Thoughts from a tree

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The Olive Branch

For those who want to insist that they truly don’t support what Trump represents, despite voting for him, actions speak louder than words. This is how you can prove to us that you mean it.

  1. Shut up. Don’t try to defend Trump. Don’t try to defend your vote. Don’t tell us we should just get over it, let it go, or “come together”. Don’t harp on about the riots (not sure what you thought would happen in a nation already racially charged by police brutality), or refer to the peaceful protests as riots. Don’t tell us we’re over-reacting. I’ve unfollowed a lot of people, but I’ve only unfriended the ones who tried to defend their vote to me. Give us our time to grieve without your obnoxious noise.
  2. Listen. Go read all the reports of people being attacked, of children going after children, of people afraid to let their children leave the house, of women having headgear ripped off, of women being sexually assaulted, or “Donald Trumped”, as one attacker referred to it. Go read about how happy the KKK is, and about all the people having race-based obscenities thrown at them.  Go read about all the people that are being told they should leave, or die, or hang themselves. Go read about all the people contemplating suicide.
  3. Imagine that you are one of these victims. That you have been told that your rights don’t matter. That you don’t belong here. That you don’t count as a person. That your religion or your love isn’t valid. That your gender, or your race, or your orientation, or your disability, or your neurological difference isn’t wanted here. That your life is worth nothing. That your feelings, your pain, your despair, doesn’t matter.
  4. Admit that you were wrong. Admit that you were hoodwinked, fooled, deluded, I don’t care how you put it, but that you didn’t realize what you were doing. You didn’t realize the repercussions. You didn’t mean for anyone to get hurt, for anyone to feel less. Admit that you should not have supported a man whose entire platform was based on hatred.
  5. Repent. Apologize to all the victims of your mistake. Publicly, and loudly. Mean it, from the heart.
  6. Denounce all the acts of hatred that your vote showed approval for. Anytime you see someone harassing someone, step in. Every time you hear a comment that is racist, sexist, anti-muslim, anti-lgbt, making fun of disabilities, or mental illness, or any other form of bigotry, make it clear that you don’t approve. Whether it’s a joke online, in the office, or at home. Berate anyone who treats women as sex objects. Raise your children (if you have any) to treat all people with respect and dignity. Join peaceful protests for things like Black Lives Matter, or march in Pride parades. Treat women as equals in all things. Believe that all people are created equal, and act accordingly.
  7. Demand that your politicians also denounce these atrocities. Inform them that you do not support any legislation that restricts human rights. That you do not want a wall built, or immigrants kicked out. That you do not want to take away vital healthcare for the many people that depend on it. That you do not want to prevent women from having access to affordable birth control, and the many other necessary health services that organizations like Planned Parenthood provide. That your concern for human life doesn’t end at birth.

Make the world a better, safer place, for ALL people. Try to repair the damage you have wrought. Then we can talk.

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Why I’m done with them

My husband strongly disagrees with the idea that I should sever relationships with Trump supporters (which, sadly, include most of his family), so this is my attempt to explain why I feel that I have to take so extreme a measure.

I’ve been mostly off of Facebook for months because it was too depressing (literally). Too many stories about horrible things happening to women, to minorities, to the LGBT. Can’t read the comments section of any article, about anything, without seeing tons of venomous comments about women, or Muslims, or whatever the hate of the week is. I got tired of it all, so I shut it off. I also have already removed one toxic family member and one toxic in-law from my life, for reasons unrelated and prior to the election, and it’s been a great relief.

However, going backwards in time, on March 12th, 2015, Terry Pratchett died. This wasn’t why I sank into a deep depression, but it was the last straw on a mountain of straws, and even as I was tumbling ever downwards, I was cognizant of this fact.

I’ve been depressed before. During elementary school I seriously considered killing myself, but I didn’t, largely because of my cat, who wouldn’t eat any time I was away from home. Later I realized that suicide is a selfish choice, and I stopped considering it, but often, I would *wish*, fervently, to die, or wish that the pain I was in meant that I was dying, at last.

I’m telling you this, so when I explain that last year I was in one of the worst depressions I can remember, you have some context. There’s a very long story about how I got out of that depression, and I’ll tell you that later, but a couple months ago, I finally started feeling better and have been working on trying to put my life back together.

And then one my horses died, for reasons that are still unclear, despite a necropsy. And then our roof started leaking, and no one wants to fix it. And then the hurricane hit, and my other horse got sick, and still isn’t totally better, and I still don’t know if she might end up dying from what killed the other one. She’s a lot younger, and, frankly, a much nicer horse. The kind that loves people and anyone can ride. I’ve spent five times what I paid for her (he was free) on vets and I’m worried about how I’m going to pay the credit card bills. And a bunch of other things have been going wrong. I broke my computer. Twice. I broke my phone. Twice. And the screen is currently unreadable, covered in weird purple splotches (started when voting ended – coincidence?).

I tell you all of that to give you the context that I have been on the razor’s edge of falling back into that dark, deep hole of depression. I recently described myself to my husband as feeling like I was about to disintegrate and just shatter into a million pieces.

(And I know that other people have things a lot worse, but that isn’t relevant to this story)

One of the things I learned when I was recovering, is that I have a limited number of spoons. I have fewer than most other people, so I have to be careful how I spend them. Someone with more spoons than me can try to reason with those who can’t be reasoned with. Someone with more spoons than me can try to understand them, or whatever. But my spoons are precious, and I’d rather spend them on people who deserve it. I just don’t have the spoons to deal with bad people. I don’t have enough energy to endure them. I don’t have enough joy to overcome their toxicity. I don’t want to go back to that dark hole, though it may happen anyways. And so I’m done with them.

Life is too short short for me to waste it on those who won’t appreciate my effort.

Reasons given to vote Trump

This is the compilation of the reasons/excuses I’ve been given for why people would vote for Trump, and my response. Feel free to add additional ones in the comments, and I will address them.

  1. Mysoginists
  2. Racists
  3. Religious/anti-Muslim
  4. Economic Hardship
  5. Voted for party even though you recognize that Trump is horrible
  6. Believe Hillary is evil
  7. Trump isn’t really like that
  8. Voted for party because you had your head in the sand and didn’t really know anything about either candidate

1, 2, and 3 are simple to address – You’re horrible human beings and I will never ever want anything to do with you.

4 – First, you’re dumb, because there is no way that the man who doesn’t even pay his own employees is going to care about helping you get a job or better pay. Second, you decided that your own economic opportunity was more important than basic human decency. I feel sorry for you and I would support efforts to improve your situation, but I want nothing to do with you.

5 – You decided it was more important for your side to “win” than to do the right thing, and support basic human decency. I want nothing to do with you.

6 – You’re either gullible and insist on believing fake news sites, or you’re listening to your subconscious sexism. I feel sorry for you, but I have no patience for those who refuse to listen to facts and quote tabloids. Even if everything that was said about Hillary was true (and it’s not, she’s been more scrutinized than any other politician and repeatedly been cleared of all charges), it’s like a speck of dust compared to what Trump has done openly, on camera, and without regret. I want nothing to do with you.

7 – So you voted for a candidate whom you believe was flagrantly lying to you? That’s insanity. I want nothing to do with you.

I don’t hate any of you, but my time is too precious to waste, and too many people are already being hurt because of your selfishness.

Anyone who supports Trump is a toxin, and I’m removing toxins from my life. Thanks for showing your true colors to make it easier for me.

8 – Sorry, but you abused your voting privileges, and it may be four years or more before I’m going to want to talk to you, and only if you start researching your voting choices.

A very large chunk of Americans have endorsed bullying, sexism, racism, ableism, and a host of other depravities. A very large chunk of Americans have said that a person who can’t seem to open his mouth without insulting someone, deserves to have the highest seat of power in our country, and be representative of us. A very large chunk of Americans have decided a man born rich, but who can’t run a successful company even when evading taxes and not paying his workers, should be in charge of our economy. A very large chunk of Americans decided they’d rather vote for a selfish jerk than a woman who has spent her life trying to help others.

This is not just another lost election, this is a loss for humanity.

D & D – Eberron – Journal Entry 1

Written in Sylvan:

A gnome mage, a halfling rogue, a half-elf cleric, a golem, a shifter, and a slimy human bard – it sounds like the beginning of a joke, but it’s not funny; I’m stuck with these ‘people’ for the foreseeable future! It was that or stay in prison, and now I’m not sure I made the right choice. We’ve already been attacked twice, and our healer was knocked unconscious (I can see how effective *his* prayers are). They are all resting now; as soon as I’m done writing this, I will go and try to scout ahead. I’m not sure what good it will do though, the people we were following are on horseback (I suggested we should acquire horses in the beginninng, but no one listened to me), and we are much slower, even when we don’t have to waste time recovering.

The mage seems to be the most effective member of our group; he makes me wonder if I should try studying some magic of my own. I’ve heard that it is possible to imbue arrows with spells… the idea tantalizes me. The bard is the most annoying; no one is even sure if it is a man or a woman and s/he is always making inappropriate comments. Just the smell of a human so close is irritating, reminding me of the day I found mother’s body, desecrated even after she was dead. If I ever find the humans responsible, they will pay dearly.

The first group that attacked us seemed very odd. It was a drow mage (I haven’t seen a drow here in years) and he was pulling a cart full of kobolds, one of whom was already dead. We killed the drow and the kobolds, but I regret that a half-elf rogue managed to get away; the wind was blowing hard, making it difficult to shoot him as he ran and hid.

The second attack was just a group of goblin bandits, but they appeared better equipped than would normally be expected. I’m not sure how they managed to surprise us so easily and I wonder if it was luck or cunning that led them to attack the healer first…

Tabletop Day Recap

Last week I went to my local store, Coliseum of Comics, for tabletop day. They had the official extra goodies and I picked up the munchkin bookmark, castle panic card, gloom cards, dixit card, dominion card (though i’m not sure how to use it, since it’s only one card), and a demo of a game called ‘Spot It’.

Spot It was actually pretty fun, although gary did not care for the fast pace; it’s basically a matching game and whoever matches the fastest wins.

The other games we played were as follows:

Zombie Dice

Monty Python Fluxx (first time we played any fluxx game)

Munchkin (unfortunately, before we got the bookmark)

Smash Up! (which did not, in our opinion, deliver on the ‘smash’ part of its name) – this was a demo that was shown fairly aggressively. Basically each player has two types of critters and is trying to fill ‘bases’ with their critters in order to get points. The game did not seem very well balanced, but it might have just been a problem with us, we only played it once.

Dixit – this game intrigues me but it was pretty hard to play it well; i think it would have helped if we had had more people/people who knew each other well.

Werewolf – first time we had heard of this. It is a large group game that is sort of like the playground game ‘sharks & minnows’ except it involves cards, and is more complicated (and more fun). I would be happy to play this again but I’m not sure how often I would have enough people to pull it off.

Abandon Ship – first time I heard of it. You are trying to get rats to flee a sinking ship. All our rats died, which wasn’t very fun 😦

Scotland Yard – I had not played this game since I was a kid, but it was fun

Lords of Waterdeep – a resource game; I knew as soon as they opened it up and started explaining the rules that I would like it, so we actually went and bought it before we were done playing (the shop part of the store was closing – we also bought pandemic and dixit).

There was also a game called ‘No Thanks’ that is apparently a favorite of the crowd that usually plays board games there. They had a (free) tournament for it. It’s basically a bidding type game, where you are trying to get the least number of points. This is normally not my type of game at all, however, I got *really* lucky and ended up winning the tournament. I won a game called Giants which I had not heard of and have not had a chance to play yet, but looks interesting.

All in all, it was a really fun day, far better even than what I had expected. We made several new friends, although the ones we spent the most time with live in Tampa (2+ hours away). I also met another Disney cast member, so that was cool.

Today we are going back to Coliseum of Comics to play more board games with a group of Disney employees (none of whom were there last week, but who we had played with on a previous occasion). Hopefully it will be just as much fun 🙂

Table Top Day Is Tomorrow!

Table top day is tomorrow! If you haven’t already, you can find a place to play games at.

This is the brainchild of Felicia Day (my hero) and Wil Wheaton and is meant to be a day to celebrate and play all kinds of board games. Locations with a star should have extra goodies available, documented here.

I’ve always loved board games, particularly the more interesting European games, but Wil Wheaton’s show has introduced me to a lot of ones I would not have otherwise tried (and consequently flattened my wallet).

The place we will be going to is a store we have bought games at before, but never been able to participate in their board game events, due to timing. Hopefully it will be lots of fun and maybe we will even make some new friends who don’t live horribly far away 😉

Resolutions?

I support the idea of New Year’s Resolutions, but since we were starting our anniversary vacation on January 1st, I did not want to start any self-improvement goals until later. I decided that I would do my resolutions starting February 1st instead. Then, in an odd sort of fate, I ended up starting a new job on that very day, which accomplishes at least one goal (earn more $). It’s a 3-month contract for Disney, although I’m hoping the contract will get extended and/or evolve into a full-time position. I have *always* wanted to work for Disney, so I am pretty excited about it, even if it is a longer commute (~45 minutes) than I’d like.

For my remaining resolutions, I think they boil down to this:

1) eat less (particularly sugar)
2) move more
3) write more (blog more?)
4) do more with tie-dye
5) get the house-fixing completed

I debated on whether to make the goals more concrete (such as x calories per day or n words per week), but I think I will leave them vague for now. It seems too easy to fail at very specific goals, which leads to guilt and giving up, but on the other hand I feel less *push* to improve at the moment. Which method(s) do you prefer?