Will Power: Fake It ‘Til You Make It

quit smokingLose weight, get in shape, pay down debt, spend more time with family, drink less, smoke less, do that thing you’ve been saying you want to do…

There are a ton of articles out there that teach you how to achieve your goals in the new year, but none tell you how to get control over yourself. I’m going to sum that up for you:

Don’t give yourself a choice. Choice is the enemy of your goals.

If you want to quit smoking, then throw out those bad boys and avoid places that sell them. Avoid it like the plague! Also, avoid people who are smoking. Avoid places where people are known to gather and have cigarettes. You don’t have to do it forever, just for a few weeks. Since most places in the US have smoking restrictions indoors, this should be fairly simple. Especially if you live in one of the colder areas of the country.

How extreme do you have to be? That depends on how weak willed your are. I’ve got next to no will power. In order to really commit to getting in shape I had to sell my car, and buy a bicycle. In order to pay off my debt (still working on that one) I had to cancel all my credit lines. I also have a freeze on my credit report. Sure, I could probably still get approved for credit, but it is a huge pain in the ass, and like I said, I’m pretty weak willed.

Want to reach your goals? Don’t give yourself a choice.

The secret is to do the thing that needs to be done while your resolve is still solid. Drastic? Absolutely! Is it worth it? Totally!

Posted in Everything Else, Health and Fitness

Don’t Call Me a Sinner

hookersThis word is wielded like a sword to justify one’s lack of acceptance of another person or group or race of people.

It is usually said bitterly. It is designed to make the other feel weak and powerless.

It is a verbal assault.

It is a tactic used by bullies.

“Hate the sin, but love the sinner.” You say.

What is that supposed to mean, anyway? How can you love someone if you hate the essence of their personality?

How would you like it if I regularly pointed out your sins? Gluttony, sloth, avarice (consumerism), lust, envy, pride and…

Wrath is the sin you commit when you accuse others of being a sinner. Hypocrisy is also a sin.

Good job! By accusing me of being a sinner, you have managed to commit both a mortal and venal sin in one little sentence.

But let’s be realistic for a moment, shall we? When someone accuses another of being a sinner, this is not usually because they want to be friends or save that person’s soul from eternal damnation. The word is used as a talisman against the sinner. As if sins are catching like a flu virus. You don’t want to be my friend if my first experience with you is being accused of sinning.

You call me a sinner because:

  • I worship differently than you.
  • I dress in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable with my fashion sense.
  • I pray differently than you.
  • I use words you are uncomfortable with using.
  • I love differently than you.
  • I eat foods different than you.
  • My lifestyle is different than yours.

You can’t hate the sin while loving the sinner. Just like you can’t hate all vegetables and love broccoli.


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Posted in I say-Opinion stuff

Birthday People vs. Non-Birthday People

Cake and WineI am a non-birthday person. I don’t think that was always the case, but sometime in my early teens I started to dread my birthday.

I bring this up because my birthday is approaching, November 26th to be exact. Reflection on why some people really enjoy their birthdays, and I do not, usually happens about this time of year. I do appreciate it when people send well wishes, as it tells me that they ARE birthday people and I make a mental note to acknowledge their birthdays in the future. I don’t expect birthday wishes, and in fact would really appreciate it if the day passed as any other day.

Birthday people are likely to be aghast while reading that paragraph. They may think I’m making a humble-brag-like post in an attempt to gain more attention toward my birthday or feel guilty for not paying more attention to my birthday in the past. But seriously, I’m good. If you would like an excuse to get together for cake and wine, I don’t need to wait until my birthday. Let’s go have some cake and wine! Right now! Heck, we can even get ourselves some candles and tip the waiters to come sing ‘Happy Birthday” for us if you want. I promise they won’t check ID’s to confirm that it is indeed a birthday celebration. I used to work at Olive Garden and never once asked for proof of a birthday before being forced to sing that stupid made-up birthday song en mass with my fellow servers. Let’s do it, it’ll be fun.

As a child, I think I looked forward to my birthday because my mom would make a big deal out of it. She’s a birthday person, by the way. A week after her most recent birthday passes, she reminds me (and everyone else for that matter) that is only 358 days left until her next birthday. I’ve never forgotten my mom’s birthday. I’m pretty sure that should I develop dementia in my old age (God forbid!), I’d have a muscle memory surrounding June 19th and begin baking a cake and shopping for cards and flowers while not understanding why I should want to do such a thing.

I think it was my 13th birthday that I began to feel strange about it. My birthday fell on Black Friday, the traditional heavy shopping day after Thanksgiving. My propensity for mouthing off to my over-stressed and economically challenged parents had my dad deciding that my birthday would go unacknowledged that year. In other words, I was grounded from my birthday. My mom was not 100% on board with that decision, but couldn’t come up with a reasonable excuse why my dad was being unreasonable. He’d retort with statements like, “Maybe next time she’ll think twice before running her smart mouth.” or “Going without cake and presents isn’t exactly corporal punishment.”

When I returned to school and told my friends that I was grounded from my birthday, they responded as if I was being shipped off to reform school. No birthday? How is that even possible? I forced my peers to confront the fact that birthday celebrations aren’t constitutionally protected rights of children. We kinda knew that parents are under no obligation to annually bestow on their children gifts and dessert treats. Jehovah’s witnesses were common in my neighborhood, but we figured that there was some kind of weird exception for religious people and that they probably did celebrate anyway, they just kept it secret. My peers did not accept the reality that my non-Jehovah’s-Witness parents were canceling my birthday. They were not ready to confront their powerlessness in the presence of parents. They hadn’t even considered that their parents could make that decision for them. There were many statements of “That’s not fair!” and “I’m sure they are bluffing. No mom and dad would ever do that!” But sure enough, I had only the tiniest of birthday celebrations. I got a piece of leftover pumpkin pie with a candle in it, and my mom sang happy birthday to me before my dad got home from work.

Happy Birthday, indeed.

To say that I felt awkward would be an understatement. Of course I didn’t say no to the pumpkin pie. I love pie! I did confront a lot of grown up feelings that day. Although I didn’t feel guilty for questioning my parents’ judgement on what was appropriate language (I was mostly grounded for doing things like cursing or vehemently disagreeing with my chores assignment through the use of cursing), I didn’t “learn my lesson” about questioning authority and using colorful language. What I did feel was being the object of pity. As a child, people may show you pity from time to time, but due to the oblivious and narcissistic nature of childhood, generally it goes unremarked upon in the psyche. This was the first time I was aware that an adult was showing me pity. It sucked.

It sucked because I had to confront my own powerlessness over my life. I became aware that I was at the mercy of others to near exclusivity. This was counter to what I had been told all my life. Because I was a girl living in the post-feminist movement world, I heard time and again that I could be anything I wanted. I could have it all. There was nothing stopping me from becoming President or an astronaut or a policeman (man?) all the while being a loving wife and mother if I so choose.

But I couldn’t have a day pass from my grounding for my birthday. It was my first day as a teenager, which by the way is a really huge deal!

If you are of the XY chromosome persuasion, then you may not get what the big deal is about turning 13. But to girls, becoming a teenager is a really big deal. We are sold a bill of goods all throughout childhood about how totally awesome being a teenager is. We get dolls that depict what teenagers dream about. All wonderful things happen to teenaged girls. There are awesome clothes and pretty hair and Prom and driver’s licenses and boys. We get to do wonderful and glamorous things like wear panty hose and shop for life affirming underarm deodorant.

Okay, maybe it was just a little creepy, too:

My 13th year was a watershed year for me. I learned that I couldn’t be whatever I wanted on “Career Day” when I told the Navy Recruiter I wanted to be a fighter pilot. It appeared that a penis was required for that job. I was banned from swimming that summer during my period because using tampons somehow equaled losing my virginity. (I bought my own. Trying to figure out how to use them was a whole ‘nother adventure). I spent a good portion of the year grounded to my room thanks in no small part to my refusal to keep my opinions about the decisions that were made for me to myself. I moved in with a friend for a few weeks because spending all my spare time in my bedroom alone, shut off from the world was just too lonely for me. It took me 3 days to tell my parents I had moved out. I started smoking and drinking before my 13th birthday, but I got pretty good at it that year. Back then there was no minimum age to purchase cigarettes. Also, most people didn’t pay much attention to their liquor cabinets. Thirteen year olds aren’t interested in that stuff, right?

I also started a diary when I was 13. I still have all my diaries. I wrote a lot about sex and drugs and rock and roll. The drama of interpersonal relationships and the unfairness of the world. I can look back at those journals and I could tell by my handwriting whether I was sober or drunk or stoned while I wrote those passages. The sober entries were the most boring, by the way. By the time I hit 16 I was done with the Hunter S. Thompson career path and finally accepted life for what it was, all of it’s inequalities and how the best I could hope for was to get “discovered” like Marylin Monroe or to quietly settle down into a nondescript middle class existence. It was easy for me to envision a life of homeless desperation. I paid homeless people to buy my alcohol for me, so it was never far from my periphery. Homeless people didn’t get birthday cards or cake or presents. Some of them were so far gone that they’d be hard pressed to tell you what month it is, much less how long until their birthday.

Being born and surviving another year on this planet is not an accomplishment. It just happens. I guess once a person has reached old age, it is indeed an accomplishment. If you manage to out live nearly everyone you know, you deserve to be celebrated. Your life can be looked upon as a goal or achievement for others to reach. I’m in my 40’s. Not really a difficult age to reach if you managed to survive childhood. Maybe it’s just low self esteem, but I don’t see the fact that I’m still drawing breath as cause for celebration at this age. I haven’t done anything particularly remarkable in my lifetime. I’m nice enough, but I’m no Mother Theresa. I’m smart enough to get my bills paid on time and not accidentally eat poison, but I’ve not invented anything significant or solved any kind of major problems, and only solve the very mundane ones like how to get to work every day or what can I make out of spaghetti noodles, peanut butter, and cucumbers (Hint: Sesame Chicken Cucumber Salad). These aren’t major accomplishments. In fact, for anyone who isn’t disabled it is considered the bare minimum of effort required for success. Bare MINIMUM.

Another year has passed. I did stuff, but nothing unusual or remarkable. My actions of the last year aren’t likely to win me a Nobel prize or even “Pet Owner Of The Month” in my neighborhood. I will continue to dutifully scoop my dog’s poop anyway, because isn’t that the bare minimum of courtesy toward one’s neighbors? I do plan on taking advantage of some birthday discounts and free stuff from the Sephora counter at JC Penney’s. I’m not opposed to exploiting marketing campaigns aimed at me because I happen to know the date of my birth.

But expecting a party in my honor just because I’ve managed to traverse around the sun one more time? You can count me out. I find the idea a little humiliating. I’m happy spending some time alone with my left over pumpkin pie and some wine. Thanks.

P.S. If anyone reading this has lost someone they loved, I’m not writing this to disparage or minimize the pain you may be feeling at your loss. You may feel that every birthday is precious, but why wait for a birthday to let someone know you love them? Go get your phone right now, and send someone a text telling them you love them. Don’t wait for the calendar to tell you to. After all, if you do wait until an event such as a birthday or national holiday, it may be too late by then, right?

Posted in Everything Else

Rethink Breast Cancer presents: Your Man

Rethink Breast Cancer presents: Your Man Reminder –

Posted in Funny videos, Health and Fitness

I’m Selling My Car

Craigslist keeps flagging the post and it keeps getting removed. Please pass on this link so that I may get this darn thing sold!

Fugly 2004 Toyota Corolla LE $3592 OBO

2004 Toyota Corolla LE

2004 Toyota Corolla LE

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Fugly Toyota Corolla LE 2004 $3,592.00 OBO

If you are looking for a car that will help you get laid, this one ain’t it. This car isn’t ugly so much that it is practically invisible. If you want a car that will get you noticed, just click away from this ad now, ‘cause this car is better suited to hiding in plain sight.

However, if you need a car with stealth capabilities, this car would be ideal for remaining invisible. If you need a getaway car for any reason— I’m certainly not endorsing bank robberies— sneaking out of work early, slinking away from those dreaded family gatherings, stalking your ex, or taking up a hobby as paparazzi, it is perfectly suited for such endeavors.

Luckily, this car comes with a key fob that will flash the lights and horn at you as you meander around the Wal Mart parking lot at 2am. Just grab your boxed wine and Red Box movie because ain’t no one going home with you once they get a look at what you’re driving. This car has a knack for becoming invisible in crowded parking lots, so keeping a fresh battery in the key fob is essential, otherwise your perpetually single ass is going to be wandering the parking garage checking the license plates of every compact sedan of a nondescript grayish color. Not that you’ve got something better to do. But that box of Franzia is getting heavy and only serves to remind you how lonely and pathetic your life is.

I bought this car because I wanted to be left alone. Hell, not even the cops bothered me when I went flying down the freeway at 68mph in a 65mph zone. Again, I don’t advise anyone use this car for law breaking purposes, my example is a poor one and only proves that I was taking unnecessary risks. I may have gotten away with pushing the boundary of the law that time, but you may not be as lucky as me.

This car has been primarily driven on the highway. Ok, I know you are rolling your eyes now, because everyone says that, but do you really think I got this baby up over 200K just running the kids to soccer practice?

I bought the darn thing in Missoula, Montana because I had to. As in, I was stranded on the Great Plains. My Dodge Intrepid died a very dramatic death involving copious amounts of smoke spewing from the tail pipe. This brought on a huge bout of enviroguilt, causing me to seek out the nearest Prius dealership. Unfortunately, they were sold out of Priui at the moment, so I ended up with the next best thing for assuaging my guilt over spewing carbon emissions into the atmosphere: A Toyota Corolla.

When the salesman attempted to show me the car, I walked right past the darn thing. Yes, it was sitting on the showroom floor, but I’m fairly sure its cloaking device was fully engaged. I nearly tripped over it before the test drive because I just didn’t see it there.

I should have known at the time I would be forever losing this car. There was only one time that disaster nearly resulted from my car being so darned hard to spot. I was in Tacoma, Washington where I was forced to stop for fuel. Being an Oregonian, this exercise in and of itself is rather stressful. If you’ve ever traveled north of the border to the uncivilized hinterlands, you know that creatures of civility such as ourselves are rarely exposed to the indignities of self service fueling stations. After I managed to successfully fuel my vehicle without any expert training, I dashed into the convenience mart to reward myself with a treat for a job well done. When I returned to my vehicle, I climbed into the driver’s seat to prepare for my trip back to Oregon, but noticed a bunch of junk on the passenger seat. Some kind of map and a thermos that was not there a moment before, was cluttering my front seat. Who would dump this junk in my car? I put my key in the ignition, but it wouldn’t turn. Then I looked a little closer, and the interior of my car was now a taupe color, whereas it had been a flat gray color just a few minutes before.

My first thought was, naturally, that I had slipped into an alternate plane of existence. This one was so close to my own that it was nearly imperceptible. But then a middle-aged man was tapping on the glass of the driver’s side window, saying, “Lady, your car is over there.” Pointing out my own vehicle sitting at the next row of pumps.

So, if you need a car that will get you from here to Argentina and back, using stealth technology to remain completely invisible from the causal onlooker, look no further. This car has been well maintained. I’ve never had a more reliable car in my life. If you absolutely, positively need this car to get you from Point A to Point B, it won’t let you down.

I don’t know how Toyota did it, but they managed to build and mass market a disappearing car.

Other pertinent info:

  • 2004 Toyota Corolla LE
  • 200,700 miles (+/-)
  • Automatic Transmission
  • Sliding sun roof
  • CD/Cassette stereo
  • Power Locks and Windows
  • Cruise Control
  • ABS
  • Front and Side Airbags
  • Lots of neat hidey holes in the passenger compartment
  • Two Charging ports
  • Magical trunk holds an incredible amount of stuff (Stealthy shopping capacity)
Posted in Everything Else

World Naked Bike Ride (NSFW)

This video contains nudity and adult language. But it’s about as offensive as a National Geographic Special on tribal peoples who do stuff sans clothing. This tribe just happens to live in Portland, Oregon.

I will be riding with  this group tonight. I may tweet during the event. Maybe even some photos will go up on Twitter if I can keep them PG-13. I like Twitter and am not interested in getting banned.

Bare As You Dare: Portland’s World Naked Bike Ride from Ian McCluskey on Vimeo.

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Posted in Cycling, Funny videos, Health and Fitness

I see stuff like this and wonder, what c

I see stuff like this and wonder, what century is this again? Number of Women ‘Tricked’ Into Parenthood is On Rise http://ow.ly/lC8s3

Posted in Everything Else
Ride It Like You Stole It

Ride It Like You Stole It

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