jennythereader: (* I Don't Want Your Morals: I Have My Ow)
2015-03-03 09:34 am

Live By The Golden Rule



Just because people around me act as if they are still teenagers is no reason for me to react as if I were still a teenager.


Since leaving East Lansing I've realized that a large part of why I was so miserable in high school wasn't the way people treated me, it was the way I reacted to that treatment. I let the horrible behavior of a few people make me so paranoid and over-sensitive that I assumed everyone wanted to be just as evil to me. If they weren't being actively evil at that moment, it was because they were setting me up, or because they didn't want to look bad in front of a grown-up, or they had some other reason to lie. If I heard laughter but not the joke, I assumed I was being laughed at. Beyond the paranoia and sensitivity, the other part of my reaction was the classic "hurt them before they hurt you." Not healthy then, and not healthy now.

I have to remember that the odds are good that the half-heard comments and stifled laughter are not about me at all, and even if they are, I need to look at the people it's coming from. Are they people who's opinions I give a flying f**k about? Chances are that they aren't. Easy to say, hard to act on.

Live by the Golden Rule, even if no one else seems to.


I've edited this a couple of times to improve phrasings. I'll probably make further changes. The most recent change was to move the picture from the bottom to the top.
jennythereader: (* I Don't Want Your Morals: I Have My Ow)
2015-03-03 09:34 am

Live By The Golden Rule



Just because people around me act as if they are still teenagers is no reason for me to react as if I were still a teenager.


Since leaving East Lansing I've realized that a large part of why I was so miserable in high school wasn't the way people treated me, it was the way I reacted to that treatment. I let the horrible behavior of a few people make me so paranoid and over-sensitive that I assumed everyone wanted to be just as evil to me. If they weren't being actively evil at that moment, it was because they were setting me up, or because they didn't want to look bad in front of a grown-up, or they had some other reason to lie. If I heard laughter but not the joke, I assumed I was being laughed at. Beyond the paranoia and sensitivity, the other part of my reaction was the classic "hurt them before they hurt you." Not healthy then, and not healthy now.

I have to remember that the odds are good that the half-heard comments and stifled laughter are not about me at all, and even if they are, I need to look at the people it's coming from. Are they people who's opinions I give a flying f**k about? Chances are that they aren't. Easy to say, hard to act on.

Live by the Golden Rule, even if no one else seems to.


I've edited this a couple of times to improve phrasings. I'll probably make further changes. The most recent change was to move the picture from the bottom to the top.
jennythereader: (Default)
2013-01-09 10:06 am

Law, Force, and Community Standards

The law does not force people to behave in a particular way. The law codifies what a community already believes about how people should behave and lays out consequences for people who choose to go against this consensus.

This is why the Founding Fathers allowed the Constitution to be amended: because they knew that what the community considers acceptable changes over time, and that the law needs be be able to change with it.

It's also why civil disobedience, protests, boycotts, and similar symbolic gestures can have such powerful effects. The community's attention is drawn to the thing that is being protested against, and with that attention comes discussion and eventually a new consensus. If that new consensus is different enough from the old one the old laws will be removed and new laws will be written that reflect the new community standards. Added at 3:55 pm, 1-9-13: In this country, that consensus is filtered through the lens of our complex governmental system, with its multiple administrative levels and division of duties between multiple branches of government at each level. This results in new societal consenses becoming new laws extremely slowly.

Whatever a community considers acceptable behavior, the people of that community will always fall into four camps: (1)Those who will behave that way no matter what, (2)Those people who will not behave that way no matter what, (3)Those who behave in the way that brings them the greatest reward for the lowest risk, and (4)Those who just do whatever is less effort. The law only (directly) affects the behavior of those in groups 3 and 4. [Side note - I waffled about splitting groups 3 & 4, and still think that line is the blurriest of the ones I'm drawing here.]

Slightly silly illustration of the idea: Currently our society mostly agrees that wolverines make rotten pets. If a law were passed forbidding the ownership of wolverines by private individuals it would only really affect groups 3 & 4. Group 1 never would have owned one in the first place, while group 2 was always going to ignore that law or anything like it. Some members of group 3 would decide that the profit to be made by selling wolverine cubs to group 2 is worth the risk of legal consequences, but others would decide that the potential for profit isn't worth the severity of the consequences if caught. And the members of group 4 would continue in whichever state they were in when the law was passed, which given the pre-existing consensus about the suitability of wolverines as pets, means they'd continue to not have them, even if they kind of wanted one. (3:55pm, 1-9-13: Minor edit to rephrase the last sentence.)

I have a point I'm leading up to, but I think I want some discussion of the theory of law I'm presenting here before I make it.
jennythereader: (Default)
2013-01-07 10:03 am

Out of the loop

I really need to get back in the habit of reading my assorted friends-lists on the weekends. I keep not hearing about big stuff until after it's over and done with.
jennythereader: (Default)
2012-12-27 10:01 am

(no subject)

I posted this on Facebook yesterday, and figured I should probably put it here, too. Sorry if you see it more than once.

If my bathroom scale is to be believed, I've lost 25 pounds since I started tracking in mid-August. I haven't been talking about it much, because almost nothing bores me more than diet/exercise/weight talk, but this seemed like a milestone worth noting.

I completely credit it to starting medication for my ADD, in two main ways: 1) Almost immediately after starting on meds back in May I was able to finally break several bad eating habits I'd been trying to stop for years. 2) Appetite suppression is a known side effect of stimulants. Combined, these have meant I've cut way down on my mindless snacking. I've also had an easier time planning ahead so that I can make smart food choices rather than defaulting to whatever is easiest.
jennythereader: (* Card Catalog)
2012-12-13 05:19 pm

I wonder...

In researching my family tree I was reminded of our connection to Rodger Young, a WWII hero. (He was a cousin of my Grandmother, but I haven't tracked down the exact relationship yet.)

I re-read the wikipedia page and found a couple other sites that talk about him and about the song written about him. This profile, as over-romanticized as it is, especially got me thinking.

When the writers of Captain America re-worked Steve Rogers' pre-serum story, was Rodger Young's story somewhere in the back of their minds?

And now I want to read a story in which Rogers hears about Young's life and death. Maybe Colonel Phillips mentions him as someone else who was considered for the serum project.
jennythereader: (Books are the only true magic *)
2012-12-07 03:59 pm

Find the Joy Where You Can

2012 has been a hard year for a lot of people in a lot of ways.

As part of moving past that, I've decided to re-start my Book of Joy project.

The current plan is to stop at Barnes & Noble on my way home from work today and pick up as many blank books as I can with the gift card Dad & Nancy gave me for my birthday. I'll write something in each one and then release them into the wild.

The first one I do will be passed on at the Harmony Drive New Year's Party. After that I'm thinking I'll leave one in the break room at work, the con suite at Arisia (if I make it), the next SCA event I go to, and maybe the library. If anybody has ideas for other places where I could leave future versions, let me know.
jennythereader: (Default)
2012-12-03 01:17 pm

Because I know I have both ADD folks and mental health professionals on my flist

Does anyone have any resources they could point me at about ADD and introversion? Or ADD and personality types in general?

I've done some looking around, but the ADD resources seem to think that all ADDers are extroverts, while the sites I can find that focus on Meyer-Briggs or other personality type systems seem to be pretty skeptical about the existence of ADD at all.
jennythereader: (Default)
2012-11-28 11:44 pm

Living With Curves

I've realized in the last year or so that as a 5' 2.75" curvy woman I have two choices when it comes to clothing my particular body. 1) I can dress to accentuate my curves, or 2) I can dress to blur them. What I can't do is hide them.

So for everyday I try to wear boot-cut jeans designed for "pear-shaped" women. They fit properly at my waist, are snug on my butt and hips, but get looser as they go down my legs. This emphasizes the curves I like, but makes it unclear how big around my calves are. I look for v- and scoop-neck shirts that are loose but not baggy or the wrong length. Again, this draws the eye to the curve I like (my chest), while softening the line of my stomach enough that it isn't instantly obvious how much of it there is.

For special occasion clothes I kind of go the opposite direction. I buy very full skirts and very snug tops, usually in the form of dresses. The full skirts make it hard to tell how much is me and how much is the skirt, while the tops emphasize how narrow my waist is compared to both my hips and my chest.

Unfortunately I do still own and wear clothing that goes against my personal style preferences. Sometimes, I even buy them. I can't afford to replace my whole wardrobe, and when I do shop I'm limited to what's available.
jennythereader: (White Owl 1)
2012-11-19 03:15 pm

Unpleasant, Odd Dream

I wouldn't quite call it a nightmare, but it was absolutely unpleasant.

I was at Pennsic, enjoying a late afternoon of hanging out in my encampment. I wasn't camping anywhere familiar, or with anyone I knew, but dream-me was comfortable there.

Over the course of about 15 minutes the sky goes from slightly cloudy to black-ish green, and 2 funnel clouds form over the site as I watch. I hear a huge cracking sound and see a flash of light behind me, and I turn around to see smoke rising from a few hundred yards away and both a lightning strike and another tornado touch down. I hear screaming coming from all around me.

Then the dream jumped forward in time. I'm not sure how long, but it was well after dark.

There are so many people injured and so much damage has been done to the site that in most cases they aren't trying to bring the ambulances to them. I'm with a small group of people walking from camp to camp, looking for injured folks and for wagons to use to bring them up to the main gate, where the medical people are performing triage. And people are refusing to loan their wagons. We're trying to explain how important it is, that it could save lives, but they just won't listen.
jennythereader: (Default)
2012-11-19 12:26 pm

Odd, Unpleasant Dream

I wouldn't quite call it a nightmare, but it was absolutely unpleasant.

I was at Pennsic, enjoying a late afternoon of hanging out in my encampment. I wasn't camping anywhere familiar, or with anyone I knew, but dream-me was comfortable there.

Over the course of about 15 minutes the sky goes from slightly cloudy to black-ish green, and 2 funnel clouds form over the site as I watch. I hear a huge cracking sound and see a flash of light behind me, and I turn around to see smoke rising from a few hundred yards away and both a lightning strike and another tornado touch down. I hear screaming coming from all around me.

Then the dream jumped forward in time. I'm not sure how long, but it was well after dark.

There are so many people injured and so much damage has been done to the site that in most cases they aren't trying to bring the ambulances to them. I'm with a small group of people walking from camp to camp, looking for injured folks and for wagons to use to bring them up to the main gate, where the medical people are performing triage. And people are refusing to loan their wagons. We're trying to explain how important it is, that it could save lives, but they just won't listen.
jennythereader: (* Library Fairy *)
2012-11-13 12:56 pm

Holiday Wishes 2012

The Rules: )

My Wishes:

1. Followers and people to follow on Pinterest. I'm Jennythereader over there, and I'm always trying increase the varity of what I see on the site. (Some more geeky/fannish/counter-culture/non-mainstream type folks would balance things out nicely.)

2. Music! I love classic rock, all sorts of folk, the blues, some country, big band era jazz, and lots of other stuff. I'm also always willing to try something new.

3. Anything from my Amazon wishlist.

4. Yarn in pretty colors. I prefer variegated yarns on the cool side of the color spectrum, and prefer to work with natural fibers. However, I'll take anything. As a bonus, if you give me yarn you get first dibs on whatever I decide to make with it. (You'd get an email along the lines of "I think that yarn you gave me would make a nice hat. Would you like a hat in those colors? Which of these patterns do you like better? How big is your head?")

5. Things that smell nice. Soap or perfume oils or lotion or bath salts or whatever. I like desserty smelling stuff best, but realistic floral or fruit smells are also good.

6. Gift certificates to Sock Dreams.

7. Homemade candy. Especially things which involve chocolate, mint, cherries, or peanut butter.

8. Make something especially for me.

9. Make a donation to a charity. I'm fond of Heifer International. Your local public library or a local literacy organization are also great causes. Do it in my name if you want, but don't get me on any mailing lists if you can help it. :)

10. Sign up to become an organ donor. A heart transplant saved the life of one of my best friends this year. The only way I can repay the universe for that is to be a donor myself and to encourage others to do the same.

And now, I'm off to find other folks' lists and see what wishes I can grant!
jennythereader: (Default)
2012-11-06 09:36 am

Election Day

I'm not going to tell you who to vote for, but I do have three suggestions to make this election day.

1) VOTE! - If you are a U.S. citizen who is registered, you have an obligation to vote. People have fought and died for 236 years to get us that right in the first place, to expand it beyond white property owning men, and to it keep from being taken away from those who already had it. Make your voice heard! Even if you feel your vote won't make a difference to the presidential election, depending on where you live there are state and local races, initiatives, and constitutional amendments on the ballot.

2) If you can't vote because you aren't registered, today would be a good day to fix that so you'll be able to vote next time around. This site has information on how to register. If you live here but aren't a citizen, spend a few minutes thinking about whether you want to become one.

3) Consider voting for candidates from parties other than the Democrats or the Republicans, especially in county and city elections. I think adding more voices to the political conversation is a good idea, and at the local level they can actually make a difference.
jennythereader: (* I Don't Want Your Morals: I Have My Ow)
2012-11-06 09:34 am

Election Day

I'm not going to tell you who to vote for, but I do have three suggestions to make this election day.

1) VOTE! - If you are a U.S. citizen who is registered, you have an obligation to vote. People have fought and died for 236 years to get us that right in the first place, to expand it beyond white property owning men, and to it keep from being taken away from those who already had it. Make your voice heard! Even if you feel your vote won't make a difference to the presidential election, depending on where you live there are state and local races, initiatives, and constitutional amendments on the ballot.

2) If you can't vote because you aren't registered, today would be a good day to fix that so you'll be able to vote next time around. This site has information on how to register. If you live here but aren't a citizen, spend a few minutes thinking about whether you want to become one.

3) Consider voting for candidates from parties other than the Democrats or the Republicans, especially in county and city elections. I think adding more voices to the political conversation is a good idea, and at the local level they can actually make a difference.
jennythereader: (Flying Owl w/Full Moon)
2012-11-01 03:40 pm

Ancestry.Com Question

Does anyone know if it's possible to pull some data out of a family tree?

I'm especially interested in a way to automatically count what first names have been used most often, and in tracking lifespans and how they change over time. At the moment I'm keeping track manually in a Google spreadsheet, but that's kind of cumbersome.
jennythereader: (Flying Owl w/Full Moon)
2012-11-01 03:40 pm

Ancestry.Com Question

Does anyone know if it's possible to pull some data out of a family tree?

I'm especially interested in a way to automatically count what first names have been used most often, and in tracking lifespans and how they change over time. At the moment I'm keeping track manually in a Google spreadsheet, but that's kind of cumbersome.
jennythereader: (Strawberries *)
2012-10-11 05:13 pm

Icon Hunt

I think I need to find or make a better cooking icon. All the food ones I have are either too specific or too generic.
jennythereader: (Strawberries *)
2012-10-11 05:13 pm

Icon Hunt

I think I need to find or make a better cooking icon. All the food ones I have are either too specific or too generic.
jennythereader: (Professor Cat *)
2012-10-05 12:13 pm

Third Parties

Do you think it would be valuable to have more political parties with a real chance at the presidential level? If you do, what would you change to make it happen?

In my opinion, third parties could make the biggest difference at the local level, but most of them don't really seem interested in local politics. I also think it would be a good thing for third parties to be taken more seriously at the national level.

One way to get voters to think more seriously about third parties would be to have their candidates participate in the debates with the Democratic and Republican candidates. Unfortunately, the way the rules are currently written a candidate has to be polling above 15% for a certain period before the debate. This pretty much means that no third party candidate is ever going to participate.

I think one change to the debate rules would help solve both of these problems. Instead of a polling threshold, use an officeholder threshold. The one I thought of is allow any political party that has constantly had a member in office at the state (state legislative bodies, Governor or other state-wide office, judge [if they're elected and declare a party affiliation]) or national level (House or Senate) for the last 5 years to participate in the presidential debates. I might even count mayor of one of the 10 biggest cities in the country. If that leads to an unwieldy number of people on stage, than either increase the number of officeholders or the amount of time required.

This would help with what I feel is the biggest problem, by giving the third parties a strong motivation for getting people elected to lower levels of office. It would also help with the secondary problem by making it more likely that a third party politician who doesn't have high name recognition would be visible in the presidential campaign.

(Edited to remove some the "I thinks." There were way too many...)
jennythereader: (Professor Cat *)
2012-10-05 12:13 pm

Third Parties

Do you think it would be valuable to have more political parties with a real chance at the presidential level? If you do, what would you change to make it happen?

In my opinion, third parties could make the biggest difference at the local level, but most of them don't really seem interested in local politics. I also think it would be a good thing for third parties to be taken more seriously at the national level.

One way to get voters to think more seriously about third parties would be to have their candidates participate in the debates with the Democratic and Republican candidates. Unfortunately, the way the rules are currently written a candidate has to be polling above 15% for a certain period before the debate. This pretty much means that no third party candidate is ever going to participate.

I think one change to the debate rules would help solve both of these problems. Instead of a polling threshold, use an officeholder threshold. The one I thought of is allow any political party that has constantly had a member in office at the state (state legislative bodies, Governor or other state-wide office, judge [if they're elected and declare a party affiliation]) or national level (House or Senate) for the last 5 years to participate in the presidential debates. I might even count mayor of one of the 10 biggest cities in the country. If that leads to an unwieldy number of people on stage, than either increase the number of officeholders or the amount of time required.

This would help with what I feel is the biggest problem, by giving the third parties a strong motivation for getting people elected to lower levels of office. It would also help with the secondary problem by making it more likely that a third party politician who doesn't have high name recognition would be visible in the presidential campaign.

(Edited to remove some the "I thinks." There were way too many...)