The Joy Factory

Hi there! This is a filler post. Ipsum and all that.


The project: to continue giving thanks from one Thanksgiving holiday to the next. 2012-2013, and inspired, too, by my sorority ideals and values.

Being true to myself…

Finding the good in others…

Seeing the beauty in the world…

24 November 2012
This was a harder day — feeling sick & useless all day, & I didn’t interact with anyone outside of my family at all, either. But these are the days I’m doing this for.

1. I have very nice teeth.

2. My mother made me dinner & tea today, & that’s the tiniest scrap of an example of the support & love & generosity she gives me on a daily basis.

3. Fall weather — winter is coming — and the light coming in the living room window in the late afternoon, glowing and warm and golden, is beautiful.

The project: to continue giving thanks from one Thanksgiving holiday to the next. 2012-2013, and inspired, too, by my sorority ideals and values.

Being true to myself…

Finding the good in others…

Seeing the beauty in the world…

23 November 2012

1. I am really, really good with words. Really. Spelling, grammar, learning foreign languages, writing — they come really easily, naturally, and enjoyable for me, and I love that I have this talent and this skill and love for language. (Although the fact that I can get an A on a hastily written, never revised, first draft does not help my work ethic.)

2. The cashier at Wal-mart, who was chatty and friendly to total strangers at the end of Black Friday, and after a Thanksgiving she’d celebrated in the Wal-mart breakroom instead of with her family. Despite a job situation that has a lot of people whining, she was remarkably cheerful and friendly with her customers.

3. The vast, misty-leafed willow tree in my aunt’s front yard, enveloped in fog on a November night.

A new project — to continue giving thanks from one Thanksgiving holiday to the next. 2012-2013, and inspired, too, by my sorority ideals and values.

Being true to myself…

Finding the good in others…

Seeing the beauty in the world…

Thanksgiving 2012 — 22 November 2012

1. I am passionate about so many things, there is no way I could ever be considered a boring person.
2. My sisters- as much as we bicker, no one else in the world knows me so well, & is so willing to fight & make up.
3. Vegan recipes – there are so many and they are so good and I am so happy to make them & feel healthy in myself and healthy for the planet.

It’s been a while since I posted here last. Trying a revamp, but I still like the name and I don’t want to lose the little I did post already, even though it’s old and silly.

Since I started this blog, I have had a couple of birthdays, changed my major & future career life plans drastically, joined a sorority (& became an officer there as well as on my school’s Panhellenic executive board), been in a few shows and worked on a few others, gotten several haircuts, became vegetarian, read a lot of books and watched a lot of TV, and gained a fair amount of weight that I am now trying to lose.

Right now, it’s summer – I’m on vacation,  I’m not doing anything official or real this summer. No summer school, no show, no dance classes, not a particularly large amount of extensive traveling. We’ve got cousins visiting from Spain, so we’re playing tourist-host to them for July and August. So we’ve been traveling a bit around California – San Francisco, Monterey, Sacramento, San Diego, Palm Springs, Hollywood, etc. Next weekend is Las Vegas. But it’s not anywhere I haven’t been before, and none of it’s for me, so it doesn’t feel like traveling.

Right now, I’m reading: Shadowheart, by Tad Williams; #4 in the Shadowmarch “trilogy” that I have been working on for several years now.
Listening to: Madeleine Peyroux, a bunch of different songs on shuffle. I’ve been playing her music just over and over and over constantly lately.
Watching: Project Runway season 9! I’m so sad Fallene got eliminated last night, but I also realized that I liked her for her personality and personal style, not for her designs, which weren’t the best — though not NEARLY bad enough to send her home so early.
Also just saw Captain America, which was so … it was very enjoyable, that’s all.
Eating: I’ve been vegetarian since the end of February, for a full five months now. At the beginning,  I tried just to avoid meat without telling people “I’m vegetarian!” so they wouldn’t be all “for a week now? OKAY SURE”; but I think 5 months is enough to use it as a label. So there, I’m a vegetarian atheist unschooler sorority girl theatre geek. Anyway, when I stop being lazy in a few minutes, I’m planning to walk down to the grocery store and get stuff to make a couple of recipes I found on some vegan blogs the other night. I really, really can’t cook. So this’ll be interesting. I’ll take pictures.


When did I become a calm, optimistic, solution-oriented, “no worries” kind of person? I don’t feel like I am, I always feel like I’m so easily stressed,  so moody, so easily depressed, until I’m around people who aren’t my family, & then I feel like I’m the one reminding everyone to smile, this too shall pass (if I was a mantra kind of person, that’d be mine), live in reality but a reality focused to the future…

The thing is- I hate all that energy type ness, like “if you think it, it’ll be” or whatever- sending positive vibes out into the universe to achieve what you want in life. I think it’s ridiculous. But I do think there is truth in the fact that you will be HAPPIER as a person if you act that way. I don’t think you can affect the universe by thinking positive, but I think that you can probably accomplish more and live better if you stay positive. And it’s not like it’s hard. Go outside- look at the trees and the clouds and the flowers and feel sunlight and a breeze on your skin and listen to good music and remember that the world isn’t likely to end tomorrow – and if it is, do you want to die in a bad mood?

Sometimes I’m really inarticulate, and right now is a little bit one of those times. I just want to shake some people, sometimes, and tell them to cheer up, relax, let things go and like, get a massage or something. Life goes on. It will all work out, if not for the best, at least for the something, and that’s all you can ask for. Life goes on and time heals everything and in the big picture this is nothing.

Let it be.

Note: This is the result of a week spent reading months-old Internet discussions/flamewars (the best were thoughtful, articulate, more or less civil discourses on important issues – the worst were basically “shut up”, “no YOU shut up”, “your MOM shuts up”) on a handful of different, but related, subjects, which aren’t important to my point here.

One of my biggest pet peeves is the term “pet peeve” is when some people, in debates/discussions/heated arguments/flamewars/perfectly amiable and philosophical conversations about Big Important Issues/anything in between, tell other people that Person B has less right to have an opinion than Person A.

Everyone has equal right to have an opinion on any subject. Even if Person B’s opinion might be based on less information/firsthand experience/longterm experience/actual facts than Person A’s opinion. Even if, frankly, Person B’s opinion is dead wrong and ignorant and maybe offensive. Person A has the right to argue the hell out of Person B’s opinion and prove them wrong. But to say “well, you’re not [race]/[gender identity]/[religious belief] so you don’t get to have an opinion on the matter” makes me feel like that entire A argument just got invalidated.

I’m someone who has a lot of privileges. My life is, in fact, pretty awesome. When it comes to oppressed minorities, I can identify as only a few – female, un/homeschooler, Baha’i, Iranian descent – and even then, the oppression, persecution, and prejudice very rarely touches me or affects the way I live. I’m fortunate enough to live in a bubble of the world in which who and what I am is, for the most part, okay.

So maybe I haven’t had the same experiences, the same firsthand knowledge, or maybe even – given that I am, in addition to being privileged, kind of ignorant about a lot of things – second- or thirdhand knowledge, when it comes to a lot of issues – the Big Major Important things (and those aren’t even remotely sarcastic capitals, just so we’re all aware). But that doesn’t mean that I can’t have an opinion on these issues.

And yeah, my opinion might carry less weight most of the time, compared to someone who actually lives with that experience, or at least has more knowledge of the issues. But I still get to have an opinion.

Even if it’s wrong. Even if you want to argue with me and convince me of the wrongness of my opinion. Even if your own opinion rapidly becomes “this person is stupid and I wish she would just shut up already.”

I have the right to have my opinion, and to express it (which is a WHOLE OTHER RANT – but – later), and you have the right to tell me my opinion sucks and here’s why (or not to say “here’s why”, but your opinion will have a lot less validity in my mind if you leave out that bit), and if it’s your blog, you DO also have the right to tell me I can’t express my opinion there (which is the nice thing about the Internet – I can make MY own blog and keep out YOUR opinion if I want to! Marvelously enough, the 1st Amendment cuts both ways, which for some reason people tend not to remember… …not that the Internet is bound by US laws, but, you know…)–

but I can’t help but automatically lose respect for the beliefs of the person whose argument begins with “you can’t have an opinion on this, you’re privileged.”

If you don’t let me have my (privileged, ignorant, hateful, whatever — or maybe even, shockingly, possibly a little bit thoughtful and worth listening to) opinion, you have no chance of ever changing it.

a little bird told me…


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