Showing posts with label freak. Show all posts
Showing posts with label freak. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Staking claims in all the corners


I love punk music.

There is an ongoing theme of isolation and justified outrage combined with crass, irreverent humour that appeals to pretty much every part of me.  Many bands have songs about personal experiences with mental illness or of being labelled as crazy (The Ramones, Suicidal Tendencies, DRI, L7 to name a few).  This music - along with other heavy, hard or weird music of the ‘80s and ‘90s - was my lifeline as I stumbled through adolescence. Today, it is still my go to music when I feel overcome by frustration, anger or stress.  There’s nothing quite so cathartic as belting out “You can’t bring me down” by Suicidal Tendencies.


But the problem is that punk music doesn’t love me.

When I was fourteen I remember watching a video of some live punk show in which the male lead singer pulled a woman onto the stage and punched her.

That was when I learned that my beloved punk scene was no safer for me as a woman than anywhere else.

The misogyny and homophobia, both overt and implied, is so rampant in punk music that I quickly grew weary of trying to find new bands.  These days at least I can search online for lyrics and get a sense of their overall vibe but in high school the best I could do was borrow tapes from friends and fervently read the liner notes.

Mostly I look for bands that don’t have more than one or two objectionable songs, for example Suicidal Tendencies is not bad but only if I don’t listen to this song. Occasionally I find a band that is persistently offensive but has one or two songs that standout; Dayglo Abortions has very little to recommend them lyrically (this, for instance) – sad because their sound is kickass – but I can’t get enough of rocking out to “Homophobic, sexist cokeheads”.  Often the best I can hope for is that they don’t make me want to punch them.


But every once in a while there’s some ray of light like Liza and Louise by NOFX. When I was sixteen and newly out I was hanging out in the skate shop, looking through the 45”s when I saw this.


Without hesitation I bought it and instantly fell in love. Who knew that a bunch of straight dudes could write a song about lesbians that was actually about lesbians and not some porn fantasy for the male gaze (or ear as it were).


My relationship to punk music is complicated to say the least.

And this brings me to something that many people I follow on Twitter have been discussing lately, namely that Chris Brown’s violence against Rihanna is being held up as evidence of the misogyny in rap culture.  This black rap artist is being held up as the poster boy for male violence while Charlie Sheen (to name only one example) manages to skate right past his history of abuse.  Even when you compare those two narratives there are telling differences in how people explain the two men’s behaviour. Charlie Sheen’s offensive behaviour was due to his addictions and mental health while Chris Brown’s is due to his involvement in hip -hop culture – a convenient shorthand for blackness.

I have heard many black feminists talk about their love of hip-hop and the ways in which it is complicated by the misogyny so often lamented by mainstream white feminists and pop culture commentators alike.

And this is where my love of punk and a black feminists’ love of hip hop meet and shake hands.

What is it about punk music and rap music that makes them so hostile towards women? Is it the male bravado? Is it the blackness? Is it the anarchy?

No, decidedly and absolutely not.

Because the misogyny and homophobia we find in these genres is not what sets them apart from mainstream culture, it is the thing that ties them to it.

There are many things that define what rap and punk are: they both arose out of a sense of disaffection and alienation from the larger culture, at their core they are both about speaking truth to power and refusing to be defined or confined by a classist, racist society.  The one thing about them that is not unique is the way in which they both often wind up reinforcing cultural hostilities against women, queers and other marginalized groups.  The problem isn’t that they’ve stepped too far out of the dominant culture but that they have not stepped far enough.

So yes I love punk music and I like a lot of rap music, what I don’t love is the fact that so many of its creators have utterly failed to see how their regurgitation of objectifying, hateful and outright violent attitudes towards women is aligning them with the very system against which they so passionately speak out.

So before you throw the baby out with the bath water, remember that there is no corner of our culture that isn’t home to someone spewing hateful bullshit.  And the best thing we can do is not to say “This corner sucks, I’m going back to the centre” but to stay put and point out just how naked that punk ass emperor is.

I love my punk, and no amount of hostility from the macho men involved will keep me from it.


Women who rock, 10 essential punk songs
http://punksexism.wordpress.com/
Violence and Punk  Musichttp

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Where the boys aren't


Ever since I was nine or ten I’ve gotten along with guys.  In high school most of my friends, especially the ones that hung around, were guys.  I don’t know why except that I never really related to the way so many of the girls acted with their friends.  I wasn’t into the New Kids on the Block, I didn’t watch 90210 and I had a foul mouth and a dirty mind.  While other girls were pining for Jason Priestly and reading Sweet Valley High I was watching Chopping Mall and listening to the Dead Milkmen.

All I know for sure is that I had some amazing friendships with straight guys in high school.

Of course I also had a lot of male “friends” turn into emotionally and sometimes physically abusive assholes. I can think of four off the top of my head who either threatened me with violence or actually hit me.  Others spread slut-shaming rumours about me.  Others would only talk to me on the phone, not willing to be seen talking to me in public.

Still, I miss having straight male friends.

But this last few weeks of witnessing the vile, hateful and abusive things (here and here) that have been said to and about women I respect, admire, and in some cases consider to be friends has driven home how I got to a point where I no longer had male friends.

Because you reach a point where you can no longer ignore the bullshit that sometimes comes out of their mouths.  Part of the deal was always that you didn’t call them on every sexist thing they say, besides, to do so would be exhausting.  So I pulled back.

As I was reading all the hate and vitriol on Twitter this past week all I could think was, “There’s no way to tell which guys walking down the street think this way”.  There are truly no signifiers of who is safe.  As any woman in the activist community will tell you, lefty beliefs and proclamations of feminist ideologies is no guarantee that a guy won’t shut you down with misogynist epithets or rape you after he gets you back to his place to check out his collection of feminist essays.

And I know what you might be thinking, what about the queers? I’ve heard straight women say things like “just hang out with gay guys!” but being gay is not some magic bullet to shedding all your misogynist baggage. In some cases it’s just more open because, unlike straight or bi guys, gay guys don’t have to worry that they won’t get laid if they piss you off.  I’ve been forced to hide out in a bar bathroom because a gay male “friend” was trying to physically intimidate me because I was upset with his friend’s sexism.



So what’s a girl who likes to hang with guys to do?

There are many amazing, open, and thoughtful guys out there but the problem is that it can take so much time and work just to find out if any given guy is “one of the good ones”.  There are friends I had in high school that I still wonder about.  For various reasons I lost touch with pretty much everyone but I still miss some of those guys, especially the ones with whom I spent a lot of one-on-one time. I miss my friend Ryan who’s only reaction to me coming out as bi was to shrug and start talking with me about who we thought was hot, and who promised me that if I ever died he wouldn’t let anyone eulogize me by talking about how “pretty” I was.  I miss my friend Jay whose only reaction to finding me crying in his bedroom at one in the morning was simply, “what happened?”

But at this point in my life as a married mother in her thirties the door on new guy friendship feels closed to me. Because as far as I can tell, straight (or bi) guys don’t make close friendships with married women, especially when the only men I meet these days are married fathers.

So I miss those old friends, and I wish I still had that kind of friendship in my life but Goddamn if I know how to find it now.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Dirty Little Freaks: The curious incident of the teeth in the tea towel

[I've been thinking for a while about sharing some of the more....unusual stories from my adolescence. I'm calling this series, Dirty Little Freaks]

When I was 17 I was living in second floor walk-up with my best friend and his boyfriend, let’s call them Shane and Alex. To christen the apartment we did what any self-respecting independent teens would do and threw a house warming party.  As with any group of friends, our group had “that guy”.  You know the guy, the problem drinker who gets so hammered that he just sucks the fun out of any party he goes to?  Well in our group that guy was…let’s call him Allan. 

We really hadn’t planned to invite Allan but of course he heard people talking about the party and assumed he was invited and said he would bring some beer so, what could we do but just smile and nod. 

Now let me tell you a little bit about Allan’s trademark trajectory when he would get wasted.  First he would start out yelling for anyone to hear about exactly how wasted he was.  You know, things like “I’M FUCKIN’ SKUNKED!!!!!” and the like. Next he would corner some poor girl in the kitchen (or whatever room was reasonably empty) and tell her about how miserable his life was and how miserable he was. By the end of this monologue the poor girl in question was usually wishing he would just drink himself into a coma already. Just as she was thinking escape was imminent his hapless victim would be subjected to another twenty minutes of his most sincere and heartfelt, albeit slurred, apologies for boring her with his troubles.

On this particular night he followed this little number with pissing off of my roof –and frankly, he was lucky nobody pushed him off – followed by hurling all over my bathroom and finally passing out in the middle of the hall. He spent the remainder of the evening as a tripping hazard.

Such is the life of a party animal.

This of course is nothing new to any party, and certainly not to any party Allan attended.  No, the interesting part comes the following morning (okay, full disclosure, we were a messy lot and we didn’t actually make our gruesome discovery until Monday afternoon).

Monday afternoon we were cleaning up and I picked up a tea towel from the kitchen floor only to find that there was something wrapped in it.  When I opened up the tea towel I found a souvenir that I never could have imagined. Hidden in the tea towel there was a set of partial dentures, nicotine stains and all. 

What. The. Fuck.

Me: Shane! Alex! Holy crap look what I found!
Shane: What the…that's fucking gross.
Alex: Ewww where did you find them?
Me: Whose could they be?
All of us: They must be Allan’s

So we did what anyone would do and we put the teeth in an empty cream cheese container and took them over to our local hangout.  As we showed them around and asked if anyone knew their provenance we all came to the same conclusion: Only one person was so drunk that he could have lost his teeth and not noticed and only one person puked, ergo they must be Allan’s right?

So I went to the payphone and called his house only to get his mother on the phone.

Me: Hi, is Allan there?

Her: No, he’s out right now but can I take a message?

Me: Um….well…can I ask a weird question?

Her: ….Okay.

Me: Does Allan have any false teeth?

Her: No, definitely not.

Me: Okay….Thank you, bye.

Her: Goodbye

So the question now is, how the hell does someone who’s not utterly wasted lose their teeth and not notice? That’s some fuckin’ expensive dental work, and the chewing! Weren’t they missing chewing?

So I took the dentures back to the apartment and tried to forget about it.  But before I did that I went back to the cafĂ© and told everyone that the teeth weren’t his after all (see how conscientious I was?).

Later that day we heard a pounding on the door. When I answered it, Allan was standing at the top of the stairs looking irate.

“WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING TELLING EVERYONE I WEAR DENTURES?”

At this point of course I’m still thinking that this is all hilarious and of course he’ll see the humour in it all.

“Well we found some in the kitchen and you were the only one drunk enough to lose teeth and not notice. Besides I didn’t tell anyone that, it’s just what everyone assumed.”

From there everything went sideways and he started saying anything he could think of to hurt me. Did I mention that we had at one time been very close? I actually walked away and went to the living room but the screaming didn’t stop.  We devolved into a volley of character assassinations that took the form of “Well at least I don’t (insert embarrassing behaviour here)!!!”

Before I go any further I’d like to give you a better sense of Allan. If this were a sitcom the screen would be going all wavy and you’d hear some random harp music (although in his case I suppose it would be the Grateful Dead).

Flashback – a year and a half before:
I was sitting at my locker with some friends and Allan walked by with something clenched in his teeth.  My friends started speculating as to what it was, the consensus was that it was a pen cap. I was the only one who noticed the drop of blood on the back of his hand.  I jumped up and ran after him.  When I reached him I nearly tackled him and made him give me the razor blade he’d been carrying in his teeth. Let me repeat that. 

He was walking down the hall with a razor blade in full view and blood dripping from his hand.

I took him to the nurse and he told her about his substance abuse problems and she got him registered in a detox program.

Flashback – a few weeks later:
Before going into detox Allan planned on having one last big acid trip.  He was going to go camping with a buddy and drop some acid while his buddy watched him to make sure he didn't freak out.  Before his “big trip” Allan gathered some of his closest friends at his apartment and made a big speech  “just in case I don’t come back”. He passed around a goblet (I’m not shitting you it was a fucking goblet) and had each of us spit in it. Then he drank our spit.

I’ll give you a moment to take that in.

He then proceeded to give us each a meaningful item (I was so hoping for his copy of Sandman by Neil Gaiman).  Mine was a book about the pitfalls of atheism and as he gave it to me he held my face in his hands and said in his most dramatic and condescending voice that he hoped that one day I might see the light. This from a guy who’s about to go acid camping.

To answer your question, I don’t know why I stayed friends with him for as long as I did.

Flashback – about six months later:
I had taken Allan and some other friends up to my parents place in the country while they were away.  We were all sitting around the dining room table – sober I might add – when Allan started writing something on a piece of paper and then got up and walked out the back door.  We were all a little perplexed so we read the paper and it was a poem about suicide.  At this point I was honestly done with his dramatics, six months earlier I might have gone after him but not anymore.  I just rolled my eyes and we kept talking amongst ourselves. A little while later he came back unharmed.

As some of you may know from reading my other blog I’ve had a lifelong struggle with depression and at one point I tried to kill myself.  Most of my friends didn’t know about it, but Allan did.  So when he pulled these overly dramatic stunts it wore on me.

Now, let’s return to the fight at the top of the stairs.  After a few minutes of screaming at each other, Allan yelled, “WELL AT LEAST I DON’T CRY SUICIDE AT THE DROP OF A HAT!”

At that point I completely lost my shit.

Now I’m not talking about yelling a little harder or slamming the door in his face. I’m talking flailing arms and legs, roommates holding me back, completely lost my shit. Now of course because my roommates were holding me back and because Allan promptly grabbed my wrists, I didn’t lay a single blow.  As he was safely holding my wrists he said to me, “Now now Kristin, let's not be violent, remember you’re a pacifist!” with a nasty little smile.  Then he reached around behind my head and clocked me.

Later, when he was talking to a mutual friend he said, “I didn’t hit her, if I had I would’ve drawn blood.”

Flash forward about five years:
I’m talking to a friend who’s still hearing news from the old ‘hood and she tells me that Allan has been sent to jail for beating his roommate to death.

All I could think was, “Wow, I guess I really dodged a bullet”

Eighteen years later and I still don’t know who left their teeth in my kitchen.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Let’s talk about race

This is going to be a long, and sometimes hard, one. I’ve been reading a lot of blog posts about race and racism lately, all of them great and all of them by women of colour. In particular I’ve been reading Mochamomma’s blog in which she’s discussed the unicorn cake debacle, and the “ask a black girl” phenomenon.

One of the things that has come up again and again is how rare it is for white women to blog about race and racism.

So...here I go.

Race and racism have been at the front of my mind for most of my life. As a white girl who grew up in rural Ontario the only people of colour I knew as a child were the Japanese boy in my class and the Trinidadian fruit pickers who worked on a nearby farm.

But, I also grew up with a Quaker hippie mom (of the social justice and political action variety rather than the pot smoking free love variety). I had a strong awareness of the existence of racial bigotry but had yet to witness it.

All of that changed when I was thirteen and spending my summers in St. Catharines with my best friend.

I have spent a lot of time thinking about whether or not I would tell the whole truth here. I realize that I am opening myself up to some serious judgment and anger. All I can say is, I was thirteen and I only had one friend so where she went, I went.

This is what you need to know about St. Catharines in the 80’s and 90’s: It was a breeding ground for neo-nazi skinheads. The teenagers were all neatly divided into their little boxes, especially the freaks. You had boneheads (distinct from the anti-racist skinheads), mods, hippies and punks. I was none of the above but I was definitely a freak. I also had no idea how to meet new people on my own. My best friend, however was a striking mod chick much admired by many . When she started dating a nazi punk I wound up spending a lot of time around him and his friends. I hated it but I didn’t know how to avoid it without alienating someone who meant so much to me (to her credit, the boyfriend in question gave up his Nazi ways in the time they were together).

For the most part I left the room any time they started talking their bullshit. Occasionally I took them to task only to be dazzled by the bizarre twists of “logic” they offered in defence of their views.

Eventually I was able to make other friends and stop spending time in the company of boneheads. But, honestly, I can’t say I regret that time because it taught me something about hate and hate groups that I don’t think I would have otherwise understood. Sometimes it’s good to spend some time behind enemy lines.

One thing I learned from that experience was that these people are people, they’re not monsters. Making them monsters makes it too easy to distance our selves and society from their beliefs and their actions. When we recognize that they are people we have to also examine how they came to be that way, because they sure as hell didn’t just spring from the head of Ernst Zundel like Athena from Zeus.

When I was sixteen I left home and moved to St. Catharines to finish high school. There were still plenty of boneheads but my new friends were very vocal anti-racists who had had the shit kicked out of them more than once by boneheads. I saw how ineffective it was to piss them off and I felt the fear of being chased by them. I even had them move in next door to me. After that my best friend (a different one by this time) who was Filipino refused to come to my apartment, and who can blame her? If that’s what they do to white people, what might the do to her? I had to call the cops one night because one them was pounding on my door screaming “Fucking faggot!!” at my friend who was visiting.

Most people’s experience of racism is not so dramatic. It’s the systemic racism of the criminal justice system or the unfair hiring practices of a workplace. It’s the subtle shifts in attitude when a person of colour walks into the room. It’s the throw away comments that people don’t think twice about. It’s the luxury of “not seeing race” because you can’t “see” your whiteness. It’s the wilful blindness of white people when they talk about how inspiring and heart-warming the latest edition of the white saviour trope was.

I still come to tears when I remember how volatile it was back then. How much a fabric of our daily lives it was that one of us could get beaten down at any time. I was there when my friend was attacked by five guys in steel toe boots and I was there to watch him get twisted into his own brand of hate, indiscriminately accusing people of being nazis, and even terrorizing their families.

I learned what unfettered hate looks like. And I understood that this was a natural consequence of the much subtler and more pernicious kind of racism that was a part of the very fabric of our culture. And aren’t those radical neo-nazis a perfect distraction from the much more insidious racism that affects people of colour on a daily basis?

You know what? I can identify a nazi skinhead in my sleep. I know how to tell a nazi punk from the rest of ‘em, no problem. You know what that means? It means I know where I fucking stand. It means that when I see those white laces and the iron cross on your jacket I know not to make eye contact and steer clear.

But when my coiffed middle class (white) boss at my minimum wage job starts talking about “chinamen” that’s a hole other bag of shit. That’s a blind side from someone in a position of authority and I am left speechless, because I need this job.

And when my university professor says “us” in reference to white people and “them” in reference to any people of colour – even when there are people of colour in the class – he is not only contributing to the othering of POC, he is effectively erasing those who are in the room.

One of my favourite profs in University was Andrew Winston whose research focuses on the role that social science and science have played in perpetuating racial stereotypes and racist policies (that’s a simplification but you get the gist). In intro psych we were assigned a book called “The Race Gallery” by Marek Kohn which outlined the history and the flawed science of race based research, particularly in the area of racial classification and intelligence. My take away from that book was that race is a social construct rather than a biological fact. However, and this is the important part, just because something is a social construct doesn’t mean it’s not real.

Race is real because it affects the identities and realities of everyone. Not just people of colour, everyone. Whiteness is not a blank slate, it is not the de facto absence of racial identity any more than maleness is the de facto absence of gender. The issue, for any thinking white person, is how do you inhabit and experience your whiteness? What does it mean to you to hold a racial identity that comes with so much privilege? What can you do to recognize your privilege and address it in a meaningful way? And if you answer that question with anything that sounds like, “Well I’m X so I’m oppressed too” you’re missing the point. Identity is a complicated and ever shifting thing. If you engage in the “more oppressed than thou” game everyone loses. The point is to think consciously and openly about what kind of privilege you benefit from and what that means.

Talking about race is hard, for everybody. But the difference is that white folk have the luxury, or shall we say privilege, of not thinking or talking about it. If you, as a white person, don’t notice that everyone in the room/film/book is white it’s not because you’re so progressive that you’re colour blind, it’s because you’re simply blind to the ways in which people of colour are simultaneously erased and problematically defined by those representations. If everyone in the room is white, why is that? How does that change the nature of the discussion? How does that affect the way people behave to one another? All too often an all or mostly white space is seen as a safe space to say ignorant or flat out hateful things.

So this is me, talking about race in the only way that I can, through the lens of my experience. I actually like talking about race and racism, just as I like talking about gender and sexism and homophobia and every other element of the kyriarchy (still getting used to that word). I most like talking about race with people of colour because talking about it with a bunch of white people is like talking in a vacuum and frankly, I’m more afraid of hearing some racist crap come out of another white persons mouth than I am of being called out by a black friend.






Update: I've since written a follow up post on why it matters that white people talk about racism.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Life in the weird lane, part I (or why the bullies hated me so)

The other day I was listening to CBC and they were talking to someone from Big Brothers and Big Sisters Canada about a survey they had done looking at what parents are most worried about.  As always, one of the top concerns was bullying.  We've been hearing a lot about bullying over the last several years.  A few years ago when "Mean Girls" came out it got everyone talking about how girls bully differently, humiliating each other by using popularity as the bait in a nasty game of shame.

This kind of emotional bullying is cruel, hurtful and malicious.  It also only works if you give a shit about fitting in.  Me, I didn't give a rats ass about popularity or fitting in.  I thought popular kids were conformist and often assholes.  I was weird from day one and my Mom always encouraged me to be "an individual" so I had no pressure to fit in on the home front.  Even before I got into middle school and started experimenting with my unique sense of style, I and all the kids in my class knew that I was weird.  In elementary school this meant I was a social pariah. 

I remember when my 'best friend' became popular in grade 5 and told me that she could only talk to me behind the shed because she couldn't be seen with me.  That year I read "Blubber" by Judy Blume.  If you haven't read it it's all about the sympathetic, exceedingly normal girl who has to do a project with the fat outcast (not, by the way, a very sympathetic character.  I wanted to like Blubber but she was kind of an irritating and dull character).  We get to explore the cruelty of bullying without actually identifying with the bullied kid or frankly, even liking her.  It's nice and safe and totally targeted at bystanders rather than kids who actually experience bullying and teasing at school.

I was an avid reader and watcher of the tube so I had an acute sense of types and archetypes.  It wasn't until I read "Blubber" that I realized that I was 'that kid.'  I'd never thought about where I fit into the social hierarchy but when I read that book it clicked, I was the kid that everyone makes fun of, that was my place in the social landscape.  I'm kind of vague on how bad it was and I'm pretty sure it was more isolation than straight up bullying but I do think it was bad enough to get me crying in bed fairly regularly.  All I can say is, I pined for a group of friends like The Babysitter's Club or the girls on the Facts of Life to stick by me through thick and thin but that was definitely not in the cards for me.

It wasn't until my family moved and I started high school that things turned from the pain of social isolation and general teasing to the world of sexual harassment and threats of violence.  It wasn't just that I was weird looking with my shorts and tights and peace sign and (God forbid) un-permed, un-teased hair. Or that I listened to weird music like the Violent Femmes and the Dead Milkmen. I also didn't fit in to any of the social strata.  On the one hand I didn't drink, I didn't smoke or do any drugs and I didn't put out (despite what so many liked to say) so I couldn't gain acceptance by partying hard.  On the other hand I swore like a trucker, wore tight clothes and didn't believe in God so the bible thumpers wouldn't have me.  To top it all off I was loud and outgoing and refused to just quietly sit at my locker and keep to myself.  Nobody knew what the fuck to make of me.

I usually managed to have some friends but I also lost friends on a regular basis.  One person didn't want me bringing down his popularity quotient so he unceremoniously ditched me.  Another said her parent's thought I was a bad influence (she's thirteen with a 20 year old boyfriend who's regularly drunk but I'm the bad influence).  And others just found other people that they could better relate to.  There were a few people who stuck by me right through and for that I will always be grateful but through all of this the one thing that was never an option was fitting in.  No matter what they did I knew that I would never change for them.  I'd rather be alone and respect myself than fit in and lose myself.  I think a lot of people would say, why not just make it easy on yourself and stop dressing so weird?  But for me there would have been nothing easy about that.  I only know how to be one person and to try to be someone else, for the sake of fitting in no less, would have been the worst kind of betrayal.

Even then I knew this one all important fact: So long as you stay true to yourself and your values, they will never win.

So let me finish with my favourite Molly Ringwald quote. In Pretty in Pink when she decides to go to the dance alone in her self-made dress, "I just want to let them know that they didn't break me."

Stay tuned for Part II

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The freak shall inherit the earth (or, you know, a couple city blocks)

Okay, so here I am trying once again to exercise my writing muscles. Recently I got onto Twitter and as a result I’ve been following a variety of smart, interesting, funny blogs and it’s got me feeling all inspired. This isn’t my first blog, I also have a food blog (mostly to get me to write down and share the recipes I make up) and a life coaching blog where I wax eloquent about parenting and such. So I suppose it seems silly to be starting yet another blog, especially when my other blogs have a total of about twelve readers. But both of those have very specific intentions. Second Wind is very specifically where ‘Life Coach Kristin’ blogs. While I do get into some personal stuff, it’s all within the context of parenting and largely from a coaching perspective. It’s my place to share my own experiences and insights related to parenting and to let people know what I’m all about as a Life Coach. The more I read all these other great blogs (check out that blog list on the side!!) the more I found myself wanting to write some more personal, non-parenting stuff. I want to be able to be crass and opinionated, creative and weird. In short, this one is all for me. I make no promises as to frequency, regularity or quality. All I can promise is the unexpurgated me. So…to start off on a bad(pun) note…..”Let there be write” (I can hear you groaning already).