Saturday, September 6, 2014


One of the reasons I don't blog as much as I should - or as much as I'd like to - is that I feel this blog doesn't have an identity of its own. When I want to post about something, I think to myself "no, that's not in the direction of this blog." But then I realize that it has no direction. I can take it anywhere I want, and change the course at will. I am a passionate person about a great many things and perhaps lacking a cohesive focus won't help me build a solid base of followers, but not blogging at all because I'm afraid to cross boundaries certainly hasn't been helping, either.

I have many fields of interest and time may see all or none of them represented here. I'd assume topics I may feel the urge to explicate in length may involve photography, religion (both cross-culturally and in regard to my own faith), space and space exploration, my cat (who doesn't?), political issues I feel strongly about (from both ends of the spectrum), world events that I believe deserve notice, weight loss (or lack thereof), and mental health and suicide prevention. I don't tend to blog about work or my personal life very often, which begets a chasm between where this blog will likely go and the general Truman Show level most blogs endeavor to achieve. But here's the cool part about my personal worldview - that's fine! There's a niche for everyone on the fantabulous internet. I am not a mom, nor do I have a design to be one, but I can appreciate a good mommy blog because it gives me insight into a lifestyle I don't lead. I believe understanding and appreciation of differences is a huge step toward peace and equality and I make a point to seek out those different from me because it makes me a better person to appreciate others. So I don't fit in with them. I don't want to, and I don't have to.

I hereby, then, establish this blog's identity as an extension of myself - as random and unfocused as that may be.

And who am I, then? I'm a married woman in Orlando, Florida in my late 20s. I was born in Hawai'i and will always consider that home, even though I've lived in Florida for two and a half decades. I have a husband I love with my whole heart, even when it's not easy to do so. And sometimes I'm not easy to love, either. I have a degree from the University of Florida in Anthropology with a specialization in archaeology and a minor in religious studies. I am an animal lover. I have a cat named Loki and my world revolves around him. I have a camera, and this has changed everything. I have two part-time jobs I'm unlikely to talk much about - one I love, and one that makes money. I love rockets and the expansion of mankind from this rock onward to the stars. I love my Catholic faith and it's made all the difference in every aspect of my life. I struggle sometimes with anxiety, and it's not always pretty, but I believe being open about this (everyone! everywhere!) is the only way to change the world. I love science-fiction and fantasy because it's not bound my reality. I'm a gamer on occasion, a writer on occasion, a cross-stitcher on occasion. I love playing card and board games and wish it wasn't so dated. I love to swim and water makes me happier than anything else in the world, except maybe staring at the stars in the night sky. I'm afraid of fireworks and dragonflies. I take everything too personally and care too deeply about things I can't change. But when I care about something, my passion knows no bounds. I seek to be a better person every day than I was the day before. My past has made me who I am, and even the terrible parts helped me grow. I'm not ashamed of it because without any part of it, I'd be less of a person than I am today - good and bad. But all those parts are me, and I'd be forsaking my own identity to disown any of them.

I don't make sense and I'm a little eccentric at times. I love glitter and stuffed animals and decorating desserts with sprinkles. My picture is probably next to "random" in the dictionary. Following me anywhere is probably a whirlwind attack on your sensibilities. I can't promise it will be worth it, but I can promise it will be honest and true and that I will always seek the entertain and sometimes maybe even say something worthwhile, too.

I remember when I was in elementary school, we had an author come to talk to us and his advice was "write what you know." And this what I know - who I am, and how I feel. So that's what I'll write.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Good Bye

My grandfather passed away on June 1. I probably have a lot more to say about that, but not right here - at least, not right now. What I DO want to share, however, is the memorial poem I wrote for him. I'm not making any great strides in literary history, but that's not what I was going for. I was trying to sum up 90 years of life in a few stanzas that I wrote in between yelling matches with my computer and some sobbing. So it's not great. But it's exactly what I needed it to be.

My favorite hero isn't from
A distant world so far away
Just an island in the sea
And a ranch with horses, cows, and hay

Among his many super powers:
Unyielding faith in God Himself
A gift for humor, wit to match,
Love of family above all else

In his eyes, a gleam of mischief
On his lips, a joke or song
On his face, a stalwart smile
By his side, a cat or dog

Each day a daring feat was carried out
Each deed contributing to his story
From picking mangoes and running cranes
To singing songs of morning glory

From him I learned to truly love,
To care for someone with all your might
Forsaking all for those in need
And fighting on through dark of night

But now my hero's flown away
And left us here to fill his place
Each day I feel his loss and grieve
And pray for healing through God's grace

So I fall back on how he lived
And make my way through all the rubble
With love in my heart and faith in my God
And sometimes just a bit of trouble

Though he's gone, I look to him
To guide me in my life down here
I live as he taught me to;
A piece of him is ever near

Good bye, Papa.

Sunday, May 25, 2014


In the wake of this week's Santa Barbara shooting, there's been a hashtag going around Twitter: #YesAllWomen

It seems the shooter was anti-woman due to lifelong rejection and this predicament garnered small amounts of sympathy across the internet with complete disregard to the fact that the women who were killed are the actual victims in this case.  It seems his vendetta didn't stop there and he had an entire manifesto of people and types of people who deserved to die. Admittedly, I have only read the cliff notes and news blurbs about the actual tragedy, but I did take a good, long look at the #YesAllWomen hashtag.  I even contributed my own tweet:

But I feel like I couldn't contain the entire sentiment, and why it struck me so harshly, in 140 characters and have it hold its own amid the tweets of domestic violence, assault, and severe discrimination.

Was I ultimately harmed? No.  Was I able to make my purchase?  Yes.  Was there any tangible end result to my story?  No.  But I walked into a hobby store and into the camera department to purchase something.  The antique fossil of a gentleman working there kindly informed me the device I wished to purchase wouldn't work.  When I pressed him farther, he said it would only work with the camera set to Manual, and, knowing nothing about me other than what he could see, assured me I couldn't use a camera like that.  Even when I insisted I could, he took the device away and said he was doing me a favor.  I insisted, and left with the device.  Many might say "no harm, no foul."  But I was humiliated, and I felt helpless and belittled, standing there, begging for the right to purchase something.

This is a significant indication of a pervasive culture belief that it's okay to deny women something "for their own good" and an enforcement of the belief girls just don't "do" certain things - in this instance, photography.  If you tell any number of truly tragic stories of violence against women or sexual assault, 99% of listeners will reply with horror and sympathy - and rightly so!  But when I tell this story, I'm usually told to get over it, or that it was no big deal.  But what scares me about it is the fact this sort of discrimination is so nonchalantly accepted as insignificant when, in reality, it comes from the same root problem - and underlying, persistent belief that women are inferior and less capable.  And best, this means Mighty Men must save poor, helpless women from themselves.  At worst, this means women are commodities for Mighty Men to use as they see fit, for pleasure or punishment, with no regard to their bodily autonomy or human rights.

While embarrassing me in a hobby store isn't going to impact my future in any meaningful way, that way of thinking, that habit of marginalizing someone and treating them as inferior based solely on their gender presentation, is a dangerous line of thinking which begets instances of violence, assault, and segregation.  There is outcry against the end result, but condonation for the mindset that allows these egregious human rights violations to continue to exist.

You can't put out a fire by blowing out the flames while the embers continue to smolder. The point or origin must be addressed, and it lies right there, in a hobby shop, at the camera counter.  In the office with no female managers.  In the White House.  On the football field.  Everywhere women are discounted based solely on one fact, with no regard to their total personage.  And the blind eye society turns is just fanning the flames.