Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Voodoo Lily (Dracunculus vulgaris)

I planted some Voodoo Lily bulbs I got a Menard's a few years ago. Nothing came up for a couple years, and then last year I noticed the appropriate leaf pattern on a plant in that area. Last year there were only leaves, but this year it came up again, and I came out the other day to see this - an unopened bloom! 

This morning I came outside and saw this. There were flies swarming everywhere around it. I went in to take a photo, and the rotten meat smell was so overwhelming that I had to hold my breath.

A closeup of the flies. They love this thing.

Day 2:

Day 3:

Day 4: 

Friday, May 11, 2018

Bullying in Roller Derby

I recently posted something about this on Facebook. I received a lot of responses, while at the same time I was disappointed at the lack of responses from people who knew what I went through. Here is basically what I posted with some edits and additions.

Bullying in roller derby... it's a serious issue that leagues and WFTDA seem completely uninterested/unwilling to address.

I went through some serious shit during my time playing roller derby for two different WFTDA leagues. There were actual threats to my safety (skaters who expressed their intention to hurt me at practice), skaters who worked to get me removed from a team or roster solely because they disliked me, doxxing by a WFTDA officer (which WFTDA did nothing about, despite the grievance I filed), lies spread about me without my teammates or coaches bothering to come to me for my side of things, and emotional abuse and gas-lighting by coaches and teammates - just to give you the highlights of what I personally experienced.

In all that time, only one person EVER apologized to me for their behavior. That's how normal and accepted bullying is in derby culture.

The sad reality is I actually saw/heard worse things happen to other skaters. While part of me wants to tell their stories, I know that's not my place. Some of those people still want to be involved, and calling out their problems with bullying could jeopardize that.

I've noticed that some of the biggest bullies are often among the most popular people in the league. Their position of power/authority/popularity means people rarely believe or want to acknowledge their less positive behavior.

I've also noticed the fact that not all people have the same experience in derby leads some to think that bullying isn't happening. I guarantee you that it is. Bullying culture is pervasive in roller derby. You can be a member of the Fluffy Kittens and Love League, and there will still be significant bullying. Until that fact is acknowledged and people who try to speak up are not punished for doing so, nothing will change.

I've also noticed that some people want to deny that bullying is happening, because they love roller derby and their league. They feel like somehow acknowledging anything negative will mean they are not being loyal. Or maybe they're afraid that if they speak up, they will be punished for doing so (and believe me, that absolutely happens).

The simple fact is that ignoring the problem will not make it go away. The issue needs to be brought to light, talked about, and dealt with. I don't have any easy solutions, because this is a complex, nuanced problem.

Friday, October 21, 2016

I Made an Animated Gif...

Just because...

I got these cute solar powered Halloween decorations at the Dollar Tree.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Organizing Nail Polish and Jewelry!

I've been going through an organization spree lately. I've also been getting rid of a lot of stuff. Some of the inspiration comes from reading "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing". I think the author is a bit loony, but she does have some good thought exercises, I just sent 6 boxes of stuff to Goodwill and I've been organizing my stuff better.

One of my purchases from Amazon (actually is was a birthday gift from my husband) was a gorgeous nail polish rack that hangs on the wall. It stores my nail polishes in an aesthetically pleasing way, AND it makes them easily available. I can see what all I have and easily select what I want to wear.

Here's a close-up of what the nail polish looks like on the racks. It's very spacious. The racks are large enough to even store shot glasses. It would look really cute next to a bar displaying someone's collection

I also recently purchased wall storage for my jewelry (also from Amazon). The same logic applies - aesthetically appealing way to display and organize. It makes it so much easier to pick things out.

One tricky thing about this is that I didn't have enough chains to hang all of my pendants. I came up with a great solution. I pulled out my jewelry supplies, and using a chain, a large ring, some jump rings, and some lobster claw clasps, I created this:

All of my pendants can hang up on the jewelry rack, and they can each be easily detached to be strung on a chain and worn. I had so many pendants that I had to make multiples.

I'm not sure, but I got this idea from seeing it somewhere on the web. I don't remember where, so I can't credit them.

Here's a close-up of one of the pendants showing how easy it is to unclasp the lobster claw to remove it. 

I'll keep trying to come up with creative ways to store things. Please feel free to share your fun storage and organization projects and ideas!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Kenzi and Moose Videos

In the last year, we've adopted two animals from the shelter. Both are quite adorable, yet evil. The first is Kenzi, a smaller pit bull mix. She's the world's biggest cuddler. More recently, we adopted Moose, who is possibly more cat than we were prepared to take on. He can be sweet, but constantly tries to escape from the house.

Here is Moose at the shelter before we adopted him.

And here are some videos of Kenzi and Moose playing.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Naptown Roller Girls

So, I pretty much never post about roller derby anymore. Actually, I pretty much haven't been posting much at all. Well, in August of 2013 I did something really crazy. I made a major leap of faith to transfer to the highest ranked league in Indiana.

Looking back, I don't think I ever really thought I would succeed there. I was pretty much seen as a skater with little potential at my previous league, but I'm not going to dwell on that. Despite some pretty awful stuff that happened to me there, I decided I wasn't ready to give up on derby. I transferred to Naptown and became almost immediately convinced I wouldn't be good enough. I was on the brink of quitting, when something crazy happened. They invited me to Charter practice which meant they thought I had potential.

I didn't actually make the Charter at that time, but I had an amazing season. By the end, I had been added to the Charter. I played in a bout with the Tornado Sirens and went to Playoffs with them as an alternate. This season, I've had the good fortune to play with the Sirens for quite a few games.

I've had my ups and downs with Naptown, the same as I would with any league. I'm not the best skater, but I'm working hard and seeing results every practice. Through it all, my teammates still support and encourage me.