Sunday, October 10, 2010

My First Persecution

Today, my daughter suffered because of who I am.

J has been best friends with B for four years. When you are 14 years old, that is a big chunk of your life. They are very, very close. This weekend, J spent the night with B at B's Nana's house (Nana is B's biological mother). B is the daughter of a lesbian couple, who are now split up (B calls the other half of that couple "Mom"), but Nana lives with her current girlfriend in a happy relationship. I know that's a lot of explaining; but it's kind of important, because it will be useful information later.

Well, apparently, today Nana decided that I am a bad role model and have poor parenting values. Because I am an open atheist and because I am in a polyamorous relationship. Apparently, J and I are corrupting B, and causing her to behave unacceptably. In other words, B does not believe in god, and it is our fault. So, she does not want J and B to spend time together anymore. Oh, and Nana apparently does not want B to grow up to accept people who live non-traditional lifestyles.

Yeah, I'm going to give you a second to process that last one. It blew my mind, too.

First of all, J didn't convert B to atheism.

When J and B first met, B already did not believe in god. She had a pretend, joke deity she called "Afro Roller Skating Jesus," but it was made up, just like other religions. The difference was, B knew this one was made up.

J did not convince B that there was no god. J and B did bond more quickly, I think, because they shared similar worldviews. It's kind of tough to find a fellow 10 year old atheist in the southern United States. So yes, J and B say things sometimes that many people would consider shocking and irreverent. I didn't have a problem with it; kids need a safe outlet for things like that. They both had problems with issues that religion caused them in their personal lives, and they needed to blow off some steam sometimes. I saw no harm in it. Nana doesn't see it that way. To paraphrase what Nana told me today, as long as B lives with her and is under 18, she is going to try to guide her to believe what they believe. No underage freethinking in the Nana household, I guess.

As for Nana disapproving of my lifestyle, that does baffle me. It's not like I scream it from the rooftops, or wear tee shirts saying "I love my girlfriend and our boyfriend" (although that would be a hilarious and awesome tee shirt). B came with us all on a day trip to a big aquarium in our area, so yeah, she is aware that I have a girlfriend and a boyfriend, but it isn't like we all stripped down and started going at it in front of everybody; to anyone seeing the group, it looked like a big group of family and friends visiting the fucking aquarium.

I'm sure Nana has never been persecuted here in the South for believing in god; but I wonder whether she has ever been persecuted for being a lesbian? Did it not bother her? Did her child suffer for it?

I wonder how she would feel if I had been the one who decided that I didn't want J to hang out with B because I felt like her lifestyle was wrong, and it might corrupt my child? I wonder how she would feel if I told her that her family was invalid because it wasn't my idea of what a family should be?

What I can't understand is how can she be so intolerant, when she lives a life that is so susceptible to discrimination and persecution as well? And why does she feel like it's fair to punish our girls for it? She isn't hurting me; I don't give a flying shitcake what she thinks of me. She's hurting my baby girl. And I do care about that. I care about that a lot. And I'm furious. She is also hurting her own baby girl, and I care about that, too. B is a great kid, and I really hate what she must be going through right now. She is going to have religion shoved down her throat horribly for a while, and she's going to be censored like crazy.

All of this makes part of me want to run and hide; change my lifestyle to be more normal, and pretend that I believe in religion just to seem normal. Maybe even go to church once in a while.

But it makes a bigger part of me want to come out to everyone, and just say "Hey. This is who I am. I'm a bisexual, polyamorous atheist with a fucking southern accent. We're a rare breed, and if you don't like it, you can kiss my deviant heathen ass!"

I won't do either of those things. I'll continue to be who I am, but keep it low key. I'll continue to raise my child to be who she is, and do my best to keep her safe while she's doing so. I'll continue to nurture her critical thinking skills, encourage her skepticism, and love her for everything she is. And all I can do is hope that's good enough.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Yes, We Can Get Along

Phil Plait himself said it at TAM 8. Don't be a dick.

I recently had a very difficult honor to fulfill. My best friend, S (you read about her here) asked me to write and deliver the eulogy for her mother. As you can imagine, I was very close to her mother. She was my Aunt D (shortened for anonymity). I loved Aunt D so much, and I am so sad that she is gone. S wanted me to do her eulogy because I knew her, and also because she enjoys my writing and felt that I could inject some humor and happiness into what was such a sad, difficult time. I did my best.

Now, as you know from reading about S, she is a believer, but now knows that I am an atheist. That has not changed our friendship one bit. She really is the best. Aunt D was also a believer, and so there was a preacher who spoke at her funeral. S made a point to tell the preacher up front that her mother's funeral was not to be made into a spectacle to further his spiritual agenda (she didn't use those words; but that's the gist of what she told him), and that if he went too long or started getting too preachy (she did not want a sermon), that she would have no problem getting up and telling him to stop (this is all what I remember; I may be embellishing. But she is a spitfire, so this isn't an exaggeration). She would have, too. He seemed to understand.

The preacher opened with a few words and a prayer. S sat between her husband and me, with his arm around her shoulders and my hand clasped in hers. I didn't bow my head for the prayer; I was reflecting on my memories of Aunt D. She was fine with that.

The singers stood and sang. Of course they were Christian songs; and it was right that they were. I sat with my best friend and held her hand through the music. The singers sang beautifully.

Then it was time for me to get up and speak. This was a difficult time for me; I was terrified that I would not memorialize Aunt D as well as I felt she deserved. I was a little afraid that I might offend some of the family by not mentioning things that they felt were important. I was afraid that I would break down and not be able to finish. But I was honored that S had asked me to do this for her, and so I stood and walked to the podium, and delivered the best eulogy that I could deliver.

I said shit a few times in the eulogy. It was intentional. S knew I was going to say it; I was saying it quoting Aunt D. You see, Aunt D was one of the very few parents of my friends who would say "shit" in front of me as a child. I always thought that was awesome, and it was something I wanted to mention. Because it was a happy memory. And it was who she was. S also wanted me to mention the phrase "dumber than owl shit," because Aunt D said that often. So I worked that in there, too. I didn't say anything about where Aunt D "was now," that she was in a "better place," or any gods or Jesus or anything spiritual. I spoke about the strong, beautiful, loving woman that I remember, and about her daughter who so lovingly and selflessly took care of her during her final days. The preacher was displeased, but he didn't show it overtly. He gave me subtle glares. As if to say with his eyes, "I know that you are not one of us; you speak of earthly things."

After I sat down, it was the preacher's turn again. He said very little about Aunt D. He gave a mini sermon. Which is the opposite of what S requested. He talked about how he knew that everyone in the room had an ultimate goal to be with God (wrong), and how Christians should not dread death, but look forward to it, because they finally get their reward. I wonder how he would have felt if a crazy psycho had broken into the funeral home at that moment and offered to give him his reward? The hypocrisy infuriates me.

He made a reference along the lines of some people believe the world was started with a big bang - and "we all know that that is a lie." When he said that, S gave my hand a squeeze, as if to say, "I know. Don't say anything. Everybody knows he is absurd." I just love her so much. Of course, I sat there respectfully. I was there for S and Aunt D. This preacher man was not going to get a rise out of me.

After it was over, almost everyone hugged me warmly and told me that they appreciated what I had said about Aunt D. Except the preacher. He gave me a cold handshake and didn't say a word.

But, there were no cross words. There was no spectacle. As much as it pained him, he did not approach me about my irreverance. And I did not approach him about his. We silently agreed to disagree, and everything remained calm.

I guess my point is, when you have people who love each other very much (such as S and me), you can have huge differences in world view, and it's okay. It doesn't have to ruin anything. And when there is someone that you just really don't like (such as preacher man and me), you can just keep your mouth shut sometimes.

Phil was right. It's best to just not be a dick.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Sorry I haven't posted in so very long; I've been staying busy. Trips with my wonderful daughter, music lessons with said daughter, new job, new hobbies, new friends, new boyfriend and girlfriend...lots of good things to take up my time. So the blog fell a bit by the wayside. I'll try to do better.

This post is about the James Randi Educational Foundation's fantastic convention in Las Vegas, Nevada, The Amazing Meeting 8 (TAM 8). My daughter, her father, his wife, and I all went this year, and we had a fantastic time.

If you don't know about jref, or TAM, click the links to see what I'm talking about. Because I'm not going to bore you with trying to explain what they do when the language on their website is so much more eloquent than anything I can say; what I'm going to post here are the highlights of the trip.
  1. Meeting wonderful, intelligent, skeptical, thinking people, like Shaune and Cindy, Kitty, many more than I can mention here. It's nice to find out you're not alone.
  2. Meeting Mr. Deity himself. I nearly died.
  3. Hearing brilliant talks and forums that inspired questions, discussions, and debates.
  4. The juggling workshop.
  5. Did I mention that I met Mr. Deity?
  6. Adam Savage signed my duct tape purse.
  7. Spending time with my incredible daughter in Vegas. We attended talks, laughed, saw the Bodies and Titanic exhibits at the Luxor, visited the Hoover Dam, had a spa day...I just really enjoyed the hell out of having such a cool getaway with her.

This may not be one of my more entertaining posts. But I wanted to share a bit about my trip, and also let everyone know that yes, I'm still alive.

More soon.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Error of My Ways

Today I had a conversation with someone who convinced me that I have been wrong. So very, very wrong.

I have re-accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior, and from here on out this will be a testament to my thankfulness for His grace and that he could forgive a sinner like me, who so callously turned her back on Him.

I am so ashamed of my falling away. I just pray that my brothers and sisters in Christ will understand and someday forgive me as He has.


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A New Random 7

They are themselves random, and they are posted at random times. This is the nature of the Random 7.
  1. Sometimes, when your uterus is falling out and your hormones are making you feel like you need to set something on fire, cookies help.
  2. Also? Beer.
  3. Sometimes, I do things that are only funny to me. I don't care whether anyone else thinks it's funny; it makes me laugh and it makes me happy. For instance (Note to my daughter: you are going to want to skip this one and go straight to #4; DO NOT READ IT AND IF YOU DO THEN YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO COMPLAIN BECAUSE I WARNED YOU), the face washing product I use looks very much like semen. Recently when I was showering with someone, I said, "Hey, look at this..." and proceeded to squirt a glop of it on my face like a money shot. I laughed and laughed. I think he was only moderately amused. Actually, I think it may have only been a pity snicker.
  4. My daughter read that last one. She would have laughed if anyone else in the world wrote it. But now she's traumatized.
  5. I have a new job and my boss is totally cool. I can say things to him that are entirely inappropriate and he just laughs at them. It is awesome.
  6. I also have a totally sexy coworker across the cubicle wall from me. He's the guy from #3.
  7. My daughter just got pissed off again because she read that one. I didn't warn her about it because I knew it wouldn't do any good.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Vive la Clichés

There are several cliché questions about atheists, some serious and some not so serious. I have to admit, I have contemplated all of these with some degree of sincerity.

  1. What do atheists say when someone sneezes?

    This one is a real dilemma for me; the standard response is that we should say "gesundheit" (German for "high health" or "good health"); but have you ever heard a girl with a southern drawl say "gesundheit?" It's quite comical. And by comical I mean horrible and really, really embarrassing. So what do I say? Honestly, it seems really stupid to me that we are expected to respond at all when someone sneezes. I mean, it's no big deal; we don't say anything when someone blows their nose. Lately I've been just staying quiet. It makes people think I'm being an ass, but really, when they say "bless you," do they really think they are preventing a demon from entering the sneezer's body? If so, who is the ass, really?

    I've recently decided that whenever someone sneezes, I'm going to start saying, "May the force be with you."

  2. When atheists are thankful for their good fortune, to whom or what are they thankful?

    This is actually a question I've seriously asked myself. I have a lot to be thankful for. I was raised in a comfortable, loving home. I have a family who loves me and each other very much. I have a fantastic, healthy, brilliant, funny, beautiful kid who completes my life. I am healthy. I am intelligent enough to earn a good living. I live in a country where there is plenty of food and clean water. I have many more things to be thankful for; too many to list here. I am thankful every day. But to whom? To what? Honestly, I don't know. I'm just thankful. I'm just thankful in general that my life is so nice. No comedy here; no real answer, either, I suppose.

  3. Where do you get your morals, if not from God?

    My vagina.

    Seriously, though. Let's list a few people who get/got their morals from their god. Fred Phelps. Osama bin Laden. Tomás de Torquemada. Now let's list a few people who get/got their morals from common sense and reason. Bill Gates. Albert Einstein. Andrew Carnegie.

    I know who I'd rather have dinner with.

    Now before any christian lurkers jump on me for saying that all religious people are homophobic, hateful, genocidal assholes, let me clarify; I'm not saying that everyone who learns their morals from religion is bad. There are obviously some very good teachings in many religions. What I'm saying is that it is not abnormal for someone who is not religious to be a good, giving, moral person. We get our morals from who we are; from evolutionary brain development; from socialization; from just knowing that it is unpleasant to be hurt, and making a conscious decision to not hurt others.

  4. Why do atheists get married?

    Fuck if I know. This one sure as hell is never going to again.

  5. What do atheists call Christmas?

    I call it Christmas.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I Am A Freak

But I totally want one of these. First thing on the list after a lottery win.


Friday, February 19, 2010

Best. Show. Ever.

I just discovered a new program on HBO that all my fellow skeptics and atheists must watch. The Ricky Gervais Show. 8:00 Central time on Friday night on HBO. Holy shit it is funny.

I'm not sure whether the actual premise of the show is skepticism (though I know that Gervais is an outspoken skeptic and atheist), but what I saw of tonight's show was basically Ricky and his sidekick mocking the shit out of another guy who kept spouting off indefensible random ideas, with no facts to back them up, treating them as "truths." I can't explain it; it was just fucking funny. Watch it. It's animated.

Oh my fucking Flying Spaghetti Monster. It is funny.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I Need Ideas

So, tomorrow is Ash Wednesday for the Catholics and various other Christian denominations. It's a day when you see random people walking around with grey stuff smudged on their foreheads and you had damned well better not mention it because boy, will they give you a go-fuck-yourself-and-die look. Not that I know this by experience or anything.

For the record, if you ever see me walking around with a big black smudge on my forehead, please wipe it off for me. I won't even complain too much if you lick your thumb first like a mom (though it won't be as effective, because everyone knows that only True Mother's Spit has the magical properties required to properly get stuff off faces).

So I was thinking. I think atheists need a special day where we walk around with some glaring abnormality and get insanely pissed off if anyone questions us about it. Maybe Open Fly Friday, or Shirt Buttoned Wrong Saturday, or Tag Out Tuesday (ooo...that last one came to me all of a sudden and it is my favorite...).

Ideas for our new special day? Do the Pastafarians already have something like this (I know; Google is my friend, but I don't really care enough to look it up).

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

One More Thing...Okay, Two.

Sorry. This Chick Tract panel made me snicker. Because you know, I'm 12.
I'm pretty sure she didn't get preggers when HG came upon her.


Oh, for the love of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, they have to be doing this on purpose.Well, if it's true that the pathway to a man's heart is through his stomach, I've got some bad news for you, Abdul.

I...I Don't Know What to Say.

Sometimes I read Chick Tracts. Because they are so awesomely bad. Badly drawn, badly conceived, badly written. And oh so hilarious. It's like a big, gooey slice of what-the-fuck??? pie.

Today I saw a new tract, hot off the press. And I have never been so disgusted in my life.

Read it here.

  1. How do they come up with this stuff? Seriously, what the fuck?
  2. Okay, so the skinwalker thing is based on a Native American legend. It's a story. It looks as if Jack and his writers think it is real. I suppose that isn't much of a stretch for someone who believes that a guy walked on water and the earth is only 6000 years old, but still. I'm floored.
  3. Let's can we insult an entire culture? Oh! Oh, oh, oh! I have a great idea! Let's demonize them in a story and explain how they will all burn eternally in hell unless they change into us!
  4. The Native American lady goes to hell at the end. Not because she shot a guy; but because she didn't kiss the haloed ass of Jesus. They just stuck the shooting of the guy in there so we wouldn't think about the fact that the children of the tribe and all the nice people in the tribe are going to hell, too. Because Jesus loves them.
  5. I can't say it enough. What. The. Fuck.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Quick Tuesday Funny

So, tonight my daughter and I were having a little talk. My life is changing now that I'm a free woman, and there are things that I will start doing that she may not want to know about. Like dating. And stuff. So, the point of the conversation was that I will not lie to her (lying is a severely punishable offense in my home); so don't ask me questions to which you do not want to know the answer.

So she asks, "Have you ever had sex for money?"

I easily and truthfully answered, "No."

"...unless you count marriage."

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Quickie Post - Question for My Male Readers

I'm just curious.

When being complimented by males over the past few years, they have referred to me as "sexy." More than one man has used this same word.

My question is, what is the distinction between "sexy" and "hot?" I can't think of a time I've ever even used the word "sexy," except to describe a singer's voice. (yes, voice. shutty.)

So okay, male readers. It's time for you to sack up and leave an answer in the comments. I know there are more of you than Dr. Kiwi and Runolfr.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Speaking from Experience

Sorry I haven't posted in a while. I'm just now recovering from the holiday whirlwind.

My cat has some issues that cause him to be prone to certain infections. They are not life-threatening, but very uncomfortable for him. As a result, I have to administer medications when he does get sick. I've put together a little quick-reference list for those who don't have experience with giving pills to cats. Enjoy.

How to Give a Cat a Pill

  1. Pick up cat and hold as you would a baby about to take a bottle. Use your forefinger and thumb to apply gentle pressure to the sides of the jaw to pry open the mouth. Be patient.
  2. Drop pill into cat’s mouth. Pay close attention to where he spits out pill as he runs away.
  3. Pick up the pill from the floor and retrieve the cat from under the living room couch. Scratch his head to calm him, and repeat steps 1 and 2.
  4. Go upstairs and get cat from under the bed, and throw away the soggy pill. Take a second pill from the bottle, and sit in bedroom floor with the cat. This time, cradle cat so that rear paws are constrained. Open cat’s mouth and drop in pill. Hold cat’s mouth closed for a few seconds.
  5. Apply pressure to the arm that was constraining the rear paws to stop the bleeding.
  6. Pick up half-dissolved pill and discard. Take another pill from bottle. Search house for cat.
  7. Call neighbor and ask him to hold the cat for you while you administer the pill. Hold cat’s mouth open with one hand and place the pill at the back of cat’s throat with the other.
  8. Clean, disinfect, and bandage neighbor’s hands. Retrieve pill remnants from his hair. Take another pill from bottle.
  9. Get cat down from curtain rod.
  10. Take cat to bedroom and gently lay on him with his face sticking out from under your armpit. Pry open cat’s mouth and drop pill in.
  11. Recover pill from under bed. Pretreat bedcover with an enzyme treatment before laundering to aid in full removal of blood stains. Drive to local clinic for stitches.
  12. Upon returning home, find a sterile eyedropper and fill with cool water. Gather cat and head to the bathroom. Find a fluffy towel, sit on floor with cat, and swaddle him in towel.
  13. Open cat’s mouth and drop pill in, followed by dropperfull of water.
  14. Retrieve cat from top of shower rod. Go ahead and flush toilet (where pill landed) and take another pill from bottle. Check scalp for bleeding; treat as necessary.
  15. Call vet to inform him that you are having issues. Hang up the phone after he tells you that the medication can be administerd by him in one dose via shot.

    IMPORTANT: Do not call your lawyer until after you return from the veterinarian’s office. If you call before leaving, the phone call is evidence of premeditation (murder one) and reduces your chances for an insanity plea.