Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Christian Domestic Discipline...

Ever heard of this?  A lot of people are into discipline and people exchanging power in their relationships.  They do it because they get a charge out of it, not because they necessarily believe it's the right way to live.  I was doing some reading today about a people who are involved in Christian Domestic Discipline.  That is, they engage in domestic discipline not because it turns them on, but because they truly believe that the man should be the head of the household and his wife should be subservient to him.  They base their beliefs on the Bible, which in certain verses, prescribes that men and women live in traditional roles. 

In a CDD relationship, the man is allowed to spank or otherwise discipline his wife if she's disobedient, disrespectful, dishonest, or engages in dangerous behavior.  A Web site I found even details how a man can discipline his wife and subdue her if she protests.  This same site explains that the relationship ought to be consensual, and I guess if a woman chooses to stay with a man who spanks her when she's bad, that's her choice.   The man who runs the site also contends that the reason marriages are falling apart is because men have lost the power in their homes and rampant feminism is ruining everything.

I'm not sure how I feel about this.  On one hand, I can see how some people might feel safe and secure in such a partnership.  And if someone consents to living such a lifestyle and it doesn't affect me personally, I shouldn't give two shits about it.  On the other hand, I happen to know for certain that most men are not mature enough to handle such a relationship.  Likewise, a lot of women aren't mature enough to handle it either...  and the irony is, those that are mature enough probably don't need to be "taken in hand" in the form of a CDD relationship.  They are wise enough to govern themselves.

Still, that site offers some very interesting reading... there's everything from the theory behind the CDD movement to how to properly administer a spanking to your wife.  It might provide for some food for thought and good discussion with your mate.     

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Price Is Right...

Just discovered a new time waster on Facebook.  The Price Is Right game is right up my alley.  When I was a kid, I used to watch that show whenever I was home at 11:00am on a weekday.  I haven't watched it in a long time, but now that it's on Facebook, I can sure play it...

It's got everything from bidding on prizes to pricing games to spinning the Big Wheel to the Showcase Showdown.  Just one more thing to get in the way of my motivation to get something done.

Just what I need...

Friday, September 24, 2010

Capital punishment is repugnant...

There was a time when I agreed wholeheartedly with capital punishment.  But then about twelve years ago, I had a change of heart when I started to research the issue.  I come from a state where capital punishment is a very big deal.  My senior class trip was to the state penitentiary, where we actually toured death row.  Some of my classmates actually sat in the electric chair. 

I started to look into death row cases and it occurred to me that capital punishment is unfairly administered.  It doesn't save money.  It's not a deterrant to violent crime.  It's hurtful to the prisoner's family and is a barbaric spectacle to the public.  And it gives criminals 15 minutes of fame that they don't usually deserve. 

This week happens to be a big one in terms of executions.  Last night, Virginia executed its first female prisoner in 98 years.  This morning, Georgia has probably already executed a man who tried to kill himself the other day.  His suicide attempt won him some quality time in a Pro-straint chair and extra guards to watch him, just to make sure the state can kill him.

What's really disturbing, however, is the perverse delight some people seem to take when the government commits homicide.  I was watching the comments last night and noticed how many jokes were being made as Teresa Lewis met her fate.  Lots of people were making emotional appeals for and against the death penalty.  I think my favorite one was someone saying someone who is anti-death penalty would feel differently if it were his or her family member who was killed.  I would submit that the same could be said for someone whose loved one was on death row.  Doesn't it hurt the families of the condemned when their loved one is put to death? 

And then there are people who are just plain ignorant about the death penalty and spout off fractured facts.  One guy claims that in Russia, when you are sentenced to death, you get shot within two days.  Russia has not executed anyone since 1996.  While the death penalty is legally allowed in Russia, there is a moratorium on it and it doesn't appear that it will be reinstated anytime soon.

Of course, Iran's president-- whose name I can neither spell nor properly pronounce-- used Lewis's case to call Americans hypocrites, especially since so many Americans were outraged by Iran's plan to stone a woman for adultery.  But then, there's a big difference between adultery and murder, too... 

I just wish the death penalty would go away.  In my view, very few people are so dangerous that they need to be put to death for the public's safety.  And those who are that dangerous could be in states where there is no death penalty or it's largely superfluous.  What the death penalty does, besides running up a lot of bills for taxpayers, is create a barbaric spectacle for the world to see.  Its usefulness has passed. 

Monday, September 20, 2010

The new reality of communication...

So, I was haunting a favorite messageboard yesterday when a poster mentioned that for the first time in his life, he was "friendless".  He said the only people he talks to are online.  He has no local friends.

I considered that for a moment, then came back and told him that I think online friends should "count".  After all, I met my husband online.  Granted, we did eventually meet in person, but we started out as online friends.  And the relationship was every bit as real offline as it was on.  Otherwise, how could we have ended up in front of an altar?

The guy came back and agreed that online relationships have value.  But he no longer has many friends to hang out with.  And that's when I started thinking about how the Internet has changed communication.  It used to be, if you wanted to make friends, you had to get dressed and go out into the world.  Sure, you could talk to them on the phone if you wanted to, but generally speaking, you had to meet them in person first... at least if you expected the relationship to mean much of anything.

With the advent of the Internet, that kind of interaction is no longer necessary.  Now, you can walk into your computer room, sit down before your monitor, and reach out and touch someone... anyone at all, anywhere in the world, at any time of the day.  And you don't have to get dressed, comb your hair, brush your teeth, put on makeup or drive anywhere.  You can just plop down in the comfort of your own home and have a chat.

This phenomenon seems to be a double edged sword.  On one hand, it makes it easier for some people to meet others.  If you're comfortable with online conversation, there's no need to ever be lonely.   On the other hand, it's pretty hard to replace face to face communication.  Moreover, I've noticed that since all of this high tech gadgetry has become available, peoples' social skills and manners have taken a nosedive.  It's impossible to drive anywhere without spotting someone on their cell phone.  It's impossible to dine out without someone checking their email on their smartphone.  Instead of writing in proper English, a lot of people have taken to Internet shorthand, which has eroded the language somewhat.  Shoot... because of the computer, I've heard that a lot of schools don't even teach cursive writing anymore.

Still, I'd be lying if I said I weren't grateful for the Internet.  Without it, I would have had a hard time meeting my husband.  I love him dearly... And given that we were in two very different states when we first met, I realize that the Internet made it possible for us to meet when we did.  But I do sometimes remember the old days, when forming relationships took a lot more effort.  I wonder if today's generation will even know how to relate to real people the way that older folks did.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Octomom is in the news again...

Apparently, she's considering going on welfare.  We knew this was coming, of course.  Single mom plus six kids at once plus eight more kids at once equals no money.  It appears to me that she totally did this so she could make money by exploiting her kids.  But things haven't turned out the way she planned and now her children are paying the price.   

I feel so sorry for her kids.  The youngest ones aren't even at toddler stage yet and things have fallen apart.  I fear that they'll all eventually end up in foster care, separated from each other.  And Octomom no doubt will try to appeal to the public, emotionally blackmailing them to keep watching her, lest the children end up apart.  In the era of supersized families, a la The Duggars, I can imagine some misguided people would find separating the kids tough to swallow... even if it happens to kids in smaller families all the time.

I don't think Nadya Suleman is above emotionally blackmailing anyone who will listen to her.  And I can totally see her making some kind of plea to the public to help keep her family together.  Sadly, there are probably people out there in America who will fall for it and fund her craziness. 

Her lawyer, Jeff Czech, is a sleazebag who apparently only cares about making money.  I know a lot of people think all lawyers are sleazebags who only care about money... I have a few friends who are lawyers and have scruples.  Shit... at least he's honest about being a sleazebag.   

What a tragedy for those poor kids... and to think there are people like me out there who would love to have just one child.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

AGT is over...

Thank GOD!  The last time I watched AGT, it was 2007.  The show's format changed somewhat in the two intervening years and this summer, I've been watching with disgust and amazement.  In 2007, the show had the obligatory audition rounds that lasted about three episodes.  I think at that time, there was only one episode a week.  Then, the top twenty were chosen.  Then the top ten, I guess.  Every week, someone got voted off.

This year, we had several weeks of auditions (which I have to admit were pretty entertaining).  There was one week in Vegas, which we didn't really get to see that much of.  Then the survivors went to Hollywood... suddenly, there was a YouTube show and a bunch of acts we weren't familiar with were on the show.  Some of them, clearly inferior to the ones who didn't make it past Vegas, were now taking spots on the show.  Granted, that's how AGT got Jackie Evancho, a very talented little girl... but I have my own gripes about that.

So then the judges brought back acts to whom they wanted to give another chance.  Michael Grasso and Anna and Patryk got back on the show that way.  Actually, I was glad for that because I liked them both.  Wish they could have been in the top four.

It just seemed like it took forever to finish the show; however, I am glad of the outcome.  I think Michael Grimm deserved to win because he was on the show from the very beginning.  And Jackie Evancho, bless her heart, is only 10 years old and has the rest of her life to be a star.  Moreover, as a singer myself, I can say that while she's phenomenal for a 10 year old, she's average for a trained singer.  She needs to be a kid and let that voice develop, not star in a show in Vegas.  To me, she seems like a very poised 30 year old in a 10 year old's body, which was also kind of off putting.  I bet she'll grow up and marry a politician or something. 

Anyway, I wish Michael Grimm the best.  Guess it's time to entertain myself with some ANTM now.   

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Why I'm glad I don't live by a homeowner's association's rules

Yesterday, I read an online news account of Michael Bauer, a guy who's being sued by his homeowner's association (HOA).  Apparently the guy, who lives in a subdivision in Cobb County in Georgia, took it upon himself to paint his house light blue.  He did so without asking his HOA for permission, mistakenly believing that he had the right to choose the color he wanted to paint his own home. 

Well, one year later, this poor fellow has been slapped with a lawsuit.  His HOA is suing him, demanding that he pay $6,800 in penalties, attorney fees, and repaint his house so it's an approved color.  Naturally, this turn of events has Bauer upset.  He's got physical problems and can't afford to pay off his HOA.  What's more, it's his house.  He likes the color light blue and, besides, the color he painted his home is not that far off from what some of his neighbors painted their own houses.

Now, I understand why some people like their HOAs.  If I lived in a fancy neighborhood and had spent a lot of money on property in a neighborhood, expecting it to look a certain way, I might be upset if one of my neighbors painted their house day glow fuchsia and erected a statue of a penis out on the front lawn.  But Bauer has simply painted his house light blue.  It's not a tacky or loud shade of blue, it just hasn't been approved by his HOA.  The basis of this lawsuit is not that the house is offensive to anyone or lowering property values; it's that he didn't follow the rules to the letter.  So now he's getting his hand slapped. 

Seems to me, that's not what HOAs are supposed to be about.  HOAs are supposed to work for homeowners, not against them.  That's why people pay their dues.  I understand they don't want to be flexible... give 'em an inch, they'll take a mile and all that.  Plus, there's money to be made.  But this is still America, isn't it?  Why is it that a person can buy a piece of land, pay taxes on it, and still not have the right to do as they please on it within the confines of the law?  Is it against the law to paint your house?  Not that I'm aware of.

Anyway, I wish Bauer luck.  I'm sure he's wishing he could pack up and move now.  Or at least that's how I'd be feeling after such a nasty surprise.  As it stands now, when it comes time for me to buy a home, I'll be looking for one that is not in a subdivision.

Friday, September 10, 2010

ANTM... back on the air again

So, now that Army Wives and America's Got Talent are pretty much over for the summer, I can take some solace in knowing that at least I can watch America's Next Top Model.  With every new cycle, I find new reasons to think Tyra Banks is the biggest narcissist on television.  But I have to admit, the drama is usually pretty compelling.  The first episode aired last night.  I think it's gonna be a fun time watching. 

One chick already got into trouble because she had the audacity to write in her diary (apparently her diary wasn't private property) that she didn't want to be in a room with a black girl.  The black girls saw the diary entry and raked the poor girl over the coals for it.  If I had been that chick, I think I would have been equally pissed that they were pawing through my things... 

I watch this stuff and thank God I'm not 20, tall, skinny, and wanting to be a model, courtesy of ANTM.  Talk about drama.

Desperate Housewives is coming on the air soon, too... Can't wait for that! 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Walmart Ass...terisk...

So my husband and I got back from our Labor Day trip this afternoon and as we were driving home, we noticed a new Walmart.  I haven't shopped in Walmart in ages.  I hate going into them because they're too big and I get sensory overload.  I also hate their business practices.

Anyway, my dear spouse noticed their new logo, which is kind of simple and understated.  Next to the word, Walmart, there's an asterisk.  Spouse commented that it wasn't unlike Target's bullseye.  I commented that the asterisk seemed particularly appropriate for a Walmart, since it sort of resembles an asshole. 

If you've ever read the book Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut, you might know what I mean.  In that book, Vonnegut mentions that an asterisk kind of looks like an asshole.  He even draws a crude picture of it. 

Come to think of it, Target's logo features a bullseye, which is also sort of like an asshole... Perhaps it's a subliminal message to the masses.  Shop here and get figuratively fucked up the ass. 

All kidding aside... if I had to choose one over the other, I'd choose Target.  I don't like Walmart for many, many reasons... At least they now have a logo that does them justice. 

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Off to Florida tomorrow...

It's my first real trip to Florida.  Oh sure, I've had a layover in Miami.  But this time, I'm flying to Miami and leaving the airport.  Dear spouse and I will be renting a car and driving on the Overseas Highway to Key West, where we'll hang out for a few days.  Then we'll spend a night in Miami and come home.

Things are already off to a good start.  Delta upgraded us to first class.  And yes, this will be my first first class flight.  I hope it doesn't spoil me. 

A year ago, we visited Budapest.  I only wish we could go somewhere that exotic this year, but there will be other holiday weekends, I guess.

Hope everyone else has a nice Labor Day weekend and doesn't get blown away by Hurricane Earl.