Summer?

Summer ends this week.

What?

Where did it go?

It was here a minute ago.

I want to go do something A-MAZING with the boys on their last day.

I’m not sure what.

On the other hand, I’ve been scouring YouTube for the perfect scene for the post I’ve been working on. . . for . . . um. . .days.

Also I have no idea what a Gif is. I do. But not really. Magic. And how to make one. Magic and trolls and gnomes.

Back to looking for this perfect video. . . .

Dieting on Facebook

I’ve already had a post on things I don’t like about Facebook.  Talking about dieting is another thing.  I have a few health fanatics among my friends.  Health fanatics is the polite term.  Obsessed with being thin is probably more accurate.  But I hate the diet memes.

If you believe this, then you haven’t lived, and you don’t know how to cook or you’ve never been to a good restaurant.  You live a sad little life.  You’re missing so much!  I can think of amazing clam chowder, brilliant sushi rolls, chocolate shakes that complete one’s soul, fried chicken that built an amusement park, ice cream that haunts dreams, steaks that melted like butter.  I’ll pass on being skinny.

I’m most concern with “blowing hours of hard work in the gym for a few minutes of pleasure in the kitchen.”  Why most it be either or?  Why can’t you have both?  Why not spend a few minutes on pleasure?  Why am I thinking this had some sort of implications about sex?

This is just sick.

Because when you’re with friends, all you care about is how you look.  You should surround yourself with fat chicks.  Then you will always feel pretty.  Or you could have real friends who support and love you, make you laugh, let you be yourself, and make you fight for the fries that moments ago you said you shouldn’t eat but hey! no one steals my fries.

Amen!

Let’s get some ice cream.  I know a great place for milk shakes.

Facebook friends, you’re annoying

I’m a little annoyed with certain people on Facebook right now.  Or I should say I’m annoyed by a certain behavior that a few of my Facebook friends exhibit.  Let’s call it the “Perfect Parent” behavior.

It starts out with those memes.  “Like if your kids are the best kids in the whole world.”  “Like if your kids are your whole world.”  “Like if you love your kids more than anything.”  God.  I’m not a fan of the “like if” craze any ways.  I mean of course I hate cancer, support the troops, hope that kid’s parent stops smoking, hope that kid gets his/her dog/pony/elephant.  And of course, my kids are my favorite kids that I love more than any other kid in the whole world.  Well, except for that little girl in Monster Inc.  I’d take her in a heart beat.  Perhaps over my kids.  Maybe.

One day I’m going to respond to those posts with “Like if your kid’s acting like a brat and you want to lock him outside until he learns some manners but I love him anyways.”  Yeah, that’ll show them.

But those memes aren’t even the worse.  There some really weird ones.  I especially hate “You’ll be his first love, his first kiss, and his first friend.  You are his mommy, and he is your whole world.  He is your little boy.”  First off, I added the comas.  I was going to leave it as it appears all over Facebook and Pinterest, but then I developed a tick.  Second, no.  No, no, no.  There’s something so off and weird and f-ing wrong to say you are your son’s first love and first kiss.  Because when we say “First Love”  and “First Kiss” as in “my first love”  and “my first kiss,” we do not mean our parents, who loved us unconditionally and covered our bodies with kisses and loved us to pieces.  When we say “my first kiss,” we’re talking about that awkward first kiss from someone who likes us and not a family member.  When we say “my first love,” we talk about that first person we fell in romantically in love with, not our family members.

On top of this, the people who do these meme on my Facebo0ok are people I know.  Most of them are crappier parents than I am.  I’m sorry, but you can’t claim “World’s Best Mom” or “I love my kids more than anything else in the world” if you let your ex take them from you and rolled over so that you can live your life without them.  You don’t get to be a crappy parent and act like you were awesome.  (Ok, you can.  But people like me can call you out on that BS.  I’ll be happy to.)

But my favorite annoyance is the friends I know in person that I know about them who write personal things like “I just caught my kids reading and giggling an hour after bed time; how can I punish them when they’re so darn cute.”  Really?  It’s easy.  You do.  It’s a school night; they broke the rules; you handle that.  Also, I wouldn’t say punish as much as discipline them.  Or “My oldest two have reached the age where they don’t fight anymore, and now the second and third are always fighting.”  Unless your eldest has moved out of the house, which is doubtful because he’s seven, this is just a phase.  Which I couldn’t help myself and wrote.  (The “it’s a phase” part because I try not to be a total bitch on Facebook.)  Tomorrow those two are going to have a huge fist-flying fight over a stupid toy that you have double of.  Because they are siblings.  Or my favorite favorite over the last week, “Oh my god, my kid woke my up at 7:30; I don’t know why she’s up so early.”  Don’t even f-ing talk to me.  Don’t.  Until you have a child starts screaming for you at 5:45, don’t even mention an early morning wake up call.

(Not really in the same category but still made me want to type something was a friend complaining about how her 2yr old threw her shoe out the window on the freeway as my friend drove 85 miles an hour.  Questions: Why was your window down while you drove the freeway?  Why were you driving that fast with your window down?  Why were you driving that fast around the town on the freeway?  Did you learn nothing when you got your first speeding ticket on your 16th birthday all those years ago?)

In conclusion, we all know you love your kids, we all know your kids are awesome, and I don’t mind seeing and liking millions of cute pictures and cute little tidbits about your kids.  Just let’s be authentic.  Or at least humorous with our lack of authenticity.  Also, you can’t claim you did an awesome job parenting when your kid is doing time for assault and burglary.

Open Letter to the Boy Scouts of America

I just heard you were considering lifting the ban on keeping gay leaders and boys out of Boy Scouts.  Congratulations.  Admitting there is a problem is the first step.  The second is healing.

Just tp assure you that I know who you are, I was a Girl Scout for eight years.  I worked in the organization for two.  My brothers were both Boy Scouts.  My parents were very involved in their troop.  My baby brother made Eagle Scout.  My eldest son is working on his Wolf Badge.  My middle son wants to join as soon as he’s old enough.  I’m sure my third son will follow his brothers’ footsteps.  So I have a vested stake in your organization.  I believe in a lot of things you do.  Except the bigotry.  I think it is my responsibility to discuss sexual orientation and religious beliefs with my children, and those beliefs and personal understanding has nothing to do with you.

Personally, I think you’re a little confused.  I’m sure when you came up with the ban you thought you were protecting boys.  You were keeping them from being indoctrinated into the gay lifestyle.  I don’t know about you.  But there was never an older boy who took me aside and indoctrinated me into the heterosexual lifestyle.  I assure you my father would have taken care of that boy.  Nor did I chose the heterosexual lifestyle.  It is just part of who I am. 

Now that we established that none of us “chose” to be the sexual lifestyles we are, we can discuss what else you were trying to protect those boys from.  You were trying to protect them from sexual predators.  You were afraid that some gay older boy of 17 will make sexual advances on some young, impressionable boy of 14.  Let’s work on that scenario.  What if it was some straight older boy of 17 who decides to make sexual advances on some young, impressionable little sister of another scout on a camping trip?  What would you do?  How would you feel?  If you’re not outraged and disgusted, then we have a much bigger problem here.  The correct answer is you deal with the boy who is making unwanted advances with strict discipline and a call to the police.  What if it was a young leader of 22 making sexual advances of a sixteen-year-old sister of another scout?  Again, the feeling should be disgust and outrage, and the action should be a strict disciplinary action and a call to the police..  What if a female adult leader or a mother makes sexual contact with one of the boys?  Again the feeling should be disgust and outrage, and the action should be strict disciplinary action and a call to the police.  Sexual predators are about taking advantage of their authority, their power, to thrust themselves on someone weaker.  It’s not about gay or straight.  It’s about power.  If you ban gays, you let the monsters who claim heterosexuality just waltz in.  If you  need an example, Jerry Sandusky.

There is your practical answer for the conservatives.  The new policy should be about protecting boys from predators.  “There should be no inappropriate touching, sexual advances, or relationships.”  Have your lawyers work it out.

But if we want to talk about the emotional impact, let’s think of the Boy Scout, who has just come to terms he is gay.  This boy must feel very alone and scared and worried.  What will his parents think?  What will his family think?  What will his friends think?  What about his leader and troop?  You are telling him to lie if he wants to stay in the Boy Scouts.  You’re telling him not to be morally straight, not to be honest with himself or others.  You’re asking him to go against his oath that you have made him swear at every Boy Scout function.  You’re telling him not to be brave, like it says in your laws.

What do you teach all the other boys in your organization?  They shouldn’t be loyal to their gay friends.  They shouldn’t be kind, friendly, or courteous to gay people.  They shouldn’t be brave, helpful, or trustworthy towards gay people.  That’s the problem with bigotry, it undermines all the good in the world.

So Boy Scouts of America, are you going to live up to your oath and law?

Commercials and Real Life

(Why yes, I should be doing stuff to prep for tonight and tomorrow, but I really wanted to write a blog, and f- it, if it means I have to stay up later wrapping gifts.)

I rarely get to watch commercials because we are an antenna TV/ Netflix household.  When I do watch commercials, it’s when I’m watching The Daily Show online, which means I am not the demographic they are shooting for.  I get to see them when we’re at my parents’ house, and often when I laugh out loud to one, my mom rolls her eyes because she’s seen the commercial a million and two times.

I like the Galazy S 3 commercial with the dad leaving for a trip and his kids give him a video to watch while he’s on the plane, and then his wife gives him a video to watch, um, later.  I find it cute.  Sweet sexual intimacy between a married couple that is subtle and funny.  Like it should be in real life.

But my new favorite commercial is this.  The same exact concept but with Santa and Mrs. Clause.  I love it because they are an older couple who are still in love and still want each other.  We don’t think of older couples being sexy or having a sex life.  We are happy to assume when people become grandparents they give that whole thing up for the younger people.  We don’t see it in our media.

I like it for the same reasons one of my favorite bloggers, The Fem Spot, likes Phyllis Smith 0n The Office.  Phyllis is an older woman, heavy-set, motherly, and yet, her husband finds her insanely attractive and wants her.  Like all the time.  It’s sweet and cute.  It’s real life, turning conventional media on its head.

And I like it when real life is cute and sweet.  Like it should be. Like I want my life and my relationship.   And God, I hope I’m attractive to someone when I have grey hair and wrinkles.

A post about nothing in particular

There’s not much to say.  I’ve been buried in school work.  My last 5-week class had a huge amount of reading and writing every week.  This class promised to be less.  Except I went away for four glorious days without the kids.  I figured I would enjoy myself more if I didn’t have to worry about work that needs to be done and finding the time to do it and borrowing someone else computer and pray that the internet connection would hold up.  So I pushed myself and got it all done early.  Then I saw last weeks pile of work.  The two largest chapters in the book, a 90 page booklet, a 30 minute web video, 2 papers, and of course the online discussion, which started Thursday, meaning all the reading was “suppose to be” done by then.

My father gave a rousing speech about how ridiculous it was to have assignments due on Thanksgiving weekend.  It was beautiful.  It was one of those moments where a huge American flag drops down behind them and “America the Beautiful” starts playing in the background.  I wanted to give him a standing ovation.  Instead I said, “That’s all well and good, Dad, but their excuse is that I could have done the work early if I didn’t want to do it over the weekend.  This is the price I pay for an accelerated program.”  God, I tried explaining to him about holiday day pay and temporary or part-time retail workers, and he just couldn’t wrap his head around the idea people have to put up with a lot of sh*t to get a job.  Ah, city employees, sometimes their jobs are pretty sweet.

My mom maintains that the reason I’m doing so well in school is because I’m older and taking it more seriously.  Mom, you have me confused with my brother.  You know your child that took 8 years to get his bachelors.  I’m the one who made Dean’s List all semesters but one, who graduated with almost a full year’s worth of credits over what I needed, who was invited to be on the English Honor Society, Sigma Tau Delta.  (To be young and an STD)  No, I’m doing well because I didn’t bite off more than I could chew in classes.  (I totally bit off more than I can chew in life, but you know, that’s life.)

This week I have ONE chapter to read and ONE paper and just ONE discussion question.  I’m thrilled by all that free time.  I can blog!  I can read blogs!  (Seriously, people are going to think I don’t like them any more.)  I can email my friends!  (See, last aside.)  I can call and text my friends!  (Um, again, the aside before the aside.)  I can study history!  I can start on next week’s project!  I can start on Christmas gifts!  I can shop online!  I can do chores!

I’m obviously getting a little overexcited about the “free” time and the exclamation points.  But those are a nickle a dozen.  In reality, I’ll catch up with what needs to be done and not feel like something is breathing down my neck.  If I was smart, I would be home finishing this up and starting the phone calls that HAVE TO BE DONE, and that I think I’m avoiding.  Instead, I’m at my parents’ house because Tornado A was so damn cute asking to be with my mom and my mom invited me to lunch, which didn’t happen, but hell, at least I can blog.

A Stupid Bill in AZ

My state cannot keep itself out of controversy.  And now it’s debating a bill so damn stupid that I’ve been seeing red since last night.  I read about AZ House Bill 2625.  You can read it here or watch it here or have the joy of reading the bill itself here, and if you want to be really pissed off, you can read this editorial here.

Basically if this bill becomes law, it allows any and all employers to deny an employee’s birth control coverage if the employer has a religious or moral objection.  If the employee wants birth control for something other than to stop conception, she would need to bring a note from the doctor to state the medical reason for the birth control.  I’m so angry right now that I don’t know where to begin to argue against this bill.  So instead of writing an incoherent letter to the editor, I figured I’d start here.

First off, employers do NOT pay for birth control.  They may pay for part of the health insurance.  The employee pays for the health insurance.  The employee pays for the birth control.  While the Obama administration is trying to make birth control pills covered by insurance companies, most employees still have to pay for that insurance.  So, I fail to see why the employer has a say on insurance coverage, if the employee has to pay for it.

Second, Debbie Lesko, State House of Representative, introduced the bill, saying,  “We live in America. We don’t live in the Soviet Union.  The government shouldn’t be telling mom-and- pop employers and religious organizations to do something that’s against the moral or religious beliefs. It’s just not right.”  No, Rep Lesko, what you’re proposing is a theocracy that puts a person’s religious beliefs above another’s civil liberties.  Here in the US, we were founded and believe in a separation of church and state, which means, not only are we protected to practice as we see fit, but we are protected from other people’s beliefs.  State Senator Linda Lopez said it better with this, “If it were truly about religious freedom, we would allow Christian scientists and Jehovah Witnesses to refuse to pay for coverage of life-saving blood transfusions for employers.  Religious freedom means I get to choose whether or not to be religious and if so, how.”

Third, it is no one’s business as to why a woman takes birth control pills.  Not her family’s, not her friend’s, not the government’s, and absolutely not her employer’s.  The right is worried about “a nanny state” and then proposes this kind of legislation.  If women have to “prove” why they are taking birth control, then what’s to stop other people needing to prove their illnesses.  Are we heading to a world where people will need a doctor’s note for every sick day?  Are we going to demand proof for other medications that treat allergies, depression, diabetes?  ALL people have a right to their own private personal lives and medical histories.

Fourth, what constitutes a religious or moral belief?  What keeps employers from abusing this law and opting for cheaper insurance coverages that have no birth control?  Shouldn’t the employer prove how religious he or she is?  I want to know their religion, if they tithe correctly, if they follow all the rules of the religion.  Failing these things, they shouldn’t be able to impose their beliefs on other people.  Oh, that’s right.  They shouldn’t impose their religious beliefs on any one.  I also propose that businesses have to disclose to all potential employees that they will not be offering birth control coverage, so that potential employees can withdraw their applications.  (Not that will happen with jobs as scarce as they are today.)

Fifth, why are we arguing about this?  (I can’t find the article that I read last night about this.  I don’t have the time to retrace my steps.  I’m, as Jon Stewart calls it, part of the busy majority. I’ll look for it.)  Back in 2002, Arizona passed a bill stating that all employers were required to offer birth control coverage as part of their health insurance coverages.  Not that they had to pay for it, just that it had to be part of the benefits.  In the last ten years, there has not been ONE SINGLE COMPLAINT.  That’s right.  Not one complaint.  No one has said this law infringed on his/her religious views.  No one has cried at the outrage of it all.  Not one person has written, called, email, gone to the press, got a lawyer to say that this law destroyed his/her religious freedom.  I don’t even understand why any one would write a bill for no one.

I’m angry enough that I emailed all 30 state senators last night as well as the governor.  The plan was to call all of them today, but I have kids, so I’ll have to do it in batches.  I plan to keep emailing and calling these senators.  I don’t understand why there is this backlash against women.  That’s what it feels like.  A war on women.  No one is talking about taking away men’s birth control.  Everyone is talking about taking away women’s.  They’re talking about mandatory waiting periods for abortions as though women haven’t agonized for hours, days, weeks before coming to a conclusion they didn’t want.  They’re making laws to force women to do intravaginal ultrasounds before abortions.  I have had the “pleasant” experience of one of these.  They’re not fun to say the least, and I dealt with the pain because I was scared over the failure to find a heartbeat.  They’re talking about defunding Planned Parenthood, which is where millions of women get their healthcare because it’s affordable.  My state wants to make it legal for doctors to withhold information about embryos and fetuses if the doctor feels the woman would abort if there was something wrong with the embryo or fetus.  I heard a rumor that my own state is debating a bill to have schools teach abortion is bad.  (Duh.)  If schools are going to start teaching morality, let’s start with the basics of lying, cheating, stealing, and hurting people. 

I understand the fight to end abortions.  No one wants more abortions or any that are not medically necessary.  But this is all the wrong way to go about it.  If people want to end abortions, then there needs to be easy access to free birth control.  Adoption needs to be made simpler.  Women’s Centers shouldn’t be shaming and guilting women into keeping babies; they should be helping these women with healthcare needs, employment needs, personal needs, baby needs.  People, who want to lie and shame women into keeping babies, should put their money where their mouths are.  Those people better be ready with resources to help those women, those families, such as babysitters, therapists, affordable daycare and whatever else is needed to help these families strive.  States should have six months maternity leave.  These are the things that will make abortion numbers drop like a rock.

I know I was all over the place with this post.  I usually don’t get on a soapbox.  I try not to judge.  I like to believe that people are making the right decisions for themselves.  I want politics to be used for making the world a better place for everyone.  Tune in tomorrow when I’ll be back to my usual self.  Hopefully I’ll be funny too.