip still doesn’t like sitting in any one position for too long, but that’s my body for you. I will have sciatica until I die… not much can be done for it. But no more excruciating SI pain. I’ve been told that the SI join can reset itself back into place… it happens… not for everyone, but it can… and I have a feeling that’s what it did for me. I’ll run it by my PT when I see her next.
I’m also having issues with the very computer I’m writing this post on. Oddly enough, it’s ONLY on Facebook and no other site. And on FB, if I’m using the other computer or my phone, it’s fine. I try to type a status or comment and get a few letters in and the cursor pops back to the beginning. I even shut the damn thing down a couple of days ago to let it rest… fired it back up about an hour ago and it’s still doing it. Closed the window, opened a new one… yup… still.
I’m also trying to scrounge up the remaining funds for July storage rent. I have about 130 or so, and the bookcases will be sold shortly, but that’s only another $50… I need 280 plus late fees. I’m working on it, but I’m just not getting anything else coming in. I may have a lead on a little part time (maybe under the table) work for a friend and fellow writer, but I need to email him. As my post from earlier this week stated, our internet was down for a couple of days and that threw me off track with emailing people and all that jazz.

I’ve been fairly quiet this week, but I have had a lot on my mind…

~A

Posted in bigotry, bugaboos, cats, chronic pain, community, convention, dragon, friends, life, peace, politics, PTSD, society

7/4: our webs are down

I got back from GearCon to find that the house internet has been borked by Century Link doing work nearby. I’m using the limited hotspot on the other phone until fixed, so I won’t be here much.

I discovered new pain Sunday at con, so I’m taking things easy. Sciatica sucks donkey ass. 

Happy 4th to my fellow Americans. 

Please don’t set things (or people) on fire with possibly illegal fireworks. I will be on “cat calming” duty. Have a phone and fire extinguisher nearby.

Be nice to each other. 

Respect local Veterans who likely have PTSD and fireworks are a massive trigger for them.

Don’t shoot guns into the air… those bullets are subject to gravity, just like you.

No fighting. No road rage. No hate.

Don’t drive under the influence of anything other than happiness.

~Dragon 

Posted in activism, asexuality, bigotry, bugaboos, faith, LGBTQIA Pride, life, Personal, politics, sexuality, society

6/26: Building Bridges… #politics

Since the election in November here in the US and the Brexit vote in the UK, our society seems to have fallen into a free-for-all of hate and violence. I’ve posted on the vicious cycle in the past. Quite recently, in fact. Since that post, I’ve seen news of more vehicles being used to plow into crowds of Muslims during Ramadan. And then there’s 45 (I don’t use his name) breaking a long-standing tradition of the White House celebrating Eid. He also didn’t say a word on Pride Month, so at least his hate is consistent.

One thing I’ve noticed, at least here in the US, is that a large number of people killed or harmed in hate crimes are not “white Christian people” (for the record, if you haven’t figured it out, I’m a white somewhat-Christian female), but people of color as well as non-Christian religions and LGBTQIA. Vehicles plowing into crowds of Muslims outside their own mosques, LGBT being attacked and arrested for wanting to show their pride, black men and women being gunned down by citizens and police alike, etc… the list just keeps going.

This cycle is perpetuated by fear of the unknown. That fear becomes hate. Are there attacks by non-whites? Yes. But the ratio of white attackers to non-white attackers, at least in the US, leans toward more whites than non-whites. Here in Portland, hate crimes and discrimination are on the rise. And we’re a pretty damn liberal city. Our surrounding cities and counties are not so liberal, though, and we have a lovely mass transit system here. One I use all the time. If my queerness were more obvious, I might get some random jackass giving me shit. My mohawk isn’t quite enough. Remember, this is a very liberal city. And I’m not quite queer-looking enough to get harassed.

We fear what we don’t know or understand. This is fairly common human nature. The nature of our society. The thing is that we have access to more information at our fingertips than our not-so-distant relatives. If you don’t know something, look it up. Ask questions, talk to people. If you fear Muslims, go to the site for TED Talks (also, if you have Netflix, they have a fair number of them there as well) and look up the religious ones. If you want to understand POC or LGBTQIA, …. ASK! No harm in putting a question out there.

The only stupid question is the one that never gets asked.*

Ask. Listen. Learn. Seriously, learning isn’t just in a classroom. Each day, we have a chance to learn from our surroundings. Take advantage of that.

The more we know, the less we fear. Okay, except for spiders… that’s my weakness… I know plenty about them, but still don’t like them. But when it comes to humans, just learn. When we communicate and learn from each other, the barriers we build in our minds and our society will break down and we can work together.

That’s all for now… sorry I’ve been quiet.

~Amanda

(* – Although if you ask me, as an Asexual person, about amoebas or how we mate, that is one question you should keep to yourself. It gets old.)

Posted in activism, anxiety, bigotry, community, empath life, faith, life, peace, society

6/19: Can’t Shut It Out (aka Dragon Gets Angry and Philosophical)

Hate begets hate.

The cycle just keeps going. Every morning, I wake up to news of anger and hate. People using guns, knives, vehicles, etc to maim and kill. People on the fringes of society who loathe and hate those who are different. People who want revenge for something the people they harm didn’t do.

I’m am Empath. I cannot block out what is going on. The emotions that whirl around in our society today. Anger, hate, anxiety, fear… it keeps going. It keeps hitting another level. Genocide, bigotry, prejudice. It keeps ramping up. Another attack. Another shooting. Another vehicle plowing into a crowd.

No matter the race or religion of the person with the anger, it is terrorism. Terrorism is not something “they” do. It’s something “anyone” can do. Terrorism is striking terror and fear into other people. Usually a group or subculture. I look at the various attacks of the last several months and I see hate and anger being forced onto a group of people… making them afraid.

Some terrorists want you to retaliate. Daesh and other fringe groups. They do NOT represent all Muslims. Not by a long shot. As someone said (whom I can’t remember the name of), “If all Muslims were terrorists, the rest of us would be dead by now.” When you have millions of followers of Islam, just as with -any- other religion, you will have the angry, deluded fringe. It isn’t even just religion. It’s political groups, it’s subcultures of our society.

One example of a non-religious incident: A couple of years ago, a Furry convention up in Seattle was under fire because a few people, possibly not even con-goers, decided to trash hotel property. In a considerable way. I’m not talking dinging the corner of a desk. I’m talking willful destruction of property. The hotel contract was cancelled and they couldn’t find another hotel in Washington State to host them. That convention is now on hold until everything settles down. All because of a few jackasses who fucked things up.

See the similarities? A small percentage of a group gives the rest of said group a bad reputation. A fraction -a very small fraction- of Muslims are connected to Daesh/ISIL.

And yet, others lash out at anyone they think is Muslim. The attack last night in England. This time a white person running a vehicle into a crowd of peaceful Muslims as they left their mosque.

If you can’t understand why some Muslims stray and start becoming violent, look at the person who injured several peaceful Muslims last night.

Then if a Muslim who has turned to violence attacks a crowd of non-Muslims, the cycle of hate and fear and anger and violence continues.

To end this, we must focus on those who do good in the community. I see mosques opening their doors in times of natural disasters and other situations to those who are not of their faith, but who are in need. I see them going out and feeding people who need food. Shelter when it is needed. I see more Muslims behave more Christ-like than a lot of people who consider themselves Christians.

My core faith is Christianity. I lean toward Omnism overall. I do my best to understand all faiths. I have a lot to learn. But I think we all do.

Focus on those who have strong positive ties and help others. Ask them as a child would ask a parent. What is your faith about? What do you believe? Try to listen to what they say. Talk to people, listen to people, learn from people.

The organist at a church I used to attend was being honored one morning for 40 years of service. He took the mic and told a little tale. When he and his wife converted to Christianity, they knew a few other Christians and many, many friends of theirs were not. He said he noticed that over the years, the scale has tipped so that they know very few who are not Christians and many who are. This stuck with me.

This is partly why I maintain friendships with believers of all paths, as well as many atheists. I try to show what Jesus taught: love, acceptance, compassion. I don’t preach to people… despite being ordained. I sit back and observe and show compassion when I am capable. I’ll readily admit that I’ve been under a lot more stress the last few years, so my supply of compassion is a bit low. But I still try.

One thing I think a lot of people don’t fully understand about Islam is that it’s the third of the three Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity, Islam. Allah is Arabic for God. The same God Christians worship.

If we listen and learn from each other, I believe the fear will dissipate.

What we don’t know, we fear.

So, let’s start learning. Start asking. Go to the sources. Talk to an Imam. Talk to… anyone!

This list of TED Talks is a good place to start. Here’s another page chock full of talks. And then the Interfaith Amigos…

We need to work on building community with those who are not just like us. We can win over hate.

~Dragon