Archive | January, 2015

Something Shared

27 Jan

“There are some things you can’t share without ending up liking each other, and knocking out a twelve-foot mountain troll is one of them”

 

That’s a quote from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s [Alchemist’s] Stone, and I find that it holds a great deal of truth.

While twelve-foot mountain trolls aren’t common over here in the states,  I think that another such thing is unrequited love unexpressed feelings when two people have shared feelings, but for whatever reason, they never developed into an actual, serious, full-time relationship.

It’s almost as if there is a place in each of your hearts, made especially for them, even though you have both long-acknowledged that nothing will ever blossom between you. And you both agree that it’s okay.

I have a friend like that. We both liked each other for a really long time (at least it felt really long), muddled by relationships and distance and life. We talked about it and while we weren’t quite on the same page at the same time, I think we both knew deep down that it couldn’t work. Eventually, we accepted that there is something shared between us that is special, but that we weren’t meant to be together, and we would never be together.

I don’t think this something is dangerous, or threatening. Like the quote said, there are some things you can’t share without liking each other, and I think the shared thing is a knowledge that it won’t work, no matter how crazy you are about each other, and the ‘liking each other’ part is the bond…the connection…you form from sharing that something.

It’s almost as if no matter how old you grow or how far you grow apart, you still have that bond.

Do you have any folks you feel this way about?

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Aside 19 Jan

PMSing, feeling like the life has been sucked out of me, and I’m so damn tired of seeing naked people.

Choosing the Right Dog

18 Jan

Yet another question a friend of mine wanted me to write about: What is the right dog for me?

Rule 1: You don’t want a puppy. You may THINK you want a puppy, but really, you don’t.
Rule 2: The more purebred the dog, the less you want the dog. You think you want a purebred, but believe me when I say…you DON’T.
Rule 3: You love labs. They are like the coolest dog ever. And you’ll walk them 6 times a day! But no, really, you won’t. And they are okay, but you don’t want a lab.

What is the point that I am making?

Owning a pet seems like rainbows and butterflies, but it is a LOT of work, and if you don’t choose the right breed or mix for your lifestyle (as well as think realistically), you will feel overwhelmed and may regret your choice.

First of all, loving a specific breed of dog is usually equivalent to thinking a breed of dog is pretty. Pretty will get you nowhere. Any potential dog owner needs to assess their lifestyle to get any sort of idea what kind of dog they would like. Active folks can do really well with high-energy breeds, but if you aren’t planning on playing fetch for an hour, or taking you dog on 3 walks a day, you can’t keep up with a lab. That is when you see problem behaviors arise. I see a lot of Boxers, German Shepherds, and breeds like Aussies and Cattle Dogs come into the shelter for breed-typical behavior. German Shepherd eats cats and the Aussie is herding and nipping the children, and all I can think is you didn’t see this coming? Training and socialization can do wonders, but not if you aren’t anticipating your problems before they start.

Small dogs? Good for someone who doesn’t have small kids, and leads an active lifestyle. Big dogs? Well-suited to apartments, as long as your willing to give some play time. Labs, pitties, border collies? Only good for people willing to put in the time to stimulate mentally and physically. Like I said, pretty won’t get you anywhere if your dog needs to go for a walk, but you’re too lazy to give him one. As for me, I think Great Danes are gorgeous, but do I own one? No.  Because I don’t make enough money to feed one, or pay for end of life medical costs because purebred dogs always have major health problems. Which brings me to my second point…

Do you want your dog to live 7 years? Or would you rather have your companion for a ripe old 15? Purebred dogs typically live for a shorter length of time than mixes, and have many more health problems because of the inbreeding taken to keep the breed “pure”. Danes have leg problems, labs get cancer, pugs can’t breathe…and it keeps going. By simply diluting those genes a little you will have a much healthier dog.

And finally. The puppy. Most of the people I met don’t actually want to put in the time to properly potty train, socialize, and train manners to a puppy. It takes a lot of hours, and still then you might not get it right. They are high energy, they like to bite and bark and whine, they have to go out so often, and they pee and poop in your house if you don’t figure it out soon enough. What people really want is something small, fluffy, and adorable that they don’t have to put any work into.

What kind of dog do you want, and how does that fit into your lifestyle? Have you ever acquired a pet, and then regretted your decision?

The Meaning of Life

17 Jan

I was approached, today, by a long-time friend of mine who simply asked me what is the meaning of life?

As an agnostic atheist, the meaning of life is not clear as it may be to others. I’ve met gnostic atheists who say there is no meaning to life other than the biological need to reproduce. Many theists (read: religious folk) say that the only reason for our perpetual existence is serving a higher being.

And because it is unclear, it is something I’ve spent much of my time pondering.

I’m also a scientist, and as such, I can tell you that humans are animals, and are thus subject to many of the same principles all animals are subjected to. These being the essence of survival: intake (food, water), excrete, and reproduce. Reproduction is the essence of all animal life, which is why, although our planet is vastly overpopulated and we are basically killing our own kind, humans continue to have offspring. That, in a nutshell, could be the meaning of life. Humans just happen to have developed opposable thumbs and a conscious, or we wouldn’t be thinking about why we exist.

That’s how I’ve come to my conclusion about the meaning of life.

The meaning of life is about the human connection. We’ve already supported that with our brief discussion of reproduction, but it’s more than that, too. It’s about gaining knowledge and sharing knowledge. It’s about being kind and sharing ourselves with others. If I can inspire one person, whether it is to be kinder to others, or to learn something knew, then I’ve made a difference. If I can teach someone something, I’ve made a difference. Even if my smile at a stranger in a grocery store can brighten their day, I’ve made a difference.

Why else do humans spend so much of their time with others, exchanging stories and asking advice? It’s all about spreading the wealth of knowledge, and making our journey in this life about the journey, not the destination. I think that is what many of us get caught up in, is the destination. You know…living life through God so that we have a beautiful afterlife with rainbows and butterflies and unicorns (because what’s heaven without unicorns!??). But that isn’t good enough. We are here now, and we need to make the best of it.

From my point of view, if you live this life trying to teach, help, and be kind to others then whatever your belief, you win. How can a Christian God send someone who has lived their life virtuously, but was Buddhist, or Jewish, or Atheist, to anywhere other than this heaven place? That doesn’t sound like a being that is amazing, and forgiving, and wonderful. That sounds like a judgmental, power-hungry dictator.

Living life to it’s fullest. Gaining knowledge and wisdom. Giving knowledge and wisdom. Connecting to each other. Showing kindness to all. Sharing stories and giving advice. That’s what life is about. Growing as an individual, to grow as a culture.

And sex. Lots and lots of sex. It is our biological prerogative, after all.

What do you think is the meaning of life?

Dogs, Their Testicles, & Cancer

13 Jan

In a moment of weakness in which I lacked inspiration, a friend of mine wanted to know how I feel about neutering too early, a correlation with cancer, and behavior problems.

First of all, I’ll say I’m not a vet. I did, however, do a brief search on the topic and was almost instantly overwhelmed. The most glaring problem I see with the statement “neutering too early causes cancer” is how much we like to throw around the word causes. Are we sure it causes cancer? If you ask me, and this is even coming from someone who lost someone to cancer less than a month ago, everything causes cancer. Eating eggs, drinking too much milk, not jogging enough, jogging too much, looking at cats on the internet, sex, everything. This means that I don’t really care. BUT, just because we see an increase in cancer does not mean the cancer is the cause. It could be just a correlation without any causative effects.

This could be something as convoluted as neutering causes a decrease in secondary sexual characteristics and behavior, that could lead to behavior patterns leading to an early death, thus extending the lifespan and due to the lengthened life span and the natural course of senescence, cancer becomes more frequent. If a human dies at 34, they are much less likely to have had cancer than someone who dies at 95. Plain and simple.

Finally, to someone who is not a vet (I can’t stress that enough), I don’t immediately see a reason why this would cause cancer. Cancer is just a tendency for cells to lose their regulation and divide uncontrollably. This procedure doesn’t continually damage cells, causing them to need to grow and divide. But like I said, I’m not super up-to-date on my literature, so that is just a speculation and a plea to make sure you question everything you read, even science.

On the other side of this testicle fence lives the behavior behind neutering. By neutering a dog, you are ridding that dog of hormones that cause secondary sexual characteristics and behaviors to arise. Mounting behavior is one of these, and is usually very problematic for dog owners. Other dogs don’t generally like it, and it tends to cause fights to happen. Energy levels see a decline in dogs that are neutered as well, as does aggression. If we neuter a dog before it begins to develop sexually, we can stop these behaviors before they happen or become very, very hard to change.

I think the biggest thing to consider here is how dedicated of an owner you are. If you adopt a high energy dog such as a lab or pit bull, and choose to keep him intact, you are likely going to see extreme levels of energy, mounting and sexual behavior, increased likelihood of aggression, and marking. Lots and lots of marking. Once these behaviors are solidified, it is difficult to intervene and most of the time owners tend to just manage them. If an owner can’t manage them, that is when shelters see dogs with behavior issues such as “marking”, “inappropriate mounting”, and “dog aggression” come through their doors. From what I’ve seen, most folks can’t handle a high energy dog, either.

There is a reason why we look at dogs that come in the shelter with behavior problems and say well maybe if they neutered their dog they wouldn’t have this problem…a

BUT. If you neuter your dog before these characteristics develop, you’re much less likely to see them develop in the future. Dogs are more likely to stay in their homes with their owners, and with a healthy lifestyle, can look forward to many, many years…without marking the couch, the chair, and the door frame.

You’re also much less likely to have any oops-my-dog-bolted-out-the-door-and-got-all-the-neighborhood-dogs-pregnant incidents.

Thoughts? Are your pets spayed or neutered?

One Lovely Blog Award

9 Jan

I was nominated for this award by TheCuriousBum, and am so very grateful that he felt I deserved it!

Here is how it works:

  • Thank the person who nominated you for the award.
  •  Add the One Lovely Blog logo to your post.
  • Share 7 facts/or things about yourself.
  • Nominate about 15 bloggers you admire and inform nominees by commenting on their blog.

And now I’m supposed to share 7 facts. Seven!? That my followers and friends don’t already know???? Well…here goes…

1) One of my blogs is going to be printed in a newsletter from a humane society on the East Coast
2) There are only 3 celebs that I have uber-crushes on: David Duchovny, Shia LaBeouf, & Ryan Gosling
3) I was baptized in the Catholic church, and was given the name “Christian”
4) I like to refer to myself in the third person
5) I have full confidence in myself to be able to do anything that I set my mind to
6) I find hope and guidance in Wicca, Tarot, and Astrology
7) I’ve grown quite fond of the “lumbersexual

That was a lot harder to think of than you may think…

As my predecessor for this nomination said, I think 15 bloggers is a little TOO many. Had this been in the days of Xanga, I could have easily grabbed 15, but now that it isn’t, we’ll just pick what I can.

First and foremost, I nominate the lovely orchidatdusk, who I find inspiring and has the prettiest resting bitch face I’ve ever seen (haha ;) ). I always love reading her posts, and appreciate her comments immensely.

Next, we’ll (who are these ‘we’ people?) nominate daniel-brockhan. Daniel is so committed to writing and is such a beautiful human being. His passion and dedication is unsurpassed.

Finally, as I think I will leave it at 3, is a relatively new blog called journeythroughbipolar. I nominate her because she is showing amazing strength, and through that hopefully she will be able to help others both through their bipolar disorders, but also help those without it have a better understanding of mental illness.

So go forth, my nominees. 

Whatcha think about those 7 things about me?

No Apologies Needed

8 Jan

 

Please watch this music video if you haven’t. I want you to watch it before you read what I have to say.

And of course, as you all should know, I love Shia, but my frustration has little to do with him.

This video that you just watched, in case you were unable to tell, is interpretive dance. The job of the dancers, Shia and Maddie, is to give a message to the audience of the emotions that fill the story line. It is the job of the audience to interpret it, and because we all have different perceptions and realities, each interpretation with be undoubtedly different.

But Sia, the creator of the video, just apologized for it. To me, that is an abomination; you should never apologize for art. If you need to apologize for something, apologize for the underlying emotions, apologize for your story, apologize that you had no control over how life played out, but under no circumstances should someone apologize for art.

She apologized because of the pedophilia tones that some who watched this video perceived. Here is a Rolling Stones article detailing a little bit about the apology and complaints.

What bothers me most about all of this is that I don’t see anything that even whispers pedophilia or child molestion/abuse. I see personality. I see a joking, teasing child and a curious, wary adult. I see a strong man looking for escape, and a young girl not yet clouded by the fog of adulthood. At no point do I see anything perverse.

This screams to how our society sees men, and how our innocence is so lost that the only thing we can see in an interaction between a girl and a man or a man and a woman is one of sexual regard. Had Shia been played by a woman, no one would have thought twice.

And if it is the dancers in question, I can’t begin to imagine that these two people had anything more than a professional interaction.

Was Sia correct in apologizing for her video and casting choices? At which point did you see pedophilia, if you saw any at all? What do you think this says about you, and our culture?