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Poetry and snark blogger who also has a creative side (who knew?)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

All Shook Up

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Well, I wanted to make my daughter's last day of summer vacation memorable, but a 5.8 magnitude earthquake is not what I had in mind! I thought a nice day of pleasant mall hopping, some Mommy/Daughter bonding, and some frivolous money spending would be a good way to wrap up the summer. 

So there we were, in the food court, scarfing down Arby's chicken sandwiches when the floor started to shake. My daughter immediately assumed that an obese person was walking too close to our table (a fair assumption here in Southern MD and at a mall food court), but when she looked, no one was near us. The shaking grew stronger, and the overhead signs started swinging back and forth. People began to frantically grab their cell phones, but to no avail. Service was totally disrupted. Then, the realization that here, in Maryland, we were having an actual earthquake started to penetrate the consciousness of the mall masses. People began to panic and dash for the door. I stood up, looked at my daughter in this moment of chaos, and she said to me these words that I will always remember; "I'm not going anywhere until I finish my curly fries." And so it was. We stayed. We ate. We survived the Great Earthquake of 2011.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Back To School Lingerie

Don't know about where you all live, but around here it's almost time for the new school year to start! That means time to shop for supplies for school--paper, pens, pencils, lunchbox, lingerie, protractor, highlighters...What's that? Lingerie, you say? You didn't know that school kids need lingerie? No, not Spiderman or Little Mermaid underpants or even new bras for the high school girls; I'm talking lingerie.

Take a gander at this website for the French company Jours Apres Lunes. They are marketing a collection of lingerie for girls aged 3 months through teen. Yes, now your baby can look sexy in that Pampers! And, heck! Who needs breast tissue to rock out a bra?!! Check out some of the preschoolers and elementary school girls on this website (as I'm sure loads of pedophiles will be doing). What really bothers me about all of this (aside from creating a market for something totally unnecessary) is that even when the garments aren't totally inappropriate, like a simple tank top, the company has the young models posing in a provocative manner with make-up and adult hairstyles. It is clear that they are going for the Lolita look in many of the ad photos, and this is disturbing.

 If one looks closely at the ads, as I tend to do, one also notices some other interesting, and bothersome, things. The print in the girl's book reads "Le talent n'attend pas le nombre des annees." Roughly translated, this means, "Her talent belied her years." I have to wonder what talent they were speaking of.  In the next ad, the words around the photo say, "Chic," "French Touch," "Impertinence," "Second Skin," "Glamour," and "Graphique." Then there's a picture of a bird in a cage. Interesting juxtaposition of images, I'd say.

All in all, this ad campaign makes me want to vomit. It attempts to create a market for a totally unnecessary product and in doing so, sexualizes teens and young girls. Kids need lingerie like they need sex toys. What's next? Mini sized dildos for the young beginner in trendy teen colors? Cool vibrators that let you load iTunes into them so your daughter can hear Justin Bieber while she learns to masturbate? Wait! That's my idea!!!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Something Hinky About Hinkle

And the Hypocrite of the Week Award goes to...Indiana State Rep. Phillip Hinkle!!! Let's hear it for the blatant duplicity, self-righteousness, and deceitfulness of this Republican jackwagon who voted against gay marriage but was recently caught offering a young man $80 plus tip for a "really good time" at a hotel. Seems that it's not OK for gay couples to enjoy the right to have their unions formalized by marriage, but it's just fine for a married, 64 year-old state representative to solicit sex from a Craigslist posting for a "sugga daddy."

An abridged version of the story is as follows: Mr Hinkle allegedly responded to a posting from Kameryn Gibson in the m4m section of Craigslist, which stated, "I need a sugga daddy." Gibson claimed to be 18, although he is, in fact, 20. Portions of emails sent from Hinkle to Gibson read
"Cannot be a long time sugar daddy, but can for tonight. Would you be interested in keeping me company for a while tonight?" The email offers "to make it worth (your) while" in cash, and states "I am an in shape married professional, 5'8", fit 170 lbs, and love getting and staying naked." Gibson claims that they met at a hotel and that he became nervous after Hinkle told him that he was a politician. When he stated that he wished to leave, Hinkle allegedly grabbed his rear, tried to prevent him from leaving, and got naked. Gibson then called his sister from the bathroom, who arrived to take him home. At that point, Hinkle allegedly offered Gibson and his sister his iPad, Blackberry, and $100 not to call the police or media.

Now, personally, I really don't care whom Mr. Hinkle has sex with, as long as it's consensual. This incident is creepy for being coerced (no means no, Phil, even if it's a male prostitute), for being behind his wife's back (I assume), and for being initiated by someone who publicly condemns gay marriage but apparently engages in gay sex in private. This kind of hypocrisy has become so prevalent in politics it's hardly surprising any more. Talk of "family values" by politicians is virtually meaningless. Where are the values of respect, courage, and honesty?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Slaughterhouse-Five or The Censor's Crusade

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Obviously, the danger is not in the actual act of reading itself, but rather, the possibility that the texts children read will incite questions, introduce novel ideas, and provoke critical inquiry." -Persis M. Karim (The New Assault on Libraries)

The censors are at it again!  Almost 30 years after the Supreme Court ruled in the Pico case that the First Amendment limits the power of local school boards to remove library books from junior high schools and high schools, the Republic, Missouri school board has decided to remove Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five from the high school curriculum and from the school library. This action was taken in response to a local resident, Missouri State University professor, Wesley Scroggins, who wrote an article in the Springfield News-Leader last fall in which he complained that Vonnegut's book, as well as two others that the school used, contained "inappropriate content" and promoted values contrary to those found in the Bible. (sidenote: We will not be sending our daughter to Missouri State University in 3 years when she graduates high school!)

Where do I even begin here? With the fact that a university professor is condemning works of literature? With the fact that no one in Republic seemed to have had a problem with the curriculum until this man wrote his tirade in a public forum? (Parents, do you have any idea what your kids are studying in school? Why did it take this jackwagon for you to take a look at your kids' reading list?) With the fact that whether or not Vonnegut's book supports or contradicts the values of the Bible is totally irrelevant in a public school? With the fact that these high school students will be able to vote and enlist in the armed forces in a short time, if not now, but are not considered mature enough to handle the material in this book? With the fact that school boards keep watering down the curriculum to the most inoffensive, bland pablum available and then we wonder why our kids don't want to read?

There is a bright spot to this story, however.  The Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library in Indianapolis announced that it would offer a free copy of the Slaughterhouse-Five to the 150 students who were supposed to have read it in class, thanks to a generous donation from an anonymous donor. I sincerely hope that these students realize that the school board is attempting to restrict their first amendment rights and will insist on reading the book. I don't care if they like the book. I don't care if they agree with Vonnegut's ideas. I just want these soon-to-be adults to be able to judge for themselves.
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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Random Observations

  1. I have more itches when I do yoga than I do at any other time. It never fails: Inhale, exhale, strike an asana, get an itch, try to surreptitiously scratch it, get another itch, scratch again, get  another itch in an even more personal and difficult to access place, pray that we switch poses soon so I can try to wiggle the itch out, strike another pose, itch again, start wondering if I have scabies, scratch, repeat.
  2.  The chance that I'll run into someone I know at the grocery store is directly proportional to the chance that I'm wearing my "I feel bloated" sweatpants and no bra. It is inversely proportional to the chance that I have on any make-up or have done my hair.
  3. I do not trust any man who takes longer to get ready to go out than I do. This rule does not apply to gay men.
  4. Other people's pets are annoying and spoiled. My pets are adorable and deserve all the love in the world. This also applies to children. Except for teenagers. All teenagers are dangerous and psychotic. They are also highly entertaining.
  5. Coupons are rarely for the amount of an item that I would actually use.  For example, I had a yogurt coupon that I planned to use at the grocery store, but upon examination found that I could save 50 cents on 10 cups of yogurt! I am the only person in my household who eats yogurt, and I don't eat it every day. If I bought 10 yogurts, they would expire before I used them all. Worthless coupon for me.  Similarly, a coupon for Cheerios. I like Cheerios just fine, but to use this coupon, I had to buy 3 large boxes! I don't know about you, but I like a little variety in my morning carbohydrates, and I don't have all that much extra pantry room. Saving money shouldn't be this difficult.
  6. The average household has about 2 dozen jar openers collected over the years from various agencies, organizations, and people advertising their businesses. When someone in an average household needs to open a stuck jar, he or she will use a towel, a spoon, a rubber glove, or their bare hand until it bleeds. 
  7. People who say "It's all good" aren't very observant.
  8. If ticks completely disappeared from the face of the earth, I don't think anyone would mind (except maybe the ticks).
  9. When you start making a list, people always expect there to be 10 things on the list.