Nov 11, 2010

Is Being Fat OK?

I just read a blog by Steph in the City about a Marie Clare blogger who railed against fat people. If you want to read the original MC blog, Steph has a link to it.  This is going to be more of a commentary about obesity and society.

It's in the news all the time. The latest dither has been about airlines dealing with obese customers who take up way more space than their paid-for seat.  Then there was the fast food restaurant employee who sued his employer because he got fat while working there and eating the restaurant's food.  And then there was...  You get the idea.

I deal with obese patients all day long at work.  I have seen thousands and thousands of overweight and obese individuals, and I feel comfortable with the following statement:  99% of obese people are fat because they are lazy. That doesn't mean that these people aren't stellar employees, loving partners and parents, or pillars of their communities.  It means that they are fat because they didn't give any effort to their bodies.  Lazy.  It's hard to choose veggies over cheesecake.  It takes effort to stop relaxing at home and instead put on sneakers and go for a walk around your neighborhood.  It is take diligence and focus to read labels and say "no" to quick, easy fast food.  It takes heart.  It takes will power.  And most of all, it takes energy!  Energy that people are choosing to spend elsewhere and not on their health.

I know of which I speak.  I am overweight.  I am fat.  Not chubby, not pleasingly plump, not carrying a little extra junk in the trunk.  Fat.  I am fat because I am lazy.  I am not fat due to some extremely rare metabolic or endocrine disorder.  I am fat because I am lazy.  Every inch of fat on my ass first passed my lips as a food choice.  I choose to eat foods that aren't nutritious.  I am fat because I'm lazy.  I choose to slack off on exercise and going to the gym.  I'm not depressed.  I'm not struggling with "issues."  I am fat because I'm lazy.  I'm not so busy that I couldn't find time to care for my body.  Anyone who says they're too busy is full of shit because I have a house full of kids, two jobs, I'm a college student, and I volunteer at my kids' school, and I still could find the time and energy to take care of myself.  I am fat because I'm lazy.

That's a hard thing to hear sometimes... that we choose not to take care of ourselves.  It's not like you magically got fat overnight.  Health is something that you've deprioritized your whole life.  But you know better, you know what you should be doing, and you just don't do it.  That's lazy.  You'd rather do something else.  Or do nothing at all.

The MC blogger said something to the effect that she is grossed out by fat people.  You know what?  Me too.  That doesn't mean that I hate fat people.  Fat people are still people.  However, I work in close proximity to obese patients, and I can attest to this: when you are obese, you smell.  Some much more than others, but there is an inescapable odor that is produced when skin cells are shed into a confined space with little/no oxygen.  Basically, you're shedding skin cells into your fat rolls, and the natural skin bacteria are going to town, causing a stink.  It's not the same as BO from your armpits.  It's gross.  It's that "cheese" goo.  You know what I'm talking about.   It reeks!

So, to answer the title question of this blog, NO, being fat is not OK.  It's unhealthy.  Fat is not our natural state of being.  It's not OK to make fat a political issue.  It's not OK to be all sensitive about your weight.  It's not a birthmark or congenital abnormality that you were born with.  No one feels sorry for you.  It's not OK to consider "fat" a protected class of people like racial or ethnic minorities.  You are fat because of your choices.  Sorry, but that's a fact.  No one made you fat.  There's no one to blame but you.  Obesity is the current state of your body, and that's kind of great news.  It's not permanent.  It's not your identity.  If you are fat, only YOU can do something to change it.  It's possible.  It's not some pipe dream, so don't resign yourself for being obese.  Own your current state of being.  Truly own how you got yourself into this mess.  You can't fix a problem until you acknowledge it, so buck up, grow a spine, get some sound nutrition and exercise guidance, and just go for it!  So what if you have a few hiccups along the way?  You're taking care of yourself!  You're choosing YOU!  You're saying, "Fuck you, laziness!  I'm gonna win!"  It's a long, arduous process, so you have to decide: Am I willing to give up being lazy?  Am I willing to make the necessary changes to become healthy?

I'm right there with you.

Oct 23, 2010

Well, How About That!

This is a series of letters published by Annie's Mailbox.  Although many of these letters generated multiple responses, this blog is only shows one direct thread of letters, and I think they speak for themselves.

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Dear Annie: We adopted our daughter when she was just a few weeks old. She is an adult now with children of her own. She recently found her birth family. I have so many conflicted feelings about this.I never thought we would know the names of the birth parents, but we’ve actually met them. They’re very nice people, but I feel so shut out — like I’m no longer the mom — and it rips up my heart.

The birth mom has a Facebook account and lists my daughter along with her other children. She’s MY daughter, and yet I have to share her with these strangers. Is there a support group for those of us who have adopted children who now have frequent contact with their birth families? I could really use someone to talk to who has shared the same experience.
- Still the Mom

Dear Mom: Your feelings are natural, but you must put aside your jealousies for the sake of your daughter. She is not trying to replace you. She is trying to find a connection to her biological identity and information about her background. You are still her mother. It takes away nothing from your relationship to share her with the woman who made it possible for you to adopt her. While we could find no specific support group that deals solely with your problem, most adoption agencies and organizations have support groups for adoptive parents, and we’re sure this subject has come up. We suggest contacting your state adoption agency or RESOLVE (resolve.org)

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Dear Annie: I read the responses to "Still the Mom," but I guess I'm in the minority. I wish I had never met my biological mother.

She was quite pretty but terribly vain, and believed a woman was defined by how many men she could attract. She was a gossip and a troublemaker with a sordid past, which took years for me to detach from my own identity. Despite it all, I tried to have a friendship with her, but she wasn't interested. I was rejected all over again.

Worse, I was 18 when I found her, and my adopted mother blew a gasket. She thought I didn't love her and made my life miserable. 

- Not Always Greener

Dear Greener: Doing a search for a birth parent is always a risk because not every situation works out as anticipated.

What is truly sad, however, is your adopted mother's inability to be supportive when you needed her. We hope things are better now.


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Dear Annie: I read the letter from “Not Always Greener,” who found her birth mother but the relationship did not turn out well.

When I was young, I became pregnant by my then-boyfriend. He was not interested in marriage. I was wildly irresponsible, but smart enough to realize I could not provide a decent home for a child.

Giving her up for adoption was the most difficult thing I have ever done. For years after, I would regularly cry myself to sleep. Almost 25 years later, I still get sad as her birthday approaches.

I have since built a life that includes a loving husband and two children.

If that “baby” showed up at my door, I don’t know how welcoming I’d be. I worked hard to accept the fact that she is no longer mine. I hope she is healthy and happy. I would love to sit down, just the two of us, and talk about why I put her up for adoption and go over her family medical history.  But we don’t need a relationship.

It may sound cruel and uncaring, but I have a life I want to protect, and that is my choice. Please don’t judge those mothers who gave away their children. Most of us did so believing it was the best thing for the baby.
- Still Cry About It

Dear Still: We appreciate your candor. Thank you for offering the other side.

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Dear Annie: This is a response to "Still Cry About It," who wasn't sure how she'd react if the baby she gave up for adoption showed up on her doorstep after 25 years.

I'd like to thank her. My husband and I adopted an infant more than 25 years ago. She is the light of our lives. From the start, we told her she was adopted. (Although when she was little, she repeated to others that she was "a doctor.") She does not wish to meet her birth mother, but we have given her all the necessary information to do so.

I want to tell my daughter and all adopted children that what their birth mothers did took courage. It's not the easy road, and it probably wasn't the path her friends were encouraging her to take. She did it because she was mature enough and strong enough to do what she thought was best for her child.

We would never want our daughter to judge her birth mother harshly. That woman not only allowed me to become a mother, but made me want to be the best mother because I owed it to her and the sacrifice she made. It took all of us for my daughter to become the person she is, and I am eternally grateful to the woman who gave birth to her.
- With a Grateful Heart

Dear Grateful: Every birth parent will bless you for your kind words.

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Dear Annie: "With a Grateful Heart" is exactly right: Placing a child for adoption takes courage. I am thankful for my loving and devoted parents, siblings, and large extended family. My dad was my coach, my mother baked cookies, and my sibs and I rode bikes and built forts. I attended excellent schools and earned college scholarships. I am educated, well-employed, and married to a wonderful man with whom I have four children. I am adopted and am living the American dream.

I have met my birth parents and half-siblings. They are amazing people, but they encountered hardships and tragedies I never had to deal with. My birthmother gave me an immeasurable gift by putting my needs before her own. My husband and I have already agreed that if one of our children should accidentally become pregnant, we will guide her to choose adoption.
- The Luckiest

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I'll give you one guess who "The Luckiest" is.

Oct 22, 2010

Ponderings

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God."

                                                   ~Ephesians 2:8

If you're a Christian, that is a powerful statement.  Do you believe it?

Oct 5, 2010

Procrasination Nation

What is it? Why do I procrastinate? I have had a week to take care of some business, and I put it off for no reason. Now I'm in deep shit and working like a dog to make things right. Why would I risk my business reputation and client satisfaction by delaying this project? It's nothing, really, not difficult.  I could have finished it last week without any issues.

I have always done this type of thing. I am a card carrying member of Procrastination Nation.  I am the master of avoidance maneuvers.

An hour later...

Yep, I just did it again!  I got side-tracked on some other paperwork and couldn't even finish this blog! Jeesh. OK, I swear, this time I am going to kill my browser, get to work, and face the music.  Hmmm, that sounds somewhat like an addict promising they'll change. Do they have a 12-step group for people like me?

Oct 4, 2010

Unspecial: Part II

If you haven't already done so, read Part I. Just scroll down a little. It's only two posts. I'll wait.

(waiting)

Ok, done? Great.

So we are "them"... the nameless, faceless people whose tragedies we read about over our morning cups of coffee. Them. The others. Someone else.

They were us once. Regular folks tsking over the unfortunate events of "them" until one day when they were blindsided and unceremoniously inducted into the fraternity of "them."

The inspiration for Part I was someone I knew. Kids losing their mother. A husband losing his wife. A family losing their North Star. I wonder what would happen to my family if I died. Would it be as sickeningly tragic as I imagine, or would they cope and move on without me? The wise woman in me knows that I would want them to heal, to move on, to live. But the mother bear in me knows no one else could do it better than I could. The deepest part of my heart knows that they need me, and my not being there would write indelibly on the slate of their being.

What's worse, losing your mother, or losing your child?

Sick kid, ICU, no more treatments. Curling up in their hospital bed, arms wrapped around them, careful not to disturb the myriad lines running under the sheets, listening to the death march of beeps and clicks from the machinery keeping your beloved alive, whispering promises and making bargains with God to let your precious cargo become whole again.

And then what? The ventilator becomes a morbid metronome, pacing each breath until you've crossed the event horizon, the point of no return, and you're sucked in and torn apart by the supermassive black hole. Science says it's theoretical, but you know it's real. You're in it. Time stops. And then everything you know to be true in life ceases to be.

I worked with a woman who lost her teenage daughter. Three years after her death, the woman still spoke of her child in the present tense. No one had the nerve or the heart to mention it. We didn't dare suggest that we knew what she went through. Because we didn't. We could not fathom her pain.

I wonder at her courage, her resolve, the sheer will required to get up in the morning and take a shower knowing your child is dead.

Where do you find hope after something like that?

Oct 2, 2010

I Want a Christmas Present This Year

Yep. You read that right. I want a Christmas present this year. A good one. Not some "take the kids to Target and have them pick out useless (albiet heartwarming) crap that is a complete waste of money" present. A real one. A present that takes thought, planning, care, concern, and maybe a little $$.

Before I start sounding like a spoiled brat, let me share a little backstory.

Even though money is tight, our kids never go without. In fact, they have most of the same accessories and accouterments as all of their friends. Not to mention they are well-fed, housed, clothed, and educated.

Even though money is tight, I can always manage to find a way to make special things happen for everyone else. New guitar for Father's Day? Check. Choir trip to Chicago? Check. Rounds of golf, trips to the salon, concert tickets, and gift shopping cards for birthdays? Check. Private school? Check. Yankees tickets and Cardinals tickets for Father's Day? Check. Surprise honeymoon to Las Vegas? Check.

In the long run, special things don't cost as much as you think they will, and the memories you're making during those special times far outweigh the expense. I want a Christmas present this year, and I want my family to put a lot of thought into it. I have never asked for this before. I have no problem living small. My car is 10 years old, my wedding ring is extremely modest, my wardrobe consists of jeans and t-shirts, and we subsist on a steady diet of chicken. But somehow, some way, a part of me feels a little slighted.

Maybe I wish that everyone put as much thought into something for me as I do for them. I enjoy surprising the people I love. I count my blessings on a daily basis. I am shown much love in a variety of ways, some small and some big. But once in awhile a girl just wants jewelry, expensive shoes, or a trip to Italy.

Does this sound the rant of a whiny, spoiled bitch or the request of someone who just wants to be recognized? Why am I feeling so sad as I write this?

Sep 18, 2010

Unspecial: Part I

The mother of my daughter's friend and schoolmate died on Labor Day weekend. She was 39. I didn't know her well, but here's a rundown of her last few months of life:

June 2010 - Pregnant with their 4th child. Preterm labor while on a family vacation. Baby in NICU, and mom's deteriorating. Doctors discover that she has endocarditis (look it up) and will need open heart surgery. Mom and baby flown back home and installed in same hospital.

July 2010 - Baby recovering. Mom getting worse. It is discovered that mom has colon cancer that's metastasized to her liver. Mom's open heart surgery is canceled, and she begins chemo. Family's 3 other children living with their aunt while dad stays with mom and baby.

August 2010 - Family's home is burglarized. Thieves steal car, computers, jewelry, basically anything not nailed down. Baby recovering nicely. Mom not responding to chemo. After 6 rounds of chemo and genetic testing, it is determined that mom's cancer is some weird genetic mutated variety that is untreatable.

September 2010 - Mom succumbs to liver failure secondary to metastasized colon cancer. She is survived by husband and 4 children, ages 2 months to 6 yrs. Children undergo genetic testing to determine if they carry the same cancer gene as their mother.

So there that is.

There's been a tremendous outpouring of support from the community, and everyone has rallied around this family. There was a spaghetti feed that raised over $70,000, not including the donation fund set up at a local bank. One of mom's former coworkers (now retired) has moved in with the family to care for the children. Apparently mom stepped up to help this woman after she had a stroke years ago, and now she is returning the favor. Angels are everywhere.

I could go on about how those children will never know their mother. Or about their widower father raising 4 small children. Or about the blinding speed of their downhill slide from family vacation to funeral. But everyone's already written that. It's the obvious story. It's heartbreaking.

What's utterly ordinary is that this kind of gut-wrenching drama (and much, much worse) plays itself out all over the world, day in and day out, everywhere, all the time, and it just is. There's nothing remarkable about this woman or this family that makes them any different from you, your neighbor, your coworker, or me. Nothing. And that is the truly horrifying part. It could have been me. It could have been my husband. Or my mom. Or my kid. I am not special. There's no protective shield around me that reflects and redirects the bad juju to someone else. To "them." When bad things happen, it always happens to "them." I realize now that I am them. I just haven't taken my turn yet.

Almost four years ago (can it be 4 yrs already?) my friend Penny got cancer and died. Her son was 11. I have a photo of the two of them on the day she died. She was divorced and worked at a bank. Her son lives with his dad now.

Three years ago my buddy's girlfriend was killed in a murder-suicide at the department store where she worked. My buddy already had the ring and was going to propose on Christmas. We had gotten together with them a week before she was killed.

Last year a good friend of my husband's died. I knew her casually. She had just become engaged and bought a house. She was found dead at home (undiagnosed health condition). She was a political activist and had a bright future ahead of her.

Three good people, to be sure, but I only tell their stories to illustrate a point.

It can be anyone, anywhere, anytime. They were all ordinary, regular people like you and me.

Them. We are them.

Part II to follow...

It's Calling Me

Blogging, she calls me. I've been on hiatus for awhile, but I've been drawn back in by the need to get "it" out. Much has happened, mostly good, some meh, but I don't feel like rehashing it. Onward and upward. I think my writing skills have dropped off significantly, which is a shame. I'm searching for an issue, a prompt, something to spur my creativity. I'll think of something soon. I hope. Any ideas?

May 5, 2010

Open letter to my friend's daughter

Dearest Baby,

On this fabulous occasion of your baby shower, I wanted to write a letter from one adoptee to another…

Being adopted is something that you can’t understand unless you are. Most of the time you are pretty normal, and life is business as usual. Once in awhile you feel different, but not in the way that people might think. I never felt different because I didn’t grow in my mom’s stomach. I never felt different because I didn’t look like my dad. I fought with my brother like a regular kid. I loved my grandma just like a normal kid. But once in awhile I felt different.

Some people don’t get it; they think being adopted is weird. Adults try to tell you things to make you feel special, but they always miss the mark. You’ll hear the clich├ęs like “You grew in your mom’s heart instead of her tummy” and other sappy things. Nice sentiments to be sure, but people who write that crap aren’t adopted. Adoptees are in an exclusive club. You can’t join unless you are, and you can’t explain it to people because they just don’t understand. We’re extra-special, we’re more than normal. Our parents wanted us. REALLY wanted us. We have the unique experience of non-biological unconditional love, and it’s sublime.

The flip side of that is knowing that you have a dual history. There are always the questions you can’t ask, the questions that will break your parents’ hearts even though they’re expecting them. “Where did I come from?” “Who’s my real mother?” Real mother is the term you use as a kid before you have the language to say “biological mother,” before you have the awareness or understanding that calling your birth mother your real mother breaks your mom’s heart. Don’t ever feel guilty for having these questions. They are normal. They are part of your history, and you are entitled to that. Hopefully your parents will understand.

I was (and am) definitely different from my family. I am wild, impatient, impulsive, curious, and very unlike my parents. I don’t have my mom’s insight or my dad’s fortitude. My folks and I couldn’t be more different in temperament and personality. It was a challenge for my parents to raise such a foreign creature. I continually confounded them, and I think I scared them a little. They have always shown me the greatest love, but sometimes they didn’t understand me. Who is this person that they called daughter? It took me many years and lots of hindsight, but now I know that I landed exactly where I belonged.

It took parents like mine to raise a child like me into a happy, healthy adult. I have met my birth family, and I adore them, but if I had grown up with them, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. My parents were a steadfast rock in my whirlwind life, and without that North star, I would be lost. They taught me values, goals, love, life, and God. They loved me enough to turn me loose and allowed me to make my mistakes. They took me back and let me lick my wounds without saying, “I told you so.” They were and are amazing, and I wouldn’t want to know life without them.

So I’d like to welcome you to lifetime membership in a pretty cool organization. You’re exactly where YOU belong, and knowing your parents as I do, I don’t know who is luckier, you or them.

Mar 22, 2010

I'm not supposed to be here

I coach one of my kids' teams, and one of my co-coaches is a doctor. Nice guy. His kid is on the team. So we're leaving, and he and his kid get into their Corvette and drive home.  I don't begrudge him, nor do I want a Corvette. When I watch them drive away, I'm reminded that it's supposed to be me. I was supposed to be a doctor. My whole life, that's all I wanted. I point the finger at myself. It's my own damn fault I'm broke. I could have NOT gotten married so young, NOT had kids so young, NOT squandered my chance.  But I didn't.  I hate myself just a little bit for it, too.  I hate that I wasted my chance. I hate that I didn't utilize 1/100th of my talent and skill and intelligence to DO something with my life. I hate it hate it hate it.  I hate that I have to be grateful for my part time hourly wage job because I would be screwed without it. I hate that I have to work two full shifts just to pay my phone bill. I hate that if my husband get laid off, we would be in the worst Challenger Deep level of trouble. I hate that my boss treats me like a brainless peon. I hate feeling like a failure. Just call me Captain Almost. It doesn't feel like my life sometimes, like this can't be really as good as it gets.

Mar 12, 2010

The Good Mother

Today I had to delicately explain the basics of a rusty trombone to my son. Some kid at his school kept saying it, and my ever-curious kid asked what it was. I didn't get specific about things, but I did let him know that it was an unusual sex act and that he should never repeat it at school.  That led to a convo about shooting heroin, smoking foilies, and why marijuana grows on the highway.  I believe in full disclosure (with age-appropriate limitations) and telling the truth.  I don't overshare, but I am honest with  my kids.  They've opened a condom and fooled around with it, filled it with water, put it on a cucumber, etc.  They know how to recognize drugs and drug paraphernalia, what dating should be and that's it's ok to dump people who aren't right for you, how credit cards work, the basics of car maintenance, and how to make dry ice bombs.  I don't shove edgy stuff in their faces... it's already there.  They know they can bring it to me for clarification, and then they can put it aside, satisfied. I don't want them to make huge mistakes that ruin their lives just because I was too uncomfortable to answer their questions properly.

I don't try to be their friend, and I don't try to be the cool mom.  I do the best I can, and I raise them the best way I know how.  For me, that means guiding them, educating them, shaping their values and morals, and then helping them stretch and grow into independent, self-confident, productive citizens.

What does being a good mother (or father) mean to you?

No. Words.

PHOTOSHOP SMARTS

Mar 7, 2010

Giggle

demotivational posters


I don't know who leaves me more speechless, the ignorant  Gary or the ridiculous Concerned Citizen.

Feb 10, 2010

I'm right here

When things go wrong for others, I am not one of those friends who can be sympathetic in a socially acceptable way.  I get accused of being cold, detached, uncaring, but people who say that really don't know me.  Unless you are among the handful of folks I call "My People," I won't ask you about your problems.  It's none of my business.  I certainly won't post "I'm praying for you" on your Facebook wall.  I get pretty uncomfortable with public displays of sympathy, both mine and others.  I find it intrinsically demeaning.

It's invasive.  It's like accidentally walking in on someone using the restroom.  Too much information for either person to comfortably acknowledge.  It's seeing their foibles, the cracks in their armor, seeing them raw, and pretending that I can slap on some bondo and a fresh coat of paint to make things better. People who do this might have their hearts in the right place, but they simply don't give the situation the gravity it deserves.  Seeing or hearing it makes my skin crawl.  It's an insult to my sensitivities as a human being.

I believe in the gift of casseroles and free babysitting when times are tough.  I do my best to really listen.  I am standing right there, ready, waiting, just in case.  I won't tell you what to do.  I am old enough to know that people seldom want advice, and even when they do, they don't follow it.  I am not naive enough to think I can help you or save you or make you feel better.  This is your fight, your burden, your loss.  You have to bear it, not me.  In the meantime, I will sit and watch television with you.  I'll bring you delicious treats and pretty things and warm sweatpants.  I'll get you stoned and take you out to the country to watch the stars.  But I won't tell you how sorry I am.

There's no way I could be sorrier than you.  For me to say I'm sorry just cheapens the word.  I don't know how you feel, and I don't pretend to.  Just know that as you work through your grief, your pain, your sorrow, I'm right here if you need me.

Jan 31, 2010

Shrimp Tacos

Here's an easy, healthy recipe I made up:

Whole wheat tortillas (small, taco-size)
1 lb medium raw shrimp
Pre-packaged shredded cabbage/carrot mix
1 sm red onion
1 jalapeno pepper
2 limes
1 Tbsp sour cream
1 Tbsp mayonnaise

Set a pot of water on the stove to boil.
Mix the sour cream and mayo.  Set aside.
Dice the onion and jalapeno.  Set aside.
Slice limes in half.  Set aside.
Peel and rinse the shrimp.  Boil for 1 minute.
Remove from heat and rinse the shrimp in ice water to prevent overcooking.
Rough-chop the shrimp.  (approx 1/4-1/2 inch pieces)
Soften tortillas in the microwave.
Add about 1/4 cup up cabbage/carrot mix to a tortilla.
Add a handful of chopped shrimp.
Sprinkle with onions and jalapenos to taste.
Take one of the lime halfs and squeeze juice over the taco.
Drizzle with the mayo/sour cream mixture to taste.

The whole thing takes about 15 minutes.  I buy the 1 lb bags of frozen raw shrimp that are already cut and deveined.  All you have to do is defrost, peel, and cook.  This recipe makes about 6 tacos.

Jan 28, 2010

You cannot be serious

Disclaimer: all names have been changed to protect the galactically stupid.

A facebook friend of mine posted a status message today. It seems her teenager is taking biology. Here is the message:

"Lisa is really getting pounded with evolutionary garbage in biology class... What a great dinner time discussion!"

Before I could censor myself, I commented, "Really? REALLY? Because I could give you 100 examples of organisms alive today that clearly demonstrate evolution in action." I went back about 10 minutes later and deleted it. I don't need to pick fights on facebook, and my comment will not have any effect in changing this person's mind anyway. It's like trying to walk a cat on a leash. It doesn't work, and it just pisses off the cat.

This woman literally believes that Adam and Eve, Noah, and all that repopulate the Earth crap is real.  I have always been a fan of science. Organisms either evolve with their environment, they migrate to a more suitable environment, or they take a dirt nap.  That includes us.

I had an articulate blog written about this subject, but my browser crashed, and it's gone.  I don't feel like rewriting it now.  Suffice to say that I am grateful that scientists actually use the scientific method instead of jumping to conclusions, and I am grateful that my friend and her ilk have no say in our state's educational standards.

Why don't you give me some of YOUR thoughts on evolutionary biology...

Jan 27, 2010

My Favorite Things: Scents

Inspired by a blog of the same name, I jotted down this list of My Favorite Things.

1.  The sweet, earthy smell of the air just before it rains
2.  Ribs smoking over pecan and apple wood
3.  A pot of cinnamon and water simmering on the stove
4.  Clean diapers
5.  The sea
6.  Fresh-cut peonies and lilacs from my backyard
7.  Hazelnut coffee
8.  Hawaiian Tropic Deep Tanning Oil (yep, they still sell the old school stuff)
9.  Sleepy children
10. My husband after a shower, shave, and a spritz of Obsession

What are your favorite scents?  Why?

Jan 23, 2010

Brain Dump

I miss blogging.  I hate facebook because my mom's on mine, and also, most of my friends are conservative bordering on nazis.  I need to vent, to brain dump, to get this out of my head so I can get to sleep.  Thanks for listening.

I was thinking about the state of things the other day, and a blogger friend of mine said something that gave me pause. I don't recall his exact words, so forgive me for the paraphrasing: "God never put food on my table. God didn't fix my broken furnace.  You keep praying and voting Republican, and I'll keep questioning authority."  I might not be so much into the questioning part, but I think he has a very valid point.  I challenge the neocons who think Obama is the devil to live paycheck to paycheck for awhile, hoping each day that your old beater of a car gets you to work and back.  Hoping that you make it on time to daycare to pick your kids up before they start charging you overtime fees.  Hoping that there are no birthday parties this month because you just can't spare the $10 for a gift.  Hoping that you don't spill your soup on your blouse at lunch because you can't afford to have it drycleaned until after payday.  Hoping that your kids don't have basketball games this week because you don't know if you have enough gas to drive them to the opposing team's gym.  Hoping that pain you've been having isn't serious because you can't afford a doctor visit.  Hoping your kid doesn't break his glasses because you can't afford new ones.  Yeah, so you get the point.  God doesn't put food on my table.  God doesn't fix my broken furnace.

I am so sick of everyone spouting off about how they are terrified of health care reform and basically anything the Democrats come up with.  I think TERRIFIED is the right word.  The Republicans are freaking the fuck out.  All I have to say to that is, "Welcome to the club. I've been shitting my drawers for the past 8 years over almost everything the Bush administration did.  Environment?  Trash it.  Welfare and social programs? Forget them.  Taxes?  Let's throw the masses a bone ("stimulus check") and placate them.  Corporations? Bow to them.  Gay marriage and abortion? Let's use them to distract people.  Real, middle class, working families?  Fuck 'em.

So yes, I've been waiting patiently for 8 long years to get some relief.  Welcome to my world, Conservatives.

I don't think anything gets accomplished when you're too far right or too far left, but there's a saying in politics that rings true:  when you walk down the middle of the road, you usually get run over.  It's a shame, really.  People vacate all reason and let their emotions rule them.  Sad indeed.  It's the people who think critically, the lawmakers who reach across the aisle, the independents of this world who usually have the most workable approach to solving problems, yet no one listens to them, or worse, they are labeled "flip floppers."

I live in a very red state.  Dyed in the wool RED.  I hear from lifelong friends about how petrified they are of this whole "Obama thing" and how they really BELIEVE the conservative pundits.  They really do think that we are all going to hell in a handbasket, and soon.  If you ever watch South Park, they did a fantastic satire of the Obama presidential victory.  The neocons were all holed up in a bunker with weapons, fearing doomsday.  I highly recommend checking out that episode.

I guess I would call myself a conservative Democrat.  It's not as dichotomous as you'd think.  It works for me.  I guess I don't fit the mold, but I am at peace with my beliefs.  I don't mind paying taxes because I like the fact that when I call 911, the police/fire/ambulance personnel actually come to my house and help me.  I have been on food stamps and medicaid, and I don't know what I would have done without it during that period of time.  I like having safe, plentiful drinking water, sewer service, electricity, and gas utilities.  I try to do little things to help the environment, but I'm no tree hugger.  I'll only buy organic produce when it's on sale, and I still like to drive my car.  Sometimes I get mad that minorities have a perceived advantage in hiring practices, but then I realize that no one will ever profile me as a terrorist or call me a racial slur just because I look different.  I give to charity, and more importantly, I involve my children in fundraising and helping others.  I don't go to church, but my kids attend Catholic school, and I actively encourage their studies of the bible.  You can't think critically if you don't have all the information.  I think abortion should be absolutely safe, legal, and available, but moreover, I think it's our responsibility to provide comprehensive sex education to kids and teens so they never need an abortion. It makes me sad that we don't use 1/10th of the technology available to us to produce vehicles and other industrial machinery that run on renewable/green energy.  We are trouncing our wildlife and natural environment in the name of mineral mining and unhealthy farming practices.  I believe in a strong military, and I think it's weak that we bow down to other countries and the UN.  Period.

I guess I could go on and on.  It doesn't have to be black and white, conservative or liberal.  And by the way, liberal isn't a dirty word.  I wish people would do a shot, let go of their fears, and realize that we're all pretty much the same.  Just because your neighbor Joe and his partner Bob are getting married, the world most assuredly isn't coming to an end.  Don't hide behind your fake beliefs in God and your fear to justify ruining the lives of others. If everyone out there used their energy to work toward solving our problems instead of pointing fingers and telling the other side how wrong they are, we could move mountains.