Sunday, June 30, 2013

These stars must have been doing community service...

I love to watch YouTube, especially when I'm bored.  Last night, I happened to stumble across a hilarious After School Special that aired in 1989.  It stars several well-known teen stars of my generation, most of whom were known drug users back in the day...

It's called 15 and Getting Straight and it stars Tatum O'Neal, Drew Barrymore, Corey Feldman, and David Birney.  1989 was right around the time Drew Barrymore was herself "getting straight" after her well-publicized drug and alcohol addiction.  I remember reading her book, Little Girl Lost, which was published around the time this film came out.  Too bad it's not available now.

I actually watched most of this film last night... and damn, it made me feel simultaneously old and incredulous.

Another anti-drug film starring stars who were well known druggies back in the day is called Shattered: If Your Kids Are On Drugs.

It stars Judd Nelson and Burt Reynolds.  This is part one... It was made in 1986.

I have to wonder if forcing stars to do these kinds of PSA type films is really effective.  I read Loni Anderson's autobiography and she is quite explicit about Burt Reynolds and his drug use.  That book was published in 1995, so I'm thinking forcing Burt to do this film with another actor he'd probably never otherwise do a movie with had zero effect on curbing his love of weed.

That first film, though, was just loaded with anti-drug propaganda.  Back in my days as a teen, the Straight and SAFE programs were all the rage.  If you read up on them, you can see how their model influenced these films.

Another popular 80s era film is Not My Kid.  

Not My Kid stars Viveka Davis, George Segal, Stockard Channing, and Nancy Cartwright (aka Bart Simpson).

Yes, this was on prime time TV back when I was a teenager.  No Leave It To Beaver or Brady Bunch for my generation.

In 1994, Jennie Garth starred in a film called Without Consent.  It's about abusive teen help facilities for druggies...  I was 22 when this one aired, but I remember it well.

This was also called Trapped and Deceived in some areas.

I don't think Jennie Garth was into drugs, but this film belongs in the genre.

And this is a classic film from 1982 called Desperate Lives.  It stars a young Helen Hunt!  The most entertaining scene involves her taking a flying leap out of a second story window while loaded on crank!  That scene alone makes this movie worth seeing.

What my high school was like in 1986 and 87...

Regular blog reader Alexis posted a comment that sparked an old memory for me that kind of relates to all this furore over Paula Deen's use of the "n-word".  I grew up in a somewhat rural county in southeastern Virginia.  Consequently, it wasn't all that uncommon for me to hear racist epithets, even though by the time I was in high school, it was becoming a lot less acceptable.

In any case, in Gloucester County, the place where I lived off and on from the age of 8 until I finally left for good at age 27, there is a very unique section of the county known as "Guinea".  Guinea is actually a very interesting place for many reasons, mostly historic.

The above video explains Guinea better than I ever could.  I could probably count on one hand the number of times I ever went to Guinea myself.  I used to take riding lessons not far from Guinea and one time my mom went driving around the area.  She ended up getting stuck in a deep puddle and had to get someone to help her.  Mom was pretty scared, but it turned out the woman who helped her, though very intimidating and hard to understand, was very kind.

Guinea was often described as a very insular place.  People from Guinea had their own dialect, which back in the early 80s, you could often hear if you visited the Hardee's in Hayes (part of Gloucester).  I don't actually remember the last time I heard someone use that dialect in person, but when I was a kid, it was very common.  And if you weren't from Guinea, you would have a hard time understanding what was being said.

Folks from Guinea often make their living working on the water.  The men from that area often wear a lot of camouflage, blaze orange, and white gum boots for working in the river catching crabs, clams, and such.

In any case, back in the mid to late 80s, people from Guinea had a reputation for being very racist.  Whether or not they actually were, I don't really know.  I knew a few people who lived in Guinea, but I wouldn't necessarily guess they were members of the few core families that lived there from its earliest days.

I remember back in the spring of 1987, there were daily fights at my high school, mostly between people from Guinea and black students.  The fights would get violent and I remember one teacher got hurt trying to break one up.  I remember in March of that year, there was a fight every single day.

Aside from that, my high school was relatively decent.  In fact, I remember it was lauded for having the very first Mac lab in the state.  We had a great golf team, too.  We also had a tough five point grading scale.

Of course, compared to what goes on in today's high schools, a little racial dissension is probably pretty small potatoes.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Paula Deen is being raked over the coals over this n-word biz...

Today's post may be a bit profane...

Over the past week, I have observed with interest the way corporate client after corporate client has dumped Paula Deen.  WalMart, Target, Sears, JC Penney, Ballentine books, the list goes on and on...  They are "phasing out" her products.

This kind of reminds me of ten years ago, when country music turned its back on the Dixie Chicks because they said they were ashamed that George W. Bush was from Texas.  They essentially got blackballed for being candid, just like Paula Deen is being busted for allegedly being racist.  Incidentally, I seem to remember Dr. Laura and Don Imus being kicked off the airwaves for similarly racist comments.

I could take Paula Deen or leave her.  I've seen her show on the Food Network, though I've never eaten at her restaurant.  I tried one of her recipes and wasn't all that impressed with it.  Some people seem to love her, while others are delighting in this turn of events that has threatened to destroy her career and reputation.

I had an interesting thought as I was reading a product review on Epinions.  My good friend Freak369 wrote it.  It's a review of David Allan Coe's 1990 album Nothin's Sacred 18 X-Rated Hits.  Basically, David Allan Coe released an album full of extremely racist, profane, violent and sexually explicit music.  I checked on to see if it was for sale there.  Much to my surprise, it wasn't.  I did find that someone had posted the entire album on YouTube.  The post got 715 likes and only 53 dislikes.  That makes me think there are a whole lot of racists out there...   Many of them posted comments on the video that were very blatantly racist.

Funny, though... I was around in 1990 and I never heard a word about this album by David Allan Coe.  Heard a lot about 2 Live Crew, a black group that put out a couple of infamous albums that I heard for the first time when I was in college, but never once at my very southern college did I hear anything about David Allan Coe.  Incidentally, I listened to a little of Coe's album on YouTube.  It is vile.  On the other hand, so is 2 Live Crew's stuff, which is also sexually explicit, profane, violent, and very racist.  2 Live Crew did get banned at one point and even wrote a song for Florida's then governor Bob Martinez called "Fuck Martinez".

"Fuck Martinez" is one of 2 Live Crew's tamer songs... NSFW or around kids, obviously.

Yeah, there was a lot of controversy about it back in the day, but it only seemed to make the material more appealing.  2 Live Crew's album Nasty As They Wanna Be was like forbidden fruit, despite the fact that it was loaded with utterances of the n-word.  Incidentally, 2 Live Crew's albums are all available to purchase on

Likewise, if you go by YouTube "likes", many people apparently love David Allan Coe's racist album full of X-rated hits, again, full of songs that liberally use that word for which Paula Deen is now being raked across the coals.

If you read this blog, you probably know that I'm not a fan of burying language or symbols.  I think all words have their place.  Besides, most words that are "phased out" for being offensive eventually get replaced by other words that also become offensive.  I don't say that I think people should be going around using hurtful or derogatory language, but I do think it's a bit extreme for someone to be completely destroyed over misusing language or saying something that offends some people.  We do have freedom of speech in this country.  It's something my husband puts on a uniform and fights for everyday.

While I guess I can't blame companies for distancing themselves from Paula Deen in the aftermath of this scandal, I also think the evidence shows that most people don't care that much that she used the word *nigger* 30 years ago.  Yes, I know there's more to the story-- I've heard about her comments about the southern plantation wedding and the dancing middle aged black men in white jackets.  I've heard that her brother was supposedly racist in the workplace.  I have to say, it surprises me that it's taken this long for all of this stuff to come out, if Deen and her brother were that blatantly offensive.

On the other hand, I also think that people ought to be allowed to vote with their wallets.  It seems to me that the media and corporations are trying to decide for Americans how we should feel about Paula Deen.

The other day, I was on looking for a southern cookbook.  Just for fun, I checked out Paula Deen's first cookbook and saw a whole lot of very recent five star reviews written by people who had purchased the book just on principle.  For a minute, I considered following suit... but then I decided I'd rather have a copy of The Glory of Southern Cooking by James Villis.  I also bought a copy of a cookbook written by Mama Dip (Mildred Council), a black woman who opened a very successful soul food restaurant in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  I ate there once, since I have a sister who lives there.  It's good southern food.

I guess the point of today's post is that most people have functioning brains and they know what they like and don't like.  If they have a sense of right and wrong, they are capable of being exposed to people who say or do objectionable things.  Yes, Paula Deen is in a position of influence, but so were the guys in 2 Live Crew and David Allan Coe.  Their careers weren't affected the way Paula Deen's has been.

I hate to see political correctness running amok.  Moreover, as someone who loves media, I think censorship has a chilling effect on society.  Telling people what they can or can't say in public doesn't change their attitudes.  I think that's really what we should be focusing on, not banning certain words that our society has decided are too objectionable.


Friday, June 28, 2013

Couple goes through IVF, gets pregnant with twins, and regrets it...

I just read a couple of very sad articles written by prospective parents.  The first article I ran across was written by Paula Garland after her husband, Albert, had written an article about dreading becoming a father to twins.  It seems this couple, now pushing 40, live in Boulder, Colorado and have a son that they were able to conceive naturally.  They wanted to provide a sibling to their son because they each had a sibling themselves and thought their son should have one.  I noticed that in their articles, they both made comments indicating that they probably would have been okay with just having one child; this second child was for their child, not for them.  Mrs. Garland writes...

We currently have a three-and-a-half-year-old son. While my pregnancy with him was relatively easy, we were hit with severe colic during his first year that wreaked havoc on our lives. We’ve pretty much had struggles with sleep and behavior ever since.
Yet despite these challenges, we still wanted another child — a sibling for our son, mind you, not so much for us.

They were hoping to have a little girl and tried for a couple of years to get pregnant naturally.  Then they tried IUI a few times.  Finally, they resorted to IVF and ended up with two excellent embryos.  Their doctor told them they had a better chance at having a pregnancy that "stuck" if they had both embryos implanted.  So that's what they did... and now they are pregnant with twin boys due in August.  They very briefly considered having selective reduction, but that option apparently seemed immoral.  So they kept their twins, even though now they are wishing them away.

In his very candid essay, Mr. Garland explains that he dreads the birth of these twins, expected in August.  Their older son had colic really bad that left his parents frazzled.  Mr. Garland had asked his friends with twins about what he could expect and his friends very candidly told him horror stories about what life is like with twins.  In her essay, Mrs. Garland writes about how physically exhausting it is to carry twins.  Now, instead of looking forward to the blessed event, Mom and Dad are fretting about everything from their finances to their projected loss of sleep.

Let me make one thing clear from the start.  I empathize a bit with these parents.  I'm sure their complaints are perfectly valid and very real.  It is expensive to raise kids, especially when you resort to IVF.  And then, when you've paid all that money to get pregnant and you don't get what you paid for, maybe it seems like you were ripped off in some way.  On the other hand, there are a lot of people-- myself included-- who would have been delighted to have one child conceived naturally.  IVF seems like an option for people who are driven to be parents at any cost.  If you already had a son and parenthood was difficult and expensive, why would you risk IVF simply so your son can have a sibling that you sort of admit you don't even want?

I guess I can understand the feeling of pushing 40 and feeling like you have to reproduce.  I just turned 41 and have no kids.  I think about all the people who went into the making of me... the number is unfathomable, really.  And there won't be any direct descendants from me personally-- not unless a miracle happens.  I decided a long time ago that I didn't want to pay to get myself pregnant.  It was enough that my husband had his vasectomy reversed.  It took us a long time to recover financially from my husband's first marriage and I finally started to realize that the vasectomy was probably a blessing in more ways than one.  But I still wonder what it would have been like to have kids... and I imagine if I'd had one child, I'd probably feel like I'd want to have another.

But I was also one of those kids who never really felt wanted by my parents.  I was told many times when I was growing up that my mom didn't want a fourth child.  She told me a lot of times that she was upset that she got pregnant with me.  I always got the feeling my dad would have preferred a son.  We actually never really got along that well, even when I was little.  I got the message from both of them that I wasn't really planned and was cramping their style.  I made the mistake of mentioning this to an aunt, who then told my parents... and I got a good tongue lashing for that, too.  In other words, I understand what it's like to feel like your parents were disappointed in you from the get-go, even though they are responsible for the fact that you exist.  It took a long time to get over that.  In fact, I'm not sure I ever really have.

So when I read these essays written by these parents who didn't even have an "oops", but actually took expensive, proactive steps to get pregnant and are now complaining that they didn't get exactly what they wanted, I can't help but feel a little disgusted, even as I can on one level, sort of see where they're coming from.  To me, it seems pretty irresponsible to bitch and moan about something like this.  I really hope their attitudes change once the babies are born and/or they both get some competent professional help in dealing with the awesome responsibility they are about to take on.

I hate to sound judgmental.  Really, I do.  I have never been pregnant and don't know what it feels like.  I have never had to tend to babies in the middle of the night.  I was often told about my own bout with colic and how it drove everyone crazy, but I never had to deal with any colicky babies myself.  Technically, I'm a stepmother, but my husband's kids disowned him and refuse to have anything to do with us, so I can't even really fall back on that experience to give me some insight into how this couple really feels.

However one of these days, those twin boys will most likely know how to read.  I only hope they never run across these essays written by BOTH parents.  Actually, given the stress these two are under and the dismal success rate of marriages in general, I hope these two are able to stick together and raise their sons.  They went through a lot to create them.  I hope for all their sakes, they can enjoy them and the negative feelings they are experiencing and daring to express will eventually pass.  I guess I can at least give them credit for honesty.

I posted these articles on Facebook.  A few of my female friends, all of whom are moms, had comments.  One said she feared Mrs. Garland is suffering from depression.  Having read her essay, I don't doubt it.  Having experienced depression myself, I can say I empathize... and I'm sure being depressed and dealing with a toddler is very challenging.  For that reason alone, I would think getting pregnant would be a bad idea.  But hindsight is 20/20.  What's done is done.

I would hope that these folks realize that life is a crap shoot.  You never know what's going to happen.  You plan to have a boy and a girl and call your family complete.  You end up with a son and twin boys.  If they're healthy, count yourself lucky.  If they're not, deal with it.  You really did sign up for this, especially if you've had IVF.

I hope these two get it together so those boys don't end up feeling responsible for their parents' unhappiness.  I wish the Garlands-- especially their three sons-- much luck.

House hunting sucks

This morning, I'm concentrating on finding a new home, since we will be searching for one next week in Texas.  I'd like to find a few homes to look at before I get to Texas; that way, we can hit the road running.  I guess PCS season is in full swing, because I had a bunch of homes on my list and half of them fell off.

I'm also wanting to find a house that is well below my husband's housing allowance because it's nice having that extra money.  Given that he has to retire next year, we would do well to put that cash to use rather than spend a year in a nicer place that we might not be able to afford once the Army kicks us off the gravy train.

I think we're going to be okay... but moving is a pain in the ass!  I hate house hunting, too; because with every new house we go to, we have to adjust to new neighbors, a new landlord, and all the other new stuff that comes with moving.  I just joined Angie's List, which I hope will help me out with those things...

I won't miss the house we live in now...  It's not been a bad place to live in, but it's kind of a cheaply made house.  The kitchen doesn't have a pantry, which sucks.  I will miss the yard, even though I hate mowing it.  We have lots of trees and privacy and a view of a pond... lots of wildlife comes through here.  I don't really relish the idea of living in a subdivision with a bunch of neighbors and cookie cutter houses.

I'll be glad when this is settled.  I think we'll like San Antonio, though.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Ex Mormon lit part II...

I'm going to start another ExMormon lit post because the other one is so long that it takes forever to load on the page.  As I find more media of interest to Ex Mormons that I personally have experiences with, I will add to this post.  Some of the links to reviews on this page are no longer good because Epinions tanked.  I am in the process of updating the links to the reviews I managed to move to my blog.

Books about the Mormon Missionary experience

Way Below the Angels by Craig Harline

Back in the 70s, Craig Harline spent two years in Flemish speaking Belgium trying to convert beer loving Belgians to Mormonism.  He wasn't as successful as he'd imagined he'd be in terms of wooing new Mormon converts.  One could say his mission was a success in that he learned to love another culture and its people and he learned to be himself.  Highly recommended, though this book is not necessarily "exMormon lit" since Harline is still a believer.

Harvest: Memoir of a Mormon Missionary by Jacob Young

I just finished this book by Jacob Young, who spent two years on a Mormon mission in Russia.  He writes a beautiful tribute to his missionary years, though I think he suffered a crisis of faith.  I myself was a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Republic of Armenia, which is not so far from Russia.  I identified with a lot of what he wrote about, though his mission and mine were very different.  Young writes very well and really puts a human face on what it's like to be a missionary in Russia at a time when life in Russia was especially tough...  Highly recommended.

Books about Leaving Mormonism

Sacred Road: My Journey Through Abuse, Leaving the Mormons, and Embracing Spirituality by Todd Maxwell Preston.

This book is about a New Zealand born son of Mormon converts who grew up in a huge family.  Todd Maxwell Preston's parents were born and raised in New Zealand and they embraced the Mormon church, which led to them relocating back and forth between New Zealand and Utah.  Preston writes about what it was like to be raised in the church, expected to adhere to strict Mormon rules, and conform to the mold set by an abusive father.  Preston's journey out of the church is very personal and difficult and he experienced many losses along the way.

Happiest Misery: My Life As A Mormon by Jared Lonergan

Interesting book about a guy who grew up Mormon after his parents converted.  This book is different in that Jared Lonergan writes a bit about his apparent eating disorder.  He was also quite obsessive about sex, which wasn't a good thing given the fact that masturbation is forbidden among Mormons.

Unveiling Grace: The Story of How We Found Our Way Out of the Mormon Church by Lynn K. Wilder

This book is about a former Brigham Young University education professor who converted to Mormonism and left the church after about 30 years.  She and the rest of her family are now "biblical Christians" who live in Florida.  I wasn't all that impressed with this book because it seems to me that the professor is still somewhat Mormon.  I understand that it takes a long time to get out of that way of thinking, though… especially given how long she was LDS.  This is probably a good book for those who are still religious and looking for a faith promoting story.

I'm (No Longer) A Mormon by Regina Samuelson

I just finished this very interesting book by former Utah teacher and ExMormon Regina Samuelson, who made the decision to leave the LDS church.  "Regina Samuelson" is a pseudonym and the author explains why she has chosen not to use her real name.  After that, she offers some very entertaining and enlightening stories about her time as a Mormon and what ultimately led her to abandon the faith.  She outlines what she stood to lose by leaving the church as she explains why those losses weren't enough to stop her from abandoning her beliefs.  Lots of mindblowing anecdotes about the life of a Brigham Young University student and church members in general.  Highly recommended.

True Crime involving Mormons

Picture Perfect: The True Story of a Beautiful Photographer, her Mormon Lover, and a Deadly Obsession by Shanna Hogan

This is a book about Jodi Arias and Travis Alexander.  Jodi Arias had a torrid affair with Travis Alexander, a proper Mormon man and returned missionary.  Though they apparently had sex plenty of times, Alexander did not return Arias' romantic ardor.  On June 4, 2008, Arias savagely murdered Alexander as he showered.  In 2013, the world would watch as Jodi Arias was tried for her crime.  I thought this book was pretty decent, though I'm not sure Shanna Hogan presented Travis Alexander in the most objective light.

My Story by Elizabeth Smart and Chris Stewart

Elizabeth Smart finally shares her memories of being kidnapped by Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Barzee.  The writing is decent, though not especially great.  The book is not especially graphic, which I'm sure will be a relief to many readers.  Elizabeth Smart really survived an ordeal and I have new respect for her after reading her book.

I'm Just An Ordinary Girl: The Sharon Kinne Story by James Hays

This is a true crime book written by James Hays.  It's not especially well-written, but may be interesting to Mormons and ExMormons because one of the crime victims was LDS.  Sharon Hall met and married her husband, James Kinne, at a church sponsored dance in Independence, Missouri.  Kinne was a devout Mormon with equally devout Mormon parents, while Sharon Kinne was a foul-mouthed sociopath who thought nothing of snuffing out his life for $29,000 and blaming his death on a gun accident perpetrated by their two year old daughter, Danna.  This book seriously needs some editing, but I still found it interesting.  It might be worth a look if you enjoy true crime.

Scouts Dishonor: A Personal Story of God, Abuse, Recovery, and Truth by Tommy Womeldorf

This is Womeldorf's account of being molested by a Boy Scoutmaster and eventually falling into a destructive spiral of alcoholism and drug addiction.  Womeldorf eventually recovered and decided to take action against the LDS church and the Boy Scouts of America.

Books not about Mormonism, but other oppressive religions

I was inspired to add this section by a comment made on RfM by a poster who was interested in books that are not about Mormonism but similarly restrictive faiths.

Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology by Leah Remini and Rebecca Paley

Leah Remini's story about growing up in and eventually leaving Scientology after becoming a celebrity.

Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots by Deborah Feldman

Interesting book about a woman who was raised a Hasidic Jew in Williamsburg, New York.  Deborah Feldman grew up under the watchful eye of her strict grandparents and other extended relatives who expected her to marry young to a properly raised Hasidic Jew.  When Feldman realized how oppressive she found Hasidic Judaism, she decided to leave the faith.  Witty, entertaining, and a page turner, though I think understanding this book completely requires familiarity with Judaism.

I'm Perfect, You're Doomed by Kyria Abrahams

Entertaining book about a woman of Jewish descent whose parents became Jehovah's Witnesses.  Kyria Abrahams eventually decided to leave the JWs and wrote a very frank and somewhat funny book about what JWs believe and what drove her from the faith.  I thought this book was very interesting, though I didn't condone some of the author's manipulative behaviors.  Recommended.

The Girl's Guide to Homelessness by Brianna Karp

This book is not specifically about religion, though the author is a lapsed Jehovah's Witness.  She gives a very informative look at what it's like to be homeless.  She also ties her former faith into her story.  I really liked this book.

My Billion Year Contract: Memoir of a Former Scientologist by Nancy Many

Here's a fascinating look at Scientology written by someone who was once L. Ron Hubbard's right hand woman.  Nancy Many joined Scientology in the 1970s, signing a "billion year contract", pledging her allegiance to the Sea Org.  I didn't think Nancy Many was the best writer, but I appreciated her story.  If you're looking for a first person narrative, this is a pretty interesting book, though I have read others that I liked better.

The Church of Fear: Inside the Weird World of Scientology by John Sweeney

Well-written look at Scientology written by an author whose writing is sometimes very entertaining and sometimes annoying.  This book is certainly not an objective look at Scientology, but it is well-researched and factually based.  I liked it.

Banished: Surviving My Years In The Westboro Baptist Church by Lauren Drain and Lisa Pulitzer

Interesting book written by one of Westboro Baptist Church's few members not related to the Phelps' family.  Lauren Drain's father meant to make an expose about the Westboro Baptist Church and ended up joining its followers.  Drain was raised in the church and was later expelled.  I thought her book was very revealing, though I got the sense that she missed her church family.

Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape by Jenna Miscavige Hill and Lisa Pulitzer

Lisa Pulitzer ghost writes yet another fascinating book about an oppressive religion.  This is the story of Jenna Miscavige Hill, niece to David Miscavige, leader of Scientology and former Sea Org member.  I thought this book was very well written and informative.  Well worth reading if you are interested in Scientology escape stories.

Ruthless: Scientology, My Son David Miscavige, and Me by Ron Miscavige and Dan Koon

Book about Ron Miscavige, father of Scientology head, David Miscavige.  Ron and his wife, Becky, eventually escaped the church and are now speaking (and writing) about their experiences.

A link to my review of the San Antonio production of The Book of Mormon Musical...

My review of the Book of Mormon Soundtrack...

An excellent memento of The Book of Mormon Musical...
Oct 14, 2013

Review by knotheadusc

Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros: Hilarious. Beautifully performed. Explicit language.
Cons: May offend some audiences. Explicit language.
The Bottom Line:  This show is hysterical... and I loved the music.

A couple of weeks ago my husband Bill and I visited the Majestic Theatre in San Antonio, Texas. We were there to see the final production of The Book of Mormon Musical, which is currently touring. For a long time, I had been wanting to see this musical that comes to us courtesy of Trey Parker, Matt Stone, and Robert Lopez. Parker and Stone are, of course, the pair who created South Park. Robert Lopez is known for his work on Avenue Q. My interest in this show is two-fold. First off, my husband is a former Mormon and pretty much lost his family to Mormonism after he decided it wasn't for him. Secondly, I have a wicked sense of humor and knew this show would be hilarious. I wasn't disappointed. It was very funny and I left the theatre humming the songs. I decided I had to have a copy of the soundtrack released in June 2011. This, of course, is the original Broadway Cast, not the group performing the night we caught the show.

The Book of Mormon Musical is basically a story of two missionaries, Elder Price and Elder Cunningham. Elder Price is a gung ho missionary who is polished and ready to spread the gospel. Elder Cunningham is overweight, a compulsive liar, and not the most devout missionary in the world. The two are sent to Uganda, a place that could be described as hell on Earth. There, they are confronted by locals who care a lot more about poverty and avoiding the warlord obsessed with female circumcision and spreading AIDS. Elder Price and Elder Cunningham have their work cut out for them.

What I love about this show and its awesome music is that it really does lay out the expectations of young LDS men to go out and spread the gospel. These guys used to go out at age 19, but now can go as young as 18. Many of them start out full of excitement and bravado, only to be confronted by the harsh reality that most people aren't interested in converting to Mormonism. In most places, it's because they are happy with their beliefs or lack thereof. In this story, it's because the locals have so much more to worry about than churches.

The Book of Mormon Musical soundtrack features Andrew Rannel in the role of Elder Price and Josh Gad as Elder Cunningham. Nikki M. James plays the lead female role, Nabulungi, a pretty young woman who is a local. Her father, Mafala Hatimbi, is played by Michael Potts. All of the players are excellent in their roles.


This show is very irreverent and may be shocking even to someone who doesn't mind foul language. It will likely offend most devout Mormons. The song "Hasa Diga Eebowai" is especially profane and includes quite a lot of mentions of the so-called c word. Frankly, I like the song because to me it makes perfect sense. But if you are at all offended by filthy words, you will probably not like this show or its tunes. There is a lot of explicit language and some rather graphic descriptions of legitimate horrors in Africa and elsewhere.

The songs
The first song, "Hello", gets things off to a great start with a hilarious look at how missionaries operate around the world, trying to get people to read their book after they ring the doorbell.

"Two By Two" is a musical look at how missionaries find out where they're going (though this isn't really accurate, it works for the show). Elder Price watches his friends going to fun places and hopes the same for himself. That's where he finds out where he's going...

"You and Me (But Mostly Me)" is a song by Elder Price and Elder Cunningham about how they are going to go to Uganda and kick major butt as missionaries.

This show boldly confronts the way church members deal with homosexuality. The song "Turn It Off" in Act I is especially great, since Elder McKinley (played by Rory O'Malley) and the other missionaries is sort of the head guy singing about his gay tendencies. But he "turns off" those feelings, like a lightbulb. Having hung out with a lot of former Mormons, a few of them gay, I know this technique is often encouraged among members who struggle with what they refer to as "same sex attraction". A lot of gay members end up marrying women and have sexless, loveless marriages that ultimately fail.

"I Am Here For You" is a sweet bonding song between Elders Price and Cunningham as they commit to helping each other be successful in the mission.

In "All-American Prophet", the missionaries and the rest of the company start telling the story of the Book of Mormon... told, sort of South Park style. They get the story pretty accurate and the song is one you can tap your toes to.

Nabulungi starts to think maybe there is something to Mormonism and sings a lovely solo called "Sal Tlay Ka Siti" (Salt Lake City in an African accent).

"Man Up" is an edgy rock number about manning up and getting the job done. Elder Price freaks out.

In Act II, things really kick into high gear, when Elder Price becomes discouraged and decides to run off, hoping he'll be sent to Orlando, Florida, which is where he wanted to go in the first place. Instead, he ends up having a nightmare about Hell. Meanwhile, Elder Cunningham's penchant for telling lies comes in handy as he becomes the first missionary who manages to convert the locals.

When Elder Price wakes up, he starts thinking he needs to atone for trying to run off. He barges into the warlord's den and sings a heartfelt song to him "I Believe". This is a great number that was featured on the 2011 Tony awards. The warlord seems like he might be listening, but then we soon find out what he really thought.

Meanwhile, Elder Cunningham baptizes Nabulungi as they sing "Baptize Me". Again, this part is not entirely accurate, but it works for the show. With that baptism, more come and Elder Cunningham is hailed as Uganda's most successful missionary for telling lies. Since he was not supposed to be left alone (missionaries must always be with their companions), Elder Price and Elder Cunningham have broken the rules.

"I Am Africa" is an inspiring song that sort of channels The Lion King. It's a song that calls on all the most famous things about Africa and how it's a great place. The music is uplifting, but the words are cynical.

"Joseph Smith American Moses" is a hilarious song the Ugandans perform for the Mormon leaders who have visited to congratulate Elder Cunningham on his success. The performance is based on the twisted story Elder Cunningham told the locals. It becomes clear that Elder Cunningham didn't do his job correctly and all his successes were false.

"Tomorrow is a Latter Day" is the showstopping ending. I won't give it away.


I loved the show and was not offended by the language or graphic sexual stuff in it. Like most South Parkepisodes, this show is on the surface offensive, but there's definitely a moral. Naturally, I love The Book of Mormon Musical soundtrack. I would not recommend it to those who are offended by blasphemy, swearing, or anti-Mormonism. On the other hand, I know of at least one person who joined the LDS church after seeing this show and the Playbills were full of ads for the LDS church.

I will share that the theatre was packed on the night we saw the show and there was a prolonged standing ovation. Of course the Broadway cast did just as well as the touring cast did. So if you liked the show or just want to hear the songs, you should get the soundtrack. Five stars from me.

The liner notes come with printed lyrics and photos.

Recommend this product? Yes

Great Music to Play While: Listening

I think it may be time for a new post... Stay tuned for Part III of my Exmo Lit review series!

"'In Texas, we value all life,' Gov. Perry TX. Said on the eve of the state's 500th execution." Cody Beckner, Twitter

Yesterday was a big day for a lot of people.  It was the day the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) died, opening the door wider to gay marriage.  It was the day after Senator Wendy Davis's legendary filibuster attempt, which would have blocked a vote on changing abortion laws in Texas.  Governor Rick Perry has subsequently demanded a special session so that the measure can be properly voted on.  July 1, the Legislature will reconvene because, as Perry put it, "In Texas, we value all life."

Interestingly enough, yesterday was also the very last day of convicted murderer Kimberly McCarthy's life.  On November 1, 2002, McCarthy was sentenced to death after having been twice convicted of brutally murdering her neighbor, 71 year old Dorothy Booth, a retired college professor of psychology.  McCarthy beat and stabbed her neighbor to death in July of 1997.  In addition, Booth was found with a severed finger.  McCarthy cut off the finger, then stole and pawned the wedding ring that had been on it.  She also stole the psychology professor's car, using it to drive to a crack house so she could buy drugs with the $200 she got from pawning her victim's ring.  When McCarthy was later arrested, she was found with Booth's credit cards and a large knife that had Booth's blood on it.

Make no mistake about it.  What Kimberly McCarthy did is absolutely horrible.  While I am not a fan of the death penalty and generally oppose it in most cases, I can see how jurors decided to sentence her to death.  The crime was extremely gruesome and McCarthy proved that she was a danger to others.  McCarthy spent years on death row and finally got the ultimate punishment yesterday.

As Wendy Davis sacrificed her personal comfort to fight for women's access to abortions in Texas, Governor Rick Perry uttered those six ironic words... "In Texas, we value all life."

As Kimberly McCarthy was strapped to a gurney at 6:30pm central time and given poison designed to kill her at the state's behest, I have to say... No, Texans...  you don't value all life.  If you did, Kimberly McCarthy would not have been executed.

As she was about to die on the gurney, Kimberly McCarthy said "Thank you everybody.  This is not a loss, this is a win.  I am going home to be with Jesus.  Keep the faith.  I love y'all."  Those last words were printed on

Kimberly McCarthy, convicted murderer who had brutally stabbed, beaten, and stolen from her neighbor, a presumably respected and honorable member of society, was now getting her fifteen minutes of fame.  Her last words are now being read by the world.  This person who callously and violently snuffed out another person's life has been celebrated on CNN for being the 500th person in Texas and one of the rare females to be executed since the death penalty was reinstated in the state.  How's that for going out with a bang?

There are many reasons why I am both pro choice and, generally speaking, anti death penalty.  Most of my reasons for being against the death penalty have to do with my positive regard for fellow human beings.  It bothers me that innocent people have been jailed and even executed for crimes they didn't actually commit.  But another reason I don't like the death penalty is that it gives monsters like Kimberly McCarthy a platform.

I don't know how Kimberly McCarthy spent the last fifteen years...  I have no idea if she tried to redeem herself while she was behind bars.  I don't know what her upbringing or home life was like or what caused her to so savagely attack her neighbor.  I do know that she got to live for fifteen years after she cut short her neighbor's life.  And her death was certainly less painful and more humane than her victim's was.

I think the death penalty is appropriate in cases where a person is extremely dangerous to society.  If a person has murdered many people, will definitely kill again, and there is absolutely no doubt about his or her guilt, I think the death penalty is rightfully applied in the interest of protecting innocent people.   For instance, I think it was right that Oklahoma City Bomber Timothy McVeigh was executed.  Having killed 168 people by bombing the Alfred P. Murrah Building, he was definitely a menace to society and it would not have been safe for him to be on the streets.

Likewise, I think it's right that John Allen Muhammed, the Beltway Sniper, was executed.  He was killing for sport and enlisted a young person to help him in his murderous spree.  I also happened to be living in the DC area when this was going on and remember how scary it was.  He and Lee Boyd Malvo were not killing for any purpose other than to terrorize people.              

In cases like McVeigh's and Muhammed's, I favor a speedy execution, preferably done without any fanfare, and very minimal news coverage.  No one should become famous-- or infamous-- for killing people and ending up on death row.

By the same token, I am pro choice.  I don't see the death penalty and abortion as comparable issues.  No one I know remembers what it was like to be in the womb.  Indeed, no one I know can even remember what it was like to be a baby.  While I understand that babies and fetuses can feel pain and abortion is a gruesome process, particularly when it's done late in a pregnancy, I don't see it as cruel as killing someone who has already been born and knows what's coming.  A developing fetus has no concept of what it means to be alive.  A person on death row presumably does have a concept of what life is and can think about what's coming.

That being said... most people would be fortunate to die as peacefully as someone on death row does.  Kimberly McCarthy never had to worry about growing old and infirm, unable to tend to her basic needs.  She never had to fear dementia and the tremendous loss of dignity that usually comes to a person who grows old, physically frail and sick, and starts to lose their mind.  She never had to worry about being homeless or placed in a nursing home where she might have been kept drugged and restrained while others waited for her to die naturally.  Kimberly McCarthy died with her faculties intact and presumably didn't have to wear diapers during the last years of her life because she had become incontinent.

I do think it's barbaric to be strapped down to a gurney and injected with lethal drugs while people stand around and watch.  But is it as barbaric as the process of growing old and sick often is?  I don't know.

In any case, I do think it's very ironic that Rick Perry thinks Texans value all life.  Clearly, after what happened last night in Huntsville, not all life in Texas is respected or valued.  It's the very definition of irony that a state in which an attempted marathon filibuster intended to prevent a vote on sweeping new abortion restrictions fails... as that same state's 500th inmate is purposely killed by the government.  Just sayin'.  

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

No hymen, no wedding ring...

I am currently reading a book called I'm (No Longer) A Mormon.  It's about a woman calling herself Regina Samuelson (a pseudonym) who decided to leave Mormonism.  I found this book because the author had linked to my blog from her blog and I had a few visitors who came here from there.  The book is actually very interesting, as is her blog.  I hope to be finished reading soon so I can post a thorough review.

This morning, I read a portion of Samuelson's book having to do with Mormon dating, particularly at Brigham Young University (BYU).  At one point, Samuelson writes that she dated someone who said his future wife must be a virgin.  "No hymen, no wedding ring." he affirmed to her in no uncertain terms.  That phrase, shocking and offensive as it is (especially since the guy wasn't a virgin himself), struck me as a good title for today's blog post.  It serves as one of many reasons I don't have a lot of respect for Mormonism as an institution.

Not long ago, I read an article about Elizabeth Smart, famous for being kidnapped at age 14 and forced to "marry" a crazy man who hoped to make her one of his wives.  After their "marriage ceremony", the man proceeded to rape Elizabeth repeatedly throughout the nine months she was forced to stay with him and his wife.  Having grown up in Mormonism, Elizabeth Smart had heard the object lessons about chastity.  Recently, she spoke at Johns Hopkins University and said she recalled a teacher who had compared having premarital sex to a being piece of chewed up gum.  If you're a pristine piece of gum fresh out of the wrapper, people will want you.  But if you've been chewed, you're worthless.

According to an article in the Christian Science MonitorElizabeth Smart said...

"I thought, 'Oh, my gosh, I'm that chewed up piece of gum, nobody re-chews a piece of gum, you throw it away.' And that's how easy it is to feel like you [no] longer have worth, you [no] longer have value," Smart said. "Why would it even be worth screaming out? Why would it even make a difference if you are rescued? Your life still has no value."

How was Elizabeth Smart supposed to feel having been taught that lesson and then enduring repeated rapes from her captor?

I have heard of other equally repugnant exercises that are supposed to teach girls about chastity.  One involves passing a flower around.  As the flower is handled, it becomes damaged until it's lost some petals and looks wilted.  Another involves a tasty looking cupcake, which is then licked.  The teacher then asks everyone who wants the cupcake now, after it's been marred by a stray tongue?  Of course, I bet if the teacher stomped all over a $20 bill or wiped it in frosting and then offered it to everybody, people would still want it.  If a $20 bill can retain its value after being "soiled" somehow, why can't a human being?  Especially an innocent teenager?

I know not every LDS person feels this way about chastity and whether or not being chaste automatically makes someone, particularly a female, "damaged goods".  But it does disturb me that these messages are still being promoted.  I don't have a problem with teaching young people why casual, unprotected sex can be a bad idea because, the truth is, if you have sex with the wrong person, you really can end up getting fucked... sometimes for life.  Teaching people that they, themselves, are less worthy as human beings or marriage prospects simply because they have had sex before marriage is morally repugnant to me.  It's unfair to put that burden on young people, who have been biologically designed to have sex while they are still young; never mind the burden it puts on innocent rape, molestation, and incest victims.  

Moving on, I am very impressed with Senator Wendy Davis of Fort Worth, Texas, single mom turned Harvard Law graduate, turned legislator extraordinaire.  She made quite a stir yesterday.  If you haven't read or heard about her filibustering about the draconian abortion laws that legislators were going to vote on yesterday, you should.  I am amazed by her resolve, not to mention her physical stamina.

When I was in grad school, I worked for the local public health agency tracking health related legislation.  Part of my job involved watching proposed laws and occasionally attending sessions and committee meetings.  While I never had much interest in politics before I landed that job, I have to say it was very educational.  And this is the kind of thing I would have been paying close attention to had it been going on when I was in grad school in South Carolina 13 years ago.

And finally, yesterday, someone left me a "fun" comment on a blog post I wrote over a year ago about an LDS propaganda film I saw on YouTube.  This person spent a few minutes on this blog and decided to shame me for blaming "one person's problems on the LDS church".  I don't understand the point of leaving a comment like that.  Was this person trying to change my mind?  Make me have more respect? Does this person think I really care about their opinion when it's clear that they haven't considered where mine is coming from?  Moreover, why would you come on someone's personal blog, read something you find offensive, and then leave a comment like that?  If you don't like my posts and can't leave a constructive or respectful comment, please go somewhere else.  The Web is a big place that truly offers something for everyone.

As usual, I left a succinct and profane rebuttal, as I generally do to people who feel the need to "drive by" and leave shitty comments for me.  Then I had some of my exMormon friends have a go at it and one guy left an especially brilliant and eloquent response that really sums up why I feel the way I do about Mormonism.  I highly recommend checking out what he wrote.

Everyone has a right to his or her opinion, including the people who leave me rude comments.  Those who choose to leave rude, dismissive comments, however, have not earned a respectful and well-considered response from me.  I figure if you're going to spend two minutes on my blog and then tell me to "grow up", I have every right to tell you to "fuck off" (go away).  It's only the mature thing to do.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


My dog Zane has been dealing with allergies for the past few weeks.  He's been chewing his paws and scratching himself incessantly.  When I noticed he was scratching himself raw in a few places, I decided to see if I could find something to soothe him.  I ran across a bulletin board posting about a French product originally made for horses called Derfen.

A couple of people wrote that they'd used this stuff on their dogs' itches and it had worked very well.  I spent my childhood around horses and even use some products originally intended for livestock on myself.  For instance, I use Bag Balm on my feet when they get really calloused.  I've also used Udderly Smooth on my dry skin.  So I wasn't averse to trying Derfen, even though it's meant for horses.

I bought a small tube of Derfen.  The cream itself wasn't that expensive, but the shipping was very pricey.  I ended up spending about $50.  It got to me yesterday, while Zane was at the vet getting his teeth cleaned.  When he got home, I opened the tube of Derfen and was almost knocked over by the smell of bacon.  In fact, the box it came in also smelled of bacon.

I also noticed the cream was a disgusting shade of brown.

I put some on Zane, sure he would want to lick it off.  But, as it turns out, it seems to be somewhat effective.  I put some on his paws because I didn't want to use that stuff on his white fur.  It did seem to discourage him from licking and chewing.  Unfortunately, now the house smells of bacon.

In other doggie news, our dog Arran stayed home alone by himself yesterday when I went to get Zane from the vet's.  Arran has a touch of separation anxiety.  He's not the worst dog I've ever dealt with, but he doesn't like being alone and he gets into mischief if he doesn't have company, canine or otherwise.  When I got home from the vet's office, I could see that Arran had knocked some stuff off the counters, including a bag of Iams dog food.  We had gotten the Iams for Zane, since he used to be able to eat it without itching.

Arran helped himself to a lot of that food, though he was kind enough not to tear up the bag.  At first, I didn't think he'd gotten that much.  But then I noticed his body taking on the appearance of a snake that had just swallowed a chicken whole.  He threw up a few times, pooped a bit, and peed a lot, plus begged for water.  But he seems fine today...

I guess I'll use the Derfen if it really works.  I hate to see Zane itching so much.  I just wish my house didn't smell like a Smithfield ham.    

Oh my dear lord... Jodie Laubenberg is an idiot...

Though I doubt I will ever need an abortion, I am pro-choice.  Today, I read about Texas's attempt to pass a new law making it very difficult for women to get abortions.  Later, I ran across an editorial about  this controversy and it included a quote from Rep. Jodie Laubenberg who says...

"In the emergency room they have what's called rape kits where a woman can get cleaned out," she said according to Time, likening a rape kit to an abortion. "The woman had five months to make that decision, at this point we are looking at a baby that is very far along in its development." 

Obviously, this woman doesn't know what happens when someone seeks care in a hospital after having been raped.  A rape kit has nothing to do with "cleaning out" a woman.  It is used to collect physical evidence after a person has been raped.  

I'd like to know why someone who doesn't know the first thing about rape kits is talking about what they're used for as she tries to deny women access to abortion services.  She thinks that doctors who do abortions should have admitting privileges at a local hospital, abortions should be done in surgical centers, and they shouldn't be allowed after 20 weeks gestation.    

I personally find the idea of abortion repugnant and I would hope most people who choose to have one would do it as early as possible.  Moreover, I can agree that 20 weeks along is probably reasonable in banning abortions.  But I do think that lawmakers really need to know what the hell they're talking about before they spout off about abortions and why they should be denied to women.  I mean, that comment was so moronic and absurd I can't even believe it.  

What's more, Texas is a very big state.  Shutting down all but five of the clinics that offer abortions (because they don't meet the new requirements proposed) is going to make it very difficult for women to get abortions if they want or need them.  I fear that we'll be seeing more back alley abortions from women who can't afford to get help from competent professionals.

I really hope Jodie Laubenberg educates herself before she says something even more ridiculous about abortions and rape. Between her and that dipshit Todd Akin, I'm really thinking politics is a job for people who don't know anything.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Having kids can really get you into trouble...

This morning on Dr. Phil, there's a rerun of an episode about Allison Quets, a woman who in 2004, at the age of 47, underwent in vitro fertilization.  She was pregnant with twins and became very sick with hyperemesis gravidarum, a condition that causes repeated vomiting.  Quets apparently became so weak and debilitated that she was somehow talked into giving up her babies for adoption.  Because the adoption was initially open, Quets had visitation rights with the twins.  She fled with them to Canada in 2006.  Canadian officials located her and she was arrested and spent eight months in a North Carolina jail before she answered to international kidnapping charges.

As I learn about this incredible case, I can't help but think WTF?  I mean, here's a woman who was a professional.  She'd worked for Lockheed Martin for 21 years and was obviously a very productive member of society.  She paid a lot of money to get pregnant while in her 40s.  Then, when pregnancy causes her to become very ill, she ends up signing over her babies to be adopted?  Why would someone go through all of that just to sign over the kids?

I can't help but think Quets wasn't in her right mind when she signed those papers.  She clearly didn't want to give up her children.  Why would you spend thousands of dollars to get pregnant when you're in your 40s, only to sign your child or children, as the case may be, away?  Something isn't right.

Unfortunately, Quets lost her parental rights and her babies are now kids being raised by their adoptive parents.  She shouldn't have run afoul of the law... but under the circumstances, I guess I can see why she felt desperate enough to run to Canada.    

My heart goes out to her.  Certainly, when she decided to get pregnant, she never dreamt she'd end up in jail.  I'm sure this whole thing has damaged her life in so many significant ways.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Demi Lovato and her "daddy issues"...

First thing's first.  I really don't know the first thing about Demi Lovato.  I mean, I know she's a singer.  I've heard her song "Skyscraper".  I know her half-sister, Madison, was on Desperate Housewives.  I know her mother was once a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader.  But I don't know much else about Demi Lovato, other than her bio dad just died.  I write "bio dad" because that was how it was referenced in the article about her.  Evidently Demi Lovato was estranged from her dad and hadn't spoken to him in years.  Now he's dead.

Patrick Lovato had apparently tried to reach out to his daughter in 2010.  Demi Lovato claimed that having him in her life was too painful, so she cut off all communication with him.

I don't pretend to know why Patrick's and Demi Lovato's relationship went on the skids.  Maybe she really felt he was toxic and she needed to cut him out to preserve her sanity.  Maybe he actually was a toxic person.  I think it's more likely that he wasn't really toxic...  Perhaps rather than being toxic, he somehow was a challenge to her in some way that she couldn't deal with.

I don't disagree that sometimes it makes sense to cut people out of your life for whatever reason.  Sometimes they really are "bad" people and fit the definition of toxic.  Sometimes they might not actually be bad or toxic, but you just don't mesh with them and they get on your nerves.  You might feel better if you don't have to interact with them, but they aren't necessarily bad people.  You just don't have chemistry.

It's usually women who do this "toxic" declaration... and cut off people they deem "toxic".   They often get support from well-meaning friends who tell them it's possible to choose their family.  Personally, I don't think it's really possible to choose your family.  Blood relatives, particularly parents, will always have some kind of influence on the offspring that come after them, even if it's just the way they look or their love of a certain food.  But when women cut people out of their lives-- even family members-- other people will often support their decision and even declare them "empowered".

When men decide to cut family members out of their lives, a lot of people accuse them of  abandonment and advise them to "man up".  If it happens to be the man's child that gets cut out, Dr. Phil says, "Come on, now.  You don't give up on your kids!"  But if you get tangled up with someone evil, even Dr. Phil seems to think it's okay, especially if you don't happen to have a penis.  You could have a toxic parent.  You could also have toxic kids.  Sometimes they are toxic because of something you said or did.  Sometimes they become toxic because of something beyond your control.  While parents can and do affect their kids in a profound way, sometimes kids are affected by outside influences and parents are powerless.

Anyway, I support those who make a well-considered decision to cut so-called toxic people out of their lives.  That means that they have made the decision and are at peace with it.  They go on with their lives ever after without another look back.

What I object to is when people declare someone "toxic", cut them out of their lives, and then suddenly change their minds.  For instance, I don't like that my husband's daughters cut their grandfather out of their lives for five years and then suddenly decided it was okay to talk to him again.  It was out of the blue.  Suddenly, my father-in-law went from being "toxic" to being okay again.  He foolishly forgave his granddaughters without asking questions.  If I were him, I'd want to know what had changed.  Why were they suddenly coming out of the woodwork?  What are they after?  And will they, one day, decide they want to talk to their father again?  Will they expect him to just forgive them and accept that they thought he was "toxic" without any explanation?

I don't think there really are that many truly toxic people in the world.  Rather, I think it's come into vogue to declare someone toxic because you don't agree with them or don't like them for whatever reason.  You can say, "You're toxic.  I can't have you in my life anymore because it's too painful."  Okay...  but don't be surprised or upset if someday someone does the same thing to you.  Someone someday may think you're toxic.  And based on your behavior toward them, they may very well be right!  Hey-- if your parent is truly toxic and you spent enough time with them to determine that, doesn't it stand to reason that you might have inherited or become exposed to their toxic behaviors?  After all, the apple often doesn't fall far from the tree.

Cutting someone out of your life is dramatic and can be painful.  If you cut someone out of your life and cause them significant pain, don't be surprised if they eventually don't trust you anymore.  You may think they will welcome you back with open arms once you've decided you're done shunning them.  But they might still be working on their own shunning... because cutting someone off, especially if they don't know why you did it, fits the definition of toxic behavior.

I think if you plan to deliberately cut someone out of your life permanently, you'd better be damn sure of what you're doing.  Life is short and people die suddenly.  You may not ever be able to reconcile.  It may haunt you to the grave.  On the other hand, if someone is really toxic and you are absolutely certain you have to cut them out, it's not wrong to do so.  Just be very sure so you don't ever change your mind.  Because the person you claim is toxic may someday think the same thing about you.  


Jive talking... is it a dead language now?

Ever see the movie Airplane!?  It was one of my favorite films when I was growing up.  It was probably the first one I ever saw on HBO...

This morning, a guy I used to work with posted this...

"Chump don't want de help, chump don't get de help..."

Nobody seems to speak Jive anymore...

Here's a clip about the making of the Jive segments on Airplane!

And Barbara Billingsley, aka "June Cleaver", gives her thoughts on "speaking Jive"...

He still speaks Jive.

If you were around in the late 1970s, you no doubt remember when the song "Jive Talkin'" by the Bee Gees was popular...

I think the art of speaking Jive is now dead.  I don't remember the last time I heard it.

Unless, of course, you're talking about the Hand Jive.  All you have to do is watch Grease for that.

This post is short on content, but long on nostalgia and silliness.  

Things that make me go "hmm..."

1.  Why doesn't anyone say "Up yours!" anymore?  Yesterday, I was watching Splash, a 1984 film starring Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah, when a cabbie said "Up yours!" to someone.  It occurred to me it had been a really long time since I last heard that insult hurled at anyone.  I guess it's gone out of style.

2.  Why do the women on The Golden Girls all wear such heavy sweaters?  They live in Miami, for Chrissakes!  I know they were supposed to be old women and old people supposedly get cold more than younger people do.  It still looks odd for these women to be wearing these really heavy clothes in Miami, even if the show was made in the 1980s.

3.  Why do I have fun ideas for blog posts that suddenly go *poof* when I go to write them?

Seriously, I had an idea for this morning's post and it totally went out of my head.  I must be developing the mental Swiss cheese brain so common in middle aged people.  I used to have a memory like a steel trap.

As I write this, I'm worried about my dog, Zane, who seems to be dealing with some pretty serious allergies right now.  He keeps licking and chewing his paws and scratching his face, which only makes things worse.  I don't know what his problem is.  He's going to get his teeth cleaned tomorrow.  Maybe the vet will have something to say about it...  I just took him in last week, but he's gotten a bit worse since then.

I'm also watching Dr. Phil.  There's a woman on today's re-run who has severe eating disorders.  I see the Dr. Phil folks have dressed this woman in shorts and a tank top so everyone can see every bone in her body.  She just complained of being cold, so they gave her a blanket to wrap up in.  The blanket gives her quite a waif effect.  It's obvious she needs serious help, though she supposedly wrote to Dr. Phil of her own volition.  The Doctors are also in the house.  Travis Stork is there, being all solicitous.  I'm sure that makes a lot of viewers swoon.  The guest is 28 years old and weighs 60 pounds.

I have a serious urge to go to the beach.  I long to sit on the sand and listen to the waves.  I worry that the beaches in Texas will suck.

Last night, my husband and I went out to dinner at our local favorite hole in the wall.  They totally changed their menu, which makes me a little sad.  I used to love their biscuits.  We did have a good meal, though.  I got shrimp and grits, flounder, and pineapple cheesecake...  Who knew this little town had such a nice place to eat?

I'm also surveying the lawn and realizing how much work needs to be done on it before we move.  That's all for now...  If that idea I had pops back in my head today, I'll be sure to get right to the computer.