3.29.2015

Dear Parents: Don't Have a Cow, It's Just a Dish

First and foremost: I am not a parent, because (1) I like to keep my money for myself and (2) that is how my uterus rolls.

Second, simply because a seed has not taken hold in my body does not mean I am unable to learn things that parents should know and/or things that some parents do not know. In fact, I seriously question the logic, sanity, and thought processes of some parents due to the fact they have children.  Hello! So, please, get off your high chair.

Third, there are these things called 'books' on the topic of educating children which I have read and they are freely available at public libraries; radical! Plus, watching reruns of SuperNanny  teaches me a great deal about child psychology and poor parenting practices. As well, I have volunteered with children and interacted with children of all ages in my daily life, including overlooked children more commonly referred to as 'baby  boomers'...emphasis on baby! Not to mention, I was raised by parental units, which means I have experienced parenting from the child's point of view, so there is that.

Fourth, did you know that people who work for state-instituted child protective services are not required to be parents in order to tell you what is best for your child? The same can be said for teachers whom parents entrust to instruct their children, and sometimes those teachers instruct the children more than the parents do. So, please, humor me for once and just be glad I am not mandating my insight on you.

Fifth, I will let my words speak for themselves so that you may be the judge of whether or not I know what I am talking about. If you think I am full of it, welcome to the club!
Do not,  I repeat, do not  flip out over a broken dish, even if it is an important dish; or for that matter, anything else that becomes damaged, destroyed, or dirty by accident. Do you know why you should not flip out? Because there are more important things in this world than a dish, which, more often than not, was made to be broken. 

Seriously, why else would a dish break so easily if it was not  made to be broken? Brands aside, dishes break, period; once you accept this and move on, you can exert your energies on more important matters.

As well, there are worse things in this world than a broken dish, such as a broken spirit, a broken bone, or a broken life. I will gladly face the reality of cleaning up the mess of a broken dish rather than deal with the sadness of cleaning up a broken child.

A child's spirit and sense of self is more important than a dish, no matter if the child is 1 month old or 101 years old. Unlike a dish, a child's spirit is an extremely rare and precious commodity that cannot be replaced easily or cheaply, unless you should want to pay for visits to a psychologist or other mental health professional. However, even that does not guarantee the spirit will ever be fixed or even recovered; at best it will patched up so that it is tougher for the tears.

Therefore, my solution is to let the broken dish serve as a simple learning lesson of how to clean up a mess, rather than lessening the child for being what they cannot help -- human! To err is fundamental to humanness; to not have a cow over the err is mindfulness. This is something I continue to work on with myself every day as mindfulness must first be consciously exercised in order to become subconsciously habitual; in fact, a broken dish is what inspired this blog post!

All children need to learn to clean up their own messes in life and the earlier they learn the better they will be. So rather than raise your voice to the child, do your duty  as a parent by teaching them how to clean their mess. I mean, you did know that having kids meant teaching them to do things for themselves, right? 

Whether or not it is an accident, if a child learns that they have a mess to clean up when they break a dish, this may very well teach them to be more careful with dishes in the future; and it is far less scarring in the long run than being subjected to hurtful words storming down in thunderous, spirit-ravaging tones.
As well, one can avoid broken dishes by incorporating that magical word from The Graduate:  Plastics! Granted, if you are too concerned about the opinions of others when it comes to the aesthetics of plastics, you may be missing the bigger picture and this article will have no impact on you. So be it; I am not the jackass whisperer. 

I also understand the reality that plastics can break and messes can still be made, but as many of us learned from that wise and wonderful woman Roseanne Roseannadanna -- It's Always Something! So, you can let that 'something' be a waste of energy on flipping out over a plastic dish or a brand-name glass dish, or you can put that same amount of energy into teaching a basic lesson in life -- if you break it, clean it up! 

Another suggestion to ease the burden of loss, and should the dish be a precious family heirloom or endeared to your heart for other reasons, incorporate this helpful tip from PeeWee Herman: Why don't you take a picture, it will last longer!

In all sincerity I recommend taking a digital picture of the dish, then store the image on a hard drive or in a cloud; should something unforeseen happen and cause the precious dish to break you now have the image of it stored so you can admire it again and again, without having to clean it (bonus!). Plus, should the dish be insured and then stolen or damaged whereby insurance would cover the loss, the picture will help for documentation purposes.

In conclusion, I have heard the 'you aren't a parent, you don't know what you're talking about' argument before. Well, allow me to retort: If you are a parent who either (1) chose to be a parent without recognizing your responsibilities and/or (2) you did not know how not  to become a parent and ended up becoming one by default, your argument is moot and has no standing with me. So, please, do yourself and your kid a favor -- don't argue with me, don't have a cow, and go be a parent.

Thank You for Not Having a Cow, Man!
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3.18.2015

Think Outside the Gym: Vitamin D & Driveway Drills

I don't run as much as I'd like,
but when I do I make it count.

Driveway Hill Drills: 
Forwards
Backwards
Crossovers
Side-to-Sides
1.87 miles 
35 minutes

Helpful Tips:
Have water on hand
Stretch as needed
Pace yourself
Turn the music up to 11!


Thank You for Making It Count!


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3.09.2015

Fed Up and Loathful in Laughlin

If you have ever wondered to yourself 'Should I make a visit to Laughlin, Nevada?' I am here to inform you of why you should not bother.

1. There are old people...everywhere!
Old bats, old crows, old hens, and old husbands who have been pecked into submission. For clarification's sake, 'old' means age 65 and beyond; and if they are not 65, they most certainly act as entitled as anyone over the age of 65. Gag me with an AARP card.

2. There are fat people...everywhere!
Fat, fat, fat, fat, fat, and not the good fat either. Yeah, I know, get mad at me for saying the politically incorrect 'F' word; go eat a cheeseburger to comfort yourself, you'll feel better. 

So, what's the good fat? Well, if you can manage to walk without waddling to and fro like an overweight duck, I call that good fat, but I'm no expert. I'm just an annoyed active person with a very capable body who is tired of being restrained from movement by other people's girth, which leads to my next point.

3. There are slow people...everywhere!
I thought Disneyland was bad enough the one time I went, having to negotiate through stroller hell. Well, Laughlin is scooter hell, combined with slow waddlers and gawkers looking about in a daze as they figure out which smoke-filled casino to waste their lives and money in next. Color me not impressed.

4. The smell of cigarette smoke...everywhere!
I understand a hotel or a casino will say they are 'non-smoking,' but that is only after having been a smoking establishment for enough years that the smell is now a permanent fixture in the building. I feel like I have regressed in time as I duck through clouds of smoke in the casinos and rush through to get to my second-hand-smoke-smelling room...the room with someone else's hair stuck to the bathroom sink. Gross me out to the max.

5. No posted escape routes...anywhere!
For my own sense of security I like knowing where stairways are located so I can get out of a building should an emergency happen. As well, if you sit through enough lawsuits you start to notice lawsuits waiting to happen everywhere you turn. 

For example, when a bank of elevators on the 16th floor of a high-rise casino hotel has a sign that states to use the stairway in case of fire and yet there is no map or signage indicating where to find the stairway, I can't help but wonder what tragedy will befall people to make the management (and their lawyers) understand the importance of letting people know where to find the stairway.

All it takes is just one incident where people can't get out and you have a sensationally sad news story that possibly could have been prevented had people known how to get out. But, then again, would the waddlers even make it down the stairs if they knew where they were? Futility at its finest.

6. ADA-compliant Rooms That Hinder Handicapped People!
If a door to a hotel room is so heavy that it cannot stay open on its own, how in the world is a person in a wheelchair (who the room was intended for) supposed to get in and out of the room without the door falling on them? 

Even with my strength, if both of my arms are pushing a wheelchair, how am I supposed to get the door to stay open without it hitting the person in the wheelchair? Granted, I get it done because my will always finds a way, but it does not rest well with me that these are the conditions many people with limited mobility find themselves in. 

This is not to say there needs to be a law. This is to say that individuals must exercise their right to be responsible, by being aware and recognizing such hazards so as to figure out solutions independently, since management is only ever willing and/or able to do so much. My solution? Pack a small door stop next time. Knowing is half the battle; the other half is being prepared.
 
7. Everything is Depressing!
Granted, it may not be depressing to everyone who visits Laughlin, but this place does not make me happy, because all I see are signs of a failing system and a fearful future that I do not want any part of.

I do not want to settle for finding joy by sitting in stinky casinos where people's guts reach the machines before their arms do. I do not want to wear bedazzled shirts with matching hats. I do not want to look like a sun-weathered prune. I do not want to waddle. I do not want insurance plans to run my life. I do not want a future if it means submitting to the Laughlin epidemic. 

Looks like I've got my work cut out for me!


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3.07.2015

Cheap Date Ideas from an Immaterial Girl

While driving around today in Lake Havasu, Arizona, I got to thinking about the things I enjoy discovering when I visit new areas; namely, free things.

Actually, they are not technically 'free' since they are paid for by tax dollars taken from hard working citizens, but as a fee is not required to enter the establishments they are commonly viewed as being free and therefore they are often overlooked.

All of these places can be used for dates too, so long as those participating in the dates enjoy being as resourceful, quirky, and curious as me (good luck!). If, however, the date is about being seen by others in trendy places for the sake of taking selfies, this post is most definitely not for you.

1. The Library!
From the Pacific Northwest, to the Rockies, to the South, to the Midwest, and now the Southwest -- I love visiting a library I have never been in before. There is just something about all those resources waiting to be used to make new discoveries. 


Plus, depending on the library building, there could be some super sweet architecture to admire or fascinating history to learn about the building or even how the library system came into being in that region. Not only that, some library systems offer tours of the facilities as well. Am I the only one getting excited by this? Most likely.
2. The Law Library!
If you happen to be a legal hound like me or you just enjoy utilizing all the resources your taxes pay for, do not hesitate to find the local law library in your area. These libraries are also open to the public (suit and tie not required) and they have numerous resources to help people get through legal matters. 

However, these are not facilities to just walk in and act like an entitled asswipe because you are a taxpayer, unless you want to be asked to leave. Just like in a public library, be considerate of others and the resources; call ahead if you are unsure, or walk in respectfully and let the librarian know you have never been in a law library so they can inform you of how that library functions.

Law libraries are often inside, attached to, or near courthouses. So the best way to find a law library is through the court system (link below).

3. Public Courts!
Again, just like with law libraries, do not walk into any courthouse acting like an entitled asswipe, unless you are (1) a lawyer or (2) you want to give security a reason to keep a close eye on you.


Why visit a courthouse? Well, why not?! Just like hospitals (which are free to walk around in too, just don't be an asswipe), courthouses are full of life and death and everything in between; it all oozes out at the seams for people to watch free of charge. When I was taking down the record I never missed watching television due to all the drama, humor, and ridiculousness I witnessed in the legal field everyday; I highly recommend it.

However, not all cases and matters are open to the public, and if you are not familiar with courthouses, again, research protocol online or call first to learn more about proper protocol while in the courthouse. I cannot speak for all courts, but some do offer group tours to the public and students as I have witnessed homeschool kids given tours as part of their curriculum in learning about the judicial system.

Granted, court personnel may not be super cheery on the phone or in person. Please keep in mind these people are human and the work can weigh very heavy on their shoulders by witnessing the problems of the world in front of them every day and being unable to do anything about it except file more paperwork. This is why I encourage people to explore courthouses, to observe and learn from all the life that goes on inside of them, from employees to attorneys. 

Go into a courtroom that is open to the public and watch the arraignments; or sit in a public area outside a courtroom to observe the hustle and bustle of lawyers, clients, reporters and many others. If you have never witnessed what goes on in a courthouse, you owe it to yourself to broaden your understanding. After all, your tax dollars fund the system, so you have every right to be there, to learn how it works, and to observe public matters.

Just think: By attending open court you would not have to wait for the news to tell you what to think about a local case. You could actually form your own opinion based on what you saw in court as it happened. Whodathunkit? Oh yeah, me, that's who!
Did you try a cheap date idea?
Got questions about a cheap date idea?
Leave a comment or email me

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3.06.2015

Life in Haiku: Today's Turmoil and Tomorrow's Hope


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3.01.2015

New Bumper Stickers for Sunday Drivers

Sunday driving flair
Cruising slow? Put on a show
For those who will dare
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