Forty-Something Years in Ninaland

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Mar
12

Paper Dreams

Paper-Dreams-by-Kenneth-Onulak-Music-by-John-Nolan-A-Animated-Short-Film

 

Get a grip

Hold on

those are the things we say

when we mean goodbye

but say hello instead…

 

I am a lover

a sad woman

who makes coffee

every time she is mad.

 

she does not say what

her mind does not want to hear

or know or be

the final stain of lipstick

on a cup

 

that is how you know it’s hers.

you are, you are thirsty

for something besides water

for something besides air

 

you are standing by the window

counting your cash

wishing you were measuring kisses

instead of green paper dreams.

paper_dreams

A dollar is just that isn’t it?

a dream?

it is a promise, but it is nothing

after all but paper.

 

Paper promises are the best

we sign them, we give our signature

without reading the fine print

in our eyes.

 

You are, you are, you are worth more

than a song written in a book

about music.

I am, i am, worth less

than your wordy promises.

 

We take these promises to court

we say i do

but we don’t.

I contemplate throwing up my food

when you cut your wrists

you are just a band aid away from death.

while i am a song away from certainty.

 

I know, i know, you are bleeding

but I don’t pray

instead I decide to create dread locks

with fake hair on a doll that is dead.

 

They say it’s voodoo

i say it’s tomorrow

they claim it is right now

what time is it really?

 

these words are soot from a fire

they are the atoms that

started the universe

you say, you say, you don’t believe me.

 

i say i am a liar

you say, so what?

i tell you i will hurt you

you say, so when?

 

we are all waiting for pain

at a bus stop

with graffiti on our backs

and piercings on our tongues.

 

you promised you would betray

me so I waited patiently

for the knife in my chest

but you drew a picture instead.

 

You call it art

I call it my face

you say i have never seen you before

you say it is your face.

 

As if you can own an image

even if it’s for sale

the faces on paper money

we are, we are all made of paper.

nina

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 March 12th, 2016  
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Mar
10

Repost—Can Watching ‘Family Guy’ be Meditation?

FAMILY GUY: Brian and Stewie travel back in time to the pilot episode of FAMILY GUY to change history, and then to change history again, in the "Back to the Pilot" episode of FAMILY GUY airing Sunday, Nov. 13 (9:00-9:30 PM ET/PT) on FOX. FAMILY GUY ™ and © 2011 TCFFC ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

FAMILY GUY: Brian and Stewie travel back in time to the pilot episode of FAMILY GUY to change history, and then to change history again, in the “Back to the Pilot” episode of FAMILY GUY airing Sunday, Nov. 13 (9:00-9:30 PM ET/PT) on FOX. FAMILY GUY ™ and © 2011 TCFFC ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

December 22, 2011

I got up today at six o’clock to do some meditation.  Then I realized that I don’t know what meditation is.  So I’m sitting here, with my eyes closed, wondering when “It” will hit me.  I used to get up at six on Saturdays when I was a kid to watch cartoons.  I was so engrossed, that, I have to wonder, is watching something as banal as “The Road Runner” a form of meditation?

Then where do we draw the line?  Is watching pornography meditation?

I think it’s about the mindset that you are trying to create.  There are those who believe that sexual expression is a form of meditation, there was a book written on that, it’s called the Kama Sutra.

family-guy-quagmire-600x333

Now here me out:  The point of meditation is to be mindless or mindful, or both at the same time.  That means something like awareness with the letting go of awareness.  A television show is an imaginary world we enter and lose our minds in.  So is video gaming, reading, writing, even jogging.  So is sex.

So if life itself can be a meditation, then is meditation nothing?  No, because while you are in the middle of life, recognizing that you are in the middle of life, and then letting that recognition go and being mentally free of the stupid chatter in your brain…Well, I think that’s meditation.

My head is spinning all the time, usually, it’s just crap that it’s spinning with.  Right now if I let my mind go this is what it would sound like:  I gotta go to Wallmart to get those bulbs, what else was a I supposed to get from there, I hate fucking Wallmart, I have to take the clothes out of my car, if I don’t pay that parking meter in four more days it will double, how much money do I have in my account?

And so on and so on.  Our brains were meant for something higher than all that crap.  For some people it is math and logic, for others it is creativity.  But when you can shut that chatter off, you can be free.  I would even go as far as to say that talking in a manner that is uplifting and respectful can be a form of meditation, it’s an exchange of ideas.

Many people believe that meditation is very rule based:  You must sit in a certain position, close your eyes and chant the name of god.

family god

Why?  Because this chanting gets rid of the bullshit in your head and there is nothing wrong with that.  However, there are other ways of expressing spirituality that can be just as effective and real.  I’m assuming that god or goddess put us on Earth to live, not to sit in a room all day every day and chant.  We have work to do and a family to raise, but if in the back of our minds, we are realizing that we are one with all humanity and living things, even while we are doing mundane acts like washing the dishes, we might become free of the mediocrity of our lives.

I think sometimes it’s just about transcending the moment, and being in the moment at the same time.  Meditation is about being here, but realizing that the space we are in is temporary yet eternal.

Truthfully, it’s hard to make sense of it.

Sometimes I hate television so much and I will just close my eyes while it is on and stop thinking.  Maybe this is escapism, but maybe it is a form of meditation in which I leave my reality for a little while and enter some other space.

Maybe if you shut the clutter of your mind and get up and dance…well in some states in India people dance for god.  If you want to do it for god, do it for god.  If you want to do it for yourself, then I hope you dance.

nina

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 March 10th, 2016  
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Mar
09

Only One Day for Women?

 

int-womens-day

I kinda missed International Women’s Day. I don’t get it though…it went by so fast. I was busy teaching and all of a sudden it’s over. There is Black History Month, African Americans get a whole month and women around the entire world get one day. Women are half the population of the entire world. This is not like Valentines Day. It’s not irrelevant and cheesy. It is vital to our very existence that we be recognized for more than one day.

I was impressed by some of the posts about activist women around the world. I’m a feminist and I didn’t know about many of these women. That, my friends, is a tragedy. I know a little too much about Donald Trump’s dick and not enough about my sisters who are fighting the good fight.

The women in my life are extremely important to me, they are not more or less important than the men in my life. It’s not a contest. But I don’t know what I would do without my girls. The emotional capacity that women have to understand each other is mind blowing.

I’m not dissing men here, they are great and everything. But for once this is not about men.

international-womens-day1

I have trouble with the fact that I’m more for Bernie Sanders than I am for Hillary Clinton because of the fact that she is a woman. But if I voted for her just because she is a woman, it would be anti-feminist of me. To vote for someone based on gender goes against feminist values.

I think that one day we should have a woman president. I think we should have a woman god, but that is not up to me to decide. Honestly though, when you think of the divine, do you picture a dude? I do. And I’m really not a fan of the idea that god is a man, however I’ve been conditioned just as much as the next woman.

I’m not a girl; I’m a woman. Just like you wouldn’t call Obama a boy, don’t call me a girl because it demeans my womanhood. Yes, I am woman hear me roar. The collective roar of women is getting louder. And just what are we roaring about?

women's protest

A lot of women are fighting for children and things that affect men and women. The women’s movement really is a human movement because women take care of men as much as they take care of each other. Emotionally, would you rather go to a man or a woman to understand you? Be honest.

Women are not superior to men because we have an insight into emotions. We are simply different. That difference is not better, not worse. Just different. I may have said it before and I will say it again: Men and women are equal, not identical.

I don’t wish I was a man. I don’t have penis envy as Freud suggested. What I do have is anger, anger towards a system that promotes the violence and disrespect of women. Not paying women the same as men for the same work is not only disrespectful, it is illegal and immoral. No one is really doing anything about it, though. Women like Jennifer Lawrence, the highest paid actress in Hollywood is getting paid less than her male counterparts. She is making a ‘fuss’ about it. She may be a millionaire, but it’s about the principle, not the money.

In the end, it is about economics though isn’t it? Isn’t everything? There are more single women raising kids alone, then single dads and women are raising those kids with less money. In poorer neighborhoods we wonder why young males turn to crime. We blame the fact that they don’t have a man in their life. What about the fact that they don’t have money in their life?

Money walks, talks, and can have a gun. What I mean by that is, people kill each other for money, and most of those people are men. Women are not most of the rapists, the murderers, the terrorists, and the mass shooters. So why are the men in power paying us less money? Why are men even in power if they are more likely to abuse it? I’m not saying I am in favor of a matriarchy, but equal power would be enough.

equality

Men are not afraid enough of women. This is not wise. We don’t need more muscles to win this fight anymore. Men started out with more power simply because they have more physical strength. That does not matter in a world where a woman is just as free to get a semi-automatic as a man.

How many women do you think get semi-automatics, though? We are a peaceful gender. Don’t mistake our kindness for weakness. I think Rihanna sang that in a song. She was beaten by a man. She is not weak: she is a survivor.

Most women are survivors of some form of sexual harassment, violation, abuse or assault. The majority of women are survivors of being sexually objectified by men. This fight is far from over. If you don’t think there are real problems that women are fighting for, that feminism is a false unnecessary movement, think again.

Women give birth to men, love men, raise men and respect men. Do us a favor men, don’t just applaud us for one day. Try it for one lifetime.

nina

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 March 9th, 2016  
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Mar
08

What’s the Point?

I almost fell asleep driving home from Lansing, Michigan this morning. It’s an hour and a half drive. My car almost swerved a couple times, it was a little scary and highly annoying to try to stay awake while operating machinery when you are exhausted. Don’t try it at home.

mc griddle

I stopped at McDonalds to get a coffee; I thought it might wake me up. But I also got a McGriddle breakfast sandwich. If you don’t know what that is, good for you, keep it that way. I think it was voted like the worst thing you can eat at a fast food restaurant. It’s an egg, cheese and bacon sandwich with pancakes instead of bread. It tastes pretty amazing. Was it worth the calories? Not so much.

I came into work to tutor and a student told me I looked worn out and frazzled. That kind of embarrassed me. My head hurts a little and I’m still sleepy. It’s just another manic Monday. Wish it were Sunday. That’s my fun day.

By the time you read this, things will have settled down and it will be Tuesday. Tuesday is a lot easier to deal with than Monday. This month of March feels like it is going slowly. So is this post. What to write about? What do you want to know?

I want to be light today and not talk about something really heavy. I’m just real tired. I don’t know if this is actually a post worth publishing, we will see. Once I find a topic and something to say about it.

I started reading newspapers again. I love Mitch Albom and his column in the Detroit Free Press. He is tremendously talented. Honestly, though, I don’t think his fiction is on par with his column and non-fiction. That’s just my opinion.

Did you know that about forty percent of people under the age of 44, haven’t read a book all year? This is bothersome. I don’t think it’s healthy to just read crap like this on the Internet as opposed to real literature, magazines and newspapers. I used to read every column in the Detroit Free Press when I was in high school. I learned more from that than I did from school. I read books that weren’t assigned. I gave myself most of my education.

Copyright © 2016 Ugly Dog Books

Copyright © 2016 Ugly Dog Books

I know I’m biased because I teach reading and writing, but I want to tell everyone that it is so enriching on a personal level to read. You get to live another life, in another time or place or even planet. There is something so powerful about real literature that can awaken something inside you that you never knew you had. Everything that is written on the Interwebs is a list of ways to be happy. Reading books is not that list.

The best books I’ve read have made me rethink my entire life and self. I think maybe that is why I write, to think out loud. I write in order to make sense of the world. It is my way of communicating my experience, my thoughts, my feelings.

This is not good enough. I say that all the time when I am writing. I don’t think this particular post is good enough. Sometimes it is hard to have something to say, something to think about.

I will tell you what I was just thinking about. I was reading in Psychology Today about the fact that we as a nation are experiencing an anti-intellectual movement. People don’t want to read or necessarily know and understand what is going on in the world. Apparently 13% people still think that sun revolves around the earth. I wonder how many people think the earth is flat.

I’m sorry if I don’t quite understand this movement of stupidity that is taking over. I think it starts in high school, the article said so. The good-looking jocks and the pretty cheerleaders are the popular ones in America. The smart kids are considered geeky, nerdy and dorky.

I guess that trend is not true in other countries. In other places around the world, people value intelligence and the ‘popular’ people are often the most intelligent. Indians have a reputation of being ‘nerds.’ It’s only in America that Indians are nerds; there are a ton of non-nerds in India. But only the smartest people make it to the U.S.

I’m sorry I want to marry a nerd real badly. Honestly, I want a guy who knows shit and can make money. I mean I guess that sounds just as superficial as if I said I want a dude who’s hot and hilarious.

Still I prefer intelligence to good looks. I find men who are not objectively attractive very attractive if they have a brilliant mind. Having a beautiful mind trumps a beautiful face and body every time. I wonder if I am a real nerd. I didn’t do as well in school in math and science because I was always artsy. I don’t know if I’m smart enough to be a nerd. I’m definitely dorky and geeky enough.

I don’t know, writers and artists have a different type of intelligence that cannot necessarily be measured in a standardized test. I did bad on my SAT, ACT, and GRE. But I got into Columbia University anyways.

eq

I don’t know, nowadays people are looking at Emotional Intelligence as being just as important as an IQ. EQ they call it. Emotionally, I’m not sure if I’m that fit. I got 99 problems and most of them are in my head. I’m not sure how I would do on an EQ test.

I’m good at writing I guess, but I still have problems with grammar and spelling. It is embarrassing at this point. I have a Masters degree in Writing and I still don’t really understand commas. Where to pause? That is the question.

I got this new computer program called Grammarly, it’s great, and I highly recommend it. It’s free for like basic stuff, for real editing you have to pay. I just need surface stuff, or so I think. I’m advertising for them and I didn’t even inform them. They are not even paying me.

I was thinking about that the other day. I still haven’t figured out how to make money with my blog. I wonder sometimes why I’m writing it, why not wait till I learn how to profit from it? I can’t explain the ecstasy of writing and having an audience right away. I can’t quite articulate how deeply meaningful the written word is to me. I need this like I need air. Sometimes I can’t breathe when I don’t write.

I keep hoping one day a post will go viral and the whole thing will be a cultural phenomena. I know: it’s like winning the lottery. But it could happen. There are other ways to make money on blogs, but it takes money to take those courses. I will. In due time.

I’m going to tell you how stupid I am. You want to know how stupid I am? I will tell you so you don’t ever think you are too stupid to be alive. Apparently it’s good to be stupid in this country anyways. I spent 500 dollars on a PayPal credit card, on an ‘inspirational’ online course that was supposed to make all my dreams come true. I didn’t follow the course. In fact, I got tired of it in two days.

The thing is, I think it actually works for some people. So why would I pay that much money and then not even use it? Well, the thing I think that turned me off was that it was talking about manifesting things, like money and success. I don’t believe you should try to manifest superficial things. I think love and happiness and enlightenment are what you want to manifest, at least that is what I want.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t hate money. I want money. Lots and lots of money. But I want to get it my way. I don’t know what that way is yet exactly. But I have always believed I would be rich one day. It is something I feel like I know.

I have no business thinking I will become rich. I’m a professor and a writer and I have bad credit. None of these things points to money or fame. Yet I think I will have both eventually. The fame I’m not too worried about, the money is what I need.

Well, that’s all folks.

Thanks for taking this ride with me. I hope I didn’t put you to sleep.

nina

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 March 8th, 2016  
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Mar
07

Naked Teachers?

naked woman

Did you hear that story recently about the teacher in South Carolina whose naked picture was posted to all her students by a boy who stole her cell phone? The young man was not punished until there was an outrage by the public. In fact, the teacher was blamed and almost accused of corrupting a minor. She was pressured to resign. What is going on here?

I was a high school teacher for a hot minute. Actually for about a year. I also kept my iPhone on my desk, but I had a password to unlock it. I didn’t trust my students completely. I too have some racy photos on my phone. Don’t judge. It doesn’t make me a porn star. It makes me a modern woman living in the millennial century or whatever we call this.

What I think is ridiculous in this case is that the Superintendent was upset at the teacher and almost charged her for violating a teen. He called the picture, “inappropriate material.”

I’m sorry, perhaps she didn’t realize that in her personal life she wasn’t allowed to send her HUSBAND a naked photo for Valentines Day, as she later reported. This is about more than just teachers and students, this is about women and the way we perceive them. Any woman who is comfortable and free with her body is looked down upon. I mentioned in a previous post about how an indecent man sent me a picture of his penis. THAT is inappropriate because it was unsolicited. In the case of the teacher, she was doing something completely natural in her private life. It is not a sin to be naked for god’s sake. I think it is a sin to give high school kids the impression that she made a mistake by taking the picture in the first place. Violating someone’s privacy is a mistake and should be a felony. If my husband was looking at my cell phone without my permission I would be upset, much less some punk kid.

I was hesitant to mention here that I have pictures of myself in my bra on my phone. I was afraid I would be judged, but how many women have pictures of themselves in a bikini? What’s the difference?  You don’t need to know why I have these pictures,  you just need to know that this is my business. My private business, that I would expect no one whether it is a student or member of my faculty or family, to abuse. And honestly, if you are judging me for my personal life, get a life. If I had naked pictures of myself I’m sure you would look at me differently. However, you stare at art all the time that depicts the nude human body. What’s the difference?

I teach in college now and I don’t lock my phone, I don’t know why I forgot that young adults are also not to be trusted. I will lock it now. Looks like the world is a lot dirtier than I had thought. Let’s be clear in this case: the student was dirty not the teacher. It is not ‘illicit’ or even illegal or immoral to have any kind of picture you want on your personal phone.

smartphone

Are we still in puritanical times? Why was this student not punished immediately? I will tell you why, because he was a boy. And boys will be boys, won’t they? It’s like the Superintendent was saying the boy could not help but post those pictures to other students. He could not help but invade her privacy and then publicize her personal business. The student also threatened the teacher by telling her, “Your reckoning is coming.” That is a form of harassment.

Where are this boy’s parents? Why is he allowed to breathe anymore? My parents would have put me in a room where breathing would have become very difficult if I disrespected my teachers this much. In India, teachers are considered gods. In fact the word ‘Guru’ means teacher.

teacher

I show this particular cartoon in my college class every year when we talk about visual images and their arguments. What is this image saying? I ask my students all the time and I get some interesting answers. This is the way it is now, teachers are perceived to be sluts while students are perceived to be valiant.

You know the reason I don’t teach high school anymore. I will be completely honest: It was too hard. That is it. The hours were outrageous; I got to school at 6:30 in the morning and usually was working on lesson plans until about 7:00 at night. The kids were out of control. I would get paid shit, and I was teaching students who I know for a fact were making fun of me behind my back.

I mean the intellectual level wasn’t where I was comfortable teaching, and that may be a big reason I quit. But more than anything, it was too much for me. I am more than grateful and impressed with teachers. They are giving their lives for these students and we don’t even respect them enough to give them decent wages. On top of that, we blame the failure of our educational system on teachers. They may be the only people in this system that are not failing.

Schools and education, in general, is going down because of Superintendents like this one who took the side of some idiot kid over a responsible adult teacher. When are we going to understand that respect is due to teachers and discipline is due to students?

My parents were whacked with belts as kids. I am not suggesting that we should beat kids by any means. I don’t even believe in spanking. But I do think that authorities in school should demand some common decency and respect.

Kids who don’t respect teachers will probably not respect their bosses and will probably therefore not advance much in their careers. Boys who are taught to ‘sexualize’ teachers will do the same for all the women in their lives who have authority.

I am aware that there are some isolated incidences of teachers who have illicit affairs with their students. These cases are so few and far between, that is why they get so much press. If this were happening every day, no one would find it interesting. Of course, we should be appalled by this behavior, but this behavior is not even close to the norm.

If there is such a thing as selfless service, teachers are doing just that. They put in excruciating long hours and are getting less and less respect from their students. But they keep on going. Why? Most of them care. Yes, some of them are just doing their jobs, but most of them are actually concerned with students’ learning and welfare.

Any nitwit with a degree can become a college professor. However, there is a long arduous process to become a high school teacher. There are so many checks and balances in this system that it is rare that an unqualified person is hired.

Teachers have some of the highest rates of quitting their jobs, more than almost any other profession. Why do you think that is? They are not valued. They are not respected, by their students or by society at large. In Finland, teachers are paid a much higher salary and only the best in their field become teachers.

“In Japan, for example, teachers are held in high esteem and normally viewed as among the most important members of a community. There is suspicion and even disdain for the work of teachers that occurs in the U.S. Teachers in Japan typically are paid significantly more than their peers in the U.S. The profession of teaching is one that is seen as being of central value in Japanese society and those who choose that profession are well compensated in terms of salary, pension, and respect for their knowledge and their efforts on behalf of children.”—Psychology Today

That makes sense to me. This is not some second rate job, but teachers in the United States do not get paid much more than the new minimum wage of $15 an hour. They are getting paid less then garbage men, who are also government workers. Why do we value our garbage more than our students?

I’m glad I’m not a teacher because the modern day teenager is not someone I can deal with. When I was teaching at a high school, I became very close to set of jocks that were in one of my classes. At first, I was very disciplined with them, because they would screw around.

However, I built a certain relationship with them that started with respect. They knew I was not going to be easy on them, but they would come to me and chat with me before and after class. They trusted me and genuinely treated me the way a teacher should be treated.

Once a certain football player who I had become close with started to sexually harass a young woman in my class. I was livid. I sat him down, looked him in the eyes and told him this kind of behavior was outrageous and unacceptable. Then in my passionate moment of anger, I actually said to him, “You can jack off on your own time.”

OK, I realize I should not have said those exact words. I saw my entire career flashing in front my eyes after I said that. And if he had reported me I could have been fired. He stopped harassing the girl and we never spoke of it again, we went on as if it never happened.

I happen to think that I made a huge mistake, but I think it is ridiculous that speaking to your students in their own language could make you lose your job as a teacher. I was working in an uptight neighborhood. But teachers are constantly given a hard time, no matter what the situation.

Think about this: teachers create professionals of every other sort. Without teachers, we would not be able to have an educated society. Teachers are more important than the inane politicians we spend our time reading about. Let’s give a little attention and gratitude where it is deserved.

Hats off to you, teachers. You do something that most of us could never do.

Thank you.

nina

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 March 7th, 2016  
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Mar
06

Our Robotic Reality

The boney hands of a skeleton type on a computer keyboard

The boney hands of a skeleton type on a computer keyboard © Phil Date | Dreamstime Stock Photos

So the thing is, I’m sitting here like an idiot because I have to grade a bunch of papers, but the website I grade them on is not working and I can’t figure how to download the papers. Boo hoo. It’s like time stopped because my computer isn’t doing what it’s told. I should have just asked for hard copies, but grading on the computer is much easier and I don’t have to carry around a bunch of papers.

I mean I’m saving trees and stuff. But I’m turning into a machine. I stare at this machine far more than I would like to. I like this contraption far more than I will admit. When the machine doesn’t do what I want it to do, I complain, I whine. This computer could be my best friend, unfortunately.

Next in line is my iPhone. I probably don’t know how to use half of its functions, yet I’m still satisfied that I have this intelligent little thing hanging out with me. Yup it’s just the gadgets and me.

All of a sudden, I feel incredibly sad. Sad that I spend more time with computers than I do with people. That is a pity. What the fuck am I doing with my life? I should get off of here, shut off the T.V. power off my phone and I don’t know, hang out with a friend. Have a conversation.

What are we doing here people, this is the kind of future we dreaded. The reason I’m continuing to talk on the very machine, which I am criticizing, is that is a forum for me to speak. I will not deny the good in life that technology has brought.

But when we look at Facebook and all we see are happy families and faces, we wonder is it making us feel bad about ourselves? I personally throw all my dirty laundry on Facebook via my blog. I talk about my mental health, my insecurities, and my shame.

I don’t necessarily want to display my worst on the web. But I want, to be honest when I write. However, I control my level of honesty. I mean I could tell you my worst fear is dying completely alone. But I don’t reveal who I’m dating or like the fact that I had no clean underwear today so I’m going commando. I realize I just revealed that it’s an example of how far we can go into people’s private lives.

I think people might think that I don’t have any privacy because I will write about anything. Not true. I don’t write about people I love and their issues. I don’t write about my family issues. I don’t reveal the inner workings of my clan. I try to keep my tribe’s talk out of the spotlight.

On another note, did you see Spotlight? It was a great movie, it deserved best picture. It revealed the inner workings of sin. Real sin. The kind you actually go to hell for. I bring this up in this particular piece of work to draw the similarity between the sex scandals in the Church with the scandal in our lives.

The real scandal is that we are more in love with our things than we are our people. This is a sin, people. I don’t actually believe in hell, except for child molesters, but I believe in karma. We are all sinners. I mean the Bible even says that. I just lied to my father today about something related to my computer. He’s such a nice man. He’s an elderly blind man with heart issues; he doesn’t deserve my dishonesty. Why did I lie about a stupid machine? It was a white lie. (I’m not even going to get into the racial implications of that phrase we use.) I don’t know: lying is convenient. As convenient as technology is. But it is like I chose this computer over him. I will never find enlightenment if I keep lying. My thoughts need to be aligned with my actions. I intend on living the truth. I can’t even speak the truth all the time. But I digress…

What’s wrong with me? It’s not just me is it? What’s wrong with us?

We live and breathe by the machines and gadgetry we have instead of looking people in the eyes and telling them how it really is. I think technology might be taking us further away from being human. It’s helping us lie about what’s important.

dreamstimefree_106245

© Dawn Hudson | Dreamstime Stock Photos

What does it mean to be human in a world that is so digitally driven? What does it mean to be a person in all this mess? Did you ever see Her; it’s a film about a man who falls in love with a voice on his computer. We are not too far away from that. I mean we might not need people to love anymore: machines might replace hearts. I think they actually do already.

My mom is talking to me right now. She’s telling me about an Indian movie and singing a song from there. It’s cute. It’s real. It’s human. She yells at me when I bring my laptop to the kitchen table and type away while she’s talking to me. Even if she’s talking to me about Indian movies. She knows. She knows better. I’m doing what she hates right now, though.

Mama always knows best. She also tells me that ding on my phone when I get a text message is the most irritating sound she has ever heard in her entire life. We are talking about gun control right now. I don’t remember how it came up. She is a delightful woman, full of spunk and charm. I feel like I’m losing some of my charisma by staring at a screen all day and night.

Ha ha, my mom just asked me to call my dad. He is upstairs. This is what we have come to. And instead of walking upstairs I’m going to call him on my cell phone.

But my parents still like old style talking, shooting the shit, instead of texting or Facebooking. Remember when people used to sit around a fire at night after dinner and just yap. Tell stories and jokes and sing songs.

What has happened to us?

© Studio Dream | Dreamstime Stock Photos

© Studio Dream | Dreamstime Stock Photos

I want so badly to feel the grass on my feet and sit in front of a fire. I know I could go camping, and I would like to do that. But it could be more integrated in my life, this natural living. I drive a car everywhere I go, last night I had to walk a little distance in Royal Oak, a cute little downtown area near me. When I was walking, I was upset I had not parked closer. Why? It wasn’t that cold. There was fresh air and people all around me. I was out with a good friend.

I don’t know how to be anymore. And in the evenings when I’m with my friends and refuse to access my gadgets, I feel a funny withdrawal. My mom said something to me just now and I totally did not hear it, but I nodded yes. This is pathetic. I’m better than this. Stop reading this and go tell someone you love them. I got to go…

nina

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 March 6th, 2016  
 ninakaur0  
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Mar
05

Love and Marriage Part II

dreamstimefree_269702

© Mamz | Dreamstime Stock Photos

I want to love someone. A man in particular. Right now would be a great time. Honestly I haven’t been in love for a long time and I miss it. I miss the euphoria, the companionship, the friendship. Sure I have friends, but I’m not in love with any of them.

I have a public account on Facebook due to the fact that I advertise my blog. I don’t know why but I get a lot of stalkers. A man just sent me a pic of his junk. I blocked him immediately but the issue is, first of all, there must be a girl or two who has been wooed by a dick pic. I don’t know any of these women, however, these dudes would not be doing this if it didn’t work for someone.

Now don’t get me wrong, no one is stalking me in real life. In real life I have trouble getting a date. But online, these men who are usually from other countries, want to get to know me. There is one guy who messaged me from England and he is very intelligent. I do correspond with him, but he actually reads my blog and has something thoughtful to say about it.

I’m not saying you have to read my blog in order to be my friend, or my lover. It would be fantastic, but it’s not an actual requirement for me. What do I require in a mate, you ask? Ok, you didn’t ask, but I’m going to tell you anyways.

I want someone who is above all kind. Kindness is very underrated. You can be smart and witty and hot, but if you are not nice what’s the point? I don’t really believe in the notion that nice guys finish last. Guys who ‘think’ they are soooo ‘nice’ finish last. They are usually so busy thinking about how nice they are that they forget to act on it.

Nice is as nice does. I need a man who isn’t afraid to open up to me emotionally as well. I don’t particularly desire an emotionally guarded individual. I’m not a therapist: I don’t have the patience to discover your true self. You should have discovered it by now if you want my attention.

My friends tell me I’m a real bitch because I want someone who went to college. It’s not a total requirement for me anymore because recently I accidentally dated a guy who didn’t go to college. I suspect he is just as intelligent as me even though I teach in college and have almost three degrees.

I used to have salary requirements for my man. Nothing under seventy-five grand I used to think. Then again, I dated someone who made considerably less than that and realized that I don’t really need a sugar daddy. Again, it comes back to kindness. I want a good man. That is basically all I require.

It helps if you can make me laugh and make me think. People ask me all the time why I haven’t gotten married yet. A lot of people I know are divorced or unhappily married. I mean I love the idea of marriage, but I don’t need it. I think people come into your lives for a certain period of time to give you an experience, and once you have exhausted the shit out of each other, it ends. Or they die. Or you die…Forever? We don’t live forever, so what is this forever love bullshit anyways? It would be great to grow together with someone, I’m not suggesting I like having to switch partners, but I am suggesting that maybe we are putting too much pressure on our relationships.

We make these commitments until death do us part, and then we go ahead and break them. So why make them? If it is so happens you are together until you both croak, then halleluiah. But maybe, just maybe there is something the universe wants to give you by giving you various partners throughout time.

Some people think there is a ‘one.’ The ‘one.’ I used to think that until I realized there is more than one, one. At least that is my experience. If you have found the ‘one’ than you go ahead and be happy with that. But don’t like require that things will not change, that you and this person will not change. Time changes everything and everyone. People grow apart.

We all know this, but we somehow are attached to the notion of marriage being final, even though more than fifty percent of marriages in this country end in divorce. If we are probably going to divorce the person we love to death, then why don’t we just go in knowing that it could end? Wouldn’t that make things easier? Maybe it wouldn’t end if we did this.

I’m not suggesting that you be a pessimist. I’m totally an optimist. Have a good time while you are together. My parents would kill me if they knew I thought this way, but just know that it is OK if things eventually go south. I think that a lot of people get divorced because they think once they are married, the marriage itself will make it last a lifetime. I assume the wedding or marriage is not what makes it last, but the hard work it requires. If people thought about that more it might actually last.

Yes, people don’t understand that good times and bad times come and to stay together through the bad times is the hardest part. Yes there is something to be said for standing by someone through it all…but what if you start to despise that person? I don’t believe in hate, but what if you can’t stand them after a while? I mean this happens in marriages that do last a lifetime, but what if you just can’t do it anymore?

Are you going to hate yourself because you couldn’t make it work? Maybe it wasn’t supposed to work forever. I know, I know, I’m not traditional. I’m breaking the idea of marriage apart. I don’t think so though, this is all talk. You, our society, has broken marriage apart. Most people are either divorced or in a marriage they might want to get out of.

Those that stay who are unhappy, are staying because of some cultural norm. As I’m writing this, I swear I just got a message from a random dude on Facebook. He is named after a popular prophet, that’s all I’m going to say. “Good Day to you Nina Kaur …This is blank that you accepted her friend requested that i sent to you ans thank you so much more for doing that for me,The purpose of me sending you a friend request Is….I’m Interested In Meeting You,and i will always make you happy all time and all days.”

You can’t make this stuff up. He is in the army and he lives in the United States of America. His language skills, forgive me I’m an English professor, but his English is a little off. He might not originally be from the U.S.

Why is this happening to me? I mean I’m alright looking. My friend says that they are after me because my profile picture looks like I want sex. I don’t know if that is true, and what is this ‘look’ that says ‘come get me.’ I am not changing the picture yet, I took it last year, but I’m not changing it yet because it’s like having to change your phone number because some asshole keeps calling you. It’s invasive.

Getting a dick pic from an unknown source is also invasive. It’s downright dirty if you ask me. I mean if you are in a decent relationship, than it would be different, I mean if you really ‘know’ that person. However, we can all agree that men are really taking it to a new low on the Internet with complete strangers.

Facebook is not a sex site. It is not a dating site. I only use it to promote my writing. I don’t post stuff otherwise because I don’t think I’m that interesting. Although I bare my soul in my blog, I don’t know what to say on Facebook just randomly. I like a lot of things people say on Facebook, I’m pretty generous with my ‘likes.’ But I don’t get the fascination with showing people what you ate, or that you were just at CVS.

I go to CVS quite a bit. If I posted my location every time I was there…I mean why would I do that? The gym is a little different because it motivates you to go to the gym when you are being held accountable. If I ever went to the gym, I might write about it because it would be a historical event, however I don’t know if I would tell you what gym I’m at. I already have a problem with these online stalkers. I am very serious when I say that I do not by any means want a real life stalker. Let me repeat that, I might laugh at cyber stalking, but ALL stalking is sick. Get help.

I want to be honest. I think this might be karma. I stalked someone in my twenties. Well let me confess I didn’t follow this person around or anything, I sent him letters and a few gifts. They were long letters: I am a writer after all. I was not in my right mind at the time that I did this. I was having manic episodes. I would like to apologize to the person I did it to but I don’t think he wants to hear from me again. I tend to be wordy: my apology would probably scare him.

I thought this human being was the one, like I thought we had been together in past lives. I don’t in fact remember any of my past lives. I believe I’ve had some. I no longer think the man that I harassed is the love of my life or lives. I think he’s just a dude, a nice guy. Come on give me a break, a good man is hard to find. Flannery O’Conner said that and she could not have been more spot-on.

This should be my Match.com profile: I’m a stalker who is mentally ill, although I’ve sought help and I’m totally OK now. I’m a writer who will probably write about you in some way shape or form if we date. I don’t want to be with you forever.

Who wouldn’t want to date me? I’m such a catch. I kid, I joke.

I hope I’m always laughing about it…

nina

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 March 5th, 2016  
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Mar
04

Stop Hate

For those of you who do not know, I’m a Sikh. Sikhism is a religion. What does that mean? Oh it means so many things, I suggest you Google it to find out more information if you are not familiar with this faith.

I’m proud to be a Sikh. I may not be a traditional Sikh but generally have faith in my religion. Alongside the rise of Donald Trump some scary stuff is happening in this country regarding religious freedom to Sikhs in particular. Some people are confusing Sikhs as Muslims because Sikh men wear turbans. Some people are spreading hate:

Spokane’s Sikh Temple vandalized, holy book desecrated

THURSDAY, MARCH 3, 2016, 1:27 P.M.

A naked man who was arrested early Thursday inside the Sikh Temple of Spokane is facing a possible hate crime charge after he allegedly desecrated sacred items there. About $30,000 in damage was done to the interior of the temple…“actions like this are indicative of growing Islamophobic sentiment across our nation, where there has been a steady increase in backlash and hate crimes targeting Muslim, Sikh, South Asian and Arab communities.” —The Spokesman Review

LA Sikh Bus Driver Assaulted and Called “Terrorist”

sikh bus driver

On November 6, 2015, a turbaned Sikh bus operator for the Los Angeles County MTA was brutally attacked by a bus passenger who called him a “terrorist“ and “suicide bomber,” and accused him of hijacking the bus.

December 8, 2015 (Buena Park, CA) –  A Sikh gurdwara (house of worship) in Orange County, CA, along with a community member’s truck in the parking lot, were vandalized with hateful graffiti. The graffiti included the phrase, “Fuck ISIS,” along with gang references.—-Sikh Coalition.

Another NYC Sikh Injured in Hate Attack

2nd Attack in 2 Weeks

Shocking Hate Crime in Queens, NY: Sikh Man Struck, Dragged 30 Feet By Pickup Truck

August 8, 2014 (New York, NY) – A Sikh resident of New York City was attacked and injured on Roosevelt Island last night in an apparent hate crime. The attack occurred just days after another suspected hate crime, in which Sandeep Singh—a Sikh American—was run over and dragged on a public street in Queens by a driver in a pick-up truck.—Sikh Coalition.

Gunman Kills 6 at a Sikh Temple Near Milwaukee

oakcreek vigil

OAK CREEK, Wis. —In an attack that the police said they were treating as “a domestic terrorist-type incident,” the gunman stalked through the temple around 10:30 a.m. Congregants ran for shelter and barricaded themselves in bathrooms and prayer halls, where they made desperate phone calls and sent anguished texts pleading for help as confusion and fear took hold. Witnesses described a scene of chaos and carnage.—New York Times

Honestly, did you know about any of this? All of this? You should know.

Sikhs and Muslims are not the only ones being targeted… Some people are so ignorant that they are confusing Sikhs as Muslims. They don’t care who they are discriminating against or being violent towards. They see us as all the same: we are the enemy. It makes you think, who is the real enemy?

donald muslim

If you ask me I’m more afraid of a white man with a gun shooting up a school than I am of a Muslim terrorist bombing an airplane. Forgive me but I work in schools, I barely fly. I am more afraid that I will be a target of some racial hate crime because I too look Muslim, than I am of being the target of an actual ISIS attack. I’m more afraid of police officers beating up my brothers for being brown or black than I am of Middle Eastern men populating the streets of Dearborn, Michigan, a city nearby me that has the largest Middle Eastern population outside of the Middle East.

Actually let’s be realistic: I’m more afraid of Donald Trump than I am of ISIS.

Let me explain this: Donald Trump is a bully and bigot. The government of the United States is at least trying to protect me from terrorists and they have protected me thus far, even living in New York City during 911. If the government itself starts hating minorities, where does that leave me? Yeah, this is personal.

The idea that we should sit around fearing terrorists is an easy escape from our real local problems. People in the inner city do not have jobs, poor kids are dropping out of school and we have more people in jail than any other country. Let the government worry about ISIS, while Americans try to get decent jobs. People have more immediate concerns.  There is more of a chance that I will die in a car accident because some idiot is texting and driving than some random terrorist incident.

donald mexican quoteAfter all is said and done I am the most afraid of having a dictator like Donald Trump in office. He doesn’t know I’m not Muslim; he doesn’t care. He would throw me under the same bus that he would throw all minorities. For god’s sake he is not really that upset that the KKK is following and voting for him. He basically hates Mexicans. Now the leader of the Nation of Islam is praising Trump because he hates Jews. This is getting complicated.

If a large enough percentage of people are for Trump, what does that say about the people in this country? Although actually it is much less than half the population, but it is still a huge number. I’m not going to lie I’m deeply disturbed and a little scared. I lived in New York during 911 and I wasn’t as afraid for my country as I am now. Terrorist attacks are isolated; a dictator is pervasive.

“His proposal to close America’s borders to people from a single religion, if taken literally, would leave the country a global pariah and play into the propaganda of extremists from such groups as Islamic State. If his proposal were to include American citizens (the details are vague, the proposal being nonsense) it would trample the constitution.”—The Economist.

In the beginning I thought it was a joke when people started to compare the rise of Trump with the rise of Hitler.

donald and Hitler

It’s not funny anymore. He is so completely ignorant that he accused a Sikh man of wearing a ‘hat’ in one of his rallies, and had the man escorted out. African American people who were simply peacefully attending his rallies have been escorted out, or more accurately thrown out.

After being assaulted by known white supremacists and other Trump supporters, this brave young student from the University of Louisville spoke out to a local interviewer. “I was called a nigger and a cunt. They were pushing and shoving at me, cursing at me, yelling at me, called me every name in the book. They were disgusting and dangerous.”–Shiya

Many of the people I associate with would love to escort Trump out of this country. He is not an American. Even his own party does not want him as a leader.

A man who defends referring to women as “fat pigs,” “dogs,” “slobs” and disgusting animals,” is not really good for women.—Huffington Post

What exactly is going on here? They say people are angry so they are turning to Trump. Who are they angry at and what are they angry about? Are they angry because their jobs are not paying enough and they have to work more and get paid less? Are they angry because minorities will soon comprise the majority of the population of America? Are they upset that minorities are taking away jobs from Caucasians?

Let’s break this down. It is true that jobs are paying less and the cost of living is going up. The reasons for this are varied depending on who you ask. However if you ask some people it is because Wall Street and big businesses are eating up all the wealth in this country. They are profiting while we are suffering. Trump owns big businesses and has no agenda to thwart their progress.

Yes it is true that minorities will be the majority soon. I’m sorry, but America is a country that was started by immigrants and will continue to be a tossed salad of different ethnicities, religions, and races. America was not really built on White Supremacy as much as it was built on the backs of Black slave labor. People of ‘color’ are just as American as White people are. If ‘minorities’ are getting all the good jobs, it may be because they are sometimes more hardworking because they know they have to be better than the average American in order to succeed in this country.

I am a minority but I am an American.

I may not look like the American that Trump sees as legitimate. I may not be as pretty as Trump’s wife, but I look more like her than he does. The irony is that this man’s children are born of the blood of immigrants. He is more than just a regular hypocrite; he is what I would genuinely call a monster created by the rhetoric of fear and hate on the right. Republicans he is your ‘Frankenstein,’ you created him, now stop him.

Let me make something clear I don’t hate Donald Trump, I fear Donald Trump.

See the thing is, as much as I want to insult Donald Trump’s followers, I don’t believe in hate. I don’t think that hating the people who are voting for Trump is the answer. I think that hate breeds more hate. I want to talk to these people, reason with them. I know, I know, I’m a dreamer. (Want to join me.) These people who are on the side of Trump voted for presidents like Ronald Reagan, who now looks like a saint compared to the Donald. I don’t believe that they are bad people.

I think they are just tired of the same old bullshit, year after year. They want someone to talk to them on their level. They want to hire a person, not a politician for the presidency. I agree that Donald can shoot the shit with the best of them. His watered down uneducated words somehow resonate with regular people who are tired of hearing politicians talk politics. We all want a human being up there as president, not a robotic political machine.

The problem with Hilary Clinton is that she talks the talk of politicians. She does not sound genuine. She is too polished and primed. She says all the right things at all the right times. The Donald pretty much says all the wrong things at all the wrong times. As idiotic as he seems to liberals, he seems human to conservatives. He’s messy, he doesn’t always make sense, and he swears every now and then. That is what they relate to.

“I know where she went – it’s disgusting, I don’t want to talk about it. No, it’s too disgusting. Don’t say it, it’s disgusting.” –Donald Trump on Hillary Clinton taking a bathroom break during a Democratic presidential debate.

“If Hillary Clinton can’t satisfy her husband what makes her think she can satisfy America.” –Donald Trump

“We won with poorly educated. I love the poorly educated.” –Donald Trump on his performance with poorly educated voters who helped him win the Nevada Caucus.

So how do we relate to them, the Donald followers?

I don’t know. I’m at a loss. This man represents wealth and success to a lot of people who are looking for that in their lives. The fact that he has been bankrupt several times does not even bother these people. I guess what I would say to his followers is this:

I know you are better than this. You know this man is a tyrant. He will lead the presidency as a dictator and no one will comply with his orders. Nothing will get done because no one in Washington wants him there, even his own party.

Actually who am I kidding? I can’t change your mind if you want to vote for Donald. However I can tell those who don’t want to see Trump in office to vote. Tell your friends to vote. Go out and rally people to vote. Please, please. More people than not want to make sure Trump does not win. The more people that vote, the more chance we have of avoiding a huge, gigantic political mess.

Remember this is America. If you want something, you have to vote for it. If you don’t want something, you have to vote against it. You might not like the options you have, but if you don’t pick an option other than Donald, if you decide to be complacent and not exercise your right to vote because you don’t like politics or the democratic candidates: don’t complain when America doesn’t look like America anymore. I don’t care if it is Hilary or Bernie at this point, I don’t care if Ronald McDonald runs as the democratic nominee. I will blindly vote for anyone who can stop the Donald from getting into office.

This is the time to act.

Our country is at stake.

nina

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 March 4th, 2016  
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Mar
03

Repost—Randomness and All Its Components

 

head question

July 31, 2014

So I have Pandora on, an Internet radio station.  I put it on Indigo Girls, but truly I’m sick of the Indigo Girls (I know that’s very unfeminist of me).  But I love their radio station.  I like all the other songs.  Can you choose an artist and say everyone who sounds like them except the artist themselves?  Who knows, sounds like a computer program to me.

I’m getting annoyed that I get up at six everyday to deliver my blog, it’s like delivering a newspaper.  Can someone figure out how to have it deliver itself at six a.m. so I can sleep?  Anyone that can figure that out on blogger gets a prize.  I promise it will be good!

What would I give out as a prize on my blog?  What would you want?  I mean I can’t exactly give you ice cream…I could give you a free copy of my unpublished book.  Can you believe some website had my real name and my book’s name on there and it looked like they were selling my book!!! I got it removed but I’m pissed.  They said they didn’t have the book, but I’m suspicious of this Internet and all its capabilities.

And what about my intimate messaging conversations on Facebook? Do the workers at Facebook or Zuckerberg read those for fun?  I wonder sometimes.  Somebody is watching.  Someone is always watching.  Remember that next time you sext.  Of course I know nothing about that.

Someone was telling me writing is like bullshitting for a living.  It’s professional bullshit I like to think. I’ve been cleaning toilets all day today at home.  Writing vs. toilet cleaning—both will help you get the shit out that’s for sure.

You know my dad fought for me to have an easy name for Americans to say.  In fact my mom wanted my name to be Paramjeet.  Can you imagine me as a Paramjeet? I would have a really long braid I think.  I would be nicer.  I would probably be a better person.  I think I would be less wild.

Who knows if those name theories are correct?  Maybe I’d just be the same person.  But there is freedom in having an international name like nina.  At least I’m not named Apple, isn’t like Gwyneth Paltrow’s kid’s name Apple?  Some celebrity kid is named Apple.  Poor kid.  I mean I’m all for giving your kids unique names, but have a heart.  I mean if you are going to give your kid a funky name, it better be for a good reason.  Not because you are so rich and famous you can’t handle yourself.

So what else is there to say in this world?  What else can I say?  Everyone is gay!  That’s from a song by Nirvana.  I don’t actually think everyone is gay, but I think there are more people who think about it than we know.  Some of my closest friends are gay so I am really and truly offended by anyone who hates gays.  Just want to put that out there.  That’s all I have to say about that.

I’m trying really hard to watch TV and I’m just not good at it anymore.  I get bored so easily; it’s weird.  I grew up watching the shit out of TV.  I mean me and the tube were buds.  Besties in fact.  Now I turn it on and it’s like some strange reality show or some kind of contest for talent.  What happened to shows?   Just shows with actors and scripts and an audience.  If I wanted reality, I would not watch TV and just live my life.

I left my clothes in the washing machine for hours; I forgot to put them in the dryer.  That smell of the clothes all wet and yucky: is like nails on a chalkboard.

So this good friend of mine said my blog is a blog about nothing.  I want to take that as a compliment.  It’s kind of a backhanded compliment though.  Is this all about nothing?  He called it the Seinfeld Blog.  That’s kind of a compliment.

I mean this post is truly random.  I don’t really even have any transitions between my thoughts.  I kind of like it like that.  What do you think?

I think our real thoughts are completely random, there is no rhyme or reason to most of them and they don’t really have good transitions either.  We go from one thought to the next.  The thoughts can be repetitive and boring and meaningless. They really have a mind of their own, our thoughts.

Sometimes I think I can think away my life.  But just thinking is not enough.  I need to think about what I’m thinking.  I read this book that said the part of your brain that does all the negative, random thinking is like your roommate that won’t shut up.

I had a blind roommate the first year of college.  She wasn’t actually blind, the situation was blind: we didn’t know each other at all.  We ended up not liking each other at all also.  That was probably the first time in my life that I purposely did mean things to someone.  To annoy her I would heat up Indian food and put it in the garbage because I knew she couldn’t handle the smell.  She would not give me any of my phone messages, especially the ones from the guy I liked. It was a mess.

One time her boyfriend came into town and we had a bunk bed.  Let’s just say I had to leave for home that weekend.  Why do I bring this up?  Because again I think the guy who is thinking in your head is like a bitchy roommate.  Those thoughts can make you do mean things for no reason; they make you do things that are not really you.

The randomness of your thoughts are not who you are.  I don’t really know we are, but we are not our thoughts.  If we were our thoughts than I am something like this:  “I have to go to Staples to return that cartridge, will they return it since I opened it and don’t have the receipt?  I have to clean my bathroom, I hate cleaning my bathroom…I ate too much yesterday I’m sure I gained a pound.”  If all of that garbage that goes through my head is who I am, I don’t really like myself.

But it’s not who I am.  It’s just a part of me.

The universe is more random than my blog.  One day it will make you laugh, another it will make you think.  So don’t be mad at yourself if nothing ever makes any sense, I don’t think it was set up to make sense.

That’s just my two cents.

nina

Image courtesy of Master isolated images/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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 March 3rd, 2016  
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Mar
02

Feminism is the Radical Notion that Women are People

Justin Trudeau

Justin Trudeau

The Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, thinks that men should feel free to call themselves feminists. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. It’s about time a man in power somewhere said that. Should men be feminists? Yes. Yes. Yes.

Trudeau laid it out, “We shouldn’t be afraid of the word ‘feminist.’ Men and women should use it to describe themselves anytime they want.”

Why do I applaud that? Look men: at the present time you happen to have more power than us. We need your help. We need you to educate other men. We need you to help us change laws that protect us from abuse, violence and unequal pay etc.

I know many women are turned off by the word ‘feminist.’ Let’s clear that up first. If you are for equality for men and women, you are a feminist. Period. You don’t have to call yourself that or go to ‘feminist’ meetings where you think you might run into butch dikes on motorcycles. You don’t have to hate men and think women are better. You don’t have to be a bitch.

Madonna likes to call herself a humanist instead of a feminist. The only problem with that is, it’s like saying All Lives Matter. Sure all lives do matter and all humans should be equal. However the reason we say Black Lives Matter is because there are certain inequalities that the African American race must deal with that is unique to them. Just like that all humans are great, however feminism deals with problems that are primarily about a world that is ruled by men. Women in particular suffer from inequalities that men do not.

Maybe this is what you believe: “Feminism is a socialist, anti-family, political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians,” Pat Robertson.

There is a popular notion that feminists are against the idea of family. That is not a fact at all, feminists believe that they have the right to be head of more than just a family, but be a powerful member of society as a whole.

Will everything be solved once Hilary Clinton is president? No. It’s a start, but just like Obama didn’t erase all Black inequalities, a woman president can only do so much for women. Women have to do it themselves to a large degree. And we need the help of men.

See we are looking at things the wrong way. We tell women to be careful, we teach them to be aware of men who could potentially violate them. However, we don’t necessarily teach our boys to not become violators. There are more men in prison then women, more men rapists and murderers, and the victims are often times women. There would be less violent crime against women if men educated each other on how to respect females.

“Feminism isn’t simply about being a woman in a position of power. It’s battling systemic inequities; it’s a social justice movement that believes sexism, racism and classism exist and interconnect, and that they should be consistently challenged,” Jessica Valenti.

malala feminist quote

Malala Yousafzai

What is feminism really about? It’s about you. Whoever you are you are suffering from some kind of social injustice. Even if you are a white upper-middle class male. Maybe you have the pressure of being ‘a real man’ and the pressure to be financially stronger than your female counterparts. What does being a ‘real man’ even mean? Maybe you have pent up frustrated feelings that you don’t know to express because you’ve been taught that ‘boys don’t cry.’

It’s not really about getting in touch with your ‘feminine’ side. It’s about getting in touch with all of you, seeing yourself as whole. Feminism challenges the notion that femininity and masculinity are real labels that are fair to use. In the end it is actually about seeing the humanity in all of us. We are people made of complex and sophisticated parts, not gender labels.

Are men and women different? Yes. We are biologically different. However that does not mean we are unequal. Just like white culture is different than black culture, neither is superior. Neither is inferior. It is just different. We have to find the strengths in both genders as opposed to pitting against each other to find out who is ‘best.’

Why is it important to be a feminist as opposed to not being a feminist? It is important to declare that you are for this fight for Women’s Rights. It is imperative that you announce that you are for the advancement of women and girls in a society that holds them back. If you sit quietly and do not identify with this movement you are implicitly saying that you don’t care.

If you think women deserve equal pay, protection from sexual assault and abuse, and the right to choose what to do with their bodies than you already are a feminist. So why is naming yourself as one important? It’s like signing a petition saying that you are in this fight against inequality.

I repeat: feminists do not hate men. Most of them in fact are in loving relationships with men. We hate patriarchy, an old antiquated notion that men deserve to hold the power in society and women should be excluded from it.

It is not crazy to be feminist. It’s not a radical idea. It is a very simple notion that men and women are equal. What does it mean to be equal? Neither gender is more worthy of power in our society.

In America at least there is the notion of feminism. There are countries where women are stoned to death, denied an education, beaten, sexually assaulted, or condemned to genital mutilation. These are just some of the issues that the entire world needs to be aware of. We don’t just live in a country: we live in a world. Artificial lines on a map and walls only superficially separate us from the rest of the world. Feminism acknowledges that the fight for women is everywhere, and that ethnicity, class, disability, sexual orientation, etc. are all elements of this battle. It’s not just a battle for women; it’s a battle for those who are not heard.

Whoever you are, whatever your issue, is your voice being heard? If not, feminism could be a stepping-stone in your struggle for equality and respect.

nina

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 March 2nd, 2016  
 ninakaur0  
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