this is the most important video in existence 

(via starbucklovesspooky)

In Which I was Lucky

I was lucky it happened in the mid ’90s. It being a sexual assault by a group of boys, attempted rape by one boy and actual rape by another boy, that is. I was lucky because no one had a camera on their cellphone. Because if it had happened even 5 years later, it all would’ve been on video. It would’ve been shared among the group of friends. It possibly would’ve ended up on the internet.

And then maybe a decade later, one of those boys who knew what was happening and did nothing, who knew what was going to happen, would’ve felt bad enough to speak out. Of course, speaking out would also serve to advance his career, because of course it would. He could make himself a bystander and a witness and an innocent, but of course he’s not innocent. He knew the whole time what was happening and didn’t stop it.


I went to school with my rapist and the teenage boys who assaulted me or didn’t stop it. I had classes with some of them. I have no idea how I managed to deal with all of this, but I did. I knew they spread rumors about me, saying things like I’d let a group of boys run a train on me. Every rumor was untrue. My assault never stopped. 

When I was a couple years out of high school, I was the passenger in a friend’s car. She was my closest friend and knew everything that had happened to me. We ended up driving next to my rapist for a split second. Before I’d even finished saying “That’s him” she was deftly turning off the road and rerouting so that he wouldn’t see me. 

Maybe 4-5 years ago, Facebook started prompting me to friend the man who had attempted to rape me back when he was a 17 year old boy. You see, despite the fact that I’d told a few people what had happened to me, people took their side. So my high school friends were still friends with these people, and Facebook was just trying to help me network. I added everyone I could remember to my block list, including my actual rapist. I had to dig for him, though, because he changed how he spells his name. It’s a surreal experience to go looking for the guy who raped you, to find his profile, to see his picture: him, leaning against his car with a shy-looking smile. I know that he’s bullshit. No matter what he does, he is bullshit.

But between those two experiences, I repeatedly saw one of the boys who was there that night. He was present while a group of teenage boys fondled my body while I was in and out of consciousness. I don’t think he touched me, but he could have. He also could have pulled me out of that truck and helped me. But of course he didn’t.

He did grow up and get married, though. And he frequently shopped at two of the grocery stores near my house. And I saw him and his wife probably six, seven times over a four year span.

Oh, the look on his face the first time he saw me! He looked like he couldn’t breathe. He’d been mid-story, and suddenly looked stricken and panicked. And you know what? GOOD. Fuck him. Every time I saw him I looked him right in the eyes and he always looked away. His wife was usually the one pushing the cart and carrying a list, and he would nervously joke with her as we’d pass in the aisle. Once, they were stopped so I stopped near them and pretended to scan the shelves. He bounced back and forth from foot to foot, nervously glancing at me until his wife started pushing the cart away. It felt good to know I made him nervous.

More than once I considered talking to him, just to fuck with him, just to see him sweat. What if I walked up to him and said “Remember that night you knew that they were going to rape me and you didn’t help me?” or saying to his wife “You should ask your husband about the night his friends sexually assaulted me while he did nothing to help!” How would that have played out? 

Ultimately, saying nothing felt more powerful. I had the power to reveal something of who he was and is to the most important person in his life, and he knew it. And though I’m sure she would instantly side with him, the kernel of doubt that would’ve planted! He knew he was a coward and he knew that he was complicit and he’s the one who has to live with that. I hope it eats him up. I even hope I get to see him again and make him squirm.

To anyone who stands idly by while someone is raped or assaulted or abused: I see you, you little men, you keepers of the status quo, you enablers. I see you and I am not afraid. Even though other people might, and our misogynistic culture surely will, I won’t mince words or pretend you didn’t pimp me or someone else out for your own safety or your own career or your own selfish reasons. Because that’s exactly what you did. 

Things I am good at

In no particular order:

Being a smart-ass
Some cooking and baking type stuff
Editing other people’s writing
Evasive driving
Saying no
Taking portraits
Remembering conversations, word-for-word
Expressing my thoughts and feelings
Putting someone in their place
Dirty looks
Figuring out when a man looks like a morph of two other men
Remembering random trivia
Taking care of Tiny’s curly hair
Saying I don’t know
Wild-ass guesses
Differentiating between offspeed pitches
Catching on quickly
Horror movie screaming


Dan Busta
From “Ghost” Series

Website darksilenceinsuburbia:

Dan Busta
From “Ghost” Series

Website darksilenceinsuburbia:

Dan Busta
From “Ghost” Series

Website darksilenceinsuburbia:

Dan Busta
From “Ghost” Series

Website darksilenceinsuburbia:

Dan Busta
From “Ghost” Series

Website darksilenceinsuburbia:

Dan Busta
From “Ghost” Series







"My body, my choice" only makes sense when someone else’s life isn’t at stake.

Fun fact: If my younger sister was in a car accident and desperately needed a blood transfusion to live, and I was the only person on Earth who could donate blood to save her, and even though donating blood is a relatively easy, safe, and quick procedure no one can force me to give blood. Yes, even to save the life of a fully grown person, it would be ILLEGAL to FORCE me to donate blood if I didn’t want to.

See, we have this concept called “bodily autonomy.” It’s this….cultural notion that a person’s control over their own body is above all important and must not be infringed upon. 

Like, we can’t even take LIFE SAVING organs from CORPSES unless the person whose corpse it is gave consent before their death. Even corpses get bodily autonomy. 

To tell people that they MUST sacrifice their bodily autonomy for 9 months against their will in an incredibly expensive, invasive, difficult process to save what YOU view as another human life (a debatable claim in the early stages of pregnancy when the VAST majority of abortions are performed) is desperately unethical. You can’t even ask people to sacrifice bodily autonomy to give up organs they aren’t using anymore after they have died. 

You’re asking people who can become pregnant to accept less bodily autonomy than we grant to dead bodies. 

reblogging for commentary 

But, assuming the mother wasn’t raped, the choice to HAVE a baby and risk sacrificing their “bodily autonomy” is a choice that the mother made. YOu don’t have to have sex with someone. Cases of rape aside, it isn’t ethical to say abortion is justified. The unborn baby has rights, too. 

First point: Bodily autonomy can be preserved, even if another life is dependent on it. See again the example about the blood donation. 

And here’s another point: When you say that “rape is the exception” you betray something FUNDAMENTALLY BROKEN about your own argument.

Because a fetus produced from sexual assault is biologically NO DIFFERENT than a fetus produced from consensual sex. No difference at all.

If one is alive, so is the other. If one is a person, so is the other. If one has a soul, then so does the other. If one is a little blessing that happened for a reason and must be protected, then so is the other. 

When you say that “Rape is the exception” what you betray is this: It isn’t about a life. This isn’t about the little soul sitting inside some person’s womb, because if it was you wouldn’t care about HOW it got there, only that it is a little life that needs protecting.

When you say “rape is the exception” what you say is this: You are treating pregnancy as a punishment. You are PUNISHING people who have had CONSENSUAL SEX but don’t want to go through a pregnancy. People who DARED to have consensual sex without the goal of procreation in mind, and this is their “consequence.” 

And that is gross. 

(via scullaaay)

How to Fuck Yourself Without Even Trying: A Boring Story

Josh and I got married in 2007, right around the time that he earned his Associates Degree in architectural technology. He wanted to further his education, and planned to attend a school in Illinois where they offered a degree in Construction Management. Unfortunately, his degree wouldn’t transfer completely because it was an Associates of Applied Science*, and not the Associates of Science the university required for the full degree to transfer. Josh didn’t want to take a whole extra year or more of school (which would require more loans). So, he floated this idea to me: what if we started a masonry business?


*Josh was able to get the state of Missouri to pay for part of his college education because he’d suffered a career-ending injury in his previous line of work**. Unfortunately, the state would only pay for more practical degrees. Where things got muddied is that SIU Carbondale had previously told someone at STLCC Meramec that Josh’s degree would transfer in full. Due to the consequences of this communication error, Josh soured on the idea of more school. I was not a fan of his decision.

**masonry, lololol


I took a lot of convincing. And, being the type of person I am, I did some research. I got valuable opinions from people whose business acumen I respect, and all of them were unabashedly enthusiastic about Josh as Entrepreneur. I checked out books about small business and entrepreneurship and started reading everything I could. I took notes. I even wrote a business plan.


Almost immediately, we had problems. Take a new marriage between headstrong people, add a new business, and baby, you’ve got a dysfunctional stew going.


We had a business falling out in 2009 or ‘10 (who cares, really) because he wouldn’t let me participate beyond being his secretary. I wasn’t okay with that and disagreed with many of the choices he was making, so I opted to let him do whatever he wanted as long as all I had to do was reorder business cards and do minor tax preparation duties. Due to a combination of factors, most of them related to his poor decision making timed with a weird industry-wide lull, the business failed. We actually lost quite a bit of money his last year in business.


The last two years Josh owned a business (‘11 and ‘12) we didn’t do taxes. I was too busy with a baby, and he didn’t stay organized enough for me to jump in and easily help. A year’s worth of receipts had to be sorted, spreadsheets created, etc. And then a second year’s worth of receipts…


In 2013, Josh was no longer in business for himself. Within 2-3 months of starting a job he was excited about, Josh (along with 8 other people) got laid off. For 2-3 months, he scuffled for work. He applied for dozens of jobs - jobs he was qualified for, many he was overqualified for, and even a few that he was laughably unqualified for. Through a friend of a friend, he finally got some work as a valet parking attendant. This was obviously not lucrative, but we were at least able to buy food and diapers.

Prior to this, he’d never had a problem being employed, Yes, the economy was now bad. Yes, he’d been laid off and I’m sure that doesn’t look good. No, he’s not the most educated person in the room. But he has years of management experience, years of sales experience, and no employment gaps. He’d put in several years at each of most of his jobs, including the most recent jobs. So he was baffled. This had always been the one thing he hadn’t struggled with. He’d always been employable.


Maybe his prior employability had been a reflection of the better economy. Josh has a felony conviction on his record. He was a minor when the crime was committed, but he had a public defender and was charged and convicted as an adult. He served 5 years of probation, which ended way back in 2003. He has been in no other trouble with the law in that time. He’s completely reformed. But I suspect that his record could be why companies stayed away from him. Why risk it if they’ve got dozens of other applicants without felony convictions?


In August, he finally got somewhere. After beginning the process with a telecom company in June, he was finally offered a job. He was also offered a job selling cars. We were faced with the choice of Job A with the telecom company, which had certain, decent income but also several drawbacks, or Job B selling cars, which had low base pay but the opportunity for much more money, while being less physically demanding. He chose Job B.



Job B was a bust. After a long, slow winter where only a couple guys made any real money selling cars, Josh and 3 other guys were let go. The employer wants him to come back when he’s less financially stressed out, though. Apparently being broke stresses Josh out? Who knew?!  So, Josh has been looking for a job again for over a month. He’s returned to the telecom company where he got to pick up midway through their long hiring process, but we’re still waiting to hear if they want to hire him.


Back to the tax situation. Josh is friends with a tax attorney. Last summer, this wonderful, kind person offered to handle our tax situation for free. Obviously we said yes. I immediately began the process of sorting two years of receipts and constructing monthly and yearly spreadsheets of expenditures and income. It took a few days of nonstop work, but I powered through and we turned everything over to the lawyer. Then we waited. I can’t speak to the process in any meaningful way because Josh has handled all of this on his own. There were phone calls and office visits and paperwork to sign. Eventually, all of our back taxes were filed sometime in late 2013, and 2013’s taxes were filed in March of this year.


However, there was a problem. Someone at the attorney’s office incorrectly transcribed Tiny’s social security number, and Josh didn’t catch the error. The IRS caught it, though! About 6 weeks ago, we started getting letters from them about our taxes from some of the years we filed late or amended, but one year was notably missing. We got the answer as to why two weeks ago. Another letter arrived requiring more information about the initial error which has us mis-claiming a dependent with the wrong social security number. So, Josh had to turn that paperwork over to the attorney’s office. They’re working on whatever it is they have to do to fix this, and then Josh will go in to sign the paperwork on Monday, hopefully after proof-reading it. I don’t understand why the initial amendments to the late filings didn’t clear this whole mess up for both years we filed late, but it didn’t.


Remember how I said Josh isn’t working? Yeah. We’re broke. Remember how I said that we lost money the last year we were in business? Well, we didn’t do so hot the year before that, either. Despite some not insignificant penalties and fees for filing late, and despite owing small amounts of money to Missouri and St. Louis City, we are supposed to get refunds that combine to be several thousand dollars. This money wouldn’t be enough to dig us out of our hole entirely, but it would make this mess so much easier to clean up once Josh has a job. So far, we’ve been waiting basically an extra month for it because someone incorrectly transcribed one digit in Tiny’s social security number. Until a couple weeks ago, we were checking the mailbox everyday for this lifeboat to arrive and rescue us. All we got was cast further out to sea.


We’re waiting on a monolithic telecom company to decide Josh’s employment fate. We’re waiting on the lawyer’s office to fix this mess - again! - so we can wait - again! - for the IRS to send a check for the two years that we waited to file taxes for. Our landlord is waiting another month, maybe two, to evict us. I’m waiting for Josh to stop being the weird person he’s been the last couple years, and Josh is waiting for me to magically like him again. Tiny isn’t waiting for anything and is chugging right along to her approaching third birthday.

There is no clear moral to any of this, and no neat bow to tie off this boring story. But I know that if I wait around a little longer, it can’t be like this forever.


climbing on the x files college au train (society6)

(via scullaaay)


This is a teaser. Consider yourself teased. 

Mouth wide open

Recovery from sinus surgery is pretty damn unpleasant.

I have to mouth breathe because there are splints and blue foam tampons in my nostrils.

I have to take tiny bites of food because my mouth is also my sole means of breathing. I can’t taste what I’m eating, though I can slightly tell the difference between sweet and salty. This is probably a good sign that it won’t take weeks or months for my sense of smell and taste to return.

The pain could be worse. I feel like my nose was rearranged, but it’s not an intolerable feeling. I’ve only taken 2 pain pills, but they made me too sleepy. This wouldn’t be a problem with almost any other surgery, but with sinus surgery, I fear sleep.

I sleep in roughly 30 minute intervals. I wake up when my lips and gums and tongue are completely parched and adhering to each other. I take a tiny sip of ice water and roll it around my mouth, and fall back asleep for another roughly 30 minutes. Repeat until my body allows me to stay awake.

Monday, the splints and packing will come out, though I’ve read that the unpacking can be quite unpleasant and possibly a bloody mess that will require immediate repacking. I might need to take a pain pill before the appointment.

I’ve sneezed 4 times today, I think because my nosebleed has mostly stopped and the tampons are drying out and tickling my nose. The quivering, uncertain moments just before the sneeze are terrifying. But I keep my mouth wide open during the sneezes, as I was instructed, and they don’t hurt. I laughed kind of hard last night and it was painful, so only mild humor from here on out.

My brother is waiting to see how my sinus surgery turns out before he looks into getting his own fixed. I told him to just try using a sinus rinse first, to see if it solves his problems. “The only thing I fear more than sinus surgery is a sinus rinse,” he said. Pfft. The rinses are the easy part! I’m going to avoid talking to him until I’m in a better frame of mind. I don’t yet know how much this is going to help me and my animal brain is still telling me that this was a huge mistake.

Sinus rinses will be part of my daily treatment for at least a year post surgery, and possibly forever. I don’t mind, though, if the surgery is effective. Sinus rinses helped me function the last couple months in a way that Mucinex D, ibuprofen, and Zyrtec couldn’t.

Tiny is stressed. I hope as I feel better, she relaxes a little. Her entire routine has been upended, and she’s pretty exhausted. I wish I could do more.

My nose looks ridiculous. It’s not at all my slender, defined nose. Someone swapped a wide, pugnacious nose onto my face, and I don’t remember consenting to that.

For now, I’m dreaming of a time when I can breathe out of my nose again, a life without daily sinus headaches and frequent migraines, and a nap with my mouth closed. I’m also wondering why anyone would subject themselves to this for purely cosmetic reasons.