Thursday, July 14, 2011

Banksters Ain't Gettin My Fuckin Money

So today I went and opened up checking and savings accounts at a local credit union. I've managed to live bank free for all but 2 of the last 10 years. (Honestly when you look at the rates of cashing checks at check cashing places and grocery stores vs. overdraft fees, I am way better off without a bank account).

But new job only does direct deposit. So off to open an account I went. And I managed to find a poverty-friendly (but not poverty exploitative) tiny (like 12 people work for the entire credit union) with a serious non-profit commitment to expanding credit access to the community. Win, right?

And in Washington state you can join ANY credit union as long as you are a resident of the state. Sweet.

Also, the checking is free with only 10 bucks to open it ($5 for savings). The other places I was looking (Boeing Employees Credit Union, for example) required $100. Which I don't have. Actually I almost never have $100 that I can spare for a few days to a week. Ever.

But I still feel a little dirty having a checking account at all. Perhaps it will wear off when I get a real, live paycheck!

That wasn't very nice, or how we socialize little girls

There is a gaggle of children and parents out on the shared terrace that my living room is just off of. It's a lot of kid's playing noise (not annoying) and squeeing parent noise (annoying). But fine, that's the price of being urban.

One little girl gets her toy stolen and gets hit by another little girl. She gets upset and says "you're mean! I don't wanna be your friend anymore". (A perfectly rational reaction, in my opinion. She didn't hit back. She used her words.) The girl then gets dragged off by her mother and the mother starts telling her that even though it was wrong for the other girl to take her toy and hit her, it wasn't okay for her to call her mean and not want to be her friend.

What? Why the fuckity fuck is it not okay, "not nice" for her to tell the other kid she didn't want anything more to do with her after she acted like a toy-thieving bully?

This is one of those thousands of little moments where, from the time we are tiny, we are told that it is more important to be "nice" than it is to be safe.

And yeah, it's just a playground kerfluffle. But the kid did exactly what we want kids to do if a grown-up touches them in a not-nice way. What kind of mixed fucking message is it when we force them to play with someone who has hurt them?

So kid, upon hearing her mother tell her that she needed to go apologize to the kid who hit her because she said some "not very nice things" starts screaming and making gagging noises "mommy I wanna go home, mommy I don't feel well, mommy please".

Oh for fucks sake. Ugh. The rage. It burns.

The Creepiness Factor

So I've been reading a bit more about the Dawkins shit while thinking about why Dude A (marriage proposal guy) and Dude B (serenade guy) didn't register a creepy factor, but Skepchick's elevator dude did.

Dude A, as I am walking past him, smiles and says "You wanna get married? You looking for a husband?". I giggled and said "No" and continued on my way. He didn't block my path (it's happened). He didn't look me up and down(happened more times than I can count). He didn't get mad when I turned him down (again, more times than I can count). He didn't chase after me screaming "fucking bitch" (no, really, that happened). He didn't keep bothering me to get me to change my mind (ladies, we all know those guys). He just smiled and walked off in the opposite direction from me.

With Dude B, I actually started the conversation. He was asking the guy on the bench next to me for a light and I said "I've got one" (sue me, I've had a minor, ok not so minor, setback in the quitting smoking war. I go back to ~mostly~ not smoking tomorrow. Thank the Boyfriend for buying me nicotine gum). I gave him my lighter, and then he started to sing to me. We chatted for a few minutes. He introduced himself. But other than the lighter he never asked me for any information that would make me uncomfortable. And I take it from his excellent singing voice that it is something he does often, not just to women who loan him a lighter.

Both of these guys respected my autonomy. The first took a no for an answer and didn't look at me like I was a piece of meat in a super market. The second waited till I talked to him.

The guy in the elevator explicitly IGNORED Skepchick's autonomy several times. He pretended like "oh, she didn't mean me" when she was talking about misogyny and sexism in the atheist community and how uncomfortable it makes her when guys sexualize her when she's just trying to talk about skepticism. He ignored her when she left the bar saying "I'm tired and I'm going to bed". That's twice. How many chances should he be given? Cause personally, you get exactly one chance with me. You ignore my autonomy once and there is NO earning my trust back. Once.

That's the difference between creepy and non-creepy. Is the dude putting you in a position where you can't walk away? Is he ignoring what you say and pushing what he wants? Is he demanding something from you, like that you smile when you're just trying to walk to the bus stop or that you give him attention when you don't have/don't want to? Then he's a creep. Full stop.

ETA- Cute story. Boyfriend, after our first lunch date, didn't want to put me on the spot by asking for a second date in person, right there. So he texted me after I left to ask. That was super fucking classy. He gets mad props for it.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

It's like the first day of school

So first day of new job out of the way. It was only a half day, but I didn't sleep well last night so I feel like I worked 100 hours.

I was feeling a little bit of imposter syndrome, that feeling like "OMG, I don't deserve this. It's too easy. I got the job too easy! What if they find out I am just a big turd!" Then I got there this morning and filled out 8000 pages of stuff and started training and felt much better. I'm now at the "I got this. I can do this" phase.


Also, when I first moved to Seattle a thousand years ago, I worked in Pioneer Square. I think it's the oldest neighborhood in the city. I loved it. It's beautiful, to begin with. But I also like being around all the strange people you meet down there. I got there early this morning and sat on a park bench for a bit before going in. While sitting there, I got a not creepy marriage proposal (I don't know if I can explain the difference between a creepy street harasser and a guy who is just being cute but who you/I am not interested in. But there is one.) And then I got serenaded by another guy, also in a non-creepy way (he pinged my gaydar,so I think he was also just being cute).

All in all, a pretty damn good first day. Now I need a nap. And some dinner. And a nap.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Agenda Setting- Media Version

Agenda setting, the oh-so-important task left to the elites is where they decide what the issues are and how they are going to frame them. Agenda setting is not, in itself, a bad thing. If you have a responsive government, then the agenda should line up pretty closely with the needs and wants of the people. But if, for instance, the King of France has decided that the agenda is going to be getting gold plated window latches at Versailles instead of making sure the peasants can eat, then you've got a problem.

One of the basic pieces of American democracy is supposed to be freedom of the press. While, yes, getting to say the truth is important, freedom of the press is supposed to keep government responsive to the needs of the people by reporting what the needs are.

But when all media is owned by a handful of elites with only their pockets in mind, we have lost that crucial bit of society that keeps government responsive.

And Lambert has a handy little chart to show just how unresponsive the elite media is to our needs and wants.

Thankfully, social media can tell us where the elite media is failing us. Does anyone seriously read or watch the domestic news for actual news anymore? I'm down to reading McClatchy and The NYT (and I only read THE NYT to get pissed off at what they aren't covering).

Stop the presses, political party talks about women's rights

Hey, there's at least one party in the world who gives a rat's ass about women's equality and is actually talking about it. It's the Parti de Gauche (Party of the Left) here in France. In its latest press release it denounces the dismantling of the Service for Women's Rights and Equality and pledges itself to the creation of a Ministry of Women's Rights.

Remember when we talked about equality in the US? When did the equality of half the population become so radioactive? It's tragic.

Monday, July 11, 2011

W00t double plus awesome W00t

Guess who is, for the first time since President Mondo-Fucko took office(that would be Bush 2) going to be a full-time, permanent employee with medical, vision and DENTAL?

I can't stop shaking. OMG. OMG. OMG. So freaking awesome. OMG.

It's a day for frivolity! Hurray!

Or a day when my brainspace is occupied with "If I go pee, will I miss the phone ringing? If I take the phone to pee with me, will it be totes rude if I get a call and answer while on the toilet? Why won't the phone ring. Arrrrrrrgggggg"

Thank the FSM for guest posts and movie reviews and T.O.E.

In the mean time, I got a super cool grey mini skirt at the Goodwill this weekend for 3 bucks. It will be perfect in fall/spring/winter with leggings. But it's summer and I want to wear it NOW!!!!

Am I too old for naked legged mini skirt wearing? I don't wear shorts (because I find them seriously uncomfortable. How do you keep them from riding up if you don't have super skinny thighs?) Most of my skirts are either maxis or they come to just above knee level. This one is mid-thigh. But it's dark grey with zippy pockets and makes me feel slightly more punk-rock and less middle-aged mom of a nearly grown teenager. And it would look hawt with my Elizabitchez t-shirt (shameless self-promotion, check!)

True Blood’s Facebook page TRULY sucks

This is a guest post from Tobes! Damn, I miss her being in the blogosphere on the regular. But it's Tobes! Yay!

I understand there is much to be critical of in the HBO series “True Blood” (Shakesville did an excellent take down last year) but I have remained a loyal viewer because I have found the characters laugh-out-loud funny, touching and in general it’s just fun “bad” entertainment. Nothing wrong with watching criminally good-looking people engage in soap opera storylines involving minimal clothing, right? Mostly I watch the shows because I have enjoyed the books and you almost “have” to watch so you can find what you LOVE and what they TOTALLY destroyed (ie: What the hell is up with this fairy storyline??!) However, I’d be lying if I said I was a fan of everything on this show and last night’s episode proved to be a REAL low point for the show.

The three-episode arc of season 4 has featured a main character, Jason, tied up and tortured by a former girlfriend, Crystal. Last night’s episode concluded with Crystal giving him Viagra (she conned him saying it was medicine since he was in pain). Later Jason wakes up to find her raping him (in the hopes he will impregnate her so she can carry on her mythical shifter bloodline). If that isn’t horrible enough, there is a line of other women waiting to take their turn and be impregnated. Jason is beaten, bloody and crying out for help. It is VERY, VERY disturbing.

I feel like a scene this bad warrants an extra ‘warning’ before the episode begins. There were notifications about “Violence,” “Adult content” and “Strong Language” but what about graphic gang rape? I watched Season 1 of Camelot on Starz and one episode featuring the rape of the Queen featured a warning about “Rape” before the show began.

And if this all isn’t enough to turn your stomach… HBO calls this brutal depiction deserved! The HBO facebook for True Blood” posted an episode recap video with a screenshot of Crystal and Jason and the description is this: “Jason gets comeuppance as he learns what it’s like to be objectified” – Jason’s character in the books and the show is known as a hound – he sleeps with many, many women (consensually!) and makes no lasting commitments to any of them. However, torture and a violent gang rape is in no way “comeuppance” for ANYTHING! Much less promiscuous sexual activity!

HBO has always seemed to be a ‘smarter’ network- tackling difficult issues in their shows and documentaries… how can they be SO in the dark ages with this victim blaming attitude? I have written a couple of things on the TRUE BLOOD Facebook page asking for an apology and I encourage others to do the same.

I am prepared to accept that a TV show like “True Blood” will be graphic and showcase sexualized violence. But I am not prepared to accept it as some sort of “he got what was coming to him” joke. I guess I always assumed that I was supposed to be disgusted by scenes like that—not view them as some sort of ‘due punishment’ for a character.

Movie Reviews! Now With More Fight Porn!

You all know I love a good fight scene, and really the best place for those is Kung Fu movies.

So Boyfriend and I watched the Ip Man movies on Netflix about the guy who would eventually teach Bruce Lee. They are seriously dude heavy and don't pass the Bechdel test (this is not true of all Kung Fu movies, btw) but I liked them anyways.

Aside from the awesome fight porn (so freaking pretty!) there is a whole fuck load of Chinese propaganda in these films. Which I'm down with. It's like watching Doctor Who and seeing the Brits be all "of course aliens would land in Great Brittan first! We're number 1!!!" The first Ip Man movie is set during WWII when parts of China were occupied by Japan, and it's up to our hero to (reluctantly)hand the Japanese a can o' whup ass. The second movie is set in Hong Kong, and Ip Man must show the lousy occupying "white devils" that they are not so tough. I found myself humming the Rocky theme song through the 2nd movie. Now if only they'd make a 3rd movie where Master Ip teaches Bruce Lee so that he will become a stealth weapon against American Imperialism......

Also, it is interesting to watch the Chinese stereotyping of the Japanese and the Brits. Like there's some serious race issues there, but I am hesitant to call it straight up racism because both the Japanese and the Brits were occupying forces which makes it problematic in the whole ____ism = privilege + power equation. In these 2 specific situations, the Chinese were not the ones wielding power.

But you don't have to think to deeply on that (if you wish) to just enjoy an old fashioned, good man literally fights the evil bad system and wins movie. Plus FIGHT PORN!

Bonus, while the movies are not Bechdel-y, the guy who plays Ip Man, Donnie Yen, first learned martial arts from his mom. Way to go mom!

Let them eat peas!

So sayeth President Regan Obama.

I don't even know what to say to the folks who still believe Obama is playing some kind of 11 dimension chess and that contrary to EVERYTHING he has said publicly, he got some secret lefty agenda. He doesn't. He's all so not stupid. He doesn't give a fuck about us, the average person just trying to find enough work to pay for the little things like food and shelter and maybe if we're really lucky- dental work. He thinks that when push comes to shove, those on the left-ish side will still vote for him because the alternative is supposedly worse.

And the Senate ain't much better. If they had the will, there are things they could do to limit Republifuckers' assholery. But they don't have the will. It's not in their best interests.

We, at the bottom 80% (okay,, we can even expand it to bottom 90%) will be the ones sharing the sacrifice. We are the ones who have to "eat our peas" except they aren't our peas. We have to eat the peas of the rich asshole who ate the entire chicken off the table, without sharing any. (Rich assholes make the worst dinner guests as well as the worst human beings, true fact).

All this eat your peas/ sacrifice bullshit makes me think of whatever children's story where the shitty little prince misbehaves, so his slave child takes the whippings for him. Shitty little princes.


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For those of you following the Dawkins shit

There is a letter being sent to him to give him some fucking idea of why women might be annoyed/fearful/upset/etc about being harassed in an elevator by a stranger, with a long (and growing) list of signers who have all been victims of rape. It's triggery. Super fucking triggery.

I haven't decided if I'll sign it or not. I work really hard at keeping assholes out of my head space and meat space and blog space. I don't know that I am up for the argument should they find their way back here. But the people who have put their names to it are immensely brave.

Boost your vocabulary firepower

These recent additions to the Elizabitch lexicon are sure to expand the range of your rage. Note that two-thirds involve embroidering the F-bomb. Isn't English grand?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sunday Music- It's crafty

I'm gonna go get my crafty on and recover 2 office chairs with a cool, modernist duvet cover I picked up at goodwill for 8 bucks (which means 6 yards of fabric for about 1.66 a yard- sweet).

But I need some kick-ass sing along tunes to accompany my cutting, sewing, staple-gunning (Thank you kind reader who got me tools. You make reupholstery possible). So here's some Sleater Kinney.

(I use the phrase "You're no rock and roll fun" WAY more often than i should admit to.)