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Shades of Grey

18 Feb

I am so over hearing about what a horrible risk the 50 Shades of Grey movie is for the values of America and how God is going to smite me if I go see this depraved, women hating perversion of a movie. Let me just preface this as saying that I have not seen the movie, nor do I plan to while it is in the theaters because, A, the movies are never as good as the books50-shades-of-grey-sortie-soiree-paris-sadomasochiste are and I just don’t want to ruin it for myself and, B, I refuse to pay that much to see a movie anymore. However, I have read the books so I am not like most of the people who are commenting on this topic without any frame of reference.  Let me also preface this by saying that I am a survivor of rape and domestic violence so the subject of both is particularly sensitive to me.
50 Shades of Grey is NOT the second coming of the Antichrist. It is not a violence laden book written to exploit women or to glorify rape or non-consensual sex. It is a story of a young couple who participates in premarital sexual relations, something that regardless of whether it is right or wrong goes on thousands of times a day every day in this world. It is a story of a women who loses her virginity to a man who enjoys having control. It is a story of a womans sexual awaking, her personal sexual revolution if you will, her discovery of what pleasures her and what she finds enjoyment in. She enters into this arrangement fully aware of her choices and the consequences of them.
Now, I am not an expert on the BDSM lifestyle although I do know a little about it. I know that there are people in the BDSM community who detest this movie and the books because it is not an accurate depiction of the lifestyle. This may be completely true, I’ve never known of any Dom/Sub that actually went through with a legally binding contract like Christian and Ana do in the story. What I do know is that true BDSM is never abuse; it is always consenting and everyone that I have ever had the chance of meeting from within this community goes to great strides to ensure the safety and enjoyment of all involved. If the truth be told, although the person in the submissive role has chosen to enter this role on their own it is the submissive who holds the control of the situation at all times, with a simple word or gesture all play can and does come to an end until the submissive is again comfortable with the situation.
Today, I read an article on line in which Olympian Lolo Jones goes to great strides to blast the film and books as well as members of the BDSM lifestyle. I applaud Ms. Jones for having the moral fortitude to remain a virgin in this day and time but for her to take to social media and basically shame an entire group of people, well, way to not cast the first stone there. She is quoted from her Twitter feed as having said, “…God didn’t create sex for that purpose…”. Ok, so since you and God are on a daily speaking scheduled, what did he create sex for? Procreation would be the standard answer and yes, you would be correct, it was created for procreation but I somehow doubt that the Lord created this act expecting us to never find some pleasure in it, otherwise our bodies would not have been designed to experience an orgasm. So, my thought process is that if he created us to feel orgasms and planned for us to enjoy the act of sex then why would he frown upon our exploration of such an act and what brings us pleasure?
There is nothing wrong with basic “vanilla” sex and if this is what you enjoy then bravo, however, there is also absolutely nothing wrong with exploring all avenues of sex, weather it be the addition of watching a porn video as foreplay to adding a few toys to the mix to exploring your darker side with some role playing or a little bondage. If you discover though the course of this exploration that something does not tickle your fancy then there is no harm in having found out but to go your entire life wondering what it would be like to experience something and then miss out on the chance to discover something that would bring you some pleasure, well, that to me is a travesty.
Basically, what it boils down to is what happens between two consenting adults in the privacy of their home (or in an accepting safe environment) is between them and no one else. It is never anyone’s place to pass judgment on what someone decides to do, even if it is something that you yourself find abhorrent. There is but one judge in this world and he died on a cross some 2000 years ago so until you learn how to walk on water keep your sanctimony and your hands to yourself.

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An Homage to Autumn

22 Sep

Fall has arrived.239-sun-through-leaves

Well, almost; its close enough really to get me in the spirit.  This is, after all, my most favorite time of year.  I can practically smell the wonderfulness that is fall; I can feel the crisp air in my bones.  I wait all year for this and finally it is here.

What are a few more lingering warm days of summer when the state fair is less than a week away?  Hay rides and hoodies are waiting for me in the weeks to come.  Hot cocoa and the sound of leaves crunching beneath my feet are just within reach.

Soon, everywhere I look I will see the familiar comfort of orange and browns all around me.  It will be time to pack away the tank tops (and, dare I say flip flops) in exchange for long sleeves and socks that will bring me back to the cozy reminders of long distant childhood memories.  Any day now I will smell the inviting scents of that miraculous time of year, the delicious smells of cinnamon and pumpkin, turkey and yams.  Even more familiar the musty smell of damp barnyards and the sweet smell of fresh cut hay as it is baled for the upcoming winter.

Soon, it will be hay rides and pumpkin patches, festivals and parades, laughter and bittersweet memories of the once lush and lazy summer that has morphed into the fresh promise of new beginnings.

Ahh, autumn, my old friend…you have come back to me at last.

Whatever became of the Goose and the Gander?

23 Feb

Yesterday, while at work, I got into a conversation with my co-worker (a debate was more like it).

As usual my first task when I came in that morning was to check the news feed on yahoo and see what was going on in the world and I spotted a story about how the number 1 deadbeat dad had been caught and was being brought to justice.  Just like with any story it was the reader comments that frustrated me more than the story and this one was no exception.  It seems that this dad had racked up 1.2 million dollars in back child support and penalties and interest…..all in only 11 years time.  The comments this time seemed almost to err on the side of some common sense; most seemed to be from fathers who had been on the short end of the stick when it comes to child support and custody but there was one that caught my attention, a father who had been paying $700/wk until he was able to petition the courts for custody due to the mothers drug habit and then the courts ordered the mom to pay $41/mo which she did exactly twice.  Several readers made the connection that he was paying $2800/mo in support and, rightly so, that it doesn’t cost $2800/mo to raise a child.  But one woman took it upon herself to show her ass,

“I’m sorry have you tried raising a kid these days. I have two kids from my ex husband and i can guarantee you that after all the cost are added up by the time they turn 18 it will well exceed 1.2 million. you have to factor in clothing, cost of living in an apt or house, food, school activities, after school activities, not to mention college costs….”

This was when all hell broke loose in the office because my co-worker (who is a “single” mother of 2 – she has been living with her long-term boyfriend for the last 4 years, one of which doesn’t pay his support order and the other has recently petitioned the courts for custody) agreed with this woman.  Now, my future hubby is the father of 2 kids from previous relationships; his current order of support for both kids, when paid in full from each weeks payroll, leaves him exactly $125/wk.  Now, in all fairness, he does have back support that he owes and is trying to pay this amount off and there is an arrears amount factored into this weekly payment, but be that as it may, nobody can support himself on $125/wk and the courts will not revisit the matter, they will only tell him that he needs to find a better job or find a part-time job to work (which is hard to do with the job he currently works) but he is making the attempt which, granted, is more than some do.  I won’t go into how the child support/family courts system is so totally backwards, behind the times, screwed up in this blog, this is not the time or the place; I will save these for a future blog.  What I will go into is the sense of entitlement that we as a society feel we are due. entitlementprograms

My coworker explained to me that she doesn’t feel comfortable letting her children just play in the neighborhood, riding their bikes to friends homes or up to the rec center (from the looks of a lot of neighborhoods she must be the only person who is uncomfortable with this notion since the streets are littered with children who are just running a muck doing as they wish and in a lot of cases breaking the law, but again, this is a topic for another time).  So, she places her children in dance and karate and soccer to give them something to do after school.  Now, I have no problem with these kinds of activities and while I grew up my entire life and was never once a member of a scout troop or a team or class and I was just fine, but I know I would have liked to have been in a dance class or soccer but at the end of the day, these are not a necessity, they are a want and as long as the child’s needs are being met, that is ultimately what is important.   School activities, after school activities, college cost, none of these things are even promised to a child who has two parents who stay married their entire life so why are they suddenly, not only promised, but guaranteed to a child whose parents divorce along the way?

Another story on yahoo spoke of how the DMV in North Carolina plans on marking future drivers license with a pink bar and the phrase “NO LAWFUL STATUS”  and distributing these to illegal immigrants who are here under Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.  Lots of people are up in arms that this will be akin to the big scarlet A on their records.  The glorious ACLU has taken issue with the program saying,

“North Carolina should not be making it harder for aspiring citizens to integrate and contribute to our communities by branding them with a second-class driver’s license.”

My coworker took issue with this story since she is an immigrant (although she is here legally).  She agreed with one of people interviewed in the article that said, “”We just want to be able to get a job and drive to work…”  My coworker proceeded to tell me how she was working here when she was 14, using her mothers name and papers to get a job since she was not legally old enough to work, so that she could help her father and older sister and brother support their family of 10.  She told me that her mother would take her paycheck each week and she would only get $50 most weeks with the rest going to help pay bills.  I wanted to tell her that if her parents hadn’t had more children than they could afford to care for she wouldn’t have had to do that and while I applaud her parents for not taking government aid like most would have, I still have to revisit the having more children than you can afford issue.    But, at the end of the day if they are here illegally and they didn’t come through the proper channels, then they are not due any special privileges, especially when they are more of a drain on the system then they ever contribute towards it.

Even in my own personal life I am subjected to people who feel that sense of entitlement.  Last night my honey and I went to the local VFW post to have a few drinks and sing some karaoke with some friends.  Now, if you have not been to a VFW recently, it is an organization that is welcome to anybody and during the daytime hours most of them have a section that is open to family events or post events that members might be inclined to bring their children to but, in the end, most are set up and function as a bar serving alcohol with pool tables and slot machines.  The people there after a certain hour are typically going to largely be drinking and trying to have a good time.  But this Friday night, just minutes before 10pm, there entered a group of adults, maybe 5 or 6, along with 6 young boys ranging in age from maybe 6 to 11.  They sauntered in and found a table where the boys noisily cut up with each other while the “parents” found their way to the bar and got their beers.  This group, boys included, signed up to sing and as the parents made their way back to the table, these boys bombarded the KJ (think a DJ only he does karaoke)  with song requests and questions which at times was so much that the show paused so he could handle the inundation of these children who should, at that hour, have been in bed.  Then the parents allowed the boys to run around the dance floor or sit on the stage in groups waiting for their turn while other singers were trying to enjoy their time.  Only once did I witness one of the adults attempt to corral their kids, making them leave the stage till it was their turn.  I’m not sure who missed the memo that a bar is not an appropriate place for a child, especially after a certain time of night, but why should my good time be restricted because you want to come out but couldn’t find a babysitter?

Entitlement!

Why does everyone think that the world should bend to their whims or wants?  You are not guaranteed everything your heart desires in this world and it is absurd for you to think that you should.  From welfare moms to soccer moms there is not one person who at some point or another has not thought that someone owed them something but the difference is that most level-headed people seem to understand that you have to work hard to get what you need in this life and that you have to work even harder to get what you want.  Yet somewhere along the way society got that backwards and now most people think you have to work hard for the things you want and that it is someone else responsibility to provide them with the things they need.  It doesn’t work that way folks and it shouldn’t.

I don’t know, perhaps I was born about 60 years to late.  Perhaps the sexual revolution of the 60’s and the mass drug usage ruined what few brain cells people had left.  I’m not sure the reason why people have forgotten the common sense teachings of their forefathers but, I do think, perhaps, a return to the pre-woodstock line of thought might do this great land of ours a tremendous favor.

Traffic, Electrical Outlets and Other Rants…..

27 Oct

I write to you today from a Starbucks.

It was far too pretty a day to be cooped up in the house so I decided to get out and enjoy it some.  However, this is the 4th place I have been to today just to find an electrical outlet so I could plug-in my laptop.  I have the world’s crappiest battery (it dies in less than an hour) and it seems that everyone has the same idea today so every place I have been the electrical plugs have been bogarted by these hipsters and their iPad’s (I thought those things didn’t need to be charged so stinking much).  One place had 3 people at the table and 6 devices all plugged into the only electrical socket in probably 100 feet.

But, I digress, I’m here now and that is what matters and I have far more pressing things to blog about today.

I was on my way home from dropping off my boyfriend at work this morning when I got caught up in the traffic from a nasty car accident.  You would think that at 6:45 in the morning on a Saturday that no one would be in that big of a hurry to cause this kind of carnage but apparently someone was, I don’t think anyone walked away from that one but as I was stuck in traffic I had time to really observe the severe lack of common courtesy that other drivers on the road have for each other.

I was in the right lane and from my left a white SUV was making his way over to the exit only lane.  He had his turn signal on and was politely making his way across the lanes of stopped traffic when at last he was in front of the car in front of me.  He coasted slowly, with his turn signal on, trying to make his way into the exit only lane but alas he was not having much luck.  For you see, there was a 30-something Hispanic man in a bright red Toyota Yaris that was tailgating the white work pick up in front of him and would not allow this fellow in the SUV to make his way over.

Now, I know what you are asking, but Jen, how did you know that he was purposefully tailgating the vehicle in front of him?  That is a very good question and here is how I know.  At one point there was about 2 cars length of space in front of the Yaris and the work truck and the driver in the white SUV had started to make his way over to the right when all of a sudden the fellow in the Yaris sped up making the white SUV swerve back into his current lane and then from that point on the Yaris was never more than a foot at most from the bumper of the work truck in front of him.

In the words of Stephanie Tanner, “How Rude!”

I noticed after that it seemed to me like there were a lot of drivers doing the same thing.  All traffic on the freeway was making its way to the right so everyone was having to merge but no one wanted to let anyone else merge over, it was almost as if everyone was afraid that they may not make it where they were going if they dared to let someone come get in front of them.  Heaven forbid that emergency personnel should need to get to the accident scene by way of the shoulder because it was clogged with the drivers who impatiently tried to pass those of us who were calmly waiting our turns.

This is a trend that I have been noticing more and more lately and it begs the question, when did we all get into such a hurry?  When did one persons day become that much more important than someone else’s?  My boyfriend does this very thing ,I have noticed, when a car in another lane has its turn signal on he will speed up so that he can get in front of the car or even worse, ride parallel to the vehicle so that it can not get over at all.  I’ve asked him about this habit, have scolded him even, but he can not give me an answer as to why he does it.

So, I am puzzled, why not share the road?

Why I’m Proud to be a Redneck

30 Dec

Being a redneck has gotten such a bad rap lately.  Most of the time if you call someone a redneck they get offended and storm off in a tizzy.  Not me though, I’m proud to call myself a redneck!  Why you may ask…because I understand what the real definition of a redneck is.

A real redneck is proud of their southern roots.  They wouldn’t dream of living anywhere else because the south is the best place in the whole wide world to live.  And why wouldn’t we think this way, look at everything the south has to offer, field upon field of some of the most beautiful wildflowers to be seen, Some of the finest looking guys and ladies come from the south, we perfected sweet tea, cornbread and greens, home to some of the best fishing spots to be found.  Only a Southerner knows instinctively that the best gesture of solace for a neighbor who’s got trouble is a plate of hot fried chicken and a big bowl of cold potato salad. If the neighbor’s trouble is a real crisis, they also know to add a large banana puddin!  Only Southerners make friends while standing in lines. We don’t do “queues,” we do “lines”; and when we’re “in line,” we talk to everybody!  Southerners don’t just live in the South, we respect it, and it’s as much a part of our identity as our name or our eye color.  Sure we love things like the Confederate Flag and you are likely to hear the very old among us talk about the South rising again; don’t think we are racist, the flag and the South are just a part of our heritage, it’s who we are.  I mean how many Mexicans do you know that still fly the Mexican flag even though they came here to make a better life?  They still have pride for their history and background.

A real redneck works!  You heard me right!  We have jobs and we are proud of the work we do.  We are the blue collar work force of America.  If it wasn’t for a redneck you probably wouldn’t be driving that car you drive, your plumbing probably wouldn’t be working right now and you dang sure wouldn’t have the oil you need to heat your home or lube your car engine.  In the words of Jerry Clower, a redneck will have a job if for no other reason than to have money to stop at one of those places alongside the road to visit with his friends on his way home.  We don’t mooch off Uncle Sam and we are proud of a hard day’s work.

A real redneck guy is genuine, caring and has manners!  I’ve dated guys who claimed they were redneck before but I real redneck guy will put you first, always makes sure you are taken care of and well, he may not always have a lot of money but he has no problem spending it on his girl.  At the same time, a redneck girl knows she can take care of herself but is lady enough to let her redneck beau take care of her.  She is gentle and sweet, caring and loving but piss her off and you will know for sure that you have run across a true redneck girl.

Sure we love hunting and fishing and playing in the mud with our trucks but look at it this way, we are self sufficient.  We don’t need a store to feed us and mudding makes for fun free entertainment.  What a redneck is not is an asshole or ignorant or trashy.  Sure we may sometimes live in mobile homes and drive old run down trucks but we take pride in what we have.  We don’t pick on the underdog, we don’t judge on stupid stuff and we don’t hurt others.  The media portrays us as a bunch of inbred yokels but that couldn’t be farther from the truth.  Some of the best people I know are rednecks!  So next time, before you judge, think to yourself what a real redneck is, you might actually find that you really are one after all!

The Road is Dark

10 Nov

Sometimes it is really easy to forget.  Forget who I really am, forget that I am
special.  Sometimes it’s all too easy to
remember all the hurtful words, remember the blows, remember the bruises and
scars, remember how worthless I was.  Sometimes
it’s easy to slip and fall back into old habits, it’s easy to do what I’ve always
done, but where has it gotten me?

If you had asked me 2 years ago I would have told you that I
was sure I would never feel again, sure that I would never let myself love
again, sure that I wouldn’t ever be able to love again.  The scars were all too deep, too bloody.

The blood has dried now, the scars just superficial now and
what do you know, my heart is able to feel again, it is able to love.  But, the fear is still there.

I am so very proud of how far I have come but I know that
the road is long and I have so much farther to go.  Some strong and on my own, some weak and
shared.  All of it with the knowledge
that what the good Lord brought me to He will bring me thru.

So, when the road is dark and I can’t see the way, just take
my hand and tell me it will be ok, even on my weakest day, I’ll get a little
bit stronger

Epic Fail Lawsuit

31 Aug

If ever I have heard of a frivolous lawsuit this would take the cake and it seems an Illinois court of appeals judge agrees.

Kimberly Garrity’s now grown children were suing her over supposed lack of good parenting during their formative years.  You may be thinking that these children were abused or neglected in some horrible way but you would be mistaken.  Steven and Kathryn Miner, now in their 20’s, allege that mommy dearest failed to do such nurturing things as not sending college care packages to her son, sending birthday and holiday cards sans the cash, enforcing a curfew on the night of the homecoming dance or threaten her son with the police if her son didn’t wear his seatbelt while in the car.

Now, before you judge them to harshly, keep in mind that these poor children, who come from an affluent Chicago suburb, had the assistance of their attorney father, Stephen Miner Sr.  The elder Miner claims that he tried to talk his children out of the lawsuit but when that failed he agreed to represent them.  Even though poor mom wasn’t found guilty the attorney and court cost could equal up to more than she would have spent on birthday cash all those years.

Seriously! I’m not sure who I blame more, the kids or the parents.  After their parents divorce the kids went to live with their father and I’m sure that as an attorney he spoiled his children mercilessly.  It’s obvious that these children were spoiled, normal working class children don’t consider taking their parents to court over not getting money for every A on their report card (which I can assure you I never got, my dad said that was my job to get good grades and in return he bought me what I needed, clothes and medical care and food)

This all reminds me of an episode of Everyone Hates Chris where Chris asks for an allowance, I still laugh at what his father told him!