Thursday, June 12, 2014

Letter to the Editor

I went on a ten minute rampage into the "Submit" box in the Letters to the Editor section of a few months ago, and magically, it was published in real newspaper form. I figured I should save and post what happens when I get angry, so read below. If you would like some funny slash slightly scary reading, click on the link to the online version of my letter and scroll down to the comments section...

For a bit of context for this letter, the Idaho State Legislature has been refusing to even have a hearing to consider adding the words "sexual orientation and gender identity" to the Idaho Human Rights Act. Sadly, this is not shocking, considering the political mindset in this state.

My letter in its full, less than 200 words glory:

There seems to be quite a bit of misinterpretation about what the Add the Words protesters are attempting to accomplish, which is noticeable when I read the online comments section on stories about the campaign. I feel part of this blame can be placed on the news media. Could media outlets stop using the phrase "protections for LGBT community" and other similar phrases? It has the connotation of giving special rights to this segment of the population, which is not at all the case. It is about giving equal protection under the law for all people, no matter what their sexual orientation.
As it stands right now, someone could be legally discriminated against because they are straight, as sexual orientation is not included in the Idaho Human Rights Act. So, these are not "special" protections, but protections for everyone, just as the words "race," "gender," etc., protect everyone, not just racial minorities or women.
It's not much of a wonder that the state Legislature has refused to give this bill a hearing, when the language used by our media to convey it seems to misrepresent the core of the issue: Equal (not special) rights for all.

Read more here:

Monday, July 22, 2013

That Moment When You Realize 'Oh yes, I DID spent the last two years of my life in Jamaica'

So. I'm back in America. I am not sure if I have really digested this or not, as most of the time I feel like I am just coming back from amnesia or regaining my mental and physical capacities after a coma. But there are instances in which I am reminded that yes, I did spend the last two years of my life living in Jamaica. Like a slap in the face with a wet sock, I am jolted back to that tiny, hot little island for a moment. Here are a few of those instances that have happened in the past few weeks:

1) When a colleague at the university told me to definitely not work on the Fourth of July, I blankly started at him at first. The fourth? Is that supposed to hold some sort of significance to me? Ohhhhhhh, right, America's birthday. I was ready to not work that day whether or not it was actually a holiday, so thanks for the head's up.

2) Still not entirely conscious of the fact there was a holiday the next day, I heard fireworks for the first time in three years on the night of the third and my first reaction was 'Shit, gunshots!' and to get away from the windows. Thanks Jamaica, I seem to have some weird Peace Corps form of PTSD where I assume the worst is happening at all times.

3) Driving to see my brother in Bend on that same holiday weekend, I was driving along the Columbia River and saw little white buoys in the water. First thought was 'Oh, look, there's people out spearfishing in the river!'. Or maybe huge barges need a little guidance as to where the water is too shallow for their massive hulls. Spearfishing in the Columbia would be a shit show, and probably fairly unproductive. Don't worry, I figured this one out quickly.

4) The selection of sponges at WinCo was just too much for me. What the hell is the difference between ten different brands of sponges? Different shapes, colors and sizes? Some also can double as pets? Emergency snack food? I don't understand.

5) As I was leaving a store today, an employee happily said 'Have a good day, Miss!', which totally threw me off guard because a) he correctly identified my sex so quickly and b) he was so polite and excited. I stared like some stranger just rattled off my SS number, address, date of birth and first pet's name. By the way, not once has anyone asked me if I am a man or a woman, or called me sir, during the month I have been back. That was a lovely almost daily occurrence in Jamaica that I don't miss one bit.

6) I was riding my bike down a path and ahead in the middle of the asphalt was a little chunk of tumbleweed that looked like it had legs. My initial reaction was 'Crab!'. Obviously a crab made its way up to northern Idaho to come attack my pedaling feet. I still avoided it like it was a live pinching machine.

7) For the first two weeks or so, I would get stressed out if I had anything productive to do after 7pm, as that's when it gets dark in Jamaica and you spend your evenings plowing through Mad Men. Thankfully, this weird anxiety has worn off already.

I know there's more, but for now this is all I can think of. Be happy I even wrote a blog post. It's been over a year.

Monday, December 19, 2011

What You Should Have Been Listening To During Two Thousand and Eleven

Something about the end of a calendar year brings about the urge to make lists.  Lists that mean pretty much nothing, but have numbers so they must be important.  Also, I wanted to celebrate the one year anniversary of not updating this blog by posting almost exactly what I did a year ago.  Same theme, different content.  Music will be the subject of this year's numerical ordering activity, a subject about which I am no expert, but probably spend more time listening to than most people.  My top ten albums of the year really means the top ten of what I have been listening to, and is by no means a comprehensive list because I am too poor and out of touch to be really on top of shit.  And here it is...feel enlightened. 

10) Youth Lagoon - Year of Hibernation

I might be a little biased since this dude is from Boise, but it is the perfect soundtrack to a lazy weekend afternoon.  As with most good music with staying power, it takes a few listens to get into the subtleties of the album, but once you get into them, you get lost in the layers.  Space out music to the extreme.

 9) Neon Indian - Era Extrana

This album makes the list basically because of 'Polish Girl', which is probably one of the best songs of the year. 

8) Junior Boys - It's All True

Two words: Banana Ripple.