Underneath my yellow skin

Category Archives: President

Focusing When Sick and Tired

One of the side effects of being sick is that my mental acuity isn’t where it normally is. Simple things take more energy, and I feel slow as molasses in the brain department. I went to the store today, and I had to put extra effort into interacting with people. It’s not my bailiwick to begin with, though I’m usually adept at it, but being sick makes it even harder. I can’t take for granted that my automatic responses will flow as easily as the normally do. Plus, just walking around exhausts me. When I came home, I grabbed my three drinks (including tea) and two snacks, and I brought them to the living room. I set down the pop, leaning over as I did, and poured some of the boiling tea onto the back of my left hand. This is the second time I’ve done this, and I know it’s partly because I’m sick. It’s also because I tend to be lazy and want to make as few trips as possible. I’ve hurt myself countless times before by overloading myself in an attempt to save time. My taiji teacher has a saying about a donkey and laziness that I don’t quite remember, but the bottom line is that it’s better to make multiple trips with lighter loads than one trip all bogged down. She is right. Hopefully, I will internalize that one day.

OT: Nioh. Ah, Nioh. I’m having complicated feels about the game, but I don’t want to get into that in this post. I just want to say as a pro tip that if you’re a scrub such as I am, weapons matter. I recently faced a boss that was whipping my ass, though she really shouldn’t have been. She wasn’t that hard, per se, but I do the worst against fast humans. Which she is. Sort of. Anyway, I kept tinkering with my load-out and my different magicks, and I was really frustrated because I felt I had her. I also thought she had a couple bullshit moves, but that’s par the course for these kinds of games.

Anyway. My axe wasn’t doing it. It was too slow. The dual swords/sword (both infused with fire, which I thought would be beneficial for this boss) didn’t do enough damage of stagger enough to be viable, and I watched my stock of elixirs steadily deplete. I decided to try my odachi because the strong attack staggers enemies, which seemed to be what I needed. It was a miracle. I used the appropriate magicks for defense, then I just chopped the boss into oblivion with six or seven hits. OK, I’m sure it took more than that, but it was really short. Moral of the story: I’m sticking with my axe/odachi/magicks combo for the rest of the game. Of course, I’ll swap out to other weapons  if I need to, but the axe/odachi duo is really my jam.

Here is a video of Jun’s Kitchen. He’s a Japanese man with some serious knife skills. In this video, he’s making sushi for his lucky cats. Enjoy!

Thanksgiving: What I’m Thankful For

First of all, I am not a big fan of holidays. At all. I used to hate them with a passion for many reasons, but my hatred has mitigated over the years. Side note (and, yes, I know I just started the post. Deal): Many of my negative emotions have lightened over the years, and I give credit to taiji and therapy, but mostly taiji. I’ve written tons about that before, however, so moving on. Holidays. I see them as society-dictated enforced family time. That’s fine for people with good families. For those of us with dysfunctional families, holidays can be fraught with drama and hard feelings. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that my hatred for holidays has subsided as my relationship with my family has improved. However, I still LOATHE Christmas and how commercialized it is. I also hate how it starts so early. I saw my first Christmas commercial in early November, and there’s a local radio station that plays Christmas music all through December. It seems they’ve already started. It’s also annoying how rabid fundies (read, FOX) bleat about how us dastardly heathens are ruining Christmas by forcing people to say Happy Holidays in stores, and they don’t see the irony in their complaints. They want a secular place that is doing secular business that supports the secular reason for Christmas to say Merry Christmas. Irony is not their strong point, nor is rational thinking.

Anyway, I have problems with Thanksgiving for other reasons, obviously. We can all agree that killing off the native population and giving them small pox is a bad thing, right? RIGHT! In addition, I’m an introvert and don’t like to be around groups of people for an extended period of time. Partly because I’m a weirdo who has very few traditional/mainstream ideas, but mostly because I tend to attract all the sad sacks who want to tell me their sob stories. I’m working on not asking follow-up questions, but it’s like second nature to me. In addition, I don’t always have to ask questions for people to want to pour their guts out to me. I guess there’s something about my demeanor that invites other people to tell me their woes.

Side note: I used to not talk about my opinion ever because I was taught what I thought didn’t matter. Then, in true overcompensation fashion, I started to espouse my opinions all the time. I’m the ‘well, actually’ guy in my brain a lot of the time, and I can get caught up in the nitpicky details when they don’t actually matter. Sometimes they do, but they often don’t. It’s because I’ve lived with unreliable narrators my whole life, so I tend to hold on to ‘facts’ as if they’re talismans against the shifting sands I often find myself on. I’m learning now how to differentiate between opinions and information that should be shared, and ones that I can just keep to myself. I have a few trigger topics like psychology. I hate how people throw terms around that they’ve heard or read but don’t really know what they mean. Ahem.


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Political Fatigue

zip it, goddamn it!
Enough already!

I’ve reached my limits as to how much political bullshit I can deal with. Actually, I reached my limit during the election campaigns with all the mudslinging back and forth between Sanders supporters and Clinton supporters. As I’ve said many times, I was a Sanders supporter in the primaries, and then I voted for Clinton in the general election. I’m ideologically a progressive but I’m a pragmatist at heart. When this president became the Republican candidate, my mentality became, “Anyone but him.” More specifically, any Democrat but him. I think Jill Stein would have been arguably worse, but that’s not the point of this post.

Once this president won, I naively hoped Democrats would present a united front against him. I knew better, of course, but still, I hoped. Democrats are our own worst enemies, and we’d rather punch each other in the face than compromise with each other. It’s so funny that we preach tolerance and open tent, but we don’t practice it. As someone who wasn’t enamored with either Democratic candidate, I feel as if I’m stuck in the middle. I can see the positives and negatives of each candidate, and it’s frustrating to see both sides (truly both sides in this case) hunkering down in their respective bunkers. I know both sides feel attacked because I’ve heard it from both Sanders supporters and Clinton supporters. “They started it!” each side cries, pointing their fingers vigorously. I got into it (mildly) with a FB friend who was a Clinton supporter, and he said Clinton supporters only started attacking in response to attacks by ‘BernieBros’.

Side note: I loathe that nickname because it’s dismissive and reductive. I know several people who were Sanders supporters, and only two of them were white dudes. The majority are women, and there are more than one PoC I know who supported him. Also, people who are not straight. Yes, I fall in three of those categories, but I’m not the only one. It was infuriating to see Clinton supporters sneer about only white dudes supporting Sanders when it wasn’t true. Then, anyone who was a minority who supported Sanders was similarly dismissed, though not quite as easily. It follows the liberal pattern in general of trumpeting the voices of the oppressed–until said voices disagree with their own opinions. Then, it’s internalized blah, blah, blah, not just a matter of different perspectives.

In addition, it was amazing to watch Clinton supporters attack Sanders for being tone-deaf about race, for example, then shrug off instances of Clinton’s own racial problems. I know it’s human nature to indulge in confirmation bias, but it’s still disheartening to see by people who claim to be open-minded. By the end of the campaign, I pretty much kept my mouth shut as a bisexual, Taiwanese American woman who supported Sanders because I felt so alienated by the Clinton supporters who didn’t want to acknowledge I existed. Any time I mentioned this on Twitter, I had other minorities DM me to tell me they felt the same way. It was really unpleasant, and it jaded me even further on politics.

Anyway, back to the FB friend who argued that Sanders supporters started it. I said he felt that way because he’s a Clinton supporter, so of course he’s going to hone in on examples of Sanders supporters acting badly. I said I saw way more Clinton supporters acting like asses, but that’s because I supported Sanders. The truth is, it probably was equal, but it just depended on what you were looking for. Plus, more people I followed were Clinton supporters than Sanders supporters, so there’s that, too.

I tried to make HillaryHunks happen, but it didn’t catch on. I felt there were Clinton fans who were just as dismissive of Sanders and his supporters as vice-versa. I lost respect for several people during the elections because they showed their asses by being rude and gross to and about Sanders supporters. It reached the point where anything Sanders did was considered defective or wrong in the eyes of Clinton supporters. Vice-versa, too, but I’m speaking from the perspective of a Sanders supporter.

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Taking People at Their Word

I ran across the video below last night as I was surfing YouTube. It was on my YouTube front page as a recommendation, and as my friend, Ian, has met and interviewed Dee Snider (which he, Ian, was in the army. he said Dee was a good dude), I clicked on it.

It hit me in the gut, and I cried while watching it at the rawness and the emotion. I shared it, then tweeted to Dee Snider my respect. He did it to help fund research for childhood cancer, and that’s an admirable thing.

Then I found out that Dee Snider was friends with this president, and I experienced a ‘what the fuck’ moment.  I Googled it and found out it was true. They became friends when Dee Snider was on The Celebrity Apprentice twice a few years back.  I  found out in the context of this president asking to use this song on the campaign trail, and Dee said sure. He said they were friends because they followed the adage to not talk about politics, religion, or sports (which, by the way, is not a luxury everyone has. Politics is not compartmentalized for many minorities, but another post, another day). When Dee started hearing this president on the campaign trail, he was confused because what the president was espousing wasn’t what he believed in, and more to the point, went against what the song is about. As he said, the first line is about the right to choose, which he elaborated meant a woman’s right to choose. So he asked this president to stop using the song because he didn’t want people thinking he (Dee) endorsed the hateful ideas he (the president) was spewing, and the president agreed. Dee talked about when Paul Ryan tried to use it and was flabbergasted the latter didn’t vet it. Dee:

I had to step up and say, ‘Wait a minute. Didn’t you vet the song? You’re singing the song, ‘We’ve got the right to choose’,’ and then railing against women’s right to choose. So I can’t endorse you using it.’ And that’s where I draw the line.

This was in June of last year, and Dee said he still liked this president, but couldn’t get behind him. Dee also sounded like he was struggling because he knew the president as pro-choice and a Democrat. That’s valid because this president has been all over the map, agreeing with the last person to present an argument he likes.
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Explaining “That’s Too Bad” For the Uninitiated

Before I get into the meat of my post, I have one request from everybody when talking about this president. Stop saying, “Can you believe he said ____?!?” Yes, yes I can. As I’ve said before, unless that phrase is followed by, “I’m sorry to all the people I hurt, and I realize that I’ve been so wrong”, nothing this president says surprises or shocks me. Don’t get me wrong. It’s still disgusting and disturbing, but it’s not surprising. I feel we’re wasting too much energy on, “A president can’t/shouldn’t/won’t ____.” This is who he is. He’s not going to change at this late date. He’s been spouting hateful shit all his life, so do not act shocked now. It’s amazing how many people, mostly white, were willing to give him the benefit of the doubt or said it was just an act. Many of us minorities knew exactly who he was from day one.

This relates to the post of the day because of what happened with the USS John McCain–side note, it’s really distracting to my brain that it’s named that because I keep thinking they’re talking about the senator for whom it was named (and his father)–and this president’s reaction to the news. When informed that the USS John McCain had been in a collision and ten naval officers were missing, this president replied, now famously, “That’s too bad.”

The reaction and backlash were swift. “How could he say  that?” “Omigod! He’s sunk even lower than I imagined!” All the responses were in this vein, which was very annoying for reasons mentioned above. I know we’re all still clinging to the notion of how a president should and shouldn’t behave (and, by the way, this president has shown how much of that is tacit and not explicit), but get the fuck over it. We have to deal with the way things are, not how we think or wish they should/would be.

My formula for figuring out what this president is going to say on any given topic: What is the worst thing I can think of him saying, and then what’s even worse than that? Double that, and it’s close to what he’s actually going to say. Look, I’m not saying don’t be outraged at what’s happening in our country–I’m just saying it’s a waste of your emotional reserves to be continually shocked and surprised by what this president says. Some people are addicted to the outrage, though. I felt that when I’d see people ranting about Morning Joe day after day. Dude. You don’t have to watch. Also, it’s who he is. You know that!

I realize the president is different in that we can’t (or rather, shouldn’t) just turn him off and pretend he doesn’t exist. Still. We need to accept that he is an ignorant, thin-skinned, bullying, narcissistic, incurious, cruel, sociopathic asshole in order to better deal with him. There is no better side to him. There is no deeper layer. He is exactly as he appears, and we would do well to remember that.


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Resistance and Art in the Time of Fascism

I’m still reeling from what happened in Charlottesville, especially since this president is still ‘both sides’ing the situation. He came out with a statement denouncing the KKK, but had to throw in ‘other hate groups’, and it was clear he was only saying it because he felt he had to. It shouldn’t take two days to say, “Fascism and white supremacy have no place in America. We will not tolerate Nazis in this country”, but that’s where we are right now. He got a lot of pushback for his lukewarm statement, tweeted his temper tantrum at being told it wasn’t good enough, and had a meltdown yesterday in which he said there are good guys in on the white supremacy side, honestly, and the ‘alt-left’ is just as bad as the ‘alt-right’.

I mean.

WHAT???

I’m not surprised. I have to say that up front because this is who he is. Many of us minorities knew this from the very beginning, which is why we weren’t willing to ‘just give him a chance’. We didn’t need time to know he’s a racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-Semitic fuck, but if anyone had any doubt, his words yesterday should put that illusion to rest.

In addition, he’s a narcissistic, vindictive, petty man who can’t see anyone other than himself, and everything is about him. 24/7. Of course he had to make it about him because he’s incapable of doing otherwise. Of course he wasn’t going to denounce the white supremacist because he believes the same things they do. His grandfather was a slum landlord who did not want to rent to black people, and it’s clear the apple does not fall far from the tree. This president has said racist things time and time again about people of many different ethnicities, and he has white nationalists on his staff for fuck’s sake.

In other words, he’s no friend of minorities, and we’ve known that even before he ever ran for president. This is my way of saying while it’s disheartening that this president refused to full-throatedly denounce white supremacists, it’s not surprising in the least.

I was off Twitter for about twenty minutes when he made his announcement, and when I returned, I had a TL full of anger, disbelief, pain, and fear. This president had just signaled to his base–and, let’s be clear. His base are racist fuckers–that he is with them 100%. It was so appallingly bad, even Republicans were moved to denounce his message, albeit not directly to him. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan subtweeted the president saying that white supremacy is unacceptable. I said, “OK. What are you going to do about it?” Because words don’t mean shit if you don’t back it up with actions.

I think it’s really hard to explain to white non-Jewish people, even really supportive liberals, how exhausting it is to be a minority in this president’s America. Waking up every day, wondering how else he’s going to hate on me and my kin, it’s more than my brain–and heart–can take. I saw so many of my Twitter family in pain, and it broke my heart. I tweeted a message to them because I’m a caregiver even if I’m also cantankerous and a misanthrope, and I’ll post the beginning of the thread here.


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Struggling Against the Darkness

no need to memorialize.
This is the hill they’re willing to die on.

If you’re an American (and even if you’re not), you’re probably aware of what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend. A bunch of whiny titty ass babies gathered with their store-bought tiki (Polynesian) torches on the U.Va. campus in the middle of the night while the students weren’t even there, ostensibly to protest the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue, but in reality to get their Nazi/Confederacy/white supremacy cosplay on. Before I get into this heated topic, I’m forewarning you that this is going to be even more stream-of-conscious than normal, and I’m going to go to some pretty dark places. I don’t normally write when my feelings are this raw, but I need to sort through my emotions, and I do it best while writing.

When I saw the pictures of the rally on Friday night, my instinct was to sneer at how pathetic they looked. All these young white men (and they were overwhelmingly men, gee, I wonder why) shouting vile slogans, their face contorted in hatred. They were holding their tiki torches, and it’s not a coincidence that they looked like a lynch mob, and I know I was supposed to be terrified, but all I felt was disgust and contempt.

If it weren’t for the fact that they could (and did) cause irreparable harm, I would just laugh in their goddamn faces. They think they’re so powerful and patriotic, but they’re just a pathetic, whiny mess. They can’t even make their own fucking torches for fuck’s sake! That’s part of the problem, though. They feel powerless and that their lives are a waste, but instead of taking stock of their inner flaws as to why that might be, they blindly seek out others to blame for their shortcomings.

Quick side note: This is one of the downsides to toxic masculinity. If you’re not at the top of the heap, then you’re a failure as a man. If you’re a failure, that’s the worst thing in the world and unbearable, so it’s easier to say it’s someone else’s fault.

I took Saturday off from social media as is my wont, and when I returned Sunday morning, I heard about the murder by car of Heather Heyer by one of the fascist assholes. I heard that the stupid rally raged for days with increasing violence directed at the protesters. I saw some media and politicians ‘both sides’ the situation, and it made my blood boil. Hell, I saw our fucking president say that ‘many sides’ were to blame, but not once did he say Nazi or white supremacists.

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Vying for the Stupidest Man Alive

Just when I think this president and his posse couldn’t get any stupider, they prove me wrong. Again. Amidst all the accusations of collusion with Russia to influence the 2016 election, Junior released an email chain that revealed how he was expecting to meet with a Russian government attorney who had damaging information about Clinton that would expose her or some such*.

::double headdesk::

The sheer stupidity of it had me at a loss for word, which is highly unusual for me. All the frantic denial by this president and his people, and Junior casually tweets out the emails like it ain’t no big thing. Independent journalist, Jared Yates Sexton, went on a Twitter rant about how he’s been chasing this story for a year, and then Junior just went and told on himself. Sexton was just as dumbfounded as I was, though he said it much more eloquently. My favorite tweet is this:

Maybe it’s because I’m a big fan of ellipses to indicate incredulity, but it neatly sums up the ‘what the fuck just happened’ feeling that all rational people experienced when reading about this hot mess.

I will say, though, this tweet made me laugh:

How can you not go a bit crazy after reading what Junior did? Normal people don’t willingly put the noose around their own necks or their father’s. Now, granted, the NYT was going to publish a piece that contained the same information, so maybe Junior thought a good offense is a good defense, but giving how strenuously the president and his acolytes have been in denying any of this shit happened, it’s astounding that Junior would just give it out for free.

This was my brain’s way of dealing with it:

I tend to joke when I can’t process something, and I’m still reeling over this particular idiocy on the part of Junior. He’s explained that this is how you do things in business which is problem number one. Running the country isn’t the same as running a business, and there are very different rules.

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An Open Letter to Ivanka, Woman to Woman

Ed. Note: I know I said I was done with politics, but, apparently, politics aren’t done with me. I still keep abreast of current events, and I can’t help but react when shitty things happen, such as the president pulling out of the Paris Accord. One thing that has been poking in my craw for some time is how Ivanka is treated with such kid gloves. Leave Ivanka alooooooone, cry many of the (mostly male) journalists. One in particular, Chris Cillizza, seems to have appointed himself as her white knight, pun intended, excusing her for not speaking up against her father in public. It’s been both baffling and fascinating to me how differently Ivanka has been treated by the press as opposed to, say, Chelsea Clinton. In fact, the aforementioned Chris Cillizza neatly displayed this hypocrisy with these two tweets: 

It’s OK to pile on Chelsea who isn’t a politician and hasn’t evinced any interest in being a politician, but LAY OFF IVANKA (who, need I remind you, is actually a part of her father’s administration). There are many theories why this is the case, and I think it’s because Ivanka is pretty in a conventional way and has carefully cultivated herself to be nonthreatening. When she speaks, she smiles softly and speaks in this breathy voice, which the psychologist in me says is how she’s learned to deal with her father.

At any rate, this note is threatening to become a post in and of itself, so let’s move on. 

Dear Ivanka:

Hey, girl. Can we talk? Is it OK if I call you Ivanka? I feel as if I know you, and it’s because you’re in my goddamn news feeds almost every day. I know you’re a busy woman, what with doing your business deals while simultaneously…what exactly is your job in the administration? I’ve never been sure, and you’re pretty coy about it–as is everyone else around you. Anyway! You have been called your father’s whisperer, which is the defense given to why you don’t stand up to him in public. Cillizza, who I mentioned in my note, was eager to defend your honor, saying what daughter would be expected to stand up to her father in public*?

It’s not that I don’t sympathize–I do. We Americans only have to deal with this president as our president; you’ve been his daughter all your life. You probably learned early on that you had to play along to get along, and you’ve learned that lesson well. You either intuited or learned the hard way that if you contradicted your father, there would be hell to pay. So, instead, you molded yourself after him, but in a softer, more traditionally feminine version that you knew would appeal to him. You made yourself the ideal woman to gain his approval, and as I said, I am not without sympathy. It’s not easy growing up under the tyrannical thumb of a narcissistic, arrogant, explosive tyrant, and you’ve done the best you can to adapt to the circumstance. If you were just a private citizen, I would completely sympathize, but because you are part of American politics, for worse or for worst, I have to observe how your dysfunctions are affecting the country.

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