Saturday, April 11, 2015

Week 12 Post - This I Believe

I believe that all men, women, children, and everyone in-between are created equal, and should be treated as such. 

We can look throughout history and see that of course humans have not and do not treat each other as equals very often, but our country is built on the idea that everyone is equal, that they have these rights that can not be taken from them, that they are a part of them. We know that Jefferson wrote these words the Declaration of Independence, the document that first began to shape the United States’ ideals, values. So I ask why are these principles not carried through today? So many minority groups, including the LGBTIA community, do not have the same rights and equal standing as others. If we wanted to live up to our founding father’s vision, then everyone would be able to marry whomever they want, and these people would not have the fear of being fired from their jobs for it. Where I live, Michigan, is just one example of a state where I am not protected by laws, and the same opportunities and inherent rights are not offered to me. I can get fired from a job for being gay, I can not be hired because I am gay, and I can not marry the man I love in this state. I pay taxes, I am a fine upstanding citizen who contributes to my community, but I am not equal to them. But all men are created equal, right? Not according to the laws that hold our country together. 

Imagine that you could not marry the person you love. Not because of money, or distance, or controllable circumstance, but because the law prevents it. How is that even possible? How would you feel? Let me tell you, it feels hopeless. Like you are lesser than straight people because you are not the norm. Children who have two same sex parents can not have a normal children because their family is legally banned from being officially together. This is not just affecting adults, but children too. Children in states like mine are scared to be who they are because they know that so much of society rejects them, that their government does not support or protect them. 

On the other hand, is simply makes sense economically for the country to support same sex marriage. States that legally accept and support same sex marriage have found their economies boosting because people buy presents for the couples, the couples support their local economy by renting spaces, buying flowers, buying cakes, and spending money on all the things that are required for a wedding. If people were not discriminated against because of their sexual orientation then they could get better jobs, or even a job instead of being unemployed or underemployed. This is the reason that I am moving to Illinois as soon as possible. There, I am not marginalized and can support my state. It makes sense economically for everyone to have the same rights and for everyone to be treated equally. 

This is what I believe, and I urge you to give your views more thought. Do you agree that everyone is equal? Do you want your economy to improve? Do you want children to grow up scared? I don’t. 

Monday, April 6, 2015

Post #7: Food for Thought

I believe in food.
I believe food heals.
I believe the power of food is greatly underestimated.

For, food is what every living being wakes up for. It's what they work for. Often, it's what they go to bed at night, wondering where its source will come from (for many humans, this is still the case.)

Tonight, my husband and I cooked a meal. Shrimp stir fry.

 He cut the tails off of the shrimp, while I prepped the veggies and other ingredients. During this time, we discussed our day. We decided what should happen with our youngest daughter. We even lightly touched base about opening our own business someday.

I had waited all day to see him, and he, I.

And this meal was our couples therapy. It was the mediator of our conversation.

"Can you hand me that cup?" One would ask, as if it were the punctuation of our sentences...

Food heals.
For us tonight, it brought two people, who each had separate days, living near separate lives, together.

I love food.
I could have never declared that 10 years ago.
Oh, the shame for a 20 year old girl to say she loves food. Especially, the chocolate I would eat in secrecy. The fast food. The foods whose big, shiny advertisements brought me to the local grocer like a zombie looking for a brain.

Must have Oreos.

But that's not food.
I understand that now.
Oreos and other substances that deem themselves "food" are addictive and deadly. They are not what I love.

Food heals.
Things with shiny, advertisements often do not heal.

Our skin should glow! Our hearts should fill with vigor! Our veins should coarse with energy.

Not diabetes.

You can't have the conversation we had, when you're eating a bag of cookies in the dark. You can't eat this meal that was made with love and feel its nutrients making you stronger, when even the ants will not consume it.

When did food become devalued in our world? What kind of organism purposely poisons themselves? What other mammal on God's green earth does not spend their time looking for sustenance.

Because in our world, sustenance of food is also sustenance of soul.

Community Blog Post #7: Waste Management

The other day I was in the grocery store perusing cleaning items when it dawned on me that I should pick up toilet paper. I’m under the impression that one can never have enough toilet paper. As I found my desired brand I noticed that they had flushable wet wipes on sale. Why not? I thought to myself. Those could be beneficial and they’re flushable. And they seemed more hygienic. 

So I know that I’m writing a blog post about the bathroom but let’s just all acknowledge the fact that we all use the bathroom. Everybody poops. Me, you, celebrities, even the President. I’m sorry if you just got a visual. And sometimes, it can get pretty bad. That’s all I’ll say about the number twos. So my thrifty self decided that these flushable wipes (did I mention they were on sale?) might be a good option to have, you know for guests and what not.

But then in an instant, I realized that these wipes were not so “flushable.” And before you envision some gross sewage backup that I faced, know that it was a quick story on NPR radio that opened up my eyes to the world of moist towelette marketing. Apparently, these moist towelettes are not so flushable in the sense that while you can physically flush them, we really shouldn’t. Craig Rance, campaign communication executive of Thames River discussed that you can flush a golf ball too but it doesn’t mean you should. “The word ‘flushable’ means it won’t clog your toilet or your house, but when it gets to a sewage treatment plant, the wipes wrap around the equipment, shuts it down, and then the treatment plant workers go and manually pull these wipes down,” as states to ABC news from New York Deputy Commissioner.

Now you may be sitting there reading this post thinking “I don’t use flushable wipes, what’s it to me?” Well I’ll tell you why we should all care, regardless if we use these products or not. Our sewer systems are like arteries that can’t have any blockages. The manual labor of removing these sewer system blockages, deemed fatbergs, means more manpower, as well as more repairing and replacing sewer system equipment.

This is where the average citizen gets involved. At the rate we are going, waste management companies will need to raise water rates in order to combat these added expenses. The city of New York has spent over 18 million dollars on equipment damage expenses within the past five years (nytimes).

The time is now people. We need to educate the masses about proper waste management of moist towelettes. We need to stress the importance of not flushing them even though there is false marketing, complete with a toilet on the packaging. If you want to go a step further, you can contact your city officials in an effort to hold these companies to a more stringent guideline when it comes to advertising. But if that is too much commitment, I understand. I haven’t done that either. What I have done is educate others around me. Moist towelettes come in other forms such as baby wipes and makeup removers too. At times, word of mouth can travel faster than legislation. If we all choose to educate one person, we can make a huge difference, and save our planet, or at least, our pocketbooks.

Check out these news stories for more information:

Week 12 Community Post 7: Lets control the pet population!

My neighborhood is home to the Kitty Patrol. That's the nickname that my boyfriend and I gave to the gang of stray and feral cats roaming my neighborhood. And while I do enjoy seeing Mittens and McGruff on the prowl, I also feel really bad that they aren't being cared for they way they should be. McGruff is even missing most of his tail, and none of the neighborhood cats look healthy. I never thought too much about spaying and neutering before moving to Las Vegas, but the streets here are literally overrun with stay cats and dogs. And I thought this was sad enough, cats and small dogs (almost exclusively chihuahuas) darting in and out of traffic, without homes, companionship, or basic food and water. It broke my heart. But then I realized the truly sinister thing about it. Now, at least once a week, we are awoken in the night by the sound of cats procreating. I don't know if you've ever heard it, but it sounds like cat murder. Not only are theses poor cats homeless, but they're actively making EVEN MORE homeless pets as we speak!

The problem is exponential. The more pets there are, the more pets will be homeless. When pets aren't spayed or neutered, they will keep making more pets. In seven short years, one cat and her babies can produce 370,000 new kitties. For a minute that sounds great because I love cats, but where are they going to live? The answer is, they aren't. 2.4 MILLION healthy, adoptable cats and dogs are put down every year in shelters in the United States. Thats one every 13 seconds! There simply aren't enough homes for them. By spaying and neutering your pet, you can make sure that you aren't contributing to the problem. And by adopting a pet, you are ensuring that one more cuddly buddy doesn't end up on the street or get euthanized.

My message is simple. Be responsible. Pets are a responsibility. At the very least, you should do your part by not contributing to an already unsustainable homeless pet population. Adopt. Spay and neuter. Be decent. You owe it to your pets.

This I Believe...

I never thought my uncle who I looked up to could possibly let me down in such an enormous way. 21 years passed and nothing had changed. I went from playing baseball with him, to him taking me to see R-rated movies, to me standing up in his wedding. My uncle is only 12 years older than me, and splits the difference between my dad and I. All that basically means is that he and I are more like brothers than uncle and nephew.

This bond we had was always something I could rely on. If I needed advice I could always go to my uncle. But in October of last year, he came to me for the advice. I received a phone call in which my uncle confessed to me that he had developed a drinking problem. He spent about half an hour on the phone with me in tears referencing the complications that had already occurred due to his addiction. I hung up the phone after professing my support for him, but I felt odd. I couldn't help but feel mad at him for faltering. I had always looked upon him with the utmost respect and that had now been tainted.

Regardless of my feelings I continued to show my support in him getting help. He ended up entering rehab about a week after the initial phone call and spent 30 days there where he went through a detox program as well as intensive personal and group therapy.After the end of the program , things were seemingly back to normal. However, three months later the slip up happened. My uncle took a drastic turn back to booze and wound up getting kicked out of his house by his wife and moving back in with his mom (my grandmother).

My anger after his relapse was much greater than before. I had finally lost my role model. I spent many weeks ignoring phone calls and avoiding conversations even after he went through rehab again. But one day I decided to give a conversation a chance. After a long talk I began to understand that addiction is by no means a choice. The person loses all semblance of rational thinking and the choice by many loved ones to distance themselves from the situation is anything but helpful. My uncle explained how alone he felt and how not having people to talk to made it that much harder to stay sober.

I think as a society we still think of addiction as a taboo topic. The problem with that is the lack of conversation and knowledge we have and acquire. People suffering from addiction need unconditional love and support regardless of your personal feelings. Without it successful rehab is much more difficult.  

Post #7 "This I believe..."

I believe that a person's family dynamic helps shape who they become. Growing up female by a single parent mom I saw how often times women take on the roles of men. By my father not being in my life I had to rely on my mother or other women in my family to take place in his absence. I have always had strong women in my life that have raised me. Not having a father or any male role model in my life for that matter impacted me negatively and positively as a young girl. Often times it was hard for me to build relationships with men. Even though there was a not huge presence of males in my life there were women who taught me things I needed to know, and to be a strong woman.

Seeing a single mother work to raise us without a father it began to shape my idea of males as a whole. Whenever I would see a family on television it was always the father, mother, and children. As a young girl this would make me feel sad. I felt that I was missing out on valuable moments with my father. Knowing that my family was not what society would consider the norm made me feel different. By my father not being in my life it manifested in my life in more ways than one.
I think in order for children to have the opportunity it experience a family experience people should wait a little longer to have kids. In this generation it seems that parents are becoming younger and younger. By choosing to have a child early you miss out on the opportunity  mature. You may end up having a child with someone who is not mature enough to handle it weather it be a man or a woman.
Think by having a child grow up in a two parent house hold they struggle less when they get older. Having both a mother and father puts less responsibility on older siblings. Sometimes in single parent households older children are seen as the second parent. The responsibilities place on them are that of the missing parents. Also , having two parents in the household gives children an opportunity to see how man and woman should interact with one another and crave out gender roles. Most importantly can create a lot of emotional issues.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Week 12: Fashion is worth it

Yes, I know I should talk about bigger problems, things that will make this world a better one. Well guess what? Fashion is a problem.
Fashion has been around since I can remember, The Victorian era had great dresses and corsets. Men wore heels and to be honest it was one of the most beautiful era if you ask me, fashion wise. Everything back then was very detailed. From the hat to the shoes. Most of them were hand made because technology was not advanced. Everything was beautiful. People dress to impress and express because social statues played a big part on who they were.
Now we just don't care, at least most of us don't. We don't see the point in putting an effort to get to class, or got to social functions. Most people would rather spend all day and if possible life in a pajama. As comfortable as that sound, I wouldn't waste good texture, pattern and sewing on that.
Fashion should matter, just a little bit. Think about it, If you go to an interview and your pants are two size bigger or smaller because you didn't think about it. But your employers, as the big fashion connoisseur that they are, they notice and bam, your first impression is out of the window. Sure you don't think about it now, you're probably laughing as you read this and calling it nonsense but it's true.
I know this because I have been there. At my first interview, he told me, "Next time come dress like you want this job" I went to an interview one summer in a blue short and green shirt once. Yeah, rookie mistake. I seriously didn't give it much thought since it was "just a retail job". The next day I applied again and got call in for an interview. And the same guy who interview me did it again. Anyway, I got the job but I was humiliated that I couldn't put much effort into something so simple and effortless.
We should put in just enough effort to the different social settings we are attending. By enough I mean a lot. Dress like you mean it. "You can never be overdressed and overeducated"-Oscar Wilde.
I just want the world not to go out in their pajamas all the time, I believe in being comfortable with a little effort.
Fashion is about expressing yourself. Who wouldn't want to do that. It is a beautiful thing, we should learn to appreciate it. We should all be encourage to at least pick as day or two a week to prove that fashion matter. Let's change the world one well dressed person at the time.