Tuesday, April 29, 2014

RE: "18 Things Females Seem to Not Understand (Because, Female Privilege)"

I recently read this article about "female privilege" on thoughtcatalog by a guy named Mark Saunders and decided that I can't let it can't go unaddressed. So, to counter the 18 advantages that the author believes females apparently have over males:
  1. Male privilege is being comfortable with walking down the street at night without fear of sexual assault (Saunders, you realize that your first point of men not being able to walk down the street without being feared as an assaulter is something to blame men for, not women, right?).
  2. Male privilege is being able to ask out girls because it's the norm; when a girl asks a guy out, she is interpreted to be too ballsy or aggressive and depriving the guy of the role. Male privilege is also not having to deal with overeager, oversexed, unsolicited "creepiness."
  3. Male privilege is being able to get drunk and have sex with a girl and then getting away with it on the grounds that it was a "grey area" and that "these things regularly happen anyway."
  4. It is male privilege to turn on the TV and see yourself represented in a positive way and be encouraged. Male characters, no matter how unappealing or unambitious or otherwise unattractive (ugly and lazy, in Saunders' words) they are, can still score quality women. Male privilege is not having to deal with the intense body image pressure and "thinspo" bullshit as unrelentingly as females do. Male privilege is being a bodybuilder and getting praise; females become bodybuilders and they are met with misogynistic "that's disgusting, that's not how a girl should look" comments. Male privilege is being able to work out without a shirt on at a gym and not being kicked out, whereas if a woman were to work out with a sports bra and yoga pants, she gets kicked out.
  5. Male privilege is being recognized for heroic actions, whereas female heroines are rarely heard of in media and history.
  6. Male privilege is being able to decide whether or not you want to be a father, whereas for a mother, it is apparently not supposed to be a choice (if the law prevents a woman from being able to choose to be a mother or not, then the law should also prevent men from being able to abandon fatherhood. It took two to make the baby).
  7. Male privilege is being able to get away with writing a check every month for child support while the mother actually raises and supports the child. You want to talk about responsibility for supporting a child "you didn't want to have in the first place"? It's not just about money.
  8. Male privilege is not having your gender used against you and everybody else; it is not having your gender associated with inferiority and weakness. It's never being told that the way you are born is, by default, wrong: "You throw like a girl," "Stop being such a girl," "You run like a girl." I fight like a girl, and you can test me on this.
  9. Male privilege is being able to joke about rape.
  10. Male privilege is being able to leave your wife and not have anything to do with her or the kids anymore because you found a younger booty to chase.
  11. Male privilege is being able to frighten your spouse into not calling the police and simultaneously cultivating her Stockholm Syndrome.
  12. Male privilege is being commended for being empathetic and sympathetic; dare females be as cold and indifferent (read: calculating and objective) as men tend to be, we are admonished for not being sensitive enough.
  13. Male privilege is being taken seriously at your job and not having to deal with sexual harassment--which, even when reported, may not actually be taken seriously as an issue. Male privilege is not having a glass ceiling. Male privilege is being able to make your way to the top without anyone assuming you fucked your way up there. Male privilege is being able to be a stay-at-home dad and get reactions of commendation, not people sneering at you for being "unproductive." 
  14. Male privilege is being found guilty of crimes and still serving less harsh sentences than women.
  15. Male privilege is not being discriminated against in qualifying tests and winning the majority of athletic scholarships.
  16. Male privilege is being able to have an opinion without being told you are a picky or high-maintenance or self-righteous bitch.
  17. Male privilege is being able to discuss sexism without being written off as "just another crazy feminist."
  18. Male privilege is arrogantly believing that sexism is no longer an issue.

    Those match Saunders' 18 items. But continuing on--
  19. Male privilege is not having to deal with the backwards-ass patriarchy that still pervades in today's societies (first world societies aren't the only societies to exist, you know) such as having to read articles like the one Saunders published on Thought Catalog. 
  20. Male privilege is being able to sleep with numerous partners and be revered, whereas females are called whores, sluts, tramps, and the like for doing the same thing. Even if men are called "manwhores," notice that the root word is "whore"--which roots in being female. 
  21. Male privilege is not having to put on cosmetics and make-up and shave your body hair to appear more presentable and pleasing to the eye. Male privilege is not being told the natural functions of your body that come with your gender (and being a human in general) are inappropriate or disgusting, such as menstruation, menopause, body hair, facial hair, hot flashes, and cramps.
  22. Male privilege is being able to walk on the streets without being honked at, whistled at, or having lewd comments shouted at you. (see this article on objectification)
  23. Male privilege is having so many superheroes and protagonists to relate to, where as females, for the most part, are just eye candy (see Laura Mulvey's Male Gaze theory).
  24. Male privilege is not having your worth automatically discounted upon reaching the age of 30 (I love the show, but in HIMYM, Barney often discredits women over the age of 30 and deems them unworthy, or "expired").
  25. Male privilege is not automatically being deemed a bad driver and suffering higher insurance premiums.
  26. Male privilege is not being deemed loose/brazen for partying and drinking.
  27. Male privilege is not being expected to pay for birth control pills, plan B, or other medical contraceptives.
  28. Male privilege is not having your innards bleed out of you once a month as mother nature's way of morbidly congratulating you on not being pregnant.
  29. Male privilege is not having to check out in a lane with a female cashier for some purchases.
  30. Male privilege is not having to go through the judgment of buying a pregnancy test or the morning-after pill.
  31. Male privilege is being able to keep your last name and not depleting your parents of funds for the wedding.
  32. Male privilege is being able to cry about something and being told that "it takes a real man to cry," whereas when a female cries, she's just being a drama queen.
  33. Male privilege is having your emotions and thoughts validated as being genuinely from the autonomic self, whereas female emotions are just hormones.
  34. Male privilege is not having to throw away your jeans, shorts, skirts, dresses, blankets, panties, and other such textiles and linen that are in the firing range of your vagina when it's at its angriest time of the month.
  35. Male privilege is being able to eat sushi and medium-well/medium/rare meat and ride roller coasters and smoke and drink and sleep on your stomach and not vomit and keep the same clothes and not have to take supplements because you won't ever be cultivating something that is technically a parasite inside of your womb, let alone be pushing it out of your genital area.
This list is clearly biased against males by using falsely universal statements--just like Saunders' list was clearly biased against females by grouping them all together. Also note that many of his grievances actually can be traced back to men fucking up and ruining the livelihood of women to the point where we HAD to create those "privileges" for ourselves.

Obviously, none of the points on my list are universal or descriptive of every male ever. They are generalizations, many (if not most) of which can easily be challenged and disproved. There are exceptions to every rule, and you know what? Everybody has their own opportunities and privileges, and likewise, they all have their own crosses to bear. We need to quit bitching about how unfairly we are treated by others and look to how we treat each other, and then collectively learn to treat each other with empathy and respect. 

Also, f*** you, Mark Saunders.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


Throat closing tight
Eyes straining tight
Fists clenching tight

Mind running loose,
Lips running looser--

Did I say that out loud?
Did anybody hear me?

Can anybody hear me?

This must be what it feels like
If my mind were a prison
My thoughts convicted of crimes they did not commit

Where is the warden?
He must have dozed off into a drunken stupor again
Just like yesterday,
Just like the day before.
Still, the prisoners do not escape
Out of fear that freedom is not
What they hoped it would be

They have learned to sing in their cages.

The sun has set;
Yet another day
The prisoners' schemes have gone unnoticed
As they pass cigarettes to each other,
The warm red glow providing their only light.

Monday, April 7, 2014

What I learned from How I Met Your Mother

  • You can have multiple best friends. Despite the struggles between Marshall, Ted, and Barney to claim sole bestfriendship with one another, they were all best friends. Also, as with Lily and Robin/Jillian (the teacher from her kindergarten), sometimes you just have different best friends for different reasons. But honestly, it's like picking a favorite child (I'm assuming): you can't do it. You love em for different reasons, but the same great amount. 
  • Before settling down, people should be able to pursue their individuality. If they can't do this together, then it may just be necessary that they do have to be apart. Lily couldn't have married Marshall without having moved to San Francisco first to try and pursue her art dreams. Robin couldn't have ended up with Ted without having traveled the world first. Ted couldn't have ended up with his heart yearning for someone else to love (that is, Robin) upon losing Tracy if he hadn't lived out his dream of being a father and a husband. The title of this show was, after all, "How I Met Your Mother." It wasn't "How Your Mother and I Fell In Love" or "How Your Mother and I Spent Our Time Together." It was about the process of learning and growing and running away and confronting and making mistakes that ended up leading to that moment under the yellow umbrella. And, of course, it was a sly dig towards his kids about whether or not they would be okay with him being with Aunt Robin.
  • Life is for the living. When someone you love dies, you feel aghast that the rest of the world doesn't stop and mourn with you. I'm sure Marshall felt the same way when his father passed away in the series, and Ted, too, must have felt stricken by Tracy's death. You end up tying your own fate to the deceased. We can't put our own lives on indefinite pause, though. Our loved ones who have had their lives stopped short would surely want for us to move on and do great things with ours.
  • We don't always get answers to the things we ask. This will always bother me as a philosophy student, despite the whole Socratic method of admitting to ignorance and lack of knowledge. Where did the pineapple come from? When did Robin become a bullfighter? (Ted's older self mentioned that in the Christmas episode where he put up lights in the living room for Robin: "Your Aunt Robin was many things . . . she was even a bullfighter at one point, I'll get to that . . . but there was one thing your Aunt Robin never was. She was never alone.") How do you play Marshgammon? What is that game Barney always played with the Asians in AC?? Did Ted ever win that tricycle belt? Who was Barney's baby mama?
  • The cheerleader effect is real. True for both girls and guys, as noted in the show itself, the cheerleader effect deludes onlookers into thinking that some group of people consists of attractive people when, observed individually, they are actually unsightly and awkward.

  • If you've got chemistry (i.e. compatibility, attraction, passion, intimacy, what have you) with someone, it's still not enough, because you need one other thing: timing. And this isn't something you can help. Whether it's because one or both of the parties are in a relationship, are not emotionally available, have starkly different priorities, are living somewhere completely different, are focused on work/career, are not mature enough, or simply are not into the other person, timing is something that has to solve itself. And, as the show has taught us, if something is worth being called 'legendary,' then we must wait for it.
  • Everything happens for a reason, but that reason is either subjective or not meant to be discovered until later on down the road. When adversity happens to you, you can either interpret it to be a sign that you're doing something wrong or a test to prove yourself and demonstrate how much you want whatever it is you're pursuing. Or when you simply don't know why something is happening to you, just put faith in the future. You will know the answer when you need to, and until then, you are still growing. If Stella never left Ted at the altar, if Ted never got the butterfly tattoo, if Barney hadn't proposed to the (then) love of Ted's life, he never would have met the mother.
  • Not everything has a clean closure of catharsis. As with the ending of the series itself, I was left wanting a little more, feeling unsettled and even indignant and cheated. But as with falling-outs and break-ups, there can't always be a clean break-up. There will be sunken costs that can never be recovered, innumerable unanswered questions, unresolved conflicts, and other loose ends... but you have to come to terms with the idea that you are big enough to deal with it--you are bigger than the lack of answers and confrontations, and your life is more than your problems. And sometimes, you may just have to compose the closure yourself.
  • You shouldn't have to wait for "signs" from the universe. The universe, I would hope, has better things to do than to hand you some stop/go signal for that job or that girl or that move. Just do it because you want to do it, not because of some foresight granted to you by "signs." If you're waiting on a sign from the universe, then maybe you are not ready to do it...
  • Making every night legendary means that, paradoxically, no night is legendary. I took a very brief but very necessary social break earlier this year, and in that time, I was at my apartment alone (apart from my room mate), watching TV and smoking hookah and reading by myself. It was calming and helped me recalibrate myself. I don't want to become desensitized to the awesomeness that is my friends' company and the adventures we go on together.
  • Making an ass of yourself for love is highly underrated. One of my best friends makes an absolute ass out of himself sometimes (though he doesn't show it to his friends) for the girls he falls for. He is just as much of a facebook/instagram stalker and text re-reader and conversation overanalyzing rehash-er as I'm sure Ted is. I know some other people who are like that, but they get called "thirsty" or "desperate" or "obsessed" or downright "creepy." Objectively speaking, I think it's pretty sweet and thoughtful, and I'm sad for them that they end up choosing the wrong people. Ted consistently made an ass of himself for Robin, and ultimately, that planted the idea of associating dependability and trustworthiness with Ted in Robin's mind.
  • Things almost never go as planned. Marshall planned on being an environmental lawyer, Ted planned on meeting the one by the time he was 23, Lily wanted to be an artist... But in pursuit of our elusive goals, we end up sometimes finding something even better. We can't rush to where we want to be and skip the journey. With that said...
  • Things have to fall apart to make way for better things. Can't build that skyscraper if the outdated hotel is still in its space. Can't meet the love of your life if you're with the wrong person. Can't get your dream job if you're working for a promotion at a job you hate.
  • There will be moments when you will lose faith. It's your determination and strong will (and probably some stubbornness) that will end up pushing you through, though.
  • People will find a way back into your life if they really want to. That is, they can recognize that having you in their life is more important than their pride. They can apologize to you for wrongdoings and own up to their debts. They can reconnect with you if they miss your company.
  • You will get too old for some shit (see: Murtaugh list), but not for others (see: Barney's playbook being resurrected upon his divorce). You decide.
  • Consolation prizes might actually be destroying the integrity of people's will and motivation. Yes, it's good to have fun, but participation trophies and the like go against the very purpose of trophies and prizes. To be honest, I myself find them insulting. I don't need your charity. I lost, don't rub salt in the wounds by giving me something you and I both know I don't deserve.
  • More than anything, this show has taught me how to move on. When I was going through my own break-ups, I heavily relied on this show to distract me and provide me with some sense. I ended up being able to apply so much of what Ted learned to my own heartbreaks.
  • In relationships, there has to be both conflict and support. While Ted and Zoe fought over almost every issue that divided them as a couple, Marshall and Lily constantly supported each other despite individual misgivings. Both parties went mad at some point. Bottom line is, stay honest with each other, but know to pick your battles; it's better to lose the argument than to lose the person.

  • "The One" is more of a subjective concept than it is an actual objective, indefinite/discrete entity of a person that transcends your notion of love. There may be the "one" for your specific timing/situation. Robin was the one when Ted had first met her. Stella was the one after that. Tracy was the one after eight or so years of going through other trials that helped shape who he was (including thinking that Stella was the one). Robin was the one six years after Tracy had passed away and Ted was ready to love again.
  • Tight-knit groups drift apart. It's happened already for me with my high school group. One of my best friends from high school went to Duke and then moved out to San Francisco. Another went to Berklee College of Music and is now living in Boston. Another stayed in-state for college, but then moved to Los Angeles and is planning on staying there for at least another year. Thankfully, I still have a lot of my best friends within driving distance of this area... but I bet that within 5-10 years, some (or even all) of us will move and go our separate ways. Some of us will get married and start raising kids and only be able to hang out with other parents. Some of us will end up traveling the world. But as we move on with our lives, we will end up developing different social circles. I do plan on ending up in the same nursing home as one or two of my best friends, though. We've talked about this. It's happening.
  • People do get divorced. Being a millenial in my 20's, I see a lot of people on Facebook posting up engagement/wedding announcements, and I feel very happy for them. So many of them (if not all of them) seem perfect for each other, and I envy them for their happiness. But as one of my more cynical friends put it, "Who cares if they're already getting married? It just means they'll get divorced sooner than I do." Yes, divorce happens. I don't know if I'm just cynical because my own parents got divorced, but I think divorce will happen in my future too, only because I'm not a very static person in terms of priorities and preferences and even personality; I change every couple of years, and that's bound to create conflict with my significant other... I would hope it doesn't, but I need to be realistic and prepared.
  • People do get terminally ill. Poor Ted and Tracy. I would be so fortunate as to simply die of old age, perhaps even peacefully in my sleep or in my deathbed after I say goodbye to my loved ones. But illnesses don't care how old/young you are or how much you're loved or how good of a person you are or how many people you have to stay alive for and care for. My cousin has been battling pancreatic cancer since April 2012, when he was only 39. My aunt on the same side of the family died of brain cancer in 2005 in her late 60's. My uncle (the aforementioned cousin's dad) had esophageal cancer and now has lung cancer going into his mid- to late-70's. My own dad has been having health issues for the past couple of months. I'm grateful that no other people in my life are sick. Illness can happen to absolutely anyone.
  • What you want changes over time, mostly because your expectations change over time. This is perfectly epitomized in everyone's reaction to the finale: so many of us were outraged over Ted and Robin getting back together. Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't all of us actually want Ted and Robin to be together at some point? And we agonized over the fact that future Ted would always refer to her as "Aunt Robin" because it meant that they really didn't end up together, no matter how much we wanted them to. I got painfully sympathetic for Ted every time Robin rejected him, and I was furious with Robin when she would realize what a great guy Ted was only when it was too late. Eventually, I accepted that they wouldn't be together, and I eventually wanted Ted to go ahead and meet the mother and fall obliteratingly in love with her. Funny thing is, after I accepted they wouldn't be together, they end up being together vis-a-vis the finale. Also note, in the Pilot episode, Ted is talking abstractly about his future wedding with the Lebanese girl that turned out to be dating Carl, and he said he wants a "band, no DJ." He was so anti-band for Robin & Barney's wedding! Although, of course, that might also have been more about a band being a metaphor for Barney in general.
  • It's more about the investment itself than the return and outcome. Economically speaking, a sunken cost results from an investment from which you don't get sufficient return, and you cannot recover the losses. The biggest sunken cost for us, of course, is time. The time we put into relationships and pursuing dreams can never be recovered. We should spend our time wisely doing the things we love with the people we love.
  • Every ending is a new beginning.

Farewell to a show that I bonded with people over, a show I learned a lot of lessons from, and a show that got me through some tough times.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Day 30: 5 Things I want to be remembered for.

  • My curiosity in life. I'm that friend that will ask, "What does this do?" and then proceed to either injure herself or otherwise fuck something up because I'm curious and I want to learn things firsthand. I wish I had all the time in the world so I can learn everything there is to know about everything. Sciences, cultures, history, humanities, arts, everything.
  • My artistic talents. Maybe it's a little shallow, but I hope people remember me for my voice, my piano talents, and my drawing. I am by no means professional in any of these three, nor have I had any formal training (apart from piano lessons. And an art class from my local community college, I guess). But of all the descriptors people ever use to introduce me, I hear "She's crazy artistic" or "She's a good singer" the most. Although the next descriptor that comes close is...
  • My ability to eat. I am such a big glutton, and I know my body's gonna pay for it someday. But I eat like somebody four times my weight/size, and I never exercise. I'm too busy eating, after all. It is not unusual for me to have 2-3 dinners and 2-3 lunches (usually only one breakfast though). In high school, I challenged the tallest basketball player on our high school's basketball team to a chipotle burrito eating contest. He was 6'7", I'm 5'3". I ended up winning. The secret is pooping a lot. Gotta make room.
  • Being a good friend. I'm not gonna be the friend that always agrees with you, and I personally am almost never biased (read: just because I'm friends with you doesn't mean I'm going to agree with you); I try to remain as objective as possible. However, no matter how much I disagree with you or how angry I am with you at the moment or how disappointed I am in you or how crazy I think you are, I will still stand by you and support you. When shit hits the fan, I will clean it up for you, because you are my friend and I care about and love you. It has nothing to do with "loyalty," which I've always thought was arbitrary; I am friends with people from absolute opposite sides of the social/political/whatever spectrum, and I am friends with people that actually hate each other. To me, it's about who I've shared my own life experiences with, and who has shared their own with me as well. I don't take sides (which some might end up saying makes me a bad friend, but I really don't like being biased/skewed in my judgments). No matter how many times you've complained to me about something, I will listen. Even if something you're doing doesn't sit well with me, why should that matter anyway? It's your life, and I respect your will to do whatever it is you want with it.
  • My friendliness/affability. Yeah, sometimes when people meet me, I seem very cold and standoff-ish. I don't mean to be. I think it's just in my natural Korean bitchface, maybe, or the fact that I act casual and comfortable with everyone whether I've been friends with you for 5 years or 5 minutes (aka I don't bother with niceties and manners sometimes). But I hope people remember me for bringing them together, for being so open, for making them laugh, for asking them about how they're doing, and for being thoughtful.
Wow, done with this 30 day challenge... what next?!

Day 29: What people most misunderstand about me

By a long shot: my sense of humor.

I have a very dry, sarcastic, and satirical sense of humor. It's my fault for assuming, but I would think people in this day and age can understand satire. Satire and mocking is a big part of my sense of humor and how I get people to laugh; if you take me seriously, then you'll think me to be a much more horrible person than I already am.

People say it's hard to tell when I'm kidding, apparently. To those people, I say that I don't care, you and I probably wouldn't get along anyway because you're too fuckin' stupid.

Just kidding.

But who cares about your misunderstandings of me? In the words of Louis CK, if you have something to say to a joke I'm telling, shut up and stop being selfish. It was a joke, completely rhetorical. It's not about you! If you do have an opinion and you have something to tell me, here's what you do. You get a piece of paper and a pencil, write it down, fold it up, and on the way home, throw it away and then kill yourself.

If Louis CK or Amy Schumer has joked about it, it's most likely in my repertoire of humor, too. I'm not sorry you misinterpreted my joke so much as I am sorry that you're oversensitive and stupid.

There are other things misunderstood about me, and it mostly has to do with people believing what they hear and assuming that it's all true. I suppose it's more of a problem of their ignorance than it is of my projected image... or is that super ignorant of me to say? :)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Day 28: My love language

I completely forgot love language was a thing. I thought this was some rhetorical question like, "What speaks to you in love?" or something sappy like that. Nope. There are five different love languages. Basically, they are different modes through which people express their love and form bonds with others, and almost everybody has a strong preference of one or two over the other three or four.

Anyhow. The five are Words of Affirmation, Touch, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, and Acts of Services. I happen to be divergent. Lolol jk. I like all of them except for Touch, apparently. DON'T TOUCH ME. Have you seen that gif of that cat that's growling and looking like a little hunched up ball of terrified mess at the same time as a hand is approaching it? That's me. But I do like words of affirmation; who doesn't like being told they're appreciated? That was my highest-scoring one. Next one down was Quality Time; I like spending time with people, even if it's not even spent doing anything productive. People with whom I can have comfortable silences are the best kinds of people. The next one down for me was Acts of Services; I know how lazy I am myself, so when I see that people go out of their way to do things for me, it makes me feel really loved. Receiving Gifts was second to last. I kind of feel uncomfortable when people give me gifts on random occasions because I'm usually the person that's like, "Oh, I didn't get you anything..." and I look like a jackass lol.

Day 27: My favorite part of my body

I like the curves that go in at my waist. My torso goes out at my ribcages (from all that singin'!), curves in around my navel's level, and then back out for my hips and thighs. Makes me feel very feminine. And I'm not a very feminine person. Of course, I also like my butt. Did a lot of squats in high school to earn it!

Day 26: A popular notion I think the world has wrong

That we are alone in the universe. How can you think that there are 15 billion lightyears' worth of space (and possibly more, if the solution to the information paradox turns out to be true and the Big Bounce is actually a thing) and tell me that there has been no other living civilization in all that time? How arrogant do you have to be to really believe that? I really hope there are other beings out there because humans kind of suck.

 We are not alone. The truth is out there. :D

Day 25: Dinner with anyone in history

I would have to say Sergei Rachmaninoff. I don't want him to come to our time, though; I want to go back to his time. Specifically, I'd like to know him right when he was starting to come out of his depression. It was then that he was starting to work on Piano Concerto No. 2--his best work in my opinion. I wanna get to know the guy who had the mindset to write that piece.

I would probably seek out some seafood. Or I could take him crabbing with me ^_^

Day 24: Family dynamic then vs now

Family dynamic was rather complicated when I was younger. My parents got divorced when I was really young, my dad doesn't like his side of the family and so kept me away from them, and my mom's side of the family was all in Korea.

Fast forward twenty years to where I am now. I respect my parents a lot more. I appreciate that they got divorced instead of staying together. After my parents' divorce, my mom and I continued visiting my dad's side of the family behind his back because they were all we knew in America. Now, I go to my cousin (also on dad's side)'s house almost every weekend--the very same cousin I used to be terrified of when I was younger. I don't know why?? I guess being the only girl in a group of grown-ass dudes made me feel really intimidated when I was younger.

In the summers, I go crabbing and bring back my catch to my cousin's house, and we all feast on it. I've been reunited with my brother (who was 20 years older than me and so left the house very long ago), and though he's in China now, wonderful technology allows us to stay connected. I've moved out of my mom's house, and absence does indeed make the heart grow fonder. I can really see how much she's done for me, and I am indebted to her. Great mother. Not always sound or sane, but who is?