Amazing Things You Can Do With Pine Cones


No, this post isn’t about pine cones, although I’ve been thinking about them. I’ve been thinking of them since I can’t see them under a blanket of lingering snow. I’m thinking I must have a barrel’s worth of them lying on the bottom of my fish pond, rotting away.

No, I’ve actually been pondering this post which I wrote yesterday. (Plugging oneself is a good thing, no?)

It appears I might have made a hasty judgment with regard to the nature of the site in question. (I’m not mentioning it, because I don’t want people to click over there and give them more page views. That site doesn’t deserve any encouragement. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you can take the back alley route of finding out the insider knowledge by clicking on my pal, Wanda Rizzuto.) As only a brief visitor of the offending site, I got the impression that the site was all about glorifying being thin, and making a mockery of those who are fat.

I may be the only one on Earth who doesn’t really want to see my favorite celebrities in various forms of undress. (Not Viggo, not even Richard Gere.) Right now, I’m having a difficult time with the term “celebrities.” First of all, half of the people featured on the site have no real skills, and are famous for being famous, or famous for being rich. Secondly, does it really matter what their Body Mass Index is? Why we invest so much time and energy on these people is beyond me. (Yes, I’m investing some time discussing this tripe here, but it’s not my usual thing. You won’t catch me watching “Keeping up with the Kardashians” or “The Real Housewives of Orange County.” I’ll give it a couple hundred words and then drop it.)

The message these sites and the media projects on our young people (both boys and girls) is frightening. We can fill our lives with endless shopping, bad behavior, law breaking and rudeness and it will all be good because we’re “beautiful.” If we’re not “beautiful” we can make ourselves that way by a quick trip to the spa or to the plastic surgeon. We can poke fun of those who aren’t “beautiful” just because we can.

I’ve raised two children, and even with my daughter almost grown, it’s hard to instill a sense of values with her that go beyond the boundaries of external packaging. If she fails a test, she launches into “I don’t need to be smart, I’m pretty,” which makes me want to assume the position of instant backhand, but I resist the urge and tell her to fill her head with more than moronic episodes of reality TV. She didn’t believe me when I told her that most images these days are digitally enhanced, until I linked her to a web site with before and after photos of her favorite people. But with constant bombardment from media, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for a mother’s common sense to illuminate through the muck.

I’m not calling for a war, but I’m calling for a personal boycott of the frivolous mediocrity of sites like this one who exploit people like these.

And if you really must know, I’d rather contemplate the wondrousness of a pine cone.

Fighting the Good Fight

I try to get a few things done over the weekend, and when I wasn’t looking, Wanda’s  waged War  against the skinny website.

I refuse to capitalize the title, linketize them or give them any more clicks than I have to. For the sake of my bud, I went in, I looked around, and I left disgusted.

Now, I don’t have anything against skinny girls, seeing that I was once a painfully skinny girl myself. I have been likened to a zipper if I turned sideways, and all of those other horrible yuck-yuck jokes that people made. According to my kids, my smallness was way back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and everything was in black and white. While some may think I am still “thin,” I have actually filled out over the last couple of decades. I’ve gained 28 pounds since marrying Mr. Demonic, which is more than one fourth what I weighed before I married him.

I know I’ll never see size 2 again, but I don’t want to lose track of where I am, which is size 4. (Yeah, don’t get out the tomatoes yet.) I’ve been on a lackadaisical diet which includes cereal, lots of fruits and vegetables and nuts. I’ve also been working out, also half-heartedly. My whole heart might be more involved, but I’m doing this exercise in the confines of a claustrophobic basement. It’s dark, and there are centipedes down there. Twenty-five minutes is the absolute most time I’ll spend there working up a sweat.

I do this, not only to keep from buying a completely new wardrobe, but for health reasons. There’s a line of high cholesterol and heart disease in my family, as well as adult onset diabetes. Now that I’ve rounded the bend past 50, I want to take care of myself so I can last another 50 years. After all, I need to live long enough to be a real pain in the posterior to my children.

I do agree with Wanda that celebrating skinny is rather, well… dumb. Is there a web site celebrating all the fat girls? What about people of normal sizes and shapes? I’m rather amazed and distressed to find all of the usual subjects on the skinny web site: the Kardashians, Kate Hudson, Catherine Zeta Jones, the Olson twins, and more Kates, Kellies and Jennifers than I’d ever want to shake a skinny stick at.

I can understand Wanda’s overwhelming need to take her sharp wit and wield it like a dagger upon the skinny girls and those who idolize them. But, Wanda, Baby, I implore you! Don’t waste your talents on this! Your monumentally wicked tongue and lovely rear end should be championing some other cause, like the extermination of squirrels in my neighborhood. Now there’s a fight worth fighting.

Stew, anyone?

Cleaning Up a Mess Using Suicide as a Help

I’m sorry. But I had to.

I was a member of another site. It was supposed to be for writing, for meeting people (imagine me waving my arms about like a Jewish grandmother), but then… ack! The fun went out of the place.

Sure, I wrote. I had fun. I met a lot of people. A lot of really good people. But there were other things going on that didn’t sit well with me.

I was a junkie for this place. I couldn’t help myself. Sometimes I would be on it all day long. I craved it like some people crave heroin. Like alcoholics will take a bottle of Popov, because they don’t want the smooth delivery of Grey Goose-they just want to get drunk. When I was away, I was constantly looking for the next fix. There were some rewards. There had to be, or I wouldn’t be there, right?

Because of my fixation, I was undercutting the other things in my life. First, family. It was easy enough to say “NO” when the family was around. Then, work. That was a little harder. I am amazingly adept at doing four or five things at a time. I could easily hide my banter by minimizing my computer screen. It wasn’t right, but I was doing it.

Then I heard of someone who committed FaceBook suicide. He spent too much time there, he had to do it. I had to do the same thing with the site I was on. I gave myself a decent amount of time to commit the act. Then I set about to extricate myself from this demon web site. I did it with much forethought and was orderly. I thought of the individual steps and executed them in order.

My independence day is today. By midnight, it will be all over. Thank the Lord. Or should I say, “oy vay!”

My new life starts tomorrow morning, as soon as I wake up from my champagne hangover.