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An Epic Fashion Journey (that’s not over yet)

I left the house at around 1pm yesterday and didn’t return until about 9pm.  I was gone for 8 hours.  Shopping.  Shopping is hard work.  My pits were super stinky by the end of the day!  Next time I’ll need to bring wipes and deodorant.  I never knew the power workout that is called… shopping.  Without realizing that the shopping mall is indeed a very fancy place, this is what I wore:

Most of the women in the mall, (or at least the ones I couldn’t help but notice) were wearing fancy shirts, skin tight jeans, high heels, and tons of makeup.  By the end of the day I think they might look even better then when they started!  I mean, if you’re into that sort of thing.  I have to hand it to them, I barely made it down to the ferry terminal in my boots once I realized how sore my muscles were.  We brought new meaning to the words “shop till you drop”.

I used to HATE shopping.  I would last maybe 20 minutes to an hour TOPS.  Then all the energy would drain out of my body and I would start yawning and become basically unresponsive.  It was a similar feeling to sitting in a high school desk for an extended length of time.  Total lack of energy and the only sound I could utter is, “Ugggghhhhhh”.

I’m not sure if I was ever fashionable in my life, by any standard really.  I remember always being uncomfortable in just about anything I ever wore.  I can specifically remember my first independent fashion choice (by independent, I mean not based on anyone’s opinion or style).  It was 9th grade.  I had taken a trip to a mall out of town and purchased a really cute floral, stretchy skirt.  I got it home and realized that the purple in my skirt was the very same purple my newly purchases and daring high top chuck’s were made of!  Oh.  Oh yes.  It was on!  The next morning when I got up for school , I got dressed before breakfast because I was so excited about my outfit.  Skirt, socks, purple hi top chucks.  Squeeee!


It felt gooooood to be me.  It felt gooooood to stand out.  I felt sassy and awesome.  It was an outfit I was going to love, forever.  I felt powerful for the entire morning!  I went to French class where I admired my legs sticking out from under my desk.  I loved French class, but I hated French.  I loved going to class because my Junior boyfriend’s locker was on that floor and right across from my class.  I saw him through the window and as soon as the bell rang I went to him; as I did every Tuesday and Thursday of every week.  His friends were on either side of him; a very after school special-ish scene.  We talked, though I can’t remember what we said and then his friends went off to class.  He stayed for a moment, looked me in eyes and said, “Oh and by the way, don’t EVER wear anything like that again.”  Then he walked away.

*CRUSHED*

Crushed isn’t even the word for it.  My bubble popped.  My world crashed.  My heart broke.  Everything changed right at that moment.  Everything.  I loved him and it was the beginning of a very long downward spiral for me personally and for my fashion sense.  Obviously there were other issues in my life as to why I felt the way I did, but this was a turning point for me, and not a positive one.  I never really got it back.  I mean I tried a lot of different styles on and I wore a lot of different clothes, but I never really got that feeling back.  Then exacerbate the problem with 3 pregnancies plus an ever changing body and that spark I felt when I put something on that I liked, loved, ADORED…  was completely extinguished.

Until very recently, that is.  It’s funny how people are often thinking the same things at the same time, because right around the time I started to really care about my clothes, my friend Tiffani wrote this super inspiring post.  She’s doing a 52 week series on getting acquainted with yourself that I highly, HIGHLY recommend.  I don’t always do the challenges, but this one I sort of did by accident.  I’ve been making it a point to love myself more.  (The past me has major, GINORMOUS issues with self-love.)  Part of showing myself some love is paying attention to how I feel in my clothes and getting myself some threads that I really just want to be in.  It’s a slow process, I don’t know how I could replace my wardrobe all at once, though it really does need such an overhaul!  I need more time!  However, after our EPIC shopping trip this weekend, I feel pretty awesome to have come home with a few more pieces that I love.

It’s funny how not too long ago stepping out in those socks would have been too much for me, but now I just love wearing them everywhere.  I love bringing color back into my life.  I spent a lot of years dressing in mostly black and being enveloped in color is really making me happy.

It doesn’t make any sense to judge clothing based on your negative view of yourself.  If you love it, if it speaks to you, then make it work and allow yourself to feel fabulous in it.

Label Shoppers: Gettin’ All Fancy Up In Here

Have you ever read a wine review?  No?  Me either.  Well, I mean except for a quick description of something on wine.com.  Even then, I didn’t REALLY read it.  Even so, I’ve always wanted to write a wine review series for people like us: label shoppers.

Isn’t it weird when the waitress allows you to test the bottle first. I mean, It’s wine.  I’ll take it.  Does anyone ever REALLY send it back? Have you ever seen someone swirl their wine around and study the glass with first their eyes then their nose?  I have.  It’s weird and I have no idea what they are doing other than trying to make me feel less refined than I already am.

Here at Eclectic Reality we strive for fancy.  If we’re going to be fancy then we need to learn how to review wine.  That is why I downloaded a wine review guide to help us along.  We are fancy people.  No…  we epitomize fancy!

*****

(All the photos I took of us were pretty much black.  That’s what we get for not wanting to get up and turn the lights on.  If you don’t know what we look like, you get to imagine two people having this conversation.  If you do know…  well, lucky you.)

TJ: I don’t even know what we’re drinking.

Heather: We’re drinking wine, hunny.  [reading the wine guide on iPhone] I think you should cleanse your palette.

TJ:  I’m cleansing my palette with this cold piece of bacon that the kids didn’t finish earlier.

Heather:  My palette is already cleansed, I’m three glasses in.  So, if we follow the guide I just downloaded then we should probably mention the name of the wine.

TJ:  [Holds the bottle in the air and attempts to make sense of the label]  Bookmark is made here in Washington and it is a red wine.  That is exactly what is says on the bottle.  This always makes me feel like it is made up of all the leftover merlot, cabernet, and syrah that didn’t make the cut.  It ran me about $10 per bottle, and tastes like a sweet deal.

Heather:  That’s kind of expensive for wine don’t you think?  Whatever, we should probably move on.  The guide says we need to talk about the color.  Is it red?  Is it purple?  Maybe brick?

TJ: [holds up glass to the light] We’re in kind of a dimly lit room.  I can’t tell.

Heather: Um…  maybe it’s the jelly jar you’re drinking it out of?

TJ: It’s a pretty dark purple to my eyes.

Heather:  Again… jelly.  [rolls eyes] Whatever, just smell it.

TJ:  It smells like fruit and alcohol to me.  Actually, I don’t smell anything.  It might be a rare odorless red.

Heather: Oooh.  That makes it more expensive.  Expensive wine is better.  Like most red wine, it smells like rotten fruit to me.

TJ: You’re so unsophisticated.

Heather: I am so fucking sophisticated, you have no idea how sophisticated I am! Whatever dude, we need to talk about the texture.  Did you know wine had texture?  It says to think of milk.  Milky… wine?

TJ: Medium.  I’m going with medium.

Heather: It’s kind of winey.  Not unlike yourself.  The guide says we need to aerate the wine.  Swish it in your mouth and suck air through your pursed lips.  GO!

TJ:  Mmmm Hmmm.  Definitely getting wine on my shirt.

Heather:  My turn.  I can’t swish and suck at the same time!

TJ: That’s what she said.

Heather: *cough*  *choke*  *gasp*

TJ: What’s next?

Heather:  Hey, I’m OK.  Thanks for asking.

TJ: What was the purpose of the swishing and sucking?

Heather: I have no idea.  Let’s finish this up.  Its says “a wine finish is the lingering sensation that wine leaves in your mouth after you swallow the wine.  The finish is described in both length and flavors”.

TJ: *blink*

Heather: *blink*

TJ: So…  how long was your wine?

Heather: I don’t know.  How long was YOUR wine?

TJ: You know…  if I skip brushing my teeth, I bet I can still taste this in the morning.  Whatever.  I’m going with medium.  Medium is my answer.

Heather:  I don’t know if I can handle being fancy.  I’ve never thought this hard about wine.  Now I’m supposed to explain what it pairs well with? [changes to a mid-atlantic accent – think Frasier Crane] It pairs well with a wide array of cured fatty meats and orangish cheeses.

TJ: I’m feeling like our review is a tragedy for Bookwalter Winery at this point, which is a shame, because for $10, I feel like I’m drinking at least $15 or $20.  If you’re like me, and rarely spend more than $10 on a bottle of wine, buy this wine and you will thank me for it.  It’s really good.

Heather:  Wow, this review sucks.

TJ: [furrows brow]

So I guess at this point we’re questioning whether we should be reviewing wine at all.  Is this series even worth it?  This all makes very little sense to me.  Is there a learning curve?  Will I just magically “get it”? Oooooor…  is it a sham?!  I guess there’s only one way to find out.  We be gettin’ get all fancy up in here!

How Not To Be a Father

Yup.  You’ve seen it.  Tiffani blogged about.  Jean blogged about it.  Brianna blogged about.  Jennifer blogged about it.  There’s plenty more out there for you to see.  In the off chance that you missed it, that you haven’t seen the video let me just give you a link to the douche-baggery that is making the rounds on the internet.  Sure I could post the video here, but my blog is pretty and that would just ugly it up.

This video hurt me so deeply that I cannot move forward until I write about it.  Until I say the things that I am feeling.  When I hear him read that letter my gut wrenches.  I spent the better part of last night being incredibly grouchy and had to go for that extra glass of wine.  How could someone treat a child this way?  Here is some of what this man is guilty of:

  • Publicly humiliating his daughter
  • Total disregard for a child’s feelings
  • Calling his own child names
  • Conditional Parenting and Love
  • Destruction of personal property
  • Possibly using his daughter to gain media attention
  • Emotional abuse

I hear many of the same complaints I had as a teenager.  I hear many of the same complaints many teenagers have.  Most of us know what it’s like to be a teenager and not feel heard or like we are not in control of our own lives.  I am sad for this child.  I am sad for the hell she has to live in. Being grounded for months at a time for publicly complaining about her parents?  What the fuck kind of dictatorship is Tommy Jordan running over there?

The gun.  He pulled a fucking gun on her laptop.  I’m extremely pro-gun!  I even own one myself.  However, using a gun out of anger to solve a problem is extremely scary and ridiculously violent.  This is not a stable man.  I fear what he would do if his daughter skipped classes or took drugs or worse…  had sex.

This folks, is emotional abuse.  This is a man beating his daughter so far down that I can only imagine what it’s going to take to bring her back up.  If in fact she realizes that she can, come back up.  I picture her crying in her room, feeling helpless, alone, and unloved.  I’d love to wrap my arms around her and tell her that not all parents treat their children this way.  That she doesn’t deserve to be treated this way.  That there are many of us who support her.  I wish I could tell Tommy Jordan, and have him listen, that there is a better way.  Somehow I doubt he’s interested in it.

He has punished her before, why didn’t he see it didn’t work?  It didn’t make her love him anymore.  It didn’t make her respect him anymore.  It only made things worse.  So for each thing she does wrong in his eyes he is only going to be meaner and more horrible toward his own daughter.  This is an incredibly sad state of affairs.  Really?  Can’t we do better than this?

“I blew half my day on your laptop”.  When I do things for my children it brings me great joy.  When I spend half the day fixing something of theirs it’s because I love them and they need me.  It’s not conditional; it’s me being a parent.  If they get mad at me the next day I won’t reverse what I did.

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Have you read the comments?  I’ve seen an INSANE amount of support for this guy!  They keep mentioning how disrespectful the girl was and how she was trashing her parents.  That’s not what I hear though.  I hear a teenager venting her anger over her many responsibilities and venting her frustrations with her words.  I don’t even want to believe it.  At what point in a child’s life do they become the enemy? At what point to we stop listening and understanding and start expecting?  The comments are disturbing and show a lot of animosity toward children and teenagers.  I imagine it’s because most of them, including Tommy Jordan, were not allowed to be children themselves.

Do you see and hear how hard he is breathing?  How angry he is over his daughter’s words?  The words upset him greatly.  He is angry because his daughter is angry at him.  There is something terribly wrong with that.  Yet, instead of taking the time to try and repair his relationship with his daughter he further solidified the dysfunctional connection they will most likely always have.

I posted this link on my facebook page with these words: “If you support treating children this way, we are NOT friends. Please unfriend me right away.”  I wasn’t kidding.  This guy is abusive and if I have people on my list that are pro-abuse than I cannot be friends with that person.  I do understand that my friends and I have a wide range of differences in our parenting opinions and styles.  I’m really OK with that.  However, I do not tolerate abuse, physical or emotional.

Somewhere in a comment or a follow up video Tommy Jordan has stated that his daughter is OK with this now.  Well, remember this article?  Congratulations Tommy Jordan, you just broke your child.

I Missed You.

Oh hey!  I haven’t seen you in awhile.  I can tell you missed me, because I totally missed you.  You may or may not have noticed that things look a little different around here.  I mean, not THAT much different, design isn’t exactly my thing, but you know…  enough to warrant a raised eyebrow.  So if you didn’t notice (which you did, I mean how could not?!)  I’m writing under a new title.  I’ve changed my blog title from SwissArmyWife to Eclectic Reality.  You might have to resubscribe.

I’ve known that I was going to abandon SwissArmyWife for quite some time.  I love her.  I really love that badass mom, SwissArmyWife…  but she’s more.  So. Much. More.  SwissArmyWife was my life for a long time.  I’ve spent a long time fighting against the status quo when it comes to family life, education, and parenting but something changed.  Eventually, I stopped feeling like I had anything to fight against and I just started living this life.  I love this life.  My wonderful, glorious, totally bitchin’ life!  I couldn’t imagine living ANY. OTHER. LIFE.  Resubscribe here.

I no longer want to identify as just a wife and mom.  I hate that.  I hate that I even wrote it.  “Just a wife and mom.”  As if that’s something I shouldn’t be OK with.  I am so totally more than OK with it.  Still, it doesn’t reflect me anymore.  During my unintended hiatus I’ve done a little stretching and growing.  I did a little changing and then a little more growing.  I guess you could say I’ve been getting reacquainted with my bad self.

So, who am I anyway?

Well, that’s a long ass story.  I’m so many things to so many people, but more importantly I am myself.  Something’s changed in the months past and I’m no longer seeing myself in quite the same way.  For one, I’m loving myself a lot more.  I’m loving the people around me a lot more.  I’m loving life and everything in it a lot more.  If this explanation doesn’t do it for you, then try my about me page.  If it does…  try my about me page anyway.

My life just totally rocks and I’m really looking forward to sharing it with you.  Did I mention you have to resubscribe?

So, I guess the good news is…  I’m back, bitches.

A Very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays All Around!

Post MineCon 2011

I wrote this because some things needed to be said.  I wrote this because you shouldn’t go around breaking children’s hearts in the name of being kind of famous.  I also wrote this because many reviews are from young adults perspectives and I thought a child/parent perspective would be good.  I think there is much to learn from the mistakes that were made.

***

So I began writing my post about MineCon and it very quickly became a novel.  It’s not really my style to write long drag out posts so here I am with a much shorter recap of the entire event.

Skylar and I made it to Las Vegas and checked into the Mandalay Bay around 3pm on Thursday.  We went over to the convention center and registered that evening for MineCon.  I remember buying my tickets and not receiving any instructions on how to actually GET my tickets so I hoped my name and an ID would help.  Kids 13 and up needed ID as well apparently, this was never told to me, but they let Skylar have his badge anyway.  The line was long and I was grateful not to have to enter it again.

We received our Creeper schwag bag filled with some cool stuff…  minecon schwag.  We also received a Jones soda with custom Minecraft labels.  Well, I mean one of them did, the other had a normal label.  Why didn’t ALL the promo soda reflect the event?  I have no idea.

The next day we grabbed our schedules and headed to the convention center.  I have heard many, many complaints over how the whole thing was organized and I have a few of my own.  I want you all to know that we had a FABULOUS time.  You see, wherever we go we tend to bring our own fun and no matter how poorly organized this event was we would have had fun anyway.

The opening ceremony was wonderful.  The whole crowd was laughing and cheering and having a GREAT time.  People are on Reddit complaining about the speaker, Minecraft Chick Lydia Winters.  I have no idea why, people can just be so nasty sometimes.  She was so awesome and the whole opening ceremony was the best part of the whole thing for me.  Watch it here.

The rest of the convention was typical of any convention.  Vendors, sponsors, exhibitors, swag and cool décor.  However, the event very quickly turned into LineCon.  The lines for anything were hours long.  That means the merch booth, the autograph sessions, and the scavenger hunt.  I understand that at conventions lines will be long, but it was way out of hand.  WAY, WAY out of hand.  The organization of the event left much to be desired.  We hopped in line for a limited edition Creeper toy that I wanted to bring home Milo.  We stood there for an hour and a half only to be told the room was closing so that they could start the opening ceremony I spoke about above.  I was less than thrilled, but tried to let it brush off of me.  I don’t think I have to say that I never did get one of those toys since I couldn’t make it back to the line in time.

On Friday night, I got in line to try and get an autograph from Notch (Minecraft creator) for Skylar.  We were 3 people and the last in line.  An extremely rude volunteer told us the line was closed and we had to leave.  I heard we should have gotten a ticket to get preferential line status the next day but these were not given to us.

On Saturday was the Yogscast panel.  Yogscast is Skylar’s absolute favorite YouTube channel.  He idolizes these guys.  He wants to BE those guys and has talked about starting his own similar channel.  It was promised to the attendees that they would announce where the Yogscast would be signing autographs, but it never was.  As it turns out they gave out 100 tickets for autographs as a surprise and that was it.  5000 in attendance. 100 tickets.  So yeah, “SURPRISE!!!  You didn’t get one.”  By the time Skylar there and found out he did not get a ticket he was torn apart.  Tears.  Anger.  Everything.  When the signing was done, Simon, Lewis, & Hannah (Yogscast) didn’t even look in the direction of all the kids standing there behind the ropes who didn’t get tickets.  Not a wave.  Not a smile.  Not a thanks for watching us guys.  Nothing.  I saw the crushed looks on about 20 kids faces and I cried myself.  What they did was just not right.  Not right at all.  The volunteers were actually apologizing for them.

See, he’s 13 and spent his own money to buy his ticket, brought his pick axe to be signed by 3 people and couldn’t get near any of them.  He looks up to these guys so much and they all made themselves so freaking unavailable during the convention that I wondered why they held MineCon in the first place.  The things that were promised did not happen, and if they did it I always had to find out by word of mouth.  Right down to the super cool swag bag I was supposed to get for being a speaker.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the custom soda bottle I received, but it wasn’t what I was promised.  They didn’t even give it to me, I had to go looking for it.

We had so much fun in between all the disappointments, but I just feel those disappointments didn’t have to happen.  It could have been different.  I was a panelist at this convention and I never even met anyone from the Mojang team that put it together.  I didn’t get an introduction, a thank you, or an acknowledgement from anyone.  I just showed up, did my thing and that was it.  I got a soda that I had to go looking for.

So, let’s get to the awesome parts.  The décor totally rocked.  Someone had built all the Minecraft characters out of wood and they stood all around the convention hall.  Let’s face it, being in a room with 5000 people all passionate about the same thing is sort of exhilarating!  I met and saw so many awesome people.  Of course I had many of my unschool buddies to hang out with but I was just shocked at how many kids were there with their parents!  And parents that played the game!  Just amazing.  Tiffani and I spent some time hooping with Steve and Creeper heads on down in the convention center.  Skylar made some friends that I just know will last a long long time.

The panel went absolutely amazing.  I was very nervous as it took a very academic tone, but I settled into my skin and made some great points.  I think I even inspired a few people toward unschooling.  I’ll post the podcast or video as soon as it becomes available.

The after party at Club XS with Deadmau5 was just totally surreal.  I’m still wondering if it was real.  It was really fun to hoop by the pool and geekify this fancy club for a night.  The muggles were totally mystified by the geekery in the room.  I think they dropped the strict dress code just for the evening.

People are asking me if the convention was worth the money.  I think I would still say yes, but Skylar feels really cheated.  He says he had a great time, but much of that fun was had outside the convention.  So the entire trip was 100% absolutely worth it for me and maybe75% worth it for Skylar.  If he knew that he wouldn’t be able to meet his favorite people and get autographs he may not have gone at all.  Like I said, what was promised didn’t happen.  I’m so glad he did go though as he made some unforgettable connections.

I just wish that we could have left it there and not experienced the airing of dirty laundry between Yogcast and Notch.  You can read all about that on Reddit.  Honestly, I felt that they all sort of acted like divas when it came to their celebrity status.  We even tried to talk to Notch at Club XS but his entourage whisked him away and wouldn’t let us near him like he was Tom Cruise or something.  Strange behavior since Prince Harry didn’t seem to mind being around people at the club.

Will I go again?  Yeah…  I totally would.  It’s just really hard for me not see the obvious failures that happened at MineCon.  It’s also hard to me to watch my child have his heart broken.  We missed the closing ceremony because of it.  I do hope they learn from their mistakes.  But I’ve learned too.  I’ve learned I have to be careful with my expectations and to see the red flags from the beginning.  Other people had worse experiences than us, and others have better.  It wasn’t across the board terrible.

I’m still giddy with excitement, but it’s less about MineCon and more about friendships and sharing some amazingly good times with the people I love.  You know who you are.

I covered so little of our trip in the post.  As usual, feel free to ask me anything.

MineCon – We’re going to Vegas!

Well if you’ve ever doubted my inherent geekiness, then it should be solidified now.  I keep saying I’m taking my 13 year old to MineCon at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas, NV.  However, I’m just as excited as he is!

What is MineCon you ask?  Well…  MineCon is the very first, 2 day conference of everything Minecraft.  Yes!  And if that isn’t enough, I’ve been chosen to be on an education panel with 5 other people, all from various forms of academia.  I’m super excited to be able share my experiences with gaming from a life learning perspective.

Ssssss…..

Halloween Candy Help

Some of your kids have already done the trick or treating thing.  Some will do it today.  Most will probably knock on doors tomorrow on Halloween, but almost all will have bags full candy for sorting, trading, playing with and ultimately EATING.  This last part puts fear into the hearts of parents everywhere.  ALL THAT CANDY.  Sugar, food dye, cavities, and meltdowns, oh my!

So how are YOU planning to handle it this year?  Oh wait, let me rephrase.  How are you going to handle YOURSELF this year.  Because ultimately, you have no business doing anything with the Halloween candy that your child doesn’t explicitly want you to do.  It’s not your candy.  Let me repeat myself.

Its. Not. Your. Candy.

So, now that we’ve established that, please step away from the loot.  Can you think of any other person you would treat that way?  Would you take control of someone else’s abundance and then tell them how much they can have, and when they can have it?  No.  You probably wouldn’t and you’re child’s Halloween candy is no different.

You have no excuse now.  Your kid won’t be poisoned and probably won’t be stuck in the lip by a needle.  We’ve been through that. So what now?  Why is it that parents are getting ready to divvy up the Halloween candy and how are they going to do it?  There’s probably a million different ways parent’s  try handle this situation, and I want to know one thing.  What on earth is this accomplishing? Sometimes it helps to think of it in terms of the message you are sending.

  1. Imposing your will over another person based on a feeling is OK.
  2. Imposing your will over someone else’s property because of your feelings is OK.

Um…  No.

If you take away, hide, or control the candy, you are creating the forbidden fruit effect.  Any object that someone wants can be turned into the forbidden fruit simply by that person feeling or knowing they can’t or shouldn’t have it.  If you take away the candy and preach how bad it is for them, they will want more.  And they will likely find a way to have more and sneak it in the future.  Forbidden fruit can also create sneaky children.

If you’re thinking that I’m suggesting you let your kids keep their candy wherever they want and eat it whenever and consume however much they want then, you’re RIGHT.  See here’s the thing, your kids don’t want to feel sick anymore than you do.  Your kids don’t want to have nightmares any more than you do.  Your kids don’t really want to displease you.  Yet, holiday after holiday parents still take away the candy in the name of belly aches, nightmares and bad behavior.  Kids should be trusted and encouraged to care for their own bodies, but how can they do that when they are never given the chance?  Your fears are just that; YOUR fears.  Here are a couple ideas how to handle those fears this Halloween.

  1. Create Space. Kids who have no restrictions placed on candy don’t have issues with binging.  If your child has never had candy freedom then prepare for a marathon candy tasting session.  Some kids are sensitive to food dyes and preservatives and it affects them emotionally.  Prepare by not making any plans for a few days after Halloween.  Long sugar binges can also lead to tired emotional kids.  Keep protein snacks around the house to help their bodies recover.  String cheese, peanut butter, and meat (if they will eat it) are good to keep on hand.
  2. Discuss, don’t lecture. There is a difference between giving your kids information and lecturing them until their ears hurt.  Kids who have information are able to make better decisions for themselves.  It’s great to talk about health and the effects that food has on our bodies, but if you’re talking moves toward coercion then you’re better off just not talking at all.  Wait until later, talk about food, not fear based arguments.  My favorite Halloween candy is candy corn.  I’d be really irritated if my husband sat there and lectured me on the evils of candy corn while I ate it (or at all)!  Yes sir, eating an entire bag of candy corn makes me feel like shit, but it’s sooooo worth it (drool).  Those are the choices that we are ALL allowed to make in our lives.

I hope you have a super fun, awesome, candy filled Halloween!


Halloween is Dangerous.

Here we are again!  It’s October!  Halloween is just 3 days away and I just know all you moms and/or dads are working frantically to get your kids costumes finished so you can start your own, right?  This year I’m going as myself.  But if you’re in the market for a quick costume try these on for size:

  • A Shot in the Dark – Dress in all black and hang a shot glass around your neck.  (submitted by my brother Shane)
  • The Neighborhood Ho – Dress in all brown, fashion a garden ho out of a box and wear it on your head.  Wallah!  (invented by my wonderfully creative mom)  Whoever said Ho’s were easy…  is right!
  • Helicopter Mom – My personal favorite.  Get one of those silly hats with the propeller on top and trick or treat with your kids.  Of course, some of us don’t really need a propeller at all, were already hovering.  And for those of us that aren’t, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission wants to make sure that they take that place under the propeller on Halloween night.  Take into consideration this little graphic they released just for the holiday.

Really?  Since when did we need so many guidelines when playing dress-up?  I mean at first glance, it all seems to be fairly good advice right?  Well, no.  Think about the message this graphic sends.  Halloween is DANGEROUS.  Make sure you can see!  Don’t catch on fire!  Don’t trip! Make sure everyone can see YOU!  Inspect your candy…  you never know!

In the “safety alert” they also mention that you should “avoid costumes made with flimsy materials and outfits with big, baggy sleeves or billowing skirts.”  Sorry Princess, you’re going to have to be an 80’s aerobics instructor this year.  I wouldn’t want your flimsy clothing and billowy skirt to go up in flames from knocking on people’s doors.

Here’s the best part of the “alert”.  Ready?

“Treats: Warn children not to eat any treats before an adult has carefully examined them for evidence of tampering.”

So we’ve probably been hearing this since WE were children…  right?  My mom used to cut my apples I got from trick or treating in case there were needles or razor blades inside.  But has anyone ever wondered what this was all about?  There must be a lot of reports of poisoned candy and injuries from projectiles in the fruit, right?  Wrong.

There have been about  80 tracked cases razor blades and needles in food since 1959.  Most of those were hoaxes and only about 10 ever led to injury.  That’s TEN injuries from tampering with Halloween food in the last 52 years and this independent government agency wants all parents sifting through their child’s Halloween candy in search of tampering!?  Puh-lease.

And BTW, as far as Snopes in concerned, there is no evidence of a “genuine Halloween poisoning”.  None.  Zilch.  Nada.

You could get hit by a car, you could catch on fire, you could be stuck in the lip by a needle, or you could be poisoned. For Christ’s sake… YOU COULD DIE!

Ssssss......

Happy Halloween!!!

Inspiration: Reason Magazine

The Hypocrisy of Ron Paul. A Response.

So, it’s probably no big secret that I’m a pretty big Ron Paul supporter.  He’s the one guy that I find to be consistent, honest, and most in line with my personal values.  I suppose any bubble deserves a little poking now and again and that’s exactly what happened when I was sent this article.  I was told the article was very “telling” and from the title alone I could tell that I was about to find out that he was a “hypocrite” too.  *sigh*  I really didn’t want this to happen, but I read on. The following is my response.  I was pretty happy with what I found and all the research I did, so I really wanted to put this here even though it was originally on Facebook.

***

Not only is this article really weak, I’m not even going to respond to the first 3 paragraphs.  I don’t see the picture the writer is trying to paint with that.  I don’t have a problem with any of it.

Promising to take an objective look, here is my response to the article by paragraph (quotes from various other places, are in italics)

Paragraph 4:

Voted YES on requiring negotiated Rx prices for Medicare part D.

“Proponents support voting YES because:

This legislation is an overdue step to improve part D drug benefits. The bipartisan bill is simple and straightforward. It removes the prohibition from negotiating discounts with pharmaceutical manufacturers, and requires the Secretary of Health & Human Services to negotiate. This legislation will deliver lower premiums to the seniors, lower prices at the pharmacy and savings for all taxpayers.

It is equally important to understand that this legislation does not do certain things. HR4 does not preclude private plans from getting additional discounts on medicines they offer seniors and people with disabilities. HR4 does not establish a national formulary. HR4 does not require price controls. HR4 does not hamstring research and development by pharmaceutical houses. HR4 does not require using the Department of Veterans Affairs’ price schedule.”

Of course, when it described the reasons people vote “no” it contradicted the answer above and did indeed mention “price controls”.  If we were to understand why Ron Paul voted “no” we would have to completely read the bill to understand it myself, which I have not done.

***

Paragraph 5:

Drug reimportation benefits seem to be widely a matter of opinion.  And again it seems to be an interpretation of the bill.

He stated this, “Drug reimportation is critical to lowering prices,” Paul stated. “Reimportation allows American consumers, particularly seniors, to benefit from worldwide price competition. It’s outrageous that the FDA does not permit U.S. citizens to reimport drugs that sell for 30 to 300 percent less outside our borders. The pharmaceutical companies should not be allowed to profit by this government-enforced price fixing. How much longer should American consumers be expected to pay much higher prices for identical drugs available in Europe, Canada, and Mexico for a fraction of the cost?”

I would guess that Paul’s interpretation of this bill is vastly different than those who oppose it.

***

Paragraph 6:

Ahhh….  The pork.  Which sucks.  Not really what I wanted to be reading.  What I found were a few quotes about how for a time he took a “can’t beat em join em” attitude.  While I disagree with this “pork”, it doesn’t confuse me.  I still think his spending and voting record is a far cry from any other candidate.  If you take a look at his earmarks (pork) you will see:

If you take a look at his earmarks (pork) you will see: there are no bridges to nowhere, no land improvements in an area that backs up to his home to improve his property value, no paybacks for contributions. There are infrastructure appropriations, concern about health issues, concern about the economy in his district. (an opinion I am borrowing from the Daily Paul that I %100 agree with).  For a bit he seemed to take on the opinion of well, if their going to hand out the money we might as well get back what we paid in.  Or something like that.

It’s also been stated that every single bill he had earmarked was probably so full of pork that he probably also voted “no” against it.  Yeah, I know…  not terribly honorable since he had his own pork in their anyway…  but it’s worth mentioning.  It’s also worth mentioning that “Ron Paul is 100% for transparency in bills, including earmarks; 100% against self-serving earmarks; 100% for Congress “reading” bills in their entirety.” (Daily Paul)

I don’t know why blips in people’s records make them hypocrites.  Am *I* a hypocrite because I once thought public school was the best thing for my child and NOW I champion unschooling?  No, I don’t think so.  We live….  we learn.  But you can formulate your own opinions regarding the inconsistencies in his career.

I don’t care if he doesn’t always line-up perfectly with libertarians.  I don’t care if a well known libertarian walks away from supporting him.  What I have always noticed about Ron Paul is that he stays true to his own principles.  He has stood both with AND against Reagan.  That is not a secret.  He talks about it at national televised debates.  The ads aren’t deceptive they are stretched at best and made by his campaign to capture people’s attention.  Not a huge deal for me.

I can’t look at his record and call him a hypocrite.  That’s ridiculous.  I CAN however look at his record and see that it stands pretty strong to MY values, and is the most consistent record of ANY of the candidates that are in the running today.  So while I learned something new that I hadn’t known before…  my vote still goes to the man with the plan, Ron Paul.