Thursday, May 31, 2012

Sixteen Ounces of Bull

I wasn't going to write about this, until I saw this sentence on New York Times' article about Bloomberg's plan regarding the sale of sugary drinks:
The ban would not apply to drinks with fewer than 25 calories per 8-ounce serving, like zero-calorie Vitamin Waters and unsweetened iced teas, as well as diet sodas.
And this one:
The measure would not apply to diet sodas, fruit juices, dairy-based drinks like milkshakes, or alcoholic beverages; it would not extend to beverages sold in grocery or convenience stores.
You cannot tell me that this ban would be for the purpose of "fighting" the obesity problem if you consider milkshakes and diet sodas exempt. Which is really baffling to me.  Furthermore, and most importantly, it's naive to believe that the size of a soda one drinks while watching a movie is one of the top causes of the problem.  This ban is phony busy work on Bloomberg's part.  He's an employee in the office moving paper work around to look like he's doing his job in shrinking the nation's waistline.  How cute.

The size prohibition is not a solution.  Obese people are not going to drop weight because their soda was smaller when they went to see Avengers.  (Hello, refills?)  They're going to drop the weight if and when they are ready to do what it takes.  No amount of portion control is going to change that.  This is just going to incite misguided resentment toward those of us that want to see real change happen in our food industry.  Once consumers are no longer given a choice other than what the government has mandated then it just lures them away from bigger issue: the food industry doesn't give a crap about our country's health, and will continue to lobby to keep it the way it is for as long as they can.

Right now, a lot of people see Government and Food Industry as the same entity.  The only way that is going to change is if we are allowed by the former to expose the latter without mucking it up with ridiculous bans such as this.  Wake up people!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Conservative Decision Leads to Conservatives' Outrage

Not that I want to promote any further attention to Fox News, but this caught my eye and I couldn't resist:

Good ol' Fox News.  Way to make it sound as if the school lacked support for the troops - atta boy!  Idiots.  It had nothing to do with the Marine Corps and everything to do with the fact that the back of the shirt shows a Bulldog's parts intact.  Clearly, the school felt it was a distraction. Teenagers think images like that are hilarious.  Anyone that has spent more than five minutes with them knows that.  Whether or not it was a distraction, or offensive to anyone, is not my point, though.

I love my country, support our troops, and think the T-shirt in question is freaking awesome.  I would let my son wear it.  I want one for myself!  What I don't love is how this incident was twisted and stretched into something it wasn't.  Making little brother hide Corps logo?  I think not.  

The Corps logo looks like this:

Not this:

Pitting people against a school over something like this is petty and childish. So far it doesn't seem the school did anything wrong.  Had the shirt been without a Marine Corps reference this wouldn't have even been a story, and they still would have asked him to turn the shirt inside out, even if it did come as a gift from his bigger brother serving with the Marines.

The original story is here, on the Marine Times, and this part didn't come as a surprise to me at all:

After leaving the school, Griffith called “The Rush Limbaugh Show,” a conservative syndicated radio program. The host seemed surprised to hear this incident had happened in Mississippi.
“Now your kid can’t wear a T-shirt given to him by a member of the U.S. military that espouses a positive character trait, leadership?” Limbaugh asked on his show. “… People are fed up. They’re fed up with being told what they can’t eat, and what they can and can’t do in their own yards and in their own homes. It’s just not America anymore.”
Parker, the superintendent, was dismayed to read the show’s transcript.
“It’s almost absurd that anyone would accuse us here in Mississippi of being anti-military,” he said. “We recite the Pledge of Allegiance every morning. This very school has sent cards and letters to our troops overseas.” 

It's just not America anymore?  LOL at Rush Limbaugh!  That guy has to be the most entertaining moron I have ever had the displeasure of reading and listening to in my life.  They asked the boy to hide a picture of a dog's junk.  Period.  What in the hell does that have to do with what we eat, what we do in our yard, or what we do in our homes?  I'm surprised he didn't blame Obama for this.  Conservatives want schools to be conservative.  Well, guess what, they got what they asked for.  Feeling uncomfortable around a picture of testicles seems pretty conservative to me, don't you think?

Before anyone shoots back saying the schools should concentrate on the girls that dress like hookers - they do.  You think they don't but they do.  Skirts have to be a certain length, boobs aren't allowed to hang out, etc.  If they show up at school breaking a dress code they're asked to change or leave.  This is not the only time a school has ever enforced a dress code, and it won't be the last.  Use your critical thinking skills.  This is about a school's dress code, not America's dress code (or lack thereof).

Yes, people walk dogs out in public everyday.  Some people get a little flush when they see the backside of the male dog struttin' his stuff.  Other people wear shirts with pretty offensive pictures or words on them everyday.  In America (hey, Rush, listen up) we can't tell those people on the streets to cover the dogs, or turn their shirts inside out.  But in schools we can, and have been for a very, very long time

Personally, I feel sorry for Parker, and the teachers of the school.  They made a decision that they probably have to make on a daily basis and were attacked for it.  My suggestion for him is to go one of two ways:

1) Apologize, and let him wear the shirt, thereby allowing the rest of the student body to wear shirts with dangling parts showing.


2) Stick to their guns, and tell the student body the uniform policy starts in 30 days if they have a problem with it.

Then they can have a "Military Appreciation Day" asking all of the students to wear the logos of each branch.  Logos.  


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Congrats! You're a Mom! Here's a Moo-Moo!

My cousin just recently had a baby.  Little does she know that now that she's a mother her wardrobe is going to be inspected for any unacceptable articles of clothing and handed a moo-moo.  Not really, but according to this baiting post that's what should happen.
"Mini dresses look pretty risque on anyone, but on moms they're just unacceptable."  
On moms they're unacceptable?  Wow.  @%#$ you lady.

Who did she think she was?  Did she just tell us that because we're moms we have to wear saggy bottom Mom Jeans?  Hundreds of other moms apparently felt the same way.  They called her a prude, and a conservative (ooh, that had to sting).  Young moms vehemently argued that they "look good!".  I was right there with them.  Roar!  Let me at her via this little blue comment box!  

Had she not made it all about mothers she probably would have had less rage thrown in her direction.  Daisy dukes and jeggings are arguably more acceptable than the rest of the items she listed.  Hot pants, micro-mini skirts, and see-through shirts aren't acceptable on A LOT of women, not just moms.  Then again it comes down to whether or not it's an appropriate time & place rather than parental status.

Women have a difficult time as it is when trying to get comfortable in their own skin.  After having children, our bodies betray us in ways we never thought possible, and we have to once again figure out a way to be comfortable in what seems to be a completely different body. Putting on a mini-dress to go to a party takes guts - appropriate or not, that's 1 in the win column for most women. Slapping moms in the face for that, but saying it's "risque" for women that aren't moms, is what's unacceptable.

My wardrobe is changing for my own reasons.  Because I'm a mom?  No, because I'm a thirty-four twenty-nine year old professional, who doesn't want her ass hanging out of her shorts.  I no longer want to tug at my skirt every five seconds to make sure my hoo-ha isn't showing when I sit down.  And I don't want to bounce three times anymore to get my jeggings pulled all the way up (seriously, even for thin people those things are tight as all-get-out).

You can sure as hell count on me looking for a mini-dress now, though, because sometimes this hot mama needs to get a little risque.  Keep your stupid moo-moo, hag.

Oh, Shut Up Already.

I know I said this would not be a food blog.  Technically, this isn't about food, but more about the behavior of these parents when it comes to the food their kids (and other peoples' kids) eat.  The war rages on!

One of the two food-related blogs I have not "unliked" yet is Real Mom Nutrition.  I like her; don't always agree with her, but I like her.  Today she shared this horribly written (oh so, so horribly written) blog Be Realistic, Give Your Kids Cheetos, which is actually titled in contrast to the writer author person-who-grouped-words-together-and-made-it-barely-understandable's message.  

I went back to Real Mom Nutrition's Facebook.  She asked:

"What are your thoughts? Is it okay for kids to like junk food and have it occasionally? Or should we eliminate it?" 

I wanted to read the comments that her followers added, assuming that it would be the usual anti-junk-food rants, only to find that they were all in agreement.  Occasionally, they allow their kids to have junk.  What?  Just the other day they were battling it out over the dangers of food dyes, and sugar, and diabetes!  And in those arguments against them not once did I see anyone 'fess up like they did today.

Then it occurred to me, it wouldn't have been in their best interest that day to admit it.  Gah.  Typical.  It made me want to advocate for those "other parents" that want to bring chips and energy drinks for snack, because now I can understand some of the frustration.  

Here some of the comments (I'm calling bullshit on the first one):

"I feel it is okay occasionally. I would say one to two junk items a week." 
"If I eat it, my kids eat it. It is good to introduce fun foods to your child b/c let's face it- someone else will. I stick to occasional for myself which means it is occasional for my children too."
"There is junk food in the real world so I think they need to be exposed to it so they can learn how to deal with it and handle it when you aren't around. I think it is important to keep it to a minimum at home. We always have chips, pretzels etc around, but cookies and ice cream are more of a treat. They eat a lot more chips than I would like but not near as much as most kids. My son would eat junk all day long if I let him but my daughter asks for veggies a lot. They were raised in the same house with the same food and rules...go figure they have minds of their own :)"

And my favorite because it made me shake my head in disbelief:

"I think of it kind of like drinking in college. The kids that had some exposure to make the choices about food, were healthier in college because they've already made choices about food in life. Now the ones who never had junk food, they went to college a.d gorged, they had no idea about portion control because they never had the choice before. So just like beer in college. The ones who never tried it end up blacked out after drinking as much as possible as quickly as possible."

Gorging on junk food and drinking too much are incomparable.  Shoving an entire cake into your pie-hole doesn't have quite the same effect as chugging a six pack or pounding twelve shots of tequila.  You can't give your kids some exposure to booze throughout the years, and then convince yourself they won't over do it in college because of the genius plan.  You're a f***ing moron if you believe that.  Drunk drivers vs. Sugared Up drivers.  Guess who would win?  Or, I guess lose, in this case.

I digress.

So, here's my question, are these parents that are agreeing with this idea of allowing occasional junk food, the same parents that so adamantly judge other moms and dads for bringing this junk to the sidelines as snacks?  Is the end of the game not "occasional"?  If so, why is there even a debate about it to begin with?  Why are some allowing oh, let's say, Grandma, to give their child some crap, when they're writing about how it isn't fair that they are put in a position to either say NO to their child and be the bad guy (for ten whole minutes), or allow them to eat the junk after the game?  Fair?  

Heads up to those that don't have kids yet!  Don't be a parent if you want fair.  Go get a dog.

Yeah, I let my son have junk food.  My idea of "occasionally" is once a day, maybe twice, under normal circumstances.  Not because I'm afraid to say no, or that I've been put in the "unfair" position of possibly being a bad guy, but because I know he eats way more healthful food than not. By the same token, I would not flip out if I were told I could only bring fruit and water as a snack for any kid's event.  I'm not afraid to tell my son no.  I'm raising a MAN, not my friend.  

Since culinary school, Josh and I have made a lot of changes in the kitchen.  It has been challenging to say the least because of our old habits, addictions to the yummy sweet stuff, and the costs.  I looked to websites, documentaries, books, and food blogs for help in figuring all of it out. Some of it helped, but most of it just made it that much more daunting.  Now, all I want to say anymore is...

Shut.up already.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Gee, I Really Love You and We're Gonna Get a Mortgage

(This post was given the go-ahead by my boyfriend, Josh.  I will give you a heads up that yes, it is slightly personal.  It was something we both struggled with, and recently saw eye to eye on.  I debated on whether to put this out there, but maybe at least one person will take something from it.  If anything, I hope it at least entertains the readers.)

We aren’t getting married.  Ever.

A few months ago, that became a pretty depressing sentence to think about let alone say out loud.  It gave me pause about our entire relationship after almost two years – most of which we have spent living together.  What did this mean?  What do I do now?  What would Wonder Woman do?

Initially, for a few weeks after finding out Josh doesn’t want to get married I kept it to myself.  There were several reasons for that, a couple of which were 1) if I say it to someone else it makes it real, and 2) maybe I could change his mind.  Laughable, I know.  I lol’d just now writing that.  Sometimes even the most anti-princess type of woman gets girly about things like this and loses her mind.

Let’s be honest, how many of you women out there – after being told by your boyfriend that he doesn’t want to get married – would suddenly hear the words, “If he doesn’t want to marry you, he’s not that into you.”?  I hate that book.  We all hate that book.  The movie wasn’t anything like the book, because it seems like they all ended up being the exception to the (stupid) rule.  No woman wants to hear that phrase unless it’s about another woman.  Those five words directed at a female in that particular order has probably sent girls over the edge faster than you can say “But you’re a nice person!” 

Don’t get me wrong; I totally agree with the general message of the book.  Don’t cling, don’t stalk, don’t wait around, don’t surround your life around him, etc.  That is some sensible stuff.  But, a lot of it was part of a marketing plan to sell books.  There was a female writer’s side and witty advice along with phony exaggerated letters by crazy women, and colorful pages throughout.  That kind of novelty gift should not become the bible of your love life.  No two relationships are alike, and my relationship with Josh was pretty unique from day one...because I am his first girlfriend.

I know, heavy, right?!  So much to say about that, but maybe another time.  My point is that no relationship fits in a one-size-fits-all box of relationship advice given by one man who scored a book deal because he said something catchy on the set of Sex and the City.  You need tailored advice.

After weeks of keeping it all to myself, I finally went to my aunts, then my mom, for some sage advice.  What they told me really changed my perspective.  Anyone that has known us as a couple sees the commitment he has made to me.  They see that he genuinely loves me and my son.  They see that I love him, too.  Was I willing to sacrifice that because he doesn’t want to make it a legal contract?  My immediate response was no.  After more time to think on that and let it sink in I still say no.  What would be the point of ending a great relationship?  So I can go find someone else that does want to get married?  Will another man and I have the same, if not better, type of relationship? Doubtful – our relationship is pretty amazing.  Does leaving for that reason negate the whole point of “finding love”?  Sure it does. 

Marriage is not a guarantee.  Nothing in life is guaranteed.  I, of all people, should know that!  I have seen marriages end over less than what he and I have been through already. 

My boyfriend said he is in this.  Better yet, he has shown me.  Actions speak volumes.  He hasn’t given me any reason to doubt him so I won’t (and trust me, I am really good at finding reasons).  He simply chooses not to turn our relationship into a legally binding contract and that has nothing to do with me.  We’re planning a move together to a different school district for my son – that is a different post for another day – and we always talk about buying a house together.  He plans his future with me in it.  No sane woman would ignore all of that because there won’t be a ring or a wedding.
I’m not advising anyone to settle for less out of fear that they won’t find someone else - far from it!  Ladies, if you’re with a man that is treating you badly dump his ass.  Yes, it is that simple.  It may be expensive for some, if there are financial obligations, or it may be difficult because that’s all you know, but you figure out a way to do it – and dump him.  If you’re with a man that says he doesn’t want to get married, and his actions also tell you he doesn’t want to be with you, leave.  Right now.

What I am advising is that when you meet someone, if you’re out there in the dating world, be more open to all possibilities and futures.  Search for the person you want to be happy with – not someone to fill the spot at the altar that you’ve already decorated on page 37 of your wedding binder.  It’s ok to want something like marriage, but you should decide ahead of time if you are willing to give up something better just to have it.  It all boils down to being careful what you wish for.
Engagement rings and weddings.  Puh.  Jewelry works for all occasions, sisters.  And as far as legally binding contracts go, it doesn’t get any better than a mortgage.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Wonder Woman and I Will Grow Old Together

In June of 2009, I drove to Downtown Dallas and asked an incredibly talented artist named Cesar, to tattoo this picture on my right thigh. 

This is the cover of issue #4 of an 8-part series by DC Comics, called "Identity Crisis"  I’ll spare you the storyline and review because, frankly, it wasn’t just about Wonder Woman.  She had a very small part in this series.  This was just a very beautiful cover created by Michael Turner that immediately grabbed my attention and would not let go.  There she was standing under the words “Identity Crisis”, holding her lasso of truth in a noose, as if she was ready to break the no-kill (of humans) policy.  Wonder Woman, the American Icon that I had loved since I was in red and blue underoos, looked beautifully pissed. 

Many of the covers of her own comic books and graphic novels display her as a powerful, beautiful, and triumphant heroine.  There is so much more to it than that, though.  I could go on for days writing about her: why she was created; why she went from a long skirt, to a shorter skirt, to bloomers, to pants (ugh), and back to bloomers (yay!); what she stands for in her story; why she and Superman won’t hook up; and her relationship to Greek mythology.  While I find it all fascinating personally, I’m aware that this may bore most people.  Mercy granted.  But I would be remiss if I said she isn’t important.

Barbie and Cinderella had no place in my world growing up.  They still don’t.  They don’t take action.  They stand for nothing.  They’re boring.  I’ll stop there.  Diana Prince could go from zero to Wonder Woman in less than five seconds, fight the bad guys, save the good guys, fly, and still look fabulous.  I was hooked.  It wasn’t until much later that I realized she was more than a female superhero deflecting bullets with her shiny bracelets, because as a child I wasn’t aware of the consequences of being a strong woman, or the strength it takes to be one.

Remove the accessories created by Greek gods, take the tiara off, put her in civilian clothes, and you have the women in my family.  Well, some of them still like tiaras but that’s beside the point.  Tough, opinionated, intelligent, free, beautiful, witty, snarky, independent, fierce, and each is a force to be reckoned with.  Thankfully, this left me with no choice but to become the same.  By the same token, there is a weakness that we all have had to come to terms with.  We’re human.

We make bad choices sometimes.  And sometimes those bad choices can start a long chain of events that exacerbate the sense of failure we’re already feeling.  I am all too familiar with the darkness this can bring.  We forget who we are for a bit, and we want to start breaking the no-kill (of humans) policy.  We get beautifully pissed.

My Mom, my grandmothers, my aunts, and my cousins are there when I need someone to gently convince me that strangling people with a rope is bad.  They remind me of my strengths and what I’m capable of.  Being a strong woman isn't about beating someone into submission until you get what you want.  It takes a great amount of strength to stand your ground for what you truly want for yourself and your family; to expect truth from those that owe it to you and to call them on it when they lie to you.  It takes faith in yourself to trust your instinct, especially during those times when you wish your instinct would just shut the hell up.  Above all else, when you fail, when you make a bad decision, you put your shiny bracelets and tiara back on and try to  make it right - either for yourself or anyone that you may have hurt in the process.

This tattoo, this Identity Crisis #4 art, is the cover art to my series for me.  Wonder Woman and I will grow old together.

Monday, May 14, 2012

You're Not the Boss of Me!

I want to sign my son up for soccer, so I can be a rogue soccer mom that brings in fruit for snacks.  Not necessarily to provide healthful food for the kids (that would be a bonus), but more so to piss off the whining parents that are flinging poo at the idea of passing the junk food aisle for the produce section.

I have been reading posts and scrolling through comments on some food blogs.  A Soccer Snack Aha! Moment led me to read this post which led me to read hundreds of other comments, and so on and so forth.  Parents nationwide are toe to toe in the battle of claiming their rights to serve whatever the heck they want to other parents' children.  Ridiculous.  If I had to choose a side, though, it would be the moms that just want the kids to eat well.  I don't want to support the mom that reacts in such a way that reminds me of my son when he was in the phase of telling everyone "You're not the boss of me!".

Moms are so defensive, and angry, about not being able to bring their cupcakes, or cookies, or cases of soda for snacks.  I remember a comment by a mother who said she emailed her son's coach and recommended that the snacks be limited to fruit and water.  The coach brought it up with the other parents and the poo went flying.  The woman was immediately the enemy.  So I ask, how is this good for the little players?

As kids, if my brother and I couldn't agree on something my mother would finally get tired of the bickering and tell us we both lose.  Maybe this needs to happen on the ball fields.  Parents need to come to an agreement that is in the best interest of the children; they need to set aside their fantasies of being the "cool mom" and be an adult about it.  Ostracizing a mother for suggesting strawberries and water rather than cream filled puffs and soda is not being an adult.  Grow up, or feed your kids at home and take snack time out of the equation all together (hell, most parents would gladly give up their day to remember to bring the snacks).

On a similar note, my son's school doesn't allow parents to bring in cupcakes for birthday parties.  My reaction to this?  YAHOO!  Seriously, not all of us have the dream of floating into a Kindergarten class on a cloud, cupcakes in hand.  I have too much respect for the teachers to load the kids up with sugar then leave.  

With all that said, McWoman Daily will not be a food blog.  I will most likely offend at least one person with each post.  However, I do pledge not to attack your race, religion, sexual orientation, or political party (although, I may write about specific political figures should I feel compelled).

Thank you for reading my first post :).