MTV Presents: Boddhisattvas' Cribs

Three weeks from today will probably be the end of multiple postings in one day. We'll see if I can find time to post once or twice a week. Because classes start and our summer employees leave for their own colleges.

So I just wanted to point out another observation: Russell Simmons claims to be both vegan and Buddhist, with a room in his “crib” dedicated just to meditation. Which probably cost in the tens of thousands to decorate. He also happens to have rooms, including bathroom sinks and toilets, and dining room ceilings, that are plated in 24-karat gold. His (soon-to-be ex) wife Kimora Lee Simmons designs a line of clothes called Baby Phat using fur and animal skins. She has breast implants, bleaches her hair, wears tons of makeup, and has a “closet” that's larger than my entire house (2,000 square feet).

I'm going to go ahead and assume the Simmons's have not yet acheived enlightenment because they appear not yet to have gotten to that point when “all greed (lobha), aversion (dosa), delusion (moha), ignorance (avijjā), craving (tanha) and ego-centered consciousness (attā) are extinguished. Bodhi thus includes anattā, the absence of ego-centeredness.”

Keep workin' on it, guys! You'll get there!

Not Yet FDA Approved

Okay, every time I think I've heard it all and nothing could shock me anymore, I am surprised by something new.
This time it's the Meth Diet, a way for women to “lose baby weight fast, look skinny, have everyone ask what your 'secret' is, be SuperMom, and you can even cook it up in your kitchen.”

Having heard about this I'm both appalled and suspicious. “Even if I did have some idea what it could do to you, I didn't care. It made me skinny, and it worked,” says one young woman who tried it with a friend at 16 because she was obsessed with her weight.
I find myself checking out the high class housewives who come into the coffeeshop with their infants, weighing in at just about 100 pounds, including the month-old child, and wondering if they're doing it.

While I have a certain amount of sympathy for women (and men) who suffer from anorexia and body dysmorphic disorder, understanding that it usually comes along with extreme depression, bipolar disorder, or obsessive/compulsive disorder, I still tend to think it's a disease of lxury.
While people all over the world – and down the street – are starving, our country seems to be populated with people who either take highly addictive drugs that make their teeth fall out so they can lose weight or who have no understanding of nutrition and use surgery to force themselves to stop eating so much crap.

I've been hearing the reports for the past few years that America is severely obese. But for every five or so Midwestern housewives who think food is love and can't stop themselves from shoving in the Twinkies, there's another woman next door cooking up meth in her kitchen because she needs to lose ten pounds fast.

Toofers

My temporary crown just fell out. It felt loose for the past two days, especially all of yesterday. I managed to have Indian food buffet today, so I'm pleased I at least ate something before it fell out. Now I'm snacking on cottage cheese again.

I called the dentist's office and left a message but I plan on going to bed really early tonight so I can call them first thing in the morning. Plus, I'll need Charlie's help putting on bacitracin and reapplying the crown in case it pops out again.

Speaking of Indian food, I found out that Amazon.com now has a grocery section. You can get 8.5 pounds (10-10.5 ounce boxes) of Gits paneer tikka masala for about twenty bucks.

I'd secretly hoped at first that I could import a grocery list and someone would just bring it all to me, bt it's not quite that great. I hate grocery shopping, by the way.

What Celebrity Do You Resemble?

I started to fill out this really long meme-thing that ArtSchoolGirl77 had on her journal and I came across one question in particular that was interesting: What celebrity do people say you resemble most?
I realized a long time ago the girl who played Darlene on “Roseanne” was my twin. If you don't believe me, take a look at Sara Gilbert's picture then look at the one I have posted of myself with darker hair.

Updated Tattoos

I just put in another two hours on the dragon on my back yesterday afternoon. Charlie also got some more color put into his phoenix not too long ago. I tried to upload them onto my FTP site and hopefully it'll work here. When I look at the photo of it, I think “Wow, he got a lot more done than it felt.” When I was sitting for it I was thinking “Dear god, this hurts.” When the artist focuses on one area it feels like a constant pinprick, over and over again, right on your shoulder blade or spine. I can't wait to be done with this one.

Outing People

In the case of outing celebrities I can see both sides, though one is more clear than the other. On the one hand, a celebrity is a public figure who makes money off his or her popularity with the general public. If he or she is seen smooching someone of the same sex in a public place, that, like any other juicy bit of their personal life, is going to be published.
When Lance Bass was seen with his boyfriend, practically making out, and photographed doing it, his expectation of privacy went out the window. But it did back when he made money from his boy band. But it's also not news to me.

But the other side of the coin is that it really isn't anyone's business. Perez Hilton, the self-proclaimed “Queen of All Media” chose to focus all his attention on outing Lance, and he defended that decision in an interview with MSNBC and CNN then defended himself on his blog.

Perez is a young, gay public figure who became famous by taking on alter ego based on the name Paris Hilton, then publishing dirty gossip about well-known people on the Internet. His choice to come out was his own.

Lance's choice to publicly come out was because his mother, a strict Southern Baptist, had seen photos of him with Reichen, online, thanks to Perez.

It's a connundrum. As far as I'm concerned, it's your business. But when you're a public figure and you're homosexual, there are a lot of other gay people who could benefit from your honesty and lack of fear. But how is that your responsibility? It's Lance's choice to be a singer/dancer/whatever he is. It's also his choice if he doesn't want to tell everyone in the world who he's boinking. It was his choice to be in the clean-cut, all-American boy band N*Sync. And, if I'm not mistaken, he was a Disney kid, too. So if he wanted to be a public representation of a homosexual maybe he'd have chosen to take things in a different direction? Perhaps the influence from his religious family kept him on that track.

All I know is, Perez Hilton is to blame for Lance's outing. Without Perez's watchful eye Lance Bass may not have come out at all. And who really benefitted from that anyway?

Weekend Getaway

So we've finally started planning an actual night away from the house, something that doesn't involve family. Not that I can think of a time when we actually stayed with any part of our families over night, but that doesn't matter.
The Big Plan right now is two days in Chicago, with a little help from Google Earth. By the way, I had this whole entry all linked up with new windows opening for every place I'm telling you about. Unfortunately, I keep getting errors in my HTML. I have no idea why. I can pound out some HTML for a freaking link in my sleep. bracket a href equals http whatever end bracket backslash a bracket. You get the idea.

So, anyway, I downloaded the Google Earth program and was able to find the IKEA closest to Chicago, a coffeeshop, a good hotel with a pool and free wireless Internet, and the restaurant of Charlie's dreams: the Weber Grill. The name says it all, but we first heard about it while watching a program on the Food Network a few weeks ago. It has a few negatives in my mind: one, it's a chain restuarant and I'm really trying to support to local businesses as much as I can, as well as not driving whenever possible, walking to work, riding my bike, that kind of thing. Two, it's kind of a silly idea. Why pay someone to grill your food when you can do it a lot cheaper at home?
But as I watched Charlie drool and quietly sob in front of the television, I realized it was imperative that I take him to this place.

Of course, he just got his results from the physical he got a few weeks ago. He has about six months to get his cholesterol down and if he doesn't, he gets to take some sort of medication for it. It didn't even sound all that high to me. Then again, I have no idea what those numbers really mean.

We haven't decided exactly when we're going yet, but I know we're planning on packing a lot of crap into two days. I need to do some shopping, not only at IKEA, but also at some of the many fun little shops along Clark and Belmont Streets. He refuses to let a summer pass without at least one dip in a pool, anywhere, and we also have to find time to eat.

After this, Charlie thinks he wants his next Big Trip to be to Las Vegas. I've already been, just once, but I wasn't particularly thrilled. Part of that could be blamed on the fact that I was the youngest person in our hotel by about 26 years. I went out with an ex for his brother's birthday and pissed off the bride, whom I'd met once, by preferring to attend the bachelor party rather than the bachelorette party, which didn't even involve strippers. My intent wasn't to be rude, but I'm sure it came off that way. Although I couldn't imagine spending the evening with four high-maintenance thirty-something divorcees, boozing it up over their friend's next wedding. I was given an option and I took the road less traveled. I mean, for Christ's sakes: I was in Vegas and I wasn't going to go see strippers? That's ridiculous.

Other Things You Didn't Know About Me

I don't like being around really drunk or really hungover people. Especially the ones who are either really maudlin or really loud.

The guy who took my wedding photos is a schizophrenic with delusions of persecution.

I hate waiting. I don't mind waiting in line, but I hate waiting for people.

I'm perpetually early.

I have trouble sleeping but when I do fall asleep, nothing can wake me up.

I can't keep plants and flowers alive but I've managed to bring back one houseplant from near-death several times for almost 8 years.

I think potted plants and flowers are a better gift than cut ones because they last longer.

I cook with onions but I refuse to eat them.

I didn't write my own birthday down on the calendar this year because I don't want to think about it.

I feel like I'm way too old to care if anyone remembers my birthday anymore.

I hate surprises. But I hate it even more when people tell me there's a surprise and then they won't tell me what it is. That's teasing.

A Word of Advice

I thought this was basically common knowledge but after having spoken with a few people who'd “never thought of it that way,” I figured I might pass along a bit of advice.
When you compliment someone try to find a way to compliment the person not the thing.

I have an uncanny ability to find the negatives in everything: I don't want to go there because it'll be too difficult to find a parking space; I don't want to have dinner with that person because she'll turn a perfectly nice meal into a bitchfest; I don't want to go to that bar because it's always full of drunk frat boys; let's not go to that side of town – traffic's always a mess on Saturdays. You get the idea.
So I try to challenge myself to find at least one positive thing in every day. I know it sounds like a very Oprah-let's-keep-a-journal-of-personal-affirmations kind of thing to say, but it's just something I need to do. For example, because it's so easy to fall into the “work sucks” mentality, I find one simple thing to be happy about going in: working with someone I haven't worked with in a week, getting to wear my new earrings, putting up my hair in a new style I've never been able to utilize before; imagining my day will be over really early/really soon/in time to watch “The Price is Right.”

So when I used to go out to the bars all the time I'd say “Okay, I'm going to say at least one nice thing to at least one person, but I have to mean it.” In other words, don't just walk past a girl in the bathroom and go “Hey, nice shoes.” Because, I thought, it's much nicer to say something about the individual, not just the item. Instead I'd say “Those are great shoes. You have really good taste.”

Maybe there are dozens of young women running around Indianapolis who think there's some crazy bitch who hits on them in the bathroom of dance clubs.
But while I'm not going to break my arm patting myself on the back, maybe there are a few young women out there who thought “I was having a shitty night until that nice girl told me I had great style.”

DoubleCrap

When I used to actually work for Starbucks I had a really good employee discount (one place where Starbucks doesn't skimp is their benefits). Every once in a while I'd buy a four-pack of the DoubleShots on the cheap to have in the fridge on days when I didn't want to run out or nights when I wanted a quick jolt. They really didn't taste too bad.
Yesterday I thought I'd try their new “light” version. What I didn't realize is that it's made with Splenda, something I really don't like using because it's basically just bleached, chlorinated sugar. I know tons of people who love, love, love Splenda (“because it's made from real sugar”) but I don't personally like the stuff.
I didn't take a close look at the can when I bought the DoubleShot Light yesterday and it wasn't until I cracked it open this morning and tasted it that I realized something was awry.
Common sense would have told me if it's 45% fewer calories, they probably used a sugar substitute, but I just assumed it was skim milk instead of cream.
I was wrong. Yuck.