So Your Kid Wants A Fidget Spinner

Alright parents, listen up. I may not be a parent, nor do I ever plan to become one, but I’ve been around kids enough to know better. My boyfriend has a nephew and niece, and I worked at a daycare once upon a time. So open your eyes and ears a little bit and kindly pay attention. Because I’m a little annoyed.

So your kid wants a fidget spinner. GREAT! If they need it, awesome, perfect, that’s great for them. If they don’t need it, then okay it’s just something to keep them busy, sure. You’re the parent, you get to decide. What you DON’T get to decide is the kind of spinner  they should have. Because this should just be a given.

 

You know those colorful fidget spinners you can get at Walmart for a cheap $5 or $6? The plastic ones that come in array of colors, patterns, and designs? Those ones that just capture your child’s eye and make them beg because they’re so colorful and cool? Those are the ones you should be getting. Those are the ones geared towards kids about 5 to 16(ish). And they’re colorful and neat and have designs and patterns for that very reason. Because those are the ones meant for tiny, clumsy, child hands.

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Not. Heavy. Sharp. Metal. Objects.

If you want your kid to play with a heavy, sharp metal object then just give them scissors and let them go to town. Because if you’re getting your kid spinners like those, then I mean what’s the difference? Scissors spin just the same.

Now I’m only super aggressively salty about this because it’s happened in the last week. Twice. My boyfriend’s nephew picked out a spinner that came in the mail. I couldn’t find an accurate photo and it’s packed away somewhere in my five bags for a road trip we’re going on, but this is as accurate as I could find.

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It was bought off Wish and he picked it out. Because it looked cool. So when it arrived, my boyfriend opened the packages for his mother (who bought it) and immediately came over to me once it was opened. He showed it to me at first stating he didn’t think that was a good idea. Then I took it from him and felt it for myself.

Folks, this thing was as heavy and sharp as they came (so I thought at the time . . . more on that coming right up). The picture I have here is very similar, however. The one we got is silver, had four openings with the pointed ends very much exposure and could touch and serrated on the top like dragon spikes or scales or whatever you want to call it. We did not feel at all comfortable letting him have it, knowing he’d take it to school once it was time and get in major trouble, or one of the neighbor kids would grab it from him and probably dick around with it. This thing could HURT. And in the matter of five minutes we had it, it’d been dropped almost on my boyfriend’s foot and it would have bruised something bad.

So we told my boyfriend’s mother, of course, that was a terrible idea and we’ll take it and use it. But he’d picked it out and was waiting for it. And if it didn’t show up, he would be upset and probably try to order it again.

See . .  my thing is. It doesn’t matter. If it’s too dangerous for a seven year old, that’s the final line of it. He can’t have it, he can pick out something else that isn’t heavy, metal, and sharp. Those types of spinners are for , well , collecting unfortunately. Or at the very least, young adults 18-20 something who hopefully wouldn’t abuse it or take it to school or whatever. Some might still, sure, but kids are unpredictable and clumsy. It wasn’t safe.

A few days later, we got . . . . this thing.

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This is even sharper than the first one, but less heavy. You can’t even spin it normally, you have to put your finger through the hole to do it. Apparently, the nephew’s mother picked this one out because again. IT LOOKED COOL.

My friends, I shouldn’t have to say this twice. But again, we opened it and my boyfriend told HIS mom that his nephew cannot have that one either. Regardless of if the boy’s mom picked it out or not. These things he cannot have! I said it earlier: they make the plastic, colorful, bright and fun pattern ones for a reason. I know kids want “cool” things and pick out stuff like this. But as an adult and especially as a PARENT you have to absolutely put your foot down. These things can be dangerous and used as weapons or cause accidental injury.

So if it happens, unfortunately it IS on you. The adult.

Don’t buy your young children these types of spinners, please, I am begging you. You are the adult here. You make the decisions for your children 90% of the time. Don’t let this be the one thing you slip up. Be fuckin’ smart about fidget spinners for your young children. There are so many more by the dozens of thousands out there you can buy. They’re literally EVERYWHERE right now, so it’s not hard to find safe spinners for your kids.

 

 

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Cat Pawsitive with the Jackson Galaxy Foundation — Three Chatty Cats

My guess is that if you’re reading this blog, you probably know who Jackson Galaxy is…but I suppose there is still a chance that you’re a cat lover and you’ve never heard of him. So just in case, Jackson Galaxy (a.k.a. America’s Cat Daddy) is best known for hosting the Animal Planet show “My Cat from Hell,” where […]

via Cat Pawsitive with the Jackson Galaxy Foundation — Three Chatty Cats

Loretta, This Is The Utica I Know

Could not. Have said it. Better myself. Well done, well done. So glad someone was able to retaliate this in such a fitting way

The Urban Phoenix

Earlier today a friend turned me on to a blog referencing Utica, New York, an imperfect but rising city I have come to love and adore.  In this blog, the writer, now living in North Carolina, explains how Utica’s status as a refugee (and particularly a Muslim refugee) sanctuary is destroying the fabric of the city.

If you’re an urbanist that loves hard numbers (which I love as well), this one might not be for you.  If you’re someone who believes in the fighting spirit of our urban revivals through acceptance, diversity and understanding, then I urge you to read on.  My open letter to Loretta the blogger below is more personal and less informative than the content I typically post, though it addresses the very nature of how our perceptions of our cities often fail us.  I am an even-handed writer and always do my best to see…

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Utica, New York: A Day of Fun, A Story of Hope

The Urban Phoenix

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So often we think of vacations as far away places where we spend lots of money for 3-7 days of relaxation, activities and bliss.  Vacations are seen as things we reach for but experience so rarely, especially in today’s work world.

I’ve found a very different truth.  I’ve found that one can experience the benefits of a vacation without spending much money at all.  I’ve found that while it’s good to get out of your town for a bit, you don’t have to go far to feel like you’re getting away and having a good time.  And finally, I’ve found that in many cases, you can do this in one day.  Yep, that’s right… any given Saturday, you too can experience a cheap day away… one that will leave you feeling refreshed and feeling good about yourself before you dive back into the work week!

For example, did you know…

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New Beginnings, Old Ghosts

Let me set the scene for you.

You finally have what you’ve been looking for the last two years. You have amazing friends, and a place to live with them. It’s a BEAUTIFUL apartment for what it’s worth. Needs some cleaning and additions for more space to do things, but it’s perfect and just what you all need. You’re super excited to get back and start your life for real again. With real family. With real friends.

But then the nervousness sets in. The fear, the anxiety, and the worry. All of it comes flooding back over your head within the waters you’ve been treading for so long. Wave after wave just knocks over your head, threatening you to be pulled under. When all you’re trying to do is wade a little longer, keep your head up a little higher to breathe, and finally swim to shore on that island that has been far away from your sight for too long.

That’s where I am right now.

I’m heading back upstate on June 16th. I’m going on a very much needed and fun road trip with my boyfriend, cat, and two of my best friends (not the ones I’m living with currently). It’s going to be amazing, and once I get back home, I will have a new place to live, with old friends. It couldn’t be more perfect and yes, I am so over the moon excited. But I’m terrified. And this . . . this should be expected.

See, in the last two years I’ve been couch hopping. I’ve had problems with my past three room-mates, all of which were so fucking stupid I can’t wrap my head around it all still. None of which was by any means of my own fault. But they’re all going to tell you that differently. My name’s been splattered, stepped on, stretched out, and tacked all over town as this Monster. This person nobody can trust or be a room-mate with. And that scares me more than anything.

While I know that the people I currently am housed with would hopefully never drop kick me like the last three, I still have that stupid ass lingering fear. Because of what happened. And that’s really sad, if you think about it. Three wonderful friends I love and trust with all my heart who I know would never hurt me. Who I couldn’t even imagine having any major issues with. Who I couldn’t even begin to think that I would have to leave so suddenly for some dumbass reason. But old wounds don’t heal so fast. Old ghosts don’t leave you alone so soon. It was around this time last year that I had my most recently removed room-mate. It was the same exact scenario. It was the same song and dance.

I had nowhere to go. I had someone willing to take me in. They were looking for me while out of state. They found something. I came home. I moved in. And it was June-July 2016. It is all. Coming. Back. And it fucking terrifies me.

Like I said, I know it’s not the exact same. These people have been nothing but kind to me. They are a part of my family that I’ve built. They care about me. They love me. They know about my past situations (oh do they ever know and understand). But you have to realize. When it all comes flooding back so fast and so familiar, it’s hard NOT to panic. It’s hard NOT to feel scared. It’s all normal (I think), and it’s all something that I hope they understand, as well as my boyfriend. It’s  . . . it’s just so great and so scary all at the same time. I hate walking on eggshells around people, but I have before and I won’t surprise myself if I do it again for the first few weeks or month. And this, I also hope, they understand.

I have such a problem with asking people for things. For rides, for grocery pick ups, for money if I need it . . . because of past issues with my boyfriend’s parents, my own ex-relatives, my ex-roomies, and so on. It’s something that I’m working on, but every time I get flung back and don’t open my mouth, it seems to be the cause of problems. Then again, whenever I do open my mouth, it causes issues anyway. So I never know what’s right and what’s wrong. So I usually wait for people to come to ME. To ask ME if I need anything. Most times I say no, of course, but. Asking people for / to do things is terrifying to me. And I know where it comes from, of course. But for this, I will be doing my very best to just . . . speak. To voice when something is wrong. To voice when I need something. To voice a concern. To voice . . . anything I should. And hope that it doesn’t blow up like a ticking time bomb in my face all over again.

I’m excited. I can’t wait to be home. I can’t wait to HAVE A HOME finally after two years. But it’s scary. Moving alone is anxiety ridden and scary. But I’m stacking this on top of so many other things. And it’s hard. It really is.

So, yes. Here’s to new beginnings. Here’s to everything I could have hoped for and wanted. Here’s to a fresh start to a 50-50 year so far. Here’s to what I hope to be, a stable home for at least another year or two. Here’s to just everything I have wanted for the last two years and struggled for. It’s new beginnings with old ghosts.

I just hope I can keep those old ghosts away.

Happy Pride. To All.

It’s Pride Month, 2017 so here we go!

My name is Jeremy. I also go by Brandon , and I also like going by Sloane. My online names can be lordbatty or jacksonngalaxyy. I’m an up and coming Drag Princess by the name of River Styxx. I am going to be 26 years old, I am a female to male pretty boy transguy. I was on testosterone for almost 3 years before a tumor was found and we had to treat that first and foremost. I recently had top surgery (March 9th, 2017) and currently almost 3 months post op.

I want to be a writer. I also want to be a cat behaviorist. I LOVE COFFEE. I love the weather/tornadoes and I want to storm chase at least once in my life. I am fascinated by seahorses. I love going camping. I adore cats. I like to wear makeup sometimes. I talk too loudly sometimes. I am disabled in more ways than you could think up. sometimes I have trouble speaking my feelings. I have depression. I have anxiety. I have an eating disorder. I love anything between Ariana Grande to Krewella. I want to visit Italy some day.

But above everything else, I am Human. Just like everyone else. i have likes, dislikes, relationships, friends, dreams, aspirations, ups and downs.

I also have some of the best friends in the world. I’m friends with drag queens, drag kings, genderfluid people, trans people, gay, lesbian, bisexual, and every in between. They are my family. They are the people who mean the most to me in the whole world. And even though I’ve only known most of them for a year, it feels like I’ve known them for a lifetime. I’m always so … grateful for them. I’m always happy to see them. I’m always so amazed at the family I have created, formed, grown with, and have come to see as nothing but that. Family. My true family.

I also have a great boyfriend and a very personable cat. Both of which , I wouldn’t be here today without. We’ve been together for 4 ½ years and Dylan’s been in my life for 7 years. Between me and my boyfriend, we’ve been through a lot together. And no, not always good. It’s been several ups and downs. It’s also been several amazing days. We’ve had so much happen in the last 4 years and in that time, we’ve grown a lot together and as our own persons. It’s been amazing to see the growth we’ve both had and learning from mistakes, victories, and losses. I love him so much and never did I think I would have such a growing, lasting, long-term, fun, challenging relationship that I do have. And it’s been one of the most rewarding, realest, enriching loves I’ve ever come across in dating.

I’ve traveled around a lot with Dylan. We’ve hopped from plane to plane, car to car, home to home, never knowing where we’ll be or what we will be doing. But we’ve stuck together and he’s been an amazing support animal for me. We support each other, and he has been there for me when I didn’t have anyone or didn’t know what was going to happen or where to turn to.

If you’d have asked pre-transition me where I would be in the next 5 years I would have probably said ‘I don’t know’ or ‘Dead, probably.’ I didn’t know I could have a life outside of … what I grew up with. I didn’t know these wonderful people I now call my family existed. I didn’t know I could BE trans. I didn’t know there was someone out there waiting for me to date and love all of me. I didn’t know I could … BE ME. I didn’t know, and never in a million lifetimes here or now, did I think that in five years … I would still be here, even. never did I think I would find the friends I have today. Never did I think I would transition. never did I think I would even be doing DRAG.

So many bad things have happened in the  last just TWO years (ie. tumor/cancer, being off my shots, countless legal actions against me for being trans, removing my ex-relatives from my life completely was the most recent thing I did, being homeless and couch hopping for almost 2 years, more money/legal issues for being trans, etc), but sometimes I have to try and step back and look at all of the good things and try to hold onto those and think about it.

Good things like top surgery!, embracing my pretty boy nature and saying ‘fuck gender roles, I’m still a man. I can wear whatever the fuck I want and still be me’, stepping my foot into doing Drag and actually landing an official show, surrounding myself with the good people I do have and getting rid of those who just didn’t have a place in my life, cutting off toxic relationships (ie. the ex-relatives), having an ally within the family I can see and trust and talk to , finally landing an apartment with some of the friends I love, getting most of the legal actions taken care of for good, and so much more.

This Pride Month is so much more different for me, in a good way. I can celebrate out, loud, and proud. I can celebrate being me. I can celebrate being trans. I can celebrate my friends, my family, my boyfriend. I can celebrate my top surgery. I can celebrate … so much of me that I have come to see and know. I’ve grown a lot. I’ve seen a lot. I’ve learned a lot. And there’s so much more to that.

This Pride Month is so much better for me. And I am just so happy and grateful for not only my personal self-growth, but for my boyfriend’s, for my friends’ . . I’m grateful for the LGBTQ center as my home and the people who work there and go there.

This Pride Month, for me personally, is such a great one.

And remember if you can’t come out yet or live loud and proud or celebrate openly, that’s okay. Five years ago, I never even had a thought to Pride anything. Because I couldn’t. Five years goes a long way, and I’ve both lived and seen it. Don’t ever check it off. Don’t ever think you won’t get there. Because I certainly never did.

And now I have the biggest LGBTQ circle I’ve ever experienced in my almost 20+ years of life.

Don’t give up. Happy Pride to all. You mean the world to someone.

❤️💛💚💙💜

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