Sunday Scribblings

Sunday Scribblings: Subscribe

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Belong.

Assimilate.

Conform.

Those are the words I think of when I read the word “subscribe.”

“Subscribe to our newspaper so that we may bombard you with biased information.”

“Subscribe to our newsletter so that we may persuade you to believe what we believe.”

“Subscribe to my blog so that I can sneak in a sponsored post every now and again and make a few dollars.”

“Subscribe to my website so that I can trick you into thinking you’re part of an elite group.”

I realize I sound jaded – that’s because I am jaded. I’m also a realist. This world continues to disappoint me and you only have to open your eyes and pay attention to what people are doing, what they’re talking about, or what they value most, to see what I mean.

Values? What are those?

Morals? Old-fashioned thinking.

God? Belongs to Jesus freaks and doesn’t exist – just look at the state of my life, how can an entity that touts love allow me to live like this?

(Because God can’t help those that can’t/won’t help themselves. Ever think about that?)

Too many people subscribe to the influences surrounding them. Too many people do not take the time (or have simply never been taught to think for themselves – which opens up a whole different can of worms), to question what is being spoon fed them. Does it make sense? What’s the source? Is it biased information? What’s the flip-side to that story – because there are always two sides to a given story.

Always.

I get so tired of people subscribing to one train of thought, or belief. No one is 100% right – ever. I certainly don’t have all of the answers, but I like to think I’m smart enough to pause and consider all angles before coming to my own conclusion.

Many people do not do that. They are simply content to listen/watch/read what is being presented to them and BAM – it must be true. Every last biased morsel.

I wish I had faith in people – I wish I could say, with even a small percentage of confidence, that people can change, that things will get better. But honestly, I think we’re past that point of no return.

We have more takers than givers. That was proven with the re-election of the biggest socialist president in history.

Little by little, inch by inch, drop by drop, governments both in America and in Europe began taking more and more from people, diminishing the incentive of those on both sides of the transaction — the taker and the giver. In America, nearly half of wage earners pay not one single dime in federal income taxes. Many of them trudge down to the local polling place or vote via absentee ballot — and vote themselves a raise.
Source

So no. I don’t subscribe to just anything, or anyone. I’m independent, out spoken, and stubborn enough to dig my heels in and fight every last attempt to conform me to anything.

Are you?

(Well. That was a rather heavy post. Sorry about that. I guess I’m more disillusioned than I thought).

Politics, Sunday Scribblings

Sunday Scribblings: Paradise

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It never ceases to amaze me the number of people who think if we just pass this law, or take away this right, our country will magically transform into some sort of paradise on earth.

What a naïve outlook on life. Newsflash: IT AIN’T HAPPENING IN OUR LIFETIME.

It will never happen – not until Christ comes back, that is. And if you’re not a Christian, then I suppose you don’t even have that hope to look forward to.

How sad.

I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but folks – look – we live in a fallen world. It’s controlled by an evil entity, an entity that gets his kicks out of murder, chaos and hopelessness. It’s what he thrives on. And again, if you don’t believe in the whole God/Satan thing then just look around you: mankind is, and will continually become, more and more corrupt as time goes by.

I don’t mean to get all preachy on you, but let’s pause a moment for a reality check. It’s all about power and greed nowadays and humans are imperfect – our world will never get better, it will only get worse.

Hence the reason that many conservatives/Christians push to keep and/or change back, our laws. We KNOW things will only get worse and we’re desperately trying to stall the inevitable by maintaining the laws we have now (because erasing, or easing the current laws will only allow more chaos, less control, into our lives). Because the Left’s push for us to relinquish control over our lives, to willingly hand our lives, and our decisions concerning our lives, over the government on a silver platter, is a dangerous road to travel. Because if we allow the government to fund our lives, then that same government then has the final say over what we can, or can not do in our lives. They have a say in how we live our lives. They have a say over whether or not we need healthcare. They have a say over what we eat, how much we eat, where we eat. They have a say over what vehicles we drive, or how often we drive, or what sort of fuel we burn.

Handing control over to our government means they have a say over how many children we can have, or where they go to school, or what they learn.

How, exactly, is this paradise??

I don’t know about you, but I have no desire to become a puppet in my own life. I much prefer to be free to be allowed to make my own damn decisions, to live my life the way I choose (as long as I’m not denying someone their life, liberty or right to property) and be the mistress of my own destiny.

I honestly worry about people’s intelligence these days. People are so focused on short-term, Bandaid sort of solutions, that they either refuse, or deny, the reality of situations; how will this affect our lives ten years from now? It’s quite disturbing that people are so willing to swallow (or be injected) whatever is spoon fed them without stopping to QUESTION whether or not what is being forced on them is logical or even reasonable. There are way too many sheep in today’s society and not nearly enough Sheppards.

The moment, THE MOMENT, we allow the government to take a small sliver of control over us, we will never get it back. And the more that is relinquished, the more complacent people become. “Oh. What’s one more thing? What’s the big deal?” I hear people say.

The BIG DEAL, people, is that one day we will wake up and we’re not able to leave our houses without permission from “our government.”

Our freedoms have, little by little, been eroding away and it’s like we’re all sleep walking our way through life. It’s like we all have blinders on and only focus on what’s being spoon fed to us – we don’t have the balls, or the motivation (because it’s so much easier to just nod our heads yes and open our mouths), to tear those damn blinders off and look, REALLY LOOK, at the sh*t the government is trying to force on us.

Do you honestly think we’re on the path to paradise? If we ONLY give more control over the government, then we’ll find that non-existent utopia??

An authoritarian nation is defined not just by the use of authoritarian powers, but by the ability to use them. If a president can take away your freedom or your life on his own authority, all rights become little more than a discretionary grant subject to executive will.

The framers lived under autocratic rule and understood this danger better than we do. James Madison famously warned that we needed a system that did not depend on the good intentions or motivations of our rulers: “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.”

Benjamin Franklin was more direct. In 1787, a Mrs. Powel confronted Franklin after the signing of the Constitution and asked, “Well, Doctor, what have we got — a republic or a monarchy?” His response was a bit chilling: “A republic, Madam, if you can keep it.”

Since 9/11, we have created the very government the framers feared: a government with sweeping and largely unchecked powers resting on the hope that they will be used wisely.

The indefinite-detention provision in the defense authorization bill seemed to many civil libertarians like a betrayal by Obama. While the president had promised to veto the law over that provision, Levin, a sponsor of the bill, disclosed on the Senate floor that it was in fact the White House that approved the removal of any exception for citizens from indefinite detention.

Dishonesty from politicians is nothing new for Americans. The real question is whether we are lying to ourselves when we call this country the land of the free.
Source: 10 Reasons the U.S is No Longer the Land of the Free

(And I challenge you to follow the above link and read precisely what freedoms have changed and/or have been lost since 9/11. Go on, read it for yourself).

Why, exactly, do people think Paradise is even attainable when our world proves, time and time again, that it can’t, or won’t, exist without Big Brother to hold its hand?

Sunday Scribblings

Sunday Scribblings: Eureka!

Eureka! I have discovered that my house will still stand, that it’s not the end of the world, that the universe will not collapse upon itself if I DON’T clean house on the weekend.

*GASP*

I KNOW, RIGHT??

WHO KNEW!!

*SIGH*

Now that I’m working full-time, the only time I have available is on the weekends. And I’ve been spending all of my time on the weekends cleaning house, and I’m starting to resent the hell out of it. So. New plan. I’m going to start cleaning house, a little at a time, after dinners during the weekdays. I won’t feel like it. I’ll be tired. And I will likely moan and complain … but it’s better than not having any time to do what I WANT to do on the weekends.

Also? I need to teach these young men, who are my offspring (I still can’t believe my children are taller than me and on the verge of starting their own lives [with a big little push from us, of course]), to clean house. I keep saying that, I need to start doing it.

Hello reality, meet my sons.

Tell me YOUR Eureka moment.

(P.S. Hey RSS readers – I’m using a new blog template. Nothing fancy, but it’s different. Different is good … most of the time).

Sunday Scribblings

Sunday Scribblings – I Regret …

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I regret the fact that I do not care for animals.

I wish I did, I truly do. But when it comes right down to it, I don’t want to live with animals.

Of the wild kingdom kind, not of the human male kind. 🙂

Before I go any further, I’d like to ask that if you are an animal lover that perhaps this is not the best post for you to read. It’s never been my intention, either now nor in the past, to enrage my readers by simply being myself and/or expressing my true feelings, but I can’t apologize for the way I am, either.

I simply do not care to be around animals.

Now, for those careful readers out there, note that I said “I don’t CARE FOR animals”, I did not say I did not LIKE animals.

In fact, I’m always the first to ooh and aah over a particularly cute animal. I visit Cute Overload and Daily Puppy every day (ask my husband, he laughs at me), and I drool over the sheer cuteness of these animals.

Whenever I’m around animals I don’t freak out or act repulsed whenever they come near me – I pat them on the head, talk baby talk to them and generally act like a complete fool.

I am not afraid of animals, though the fact that they are unpredictable beings who act purely on instinct does make me a tad nervous.

And I have never, nor will ever, advocate being cruel to animals – they are innocent beings who deserve love, just like humans do.

However,

I have no desire, none, as in absolute zero, to have them in my home or to be forced to take care of one.

Therein lies my problem.

nopets1 Ever since the boys came along, and when they were old enough to recognize a dog and say “doggie,” we’ve been fighting the should we or should we not get a dog battle. When they were little, I had the excuse that I was afraid the dog would turn on them and bite them, or something worse. And though that was definitely a valid argument, I confess to driving that point home a little harder than necessary because it gave me the perfect excuse NOT to have the animal in my home.

But then the boys got older and the issue came up again. And they (and when I say, I’m including the husband here) were PERSISTENT. And even though I tried to point out to them that if we had an indoor dog that we would have to deal with the pee, the poo, the late-night barking/whining, the chewing, the general destruction of our property, the fact that our indoor carpets would soon look like outdoor carpets, the expense of feeding and entertaining the thing, and of course the insane vet bills that didn’t discourage them, – they wanted a dog.

This persistence went on for YEARS and I finally caved.

We bought a Jack Russell Terrier puppy. And he was adorable. And playful. And insanely energetic. And we were so UNPREPARED for that type of dog, it’s not even funny. In hindsight, of course, we should have researched what sort of dog would have suited us. If we had, then we would have KNOWN that the Jack Russell Terrier breed simply wasn’t for us.

But we didn’t know this. And that dog … wow. Was like trying to catch a bouncing ball in a handball game. We couldn’t keep up with it. Our yard is not fenced in, so we couldn’t let it outside to run off it’s energy. So we took it for walks … which were a disaster because being an active breed to begin with and then the fact that he was a healthy puppy, well, let’s just say that dog took US for a run, not a walk, around the neighborhood.

And then the barking. And the whining. And the fact that it wanted to play in the middle of the night. And then the biggie, the fact that it wasn’t house broken. We tried keeping him in the carrier thing, but he just pooped in the carrier. We tried cordoning him off in our utility room, but we woke up to poop smeared all over the floor, the walls, the dog, his carrier, his food and even in his water.

It was bad enough that it made the husband gag.

I ended up despising that dog simply because I didn’t know what to do with it. To my utter surprise and disappointment, dogs don’t come with an on and off switch.

Skip, our puppy, was six months old when he got away from us and got hit by a car. In front of the boys. On my birthday. In fact, we were on our way out to my birthday dinner when it happened.

The boys were heartbroken. And it broke my heart to see them so … changed.

From that point on, I VOWED we would never have another dog.

Well guess what. The dog bug has taken a hold of our house once again. The boys are teenagers now and though they SWEAR they would take care of it, and I believe them, the fact remains that the times they weren’t here, as in every day, for six hours more than 3/4 of the year because they are at school, and even after they graduated they would be gone all day to either college or their jobs and the husband would be gone for 12 hours every week day, I would be the dog’s primary caretaker because I would be home with the animal all day, every day.

I. Simply. Do. Not. Want. That. Responsibility.

I don’t want the stress. I don’t want to donate the time it would take. The thought of bathing the dog (because wet dog smell absolutely makes me gag and EXTREMELY cranky) and leaving the bathroom wetter than the dog, DOES NOT APPEAL TO ME.

I’ve listed the pros, I’ve listed the cons, and the cons FAR OUTWEIGH the pros in my book.

The cuteness factor would fade very quickly for me and then I would be stuck taking care of an animal I did not want around to begin with and I would be angry and resentful.

I don’t want that. And I know my family doesn’t want to live with that.

So, we had an argument last night at dinner. Three against one and I feel like a big meanie for not wanting this. And the husband is not helping by giving the boys (it’s mainly GD who wants the dog) hope by saying, “Well, maybe after we get back from vacation this summer,” when he KNOWS, it’s not going to happen. He just says that so GD’s anger and resentment is directed to me when I have to become the bad guy.

And I’m SICK AND TIRED of being the bad guy all the time.

I know some of you out there are thinking, “But Karen, just give it a chance. Not all dogs are that energetic. You just had the wrong kind. If you just did this, or you just tried that, it would be all right.”

And you’d be right. We definitely made the mistake with the breed of dog the first go-around and I know there are dogs out there better suited to my personality and would be fairly easy to take care of, but the bottom line is, I don’t want to. I don’t like dogs. I know that sounds selfish, and I’m sorry, but there you go, it’s how I feel. I simply do not like dogs enough to want to take care of one.

*sigh*

The husband suggested trying another kind of pet. We’ve had fish in the past, but the husband ended up being the one to clean the tank because I played the girlie card and was too squeamish to deal with it, and so he doesn’t want to go that route again because it’s a huge pain in the butt (see? It’s okay for him to avoid the kind of pet that HE would have to take care of), so he’s suggesting a gerbil.

A rodent. Swell.

However, I’m a fair person. And given the fact that gerbils are quiet and contained, and relatively clean (at least I think so, you can bet your bottom dollar I’ll be researching gerbils after publishing this post), I think I could agree to that.

Anything is better than a dog at this point. (Cats are out too, the husband despises cats).

So who knows? We may be making a trip to the pet store later today to look at gerbils. And if I’m posting pictures of a gerbil in tomorrow’s post, you’ll know I’m the reluctant owner of a pet gerbil.

Of all things.

Sunday Scribblings

Sunday Scribblings – Wedding

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October 28, 1987

Dear 22-year old self,

You have just started the bank. Congratulations! This means you’ve taken a HUGE step forward in your financial career (of course, that will fizzle out shortly after you have your first child but we’ll talk about that later).

The sexy guy you now work with? The blonde hunk in the drive-thru? Guess what. You’re going to marry him. I KNOW! How cool is that, right? He’s smart, funny, fun to be around and he will end up being your best friend and the best thing that ever happened to you.

But first. You will live together for two years – a trial marriage, if you will. Your family will not approve. But you’ve lived your life on your own terms at this point in your life, why change?

Those two years will be great – one big party. You’re going to get married on May 26, 1990. And you will use your student loan to help pay for it. (Don’t freak out, it’s really the only option you will have at the time).

It will be a small and intimate wedding, only about 75 people will be there. Don’t be depressed – that’s all you ever wanted, you just don’t know it yet. Your best friend Melissa will be your matron of honor and your husband’s best friend, Alvin, will be your best man. Your mom will make your wedding dress and it will be beautiful. You will look and feel radiant.

You will be late to your own wedding. You spend way too much time at a friend’s house getting your hair done. This will make your future husband very nervous and he will think you backed out.

But you arrive (fashionably late) and you will get stressed out trying to dress and look your best.

But once you start walking down that aisle on your father’s arm, your nervousness will dissipate and suddenly, you’ll feel like laughing because it truly is the happiest day of your life. You have no doubts – none. You know this is the man for you.

I hate to spoil the actual wedding for you, but I will tell you this – you will barely remember your vows because you will be distracted by the fact that you are getting ready to fly off together to a remote island (Cozumel, Mexico) and that you will no longer be alone in life, but part of a couple.

And you and your future husband will giggle together because you have a strange sixth sense when it comes to knowing what the other one is thinking.

Life will be very good for several years. You will have two boys and though it will freak you out that you’re a mother, you’ll adjust.

One word of caution: 1997 and 1998 will be very tough on your marriage. You will need to do a lot of soul searching; you will need to grow up. For though you may deny it now, you are, and will be, very immature.

You’ve been warned.

For now, enjoy your youth. Enjoy your journey – it will be a great adventure.

Sunday Scribblings

Sunday Scribblings – Observations

Want to scribble along?

If there is one word I’d use to describe myself, it would be an observer.

I prefer to live my life on the outskirts of society. I’m perfectly happy to simply press my nose against the glass and people watch. I really have no desire to interact with people in general – I’m sure there’s a psychological reason for that, but I truly enjoy just sitting back and … observing.

I’m thinking I should apologize for that … but I won’t. *grin*

There is one group of people in particular that I really love watching. Unfortunately, I don’t get a chance to watch them very often and when I do, I have to do so while pretending I’m doing something else.

The group?

PTA moms.

Now before you go and get the wrong idea about me, I’m not one of THOSE moms. I don’t attend meetings. I don’t obsess about whether my child is eating too many carbs. I don’t care to compare my offspring with any growth charts – either physical or mental. I don’t wear “mom” pants (well actually, I do on occasion when I’m feeling bloated), I don’t drive a mini-van (well actually, I used to), and I certainly don’t care if I’m caught out in public not wearing any lipstick – in fact, I think I’ve worn lipstick exactly six times my entire life and then for only 30 minutes because any longer and it dried in the creases of my lips and I felt like the Joker from Batman.

But that’s another issue, apparently.

I have attended a few meetings though. And the few times I’ve gone I’ve been treated like a leper. You have to understand that the fact that I even WENT to begin with was a big deal to me because I’m a terribly shy person in real life and walking into a room full of strange women who will be curious to check out the new girl thereby giving me the once/twice/thrice over makes me physically sick.

But I sucked up my apprehension and I went.

And no one talked to me.

And yes, I made attempts to join conversations.

The PTA Moms saw me, analyzed me and found me wanting, unfortunately.

But that didn’t stop me from participating in my sons’ schools. I still went to class parties, I still helped clean up and then I accidentally got recruited to help out with the school website.

I’ve been designing and maintaining school websites ever since.

So, I guess you could call me an OBSERVANT PTA Mom. I’m doing my part, just not a part that anyone can SEE.

And that suits me JUST fine.

However, I do occasionally have to deal with the bitches on occasion.

And I’m not calling them female dogs to be insulting (well, maybe a teeny-tiny bit), but rather, PTA moms (at least the PTA moms in my sons’ schools), are like a pack of female dogs. They stick together, they snarl at outsiders, they protect their territory and they pee on you when you get too close.

Oh, and you’re forced to step over a pile of poo occasionally, too.

This past Friday, I took MK to pick his schedule up from school. This is the last year I’ll really have to deal with PTA because by the time kids get into high school, parents have realized that PTA doesn’t have the money or the resources to make that big of an impact on the kids anymore; the kids would prefer to hang out with their friends or get a job and buy a car as opposed to doing anything school related by that point in their lives.

Or they appeal to the student council who take matters into their own hands and bypass the PTA entirely.

But elementary school and middle school – still an issue.

After MK picked his schedule up, we made the table rounds. We bought his assignment book, then we went to another table to order a school hoodie.

The moms were nice enough on the surface. But underneath the thick foundation and heavy powder, their true personalities bled through and it was that sugary, sweet fake nice, you know? The plastic smiles, the vacant/shifty eyes because they are constantly on the prowl for someone more important than you, and the barely concealed snobbery as they attempted to disguise the onceover they gave you as you’re standing there, sweating because you decided to wear something halfway fashionable and the school doesn’t have air conditioning and you just roamed the halls looking for MK’s locker and classrooms and now you’re being stared at and it’s making you nervous thereby causing your pores to ooze more salty goodness down your face thereby smearing the carefully applied makeup you put on for the first time all summer in order to impress this pack of female dogs.

Good times.

I know I sound bitter, and I don’t really mean to, but let’s just say, I’ve been shunned one too many times. I’ve tried to fit in and was rejected. The other moms simply don’t like me, for some reason.

But believe it or not, I’m not that upset about it. Instead, I’m content to observe their petty attitudes from afar …

… and wish, on some teeny-tiny level that I was part of the pack.
______________________________

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It’s fun!

Sunday Scribblings

Sunday Scribblings – Curves

You say curves, I think body image.

And when I think of body image, I picture this week’s post cards from Post Secret:

Thin 1

Thin 2

And that disturbs me.

For the longest time, I didn’t have any curves: I was a walking, talking scarecrow who breathed. And though this sounds great on the surface (Oh, to be THIN!), it wasn’t, at least to me. I wanted boobs. And I wasn’t going to be stingy about it – I wanted handfuls, just something for a man to hang on to.

But alas, I didn’t develop like I wanted to and was I stuck with size “B” bumps.

Then, I had children and suddenly, I had curves were there were none before. My breasts swelled to a size “C” (and stayed there) and where in the world did these hips come from? (I was thrilled about the breasts, the hips? Not so much).

Now that I had curves, you would think I would be happy, right?

Wrong. Suddenly, I wanted my hips to reduce and my waist to come back, neither of which has happened, by the way.

I wasn’t happy with my body then, and I’m not happy with my body now. And my point is: is anyone ever really happy with every aspect of their body, even when they achieve their goals?

Of course not. Part of that is our desire to be better, to be perfect. I think most of us have an innate desire to improve ourselves. But I think a large portion of how we feel about our curves, or lack thereof, comes from society and the picture they have shoved down our throats about what is beautiful, and what is not.

Take the above post cards, for example.

The first one, she obtained her goal. She had her surgery and she was now beautiful and thin. And yet, she’s still not happy because her shield, or her size, was no longer available for her to hide behind. This is a classic case of be careful what you wish for, you just might get it. And when you get it, can you handle it?

The second one, she’s thin, but not thin enough. She wants more, she’s never satisfied and I’m guessing will never be satisfied with her appearance until her inner expectations change: a classic case of wanting more and never quite getting more. When does the wanting stop?

I think women obsess about curves way too much. I think men obsess about curves way too much (but then again, they’re sort of programmed to think that way, so they have an excuse). Women want to look like the models, the ones who portray our idea of beauty, yet they don’t want to work for it – it takes time, discipline and motivation to obtain that rock hard body, or they’re simply not physically built the same way and no matter how hard you try, those birthing hips? Will never slim down because your bone structure is different.

When we will learn to be satisfied with who we are? In whatever shape we’re in? I mean granted, a person shouldn’t be so large that it interferes with his/her health, or give up on his/her appearance simply because it’s easier to do that than to exercise restraint, but if a person is larger because they are simply built that way, why can’t we just be okay with that fact?

When we will accept the fact that we are who we are and stop worrying about becoming someone else? Life is too short to be miserable, either make improvements and be satisfied with those improvements, or stop worrying about it and enjoy life.

I think I have finally accepted the fact that I’m an Amazon woman. I’m a big woman, not in the physical sense but in the physical presence sense. I will never be petite and no matter how much I close my eyes and mutter my wishes under my breath, I will never be the size I wish I could be. I’m tall and wish I could be shorter. I’m average weight for my height but wish I could weigh lighter. I wish … I wish … I wish … I want … I want … I want …

You know what? Screw it. I’m a curvy woman and I’m okay with that.

What about you? Have you accepted the way you look? Or are you still trying to fix yourself?