Eating the Scraps of Happiness


Every Saturday, Azyxa goes off to morning yoga while I do my best to sleep in. I’m usually recovering from the previous Friday of taking care of my niece all day. It’s become somewhat of a tradition for Azyxa to pick us up brunch after spending an hour at Elizabeth Street cafe hanging out with the bartenders. He loves to chat with baristas and bartenders and nerd out over liqueurs and special brews.

I will have barely been able to brush my teeth and wash my face before he’s had a full morning of productivity. He always tries to bring me brunch from wherever he visits after yoga because he knows I’m not a morning person. My idea of making an effort for breakfast for just myself is a slice of wheat bread.

DSC_6190_square_small.jpgWhile I’m a cheapskate and hate the idea of buying out for breakfast, I can’t say I ever complain when he brings me brunch home from Elizabeth Street cafe. They have the best french toast ever. If you order it at the cafe, it’s actually served with ice cream on top. yum! I don’t normally like to wake up (ever) but good food actually motivates me from out of the covers.

I’m currently trying to change up my lifestyle to be less slothful and depressing. It’s slow going but the last two weeks have been better than the last eight months. My best advice to those like me who have a hard time with life is to surround yourself with people who know how to find joy. At least, then you can pick up a few scraps of happiness every once in awhile.

My life in the past ten years have been plagued with depression and anxiety. It’s been an incredibly difficult journey to recovery. In fact, I’m not even convinced I can ever recover but my therapist often says that my disease prevents me from seeing that kind of hope. I rely heavily on my husband and Daisy to get me through the day to day.

I realize other people might not be as lucky to have support like I do and I often try to imagine what this experience would be like in solitude. I would imagine I would just spiral into oblivion because I would continually cycle the darkness. My nihilism knows no bounds.

I think so many others are in my position though, trying their best to show face and present a life worth living. At the same time, they might be fighting an invisible force of misery that continually creeps to the surface. Depression is a complex battle. Some people believe that you can always see it in others but my experience shows that until it is at its most extreme, you won’t be able to see it.

That’s why I value giving and receiving the small joys in life. You never know how valuable the tiniest of smiles and gestures might make in someone’s life. A young girl holding the door for me, a stranger smiling a hello, or colorful plate of french toast. Everyone deserves any scrap of happiness you can give.


Why I’m not meh on discrimination..

Alamo Drafthouse Discrimination | Water Cooler Chat

Here’s why it bothers me so much that people keep saying it’s one night and it is no big deal. The problem is that this event goes against the Civil Rights Act…one which had to be amended to include the discrimination of sex.

So for an event like the Alamo Drafthouse Women-Only celebration which is something so blatantly and un-apologetically discrimination, everyone is staying arm’s length away from and won’t speak out against it…so imagine how they approach subtle and private discrimination… the kind that has significant and actual impact on our culture.

I mean, if people won’t even touch advertised discrimination, what do you think they do about private or institutionalized versions? IGNORE IT… JUST like this.

This is how I feel about institutionalized sexism and segregation norms…things that are much harder to fight against because they are conducted by private individuals. Do you know how hard it is to break into a “the club”??? it’s damn near impossible.

And it’s no wonder, when the general attitude is, it’s no big deal. Let girls be girls. Let boys be boys.  I hear people saying “don’t make a big deal out of it” on the Alamo Drafthouse Women-Only event. But you know, that’s what I’ve been hearing all my life.

It’s always something small… a group of guys at work who go out to lunch with CEO but don’t invite you, a committee at school that is headed up with men only, or any larger entertainment institution where it’s clearly a boys only party.

Women have been fighting their way in for a long time… trying to change ideas in our culture about what women are capable of and how we’d like a chance at proving ourselves in every field.

At the same place I earned my Masters degree, women had fought 3 decades earlier for the right to wear pants to class. PANTS. Can you believe? I can just see the argument now. “Look, we aren’t denying women the right to attend class that men are, we’re just asking them to wear skirts. It’s no big deal. Have some class.”

And that’s the reason we’ve had to fight and make a fuss is because the general attitude has always been “it’s no big deal.” “Let boys be boys”… “don’t’ cause drama”… “wtf up with your pms?”

BECAUSE a lot of men have been ignoring discrimination for years. So no, it doesn’t surprise me that a lot of men have thrown their hands in the air at this Alamo Drafthouse thing and said “chill”….

Of course chill, because you haven’t been disgusted and fighting against every grain of discrimination for years and years. It gets under your skin, the injustice and when you see it …whether it be happening to women OR men, it enrages me.

Don’t worry, I see the flip side too! — don’t even get me started on the women who are abusing female-positive discrimination. This is certainly not what we have been fighting for.

And it’s a shame that things like this (a female super hero movie and a girls only theater even) come to define “feminism” when for months this year, women have been pouring into the Texas Capitol building begging for legislation that would give women back the rights to make choices for their own health and well being.

It’s as if there is this privileged group of women who are now taking for granted what other women spent a lifetime fighting against. It makes me sad to see the way in which “feminism” has been absolutely bastardized.

And perhaps we’ve just progressed enough as a culture that feminism needs a new terminology… one that is inclusive and helps further define a narrative that embraces both sexes as deserving of equal treatment.

Anyhow, we have a ways to go but there is hope. There have been enormous grass roots movements in supporting women running for public office to start changing the status quo.  These women who are working their way into positions of positive change are supported by both sexes. It’s been encouraging to see.

I think if you’re happy with the status quo, you probably aren’t that motivated to stir the pot… too much of the “well it doesn’t even effect” me syndrome. AND speaking out often means you have to defend your ideas and if you are “meh” on the issue to begin with, is it really worth your while to find yourself challenged? I’d love to see less “meh”…

It’s no surprise that I’ve never been meh on discrimination. I think it is rooted in ignorance and garbage notions of superiority. It does not promote growth for our society whatsoever…. even if it’s just for one night AND for charity. I don’t care what it’s for or for how long it is, it’s not something I ever want us to value.

And if what you want is a society that is socially cohesive and promotes treating everyone with acceptance then you need to enforce and defend the principles that can make that possible…ie do not tolerate discrimination of any kind. Do not stay meh about it.

Why They March


I haven’t really had a chance to full form my thoughts on the world wide Women’s March that happened today. It’s a truly mixed bag of different ideas.. mostly pondering.

I went into the March with a lot of questions and came out with a lot of questions. I see this type of support world wide with enthusiasm and also skeptical reality.

So many agendas spread across so many women (and men). There was no clear message from what I could tell other than, we’re here and we have a problem with what we see happening.

And as successful as the marches were, I’d say that I’m very pessimistic going forward. This is because the one thing protesters wouldn’t say but I think everyone wants, the dissolution of a patriarchy… world wide.

Men can’t lead “us” anymore because they can’t be trusted to fight for what we want and/or need. Of course this is a gross generalization. This seems to be applied on multiple factors across different agendas as well including POC (people of color), LGBTQ, and immigrants.

They just simply don’t trust a “white man” to fight for what is best for them. And while MANY white men have fought for women’s rights and been at the forefront of civil liberties, it simply isn’t enough. Women have been losing ground on abortion for years now in so many states with tighter restrictions and controls.

I mention abortion in particular because the majority of the signs I saw were about pro-choice and a women’s right to make choices for her body.

And I remember thinking to myself, if the governing patriarchy would just stay out of women’s reproductive rights, there would be far less “resistance” in our current political climate.

The danger of course is the perceived idea that women want to take over. I think that is a bit ludicrous to buy into but who knows how people perceive these types of protests… I know a lot of people expressed that they thought the protesters were only anti-Trump or that they hate men all together.

Well, they probably all did hate Trump but definitely do not hate all men. There were so many men at the march here in Austin supporting their partners and friends.

I think the main message or rather the most impactful was to say, hey look young women around the world. If you want to choose to start leading and start representing your community, there is one behind you that will support you.

So maybe the “resistance” should start to be more well stated and defined going forward. It would be a shame for so many people to want a change in representation and not know how to achieve it.. (I’m looking at you Occupy Wall Street).

The White Man

I’ve been caught up on a few comments left on my Hidden Figures review. I knew I’d catch a lot of disagreement and that’s not what bothers me.

What bothers me is that I keep hearing the phrase “The White Man” as a major argument. It’s disconcerting that in our modern day that we still try to fight racism with racism. You can not clump an entire race as an issue. You can’t judge someone by the color of their skin.

That’s the whole point. That’s why I wish there was someone as elegant as Martin Luther King today to really re-emphasize that this isn’t a racial problem… this is a human problem. This is about promoting education and combating ignorance.

It’s about shifting the dynamic of thinking in terms of skin color to thinking in terms of ideas and motivations. White people aren’t the problem. And if you keep thinking this, you will never be able to engage the real issue. We have to promote a society that sees everyone as equal.

If you already come at the race issue with “white people” are the problem then you’re not understanding the individual value of human growth. phew… I dunno. I think I should do a water cooler chat on this and just accept I’m going to get a million comments about how it’s not surprising a yellow girl is defending the “white man”…

but I think this is too important to the ongoing and increasing issues of racism in our country. People are not racists because of the color of their skin, they are racists because they were taught to be, because they have chosen a path of ignorance instead of acceptance.

Humanity can’t go much further unless these useless ideas can be eradicated and we focus on progress, science, education, and creativity.

Guardians of The Galaxy Review [Repost from 08/01/2014]


Holy F balls! Guardians of the Galaxy was not only an awesome comic book story come to life, it was just flat out an amazing science fiction movie! It had the tech, it had the aliens, it had the interstellar social conflict! It had it all without even over reaching!

In fact, it is now my most favorite movie of the year. Snowpiercer has been topped! I don’t think I’ve seen a great sci-fi movie like this since….Serenity?? It has a Serenity like ensemble premise, set in a Star Trek Society that engages in interspecies battles like Star Wars! Win Win Win Win Win.

And I truly love how the film makers were able to sustain an R-rated quality to the characters of the film despite having to make the film PG-13. I think they did an awesome job with the crudeness of remarks and heartless sarcasm that made it believable that these were definitely the outlaw type.

The CGI work was incredible with Rocket and Groot. It was so immersive that I often forgot I was looking at CG work. It all was so fluid..each scene, each element, all the sci-fi eye candy just made you feel like you were in a Sci-Fi dream come true.

I thought the cast ensemble came together very nicely and each of them being so eccentric really worked to make almost all their interactions just so entertaining. My only complaint is that I thought Gamora wasn’t as hard and bad ass as I thought she should be. I guess Thanos didn’t torture her enough for the brainwashing to take control.

Rocket was just amazing. The animation team who worked on his eyes did such an amazing job. They were SOOO expressive. And of course I was happy they were able to retain Rocket’s no bullshit commentary on shitty situations. “boo hooo, your wife and kid died…get over it..everyone’s someone died.” to which Groot gasps! Those are the scenes I live for.

The villain Ronan was fairly formidable. I just liked that he got us an audience with Thanos who OMFG looks so amazing now compared to the teaser shot we got a the end of Avengers. I don’t know the backstory of his hatred for everything but I’ve gotten to the point where I’m okay with people wanting to wipe out everyone else for no reason. Besides, his fall all came down to a dance battle and that blew my mind.

Speaking of dance battles, can we talk about the music in this film!??? ACE.. TOTAL ACES!!! Any time you have people singing or dancing in a movie out on a remote planet, it’s just total win.

I can’t wait to see this movie again ASAP!!!! Like tomorrow! The 3D experience was so dismal. I felt cheated of the richness of the textures, colors, the vibrancy, the fluidity of the story line. I need to see this movie in all its glory again without the 3D nonsense.

Oh, And I just about lost my shit when I saw baby vine groot dancing. Just YES. YES. YES. Guardians of the Galaxy 2 can’t come soon enough… (black light, like a jackson pollock painting)

#guardiansofthegalaxy #review #groot #scifi #movie #3d #team #rocket#gamora #ronan #thanos #starlord

Large scale ideological shifts rarely have an effect on the savagery of power and money

Reading reviews for War Dogs. Most of the criticism seem to come from those who wanted there to be serious consequence or some kind of moral narrative. It’s funny because that’s why I really liked the movie as well as Lord of War.
It’s not heavy handed. It simply shows you how absurd the reality of any situation can be including our perceived notions of how power and wealth are obtained.
I also have a real appreciation for sardonic humor and that might be largely attributed to how much derision I have for the world. It’s always interesting what people read into films based on your own values, motivations, and expectations.
As my expectations for the world and mankind or so low, I tend not to appreciate heavy handed expressions of moral persecution as much as I simply appreciate good story telling. Large scale ideological shifts rarely have an effect on the savagery of power and money.
However, I do enjoy movies that become an impetus for discussion and are thought provoking. I just don’t think it is necessary to expect a movie like War Dogs to try to come down hard on specific ideologies about gun running.
(no dog was harmed in the making of this post. bb gun was not loaded, calm your britches)

Flash Fiction

Man I just discovered this form of writing called Flash fiction. It’s perfect for our ever shortening attention spans. They are usually 100 word stories (sometimes 500-1000). I think it’s great for boosting creativity and getting ideas out there. I’m tempted to try my hand at it and see what stories I can come up with. I often have so many ideas but then feel like there is no way I could write an entire novel.

At what point does the need to point out the empowering “strong female character ” stop?

In reply to two comments on my Stranger Things review:

*I have a question for the women watching this, at what point does the need to point out the empowering “strong female character ” stop?

*In fact, the ’empowered female character’ point Alachia made about Ela was really the only thing I found jarring in what was otherwise an excellent review (though I’m finding she is really consistent in delivering quality reviews from what I’ve watched so far).

Maybe it’s because I’m female that I pay more attention to how females are portrayed…but in the cases of most of the “strong” ones.. they come with caveats. Sara Conner- crazy, Ripley- terrified and abused, Rey- young and unsure of her powers. …and whatever that Hunger Games mess was. These women are weak on some level but rise out of that to find strength. Even Eleven was the same.

If you look at movies targeted towards men vs women you see a vast difference in where the heart of the story lies. Love, Emotional Triumph, Sex, Relationships vs Fighting, Car Chases, Revenge, Violence. I’m not even going to label which is which. There is a general division of interests between men and women in the states and that is something people don’t want to say. That we’re somehow equal in interests as well as everything else. Men and women are not the same.

What is generally derived as bold, brave, and fortuitous characters in film tend to be of one sex. Not to mention physically efficient. There are rare exceptions but in general, this is the case and I don’t necessarily blame anyone for it because like I said, the sexes are different here and the demographic interests in movies is apparent.

My biggest concern is that you have a problem if a female wants to feel empowered. Not all of us just decide we’re equal and worthy of different attributes. Everyone comes into their own sense of worth at different times and different moments depending on their value system. Emboldening a moment for one sex shouldn’t be seen as unnecessary or a waste. We all need moments.

I personally love the idea of physical strength being more represented in film. It is why I really love anime as they’ve done what general western films simply lack, in giving females amazing and equal powers to male counterparts. I don’t care if it is just fantasy, it’s just nice to see on a personal level. I don’t know why that’s an issue, wanting that?


It’s nice that people ask the question. I think it’s a valid one. Strong female characters should never stop if they are part of a compelling narrative. To shove a strong female into a story just for “empowerment” sake is where things just become trite and undermines the point. Both male and females should be able to take pride in their sex, there is nothing wrong with that.

Where that source of pride comes from can vary and the necessity also vary. Some women like to see themselves sexually dominant, others business savvy, and some like me want to see women snap necks. It’s a personal thing! There is no right or wrong to it.

Now if you sit there and try to shove “strong female” down everyone’s throat without providing a decent narrative along with it, then you defeat the whole purpose. Rey’s character in Star Wars was a huge cop out in my opinion and leads down the path of “she’s a bad ass because they said so” …instead of you just knowing she’s a bad ass because she simply was one. Male or female, that story path is weak. You kind of need to at least be able to peak at where their strength comes from…ie intensive training, gifts from the gods, specific life experiences, academics… etc.

For example in the case of Sara Conner in T2, you know she’s gained her strength from extensive work outs as well as her experiences and knowledge of the terminator and the future. In the case of Rita in the Edge of Tomorrow it was trauma from the war and extensive non stop combat training.

It’s nice to see physically powerful females represented. We do after all, live in a world where human trafficking is a 32 billion dollar industry. In the US alone, 4 million women are victims of domestic violence.

I think a lot of us are lucky in that we live in a social circle where women are empowered daily by their peers and parents. But that’s not the case for everyone. So yes, in some aspects the idea that women need to be empowered can seem like some kind of pedantic petty pat on the head that females don’t need. And in some of the films, it sure seems like that’s all they are doing.

But there are cases where strong character moments connect and embolden someone to feel more worthy or more capable or enable them to see past their current situation. For that, I don’t really feel like you could ever say there could be enough.

My ongoing battle with DC and Marvel fans…

My ongoing battle with DC and Marvel fans is tedious. Never has the idea that people want their own opinions spelled back to them ever been more prominent. It’s either love or hate and if you’re standing on the wrong side of those absolutes, it’s hell and damnation.
But I’m okay with standing here. I just feel like it’s an uphill battle to constantly defend my right to have an opinion on characters that I grew up loving as my own version of mythological gods.
And one thing DC fans hate admitting is that Zach Synder’s vision truly created a gigantic divide among Superman fans in particular. For those who hate his vision, the distrust for the studio is immense. There is no such thing as a clean slate after seeing TWO giant blockbuster movies come out completely deconstructing your favorite hero into …. I’m still not even sure what.
I have ultimately been super displeased with DC’s direction with the live action movies. I see missed opportunities everywhere.
But I’m not exactly in love with Marvel either. I just simply trust them to tell good superhero movies, the kind I want. Civil War was probably the only movies so far that I had outstanding issues with and that had more to do with the inconsistency between real life political policies and the story line. But I didn’t come out of that movie feeling as if any of the characters themselves were grossly misrepresented.
Antman. A movie that had so many production issues somehow ended up being one of my favorite Marvel films so far. Why? Because I ended up falling in love with Antman whom I thought previously was a superhero I wouldn’t care much about.
It’s clear that Snyder has a distaste for idealism as he spent two movies telling us that we should care about heroes who are less than ideal. And that’s every creators right to do.. try to tell their story. But it’s also my right to HATE every second of it.
The sooner WB/DCEU moves away from Snyder’s vision, the sooner I can fall back in love with DC. I mean, look, after all that venting and frustration I had with MoS and BvS, all it took was ONE photo of Superman smiling and my heart melted.
This is the emotional connection a lot of us have with the ideals of a superhero. It means a lot to someone like me who has a hard time dealing with uncontrollable tragedies in the world. I need a hero. I simply do and I’m tired of having to apologize for it.
I don’t care if it comes from Marvel or DC. I just want one.

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