Monday, April 28, 2008

She was so fluffy

Mental note...

More here...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Another annoying craft ad

Is she 13 or is she 30? You tell me.

Is it that doing crafts makes you childlike, or childish? Or that only children should be doing crafts? Crafts and adult women do not mix?

Why can't we have an adult doing adult level work? And not a grandmother either. The people who make these ads need to wander over to the craft section of the nearest Barnes & Noble, look at the age and sophistication of the new crop of authors, and get with the program.

Most of them started as bloggers, and are women I think are in their 30's and 40's. You know, Gen X. Here are a few examples of what I mean

I could keep going and going and going...

The point being, if you want Gen X money, stop treating creative women like nana's or toddlers. And lay off the stickers and construction paper already, half the store is waaaay too much.

Monday, April 21, 2008

On the so-called obesity crisis

Target. Jasper Johns. 1974

According to, well, everyone these days we are in the middle of an obesity crisis in the US. According to the CDC 32.3% of adults, 66 million of us, are "obese". Figure half that, 33 million, are women. That's a lot of shoppers, no? Granted it all depends on how you define "obese".

One thing I've noticed a lot lately is the tendency for the medical profession to slip the numbers. It used to be, for example, that if your fasting blood sugar was over 200 you were a Diabetic. Then it was over 160. Now it's over 126, and if it's over 100 you have Impaired fasting glycaemia or Pre-diabetes. And they are thinking of cutting that down to 95. And, of course, there is a pill available to treat all of it. The same thing is happening with cholesterol levels, and with blood pressure numbers, and so on. What makes us think it's not happening with weight too? This week being 160 pounds is fine, next week your overweight, a month from now you're obese. Not that you've gained an ounce, they've just shifted the numbers on you.

Now, what makes me think they're shifting the numbers around? That the US isn't getting fatter, they're just trying to sell us all a bill of no-fat/no-carb/no-calorie/stomach destroying surgical goods? Target.

Yes, that Target.

The fifth biggest retailer in the US. In direct competition with Wal-Mart, 63 billion dollars in revenue, 76% of it's customers female Target. That Target. You know if there really were 33 million fat women walking around in the US, they are going to want the biggest chunk of that pie they can get.

So why have they stopped selling plus-sized underwear?


Yea, exactly.

For more on how the numbers in health care keep shifting, I recommend Sandy Szwarc's excellent blog, JunkFoodScience.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

On things that can be taken away

So a friend over at LiveJournal told her story today. You won't get the rest of this unless you go read it, along with the comments. Go on, come back.

Good. It was this quote that prompted this

I've seen and been through a lot of things that changed me. I learned, over and over again, that the world is not a safe place. That in the US we take very much for granted our liberty, our food, our clean water, our access to health services.

These things are fragile. And like that, can be taken away.

There are a lot of ways that you can learn that the world is very fragile. All at once, over a period of a few days. Or gradually, one small incident at a time.

I had the kind of step-monster who didn't like anyone doing anything he couldn't do. This included most hobbies and learning anything from written material. Before she died my Grandmother taught me the basics of knitting, baking, sewing, and embroidery. The very basics, I was all of 8 when she died. But I enjoyed the work and wanted to learn to do those things as well as she did. Mother has little if any skill in them, so I picked up books and started teaching myself.

The step-monster was not amused. You would be amazed at how many ways one can "accidentally" destroy and/or lose a craft project. Or how quickly someone can stir up an argument if they want you to stop doing something and focus on them. Or how fragile antiques could be.

I quickly learned that the one thing he couldn't take away, damage, or destroy was what was inside my head. That was the one gift from my Grandmother he couldn't wreck, the skills she had taught me, including how to read. So I practiced my skills on small projects that I was never very attached to.

Times have changed. Now I knit everything from socks to lace, sew all my own clothes, do expert level embroidery if I get a mind to, and have already taken one ribbon for my baking. And I always remember my Grandmother's hands when I work.

They can take things, but not what is in your head. Or your heart.


Granted that just made me remember how much times change as well. I have very curly hair, and have always loved to wear it long. He and his father used to tease me, at least I think they were teasing me, by sneaking up behind me with scissors. I quickly learned how to make a bun. By the time I married, after being on my own for a number of years, and after Mother being divorced for two, I was finally wearing a braid I could still flip over my shoulder at a moments notice to protect it. I've been wearing it down more and more since we moved to Oregon. Last week I finally decided to make down my default hairstyle.

Things are fragile. But sometimes, with the people you love, things are also safe.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The definition of evil

photo © Maciej Lewandowski for CC:Attribution-ShareAlike

"Utterly dedicated to preserving their self-image of perfection, they are unceasingly engaged in the effort to maintain the appearance of moral purity. They are acutely sensitive to social norms and what others might think of them. They seem to live lives that are above reproach. The words "image", "appearance" and "outwardly" are crucial to understanding the morality of 'the evil'. While they lack any motivation to be good, they intensely desire to appear good. Their goodness is all on a level of pretense. It is in effect a lie. Actually the lie is designed not so much to deceive others as to deceive themselves. We lie only when we are attempting to cover up something we know to be illicit. At one and the same time 'the evil' are aware of their evil and desperately trying to avoid the awareness."

- from "The People of the Lie" by M. Scott Peck. Copied from here (language warning) with a reference from there to here for more.

Go, read, you must. It says so much about the Domionists and the utopian family situations they so love to blog about. This includes Candy. Go.

Note: edited because apparently I can't spell
definition worth anything, and my spell checker didn't catch it. If it's wrong now, it's Merriam-Webster's fault.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Yes, I'm willing to debate

Yes, I'm willing to listen to arguments and discuss and debate my faith. I don't even have comments moderated.

For the record I started life as a Catholic, and am currently a member of the Catholic church. That said, the parish we belong to is arguably one of the most liberal in the nation, and I am poorly catechized, I admit it. But I take comfort in the Mass, in the rituals and the rosaries, and in knowing that I am continuing my family traditions. Odds are I shall always be part of the Catholic church, if for no other reason than because my entire family, both sides, are Catholic, which makes for three Catholic Grandparents. You do the math.

Odds are when my Mother-in-law hears this, she who is going for her Master's in Catholic Theology, I'm going to be learning a lot more. Go for it Mom, I'm willing to learn.

On the other hand, I also consider myself half Unitarian Univeralist, still. Why? Because I do consider myself still learning. But while on that quest, I can whole-heartedly say I agree with, and accept, their seven principals:

  • The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
  • Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
  • Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
  • A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
  • The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
  • The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
  • Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
I can also safely say that, as an adult, I've studied more about the UU church and faith than I have about the Catholic. Something I'm still trying to rectify. And than the beliefs and practices of the UU church are much closer to the beliefs in my head and my heart, at least as far as I understand the Catholic church. Sadly for me, there is no UU church in town, or else I'd be a member, I think, and a much more active one at that. As it stands it takes an act of Congress to get me to mass, even on the holidays.

But I'd still consider myself at least partly Catholic. I never said it made any sense.

You can learn more about the UU church here.

Either way you look at it, I'm not afraid to discuss faith, with anyone. Now, if anyone wants to discuss or debate, comments are open.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Yep, still speechless

Image found at Wikipedia

Anderson Cooper is keeping up with the story here

From his blog:

Invariably, you ask hard core followers here about why they’re not offended about children marrying adults, and they tell you if God wants that to happen, that takes precedence over man’s laws.

I submit that if a god asks girls not yet physically fully grown to submit to being raped by older men, or even allows that lie to be continued over multiple generations in his name, then we as a society have outgrown that so-called god.

Still speechless

I have been trying for days to blog about this.


Maybe tomorrow I can finally put it all into words.


For now, I'm going to go pray. I'm an agnostic theist, Unitarian by belief, Catholic by heritage and in practice, and I'm going to go pray.

Go figure.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

All that is wrong with this country

photo © Emilie Villemagne for CC:Attribution-ShareAlike

I just finished watching Stephen King's "The Mist". If you don't want a spoiler, stop reading now. And if you don't like implied foul language, stop reading now.

Fine, I warned you. Let me save you a waste of time

It's well done. They stuck close to the story. Marcia Gay Harding played an excellent nut job. The creepiness came not from the rubbery fake monsters but from watching the people interact, lose it before your eyes. I was actually rather enjoying the thing.

Until the last five G@) D@^^#) minutes of the movie.

I've been reading reviews, and they all say the story itself doesn't end. But it does end. A small group of them get out, try to drive away, and end up almost out of gas at a Howard Johnson's. They're inside for the night, the three or four of them, and the dad/narrator is playing with a radio when he thinks he hears a broadcast from Hartford. The last line is something like "There are two words that start with that h sound. One is Hartford. The other is hope."

Now in the movie I expected some kind of rescue, the military coming in to save the day, some kind of big Hollywood ending. That would be OK, it was a movie, I can live with that. I could also have lived with the non-ending in the book, give them a shot at hope, but never tell us if they got there.

I sure as H#!! did not expect the dad to be rescued two minutes after shooting his son and the other three survivors.

WHAT THE F^@&!!!!

So the people in the store, who listened to the nut job, who killed the private as a sacrifice to their Old Testament deity of blood and gore, who were not willing to go to the pharmacy to get drugs to ease the burned guys passing, who were sitting on their a$$#$, waiting to get saved...were rescued and lived happily ever after.

While the dad, who wanted to do the best for his son, who wanted to to his best for the others, who was trying his level damnedest to make it punished in the worst possible way. Now he has to live with killing his own son seconds from rescue.

Well f^@& me sideways. Isn't that just what we want to teach people these days. Do nothing to help yourself, ever. No, turn it all over to the big deity in the sky, squat there, and let the government come to save you. Because if you try to use your god-given brains and your human courage to try to help yourself you're going to end up in the living version of hell. Proles win, the confident, courageous Upper Middle Class types lose. Because confidence and courage, the willingness to take responsibility and control of your own life, is what classes you, not how much money or learning or social standing you have. And now that I think about it, that's exactly who remains in the store.

Thank you f^@&ing Hollywood.