Monday, October 29, 2018

Advice to young female college student

  1. Never be alone in a dorm room or other bedroom with a man unless you're planning you have sex with him
  2. Go to your professor or teaching assistant if you don't understand the class material. Don't be embarrassed. It's better to ask a stupid question than to do a stupid thing. It's a lot easier to understand topics explained one on one, than in a classroom or textbook. Don't be afraid to come in frequently. Demand to understand.
  3. If you find yourself falling asleep in class, demand that the carbon dioxide levels in the classroom be checked.
  4. You are no better and no worse than anyone else. You are not terminally unique. Just because a topic scared you in k-12 doesn't mean you won't be able to do it now.
  5. People who pressure you to: drink, use drugs, have sex, drive dangerously, or do any other risky behaviour are not your friends. Find other friends.
  6. It's usually better to get assignments in on time, even if they're not perfect, rather than turn them in late. It's certainly better to turn in an imperfect assignment than none at all. If you need an extension communicate with your professor promptly. Get help early. Don't wait until the last minute.
  7. If you have writer's block, try speaking your essay into your computer or phone and then type or use voice recognition to convert to text.
  8. If you feel very unhappy, look for the counseling services in your college. If you get a counselor, as I did, who seems really off base and not addressing your issues. Tell them they're off base. Request another counselor.
  9. Learn about oxytocin and its effect on the body. Try not to get biochemically bonded to a man who doesn't love you. You won't get over it. It's permanent.
  10. Learn about contraception.
  11. If your roommate is really making you insane, they can usually find someplace else for you.
  12. If you have a lot of AP credits, as I did, make sure you understand master's degree options at your college. You may be able to get both a bachelor's and a master's for the price of a bachelor's.
  13. Think about the secret thing or things that you most like to do that you haven't ever told anyone about. Think about whether those could be related to a career. Ask a career counselor. It's better to be in something you love, even if it pays less
  14. Get enough sleep, even if it means taking naps.
  15. Eat three square meals a day.
  16. Sugar is an addictive drug. It's not your friend.
  17. Sororities can be a great source of lifelong friendships, but be sure to choose one that builds your moral character.
  18. Look for the eyes that love you. Spending too much time listening to your critics will get you down. If someone criticizes you, say "Thank you. I'll think about what you said." You can be polite. You don't have to do what they want. You don't have to allow their criticism to affect your self esteem.
  19. Authority figures are not your parents. They're fellow adults. Try not to project issues from your family of origin onto strangers.
  20. I found that the lies I told myself were the worst ones, especially unrealistic expectations of myself.
  21. Get enough exercise. That's usually not a problem, but if there's a shuttle on campus, you might consider walking instead if you have time.
  22. Fasten your seat belt
  23. Don't get into a car with a young, inexperienced driver and other young people. Inexperienced drivers cannot deal with the distraction of unrelated passengers. An accident is almost guaranteed if there's more than one.

    Originally written in answer to a question on Quora 

Friday, June 22, 2018

Meme about immigration

 This is copied from a friend's FB post

“Trump’s obsession with wall-building and zero-tolerance has led Americans to this grim political spectacle. His personal cruelty and political ignorance have created a crisis that will kill conservative immigration reform and lead to future Democratic majorities. More troubling is the harsh reality now staring Americans in the face: Their president is a brutish political boss who has cheapened conservatism, sullied the office of the presidency and called into question the very character of a country once seen as the envy of the world. That so many Republicans still support this depraved man and his malignant movement could be the most damning element of this tragic American tale.”   — Joe Scarborough, a former Republican congressman from Florida, now hosts the MSNBC show “Morning Joe."

Friday, June 15, 2018

Commentary copied from a FB post

I didn't write this. I copied it from a friend's FB post

In January 2016, Trump announced that he skipped a debate to raise funds for veterans.  Then, instead of contributing the funds so raised to veterans' causes, he put the money into his own foundation.  Trump then used the foundation to fund his own campaign and to buy things he wanted for himself.  So that's campaign fraud, tax fraud and diverting funds that folks contributed for veterans.  Now many of these veterans and their families have been supporting Trump, and they've been shamelessly used.  I wonder if they'll notice.  In other news, Trump is denying that Manafort ran his campaign.  Manafort did so for 141 days.  Trump said he was barely associated with the campaign for 49 days.  But there's more: the DOJ's Inspector General delivered a report that states that Comey and the FBI were so worried about pressure from the GOP that they trashed Hillary even though they were correct in not recommending that DOJ charge her for using a private email server.  Comey apparently felt that since she was going to win anyway, he needed to throw Trump a bone.  In the process, he forgot that he's the cop and that the prosecutors at DOJ are supposed to make that decision. The IG lambasted him for that. Of course, Trump won and Comey's attempt to protect the reputation of the FBI on a freebee failed.  Now Trump is going around trashing the FBI for bowing to pressure from his supporters to harm Hillary's campaign.  In the meantime, other than Nunes and the Freedom Caucus, the GOP leadership recognizes that the Russians and other foreigners were crawling all over the Trump campaign and that the FBI was justified in running a counterintelligence operation on these foreign agents. Actual GOP conservatives (those who believe in a smaller federal government) are either not running for reelection or getting trounced in primaries by the Trumplicans.  The GOP now stands for huge deficits, tax cuts for the wealthy, no health insurance for the poor, middle class and those with pre-existing conditions, trade wars with China and our closest allies, belittling black athletes who are concerned with police brutality aimed at African Americans, and getting tough on immigration, which means ripping babies from the arms of their asylum seeking mothers, who happen to be overwhelmingly Hispanic.  That will leave the GOP with support from some 35% or so of voters.  Not clear to me why that makes sense to them, but then again, right now I have no idea when and how sanity will return to these United States.  Oh, and if you are one of my GOP friends who dislikes my characterization of current events, I'm in no mood to talk to you today or any time soon about anything other than sports.  How about that hat trick by Ronaldo?

Thursday, June 7, 2018

About finding your HP in program

A sponsee asked me some questions about finding HP in program. These were some answers I gave.

I personally find HP more easily in nature, particularly in places where there is a nice view.  Though there is this one spot in my kitchen, between my sink and my refrigerator, where I was struck abstinent, that seems to be fruitful.  I also find that going into places, like houses of worship or retreat centers, where lots of people have prayed, but when they are empty, is often good.  I feel like places where lots of people have prayed retain a lot of spiritual energy. Personally quiet appeals to me.  Some people prefer to be there during a service when there is music and verbal ministry.

I saw one exercise that might be helpful.  Take a piece of paper.  Make a vertical table with one box for each decade of your life.  Write in each box the best things that happened to you during each decade -- ignoring the bad things.  Then, after you've filled out all the boxes, imagine all the things you've written down rising out of the paper and swirling together.  Try to imagine that swirling thing as HP.

It takes some practice to sense the intuitions that program asks us to look for.  In most cases, I think this is because I have a natural tendency to suppress myself and feel ashamed of my thoughts and feelings.  I feel that this stems partly from dysfunction in my family of origin and partly from my mild autism spectrum disorder.

Perfectionism here is the enemy, though.  Expecting a perfect relationship with HP is one of those perfectionism things. Lingering on step 2 -- or jumping to step 11 without doing the earlier steps -- is not going to work.

There's a saying I learned in Al-anon "anything that's worth doing is worth doing poorly."

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Why don't you smile more?

She was always my vocal ideal -- and, of course, very successful in my childhood. I'm seeing, and indeed remember, that she almost always had a smile on her face.  

On the one hand, I've learned in voice lessons that that facial expression is helpful for internal mouth position for singing, but, on the other hand, I think there's more to it than that.

I was recently watching an interview of Joan Crawford

I notice she's always smiling, too, and she's not singing.

I remember that my ex used to have a book called Saving Ophelia.  I never read much of the book, but I did read the cover several times.  As I gather, the book was about preventing teen suicides in girls.  One of the things that they were concerned about was the insistence that girls always be smiling.  They felt that the requirement to smile when actually you're miserable could be a contributing factor in suicide.

I've noticed a fair number of videos with male performers, where the primary purpose of the females in the video is merely to smile and look pretty, for instance:

This all relates to my earlier post about cancer and the positivity police:

As I've gotten older, I notice that my mouth has sunk into a natural frown.  When my face is relaxed, the corners of my mouth turn down.  I often get people asking me if I'm ok, when I'm fine.  I'm not doing this on purpose: but I'm also not feeling positive about the necessity to always be smiling.  Constant smiling seems nervous to me, plus it's a source of facial strain.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Lies about the meaning of the colors of the pussy hats

I wish to address this calumny against the Women's March that the color of the pussy caps is racial in nature. The reasoning goes that white women's skin is really pink so that the color of the hat actually represents "white" women. 

This is going to be awkward, because that name for the private parts was not one I had ever used prior to this march last year.  I grew up with a sense of delicacy about naming private parts.  Only medical terminology was allowed in my house growing up: long, Latin & Greek root words. The word "pussy" and other slang terms were not allowed in my home.  Still, given that 4.2 million people were publicly using that word last year I've been forced to add it to my vocabulary.

Now as to responding the calumny.

First off, the color pink was chosen because traditionally pink has represented baby girls while blue has twisted baby boys. It had nothing to do with skin color. 

Second, skin is not normally pink.  Perhaps if one is over heated or sunburned, skin may be pink or red, or there may be pink patches, such as on the knuckles, but normally it's some shade of beige or brown. 

Now I've got the word "white" up there in quotes, because no one's skin is really white, either, unless perhaps they're dead, or very sick. 

I find the whole concept of people being black or white troublesome.  That's how our thinking is: black and white.  Our skins are generally not those colors. 

I'm including a picture of the skin on my abdomen. I'm not actually going to show the private parts, because I don't allow them to be photographed, but the skin down there is the same color.  Also, these parts of my body tend to be pale as they're never in the sun.

I've also got a white handkerchief and a pink bandana next to my skin, so you can see that I'm neither pink not white. The skin is not a consistent color, but it is predominantly beige.  My hands are a bit more colored, because they're out in the sun more.  But that region of my abdomen between the two handkerchiefs is the  relevant color.
The only parts of my nether regions that are truly pink are the mucous membranes, which are unpigmented. 

Now I have not examined the bodies of other women, but wouldn't they be the same? In other words, wouldn't women of other races have unpigmented, pink areas? 

I tried doing a little searching online but found no relevant images.  Medical images of vaginas that I could find were all of white women.  Apparently my browser is protecting me from something.

The idea that somehow the pink colors in these hats relate to the color of the body was obviously invented by someone who was trying to undermine the Women's March. I wouldn't be at all surprised if it were Russian trolls. 

Moreover, there's nothing saying someone couldn't wear some other color hat. Indeed, many of them were plum or purple colored. If a person were identifying with brown or black, there's nothing to say they couldn't wear a brown or black had.  Or people could wear some other hat, or no hat at all.

It's sad to me that those seeking to undermine opposition to Trump by fomenting division amongst his opponents can succeed so easily in driving people of color away from the marches. I wish we could all be smarter than that. 

Still, it was white women who voted Trump in, so perhaps other white women are the best people to change their minds, so we still have to go forward with our marches, despite these calumnies about our motivations.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Racism destroys USA

Racism will destroy our country. 

Racists so hate Obama that they want to undo everything associated with him. They don't believe intelligence reports developed under him regarding Russian meddling in our elections. 

Now they're trying to go after the whistle blowers criminally. 

Totalitarianism triumphs so that Republicans can continue to please their billionaire donors. 

The tax law is rammed through with no opportunity for public input to benefit those billionaire donors and hurt blue states. 

The whole Republican party is complicit. The party of Lincoln becomes the party of fascism. 

Sinclair takes over local news. Despite clear monopoly effect, no antitrust enforcement is undertaken. 

Evil wins. 

Only four million people sign Steyer's petition. 

I feel such despair. Racism has destroyed my country.