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Comic runs for sale!

Hey, all! I'm selling comics, and for you guys I'll actually ship. ;) Let me know if you want anything!

Image and imprints: http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sby/bks/4401545185.html
Robin, Nightwing, Batgirl, Teen Titans: http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sby/clt/4401604256.html
Avengers, New Avengers, and Young Avengers: http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sby/clt/4401710177.html

J

Proud and blown

I had an encounter earlier today.

I was in my gym class, and their marketing leans heavily toward sexy/sultry/sexual/HIGHLY sexualized (and, imo, objectified). Okay. Fine. I like the classes and I like the people, so I ignore it. Not my cuppa, but whatever.

Today on the front mirror, right in the center, was this photo of a man (the owner) and a woman (a new addition, I believe -- a business partner sort?). He was in profile, leaning in and looking down toward her. She was looking away, with parted lips, etc. Not my cuppa, but whatever. To catch it in my peripheral vision, what I saw was: looming man, retreating woman.

I was really, really uncomfortable with it. And because I couldn't look away from it -- it was in front -- I spent the last twenty minutes of class talking myself out of just leaving. Afterward I looked for H, who has been awesome. (It's an all female staff; the boss runs a different one, and only comes in once a week to teach a self defense class.) I couldn't find her, so I left and sent this text:

"Hi, H! I just let class extremely disturbed. I wanted to talk to you in person but didn't see you there. Text works, though. The poster pinned to the mirror - I assume announcing his new business partner? - is really creepy.  He looks like he's about to strike or rape that woman, and she looks like she's cringing away (unless yous tare at it, which, since we're busy exercising, I assume most aren't.) I spent the last twenty minutes of class telling myself not to just leave and staring at the floor. I'm not a victim of sexual violence, but one out of three are, so I imagine I'm not the only one with this reaction. I know you're not the head bossman, but can it at least be moved? Thank you. - Jenna"

I didn't think this was going to be a huge deal, so I didn't worry about careful phrasing. I should have.

She called me an hour later fuming. Turns out the guy in the photo -- the head bossman -- is her mentor, she feels like a brother toward him, she thought I was saying he WAS a rapist/abuser, she was pissed because she is an assault survivor several times over and she doesn't feel that way, she said I clearly pick up on the negative things, that I'm obviously not a good fit for their gym, that she's not comfortable with me being there, that I was disrespectful of Head Bossman and the gym -- on and on. Now, mind you, she didn't just lay into me. We had an almost good communication conversation. It went something like this:

H: "Jenna, I got your text, and I was -- well, I feel like it's a little rude. Head Bossman isn't like that, and that's a little disrespectful."
Me: "I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to be rude. I don't think Head Bossman is like that, but that picture is disturbing. I assume the intent was to be sexy and beautiful, but it isn't coming off that way to everyone."
H: "Maybe this gym isn't a good fit for you. We pride ourselves on being sexy and we like that look."
Me: "I know that, and I have no problem with your other posters. Many of them are quite beautiful. But that one really bothered me."
H: "Well, I don't see that. No one else has said anything -- maybe they're just trying to be nice -- but maybe you're just looking at it negatively."

And so on. What I gleaned between the lines of our twenty minute conversation was this:

H is 24, and hasn't learned how to separate "this picture looks bad," with "this person in this picture IS bad and all of you are bad for liking this picture."
I believe the gym has gotten flak in the past for objectifying women, and I think they (or at least H) is on the defensive.

...yeah, that's about it. I actually felt really bad for H. She vacillated between professional and obviously quite upset at what I was saying, and she had a REALLY hard time hearing what I was saying (which is why, in part, we were on the phone for twenty minutes) as opposed to what she THOUGHT I was saying.

So, in the future I'll either talk to someone or carefully police my words in text and not assume it's not a big deal. Good lesson for me. In the meantime, I'm VERY proud of myself for keeping my cool during that entire conversation. I didn't get frustrated or defensive (a couple of times I started to, but was able to stop), I didn't exaggerate things to make my point, I listened to her side -- I was the person I want to be. So I'm really proud of myself for that. I think we got ourselves sorted in the end. I doubt I'm welcome back at that gym anyway, because H is 24 and, at 24, I harbored bad feelings so I'm assuming (there I go again!) that she would rather I not be there. Since she's the manager...

That said, I'm totally blown. I mean, totally, TOTALLY blown. I always kind of thought that when I did the right thing and kept my cool and was proud of my actions and didn't say or do something hurtful or stupid in the heat of the moment that I'd walk away and be okay. But no, I'm blown. I've thought about it all day long, spinning different moments and lines in my head. I've considered texting H again, and when I stop and think, "Why? Why am I doing this? What do I want to achieve?" I realize it's the co-dependent bit that wants everyone to like me.

H and I did talk about Head Bossman. She said (and she sounded very frustrated to me), "Why don't you talk to Head Bossman about it?" to which I responded, "it's not likely. I know you really respect him, and I'm glad for that, but he's got quite a few bad things said about him on Yelp." She got upset (no surprise, given he's her mentor), and among other things said, "You'll believe what a bunch of strangers say without talking to the person?" (She also championed his character.) I told her she was right, I shouldn't do that, and thanked her. (I also, a bit later, told her that I still didn't like that poster. My line I kept repeating was variations on this: "I believe the intent is to look sexy, but it isn't working. I have had good intentions before that people told me were hurtful in the end, and so I changed what I was doing. It doesn't make him a bad person. I believe his intent was good, but it didn't work.") Between that, and the fact that around then I think she finally started to sorta kinda understand what I was saying -- even if she didn't agree with it -- we ended the conversation on a decent, if strained, note.

So, I thought about talking to Head Bossman. A lot. On the one hand, I'm no longer welcome at that gym, so my initial purpose - to get the poster moved so I don't have to look at it - no longer matters. On the other hand, in NOT talking to Head Bossman, I'm doing exactly what everyone does: I have a problem, I'm made to feel like I'm alone, I don't address the problem with the people who matter, they may or may not realize there even IS a problem.

Also, if H is right and he's a good guy, he might want to know that his poster isn't necessarily conveying what he'd hoped. (I doubt this will happen, even if he's a nice guy. I kind of expect that if he's a nice guy he'll say, "Thank you but I disagree," and if he's an ass I'll have an asshole response.) It also means that however he responds, I'll go update my Yelp review to reflect that.

Finally, I think I will text H just to say, "I thought about what you said re: yelp and assumptions, and you're right so I contacted Head Bossman. Thanks." Because it's always good to know when you did get through to someone, and she was right about that. I shouldn't assume about him (even though, based on what others have said on Yelp and his marketing, I kind of still am).

This is the email I hopefully sent to Head Bossman (through the "contact us" link on their website):

**

Hi, [name]! (I hope this gets to [name], anyway.)
I spoke with H about moving a poster (I'll explain why in a minute) and she suggested I talk with you. She is quite your champion, and speaks very highly of you! As I don't believe I'm welcome at the gym any longer (I'll explain that, too), it's no longer about moving the poster. I almost didn't email, but finally thought that if I had an ad that was sending the wrong message, I would want to know.
So, here's the story. You guys have lots of very sexy pictures up. While not my taste, I know a lot of other people like it and I have no beef with this. I'm saying this up front because H seemed to think I did have a problem with it. I did notice the new black and red poster of yourself and a blond woman -- I'm sorry, I've forgotten her name -- and it did seem, to me, alarmingly threatening and aggressive. I believe that isn't the intent. I believe the intent is to look sexy, seductive, and attractive. (If my ad was sending a message I didn't intend, I would want to know.) My original purpose in talking to H was to see if we could just move it off the mirror, because while I see it negatively, I realize not everyone else does. I figured maybe on a side wall those who liked it could see it, and since it bothered me I could just not look at it. (Hard to not look at it when it's right in front of you!)
I think H thought I was criticizing you as a person, and though we spoke for twenty minutes and hopefully got that sorted out, I don't believe she would be happy if I went back to the gym. (I'm sad about this, as I LOVE your gym. But I'm moving to the East Bay in a couple of weeks anyway, so I guess it's not the end of the world!)
Anyway, my original purpose was to move the poster, but that's a moot point now. Still, I look at the poster and see "looming man, cringing woman," instead of "hot and sexy," and if I do, others probably do, too. I thought I'd let you know, because I know that's not your intent!
Thanks,
J

**

So. Now I've processed this all out. I'm hoping I can stop thinking about it. I'm hoping a glass of wine, television, and eventually a sleeping pill will help. I'm kind of bummed that being proud of myself doesn't automatically mean I'm not emotionally drained. Even though things with H were well, considering, and we ended on a decent note, I'm still reeling. I keep thinking about it, not in a, "I should have said," or "shouldn't have said," way, but just... thinking. Re-playing it. Imagining what I could do, and then stopping to remind myself that I don't need them to like me, that I did the right thing, that it's okay. That this was actually good. A learning experience for me, and I'm proud of my actions. And if they are upset, that is not my fault: I did my part, stayed calm and compassionate, encouraged and congratulated when appropriate, listened, and explained my point. I can't do any better than that.

I'm still blown. >.< Yeesh.

J

Opinions

I'm opinionated. No surprise, right? So earlier today I was saying, "There's this side, but there's this other side, so I'm not sure which I think."

And then someone else said, "But this other side is wrong because..."

And I said, "Not really, because..."

And next thing I know I'm defending that side and arguing myself into it when the fact is, I really kind of a agree with BOTH sides in different circumstances. And then people are like, "I don't mean to criticize your opinion, but..." and I want to say -- "Wait! This wasn't my opinion. What the hell just happened, here?"

It's extraordinarily frustrating.

Anyway.

I saw Carrie Fisher! And there are PICTURES. They're fabulous. And my client is going to take the best one and get Ms. Fisher to sign it. HOW AWESOME IS THAT. And then I got free appetizers and dessert at a Thai restaurant tonight because it's owned by my other clients! Damn. I love my clients.

All in all, life after medication is going pretty well. :D (Life before medication was going well, too, but it was easier to slip into depression anyway.)

Tomorrow I work. Tomorrow night I go see Quin's family. Sunday I work. Then I drop off animals. Then I pack until midnight, because around 6am we leave for the airport and Georgia. Between now and then, I need to:
Do laundry
Go to the bank
Pack
Get animal stuff together
Cancel housecleaning stuff

...There's like another ten things on that list, but I can't remember them all. Anyway. There's a lot.

When I get back, I immediately start inspections and signing for house stuff. Which also means packing. While I'm boarding dogs. I should move by mid-April. Yipe! It's going to be a crazy few weeks, but then I get to rest. :)

Tango is going to move into Katie's old cage, which I'm very excited about (in no small part because, even if a boarded dog gets out of its crate and tries to eat him -- which most of them don't want to do anyway -- they won't be able to get through wrought iron). I've only had one dog here I was really worried about, and I took Tango with me to work so I didn't have to fret about, "What if she gets loose and goes after his cage?" I mean, she'd really have had to work at it, but I was afraid she'd be willing to.

Okay, break! I just chatted with Quin on the phone, and in doing realized how much there is to get done before we go. HOLY SHIT. I need to stop blogging so I can go to sleep, get up, and work like a mad fiend. Wish me luck!

J

Life updates

Today I'm going to see Carrie Fisher. I might even get to MEET Carrie Fisher. One of my clients is producing her appearance at a local place, and he's letting me in. :D Have I mentioned lately how much I love my clients?

While I wait for time to tick by, I thought I'd update. Hooray!

Houses
Well, the Normal house that I posted about last fell through. Turned out it had $40k worth of foundational repairs. Since I didn't have 40k, and wasn't willing to to jump through the many bankrupcting hoops that would have gotten me the house, I let it go.

But then I put in another bid on another house! This one is on the edge of Martinez, 1200 square feet on a private road with 5-6 other houses. 2 bedroom and a converted garage, lots of space for the dogs to run, awesome landscaping, a giant tree for my swing, and a chicken coop! It's pretty amazingly awesome. :D It looks like this:




Life After Medication

Life after medication is fabulous. Seriously. I had something wrong in my head, and I needed pills to supplement what my body wasn't providing. I should have done it YEARS ago.

Now, bad days are melancholy (instead of curled on the couch sobbing, sometimes for days at a time), and good days are good, and most days are somewhere in between, more good than bad. I'm never getting off pills. The coping tactics I'd used before are now more than enough to deal with my occasional bouts of yuck. Life is awesome again. YAY! :D The weight has been lifted off my chest, and I can breathe again. When things get hard, I can see a way out. When my house gets messy and I don't have time to clean, it's a bummer instead of a major failure. THIS IS AWESOME.

Okay! It's close enough to show time that if I leave now and stop for coffee, I'll get there on time. Or maybe a little early. But not too much early. ;) Wish me luck!

JB

House: The Second

I went and saw that Norman house yesterday -- and it's FABULOUS!

The gutters are all newish (within 5-6 years, I'd guess), there doesn't seem to be hardly any damage from anything -- the worst is the water staining in the bedroom, which is shown in that photo from last post, and another spot of it above the stairs. But here's the great thing about that: it's had been raining for 4 days when I went to see the house, so I climbed up on the window ledge (of course I did) and felt the water spots, and there was no dampness, so I'm hoping it's left over from something that was repaired already. The other worst? Vanity repairs -- a small hole in a cupboard, cupboard doors that stick, new carpeting needed, etc. The land itself is a little bit overgrown, but not horrifically so. There's a FIREPLACE. And it's being sold for about what it's valued at, which is far under what I can afford, so I'm hopeful I won't get outbid!

Next step: we put in a bid today, and if it's accepted, then we go through all the checks. Someone to check the roof, the wiring, and the plumbing is first and foremost; all the houses in this area are old (1918 isn't uncommon, and "new" ones are usually 1950s), so that's always the first step. There's other things to check, but those are the important ones. Given the good upkeep of the place in general (for instance, the below-ground heating has been removed, laundry hook ups have been added), I'll be surprised if there's more than minor fixes to do there. The shape of the roof doesn't lead to being able to see it, but the lack of leaks/dampness in the house makes me think that it's probably solid. (The land it sits on wasn't flooded either; a nice surprise!) There's probably some kind of pest problem, statistically speaking; the whole bay area is riddled with them. No sign of roaches or rodents, though, which I was pleased to see. (A couple of filled holes in one cupboards makes me think maybe they had a rodent point at some time, but we didn't see any droppings while we were there -- and we looked in the cupboards.)

In short: I'll be stunned if I don't end up with this house. I LOVE IT SO MUCH. And the town and the houses around it were fabulous, too. :D The garage has an attached shelter area that would easily be converted to a chicken coop and shelter (looks like it was a barn and horse shelter at one point, actually), so that's fun. And god, the whole place was obviously loved, the important things seemed cared for -- like my grandparent's house, with they made sure the structural stuff was sound but didn't get around to the less important things, like carpet replacement. There's a giant lemon tree in one corner; we all marveled at its size. A deck, 3 gates to get into the property, and I can see where I could put my fruit trees. ;)

So! Time to bid, then examine, and then it's mine. WOO HOO! :D Box unpacking party at my place! I'll be going from 450 sq ft to 1350, so it shouldn't take long... ;-D

J

**Edit: Bid is in! Cross your fingers that it's accepted. They have 12 more days to accept bids before I'll hear anything. >.<

Houses

Hi!

As some of you know, I've been trying to buy a house for the last year and a half. Loan laws pertaining to those who are self employed, while understandable, are not helpful. Well, two days ago I got approved for a loan of $300k, which MASSIVELY opened up my options!

On Sunday, I go see this house:

http://www.redfin.com/CA/Concord/302-Norman-Ave-94520/home/676690#main

A few things:
1. It's in an unincorporated area. I love these areas. I can have chickens. :D
2. The lot is about twice as big as most lots I'm looking at, and the right set up for me to parcel off "dog neutral" zones to introduce aggressive dogs safely (or keep them separate from mine if I need to).
3. 3 bedrooms!
4. I LOVE the way it looks. LOVE IT.
5. Someone died in it. I know, for most people this is a turn-off, but three (I think) of my four grandparents died in their homes (the fourth died in her Alzheimer's unit, which had become her home), in peace, with loved ones, where they wanted to be. This makes me feel that people who die in their homes leave it with good feelings, because they were where they wanted to be.
6. It's about 300 sq ft bigger than most I look at.
7. It's near the water
8. It's near big open fields!
9. It's a tiny, tiny town. Less than 700 people, and I LOVE THAT, but  minutes from bigger cities, and I love that, too! The things I've read about it make it seem like a very small town, friendly community. There's one market. *amused* (Luckily, there are lots of bigger ones 10 and 15 minutes away. ;))
10. It's far enough under my price range that even if I have to bid up, I will hopefully have enough left over to do repairs and whatnot. Safe to assume it'll need them, since it was built in 1918.
11. Look at the character!
12. It has a fireplace!

I'm so hopeful and so in love with it, and I'm making myself sick because I'm terrified of being in love with it. I've been in love with a few other homes, and they fell through. Plus, I don't really know what kind of condition it's in. The pictures are pretty much just the bedrooms, which badly need new flooring. One of the ceilings of a downstairs room (I think, give the flat ceiling) has water damage. How bad is that? How bad is the rest of the house? I don't know! It's not listed as a "fixer upper" which is hopeful, but it is listed as  "diamond in the rough," which is not. As long as I can fix it up slowly (which means I can't bid myself as high as I can go; I need money left over for repairs) while I live in it, I'm fine with that. A little excited, actually. I'm finding I'm more likely to get excited about houses that need fixing up; I get bored with the ones that are already in perfect condition. My most hated phrase: "New carpeting!"

All these fabulous things, but not enough information.

I've had rum and a sleeping pill, and I'm still awake. >.<

Please please please please... this house is perfect so far. I hope it's either really a disaster and I can walk away without regret, or it stays low enough that I can afford it... It's so very perfect for me. With a two-car garage, I could either use it as a playroom (there's also a shed to park vehicles under next to the garage, not listed) or have spots for both Quin and my car when she visits, and turn the shed into... I dunno. Dog shelters? I don't think I can have a horse there; wrong zoning. But ooh! Chicken shelter! :D I could keep the fencing that's there and add in more, so the chickens would have a nice large space but be safe from any dogs. That would ROCK.

And there's a citrus tree! I think lemon (ew), but I'm not sure.

And a pine tree!

Oh, god, guys. What if it's all wrong? What if it's PERFECT and it gets bid too high so I can't afford it? I'm spinning myself in crazy circles, and I have to wait two days to see it!

JB

Death and dying

I was going to have a, "After medication" post, because this has been such a big deal. That'll have to wait, though; I have a bigger deal.

When I first moved to NorCal five years ago, I met an elderly woman named Glenna. Glenna worked at a pet shop, and gave me my first training job up here. She had two dogs: a big golden named Leo, and a little chocolate lab named Ginger. Leo was afraid of everything, and Ginger was aggressive on leash. I had things much improved after a few sessions, and Glenna could see that we were on our way. I kept working for her for about a year, 3-5x a week. Her dogs are, to this day, perfect. (Though Leo has since passed.) She went to the pet store where she'd worked for years and told everyone, "Give out Jenna's name." Everyone did. It turned out that particular pet store was well known and trusted in the area. It's because of Glenna insisting they hand out my name that my business flourished as quickly as it did, that I was able to dive head first into dog training without ever needing to pick up a side job.

Glenna was also lesbian, and took me under her wing. She introduced me around (once tried to set me up on a date), gave me advice (not always wanted) and generally acted like my aunt Glenna. She even found me a place to live when my studio rent went up. In fact, I still live there now. Heck, she bullied my landlord into buying me a window a/c unit!

She set up both my gorgeous webpages (www.jbmcdonald.com and www.feathersandffurdogtraining.com), did my cards, took promotional photos for me... she was fabulous.

About a year ago Glenna and I drifted apart. We still emailed here and there. She's the web designer for the pet store, and she has atrocious grammar, so she often sends be blurbs. "I want to say x. Will you make it sound good?" Not too long ago she said, "I want to ask my dr these things. How do I do that so it sounds nice?" I emailed her back a few lines, which she memorized. We weren't seeing each other regularly anymore, but still occasionally. We were on friendly terms.

A couple of months back she started getting sick. A few weeks ago she was diagnosed with cancer. Today I found out she has 3 months to live.

I always joked I'd write her autobiography. Maybe I still should. She has an amazing life story. She's one of the most alive and vibrant people I've ever met. I think of her as family, and I owe so much of my current life to her. She once put me in her will, as second in line to inherit Ginger if anything happens. I believe I'm still there. (Something we talked about briefly recently, and something I might blog about in the future if the current plan changes.)

I'm reeling. I have other clients that are elderly -- Mike has Alzheimer's, and breaks my heart on a frequent basis -- but none like this. Glenna was, and is, family. I'm numb and teary by turns.

She doesn't have family of her own, but she has a lot of people who love her. The community has pitched in to help; a few people are helping her run errands, a bunch of us have divvied up dog walking duties so that she can just enjoy Ginger and not worry about care too much. It's still hard to believe. A month ago I was over there doing webpage stuff and she was telling me, "Oh, I have another doctor appointment this week so they can figure out why I'm still losing weight -- but don't mention it to anyone, because I don't want anyone at Pet People to think I'm not coming back! I'm still working." She was so determined in that, and slightly disgusted that they might think otherwise. I believe, in fact, it was that very doctor's appointment when they discovered the cancer.

Three months. When I told Quin, she said, "Jesus. That's barely enough time to get your affairs in order." For some reason, that's been ringing in my head all day. I guess some part of me thought she'd always be around. And now, now there's a deadline. It's not some nebulous thing. Three months, and she'll be gone. I'm going to see her in two weeks, and by then it'll be noticeably less time.

I've been thinking I might email her. Two weeks is a long time in three months, so I thought I'd let her know that if she needs anything, I'm happy to help. Heck, she's family. I'm still reeling.

J

Update

Well, I'm on anti-anxiety/depression meds. We'll see how it goes.

Quin has been a major help the last few days, both in support and in supporting medicating and taking that step. He's given me lots of TLC and encouragement, which I really needed.

Tango is a delight. It's funny, how one little bird can bring me so much pleasure. Especially after Quin goes home for the weekend, and it's just me and the dogs. You know I love Cash and Lily, but they're too big to cuddle on the couch (also, dirty), and they mostly sleep. Tango, even from his cage, chatters along quietly, making me feel not alone. He plays with his toys with great contentment, and I can sit and watch him for quite a long time. He's only 8 months old, but I adore him. He's taken to all sorts of training, so he's quiet in his cage, and he's working on the potty training, and he's starting to say "Tango." He's good company, and he doesn't mind if I don't have the energy to hold him much, or do much other than snuggle on the couch with him in the evenings.

Anyway. I'm hanging in there! And hopefully in 2 weeks, when the meds kick in, things will get much easier. (Today was a pretty good day, anyway. Quin and I slept in and snuggled and watched movies in bed. There was lots of canoodling, which I really needed. There were hugs and snuggles and reassurances. So by the time I left to work with a dog, I was feeling better, and it's lasted all the day. My honey is pretty awesome.)

J

Depression

Hilarious that the month of invisible illness awareness I should get depressed again. Ha ha.

Read more...Collapse )

J

:D

Oh, yeah. :D

engagement 10.3.13

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