leaves

And then without warning – fire!

They waved their hands, thousands strong.

All alight in bronze, gold, and scarlet,

Glowing as if painting the sky,

Normally a scudding grey,

With their passion.

And then without warning – gone!

The light eclipsed as suddenly as it came

And the whole world felt dark.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

swine flu: fear the government not the pigs

Oh wait. They’re the same thing.

Today I stumbled upon something shocking and eerily familiar. Please, take a look. I think you’ll find yourself having deja vous as well.

Now, I have thought from the beginning that this whole Swine Flu “pandemic” was a big load of horse shit. I lived in Honduras for nearly 5 weeks this spring, right when the scare was at its height. Fortunately, I was staying with one of the smartest people I know, who is also one of the lead epidemiologists in that country. Right from the beginning, she said that the whole thing was a bunch of bull and everyone was overreacting. Well, she didn’t say it in exactly those words…they were in Spanish. But really, jokes aside, she said that the “Swine Flu” was just another, perhaps slightly stronger, strain of the regular flu. Indeed, the frightful pandemic never came like it was supposed to. The terrifying Swine Flu just continued acting like the strain of normal flu that it is; but that apparently wasn’t good enough for the government. And so they turned their sights to the fall.

Government Official #1: “Damnit! Not enough people are dying for even the most moronic people to believe that this is a pandemic!”

Government Official #2: “No kidding. How am I supposed to get millions of people to take a new vaccine so the pharmaceutical lobbyists will pay for my new beach house in Fiji?

Government Official #1: “Valid point. Hmm…well, the actual flu season is coming up…what if we scared the hell out of the entire country and just told them they were all going to die. I mean, it wouldn’t really be a lie…they are all going to die eventually. Remember 1976? It worked out pretty well then.”

Government Official #2: “Yeah, fantastic idea! The pharmaceutical companies will really worship me then! I’ll bet I can get the beach house and a new jet. We’ll just have to make sure that they don’t figure out that we’re full of shit and insure that they can’t hold us liable when…if…they experience any…side-effects…”

Government Official #1: “Shouldn’t be too hard. Just have them sign their lives away…er…no pun intended…before they take it (high five for small print!). Oh, and of course we’ll need to buy off the media and con a celebrity or two into selling the idea. You know how they follow the stars like sheep.”

Government Official #2: “Wonderful! Nothing we haven’t done already. Whew! It’s been a hard day’s work. Champagne, good sir? Shall we toast to our impending success in duping millions while making millions?”

Government Official #1: “Cheers!”

But you know…maybe I’m wrong. Maybe it’s the other way around and it’s the government that wants to spread fear over the horrible Swine Flu. After all, what better way to distract an entire population from your own corruption and lies than by scaring the bejeezus out all of them with something they can’t see or control and could swoop down and massacre thousands of them at any moment: a pandemic. Keep them on their toes, but looking in the wrong direction. And hey, regardless of whether it is the vaccine working or the flu was just never actually that bad, if they don’t all die after being terrified that they would, they all might just thank you and forget how you’ve failed them over and over and over. Now, I promise, I’m not generally one for conspiracy theories and all that, but this just reeks of sketchiness, and it’s really starting to make my blood boil. So, I don’t know about you, but I will not be getting anywhere near to any Swine Flu vaccines the government pushes for this fall. As far as I’m concerned, they can take their big, shiny needles and shove it.

EDIT: The government has learned from past mistakes. This time around they will make sure they can’t be held liable for any damages sustained due to the vaccinations. Click here to learn more.

2 Comments

Filed under Rants

don’t treat me like a goddess!

It’s rather unpleasant up here. I can’t sit down comfortably or move much without fear of falling off, and there is no one else around. It’s boring too…there’s nothing to do, no challenges or intellectual stimulation. Worse of all, looking down from this height is giving me nausea and there’s no ginger ale. Take me down from this pedestal. Please and thank you.

At first, I couldn’t explain his behavior except to label it as “being in love.” Then I realized that he isn’t in love with me, he is idolizing me.  He is intimidated by my intelligence, awed by my beauty, amazed by my sense of humor, entranced by my smile, and on, and on… I can do no wrong. Now, I’m not going to lie, the self-esteem boost was nice for a little while, but that while turned out to be very little. I always thought I would enjoy being treated like a goddess, but when it actually happened, it just made me feel like I ate a bad batch of beans.

I have a friend who recently broke up with her boyfriend because of this very reason. There is, apparently, a fine line between being a gentleman and being a worshipful man-servant. Strong, confident, intelligent women do not want, nor need, to be worshiped by men. In the Middle Ages, this sort of woman-worship came in the form of chivalry, which I explain in a paper I wrote entitled “Courtly and Modern Love”:

Chivalric love developed into a highly ritualized and organized “game” with rules to follow and plays to make. Contrary to earlier views of love, here the lady was seen as a sort of goddess while the man who wanted her begged to be able to serve her. […]  Once accepted, the man commenced with wooing the woman with displays of affection such as songs, poetry, bouquets, etc […] Back in Europe’s Medieval period, love was a highly quixotic undertaking. Men fell head over heels for a woman at first sight and then spent their time bringing her gifts, doing her favors, going on quests in her name, and, of course, being highly jealous and thinking of her constantly.

Sounds great, right? It’s what so many women all across America yearn for! Yet, this type of love, too, is poisonous to feminist ideals. Putting women on such a high pedestal that they can do no wrong and have no flaws is actually detrimental to their self-perception and to their independence. For a woman, knowing that you have flaws and that you make mistakes, but being with someone who obstinately refuses to acknowledge them can be as confusing as it is uncomfortable. As a friend of mine put it, “It’s bad when a person is so blinded by this image he has of you that he can’t see who you really are.” All people want to be loved for who they really are and how they really are, not for how someone else distorts them in their mind.

The Worship of Aphrodite, manuscript of homilies of Gregory Nazianzus (the Theologian), 12th century.

The Worship of Aphrodite, manuscript of homilies of Gregory Nazianzus (the Theologian), 12th century.

Being idolized can also lead to a loss of independence. I know a woman who, before marrying her husband, was a very independent person and proud of it. Being treated like a queen constantly, however, changed her. Now it’s her husband who gets the car fixed, buys the groceries, cooks, washes the dishes, drives her around in the car… Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with dating a man who is willing to cook and fix the car, but there is something wrong with dating a man who always needs to cook and fix the car and never let’s you do it because he wants to do everything for you. It’s a tough situation though, because I know that many men do genuinely do these things because they love their wives or girlfriends and think that it is what they want. But ladies, we need to remember that the precepts of feminism are to fight for equality. The aim is not to produce subservient men and lazy women.

So, please guys, take the woman you love down off that pedestal and give her the equality that you both deserve. And girls, if you’re standing up there and looking down on a man driveling over how perfect you are, do both of you a favor and get down, one way or another.

As for me, I am sick and tired of all those ads in women’s magazines about how to release your inner goddess and how every woman deserves to be treated like a princess. I’m fed up with the new fad (or should I say very old, Medieval fad?) of making women into virtual deities that deserve worship. Women have not struggled for equal rights and respect for hundreds of years just to run around like fragile, perfectly-manicured princesses and goddesses who let men do everything for them as a show of “love”. Chivalric gestures are appreciated, but real love means equality. So I say, “Don’t treat me like a goddess!”

5 Comments

Filed under Musings

politics can even taint beer!

Seriously!?

About two minutes ago, as I was wondering what I could possibly come up with to blog about today, I ran across a nice little article entitled “Beer choice at Obama meeting touches off new debate.” Apparently, according to a nosy Massachussets senator with nothing better to do — regardless of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the crappy economy (with a national unemployment rate of 9.7%..it’s something like 14% where I live), and an energy crisis — the three men involved in the Obama-Gates-Crowley meeting should not be able to drink their favorite beer as originally planned. Oh, no. That would be too simple. No, Rep. Richard Neal thinks these men should all be forced to drink Sam Adams because it is brewed in Boston and not outside of the US. Forget your Bud Light, Obama (even though it’s the most popular beer in America). You can throw out the Red Stripe, Mr. Crowley. And Professor Gates, can your Beck’s. Should we let people choose which beer to drink based solely on taste? Of course not! We wouldn’t want foreigners to get all that free publicity now would we? Damn you Belgium for brewing Bud Light!

Not only was this such a stupid story that CNN should never have bothered to publish it in the first place, but the fact that a senator is spending his time working in the advertising department of a beer company tells us that either we aren’t paying our representatives enough or that he’s a pathetic pawn to corporate lobbyists in his state…hmm. Now which of these sounds more probable? Well, at least he’s not f***ing some chick from Buenos Aires.

So, cheers, Mr. President! I hope your meeting solves all the racial tensions in our nation… But only if you’re drinking Sam Adams.

2 Comments

Filed under Rants

it’s a chaotic world, why not have a kayotic kitchen?

I’m new to this whole blogging business, so I don’t know if I’m breaking some sort of unwritten rule here by blogging about another blog, but, you know, I just really don’t care. Kayotic Kitchen is my new favorite cooking obsession.

This is the first recipe I tried. I know, its pretty simple - but delicious!

This is the first recipe I tried. I know, it's pretty simple - but delicious!

If you enjoy cooking, even a little bit, or just want to try something new and unique, I highly recommend checking out the recipes of the cooking Dutch girl from Gouda (no, I’m not kidding).

I’ve made two of her recipes so far and they have been very easy to manage, which is good because I am, after all, a relative cooking newbie. And the best part? Every recipe is done with step-by-step instructions with photographs…and how this girl can photograph! I never thought food could look so beautiful! The pictures alone make you so hungry, you’re practically forced to try her recipe. Genius.

Never heard of putting peaches with chicken? Well, now you have. Yum!

The second recipe I tried. Never heard of putting peaches with chicken? Well, now you have. Yum!

Unfortunately, it’s time for me to wrap this post up, as I am now veritably starving. Note to self: Do not blog about mouth-watering cooking when you haven’t eaten all day and there is no food in the house to cook with anyway.

So, I’m off to heat up some left-overs, but hopefully the rest of you can enjoy something from the Kayotic Kitchen! Buen provecho!

3 Comments

Filed under Likes

will you marry me?

Recently, while watching a news report on domestic partnerships, I made the mistake of commenting to my parents about how I might consider a domestic partnership, but that I didn’t want to get married. This led to my mom immediately clicking off the television and commencing a sit-down discussion about my thoughts on marriage. Now, my parents, you must understand, are devout Christians and always have been. I was raised as a non-denominational Christian, but began to “falter in my faith” near the end of high school (I like to say I began “thinking for myself,” but that’s just terminology). I told my parents that I was no longer a Christian during my freshman year of college after taking a fantastic religion course called Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The class was remarkably unbiased — despite the fact that it was taught by a Christian minister — and it allowed me the chance to look at the information and consider it for myself without someone trying to use it as a means to an end. Anyway, I decided that organized religion wasn’t my cup of tea.

So, this year I got to thinking about marriage. Not because I am in a serious relationship, no, I’m very happily single; but because three of my best friends suddenly started telling me how they were thinking they might marry their current boyfriends. Weird to hear, but it got me thinking.

Merriam-Webster defines marriage as “the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law.” As of now, I cannot see myself getting married. It just doesn’t jive with my scene, yo. I don’t feel the need to have my personal relationships validated by the government. Actually, my motto generally is the less government involvement in my life the better. I do not want children, but if (god forbid!) an accident happened, I would then consider getting married for the child’s sake, but that’s a different conversation. Also, I personally believe that it is immoral to deny homosexual couples the right to marry. I would rather not take part in something that is used to discriminate against my friends and fellow Americans.

I had a talk with my friend, Anita, about this, and she asked me, “Wouldn’t you be worried though? Wouldn’t you feel insecure knowing that he could just up and leave at anytime?” My reply was that it would actually make me feel more secure. I would know that Prince Charming was with me because he really wanted to be, and not just because a piece of paper was legally tying him to me and it would be a huge hassle for him to get out of it. If the man I was with wanted to leave, then he should. Why would I want to force someone to stay with me who didn’t want to?

My father pointed out that it was one of the biggest foundations of our society. How could I just throw that away? Well, easily. I’m not one to partake in tradition for tradition’s sake. I want to do what makes sense to me; what works for me.

My mom said that it was not about the government or the legal contract but that God marries people, and it’s a divine institution that needs to be upheld. My simple answer to this was: I don’t believe that, so it doesn’t apply to me.

Now, I want to make very clear that I am not condemning marriage. I think that marriage is a good idea for some people. For people who are religious, want children and want to make inheritance rights clear, want to uphold tradition, or feel more secure entering into a legally binding (sort of) contract, marriage makes sense. But for crazy rebels like me, well, not so much.

Also, the strength of the “binding” part of “legally binding” is kind of a joke with something like 50% of marriages ending in divorce. That doesn’t scream “divine union” or “till death do us part” to me. It seems like many people just get married because that’s just what you’re supposed to do when you’re seriously in love with someone. Again, not what I’m looking for. Maybe I’m just a silly college student whose liberal ideas shouldn’t even be given the time of day (as my father said), but if I ever hear those famous words, “Will you marry me?” my answer will have to be “No, and here’s the link to my blog, which explains why.”

I would be very interested to know your opinions on this topic, and I’m always open to hearing other points of view!

2 Comments

Filed under Musings

i hate twilight

My mother always taught me not to use the word “hate.” Hate is Satan’s emotion or something like that. Well, sorry mom. I hate a lot of things these days, but few get me quite as worked up as… *dun dun dun* Twilight! I remember last summer when every single girl that I worked with was in complete hysterics over Stephenie Meyer’s vampiric novels. “RA!” they would exclaim, “you have to read these books! They’re SO amazing! They’re the best books I’ve ever read in my ENTIRE life!” And so on. Wow, thought I, they must really be good. Even my best friend, whose literary tastes I generally trust, recommended them to me fervently. Okay. So, over my last Christmas break, I read Twilight.

3 pages in: Is she really going to write like this the whole time? Maybe she just needs to get into her groove…

10 pages in: No, I actually think this is how it’s all written. Well, I never expected Dickens. Maybe it will have a great plot.

A few chapters in: Ummm, how old is Stephanie Meyer? 13, right? I guess it’s all right for a 13-year-old…

1/4 of the way through: Seriously!?!

1/2 way through: God have mercy!

3/4 of the way through: Did it just get worse?

End: Hate. Hate. Hate. Hate. Hate. Hate. Hate.



Yes, turns out that book that all of my friends had been raving about was a revoltingly-written, awkward, cheesy, sexist, Mormonized version of a trashy romance novel. Wait…did I type “novel?” Sorry, my mistake. I meant to say “an abomination to all mankind.” Now, I’ve been known to watch an occasional cheesy romantic comedy or One Life to Live (when I stay home sick from classes), but this book really takes the cake. Then poops on it and throws it out of a 25-story building. There is no way, ever, in a million years that this atrocity should have gotten past any publisher. Shame on you whoever you were!

The writing is substandard, to say the least. Adjectives, Steph, learn how to use them properly! There is literally no character development. Bella has no personality. Edward has some sort of mental disorder characterized by wild mood swings, stalking, and intense need for control (maybe it’s a side-effect from all that mountain lion blood he’s been sucking? That stuff”s probably full of rabies!). Their “love” is SO exaggerated, it just gets down on its knees and begs to be ridiculed. There are so many awkward romance scenes, but the movie makes them absolutely unbearable, so I’ll let the book slide on that one…

And I’m admittedly not up-to-date on all of the latest trends, but is sexism one of them? Because there was not a single strong, intelligent, independent female character in the whole book, and I can’t figure out for the life of me why a woman would write something like this and why it would get so popular. The high school girls are all dumb, childish, and stereotypical drones. “OMG dress shopping!” Rosalie is a vain, self-centered b****. And Bella. Bella is absolutely PATHETIC. I swear 40% of the book was just her fainting, tripping, slipping, falling, and generally existing in a perpetual state of dying. If only stupid Edward hadn’t kept saving her every 5 minutes, I would have been out of my agony much sooner. I did find it amusing that it seemed like good ol’ Ed finally got sick of helping her stand on her own two feet about half-way through and just resorted to carrying her around like a sack for the rest of the novel. That was a nice change. Bella never does anything for herself or takes command of a situation after she falls in love with Mr. Sexy Blood-Sucker. Oh, except when she acts like a moron and runs into a death trap instead of staying with the gang of immortal superheroes who is trying to help her.

Did I mention I actually physically gagged at some of the descriptions of Edward? Just wanted to throw that in there. Shoot me in the face.

Conclusion? Twilight is a massive affront to intelligence, women’s equality, art, and taste, and it is a spectacular waste of natural resources. Think of all the trees that have been chopped down so that we could all be lucky enough to read stuff like this:

- About three things I was absolutely positive: First, Edward was a vampire. Second, there was a part of him — and I didn’t know how dominant that part might be — that thirsted for my blood. And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.

- He lay perfectly still in the grass, his shirt open over his sculpted, incandescent chest, his scintillating arms bare.

Want more? In case you really wanted to get your fill you can look up any quote in the series. Organized by book or by character:

Twilight Quotes — WARNING: May be hazardous to your health. Side effects include uncontrollable gagging, nausea, fits of rage, and suicidal thoughts. But if you’re strong, you can get out a good laugh too. =)

Oh! And P.S. if you’re really looking to have a ball, check out this blog. It is absolutely hilarious! You have to read the Twilight parody and…everything else.

8 Comments

Filed under Rants