The Difference Between Ignorance and Stupidity

The last time I really wrote something (other than my books from 2017), I mentioned that I had endometriosis. I gave the smallest bit of background for my story. I’m still finding out other bits of my story. For just a general overview, it was mainly the incoherent ramblings of going through Lupron. It think it is time to talk more about my story.

Because of my endometriosis, I have had to modify my diet. This means I can’t have caffeinated coffee, excessive sugar (though not that much of an issue anymore),  or fried things. Both of these things have made up a majority of my diet for years. I’ve drunk coffee for the longest time. I remember going to my grandparent’s house drinking a small cup of coffee a couple of times a year. I live in America, where fast food is plentiful and mostly fried. In 2016, I remember having a harder time eating and drinking on trips for (to me) no apparent reasons. I haven’t gone gluten-free or vegan because these things don’t really mess me up.

In high school, I lived in the South. For Northerners (or Westerners who don’t know), fried chicken is an acceptable meal for breakfast. Especially for school breakfasts. I ate fried chicken biscuits whenever they were available in high school (because the other options were shaky). During those days, I would have a horrible feeling in the bottom of my stomach. This is where the title of this blog comes from. I was ignorant that something was wrong in my body. Was I stupid? No. I wasn’t informed.

A major rabbit trail: Fast food does not cater to those with diets like mine (even though I know my “diet” isn’t that hard). I avoid red meat when I can in fast food in addition to the fried thing. I have a list on my phone that ranks the best options to the worst made at on of the latest encounters at bad fast food. It  factors things like: grilled chicken, side options, and drink options.

Anyway, back to ignorance vs. stupidity. On Sunday, I drank caffeinated coffee because the place I went ran out of decaf and it’s that or soda or bottled water, and I wanted to play a stupid games to win stupid prizes. It made me flashback to high school and eating those stupid fried chicken biscuits.  My first thought was honestly shame. I thought, How dare you eat those fried chicken biscuits. They were the source of so much pain. How stupid could you have been? I have the same thoughts when thinking about eating fried pickles or ordering any drink with any “processed” sugar. After I lecture myself for a long time in my own mind, I have to remind myself that I wasn’t being stupid. I was in the beginning stages of an awful disease that wasn’t going to manifest itself for another 10 years.

It’s Kind Of Like Voldemort

“Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself.” -JK Rowling via Dumbledore

Three months ago, I went into surgery for ovarian cysts. I was diagnosed with them in March. However, I came out of surgery with no cysts but a diagnosis of endometriosis (from here on out referred as just endo). It took a few days to come down from the medication for me to fully sit up a computer to Google my new found buddy.

Until that day three months ago, I’d never heard of endo. It sounded like a disease that no one else had or was extremely rare. I was surprised to find out that 1 in 10 women had it. I’ve been quite open with my diagnosis of endo and am surprised how many women I know have it. Even the women who don’t have it know of at least one women who fights the fight. It’s little wonder when some women’s diseases are more unmentionable than other women’s disease. Endo is one of the harder ones to talk about to some people because even though I know I’m talking to adults, you never know how they are going to react.

For those who don’t know, a 18 minute overview:

A big barrier of thought was the incurable part. I’m currently taking Lupron which induces menopause which is a temporary fix. After I’m securely in menopause, I’m going to be taking hormones that keep my body in a state of menopause until the time has come for me to come out of menopause. This is one of the treatments talked about in the video. But, I know this won’t cure me. Even if I have to get a hysterectomy, it won’t cure me. The scariest part of this entire ordeal is the not knowing when I’m getting out of menopause. It’s also knowing that several of my dear friends will get pregnant during this hiatus in my uterus, and even though I love them dearly, it will still hurt.

Back to Voldemort for a second. The quote at the top of the page was one of the first coherent thoughts that I had after my surgery. It was my first rambling. The fear of naming the disease was never a thought in my mind. I wasn’t going to be held in fear of a name on a piece of paper. I’m not saying that I’m over the fear of all of the unknowns with this disease. They scare me. I have a list on my phone on why it’s okay at this moment for me to have this disease, just for the affirmation that at this point in my life I will survive. But even if that list needs to change, I will not let the name of endometriosis scare me.

For the Courage of Those From Bergerac

I have been meaning to write this several times. Mostly when I am nowhere near a computer. I am not physically perfect. Now, I have never been “physically perfect” in any definition of the phrase. In the past year, I have become more “socially acceptable” I guess you could say, but the amount of curves I have is not the thing I am self-conscious about. For the past six or seven years, I have avoided eye contact as much as possible. Most people took it as a mark of shyness (maybe) or even a lack of confidence (in the worst of times, this could also be said as true). At these times, I want to draw strength from the greatest misfit of all…the great Cyrano de Bergerac.

I had been wanting to talk/write about Cyrano for a while now, but I never had time. Last year, I saw the same production of the play about six times (I currently usher at a playhouse Cyrano de Bergerac was one of the plays). It gave me plenty thoughts on the subjects. Mainly about love and the characters and how is it possible for words to be held down by gravity. In January, I was diagnosed with an eye condition that made one of my eyes not dilate as much as the other (also it an eye condition that is normally found in people a lot older than me). This lead to that eye being dilated for the entire month of February. Needless to say, I felt like a freak. I felt like people would care about something as simple as two eyes not being the same size. I know that they don’t care as much as I think they care, but that is not how I feel. I feel like the anomaly (no matter how small) is the only thing that people can see.

I wish I was as clever as Cyrano. Or at least as good at poetry. Cyrano has had years to work on his confidence (or panache) from the constant comments on his nose. By the time we see him in the play, he is about middle-aged. So, he is in his regular routine. Someone makes a comment on his nose, and he either insults or kills them. Now, I don’t want to take it to that extreme. I just want to have the ability to walk around with the thing that makes me special without having that thing control my intentions. I want to let everyone know that I can look people into the eye now. It was probably stupid to avoid eye contact as much as I did (to be honest I thought I had a cooler condition and should have given more eye contact). He just seems so confident even though you know it hides all of the emotional scars from his family life and “dating” life. He lives for the fight which is something I never hope to have to do. Even though both of these things are there, he has courage to even walk the streets even if he knows people will talk about his nose. I think that is why he becomes such a good sword fighter. If they talk about my fighting, they won’t talk about my nose. If they talk about my work, they won’t have time to look deep enough into my eyes to see the problem.

I have talk to about three people this year about how I feel about my eyes. They are probably all bored of hearing about how they hurt and all of the implications. I just needed to write this to get it out there. By the way, I am going to try live my life with no intentions of being killed by a log to the head.

Escapism, Free-will, and Control Within Dollhouse

(Since Dollhouse is a fairly recent show with a cult following, I would like to put a disclaimer of spoiler alert before this blog post. Thank you.)

FOX's Dollhouse

FOX’s Dollhouse

I signed up for a free one month trial of Netflix which is quickly coming towards an end. Yet through this free trial, I have been able to watch a couple of shows that I have been wanting to watch but have not been able to. One of these shows was Dollhouse. The main concept of the show was there were people who would give five year of their lives away to a company, and these people were called Actives or “dolls.” The “dolls” were put on assignments for various reasons. Throughout its two season run, it had themes of escapism, free-will,and control.

The Actives came to the Dollhouse to escape. Anthony/Victor had PTSD, and Madeline/November had a child die. Caroline/Echo was sort of escaping but forced whereas Priya/Sierra, in being plain forced, was given the escape which made her better. The contract was for five years. For five years, a “doll” could escape all of the terrible things that were happening. The rich came to the Dollhouse for escape as well. Besides the people who came for pure pleasure, there were a couple of people who came because they wanted a loved one back. The pain of living without the loved one, both times a wife, was too great. A wealthy woman escaped death through using Echo’s body, even though it was a temporary escape. Unfortunately, the “doll state” was not all that it was meant to be, and the Actives themselves want to escape once they want to retain their free-will.

As stated above, most of the Actives come to the Dollhouse through free-will because of the escape. Yet once in the Dollhouse, all free-will was lost to the Actives,even though they were less successful with some “dolls.” In order to have all of the “imprints” to run correctly, all of the personality was taken out of the Active. Unfortunately, it well know that the “dolls” do not have free-will. This is why Priya/Sierra was sent to the Dollhouse in the first place. The man who sent her there knew that she would not be allowed to say no. He could order her to do whatever, and she would say yes. That is until the programmer “imprints” her with a personality with plenty of free-will and perhaps too much free-will. There was a person put in charge of arranging the engagements, and there was another who balanced the free-will within the Active during engagements. Though within the context of the system, the people running the Dollhouse had to run in the perimeters of the system of the company.

This leads to the themes of control. The Actives themselves are not in control of their own future. That is given to the people who arrange engagements and form the personalities for engagements. These people use the control to help the clients have nice experiences. Yet, the caretakers of the “dolls” are not totally in control themselves. Through threats of execution and firing, the executives control the houses to do their bidding. Since there is not one central Dollhouse, the executives use the Cloud, even before the Cloud was a thing, to “imprint” themselves all throughout the world. Here is where the spoiler alert comes into play. Boyd, the at first handler then head of security for LA then co-founder of the company, manipulates the people around him to bring his “family” to Arizona. He uses his control of the situations to make people all around the world to do his bidding. He causes the end of civilization for a while because of the way he controls the technology.

In its full run, Dollhouse established a believable universe that could be a warning for us today. It was a brief star on the radar that showed the inner-workings of an elaborate corporation that gave people escape while stripping free-will that wanted control.

State of the Blog

I have a case of writer’s block so let’s see how this goes. I know the cause of the writer’s block, but I believe that it comes from something more. I have too many ideas that seem too simple with plans that are too complex. I just want to ramble I guess. Mainly, this will be about the state of “Ramblings.”

I started this blog to give myself a voice. I did not really have one when I first started two years ago. I nearly abandoned this entire blog before I even actually started. I created the blog from an account that was created for a class for school. Assignments were uploaded to the blog, and the link was sent to the professor. As stated earlier, I nearly did not even really start to blog. “Ramblings of the Random” just sat on the WordPress site. It was not until a series of unfortunate events happened where I needed an outlet such as a blog. That is why I challenged myself this year. It was the knowledge of the need of getting my voice out of my head and into the world.

There are several ideas in the works. There may be too many ideas in the works. There seems not to be enough time or effort to make anything a reality. Last September, there seemed to be limitless inspiration. Okay, there were some limits to inspiration, but spiders don’t appear in my bathroom all of the time right next to my brother’s chemistry notes. I really want to talk about Doctor Who and Pinterest and my regular writing method and Dollhouse, but lately it has been a whole lot of “I can do that tomorrow.” Tomorrow ended up being today. So, there are some plans for the near future. I still feel the need to write. Even writing quick little things help to remind me that I am capable. It also helps my procrastination skills to remain the Queen of Procrastination. Okay, I have said my peace.

Disney: The Original Fandom

So recently, I have been browsing on Pinterest about Frozen and its growing fandom. Somewhere, someone asked the question about Frozen being the first Disney movie with its own fandom. Yet, somewhere lies to the realization that Disney actually perfected fandom before fandom was probably a word. Walt Disney intentionally put his company on the track of becoming this fandom whereas some people created pieces and could care less about them (I am looking at you Arthur Conan Doyle.) Fandom has been systematically arranged and perfected by the Disney corporation. This formula has gone on to inspire the next generations which consists of popularity, emotional damage, fanwork, and shipping.

Even cult fandoms have marginal popularity. Disney is extremely popular. It is the first fandom to get an amusement part. Disneyland laid the foundation for all other parks to be made. Universal Studios would have existed along with The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, but both projects would have contained a higher risk of failure with no precedent. The sheer popularity of Disneyland gave the founders of Universal a way for themselves to make as much money as the Disney Corporation. Along with the popularity of the brand, Disney has created sub-fandoms. Frozen, The Lion King, and the Disney Princess brand are all sorts of sub-fandoms created by Disney. Disney has had movies so popular that the movies have become Broadway musicals. In addition to the sub-fandoms created by Disney, there are sub-fandoms which have been acquired by Disney including Marvel’s Avengers and Star Wars. Foreign companies use Disney as a distributor of film. Studio Ghibli has given Disney exclusive distribution rights so even people those fandoms have some contribution to the Disney fandom.

What is fandom without some emotional damage? Somewhere, I know there is a better way of saying that, but at this time, the words escape me. Disney helps people feel empathy for its main characters. Of the many Disney movies, The Lion King, Bambi, and The Fox and the Hound seem to be the most relevant to this part of this post. Now that I think about it, most of the emotional damage comes from the deaths of the parents though not the only way. At least, Disney did not “kill” off a main character and wait a  couple of years to bring them back to life. In Robin Hood, Disney only waited a couple of heart-tearing moments.Yet without sorrow, there will be no opportunity for the hero to rise up. This so called emotional damage it to make the hero if not the viewer stronger. The emotional damage is there to show the journey from the mad man with a box into the hero that saves the day. Oops. Wrong fandom. But, you see how the principle permeates popular culture. Pixar/Disney created such characters that we empathize with children’s toys. The characters which Disney creates impact the lives of the people who watch the movies and provide the emotional reaction consistently throughout the movies.

Fandoms often have things re-created by the ones who love them. I am talking about fanfiction, fanart, and cosplay. I don’t read fanfiction. It is one of those things that i just don’t do. But, I know that it exists. Why and how do you know something exists without even looking for it? Because, I have looked at all of the fanart. I have looked at enough to convince me that I know there is fanfiction. I spent an entire summer looking up fanart of the Disney Princesses. I do not feel like I wasted a summer though. It was a cultural experience of sorts. I also wanted to touch on the subject of cosplay because…

ArtfulAnarchy on Devianart

ArtfulAnarchy on Devianart

And, this only one example of the countless pictures found on the web. These people replicate the costumes for the pure enjoyment of Disney. In a response to people creating their own Disney Princess dresses, the Disney Princess line was formed. This has not overpowered the grassroots of the cosplay. In this case, imitation is flattery.

Disney taught me how to ship. The word itself was created in the 1990’s, but people have been doing it forever. It is a concept as old as dirt, yet Disney perfected its selection of OTPs. Because of shipping, fanwork are created. For a recent example, the sheer number of shippers for Anna and Krisoff from Frozen. Yes, it is implied they start a relationship, but look at the fanart that even implies children:

xxMeMoRiEzxx on Devianart

xxMeMoRiEzxx on Devianart

And Elsa? Elsa gets shipped with Jack from Rise of the Guardians despite corporate boundaries. People ship Jessie with Woody totally avoiding the fact that the official OTP has her with Buzz and Woody with Bo Peep. Yet, shipping is all in the small stuff. Jessie and Woody are cowfolk. That equals that they are meant to be! That is the long and the short of it.

Though not an official indicator of a fandom, merchandise can show a fandom. Disney is the perfecter of this unofficial indicator. In addition to the amusement parks all over the world, Disney has stores where merchandise is sold. As mentioned above, the Disney Princess line came out of Disney seeing a need and filling it with merchandise. There are debates on the Internet about who should and should not be included in the line. The line is based on the most popular movies. (As a personal opinion, Pocahontas should be included in the line because she is a chief’s daughter.) That is why Eilonwy is not included and the Disney Corporation does not include animals. Otherwise, Nala would be a Disney Princess. The Disney Fairies line came about because Tinker Bell was originally included and then taken out of the Disney Princess line.

Disney is original creator of the fandom world. Some may ask the question: Why? I ask: Why not? Disney movies are targeted at children. They created the indicators of fandom subtly throughout the creation of the company. They were at the forefront of popularity with enough “emotional damage” to keep the company going. Through inspiring fanwork, Disney shipping has systematically been spread throughout the culture sometimes using merchandise.

Ramblings Discusses Areas of the Feminist Realm

Feminism is one of those nasty words that leaves a bitter taste in people’s mouths. It is the word equivalent to instant coffee. Recently, there has been a movement away from the pictures of bra burning outside of Miss. America pageants to redefining what it means to be a woman. To put it simply, feminism is the social, political, and economic equality of both genders. For further definition, here is a picture:

Yet, feminism has yet to lose its reputation as a movement that is trying to fundamentally end the masculine gender of all rights. Too many people have encountered that stereotype and accepted it as the only reality. If the was no feminism, there would be a tendency to do the opposite. The opposite of fighting is denying the rights that people have died to gain and accepting the life of a second class citizen (essentially, creating the position of a second class citizen). With feminism being such a broad topic, education, language, and “conservative” feminism are going to be discussed.

Education is one point of activism. Education is denied to many grls aroun the world. There are girls denied and scared away from getting an education. Here in the US, education is essentially taken for granted. Where it is most needed, it is denied. Recently, at least 200 girls were kidnapped. The girls were abducted from a school. How clear of a message is that against female education? The news of the girls being abducted did not even reach the general public for around two weeks with any sort of vigor. It took social media for some people to even learn about the kidnapping. The kidnapping is not the only worldwide acknowledgment of anger against the education of woman. Malala was shot in the head for wanting more than purdah. Malala is even supporting the effort to bring back the girls from their captors. Because, education is the key to freedom.

malalafund Instagram

malalafund Instagram

With education, woman can vote with knowledge in places that will allow women the right to vote. Whoever controls the mind of the women controls the mind of the country. So by controlling voting and election policies, men control women.

The language of a culture is formed by its users. Meanings of words are defined not only by the denotation (dictionary definition) but the connotation (every day use). Recently, there have movements to somewhat eliminate the stigma associated with words that put down women. My least favorite has an association to a female dog. Yes, I did not write it. In 2004, Mean Girls came out. Near the end of the movie, Tina Fey’s character is talking to the crowd of girls about the fallout of the burn book. To paraphrase, using those types of words do not give women back the power; it still gives the men the power by using those words. Personally, I believe those words cannot be redeemed. I cannot use those words every single day to change the connotation. If those words were to change, it would not happen within the female community alone. I think of the words like “geek” or “nerd.” Both of these words have had bad connotations until recently. Who made these words okay? Personally, I think hipsters had a huge part in the changing the connotation. Then, society as a whole was forced into accepting these words as a symbol of pride instead of one of shame.

Finally, we have arrived at the possibility of a “conservative” feminist. The entire phrase seems to be an oxymoron because the stereotype seems to involve more “liberal” female/male feminists. While there is a push to get women out of the house and into business, there are those who choose to stay at home. This is a woman who is often ignored because staying at home to watch children is being a bad feminist. This hit home one day during a debate at school more than a year ago. I was talking to smart, wonderful, talented women. They were saying how they did not want the title of being a feminist because they believed women were meant to stay at home. At first, I was defensive. How could they choose that life? They have options. Then after a while, I realized staying at home was an option that they could choose. It was an option that I had grown up with. Why am I shocked? Then in an unrelated incident, there was Utah mother who bought shirts from a PacSun store because the models were immodest. She was slammed on the Internet for being a prude. Someone even asked the question, “Who will the feminists defend?” There was not a lot of support for her. If feminists are fighting against the de-objectification of women, why is this wrong? Why are we not standing with her? Is it because of her views?

Feminism is wide and diverse. These are only three subjects of many. These are also the three that I feel most passionate about. Women need education around the world. I did not even begin to start talking about human trafficking (modern day slavery) which is related to education. In order for society to change, we must stop thinking of offensive words for each other. Language is a social contract. We must also start looking at situations through other people’s eyes. That is the only way society can progress.

Single Awareness Day and Other Myth

I love Valentine’s Day. I love the hearts and cuteness that happens around this time of year. This is not how I am expected to feel. It seems that I am only allowed two different opinions about Valentine’s Day. I am either supposed to be in love and excited about my significant other. Or, I am supposed to be cynical about how I am entitled to a significant other because I am a really good person. Neither are really happening. I really don’t buy into the idea that only “good” people have significant others. I do not also get the “hate” that Valentine’s Day seems to have among single people. I am also baffled by the news networks which give me advice how to “survive” Valentine’s Day. Why do I need to survive? Is it like the Hunger Games? Since when do we say this for Valentine’s Day?:

Rob van Roy

So, I was excited when I found Single Awareness Day. Yet, people really abuse that. It is the pity party thing. And, how many people do not already know that I am single? So, the excited feeling slowly turned into annoyance. Why is that big of a deal? Am I a panda living in upstate Vermont? How is this day any different than any other day of the year? Like I said above, people are taking to the Internet talking about how alone they are. Yet, I don’t take the stance that Valentine’s Day is only for romantic couples. Yeah, they get more press. In recent years, I have been showing my love for people around me because there is more love on this Earth than just romantic love. For example, going out and buying those Valentines that elementary kids give each other for my friends. (Now, whether or not I remembered to fill them out was another story.)

(Spoiler Alert: rabbit trail) Now, other myth? The friend-zone. Now, I was recently talking to someone about relationships. They were talking about how they got into their current relationship. They were friends with each other before they even considered dating each other. I also have friends who were in long-term friendships with people before they started dating. Now, these are just casual observations. I am not a relationship expert. It just seems to work better. And, this is not an excuse to be a person’s friend for favors that could happen in the future. And, it not an excuse to get mad at them  for not reciprocating feelings. No one really likes to be used like that. That is all I really want to say on the subject because I might rant.

There needs to be a makeover for Valentine’s Day.  Let us remember the true meaning of the day. There is more to be gained through Valentine’s Day than romantic affection. It is about self-love (not quite like Narcissus) and for the love of others around you. It is about giving more than taking. It is about being more than the sum of the parts of a loving community.

What Happens to the Winter Songs?

christmas-carols-christmas

The radios are completely in the Christmas swing. There is no avoiding the Christmas madness. Yet, not all of those songs are Christmas songs. Where does “Walking in a Winter Wonderland” go? Technically, there is nothing in the song about Christmas. There is dreaming by the fire, walking through the snow, and playing with a circus clown. Yet, where does it go after Christmas? It stops getting played.  I have my own list of probable reasons for this. (This excludes “My Favorite Things” which is neither a Christmas song nor winter song.)

1. The Music Industry controls the radio.

I know there is some bottom line somewhere. Someone wants to make a profit, and you cannot make a profit when in you are playing winter songs. In the new year, music companies are looking to release the first album of the year. It looks better for the artist who makes the first top 10 single of the new year. Grant it, the single will most likely be forgotten before the awards are even nominated. Yet, it looks nice for the artist for a little while. Yet, look at the profit that could be made. The artist release a Christmas album and make an album full of winter songs! This is twice the profit from one season. Also, why stop with just a Christmas album? There is at least Valentine’s Day for an album.

2. The repetition of songs would drive people crazy.

There are only so many winter songs that can be played. If the Christmas music starts on November 1, there are only so many times the radio station can play “A Marshmallow World” until someone cracks. This would call for an increase in winter songs being made. On the bright side, we can also revisit old Christmas songs. These songs are often looked over for songs which are more popular. This would be good for the mentioned above music industry. With more winter songs, there would be more potential albums for artists. Yet, we are already listening to songs on repeat for at least November and December. We could also integrate the songs about winter into the regular lineup. Also if we start playing Christmas songs later, we could stop the repetition of songs.

3. Some people do not want to be reminded that is cold outside. 

I am, of course, excluding the song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” which reminds the listener that it is cold outside. Yet, there are great summer songs, or the songs have a music video outside having fun during summer. Yet to believe that  people can have fun during winter outside Christmas, it is almost unbelievable. If we believe that Santa is on Snow Miser’s payroll, we have to believe that the Music Industry is on Heat Miser’s. Yet, there are people who do like the cold. There are winter songs which are very pleasant. Why is snow after Christmas a bad thing? Why is snow only acceptable during December? Going back to “Walking in a Winter Wonderland,” the people make a snowman and pretend to get married by it. That sounds to me more like Valentine’s Day than Christmas.

Off the top of my head, these would also be winter songs:

  • “Let It Snow”
  • “Jingle Bell”/”Jingle Bell Rock”
  • “Frosty the Snowman”