Category Archives: Uncategorized

I’m so sick of politics… So I’m writing about politics

Who isn’t LOVING 2017?!? Am I right or am I right… Every where you turn you get to hear about the Trump and about his hair, and about his rallies, and about his ill-fitting suits, and about who supports him and why they do so. AND about who doesn’t support him, and why they, don’t-so? And everyone’s opinions, and spliced video clips from one side or another edited to perfectly illustrate their points. Okay, I will try to steer clear of the word AND as much as I can now because I have overused it AND I could go on for HOURS.

Here’s the reality. We hop onto the ole Facebook to look at mind numbing shit about puppies, or uplifting stories about overcoming hardships (that, incidentally make us cry in our office and we quickly close the door to conceal our tears as well as the fact that we are on Facebook in our office) and all is good. UNTIL… You see Mr. so and so feeling compelled to write a post about, A) How bad President Trump sucks or B) How freaking fantastic this glorious leader is. Followed swiftly by comments from their “friends” on both sides of the aisle spewing insignificant facts and insults while (I’m just guessing here) sitting on their toilets avoiding their families and real lives like the Bubonic Plague. Seems harmless enough, yes?

NO! This is madness. We have descended into absolute and complete madness! We are constantly and ferociously slapped in the face with such divisiveness, that every time we log on to numb our minds, we end up in a pissing contest with some overbearing, out of touch 2nd uncle once removed who has to give his borderline psychotic opinion on everything.

I’m no psychologist here (just a clinical psych grad who didn’t do great on the GREs and needs to retake them before I can get that PHD) but in my “un-professional opinion” THIS. IS. RIDICULOUS.

A quick bit of background, because, well, you’re in it now so might as well. I am not a Republican. I am also not a democrat. I am a college educated, white millennial female from Iowa who has lived elsewhere in the US and has seen the successes and struggles of others. I have family and friends who believe vehemently one way or the other.

Do I support what’s happening in office right now, namely DJ T? No. No I do not.  Why you ask? Because he is a fake. I firmly believe that a lot of people voted for him simply because they didn’t like the alternative. I am okay with these people, these people are cool, let’s leave these people alone.

What I am NOT okay with, are the people that are firmly standing by, watching this reality TV show disaster, JUSTIFYING action and inaction. As well as, the people who are SO staunchly against it, that they can’t pull their self-righteous heads out of their asses long enough to try to listen and really HEAR why others have an opposing opinion. I totally understand pride. (I believe it’s one of the 7 deadly sins) but, ya know, semantics.

The last Facebook post I commented on about a political view, became an exchange of news clips and jeering from others, and I tried to head it off by saying nicely, “hey, everyone on here seems to be trying to out “news” the other. Obviously we have a lot of problems… Why don’t we start presenting solutions.” In my opinion, if someone is making an argument without also proposing a solution, it isn’t worth hearing or reading. It is simply junk. A complete waste of time from someone who has nothing better to do than sit in a dark room on their phone, hating on someone just to hate. Or feel superior. or both. And by golly gosh, you guessed it. People overlooked it. They didn’t want a civil conversation, they wanted an all out battle royale!

My point is. No one listens anymore. Every one is so staunchly pro or anti, that they don’t take the time to really HEAR what their friend or family member is truly living, or dealing with. Everyone seems so caught up in the “I won, I won, or Impeach, Impeach” that they are failing to concentrate on the ACTUAL LIVING people that are existing and dealing day to day with the decisions that are being made.

My request is simple. Start listening. Start engaging. Really put yourself in other people’s positions.  Actively work towards the reality that, in the end, we all want the same thing. We want to be happy, and safe, and free to exist and enjoy our very short time on this little floating rock

Thank you for making it to the end. I can only hope it slightly opens ONE closed mind.

 

C

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Race Versus Stereotypes, Which One Is The Real Problem?

raceWe have all read the stories.  “Black man gunned down by white cop”.  “Another unarmed black teen killed.” “Black cop kills unarmed white man.”  “White police officer texts racist things and resigns.”  “Muslims threatened because of their dress.” “People walk off plane because Middle Eastern man looks menacing.” “Jewish temple bombed.” “White supremacist affluent member of society” I could quote headlines for days and still have thousands to use.  What is the meaning of all of this?  I mean, why are we making race the main focus of horrible occurrences? I know headlines are meant to evoke the emotion to encourage people to read the rest of the story.  I am not going to lie, my article’s headline was meant to do the same thing.  But I am trying to figure out why.  Why as a society do we continue to try to capture the reader’s attention by creating a bias?

A bit of history.  I am Caitlyn.  I am considered white.  Female.  From the middle class.  These are classifications.  I am classified as such because society has an overwhelming need to place everyone in a certain box.  I have always cringed when filling out personal information.  You know, when you fill out a doctor’s record, or a census.   “Check the box…  Black, Asian, Hispanic, non-Hispanic.”  What the hell is Non-Hispanic?  Isn’t that Black, or Asian?  What the hell is black? Isn’t that a bit ridiculous?  Black…  A dark color…  How about White?  a light color…  I myself, vary in pigment from season to season.  And I have never been “white”  that is literally the absence of color.  Albino if you will (Which should be a box option as well).  Why is there no middle ground?  Why are these people so interested in the color of my skin? I will tell you the box I would like to check.  “The great granddaughter of Croatian and German immigrants that faced many perils coming to America and arrived in a place that didn’t speak their native language and were forced to be the strongest people I could ever know in order to make a life for themselves and their children.” (That would be a long but accurate one.) That never seems to be an option though.  How about for others.  Why is there no box for, “Hey, I’m an American and have been one all of my life but happen to descend from Africans brought over here without their permission and against their will to work for free .”  or “I came here on my own accord to give my family a better life and respect my new environment but still want to instill in my children the customs of our ancestors.”  This is the reason, my friends, we have stereotypes.

Let me explain.  The definition of a stereotype is:  “A widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing.”  Please read that again.   Did you?  Okay, let it sink in for a moment.  How about we look at the definition of Race: “Race is a classification system[specify] used to categorize humans into large and distinct populations or groups by anatomical, cultural, ethnicgenetic, geographical, historical, linguistic, religious, and/or social affiliation. First used to refer to speakers of a common language and then to denote national affiliations.”  So clearly, one is trying to lump everyone together and the other is trying to lump everyone together, …  But in separate groups.  Wait, what?

Okay, for scientific purposes I’ll admit, the race classification is very interesting.  Why?  Because it isn’t just about color.  It tells a story of who we are and how we came to be!  Where we came from.  The amazing stories of the beginning of man.  We still aren’t sure what color the first humans were,  but from a scientific standpoint and, well, LUCY AKA, AL 288-1, our lovely little lady ancestor, we have found out that some of the earliest humans came to be in Ethiopia.  THAT’S RIGHT MY FRIENDS.  We may all be of Ethiopian descent.  I say MAY BE becasue  I am no scientist.  But I digress…

My reason for writing this is because I am completely and utterly SICK of people confusing race with stereotypes.  We are constantly bombarded with stereotypical stories.  I gave a few examples at the beginning and pointed out the difference in definitions above.  Please refer back to them as needed.  Stereotypes are used as an out.  An excuse for individual actions and subsequent reactions.  A reason to hate, or fear, or trust, or admire.  Attempting to evoke emotions based on stereotypes alone is as useless as a toilet that doesn’t flush, sure it works for a little while, but then it just becomes gross.  WE are people.  I am a person.  I want to be defined by the color of my skin as much as I want to dive head first into a 3 inch pool of water.  We are better than this.

I know I am lucky.  Not because of who I am or what color I am or how people perceive me, but because of who I have chosen to get to know and learn from.  I am lucky to have had many amazing life experiences.  And because of that, I am not scared.  I don’t lump people into uncomfortable exclusionary boxes.  I know people from all over the world.  People who are not the same religion, or age or color as me, (though as a side note, I have yet to meet a person that is the EXACT same color as me).  I have learned SO much from those who are not like myself.  That is TRUE learning.  People say we fear what we don’t understand.  Well, then, we need to start trying to understand.  There have been many a humbling time in my life where my preconceived notions have proven me ignorant and wrong.  I am not perfect.  I am just a student of life.   But I learned from those experiences and so can the rest of us!

This rant is sponsored by hope 🙂

I know we are different colors.  I know some of us speak in slang.  I know some of us have accents.  I know some of us like food that is unusual.  I know some of us praise a God that has different rules.  I know some of us wear clothes that are eye catching, I know some of us that have a different set of values.  I know some of us that have had REALLY difficult childhoods.  And I KNOW we are all here together.  TOGETHER.  We are in this together.

I hope this article has inspired some of you to reach out to someone whom you see as different. Get to know them.  And start breaking down those stereotypes.  You will be pleasantly surprised 🙂

 

~Crace

 

Drivers of America… It’s time for a Refresher Course on the Rules of the Road!

AngryDriver

Let’s face it, in today’s world if you want to go ANYWHERE you start by collecting all of your earthly belongings.  You shove them into your “not even acceptable as an airplane carry-on” sized purse, then UNPACK all of those belongings on the kitchen counter to find your keys that were wedged so far down in the tiniest corner nook you wonder if there is a tiny troll living in there who purposely takes your keys after you have deposited them and hides them from you for their own sick pleasure, repack, and hop in your tiny death trap on wheels we call “a car.”  I refer to it as a death trap because of the impending doom that awaits you, out there, on the road…

See, driving should be easy.  Mind you, there are days where inclement weather can make even the best driver repeat prayers to God above just to get them to their destination safely. This article is not about that.  THIS article is a PSA to all of the absolutely HORRIBLE, inconsiderate, distracted, terrible, soul sucking drivers that we ALL encounter on a daily basis.  If you encounter similar things, I applaud you for not giving into your deep burning urge for vigilante road justice.  If you are guilty of these offenses, I recommend you take that little card with the mug shot picture and your contact information on it and cut it into teeny tiny pieces, light those pieces on fire, toast a marshmallow with that fire, make a s’more and get a life long bus pass.

Here are just a FEW things that I would like to remind you all of.  I say remind because in order for you to have gotten your license in the first place, you at one time HAD TO KNOW all of these things, but somehow they slipped your mind.   Here is your courtesy refresher course on what NOT to do while driving.

Annoying Driver Offense #1 The Pull-out and Slow Down

There you are, driving at your own leisure, down the road, la-di-da, and you see a car waiting in a driveway to pull out onto the road you are currently occupying.  You think to yourself, as they are inching ever so close, “they are NOT going to pull out right now and cut me off” but then, for whatever reason, they DO IT!  They squeal their tires like they are trying out for NASCAR and make a sharp right 15 feet in front of you.  You of course have now just slammed on your breaks, peed a little, and given yourself whiplash in order to avoid completely creaming them.  (Which they would have absolutely deserved) but they probably don’t have insurance and who wants to deal with an accident.  To add insult to injury, they are now apparently done trying out for NASCAR and have slowed to a glacial pace at least 10 miles under the speed limit and will not waiver.  People, DON’T DO THAT!  If you are pulling onto a street you must yield to other drivers until you have ample time and space to make your move.  If you have troubles properly gauging the distance of cars on the road, don’t be a “shoot the gap” kind of person, be a “wait it out until there are no cars coming” kind of person, the world will be a much safer and pee pants free place.

Annoying Driver Offense #2 The Four Way Non-Stopper 

You make your way up the road to a busy four way stop.  Everybody is taking their turn, stopping and going and waiving on others.  Grateful drivers waiving back, people are smiling, the sun is shining.  There is a sense of community, of love.  A well orchestrated highly coordinated effort to get people through the intersection as efficiently as possible. And then it’s YOUR turn.  You stop of course, and allow the 2 cars that have arrived before you to go about their business. When it’s your chance to go, BAM out of nowhere the idiot that arrived far later than you flies through the intersection like they own it.  I mean personally own it, as if the intersection was named for them and rules don’t apply.  This angers you so!  So much so, that you consider changing course and following said driver to a point where you can ask them exactly what they were thinking when they decided to abruptly ruin the symbiotic and harmonious system that was that four way stop.  For this person I must remind you how a 4-way stop works.  You first need to approach and STOP. This is very important because so often people think just slowing down is equivalent to a full on stop.  It is not.  On your way to a full stop, note the people at opposing stop signs.  If they were there first, they get to proceed first.  No exceptions.  If you approach at the EXACT same time as someone else, the person on the right has the right of way, or you are welcome to a friendly exchange of courteous hand signals and gestures.  Only after the “go ahead” wave are you allowed to proceed.  I have spoken.

Annoying Driver Offense #3 The Merge

I am going to break this into a 2-parter.  There is a highway merge and a “construction, lane closed ahead” merge.  We will start with the latter.  You are about to embark on a highway merge.  You are on the on-ramp and picking up speed.  You are confident and full of zest for life.  You hear your engine purr as it switches into 3rd or 4th gear.  You are ready to roll. Then all of a sudden, when you are about to make you move, there is a car in the FAR right lane going excruciatingly slow and is not allowing you to properly become part of the highway crowd.  You slam on your breaks because the merge lane is officially about to end and you are at a speed that if you happened to be in a Delorean, would send you back to 1955.   This is both infuriating and dangerous.  To the driver in the far right lane…  GET. OVER.  There is no one in the middle lane.  It is your job as a conscious being, to notice when people will be getting onto the highway and you need to get over so they can merge safely.

Onto the “lane closed” merge.  This is one of my BIGGEST pet peeves and I experienced this JUST 2 days ago while driving back from a weekend in Wisconsin.  The nice people of the construction world put up signs  FAR in advance to let all drivers know that in some short distance ahead, the right or left lane will be closed for some important reason.  At which point your two lanes must become 1.  MOST people efficiently find the open lane and wait in line politely to get through and continue on their life’s journey, wherever it may be taking them.  Than you have the others.  The “others” Fly past you faster than the speed of sound in the soon to be closed lane, and then expect to slyly “slide” on in in front of a row of cars that have been doing their part and waiting their turn like a respectable human being.  To the driver of the car that bypasses the line, you sir, are and asshole.  When I see this, I instantly try to use ESP to contact all drivers ahead to form a telepathic bond and NOT let them in.  Forcing them to sit there, sucking, for everyone to see.  There is always a saint in the crowd who for some reason feels bad for the impatient tool bag.  (I have NO idea why).  But they get in, and you spend the rest of your journey trying to catch up to them and shake your fist rapidly while shouting obscenities.  To the opportunistic, advantage taking mergers..  I speak for ALL people when I say, I hope you NEVER get let into the lane and run out of gas waiting…

Annoying Driver Offense #4 The Texting Driver

You know them.  They lurk in broad daylight.  They are the person who is at a perfect lingering stop at a green light.  They are the person who can’t seem to commit to any particular lane.  They are the person who blows through every stop sign.  They are the person going 22 and 1/2 miles per hour in a 45 mph zone.  They are the WORST driving offender.  The person, who if this was in the days of the early American frontier, would be punished by being tarred and feathered.  This person makes my blood boil.  They think they are so savvy!  A multitasking aficionado.  I have news for you my electronically motivated friend. There is a VERY small percentage of people, and I mean SMALL percentage, that can efficiently multitask.  The rest of us that are trying are failing.  On multiple levels.  I site a study done by the University of Utah.  http://unews.utah.edu/news_releases/frequent-mulitaskers-are-bad-at-it/  Please read it if you think you are the Leo DiCaprio of multitasking and it will quickly make you aware that you are in fact, at best, the Tara Reid of multitasking. Chances are, you are already a poor driver as you have terrible judgement and Darwin’s Theory of Evolution hasn’t made its’ rounds in this lifetime yet.  Put down the damned phone! You are making so many people’s lives a living hell with your “LOLs” and your “SMHs”.  The world will be better for it, people will feel safe on the roads again.  Save the texting for a time and place when you are not operating a 3,221 pound metal machine.

But I digress…  There are many MANY more driving offenses that should be covered, but I fear your attention span is about to lapse.  I hope I have motivated you to be aware of your shitty driving habits.  They are noticed!  If you are a well behaved law-abiding driver I hope you found this inspirational and motivating.  You are not alone.  We are all subject to the horrific driving of others.  Being a better driver makes the world a better place!  Less flippings of the bird.  Less roadside violence.  If you have a friend that makes you want to update your will before getting in the car with them, please… Share.

A special note to the people who commit a driving offense and then, for some reason get pissed at you.  You suck so much and should be forever banned from the road.  But thanks for making me lose a little more of my faith in humanity.

 

 

Yes I Have Boobs… Thanks for Noticing Creepy Stranger

Image

Let me preface this article by saying, the picture above is not of myself.  Also, in general, I feel that boobs are great things.  They give nourishment to tiny humans, they make shirts that are too long a little shorter, and they can make a body with a little extra in the mid section seem more proportional.  Universally, we all, men and women alike, admire the look of a good set.  My issue arises when (and this happens FAR too frequently) people feel the need to comment on the fact that I have a couple of them myself.  Now I am not an idiot…  I am one of those “lucky ladies” that has to spend the extra money at Victoria’s Secret to buy the bigger cargo holders, but where my confusion lies is, where do people get the idea that it is EVER OKAY to state their opinion about a stranger’s body parts to said stranger.

I will give you a recent example.  I was working at the bar one evening, not wearing anything particularly low cut.  Just a good ole V-neck t-shirt.  V-necks are the enemy for many large chested ladies, as you can never pull it up far enough to cover the goods, unless your going for the crop top/bare mid drift look, which I assure you I was not.  We have a sink system where you have to lean down just a bit to wash the glasses appropriately, AND as luck would have it 3 gentlemen just HAPPENED to be seated directly in front of said dish sink.  At this point I do NOT make eye contact because let’s be honest, if they are there and in your face, you are going to look.  I speak for ALL men and women here.  I continue with my dishes and my obvious eye contact avoidance.  When i finish the job I stand up and move to make someone a cocktail.  I was safe! I  made it through another awkward boob-in-face scenario.  Or so I thought…  At this point, I make my way back to the three “gentlemen” sitting in front of the sink and ask if they would like a refill.  Two of them politely said no thank you, and the other snickered and paused…  Oh boy, here it comes…  Exact words out of his mouth, “I might get a few more so I can watch you do some more dishes.”  Yup, there it is!  Now, one could react a number of ways, giggle and move on, get pissed and back hand him with my ring paw, tell the boss, or tell them to get the hell out.  I of course chose option E.  I thought a nice verbal berating would be more appropriate.  As I ask this guy why he would EVER think making a comment like that was ok, he defensively says, “Well you are the one who wore that shirt, you were kind of asking for it.”  OOOOOOOO forgive ME sir for wearing clothes…  Next June evening I am working in a sweltering bar I will be sure to wear 3 sport bras and a turtle neck because I would hate to be “asking for it.”

A side note, I know there are a lot of women out there that are saying “aww poor her, she actually has boobs.”  I get it, the grass is always greener.  I also have a handful of friends who have decided to purchase their own upgraded tatas.  I hear a lot of stories about how they make them feel more confident, feminine, their clothes fit better, etc. I say go get it ladies!  No hate from me, but I have to guarantee some where in the contract from your plastic surgeon there is a clause that states something like. “by signing this document I hereby allow every human being in the free world to stare at my chest and comment until they are blue in the face.”  Most would agree to this because the results are worth the extra oogles.  But for ladies like me, the all naturals, we didn’t get a heads up.   We didn’t get to debate whether or not we wanted to be so well-endowed, we were genetically enslaved into this world of idiots who can’t keep their comments to themselves.

So I close my eyes and shake my head.  I can’t stop what’s going to happen, like watching a train wreck seconds before it flies off the track, I just can’t stop it.  But you better believe I will make every last one of you opinionated people feel pretty freaking stupid for saying anything at all about the subject.  And I encourage all of you other “lucky ladies” to do the same, maybe if we make them feel dumb enough it will eventually shut em’ up.  Maybe…

Why me? Why the “Not so obvious”? Why care? Here’s why…

Have you ever had an interaction with a person; stranger or friend, and after it was finished you sat there thinking, “What in the hell just happened?” Well, it happens to me daily.  My name is Caitlyn and I would love to share my daily weirdness with the world…  Or potentially just the 6 people that may accidentally stumble upon this and give it a whirl.  Like I wrote in my profile info, I want to be clear that I am not a doctor, teacher, politician, scientist, genius, evil mastermind, blue fin tuna, (just checking if you’re paying attention).  I am just a very observant and opinionated person.  A little history:

It ALL started one snowy day back in 1985…  Just kidding…  I am 29 years old.  i currently live in Iowa City, Iowa. USA.  I have done some world traveling, lived in San Francisco for a number of years, YEAH!  Lived in LA for 1 year (eeeek) and made my way back here when my boyfriend made the long hustle out to LA and put a ring on it.  I bar tended my way through college and now I have the pleasure of continuing weekend bar tending to make my way through student loans (a big SORE spot for me and a future blog post for sure).  I also have a big kid job.  One with an office and dress slacks, and an 8-5 requirement.  I sell my soul every day to make quarterly sales goals.  I should also mention that I went to school for clinical psychology…  Why should I mention this?  Because it’s HILARIOUS.  If any of you are like me, you know that a BS in Clinical Psych is exactly what it says B.S.!  So I sell my little heart out and wait for the day that I get JUST irritated enough to retake my GRE’s and reestablish my fractured relationship with higher education.

I am prepared to talk to you about my experiences, my friend’s experiences, random people I accidentally overhear at Starbucks’ experiences and many many more.  If you relate that’s great.  It means we’re not alone in the world 🙂 I can be cynical, I like to try to keep it funny, and I can be serious.  But I will never lie to you.  I really hope you enjoy my future stories, or at the very least, turn your head and know someone else out there has it worse than you 🙂  Thank you all for taking the time and I am excited to see what comes of this!

 

~Caitlyn