Friday, March 31, 2006


So, I'm new to this whole blogger thing and learning as I go. All this time I thought no one was reading my little blog 'cause I didn't see any comments. I just realized that I have to go in and approve the comments at my 'moderate comments' section. doh!

And there are lots of comments in there! Hooray! Comments make me feel all warm and fuzzy. :)

Bear with me folks. I swear I'll get the hang of this sooner or later. (hopefully sooner!)

Wedding Rings

What is it about a wedding ring that makes me all wistful and sad and stupid? It's just a symbol after all, and one that is misleading and complicated to boot. I know, intellectually, that marriage is a challenging situation to put oneself in, that it is not all romance and mutual admiration. I know how ugly divorces usually are. I know that I value my independence as an unmarried gal.

My cousin got married last weekend and I was asked to be in the ceremony as a bride's maid. My goofy little cousin, who used to be a crazed little imp of a kid, stood up in a church next to a lovely young woman and promised to love and take care of her 'till death do they part. They are both in their mid-twenties and they sure look like a couple that is going to last. Watching them standing up there in front of the world and proclaiming their commitment to each other was quite humbling, really.

A little background: When I was in high school, I watched my parents go through a divorce after twenty years of marriage. I know that when they got married, they intended it to last for the rest of their lives. They meant it when they took those vows in a church before god and their families. Somewhere along the line, though, they both changed, grew up, grew apart. It happens. The whole thing was long and painful. It definitely affected my outlook on marriage. I thought, as a young woman, that if you could marry someone in your twenties and end up hardly knowing them in your forties, what was the point? How can you really be sure this is the one person you want to be with for the rest of your life? So much changes over the years. This seemed like a huge gamble to me.

Fast forward to my late twenties and I'm starting to think that the ring is not that scary. As a matter of fact, I'm kind of wanting one. This is such a contradiction to my identity as a strong individual, though. Isn't this what feminism has been trying to get girls to understand, that we don't have to get married? Haven't we been fighting for a world where a woman does not have to have a husband to be counted as a real citizen? We are just starting to break the glass ceiling in corporate America and to elect more women to positions in government. I don't need a man to make me worthwhile. I am my own woman, damn it! Aren't I?

I stood there last weekend, in my pink bride's maid dress, with my pink flowers and my pink cheeks feeling more than a little confused. Maybe it's just the natural human need for companionship that makes me romanticize getting married. Then again, I was probably conditioned as a child by Barbie and Disney movies to think that I need a prince charming to be happy. I know I sat around with my little playmates and planned out my wedding with the rest of them. We would fantasize about what our dress would look like and practice walking down 'the aisle' with a white napkin fastened on our heads with a plastic hair band. We would take turns being the bride's maids and one poor kid always had to be the groom. If you were lucky, you could get your friend's brother. Otherwise one of us girls had to do it. The groom was always a secondary element in these little play-acting games. Maybe we just liked to play dress-up. Maybe that's all a wedding is, anyway. It's the actual 'marriage' part of it that's daunting.

I'm very happy for my cousin and his new wife. I hope they spend the next fifty plus years together and live happily ever after. I wonder what it is, though, that makes them so sure that this is the one. Is it just that they are young? Am I just jaded and scared? I suppose I won't truly know if marriage is for me until or unless I walk down the aisle myself one day. Until then, it remains a tantalizing mystery, but one that I hope I get a shot at solving someday.

Oh, and by the way...I caught the bride's bouquet at the reception. What does that mean?!

Monday, March 20, 2006

My Mascara is Evil

All right, animal lovers and/or pet owners. Here is a little challenge for you.

Go into your bathroom and empty out your medicine cabinet and other various storage spots, under the sink for example. Separate all your lotions, shampoos, cosmetics etc. Into two groups, stuff that is tested on animals and stuff that is not.


Do you feel as shitty as I did?

I sat on my bathroom floor, looking at the whopping three items that I knew were completely cruelty free and I felt like an evil, selfish, petty little creature. Oh, and let's not forget hypocritical. Yeah...really hypocritical. I am the kind of person that rails against back yard breeders,horse racing and premarin farms, yet I have a bathroom cabinet chock full of products developed through the torture of bunny rabbits and puppies. I actually felt queasy. For those of you that have pets, can you, even for a moment, imagine you're beloved pet being tested on by Maybelline or Gillette? The problem, of course, is that you probably can. We don't ever want to think about such disturbing things, so we don't. We don't think about it at all when we're walking the isles of Rite-Aid or Target. I know what I'm usually thinking about. I'm looking at prices and trying to figure out if I can afford John Freida's latest rip-off in the hopes that I will finally have shiny mannequin hair and doesn't puff up in a frizzy cloud ten minutes after I leave the house. I know I'm not thinking of the beagle puppy they used to see just how much red dye it takes to go blind.

What got me thinking about all this was a news story late last week about The Body Shop. I used to shop there for my make-up because I knew they were serious about not using animal tests. It was an easy place to go (there's one in damn near every mall in America) and I could pick up anything the store with a guilt-free conscience. Alas, The Body Shop has just been purchased by L'Oreal, a company that uses quite a lot of animal testing and shows no inclination to stop. While, the Body Shop will most likely continue using cruelty free ingredients in their products, their profits will now become L'Oreal's profits.

Anita Roddick, the founder of the company had this to say in a recent article printed by The Mercury News:

``I don't see it as selling out,'' she said. ``L'Oreal has displayed visionary leadership in wanting to be an authentic advocate and supporter of our values.''

But criticism of the deal came Friday over the linkup between Body Shop, known for products that aren't tested on animals, and L'Oreal, which has yet to ban animal testing.
``It's ironic that a company well-known for its anti-animal testing stance should sell out to one that tests on animals and which has yet to show its commitment to any ethical issues at all,'' said Ruth Rosselson of Ethical Consumer magazine.

And here's the interesting thing...we have the technology to eliminate animal testing. It's even more cost effective. There are many other tests that use computer simulation or human tissue in test tubes that are actually cheaper and more accurate. Once a product or ingredient has passed these sorts of tests, they can do patch testing on voluntary human subjects. This usually involves putting some of the product on a person's skin (usually the upper-back area) covering it with a patch for two days and measuring the results. Companies can also make products with chemicals that we already know are safe. There is so much information available from past experiments, that it is rarely necessary to test the basic ingredients anymore. Cosmetics companies could actually save money on product development this way.

I have decided that I cannot continue to pour my scant amount of disposable income into companies that actively and wantonly torture animals. I'm not able to restrict my diet so I'm going to restrict my deodorant (and shampoo and mascara et al.) There is simply no reason to test beauty products on living creatures. I can see where the medical community can justify this sort of testing (though I'd rather they found alternative means as well) but I can no longer be a part of the beauty industry's policies. I'll sleep better at night.

I have listed a couple of links below if you would like more info. Be careful when browsing. If they say "Warning - Disturbing Images", they mean it. I couldn't look at some of the pages because I know I'll just end up crying into my keyboard. I'm a great big softie when it comes to this kind of stuff. No stomach for it what-so-ever.

I'm going to work hard on changing this part of my life. There is no better way to get a message across in this society than with money. I'm going to spend mine with a bit more wisdom.

At least I now have a perfect excuse to shop at Lush a lot more often.

All about alternatives to animal testing:

Animal friendly products list:

More product info:


...And So Is My Toothpaste
I was browsing through my Yahoo News page when this little tid-bit caught my eye. Looks like Colgate/Palmolive just purchased Tom's of Maine. Tom's was founded in 1970 by a couple of idealistic, hippy-dippy folks (bless them!) who wanted to provide natural, environmentally responsible toothpaste. Hey, everyone has a dream.
They made their toothpaste and lots of other nifty natural hygiene products and people liked it. Other nice hippy-dippy folks bought their toothpaste and they made lots of money. They managed to do all this without testing on animals. No more. They are going to become part of Colgate.

Maybe my high school economics teacher was right. Big business truly is evil incarnate.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

And Then There Were Three

Update Time:

I got home to a strangely empty apartment last night and was confused. I thought to myself, "Self, isn't there supposed to be a little kid here with my loving and good lookin' boy friend? What gives?" Turns out I had just beaten them home, which was good. Gave me time to clean up the kitchen a bit and take out the trash. I know, I'm a compulsive neat freak when it comes to people being in my home. I don't want anyone to discover my inner slob.

So, there I sat, my stomach filled with hyperactive butterflies, awaiting the arrival of a small girl whom I had never met, a small girl that is the end-all, be-all of my b/f's life. What was I so afraid of? I generally like kids. They generally like me. But what if I didn't like her? Or worse, what if she didn't like me? I remember the first time I met my dad's new wife and let me tell ya, I tried really hard to like her but, well, I was 16 and angry.

They finally arrived and it went something like this:

Me: (standing next to the couch trying to look friendly and approachable) Hi.
Her: (standing by the wall looking kind of tired and shy) Hi.
Me: I hear you guys had quite a day going to Catalina.
Her: Uh-huh.
Me: (getting desperate) Did you have fun?
Her: I got sick on the boat.
Me: Oh....I'm sorry.

Enter Nicodemus (my cat) stage left.

Nic: Meerow?

Her: (eyes light up, great big grin) Is that your cat? Dad said you have a cat. Can I pet him? How old is he? I have a cat named Purry and I used to have my dad's cat, Jazzy but he got old do you have one cat or two I'm going to get a Pug soon from my grandparents I used to have a rabbit but he ran away can I give your cat a treat what does he eat Purry likes my milk after I eat my cereal....

We're best friends now.

We stayed up late and watched a movie. Well, we put in a movie, but she spent a lot of time trying to get Nic to let her pet him. He kept venturing into the living room and then hiding under the bed for a few minutes, then venturing out again. My cat is a tease. I made her some eggs. (I guess her tummy was better). I could tell she was checking me out, trying to figure out this new person. Wondering about me and her dad. It was kind of strange in a de ja vu sort of way. She's a really cool little girl. Very smart, sweet and so full of energy. Poor boyfriend was zonked out on the floor, but she was not at all ready for sleep. Yep, I met her for a night and I'm gonna miss her when she leaves on Sunday.

The Plot Thickens:

Boyfriend is picking up her two teen-age brothers from Anaheim today. I'm going to have three, count 'em, three kids in my one bedroom apartment tonight! I've met the boys once for an afternoon. So this will be quite an experience. I have no idea where we're going to put everybody. Or how this little instant-family-for-a-day thing is going ot work out. Last week I had a boyfriend who I knew had kids, but they were never very "real" to me. Suddenly they are very, very real.

Well, it was bound to happen one day.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

I Am Jealous of an 8-Year-Old

Oh boy. Here we go.

There is a big thing happening in my life this afternoon. My b/f's eight year old daughter is coming to town with her mom for a visit. I am a ball of conflicted emotions. On one hand I love that he is head over heels for his little girl. It is incredibly sweet and it reminds me why I fell in love with this guy in the first place. Any man who loves his kids that much has to be all right. I mean, come on, is there anything cuter than a grown man who is gaga over his little girl? Awwww.

Unfortunately all this father/daughter business just gets me thinking about my dad and our weird non-relationship. We talk a lot more these days, which is good. I just never have felt that close to my dad. I was very angry with him for a lot of years. ( I don't think he actually noticed, though) My dad isn't a bad guy at all. He's just..I don't know....just my dad. I've accepted that he's not going to change. People rarely do and it's silly to expect them to. That way lies madness. And ulcers. And lots of fights.

So, here's my b/f about to spend the week with his daughter who he is crazy about and I'm feelin' the green eyed monster rearing it's ugly head. Not only am I jealous of the time, love and devotion he's going to be lavishing on her, I'm pissed that I can't get the same from my dad. Or from him for that matter. Silly isn't it?

It's amazing how parent issues follow us our whole lives. We can try to convince ourselves that we're grown-ups now, that what our parents did to us doesn't matter anymore. I certainly believe that I am responsible for my own life at this point. I can't blame my mom or dad for what my life is or is not today. You have to let that stuff go at some point. But, damn, it's hard! There is still an eight year old girl in here that just wants someone's approval. There's a ten year old that wants Daddy to take her fishing again and there is a sixteen year old that wants him to patch it up with Mom and come back home.

I've heard it said that childhood is not the best time in our lives, it's the time we spend the rest of our lives recovering from. Can I get an 'Amen', people?

I'm going to go home tonight and meet this kid. I'll put on a nice smile and try not to think about all the stuff I never did with my dad. I'll remind myself that my b/f is my b/f and NOT my father. Maybe she'll want to watch one of my muppett movies or let me paint her fingernails purple (her mom will just love that, I'm sure). Maybe we'll all go get dinner one night while she's here and I'll decide she's a great little kid and miss her when she leaves. And maybe one of these days, I'll stop wishing that things had been different when I was a kid and get on with it.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Too Much Goin' On

There are about a dozen things rattling around in my brain that I would love to write volumes on today. Actually, for the past week or so I have been keeping a list of all that I want to rant and rave about. There is just so much going on. Somehow, between studying for exams, fixing the fridge (finally!) and this whole working thing, I have not gotten to write much. So here goes.

First of all, what the hell is going on in South Dakota!? I am appalled about this whole abortion law they are trying to press through to the Supreme Court. I noticed that the govenor signed it into law today and I simply could not bring myself to read further. I can't write anything too intelligent on this today because I have not done all the reading I would like to, but on preliminary observation I have to say that I am a bit nervous. I don't think the Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade, but then again I do have my doubts. Anything could happen with this new, more conservative court. I think it is more likely that they will pass more restrictions on a woman's right to choose than actually out-lawing abortion all together. I guess I'll just have to watch this unfold like I do any horror movie, through my fingers as I try not to look. Moving to Canada is looking better and better the older I get.

Here's a link to the story at Yahoo News:

Then there is ABC News' on going series on The Mommy Wars. Ugh! Why can't they just let this one go? Oh yeah, 'cause it attracts more viewers thus making them more money. Silly question. There is an amazing article in this month's Red Book that gave me hope, though. I know, I know...what am I doing reading Red Book? I'm really not sure, but I must say Katie Roiphe makes some incredible points. She basically says that there is no Mommy War, that the conflict is within ourselves and that government and business need to be more supportive of women in the work place. I swear I did not see her article until after I wrote my little blog! I bow down before her! :)

Also, I got to watch Blade Runner for the first time in aeons last night. Mmmm...young Harrison Ford running around in a dark sci-fi movie with his shirt off. Thank you Ridley Scott! No really, it's a great old flick that you should watch again if you haven't seen it in a while. I rented it for a paper that I'm going to write this week in my English 102 class. We're reading Frankensteain and we have a choice of essays to use to show our teacher we got the concepts Mary Shelly was using in her modest little novel. I'm going with the whole what does it mean to be human/search for the creator thing. More on that when I actually get around to writing it.

Tune in later to find out...

Will South Dakota succeed in setting women's right's back a hundred years?

Will The Mommy Wars ever be put to rest?

Will I ever start working on my essay?

Friday, March 03, 2006

I just thought this was cute

I love The Muppets. They make me happy. :)

You Are Kermit

Hi, ho! Lovable and friendly, you get along well with everyone you know.
You're a big thinker, and sometimes you over think life's problems.
Don't worry - everyone know's it's not easy being green.
Just remember, time's fun when you're having flies!