#Nerdfighter

Okay! Today is the day! E’s been gone a week and that’s all I allowed myself to wallow in misery and cry over his adulthood. I can’t eat anymore ice cream for breakfast or read “The Fault In Our Stars” for the millionth time. Oh, shit. That reminds me. I TOTALLY forgot to tell you guys about the tattoo he got before he went off to school.

FIRST. Let me say this: I never in 14 million years thought E would get tattoos. I just assumed he didn’t like them because Donnie and I have them, because he never EVER talked about him. Not until one night early in the summer when he said, “I’m going to get a Deathly Hallows tattoo.” and I said, “CAN I GET ONE TOO?”

I have witnesses. I swear that’s how it happened. I worry everyone is going to be like, “Dude…Kim totally talked E into getting a tattoo…that’s crazy…”

ANYWAY…

Like, two days after that one he was already thinking about what else he wanted. And I did that too. Which is how you know you’re a Tattoo Person. Tattoo People think about tattoos all the time. They love them and very rarely regret them. They put a lot of thought into them and they mean very special things to them. If you don’t get it? You’re not a Tattoo Person. No big deal. Tattoo People understand Not-Tattoo People. They don’t ask for explanations. Not-Tattoo People like to give explanations though, and sometimes they can come out very insulting. Think about it this way: If you wouldn’t say, “You know…I really don’t like that dress you’re wearing.” or “I just don’t get people who get your hairstyle,” then don’t say that about people’s tattoos. Because they do it because THEY like it, not because YOU do, and you openly saying you don’t like it is no better than openly critiquing their style. Or worse…the art they choose for their home.

Wow. Sorry. I actually could rant about that for awhile…but I’m getting off topic. E’s new tattoo!

So, he said he was going to get one more before going to school but he wasn’t going to tell me what it was. He just knew I’d love it and that I’d wish I had it too. Donnie and I pretty much guessed it would be a Nerdfighter/John Green thing, we just didn’t know what. Well – if you’ve read “The Fault In Our Stars” you’ll get it:

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The autographed poster is mine on the left. That is my favorite line from TFioS. I have a thing for infinity symbols anyway as I have a small infinity tattoo on my wrist in memory of my Dad. E designed his tattoo and then the tattoo artist made it better by using her own handwriting. It’s genius. I love it and wish I had it on a t-shirt. He got it in that location because that’s where August Water’s leg is amputated in TFioS. Seriously. If you haven’t read the book? Read it. It’s inspiring. Hence, the ink.

On Death And Eyelashes…

As an atheist I’m very pragmatic about the way I talk to my kids about death. We talk about how my Dad was cremated and how I want to be cremated too. We talk about how once we’re dead our bodies are useless so PaPaw didn’t want his body being stored in a coffin somewhere and I talk about how I don’t want my body taking up space on the planet anywhere.

So…periodically the kids just like to talk about “when we set our bodies on fire” or “when we burn our dead bodies” because they find the whole thing morbidly fascinating. The other night the conversation went like this:

Nyoka: I think I want my body to be set on fire too and you can throw my ashes into the ocean so I can be eaten by sharks.

Me: The term is “cremated” – but even if we did that – the sharks wouldn’t eat your ashes. Your ashes would just probably dissolve and you’d just be part of the ocean ecosystem…EVERYWHERE. That would be kinda cool.

Nyoka: What do you want us to do with your ashes?

Me: I don’t care. I’ll be dead. If you all have something special you WANT to do with them, go for it. I don’t want you to keep them, but I also don’t care if you just flush them down the toilet.

Wesley: When I die, I want my eyelashes flushed down the toilet so I can become part of everyone’s poop.

There’s No Hope For Society, But There’s Hope For Me.

As someone who spends a lot of time reading and writing online, I have learned there are hot issues that come and go. For awhile there was a lot of talk about the ridiculousness of slut shaming. (Which I also hate, if there was any doubt.) Then we talked about fat shaming. (Let’s just stop ALL shaming!) And lately I’ve been reading a lot of commentary about how saying, “That girl should eat a sandwich,” is just as insulting as making fun of someone for being fat. (I have totally said that same thing in the past, not thinking about how insulting it is.) I’ve read many fascinating articles full of wisdom and they always shed new light on these type of ideas. Thumbs up from Kim!

Here’s the thing. Every time I read this type of editorial that encourages the masses to quit insulting a group of people (“Bottle Feeding Moms Need Support Too!”) I think, Wouldn’t it be nice if we all just stopped picking on everyone for everything? And then I laugh to myself because – seriously? Like that’s ever going to happen.

But you know what? I’ve got to say it. No matter how unrealistic it is that this would every happen, I need to at least propose it to the world. And stand by my words and see if – at least in my life – I can create a microcosm of support that would tend to stifle any environment of shame. If I hate the realization that my snarky comments are insensitive and possibly upsetting someone, then why don’t I stop THEM ALL TOGETHER?

SO! Here is my Brave New World idea. As long as we – as a society – continue to find humor in the ridicule of others; or build ourselves up by degrading those around us – there will always be a group of people being wrongly insulted. Instead of writing about how we shouldn’t set double standards and shame women for what we praise men for, why don’t we just STOP SHAMING EVERYONE? Instead of talking about how we shouldn’t criticize a woman for bottle-feeding because that’s her choice, why don’t we just STOP CRITICIZING ALL PARENTAL CHIOCES? Instead of pointing out that picking on a girl for being skinny is just as shitty as picking on a girl for being fat, why don’t we just STOP PICKING ON EVERYONE?

Here are little things that have become acceptable (or always been acceptable) in our society that I feel breeds this general “LET’S ALL JUDGE AND MOCK EVERYONE!” attitude.

  • Snarking to a friend about how another friend should NOT be wearing flip flops with her gnarly toes.
  • Taking pictures of people at Wal-Mart who are wearing hideous outfits comprised entirely of hot pink camouflage.
  • Posting on Facebook about how many people you see in bikinis at the beach and how you don’t think your body should be in one and you’re half their size!
  • Tongue-in-cheek commentary about the mom in your kid’s class who insists they not have any refined sugar EVER.
  • Rolling your eyes with your co-worker about the person in the office who drinks a Diet Coke with their double cheeseburger from McDonalds.

These are all very minor moments that we’ve all participated in. But I truly feel that this general trend of building ourselves up by tearing someone else down, is simple creating a society that entertains itself entirely at the cost of others.

And I know, I KNOW, it’s never EVER going to change. It’s human nature to make ourselves feel better by trash-talking others. I KNOW. Trust me.

But…what if I could just change my own little sphere of influence? What if I could just focus on myself and maybe, just maybe, create a little more positivity in the world to battle ALL negativity.

So, instead of fretting about whether or not I should be shaming or ridiculing or mocking a certain behavior from a certain type of people, I’m just going to blanket eliminate it all. Unless my snark or laughter can make my community, my world, MYSELF better in some way, there is no need for it. And – as of right now – I haven’t come up with a situation where poking fun at another person can do anything positive in my life.

Granted – I was picked on a lot as a kid. I went to a daycare as one of the few Catholic school kids who showed up in uniform every day. I had frizzy hair and acne. I wore a headgear. I’ve always been sensitive to making fun of others and would rather there be nine million pr0n sites on the internet than that one site: People of Wal-Mart. I just have never really succumbed to the trend of laughing at strangers, because I still remember too vividly being laughed at as a child.

But still…I have poked fun of an outfit with a cohort. Or at least laughed when someone else did it. So, I’m not perfect. I’m no angel.

And while the world isn’t going to change. I know that. At least I can rest easy knowing that the next time I read an article where someone points out the insensitivity of something, I won’t have to worry about feeling bad for doing that same thing. I can go to sleep at night not worrying about the ripple effect my words my have in my community. I can sleep better spreading positivity instead of negativity.

And I can focus one Target to mock, ridicule, and laugh at: ME. Because Lord knows, I provide plenty of material to make fun of every day.

Look What I Found!

I haven’t done a Post Sharing The Crap I Share On Facebook lately. It’s not much, it’s basically Cool Stuff From Yesterday…but I want to share! So, you know, HERE YOU GO!

Y’all – bullet journal may be the sexiest video on the interwebs. I’ve been trying out this technique and I think it’s really going to help me (I make lists EVERYWHERE) but I’m struggling finding the perfect journal. I don’t want a moleskin because they’re a bit too big for my purse. (And the smaller size is too small to be functional.) I found a suitable one that may work, I’m testing it out this week. The idea is just FANTASTIC, I just have to find the right size/type of journal to make it functional.

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So! Some of my favorite YouTubers (HATE THAT WORD) are making a movie called Camp Takota and they’re filming behind-the-scenes stuff both at Chill.com/CAMP and Grace Helbig’s Channel. I have NO idea if this movie is going to be any good but I am LOVING the BTS stuff. I’m just a huge film/TV nerd anyway, I’m constantly wanting to know how the magic looks off screen. So, combine cool On Set videos with some hilarious YouTubers and I’m totally obsessing. There is a small part of me that wants them to keep screwing things up so the shoot has to last longer. We’re already halfway through right now and it’s totally bumming me out that I’m not going to get Camp Takota videos anymore.

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Speaking of Behind The Scenes Stuff…

“The Fault In Our Stars” started filming yesterday and John Green was posting pics on his instagram and it totally made me want to re-read the book again. This is such a weird movie to be excited about because the book TORE MY HEART into a million little pieces. Seriously.

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FEED READERS! Since Google Reader is long gone (and I still am SO pissed off about Reader taking away the “sharing” function that I can’t even be MORE pissed off about the RSS reader itself being gone) I have been using Feedly. I’m not 100% sold on it, but it’s working as a replacement. I do like that you can share things on social networks FROM the dashboard of the RSS reader itself. That’s probably my favorite part. And the layout is visually appealing. It’s not too clunky or busy.

But, here’s the thing, I totally was using this Find A New Feed Reader thing to force me to clean out my list of blogs because I was reading stuff simply because I used to read it and I realized that’s not a good rationale. So! Let’s try to improve my Feed Reader experience by giving me new blogs to read! What do you read? Who is your favorite?

So Many Moments!

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So, there was a lot of stuff that happened in the last week that I didn’t do the greatest job documenting because I was curled up in the fetal position in the corner of my bedroom, rocking myself in sadness over my baby moving off to college.

I may or may not be blogging right now from that same corner. It’s progress I’m at least uncurled.

The wee ones had their first week of school and it went really well. We’ve been working all summer on Wes’s behavior, trying to get him ready for big school, and the first week was a success. He didn’t get in trouble at all. He only moved his behavior clip once but he was able to move it back with good behavior so…compared to the beginning of the summer when he was kicking me and spitting in my face? I’d say we’re in a much better place.

Yay! for progress! I’ve had nightmares about Wes winning the award for Child Earliest To Be Kicked Out Of School. This week has been a pleasant surprise. However, he’s not handling the new schedule well and it’s made him REALLY emotional which means he was not helping me deal my own emotions when E left on Friday.

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ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Like it wasn’t hard enough without those giant crocodile tears!

But! The move onto campus was actually tons of fun and made Donnie and I totally want to re-enroll as an undergraduate somewhere.

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We got him all settled in and I’m now following his life via his twitter because kids these days don’t call home. They tweet home.

Finally…Donnie did a big race yesterday. He was given the honor of starting out with the Elite Wave of competitors and that alone was something HUGE to be proud of. He said he wasn’t happy with his overall results, feeling like he could have been a few minutes better in a few places, but he’s happy with his effort. It’s so fun watching him compete because he’s such an amazing athlete.

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Definitely a great week of memorable moments. While there may have been many tears of pride shed by me for all four members of my family (Second grade! Kindergarten! College! Triathlon!) I still found myself so blessed to be surrounded by such awesomeness in my family. They make me want to be a better person.

But let me tell you, I’m very happy to settle into some sort of boring and calm normalcy now. As fun as the excitement of transition and change is, deep down inside I want nothing than a calm and boring life to come home to. Where I can sit in my PJs, wear my fuzzy houseslippers, and read a book every night.

Ahhh…living the dream…