Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Manners 101: Things not to ask.

On the off chance that someone stumbles upon this blog and likes it, I think that I should do the world a favor and remind everyone of what is and isn't appropriate in our society. And by that I mean the US at this time. Your culture may vary, but by and large this is how we do and don't act.

Before I start though, I would like to point out that etiquette and manners are not meant to hold anyone back, to stifle their dreams or to be used as a club to bash people with. Etiquette and manners are there so that we may all move through this life comfortable and that those around us may do the same. As a simple rule of thumb if you think that doing or saying something would make the person you are directing your action to uncomfortable don't do it.

So we begin. Things not to ask.

1. Are you pregnant? When are you going to get pregnant? Don't you want kids? You aren't going to have a kid are you? Ever think you weren't meant to have kids? How can you be so selfish and not adopt? How could you choose a C-section and deny yourself the experience of childbirth? Why didn't you have the baby without pain meds? How could you have the baby at home? Why did you choose that name?

2. Are you still with that loser/at that crappy job/in debt/wasting your time on that?

3. Why don't you eat meat? What can you eat? How can you eat a helpless animal? How can you eat that, it's so gross/fattening/bad for you?

4. Who are you voting for? Why? How could you vote for them? Don't you know that they're responsible for every horrible thing that's happened this decade?

5. When are you getting married? Why aren't you getting married? Why aren't you changing your name? Why don't you elope? Don't you want a big wedding? How can you waste money on an engagement ring? How can you waste money on a wedding? Don't you know the suffering diamonds cause? How much was your ring? How big is the stone? Why didn't you get a diamond? Why did you split up? Didn't you value your marriage? How can you do that to the kids?

6. Why do you take that medicine? How could you buy into that corporate crap? You know this is all in your head right? Why don't you get over it already?

7. How do you afford that? How much do you make? How much did that cost?

8. When are you going to start going to church again? Why do you go to that kind of church? How can you buy into the childish notion of God? Don't you know that what you're doing is a sin?

9. Don't you know that (insert everyday thing here) is bad for the baby? Is that safe for the baby? Shouldn't you be staying home with the baby? How can you just leave your job? Why aren't you breastfeeding? When are you going to wean him? Don't you want your body back? How can you do that in public? How can you let strangers raise your child?

10. When are you going to loose some weight? When are you going to quit smoking? When are you going to go back to school? When are you going to cut your hair?
11. Have you tried exercising? Have you changed your diet? Have you tried this completely wacko cure I read about on the internet? Don't you know that (insert everyday substance here) gives you cancer/lupus/asthama/etc?
I think this covers most things. The problem with all of these questions is that none of them are your business. These things are between the person involved, their signifcant other and their doctor if that. You have no right to know, you have no right to ask.
Of course if you routinely ask these questions with the person in question then you're probably ok. For example I talk to my mom a lot about my sleep disorder, so if she hears of a new medication she'll ask me about it. But if my third cousin spends Thanksgiving telling me that my Ideopathic Hypersomnia is all in my head and all I need to do is eat more vegtables and excercise then that is way over the line. Because he's not a doctor. And he's not my doctor. And to assume that my doctor is a moron and that i'm dumb enough to believe his advice about stimulants and nuerotransmitters over his precious opinion is just plain rude.
Never assume that someone hasn't considered an option. Never assume that they are ignorant of alternatives to what they are doing. Never assume that they are not under the best care they can be. Never assume that someone has made a decision without thinking about it. And never, ever assume that you know better than them. Because it's their life, not yours. This is none of your business. And if your mom or grandma would tell you that then you need to shut it and ask a simple "So how have you been?".

One where I do all the work for you. You're welcome.

Ok, do you all remember the Sealab 2021 epsiode where Marco returns and kills Sharko and at the end he and Debbie sing?

Well considering that the only person who reads my blog is my Mom, I know that the answer is no.

Anyway, the song at the end of the episode has been stuck in my head and I had to read the Sealab forum at TWoP to figure out the song since it's in Portuguese. And I found it.

It's called Aquos de Marco or The Waters of March and is a famous Bossa Nova piece and was voted to be the best Brazilian song ever.

So here's the clip from Sealab, here's the Wikipedia page on the song, and here's the lyrics in both Portuguese and English.

This has been your Music Appreciation lesson for today. Quiz on Friday. And I triple dog dare you to not be singing this song for the rest of the day. (As best you can considering you probably don't speak Portuguese.)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Get out of my head!

This weekend Josh and I went to see Batman: The Dark Knight. If you haven't heard of it, it's a great movie. See if it's playing near you and try and catch it. Anyway, prior to the movie was a trailer for the movie of the Watchmen which featured the Smashing Pumpkins song "The Beginning is the End is the Beginning" which was also on the Batman Forever soundtrack.

Anyway, Josh was always a big SP fan but this was one song he had never ripped from the album, so he promptly bought it from iTunes and has been listening to it non stop for the last two days, and since he has some killer speakers in his den, I've also been listening to it non stop for the last two days. It's a good song, and like the faster but similar song "The End is the Beginning is the End" which was also on the Batman Forever soundtrack.

So here. Share in my, not pain really, but it does get tiring with the same song stuck in your head. And here's the other song too.

As an aside, I am completely intrigued by the Watchmen trailer. Looks good. I like a nice, dark ass story. I was soooo close to being a goth kid it's scary.

It's me, in cat form.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Another day, another C-Section defense...

I'm always amazed at how empty and boring people's lives are.

I work, I have a husband, five cats, a home to maintain, dolls to dress, chores to do, internet surfing to take care of, about a thousand needle work projects, and a LOT of stuff on my tifaux to watch. Lots to do with my life, very little time to troll the internet to criticize people for how they have their babies.

But I guess i'm weird becuase honestly, I could really give a rats ass about how people give birth. Maybe, like I said, I just have other things to do. Or maybe it's because I entered the world via emergency C-section and my sister was born naturally (Yeah, I know all birth is natural, but that's how my mom always put it and I just can't use the V word when referring to my mother) that I don't see one way as fundamentally better than the other.

But i'm in the minority. As usual.

A few days ago Julie at A Little Pregnant had up a post about all the flack she had gotten about how she would probably end up with a scheduled C-section and telling these idiots to fuck off, and today Amalah posted about feeling defensive about scheduling a C-section for her second child.

And I just don't get it.

Yes, I know that mostly our bodies were designed to give birth, and that a lot of people find the medicalization of childbirth to be disturbing. Fair enough. I also think it's great that we are now able to choose to give birth with no pain medication if that's what we want. I understand that for some people giving birth at home is great experience. I know that some reasons for the higher rate of C-sections are crappy, like the doctor not wanting to get sued if anything goes wrong so we do surgery rather than accepting a small risk. Or the hospital wanting a bigger insurance payout for the more expensive C-section. I understand why for a lot of people a C-section is something they want to avoid. (Hell, i'd like to avoid it too. I'd like to avoid anything that involves cutting through my abdominal wall.)

What I don't understand is why we have to give each other so much flack for anything but a vaginal birth. Why we can't say 'Well, her circumstances were different from mine so I won't judge' or 'I'm sure she made an informed decision' or even more rare today 'I'll just mind my own damn business and not inquire about how this baby got here much less pass judgement on someone I don't know'.

A lot of things can go wrong with birth. My mom was fanny first, Josh had to be pulled out with forcepts, my heart wasn't beating right so they yanked me on out. People aren't all built to give birth. Sometimes the hips just aren't big enough. Sometimes babies are too big. Sometimes babies don't turn head down like they're supposed to. And who can argue with a chance of uterine rupture while attempting a vaginal birth after a c-section? That's a hell of a complication. To criticize someone over her C-section is to assume that she didn't talk to her doctor about the circumstances surrounding this pregnancy and birth and didn't make an informed decision. That's a pretty assy assumption. Especially when, as in Julie's case, terms like "drink the kool-aid" get thrown around. What an insulting thing to say.

So if you want to give birth in your living room surrounded by family fine. But when someone blogs about their C-section and you get the urge to criticize, leave the computer, go to Michaels and find your self a hobby. Maybe start by learning how to stitch a sampler that says "Mind your own business".

I'm in yur wedding dress...

Since this is still Geek BRIDE and I do still talk a lot about wedding things I thought I would post this.

Girl Crush: Dana Sculley/Gillian Anderson

Oh, Scully, you are so awesome.
Rebecca Traister has a great article up today about the complete and total awesomeness of Agent Dana Sculley.
Allow me to geek out a bit here.
I still love The X-files. I still think Mulder is so fucking hot he's runner up only to Johnny Depp. I refuse to watch any episode with Agent Doggett. I get pissed when people call Dana "Miss" Sculley. That's either Agent or Doctor to you jerkass!
But most of all I love Sculley and Gillian Anderson.
Agent Sculley is the definition of awesome. She is what girls need to be seeing on TV these days. She was fucking brilliant, funny, hardworking, not a slut, and she wouldn't hesitate to pull her gun on your ass. And with all that she had her soft side that she wasn't ashamed of. Sculley was so real.
Gillian Anderson is still tied with Tori Amos as The Most Beautiful Woman Around. She's not Hollywood hot and that makes her even more special. She hasn't done a lot of stupid paycheck pictures, she hasn't flashed her vag everywhere, she doesn't give stupid interveiws. She's lived her life out of the spotlight and stayed sane because of it. I would love to have coffee with her sometime.
Rock on Gillian. And rock on Sculley. I know you will. Either in real life or on my DVDs, rock on. We need you now more than ever.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

NO! NO! NO! And, NO!

Today I have read two different advice columns where the writer said they felt like a third wheel.


The phrase is FIFTH wheel. FIFTH! A third wheel can be useful, a fifth wheel cannot! I know that there are things out there with five wheels, but mostly they could get by on four. That is what the phrase means! So you feel like a FIFTH wheel!

And while we're here, irregardless is NOT a word! And we all need to start slapping people who use it.

Please help me stop the idiocy!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Songs I love: Hall and Oates "Rich Girl"

I haven't gone into detail since i've been a right bastard about posting, but I have a sleep disorder. More info later, but basically I'm relying on Ritalin to make it through my days. However, to avoid some unpleasant side effects my dose was started low and is very graually being upped. So my days here at work are still brutal. But music helps. So here's a song I listen to frequently when I'm too fucking tired to make it another five minutes, much less another three hours.

Also this is a little shout out to my mom, who always loved Hall and Oates.

Best line:

"High and dry out of the rain, it's so easy to hurt others when you can't pain".

Fun fact I heard this song on the radio about a thousand times and loved it before I realized that it was Hall and Oates. Go figure.

So enjoy: Hall and Oates "Rich Girl"

Ps. I know it's Youtube and it doesn't have a video. Just enjoy the song without the moving pictures.

Monica and Dawn

So I had gotten off the Bridezillas train at least a season ago and i'm not sure why. Sure, since the first season it had gone waaaaaaay down in quality and had gone from Bridezillas ( a woman who is normal going nuts from the planning of her wedding) to Crazy Bitches Get Married (TM someone on the TWoP boards who was soooo right) but I think it was something else.

It's odd, but since I got married i've avoided shows having much of anything to do with weddings. Watching these shows just brings up the nostalgia for my wedding and even kinda pokes at a few things that went wrong and still sorta bug me. Like my Aunt Rita and her kids not being there or that the violinist forgot our wedding and didn't show up, or that my freind Stephanie who was supposed to be a bridesmaid couldn't make it. Nothing big, and certainly nothing that "ruined" the day or neccesitated a big crying freak out, but still make me sorta sad.

But, it's the middle of summer and there is NOTHING on TV so Bridezillas it is.

So Monica. Allegedly she's 24. I'm not buying it. If an updo makes you look 44 then you're at least 34. Girl needs to stop tanning and get some skin care stat or she's going to look like an unstuffed muppet in a few years. I like her gown, I thinks its one from Alfred Angelo that has your choice of like 50 colors on it and it's nice to see someone on this show who actually has the figure for a strapless dress. (Of course a lot of other girls on this show could have looked better in their gowns had they invested in proper foundation garments and some alterations. Strapless can work for big girls with a little extra effort. Otherwise you look like a hot mess. Katrina i'm looking in your direction...)

Anyway, Monica wasn't so bad. I question her judgement at getting married to a guy she's only known for five weeks (required disclaimer here about my parents getting married after four weeks and being together for 30 years) but at least she seems to like the guy. I think the men's tuxes were tacky and a little Guys and Dolls-ish and her bridesmaid's dresses looked more like prom dresses, but whatever. Personally I don't care for red as a wedding color. Red flowers don't look good in front of a white dress and red isn't a color that's easy to find complimentary colors for. But these are the trends. Anyway, nice wedding and the next time Monica is on TV (and you know there will be a next time) let's hope she doesn't share her bikini wax with us.

Dawn. Oh goodness. What to say except that she's a complete hosebeast. She berates her fiance for being fat when she's fatter than him, berates him for his table manners ignoring that she's being 50 times ruder by doing that, and doesn't even seem to like him all that much. Not that his manners weren't awful. They were. The man is indeed a slob. But there are nicer ways to let him know that than hiring an etiquette coach to observe then blindside the man in public.

Now is the time that I put on my psychologist costume (thick glasses, thick mustache and beard, and a pipe) and analyze these two. They've been together since high school which is not a great idea. They've broken up a few times and their problems are big enough for their families to be concerned about the overall wisdom of this relationship not to mention marriage. To me it seems that they're both scared of life without the other since they've been together so long with no real break to figure themselves out separately. They probably both think deep down that they couldn't get anyone else, and their families disapproval only strengthens their desire to stay together to prove them wrong. This is a trainwreck all around. (Removes psychologist costume.)

Another thing that struck me was her awful treatment of her bridesmaids. (BTW, it's great to see that Katie Holmes has escaped, but why is she hanging out with Dawn? I guess it's not unusual for someone to leave a cult and then get sucked back into a bad situation.) I guess i'm one of the few people who had the bridesmaids I did because they were my freinds and I liked them. I paid for two of their dresses. I found one a dress by another designer because nothing from David's Bridal had sleeves and she was all about some sleeves. I didn't berate them (how many times am I going to have to write that word today?) I didn't yell, or get upset or kick them out of the wedding. I didn't have crazy expectations of them. I didn't make them line up for inspection, force them to get updos and fake nails, or have them mke my favors, tie ribbons on our bubbles or any of that. I guess i'm just not a crazy bitch.

Anyway, that's what I thought. I await next week's episode wondering why I got back into this show.