The Reason for the Season

It was just before Christmas, 11 years ago, that Women’s Refuge saved my life.

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The Last Yellow Hibiscus

It’s a day late for Thanksgiving, but I want to just take a moment to appreciate how beautiful this flower is.

Yes, after buying another hibiscus (labelled as yellow) which bloomed a vivid, fiery orange, I went to another store and bought the yellow one I’d always intended to get. See, it’s going to be part of the tropical section of my garden. It will tie in nicely with the banana palm, and the gardenias, and the papaya, and the white Bird of Paradise. I’m aiming for a mix of yellows and whites in this garden, which will eventually lead the eye to a big, flouncy, pink magnolia at the far end of this section.

I do have an ulterior motive for picking a yellow hibiscus for this garden – it’s not just about the color match. I used to have a yellow hibiscus, many years ago, which I grew indoors in the bathroom. I remember the last time it bloomed, in the summer of 2005-06. That was such a hard summer for me – what with Bad Boyfriend ruling my life.

He showed a momentary, vocal appreciation for the vivid yellow flowers on my bathroom windowsill. And then one day he killed it. He killed anything that made me happy.

I hadn’t bought another hibiscus up until this spring. Everything in my life has recovered from that bad year, so it was not an intentional avoidance, but when I saw the hibiscus plants in the store a few weeks back I remembered that last one. In a weird way, I wanted a yellow hibiscus to make up for what happened to the last yellow hibiscus.

It thanked me by blooming in the rain. And one day I’ll be able to look out from my dining room window, in Imaginary House, and see it bloom again. And it will make me happy again. Because the future has a lot more flowers to come…

Springtime for Hitler pt 3

Continued from Part 1 and Part 2


There’s every possibility that the “smoking gun” Wikileaks was trying to expose actually had little to do with Clinton’s Wall Street speeches, but was instead about the boogie man of Benghazi.

Ah Benghazi… Just the mention of the name by now will cause a certain portion of the electorate’s ears to perk up, even while everyone else just shudders and shakes their head.

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Springtime for Hitler pt 2

Continued from yesterday


If we grant that both Bill Clinton and Donald Trump have behaved appallingly towards women, it’s still hard to tar either of their wives with that brush. Indeed, in an apparently new wrinkle of detail that appeared this year, Juanita Broaddrick does claim that Hillary Clinton threatened her into silence… but this stems from her claim that HRC came up to her at an event (a few weeks after the rape, in 1978) and thanked her for everything she did for Bill’s campaign…

Again, I’ll repeat: I’ve been a victim of rape. However I still think this is a long bow to draw. In isolation, thanking someone for their support is not the equivalent of threatening them, unless you’d earlier explicitly stated that the “support” you wanted was indeed, silence. And how does one imagine that that conversation between Bill and Hillary would have gone? “Honey, I raped somebody tonight.” “Oh dear. Did you at least tell them to keep their mouth shut? Do you need me to put extra pressure on them?” It’s far more logical to assume that HRC knew nothing about the attack and was simply making conversation with someone who worked with her husband. It’s not a threat without first assuming knowledge on Hillary’s part.

In addition to that, I’m really not sure what any of these three women were expecting Hillary to do in response to their accusations. Are people seeking out Melania and trying to get her opinion of the woman who filed a child-rape lawsuit against her husband? How many people go to the spouse or family of their attacker looking for support? I wouldn’t. And I wouldn’t be surprised or particularly offended if that support wasn’t forthcoming. Human beings have their loyalties, and sometimes that means being blind to the failings of those you love.


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Springtime for Hitler pt 1


On Friday (or rather, Saturday around here) two scandals broke. One was the much-signposted release by Wikileaks of 2000 hacked emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair, John Podesta. Some of these emails appear to contain excerpts from a series of Hillary Clinton’s paid, private speeches. Wikileaks had been saying for some time that they had documents which could upend the US election… and although they didn’t initially point the finger in either direction, anyone who knows much about Wikileaks could safely assume that they weren’t going to release Trump’s tax returns. The other scandal was an avalanche of smut which pretty much buried the leaked emails in the media. Dear Wikileaks, no one cares about you when they have tape of a presidential candidate using the sentence “Grab ’em by the pussy!”

From across the other side of the Pacific Ocean, I think I can hear every intelligent person in America release a deep sigh as they put their heads in their hands. Just when this election didn’t look like it could get any worse, or any more farcical. This was supposed to be a democracy of the people, by the people, and for the people. Where did things go so wrong? Even I miss Reagan by now. At least the worst thing he ever said into a live mic was a joke about World War III… which I guess, upon reflection, is much much worse but also quite obviously a joke.

Like so many of the scandals surrounding this election, each of these stories seemed to inspire a completely undue amount of screaming and gnashing of teeth. So Donald Trump thinks that being famous means he can get away with groping women… well color me surprised! Did we actually just learn anything about him that we didn’t already know? So Hillary Clinton is a centrist who supports the global market and who things Wall Street should have a say in its own future… blink. Blink. Really if anyone is shocked by either of these two “scandals” they clearly haven’t been paying attention to, well, anything over the past 25 years or so.

Continue reading Springtime for Hitler pt 1

Mostly Harmless

A few days back, I posted about changing my profile picture to a make-up-less photo of me pulling a stupid face, and the comments it drew from a couple guys that I try to avoid.

Well, there’s more to that story.

One of the guys is someone I used to do theater shows with. He’s very friendly, but a bit over-friendly, which makes him quite socially awkward. I think he’s generally harmless, but he used have the tendency to just turn up at my house (at lots of people’s houses) unannounced and uninvited. I’m someone who appreciates my privacy (and who tends to walk around the house semi-clothed), so I eventually had to tell him that the random drop-ins were very rude. It took a few years though. Despite my strident reputation, I’m actually pretty gentle with people and tried to be considerate of his harmlessness. Plus I sympathize with social awkwardness. I have done some amazingly stupid things myself and I find it very hard to read people.

Then one day he tried to kiss me. And he really needed to call ahead after that.

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Mad World

My boss got mad at me today.

It was a small thing – just a discussion of a proposed room layout for an event. He wasn’t listening to me and thought I wasn’t listening to him. In any case, I burst into tears and just couldn’t stop.

I’m not a crier, normally. When I was a young woman, then sure I’d cry once or twice a week easily. But since moving into my 30s and finally slaking my depression, I cry maybe 3-4 times a year. Usually only when I’m really tired.

And I am really tired. Trouble is that once I’d started sobbing I couldn’t even get enough breath to explain to him what was wrong. I’m exhausted, we still don’t have a mortgage, and I went back to the doctor yesterday to see about getting some new tests done on my thyroid. I have a looooong history when it comes to my thyroid, but to cut to the end of that story: they’re sending me in for tests to see if the occluded lesions in my thyroid have turned into cancer yet.

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Law and (Narcissistic Personality Dis)Order

It started last night. There was a headache and my throat was a bit sore at dinner. By the time we got home after the movie, my sinuses were burning. And today: just miserable on the couch, sniffling and snoozing. I had my flu shot this year (a sensible choice given several consecutive years with 4-6 month bouts of bronchitis) but it doesn’t protect me against every little cold.

As it was a day of indolence, I quickly became very bored with the internet and reruns of Law & Order. I feel like I’ve read literally everything on the internet that is worth reading. I got very little actual work done, but did get to read a takedown of Clinton’s dissembling press conference and yet another person’s psychological assessment of why Trump is unstable. It’s all very depressing, really.

One thing that has piqued my interest this week, however, is how often people throw around the word “narcissistic” when describing Trump. This is a lay diagnosis, of course. I’m unaware of any psychologist who has given him a formal, clinical diagnosis, although of course they would be bound to silence by patient-doctor confidentiality (See? I have been watching too much Law & Order). Narcissism is not a mental illness – it’s a part of all of us, just more amplified in some people. In a few, probably less than 5% or us, it becomes a full-on disorder. However, I’d concur that it seems to be a much better fit than those who describe Trump as a sociopath or psychopath. Psychopaths are generally better at hiding their nature. Narcissists are the guys who get publicly upset because they think someone just insulted the size of their penis.

Yet, for many people in New Zealand, the term “Narcissistic Personality Disorder” still brings us chills. That’s because, in this country at least, it’s forever linked to a particularly grisly murder and a rather beneficial law change.

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The Power Illusion – A Reprise

12 Women Share The Most Ridiculous Thing They’ve Done To Get A Guy To Leave Them Alone

I’ve written before about the power dynamic between men and women when it comes to dating. It’s not exactly what people tend to think it is. Either way.

As more than a few people have pointed out today, the actions of the women in this story are in fact far from ridiculous and completely reasonable when faced with dangerous psychopaths. But, you know, no one would click on the article if it was titled “12 psycho men and the women who struggled to get away”. As a subject, “Crazy Women” probably draws a wider range of traffic than “Evil Men”. But in this case, the term “Ridiculous” doesn’t really imply humourousness, but rather the insane lengths that are required to ward off people who won’t take no for an answer. Trigger. Trigger Trigger.

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Dog Whistle pt 2

This goes back many years, but I once received an anonymous letter slipped under the door at work. My office had a door to the outside world, so anyone could have put the letter there. I also had no full-time colleagues at that venue – spending most of my working days alone.

The gist of the letter was simple. “I saw you at the supermarket and what you were wearing was disgusting.” “I am the father of three girls.” “You have nice tits which you like to show off.” “You are a disgrace to womanhood and ought to be taught a lesson.” My name was spelled correctly, and this person obviously knew where I worked, so it had to be someone I knew (or at least someone who had met me through work). It also scared the bejeezus out of me. Anonymous rape threats tend to do that.

Continue reading Dog Whistle pt 2