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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Legalize for the economy

There has been a lot of posting on Facebook lately about the fight to legalize marijuana and hemp. I have seen post after post in favor of ending the "War on Drugs", and the one comment that is almost always made in response to those posts is "we have more important things to worry about right now, i.e. the economy, unemployment, the deficit, etc.".  The ignorance of this response always bothers me greatly.  Hello!  Legalizing marijuana and hemp could actually solve (or at least minimize) all of those problems!

There are currently 30,000 potential uses for the hemp plant and its by-products.  From food (no it won't get you high by eating hemp seeds), to bio-fuels and bio-plastics, from medicine to bio-remediation of contaminated soils.  Despite the totalitarian regulations that make actually studying the true medical effects of marijuana nearly impossible, there is some evidence that it can actually CURE cancer!  Not just, be useful in the treatment of cancer, but actually freaking CURE it!   And its medicinal uses have yet to be actually fully explored, there may be more medicinal uses for this plant than any other substance currently known, but the US government refuses to acknowledge any of them.  Not because they do not exist, but simply because those in control of our government can't figure out how to keep all the profits to themselves.  There has NEVER been a single documented case of pot ever killing anyone, unlike nearly EVERY prescription medication currently on the market.

If the US government would legalize the production of hemp and marijuana, several things could happen.  First we free every prisoner convicted of buying or smoking pot (as for those convicted of selling it, I will give you a grey area on that one because they could just as easily be there for tax evasion since most sellers don't report their sales as income - so I am gonna leave them out of the discussion for simplicity sake).  We also eliminate the massive back-log of criminal cases in every state, by dropping the charges against those arrested for smoking or buying it.  (And sorry, no there will be no restitution for the lives already destroyed by the drug laws. You did break the law as it existed at the time, and while the laws are stupid and as far as I am concerned unconstitutional, it was still the law.  We will remove it from your record, but that's the best you are gonna get.  After all the idea is to improve the economy, not bankrupt the country.)  We have already saved millions of dollars for state and local economies just with this first step.

Now we get into the production, you want jobs?  Here you go, we could literally create thousands if not millions of jobs in the US alone.  Not just the agricultural jobs either, as I mentioned, once it is grown there are thousands of uses for it.  We can build manufacturing back up in this country, from cloth to construction and beyond most peoples imaginations.  We can also wean off our dependence on foreign oil by combining the use of hemp as a bio-fuel with other alternative energy sources.  We can at the very least minimize our need to import oil from other countries.  It can be used to produce plastics which are far less harmful to people and the environment than the current crude oil based plastics.  The bio-mass left over after extracting the oil from the plant can also be mixed with coal to greatly reduce the pollution caused by burning coal alone.

The possibilities of uses for hemp are only limited by the imaginations of the people with access to it.  Of course there is also the "legalize marijuana and tax it like alcohol" argument for the millions (if not billions) of potential tax dollars that alone would generate.  As for the argument that legalizing it will make it more available to kids, I call Bullshit!  It is far easier for any teenager to get pot now than it is for them to get alcohol, legalizing it would allow for greater regulation of who has access to it, not less.  And quite frankly it is a parent's job to monitor their children anyway, I am a little sick of people demanding that the government "protect" their children.  That's your job as a parent, NOT the government's job.  I want the government LESS involved in the raising of my children, NOT more!  The government should be protecting our children from the things we cannot protect them from, like companies who import poisoness  products, or the religious infiltration of our public schools.

I will remain firm in my convictions that the BEST thing we could do for our country, our economy, and the rest of the world for that matter, would be to legalize both hemp and marijuana, IMMEDIATELY!  The dangers are all exaggerated or completely false, and the continuation of this travesty is just unacceptable in the 21st century.  The time has come to give up the failed propaganda war against one of the most useful plants on earth.  End the ridiculous propaganda campaign against it and start utilizing it to its fullest potential.  Free the weed, and free the people! 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Just a person ... with a lot of nothing to say

Every time I sit down to type out one of these blog posts I always wonder why in the world would I ever think anyone would want to read my crazy rants and ramblings. I have no idea why any of you read this shit that I write, but it appears that some people at least like to give the illusion of wanting to read it, so I keep writing. I figure that as much as I have screwed up my own life over the course of it, maybe somebody out there can learn from my mistakes even if they can't see what I view as my success. So I just throw it all out there. If something sticks in your head, cool. I hope it helps in your journey through your life, if only as comic relief.

I am a woman of the twenty-first century, I have an opinion on everything, and I am not going to be afraid to share those opinions any more! My relatives kept me quiet all my life because they didn't like my opinions, they were “different”, and that was NOT acceptable. Now that I don't talk to any of them any more, I am not staying quiet anymore. I may bounce between self-esteem issues to politics to dyeing fabric, from religion to parenting to quilting, and all over the map in between, but everything I say, everything I believe, comes from my life experiences and my personal education. I don't claim to have any answers, but I can see that there are some serious issues of right and wrong that need to be addressed, and we are too busy being entertained to do anything about it. I am no different. I am never going to get off my ass and go march with the people on the street. I wish I could, but frankly I am too lazy, too concerned for my own comfort, to actually go and do something.

So, You can look at me as a spoiled, opinionated, lazy, middle aged woman who has frequent emotionally charged psychological meltdowns in a very public manner. Or, You can look at me as the sweet little crazy hippie lady on the corner who treats everyone with equal love and respect, and believes the world would be a better place if everybody else did too. Or, I guess You could ignore me entirely, but if you are reading this, I think its a little too late for that. However you choose to look at what I have to say, I thank you for looking. I have no idea where Mother is going over the course of the upcoming weeks and months, but I guarantee I am going to find a way to enjoy this ride, and I hope you will enjoy it with me.

I don't have many friends in real life. I don't much care for the company of other people. It makes it easier for me to Love everybody if I never have to deal with anyone in person. There are some people I love to talk to and hang out with, I enjoy intelligent discussions, and I like being silly and ridiculous, usually in the same conversation, and unfortunately most people can't seem to keep up. I offend lots of people, all the time, without ever meaning to. I am sarcastic to a fault, and living with a moron for ten very long years and raising special needs children made me have a way of talking about things in such a simplified way that some people think I am insulting their intelligence when that was never my intent.

I enjoy making fun of life. That's how I learned to cope with the struggles that life threw at me, by laughing at them. I do not make fun of people, but I have no problem making fun of the shit life throws at all of us. I have always tried to live my life without hurting anyone. I haven't always succeeded. I have done a lot of things I am not proud of. And I have hurt people who I cared very deeply for, but that was never my intent. I have never been a great mom, but the kids that are a part of my life are happy and healthy and are all people I want to hang around with.

I think every person on the planet should have the right to live their life however the heck they want to as long as they don't interfere with anyone else's right to live their life. I do not understand how it is anyone else's business who I chose to spend my life with, how I choose to raise my kids, or how I choose to treat what ails me. Now if what I want to do has an actual effect on you, that's a different story. Who I want to marry only effects you if I am marrying YOU. How I raise my kids becomes your business ONLY if they cause a problem for someone else. And what I do to my body is NONE of your damn business.

Now IF You decide that you DO have the right to tell someone else how they should live their life, at least make sure you have some fragment of moral ground to stand on, otherwise, STFU! It is really tiresome listening to hypocritical blowhards tell me I am a terrible, bad, sinful person because I am an Atheist, but its quite alright for them to do whatever the Hell they want because all they have to do is ask for God's forgiveness, then say they got it, and POOF! Like magic, they are somehow all forgiven, and NOW they are on God's personal message board so they know EXACTLY how GOD wants ME to live! Spare me.

I am human. I am flawed. I am unique, just like everyone else. I accept my flaws, I embrace my differences, and I embrace the differences in others. Every day of their lives my kids have all heard me tell them how weird they are. And they have never had any doubt whatsoever that being weird is a GOOD thing! We celebrate their uniqueness. Bullies always have a hard time picking on my kids, they tend to refuse to acknowledge the existence of anyone who doesn't embrace their weirdness. My 9 year-old had a kid back in his Kindergarten class that was always trying to “get a rise” out of him. My husband was mad because the teacher wasn't putting a stop to it quickly enough. I just had to laugh, our son hadn't even noticed, he just thought the other kid had “something wrong with him” so our son ignored the attempts at “bullying” and tried to interest the other kid in something more constructive to do with his time.

So for whatever reason you have decided to follow me on this journey, I welcome you! I can't promise you a laugh filled ride, but I'll do my best to throw what I think is chuckle worthy in whenever I can. I don't promise a “post every day”, even the thought of trying that makes me chuckle! I will do my best to post at least once a week, more when I can. I have some funny stories to share, and hopefully some thought provoking opinions and observations on the human condition and the conditions that humans inflict upon one another. I am actually putting a lot of thought into where I want to take this, but mostly I am just going to keep rambling occasionally about whatever the hell happens to be on my mind when I have the time to sit down to type. Hey, I may be crazy, but at least I am honest.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Time vs Timing

I finally figured out why I have trouble staying focused and getting these blog posts written. It usually takes me somewhere from 3-6 hours to type out one of these posts from start to finish. Finding even an hour or two in a day to write is a challenge most days, but that is more about time and my biggest problem is with timing. I will never have enough time to do everything I want to do everyday. That's just not possible, but whenever I set aside the time for one thing, someone else has other plans for my time.

Every single time I sit down and start typing it is a guarantee that I am going to be interrupted at least 10 times an hour! Its not that I am easily distracted, its that my family is obsessively distracting. No wonder all my blog posts sound like they were written by a crazy person! It is nearly impossible to stay focused on one train of thought for more than five minutes before someone wants something! Which means I have to totally shift gears and focus on whatever the heck they need at the moment. And as soon as I am done dealing with one person and I get back to my computer and start re-reading what I was writing so that I can get started again … “Mom” is called to duty again.

You would think that after almost 25 years of this I would be used to it, but unfortunately I am not. I may not be the best Mom in the world, but I am an attentive one. When somebody needs me they get me, no matter what I am doing. They may have to wait a minute if I am in the middle of something (like typing a sentence), but I will always get up and get it for them. And yes, I probably do a lot more for them than I should, but its easier than cleaning up after them when they do it for themselves, and as I said before, I am kinda lazy.

So beyond the fact that my mind wanders in 47 different directions on its own at any given time, I have 3 other people (and a dog) who tend to try to direct my mind in even more directions at the same time. Holy Toledo! Its a wonder I ever finish a damn post! Now add in the damn television, and you will understand how completely fool-hardy I must be to even attempt this blogging undertaking. Around here, the television generally goes on in the living room every day around lunch time. That is, it comes on whenever my husband eats lunch, which could be anywhere from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. And its not just on, its on loudly, from then until after he goes to sleep at night. There is one room in the house where I cannot hear the damn thing, and that's the little bonus room. Now, during the rest of the year this isn't such an issue, and I am hoping it will start warming up soon so I can start going out to my “sewing room” and outside more, but during the winter, being stuck in the house with the damn tv gets really irritating. And its very distracting. Which makes it hard to focus as well.

Hopefully by understanding where my difficulties are coming from I can start to make adjustments to over come some of them, and this blog thing will get better. I ain't making any promises on that. But I will work on it. Mostly I am just going to continue to post rambling nonsense like any good crazy person. I hope you enjoy the ride!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Land of the "Free" vs SOPA

As I start typing this it is just before 8:00am (my time) on the day of the protest against SOPA. Yes I have heard that the congress is shelving the two ridiculous proposals, but that does not stop the threat, so the protest goes forward. At least for me, and those who chose to participate. I admit I have already accessed the internet, but I have a business to run, I have to check my emails in the morning to make sure no one has bought something that they are expecting to receive right away. And quite frankly I don't trust people, so when I said I wouldn't be posting today, well that just opened it up for dumbasses to think my pages on Facebook wouldn't be monitored (they always are). So I have been online, but I have not posted anything, anywhere, and I won't until today is over.

Its kinda funny, I am NOT a morning person, but I was up and wide awake before 7:00 this morning. Now for most of you I know that is a normal occurrence, and for that I am truly sorry. For me, morning doesn't usually start until after 9 (not that I actually sleep until 9, but I am usually not awake before then). So on the one day that I have deliberately set to try to stay offline, I somehow voluntarily gave myself even more time to try to fill without it!

That's okay though, I am sitting here watching the snow come down for the first time this year. We have no need to go anywhere today, so the snow is quite pretty. I know I can enjoy it now, because it will be gone in another day or two. That is the way all good snow should be. Fall down, look pretty, and then melt away before getting all dirty and nasty. I wish more things in life were like that, especially our politicians! If they quit thinking that their job is to just write more stupid laws and rules every chance they get, and started realizing they were elected to represent the best interests of their constituents (all of their constituents, not just the rich ones) we would have a much better country, and frankly probably a much better world.

In the United States we have a saying, “ignorance of the law is no excuse”. But the reality is, ignorance of the law is pretty much a guarantee. There are way too many laws, and most of them written in a way that no one can really understand them anyway! Our “justice” system is supposed to provide for the ability of a person to represent his/her self in court, but don't ever try it! So it comes back to only the rich can receive a “fair” trial. Not only because they can afford the best lawyer, but because they can afford the best laws. Our laws are currently being written to benefit the wealthiest at the expense of the rest of us. But if we try to point this out, we are accused of “class warfare”! Seriously?!? WTF is that shit. Oh yes, Class Warfare is real, and it has been going on in this country for decades as the wealthy continue to get wealthier at the expense of the middle class and the poor. But if we have the nerve to even talk about this reality, then WE are the ones committing “class warfare”? You can't be serious. This has got to be part of a bad joke, right?

And now, enter stage right, the religious right wing lunatics who want even more laws, laws governing ever personal aspect of our lives! WTF! I thought I was born into the United States of America, the country that I was always told was “the greatest country on earth!” because of the individual freedoms that we are supposed to be guaranteed by our Constitution and the Bill of Rights. But now, there is so little left of our freedoms we might as well quit pretending we have any of them! Our government tells us we should “watch” our neighbors, and “report” any suspicious activity! Damn, this sounds really familiar, where have I heard that crap before? Oh yeah, now I remember, in history class as we were learning about Nazi Germany!

Oh come on Mother! Its not that bad, you say. But I say it is that bad, and it is only getting worse. We no longer have the right to travel freely without restrictions. That is a right that is supposed to be guaranteed in this country, but its gone. Don't believe me? Try getting on a plane in this country, not only to you HAVE to submit to illegal searches and seizures of your personal property, know you have to submit to being molested by complete strangers who are paid to assault you. And just try getting through that assault without providing an “accepted” form of Identification! You are monitored, your movements are tracked, and any one for any reason can prevent you from going where you had intended to “freely” travel, and whatever you do, DON'T you dare complain about any of it! Gee, there went your right to “free speech”. And its not just airports. Now there are “check points” all over the country where the police can stop you at any time for any reason and search your vehicle and you for any evidence of any wrong doing. WTF!?!

If you really believe you still have a right to free speech in this country, you really haven't been paying attention. Yes I write this blog, and put it out there for the world to see. And I do occasionally say some outrageous stuff. But I pull my punches in every single post I have ever made. I don't say everything I want to say, I can't tell you everything I think I should. And its not because this is a publicly accessible forum that any nut case on the planet can access and them try to use to humiliate me in some way. I have been humiliated my whole life, no big fucking deal. Frankly, I am scared of my government. And I do not believe that is paranoid in the least. My Mother and I had a long running joke that, if anyone was listening in on our phone calls to each other, they might decide that “Sunbonnet Sue” was a code name for our latest “terrorist plot”. ITS NOT, by the way. In case I am being monitored, I try to keep these things clear.

I have a coffee cup that I bought years ago at a wonderful little Women's History Museum/Shop on the very first trip I ever made away from home by myself. I was 32, I think. Anyway this is back in the late 1990's (this is before “9/11”, I cannot stress that enough here), and when I saw the front of the cup, I just had to have it because it spoke to me and to the core of who I am, who I saw myself as at that time when I was in the process of trying to change my whole life completely. I love the damn cup. It sits right here on my desk to this day, holding my sewing tools and writing tools. It still speaks to me. And I would absolutely LOVE to be able to take a picture of it and use it as my profile picture online! But I can't, and unfortunately, I don't foresee ever feeling “safe” in doing so. It is just a simple white cup, with a simple little logo on the side, but the logo reads: “Ladies Sewing Circle And Terrorist Society”. Now as I said, I bought this before some jackasses hijacked planes full of people and flew them into buildings filled with people. The word has a whole new connotation now, and forever ended my ability to feel so good about my silly little cup. I refuse to give it up, but its meaning is forever tainted. 

So, anyway, my point of this little story of the cup is that we live in a different world than the one I grew up expecting. We don't have the “freedoms” we were promised by our founding fathers. They have been corrupted and co-opted in the sake of “public safety”. And the few that we have left are being threatened every day by the “religious right” who scream about a “War on Religion” while they launch an all out coordinated assault on everything that America, and even their own religion, was founded on! Its not just sad, its sickening! People who stand before the world and say that anyone who doesn't do what they say and believe what they tell you to believe, is evil, somehow less deserving of their own life, much less any chance at happiness or a brighter future. That is sick. I don' care who you are, if this is what you believe, you are a sick mother fucker and you need professional help.

We need less restrictive laws in this country, NOT more! There are some laws that are necessary in order to protect society as a whole, and especially our potential for a future as a species on this planet. But legislating morality and personal behavior is anti-American. How it was ever allowed to get as far as it has is incomprehensible to me. But we are here, and there seems to be no end in sight. The last bastion of free speech, the internet, is under attack. Once they have a back door to shutting down “illegal pirates”, they have a front door to you and I. When will we finally say STOP! Get the fuck out of out personal lives and start doing your own damn jobs and we will all be better off. Our representatives were elected to do a job, to Protect and Defend the Constitution of the United States. Each and every one of them swears an oath to do so, and then they proceed to tear it apart, bit by bit. And we have all become so terrified of some future terrorists that we are blind to the greatest and most immanent threat to our society, to our nation, and the world. Governments of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich, are doomed to fail. Don't believe me? After all, I am the “crazy” one, why should you believe me? You shouldn't, and you shouldn't believe the Governments either, do the research, look with your own eyes at the numerous examples throughout history. Every single culture that celebrated the rich at the expense of the rest, had fallen, and fallen HARD! So do we sit back and wait for the failure? Or do we stand up, speak out and fight back? Do we each do our own part to take back our governments and work together for a brighter future for all? Or do we just keep giving up our freedoms, our humanity, our sanity, so that the rich can continue to destroy our world, one dollar at a time?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Acceptance

I was sharing some thoughts with a friend, and I started thinking about some other friends who needed to read them, and then I figured, maybe a lot of other people should read them too.  So I have taken out anything referencing the person I was talking to in the first place, and edited the rest to share with you.


I said I have some thoughts to share, and that's what I mean..  I am not giving you advise, or making judgements, or anything of the sort.  I can only know my own life experiences and my personal experiences with other people.  No one else can ever know what another person has truly been through in their life.  No matter how many details one may share, it is only a small part of the whole picture of both the situation and the person.  People are people though, and no matter how very different we all are, we are all very much the same.  We are flawed, each in our own unique way, that's what makes life interesting.  Our flaws make us unique, and acceptance of our flaws allows us to be beautiful.

I am not really a people person, I don't have a lot of friends, and I prefer my own company to that of other people. Some would say I am antisocial, and they would probably be right. I am selfish, and I am a kind of a slob, I am lazy, and I am extremely emotional unstable at times, and guess what, I am okay with that. I beat myself up for years, trying to change who I was, and I was freaking miserable! I am never going to be able to wake up early in the morning and just get going and doing stuff. I am not a morning person. Never gonna be. When I finally gave up fighting with myself, life got a lot easier. Now I am not saying that I don't work to improve the things that need improving, life is about growth after all.  I am just saying that some things cannot be changed, but maybe they can be worked around or maybe, they aren't where your focus needs to be.

I accept that I am flawed, that I am human. I know there are some things I can never change about who I am, and what I can do. I have physical, and emotional/psychological limitations, and I have accepted that there are some things that I am just never going to be able to do.   So I learned to focus on what was right with me, instead of what was wrong with me. I found out that I was really quite intelligent, I mean, I had always known that, to a degree, but it really changed when I started college. The things my classmates struggled with seemed so simple to me, I couldn't understand how I could get it and they didn't. The teachers who claimed they NEVER gave A's to anyone, all gave me A's. Every test, in every class, I was the first one out of the room, and I always scored at least in the top 10%. My brain works great!  A little sporadically at times, but pretty damn good over-all anyway.

My point is that when I quit focusing on what I wasn't and what I couldn't do, and started focusing on what I could be and do, life really got easier. I took control of what I could control, and just let the rest go. My husband gets mad at me sometimes because I don't “work” enough, and I don't do what he thinks I should be doing all the time. I just let him rant till he's done, then I go on with whatever I was doing anyway.   I do my job, I am just going to do it in my own time and my own way. When something needs to be done right now, I do it. I wrap the mail for our businesses as soon as he is done producing it, I will stop whatever I am doing any time one of the kids needs something, but I am never going to “work” as much as he wants me to. I clean my house, as much as is necessary for a healthy life, but it will never meet other people's standards (guess what - they don't live here so it doesn't have to!). I did mention I am selfish. I need my time to do what I need to do, my art, my writing, my learning, have to be a priority for me or I will go crazy (and I mean literally, lock me up in the hospital crazy!). Been there, done that, ain't ever going back.

Focus on all that is good in you, all the things you do well, all the things you can do to make the world a better place for yourself and others. That is all we can do, is accept that we are who we are, and learn to be ok with it, warts, blemishes and all. No one else has to be okay with it, they are not relevant, no matter what they may think. Only your opinion of you is relevant, and when you learn that you are a wonderful fucking person no matter what anybody else may say, then you are on your way to happiness.

I know it isn't an easy thing, its all about baby steps. One day, and some times one minute, at a time. Take time for yourself, and focus on what you can do. I won't say I know what you are going through, I don't, but I do know that the things I have shared here are how I started clawing my way out of extreme chronic depression. I was the most self-destructive person I had ever met that didn't rely on drugs or alcohol to destroy my life. I did it deliberately and on purpose, for years and years, because I didn't think I deserved anything better. I created my own Hell, and I kept myself a prisoner there. From the time I was 15 until I was 33, I wanted to die almost every single day.

When I was 33, while I was in college and I made a friend in one of my classes who really changed my life. She told me that I “needed to get my head out of my ass and grow a backbone”, and she was so fucking right. I had laid down and allowed everyone to walk all over me and treat me like crap (especially my ex-husband) for so long that I thought that was all I deserved. She helped me to see that I deserved better. Thanks to her and some other wonderful people I met in school I learned that I was a wonderful fucking person and I deserved a lot better than the Hell I created for myself. It didn't happen over night, and it was not easy by any stretch of the imagination. I have given up a lot to get where I am now.  Some things I miss more than others, but I could never go back. I found my bliss with myself, and no one is ever going to piss on my parade again.

I ACCEPT MYSELF FOR WHO I AM!  I LOVE WHO I AM!
I AM A FUCKING WONDERFUL PERSON!
AND ANYONE WHO DOESN"T LOVE AND ACCEPT ME AS I AM CAN 
KISS MY LILY-WHITE LITTLE ASS!

Like I said, I am not trying to give anyone advice, I am not making any judgments, I just wanted to share my thoughts and my experiences with anyone who might benefit from them. I only ask that you take some time to think about what I have shared, then take what ever is useful to you, and throw the rest out the window.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

What is beautiful?

The definition of beauty is a very fluid thing.  It evolves with our cultures and constantly changes over time.  The women who were considered the Most Beautiful 50 years ago, would be considered "over-weight" by the "standards" of today.  But who determines what is beautiful and what is not?  Each individual person has their own image of what is beautiful, but all too often we are constantly bombarded by unrealistic images of beauty that are often contrary to the health and well-being of those being used to portray beauty.

I live in the United States, and honestly I have never really been anywhere else, a couple of overnight visits to Canada decades ago is the only foreign travel I have ever done.  So I speak from my experiences in this country.  And in the US the standards of beauty that are force feed to us from birth are both disturbing and depressing.  From Barbie dolls to super models who have been airbrushed to perfection, we are constantly assaulted by unrealistic images of what we "should think" is beautiful.  I call Bullshit!

Now I love beautiful things as much as the next person, but I find beauty in (almost) everything. I refuse to be swayed by advertisers and Hollywood versions of what is beautiful, I have my own eyes and my own heart and I prefer to see with those rather than follow the status quo on what is or is not beautiful.  I learned a long time ago that I was never gonna look like Barbie, or any of the women in the magazines.  I did go through a phase where I thought that it was the worst thing in the world to be seen in public without make-up, but fortunately I outgrew that eventually. My husband still thinks I am beautiful, so no one else's opinion really matters to me any more.  I wouldn't win any beauty pageants today, but I would never enter one anyway.  I know that I am a beautiful person from the inside out, if someone else is unable to see that, well, that is a reflection on them, not me.

My idea of beauty is never going to match anyone else's version, and I don't believe that it should.  We have all heard the expression that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder", and that saying is absolutely correct!  If you cannot see the beauty, that is only a reflection on you, on what you think of as beautiful.  Now I am not saying that this is a bad thing, it can be if you let it, but it isn't bad on its own.  Our differences are what make life interesting, and even more beautiful to me.  Everyone has their own idea of beauty, and no one's is wrong, unless they are trying to force it upon someone else.

I know the damage that advertiser's and the main stream media's ideas of beauty can cause, but that damage comes from them trying to force it on the world as the only acceptable way to be.  Considering that 99.9% of the world can never live up to those ideals (since they are generally unrealistic to start with), we are left feeling that we need whatever they are selling in order to be "acceptable".  Now I am not actually slamming advertiser's or the other forms of media, I mean lets face the facts here, they give us what they think we want to see.  If we are buying their products, and watching their movies, shows, or whatever, then we are encouraging them to continue using those unrealistic images.  Until people decide that this is not what they want to encourage, nothing will get better. 

I have chosen to stand against the unrealistic images in my own way.  I don't go to movies - I haven't been to a theater in almost a decade.  They all come on tv eventually, I can wait till they are free.  I don't buy "fashion magazines" or the tabloids, I have no interest in what Hollywood people are doing, they have no relevance in my life.  I don't buy make-up, or hair coloring, or any other "beauty" products.  I work at home, so I don't buy fancy clothes, or shoes, or purses, or jewelry, or any thing like that either.  I have no problem going shopping while wearing my "house-wife hat" ( a bandana for those unfamiliar with the term - no NOT a dew rag - that's a whole different thing).  I love bright colors and things that most people call "gaudy" are just wonderfully beautiful to me.

The only "name-brand" clothing I own are my Levis and my Reeboks, and only the Reeboks are bought new. I don't wear them for the name, I wear them for the fit, they are comfortable and they fit my body better than anything else I have tried.  I buy my Levis 2nd-hand because they are no longer manufactured in the USA, so my way of protesting the outsourcing of American jobs is to make sure they never get my money again.  If I could find any other shoes that actually fit my weird feet I wouldn't buy the Reeboks either.  But sadly they are the only ones that conform to my needs, and there is no way in Hell I am ever buying used shoes again, so they still get my money every once in a while.

My home will never be in Better Homes and Gardens, I do not care.  It is cluttered, but clean, and a few weeds in the garden add to its character.  I don't "decorate" my home the way the magazines say I should, my furniture doesn't match, but our home functions for us and we have no need to care what anyone else thinks of it.  But even at its worst, no one can ever claim we are "bringing down the property values", everything is always reasonably neat and tidy, at least as far as anyone can see.

So remember, the next time you are upset about the unrealistic representations of beauty that are being foisted upon you, you are supporting it by buying their products and buying into their hype,  If you really don't like what they are doing, put your money where your mouth is, that is the only thing that they will ever listen to.  Advertisers do not care how you think or how you feel, they only care about selling their products.  If people actually stopped buying those products, they would change their advertising VERY quickly.  If you don't like the message that shows like "Toddlers in Tiaras" or "Jersey Shores" are selling - don't watch the stupid shows!

But most importantly, people need to quit appointing themselves as the "beauty police", everyone is beautiful in their own way, if they choose to be.  When you criticize someone else's expression of their beauty, you are not only denying yourself the opportunity to share in that beauty, you are claiming that your opinion of beauty is somehow superior to theirs.  I hate to be the one to tell you this, but it isn't.  It is only your opinion, and it is no better and no worse than anyone else's.

Friday, January 13, 2012

I hate my body! - part two

When I wrote the blog post yesterday I was not looking for sympathy, but rather trying to instill a little empathy for those who struggle daily with their own bodies for whatever reason.  Women especially tend to be pretty judgmental of one another and I do not see that as being very helpful to anyone.  One of my favorite Facebook pages posted a picture the other day of a group of young women where only their legs were showing.  The photo was part of a photographer's group of artistic photographs.  When I looked at the photo I saw a very beautiful image representing powerful women, that was how the image spoke to me.  I was saddened to see the number of women complaining about the photo.  The jealousy was literally dripping from their comments.  They were so wrapped up in their own body issues that they could not just sit back and enjoy the beauty before them.

So that was why I started the post yesterday.  To show people that everyone, no matter what their size or shape, has their own body issues.  Some are superficial and falsely hoisted upon us by the main stream media and their advertisers.  Some are serious medical issues, and most are some combination of the two.  In response to my sharing my body issues with the world I received some comments on my Facebook page that I wanted to address, but I knew that to do so on Facebook was going to take too much space and time, so I am writing again to answer those comments.


Two wonderful women responded with their stories of finding a diagnosis for their eating issues and I believe that what they shared may have some validity for me as well.  D.C. wrote of how she had suffered for years with doctors telling her it was "all in her head" because the doctors could not figure out what was really wrong.  That has been my experience all my life, doctors have never been able to figure out what was wrong with me and that could not possibly be their fault so it must just be "all in your head". That might have been an acceptable response if they had ever done any actual tests on my digestive system, but they never did.  They never ran a single test on my digestive tract.  When I was hospitalized last year was the first time anyone had ever even taken an x-ray, and they still did not do any other tests on my digestive tract.  Oh they did ultrasounds and tests galore on my reproductive organs, which I have never had a single problem with, and gee they didn't find anything there.  Surprise, surprise, NOT.  I was livid!  I went to the hospital because I was having an extreme anxiety attack because I was unable to eat!  My stomach was knotted up so tightly I could hardly even drink liquid.  At this point the sympathy "morning sickness" I was experiencing was in its fourth month, so what little I was able to get into my stomach came back out just as fast.  I was scared!  As I said, on a good day I take in less food than your average 3 year old, and now I wasn't even able to eat that much.  I spent 25 years living with severe chronic depression, wanting to die every single day.  I had finally beaten, clawed and scratched my way to the light and I finally really wanted to live and enjoy what was left of my life more than anything, and I was convinced my body was not going to let me.  The doctor at the hospital told me that until I went two weeks without consuming any solid food at all they were not concerned.  That's nice asswipe, I am glad you are not concerned, cause I am freakin terrified here!  The only thing they did for me that actually helped was to give me a muscle relaxer and an anti-anxiety medication.  To make a long story short (I know - too late), my husband was the one who finally figured out what was actually wrong.  It turns out that I had herniated my stomach muscles when we had moved the body of our very large, dearly deceased dog, the strain on the muscles was pressing on the stomach and that was why I couldn't eat. 

But back to the two women who came on Facebook and suggested that the cause of some of my issues could be due to a gluten intolerance.  I truly appreciated their sharing of their stories, and I do believe there may be something to their suggestion.  The problem with this idea is that, as I mentioned, I don't like food very much to start with and about 60% or more of what I am actually able to eat is wheat based.  So the idea of giving up wheat products is actually scarier than the pain I already have learned to deal with.  I am a picky eater, always have been, and I am lazy.  I have accepted that, and I am okay with it, most of the time.  I am scared to death that I will find that I am actually allergic to wheat and I will have to find enough to eat without it.

But honestly my biggest problem with eating is simply stress.  And the older I get, the worse it gets.  I just don't deal with stress well, physiologically.  Psychologically, it doesn't really bother me very much, my mind is able to process it fairly well and move on.  But my body doesn't bounce back as well.  Everything gets tied up in my stomach and stays there.  My ex-husband used this to his advantage for years, by the time I finally got away from him completely I was down to 89 pounds!  I have tried all sorts of ways of dealing with the stress better, from meditation to bio-feedback, nothing helps.  I just can't stop the way my body reacts, no matter how much I want to, no matter how much my brain says, this is no big deal we can get through this, my body just says "fuck you" I am taking the day off from functioning and there is nothing you can do about it.  So I have learned to cope as best I can.

I am extremely lucky in that the wonderful man I married 9 years ago does his level best to protect me from stress whenever possible.  But there is no way to eliminate it all.  I am trying to desensitize my self, that is part of the point to this blog and the Facebook page, it allows stupid people to bring small amounts of insignificant stress into my life.  By overcoming the little stresses of being insulted and attacked by people who have no importance whatsoever, it allows me to try to strengthen my defenses slowly over time.  I am not sure how much it has helped in my ability to deal with the stress, but it has strengthened me in my resolve not to tolerate such behavior from anyone.

So while I was not looking for sympathy, I do hope that I made someone think about how they view other people.  When we live our lives in judgement of others we deprive ourselves of the beauty in life.  Too many people think that if someone else doesn't look like them, think like them, believe like them, or act like them, then they are automatically somehow bad, or less of a person in some way.  This is not only bullshit, it is destructive, and not just the the person being judged, but to the person doing the judging.  You can sit back in your comfortable house and decide I am just a self-destructive, whiney bitch who doesn't know what she is talking about.  Or you can accept that everyone has their own issues in life, and when you get down to it nothing really matters except that we are all human, and everyone of us has the right to live their life however the hell they want and as long as it doesn't infringe on your right to live your life your way, it is really none of your damn business. 

As a child I was taught that the Christian religion teaches that "let he who is without sin cast the first stone" and "judge not lest ye be judged".  I do not know if these are actual passages from the bible, but I know they were stressed greatly by my Uncle, the Bible Baptist minister.   I still live my life by these principles even though I am a devout Atheist.  And I find it very sad that those who claim the loudest to be Christians today seem to have forgotten these simple tenants.  It is time for everyone to say "ENOUGH"!  I refuse to continue to be part of this madness any longer!  My self-worth is not tied to the degradation of others!  I accept that everyone is different, and that is a good thing!  Just imagine how boring this world would be if everyone was the same, and just who would get to choose the one person we would all have to be like anyway?  My GAWD!  What if Newt Gingrich gets to choose and we all have to be bigoted, self absorbed, moronic asswipes like him!  Does anyone really want that?!?  I sure as Hell hope not! 

So live and let live, and try to remember, you do not have to live up to anyone's idea of who or what you should be, you only have to love your self and when you can do that you will see it is pretty easy to go through life without having to put other people down so that you can accept yourself!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

I hate my body!

Some days I really hate my body, well most days actually.  But not the way I am sure you are thinking.  I know most women hate the way their bodies look, I don't.  Sorry to disappoint you, but my body still looks pretty damn good, even to me.  I hate the way my body works, not the way it looks.

I am 44 years old, I have given birth to 6 children, and I have never been on a diet or exercise program in my life.  I know some people will hate me for this, but I still have exactly the same measurements as I did in High School.  I was 40 years old the first time I broke 100 pounds without being pregnant.  So, no I don't have any issue with how my body looks.

The issue I have is that my body and I do not get along.  The biggest reason that I am still the size I am is because I don't really like to eat.  Never have, but even less so now because my body is constantly fighting back against the intake of food.  I cannot eat a meal during the day without getting so sleepy that I cannot keep my eyes open, so I seldom eat more than a few crackers on any given day before dinner.  Unfortunately once dinner time rolls around I am usually unable to eat more than a few bites before I have to stop.  It is so freaking frustrating!  My husband does most of the cooking these days, frankly he is better at it and I have absolutely no problem admitting that.  He is an excellent cook, his dinners are usually delicious and I want to eat lots of it, but I never get to.  No matter how hungry I am when I sit down to dinner, after a few bites my throat and stomach start to fight against me.  If I fight back and keep eating I will puke, so I stop.  I spend the rest of the evening trying to find anything that I can get down and keep there, usually that's not much either.  My body just sucks!

So on any given day my total intake of actual food is about half of what my 7 year old eats.  While this does make it easy to maintain my "girlish figure" it is not a good thing.  And if this wasn't bad enough, I spent 6 months last year fighting "morning sickness" every day.  No I wasn't pregnant, the girlfriend of one of my dearest friends who lives almost 200 miles away was pregnant.  She didn't have "morning sickness", I had it for her.  My body just sucks!

Then we have all the issues that being a woman in her 40's brings, the hot flashes everyone talks about, nope I don't get those, I get freeze flashes.  No hot sweats either, I get cold sweats.  I am always freezing, unless it is over 85 degrees, then I am melting.  There doesn't seem to be any happy medium for me.  From October to April I were at least two layers of clothes, sometimes 3, and I am still cold.  In the summer I have to be even more careful as I have suffered from serious heat stroke in the past.  My body does not regulate its temperature at all any more.  So I have to be prepared to do it externally.  My husband tries to be sympathetic, but he just doesn't understand that my body just sucks!

So while the rest of America seems to be fighting to force everyone to eat "healthier", I am just trying to get enough calories to make it to tomorrow.  Without the empty calories of  sweet tea and Dr.Pepper I would not have the energy to get out of bed.  Everything I eat is high fat and calories, it has to be or I would waste away to nothing.  I need my french fries and junk food, because my body just sucks!

And if that all was not bad enough on its own, now add in severe chronic pain.  And guess what, I cannot take pain medicines either.  When I take an ibuprofen for a head ache it makes my legs ache like I have run a marathon, so I trade one pain for another.  Prescription pain medications make me physically ill, I have tried everyone of them over the years (all with a doctors prescription).  The best reaction I had was an itchy nose and upset stomach, the worst almost killed me.  The only thing that I can take to deal with the constant pain that I endure is pot.  But that is illegal, so I suffer.  Even though I live in a medical marijuana state, I don't have medical insurance, so I can't afford the massive series of tests that they would require in order to "prove" that I need it.  They will give me a prescription for any drug I want with a simple office visit, but they want x-rays and MRIs and tests up one side and down the other before they will prescribe a simple herb, but that is another rant. So I suffer because my body (and my government) just sucks!

So the next time you see a skinny woman don't get your panties in a twist because she is skinnier than you.  She may have more problems than you will ever realize.  Have some compassion and realize we all fight our own battles. Don't be jealous, because you probably wouldn't want to change places with her even if you could.  Be grateful for your life, and your body, no how much it sucks, because its the only one you get.  It may never match the pictures in the magazine, but remember that most of the women in those pictures don't really match them either.  Photoshop is not just for making silly pictures, it does a great job of making silly expectations too.  Don't be sucked in.  You can be a beautiful person no matter what you look like, you just have to learn to love yourself, unconditionally, and your beauty will shine through from within, even if your body just sucks!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Sensitivities vs Humor

I have been doing a lot of thinking lately.  I know, that's probably not a good thing, but I keep doing it anyway.  I have come to the conclusion that far too many people have become far too sensitive and have lost their sense of humor.  Now I know that poorly disguised bigotry has been perpetrated in the name of humor for generations, but that does not mean we have to lose our sense of humor! 

I really do try to be sensitive to other peoples feelings, and it really sucks.  Because I am a white woman, I am not "allowed" to post jokes that could be perceived as "racist", I accept that.  I don't like it, but I accept it.  It really bothers me that George Lopez, Carlos Mencia, and all of the other Hispanic-American or African-American  or ______________( insert any ethnicity except the Caucasian one here) comedians are allowed to make all the "racist" jokes they want, but because I am white, race is off limits.  But I do understand why, and I try to be sensitive.  I will not accept however that I have to edit every single freaking joke because somebody might take offense.  It has gotten beyond ridiculous.  I have had people tell me I shouldn't post this  joke or that silly picture because it is "anti-men" or "anti-women" or "anti-southerner" or "anti-______ (insert any other possible group of people here), bullshit!  If people really want to be that thin-skinned I am sorry for them, they have eliminated the joy from their lives and that is just sad.  But you will NOT take the joy from my life, and you will not stop me from trying to bring joy to those who understand that humor, even when it hits too close to home, is still humor.  If we lose the ability to laugh at ourselves, what do we have left?

As I have stated before, George Carlin is my hero, my idol, my reason for being who I am.  Carlin had a love of words that went beyond the average persons ability to comprehend.  I share that love.  There are no words that are off-limits to me, if they express what I am trying to express I will use them.  If someone is offended, I truly am sorry, that has NEVER been my intent!  But come on man, lets get real for a minute.  EVERY good joke is going to offend someone, if they want to be offended.  Does this mean we should outlaw comedy?  Is that really what we want to do?  I sure as Hell hope not, because without humor, we are all doomed.  If I gave up my ability to laugh at myself and the world that I live in, life would not be worth living.  Humor has literally saved my life, many times over. 

I suffered from chronic severe depression for  2 1/2 decades, the only thing that kept me going during that time was my sense of humor.  People like George Carlin gave me hope for a better future.  I knew if I could just keep laughing in the face of all that the world threw at me, I could make it through anything.  And I did, I made it out the other side of the darkness and have found the light that was inside me all of that time.  Now I hang that light out for all to see, in the hopes that I can help one person make it through one more day on their  journey towards the light inside them. 

I know I am going to offend people, whether I like it or not.  I loved George Carlin, and he offended me all the time!  I never agreed with everything he said, but I damn sure agree that he should have the right to say it!  In our attempts to be "civilized" and "protect the children" we have gone way too far in limiting the freedoms of other people to be who they are and say what they feel.  And now people seem hell bent on trying to take what little freedoms we have left away.  I am sorry but I for one cannot just sit idly by while the government and the whiney pussy ass morons try to take the best thing about our country away.   There may not  be much left of our "freedoms" in this country, but I am certainly not prepared to freely hand over the few we have left!

So today I fight for the freedom of humor!  I hope you will join with me in this fight, and if you cannot join us, at least get the Hell out of the way!  For when we lose the right to laugh at ourselves and others, we will truly be forever left in the darkness.