family

To the Women…

The drive home from my aunt’s house last night was full of laughter, my grandma and her daughters recounting the time she and Pop-Pop horrified them, using a ripped blouse as inspiration for a pre-date prank.

“Sometimes the Devil just gets inside of you, and you have to go for it!” Sassy Maggie said.

We laughed until we cried, and I just felt so warm inside, the visceral kind that reaches your toes and your bones simultaneously.

I had been surrounded by such strong women all day, women who have survived lost love, lost children, divorces, economic hardship, and the day-in, day-out patriarchal bullshit I’m still putting up with today. And luckily, because we’re strong, we’ve surrounded ourselves with men who build us up; men that know that if they don’t, they’ll be kicked to the curb because we have each other–the women–to pick up the pieces.

Our society is divided by race, sex, and religion more than ever, but I don’t see that in my blended, matriarchal family. And though I’m so thankful for the men in my life (aka some of the strongest feminists I know), and my friends, and my love, and my puppies, and the general blessings of a white, middle-class (i.e. PRIVILEGED) American, I’m still the most thankful when I look around the kitchen in my Grandma’s house in the stark light of a November morning and see women of three different generations relating over and over again. About drugs. About music. About family. About sitting inside together on Black Friday in support of a young man in Ferguson instead of shopping for more shit we don’t need. About making today about someone else.*

It doesn’t matter if we were born in 1921 or 1950 or 1987. Because women are the strongest when we sit together over coffee, realizing that no matter how we differ, we are stronger and better together.

I am so thankful for the women who taught me to rise above the status quo, to strive to listen, to be better, to help, to support, to never let a man sit you down in a corner and tell you “No, you can’t do that.”

And it fills me with joy when I see my cousin teaching his daughter the same things, and letting me teach them to her, too, with 100 percent trust that I have her best interest–as a human, but most importantly, a woman–at heart.

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What women are you thankful for this year? I am proud of oh-so-many of us for breaking boundaries and building bridges this year!

 

* Well, I guess aside from this blog entry.

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Dirge for The Dreamcast

Oh, ye gracious game system, how I will miss you so.

It wasn’t an easy decision to let you go. In fact, I had to ask my sister all the way across the Pacific if she was ready to sell you, our second childhood system. I was reluctant and needed her blessing to go through with the disposal. She, too, found it hard to come to terms with the fact that we have, well… outgrown you.

Nay, this simple fact doesn’t discredit your meaning to us. In fact, it just means we’re ready to pass along the joy you brought us to others because we survived the struggles of life between acquiring you and letting you go.

I remember first playing you. We got you fairly soon after we moved into a new home. I suppose it was supposed to be a cleanse-like purchase, perhaps a consolation for uprooting us from our childhood home. We both sat in C’s bedroom, she on the bed, I on the floor. We played Sonic for hours, never getting past the first level and never caring all the same.

I’m sure we squabbled as young sisters do, debating our hearts out about whose turn it was and why. However, I just remember the sunny days spent playing a game about a blue hedgehog with my baby sibling.

Perhaps you weren’t as great as I remember you being, a fact I quickly noticed when I rescued you from under C’s bed and plugged you up to my first generation plasma TV. Sonic was buggy and only the first two levels were fun. After that, everything was glitchy and weird. Maybe we were never meant to get past those first few levels back then. We weren’t ready for them, just like we weren’t ready for teenagedom.

But now we are. Hell, we WERE; we’ve already made it through the rough sea of teen life and segued into some semblance of early adulthood. Sonic just isn’t fun anymore. Keeping you around is only a reminder of simpler days, but with or without you, those simpler days would still exist.

The memories are with each other, not with you, Dreamcast of yesteryear. And so it is with bittersweet confidence and simultaneous nostalgia that I will be taking bids for you from all around until I find someone who appreciates your worth.

Someone who isn’t yet ready. Someone who needs you.

{Check out my sister’s coinciding post written to our Dreamcast. We wrote them without seeing each other’s first; the sisterly similarities are CREEPY!}

www. Wednesday

Happy Wednesday, my lovelies!

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+ This link is a little selfish of me, but when I read fatmumslim’s blog entry about her feelings about the phone, I felt such an overwhelming sense of simpatico! I hope my friends now understand my weird phone habits/anxiety thanks to the words of a wonderful blogger. Ya know… other than me 😉

+ I can’t believe there are people in the world who think this kind of stuff is the right way to do business. Check out this phone call of a Comcast rep trying his damnedest to get Ryan Block NOT to cancel his subscription.

+ This piece in Esquire about the American attitude toward pit bulls is fascinating. The author, Tom Junod, even compares our thinking about the dogs to the way we think about things as a whole in America. Long, but totally worth it!

+ I could (and probably have) write about this “secret” epidemic plaguing the American people all day: painkiller/opiate addiction thanks to prescription pills.

+ An important discussion we ALL need to be having is started beautifully in this Refinery29 article about why it’s 100% okay to choose to NOT have children.

+ On the subject of children, you will love other people (even if you’re a misanthrope) after reading this article about a grieving family who made a simple request on reddit that turned into a beautiful cycle of giving.

+ Why racist and other bigoted terms should not have a double-standard.

+ Alright, enough of the heavy stuff. I dare you not to have a good day after you view these photos of dogs put inside a photo booth and left to their own devices.

+ Oh, and if you’re a Harry Potter fan, get yourself to reading these new entries about the 2014 Quidditch World Cup on Pottermore.com. And if you’re a HP fan without a Pottermore account, all I can say is…

via Sassy Gay Friend

Mi Familia

I’ve been blessed with an awesome family. I always knew there was something special about them, but I couldn’t really put my finger on it until I started to age into something like wisdom. They’re all so open, so loving, so intelligent, so supportive, that I could never even fathom the idea of that kind of thing not existing outside my doors.

After years of witnessing abusive or simply bad parents, distant cousins and grandparents, and unexplored family trees, I realize how amazing it is that I can say what I’m feeling to any member of my family. I can’t believe how gifted I am to not only know my family way-back-when, but to know and trust my family now.

Thanks to each and every one of you for being so amazingly beautiful inside and out. I am dazzled by both your souls and your smiles. I am thankful for the common blood we have running through our veins, and, well, let’s be honest… our ridiculously good looks.

 
My nose is a carbon copy of Great-Grandpa Gibsons (low right).
 
Grandma N (far right) is a fox.
 
How picturesque are these chaps?
Especially the middle shorty looking the camera dead-on, mi padre.
 
Is that James McAvoy? NO, it’s my Grandpa N.
 
… and my Pop-Pop
 
… and Grandma G.
(And a pouting young Mom or Uncle Jon)
 
Mom and baby me + sis + N cousins.
 
A bunch of Italians.
 
Didn’t you know? My father is Sirius Black.
 
Snazzy pj’s, Aunt Bets.
 
Some G womens.
 
Lots ‘o folks.
 
Little N’s being largely awesome.
 

Here’s to the G’s and the N’s (and all our name variations in between) for being the most exquisite groups of people ever put on this planet.