Bill 115.

Sep. 7th, 2012 04:33 am
moiread: (glasses • stock.)
Hey, guys? The Ontario government is trying to pass Bill 115, which will freeze teacher's wages and cut sick days.

That's bad. Teachers are overworked and underpaid as it is, and if you think that having teachers who are being continually shit on doesn't affect the quality of kids' education, then probably you need to think a little harder. My own job has been cut down to 1/9th the time it was three years ago, because taking away support from students and teachers alike is apparently the best way to save money. So yeah. That's bad.

What's worse is that they're also going to be retroactively taking away sick time and vacation time that has already been earned in previous years, under previous agreements. It breaks all the previous contracts under which teachers are still signed. It also gives the cabinet the power to force school board employees (which includes teachers) to pay back any money they receive that contravenes the Act, or demand that boards deduct it from employees' wages. All of that should be illegal.

But what's completely unacceptable and unconstitutional is that they're trying to circumvent union rights and labour laws by adding clauses to the bill that say it supersedes any existing human rights or labour law and cannot be subject to examination by any arbitrator or court of law. Yes, really. These clauses also give the cabinet the ability to completely block strikes or negotiation attempts. These clauses state that subsequent changes to legislation will be decided only by the cabinet, at will, without actually needing to take the changes to parliament for an official vote, let alone negotiate with the union or take input from elected trustees. And do you know what we call it when the people in power give themselves the ability to screw with laws without having to interact with elected representatives, boys and girls? We call that taxation without representation.

Many teachers have been protesting, and but the bill is being rammed through as quickly as possible -- it's likely to be passed by Monday or Tuesday of next week, in fact -- with only 4.5 hours given for public consultation. And frankly, unless a bunch of average folks step up to support the teachers in this, they are going to lose. There has been very little coverage of what's going on, for a start, and beyond that, labour laws are a confusing, messy headache. Sorting them out to determine how you should feel is pretty fucking daunting, so not a lot of people are doing it. And really, all it takes is one cry of, "BUT THINK OF THE CHILDREN!" and a bit of crafty rhetoric for our government to keep people from supporting teachers when they validly say that this is not okay and try to fight it.

To summarize: Under the guise of budget cuts and "Putting Students First" (the actual name of the bill), Bill 115 aims to slash benefits, take away previously earned benefits by breaking existing contracts, nix the ability for the teacher's union to call (or even threaten) a strike, and give the cabinet the power to circumvent unions and elected officials so that they can make decisions willy-nilly without the democratic process cramping their style.

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association thinks this is very, very bad and so should you.

I know a lot of you don't have kids yet, or don't want kids ever, or have kids who are currently too young to be in school. But this still matters. This is still not okay. It's not just about the kids, but also about the teachers themselves, who are largely a bunch of good, hardworking people who get the crap end of the stick enough as it is.

Please write to your MPP. Please? Even if none of you actually care that something this ugly is happening, can you just do it for me anyway?
moiread: (STAR TREK • I got out of bed for this?)
This is part ad and part rant, so that it will make me feel better both ways.

Does anybody here want a shirt in this style but in mottled terracotta orange-brown? I bought it custom as a tunic-style shirt, so it's shorter than the dress in the photo -- about 27" long from the cowl. Laid flat and measured that way, it's ~18" wide across the bust and widens to ~21" at the bottom. Double these for circumference. It is also stretchy. I can take photos for you.

The seller I bought it from made it ten inches smaller than the measurements I gave and not the right colour -- terracotta is obviously not anything like purple -- but is currently refusing my request to return it on the basis that it's supposed to be a clingy dress and is hand-dyed. Which is complete bullshit -- expecting made-to-measure items to fit you and be at least in the same family as the colour shown is NOT UNREASONABLE -- but Etsy won't mediate this kind of dispute, only stuff like non-payment or receiving a ceramic frog instead of a handbag. I contacted her to address this the day the top arrived in the mail and got no response for three weeks, at which point I left polite but negative feedback. She left blank negative feedback in return out of spite even though I am an awesome customer, friendly and polite and reasonable and understanding, who communicates clearly and promptly and pays immediately and contacts you about a problem right as soon as they get the item -- all the things a customer should be. (Other humans: not as fair as I wish they were, or as fair as I try to be.)

On the upside, she's finally talking to me. On the downside, it's as described above. She also seems to think that fat people should not expect to wear fitted clothing ever, only tents, so of course this garment looks shitty on me, what else did I expect, which is an element of her replies that I refuse to dignify with a response at all. (My wardrobe: Not actually full of muumuus, fuck you very much. Not that there's anything wrong with muumuus if you like them, but you take my point -- fat people get to have clothing options too. I am smart enough these days to know what works for my body and what doesn't, which is why I arranged for a tunic shirt and not a tube dress, and why I added an extra three inches to the waist measurement so it wouldn't cling to the bits of me that are lumpiest. I am not an idiot; this is not my first rodeo.)

My options are to accept the black mark on my reputation in order to keep the one on hers or else change mine to lie so that she'll change hers, but either way I've been swindled and am not getting my money back. If it at least fit, I could trying dyeing it and see what came out, but it's a sausage casing on me.

So. Anyone interested in this top? It could at least find a home with somebody who looks good in oranges and browns!
moiread: (facepalm • lisa e.)
Dear Certain Cisgendered Men of My Acquaintance Who I Will Never Call Friend and Do Not Feel the Slightest Bit Guilty Venting About Outside of Their Earshot:

I am so tired of whiny geekboy self-pity. "WOMEN ARE MEEEAN AND CONFUUUUSING! I am totally discriminated against FOR BEING A GEEK! Except by the stupid humourless feminist bitches! Those ones hate me just because I have a penis! MY LIFE IS SO HARD."

YES, STRAIGHT WHITE DUDE IN EXCELLENT HEALTH WITH A SIX-FIGURE SALARY. YOUR EXISTENCE IS SO UNFAIR.

Newsflash: Technology has taken over and geeks are the people making money. (Well, them and sports stars and Hollywood A-listers. Oh, and exploitative religious leaders, but let's not go down that road.) Being a geek is sexy now. Everybody wants to be one. There are entire internet communities devoted to making fun of "mainstream" people who "pretend to be geeks". The fact that you "true geeks" even have a sea of "poseurs" to make fun of like that should say it all.

Being a geek is NOT THE PROBLEM.

Being a shut-in is the problem. Being an asshole is the problem. Having no social skills and saying stupid shit is the problem. Having anger issues is the problem. Treating the very people with whom you want to have a relationship as if they are THE ENEMY and BITCHING about them all the time is the problem. Insulting women in the same breath as saying you want to have sex with them is the problem. Talking to women in ways that clearly indicate you don't care about them as people, only about how soon you can skip to the part where you get to touch their breasts, is the problem. Not seeing how fucking stupid you look when you do all of this is the problem.

Women don't shun you because you have specialized in a science- or technology-related field. Women shun you because you're a shitty person carrying around forty years of barely-restrained confirmation-bias rage that we can smell from across the room. Women shun you because we can tell from the first five minutes of conversation that you hate yourself and you hate us and you're about twenty minutes of antsy, impotent frustration away from shoving your hands down the nearest set of pants you can find.

Seriously. This is not fucking gradeschool anymore, where having a skillset far more developed and specialized than your peers was something that got you beaten up because the layman herd found your knowledge base confusing and therefore undeserving of respect. Now they are trying to catch up and BE YOU.

So get over your bitter high school baggage, you self-centered misogynist shitheel. If you spent half as much energy trying to learn about social dynamics and gender issues as you do creating intricate 30-page rants about the minutae of your latest MMO obsession and complaining about women, you might actually "get laid" occasionally by one or more of them like you so desperately want.

Because that is what you want, right? And you're a geek, right? You're that guy who prides himself on his intellectual curiosity and love of knowledge, right? You're a guy who's all about systems and figuring out how they work, right? You're all about reading up and observing, and you think you're able to assimilate a lot of information in ways most other people can't, right?

RIGHT?

SO STOP BITCHING AND FUCKING GEEK OUT ABOUT THIS ALREADY.
moiread: (BATTLESTAR GALACTICA • cards & cigars.)
There is a Rumi quote being passed around some Buddhist circles on Twitter and through a mutual connection wound up in my social circle. It goes: "Don't get lost in your pain, know that one day your pain will become your cure." And I got really, really angry when I saw it, for reasons that more than a few of you can probably guess already.

Deconstruction time! )
moiread: (HOUSE MD • cuddy gives up.)
I had the worst day today. )

Now I am home. Apparently I have happy-making parcels waiting for me at the post office, but I have no energy to go get them.

So yah. Today SUCKED. Fie on it.
moiread: (HOUSE MD • cranky cloud.)
Well, she posted a bunch, but the one I'm talking about said:

Yeah, but would you burn?

For those of you who have ever told me or any other hearing-impaired person, "Oh, there are times when I can't hear what's going on either!" I have one question:

Have you ever been left in your workplace during a fire drill because you could not hear the fire alarm?

I have.

So if you haven't, kindly shut the frack up next time you want to compare our situations. And then go think on how patronizing and clueless "Oh, everybody has trouble hearing sometimes!" is, when you say it to me and people like me. Thank you.


And you know, I understand that fear. Not because I'm hard of hearing but because of other stuff. I miss fire alarms all the time and have no idea until later. There's not much I can do about it and it scares me shitless that one of these days, the alarm won't be false and I won't come to until I'm trapped. (This is why I insisted on an apartment on the ground floor, too. At least that will increase my chances of getting out at the last minute. Me + meds that knock me out + a day where I can barely walk + stairs + walker + mental confusion = so, so, so bad.)

And my thing that matters for this isn't even all the time, not like hers. Yes, I have days where I'm on heavy-duty pain or migraine meds that leave me incapacitated, confused, or passed out and nearly impossible to rouse, and that's a scary thing for safety. But I also have days where I'm not in that position, whereas she doesn't get to have days where she's not hearing-impaired. I understand the difference there.

As a related aside, though, I've been told to get a service dog to help with this. Service dogs can hit emergency buttons for you, and can wake up or otherwise alert you to things you can't hear, etc, etc. They're super duper awesome helpful! And I know that's true because I know people with service dogs who do these things for them.

But nevertheless, when people say that to me, all I can do is laugh. Because it's a lovely idea... if you don't also have mobility issues (dogs can't carry you to safety!), or the money to afford a service dog, or your health issues would prevent you from properly caring for a dog (and thus you don't meet the requirements for getting one), or you don't have the support system required to help you care for a dog (also a requirement), or you don't have any agencies near you that will provide service dogs on a sliding scale or for "free" (note: not actually free, even for the cost to obtain, despite what it says on the tin), or the agencies near you only provide dogs to people with other health problems you don't have, and so on. Seriously, I've contacted every agency between here and Toronto to see if there were options that could work for me. No dice.

Not that I want an animal I can't care for. But the point is: Helpful solutions -- sometimes neither helpful nor a solution! And those of us who are used to falling between the cracks, of being too much for one solution but too little for another, who get left in the gap to figure everything out ourselves... We get a little bitter about it sometimes. And we're allowed.
moiread: (COMICS • wonder woman.)
And here is my thing to say:

I talk a lot about what's it's like to live with my particular disabilities, and I've posted PSAs a couple of times about Stuff Other People Could Do To Help That Are Actually Helpful To Me Instead of Just Comforting To The 'Helper' and Why, When You Ask Me How I'm Doing, I Usually Shorthand The Truth To "Fine" Even If It's A Complete Lie and like that. So today's lesson will not be about those things.

Today's lesson is about retraining the way you look at, and think about, and respond to disabled people. Or at least the types of disability that I have enough experience with to talk about.

So here goes:

We are not babies. We are not helpless. We are not stupid. Before you rush to help a disabled person with something that seems obvious to you, STOP. Think. Do you actually know this person well enough to know what they are capable or not capable of doing? Have you considered that, if you're wrong and they ARE capable, it is surely really fucking frustrating to have people always assume you can't and rush to your aid like you're in need of saving? Because, sure, helping your fellow man is nice, and opening doors for someone else or helping them pick up something they dropped are general kindnesses that make us Good People. But please, consider: You are probably not the first person to rush in to save the day. Probably not even the hundredth. And when everyone around you, day after day, week after week, year after year, assumes you can't do something, it stops being kind and starts being a message about how everyone sees you. It is a constant BARRAGE, and the amount of it really does matter.

Let me reframe this with an example:

If you were perfectly capable of spelling your own name and yet every single time you ever gave your name to someone, the person standing behind you or next to you interrupted you to add, "That's spelled N-A-M-E," and then smiled at you cheerfully in a silent "you're welcome!", or patted your arm sympathetically, that would suck. Not only are they all assuming incorrect things about you, but then they act like you being grateful for it is just a given. At first, sure, you would think it was an honest mistake or this was just one isolated busybody. You would assume the best and let it go. But it kept happening. After awhile, you would start to get annoyed. You would start to just find it rude, but you would politely put up with it anyway because you don't want to seem bitchy. After all, clearly they all mean well. And then at some point you would stop politely putting up with it and snap, "I CAN SPELL MY OWN NAME, THANK YOU." And then if it still didn't stop (after all, why would yelling at one person suddenly make everyone change?), if for years this continued, it would be beyond really frustrating. Maybe even depressing, that so many people thought you incapable of spelling your own name. Maybe it would start to affect your self-esteem. Maybe you would go back to not saying anything -- not because it didn't bother you but because it had ground you down and picking a fight over it for the thousandth time seemed like a pointless waste of energy.

And what if you actually did have some slight trouble spelling your name? What if you could do it, but it took you a second to think about it and arrange the letters properly? What if nobody ever gave you a chance? What if they noticed your pause, even if it was just for a second or two, and jumped in to spell your own name for you? EVERY TIME? And smiled at you like they were so sure they'd done good and you should be grateful to them? I think I would hate having my trouble rubbed in my face that way every time. I think I would not see the intercessions on my behalf as a helpful thing, because it's not as if the me in this scenario couldn't do it herself. It's just that everyone assumed she was stupid. And I think that would seriously start to affect me.

And now imagine if it wasn't just that one thing. Imagine if the problem had many facets, many situations where that could happen, all kinds of variations on the theme. But none of them happened any less often. They ALL happened ALL the time, and it wasn't just strangers. It was your friends, your family, your lovers. Your coworkers. Your boss. It affected how well people thought you could do your job. It affected your livelihood, and it also affected your ability to fight for that livelihood. And on and on like that.

So think about that before you rush in, assuming you know what's best. If someone is genuinely in distress and nobody helps, that's a terrible thing, but it doesn't have to be either/or, black/white, act like a hero or be a villain. Learn to wait a second and see what happens. Learn to ask. Understand that there is a difference between someone in a wheelchair figuring out how to manage his or her groceries and someone choking to death in a restaurant. Sometimes being kind is saving the day, and sometimes being kind is realizing it's not your day to save.

So yeah. We are not babies. We are not helpless. We are not stupid. We just have a thing that makes life different, sometimes harder, but we are still humans like you.

And this one is especially important for the families, friends, and caregivers of someone with disabilities: If we are over the age of eighteen, then we are also adults. We want to be treated like adults who have a thing, not overgrown children who need to be managed. If you are a person who regularly helps out someone who is disabled in ways that need helping, that is very awesome of you, but do not for one second think that this is All About You. Do not for one second think that you are somehow parenting us, that you get to make All The Decisions for us and speak for us just because you're the one helping, or that you have the right to put all your stuff ahead of ours because you are doing us a favour. (Like, you know, if you offer to drive me to or from somewhere, please don't leave me stranded in your car while you also run two hours of errands. If I needed the ride, it's because I was already in pain or low on energy, etc, and the net result of your actions is that I am worse off after your help than I would have been without it. Seriously, that can wreck me enough to make me miss work on subsequent days. I completely understand that you are doing me a favour, but favours that make people miserable are not actually good. I could have found someone else if it was going to be a problem for you!)

If you wouldn't do it to a healthy adult, don't do it to us. If you cannot do it respectfully, get out. Learn to ask. Learn to negotiate, like with anyone else. You need to plan together, in as much as you're both able, like your priorities are both important, because to do anything less is to assume that we are not really as real as you, that we don't matter as much, that we are burdens or accessories or projects, not people just as valid and feeling as you. The fact that you are healthy enough to do more than I can and help me out does not diminish me as a person. It does not make you better or more important and it does not turn off my brain or how I feel.

Even if I was "helpless", even if I was incapable of feeding myself or wiping my own ass, I'd still be a person, and I'd want to be spoken to and listened to and considered as one, just like you would if I was your perfectly abled neighbour. Even if my level of mental competence was lower than the norm, I'd want to be treated like it's where it's at, at 80% or 50% or wherever, but like my feelings and personhood were at 100%. Not like it's all at zero. Because I'm still a real human being inside this body.

To conclude: You don't like being patronized, probably. Neither do we.

(Blogging Against Disablism Day 2012 roundup.)
moiread: (dude • stock.)
(Disclaimer: If you are reading this, you are not the person with whom I am angry, and I do not expect any of you to ever be this much of an asshole, but I am going to say it anyway because I need to get this off my chest.)

Look. I understand that you have opinions about women's sexuality that are coming from your interpretation of your particular religion. I respect your right to your religion. I do. I may have all kinds of other feelings about your particular choice of religion, or about religions in general, but I respect your right to have one and to live your religion as you see fit within the limits of the law and basic human rights.

But when the group is discussing the legitimate treatment of ovarian cysts through the use of the hormones available in oral contraceptive pills, you do not get to tell me that you "have a different opinion" because you're Catholic.

You have a different opinion on what? OVARIAN CYSTS? Did I miss the part where you obtained a medical degree in the last thirty minutes and now you want to contest the diagnosis? Are you advocating for prayer in lieu of treatment? Do you think cysts are some kind of divine punishment and therefore should be left alone? Seriously, what? What part of the treatment of ovarian cysts do you have a different opinion ondue to your religion? Because from here it just looks like you opened your mouth without thinking first and let a little steaming turd drop out.

We were not discussing sex. We were not discussing religion. We were not discussing you. We were discussing medical treatments for medical conditions using available medications. I understand that those other aspects are part of a similar, related discussion happening in many other places at the moment, but that is not what we were talking about. You have missed the point entirely.

And frankly, it offends me on a personal level that you would even have the gall to say it, considering the medical condition in question is something I have been fighting for the last thirteen years, something that has caused me a lot of pain and grief and hospital visits, that has left me with deep emotional scars that I have had to work on healing. Just because I have the good fortune to live in a country that isn't completely fucking batshit about medical care doesn't magically negate my strong connection to this particular topic.

Maybe you didn't know it was personal to me. I can see how that would be the case, as I rarely talk about my medical problems outside of LJ or Twitter. But I expected you to be smart enough to figure out that it's got to be personal to somebody, whether you know them to be within earshot or not, and I hoped you would be classy enough to treat the topic accordingly.

TL;DR version: My ovarian cysts have nothing to do with your fucking religious views. Shut the fuck up.
moiread: (exasperated • alicia w.)
Lately I've been reading a blog dedicated to the Health At Every Size philosophy and it's really cemented my position on weight loss. Which is to say that I think a lot of the rhetoric surrounding weight loss is bullshit.

First, almost all of the fad diets out there don't work. Most of them rely on dehydrating the body to dangerous levels and then pretending the corresponding weight loss was fat loss. The rest are either insane (urine injections, anyone?) or involve extreme surgery (stomach stapling!). And everything everywhere, including every doctor I've ever spoken to, screams, "WEIGHT LOSS WEIGHT LOSS WEIGHT LOSS OR ELSE YOU'RE PATHETIC!"

And I think that sucks. I think it's damaging and disgusting and, worst of all, completely untrue.

Fact: Metabolism is largely tied to genetics. Fact: 95% of dieting fails in the first five years, regardless of the method used. Fact: Body fat is obviously not a useful indicator of health, as there are plenty of skinny people who eat like shit and plenty of overweight people who work 10-hour shifts doing manual labour.

Health is about what you do, not what size you are.

Have I gotten on the weight loss bandwagon in the past? Yes. I was told by my doctors to lose weight, so I tried. At the time, I was depressed and living in a situation where healthy food was really difficult to manage, but I pushed hard and did it anyway. I started eating better and exercising more. I lost 60 lbs. Yay for me!

But then I plateaued. Even once I upped the ante to running around after three kids all day, hauling a 30lb baby around for hours at a stretch, walking the dog for 40mins at night, and eating like a bird (to the point where my sister actually joked on a regular basis that I never ate), I didn't lose that much more weight. I went down one pant size. And now that I'm not running around like a headless chicken and living off stress energy, I haven't gained much more back. I only gained back that one same dress size.

So I feel like I can say with some authority that whether my overweight state is caused by genetics or by my fucked up endocrine system, the weight I'm at right now is probably a realistic size for me to be under whatever circumstances are relevant. I made the lifestyle changes that got rid of my extra fat, and now the fat that's left is just me. Short of a miraculous breakthrough in my medical treatment -- which still may or may not alter my weight at all -- or getting so frustrated with my shitty energy levels that I start taking speed recreationally and decide to run marathons for fun, this is probably the weight I'm going to stay at.

So why the hell are my doctors continuing to push weight loss like that will solve all my problems? They tell me, "Oh, your PCOS will get so much better if you could just lose a little weight!" But I lost 60 lbs and it made no difference. "Well, if you just lose a little more, surely then it will get so much better!"

Nuh-uh. I'm not buying it.

I'm also not buying the argument that I need to lose more weight and exercise more to feel better. Because I tried that, and all I felt was weary beyond belief. And when I pushed anyway, like all those you're-just-being-lazy comments I hear tell me to, all THAT did was leave me crying in bed for 48 hours as every fibre of my body screamed at me for being so stupid. So if, when I say that I need help to feel better so that I can do more, the response is that I have to do more to feel better or else I must not want it bad enough? That shit can go fuck itself right in the ear.

So I have a new policy! Well. It's not really new. It's been my policy for about a year now, but I have only started being really vocal about it over the last six months or so. My new policy is that my body is my body and it is doing the best it can. My weight is no longer an indicator of my health, and unless I suddenly start putting that 60 lbs back on despite no dramatic change in my diet or exercise levels, going back to the assumption that it is an indicator of my health is stupid.

I am not a "fatty pride!" apologist; I refuse to judge anyone else's situation. It's none of my fucking business. What I am is sick of the lies and being pressured to try "solutions" that have no factual basis.

So stop cramming weight loss down my throat, world, because I refuse. I want less bullshit, less shaming, and more actual treatments. And until those happen, I'll be spending my energy on learning to love myself a little more instead. And my doctors can either help me or get out of my way.
moiread: (are you serious? • kate m.)
They have no options for people with metal allergies except sterling silver. Sterling silver may or may not be okay for me to wear every day. I've never tried. I've only worn sterling silver on my skin for a few hours at a time. But I have tried sterling silver (everything up to and including surgical steel, in fact) in my ear piercings and it's not enough. I need titanium or niobium. So because the chances are good that I'll discover I have issues with it, I am really reluctant to go with that option. Besides, most of their jewellery looks like crap anyway. The one option I like is a rubber bracelet with the MedicAlert tag as a charm, but that costs $90, which I can't afford right now even if I knew sterling silver would be okay.

Unfortunately, I MUST buy a piece of jewellery in order to sign up for their service.

Solution: Buy their cheapest piece of jewellery just to get the Member ID number and access to their services. I can find somebody who'll make me a MedicAlert tag out of titanium or niobium, which are both completely hypoallergenic and thus are safe for me. I just need a goddamn member ID so we can put it on the bracelet.

The cheapest piece of (ugly) jewellery on their site is $40. The cheapest service plan (put medical information in their database, no other frills like calling your emergency contact when it's accessed or whatever) for the smallest unit of time available (1 year) is $40. After taxes and shipping, that's $90.

I can get a titanium charm on a rubber band for $40 from another website. Yay! $50 less than from MedicAlert itself, and in a safe metal! That gives me the piece of jewellery I can/will actually wear! Except this other site only does engraving in portrait, not landscape, so their character requirements are eight characters per line, which means I can't actually fit the name of the most important diagnosis (as far as emergency information is concerned) on it. If I cut it in the middle and put the other half of the name on the next line, that doesn't leave room for the name of the drug they'd need to treat me with immediately if I was bleeding out and/or in need of major surgery. So I'd have to buy the bracelet un-engraved and then go take it to an engraving place and get it done there.

So... total cost for the cheapest possible good solution: $40 + $90 + $40 + whatever it costs to get the engraving done. Let's assume that the engraving will come to, like, $30. That's an even $200.

I can't afford that.

Awesome.

Maybe I can just get it carved into my forehead instead.

(This whole "I am sick, therefore I can't make as much money as a healthy person, therefore I can't afford the things I need to deal with being sick" cycle is fucking absurd.)

EDIT: Okay. After thinking it over some, I've decide to do this in two steps. First step is to get a cheapie titanium thing with just the bleeding disorder on it (since that's most essential to saving my life in the event of body carnage and/or major emergency surgery). It won't be official MedicAlert, and it won't have a Member ID number on it, and I won't have any service plan or information in their database or any of that. But it'll do while I save up for the next few months until I can afford the full $200 plan as listed above. (Usually I'd just say I'll do it in a paycheque or two, but the school year is ending in a month and there's going to be a period after my last paychqeue where ODSP is still catching up on deductions for work earnings but I don't have any new earnings coming in to offset. I need to set aside cash right now to cover that gap, otherwise I won't be able to make rent, let alone buy things. So saving up $200 in spare money will actually be slow.) But that's at least a solution that works!
moiread: (BONES • team awesome!)
I'm done with Bones. I am just too fed up with the constant condescension.

1) We keep having episodes wherein Booth insists that his ways (religious, monogamous, straight, privileged white North American male, hopeless romantic, sentimental, superstitious, believer in spirits, etc) are the only valid ways and, though Bones very rightly protests these things (not always as being completely wrong/irrational/unrealistic, but often just as "that is not how it works for all people, and I have evidence") in the beginning, by the end of the episode the plot has bullied her into admitting that Booth was right. It doesn't matter that Bones has evidence, thanks to her three doctorate degrees and years spent traveling the world to study how Different People Do Things Differently, or that she is almost always being more universally fair and non-judgy. Booth is right because he has interpersonal skills and Bones doesn't! Obviously! And the more that Bones gives in to this, the more it's lauded by everyone -- other characters, the show's writers, reviewers -- as character growth for Bones.

2) There is this whole other layer of patronizing bullshit wherein basically every character treats Bones like a child (especially Angela, oh my god! some of the vapid misogynist shit she says makes me want to punch her) and then either berates her for not being an adult or makes jokes about her personal ineptitude. Seriously. As a friend, you either help her and respect her or you shut the fuck up. What you are actually doing is abusive. And thank god the writers never did come out and state that Bones has Asperger's Syndrome, which they apparently wanted to do but didn't for fear of backlash. YA THINK?! If they had, the way everyone treats Bones and the way they are "fixing" her ("you're only like this because you're afraid of people; you just have to open up, stop hiding in your hyper-rational anthropological fantasy world, and come join everyone else in the real world!") would be exponentially even more awful. Talk about erasure.

3) Shit or get off the pot. I am not a starry-eyed twelve-year-old girl. I was not the sort of starry-eyed twelve-year-old girl you're apparently writing for even when I was twelve, and none of the other women I know who watch your show were that girl when they were twelve either, but even if we were, we aren't now. Tragic never-consummated love that gets dangled like a carrot? My patience for that shit is very low, and yet I sat through it for you. For SIX YEARS. And now, after SIX YEARS of will-they-won't-they-gasp-oh-my while the scripts rub it in our faces and focus on little else for entire seasons, I desperately desperately want it to go away. I have been wanting it to go away for years. Seriously, just fuck or get over it. If I wanted a soap opera, I'd go watch fucking Grey's Anatomy.

The show used to be fun. It really was. And then they effectively killed off a major character in the dumbest way possible, and after that it all just sort of began a slow downhill plumet to stupidity. At this point I feel like it's little more than a mouthpiece for Fox's family values, and I have to wonder who sold out to make it so.

Ugh.
moiread: (exasperated • alicia w.)
Dear Chapters.ca used book store affiliate:

When I buy a book from you because the awesome Emma Bull novel I want to give to a friend is out of print, I expect that the description you listed is fairly accurate. When I think I am buying a used paperback in good condition, I do not expect to receive a used hardcover library book with stamped stuff all over and card slips glued the inside and plastic sheeting glued to the fucking covers. If the book were just for me, I wouldn't give a shit, but this makes a crappy gift.

Fuck your store, fuck your descriptions, and fuck you for taking my money. Because if your description had been accurate, I would have bought something else.

I have a solution, of course, which involves my friend getting a copy of the book that is not this one, and all will be well, but Jesus H Wheedlemeier, I am pissed off.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go take apart a library book with a very sharp knife. Even if this copy will just be my new loaner copy, I'd like it to look somewhat presentable.
moiread: (down arrow • stock.)
When I was originally looking at juice substitutes for dealing with my diabetes, I looked at Vitaminwater but ultimately passed it by because at that time (I think maybe they've changed the labels as a result of being sued; see below) their bottles didn't provide nutritional information on them anywhere.

Well, Kevin ([livejournal.com profile] harald387) tried some Vitaminwater for the first time today and was surprised that it filled him up the same way pop had, so he was pretty pleased by this "healthy alternative". I remembered wanting actual nutritional info and all when I saw it in the grocery store, so I just went online and dug it up. Turns out you can't even get it from the Glaceau (the company that makes Vitaminwater) website. I had to go to a calorie counting reference site! And along the way, I found some news stories that confirmed what I was starting to get suspicious about:

Vitaminwater contains about the same amount of sugar as pop. It is just as bad for you as pop, and in fact the company is being sued for marketing it as a health alternative.

I know there are a few of you on my f-list who are really into Vitaminwater, and since the nutritional information is hard to find (deliberately so, I'd bet), I'm not sure if this is something you knew, so I thought I'd point it out.

EDIT: And hey, while we're at it, did you know that chocolate milk has drop per drop double the calories and double the sugar of Coca Cola? Even 2% milk has just under the same sugar and calorie content as soda pop. Because, y'know, milk is for babies who need an incredible amount of energy to grow. I mean, yah, it's also full of calcium, and that's good for you, but as an adult you're probably better off taking a calcium supplement and not drinking the milk. Thanks to the Dairy Board promoting it as super healthy for generations, though, most people don't know. Surprise!
moiread: (dude • stock.)
• Have you tried holistic options?
• Maybe you're just stressed!
• WOW. If I were you, I don't know what I would do. I might just kill myself.
• Have they found whatever's causing the problem?
• If you'd just sleep normal hours and exercise more, you'd feel better.
• Be grateful you're alive. God has a reason for everything!
• Talking to you is depressing. Couldn't you try a more positive attitude?
• It can't be that bad. You just focus on it too much! Try volunteering. Sometimes, if you focus more on other people...
• Well, I just assumed you couldn't do it.
• Well, I just assumed you could do it.
• Have you tried [insert homeopathic remedy here]? I read about it in a magazine!
• But you're on all these medications. How are you still broken? Aren't they supposed to fix it?
• You're overmedicated. It's the pharmaceutical industry fucking with your head!
• But you always seem so articulate and with it when we talk. It can't be that bad.
• But you look fine.
• I don't know why you complain so much. There are people way worse off than you.
• Wow. It must suck to be you.
• I wish I could sit around watching movies and just relaxing all day like you do.
• But you have so much potential, and it's all going to waste...
• I bet you can do more than you think you can! You just need more confidence!
• You're just not used to [exercise/responsibilities/getting things accomplished]. If you do it more, you'll adjust!
• I've told you this three times over the last month. Why can't you remember?
• I think sometimes you maybe exaggerate a little.
• You're always [cancelling plans/ducking out of conversations/hiding in your room]. It's like you're avoiding me!
• You should talk to your doctor about that.

I'm sure I can come up with more before the end of the day.

EDIT: HA. HA. HA. One of the other staff members JUST came in and asked me how I was doing today. I smiled, blithely said I was managing, and how is he? And he said, "Managing? Why?" "Well, I have some chronic health problems, and it's a rough day. But it'll be fine. How are you?" "But you'll be okay in a few days, right?" "Sure. So what can I do for you?" "No, no. Positive attitude! It WILL be okay in a few days!" ".............Do you need something? I was just on my way out." I wasn't on my way out before, but I am now!
moiread: (are you serious? • kate m.)
Dear McNeil Nutritionals,

Die in a fire.

By not putting such vital information as "one half-cup of SPLENDA® Brown Sugar Blend replaces a full cup of regular brown sugar" ON THE ACTUAL PACKAGE, you have just caused both of my banana bread loaves to explode and run batter all down the bottom of my parents' oven.

WHY WOULD YOU NOT PUT THAT ON THE PACKAGE? "For more ideas on how to substitute SPLENDA® into your favourite recipes, visit our website!" is not good enough. I should not have had to use the internet after the fact to find out something so basic.

Now out of bananas and too cranky to try again,
Me

PS: I'm going to have to scrub the whole oven now. You owe me a clean-up crew.
moiread: (are you serious? • kate m.)
Uuuugh, this. So very very this. And though my experiences with it are coming mostly from an RP background, it still appears to be very much the same animal.

Every time I hear someone I know talking about how they're being pestered by a character who won't shut up, who is bothering them all the time and keeping them awake at nights, it makes my skin crawl, because either they're way too into hyperbolic metaphor or they're schizophrenic. And every time I hear someone talk about how they just can't write because they don't have the muse today, or that they can't keep writing a particular thing anymore because the muse left, and they seem to really think that their ability to write is covered by such mysterious whims, I start scrambling away so fast I practically eat my own knees. I think it's crazy, I don't understand it, and above all else I believe with every fiber of my being that it is grossly in error.

Take responsibility for your work! Own it, both good and bad! There is a difference between A) non-real people you can't turn off and B) great ideas you desperately want to get down on paper before you sleep them away. There is a difference between 1) losing interest in an idea, or losing cohesion between ideas, and 2) being left behind by a spiritual essence. I know it's much easier to let down a friend who was hoping to write with you* by blaming it on "the muse" than to just say you've lost interest and would rather try some other, newer ideas, but grow a pair of balls already. Maybe if we were all a little more literal and honest about these things, the world of RP would be less of a shitbucket.

I think the worst part of it is the times when I get to talking to my RP friends and catch myself saying the same things. It's never what I really mean, but it's how everyone else around me is talking, and it's a seductive way of thinking about things, and... And then I realize what words just came out of my mouth and I want to outright slap myself. Because good lord, what the fuck?

* Don't even get me started on the entitlement inherent in this. And it's such a common attitude, too. I used to subscribe to it myself, and then I took a year off and got sane. Now it drives me up the wall. Don't hate me because I stopped writing my characters. Don't hate me because we cooked up ideas and then nothing came of them. I promise I will never, ever hate you for anything so ridiculous. So I spent a week cooking up a character and putting it down on paper! So what! I don't resent it! This is what I love to do. I am happy to do it. And if it's "wasted work", it was at least work that I went into with hope and enthusiasm, which is never truly a waste. And I can always use it somewhere else someday.

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