the pink way of life

Sunday, July 27, 2008

my body, my choice

I went grocery shopping this morning while the world was at church, and noticed a car in the parking lot covered in stickers. Upon closer examination, they were all pro-life bumper stickers. Two (maybe three?) crucifixes hung from the mirror. I believe I noticed some pro-life literature on the passenger side seat.

I parked my Obama-sticker bearing car right next to it, complete with my license plate which implores others to spay and neuter their pets.

Bad, bad.

Monday, July 7, 2008

FDA Schmeff-DA

The HPV vaccine (which can prevent cervical cancer in women) is currently under scrutiny as potentially causing severe side effects, including nausea, paralysis and death.

For the entire story, click here:
http://www.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/conditions/07/07/cervical.cancer.vaccine/index.html

I'm disheartened, but not surprised. Americans seem to think that if the FDA approves something, it must be OK. The truth of the matter is that the FDA is most likely leading us all to early graves.

Take Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH). The hormone is used in feed for cows, to both increase meat and milk production. The problem is that this hormone is found in the milk we drink, and has been linked to serious health problems in both the animals that are being treated with the *synthetic* hormone and humans. (And for those who are disgusted and/or creeped out by eating genetically modified foods ... if you drink milk, you're drinking something genetically modified unless it's certified organic or soy.) By serious health problems, I'm talking cancer.

Due to both health reasons and my general outrage of how this synthetic hormone affects the animals it's inject into, I only drink soy milk (or milk straight from the farm.) Just like I only eat free-range chickens. (Imagine 1,000 chickens shoved in your bathroom ... those are the living conditions in many mass market chicken houses. And again, they're injected with tons of hormones that aren't found naturally in any living creature.)

For anyone who thinks the FDA has a firm grip on our food and drug industries, I encourage you to read "The Jungle" (pre-FDA) and "Fast Food Nation" (how most of our food sources come to be, not just McDonald's.) I realize both of those books deal mainly with the food industry, but I think realizing how shabbily the food industry is treated is eye-opening to how they must test the drugs they shill to all Americans.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Quick update

Sorry for the posting hiatus. Unfortunately between writing FT and writing a novel, writing in my blog falls by the wayside. It's an excuse, I know. But it's what I have to offer.

The Fourth of July weekend was fairly uneventful. It was the typical Fourth ... parade, outdoor BBQ, fireworks. I spent Saturday in downtown Marietta, enjoying the quaint shops. My parents came down this morning, took me out to lunch, gave me some furniture. Right now I'm mentally preparing myself for this upcoming week.

Basically I'm forcing myself to write, because I don't have a really good topic in mind. Just wanted to update. So ... there it is.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

going home

I went home this weekend. Driving past the county line, I surprisingly found myself slowly loosening my grip on the steering wheel, with my breath coming just a bit easier. The mountain tops, gentle and sloping as they are, felt like long lost friends. Bowser, in the passenger seat, woke up from his nap and paid attention as the greenery sped toward us, a welcome sight after the skyscrapers of Atlanta.

Mom's home cooking. The cat curled up on the top front porch step. A summer breeze, just enough to make the high-80 degree weather bearable. Eavesdropping on the gossip between the two old men who sit in front of the pool room. A greasy burger and order of fries from Mr. P's (new and improved with a drive-thru!). Borrowing the truck and flying down the one-lane gravel roads. The farmers setting up at the Saturday morning market, with squash the size of your head and cabbage the size of two or even three of your heads. An early morning walk by the river.

I truly didn't appreciate this place while I was growing up, but now that I'm an adult, I feel as though I can really accept my childhood for what it was - a childhood. With a tomato and pepper patch in the backyard, with a honest-to-god scarecrow and everything. I guess every place to live has its own merits ... but I can't help but look at some of my "friends" (one of which admitted that she thought water just came magically from the water tower) and think how small their worlds really are, even though they look through their noses at me from time to time.

It's a slippery slope. Square footage wise, I guess I'm not good enough for some people.

But I know what it is to plant a seed, watch it grow, and reap the rewards with a delicious entirely homemade tomato, mozzarella, and basil salad. I know that the smell of chicken shit in the air is the smell of money. I know fresh water springs bubbling from the ground are better than any fancy bottle of water from France.

And I've finally realized that if people have a problem with that, and the place that I grew up, then those are their issues ... not mine.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

why you shouldn't vote for mccain

I'm currently working on the editorial part of one of our in-house magazines, and one of my stories involves certain stances that the presidential candidates are taking on certain issues.

The issue is a little obscure (except not really), and Obama has a frickin' nine page plan on his Web site. I must say, this is why Democrats aren't taken very seriously ... we're all pomp and no action. (I say 'we' because I am a registered Democrat, which shouldn't be confused with my political leanings.) But still, it was very helpful for my purpose. The media kit was easy to find as well, and again, helpful.

McCain had nothing on the issue, so I had to actually contact his communications/media department. No biggie. So I dial the # that is provided on his Web site. It rings ... rings ... rings.

What sounds like a surly teenage girl picks up the phone. (His daughter? Ha! I kid.) "McCain headquarters."

I explain what I need and she provides me with an E-mail address. "When is your deadline?"

I tell her. Keep in mind, this was three weeks ago and my deadline was yesterday. "Oh, we should definitely be able to accommodate that. Just put that in your E-mail."

Fine. We hang up, I shoot off an E-mail.

I believe it was the next day (again, this is three weeks ago) when I received an E-mail back. The gist? "Thanks for your request! We'll get to this in a timely manner."

A week goes by and I send off another E-mail. No response to that.

Another week goes by and I send off ANOTHER E-mail, this time a little bit pushier. No response.

Yesterday (deadline!), I send an urgent E-mail, blatantly saying that yes, I have Obama's side and we need to make this a fair and balanced piece.

I get an E-mail today (past deadline!) telling me that they receive too many requests from media outlets and won't be able to accommodate my request. But if I need their help in the future, please let them know. (!!!)

Gee, thanks. My story's going to look great with an entire full page of Obama statements and a page with some McCain pictures and canned copy.

I hope some stupid teenager that thinks s/he's got the job of a lifetime of working on McCain's campaign is told to Google his name, and this pops up, and they read how McCain's communications staff can kiss my McAss. Seriously, this makes me wonder about the "liberal" media ... maybe the media is "liberal" because the frickin' Republican party doesn't (can't?) get their information together!

Ugh.

Monday, June 16, 2008

sex and the city

So, I finally saw Sex & the City yesterday ... I felt like the only girl alive who hadn't seen it yet, but judging by the packed theater, I was mistaken.

Unfortunately, I really have nothing positive to say about it. I mean, for a piece of pure fluff, it was perfect. Did it uphold what the show was about? In some parts, yes. Other parts, not so much. Was it incredibly offensive to women? Well, it should have been. I'm sorry, but I really resent the implication that women only care about two things ... labels and love.

Labels? Oh, I do love a good Coach bag. If I ever get my hands on that gorgeous purple Prada clutch that ideeli.com was giving away, I think I could probably die and go straight to heaven. But ... I also have a real problem spending as much money on a purse or a pair of shoes as I do for rent. If I have that kind of money to throw away, shouldn't it go to a good cause? Like ... food for starving people or something?

I think if you have the money and you've worked for it, good for you! Splurge a little. I'm not saying you need to be shopping at Goodwill (although I *heart* Goodwill and any thrift store!) But it's important to give back ... something this movie didn't even touch upon. In fact, both Miranda and Samantha blatantly portrayed that for any "dirty" task they didn't want to do (such as watch their kid or unpack some moving boxes), they could just pay someone else to do it. Um, hello? Kind of wrong. It should definitely be offensive to anyone in the middle and lower classes.

And love? I'm sorry, but the entire premise of the show (especially the first four season) was that you didn't NEED a man to be happy. You didn't need a man to be complete. You can be complete on your own. Unfortunately, the movie subscribes to the same idea that women magazines push on us ... single women aren't REALLY happy ... they can't be, after all they don't have the husband and the 2.5 kids and a dog, right?

And again, I love the idea of love. I would love to be in love at some point. But if I don't happen to find that man I'm supposed to be with, should that mean that I failed at some aspect of my life? Or that any single woman who never gets married is unhappy and a failure? This, of course, brings up the same old dumb argument ... George Clooney is a handsome bachelor while older single women are old maids, people to be pitied. Kind of dumb, very cliche ... but 100% true.

The main problem with the movie, of course, is Carrie. Not only has she always been the whiny-ass bitch of the show, but she's completely irrelevant today. While I don't think the target demographic quite gets it, the point is that close-to-50-year-old women should be grown up (as should their over-50-year-old boyfriends), and not still be treating a possible wedding like a high school prom. *That* was irritating.

Women need to wake up (particularly women in their middle age) and realize that we are still second class citizens (even after three waves of feminism) instead of parading around NYC streets searching for "labels and love" to the beats of some horrific Fergie song. The four women of SATC in seasons 1-4 (at least) would have realized that. And that's what made the movie such a disappointment.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

slut girl?

I have to say that it's getting to be incredibly difficult to sit at work and write all day ... and then come home and write some more. Moving completely threw me off track! I'm trying to get back into a schedule, but it hasn't been as easy as I thought. Oh, well ... I'm just going to keep going and hopefully I'll get somewhere at some point!

That being said, I had a rather depressing moment at work today. We're working on the promotional material for a book fair this upcoming October, and I was assigned to look up some storybook characters to star in the parade of characters.

Dorothy from "A Wizard of Oz"? OK.
Curious George? Sure.
Harry Potter? No shit.

The depressing part came when I started looking into stories for older children, beginning in fourth and fifth grade, up to eighth grade. The books clearly were marketed for boys or girls. There were few in between. And that's fine ... I clearly remember Nancy Drew and The Babysitters Club, and I realize few boys would be intrigued by those books. But ... Nancy Drew and The Babysitters Club are NOT popular these days. The more mature the books became ... the more mature they LITERALLY became for girls, complete with scantily clad impossibly skinny girls gracing the covers. "Gossip Girl!" "Clique Scene!" "Prom Nights From Hell!"

I had to giggle as I said to myself that apparently Anne Frank, Jo March ... or even Elizabeth Bennett wouldn't be that popular among teen girls these days.

Of course, there are still parents and educators giving children, girls AND boys, proper reading material ... from Roald Dahl and C.S. Lewis to Madeline L'Engle and Judy Blume. But come on ... I was a teen girl. I pushed limits. I bought shirts that showed my belly button behind my mom's back. I only read Seventeen for the sex advice. And, quite honestly, I was probably the "tamest" (for lack of a better term) girl growing up. I'm fairly certain around 84% of the girls in my graduating class had an STD of some sort.

Before I left work tonight, I told this to our office manager and we were laughing. She said, "Honestly? I would've never been allowed to read "Slut Girl" ... wait, what is it called?" and we nearly collapsed from laughing. But, quite truthfully, that's not an inappropriate title for what is being marketed to our young girls ... and what's sad/scary is that society lets it happen. We even promote it by basing our movies and TV shows on these books ... and making them #1 on the charts.

With all of the sexual images everyone is bombarded with pretty much daily, why do we have to worry what our young girls read now?