hani_backup: (DeviantArt)

Another entry at 4am something.  Unfortunately I napped a bit yesterday so my mym fault. I was doing so well staying awake since waking at 6 am until 5pm or so.

I was suppose to meet a friend again yesterday but he texted me about twenty minutes before we were suppose to meet at 6pm or so, saying he had a bad day and maybe tomorrow (today). I don't know if I'm up for it! Silly me.

I tried valerian. Hasn't worked so far. I'm watching Criminal Minds and thinking if I was kidnapped or murdered, my parents would be quite clueless about my real life and my friends and where I hang out, etc.

I would like to see Criminal Minds to feature a foreign student or adult whose parents live outside the country and focus on how the family falls apart. Sure, the show's got distant parents, drugged parents, etc. I just want to see geographically and by necessity emotionally distant parents.

 

It's been 28 days since I left.

28 Days Later.

hani_backup: (Solitutde)
Summer 2007 when my parents were still living in Romania, I visited them. We went on a road trip through some parts of Central/Eastern Europe. I had thought we only visited Krakov, Poland but apparently we also stopped in Warsaw! Wow, my memory is horrible! We also stopped in Czech Republic, Hungary and passed through Slovakia. I didn't write a lot about the history, though.

I visited Old Town Warsaw last night with a high school friend (last time we saw each other was summer 2005). No wonder it seemed familiar! We ate Polish dumplings and he saw me the Polish Mint with its fences of bullet holes. It was pretty neat.

Here's the previousy entry. (Warning: near the end it mentions my then-boyfriend.)
hani_backup: (dancing!)
I can't wait until your Gold Dust album comes out! 

I haven't bought a ticket for your concert here in Warsaw in October.  For one, not sure how to get there, for another I'll be going alone, and for third, it's before my GRE and I didn't exactly study as much as I should have and did as well as I could have for my previous GRE.

Four photos from her Gold Dust photoshoot seen here.

A teaser


Can't believe she's 49 years old!
hani_backup: (Xena - white dress)
Trivially, I miss having access to a gym. Summer 2010 I worked out several times a week, with weights mostly. The following academic year there I didn't work out much at all. The previous academic years I didn't exercise at all.

I know I lack the will-power to exercise now. I haven't done any since graduating. There have been no stretches, resistance training, warm-ups. I've done about a week's worth of warm up stretches when I had intense back pain, for rehab purposes. I did one or two days of exercises with Matt. I use the excuse of not having access to a gym, not having money for a gym membership, the cold weather, the busy schedule, not having enough sleep, to not do any serious exercise.

I know some people prefer a more spontaneous and explosive work out, such as Zumba (I believe it's like dancing?) or running outside or basketball. I wouldn't mind basketball, but I like working out in a gym, by myself. With my mp3 music. It's a time to reflect and just lose myself in the music, in the muscles, in my breath. I can be alone with a book, watching something, and my mind is somewhat quiet, but it's not quite the same.

I miss the little extra strength I had a year and a hall. That summer my digestive issues weren't as bad, either, for whatever reason. I think I had more carrots and fruits, and water. That BRITA filter saved my life. I miss having abdominal muscles that show. I do miss looking how I did when we went to Disney World...

Picture )
hani_backup: (Tori - blue)
When the tickets were released in July I bought two for Matt and myself though I didn't even know if I was still going to be in Chicago for her December 10th concert. I planned on gifting them to someone else if that happened, or putting them up for sale.

Two weeks ago I emailed the other research assistant for my study to ask if we could switch weekend days for the past weekend. I usually work Saturdays and sessions end at 1pm. Tori usually has a Meet & Greet from 2pm to 5pm prior to her concerts. I wanted to sleep in and have time to get ready to wait outside. The other R.A. said okay, but then let me know she couldn't because her schedule changed. I think because of finals.

So I go to the lab Saturday morning and upon looking up Undented's Twitter found out that there wouldn't be a M&G. :-( But I went straight to downtown Chicago nonetheless by myself. Before the concert )

We had a quick dinner at the Halsted St. Diner then went to Macy's. Bridgett and Michael met us there and we got a little lost trying to find men's leather gloves. 3rd floor - not in outerwear, redirected to the 2nd floor and got told it was on the first floor. I got Matt a Christmas gift of some rather nice leather gloves. He has a pair for his sweaty outdoor work like shoveling snow so these will be his driving gloves. I think he could have needed them that day in the morning when he drove me to the lab! After we spent some time in the Chicago Theatre lobby, we went to our separate seats.

I got a text from my former international advisor from Beloit College. This int'l advisor is a big fan of Tori Amos as well, and drove us to my first Tori Amos concert in 2007, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Tori's US tour this year was rather brief; she held no concerts in Milwaukee or Detroit like in the past. We hung out briefly while Matt and I kept her company in the souvenir line. I gave her money to buy a T-shirt for me. She wanted the scarf. We went back to our seats for the opening act, the Norweigan artist Thomas Dybdahl. He was okay but I didn't like him as much as Tori Amos's previous two opening acts.

I bought my boyfriend and I seats in a Mezzanine box. It was pretty spiffy. Lots of leg space, which is nice for his 6’5” frame. There are 6 or so people per box. Before the opening act a server (?) came in and asked if we wanted drinks. I didn’t know they did that. I already had my cranberry vodka elsewise I would’ve asked for something, ‘spensive as the drinks are. Matt and I were in box D, seats 1 and 2 so we were against the railing which was rather sweet. Something I hate about being on the floor is that near the end of concerts most people stand up and being the shortie I am, I cannot see over people's ends and that ruins my pleasure of the music. Also, in the boxes, there were a few annoying neighbors but definitely nothing as annoying as past Chicago Theatre times.

The Fab Four, the quartet, were pretty awesome. Tori Amos opened with Shattering Sea. Her setlist from Undented:

Set list )

On the Undented link there's also some videos of her performance from Chicago. I liked Suede and China from the first half but the second half I found more dynamic and familiar. I was teared up from her cover of The Cure's "Love Song." Ever since I heard a recording of her performing it several years ago in Dallas I've been in love with it. Cruel was also fantastic. And Siren. I thought some songs would be lacking without drums or something, but the cello did fantastically as the backbone. Her own performance lasted two hours which was great since her previous performance lasted 1.5 hours. I love that she ended with Big Wheel. She ended that way two years ago, too. :)

Matt rushed us out of the theatre because he thought getting out of the parking lot would be horrible. The lobby was very crowded. We had to wait for the 2nd time the elevator came down. But parking lot itself was actually quite empty. He felt a bit bad about rushing us all for nothing and that he remembered that I had wanted to spend some time hanging out at a bar afterwards and just hanging out. Oh, well.

Sunday I slept most of the day away. That was kind of nice. :D Sunday night I got a little obsessive and made 3 playlists on my iTunes, one for Milwaukee 2007's setlist, Chicago 2009's setlist and Saturday night's setlist. :D
hani_backup: (Default)
but I don't believe "bitch" is an appropriate way to address someone, especially repetitively on a public transportation. Across a bus. Very loudly.

I'm not familiar with trash-talking. I don't understand the point of it. How can people think being called "broke ass" and "fat bitch" and "ugly nigger" terms of endearment?

The high school kids were very annoying on the bus. I was glad when they left the bus, especially the male student. It was not a good way to end double volunteering/interning.


Posted via m.livejournal.com.

hani_backup: (Books first)
I'm writing this Wednesday afternoon while at one of my volunteering positions so I can type it up later. Thus far the phones have not been ringing.

Tuesday night I saw Tamora Pierce at Anderson's Bookshop in Naperville, IL. I was lucky enough to get off at 4pm. Matt drove me to the Metra stop so I could go downtown and catch another Metra from Chicago Union. I got a little lost walking from LaSalle St. Metra to Union Station in the dark and the rain. (My phone does not have a real-time updating GPS app/program.) The ticket line was long but I managed to catch the very full express BNSF to Naperville at 5:45pm. Of course I got lost again trying to find downtown Naperville. I walked a few blocks in the opposite direction before I figured it out. I got at Anderson's Bookshop at 6:50pm, about 10 minutes before the event's scheduled start. It was rather crowded. I was by myself so I got a free seat in the middle of a row of 5. Oh, sometimes there are advantages to being alone!

Tamora Pierce is so funny! I read both her personal and author LiveJournals. I guess the humor never translated that fully. (Patrick Rothfuss is an author whose humor translated well into writing. I was at his signing earlier this year, too.) We had a Q&A before the signing. Some rather hilarious answers. Soemone asked who her characters were based off, if anybody. Both males and females. She said she based Roger, Duke of Conte, off a high school boyfriend.

Pause.

"I killed him twice."

:P

She also said two characters did not end up as how she original intended. One example is Alanna who was unhappy at how her (Alanna's) future was disposed. Tamora danced around names of Alanna's romantic interests because she wanted to be spoiler-free. After her dancing-around answer she got asked by another person in the audience who she met and another person in the audience hadn't read The Lionness Quartet so Tamora told her to cover her ears. Tamora had intended Alanna to be with King Jon but being queen was a job, a diplomatic job, and Alanna highly lacked diplomacy. Tamora also talked about future works, both in the Tortall and Circle universes.

Someone also asked what made Tamora decide to write about sexuality. She said at previous readings several people came up to her and said when Kel tells Neal that in the Yamini Islands nobody cares who you sleep with (from The Protector of the Small series), it meant a lot to them. They, apparently, were crying. They felt like she, Tamora Pierce, was saying that being LGBT was okay. Tamora herself felt that two lines wasn't okay and that she needed to "step up." She had always known that Daja was a lesbian (from the Circle universe) and that Lark and Rosethorn were a couple - that flew by me completely when I read the Circle books, though I only read The Circle Opens series once. But in the small manuscript sizes of the earlier books every word counted. In The Will of the Empress she wanted to be open about Daja's sexuality but she didn't make it a big deal in the world just as it shouldn't be a big deal in our world. That exact question was percolating in my mind! I asked about parents' response. If anybody was completely fine with her strong female characters but aghast at the emergence of a lesbian character or a cross-dresser in the Beka books. (I am biased in that I automatically think anybody who approves of "strong female characters" would not be against non-heterosexual sexuality.) She said she didn't get any negative responses about that. Just a few regarding sex appearing in the Alanna series, that it appeared at all, and the violence in the Kel series. Tamora also mentioned getting kicked out of the room where one of her girls (she was a house mother) was pregnant and counting her contractions because Tamora was making her laugh and it threw off the count.

Rest of Q&A, hanging out with Kyle )
So a brief shower and hot soup, saline crackers and apple for lunch, then off to this volunteering position!
hani_backup: (Hakuna Matata)
Volunteering and working and the traveling between has been time-and-energy consuming. One of my volunteer places I volunteer on the weekend (irregular days) and I have to be there by 8:30am though I try to be there earlier.

I made a big mistake last week when I didn't recognize numbers.

But I do feel accomplished, in a way, because I've got 3 days of solo sessions under my belt, and my first day was dooing two sessions simultaneously. Yeaaah.

Matt is massaging my feet and lower leg.

He is aweosme.

Gratitudes

Oct. 1st, 2011 04:58 am
hani_backup: (Dark angel)
It's been a long while. There are so many things to be grateful for, beginning with very basic physical survival skills like having all my five senses working, even if they're not as humanly optimal as they could be. Genetics and my own shoddy taking-care-of-myself, yep. But things like being able to walk around are happy things. My body isn't (yet) at a point when I can't handle a pair of stairs if I wanted to and while I may grouse at walking 30 minutes because of bad weather or inappropriate sandals/shoes, I usually don't back away from it for physical reasons unless I'm really tired or carrying heavy things around. I can eat solid food and foods with lactose, gluten... I don't have food allergies that I know of though I should keep everything moderate. Even though I don't have insurance - scary - so far I haven't had to visit a doctor/psychiatrist or psychologist. I can think and understand most things around me, even if I am a little slow on the uptake or too literal or too scared to trust my own thinking and so ask a million questions.

Then there are the "essentials needs" like clothes, shelter, food, water. I have all this. Even when I lived by myself and had a bad diet, I still had potential and resources for a good diet. I have access to drinkable water. I am under a roof. I don't have my winter stuff with me so I'm currently freezing in this abrupt autumn, but that's because they're in storage. We'll get them next weekend, here's hoping.

Then there are the needs of touch and companionship which I do have. I don't have as many people to talk to in person as readily as when I was on campus, but I do have access to the Internet and there's the possibility of mashing schedules together to make something work. This weekend is Homecoming weekend; Matt and I are going back. Weird being an alum, still. Even though I've been withdrawn people do reach out from time to time and ask me how I'm doing, regardless if I reply immediately.

I have a part-time job of sorts (it's kind of like work for room and board) and promising volunteer experiences. Next week I meet a graduate student at University of Chicago's Human Behavioral Pharmacology Laboratory (website isn't quite up to date as the graduate student I'm to meet isn't up there) to be a volunteer research assistant, an orientation of sorts and to meet others helping with the study. I also have a volunteer orientation set at Easter Seals, though there I'm more clerical volunteer and background because I don't have the right certification or experience to be in the classroom. (I had to get a physical and background check done to volunteer with the Illinois Department Children & Family Services.)

My family, last I know, are doing okay. There was a bit of a scare earlier this week - some hospital stays - but they're better now. Oh. My eldest sister is pregnant again. I found out near the end of August so I think she's maybe...12 weeks along now? It was surprising to me because I still haven't met her first child so it seems so quick! It also hurts a bit that her daughter is growing up and going through a lot of firsts and we (her two aunts) weren't there to see them or celebrate later in person. My niece turned 2 years old recently. We're strangers to her and she to us, though we get pictures now and then and news from our parents when they visit her. A lot of my aunts and uncles and cousins are strangers to me; I suppose the cycle continues, with the continental distances.

What sucks about having (as in being diagnosed with it, not just the temporary episodes that occurs normally) depression is that no matter how many good things are going in your life, you still feel, well, depressed. I don't think it's as simple as "thinking out of it" but I hope I have enough fortitude not to continue being self-hating when I see how many people have found employment - via Facebook or alumni notices from high school or college. I know I'm capable of employment which makes it more frustrating, and I don't find jobs like customer service or dishwashing below me. And sometimes there doesn't seem to be a concrete event sparking my depression.

I know I will be a bit of an emotional mess visiting Beloit again, going by last time's visit, but hey - ballroom dance! My shoes are in storage but heh, I'm fine dancing ballroom bare-feet. There's also a possible Apple Hut visit with apple cider donuts. Yum yum.

My memory is bad and I'm still literal enough to do a list for each day and making them specific to events or revelations, so for Thursday and Friday what I remember...

Thursday, September 29
1. Got safely across the city via train and bus
2. A new system/background for doing insurance statements because the last one was a little ZOMG.
3. Pot roast! Or is it roast pot? No, it's pot roast...
4. Found some things I thought I lost
5. Made kek batik with Matt
6. Finished a freaking awesome book - The Girl With No Hands (and other tales) by Angela Slatter

Friday, September 30
1. Found out what was wrong with the fridge.
2. Meatball marinara Subway
3. Chicken for dinner and green grapes and strawberries for dessert (there were also artichokes but not a fan)
4. A great Fleet Foxes performance though some concert-goers were not courteous
5. No stress with trying to find parking or getting there and back. Whew.
6. Disney Pixar stamps.
hani_backup: (Sinfest-never love me)
How weird it is to say that...

Returning upperclassmen moved back onto Beloit College (barring RA's and OL's and other people like that) on Saturday, August 27th. I planned to visit from Saturday to Tuesday sometime. By a lucky coincidence Beth was flying into Midway, which is the closest Van Galder stop to where I was before Saturday. We planned to take the 4pm bus but we managed to meet up at the airport and take the 1:30pm bus because her flight arrived early. Joy!

I stayed with Beth the entire time. I wasn't much help with taking Beth's stuff out of storage. I am a little piddling thing. >_< And she was not on the first floor (and anyway that building had stairs leading up to the first floor). We waited until some of her other friends were free for their help with the other things. While Beth was unpacking I went to see the comedian. On the Saturday everybody else returns, there's a comedian or a hypnotist or something. They're usually college-friendly. People-friendly.

This one definitely was not. She was very crude. She was delayed and she started off with saying the Beloit downtown life was hopping, damn she got hung up on the strippers. >_< And she made fun of an international student because she didn't get a joke/looked blank. The int'l student was from Germany and the comedian said she couldn't think of a single good thing to come out of Germany, except bratwurst. She then asked the student from Germany if she liked bratwurst, but the student was vegetarian. She continued on with some jokes before she made one about CNN delays. You know, like how there's a lag between the on-site reporters and the anchorperson back on set. And she said it was like that, the lag, when she watched the German student. >_< Because it took her a while to get the joke.

I know the way I'm talking about it it doesn't sound offensive. Maybe the fact that I'm - was - an international student myself made me more sensitive to people making stereotypical jokes or those bordering on racism.

Did I mention she was okay making rape jokes? Sexist jokes? Racist jokes? I suppose I'd have to say the only thing she didn't do was make homophobic jokes. She was actually quite pro-homosexuality, being from Arkansas and getting a college degree in a university in the Chicago area. She made fun of other people in her family who were not completely okay with homosexuality.

Mention of the rape joke )

A few guys left. What makes me proud is that the a few of the Phi Psi guys were the first to leave. When they left the comedian joked about that. She was like "Oh, wait! Why are you leaving? I mentioned a rape joke and suddenly you remember you had something to do!"

Anytime anybody left she said they were going off to have sex with hand gestures. Heterosexual -- a circle with her index and thumb on one hand and the other index poking in it. Homosexual males -- the index fingers poking at each other. Homosexual females -- her hands spread in V's and mushing them together. A few guys even ran because they didn't want her to see them and make jokes about them. She said, at one point, "This is why you don't want to leave!"

She made a lot of other horrible jokes. There were one or two that were a little funny - poking at Bush and Harry Potter references - but bleh. What a stupid, heinous, horrible, insensitive comedian. I was on my phone the entire time, texting with people, checking Facebook. I was between big groups of people. I couldn't leave easily. I was in a room later with Beth and some of her friends when the head of the Programming Board came in. She looked miserable and so sorry. People had written on posters advertising the comedian comments like "I've been to funnier funerals." I was a little flabbergasted the comedian wasn't screened as well on the Internet as she could have been. But this is also the same person who organized the I ♥ Female Orgasm in April that I enjoyed. *sigh*

But that was Saturday evening and afterwards I helped Beth put her clothes away in their proper place. It was very reassuring and comforting to have something routine and orderly to do to calm my mind down...

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday )

I couldn't see Lindsay which is :-( Not nice.
hani_backup: (Anne Stokes - Dragon)
The last time I posted on LiveJournal/InsaneJournal was August 7th, Sunday. Later, at around midnight after I broke fast and continued snacking and drinking water - ever since I was little I've thought of water as the elixir of life and when you're fasting/dehydrated it absolutely is - Matt and I found a scale in their house and I weighed myself. I was a little less than the absolute limit we set up a few years ago when I tried fasting, so I went "Oh, well! I should stop fasting!" Looking back I think I was a little too cavalier, and gave up too easily. Especially after I found an article about a high school American football player in Florida who continues to go to practices in full gear while fasting. It's good for him his coaches watch him for symptoms of heat stroke/heat exhaustion and the practices were moved to 7am in hopes it'd help the player avoid the heat. Though their games are still in the afternoon, I believe. I was talking about it to Matt and mentioned the football player was 265lbs after losing 10lbs after 9 or so days of fasting and Matt said "He must be a linebacker!" I have no idea what a linebacker is or any football positions but I guess they're the ones who attack the opposing players. I know more about European football than American football. So I went back to the apartment and was happy to be able to eat food and drink water whenever I wanted. And eat my ice cream. I celebrated by buying ice cream, yeah. :P I don't remember what I did the days I was back in the apartment, though I think I started feeling like I wanted to be alone... I did visit Matt the following Friday - he picked me up - and we watched two movies that evening with his family/some of them.

Source Code, Adjustment Bureau, relationships )

Museum visit, migraine, Paprika movie )

Then the next Sunday we had a brief driving lesson in a smallish high school parking lot. :( We were out at noon or something so that was understandable we couldn't find a more deserted area. I still didn't get on the road, and acceleration was scary... I think I went up to 8mph...

The work week was a little WTF and multiple breakdowns.

Saturday - there was free medical check up, dental (extraction, cleaning, filling) and vision (prescription, pressure check, dilation check, glaucoma, free frames - you get free complete glasses with prescription lenses if you got there early enough) offered by Remote Area Medical. Matt and I got there around 5:45am after waking up at 4am for shower (him) and breakfast and to drive there. Doors open at 5:30am. My number was 503. Apparently they started handing out numbers at 3:30am! I got into the building at 10am. I got into vision at 10:30am and was done around 1:15pm. I waited for dental but within being 20 people of getting in they started turning people away who had already gotten something else done. :-( SO CLOSE! I left around 5pm and got back to Matt's at 6pm. More than 12 hours of waiting - Matt had to leave around 9am because he had to help his brother move furniture - with about 4 hours of sleep. I still haven't slept long and well since Friday night. A lot of the people there were also students. I had both an optometry student and an optometrist inspect my eyes. My vision sucks.

Today I primed for the first time! And swung on a rope. And played Mario Galaxy. We had a full day of eating, too. Sausages, eggs, watermelon, musk melon, chicken cajun-cheese-mayo sandwich, more watermelon, musk, mango, chicken enchilada, lettuce, salsa, watermelon, musk, mango. YUMMY. Oh and there's corn leftovers. ♥

Thanks, too, to people I talked to amidst crises moments, who put aside time to talk to me/call. ♥
hani_backup: (Flowers)
Days 3-4-5-6 I completely didn't fast. Wednesday to Friday I thought I would, but I failed. I was back in the apartment - a studio apartment - and it's hard to fast when the fridge is right across from you the entire day... Also, there were some bad things that happened during the days and I tend to be an emotional eater.

Very, very emotional.

A cockroach in the bathtub...

Learning what I heard were, indeed, gunshots...

Blah.

Saturday, though, I didn't bother fasting at all. Matt and I went out with some other people late Friday evening - clubbing and drinking. Waking up Saturday, I was thirsty and slightly hungover so I didn't want to fast. :-)

Today I'm trying again.  I suppose it's easier because I'm visiting Matt and his family and I'm upstairs and the fridge is downstairs. Also, he and his brother are out with some friends for their weekly game so he and I aren't chilling out watching TV or something and so, eating and drinking whilst watching.
hani_backup: ("owls")
Ofr the most part, my birthday was really fun. The actual day, Sunday, was quite laid back. Sorted out books, looked at bubbles, dinner, cake and Scrabble. I got 269 points on Scrabble. I played with Matt. Unfortunately we scrambled the letters before I could take a picture of it. I got words like "hex," "ewe," and "viola." I like having to think and put letters in words, in patterns. I like taking pictures of the few Scrabble games I've played. It started New Year's Eve in 2003. We finished all the tiles. That time, the last word was LIMB converted to CLIMB.

There was cake. Matt's family combined the cake. One side said "Happy birthday" in candles and "Happy Dad's Day" on the other side written in fudge/icing. They sang! I blew out the candles! I pulled out the candles! I opeend the card and present! The family (sans Matt) signed the card and I'm pretty sure Matt's mom bought me the gift - earrings. :D Then Matt's dad opened his gift, a tool set, from his sons and read the hand-made cards.

It's a nice tradition they have. Hand made cards for birthdays and Father's and Mother's Days. If I ever have a family, I might want to consider doing that...

Saturday was awesome dinner time. Yeah. Looks at the gratitudes. :P I also went a brief shopping trip, too. I like the clothes I got. Two tops (a tank, anotheer spathetti top), a short white fluffy skirt and a white dress. Matt noticed the claps was broken on the plaid top so ew got off 20% or 25% for damaged merchanidse. Hells yeah. Matt and I set up an appointment to see Clinique for another makeup consultation this Wednesday. Should be amusing when I go.

Friday I saw Stephen Colbert. Unfortunately I can't upload the video I made of *most* of his speech. My memory card got filled. I didn't think beforehand and upload pictures onto my laptop. Shucks. It was at Northwestern, for the big university Commencement. I didn't attend any of the smaller school graduations .
hani_backup: (Disney Forest)

Visited Planned Parenthood today to refill my prescription for birth control. Apparently pap smears are now recommended every two years if there are no abnormal results. I had no idea. Back home the speculum’s shoved up yearly, in August, before school begins. Though last year I had to come back in November because the sample they sent in August was contaminated because the packaging/container was expired. Thanks, clinic.

It wasn’t an unpleasant experience. It was awkward trying to fill out medical history for me and my family on the form. When the doctor came in she asked who in the family had the conditions/illnesses I checked off. >_< I only know a few things about my relatives - basically the deaths caused by cancer or if someone has/had diabetes. We don’t talk much. And mental illnesses - forget about that!

But beforehand the nurse showed me the doctor’s room (after waiting after turning in the multiple ‘new patient’ sheets) and took my weight and blood pressure. She didn’t take my temperature which I wasn’t used to. (It’s weird, back home they didn’t weigh me but took my temp every pap appt and here it seems reversed.)

I don’t know if it’s because they’re Planned Parenthood or just the protocol for a medical institute - they’re an office among many in a mall space - but we had to get buzzed in to enter. Maybe both.

Reading the abortion pamphlet in the doctor’s office while waiting was sobering. I think, if ever I was to get one, I would choose an abortion caused by pills than the procedure, if I had a choice. It seems the pill-one is only effective up to 7 weeks or so.

And the nearby ALDI does not have Maria/Marie biscuits. :(

hani_backup: (Kushiel (yields))
Slutwalk Chicago was on June 4. Some photos! The full album on Facebook is available here.

Other people's posters:
They were pretty awesome )

Me and Matt holding an extra poster someone gave me:
"STOP RAPISTS, NOT self-expression"

After the march )

A pretty cool outfit someone wore:
At the Plaza afterwards )

Matt and me at Printer's Lit Fest
D'awww )

Blargh

Jun. 7th, 2011 02:05 am
hani_backup: ("hushedwee")
When it shits, it becomes diarrhea.

There were some good moments this past weekend and Monday, but so much of it was just horrible and nauseating and cry-scream-worthy.
hani_backup: (Stress - wake up)
Yesterday, Saturday, was Slutwalk Chicago. Several people who said they'd come/were possibly coming didn't get back in touch with me, which was disappointing. Matt did come. He was a bit late, so I walked in the tail-end of the march so he could catch up and find me more easily when he arrived.

It was interesting seeing people's signs and how they dressed up. When I was exiting the Lake station, I was behind a woman in a short strapless leather dress. The bottom of her butt was showing. Walking behind her to the Thompson Center was eye-opening; everybody did a double take and looked at her as she walked by. A man who was walking down the opposite direction changed direction to follow her. *grimace* When we were at the sidewalk across Thompson waiting for the light to change, and she had already crossed, he asked what was happening. Someone told him "Slutwalk Chicago" and he asked what it was. Answers from others ranged from "A protest against rape" "A march against victim blaming" and such. He said "Oh" and didn't cross the street with us. Yes, I inner-sneered at him.

The march started at noon and as I said before, I lagged so Matt could catch up. It was also the same day as the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer so sidewalks were full and traffic was a mess. I kind of felt bad for the cars and other people who were stuck in traffic because of the run and our protest. A few cars/vans/buses honked in support - the peole inside waved - while others, I'm sure, were annoyed. Thank goodness for the police who directed us all. One thing that was disappointing was that an emergency vehicle needed to cross the street and people in the protest ignored the police telling them to stop to let the emergency vehicle through. :( I wasn't there early enough to get the paper handed out with all the chants they were going to go through. One was "Hi-ho, hi-ho! Sexual violence has got to go!" (Or sexual assault.) There were others but now I don't remember...

After the walk was done, Matt and I stopped by Walgreens to get some sunscreen for him and other stuff for me. Then we walked to Printer's Row to check out the stalls, after getting slushies at the 7-Eleven. I couldn't find a lot of booths there selling graphic novels! :'( Too bad. We sat up against a loong brick wall to catch our breath and then got the idea to head to Border's, to check out more recent books. Along the way I steered him into Forever 21. I tried on some shorts and tops but none really fit me right. When we left Forever 21 the sky was darkening and we remembered there was a thunderstorm forecast. Border's was several blocks away so we ran when we were one block away and the rain started falling.

It was rather peaceful in there. After reading 6 graphic novel volumes there on Friday I was a little worried I wouldn't find things to read at Border's but I found a Spike graphic novel and had some Asimov Foundation novels to reread. :-) Matt joined me sitting on the windowsill next to the Religion section and the storm raged outside. We had something to eat and drink at the Seattle's Best there before we got ready to leave to add to Macy's.

Then Matt discovered his keys were gone.

Oh. My. Goodness.

Frantic key hunt )

It was a very exhausting day. We walked 5 miles in yesterday's weather - high of 91.4 Fahrenheit/33 Celsius. >_< My feet and legs ache so much...
hani_backup: (Excuse me?)
*could be triggering*

This was a comment Constable Michael Sanguinetti made during a York University safety forum at Osgoode in Canada way back in January. He has since apologized for the comment. But what he said... It's stupid and insluting and, obviously, victim-blaming.

The comment triggered Toronto's SlutWalk to emerge. While sparked off by one police officer's insensitivie, moronic, stupid, insulting comment, victim-blaming has a much, much longer history.

It's frustrating. It's annoying. It's not a march where women (or men) are all suppose to dress provocatively in low-cut tops and hot pants. Protestors can dress in whatever manner of dress they wish. It's a protest against societal victim-blaming for sexual assault and rape. It's a protest against people thinking how a person dresses makes them "okay" to assault and rape, that they're "asking" for it.

I found out about this while still in school and it's been simmering. This struck a nerve because, like I've mentioned before, I watched The Accused when I was 6 to 8 years old and the attackers in Jodie Foster's character's public gang-rape was not taken to court until she had to personally pursue it with a female lawyer. Because of how she was dressed and acted beforehand. A gray tank, a short skirt, dancing with strangers, was drinking...

I just hate it. I realize that there are some smarter and less smart decisions people can make to decrease the odds of being assaulted, mugged, raped - walking alone in a dark alley instead of lighted streets that may be available, not being aware of your surroundings - but ultimately it is not the victims' decision that makes assault or rape happen.

GOD DAMN IT, IT IS THE MOLESTERS, THE ASSAULTERS, THE RAPISTS WHO DECIDE TO MOLEST, ASSAULT AND RAPE OTHERS. The people are attacked and violated do not ask for it.

(I say "some" because I think most assaulted children believe their victimizers when they're told they have choice, it's the way things are, etc. They sometimes aren't in a position to be able to avoid such circumstances and situations.)

My concern and feelings about this has heightened since going to college. I suppose that makes sense, because my four high schools never really put up posters about assault or rape. Also, in college I had much more opportunity to go to parties. In high school my parents never let me go to any parties that weren't school-sanctioned or held at parents' residences. At college I had the option to go to college parties, even if I didn't go to many. The few times I went alone or with another girl and not my boyfriend (at the time) I always got hit on by other guys or they got handsy. *makes a disgusted face*

It in my final year that I realized the posters around campus were all about how to AVOID BEING A RAPE VICTIM. It was fulll of tips like "Don't leave your cup or drink alone" or "Don't accept a drink that wasn't opened by you" or "Have others with you to make sure nothing happens." There was NOTHING about how to avoid being A RAPIST OR A MOLESTER OR ASSAULTER. Okay, maybe the phrase "Don't rape" won't work well because it seems a lot of rapists don't think what they did was wrong, or it happened in alcohol-induced situations where there are conflicting feelings and stories about what was consensual and what wasn't and things get forgotten. But there has to be something...just something, posters or forums or something about RESPECTING OTHER PEOPLE AS HUMANS WHO HAVE THE RIGHT TO MAKE THEIR OWN DECISIONS ABOUT THEIR BODIES AND WHAT THEY WANT TO DO WITH IT.

I know several friends have been assaulted/raped on-campus, and I've heard of some of the things their assaulters/rapists have said about them/the situation. Before college, too, I didn't realize how much alcohol can affect the kind of interactions people have with each other. I remember one night where alcohol made things fearful for me.

I'm frustrated with some views I grew up with that made victim-blaming or victim-asking seem explicit or implicit. Don't wear shorts, don't wear sleeveless tops, don't wear shape-showing clothes, don't smile to males strangers, don't be friendly with male strangers, don't wear non full-length skirts, etc, you'll just make yourself seem more available to men and men can't control themselves. That's why we women have to protect ourselves and them from their horn dog tendencies by giving them less temptation. Yadda yadda yoo.

I find that so insulting. To males, females, non-female victims, other genders, everybody.

I'm still angry at myself for not being able to volunteer at SARP (Sexual Assault Recovery Program) back in my college town because I didn't have a license or car so I could drive to the hospital/any place I was needed to help someone advocate for themselves.

Slutwalk has spread around the world. Chicago is having theirs June 4th and I fully intend to go. Again, they don't say you have to dress like a "skank" or a "ho" or a "slut" in order to attend. I doubt I'd wear something much revealing, though I know some people think a tank top paired with jeans or shorts is revealing already. Since it's a lot of walking, sneakers! And maybe my hoodie if the weather will still be chilly then. I wrote a note about it on Facebook and tagged some people when in the library earlier this week. A lot of people can't/won't come because they're too far away from Chicago, busy, or not very interested, but I hope others will participated in the Slutwalks in their area, if there are any. I wish I could go to several others with some friends of mine around this country or world, such as Slutwalk Portland or Slutwalk Spokane. Over the past few weeks, talking about this on the phone with Matt, I've gotten so frustrated and verge of tears or teared up. I know there are other areas of society that some humans don't see other humans as humans - racism, homophobia, sexism, sexual trafficking, emotional manipulation and abuse, a whole lot of places. This is one place I feel passionate about.

More pics!

May. 16th, 2011 01:54 pm
hani_backup: (dancing!)
Pics )

With my diploma!


My national costume


*sigh* )
hani_backup: (dancing!)
The ceremony is to start at 11am, CST...

OHMYGOD, I can't believe it...

I talked to two of my professors when I saw them at the Interdisciplinary departmental reception earlier today.

I got an A- for Psych Disorders.

I got an A or A- for Technology and Cognition Beyond the Brain.

I got an A for my thesis!!!!

SWEET!!!

I don't know about my other two classes - seniors can only access their grades on the 20th online with the underclassmen. Unless we ask professors directly like I did. I avoided asking the other professor there, because her class (senior capstone Translating Liberal Arts) was so hard. It was the one that made me break down the most. I'm sure it dragged my overall GPA and my term GPA quite, quite down. I shoud have just stuck at the senior thesis and not done both a senior thesis and senior capstone, with three other classes and auditing another class. The other graded class is Introduction to Creative Writing. The audited class was Introduction to Cog Sci...

I need to go bring a dress to a friend (the de Riguer dress) for her to try on, then continue with this cleaning and packing up my room.

After the IDST reception, my parents went back to the hotel to sleep. They traveled 35.5 hours (the delay in transit at JFK didn't help) and arrived here after midnight today. I spent time with a friend, then back in my room for more packing, then watched the Baccalaureate. I cried several times...

Graduation...

Must keep laptop on for the energetic music. I'm stuck on Britney Spears's "I Wanna Go" since I got her CD eralier this week.

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