Roller derby love – we need your help!

I need your help.

For those of you who have read my blog at all, you know that since I moved to Washington I’ve struggled to make friends. It’s just not something I’m good at. Last May I joined a roller derby league. I’ve never been an active person, I’ve never been on a team, never played a sport.
It was an entirely spontaneous decision. And I can’t express to you how happy it made me.

I skate three times a week with strong, intelligent, fearless women, who encourage me and serve as an example of the bad-assery I hope to achieve. (It’s a word. I promise.)
Playing roller derby is the best decision I’ve made since moving to Washington. It keeps me active – I am constantly surprised at how amazing my body is, which makes my self confidence sky rocket – and it surrounds me with friends. This sport and these people are the best part of my week.

Now. We are the only (as far as I know) league in our area that have our own practice space where we can hold bouts – complete with locker rooms and concessions and a beer garden.
And we might lose it. We are struggling to bring in what it takes to keep our Skateway up and running. The thought of losing our facility breaks my heart, this is the only derby home I’ve ever known.

We have two fundraisers, for 20.96 you can purchase a fucking snazzy-ass t-shirt here

(Pretty cool, designed by our own rollergirl, Classless Chaps)

If you don’t want to spend that much, or don’t want a t-shirt, we have a GoFundMe campaign. And trust me- EVERYTHING helps. Two, five, ten dollars. EVERYTHING.

This is me, Mellory Noelle, begging you to help us save our Skateway. We need you.

Xx Mell

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DO SOMETHING

Once upon a time, I lived in a super conservative, religiously centered place called Utah Valley. Throughout my teenage years, I began to realize that the things I felt passionately about and believed in clashed pretty terribly with the way the majority of my peers felt. After deciding that Utah Valley was no longer the place for someone who was strongly pro-marriage equality, pro-choice, pro-gender equality, pro-love everyone, pro-wtf is up with organized religion but believe what you want and respect that I disagree, I chose to move to the PNW, where hippies and feminists and open-minded forward thinkers abound.

Unfortunately I seemed to have landed in a dark vortex of a town filled with people who’s attitude is “if it isn’t on Instagram or relate to my life directly, I really don’t give a shit”.

I guess I had this unrealistic, slightly naïve expectation that being in the PNW meant everyone I met would be like-minded. Or at least kind of like-minded. Instead, no one really seems to give a shit. About anything. And I don’t understand.

I’m a passionate person. I love expanding my knowledge and talking to people about their views on religion and philosophy and current events and happiness and feminism and life. These things matter to me, and I like to learn and I love hearing what other people have to say.

But very few people up here seem to have much to say. They care about their hair and their nails and other people’s opinions and take pictures of their food and watch videos about cats – and all of that is fine. I do some of that. But when I try to talk to them about things that matter to me, people react in a way that makes me feel like I’m ridiculous for caring. If I get angry at every day sexism, I’m told I’m overreacting. Nobody fucking cares about all of the states that have been passing marriage equality laws. Nobody wants to hear about how frustrated the food industry makes me. People roll their eyes when I choose to buy local or organic.

And I’ve found myself right back where I was in Utah. Surrounded by people who think I’m on the nutty side for giving a shit.

And goddamn, some days, it’s lonely over here.

I just don’t understand. Where’s the passion? Get angry at injustice, get loud, do SOMETHING.

-m

Life Lessons from Pillow Pets

Whoa guys. I haven’t written anything in a while, so much craziness has been going on, but yesterday my brother and I had an incredibly interesting conversation that really made me think — and believe it or not it started because we saw an Olaf (from Frozen) pillow pet.

It seems as though, as human beings, we’ve decided that we are entitled to being alive – that good things should happen to us, and that we need to do everything we can to hang on to life as long as possible. As it turns out, I disagree.

Why this sense of entitlement? We’re alive because of a crazy set of circumstances and decisions that your conception and birth are part of. It’s just one thing after another – a crazy cycle of cause and effect. It’s a beautiful thing to be alive, but just being alive shouldn’t make you feel as though you deserve good things in life. I’m not saying you deserve bad things, just that everything good should be welcomed with happiness and open-ness, and everything bad should be accepted as a way to learn and grow.

Drop this sense of entitlement and just be happy to be alive.

Instead of fighting bad circumstances and wondering “why me?” Recognize that it is what it is, and that you can only control so much – one of those things being the way you act in a negative situation and the way you let it shape you.

You are alive. Let that be enough — and allow yourself to feel childlike happiness and gratitude for the good that happens. All good. No matter how minute and inconsequential it may seem.

Xxmellory

What. The. Fuck. (A rant)

Last week, the supreme court ruled that requiring companies (such as Hobby Lobby) to provide no-cost access to birth control and emergency contraceptives to their employees would be violating their religious beliefs, since in some crazy way they see birth control and the morning-after pill as “abortion pills”.

What

The

Fuck.

Seriously?

Like… seriously?

This shit passed? People actually agreed with this bullshit?

I’m totally fine with the idea that some people are against using birth control, and I understand that some people believe that life begins the moment that sperm fertilizes that egg (even if I disagree). What I don’t understand — not even a little bit — is where they got the idea that they have the right to push their religious beliefs onto their employees. Not cool.

If you think birth control and emergency contraceptives are the devil – don’t use them. It’s that fucking easy. But don’t you fucking dare tell your employees that they can’t access no- or low-cost birth control. You do not have that right. Not even a little bit. Because you’re a goddamn corporation. You’re a for-profit conglomeration. You make money. Your purpose is to make money and sell shit. You are not a church. You are not spreading the word of God. You are providing a service. You employ people of all religions and faiths.

What the fuck happened to this idea of separation of church and state? I know our country has had an issue with that.. always.. but come on. You can’t sit here and whine that our country needs to go back to the constitution and then say that your fucking Christian beliefs trump the freedoms of anybody else. You can’t pick and choose which parts you’re cool with. That’s not how this is supposed to work.

What pisses me off is that this is exactly how this shit works.

If the founders of Hobby Lobby were of the Islamic faith, the supreme court would have voted against this shit so fucking fast. Which really shows that it has absolutely nothing to do with “religions freedom”. It’s more of a patriarchal-Christian freedom.

Did I mention that Hobby Lobby will still be providing coverage for viagra and vasectomies?

Isn’t that just peachy of them? It’s god’s will for a woman to get pregnant, but it’s definitely not god’s will for a man to be impotent. Makes complete sense, of course.

Besides, birth control is used for a slew of things besides just preventing pregnancy, such as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, endometriosis, amenorrhea, PMS, and acne.

Basically, though, to me, it comes down to the simple fact that your ‘religious freedom’ stops short of controlling someone else’s life/choices.

I’ll respect you if you respect me, but seriously. Come on, you guys. This is just fucking ridiculous. It’s over the top. It’s not fucking okay.

Gah.

xxmellory

Short, angry, and a little comical.

Really fast post from my phone. I just read someone’s rant about the whole labiaplasty craze, and wanted to add my outrage.

Because seriously.

What
The
Fuck.

Stop comparing yourself to other women, stop comparing your body to porn stars, JUST STOP.

YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.

YOUR VAGINA LOOKS THE WAY IT’S SUPPOSED TO.

And for god’s sake, men (or anybody without a vagina) if you ever see a vagina and are like “wait, that looks wrong” just remember, you’re wrong. If it’s there, that’s how it’s supposed to look. Genitals are funky looking. Have you looked at a penis? Ever? They’re kind of goofy looking, let’s be real.

Stop being ridiculous.
You’re beautiful.
Nothing is wrong with your labia.
Promise.

As someone who’s struggled a lot with wondering whether or not my body looks “normal”, I get so angry when I hear about these kinds of fads.

YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL
SO IS YOUR LABIA.
STOP HACKING BITS OFF.

I love you.

Xx mellory

I found stillness

In this craziness
Of bustling and movement;
Of constant reminders gusting around me,
Tugging and whispering “go, go, go”

In this madness of life and confusion
Of indecisiveness, anxiety;
Of self doubt and self hate,
Of gale-storm winds of society telling me I’m not quite there,
To not stop
Never stop
Keep moving
Always moving
Always going
Billions of nagging thoughts constantly pulling me in every direction,
Demanding my attention
Demanding I nurture it, solve it, remove it,

In this chaos of the world that surrounds me,
Seven billion people moving,
Laughing
Talking
Eating
Singing
Loving
Hating
Living
Crying

I found stillness
In your breath.

Today, this feels like home.

I spent most of my first few months up here in Washington incredibly depressed. At first I wallowed in my home-sickness, and all I wanted to do was go back to Utah and my old life — even though the very thought made me want to start crying all over again. I went from there to spending a lot of time inside my head, running circles around every thought or idea I had until I was dizzy and wished I could just turn my brain off, but learning a lot about myself in the process. About what I wanted, where I wanted to be, and why I wasn’t happy. Slowly, I became okay with things. Just okay. It was what it was, and I wasn’t going to let it get me down anymore. When I started working at Panera I was happy just be working with people again. Slowly things have started getting better, and I don’t know if it’s because my perspective has changed, because my life is changing, or a mixture of both. I do know I’m happier now than I’ve been in a long time, and not that ‘happy but waiting for it to end’ kind of happy. I feel like I’m truly happy. I am here, this is now, and I’m enjoying the moment.

We had a birthday at work a few days ago. I don’t really know the guy very well, but he’s nice to me, and he’s funny. Someone had bought him a cheesecake from the grocery store, and we all gathered in the back and surprised him with it while singing ‘happy birthday’ to him. Everyone was smiling, and in that moment, in those eleven seconds that it took us to sing to him, this felt like home.

After we sang, everyone dispersed and went back to work, but that stuck with me for some reason. It was a moment of unity and love. I felt like I was part of something, and it meant a lot to me. It’s something I haven’t felt since I moved up here, and I didn’t even realize how much I missed it.

xxmellory

Question Everything: a sleep-deprived rant about main-stream media’s bullshit

I recently read an article about America’s youth becoming increasingly subdued, moldable, and controllable, and although I’m not sure I agree with what the article had to say in its entirety, it did bring up a lot of points that I’ve recently become more and more frustrated with.

I feel as though this generation’s youth has become isolated, subdued, and cowed into submission; taking main-stream media and news outlets as gospel, our minds melded into exactly what monster corporations want us to be –blindly, and unquestioningly consumeristic. We eat up every word we see, absorbing it all until our brains are soggy with misinformation, and all the while nobody bothers to look up from their tv, their computer, their plate of falsities and corporate bullshit to question the legitimacy of it all.

Take a step back, think about it. Look at the way we live. It resembles so many of the science fiction stories written about a future in which people stop thinking for themselves and stop asking questions.

Stop it. Don’t allow our generation to become so easily convinced that everything is fine. Never stop asking questions. Never stop learning about the world around you.

Question everything, challenge everything.

That being said, I also think that those of our generation that continue to challenge the bullshit we’re fed are more well informed than generations gone by. The internet can be used for amazing things, so use it. Find and share the things they don’t want us to find. Keep learning, keep asking.

Xx mellory

So Much Bigger On The Inside

I was on the YouTubes earlier listening to the song “Dear Daily Mail” by Amanda Palmer (great fucking song, although don’t watch it at work), when I saw a song I’d never heard before called “Bigger on The Inside”. I was intrigued because A) It had the possibility of being a Doctor Who reference and B) I thought I’d heard most of her music. Expecting something cheerful or joking or just fun and goofy with an awesome underlying message, I clicked the video. 

Eight minutes later and I was crying. 

This song caught me off guard completely, and even though I know it’s about her personal experiences, and I know that I don’t know her or her life or what she’s been through, I connected with this song on a level that surprised me. I think most people who hear it will. 

We’ve all been made small. We’ve all been taken advantage of. We’ve all been hurt. We’ve all had to find a way to keep fighting, even when we have no idea how we’re going to.

“You are bigger on the inside, but your father cannot see. You need to tell someone, be strong, and somewhere some dumb rock-star truly loves you.”

This line, although in the song directed at someone who wrote her a letter, just… got me. You are bigger on the inside. People may not see it. They will hurt you. They will insult you. They will try to tear away everything you love. You are bigger on the inside. Be strong, and somewhere some dumb rock-star truly loves you. 

I’ve been there, you’ve been there. Whether it seems small or monumental. That moment when you think “I can’t. I can’t fight anymore. I can’t be strong anymore.”

That moment when you’ve been crushed and defeated to the very core of your being. When you can’t find the beauty anymore. You can’t find the point anymore. They’ve taken your sense of control, they’ve taken your sense of worth.

“We are so much much bigger on the inside, you, me, everybody. Someday when you’re lying where I am you’ll finally get it, beauty. We are so much bigger than another one can ever see, but trying is the point of life, so don’t stop trying. Promise me.”

xxx with love. 

-Mellory. 

Listen to the song here: 

What are your thoughts? Feel free to start some discussions in the comments.

…Pubic Hair and All

Earlier today one of my FB friends posted this article about setting the pubes free:

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/19/year-of-the-bush-female-body-hair-cameron-diaz-pubic

I read it, loved it, and shared it proudly. I didn’t expect anybody to comment on it or say anything negative. I thought if anything they’d be a little embarrassed and skip over it. But I got some surprising responses, such as “Gross!” and “I manage my hair unless the female likes it, it’s not society fully, it’s just that generally people don’t like hair, if I wanted hair rubbing up on me id make love to a burly man.” and “in my experience people too lazy to trim and care [are] usually too lazy to shower..” and from the same guy, after talking about how having pubic hair makes you smell bad, “Now listen to the professionals please.”

The professionals, eh?

Because you, sir, surely are the all-knowing when it comes to female bodies.

Now don’t get me wrong, I respect everybody’s right to like what they like. Be it shaved, trimmed, bald as a baby’s bottom, shaped into stars and hearts, whatever. I don’t care, it’s your body.

What gets to me is when people start talking about how disgusting body hair is, how dirty it is, how people with body hair don’t take care of themselves.

Because that is straight up and down utter and complete bullshit.

Like it says in the article linked above:

“Before the first world war, virtually no American woman shaved her legs. By 1964, 98% of women under the age of 44 did so. Before that war, underarm hair was not a cosmetic consideration. Fashions up to that point, while often clingy and form revealing, covered up most of a woman’s skin. But female fashions became ostensibly freer, and Gillette’s first razor for women came out in 1915, triggering aggressive advertising campaigns on behalf of more than a dozen “beauty” companies. Female body hair was suddenly deemed unsightly.

The capitalist drive to convince us that female body hair is unnatural and unclean has been alarmingly successful. The removal industry is worth millions, and uncountable women are ashamed of and distressed by their post-pubescent hair. But the industry is greedy. It must now convince the world that female pubic hair is dirty too.”

1915, my friends. 1915. How long as the world been around? How long have women been growing body hair? Newsflash: It’s a long longer than one hundred years. 

Not only are we told by the beauty industry that we need to be hair-less, but porn has also been an influence. According to some of my older acquaintances, seventies porn was all about the bush, but once the eighties hit it was all hairless, all the time. Unfortunately between porn’s ridiculous and unrealistic standards and the push from the beauty industry, women start to feel like they’re abnormal if they let their body hair grow wild and free — and I don’t just mean your lady-garden. I’m talking armpits, legs, and with some women, even arms. There’s this idea, like the dipshit from my FB said, that if you don’t shave, trim, wax, epilate, and pluck your way to pre-pubescent hairlessness you’re lazy and probably don’t shower.

What the fuck, guys?

Before I get into the whole “Men don’t have to do it, why should we?” I’ll take a little pit-stop over in “Why the fuck do we keep it going?”

I shaved my down yonder once. That’s right, once. The razor burn and itching that appeared the next day was enough to convince me I was done with that. Never again, no thanks, bye. Jesus Christ it was awful, and the idea of what it would take to maintain that shiny, hairlessly smooth porno vibe? Vom-canoes. I don’t know about you guys, but I do not have time every day to rid myself of every unruly hair.

A couple of years after my horrible shaving incident, I had a partner that was surprised to find I had pubic hair. I told him that I was willing to keep it nice and trim for him, but I wasn’t shaving it bald. It’s my body, and I don’t believe in doing something so incredibly uncomfortable just because someone can’t get over a little hair. He would nag me non-stop about it. For 2 1/2 years.

So to answer the question “Why the fuck do we keep it going?”

I think it has to do with keeping up with what we think/know our partners expect from us. Which to me just seems silly. Your partner should be with you because they like you, hair or no hair. Your partner should be able to respect whatever decision you choose to make concerning your body hair. If you’re comfortable shaving it all, shave it all, if you don’t give a shit and let it grow, let it grow for god’s sake. Don’t let society, the beauty industry, porn, your partner, me, your neighbor, celebrities or anybody else in this crazy world dictate what you do with your body. It’s your body. Not your parents’, not your pastor’s, not your doctor’s, not your partner’s, not God’s, yours. Own it. Pluck it, shave it, grow it, braid it, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that we accept people for whatever decisions they make. Body hair isn’t gross. It’s not dirty, it’s not smelly, it’s not laziness. Whatever you choose to do with your body hair just don’t buy into the bullshit.

Because you, my friend, are beautiful. Pubic hair and all.

 

 

Feel free to comment, discuss, send hate mail, whatever floats your boat.