Month: May 2016

News and Updates

Hey guys! I just wanted to give you a quick update as Memorial Day is coming to a close. I hope you had a great day! I am happy to inform you I am pretty much healed from my illness of the last 2 weeks. It was brutal but I’m so grateful for all the support I had. If there’s one thing a tough experience can teach you it is it shows you all the love you have in your life. Thank you for all your love, support and prayers.

I have some fun news to share with you! The first exciting news has to do with the church congregation I go to. I have done my fair share of complaining on this blog about my family wards and how out of place I feel. Unfortunately it was my only option because I was too old for the YSA singles ward and the midsingles ward was 30 minute drive and that wasn’t going to happen. Well, I am so excited to announce that we are getting a midsingles ward in Draper!!!!  They announced it last week and I couldn’t be more thrilled.  It is going to start up right away with a fireside to be held on Sunday and the first meeting on June 12th!

This does have its downside because the ward will be massive- containing singles 31-45 from 28 stakes in the Sandy and Draper area. I am sure I will feel somewhat lost but as I already feel that way in the family ward at least there is some potential to make friends/date. Currently my life has little opportunities to meet new people so I am most excited for activities/Family Home Evening and other gathering times in the new ward. It should help my social circle at least a little bit (hey even if I meet one additional person that is a plus!)

midsingles

The other drawback is I will lose my home teachers, The Porters, who I love very much. Hopefully we can still stay in touch because they are only 2 houses down from me but I will miss their visits. They are the coolest people I know and so warm and accepting of me with all my flaws. I could talk to them for hours and have on a more than a few occasions.

Other than that I am excited to at least try something new. Hooray!

The other exciting news is I had to get my passport because I am going to Spain for the beginning of July!  I will be visiting my sister Anna in Valencia, Spain. I was determined to go to the beach this summer and she was there so I figured why not take advantage of it? I don’t know much about the area but am doing research. It looks like a neat place with beautiful water, which is most important to me.

valenciaI have been to Europe since I was in high school and haven’t been anywhere aside from a Mexican cruise since 2005! I am very excited.

I also don’t think I will be swimming the GSL race this year. It was a very hard decision for me but this recent illness finally sealed the deal. I just don’t think I will be strong enough Saturday to take that on. It’s so hard on my body with the salty water that it just doesn’t make sense. (It pains me to write that and a side of me still wants to do it. Darn it all!).

Anyway, that’s my news. I hope you are all doing well.  Let me know what you think!

Talking Finding Wild

My sister joined me today to talk about her first book, Finding Wild. I think any of you who are interested in writing or literature will find it interesting. And even if you just need motivation for your dream project give this a listen.

Nerd Misogyny and Intolerance

In an age where comic books are all over movies and television and geeky scientists are celebrated in the number one comedy in America, you can make a compelling argument that we are now in the Age of the Nerd. Back in the old days when I was in high school the nerds were semi-integrated into the various social circles but mostly they hung out together in the computer club or AV group. Now they get a starring show at the popular kids table and I have recently been pondering the result of that paradigm shift. The sad part is how little has really changed…

big bang theory2In some ways this nerd-revolution has been a great thing allowing more people to feel accepted and included and different tastes to flourish instead of just traditionally cool stuff like sports and rock music. However, in some ways, at least in my observation, things aren’t really that different. We’ve just expanded the pool of people participating in the bad behavior. Yes my friends, misogyny, marginalization, bigotry, bullying and even hate are now not just the realm of the jock and popular kids. No, we see it in all people, even the nerds.

First, what traditionally made up a nerd? Well, it was the smartest kids in class who were often socially awkward or uncomfortable around their peers. Some of these people suffered from Aspergers or other autism spectrum challenges. We saw them portrayed in movies and on TV. Popular figures were Screech on Saved by the Bell, Urkel on Family Matters and Anthony Michael Hall in Breakfast Club.

We even had Revenge of the Nerds in 1984.

revenge of the nerdsIn Revenge of the Nerds the characters give a rousing speech to the student body about sticking up for nerds!

Lewis: Hi, Gilbert. I’m a nerd too. I just found that out tonight. We have news for the beautiful people. There’s a lot more of us than there are of you. I know there’s alumni here tonight. When you went to Adams you might’ve been called a spazz, or a dork, or a geek. Any of you that have ever felt stepped on, left out, picked on, put down, whether you think you’re a nerd or not, why don’t you just come down here and join us. Okay? Come on.

Gibert: Just join us cos uh, no-one’s gonna really be free until nerd persecution ends.

Unfortunately some of the nerds have let me down. It’s so surprising to see some of the behavior on the part of supposed nerds once they finally have a little bit of social power.

broniesFor example, there’s an entire group of men who like the latest incarnation of My Little Ponies (a delightful show TBH).  These are called Bronies. Now I’m not going to say the fascination with a child’s television show isn’t unusual.  It is but so is a fixation on Batman, Spider-man and Thor, the Norse God, if you ask me.

As an observer, I’ve been amazed at the vitriol showed against bronies by nerds who I would think would be more accepting.  Is it because it is a female oriented show that causes the revulsion?  You don’t see the same outcry against men who like more traditionally masculine oriented franchises like Star Wars or Marvel? Shouldn’t they be standing up for people liking whatever weird stuff they want to like?

You can find the same example of the treatment of the furries. I guess it is ok to like dressing up as comic book heroes but animals? Now that’s madness.

Such hostile nerd culture can also be seen in the scores of discussion boards and comment threads.  I’m constantly amazed at the inability of some nerds/fans to accept a wide variety of opinions. Again, you would think given the ‘nerd persecution’ of the past they would be accepting of different opinions. Not so much…Just look at the recent Batman v Superman drama. Certain people are unable to deal with someone liking or disliking the film and they go nuts.

Movie critic Chris Stuckman made the mistake of putting out a fan fiction rewrite of Batman v Superman and fans freaked out to the point of harassing his parents in Ohio and telling him to kill himself.  It’s just unbelievable to me.

What’s alarming amongst nerd culture is how resistant they have been towards women. Again, you’d expect them to be more accepting of minorities but repeatedly I have seen resistance to any inclusion of women in their favorite properties.

Even someone like Furiosa in Mad Max Fury Road was seen as ‘women infiltrating their feminist agendas into our movies’. Feminism is usually blamed and if the character existed to promote girl power or feminist theory I’d see their point. However, Furiosa does nothing in the film that a man wouldn’t do. You could cast a man to play Furiosa and it would be exactly the same. So, what’s the problem?

The fact is that maybe the nerds weren’t that different from the jocks all along? We have seen this played out in full colors with the recent reboot of Ghostbusters. Now my feelings on the marketing and film itself are beside the point. The amount of vitriol director Paul Feig received after his casting all women was so extreme he finally came out and said this:

“The ‘a–holes’ of which I speak are the ones who live online, who write those hateful tweets and posts and comments. I’m not talking about the people who have true concerns and worries about the rebooting of a franchise they love, nor am I talking about people who have watched the trailer for our movie and didn’t like it. Those are all valid opinions and I respect them all. I am talking about those that write misogyny and hate and threats. Those are the ‘a–holes’ of which I spoke…Every community has bullies who make up a very small minority of the community as a whole. Bullies scream the loudest and seem to get the most attention. But they are simply bullies who in no way represent the vast majority of wonderful, thoughtful people who make up our geek community”

I think he is right and sometimes it is more subtle ignorance and misogyny than death threats. Like take a look at this quote I saw on a comment thread about the new Ghostbusters Movie (again the movie could suck. It’s beside the point).

ghostbusters quoteIf this was 20 years ago I would have expected such a quote from a misogynistic jock but evidently nerds can behave the same way and have the same ridiculous ideas of gender roles. Heaven forbid girls participate in such ‘inauthentic behavior’ as driving a hearse and living in a used fire house. But I think this quote is more telling because it’s not just the movie he disagrees with but that ‘guys are more prone to nerd behavior’. Isn’t that nice ladies? You must fit this thin cutlet of appropriate behaviors or we are outraged and it is ‘beyond ludicrous’.

So I propose a change to Lewis’ speech from above:

“Hi, Gilbert. I’m a person too. I just found that out tonight. We have news for the beautiful people and the nerds. There’s a lot more of us than there are of you…When you went online you might’ve been called horrible names or told your taste and ideas are stupid. Any of you that have ever felt stepped on, left out, picked on, put down, whether you think you’re a valuable person or not, why don’t you join us.”

Paul Feig echoed this sentiment “The geek world has been a haven for so many of us and we should all refuse to let these bullies hijack the conversations and debates we all love to engage in, nor should we let them represent our community and culture to the rest of the world. The bullies are not the norm and I would dare say they are not even true geeks. They are the micro minority. God bless the true geeks of the world and here’s to taking our community back from the bullies”

There are enough bullies in the world without the nerds joining in! Let’s do better!

Friday 5: Songs with Names in the Title

I had a lot of fun with Friday 5 this week.  The topic was ‘Songs with Names in the Title’ and it turned out very eclectic. I would wager to say these 5 songs have never been combined together before this!

  1. Sherry- Frankie Valli and the 4 Seasons. Classic song from the 60s. This is the first song with a name I thought of.
  2. Jolene- Dolly Parton. One of Dolly’s best songs about hoping a woman won’t take her man just because she can.
  3. Jeremy- Pearl Jam. This song is a little outside of my normal wheelhouse but it is really moving when you listen to the lyrics. It is based on a story Eddie Vedder heard about a high school student named Jeremy who shot himself in front of his English class. Very tragic of course but it describes the feelings of those bullied and when they get to that awful place in a very haunting way.
  4. Maria- Sound of Music. Talk about a change in 2 songs! There are actually a bunch of songs with Maria in the name. I guess with Virgin Mary making it such a multicultural name explains that. This is of course from Sound of Music with the nuns singing about their frustrations with the headstrong Maria.
  5. Barbara Ann- Beach Boys. Written in 1965, Barbara Ann is one of the most bopping tunes the boys ever wrote. It brings a smile to my face.

So a lot of different emotions and 5 great songs.

What are some of your favorite songs with names in the title? If you like my video please give it a thumbs up and subscribe.  Also, if you have a blog or channel participate in the Friday 5. We have some great topics coming up you won’t want to miss out on.

http://thefridayfivemusic.tumblr.com/

Rescued

rescued1This week I was rescued.

I know some of you follow me on social media so you know I have been and am extremely sick. Particularly Sunday through Tuesday I was some of the sickest I’ve ever been in my adult life. I couldn’t breathe fully, was coughing non-stop, very congested (went through a box and half of tissues in that time), wheezy breathing, body aches and lots of awfulness.

You might not know because I am so public and bold but I actually lead a fairly lonely life. Most of that is my choice.  I work alone and I am unmarried. Most of my good friends have moved away from me and so I rely on book clubs and other monthly events for socializing and real-world contact. The Summer is better because I meet friends for swims quite a bit. Anyway, my family doesn’t live by me either except for some cousins and my Grandma.  My parents are moving here which will be nice and my brother was going to school for Fall/Winter but for the most part I am alone.

Normally I am fine being alone but when I get sick it is tough. It is especially so when I am this sick. It was painful to breathe let alone cook, clean, drive or do anything else. So I was pretty miserable (as my twitter followers can attest to!).

Finally Tuesday morning I had slept about 2 hours in 3 days and I hit my low. I called my Mom and sobbed but it was the weird halting coughing sob where she couldn’t understand a thing I said.  I told her I wished I could fly her out to take care of me. For once in my life I needed help. I couldn’t do it alone any more. I was just kind of venting but I really was at a genuine low place.

However, I’m a pretty independent person so I think she knew it was pretty bad. To my shock a few hours later she texted me ‘I got a plane ticket. I will be there 7:30 tonight”. I couldn’t believe it! She was coming to rescue me. She wouldn’t normally be able to do such a thing (she still has a child at home and is in the middle of a move and is Relief Society President at church) but it just happened where it could work out.

I’ll never forget this thing she has done. I can promise you that. When I’m old and feeble and she’s long gone I will talk about the time my Mother flew across 4 states at a moments notice to rescue me.

My friend who does not have a relationship with her mother (a very toxic woman she’s better off not having in her life) made a very powerful comment:

“This post makes me happy. I’m glad you have a parent who will come help you. I’m so glad you don’t take that for granted. While I hate that you aren’t well, I am glad you got to feel the love of a parent in action.”

It really is true.  I am not someone who has a ton of love in my life. I do not have a great partner or spouse. I have never really been romantically in love. And I have no children to understand that love. I understand friendship and treasure those relationships but it feels good to know I’m a girl who is loved by her Mother. Loved enough to come and rescue me.

It made a big difference too.  I went and saw the doctors in the morning, which I wouldn’t have done because I went to urgent care on Sunday.  They did blood-work and an x-ray because they were concerned about the wheezing. He gave me a steroid that has helped a lot with the coughing and a new antibiotic. The difference between today and Tuesday is huge.

Sure the medical care is nice but I think the love helped too.

I’ll keep you guys posted on how my recovery is going. Hopefully I don’t have pnemonia or something like that.  I am also soooo thankful to my boss for being wonderful through all this. I am incredibly blessed woman.

I hope you all feel loved and when you are in need of rescue someone is there.  Sure love ya!

Friday 5: Songs About Moms

This week on the Friday 5 we are celebrating Moms. I think this proved out to be a really fun week and I have some good variety. Here are my 5 picks:

  1. Mama Says from Footloose: The Musical- A really fun little song about listening to your Mom!
  2. Mother and Child Reunion from Paul Simon- I love Paul Simon’s song writing and it is on display here. It’s a mother and child reunion and the power of that relationship.
  3. Just a Housewife from Marilyn Mathis, Not Just a Housewife- I wanted to have one song defending the life of a homemaker.  This song does a great job with that and I wish I could have included the entire song.
  4. Your Mother from Kathryn Beaumont and Peter Pan- Kathryn is one of the best vocalists in Disney history and even though I’m not the biggest Peter Pan fan she sings this song beautifully.
  5. Mama Says from The Shirelles- A classic Motown song about listening to your Mom on the bad days!

What are your favorite songs about Moms? If you have a blog or youtube channel join in with us in the Friday 5  It’s a lot of fun and we have some neat topics coming up.  To participate get the topics on the tumbler page. http://thefridayfivemusic.tumblr.com/

8 Year Anniversary

8 yearsI just wanted to share with you guys that today marks my 8 year anniversary as a blogger! I can hardly believe it has been so long and yet in many ways it seems like I have always done it.  I think back to that girl who started the blog. I was unemployed and rebuilding my confidence after a rough 3 years. I thought it might give me something to do and could be fun.

I had never thought of myself as much a writer but it turned out people responded to my essays. Sometimes they even responded more than I bargained for like when I dared say The Godfather is a little overrated…(I’ve come around on that one even though it still not a favorite of mine).  But for the most part people have been incredibly supportive and kind. I know I’m not the greatest writer in the world but I feel like you guys have understood my heart through  my words. You have no idea how rewarding that is.

In the last few years I have split my focus between the movie blog, youtube channel and this blog, which has proven difficult. But I will always have a special place in my heart for this blog and I plan on keeping it as active as I can for as long as I can.

Thank you for all the support and to the next 8 years!