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Review: Bear, Otter, and the Kid

Bear, Otter, and the Kid, eBook   by TJ Klune
Dreamspinner Press    Release Date: August 12, 2011

I have to admit that I’m torn about this book. I did something with it that I normally don’t ever do. Usually, as soon as a derogatory term against the disabled community appears in a book I stop reading it, mark where I am, what the term was, and write up a quick note on Goodreads, Amazon, and my blog about it. The worse offenders are YA novels, which is really disturbing. The term in this case was “retarded,” one that seems to be on the upswing these days, sadly, as it had been slowing down for a while. The fact that it’s appearing in so many YA novels is really disturbing, I think, because it’s showing a whole new generation it’s ok to say those things. It’s being incorporated into their culture.

It’s something I think editors need to be aware of, possibly more important than a misplaced comma or a maligned semicolon.

It shocked me to see it in a m/m romance book, though. I hadn’t seen anything of that nature, that I remember, out of everything I’ve read so far. I contacted Mr. Klune, but haven’t heard back from him. What I think is truly ironic, however, it that it’s someone from one marginalized group demeaning another group that’s marginalized.

Just to take a quick side-step here, and forgive me, because my memory’s not always that great and it’s been awhile since I’ve taken these classes. Brown vs Board of Education was a groundbreaking case for more than just, at least in the eyes of the law, the judgment that separate educational facilities were NOT equal, starting the beginning of desegregation. This is important because it had a ripple effect, it was the beginning of civil rights movements for many groups, including gay rights and rights for people with disabilities, among many others. Both groups had to fight, and both groups still face countless challenges. Politicians and religious groups turn sexual orientation into something they have no business in, people with autism are refused heart transplants because the doctors don’t know how they will react in a hospital. Illegal restraints are used on children with disabilities who are nonverbal, and they can’t tell anyone because they don’t have a communication system and people who know are either too afraid to speak up or punished if they do. Gay men are attacked simply because they’re gay. WTF? I meant to keep this more positive, but I feel this deeply, because I’ve advocated for people with disabilities who can’t speak, who people don’t listen to if they can speak, and who people treat as “retarded” just because they’re nonverbal. Just because they’re nonverbal doesn’t mean they don’t understand exactly what you’re saying. Just because a man is gay doesn’t mean he can’t love just as deeply or truly as any other human being. Feel passion any less.

So what do I do? I finished the book–I liked it, other than the fact that “retarded” was used three more times. So now I feel conflicted and upset, the more I think about it.

I advocate for the right to love and marry whoever you want to, to have or adopt children if you want to, and I advocate for people with disabilities to have their rights respected. What do you do when two things you feel so passionately about conflict?

To everyone else this may seem like no big deal. It’s just a word. There are no such things as “just words.” Words influence, they hurt, and they bully, because there are people behind those words who are capable of inflicting pain, whether it’s physical, or mental or both.

This isn’t intended as an attack on Mr. Klune, and I’m sorry if it’s taken or seen that way. It’s more built up frustration. For anyone who writes and uses terms that are derogatory. The fact that I feel like people snicker at me–“oh, it’s that crazy lady who gets all worked up about people with disabilities.” I have a lot of reasons to get worked up, I won’t go into them here.

I just wish I could have read the book and enjoyed it without knowing those words were there, because they really ticked me off. And I really would have liked it so much more if they hadn’t been.

Optimized-homophobia_only_oneattitudeslittle girl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What? Explain this please.

APNewsBreak: Flaws found in US missile shield

I know, another deviation. But I do write about espionage, when I remember to, and honestly, did we just announce this to the world? As a breaking event?

“WASHINGTON (AP) — Secret Defense Department studies cast doubt on whether a multibillion-dollar missile defense system planned for Europe can ever protect the U.S. from Iranian missiles as intended, congressional investigators say.

Military officials say they believe they can overcome the problems and are moving forward with plans. But proposed fixes could prove difficult. One possibility has been ruled out as technically unfeasible. A second, relocating missile interceptors planned for Poland and possibly Romania to ships on the North Sea, could be diplomatically troublesome.

The studies are the latest to highlight serious problems for a plan that has been criticized on several fronts.

Republicans claim it was developed hastily in an attempt to appease Russia, which had opposed an earlier system. But Russia is also critical of the plan, which it believes is really intended to counter its missiles. A series of governmental and scientific reports has raised questions about whether it would ever work as planned.”

No, it will never work as planned. People can point at me and laugh if it does, and call me a great naysayer. Just look at the places listed here that we’re trying to place missile interceptors. Yes, it could prove diplomatically troublesome. Or should that be with a capital T? And I don’t quite blame Russia for being critical, but why would they say they believe it’s really intended to counter its missiles? ARE they planning on launching missiles at us? Should that be a cause for concern? I’d be more worried about them than Iran, personally. I think bears are stronger than eagles. But, to prove their point, why WOULD we set up a missile defense system solely for the purpose of keeping Iranian missiles out? There are plenty of other countries upset with us who are developing the technology.

But to return to Russia. I’m sure they are thinking about Russia’s comments in Washington. It’s the whole thing about Russia’s believing the shield is really intended to counter its missiles. For them to mention it means they’ve thought about it. Or at least for us to believe that’s their concern means we think they’ve considered it. Don’t poke big bears with sticks. It makes them grumpy and they don’t like it. I just wish we could get along with Russia without so much suspicion, but I could tell that was ending when they cut off all US adoptions a few months ago–that seemed a pretty telling sign, a little worrisome. After all, you don’t want to be sending your children to a country you might attack, right? Other than major things like that, I haven’t been following them too closely, which I probably should be (just following all the important developments in the news is a full-time job in itself). I am guessing, however, they do not announce every military setback to their version of AP news. Secrets are secrets.

But back to this whole missile system. Why don’t we have a tea party (a real one, not the political party), invite the whole world, and have a powerpoint presentation just telling everyone exactly what the weaknesses are, just to save everyone the trouble of trying to find out later. But oh, wait. We’re already announcing it on the news. Why bother having the tea party. And who is the Mat Hatter at this tea party? I think we’ve fallen down another hole. Good grief. It’s like letting people know there is no film in the cameras at spotlights to take pictures of the speeders (thank you, Register Guard). There are some things people can safely live without knowing, they’re still deterrents. The military can say “Oh, we’re thinking of redesigning it,” without saying “OHMYGODTHRY’REGOINGTOKILLUS.” I loved one of the comments. “Patton and Eisenhower would have loved to see this.” Doesn’t anyone know what a SECRET is anymore? Someone else had a comment very similar to mine, “Why don’t we just tell North Korea, etc. etc.” Unless they’re trying reverse psychology. Which I personally don’t think they’d do. I don’t think they need a shield, well, a shield of sorts, but it could cause a lot of problems if they didn’t have very accurate technology. They need a bouncy shield that will lob missiles back where they came from, following it’s original coordinates to the US–sort of like GoogleMaps reverse directions. But they need to be more accurate than GoogleMaps (I would hope the military has the technology. Geez. Idiots. They need Scotland’s most powerful wizards). We wouldn’t want to accidentally send an Iranian missile back to hit Buckingham palace or something like that. Of course they would keep calm and carry on, but I think it might strain relations a little. An invisible bungee cord. Now _that_ would surprise them, especially if no one actually talked to the press. The military needs to talk to bouncy castle makers. Now. And discuss making them out of tensile steel and kevlar. Those could do well in openly warring countries. I’m tired of hearing people dying when parties are attacked, especially weddings. At least the children would be safe in super teched up bouncy castles.

At this point, the children, always our future to start with, are rapidly becoming our future sooner than we thought they’d be. The adults are killing each other off at an astounding rate, and a lot of innocent people are dying. Um, Russia, Syria? Just telling them to stop didn’t seem to work, and neither did sending them to their rooms. Peace talks didn’t work–it’s not a good sign when guns start to go off in the middle of them. I recognize your reluctance to get involved, probably for many more reasons than I comprehend. But look at the US (I know, it’s painful)–we launch ourselves with full gusto into situations that are based on “saving democracy” (read in any natural resource we need) but are suddenly deaf when it comes to humanitarian issues. Be the better country and help for the right reasons with the recognition that none of the greater amount of fighting is going to stop until Assad is out of power. He’s delusional. Maybe he’s the Mad Hatter. No one is used to you doing that, and it looks like you’re taking an isolationist approach, except for the possibility of the thought of launching missiles at us.

I’m so bloody sick of missiles, firearms of any type. I would love a day that they suddenly just stopped working. No guns would fire, no grenades would go off, no missiles would launch.

Speaking of firearms. There is a man (forgive me for not knowing exactly who or what position he holds, but it’s a higher up position in the state government, I believe) who is wanting to give more funding to help the mentally ill. Being one of these, I can say “yay” at the idea. Mental illness is an invisible disability–you can’t see it or touch it, so therefore it must not exist. Trust me, it does. His motivations behind this altruistic gesture of more funding to help the mentally ill? School shootings. I will agree that some sort of mental illness probably factors into the equation. School shootings are a tragedy, and I don’t mean to make light of that. But how many people in the general population suffer from mental illness who are not school shooters? I think we’d prefer not to be lumped in or identified with violence (my apologies if that isn’t the case and I’ve misunderstood, but my skimming of the articles is probably as much as most people who have bothered to look at them–other than the people following it more closely, so if that’s the impression I have, I’m not sure what other people think). It was suggested by the man that money be raised to fund this project (?) by placing a tax on beer and wine. For once, I have to defend the beer and wine industry, here. There are many, many alcoholics, and many of them are self-medicating due to mental illness. I would hesitantly say that in general they might act frightening but would hopefully not actually harm anyone, because from my experience, their goal is to drink until they pass out. My idea was to put a tax on firearms. They’re at least more directly related to the situation. And if people go nuts over that idea, (guns don’t kill people, people kill people), should we tax or fine the shooter? If they were mentally ill, we’d be taxing the mentally ill to collect the money to fund programs for the mentally ill. That sounds…absolutely insane. I know the above scenario is absurd, but I am glad that attention is being given to the mentally ill. We have been put in the “Don’t know what to do with” folder for long enough. If our illness is severe enough that we are a danger to others or ourselves, the answer’s clear, hospitalize us. But after that, everything’s grey. I have gone most of my life not even thinking of myself as mentally ill, falling into the “you can’t see it, you can’t touch it” trap, and because of working with individuals with sometimes very severe physical disabilities and mental impairments. I had my own ways of coping with what I considered “problems” I had. I wish the idea that I was had hit me earlier, because then I might have learned to take care of myself better so I could protect myself better, keep myself from reaching a stage where I would fall apart. People don’t talk about it because of the stigma attached to it. I know about the stigma, which is why I tell the people I work with about it, so they’ll know and realize that wow, they didn’t even notice. People fight labels for just that reason, they are labels and often others don’t look past them. I think the best way to get past labels is to use them and break them, the concept behind the disability rights group People First. I think it’s especially important for mental illness and learning disorders–just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t there. We’re not going to go off our meds to prove to you they are there. Just try to have a more open mind (ha ha) about it, have faith in things you can’t see. But, now back to our regularly scheduled program.

I was reading about the development of the way battles were fought–first as sort of unorganized mobs, eventually leading to more organization as the military leaders grey more skilled at strategy, turning to trench warfare in WWI. It was no wonder it was called The Great War, the War to End All Wars, because that was a hellish war (not that the ones after weren’t). It was the first war the machine gun was used in (I believe early Howitzers were around during the Boer War, it just wasn’t the environment to use them). No wonder people hoped that would be the last war. It killed off generations of young men on both sides. But they ended it badly–I can’t help but wonder if they hadn’t humiliated Germany so badly if the circumstances leading to WWII would have unfolded differently. If Hitler would have been able to rise to power, or if Hellboy could have stopped him. My imaginary world is crossing with the real one again, isn’t it? I was also reading about the naming of battles (that was how I got started). Only actual battles were names, the others that were deemed actions, skirmishes, or other small fights weren’t given names. Gallipoli actually had another name given by the Turkish on their side. King Henry V would meet with a French chronicler after a battle so they would have the same name on both side, hence the Battle of Agincourt had the same name on the English and the French sides. The Battle of Waterloo was so confused some of the officers weren’t even sure it would be deemed a battle or not, yet it turned the whole course of Napoleon’s war efforts, defeated him as an emperor, and yes, later was counted as a battle. They were often named after places, rarely after years, often after landmarks, but named after the action had taken place to determine it’s status.

Anyway, not so sure anyone wanted to know that, I just thought it was interesting. I never learned anything about how battles were named in school, it just came up because of some of Helena’s homework, which I think I possibly had more fun researching (when I was supposed to simply be editing a journal entry written from the perspective of a woman who was a nurse during the American Revolution, then I’d find a word and look it up to see if it was being used them…I got a little carried away. I think she appreciated it?) than she did.

Her assignment, however, reminded me of a series of books that were made into a miniseries by the BBC based on Vera Brittain’s experiences as a nurse during WWI (I am sort of drawn to that war in particular, possibly because I’m interested in the time period as well). Her brother, her fiance, and her brother’s best friend all joined up, so she became a nurse. I won’t say much about it here other than it’s very good but sad. Chronicle of Youth is the diary that the more popular Testament of Youth is based on. Chronicle of Youth is from the years 1913-1917.

Switching subjects again and returning to Hellboy, in Hellboy II, at the auction near the beginning of the movie, there is a box the tooth fairies are in, with a circular mechanism opening the door to let them out. I don’t know how many people looked closely at the design on the circle, but I did and I fell in love with it. Frank got me the book of the art of Hellboy II so I could have a good picture of it (I had photocopied some from the library’s copy) because I had the idea I wanted to get a tattoo of it at some point. I am very particular about my tattoos. I only have three, and I have considered each one for a time before even having them done. These are going to be with me the rest of my life, and I want to make sure they have meaning for me. I may be impulsive about some things, but not tattoos. Not that there’s anything wrong that, I’m just cautious. Then I have to pick out where I’m going to have it done. Then I actually have to have the money to have it done. I was doing an image search trying to find it, because the photocopies flew away somewhere, and the only thing I found was the same pattern, only reversed (it’s a black and white pattern–in the movie it’s deep red and gold) and I think I actually like the reversed pattern better:  (for one thing, less tattooing–imagine this reversed, that’s a lot of black ink–Frank has no tattoos, and I started to explain the process, but he stopped me. This is why I have the medical reference books I can use to get information for the Healers in my books, and he sees me looking at them and won’t come over).

Tattoo pattern

Tattoo pattern

Anyway, I think it’s a very nice pattern, and it would go on the back of my left shoulder. I haven’t put anything on my back before, because I like to be able to see what is there. It also makes it harder to hide, not that I would go around in spaghetti straps at work, but a tank top–no, probably not that, either. I take pretty good care of them–the black one I have on my ankle still looks good and doesn’t need retouching after about ten years. The shoulder would be harder since it’s in the sun more–heavy duty sun block.

I had both ankles done in Santa Rosa, CA at Inky Cells Tattoo–very good artist, Dana, there. I would highly recommend her. http://inkycellstattooco.com/  

She works with you if you have a design you want, and she doesn’t do gang tattoos. Every person I have referred to her, if they’ve gotten another tattoo, has gone back to her.

My cat on my wrist I had done in Eugene at Black Lotus, but the artist who did it, Joy, is gone now, I think. I was looking a little at online portfolios–what I really would like to find is someone who does tribal and celtic, I think, because I want the strong black, but this doesn’t have the strong lines tribal usually has, it’s more delicate, but not as twisty as celtic–sort of celtic meets art nouveau meets arabian. I find I tend to get tattoos when there has been some upheaval in my life and I feel things are changing. (That’s why I have to be selective and pick the changes, otherwise I’d be covered from head to foot), and I want someone sensitive to that. See, I have very few demands. LOL

Being unemployed at the moment makes getting it right now a little frivolous, although I do feel strongly about it and will eventually get it. And I have no idea who flipped the pattern and made the reverse, but it was an excellent idea, and thank you. It’s not like I’m a wuss, but I’m not a masochist, either. I don’t get the big endorphin rush people talk about when they’re getting a tattoo. I just sit there and try not to twitch. Which is much harder to do when you’re consciously trying not to do it.

I didn’t mean to go into that at all. I think a lot of my paragraphs start that way. BTW, I was not diagnosed with ADD, just a little high in some areas. Which means the way my brain jumps around is just normal for me. I am slowly going forward in book 2, which has a new name. Did I say that? It’s now Roumouth Rising, because the Cael’an aren’t going to be in it at all, that’s book 3. So now instead of editing the last half, I’m going to have to write it. I have a lot of things churning around, so I don’t think it will be too hard. I hope. I am going to try to stick to a reasonable plot that I won’t throw out in horror. There are a lot of possibilities open for plotlines right now.

If there are any Scrivener people out there, I have a pressing question: I copied the last edit into a new project and am completely re-editing it. It’s saving what I’m writing, because that’s what it’s opening up when I open it up. But when I compile it and export it, it’s the old document, and when I hover the mouse over the chapter numbers in the bar on the left, it’s giving me the beginning of the old edit, not the new one. Why is it doing this? I haven’t visited the forums yet–this is my first plea for help, which I am always reluctant to do because I’m stubborn and determined to figure things out on my own. As I’m getting older I’m realizing that’s a waste of time and I should just ask for help, because someone probably has the answer already, and I don’t need to try to figure out for hours what someone else already knows. I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel. I just need to know what I did wrong, and I admit Scrivener is smarter than me and I did watch the tutorials (another thing I never used to do).

I’ve also started asking where things are in stores, another big step. I think it’s because I either don’t have as much time as I used to, or I have more to do and need to just get on with it. Plus, it’s dangerous to just let me wander in an office supply store, say. I can quickly find all sorts of things I don’t need. I don’t think I’m a normal woman–I don’t go crazy in clothes departments or jewelry departments, but leave me with paperclips with patterns on them (patterns are big with me) and accordion sticky notes in fascinating colors and I could stand there for a good amount of time. And desk organizers. I don’t have room on my desk for a desk organizer, but I do love a well made desk organizer. Wooden, not the meshy ones.

And lately–longer than lately, I’ve just never looked into it seriously, and I mentioned it and Frank spent the rest of the evening looking at them online–I have been interested in throwing knives. Madeleine and Geoffrey both can do it. Shouldn’t I at least try? Hopefully not at the risk of small creatures outdoors. Or neighbors. I need something like a horse’s stall to put the target in. Run a red flag up a pole so they’ll know I’m outside and armed. Someone would probably call 911. I don’t want ninja knives, I’m not a ninja. There are some like playing cards, so I could pretend to be Gambit (the more sharp edges the better). A conversation ensued after that with me arguing that he didn’t use metal cards, he used regular cards and he was just using his superpowers. I guess I was really the only one arguing, because Frank didn’t disagree. Helena had no idea what we were talking about so she just kept reading. Frank doesn’t particularly like Gambit. I do, because he’s sort of a rogue (no pun intended) and a little unpredictable. Like Wolverine, in some ways, other than the fact that Wolverine is much more indestructible and has much better comebacks.

Alright, this is just getting silly now.

My Temporary Vacuum

I’ve been quiet lately because I’ve mostly been editing the second book of the Aithin series. I haven’t even been reading much.

My life has been in a state of confusion for a while. I’m in a new classroom, and adjusting to that. I’m feeling a bit like I’ve been run over by a steamroller, only very cleverly so that I wouldn’t notice until after the fact. I’m not sure how one would actually do that, except in a cartoon, where I’d be walking around as flat as a piece of paper until somehow I was inflated ? again. I’m feeling a bit shellshocked, only with words instead of ammunition, and disillusioned. Sometimes you feel like maybe something you’ve done might make a difference, and when you find out it really hasn’t, because no one will ever know because it’s one of those things “we can’t talk about” to anyone, it feels like you’ve beaten your head against the pavement for nothing. Well, not nothing. It’s been made clear the things you did right and the things you did wrong, and when it feels like the things you did wrong according to your superiors outweigh the importance of the issue at hand, it becomes so surreal you start to wonder at the whole purpose of the organization you work for. Basically, I can’t do anything. It’s as if there’s a flow chart, and if you deviate from it, life as we know it will end. I go into work feeling like I have to walk on eggshells, afraid that I might be loudly chastised for something in front of everyone. I’m more sensitive than people might think–I truly hate having that done to me, which, in all honesty, really never did until a month ago or so.

All because I tried to protect the rights of an eight year old boy who is nonverbal. I don’t care if I didn’t do everything perfectly the way everyone thinks it should be done. To me, it’s sort of an easy to answer question. Granted, I don’t know how all the inner workings go, other than seeming to make sure no one finds out. I’ve had to jump through hoops my whole life, through school, through college, through graduate school, through every job, just about, that I’ve had. I’m sick of hoops, loopholes, and any other thing out there that allows mistreatment of individuals with disabilities. It seems like more and more is coming out–first the article on NPR, and the “institute” who decided to come up with their own shock therapy treatment that was more powerful than police tasters and considered by the UN to be torture. Used for such heinous things as not taking your coat off, crying because of being upset by seeing this done to other children…

At the last meeting I attended in my last classroom, one of my co-workers condescendingly asked me if I wanted to have a 30 year old man who still used a chewy (something a lot of kids use as stress relief, to keep themselves busy, to help them focus–it could be for a multitude of reasons). As I sit here thinking about it, a lot of society doesn’t see anything wrong with a 30 year old man sticking a cigarette into his mouth. That’s just accepted. And another one, nothing to do directly with this–watch how many men stick their hands in their pants without even thinking about it. No one says anything, unless it’s a person with a disability.

I wish, instead of trying to force the students we teach to try to change their behaviors, the fairly harmless ones, not the behaviors that are dangerous to others or themselves, because that is simply irresponsible. But back to my wish. As a writer, it’s easy to go back and give characters the lines you wish you’d thought of at the time if you’d been in the same situation. When you’re sitting at the computer, it’s easy to think of the perfect thing for them to say, because even if you can’t think of the right thing at the moment, you can go back and write something appropriate in later. You don’t have that split second to come up with a snappy retort or a really good speech. You can think about it for a while. Get the word order right.

I read about a mother who took her young daughter with autism out to eat, at a fairly crowded, noisy restaurant. I don’t know if they were going to eat there or just getting take out. The mother had to chase the little girl down a few times because she kept running away, and she said she heard a man in the line make a comment about Parenting 101, and the woman he was with laughing. I’ve heard similar stories from more than one parent of a child with a disability, many time autism, because it’s not a physical disability, so it doesn’t look like there’s anything different about the child. I kept thinking about it when I was taking a shower (a good place to think and usually not be disturbed) and started to come up with a speech I would have love to have given the man. It went something along these lines:

“Excuse me, the man who seems to think the sun orbits around him. Have you ever heard of autism? One in eighty children are born with it in Oregon, which is higher than the national average. Most are boys, even fewer are girls. Read about it, because it’s not going away. This mother is trying her best to have a semi-“normal” experience with her daughter, and doesn’t need you making nasty comments due to your ignorance. Not everyone has to fit into a little box or niche to be a part of society. So maybe you could send the sun back up into it’s proper orbit, because frankly, if it isn’t, we’ll have all sorts of natural disasters that look like those bad made for TV end of the world movies, which I wouldn’t want to watch unless Joss Whedon directed it, and I’d rather stick around a little longer. You can try learning a little about patience, tolerance, and compassion, and possibly see if she needs help before jumping to conclusions.” This isn’t exactly the way I had it phrased this morning, and I’m not sure at which point exactly the man and his girlfriend would have walked out, hit me, or maybe with all the new concealed weapons permits out there now, tried to shoot me. Maybe I shouldn’t say that last one, that’s a little like tempting fate. Pulled out his sword and tried to run me through? It’s not even a very good speech, but I had a lot of fun making it up. Possibly because I’ve been working so hard at restraining myself. A recess monitor shushed my student the other day in the hall as we were going out to recess. I’m not exactly sure why. We were on our way out to recess, which is so noisy I’ve actually thought, on more than one occasion, that girls screaming have been the whistle signaling us to come in. My student did once too, so I know it’s not just me. My student was happy, making quiet noises for her, and I was happy that she seemed content. So it made me so angry that the woman would “shush” her. Actually, it was a “shh shh shh.” Of all the nerve! I felt like going up to her and telling her that the student was actually pretty happy right then, but if she’d like to come in and work with her in the afternoon, she could give it a shot.

I’m getting overly protective of the students, and I think it’s out of frustration that I feel unheard and unsupported. The student I was watching one day for after lunch recess was walking back and forth on the rounded curb that keeps the wood chips (sort of) contained, I looked away to find the other student I was watching, and when I looked back to the first student, he looked like he had been pushed, because he sort of stumbled forward. I immediately went over and said “Hey! You right there. Did you just push him?” The little boy, probably a second grader, said he had just tapped his shoulder. I don’t know what really happened, I didn’t see it. He seemed like a nice enough kid. I apologized to him and said I overreacted, it was just that a lot of kids liked to pick on our kids and I was being over protective. I apologized again, then went and found the recess monitor I knew (who’s nice <g>) and told her what I’d done in case there were any complaints, at least someone would know what happened. I pointed him out, and she just said, oh, him. He’ll be fine, and he’ll think twice if he ever does think about doing something like that. Then yesterday, one of our own students was picking on one of our other ones–I’m not sure exactly what he was doing,but it looked like he was pinching his upper arm. I walked over to them and his hand came down super fast as soon as I saw him, so I knew it wasn’t just my imagination. I like both the kids. I don’t like it when they pick on each other. Especially when it’s a verbal one picking on a non-verbal one. Neither of them were having the best day.

I feel like standing on the play structure and shouting “Please, please–we only have about 25 days of school left before summer break. Can we just be nice to each other until then? Is that so much to ask? And please, for the love of god, will you stop the god damn hammering?” Oh, wait. Not the last sentence. Generally no hammering at recess. Excavation of drain covers, yes. There’s probably a line from one of the Indiana Jones movies to go with that one, but I can’t think of one offhand.

Speaking of which, has anyone seen Treasure Buddies? If anyone makes a move for it if you’re going to watch a DVD, run the other way. Quickly. It’s a live action version of Indiana Jones done with animals. I have not done of survey of children, but this may be a children’s movie that simply does not cross the line into being enjoyable for adults in anyway whatsoever. Except mocking it. That was how I survived the part I had to watch.

This may be a stranger post than usual. I’m not sure I’m competent to judge anymore. My definition of strange keeps shifting.

I just wish society would become more tolerant, and instead of forcing people to change to fit it and its “norms,” people could just be accepted as who they are. Differences are what make us unique and keep the world from being a boring, sterile place, a dystopian nightmare. Instead, sometimes I think we’re already living the nightmare, we’re just too asleep to notice.

Recommended listening, speaking of alternative/possibly future worlds. It did take a bit for this to grow on me, but it’s one of my favorites now.

OK Computer