Saturday, December 31, 2016

It's That Fadd Map Time Again Ladies: Fat and Delusional Dreamers Making Plans

"Beauty Is In The Eye of the Beholder"

  We are once again rounding that bend, and readying ourselves for the same old resolutions that seem to top the personal priority lists of millions around us: Get in better shape; Eat healthier; Become a better version of me.
  Good.  Most folks will benefit from a few small changes in habit. Just be sure you're going into this new plan for the right reasons.
 Feeling better, having more energy, and out-living your goldfish are all great ideas.

  Today's rant is focused more on the overly critical tendencies that create a pattern of self-destruction in far too many otherwise happy folks, women in particular.
 With New Year's day just 24 hours away, maybe what we really need to focus on is less focus, waddyathink?

  Every January, many of us join the masses who have fallen prey to that commercialized version of who and what we are expected to become, while completely ignoring that fact that these carefully crafted systems of self-doubt and body-shaming by comparison are based in the very same premise as the classic Madison Avenue concept of "Keeping up with the Joneses" that was sold to our parents since the sixties: Greed.

 Honestly:  It is ALWAYS about profits. Every last stigma and doubt system that is carried over from each generation to torture and traumatize girls (and boys), whose only crime was being born, is and always has been about money. Nothing more. Specifically, it's about taking yours.

 Uniqueness is systematically crushed by that profit machine starting in grade school, when your inherent need to socialize is used as a weapon against you. 

  Fashion, pharmaceutical and cosmetics companies that are built on this evil groundwork rely solely on their ability to convince you that everyone is flawed and sub-par at birth, but you can have access to the 'magic pill' that will make you acceptable...for a reasonable price, of course.

 This form of social brainwashing for profit isn't new, and frankly I think we as a species should have evolved beyond this sheeple stage by now; the one that feeds our vulnerable children to this system of emotional torture for profits.
   Sadly, many adults are too deeply submerged into this "I'm not quite good enough" mentality to even realize just how shallow their lives have become, and they pass this social guilt on to their children.

  The makeup and drug companies aren't alone here;  Enter the medical profession.
 Botox, plastic surgery, and various body shaping procedures are also part of this conspiracy of personal shaming and body criticism for profits, and people are literally dying to impress their equally shallow friends.

  Women are tricked into injecting toxic poisons into their faces, boobs, and butts to feel competitive with Photoshopped models who are just as flawed as the rest of us.
 The big difference between them and you? They lie. It's their job to lie to you, and it's also very profitable. The model is lying. The photographer is lying. Because the sponsor company doesn't profit from truth.

 Ready for a little truth?  Start with this:  I Love You. We Love You. Just the way you are, as nature intended, as your God intended you to be. 
  You are not supposed to look like your neighbor, or a billboard model, or the lingerie model on the television. Why would you want to? She doesn't even look like that.

  Your mom wasn't lying: You are perfect just the way you are. Dad may have been a bit biased, but he was still telling the truth: You really are beautiful, just the way you are. 

  You are the only one who has a hard time seeing it because you are taught to be hyper critical of every flaw. 
This is a result of the Big Lie we're talking about here today. 

  Your minor flaws make you unique. Your freckles are gorgeous. That dimple is the envy of a hundred people that you've passed. Your hair is your crown. Polish it, make it shine. Or not. It's you.  Be proud of it. 

 That whole idea that this life is one big beauty competition in which you are forced to participate is a sack of commercial lies being perpetrated by the shallow and brainwashed herd, and you can be one of the lucky few who have the ability to see through the greed curtain.

 One of the most beautiful traits that a woman can possess is a self confidence that demands respect.
 The world is your mirror, and what you put out is exactly what comes back to you.

  Be beautiful; Believe in your beauty and it will be so, because others will respond to your belief in the same manner. The secret key just went by you in that last sentence: You must Believe it.

 Faking it til you make it may work for some, but for the rest of us this can be a brutally cruel world that has a knack for spotting a weakness in the facade. 

 You must really know beyond any doubt, that your beauty was by design and any adjustments are a waste of time because they detract from your intended purpose.

 Your true beauty is not on the skin, and it is not something that disappears in the dark.

 Your beauty is your strength. Your beauty is your love. Your beauty is a lingering image (feeling) that every person who meets and knows you will carry long after the first impressions have faded.

 Uniqueness is a primary feature of your beauty. Something that makes you just you, and unlike anyone else. Maybe that unique gift is your art; your voice; your generosity; your empathy, or maybe you are still finding yourself and a unique gift hasn't shown itself.

 For many women, their uniqueness turns out to be their destiny to create the most wonderful children the world has ever seen. This is a fine and noble life goal that many parents are honored to become. 

 The best version of a parent my family has ever seen. Nothing wrong with that at all; It completely dismisses the personal and social paranoias altogether, and focuses on a higher calling. Again: A noble quest indeed.

 If there is a point to this yet-another New Years day rant, then it is this:
 Instead of planning another year of wasted money and grueling workout schedules, just to further torture yourself by obsessing over mediocre results that weren't part of your destiny anyway, how about you (we) simply focus on Karma building and putting our egos on a diet?

 There are a lot of simple changes you can make to feel healthier, and to have more energy.
 The first one that I recommend is to Never Buy Diet Coke again. Ever.
  The aspartame is a toxic sugar substitute that is actually making you fatter! They have removed it from their recipe to dodge the complaints from consumers, only to put it right back in under a new name.

 Second; Drink a lot more water. Hydration is more than healthy; it's essential to everything else you want to do and be. Routinely flushing your kidneys and bladder will give you that healthy glow and allow your whole body to function better and handle exercise better.
  That brings me to the third simple change:
  Get vertical.
Sitting is killing more Americans than traffic accidents and drugs combined. Office jobs, computer time, and cable's 400 channels comprise the fat machine that clogs arteries and stops hearts prematurely. 

 Take a walk. Discover that little museum you've been meaning to take a peek at. Throw your sweats on and hike the bike path down the road. Thirty minutes is a good place to start.

 Once this new habit becomes established (the average adult need s to repeat a new habit seven times before it registers) you will realize that you really like the way it feels. Let it progress on it's own schedule, and avoid listening too closely to bragging friends who claim they are running 75 miles today. Misery loves company.

 Set your own starting point, and allow it to progress naturally. If at all. The point is to simply do something that makes you happy. An hour of fresh air and gentle exercise is more than enough for starters.

 Summary:  Improve yourself if you feel the need, but do it for you. Nothing else matters.
 You want to feel better; You want to see your grandchildren grow up; You want to see your feet again.
 Be Happy. Be Happier. Be Beautiful.

 § Copyright  2016  JB Stran
 All Rights Reserved. Reprints with linkback.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Post Christmas Melancholy

First and foremost; We are good people, my wife and I.
Parents to six, and Grandparents to over 20 happy (and mildly spoiled) children, and Christmas for us is truly a celebration of love and generosity surrounded by family.
I freely admit that my wife of thirty three years deserves this happiness more than do I; She has nowhere near the level of childhood and adult sins to atone for.
I also deal with a deeply buried case of PTSD that develops zombie tendencies in the Winter months, peaking ( or in terms of the depression that follows it like a shadow, bottoming out) right around Christmas.
This puts me in that small group of freaks who genuinely dread the holiday, and must work particularly hard to find a spark or a light to focus on in order to crawl over that hump one more year.

Sorry 'bout that. You can see now why I buried it.
Obviously, the grandchildren take turns representing that light at the end of the tunnel. Beautifully optimistic, eager little minds chomping at life's bit to start making a happy life as wild birds whose cage was just flung open. Their graceless simplicity is contagious, you know?   Play is Everything, and Everything is Play.
If that doesn't make you fall in love with life all over again, check your pulse.

Anyway; that's what pulls me through the annual holiday swamp, and by the 26th it's already starting to get better.
For me, that is. Remember that wife who deserves to happy?
Well, she swings to an alternate rhythm, and we pass each other going in opposite directions about this time.

Christmas is for her a joyous celebration of family and love. Money or no, she is tickled just to be near the little ones at Christmas. Simple pleasures, and all that jazz.
Then, she goes back to work.
Now, hating your job is quite normal for many blue collar folks, but how about being clinically depressed for the entire week after Christmas? That's not normal.
No; She's not a NICU nurse, or a dialysis attendant. She works at a major retailer.
The biggest one; the one people love to hate and half the country can't seem to live without.

Starting the day after Christmas, she is the person at this retailer who has to process the returns. Unwanted gifts, wrong sized sweaters, and all the usual post-Christmas reasons to stand in line at the returns counter.

Then there's the reason for her week-long depression; The welfare queens bringing in their children's toys and gifts to flip them for cash. Many with those same wailing, confused and emotionally tortured children in tow.
One after another, all day long, waddling along in slippers and PJs, flopping freshly-opened toys that just last week were delivered by Toys For Tots onto the counter and demanding cash for toys they didn't earn, while the broken-hearted toddler cries for a reason why Santa won't let her keep her new toy.
All the while, a sweet and kindly grandmother stands behind that same counter hard-swallowing the impulse to hop over and deliver the ass-kicking of a lifetime. With her nearly forgotten Baltimore street corner roots, and the fact that the liberal in front of her apparently lives on cheese curls and Pepsi, it wouldn't take that much effort.

But, what would be the point? You can't fix stupid.
And some folks couldn't learn new tricks no matter how hard you tried.
Sure, she could offer to pay for the toy. Seems simple, right? Nope. You would just delay the inevitable, and that sorry excuse for a human mother would be back the next day, in the same line, with the same crying child being tortured all over again. So you just stand there and deal with it, right?
After spending 24 hours bringing smiles and joy to the children in your own family, you just watch the cruelest parade of child torture go by; and even assist them when you can. Because that crying child isn't just looking at mommy for answers; she is also looking at you for any help you can offer. It's enough to tear the very heart from your body. Over, and over, and over, and over...

You starting to see the source of the melancholy?

Thankfully, a few smart folks (my wife being one of them) have put their heads together in an effort to beat this scam and it's heartless perpetrators at the source.
They are asking charities and churches who provide toys and gifts to needy children at Christmas to black-out or otherwise disable the barcode labels on the toys and it's packaging. It's illegal to remove the tags, but a little permanent marker will do the trick. In time, maybe the laws covering charities can be adjusted to allow the removal of all barcodes from the gifts without penalty, thus guaranteeing a much happier Christmas for countless children.

I'm sure this is not just a local problem. Christmas happens to fall in the third week of the month when folks on assistance also happen to be broke, and frankly I can't comprehend any charity not having the forethought to see this coming. To my way of thinking, that makes them just as liable as the human garbage standing in line ignoring her child's pain.
It's time to take responsibility for the whole picture and stop cherry-picking the aspects they choose to focus on. It's time to beat the scammers at their own game.

How about you? Any ideas to help beat this issue?

Thanks for bearing with this rant, and I wish you a wonderful New Year.


Monday, July 11, 2016

Traditional Native Onion Magic

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Fathers Day Draws First Blood: Remington Beard Trimmer

No doubt you have seen a few knock down, drag out, all around hellish Father's Days come and go. We all have.

  Momma wants to shove your nose in a Happy Happy We Love YOU! Celebration fiasco, and the kids are doing everything they can think of to dodge this social embarrassment. 
  Truth is;  An unobstructed view of the game, a bag of pretzels and a fresh beer now & then are about all you need to be perfectly content with your 'Special" day...but Mom won't have any of that nonsense.

 You're gonna dress spiffy and go to her favorite eatery, and you can bet your wingtips it won't be Buffalo Wild Wings. Or any sports bar, for that matter.
Been there, brother. I (we) sympathise.

That however is not the reason for this post. This one is loosely classified as a rant I suppose, based on last year's FD gift, and I thought I would remind some givers on Dad's Day that not every gadget is what it seems.

I am referring to a Remington beard trimmer that works just fine, although it appears to have developed a taste for human blood.
At first it was a small nick here or there, but now that a year has passed it has acquired an evil thirst for more, which I fear may someday spell my downfall.

I have started keeping it in a cage at night so my children can sleep without being attacked by this deceptively tiny device and it's vampirish cravings.

This harmless looking device is the Remington rechargable trimmer, model PG360. 
 That's code for Pretty Good, retail $36.
  T his one came with a nice stand and a few handy attachments, and has been serving my needs well...until I trim around the mouth area. This is of course one of it's primary uses; Trimming the beard and mustache, which it does just fine, until it senses weakness. Then it strikes. It's tiny steel fangs sinking into my flesh, seeking the sweet nectar that flows just below the surface.

Always the same place, always the same little nicks at the corners of my mouth. Irritating little nicks that sting like a papercut, and take a bit too long to heal because I open them every day when I yawn.
Naturally, it's not lack of sleep making me yawn of course, but the little known but much feared Creeping Curse of the Stubble Clipper. Having tasted my precious juices, it has no doubt injected me with it's fiendishly hypnotic gadget serum, born in the pits of Remingtonia, or wherever these nasty little biters come from.

Seriously though: Is it just me?

In any case, this is a heads up to the Dads, Moms, and kids who will be last-minute scrambling for a nice, fairly cheap (about $25) gift this coming FD weekend: Remington beard trimmers may become hostile and develop a taste for human blood.
Caveat Emptor

> JB.