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February 20th, 2017

03:04 pm - Politics and beyond
I wrote a number of what I felt like really good posts all over Facebook. And then I realized that I'd like to keep them all for myself as well. This particular post is a combo of new writes ups and going back to already existing writes ups by me, and trying to keep it in one place.

People need to start beefing up their knowledge about the Jewish history and understand few things. Here are few thoughts.

It is very dangerous for the Jews to fall in love with non Jews leaders in power because it never brings about anything good at the end. Obama loves his take on Judaism, Trump loves his own take on Judaism. But the problem is that we, the Jews, have many different shades among ourselves and despite our differences we will never burn bridges between ourselves. Not so for the non Jews leaders whom Jews fall in love with and/or hate.

We didn't survive by getting powerful in politics or becoming buddies with powers in charge. As the matter of fact that has always backfired in the end. Don't delude yourself that because Trump's daughter has converted to Judaism therefore he must love Jews. Plenty of Germans had Jewish spouses, and we all know not all of them tried to save their spouses.

Love or hate Trump's politics, but let's be honest and admit that he is no leader. He has no style, no class, he has no respect for women, what's black today is white tomorrow, he gives himself free reign to say whatever he likes, irregardless the fact that the whole world is watching. I don't know about you, but I am absolutely ashamed that such a man represents this country and therefore me.

Stop justifying his politics and/or poor behavior by contrasting that to other leaders. Judge him on his own merits. I am sure we all have some sort of crazies in our respective families. Do you give yourself a free pass to do crazy because you have a relative who does it? Whatever happened to personal responsibility and accountability? Yes, Clinton cheated on his wife. It was disgusting. Trump assaults women. That's disgusting. Neither one of them gets a free pass at it because someone else did it. Let Clinton answer for his actions. You hold Trump responsible for his.

On numerous occasions now I have invited people, specifically people who like everything positive Trump on Facebook, to comment on specific things, like inappropriate behavior against women. After all modesty and morality are huge in Judaism. Silence. I wanted to know how they felt about White House's omission about the singular Jewish aspect of Holocaust. Imagine if this happened either during Clinton, Bush (both of them), or Obama (especially him). Silence. I sincerely wanted to know how people reconciled the stern rebuke to Bibi about the settlements. I mean, talk about awkward! Silence still.

I suspect the unspoken truth is something like this. People who like him right, left, and center know he is a huge a*hole who won thanks for the fears of poor white Americans, who incidentally don't particularly care for the Jews. But they believe him to be "our" a*hole, because you know his kid married a Jewish guy, she converted, he has Jewish grandchildren, he will be good for Israel, and blah blah blah. Therefore we are going to close our eyes to his moral failings, we are going to ignore all the wrongs that he does, we will not hold him accountable, as long as he promises to keep Israel safe. And who is going to own up to something like this? Because, you know, to own up to the truth like that is to own a pair of major balls, and very few people posses those.

Oh, and by the way, this particular type of thinking is quite self delusional. Again, read Jewish history, recent or going back much further (and please give Jewish scholarly reading a chance, don't presume that Mesorah Publications, Ltd is the only and the best foundation to understand and learn Jewish history!). You can also dig into your own family backgrounds and I bet you we will all discover that we have non-Jews relatives who love Jewish family while not loving the Jews. In short, people find all kinds of complex and illogical ways to love and hate the same thing at once.

I would also argue that aside from the fact that acceptance of an immoral leader goes against the grain of Jewish morals, it is is a very shortsighted political decision. At most he will be in the office for 8 years. And for the argument sake say he lets Israel expand settlements, corner Palestinians even further, give them generous financial packages and so on and so forth. All these will cause quite a bit of uproar. And for 8 year it might work. But then he leaves the office. Just imagine what might happen 8 years from now... Honestly, I am afraid to think of the repercussions for the entire Jewish world if this was a true case scenario.

I saw several people write "He won presidency fair and square, he is our President." Hmmm... yeah Obama also won fair and square, it didn't stop people crapping all over him.

A friend of mine made an argument that there are no substantial charges again Trump being an antisemitic. My biggest counter argument is that if you don't speak against evil, therefore you support that evil.

I am floored when Orthodox ladies argue against feminism and claiming it evil. Ah... OK, let's have a quick history lesson 101. You are enjoying many rights because women in the past worked very hard to get you those rights. It was feminism that got you those rights. If you don't support it, please decline an opportunity to vote, don't negotiate and/or ask for an increase in salary, don't demand fair pay, don't apply to colleges, make money by doing back braking jobs and get less than living wage.

And by the way, please pull your girls out of Bais Yaakov. The whole BY movement started as the result of Sarah Schenirer  recognizing and fighting for the right for Jewish women to get education. Jewish women were abandoning Judaism because at the time women weren't allowed to study, while women wanted to study.  The girls would turn to secular schools in order to get the education they wanted to get, which often lead to them leaving their families, and in the long run abandoning frum way of life. Sarah Schenirer encountered a great deal of resistance (mostly led by men who didn't believe that girls ought  to be educated) for promoting an education for girls. That, dear frum ladies, is feminism. Instead of making blank statements such as "I don't feel less than a man." Recognize that a great deal of women before you were forced to adhere to being less than men for generations. It took feminism to change that.

If you choose to enjoy the rights made available through feminism, have some decency to give respect where respect is due. It is one thing to say that feminism doesn't represent your views, but you are grateful that the movement allowed you to enjoy certain rights. And it is very different to say "It is evil or I don't understand why it is needed."

Mom wanted to know why I'd want to expose unpleasant sides of my community. Her feeling is that we don't air our dirty laundry in public. I told her it would have been fair argument if everyone just kept quite and went on about their own business. But if you choose to be a hypocrtic and start shaming people for the sins of which you are just as guilty of, and you do so in public forum, then be ready for the pushback because not everyone can stomach hypocrytical bullshit.

This is my old time favorite pet peeve. The level of ignorance and plain inability (or laziness?) to form own opinions and build own vocabulary to express own opinions is just astonishing to me. In several instances I caught people simply cutting and pasting not their own feedback, which is fine to do so, if you point out the source. Else it is called plagiarism, which is unethical. In higher institution that would get you in big trouble. In other forums it makes you look ignorant.

And Ayaan Hirsi Ali (again!). Saw yet another discussion by the Jews lending support to her. Lo and behold, majority of the supporters haven't read her autobiography. So you have no idea how she came to hold her beliefs. You know nothing if her journey. But because she fits your narrative about Islam, therefore you support her!?!?!? Mda....

To quote Ayn Rand, You Can Avoid Reality, But You Cannot Avoid the Consequences of Avoiding Reality.

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October 26th, 2016

02:20 pm - Ignorance

Is ignorance a bliss? I suppose it is because choosing to be ignorant allows to remain in a warm cocoon of prefect world where everything makes sense.

What brings this on you ask? A conversation I had with Moroccan co-worker (he is actually not a co-worker, just happened to work for the same company) about Israeli/Palestinian conflict (of course!)

He started to explain to me about:

1. The beautiful life Jews experienced in the Middle East.
I don't know mate, have you seen a documentary called "The Forgotten Refugees"? It might behoove you to watch it and listen to the Jews who were born and raised in Arab lands, and listen to what they have to say.

2. How all the problems started to happen after state of Israel came to be and they kicked out Palestinians.
Ahh, really? What the hell are you talking about? How do you explain Fahud against  Jewish population of Baghdad, Iraq, on June 1–2, 1941? Or Libyan riots of 1945. Oh, and hey, by the way, did you know that Israel wasn't founded until 1948. Ops...

3. How we are all relatives and should just get along.
I am all for it, so can we start with clean and truthful premise, instead of an ignorant one?

I mean, this isn't hidden history, cousin. Google could be your best friend, go ahead, don't be afraid to become friends with it.

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October 10th, 2016

06:03 am - Random bits
This is going to be a lot of very random thoughts. Often my mind is all over the places, on rare occasion I capture them through written words.

Spent few hours reading through some of my chats. The core of me has stayed consistent, my outlook on life has evolved. I'd like to think it evolved for better. It is also interesting to read through several major turning points. Except of course at the time I didn't realize them for what they were.

Back in Seattle I knew a guy. I thought him to be a good guy. At one point he proceeded to behave as an irresponsible person, and so I thought him to be a dick for that, but basically still a good person. Fast forward few years, I learned he proceeded to behave as an irresponsible person towards another person. Now I think he is just a dick.

Finding remote projects is a pain. Recruiters are mostly assholes who treat you like a piece of meat. I got a kicker out of one of the recruiters who never bothered following up with me on a remote project lead liking an article on LinkedIn that criticized recruiters for not following up. Oh lady. If you think I'll bother to reply to your emails and/or share my network with you, you got another thing coming.

My kid is seriously mini me. I can't imagine not having met her. Unfortunately I can imagine life being cruel to her. From the depth of my being I hope I raise her to be  a strong person (among other things), and she'll have the tools to deal with real realities of life, both positive and negative.
How did western society come to allow no place for grief, pain, and crying. Is any of it less legit than being happy, content and joyful?

My post asking people to donate to a couple who lost their beautiful baby to stillbirth and who are raising money for IVF has gotten shit load of likes, but very few donations. Fuck you.

My journey through educating myself on baby-loss has started out from place of fear, waddled through pretty deep dark moments, generously irrigated with frequent tears, but once I got passed the fear factor, it has transformed me in the most positive way. Read any baby loss story, be that a miscarriage, stillborn, unexplained neonatal death, and so on and so forth, and of them have tremendous amount of pain, it also has such intense beautiful aspects of pure love that drives people to do amazing things in the memories of the lost babies.

World, keep your dirty hands of my reproductive organs. Abortions are hardly ever a simple and easy choice for a woman. Not convinced. Read this - http://onepinkballoon.blogspot.com/2016/06/after-boston-why-choice-matters.html?m=1

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October 9th, 2016

09:53 pm - I can't imagine...
Most of us don't expect to be asked to walk difficult walks. But why not? Where does this naivitte come from?

Bad things happen to good and bad people. Sometimes really good people pull very crappy lottery - they experience and have crazy bad things happen to them one after another.

When faced with listening, seeing, learning about, watching other people go through difficult times you find yourself saying "I can't imagine being myself in these shoes (whatever those shoes might be)" Please remember what you are really saying is "I can imagine myself, but it is so freaking painful, my mind pulls me out of that picture. And honestly, there is this tiny (or maybe not even that tiny) part of me who is so damned happy it isn't me who is walking in these shoes."

Let's be honest, and admit we can imagine, we just choose not to.

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July 11th, 2016

02:06 pm - Reaching Out
Dear reader who is reading this right now,

I spent whole week trying to write this message. I have composed and re-written it in many different ways. I have been trying to make it prefect. Over the weekend I realized it needn't to be prefect. It needs to be real, sincere, and heartfelt.

What you are reading is sincere hope that you will join me as I try to raise funds for a very special mother in UK. This special mum is Melissa Mead. Her story is extraordinary, heartbreaking, tender, painful, courageous and full of deep love. Melissa lost her precious baby boy William just after his first birthday to sepsis. William's life could have been saved if the doctors did their due diligence, paid more attention to what his parents were telling them, and correctly diagnosed him.

What amazes me the most about her story is that despite being swallowed whole by black hole full of grief, PTSD, bittersweet memories, and non-stopping crying, Melissa pushed to get the answers. Once she got the answers, she pushed on to honor Williams by working tirelessly to raise awareness about sepsis. Several parents have posted on her blog that her work has saved the lives of their children.

I have been following her story since May 2015. After a while I started to follow her on Instagram. At that time my baby still wasn't sleeping through the night, and I was feeling miserable and so very sorry for myself because lack of sleep just plains sucks. I remember rocking my pupsik to sleep, reading Melissa's blog, crying, learning to keep things in perspective and drawing strength from her blog. What's temporarily lack of sleep anyway? It is such small inconvenience in the face of dark places we parents could find ourselves. Her story taught me how to be stronger, more patient, and dig deep inside to plow through my challenges.

A week ago Melissa posted on Instagram that her laptop died, and they can't afford getting a new one.  I know being able to blog and share her journey has been of huge help to her. I reached out to her via Instagram and asked if I can raise money on her behalf to help her to get a new laptop. My goal is to raise 1K. I am doing it on my own without using any of the sites. The reason I prefer not to use any sites is because these sites end up charging certain percentage on the amount raised, and I prefer to have any amount I end up raising go to Melissa directly.

Please consider helping in reaching my what I see a very noble goals. Easiest way would be to send money to my paypal account - dbakayeva@gmail.com You can also contact me directly if you prefer to arrange some other method of donating. I want to be transparent as much as possible. With that goal in mind, I am cross posting this on my blog at http://x-minx-x.livejournal.com/. You are welcome to leave comments about your donations on my blog. If we are connected on Instagram, you are welcome to do the same there as well.

You are welcome to share this post.

Lastly, to read about Melisa's story and keep up with her you can go here: https://amotherwithoutachild.com/

Thank you,

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June 30th, 2016

01:26 pm - Trust
I had a conversation about trusting oneself do the right thing.

What is trust? What is it made of? Is that a thought? Feeling? Inner energy?

What is the right thing? What’s right to me, isn’t necessarily right for someone else.  Is there universal right thing that will always remain right thing no matter the circumstances?

To me trust is a non-tangible, internal force that is sum of my experiences, education, beliefs, understanding about the world. It is a dynamic force. It changes with me as I change. It also responds to external factors and circumstances.

I can honestly say that I don’t have 100% trust in myself.  I have a general trust in myself as I go through my day to day life that (thankfully) doesn’t place major decisions in my path and I am not faced with (again thankfully) extreme circumstances.

I simultaneously hope that I will not be faced with major decisions to find out the strength of my trust to do the right thing in difficult circumstances, and if I am faced with difficult choice, I hope to trust myself to choose the righteous path.

P.S. I am blown away when I hear people make statements “I trust myself 100%.” 

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March 31st, 2016

02:57 pm - No Subject
I have been neglecting my blogging. Although I have been very good about reading other people’s blogs, albeit I suspect the focus of my reading would leave most people feeling very uncomfortable.

My baby is growing so fast. Every morning I bring her into my bed, nurse her, and then we cuddle/play. I was pulling away her “sosa”, and she said to me “Stop it.” Whoa! How? Who taught you this one, baby?

Every time before transferring her into crib, we cuddle, I softly say “Shema” into her ear and tell her what a wonderful child she is. Recently she started to put her arms on my cheeks and whisper baby whispering back to me. Thinking about it puts a smile on my face.

My sleep is better this day. These days “better” is waking up only once a night to nurse my pupsik. Oh how things have changed. The good old weekends of waking up at 11 AM, going for a nice brunch, and rolling back into a bed for a long afternoon nap, seem so far away. I know they happened. I am just not sure I had enough of them. Maybe I had too many of them?

I got myself two Kate Spade bags. I feel very adult. The small bag is happily living inside the big bag. The big bag is happily living on the top of our bookshelf. I happily admire the big and small bags from across our living room.

I have many fleeting thoughts, they are like ocean waves. They come over, roll over, roll away, and you can’t see they were there. Maybe I am not looking close enough?

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May 5th, 2015

10:01 pm - Parenting and sleep
Or rather lack of sleep...

First, let me say that I never thought myself to be capable of functioning at full capacity on no sleep, very little sleep, or broken sleep. But somehow I manage to work through it on regular basis. Repeating mantra of "One night at time" helps a bit.

I learned that Merlin magic suit is real magic. Sadly in our case it lasted exactly one week. The weather has gotten too hot to put the suit on the baby. It appears that even in one week the magic suit has worked it magic and the kiddo got an idea that keeping hands still equals to falling asleep. Hopefully the magic sticks around.

The twists and turns my husband and I take and jump through to help the baby to sleep are really hilarious to describe and talk about during the day time. They are a tad less hilarious to do and live through at night time.

That moment when you think the baby is asleep, and you take that delightfully nice stretch before settling yourself comfortably into your bad to only have a baby crap on it is indescribable. You have to try it out for yourself to appreciate the depth of "Awww... shit..." feeling.

You want me to admit to anything, let me not sleep and I'll admit it.

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February 28th, 2015

12:24 pm - New Parents Impressions...
Everyone got an opinion and most people are very very VERY passionate about their opinions. Some parents are passionate to a point of being ready to rip into someone or tear them a new one... Thankfully there are level headed parents who keep it cool, do their own thing, and let you be so you can do your own thing with your kid. And for those who are ready to pounce over difference of opinions in parenting style - CHILL OUT!

Lack of uninterrupted sleep is a total bitch. Thank G-d for my loyal and supportive husband who gives me regular breaks for my naps to help me to balance perpetual sleep deprivation.

All new parents need to have someone whom they know to be very level headed and trust, to come into their parenting circle, observe their parenting style and give new parents their honest opinion. My sister was that person for our family. My husband and I are both very thankful for her observations and suggestions.

I understand that my kid is not manipulating me, but oh boy oh boy, sometimes it feels like she totally does!

I love it how some people feel very comfortable to share their judgmental opinions about the choices my husband and I make. Needless to say, we are just as comfortable to tell them off.  Keep your sneaky tongues and judgments framed as genuine concerns to yourself. We can see past your BS and don’t care much about it. In fact we don’t care about you. Period!

What’s up with stupid questions like “But aren’t you afraid to leave your 8 weeks baby home with the nanny and go back to work?” What exactly would you have us to do? Lose our jobs and not have the money to raise the kid? Since you are obviously a dimwit, let me break down the reality of being a parent in the country where there is no mandatory paid maternity leave and the employment is at will. Part of being responsible parents means we have the finances needed to have roof over our baby’s head, money to pay for the clothes, doctor visits and etc. Are you going to cover these expenses? Will you be paying up for us? No? In that case, shut up, I am going to work.

Being a working mom is tough. Being a working and committed to 100% breastfeeding mom is tougher still. Having a fashionable bag made out of leather and in Dutch cow colors to carry my pump to work brings much needed smile into rigorous schedule of pumping at work.

Few of us are blessed with having true friends. Like the ones who will come through thick and thin, come to visit you and your new baby while have their hands full with their own babies, bring you tons of presents and shower you with love. You know who you are. We love all of you to the moon and back.

I always said when that having a baby will most likely mean a trip back to East Coast. We are moving back to Maryland. Honey badger says “If Super Nanny can’t come to me, I’ll go to her!”

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December 9th, 2014

03:48 pm - Labor Impressions...

There is a reason why giving a birth is called labor. It is because it is a labor to bring forth a child.

Giving birth isn't the time to be a hero. Embrace modern medicine if needed and stop with the madness of getting ganged up on using epidural. I cried with joy when I finally got my dose of it. I am glad I got it even though it stopped my labor and I had to get pitocin to get things going again.

Being in prolonged pre labor before the actual labor sucks ass. Pushing sucks even more.

The pushing was like trying to inhale and hold in enough air inside to force your behind split in two in order to open the center of your vagina. It hurts in a very particular way that I haven't felt before. It feels unreal. I am seriously jealous of all women who report having orgasmic feelings and euphoria during labor and pushing.

The doctor brought in mirror to show how close the baby was to coming out. I cried because all I saw was how much longer I had to go. I was a wimp - I was and am OK with that.

Having solid and sound medical protocols put in place is a beautiful thing. At the same time it is a restrictive thing. Truly, plus and minus rolled into one.

Mid way through the labor my sense of dignity and modesty were shredded to pieces. Yes, yet another doctor/nurse/medical staff, please come in and observe me as I lay there exposed and not always covered. I no longer mind at the moment.

I wasn't afraid of labor and still am not afraid of it. I respect it a lot more.

Most important thing is to have a healthy baby to meet you at the end of it all.

Yes, I"ll go through it again to have another baby.

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