Monday, August 30, 2010

Brown Paper Packages Tied Up With String

Or in this case, it's duct tape on used liquor boxes.  I've been helping family members move this past week and it has been EXHAUSTING!  One never realizes how much useless unnecessary clutter that can accumulate over the course of a life time.  And a move is a good chance to purge the house of any remnants of things better discarded than re-carted.  

(This is a good intro to segue into a look into the interior life, but hey, it's crazy late and my brain isn't firing on more than two donuts, pizza and some cold coffee).

Some of the items found were undeveloped 15 yo film, outdated computer programming manuals, a 10lb tub of coconut oil, and a flip-flop whose mate was pitched months ago in a fit of frustration due to the inability to locate said sandal.

Since I am still job hunting/submitting works to magazines/unemployed, I know that I will be helping more throughout the rest of the week.  When this move is over, all I want to say is Calgon, take me away!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Open Mouth, Insert Pointy Stiletto Encased Foot

I've made a few dumb mistakes in my life.  Some I can laugh about (my early 90's jerry-curl perm), some still make me cringe (drunk dialing), and some were flat out DUMB (note to self, don't EVER again try to go UP a down-moving escalator while in a little black dress and chunky black heels.  It took two weeks for the black eye and bruising to heal).

I'm fortune that I'm not a celebrity.  (Sure, I'd love the monetary part of the package, especially the way the economy is in the crapper, but other than that, no thank you!)
--None of my bad hair week/mismatched wardrobe malfunction/excessive use of the word F#*k will never make it to newsstands across the country.
--I have no sex tapes on the Internet and no wet tee shirt videos for Girls Gone Wild.
--I've never been recorded uttering racist or tactless jokes into my live microphone at a big conference.

In short, I'm safe in saying that if anyone wants to remind me of my dumb mistakes, there is always a chance that I can argue Perry Mason style that the event never took place or that I will even remember it.  (Maybe I should start taking Ginkoba.  Bad memories run in the family.)

So while I do feel some pity for Miss Philippines' first mistake for she has undoubtedly become the most YouTube'd woman this month, I think that her arrogant answer is product of a culture that puts excessive importance on feminine perfection.  Pre-teen girls play with anorexic Barbies/Bratz Dolls, movie stars that had breakthrough roles as the 'chubby girl' in the movie are whittled down to size six by the time the red carpet is rolled out, and TV fitness instructors (yes, you Jillian-I-won't-ruin-my-body-with-pregnancy-Michaels) will have you believe that an ounce of flab is as disgusting as kicking a puppy.

Why do we live in a society where women are conditioned to despise themselves for being less than flawless?  Why are we expected to maintain the facade of being put together in every aspect of our lives when we are crying, dying, rotting inside?  Just look at the tabloids next time you are in line at the grocery store.  In one magazine you will find articles geared to educating women on "How to Dress for Success", "How to Decorate like Martha", "Fifty Naughty Positions", "Exercise while at Work", and "Learn to Embrace Yourself".  It's exhausting just reading those titles, much less than worrying that we women will be considered less than for failing to uphold the printed directions.

It's getting close to midnight and my rant has wondered around quiet a bit tonight.  I leave you with this tidbit that never ceases to amaze me.  Even girl and boy and grown man and woman need to watch this: Evolution

Monday, August 23, 2010

Taxed to Death

Let's face it.  Economically, we're in deep shit.  Not the ewww-I-just-stepped-in-sidewalk-doggy-doo type.  The type of situation we are in right now is aptly stated by Gunnery Sargent Hartman of Full Metal Jacket. fame, "...you will be in a world of shit."  While Hartman was referring to killer instincts necessary on the battle field, we could take his words at face value each day the bell sounds on Wall Street.

The economy is plummeting faster than the 1937 Hindenburg thanks to massive, ill-advised, closed-doors negotiated bail outs to banks/car manufactures/insurance industries et al, who played fast and loose in risky ventures.  Now the government is scrambling to correct these colossal errors by attacking the little man in middle America rather than punish the CEOs of these large conglomerates who are busy taking grand vacations to day spas. (Yea, that makes sense.  Unemployment rates raise monthly and yet they continue to squeeze water from a stone while the elite get chemical facial peels).

I came across this article today which further illustrates the idiotic lengths which the government is willing to go in their search to recoup lost revenue.  It seems that the cheese-steak capital of the US, home to the Liberty Bell is now hitting up bloggers for the privilege of expressing their opinion in an open forum.  So now the stay-at-home-mom (SAHM) who might earn 3 bucks a month generated from add links to Gerber products or Huggies Diapers is being hit up with a $300 mandatory business licenses.  What?? The?? Frig??

Are we seriously that desperate?  Have we lost that much common sense along with the trillions of dollars that have been flushed down the cooperate porcelain throne that we have to go after a bloggers who might make enough for a monthly 1/2 cup of coffee from their local Starbucks?  I would be hard pressed to find anyone who could agree that this constitutes as self-employment. 

It's a horrible sign of the times when we are needing to hit up the SAHM constitutes. 

Sunday, August 22, 2010

First, Do No Harm

The Hippocratic Oath is a straight forward manifesto of ethical standards that pulls no punches and leaves no margin for wiggle room.  Do good to heal people, don't blab about their problems, and if you don't know the answer don't fake it. (There's even a direct admonition not to assist in an abortion or a suicide which begs the question are doctors really doctors if they do procedures that are in direct violation of the Oath, but those debates are endless and for another time.)  But rather than engage relevance of the Hippocratic Oath for the modern America doctor, I take a closer look at a case in Saudi Arabia: Karmic Backstabbing and wonder why I support the death penalty if I am against the idea of tit-for-tat punishment in this instance. 

The accused has paralyzed the victim during a fight.  (Taking a meat cleaver to a fist fight is about as fair as inviting a one-legged man to an ass-kicking contest.)  And the Saudi courts are trying to figure out the proper punishment.   To sever the spine or not too, that is the question.

At first blush, my instinct is to agree with Amnesty International.  Purposely destroying the human body in a tit-for-tat manor screams of ignorance and the dark ages.  Doctors are not going to actively engage in harming a person for the request of the courts.  It's against their ethical code.  To me, paralyzing the accused sounds so barbaric, so ignorant.  In a day and age where we are (reasonably) able to confine criminals for their evil deed for a long duration or until to the end of their natural lives, why does the Saudi court want to entertain the idea of physically mutilating someone in retribution for their crimes?  Don't they have a better way of extracting justice for the wronged?

And this has led me to wonder, if I'm for the death penalty, why is it any less barbaric or unjust as severing a spine.  Where is the sense is that? 

Friday, August 20, 2010

You are what you eat

I'd like to pretend that I eat healthy fare on a routine basis, but more often than not I find myself sneaking my son's Pop-Tarts for breakfast or inhaling a pint of Ben and Jerry's One Sweet Whirled late at night.  Lately I've been day-dreaming of delicious vegetables sitting along side of grilled chicken, but that's where my fantasy ends.  Several bags of frozen foods are quietly collecting freezer burn as I snatch french fries from my son's two dollar Tuesday Happy Meal.

And I do worry about the junk that I've been putting in my stomach and consequently my kid.  Garbage in, garbage out was the old computer terms I heard as a child plunking away on DOS-based programs.  Is the chicken my son is eating pumped full of antibiotics?  Are there hormones in his milk?  If so, are these things contributing factors to children hitting puberty at an earlier age?  Should I buy organic or is organic a hype?  Is the FDA doing too much regulations into farm life and would prices drop if farmers were forced to inject their animals to meet market qauility standards?

But then I came across this article today: Boar-ish Behaviors
Well, damn!  While I'm worried about my son turning into a hormone raging teenager far ahead of his time, parents living in the fallout zone of Chernobyl twenty-four years later are having to worry that the boar-chops they'll be serving up for Sunday dinner will be Roast of Day-Glo Piggy.

How fun do you think those father/son hunting trips turn out? 
BLAM!  BLAM!
"Nice shot son!  But before we start picking out complementary spices for the apple strudel (because after all, these are German boars), we need to get the Geiger counter out.  I found one of Craigslist for next to nothing."
Mom and Pop worry about kiddo growing a third eye like Blinky the fish of Simpson's fame or hulking out like Bruce Banner.

So maybe next time I feel guilty about eating my non-free-range chicken eggs with antibiotic laden bacon and a glass of pasteurized milk, I'll think of glow-in-the-dark boars, and wash the guilt away with the last bite.