Law Books: To Ban or Not To Ban?

For Your Safety: Don't Have Fun
That is the question to kick off Banned Books Week; inspired by the RCW warning sign spotted at a nearby park yesterday.

Rather than getting rid of all the lawyers as Shakespeare once suggested, I would rather get rid of the lawmakers' self-righteous implementations of desolation and destruction: Law books.

As Henry David Thoreau wrote over 160 years ago: Law never made men a whit more just; and, by means of their respect for it, even the well-disposed are daily made the agents of injustice.

I understand that law books may help get people out of legal problems, because studying laws is necessary when it comes to being a party to a lawsuit. However, would a person need to use a law book to defend themselves if that same law book didn't already contain laws that were used to prosecute that person?

Exhibit A: RCW 66.44.100:
Opening or consuming liquor in public place — Penalty.
Except as permitted by this title, no person shall open the package containing liquor or consume liquor in a public place. Every person who violates any provision of this section shall be guilty of a class 3 civil infraction under chapter 7.80 RCW.

Why, it is almost as if law books create their own problems: Outlaws. If that is the case, hypothetically speaking, would more laws ever do away with outlaws? Or will more laws continue to feed the bureaucratic system by entrapping individuals into paying outrageous incarceration fines and fees? Perhaps that is the 'job creation' politicians speak so much of; creating more laws will create more outlaws who create more jobs for lawmakers, bureaucrats, court personnel, and others.

Or maybe it's just crazy talk, to ban law books. Yet, if a person has only lived under laws and witnessed the problems they create and has never known life without any man-made laws whatsoever, is it really all that crazy for a person to prance outside their preconditioning and question if such laws are the solution to life's problems? If that is crazy, then to accept established laws without hesitation, and to not question the possibility of a life free of entangling laws, is nothing short of insanity.

What laws could you live without?
Tell me in a comment.

Thanks for reading!

Come to the Dark Side, We Have Banned Books Coffee Mug 
Find More Creations by Eve Penman @ ProseAndPix


Pushing Myself: Photographing Insects

The past few years my appreciation for things that creep and crawl across floors has slowly grown, due mostly in part to my camera. The past month or so I have continued to warm up to the plethora of spiders and unavoidable webs that occupy the new property, many of them larger than I'm used to. In fact, I am often told, "You gotta see this, bring your camera," in response to creatures that once would have sent me running the other way...or at least walking at a brisk pace since running wasn't my thing then.

Last night my bug boundaries got pushed to new limits with the discovery of this mammoth insect ten feet outside the front door:
Oh, my god, Becky, look at that bug. It is so big.

Looking at the picture gives me the total and complete creeps, totally; or at least it did until I researched what it was this morning: Belostomatidae, a.k.a. Giant Water Bug, a.k.a. Toe-Biter. It is a common creature in the northwest, so it is not invasive nor is it poisonous to humans. It bites when provoked, hence the name toe-biter, but this one appeared to play dead, as is their MO when feeling threatened by predators; it soon disappeared after taking the photos.

Considering it preys on small frogs, it makes perfect sense that it was hanging out in the entrance way, a place where frogs have been spotted. And since the giant water bug likes aquatic food it lives in vegetation near water, which there are wetlands not too far from where this guy was discovered. So it all makes sense; he was not out of place but merely making his presence known. Now I can only imagine what else might be lurking around, waiting to make its presence known when I least expect it. Such is rural living; it's good to be back.

In spite of the creeps that insects still give me, they offer fabulous opportunities for photographing, learning, and exercising self-control by pushing my bug boundaries; all the more reasons for me to appreciate the little buggers.  What personal boundaries are you pushing today?

Check out more of my pics @ Flickr.

Got pics of insects? I'd love to see them!
Share a link in the comments.

Thanks for reading.


Is Shaming a Sham?

My new YouTube commentary video is now posted, featuring questions and thoughts on fat shaming, thin shaming, and shaming in general, in regards to a recent study. Also included are my personal book recommendations to help with overcoming the mindset of taking things personally. Please see below for all pertinent links. Enjoy!

Take 7 minutes to watch the video below, or click here to read the transcript.

What are your thoughts on shaming and how to deal with it?
Leave a comment to let me know!

>Click here to read the article that inspired my video: Fat Shaming Doesn't Motivate Obese People to Lose Weight

>Click here to read my thoughts on shaming in regards to Matt Forney's essay 'You're Damn Right I'm Shaming You'

>Click here for Trolling For a Living by Matt Forney

>Click here for The Four Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz

>Click here for How To Stop Being Teased and Bullied Without Really Trying by Dr. Izzy Kalman  (Click here for the audiobook)

>Click here for my collection of favorite quotes from The Four Agreements

Thanks for watching, reading, and visiting.


Milius: He Doesn't Write for Pussies

Friday evening was spent multitasking between downloading a video that refused to download and watching the documentary Milius, a mesmerizing film about writer and filmmaker John Milius. Since my video won the battle and I have to temporarily scrap that project, I will fill the blogging void with my thoughts on Milius.

The truth is, in spite of my vast love of film, the only reason I know about John Milius today is because of a friend who loves John Milius movies. This is not to say that John Milius movies are garbage and that's why I stayed away from them; quite the contrary.

Milius films are cinematic masterpieces with powerful messages that capture dynamic human struggles. The Milius documentary does a thorough and entertaining job of covering not only Milius's extensive credits, but also his schooling at USC film school, via interviews with studio executives, fellow filmmakers, actors, friends and family, plus audio recordings from John himself. One fun film fact I learned, among others, was that Milius wrote the USS Indianapolis speech in Jaws as a favor to Spielberg, and that Robert Shaw edited it down from 10 pages to 5 for his unforgettable delivery.

Fun film facts aside, as Sam Elliott eloquently points out in the documentary, John Milius writes for men. I completely concur, and last I checked my anatomy has excluded me from the man club, which may be why Milius movies don't attract me themselves, albeit the male viewers of his films do. It is because of this reality that I do not find it offensive or sexist for content to be aimed specifically at men since it collaterally attracts me to men. Go figure.

In fact, I think more content should be aimed at men; good content, that is. Good content being something more testosterone-pumping than a pair of boobs on a Maxim magazine that is filled with ads for men's hair gels. Hair gels...for men?! As if. Men do not need content that makes their dick and/or hair hard; men need content that makes their character hard: ballsy, unapologetic, and anarchical content. I may be wrong of course and this is only my view as a woman who is not interested in hearing a man drone on about his hair, sports stats, or what the latest overpriced must-have gadget is.

Watching the Milius documentary helped me better understand John Milius's manly style and it gave me greater appreciation for him as the Zen Anarchist that he is. Besides being a Hollywood filmmaker, the documentary gave broad insight as to who Milius is as a man, an individual, a writer, a storyteller, and a stroke survivor. Having experienced the life-altering impact a stroke can have on the family of a stroke survivor, learning of Milius's stroke hit close to home as it serves as another reminder that life, illness, and death, waits for no man.

To learn that John Milius, a writer and storyteller, had his natural gift of communication taken from him after his stroke brought tears to my eyes. A writer, a communicator, a storyteller, unable to share what is in his mind with others; such is the heartache and sadness that stroke survivors often live with, being unable to express what is inside them. While the thought of it breaks my heart, the resilient side of me comes through with the knowledge that Milius shared many of his messages through his work for decades prior to his stroke. So while the stroke may have taken something from him temporarily, he didn't wait for a stroke to happen to make him start sharing his passion for storytelling with others.

As Milius points out in the documentary, money comes and goes, but to have your work touch the life of another lasts forever. Unfortunately, I can't say that Milius's films have touched my life as much as they have touched the lives of others, but I can say that his life's story has profoundly touched me, as a woman, a writer, and a human. To say that I recommend watching the documentary, his films, or learning more about John Milius would be rather redundant, as I would not have written this otherwise.

Thanks for reading.

What are your thoughts on Milius and his films? Let me know in the comments!

Watch the Milius trailer.

Visit Amazon to add to your Milius library.


New Blog Updates

The past month has been spent moving, unpacking, cleaning, nesting and settling into the new residence. The past year and a half has been spent waiting for this next phase to begin, combined with excessive wondering and worrying as to what the next phase would even be.

With my permanent work station now set up for writing and transcribing, along with my sewing station close by, life's next phase has begun. In honor of my life's many recent changes I felt it was time, once again, to implement change in my virtual world.

I am an adult: Consider yourselves warned.
Since I am an adult, who lives an adult lifestyle free of children, and who enjoys writing about adult topics, and who uses adult language whenever the mood strikes, I have changed the adult content setting so that now a warning page is displayed to visitors before entering my blogging world.

  • Eve on Cannabis: The Pot Hole: An updated page featuring my writings on the topic of cannabis. Find links to my Flickr cannabis photos, Jack Dupp's Pot Hole blog featuring medical cannabis information, plus The Pot Hole's Twitter feed.  
  • Sidebar Scroll: Find links to affiliates and sponsors, recommendations, and my featured Zazzle products, along with my Twitter feed, G+ spot, and blog subscription options.

Share Your Thoughts: What do you think of the blog?
Love it? Hate it? Needs fixing? Please leave your feedback in the comments or email me direct. All feedback is greatly appreciated.

Thanks for reading.


What Book Would You Ban?

Lunchtime poll a la Eve:
If you could ban a book, what book would it be? 

Or should that be 'which book'? GrammarNazis are openly invited to correct me since I am not in the mood to do the research. I would rather write my ramblings and let the grammatical errors speak for my humanness.

I stumbled upon this question while trying to think up something to write about the topic of banned books. So, with legal pad in hand, I posed the question to myself and my friend while sitting down to a bowl of herb to see what we could come up with. It was a fun challenge and I invite others to consider the question if they haven't before.

At first we couldn't come up with anything. As tempting as the idea sounds in a hypothetical playground, to banish any book(s) from the land that one does not see fit, the idea of stopping the flow of information was a hard concept for both of us to work around. While neither my friend nor I practice any particular religions, we do appreciate religions for what they are along with the writings. Therefore, we couldn't ban any religious doctrines.

I recently read through Matt Forney's review of The Communist Manifesto, which I cannot recall if I have read the book or not though I am familiar with it. But since we were stumped on what books to ban, I queried about Marx's Manifesto to get us past the block. No luck there either. As my friend sagely stated, "No, people need to read that kind of shit." Therefore, no political or philosophical doctrines were hypothetically banned.

After so long, the self-imposed poll resulted in us not coming up with a single book to ban. So, I kicked out some more questions, such as barring writers from writing in particular genres or barring people from writing in general. This proved to be more fruitful as my friend touched on the topic of what I call Talking Head books, by people such as Bill O'Reilly, Ann Coulter, and the like. Aside from kindling, it's hard to find a useful purpose for books where the aim is to effect popular opinion by dividing people through repetitive, rhetorical debate so that the people then take the debate to their representatives and the voting booths. Gag me with a bookmark. Therefore, no Talking Head books.

Also mentioned as a sub-genre of books which should not be allowed is any fitness or diet book that features someone on the cover that you do not want to look like; i.e., Dr. Phil. Are there any men who want to look like Dr. Phil? Not in this hypothetical utopia. Therefore, no Dr. Phil weight loss books.

For myself I had a hard time thinking of anything worthy to ban, until I remembered all of the books I have witnessed in the juvenile aisles of bookstores the past years that deeply hit my literary gag reflex: Vampire books and their demon-spawn copycats. Twilight can stay though, only because young girls should have a proper subliminal introduction to the kink that is autassassinophilia.

Overall, it was not easy for either of us to come up with a definitive list of books we would ban, though some genres we could most definitely do without. Even though we do not care for certain books and/or authors, neither of us would ever want books destroyed or authors barred from writing, whether or not we agree with the content. As my friend wisely concluded, "Just because you put out a book doesn't mean it's for everyone," and a book not pleasing everyone is no reason for a book to be banned.

Thanks for reading. 

What book(s) would you ban?
Answer the lunchtime poll question in the comments.

Come to the Dark Side ~ Banned Books Coffee Mug 
Find More Creations by Eve Penman @ ProseAndPix


Will the Minimum Wage Max Out?

Here are a few of my questions and thoughts regarding $15/hour minimum wage, presented via YouTube. Please take 10 minutes to watch or listen, or you may also read the transcript here via Google Docs if you prefer. Thanks and enjoy.

What are your thoughts about $15/hour minimum wage?
Feel free to share in the comments. 

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Adult Housekeeping Tips: How To Impress a Bedroom Guest

I am no June Cleaver, but I watch her on the boob tube. While adult bedroom organization was not a proper topic for public discussion back in June's day, as a moderately modern woman who likes to keep a household relatively efficient I feel that some light needs to be shed on what a straight adult female over the age of 30 wants in a bedroom: Comfort and cleanliness.

Other additions in a bedroom are nice too, naturally, but at my age and level of experience comfort and cleanliness outrank an over-gadgetized pigsty owned by a fat cat with a fat cock. As if. There is nothing impressive about expecting a woman of any age to be wooed by lip service and taken home to dirty sheets, an unmade bed, and absently strewn gym socks. Gag me.

Fortunately, it does not cost a lot of money to keep a bedroom clean nowadays since dollar stores carry gobs of cleaning supplies at very reasonable prices. If a night out drinking or a night out at the movies is affordable, then forgo one night out and stay in with a stockpile of cleaning supplies to prepare for the arrival of a woman. I highly recommend this to any man looking to land a woman; take sufficient action when it comes to ensuring the bedroom is clean as well as the bathroom and other extraneous rooms, but only if you want to make her swoon.

Along with cleaning supplies, bedroom comforts do not cost much either, relatively speaking, and it is quite often the little things that make the biggest difference. For example, something small I incorporate that makes a world of difference and that other adults might appreciate is keeping a reasonable supply of clean washcloths within easy reach of a bed. Speaking frankly as a female, there is nothing appealing about being given either a foreign piece of laundry off the floor or a cold wet wipe, disposable or otherwise. Ew. Perhaps this post will save others from such misfortunes.

For the love of June, why wouldn't people keep such a stash at hand near a bed? It actually makes less sense to not be prepared with a washcloth stash than to have one on standby. After all, what else is a bed for, especially if you want to get laid in it? Sheesh. Therefore, always be prepared. Washcloths are small, cheap and very easy to wash with a regular load of clothes. When dirty washcloths are in the hamper, simply rotate another set into the bedroom so fresh cloths are always ready.

Along with preparatory washcloths, I find it to be beneficial and efficient to have any other desired bedroom necessities stored nearby the bed as well: toys and toy boxes, lubes and gels, massage oils, positioning pillows, erotic literature, blindfolds, and whatever else is deemed necessary to make time in bed comfortable. Should there not be an enclosed area to store items in neatly, I recommend using any style of storage bin, though perhaps not a clear one, for storing items in until they are needed. Perhaps such preparations are viewed as overly anal, but in a blog post like this that should not be a surprise. Besides, if a girl can't be anal in the bedroom, then where can she be anal at? Indeed.

When it comes to washcloth preferences I am not brand loyal. Recently I found bundles of Mainstays brand washcloths at the nearby Walmart (cheaper than on Amazon) and so far, so good. They are 100% cotton and were soft to begin with, but after a wash with fabric softener they are now super soft and approved for service. You can check them out below to buy a set for your bedroom today.

Thanks for reading.

>Leave comments below with thoughts on adult housekeeping tips and how to impress bedroom guests.