Saturday, May 29, 2004

Arts and Thoughts

I enjoyed the annual ArtsFest today in Harrisburg, PA. As typical, it was a lovely event held along the Riverwalk that runs along the Susquehanna River. While the river has a rather greenish-brown tint, it is still pretty. There were many fabulous artisans, and a few that were interesting, and number of them that made you go, um, huh? The food....one thing we do know how to do in Central PA is eat. And let me tell you, it is some good Pennsylvania Dutch, lard-covered, artery-clogging yum. I had one particularly interesting experience. A young guy was doing a documentary as to why people would want to stay in PA (after they graduate high school or college) or why they would want to leave. He asked my roommate and me if we would comment. My roommate, being the braver of the two of us, agreed. We noticed his shirt read "Modest Girls Rule." When asked, he said he was tired of seeing girls letting it all hang out - he had seen enough sluts and whores on the street. While I daresay his words were a bit harsh, it was interesting to hear it coming from a man. At the risk of being sexist ::ducks the rotten tomatoes that are being aimed at her head::, I had always thought men were happier when a woman wears less. So chalk me up to the surprised and still learning about the opposite gender columns.

When Terrorism Touches Home

Here is a personal story of terrorism from the TxConservative. I hope the majority of us does not have to have this happen to our loved ones to get the point. Please keep us updated, Steve. And we will keep your loved ones in our thoughts.

More Education Issues

Stupidity abounds in today's education news. See here. God forbid a student would have to pass a test to be able to enter a college. It might hurt their self-esteem, I suppose. College used to be a privelege. You had to show exceptional abilities to be able to attend. Now open admission is rampant. Anyone can go anywhere. So now that CUNY has a test that students have to pass, it is deemed unfair.
"Dr. Crain said he was especially troubled by the students who had not enrolled at any college. 'They have other options, of course,' he said on CUNY's Internet faculty discussion site. 'But many don't find these options. What happened to these students? Did the discouragement of rejection combine with other hardships?'"
How is this CUNY's fault? So if I turn down an employee who has applied for work with my company, I am in some way responsible if he ends up on state assistance? My rejection may have been too much and pushed him over the edge to despondence? Please! If a student cannot pass the test, too bad. I do not care if they are purple. Race has nothing to do with it. They even have help available to coach the students to take the entrance exams. What more do they need? Someone to take it for them as well? It is called studying, applying yourself, and yes, you may have to learn something with which you did not grow up. Deal with it. ::pant, pant:: I guess being a non-traditional college student gets me riled up about these attitudes. I go to school with exceptionally intelligent people whose ages range to younger than me to 40, and I've attended school with several grandmothers in the past! These people knock themselves out to make up for time lost, and to gain some pride about their accomplishments. The idea that some young idiot who thinks it is a right to attend college, rather than an incredible opportunity, just ticks me off. It is damn hard work, especially when you go later in life, and yet these young people just want it given to them with little work required. What are we raising? Is this where the future is heading? It is damn scary.

Well-Aimed Money Is The Wrong Solution

This article concerns a pet peeve of mine. I know, I have many. ;) More money in schools is pointless. I graduated from a private school. Our computers were old, our teachers were not required to have a degree. Our sports teams were coached by students' moms and dads. Tuition was expensive for the working class family, who typically had little extra money to offer as a donation. Frequently students went there who could not pay their tuition. Yet we all managed to graduate in my class of 65 students. 15-20% of us were in the National Honors Society. Most of us made the honor roll for a good portion of our high school careers. Truancy was not a problem. We did not have fancy programs or politically correct classes. We did not have sensitivity courses or sex-ed. Money has nothing to do with the problem in schools today. Our country was built on the backs of people who were educated in one-room school houses. They didn't have sports programs or theatre classes. Education was a priority in the home - and that is what made the difference. The problems start at home. If parents were involved with their children and their lives, grades would improve. You can throw as many social programs and tax dollars as you want at the public school system - it will not make a dent. Kids today are raising themselves. Both parents are working, parents are divorcing, some kids do not even know who their father is. Moms and dads are too worried about supplementing their sex lives and emotional needs to worry about what their kids need. It is not the schools' fault. I hope at some point we will acknowledge the actual source of the problem and begin addressing it. Until parents return to taking an active role in their children's lives, laying down the law at home, and making sure that their kids are prepared for life, education levels will continue to sink and the dumbing-down of our society will be widespread.

God Is In The Doughnut

Having a hard time losing weight? God can help! If you can't lose weight on this program, then maybe even God can't help you.

Friday, May 28, 2004

Liberals Creed

This post is hysterical. Thanks to the Texas Conservative!

The Ethics of War

Here is yet another of the AnalPhilosopher's fantastic sites that makes me keep the Merriam Webster Dictionary at hand. Is it legal to be so damn well-spoken? Don't worry, it is more than worth it! So go get educated! I also have added a link on the left side for regular visitors.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

The Truth About Women

I hate women. All women are jerks. Women are so insensitive. All women just want one thing from a man: a pay check. My wife is useless. My girlfriend never listens to me. That is SO typically female. Could she ever just listen to me? God, she is so self-centered! Women are pigs! Girls are stupid, throw rocks. Girls are smelly. Girls lie, make them cry. Girls are full of it, fling poop at them. If you want something done, ask a woman. If you want it done right, ask a man. Women are like parking spaces: all the good ones are taken; the only ones left are handicapped. How does a woman show she's planning for the future? She buys two pints of ice cream instead of one. What's the difference between Big Foot and an intelligent woman? Big Foot's been spotted a several times. What did God say after creating woman? I should have stopped with the first one. A medical miracle was born yesterday: a baby with a vagina and a brain.

The Vices of Misandry

Sooooo, how's it feel, ladies? Like the shoe on the other foot? Or is it a little tight? The offensive drivel I posted above was originally written about men. Every time you see a female reference, insert the appropriate male reference, and you will have the original saying (except with the pints of ice cream - that was actually beer). Have you ever stopped to think about how many negative things you hear about men, whether on TV, the radio, or in public? How often do you see the bumbling husband in TV sitcoms? Ever notice how negative commercials are towards men? Listen the next time you hear commercials on the radio or see them on TV. How often do the men get painted as idiots, while a woman comes in a makes the decision since he obviously is incompetent. How about this: ever been to a dinner party, where the hosts are a couple who have been together long enough for the glow to wear off, and every time the guy makes a point, the woman cuts him off? Or insists that he is wrong, it was actually this way, and she proceeds to contradict him. Talking to men recently has been a learning experience. I know of several who are either unhappily married or going through a divorce. The men were willing, even desperately wanted, to go through counseling, but their wives refused. After all, he does not understand her, he never listens, if he would just be this way or that way, all the problems would be fixed. Could it be that women can not admit when they are wrong or need to change? And of course, he's a sport-aholic. All he does is sit in front of the TV and watch sports. He hunts or fishes every weekend. Goes bowling every Tuesday. Mind you, you couldn't tear her away from an episode of "Friends," but that's different. Shopping may give her an emotional high and have her squealing to her girlfriends about her sale-rack finds, but sports are just a waste of time. Just a note, ladies:I have yet to meet a single man that wouldn't miss the Superbowl if his woman gave him a come-hither glance towards the bedroom. How about sex? Most men - and I do not mean this as an insult - are very easily pleased in relationships. The old joke "just give 'em food or sex" is not entirely off the mark. We women are the complicated wells of emotions that men have to try to understand. I have met countless women who will spend hours helping friends, making their children feel special, volunteering at the church, but God forbid their husbands want sex. The idea! Like she has time! She's exhausted at the end of the day, and all he can think about is sex. Typical man, right? Come on, ladies, we'll spend hours at the hair salon or manicurist, shop until the mall is closing, take classes to learn new and exciting projects, spend hours in religious obligations, but we can't be sensitive to our men? What is up with that? I know sex is sticky and messy - so is playing with your children. Get over it. It is actually a lot of fun if you take an active role. I have met countless women with major sex issues that refuse to get them resolved. The guy just has to go without, and he better NEVER think of cheating. Just because he is needy and she cut him off, it doesn't give him the right to go get his needs satisfied elsewhere. Mind you, when she has needs, she can go bitch to her girlfriends and mother about how horrible her man is and get sympathy from them. He has to suck it up and stay true blue. Men are not our emotional whipping posts. They are different. Our differences do not stop at the genitalia. Most men aren't good listeners - at least in the way women want them to be. Women want to complain and moan about things they have no intention of changing. They want their men to listen sympathetically and whisper sweet nothings. Sorry, my dear, but there is a reason why men can build malls with cotton balls and a hammer. They fix things. Men like to solve problems. That is their make-up. Just like ours is to nurture and understand, their nature is to fix it, and then move on to the next task. So if you don't want your problem fixed and just want to complain, then go talk to your girlfriend. If you want help to figure it out, ask your man. He's good at that. Oh, and if you wear that little slinky thing cut down to there and up to here, you can bet men are going to stare. It does not make them pigs. If you don't like it, wear a sweat suit - they are never sexy. The suggestion that women should be allowed to dress like Ally McBeal (in court), and no man should notice is absurd. If a man walks by you with tight jeans and great ass - you look the other way? And yes, your husbands/boyfriends/partners are going to look when they are out with their friends. Men are more visual than women. Where a rousing conversation gets a woman singing Dixie, a good-looking woman is going to draw a man's eye. Any touching or prolonged fascination with said woman, then we have a problem. And ladies, if you don't want attention, don't wear things that are going to attract it. If you want to respected for your brain, then pull it out of storage and leave the skimpy clothes on the rack. It is hard for any man to concentrate on what you're saying when your cleavage is staring him in the face. And don't even go there with me - how often were you able to keep concentration when some gorgeous guy started up a conversation with you? We are just as bad - men just do not dress as suggestively as we do. Lastly, their sense of humor is significantly different than ours. That is the only explanation for Monty Python, Beavis & Butthead, and Cheech & Chong. I don't know why bodily noises are funny. I do not understand why telling the same story over and over is a great thrill, and why it is funnier by the 154th telling. However, I daresay the plots for chick flicks are little more than the same story told over and over with a different backdrop. Maybe their sense of humor is not so baffling after all. Men are human beings with feelings and needs, just like your friends, your children, and your family. I have no idea why women will spend hours of effort, trying to understand and help their girlfriends or children - but they won't offer an hour in counseling, an interest in their man's interests, or reserve some energy at the end of the day to satisfy their man. I am not suggesting that women should be sex slaves, submissive, or housewives. I would never fit into any of those categories and frustrate the hell out of a number of men who know me due to my opinionated (I prefer to think of it as educated) nature. However, I do care, I try to listen, and I try to see the male point of view. It is only fair, if I expect a guy to listen to my side. And if a couple nights a week, I need to get romantic for my man to keep him happy, is that too much to ask? We expect them to be present for us when we need them - why doesn't it work both ways? Their needs are different - they are probably not going to spend hours on end being emotional. But they could use a little of our time so they feel secure in our affections and appreciated. Our needs are not so different; it is simply the way in which they are met. So stop looking at your side all the time and try to be a little more aware of your man's needs. We expect men to understand all our nuances and subtleties - would it kill us to reciprocate?

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Only On Planet Earth

Did you read my post on the pressure put on outward appearance? Point made. A quandry for PETA - Who to protect? Ever been to Eat and Park? Here is the new Love and Park. Who knows, ladies - maybe we really are from Venus! Courtesy of FARK

For Sale: Bubble, Lived-In Condition

I recently made a switch to a vegetarian lifestyle. It is something I've been wanting to do for sometime, and I finally made the move. On this side of the table now, I keep an eye out for healthier foods and shop at a local grocery store that specializes in vegetarian and organic food. This article is an excellent example of why I do not buy organic food and prefer to buy chemical-laden products at the regular grocery store. The term organic brings to mind a small field of fresh produce, apple trees growing without chemicals, a caring farmer or farmer's wife tending to this natural, chemical-free environment.
Reality check, aisle four.
Forget it. The term organic is so misleading. It only means they are allowed to used certain chemicals and certain additives. Let's face it. If you are that worried about what goes into your food, you would never eat anything except that which you grew in your own backyard. Forget restaurants - you should see the stuff that goes on in the kitchen. And what about air polution? You think that never reaches those natural apples growing in their natural environment? Please. Organic does not mean it has less chemicals, and I am seriously starting to think it is synonymous with "more expensive." While I buy my vegetarian foods at the healthy grocer, I'm taking advantage of the double coupons for my produce at Giant.

Unreal Reality

Have you ever wondered at the women you see in fashion magazines? Women's health magazines? Victoria's Secret catalogues? I know this will come as a shock to some men, but typical women do not pose like that while in their underwear - and our night clothes usually consist of a T-shirt and boxers, not lacy camisoles that hug our 17" waists. Aren't you furious at how you have been misled? Look at the fashion models....Their hip bones protrude, their cheeks are sunken in, and their bones seem to rub against their skin as though they might tear a hole. Even women's health magazines show impossibly thin women on the cover, with nary a flaw or a hangnail to sully their image. When did these cadaver-like creatures become our reality? When did curves and normal flaws become pariahs in the face of fashion and health? And this trend is not limited to women. Ever walk through the men's section in a department store? Take a look at those Calvin Klein underwear models. I'm sure every man fills out his thongs just like that. And every man looks like an Abercrombie & Fitch model. What about the magazine, Men's Health? When was the last time you saw that guy on the street? Who can live up to these impossible expectations? Centuries ago artists painted people with flab, women with incredibly large hips, men with big noses and paunches, yet these images were considered beautiful. Just look at 50 years ago. Would you imagine calling Marilyn Monroe thin? Her dress size vacillated up and down during her Hollywood reign, and even at her heaviest, she was still our national sex symbol, and her image was highly censored in some areas because of the sexual appeal it exuded. Yet today, she would be considered fat, near to obese, depending on whose scale you are using. Why have we become so centered on appearance? And why is that appearance so flawless, so without character? Everyone wants to look their best. We want to be attractive and be pleased with what we see in the mirror. How can we ever be pleased when our expectations are skewed thanks to this obsession with perfection in the media? Now we have reality shows with radical make-overs - people undergoing plastic surgery so they can be considered beautiful. I saw an ad the other day for one of these shows where not only are they having plastic surgery, they are having themselves made over as a celebrity. They are going to have a knife cut at their skin so they can look like one of these perfect creatures that only exist on the glossy front of a magazine. Talk about unreal expectations. I read an article a long time ago that said when Barbara Streisand was questioned about why she never had nose surgery on her predominant schnoz, she said because her nose helped get her were she was. It made her unique, and why should she change it? I rarely have respect for anything Streisand says, but this I thought made an excellent point. Why is a small nose preferred? Why should she have to look like someone else in order to make others happy? Why can't we simply look like who we were born to look like? Our culture has put incredible pressure on people that cannot possibly be maintained. Cosmetic surgery is now commonplace. Eating disorders and obesity are on the rise. Rates of depression among young people are on the rise. Young women especially feel the heat to look a certain way, be as thin as they can be, and damage their young bodies in their unhealthy attempts. And why? Why do we have to look like someone else in order to be considered attractive? Why isn't our own unique appearance enough? What is sadder still is that many of these beautiful people we try to emulate may not be someone we would ever want to be. Who are they in "real life?" What is their character? Is this someone you could trust not to molest your child or seduce your mate? Many of them are self-concerned - they have to be, since their popularity resides on their appearance. Their lives of beauty treatments, personal trainers, personal chefs, and rooms of expensive clothing is not something with which most of us have any experience. We know about real life, the pain, the joy, the difficulties, the relationships that make up our lives. These things show on our faces, in our laugh lines, our furrowed brows, the scars that mark our skin. These should be the beauty - the inner character that has made its way to the surface. It may show up as flaws, but it is these flaws that tell our story. They make us unique - unlike these perfect images, whose character is a mystery. Why do we try to erase the very thing that shows that we have lived life? And why does our society pressure us to do so? Will there ever come a time where good character is more valued than a good facial structure? I was having a conversation with a group of women not long ago. They were talking about a guy who walked by and asked me if I had noticed how good-looking he was. They were shocked to learn that I had not even seen him pass. As someone who has had a lot of value place on the way I look, I rarely notice attractive people. That is not say that if someone is attractive, I think they are ugly. However I place little value on what someone appears to be on the outside. I learned early on that it had little to do with who the person is. People, including men, are attractive to me based on their personality, how they behave in difficult situations, and if they can hold a conversation (now you know why I'm single!). Imagine if those were the qualities we valued as a society. What would our magazine covers look like then? Perhaps then we would aspire to higher goals than whether our thighs are thin enough or our breasts large enough. Maybe we would be a little more impressed with the book, rather than the cover.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Here a little bias, there a little bias....

I found this blurb under the gossip column on msn.com:
Lara: I'm a Bush Girl Lara Flynn Boyle has apparently used the time she might otherwise have spent eating solid food formulating a theory about why she'll support President Bush in the upcoming election. "I'm Irish Catholic, so a Democrat by blood," the light-pole-thin actress tells Us. "But I'm 100 percent for Bush. I want my president to be like my agent: not afraid of people, but wants my best interest." Hmmm, what does it say about Boyle's agent -- and Bush by extension -- that she hasn't actually worked since getting booted from "The Practice" in 2003? At least the actress will soon be off unemployment: She recently signed on for a guest-starring gig as a bipolar manic-depressive on the Showtime series "Huff."
So she supports a Republican president because she hasn't had enough to eat? Do these liberal journalists (I use that term lightly) ever read what they write and how pathetic it is?

A Cop's Worst Nightmare ::wink, wink::

If we lose Krispy Kreme, we are in big trouble! =)

Sunday, May 23, 2004

When In Doubt, Blame The United States

This just proves you can not win for trying, at least not in today's society. First we try to make nice by offering illegal immigrants work visas if they can prove they have a job here. After all, we are the big, mean U.S. of A. who won't let illegal residents get the benefits of a citizen. ::scratches head:: Now, we allow them to work here, live here with all its freedom, and we are still the big meanies. Why? Because people who are trying to cross the borders from Mexico are dying in the desert. That's right, a bunch of idiots are trying to cross into the U.S. of A. (illegally) during the hottest season of the year, and we are terrible. According to this article, it is because we have made them an offer to good to refuse:
Mr. Bonner, [president of the National Border Patrol Council] .... said the people were crossing in huge numbers, even at the high risk of dying in the desert, because "they're trying to get in line for the big lottery we've offered them."
I am convinced the U.S. of A. should pull in all the help we have ever offered to ANY country, pick up all our toys, and go home. What is the point in trying to help people, trying to give people opportunities, when all you do is get blamed because someone forgot to use that big lump on top of their shoulders?

Today's Liberals

I found this op-ed piece interesting. A graduating Yale student reflects on the effect of 9/11 on young people, and how recent events have influenced his beliefs.