On Being Useful

The Belle Jar

I often worry about being useful.

Especially these days, when I feel like I’m drowning in a sea of bad moods and even the most basic daily activities are a struggle to complete. The truth is that for this past month I’ve barely been able to take care of myself, let alone do things like wash the dishes or give my kid a bath or think up genius words to write. For most of this year so far I have been the opposite of useful, and that’s been frightening and disorienting. I am so accustomed to being the unstoppably active one, the go-getter, to do-er of things that I just don’t know what to make of myself right now. All that I know is that I am not useful, either to myself or to anyone else.

I don’t just mean in a general sense, like a broad what-am-I-doing-with-my-life sort of thing, but…

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Insomnia, Anhedonia and The Unbearable Politeness of Being

The Belle Jar

Right now my favourite part of the day is the last half hour or so, which is the time I spend fighting the effects of my prescription sleeping pill. I get to ride this wave of sleepy euphoria, where the whirring, clanking machinery inside my head slows down and all of my limbs are loose and relaxed. It’s like being drunk or high, except that it feels very calm and safe — unlike other altered states of consciousness, I know that nothing can go wrong. When I finally do lie down, with the thought that I have several hours of blissful unconsciousness to look forward to, I feel everything draw away from me, my body suspended in a dark sea as I wait for sleep to gather at the edge of the horizon and then come crashing over me.

This is what I look forward to, from the time I wake up until…

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dioramas of two people in concert

what am I?
you ask me because it was easy to ask than to proceed with an answer
we were both cobbled stones of a street with the mimicry of each other’s
positioned organs upon each layer – only some glands and garbles slightly different
for the mechanism in the marbles holds best to steer  the courses  as they say.

we don’t want to think in genders and sexes
though our positions are gendered and sexed
with all the fluids, hormones, desires and culture
assisting, hurting, abusing, limiting, transcending
between our androgynous spaces of  brain, soul and mind
matters – what mattered to me was you, we both enveloped
by our hyphenated clauses our breathy unfinished words
and orgasms from a pulpit of our elbows, napes, skins and throats
to the apex of your thighs – where your penile-clit a contradiction of towers
who  is clamped shut by being built by dead stone; whose industries knew no skylines like
your erections knew the skylines of your jaws, face and eyes…

what am I?
and we do not make love, or fuck, or buy time by receding
into our own hourglasses with its concave and convex dimensions
it’s practical math mixed with a √ and a π and some other things
we could lapped to know with both tongue and teeth as in both the body mixing
and the word mixing…

we don’t know what should end or begin or rather are we both
already beginning and ending something with our breathing and gazing
with the nightmare and dream of our veins coddled by blood that knew how to
cross lines beyond bone-borders without leaving a trace aside a  small sense
of knowing you had joined with another…we are just comedies and tragedies and
autobiographies when we are not like this and I think we exist  only in a context that does
not really embrace other contexts…we are beginning to be less amorous and more bored with ourselves than each other…

what am I?

now I don’t know and you don’t know if my breasts has it
the answer or your chest has it and are we both under lock and key
are we both asking this to ourselves or to the other…

and we each loop this question, infinite, constructing a golden ratio
that broke the breadth and width of it and knew something else entirely.▬

Fuck Busy

Sometimes I do think on this. Are you less relevant, smart, significant, important, good or better because you are NOT busy?

Sometimes, procrastination or even some time off is what people need. They may not have been workaholics true but neither have they degenerated to dope pushing or weird looking sloths/slouches/busybodies(pun-intended)/criminals. How can you construct a “busy” when you don’t have a “leisure” or even a gradient of “things to do”. In my blog before I did talk abut boredom and me not being integral. This has a lot of things to do with “busy” culture and also how many developing countries don’t have the concept of “leisure time spent” either.

I may write a bit more in-depth on this but I am happy that this article does make sense.

The Belle Jar

Late last night I was cruising around on Pinterest because hey I’m a boring 30-something mom and that’s what I do when I can’t sleep. Which, by the way, is every night, meaning that I’ve developed a bit of a Pinterest habit, among other things (my  insomnia-beating arsenal includes such soothing activities as: watching documentaries about the Chernobyl “liquidators,” hate-reading the blogs of conservative white dudes, and sending slightly incoherent late-night messages to my friends and acquaintances). Anyway, I was happily scrolling through pictures of pretty landscapes tragically marred by trite sayings (example: a gorgeous mountain at sunset with DON’T GIVE UP, THE BEST IS YET TO COME scrawled across it in white letters) when I came across this:


I had one of those moments where I was like, “oh.” And then I was like, “yes.” And then I had this huge mishmash of complicated feelings that I’ve been trying…

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Shit White Feminists Need To Stop Doing

Lot of guts to actually critique yourself or people that can be held in relation to you

The Belle Jar

I’m a white feminist, and let me tell you something: white feminism* is pretty bullshit. It’s exclusive, oppressive, and serves to further marginalize the people who are most impacted by misogyny. Unfortunately, white feminism is also the western status quo of feminism, meaning that white feminists have the biggest platforms, have increased access to resources and media, and are generally considered to be The Voice of Feminism. In theory, someone truly interested in equality would use these assets to amplify the voices of women of colour. In practice, white supremacy is a real thing and white feminists often seem to forget that their white privilege makes it easy as hell to trample over women of colour as they work to dismantle the patriarchy.

So, in honour of International Women’s Day, here is a non-exhaustive list of Shit White Feminists Need to Stop Doing:

1. Believing Their Experiences of Marginalization Are…

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Virginity, Violence and Male Entitlement

The Belle Jar

I’ve seen a number of articles written this week by men – nice, well-intentioned, feminist men, I’m sure – about how they empathize with Elliot Rodgers.

Oh, of course they’re disgusted by his actions and of course they think he was a terrible excuse for a human being, but, well, on some level they get it. Because they know what it’s like to be a lonely dude who feels isolated and unloved. They know what it’s like to want female attention but not know how to get it. They know what it’s like to be embarrassed and ashamed at finding yourself still a virgin at the age of twenty two. So while they condemn his actions, they can’t help but somehow feel a little bit sorry for him.

I can find it in my heart to feel many things, but being sorry for Elliot Rodgers will never be one of…

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In Praise of Endings

“Perhaps the reason that I find endings so satisfying is because things do end. People break up, retire, and die. The hero of one battle is rarely the hero of the next. Yet the longer a series goes on, the hero becomes more and more central to the universe. Eventually the universe seems to revolve around them, and, when that happens, it becomes unbearable claustrophobic. The protagonist becomes the most important person in that world. No longer are they just a human being fighting against fate, but they are mythical in their power and influence. While there is a certain pleasure in reading about characters whose importance is of mythical proportions, I prefer when the characters start out mythic rather than becoming so through each new edition to the story. Perhaps the best example of this transformation is that of John McClane, which has been noted by many people. One of the pleasures of Die Hard is that John McClane is an everyman, a regular cop, who finds himself in an extreme situation and rises to the occasion. However, several movies later he has become the supreme bad ass. All sense that he is a regular guy is gone, which means the tension of the original is gone. We know he will succeed because he’s no longer is a mortal man. He’s something more. Also, the bit of escapist fantasy that is in the first one—a regular person winning against near insurmountable odds—is gone. I like John McClane, but I rather his story ended when his universe was big, and he was only one somewhat believable man.”

I actually liked that someone pointed this out. Though I love the idea of a protagonist being important the entire universe only depending on one person and not being able to move forward without them or worse being able to move forward without them but relegating their role as human as secondly important is actually something I am starting to dislike. I mean I have seen even in animes and cartoons like “Legend of Korra” where a team effort becomes really pushed to the periphery though I understand it’s Korra’s story and she is the avatar I am not always happy that she is either put so much in that position it become inescapable or so little about her is thought about that her humanity is forgotten.

There are other good observations in this post and I am happy someone can so nicely flesh it out. There might be spoilers for Die Hard movies here and the a big spoiler to the movie “Babadook” so watch out when you read. But one good read is this 🙂

Waiting Outside of Parnassus

My now complete copy of Because They Wanted To My now complete copy of Because They Wanted To

I have a habit, where, as I’m reading a book, I turn to the last page. I don’t read the last page, I just see what it is and calculate how many pages I have left to read. I do this whether I am enjoying a book or not. The other night, as I was reading Because They Wanted To: Stories by Mary Gaitskill, I noticed that the last sentence didn’t have a period or closing quotation marks. There was no flyleaf or an about the author page. My copy was missing the last four pages. Google books let me preview several pages, in fact a surprisingly large amount of pages—but not the last four. I’ve checked several libraries and have discovered that there is no e-book version of the text that I can quickly check out. They did have physical…

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Grammar-ease: When to write out numbers

Live to Write - Write to Live

Welcome to a new grammar post, lovely readers. This topic came from one of you, thank you!

When do you write out numbers?

Some consistent rules include:

  • Write out small, whole numbers that are less than 10: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine
  • Write out centuries and decades: twenty-first century, the Seventies
  • Write out a number if it starts a sentence: Six hundred men stormed the castle. (An exception is if the sentence starts with a year: 1965 was a great year.)
  • Estimated and rounded numbers over a million are a mix:
    2 million, 47 billion, 598 trillion (exact numbers are written out: 1,734,683,925; 1,985; 99,234, and so on)
  • Similar to the above point, percentages, when a whole number, spell out; with decimal or fraction, use the number: thirty-seven percent (or 37 percent); 2.75%, 3 3/4%, ten percent (or 10 percent).
  • When two numbers are next to each other, spell…

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