Clara and the Doctor

Eldest and I love talking about Doctor Who (and it took some time to get him hooked, gotta say) because we don’t quite agree about ANYTHING but we agree enough to really have rousing debates. The latest is that he doesn’t like Clara for precisely the reason I love Clara. She’s no Donna or Amy but I like Clara *because* she doesn’t have a personality focus. All the Doctor’s companions (that I’ve seen) had a very prominent personal focus for being on teh show – Rose’s romance and verve, Amy’s intensity and cleverness, Martha’s pining and independence, Donna’s boldness and peace-making, even Craig had his lovability and everyman-appeal. But Clara is just somewhere in the middle of all of them. A little bit of everything but none in particular. She was refreshing for me. She could say “no” to the Doctor, like Martha could. She could be clever like Amy. She could be vivacious like Rose. She could be demanding like Donna. She could even be lovable like Craig, wise like her grandfather Wilfred and dependable like Canton or even suspicious like Micky .
But the best thing about Clara was her story. Sure the seasons had some stupid episodes and there were times I found myself rolling my eyes are what the writers were doing but Clara’s character never disappointed me. She never went over-the-top and never faded into the background. She had nuance and style without hitting me over th head with her issues. What they did to her (via Danny) was horrible and scandalous and I think I was even more angry than how they treated Donna. But Clara still had her own story that made the Doctor himself want to understand her. She had a place in the universe – many universes – that went beyond her place as companion. She always felt like the Doctor’s sister, to me. And no other companion ever made me feel that way.
I think Clara loved the Doctor in a way no other companion ever had and probably never will.
If nothing else, I say to you, four words: The Rings of Akhaten

Norway memories

When I was packing for Oslo, two years ago, I discovered I was out of my favorite lotion. I am a lotion hound and I knew I’d be using bunches of it when I made it to Norway. So I went out and bought a tube of something I had never tried before. I had always wanted to try it and it had similar ingredients to another lotion I very much liked (but couldn’t find) so I figured it would be okay to splurge and buy the big tube.
Big mistake, really, the lotion made my skin break out with acne. It had a very specific scent too which wasn’t unpleasant but just odd to me. When I got back to the states I decided that big honkin tube would sit in my half bath and be good for HAND lotion only.
Now its been two years and every time I use that lotion, I think about Oslo.
For the rest of my life, Burt’s Bees Radiance smells like Norway.

Why I’m not a Libertarian

For my friends who call themselves Libertarian: most of you aren’t really aligned with the Libertarian party though you may like some of the more theoretical notions of Libertarianism: the ideology. Saying “I’m against big government” is equivalent to saying “I’m against open wounds” – yeah sure we all are but its how you define it that matters.
Libertarianism has salience but the reality leads to a convergent point of promoting inequity in our system. The inequity is of an economic kind that can actually kill people and tear down our current freedoms,. Libertarianism, like many political ideologies was conceived in a vacuum of reality but wasn’t constructed through trial and error like other ideologies. Its easy to say “real socialism doesn’t work” since its been tried and failed many times (and yet is still an on-going experiment in many arenas) but Libertarianism hasn’t been tried anywhere (except Chile IIRC) because the immediate effect would be chaotic and deadly for so many. Nobody wants to tear down the protections we have spent hundreds (in some cases thousands) of years erecting for the benefit of the whole society. Perhaps only the very insulated, the very clueless or the very sociopathic would be amenable to that.

And then there’s the factual point that most of Libertarianism’s economic “thinkers” have open disdain for evidence-based systems favoring a simplistic “so long as I get mine, we’ll all be happier” kind of philosophy

But to put it in the simplest terms evar: I will never agree with “true” libertarian philosophy because it relies almost entirely upon judicial review as the ultimate balance of liberty clashes. We circumvent such incredible inefficiency by having enforceable laws. Needing the power of enforcement is crucial to having effective laws in the first place (no, I cannot be An-cap) and it takes money to fund enforcement on many levels. Taxation, executive and legislative branches are necessary to have freedoms in the first place. Legal punitive measures will never be enough. And in many cases (food purity, medicine safety, worker rights) legal punitive measures would not substitute because people would be DEAD before they could pursue recompense and change. Fuck that. regulation is necessary to protect us all against sociopaths who would kill us for a penny. Regulation is also necessary to protect and harbor those who are vulnerable to the “good intentions” of those who believe in social Darwinism (yes, those people truly exist)

We are no longer in a cottage industry world. We need the size of government to equal the size of corporate interests in order to not be victimized by economic sociopaths

Single Mom A La Mode

its weird being single mom again. or rather I guess I should say its weird being a single mom who is *old*. No, I know 50 is not really that old but becoming a single mom is something I did in my youth- I was barely out of my 20s and it was perfectly acceptable for me to go dancing and partying and hooking up every night that my kids were gone. At my age, nobody would look sideways at me for doing the same now I suppose but it would feel different (it wouldn’t be new) and also its not what I want to do. I don’t have the same energy levels or good health that I did back then too so there’s that slowing me down.
WHat’s really different though, what really matters this time around is how I feel about everything else. WHen I was a single mom before, I cast aside the notion of companionship as some kind of luxury item I had no time or patience for. I couldn’t see much advantage to having a partner other than emotional and possibly financial. Eventually I decided to try again for both of those reasons and really not much else. I wanted certain things in life that are far easier to get when you have a decent partner. I also wanted a friend to come home to every night. It was something I had gotten used to with all my roommates and I wanted it again. My second foray into domestic bliss went even worse than my first. I suppose some of that was simply due to our different aims. I got what I wanted from teh arrangement but I had to deal with all the messy details that come with having a partner. I didn’t MIND the details themselves, but I did very much mind the person I ended up with. His version of love, partnership and commitment are very different than mine. So another attempt at partnership failed.

Looking at it now, I realize that what I want out of partnership at this point is a *very* different thing than what I wanted the first time I got married. Its very different than what I wanted the second time. Its very different than what I wanted the two times I entertained the notion but did not complete the act.

So this time around, being a single mom has a very different flavor than it did before I got married the second time. OBviously there’s a grave differnce in how parenting is for me as well: I’m a different age, in a different circumstance and have kids who are very different than they were back then. The world is somewhat different too but really not that much. Not enough that I can point to that as being part of what makes my experiencce feel so …odd.

I often wonder how odd I really am… how many other single moms are there out there who have grown kids AND a elementary age kid? How many are geeks? How many are bisexual? how many are monogamous? How many are starting a second career? How many have experience with chronic health issues?

Its not that I think I am so terribly unique (beyond the obvious) but that I wonder how this oddness keeps me from connecting.

When I was younger, it was easy for me to float through different cultures and subcultures – I was a retail store manager and wore a femme suit every day to work. I was a shooter girl in a strip club and rocked the “whore look” every night. I was a student and threw on whatever smelled reasonably fresh. I was a class mom and wore suburban blah-clothes. I was a weekend Goth and had a good collection of black dresses and boots. I was a baby butch and sometimes stepped out as a man.

Now I just want to find a group I can chat with and not worry about how I look, whether I have the right clothes or attitude. I just want to feel like I already am “there”
So every day I start over with what I’m going to present as.. am I femme? Butch? Tight-ass corporate? slightly slutty? Haphazard egghead? Wise crone? Ditzy student? know-it-all mom?

I don’t know… I wonder if all those years I drifted through groups I was wasting my time.. did nothing leave a mark on me? Why do I feel like i have no culture of my own?

I thought it would at least be parenthood… but that’s not working either… I’m older, uglier, more tired, less intense and less patient than every other parent I meet. Children are the only thing in my life that has never stopped being important to me yet I still don’t feel like I really fit in with other single moms….

…. who will I be tomorrow?

Its not racist to be against the Syrian refugees

I kind of wish people would stop using the term “racism” and “Racist” when referring to the Anti-Syrian prejudice. Its xenophobia and christian nationalism or maybe just religious intolerance at its finest. I understand that racism has become the most heinous crimes against society ever and i”m not here to debate that judgement at all (I will delete you if you start that discussion in either direction) but it bothers me to mislabel the problem. Muslims are not a race. Syrians are not a race either. People of Middle Eastern heritage are not a race either. They aren’t even an ethnic group per se.
I think its time to recognize that religious intolerance and xenophobia are heinous crimes against society too. That’s all I”m saying. We do not have to dilute and distort the word “racism” in order to recognize how bad this shit is getting.

downer days

THere are times I still want to find someone and unload all the pain of my marriage onto. All my friends already know, they’ve heard it all many times over. I want new validation, I want to feel less alone in this. I’m certainly not the first, only or most wrong divorced woman on the planet (or anywhere) but sometimes I feel the wrongness of it all over again. It makes me wish it were a tangible thing, this darkness that I could cast out, throw it somewhere and have it stick instead of staying inside me. I do believe time heals in a way, but it doesn’t cure. Old griefs don’t ever go away and old wrongs are never righted; they just erode slowly into a past that you can remove yourself from. You take steps forward in life and the pains of the past get that much smaller and easier to look at head on.

Yes of course I think about all the things I did wrong. Yes, I look inside myself and check to see if those unsavory parts of myself are still there, still ruling me because if I catch even a whiff, then I have things to do, boulders to push uphill again until I feel safe that those flaws will not crush me should my time for love ever come again.

But even knowing what I know about myself in the past, even being able to recite all the things I did “wrong” I come back to the same pain, the same plaintive persistant question “was I *so* wrong that I deserved to be treated like that?”

After two years, I’m certain the answer is “no, I did not”

The failure of my second marriage may not have been “all his fault” but the failure of our partnership was in fact, his fault. I believe that with all my heart.  I carry the blame for ending things and I accept responsibility for my flaws and mistakes but I know without a doubt that even perfection could not have made that relationship work. This is something I remind myself of still to this day – as I did every day since deciding to end my marriage: a partnership is TWO people. If one person cannot carry their weight, cannot support the other, cannot hold the other’s heart with love and respect, then there is no way it can work. A partnership is TWO people. Hard work, communication, therapy, kind words, gestures of love – none of them save a relationship when they are one-way. That is reality no matter how much it hurts.

And it did hurt, knowing at the end that no amount of increased effort on my part was going to change things. No matter how much I loved him, no matter how much I tried, no matter WHAT I tried, I could not make that man love me as a partner. Maybe he never loved me, I doubt he even knows for sure, but to be sure, at some point, he could not love me as a partner. And that is why my marriage failed.  Because marriage is a partnership and a partnership is two people who work together. He did not want to work together because it would have meant focusing on someone else in a real tangible everyday fashion. Something he would never be capable of doing. Hollow temporary gestures are not aspects of love they are only smoke and mirror shows designed to impress whoever was around at the time. Romantic moves are not aspects of love, they are only silencing methods designed to shame the other person into acquiescence.

Aspects of love are mundane, natural and feel as real as the sun on your skin, as comforting as a warm drink on a winter’s day, as secure as a blanket around your shoulders, as poetic as a snuggle in front of a fire in the middle of the night. Aspects of love are plain and simple and show up as often as a text during lunch “hi how is your day?”, as sweet as dishes washed when the partner is putting the kids to bed, as common as checking schedules together so we can go see a movie on date night.

Aspects of love aren’t showy, flashy or loud. They are small, and full of kindness.

THere were no aspects of love that I did not pay for in my marriage. Everything was given not in kindness but in quid pro quo. And no one deserves that kind of treatment.