breezeshadow: TEA TIMES ICON (ALLtheTea)
Hello everyone.

Every year, without fail, someone on the internet brings up the diatribe about how Christmas has become too commercial.

I'm guilty of it.

As a little kid, I'd wake up at 4AM or so, anxious and terrified that Santa didn't come. I'd sneak upstairs to where the Christmas tree was -- I distinctly remember one year we had it in the spare bedroom, which was adjacent to my parents' bedroom, which added a whole new level of anxiety for me. Trying to be silent with a decade-old house that liked to creak, I'd find the tree, and feel a rush of relief at there being presents. Santa hadn't forgotten, or I hadn't been a bad girl.

Fast forward a decade or so, and I still like the presents the most. I feel guilty for it, feeling like I should like it for the family, but the truth is -- I like gifts and I like getting things for free.

This year, I couldn't afford to go home for Thanksgiving or Christmas. Thanksgiving is my favourite holiday -- as a kid we would go to my grandmother's house, and I would gorge myself on pierogi and cranberry sauce. This is the second Thanksgiving I had to miss, and calling my grandmother isn't the same. But this year, I missed Christmas as well. I couldn't afford those tickets, and both of my parents had medical emergencies this year (not to mention my father's company deciding to knock his salary by $10K for "overhead").

I can tell you right now that the most peaceful holiday you can have, especially if you are a shy introvert, is one on your own, in your own space. I went out for a haircut and quick shopping on Saturday, and haven't left since, because oh god the traffic. My brain is revving up its insanity for this part of the year -- it's like I have SAD except crazy anxiety for like, December/January -- but these past few days have been peaceful and quiet.

It doesn't take much to make me happy in terms of gifts. My mother got me a Kamelot CD, a pair of new headphones, and a Someecards pillow featuring their hilarious Sorry for being myself card. This pillow is definitely my favourite. Hari got me three books, two by Atwood, and one about Henrietta Lacks, whose cancer cells were taken and cultured, without her permission or consent, and form the backbone of our cancer stock and research.

But what did I give? How did I participate in this holiday of spending? With a dash of charity: Meals 4 Others.

Meals 4 Others offers food and food-related items for gifts. Associated with these are "meals". Basically, depending on what you buy, the company donates money to a food bank of your choice to the equivalent of the "meals" of that item. Items range in price from <$10 to $100+. They have everything from hot sauce to lobster meals to tea.

Only my mother and cousin really are flexible enough for me to get them this kind of thing. My mother especially appreciated her gift; as a social worker, she is painfully aware of the misfortunes of the world, and so was delighted to get chocolate AND know that a food bank was helped. Judging by what she told me, the gifts come with a hand-written card describing the donation, and a sticker saying how many meals were donated. So it's a really touching way to combine gift-giving with helping others.

The San Francisco Food Bank and Cheshire Food Bank received my donations; one of them I didn't let know, I think Cheshire because I get enough spam. On the 28th I will be volunteering at the SF bank as part of my holiday giving. I still need to make a monetary donation to a charity of my choice (suggestions welcome!), but I'm a bit low on funds this month, so it will be a new year donation.

If you want to give someone the good ol' fashioned gift of food, I recommend Meals 4 Others. Everyone deserves some food.

On that note, I hope you all have Happy Holidays.

breezeshadow: It's a wolverine, hey! (RogerAlone'd)
Tumblr, in a rare moment of proper privilege check, now hosts We are not Trayvon Martin, a tumblr where people of all races, sexualities, genders, etc. post how they are not Trayvon Martin; how privilege did (or did not) get them somewhere; and what we need to do to stop more pointless deaths from happening.

I highly recommend it as a read, and perhaps to submit your own story for why you aren't Trayvon Martin; but how you realize his death should never have happened.



Mar. 24th, 2013 02:13 pm
breezeshadow: Is it not adorable? (PumaKitten)
Poem about how white people suck? )

White-washing history sucks, guys. For some of the many examples:

Rosalind Franklin, whose work with DNA was pretty much stolen by Watson and Crick.
The Atomic Bombings, which were unnecessary on about a million levels, despite what American history books may tell you.
And let's not forget the huge whitewashing of indigenous culture all over the world.

Why I was thinking of this while preparing ramen, I have no idea. I've had a lot of guilt about the society I live in, lately.

Maybe some real writing later.
breezeshadow: It's a wolverine, hey! (Default)
"She hoped they called it heaven as a cruel joke."

Need to think on this prompt a little more to figure out who is speaking, and where, and why -- but I had to get that sentence down before it vanished.

Also, I find it amazing how living in one area your whole life can change your perception so much. In Connecticut the farmer's markets were quite small, and lasted only a short while, mainly because New England's growing season is approximately like, two weeks long. Here in California? I just bought strawberries for $4, fresh from the farm, in the middle ofd March. This has me THROWN. Like, I am in awe. And they are already only $3 in Target.

And TW for discussion of classism )
breezeshadow: It's a wolverine, hey! (Default)
Today I feel depressed.

Mainly, I feel alone, unwanted, uncared for, undeserving. The normal jazz.

I decided to go out for a walk to buy some chocolate, stop by the post office. On my way home, I saw someone sleeping on a bus bench. Their wheelchair with a plastic bag full of items was nearby. The blankets looked home-crocheted. I wished that the United States has the system that the UK is implementing, where you can go onto a website and record someone sleeping rough and thus get resources to them.

Then I remember I was heading to Starbucks.

Once in there, I bought whatever seemed like it would be okay sitting out, and also be nourishing -- turned out to be a turkey & swiss sandwich for whatever reason. I bought it, got some napkins, and then rummaged through my pocket for something to write with, to leave a note.

Instead I found the $5 Peet's coffee giftcard that I got months ago and hadn't used. And that's when I went fuck the note, and tucked the card mostly hidden between the sandwich's box and the napkins, and then quietly placed it on their wheelchair.

I still feel pretty depressed and lonely and unloved. But at least I have a home, and a job, and food, and the luxury to have a pet and new clothes and high-quality teas and chocolates.

I don't know if that person will get the sandwich and card, or if it will be taken by some greedy asshole. But if they do, I can only hope they aren't allergic to anything in it, and it lets them keep going forward.

(Also my brain is paranoid that somehow I gave them my credit card number, which, wha? Brains be stupid)



breezeshadow: It's a wolverine, hey! (Default)

August 2016

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