Life: Health & Breathing

You know what is worse than having an asthma attack? Having an asthma attack for no apparent reason.

So much in life is like that – as long as we understand the cause & effect of our actions somehow when “bad things” happen it’s more acceptable to the brain.  Like, if I go to a convention and then get the sniffles – well, I know that I was exposed to a couple thousand other people who carry germs from all over the country/world…. that’s my fault and I am sick ’cause of that choice I made.

When I have an asthma attack (or prolonged asthma-induced breathing efforts) and there is an orange smog alert – well there is a clear cause and I can’t blame me, but I have someone to blame.  When the pollen count is high – makes sense!

This week I’ve been having asthma issues all week, especially at night. I’ve tried hot tea before bed. I’ve woken up in the middle of the night to use my inhaler. I’ve tried propping up my pillows (which is like the worst effort ever…. I end up with my face against the mattress then). I meant to try a breathe-right strip last night, but I was so exhausted I didn’t.

So I muddle through work, putting my brain-power that is available into my job.  I come home and let the fog descend, let my mind drift and wander instead of trying to focus. You know, there are only a million projects I would like to tackle. Home improvement projects, sewing, writing…. but I sit on the couch and happily watch tv or play dumb games on my pc (as in they don’t require thinking, planning or effort).  I have some RPG’s waiting for me to have time – and by time I mean:

The point of the day/week/life when the combined mental and physical energies are combined to allow for thoughts beyond “left” and “right” are possible.

It is frustrating because I feel like I’m wasting the 4-6 hours I have at home. I want to be one of those people who can do all the things I want to do… and I can’t. I can’t because I’m not sleeping well. I’m not sleeping well because I’m not breathing well.  And I’m not breathing well…. because my body hates me?

Feminism: Single-Income Households

I’ve been jokingly saying for a few years now that everyone who works 40-hours-a-week needs a wife. It’s supposed to be funny. It’s supposed to ease the frustration that there just aren’t enough hours in the day to work a full time job and take care of a family.

Well, I think I am ready to declare that I think this is true.  Well, mostly true.  It really is a case of “the American dream is to have a single-income household.” Whether that is a stay-at-home Mom or Dad; or both parents working and they can afford in-home help (has anyone else noticed that the mom in Brady Bunch was stay-at-home and they had a housekeeper?!?!?).

We just can’t do it.  There a bazillion articles and discussions about the emotional burden of maintaining a home (cleaning, cooking, shopping for toilet paper) – much less adding in kids. Kids are a full-time job. Period. Do-Not-Pass-Go-Do-Not-Collect-$200.  Pretending that both parents should work and somehow kids magically get raised… well that is a cute fantasy world.

And notice, as much as the Brady Mom is my example, I am not saying that women should be 100% the one to compromise. We need to address that men should be allowed to cut back their hours, compromise their careers if they so choose. We need to address the social stigma that men are “supposed” to be the bread-winners.  If the man doesn’t want to, he should have those options too.

Every full-time employee/person needs a stay-at-home spouse.

Review: Jinx (trilogy)

This book is a middle-grade fantasy story by Sage Blackwood.  This means it’s really written for 11-13/14 year olds, but I would actually put it at a pretty solid 4/5 for adults too.  It was enjoyable, if not the most “mature content.” It’s approach to relationships is perfect for a budding teenager and I found it fun as an adult.

There are some really good parts of this book, and I like the mythos he built up. There is a little bit of Mary Sue (Gary Stu) where the protagonist is “kind of amazing” but Blackwood tempers it enough that I don’t mind it. There are a few stark moments where our “hero” is vastly non-heroic even though he can learn all the languages, all the magic and meet all the important people.

In the first book my biggest critique is that it is quite slow to start.  He needs to cover like 8 years with enough that we get invested in the boy, but not so much we spend an entire book there.  It’s a hard balance and I understand why Blackwood might have missed that mark a little bit.  It’s my only strong critique of the book, so all said that should tell you something.  He struggles with a grey area and landed on slightly the wrong for me.  I imagine for many people they would disagree on which side of that he landed on.

I really liked how tight the plot of this series was. Blackwood was good and bringing things back that you thought were long-buried in the pages. And in the best of little side-plot twists, it could surprise you.

Politics: Georgia’s 6th

As I sit in bed Tuesday night, the news is already declaring Karen Handel winning Georgia’s 6th district – a study in money in politics and the insanity of the current electoral process. She didn’t win by much, for a district that is historically much above the national average…. it was a loss for the GOP in many ways despite winning the seat.

It was a bitter fight and even as much into politics as I am (and I don’t live in the district), I am sick of this particular election… Much as I felt coming up to Nov last year. The ad campaigns, the rhetoric…. it’s too much.

Worse, everyone keeps talking about this like it has something to do with Trump. Which is Bullshit.

I live in Georgia, I was born and raised here and unfortunately, this win has little to do with Trump.

Oh, there are plenty of people who can’t stand him – and not just democrats. There are plenty of “conservatives” who think he’s a horrible human being, a “fake” republican (hilarious when I hear this), corrupt, and incompetent.

Unfortunately, they don’t believe any of those things about the GOP. This isn’t about the president, it’s about the team.

These are the same people who have adored the Braves whether they are winning  or losing. These are people who buy season tickets to cheer on a dog-represented team for a college they never attended, their kids never attended and they couldn’t get into if they tried.

The GOP is the “home team” -and oh the irony there!- and Georgians will be loyal to the home team no matter what. They will say over and over “this is the year we win the championship!” no matter how bad the pitcher/quarterback/whoever is that can make & break a team.

Unfortunately, politics aren’t sports. We actually have 2 hometown teams. I don’t know why people keep picking the team who don’t know the difference between a pitcher and kicker, but they do.

Live Events: Injury

I sprained my thumb. It sounds so small, it seems so small – until I try to use my hand too much. And I do keep using it too much.

So I hurt my thumb, I spend a day basically watching tv/movies  & reading (’cause one-handed gaming is hard).  I go to work that week.  By Friday I felt way better.

My parents scheduled “dumpster day” at their house they’ve lived in for ~30 years. Of course I am going to help!  I even do the responsible thing and wrap my hand up in an Ace bandage – give my thumb some support and maybe remind myself not to overdue it.

I overdue it.

I have a business trip that week and spend the week (theoretically) taking it easy and even buying athletic tape to tape up my thumb regularly.

Dumpster Day Part 2 that weekend stresses my thumb out again.

A week of trying to rest my hand while working a computer job (it’s my spacebar thumb -of course).

This past Sat – now week 3 of a sprained thumb – my husband and I needed to do some work.  Specifically, we need to re-hang a big fence-gate.  It’s two 5’x5′ gates and we had to remove them to allow other work from a pro. When we removed it, the hinges were very rusted so we needed to completely rehang them. Not a hard project, but it takes some labor and we went ahead and applied a bracing 2×4 (the whole section needs to be replaced, but that takes some capital we don’t know that we have now – both money and time).

A few years ago my mother gave me a very nice, hefty (awesome) DeWalt drill.  It’s a nice, powerful drill. It required sort of a feather-touch to control the torque. I have more experience with it than my husband, so I end up drilling most of the pilot holes and putting in the screws and bolts for our brace & one of the gate doors.

The only reason we stopped was rain. The sky was about to unload the water (and it did!).  We got 2 inches in about 45 minutes (no exaggeration, I checked the rain gauge afterwards).

But I was glad we stopped ’cause my hand was definitely hurting. I iced my thumb and wrapped it (again) Sat night. Sunday I tried to take it easy, keep it wrapped.

It hurts. and I am tired of not having full use of my hand. I have too much to do – work, writing, home projects – that needs two hands. Two thumbs. I’m not good at the “rest” part of healing. I have too much to do.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated, ’cause I am at a loss.

Review: Wonder Woman

I am not going to promise not to write spoilers. I’m going to try, but there may be things in this review that are not in the trailer and “spoil” the movie for you.

Fair enough warning?

I loved this movie. It wasn’t “perfect” but it was close.  I will gladly go see it again in theaters to get the big surround sound and see the action on the big screen. Hell, I might even see it on IMAX. (No, I don’t tend to like 3D movies, more often then not I get a headache from watching them).

I could nitpick about some of the pacing, but honestly – as origin stories go – it wasn’t terrible pacing. I think it helps they didn’t have to set Diana up as a some “lost soul” who needs to turn her life around because she is an egotistical asshole.  They are a little heavy-handed on the “oh no, don’t tell her the secret that could save her life” trope – which is one I tend to detest (how can you say you love someone and deny them a VITAL tool?).

But above and beyond the nit-picking – it was a GOOD movie. And I cried through like half of it.

Not because it was sad. Because I was finally seeing myself in a hero. We got close with Hermione (can we all agree she is the one who carried Harry to “success” already?).  I think it’s what many other authors/movies have attempted (Hunger Games got pretty close IMO) – a female lead who kicks ass. A female who others females can look up to.

The scene that really sells it for me is child-Diana – standing with delight and watching the Amazon warriors and imitating them. I can’t wait to see little girls doing this in real life – imitating their hero who looks like them.

I wish I could give a perfect example to my male friends why this is so emotional – but how do I explain to them who have always had these heroic images they can mimic? How can I help them understand what it means that after 30 years, I have finally seen a woman who I would like to emulate on the big screen? A woman who doesn’t bow to the men around her, who inspires them. A woman who might love, but the romantic relationship is secondary to her love of ALL mankind – and her service to them. She has her life and he might join her, but she will not merely follow him.

Superman was made before I was born – before my older brother was born. He literally was born into a world where he could see a hero on “the big screen” who looked like him – and attempts like Elecktra and Catwoman don’t exactly count either because they aren’t really heroes – they are anti-heroes.

I wanted to see this movie on opening weekend in the hopes to tell Hollywood we need more female directors & female leads – they bring diversity to the art. Which inevitably elevates the entire art, challenges norms and explores different voices. We need more female superheroes. We need more female leads in film. We need more female directors given the budget commensurate with their skills. I want my daughters to see woman in film they can emulate – and they will. They will be born into a world where there is at least one woman on the big screen they can mimic. I’m kind of jealous of them.