Walmart closes, Community builds a giant library

Love it.

dharmasimulation:

It appears where retail giants fail, public libraries succeed. McAllen, Texas converted a 124,500 sqft “big box” into the largest single floor library in the US.

The LA Times reports:

McAllen is near the southernmost tip of Texas, on the Mexico border. “In a city like McAllen, with cartel violence across the river (less than 10 miles away from the library), I think it’s amazing that the city is devoting resources to a) not only saving a large and conspicuous piece of property from decline and vandalism, but b) diverting those resources into youth and the public trust,” Ramirez writes. “It’s easy to fall into drugs, drinking, and violence when you live on the border. It’s not really easy to find a place to hang out when you’re 14 that’s not the mall, the movies, or Mexico. And a giant library — a cool-looking open space devoted to entertaining the imagination? Well, I think that’s the best counter-move against violence imaginable. And you don’t even have to wait for a computer now.”

(via fuckyeahreading)

Love it!  The only kind of hangover I have these days….Have felt this way for two months, since finishingGillian Flynn’s Gone Girl.

Love it!  The only kind of hangover I have these days….Have felt this way for two months, since finishingGillian Flynn’s Gone Girl.

(Source: rebeccasrambles, via fuckyeahreading)

Talk about “the few and the proud…”   Since I’ve been in Okinawa, I learned that women make up a mere 6 percent of the U.S. Marine Corps.  From that small minority, come big shocking numbers.  One third of those women are sexually assaulted during their time in the military, and 90 percent are sexually harassed.  Imagine your commanding officer—your boss—putting your hand on his crotch.  Imagine a man you live and/or work with forcing his way into your room.  These violations happen all the time.  And I’ve heard a great many stories since I’ve been here.
I don’t expect military bases to be immune from the same social issues that happen everywhere in America.  Crime happens; it’s inevitable.  And incidents of sexual assault increase hugely where there are young people downing copious amounts of alcohol. 
In the military, the system really breaks down in terms of reporting and prosecuting sexual assault.  Imagine—if you can bear it—that you were the victim of a sexual assault, and—brave as you are—you’ve decided to report it.  As a civilian, the police would immediately get involved in your case.  As a female service woman, however, your case is turned over to your commanding officer (your boss, occasionally the same man who enabled your harassment and mistreatment).  A sexual assault would be really beneficial to his career, right?  How personally motivated would he be to push the report forward and see that justice got served?  See where I’m going with this?
I know y’all are busy.  But please, read more about the STOP ACT, which among other things, would change the way sexual assaults in the military get reported.  Instead of reports of rape and misconduct going through the chain of command (the way they are now), they would go through an autonomous sexual assault response office staffed by civilians as well as service men and women.  Please write to your representatives. You can also track and support the STOP ACT here.
It’s time to support our female service women, who do so very much for us.
Oorah,
and thanks for listening… Koren x

Talk about “the few and the proud…”   Since I’ve been in Okinawa, I learned that women make up a mere 6 percent of the U.S. Marine Corps.  From that small minority, come big shocking numbers.  One third of those women are sexually assaulted during their time in the military, and 90 percent are sexually harassed.  Imagine your commanding officer—your boss—putting your hand on his crotch.  Imagine a man you live and/or work with forcing his way into your room.  These violations happen all the time.  And I’ve heard a great many stories since I’ve been here.

I don’t expect military bases to be immune from the same social issues that happen everywhere in America.  Crime happens; it’s inevitable.  And incidents of sexual assault increase hugely where there are young people downing copious amounts of alcohol. 

In the military, the system really breaks down in terms of reporting and prosecuting sexual assault.  Imagine—if you can bear it—that you were the victim of a sexual assault, and—brave as you are—you’ve decided to report it.  As a civilian, the police would immediately get involved in your case.  As a female service woman, however, your case is turned over to your commanding officer (your boss, occasionally the same man who enabled your harassment and mistreatment).  A sexual assault would be really beneficial to his career, right?  How personally motivated would he be to push the report forward and see that justice got served?  See where I’m going with this?

I know y’all are busy.  But please, read more about the STOP ACT, which among other things, would change the way sexual assaults in the military get reported.  Instead of reports of rape and misconduct going through the chain of command (the way they are now), they would go through an autonomous sexual assault response office staffed by civilians as well as service men and women.  Please write to your representatives. You can also track and support the STOP ACT here.

It’s time to support our female service women, who do so very much for us.

Oorah,

and thanks for listening… Koren x

Scenes from Fury…
In my head, I was playing out various scenarios in which my father had been struck dead crossing the Rue de Noisy, where there always seemed to be gangsters flooring stolen cars or fourteen-year-old boys on motor bikes, popping wheelies and hollering “putain” to every woman they passed on the street. 
Near our old flat in Romainville, France

Scenes from Fury

In my head, I was playing out various scenarios in which my father had been struck dead crossing the Rue de Noisy, where there always seemed to be gangsters flooring stolen cars or fourteen-year-old boys on motor bikes, popping wheelies and hollering “putain” to every woman they passed on the street.

Near our old flat in Romainville, France

Lose Your Shit Day, As Told By You:
February 7th couldn’t be a better choice for Lose Your Shit Day.  I work  in a field dominated by men (I’m a mortgage banker) and handling  frustration and anger in the workplace is something I have to be careful  about, because if I don’t express these things right, I feel like my  gender takes a hit in the eyes of my male coworkers.  As the only  full-time woman in the office I feel a desire to represent well.  But  this new holiday added a little twinkle in my eye when I got frustrated  this morning at my desk!

Lose Your Shit Day, As Told By You:

February 7th couldn’t be a better choice for Lose Your Shit Day.  I work in a field dominated by men (I’m a mortgage banker) and handling frustration and anger in the workplace is something I have to be careful about, because if I don’t express these things right, I feel like my gender takes a hit in the eyes of my male coworkers.  As the only full-time woman in the office I feel a desire to represent well.  But this new holiday added a little twinkle in my eye when I got frustrated this morning at my desk!

applecocaine:

(by dearclaudia)

Scenes from Fury…
 An image of the Brighton pier flashed through my mind when I read, “The Nat-Mur patient is drawn to the seashore, where she feels either better or much worse.”

applecocaine:

(by dearclaudia)

Scenes from Fury

 An image of the Brighton pier flashed through my mind when I read, “The Nat-Mur patient is drawn to the seashore, where she feels either better or much worse.”

Lose Your Shit Day Triumphs: Volume 3

Many people will relate to the following tale of academic strife... What do you do when prof is sore (sorry, irresistible pun) for unknown reasons? This reader chose honest, head-on confrontation:
 

I am sure when I’m done reciting this story it will seem hideously lame compared to ‘real’ issues but it is something that I haven’t been able to forget and still manages to leave me angry at the thought of his bald head and stupid thick-rimmed glasses.

College professors are supposed to help and nurture and encourage, right?

One of my professors in our small (10 student) major seemed to decide at some point during my college career that he just felt like making everything harder for me. He would constantly write comments on my papers like “Good, but does this have a point?” (Why, yes it does). Obviously I welcomed criticism on all my work in school. But only when it was constructive. Otherwise, his comments, to me, sounded just MEAN instead of helpful. And very odd as he didn’t seem to write the same types of comments on anyone else’s papers. In fact, almost everyone else I talked to in my classes LOVED him, he was the ‘fun’ one.  It’s like he and I alone were stuck in this strange tense unspoken battle. Nevertheless, at the end of my Junior Year I met with him about doing a thesis the next year and I very briefly talked about some ideas and he said he’d see me in the Fall.

When I went  back to talk with him at the beginning of Senior Year, he barely even let me finish my proposal. He cut me off. Told me my idea wasn’t solid enough. That I would never be able to write an effective thesis on that OR my ‘back-up’ topic. And that was it. I just remember being stunned into silence. He sat there, arms crossed, staring at me as I cried (I learned long ago not to try to resist the urge to cry. It just makes my head hurt and face turn red. Plus there is something I sort of enjoy about making my tormentor uncomfortable with my tears). No suggestions on how to make a ‘better’ case. No option of doing an Independent Study instead of a thesis. I remember standing up and saying “So…that’s it?” And it was. The answer was just no-I couldn’t do one. And it was very obvious that he had already made up his mind about that before I even stepped into his office.

When I went back to my dorm room I wrote him an email. I told him that, seeing as we had to share the same classroom for the whole year (I had him for several different classes and my senior seminar), I hoped that this wouldn’t affect our professional relationship but that he was absolutely and completely wrong in telling me what I can and can’t do without giving me any sort of help or guidance-the very reason he is employed at this school.  The email didn’t change a thing, of course. But I just hope the fact wasn’t lost on him that I was blunt and honest with him even though he couldn’t reciprocate.

He still works at the college. And I’m guessing he still chooses his favorite students and those who aren’t. I was featured in my alumni magazine a couple of years ago for some accomplishments relating to a new job. I hope he took notice.

Lose Your Shit Day Triumphs: Volume 2

I love this story from a very brave reader about how she confronted the father who remarried without telling her.

There are still more books available!  Keep writing me at furymemoir(at)gmail(dot)com for your chance to win….

When I was sixteen, my father (who I had a great relationship with) got his first girlfriend after separating from my mother. Two weeks after I found out they were together, she had moved in to our house and was coming into my room to clean it. So sixteen year old me blew up at her - called her every name in the book, threw a few dishes, used her overstepping her boundaries as my excuse to get mad, rather than the real reason. I was jealous that my dad had someone else in his life, and definitely wasn’t going to rekindle his marriage with my mother. I bounced around in different friends houses for the rest of high school, only seeing my dad occasionally in the small town we lived in.

Six years later, after I graduated college, I found out they had gotten married without telling me. At this point, I lived states away from my father, and we talked maybe once a month. I got an invitation to a party celebrating their wedding. At first, I thought to just throw it out. I hadn’t spoken to him specifically because I knew if I did, I’d revert to being a teenager and scream at him. It took two weeks for me to realize I had to go. This was an issue that had stuck with me all through the last two years of high school and ALL of college.

So I took a plane back to Tennessee and attended the party. I marched right over and said I needed to speak with my father immediately (sweaty and nervous as I did so). It was SO awkward but I sat my dad down and explained to him why I acted the way I did. He was clearly uncomfortable, unsure of what to say, but I got it all out (at times raising my voice louder than I should have). I told him he shouldn’t have sprung his new relationship on me so quickly, that I was in a volatile state after the sudden ending his marriage to my mother had come about. He insisted he had done nothing wrong but I didn’t need him to defend any of his actions. Now I understand he saw that I was growing up and was doing what he needed to do to make himself happy.

My dad and I still don’t talk much, and my stepmother speaks with my occasionally. We’re civil with each other, leaving the past untouched and keeping the conversation focused on my school and my dad. However, I feel as if we’ll eventually be able to be in the same room without someone (IE: me) blowing up like a teenager. 

That’s the long, painful and EXHAUSTING story. :) Thanks for reading!

Lose Your Shit Day Triumphs: Volume 1

Hi and Happy Lose Your Shit Day,
Our paperback giveaway is still in full effect.  So write me at furymemoir(at)gmail(dot)com and tell me how you have addressed/readdressed an outstanding conflict in your life.  The first ten people who write will get free goodies via the U.S. Postal Service.
I’ll also be posting your tales of inspiration here.  Here’s the first installment
…………………………….
Hi Ms. Zailckas Hamilton!

My mother, intrepid reference librarian and control freak extraordinaire, called me three weeks ago with that.  Tone.  In her voice.  Her call was to inquire, very intensely and without time to waste asking me how my new job was going, why I was engaged to my best friend and roommate on Facebook.  No amount of good humor or practical explanation could lighten the tone of the call.  Her anger was palpable and the problem of my fake engagement needed to be dealt with one way only, to her way of thinking: with repentance from my black, possibly lesbian soul and with urgency from my fingers and Wifi connection cancelling the relationship.  I tried to explain that people marry their dogs on Facebook, but she is extremely religious and couldn’t believe that I would associate myself with homosexuality.  I cancelled it for her and made myself both publicly SINGLE and INTERESTED IN MEN while she was still on the other line, frantically refreshing her browser.  She ended the conversation by telling me that 

a.) I am far too thin, it makes me look old,
b.) she just noticed that I have a “nose from her side of the family” and that the bump would be far less noticeable if I gained weight,
c.) my black Calivin Klein peacoat makes me look like a Holocaust victim leaving the concentration camp with their nice items of clothing on emaciated frames (since apparently the Nazis compartmentalized and preserved the Jews’ belongings and thoughtfully returned them once they were liberated
and d.) that I smelled like smoke every time she saw me, so she knew I was smoking more than normal.  Her sense of smell, which she does not have anymore, magically returns when we smell any way she does not approve of.

I created distance between myself and my mother for two weeks.  This past weekend was her 60th birthday and I realized that I wanted to see her, and I really did want to.  The truth is, I don’t want to have her life when I’m her age.  I want to be happy and I want to make the people around me happy because I love them, they love me, and we want to be around each other.  But there are times that I do want my Mom and I do need her love.  So, when she became critical at lunch after church on the day we celebrated her birthday, I gave her a hug and told her I loved her and excused myself and went home.  I decided not to use my presence or lack of presence as a tool to punish or reward her, but I will choose to be around her when I want to be and she wants me to be too.  When I don’t want to be around, I won’t let guilt convince me to spend time with her.  It’s not fair to me, it’s not good for either of us, and I think our relationship will improve.  I know that she knows I love her—and I know she loves me too.

Photo Credit: Flickr/Huling Justin

February 7th, is Lose Your Shit Day!
It’s not about anger management, it’s about anger acceptance.   It’s a day to for women  to harness the power of anger in their  identities.  It’s a day for  so-called “good girls” to address a  conflict they’ve been  avoiding on the grounds that getting fired-up  isn’t “ladylike” or “feminine,” and it’s a  day for self-proclaimed  “bitches” to re-address a past argument that has  escalated to fuck-yous  and finger-pointing; this time around, the focus will  be on  problem-solving and confessing their deeper feelings of betrayal  or  hurt.  Let your anger be your guide, and  check in here for continued motivation and tips for conflict resolution.
The first ten people who write me at furymemoir(at)gmail(dot)com and tell me how they lost their shit, embraced their anger and addressed/readdressed a conflict in their lives will win free signed paperbacks of Fury! Get on with your mad selves… Love, Koren

February 7th, is Lose Your Shit Day!

It’s not about anger management, it’s about anger acceptance.  It’s a day to for women to harness the power of anger in their identities. It’s a day for so-called “good girls” to address a conflict they’ve been avoiding on the grounds that getting fired-up isn’t “ladylike” or “feminine,” and it’s a day for self-proclaimed “bitches” to re-address a past argument that has escalated to fuck-yous and finger-pointing; this time around, the focus will be on problem-solving and confessing their deeper feelings of betrayal or hurt. Let your anger be your guide, and check in here for continued motivation and tips for conflict resolution.

The first ten people who write me at furymemoir(at)gmail(dot)com and tell me how they lost their shit, embraced their anger and addressed/readdressed a conflict in their lives will win free signed paperbacks of Fury! Get on with your mad selves… Love, Koren

Author of the books Smashed: Story of a Drunken Girlhood and Fury: True Tales of a Good Girl Gone Ballistic.

For media appearances, please contact Holly Watson: holly.watson@)us.penguingroup.com
(310) 390-0591

If you'd like me to speak at your school or community event please email Flip Porter: fporter@apbspeakers.com.

If you'd like me to write for your publication, please contact Liz Farrell:
lfarrell@icmtalent.com

If you are interested in adapting Smashed or Fury for film or television, please write to Josie Freedman: jfreedman@icmtalent.com

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Email me direct: furymemoir@gmail.com