Tuesday, April 28, 2009

mother's advice: finger smelling

As a mother, it is important for me to dish out unwanted advice whenever possible. My urge to help in the form of lectures, guilt trips, and embarrassing scenes in front of your cool friends is now instilled into my blood. If I were standing in front of you right now, I would be asking if you've brushed your teeth yet and handing you a new pack of Sears underpants. For all of those reasons, I consider it my duty to dole out the following information:

Fact: there is no cool, casual, or non-gross way to smell your fingers. Doesn't matter if you've recently eaten a burger and you're wondering where that "burger smell" is coming from (did you put on deodorant like I told you??), or if you just smacked a bouquet out of someone's hands (apologize this instant! Doooo itttt...), there is never, EVER a good way to smell your fingers while in the company of any other human being. And for god's sake, NEVER ask someone else to smell them. Why? Because everyone, no matter what age or background, associates finger smelling with butt-smells. Why is that? Because at some point in most people's childhoods (not my own, naturally), everyone has fallen into the "butt-smell intrigue" phase. For all I know, many people may still be in that phase, but that doesn't mean they can smell their fingers in front of me.

When I was a kid, my brother and I were walking home from school. Across the street, a boy was walking by himself. He was either unaware of us or he didn't care, and he stuck his hand down the back of his pants. Then he pulled his hand out, held it in front of his face, took a deep breath and grinned. Since that day, the "smell hand while grinning" gag has been a consistent winner among my siblings. Why? Because it is gross and hilarious.

I've done a lot of research into this topic, and I've found that if it is absolutely imperative that you MUST smell your fingers in public, the following ways are barely acceptable (although still very risky):

- pretending to rub your nose while breathing in (although this hardly allows for a good whiff)
- pretending to cough with your hand in a fist covering your mouth, and your offending fingers positioned under your nose
- saying out loud, clearly, "I previously ate a burger, and am now smelling my hand to be sure that it doesn't smell burger-ish. My hand has not been in my butt today, nor anyone else's."

There, don't say I never did anything to help you out. Now go tend to your various responsibilities and chores, and if you leave the house, remember who you are and what you stand for.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

sunday diaryah #17

Ahhhh, spring when I was 13!

"April 27, 92
Dear Diary,
Alice said she saw Chris and he had a girl with him. Oh well, it's not like he's going to wait around till I'm 16! If only he knew my feelings for him, and I'm not bad looking either! My hair went real curly. I wish Chris would join the church.

"April 28, 92
Dear Diary,
There's a new boy in our school, his name is Brian, and he's pretty cute! He's very stylish. If only he'd let his hair go down he'd look even better. I still like Chris.

P.S. We played baseball today and Brian was supposed to come, but he couldn't."

"April 29, 92
Dear Diary,
Today Doran turned 20, he's still on his mission. Brian came to mutual, I think, I never saw him. Tomarrow we have the endurance run. Goody goody! (NOT!)

"April 30, 92
Dear Diary,
Today I did the endurance run, I got silver. I'm really hyper tonight. Brian's cuter than I thought although he'd be really pretty if he were a girl!

"May 1, 92
Dear Diary,
Today I went to one of Sam's partys, it was really fun! Chris was there too! I looked pretty too! Natalie was flirting a little, trying to make him notice her. Vince and Brad were in the strangest mood! They ran around with chip boxes on their heads talking o themselves. Brian was supposed to come but his parents are real strict so he couldn't. My writing is messy because my hands are very numb, I had to ride home slowly because Natalie had no bike. I wish Chris could realize how I felt towards him!
Tired and Cold,
P.S. Chris is for sure coming to the island and so is Brad and Patricia!"

Next week: more idiotic teen drama!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

sunday diaryah #16 and a rant about religion!

I love feeling sun tired! But does anyone else think that a week of +teens to twenties followed by a week of -2 with snow is a little unnecessary? It's a law of nature that any day that I have an appointment on HAS to be horrible, which is probably why this coming Thursday will kick off a stupid week of coldness again. Winter is such an A-hole. Alberta winters, even more so.

Anyway, on to my 90s diary posts:

"April 23, 92
Dear Diary,
Sorry for not writing for so long, it's Easter holidays and I've been very busy lately. I slept in the cabin, and at Pam's and at Corry's. I still looove Chris. I wish I was with him alone, trapped, on the island, for 3 days. I don't think Natalie likes Chris as much anymore.
Sarah (wheeze)
P.S. Weeze is short for Sarah Louise. I heart you!"

*I tried unsuccessfully to nickname myself after reading a book about a girl character named Sarah Louise, but who was "weeze" for short. Asthmatic connotations didn't come into my mind when I decided that I wanted to be "weeze".

"April 24, 92
Dear Diary,
I slept in till 1:00pm! The day was boring!

"April 25, 92
Dear Diary,
Micheal L. came down. Deanne is flirting with him mega, she's such a fake. I still heart Chris, Kendrah said he liked me, why not? I started my period today. Bummer.

I'm including this next post even though it counts as next Sunday, mainly because I read it and it's awesome, so I have to post it NOW.

"April 26, 92
Dear Diary,
At a fireside today we learned that ACDC are devil worshippers and Mick Jagger is the worst. ACDC stands for something like Anti Christ Devils Children. Satan hates us youth because we are the future and he knows we will conquer him. Is he ever right! We'll chew him up and spit out the bones, then let God deal with him and he will be sent away to be destroyed. For he is the all-time sinner and he does not repent. He is dirty, he is evil, he is sick.


*We had several sunday school lessons focused on why rock music was evil. One of the authorities in the church spread a story to most of the youth programs about meeting Mick Jagger on an airplane and the conversation that ensued. As far as I can tell, this page contains the original story. Basically, the righteous guy asks the rocker guy what his music is about, and the rocker guy says its purpose is to make the youth have sex (GASP!). The "official story" has without a doubt been edited to make Mr. righteous look as clever and amazing as possible, but what the whole account (true or no) never acknowledges is that if an ignorant, self-righteous dink starts asking patronizing questions regarding religion to a dude who is extremely famous, likely hungover, and probably exponentially more clever than the dink, someone like Mr. Jagger would probably prod the dink in whatever scandalous ways he could, just for giggles.

Also, I don't think officials of the church knew the acronym for "alternating current/direct current", and some evangelical church somewhere thought up "anti-christ devil's children" and then the whole rest of christianity locked onto it with their typical fervor.

I can't really put into words how irritated I am that I was indoctrinated with such bullsh*t as a kid. We were constantly berated with aaaaaalllllll the ways "satan" was trying to trick us. I won't go over the whole unhealthy sex thing again (I've talked about it in this post already), but dammit, I feel like I was robbed. When I could get my hands on it, I loved Jimi Hendrix, Queen, Alice Cooper, and The Rolling Stones when I was a teen. I'd discover them in a soundtrack for something like Wayne's World, and then memorize the songs, but always have that feeling of guilt for liking them. I never had the guts to go buy more, because I thought it would mean the beginning to my spiritual downfall. That kind of music is great for teens because, unlike any puke-garbage christian spinoff, the music is exactly how teens feel. The anger, the angst, the "f*#k you" to the entire world, the giddiness, the noise, the total irreverence – that was how I actually felt back then; a jumble of hormones and angst, given no means to express or vent such feelings other than prayer (aka suppression and guilt) and "uplifting" music, meaning church music, which was nothing more than a sickly coating of candy farts and stagnant puddles of ice cream diarrhea (I don't think highly of christian music, can you tell?). Give me something that's honest, something raw and real. Something that reaches down to my dirty human guts and pulls out a daisy. That's Rock and Roll.

Anyway, while I've kept a lot of my church criticisms to myself, I will say that the list is long, and likely very offensive to much of my family. As I've said before, getting into such discussions is totally cyclical and frustrating, because what it simply comes down to is faith. If a person wants to believe that the sky is orange, that there is a God who believes the sky is orange, and that believing that sky isn't orange means missing out on eternal happiness, then that is what they will believe, and no one, especially me, can convince them that the sky is blue, or green, or pink, or whatever color I think it is. If a person wants to believe that the adage "eat, drink, and be merry" is in fact sinful and the path to unhappiness, then that is what they'll believe. If they want to believe that happiness is constant repentance, unwavering sobriety, rusted chastity belts, and pretending to sit on a higher plane than everyone else (how better to look down their noses at us?), than that is what they'll believe. For my part, I'm happy to be on the fun side of the fence.

More than anything, I don't believe in sin. I don't believe that when people do bad things, it is due to some outside influence of evil. I don't believe that praying gets you blessings, and not praying loses them. I believe in individual accountability. We are accountable to ourselves and those around us. We are at the mercy of natural chaos, we're a part of that chaos just as the trees and birds are, and assuming that any greater power prefers us over the trees and the birds is arrogant and absurd. If someone punches someone else, it isn't god's problem, it's theirs (and the person who they punched). If someone is an abuser, it isn't because satan made them so, it's likely because they were abused or have chemically messed up brains (and our laws are theoretically in place to break such cycles). If someone chooses to help their fellow man, it should be because they want to; because they like their fellow man, not because god expects them to. If a family ends up with 12 kids, that is their decision. Not god's. If a lady gets pregnant, it's because we are biologically built to reproduce, not because god wills it. If a woman can't have kids, it's because something is biologically imbalanced or damaged, not because they did something wrong and god doesn't want them to have kids. Whoever/whatever god is, he/she/it has nothing to do with our peddly day-to-day lives. That's what I believe. Individual accountability and responsibility. Making your life what you want it to be, accepting your own failures and working hard for your successes, and doing what you can to make the world a little better. The phrase "it's in God's hands" makes me want to throw eggs.

Of course, one can't underestimate the power of our imaginations, and I believe that that is what most of religion is. Reality is based on perception, and if your mind perceives a big dude with a beard on a throne doling out blessings and retributions, then that is what you'll believe to be reality. So again, one can't really argue against that, especially when it is a perception that includes millions and has been dogmatized for centuries (or decades, depending on what you believe). There's security in believing what millions already believe. The chances of standing out or having to have an actual opinion are significantly less.

Phew! Didn't plan on such a rant! Guess I've just got the Sundays, and reading that entry got me all worked up.

Anyway, I'll stop here. Time to relax and enjoy the weather some more.

Monday, April 13, 2009

gobbledygook from god?

I've got religion on my mind again these days. Not so much because of the Easter season (although that plays into it), but mainly because I'm currently reading The Divine Invasion by Philip K. Dick. It's themes are heavily, if not exclusively, religious, posing the idea that (in the future) God has lost Earth and been exiled, and returns smuggled as a fetus in a dying woman's womb. The way Dick writes about God is pretty impressive, tapping into dualities, flaws, uncertainty, and extreme ignorance all at once. I haven't finished it yet, and while I haven't been completely riveted by the novel, there have been several passages that have given me pause. Blending the divine and science fiction works surprisingly well, and makes the whole issue of God entirely more plausible. That said, it is still based on the idea of structure, order, and Truth ultimately reigning within the divine, which is something I don't believe. Anyway, it's an interesting read whether you're religious or not.

Coincidentally (although maybe also because religion is seeped into the air right now), my friend Doha recently sent me a link to this page: a site including the winners of a Creationist science fair. I'm not going to get all "science vs. religion" or "evolution vs. creationism" (suffice to say I lean heavily toward the scientific side of things), but some of these projects were mind-blowingly, head-explosioningly, mouth-agapingly horrible, even for kids' projects (and keep in mind, we all know that kids' science fair projects are basically the parents' projects, so I don't feel bad being harsh about them). Here's a list of the winners (and runners-up):

Elementary level:

1st Place
: "My Uncle Is A Man Named Steve (Not A Monkey)"
- girl baffles scientists by proving that her Uncle Steve is, in fact, NOT a monkey! WHAA??? Evolution MUST be bunk!

2nd Place
: "Pine Cones Are Complicated"
- therefore God made them, naturally.

Honorable mentions:
- "God Made Kitty"
- "The Bible Say Creation"
- "Pokemon Prove Evolution is False" (my personal favorite, an idea that Vera and I will definitely re-hash once she's in grade school)

Middle School Level:

1st Place
: "Life Doesn't Come From Non-Life"
- girl places carbon (a charcoal briquet), purified water, and assorted minerals (a multi-vitamin) into a sealed glass jar. NOTHING HAPPENS. Take that, evolution!!! Zinger!

2nd Place
: "Women Were Designed For Homemaking"
- oh god, this one is amazing: "physics shows that women have a lower center of gravity than men, making them more suited to carrying groceries and laundry baskets; biology shows that women were designed to carry un-born babies in their wombs and to feed born babies milk, making them the natural choice for child rearing; social sciences show that the wages for women workers are lower than for normal workers, meaning that they are unable to work as well and thus earn equal pay; and exegetics shows that God created Eve as a companion for Adam, not as a co-worker." LIBERATIOOOONNNNNN!!! Finally!

Honorable mentions:
- "Mousetrap Reduced To Pile Of Functionless Parts"
- "Dinosaur & Man Walked Together"
- "Rocks Can't Evolve, Where Did They Come From Mr. Darwin?"

High School Level:

1st Place
: "Using Prayer To Microevolve Latent Antibiotic Resistance In Bacteria"
- I think the title is pretty self-explanatory. Apparently, it worked?

2nd Place
: "Maximal Packing Of Rodentia Kinds: A Feasibility Study"
- kids stuff a bunch of hamsters into a mini-ark, and they all turn out okay! "The study lasted 30 days and 30 nights, with all Rodentia surviving at least long enough afterwards to allow for reproduction. These findings strongly suggest that Noah's Ark could hold and support representatives of all antediluvian animal kinds for the duration of the Flood and subsequent repopulation of the Earth." SNAP!

Honorable mentions:
- "Geocentrism: Politically Incorrect"
- "Young Earth, Old Lies"
- "Thermodynamics Of Hell Fire" (!!!)

Are you trembling with fury and terror yet? These kids are a part of the North American future, people. Do I need to point you back at my post advocating lefties and liberals to have more babies? Huh?? Do I?? Well I did anyway.

It's a wacky world. From Battlefield Earth to kooky science fairs, seems like common sense ain't welcome in these parts no more.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

sunday diaryah #15

Before I post my old diary entries, watch this: my cousin Doran sent it to me and I am obsessed with it:

Someday I will start a bakery and have that happening in it. It will be a smashing success, even if we only sell one loaf of bread a day.

Anyway, on to the diaryah!

"April 7, 92
Dear Diary,
Today I got my ears pierced, it hurt! Other than that I was bored."

"April 9, 92
Dear Diary,
Today it snowed about 4" deep! What a bummer! I still love Chris! Deanne never finished the kitchen and it's a mess! Mom will probably come down and be mad at me, but I'll tell it wasn't my job and that I did my job! I hate it when the house is a mess!

"April 12. 92
Dear Diary,
Yesterday we had a dance at Delosse and Velma Hatch's 50th anniversary. The only guy my age I danced with was Lars. I danced with some old men, my friends, and some kids over 5 years younger than me. One kid was really cute, he was only about 4 or 5, and he'd stare straight up at you. He was adorable!

"April 15, 92
Dear Diary,
Today we played baseball for mutual. I did the 50m run today, I think I got the highest score for girls, we're doing the endurance run tomarrow, Ahhh! I still love Chris. Oh yeah, I'm going into Edmonton tomarrow afternoon, with Pam. Don't worry, I'll bring you.
Pretty fast,

P.S. The May camp on the island is for sure! There's going to be boys and girls there, separate tents of coarse! The people who were invited were Sam, me, Pam, Nat, Audrey, Annalee, Anna, Amanda L., Sarah L., Michael, Reed, Andy, Vince, Larse, Ryan, and... Chris!!! I'm so excited!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

royal awesome dream

Since I don't have much else to blog about, I'll tell y'all about my dream last night.

I was a guy, dressed in Michael Jackson/Liz Taylor drag, heading to a costume party at the British Royal Family's palace. The Royal driveway was lined with tennis courts, and costumed guests were arguing over game rules. I was really excited for some reason, I think there was an opportunity possibility or something.

We went inside and the Royal Family was standing in a greeting line, except none of them looked like the actual Royal Family. I shook a couple of hands and then tripped and knocked over the Queen, the Prince, and a couple other people. I got up apologizing and blamed my cheap high-heels. One of the Princesses was chubby and homely, and she grabbed me and led me downstairs. I was like, "cool! I'm in!" but then she flung me onto a couch in the basement, sat across from me, and turned on the TV. I was disappointed and didn't want to miss the party, so I asked if there were any cool secrets in the palace. She nodded and pushed a button on her remote, which caused the TV wall to fold in and another "safari-styled" TV wall emerged. It was playing one of the "Mummy" movies, except the hero lead was played by Topher Grace (the guy who plays Eric on That 70's Show), and he had a really bad five-o-clock shadow that looked like it was scribbled onto his face. For conversation's sake, I started telling the princess that I know someone who looks just like Topher Grace (except more handsome, I think), but she was totally not interested and kept indicating that she wanted to watch the movie. I resigned and figured I'd missed the party anyway, then I woke up.

Most of my dreams are pretty narrative, and play out like little episodes. I don't always remember them in so much detail though, so consider this a treat! That is, if you consider long-winded senseless blathering a treat.