Welcome to Portlandia

on July 24, 2017

I’m currently in Portland for an awesome conference. Everything about the conference will be for a different post but this one is about something that happened today.

While I’ve only been here for a few days, I noticed there is quite a large homeless population here. The homeless population also seems to skew young and male. I don’t claim to understand all the nuances behind homelessness but I do feel like a large part of it is mental illness and drug abuse.

After a great day with my coworkers and then spending a bit of time working alone, I decided to leave the coffee shop I was at and just wander. I wanted to play Pokémon Go and collect extra XP points and try to collect more of the creatures I was missing to be able to evolve what I have.

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I was enjoying my walk. The sun was bright. The weather was not to hot and the breeze was lovely. There was a park with the sound of children playing. And as I walked by I thought how much my children would have had fun at a place like this. And then it happened.

A young, obviously agitated, homeless man asked me for money. I walked by ignoring his request. I don’t actually carry cash and I was really into catching a Hitmonlee. When he didn’t get a response from me, he decided to take it up a notch. Out came the words. The ones that really stuck out were, “Fat Whore.” Yes me. The almost 40 year person with 3 kids in sensible shoes is a whore. Even if I wasn’t dressed “mom casual,” this guy is throwing harsh judgement on me based on my clothes. And it’s not that part that annoyed me most. It was the fat part. Why is it ok for a male (or any other person really) to comment on how much space I decide to take up in this world? Obviously he did it to get a reaction. I didn’t give him one, so his tirade went on more about my hair, my glasses, my backpack, etc.

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Part of me wanted to deck the guy and tell him off. My rational side kicked in, though, and said, “Uh yeah putting yourself in danger over this is just not worth it.” (If you recall, just a few months back in Portland, 2 young men were murdered for intervening in a situation with a hostile homeless person yelling at women.) This happened 4 hours ago and it’s still bugging me. Why is my self worth attached to my physical appearance? Would this homeless man have ranted like this if I was a tall, skinny, 25 year old? Would he have done this to a man? I won’t know the answers to the questions but dammit I am still pissed that I let the ramblings of a mentally ill homeless person get into my head.

This piece by the very talented actress Heather Matarazzo is pretty spot on. I may not be thin or pretty but my talents are in other places. And you know what, screw being fuckable. That is a lot to keep up with and I have better things in my life to focus on- like raising badass daughters and not handing this nonsense down to them.

38 is the new 88- Part 2

on May 25, 2017

Apparently 3 pairs of glasses and back pain isn’t old lady enough for me. This week I decided to top that.*

via GIPHY

It’s only Wednesday but so far this week has consisted of:

    • Me yelling at my phone about setting up Venmo. Why? Why can’t PayPal still be a thing? I already spent the time setting that up! And why does Venmo have a social feed? Why do I need to see that Sally gave money to Julie for a Kale Salad 🥗?
    • Me yelling out my window at the college kids dumping loads of trash in my trash bin.
    • Me falling down while trying to push said garbage can to dump out the trash. Apparently there was even a giphy made of this happening.

I have had some awesome wins this week. They were mostly work related where I don’t have to interact too much with the real world. And honestly, things can only go up from here right?

via GIPHY

*In my early 20s, I had this grand idea of starting a t-shirt company that made shirts with taglines from Teen Witch and BH90210. Apparently I was ahead of my time, because this is a thing now. And I had the idea circa 2003.

Privacy is Theft

on May 2, 2017

A million years ago, I read David Egger’s book, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, and hated it so much that I swore I would never read another book by him ever again. I kept to that promise for quite some time, minus the occasional read on McSweeney’s. But the other day, the book The Circle caught my eye. The plot looked relevant and interesting and I was hooked 2 sentences in. To be honest, I was sort of annoyed that I even liked this book due to my loathing of the author. Anyway, the point is, this book gave me a lot to think about regarding social media, privacy, and how easy it is to cross the line.
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