Let’s just take a second.

Rage doesn’t begin to cover it.  Terror, fear.  But more than anything, despair.  I have a little PTSD coming in, memories of gaslighting from not one, but two past lovers.  Memories of a man who made me feel worthless; who critiqued my stomach during intimate moments and said “You’ll have to work out later” when I ate scrambled eggs late one night, and then resented me when I lost weight faster than him.  Who always, relentlessly, talked about himself, and then looked around in wonder when anyone expected a thing different. The despair, however, does not come from these memories. … Continue reading Let’s just take a second.

Buh-bye, Fundamentalism.

I got this email earlier, from a more progressive Christian site that dares to engage with culture, and is popularly loathed as a result.  And I laughed.  Because there, in black and white, is naked evidence of the absolute paralysis that results from trying to adhere to evangelical Christianity while being … well, alive. Relevant may be considered anathema to true fundamentalists, but it still employs a sly allegiance to evangelicalism, fundamentalism’s kid brother*.  When I have more time, I’ll add links, but I have read articles over the years that essentially deny universalism; dare to suggest that drinking alcohol is … Continue reading Buh-bye, Fundamentalism.

Whiskey, Kaitlyn, & Sex: #RealTalk.

Sorry for the delay!  I’ve been in the midst of moving continents, which has put me back a few weeks. Collated, overdue thoughts:  Regarding Kaitlyn Bristowe, the Bachelorette who got roasted for sleeping with a date in Ireland before the creepy, voyeuristic “overnight/”Fantasy Suite” (FML) nights: I must admit, I despise the man she slept with–one of the eventual “front-runners”–because of his skeevy, manipulative ways.  But as I watched the episode long after the controversy had started, I decided that critics of the young woman* were stupid.  Why?  Because she was in Ireland, drinking tumbler-fulls of whiskey.  WHISKEY, people!  The … Continue reading Whiskey, Kaitlyn, & Sex: #RealTalk.

Men are stupid.* Love is a b*tch. And I might be one, too.

* Some of them.  I also have some very nice, smart friends and family members who are male. This post is not about them. A couple of weekends ago, I was able to meet up with someone new to Beijing, a friend of a friend who is starting a really cool business here. He is 25, several years younger than me, and the whole talk reminded me how dumb we are in our mid-twenties. It turns out that this very nice young man had fallen in love with a friend of a friend, formed a long-distance relationship, and just met … Continue reading Men are stupid.* Love is a b*tch. And I might be one, too.

“Try,” Part 2: In Which I Try to Explain Why I’m Not Such a Bad Person

I woke up today feeling bad, like I went to bed with a “10” blog post and woke up with a “2” (yup, I just quoted Katy Perry). It seems especially snarky to take aim at a blasé-but-nice song, especially by quoting the relative benefits of the things Caillat disses, when there are so many greater evils in the world. Rather, I think I should have focused on the more insidious side I mentioned at the end: lumping in grown-ass women with adolescent teens experiencing their first flush of hormones, or not experiencing them soon enough, in a world that … Continue reading “Try,” Part 2: In Which I Try to Explain Why I’m Not Such a Bad Person

On patronizing bullsh*t. OR: It’s my body, I’ll make it look good if I want to

Remember “Try” by Colbie Caillat? This super-empowering song has been adorning the airwaves for a year now, but I have a beef with it. Kind of like John Mayer’s “Daughters,” it gets stuck in your head and sounds vaguely kind until you stop and pay attention. The funny thing is that I’m usually, or at least used to be, attracted to songs based on the lyrics. Still, for whatever reason, it took me a few rounds this time to notice. Important note: the lyrics are incredibly appropriate for twelve-year-olds. If you are stuck in a sixth-grade mentality about life, then … Continue reading On patronizing bullsh*t. OR: It’s my body, I’ll make it look good if I want to

Doing Violence to My Body

I currently have a horrible migraine, and I know why. I know my body like the back of my hand—oh, wait—and usually, the trigger is so clear I can see the pain coming; or, once the pain comes, I can instantly pinpoint what started it. I became “pre-migraine” twice in as many days when uninvited guests “popped” into my room when I was in the middle of writing. Do you know how hard it is to pull your brain out of whatever morass is consuming you to interact with another human being? Especially when—infuriatingly—these grown adults at my job who … Continue reading Doing Violence to My Body

Not to be confused with upright conduct (高行), which is not the point.

高 兴, or gāoxīng (in Pinyin), is Chinese for “happy,” and my initials are A.J.  Voíla! I currently live in China and generally like to be happy, like most of humanity. I’ve been kitsching about this whole idea for awhile, but have been somewhat unhappy because I’ve been hiding my thoughts on my laptop.  For years.  I mean, I published some nice, cute posts about travel or paying down debt–things which occasionally hit high points–but for the most part, I haven’t said much worth sharing. I grew up in a conservative, evangelical home, and after my parents divorced, I threw … Continue reading Not to be confused with upright conduct (高行), which is not the point.