normal kathryn

ask me anything.   365.   my writing.   things i'm into.   


a twenty-five year-old english major living in atlanta who is in love with language, peppermints, and ben.

and as my counselor assures me, i'm positively normal.

on my best husband

a lot of tears happened today. injustice just gets to me. my husband, though, is the best person in the world as far as i am concerned. he knew exactly what to do with me.

after my aggravating conversation with our slumlord (he won’t reimburse us at all for all the cleaning we did to get the duplex to a merely livable level of cleanliness), i stomped down the hall to ben, speechless. i tried chucking my phone at a chair but instead it went straight from hand to hardwood floor. excusing myself, “i need a minute, ben, i’ll be right back,” i threw myself into pillows to scream-cry my frustrations, which was before i knew what fate had actually befallen my phone. my screen was fuzz. my phone was done. and unless some miracle of decency knocks our slumlord over the head we just handled trash piles and cobwebs and rats nests and rotting phone books for free.

i was all-around furious.

ben wanted to help me out of my furious fixation on the injustice, so he tried offering me bacon to cheer me up. i declined. i was too mad for bacon. he tried again, this time urging me to go on a “grief walk” (he’s so precious) with him, and after falling out of bed dramatically like a wet noodle i complied. we walked around the block and vented our frustrations. i told him my plan to write a mean blurb on every month’s rent check. we discussed an actual plan of action that might help us get some money back. mostly he listened to me, let me be mad, empathized, and took of his t-shirt to cover me when out of nowhere the rain poured down in sheets. he’s such a babe hero. back at home it gets even better because he insisted on making me a delicious sandwich for lunch, and packed another delicious sandwich for me to bring to work. gah. ben’s so good at loving me when i’m distraught. his tenderness was everything i needed to start evening out again.

i’m the luckiest girl and i want to offer up one hundred cheers for my best husband.

lovingly,
normal kathryn

— 6 hours ago with 1 note
#my writing  #marriage  #love  #frustration  #txtp  #story 
"Don’t live the same year 75 times and call it a life."
Robin Sharma (via pureblyss)

(via msfrannyglass)

— 10 hours ago with 92001 notes
#important  #good words  #quote 
on heaviness

the world feels acutely heavy to me lately. i can’t shake the burden. there’s the conflict in gaza where israelis have killed more than seven-hundred palestinians, and roughly two-hundred of them were children. but that doesn’t make the news for some reason, as our country sides with israel despite their instigation of this latest round of violence. then i read about the two-hundred-and-ninety-eight people who were killed due to a pro-russian rebel group recklessly shooting down their plane. it’s a tragedy. there are also the tens of thousands of children attempting to seek asylum in the united states, many of whom are either swiftly deported, arrested, or given unsanitary conditions in which to wait. and for the record, this is no new thing- for years and years unaccompanied children have been apprehended at the border, it’s just that this surge is receiving a lot of attention from the media… but the problem has been a problem for a while (and the root of the problem has much to do with our “war on drugs,” which is really another story but an important thing to point out). then there are the protestors. yesterday i drove past protestors shouting at traffic with signs that read, “impeach obama,” “close the borders,” “deport illegal aliens,” “honk to impeach,” “no amnesty,” “what would jesus do? obey the law,” and a lot of other ignorant+insensitive messages. similarly, on the drive to florida ben and i were stunned into pausing on a religious radio station that was promoting hate speech towards the immigrant children. they succinctly quoted their bible verses, and they encouraged those who “surely did not vote for this president” to pray for him anyways, and to call their senators+representatives to urge for immediate deportations.

the world is heavy.

people can be incredibly bad to each other, and maybe worse than that, we are excellent at insulating ourselves from the strife of the world around us. i understand it’s easier to turn a blind eye, but what if we all asked ourselves this question: what if it were me or my loved ones? i’m not sure many people take the time to think of it that way. is your response to those in crisis a reflection of how you’d like the rest of the able world to regard your plight if it were you? or your child? could you imagine what hell conservatives would raise if they had no options but to send their children elsewhere for safety, too- all the “no amnesty” jargon would be dropped so fucking fast.

it’s especially burdening to me, though, as a lower-income woman in america that i have a head full of knowledge and a heart thirsty for revolution, but i feel as though my hands are tied. what can i even begin to do about any of these systemic tragedies? while i can carry immense amounts of compassion and do my best to spread awareness about injustice, when it comes down to it ben and i are among the poor+oppressed in america, scraping by like so many others. (could someone please look to the billionaires FOR ONCE with their accounts sitting offshore, tax-exempt, or sitting here in america but collecting dust?). even so, as legitimate as it is to point to the ones who have the means to make sweeping changes in our world, i still can’t help but realize my privileges in the face of others’ more extreme poverty. although i may live in a rotten duplex i do have a roof over my head, food in my stomach, and i’ll be sleeping in a bed tonight… and that’s something that’s hard for me not to feel guilty about.

frankly, i wish there was a universal rule that none of us are allowed to go on living our daily lives when other humans are in crisis- spending money on starbucks, frequenting the vacation home, driving suvs, guzzling gas, eating at nice restaurants, and buying designer clothes when there are children literally sleeping in rat shit while they’re fleeing for the lives, or parents burying their murdered children, or millions in homelessness, or millions starving, or millions without clean drinking water. it shouldn’t be allowed- we should all have to band together and pool our resources+our skill sets so that everyone can be helped every time there’s a need. it’s not fair that it’s not like that. it’s not okay. and it is heavy.

it is all really heavy right now.

normal kathryn

— 1 day ago with 1 note
#my writing  #txtp  #spilled ink  #poverty  #politics  #violence  #gaza  #immigration  #religion  #tragedy  #sad 
"With over 600 killed in the space of two weeks - 25% of whom were children - morgues in Gaza are literally overflowing with Palestinians saying their final goodbyes to loved ones. Others are not so lucky - they’re still searching under the rubble (and being shot dead by snipers while doing so). Many parents are having to do the downright agonizing and wrap their toddlers in white sheets - sometimes more than one child at a time - but we’re supposed to be showing the “good stuff that Israel does."
— 1 day ago with 517 notes
#important 
ethiopienne:

Poverty Is Not A State of Mind (via Charles Blow, NYTimes)

Paul Ryan and Jeb Bush, the didactic-meets-dynastic duo, spoke last week at a Manhattan Institute gathering, providing a Mayberry-like prescription for combating poverty in this country: all it takes is more friendship and traditional marriage.
Ryan said: “The best way to turn from a vicious cycle of despair and learned helplessness to a virtuous cycle of hope and flourishing is by embracing the attributes of friendship, accountability and love.”
Lovely, Mr. Ryan. Really, I’m touched. But as every poor person in America will tell you, you can’t use friendship tokens to pay the electricity bill, and you can’t simply hug the cashier and walk away with groceries.
Furthermore, the statement makes a basic and demeaning assumption about the poor: that they suffer a deficiency of friendship, accountability and loving relationships. That, sir, has not been my experience. Poverty is demonstrative not of a lack of character, but a lack of cash.
For Bush’s part, he said: “A loving family taking care of their children in a traditional marriage will create the chance to break out of poverty far better, far better than any of the government programs that we can create.”My qualm with the statement is the insistence on a “traditional marriage.” Loving families, of any formation, can suffice. While it is true that two adults in a home can provide twice the time, attention and income for a family, those adults needn’t necessarily be in a traditional marriage. Yes, marriage can have a sustaining and fortifying effect on a union and a family, but following that argument, we should be rushing headlong to extend it to all who desire it. In some cases, even parents living apart can offer a nurturing environment for children if they prioritize parenting when it comes to their time and money. Not all parents have to reside together to provide together.
There are many ways to be a loving family and to provide what children need. All forms of marriage are valid and valuable, as well as other ways of constructing a family.
The bigger issue here is the constant juxtaposition of traditional values with social safety nets, as if they were mutually exclusive or, worse, had a zero-sum relationship. The logic is that people rely on public benefits because they have turned their backs on traditional values.
This is part and parcel of conservative thinking about the rich and poor in this country: that the poor are so because they lack some basic value — ambition, for example — and the rich are so because they have an abundance of it.
A Pew Research Center/USA Today survey in January found that, unlike Democrats and independents, most Republicans believe that people are poor primarily because of a lack of effort, and that people are rich primarily because they work harder than others.
The roles of privilege, structural inequities and discriminatory policies seem to have little weight, and the herculean efforts of the working poor, who often toil at backbreaking work that the body can’t long endure, seem invisible.
That construct, that the poor are in some way deficient, is a particularly poisonous and unsupportable position. And, by extension, the proposition that people can simply love and marry — traditionally only — their way out of poverty is supremely condescending.
This position, cloaked in an air of benevolence and good will, is in fact lacking in understanding of the lives of poor people and compassion for their plight.
And if the hypocrisy were not glaring enough, poorer people have been shown to be more generous than richer people. As McClatchy reported in 2009:
“Indeed, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest survey of consumer expenditure found that the poorest fifth of America’s households contributed an average of 4.3 percent of their incomes to charitable organizations in 2007. The richest fifth gave at less than half that rate, 2.1 percent.”
Yes, those with the least give the most, and yet people like Ryan and Bush find them lacking.
Poverty is a demanding, stressful, depressive and often violent state. No one seeks it; they are born or thrust into it. In poverty, the whole of your life becomes an exercise in coping and correcting, searching for a way up and out, while focusing today on filling the pots and the plates, maintaining a roof and some warmth, and dreading the new challenge tomorrow may bring.
We should extend the conversation about tackling poverty, but that conversation should not be governed by the belief that poverty in resources is synonymous with poverty of values.




if only i could get over the chart at the top

ethiopienne:

Poverty Is Not A State of Mind (via Charles Blow, NYTimes)

Paul Ryan and Jeb Bush, the didactic-meets-dynastic duo, spoke last week at a Manhattan Institute gathering, providing a Mayberry-like prescription for combating poverty in this country: all it takes is more friendship and traditional marriage.

Ryan said: “The best way to turn from a vicious cycle of despair and learned helplessness to a virtuous cycle of hope and flourishing is by embracing the attributes of friendship, accountability and love.”

Lovely, Mr. Ryan. Really, I’m touched. But as every poor person in America will tell you, you can’t use friendship tokens to pay the electricity bill, and you can’t simply hug the cashier and walk away with groceries.

Furthermore, the statement makes a basic and demeaning assumption about the poor: that they suffer a deficiency of friendship, accountability and loving relationships. That, sir, has not been my experience. Poverty is demonstrative not of a lack of character, but a lack of cash.

For Bush’s part, he said: “A loving family taking care of their children in a traditional marriage will create the chance to break out of poverty far better, far better than any of the government programs that we can create.”

My qualm with the statement is the insistence on a “traditional marriage.” Loving families, of any formation, can suffice. While it is true that two adults in a home can provide twice the time, attention and income for a family, those adults needn’t necessarily be in a traditional marriage. Yes, marriage can have a sustaining and fortifying effect on a union and a family, but following that argument, we should be rushing headlong to extend it to all who desire it. In some cases, even parents living apart can offer a nurturing environment for children if they prioritize parenting when it comes to their time and money. Not all parents have to reside together to provide together.

There are many ways to be a loving family and to provide what children need. All forms of marriage are valid and valuable, as well as other ways of constructing a family.

The bigger issue here is the constant juxtaposition of traditional values with social safety nets, as if they were mutually exclusive or, worse, had a zero-sum relationship. The logic is that people rely on public benefits because they have turned their backs on traditional values.

This is part and parcel of conservative thinking about the rich and poor in this country: that the poor are so because they lack some basic value — ambition, for example — and the rich are so because they have an abundance of it.

A Pew Research Center/USA Today survey in January found that, unlike Democrats and independents, most Republicans believe that people are poor primarily because of a lack of effort, and that people are rich primarily because they work harder than others.

The roles of privilege, structural inequities and discriminatory policies seem to have little weight, and the herculean efforts of the working poor, who often toil at backbreaking work that the body can’t long endure, seem invisible.

That construct, that the poor are in some way deficient, is a particularly poisonous and unsupportable position. And, by extension, the proposition that people can simply love and marry — traditionally only — their way out of poverty is supremely condescending.

This position, cloaked in an air of benevolence and good will, is in fact lacking in understanding of the lives of poor people and compassion for their plight.

And if the hypocrisy were not glaring enough, poorer people have been shown to be more generous than richer people. As McClatchy reported in 2009:

“Indeed, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest survey of consumer expenditure found that the poorest fifth of America’s households contributed an average of 4.3 percent of their incomes to charitable organizations in 2007. The richest fifth gave at less than half that rate, 2.1 percent.”

Yes, those with the least give the most, and yet people like Ryan and Bush find them lacking.

Poverty is a demanding, stressful, depressive and often violent state. No one seeks it; they are born or thrust into it. In poverty, the whole of your life becomes an exercise in coping and correcting, searching for a way up and out, while focusing today on filling the pots and the plates, maintaining a roof and some warmth, and dreading the new challenge tomorrow may bring.

We should extend the conversation about tackling poverty, but that conversation should not be governed by the belief that poverty in resources is synonymous with poverty of values.


if only i could get over the chart at the top

(via reagan-was-a-horrible-president)

— 1 day ago with 291 notes
#IMPORTANT  #poverty  #politics 
on sunday haikus

frothy waves roll green
over our glistening bones
yelping with the joy

//

wish to know something?
lobster bisque is so so so
fucking delicious

//

rum, ice, and fruity
means forgetting cold hard rain
i eat orange sun

//

lovingly,
normal kathryn

— 1 day ago with 1 note
#my writing  #beach  #haiku  #txtp  #poetry  #vacation 
on beach thoughts (saturday)

i share atoms with the storm cloud and the sand dune and the rainbow umbrella and the waves crashing through and the shells and the crab and the juicy daiquiri and the sunset sultry with escape and the wet wooden pier. i share atoms with my lover. i share atoms with the bright blue stairs, forty eight steps high. i share atoms with the song on the radio. i share atoms with the palm fronds, fallen. i share atoms with ice cream and air hockey and the redneck tourists.

i’m fixated on the wonder of science. i’ve been imagining everything’s atoms swapping all around, washing over me like a big blanket made of tiny scrubbing bubbles, constantly shifting. i sit royal in the majesty of such oneness.

lovingly,
normal kathryn

ps. i understand that my description of how atoms work is poeticized

— 1 day ago
#my writing  #txtp  #atoms  #science  #thoughts  #beach 
on our first night (friday)

we are spending the weekend at the geographic location where warm green water meets white sand meets palm trees galore meets the sticky salty breeze. at this time i never want to be any place else. and for our first night out on the town we got gussied up and washed down our fried seafood with a piña colada on the gulf-facing porch of a local restaurant. it was everything cliche but also perfect.

lovingly,
normal kathryn

— 1 day ago
#my writing  #beach  #summer  #vacation  #florida  #txtp 

mediamattersforamerica:

"So those calls, you have to respond to, even though for the most part, when you get there you realize, they’re not even American citizens?" 

Today in Fox News heartlessness: Host Brian Kilmeade is very concerned that emergency services have to to respond to undocumented immigrants, saying,  "not only are they understaffed and lacking resources, now they’ve got to deal with illegal immigrants who have no business being here."

According to the Huffington Post:

Migrant deaths along the U.S.-Mexico border spiked 27% in 2012, reaching nearly 500. And as of May 2013, some 5,595 immigrants had died crossing the border since 1998.

The danger of border crossings was highlighted in a tragic story last month, when authorities in Texas found the decomposing body of an 11-year-old, who wore “Angry Bird” blue jeans and a white rosary around his neck. 


because so long as they’re not a citizen of *your* precious country you needn’t worry about treating your fellow human with the least bit of decency. right. well, i need to scream.

(via reagan-was-a-horrible-president)

— 1 day ago with 234 notes
#IMPORTANT  #immigration  #human rights  #humanity  #foxnews  #ugh