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Valentines Day and Stalking

11 Feb

I think the only series I haven’t skipped (or been wildly late posting) is my ‘Valentines Day is extremely problematic and shouldn’t be a thing’ series.  So am I in the middle of an emergency, out-of-state move because my landlord jacked up the rent $400/mo on our lease renewal?  YES.  Did my mate get Covid amidst a frantic, 5 weeks to leave an entire 2 bedroom house, packing frenzy?  YES.  She is fully Moderna vaccinated and boosted, and was wearing a (cloth) mask, when she ran inside a store for ten min, by the way.  And has she slept 20 hours a day and been alarmingly foggy and confused since she became symptomatic this last Sunday?  YES.  So I am super-stressed and overwhelmed.  But also, I feel very strongly Valentines Day needs to be retired.  So here I am!

This year, I’m going to talk about how Valentines Day trivializes and low-key encourages stalking.

The above is a picture of a card from the store, SketchyPrintCo depicting an image of Penn Badgley’s character from the Netflix stalker series, You, with the caption: “Stalker is a strong word, I prefer Valentine.”  There’s another cheeky card from Etsy store, Guiltycard, , with the caption: “Happy Valentines from your favorite stalker” (5).  Another image, from Etsy store LucyMaggieDesignsLtd shows a geo-tracker symbol with the caption: “You say stalker, I say devoted (Happy Valentines!)” (5).

I see the intention was to be playful and funny, but these cards make light of a very real, very serious problem– stalking.  Others agree (5):

Katy Bourne tweeted, “Dear @Etsy -please, pls reconsider & do not use stalking as a form of joke on your valentine’s cards (or any cards for that matter) out of respect for the thousands of victims living in fear of this awful crime Thank you #StalkingIsNeverAJoke #StalkingIsACrime.” Another user added a harrowing and sobering note, saying: “My stalker raped me when I was 17. These are not funny.”  Charity, Action Against Stalking replied to Bourne’s tweet saying: “Thanks for this post and for bringing this to people’s attention, especially so close to Valentine’s Day when many stalking victims may be triggered or receive unwanted gifts. As you mention, stalking is not a joke and should be taken seriously.”

A spokesperson for GuiltyCards told Glamour: “We also understand the upset this has caused and have taken this down. We wholeheartedly apologize for any offence caused. This card was simply taken from the TV program You.”  A spokesperson for Lucy Maggie Designs said the store “stands in solidarity with all victims of abuse, including those who have endured the terrible distress of stalking and harassment. The card in question was only ever intended as a playful greeting between two loving, consenting parties and we apologize unreservedly for any unintended offence caused. We thank you for bringing this to our attention and have removed this design from sale on all platforms” (5).

The problem isn’t just about funny cards, it’s the whole sentiment around normalizing secret admirers (being watched), surprise anonymous trinkets, over the top Valentines gestures, or obsessive behavior to woo.  It’s all a green light for stalking behavior.  And it tells the recipient to feel honored, proud, and open to these types of advances (1).

Romantic vs. Creepy:

Valentines Day encourages some cringy behaviors in the name of courtship and romance. Most of us will have to endure being rejected by someone we were crushing on. Most will pick themselves up, dust themselves off and move on to another more welcoming party.  However, stalkers do not operate like that, and often it’s not about pursuing a relationship at all.  Stalking is often about control and coersion, power and intimidation.  Stalkers do not just drop it when they’re rejected or told NO. Stalkers persist until it becomes annoying, and then creepy, frightening and potentially dangerous (4).

Experts have highlighted that one of the root causes of failing to apprehend stalkers is a misunderstanding of the motivations behind their behavior and treating them with the gravity they deserve. This is the kind of sentiment that Valentines Day helps create (along with ubiquitous patriarchy, of course, ‘boys will be boys.’).  The typical behavior exhibited by stalkers has been placed into five main categories (1):

  1. Rejected – Individuals who want to reconcile with previous partners. These stalkers can become resentful and fluctuate between amicable and aggressive.
  2. Resentful – Persons who feel they have been wrongfully treated by their victims i.e. they were passed over for a promotion or disrespected.
  3. Intimacy Seeker – An obsessive individual who fantasizes about having a romantic relationship with their victim. Delusional by nature, these stalkers often believe that their victim is in love with them.
  4. Incompetent Suitor – An unrelenting admirer with poor social skills who attempts to start a romantic relationship with their victim.
  5. Predatory – Sadistic, predatory individuals who enjoy the power and control of stalking their victims via surveillance, aggressive phone calls, exhibitionism and voyeurism, often with malicious intent.

Similarly, stalking victims cannot be classified as one type. Just watch Investigation Discovery or listen to any crime podcast–there are all manner of victims.  Victims could have been in a previous romantic relationship with their stalker, they could be a casual acquaintance or friend as well as a professional contact such as a colleague from work or a client with whom they previously interacted. One of the most worrying instances of stalking is when it comes from a complete stranger; someone who admires their victim from a distance without any prior connection. This is what makes stalking such a far-reaching and indiscriminate offence; it can impact anyone, of any age, gender or social status (1).

Some Statistics

(may vary due to multiple sources– cited below this post):

Over one million individuals receive unwanted attention from stalkers every year (1).  This figure, alarmingly does not include male stalking victims who account for 1 in 3 of all stalking victims (1).

Around 8 percent of all women and 2 percent of all men will be stalked at some time in their lives (4).

how prevalent is this behavior in the United States? Here’s two statistics to wrap your head around (2):

#1 A 2011 survey found 5.1 million women and 2.4 million men had been stalked the previous year.

#2 1 in every 6 women and 1 out of 19 men in the United States have been stalked in their lifetime.

Many times, the stalker is someone the victim knows (2):

#3 Almost 3 out of 4 stalking victims know their stalkers in some capacity. The most common relationship between the victim and perpetrator is a current of former intimate partner.

#4 66% of female stalking victims were stalked by current or former intimate partners.

Stalking is often an indicator of other forms of violence (2):

#5 81% of women who were stalked by a current or former husband or cohabitating partner were also physically assaulted by that partner, while 31% were sexually assaulted.

Our youngest populations are at the most risk (2):

#6 People aged 18-24 have the highest rate of stalking victimization.

State laws don’t always protect stalking victims (2):

#7 Although stalking is a crime in all 50 states, less than one-third of states classify stalking as a felony if it’s a first offense. This leaves stalking victims without protections afforded to victims of other violence crimes.

Not only is stalking often an indicator of other forms of violence, it has been linked to femicide, the murder of women and girls (2):

#8 76% of women murdered by an intimate partner were stalked first, while 85% of women who survived murder attempts were stalked.

#9 89% of femicide victims who had been physically assaulted before their murder were also stalked in the last year prior to their murder.

#10 54% of femicide victims reported stalking to the police before they were killed by their stalkers.

Consider that 85% of stalking victims do not report the incident to the police (1).

What is the definition of stalking?

It depends who you ask.  Part of the problem is there is no ONE, agreed upon definition held by every entity.  Stalking is the unwanted or obsessive attention by an individual or group towards another person (1). More specifically, the federal government defines stalking as a course of conduct directed at an individual that “places that person in reasonable fear of the death of, or serious bodily injury to that person; an immediate family [member] … of that person; or a spouse or intimate partner of that person; or causes, attempts to cause, or would reasonably expected to cause substantial emotional distress …” to that person, a family member or an intimate partner (2).

According to Michigan law [laws are state by state, and this is just an example of one specific state’s laws] “stalking” means a willful course of conduct involving repeated or continuing harassment of another individual that would cause a reasonable person to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed or molested and that actually causes the victim to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed or molested (4).

For there to be stalking, the contacts made by the stalker must be unwanted or non-consensual.  One particularly problematic of stalking in regards to the law, is that much of the onus is put on the victim. If a victim feels stalked by a person, they must at some point communicate with the stalker that they do not want contact and do not want a relationship with this person. Many victims do not want to hurt feelings and want to “let them (stalkers) down easy.” This does not work on stalkers (4).  Many victims are blamed for their own troubles because there is a perception they sought out, instigated, or encouraged their stalker’s behavior.  Or the victim is blamed for not saying NO strongly enough.  Somehow the victim of stalking is held more accountable than the perpetrator.

When a victim tells a stalker they do not want contact, it should be forceful and direct. The police can help here, if necessary, by assisting in the delivering the message for the victim. Once the message is delivered, the victim must stand firm, and, if they tell their stalker they will take an action if contacted again, like calling the police, they must follow through or they will endure more annoyance and disruption caused by a stalker (4).

For it to be criminal stalking, a victim must also be in fear. The conduct that is causing fear in the victim must be repeated or continuing. In other words one creepy phone call does not necessarily constitute stalking. However two or more contacts — in person, telephonic, electronic, by mail or just leaving “presents”  — especially after clearly being warned by the victim — could constitute stalking (4).

And more responsibility put on the victim:  It is very important for the victim to document all unwanted contacts (date, time and what sort of contact) made by the stalker (4).  A preponderance of evidence is the best thing a victim can compile in order to get a case together that will be taken seriously.

Stalking is not just a stand-alone, situation in many cases.  It’s a symptom of a bigger problem:  Stalking is something many victims and survivors of domestic violence must contend with as part of their abuser’s pattern of control and power, as former and current intimate partners often use stalking to terrorize their victims (2).  The most dangerous stalkers are the ones with the most emotional investment. Therefore former domestic partners are the most common and often the most dangerous stalkers. These stalkers take the attitude: “If I can’t have you, then no one can.”  Control of a victim’s life replaces emotional and physical bonds for a stalker. They may not be able to “possess” their victim, but they can control their lives using fear and intimidation as weapons (4).

The Role of Technology and Social Media in Stalking:

In the digital age it has become increasingly easy for stalkers to obtain extensive information about members of the general public via social media. Another recent case is that of Molly McLaren who was stabbed 75 times by her former boyfriend Joshua Stimpson outside a busy shopping center in Kent. Ms. McLaren had previously complained about Stimpson to the police when he posted threatening messages about her via Facebook. Police also received a complaint in 2013 from a former girlfriend of Stimpson’s who received abusive text messages from him following their break-up. Stimpson has been found guilty of murder and was jailed for 26 years in February 2018. However, Ms McLaren’s family have stressed that more needs to be done to raise awareness over the dangers of online stalking (1).

According to a survey made by the antivirus provider NortonLifeLock, there is one out of ten Americans that admits that they have had use ‘stalker apps’ without their partner’s approval– or worse, even their exes accounts.  As explained, the company had interviewed more than 2,000 American adults asking whether they have had used stalking apps that are widely available online. The study showed that “46% of Americans admit to ‘stalking’ an ex or current partner online by checking in on them without their knowledge or consent” (3).  29% of this survey said that they check their current or former partner’s phones; 21% admitted that they review their partner’s history of their accounts; 9% said that some of them even use fake accounts to determine the loyalty of their partners. Meanwhile, 8% revealed that they use tracking apps on their partners to check their physical activities in their daily lives (3).

Contrary to the common misogynistic mindset that women more likely checks their partner’s phone, the study also showed that men tend to be twice more likely to use ‘stalking apps’ to know their partners’ whereabouts every day (3).

Though the act of stalking tends to be creepy for most people, 35% of Americans said that they do not mind the act of ‘online stalking’ to be done to them by their partners, as long as it is not in person. However, men tend to agree more on this sentiment compared to women.  NortonLifeLock mentioned that stalking apps like the most active one called ‘Stalkerware’ can be dangerous to couples or individuals when it comes to protecting their privacy.  “Some of the behaviors identified in the NortonLifeLock Online Creeping Survey may seem harmless, but there are serious implications when this becomes a pattern of behavior and escalates, or when Stalkerware and creepware apps get in the hands of an abusive ex or partner,” says Kevin Roundy, Technical Director of NortonLifeLock (3).

Additionally, the survey identified more than 1,000 ‘stalking’ apps are now available in online stores (3).  P.S. I am particularly horrified by the above stats!

What to Do About Stalking?

If stalking and harassment are such a widespread epidemic, why is more not being done to protect the victims of these traumatic offences?  Many victims feel powerless, living in fear and unsure where to turn for help. Like we talked about above, one, two, three incidents are not enough for law enforcement to act.  The stalking victim must endure and document so many incidents that it’s ridiculous.  By the time they have, the stalking behavior has escalated.  And forget restraining orders–the way police enforce those, is when they’re already broken.  Many victims of stalking have highlighted how police procedures, are not always effective against aggressive stalkers (1).

Stalking is a misdemeanor unless it becomes “aggravated stalking” — that’s when a stalker violates a Personal Protection Order (PPO) or other court order or a stalker commits another stalking crime after already having been convicted of stalking. Aggravated stalking is a felony (4).

Stalking takes its toll emotionally, psychologically and even financially (2):

#11 1 in 7 stalking victims has been forced to move because of their victimization.

#12 Stalking victims suffer much higher rates of depression, anxiety, insomnia, and social dysfunction than the general population.

#13 86% of victims surveyed reported their personalities had changed as a result of being stalked.

#14 37% of stalking victims fulfill the diagnostic criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder, and an additional 18% fulfilled all but one diagnostic criteria.

#15 1 in 4 stalking victims contemplated suicide.

#16 1 in 8 stalking victims has reported losing work because of the stalking. More than half of these victims reported losing 5 or more work days.

Recently, TV presenter Emily Maitlis has compared her stalking to a ‘chronic illness’ which has impacted her life for over 20 years. Despite her stalker, 47 year-old Edward Vines, being issued with an indefinite restraining order in 2009, he has been convicted of twice breaching this order in the last year alone. Emily discussed the long term psychological impact of stalking within a BBC News interview, candidly revealing (1):

“You turn into this person who shouts at your kids for the wrong thing…It just makes you jumpy – and that’s stressful and it’s tiring and it’s time-consuming…It’s not that you think everyone is out to kill you. You recognise it as a paranoia. But it doesn’t make it any easier…This has literally been going on for 20 years. It feels like sort of a chronic illness…It’s not that I ever believe it will stop or he will stop, or the system will manage to prevent it properly”.

This long-lasting psychological harm of stalking has been reported by all manner of victims; irrespective of their age, gender or profession. For instance, Bob Coughtrey, 53 from Lancashire, was stalked by one of his pupils. Although Bob’s stalker was issued with a suspended prison sentence and restraining order, Bob says that the ordeal has left a lasting impact on his everyday life (1):

“She sent me a message which said ‘part of me wishes I hadn’t passed my test, because I would have got to spend more time with you’,” he recalls…I didn’t reply, but the texts just kept coming all night. They got darker and darker. I thought she might be at risk so I called the police, who went to her house…  I’m a grown man, but I felt very vulnerable and anxious. The next evening, my doorbell rang repeatedly. I looked out of the window and it was her again. She then phoned me eight times while she was outside. I phoned 999, and within a few minutes a police car arrived and they arrested her on suspicion of harassment…  It’s horrible. It’s almost suffocating. It changes your life, how you feel about people. You feel as if you’re not quite being taken seriously, because you’re a man…Some people might think it’s harmless – it’s just a woman that’s just giving you some attention. It’s not, because the attention is unwanted, the attention is unsolicited, and it was never reciprocated. I’m very cautious now, always looking around me when I go outside. I don’t feel safe”.

Basically, it’s terrorizing to be stalked.  If you are in fear and feel you are being stalked, contact the police. If you tell someone you do not want a relationship with them and they persist, tell them to knock it off, call the police and let everyone around you know there is a problem (4).

Co-workers, family members, neighbors and friends should know about the problem and provide a network of eyes and ears for the victim. Again, the victim is forced to modify their life, and become hypervigilant.  People surrounding the victim should be instructed not to give out any personal information about the victim and to report to the victim or police if they spot the stalker around the victim or the victim’s belongings. For instance, cars are often damaged by stalkers because they are easy to find and easy to trash without detection (4).

How Can I Help?

Looking to support stalking victims and make some changes on their behalf? Here’s where you can start on a grassroots level (2):

    • Encourage your state legislators to tighten stalking statutes so that stalking is both easier to prosecute and classified as a more serious crime.
    • Ask your legislators to update the federal domestic violence firearm prohibitor to including misdemeanor dating violence and misdemeanor stalking.
    • Ask your members of Congress to support legislation providing additional funding for local program initiatives and other services to victims of stalking and domestic violence, like programs established by the Violence Against Women Act.
    • Research and support legislation encouraging domestic violence education for middle and high school students. An appropriate curriculum should include information about healthy relationships, domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, stalking, and available resources.
    • Encourage local schools and youth programs to train teachers, school counselors and athletic coaches to recognize children and teens who are in violent situations. Provide educators with resources and prepare them to intervene in domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking situations.
    • Support programs in your community aimed at increasing domestic violence, sexual violence and stalking education, prevention and intervention.

In other words, Valentines Day sentiment makes light and even suggests stalking behavior.   Normalizing such dangerous behavior, that often goes along with a pattern of domestic violence is bad for all of us.  It’s bad for men, because they are pressured to do Valentinesy things which breech boundaries and often cross into “creepy” territory.  And it’s bad for women because the day tells them to want, expect, and graciously receive these gestures, which can be ultimately unsafe.  And it teaches society to see over the top gestures as romantic and fun, instead of red flags and an introduction to control and violence.  We, as a society, need to shut. it. down.  Over the years I have probably listed 12-16 reasons that Valentines Day is problematic.  Can we finally just admit that the cutesy stuff isn’t worth all the (unintended) consequences?

If you or someone you know is experiencing stalking, the Stalking Resource Center has resources, including online “Help for Victims” information and a Victim Connect Helpline at 855-4-VICTIM (855-484-2846).

Sources:

(1):  https://blackstoneconsultancy.com/unwelcome-valentines-stalking-and-harassment/

Stats-
(2):  https://ncadv.org/blog/posts/quick-guide-to-stalking-16-important-statistics-and-what-you-can-do-about-it

(3):  https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.techtimes.com/amp/articles/247360/20200214/valentines-day-warning-men-more-likely-to-follow-women-using-stalker-apps-like-stalkerware.htm

Creepy vs dangerous-
(4):  http://www.annarbor.com/news/valentines-day-brings-out-the-stalkers/

Card-

(5):  https://www.glamourmagazine.co.uk/article/stalker-valentines-day-cards

Emergency Move

26 Jan

Well, there goes all my goals/resolutions.

We were planning on re-signing our lease when it was up 2/28/22, and in Early January the landlord said that would be fine bc we’re good tenets.

This Monday the landlord texted and said he would be raising the rent by 25%. That’s $400/mo than we pay now 🤯😱🤬😱😱

To make matters worse we looked up housing in the Phoenix metro area and nothing (that accepts pets) is in our price range anymore 😳😬😢😭😱

Tucson is cheaper, but there are limited jobs, and the crime map looked terrible.

So with 35 days notice, totally unprepared emotionally, physically, financially we have to move to Missouri to afford to live.

Consider me off the grid for a bit, dear readers.

Reputation Re-listen: 3rd Lens

23 Jan

1st lense: Public persona. Straight. Thought it was bad. The BF stuff was OTT. As such, the rest of this analysis is from the perspective that Oat Milk is a beard (Grammygate).
2nd lense: Kaylor. Eyes opened, everything made better sense. It’s a WLW love story.
3rd lense: in light of Karlie baby. Post FolkMore.
It’s all of those. Taylor was layering meanings into songs (for plausible deniability) before she admitted it in folklore.

I included lyrical analysis in this, but not quotes from Taylor outside of her songs. When marketing an album to the general public she tends to be an unreliable narrator, and cherry-picking takes away from the credibility of these conclusions. The truth is (buried) in her lyrics.

Call It What You Want (pertinent lines and [brackets show my words]):

My castle crumbled overnight I brought a knife to a gunfight They took the crown, but it’s alright [Snakegate] All the liars are calling me one [KimYe] Nobody’s heard from me for months [Reputation black-out] I’m doing better than I ever was, ’cause My baby’s fit like a daydream [Victoria’s Secret Angel, Karlie] High above the whole scene [tall, and also out of the KimYe drama] Windows boarded up after the storm [during reputation black-out, Kaylor went underground together] He built a fire [Karlie] just to keep me warm All the drama queens taking swings [Karda$hians] All the jokers dressin’ up as kings [Kanye] They fade to nothing when I look at him I’m laughing with my lover, making forts under covers

Taylor is in love with Karlie. She says they don’t have to label it if that doesn’t work for Karlie:

(Call it what you want, call it what you want, call it) So call it what you want, yeah, call it what you want to Call it what you want, yeah Call it what you want To [said fast it even sounds like Karlie’s name in here]

Taylor writes a lot about the sexual chemistry of Kaylor:

Don’t Blame Me

I’ve been breakin’ hearts a long time, and [Taylor’s serial-dater reputation] Toyin’ with them older guys [Jake G, John M, Tom H…] Just to play things for me to use [beards]

Something happened for the first time, in The darkest little paradise Shakin, pacin’, I just need you I get so high, oh Every time, yeah every time you’re lovin’ me You’re lovin’ me Oh, Lord, save me, my drug is my baby I’d be usin’ for the rest of my life [Lesbian sex.]

My name is whatever you decide [Karlie misspells Taylor’s name in the sand during the Big Sur trip] And I’m just gonna call you mine Halo, hiding my obsession [VS Angel and also Taylor Swift the wholesome/straight brand] I once was poison ivy, but now I’m your daisy [a daisy on the dashboard identical to the pic on the liner notes; also Ivy from Evermore calls back to this]

I rearranged the lyrics of So It Goes:

Met you in a bar [Delicate? or the 2014 Met Gala?] All eyes on me, your illusionist [Taylor is not what she seems] All eyes on us [Guests, media, the public?] See you in the dark All eyes on you, my magician [magical but twists the truth does tricks to obscure] All eyes on us You make everyone disappear, and [Taylor only has eyes for Karlie]

Cut me into pieces Gold cage, hostage to my feelings

[Taylor is in love, yet still in her metaphorical cage. She has to hide this love from the public for the sake of her career. She’s also in the cage because her love, Karlie, is committed to someone else (Jo$h).]

Back against the wall [no options] Trippin’, trip-trippin’ when you’re gone [Karlie goes back to Jo$h] ‘Cause we breakdown a little I’m so chill, but you make me jealous [Taylor doesn’t want to share Karlie] But I got your heart Skippin’, skip-skippin’ when I’m gone [Both of them feel love, not just Taylor]

[There’s a lot of outside factors standing between Taylor and Karlie, and making their relationship complicated and messy.]

But when you get me alone, it’s so simple ‘Cause baby, I know what you know We can feel it And all the pieces fall Right into place Getting caught up in a moment Lipstick on your face So it goes I make all your gray days clear and Wear you like a necklace [lesbian sex graphic reference] But when I get you alone, it’s so simple ‘Cause baby, I know what you know We can feel it You know I’m not a bad girl [Commenting on public stigma of gays] But I do bad things with you [Sexually-speaking] So it goes Come here, dressed in black now So, so, so it goes Scratches down your back now So, so, so it goes

[sex, sex, sex is so passionate and great and makes all the public image and commitments to others momentarily disappear]

I’m yours to keep [Karlie could choose Taylor] And I’m yours to lose [will Karlie choose Jo$h?] You did a number on me [Staying committed to Jo$h while seeing Taylor] But honestly, baby, who’s counting? I did a number on you [bearding, anxious about their relationship] But honestly, baby, who’s counting? [Proceeds to count. Maybe saying resentments are building up on both sides]

End game through this 3rd lens seems less like couple goals as I had previously interpreted it, and more like begging Karlie to choose her (over Jo$h):

Big reputation, big reputation Ooh you and me we got big reputations [obv Taylor and Karlie individually and together]

I don’t wanna touch you (I don’t wanna be) Just anther ex-love (you don’t wanna see) I don’t wanna miss you (I don’t wanna miss you) [When Karlie goes back to Jo$h] Like the other girls do I don’t wanna hurt you (I just wanna be) Drinkin’ on a beach with (you all over me And I can’t let you go, your hand print’s on my soul [Taylor is deeply in love with Karlie] It’s like your eyes are liquor, it’s like your body is gold [Karlie] You’ve been calling my bluff on all my usual tricks So here’s the truth from my red lips I wanna be your end game I wanna be your first string I wanna be your A Team I wanna be your endgame, endgame

[This screams, please pick me overJo$h]

Delicate under the 3rd lens seems less like a nervous 1st date and more like anxiety that Karlie is a flight risk.

We can’t make any promises Now can we, babe Is it cool that I said all that? Is it chill that you’re in my head? ‘Cause I know that it’s delicate (Delicate) Is it cool that I said all that? Is it too soon to do this yet? ‘Cause I know that it’s delicate

[Taylor is full of anxiety, not wanting to scare Karlie away, not wanting to push boundaries.]

Third floor on the West Side, me and you [Kaylor sex] Handsome, you’re a mansion with a view [Karlie] Do the girls back home touch you like I do? Long night with your hands up in my hair Echoes of your footsteps on the stairs Stay here, honey, I don't want to share [with Jo$h] 'Cause I like you Sometimes I wonder; when you sleep Are you ever dreaming of me? [vs. Jo$h] Sometimes when I look into your eyes I pretend you're mine, all the damn time 'Cause I like you

Dress is the Met Gala (2014 or 2016?). Things were sexy, there was attraction, they had undeniable chemistry.

Wildest Dreams is looking backward at the Big Sur trip Kaylor took after they met. So looking about here in the timeline. They were in love.

I believe Taylor was writing songs that went on the Lover album and was interrupted by KimYe/Snakegate. That's why some of the Lover tracks fit chronologically between Reputation tracks.

A stressor to Kaylor is election season ramping up. Miss Americana and the Heartbreak King [Taylor doesn't want her brand associated with Ku$hners/Trump. Thus she could not be open that her and Karlie are in a romantic/sexual relationship (even though she feels so much for Karlie).]

Getaway car

1st lens: Leaving Calvin (Tom?!) for Joe. Makes no sense. Too many people and an inconsistent timeline.
2nd lens: leaving beards for true love Karlie. Occasional lines don't make sense- did Taylor switch perspectives within the lyrics?
3rd lens: ditching Jo$h to have Kaylor sex. And lines like:

No, nothing good starts in a getaway car [Kaylor is doomed]
He [not Calvin, not beards. Jo$h] poisoned the well, [Jo$h was working against Kaylor, he was doing his best to thwart Taylor and persuade Karlie to stay with him] I was lying to myself [That she was hetero/bi (she's not), that she could handle a casual relationship, and that Karlie would leave Jo$h forever to be with her]. I knew it from the first Old Fashioned, we were cursed
We were flyin', but we'd never get far
There were sirens in the beat of your heart [this trist is exciting but problematic. Both for the public finding out about WLW. But also bc TS is seriously in love and that will cause problems.]

*This stanza:

It was the great escape, the prison break

Both from the Met gala (a bit confusing bc Kaylor went at least twice-2014 and 2016 I think) but also Taylor from comp-het. Now she realizes she's lesbian. I say that because Taylor already knew she liked women. She dated Diana. And I'm assuming it wasn't just a Kaylor sex, 'I am sexually attracted to women' epiphany, because Swiftgron lasted awhile and I'm assuming they were sexual. But there is some sort of revelation Taylor has in this part of the song. A change has taken place, and something is different about Taylor compared to before.

The light of freedom on my face

A change has taken place within Taylor, and it's evident to observers. Even though Taylor previously dated Diana, she has this "prison break" moment where she realizes she wasn't bisexual after all. I wonder if Taylor had previously felt like her dalliances with women were just about sex. She may not have taken them as seriously, and still thought she would end up with a guy (compulsory heterosexuality). But in this Getaway Car prison break, she sees in her negative reaction to Karlie's commitment to Jo$h (and perceived indifference to Kaylor) that her (Taylor's) love is different. She realizes she is serious about wanting a relationship, not just having funsy sex.

But you weren't thinking [Karlie wasn't thinking of more then sex, and especially not considering the long term implications of a lesbian relationship] And I was just drinking Well, he [Not any beard, Jo$h] was running after us, I was screaming, "Go, go, go!" But with three of us, honey, it's a sideshow And a circus ain't a love story [There are Jo$h, Karlie, and Taylor involved.]

I knew it from the first Old Fashioned, we [Kaylor] were cursed It hit you [Karlie]  like a shotgun [not romantic, deadly]  shot to the heart We were jet-set, Bonnie and Clyde (oh, oh) [the sneaking and sexing was fun and exciting]

Until I switched to the other side, [Taylor tells again of a revelation. She has the realization that she is not bisexual just wanting a friends w/benefits, or casually playing, but that she's actually full-lesbian with serious feelings] to the other si-i-i-i-ide [She emphasizes there is a change.]

There were sirens in the beat of your [Karlie- it's all fun and games until Taylor falls in love]  heart (should've known) [that Karlie didn't want that lesbian life] Should've known I'd be the first to leave

Taylor tells us that she broke up with Karlie. She thought Karlie wasn't taking Kaylor seriously because she remained committed to Jo$h. Taylor tells us she was angry that her conveying a true love was received with anxiety by Karlie. And also, Taylor couldn't be outed by the relationship for her public image. And thirdly, she didn't want to be associated with Ku$hners and Trump.


Cruel Summer cements this.
Shape of your body is new. [Taylor with a woman. Taylor's lesbian status is new to her.] Blue. [Taylor is depressed about the implications of being gay. But also...] It's cool, that's what I tell 'em No rules in breakable heaven [She's also depressed that it's a casual sex thing with Karlie despite agreeing to those terms .] I'm drunk in the back of the car [getaway car?] And I cried like a baby coming home from the bar (oh) Said I'm fine, but it wasn't true [what this song is about] I don't wanna keep secrets just to keep you And I snuck in through the garden gate [but Taylor can't get enough of Karlie] Every night that summer just to seal my fate (oh) [sex] And I screamed for whatever it's worth "I love you, " ain't that the worst thing you ever heard? [Because this isn't what Karlie wants (remember the shotgun to the heart)] He looks up grinning like a devil [kissgate, or Jo$h wins bc if they're outed Kaylor falls apart]

After this realization of being a lesbian, Taylor shuts Kaylor down bc of internalized homophobia, fear, and all the outside factors making Kaylor overly complicated.

Tolerate It [(song on folklore that could be looking back) parent and industry homophobia]

The Archer [worried about losing fans and career if she comes out]

Even though Daylight is the last track of the next album (Lover) I think it belongs here in the sequence of events. In the song, Taylor comes to terms with her sexuality.  I'm about to trade Daylight lyrics in what I believe to be a Chronological way:

Clearing the air, I breathed in the smoke [kissgate] I've been sleeping so long in a 20-year dark night [realization she knew she liked girls since she was 7, but was in the closet and also comp-het and bearding. Now she knows she's a lesbian.] My love was as cruel as the cities I lived in [internalized homophobia]

[Taylor comes to accept her sexuality] Like daylight It's golden like daylight You gotta step into the daylight and let it go Just let it go, let it go [Let fear and homophobia go] Maybe you ran with the wolves [Ku$hners] and refused to settle down [with Taylor under the condition that they could never have a public family bc of Taylor's image] Maybe I've stormed out of every single room in this town [Taylor is upset her and Karlie can't have real Love]

[Despite all the outside factors, Taylor cannot just leave Karlie]
I don't wanna look at anything else now that I saw you (I can never look away) I don't wanna think of anything else now that I thought of you And now I see daylight, I only see daylight And I can still see it all (In my mind) All of you, all of me (Intertwined) I once believed love would be (Black and white) [Male female love] But it's golden (Golden) And I can still see it all (In my head) Back and forth from New York (Singing in your bed) I once believed love would be (Burning red) [Passionate, sex/fighting, bisexual?] But it's golden Like daylight, like daylight

This Love Happened around this point but looking back to the Wildest Dreams times. Folkmore has call-backs to this song.

Death by a Thousand Cuts is the next part of the Kaylor story.

Trying to find a part of me that you didn't touch [so much sex, but also touched heart] Gave up on me like I was a bad drug [Karlie wants a public family and didn't want some covert hidden closeted one] Now I'm searching for signs in a haunted club Our songs, our films, united we stand Our country, guess it was a lawless land [call back to Miss Americana and the Heartbreak King where she describes GOP winning the 2016 election. This also explains 1 reason why in the Getaway Car Taylor was unwilling to publicly be out with Karlie. Taylor didn't want to be associated with Ku$hners/Trump.] Quiet my fears with the touch of your hand [Fears of a public family with Karlie are gone.]

Taylor is regretful and heartbroken she left Karlie:

get drunk but it's not enough 'Cause you're not my baby I look through the windows of this love Even though we boarded them up [Kaylor broke up] Chandelier's still flickering here [Taylor still loves Karlie] 'Cause I can't pretend it's ok when it's not [being without Karlie] No, it's not It's death by a thousand cuts Trying to find a part of me that you didn't touch My body, my love My trust But it [The sex. Taylor's trust.] wasn't enough, it wasn't enough, no,

Taylor is very depressed without Karlie. And she's re-thinking her reasons for breaking up with her.

Then is Cornelia Street:
Back when we were card sharks, playing games I thought you were leading me on [Taylor broke-up with Karlie after Getaway car because she thought Karlie wasn't taking their WLW thing more seriously. Karlie kept going back to Jo$h] I packed my bags, left Cornelia Street Before you even knew I was gone [getaway car]

But then you [Karlie] called, showed your hand [told Taylor Jo$h and her weren't real. Just a cover and means to have a public family] I turned around before I hit the tunnel Sat on the roof, you and I [Kaylor]

[Kaylor is back on]

I hope I never lose you, hope it never ends [but Taylor's afraid it's tenuous] I'd never walk Cornelia Street again That's the kind of heartbreak time could never mend [folkmore confirms this] I'd never walk Cornelia Street again


In paper Rings (through the 3rd lens)
The wine is cold Like the shoulder that I gave you in the street Cat and mouse for a month or two or three [after the 1st break-up there was still an attraction between Kaylor] Now I wake up in the night and watch you breathe [Cornelia Street told us Kaylor got back together after Karlie told Taylor Jo$h is not a real relationship. Then they sat on the roof together. Taylor looks back to Getaway car where she couldn't give Karlie that family life. But 2-3 months later here Taylor is watching Karlie sleep.] I want to drive away with you [Big Sur and also living happily ever after] I want your complications too [Jo$h situation. So Taylor says she'll accept Kaylor as it is. Karlie will still be entangled with the Ku$hners, but Taylor would rather accept that then not have Karlie at all.]

And Taylor suggests a solution that would work for Kaylor. She suggests:

I like shiny things, but I'd marry you with paper [Kaylor marriage is not socially legitimate but paper rings is Karlie's "marriage" to Jo$h (you showed your hand)] rings Uh huh, that's right Darling, [Karlie] you're the one I want, and I hate accidents except when we went from friends to this Uh huh, that's right Darling, you're the one I want In paper rings, in picture frames [Polaroid], in dirty dreams You're the one I want


Lover song:

Ladies and gentlemen, will you please stand? With every guitar string scar on my hand I take this magnetic force of a man [Karlie] to be my lover [committed lesbian partner, but socially illegitimate] My heart's been borrowed [beards] and yours has been blue [Taylor hurt her with the 1st break-up] All's well that ends well to end up with you Swear to be overdramatic and true to my lover And you'll save all your dirtiest jokes for me And at every table, I'll save you a seat, lover

Yet there's still some uncertainty and instability:

Have I known you 20 seconds or 20 years? [Mercurial soulmate] Can I go where you go? Can we always be this close forever and ever? [Taylor is still not sure that Karlie won't up and leave her permanently for Jo$h (and it's almost a self-fulfilling prophecy given what we learn in folkmore). And ah, take me out, and take me home

In Afterglow Taylor says:
This ultraviolet morning light below [Karlie marrying Jo$h while Taylor was in Australia. When Karlie got "married"  Taylor flips out  But it's not real.  She got jealous and forgot paper rings. Jo$h and Karlie have some sort of agreement on paper, a fake marriage. And in Paper Rings Taylor said she accepted that.]

Taylor broke up with Karlie a second time.

But in this song she takes responsibility for their demise, and is regretful for her blow-up. Taylor wants Karlie back.

Fighting with a true love is boxing with no gloves [Bad Blood] Chemistry 'til it blows up, 'til there's no us Why'd I have to break what I love so much? It's on your [Karlie's] face, and I'm [Taylor for thinking the marriage was real] to blame, I need to say Hey It's all me in my head [jealousy for the Jo$h situation] I'm the one who burned us down But it's not what I meant I'm [Taylor] sorry that I hurt you [Karlie] I don't wanna do, I don't wanna do this to you I don't wanna lose, I don't wanna lose this with you I need to say, hey It's all me, just don't go Meet me in the afterglow Tell me that you're still mine Tell me that we'll be just fine Even when I lose my mind I need to say Tell me that it's not my fault Tell me that I'm all you want Even when I break your heart

So that is what I think Taylor is telling us through her music. I've just rearranged it in a way I think is more linear to the actual Kaylor timeline. Also, this is not supposed to be all-inclusive. It does not include every song, nor every bit of the Kaylor relationship (I mean, this is already too long). I largely omitted a lot of their happy times, and other things. But this chunk includes some Kaylor happy times, sexy times, strife, and 2 break ups.

After this part I do think Karlie gave Taylor another chance after the paper rings break-up. The first part of the Lover era was all rainbows and butterflies and a possible coming out. But the latter half was dark and depressing. So they might have broken up in the middle of the era? I think the masters heist caused Taylor to delay a coming out publicly another time. It was just another blow and let down to Karlie in a series of promises (Coney Island) and probably Karlie thought time was running out for her to have a child. She couldn't delay a family life much longer.

After that even Kaylor had to be 'on' for a bit because prior to the surprise drop folklore, Karlie was in a cardigan and amongst trees. Karlie HAD to know. And nobody else did, and there was a bit of hope in folklore. So I don't know what occurred between sad-Lover era and folklore, but something gave Taylor hope. I think it ended for good (4th? break-up was final) because Evermore was all super-sad.

This Time Tomorrow [Brandi Carlile In These Silent Days]

20 Jan

The third track is This Time Tomorrow.

This song compares well with a few other songs in Brandi Carlile’s catalogue [see my post about these songs, Travelin’ Man: https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=11954&action=edit%5D. It’s a song from the perspective of a person that travels a lot, and is very busy. But in all of those songs, the narrator says their heart is always with the other person. And that narrator looks forward to physically being with their lover again. But this iteration is more downtrodden and hopeless, with lyrics like:

begins to grow faded/hard to see the ground on which you stand/feel like a stranger/carve a faith/broken spirit /hope that you hold tightly to has all but vanished/no words of comfort/lost and without love/fight to kill that deafening sound/holy dreams of yesterday aren’t gone/haunt us like the ghosts of Babylon

The light has gone out of the partner’s eyes. Not only can this partner not be counted on anymore to ground our troubled narrator, the main character is indicating that the other person is so unstable, the ground cannot even be seen. The lover isn’t grounded at all anymore.

Thus, instead of feeling comfort when physically home with the partner, the narrator feels lost, like a stranger. There is no familiarity anymore. Carving a faith is laborious and doesn’t come easily. Spirits were once hopeful, but now the partner left home is broken. The narrator holds their lover tightly, though every positive emotion has already vanished. Instead of coming home to comfort and love, the narrator only finds a stranger they have lost track of, and who gives them silence.

Through all theses signs of being over, the narrator insists their previous dreams (hopes) haven’t disappeared. Haunt us like ghosts of Babylon is saying their tangible love, which had the couple feeling so hopeful despite constant distance (and a damaged traveler) haunts them now. The love and hope and support are only ghosts of Babylon. Babylon was the club in Queer as Folk. Queers like to use it because it’s this supposed wonder of the world. It’s supposed to be a comforting, accepting place of beauty. But it might not have even existed. It’s a good stand-in for something hidden, ephemeral, or elusive. Which also describes these past positive feelings in this relationship.

You and Me on the Rock [Brandi Carlile In These Silent Days]

19 Jan

The second song on the album is, You and Me on the Rock. I think it’s a double meaning: Physically living on a rock, like rocky land, or a cliff, or some island? And also a relationship on the rock(s).

The first verse beautifully describes ice fishing in vivid detail. The point is transient shelters are built on an unstable, impermanent surface, fun is had during the season, then everything is cleaned up so you can’t tell anything was ever there. The song is also describing a relationship built on a slippery foundation, where both people knew it couldn’t last forever, but they had fun anyway. And now fishing season is over, so to speak.

The chorus is very co-dependent with the main character saying she can’t even stand to be apart from her lover while one is in the garden and the other is on a walk. The narrator says she doesn’t need their (our/the audience/fans) money, just her relationship/marriage.

The 2nd verse explains that the narrator didn’t build a strong, airplane out of her life, so to speak. She says it was paper (vs strong metal) and crooked (so it’s not a sound vessel to start with). Because of this faulty construction of both plane and person, ending up in the water has always been a consequence close at hand.

The narrator tells the other person (and us) that nobody cared about them in the way this wife(?) does. Nobody was asking why’s she so thin (unhealthy, not getting nourishment) and why’s she drinking again (ending up addicted or ‘in the water’). The narrator was close to crashing into the water when this other person caught her and saved her from that terrible fate (sloppiness? alcoholism?).

The bridge[is that what it’s called?] uses a tsunami as a metaphor for their relationship problems. It’s a big wave, but the couple can make it through. They will avoid the water together.

In the bigger picture of the album theme, the 1st song made clear there were relationship problems (caused by the narrator?) but this problematic main person doesn’t want to give up, and thinks things can get sorted out. In this 2nd song, the narrator acknowledges they are a bit faulty as a person, but that’s why they need their lover (as Taylor would say). And together crises can be averted.

Brandi Carlile: Right on Time

17 Jan

First of all, I don’t understand Brandi’s new look.

It’s like David Bowe & wild-days Elton John mashed up. I get that those were her heroes/idols, but the look is definitely a “show look” not street wear. So I figured it must be like an era (al la Taylor Swift) and probably fit the theme of the new album. But it was confusing that the twins didn’t change their look at all. They looked the same as they ever did. But I waited for the album, hoping it would fall into place once I heard it.

Nope.

I don’t know what’s happening. The album is not a funsy-disco, or campy gay theme, nor is it thematic like outer space, or anything that warrants a costumy look. So I chalk it up to midlife crises. And the album might support that view…

It opens with Right On Time– With the words, “It’s not too late” this song sets the album’s tone. The piano-driven, lyrically-centered tune reminds me of “That Wasn’t Me.” That latter song was the single off of Bear Creek which is apt, because I think that album was the beginning of the story arc discussed in this current album. I feel like Bear Creek was all excitement and hope for what was to come, all getting together and family-building. While In These Silent Days is the impending ending/inevitable divorce, maybe staying together unhappily in co-dependence

There are nice bits of electric guitar w/the piano, to show both regret and a bit of edginess. And oh, the singing! Brandi’s voice shines through this song, as well as every song on the entire album. She is always a stunner on vocals, but in each track she makes sure to showcase it, not in just one or two outstanding singles. In this album-opener, Brandi hits that high note. Twice. Then it’s an even higher note!

Brandi/the narrator of the song acknowledges bad behavior, which does warrant anger/hurt in the other person, but makes clear it’s not too late, and she(?) wants to try again. So this album starts at big relationship problems, and indicates things are about to fall apart. But the main character is grasping tightly, not wanting to give up and let go.

NB is an Unnecessary Term (Listen to why I think that before your go throwing around the term TERF, please.)

16 Jan

And first, let’s try to define that overused term so we can criticize my logic (but hopefully I’ll convince you before the end, so you don’t have to) using appropriate terms:

What is Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminism (2)?
• TERFs believe trans women aren’t women & trans men aren’t men
• TERFs often feel that trans people are undermining “women’s” rights
• Trans women are often positioned as predatory men in disguise (despite having no evidence for this)
• Trans men are often positioned as ‘confused’ lesbians
• These politics undermine trans people’s ability to live free of harm and participate in society

I’m not saying non-binary/NB/enby is unnecessary because I’m somehow “against” trans-folk. Honestly, I don’t have a bunch of experience with the trans community, and I’ve only ever known one trans person closely. I volunteered for a safe-space for LGBT children, and one of the 14 year olds that came every week was FTM. I don’t have much experience with the LGBT community at large either, but I did attend the LGBT conference in Kansas City through a LGBT Coalition scholarship. And as part of that I went to all trans workshops because it’s the subject I knew the least about. In exchange for my scholarship to the conference I had to come back and share my new knowledge with the local community. I did a power-point presentation called, “Transcend Not Transition.” And PFLAG members learned a lot and liked it, so they asked me to do the presentation in other small midwestern towns to spread the word. So that’s pretty much the extent of my experience with trans-topics. Like everyone, I’m still learning. But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s go ahead and define what non-binary means:

Non-Binary Defined

Most people – including most transgender people – are either male or female. But some people don’t neatly fit into the categories of “man” or “woman,” or “male” or “female.” For example, some people have a gender that blends elements of being a man or a woman, or a gender that is different than either male or female. Some people don’t identify with any gender. Some people’s gender changes over time (1).

Most transgender people are not non-binary. While some transgender people are non-binary, most transgender people have a gender identity that is either male or female, and should be treated like any other man or woman (1).

Here’s where I disagree with the non-binary concept. I believe the trans-person is the gender they identify with. So, I consider MTF women and FTM men no matter their physical status, remember “Transcend, Not Transition.” Furthermore, I believe there are women and men of every stripe. Women/men can be anything, and dress and act in any way that feels comfortable to them. I think instead of making a new term for those who do not fit neatly into the stereotypical male/female boxes, we need to remove the boxes entirely. I would guess a very small percent of people identify with every stereotypical trait associated with their gender anyway.

Some more helpful terms:

What are the differences between sex, gender, and gender identity (3)?

It’s common for people to confuse sex, gender, and gender identity.  But they’re actually all different things.

  • (Assigned) Sex is a label — male or female — that you’re assigned by a doctor at birth based on the genitals you’re born with and the chromosomes you have. It goes on your birth certificate. Assigned sex is a label that you’re given at birth based on medical factors, including your hormones, chromosomes, and genitals. Most people are assigned male or female.
  • Gender is much more complex: It’s a social and legal status, and set of expectations from society, about behaviors, characteristics, and thoughts. Each culture has standards about the way that people should behave based on their gender. This is also generally male or female. But instead of being about body parts, it’s more about how you’re expected to act, because of your sex.
  • Gender identity is how you feel inside and how you express your gender through clothing, behavior, and personal appearance. It’s a feeling that begins very early in life.

It’s gross to say women must have long hair, wear dresses and heels, use a feminine voice, and be a sweet and sensitive caretaker. Anyone who doesn’t isn’t a “real” woman, is such a yuck mentality. And it’s also gross to say men must have short hair and muscles, must wear pants, and be tough and love sports. Get rid of the stereotypes, I say!

I agree with the following author’s sentiment, that we need to abolish the damaging binary stereotypes instead of the well-intentioned creating space for trans-folk by doubling down on that antiquated notion:

Too often, discussions of gender today, rather than expanding boundaries, only contract them. When people say they’re “non-binary”, it sounds to me more like they swallowed the lie of the pink and blue onesies. Because the point is everyone, really, is non-binary – no one’s a wholly pink butterfly or blue car onesie. We are all, to varying degrees, purple spaceship onesies – and, yes, that is the scientific term (4).

Gender stereotypes are too often confused with biology, and you hear this mistake being made as much on the left as you do on the right. After all, it’s not that big a leap from saying boys wear car prints to Eddie Izzard saying he likes having manicures “because I’m trans”. Suggesting a man can’t possibly like having his nails done is a disappointingly reductive take on gender from Izzard, who was once so determined to tear down stereotypes about masculinity (4).

So ‘Not Non-Binary, Abolish the Binary’ would be the title of a power-point if I was to make and present this to the community.

Sources:

(1) https://transequality.org/issues/resources/understanding-non-binary-people-how-to-be-respectful-and-supportive

(2) https://d3vdx7z624ogx.cloudfront.net/ry.org.nz/1585708948825_Unpacking-TERF-Logic-by-And-Pasley.pdf

(3) https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/gender-identity/sex-gender-identity

(4) https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/sep/16/drop-gender-stereotypes-we-are-all-non-binary

Re-rank Evermore

15 Jan

Last time I ranked the album, it had only been out a short time. The songs are mostly lyrically-based so it takes longer to appreciate them. I decided to rank them again now that I’ve listened a lot more.

Willow- Gr-G (it’s very catchy, but way too much “…man” repeats)

Champagne Problems- Gr (lyrically dense)

Gold Rush- A-Gr (Track 3?! Very visual of a song)

Tis the Damn Season- G-N

Tolerate It- A (Captures that gay feeling accurately)

No Body No Crime- A-Gr (What a fun song)

Happiness- G

Dorthea- G-N

Coney Island- G-S (Lots of repetition, and I think his singing is bad)

Ivy- A-Gr (super-gay!)

Cowboy Like Me-A

Long Story Short- A (Catchy AF)

Margorie- A (So sentimental for me)

Closure- A

Evermore- G (Too depressing)

Right Where You Left Me- N

It’s Time to Go- G-N

(A)wesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; (Gr)eat 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; (G)ood 3; Good-Neutral cusp 1; (N)eutral -1; Good to Skip cusp -1.5; (Meh) -3; (S)kip -6

5 A25; 2 A-Gr9; 1 GR4; 1 Gr-G3.5; 2 G6; 3 G-N3; 1 N-1; 1 G-S-1.5; 0M; 0S

48

Jellicle Cat Names

14 Jan

You’ve heard of the Cats musical? See my other post on that:

https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=9391&action=edit

Jellicle is what the cats turn into when they’re more magical and special and they all have Jellicle names apart from their regular given names.

Of course, many significant Jellicle Cats are featured in poems describing them –

Many of the names used in the ensemble are pulled from the poem “The Naming of Cats” (https://catsmusical.fandom.com/wiki/Jellicle_Cats).

Our oldest cat is Goose. He’s 16 and sweet. He is a meticulous groomer on himself and his kitty-buddies. He will purr every time you pick him up, and you could never kiss Goose too much. His Jellicle name is: Gustopher P. Soft (the P is for purr).

Choco-Luv already has a lot of nicknames: CL, Stein, ick-scum buddy, ISB. She is 15 but you’d think she was 3 or 4 the way she acts. Very playful, active, cute, and independent. She wants to do as many “ups” (where she stands on her hind legs to rub her face on her hand) as she possibly can! Her Jellicle name is: GrizzleShanks.

Bison is 2 years old. He is sensitive and can be angsty. Bison has a big frame, and the softest medium black fur. He loves to snuggle to the point one of his nicknames is Snuggle-B. We also call him bear-cat because when he plays he sounds like one, and is ROUGH like one! His name is: Rambo-Brutus.

Angus is 8 months old. He’s an orange ball of sunshine and sweetness. Angus gets along with everyone in the household. He loves to eat and wants his food a million times a day, and tries to help everyone else finish their food too. Because of his bursts of energy we call him Cowboy-Ancho-Norris often. His Jellicle name is: Sun Tum Siracha.

To stick to a habit do ‘in a row’ [Lesson confirmed in 2021]

13 Jan

Like running, flossing became easier once I decided to try to do it as many times in a row as possible without breaking the chain. 

There is just something about accumulating a bunch of successes in a row that makes you not want to give up.  I made it to 447(?) (there is a pic of this on the goal entry) before I legitimately forgot to do it and broke the chain accidently. 

I had alarm set to go off daily.  But if it went off at an inconvenient time I could snooze it.  At bed time I checked all my alarms and made sure to do them and dismissed everything.  In the morning, I pulled down the alarms, and tucked up out of view was “floss.”  Damn.  I just plain forgot, then didn’t see it…

And once there is a break in the chain it’s harder to get back in the habit, because it’s a fail. So without the chain holding my goal together, I skipped other occasional days after that. But not too many, because it’s SUPER-scary not going to the dentist for literal years.

But also I don’t want Covid about it. And it just seems very high risk to sit in an unventilated room with my mouth wide open for a long period of time, splashing water, and a strangers (or 2) hands in my mouth. Especially not knowing the hygienist, dentist, receptionist, other patient true vaccine statuses.

So I’m back on the flossing wagon.