Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Scrimmage

Gather children as I attempt to relate to you some of my awkwardness around children my own age when I was rather young.

Not very I was around nine or so.

I am too lazy to draw crappy paint pictures for you so I'm afraid you'll have to get by on my incredibly descriptive...descriptions.

Once upon a time I slept over my very good friend Kiko's house. Kiko played softball. I did nothing. I was not a team player. (Also I was super un-athletic around my peers.) Kiko had a scrimmage for softball the morning after I slept over and she had invited me to go along. I thought it would be pretty fun and well I loved baseball after all. (I didn't like watching games so much at this point in my life though.)
Kiko got all set up and introduced me to some of her friends and got suited up to practice playing catcher.
Well this changed all of my expectations.
I don't really know what I had expected, I think that I had thought that I'd watch Kiko hit a few balls and then I'd get to chat with her afterwards or maybe we'd still get to play around together.
I certainly didn't expect to be hanging out awkwardly behind the dugout while Kiko stayed in the game for a long while.
So I decided to occupy myself.
There was a large rock behind the dugout and when I was a kid I loved climbing rocks.
Who am I kidding, I love climbing stuff now.
I situated myself on the rock. Because now I was the shopkeeper/wizard/thing. I started fooling around with grass and leaves and other rocks...because that is how I occupied myself whenever I was outside. I played with sticks. And dirt.
Whenever Kiko was back in the dugout I would question her as to how much longer she would be (because I was completely oblivious that she had wanted to share something important to her with me because apparently that day I decided to be the most embarrassing and weird friend I possibly could be.) and then I would try to draw her attention to whatever I was doing. I think I might've even tried to show her teammates what I was up to with dirt and rocks. If they didn't know I was Kiko's friend they probably would've assumed I was somebody's slightly annoying younger cousin.
Years later looking back I can tell that Kiko was embarrassed. I had always been the mature one in our group of friends. I was the one praised for acting like an adult. Yet here I was in front of a group of girls that Kiko looked up to and was friends with and I was acting like an attention hogging and oblivious brat.
So Kiko, I apologize for acting weird all those years go.
I almost never knew how to act in front of a group of kids my own age that I didn't know that well. I was good at making friends when concentrating on one or two people, but I was just comfortable and used to how to behave in front of adults. At that exact point I didn't really have the mindset to try to act older or cooler in front of kids I didn't know very well.
But that all changed when the fire nation attacked.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Some inspired poetry


I find that

Hazy summer times

Are the best times

For pondering.

On a sunny breezy day

I like to ponder

The bumblebee

With her fuzzy buzzy body

Collecting our clover pollen

And I rather like to ponder

The snuffling black fade

On the muzzle of my

Good dog

With her good strong legs

And it does one good to ponder

The breeze bending the grass

My way

And one should never forget

To ponder

The ants crawling

Scurrying in their smallness

To their cities

Which are also great fun to ponder

And how could I forget to ponder

The dandelions

With their butter mellow heads

And their dusty earth scent

But most of all

I love to ponder

The summer rains when they come

And turn the breeze into a gale

And patter incessantly

Then leave, quite suddenly

Leaving a strong clean light

Which is also good

For pondering.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Of Princes and Princesses

When I was a little girl I like to pretend I was a prince. It wasn't so much that I wanted to be a boy, no, I just wanted to be a prince. Other times I pretended that I was a princess. In my mind I knew that boys were princes and girls were princesses, but sometimes it seemed like they were just two different jobs. When I was a prince I was still a girl, I just thought of myself as more of a warrior. To me that was the job of a prince and a girl could be a prince too. In fact, I often wanted to be a prince even though I really enjoyed being called Princess El. Even to this day my immediate reaction is to think of myself as a prince. Princes seemed so cool and suave. Princesses seemed so cute and kind. As someone who has been called a cute little sweetie for most of her life, cool was the biggest thing I wanted to be seen as.
I would sing along with songs and change the pronouns so I could be singing about a guy instead. As I got older I sang the regular pronouns, but in my head I was still singing to a man, just using feminine pronouns.
In my daydreams of being a rockstar I still got all the men, even when I used "she" and not "he."
I thought nothing of referring to myself by male pronouns in songs because I was still a girl inside and out, the fact that I used "he" didn't seem to matter as much to me.
Like I said, Prince and Princess were just different jobs.

When I was younger I read the Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede.

 The main character Cimorene is a princess who isn't very "princess like." She's tall with jet black curly hair, she wants to learn fencing and magic and latin, not etiquette. I loved her to pieces. In my mind a princess should be able to wield a sword, when I played I certainly did. This is where more of the prince mentality came in. To me there were princesses, warrior princesses, and princes. Sometimes i was a warrior princess but this conjoured a more barabric image in my head and I was anything but barbaric. I wanted to be classy, smooth, respected. Again, that image was a prince and, when I played, princes could be girls.

Back to Cimorene in "Dealing with Dragons." Cimorene become the princess of a female dragon named Kazul. Kazul later becomes the king of dragons. Cimorene at first thinks she means she will become queen of dragons but Kazul corrects her. In the dragon world, gender does not mean diddly when it comes to kings and queens because they are actually jobs to be filled. She even informs Cimorene that there hasn't been a Queen of Dragons for many years because not many Dragons enjoy the job.
This was a novel concept to me and I didn't even recognize my own playtime staring me straight in the face.
In fact, dragons choose their own gender once they reach a certain age, which reminded me of the show Lloyd in Space.

In the Season three ninth episode "Neither Boy nor Girl" we are introduced to the character Zoit. Zoit is esentially a purple blob with no distinguishing female or male features.

The one in the dress is Zoit, and no, that's not an indication of his/her gender or gender preference.

Zoit's people only choose their gender upon their thirteenth birthday but before they are told this Lloyd and his friends go crazy trying to figure out what Zoit is. The problem is Zoit likes comic books AND shopping. Zoit has stickers of robots AND unicorns on his/her notebook.
The rest of the episode the girls try to push Zoit into being a girl and the boys try to push Zoit into being a boy. They realize that it's wrong to do that and, on Zoit's birthday, give gifts indicating their support if he/she chooses the opposite gender from them.
How truly interesting that Disney broached the subject of choosing ones gender or gender fluidity by giving us this character. Being free from gender sterotypes Zoit is free to choose their own interests and identify as they choose.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating raising your children as not having a gender because for humans I believe gender is inherent, no matter what your sex is. If you identify as a woman, you're a woman. If you identify as a man, you're a man. If you identify ad neither or a mix of the two, good for you. I find that a bit confusing seeing as how I'm cisgendered but if it's what you are then more power to you. I don't believe gender is a social construct, but there still seems to be a push for pink loving, innocent, unicorn and rainbow obsessing princesses and blue based, fighting, rough, dragon obsessed princes.
I think it's fine if a girl is a "pink" girl.
I myself have always been a "blue" girl. I say this because I have my moments where I love stereotypical manly persuits, but I also indulge in my femininty and "girly" interests and persuits.

So whatever gender you are, do not feel burdened by the title of prince and princess. If you are a girl that feels you are a boy prince, that's fine. If you're like me, a female prince, that's lovely too.
The same goes for boys. Play in the ways that make you happy.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


The other day I was walking to the library when I cam across, of all things, a dildo on the sidewalk.
It was purple
slightly sparkly
and had clearly vibrated or something at some point because it was broken and I could see it's broken mechanics lying out on the sidewalk.

To be honest it didn't really register at first what I was seeing.

I just stared down at the ground with a sort of noplussed expression. My mind went,
"Oh hey, that's a dildo." and I stared at it blankly for a moment as if it's completely natural to find broken and dirty sex toys on the streets of a small town.
I walked away and then stopped as my mind finally caught up and said,
"Dude, what the hell?!"

Why on earth did someone toss a broken dildo on the ground?

Perhaps some girl had gotten a new paramour (human or rubber, I don't judge) and was so fed up with this abomination of silicone and glitter that she hurled it from her car.

Perhaps another woman took to carrying her "unmentionables" around in her purse and it fell out.

Perhaps it broke and the owner was too lazy to toss it in the garbage...but not lazy enough to carry it around and throw it on the sidewalk .

Perhaps the owner was scared of her parents finding it and tossed it on the sidewalk so it wouldn't be seen in the garbage.

Perhaps a group of teenagers were dicking around with it (pun intended) and tossed it from a car or just dropped it on the sidewalk.

Either way...gross.

Look, your dildo has no place on my sidewalk. I shudder to imagine if I had been walking my dog or  with my sister when I found that.

It's unsanitary (presuming it's been used)

and ultimately!...It's hilarious. Dear God did I find the situation ridiculous. That's just not something you see everyday.

So readers, watch out for stray sex toys and let me know about your findings. I'd like to think I'm not the only one whose ever been in a situation like this.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Pure Enough?

When I was just a little El I read a magazine article about purity balls and purity rings. Now this was back in a time before I was more open and I was a lot more prudeish.  I used to be very against drinking, smoking, doing drugs, and underage sex. As I got older I stopped being such a stick in the mud and realized that just because I didn't want to do something didn't give me the right to judge everyone else. I realized that drinking, when done in moderation isn't terrible. Weed will not make me a monster and smoking, which I still don't want to do, isn't the be all end all of whether a person is acceptable. I was such a little hypocrite though. I didn't mind my parents having wine or beer, or smoking, and I knew my parents were not virgins when they married, so why did I apply those standards to myself and every other kid around me?

I'm not sure why, but my inner voice was a totally self-righteous dickwhistle back then.

Anyway when I was about 12 or so I read this article...and I wanted one. I wanted a purity ball, I wanted the rings and dancing and pretty dresses and lights. I didn't give much thought to the whole purity aspect of it. I just wanted all the bells and whistles.I love my father very much and I saw this ball as a glorified father daughter dance which, up until that point, I had never had. I excitedly told my father about it and he completely refused the idea. I was deflated and confused to say the least. He told me that it was a little bit creepy that these fathers were so overly involved with their daughters sexual development and that I didn't need to go around broadcasting my status as a virgin on my hand.

I thought about it and realized he was right, so I no longer wanted the ring. I grew up, still with strong morals. See I don't think it was bad per se that I wanted to keep myself free of things like alcohol and drugs. As a young teenager I knew what was and wasn't acceptable for me to be doing. As I grew I realized that all these things would need to be done when I felt ready for them, if I ever felt ready for them. When I became an adult I realized how crazy it had been for me to hold myself for so many years to the standards I set when I was twelve.

Honestly, how many of you have the exact same opinions as your pre-teen self? I'm going to hazard a guess at "not many."

Anyway, purity rings were the subject of this. I was watching Taboo the other day and the episode was on teen sex. One of the things profiled were purity balls. As I watched I had a completely stricken expression of disbelief. My father was absolutely right. This was creepy. Some of these girls were so young! How awful for them to grow up afraid to explore the sexuality because of a standard they set before they know themselves. I hardly knew myself at age 12. Every time I discovered something new that I liked or could do I felt great pride at learning more about who I was and who I hoped to become.

I was even more creeped out at the involvement of the fathers. It was downright unsettling. My parents have raised me to be a strong, independent, compassionate, and well educated young woman. My father has always been my biggest hero. Never once did my father make me feel like my mind and body were not my own. Never once did he make me feel like he owned me, like I was property. Never once did he make me feel that I was a fragile feminine creature that couldn't protect her own body and would need my father and my eventual husband to do all that for me. In fact my father taught me how to fight. My father taught me how to stand up for myself.

I wasn't treated like these poor girls. These poor girls who are being taught that they need a man to have control over their body for them. That it is impure and unclean for them to think any sexual thoughts.

P.S. it's not.

But their fathers are so involved with their daughters vaginas. Ugh, I'm sorry but I really don't feel the need to tell my father every sexual thought that floats through my head and I'm sure he appreciates it. I don't need my father to tell me what I should or shouldn't be considering in terms of my sex life. What every girl needs is a father, like mine I suppose, that teaches them that it is ok to have questions. It is ok to think about sex. It is ok to want to have sex with someone and not be married to them. We all need parents who teach us how to have healthy relationships with everyone. Not relationships that are seemingly based on ownership. Not parents who teach you that your worth is measured by your purity.

We don't live in the biblical ages. Women and men need not be virgins before they get married. I noticed though, that these balls are only for girls. I don't hear so much about boys taking pledges and vows. I've heard of boys wearing the rings, but it never seems that as big a deal is made about their purity.

Why are girls worthless if they've had sex?

Does a hymen dictate whether you are kind?
Does a hymen dictate how smart you are?
Does a hymen dictate if you are passionate? Sympathetic? Athletic? Artistic? Good at listening? Charismatic?

Does a broken hymen mean you are a wicked and base person?

Of course it doesn't.

Does imagining kissing someone you find attractive make you unclean and nasty. Are you perverted? How about after you marry? These girls on the show were talking about making a pledge to keep their bodies pure until marriage and their minds pure after marriage. So is wanting to make love to the person you've pledged your life and love to make you a perverted trollop?

I like to think it doesn't.

Our worth should not be based on who we've chosen to love or how we've chosen to love. It should be based on what we do with our lives, the kind of people we are, the way we treat ourselves and others.

If you truly love someone and they love you as well, then the "purity" of your body should not be an issue. I believe an adult relationship encompasses so much more than sex, so why should a girl be taught that no man will want to marry her if he's slept with her.

If you love someone you don't go "wham bam thank you ma'am" It's someone you want to sleep with time and time again. You want to kiss them over and over and over. You want to hold them in your arms each night when you fall asleep and wake up each day to start your life together. If you would refuse marriage with someone you "love" based on whether they've had sex before, you obviously don't love them and you obviously don't know what it means to be in a mature loving relationship.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Children's T.V.

Alright, does anyone reading this have younger siblings? Younger family members, friends with siblings or kids, your own kids, kids you babysit? Either way I’m just wondering how many of you have spent a fair amount of time watching children’s programming.

I ended up watching T.V. a great deal with my younger sister K as we were growing up. Sister K is seven years my junior and my entire family ended up watching a lot of children’s programming.
Of children’s programming.
We all got rather into it; sometimes it was nostalgic (watching shows like Little Bear or Blue’s Clues)

Sometimes it was educational (Dora the Explorer)

Sometimes it was weird (shows like Maisy)

Some of it was downright irritating. (Wiggles, which my entire family detested)

And then we come to the show Max and Ruby.

Now, my entire family loves Max and Ruby, when Sister K watched it, we would all pretty much end up sitting and enjoying the show.
Now as time went by I started to have a problem with the show.
Specifically this little fucker.

You see that little hellion?
Yes, that would be Max, one of the titular characters. Now before I get started I will warn you, this is me taking a children’s cartoon, of all things, way too damn seriously, but I feel that no one else has ever had the guts to come out and say what a terror Max really is.

The rest of my family thinks he’s hilarious, but I know better. Beneath that sweet smile and those cute bunny cheeks is a true mastermind of evil.

Max is the fun, creative, and mischievous kid brother of the fussy, girly, and stuffy Ruby. On the surface it seems that Max is always trying to have fun and his sister Ruby just doesn’t understand how boring everything she wants to do is! I mean my goodness! Max just wanted to make mud pies and bring them inside, so what if Ruby was preparing to earn a badge for Bunny Scouts by hosting the meeting in their home?
All of the things Max do sound irritating when you put them down in writing. When Ruby is preparing the both of them for a picture he constantly gets himself dirty, when Ruby is having a tea party with her dolls he replaces them with his own toys, when Ruby gives him money to buy a music box for their grandmother’s birthday he buys himself glow in the dark cherry juice oozing vampire fangs.

(Fucking sweet actually, but still)

When Ruby is trying to make a garden he takes all the mud, rocks, and worms she’s putting aside to use and makes a mud pie, he leaves the house without her knowledge causing Ruby to search for him frantically (before finding him at their grandmother’s house). It seems everything Ruby tries to do Max always has to pull tricks on her, get things dirty, and be a general nuisance. But his brattiness is played for laughs.
Ruby is the stuffy one
Ruby is supposed to be the irritating one.

We’re supposed to see her desire to play dress up and have tea parties and keep herself neat as boring.
We’re supposed to root for Max, triumphing over his sister all the time. Never once is Max reprimanded, not by his grandmother, not by other adults shown, and certainly not by their parents. (Who you never see except in a blurry family photo hanging in the den.)
That’s another thing! The goddamn grandmother! She is constantly on Max’s side. She obviously loves both her grandchildren and seems more than willing to help Ruby’s crafty pursuits (like baking or playing dressup) but when Max is ruining everything and her granddaughter is standing there looking shocked and hurt and exasperated what does she do? Chortle and praise Max on his cleverness.
Every time Ruby threatens to tell their grandmother on him it backfires on her. Grandma loves the vampire teeth Max gives her for her birthday. Never mind the fact that he bought them with Ruby’s money, that she earned herself, that she saved up to buy the music box that she thought would be so perfect for her grandma.

Now on occasion Max is shown to care about his sister and want to make her happy, like wanting to have a gift for her birthday or trying, genuinely, to help her with decorating the house or playing games.

You want to know how I think Max could make his sister happy? By considering her feelings for once. In this show Ruby’s feelings are constantly brushed aside. She’s the stick in the mud, the Ricky to Max’s Lucy, the unsuspecting dolt in the force of Max’s wild child desires. She wants to stay clean and take a picture with her younger brother? Who cares! He wants to eat all sorts of messy candies. She’s worried that she can’t find her brother? Don’t worry! He was getting ice cream for her; he’s just the most perfect little brother! Max, our practically mute hero, is always shown to be in the right. It’s his feelings we consider as we see him roll his eyes over his sister’s over emotional tendencies or the stupid games she wants to force him into. We snicker at Ruby’s prissiness. After all, why would any of us ever want to listen to our older siblings?
Maybe that’s my problem; I’m speaking as the oldest child in my family. I’m not saying I want my younger siblings to look at me like a parent, but some measure of respect is expected. Max has no respect for Ruby and the things she tells him to do are never enforced by a parental figure.  I would be nowhere without my parents. If I reprimand Sister K for the way she speaks to me or for something she does, I am backed up by my parents if I am justified in my feelings. (Which usually I am) Yes Ruby is bossy, most older siblings are. Yes it’s irritating about being told what to do sometimes, but when someone in a position of control over you tells you what to do you have to suck it up and just do it ya brat. Ruby even comes off as a little controlling, and honestly, wouldn’t you be that way? A child in your care constantly eschews what you tell them to do in favor of what they want. CONSTANTLY.

Little siblings! Heed my words. Do not act like Max towards your older brothers and sisters.

Now I’m off to go and watch Little Einsteins or something.

Friday, June 15, 2012

A Death in the Family

Before I get started on this entry I would like to say

 I've been reading the Warriors series for about 6 or 7 years. I've grown extremely wrapped up in the stories and characters presented in the pages of these books.
Now this has been the longest series I've ever read. There were 4 book arcs each including 6 books and not only did I read those, I read every super edition and Warriors universe book there was. (I haven't read any of the mangas though, which is so sad)

This is going to sound blasphemous in a way, but I loved this series more than I loved Harry Potter. I was obsessed with Harry Potter so obviously that's saying something.

Okay, I'm going to level with you, I read A LOT. I hunger for the written word and devour ink marked paper as though it's my only sustenance. I can't go to the library without taking out a bagfull of books. I own the entire first arc of Warriors and a handful of books from the other arcs. My town's library has been what's gotten me through being able to read my beloved series.

Many characters from the Warriors Universe have died and each time it is sad. Each time I take a moment while reading to think of the character and have a moment of silence on memoriam for them. Perhaps you think this sounds strange dear reader, but in a way it's not. I've "known" many of these cats since they were first kitted and to watch them die can be heartbreaking.

I'm not here to talk about their deaths though. Through all of the heartache and strife I've borne it out of the calming feeling that my favorite character would stay alive. I. and many other fans I'm sure, have sat in a bubble of peace knowing that the one character we counted on to lead his clan and prove his strength and goodness would stay safe.

But all of that peace ended last night when I finished the last book to find that Firestar, my most favorite character, had died.
 The worst part was that I could tell that it was coming. They mentioned Firestar being on his last life and I knew that if he died I would cry. Every mention of him fighting in battle gave me a twisted and sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. So when he finally laid down and relinquished his last life at the end of the most important battle in Warriors history, I cried.
I was not expecting to cry as much as I did though.

I'm no stranger to crying or laughing out loud while I read. I cry over powerful emotions, but usually the ones I cry about are realistic fiction novels. Even when Dumbledore died all I did was stare blankly at the pages of the book in disbelief. But I knew I would cry at least a little bit over Firestar if he passed on. When I realized he was gone, my face crumpled and immediately tears began to flow freely and hotly down my face. I couldn't even bear to read on but I foced myself to contine as the warriors of Starclan took Firestar (as well as Hollyleaf, Ferncloud, and Mousefur) away with them. Jayfeather, Firestar's grandson reviewed every life given to him by their ancestors and I felt fresh sobs welling up within me as Blustar explained the life given by Spottedleaf for love to Firestar.

I went downstairs to find a tissue and ran into my father. He rounded the corner with a smile once he saw me that quickly slid off his face as he saw my red eyes, still glistening with tears. I made sure to tell him quickly what was wrong so he wouldn't be worried and he held me close as I cried and let me explain the grief I was feeling.
It was hard to put into words right then though.
 How could I explain it? I had seen him go from Rusty the kittypet who recieved dreams from Starclan and was destined for greatness, to Firepaw the eager apprentice who had an unshakeable faith in Starclan and his adopted Thundeclan and was bursting to prove himself. I filled with pride as he was made into the warrior Fireheart as if I was a Queen and he was my own kit. I shared in his grief and his accomplishments as he forged his own path. I watched with pleasure as he fell in love with Sandstorm and sired his daughters Leafpool and Squirrelflight. When he became Firestar, leader of Thunderclan I beamed with happiness and excitement, celebrating the oncoming years. Even when the protagonists have shifted throughout the arcs I always waited for any introduction of Firestar. I craved it, I couldn't wait to hear what my favorite character was doing anymore, even if I wasn't seeing the story through his eyes anymore.
And even though I still grieve for him, I know his stories will live on. Firestar and his loved ones will never fade from the starry hunting grounds of Silver Pelt.

Thank you for your bravery and commitment to your clan Firestar. We honor your tireless pursuit to fairness and your endless love for your family and friends.

He hunts with Starclan now.