Finished Four Horses…

A while back I posted some progress pictures of a piece of art, four Horses of the Apocalypse, I was working on for someone.  I realized today that I never posted the final product.  I was working off of a photo my mom found on the internet, but the I kind of gave myself artistic license with the colors.  XD

reproduction © alienredqueen

reproduction © alienredqueen

It turned out okay, but I am pretty critical about my artwork and I can almost always find something I could have done better.  For instance, the colors on this one aren’t blended nearly as well as  “Rosie.”   And these are just photos of a drawing (I don’t have any of that high tech scanner stuff 😉 ) but I guess as long as my mom is happy with it (and I don’t have to look at it all the time), it’s all good.

Proof of a Negative

Was out walking the dog this evening, having a perfectly respectable time meeting all the neighborhood dogs, when I was once again waylayed by the “God Girls.”   That’s what we call the Mormon missionaries that live in the apartment across the parking lot.  A new “batch” seems to rotate in and out of the apartment every six months or so.  I have been fairly successful in fending them of by simply telling them I am an atheist (which is completely true.)  The word “atheist” seems to be to them like garlic to a vampire.

But tonight, despite pulling out the atheist card, I ended up standing there for about half an hour, trying to talk to them like people instead of automatons, getting eaten up by mosquitoes while my dog alternately hopped around and whined, and gave up and sat down.   During the course of our chat, I told them my best friend was Christian and we have many good theoretical discussions.  One of the girls told me, My best friend is like you…  Like she couldn’t even say the word “atheist”, or maybe couldn’t bear to admit her best friend was…atheist.

Anyway, I almost made it away with minimal small talk when the weirder one got me with a question.  Sometimes I just am too damn friendly and like to talk too damn much, and she found my weakness and suckered me in…

She asked me, If you did believe and you could ask Jesus one thing, what would it be?   I actually had a hard time coming up with something, partly because I didn’t want them to just pick the answer to whatever I might ask out of their book. (At one point, one actually tried to read me a passage, and I said, trying not to be testy, “I can read it for myself, I just don’t believe it.”)   I think when I finally did manage to articulate it, my answer almost stumped them.   I told them about my cousin, who had been shot in the head and was brain dead until my uncle finally told the doctors to pull the plug.  I told them I’d want to know, if his soul was separate from his body, did him being brain dead mean his soul was in Heaven or that was it trapped in his body until life support was removed?  I told them I believed the soul resided in the brain, where our personality is.  In fact, maybe I did stump them because they told me they “know” God has an answer, but they never got around to telling me exactly what it was.

We spoke of many things while they tried to convince me that the happiness, the good feelings in my life, were God speaking to me.  I asked why God was always credited with the good while not responsible for the bad.

I tried to explain how I had been raised Catholic but simply couldn’t internalize it

But nothing I said really seemed to get through.  In the end they just kept going back to “testifying that they knew [this] to be true” because they could “feel” it.  It was weird, like they only had so many lines on the script before they’d recycle and start over. I’m not trying to be mean.  It’s not just because they are religious either.  I know plenty of people of faith.  But talking to these girls, it genuinely makes me a bit uncomfortable.  Part of it is because I don’t really want to give them the time and attention to “convert” me.  But it’s also because talking to them almost feels like I am talking to pod people…or Stepford wives.  I try to connect with them on a “human” level and it’s like they’re vacant behind the rhetoric. There have to be normal girls in there somewhere, right? Girls that watch TV and joke and do things besides try to peddle their God?  But when I try to draw them out, by asking their first names, (because they go by “sister- whatever- their- last- names are,”) they actually seem hesitant to tell me.  I’m not calling them sister anything.

Anyway, they are probably pretty proud of themselves because I took one of their books.  But I usually only read stuff like that so I can know what I am talking about when I wanna argue with someone.   They asked if they could come by and talk some more sometime.  I told them they were welcome to come and watch a movie with me. 🙂  Somehow I doubt they’d like my taste in films though.

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I Have a Dog!!!

Malachi is our newest addition to the family AND my newest pupil.  After passing his CGC test he will be trained to be a psychiatric service dog.

He came to us after his owner was evicted and could not care for him.  He knew we had a fondness for Malachi and offered him to us.  He came to that owner as a stray.  He is anywhere from 3-8 years old.   He is housebroken and has a very mild manner, which makes hims perfect for service work.
Yes, I am currently living two dreams right now.  I finally have the dog I have been wanting for years now, and I get to work on training him for something beyond basic obedience.  I’m feeling pretty grateful right now.

Meet Malachi

Meet Malachi

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IN which I pontificate about social activism and crabby people…

I’m tired of reading these dumb arguments. Below is a meme about the people upset about Cecil the Lion’s murder, and asking why people aren’t upset about black people being killed every day.  Really it’s the same old song and dance.  Every time people express outrage or grief about something, other people come out in droves to bitch about those people and how their priorities are all wrong…or whatever.  They’re like…grief trolls or something.  I never realized until I spent so much time on social media that “caring about something” had to be so mutually exclusive to “caring about anything else.”  Apparently, we as human beings can only care about one thing at a time, I guess.  But let’s address this particular meme for a second.
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Firstly, the above argument will fall on many a deaf ear simply because many people tend to reserve a different place of outrage for people killing innocent animals. Generally speaking, with a few exceptions, most animal aggression is out of resource guarding instinct or fear driven.  There is little malice aforethought.  You may not agree with that logic, but that’s how it shakes out. Secondly, and more specific to the contents of this meme, the 2013 FBI Uniform Crime Report, a compilation of annual crime statistics, also shows 83 percent of white victims were killed by white offenders; 90 percent of black victims were killed by black offenders. (source 1, 2)
So, playing Devil’s advocate… Do “black lives” only matter when a white person kills them? Given the ever-growing diversity in the country, when interracial crime occurs, does the crime itself or the resulting outcome of the justice system always have to be race related? How about All Lives Matter?
If you say Black Lives Matter, does that mean the rest do not?
Of course not.  *( I am not denying the existence of racism, but I do object to the significant amount of race-baiting done in politics and the media.  I only mention race at all because it is the subject of this particular meme…)
In this case, because Cecil’s life mattered, does that mean we don’t care about people killed every day, be they black, white, civilian, military, abortion, (or whatever else is a hot button issue right for someone?? )
No one can be pissed about everything, all the time; it takes a lot of energy to sustain that level of emotional involvement. Personally speaking,  the emotional toll of even seeing all the bad news online is overwhelming to me at times. Sometimes I just want to shut the computer for a few weeks… There are so many injustices in the world, why do we have to defend our outrage, give reasons why we choose our causes?  How many of these grief trolls on social media, denigrating the people who cared about the lion, doing any more for their own causes than sitting online being critical slactivists?? How about instead of fighting and criticizing one another for which cause we choose to embrace, we focus on improving the circumstances of any given cause?  Anyhow, that’s my cathartic ramble for the day.
Peace.
PS: (Also none of the people/demographics mentioned above were ever hunted by a lion with bait and a gun. Just sayin’.)

Gemmy, You’re My Bro!

Scrubs and Psych two of my favorite shows right now.

Both shows feature extremely close friendships between two male protagonists, often dabbling in behavior that seems to defy acceptable dude-code(1)(2) .  While the relationship between J.D. and Turk is certainly entertaining, though, it’s the complimentary relationship between Shawn and Gus that really amuses me.

Shawn is clever and funny, but often short-sighted (oh the irony) and narcissistic.  Gus is the responsible one, and can be stuffy at times, except for any time he sees a good-looking woman, at which point he becomes some goofball rico suave.   But he’s still my favorite. As my hubby says, Gus is one dapper motherfucker, and for some reason, I laugh every time he says “You know that’s right.”  Plus, while extremely impressive,and even enviable, Shawn’s skills of observation would often be useless without Gus’s ability to give them context with his store of practical and book knowledge.  They are peas in a pod.  Bros.

At any rate you may imagine my amusement (and secret pride) when my husband teasingly compared these bromances to my and my best friend’s behavior when we are together.  My best friend and I have “been together” since we were in fourth grade (that’s 23 years, give or take,) we’ve been through a lot, we went to school together, we got high together (we subsequently got in trouble together.)  We’ve had ups and downs, been separated by people and miles, and there is nothing we wouldn’t do for one another.

So without further ado, why my and I bestie have a chick bromance :

We tell each other the harsh truth and don’t take it personally.

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 We can disagree and even “argue…” and then we’re over it.  No drama, no grudges.

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 We’re both married but not much has changed…

BroM257cffdce208890We’re at home in one another’s homes…

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And we probably know one another better than our own spouses.

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We’re not afraid to be stupid together.

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 We respect and even compliment one another’s differences.

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 We’ve always got each other’s back.

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And we know we’ll be friends until we’re old and gray.

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Let’s Have a Gay Parade (and get off my float!)

I am actually having a really hard time with this. It seems cut and dry to me. You can believe what you want, but let others be free to live their lives.
Yet I see some of my “friends” on social media railing against the supreme court decision to legalize gay marriage on the federal level, in all states. People who I know to be basically good-hearted, decent, nice people, are spewing intolerance, claiming to stand for what’s “right.” I can handle them not agreeing with the ruling, but to actually support and/or laud others’ efforts to undermine it and keep gay people from getting married goes too far.  
Who are you to decide what’s right? Don’t tell me “God decided” because we don’t all follow your God, and marriage was around before your bible anyhow. And if you are going by your bible, are you going to ask the courts to stop granting divorces too? Because that’s also a sin according to leviticus…that and about 75 other things these same people probably routinely do, like eating pork! Quick, defend God, ask the supermarkets to stop selling pork!!
 
But I am not here to change anyone’s mind.  I actually have a question.  Basically, I am left with the question to unfriend or not to unfriend? As I said, some of these people are otherwise some of the nicest people…but the fact that they support taking away other’s rights really does not sit well with me…
Opinions? How have some of my like-minded friends handled this dilemma?

Introspection

It was recently brought to my attention that perhaps I am guilty of concerning myself too much with what happens to others…things that don’t directly affect me, I guess.  Social issues mainly.   Let me assure you, this criticism is actually something I am mulling over.  I am already fully aware I can seem angry sometimes from some of my posts.  And I AM angry.  I think sometimes I was a lot happier before I spent so much time online and became hyper-aware of how much hate there still is in this supposedly great country.  It makes me frustrated I can’t do more to change it, which is one of the reasons I write.  But I don’t think the things I am usually upset over are stupid.  Most are social issues that are farther reaching than just the impact they have on me personally.  If nothing else, this is the world my child, my daughter, must grow up in and that scares me sometimes.  The hate scares me.  The flagrant disregard for feelings and in many cases, life.  And by writing, I not only get to get some of the poison out of my system, I think deep down somewhere I can educate just ONE person, change just ONE mind.  Sometimes I write about “big” things (religion, gay rights, women’s rights, etc.)  Some times I impart info that may seem insignificant in the grand scheme of things.  It may be something as small as me trying to convince someone not to squish a spider or kill snake out of reactionary fear or revulsion.  I’m trying to effect a positive change, even a small one.  I care about these things.  And yet I DO have to pick and choose what to care too much about or else I’d go nuts (more nuts.)  Choose my battles, so to speak.

This big ass guy was sunbathing in my kid's old kiddie pool today.  He was gross as hell, but I fished him out with a stick anyway so he wouldn't drown...

This big ass guy was sunbathing in my kid’s old kiddie pool today. He was gross as hell, but I fished him out with a stick anyway so he wouldn’t drown…

Also, as much as I bitch, which I will admit is quite a bit, I do also try to put positive things out there too.  Art, for one. Fiction and poetry.  I love animals and I like to pass things on regarding animals, especially goofy cat and dog memes, because they make me smile and I want to make others smile.  I love to laugh and I love to make people laugh.

So I apologize if I seem to complain a lot.  I have always found angst and anger lubricate my writing skills a lot better than fluffy bunnies and summer breezes or whatever.  But that does not mean that is all I am.  But if it bothers you too much, you can always stop reading.  I may be sorry to see you go.  But then I’m going to go watch Scrubs and pet my cat.

Shiro makes me smile...

Shiro makes me smile…