Thursday, January 31, 2013

SEX AND POLITICS


politicalhumor.about.com

So my first memory of politics was in 1996. I was 9, and my mother was running for a political office.

Also, not coincidentally, my first experience campaigning.
For someone not all that familiar with the common handshake, I think I caught on quick at the Republican National Convention. (And before you close your browser, because, like, who's even a Republican anymore, this post has little to do with any party affiliation.)

4th grade that year also broke the class up into legislative and senatorial branches, and we voted on...stuff. Recess? Eraser privileges? I don't know...
I also remember it wasn't long after (1998) that Bill Cliton (did I spell that right? :)) decided he both didn't like fidelity nor honesty in the federal courts, and I figured that, well, I didn't like him much either. I wasn't exactly old enough to understand the full implications of sex (or 'sex IS'...) outside the confines of marriage, or what the public or government should or shouldn't do or ask or know about his sex life. I had no idea how much of my mommy's and daddy's tax dollars went into the time he spent cheating, or the lawyers spent defending the cheat. I didn't know much, but I knew how mad my dad got at the very idea of it all, when he rarely displayed anger towards, well, anything.

I found out later that my grandmother had some fancy-pants dance with former President (was that intro even necessary?) John F Kennedy. I heard she never liked to talk about him much, but maybe, after the fact, she might have liked him, even a little.
(I read somewhere that several other grandmothers had a similar, if not more involved, experience with the husband of Jackie Kennedy)

Mom was even set up on a blind date with George's brother Jeb Bush.
I'm still not surprised that I don't call him Daddy.

When I went away, er, no, I was still in high school, IN COLLEGE, at University of Maine Farmington, I belonged to a political chapter on campus, and we traveled. I went to a leadership conference with the rest of the 20-somethings, and my most vivid memories of it include standing one night with several other proud owners of the classic solo cup. (Most of whom have since become political organizers, leaders, writers etc.) I remember speaking with one (who was recently a PR Rep for a Congressional Candidate), and during the course of our chat, saw a neighboring friend whisper in his ear. In mid conversation, he looked at me and said "wait, you're 17? *long pause*"
Uh, yea.
He took a long drink and some nervous laughter. I quickly moved on.

I met a man that particular weekend who was a State Legislator and Senatorial candidate who seemed to like me. Older man, obviously, but he was nice and willing to help me get a job in Portland. That was a longer saga than I have time for here in a blog post, but was also enough to get me thinking. My most significant memories of politics have something to do with leaders being motivated by sex. Now, it could just be that I'm a girl, and that I (obviously?) wouldn't have any REAL interest or understanding of political policy, so why bother me with any of that.. Or it could be that sex and politics more closely coincide than we've all been lead to believe. Just imagine, how much of our political movements and laws were ultimately motivated by sex? This isn't something we hear about Abe Lincoln in the classroom OR EVEN in the theaters. It's not even on any pertaining document (that I've seen) concerning the history of Martin Luther King or Watergate or Charlemagne (what REALLY lead to his brother's death in 771 A.D.?).

For me, it caused some deafness to the sounds of an election and blindness to a ballot. The private motivating factors in a politician's life are (generally) so guarded that a Prime Time debate wouldn't even come close to fully answering how their decision making will happen for them in Office.

Or it might just seem to you like an act of revenge for me to ignore some man in a tie try and sell me his beliefs. Of course, as a girl, who (obviously?) has no real interest or place in intellectual considerations, don't you think I might have some better ways, of exacting my revenge.......?




Wednesday, January 30, 2013

ON GAY PARENTS

Yes, I'm a Christian woman, and yes, I support gay couples -- particularly gay parents.
(That first part has little to do with this actual post, except to give you, if you were looking for one, a preconceived notion).

As a mom of two beautiful baby girls (ages 3 and 1), I have several parent friends, and, several more parent acquaintances. And what I've found is that caring, attentive, intentional parenting has very little to do with money or where you live or gender of your spouse.

With that being said, and as a stay at home mom, I know that keeping kids alive, happy, moral and fed is a very draining and often thankless job. It's not for everyone. But (almost) anyone can have children! You get the right properly functioning sex organs involved, and you create humans. No written or oral (eh hem,) exam necessary. It's actually a little alarming, when you consider the fact!

I have met and seen many, many, many (and increasing amounts of) parents who "accidentally" make babies. They're bored, or lazy, or forgetful or selfish, for even just a short time, and then results in a baby.

Now, some of these parents ultimately do an amazing job! I'm not discrediting "accidental" parents, or the work and the love they put into their children. I'm really not.

I've also met couples who decide to just "go for it" and figure they'll try this whole parenting thing out, whether they'd feel the same way about it tomorrow or not. (Again, some turn out great, others change their mind and peace out before the stick turns pink).

But gay couples who want to become parents must go through a much, much more strenuous, expensive, intentional and thoughtful process before holding a child of their own. Of course, I have a much smaller sampling of gay parents in my life, but the ones that are, are by far the most thoughtful, well-prepared, stable, and secure parents that I can imagine. I'm not implying they "love" their children any more than other parents. What I am doing is building a case for the respect I have for gay couples who enter into the beautiful, but often thankless job of parenting.




Tuesday, January 29, 2013

CHEMICAL EXFOLIATION (at home on the cheap!)

I almost started this by warning that it's a "girly" post, but listen up, boys! This goes for you too. No one is immune to dead skin cells!

Ok, most of my adult life I've experimented with different types of facial scrubs - salts, sugars, beads, almond pieces, pink things, specially made face clothes and loofas. If you're like I am, and have sensitive skin, these were all bad ideas.

Eventually I read a lot of chatter about chemical exfoliants, and how great they can be for your skin. I know that Salicylic Acid (a BHA) is technically considered a (inner skin) chemical exfoliant, but it's unsafe in pregnancy and questionable while nursing, and so I wager it's not the best choice for the rest of our human bodies (a little unnerving that it is in just about every OTC acne-face wash on the shelf. Replacing benzoyl peroxide, after companies learned that it speeds up skin aging and could be cancerous). With this being said, my skin is also too sensitive for both Salicylic acid AND benzoyl peroxide.

A lot of folks are bragging about the use of AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) for chemical exfoliation, but I've never been able to find any at my local Ulta, Wal-Mart, Target, etc. AHA's include Malic, Lactic and Glycolic acid. It's just hard to come by, and when you do, be prepared to shell out some dough.

All of this changed when I encountered a natural form of Malic acid (AHA) in the form of Apple Cider Vinegar! I had tried a dab of full-test Heinz several years ago, and it burned and aggravated my skin. Then recently I read about using the REAL form of ACV: Organic, Raw, Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar -- "Bragg's Brand." It includes lots of great bacteria at the bottom of the bottle, so shake it up! The great thing about this stuff is not only that it's completely natural and relatively inexpensive (about 6 dollars a bottle), but you're in control: dilute this stuff with distilled or boiled water to a ratio your skin can tolerate, and voila! A gentle AHA available at your local grocery store.

Courtesy: http://knoji.com/


Makeup Ally has an AMAZING review section on Bragg's ACV (also great as a hair conditioner)

Bragg's Vinegar has several different uses: house cleaning, body cleansing, insulin regulating, wrinkle smoothing -- my sister even uses it to remove planter's warts on her feet :) (You're welcome, Allison)





Monday, January 28, 2013

IS ANCESTRY WORTH THE JOURNEY?

If you're like I am, you've probably spent years stalking genealogy sites online, imagining, wishing and even pretending you had the funds (or to justify using the funds?) for an account. They can get pretty steep. After all, they spent all of that time tracking down and adding all of that historical stuff that is accessible (for free) -- in person -- if you know where to go (...and if you have the funds to get there).

I guess it's like arguing the cost hike of a postage stamp. You want me to pay WHAT? 46 cents now. Really? 46 cents to take this letter, schedule a flight, take it all the way across these here United States, and have someone march it up to my chosen doorstep. And it's gonna cost, WHAT? Downright usurious!

Oh wait. Kayak wants how much? And to hire a driver? That'll be .. oh.

And so I've found a way to bow to the demands of Ancestry.com. I've gone in on buying an account with my equally curious relative. (Sure there are less expensive versions, but, well, you get what you pay for. Other sites have slightly less to offer, and/or only include family information from smaller samplings (say, Europe, and not the entire planet).)

I've discovered some incredible information about my family. For instance, I've always known we had writers, editorialists, printers for The Crown, columnists, etc within the family. But I always had this ethereal image in my head. Being a printer for the King of England, to me, meant that we had some type of pampered royal heritage. Much to my surprise, I found my great-great-great-grandparent's census record read that they lived in the most notoriously depraved Workhouse in London. So disparaging, in fact, that the first Medical Journal "The Lancet" published a "tell all" type of document on the horrors and overall condition of the place. (Published a couple of years after the record I found confirming my family's residence there).
Think, Oliver Twist.

Conversely, I also discovered the Saint Pancras Old Church of Middlesex County, London, England, where great-great-great grandparents John Messeder and Ann O'Dell got married on October 9, 1854. Seeing these pictures makes it all worth it.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

ISN'T THAT REDUNDANT?

Oh, it definitely is. I won't begin to pretend that the name of my blog is creative or makes sense. What it is and was is available. That was probably my main priority in picking out a workable name for this particular piece of (dare I call it) literature.

It's redundancy is even just a little ironic, and also has the word "water" in it, so those were also two primary features that I liked. It pretends to be unique, as watermarks often beg it's host to become, so there you have it. I named a blog. And if you don't expect too much from me, you might not be let down ("Hey Jealousy" by the Gin Blossoms - credit where credit is due).