wrong

I Was Wrong.

We are in an era now, with the popularity of the internet and social networking, that we can quickly discover that some people are affected negatively by our words/actions where we might not have otherwise known. For example, because I’ve always had friends and family in the LGBT community, I’ve been aware of the negative impact of using the word “gay” as an insult or a derogatory statement for all/most of my adult life. However, I didn’t grow up around anyone who was mentally handicapped so I was already an adult before I learned that saying something, “is retarded!” hurts a lot of people in a lot of communities I don’t want to hurt. I had to retrain myself not to fall back on using the word “retarded” as a synonym for “crazy” or “ludicrous” or “ridiculous”.

It’s embarrassing to realize you’ve been doing something wrong as an adult. It really is. So embarrassing, I’m not going to tell you how old I was when I learned that the word “retarded” was an insult to use so casually. (I will say this: It was BEFORE the “End the R Word” campaign. Thank goodness. I can have pride in at least that.) I also won’t tell you how old I was when I learned that you don’t use “Oriental” to describe people (Donnie had to teach me that…I’m still mortified) and that some behavior – like dressing as a geisha for a concert – is referred to as Cultural Appropriation and an be offensive to the group from whom you’re “borrowing” elements of their culture.

Some people get irritated because they say there is too much “political correctness” going on in our society. But I don’t look at it as a rise in PC, I look at it as a rise in the ripple effect of our words. If you were isolated from the LGBT community, you might go your whole life not knowing that saying, “That’s gay!” is offensive. But now, that community within reach of your Facebook statuses and you have a choice: Do you say, “I’m so sick of political correctness!” or do you say, “Wow. The ripples of my actions reach further now so I need to be more aware of the communities they touch and how those communities react to my words/actions.”

And we need to boldly say: I DID NOT KNOW. I WAS WRONG. I AM SORRY.

It’s embarrassing to say that. VERY embarrassing. I know a friend of mine growing up had a sister with Down Syndrome. I didn’t know her sister, I just knew of her, but did I ever use the word “retarded” casually around her? I have no idea. I think that was a trend that popped up later in my life, but I’m not sure. Did I upset her when I said it?

EMBARRASSING.

But it’s a GOOD thing. Yes. There is ALWAYS someone who gets offended at EVERYTHING. We can not make everyone happy. But I tend to judge the room. If a lot of people on my feed are talking about something being offensive, or posting links to articles on Twitter or Facebook, then I take notice. I think I’ve developed a wide range of sources of information from the ultra-conservative family members to the ultra-liberal friends. I can get a pretty accurate gauge on whether or not something is offensive to more than one person. For example: When Katy Perry performed as a geisha at that show? I saw no less than 5 well-written and thought provoking articles or statuses about cultural misappropriation. So, I took notice. I learned something new. I admitted I was wrong.

(You know, that time I performed in front of 20,000 people dressed as a geisha.)

It’s hard. But we have to be able to do it in order to really embrace the positive that a diverse online community can give us.

It’s also hard to navigate it. I know people who are REALLY offended when there’s not a prayer offered before a race and I know people who are REALLY offended when there IS a prayer offered before a race. The majority of the people want a prayer, but does that mean you ignore those offended by it? Do you offer a moment of silence instead and then offend people who thing our country is facing so many problems because we’re NOT praying enough and we’re doing more “moments of silence” than actual prayer?

I don’t know. There are times where you just have to decide to offend someone. And some people (as an atheist I can say this: atheists are the WORST) just like causing a scene about things that are quite benign. But still, we need to at least be AWARE of how our words/actions affect other communities and we need to be willing to make adjustments to our speech/behavior if it’s warranted.

So. I’m writing this to admit to you: I was very wrong at certain points in my adult life. I misused the word “oriental” and casually used the word “retarded”. I never performed as a geisha in from of 20,000 people, but I’m certain I borrowed things from other cultures without thinking about it at all. (I seem to recall carrying a beaded purse for awhile that looked like it was made by a Native American.) I’m not going to beat myself up about these things, but I’m going to admit I was wrong about them. Admit I did not know my words/actions offended people.

Did you learn anything as an adult that you were embarrassed to find out was offensive to other groups/cultures/communities? Can you share what you learned as an effort to maybe teach others? It’s never too late!

Did We Blame The Consumers When Target Got Hacked?

This is a bonus post for today just because I’m devastated at the way the media/public is handling this horrible breach of privacy with female celebrities. I’m basically just screaming my anger into the void so it can be released. If you don’t want to read me blather nonsensically, feel free to just stick with the first post of the day and come back tomorrow for tomorrow’s post. You can skip this one entirely. (Unless you are looking at stolen naked pictures of someone, then you should read this because YOU NEED TO STOP DOING THAT.)

Remember back when Target had a security breach and so many people had their credit card numbers stolen? Remember how everyone said, “Well! If you don’t want your numbers stolen, don’t use your credit cards! Ever!”

No. Because no one said that. Everyone bashed Target, and Target had to apologize for the breach in security. Not the customers’ fault to assume their data was safe. Not the customers’ fault for using their credit cards even though there’s always a risk the data gets stolen. And if there were pages on hacker sites somewhere with lists of customers and their credit card numbers would you look at it? NO! That’s stolen information! Of course not!

So why are people looking at naked pictures of Jennifer Lawrence? Why are people so casually blaming these women like it’s THEIR fault to trust the data? Why are they stupid for trusting photos but we’re not stupid for trusting storage of our credit card information?

When there was a chance Facebook Messenger was being creepy with some of our phone data/information (they’re being no more creepy than any other app) – the world was in an UPROAR about privacy and security and it was INSANE. People everywhere were outraged at the potential invasion of privacy!

So why are we saying, “Well…their fault…” at the female celebrities whose photos were STOLEN and DISPLAYED for the world to see? Would people be more outraged if the photos were stolen through Facebook?

Where is the outrage over privacy issues and data access now?

If you were spewing hate about your boss/mother-in-law/neighbor in a text message to a friend, and then those text messages got hacked and published for the world to see…wouldn’t you be outraged? Wouldn’t you beg the world, “PLEASE DON’T READ THOSE MESSAGES!” because they were private and maybe painted a picture of you that you didn’t want the world to see? Don’t you have a right to that privacy? If your neighbor’s texts got hacked and published wouldn’t you avoid reading them out of respect for their privacy?

Listen. I get it. I tell my oldest child all the time: Don’t take pictures you don’t want the world to see. But I don’t tell him that because I worry about it getting stolen or hacked, I worry about him sending it to untrustworthy people who may some day want revenge and do it with those photos. And I get it, I would never let photos like that be taken of me because it would be my worst nightmare for them to be seen by anyone else.

BUT. BUT. BUT.

These women have the RIGHT to take these pictures and trust the data storage security.

If I suddenly dumped my body issues to the wayside and wanted to send sexy pictures to my husband, then YOU BETTER FREAKIN’ BELIEVE I would assume that the photos would stay between me and my husband. I would TRUST the data like I TRUST my bank data and my texts and my credit card information. And if we’re going to be outraged over privacy concerns with apps on our phones, then we should be outraged over this situation. If I wanted to have sexy pictures taken by someone with a digital device, I have the RIGHT. And if those photos got stolen and leaked? The publishing of those would be an ASSAULT on me. And I would be livid if anyone looked at them. And I would be livid at the theft/breach of security in the first place.

There are a bunch of other women who have written about this better than I have. I’m kinda just blathering nonsensically because I AM PISSED OFF.

This is why you shouldn’t click on the naked photos of Jennifer Lawrence

If you deliberately seek out any of these images, you are directly participating in the violation not just of numerous women’s privacy but also of their bodies. These images – which I have not seen and which I will not look for – are intimate, private moments belonging only to the people who appear in them and who they have invited to see them. To have those moments stolen and broadcast to the world is an egregious act of psychic violence which constitutes a form of assault.

Laci Green is unfollowing anyone who reblogs the photos

have unfollowed 20+ blogs on here already and i will unfollow anyone else who reblogs nude photos taken NON-CONSENSUALLY from these women. it is sexual violation (fueled by the objectification of women) and anybody who participates that is the literal scum of the earth

I don’t know. I just don’t see it as a bad thing to take sexy pictures of yourself. Why not? I wish I loved my body enough to do that. And it makes me angry that people are looking at these pictures like – now that they’re “public” – it’s no longer creepy? IT IS VERY CREEPY. These women did not intend for you to see those pictures. They did not get naked in a movie or a magazine spread. They got naked for someone they were intimate with and YOU are NOT THAT PERSON. Quit looking at the photos.

BAH. Okay. I’m sorry.

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Monday + First of the Month = New Beginning Dream

I knew this day would be a good one. It’s Monday, first of all. And while Mondays are difficult in many ways, they are still – to me – blank slates for the week. I don’t like my rest day being Monday because I want to start the week off on a good foot. I like to get my eating on track on Mondays. I like to get my weekly schedule on track. I like Mondays as beginnings. Even though – as the end of the weekend – they still suck donkey balls. And then there’s the first day of the month! A great day if you like significant “Start” days. New diets! New fitness plans! New calendars! There are so many things you can start over on the first day of the month. So! Make today a Monday AND The first day of the month and it’s like: BAM! MAJOR CLEAN SLATE BONUS POINTS!

New month! New week! I haven’t screwed up anything yet!

Full disclosure: It’s 4:45am…I haven’t had too much time to screw things up.

Add the fact that a new 30-day Subtraction Project has started and this has the recipe to be a kickass September!

But man…we have so much going on. I’m trying not to be overwhelmed.

This is the dreaded month where we have an overlap between Autumn Soccer and Winter Swimming. Actually – they overlap September AND October – but this is the FIRST month when we decide whether or not we can handle it. We could wait and sign them up in November, completely after soccer, BUT! They’re still in the swimming groove…they’ve made HUGE progress this summer…without a reason to get them to the pool, I’m afraid they’ll lose all of that progress and we want swimming to be THE winter activity. At least for Nikki, Wes may do basketball for awhile. So! Soccer AND Swimming. We swore we’d never put the kids in two activities at once. Yet…YET…here we are. We weighed the pros and cons and decided the pros were high enough to warrant an attempt. If we end up taking October off from swimming because September was too crazy? That’s fine. At least then we will have only had one month of a break, hopefully not enough to lose any progress made in the skill department.

And this is the month of THE IRONMAN! Donnie has been in official training mode, with a coach and a schedule that he’s stuck to PERFECTLY since May. That’s 12+ weeks of a full commitment to a race that is now less than 4 weeks away. He’s peaked most of his training levels, but he does have a half-Ironman distance race this weekend. Then it’s basically taper mode until 9/28…the big day.

So! Great day to start with a clean slate, and I really want to start on the right foot because this month has more than it’s share of challenges.

After I go for a run, I’ll be taking the kids south to see E at Montevallo. I can think of no better way to A) Spend a Holiday or B) Fill up my tank with energy to start the month. I miss that kid terribly. He’s working three jobs and school has started so we will never see him again. We’re respecting his need for sleep and showing up around lunch and leaving around 3:30 so he can go to work. I’m hoping to soak up as much love from him in that 3 hours as possible to hold me over for awhile.

Happy Monday, people. Happy September. Happy Labor Day.

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Easing Back Into It

210325755_b624e8a0b4_oFirst and foremost – I was looking through my Flickr photos (I used to archive all my photos there but I ended up setting the privacy to almost all of them to “me only” because they were having weird issues with photo theft and orkut fake profiles) and I found this photo. This was me documenting my calendar/planner addiction. This was all of the calendars I had used/tried to use in ONE YEAR. Now do you see how impressive my “I’ve Been Using The Bullet Journal For A Whole Year!” declaration was? I went from all of that nonsense (which was, by far, the worst it ever got) to ONE item. ONE. ONE. ONE. FOR A WHOLE YEAR. ONE.

Okay. Sorry. I’m done blathering on about this.

(HAHAHAHAH!!!111!!11!1!!!! NOIMNOT. Just done for TODAY.)

(Maybe.)

photo (4)ANYWAY! I ran 18 miles yesterday. In 2013 Donnie and I ended up with a year where he focused on his 70.3 training all summer and I focused on ultra-training all winter. This wasn’t our intention but it worked out beautifully and so I thought we’d do the same basic thing again this year. (I’ll get to why we’re NOT later. I have to decide how frustrated I am about it first.) But – there’s still the Spring/Fall overlap and right now I’m needing long runs and he’s still training for his Ironman. So, last week? I got NO long run in. I did 7 miles on Saturday before Nikki’s triathlon. It’s too hot for me to set out for 18 in the middle of the day, and Sunday we spent all day at Donnie’s other race. So! Yesterday, I begged for a long run Saturday morning since he had to do a Swim/Run and couldn’t do that until the YMCA opened. I left the house at 6am and did 18 kinda-painful, kinda-awesome miles.

They were painful because the last two weeks of training have been sporatic. When I’m running 45+ miles a week, 18 miles on one day should be nothing. But when I dropped down for 20+ miles/week for two weeks, it gets ugly. My knees/hips/ankles were all crying by the time it was done. BUT! I’ve now been doing this long enough to know that I do NOT have to panic when that happens. Pain is part of the game with marathon-ultra training, especially at this age. I’ve learned that most of it fades with rest/recovery. I have to do 12 today (I like to do 30/weekend most weekends – allowing for one recovery weekend every few weeks) and at first I thought there would be no way because I was hurting so bad yesterday. But I woke up today and feel fine! So I’ll head out in about an hour for 12 and see how it goes.

It feels good getting back into training. I have my first marathon of the season in October and before April 2015 I’ll have done 2 marathons, 3 50Ks, and at least 1 50-miler. Maybe another 50-miler or 50K depending on how I’m feeling. I’ll feel more like it has started AFTER Donnie’s Ironman when I get dibs on morning long runs, but for now – it definitely feels good to feel like I’m back in running mode.

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Sleep.

I like darkness and silence when I sleep. It’s actually something that keeps Donnie and I from sharing a bed when we sleep because he likes to fall asleep watching TV which is both bright and loud. When we all shared a hotel room recently for his triathlon, NONE of us slept until he fell asleep, which was late since he was restless before his big race.

Most nights, this is how I sleep. I wrap one of our king-size pillows around my head to cover my ears and, if I position myself correctly, block the light form my eyes. photo (3)This method also helps me take naps, which is very integral in my survival. I find time to schedule naps on the weekends if at all possible, as those are my long-run days and I need it desperately. I wrap my head in my pillow cocoon and can usually sleep fine.

The entire family will be going to Chattanooga for Donnie’s Ironman and I’m trying to figure out how we’re going to make this work. The kids are more like me, needing darkness and silence to sleep. So! I’m thinking about investing in ear plugs and sleep masks. Have you ever used these things? Do they work? I saw an article recently about items needed for dorm survival and I think it mentioned good sleep masks and ear plugs. I need to hunt that article down. We don’t want to mess with Donnie’s system to fall asleep since he needs everything perfect for his race, but if any of the other three of us are cranky from the lack of sleep, the day will be MISERABLE for us all.

Do you sleep in a pillow cocoon? Do you use sleep masks or ear plugs? Or are you like my husband and need something obnoxious like a television to fall asleep?

a little bit of everything.