Irene North

Writings

Let people have their joy

Photo by Shawn Miller/Library of Congress.

Until last Thursday, I didn’t know Lizzo existed. Until last week, I didn’t know President James Madison owned a crystal flute. I did know, however, people will get riled up over the dumbest shit on the planet.

Respect and RIP, Coolio

The first time I heard rap music was Blondie’s “Rapture.” I remember thinking it was interesting and moved on with life. In time, I was exposed to the likes of the Beastie Boys, RUNDMC, Insane Clown Posse, and others, but the the music never truly drew me in. Like most country music, it wasn’t for me. My headphones in the 1980s were filled with the likes of Led Zeppelin, Rush, and Pink Floyd. If I was walking to or from school, Led Zeppelin’s “In Through the Out Door,” was likely blaring out my ears, causing me to have to listen to lectures from adults about early deafness.

Celebrating a year with no social media

After today, I’m not going to revisit thoughts about life without social media anymore. At this time last year, I made my last post on Facebook telling people I was deleting Facebook, the last of my social media accounts, and they were welcome to continue to keep up to date with me here. Those who wished to do so could also text, do lunch, go for hikes, etc.

While some people still criticize me for leaving because it doesn’t affect them negatively, I have no desire to return to an arena which made me feel angry and made me feel less of a person all the time. It absolutely worsened my mental health.

Vote. Your life likely depends on it

My black and blue computer chair is quite comfy. I sit in it each day to read the news. It’s where I write the majority of the things that come tumbling out of my brain. It’s an old comfort, full of tears where cat claws have made their mark. The chair has served me well for nearly a decade.

For the past month, however, I have sat down in my trusty chair, rested my fingers on my keyboard, and…I…just…can’t. There are things in my head that want to come out, but after reading the news, I feel like I’ve been punched in the gut. I feel like I did when I was a little girl. A major right was taken away from me on June 24, 2022.  Every day since the Dobbs decision, there has been a story of someone who wants to further restrict my rights and all those memories come rushing back. I can’t switch it off. My brain still tries to protect me when something triggers me, even if it’s only a headline.

Today, I’d like to take you through the last 36 hours of my news feed and offer a solution, vote.

Day of the National Flag of Ukraine

F1 Ukrainian flag collage, framed.

One thing my grandma taught me was to never stop learning. It’s sound advice I have always remembered.

Appreciating Londo and Harvey on National Black Cat Appreciation Day

Although every cat owner thinks they will only ever have one cat, the cats choose differently. Paul and I have had five cats since moving to Scottsbluff, Nebraska. Today is National Black Cat Appreciation Day, so here are pictures of our two black cats, Harvey and Londo.

Monday Musings: Other writings

The inside of the Buddhist shrine at the Japanese Hall in Gering.

For most of my time working at the Scottsbluff Star-Herald newspaper, I didn’t have much of a fear about what would happen to my stories once I turned them in. The rule goes “the editor can, and sometimes will, change your story.”

Monday Musings: How women are treated

I have a file on my computer labeled, “How women are treated.” If you open it up, it’s 67 pages of links to stories dating back to February 11, 2017. That’s roughly 13 pages of links per year of how women are still treated like lesser people. I keep telling myself I need to write a long, eloquent piece explaining how anyone who doesn’t seem to be a straight, white male is treated in society, but my list of links keeps growing.

I stumbled upon the screenshot a couple of days ago on Reddit and felt the need to single it out. I’m not going to be eloquent about any of this shit.

The belt

Note: This story originally appeared on my Substack page. I have decided to re-share it here as I cannot keep up with Substack, this blog, and two jobs at the same time anymore. For those of you who haven’t read the story before – or heard me retell it to you in person – I hope you enjoy it.

Stopping sexism is everyone’s responsibility

My cap collection – Preston North End (football/soccer), two Antonio Giovinazzi caps (Alfa Romeo F1), a McLaren Cap (F1), and a Lando Norris (McLaren F1) winter hat.

Long-term readers know the only television I watch is Formula One racing. Before I knew I had PTSD, it helped me through some rough times and continues to do so today. I don’t know the latest popular television shows, bands, or movies, but I can describe to you in detail how Carlos Sainz’s car caught fire last weekend. Over the past two years, F1 has become more popular around the world, due in part by owners Liberty Media and the Netflix series Drive to Survive. One of the problems with any sport growing in popularity is the unsavory elements seeping in, creating problems most people condemn, but do little to change.

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