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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Like Something out of "Perfume"...



I was reading news online the other day when I came across a bizzare headline that seemed ripped out of a horrific movie. I realize Crime Library gave the movie "Perfume" glowing reviews; indeed, it was because of that glowing review that I purchased it. needless to say, it is one of the most regretted purchases I have ever made in my life...but I digress. The article was about a ring of murderers in Peru that were killing peple for their body fat and then selling the fat to cosmetics companies. The article can be found here on CNN: http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/americas/11/20/fat.dead.humans.peru/

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Would You Give Someone a New Lease on Life?




I have always loved animals, and I love being surrounded by them. I felt I had to write a blog post on this because I see more and more news articles about people who hoard animals, animal cruelty, and just plain stupidity on the part of people. I myself am more of a dog person than a cat person, but I do have two cats.


What bothered me most this week was an article about a woman who adopted a Great Dane and kept it in a cage that for most of its life. The dog outgrew the cage and had its bones deformed to the point where it could barely walk. Why torture an animal because of your ignorance to research the needs of the breed and their needs? I love dogs, but would not own a Great Dane because I cannot provide it with the type of environment it needs.


With that being said, please also consider adopting your pets from an animal shelter. There are breeders out there that are scrupulous and honest, and genuinely have the welfare of their animals as their primary concern, but there are also breeders that only care about their profit margin. Many shelters are kill shelters; meaning that animals that cannot be placed in a certain time frame must be euthanized. There is no compassion in killing a perfectly healthy animal simply because it has not been adopted, so do your part, and look to a shelter first. It just may be one of the best choices you will ever make.
P.S. Marty the dog and Danny the cat thank you.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Looks, or the lack thereof...


It has recently been brought to my attention that I am not a "looker"any more. What exactly constitutes a looker? Does the fact that someone is not supermodel material make them any less valuable an addition to the human race? In my defense, I submit that I have gained weight, and I that I dress for practicality and affordability more than I do for any sort of va-va-voom factor.

I admit that in the years following the births of my children and the moving all over the country that being an army wife entails, my jeans and I developed an unhealthy attachment that turned mutually exclusive. It really is easier to chase after kids and chauffeur everyone around while not being in stilettos.

I have no problem with women that manage to look fabulous at all times, but I thought we were leaving the fifties era sitcom mothers and wives in the past where they belong. Instead, I find myself asking exactly what was it that the feminist movement actually accomplished?

Here we are in 2009, and women still get paid less than men in the same jobs, we still have no paid maternity leave, there are still numerous career fields where women are thought to be handicapped by their gender if they are even seen at all, and women are still at the mercy of designers who have no concept of equating the runway to real life.

I cannot make other people accept me, or even value me, but what I can do is to make sure that their negativity does not damage my self-worth. I cannot say what size I will be at this time next year; but I can say that I will love myself even if the figure looking back at me in the mirror is not svelte, because I will have tried my best to improve myself, for myself, and myself alone.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Texan Wildlife











Since I have been here in Texas, I have been amazed by the amount of wildlife I have seen. i have found that the saying, "Everything is bigger in Texas," is true. This rule applies to nasty things too, such as spiders. A regular wolf spider can be the siize of a golf ball here, and when I first moved into my house, we had black widows and brown recluses galore. To prove my point, I have taken pictures of a praying mantis I found on my back porch. I wish I knew what kind of praying mantis it is... Enjoy!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Glamour Honors Plus-Size Models in Its November Issue - ABC News

Glamour Honors Plus-Size Models in Its November Issue - ABC News
As a plus size woman, myself, I found this article to be a source of inspiration. It is unbelievably difficult to go shopping for affordable, quality plus-size clothing in the United States. While I am trying to shed my plus size, (which I am doing because of my health and not because of vanity), it would be nice if there were clothes I could wear that would not make me look like a dowdy idiot, or a club-obsessed elephant. More on this later.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Haircuts and Bastions of Testosterone




Today marked the first haircut my oldest son needed since his dad left. We went to the usual place we get his hair cut.

The place is called SportClips and it's kind of Foot Locker meets the salon for the macho set. Only the barbers all have naturally occurring estrogen.

My son loves it; and getting his hair cut here is comforting to him. Now if only I could remember what size clippers his dad recommends...

Above are some pictures. Does your town have a SportClips or something like it?

Just Sixteen More...

Just sixteen more credits and I will get my degree. It has been a long work in progress and tomorrow I will complete another class. The class I will be completing is Western Civilizations I. I will be taking Macroeconomics for the term starting on 19 October. Until then, I will enjoy my time between classes.

One thing I think would make education more financially feasible for most people is the use of ebooks. I am not sure why academic publishers have not jumped on the technology bandwagon and published textbooks in traditional and digitized form, but I am hoping some of them get the message. For example, my next textbook will cost two hundred dollars. That does not include shipping.

Assuming that my next six classes require books that cost two hundred dollars apiece, I would be spending twelve-hundred dollars on books alone! And of course, that would take a huge amount of money out of a person's financial aid. Given the fact that financial aid is mostly comprised of packages a person has to pay back, why not give students something that would work a little better for their budget?

The benefits would ripple out to so many areas, more students graduating with less debt, the environment would not have to lose so many trees, less people would have any kind of lumbar issues, and publishers could really exploit this business model for profit. Everybody wins!

Oh, and professors would no longer have to dread people not having their books on the first day of class...

What do you think?

Credit

I thought it would be awesome to find a site where I could get an idea of the minimum score necessary to get a Walmart credit card. I discovered a site called whogavemecredit.com. This site allows you to put in the name of any creditor and find out what the average score for acceptance, and it also tells you which credit bureau they utilize to determine your creditworthiness. Nifty little tool. Check it out today!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Glamourpuss - The Enchanting World of Kitty Wigs




Glamourpuss - Kitty Wigs, Believe It Or Not, They Really Exist...



Because dogs have suffered the humiliation of being made to look utterly stupid for far too long! Now we have something to bring down proud, self-absorbed cats a notch or two! I have spoken to my cat about she feels about this; Jade says I will become the first person assasinated by a domestic cat if I even think about getting her one...the picture above is after Jade and I had this conversation.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Great American Girl Homeless Doll Debate

Last night, as I was getting ready to go to bed, I noticed an article on AOL regarding a doll from the American Girl doll line. Part of the attraction of this particular line of dolls are their well-written back stories which serve as important historical and sociological perspectives from the point of view of an eight to twelve year old girl.

The dolls are often in the hundred dollar range, and have whole lines of accessories that can be purchased separately. These range from clothing to furniture and everything in between, and can get quite pricey as well.

Earlier this year, American Girl decided to introduce Gwen Thompson, whose back story includes a detail that has people talking: She's homeless. The AOL article draws from an article in the New York Post by Andrea Peyser in which Ms. Peyser claims that Gwen's dad ran out on the family and Gwen's mother lost her job which resulted in the family becoming homeless.

Some of the commentary on the AOL article suggests that Gwen's father died instead of abandoning the family. Regardless, is social activism legitimate if it is being conducted for profit? Mattel, which owns the American Girl company has not mentioned one word about donating any percentage of the profits to homeless causes. Beyond the fact that it seems absoultely morally bankrupt to turn a profit off someone else's misery (and this company is doing it legally, unfortunately), is introducing a doll like this appropriate with the recession hammering away at so many and a sky-high unemployment rate?

In my own opinion, the answer to this is an unequivocal no. There is no gray area. American Girl claims it wants to educate and foster social responsibility in young girls, but by introducing a doll that is identified as being homeless just for kitsch factor and because some marketing director thought it would be a great way to diversify the company's current lines, they have shown that the only thing they are interested in is their profit margin.

One more thing; for a realistic view on what it is like to be homeless, please read this excellent blog, http://girlsguidetohomelessness.com/. This blog is written by Brianna Karp, who was recently featured on CNN. Oh, and Kelly, the first comment poster on the AOL article, your attempt at levity is solely a thinly veiled attempt to obfuscate your idiocy.

Here is the link for the AOL article: http://www.parentdish.com/2009/09/24/american-girls-newest-doll-is-homeless/1#comments

Here is the link for the New York Post article: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/homeless_doll_costs_hairstyling_4Ic0hC7Lacpfo8HQbczsQM?offset=8#comments

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

This is Beautiful


The view of the sunset after the rain yesterday. This picture was taken from my driveway at approximately 7:30 pm. I posted it here because it really lifted my spirits. What lifts your spirits?

Suspense and Hope

My grades came in for the last essay I submitted. It was not as high as I hoped it would be, but it was better than the first essay I submitted and still an A. For people who think I am crazy for complaining about an A, let me explain how my school's grading system works: Each assignment is given a point value. At the start of each semester, you find the point value for the course. These point values are later translated into your final grade. So, higher points that come closest to equaling the total given in the syllabus for the course equal a higher final grade.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Frustration

What exactly is it about distance in a military marriage that sometimes makes people forget that people often say things out of sheer hurt and frustration that they don't mean?

I am not talking about anything as dangerous as a threat of suicide or homicide, but just something to the effect of mentioning wanting a drink...I said this to my husband tonight, after a very long and frustrating day with the kids. He told me he was worried. That one statement he made really got under my skin. To me, it implied I wasn't shouldering my responsibilities accurately, that it was this failure that caused him to worry. I guess it put me on the defensive because I have been doing everything I can to keep him from worrying and he keeps worrying.

My kids are angry and frustrated that their dad is gone; especially my oldest son who is nine. My mother, who lives with me and is a raging, out-of-control diabetic who can't be trusted to do what she is supposed to do to keep herself healthy without someone supervising her constantly, keeps telling me she won't live long enough to see him again.

In this circus of the absurd, I am the damn ringmaster!

I sometimes wish I could be like one of those stupid sitcom wives from days of yore; you know, the kind that have a picture perfect house, with well-behaved kids. One that can spend all day cooking and still look like she stepped off a magazine cover when her husband gets home...

I wish I could be more than the target of everybody's rage, hurt, and frustration because he is not here.

It's not my fault; he didn't ask for these orders, and I certainly did not want them either...

Proflowers


One of the soldiers in my husband's old unit recently lost his wife. We decided to send flowers and they arrived today. I ordered them from Proflowers because I have done business with them before and was satisfied. Today, an arrangement that cost almost a hundred dollars arrived in a box, and decidely unarranged. The flowers are not even open. Needless to say, this represents the end of my business with them. Above is a picture of the nightmare I recieved. Have you had a bad experience with Proflowers or any other online florist? I would like to know...


Moods and Grey Days

I woke up this morning to a report that we were having wind gusts of about fifty miles an hour and that we were in for a wet Tuesday. The plants outside desperately need the rain; me, not so much. For as long as I can remember, the rain has influenced my moods...I dismissed it as one of my peculiarities.

I have since begun to wonder if there is a scientific explanation for this, and if there is anyone else out there who feels the same way.

Please let me know.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Gulf of Solitude

Saying goodbye, as the song says, is never an easy thing. This is especially true when you have become accustomed to certain constants in your life that do not change; these become anchors in an otherwise tempestous life. For me, it was the journey of becoming a wife and mother that became my routine. I became more and more involved in supporting my husband and his career and my children. The days passed by, and I found myself getting comfortable in my life...it seems to be the law of nature that such constancy is never destined to endure for long. The Army came knocking, and a hole was blown right through the middle of my bliss.

My husband has had to PCS for a while, and this has forced me to double my role. This is not unusual for an Army wife; it's part of the job.

That I miss him and long for him to be here is not the hardest thing to imagine; the most frightening thing is discovering that he and my kids have become such a part of me that somehow I have lost my sense of self. I find myself forced to become independent once more and I am frightened, because all the interests I once cultivated and all the things that once defined me have since become a barren wasteland.

I have decided to try to awaken who and what I once was; I have started this blog in an effort to grant this process some expediency and legitimacy.