Monday, May 24, 2010

I consider this the real drug problem

Yesterday, at our end of year Sunday school celebration, the following was read. Plenty of people laughed and or/clapped. I did not. I usually try to just keep my mouth shut about this kind of thing but some days the pro spanking I am exposed to builds up the point that I must blog or burst. Here is the piece:

God Bless the Parents Who Drugged us!
The other day, someone at a store in our town read that a methamphetamine lab had been found in an old farmhouse in the adjoining county and he asked me a rhetorical question,"Why didn't we have a drug problem when you and I were growing up? "I replied: I had a drug problem when I was young: I was drug to church on Sunday morning. I was drug to church for weddings and funerals.I was drug to family reunions and community socials no matter the weather. I was drug by my ears when I was disrespectful to adults.I was also drug to the woodshed when I disobeyed my parents, told a lie, brought home a bad report card, did not speak with respect, spoke ill of the teacher or the preacher, or if I didn't put forth my best effort in everything that was asked of me.I was drug to the kitchen sink to have my mouth washed out with soap if I uttered a profane four-letter word. I was drug out to pull weeds in mom's garden and flower beds and cockleburs out of dad's fields.I was drug to the homes of family, friends, and neighbors to help out some poor soul who had no one to mow the yard, repair the clothesline, or chop some firewood; and, if my mother had ever known that I took a single dime as a tip for this kindness, she would have drug me back to the woodshed.Those drugs are still in my veins; and they affect my behavior in everything I do, say, and think.They are stronger than cocaine, crack, or heroin; and, if today's children had this kind of drug problem, America would be a better place~Author unknown

  • My first problem with this is grammatical. Intentional bad grammar, even if it is trying to make a point I agree with, makes me cringe.
  • Of course the glaring thing is the "drug to the woodshed". Glorifying spanking is bad enough but the image of a child being dragged kicking and screaming to a shed where they will be beaten with an object makes me stomach roil.
  • Washing the mouth out with soap. So very wrong and potentially dangerous. I know from my days of soap making ( and stupidly leaving chocolate soap out on the counter to cure) that it's not pretty when a kid ingests soap. There are so many gentle ways to deal with swearing ( the first of which being, if you don't want your kid to say a word, never let them hear YOU say it). If a parent really feels a kid's mouth needs cleaned out for cursing, have the kid brush and floss. The dentist will love it.
  • Why shouldn't a kid accept a tip for helping someone out? My kids help people out all the time ( without being dragged into it, or hit into fear of not doing it) and I leave it to them to accept or refuse rewards.
  • Beating a kid for a bad report card? I bet that sure taught all the dyslexic kids.
  • Beating a kid for speaking ill of a teacher or preacher? Because we would never want a kid reporting wrongdoing on the part of authority figures.
This was followed the same morning by a child being offered the chance to go somewhere with me, with the threat that the child "would get spanked" for misbehaving for me. The child chose not to go with me ( of course!) and I privately told the parent that if I know a child will be spanked for misbehaving for me, I will not tell them if their child misbehaves. I DO think it's wrong to undermine parental authority but I think it would be a greater wrong to be party to a child being hit.
I look at my kids, my difficult, brilliant, combative kids, and know kids do not need to be hit to grow up awesome. Kids need love, rules, expectations, and affirmation. The real drug that would make America a better place is kids full to the brim with the knowledge that their parents will never hurt them, will calmly and gently lead them back into line when they falter, and believe that they want to make the right choices.

Friday, May 21, 2010

"How Not to Look Old" by Charla Rupp

I got this out of the library at the recommendation of a friend, and spent most of my sick day yesterday thumbing through it ( while, you New Who fans may find amusing, watching an episode with Lady Cassandra in it). While I am glad I checked this out of the library I would not buy it. I am absolutely sure those people with a decent ( above working poor) income would have no problem following Rupps "low maintenance" guidelines. Even I can manage most of them. But while Rupp talks about wanting to democratize anti aging, it just doesn't take into account that some of us CAN'T visit a colourist even once a year, can't afford to have a regular hairstylist ( I finished the chapter on bangs almost ready to cut myself some...but the last time I scraped together enough money for a haircut ( about a year ago) and took in a picture of Eve Miles to try to get just the look I wanted, it was an Epic Fail. I can't afford Fail. I can't even afford Win most of the time. It also assumes, again wrongly in the case of people like me, that you can afford all first owner clothes.
It's not all bad. For most hair and skin products she gives at least a few that are in just about any one's range. I already use Garnier Nutrisse and it seems to stand up well to the triple figure products.
However, I did walk away with a few priorities to work on as I scrape together the money here and there.
1) Ditch the dark lip colours, as they are aging. Personally I use only Burt's ( or other naturals)on my lips ( as opposed to her recces) and luckily I even have a coupon for that.
2) I really, really need a couple pieces of Spanx. As if I needed a book to tell me that!
3) I should try, occasionally, to wear something other than sneakers. (Although I nerdily submit the Chucks don't count as "gym shoes". Now I just need to score a pair, hopefully in red). And I don't mean to wear work boot instead.
4) I need to stop lining my eyes like a chav.

I do plan to break the "go lighter, and use natural colours" rule when it comes to hair.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Mark Atkin's "Princess of Mars".

Last night, due to the wonder of streaming Netflix, Brian and I watched a recent movie adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs "A Princess of Mars"; for those of you not in the know, the first book in his widely known "John Carter of Mars "series.
This movie, directed and re-written by Mark Atkins, stars Anthony Sabato Jr as John Carter and Traci Lords as Dejah Thoris. The multi tasking of the director and the casting decisions
tell you right from the start that this will be a quality film.
The movie starts with some beautiful shots of what I think must be Bronson Canyon. As you may guess, I am no stranger to panoramic shots of Bronson Canyon.
It goes downhill from there, with the introduction of John Carter, Special Ops agent in Afghanistan, who after a head wound has his avatar transported to Mars 216, orbiting Alpha Centauri. I can almost forgive them for updating him from Civil War soldier; it is the least of the sins this movie commits.
We are introduced to a skinny blond Dejah Thoris who is 5 years older than I am. Even though I am not that much younger, I still would have made a better Dejah Thoris, and I can't act. I have some curves, too, which all of us who grew up on Frazetta interpretations know the Princess has also. Black hair. Curves. Not Traci Lords.
I am especially disappointed as a woman who grew up brunette and curvy, told by Hollywood that wasn't good enough but in Burroughs, for all his political incorrectness and chivalric attitudes, presented heroines that were more like me than any movie.
The Tharks? I am tempted to say, " they couldn't have done the Tharks any worse" but, somebody would take that as a challenge.
All in all, this movie may be one of the worst movies I have watched to the end. Which makes it better than that movie with the Nazi zombies at the ski resort, but not by a huge amount. This is why I knit and crochet while I watch least that hour and a half was not
completely wasted.

Monday, May 17, 2010

If you give a mouse a burial

If your kid finds a dead mouse in the backyard, you will have to dig a hole.
While you're digging the hole, you'll think "I need to plant that jalapeno plant I bought two weeks ago".
You decide to give the mouse's death meaning by using the same hole.
If you're now planting a jalapeno there, as well as a dead mouse, you will want to add some compost.
If you're digging out compost anyway, you decide you might as well turn all the compost over.
Once you have all this in the ground, your kid will want to say a prayer.
While he's saying the prayer, he'll decide a $1 store Halloween decoration gravestone is a better marker than a pepper plant.
And if your son decides to mark the grave with a $1 store Halloween gravestone, your daughter will make the mouse a cross out of sticks and yarn

How NOT to say no to your preteen daughter

A few weeks ago in the car, on the way home from Knit Night, Olivia asked me; "After the show, can I cut my hair really short and dye it bright pink?". This is a point where many parents would have just said no. I did not, for two reasons:
1) It's just hair. Unlike, say, my husband, I don't really care what they do with it if it's clean and combed.
2) Since my kids have inherited my personality, I know that saying know is the surest way to get my kids to want to do something more is to tell them no.

So instead I say, "A haircut costs about $20, and a strip and dye kit costs about $15. How are you going to pay for that?"

After a moment's silence she asks me , "If I grow my hair until Halloween, can I dye it black?".

That I can afford.