Friday, July 30, 2010


Good grief people - it has been 5 nights since my last solid, uninterrupted 6 hour stretch of sleep. Glorious sleep. I have managed in the last few mights to grab a moment or two of rest however I've also been having strange, complex dreams involving people I know, people I don't know, and once, interestingly enough, a person who I am pretty sure was an amalgamation of two different people. And y'all I remember these dreams, sometimes in their entirety! That can't be good.

But! At least I've managed to bypass the stage I was in a few days ago where I alternately wanted to cry incessantly or pitch a full on two-year-old style hissy fit. I might have even seriously considered homicide. It would have been completely deserved and I am pretty sure I could have gotten away with it except 1) I remembered just in time that the victim has a couple young kids and the idea of robbing them of their (cowardly, sniveling, annoying as hell) father brought me back to momentary sanity and 2) I like orange but I'm not necessarily sure head to toe orange would be a good look for me as I'm only 5'2" (on a good day, after yoga, when I've slept, and been to the chiropractor). Nothing says oompa loompa like an orange midget, I'm just saying.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Manipulative Advertising

*****Just so you know, if anyone is reading this, I'm feeling particularly rant-y today. Two nights of minimal sleep will do that to a girl.*****

Has anyone else noticed this fairly recent trend in advertising that is designed to make you feel absolutely terrible and then go out and support whatever product they are selling you? Its like radio ads or commercials with a side of guilt trip! WTF people?

In California there is this new radio ad that makes me so mad I have to switch stations every time it comes on lest it spark some road rage action on my part. Its basically this mom talking about how her sons were so happy and each loved their brother but then one gets into a car accident and dies so she has to go wake up the other one in the middle of the night to tell him that his much loved brother is dead. I believe the point of this commercial is to get parents to sign their kids up for a teen driving class but I really don't know because I can never seem to listen to the whole thing. Don't get me wrong, its tragic when a teenager dies, but I don't think we should be guilt tripping other parents into paying money for a class because they are freaked out their kid might die in an auto crash... Maybe its just me.

Oh! And that commercial for the ASPCA that features Sarah McLachlan singing "arms of the angels" and shows a bunch of sad/tortured puppy faces? Really? Animal cruelty is a big issue and while I agree there is a special place in hell for folks that abuse helpless animals I do not appreciate the ASPCA capitalizing on my tender heart strings with the aim of raising money. Maybe its a head in the sand thing? Nothing is worse than watching a football game at the bar with some friends only to have half the room crying when this commercial comes on. Also, TheBoy would REALLY appreciate never seeing this commercial again because every time it comes on I renew my push for a dog.

Or what about that new one for some big gas company that is supposedly your car talking about all the things it does for you and how you shouldn't "repay" its kindness with cheap supermarket or discount club gas? I'm sorry but just this morning I heard a story on the news about how oil and gas companies are continuing to post record profits, even while the rest of the nation is in a recession! Do they NEED more money? Enough to justify this kind of marketing? Because I could use a few extra dollars and so I put the cheap gas in my car and I don't feel guilty. I doubt my car wants to make me feel bad for using supermarket gas and not one with Techron or whatever gimmick they've got these days.

Maybe I'm just becoming cynical in my old age? I feel like every time I see a new commercial or hear a new spot on the radio I can totally see right through the message and I hate feeling manipulated! In fact, generally I feel like stamping my feet and doing the exact opposite of whatever the ad is trying to get me to do just out of spite!

Maybe I just need more sleep.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


I think I've written here before (but am too lazy to go searching the archives for) about how I'm going through a bit of a crisis of faith. As the child of divorced parents I spent half my formative years attending sporadic Methodist services in the various places we lived with my mom and the other half completely engulfed in the male half of my genetic make-up's very southern, very Pentecostal church life. I can't imagine it being any more confusing than that... except perhaps if my mom had been atheist.

Picture me, aged somewhere in the middle school years, having gone to maybe three church services in the entire school year only to be shipped off to spend the summer with my father who went to church not only on Sunday mornings, but Sunday and Wednesday evenings as well. We spent most of our Saturdays at the church, or at some church member's home, or at a park having a picnic with yet more church people. I won't lie y'all I LOVED it. In fact, I would say that the social aspect of church is still the one thing I miss more than anything.

In Jr. High I went to a private Christian school and promptly joined the youth group of the church affiliated with my school. I remained a fairly active member through out high school despite increasingly feeling uncomfortable with the actions and ideals of the church and its members. I haven't regularly attended church services since I graduated High School and by "not regularly" I mean pretty much not at all. Suffice it to say that I've done quite a bit of growing up over the last 13 years or so and I've really struggled with the ideals and things I was told were right as a child and with the things that my grown-up self feel are right.

I've spent the last couple years studying other religions that interested me, not with the thought of converting to anything different but more to see if I could find a religion out there that I could feel at peace with. I've studied a little bit of Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism and even stuff like Rastafari. The combined effect being a little confusing but at the same time comforting. I love different aspects of each of these religions and there are so many similarities of message among them that I can strive towards in my own life.

I love the compassion of Buddhism - the thought that all life is precious and that through right action you can achieve peace. I love similar things about Hinduism and also that no religion teaches the only way to salvation above all others. That directly goes against everything I ever learned in church about belief in Jesus being the only way to salvation. I like the Jewish idea that ones actions are more important in their relationship with God than their beliefs. I always struggled with the notion of confessing sins, being forgiven and then going right back out and committing those same sins all over again knowing you could just confess again and be right back at square one. I love the sheer optimism and positive message of Rastafari. But I have questions...

So... what if there is only the one God? That regardless of whether we call him God, Allah, Yahweh, Bhagwan or even Jah, we're all talking about, praying to and believing in the same higher power? And if that is true then really aren't all religions the same religion just with various cultural and regional beliefs, morals and social mores superimposed onto it? Meaning that in your religion something is considered wrong not necessarily because it IS wrong (I think we can all agree that some things are sins regardless of your belief, or not, in God) but because it is/was socially frowned upon?

And, bear with me here on this hypothetical ride, if we are all God's children (and most religions do have this theme of God being the father figure) then couldn't we argue that Jesus was the son of God in just the same way that I am a daughter of God? No doubt the man was a prophet and a teacher, and a magnificently charismatic one at that - with his message of love and acceptance and do no wrong. But why can there have been only one? And why would God chose to send a son to save only members of one religion (following the thought that all Gods are the same God so all religions are essentially the same)? Why aren't other religion's prophets respected in the same way and their teachings given equal weight?

I know there can inherently be no right or wrong answer to these questions... But it is interesting to think about and study. I just wish it wasn't such a taboo subject to discuss so that instead of having this constant stream of thought and questioning going on in my own head I could discuss it with others. But I've never witnessed a truly "friendly" intellectual discussion of religion that did not at some point result in hard feelings and insults for the ways in which individual beliefs differ. Maybe that is the ultimate goal of religion, to help all of us to learn to love each other for our differences and know that we can all co-exist harmoniously in the world God created for us, his children - ALL his children.

Okay - if anyone is still reading at this point and hasn't become so offended as to delete me from their reading list all together - I feel like I should clarify something. I DO believe in God. I have felt his presence and his love for me all my life. I see God in the beauty of nature when I'm outdoors, I see him in the actions of every day people and I see his influence in the way I live my life. I believe in doing good unto others and in love and in compassion. I thank God for many things, including the inspiration he gives to doctors and scientists and artists and all sorts of talented individuals who make this world a better place. I do NOT believe that God is concerned with the petty things modern religion makes important and I do NOT think that he would be overly pleased with all of the anger and violence in the world that is attributed to his name.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Catching up

OMG you guys - my last post was March 9th?!!?! So much for that New Year's Resolution about blogging more! Whoops.


So what have I been up to in the last 4 months?

A little bit of this:

Not enough of this:

Or this: WAY too much of this:

A little of this:

Craziness people, pure craziness.
**none of these photos are of me or anyone I know - thank you google images.