Leave the light on when I’m gone…

20170718_172717I don’t usually listen to David Cook, but when I do, I have deep thoughts.

Nobody leaves the light on anymore.

Remember the days when you gave someone directions and then said, “I’ll leave the light on for ya!”? I can’t even think of a time that would happen now. Our world has become so weird. People are genuinely put off and annoyed at having to give someone directions. “Don’t you have google maps!?”

We are spending so much time in silence. Having silent, superficial, “conversations.”

I hardly EVER have to speak to my ex because the kids have phones and their communication can be direct (And trust me, this is NOT a complaint, HOWEVER, perhaps were we forced to interact more often, things would be better?). It’s a freaking PROCESS to find out parent’s info when kids go to each other’s houses because there are no house phones anymore! And when there are kids at our house, all of a sudden they are just walking out the door leaving because they have been texting with their parents making plans to go home never said a word to me.

For all the “social” media we are connected to, we are less social than ever. We used to call our moms and dads and talk about how to change a tire, make that recipe from our childhood, unclog a drain. Now we just watch a YouTube video. We used to ask strangers to take our photo on vacation, now we take selfies.

We have forgotten that those interactions had TWO purposes, one was to learn the thing. The other was THE INTERACTION ITSELF!  Say with me kids, Innnnnnnterrrrrrrrraaaaaactioooooooon.

I am completely guilty of this and I need to stop! Sometimes my 21-year-old daughter will ask me something (usually something I unreasonably think she should already know), and with a tone of annoyance, I say, “FREAKING GOOOOOGLE IT!”

I am done with that.

Yesterday, Sean (15) asked me, with actual words out of his mouth, if we could get steaks and teach him to cook them. As I hadn’t written this blog and had my revelation yet, fortunately, a precedent for cooking lessons had already been set as Lonnie has been teaching him “the basics” (omelettes, burgers, etc), and I have been teaching him his favorite recipes (pasta salad, lasagna, sticky spicy chicken), and Lonnie picked up steaks right away and I got a text at work that Sean is now a pro steak maker!  There will be lots more of this. I want him to know that he can ask me something, and our connection is important enough to take the time to teach him, or learn with him!

CALL TO ACTION!

Next time you don’t know how to do something, STEP AWAY FROM THE GOOGLE! Think about someone who you think would know about it, use your words, and ASK THEM!

 

Parenting: We’re doing it wrong

20170703_141203I cannot recall my mother ever telling me or my brothers what to do with ourselves during our summer vacation; especially not at age 15. My mother never made me a daily list of things to do. She never required proof they had been done.  Hell… she never even knew where we WERE most of the time, And we all turned out JUST FINE!

Yet somehow, as I sit here watching my son clock in another hour of ps4, I feel guilty, like somehow it’s MY fault that he is wasting his summer.

Why has my generation of parents decided that it’s our job to make sure our children’s lives are a never-ending amusement park of memories? Why do we now label parents as bad or lazy if they are actually letting their kids figure shit out on their own?  Every time something negative happens that involves a kid, the world swiftly responds with, “WELL WHERE WERE THE PARENTS!?” We have completely absolved our children from any sense of responsibility, autonomy, or morality, and yet expect them to magically become responsible, autonomous, moral adults when they turn 18. When I was growing up, summertime was me out and about in the neighborhood learning life lessons until the street lights came on. If I did something wrong (and I certainly did!), blame wasn’t placed on my mother, it was placed on me; where it belonged!

orca-image-1498665270716.jpg_1498665270887
“My Summer Vacation” by Sean J

In truth, WE are the bad parents. We have created children that have no idea what to do with themselves when left to their own devices. We are creating kids that leave home at 18…19….29….. and are immediately reduced to puddles of anxiety because we haven’t let them figure anything out on their own!

The solution? Hell if I know!? If I knew the magic answers, I probably wouldn’t be getting angry side-eye right now because I told my kid to turn off his ps4 to do a french lesson and some laundry.

It’s not so easy to be cruelty free

 

IMG_20170618_192201_470
Check out my Marshall’s haul! I was just browsing around killing time the other day and came across an endcap FULL of cruelty-free cleaning, and not only was it not expensive, some of it was cheaper than the stuff we usually buy! Success! Sorta. 

I am writing this blog because my bff just commented on my instagram post (the above pic), “What are you using for dishwashing detergent?”  WHAT AM I USING FOR DISHWASHING DETERGENT!!?? I DIDN’T EVEN THINK OF THAT!!!! This isn’t as easy as I thought it would be. And we keep coming across things that I didn’t think of!

 

I have learned over the past several days what I am willing, and not willing, to do in the quest to be cruelty-free.

I WILL change the products I use to clean my house, wash my body, and put makeup on my face.

I will NOT be stinky and sweaty. And apparently, all mainstream anti-perspirant/deodorant companies test on animals.

I will NOT go broke in this quest. I am willing to spend a little more.

I am not sure yet about how I feel about changing a few things I am pretty attached to like my Crest Cinnamon toothpaste, and my aromatic array of laundry products that make our clothes and entire upstairs smell like happiness. All the major laundry brands test on animals, and that sucks.

Lonnie, aka Mr. Black & White, is all, “You shouldn’t have talked to me about this if you weren’t ready to make changes, it’s all or nothing.”

But IS it?? Does it HAVE to be? I have always touted myself as the Queen of Half-Assed. Why should this be any different? 😉

25 seconds

 

258bc473c24d6b3ecd537056956887b4The cutest little monkey is laying on a table in four point restraints, staring into the eyes of the person in a lab coat painting makeup onto it’s stomach to see if it hurts. That’s it. I’m out! I didn’t watch any further. Those 25 seconds were more than enough to inspire me to make a change. Makeup is a silly, frivolous hobby and guilty pleasure. I see NO reason for my fun to be at the expense of a creature who was unfortunate enough to be born in a lab, rather than the jungle where he belongs.

FORTUNATELY, I started to do a little research and learned that most of the stuff I use already IS cruelty-free! This drives the point home for me that animal testing is not necessary. It’s all already been done, and testing can now be done with lab-grown human tissue, computer simulations, and human volunteers.

IMGP0436

IMGP0440
My love…. Macadamia (always purchased at TJMaxx for cheepz!

I also have quite a bit of stuff that is not cruelty-free, but I am not going to run upstairs like a psycho and start throwing shit out the window or anything, but moving forward, I will not buy cosmetics that test on animals. Pretty Bummed about Benefit Cosmetics though. I am… well was… a BIG fan of several of their products.

I also may have opened a giant can of worms when I talked with Lonnie about all this and he says, “I think it’s all or nothing. We need to start choosing all our products with this in mind and really take a stand. Maybe even write to companies, like Tide, that we aren’t going to use anymore until they get their shit together.” Oh boy……

Here is a link to the video “Experimenting on Animals: Inside the Monkey Lab.” As I said, I only watched 25 seconds, so if you go any further than that and get traumatized, you’ve been warned!

IMGP0428
And, you know, because I had the real camera out….

Trumpcare… Obamacare… How about ANYBODY care!??

20170517_144150You know there’s problem with the healthcare system when a girl who loves her cleavage as much as I do finds herself poised in front of a mirror holding an exacto-knife and pondering stabbing herself right between the ta-tas. Spoiler alert: I didn’t do it.

Since 2007 part of my job has been educating the public on utilizing their primary care doctors rather than emergency rooms. So naturally, when what I thought was a zit turned into a ping pong ball over the course of 3 days, I named her Laverne and then went to the doctor’s office.

‘Oh it’s a carbuncle/absess/boil type thing. No big deal. It doesn’t look ready to be lanced or drained. Here’s some antibiotics.

Well… all the antibiotics did was make Laverne very, very angry. Like shying-away-from-hugs-from-my-family and not-sleeping-at-night angry. Then, (because I am me), I thought my antibiotics had been stolen from my car (they weren’t. I found them in a grocery bag in the fridge -because I am me). So I called the doctor’s office.

‘Sorry, no appts available to refill those or check out yer new third boob, maybe call Monday or go to the walk-in.’

 I tried to wait til Monday, but the pain (pain in the chest from Laverne, and pain in the neck from Lonnie’s endless prattling on about messing up antibiotics and causing superbugs, death, and world destruction.) So Saturday morning, off to the walk-in;

‘Oh it’s a carbuncle/absess/boil type thing. No big deal. It doesn’t look ready to be lanced or drained. Here’s some antibiotics.

Obviously by this walk-in visit, I was a certified google expert in abscesses and knew that they usually don’t heal until they drain. But… she’s the doctor, right?

4 days later. I call the doc office again as Laverne is still growing.

‘We could probably get you in next Wednesday….. or you could go to the walk-in.’

5 days later… Pain is raging, the whole side of my boob is red and hot, and I am supposed to leave for Nashville the following day. Back to the walk in I go, determined to get this thing lanced. I mention the lancing and what I had read, she gets snippy,

“We treat this with antibiotics ALL THE TIME without lancing.”

AND THEN…

Oh wow… that’s really bad and it looks like you now have cellulitis as well. We can’t help you here. I think you need to go to the ED and maybe be admitted for a few days for IV antibiotics. If you don’t, you could become septic and die. Oh, BTW, do you have breast cancer history in your family?”

That was it. I starting crying and completely went off on that bitch. “WHY WOULD YOU GO TO THE BREAST CANCER PLACE RIGHT NOW!?? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU!?” …..and off I went to the ED.

I was at the ED for a total of probably 20 minutes (I do work there 2 or 3 days a week, so I probably got a bit of red carpet treatment as I know everyone). Doc came in, said “YIKES! LET’S LANCE THAT SUCKER!” He also told me that the antibiotics she gave me did not treat what I had, as Laverne was a special gal who could only be destroyed with a combination of 2 antibiotics fighting as a team. And after I him my saga, he said, “Why the hell didn’t you come here in the first place? You know we would take care of you!?”

Why!?

Because I spend my career telling people NOT to go to the ED except for ACTUAL emergencies.

Because I spend an hour before every appointment and walk-in visit considering the money I could save by just stabbing that bitch myself.

Because part of the reason I cried in the walk-in was because I know how much an ED visit is going to cost me.

20 minutes, ok 20 GROSS minutes, and I was pain-free and on the mend.

How am I supposed to preach to people to go to their PCP when we all know none of them actually DO PROCEDURES anymore???? Talky Talky Talky… here’s some pills.

 

I read an article…

Did you know dogs get really smelly and are just plain gross and annoying when they are in heat? I didn’t. But then I read a couple articles, decided to wait until Piper was at least year old to have her spayed, and now I know.  Oh, oh, do I know….

20170408_181826

The sentence, “I read an article,” is the bane of existence for myself and all who know me.

I’ll tell ya right now though…. if this dog ever gets cancer or any of the other ailments I am supposedly helping her avoid by letting this happen… Shit is goin’ DOWN!!  I’ll be writing my OWN article called, “DON’T DO IT! IT’S NOT WORH IT!”

“Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid…”


“Die in a fire, faggot!” “Kill yourself!” I laugh with them as they read through the comments on their videos.  Peppered into the laughter are statements of disregard for those who say these things. Disregard certainly painted on as armor; layer-by-layer, with each comment, each look of disgust, each rejection.

But why? How does Jeffree Starr’s pink hair and outrageous behavior affect someone’s sense-of-being so much that they want him to die?  How does Manny MUA’s winged eyeliner and just-a-little-too-orange foundation make someone tell him to hang himself? I know people who think this way. Feel this way. I have disassociated myself from most of them, but the nature of my job as a crisis worker often puts me eye-to-eye with statements like those above. I have asked the question; Why? I have never gotten a real answer. “The bible says so!” “It’s not natural!” “It’s just creepy.” I take particular exception to those who wave the bible while spewing their bullshit. I {unfortunately-but that is a blog for another day} went to a Christian school and Sunday school for many years. I even went to church camp. I know what the bible says, and doesn’t say. I also know those same people wave that bible, don’t live the teachings of the book. None of them are spewing their venom at divorced people, or people who didn’t wait until marriage for sex, or cheaters.

I believe everyone does everything for a reason. Why does one person just think, “Ok, too weird for me.” and change the channel, or pray for Jeffree Starr’s soul, while another takes the time to type something hateful, or even threatening? My opinion; anger is their armor. Armor built of fear of things that are weird or different, causing feelings of discomfort. “Fucking Faggot,” gets out that discomfort. Puts you on the offense. Quickly dismisses any actual consideration of that person as a fellow human with a life, a story. Quickly dismisses the possibility that maybe you share similarities. Quickly dismisses your mind from wandering to places you fear.