Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Rudolf and Why I Kind of Hate That Song

Admittedly, I think I make one of these, “Lonely Jew on Christmas” posts every year.

…But seriously, I don’t like Rudolf.


It’s one of those songs where I question if anyone really listens to the lyrics.  If they do and still think it’s happy-go-lucky, maybe they are sociopaths. 
“No no…  After he proved himself useful, THEN all the other reindeer LOVED him!!”  That’s not a good lesson.  It’s just not.

Pinocchio’s nose deforms as a punishment and tell for lying, but in the narratives of Rudolf and Dumbo the lesson is vastly more sinister.  

You are allowed to be different… We will ALLOW you your natural difference, IF you can prove yourself useful, or at least more spectacular because of your difference. 

You can’t just be different.  It needs to be a super power. 
There is a difference between “Look how neat this difference is!” and actually making that a requirement.  

In fact, other language versions such as the Japanese version are even more blatant and honest about it.   

It’s like Santa did Rudolf a favor by letting him guide the sleigh so that he could earn respect.  

A story is just that… but this is something that’s blasted on loud speakers year after year to little kids.

What are these characters supposed to do? 
Cut off the offensive parts?


(Ugh… flashback to childhood with the explanation that a nose job, even if you didn’t medically need one, was a rite of passage for a young Jewish woman.  UGH. )

And poor Dumbo is practically tortured in that movie.
Of course, there are other problems with Dumbo that I won’t get into here…


In any case, I don’t like the lesson that we can’t just be functioning like everyone else in spite of these unique things, nor can we be praised for getting to that baseline regardless of struggles.  No no. 
We only get to love ourselves if we are super special.  We have to be EVEN BETTER than everyone else, so that the very assholes who mocked us and kept us ostracized will accept us. 
Really, who’d even want that?  Who would want to play in those reindeer games at that point, with mean people?

Sometimes, it comes down to safety.  Once a marginalized group becomes “accepted” into the bullies (which generally just means assimilated and stripped of their own heritage) then at least we are safe from those bullies. 
…because they won?

This happens every day to anyone who can be classified as a minority in this county. 
Hell, this happens to women, and we certainly are NOT a minority. 

Rudolf was the better party for saying yes to helping, but then he should just leave. 

What if they’d asked him to do something really degrading? 
Would Rudolf have been desperate enough for acceptance and for the abuse to stop to still do it? 
What if Santa had asked him to be an ornament?


I’m just saying, if they wanted him to be a night light, they should have been kinder.  Or at least have ONE be like, “Hey, let him play.”  Anything. 
(Random thought:  Did Dumbo’s ability to fly bring his mother back?  That movie is so depressing.)


As a side note…  I feel like reindeer should have wings if they are specifically the flying-type.  


The Superman logic is silly. 

…But yeah.  Seriously.  Rudolf should have converted. 


(I could make a nose-joke here…  I’m gonna try to contain myself.)

This idea is why I’ve come to love things like the Addams Family and Monster High, because that is media that says different is beautiful.  No strings attached. 

THAT should be a classic narrative.  Not Rudolf.  

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Big Three Oh

I’ll be doing a blog post all about the wedding (that happened) and the move (also happened) soon enough. 

I thought I’d start with this.

See, I turned thirty on November 17th

My dad likes to say, “You can’t trust anyone over thirty, or people who work for the government.” 

I’m both.   
He’s kidding, but I started to think about how different thirty is now than it was in the 60s.  

Mostly, I just don’t feel like an adult yet.  I don’t think that has much to do with my age though.

I like that I can still enjoy what I’ve always enjoyed. 

Gaze upon my Bat-Belts!  This isn't even half of them.  

I wear these to work.  No one cares!  Or notices. 

I like that I can play.

I’m proud that I HAVE come as far as I have, regardless of trauma from all directions for so long.

That being said, I still have a long way to go.  I’m aware of that.  

I know there are things I still don’t like about myself, and those awful things are going to be the hardest to overcome. 

I’m happy with my body now, and my confidence is so much better than ever before.

I’ve learned to stand up for myself, though I still struggle with that from time to time…

I’m eating better and better every day, while still being careful about my allergies. 

I can BE careful without it ruling my life, even when I'm scared.  

…and that’s just really cool.

Still though, there are so many times where my imagination takes over and goes from “being creative” to a true sign of the mental illness I’ve faced for so many years.  

The dark, mirrors…  I’m actually terrified of a lot of things to an incredibly embarrassing degree.  

I’m thirty now, and I still take the whole Bloody Mary thing too seriously.  It’s another level of sad.

Now it’s a matter of not wanting to see the endless darkness that may or may not reflect something that I just can’t perceive when the lights are out…

I already told you about the time as a kid where I left a bathroom like the little chicken I am during the era of Spice Girls and pogs.  

(As a side note, we were doing a dance thing in a PE class once, and I was elected to be Scary Spice as I was the darkest one with curly hair.  That’s how bleached white our fucking middle school was.  Fuck.  Sure.  “Close enough.”  …  These days, I would take it all as a compliment, though I’m not sure how she would have felt being played by a Slavic Jew.  Really, I wanted to be Posh anyway.)

Seriously though.   
Under the bed was scary enough that I just put my bed straight onto the floor to avoid having an under-the-bed at all.   
The closet…  Ugh.  Especially when the door was just slightly open?  

All the way open or all the way closed.  That’s what it had to be.

My sister solved this problem for me by simply tearing the doors off of my closet in a fit of unbridled and seemingly entirely random rage.

Doors slightly open at all, ever…  For whatever reason, my brain immediately goes to, “Yeah, but what’s looking in?”  
Why is there ANYTHING looking in?  What??

Walking to the bathroom at night encompasses all of these things in some way or another, especially that first mirror-in-the-dark bit. 

This was all before the food thing became… a thing.

The worms and ants almost-phobia may have to do with the hidden nature of them, just as the dark poses for everything else.  

And yet again…

Ants though…  They’re like the Borg. 

And worms like maggots, eat the dead.

Realizing I’m very much alive, am I just afraid I’ll find out the hard way?  I’m more afraid of my own reflection in the dark than seeing someone other than myself…  Maybe it’s all existential.  

Fear and phobias are interesting things when they start to rule your life.

I was always super anxious about everything, but I very rarely expressed this openly.  I felt like a had to keep myself with a steely expression for my family, so that no one would know that I was scared or in any pain.  

That may have been a fear too.  I didn’t want to be a burden, and I didn’t want them to feel bad.  

So… I just pretended I was fine for as long as I could.

This led to weirdly humiliating moments, because it translated as being shy when I wouldn’t just speak up and say, “This is really shitty.”  

Good example? 

That time I had a mat in my hair. 

Why my parents didn’t just take a fucking scissors to my hair is beyond me.  It was in the back and under all my other hair.  No one would have noticed.

The whole thing was kind of my own fault anyway because I didn’t want anyone to touch my head.  
I was little then…  Elementary school I guess?   
And my head was an unruly mess of curls and tangles.   
Dad would (jokingly?) chant, “Rip tear!  Rip tear!” as he tried to brush my hair.   

I have since learned to either start from the bottom 
or just cut it all off.

So there we were at the hair stylist. 

The lady gathered everyone around to see. 

So, there I was, SURROUNDED by random people staring at my head.

“IT’S A PERFECT DRED!” she kept saying.  

I did not do this on purpose.  I mean, good to know, but having all those people stare and touch me, and have to sit there in silence pretending I wasn’t scared and embarrassed…  


You know what?  I’m exhausted enough, let’s stick to the hair for a minute. 

Lemme tell you ‘bout my hair. 

I found my first single grey hair in middle school.   
Since this was the era of being called “Witch Girl” and being made fun of anyway, I decided to be how I wanted to be.  

Fuck ‘em.

I’d rather be poked at for things I choose than the things I have no control over.  

Cue my Rogue-style blonde chunk right in the front of my head.  

This was then blue for a while, various shades of “strawberry”, and green for a very short while.   

It’s hard to keep green without it becoming a variety of snots.

Eventually, I dyed the underside of my hair red, so when it was up in a half-ponytail you could see it… 

I very rarely did that though.

Finally, there was the black and red stripes. 

“Make it look like it’s bleeding.” 

When that proved too hard to maintain, straight red or maroon happened.

There were some mishaps, such as the orange frizz…  

And some disappointments.  
 “We have… semi demi purple?  It’ll wash out in a day or two.”  

I have since stopped dying my hair due to a combination of fear, lack of funds, lack of time, and straight up laziness. 

I have a few more grey hairs now though. 

You know.

Cause I’m thirty.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Strawberry (and Chocolate Milkshake) Fields Forever

I am by no means a "food blogger," nor do I intend to become one.  
However, I am thankful that Rob went from setting the stove (electric, no less) on fire while boiling water, to making delicious things mostly in the name of my recovery from the food phobia.  

I trust him, which means I eat the things he makes without serious panic about my allergies.  
It is pretty awesome.

So, while Rob DOES also make lovely actual food-food:

and this has probably saved my life...

 I'm also partial to his desserts.  

We'll start off with the Oreo milkshake.  It was in celebration of the Fourth of July, so we were picturing making it red and blue...  

We'll get to that later. 

 All you need for this is some vanilla ice cream, Oreos, and milk.  
Obviously, the cookies could be replaced just as easily as the other stuff can be replaced with lactose-free varieties.  

I can't even give you exact amounts to use of what, as we just kinda...  

"Whatever.  Blend it."  "More of this?"  "Yeah, sure." 

So much blending...

More blending...

Add more cookies...



Eventually,  you will have a milkshake that may or may not bring all the boys to your yard.  

As stated before, we experimented in food dye...

It made it kind of pretty?

But didn't really work in the way we were hoping...

So fuck it.  Just stir that up.



And now for my favorite thing he's made so far (and we have strawberries in the house...  Can this happen today?) 


All these photos probably could have used some photoshop, but I'm an honest person, damn it.  This food ain't plastic.


The ingredients you'll need: 
 Cream cheese in either tub or stick form...
I prefer my strawberries GMO and bigger than my head.  Feel free to not.
 A metric ass-ton of sugar...
And a plate, if they make it that far.

Once everything but the strawberries are mixed together, you'll have something like this: 

Now for coring!  Just cut out those little strawberry innards. 

Then fill with the mixture...

And arrange. 
Here's what the steps themselves look like: 

...and devour.