PERHAPS WE LEARNED SOMETHING.....
…Perhaps we were only mildly entertained. Regardless, please enjoy these Reviews, Responses, Works of Fiction, and Retellings brought to you by one who hopes to someday join the ranks of those who have written something worth reading.
Also, don't forget to visit Kaylia's Official Website where you can get information about Kaylia's upcoming events, and learn more about her free lance writing and other publications.
I consider myself relatively intelligent I’m not one of those
super smart people, but when I apply myself, I can usually understand moderately
My Maifan-San, on the other hand, is all sorts of brainy
bright. Between the two of us, I think we do rather well in the cognitive
thinking parts of life.
We both went to college, (he has a masters, I muddle along
with my BA), we both value science and try to flex our critical thinking skills
on a regular basis. We read nonfiction
for crying out loud… and we enjoy it.
Ok, stage is set.
I, as a representative for Gay Central Valley, was invited
several months ago to be on the Fresno County Tobacco-Free Coalition. The goal
of the coalition seems readily apparent, but what I found fascinating was the
variety of organizations that were represented in the membership.
Fresno Child Health Disability Prevention
Fresno Housing authority
Fresno HIV Prevention Program
Fresno Dept of Public Health
Performing Above The High
CA Health Collaborative Lock It Up Project
… and more than 5 tobacco / health related organizations as
The coalition does a lot of good work, but one thing stuck
out in my mind.
At the end of the meeting, each representative is invited to
share upcoming events that their organization is running or promoting. (So, for
example, I always pitch the latest GCV events, etc).
At my first meeting, a man named Ahmad from the Fresno
County Child Health Disability Prevention Program mentioned that a car seat
inspection was coming up… a place and time where people could bring their cars and
car seats in to get a free safety check.
Gentle readers, I must admit I inwardly scoffed at this
Car seats: they come with instructions manuals. There are
only so many belts and buckles back there. How hard can it be to get them in
So, I asked: “How many people do that wrong?”
Turns out, almost 90% of the people who bring their seats
in, do it wrong.
This is a self selecting group of people who wondered if
they did it right and then bothered to show up at an event to make sure.
(What about all the snotty people like myself who assume
that a monkey could do it and never get it checked? What would our percentage
Ok… so I started thinking, Why? Well, maybe you don’t speak
the language of the instruction manual. Maybe your car sat is a hand me down
and didn’t come with an instruction manual. Maybe you are one of the millions
who doesn’t “get” written instructions anyways and has to ask the neighbor for
help when it comes to putting together particle board bookshelves. Maybe there
are other reasons too… how dare I judge?
A few months later, we got our own car seat for Baby Ella.
We installed it. We
were quite pleased with ourselves.
But… we decided that it couldn’t hurt to have it double
checked. I mean, it is our infant we are talking about. Well worth the time and
hassle to double check, right? I was pretty confident we had done it right, but
hey… I’m a responsible member of society, why not get it checked.
There weren't any events coming up that we could get to
before she is scheduled to arrive… so we contacted the CHP (who also does the
checks one day a week) and AAA, who –since we are members- does it any day and
And… we had done it wrong.
We are now part of the 90%.
Apparently, the instruction manuals can be misleading.
Apparently we are not alone in making the mistake of using all the belts and buckles
and hooks and what not.
The AAA people were very nice about it, the whole process
took less than 15 minutes, and they didn’t mock us.
But I’m still embarrassed… Embarrassed that I judged so
harshly, that I assumed that book smarts and a college education allowed me to
have practical world knowledge that I lacked, embarrassed that even having been
told “lots of people do it wrong” we did it wrong.
Embarrassed, but thankful.
Thankful that we were able to get it checked, thankful that
we were able to fix it. Thankful that now we know we have made her car seat as
safe as possible.
Hey... I might not be as smart as I thought I was... but I do tend to learn from my mistakes and missteps... and that should count for something, right?
Information about where you can get your car seat
checked (and I highly recommend it), can be found here.
Prepping for date night: Nice dress: Checkc. Nice undies: Check. Hair all nice (even with a sparkly head band thing): Check. Lipstick: Check. Perfume: Check. Fancy purse: Check. Sexy shoes: No... Cute shoes? No. Comfy shoes? Well, sort of... Flip flops it is. Oh well.
There are a lot of things they don't tell you about being pregnant.
ever suddenly realized that the way you saw yourself, the way you explained
yourself and your actions to yourself… isn’t accurate anymore.
I don’t mean
you look in the mirror and think “Wow, when did I get so old?” or eat cabbage
for the first time since you were force fed it as a child and realize that you
actually don’t mind it.
I mean you
justify an action based on a personality trait only to have someone point out
that you lack that particular personality trait.
looking at purses the other day with a friend and she pointed out a slightly
colorful purse / backpack…. While I had migrated over to the plain brown purse
/ backpack. “Nah,” I explained, “I
always like my purse or whatever to be as unnoticeable as possible.”
before thinking I launched into an explanation that was so ingrained it took no
thought, “Riding the bus, being out in public, I am just more comfortable with
not being flashy, with trying to just coast a bit under the radar.”
true. When I pick out my clothes, when I pick out my accessories, I do tend to
go for the simple tones, the not too noticeable colors, the solids, the muted
or at the very least the unimaginative. Unless,
of course I want to be noticed… buying a dress to raise eyebrows is one thing,
but most of my clothes, shoes, bags, etc fall more into the “nothing special to
see here, move along, look at someone else” category.
And it has
been that way for as long as I can remember.
because I know that people tend to remember me, especially once I open my
mouth, no matter what I am wearing.
... or I get on the microphone...
I did used to ride the bus, take the train, walk alone in neighborhoods not
known for their safety… and blending into the background is an important skill.
I have been mugged, several times, and I have been hassled, hit on, bothered,
followed, and yes, even stalked. And yes, I have written controversial essays, letters, articles, etc. I have protested and been on the news and on the radio, and on the microphone in front of cameras being loud, being proud, being counter-culture. Yes, the ability to climb down from the stage, pull on a hoodie and simple fade into the masses and not get recognized as the girl who was throwing paint or outrunning the cops is a useful skill. So, my desire to blend into the background
unless I chose to open my big mouth and get noticed is partly a survival
technique and partly a way to deal with being shy.
yes, I am, I can be, very shy. I get very nervous in some social situations..
not all, but if there are new people, or even people I don’t know well, or even the
chance for people I don’t know to be anywhere nearby, I wrestle with anxiety.
And part of how I deal
with this sometimes crippling, fear is by controlling my outfit… controlling the
persona I will be presenting. I strive to find an outfit that won’t really be
noticed (it can’t be mocked if it isn’t noticed), that won’t draw attention.
Maifan-San can tell how nervous I am before a social event based on how many
times I change my clothes, trying to find that perfect outfit that says “I’m a
nice person, but ignore me until I talk to you.”
to be fair, like a lot of other shy people, I often overcompensate for my
shyness by being overly talkative and loud…. Alcohol helps, but that is a whole
other blog post.)
Anyway. So yes,
I prefer to blend in, to not catch anyone’s eye and I figured the conversation
in the purse department was over.
But my dear
friend is a skeptic (that’s actually how we met, at a Skeptics Brunch) and she
pushed me: “How much blending in do you do with that rainbow bracelet on your wrist?”
right. I proudly wear my rainbow bracelet (from the Rainbow Delegation) to show
my support for the LGBT+ community. I get asked about it a lot and I have no
qualms explaining to people, even crazy scary bigoted people, what it means and
why I wear it.
It is a bit
of a rainbow target on my arm, it has gotten me yelled at, drenched in water,
glared at, and lectured to. But I insist on wearing it…. Because it is
important for me to face that anxiety and deal with it.
liberal guilt doesn’t let me pass as “normal” or “straight” or “uninvolved” if
I can help it.
be honest… I hardly ride the bus anymore, I am not out in public alone all that
often, and I don’t walk in dangerous neighborhoods. My lifestyle has
changed… and with it a few of my fashion and accessory choices as well.
I could probably pull off carrying a multi colored purse or backpack. Or
wearing flip flops with a bit of sparkle
to them. Or buying shirts that are slightly bright and not all mostly black or
dark blue. Or wearing that hand me down maternity dress that has the bright
floral print on it.
But … but… I
don’t want to.
There's a little bit of color in there....
And if my
reason for not wanting to wear bright colors and interesting clothes started from a place of safety and a desire to not be
noticed, it has now become such a part of me that despite my safety not being
as much of an issue, (I do still get hate mail) I still prefer boring muted colors and solids.
personality trait might not be the same one I thought it was, but the results are.
had to shrug at my friend, raise my rainbow bracelet and admit that I just didn’t
like the colorful bag as much as the plain brown one.
And you know
what? I think that’s ok. I think it’s ok to prefer boring clothes and accessories.
I don’t think I need to trot out the whole safety thing… I can just prefer
black over bright and call it a day.
it doesn’t matter why my wardrobe suffers from what my sister calls “a sever
lack of color, style, or attitude” or what a college friend termed “the irony
of an interesting person dressing in the most uninterestingly way possible.”
doesn’t matter, I don’t have to justify it. I can just acknowledge my preferences
and enjoy my blandness.
The to-do list is getting done, which is a bit of a relief,
however there is just always more… sometimes I feel like one of those hamsters on
those little wheels.
Anyway, the pregnancy is progressing nicely. I’m huge and I
feel like I get bigger every day. My maternity clothes are starting to not fit,
oh, who am I kidding. They stopped fitting last week. Huzzah for being frumpy
at home alone!
I felt my first BH contraction the other night… it ws sort
of a relief to have felt it since statiscally women can start to feel them as
early as 34 weeks and here I am almost 38 with nothing. But then, during the
Batman movie date, I felt a cramp that stayed, my tummy got hard as a rock, and
I thought “Oh! Yay!”
That thought was followed almost immediately by “And now I
have to go pee… again….”
Oh the delights of pregnancy! Still though, I have a feeling I am going to