I’ve started Wrapping

… wire that is.

I’ve recently restarted making jewelry out of semi-precious stones and beads. It’s been a fair amount of work, and you would not believe the blisters I’ve developed on my fingers. It’s been an interesting  lesson, and a good way to disconnect from time to time. Just focus on moulding the wire.

Here are just a few of the pieces I’ve made so far.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

If you like any of the pieces you see and want to buy them, they’re all available in my Etsy page. You can also use the splainyouathing coupon code to get 10% off.  Purchases help keep me afloat.

I’ve started Wrapping
{advertisement}

Guest Post: A Night at The Opera: How A Blind Date Got Blind-Sighted By Humanity

CN: Ableism, Threats of Violence,

It’s been a hard week for me. Today was the first day I could walk semi- normally after crashing my e-bike into a car on Thursday.My legs are black and blue. I’ve got whiplash, sore muscles, and have spent the last several days in bed with icepacks at the ready.

I was happy to be feeling better today, because tonight I was going to see “Phantom of the Opera” at the NAC with my 11 year old niece.

Being barely able to move, with my legs looking like a cross between a gorilla and a black and blue elephant, and not to mention that fabric on my legs is extreme agony, I opted to wear some comfortable pants and running shoes. I wasn’t going to risk falling again by wearing heels, or risk having a miserable evening by wearing clothes that hurt my legs, or revealed their startling mosaic of bruised hairy nightmares to the whole NAC. Pants are definitely more respectful.

When we arrived at our seats, sitting directly ahead of me was someone I knew. The person who told me Phantom was in town and one of the reasons I bought tickets for this showing for this specific section. This way I’d have someone nearby that I knew, and my anxiety wouldn’t be as bad. When we get to our seats, I see that she’s there. So far, so good.

I said hello as I sat down. She looks at me with disgust in her eyes. “Really? You couldn’t dress up? This is the NAC, Sophie, you’re an embarrassment.” Well. I’m sure my hairy black and blue legs would have been more so, thank you very much. The safety zone I’d planned on wasn’t going to happen, clearly, but I had a backup plan. I took out my Anxiety Duck. He comes with me to my appointments all the time, and helps keep me calm. Again, my “friend” felt the need to comment: “Really? Put that away. You’re humiliating me.” OK fine. Guess who’s on ignore the rest of the evening.

Continue reading “Guest Post: A Night at The Opera: How A Blind Date Got Blind-Sighted By Humanity”

Guest Post: A Night at The Opera: How A Blind Date Got Blind-Sighted By Humanity

The Emotional Labour of Asking for Help

I think one of the hardest things for me to learn after I became disabled, was when to slow down, and when to ask for help. We talk about the energy cost that comes with living with chronic illness, but accepting it is still a process. Coming to terms with the fact that you can’t do certain things is hard. You’re determined not to let being sick change you, but you have no choice. You have to. Because you are different now. There are things you cannot do, and moving on and becoming yourself means coming to terms with that.

What many people don’t understand is that it’s not a onetime thing.

It happens again every time we have to ask for help.

Society tells us, as well as everyone in our lives, that we are a burden and that that is all we can be. No matter how much we learn that it is not the case, it is still hard not to internalize that message. The message is passed along in the media around us – with disability being presented as the worst possible thing that can happen to anyone, and in the reactions of people around us.

When Alyssa and I were together for example, it was not uncommon for members of her family to question her as to what good our relationship was with me being so broken. When she had called her mother to announce our engagement, what should have been happy news was instead met with a sense of mounting horror and dramatic exclamations of “no, no, no”. Later when discussing it with her father, the concerns about tying your fortunes to a disabled person came up again. When I was with my ex before Alyssa, so many people would tell me over and over again that I was lucky to have found someone who was willing to stay with me. I think the worst however, was when a friend who also happened to be Alyssa’s partner tried to talk me out of getting a dog to train as a service dog for myself by bringing up how much Alyssa already had to do around the house.

Although it was never flat out said, the implication was obvious. I was a burden.

Continue reading “The Emotional Labour of Asking for Help”

The Emotional Labour of Asking for Help

Quebec’s Bill 62 puts abuse victims at risk

If you’ve been following Canadian news at all, you might have heard about a new bill that passed in Quebec. Bill 62 which essentially mandates that you cannot access public services, including bus transportation, if your face is covered.

This is just the latest in a history of bills aimed at specifically targeting Muslim women, including the horrible Values Charter and many other suggestions. They parrot similar laws passed in France, also aimed at the increasing number of refugees from Islamic countries.

The bill is racist, plain and simple. It is legislative legitimization of said racism, giving bigots a convenient cover for discriminating against brown people. Yes, Islam is a religion, but the social perception of “Muslim” is of someone with darker skin. Additionally, there is a tendency to presume that all brown people are Muslim. Many Sikh people and Indian people of various faiths have faced discrimination in Canada and the US, with a strong implication that the bigot in question assumes them to be Islamic.

Continue reading “Quebec’s Bill 62 puts abuse victims at risk”

Quebec’s Bill 62 puts abuse victims at risk

10 Tips for Men to be Better in Bed

Recently a series of conversations on Facebook took place surrounding a very funny summary of sex between a cishet man and a woman. The jist of the joke had to do with the experiences of women who sleep with cis men and an exaggerated version of the very similar script followed by many of these men. Basically along the lines of of ‟kisses for 20 seconds, fingers you for 30 seconds, immediately wants PiV intercourse. Pumps away with no clitoral stimulation. Cums. Asks did you cum, then rolls over and falls asleep.”

The number of women and non-binary people  who commented on the shares of this post was both entertaining and a sad commentary on the average straight sexual experience. Many of the comments included additional frequent script additions including the stereotypical downward head push when some guys want oral sex, the rareness with which men actually offer or go ahead with eating out, and the tendency for sex to really be all about his orgasm – while at the same time many men are convinced that they’re Dynamos in bed.

As I’ve written previously, I’ve been having some sexy adventures of late, in an attempt to live by the old adage: “The best way to get over someone, is to get under a lot of someones.” While it is only recently that I’ve engaged in more diverse adventures, even before my possibly tawdry experiments however, I had an uncommonly good knowledge of matters related to sex and sexuality.

From a fairly young age, I was intrigued by sex and my research took various forms including but not limited to pornography, literotica, various articles, sex and relationship advice columns, as well as actual academic studies in sexology. What’s more, for all that I may be awkward, I have been told that I have fairly good insight into people’s motivations, wants, fears, etc. Even before I lost my virginity, it was not uncommon for friends and acquaintances to seek my advice on issues related to sex and relationships, and my advice very frequently proved helpful. A few years ago, I even looked into starting an advice column, but had no idea how to seek out questions.

Continuing the fun, I asked my friends about advice they could give to cis het men when it comes to being a better lover. More hilarity ensued, but there was also an undercurrent of anger. I mean… seriously, wouldn’t you be if guys bragging about what great lovers they are, but continuously turned out to be nothing to write home about?

Based on the comments and my own experiences, I’ve put together a list of advice designed to help cis het men, and frankly anyone who sleeps with either women or people with vaginas. Note that because this article is targeted at Cis Het Men when interacting with women with vaginas, the language used may be somewhat binary in nature. This is not meant to exclude non-binary people as both existing, their identity being truth, but is only meant to deal with a very specific set of circumstances and not be a general essay on sex and different orientations. Those posts may yet be coming. Remember: Not all women have vaginas, not all men have penises, and there are more than two genders.

Without Further Ado: Ten Tips On How to Rock Her World Continue reading “10 Tips for Men to be Better in Bed”

10 Tips for Men to be Better in Bed

Mandesty Monday: Aussie Edition

Brave Mandesty reader CS informed me of this ridiculous display. You thought the Outback with its weird and wild creatures was scary? Well just feast your eyes on this!

I do not believe this man has the proper koalafications

For 24 years the Not-So-Wonderful Land of Oz has published a slutty firefighters calendar. This year there are three versions; slutty firefighters posing with wild animals, puppies, and just themselves. The proceeds got to children’s charity. 

Save the children! But the fine print sells your soul. 

This isn’t the first time firefighters are featured here. Nor is it the first or even the 5th time that I’ve talked about animals being exposed to such sinful flesh. 

How Australia recruits firefighters
Mandesty Monday: Aussie Edition

Descolonicemos lo que nos Enseñaron

The following quotes are from a post I’ve seen floating around el facebook, shared among several pages dedicated to my hometown and Puerto Rico in general.

Cuando Puerto Rico estaba bien, los comunistas, los socialistas, los independentistas y los soberanistas gritaban “Yankee go home, we do not need you”. Ahora no se escuchan ni se ven.

Puerto Rico nunca ha estado bien, por eso es que gritamos “Yankee go home”. Porque ellos tienen mucha de la culpa por la cual Puerto Rico esta en problemas económicos.

¿Dónde está el patriota Óscar López y los macheteros con machete en mano cortando árboles y trabajando por la patria? ¿Dónde están los encapuchados de la UPR que no se ven limpiando los escombros en la universidad y las carreteras de la patria? ¿Dónde están los ambientalistos que no se ven limpiando las playas, cortando árboles y limpiando carreteras? ¿Dónde está ese grito de guerra “Yankee go home” que los identifican? 

Apuesto que están ahí, limpiando y colaborando para levantar a Puerto Rico. Y todavia le gritamos al colonizador. Ese hecho no contradice el otro.  

And what’s this:
El presidente interino de la Universidad de Puerto Rico (UPR), Darrel F. Hillman Barrera, exhortó hoy, jueves, a la comunidad universitaria a unirse en trabajo voluntario para rehabilitar el Jardín Botánico, en Río Piedras.

Mira pa’lla. The President of the University of Puerto Rico is asking for student (and other) volunteers to help clean up their botanical garden in Rio Piedras. Metiste la pata bien meti’a, mijo.

But now everyone in Puerto Rico speaks English. Carmen Yulin en representación de la izquierda boricua por cámara y con lágrima en los ojos expresó: “We are American Citizens, we need help.”

Well, I mean we are citizens. Yulín is rightfully calling out the government. So what’s your point? Don’t think I don’t catch the casual sexism of pointing out that Yulín Cruz cried.

Yeah, we know, that’s why we’re here. And we will always be.

We’re American (second class) citizens because one colonizer ceded us to another. I certainly hope we aren’t always a colony. ¿Estas diciendo que porque criticamos a los gringos no podemos esperar que ellos manden la ayuda que es necesaria?

I’ve encountered this type of thinking before. The type that says that if you accept help from the government you can’t complain. So, the poor can’t demand justice because we’re on food stamps? That’s victim blaming bullshit. We didn’t ask to be colonized, but if we are going to be then the United States HAS the ethical and moral responsibility to send help.

“Yankee go home”, fuck yes. But if Yankee is going to keep us as a colony then they need to fucking do their jobs. The United States need to be held accountable. And they will be by the communists, socialists, independents, the sovereignists. Because while we’re busy trying to get our island up and moving; while we’re trying to become free; you’re too busy besandole el culo al gringo. They don’t need to fight us because they can just get us to fight amongst ourselves.

Decolonize your mind. ¡Despierta Boricua!

Descolonicemos lo que nos Enseñaron

My Time is Not Yours to Waste

I just wanted to go to the store, to pick up some things I needed. I decided to take my wheelchair. I won’t lie, I wanted to hatch some Pokémon. I also wanted the chance to browse the hardware store for some odds and ends I need to finish up my room. It was a treat for myself – getting the chance to explore the store more than is otherwise possible for me. I even arranged to borrow a bus pass.

Earlier this week, the temperature dropped and I am still adjusting to the sudden cool air. Additionally I hadn’t really taken into account how the speed of the chair, adds some extra wind to the chill. Either way, I made it to the station, and awaited the weekend bus.

Continue reading “My Time is Not Yours to Waste”

My Time is Not Yours to Waste