grimrose_eilwynn: (Default)
I went clothes shopping with my 150 Christmas dollars today. So many of my clothes are old and tattered with holes in them, and some of them I don't even want anymore -- I just didn't have the money to buy new ones. Needless to say, I had an old and outdated look. I decided it was time for a new look! New look for a new year and a new life!

I already have new glasses -- square plastic black frames -- and a new haircut -- short, chin length. So my new clothes went with my new style. In total, I now have:

- dark leggings

- dark short shorts (the first two go together)

- one pair of purple skinny jeans

- three coats: a long wool coat, a black MCR letterman's jacket, and a checkered open sweater

- several band T shirts

- several funny T shirts ("The Struggle is Real", "We're All Mad Here", "This is My Costume or Whatever")

- a Marauder's Map "I Solemnly Swear That I Am Up to No Good" backpack

- a black with white cross Imagine Dragons tote bag

I even bought a cute little mini Black Parade era Gerard Way My Chemical Romance doll!

I went shopping all afternoon, and my sister was so patient as I tried on different things in the dressing rooms. In total, I brought home like five bags, from places as varying as Macy's, Hot Topic, and Rue 21. Then I took a picture with my new look and put it up as my profile pic on Facebook. It's already getting attention!

Merry Christmas and an Early New Years to me!
grimrose_eilwynn: (Default)
Dear Teenage Self,

I’m not quite sure how to begin. There’s so much I want to tell you; so much has changed. Most of it for the better.

First, I know being a teenager is hard. It seems like people are always trying to under-rate the problems of being a teenager. But I remember: being a teenager is insanely difficult. Just know that things will get better, if you give them time.

I know you think you’re ugly. I know those bullying girls in middle school make you feel like you’re ugly. And I remember what you look like in middle school: long frizzy hair, braces, snobbish little gold-rimmed cat’s-eye glasses, tomboyish clothes. I remember that you cried the first time you heard “I’m Not That Girl” from Wicked. You pretended you were smarter and more arrogant than everybody else to hide the truth -- that you never felt like you fit in, that you doubted you’d ever find a boyfriend or fall in love.

Well, guess what? All those bullying girls in middle school? They’ll lose interest in you in high school. Your braces will come off. One day you’ll just decide to cut off all your hair, and it will feel incredibly liberating. You’ll get some new square plastic black-framed glasses. You’ll learn to make your tomboyish look work for you, with band T shirts and checkered open sweaters and long wool coats and skintight jeans.

And guess what else? Guys will call you pretty. So will girls. You’ll be asked out on dates. You’ll make new friends. College will free you from the confines of teenage hierarchy -- yes, you have to wait till college, and it will frustrate you because it seems like everyone else has it all figured out in high school. (They don’t. Trust me.) In fact, you’ll go to prom stag with a bunch of your girlfriends instead of with some immature teenage boy, and you’ll have the time of your life. You’ll rent a white limo and put on a lavender ball gown, and you’ll giggle and silly dance on top of a ship overlooking the sea sparkling in the night. And then, eventually, a year or two later in college, you’ll have the courage to ask somebody out and romance will happen for you.

But you’ll also learn not to let your beauty define you. I know you can’t even conceive of this right now, but you’ll get into a relationship, realize this guy’s not right for you, and you’ll have the courage to tell him “no.” He will validate this idea of the beauty you never thought you had, but he will not be the right person for you, and you will realize that it is okay. It is okay for him not to be the right person for you. You don’t owe anyone anything just because they called you pretty.

And it is okay not to have a boyfriend. Especially in high school. Ya got time, girl! Go easy on yourself!

Also know this: you still haven’t completely fallen in love. I think you’re probably one of those people who falls in love really intensely, but only once or twice a lifetime. And you’ve realized that’s okay too. You’ve kissed boys, held hands with them, even made out with them, but you have never given your virginity away to a guy who hasn’t earned it. And your inexperience? That doesn’t bother you as much as it used to. In fact, you’re a little proud of it. You go slow, and that’s okay -- your relationship experiences will be more rewarding that way. It’s okay to wait until the time is right.

You will try to force it. There will be a point in college when you try to force relationships that aren’t there, out of some misguided idea that you’re supposed to. And guess what? You’ll get over that, too. It’s a phase. You’ll grow out of it.

Don’t get me wrong. You’re not always the paragon of self confidence or anything. You still have your self conscious moments, but you’ve learned that those are okay. Progress can be imperfect and still be progress.

I know you have a lot of celebrity and book crushes right now. You’ll grow out of those, too. Don’t get me wrong, admiring sexy guys is awesome and so are idle daydreams, but the intense crushes on people you’ve never met? I’ve found those usually fade as you get older as well.

I also remember that those bullying girls used to call you a freak. Behind your back, which is worse. Even now, you still haven’t forgotten that girl who cheerfully told you, “I know everyone says you’re a freak, but I think you’re really nice! Oh, wait. You did know people call you a freak, right?”

You hadn’t.

Yeah. Ow.

That one still hurts a little.

But overall, you’ve come far. Time heals most wounds, and all those times you were socially humiliated in middle school? Those times don’t seem so important anymore. You can look back now and see those bullies for exactly who they really were: immature airheads. You can remember the memory, and be exasperated by it, and not feel pain.

And you know what? You ARE a freak. And you should be damn proud of that! The freaks are the best! They’re the originals, the daring ones, the ones who will change the whole fuckin’ world! Dare to be different! Live it up! Don’t let those assholes weigh you down!

And don’t give up on your childhood dreams. Remember when you wanted to be a novelist, a poet, a musician, an actress, but everyone told you that would be too hard and so you gave up? Don’t give up! You’ll get to a place where you’ll feel brave enough to start dreaming those things again.

You’ll also get better at talking in front of people. You don’t just babble incoherently and shake like a leaf in a high wind when you get up in front of people anymore. You’ve learned to deal with crowds, parties, and yes, school presentations -- at least to a certain extent. They can even be kind of fun!

Don’t start drinking. Stick to your principles and instincts and don’t get caught up in that addictive cycle. It may separate you from your peers now, but you’ll be so grateful for it later. For the ability to have an occasional beer or glass of wine without feeling the need to get drunk.

Yes, you WILL find jobs. You'll volunteer at the local library for a year in your senior of high school, edit someone's book for publication for a fee, and you'll have a really cool virtual internship doing business writing for an environmental company. (Your major right now is Creative Writing, with a minor in Marketing -- this may surprise you because I know you were thinking Psychology. But really, budding young writer, is it such a surprise?)

Also, you know that girl you’re best friends with? The daring, original one who loves goth stuff and who you walk home with every afternoon so she can show you her anime collection? The one you really admire and envy for her sheer comfort in being different? The one who takes you to the cool rock concerts? The one you wear bandanas with because you want so badly to be her? Yeah, you’re not really friends with her anymore. Not because you had a big falling-out or anything, but just because you both went off to different colleges and she turned out not to be the kind of friend who wanted to keep in contact with people she didn’t see every day -- even though you DID turn out to be that kind of friend.

I’m not going to lie to you and say that won’t hurt. It will. It’ll hurt like hell. It’ll feel like a betrayal. But eventually, you’ll come to the realization of this: that girl you admired and envied? You ARE that girl now. You’re comfortable being yourself, and being different.

And maybe you’re not different in the same way she is. Maybe you don’t wear dark eye makeup and dye your hair twenty different colors. But that doesn’t make you any less special and unique. Guess what? She’ll admit to you one day that SHE always really admired YOU -- for your dedication to your creative endeavors, especially to your writing, a dedication and creativity she’s found she can’t quite match.

Another compliment you’ll get, from a completely different girl, at the end of high school? That you’re “mysterious” but “passionate about your music.” And here was you always thinking people don’t talk to you because you’re a dorky loser. They may actually have been intimidated by you!

Speaking of that girl you’re friends with, you actually did want to go to the same college she did. She got in. You didn’t. And guess what? She was fucking miserable there. You cried when you didn’t get in, and she didn’t even like the goddamn place. So you moved far away, to a college in a different state right in the downtown area of a big city. You explored different kinds of cuisine. You tried online dating. You got interested in politics. You became addicted to coffee. You found out that snotty private school kids can be cold, bitchy, judgmental, and mean.

What I’m saying is -- first, you’ll get into college. Don’t worry about that. But second, the college you first went to? That wasn’t even your final destination. You ended up transferring to a totally different college, a public one in a small, rural town, and meeting some absolutely incredible people there. You’ll move out on your own, share an apartment with your college-age sister. The two of you will become incredibly close. You will successfully become independent.

Somewhere in between the first college and the second, you’ll be diagnosed with bipolar disorder. That’s right, all your online research proved you right. And I know that right now you’re trying to convince other people that how you’re feeling is an illness, and they’re grownups so they’re trying to tell you it’s really just because you’re not doing THAT and THIS and THAT OTHER THING.

So I just wanted to validate you. You were right. And finally getting that diagnosis and starting on the path to recovery? It’ll feel like a huge relief.

That brings me to my central point. I know you’re feeling suicidal. I know your parents are angry with you because you withdraw and hide in your computer so much, but you’re just trying to get good grades in class (you feel a lot of pressure there) and ignore the feelings welling up inside you. And I’m not going to sugarcoat it for you -- it’ll get worse before it gets better. There are times when you’ll sob and scream. There are times when you’ll just want to fucking die. There are times when you’ll feel broken. You will lose people. You will be bullied and abused. You will act fucking insane. Horrible things will happen to you.

But I’ll let you in on a little secret: It. Gets. Better.

You will go see a psychiatrist and a therapist. You will find a medication regimen that works for you, and learn self management techniques to keep bad thoughts from controlling your life. You will also start being healthy -- going out walking regularly, eating more frequently and healthier, sleeping more (but not too much), and you’ll travel and find tons of new hobbies! (You’ll even feel brave enough to take night classes in swing dancing downtown above a really sketchy bar.) These might all sound cheesy in isolation, but put them together and you’ve got a great recovery strategy.

Recovering from depression and suicidal thoughts is the most incredible feeling on the planet. All of a sudden, you’re grateful for everything -- you’re so much wiser, and you take a whole new lease on life. Life is an incredible journey, and you’ll want every part of it.

And the realization will come to you, over and over and over again: That you made it. You survived. You’re a survivor. And that realization never stops coming. It’s the gift that never stops giving. You will feel that triumph again, and again, and again. Every time you learn something, every time something good happens to you or you get reflective, you will feel that triumph again.

Like today.

So congratulations, kid. You’ve hit your twenties. You made it.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
grimrose_eilwynn: (Default)
Good recipe. Messy, but delicious, and as a plus, it's healthy! (The recipe is from "The Food Lovers: Make it Paleo" by Bill Staley and Hayley Mason, for those who are interested. There's some excellent explanations in there on what paleo eating is.) Here's what we made for Christmas dinner tonight:

- Rinse and slice 1 tomato into tiny slices and 1 onion into larger slices.

- Pull the stems off of 4 large portobello mushrooms. The recipe says to remove the gills, which we didn't understand at all. So I'm gonna modify: just keep the gills on. It's a lot easier. They won't kill ya. The main idea is to make sure the mushroom cap is flat.

- Put 1 pound of ground beef into a medium-sized bowl and combine it with 1 teaspoon each of garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Mix until spices are evenly distributed.

- Preheat the grill to high heat and spray so the food doesn't stick.

- Grill the mushroom caps first -- 3 minutes per side. The recipe says just to grill the mushroom for 3 minutes period, but we found a double-sided cooking made the mushroom all the more delicious.

- Form the meat into four patties and grill the patties second -- 4 minutes per side. The recipe says 5, but we found 4 didn't burn the burgers or overcook them. It also says to grill the patties first, but we didn't listen to that because hello, cross contamination?

- Now here's how to eat all this. Put the mushroom cap flat on a plate, gill side up. On top of that, put lettuce and a tomato slice. On top of that, put the burger. And on top of that, put some onion. And voila!

Some notes:

The recipe said to grill the onion, but you don't have to. Onion can be eaten raw, and you don't want to cook onion, trust me. I tried it once when I was making a recipe a Japanese pen pal recommended to me -- even the dog was crying. And he was in another room!

You may be wondering: Where's the ketchup and mustard? Where's the bun? I was dubious at first myself, eating a burger without these seemingly essential ingredients. But actually? The recipe doesn't need them. It's delicious all on its own.

And once again, Merry Christmas!
grimrose_eilwynn: (Default)
Merry Christmas everyone!

Here's a list of the gifts I gave to other people:

- My boyfriend got a Cowboy Bebop coffee mug

- My best friend got Hunger Games jewelry and pins, and a 25-dollar Amazon gift card for her birthday

- Her husband got a basket of Russian and Ukrainian chocolates

- My mother, when she comes up for New Years, will get a winter vest and a stuffed elephant

- My father, when he comes up for New Years, will get some new gadgets for his iPhone and a funny little vampire bat Minion figurine

- My sister got a video game T shirt (she likes Comic Sans from Undertale)

And here's a list of the gifts I got from other people:

- Shitloads of new music (Adele’s “25”, Cage the Elephant’s “Tell Me I’m Pretty”, Mindless Self Indulgence’s “Pink” -- plus 65 more currently unused dollars in iTunes gift cards)

- a giant bottle of hazelnut syrup to put in my coffee

- a Harry Potter themed Hot Topic gift card (which I used to buy a new “I Solemnly Swear That I Am Up to No Good” Marauder’s Map Harry Potter backpack, and a big brown coffee mug that says “Coffee Makes Me Poop”)

- new clothes

- 150 dollars for clothes shopping

- 2 books: The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters, This Raging Light by Estelle Laure

- a black MCR (My Chemical Romance) sweater

- lots of Christmas cards from my Mom’s side of the family

On Christmas Eve, I Skype called my boyfriend, who was off visiting family in the Bay Area. He said we should get together and go out to dinner after he gets back -- and I agreed that sounds great, and said we could even go to a movie -- and then he said, "And maybe after the date we could go back to my place, and -- I mean, I've seen your place but you've never seen mine --"

We all know what "let's go back to my place after our date" means.

"Yes, I have seen your place," I said. "I saw it once when we went inside to get helmets and go out on your scooter."

"Yeah, but not for very long," he said hopefully. "Just -- can't we --?" He saw my face. "Okay, never mind," he muttered.

I was in a good mood, so I said, "Let's just go on the date, wait, and see how we do."

It's been a little over a month and he already wants me hanging out and spending the night at his place? This guy is so pushy. And he's so nice while he's doing it, but he's still so pushy. It's weird, that he considers himself a feminist.

Anyway, after that my sister and I got a giant pizza from the local deli and had pie with hot cocoa. I had warm milk. We turned off all the lights and watched A Christmas Carol with George C Scott, enjoying the lights and ornaments shining on our tiny little single apartment-sized Christmas tree.

We stayed up till midnight, just so we could stay up until Christmas hit.

Then on Christmas Day, we slept in and had a pajama day. Immediately upon waking, I texted my parents, best friend, and boyfriend a Merry Christmas.

My sister and I exchanged gifts, sitting around the tree and ripping off the wrapping paper and finding what we had gotten each other underneath. We were both so happy with our gifts. We hugged and said Merry Christmas. We joked that my wrapping job looked like a blind T Rex had done it.

Later, we're going to make a fancy dinner together -- home-made burgers, starting from scratch with a pound of ground beef, with salts and spices and portobello mushrooms. Yum!

What are you doing with your family and friends for Christmas? In any case, I hope you have a very Merry Christmas. May your cup always be full and your presents always be satisfying!

With Love,

Grimrose Eilwynn

In the spirit of the holiday season, here's a TED talk on the connection between happiness and gratefulness:

http://www.ted.com/talks/david_steindl_rast_want_to_be_happy_be_grateful?utm_campaign=&utm_medium=on.ted.com-static&utm_content=awesm-publisher&awesm=on.ted.com_gratefulness&utm_source=t.co
grimrose_eilwynn: (Default)
So I was in a shitty mood. I'd just finished with all the stress of finals, which isn't good for my disorder; I was having relationship frustrations; I was menstruating and moody (my meds stop working on my period); I wasn't happy with any of my writing projects.

And then me and my sister decided to watch Begin Again with Kiera Knightley and Mark Ruffalo to cheer ourselves up, and we got to talking about music.

And we just randomly decided: we have two guitars. We're going to learn music together.

See, I took guitar lessons for about a year during my Ultimate Low Period talked about in my very first post. (See the top of my memories list.) It was a way to vent, pass time, not stare at the walls and feel depressed. But my teacher kind of sucked. He was obviously only in it because he couldn't make any money in a band. That's not to say he was a bad guitar player, it's just to say he wasn't a very good teacher. And I had no one to practice with, and I felt like I was learning little, and it was very frustrating. Guitar fell by the wayside.

But my sister revealed tonight that she's always wanted to learn music, so I gave her one of my two guitars. I taught her how to tune up, and it was just so rewarding, doing music back and forth with someone. The buzz when you get it all just right!

We have everything all set up. I have an online tuner and guitar chord-book bookmarked, as well as books I've bought on the guitar. I even have a capo, and several different kinds of picks. I'm all set to go because I was doing this a year and a half ago. We will practice guitar, and diaphragmatic breathing for singing (I took choir for a few years) until summer hits, and then we will take lessons -- with a GOOD teacher -- over the summer. Even if we have to get jobs to pay for them.

I'm hoping some of my sister's frankly incredible work ethic will rub off on me. I'm also hoping being in a partnership will help with songwriting, which we've already discussed as a possibility.

You never know. Maybe nothing will come of it, and it'll just be a fun thing we do together as a hobby. But you never know where life will take you, and I would love to be in a band. Even one that never went anywhere -- although of course going somewhere would be even better. I would be willing to put the time in, I think, not only because I would have something to fall back on (college), but because I genuinely love music. I do. I love music like I love breathing, or water.

And I don't know. I just feel so much BETTER. I'm riding this wave of enthusiasm. I've always loved music in this really intense and incredible way, and to be able to play it with someone else who I know also loves music -- that would just be the most incredible thing for me.

Maybe the enthusiasm will fade in the morning. But maybe it won't. Maybe all our plans to learn every chord in the online chord-book will actually come to something, and we'll start practicing together tomorrow. Maybe this is just the beginning of something great.

Music has always been my solace. Perhaps playing music can also be my solace. It seems I always turn back to playing music when I'm feeling really down.
grimrose_eilwynn: (Default)
So I decided to see the guy I'm dating (kendo/Cowboy Bebop Dude) at least one last time before he left to see his family for Christmas Break.

I had it all settled. I put a time aside for him in between all my finals studying. He came over to my place, I gave him his Christmas present, I sat him down in an armchair before the TV with a mug of warm apple cider, and I let him pick any movie out of all the movies I owned for us to watch. I made plenty of commentary throughout the movie, though always in between important scenes, and I made sure there were lots of opinions so he could jump into the conversation and offer his own thoughts.

I had it all perfect.

Three things:

1) When I went to Google search something about the movie, he looked at my computer screen and commented on it. Which is creepy.

2) He moved a remote from the arm of my chair so he could leave his arm there, very suggestively and deliberately.

3) At the end of the date, he asked if there was a specific time frame for when we could be physically intimate again.

What the hell was he expecting me to say? "Yes, in three months, two days, and eleven hours I will feel comfortable with you and trust you." And you know what? I'll NEVER feel comfortable with him and trust him if he keeps pushing this!

AARRGGHH!
grimrose_eilwynn: (Default)
So, I've always been uncomfortable coming into physical contact with people I don't know very well.

When I was little, the only people I enjoyed touching me or hugging me were my parents. Later, my sister was let into the group, as were my two closest friends. And they're about it. I have never liked to be touched by anybody else, out of all the people I have known in my life. It sets me on edge, and makes me nervous and uncomfortable.

This is a problem with dating. I have never known how to tell guys that I need them to wait on the whole physical intimacy thing for a while -- perhaps for a long time -- without it coming across like I'm trying to insult or control them. Additionally, I have always had some issues with this part of myself, because society tells you that you have to kiss on the first or second date and be having sex by the fifth or sixth. That is way too soon for me.

For this reason, I am still a virgin, and in fact I'm perfectly happy with that because I have NEVER known a guy well enough to even want to do that with him.

So I was talking with a good friend of mine the other day -- the married one, who I met through fiction class -- and she told me to just tell the guy I'm dating (the kendo guy) that I'm not ready for things like kissing and making out yet. She empowered me by saying some people are just like that and it's a perfectly valid way to feel. She goes slowly in relationships herself, and she found someone -- her husband -- who was willing to wait for her. She agreed that me and kendo/Cowboy Bebop guy already making out is way too soon. We've known each other less than a month -- feminist club aside, and we barely even talked in feminist club.

We've been on a couple more dates. One to dinner at a Mexican restaurant. But I always feel really nervous and uncomfortable on our dates, because I dread the kissing or making out at the end. It's not comfortable for me, I don't know him that well yet.

So I told Cowboy Bebop guy this -- face to face -- trying to phrase it in as polite and positive terms as possible. I told him he would see me a lot more often and I would feel a lot more comfortable, and thus the relationship would progress better, if we took physical intimacy off the table for a while (not forever).

He pretended to be okay with it, but I could tell he was not happy. Yet he still wanted to see me again, and we're hanging out on Sunday. So I'm not sure how to feel. Should I be angry that he seemed upset and appeared to take it personally, despite me saying I'd always been like this and it was nothing in particular against him? Should I be upset that he didn't understand me not wanting to make out with a relative stranger unless I didn't find said stranger attractive?

Because that's how I feel, sitting here thinking about it. I feel annoyed. Angry. Not understood. Even if maybe that's not so rational.

This guy's not very supportive, either, which is another count against him. I tell him about problems that are going on in my life, and he listens willingly enough but he always cops out and never supports me and never says much of anything with any emotional undertone to it. He doesn't even argue with me or tell me how I'm feeling isn't valid. He just... doesn't say anything. And so I don't feel supported when something upsetting happens.

I just... I don't know about this. He's sweet. Funny. Smart. Cute. I do like him. I just... I'm trying to tell myself not to expect perfection.
grimrose_eilwynn: (Default)
Thanksgiving was yesterday. Here's how I celebrated.

I got up earlier than usual (for a holiday) to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV with my sister. Then we went over to a friend's house to spend the day there.

I watched football and had some white wine. (I do allow myself the occasional beer or glass of wine on holidays.) We had dinner early: turkey, cranberry sauce, potatoes, stuffing, corn, rolls, and between everyone who brought extra food we had about eight pies for dessert. The stuffing was especially delicious, and it was nice eating dinner among a big group of people, even if it wasn't my family.

We sat around and watched America's Funniest Home Videos afterward. When I got home, more football.

So basically, it was a too-much-food-and-TV day. Truly American.

The family we had Thanksgiving with was the family of one of my sister's friends. They were nice to invite us over, but there were a lot of big personalities in that household and they were pretty mean to each other. It was interesting to watch. I was honestly more comfortable sitting at home with my sister.

Still, we got to have a Thanksgiving dinner with a big family and I should be grateful for that.

What am I thankful for? My whole life. Even the bad stuff. My family, my friends, my schooling, my privileged place in a global society... I am grateful for having a life, because the alternative is worse. As someone who has previously been suicidal, I have a special depth of gratefulness for everything good in my life and for my opportunity to keep healthy and to see those good things clearly.

So happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Birthday

Nov. 25th, 2015 02:24 pm
grimrose_eilwynn: (Default)
My 22nd birthday was November 24th!

I got lots of cool stuff from my family and friends. A coffee Christmas ornament, some new music, a manga volume, a faux Hogwarts letter, and the entire Smallville series on DVD.

My sister took me out to lunch and took me out shopping. I bought an Ed Sheeran T shirt from Hot Topic on her money. My entire Mom's side of the family (who I'm closer to) called to wish me a happy birthday, and I got lots of birthday wishes on Facebook.

My sister made me steak for dinner, and we also had apple pie. (I prefer pie over cake.)

There's crazy stuff going on in the world right now. The Syrian war against ISIS, the Paris terrorist attacks, and the tensions between Turkey and Russia because Turkey shot down a Russian war plane coming over its territory.

So my birthday wish, even though it sounds cheesy, is for peace to come to all parties and the world to all come together for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

As always, I thank the world for another year, and put myself in the hands of God.
grimrose_eilwynn: (Default)
Just to be clear, I have not decided who I'm voting for yet. But I do agree with Bernie Sanders on this particular issue. Massive university costs is one of the biggest barriers to closing the gap between the rich and the poor.

I signed. Please sign if you agree:

Here's the description:

If you study hard, you should be able to go to college regardless of income.

As it stands today, higher education affordability is a giant barrier to growing a prosperous middle class. Massive student loan debt is not just a student’s problem, it’s an issue faced by families across the nation.

More than ever before, student loan debt is a multi-generational challenge within families. Parents still working to pay off their own existing student debt are struggling to save for the rising costs of their children’s college education. On its current course, the cost of higher education is a burden that will continue to impact our economy for generations to come.

Access to education shouldn’t be a luxury that only the upper class can afford. Stand with Bernie to support free access to public higher education.

Link:

https://www.change.org/suggested?alert_id=GYKOolfspq_bkU4bGi8qBXFvg7iXFox7k2a6gzoc4W9ZHY%2BPHP%2BpUFR0XNvVgwU96trRfo%2B3H2T&petition_id=4674162&use_rendr=true
grimrose_eilwynn: (Default)
I signed this petition and thought I'd give you the chance to as well. Please sign if you agree. Here's the description:

Since birth, my sister has been both mentally and physically handicapped. Becky was born with Down syndrome. At the age of 15, she had two massive strokes, was diagnosed with a terminal illness called Moyamoya, and was placed in hospice. She needs to be fed, dressed, bathed, and taken to the bathroom. In short, she depends on us for everything.

However, under the current U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) guidelines, my husband, an active duty member of the Armed Forces, and I are unable to claim Becky as a secondary dependent, even though we are her legal guardians. To me, this is unfair and puts undue strain on a military family who should be concentrating on supporting their loved one off defending our nation.

Currently, service members may add parents, step-parents, legal guardians, incapacitated children over the age of 21 (whom you had custody/guardianship of when they became incapacitated, or prior to your enlistment), children and step-children. I am calling on the DOD to include incapacitated siblings in the list of those we can care for legally.

Our mother, who dedicated her life to caring for Becky, passed away from pancreatic cancer, and our adoptive father is not willing to care for her any longer. If we had not taken her, she would be in a nursing home. When we became Becky’s caregivers, I had to quit my job to be here for her, which reduced our income by a lot. As a family of 7 living off of one income and what little Becky draws from Social Security, we are struggling just to pay our bills.

Since we are unable to add her as a dependent, we cannot add her to our family insurance plan, forcing her to rely solely on Medicaid for her medical needs. It's not enough. She requires expensive specialists who are equipped to care for someone like her, and most of these specialist don't accept Medicaid.
Another issue we are running into is being able to enroll in the military's Exceptional Family Member Program. This program is designed to assist military families like mine with priority for housing, specific consideration regarding duty stations, 40 hours of respite care per month, and many other supportive services. Unfortunately, because we are unable to add Becky as a dependent, we cannot enroll in this program that was designed to help military families just like mine.

Our family is suffering because of an arbitrary clause that won’t allow us to to claim my sister as a dependent, even though she is clearly incapable of taking care of herself. We need your help to help the DOD realize that this is wrong, so they change their policy and finally provide some peace of mind for families like mine. Please sign my petition.

Link:

https://www.change.org/p/allow-service-members-to-add-incapacitated-adult-siblings-as-dependents?utm_source=action_alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=448806&alert_id=GYKOolfspq_bkU4bGi8qBXFvg7iXFox7k2a6gzoc4W9ZHY%2BPHP%2BpUFR0XNvVgwU96trRfo%2B3H2T
grimrose_eilwynn: (Default)
We got a weather warning saying winds should hit seventy miles per hour. Power lines and trees were expected to go down. We were told to "stay safe."

I immediately felt the first stirrings of anxiety.

I went outside and that made it worse. It seemed every sharp-blowing wind was about to knock me off my feet. The world seemed dark and scary. I had to hold my sister's hand all the way to the bus stop. I needed to go to class today; this class in particular I've been missing a lot lately.

I got to class, but about ten minutes in my heart started racing. I got dizzy, numb, and tingly, and I was having trouble breathing. I stumbled out of the classroom in the middle of someone reading one of their poems for a workshop, which I'm sure was incredibly rude. I sat outside for a couple of minutes, just breathing, and then I went back inside and whispered, breath ragged, next to my teacher's ear that I was having a panic attack and I needed to leave.

I was making anxious noises and squeezing my sister's hand all the way home.

So now I'm probably going to fail that class, I feel like shit, and the weather's awful. Great.

Spectre

Nov. 15th, 2015 03:42 pm
grimrose_eilwynn: (Default)
I went to see Spectre in theaters on Saturday, with my sister and a friend. I'm here to write a review.

First, I've got to admit, I love Daniel Craig as James Bond. He and the director really got together and made something special with this series. He's human and realistic while still being Bond and I love that.

The other supporting roles in this series are also really good, though, and that continued in this movie. Fiennes was especially fantastic. And there was an interesting lead female this time, interesting for a variety of reasons: she does important things, she doesn't fall into bed with Bond immediately, she understands Bond and, most importantly, SPOILER ALERT, she survives at the end.

And now I have to admit something: I did not like her and Bond ending up together.

First, there's the fact that James Bond has some very serious issues involving getting into bed with women. I'm not sure if him ending up with one woman is realistic at all. But more than that, it felt FORCED. Their relationship felt forced and it was not built up enough.

I also must admit that the plot was a little weak. I didn't get enough of a reason for WHY Christoph Waltz's character has done all these horrible things, and how he's orchestrated them. The subplot between M and C was a little better, I thought -- more details and rationale were added.

And of course, as always with Bond, it was high adrenaline and high octane and millions-of-dollar pieces of equipment were used, discarded, and completely totaled. So that was nice. The action was good. Some of the dry quips were greatly placed at all the right high-stress moments.

What I'm saying is there were good characters and action, but the actual plot felt a bit lost in the details. I'm still putting it under "favorites", though, because Daniel Craig and James Bond.

Anyway, now it's Sunday and I'm having Vietnamese coffee and watching football at home with Cowboy Bebop Dude. He brought over a little Vietnamese coffee maker, a coffee grinder, and some condensed milk. Vietnamese coffee is sweet, but very good.
grimrose_eilwynn: (Default)
I went on a date today!

Not with the guy I mentioned in a previous post -- the one from American Lit class who seemed kind of like he was flirting with me? Yeah, it wasn't with him. It turns out he:

(A) Has a girlfriend

and

(B) Is a bit of an asshole, so I don't really envy her

No, this guy I met through feminist club. He's sweet, kind, and funny, with glasses and a long coat. He studied kendo (Japanese sword fighting) for several years. He studies business and environmental science. He has a learning disability but still manages to get As, and is currently interning as a Study Abroad Counselor after having spent some time himself in Thailand. He asked me out, and he also paid for our first date -- though politically liberal, he's pretty socially conservative. His Dad was a Mormon and his Mom was a Catholic.

We just went to a cafe downtown and had a casual coffee/lunch together. We wore fancy jackets and tried to look nice, but we also both just wore jeans. It was the perfect blend of "nice" and "casual."

We talked anime, because it turns out we're both really into that. (He shall henceforth be known as Cowboy Bebop Dude.) We also talked politics, religion, and family and life experiences. It was a really nicely intellectual and deep conversation. We even made future plans: to watch Cowboy Bebop together (I've never seen the whole thing) and to take swing dancing lessons in 2016.

We went to a bookshop afterward, and then we went back to his apartment briefly. It's a really nice apartment right in the middle of downtown. His roommate is a funny guy who drinks a lot and talks to his plants. We got helmets from his apartment and then he drove me home on his scooter/motorbike! I was nervous getting on, but it was so much fun!

We hugged and kissed briefly at my door, and then I went to go back inside. If I were a less awkward person, this would be the moment when I threw him a sly smile over my shoulder and walked smoothly in the door. As it is, it took me a full minute to find my keys and another two minutes to force my way in through the door. He thought it was kind of funny. He applauded when I finally managed to get in.

Just me being my usual, awkward self.

I called my Mom and dished with her over the phone after the date was all over. I also made sure to emphasize to said boy that I had a great time, we should do this again, and he should text me. I even texted him to let him know I had a good time.

So now soon I guess I'll know one way or the other if he was really into me. But either way, it was just nice -- to meet someone through normal social avenues (instead of online) and have a sweet, casual date with him.
grimrose_eilwynn: (Default)
I signed this petition and thought I'd give you the chance to as well:

https://www.change.org/p/my-wife-is-imprisoned-in-iran-demand-her-release?utm_source=action_alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=429810&alert_id=finXtiJSaS_FCXL7k8jAe8BZgfRfItrhOQ40bWuYuEk8xROWisNPwo%3D

This Iranian woman was a women's rights defender and activist. She was arrested and imprisoned for fighting for women's rights in Iran. She has served six years in prison.

She should have been released this summer according to Iranian law, but officials have elected to keep her imprisoned for at least another two years.

The woman -- Bahareh Hedayat -- has failing health (in the area of the kidney and reproductive organs) and is suffering major depression. She may not survive another two years in prison. This is completely ignoring the fact that she was unjustly imprisoned in the first place.

In recent weeks, Iran has been releasing many political prisoners, and Bahareh's husband is hopeful that with this petition his wife will be one of them. Please sign and support justice and women's rights in Iran.
grimrose_eilwynn: (Default)
It was dark and stormy on Halloween night, quite appropriate. Ducking against the rain, me and my sister ran out to a friend's car and hopped in. The group of us drove over to the bigger town next door, where we went to a little pizza parlor and bought ourself a pizza and some cheese bread.

After that, we went to theaters and saw the horror movie Crimson Peak.

It was beautifully set. Stunning visuals. There were a few good horror moments, but it felt more like a tragic drama than a horror movie, to be perfectly honest. Nothing wrong with tragic drama. It was still a great movie. But it didn't really have the usual horror movie vibe.

Oh, and Tom Hiddleston was really hot. Just saying.

One thing I thought was interesting was that the humans turned out to be the scary ones. The ghosts were the ones you ended up feeling sorry for. Kind of turning expectations on their heads there.

Guillermo del Toro said he wanted it to feel like the woman saved the man, rather than the man saving the woman. I didn't really get that feel from this movie. I mean, I guess technically Edith saved Thomas by being his One Twue Wuv, but he still ended up being the one trying to save her. Edith saved herself in the end, though, which I thought was nice. "I heard you the first time," was a great line. I loved the complex dynamic between Thomas's sister and Edith, and their conversations about the siblings' mother.

Now it's the day after Halloween, and I feel hung over even though I didn't drink. I guess Halloween just does that to you. I'm having a pajama day, snacking on leftover Milky Ways and Snickers Bars, doing homework and watching football.

Hamlet

Oct. 25th, 2015 04:17 pm
grimrose_eilwynn: (Default)
On Thursday, I met up with a friend on campus. We walked downtown and got some pumpkin pie and hot apple cider at a little local coffeehouse and pub that plays live music. Then we went to the nearby independent theater and watched National Theater Live.

Let me explain. National Theater Live is a program that broadcasts live from a major theater in London, showing up on the screens of hundreds of different movie theaters around the world. It's a mere twelve dollars to get in and watch a live theater performance from the safety of your screen.

My friend and I watched Hamlet, with Benedict Cumberbatch. It was pretty spectacular. He was very emotional and unexpectedly funny in some places. He was very good at playing the character in a way that seemed believable. They also tried to update the production a little bit for modern audiences, which I thought was interesting.

They definitely took very set stances on certain characters. Gertrude was definitely a moral character, while Claudius was definitely not. Ophelia's madness was definitely not feigned, while Hamlet's definitely was.

It's just always interesting to see the ways different people interpret Shakespeare.

Pan

Oct. 18th, 2015 07:01 pm
grimrose_eilwynn: (Default)
I went with my sister and a friend to see Pan in theaters yesterday. I'm here to write a review.

My biggest criticism would be that I didn't see Peter's old playfulness and braggadocio enough in this film. He was a little too shy, under-confident, and serious for me.

With that said, the scenery was pretty fucking amazing. The special effects were great, and Peter was a suitable enough troublemaker to fit the role. It was over-the-top -- see the nuns in the first part of the movie -- and very adventurous, and that was what made it fun.

I'd have liked to see an actual flashback scene between Blackbeard and Mary, not just the hint of one. I feel like we didn't get enough about him -- he could have been explored further. He was an interesting character, I'll give Hugh Jackman and the movie-makers that. Very emblematic of the more problematic aspects of colonialism and the old pioneer settlers out West.

What was up with the portrayal of the natives? Cue the stereotypical "have special attachment to nature but tie good, ordinary people up and kill them over a fire" portrayal. Oh, and the feathers. My God, the feathers. Do you know what feathered headdresses actually signify? Each feather symbolizes the battle of a strong warrior. NO ONE WOULD EVER BE ABLE TO ACCRUE AS MANY FEATHERS AS TIGER LILY HAS IN HER HEADDRESS, NOT EVEN IF THEY WERE HUNDREDS OF YEARS OLD. And why in all the seven realms of Hell was Tiger Lily WHITE? SHE IS A NATIVE AMERICAN.

Also, I saw them setting us up for a sequel there. I see what you did there, movie makers. You did not fool anyone. ANYONE.

Despite its problems, it was just a lots-of-fun adventure movie and I would see a sequel in theaters. Maybe not buy it, but it's worth a sit-through at least once.
grimrose_eilwynn: (Default)
I signed this and thought I'd give you a chance to as well:

https://www.change.org/p/fully-include-liam-in-first-grade-and-treat-him-with-dignity?utm_source=action_alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=406424&alert_id=GEXXXmddxT_JlofdClx5pWeEpw8T1BVoTkCx98LI4UwsOazEM4vvRaCENzw5ct5WtkZv53LKCFQ

Liam is a kid with Down Syndrome, and as such has been ignored, withheld from regular classes, and shut away by his elementary school. Liam's parents took the school to court, and the judge mandated that Liam should be in proper classrooms just like everybody else. But the elementary school still won't change anything.

So this parent started a petition asking people to sign so Liam can receive a regular education just like any other kid.

I strongly support the integration of disabled children into regular classrooms. My sister has learning disabilities. When she was young, nobody thought she would ever be capable of anything intellectually. They wanted to put her in special ed day classes. My parents forced her school district to integrate her into regular classrooms with special accommodations. She is now at university in the process of obtaining a four-year degree. Never underestimate what one child can do if they put their mind to it.

Please support learning disabled integration into schools and sign this petition.
grimrose_eilwynn: (Default)
Read this article:

http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/oregon-college-shooting/oregon-shooting-heroic-veteran-chris-mintz-was-shot-7-times-n437291

Chris Mintz, an Army vet, was on campus during the Oregon school shooting. He was shot seven times trying to save other students from gunfire, and appears even to have charged the gunman and attempted to subdue him. He has been sent to the hospital in critical condition.

This petition asks President Obama to award the Medal of Freedom to Chris Mintz for his heroic acts. I signed and thought I'd give you the chance to as well:

https://www.change.org/p/barack-obama-medal-of-freedom-award-for-chris-mintz?utm_source=action_alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=404428&alert_id=GTDhebcSkt_ZKx1TuZt6ARv5lcPNphQ04f9Jw5UZOCf76%2BoWoBhD5s%3D

Such brave acts deserve respect and reward.

Profile

grimrose_eilwynn: (Default)
Hopeless Dreamer

March 2016

S M T W T F S
  12345
6789101112
13 1415 16 171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Jul. 22nd, 2017 03:05 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios