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Supergirl Skirtless

Rebloging this after reading a similar post about feminism in general on Lady of Reason’s site. It got me thinking and I looked this one back up from when I originally posted it.

Silk Chatters

Never let it be said I can’t write a headline that gets attention, LOL.

This one isn’t another piece of erotica though, it’s brief commentary on the CW Network show and Neofeminism.  For those who haven’t heard, the CW, at the urging of the show’s producer (Sarah Schechter) and star (Melissa Benoist), are eliminating the skirt from Supergirl’s outfit and switching her to pants.

SUPERGIRL-New-Supersuit

I have to admit, looking at it just on it’s face, it’s not a bad costume. For me, it’s the “why” that is disturbing…

In an interview I read online, they both see this as such a bold and empowering move and are very proud of doing it. This kind of situation is where I get in trouble with the extreme end of the “feminist” movement. I see the story, and all I can think is “How did we get to a point in feminism…

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Supergirl Skirtless

Never let it be said I can’t write a headline that gets attention, LOL.

This one isn’t another piece of erotica though, it’s brief commentary on the CW Network show and Neofeminism.  For those who haven’t heard, the CW, at the urging of the show’s producer (Sarah Schechter) and star (Melissa Benoist), are eliminating the skirt from Supergirl’s outfit and switching her to pants.

SUPERGIRL-New-Supersuit

I have to admit, looking at it just on it’s face, it’s not a bad costume.  For me, it’s the “why” that is disturbing…

In an interview I read online, they both see this as such a bold and empowering move and are very proud of doing it.  This kind of situation is where I get in trouble with the extreme end of the “feminist” movement.  I see the story, and all I can think is “How did we get to a point in feminism where acting or dressing like a woman is a display of weakness?”

Isn’t this the exact opposite of feminism?  It used to be at least.  “Back in the day”, the goal was for women to be able to be women, yet still seen as strong and capable.  NOW, Supergirl is immature and weak unless she’s dressing like Superman.

OK, let’s address the obvious…  Supergirl’s skirt is (usually) on the short side; about cheerleader length.  It’s varied in comic books though from there to knee length.  Most Basic little black dresses that 20 somethings wear to the club are just as short if not shorter though.

Long story short; Supergirl’s (or any woman’s) status as an adult should have little to do with how she dresses.  What makes a person an adult is how they carry themselves.  Can they think of others or just themselves?  Can they make tough decisions and make sacrifices to get ahead in life or do they whine, cry and expect society to carry them and want everything NOW?  Qualifiers for men or women in my opinion.

Women used to be admired for projecting a quieter, more dignified strength than men.  Still are in most quarters (or I’d like to think so anyway).  Somewhere along the line though, the feminist movement (parts of it at least), got the very screwed up idea that a woman can only be strong and equal if she’s acting and looking like a man.

Hawaiian Critter of the Day 2

I give you the rare (actually an endangered species) Hawaiian Nene (nay nay) goose.

DSC_0327

In terms of a little background, etc…  This shot was taken at Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island (Hawai’i).  Nene are only found on the Hawaiian islands and are the only species of goose not found on an actual continent.  They’re also endangered.  They almost became extinct but are now back up to a little over 2500 in number.

No idea if they like to whip and nay nay either…

A Good Reason to Judge

A while back, I made a post (on my spiritual blog) about the insanity of being expected to never judge anything.  Part of the reason I rally against the “no judgment” crowd is that it’s so often used as another way to manipulate people into saying they should have no standards, no discernment and no common sense.  These folks are sometimes doing things they know are morally or legally wrong and don’t want to be called on it, OR just use “don’t judge” as a way to shut down debate, and guilt or bully people into their point of view.  Ironically, the last type is VERY prone to judging people they disagree with.

The thing is, judging situations and people is an important part of life.  It’s doubly so for empaths if we’re to avoid being exploited and manipulated.  Let’s start with the obvious.  Is it wrong to judge:

  1. Pedophiles
  2. Murderers
  3. Rapists

I doubt anybody remotely rational would say it’s wrong.  I’ve met a few crazies that would excuse that kind of behavior though.  I think where some well-meaning people in the middle get tripped up is that they can’t or don’t want to understand that you can judge a behavior and person as wrong while still having some understanding of the circumstances that led a person to do something bad.  You can have sympathy for a drunk driver having  just been dumped, but that doesn’t excuse their killing 3 other people while driving drunk.

So let’s use that as a lead-in to what I saw a day or two ago.  Homeless people and panhandlers are absolutely epidemic in Sacramento.  “Don’t Judge” is a rallying cry here also regarding them.  TO A DEGREE, it’s a valid admonition also.  The problem comes when you have people trying to exploit the situation, such as professional panhandlers.  This woman for example:

IMG_0513 (2)_LI

Now if the red circle here didn’t give it away, the “tell” that this person is not homeless is her sandals.  Those are $100+ Birkenstocks, and in good shape.  I can’t place the brand off the top of my head but I think those are moderately expensive yoga pants also.  There are a couple of other “tells” as well.  Bottom line, there’s every reason to suspect she has a real home, etc… and just finds it easier to panhandle than actually work.  These professional panhandlers are more common than you’d think too.

So, am I saying dump on all homeless people?  Absolutely not.  Some are very legitimately down on their luck, trying to recover, etc…  What I *AM* saying is that it’s appropriate to use observation and common sense in deciding to help somebody, or if an area feels dangerous, or just about any other situation.

We have to be able to make judgments about right and wrong, people and situations to be able to establish reasonable boundaries.  In my opinion, the key lies in the proper translation of that Bible verse: “Judge not unrighteous judgments, lest ye be judged”.  To me, that means you do NOT go for blood over an argument caused by somebody having a bad day.  The reaction has to rationally fit the situation, factoring in if it’s a repeating issue.  Generalizations like “ALL Walmart shoppers” or “ALL black people” or “All any race or group” are bad too.

Another part of that is letting go of hate and anger.  OK, your significant other cheated on you and left (as another example).  It’s fair to say they’re a bad person.  It’s also fair to say you don’t want to see them again.  Beyond that, let it go; don’t be Taylor Swift.  Hanging onto hate only poisons your own soul, blocks your growth as a person and allows no room for better things to take the place of what you lost.  All of that is the start of proper, wise judgment

So there you have it.  It’s perfectly fine to judge, just do so with wisdom and compassion.

Why People Change For The Worse

BlindZanyGirl recently asked in her blog why people seem to change.  You think you know them, you’re friends, and then they just either flip personalities out of the blue, or change over time.  Given that it would take a complete blog post to answer this question, here I am instead of in her reply section.

Side note here: If you’re not following her blog, shame on yah.  She’s a talented writer, and can give all of us lessons on strength to endure hardships.

Getting back on track, I feel like I’m fairly qualified to speak on this one.  I’m not a shrink, but I’ve read alot, and more importantly I’ve dealt wit this same issue quite a bit.  Well, first there’s the obvious answer: the other person was a charming manipulator along the lines of a sociopath that was out for something, even if only attention.  It’s easy to slap that label on others also.  We regularly villify “the other side” in politics all the time anymore, and rarely with any logic behind it.  None the less, 1 in every 100 people is a sociopath, so…

Then there’s the compassionate explanation; the other person is going through too much, doesn’t know how to talk about it, etc…  Finally they hit a breaking point, and start to withdraw from everything to simplify their life and lower their drama.  They lash out at whoever is an easy target and not part of the specific core of their life.  Much like the last explanation, I think this one is overused.  Even worse, it becomes a free pass issued by some folks.  Me, I’m of the “just because you’re hurting doesn’t give you the right to hurt others” camp.  There are polite ways to withdraw from things and relationships.

All that said, let’s get down to the cause that nobody talks about; unrealistic expectations.  This is REALLY common in internet land.  People talk online, get to know each other…  They think they know each other better than they do, and expect them to be there for them more than a casual online friendship allows.  It can really become a downward spiral also.  The needy person can’t fully get what they need from talking and moral support, so they demand / hope for more of it.  When that isn’t enough, they either get stalkerish or flip out completely and go “dark side”.  This whole series of events is actually pretty common on the ‘net.  Let’s face it, the internet is full of introverts of varying degrees trying to find acceptance and a voice.

On a personal note, I can tell you that I had THREE friends in Champions Online that were doing this to me all at once, and in a MAJOR way.  Two in my guild and one outside of it.  I was so emotionally drained by it, I started to become like them.

That’s another aspect of this I should mention.  Normally something I’d save for my spiritual blog, but it merits being a part of this.   A few of the books I’ve read on being an empath point out that all human interaction is an exchange of energy.  You can put that in psychological or literal spiritual terms and it still works.  When you talk, you’re giving energy.  When you listen, you’re receiving.  An ideal conversation is balance that way.

Negative interactions come down to trying to provoke a reaction to get energy from the other person.  The mad person, guilt tripper, etc… is starving for energy, so they try to get a reaction out of you.  If you’re not at all spiritual, it sounds silly, but think about how tired you feel after dealing with that kind of person.  If you are an empath like me, this kind of person is drawn to you because they sense your nurturing side and energy.  We’re actually a bit more susceptible to getting overly drained and blowing a gasket when pushed too far though.

Long talk short, the best thing anyone can do is realize there’s a limit to what you can get from an online friendship.  Don’t expect too much from others, and be grateful for what they do offer.  If the other person is expecting too much, establish some boundaries.  Be gentle at first, but don’t be afraid to get firmer if they don’t listen.  If that doesn’t work, walk away, calmly and politely.

One last piece of advice: Communicate honestly, openly and politely with everyone.  There’s an old piece of advice, proverb, whatever that says “To be unclear is to be unkind”.  People can’t know they’re doing something wrong if you don’t tell them.  Even an empath like me only picks up on emotions, not the reason behind them.  Be kind, be willing to listen to what they have to say also, and work it out.  As many problems as I’ve had from “psychic vampires”, I’ve had far more friendships end just because people wouldn’t speak up about misunderstandings that could have been easily cleared up with a little dialog.

Now for Some Good News

I’ll wait in the other thing I wanted complain about.  There’s enough negativity out there already, AND I do my best to limit myself to just a few posts a day.  I think that’s easier on followers.

While I was away, I passed the 100 follower mark.  In fact, with some help from my guest post at LittleFears, I now am sitting at 114 followers. 🙂   Here’s a quick peek at my WP traffic map:

WP Map

Not bad for a blog that’s only been active since October of last year.  😀

India has been a pleasant surprise in both the number of followers I’ve picked up and the quality of their thoughts & writing.

My major stray thought / self doubt is what would happen if I went back to focusing on erotica.  The blog has drifted away from that.  Think it’s helped people see that there’s a real person behind the screen name even if I am otherwise very private.

 

Me and Mary Sue Return

I am officially back among the living again. 🙂

Nicholson

I never was really totally gone, unless you count the lack of productivity in my own writing.

So I had an interesting realization while taking that time off.  Mary Sue is a HARD woman to kill, LOL.  She shows up in the oddest damned places too.  For those of you not familiar with the term, a “Mary Sue” is an overly perfect character; super popular, smart, good at everything, super model level attractive, etc…  The archetype is often seen as the writer’s idealized version of themself.  The male version is sometimes called a Marty Stu.

My first City of Heroes character was very much a Mary Sue.  As I studied more about writing and character development, I got further away from that over-idealized stereotype and made characters for writing and games that were more balanced.  Not perfect, but much better.  Up till last night, I thought I’d slain the dread Mary Sue.

Then, as I’m killing time playing Champions Online with a friend, I realize that Mary Sue had snuck back into my life.  This time a bit more of the idealized me than the perfect person scenario.  My character “Paladin” is a power armor character much along the lines of Marvel’s Iron Man.  Maybe closer to War Machine actually.  I can honestly say I made her BEFORE Marvel turned Rhodey into a jet jockey though.

Side note; he was originally an army helicopter pilot in Vietnam.

So, the character is an Air Force pilot that gets into bad dogfight while taking up two rookie pilots for training in the Middle East.  They get jumped by a group of Russian Migs.  She gets the other two away safely and manages to shoot down two of the five Migs, but not before her plane is hit and she takes some shrapnel to her lower spine.

She’s initially told she won’t walk again.  Being a Tony Stark level inventor though, she invents her armor initially as a suit to act as a junction to her legs and let her walk again.  It grows into the Paladin armor over time from there.

Recapping the character’s origin story for an in-game friend, I realized that she was an idealized version (sort of) of me, and that I apparently haven’t come to terms with my physical issues as much as I thought.

I haven’t talked much about my own health problems.  I want to be known for what I do (or at least write or say) rather than my issues.  Some folks whine and milk their problems to death also, to the point that I think most folks are sick of it all.  Just as a another side note, I do differentiate between that and those of you who blog to help others deal with similar situations.  Completely opposite things there.

Anyway, I have stage two spinal degeneration in my entire back.  That means degenerated (herniated) discs, and bone spurs, but the vertebrae haven’t started fusing together yet.  A good portion of the herniation is mild; only a few centimeters.  Other spots, like my lower back (right where I envisioned Paladin getting hit by shrapnel), is pretty bad.  I have a completely torn disc in my neck also, thanks to a crap chiropractor.

The bone spurs are where the real problem is.  I also have a swollen tendon on the left side of my neck, and the bone spurs tend to pinch it when my neck goes out of alignment.  THAT triggers massive Cervogenic headaches.  I also have a tremor in my left arm that the doctors are still debating if it’s related to pinched nerves OR early onset Parkinson’s disease.  So yeah, I’m a mess, LOL.  I’m still mobile though, and there are people out there alot worse off than me.  Being aware of that, I thought I’d kept a pretty good attitude about everything.

Then last night it hits me that Paladin is how I wish I could fix my problems and not feel as useless as I often do.  What makes it hard for me is that I was brought up to believe people should be as self sufficient as possible.  My issues have derailed completely the last couple of jobs I’ve had.  If I’m very sedentary, I do OK.  Activity has everything popping out of joint and me in real pain.  So, I’m OK if I sit around and do nothing.  Blah!

That’s all the more difficult to take because at my peak I was extremely active.  I’ve mentioned my martial arts training a few times.  At my best, I was training 3 hours a day between two different schools, and loving it.  When I was younger, my parents told me I was too much of a wuss to take classes and that I’d only cry and quit.  Doing itfor 3 hours a day was a real sense of empowerment.

So, things are still more of a struggle than I’d like to admit; coming to terms with my condition and feeling like I should somehow be doing more…  It even gnaws at my writing productivity.  Why am I doing this when I should be finding a way to make money, etc…  Even reminding myself that I intend to be published doesn’t help shut up that nagging doubt.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m in a better place than I was even a year ago.  It’s just frustrating realizing how far I still have to go.

There’s also a lesson here that lessons will show up in the darnedest places and ways if you really look for them.

Couple Days Off

Yeah, Huey had it right.  Time to take a break here.  I have real life things that need to get squared away, and I’m spending more and more time trying to keep up with people I’m following who post more and more.

 

I like my job and I don’t mind the work
But eleven out of twelve is bound to hurt
The pay’s pretty good and the benefits are fine
But I got a little girl and I wanna make her mine

Don’t mind telling you i get a little mad
To get a bit ahead takes all the time I have
Don’t misunderstand me
I’m not getting soft
All i want is a couple days off

Can’t wait for the weekend
Ah baby just can’t wait no

I don’t need another high song to sing
I don’t need a shiny new diamond ring
I don’t need to meet nobody else
I just need a little time for myself
’cause I’m only human, I’m no machine
I need a little loving only you know what I mean
Don’t misunderstand me
I’m not getting soft
All i want is a couple days off

Let me catch my breath

 

Thank god for the weekend

Back to the old grind

I don’t need another long coffee break
I’ve had as much coffee as a man can take
I need to change my disposition
Change my point of view
I need time to figure out what i want to do

Believe me when i tell you it gets a little rough
We work a little harder but it never is enough

I’m not afraid to say
I’m a total loss
All I want is a couple days off

Can’t wait for the weekend

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLtgyc5JmE8

 

Back in a day or so after I get caught up AND figure out how to better implement my previous post’s blogging time management plan.

Habit #7 – Sharpen the Saw

There’s some irony coming here…  See, in quite a few of the blogs I’ve followed, I keep agreeing via comments that they do indeed need to given themselves permission to take a break and recharge their batteries.  I point out that Stephen Covey’s habit #7 of the “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” is to stop and sharpen the saw.  That way your woodcutting will be easier when you return to it.

Saw and woodcutting are metaphors obviously, and the message applies to any job or task.  I found out tonight (earlier this morning) that I’m NOT immune to that advice.

I’ve been stressed out, no energy or creativity…  Anybody following the blog the last few weeks knows things have been chaotic.  I spent more time trying to get things done and worrying that I wasn’t than I did doing said things.  My writing muse was dead.

Earlier though, I fired up Steam and just played Soul Calibur 6 for a little bit.  I’m amazed at what a difference letting everything go for a few hours made.  I feel completely refreshed mentally and spiritually.  I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.  It’s the first time I’ve given myself any real leisure time and stopped worrying about things for a few months.  My productivity was crap the entire time too.

Bottom line; I’m going to allow myself to sharpen the saw a little more often.  While still keeping my eyes on my writing goals that is.  🙂

Nook Sucks

That headline is exactly why redheads drive people nuts; you never know where you stand with us or what our opinions are, LOL.

Joke aside, I’m beginning to see why Amazon is walking all over Barnes & (ig)Noble.  The Nook reader is a complete disaster.  The tablets are too bloody expensive and do too little.  The phone app is only a reader; you can’t buy any new books, and browsing the store is kind of lacking also.  The PC version of Nook has to be the worst yet.

That loads into the store with an option on the left to go to your library.  Oh and the library can’t be downloaded unless you have a credit card on file with Barnes & Ignoble.  That’s right, you already OWN the ebooks but you can’t access them unless you keep a credit card on file with them.

Now personally, I don’t keep a credit card on file ANYWHERE  There have been too many data breaches and identity thefts resulting from those breaches.

 

I am NO fan of Amazon either.  They’re bigger than the 8 biggest brick and mortar store chains combined, and control roughly 1/3 of all ecommerce.  Just try to get help when they screw something up with your account too.  BUT… I don’t have any problems accessing my books on Kindle for PC.