Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Manure Tolerance

I think I might be getting crotchety in my old age.

That or I'm developing a severely limited tolerance for bull shit**. Its like I just go, "You. Yes, you. You elevate my stress. Therefore I refuse to deal with you further. BE GONE DEMON!!!"

Maybe not exactly like that but close.

And see the thing is that its just so amazingly liberating. And invigorating and refreshing and like this massive load if off your back that its kinda like poppin' the top on a can of pringles: you just can't stop!

So then when the next bearer of a shit bucket comes a long and elevates my stress - I just look at them with this glint in my eye and go, "I ain't takin this from so-and-so, who I have way better reasons to take it from than you, so, there ain't NO WAY I'm gonna take it from you either! BE GONE DEMON!!!"
Lemme take a minute to explain a very important bit of my personal theology. Aka "The Shit Bucket Allegory" (if I'm misusing the word allegory I don't want to know) *ahem*:

I once had it explained to me by a very wise friend that there are people in this life that run around handing steaming buckets of shit out to other people. And they actually expect you to take this steaming bucket of shit from them, thank them for it and then dump it on your own head for them. And they become very irate when you refuse to do so and want to brow beat you into feeling bad that you're not taking their shit bucket and making it your own.

It is a VERY important life skill to learn to recognize these people and their shit buckets for what they are. It is very, very good for your mental health to be able to say, "I know what this is. This right here is a shit bucket and I don't have to take it."

Seriously. Start looking at your life and your interactions with people, especially the ones that leave you feeling like mud afterwards and start trying to identify the shit buckets. If you're up to your neck in shit this may be difficult so I'd recommend consulting with a friend. A good friend can help you to identify shit buckets and validate your feelings.

Just remember and say it with me "That is a shit bucket and I don't have to take it".

Personally learning the Shit Bucket Allegory was a BIG step in my personal growth and development. And I've remembered it for all these years because it made me laugh. The image was just so bizarre. B/c theres simply no way in heck I'd ever dump a literal bucket of shit on my own head, and yet emotionally thats exactly whats going on. And equating one with the other was what I needed in order for me to realize that I didn't/shouldn't/wouldn't take that from people anymore. It validated me. I had that right. And that this was WRONG and I didn't have to take it. B/c believe it or not but your very own Ami was once a door mat.

I realize people who know me now find this shocking. But its true. I was a door mat. I was an enabling, codependent doormat. Yup. ME. And ya know it took me a bit to identify that as an actual change in my personality and not just a change in my self identity.

Because before my mission, I would have described myself as "mellow, laid back and easy going" but on my mission I discovered that I was only mellow in comparison to my mother and sister and that I am my very own little fire ball.

But as I've gotten even older and looked back more (ahhh hindsight) I've realized that theres more too it than that. I wasn't "easy going". I was a doormat. And yes I am a fire ball now. But once upon a time? Ha. I was a punching bag for the popular crowd in grade school.

And I have to say this: I really like me a whole bunch better now. And I'm a whole lot happier.

Its fun. Identify and reject a shit bucket today! Its GREAT.

** For those who object to profanity - and yes I usually try to keep myself from using it - I'm using it intentionally here for the shock value of the mental image of "a steaming bucket of shit" because that is the reality of what these emotional terrorist are trying to do and I want that jarring image to invoke the strong reaction because thats what it took for me to wake up and realize I had a right to defend myself.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Working for Zen

So the sh1t-eth has been hitting the fan-eth. And I'm trying very, very hard to not freak out about it because if I freak out about it I kinda wind up in the fetal position alternating between hyperventilating and wanting to beat people upside the head with a baseball bat for things that may or may not be at all their fault.

And I've got a whole bunch of questions and not a lot of answers. And I've got a whole bunch of things that need solid plans and need them asap and I am powerless as of yet to plan them for reasons entirely outside my control.

I think thats the biggest issue I"m having at the moment is feeling powerless. There is so much about my situation that is making me crazy and theres so very little about it that I have any power to change. Well... short of running away and joining the circus and there by leaving the whole kit and kaboodal behind. Which is more one of those "you ALWAYS have a choice, even if its a really chitty choice" moments.

And so in my efforts to keep myself from giving into my anxiety attacks and curling up into a giant ball of depression I am currently really focusing on being grateful for the things that I do have. I do have the cutest baby boy ever. I do have a husband who loves me. I do have some amazing friends and really wonderful family. I do have this beautiful house that is looking better now than at any time previous.

I'm also trying  to focus on my relationship with my Heavenly Father and trying very hard to let go of all my fear and worry and to just trust my God that it will work out okay in the end. Its hard to do. Its definitely not my natural inclination. I know that worry just robs me of the strength that I need today, to work on having a better tomorrow.

And so I take deep breaths, say my prayers, read my scriptures and try very hard to trust God.

Wish me luck.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Oh Lord.

Holy god that nut job Duggar is pregnant with kid #20. You can like her but I think she's nuts.

I think my biggest issue is the way they "Leave their family planning up to God". I'm like I don't think you should confuse the will of your Heavenly Father with biology. God allows us to reap the natural consequences of our actions. And like I learned in heath class, sperm + egg = baby. I think God gives us a brain and expects us to use it.

Now I'm not saying that God would never, ever tell a person to have a bunch of kids. But I think each and every child should be sincerely, and intently prayed about before embarking on that journey. And from what they've said, that is not what they're doing.

I also have serious doubts because that woman is 45. In my opinion thats wayyyy too old to be having kids on purpose (I do understand that accidents happen). She had SO many problems with the last one. And yes gall bladder problems and preeclampsia can happen to anybody but the odds of both of those problems increase dramatically with age.

The unflattering 3 F's of the odds of gall bladder issues are "Fair, Fat and Forty" and while I wouldn't call her fat, she wasn't the ideal BMI and she's definitely "fair" and "forty". And preeclampsia is a SERIOUS condition, and the risks increase with age. And the odds of her having a whole slew of issues increase dramatically starting at 35. She's 10 years PAST that.

You're allowed to like her, but I am just plain not a fan...

Monday, November 7, 2011

Corporal Punishment

Go read this article (go ahead, I'll wait): http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/pastor-corporal-punishment-advice-scrutinized-child-deaths-160004793.html

Done? Ready to puke? Me too.

For starters I would like to note that biblical scholars have claimed that, "spare the rod, spoil the child" is actually a mistranslation (I apologize for not finding the reference perhaps if I'm not so lazy in the future I'll dig it up). The correct translation is actually "Spare the crook, spoil the child". Now if you know anything about animal husbandry - this makes LIGHT YEARS more sense.

The allegory in use is herding sheep. Now if you've ever worked with sheep you know a rod does exactly NO good whatsoever. Why? B/c if you hit a sheep on the head they might wonder what that fly was bugging them. Keep in mind that sheep regularly run at each other full tilt boogie and ram their heads together. Hitting a sheep in the head accomplishes NOTHING. Hitting a sheep anywhere else is futile as well since they're running around with a good 6 inches of wool padding. You're not going to get their attention, let a lone bring them in line that way.

This is why ever shepherd ever depicted has been drawn carrying a shepherds crook. A big long stick with a big hook on the end. How does one use a crook? Sheep have a natural herd tendency (as do people) and so the idea is that you hold on to the straight end and when one of the sheep starts to wander off you just reach out, hook it around the head w/ the crook and guide it back in line with the rest of the flock. 99 times out of 100 they'll then stay in line.

Did you hear what I just said? Instead of beating a child into submission, you reach out, grab them and guide them back to the path they should go.

Ponder THAT for a minute.

Now I'm not one to say that you should never, ever under any circumstances strike a child. However I will say that I think by far the gross majority of the time, theres a better way to parent. At the risk of sounding horribly cliche I was spanked as a child and I think I turned out okay. But I will say that if my mother spanked you, which was very rare, it was almost without exception because you did something dangerous. Things like running out in the street, hiding from Mom in the store, trying to shove stuff in an electrical outlet AFTER she told you repeatedly not to, would earn you a spanking. And you better believe that it was a shock and awe experience. I knew she was SERIOUS because that never happened.

Now according to the Gospel of Ami - Thou shalt NEVER, EVER strike a child with anything other than your hand, and I'm talking open palm, smacked with the flat of your hand. Why? B/c your parents should never hurt you. I know from being a stupid kid that if you slap somebody or something with your palm - it HURTS. Man that stings! You're wayyyy less likely to make somebody else hurt when its hurting you back. Using an object creates a level of separation. You can do damage using something to hit and not feel a thing yourself. That is NOT okay. I don't think you should ever, ever, ever, leave a mark on a child. Never. If you leave a mark you've officially gone too far.

Now there are some times when I think striking a child is just dumb. And no matter how much I thought about it the first time my toddler reached out and smacked me, intentionally, I will admit that my gut reaction was to reach out and smack him right back and go, "No hit!". At which point I did a total face palm over the stupidity of that logic. lol

Since then, I have now trained myself that if Caleb hits me, my reaction is to grab his little wrist and I get right up in his face and in my mean voice I say, "No HIT! That is not nice!" and if he tries again he gets a time out. He very rarely hits now.

I like this system and it makes good sense to me b/c I once read that what you're really teaching them in your reactions is what is the appropriate way to respond to violence. I don't want my kid to automatically meet violence with violence. Don't get me wrong I definitely believe that there is a time and a place to stand up for yourself and whats right and you can and should defend yourself. But I don't want the snap reaction to be to punch back. Especially since Caleb is liable to be a BIG kid and an even bigger man. So I am completely okay with him stopping the other person from committing more violence (grabbing the arm) and getting in their face and going "This is not acceptable".

I think the whole world would go a little better if we did that in all our dealings with other people. When someone does something mean to us if we stop them, say, "No thats not okay," and have a chance to talk it out and give them a chance to choose their next action before we assume the worst and smash their faces in. But I digress...

I just think that positive reinforcement is a much, much, much more powerful and above all effective tool for teaching (both animals and people), and theres a metric crapload of research that supports this that I almost can't fathom why you would think the regular use of corporal punishment would ever be a good idea.

And while I personally fast once a  month for religious reasons (unless I am pregnant or sick), I definitely don't think "fasting" is a safe, healthy or good teaching tool for a child. I won't allow my children to join me in my fasting, if they so chose, until they're at least 8 years old (I define fasting as going for 2 meals - breakfast and lunch - without food or drink).

This is not to say that I wouldn't send a kid to bed without supper if they're refusing to eat what every body else is eating. You eat what the family eats, my house is not a restaurant. However, should you decide you're willing to eat that evil green bean, or what have you after all, your food will be waiting in the fridge for you. Thats just how I was raised. You definitely weren't getting desert until you ate all your veggies and that was final. But short of that, I really can't fathom why you would think withholding food from a child is a good idea. I do think desert and juice and other sweets are a privilege, and can be lost or earned, but a good solid meal with a big tall glass of water or milk is a right. I'm willing to negotiate on what veggies are eaten (a double serving of x instead of the icky y) but the veggies have to be eaten. Sorry.

So the using fasting to "train" a child bit of that article makes me wanna puke and beat the parents in question about the head and shoulders. But I'm clearly being judgmental.

And I'm okay with that.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

I hate Gray

I just have to take a moment to vent my feeling on the latest disturbing color trend.


Its EVERY WHERE. Hell, I'm this*close to stopping reading one of my favorite blogs b/c the woman is grey obsessed and the whole damn house is going grey.

I hate grey. Its depressing. Its penitentiary grey. Battle ship grey. Mortuary Grey. I really, really, really hate grey. Its dirty grey.

I mean I can kind of get behind charcoal grey - nice and dark and almost black. But ash grey? And all the shades in that family? UGH. NO THANK YOU.

I don't know, maybe its because I've dealt with major depression in my life but I shy away from colors which I find depressing so me and grey do not talk - short of a pair of sweat pants or two - I don't do grey.

And I REALLY, REALLY hate the grey and yellow combination. Its supposed to be "cheerful". I think its this odd combination of depressing/dirty/jarringly bright. It so doesn't work for me.

And dear God Almighty if this woman isn't doing grey in every fricking room!!! In major permanent, hard/expensive to change places. Its making me twitchy. I mean I know its her house and if she loves it then more power to her but I just don't wanna watch. Their first house was SO my style. And I do like to read the blog b/c she has great ideas even if they're now in the dread color more often than not, but dear Lord when will it end?! The new house is going so very modern and I'm just a little too traditional for that. I mean I like a good mod/traditional mix but this here is just plain out to blow that the frick away ya know?

Okay. I just needed to get that off my chest. If grey, white and yellow is your most favoritest combination EVER then you can go right on loving it but here and now I'm taking a stand: I hate it and I think its fugly and depressing.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I believe in inventing words

and phrases. I definitely believe in inventing new words and phrases. And I'm entirely willing to adopt good ones from other people. I also use slang, and I shamelessly abbreviate words I think are too long. Part of this comes from a core inability to spell, part of this comes from reading too much, and I'm also sure that being raised in the South (and being American) doesn't help either.

I'm not sure I appreciated just how often I do this until I installed Lion this weekend and discovered Auto-Correct. Now I'm sure you've seen the websites (like this one) where in we mock those poor hapless autocorrect users who inadvertently send out a missive with some sort of horribly embarrassing typo.

Then my OS started doing it to me... Or more like I started trying to talk with my usual "Ami-speak" and discovered that I was gonna have to beat my computer to death if it stopped changing my wording into something that I didn't want it to be.

Of course now that I'm writing a whole blog post dedicated to the subject (and have thereby guaranteed that I will draw a complete blank) I'd like to give some examples of what I'm talking about and perhaps some rationale for why I use them.

1. Fauxnamel - faux enameling. B/c saying those two words as separate entities makes my tongue trip up. Where as "fauxnamel" just rolls off the tongue. I mean just say it with me "faux enamel" and "fauxnamel". It works. For those who don't know what on earth that is - enameling is done using powdered glass (super toxic do not inhale) and then fired with either a torch or kiln (danger will robinson!). Fauxnameling uses acrylic paints, alcohol inks and resin to achieve the same look in a completely non-toxic way (depending on which resin you use - the one I use is non toxic). See example of fauxnamel work here: http://www.etsy.com/listing/74023757/yellow-green-fauxnamel-necklace, and an example of torch fired enameling here: http://ilikesparklyobjects.blogspot.com/2011/08/little-gardens-of-glass.html .

2. Frickin, beotch, chit - all forms of wooden swearing. Yes I really do say these in real life. I don't just type them to get around electronic censors.

3. Crackberry - this one is so not mine but so amazingly descriptive I've happily adopted it but it too gave my auto correct a run for its money. Ditto for WoW and World of War Crack.

And thats of course all I can think of now that I'm typing this list. Before I started typing I had this whole lovely long list of ideas which I can now no longer think of. Bah hum bug.

I'll update this later if they all magically come back to me.

Update: I'm also adding words like "fugly"and "bat chit" to the list.

I have ADHD

I don't so much have a specific direction to this post. But I miss my blogging and so here I am posting. So we're just gonna let the ADHD do the talking and see where it takes us:

I have this huge giant to do list and a head ache that is impairing me from being able to get'er'done.

I'm irked b/c I decided to sit down and bite the bullet and transfer over to my new phone. My Dad got an iPhone so he gave me his EVO 4G which is WAYYY better than my little Blackberry curve (which I would describe as an excellent smart phone gateway drug - the "crackberry" is well named). So I'm excited about the upgrade - but I'm nervous. B/c that little black berry - limited tho it is - is my right arm. And I really can't afford to not have it fully functional.

So first I try to activate it online and it tells me I have to call and speak to somebody. So then I call on my blackberry and it tells me I have to call from a phone OTHER THAN the blackberry. So then I call from the business phone and discover I can't hear JACK on that thing unless its on speaker phone (good to know), I try 8+ times to get it right - but theres no "oops I hit the wrong button can I please do that over" option so you have to hang up and go through the whole damn thing AGAIN and thats when I decided I either needed to blow the phone the frick up or just wait until nap time is over and go to the sprint store and deal w/ a human being.

Also - graph paper pads may just trump yellow legal pads as my new favorite for list writing. I love that no matter what direction I'm coming from I can get nice, super straight lines (which helps keep the OCD at bay).

Item B: I'm impressed w/ the battery life on the iPhone 3G (the business phone) that I'm babysitting while the boss is out of town. The boss decided to upgrade to the iPhone 4 and get a new phone line on her family plan and make the old phone the business line and credit card machine (love Intuit GoPayment). So for 10 bucks a month we have a business line and credit card machine (and the boss doesn't have to give up her iPhone when she goes out of town).

#246 part A: The family dinner at my house on Sunday was very good for my ego b/c I got all sorts of compliments on my redecorating efforts in the living room and dining room. Which of course made me feel like a million bucks.

22. The headache is improving but will require more drugs. I hate the POS drugs you can take when you're trying to get pregnant (no I am not pregnant yet to the best of my knowledge but b/c its physically possible atm we're playin' safe). For starters these particular pills taste like a** and don't work worth a chit (no pun intended).

And last but not least on this random post: I should so be mowing the yard to get the grass seed down ( you have to over seed w/ rye grass here if you want a green lawn in the winter and that has to happen like NOW), cleaning and reorganizing so when I meet the chick tomorrow to see if she wants her kid to come play w/ my kid a couple times a week for a part time babysitting gig she won't run screaming the other way. Upside - the house was just cleaned for the family this last weekend so its not as bad as it could be. And my kid survives it every day right? .... yeah.....