On Refusing to Say “Happy Holidays”

My family and I will be celebrating Christmas this year, because our parents did, and their parents did, and so on and so forth. And that’s fine. Because we’re celebrating Christmas, and we’re going to have a merry one at that. But I’m still going to wish people a happy Holidays, because it doesn’t matter that I’m celebrating Christmas, it’s not about me. And it’s not about you, person-who-thinks-Christmas-is-the-only-winter-festival. This isn’t about you wanting a merry Christmas. It’s about you telling everyone else merry Christmas, just because you want one. Do you see the problem there? You can’t tell what someone is celebrating because Jews don’t go around wearing a sign that says “WISH ME A HAPPY HANUKKAH” and black people don’t wear a sign that says “No thanks, we’re celebrating Kwanzaa.” So how about you think about other people and say “Happy holidays” so you don’t have to say “Merry Christmas, or Happy Hanukkah, or Blessed Kwanzaa, or Happy Saturnalia, or 3id alMilad mujayyid, or Merry Modraniht, or Happy Prancha Ganapati, or Pleasant Malkh to you, sir, or Happy Yalda, or I hope your Dongzhi Festival is going well!” Doesn’t “Happy holidays” sound like a bit less of a hassle?

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Just Substitute Guns For Abortion Rights

I just wanted to reblog this from I Tried Being Tasteful…

I Tried Being Tasteful...

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Tuesday turned away an emergency application asking it to block a Texas law that requires doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.

The decision was effectively 5 to 4 and split along ideological lines.

The effect of the ruling, Justice Stephen G. Breyer wrote for the four dissenters, was to leave 24 counties in the Rio Grande Valley without abortion clinics. “It may,” he added, “substantially reduce access to safe abortions elsewhere in Texas.”

Abortion rights groups and clinics said the law served no medical purpose and was forcing a third of the state’s 36 abortion clinics to stop performing the procedure, preventing some 20,000 women a year from access to safe abortions.

State officials told the court that the law, which requires that doctors have hospital admitting privileges within 30 miles of where they perform abortions, protects public health…

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It’s a new day, and I can’t sleep

It’s a new day, and I found a nice blog with a bunch of questions on it, and I figured I could get some activity out of answering them! I can’t seem to hyperlink for some unpleasant reason, but here’s a URL: http://suzie81.wordpress.com/2013/11/20/questions-questions-questions-tell-me-about-you/ Oh! That seems to have done it. See, I’m getting better at this all the time…

 

1. Why have you chosen your blog name?

When I was in the army, my last name was very, very difficult to pronounce. Because I had an injured left arm in Basic Training, and because of my unpronounceable surname, people took to calling me Nemo. I enjoyed having a nickname that wasn’t a diminutive of my first name, so I let it stick. It was nice to be special enough to have a nickname… I named my blog after my nickname because, even though I’m not in the army anymore, it’s still a part of me, no matter how small. Now Nemo just needs to find out who she is on the outside…

2. When you have an hour of free-time, what do you do?

I vegetate on the couch. I know I have other, more important things to be doing (and knitting projects I could be finishing), but sometimes it’s good for my anxiety to just zone out into cyberspace and do nothing of importance.

3. If you could choose to stay a certain age forever, what would it be?

Oh, goodness, I couldn’t imagine. Sometimes I wish I was 20 all over again. I seemed to have the most fun, but… I like who I am now, and I hate it. All for different reasons. I think I’m going to feel like this at every age, then look back and forget about all the bad things that happened. I don’t know, maybe 30?

4. If you could learn to do something, what would it be?

I would want to learn how to take photographs with an antique camera. I have an old Wirgin Reflex sitting on my shelf with no film in sight, and I don’t know how to make it work…

5. What would be the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?

A Kitchen Aid countertop mixer, in blue.

6. What is the thing that makes you absolutely unique?

lol I don’t know. Maybe my sweet tats? My collection of vegetarian cook books and crafting supplies?

7. What is your favourite blog?

Uh, I really like The Militant Baker. Like, a lot. But there are so many good blogs out there! Shakesville might be one of the finest…

Here’s where I share something super personal…

Hey! I figure since I’m getting back into the blogging spirit, I might as well let everyone know who I am, as it is, now.

My name is still Julia, but I’m not a soldier anymore. I’ve been a veteran since September 2012, and I’ve been a college student since this January. I kind of wish I had picked a better school, as I’m becoming disappointed with the quality of professors in this particular institution…

When I started this blog, it was only me. I had no one else, not really. Now that I’m getting back to it, a lot of things have changed.

First! I adopted a puppy. His name is Bosco, and he’s a toy Australian shepherd (was supposed to be a mini…)Image

This is him when he was about three months old, and he’s gotten much bigger and fluffier, but I don’t have a camera to prove it (yet,) so bear with me.

Then, I adopted a new boyfriend. His name is Jeffrey, and I had known him for almost a decade now as Jeff, my sister’s boyfriend’s (now husband’s) friend. He had been in the Marine Corps when I was younger, but now he’s a veteran, and I feel like we both have a lot more in common than I’d ever realized before. It’s nice to be with someone who can understand what it is I’m going through on such an intimate level. We realized we were right for each other over the summer, and moved in to a terrible apartment down in Philadelphia, and before we knew it, we became a family.

With his terrible, vicious little cat (Image), Molly, and myImage older cat (I got her when I was seven. I’m 23 now), we have kind of a full house. Her name is Buttercup (photographic evidence on right.)

We also have a tiny, tiny Pomeranian! Her name is Dinah, seen here with me.  Image

Now, on top of our four tiny pets, we are also expecting. That’s right, expecting. I’m a 23-year-old college student trying to get back on my feet, and now we’re expecting a baby. I’m not showing yet (baby bump pictures will be here when I am), but I’m at around 13 weeks pregnant, and I’m terrified as well as excited. I can’t wait to share this experience with the internet, and I’m really looking forward to anyone who might have more experience than I to let me in on a couple secrets (please?)

On Really Obvious Expectations from Your Professors

Hey, I’m kind of sorry for not posting for so long, but I don’t actually think anyone’s looked at this thing in ever, so, hello world! I’m just kind of getting back on my feet here, so pardon me if I’m a little shaky to start…

This is my first full year being a real veteran, and my second semester in college. I’m going to a college I really probably should have reconsidered because it is in a terrible neighborhood, but that all being set aside, I guess it’s nice to be working towards something.

So, I’m finally settling down to write a paper for my History and Significance of Race in America class (cherry, I assure you) and, well, it all sort of comes down to this statement:
“Answer the question whether structural racism leads to inequality.”
Now, if you’ve spent a minute in my class, you would know that if you don’t agree that structural racism leads to inequality, you will be made to lo…ok like a fool in front of your peers (sorry that kid, but seriously you’re a junior get with the program.) So the problem I’m seeing is thus: If you don’t say that, yes, structural racism leads to inequality, then your paper will be ripped apart and you will be given a low grade. So now the fun begins! How can I creatively write a paper on how structural racism is baaaaad and I’m bad for being born white, forgetting literally everything else there is about my situation (being poor, being a woman, not being a WASP in ‘Murica) or anyone else’s because apparently racism is the only evil in this world?
But then we reach another interesting point. After telling us to answer this question, my professor went on to add:
“Demonstrate the strength of your argument.  In order to do that, examine one of the social institutions in the United States:
 Criminal Justice system; Healthcare system; Education
How does structural racism create inequalities in these institutions?”
So, as a student, I’m not even given the option of agreeing or disagreeing whether structural racism leads to inequality. It is already assumed that I will adopt the opinion of the professor, therefore I am not required to really think very hard about what kind of answer I’m going to be giving at all. Instead, my work comes down to remembering what it was that the professor already told me about structural racism and inequality in a given institution and regurgitating it right back to her.
This isn’t to say that I haven’t gotten really good at creatively wording “I’M SO SORRY WHITE PEOPLE WITH WHOM I HAVE NO RELATION WERE MEAN TO YOU!!!!” I mean, shit, I got an A in my Women’s Studies class with the same thing (just add in “white men”). But doesn’t it sort of stifle my, and other students’, abilities to effectively write a paper if it is very clearly pointed out that anything that varies from the “white apologetics” standpoint is frowned upon?

It’s a Process

So! There are two things that I have learned about myself this week.

The first thing:

Changing your own oil is not that hard. It’s a car, not a nervous system.

Image

Here is photographic evidence of me as I lay under my car, watching the last few bits of oil drip from the drain plug.

Yeah, so maybe I needed a little bit of help with the oil fill cap, and the drain plug… and the filter… I still knew where they were! With the magic of YouTube, Google, and WikiHow, this shit was easy to figure out. Yes, it does void the warranty. But, like I said: It’s a car, not a nervous system. If something breaks and you have access to a garage, you can fix it. If you don’t have access to a garage, that just makes it a bit more inconvenient.

My parents taught me from a very young age that a wide range of skills is one of the most valuable things in this world. They would say that I don’t have to master everything I come across, but as long as I can get through it, even if it does require a bit of work, my life would be easier in the long run. I used to be scared of messing something up. I mean, if it was simply understood that you pay someone else to change your oil, isn’t that because it’s really difficult and potentially dangerous? Turns out, it’s just a bit of work. Surprisingly, only a little messy, too.

The second thing!:

I don’t suck at painting.

While cleaning my room last night, I sat down to a sketch that I did of my vase and a book sitting on my bookshelf. I thought softly, “This sketch has been sitting here for weeks now. Maybe it’s high time I stop procrastinating and paint a picture.” Mind you, this was 11:30 at night.

So, without a care in the world for how to actually do it, I pried open the can of linseed oil, pulled out my oil colors, and got to work. An hour and a half later, I was left with one of those paintings.

You know those paintings.

The kind that sits in a museum seemingly to irk you. The one hanging on the wall, watching you, smirking while you fume from the other side of the protected glass, laughing to itself while you wonder, “Who the fuck painted this? This is art? My kid could have painted this, drunk.” Yep. Those paintings.

Image

Photographic evidence.

It was supposed to look like this:

Image

More photographic evidence.

This is a thing I want people to see

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