I’m Sexy and I Know It (Not Really)

Hello again!  Apparently people like reading about the lives of cripples (who’da thunk it?).  My last post crushed all of my others by at least three times the views.  Thank you for that.  It’s kind of creepy, considering I’m not all that interesting, but yeah… thanks!  Since I’m still out of ideas for writerly topics and have no pictures of food to share, I thought I’d continue in the more personal vein to see if last week was some weird fluke.  Rather than focusing on general cripple life, I think I’ll talk about sexiness!

Over the past year or so, I’ve read quite a few articles about crippleness and everything from fashion to sex appeal (usually from male perspectives).  Pile that on top of a ton of negative commentary on how males objectify females (but never vice versa which is total crap), and it spawns many an eye-twitch inducing moment, but I always manage to keep my mouth shut.

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Pretty much.

You see, unlike most of the females I know (and a number of the males), I’ve never had to endure wolf whistles and cat calls and all of that creeptastic behavior.  Why?  Because (biologically speaking), I’m undesirable as a potential mate.  When straight males look at me, that primal part of their brains that focuses on reproduction isn’t activated.  I know that, and over the years, I’ve come to accept it.  But because of this lack of being lusted for (yeah, I went there), it grates on my nerves when I hear how horrible objectification is.  Don’t get me wrong, when it’s creepy and makes someone uncomfortable, it’s B-A-D bad, but a random “looking good” from across the way isn’t.  Being constantly overlooked or not considered mate-worthy isn’t as nice of a thing as many people imagine.  Keep that in mind the next time you’re so disgusted with the person who whistled at you from the other side of the street.

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On the flipside of growing up without being sexually objectified (yes, there are other kinds of objectification I’ve encountered), it has forced me to learn how to look at myself and acknowledge the sexy bish inside since no one else is going to do it.  It’s exceedingly rare for this to happen, but it does.  Also, it’s a fairly recent development, so it still weirds me out a little.  I mean, I constantly hear about how you have to learn to love yourself and how you shouldn’t need the validation of others (which is theoretically true), but I wonder if people realize how much easier said than done that is!  It’s taken me near thirty years to accomplish it, and it’s still something I can’t admit in the moment.  Only when I’m looking back can I say “Damn, I was sexy there!”

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In my Sixh top and the pants I designed.
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Why yes, that is a riding crop in my hand.

Self-perception is everything, but it’s fed by public-perception, so the next time you’re walking (or rolling) down the road, throw someone a whistle or a “looking sexy” or “cute top” or “great shoes” or something.  Then, you keep going so you don’t make it creepy.  Yeah, some people might accuse you of being a perv depending on your statement, but you never know whose day you might make a little brighter.

Growing Up Cripple

Hi all!  I really had no idea what to blog about, so I procrastinated for a while with the help of social media, and that’s when I noticed something strange.  I’ve seen a lot of “growing up” hashtags on Twitter (growing up a girl, growing up black, etc.), but there isn’t a hashtag for growing up cripple.  Yeah, you can find growing up disabled and growing up in a wheelchair, but they’re few and far between (plus, they’re mostly depressing).  Since I’m not all that Twitter adept (140 characters just isn’t enough), I decided to blog about it.

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It’s me! According to the copywrite date, I was four. I used to be so cute. What happened?

People act like growing up anything but a straight, white, able, cis, male puts you at some kind of disadvantage (cue the “privileged” arguments), but I disagree.  Growing up, I never really felt like my crippleness put me at a real disadvantage or made me any less of a person.  Don’t get me wrong, back then and to this day I’ve encountered people who seem to think I’m invisible, people who actually cross the street when they see me (I’m not contagious, I swear!  Though, I do bite.), people who say or ask less than intelligent things, and the like, but I learned quickly that that was their problem, not mine.  Just because some people are idiots doesn’t mean their behavior is in any way my fault.

Were things ever more difficult than they should’ve been?  Yeah, of course!  I mean, when stairs and curbs are your mortal enemies, you’re going to run into problems.  Luckily, I was raised in a family where finding ways around obstacles was a challenge readily accepted.  Can’t reach your mouth with that fork?  Let’s tape a plastic one to a skewer!  Can’t reach the keyboard with your right hand?  Try this backscratcher!  Keep getting stuck in the mud out back?  Let’s build a deck!  And the list goes on and on.

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Prom. I designed the dress and Mom made it.
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High school graduation. Most of the immediate family.

Granted, the whole stuck in a chair thing also makes outings much more annoying (no, it’s not just something that affects home life), but it doesn’t stop me.  That’s one thing Dallas has going for it, most places are accessible at least to a point (SMU, I’m looking at you when I say “to a point”), so I go to clubs and concerts and out to eat and to cons and renfests and all of that delightful stuff.  You want to talk about privilege?  Try being a cripple at clubs and cons and such.  I was raised never to expect special treatment, but you’d be surprised how often places offer front of the line privileges among other stuff (and who am I to turn such thoughtfulness down?).  Let’s see the straight, white, able, cis dude get that kind of treatment on a regular basis… I think not.

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I miss my purple hair. And the red hair. And the teal. You get the idea.

Anyway, I guess my point is that life is what you make of it.  Yes, my crippleness makes life a pain in the ass sometimes, but it’s the hand I was dealt.  I’m not inspirational (though I kindly thank those who think I am, because they’re being nice when they say that kind of stuff).  I’m simply living my life.  Life is hard, but do you want to know a secret?  Everyone has problems (even that privileged white guy).  You can either deal with your own issues and try to live happily for the most part, or you can focus on all the bad and be miserable forever.  It’s your battle.  No one can fight it for you.

Inspiration Time!

Hi all!  It’s been another week.  If you follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+, you know that I randomly post inspirational images (like inspiration for stories, not those motivational posters).  Recently, I’ve had some people who were interested in how I find these images, why them and not others, etc.  Today, I guess we’ll talk about art!  Or ekphrastic writing (no, it’s not limited to poetry) at least.

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“Pagan Poetry: The Devourer” — Photographer: Kay Klages Model: Felipe García

Lately, I’ve found most of the pictures I share (as well as the ones here) on Dark Beauty Magazine’s Facebook page.  One reason I gravitate towards them lately is because of all of the credits they provide (often with links), so if I find a particular artist or model I enjoy, I can follow them.  I like places that give credit where credit is due.  Not to mention that it frustrates me to no end when I want to find a particular artist, but no one seems to know their name.  Other places I find art include DeviantArt, a lot of the pictures of models or bands I like, artist websites (Nene Thomas for example), and random Google searches.  If you had asked me ten years ago where to find art, I could’ve listed at least fifty sites without effort, but I suppose I’ve become more selective as I grew up (or just too lazy to keep track of so many things).

As far as why I choose certain images, I honestly don’t know.  Something about them speaks to me.  The one above, contrary to popular opinion, attracted me because of the blood, not the very lovely man (he’s a bonus).  I enjoy dark themes, so I lean toward creepier artworks.  I tend to prefer night to day, black and white or muted colors to vivid ones, water and fire to earth and wind, things like that.  Granted, there are exceptions, and keep in mind that these preferences refer to images that inspire me to write.

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Photographer: Johann Kopf Makeup/Model: Tina Lakos

On the other hand, some images simply tell their own stories.  You can’t look at them without formulating a tale leading to that particular moment captured by the camera (or the brush), or what you imagine is going to happen from that point in time on.  You’re story will probably be different from mine, but a story will be conjured nonetheless.

Take the Johann Kopf picture for instance.  My first thought upon seeing it was “what post-apocalyptic hell is this?,” but the more I look at it, the more ideas I get.  Is it post-apocalyptic or is it an alien planet?  What’s with the axe?  Are the doggies going to survive?  And then my brain has to answer all of those questions.  It’s the same thing for less chatty images (ones that intrigue, but don’t give you much of an outright story to work with), like the one below.  The questions just start flowing.  Who is she?  Why is she in an alley?  Is it an alley or is it a portal to another world?  And on and on and on…

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Photographer: Digital Art by Rachid de Wind Model: Queenie Constancia

I suppose what all this means is that I really don’t know why I pick certain pictures over others.  It’s not that other images don’t speak to me (I can come up with a story for just about anything if I try), they just speak louder than the rest.  I try to post things that my followers might respond to, so I choose from a wide variety of styles in case some of you don’t find something particularly inspirational.  Then again, maybe I’m just weird.

A Look Inside the Free Man Cajun Cafe and Lounge

Hi there!  Since I didn’t get a chance to do a food review last month, here’s one early this month.  This week, I’ll introduce you to the Free Man Cajun Cafe and Lounge.  It’s another one of Deep Ellum’s many restaurants, also on Commerce Street (up the road from the Dancing Marlin, actually).  Check out their website (linked above) for their address and other information.  Also, it’s not a seafood place!

Here’s a reminder of the rating system:

MMMMM = Everything is magnificent!
MMMM = Great, but something is off.
MMM = Pretty good, but a couple of things could be better.
MM = The bad’s starting to outweigh the good.
M = Definitely more cons than pros.
… = I couldn’t find anything nice to say.

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A look around the place.

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Accessibility… It’s actually really accessible unless they’re super packed and you have to squeeze all the way into the back for a table.  Even then, it’s mostly just a matter of asking people to move, which is definitely one of my least favorite things to do.  Most people are super nice about it, but it’s still not something I enjoy.  Anyway, I like the table set up at Free Man’s.  Aside from being a good height, the half-booth half-chair arrangement is good for me AND lets whomever I’m with have a choice (namely, Dad).

The service here is kind of hit and miss in a lot of ways.  A lot of the time, I’m invisible, but occasionally (like this last time) I’m treated normally.  To be fair, we usually go when there’s live music (7pm-2am every day), so it’s really hard to hear me anyway, but I prefer it when waiters at least try to talk to me.  We went last Thursday around four in the afternoon, so maybe that’s why the waitress treated me like a person right off the bat.  Also, sometimes the staff is really attentive, sometimes not.  It just depends on how busy they are.  Speaking of busy, if they are super busy, the food comes out fairly slow, but if they’re not, it has a tendency to come out boom boom boom, so take that into account when you order.

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Blackened shrimp cocktail and hot crab dip.

Onto the thing everyone cares about: the food!  We went with the blackened shrimp cocktail and the hot crab dip for appetizers this time.  It was our first time trying the cocktail, and I’m happy to say it was super yummy.  There was a little spice to it, but not much, and the shrimp were nicely cooked.  As far as the crab dip goes, it’s cheese, crab, and bread!  You can’t go wrong.

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My Cajun crawfish pasta.
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Dad’s crawfish etouffee.
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Half-eaten gumbo (it’s hard to remember pictures when food is around).

The entrees.  Back when we first started going to Free Man’s, the menu was extremely limited (not a bad thing at all).  They still have a fairly small selection, but it’s slowly growing.  My go-to is usually the Cajun crawfish pasta.  It’s got a lovely creamy sauce and they top it with chicken.  I love it.  Dad went for the etouffee this time, which is also delicious.  They don’t make it too spicy, but they have a number of hot sauces on the table for you heat lovers to choose from.  We also split a cup of gumbo (yum!).  They do it right!  Plus, the entrees come with a hunk of cornbread.  I’m not a big fan of cornbread, but this stuff has won me over.  Try it.  You might like it.

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Bacon cheesecake with a bite missing.
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Cut into cranberry wheat bread pudding (aka Heaven on a plate).

The dessert!  Again, you have a limited choice, but that’s totally okay here.  Dad tried the bacon cheesecake (something new since our last trip).  Sounds absolutely amazing, right?  Looks tasty, no?  Honestly, it’s kind of meh.  It’s one of those “at least we can say we tried it” experiences.  The bread pudding, on the other hand, has got to be the BEST pudding of its kind that has entered my mouth.  You want a foodgasm?  Go get some.  Don’t like bread pudding?  Try it anyway!

And now, the thing no one wants to talk about: the price.  It’s not the cheapest meal you can find, but it’s not horribly expensive.  Go one evening, listen to some live jazz, and relax.  You’ll get your money’s worth.

My overall rating:
MMMM

See you next week!