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Monthly Archives: March 2014

What I Am Grateful For Today

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Today I am grateful that I work for a multinational corporation that has always provided affordable healthcare with few restrictions.

I’m also grateful that I’m nearing the end of my reproductive life and needing access to birth control or abortion will no longer be necessary should my circumstances change. Thankfully, I also live in a state that isn’t actively trying to chip away at my ability to procure these things either.

Seriously, What the fuck?!? Why should any woman ever have to be concerned about these things?

I know there are many people who hold religious beliefs that do not support the backwards idea that life begins at fertilization, but they really need to start speaking the fuck up or they will be lumped together with the mentally deficient fools who are trying to drag the entire country back into the dark ages.

I have no faith in our bought and paid for political system. I just don’t understand who will benefit when all this goes down. Certainly not the women who are being treated as nothing more than incubators. And certainly not the children born to unfit or incapable mothers, mothers who may not want them and possibly cannot take care of them. Then they will either suffer with the biological parent(s) or in a foster care system that cares even less.

This is not the inevitable outcome of an unwanted pregnancy but it is very likely and all too common. And childbirth is not without risk for the woman herself.

When I was in junior high, I participated in a debate about the topic of abortion. I was on the pro-life side and thought it was a shoe-in. I was raised religious and believed that abortion was murder with few exceptions. We gave our argument and then the other side got up.

If you’ve never had your world view blown up, I highly recommend it. I truly believe that I was completely altered on that day… and for the better. The pro-choice side gave the human argument. They talked about quality of life in many different ways. Rather than seeing the issue from some conceptual place, I saw the people. I saw women making tough choices, I saw people doing what they thought was best for their lives and I put myself in those exact circumstances – both as the pregnant woman and the unborn child.

When people try and give the argument, “Well what if your mother had aborted you?” it’s bullshit. If I were aborted, I wouldn’t be here to have an opinion. I would not exist. And I can say there are a lot of life experiences out there that just might make me wish I didn’t. I am grateful that I’ve never had to experience those things.

If you truly find abortion abhorrent, then why don’t you focus your energies on preventing unwanted pregnancies? Make abortion obsolete rather than illegal. Educate people about sex. Provide them with the means to determine when they will and won’t reproduce. Make those means widely available to everyone. Then abortion will only be used in the cases of rape, incest and medical emergencies on the whole.

If you think that people shouldn’t be having sex when they choose to, then you are trying to control other people’s lives based on your religious beliefs and that is ignorant and truly un-American.

The case currently before the Supreme Court regarding Hobby Lobby objecting to providing reproductive measures to their employees because of the ACA mandate is the last gasp of the old order.  If for any reason they are the victors in this case, I hope that this will be the impetus for single-payer health care.  What I do in my life that neither impacts my job performance or my employer should not be in their hands to decide.  This is beyond the scope of religious freedom and rolling straight into religious tyranny.

I am grateful that I know the difference.





My Kind of Marathon

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I usually joke that I don’t run unless I’m being chased. It’s funny because it’s true. But there is one type of marathon that is right up my alley. A movie marathon!

And what makes a movie marathon even better? Friends and a fabulous spread.

This past weekend, we finally got around to having our Muppets Marathon. About a dozen brave souls spent all day Saturday watching all seven theatrically released Muppets movies. Some are much better than others but there was no one there that felt like they were slogging through (well maybe during Muppets Treasure Island).

We also went to the theater on Sunday and saw the latest iteration, Muppets Most Wanted. This film got better each time I saw it (three times, in fact).

Statler and Waldorf don't agree.

Statler and Waldorf don’t agree.

If you love movies and you’ve never hosted a movie marathon, I highly recommend it. You can start small with something like the Back to the Future trilogy. Most people can handle three average length films in one day. Then you can work your way up to the longer film series.

My friends are true film buffs and we’ve already done one of the longest possible marathons, the Bond-a-thon (25 movies in three days).  Here is a video of some of the ones we completed.  I wasn’t this tech-savvy so no video was shot for the Muppets viewing.

There is something to be said for watching a bunch of the same characters going through several different adventures.  It’s the reason binging on TV shows has become so popular as of late.  You can really get into something if you get to spend more than an hour or two with it.  You notice more.  You connect more.  We had a Muppet virgin who was actually quite impressed with some aspects of The Muppets movies even though they will never be his thing.  It’s easier to appreciate something when you can immerse yourself in it.

Or you may turn yourself off completely to something you once enjoyed.  It’s a risk worth taking.

And rating the movies is just an added bonus.



We Have Been Warned

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There are so many moments in history that could have gone entirely different if people had heeded the warnings they were given.

Caesar might have survived into old age if he had actually stayed home during the ides of March.  The Titanic might not have hit that iceberg if it wasn’t going so fast through iceberg infested waters.  Galveston might be a major thriving metropolis if it had built the seawall in time or at the very least, more people would have been saved if it had heeded the hurricane warnings coming from Cuba (read a book called Isaac’s Storm by Erik Larson if you’re interested in this story).

Well, NASA is giving humanity a big giant warning but I doubt we’ll listen.  It’s in our nature to wait to do anything until absolutely necessary.  We procrastinate on both the individual and societal levels.  Some people don’t believe we are in trouble.  Some people are apathetic about it.  And the rest of us are just overwhelmed and not in control of the mechanisms that need to be changed in order to ensure our survival.

Perhaps it’s for the best.

The house is on fire and we’re rearranging the furniture.  Civilization will collapse, make no mistake.  But it will do so because of a perfect storm of factors.  It’s not just the climate change.  It’s not just the using up of non-renewable resources and it’s not just over-population.  It’s all of these and more.  Nothing we do is in harmony with the planet.  We have spent most of human history attempting to bend the world to our will and it’s at the breaking point.

We’ve been playing a short game for far too long.  And our hubris will be our undoing.  It always is.

Here’s an article about the NASA report if you haven’t already seen it pop up in your news feed.

I also recommend reading Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond.  Those who don’t know their own history are doomed to repeat it.


Pick Your Poison

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This morning, the city of Los Angeles was awoken en mass by a noticeable quake.  Happy St. Patrick’s Day to us!

And this was the gift that keeps on giving. 🙂

This is about the time when those people who don’t live in L.A. start acting like earthquakes are the worst and they are so happy they live wherever they live.

Shit happens all over.  All told, I think L.A. is a pretty safe and awesome place to live.

I grew up in Houston and we dealt with hurricanes, tornadoes and flash floods.  A lot more often than I’ve experienced earthquakes, I might add.

Try waking up to this instead.

Try waking up to this instead.

I lived in Toledo, Ohio for a few years and I never want to live where it snows ever again.  Driving on snow and ice is far more nerve-racking than 5 to 10 seconds of intense shaking.

I will take the god-awful traffic and the “Big One” lottery over just about every other option.  The payoffs are 300 days of sunshine and flip flops almost year round.  So much to see and do, all within about an hour’s drive.  That’s what I pay more for, dammit!

And while I know I will be freaked out and hating life during a real glass breaking shake, the little ones are kind of thrilling and fun.  That few seconds of uncertainty and adrenaline – do I get up or will this just be over in a second?  That’s what was running through my head at 6:30am.

If you don’t like your circumstances, these types of events are great opportunities to re-evaluate and decide if where you are is where you want to be.

i love la


Cosmos or Bust

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As I sat riveted to my TV while Neil deGrasse Tyson’s reboot of the series Cosmos played across my TV screen, I realized how uninteresting most everything really is.  When he backed out from the earth and showed all of the known universe to us, well who gives two shits about whether or not some completely incompatible couple will stay together on this week’s episode of run-of-the-mill boring drama.

There is a Universe out there beckoning us to explore it and we sit here mired in the most ridiculous, petty, mundane matters.  Anyone who wastes one second of their lives trying to continue to defend the status quo as if it really matters has an incredibly small world.  I just feel so terribly sorry for them most of all.  “Nothing endures but change.” (ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus)

And anyone who believes that the Earth is the only reason the Universe came into existence has an over-inflated sense of self.  The beauty of life is that it’s all here and it’s all connected and it’s all amazing.  How does this not blow your mind?

These are all galaxies!!!

These are all galaxies!!!

Maybe the point of all the mundane and drama is to keep us mired in the small because when we get present to the enormity of it all, who cares who wins American Idol ever again!?!  Always question anyone who tries to distract you from the awe-inspiring.  Because fuck them.

Spend a few moments contemplating this and whatever was bothering you, might not seem all that big of a thing.

I’m a Lover, Not a Fighter

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I recently saw a commercial for a gym that is contributing to the fight against cancer with the slogan “Join the Battle”.  That is an admirable cause but this jargon completely turns me off.

Why the hell do we have to phrase everything like this?


How successful has the War on Drugs or the War on Poverty or the War on Whatever really been?  I think it’s time we stopped waging war on anything.  War, huh, good god.  What is it good for?  Absolutely nothing!  Say it again!

The one that makes me the angriest though is the War on Obesity.  What the hell?  Since Obesity is not something that can exist apart from a person, it’s essentially a war on fat people.  It’s telling fat people “you should not exist and we are going to obliterate you.”

Do you see this object?

Venus of Willendorf (circa 24,000 B.C.E.)

Venus of Willendorf (circa 24,000 B.C.E.)

It’s called the Venus of Willendorf and it’s tens of thousands of years old… and it’s fat.  Fat people have always existed and will always exist.  Thin people get diabetes and heart disease and whatever else is attributed to being fat.  Perhaps there is more involved than just some extra adipose tissue.  But because fat currently offends our cultural aesthetics, we won’t bother to look into it any further.

Here’s some more pre-industrial fat images just so you get the point.

Mother goddess circa 4000-2500 B.C.E.

Mother goddess circa 4000-2500 B.C.E.


From a Peter Paul Rubens painting (approx. 1640 C.E.)

Fat lady and skeleton man from the 1860's.

Fat lady and skeleton man from the 1860’s.

Regardless of what you think, waging a war on anything is an extremely hostile way to handle things.  Why not try more inclusive language?  Fear only motivates for so long before it exhausts and turns off the average person.

I think the name of Mrs. Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign sounds positive but its focus is still way off.  Encourage people to move more because it can make you feel better not just because it might make you lose weight.  Weight loss is not a cure-all.  Being thin is not the end-all be-all of life and health.  Thin people die every single day, even the healthy ones.  This being human – No one gets out alive.

And war is an incredibly unhealthy frame of reference for making any beneficial changes in life.