Thursday, January 30, 2014

Rant regarding "Gay Lifestyle"

This rant was originally posted on my personal facebook page, but has been updated for this entry.

Pictured: Not a lifestyle. Just a couple.
Being gay is not a "lifestyle."

It isn't a choice.

I'm. Gay.

No, not 100%. I'm about 80%. I didn't choose to fall in love with a guy any more than I chose to fall in love with my girlfriend before him. Love isn't a choice. (nor am I complaining -- I love my husband, and am very aware of how awesome it is that he loves me, too)

A "lifestyle" is a choice. Being vegan is a lifestyle. Being a bigot is a lifestyle. Being a paleontologist is a lifestyle (for some). Being a biker is a lifestyle. Being someone who loves to wear little hats (and does) is a lifestyle.

Pictured: some people's obsession. Credit: stockxchng

Being gay is like having a great metabolism or tiny toenails or good skin or a lighter beard than the hair on your head. It's a part of you that you have no control over.

Even being Bisexual/Pansexual, you still don't. have. a. Choice. People think you have more choices, but really, no. I mean, you have a choice for who you sleep with, sure, but not who you fall in love with and want to marry. That stuff's just going to happen.

Gay people have lifestyles, like everyone else. Some revolve around their sexuality, but their sexuality itself is not a lifestyle. Hell, being married is a lifestyle. But it's no different for a straight couple than a gay couple, outside there being only one gender. 

Sure, maybe the married gay couple down the street in house 21b has a different marriage style than the heterosexual married couple in house 25a. So what? So might the other heterosexual married couple across the street in house 26. That doesn't have anything to do with their (any of these hypothetical couples') sexual preference -- it has to do with their relationship preferences.

So when you're 'disapproving' of someone being gay, you're 'disapproving' of a part of who they are just like someone who 'disapproves' of someone being black/Hispanic/Asian/First Nation/white/Italian/German/Irish/Korean/Luba/Jamaican/Maya/Cherokee/British, etc. etc. It's not racism, but these statements are equally bigoted:

"I don't approve of them being black."

"I don't approve of their [a gay person's] lifestyle [in reference to their being gay]."

Sure, you can disapprove of their actual lifestyle. Say, you don't approve of gamers or gardeners or church-goers (don't even get me started on the number of churches that are open and welcoming to gay members of the congregation). That just makes you douchey, but not necessarily bigoted (disapproving of someone's lifestyle of dog fighting or creating crush videos or participating in modern slavery would be different, obviously).

Disapproving of his wardrobe choices: personal taste. Disapproving of him being a drag queen: douchey.

Stop calling 'being gay' a 'lifestyle.' Just stop it. It's not. End rant.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Musing on the Rock-It 3.0

So, I randomly do product reviews for the fun of it. This is one of those.

I love music. Do you? Do you have a laptop with such crappy speakers that you can't hear a frelling thing? I do. I also like to listen to music while I cook, but find my headphone cord gets caught on everything (or I'm not wearing something with pockets, and keep dropping my phone). 

My friend was telling me about a new toy he got a week or so ago. It was this little thing that sticks to objects to turn them into speakers. Looks like your typical infomercial junk on the surface.

They work.

He sent me the infomercial first; then he made a video so I could hear it in action. I tried to do that, but screwed up recording and there's no chance my kids will be quiet for 30 seconds again to show you how much my door rocks.

I wanted them right away, but my husband asked a smart question when I was looking for the best price: "Do any retail stores carry it in the area?"

I went to check. I found it at Bed, Bath and Beyond, of all places, for only $9.99 on clearance. Score! Only white. Bleh! Oh, well, that was $5 cheaper than the cheapest amazon price. I could deal with it.

But then came the problem that we couldn't get up to the store to do the site-to-store thing. I figured I'd end up buying them on amazon eventually once they ran out at BB&B. Nope. I got to go up there today!

That's right, they were marked down to $4.99. So I bought two, because one of their features is the ability to 'daisy chain' them to make more sound (or play through more surfaces to get a more full sound). I was planning to spend $9.99, so $9.98 for two was an even better deal.

I figured that at worse, they'd be a fun novelty toy for the kids. At best, I could fix my laptop issue and have music for cooking. I got the best case scenario. My husband plugged one in in the car to charge a bit and then I tested it on the box it came with (good, but a little high on treble for what I like), the van windows (awesome), the van roof (also awesome), my forehead (don't judge me, you know you want to do that now -- it sounded like the music was coming from inside my nose, it was weird), etc.

When I got home, I plugged them in to charge (they start out green and turn red when fully charged, which seems weird). Once they were all charged, it was a free for all through the house. We tried everything from the TARDIS cookie jar to the refrigerator, toaster, oven, bathtub, every door I could find... you get the picture.

The kids brought me every box they had, toy bins, random toys, etc. and we had a sound experiment. No, barbies don't make good speakers. Yes, the orange crate does. Thick objects don't work well, thin, hollow objects work best. Different materials make different tones.

And the sticky pad can be wiped off with a wet finger, allowed to dry (takes 10 seconds at most) and voila. Sticky as new. That was cool to the kids, too, who thought I ruined it when I got it wet.

In the end, I found that my oven vent makes a really good speaker, and the cabinet above it makes an awesome subwoofer. Combined, they are a great stereo system, so cooking will be even more fun from now on.

The infomercial was accurate as far as I've tested it. I'm going to enjoy being a music wizard for a long time to come, I hope!

(something else I just realized after testing it on my guitar is that if I can find my audio jack adapter, I can use my acoustic-electric guitar as its own amp -- I'm so doing this as soon as I find it.)

Friday, January 3, 2014

Kidget Update January 2014

So, I haven't posted anything Mommy related in a while! For shame! As a result, I figure it's time to post an update on my kidgets.

Lilly is seven now! She's a math wiz, struggles a little with reading more due to confidence than actual ability and loves listening to me lecture on just about any science subject I can come up with. Her "most" favorite color is green (as all the colors are her favorite). Her favorite pokemon are Pikachu and Jigglypuff (which was also a hard decision, because there are SO many).

Naomi is five! She has lost two baby teeth and has a grown-up tooth partway in already! She's still a great little artist, which means that her penmanship is equal to and/or greater than her big sister's. She has calmed down a lot in the last year and seldom has the massive unpredictable meltdowns anymore. I do wish she had a volume adjuster. I don't know if she knows how to speak in a volume between whisper and shout. Her favorite color is pink, favorite pokemon are Pikachu, Jigglypuff and Meowth.

Katarina is two! When she was conceived, I wrote my first book. As a result, I wondered if she had her own little muse conceived at the same time. This kid is FULL of imagination. Since she was a tiny baby, she has engaged in imaginative play with her sisters. Instead of getting frustrated when they 'pretend' fed her, she would laugh! She acts out little stories with her toys. For her educational stuff, she can count to five:

While she is unable to tell me her favorite color or pokemon, she did climb up into my lap and tell me that she was a pikachu the other day.

My kids' current obsession is pretending that they're Team Rocket (not Kat, she's there to yell, "Oh no, Team Rocket!" and run away). They're great sisters. Sure, they have their moments where there's screams and "Naomi scratched me!" "Kat bit me!" "Lilly sat on me!" but in general, they stick up for each other (especially Kat, who never misses an opportunity to chew someone out, including me, in defense of someone else), help each other out and genuinely seem to like each other.

I'm not sure how I lucked out this much, but it's got to be the balance to their destructiveness. Last year, they broke a bassinet, an ottoman, a washing machine (tore off the metal bit that pushes the button to tell the machine the door is closed), a tree (I don't even know how), their learning tower (repeatedly -- it's pretty easy to repair), their easel, numerous dolls and to end the year, they tore the freezer door off the fridge (the metal is twisted, but I got it back to working order).

"You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have..."

Sometimes I wonder how they can be so smart and so dumb at the same time. It's fortunate that they're so darned cute.

See how nicely she cuts her cake? She will do it herself and woe to any who attempt to abrogate her.

Her feet are blurred because they are never still. I think they even move in her sleep.

Cheesy grin from my adorable stinker.

And here's the end of the post