bonnie

Just Life, Local

That’s Fair

(HAR.)

entrance

We haven’t been to the fair in a few years. Partly because the last two themes have been boring to the point of repellant. I think one was football or maybe team sports in general. That makes me violently bored. So bored I want to hurt people. I think maybe someone took a good long look around the fair crowds last year and was all, “Wow. There are, like, zero nerds here. We must remedy this.” And so this year’s theme was gaming. No. Really. Before this (well, I guess before the sports one) I had considered a fair’s theme incidental, and I barely paid notice to it at all. But this year the theme made the experience that much more exciting.

mario!

There were giant versions of games like Operation and Connect Four, there were old arcade games like Dig Dug and Pac Man, and there were live versions of games like Family Feud. And the decorations. There were Monopoly board spaces directing you places (GO!) and even a jail one in the security office (which I did not get a picture of). It was too perfect. There were even art exhibits dedicated to gaming (which I was not allowed to get pictures of).

and then we became miniaturized

they had all the sizes of connect four giant operation

For a long time we always paid to park in the lot on the fairgrounds because strollers are a pain in the ass on trams or shuttles. But we don’t need those anymore and free is my favorite price for parking. PLUS! The shuttles now are (usually) double decker buses! Some that still advertise “Picadilly” in peeling letters! One that has the Beatles plastered on the outside for some reason! So I thought it would be super exciting to ride on the top deck of an open-air double-decker bus. But instead of “super exciting” it was “kind of terrifying”. When the first street light whizzed past my head and we headed towards that freeway underpass (pictured below), I got a little bit lot bit dizzy. I kind of enjoyed the thrill but also kind of wished there were seat belts and/or a track guiding the bus. I am not a roller coaster person and that was just about my limit of excitement.

and then we reached up and touched the underside of the freeway

The trip had been a total surprise for the kids (and a slight surprise for me as well, since I only decided on it the day before) and it turned out to be a really fun day. We don’t make it to the fair every single year, but I’m glad we did this time. Dear Fair Planners: Maybe next year’s theme can be Harry Potter?

GO

You can see the rest of the photos here.

Onwards

The Platinum Rule

I wrote this on Tumblr awhile back:

A long time ago in another lifetime I was sent to some work training thing where they teach you corporate bullshit like “paradigm shift,” or “thinking outside the box.” In this case they taught us about the Platinum Rule. And, despite what I’d like to say about it, I actually find it really valuable. The point is that we’re taught the Golden Rule – to treat others as we’d like to be treated. And that’s important when we don’t know how the OTHERS would want to be treated (not the OTHERS like in Lost. We don’t treat them with either Rule, we just hide). But the Platinum Rule states that we should treat others as THEY want to be treated. Every person and every situation each person is in is so different that there isn’t just one answer.

I wrote that in response to a Stephen Fry quote about depression which came (to my attention) shortly after Allie Brosh’s post about depression.

But the thing is that the Platinum Rule applies to everything. Depression, pregnancy, body image, weddings, procreation, vegetarianism, fandoms… Everything. You know all those “Things not to say” lists? If we all followed the Platinum Rule, we wouldn’t need them.

So why don’t we all follow the Platinum Rule?

I don’t know. But if I had to guess, I would say it’s because the Golden Rule is easier. We created etiquette as a sort of rulebook for life. So we’d know how to handle certain situations that might otherwise be unfamiliar to us. We all know these rules and we have come to expect them from people. People who don’t follow these rules are considered rude because we don’t understand what they are thinking.

But etiquette doesn’t cover every situation ever. So we covered our asses by creating the Golden Rule. If you’re in a situation that your understanding of etiquette doesn’t cover, go ahead and act the way you’d want people to act to you. This is mostly a good thing. It covers all the basics like, “don’t murder people” because you wouldn’t want to be murdered. Or “Give The Hand* when another driver lets you go first” because you’d want someone to give you The Hand if you allowed them to go first.

But then you get to the next level of How To Interact With Other Humans. Those gray areas where your best intentions turn into hurtful things because you don’t know what’s going on in the other person’s head. Where, instead of assuming how you should act, you ask how they want you to act. Because while you may have worries and a gentle reminder to relax might work for you, if someone tells me to relax while I’m having an actual anxiety attack, I only tense up further and become angry on top of anxious, because what I really need at the moment it just to be understood. And possibly some Xanax.

And so here I am. Promoting this Platinum Rule. Which seemed, at first, to be some of the corporate-est bullshittiest corporate bullshit out there, but turns out, upon actual implementation, to be some of the best advice I ever received. So go forth and Platinum each other. And, yes. Let’s always call it Platinuming Each Other.

*You know. The Hand. That little gesture that’s not really a wave? It’s more just a presenting of your hand. But other drivers know you are saying, “Hey, thanks!” and not just, “Look! I have a hand!”

Recipes

Beet Hummus. I KNOW, RIGHT?

beet hummus

People are always complaining about people who share pictures of their food online. These people – the complainy ones – just don’t understand. Food is awesome. I want to see pictures of what you eat. And you want to see pictures of what I eat. Because the food I eat is interesting* and delicious and will make you beg for the recipe.

This is one such recipe. But you need not beg, for I shall present it to you thusly.

This recipe is one that I actually saw someone share on Instagram and I begged the recipe off her. I then adjusted it because my family can’t eat food like normal people. This is the version we enjoy.

We like this as a dip, or on a sandwich. It’s good with crackers, chips, or veggies. I’ve had non-beet people try it and looooove it. I think the cumin helps to offset the beety-ness of the beets. Once I ran out of cumin and used a little bit of paprika and maybe a dash of my favorite smoked salt (but not a lot because my daughter is all anti-smoked salt).

Beet Hummus

4 medium beets, roasted
1/4 C tahini
1/4 C apple cider vinegar (especially love it raw)
1 medium shallot bit thing (technical term)
1/2-1 tsp cumin
salt (and pepper if you like) to taste

Blend everything together in a food processor.

BOOM. Beet hummus.

Beet hummus a la @sunshinepoppies. Reaaaaaally good!

*Except for the food that is boring. But I don’t subject my online friends to photos of that.

Local, Random

Saying Goodbye to the Library

library

I love libraries. (Except. Full disclosure: I just tried spelling it “libraryies” so maybe take this all with a grain of salt?) I love the smell of books, and the quiet, and the connection to information. I love that you can research things you can’t find elsewhere like old newspapers or local history or genealogy. Well. You can find all that online now, I guess. But back in the dark ages in 1994 you couldn’t, and that made libraries feel magical. I don’t remember what year my library got rid of the card catalogs, but it seems like yesterday. Part of me believes that, if I turned that one corner, I’d see the microfiche machines all lined up just like they used to be. But my library doesn’t have any of that anymore, of course. (Fun fact: my grandma volunteered at our local library and brought some of the old cards home for scratch paper when the library moved their catalog to computers. Fun fact: my library’s catalog software hasn’t really changed much since they computerized it almost 20 years ago.)

that floor

I also love old buildings, and find myself particularly drawn to the ones built in the 1950’s or 1960’s. I don’t know why that time period, of all time periods, draws me so much more than, say, the grand Victorians. I love all the historical places, but this era especially gives me a sense of nostalgia I can’t place. The way the sounds echo hollowly off the hard, shiny tiles as shoes click busily down hallways. The vague scent of dusty corners and musty stairways and floor wax mingling in a way unique to buildings of the era. The stifling and pervasive sense of history more pungent than any of the five physical senses. To think of all the memories the building holds, both in terms of physical records of history as well as that intangible way that memories mark themselves upon a place. The slight sense of sadness. A once-grand place, now nestled in among the usual downtown juxtaposition of refuse and shiny new stuff. It calls me.

where i found so many of my favorite photographers

I have spent little time in the Downtown branch of the San Diego libraries, at least compared to my hometown library that I grew up in and still visit weekly. I think I first visited the Downtown branch for some long-forgotten high school project and I fell in love with it right that day. Later, I spent a few years working only a couple of blocks away so I visited it somewhat regularly (at the time there were also a lot of used bookstores in the area. ah I miss those). For a photography class I had to go look up books of artists for a report and I found many of my favorite photographers on those shelves. Cindy Sherman, Jerry Uelsmann, William Wegman (he’s not just dogs!). But the parking in Downtown isn’t fun or easy, so I haven’t been back in at least 13 years.

papers

I remembered the building itself feeling very historical to me, and, really, 13 years ago was a different age when it comes to library technology. I think back then the microfiche machines were still standing in my local library. So if the technology of the Downtown branch was outdated back when I most visited it, it didn’t register to me.

time capsule

But walking in last weekend was like time traveling (I mean, if you ignored all the computers). There were card catalogs! And a room full of people using the microfiche! And newspapers hung neatly on those newspaper holder thingies! And more card catalogs! I was excited to share the library – one of my favorite places in the county – with my kids, but I never expected to be able to show them such ancient history in action. I actually asked one lady if my kids could watch her load the microfiche into the machine. My son was kinda pissed as hell that he didn’t get a turn. Fair enough.

micron

What I had expected was to walk in and find a dilapidated old place. With scuffed floors, neglected paint, broken doors, burnt-out lights. But there was none of that. It was a bright and well-maintained place whose shiny floors reflected the joy of being surrounded by books and people who love them. It was a sad day there, the last day, but most people were in good spirits. Perhaps because in a few months the next century’s library will open. Or perhaps because we had all come together to remember what we loved best about the place before it is gone.

go backs

It has been closed a week now, and I imagine they are beginning to move everything out. I imagine the shelves empty, the lights out. And I have mixed feelings. Because now there will be a new, larger library with more technological capabilities, and prepared for the growth of the next fifty years, but it won’t be that building that I loved so much.

opening day

You can see more pictures here.

Lady Links, This is a Woman

The As-Yet-Officially-Un-Renamed Weekly Roundup of Women’s News

Well. That’s a name. Of sorts. Want to help pick a new name for what was formerly called the Weekly Awesome? Click here.

awesome formerly known as weekly

~TIAW on Pinterest and Tumblr.
~This is kind of old news (I’m kind of behind on Awesome stuff so a few of these are old news) but I’m sharing it in case you haven’t heard it yet. Sometimes I feel voiceless in this world. I’ve boycotted Nestle for years, but they don’t care. But sometimes – hopefully more and more often – companies listen. And, in this case, Facebook also had to listen. And it’s about damn time.
~Another one on Facebook and misogyny. Also with an awesome ending.
~Here’s an interesting article from NPR about fat-shaming and career/higher education options.
~Remember that one Dove ad a few weeks back where the women described themselves to a sketch artist? XOVain decided to do something similar and got very different results. Now, I do this this was all somewhat intentionally skewed – and so was the Dove one for other reasons – but, if nothing else, it’s SO refreshing to hear women speaking about themselves with such positivity. LOVE.
~What better way to fight misogyny than with snarkasm? I give you Forehead Tittaes, a “product” “endorsed” by Marion Cotillard.
~Last one today. Patrick Stewart. That is all I need to say.

This is a Woman

Official TIAW Welcome!

tiaw-linkto300x250

To those of you coming here from SOAM or TIAW – welcome!

I’m really excited about the possibilities that lie ahead for zebrabelly.com and TIAW’s continuing online presence. If you want to continue following TIAW online you can click the link up there at the top of this blog (or right here) and you will find links to everything you need.

Right now this blog is quite bare since I decided it was time for a fresh start (I’ve actually been blogging personally for about 12 years) but I plan to bring over old posts as necessary from time to time. TIAW will, for the time being, at least, remain online, although no longer taking submissions. The TIAW Facebook page will slowly evolve into a Facebook page for this entire blog, not just the TIAW aspects of it.

I am hoping this place will become a lively, loving community for the same feminist issues TIAW always dealt with plus more. You can read more about me here to get an idea of what you might expect to see me write about in the future.

Now go to this post and let me know what you think about possible new names for the Weekly Awesome.

This is a Woman

Where You and I Rename the Weekly Awesome Together

Hrm... Need less terrible ideas....

Hrm… Need less terrible ideas….

Over at TIAW, I posted a weekly roundup of all feminist and body-image related stuff which went under the name of The Weekly Awesome. The name always bothered me, though. Because some of the items were not awesome at all; they were angering. But I hesitated to change the name because I didn’t want to insinuate that anger isn’t a good thing when it’s necessary. My thought-process was something like this:

I don’t want to call angering things awesome because “awesome” brings to mind something uplifting.

But anger is important and necessary to fight the things that make us angry. And that’s kind of awesome.

But it bums me out and I don’t want to hear that something’s going to be awesome which leads me to expect Happy Things only to be bummed out.

But I feel strongly that anger is also awesome when it’s necessary and lord knows it’s so often necessary in these issues.

I. Um. May over think things. A little bit.

Eventually my circle of thoughts would spin so fast, I’d go flying out and land in a pile in the corner dizzy and needing more coffee or chocolate. Or chocolate coffee.

I considered divvying them up sometimes to keep them separate, but there was really no way to know if I’d get enough items each week to necessitate both. And I didn’t want to sit on them to collect enough for a post.

And, really, isn’t life all messy and awkward anyway? Life isn’t divvied up all nice and neat. And I am constantly trying to remember that in my life and in the projects I do.

Even so. This is my blog, and it appeals to my sense of order to have a name that suits the weekly roundup posts I do. So there. Life may be messy – and I may try to embrace it in other places – but it’s also OK to take those things I can tie up into neat little packages and tie them up into neat little packages.

Therefore, I’m changing the name. I’m overly partial to alliteration for some reason so right now I’m leaning towards Feminist Fridays, but I’m also worried that might sound a little dry. So I’m asking for your opinions. What do you think we should rename this weekly post?

The Zebra, Wheel of the year

Goths Love Spring, Too

pink

I’ve always had underlying feminist intentions, even when I was a kid and didn’t understand really how much feminism is still needed (because I was raised by weirdly fundamentalist people). But there was a part of me which rebelled against girly things such as romance and flowers and screaming about insects and loving the color pink. Some of these were more true at some ages than others. For instance my 7th grade self read way too much VC Andrews and wore the absolute SHIT out of this one pale pink hoodie.

Jacaranda appreciation #2

But by 9th grade, when I started becoming the human I’d grow up to be, I swore off girly things pretty much entirely for the next few years. Of course, this was also during the height of Grunge, and during this time I began discovering other subcultures as well. And, while I’ve never actually been goth (partially because I lack the commitment to dedicate myself to any one particular facet of subculture), I felt kinship with goths because of our shared love of Robert Smith and hatred of the sun and preppies.

upload

When I visited Hawaii when I was 22, I didn’t expect to love it a whole lot. I considered myself a more Londony/rainy kind of person than a tropical/beachy kind of person. I went because I wanted to travel, and because it was my last trip with my grandparents, and because I wanted to understand more about my family history (we are not Hawaiian, but they lived there in the 1950’s). Of course Hawaii was all, “Yeah, whatever. You know you’re gonna love me.” And, indeed, Hawaii had the last laugh. Even Londony goths can love Hawaii. Fact.

Insane amounts of blue in the sky today. #nofilter

Similarly, when choosing a favorite season (having lists of favorites, it turns out, remains important well past eight years old. my favorite planet is Jupiter), I assumed I’d choose winter or autumn. Because they’re the more gothy of the seasons. Spring and summer are all cheerleader peppy and colors and sunshine and happiness. And, in the words of Sally Sparrow, “Sad is happy for deep people.” And, true enough, if I lived in a place where we had actual seasons, autumn might be my favorite (but not winter because, let’s face it, for all my complaining about stupid happy sunshine, I am a delicate flower when it comes to temperatures and snow is downright terrifying). However, we don’t have seasons, and our autumns are not spectacular with all the colors of fire lighting the path into the darkness of winter. So I’ve neglected to choose a favorite season, likely because I sense, deep within myself, that my favorite season might just be that pinkest and preppiest of seasons. Crap.

Happy Thing: Spring

This year I’ve deeply pondered such a possibility: Is spring my favorite season? Is that acceptable for someone with an inner goth such as myself? And I’ve had a sort of awkward internal struggle between that side of myself that fancies itself a Deep Person for appreciating Dark Things and that, more suffocated side of myself, who thinks flowers and blue skies are pretty lovely actually so there. And I have to admit she’s right. There is something about the promise of springtime. Of new life and new beginnings. Of that particular green of new leaves that really doesn’t exist at any other time of the year. Of trees exploded in blossom – sometimes so overexcited about flowering that they cannot even be bothered to grow leaves until the flower festivals have been celebrated.

Dappled with shade, dotted with petals.

So there. I grudgingly admit that I love the flowers. The pinks. The purples. The greens. The sunny skies. The warmth on the shoulders.

Spring.

As it turns out, goths can totally love springtime, too.

Random, The Zebra

50 Things About Me. Cause I have a short attention span.

1. My name is Bonnie. In 5th grade I smooshed my first and middle names together into Bonnianne, thinking someday I’d change it legally. I never did (yet?), but in the 90’s there was a porn site under the same name.
2. I have two kids. They are awesome and hilarious and weird and exhausting. Which is pretty normal for kids, I guess.
3. I’m going back to school. I’m aiming towards a career. A career in what, I do not know. Do they pay people for being cute as hell?
4. I hopeschool my kids. Nope. That’s a typo. I hoMeschool my kids. But it’s a pretty appropriate typo. I do hope I school my kids.
5. I’m tall. And lately I’ve become obsessed with celebrity heights. Did you know I’m two inches taller than Robert Downey Jr? I KNOW, RIGHT?
6. I knit. Sometimes I knit sea monsters. I have never knit a sweater. That sounds strange now that I type it out.
7. Hobbies I’ve inherited in the last couple of years: beading/jewelry making, sewing, rocks. If “rocks” counts as a hobby. It mainly involves owning rocks and not really knowing how to handle that.
8. I never learned how to roller skate. I mean without clinging to the wall for dear life.
9. But I practically lived on my bike. Also I had a scooter like this one.
10. I love camping.
11. And hiking.
12. But I hate team sports.
13. My car is red. And cute. And named Romana.
14. I’m afraid of heights, and escalators, and spiders that are on me or might get on me, and vomit. And other things which are scary to everyone like clowns or ventriloquist dummies.
15. I am an anxious person on the whole. Sometimes I suffer from actual diagnosable anxiety.
16. I’ve also dealt with depression.
17. I am geeky about these things: Douglas Adams (Hitchhiker’s Guide and more), Madeleine L’Engle, Doctor Who, Muppets, and Harry Potter. Among other things.
18. When I was a kid I geeked out so hard on the Baby-sitter’s Club that I actually still have their whole neighborhood map memorized. Ish. That makes me sound like a creepy stalker. Except that they aren’t real and technically they were at least a couple of years my senior at the time. WHO’S CREEPY NOW, KRISTIN AMANDA THOMAS?
19. If you got that joke you are now my new BFF.
20. It was a totally canon map of their neighborhood, BTW. It came on an official calendar. None of that fanfiction shit here. Oh no.
21. I’m actually not against fanfiction at all. I just like the word “shit”. (*wonders if there’s any BSC fanfiction around*) (OMG THERE IS.) (FEMSLASH. OMG KRISTY AND SHANNON. IT ALL MAKES SENSE NOW.) *ahem*
22. I have specific rules for where periods go in relation to quotes, as evidenced in the previous line item. They look stupid inside quotes when it’s just one word. So there.
23. After a certain number of items, this sort of thing tends to become a stream-of-consciousness, doesn’t it?
24. I was raised Christian (fundamentalist, even, although most of the political stuff I never agreed with) but at some point nearly ten years ago now, I realized I’m actually not a Christian at all. I now follow the Pagan wheel of the year.
25. I still think Jesus was a pretty awesome person, though, and had some kickass ideas.
26. I don’t wear high heels very often. Partly because I am the aforementioned Kind of Giant.
27. I did, though, recently buy eyeliner and mascara. I’m basically fully goth now.
28. OMG HAVE I EVEN MENTIONED THAT I LOVE COFFEE? How did I get this far in and not mention it? ACK.
29. Also, I love Disneyland. I should have added that to the Shit I Geek Out Over List. Too bad there’s no edit feature or anything.
30. I’m really lazy. And sarcastic.
31. My family was rife with mental illness and alcoholism.
32. As far as I can tell I’m pretty sane. Depression and anxiety aside, of course.
33. I think I might hate the number 33.
34. But I love the number 42. (See line item 17.)
35. This is my current age (I mean 35, not 42).
36. I first went online when I was eight. In 1986. My username was “OverEight”. Long, stupid story. OK, not that long. My mom’s was “OverThirty” and I didn’t know what else to pick.
37. I guess we weren’t allowed spaces back then. Or maybe we were but I just forgot. I mean. It was 100 years ago.
38. I love hyperbole.
39. My mom was kind of a big computer nerd, I guess.
40. Someday I’ll tell you about all the life hacks she came up with to help us survive the dark ages the 1980’s.
41. I am not afraid of getting older. But that doesn’t mean it’s not fucking weird.
42. I approve of bad words.
43. I have a cat. Her name is Leia and she is properly weird.
44. For many years I wasn’t allowed to have a cat, but I can now and I hope I always will from now on.
45. Growing up I had cats, hamsters, rats, fish, and birds. Mostly named after musicians of the 90’s.
46. I don’t have blond hair, but I usually forget that.
47. My eyes are hazel-green.
48. I have freckles and dimples. I approve of the former more than the latter.
49. I am socially awkward and weird. But hopefully adorable enough to make up for that.
50. My birthday is on Groundhog Day.

And I think that is where this list ends. I know these usually go to 100 or 101 ro some other 3-digit number, but let’s face it: My attention span isn’t that long and you’re probably already bored. Let’s keep some of the mystery awhile longer. *bats eyelashes coquettishly and dons mysterious cape* (I’m not sure those things usually go together. This may be part of my awkward weirdness.)