Happy Birthday, Mom!

Nole and Yvonne Conway 1971

Today would’ve been my mother’s 77th birthday.

My mother, Nole, was an amazing and strong individual with a lot of heart, and drive. She was an awesome cook, an incredibly talented artist and crafter, had a goofy sense of humour, and was very generous to those she cared about. She survived the annihilation of her village in the Philippines by the Japanese in WWII, as well as a sexist, patriarchal, and sometimes abusive life in PI.

She came to America to wed my father in 1961 in Alabama, when it was still illegal to have an interracial marriage, but they were married by a judge and then later in a Catholic church. My mother became a US citizen and then eventually helped bring her parents and siblings to the states in the 1970s. She went to college to become a cosmetologist and worked the last 13 years of her life at a salon in JC Penny’s. The money she made was often sent back home to help her deceased brother’s children go to school.

She was diagnosed with cancer the first time in 1972, shortly after her brother passed away. She was diagnosed with cancer again in 1974 and survived both instances. In 1987 she was diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time. She fought hard and survived for 4 years, but she passed away on June 13, 1991.

My mom was an incredible person. I love her and miss her so very much every single day.

Pay Attention to Me!

hey_everybody_pay_attention_to_me

Some times people are simply desperate for attention. They’ll make comments that neither engage nor enrich a conversation, but simply to make their presence known by posting something.

Today I accidentally stumbled upon such a situation with a total stranger. To be fair, I was looking at an image of guerrilla art that was a protest. Any time you are on a page for such a topic you should expect someone, somewhere, to be verbose about their position, either for or against the protest topic. What I found was a person who apparently did not understand the point of the topic, which was a very profound in-your-face image that seemed fairly clear to me what their message was. Not so much for this other person. They were looking at it from a different perspective. I can appreciate this concept. However, their execution of expressing their position was… just plain obnoxious.

I made the mistake of engaging them in conversation, but some people aren’t looking for actual dialogue, but rather a pulpit from which to preach, be heard, and not have to answer any questions.

So, for those who might not be aware: Flooding the comments section of a photo (or status) on FB with the same message over and over again, then “like”ing your own comments, tells the world not that you have something important to say, but rather that you’re desperate to be noticed. The sad part is that what you have to say might be important and something people should pay attention to, but given human nature, we are less likely to hear it because it is poorly presented. Also, if it seems you are desperate in your need for attention people may take that as a sign that you haven’t got anything worthy to say.

Irish Sunglasses & Domestic Abuse

Domestic violence isn't funny.

A friend posted a photo of a girl with a nasty looking black eye. The caption reads, “IRISH SUNGLASSES Free pair when you forget dinner!”

My friend’s comment is “Haha :)”.

Now, I know in my heart my friend is not one in actual favor of domestic violence. This image is clearly intended as a joke. In fact, we have no real idea from what this photo was originally from. Could’ve been from a car accident, or any other kind of accident, and not remotely related to the caption.

However, that aside and taking the image as it is presented, it’s a very mixed message. What this photo is also saying is that the stereotype of a “fighting Irishman” and domestic violence are something we can laugh at. It mocks a painful reality for millions of people.

Having been one of those on the receiving end of some extreme domestic violence and currently helping a dear friend who is dealing with domestic abuse and violence, this “joke” image truly upset me.

Will we as a society ever get to the point where this is no longer funny because of the reality on which it’s based? Will we, on whole, ever condemn domestic abuse and violence rather than just sections of our society? Will we ever get to a point when we can’t believe this behaviour was ever common/acceptable/practice?

Some facts about Domestic Violence from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV)

  1. One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. [1]
  2. An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year. [2]
  3. 85% of domestic violence victims are women. [3]
  4. Historically, females have been most often victimized by someone they knew. [4]
  5. Females who are 20-24 years of age are at the greatest risk of nonfatal intimate partner violence. [5]
  6. Most cases of domestic violence are never reported to the police. [6]

For more information or to get help, please call:

The National Domestic Violence Hotline  1-800-799-7233

The National Sexual Assault Hotline 1-800-656-4673

The National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline 1-866-331-9474

Sources
1 Tjaden, Patricia & Thoennes, Nancy. National Institute of Justice and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, “Extent, Nature and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence: Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey,” (2000).
2 Costs of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women in the United States. 2003. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Centers for Injury Prevention and Control. Atlanta, GA.
3 Bureau of Justice Statistics Crime Data Brief, Intimate Partner Violence, 1993-2001, February 2003.
4 U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, “Criminal Victimization, 2005,” September 2006.
5 U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, “Intimate Partner Violence in the United States,” December 2006.
6 Frieze, I.H., Browne, A. (1989) Violence in Marriage. In L.E. Ohlin & M. H. Tonry (eds.) Family Violence. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Email – Canadian Douchebag

Hey ladies, he's single, and looking to make a terrible impression on you today!

I just had a most obnoxious email exchange on Facebook. Some creep named Steve Edward from Canada sent me a message that went from complimentary to disgusting. Apparently he didn’t bother to actually READ my profile as it’s clearly noted that I’m married. However, when I tried to give him a gentle hint, he was still clueless. So when I became more direct and blunt he turned into every woman’s “dream guy”.

Here’s what happened:

Steve Edward 1/26, 8:22pm: Wow what a very pretty lady cheers

(Because Steve Edward is not my friend, his email fell into the “other” inbox on Facebook. Despite my regular presence on FB, I did not find this email until today.)

Me 1/28, 2:39pm: Thank you. My husband agrees!

Steve Edward 1/28, 4:23pm: thanks for the message and thats funny lol, well i am steve from Canada i am single and saw your profile and got attracted to it so do you mind telling me more about your self till then hugs and kisses

Me 1/28, 4:32pm: Steve… or spambot, whichever. Did you miss the part where I mentioned I’m married? Newly married at that.

I’m deeply unfond of cluelessness. So here’s a freebie. Don’t contact me ever again or I shall report you.

Steve Edward 1/28, 4:37pm: if you are married dont contact me , you should just ignore me simple as A B C, thats how a married woman should at ,for your info ,you must be silly alling me a spam bot soon your so called husband will fuck your dirty ass up fool and go to hell

LMAO! What the f#@% is wrong with some people?

I called Chris shortly after this exchange as we had yet to settle our plans for our Date Night dinner tonight. He laughs every time one of these type of whackadoodle emails occur. He doesn’t understand why some people are so broken and f#@%ed up. To be fair, I don’t always understand either.

I love how Steve gets so indignant in the last message, you know, the one AFTER I told him NOT to contact me… he gets so indignant he can’t type then goes all ghetto and actually tells me to go to a place I don’t believe in. All I can assume is that Steve doesn’t really know how to read and he apparently likes pictures. But hey ladies! He’s single! I really can’t imagine why, such a catch! And his mother’s pride and joy!

I love sharing these emails with folks because they’re quite hilarious and almost too outrageous for one to believe. But believe it! I keep every one of these whackadoodle emails documented and on file.

Winter Solstice

Perhaps my second favorite day of the year is now upon us. I look forward to gathering with my folk and celebrating the return of the sun on this beautiful Winter Solstice.

May the sun begin to shine brightly on you this solstice and may you find peace and happiness throughout the coming year. Blessed Yule!

Winter Solstice