Monday, November 30, 2009

I hate name bashing.

I really do.

Full on racists will talk about somebody having a "black name." Or just make up stuff because the name is too "foreign."

Name bashing is always directed at the person with the name.

I did not pick my name.

I did not pick its spelling.

Yes, I know you don't know how to spell it. Excuse me if I get a little pissy - you're not the first person this month, this week, this day, this hour that I have had to spell it for.

I am not changing my name.

I like it, I consider it a part of who I am. I even like the spelling.

Stop bashing people's names.

What stirred me to write this?

Against my better nature, I started reading Roommate Confessions on CollegeHumor. One could be considered ableist --

Remember when I gave up trying to protest your overbearing OCD/hypochondria that you used to dominate our dorm? Yeah, that's about the same time I started having sex on your bed when you went home on weekends, or, you know, to class.
Sandra Flores, GMU

Another bashes the roommate's name and her mother in addition to using disgusting ableist language --

Brittannie: first of all, teach your trashy mother how to spell a simple name right. It makes you look retarded right off the bat, but then again, perhaps she knew it would be fitting later on in life.

Another shows somebody who is incredibly cruel and ableist (it's funny to hurt your roommate!) --

That wasn't pink eye. I put some steel wool shavings in your contact case and dipped the tip of your eye liner in dish soap.
Dee B, BSC

However, all is not lost.

Right underneath that disgusting confession is this --

You wrote in to Roommate Confessions to brag about a prank you pulled on me. A prank that resulted in severe bodily injury. Well, I never mentioned it, but I did bookmark the page and show it to my parents. And our lawyer. And the dean. Guess what, dumbass? You might've looked like a badass on the internet for fifteen minutes, but you're the one who got kicked out of college and is getting sued for every cent you're worth. Checkmate, bitch.
John T., School Not Given

I applaud you, John T. Most of these confessions are of roommates vandalizing their roommates' property, spoiling their food, and just being a jerk in response to jerkiness.

I don't know much about CollegeHumor's reputation, but I do know that it - like most "humor" sites - seems to be marketed towards boys. The front page always has a "cute college girl" on it.

I mostly visit for "Parents Just Don't Understand" which chronicles parents, siblings, everybody who has trouble with technology. It's the least objectionable part of the site.

Back to names - I cannot stand it when people complain about the spelling of a "traditional" (White, WASP) name. Before the previous cycle of ANTM, cycle 12, the website Jezebel put up the finalists. One had the name Kourtney. Cue the "I hate her!" cries - because her name is spelled with a K.

Names are not sacred. There are no rules - at least not in America. I do not care that my name is considered a derivative of a "better" name. This is my name. Stop insulting me.

And also, would it hurt to pronounce it right? I'm not talking about when I write it - total chickenscratch city - but when it's on a computer printout.


No H's, no R's. I am not Katherine. I am not Kathleen. I am not Katrine. I am KAITLYN.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Living at home does not make you a bum, Judge Judy.

I only watch Judge Judy (and other judge shows) with my mom. I couldn't stand them by myself.

On today's episode, I only paid attention to the beginning. She asked somebody where his brother was. Turns out the brother was back home. Not because of work, since he doesn't work. He's 19 and lives with Mom.

Making him a bum.

Judge Judy is very rude to people who live at home beyond what age she deems appropriate. I remember many episodes where she ends it by saying, "Grow up and move out of your mom's house! *bangs gavel*"

Then there is the joke of "nerds" in their mother's basement. (Never their father's, or their parents'. Always mother's.)

It's a shortcut to calling somebody immature.

So I read Slate - I like the ad and shopping reviews - and this caught my eye a couple weeks ago. The headline is "Prudie counsels a husband-to-be whose bride wants her own bedroom—and other advice seekers." The main issue I took away is not that the bride wants her own bedroom, but that she's never lived alone. And she's a "woman old enough to marry."

The comments were disgusting. Many people had no problem with separate bedrooms, but others called the bride (that they only know about through her fiance's letter) immature.

My first thought was hello, not every culture shoves their kids out at 18.

But as I started reading FWD/Forward and this entry, I realized the other problems with the response to the letter and the idea of living at home once you become an "adult."

There are many valid reasons to live at home after the magical age of 18. One of the many reasons is health - some of us cannot and should not live alone. I live in the dorm while I'm at school, but right now I am at home because of the kidney stone. For one thing, I'll be less tempted to try to go to class. It's not more convenient for Mom, but I feel miserable and I get to see my puppies! Mikey is a trip - he totally beat Mom up tonight. And right now he's sleeping on her butt, quite happy.

Then there is my mother's health - what if she were in my flipflops? I'd want somebody to be with her. I'd feel I should take care of her.

I think there is a problem with America - we place so much importance on certain markers of "independence" that those who do not follow the rules are "immature" and "weird." We also do not place a lot of emphasis on family. No, I don't want to move in my with husband's family, but I don't want to be demonized for living with my mom at 21.

And not having a job.

And not driving. (That is a pain. My sister drops the issue for a while, but it's back up again - "Why don't you drive?" "Because I don't want to" is not a valid answer in her eyes, and admittedly, if I were to stay here, I'd have to drive. But I don't want to - I want to live some place where a combination of walking and public transportation can do a car's job for me. Plus, I don't think I legally can drive, thanks to all my medications.)

It is nobody's business why people live like they do, and as long as no one is being hurt or any laws are being broken, no one has a right to judge.

I am not a bum because I live with my mother.

I am not immature, either.

And it is none of your business why I do it. (Except I already told you. Eh, shut it.)

Time for a Bollywood movie!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

It's so nice when one pic sums up your day

funny pictures of dogs with captions
see more dog and puppy pictures

I couldn't walk, sit, or stand without pain today. It led to some... interesting contortions in the waiting room. (They don't like it if you lay on the floor - however, if you lay on the floor *and* barf, you'll get seen sooner, or at least shoved out of the waiting room so you don't scare people.)

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Spoon Theory and Me (It's all about me)

I've been reading about the Spoon Theory and kinda going, yeah, that doesn't apply to me. (Basically, we all have a number of spoons that represent what we can do that day. Healthy, temporarily able bodied people (age will get us all!! Run!!) have an unlimited amount. Those not so able-bodied do not.)

Thinking about the Spoon Theory and applying it to my life is scary because dammit, if I write down that it hurts, then it really happened and it just won't go away. If I don't classify it, it's not there. Denial is awesome unless WILL YOU STOP STABBING ME. See?

But I do use it, I realized today.

I had a terrible night, could not fall asleep or stay asleep. Went to my 8 am class (hello Arabic!) in pain, a bit disoriented, just not steady on my feet. It was worse when I got out of class about an hour later.

So I laid down, planning to rest until lunch and then go to my one o'clock class.

Ate lunch around noon, no problems, a bit of pain, whatever.

But as I walked out, I was like, hey, hey, HEY! It's not supposed to hurt to walk. And this class is relatively far away when it's raining or I'm in pain. And then there's the hour and 25 minutes of uncomfortable sitting, followed by a bolt across campus to my next class.

I just sat down and cried. I still am. I hate it.

But I'm in my room, comfortable (though still in pain) on my bed, and I will go to my 2:40 class and hopefully make it through that hour and 25 minutes in one piece. Last Thursday, maybe I should have done that, because I reached a point in the latter class where thought escaped me. (Especially putting thoughts into French words.)

Maybe I'm not thinking of it as little spoons, but I know that if I went to my one o'clock, I couldn't go to my French class. And we're watching a movie in there. And the other class is all online - podcasts of the lectures, powerpoints, everything. Except on Thursday, I have to be there because I'm giving a presentation that I have totally started on.


Gotta go.