Worth Reading — 8.31.16

A random collection of articles, blog posts, books, and other things I think are worth sharing.

People: Inside My Terminally Ill Friend’s Final Party Before Ending Her Life (OMG…the feels)

NPR: Dog’s Understand Tone and Meaning of Words

Reader’s Digest: 16 Air Travel Tips to Know Before Your Next Flight.

Bustle: 7 Things American Women Couldn’t Do in 1920

Huffington Post: There’s No One Abortion Story (Four very different experiences show exactly why you can’t legislate women’s health care choices.)

Just Write 143 ~ Angry

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I had stopped by my mother’s house after a workout to wipe down, literally (thank God for baby wipes) and change clothes and toss on a baseball hat before going to a pool party at a friend’s house. No time to run home and, anyway these are my workout friends and they don’t care if I show up with a sweaty ponytail, sporting the faint scent of Wet Wipes.

I was leaving in a rush (as always), when I heard a loud, angry honk. Not a friendly, beep, but a you’re-an-ass-and-I-want-you-to-know-it laying on of the horn. I looked up to see a youngish woman, gesturing and screaming at the a$%hole who, I’m guessing, she thought pulled out in front of her and forced her to slow down.

I thought: Of course it’s a woman. It’s always a woman. We’re all so angry today. So rushed. So stressed out. So overloaded and overburdened.

And who could blame us for being angry? We’re paid less for doing the same (and often more) work than a man. We’re continually having to fight the same damn fight we’ve been battling since 19freaking73 over our own damn bodies.

And, above all, we’re held to impossible standards. Not only should we be thin and pretty, but also strong, kind, generous, compassionate, caring, nurturing, self-assured, fashionable, witty, nice, and friendly.  Our hair should be long and always styled. Our ass should be firm and round, but not too muscular or fat. Our kids should be well-behaved and quiet, but also strong and self-assured. Our homes should be spotless and stylish and meals should be home cooked and healthy, but delicious and, of course, presented attractively in a Pinterest-worthy manner (hardboiled penguin egg, anyone?)

We work full time and we parent full time and between it all we need to cook, clean, exercise, socialize, get the kids to do their homework, clean up after the pets everyone else swore they’d take care of, and, oh, yeah, rock his world in the bedroom.

And, my GOD, we cannot do it all if you people don’t get the F%^$ out of our way!

So, yeah, we’re angry. And, we’re so tired. So freaking tired.

Today’s women can be and have and do anything. I’m not sure when it became expected that we actually be, do, and have everything.

It’s exhausting. It’s a race we can’t win and a sky-high bar we can’t reach, and so the vast majority of the female population is frustrated and perpetually pissed off.

So there you go, guys: women explained.

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About Just Write: Just Write is my adaptation of free writing, a technique in which a person writes continuously and quickly without little regard for spelling, grammar, or topic. It helps writers overcome blocks of apathy and explore everything from meaningful topics to mundane observations with the same effort and without the pressure of crafting perfect prose. I just start writing.

“What ends up revealing itself when free writing is that everything has meaning. That is a magnificent gift of writing. If we write from a free heart-gut place, our souls start speaking.”

 

 

 

 

 

Three Things — 8.25.16

Things I’m loving this week

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Presque Isle’s Purple Martin Roost. According to Wild Birds Unlimited, the foot of Presque Isle state park is one of only two known pre-migratory roost rites for Purple Martins in Pennsylvania. Birds come from a 250-mile radius to gather at the park and feed before flying together to Brazil for the winter. The park may host as many as 100,000 martins at it’s peak!  You can see them from the shore (the park’s Vista 1 is the best spot), but you need good binoculars. The better option is to get a kayak and paddle between the cattails just before dawn or just before dusk. After trying to see the birds from the shore on Tuesday, we decided to plan an evening paddle that weekend. I ordered a kayak light on my way home (Again, God bless Amazon.com & two-day shipping). We were not disappointed…and it was totally worth getting eaten alive by bugs when we returned to shore (note: bring bug spray next time!).  Here’s a video (turn the sound up…that shhhhh sound are the mass of birds in those cattails):

 

 

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Erie. This weekend, I ran and worked out with friends at Presque Isle on soft sand and in warm fresh waters, the kids and I watched dozens of people paddle carboard boats across the bay (see below), we biked along the bayfront and into the city to see the Chalk Walk at celebrate Erie and listen to live music on two different stages, we paddled out to see the Purple Martin roost at PISP (above). Tonight, Kelly and I are going to see “Dracula” on stage at a local college, Friday night we are running a 5K at another local college that offers a post-race sundae bar, Saturday we are probably going to hit Waldameer for one last blast before the park closes for summer, and Sunday morning I’m sailing in a charity regatta on Lake Erie.  Yeah, I believe in Erie, too, man. We may have some issues (who doesn’t), but life is damn good here.

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Cardboard regatta. I’ve wanted to attend this event since it’s inception several years ago and have just never made it to the bayfront until this year, and it was a blast to watch. Though, it was reeeealllly hot in the sun, so if we do this again, we’ll do like all the smart spectators did and bring umbrellas to shield us from the sun. Or…maybe we’ll build our own cardboard-and-duct-tape boat and participate (yeah..when will I do that? I know…hey…a girl can dream, right?)

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Storybook skies. These are my all-time favorite type of clouds. And, more are on the way — seems peak season for storybook skies in our area is September.

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Girls who can do stuff. I love that Dan is teaching the girls to do things I never learned, like building things, shooting a gun and a bow, doing basic home improvement stuff, and mowing the lawn (though, to be fair, I have refused to learn to do that because then it will become my job).

Things I’m not loving this week

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Bifocals. I’ve never had (or needed) glasses, but I have them now. (It’s hell getting old). I guess it’s a very low prescription to help with distance and with up-close reading..so bifocals. And, I find them annoying. When I wear them outdoors walking around, I feel like I’m drunk because everything below my line of sight is kinda fuzzy.

Long hair. It’s time for this crap to go….all I ever do it put it up anyway.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Worth Reading — 8.24.16

A random collection of articles, blog posts, books, and other things I think are worth sharing.

Atlantic: The Era of “The Bitch” is Coming (Get ready, ladies)

“People should take care to avoid (even subconsciously) seeing Hillary’s inevitable stumbles and failures through the prism of gender. “The expectations placed on her shoulders in regards to gender are huge,” said Oklahoma State’s Jalaizai. Because of the polarized nature of U.S. politics, she said, “It’s hard for any president to get anything done.” But because Clinton would be the first woman to hold the post, people might see her performance as somehow tied to being a woman. “We don’t do that for men. We don’t ever say George W. Bush was a bad president because he was a guy,” said Jalaizai.”

Runners World: 7 Mistakes You’re Making With Your Scrambled Egg

 

Worth Reading — 8.24.16

A random collection of articles, blog posts, books, and other things I think are worth sharing.

LinkedIn: An Open Letter to Managers of Women (This is not a personal statement about my job…seriously. But, it is a thought provoking article that largely rings true. Ask any woman in any office that’s just gettin’ it done day after day so she can get out at 5 p.m. so she can go home & be with her family…and take care of all the stuff at home — also known as 2nd shift).

ADDitude: Why People with ADHD Act the Way they Do (Pretty dead on, in my experience with L.)

Medium: Enjoli (Wow…just…so fabulous).

“Well, maybe because even cool chicks are still women. And there’s no easy way to be a woman, because, as you may have noticed, there’s no acceptable way to be a woman. And if there’s no acceptable way to be the thing you are, then maybe you drink a little. Or a lot.”

Also…

Is it really that hard, being a First World woman? Is it really so tough to have the career and the spouse and the pets and the herb garden and the core strengthening and the oh-I-just-woke-up-like-this makeup and the face injections and the Uber driver who might possibly be a rapist? Is it so hard to work ten hours for your rightful 77% of a salary, walk home past a drunk who invites you to suck his c@#$, and turn on the TV to hear the men who run this country talk about protecting you from abortion regret by forcing you to grow children inside your body?

Gizmodo: This is How South Florida Ends

 

 

Just Write 142 ~ Machines are in charge

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Our 2 1/2 year-old, 55-inch Smart TV quit working a week ago. The kids were home, watching something and—they claim—the picture just went out.  I’m not sure I totally believe them, but I don’t have any evidence to the contrary.

Also, I don’t really care.

I refused to do anything about it. Which means Dan had to because, you guys, FOOTBALL SEASON IS COMING. You know this, right? MY GOD!

Somehow, a guy who took 2 years to finish the trim around the kitchen door, took less than two days to find the television instruction book and receipt for purchase (impressive considering he usually can’t find most stuff in the house without me), and call the TV manufacturer.

I knew she’d tell him he was S.O.L. I might have smiled to myself when he confirmed that.

Aside from missing all the running events at the Rio Olympics last week, which, OK, that did kinda suck because, you know, we’re into running, I haven’t missed having a TV.

I should clarify that we have two other TVs in the house, but one is upstairs in the playroom and isn’t hooked into the antenna, and the other one is in our bedroom and we’ve been too busy/lazy to A.) relocate to our bedroom for evening TV watching, or B.) move the bedroom TV to the living room.

Last night, Dan finally decided to move the bedroom TV to the living room (accepting the measly 35 incher) and the same thing happened — sound, but no picture, which tells us that there’s a problem in the antenna or some connection or cable.

This is good because it probably means I won’t have to shell out another $700 for another gigantic, but oh-so-fragile, 55-inch “Smart” TV. Surely the master electrician in the house will be able to troubleshoot the problem now. (He’s probably working on it right now.)

In the meantime, I immediately seized on the broken-TV week opportunity (and impending start of school and…so…need to finish those summer reading books!) to institute a family evening reading hour.

It’s something I’d really like to continue, but know it will be nearly impossible to enforce once the great screen blinks back to life.

The machines…they really do control us these days.

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About Just Write: Just Write is my adaptation of free writing, a technique in which a person writes continuously and quickly without little regard for spelling, grammar, or topic. It helps writers overcome blocks of apathy and explore everything from meaningful topics to mundane observations with the same effort and without the pressure of crafting perfect prose. I just start writing.

“What ends up revealing itself when free writing is that everything has meaning. That is a magnificent gift of writing. If we write from a free heart-gut place, our souls start speaking.”

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