From California

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I take it pretty offensively when people refer to me as “from California.” First and foremost, I don’t really like California. It’s nothing personal against anyone that does – I just don’t gel with it. Secondly, though, I’m just not from there. I’m from Chicago. Get over it. Just because I happen to live in California right now doesn’t mean anything.

I would get just as annoyed anywhere said besides where I’m actually from. It’s linguistically wrong.

But then there is the added insult that comes when someone says that you are from California, because they don’t just say that. That you are from California. In the last few days, I’ve witnessed quite a few embellishments on the statement.

“You talk like you’re from California…”

You don’t say. What exactly does that mean? For someone to talk like they’re from California?

Is it the accent? I don’t really have an accent, in fact if I do it’s still a Midwestern one. My ‘a’s are always hard, and on occasion I get that Northern ‘you know’ that you find in Minnesota.

People say all the time in Chicago that I talk like I’m from California, and I’m not entirely sure what they mean by that. I didn’t think that I said words such as ‘like’ or ‘oh my God’ or ‘rad waves dude,’ but perhaps I’ve become so much from California that I don’t even notice it anymore.

“You’re from California… you must want brown rice, tofu, and vegetables…”

It is true that in California we often eat very light food. Brown rice. Tofu. Salads. California style food is supposed to be fusion, but a lot of the time it’s just shit. Shit with shit piled on top. Add some asiago cheese to make it sound slightly more appealing, and that about sums it up.

We were at Panda Express today and I was talking with the guy behind us in line about how we were visiting from where we live – in California. When we got to our turn in line, the guy slopping the faux-Chinese food onto the plates said “oh you’re from California… you must want brown rice and vegetables.”

Kiss my hairy ballsack, you minimum wage employee. What a horrific stereotype.

“Coming from California, you must be spoiled from the weather…”

People’s response when I say that I want to move back to Chicago from California is always one of horror. How could you not love laying on the beaches in the sunny, 70 degree weather every day? Basking in the glow of the warmth that showers down on the Golden State literally every day of the blissfully perfect year?

How dare you insult us as we sit in the snow, or the muggy heat? How dare you insult us with such a suggestion that the perfect climate in California is not something you would give up everything for?

Coming from California, you must be spoiled from the weather… you must have forgotten what it’s like.

Actually, no. I haven’t forgotten what it’s like because it still gets cold and it still gets super hot, and we still have really muggy days and the times that it is legitimately 70, sunny, and perfect are so few and far between that we don’t really know how that California stereotype came about.

What’s worse about California weather too isn’t just that it isn’t what everyone thinks it is, but we’re not equipped for it. When it rains, we have massive flooding. And mudslides. When it’s hot we have disastrous fires. When it’s hot we have no air conditioning. When it’s humid, our houses get demolished by mold.

And even when it’s nice in California, the air is so filled with the pollutants and pollens that you can barely breath without choking and getting a migraine.

From California…

Being on vacation – this vacation in particular – is hard enough without having to deal with that kind of stereotypical bullshit. It just goes to show that everyone is judgmental, or has their opinions on what it means to be this or that.

If people are proud to be from California, kudos to them. For me, it’s just not who I am. Daily I struggle with the influence that the California culture has had over me. I feel guilty for eating anything beyond air. I can’t go out without making sure my hair, my makeup, my accessories, and my clothes are just right. When you’re from California, this is the kind of crap you do; you do more – I do more – but that is just the tip of the iceberg that is my daily struggle.

Really it’s all of our daily struggles, though, when we find ourselves in a place that is not conducive to who we are. It doesn’t matter if you are from the Midwest, from the East Coast, from another country, or from California. The ongoing crisis identity is not reserved for the alleys of high school hallways, nor people that go somewhere new to reinvent themselves. Wherever you go, people will notice that you are not from there. Or maybe they just assume when they hear it that you are different.

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This Whole Cat Thing Is Getting a Bit Tiring…

So when I first started blogging, I posted a blog called “Hello, Mr. Biglesworth…” It was a long time ago when I wrote it, and still one of my proudest pieces. In a nutshell, I was outlining – in a really silly open letter to cats – why I hate them.

I guess I just didn’t have many blog fans then. Not many people responded to the post negatively. Some agreed to disagree. We all walked away chuckling.

983697_579422125435615_1137414111_nFlash forward to now and this huge controversy started with a picture I posted on Facebook, originally found on Epicfail.com. Again, I found it on the Internet and just thought it was funny. I did not take the photograph myself. The cat didn’t look particularly bothered by the makeup. It definitely looked healthy and unabused. I ended up having to follow that up with a blog post, though, after someone wished me to be “mauled by a herd of cats” for posting the photograph.

That was two weeks ago.

Things have not been going so well since then. I have received death threats – yes, “I’m going to send my cat to kill you” threats. I have been given the lesser form of a death threat, the death wish: “I hope you die in a tragic accident involving cats and you burn in hell.” People have suggested I need mental help. They have offered me online mental health counseling. I have been told that my statement “I hate cats” is aggressive, hostile, abusive, psychotic, and illogical. I have lost multiple Facebook fans, and even one Facebook friend.

To say that this whole cat thing is getting a bit tiring is probably an understatement. It’s getting pretty goddamned old, people. I think it’s time we clear a few things up here, once and for all. See if you can pry yourselves away from your daily task of pampering your forty felines for a few minutes to hear me out.

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It Is A Fact That Not All People Like Cats

… and those people that do not like cats are actually – in some cases – clinically sane. Or clinically insane for reasons other than their dislike of cats.

There are a lot of reasons that people don’t like cats. It could be because they had a bad experience with one. Or maybe they are allergic: my reasoning for disliking them. There are all sorts of reasons why people don’t like cats, just like there are all sorts of reasons why others do. And why people like or dislike dogs. Like or dislike bubblegum ice cream or red furniture or high heels or the Chicago Blackhawks.

Having an emotional attachment to an animal does not make it wrong for others to not feel the same way you do. It’s called an opinion based on feelings and personal preferences. We are all entitled to them.

It Is A Fact That All Cats Are Gross

I’m going to go out on a limb here and offer a piece of universal criteria for gross. By “universal” I mean that it applies to all things, and is the case for everyone and everything. It doesn’t matter if you are a cat, a dog, a mouse, a person, a plant, a ghost… if you meet the criteria, you are gross.

Anything that shits in a box and licks its own asshole clean is gross.

So cats are definitely gross, because I have never seen a cat shit in a toilet, and I further have seen every cat I have ever seen – in my entire life – lick its own asshole clean. It’s natural! Of course it does it. Still gross.

This isn’t to say that cat owners are gross. This isn’t to say that cat owners shit in a box and lick their own assholes clean (although, you never know…). It just means that cats are gross, and that is a fact by the criteria I outlined above.

It Is A Case In Point Fact That Cats Are Not Humans

I know that a lot of people consider their cats to be family. And human. I myself consider our fish and guinea pig to be a part of our household unit.

But the fact remains that a pet is a pet. Not a human being. An animal. Not all people like them, and more over: not all people can be around them. A lot of people out there have very serious allergies to animals. I am one of them – when I get around cats I wheeze, my throat gets tight, and I even have had asthma attacks from being too close.

The problem with a lot of the cat owners I have encountered, though, is that they actually believe their cats are human beings, and members of their families whose lives are worth more than actual human beings. A lot of them refuse – under all circumstances – to be sensitive to their guests. Now I would never go into another person’s home and demand that they remove their animal, or start bitching and griping about how much a really despise those balls of allergens. But if someone invites me over, it tells me they care about and respect me enough to not let their little box-shitter climb all over me and my things, causing me to have an asthma attack. I mean, if I say nicely that I’m very seriously allergic… would it kill them to put the cat into the other room?

Many cat owners I have encountered don’t give a fuck, though. They just cannot seem to grasp the fact that people are all different. They have different experiences. They have different situations. I have been in a cat owner’s home before, using my inhaler because I cannot breath, and the owner has actually set the cat down on my lap and said “ohhhhh… Pickles wants you to hold her!!!” I don’t dare eat dinner at a cat owner’s home anymore, because I’m allergic to shellfish too and know that even though I nicely say I’m allergic they will likely feed me shrimp.

It is a case in point fact that cats are not humans. If you want to have a relationship with actual people, then you may want to consider putting the pets away for a while. Or else you’ll wind up one of those crazy cat people that has no friends and fifty felines.

Please stop with the angry comments and the death threats and the Facebook fighting and the deletions, people. This whole cat thing is getting a bit tiring. A girl’s allowed to her opinions, just like you’re all allowed to ignore them and walk away.

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Oh, I’m sorry. Did my opinion offend you?

983697_579422125435615_1137414111_nTough shit.

Last week I posted this photo that I found on EpicFail.com of a cat that’s owner had covered it in make up. A few people noted feeling a little disturbed by it. Someone else told me that she hoped a herd of cats mauled me while I bitch.

Note that I said “…of a cat that‘s owner…” as opposed to “…of a cat whose owner…” You know why? Because cats are not people. They are animals. Filthy, disgusting, rancid, disease-filled animals.

That’s just my opinion.

Now as for putting makeup on the cat, it didn’t look like it was all that disturbed to be dolled up like that. In fact, it sort of appeared to enjoy the attention. It wasn’t – like – chained down or anything. It was of a healthy weight and its hair had a nice glow (indicating it is well taken care of). If it had appeared to be abused, that would be a different story. While I do like to distinguish the difference between animals and people, I also can respect an animal as a living, breathing thing. But really … the cat looked a-OK with the makeup. So I saw no problem with it.

I’ve pasted it in above, do you? I mean really. Let’s keep things in perspective here.

And yet it turned into a direct attack on me, and lost me a whopping 20 blog Facebook followers, because I included the note that I actually hate cats.

As for owning cats, while I wish all of them were nuked off the face of the earth; and I do see a moral dilemma with domesticating any animal meant to be in the wild – in the end I say: to each his own. I respect other people’s rights to their feline friends if they so desire. But that isn’t going to make me love cats. As horrifying as the thought of me hating a kitty-witty is, I actually do and feel I have good reason. My mom was bit in the neck and sent to the hospital once by her cat of five years; and I am so seriously allergic that on more than one occasion my throat has started to close from a cat rubbing against me.

But what do I get for it? What? Courtesy? Understanding? Fuck no. I can respect all of you for loving your cats; but then I  in return have a herd of psychotic, mauling cats wished upon me for having a different opinion than all (some) of yours. Gee, this seems fair, doesn’t it?

I think this is a bigger problem.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

I think that there is very little respect anymore in our culture. Maybe around the world it’s different, but in American culture – and especially in the community in which I live – it seems to be waning.

A great example: RSVPs. This last year I have thrown so many fucking parties that I didn’t want to throw: birthdays, dinners, funerals… you name it, I threw it. The only thing I asked everyone for was an RSVP. Let me fucking know if you are going to come. You know that I am going to cook up a gala of a meal. You know how hard I fucking work to make my house look nice when people come over. You fucking know that it is a thorn up my asshole every time someone doesn’t even acknowledge that I invited them. You know goddamned fucking well that after throwing all these parties for everyone and everything else, I didn’t even get a fucking piece of cake on my birthday.

And yet there is so little respect for other people and their time and effort and planning to pick up the goddamned phone and say “sorry, I just can’t make it” around where I live. Or maybe it’s just no respect for me. In truth, I’m starting to think that’s the case.

Fuck that.

I’m throwing one more party this year and then I’m done – forever: a baby shower. It’s in the Midwest, though, and etiquette is a little different out there. People that plan on not coming actually let you know. Some of them even call and apologize, rather than just sending an email or RSVPing “no” on an event site. I hardly know what to do with myself after years of assholes being so rude.

There is very little respect for other people, other people’s feelings, and others’ opinions anymore.

Opinions Are Like Assholes:

Everyone’s Got One And Some Of Them Stink.

I don’t know why everyone always gets so up in arms when I say the following:

Opinions are like assholes: everyone’s got one and some of them stink.

What is so offensive about that? It’s a case-in-point fact.

One of my favorite undergraduate professors once told me that: sure, everyone has an opinion, but that doesn’t mean all of them are right. This is a big issue in philosophy, and it’s called relativism. Anybody who’s anybody in academia knows that relativism is a big, fat, crock of shit. Allowing relativism is how you get people like Hitler mass-murdering Jews; and psychopaths like that Batman Returns killer, just last year in Colorado. It was just their opinion that those people deserved to die! Baseball players believe it’s OK to use performance enhancing drugs because they believe the rules are stupid. They all had a right to their opinion, right?

Sure, everyone has a right to their opinions, but it doesn’t mean that their opinions are (a) actually the correct or accurate or morally OK option, or (b) that they have an inherent right to act on them.

And on the note of opinions, I think people take opinions too personally. I have never seen people so offended than when I say that I hate California. I do! So sue me! A lot of people do. Just because I’m honest and don’t bottle up my feelings doesn’t mean I’m a bad person. Instead, though, a lot of the people I know who take personal offense to my feelings about the Golden State spend all their fucking time trying to invalidate my feelings and tell me why I’m wrong for having them. Which brings me to one last issue…

Cultural Narcissism

I think one of the biggest problems with our contemporary, American culture is that we have somehow come to the belief that everyone is experiencing things exactly as we are. So often I experience with people in my own life and my own community others forgetting that everyone in this world is living a different life, with a different situation, a different financial standing, a different upbringing, in a different time period, with different parents, under different circumstances, and along the lines of different health issues beyond their control.

Clutter in the house makes me feel physically sick. It stresses me out. It creates more dust, which I am terribly allergic to as well. My husband doesn’t get that and just keeps adding more and more clutter, because he fails to recognize that I am different than him. Along the same vein, I am deathly allergic to cats. And no matter how many times I say that, people very close to me absolutely refuse to understand why I would not like them. They have a hard time believing that I could dislike something that they love – they love it so everyone must love it, right?

Wrong. We all are entitled to our own opinions, just like we all have our own lives to live. Oh, I’m sorry. Did my opinion offend you? Well isn’t that too bad. Unless you are living in my shoes, in my life, with my problems, with my money, with my family, during my time, and encountering everything that I encounter, you kindly can keep your own comments to yourself.

I say put makeup on all fucking cats. And if that makes me deserve a group of psychotic, mauling cats, so be it. At least I went down being honest, rather than acting like a little bitch who’s too afraid to speak the truth for fear of the wrath of others. But then again, the wrath of others really is the problem, isn’t it?