Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Burmese Dreams

I want to visit Burma*. Despite the fact that it would (probably) be incredibly dangerous and (definitely) difficult to do so (not to mention I have moral issues with the idea), I would love to see its beauties, its history, and to experience its culture.

I’m not sure when or how my fascination with Burma began. I’ve always been interested in South-East Asia (I watched “The King and I” far too many times as a small child), and its fascinating, graceful cultures, which seem so much at variance with North America. I think, though, that the fascination with Burma was started when Mum first told me about
Aung San Suu Kyi, known as ‘The Lady’ to the Burmese people. I was fascinated by her couregous bravery & strength in the face of all she has, and continues, to endure, and how she has managed to remain the focal point & guide for her people despite 17 years of house arrest. This, of course, lead me to discover more about the political situation in Burma, and then, its culture & peoples, including the plight of minority ethnic groups, especially the Karen/Kayin.

My heart bleeds for these people, who live in one of the most repressive states in the world, where any comment may get you arrested by the illegally-ruling military government, or help you to ‘disapear’, where forced labour is common, educational and medical standards are non-existent, STIs, drug & people trafficking is rampant, and a large amount of the population live in refugee camps or as illegal migrants in Thailand. I can’t read an article on the situation there without feeling either horrified or sick to my stomach.

This is a country where, to encourage tourism (the profits of which directly line the military juanta’s pockets), people are forcibly evicted from their land (without recompensation), and then forced to transform that same land into an exotic travel destination where rich people can sit in a five-star hotel literally built with tears & blood. Of course, most of these resorts are financed by drug traffickers who are hand in hand with the juanta and therefore both profit from the visitors & also cause even more suffering for the people of Burma through drug wars & addictions. And this isn’t even to mention the fact that both sex tourism & and drugs are popular reasons why visitors come to ‘boost’ Burma’s economy. How noble of these people to ‘help’.

Aung San Suu Kyi was once asked in an interview whether or not tourism might not help Burma become more democratic. She shot down the reporter, saying that tourism directly helped the juanta to retain its power & seem legitimate, and further, if he was suggesting that the Burmese people, whom won independence from Britain & then established a successful democracy, could learn something about democracy from visiting Westerners, he was both being patronizing and racist. As far as I can tell, most people don’t disagree with her on this view, even though the Burmese themselves are extremely desperate for tourism dollars. Even the guide books are torn on this- half of them refuse to publish, on moral grounds, guides to Burma, while others publish on the basis that, since people will go there no matter what, they should at least have SOME advice to help prevent them getting arrested, raped or ‘disappearing’.

Travellers that visit, too, face ridiculous difficulties in moving about the country, where bribing officals is a frequent necessity and past visitors have tales of up to nine different government departments being required to sign their papers before they were allowed to stay at a certain guest house or visit a region. These same visitors also are treated to having government spies trailing throughout their trip (just one of the many non-cheerful reasons the Burmese government requires you to get a travel Visa before coming), and if they discover you’re a journalist upon arrival or during your stay, you’re probably going to get treated to a first-hand exclusive on the appalling state of Burmese jails (chances on getting to publish it are slimmer).

By now, I’m sure that everyone reading this is horrified by my stated wish to go to Burma. At best, I’d pick up dysentery (and with the healthcare there, I’d better ensure first that my travel insurance included letting me be med-evaced to Bangkok), at worse no one would ever hear of me again. It’s morally wrong, the leader of the country, whom I have great respect for, has condemend travel there, my own governments have sanctions against Burma, and they would have a hard time getting me out of there if I even GOT the right to contact the nearest Canadian or British embassy (which, I am sure, is not IN Burma to begin with). You’re relatively safe if you go with a tour group, but you can be damn sure that, with said tour group, you won’t be contributing to the average Burmese OR getting to talk to them.

Which is why I would want to go to Burma with a humanitarian aid organization. I want to HELP, first hand. Let’s be honest, there’s not much that I can accomplish by writing this blog, even though, by the time people are done reading this, I might have convinced a few others never to go to Burma, or to find out more about giving aid to various organizations working in Burma/ Burmese Democracy groups, or corporations to boycott because they work in Burma despite their own home nations’ embargoes on trade. I’d go to Burma with an aid organization, both to help and so that I could experience the nation & its culture. And they need volunteers as teachers in charity schools & as carers in orphanages desperately. I couldn’t do the refugee camps, that I know- I don’t have the guts, and I’d be afraid to put myself in that much immediate danger- the camps are frequently victimized by government raids. And even then, it would be difficult to get around, to even get in or OUT of the country, and I’d have no way of communicating with the outside world- cell phones don’t work, international calling rates are exhorbitant (even if you can find a phone with the capabilities), hotmail & yahoo are banned & to get a letter sent you have to pay an ‘agent’ to ensure it isn’t just thrown out (and I’ll bet anyone good money that they’re read first).

That said, do I really have the guts to go to Burma? The sorry answer is no. Although I would love to see it, love to help, I’m terrified of what the Burmese are brave enough to put up with everyday. Now, some people might say this is because I’m not inconspicuous- that I’d stick out like a sore thumb (true), while the Burmese manage because they don’t. This isn’t true- in Burma, EVERYONE has to watch what they do & say, because of the spies everwhere. It’s a Orwellian police state. Not to mention that it only gets worse if you’re part of a group that the military are trying to ‘resettle’ (as in, resettle them through genocide).

So in truth, I’m weak. Faced with as many blessings & the security that I have, I don’t have the strength of character, the guts, to go there & risk my life. It’s one of the negatives of living in an established democracy – the possible inability to actually fight for what is right & necessary, instead of just having them handed to you. But that’s another blog entry. And it is why I revere Aung San Suui Kyi, not emulate her.

*Note: Burma is now ‘offically’ named Myanmar, but I refuse to call it that. The government that named it that (SLORC) seized & holds power illegally and thereforth has no right to rename the state. Further, as someone who believes in Burmese freedom of governence, and the rightful governence of Burma by the ELECTED National Democracy Part (NDP) under Aung San Suu Kyi, I follow her lead in what the country should be called. It may be ineffective in the grand scheme of things, but I refuse to give legitimacy to an illegal regime by calling Burma Myanmar.

image from

Friday, February 23, 2007

Inspiration only strikes at night

So, while Jeff didn't smack me for dissing his wardrobe (I even got a laugh out of him over my promising a future kitten steak dinner if he or she shredded it), he was mostly in shock from exactly how much spare time I have on my hands. Ok, Alright, to be honest he was terrified by it.

"But Honey, you know I write really fast when I get an idea"

"yah, but you had time to think about it and everything, how do you have THAT much time!"

"Well, I happen to be incredibly talented when I'm actually thinking! I have terrific output when I'm interested in something, that's why I hate work - they don't utilitze me enough!"

Because they don't. Ever. And even when I have things to do, I'd rather put them off & go play around on the 'net (or type up another blog), because, really, how many times can you listen to the scanner or the printer without wanting to go AWOL?

That said, I could wish good ideas come at better times occasionally. Like, I got another idea for a blogpost last night when I was trying to go to sleep. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm greatful to the muse whenever she wants to visit, but does it really have to be at bloody 12:30am in the morning when I've got to be up at 6?

Apparently, yes, since it took me a good 20 minutes until my brain would shut up enough that I could relax enough to enjoy the sleeping male cuddling me & fall asleep. I dread to think how much longer I would have been up if I hadn't taken cramp medication before hitting the sack.

So, what was this inspirational thought? Why, inspiration of course- literally. Yup, at 12:30am, my brain became interested in what counts as inspiration- how does it work, and what is 'inspired by' and what is 'plagarized from'. Now, I think I can blame such an idea on Joy & on GG's latest post, but I really got thinking about it. I am inspired by just about every writer I read, and I'm sure my writing is an almalgination of their styles (case in point, after reading "Bridget Jones' Diary" I went around writing 'bridget style' in my own diary for about 2 weeks- not v. good, although in my defence I was only 19).

Where do you draw the line, or is everything really just a continuance of someone else's thoughts? How does this actually work- and no, not in terms of law, but in terms of your own though processes... is like some type of collective conciousness thing? One idea merging into another into another into another, to either create something entirely new, but yet a sum of other people's ideas, or to wind up with a finished product that follows very closely to the original?

How many of my own thoughts are mine, and how many of them are other people's? If an expert in different authors looked at my writing, would they be able to go 'oh, she picked up this idea from here, and wasn't that notion introduced in this book, and in style she's very close to X, but she employs the same sort of language that Y did, and obviously she drew inspiration from W, Z, E and F because they all wrote this type of literature and she must of read their works".

What's mine and what's someone else's? If I think something, but someone else told me it/thought it first, is it also my though, or is it the original propergators? What, exactly, is a shared belief- could it be considered something that is plagarized from the original expounder of the belief?

I don't have a clue, but it's an interesting area for thought... if you want to drive yourself completely batty (like I said, thank god for the pills or I would have gone nuts & been up all night). Hey, am I plagarizing to use the terms 'gone nuts' or even 'thank god'?!

I'm curious, because, hey, one day I want to be a writer that's not just published, but PAID for it (a girl can dream). So where does inspiration begin and end? What can I write, in what style can I write without breaching someone else's intellectual property?

Or are we all agreed that there are somethings that are so much a part of our general society/culture that they are part of a 'collective unconcious' and therefore, part of the public realm/ usable at will?

I guess I'll find this all out the first time I publish... and get sued for nicking someone else's idea :D

Until then, roll on the weekend & me not driving myself insane by having these type of thoughts!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

K-I-T-T-E-N, Part II ('The Kitten Rules')

Ok, so I want to talk more about my potential Kitten.

What I will name it, what it will look like, act like…. I want to talk about all of this!

Except, of course, I don’t know any of the above. I know I want a mogg* though- and I’m kinda leaning towards a grey one.

I’ve had an orange/marmalade-swirl moggy and a black & white one before, so this time I want a grey striped tabby- I think. Grey kittens are very cute looking.

Quiet frankly though, all I care about is whether or not it has the right attitude. I like my cats with some sass! If they want to get delusional on ivy plants or try to eat my cacti, or take a nap on the fresh laundry, that’s fine by me (peeing in the fresh laundry, however, is NOT ok). All I care about is that it’s got some personality & is cuddly. I can remember a couple of occasions where I was feeling miserable & wanting a cuddle with my old cat, and he didn’t want to know.

Teenage angst can definitely be defined as standing in your bedroom doorway, tears streaming down your face yelling “fuck you!” at a cat that’s fleeing because you tried to hug it & got its fur wet, after which you throw yourself down on the bed and cry hysterically because you now think the cat hates you :)
God, I loved being a teenager SO much.

But, without further ado, and in part inspired by just reading the original column ‘8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter’ by
W. Bruce Cameron (gotta give inspirational credit where it's due), I present:


*** this is an official legal document that will be notorized by both Joanna and ‘The Kitten’ upon its homecoming to the ‘JoJeff’ residence****

1) You should not have that much of a problem with children or with having your tail or ears pulled, since I’ll probably have kids before you die. That said, if you to move out when a baby moves in, can you save room for me in the suitcase?

2) DO NOT scream blue murder (or try to commit murder) each & every time you are stuffed in a box to go & visit either granny & granddad or the vet. Mummy will get worried that you are in pain & twist around so many times in the car that eventually Daddy will drive off the road because he can't drive straight because Mummy's contorsions are blocking access to the stick shift. We will then both get mad at you, and the car repair bills will come out of your toy allowance for the next 20 years.

3) Furthermore, you should not turn up your nose every day at dinner. There are starving kittens in Africa. If you don't want to eat what I brought you, you can become one. Don't try then sneaking some of MY dinner because you're 'hungry'. This also holds for my favorite plants or any flowers Jeff buys me. And If the cacti bites back, you deserved it.

4) Attempted escapes out of the front door when I come home every night will be punished with ‘room arrest’ until I get home. If you try to get revenge by shredding my clothes, I will get out the spray/squirt bottle. That said, if you decide to shred Jeff’s sweaters that are falling apart to the point where even HE thinks they should be trashed, I will make you a steak dinner as a reward.

5) Trying to sleep on the bed with us is ok (although we’ll remove you occasionally so you don’t get nightmares). Thinking my boobs are re-moldable cushions is not ok. Killing & eating bugs that get into the house is ok. Leaving them half-dead in my slippers or bed is not ok. If you MUST save it as a midnight snack, please keep it in the bathtub & let your father know if it is escaping.

6) You should know that, if you are going to be sick, you should do it in your daddy’s lap (he doesn’t care about his clothes). If you want a cuddle, mummy’s lap will be available once she has changed out of her work clothes. If you ever EVER sleep on Mummy’s dress clothes & she winds up going to work with a furry butt, you will spend the next week sleeping in the bathroom.

7) Please realize that you are your Mummy & Daddy’s first baby. As such, Mummy is going to take lots of photos of you. If you keep turning away from the camera, she will get pissed off and refer to you as ‘stupid cat’. You are not to take the fact that your Daddy is laughing as encouragement to continue acting up. In return for behaving in front of the camera, Mummy will never ever dress you up for Halloween. She may, however, stick Santa hats on you at Christmas, at which point you can look as satanic as you please. It just makes the photos funnier.

8) Please realize that, although I am referring to myself & my partner as your ‘parents’, we will expect you to call us Joanna & Jeff, as Jeff especially will feel slightly horrified at the idea of a furry baby that eats spiders. We will treat you as a beloved pet, not a baby (ie: you don’t have to go to school or ‘dress up’ for photographs). In return, we expect that you also treat us with at least the image of respect. We are your OWNERS, not your slaves. That said, we will accept the title ‘servant’ if you don’t push it too far.

9) Claws are to be used against intruders to the house. If you use them on any sensitive parts of either of your owners/parents/servants’ anatomies, expect the velocity with which you whip through the air when we jump up in pain to be extremely fast. It is your own damn fault if you don’t get your paws spread out in time to avoid hitting the wall.

10) Playing ‘chase’ with yourself in the middle of the night is acceptable. If, however, you ever do this over the bed or on nights when Mummy has something important on at work/ has to get up extra-early, you will find yourself playing ‘chase’ outside with cars.

11) All violations of rules will be punished by a squirt bottle. I know you don’t like water, but you know what? Mummy doesn’t like stepping in the remains of a hair-ball, either.

12) The above mentioned squirt-bottle is a training tool, not an instrument of torture. Your male owner will tell you to ‘take it like a man’. All I can say is that if you try to elicit sympathy out of your grandparents/ my parents/ Jeff's parents by playing ‘poor kitty’ and it actually works, the squirt bottle WILL become an instrument of torture.

13) All these rules are subject to amendments, removals or additions. I brought you, deal with it. I’m putting up with you, aren’t I?

*note: for those non-initiated in English slang, a “Mogg” (or, for formal usage, Moggy) is the term for a feline of dubious and most definitely mixed heritage. A feline ‘mutt’ if you will*


It’s official: I’m getting a KITTEN!

A little, cute ball of fur, with four tiny paws and a curious disposition & a penance for mischief. An adorable little animal with an inquisitive face, massive eyes & purrs and meows.

That also, of course, breaks things, hacks up hair balls & will try to get high by eating all my plants.

But still! A Kitten- just as soon as the roommate moves out.

This is Jeff’s only caveat – the same one that I have: NOT YET!

Not until we get rid of K & have that additional space, and also not until K moves out because moving a kitten in, would totally piss him off, and probably escalate the situation from Cold War to World War III.

Quite frankly, though, I’m not really worried about WWIII – I could probably beat K up, not to mention what Jeff (my superior in strength by about 5 times) could do.

No, I’m more concerned that, K being of the type that serial killers are born from, I’d come home from work one day to find out that kitty had ‘eaten something’, and was then in so much pain it’d managed to open the sliding glass doors & hurl itself off the balcony ledge.

After which, of course, it would be fine, since we live all of 6 feet off the ground, and it would land in a snow bank.

That said, I’ve already asked if I can’t bring home a kitten & tell K he has to move out, because we’ve “got a new roommate!”

Jeff said no :(

That said, I might yet bring home a kitten while K’s already moving out (the lease is up in only 4 months, HURRAY!), and go ‘meet our new roomie that we’re replacing you with’.
It would totally piss him off, but he totally wouldn’t be able to do anything about it, because he’d already be leaving.

So yah, this post is really supposed to be about my future kitty, but since my roommate’s what prevents me from having one now, it can also be a grumble against him.

Jeff probably won’t be too impressed when he reads this (I’m in his ‘favorites’ list on his half of the computer…awww, ain’t that sweet?), but hey, my excuse is a) I need to grumble every now and then and b) well honey, you came on here, so you read it, but I WAS trying to prevent you having to listen to another one of my bitch sessions about K. So deal with it :)

Not that Jeff doesn’t bitch about him too. But you know, in a masculine, non-bitchy way (my boy doesn’t like having feminine/young words applied to him- he’s a grown up, masculine man’s man. *snort* *snicker*)

But anyways, I’ve bitched enough……

Friday, February 16, 2007


Not much to post about today, as it's a kinda slow day (my supervisor's got the day off & I've got all the travel arrangements up-to-date, so I have like, two things to accomplish today)

And since one of them's sorting out gross, dirty laundry for sending out, I really want to delay as long as possible.

That said, gotta tart myself up at some point, since I want to go over to the place I interviewed at on Weds and drop off some thank you cards. I'd mail them, but since they're making their decision, like, today, I don't think they'd get there in time!

So, there we go- a nice little walk for me at lunch. Or, what would be a nice walk, if the roads weren't flooded by all the snow melting & I wasn't wearing heeled boots as the only way to keep my feet dry.

I might love heels, but I only ever find flats comfy to walk in!

Oh well, whatever- it's the weekend, hurray, and a LONG WEEKEND at that! I even think I get paid for Monday, since I've been working for the agency again just long enough to qualify (I hope, I hope, I hope).

Even if I don't though- yay, three whole days to have FUN! And since I reminded Jeff last night of the toy car race track he wanted, he's now all gung-ho for us to go get it this weekend & then play with it.

Like if I didn't already buy him multiple toys for V-day. Ehh, don't mind though, as long as Mr "no, I have the money!" also has enough money to a) pay for all the laundry this weekend b) pay for all the groceries this weekend and c) is going to buy a second car for me to play with.

There's no way he's setting up a toy race car track in the living room unless I can play with it too! And there's no way that Ms "Oh shit, I'm about to go into overdraft again!" is going to pay for the groceries just so that her sweetie can buy a new toy.

Which, damn it, reminds I have to call the bank, as we're supposed to have an appointment with them tomorrow.

yes, we are taking the (slightly scary) step of getting a bank account together. It's for us to pay the bills out of - me giving Jeff checks for the rent every month (the lease is in his name) doesn't amuse either of us, so I suggested a while back we got a joint account, in addition to our own ones. this way, we can each stick a set amount of money in there each month, and pay for the rent, utilities & eventually the groceries out of it.

Right now though, we'll just go for putting the rent amount (plus the roomie's check) in there, and then paying out both the rent & utilities out of it (the utils amount I guess will go to Jeff's credit card, as that's how he pays the utilities- also in his name).

One of these days, we'll get a place that we find together, and then I'll get to be responsible for utilities too! I can hardly wait, especially since I already find it bloody near impossible to remember to pay for my cell phone on time each month!

Anyways, it'll be nice not to have him yelping "Jo, I need a check, now!". It would also be nice, of course, if we each were enough out of debt that it didn't become a case of whipping money around between accounts & everything, so that there's always the money to pay for bills. But that should start happening soon enough, this month (hopefully) will be the last tight one, and then we can go on to start trying to get some savings together, ESPECIALLY if I get a job!

oh, I hope I hope I hope! I have to admit though, if I do get offered the job, it's going to be a HUGE shock to the system, because it would change so much, so fast. I would go from job-hunting & lolling around at something I hate, to actually working in my career, and doing what I wanted & loved.

So, I'm already feeling apprehensive & excited about it, about just the idea- because it would be amazing to go on to do what I really want to be doing with my career.

But since I won't find out until Tuesday, I'll just enjoy the weekend while waiting to find out! After all, it's a long weekend and it's actually WARM(ish) - hurray, we got a Chinook!- so it's definitely time to shake off the cabin fever & go out and have some fun!

Hope everyone else has some great plans in store for their own long weekends!

And until it ends, I'll just keep just about EVERYTHING crossed in anticipation of becoming the law society's communications assistant!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Kynance Cove

Ok, so just redesigned the page, I like it so much better, even if it is a template- far more 'my' style!

Even if it is a bit unoriginal :)

Anyways, the photo to the right is one of the (many) I took of Kynance Cove, last time I was there. It's about a mile from the southern-most tip of England (known as 'the Lizard'), on the Lizard Peninsula in Cornwall.

I go there every time I go home to England, as Kynance is my favorite place in the world, and what I would almost call my 'spirit home'. This is not just because of the beauty of Kynance, but because of its magic. Kynance is a place where the spirit feels at rest, where it is rejuvinated and filled with wonder & joy. There is no such thing as a bad day if you go to Kynance Cove- the beauty of the place, combined with the feelings of the sun, wind & sea, fill you with serenity and hope. You can be in a horrible mood before you get there, but once you are there, it disassipates- Kynance is filled with a magic that does not allow the soul to harbor pain, grief or anger.

It's a place that I long for, frequently, that I dream of constantly. All I have to do, to feel at peace, is to think of Kynance, or to look at the photographs. And so, my dreams take me there frequently, the most beautiful dreams, where I lie on the grass of the cliff to the side of the cove, with Jeff by my side, and watch the waves come in. And I wake up from these dreams, feeling the same peacefulness, rejuvination and sense of greatfulness to experience something so beautiful, that I receive each time I visit Kynance.

Because it is not this secluded cove's beauty that is it's greatest gift to the world, but its magical quality to grant its visitors serenity, joy and awe at the power of Mother Nature.


So, I actually have things to accomplish today, but I don’t want to do any of them.
Maybe it’s because I’m tired, or because my legs are sore (the therapist said my BACK would hurt from him re-aliging my spine, but trust my legs to get in on the act anyways). However you look at it, however, I’m time-killing.

Maybe it’s because of Mum’s surgery- I don’t want to think about it, so I’m allowing myself to kind of …float, through a mist. I don’t want to start using my brain, because once it is operational, I might think about the operation. That said, I’m not picking up on any worry inside myself… maybe it’s too deeply buried right now, or maybe I know, on some level, that everything will turn out perfectly. And god knows, I certainly wish it was the second one that’s right.

So, I’m floating/time-wasting/time-killing. And that, in itself, seems like a waste. Life is so short (and like I’m not getting reminders of that today), and yet I’m just… wasting time, waiting. Waiting for all the exciting things to happen, for the day to get to the point where something important goes on (I hear from Dad, I go for my job interview), for when I get to go home to Jeff & then, even if we’re not doing anything, at least I have company. Wasting & waiting for the company I interviewed with yesterday to call me back, waiting to find a dream job, waiting & wasting, always.

This seems, on some levels, totally depressing, or like I’m completely depressed. But the truth is, that what this really is about is feeling like I’m not accomplishing, that I’m not living life to its fullest. Unfortently, that requires some money, so I doubt I’ll ever accomplish living life to the degree I would like. But that said, the winter blahs are here, and I’m bored, and I need something new to pursue. And I need to be more social- I think I’ll have to call around tonight & have Jeff do the same, and see if we can’t find some people to go out with this weekend, go do something simple, like bowling or skating. It would be fun, and I need some fun right now. The second benefit is that it’s physically active (ok, well, bowling not so much), so it means moving around. Which I think I’m not the only one in need of – Jeff is definitely feeling the winter blahs too. And although I might not be having so many problems getting up these days (really should have started multivitamins a long time ago), Jeff’s finding it harder & harder- he needs some sunlight in his life & something to give him a couple of laughs (other than me).

So, I know how to improve my life outside of 8-4pm, M-F, or at least, I know how I would if I had more money (that said, we HAVE to do something more exciting with food lately, I’m getting sick of western food, need something exotic in my life, maybe we should try massacering Indian food by making it at home this weekend?). But as to the 9-5, all I can hope for is that I get a job soon, where I feel like I’m actually accomplishing something, am actually busy & am actually enjoying my job. It’s funny, because the company I interviewed with said they wanted someone motivated, that could give their all. Hey, I’d be willing to give 50 hours a week (well, not every week), just as long as it was for something I loved, or that mattered. But make me work 35 hours a week at a job I hate, and well… fuck, I resent every moment I’m here.

Although really, I should have enough time to phone health services today & find out about Drs nearby (Jeff needs to actually go and get a health check up, and so do I). But am I motivated to do anything like that? No. Not even though I’ve got plenty to do, and all of it has deadlines.

I’ve got no motivation, because I hate what I’m doing. And that’s why I’m wasting time… even when it’s running out on me, both in terms of the workday and life.

Fuck, I really should of brought my chocolate to work with me today :D

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Blogsphere

Alternatively titled: Confession of a Grrl Genius Addict

So, I have a confession to make. Each and every day, I sneak a bit of a drug. Well, actually, lately, it’s not been so much a little bit, as a full-on addiction. I take time out at work for it several times a day, I even feed my habit at times from home or during the weekends.

This addiction is getting pretty serious, because, not only does it take up my time, it’s affecting the quality of my work (or it would, if there was anything to apply quality to here).

It is, of course, the
grrl genius blog- a wonderful community of women who come together virtually to communicate with each other & share their accomplishments & fuck-ups, to ask for advice & to offer support. It’s run by the head grrl genius, Cathryn Michon, an amazing & inspiring woman who has collected around her a community of like-minded women who all believe in the grrl genius philosophy.

And I’m proud to be one of them!

Let’s face it, with the blaas of winter this year being combined with a dead-end job that doesn’t offer me any type of mental or vocal exercise, I need others to talk to. Now, I could get Jeff fired by calling him every day several times, but first he doesn’t have a office & secondly, well- he’ll get fired. Instead, I have my fellow grrl geniuses, with which I discuss either the topic that GG introduces, or whatever we feel like or move onto.

And seeing the output we manage is fascinating. Not because of the quantity of it (although, judging by how much some of us put out, I am not the only bored administrative assistant on the site), but because of the quality.

This is not a chat room or message board where people fight, swear and try to hurt each other. Yes, there have been arguments (especially over the concept of working mothers), but for the main part, there is support. One of the grrl geniuses recently admitted to having an affair & asked for advice. While advice was forthcoming, it was in the form of suggestions, and most importantly, it was all delivered with love. Whether or not we had been in that boat, on the other side, approved or disapproved, we all gave this woman love, asked that she take care of herself, let her know that we were thinking about her. We gave her strength, and encouragement- encouragement to move past her guilt & discover both WHY & what is the best thing for her to do. When another woman was thrown out by her emotionally abusive boyfriend, we gave her encouragement, both to be tough & say “NO” when he tried to contact her again, and to also realize what a liberating, wonderful opportunity it was for her- no matter how it hurt, that it was NOT her fault, and that the world was full of better opportunities for her. And whether or not it has, she feels that our support has helped her to get through it, to venture forth filled with self-love & optimism for the future.

These same women pick each other up when they are down- when one of us is having a bad day, we can admit it on the blog, and receive encouragement and support. I am buoyed especially by the other women of my age, who are also searching to move their career dreams forward & encourage me with mine. I go onto this website to announce job interviews, and they are almost happier for me than I am for myself. The support I feel is amazing, almost staggering.

I know we are a virtual community, and that my chances are slim that I will ever meet any of these women (although, as some of us have dreams of becoming authors one day, maybe we WILL meet each other, or at least Cathryn). That said, we are still a sisterhood of grrl geniuses, and that is exactly what I feel I have in this community- sisterhood.

Now, this is not to say that I don’t have a wonderful sister in my own sister, because I do. She’s amazing, supportive, funny and everything terrific that a little sister should be (even if she is prettier & smarter than me, damn it). But this community is also my sisters- my virtual sisters. And in this, they remind me of nothing so much as long-distance family, something I am very knowledgeable about.

Yes, they do not effect my daily life, they do not play a role in it (although I ‘talk’ to them just about daily). But the love they offer IS in my life daily, I know I can go to them for support and encouragement, because our anonymity allows us to be honest & also to open up our hearts & share love with each other without the fear of being hurt- just like sisters do. So, they are my virtual sisters- whether they be the ones my own age, that share my trials & tribulations & make me laugh with their own antics, or whether they be older & sager members of our community, whom take the role of the big sister I would always have liked to have had- regardless, they are my sisters.

And I’m grateful for each & everyone of them and the love they offer, whether it is to me or to other members of the blog. Because, through reading every comment, we imbibe each others’ support & love- when one grrl genius is encouraged, we read that encouragement & feel it in ourselves- because we know it will be there for our individual self when we have need to call for it.

Because we’re grrl geniuses, and that’s what grrl geniuses do- succeed in themselves & encourage others to do the same!