Monday, August 15, 2011

Long Time No See!

It's been a while!

Life has been changing a lot. Many accomplishments, and the road to happiness is going.

I have been stricken by an opinion as of late that I'd like to share.

People who pay taxes for public property, get arrested if they do graffiti art on it. It can even be a felony. People say it lowers property values, encourages crime, and kills babies. Not necessarily the last one, but it's just as far of a stretch. Gang taggers do those things. Respectable artists do not.

If someone's buying art supplies and working to do something respectable, they should have a place to do it. Artists have always been suppressed, but this is an entire genre of art that is commercially accepted and yet socially seen as disgusting.

What's the difference between a local artist putting graffiti art on a building and the company commissioning an artist to do it? Well, the company's preference. And do you see a difference between drawing with chalk on a sidewalk and tagging on it? The paint does fade. However, nobody thinks THAT is lowering property values or bringing crime. Especially in artistic neighborhoods, it encourages business. Cities put up their own art, and some even commission artists to do graffiti in particular neighborhoods.

Some cities have legal walls that are okay for graffiti art. This is an art that should not be seen as a crime. The people who put up gang tags are the ones to be targeted, not simply everyone who tags, especially if they're not damaging private property.

I'm going to put up some random pictures from around the internet.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Oh, Yes. Normal life. Here's a blog then!

Hmm. Note to self, never start a new blog during May. Finals, my birthday, our camping trip, then the last few days I've been getting things back to normal. I'll be working soon, and the blogs will resume. In the mean time, here's the thought I'm elaborating on today.

My husband and I lived with a couple that had a kid. They were on assistance, they were irresponsible, their kid was stunted mentally because of their laziness (intelligent and capable, but forgot how to count to 5 at 4 years old), but never having had a kid, we didn't care. Their life, whatever. Then they started leeching off of us and stealing our belongings, and lying about our part of utilities. And then they said we wouldn't survive without them. So we moved out.

When things did get hard while I was pregnant, we found out we didn't qualify for assistance, and I wondered how God could let this world exist, that people who are really trying can't make it, but jerks who lie and are irresponsible and steal from their friends get all the help they need...

I realized recently that it's quite the opposite.  They're still in the same rut they've been in, and I found out some things have gone really badly for them. They're working 3 jobs between the two of them and spend almost no time together, they keep getting into problems, and I can't feel bad because I feel bad 'cause the kid deserves better. We have mutual friends with them, so it'll get mentioned in conversation... "I was visiting and helping them move, their landlord decided to sell the house and gave them 30 days" and such. They honestly keep putting themselves in these situations - they've been evicted so many times nobody will rent to them. They've messed up their resumes with short jobs and bad references so they can't get decent-paying jobs. A true blessing wouldn't be assistance, it would be opportunity. However, it'd be a waste, because they wouldn't use it. They sit around dreaming all day about what they'll do someday, and someday never comes.

I remember living like that. After leaving, I decided someday is today. I went back to school and 2 months later started a fantastic job that's everything I could want. I absolutely adore my son, he's learning so fast. I remember the wife in that couple had once seen a kid that was polite at 15 months. She said, "they must be abusing her, no baby should even be ready to be taught how to behave. It must be out of fear". Now, I roll my eyes remembering that. I do the same remembering how much they let him get away with, and how much they condemned any form of discipline or punishment. Looking back, their kid was a brat! My 15 month old doesn't need a baby gate. We just say "get back here" and he turns around, and the few times he doesn't we just go get him. He's very polite. He listens to what he's told most of the time. He's a good kid. Yet, we've never hurt him. It's called parenting, and that's something they were just not ready for.

That business we said we'd always start? I'm starting it on my own.
How we always said we'd go back to school altogether next semester? I finally did.

I do believe in God. If you don't, call it karma. Call it the way life works. The truth of the matter is, we didn't get what I thought we needed, and we struggled through it, and now we have what we wanted. I had to keep my eyes out for other opportunities. I wasn't given anything, I was made to do it for myself, and I did. Now, my opinions are almost flipped - God, can't you throw them a bone?

How confusing it all is. We never quite know what's best for us.

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Rapture of Mr. Camping

I hear a lot about this whole rapture deal that's supposed to happen. Now, I'm not some Bible-thumper, but I'm a reader of the Bible and a student of religious contemplation. I am just floored by some of the things I hear, because they're just so ignorant.

To explain, the whole deal about this rapture is that at 6pm your time, an earthquake will hit. The whole world will experience earthquakes at 6pm, and it'll just travel around. The guy who came up with it says it's relevant to the amount of days that there are between the crucifiction and the end of the world.

I want to talk about Harold Camping himself. For one thing, this is his 3rd supposition of the end of times. He expected the Great Tribulation in 1988. Then he expected the rapture in 1994. That time, there were people in the church that had said goodbye to family and friends, believing this guy. And now, this time, he's absolutely sure.

I'd like to address this supposition itself.

Try to hold on, I'll try to go slowly. Confusion pics will be added to help you feel you're not alone in thinking this is all a crock of crap.

First off, this calculation starts with the supposition (that has since been disproved) that Christ was crucified on April 1, 33 AD. He starts off with using an old and disproved date. A date that has not been related to the end of the world. Nothing in the Bible says that there's any amount of time from when Christ is crucified to when the Rapture happens. But we'll go with it.

Then he added 1,978 years to that. That adds up to April 1, 2011, in calendar years. Why 1,978 years? Idunno.... But he did. He doesn't say why. This is where I start speculating that it's not that he was doing math and found the date, but that he picked the date and decided to find math to make it match.

Next, Camping multiplies 1,978 calendar years by the amount of days in a SOLAR year. Why? Well, I suppose it helps his math. It gives you 722449.0716 - which is indeed much more helpful than multiplying it by simply 365, which would give 721970 as a result, and that leaves us years away from the rapture. That's not good for his numbers.

Right, so we're at 722,449 days since the crucifiction of Christ. Then you add 51 to it to get May 21, 2011 (more proof he was trying to prove the date, not just do math in the Bible). Then you have exactly 722,500 days (...what about that pesky .0716? It's never mentioned again).

Now why is 722,500 days from the crucifiction of Christ the day of the rapture, anyway? What does that math prove?

Here it is kids. Hope you're sitting down, don't drink anything - and if you must imbibe something strong in order to swallow this, keep a paper towel nearby to clean off your monitor.

Camping found in the Bible instances of numbers matching with themes. 5 means atonement, 10 means completeness, and 17 means heaven. Where he found these or why they were attributed instead of other numbers, we don't know. But 5x10x17 squared... equals 722,500.

There you have it, proof!!!

...What if this guy just did the 5x10x17 squared and then found math that would put that number relevant to an upcoming date and a date in the Bible? How does this coincidental math mean the actual rapture is happening? Why should we trust that this means a big earthquake will roll through the whole world (something physically impossible anyway) at 6pm your time? And the Bible itself says "So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only." (Matthew 24:33-36)... So we won't have any idea when the rapture does come anyway.

Here's a couple places to read more:

I wanted to at least try to give this some level of belief, but I really can't. In fact, I think if God were up there with a pink Sharpie marking his calendar for tonight/tomorrow's rapture and surrounding it in pretty flowers, picking out a once-in-a-lifetime outfit, he would see that this guy had made the math and would probably change the date, just so Camping wouldn't be right.


Now, for an additional note - the people believing in this rapture. Now, recently the CDC released a zombie apocalypse preparedness blog. The whole point was even stated in the article that it was a fun way to approach the idea of overall emergency preparedness. This applies to hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, getting lost while travelling, etc. 

However, now the wonderful teenagers of America have combined concepts to say that the zombie apocalypse is happening on May 21. 

I don't think there's much else I can say about that.

So enjoy a normal day like any other. Unless of course, it's Velocirapture.

And, lastly, if you liked this blog, do me a favor... click here, just once, and it'll log a vote for me :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Make It Or Break It!

So, the daily work blogging begins. This is where people hating me begins, too! I don't hold back my opinions, and I think I'm better than most people. Probably not better than you, necessarily, but better than "those ones", relevant to the situation. For the most part, though, I support the idea that I would fight to the death for you to have your opinions even if I disagree with them. Diversity is what makes life worth living. Please don't feel personally attacked by anything I say, and feel free to argue. I love developing my viewpoints and am never just set in stone on anything forever. Also, please understand that I disagree with many people that I love TO DEATH, so my dislike of things I rant about is not saying anyone's a bad person or anything. Unless I'm ranting about something that would make anyone a bad person, like rape or murder. Then yeah, if that's you, feel free to get offended and leave.

To preface this, I got laughed at for believing that people can just decide to lose weight, and it's been stewing a long time. "Yeah right, that's not how it works". Fat people are just fat, it's not their fault, and there's nothing that can be expected of them to do about it. I couldn't help but be a bit offended on behalf of the people who've lost hundreds of pounds without weight loss trainers and without expensive diets. I'm not one of them, but I did gain a lot of weight soon after hitting adulthood. I went from being incredibly active to staying home while my boyfriend at the time worked. One day he poked at me and asked if I'd hurt myself. I looked at my stomach, and it was a STRETCH MARK. Holy crap. There were more of them. On my tummy. I was 19 and had never even had a pregnancy SCARE. I cried for hours. I bought a scale and I had gained 30 pounds in about 6 months. That was my breaking point, and though it was well before hitting obesity by any means, it was definitely a turning point. I realized that I had to change something or this would get worse. I dropped the weight slowly but surely with the smallest of moves and kept it off. I was at the end of my pregnancy 6 years later when I weighed that much again. So yes, I believe it's in when you decide you don't want it anymore and decide to change it.

I used to hear a lot about how obesity is a prejudice against people with a disease. First off, there are very few cases of obesity that are due to a disease. Most are thyroid problems or due to depression. However, the person is still, in most cases, capable of exercise and eating healthy to reduce the impact, and there is medication for thyroid problems. The few that I don't get angry at are those who are also disabled and unable to exercise, those who are against medication due to religious reasons or even personal - and even for those, just do me a favor and acknowledge that you COULD tackle your obesity and be happy with what you are. If you're not diagnosed with something that causes you to be unable to exercise, then your weight is in your hands.

Mine's in my hands. Maybe this is why I'm so unforgiving. I don't have a car, we walk and take the bus for longer distances. But I have no problem walking a few city blocks to get where I'm going. 5 minute drive or a 1-hour walk? Well, if I've got the time off, that's great time exercising, talking with my husband, etc. I also do crunches and other exercises at home. I am losing weight and last month lost 8 lbs. It's not much, but I don't have a lot to lose. I've been working slowly since having my son so I've lost 30 in the year since having him. Now that I'm getting down to where I was before I had him, I want to lose more and get into that "normal" BMI range. You know, instead of just being content that I'm not obese. I have a size 8 dress I want to fit me. My size 16 jeans have gone baggy, but it's still a long road.

I got an email in my inbox from WebMD (a good subscription to have if you don't, the health tips are very useful) that had an article, "24 Ways to Lose Weight Without Dieting". It has tips like skipping the bacon, timing your meals, and taking longer to savor each bite. Wonderful article, and though I usually am pretty stuck-up and think I'm doing everything right, I think I'll take some of those tips with me. Here's the slideshow!

I guess my problem is that I don't believe in trying to "trick" my body. I believe in controlling my body. So the stuff like buying smaller plates is no use to me. I just get mad that I don't have a big enough plate for how hungry I am and have to go back for seconds. Same thing with choosing smaller portions to make me "feel" like I've eaten the whole thing. I think "well that was a crap sizing, I'm getting seconds".

I was very amused at counting up the ones that add up to losing a certain amount over a year. By substituting veggies for meat, sleeping an extra hour, leaving off the bacon, and being generally busy for 20-30 minutes a day, that's 50 lbs in a year. Who can't do that? Even if it only results in an extra 20 lbs of weight loss in a year, that's still results that will pair well with healthier living. We don't have to be calorie-counting maniacs that have personal trainers. We don't have to pay for expensive weight-loss programs. All we have to do is eat smarter. Take control of what we decide to put in our faces.

I was also cutting out from magazines for our vision wall and saw an article in one that mentioned a scientific finding that if you're imagining in detail eating your snack 30 times (30 cookies, etc), you'll be less likely to eat a crapload of cookies compared to if you hadn't imagined it. There are just so many ways to help yourself. I can't help but think that most anyone overweight or obese could decide to take charge of their weight.

For one thing, I always talk about substitutions - the idea that no matter what snack it is, there's a healthier option that you like just as much. Replace the ice cream with yogurt, if you like it. Replace chips with a veggie or fruit. Replace chocolate chip cookies with dried fruit or heck, even a healthier cookie. Trade in the chocolate cake for lemon. I replaced soda with juice and it's one of the best things I've ever done. A huge jug of juice is $2 and lasts a week, a 12-pack of sodas is $4 and is gone in a couple days (since my husband dips in, too). I replaced sugary breakfast cereals with egg sandwiches with tomato, or cantaloupe with cottage cheese. No matter what it is that is your worst "chronic" snacking habit, tone it down with something else you also do really like that's just healthier. It doesn't have to be totally healthy, but even a little bit healthier will be a step toward the goal. My husband had a bad energy drink habit. Each one made him crash, so he'd have another one. He'd go through 3 or 4 large cans in a day at work. So instead, he took advantage of the free sodas at work. Soda isn't a "healthy" choice, but it's definitely better for him than an energy drink. From there he was able to tone down his soda intake to vitamin waters and juices.

Just stay away from "diet" foods targeted to get you to spend money on the same crap anyway. They make you feel guilty instead of like you're accomplishing something, and they're really not a healthier option. Tip: If you're putting it in the microwave, it's probably just as bad for you as the other thing you used to put in the microwave. It's also pretty much guaranteed to not fill you up. Tiny bird portions loaded with sodium, no thanks! That's not a good substitution.

Now, that point made, substitution does NOT mean that you have to give up the things you love. Just replace the "meh, it's food" with healthier "meh, it's food" items. If you are intimidated at the idea of weight loss because you don't want to have to give up your ____, KEEP IT. You're still making healthier choices. It's much more healthy to cut things that will add up to 50 lbs of weight loss in a year instead of 52 lbs a year because of one item you aren't willing to let go of than to avoid weight loss as a whole because you want that item. For example, I'm NOT willing to give up white bread. I don't like wheat bread, and for some reason I associate it with being poor (I don't think people who eat wheat bread are poor by any means, but I guess it's the same as when a friend gave me her dresses she wore while pregnant from before she was showing because she associated them with pregnancy which made her feel fat). So I substitute by adding veggies on EVERY sandwich I make and avoiding particularly fatty or calorie-heavy sandwich fixin's. I also found that I *love* 12-grain bread. It's really sweet and doesn't have the cardboard flavor of most wheat. I love non-wheat pasta, too. So I have fresh veggies in every sauce and haven't had a cream sauce on my pasta in... well, years, if I cooked it. I've eaten it a couple times at restaurants. Part of continuing to stay motivated is not feeling like you're "giving up" anything!

Now, lastly on this weight loss rant I've been building up to for months.... If you don't want to lose weight, you're not going to. You can sit in a corner all day eating Sno-Balls crying woe for your obesity. You won't lose a single pound, and you won't have any control over your body. You have to be willing to make even the smallest effort. It will increase on its own, but it will not start on its own. Being angry at your weight is not going to lose you one pound! It makes as much sense as wearing your hat backward when it's sunny.

Couldn't this have been avoided by just a little effort on the guy's part?

Right, moving on.

I like the way my work day goes, for the most part. My husband is currently playing video games since he's home and our kiddo's sleeping. I'm buried in work with the headphones on. I'll make finger-foods so we can just snack when we're hungry while I'm working. And I just reached over to hand him one of my cookies and get a quick kiss :)

However, I'm at the end of my day. $6 short of my $100 goal for today. Oh well. I took a break to eat steak and drink wine with my husband. He took my hands and said that I'm just as beautiful and wonderful as the day we met and other nice things that made me squirt a droplet of "I have something in my eye". ;) He's sweet. It was just hard to get back to work after that, and I'm afraid I might not have done a fantastic job...

I suppose I should add in the Babe of the Day and Song of the Day...

In honor of the weight loss talk, I wanted to share one particularly helpful guy. I know, the Babe of the Day was meant to be a girl, or you'd think at least someone specifically hot. You may find him hot. I think there's some sexiness in there. But this guy lost 300 lbs in just a matter of a couple of years without really increasing exercise or going on crazy diets. He implemented strategies and tried new things, and once he'd lost the weight moved on to fitness training. My husband did big weight loss too, he lost about 150 lbs in a short period of time, even though he still eats chips and cookies, and knowing he was so determined is a total turn-on. This man's fantastic, and there's a lot of information on his blog,

Regarding the Song of the Day, I wanted to offer a new tune for working out, or generally doing anything you don't want to do. I use it when I'm getting sick of work. Even if you don't believe in God, the beat and lyrics can help you get back into the zone. 

Have a wonderful day lovelies! I'll be back around tomorrow, and tomorrow I've got a $130 goal! So be here to cheer me on ;)

My Birthday!

It was rockin', no lie. I thought it would be boring. But I woke up to a massage, sat around and enjoyed some time off for a while, and then my husband got in touch with a friend of ours and they decided to take me out for my birthday. I grabbed a nice long shower and put on my favorite blouse, and my husband made me a breakfast burrito from HEAVEN.

We went out to lunch at this fantastic Asian buffet (our friend treated us) and then walked around the mall. My husband and I decided we're going to wait to buy a house for a little while longer. Hmm, I should put some backstory here...

We're going to buy a house, in cash, out of state. We want to start our lives together. Our plan is to save up a decent chunk of change and just buy a basic house, then we'll trade it out for the house we want later. Well, if we just put money away and every dime goes into bills or savings, we're going to hate our lives until we go. We've got mismatched furniture, an old TV, and both of our wardrobes need complete overhauls. Are we just going to take all of this crap with us? No. No way.  So we're going to take our time a bit better and enjoy being able to spend some of our money and be able to afford the things we need.

My husband bought me a truffle and him one as well (he's never had one). We stopped at a few shoe stores in the mall and I found the perfect pair of heels! Then we stopped by the grocery store. I picked us up a huge steak (it's a thing we do once in a while, share a large steak), and he bought me a bottle of birthday wine.

Then we came home and watched some TV, drank just a little wine, and went to bed. We're saving the steak and truffles and most of the wine for tonight when I get off work. I'll probably blog while I'm at work today, too. Just thought I should get this all down first :)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Huh What?

Shoot, just got reminded my birthday's tomorrow. Today, for a lot of people. You know, I feel weird enough getting "in advance" happy birthday messages, but to get plain boring "happy birthday from us" emails kind of freaks me out. Not even gonna lie. You, as a company, do not know me. You don't need to send personal sentiment. I can appreciate it, it's just a little weird. Like getting bras from grandma at 8.

I already went to my birthday dinner. I just had Mother's Day. I have to say, Mother's Day kind of sucks the fun out of my birthday, having them so close. All there is to do is guilt trip myself over the fact that I'm not working. I'll probably spend my birthday cleaning the house or something.

One of my friends is buying me a cigar. He's going to kidnap my husband and I to pick it out. Now that, I have no complaints about!!

In honor of the birthday, I have to label my first babe and song of the day!

Mayhap she was a little scandalous, but she had a few inspirational words and was the epitome of attraction. She's feminine, she's hot, she's... well, dead. But was. We'll say WAS.

And for a song of the day, well, it's my birthday, and I hardly care. So I'm going to share a song from a lovely man I share a birthday with, Mr. Fred Astaire!

Well, I wish you all a fantastic night.

This... Will Be FUN!

Hi, I'm Mrs. Precocious!

Yeah, I'm anonymous. Deal with it. I'm also snarky. But don't worry, that's targeted at the world around me, not you... usually.

So, a couple things about this blog! I work from home and need something to do in the background during slow times. I'll post funny pictures or interesting news items. Sometimes, it's that work makes me think about stuff and I want to talk it out. To myself. Don't judge me! Sometimes, life's bugging the sin out of me and I want to vent. Sometimes, I'm just bored and want to ramble!

There will be a babe of the day. I like attractive, strong women. Women who set fantastic examples for the rest of us.

There will also be a song of the day. I like having something to question myself about when things get monotonous.

I hope you enjoy!