April 21, 2017

Spokane; The Portland of Washington State

Keep Spokane Weird
When I was a little girl growing-up in Kennewick, my mom would often pack-up my sister and I and travel the two-hours North to Spokane to visit her eldest sister and her daughters (my cousins).  I LIVED for these trips!  To me, Spokane was my metropolis!  It was home to awesome shopping, one of the greatest parks I've ever been to, and above all else, the great scenery!  Let me tell you, when you live in the one area in your state, famous for it's natural emerald coloring, that is full of dead, brown, and dry, you yearn for a life that is full of trees, parks, and bustling life!  I, myself, am a proud Air Element (Gemini) so to be in a place where all is constantly moving and full of freshly created oxygen is home to me. Unfortunately, it took losing my mother and getting divorced from a lazy man holding me back from my potential to finally get me to realize that I wasn't obligated to stay where I was and finally live my life!  Nearly a year after my separation, I packed my stuff, my cat, and my self and finally made the 2-hour trek by myself to Spokane to finally live my life by my terms.

Fast forward 8+ years.  I've since remarried, started a family, at one point was forced back to the Tri-Cities (a really dark period in my life), and have come back to Spokane with nothing left to lose except my family...in which the second we stepped foot back in Spo-town, our lives got EXPONENTIALLY BETTER!  It seems like when we're here, our lives make sense and we have purpose.  If that doesn't tell you that we're meant to be here, I don't know what does.


Rachel Dolezal
Please, let us star with the big, white elephant in the room that's pretending to be a black rhino!  Back in 2015, Rachel Dolezal was the leader of the Spokane Chapter of the NAACP.  Normally, not a big issue, but then it was.  It was discovered that *gasp* she was a WHITE WOMAN!  Now, a revelation like this would be more of a "Huh.  Well, as long as she's representing non-caucasian peoples in a positive light, more power to her."  More of a nod of interest than genuine shock.  This was not the case.  The reason why her being white was such a huge deal was, I'm not making this up, SHE WAS TELLING PEOPLE SHE IS A PROUD BLACK WOMAN AND WAS LIVING LIFE LIKE ONE!  No, really.  I mean, if there was a form she had to sign that asked what her race was, she would skip the one marked "Caucasian" and check "Black" or "African Descent".  I can't make this up.  As you see in the above photo, she even permed her naturally straight locks into SUPER TINY ringlets and would get VERY dark tans (I assume "fake & bake" or she'd look like she could be a meaty beef snack promoted by famous 1980's Wrestlers".  She was outed when the interviewer did some back-ground checking and discovered her VERY white parents whom she was estranged from.  They told the reporter (and eventually national news groups) that their daughter is very much a white woman, was raised a white woman, and has SERIOUS entitlement issues.  What was to be a small expose became a NATIONAL SOCIAL DISASTER!  Because of this, our lovely city, which is home to the 1970's World Fair, has now become home to the country's Latest & Greatest Winner of the Hot Mess award!

Now, in 2017, she is currently unemployed, had adopted a (darker skinned baby), and is struggling to make ends meet.  She has since decided that the best way to find employment was to change her name to make her more employable.  What did she change her name to, you ask?  Please be sitting down.  Nkichi Amare Diallo.  Wow.  Just.  Wow.  I've heard of people of Ethnic Heiratage changing their names to something more "White" (on behalf of my race, I'm sorry to any of you who feel you need to do this.), but really?  This is what she's convinced will trick people in to even interviewing her?  But this isn't the only thing she's done this year.  Oh no.  She's been busy.  SHE WROTE AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY ABOUT HOW HARD IT IS BEING A BLACK WHITE WOMAN! 

Some folks are reading this book just to see how messed up this woman is.  Others are reading it just because they want to give her a chance to explain her side of the whole situation.  According to one interviewer, she's saying this woman's issues are deeper, and more about white privledge than anything else.  If you're morbidly curious about what this latest interviewer has to say on the subject, click the link ~~> The Heart of Whiteness: Ijeoma Oluo Interviews Rachel Dolezal, the White Woman Who Identifies as Black

The Spokane Spanker

I'm so sorry I have to include this.  This is just embarrassing.  So a few weeks ago, some random dude was going around...oh dear lord...spanking random women on walking trails.  If this were still the 20th Century, this wouldn't be such big news.  But this is the 10's.  We are in a time in the United States where anything that happens against a person's will is considered assault, abuse, or sexual harassment.  I know it seems like I'm making light of the situation and not taking it seriously, but I promise you, I'm actually pretty outraged to the point where I've looped around and just am done with life *note: this isn't me saying "I want to die."  More like "I don't want to live on this planet anymore".*  

The reason why this should be such a big deal is because what if one of the random women he spanked was a rape victim?  What if she has PTSD?  What if she was the product of an abusive home?  Hell, what if she was a Special Needs person?  There are so many factors that could have made this so much worse not only for him, but for anyone who was or could have been one of his Spanking Receivers?  I'm sure to this man it was all just a harmless prank, but pranks should not harm people to be funny.  This is not the 1960's where a good smack on a woman's but was a simple "cheeky" gesture of endearment (I'm so sorry for going there.)

As it is, this is just one more example as to why "Rape Culture" still exists.  The man has come forward and admitted his wrong doings.  My problem is that the local is making this out to be "Well, he said he's sorry so he won't do it again.  So lets just forgive & forget, shall we?"  No.  This was assault.  It must be treated as such and I feel he needs proper jail time, if even a month worth.  He needs to be made an example of.  Sadly, he won't and we may not hear much about this after a week.  I mean, if a rich male college swimmer can get off with little more than a slap on the wrist for raping a passed-out drunk girl in an ally way, I would venture to guess this guy is just going to get a small fine and a pat on the butt with the judge saying "now don't do it again, okay?"

Spokane is Where "Father's Day" was Created
Yup.  You learn about this on the "Train Tour" at River Front Park

Riverfront Park is home to the 1970's World Fair
Sadly, as of this year, the remnants of that will be no more since they broke ground on the renovation of Riverfront Park.  As a matter of fact, they have been discussing getting rid of the carnaval area and even the IMAX.  Booooo!
Our "Sister Cities" include Tokyo, Japan & Dublin, Ireland
I don't know how.  They are both in different countries and both are entirely different cultures & ways of life than Spokane.

The Metal Band "GWAR" calls gave us the nick-name "Not Seattle".   
True Story.

If you have any other "Keep Spokane Weird" news or facts, feel free to post them in the comments below.  If the town you live in has any weird facts or news, share those as well!!


December 27, 2016

Knerd Mom Recommends: Ore Monogatari (My Love Story)

Love "Slice of Life" romantic manga/anime but tired of how they all more or less follow the same formula?  THEN PREPARE FOR THE GREATEST LOVE STORY EVER!

This story is about a big, burly, ogre-esque Freshman named Takeo Goda.  He falls in love at least once every year he has been in school, but each girl he crushes on falls for his ultra-handsome and cool best friend Makoto Sunakawa.  One day on the train home from school, Goda sees a pervert groping a small, sweet, and adorable high school girl.  Being the good guy and champion of justice he is, Goda takes action and puts a physical stop to it, thus saving the girl!  Goda then falls in love at first sight.  From there, his feelings for the girl (whom we find out is named Rinko Yamato) grows as she keeps making contact with him.  From here, things happen, but I don't want to spoil it because...YOU JUST HAVE TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS FROM THERE!  I promise, you won't be disappointed.

The reason for this recommendation is because this isn't your typical Girly Romance story.  Not only is there some GREAT comedy, but it's the fact that it's the "non-typically good looking character" the romance revolves around!  Doubly amazing since in Japan, well Asia in general, is a culture that values aesthetics above most else.  Having a *i really hate to put it this way* ugly character be the central protagonist in this story really makes it real for me.  If anything, it proves that anyone can find happiness and that true beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  Well, that and we all have a type.

But really, the best part of this whole story is Goda himself.  He is what makes this whole experience!  Yeah, he's a big, strong dude who is as intimidating as a free roaming gorilla (not a Harambe reference), but his demeanor is that of a big cuddly teddy bear.  When he sees people in need of even a little help, he puts 100% of himself into helping out...asked or not!  He doesn't think about doing the right thing because he just does it!  It's all the more hilarious because when he does these good deed, he does it so seriously that he comes off with a mad mug!  Luckily, Sunakawa is always there to buffer the help by informing those being helped by Goda that "He's just a big helper.  I promise you he's not a thug."  In the end, everyone is always grateful, even though they give the misguided appreciation to Sunakawa...who always reminds the folks "...thanks, but Goda did the work."

I wish I can divulge more information and story about this great Manga/Anime, but I really want you all to watch it for yourselves!  It's available on Hulu subbed, though if you're like me, you can find it dubbed through your choice Anime Mirror sites.  It's a great break from the other cookie cutter "Slice of Life" school romance stories you're used to because to main character is not only male, but a big "unattractive" dude who is a total love-bug.  Honestly, even I could fall for Takeo Goda!  Anyone would be lucky to have a man like that in their lives, in love or in friendship!

December 3, 2016

Knerd Mom Recommends: TROLLS!

Last weekend, my son & I went and saw The Trolls movie.  To be honest, I thought this was going to be a huge letdown.  If you're an 80's kid and older, you know about the original Trolls.  With the ugly cute faces, little potbellies (some bejeweled), and THAT HAIR!

oh, and that they're nekkid.  Don't forget nekkid!
We "old folk" have been trying so hard to cling-on to the last vestiges of our generations but people keep revamping our favorite shows & books from our childhood!  Most of them failed hard and ruined it.

So now you understand why TROLLS made me a little nervous.  To be completely candid, I didn't even want to go see the movie as an attempt to preserve my fond memories about these guys.  My mom even had a large stuffed Troll doll who wore a cute set of light blue overalls. 

Luke, on the other hand, has never been introduced to the original troll dolls so his discovery of Trolls WAS the movie, thanks to the McDonald's toys based on the movie.

Because of these (Luke has Poppy & DJ), Luke now wanted to see the movie.  It was at this point, I sucked it up and took him for doing good that week of school. 

BOY was I PLEASANTLY SURPRISED!  I went into this movie with no great expectations and came out slightly nerding out!  The story revolves around Princess Poppy & Branch on a rescue mission to save their friends from the unhappy Bergans.  When they reach the castle, the come across a forlorn Scullery made named Bridget.  They decide to help her and everything goes from there! 

This movie isn't fun just because of the story-line.  Oh no.  This movie is fun because of the MUSIC!  The music incorporates music from quite a few eras revamped into something fun to sing along with.  This also incorporates a few original tunes just for the movie.  For me, the greatest part about this whole movie is Justin Timberlake as the Male Lead Protagonist, Branch.  I had no IDEA he was in this movie but his voice was one I just kept saying to myself "I KNOW that voice?  Who is that?"  Even when he did let his voice loose in the movie, I kept saying "Where do I KNOW this guy?!"  It wasn't until the credits rolled and announced Good Ol' JT, I was finally like "NO FREAKING WAY!"  As a matter of fact, this whole PRODUCTION was a "Who's Who?" of celebrities!

If you want to see the full cast list, click the IMDB page here...  The Cast of Trolls

I HIGHLY recommend this movie not necessarily for the story, but for the music and vocal who's who.  This was visually entertaining in how the characters were developed, humor, and above all else, THE MUSIC!  I've already downloaded the Soundtrack, I now await the movie release to Blu-Ray!

It's a Bus! It's a Train! No, It's Super Mom!!

I'm starting this story with a different story.  A few days ago, on my way to Walmart, I stopped at the Dutch Bros. to get some coffee.  While waiting in line in my nice warm car, I popped up "Pokemon Go" on my phone.  Sure enough, I found and promptly wasted about 7 Master Balls to capture a NIDOQUEEN!  I finally got the little beast when it was time for me to roll up to the stand window!

Now is a good time to say "DON'T TEXT AND DRIVE!"  As a matter of fact, put the phone down.  If it's that important, PARK FIRST THEN RESPOND!!  Thank you.
Having said that, I justify Pokemon in the Cue because you must be in park when in line at the drive-through.  Just pay attention when it's your turn to move up in line so you don't hold up the other cars.  Other than that, be mindful.  End PSA.

Back to the story.  So I was TOTALLY stoked getting this Nidoqueen, who was also the last piece to our Female Nido collection, that I totally told the male barista at the window!  He thought it was awesome because he, himself didn't know that Nidoqueens where something that could be caught!  During our chitchat, he made comment that Stay at Home (Parents) are Super Heroes!  I told him there wasn't evidence that said we weren't *wink*. 

Onto the main story...

So earlier this week, Luke had crafted this plan to tell as many kids in his class that the teachers were going to eat their grandmas!  He was promptly busted by his main teacher.  When asked why he did this, he said it was in an attempt to get his teachers fired for making him do math!  He told us later that he was hoping they would get fired so that they would hire NEW teachers who WOULDN'T make him do math. Yup.  His teacher told me in a later phone conversation that she was trying to hold it in (laughing) because the tone in his voice was just so certain this was a solid and infallible plan!  Oh good lord!  Well, he was promptly grounded as soon as we heard about this "Dastardly Deed"!

Friday came around and I had to call his teacher back to make sure his week finally turned around.  I wanted to release him from his grounding for the weekend so I wanted legitimate knowledge that Kiddo turned it around.  She confirmed.  Before I fully released him from being grounded, he and I had a SERIOUS talk about this carefully crafted plan.  Here's how this went down...

Me:  *Explains how his plan could have really hurt people* "...You know how even though you like bad guys, their plans always fail in the end?"
Kid: "Uh-Huh."
Me:  "Well, that's what happened here.  Your plan was an evil one and that's NOT okay Kid!  I know we live in a time where we tell you kids you can be anything you put your mind to.  What I'm going to tell you is that you can be MOST anything you want to be.  You JUST CAN'T GROW-UP TO BE AN EVIL OVERLORD!  YOU DON'T GET TO HAVE THAT OPTION!!"
Kid (after thinking about this):  "*sigh* Okay."
Kid again after a brief pause:  "You know what Mom?  I was on the path to evil, and you put me back onto the path of good!"

I'm no Time-Lord, but I think I just saved the distant future from one less Evil Force in this world.  The Barista was right!  I AM A SUPERHERO!

November 22, 2016

Knerd Mom Recommends: Roblox

So a few months ago, I introduced my 8 year old gamer to Roblox.  Let me tell you what, this game is so simple it's awesome!  It's not like any other MMO I've ever seen and NOT because it has amazing graphics, not because game play is comprehensive & intuitive, and DEFINITELY not because all my friends are playing it.  Nope.  This game is is remarkable because it's the COMPLETE OPPOSITE OF THOSE 3 REASONS!

Let me start with the most obvious:  The graphics in this game are simple as a stick.  Essentially, your character is nothing more than a Lego Guy.  I take that back...they look like Mega Blocks guys!  You know, poor kid Lego Figures.  They have no joints, save for the points where legs, arms, & head connects.  They move just as shoddily.  You would almost say this was some indie-game made by someone who learned game development in their Mother's Basement.  For some reason...THIS WORKS!!  You can upgrade & buy outfits/accessories for your character, sure, but character design is just incredibly basic.  Having said that, there are some games in the Roblox universe that let you transform your character into special ones.  Some even let you change just  your face or your whole outfit when you approach just the right platform!  If anything, the simplicity of the characters just make it so you can appreciate game play more!

As far as game play, there is only 3 controls you ever really need: Move, jump, attack.  Yeah, there is a control for the camera, but I lump that in with movement.  Just like the characters, game play is EXTREMELY simple.  This is WHY this MMO is great for kids because it's not so complex that they get overwhelmed with trying to figure out controls, which button does what, and even having to remember to assign "new powers" to different hot bar keys!  It brings me back to the days of the Original Nintendo when all you needed was a D-Pad, A, & B to save the Princess!  As a matter of fact, you don't even need to use your keyboard to play!  If you have an X-Box controller (or other USB connectable controller), you can use that to play with!  It's both mine & my son's preferred way to play, though sometimes Luke like's to switch it up and use keyboard controls...WHICH YOU CAN DO!!  This game has become so popular, you don't even need a computer even!  This game is available as an app game via Windows, some tablets, and apparently XBox! I'm still unsure if it's available via PS4, but it might.  Check it out if it does.

Finally, unlike other MMO's, this game isn't just set in one world where people take on missions, level up, or form teams to achieve common goals.  Far from it.  What really sets Roblox apart from the rest is that you're actually playing MINI GAMES!  Not only that, but the majority of these mini-games were created BY players themselves!  There are Obbys (obstacle style games), Tycoons (build a factory), Escapes (running spirally upwards away from doom), and even some created specifically to be social or to battle!  I know just those few categories doesn't seem like it's much for options, but you'd be pleasantly surprised as to how many people just "went" with it!  You can search for specific things and themes.  If you like Anime, do a search for your favorite anime!  Like color?  Search for Rainbow games!  Like Pokemon Go but hate leaving the house?  Search POKEMON GO and search created grounds!  The possibilities are ENDLESS!!

So click on this link ~>  www.roblox.com, start a free account, and check it out for yourself!  Here is a video of some game play to whet your interest and try for yourself!  No, I was not payed by Roblox to say any of this, but if they want to give me (or my son) some Robux for the mention...I won't say no. *wink wink*

October 9, 2016

Coul YOU be Raising the Next POTUS?

A few days ago, my boy stated this:  "Mom, when I grow-up and become a man, I want to be The President.  And when I do, I'm going to make Math illegal but keep Science."  Of course, I had to tell him that Science and Math go hand-in-hand, but if he could find a way to mandate making Math easier to learn (i.e. get rid of Common Core), that could be something to strive for.  I also told him a good thing to platform on would be Education Reform so that school can be a better place for kids to learn.  He liked that. 

I told this story on Facebook recently and upon a comment, I said something that inspired today's post.  The thought is this; If this specific election and my conversation with my son should teach us anything, it should teach us the extreme importance that our children REALLY ARE the future of tomorrow.  We should be raising them to be the kind of leaders we want in this life!  No, really.

Now, I won't go into which political leaning I'm party to, but I do want to make an example of Donald Trump & Hillary Rodham-Clinton for the purposes of this post.  You see, Donald Trump was raised rich & privledged.  He always mentions how he was given a "Small Loan" of $14 Million to start his empire.  It is clear from how he treats others that he was NOT raised to respect women and that he feels he is entitled to the WORLD!  To him, becoming the leader of the United States is not a matter of improving this country, but to add to his noteriety and use that influence & power to benefit only himself, his family, & anyone who has the power to make him richer.  As far as Hillary is concerned, she has always had a political mind.  I don't know about her raising, but she is someone who has struggled because she is a female.  Having said that, life has made her "play the game" so to speak because she married a man (regardless of the fact that he, himself, was once president) who has repeatedly sought the companionship of other women and not her.  She has had to become self-reliant and has proven to do some shady things to attain the titles she has achieved to make it to the potential first Woman President of the United States.  It makes me wonder what she may have done as a child to get what she wanted in school, home, and other things.

So besides a COMPLETE revolution, what's the best way to finally have leaders to be proud of?  Raise them ourselves!  I submit to you this challenge for the next +/- 18 years per child:  Raise your children as if you knew for a fact they will grow-up to be the next POTUS.  Let's raise our children with the values we want to see in the leader of the free world.  Raise our children to be Senators, Representatives, Governors, Mayors, and what other public, federal, & government offices they may become who really will eschew lobbyists, have the compassion & goodwill for others and other people.  Let's raise leaders who don't need to give themselves raises because they are happy with living with just enough of a salary to live comfortably while using the surplus from anything extra to give toward programs for the poor, the children, the good for the WHOLE COUNTRY!

THIS is the real way to make America Great Again.  Raise Leaders who actually want the best for everyone and their home countries and not just themselves. 

And now, a word from Kid President:

October 8, 2016

Breaking Gender Roles: Not Just for Girls

I love how in this day and age, women & girls breaking stereo typical gender roles is now part of the daily ways of life.  Women are becoming doctors, astronauts, CEO's of major companies that aren't just for women's products, and so on.  There are role models for girls showing them how to be more than just moms, teachers, nurses, & other traditionally female roles & functions.  Even in Entertainment like cartoons & movies, we are seeing a LOT more strong female leads and characters breaking the rule of "fit & pretty".  This is all fantastic to see...

...unless you have as son.

Ladies & Gentlemen, I would like to present to you this:  We need more men proving that they, too, can break gender traditions and still be proud to be a man! 

I got to thinking about this a bit ago because I was watching some videos of both men & women dancing to Megan Trainors "Me Too".  Now, I know it's not unheard of for men to dance.  What was amazing was that when it was the men's turn to dance, they danced to THE SAME SEXY FEMININE CHOREOGRAPHY the women were dancing!  There were hip hits, swaying, swagger, and an ABUNDANCE of sass!  It was, need I say, kinda hot!

Here is a video of one man I'm subscribed to on YouTube:  Yanis Marshall.

Yas Honey, dat man is dancing in HEELS baby!

It's amazing to see men starting to come out proud with the things they love regardless of traditional gender roles.  What hurts is that it's still something a LOT of people get uncomfortable with or even make-fun of because it's still "Not Okay" for men to "act like girls".  That hurts this mother of a rad 8 year old boy!  What if he decided he wanted to learn ballet, tap, or even (when he's 20) this style of sexy dancing?  What if my son wanted one day to become a drag queen?  Hell, what if he even wanted to become a Mid-Wife?!  Hey, if men can be OB-GYN's, they can be Mid-Wives (Mid-Husbands?). 

Having said that, here's to all the male nurses, veterinary assistants, secretaries, teachers, stay-at-home dads, or other traditionally female roles and doing them all with pride!  This is not a matter of sexuality, this is a matter of livelyhood & doing what makes you happy despite what others think of you.

We need more non-traditional male role models for our boys.  If girls should be encouraged to get into the STEM fields, then boys should also be encouraged to get into Domestic Studies & Care Giving fields.