Writing Project, Anti-racism workshop, Knitting

I’m in the process of creating an informative post about systemic racism. It’s the first time writing something requiring time, energy, and research in a long, long time. I’m very rusty, and the energy required is great after being dormant for an extended period. Seven years? No, I did stuff like this for work, so more like nearing 5 years. Yikes.

It’s a good goal though. I want to inform, to put work out there. I know this kind of work has been done before, and I plan to utilize and compile those resources in the post I’m drafting. I know I’m not reinventing the wheel. Moreover, I’m creating one another space on the internet to amplify the voices of the marginalized. Another way of framing these issues for a white audience.

It’s going to take a while, as all good things worth reading should.


I’ll be attending an online anti-racist workshop in early January. I look forward to it because it’ll give me a chance to interact directly about the things I’ve been learning. Mostly I’ve been silently observing and absorbing, and there isn’t anyone I can really talk to about it without it being unpaid emotional labor. Don’t want that. But I do want to know more on what I could be doing personally to leap into activist mode.

Today’s entry in the #meandwhitesupremacy workbook was “You & White Silence.” I had a very good example of an issue that I don’t know how to handle, something I’m hoping this workshop will help me figure out. Silence is so easy, which is why most white people do it. Myself included. Who wants to be uncomfortable? Well, when it comes to racism, everyone needs to be uncomfortable. That shit needs to be addressed so that minoritized people don’t have to take the brunt of that discomfort/hurt/harm.


In other news, I have far too many knitting projects going on right now. Plus two crochet blankets that need to be finished. I’m working on my first knitted sweater, but I need more stitch markers because I keep misplacing the ones I have. Supposedly we’ll be making a trip to Joann tomorrow. I love that store entirely too much. It’ll be hard to resist buying yarn.

Today was my birthday. It was a pretty good one, even if nothing particularly special happened. I got chocolate fondue with strawberries, cheesecake, nilla wafers, and marshmallows. Completely decadent way to start 33. I think this year will be a good year. I think this year I’ll actually get somewhere with my life. Be more than just a stay at home mom. Can’t wait.

Questioning Myself (#meandwhitesupremacy)

I mentioned in a previous post that I am working on the #meandwhitesupremacy workbook. I’m starting Day 3 today. I just wrote all the questions into my notebook and I will begin the journal entry later when I have more time. First I wanted to write this small reflection on how I’m doing so far.

I recognize that I, along with everyone else, am socialized into white supremacist thinking. I know I’m not exempt from any of the prompts that come up. However, I feel suspicious of myself when I feel like a question doesn’t apply to me. I know my experiences are unique and that this is a possibility to me, but I wonder if I am not being super honest with myself. Or, if I just the type of person who see other people as people.

About a week ago I was sharing some very old school work with my oldest daughter and I came across some class photos. I grew up in Southern California, and the schools I attended had a diverse student population. I befriended everyone, regardless of sex or race. I never thought “I’m not going to play with that person because they’re (race) (or their skin color).” That just never occurred to me. At the same time, there were people I didn’t like, but their race/culture had nothing to do with it. People are just people.

20181209_114657909807766.jpgMy third grade class.

I did have color-blind racism inside me as I grew older. I knew people of different races had their own cultural practices, but I also have had the thoughts like “I don’t see color” (which is totally ridiculous btw because it erases the experiences of minoritzed populations).

I think this workbook is more geared towards anti-racist beginners. All these topics I have read about before, by black women, whether in articles or on Twitter. I have that knowledge under me and I think it skews my perspective on how I could be answering these questions.

Day 3 is about Tone Policing. Never in my life have I ever said to anyone “I don’t like the way you’re talking about racism” (as far as tone/rhetoric goes) and walked away. Never.(*see below) Part of that reason is because as I got older (I moved from CA when I was 9), my parents moved to predominately white communities. As I got old enough to have these conversations, they didn’t happen because I didn’t have people of other races around me. And if I did, we weren’t talking about racist issues. That is part of my white privilege: I got to avoid these conversations in my young adult life.

However, I have witnessed these things online since joining Twitter and following Black people. It is crazy the way people will talk to Black people because they dare bring up race. I try to collect my people when I can, and I definitely try to engage in those people who just don’t have enough knowledge to see how they’re upholding racist values while claiming to be non-racist. It’s hard work. People hang on real tight to their white supremacist way of thinking. It’s so deeply embedded in all of us. It’s the reason ANTI-RACISM isn’t more prevalent.

At any rate, I will have things to write about for this journal entry, but I did write “never” next to a couple of questions such as “How often have you walked away from race conversations because you didn’t approve of the tone being used?” *Never. 1. I haven’t experienced it in person, and 2. I would never think to tell someone who is talking about their terrible experience that they aren’t using the right kind of ‘civil’ talking. You think people should be civil and respectable after they get shit on? That is so ridiculous. Fucking ridiculous.


*Upon further reflection, this statement is incorrect. I do remember a distinct time where I did walk away because I didn’t like the way someone was talking about it. This occurred when Donald Trump got elected and I first started following a Black woman anti-racism activist. The details of this will go into the journal entry, but I needed to clear the air that my “never” statement is wrong.

I think it’s important to not delete this entry and keep it on record that white supremacy is embedded even in the most good-intentioned people. I knew I was right to question myself, and I’m glad I did. I’m glad to have it on record that even when I think I’m not wrong, I am. White supremacy is a hell of a thing.


I’m very tired so this will be short.

Today I had a little internet interaction that although isn’t a big deal in scope, it was a useful reminder to me of what kind of knowledge I have that other people do not. It also was a good reminder that when people get push back on their assholery, there is resistance and deflection, and I am the one to blame.

I live in a bubble. I’m home all the time, and my interactions with strangers is limited to a nod and a smile or a huff of annoyance while strolling past each other in store aisles. I don’t have a job to go to. I don’t have to interact with other people in a long term, or even short term, way. I have seconds of interaction before I return to my home and read Twitter where everyone I follow is smarter than me and already have knowledge of intersectional oppression under them.

When I wander away from my Twitter timeline or go into other social media places, I see very easily how people unwittingly uphold oppressive values. The pedantic grammar nazi is very prevalent in all comment sections, and as an anti-racist linguist with some knowledge under me, I can name the ways that these views uphold white supremacist ideals. I forget that people are quick to dismiss, deflect, victim-blame, gaslight. I need better skills to navigate such situations. When do I keep pushing, when should I stop? I stopped fairly quickly on today’s incident because I knew that anything I had to say would be quickly dismissed. Or I would get myself banned. Meh.

This is just the very beginning. I need to work on my approach. White people are fragile, and I know this, because I am not free of this fragility. I just have more information under my belt and a willingness to understand and be called out. Most people don’t have that, don’t want it, and don’t like it when it happens. Understandable, especially with an unapologetic approach. I need to think of who my audience is and what my ultimate goal is. That would be a good thing to ponder about for a while.

Writings, Notebooks, and Xmas

Last night I wrote creatively 1051 words. Terrible, awful words. Well, the words themselves were fine, but the sentences were not. That’s okay though (my current catchphrase); I have to start somewhere.

20181223_2039561633730648.jpgTonight I purchased my fancy schmancy notebook for the #meandwhitesupremacy workbook. I finished day one just now. Something I did in a few questions is to stray from the question. The idea of the book is to talk about yourself deeply, meaningfully. At one point I moved to the general. I think it was mostly a pep speech to myself to say what I should be doing. It’ll be interesting to see, as I progress, how my perspective will change on that pep speech.

It’s getting late and I should get to sleep soon. I was trying to avoid having to wrap gifts on Christmas Eve, but alas, I did not succeed. I got half the presents wrapped before today, though. So I at least did better than last year.

And because of second mom’s Christmas gift to us, we were able to gift ourselves Nintendo Classic. I am so stoked. I can’t wait to start playing. I don’t think we’ll play until Christmas day. It will be fun to get the kids into some video games. If they aren’t obsessing over their own toys anyway. I guess that gives me and hubs the opportunity to play. I think I want him to play Double Dragon with me. I loved that game. My brother and I played it a lot.

I’m so glad Christmas is here. The build up to it has been… meh. I think I’m just eager to give the kids their gifts. I’m ready for it to be here already.

To sleep I shall go then.

Been Blogging since 1999

When I was in middle school and high school, I kept an online journal. Several, really. I couldn’t decide on which site to use. First it was MyDearDiary, then DeadJournal, Xanga, GreatestJournal, LiveJournal. I had my website, which had several journals where I used wordpress and other open access blogging software. Despite not being able to settle on a location, I was fairly consistent about detailing my life. I was a teenager after all, and these were the days before social media existed and so sites like these weren’t widely read. People preferred anonymity in those days.

So I could write, in detail, the on-goings of my life. Mostly I bitched about homework, working, or whatever social drama that was happening. Nothing too deep. The occasional survey. Ok, I did lots of surveys. I liked talking about myself. But as I said, no one read it.

I forget sometimes that that sort of anonymity doesn’t really exist anymore. It does, to a certain extent, in certain corners of the internet. At any rate, this blog has some of my details on it, linked to some social media that gives a few more details about me. Yet I still sometimes write as if I am anonymous.

As such, I will undoubtedly say things that may appear performative. Or like bragging? You know, I just love to brag about my personal issues like my mental illness. WooOoOoOo. What I can tell you is that the purpose of my writing here is to write about my life. And my internet life since 1999 involves writing my diary online.

Now, I don’t get into super personal details, but I think I go a little bit further than I should. Maybe. I’m open about some things that most people think is better suited for friends or family. Well, I have few friends and I’m sorry but I’m not going to tell my husband everything. He gets most everything. He’ll probably read this and get this part of me too. I burden him with my thoughts sometimes, so I will put them here instead. You can choose to read it or not. Performing is not the purpose of this journal.

It just so happens that at this moment in my life, I’m at that awkward stage of trying to begin taking action towards anti-racism work. I think I made some good connections tonight, but time will tell on that. But part of the anti-racism work that my goal aims toward is dissemination of information. And nearly all the information I will distribute comes from Black women. It will undoubtedly be a regurgitation of information that can be googled until I can find my voice and put my own framing on these issues. This is how I learn, and this is how my writing process goes.

I don’t know why I’m taking a defensive stance on this. Probably white fragility. I’ve been accused of performing before. I was in the wrong, the way I’ve said some things, but it wasn’t in the spirit of performing. The intention was solidarity. As a white woman, I’m still trying to navigate when my solidarity needs to be in the form of silence, boosting, or new framing. I recognize that I don’t get to talk about some things because it’ll be construed as if my pale ass knows the realities of racism. I know I don’t know what that experience is like nor will I ever know. But I am still trying to figure out what is or isn’t acceptable for me to comment on. Mistakes will happen, and I will try my best to be graceful when they do.

Socializing (for once in my life)

Today has been a roller-coaster. After two nights of shitty sleep and forgetting to take my anti-depressant last night, I had a major mental illness day. I spent most of my time near the bottom, and with two little sick kiddos, it was hell. Tonight also happened to be the night of an event that I semi-helped prepare by creating the flyer and invitation. I was feeling very unmotivated to go, but I knew I would be missing out on something I really need in this moment.

I went, and I was right: I would have missed out if I had decided to stay home. It was a cosy get-together that had just enough people to feel like you’re actually connecting. I felt mildly awkward and out of place. I’m naturally the listening type, and I’m not the best initiating conversationalist. I haven’t really socialized much outside of my husband for the last several years. I’m a mess, really. But that’s not the point.

I was able to talk a little bit about what I’ve been learning, what I plan to do. I felt like I had something to say; that I am able to reproduce the knowledge I’ve been absorbing for the last year and a half.

An interesting question was proposed to me: How did I decide to take this route? (The question was worded differently but this was the general gist.) I know it was Charlottesville, but I can’t remember what I was doing just before, and who I began listening to just after.

I know the Charleston Syllabus and the New Jim Crow were first on my reading list. Two books I haven’t finished because the content is so brutal that I kept having to put it down and my library was demanding their books back. I know Ijeoma Oluo, Tressie McMillan-Cottom, and Eve Ewing were among the Black women who first held my attention. From there they suggested other Black women to follow, who suggested more… I follow a lot of Black women on Twitter. And the messages they produce are always the same – a universal Truth for Black women, with a capital T and B. I’ve been listening.

I’m going to take the time to research how I got started on this path because I think it would be a good thing to have in writing. And I’ll writing about those Truths, though I’m sure there is plenty of content out there written by Black women who have way more authority than I do to talk of such things. Here’s one Truth I’ll share:

Listen to Black Women

Planning vs Doing

Something that drives me crazy lately is how I am perpetually stuck in the planning phase. I’m comfortable in this phase. It’s nice to map out what I want to do. I’m really good at planning. One thing I love to do is pull together class schedules. I plot out my imaginary graduate itinerary, look up the textbooks for the class, see how much they cost. So many classes to take, how will I narrow it down? Many possibilities!

But wait.. what about the actual DOING?

Doing is not my strong suit. Right now. I’m stuck, and I don’t really know how to free myself. Four and a half years of being home-bound, one car, one income, no free time during hours where the doing can take place. I feel like I’m spitting out excuses. Are they? I don’t know. Other people can make it work. I just don’t know how they do it. Surely they have help, right? Or just so strong willed they power through.

Prior to kids, I was an adventurer. I loved travelling. I didn’t do it often, but if there was a Japanese band playing that I just had to see, you better believe I was there. Anime conventions where I stayed in hotel rooms with 8+, 12+ strangers (to go see a band). I loved to drive, I loved to fly. Travelling alone was no big deal.

Now I’m having to navigate the world with three people depending on me. I can’t just up and do the things I want to do when I want to do them. We have few friends who are willing to babysit, and I think we are feeling stuck that we don’t want to ask too much, too often, because we cannot compensate and that’s not really fair. I honestly don’t know what the etiquette is with friends/family babysitting. Is there one?

So I guess I was a doer, and now I’m not. I wonder if I lean too heavily on sleep deprivation being the excuse. Or depression. I swing back and forth between being able to do things for myself and feeling absolutely hopeless. My path forward is meandering so much that I’m not even sure when it’ll end. That ocean must be here somewhere. I just wanna get to that sea and chill in the waves. WAVES OF ANXIETY PROBABLY. It is grad school I strive for after all.

Anyway, my days cycle through reading books/articles, knitting, focusing on the kids, or doing nothing at all. Sometimes cleaning happens. I try to cook dinner most nights. I yearn to be better at everything. More often than not I shut down and feel like a complete failure. I’m feeling failure-y tonight. I’m not even sure why exactly.

Well, one of these days, I will do the things I plan. I want to list out my plan but I’m kind of over it. Tomorrow is a Do day.

More Writing, More Writing!

Once again I am going to make my new year’s resolution be writing everyday. I obviously have failed years prior, though I think it was 2011 I got pretty far into the year before I stopped. This time, however, I’m not going to wait until January 1st. I’m starting now. Technically earlier today because I did some writing in the morning.

I’m always wishing that I had something interesting or clever to say on twitter. I think if I spend more time writing and formulating my ideas, I can actually have those intellectual tweets. Mostly I want to put out content that informs or makes people think. Engagement is nice too, I suppose. Right now, though, I’m putting out other people’s ideas. I feel so dumb that I don’t have my own original ideas. Not that my ideas need to be completely original. I just don’t want to be a parrot. I parrot a lot right now. Meh meh meh.

As always, because this is my process, I need to come up with a LIST (shocking, I know) of things to possibly write about. I’ve had some ideas like writing about how children’s cartoons continue to perpetuate racial biases/stereotypes. This will take some time since I need to do some research as well. But that’s fine, that’s exactly how ‘original’ ideas are put out there.

Responding to articles?

I live in this weird little bubble and I want so desperately to have something to say about the world when I don’t even really interact with it. That’s why I’m failing.

The books I’m reading are interesting. I could do a book review? A list of source material to read from said books? I dunno.

A lot of this comes down to time I don’t really have, or I do have it but I don’t use it wisely. By time night comes, I am ready to be done with everything so I inebriate and spend most of my evenings not sober. Hard to put out good work when you’re not sober.

Daily ramblings, weekly essays?

I also had a comic that I started and quickly abandoned. It takes a lot of work. But I have an instagram account that for some reason a lot of Hubs’ students follow. I want to put info on there… grammar, linguistics, sociology things. Anti-racism learning. Em-dash the rabbit, informing the peoples on a variety of topics. Somehow. Hm.

I don’t want to start getting into too many projects, because every single time I do that, I fail at all of them.

I know that I am capable of building habits. I haven’t really proven that I can without extrinsic motivators. Writing has always been something to help me clear my mind and get my thoughts in order. I haven’t done it for so long that I can tell my ability to write a cohesive piece is superbly rusty. Maybe I should get a writing buddy to keep myself accountable. Or give myself homework assignments.

As I look over the list of categories I have created for this site, I see many possibilities that I forgot I had. Guess I’ll start there then.

Time to end this ramble.

It sucks being Broke

It’s amazing how much “adulting” stuff isn’t taught. It’s not intuitive. It is a skill to be a successful, independent adult. Financial literacy definitely needs to be taught in school.

My family is constantly broke. Debt has a lot to do with it (credit cards, medical, and student loans). We don’t spend money on lavish, materialistic things. Maybe the occasional video game here and there. Most of our money goes towards food. Good food. Junk food. We like our food.

Although Husband just got his raise, we have been sued for debt twice – one, I took care of with a payment arrangement, and the other I neglected. Not necessarily on purpose, but I definitely avoided it when I could have done something about it. I just kept putting it off when I did think about it, with a “I’ll do it tomorrow” mantra. Well that didn’t end well. Bye bye to 25% of our one income check that is paid once a month. It’s a lot of money. A lot.

I always make sure rent is paid. We will always have a house over our head. And, so far, I’ve managed to avoid having our power/heat turned off. Other bills sometimes fall to the wayside. We must suffer first-world-problem indignities such as no phone, no tv, no internet until such time that I can catch up.

The thing is… I THINK I know what I need to do: I need to micromanage. Watch every cent. I’m just… lazy. I don’t do routine. I suck at routine. When I am only responsible for myself, my willpower is null. Technically, though, I’m responsible for four people. I guess I should get better at that.

The worst part about being so anxiety-ridden that I didn’t take care of that lawsuit is this month, when we got the garnishment, has Husband’s birthday, my birthday, and Christmas. Luckily I have kids’ Christmas stuff all done. But it would have been nice to be able to get Hubs his gift. I don’t know what I even want for my birthday, and usually my birthday isn’t special anyways, so meh on all that. STILL THOUGH. UGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. Be an adult, me! *shakes fist*


One thing that is amazing is people’s generosity. Friends and strangers have helped our family out tremendously this month by giving monetary donations. I feel so much appreciation, so much. I can’t wait, I really really cannot wait, until we can pay it forward. And we will. I try to, when we have the extra funds, to donate to real people (as opposed to organizations, which I also do). I think when I start working again, I’ll have a separate account just to put donation money into, so that when someone is struggling as we have struggled, I can help them out. It sucks so much to be broke, poor, struggling. It feels awful. You feel like a failure. Why can’t I just make it work? Well, shit happens. We will be a fallback plan when we can. Promise promise promise.