Why I Won’t Do the Ice Bucket Challenge

The title should be self-explanatory. Do I think this makes me a terrible person?  No, but it probably makes you think I am and I doubt if you’ve already reached that preconceived notion about me solely on a blog title, that you even know me well enough that I would care about your opinion about me. I have not been nominated for it, probably because my friends know I would ignore it and not even care about paying the $100. I don’t have $100 to give every charity that needs help. I hope someday I do have a lot of money that I could spread across to all kinds of charities, but until then I have to pick.

Call me a cynic and blast me with hate comments, but we are all about viral trends in America. Sadly, right now ALS is the “charity du jour”. I can’t deny the amount of money it has raised for charity, but what happens when the trend stops? They will start struggling again while another trend will take waves. I hate to compare it to “planking”, but let’s be honest in that it will be forgotten as quickly as it spread. I don’t mean to take away from those people who did it, kudos to you for raising awareness. But in most of the videos, there was no mention that it was for ALS or even a place to send donations. How does that help spread in the awareness of a very serious disease? “Tuesdays With Morrie” had more of an effect on me wanting change than watching people dump ice on themselves. Also a note: I have only actually watched 2 videos. My brother’s and the one where the woman pulled out papers to protest this idea rather than actually dumping water on herself.

During this whole thing, the Jimmy Fund Telethon did its usual marathon to raise money to help the Dana Farber  Cancer Institute to help fight cancer and raised just over $3 million dollars. While people were dumping ice on themselves, this charity needed money. My cousin every year tries to raise money for awareness for TSC (Tuberous sclerosis), a disease that I had never even heard of until she started fighting for the cause and her family. (Shameless plug to help her out: http://giving.tsalliance.org/site/TR?px=1001886&fr_id=1122&pg=personal) I hope that helps her cause and I hope they don’t need a “take a swim in pudding” video to get the awareness that this cause does so desperately need.

We shouldn’t be made to feel guilty for not participating. I loyally give to the Jimmy Fund every year, in some way or another, and I don’t have much else to give. I take part in the Relay for Life. I have donated my time at a soup kitchen. I don’t need to splash my good deeds around to make myself feel good. The fact that I did something is enough for me. It’s the little things that you do in your daily life to make a difference some place that matters, not whether you dumped ice on yourself. If my son chooses to do it, will I discourage him? No, it’s his choice and it makes him feel like he’s making a difference in the world. I have no right to judge him for doing it anymore than you have the right to judge me for not. If it makes you feel good, then you should do it. Just make sure that you are doing it to raise awareness by spreading the word about what it’s for and where to send the money and not just do it because someone dared you to.

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All About Random Stuff

My head is swirling with all the stuff all over the news and otherwise. And what better place to air that swirling than right here with my readers. Don’t worry, next week we will be able to get started on the grand reveal of the house. I’m really just waiting for my resident photographer to not be working crazy overtime to get nice shots for you guys. Until then, you’re stuck with my rant of randomness for the day.

1) Can women have it all?: This has been a debate that has been going on for a while in the news. I ignored it at first as a ridiculous ploy to rile up the masses of my fellow gender. Can women have it all? Absolutely not, at some point something has to give. Even now as I’m currently trying to write this, following my dreams of writing, I am half watching my son to make sure that he is safe but half uninvolved because I can only multitask so much. The question isn’t whether women can have it all; the real question is “can anyone have it all?”. Which again I answer with: “absolutely not”. We can have pieces of it all, but you can’t fully be invested in everything. Does that make you a terrible person? No, it makes you just like the rest of us humans that are struggling to juggle family, home, and career aspirations. That does not mean you should have to choose between any of the above, it just means that you’re splitting yourself into pieces and not having it fully all to yourself. That is why I stand by my “no one can have it all: no man, woman, or child” stance.

2) It’s all in God’s plan: (I will probably let a few obscenities slip through with the next 2 rants. It’s passion, not anger. Okay, maybe a little anger.) Whenever there’s a tragedy, people always say “don’t worry, it’s God’s plan”. I’m sorry, but if it’s God’s plan to take an innocent life away, than I want nothing to do with that God. This is why I send my child to CCD without actually attending church myself. I understand that some people take it as comforting, but do not try this line on me because it will likely anger me into a rant of how “religion only exists for the people who need something to cling onto and I’m not someone who needs lies to cling to” which will just make me into an even more unlikable human being. The real truth is something bad shit happens to good people. I’ve dealt with my fair share of bad shit, and you know what? There are 2 types of people in the world: the type that uses tragedy as a teachable lesson to help them grow into strong people or the ones who dwell on it and try to make sense of the nonsensical. There is no answers to tragedies. We don’t know why that kid decided to shoot down that school. We don’t know why our kid got cancer and the neighbor next door that’s a terrible person lives to be 110. Unfortunately when it’s your time, it’s your time. Like they say: “a person walks out of the hospital being cured of cancer and gets hit by a car and dies.” Bad things are inevitable. That just means you need to cherish all the good things in your life even more, because gratitude for all the good will make up for the bad.

3) Need versus Choice: I keep struggling with my ideals on what “need” is, in terms of people who need assistance and help. Not just from the financial aspect of the government, but also in general. People might disagree and I know I have stated this before but I really need to reiterate this point. A person in need is deserves all the help they can get. A person in need is someone who just has the world crapping on them no matter what. They spend all day looking for a job to no avail. They sweep backrooms of bakeries under the table for a few dollars to get something in. They are trying all the career training and temp searches they possibly can to get something, anything to provide for their family and themselves and have no luck in life. That is a person in need. A person who just doesn’t feel like doing anything and wants to sit back and let the government pay them is not someone in need. That is someone who chooses a lifestyle of poverty. A person in need deserves my sympathy and empathy. A person in choice neither deserves nor will get any pity at all because while I believe some people just have shit luck (I am one of those people), you can try your hardest to fight against that luck. And sometimes you do get lucky. Even if you’re flipping burgers at Burger King to provide insurance and income into your family, there’s no shame in doing whatever it takes to provide for your family.

4) Our America: I have always love the “Our America with Lisa Ling” series on OWN. The episode on foster kids that I finally watched last night tugged at me like nothing else has in a while. You should find it On Demand or whatever and watch it. It immediately made me want to hug all those other kids, which is amazing since I’m not really a “kid person” let alone a “people person”. (Yes, I’m aware I have 2 children, but it’s much different when they’re your own.) Though true to myself, it made me want to hit the abusive stepfather that let the stepchildren see has he abused their mother repeatedly. The poignant line of the night came from the mother, who had lost her kids because the stepfather basically kidnapped one of the kids and she pulled a gun out on him trying to protect herself and her family: “I learned from those classes that even though he only abused me, he was putting another kind of abuse on my kids by making them watch. They learn from that. I learned to be careful who I associate with when my kids see me. Because they learn from that.”

1050 words later, and I have completed my rants. Thank you for reading and feel free to share your thoughts.

The Art of Making Up Your Mind

I can’t seem to shake the theme of conflicting beliefs that people have. People stand around preaching tolerance, but only with people who agree with them. People make bold statements of absolution, unwavering to any reason or arguments that may help them consider that they might be wrong. It’s this same unwavering absolution that has created the mockery of government that exists in America today.
So let’s talk about marriage then. Marriage is a union between two people who are in love and want to spend forever (or until they can’t stand each other anymore) together. They would like to tell you that this is a religious union, blessed by God and so on. They’re lying to you. Marriage is really a legally binding contract between two people who either love each other enough to be married for a certain amount of time or until each party gets what they want out of the deal until which case they either die married or go to lawyers to undo the union. I usually express disdain for marriage, as part of it brings out the inner feminist in me but mostly because for such a right we have, they make sure to tell people who they can marry all the time. I accept this fact. I even admit frequently that I would’ve stayed forever engaged to my husband if it weren’t for the fact he had great insurance and we were paying double the insurance for each of us individually. But again, this shows the legally binding contract between two people.
Which brings me to the point. States are considering a law requiring couples to take classes about marriage before allowing them to get marriage licenses. Before, people were required to take blood tests to get married. There are people against this, on the argument that marriage is a right we all have and the government has no right in this realm. These same people also argue against gay marriage on the grounds of religious and moral beliefs. If the government has no say, how come you need them for a marriage license and to dissolve the marriage?
I’m okay with this. Too many people go into marriage and expect it to magically work without any effort. They assume a partnership is a partnership and everything will be okay. Marriage takes work, some more than others. I also think making people get a parenting license before procreation is a great idea because of how many terrible parents out there, so maybe I’m skewed. The reality is there is a high divorce rate and that needs to be addressed somehow. I’m not opposed to divorce. I’m not going to say that divorce ruins children’s lives or that children that grow up in single family homes are screwed for life, because I don’t believe that. The arguing of parents are more harmful than a divorce, in my opinion. One major reason reason for divorce, after money, is conflicting beliefs that couples don’t think matter until after the fact or children are in the picture. Maybe classes before marriage isn’t a bad idea.

Beliefs for All

Today is Martin Luther King Day. This was a man who was strong in his convictions and had beliefs that helped change America today. My post today has nothing to do with this. In fact, when inspiration hit me I didn’t even consider what today was. This post may seem a bit contradictory at times, but I’ll risk it anyways and hope that it makes sense. When I was younger and attending religious classes to make my Confirmation, I was put in a place of personal moral dilemmas. They were telling me about how homosexuality was a sin, but I didn’t believe it. They couldn’t tell me that God was infallible but yet made a mistake in people I believed he created. Now, I tell my son who is attending religious classes that being a good Catholic means two things: question everything and only God is allowed to pass judgement. It isn’t our place. Luckily, he listened.

We all have different beliefs. If we didn’t,  this world would be such a boring place. Our beliefs is what makes us do what we do. One of our biggest problems in America is also our best asset and it’s all about beliefs. Our country was founded on a belief of freedoms to be who we are without the government persecuting us. So you might ask, “I agree that our biggest asset is that we believe, but how is this our downfall?” I’ll tell you why. Because we live in a place of intolerance of people who don’t share our beliefs. Because we live in a place where laws are made based on beliefs that can seem to oppress people. This is where beliefs are a downfall.

I believe that your beliefs shouldn’t dictate my life. I might not agree with people posting sonogram pictures or bath pictures on social media. I believe these are personal and private and the latter is fodder for pedophiles. This doesn’t mean I have a right to tell you that you’re wrong and shouldn’t do it. The great thing about America is we can disagree and it’s okay with us. It’s not our place to judge. My beliefs shouldn’t dictate how you live your life.

This is where the post might become a little contradictory. I believe we have freedoms. I believe that people should be treated as people, no matter how they look or love. I believe what a person does with their body is their own business. Should what I believe be common beliefs? Maybe, but it’s not. We have freedoms though. And amongst those freedoms is that all people have certain unalienable rights and the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It doesn’t say, “except if you’re gay or a minority” at the end of that. So where does a belief have the exception to become a law over someone else’s beliefs? When you consider these unalienable rights that were written by those brave men that created our government because they wanted a place that was better than the state of oppressions they lived in before. They wanted better for us as we want better for our generations to come.

We do pick and chose what beliefs lead to laws in America. I think what makes this right or wrong is what was written in those documents we love to think we follow. We don’t. They would probably spin in their graves if they saw the state of oppression that we currently live. They wanted a land where religion wasn’t a cause to oppress another. They wanted us to be free people. They wanted a place where the government stayed small and not small enough to fit in our bedrooms or female reproductive systems. They wanted people who obeyed the law to live free without worrying about someone coming after them. They wanted a land where people could have a better life. And we have lost that somewhere along the way.

This Week’s Happenings

There was a few items in the news that I didn’t have the will or ability to focus an entire blog edition on. So like usual, I compiled them for one post of its own. They aren’t important news tidbits, mostly random discussions on Pop Culture related topics. Enjoy this week’s happenings.

  1. The Death of “Glee”. With the death of the real life “Finn Hudson” Cory Monteith, I wonder what’s left in “Glee” for me. I enjoyed the show, because the lovingly dubbed “Frankenteen” was adorably dumb and bumbling and I really enjoyed him and Rachel. I don’t mourn his death, and that’s probably terrible. I feel bad for his loved ones, but I didn’t know him as more than a character on a television show. Most people would take this moment to go on a debate about drugs and whether or not you feel bad if an addict OD’s, but that’s not what this is about. I think “Glee” should consider the possibility of killing Finn off in the same manner to use it as a teachable lesson, though most people might think that this means they are profiting of the death of a main character. They would be silly, because they show is already going to profit off of the death with those people who love the macabre that will watch the show to see what the writers do about this. Also, I have no reason to watch this show since both Finn and Britney are gone and those were the only real reasons to watch the show without Shue or Emma being main characters. Half the fun was also all the hair and sweater/sweater vest jokes that Sue would toss towards Shuester, so I’m pretty much done with that show.
  2. Royal Baby Mania. I don’t get it. Okay, I sort of get it. Kate Middleton is a smiley, lovable ball of commoner turned royal. She’s the epitome of the tales we grew up with. She’s Cinderella, well, if Cinderella were rich before finding Prince Charming and marrying him. She’s down to earth and seems to genuinely care about people. I admire her as a human being, but I can’t say I want an app on my phone to let me know that the royal heir is born. I don’t follow her wardrobe though I admit seeing pictures of some of her outfits sometimes and think “I wish I could afford that”. Maybe I’m missing the allure of this love of the Royals.
  3. “The Purge”. I’ve seen this movie recently and it was a decent movie, not great but decent. I admit that I definitely thought about the premise and considered my own “purge” list. No actual person I know, but I’ll share the list: Justin Beiber, the people responsible for the reason why TV shows and commercials have such a volume difference, and whomever made the decision for Entemann’s to stop making that delicious blueberry coffee cakes.

Enjoy this terrible heat and weekend.

 

Random Musings From BooBoos to Another Plan

The best thing about weekends aren’t just the family time with my boys that I enjoy. It’s getting to sit around and listen to the current events so on Monday, I can run a nice commentary on. From the incredibly joy of headlines, and face-palming at others, Mondays are a day when I can share them with you. I admit, some of my comments today will be silly and childish, but sometimes things bring that out in me.

1) Not the Biebs! I have a soft spot for reading celebrity news. Sometimes you  just need the mindless crap those type of stories come across. Imagine my squealing with glee when I read the headline “Bieber was attacked!” I know, that might make me sound like a horrible person. I decided to stop making Bieber jokes a while back, after a Jimmy Fund girl had been treated very kindly by him. I changed my mind not too long after, deciding that based on actions and the way he presented himself, that a kind act can be forgotten if you’re a spoiled rotten and entitled brat. So seeing that he was attacked delighted me in such a way, until I discovered that he was merely poked or something similarly painless. I don’t want the kid dead, but I certainly think anyone who behaves as he allegedly behaves, could benefit from a little rough up. It builds character.

2) How about a “Plan C”? In the middle of crisis, we sure know how to put things in perspective and get our priorities straight. They have recently made Plan B accessible by 15-year-old girls. People are opposed this because “abortion is wrong” and “15-year-olds shouldn’t have sex anyways”. Let’s ignore the facts that “Plan B isn’t an abortion drug” or “15-year-olds are having sex anyways”. Or that so many people are morally outraged they teach sex-ed in schools or tried to make condoms accessible in the nurse’s office or hand them out to students. How’s teaching abstinence only working out? Oh right, it’s not otherwise 15-year-old girls wouldn’t need Plan B. Maybe we should consider educating our children properly so maybe we can reduce the amounts of “oops”, and there wouldn’t be as much of a need to make this medication accessible to kids.

3) World’s Most Eligible Bachlorette is no more. I tried to watch Honey Boo Boo once and I’m going to be completely honest here: I wanted to bash my head against a wall repeatedly in hopes that it’d dumb me down so much that I would understand what was going on. When I saw on the news that her mother got married, all I could think of was “really, that’s news? A dumb redneck married another dumb redneck, but it’s ok because they exploit their daughter and profit from it so this whole thing is newsworthy?” Sure, I detest her because her family is full of white trash you think really only exists in crappy movies and that’s how they are edited on television. Maybe they have some sort of intelligence, realizing that people enjoy watching stupid people do stupid things.

What is “offensive”?

I wonder if I was too harsh in Friday’s post, though it’s not a statement of whether or not I should apologize for it. I shouldn’t apologize for it, nor should I have to. I stand by every bit of what I said. I worried that people would be offended when I posted it, but I did it anyways. I realized a long time ago if someone gets offended, it has more to do with their own thoughts than my own. I feel that insecurity may directly affect what someone deems “offensive”.

If someone mentioned that I have gained weight, I do get upset. It’s not because of what the person said, they were merely observing something. I get upset because I’m insecure about my weight since the baby fat is not coming off as quickly it did the first time. If someone said “your hands are short and stubby”, I nod in agreement. They are small, little chubby things that I just accept. I do bite my nails and I can’t seem to get over teenage acne. I accept certain things and notice that I easily take offense to the things I do get insecure about. I don’t think I’m special; I do think I’m not the only one.

I also believe in standing by what you say. Never say something you don’t mean, no matter what. Did I agree with what Chris Culliver from the 49’ers said? Absolutely not, I think those comments were ignorant and hateful. Should he have apologized that people took offense? Probably, but he said it and should’ve stuck by it. I wouldn’t agree with him or respect what he said, but at least I wouldn’t look at him like he needed to grow a pair. Being hateful was his business and as much as it pains me to say this, he has a right to believe what he wants. Doesn’t mean I have to agree with it, but it’s his right.

So what is offensive? That’s everyone’s question. What’s offensive is what someone believes is offensive, whether we agree with it or not. I can’t tell someone that my thoughts on anything isn’t offensive just because I don’t think it is. Though, I’m very certain I say offensive things all the time. I cringe every time my son says “that’s offensive”, but he has a point with the ridiculous things he says is offensive (and he says it jokingly, he isn’t actually offended). I think that we’re becoming wussier every generation. All you ever hear is “____ is offended by _____”. The Christians are offended by a mosque being built nearby, Atheists are offended by the mangers. People are offended a white male pretended he was Jamaican except for people from Jamaica. Everyone is magically all of a sudden offended by everything. There are things that are rightfully considered offensive, like children being abused in any manner and racism/sexism/anything derogative. But seriously, everyone really just needs to take a step back and chill out a little. Life’s too short to sweat the small stuff.