Sunday, November 13, 2016

Thoughts Since Election Night

This is who my country is?

How was I so blind?

How do we survive this?

I expected harassment of and violence against minorities to increase, but I didn't think it would happen this quickly.*

I've been naive about who my country is, stuck in my Portland bubble.

How do I educate myself to ensure that I better understand the people of my country? 

I know people love dystopians these days, but did we really have to vote to live in one?

Can the Pacific Northwest secede?**

What can we do to ensure that we lose as few rights as possible?

Ok, so Hillary won the popular vote, but that's still a lot of people who voted Trump, which is unsettling.

Can we get rid of the electoral vote finally? Please? This is twice in my lifetime that the candidate who won the majority vote lost the electoral, and so didn't become president, and this is ridiculous.

I'm scared. For myself and others.

I want to go back into the closet.

At least I have that option, some other minorities can't hide what they are.

How many are going back into the closet? And how many will choose not to come out because of this?

No, I can't go back in the closet for a variety of reasons. In fact, it's time to finally walk in the Pride Parade.

This would be a good time to get a bunch of safety pins.***

Aaaand...there Trump goes, saying he won't repeal Obamacare when that was one of his major running points.

Why is everyone so surprised?

Hello, Trump does what's best for Trump, including saying and promising whatever he had to to get elected. Let's just hope that what's best for Trump doesn't fuck us over too much.

I regret having been silent on the topic of politics and the danger Trump poses.

I regret allowing my former significant other to all but silence me on the subject of politics for almost five years.

I regret that I chose silence over the pain of being told by someone -- someone who said that he loved me -- that voting Democrat is an insult to my intelligence. I regret that I chose silence as a way to avoid arguments with him.

I'm tired of being quiet. It's time to speak up.

More thoughts:

*Hate crimes against minorities increased significantly within the twenty-four hours following the election.

**There is actually discussion about this, and while it has a certain appeal I question if it's called for at this point.

***After Brexit safety pins were worn by people as an indication that they are allies of minorities. Some are doing that in the USA now.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Grilled Cheese and Bacon Sandwich

the sandwich, minus a bite

I've developed my own way of making a grilled cheese sandwich (with optional bacon) and I finally decided to share.

Yeah, this is a simple recipe, and heck it's a grilled cheese sandwich. I think everyone knows how to make it. But I've missed sharing recipes so I figured why not. And I was enjoying the photography side of things a bit too much, so there are also lots of photos along the way.

the ingredients

Precooked bacon
Olive oil
Minced onions
Garlic powder


Apply olive oil to one side of each bread slice using a brush.

each photo will just be showing each step, so I'll stop the captions

Sprinkle a generous amount of garlic onto the bread, but a bit less of the onions and thyme.

Put a pan on the stove and set the temperature to the higher end of medium. Let it warm for a minute or so.

Once the pan is warm put one bread slice in, and add the cheese and bacon. Criss cross the bacon while making sure that you can see through the slices. Add a bit more garlic for good measure.

Confession: I really like garlic. I mean, I really like it. As in, when I get my own kitchen again I want to put a shrine to garlic in the corner of it.

Add more cheese on top of that.

Note: I place bacon in the middle of the cheese, and make sure that it can seep through, because that's a good way to hold the sandwich together once it's done. It's just as yummy whichever way you do it, though.

Finally add the other slice of bread, and flip when browned.

Ta da! Yummy sandwich.

Monday, March 14, 2016


My birthday was a couple days ago, and I wanted to make a video on the day. To keep my thoughts straight I read something to read for it....which is below. The video is here, if anyone wants to see it.

... ... ...

I used to think that my birthdays would never bother me, that I would grow older without being phased by the passing time. And on one hand that's so: I delight in each new white hair I find on my head, enjoying the contrast they make against the dark hair I was born with. But although my age doesn't bother me, I've found that each year around my birthday I wonder what I've done with my life. It's so easy to focus on what I feel are my failures, so perhaps I should take a moment to think about what I've accomplished.

I'm fairly decent at writing, although I haven't been doing much of it lately. Worth mentioning though, in 2009 one of my poems was published in the magazine Cricket.

I'm told that I'm great at photography. And if I may say so myself, I am pretty good at it.

I'm talented at a variety of hand crafts, such as: needlework, spinning yarn, crochet...and more, but I don't feel like listing everything I can do.

I've competed internationally with the Sweet Adeline's chorus Pride of Portland, and in 2009 we took ninth place at internationals in Hawaii.

I'm very close to completing my English degree at Marylhurst University. I spend a lot of time worrying about what a barrier anxiety and depression are in completing my degree, since I'm very aware that I should have graduated by now. But I should probably also remember that it's taken a lot of work to get where I am now.

And, I've always managed to work my way through anxiety and depression. I still struggle, and I'm sure I'll always have my ups and downs, but to have gotten past the really tough times in the past is something.

So maybe, maybe next year, I'll be able to think about all this and my other accomplishments rather than scrutinizing what I haven't succeeded in yet.

A photo of stairs that I took on my birthday

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Gender Tag

Over on my YouTube channel I did the Gender Tag a few weeks back. I decided to also write my responses to the gender tag...which should be interesting, particularly since my understanding of my gender has changed since I did that tag.

If you're curious about who started the gender tag and why I'd recommend reading up on it here. It's actually supposed to be a YouTube thing, and I'll put the video I made down at the bottom.

1. How do you self-identify your gender, and what does that definition mean to you?

I am gender fluid, which means that my experience with my gender can change. When I first realized I'm genderqueer I was a woman and demiguy, but realized it's more complicated than that when I woke up one morning feeling no connection to any gender at all. You know, agender. At the moment my gender is back to being somewhat feminine, and I'm kind of missing feeling part guy. If that makes sense.

But yeah, I'm gender fluid. Or gender complicated, as I sometimes call it in my head.

2. What pronouns honor you?

I'm happy with she/her, and I wonder if I might also be comfortable with he/him if I'm feeling and presenting more masculine. That hasn't been put to the test, however.

3. Describe the style of clothing that you most often wear.

This has changed over time, and I now realize that that's probably partially due in part to how my experience with gender changes. For much of the past couple years it's been more feminine but with definite hints of masculinity, like professional shoes and a watch that aren't precisely feminine. But I'm kind of starting to's still feminine pretty often, but I also want to experiment. And during my agender week I was definitely avoiding my more feminine clothing.

4. Talk about your choices with body hair. How do you style your hair? Do you have facial hair? What do you choose to shave, or choose not to shave?

My hair style has been changing...for quite a few years I kept it up in a tight knot secured with a hair stick, but now I'm wearing it down much of the time. I definitely don't have facial hair, and I shave my armpits and legs.

5. Talk about cosmetics. Do you choose to wear makeup? Do you paint your nails? What types of soaps and perfumes do you use if any?

In the past year I discovered the joy of makeup. Let's just say it's a fun play toy. I've also started having my nails painted pretty much constantly. I don't like perfumes, or even scented deodorant, but I do have some nicely scented Axe body wash I've started using that I really like.

6. Have you experienced being misgendered? If so, how often?

This question always brings to mind an experience I had when I was a teen. My younger sibling and I took some dance classes together, and when there were dances with gendered parts I always wanted to dance the guy's part. And that was pretty much always allowed. However, this one teacher insisted on pairing siblings, which put Tall One and me together and the other two girls in the class with each other. Apparently the only proper way to do things, so far as this teacher was concerned, was for siblings of opposite genders to dance together...?

This left me pretty upset since I really wanted to learn the guys part, and after figuring gender stuff out it finally makes sense.

7. Do you experience dysphoria? How does that affect you?

I thought I didn't, but then I had the agender thing happening for maybe a week. During that time I wanted to bind my breasts, which was a surprise to me, and towards the end I finally gave in and tried binding for a few hours one evening. Based on the relief I felt I'm going to say that I occasionally feel dysphoria, enough that I want to get a binder at some point but rarely enough that it probably won't see much use.

8. Talk about children. Are you interested in having children? Would you want to carry a child if that were an option for you? Do you want to be the primary caretaker for any children you may have?

Let's just say that my feelings towards kids is complicated. On one hand I've kind of always wanted kids, on the other hand I'm kind of scared of screwing up being a parent.

9. Talk about money. Is it important to you to provide for a family financially if you choose to have one? Is it important to you that you earn more than any partner you may have? Do you prefer to pay for things like dates? Are you uncomfortable when others pay for you or offer to pay for you?

I'm going to pretend that "family" means significant other. I'd like to be able to provide, for in case that becomes necessary, but I don't care if I'm the breadwinner. I also don't care who makes more money. As for dates...the way it works with me and my significant other is that whoever has more money pays. Or if we're somehow equally broke, we split the check. That works pretty well for us. As for others paying when I'm out and about, unless it's my parents I tend to be uncomfortable letting someone else pay for me. I'm not sure why.

10. Anything else you want to share about your experience with gender?

For some years I'd been wanting to change my name from Sarita to something else, but every name I considered was too feminine. When I figured out I'm gender complicated I finally started looking at gender neutral names...which is how I found and embraced Raine. It's now legally my name, but since I don't want to abandon Sarita entirely it's now my middle name.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

The New Year

New Year's Resolutions:

1) Actually stick to exercising
2) Get myself closer to where I should be mental-health-wise
3) Graduate

...and I guess I'll stick to that for my official resolutions. I have other things I want to do, like make some money off my photography, get a real camera (my iPhone can only do so much), and knit a scarf (not loom knitting, but with knitting needles). But I'm so scatter brained right now (thanks, depression and anxiety) that I'll stick to three main goals.

I already got a start on exercise, and on a photography project. I've made an Instagram account separate from my Earth Worshipper Photography stuff, and plan to post a photo a day throughout the year as a way to document it. Maybe not an original idea, but I think it'll be fun.

Here's a photo (ok, two photos smashed together) of me exercising. I have this fascination with how windows turn into mirrors at night, and since our exercise bike is right next to a big window it was pretty natural for me to take photos.