Blah Blah Sickness Blah Drug Policies Blah DOWNTON ABBEY OMG YAY
So I have a cold, which is certainly not the end of the world, but is quite annoying. Symptoms: stuffy/runny nose, sneezing, occasional coughing, head feels like it's wrapped in fuzz, and my ears hurt. Most of that stuff isn't a big deal, but I really hate when my ears hurt. I used to get terrible ear infections when I was a little kid, and it brings back bad memories. And plus it's really painful!!! Whaaaaaaaa, feel sorry for me, give me hugs, etc etc.

I read somewhere - too lazy to look up a link, but I'm sure you believe me - that most of the over the counter cold remedies they sell are pretty much worthless. For the children's versions, they're absolutely worthless and you're better off just using Vapo-Rub, chicken soup and patience for your kids. This is mostly because when they took the psuedoephedrine out of cold products (stupid crystal meth epidemic), they couldn't find anything suitable to replace it. And yes, the pseudeoephedrine stuff is still behind the pharmacy counter, it's just a pain to get to. I would say it's worth it to have to go to all that extra bother, to have less crystal meth on the street, but it doesn't seem to have slowed production down at all. I mean, from what I see on PBS documentaries and Breaking Bad trailers.

You know, with all this talk about legalizing marijuana and all... something keeps bothering me in this whole drug policy argument. Opinions on the war on drugs, I have themCollapse )

In happier news, I am currently on a Downton Abbey marathon binge. I've finished Series 1 and am on episode 3 of Series 2. Basically, I LOVE THIS SHOW LIKE (FAT FREE) CAKE. What I love most? In order: No spoilersCollapse )

I Have a New Favorite TV Show
DW_River Cleavage
It's called Misfits, and it's kind of like a British X-Men, but with more sex, drugs, bad language and bloodshed. Oh, and the rest of my flist discovered this show about 2 years ago, but I'm kind of slow on the uptake.

Anyways, it's friggin' awesome and I kind of want to stay up all night and watch the rest of the episodes on my computer, but... that would probably be irresponsible and bad.


This reminds me, when does Series 7 of Who start? I swear, if they completely ignore the River/Doctor marriage, I will scream and cry and throw things at my laptop in protest. PLEASE MOFFAT MAN, DO NOT DO THIS TO ME. I mean, I know it won't be long and lasting and binding forever or anything, but they at least have to address the issue. Oh man, I'm such a shipper now. I try not to ship tv shows anymore - I've been burned so many times now - but I can't help it. I blame Alex Kingson's epic cleavage.

So... Hmmmmm.
I read an article about the obesity epidemic that annoyed meCollapse )

Writer's Block: Santa Claus is coming to town

At what age did you stop believing in Santa?

View 851 Answers

I don't remember a big "Mother, you LIED TO ME!!!" moment, but it was probably around when I was 7 or so. I didn't want to believe it at first, because I LOVED Santa Claus, but eventually the logical arguments of my classmates at schoolmates got through to me. I was pretty bummed... for about 30 minutes or so.

In other news, hey, you know what's actually surprisingly awesome right now? That new Mission: Impossible movie. I know right? But yeah, it's fabulous. Especially if you go see it in IMAX, which I did last night. Tom Cruise may be crazy, but he knows how to make a great action movie. And Simon Pegg is just awesome as always. So yeah, go see it. :)

I bet a lot of you aren't going to be around much tomorrow (or today even), so MERRY CHRISTMAS my lovely friends!!!

Random Drive-by Post
Abortion does not raise the risk of a woman suffering mental health problems, a major review by experts concludes.

Data from 44 studies showed women with an unwanted pregnancy have a higher incidence of mental health problems in general.

This is not affected by whether or not they have an abortion or give birth.

[...] "The evidence shows though that whether these women have abortions - or go on to give birth - their risk of having mental health problems will not increase.

"They carry roughly equal risks.

"We believe this is the most comprehensive and detailed review of the mental health outcomes of abortion to date worldwide."

There is no such thing as "post-abortion syndrome", contrary to what those crisis pregnancy centers tell women and girls. It's all total nonsense.

I'm not trying to minimize what women who go through abortion deal with. I'm sure some feel sad, or a sense of loss, or maybe even depressed. But not all do, and it's not right to scare women with this post-abortion syndrome stuff.

Writer's Block: B.Y.O.B. Holidays

What is on your holiday wish list this year?

One random answer will win a $50 Amazon gift card. [Details here]

View 1452 Answers

Money to pay my bills, for real. Other than that, a new iPod and a Kindle Fire. Yay!

In totally random news, dude, what's up with Tim Tebow? I mean, seriously? I'm a Christian and I find myself slightly embarrassed by him. It's like, tone it down a bit buddy, you know?

"Respect the Bird"
A Defense for Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving is under assault.

Stores that once closed their doors in deference to the holiday are now touting Turkey Day deals starting as early as 9 p.m. Workers who should be on vacation are answering office e-mails on their smartphones. And those who plan on celebrating with a traditional dinner are finding that the cost of a bird is near its 30-year high, according to government data.

“I think we have a sort of Norman Rockwell view of Thanksgiving,” said Kit Yarrow, head of the psychology department at Golden Gate University in San Francisco. “It’s not really linked to reality for most Americans.”

Thanksgiving has long been in danger of getting subsumed by Christmas. Every year, Americans bemoan the encroachment of pine trees and presents on pilgrims and pumpkin pie, a phenomenon the retail industry calls “Christmas creep.” But for many, a line seems to have been crossed.

Don't even get me started on Christmas Creep. Gaaaaaaaaaaaaah. It seems to have gotten much, much worse in the past 15 years or so. I remember when I was a little kid, it didn't seem like Christmas really kicked off until the day after Thanksgiving, or until the month of December even. Now, stores start rolling out the Christmas crap before Halloween is even over. It drives me absolutely up the wall. I want to celebrate Halloween in October, Thanksgiving/Fall/Harvest Time in November, and Christmas in December. Is that too much too ask? We don't celebrate the Fourth of July in April, or Memorial Day in March.

Not to mention, working in retail? They always play Christmas music over the speakers. Now, I love Christmas music - LOVE IT! - but there's really only about 40 different Christmas songs out there, if that, so they're just playing the same songs over and over and OVER again, until my brain starts melting out of my ears, for TWO MONTHS STRAIGHT. It's like torture really. When it's a month of Christmas music, it's totally jolly and awesome. Two months? That's total overkill.

Back to that article: A woman who has had to work every Thanksgiving for the past 5 years mentioned something like, "Everyone who came into the store said 'I can't believe you're open!' Well, if you didn't shop here on Thanksgiving, we wouldn't have to be". Stores are doing this ridiculous opening at 10pm on Thanksgiving because some consumers - who apparently have no soul - are demanding it. These people, I guess, don't care that the employees who actually have to run the store are totally going to miss out on Thanksgiving with their families. Nice.

Another thing in the article:
An annual informal price survey by the American Farm Bureau Association, a trade group, found that the average cost of a Thanksgiving meal for 10 — turkey, stuffing, relish, peas, the works — jumped 13 percent to $49.20. Although the price per person is less than many fast-food dinners, the cost increases are hitting consumers when few are giving thanks for the state of the economy.

Dude, $50 for a Thanksgiving dinner for 10? What kind of dinner is this?!? Doesn't a decent turkey alone cost like $20 - 30? I dunno, I should know this, because I totally rang up a billion turkeys at Harris Teeter during my 5 years there. But, it's been awhile, and I've forgotten. It's amazing how fast useless information leaves your head.

This just gobsmacks me.
For the first time in years, Michelle Nyberg probably will not be standing in line when stores open for their Black Friday sales.

She still loves a good deal — last year she spent a couple of thousand dollars on markdowns that day, the Friday after Thanksgiving — but Ms. Nyberg says that she does not want retailers to ruin the holiday for her or their own employees.

Ms. Nyberg is drawing the line now that major chains like Target, Macy’s, Best Buy and Kohl’s say they will open for the first time at midnight on Thanksgiving, and Wal-Mart will go even further, with a 10 p.m. Thanksgiving start for deals on some merchandise.

Kicking off Black Friday 10pm Thanksgiving night?!? When did they start this crap? Gaaaaaaaaaaah.

I have only participated in Black Friday as a consumer on one occasion - I think it was 2005 or 2006, when I was staying with bailunrui and ralob, and ralob wanted to get a 500 GB external hard drive. Haha, remember when that was like the biggest hard drive in the world? Anyways, we got to Best Buy & Target at like 2 in the morning, stood around in the cold, talked and joked around for a couple hours, bought our goodies and then went home and slept. It was pretty uneventful, but I certainly wouldn't want to do it every year. It was only something I would do if there was something me or a friend really, REALLY wanted that we could ONLY get on Black Friday.

A big reason for this is probably because, I've been on the other side of the counter for many, many, MANY Black Fridays. And it sucks, dude. Most people are friendly, in a good mood, etc... but a lot of other people are NOT. They're pushy, they're rude, they're in such a hurry because they are just so much more important than everyone else (didn't you know?), etc. And I don't care how friendly and nice you are, when it gets that crowded and busy in the mall or the store, things are going to turn crazy pretty quick.

Really, paying your employees time and a half - when you're only paying them, what, $7 - 11 at most an hour to begin with? - to deal with this? Is totally not enough to put up with this insanity.

And now, on top of everything, you want them to come in at 10pm on Thanksgiving night? Not even, because you need to set up the store and everything, so they probably need to come in at like 8pm, which means they won't get to have Thanksgiving dinner at all because they'll need to get some sleep to work all night. That's MESSED UP, DUDE. I don't know how Wal-Mart can live with itself. Well, okay, Wal-Mart has no soul, obviously. But people who are shopping at Wal-Mart at 10pm on Thanksgiving? Just think about what you're asking these employees to give up for a second. Just think.

Writer's Block: Thank you veterans

Who are your heroes?

View 346 Answers

Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, FDR, Martin Luther King Jr, Bill & Hillary Clinton, the Beatles, Chris Rock, Jon Stewart & Stephen Colbert, whoever invented Coke Zero.


DW_River Cleavage
... Today? Is ELEVEN/ELEVEN/ELEVEN. And yet, I totally don't have an Eleventh Doctor icon to celebrate with. *sadface* This is a tragedy of epic proportions. I'll celebrate instead with an icon of his wife's boobs.

In less trivial news, today is also Veterans Day in the United States, so thank a veteran by doing something besides just slapping a "Support the Troops" magnet on your SUV. What, I don't know. Just do something besides that. ANYTHING.

Oh Thank God
DW_Dalek With a Fez
Anti-abortion 'personhood' amendment fails in Mississippi.
A constitutional amendment that would have defined a fertilized egg as a person failed on the ballot in Mississippi on Tuesday, dealing the so-called “personhood” movement another blow.

Mississippi would have become the first state to define a fertilized egg as a person, a measure which was aimed at outlawing abortion in the state but, opponents contended, would have led to all kinds of unintended consequences.

In the end, those concerns won out in a strongly anti-abortion state. The amendment trailed 59 percent to 41 percent with more than half of precincts reporting. The Associated Press has said it will fail.

If this ridiculous amendment had passed, I just might have lost all faith in humanity.

Drive-by Ranting
HOLY CRAP you guys, the Duggars are having their 20th kid sometime this spring. Their twentieth.

In related news, a couple weeks ago we officially (sorta) hit the 7 billion world population mark.

::headdesk for eternity::

I mean, I know it's not shocking or anything - the pope is Catholic, bears poop in the woods, the Duggars have another kid every 18 months. But I would've thought after their last baby was born so premature, at only 25 weeks gestation, and really only survived by a sheer miracle, not to mention Michelle turned frickin' 45 years old, that they might've decided - "hey, maybe now's a good time to stop screwing like bunnies all the time". You don't believe in birth control, whatever. But nothing says you have to have sex all the time. This just seems so irresponsible of them.

Gah. I know, "judge not, lest ye be judged yourself", blah blah blah.

DW_Eighth Doctor KISS!
Cut in case you want to pass by the memesCollapse )
Tags: , , ,

I thought this article was hilarious.
A pair of scandal-loving celebrities unleashed two separate racially charged, controversy-baiting rants on Tuesday, ensuring their names would be kept in the headlines for at least one more news cycle.

First, Donald Trump said in a YouTube video that "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart got away with a "very very racist rant" about Republican 2012 hopeful Herman Cain.

[...] Meanwhile, conservative author and paid provocateur Ann Coulter made the cable talk show rounds defending Cain against the allegations. On Monday, she appeared on Fox News, telling Sean Hannity that black conservatives are better than black liberals. "Our blacks are so much better than their blacks," Coulter said.

There was a time, roundabout 2003-04, when everything Ann Coulter said made me SO OFFENDED and CAPSLOCK OF RAGE, but at this point I'm not shocked by anything that comes out of evil little mouth. She's like the worst kind of internet troll, except that instead of people being able to bring down the ban hammer, the media runs with it every time. Media, stop it! Literally everything she says is lies, bile, slander, racist idiocy, and pejorative attacks. She exists purely to stir stuff up, and to get attention. And again, if we all stop paying attention to her, she will wither up and die. HOPEFULLY.

As for Trump, I could care less. That guy is just plain pathetic. I don't think anyone takes him seriously... I don't think anyone ever *has* taken him seriously. Who could, with that hair?

So Don't Be Afraid To Let Them Show
*** First off, I know I'm way behind on comments. I have the next two days off, so hopefully I'll be able to catch up. And I owe some people some goodies to post, so I'm hoping I'll be able to get to that as well.

I just watched a really cool movie, For the Bible Tells Me So, which came out like 4 years ago but somehow I never managed to see before now. I would HIGHLY recommend it to most everyone on my flist, even if you're not a Christian (which I know most of you aren't) but because virtually all of you guys are LGBT-friendly.

Basically the documentary is about 5 Christian families who each have a gay child, and then how they dealt with it, or not. In some cases, the parents were really cool and supportive... in other cases, the parents were antagonistic and basically cut themselves off from their children, with tragic results. Interspersed throughout all these family stories are interviews with religious scholars and leaders who shed some light on those famous Biblical passages, such as the one where it says "If a man lies with another man as he lies with a woman, it is an abomination and he should be put to death". Yeah, well, like President Bartlett and everyone else has pointed out a million times, it also says a couple lines up from that passage that eating shrimp is an abomination, and putting two different kinds of seeds together in the same hole is an abomination, eating ham is an abomination, working on the Sabbath is an abomination, etc etc etc. And yet when was the last time you saw Fred Phelps standing outside Red Lobster with a sign saying "God Hates Shrimp" and "AIDS is God's Punishment for Working on Sunday"? DUDE.

One thing that I found REALLY interesting was something one of the interviewees said, that "Biblical Literalism" is a relatively new phenomenon. Like, it didn't really start until the beginning of the 20th century. So when all these hardcore right-wing Evangelicals say the Bible is literal and infallible, that's not a traditional way of approaching Christianity. So we kind of had 2,000 years of one kind of Christianity or whatever, and then about 100 years ago the Evangelicals came along and decided the Bible was absolutely, 100% literal - except for the stuff they didn't want to follow, like that part where it says you should give literally all of your money to the poor. Somehow, that part always gets ignored. INTERESTING.

Did you know that Pat Robertson pulls in $450 million a year? I'm not sure if that's his entire organization, or just him alone - it was just a number quoted on the screen. But still, DUDE! I wonder how much of a difference he could make if he followed *that* part of the Bible literally, donating it all to the poor. $450 million could feed a whole lot of poor people. What's he even going to do with $450 million every single year? At some point, don't you sort of have everything you could ever possibly want? Like, "Gee, another house, another car, another yacht, another private jet. Ho hum".

Why Is This Such a Hard Decision?
Church-y stuffCollapse )

Whoo Hoo!
This just in.
NEW YORK — Bank of America is nixing its plans to charge a $5 debit card fee.

The news comes after other major banks, including Chase and Wells Fargo, said last week that they were canceling tests of similar fees.

Bank of America had said last week that it would stand by its decision to roll out the $5 monthly fee starting next year.

The about-face by the banking industry comes amid growing public anger over higher fees. A movement to get customers to switch to credit unions and community banks had marked this Saturday as “Bank Transfer Day.”

I don't know the numbers or anything, but I've read places that lots of people were transferring banks in outrage, cutting up their Bank of America debit cards on television, holding up signs at Occupy protests like "BoA got a mutli-billion dollar bailout and all I got was a $5 debit card fee", that sort of thing. I've been talking to customers at Starbucks, when they use their BoA debit cards to pay, "what do you think of this new fee?" and they've all been completely outraged. I've been completely outraged! It's a total racket. You basically have no choice but to use your debit card. Who wants to carry around tons of cash all the time? And what about buying stuff online? That's not just a convenience anymore, that's almost a necessity these days.

Basically, I'm just really, really glad Bank of America has come to their senses. I'm sure it's not because they've suddenly grown a conscience or anything, but because so many customers started leaving or threatened to leave. Whatever the motivation, I'm just glad I won't have to pay this ridiculous fee.

What Are You Going As For Halloween?
Top Ten Topical Halloween Costumes for 2011
Netflix. Wear red. Demand double the candy and refuse to offer any more services. Kind of apologize, but only after thousands of people stop giving you any candy at all.

Qwikster. Same as Netflix, but a little more desperate-looking.

Ahahahahaha. Seriously though? I'm so irritated at Netflix right now. I don't know if it's the Postal Service losing my mail, or whatever, but I put in two DVDs to be returned on Sunday night, and they still haven't sent new DVDs from my queue or even credited my account. They normally at least credit my account by the day after I mail the returned ones - I mean, the Netflix warehouse is only like 3 towns over from me. It's not that far away, really.

And the rate hikes! It seems like Netflix's prices just about doubled from one month to another. Well, to be fair, I also switched from regular DVDs to Blu-rays as well, but still. Come on!

Also, I have to say, I barely even use my DVD player anymore. I mostly just use Netflix streaming, now that I have internets at home again. In fact, I'm seriously about to get rid of my cable too. I barely use that either. I watch tv, sure, but I watch it online or download episodes.

At any rate, I totally just looked at the calendar and realized Halloween was 4 days away. Dude! Do any of you guys have plans for Halloween? Anyone going to dress up, or take your kids Trick or Treating?

Pointless Post is Pointless
Fall_Trick or Treat
I know this is a weird - and possibly gross - question, but is it okay to not wash your hair every single day? Keep in mind, I'm talking about washing it every other day instead.

I've always washed my long, very thick, very DRY color treated hair daily. I thought that's just what you were supposed to do. But the other day I was talking about shampoo with someone at work, specifically about how I go through it so quickly, and she was like, "You don't wash your hair every day, do you?" I was like, "You mean you're not supposed to?!? Whaaaa????" Apparently, according to this woman, people with long hair are only supposed to wash their hair every other day. Which totally friggin' blew my mind.

So, tonight when I took my daily shower, I didn't wash my hair. I got it wet and stuff, but didn't use shampoo and conditioner. I feel so weird, like I forgot to use deodorant or something and everyone can tell. (Note that I'm currently alone in my apartment, and this makes no sense whatsoever.)

I don't know. Any thoughts, comments, suggestions?

Alternately, just tell me how your day is going. :)

Pink Month
I found this article in the New York Times very interesting.
Has the power of the mammogram been oversold?

At a time when medical experts are rethinking screening guidelines for prostate and cervical cancer, many doctors say it’s also time to set the record straight about mammography screening for breast cancer. While most agree that mammograms have a place in women’s health care, many doctors say widespread “Pink Ribbon” campaigns and patient testimonials have imbued the mammogram with a kind of magic it doesn’t have. Some patients are so committed to annual screenings they even begin to believe that regular mammograms actually prevent breast cancer, said Dr. Susan Love, a prominent women’s health advocate. And women who skip a mammogram often beat themselves up for it.

“You can’t expect from mammography what it cannot do,” said Dr. Laura Esserman, director of the breast care center at the University of California, San Francisco. “Screening is not prevention. We’re not going to screen our way to a cure.”

Emphasis mine.

I don't even know. fan_eunice did a great post about this issue earlier this month that I would recommend everyone read.

My biggest issue with the Pink Campaign is just how breast cancer became the Trendy Illness all of a sudden. Like AIDS in the late 80's/early 90's... and then people just sort of stopped caring. News flash here: people are still dying of AIDS. Thousands of people in the States, millions of people in Africa. It's still an epidemic, still a tragedy. But no one cares anymore, because there's other, more hip diseases to worry about. Like breast cancer! It's pink! You can buy pink ribbons! Pink t-shirts, pink mugs, pink car magnets, pink cereal, pink everything. Not that most of that money for the pink stuff actually goes to research or curing breast cancer, but, you know. AWARENESS.

Look, I know how horrible breast cancer is. It's an absolute tragedy. My own godmother had breast cancer years ago. At first it was looking like it wouldn't be a big deal... she went into remission... then it came back, and we were really worried. It was scary. But it looks like she's beaten it for good, at least for the last 12 years. I don't want anyone to have to deal with breast cancer. Or ANY cancer, really. I just don't think one disease (or specifically, one type of cancer) should get all the attention all the time.

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