Friday, August 7, 2015

For The Love of No God

Arian Foster came out this week as a non-believer to ESPN's Tim Keown as part of a campaign by the nonprofit group, Openly Secular.

I urge you to watch the video and read the accompanying article.  You will learn a lot about the non religious, perception, and how we move forward.

It's an important conversation to have, but at the end of the day the American people wake up in a free country that affords us the right to believe in whatever the hell we want to believe. Do I wish we had more combative atheists who will push people to challenge their faith? Absolutely. Do we all have to fight the fight the same way? No.  The mere fact that we are having a conversation about this, means that we're moving forward. It's not easy for nonbelievers to drop the chip from their shoulder.  We're oppressed, discriminated against, hated, and hurt; but we're not the only ones.  Everyone everywhere is fighting a battle. This is a pretty important one, but everyday we move closer and closer to an answer and a peaceful way to coexist.

I personally applaud Arian Foster, Openly Secular, Tim Keown, and ESPN for opening the dialogue.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Let's Talk About Sex

Everyone's favorite subject, right? Well, as previously discussed I try to be open and receptive to pretty much anything.
Tonight my ladies and I went to see Magic Mike XXL. Damn. I mean, da-yum. Was the plot riveting and frought with realistic scenarios? No. Was the caliber of acting superb? Meh. There were some big names, and some beautiful people, but this was not a MENSA meeting by any stretch of the imagination. This was a movie meant to visually exploit otherwise talented actors, and entertain audiences with a benign plot.

So, why are we talking about this lackluster flick? We are talking about it, because the sexuality of women is finally being acknowledged in Hollywood. Because flawless men like Matt Bomer and Channing Tatum are willing to commit to a film that serves no other purpose than to give women (and some men) something purely sexual to entertain themselves.

I have lost count of the number of movies I have seen with my husband over the years that are riddled with gratuitous, scantily clad women just for scantily clad women's sake.

Much like 50 Shades of Grey (boo hiss somewhere else, haters! She's fucked up, he's fucked up. They're kinky, and in love, and they embrace the fuckedupness, move along) Hollywood has come a long way in producing films that have obvious actual themes to them that can attract men and women. No, we didn't see Christian Grey's penis, but we didn't see Matt or Channing's either, and we don't need to. Hollywood is learning a lot about women through the successes of these films and I anticipate more female friendly gratuitous sex in our future!  What a great time to be alive!

Thursday, July 9, 2015


This week, the Huffington Post has a very interesting article titled, "Why So Many Straight Women Watch Lesbian Porn".  Now, given that my mother rarely (if ever) reads my blog, I'm just going to assume that even if she reads this one - nothing here will surprise her.  I'd also like to preface by saying that I write this from the perspective of a straight woman, who thinks penises are the shit, and that this is simply my take on the article and the thoughts that I had after reading it. You may proceed:

I find it odd that we need to question how it is that straight women are watching lesbian porn.

Aren't we the country that made Kim Kardashian and her gaggle of fake-tan relatives overnight millionaires (This all stared with a sex tape, remember?)?

Don't we splatter magazine covers with stick thin models who are pleading with us to buy what they're wearing because (photoshop aside) they're just so pretty?

Aren't we telling our young girls that, while 14 may be the national average size for an adult woman, that's just too damn fat and ugly?

When we set unrealistic body images on our youth (boys aren't immune, they're just not as targeted), is it any wonder that women start looking at one another differently?

And finally, here's the real talk - women are gorgeous!  Seriously. Actually. We are imperfectly, perfectly, stunning!  Now, I think there's a little part in all of us that can appreciate members of the same sex for their appeal, just like we do with their opposite sexed counterparts. What I don't understand, is why people in the media are shocked when research like this comes to light and you have to accept that people can appreciate one another in a sexual capacity without changing the sexuality that they commonly identify with.

Now, I personally have watched porn for a variety of reasons, but mostly I watch it to get ideas...mostly.  The non-information gathering porn watching, has included lesbian porn if I'm being honest.  I don't know if it's that girls know what they're doing to other girls (because, ya know, they're girls too!), or that I can relate to the sensations, I just think it's interesting.  And effective. And isn't that porn's main job?  I think that it's great that we live in a time where we can explore same sex intimacy, where we can wonder what sex is like with another wo(man) and see for ourselves.

Women are hot, and sexy as hell.  There's something soft and beautiful about a woman's body that isn't typical of men. Men are muscular and angular, strong and solid (usually, historically).  I just think that if we start complementing each other and acknowledge that there's something to be appreciated about one another, then we won't be shocked when we hear that women can find one another sexually appealing.

Finally, here is Ruby Rose.  If you have not seen the most recent season of Orange is the New Black, then you must immediately - just for her.  If you did see it and weren't turned on by her in the bathroom talking to Piper (male or female), then you are dead inside and your sex organs are faulty ;)

Not only is she hotter than all hell, but she's an Aussie too.  How can you not love that?

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Hearts and Stars and Big Brown Eyes

On December 29, 2014, our 16 year old dog Mulder Faulk Johnson, died.

I began this post a few months back at the height of my sorrow, but I feel that the 6 month mark is appropriate to eulogize and remember him with a clearer head. The first months were hard. The inconsolable sorrow was a lead apron, the likes of which I have never felt in all my life.  I have never lost anyone that I loved as much as Mulder. So here goes. My love for Mulder on a single page in the vastness of the internet.

I started with chapters of funny Mulder stories (and honestly, who doesn't have at least 1?), but I erased them all to write candidly about what Mulder and I did for each other, and why I will miss him every day of my life.

From the day we got him, my relationship with Mulder was tumultuous to say the least.  I was the disciplinarian and his dad was the good guy.  The worst part about losing him, is not knowing if he knew how deeply I adored him. How sad I am that I will never see him again.  We can tell people that we love them and we can receive their love in return, but I always second guess my relationships with the non-verbal.

If I close my eyes for just a moment, my nose is buried in that beautiful, black, silky hair, and I am smelling his special "Mulder" scent.  I can see those gorgeous brown eyes looking at me, either begging for a treat - or begging forgiveness.  I can feel the white hot rage of coming home to destroyed baby gates, puddles of pee, or mangled blinds. I can feel the warmth of watching him sleep peacefully in our bed, being greeting euphorically at the door, or watching him sit patiently at the foot of our sons highchair. I can smile for all the times he made me laugh, whether he was being funny, or he left me so exasperated that I had no other choice but to crack a smile. I can see how handsome he looks after a bath and a haircut, and what a lunatic he was post-bath, running around the house rubbing himself on the walls and furniture, trying to dry off.

I hope he knew.  I hope in those final moments, when the 3 of us were alone in that room, he knew how adored he was.  That losing him broke my heart.  That I will never be the same without him.  That I am sorry for every time I lost my temper. Because right now there is almost nothing I wouldn't give to have him here barking like a lunatic because the doorbell rang and whoever it is is obviously a murderer and we should all go hide.

He made me such a better person.  There will never be another Mulder.  Mulder was one of the great loves of my life. I hate time for moving so fast and so slow all at the same time.

The days are long, but the years are short. Thank You Mulder, for 16 amazing, infuriating, rewarding years of being your mom <3

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Triumph and Failure, Best Friends for Life

I assure you that it has not been nearly as long as the previous post suggests, since I wrote to you all. I merely cleaned up the backlog, took out some of the more biting epitaphs that I had penned.

How fitting it is then, that this post is to commemorate my dearly departed father.  Now, please note that the use of 'dearly' is more in keeping with a time and place where one has reverence and sincere sadness for the passing of one's father.

Several weeks ago a dear friend of mine lost her grandmother.  Not wanting to ask my friend herself about the funeral arrangements, I went to my hometown's newspaper to see if anything had been posted yet.  Imagine my shock when I fail to find my friend's grandmother and instead, find my own fathers name.

My father was a distant man who did not want me.  I'm not being self-deprecating here, he literally did not want me.  After he and my mother got pregnant with me, he informed her that it was entirely her choice to keep me or not, but that he would not be there.  To his credit, he kept his word, and it wasn't until I was 12 that I met him, and only a handful of times after that.

I am a lot like my father in many ways, much to my mothers chagrin.  I have his feet and his hands (and now my son does too), his vulgar mouth, his lack of a "filter", and his high-gear emotions. I'm never quite lukewarm where feelings are concerned.  Which adds a bit of ironic humor to why he always thought I was mad at him, probably because I was the only person in his life to ever request accountability from him.  It wasn't until last year when my mother told me about the near-fatal abuse that she suffered at his hands, that I truly realized what I kind of man I came from. Our last few conversations were of me wanting answers, acknowledgements, and apologies from him.  He had one Ace-in-the-hole that he loved to play though, one thing that got him out of any trouble that was heading his way, God.  He was adamant that "God", "Heaven", and "the Angels" all have a plan for each of us.  He assured me that I didn't have to understand it and whats-more, I shouldn't even try. I should just accept that heaven has a plan and that everything he did, or would do, everything I felt, including the answers I wanted, were all part of "the plan".

Well, right about now I'm feeling particularly dicked by "the plan". I am not heartbroken that a stranger I didn't know is now gone. I am not sad that I will never get answers.  I did get them.  They were ridiculous excuses, but they were also his truths.  He genuinely believed that he was but a puppet for the almighty and that everything that took place in his life was part of "the plan".

In a way, I'm glad that that chapter of my life is over.  I'm glad that I found his complete opposite in my partner. I'm beyond glad that my son will never wonder where his father is, or why he's not there to tuck him in.  He'll never ask us if we loved him, because he will never feel like we don't.

There are some things in life that we just have to make peace with.  The actions of others are one of those things.

My final thoughts are this:
Love people with all your heart. And give that love to the people who deserve it.  Bloodlines make a relatives - love makes a family.

Monday, January 7, 2013 Nola

On Friday, the House approved 9.7 billion in relief for Hurricane Sandy victims, nearly 2 months after the storm.  The governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut originally requested 83 billion in relief and the senate approved 60 billion. 

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid claimed on Friday, that

Hurricane Katrina was nothing in comparison to what happened to the people of New York and New Jersey.”

While I can appreciate a politician making a plea for his case, this was way off, even by a politician’s standard.  Getting approval for only a small portion of what was requested will be devastating and is certainly not the precedent that we want our government to set with regards to helping our own in times of crisis.  We will not, however, make a compelling case for helping current victims but stomping all over the tragedy and governmental failings of previous victims.

Here are just a few of Harry Reid’s quotes from Friday:

When we had that devastation from Katrina, we were there within days taking care of Mississippi, Alabama, and especially Louisiana -- within days. We are now past two months with the people of New York and New Jersey."

That’s just bullshit, no way to sugar coat that. It’s a straight up lie. “Being there” and “doing something” are 2 different things. Bush showing up a few days later, bringing power to illuminate Jackson Square for his press conference, and then taking the power with him when he left, isn’t “taking care” of people.  Flying over it in your fucking plane and making your sad face, isn’t “taking care” of it.

The people of New Orleans and that area, they were hurt but nothing in comparison to what happened to the people in New York and New Jersey. Almost 1 million people have lost their homes; 1 million people lost their homes. That is homes, that is not people in those homes. So I think it is just unfortunate that we do not have the relief for New York and New Jersey and the rest already. It has to be done. We have to meet the needs of the American people when an act of God occurs.

There are a couple of things in the second quote that I’m really excited to touch on.  And by excited, I of course mean that Harry Reid can kiss my ass because I’m about to tear him a new one. Before I do, here are a few quick stats that I grabbed so that we can all look at the big picture:

Hurricane Katrina left 1,836 people dead, 705 people are still missing.
Hurricane Sandy caused 120 deaths.
Katrina caused 145 Billion dollars in damage, making it the costliest hurricane ever in US history.
Sandy caused 80 Billion in damage
Katrina had a high wind of 174mph and was a category 5 hurricane.
Sandy had a high wind of 110mph and was a category 2 hurricane.
Katrina was the second strongest storm ever recorded in the US.

Now, back to Mr Reid and his misguided and factually inaccurate statements.

"The people of New Orleans and that area, they were hurt but nothing in comparison to what happened to the people in New York and New Jersey"

I honestly don’t even know where to go with this remark.  It literally makes me want to cry.  Hundreds of thousands of people all along the coast are still rebuilding, 7 years later.  Bodies were left in the road and piled up in ditches and it took weeks to get them out.  People came home to find their loved ones dead inside after they’d been cleared by government agencies, weeks before.  I’m not saying that Sandy victims aren’t suffering but, there’s no way you can fairly compare the two, nor should you.

 Almost 1 million people have lost their homes

While this is true, it’s also to be taken with a grain of salt.  Many of these homes were vacation or summer homes that were not occupied at the time.  This does not represent 1 million families that are now homeless, which he does more or less say later on in the quote.
              We have to meet the needs of the American people when an act of God occurs.

By now, you’ve realized where I stand on this whole “act of God” business.  On the one hand, I realize that it’s just what you say but personally, I’d go with “natural disaster”.  Why in the world would anyone who glorifies God, want his name or his “acts” associated with this kind of destruction? Beyond that bout of semantics, I finally agree with something that he said. 

Hurricane Sandy victims deserve whatever relief their local governments are asking for, at least within reason. 9.7 billion of a requested 83 billion is a slap in the face to every person in the region trying to recover and move on.  While I’m not surprised, I am disappointed.  The cogs in the wheel of government seem to move particularly slow in times of crisis.  These people are our own and they do deserve help.  I could not agree more with the spirit that the Democrats are trying to convey here but rather, the completely asinine execution of their objective.

House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) even weighed in with a verbal gem:

"But as we did in Katrina, we should have acted almost immediately to meet the pain and suffering and loss of the citizens -- our fellow citizens, our fellow Americans --who were the victims of Sandy, but should not have been the victims of our delay"

I’m a pretty liberal gal.  I’m an atheist, feminist, freethinker, pro choice, do-what-you-want-and-have-a-damn-good-time-doing-it , let’s take care of each other, kind of person. However, don't patronize me and act like we can't remember what actually happened 7 years ago. There was no "acting immediately" in response to Katrina, from our government. Even waiting 10 days to vote on a relief package was ridiculous. These idiots, quite frankly, have me wanting to pack up my liberal hat and find a new camp to hang out in.  I completely agree that Sandy victims need support because I’d hate nothing more than to see what happened on the gulf, happen in New York. 

This is not about Katrina Vs Sandy.  Both storms claimed human lives and the government failed victims of each.  The problem is, why it's seen as acceptable to trivialize and compare the suffering of people for your own advancement.  What he should have said if he wanted to draw a parallel, was:
 Let's avoid another Katrina. Let's make sure that we're doing everything we can for everyone so that our citizens aren't freezing and starving to death waiting for help to come.  Let's not repeat that bleak time in our history.  Let's treat our citizen's like people, instead of political pawns.   
That's what I would have said, anyway.

We did learn things from Katrina.  FEMA's eager attitude to avoid another PR nightmare like the one they so rightfully earned after Katrina, weighed heavily in the favor of Sandy victims.  Pitfalls that the gulf saw with regards to evacuation were avoided during Sandy, thanks in large part to things we learned from the evacuation failures of Katrina.

I get that Reid's points were about money but, it’s not all about money.  You can’t say things about a smaller storm with less devastation being “worse” than a storm that killed 10 times as many people without incurring some wrath. 

Reid is talking about money, I’m talking about lives.  We can’t bring back the people we failed during Katrina.  But we can honor them by not trivializing any death or loss for our own political gain.  We shouldn’t be playing childish games with people’s lives or the tragedies they’ve experienced to make a point. The sooner Reid is gone, the better. Victims of natural disasters whether they lose one thing or everything, deserve respect.  We failed them yet again, with these remarks from our government.

Friday, April 27, 2012

The "Evolution" of Children's movies!

Hey Dears!

Today we had a chance to screen "The Pirates - Band Of Misfits" in 3D.  While I was less than thrilled about a claymation-esque pirate movie - out tickets were free and my kid was excited so, we went.

Before proceeding, please know that I accept that everyone believes something different and that's ok.  BUT - when mounting, proven science is thrown out in the face of religious hypothesis, it REALLY pisses me off.  IE - Creationism vs Evolution.  This is not a debate.  It is the one area where I get most worked up.  Evolution, and the Earths age - are proven scientific facts.  If you think that the Earth is 6,000 years old and that we were all created by God and took a ride on Noah's Dinghy, then don't read on, you'll just piss me off for having wasted my words.

I thought that the high point would be the sultry voice of Hugh Grant as the main character, "Pirate Captain".  Let's face it, 80 minutes of pirate claymation are really not a mother's high point in life. From, this is the jist of the movie:

After years of humiliation and failed attempts to win the coveted Pirate of the Year Award, Pirate Captain and his oddball crew take on the cream of the pirating crop - Black Bellamy, Peg Leg Hastings and Cutlass Liz - in a race to pillage the most booty. They soon cross paths with lovelorn scientist Charles Darwin, who persuades the Captain that the crew's prized 'parrot', Polly, could be the answer to the 'untold riches' they are searching for. Their adventure takes them to Victorian London where they meet Darwin's sidekick 'man-panzee' Mister Bobo, and the notorious pirate-hating Queen Victoria herself. It soon unfolds that Darwin's motives for helping the crew are not what they seem, and the Queen has an evil hidden agenda of her own. The Pirate Captain must choose between basking in the glory of being crowned Pirate of the Year, or staying faithful to his trusted crew.

Basically, the pirate captain thinks that his parrot is a parrot, when she is in fact the last living specimen of Dodo bird.  Darwin persuades PC to bring Polly to London for a science fair (essentially)  with the likes of Edison, etc. Countless great scientific minds are in attendance with their life changing discoveries and inventions.

I won't ruin the whole thing for you but rather, I'm pretty jacked to get to my point.

As Atheist parents, it's not as though I feel like there is an underlying Christian current to everything that is produced for children anymore but rather - we treat children like idiots.  There are far too few movies and programs that reflect anything scientific beyond "Sid the Science Kid" (which is all well and good but, past the age of 3, loses it's luster).  I really am in awe of just how happy I was to see Charles Darwin portrayed in a movie.  He's a less than sympathetic character at times and really, I could give a shit less.  There is a great message in there about how precious resources, specimens, and science are to future generations.

My son happens to already have a "Who was Charles Darwin" book and he was actually excited to see Darwin in the movies because he knew who he was.  Now granted, my child is only 7.  I can't help but wonder though, without my influence - how long would it take him on his own, to learn about the likes of Charles Darwin, Richard Dawkins, and Christopher Hitchens - to name a few.

I'm just excited.  I may have rambled a bit too long but, that's sadly a freethinking parent's life these days.  To be excited over something as small as this - because it is one of the few mainstream victories we get in the pursuit of real, fact based knowledge of evolution and where we really, truly came from.

Love.  Each.  Other