Thursday, May 31, 2012

My Selfish Goal

      I've been thinking a lot about my goals, and how I can possibly achieve them.  I've spent the last few years raising my children and my loftiest ambition thus far has been to keep my sanity in tact.  I remember that I used to have goals for my life- doctor, lawyer, Marine Biologist- but they've all just sort of fallen by the wayside.  Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't trade my children or the precious time I spend with them for anything, but I did envision something different for myself.  It might make me selfish, but I'd like to acquire an identity outside of motherhood. 

      I don't want to go back to school.  Even though I finished my degree almost three years ago, I still have vivid nightmares about missing six weeks of a class I forgot I had, or trying to do ALL of my work-study hours in one day.  Those dreams are probably my worst nightmares to date.  But I want to do something.  Not to toot my own horn, but I am gifted in some ways I think- not all of them are evil.  I'd love to be a Career Author.  I'd love for people to read and enjoy things that I have written.  I'd love to watch my bank account swell with the royalties and profits from my adoring fans!  Ahem, anyways...

     I've written some stuff, but looking back on it, my heart wasn't really in it.  I wrote romances because it's supposedly the easiest and most profitable genre, not because I was particularly good at it, obviously.  I've submitted some adult-oriented stuff for contests and received fairly high reviews.  I guess, thanks to the fame of the Shades of Grey books, I could become Queen of the Smutkingdom.

    I want to write a novel that inspires the masses.  It will enthrall my readers, making it physically impossible for them to put my books down until they've read every single word-twice.  I want to write something that makes you think about yourself and your world differently; something that hangs with you for days, months, years even.  I want to publish a novel that makes Stephen King weep in envy of my awesomeness, and then I will use my newfound fame and clout to demolish his undeserving literary career.  Oops, that part was meant for my Evil Plotting notebook, not my Blog Idea notebook.  I really need to get a better filing system together. 

    I want to be a respected author before I die.  Of course, I'd have to have written something that's not garbage to accomplish that.  I guess I could write a novel that's somewhat worthwhile and then fake my own death, dead artists do seem to be the most popular.  Look at Michael Jackson, we all hated him and thought he was a creepy pedophile until he died. His estate has made millions of dollars since his death.  I think I'm onto something here, I'll make a note of it for my previously mentioned E.P notebook. 

:. I think Mr. Cropper left out two very important letters from his title .:

Saturday, May 26, 2012


        I've been reading Divergent by Veronica Roth, and while I won't go into an in-depth analysis of the book, she does include a faction of society in her novel named Candor.  This part of her futuristic society values honesty above all else.  Citizens of Candor are always open and honest with absolutely nothing to hide and they wear black and white clothing as a physical representation of their beliefs.  She didn't mention how or if they avoided hurt feelings or not.  I think that this particular virtue is refreshing because I like to know exactly where I stand with someone, and it avoids the awkward he-said/ she-said Bullmess and endless hours of mind games and guess work trying to figure out motives and feelings.

      I haven't always tried to be honest.  I used to experience some sort of perverse pleasure from lying.  I would lie about what I had for lunch, if I had homework, and other unimportant stuff.  I was under the false impression that I was cool for being able to deceive others so easily.  I regret acting that way.  It wasn't cool, and it certainly didn't make me a better person.  I've hurt people with untruths, and in the end I am the one who suffers.  I've lost people because I haven't always been a good friend, and I want you to know that I am sorry, and you haunt my conscience every single day. 

     A quote from an episode of Frasier comes to mind "Honesty, having the courage to face each other with the honest truth."  Being honest does take a measure of courage, especially if you're at fault or have done something you knew or now know to be wrong.  I think that most people want other people to like them, and doing something wrong isn't a likable quality.  Sometimes it's easier to lie than to tell the truth, it spares unnecessarily hurt feelings.  Like when you're wife or girlfriend asks if she looks fat in her bathing suit- we don't really want your honesty because we'll feel bad about ourselves if you answer in the affirmative.

     Honesty is also a double-edged sword.  There's a big difference between being genuinely honest and brutally honest.  You can be truthful without making someone feel like dirt.  I know I've hurt people's feelings by telling them the truth, and I've also hurt people by telling them a lie- I feel better when you're upset over the truth.  I also have some issues with being too forward or blunt, and I try a little harder to keep my filter in check these days.

     We try and rationalize our reasons for lying.  We have invented terms like "White Lies" or "Fibs".  You're not telling the complete truth or you're omitting something on purpose so you can avoid drama, or otherwise withholding information for the other person's benefit.  Like when you're asked to a friend's party and you'd rather stay home and watch America's Best Dance Crew; so you tell them that you're visiting you Grandma in the nursing home.  It's better than telling them that their parties are a snooze and you hate their snobby boyfriend. 

     We don't always tell lies to protect ourselves, although that's often reason enough.  Sometimes we want to protect our friends or loved ones, so it's considered less bad because it's a selfless act.  You might even go as far as taking the blame for something that someone else did.  There's a lot of reasons for doing this, but it really doesn't make it more or less wrong. 

     For whatever reason, I've found myself wanting to be more truthful.  I don't blame Connor for the crayon drawings on the wall anymore, I don't think anyone really believed he could spell "Mommy is awesome" anyway.  Not to mention that my chronic Iron deficiency is screwing with my memory, so it's also more convenient to be honest rather than trying to keep up with all kinds of lies.

    I don't think we're born with the urge or ability to lie, but we pick it up fairly quickly.  When you do something you're not supposed to and you get caught, you get reprimanded and/or punished- basic Pavlov Conditioning Behavior stuff.  Connor has learned to lie.  He'll smile and hide something behind his back while saying "Nothing" and then usually he'll follow it up with "I love you, Mommy" and blow me a kiss for good measure. Or he'll spill soda in the bed and blame it on the dog.  And I don't really understand it, but he'll get hurt and then lie about being hurt.   I'm onto him now, so we'll see how creative he gets in his teenage years. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

My Real-Estate Plan

      Neighborhoods across the country have tried to wrangle gay men into their midsts with the secret intent of using their good taste to increase their property values.  I haven't been paying much attention, but an episode of Will & Grace said that it worked, so it must be so.  We're all aware that the housing market still sucks, but I have a great idea.  Haunted Houses!  They are actually more popular and in-demand than you'd think.  People actually want to rent them for a night for a haunted party, live in them long-term, or flock to haunted hotels in the hopes of experiencing the fright of their lives. I see boundless capital and marketing potential.
    Here's how it works: Choose a cruddy-looking house in your neighborhood and make up some sort of unfortunate story about a family who was murdered there, you should probably use your artsy, creative neighbor for this one.  Next, you'll need someone to change and/or falsify some public records relating to the house and its previous owners; your politician or cop neighbor should be really good at this.  Now you'll need to split yourselves up into teams and decide who's going to screw with the lights, knock people down stairs, and hide in the shadowy places and make a lot of creepy noises.  It's best if the loudest, most hideous sounds are at night so the unsuspecting inhabitants can't sleep and eventually become paranoid and start to hallucinate all on their own.  Maybe send a concerned neighbor over with a casserole and a crucifix who will then whisper to said neighbors about the gory past of the house.  They might also mention something about an Indian burial ground for good measure.  The falsified records will really come in handy here and when the inevitable paranormal investigators arrive (if your science/special effects friends can't help you here, then you can always pay them off). 

      Now you just sit back and wait.  With any luck, the television crews and reporters will show up in droves.  There's talk about movie and book deals, businesses all across town start to pick up, and new construction begins because everyone loves a good scare.  In the meantime, you're also promoting unity and cooperation in your community.  Everyone wins!

:. Relocated Tombstones are also a nice touch!.:

How I Use Facebook

       Facebook is the best thing ever invented, if you're a nosey person like me.  Who needs a Private Detective?  With a quick search, I can find out all sorts of stuff about you.  A lot of people have their profiles public (makes things easier for me), they claim it's because they have nothing to hide, I must disagree.  We all have something to hide.  Personally, I have my profile set to  super-duper private because I know that there are other people just like me trolling the Internets- and that's just scary.
      I also have what I like to call my Fakebook.  It's a made-up account with some random photos in the profile that kind of look like they have the same person in it.  I use this for people I hate with a burning intensity of a thousand Hells, but want to keep an eye on for whatever reason.  Keep your friends close and spoon with your enemies, right?  No...however that goes. I'm totally one of those people who will delete you, block you, report you as a cyber stalker, then use my friend's Facebook to see if you're talking about me.  That's not creepy, that's Ninja Spy School 101 stuff.

      I also use Facebook to promote myself and others.  I promote my blog, of course, and I promote whatever projects my friends are doing.  Sure, no one promotes me back, but I try to not be too bitter about it.  But I would like to take a moment to remind my fans of the Law of Reciprocity.  All of your social interactions are a game.  For example,  gift-giving.  If someone buys you a baby shower gift, they expect one in return when they invite you to their third cousin's baby party.  You give things with the expectations of having it returned (usually the gift should have the same or an exceeding value of whatever I gave you, thanks).  So, say that I share my brother's blogs and then he doesn't share mine- I in turn share my flu virus with him. 

       Facebook is also really good for bragging.  You take pictures of your fancy, expensive toys so all of your high school buddies see how much money you have.  Or, you list your Gross Income(and then add a few hundred million just to make sure people see how awesome I am).  You list all of your awesome jobs and projects and secretly smile when someone adds you and they're living in their grandmother's basement.  I have several people on my friends list who completely ignored me in school or we made each other completely miserable.  We don't speak to one another, but one of us decided that we should be online Facefriends.  Because now we're suddenly cool with whatever pissed us off in the first place.

        So now I don't even have to talk to any real people anymore.  If something happens in my life, good or bad, I just post it as a status update and expect friends and family to share it for me.  It's fan-freaking-tastic!  Also, reading News Feeds keeps me entertained for hours.  I mean, I never get anything done because I'm constantly sharing, posting, replying, playing Words With Friends, stalking people- I have a full social calendar obviously.  Oops, gotta go- someone just played a 30 point word!
:.My Son's A Pilot!.:

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Everyone's Hungry

     Here's another topic I've had in my Idea Notebook just waiting to be voiced.  I'm a fairly avid reader, and I don't necessarily critique every book I read, I reserve that right for the ones that really stick with me, or strike some sort of chord in my brain.  I think it's safe to say that you're familiar with The Hunger Games because it's a movie, but it's also a book.  I haven't watched the movie yet, but based on past experience- the book is better.  (The reverse is only true for Stephen King novels.)  The Hunger Games trilogy was written by Suzanne Collins. If you haven't read them, I highly recommend them.  Spoiler Alert- the first one is the best, but if you're like me you'll feel obligated to read them all.

    I'd like to share my thoughts and ideas on the first book.  I wrote them down as I read, which is best because the ideas are fairly fresh and relevant that way.  I'll try and not ruin the ending or anything for you guys.

     - Stephen King's endorsement on the cover was initially a turn-off.  But, I figured if he liked it then it's probably not complete crap.
     - Wants vs. Needs: You can survive without the things you want.  It may not be a lot of fun, but it's easier to live without the things you want rather than living without the things you need.  Your basic necessities are shelter, food, and water.
     - Drafts:  The Hunger Games reminded me of the drafting process during wars.  If you don't have enough volunteers, you need someone to go out and die for the cause.  It's not really fair, but you're severely punished/ostracized if you don't go.  If you do go and you survive, you're welcomed back as a hero...unless you were in Vietnam.
     -Time: There's something tranquil about knowing when you're going to die.  You have the time and the inclination to finalize things that may otherwise have been left unsaid.  If I knew for certain that today was my last, I wouldn't die happily or peacefully but gratefully.  I'd be grateful for the opportunities and the blessings I've been given and for the people I've been able share them with.
    - Reality Television: Something like the Hunger Games would be the next logical step for reality TV.  I was reminded of George Carlin's thoughts on the All Suicide Network.  We already cover birth, weddings, imprisonment, the odd execution if we're particularly excited to get rid of you, surgery, addiction, drug abuse, sexual indiscretion, etc.  It could be like Extreme Survivor.  I bet a show like that would get good ratings in today's society.  We're a pretty depraved lot.
    - Government Control: People only have the control over you that you let them have.  Rules, rights, money, power, it's all an illusion.  There are more poor people than there are governing and/or wealthy people.  It's a fairly revolutionary idea that rears its head once every revolution or so, and the people in control dread the day that we finally remember that.  What really keeps us from taking what we want?  Fear of imprisonment for one, but those places are absolutely running over- or at least that's what we're told when someone rich and famous serves six hours of a three month sentence.
                      -Revolution: While I was writing this, I also had a conversation with a man who owns a business down the road.  We discussed the local and national economy and how money is basically useless.  $100 just doesn't buy anything anymore.  He said that what we needed, and I'd probably see it in my lifetime, is a revolution to put the government back in its place.  I liked the idea.  We've had revolutions before, and it helps for a little while but then things get all corrupt again and the cycle continues.  The fire in his eyes was compelling, though.  There's still plenty of fighting spirit left in the world, that's for certain. 
                      - Money: is really worthless paper that means whatever we say it's worth.  The same for everything else.  Remember those Furbies you paid hundreds of dollars for about ten years ago?  Utterly worthless now.  Sorry.
                      - Robin Hood: was so appealing because he took from the lazy rich and gave to the down-trodden poor.
      -Public Forms of Punishment: Not a new idea.  The Romans built Coliseums for people to watch prisoners kill each other (Gladiators) or to watch a hungry den of lions devour them.
      -Popularity: For the characters in the book, living depends on how popular you are.  The more wages in your favor, the more aid provided for you in the games.
      -Self-preservation: You can't trust anyone when your lives are at stake.  Even your closest friends will be compelled to save themselves over you.  Don't take it too personally, that's just the way evolution works.  The economically-challenged are viewed as weak, but they do have advantages because they rely on their wits to survive, and doing without isn't something new to them.
      - Unjust: People turn a blind eye to blatant injustice until it affects them personally.  They're outraged when it actually becomes a living, breathing thing clawing them from the inside out.  Like when one of Katniss' friends dies in the games, she suddenly understands what Gale was so angry with the capitol about.
       -Dispensable: People aren't a means to an end.  They're real, rationally thinking creatures just like you.  You may think that you're getting ahead by making friends only to drain them dry until they're no longer useful to you; but in the end, you're the one who's left alone and useless.  I'm reminded of the old adage "Be careful of  who you step on getting to the top, you'll meet them again on your way back down."

I'm interested to hear what kinds of ideas you guys had on the books.  Don't be shy!

-NSA: National Security Agency-

Saturday, May 19, 2012


    Since I haven't been at 100% in the last couple of weeks, I've found myself thinking about my life- more specifically about my children.  They pretty much consume my every waking thought anyway, but I can't seem to get over the miracle of them.

      My first Sociology professor explained how it's a miracle that babies are even conceived and the human race has continued. Making babies is a precise process.   The man has to have fertile, viable,  fast-swimming sperm; a woman's body temperature, ovulation cycle, weight, etc. must be absolutely perfect and that's just the beginning.  The egg has to implant, develop, and grow into a baby with ten wondrous fingers and toes.  A healthy baby is truly a medical miracle when you think about it. It's obvious that some people don't share this same sentiment by the way they abandon, abuse or mistreat their little charges.

     I've heard that babies begin as souls and those souls choose who they are to be born to.  I feel endlessly blessed and awe-struck to think that these two beautiful creatures chose me before they even knew me.  I mean, I loved them before I met them, but I'm already here.  I'm already capable of loving.  What made me so special?  There are plenty of women who are probably better mothers than I am who cannot have one baby- and I was given two.

     I was quite sick when I was pregnant with Connor, and for a few weeks afterwards.  I've mentioned that he was supposed to have been born with a facial birth defect, but he was born perfectly perfect.  I had premature Labor with Sissy and had to take a lot of medication to keep her all cozy in my belly, and she was still born early.  Her lungs weren't quite healthy, she was sick for a little while, but she was also perfect.  They both overcame something to be here...with me and it's a staggering, extremely humbling thought.  How quickly your life can change, and how even the smallest circumstance can create or destroy.  Life or death.

     Connor's baby horsey, Sweety Pie, as he has finally decided to name her, reminds me of my children.  Really, she's a miracle, too.  We hadn't planned on her, we weren't prepared for her, but she's here anyway.  Life is amazing.  It's so easy to become bogged down in negativity and all of the snares of the world, but it's not really worth being all torn-up about.  As long as we're healthy and happy and alive, you really can't ask for one more blessing.

:.Connor Lathan.:

:.Sweety Pie.:



Do No Harm

     I've been thinking about this post for several days.  At first I was tired, defeated even, and then I didn't want to make people mad, followed by unsure how to word what exactly I wanted to say, and my inner journey eventually dumped me firmly in the perpetual state of Pissed.

      Unless you're close to me, or have been the unfortunate victim of my Hellfire Wrath over the last month or so, you probably don't know that I've been pretty bad off.  It came to the point where I thought that I'd actually need a blood transfusion, if you catch my drift- which would have been very inconvenient since I have no idea what my blood type is.  I hate going to the doctor, even moreso when I no longer have medical insurance, but I couldn't concentrate anymore, and I forgot where I was half the time, bad way to be when you're driving two kids around with you.  Finally, I had to agree that I needed to get looked at.

     I decided that my best bet would be with the physicians who treated me when I was pregnant with Tempe since the physicians who delivered Connor already proved themselves incompetent.  Since hatching Tempe, my doctors have signed on as hospital staff physicians instead of private practice OB/Gyns.  The atmosphere was markedly more tense and hospital-like since their transition.  There were only one or two nurses on staff who I recognized, and the lab technicians had been replaced.  Since the hospital has taken over, I was required to fill out new paperwork.  I tried to be as honest as I could with the Q&A part of the form, but by the time I worked my way through ten pages of liability and consent forms, I was pretty bored and just wanted something done to fix the fountain that had become my Lady parts.

     After two hours of waiting, I was taken to a room and handed a paper gown that I probably had on all wrong.  The doctor read my file alright, enough to see that I didn't have insurance- because those were the first words out of his mouth.  The second was that it was probably post-partum depression.  I was pretty prepared for that, but it irritated me anyway.  Of course I'm depressed.  I have zero energy, I'm using gallons of clothing detergent to get the gallons of stains out, and I'm fairly certain that I could keel over at any time- but it's not post-partum related.

     He went ahead and performed my PAP because it was due and then looked at my chart.  From whatever boxes I'd checked, he decided I must have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.  That would be just fine if I was infertile and lots of other things I don't suffer from.  I was perfectly normal until last month, it's in no way chronic, but he seemed proud of himself and I'm poor so that was that.  He gave me stuff to fix me presently, but in a couple of days I'll get a lot worse before I"ll presumably be all better again.  Impressed I was not.

     This is the part that I've fretted over.  I've tried to reason it, argue it, beautify it even.  But in the end I decided to write exactly how I feel.  It doesn't matter if it's rhetorically-sound or politically correct.  This is my blog, my little corner of the universe where only my opinion matters, and if you don't agree with me then so be it.

      The 'bottom line' should never be more important than helping people.  The medical profession is supposed to be about healing.  I understand that you had to pay lots of money to obtain the specialized knowledge that you have, but poor, disenfranchised people get sick, too.  And not everyone without medical insurance is necessarily poor either.  Now, not all doctors are like this, I know enough physicians who help people when they know they have no way to repay them to not completely hate and/or discredit the whole lot.  They're not filthy rich, but they have a devoted following and respect that money cannot buy.
     Hospitals are businesses, not a mecca for the ailing- just in case you were somehow that delusional.  People with insurance often receive useless testing because Hospital Bureaucrats know that your insurance will waste lots of money for you to have them.  While people without insurance are given the bare minimum.  It doesn't even matter if the patients are millionaires with the economic ability to pay for whatever will make them better.   

     I'd go as far as to say that 98% of doctors chose their profession based on its earning potential.  I have to admire doctors who participate in programs to help impoverished peoples at home or abroad, but their spirits are quickly deflated because their programs are tragically underfunded both monetarily and medically.  Most illnesses can be prevented with inoculations and cured with antibiotics, but these things are hard to come by and expensive. 

     I'm not saying that anyone should treat me for free, but I am saying that we all have the right to equal medical treatment, regardless of income or coverage.  It's not something you can appreciate without living it or seeing it firsthand.  Saying that might make me a Socialist or whatever, but I consider myself a Humanist.  Money doesn't matter.  Money is a useless piece of paper that is supposed to be a representation of however much gold we may or may not have in a vault somewhere.  Gold is worth whatever WE say it is.  Thusly, money is worth whatever WE say it is.  Just like the Constitution says whatever Congress says it says.  We could wake up tomorrow and Gold could be absolutely worthless, or it could go through the roof and be worth Trillions of dollars an ounce.  Money is worthless!  People are not! 

     I know that my OB/Gyns are not bad doctors, probably not bad people either, but I can honestly say that this last visit was disenchanting at best.  He diagnosed me, but not because he put forth any real effort and if he has fixed me, then it was just good luck- not because he actually tried.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Little Things

    What is it about wanting things you do not have?  We're all guilty of it.  As a society, we're pretty materialistic.  With Mother's Day and all, I've noticed more commercials advertising flowers, candy, jewelry- but those things are actually meaningless.  They're nice to have, to show other people that your family cared about you so much that they spent lots of money to show their appreciation, but should other people's opinions really matter?  As long as you know you're loved, shouldn't that be enough?  I've been thinking about this a lot today.

    We brought Connor's pony Sweetheart and her Colt (since she's still unnamed, I'll call her what Connor does) 'Baby Horsey' home today.  He was so happy to have them here again.  He played with both of them out in the yard for a long time.  He even laid down in the grass with Baby Horsey.  Watching him frolic and being genuinely happy, with zero money spent, touched me in a way that costly fripperies could not.  I got my camera to take pictures, and as luck would have it, my SD card has somehow malfunctioned.  They would have been wonderful pictures, too.  *Insert sad face here*

   I did enjoy a nice little dinner at home with my family, and Connor and Tempe got me a personalized Thirty-One handbag for Mother's Day, but spending the evening outside with Tempe and watching Connor rolly-polly Baby Horsey was the best gift ever.

   So, I guess what I'm trying to say is that we shouldn't spend money we don't have on things we don't need.  Try to be happy with what you have and find solace in having the things you need.  Stop and really enjoy your moments with your loved ones instead of brushing them off for work and the endless pursuit of money.  Maybe call in sick and just spend the day teaching your kids how to fish.  If I could actually cast a reel, I'd totally take Connor Grimlin fishing. I'd bet we'd catch two license plates and a shoe for sure! 

:. My Little Loves .:

Friday, May 11, 2012

Kidz R Crazzy!

    Children should come with an off switch.  I mean, they go and go and go like the Energizer Bunny hyped up on 5-Hour Energies and Amphetamines.  And Heaven help you if you show them something new, because you're going to have to keep doing it for them for the next three hours.  For example, today I wanted Connor Lathan to pop my back.  He weighs about 57lbs. now, so I figured that should be a fairly comfortable weight to get the job done.  Yeah right, I should have asked The Hulk if he was free.  He stepped on my knee then my head, pulled my hair and then just dropped his whole body onto the center of my back.  I thought he'd snapped my spine in twain.  Chiropractor -he is not.  To his credit, he did apologize to me between bouts of hysterical laughter.  I think I heard Sissy laughing a little, too.

    Before then, Connor and I started chasing eachother around my Mom's house and I made the mistake of throwing one of his socks at him.  He interpreted that as the green light to throw books, boxes, and DVDs at me.  After that I just had to lock the bathroom door and pray for him to find something else to do other than rampage through Mom's bedroom.  On the up-side, I didn't have to clean up his mess!  Thanks Mom!

    We eventually made our way to Wal-Mart so I could fill up the car before I leave in the morning.  Connor wanted the new Underworld movie because he likes the gigantic, slobbering wolf on the cover- also, I think he's crushing on Saleen.  He also wanted a Harry Potter book.  I objected to the book because I'm not a fan of Hairy Pooter, and because Connor can't read.  He was intent on having it for when he can read.  His iliteracy is a bit of a problem since I'm such an avid reader, and I do try and teach him words, letters, numbers, and such but he just doesn't want to learn from me.  I know he knows things, he knows he knows them, but he'd rather goof off and attempt writing letters before I've finished teaching him.  It's stressful, but I know he'll do better in school because those people are trianed to teach the unteachable.  Connor also seems to want to please strangers more than he wants to please me.  It's unfair, but as long as he learns something then I'll be happy.    
:. Baby Connor & Mommy.:

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Always Unprepared!

   You'd think that a gargantuan Shetland Pony would send up lots of red flags.  I mean, she eats a lot and she's tiny, but I never really put much stock into the idea that she was preggo.  We bought Sweetheart at the first of September for Connor Lathan's fourth birthday.  I know, feeding an animal is the ultimate gift that keeps on giving, right?

    When we bought Sweetheart, the woman who sold her claimed that she had been in the pasture for several months and she didn't want to keep her anymore because her grandchildren were all grown up and no longer wanted to take care of her.  We got her for a fair price, so we brought her home to an ecstatic Connor Gremlin.  What kid doesn't want a pony?

     Fast forward to yesterday.  I brought Tempe over to visit her Aunt Liz and Uncle Ken, and while we were visiting, my mother-in-law calls, scared OUT OF HER MIND.  You'd think she'd just been shot from the way she was panicking and screaming into my ear.   My thoughts went to all sorts of dreadful places, but nowhere near "Connor's pony just gave birth".  Okay, not so bad.  I mean, we were completely unprepared, but it wasn't as terrible as a death in the family or being audited by the IRS. 

    She's mentioned to the Hubby that she thought our pony was pregnant, but being a man and a self-proclaimed Cowboy, he thought he knew everything about horses so he categorically denied it.  I don't know a whole lot about equestrian gestation, so I wasn't so sure myself.  She was pretty pissed off that we hadn't believed her, and I couldn't blame her.

     Two of Tempe and Connor's uncles (Ken and Randis) had to go to them and help them out since a colt was a little too terrifying for my mother-in-law.  The whole situation is a little hilarious.  Uncle Ken has decided to name the colt Connor's Rainbow.  We were so grateful for their help, we've decided to keep her name.  Unless Connor wants to rename her, then I guess she'll have two names.

    Since Connor Lathan is off visiting my mother for the week, he doesn't really understand what we mean when we say that Sweetheart has a baby.  He insists that his Daddy said she couldn't have babies since she wasn't with a boy pony.  He'll be pretty shocked when he gets back and sees the colt for himself.  I now have a better understanding of that awful, paranoia-inducing, television show I Didn't Know I was Pregnant.  At least now we won't have to worry about Connor having to share his Pony with Sissy.  Ideally, he'll have Sweetheart, and she'll have Rainbow.  Well, maybe not so ideally since he's so greedy with his stuffs.
:. Connor Lathan, Sweetheart & Precious.:

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Dante Was Wrong-- Wal Mart is the Innermost Realm of Hell

    For some dumb reason I decided to go to Wal-Mart on the fourth day of the month.  It's like my sordid affair with candy corn.  Every Halloween I think, "Wow, those look good, little candy that look like corn.  What could be better?" and then I spit them everywhere and wonder how I'd forgotten how terrible they were. 

    Okay, I should probably stop here to clarify.  Connor went to visit my parents Thursday evening and will be gone for several days, which worked out well because I ended up filling in at work due to a family emergency.  On Friday evening, I figured that I would treat myself to a new book.  I buy books occasionally as "just incasers" because I never know what sort of mood I'll be in when I actually have the time to pick one up and enjoy it.  Since Connor is away for the week, I figured I could indulge in some Me-time.  So, I took off to Prestonsburg.  There's a Read More Bookstore down there and I enjoy browsing through their limited selection from time to time.

    Now, I have to say that this store's business angle doesn't make a lot of sense.  They're maybe a quarter of a mile away from Wal-Mart, but they sell their books at regular price...which would be fine if said books weren't also at said Wal-Mart with a 20% off sticker.  I don't know how they manage to stay in business, but then again numbers aren't my thing, being dyslexic and all.  Therefore, I generally only buy from there if I need to  order a book or if I'm in the market for a specialty book like the King Kelly Coleman biography I picked up for the Hubby. 

   The first book I saw was the Coleman book, but the second thing I saw on display were those Shades of Grey novels that supposedly every woman is raving about.  I'm on fairly friendly terms with the Lady behind the counter so I asked her about the books with sort-of a Cheshire Cat grin and eyebrows raised.  I'm now convinced she thought I was having some sort of strange face spasms.  She gave me the worst, most disapproving look...ever.  She quickly, and rather plainly, told me that the books were nothing but pure smut and needed to be over with the pornos.  This piqued my interest immediately.  Isn't sex supposed to be a selling point?  And second of all, could you point at the porn section again?  I totally want to check it out now. 

    I eventually put the book down, afraid she'd come at me with a vial of holy water and a crucifix if I continued to finger through the pages (pun not intended, but it still gave me a little giggle as I wrote it).  I wandered around the store as long as I could tolerate it because she kept starring at me and sucking her teeth, which must be her signal that she's pissed because I'd never heard her do that before.  It was really getting on my nerves.  I made a mental note of the books I was interested in, but uninterested in their hefty, hardback pricetags, paid for the Hubby's book, and headed to Wal-Mart to get my 20% discount.  I now wish I hadn't been so cheap and saved myself the spike in my blood pressure.

    Wal-Mart wasn't all that crowded, but then again there's a Super one about twenty-two miles up the road.  At first, I just kind of stood in the middle of the store missing Connor Lathan like a phantom limb.  I'm not used to being able to go and look at exactly what I want and buying just what I want without fighting all over the place and explaining to my little Gremlin what the meaning of 'one thing' actually means.  It doesn't mean one DVD and one toy...unless you're four and greedy and/or spoiled rotten.  Anyway, I went to the Electronics section and glanced through the movies out of habit, making note of what Connor would like before walking back to the toys.  I was completely lost.  He's trained me that well.

    I stood in the toys for a few minutes, probably looking like some wierd pedophile with a Barbie fetish before I reminded myself that I didn't have a reason to be in that particular department.  I finally made it to the books and started looking through their meager display.  I'd already poured over most of the new releases at the expensive bookstore, so I decided to look at some different ones.  I kept getting distracted by a conversation in the next aisle where the Inspirational stuff is located.  It went a little something like:

       "She poisoned herself!  I couldn't believe it.  All for some girl!"

   I put down the book I was flipping through, now infinitely more interested in what I was overhearing than whatever the book was about.  I was in the midst of some juicy gossip.  I titpoed around to the end of the shelf and stuck my head around to see three people standing in a little circle talking.  I didn't recognize any of them, but I continued to shamelessly eavesdropping on their conversation just the same.

      "No, no she killed the man to get his baby." The only male of the group chimed in and I leaned in a little closer to the shelf, thinking I could hear better with my face pressed against the sleeve of some book.

     "Yeah, yeah it was already in the glass.  That's right!"  The conversation went on for a few more minutes, something sort of itching in the back of my mind that this conversation reminded me of something.

      When the guy started mentioned the names of the people, I wanted to kick myself.  They were talking about season two of Justified!  You'd think that this would teach me a little something about minding my own beeswax, but it only served to irritate me...LOTS.  How dare they intrigue me over a television show?

     I was so upset, I picked up Steven King's newest book to see what new garbage he'd published.  Smoke Through The Key Hole: A Dark Towers Novel.  What dribble!  I decided that Smoke Through His Butthole would have been a better title, and I cracked myself up with that one.  In fact, I decided to write this whole blog entry just so I could throw it in here somewhere.  I mean, I know people who have read every word the man has written (and those people are a little boring and odd for their effort), and I've read exactly one complete novella- but it's basically crap.  I had to stop myself after The Killer Washing Machine.  The movies are okay, but they're adaptations of his books- which means that someone took his crapolla and made it somewhat entertaining.  Those poor souls deserve a Nobel Prize! 

    I eventually picked out The Hunger Games to see what all of the hype was about and a couple of other things I needed and went to check out.  This is where I nearly had a stroke.  Customer Service was crowded due to some return policy CPR emergency-like situation that looked like it was going to take a while to calm the angry patron so I went to the tobacco line.  It was the only lane open besides the do-it-yourself machines.  Machinery and I don't get along and I end up ringing up the same damn item no less than 100 times before I finally get out of there.

    The tobacco line was also crowded.  A couple of people ahead of me decided they might get better luck elsewhere so I happily moved closer to the cashier.  I was so close!  Two unwashed dope fiends were the only things standing between me and freedom.  But, they weren't leaving without a fight.  I still don't understand what the problem was, but from what I could understand, they had a twenty-four hour hold on their Wal-Mart card.  Glaring at them wasn't making them leave fast enough, and while I was probably emotionally capable of ripping them from limb from limb, I decided that I should go elsewhere, too before I caved into the irrational idea of buying whatever it was they were wanting just to get them the hell out.  This store was bringing out the absolute worst in me.

    I went back to Electronics, politely asked the girl if I could check out, even though there was also a small line there.  I'd never realized how impatient I was until then.  Now I was stuck behind a forty-year old man-boy wanting to purchase some Magic the Gathering cards, but he was short some change.  I slammed a hand-full of silver on the counter and wished him well...and well away from me.  By now I couldn't trust myself not to hurt someone.

    Finally I could pay for the stuff that, by now, I didn't feel like I even needed, but I refused to make a trip out of my way for nothing.  I don't know how we got around to it, but I mentioned that the "Security Alert on aisle X" announcement always made me nervous even though I don't steal and I'm not in aisle X.  The woman said that they tried not to do that much, but they did have problems with theft, but mostly with the employees.  Apparently, the sales associates there like to sneak goods into their coworkers bags so the alarms will sound when they go out on break.  I probably would have thought it was funny, if I wasn't overcome by my newfound Wal-Mart phobia.  If they'll prank each other, think how much more fun they'd have over pranking the patrons?  I usually have my purse unzipped and overflowing, so I'd be hard-pressed to notice a herd of pygmy goats trotting around in there, let alone a sales associate dropping some CD's in there.

    It'll take me a whole month to get over my rage, paranoia, and irritation but you can guarantee that I'll be stumbling back in there come next check day- probably for a shiny, new bag of yummy Candy Corn!  It's candy and corn, ya know.  How wonderful!

:. I Miss My Connor Gremlin! .:

Friday, May 4, 2012

Vampires Drained My Interest!

Ben Cross
     I cut my teeth on Dark Shadows and Ben Cross.  Well, not literally...the television was much too large to fit in my mouth, but you catch my drift.  I was enticed by the vampire genre, and it kind of stuck with me for a while.  I greatly enjoyed romance novels in my teens, but eventually lost interest in them after actually falling in love and realizing that my books had LIED to me!  My utter bitterness towards my overflowing bookcase aside, I was intrigued by the idea of a marriage between the Romance and Paranormal genres.  Christine Feehan's Dark Carpathian novels and JR Ward's Lover series were a great hiatus from my usual Highlander (Hannah Howell) and Historical Regency scene.  Now, I'm fairly sick of the whole thing.  Twilight has viciously murdered my interest in all things Vampire and Werewolf- I'm thinking seriously about pressing charges.

      I admit that I did read ALL of the Twilight books.  I was intrigued by a copy of Twilight I found at the local Wal-Marts.  Twilight wasn't popular at the time (hence its location in the clearance bin with a meager $4 price tag).  I was looking for something to read and it was cheap, so why the hell not?  I thought it was pretty good at the time because it was something different and I was suddenly drawn into the Young Adult genre.  I despised YA when I was forced to read it in school, but now I actually like their literature more than my age appropriate stuff (Vampire nonsense aside). 

     I am so tired of reading Vampire books!  I'm fairly convinced that there's absolutely no new and interesting ways left to spin the whole idea.  I did, however, break my rule to read Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse books, but that was more because of the television show.  I did like the attempt to return to Vampires' non-romantic, ultimate killing machine former glory that Ms. Harris brought back from the dead, so to speak.  She is reminiscent of Anne Rice, just not as boring.  But even those got a little dull (and a tad cliche) after a while.  In case you haven't read the books, the HBO show True Blood is far more entertaining and sex-packed than the novels.  I'm not saying that I only read books for the sweet action, but it certainly doesn't hurt.

    When I was actively attempting to market my writings, I came across several literary agencies who stated that because they had so many paranormal/vampire/werewolf books on the shelves they were no longer accepting manuscripts in those genres because they had lost their marketing potential.  In fact, one agent posted that she would vomit if she was forced to read anymore Undead Dribble.  At that point, I couldn't blame her.

    My next fad was, and still is, Zombies.  It's not a huge leap from Vampires, but at least it is different.  You don't typically see the heroine humping on the rotting, reanimated corpse...unless you count the Necromancer series by Laurel K. Hamilton.  I'm not sure if any of that actually went on in any of her books since I only read one...but for these purposes I'm going to say that it's a good possibility.  If you are interested in some good Zombie books with a little romance drizzled on top, I suggest The Forest of Hands and Teeth novels by Carrie Ryan (Movie companion set to hit theatres sometime in 2013).  It definitely won't make you want to vomit rainbows.

     I did notice that another Sookie Stackouse book hit the shelves on May 1st or so, and I'm not sure if I'll rush right out and grab a copy.  First of all, hardback first releases are usually much more expensive than second string Paperbacks.  Second of all, like I said- I'm freaking sick of reading about Vampires!  Haven't you been paying attention?

     As for Connor Lathan, he's still firmly wedged on the Vampire-Fan Band Wagon.  He loves big, hairy, slobbering Werewolves and glittery, wussy, teenage Vamps.  So, I guess as long as he's still interested I'll also be forced to watch the drudgery.  Poor Me!
:.Connor Lathan in an Actual Wagon.:

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Bad Joo-Joo:Fast Track Your Way to Cosmic Fail!

     So, I have this idea that I have lovingly termed Bad Joo-Joo.  I consider it worse than bad luck, because luck implies that there wasn't anything you could have done to either cause or prevent it, that's just the way it was meant to happen.  However, Bad Joo-Joo is self-inflicted.  Think Good/Bad Karma-- just more fun to say!  You know it's wrong, but you do it anyway.  You reap what you sew.  Fairly straight forward stuff, I think

     I will not steal.  Not just because I want to avoid the inevitable Joo-Joo, (which would be reason enough) but because I don't want something I didn't earn.  I also will not keep money I find.  I will either make an attempt to find the owner as quickly as possible to avoid unnecessary Bad-Joo Residue, or I will drop the money into a charity somewhere, thus laundering the cash of its Mal-intent Mojo. I've discovered that found money, if kept, will end up costing you far more than what you initially found (or stole).  A better example, an acquaintance of mine found some money in the floor of a local business.  He was fairly pleased with himself because had found it (It was $100 I believe), and he claimed that he didn't look for the owner because someone would have lied about it or some such.  I felt that if someone had lied about the money's ownership, then they were simply more deserving of the Bad Joo.  I warned him repeatedly to drop it off at a local church, but he laughed, basically called me a Loon, and shoved the money into his billfold.  I'd done all I could do.  Subsequently, his television ceased all function without warning, his car wouldn't start, and a whole laundry list of other costly, inconvenient mishaps which he later blamed on me.  Hey, I told him to launder it!

     I suppose that there are certain instances where keeping money might be a literal Godsend.  Like if you pray and ask God for help during financial hardships and a manilla envelope full of cash ends up in your mail-box.  For example, around Christmas I started praying to God to ease my financial burdens.  We'd just brought Tempe home and we had spent some of our Presents Fund on things for her, which we hadn't planned on needing for another month.  Two days before Christmas, we received a check from the Hubby's previous place of employment, which they claimed was left over from his 401K rollover or some such.  It wasn't a lot, but it was certainly unexpected since he hadn't worked there in over a year.  I believe that God not only heard my plea, but he chose to answer it.  I felt so blessed!

Christmas 2011
       I try to teach my children not to take things that don't belong to them.  More accurately, I try to teach Connor Lathan not to take things that don't belong to him-Sissy isn't physically capable of thievery just yet.  I know that all kids go through that "Sticky Finger" stage, but it's something I'd rather avoid altogether.  Connor takes money out of my purse for his pretend cash register every once in a while, but I always know where to find it.  It' just a little inconvenient when you go to the store and attempt to pay for your stuff with money you thought you had. He's not being malicious, but he's also not being courteous when he neither asks to play with my wallet nor puts my money back when he's done ringing up his toys.  Like his toe-nibbling, it's a work in progress. 

    So, my thought for you today is this- do the right thing!  It might not add riches to you booty chest, it probably won't make you very popular with your greedy friends, but you'll feel better about your decisions and receive more blessings in your life for your trouble. Also, you'll be putting some good Karma in the bank and avoiding the Bad Joo-Joo!


Connor Lathan-- Code Name: Chomper McGee

    I've never understood the compulsion to bite your nails.  Sure, I've torn off the odd nail when it starts splintering and there aren't any nail clips handy, but I don't gnaw at them like an Eager Beaver.  I can't stand Emory boards, that grinding, sand-papery noise is just...well I'm having trouble breathing just thinking about it.  I've watched my brother chew his nails but, I think it's more of a nervous habit for him (like curling his bangs around his fingers when he's concentrating and thinks that no one is watching.  This too is another habit that Connor inherited from him).  The foster daughter my mother took in also has a nasty habit of biting her fingers AND toe nails.  That just sounds like the fast track to harvesting Athlete Mouth. Can you guess where I'm going with this?

    Connor bites his nails A LOT.  When he's watching television or otherwise preoccupied, his little fingers go straight to his mouth.  His nails are all chewed down to the quick, and it looks a little uncomfortable.  It's nerve wracking because I don't want him to suffer needlessly, so I've talked to him about it and he says, "But I can't help it."  I don't think he's trying hard enough. 

     Connor also bites his toe nails.  I've never actually witnessed this, but I've taken several long, disappointed looks at his chewed-off piggies and I honestly don't know how to break the cycle.  He's like a nail junkie!  And just like any other junkie, he's inevitably hit rock bottom with his nasty little habit.  Some of you may have already heard my rendition of the following account, but I'll repeat it for those of you who haven't.  Keep in mind, it's WAY more entertaining with hand motions and all that.  It's almost as funny as it is horrifying or visa versa. 

     About a month ago, I was dozing off in bed.  Connor and I share a bed a lot because he keeps some odd hours and I don't want him to get up, unknowing to me, and stumble outside and be eaten by some wild coyote.  Like I said in an earlier post, I have high hopes for my first-born which include, but is not limited to him taking care of me in my twilight years. Anyways, I was sound asleep and assumed he was, too because he hadn't made any noise for several minutes.  After a little while I was pretty much asleep, but I could feel him moving around beside me.  It wasn't a big deal because he usually ends up stretched across the foot of the bed by sun-up anyway.  After a bit longer, I felt something brush up against my feet.  I moved them out of his way so he could get comfy and I could go back to sleep.  Then I felt it again, followed by something wet on my big toe! 

     Now, if you know me, you know I have the complete opposite of a foot fetish.  I hate people touching, or otherwise acknowledging my feet.  I've been known to boot a puppy across the room for nipping at my toes, and I love dogs better than most humans.  I mean, Connor's lucky that I had enough Motherly Restraint to not beam him in the face with my foot.  I jerked back the covers, feeling as provoked as a rampaging bear,  and asked him what he was doing.  I had a sneaking suspicion, but I was unwilling to accept that he'd been about to nibble on my toenail.

     "But Mommy, I don't have any more!"  Oh no!  Also, Ewww!  My worst fears realized.  Now he wanted MY nails to chew on!  He could have kept at it for a week with little to no progress, my toe nails are like concrete anyway, but that's not the point!  What part of Parenting 101 did I so obviously fail?

      It gets better (well worse).  Tempereance has already started teething, and nothing seems to give her ease.  I've given her frozen teethers, teething beads, wash cloths, Popsicles,  you name it.  One day, I remembered that Connor had pretty much cut all of his teeth on my fingers and knuckles (I still have scars because that was also something of a bad habit to break.) so, I started letting Tempe chew on them and that has helped her some.  Bad idea for Connor to see that!  Now, whenever we're watching something or otherwise hanging out, he'll reach over like he wants to hold my hand.  I think it's so sweet and I fall for his evil scheme every damn time.  Before I realize what he's about, he has my thumb in his mouth in a last-ditch effort to feed his addiction.  Next, I'm going to catch him in an alley chewing on the Homeless! 

:.Me & Connor (age 3 months).:
     I've thought about that Old Wife's Tale of putting chicken poop on fingertips to break people from biting them, but that's just too gross to consider.  I bet it would work, but what if my whole plan backfired and that just birthed a newer, and much more disturbing addiction to chicken turds?  I mean, I may have failed some exams in Mothering 101, but I totally passed Hygiene class.  So, I'm going to have to figure out some better, less extreme (and icky) alternatives to fix him.  Maybe Betty Ford or Passages-Malibu could extend some outreach programs to my son?


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Beauty or Butchery? What is Beautiful?

   I've mentioned before how I couldn't wait to have a daughter.  Girl clothes are much more frilly and fun, you get to buy dresses drenched in pink and glitter- oh boy!  Now that I have birthed Temperance, I find myself caught up in the froo-froo of all things girly.  I can't really say that I was a girly-girl growing up.  I was surrounded by all-male cousins and an older brother, and I wanted to fit in.  So, I was a tomboy as soon as I was old enough to refuse my mother's efforts to dress me like a doll.  Now, I wish to live vicariously through her fashion.  Not to be confused with wanting to live vicariously through my daughter's youth and beauty- like the Freakazoid mothers on Toddlers & Tiaras, those people deserve to be jailed.

    There were things in my life that I was denied when I was child (mostly because my parents struggled just to put food on our table), so I strive to give my children things for the simple reason that I did not have them.  I think a parent's biggest goal is to improve your children's lives by at least 100% above your own.  Sometimes I cross the line of improvement into Spoilageville, but that topic is for another time.  Back to my original thought.

    Now that I have my daughter, I tend to notice other people's daughters.  Other people get their daughters' ears pierced.  My parents had mine pierced when I was six weeks old.  It's cute when a little girl baby has little earrings sparkling on either side of their big ol' head.  I have also witnessed some little boy babies with earrings...not quite the same effect.  I've even considered asking why Social Services didn't investigate that madness.  See?  That's what I'm getting at, why does society say it's okay for girl babies to be held down and pierced against their will, but little boys with piercings are referred to as "Sissified" or worse "Queer". 
Mursi woman's lip plate.
    So why do it at all?  Doesn't the whole idea seem a little Barbaric?   One word- Beauty.  The quest for beauty is painful and sometimes even un-fulfilling (think Body Dysmorphic Disorder).  I thought maybe it was a completely American-centric, obsession type -thing, but then I recalled the African Mursi, Chai, and Terma tribes.  The women of these tribes (usually 15 or 16 years old) begin with a cut on the inside of their bottom lip and then shove a plug inside.  Once the incision heals, the woman can insert bronze or wooden discs into their lips to stretch them out as large as they want to.  It looks gruesome at best, like torture at worst.  They do it to make themselves beautiful and attract mates.  The larger the plates, the more beautiful you're considered to be.  I would be remiss, however, not to mention the symbolic value of said plates.  In the above mentioned tribes, the women who choose not to stretch their mouths are considered lazy, thus undesirable.  So, not only does it make you more beautiful, but it also advertises your work ethic.  I'm not sure what one has to do with the other, other than maybe portraying yourself as a better mate to the opposite sex, but I'm also not a member of these tribes, so much is probably lost on me.
   While writing and researching this topic, I was also reminded of the men and women who insert spacers into their pierced ears and gradually stretch them out until you can literally shove a fist through the resulting hole.  It's not my thing, and I don't understand it, but said people obviously think that it improves their looks, or otherwise makes them appear more 'macho' for their ability to endure pain.  Is it practical?  No, it's not.  Or at least not as far as I can tell.

This weighs about 4 1/2 lbs.
   I can also mention the Neck Rings of Thailand's Kayan women, also termed "Giraffe Women" by the outside world.  I remember watching a Discovery special on them in my early teens, and I couldn't understand how anyone could think that was beautiful.  It was disfiguring and painful.  Stretching your neck muscles like that couldn't be good on your shoulders or spine.  At what point do you say "Hey, I'm going to break my neck?  This shit hurts!"  Essentially, the female children are outfitted with brass coils (starting around age 5), adding to their number (and weight) as the girl ages.  I think that the oldest women wear something like 25 coils.  That's a lot of stretching and pulling.  Well, it's not so much stretching the neck as it is shoving their clavicle bones down further and compressing their rib cage- doesn't sound beautiful to me.

    So, maybe it's not just about making ourselves beautiful for the simple pleasure of thinking we're beautiful.  It's sounding more like making men think we're more beautiful.  Hurting yourself for male attention isn't a new idea.  The Chinese women were binding their feet long before today's American women were shortening their toes in order to better wear their insanely high Peek-A-Boo Stilettos.  You also can't forget those awful whale-bone corsets which created the illusion of tiny wastes.  I'm sure the idea didn't originate there, but for my purposes, I'm going to contribute this fantastical idea to the London Aristocracy.  I suppose it is also worth mentioning that Americans also adopted this idea of fashion which has since made a come back in the area of Burlesque Dancing.  What happened to the idea of men being attracted to wider "birthing hips"- another term coined by men to praise their women's ability to give them lots of wee bairns.

   I'm sure that there are lots of other 'quirky' things around the world that are done for women, by women in order to attract a well-to-do mate, but from here on out, I'm switching gears to include beauty trends in today's American society.

    Plastic Surgery: There are lots of good reasons to get plastic surgery I suppose.  For instance, when I was pregnant with Connor Lathan, I was told that he was going to be born with a cleft palate and lip.  I was confronted with lots of images of children who successfully completed round after round of facial surgery to improve their quality of life.  I was also told that he would have to be outfitted with a temporary palate so he could drink his milk without choking.  Thankfully, his palate closed and he developed normally before birth.
Irene Ferrari: Model, Size "F" breasts, Tiny Chihuahua.
     There are also lots of bad reasons to go under the knife.  Striving to rid yourself of tiny flaws and imperfections really isn't going to improve your quality of life.  You may think more highly of yourself, thus increasing your self-esteem, but most people looked just as beautiful before their expensive procedures.  I find myself increasingly annoyed with people in places like Hollywood who put continual pressure on women to remain ageless.  Wrinkles are a part of getting older, right? Apparently not anymore.  Do these women look more beautiful for their time, money,and misery?  I don't think so.  They tend to become plastic and fake-looking with their huge, pouty lips and enormous, mountain-esque Boobages.  How could men even think that is attractive?  Maybe Freud would say that you never really outgrow your attachment to your Mommy's breasts because that's where the food comes from.  I'm nowhere near qualified enough to touch that one, so we'll leave that for another time.

      The Mani/ Pedi: Receiving fake nails for your fingers and your toes. Not only are they impractical and toxic,  but they're costly and damaging to your natural nails.  I can't tell you how many times I've watched a freshly-manicured woman attempt to pick coins up from a counter, only to fail and try some more until someone either takes pity on them and picks it up for them, or they give up altogether and decide that it's not worth the effort.  Sure, it looks pretty.  I've even had french tips before.
      Going back to that Horror Show that TLC calls Toddlers and Tiaras I saw a mother take her little girl into a nail salon to have tips painted onto her nails because she was told that it could permanently damage her six-year-old daughter's nail bed.  The little girl pouted and cried until her mother caved and took her back into the shop to have artificial nails glued to her fingers.  I remember thinking that was a terrible, awful thing to let your daughter do to herself, no matter how much she cried and complained that her nails weren't as pretty as the other girls she competed against.  When they showed her finished nails, I also remember thinking "Well, those are much prettier than the way she had them painted on before."  That thought was followed by, "What the hell is wrong with me?  I'm totally buying into Prostituinalizing children!" Society and reality television have conspired together to warp my poor, befuddled brain.
     Pedicures are a good idea.  I'm all for anything and everything that improves the look of feet.  I'd even agree with the Man-Pedi.  Man feet are quite possibly the most ugly things on the planet.  But fake toenails?  I might could see some validation in it if, oh say,  you somehow tragically lost all of your toenails in a freak foot  accident or something, but not when there's nothing wrong with your natural nails.  I've also read that fake nails on your toes increases the risk of nail fungal infections...yuck!

   Here's a couple of more things that I don't really care to elaborate on because it is time consuming and I'll only ending up saying something along the lines of "it's impractical and another way of gaining manattention."
  • False Eyelashes
  • Tattooed-On Makeup/ Eyebrows
  • Waxing and/or Shaving Your Vag
  • Waxing and/or Shaving Your Legs
  • Waxing and/or Shaving Your Face Hair (Okay, I totally buy into this because I shouldn't have a thicker mustache or goatee than my husband.  That's just too wrong.)
  • Hair Extensions
  • Dying Your Hair
  • Dental Implants and/or Acrylics
  • Tattoos
  • Piercings
  • Painful, Uncomfortable, Push-Up Bras
  • Spanx (or Girdles for you old-school folks
  • Botox
  • Chemical Peels
  • Laser Hair Removal
  • Laser Eye Correction Surgery ( No more awkward glasses to get in the way of my man looking at my fake lashes!)
       I must admit that I have done, or considered doing some of the things I've listed about above.  I'm a hypocrite, I know.  But at least I'm attempting to reason through my impulses here!  Everyone likes to be beautiful, and more importantly they want other people to think and tell them that they are beautiful.  It shouldn't matter to me, because I'm already married thus I've already attracted my mate.  However, I'd be a naive idiot to think that he isn't out there looking at these fake, talon-toting, inflatable-boobed women.   Did I sound as bitter as I felt just then?  Like I said, I've had my nails done on about three separate occasions.  I put on shovel-fulls of expensive makeup to mask my skin imperfections. I alternate between dying and highlighting my hair to cover my grey (Thanks again for those Temperance!).  I've pierced my ears about seven times and I've even gotten my tongue pierced.  I have three tattoos.  I have shaved my woman parts- and regretted it with the inevitable and extremely itchy regrowing process.  I suppose that you could say that I've done it all to gain male approval.  It doesn't make it any more right, or any more crazy than lip plates and neck coils when it comes right down to it.
Temperance in her Froo-Froo Finery!
    As for Temperance's ears, I think I've decided to wait and let her decide when and if she wants them pierced.  Sure, I'll have to put off buying her pretty little earrings, but at the very least I can say that I'm not a barbarian and I've allowed my daughter to make her own choices without forcing my, or society's,  ideas of beauty onto her.  I guess I'll just have to satisfy my girly urges with clip-on earrings when she gets a little older and there's no danger in her devouring them.  Exploratory Innard surgery doesn't even sound fun when you say it.

    As always, I'm interested in your input.  What, if anything, have you done (or felt pressured to do) to make yourself more attractive to others?  Do you agree with me?  Do you disagree with me (Keep in mind that I still have access to those Rabid Zombies from my earlier entry)?