Tag Archives: personal

Charity

This weekend we experienced our first package theft and our first credit card fraud since moving into the house. We’ve been here for seven years, and considering all the griping we hear from NIMBY’s around town, we’ve been long overdue for the package theft. I can mostly describe my feelings on this matter as annoyed and concerned. I wish we hadn’t lost our $40 Amazon package containing a two person large flower pot lifter. I also wish a misplaced credit card of ours hadn’t been used for a trip to a Shoreline sex shop (I’m more forgiving of the charges to Fred Meyer, Walgreens, and Shell.) Not that I wish to sex-shame thieves, but it seems even I hold to some sort of charity-money hierarchy.

There’s the old trope of the person who won’t give to street beggars because they might spend whatever change you throw in their cup on “drugs” or “booze.” Similar is the shaming of those who use their EBT card to pay for a tasty treat that has negligible nutritional value. So why is the sex store in Shoreline a bridge too far?

I laugh when I think to myself the reasons:

1. Fred Meyer has a decent selection of safer-sex products (lube, condoms, etc.) as well as “massagers.”
2. The Fred Meyer they went to is very close to a locally and woman owned sex shop.
3. They went to a chain store that was out of the way!

But really, that’s the thing about charity. When you give to organizations that distribute aid to the poor, it attaches those strings so you can wag your finger and control the lives of others from a distance. The truth is that I look at myself, and many others I know and love, and it is by luck we are as comfortable as we are because without that luck, we would find ourselves ground under the same rules and the same system that devalues the life and labor of so many. To access what little aid there is to the most vulnerable, it still requires so much time, effort, and skill that it’s easy to forget – ABLIST of us to forget – that some do not.

I choose to think of the theft and the fraud we experienced this weekend as an unexpected donation, because really, what is my other choice? To wish the thieves to be apprehended? And then what? The criminal justice system is so punitive and broken that I don’t really wish anyone to become entangled. There is no rehabilitation or treatment within. Best case scenario means you get out and get a case manager and options within the system, but you have to be able and willing to play the game. Check all the boxes, jump through the hoops, and if you’re using drugs, get clean and sober if you want a chance at housing.

Between banks and credit card companies offering protection against fraud, and the likelihood that Amazon will refund our loss, we’ve lost nothing. We are living comfortably in Seattle, a city of increasing wealth disparity. I imagine many of my neighbors could lose $500 of merchandise or credit without them noticing for days, if not weeks, when the same amount of money could make a world of difference to any number of the car-campers.

SOAP BOX: I just wish so many in Seattle weren’t fighting so hard to preserve and increase the wealth disparity. Large companies, like Amazon (who will likely refund us), bring tons of jobs to our city and provide jobs to those in the construction industry through their rapid expansion. However, because they are not paying their fair-share of taxes, the people they bring in 1) displace lower-wage earners as rent prices increase 2) put a greater strain on our transit and road infrastructure. Head Taxes, and other taxes on businesses like Amazon could fund low-income housing and create a more robust transit infrastructure.

Dragging (myself out)

Motherhood is hard. I did not have any idea what I was getting myself into. Mind you, I have no regrets, as that my son is pure awesome. I am, however, tired and finding my equilibrium.

The kiddo and I had a fall at about 6 wks, and that was quite a blow to my body and my mind. Within the next few weeks, my world shrunk. To say the least, I’ve made a lot of excuses as to why I can’t do whatever it is I need to do, including exercise.

I re-committed to WeightWatchers a few weeks ago – and when I say commit, I mean, go to meetings. I’ve been having trouble getting back into exercising for a few reasons, some being physical. Since my fall, my right knee (injured in high school, thanks color guard/marching band!) has been really painful, and my left hip (which went wonky during my pregnancy) is still wonky. And finally, I’m just not the superwoman I was. Mind you, I had a kickass birth, but I couldn’t run a half marathon right now.

I purchased the WeightWatchers PointsPlus Fitness Series with Jennifer Cohen 5 DVD set. It comes with (on each disk) a 10 minute beginner, 15 minute express and 30 minute full workout, and a plan to get started. This week, I’m doing 5 days of 10 minutes. I’m writing this because I just finished my first 10 minutes, which included a warmup and cooldown. I’m hoping that this may be a start of getting back on track.

We’ll see how it goes!

Fall Update

Where did summer go?

Seattle’s summer seemed so brief. It was only really warm a few days, and those days often turned to cool nights, meaning I wasn’t really parted from my hoodie during the entire time. It was also a very busy summer. I took a class on Unix during the summer, and spent the rest of the time interning at a local tech company doing helpdesk. It’s not that there weren’t good times. There was diving, vacation book ending both spring and fall, good friends, and tattoos! As of this past week, I have a tattoo on my shoulder that memorializes my dad (using Japanese maples) and from this past Spring, cherry blossoms on my other shoulder in rememberance of my son, Ezra.

It’s taken a couple years, but I would say at this point I’ve stepped sure-footed on a new route. I’ve successfully entered into a career change (leading to better health, if not wealth), and done a lot of personal growth from the wake of last year’s tragic circumstances.

It’s been an interesting adjustment, especially finding myself in a field that is more casual than I am accustomed to. Over the summer, I got in the practice of sewing dresses, which were far from practical for both weather and vocation. This fall I have looked in vain for appropriate workwear (or even jeans for casual fridays) and have found that most retailers are still mired in the Recession, offering clothing that at a distance, looks good, but is poorly made, and at the same price as previous years offerings with less quality. Today I may end up buying some patterns, fabric and notions, and go to town on some new clothing of my own manufacture.

Looking forward, I can say I have a mild excitement for the winter. If one can choose their own disposition, perhaps I’ll start with this one in the hopes that, come February, I will be less surly and angst-ridden than I am customarily.

As for this blog – who knows what’s coming next! I’m wanting to work on more creative ventures, but don’t ever have the time. I’m trying to keep up my running blog, especially in light of my training for the Seattle Half Marathon for my birthday. Then there’s diving, which I have neglected over the past couple years, which I should be doing more, what with the purchase of a new dry suit.

I’ll go back to something I said years ago, which I likely stole from a friend. Life is meant to be lived, not written. If I’m blogging, Tweeting, emailing, whatever – odds are I’m spending that time outside of the present moment, and definitely outside of the company of friends. The digital medium is no replacement for real life. Maybe my silence is evidence of the life I’ve successfully been living.

XKCD gets it right: Desert Island

desert island

After learning to dive in the Puget Sound (thanks to Girl Diver), now when I look out at the Puget Sound, I think about all the brilliant and wonderful things that lie beneath the beautifully calm looking surface.

Ceramic Work So Far

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I’ve been taking ceramics classes at a local community college and thought I would take some pictures of some of the work I’ve done this past week. I’ve hit a bit of a breakthrough lately, and have learned to successfully “throw off the hump.” It’s pretty exciting, and I ended up putting more hours in the studio this past week than I have in a long time. I look forward to see how these fire and glaze.