“Dogs are not kids.”

Becoming a mom has definitely changed me.  I’ve never been a kid person.   But my kid is fucking awesome!  

And now I am noticing something I hadn’t really noticed until I started posting on social media and reading comments on articles online; when the topic of kids comes up, it’s amazing how many people are hateful about children!

This morning, I saw this article on things parents shouldn’t say to non-parents.  If you don’t wanna read the whole thing, I’ll just outline the points.

1) “Dogs are not Kids”- based on the premise that the people that always compare their pets to our kids actually do know this.

2) “You think you’re [insert anything here]? Try having kids!”  Okay, I get what they’re saying about playing down others’ feelings, but if I’m exhausted from being up with my sick child, I don’t wanna hear about your post bar-hopping hangover woes.

3. “Don’t worry, when you have kids you’ll…”  Firstly, the author is insulted that parents assume everyone wants kids.  I definitely agree that’s not the case, and it does sound a bit condescending…

4. “Is the party kid-friendly?”  I don’t see what the big deal is with this one.  The author posits that unless you and your friend have a tacit understanding that your kids are always welcomed, you should assume they’re not.  I personally think it should be the other way around.  You call yourself my friend?  Then you’ll know chances are that I prefer to do things with my husband and child rather than without.  Common sense.  At any rate, why should even asking this question be discouraged?  By being insulted by the mere question, you’re just opening the door for miscommunication.

5. “My life didn’t have meaning before I had kids!”  The author seems to assume this statement of personal feeling implies something about their life without children.  To which I say, if that’s how you feel, the problem is with you, not me!  I have not ever personally uttered this phrase because I don’t feel my life was meaningless before, just that it has more meaning now.  But if I was to say it to a non-parent, it would not be to infer that I think their life is consequently meaningless, it would just be a statement of how I felt.

A couple of weeks ago I ran across a question on Yahoo! Answers asking people what they thought of a restaurant that banned kids under 18 (not a bar, a restaurant.)  Almost without exception, the “answerers” were either under eighteens who felt this was insulting and discriminatory, and responses like “This is a great idea!,” full of inferences that if a person had an upset toddler they couldn’t possibly  be a good parent.  Let me tell you guys a secret…

I used to feel this way. 

But– and you may not want to hear it– this IS one thing you can not know until you have your own kid… no matter what you think you’d do, or how you “plan” to be with your kids (should you wish to have them,) it is subject to change; you never really know what you’ll feel comfortable doing until you have to do it.  I always thought if my kid acted up, I’d just bust her ass the way my mom did my sis and I when we were kids.  We aren’t “emotionally scarred” (not much anyway.lol.)  But now that I have a daughter, I find myself loath to lay a hand on her in anger.  It’s just not how I want our relationship to be.  I’m not the same disdainful towards kids person I was before.  

And the fact is that some people seem to forget that children are people too.  They have feelings and thoughts and needs, and often not the maturity to frame them properly.  And yet, by the way some adults behave, that sometimes never changes.  Some people forget that they were kids once too.

At any rate, where’s the list of things that childless people shouldn’t say to parents, like telling us how to raise/discipline our kids, and or (#1) comparing their dog to our kids?  My cats and dogs have always been like family to me, my furry kids.  But…they do not require the same time, attention, or responsibility as a real child.  Deal with it.

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Ha! Joke’s on you! My kid already knows how to swear!

  • Parents (meddlesomeness.wordpress.com)
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On Birthday and Mother’s Day Wishes…

First, let me take a minute to wish all my fellow okaasan a happy Mother’s Day.  I feel like this is acceptable.  Aside from the fact that mother’s day is essentially a Hallmark Holiday, some of you are overseas, many of you are still very new acquaintances, and none of you are my mother, thus an actual phone call may be impractical, and possibly even weird.  This may sound like a “Captain Obvious” kind of observation, but it segues nicely into my point.

Thursday was my birthday.  I got a lot of birthday love via Facebook.  My bestie took me and my family out to lunch.  My neighbor brought me fresh strawberries and a mojito.  I was frankly touched.  Even though we’ve become quite good pals lately, the fact that she thought of me even a little was pretty cool.  One of my other friends brought me a whole DQ ice cream cake on Friday (my waistline thanks you!)  I had a very lovely birthday, despite spending at least part of it in the pediatrician’s office with my daughter for a weirdly vacillating rash.

And I got a few birthday texts.  Which is cool…  Except that not a single one of my four sets of parents or three sisters actually picked up the phone to call me on my birthday.  Ironically, my Dad just called to say “Happy Mother’s Day.”  Maybe it’s easier to call on a Sunday than a Thursday?  My mom, for her part (and weirdly) wished me an early “happy birthday” when I spoke to her earlier in the week.  But why?  Was she planning on being in absentia on my actual b-day?  (Hubby seems to think she just wanted to be the very first to wish me a “happy birthday”.)

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Anyway, it’s not a huge deal, but I have to admit it’s given me pause, and once again made me consider how our ever increasing technology is changing our culture…and our manners.  Is it okay for close family to text or Facebook a birthday greeting in lieu of an actual call?  I have mixed feelings.

I wonder if everyone will mind that I have not, as of yet, made any of my Mother’s Day cards, let alone sent them.  Maybe I can just shoot my three mothers (mom, stepmom, and MIL) a text.

So, readers, just wondering your opinions on the changing times and tides of socially acceptable behavior and cultural traditions and holidays.  What are your experiences and feelings on the topics?

Three Routinely Ignored Gaming “Rules” (rated M for Mature)

*this article was originally posted on and for To the Controller! Gaming  and is being re-posted here as a re-blog.  I am the original author of this content on To the Controller! Gaming

[Hi! I’m pleased to say I have become an “official” writer for To the Controller! Gaming.  Rather than write a lengthy (read: boring) introduction of myself, let this piece serve, and if you want to know more you can visit me on my own personal blog, alienredqueen.  Okay, now on with the show!]

Every online gamer worth their salt has read the gaming etiquette rulebook- (ACK! PANIC! What??! There’s a RULEBOOK???)  Sorry, just kidding.  But there are certain etiquette guidelines that seemed to have become established alongside the growing popularity in online gaming over the years.  RPGs are no longer the bailiwick of virgin computer nerds with bad acne and a sugar addiction.   MMO communities have spawned in abundance and XBOX, PlayStation, and now Wii have long since dragged online gaming to the forefront, kicking and screaming.

More and more people are getting into online cooperative play, and naturally, anytime you have more than 4 people in one spot (even one “cyber” spot), squabbling breaks out.  What’s more, there’s an old adage that goes something like, For every action, there is an equal, but more likely ruder and wildly obscene online reaction.   I think it’s, like, Newton’s 34th law or something.

Anyone who has spent more than 2 seconds on the internet in their whole life has probably run into the issue that results from the fact that people who are assholes in life become even bigger assholes online due to the assumed anonymity of hiding behind their keyboard.  In addition, weeny little pussies who would never stand up for themselves, let alone another person, suddenly grow balls bigger than Ron Jeremy‘s and think they can trash talk to their heart’s content.

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One would think that not being rude, aggressive, or unduly obscene (I must qualify that last, because I enjoy a healthy dose of obscenity as much as the next person) would be rules that were obvious and self-evident.  Because they should be.  They are obvious.  And as such, they are of course, routinely ignored.  Losers are taunted, noobs are harangued, female gamers are harrassed, and insults are hurled.

But I will admit to my essential noobishness and say that, although I have been a gamer for many years and have tried the occasional online MMO, I just got my PS3 a couple of months ago and am pretty new to console online co-op situations.  (I know, I know.  Let me know when you’re finished laughing…)

Anyway, I was a bit surprised to discover some of the unpleasant habits that other gamers exhibited.  My game of choice right now is Resident Evil 5 (okay, let’s face it, anything from the RE franchise is always my game of choice) so I haven’t run into a lot of group situations as seen in typical RPGs like Final Fantasy and the like.  Which means I haven’t been extensively trash-talked…yet.  But I have run into quite a few “breaches of etiquette,” from here on referred to as assholery, that surprised me.  They are the following:

1) Quitting before the end of the game-

Apparently, if you search “gaming etiquette” online, I am not the first person to be dismayed, and ultimately, incon-fuckin’-venienced by some moron who either gets you repeated killed and then bails without a word or who decides, after you bang a  50+ Combo out of their head, that you are suddenly no longer worth their time.

Okay, I get it.  Shit happens and sometimes you just have to go…and if you don’t have a mic, you can’t very well tell your partner before you leave.  But you could drop them a message later on, maybe… Sorry I left you high and dry.  My kid was trying to stuff the cat in the dryer…  or whatever.  I have a kid.  I get it.

Which brings me to my next point.

2)  Headset etiquette-

Maybe you missed the segue.  That’s okay.  I don’t expect everyone to follow the convoluted brilliance that is my mind.  Rules of headset etiquette include, but are not limited to a) refraining from loud yelling or obscene language, talking to another peron in the same room while gaming, and playing loud music while on headset b) not using racial slurs c) refraining from eating crunchy food, d) trying not to over-do it on the trash talk, and lastly (and this one must be important because I have seen it more than once) e) do not tell Michael Jackson jokes

Now I and many of the people I have played with have broken many of these rules.  If I know the person well, I excuse myself, and proceed to chew my food in their ear.  I am obscene.  I am profane.  I like me that way.  If you don’t, you may politely excuse yourself (see Rule #1) and get the fuck out of my gaming session.

I also saw on one forum regarding headset etiquette, someone had added something like”And shut that f@cking crying baby up!”  Okay, assbag.  I take issue with that one.  I have a 20 month old.  They cry sometimes.  I will never, EVER yell at my kid for crying if she has a legitimate reason, especially not to appease some nasty, common sense deficient and socially stunted prick that I don’t even know.

Now, moving on…  this last one is one that most online gamers are probably familiar with.

3) Camping (specifically, ganking)

My first experience with this was in one of RE5′s DLC modes.  There are two main delineations under Versus.  One is Slayers mode, wherein you try to kill more enemies than the other players.  The other is Survivors, wherein you are trying to actually kill the other players.  At least, that was my understanding of it as described in the game menu.  Apparently I was mistaken.  I purposely chose Slayers because it was not my desire to fight against players that I don’t know in a PvP death-match.  I may seem like a confrontational person, but that’s just too much fucking stress.  I know how cut-throat people can be, and it’s not my idea of fun.

But as I was merrily running along blasting Majini with my triple barrel shotgun, I realized I was taking damage…from bullets.  I died three different times in fairly rapid succession before I realized, “Hey, these douchbags are trying to kill me!”

I suppose I should have just quit right then and there, but I decided I would dish out a nice return helping of shut the fuck up with my Magnum.  All of a sudden, as I am gunning down one of my targets from the next roof over, I hear distantly in my earpiece *chshkkkk~static crackle* “oh, okay, bitch.”

It sounded almost as if she was talking to herself or thinking out loud.  I immediately fired back, “I CAN HEAR YOU, BITCH!”  Needless to say, when no further trash-talk was forthcoming, this confirmed my suspicion that the dopey bitch had simply forgotten I could hear her.

There are many more guidelines to online gaming etiquette, but before I go, I’d like to add one that, although it may exist, I have not yet seen.  And that is this;

If you are hosting a game session, and are waiting for another specific gamer to join, for fuck’s sake, please make it a private session, instead of just repeatedly booting off random people who try to join.  I can not even say how many times I have cruised the session boards looking for a game to join, only to be tossed out on my cyber-duff because some jerk was too ignorant or lazy to make their gaming session private.  The whole purpose of those boards is for people to find someone else to play with when they want to play co-op.  You’re just being rude.

Well, I think I’ve said all I need to say for now…  At any rate, I’m almost positive I’ve said all you’re willing to read.  I will bid you adieu for now and hope to see you again (if Sean doesn’t immediately rescind my invitation to write for him, due to my horrific, yet mesmerizing command of foul language. ) Until we meet again…

To Follow or Not to Follow: A Poll

Just a kind of informal poll, for my own edification:

In the comments, you can weigh in, and feel free to elaborate if you wish.

a) Do you feel that when you

“follow” a blog, that blog/person should

“follow” you back? Do you feel insulted if they

don’t?

b) Do you feel obligated to “follow-back” when

you receive a new follower?

Thanks in advance for your time and answers.

AlienRedQueen’s Golden Rule of the Internet

I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again and know I’m not the first;

A lot of people act like complete assholes on the internet.

Perceived anonymity has endowed many people with big, brass bull balls.  Many of these people are likely timid or unimposing in their everyday lives, likely feeling “bullied” by people in their own lives, and just looking to be on the giving end for a change.  Some of these people are probably asshats in their real life as well as online.  But I’d wager that this second type is a lot less vocal about it in the normal course of their day, for fear of repercussions, such as losing their job or mate, or maybe even being punched in the face for their temerity.

“You, sir, are an Asshat!”

Which brings me to my point-  AlienRedQueen’s Golden Rule of the Internet-

Speak unto others on the web as you would speak unto their face

Sounds pretty fancy-schmancy, huh?  Not necessarily a novel concept maybe, but applicable nonetheless.  Basically, you have the right to disagree with someone.  You have the right to voice your opinion.   But choose your words carefully.  Be respectful.  Even if you don’t feel respectful.  Think, If I were standing in front of this person, who I (likely) don’t know, would I dare talk like this to them?

Because, see… I’ve calmed down a bit since I was a teen.  Well, not really calmed down, so much as reined myself in a bit.  I have a kid.  I don’t need to go to jail for popping some smart-ass in the mouth…  But not everyone has that inhibition.  Mouth off and disrespect the wrong person, in person, and you’re liable to get your ass handed to you.

Which is maybe how it should be.

 Oops.  Did I just say that?  Call the lawyers, get ready to sue.  Sorry, but some people could use a good old fashioned pop in the mouth.  Guess that makes me a bully now too.  Or just someone who is tired of people acting like total douchbags just because they can get away with  it.

In case you are wondering, this whole thing came about today because I happened to stumble onto a random YouTube video, where a flame war was raging down in the comment section.  Basically it was this one person saying uncalled for, negative things, not just about the video, but about the people who made and/or watched the video.  And I thought, here we go again.  What a bunch of idiots.  Likely, this one guy is just a young punk-ass kid who thinks he’s big medicine on the webz.  And seriously, some of the kids nowadays could probably use a swift backhand.  Maybe if their parents had given them more appropriately applied guidance and consequences, they’d not be the little douchbags they are today, in public or online.

**And just to show I’m not all bad and I’m not advocating child abuse, below is a link to an article with a point of view different from mine.  I’m not saying all kids need to be beat, but I don’t agree with no consequences (or delayed consequences or those that the child just doesn’t care about.)  When my kid does something wrong, she usually gets a time out…but apparently, even that is gauche now.  But as long as a child is not injured physically or psychologically, to each their own, all of this is a little off the topic of my Golden Rule, so:

http://earlychildcare.wordpress.com/2009/09/10/why-punishing-your-child-is-bad-and-what-to-do-instead/

Why Don’t You “Like” Me Anymore???

Facebook has ushered in a new era of expectations from our “friends.”  I’m sure I’m not the first person who has noticed the downright ridiculousness of people killing other people over an “unliked” status or a “defriending.”  And it doesn’t help that Facebook seems to be in a perpetual beta stage, always changing things, always “fixing” things, and it’s not uncommon for whole messages and notifications to just get lost in the cyber-shuffle.  I try to take Facebook interactions with a grain of salt.

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Iz on ur Facebook, hittin’ on ur girlfrienz

That said,  it’s hard not to be insulted when you know a family member or good friend has been online because they have been posting/forwarding stupid pictures and “inspirational” sayings, but they don’t respond to a message you specifically tagged them in, or bother to stop by and comment when, say, your cat dies (eh hem…)   Continue reading