Finding my happy today, damn it.

I’ve decided that, after this awful week, I was going to fill today with awesome things in order to make it better. In case I wake up feeling down tomorrow, here are the happies for today:

  • Cleaned the apartment and gave Kiwi fresh litter–it smells amazing in here!
  • Had a great lunch with Kat at our Thai place and came back to my apartment to watch The Bling Ring (for the fourth time, in my case, and first for hers). 
  • Took a hot bath with an amazing bath bomb, and read a great book.
  • Talked to my girl Megan on the phone. Amazing as always. 
  • Spent some time catching up on Tumblr. 
  • Got some levels on WoW!
  • Caught up on 100 Happy Days!
  • Finished every single drafted blog post that has been kicking around my WordPress since last January, including the one about Twilight
  • Did not bite off my crazy long nails, even though I really wanted to. 
  • Organized my to-do lists.

Here’s to hoping I can find my happy and be this productive tomorrow. 

No hay mal que por bien no venga.

(Literally, “there is no evil that does not come for good.” Roughly equivalent to “every cloud has a silver lining.”)

That has been my mantra today. 

After the insanity of Monday, I have been sitting in my apartment, playing phone tag with the dealership… knowing that everyone who told me “it’s probably not that bad” was wrong. 

You see, when my car would no longer accelerate and I got it pulled over on the side of the road on momentum alone? I knew it was the transmission, just like you know when you’re going to get bad news before the call even comes. 

To think that on Monday I was planning so many things to do this week. 

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Welp.

After an emotionally exhausting morning, an awesome professional development day after a sleepless night, and a pretty good drive home, what I thought unthinkable happened: my lovely, reliable Civic, who got serviced and repaired like three months ago? Stranded me on the side of the road. 

It was terrifying, to be honest–I was in traffic when I realized the car would not accelerate, and I could feel myself slowing down as the car behind me got closer and closer. Through sheer force of will and judicious use of the brake, I used the momentum to get the car on the side of the road. Hilariously, I had spent the previous few minutes complaining about how much I pay for car insurance… but then I was on the side of the road, a rather humiliating three blocks from my apartment, and I was so glad to have roadside assistance so I didn’t have to worry for the tow truck on top of what would undoubtedly be awful repairs. 

A well-timed text from Karen meant that I had a dinner date to look forward to, and a ride home from the dealership… but of course the tow truck took two hours to come to me and I was pretty much completely drained by the time I made it to the dealership, too damn late to do anything but drop my keys into an envelope and hope they’d get to look at it. 

Bless Karen for waiting, and picking me up, and taking me to get pie, and fighting me for the check, and taking me home. My life would suck without you, work wife. ♥

Fifty Shades of Rage

(…some of which actually have to do with the fact that I had to rewrite this post from scratch because Chrome crashed and WordPress saved… my title.)

As you may have guessed from the title, this is a rage!post about the Fifty Shades trilogy and just… the entire phenomenon it has inspired. I’ve essentially been in a rage-induced blackout since Friday night, my entire weekend consumed by the horror of this all, and so I need to vent. Due to the nature of the books, this post is NSFW due to frank discussions of sexual content, including “kink” (namely E.L. James’ distorted version of it), and due to the fact that I am probably going to curse a metric fuckton in this post. Bear with me–this post is long as fuck, but I think it’s important… hence why I spent approximately four hours working on it, not counting the time I spent working on the draft that WordPress ate.

I will also do upon you as I wish someone had done for me: even reading discussions about this book may trigger those who have survived sexual assault, relationship violence, stalking, and/or eating disorders. I will be discussing those in terms of my own experience with them, and how they appear in the books, and I would rather be safe than sorry when it comes to triggers.

Moreover, this is not an attack on the people that enjoy Fifty Shades–I am the first person to say that “to enjoy is not to endorse.” I find many things enjoyable that I also find problematic. But, I suppose, it’s a bit of an attack on the people that do endorse and defend and promote the trilogy like it’s a magical cure for marriages or a great depiction of BDSM or even a sexy series… it is none of those things, and it’s downright dangerous to pretend otherwise.

One more caveat: this is not a post where I discuss how the series portrays abuse–many have done so before me, and they have been more articulate than I could hope to be. If you want some more information, the 50 Shades is Abuse blog ring is a good place to start. If you don’t want to read about it, you can always look at this nifty infographic–it covers the basics. And, for the record, I do believe not all the blame lies on James’ shoulders: the series she based her work on (the Twilight series, in case you’ve been living under a rock) has also been criticized for portraying an abusive relationship–I even wrote about it earlier this year. That said, the author is still responsible for the words she put out there, even if I do believe that someone should have caught on at some point before publication. Her beta reader husband, her editor, a friend? Anyone, really.

Now that the disclaimers are out there, if you are still down, let’s go on again…

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OF COURSE.

Today my laptop refused to boot again. 

I just figured out what the problem is–she’s overheating because it’s so crazy in my apartment right now. 

I don’t know if I’m more relieved or pissed off.

Conversion is a lonely journey.

When I was in the early stages of study for my conversion to Judaism, a Jew-by-choice said something that stuck with me: “Conversion is a lonely journey.”

Back then, I took it at face value–conversion is a path that you walk alone. Part of it has to do with the fact that you are, in a sense, answering a calling from God. You are thus embarking on a very personal journey driven by conviction, and it is very difficult to get other people on that carriage. There is also the fact that you, in a very literal sense if you have a religiously observant family, are separating yourself from the world you knew before, the world in which your family lives. I knew all of that, and I knew that I had to prepare myself for a level of separation as I began to live a life that my family could not understand (at least at first).

I was not, however, prepared for a night like last night.

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WTF, MATE?

On my way to the airport to pick up Melissa and Megan for Hawkvention ’14 (!!!!!!!!!!!!) and I get a call from Alienware with an update… turns out my laptop turned on for them at the first try and they could not replicate the problem. They’re shipping it back to me tonight. 

I don’t even.