Thursday, March 6, 2014
This might come as a surprise to you, but I consider myself a feminist.
It's a funny word: feminist
Those who were "around" in the 1960s have pretty strong feelings one way or another about feminism. Bras burning, unshaven armpits and a vocal disdain for the SAHM might come to mind. (Or so I have been told.) Maybe sisterhood and empowerment are words that others feel when the word is thrown around. I wasn't born until the 1970s, so I don't have a strong emotion tied to the word FEMINISM.
I am often enthralled at reactions and weight attributed to certain words. A word can be translated into another language and have completely different sentiments. I could be wrong (I doubt it), but I think the word FEMINISM in most languages would cause equally significant reactions. Power, animosity, hope, frustration, unity, divisiveness--I wonder what you feel about the word.
I have been told before when I have bid for a job that a man bidding the same work has a right to ask for more because he has a family to support. For the same work. How does this person know that I do not support my family? They didn't. But it has been something I have dealt with as a freelance worker before and very possible could again. I don't cringe when I hear "Equal Pay for Equal Work" because I wholeheartedly agree. I have noted that since there are women who are in high-paying positions, some men feel that it is no longer an issue. Just as now that we have a black PotUS, racism has been completely obliterated. Obviously. (eyeroll)
This is more than just being paid the same as men. This is getting outside of your little umbrella'd community. This is more than staying at home with your kids VS working outside of your home. (Get over that one, friends. People make choices for a thousand reasons; make your own and get over your neighbor's choice.) We live in a time when our little communities no longer define our world. We cannot pretend that what makes sense and works for us would work for the entire global community.
This is FEMINISM for your SISTERS in this world.
What is FEMINISM? It is simply the declaration of the complete humanity of women. Women are not supplementary to men, but in every way considered equal. I am not using the word SAME, please note. The word is EQUAL. I, as a woman, am not a bartering chip, I am not merely my womb or my body or my age. My personality should not be shunned because it is considered a masculine-trait to be opinionated or loud or strong-willed.
To me, feminism means realizing that women ARE NOT treated equally to men throughout the world, and that needs to CHANGE.
"Feminism is about both women and men. It affirms women’s full humanity, but it is not a putdown of men’s humanity. Rather it is a critique of patriarchy as a system that distorts the humanity of both women and men." (link here)
If you are a FEMINIST, you don't think it is OK for a young girl of 14 or 12 or 9 to be taken out of school and given to an older man in marriage.
If you are a FEMINIST, you understand that women have as much right to vote as men. That the suffrage movement was an important step in humanity.
If you think that female genital mutilation is cruel and should not be protected under ritual custom, you might be a FEMINIST.
If you believe that sex trafficking is inhumane, you could very well be a FEMINIST.
If you think that sexual objectification, oppression, discrimination, and stereotyping based solely on sexual organs is wrong, then HEY, guess what? You might be a FEMINIST.
If your heart breaks when you see that girls cannot get an education because they won't "need" it as much as boys, you are a bit FEMINIST.
This world has opened up in ways that were impossible half a century ago. We can easily see the mutilation of humans based solely on their gender. We are made aware of women who have acid thrown on their faces because they turned a male suitor down. And then their subsequent shunning by their family. We can see that women are used as bartering chips in patriarchal dealings (as they have been since the beginning of time).
The words FEMINIST and FEMINISM are not as powerful as the people who declare that they, their sisters, their wives and their daughters ARE IMPORTANT. Not more important or almost important as their brothers, fathers, husbands, and sons. But just as important.
You don't have to be feminine or even female to be a feminist.
This Saturday (March 8) is International Women's Day. Not Mother's Day, but Women's Day. In some countries it is a national holiday, complete with parades and celebrations. It has been an observed holiday since the early 1900s, when there was much for women to debate due to inequality.
It is the day before I gave birth to my first son, ten years ago, when I first began to understand how important it is to raise boys who value women and men, equally.
I am a FEMINIST. I hope all of my kids will be FEMINISTS. I hope the word is eradicated in my lifetime because there will be no need to point out blatant inequalities. But until that day, I will gladly hold that torch and title, regardless of how negative the word may seem to others.
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
This happens every season of the Bachelors. We get to the Women Tell All / Men Tell All and I am just tired of them all. Half of the individuals sitting in the plastic circle chairs seem completely irrelevant and I can't remember anything about them. The ones I do remember rehash the same information that has already been played out on previous episodes.
And the audience members steal the show.
Seriously, the facial expressions and reactions of the live studio audience are the greatest parts of the Women Tell All. They are so involved. They nod, scoff, question, cry, smile on cue. The audience is SO INVESTED and it kills me. Every time. I hope they are getting paid.
These girls were less catty and hateful (towards each other) than in seasons past. They seem to have bonded and care about each other. Think about the drama between girls on previous Bachelors: Girl who had so much sparkle. "I got the rose" model. Michelle Money. Vienna. I can't believe how much I miss those girls.
I have to say it, Sharleen is beautiful and her eyebrows are mesmerizing. But they keep using her cerebral soundbites which are doing her no favors. "I wish I was dumber" keeps manifesting that she isn't as smart as she thinks. She should have said, "I wish I WERE dumber" if she wanted to actually sound intelligent (subjunctive verb, y'all), bless her heart. I wish they had recorded her singing when she had enough time to warm up. Prove it, sister! ;)
Juan Pablo and his "little package." All I need to say.
I am calling it for next week: we're going to be bored. Juan Pablo will not propose. Everyone will cry. They are going to ask Andi to be the next Bachelorette. I will sleep.
Chris Harrison recently said that as soon as the viewers are apathetic about who is chosen, then his job is done. I don't want to put anyone out of a job, but...! You?
Friday, February 28, 2014
Last day of February and I'm feeling pretty optimistic about Spring this year. You?
If you've never heard Paris Combo, you've never been a boutique shopper. I first heard Paris Combo (pronounced similar to Perry Como) when I was living that semester in France. I bought about five CDs and burned about five more of my friend's CDs onto tapes. (dating myself, much?) Out of all of those groups, Paris Combo is the only one I have ever heard playing in the States. I think my sister even bought one of their albums without any suggestion from me.
Like most interesting artists, Paris Combo's lyrics are quirky and a bit twisted. My favorite song is Je rêve encore.
(the claps are a bit annoying, but just give it a listen for the build-up)
I just discovered yesterday that Paris Combo released a new album last year--their first in eight years. On first listen, I am totally digging it. It is total soup party music. (What? You don't have soup parties and play french jazz pop in the background? Weird.)
This song is my favorite so far of their new album, 5. (Cinq, for the non-French speaker)
As a side note...
Have you seen this short movie on Hulu? Rhett and I really enjoyed it.
Thursday, February 27, 2014
|pious AND patriotic|
Last night at a meeting for the youth in our church, someone was speaking of family history. As they recalled what they had learned about their great (x5) grandmother, they said, "She never questioned 'the church.' Her kids never heard her once say anything other than positive things about everything the Brethren said to do."
That reminded me of a conversation I recently had with my mother, who told me that she sees how much I question and wonder--how it is never something she has felt the need to do. She didn't think either way was right or wrong, but it was interesting to her that I had so many questions and struggles that I need to ponder and study, while she felt it was easy for her spirit to listen and accept.
Sometimes I hear stories of "faithful pioneers" and wonder why I am so much less willing to accept. My flesh is weak, my spirit is weak. There is willingness, but an inability to "go along with the crowd." I admit that I cringe all too often where my spiritual learning and listening are concerned.
But--in the deepest parts of my heart--I know God understands me. My questions are not disdainful nor are they irreverent to Him. They are a daughter's desire to comprehend and to filter out the supplementary fluff from the core doctrine.
I see my cringing as my soul physically denying immediate acceptance for just anything. Just because it is said within a church edifice, does not make it holy. Just because it is printed in a "church publication" does not make it doctrine. Just because someone said it at an institution of higher learning does not immediately make it my personal belief.
I feel like there is a line that divides members of the church to which I belong. There are the staunch "if you're not with us 100%, you're against us" and there are the others. I obviously feel I am in the other category. I am like 92% WITH, but the 8% take up some serious concern and questions. That 8% includes a lot of dogma that I don't think belong with my belief, but some of it has been declared as church-wide opinion. Some of the 8% has even been preached from the conference pulpit. Yet, I still struggle and wrestle with it. I cannot make it align in my heart and in my head.
Because I have that 8%, should I give up the 92% of my most sincere beliefs?
Of course not. Never would that make sense in anything anywhere. If you lost 8% of your income, would you throw away the 92%? If you lost 8% of your body's functions, would you give up on life altogether? If you lost 8% of your food to a malfunctioning refrigerator, would you toss the rest of your food, too?
I know that there are people who question more than 8%, and yet they continue to come. For, are we all not sinners and beggars, hoping to be forgiven and understood by our Creator?
President Dieter Uchtdorf recently said: "The Church is designed to nourish the imperfect, the struggling, and the exhausted. It is filled with people who desire with all their heart to keep the commandments, even if they haven’t mastered them yet."
Hand raised. I am not 100%, I don't know if I will ever be. Sometimes it feels more like 48% of struggle and questions and 52% aligned belief, but if I ignore the fluff and concentrate on the doctrinal basics, I see that while my actions might fail me, my desire is to do right. I will not ever see it like you do, you may never understand my views, but together we are just trying to make sense of it all. We are all right. Even those of you that are incredibly wrong.
My children will never say that I was someone who always believed and never questioned. They may say of me that I, in fact, questioned often; maybe that I never had very clear answers to their religious questions. But I hope they say of me that I tried. That I desired to be better. That I wanted them to be intelligent and caring individuals who loved the Lord and loved all of God's children. I hope they say that I tried to love everyone and treat everyone fairly. I hope that they say my cringing was adorable.
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Okay, Bachelor friends. I'm just going to come out and say it:
It was not as dramatic as promised (per usual), it was not as nightmarish of a telling of the Fantasy Suite (I don't know what I was expecting, but I am a bit ashamed as to what I was hoping), it was a gorgeous location, but I couldn't give any cares about it. It was totally boring.
And, is it me, or does even Chris Harrison seem to not dig Juan Pablo? Chris usually seems so invested in these Bachelors and Bachelorettes, but he is just not an advocate for el Bachelor.
I also seem to remember liking the main person MORE as the season goes on. My affinity has been trending away from Juan Pablo since week 4.
If he chooses either of these women at the end, I won't buy it. There will be no TV wedding, no special on Us Weekly about how their love has grown, I doubt if they even last a year so they can keep their Neil Lane ring.
C'mon Women Tell All, just be a fraction of what you promise to be. I'm losing hope for this enterprise (finally).
What did you think?
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
|tomorrow night is such a tease. The NIGHTMARE!|
El Bachelor--let's draw this out, shall we, producers? ugh
Juan Pablo is such a cowboy (eyeroll). Is Kansas City full of cowboys? I've never been there, but I imagine that most people living there would not love the idea that national television is showing them as a bunch of bull-riding, bbq-eating cowfolk. And the way Juan Pablo says, "I'm fine. I'm fine," over and over in his high-pitched voice while on the bull is pretty hilarious.
Oh, cue sexual simulation on top of the mechanical animal. gag.
Wait. Nikki's family is totally level-headed and kind. Maybe she was raised well and is just acting a brat this stage in her life. Her mom seems genuinely sweet, as does her dad. What is happening here?!
I remember when saying "I love you" was such a big deal. Those were some good times. Ha! Hey, Alan, I love you! Boom. (not that he reads my Bachelor posts, anyway)
He was not feeling the teasing from Andi about being tough. The guns were interesting. I am all for women being empowered and showing their interests to potential beaus, but this felt awkward. I don't think Juan Pablo likes being in a submissive role.
Hy, the father, would scare almost any potential male suitor, don't you think?
Andi's mom wanted to dance hip to hip with Juan Pablo. Then Andi got in the way. Oy!
Hy doesn't understand how the show works, but he is right. You don't ask a dad to potentially ask his daughter for marriage IF she wins your heart from three other women. That is lame, let's be honest. But, it is how the show is played. "I see things rapidly unfolding real fast," says Hy. Has he seen tomorrow night's episode already? Also, does he know about redundancy? (I kid)
Will Hy let Andi be the next Bachelorette?
Most 30-something mothers should not wear short jean shorts. Renee totally can. Darn her.
Ben is a legit baseball player. Cutest little league game. But, seriously, what uncomfortable pressure for a little guy.
Juan Pablo talks with his hands A LOT. How did I miss this before?
Renee is a catch. Plus, she already lives in Florida. But, Juan Pablo won't choose her. He's into crazies, methinks. She's too level-headed and sweet.
"We can love our pets," best line of the night from Renee's mom. Except, I think Alan is IN love with our dog, Bowie. So, her theory is flawed.
He lights up around the blonde crazies. Even though she says, "whole 'nother" and "like" and drops the "k" when she says "ask" all of the time. He doesn't know, though, since English is not his first language and all.
SIX daughters! This explains a lot. Is only one sister married or only one brother-in-law could come to dinner?
"You're not respecting Momma." That sister Laura is trouble. Ha! But I would love to hear Momma speak. Who is Momma? Or is it Mama?
Mama speaks! Espanish. What a sweetheart.
These hometowns sure make you like the crazies more than you want to.
Where do the ladies go after their one-day hometown? I cannot believe that they can't stay for a few days while Juan Pablo goes and hangs with the other girls. Maybe it's the isolation that is so important to the drama. Seems unfortunate, though.
Chris Harrison keeps looking at Renee. He loves her. ;)
Clare is so conscientious of how she walks sexy towards Juan Pablo and the rose.
Oh, such a sad limo ride. Chin up, sister.
What do you all think? WHAT is going to happen tonight? Guesses only, please. no spoilers!
Thursday, February 20, 2014
|not to scale, but you get the idea|
|before (with some wallpaper removed)|
|removal of three closets|
|before the old cast iron tub was resurfaced|
But, with time constraints and a good 30 minutes staring at it, I decided to let it stay and roll with it.
So, now there is enough room to dance and party. Mirrors were found at an antique store that was going out of business, found a lady on Facebook who made the vanity out of reclaimed wood, sinks from homedepot.com, lights from another antique store, you know.
Boom! Let's all go to the bathroom!
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
|Apparently Juan Pablo has been in this situation before.|
The resort we stayed in had American television stations, but I could not find ABC for the life of me on Monday. I was more frustrated than should be allowed. How was I going to keep up on the exploits of Juan Pablo? How could I go more than a week without seeing Clare's practiced facial expressions? (turns out that it's not that hard; actually, it's kind of a relief.)
Last night, my Bachelor-watching friend revealed that she had not watched week six, either. So, we agreed that there would be minimal talking so that we could watch both week six and seven in one sitting. Well, we lied. Because we talked, and then we watched, and then we talked, and then at the end of week seven, I snoozed a bit and it was almost 2 am when we finally finished.
Let's just say it: Ay yi yi.
Week six was kind of boring. We fast forwarded a good chunk of the end. Cassandra turned 22, though, in case you didn't catch that. She cries pretty, so she's got that going for her. The OGO balls down that gorgeous hillside in New Zealand did seem pretty amazing, although their exiting gave me some uncomfortable birthing reflections. And not surprised to see Kat go.
I loved how Juan Pablo told his cousin that Sharleen the "Oprah singer" could be the one. That was just foreshadowing in the negative, like producers love to do. She is so awkward.
When he surprises Sharleen that she has only 10 minutes to get ready, she seems flustered, but then somehow has time to do the balcony ponder.
I mean, really, I can't stop looking at the blanket on the yacht. It is more interesting than Sharleen and her roller coaster of thoughts and emotions. She says, "It just makes me feel happy... which is something I don't let myself to feel very often." What the martyr?! You don't let yourself feel happy, then change that, yo. Best line of hers so far, "I wish I was a little dumber" because of all of my big words and honest answers. "Great pause" and "bar none" are not so much the sign of a "cerebral" person than it is of someone who reads old romantic novels. Perhaps set in the old west. Written by an old British man who has never been west of New York City and likes to eat Pace Picante salsa. Get a rope.
And then when Sharleen tells Renee how she might want to go home, Renee doesn't tell her to go home. That girl is without guile. Any of the other girls would say, "Do what you gotta do" and then tell the confessional how glad they are that there is one less to compete with. Am I right? (you bet I am.)
Nikki. Nothing like wearing cutoffs with 6 inches of pockets showing to meet "the family". Ay carumba. I wonder if she wished she looked a little more mature when she found out what they were doing. Remember when Nikki told Juan Pablo that she thought A LOT about it and decided she would be a great step mom--because she can change diapers? Cameeeeela is four. It just made me laugh seeing them interact and thinking how Nikki can change diapers really well. ha! She looked like a teenager next to Camila's mother, Carla. Who is apparently a super model in Venezuela. No pressure, future wife.
And then let's play catch in heels and a backless, bra-less top--obviously. I just don't know. But wait. Now she is walking barefoot through the stadium. Gag. I can't.
She talks a lot and mostly nonsense.
Sharleen is all "fancy" and ready to break up with Juan Pablo. On one hand, no surprise. On the other hand, I kind of feel like she milked this for her own career and benefit. But, what do I know?! I don't know how he understood that she was leaving, because it seemed like everything she said was just wanting reassurances. But, he let her go and she left. I expected her to come back for the rest of the episode. Like that guy Jillian chose. What's his name?
The cat fight was funny because both Clare and Nikki are so unlikable. Apparently the silence at the cocktail party went on for ten minutes. I hope they aren't in the final two only because I want to see them fight it out at the Women Tell All.
Next week we get TWO episodes? Regarding the Tuesday night's episode, Chris Harrison says, "You really do not want to miss the overnight dates on Tuesday. It’s truly, honestly the most intense, exotic episode ever." Truly? Honestly? ok.
I'm going to call it:
Andi is the next Bachelorette
Final two are the crazies (Nikki and Clare)
Renee ends up with Chris Harrison:
What do you think? Is anyone rooting for Clare or Nikki?
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
The packaging on these soups are just so darn good looking. If I had a big kitchen with open shelves, I think I'd put these cans on it.
They are better than your average canned soups. Sick kids love the Minestrone. I think Maggie likes it most because of the large letter M on the packaging. The Lentil soup is pretty great, too. If I am pressed for time, I saute a stock pot full of onions, carrots, and celery and then add a couple of cans of this soup. It already has vegetables in it, but I just like to BEEF up the soup with VEGETABLES. Go figure.
This stuff is really good. Multigrain Blend with Vegetables is mostly rice, barley, corn, peas and carrots, but it is SO GOOD. Alan and I gobble it up at dinner time. And it's a breeze to warm up.
The last vegetable-ish product for the day is one of the kids' favorites:
Veggie Sticks. We prefer the sticks over the chips in our family. I know a lot of other stores offer similar products, but CHECK OUT that price. So much cheaper than Costco, and we like them better. But maybe we are just in love with the store. We've also tried the Cinnamon Apple Snack Sticks on the bottom left corner--they were pretty good. Nothing I'd get often, but kind of a fun change.
What are you getting at Trader Joe's these days?
Monday, February 10, 2014
For the first five to six years of your life, everyone you know calls you by your name. They don't mispronounce it, because they know better.
And then you start kindergarten and your teacher calls roll for the first time and calls you a different, but similar name. It's not your name, really, so you correct her.
Repeat this every year for six years. Then go to junior high and repeat it six times a day for the first two weeks of school, every semester. Lasts for three weeks, seven times a day in high school each semester. By college, you've given up. If your professor calls you Laurie, you're excited that they even know you exist.
My name, as is evidenced by the blog name and header, is pronounced AHHHnna, like Madonna and sauna and marijuana. It is spelled: Anna.
Everyone calls me Anna like banana and manna and Havana. It took me a decade or so, but I get it.
Here's the deal. It was my Greek grandmother's name who was killed along with my young aunt by a drunk driver the year before I was born. My parents loved my grandmother. Her name was: Anne. In Greece, that is pronounced AHHHHnna, but in America everyone called her Anne and she went with it. My parents wanted to honor me with her name so they "made it easier" by changing the "e" at the end to an "a". As you probably have guessed, it wasn't necessarily easier. Just a different mispronunciation. But I never just went with it, because I didn't get it.
As a young child, you don't think that people are reading your name as they would in 98% of the English-speaking communities. All you know is that they are saying it wrong. So you correct them. You get older and people start calling you a snob and you don't understand, still, because it is your name.
Then you just go with it 30% of the time.
Some ways I have learned to handle the mispronunciation of my name:
1. Answer to Anna (like banana)
2. When people ask for Anna (like banana), say, "This is Ahhhnna."
3. Say your name when you answer the phone or immediately when you call someone before it gets awkward: "Hi Anna (like banana)." "Hey Steve, this is Ahhhnna. I was wondering if we could go over these edit corrections" (because I am super professional).
4. Start going by "Lady" or "Amazing" or "Supafly" because, hey, why not?
5. Smile, because DUDE, people actually know who you are.
6. Realize you have a lot of names, more than most people, and revel in it.
7. Tell people that they can call you whatever they want, just not late for dinner. I totally just made that up.
8. When your DAD calls you by the wrong name, give him some slack. Even though it was HIS mother you are named after.
9. Have a piece of chocolate and chill out.
Did you know that I toyed with changing my name in college? I wanted everyone to call me "Beth" (because my middle name is Elisabeth). It lasted for three days.
When I lived in France, everyone called me Ahhhhnna. On our last night, we all decided to speak English together for the first time (in four months). Everyone's accents and voices sounded so different, but especially weird was that everyone started calling me Anna. Nope, still Ahhhnna.
So, SHATHEED, chin up. Even though your name is spelled Shithead and everyone laughs during roll, you and I both know you are SHATHEED. Life is good.
Friday, February 7, 2014
Do you know what next week is?
The most hated holiday of the year that we all pretend to love. VALENTINE's DAY, of course.
If you get over yourself and your own expectations, it is kind of a sweet celebration. Problem is, I never get flowers and the chocolate is usually Hershey's.
But the kids decorate huge boxes, make Valentine's for everyone in their class, talk about their crushes, eat sugar cookies during class, and give you lots of kisses. That's a pretty great day.
Here are the Valentine's we made this year.
I love them, even though the production value was low. We had way too much fun coming up with the tag lines to go with chocolate gold coins. Alan's "You have GAINED my INTEREST" is pure Al genius. Maggie's "You're all I want at the end of my rainbow" is classic Maggie cheese. I wanted one of them to say "You've got a SWEET ASSet" but then we agreed that it wasn't totally appropriate considering the audience. Still.
The music I want to share today are some of my favorite love songs, if you are in love, working on love, out of love, wanting love, loving love, hating love. Just good ol' love songs.
Love Me - The Little Willies
All My Love - Led Zeppelin
So In Love - Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
You Go to My Head - Billie Holiday
Love is the Answer - Weezer
Hot Love - T. Rex
Lovesong - The Cure
La Decadance - Serge Gainsbourg & Jane Birkin
Meteor Shower - Rhett Miller
I'd Love Just Once to See You - The Beach Boys
Do You Love Me - Guster
Incredible Love - Ingrid Michaelson
Modern Love - David Bowie
Somebody to Love - Queen
Check them out, if you don't already own them. Love it. Love you. Love love. Bring me a blank CD and I will burn the list for you. MWAH!
Bon week-end, mes amis.
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Disclosure: I do not watch the Biggest Loser. I did not see the finale. I did see the outrage online and the before and after pictures.
Disclosure 2: I am guilty of everything I wish to change in this post.
Disclosure 3: I am eating dark chocolate as I write this.
You've probably heard about the incredible transformation of the winner of season 15 of the Biggest Loser. If you haven't, I suggest you read THIS or THIS. But, if I may be so bold, don't read the comments. They are filled with hate and debate, which is precisely why I feel the need to write my thoughts here.
Rachel lost a lot of weight in a really short amount of time. Some people feel the need to say she looks like she has an eating disorder or that we shouldn't celebrate her being so skinny. Well, guess what? Hate the game not the player. This is a television show whose entire goal is to have contestants lose an insane amount of weight in a minimal amount of time--winner then gets lots of money. Should the winner's doctors make sure she is at a healthy weight? I don't know. Does yours? My doctors always seem baffled when I tell them how much I work out, like it is impossible considering the way I look. I once heard my grandfather (who is a doctor) say that "doctors are educated guessers" and I take from it that they are just humans who try to help you in the best way they know how.
Are you a doctor? Can you say if this woman is, in fact, healthy or not? Can you say if I am? Could you dare judge someone's health that you don't personally know and follow around to monitor every time they eat and exercise?
We live in such a body conscious world. Somehow it has become our right to judge what other people look like. It's not just beauty or attractiveness, it is judging bodies. Sexualized bodies, overweight bodies, malformed bodies, too small bodies, ideal bodies, fake bodies.
I am tired of it. I am tired of reading how some celebrity lost a ton of weight after their baby. I am tired of seeing the billboards for liposuction, breast enhancement, body augmentations of all sorts as I drive the freeway to see my family. I am tired of shaming my own body because it doesn't look like hers or hers or hers or hers. Or even hers. Hey, even yours. I am tired of hearing people blame the media or magazines or advertisements for making their daughters insecure. I am tired of body shame and body blame.
I don't like when people tell me that I look thinner. It makes me uncomfortable--as though I am better somehow than the perfectly acceptable person I was before. That somehow my body is something to be commended for its changing in whatever direction is currently popular. (Looks like I'm not the only one. This article on beauty redefined is GENIUS!)
Getting smaller? Hooray! Everyone beautiful is small! Bigger boobs from nursing? Huzzah! Everyone sexy has big boobs! More muscle? Great? Everyone in sparkly bikinis has lots of muscles!
Really. Good for the sexy and skinny and muscular. Seriously, good for them. Why should their bodies affect mine at all? It shouldn't. I have NO RIGHT TO JUDGE THEIR BODIES. They are not mine. I have no control over their bodies. They have no right to judge my body. They have no control over my body.
As for teaching our daughters about bodies and wishing "society" had better role models? I don't know, maybe don't buy her fashion magazines. Don't feed into it all. Don't talk about other people's bodies. Don't body shame your own. Don't put her on diets unless she asks for help. Don't tell her that she needs to look like anybody else. Don't watch movies/television and point out who looks good and who doesn't. Don't tell her that some people look like they have eating disorders and some people look great because they have lost weight/put on weight. Don't talk about other people's bodies.
I saw this over on Design Mom and I admit that I cried. Cried, I say!
One of the best Ted talks that actually gives a plan of action. Booyah! It's not short, but it is really great.
I complain about skinny more than I should. I would love to stop. That is my goal for the month: STOP TALKING ABOUT BODIES. Don't praise them. Don't shame them. Talk about personality, spirit, intellect, style, friendship, humor, talents. Talk about anything (which is everything) except for bodies. At the same time, appreciate mine and be sexy in it. Love it and work it because it is mine and I can. Don't let it be everything, but feel good because I have one and it does wonderful things.
So why does everyone want to weigh in (yep, meant it) on Rachel's transformation? Are they really concerned about a woman they don't know? Or are they worried for themselves and "society"?
Maybe "society" can only change if we STOP TALKING about other people's bodies and consider the 9 million other things about them that are important.
First, to those of you suggesting I try the dark chocolate caramels from Trader Joe's: DARN YOU! I tried them. Why didn't you warn me? They were as delicious as you suggested and they are now gone. I've got a swimsuit vacation coming up and those did not help. Thank you, you vixens!
You probably already know this, but if there is something you don't like at Trader Joe's, you can return it (without a receipt, even) and they will give you a store credit refund. Last month I brought back two boxes of peanut butter caramel truffles that nobody liked, one of which was half eaten, and an opened box of dog biscuits that Bowie didn't seem to like. No questions, just a full refund. Try away.
This face wash with tea tree oil is not for the weak and sensitive. It is strong stuff. If it gets in your eyes, you are toast. But it works better than anything else I have ever tried. One squirt is all you need, so it lasts a long time, too.
I only wash my face once a day and, being the desert dweller that I am, put on a ridiculous amount of face lotion. My face has had nary an adult pimple for months. Just a year or two ago when I started to use this face wash, I was guaranteed a few pimples every month. I kind of miss them. (not really... I've got kids now!)
|one is almost gone, so I am prepared. Except that last bit is lasting longer than expected.|
Check it out. And if you hate it and can't keep it out of your eyes, return it. Easy peasy!
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Let's talk about the elephant in the room first.
Clare and Juan Pablo in the ocean.
When I walked into our bedroom at 1 am this morning, I gave Alan a brief recap of last night's episode. I told him how Clare said they just "went for it" and it was "pure bliss in every way" but I wasn't sure if the producers wanted us to believe they "made love" or just got perilously close. Alan scoffed. "Totally sex." The dude knows.
What say you? Sess or just close to sess? (Which is how I bet Juan Pablo says it--SESS--considering he asks girls to "assept" his rose. yes? yes.) And yes, I feel dirty even caring if someone has sex or not, but so it is with the virtuous El Bachelor franchise.
Lots of animal talk last night as well, Clare felt like a newborn giraffe with wobbly legs (sess), Charlene wants to be viewed as a panda bear in a room of brown bears (in which case she'd probably be killed rather quickly), and Nikki is afraid of pooping her pants (which is a super classy way to say you are feeling more like an animal than a young woman).
Speaking of Nikki, nothing says "I'm insecure" more than touting how selfless and kind you are. Oh, and that you would be a most excellent step mom. "I think I'm super compassionate and have a big heart," Nikki said and Juan Pablo repeated it almost word for word when talking about her later. She might have a future in mind control.
The HELL cave was ridiculous. Do you think they pick the girls most likely NOT TO be adventurous on the more dangerous activities? That way, the man looks super manly as he takes control and helps the girl overcome her fears. Clare would be a mess on one of those dates, so maybe not. Also, when these girls "take a leap" which is OBVIOUSLY just like love, they always say it is because they TRUST the man, in this case Juan Pablo. Huh? Did Juan Pablo check the ropes for safety and ensure the harness was correctly secure? Eh, no. But mid-rappel, all Nikki needs is a kiss from Juan Pablo and she can muster up the courage to finish the descent into hell. (No snarky comment necessary.)
"Trust me," Juan Pablo says to Andi, whose guts "literally" were wrenched when she sees him with other girls. But then he says "eh-trust me" and she is goo. "If I trust him, I think something really great could come out of it," she says to the camera. Yep, like being the next Bachelorette.
Juan Pablo needs to figure out his intimacy rules. Is he going to kiss girls or not? I appreciate that he seems to care about his daughter in all of this, but DUDE, the ocean. And, six girls. And poor Renee getting your double standard (quintuple standard?) because she has a son.
I admit I am going to miss Kelly. Obviously there was nothing happening there, but once her dog was gone, that girl was FUNNY! Cassandra makes very obvious comments out loud and I love her lack of filter, "This is really awkward" she says when Clare walks in with her "allergies." But then I think she just might be a simple gal, "we should have one of these garden thingies back in America."
Who knows anymore? Clare might get to the final four, but I think Juan Pablo will keep her around out of guilt. If he is smart, he'd choose Andi or Renee, but I am starting to think he is not that smart.
(I think) Juan Pablo favorites:
2. Clare (sess)
What say you? And, please, no spoilers. We all know how to find spoilers on the internet and if we wanted to know them, we'd go looking for them. Yes? yes. love.
Anyone think sometimes Juan Pablo sounds like a mixture of Steve Martin's "wild and crazy guys" and Borat? Just me?
Monday, February 3, 2014
I wanted to write something today about clever Super Bowl commercials or how our Groundhog Day was so amazing that I would want to live it over and over again like Bill Murray.
But I didn't watch the Super Bowl and every commercial I have seen today that aired last night leaves me with a "meh. sure" feeling. They're not horrible. Neither was my day, but I don't think I'd live it again and again.
Humdrum is the word coming to my mind.
Then I sat on a wet toilet seat and I thought, "Oh, this is the worst." As soon as I thought it, I also thought of things that are far worse than a toilet seat that is wet. I'm not saying that the unknown dampness is not gross. It's fairly disconcerting. Especially in a house with three little boys. Know what I'm saying?
I started thinking of all of the times we say, "Oh, that's the worst" when someone has a papercut or a cold sore (raises hand). It's the extreme hyperbole of the phrase that gets to me. It's almost as if we don't have over 42,000 adjectives in our current English language. We say that something is THE WORST, when it fact it is just the pits.
A hair in your food is the pits.
Sitting on a wet toilet is the pits.
Having your kids throw up all over your bed is the pits.
Because, let's be honest, the fact that you have any of those things makes your life far from the worst.
Am I right?
Thursday, January 30, 2014
Because I wasted my morning writing about why I was upset, I no longer have time to write about the bathroom remodel. It needs a drawing to explain what happened, so it will be ready to go next week.
But, here is the basement of La Casa del Azúcar.
|after the ceiling and carpet were removed.|
When I first toured this house, the basement had no electricity because of fairly severe water damage. There was a large hole in the ceiling--which was popcorn-covered acoustic tiles. Yep, double acoustic! The carpet was once fluffy and high-piled, but now flat and more colorful than initially created. It was big, though, for Sugar House standards.
|remember I said there was no electricity.|
|nope. didn't vacuum for this photo shoot. And there is Bowie's room!|
We put in canned lighting, ceiling, carpet, paint and added a new door under the stairs (another post for another day).
|My camera skills are seriously lacking.|
Also, see that entertainment bookcase thingamabob? That was in the storage room in this house and used for tools. I planned on stripping and sanding it, but decided I liked all of its "charm" and history even better. Especially the little marks of spray paint.
The carpet was bought in 30 minutes. I was running out of time and I went to the final carpet store that had the best deals. This carpet was soft and on sale. CHACHING! It was a dark gray in the store, which is just what I wanted.
They installed it a week later and it looked perilously like blue. Grayish blue, mind you, but BLUE. Oh well. Learn not to buy flooring in a hurry. Bring it to wherever it will be installed and THEN make a decision. It's still pretty great.
Want to come watch a movie and snuggle with Bowie?