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Bivalve Lover

Just when you thought she had forgotten, a little voice woke me up this morning by telling me that she now needs a fresh-water mussel.  This does not require a trip to a pet store or inquiring at Whole Foods of confused employees of the seafood department about whether the bivalves they’re selling for dinner could be kept as a pet.  It just requires digging down into muddy creeks.  Am I cool with that?

Help meeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

October 25, 2014   5 Comments

517th Friday Blog Roundup

I should probably keep posting reminders through December about the Creme de la Creme.  So… here’s your reminder!

The 2014 Creme de la Creme list is open for entries until December 15th.  No one will be added after December 15th.  Read the post to see how to be a part of the Creme de la Creme, which is open to every member of the ALI (adoption/loss/infertility) community.

Consider that your weekly reminder.


I know it has already gotten 300,000 comments and many more views, but in case you missed it, I really love this little comic on life and death.  It made me cry.  Then the cynical part of me started thinking, “are all people really gifts?  I mean, Hitler sucked as a gift.”  And then I smacked the cynical part of me across the face and went back to sniffling.


Stop procrastinating.  Go make your backups.  Don’t have regrets.

Seriously.  Stop what you’re doing for a moment.  It will take you fifteen minutes, tops.  But you will have peace of mind for days and days.  It’s the gift to yourself that keeps on giving.

As always, add any new thoughts to the Friday Backup post and peruse new comments in order to find out about methods, plug-ins, and devices that help you quickly back up your data and accounts.


And now the blogs…

But first, second helpings of the posts that appeared in the open comment thread last week.  In order to read the description before clicking over, please return to the open thread:

Okay, now my choices this week.

What a Day for a Daydream has a post about wanting another child after finally reaching parenthood with twins.  She explains: “I never knew how many children I wanted until I actually had them.”  There was a lot I related to in this post, and I found the should-we-shouldn’t-we discussion interesting.

In Quest of a Binky Moongee has a post about the feelings that bubble up after spending time caring for a friend’s child.  She writes, “The house felt eerily empty when the little guy was gone.  The next day, on my way to work, the emptiness was almost unbearable in the car.  I so wish that I could reach back and touch my baby’s hair.”  I think most of us have experienced this, but she captures it particularly well.

Lastly, in a very small space, Quodlibet gives everyone a way to make sense of the highs and lows in life.  It was the reminder I needed to hold all the good and bad in my heart at the same time; “to weep with those who are weeping, and rejoice with those who are rejoicing.”  Gorgeous post.

The roundup to the Roundup: Your friendly Creme de la Creme reminder.  I love that comic.  Your weekly backup nudge.  And lots of great posts to read.  So what did you find this week?  Please use a permalink to the blog post (written between October 17th and 24th) and not the blog’s main url. Not understanding why I’m asking you what you found this week?  Read the original open thread post here.

October 24, 2014   5 Comments

Kids Cursing

I have no problem with kids cursing. I don’t think it’s cute nor do I think it’s offensive. Words are just words, and it matters more to me how and where someone uses them. Our kids are allowed to curse in our house when we’re alone (meaning, no one outside our foursome is in the house) as long as they’re not throwing words around in anger at each other or at us.

But FCKH8.com’s new video called F-Bombs for Feminism leaves a really bad taste in my mouth (NSFW):

You know what… it’s the same problem I have with GoldieBlox, which is that it’s adults using kids to present their agenda. Those girls in the GoldieBlox video didn’t make that Rube Goldberg machine, and those girls in the video above aren’t conveying their own thoughts or feelings. They’re speaking the words that grownups want to say, that they can’t get attention anymore for saying, so they’re using kids to spread their message.

And that sort of sucks. I don’t like it when other people speak for me, so why should I ever support people putting words into the mouths of kids?

FCKH8.com lost me when they called them “these adorably articulate little ladies” as if they had all collectively driven themselves to the studio and recorded what had been gnawing at their heart for the last 6 years… you know… back when they were in diapers.  The girls aren’t articulate.  They’re reciting a script.  That an adult wrote.

Kids CAN and SHOULD be taught to care about issues, and they best connect with ideas that they relate to directly because kids are self-centered.  Not self-centered pricks, but self-centered because that’s where they are developmentally.  A child, for instance, who has GLBT family members or close friends to the family is prime for understanding and speaking out for marriage equality.  A child with no connection to that topic is going to have a difficult time relating to it.  It’s important to instill openmindedness in a child so when they reach a more empathetic age they can leave their bubble and relate to the rest of the world.  But there is a difference between gently opening their eyes to the larger world and shoving them towards ideas.

So I don’t think the video is cute.  And I don’t find it shocking in the way that FCKH8.com intended for viewers to find it shocking:

Asking the question, “What’s more offensive? A little girl saying f*ck or the sexist way society treats girls and women” these adorably articulate little ladies in sparkling tiaras turn the “princess in distress” stereotype on its head and contrast the F-word with words and statistics society should find shocking such as “pay inequality” and “rape.”

The shocking part for me is why adults feel it is okay to use children in order to condemn sexism.  Hells yeah, I want to combat sexism.  But I don’t want to do it like this.

October 23, 2014   9 Comments

Dear Godinterest, I’m Jewish

Today I got an invite to Godinterest, the Christian social media site.  It’s been around for a while (there was a HuffPo article about it back in May), but for some reason, they spammed the Internet today with enough Godinterest invites to get the site trending.

I think it’s lovely that Godinterest exists.  The Internet is a semi-infinite space: everyone should be able to find a You-shaped space on the Internet to call home.  We need some people to create those spaces so that other people can join along.  So I applaud Godinterest in creating that space; it fills a need for a population of people.

But Godinterest, you sort of struck a nerve with me.  Because, you see, I’m not Christian, therefore I likely have little to no interest in a Christian social media site.  I looked at what you had trending on your front page, and it is most definitely applicable to Christians.  Again, I’m not Christian, so not really applicable to me.

I get blindly pitched a lot of stuff on a daily basis.  I think it’s sort of amusing that the term is “public relations” since that would imply that the person is building a relationship.  But no, there is clearly no relationship going on between myself and the people doing the pitches.  If there was, they would know not to directly send me requests to review baby items and pregnancy products.  They would know that this kosher vegetarian wouldn’t want to try out pork products.  And they would know that this Jewish woman who doesn’t even like Pinterest all that much wouldn’t want an invite to a Christian-themed social media site.

I know what you’re going to say: It’s not a big deal!  Just delete it!  It’s a bigger deal that you took the time to write out a whole post about it!

It is simple to delete emails, and that’s what I do.

But this is all indicative of a larger issue, one that you only think about when you’re in the minority whether that is being childless in a child-centric society or being Jewish in a Christian-centric country.  It really sucks when the majority assumes that everyone is just.like.them.  I mean, it doesn’t suck if you’re in the majority.  Then, you don’t even think about it.  But if you’re in the minority and you need to constantly be navigating the assumptions of the majority, it gets really old really quickly.

It’s funny what bothers me and what doesn’t.  It doesn’t bother me that in America, from October to January, we are in Christmas season.  I think it rocks that you guys have this big holiday in the winter, and I really like your candy canes.  I even like going over to a friend’s house and helping them celebrate the holiday.  I don’t mind navigating shopping traffic or having Christmas music playing in the stores or having Christmas programming on every television station or having everything shut down when I finally have a day off.  I really don’t mind having my life impacted by someone else’s religion.  I even participate to make Christmas more special for other people, volunteering on that day because I can volunteer on that day since I have nowhere else I have to be.

What I do mind is the assumption that I am Christian, too.

I write this because it would behoove us all to spend five minutes thinking about which majority groups we belong to — because we all belong to majority groups — especially the somewhat invisible ones.  And then think about the assumptions we make as the majority group.  And then stop making those assumptions.

Let’s not assume all women are mothers.  Let’s not assume all women want children, or if they don’t have children, that they don’t want children.  Let’s not assume that all couples are married… or want to be married.  That all people are heterosexual.  The list could go on and on and on.

Godinterest, let’s not assume all people are Christian.  Because while you — in the majority — may think there is no harm no foul in sending out these emails to people outside of your audience, I’m telling you that those of us in the minority are negatively impacted by your actions.

October 22, 2014   18 Comments

Spells, Salves, and Pills

On page 213 of Lev Grossman’s The Magicians, Quentin thinks while confronting the depths of his sadness, “Wasn’t there a spell for making yourself happy?  Somebody must have invented one.  How could he have missed it?  Why didn’t they teach it?”

And I thought to myself: if there was a spell like that, I would use it.  I mean, provided it didn’t have any unwanted side effects.  But if all I had to do was point a wand at myself and chant a few words, I would use it.  Not all the time, but sometimes.  Most of the time.  No one wants to struggle; no one wants to be down or anxious or moody.  But if there was a spell that could help keep emotions in balance?  Sure, I’d take advantage of it from time to time.  Wouldn’t you?

Then I thought, if there was an ointment that I could rub on my skin to make myself happy, I’d probably do that too.  It would be akin to sunscreen, except it would protect you from negative energy buzzing through the air.  If all I had to do was rub a salve on my skin and it would keep out all the unwanted thoughts and feelings, help me to regulate reality so that I wasn’t being led astray by fear or worry, I would massage that cream in.  Again, provided that it didn’t have massively negative side effects.  But if it was well-researched?  If the benefits outweighed the drawbacks?  Then yes, pass me the tube.  Wouldn’t you?

So why do we have such a stigma around drugs that we ingest that accomplish the same task?

When it’s magical: bring it on.

When it’s topical: rub it in.

When it’s internal…

When it’s internal, there is suddenly this layer of judgment.  What is okay for the outside of the body is anathema inside the body, even if it accomplishes the same thing.

Despite being a health editor and having read countless pieces about depression, I had never thought about the stigma in quite this way until I encountered a hypothetical spell in a book.

I am still on the first book in the trilogy, and at this point, Quentin doesn’t know that spell for a specific reason given later in the chapter.  I don’t know if he ever gains knowledge of that spell in the future, and if he does, if he chooses to use it.  But wouldn’t you?

October 22, 2014   9 Comments

(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
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