I Should Have Been Born a Thoroughbred

I am one of those nervous nelly types who reacts physically to mental upsets.  I get a sore throat and diarrhea if my boyfriend and I have an argument.  Once I even threw up.  The consequence is that I have many activities to help with mental harmony.  I have a special grounding meditation.  I like massage and acupuncture.  Exercise helps.  So does listening to the right music.  Writing is a near cure-all for mental imbalance (isn’t that a nice way to describe being somewhat high strung?).

The thing that is rather a paradox is that when I’m all in mental order, I am one of the most laid back, relaxed people I know.  I remind myself of a Thoroughbred horse.  When they are happy, they are some of the mellowist, brightest, most easygoing creatures on earth.  But get them in a dither and watch out.  Actually, I am feeling great kinship right at the moment with these, my favorite breed of the horse world.  I have had a few Thoroughbreds who got diarrhea when they were upset.  Maybe I’m not so weird after all.  Or maybe I should just have been born a horse.

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America the Ugly

Milla’s dad informed me that a store I was looking for was in Longmont, Colorado.  Considering I have explored the south and the east of Boulder fairly well, and also considering Milla was spending the day with her dad, I decided to traipse on over to see if I could find the store and check out the town.

No offense to Longmontites, but what a disappointment.  Longmont is covered in ugly, bland, spread-out big box stores and their smaller corporate cousins.  The houses were modern bland equivalencies, the sort preferred by developers who buy their blueprints from Plans-R-Us.  Maybe I turned around to leave too soon, but I did not discover a prettier town center.  I had to get out.  The place sucked the life out of me.  Like so many truly homogenized American towns, the place had no aesthetics, no character, nothing.  No wonder so many Americans are depressed.

Going to Longmont, Colorado was exactly the same as going to Redding, California, which was exactly the same as going to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, which was exactly the same as going to Beaverton, Oregon, only flatter.  With few exceptions, American towns have zero character.  It is impossible to tell you are in another city in another state other than the fact that the license plates are different.  People lament the lack of community in America today; perhaps part of the problem is that we can’t tell one community from the other any more.

Longmont resembled the tri-cities area of eastern Washington nearly identically.  One thing Oregon has that seems to be sorely lacking in both Washington and Colorado is an urban growth boundary.  In both Colorado and Washington, buildings sprout seemingly out of nowhere, randomly placed wherever the landowner had a whim, regardless how well it fits with the landscape or where a town ends.  Lots of developers in Oregon bitch about the growth boundary, but I’m all for it.  It forces people to be creative with the space they do have.  In towns in Oregon where the boundary has been extended, the decimated orchards and fields are replaced with cloned McMansions, cloned townhomes, and hideous utilitarian corporate chains.  In the coming weeks, yards will be filled with hideous, plastic, walmart holiday atrocities.  Wretched.

While I’m not a huge fan of overly ornate, clean has translated into purely utlitarian, which basically means completely ugly.  Who knows, maybe clean wasn’t the culprit.  Perhaps it has more to do with rape and pillage development, make as much money as possible and get out.  Whatever happened to wanting to make something look nice?  Whatever happened to originality?  It was all sacrificed at the alter of the almighty dollar.

There is that Cree proverb that states, “Only when the last tree has withered, the last fish has been caught, and the last river has been poisoned, will you realize you cannot eat money.”  It seems when money is the only consideration or the highest consideration, not only are life and nature sacrificed, so too is beauty.  What a shame.

We should change the name of the song “America the Beautiful.”  It does not hold true any longer.  We are now America the Boring, America the Utilitarian, America the Ugly.  We don’t need some futuristic, sci-fi warning of a world in a plastic bubble to worry about.  We’re already there.

What I am Thankful For

Because I am a sap and it is traditional to do so, I have decided to make a non-inclusive list of things I am thankful for (in no particular order).

Milla
Boyfriend
Animals
Mom
Dad
Sister
Brother
Other relatives (I guess the previous could have been gathered in the catchall family.)
My nice housemate and her animals
Friends
My hairdresser
Sleep
Love
Warmth
Bunnies
Snuggling
Humor
Music
Down comforters and pillows
That Obama is going to be president
That Palin is not going to be vice-president
My computer
Proper use of grammar
Proper spelling
Milla’s inability to spell
Mobile phones
Flushing toilets
Running water
Bathtubs and baths
Peace
Earth
Oceans
Plant life
Horses
Tea
Food
Sugar
My brain
My health
My body
Wordperfect
The internets
Articulation
Having a place to live
Language
Beauty
When Milla listens to me
When my boyfriend listens to me
Being listened to
Acupuncture
Massage
OSOM
Shoes
Nice clothes
Holding a Boston Terrier puppy
Books
That I can read
Earplugs
Frosting
Pumpkin Pie

I am also very thankful that my life is comfortable, that I have enough to eat, a warm place to sleep, and that in comparison to a lot of the world, my worries are trivial.

Possessive S’s

Improper use of the apostrophe for plurals bugs the hell out of me.  Except in narrow circumstances, one places an apostrophe before an s to denote possession.  If one is discussing more than one of something, the apostrophe goes after the s.  One does not place an apostrophe before the s to simply denote plurals.

No apostrophe is used in the following possessive pronouns and adjectives: yours, his, hers, ours, its, theirs, and whose. (Many people wrongly use it’s for the possessive of it, but authorities are unanimous that it’s can only be a contraction of it is or it has.)  Except for one’s, no possessive determiner has an apostrophe.  A number of them, like its, are homophonous with pronoun-auxiliary contractions.  As was previously noted, the pronoun its is very commonly misspelled; not only is there the homophone it’s (it is or it has), but ‘s is a genitive clitic.

For cryin’ out loud people, get it right.

Welcome Back, Dear

My mac died on Sunday.  It turns out the hard drive was bad.  The funny thing is, I was so pleased with mac over windows I did not realize some niggling things were the result of a bad hard drive.  Now I have a new hard drive and the niggles have gone away.  Mac is even better.

While I realize it isn’t great my hard drive went caput after five months, I am very happy that I have a mac and could simply walk into a mac store and they would fix it.  No sitting on hold for 8 years with some techie somewhere to prove what I already know.  No waiting to ship it off, then shipping it off, then waiting for its return.  My mac was back to me this morning.

Another lucky thing for me was that the mac people were able to recover just about all the things that had not been backed up.  I literally had my external hard drive sitting here on the desk next to me ready to hook up and back up the day my drive finally quit on me.  I was on the phone with a friend trying to send her an email and it just stopped.  I couldn’t shut down properly and had to turn it off with the button.  It never recovered.  It went to a blue screen with a little flickering question mark.  Awww…..

My kind housemate allowed me to use her old windows computer while I waited for mine to return.  This was good for someone so tethered to the internet and the need to dump useless thoughts (like these).  I am quite thankful to her for allowing me to use it to check my email and to post on my blog.  However, while using this computer I was reminded of all the reasons I left windows in the first place. I do not miss the constant and ubiquitous popup messages giving me some piece of information I either already know or do not care to know. I hate those little messages.  I do not miss the constant and ubiquitous updates that are always on the ready to install, freezing things up, making the machine click and clatter and rattle.  I hate those updates.  I do not miss the random desire of pc’s to freeze for no apparent reason as they click and clatter and rattle.  Perhaps they are thinking up new little messages for me.  I don’t know.

What I do know is that I am SO glad to have my mac again.  I wrote my boyfriend a text message when I got my baby back.  It said I have three major loves in my life:  one is in school, one is asleep in Oregon, and the third is sitting here next to me in the car. Yes, I’m silly enough to count my mac as one of my major loves.  Welcome back, dear.  I missed you.

Who Would Jesus Bomb?

I have seen this bumper sticker quite a lot. I saw it again tonight and kept ruminating on it, wondering about it, asking the same question, “Who would Jesus bomb?” Over and over, the answer that came to mind was everyone, if certain fundamentalist Christians have their way. Those asking this question are under the false assumption that fundamentalists are framing their religion on the behavior of Jesus Christ. Such an assumption is erroneous, and in the long run could contribute to the Armageddon so many fundamentalists of Abrahamic religions hope will occur.

A frightening number of persons are focused heavily on this prophecy (ever hear of the “Left Behind” series?) and support global policies that seem geared to ensure its occurrence. Why is this? It’s simple: Armageddon offers “evidence” to back up these belief systems. See, what did we tell you? Our prophets foretold the world would come to an end, and therefore we were right. The disheartening aspect of this is that it doesn’t seem to matter whether this prophecy is self-fulfilling or not. For whatever reason, there is a need for vindication to prove to non-believers that they were right all along. Never mind if the world ends if you get to be right.

I can hear it now: it isn’t evidence that is desired, but rather an entry into heaven. This is a baseless explanation. If one is theoretically good enough to get into heaven at all, what difference does it make if it is through Armageddon or at the time of death? Why the need to get there sooner? Why the need to get there through the destruction of mankind? Is it simply a matter of the inability to delay gratification, a wretched impatience more important than the lives of others or the planet? I certainly hope not.

Logic is not part of the equation when thinking like a fundamentalist. If it were, there would be no focus on Armageddon at all. According to the Bible, humans are not supposed to know when it will happen; how therefore could they engineer its manifestation? And if divine interference is a given, it will occur without human intervention.

Fundamentalists are called fundamentalists because they claim to follow a literal interpretation of whichever text they profess to follow (although of late Christian fundamentalists prefer the term “evangelical” as a descriptor because of the negative connotations associated with the word fundamentalist). But let’s be honest. Fundamentalism is only a literal interpretation of whatever rules the fundamentalist is interested in following. It is picking and choosing. It has to be because many of the rules in these ancient, many times translated and transcribed texts are in diametric opposition to one another.

Ultimately, fundamentalism has little to do with trying to live a moral and honorable life. Rather, it is giving authority and responsibility to a book and abdicating such for the self. It is based on fear, guilt, control, manipulation, and hypocrisy. It gives an excuse to inexcusable behavior. It allows one to judge others while simultaneously claiming not to do so, to control how women use their bodies, to decide for others who they can marry, and on and on. It is a way to include and exclude–junior high on a global scale. Worst of all, it provides an excuse to justify horrific actions, including the use of bombs. Fundamentalism is so popular because it requires such little effort and no imagination. It isn’t moving beyond fear, but into it. At its heart it is a cowardly system of belief.

As Martin Luther said, “Faith must trample under foot all reason, sense, and understanding.” For all these reasons, we should work to eliminate fundamentalism. Any benefits it offers are vastly outweighed by its risks. Allowing our society and our world to be ruled by fundamentalism could very well be our undoing. This would not be evidence of anything except the end of humanity.

Let’s Eliminate Pure Med Spa

See my post on the Pure Med Spa bankruptcy here.

I am writing an article on Pure Med Spa.  For info, please click here.

Because I have received so many messages in response to this post, and since it seems not many of these commentators have read my later piece on the Pure Med Spa bankruptcy filing, I have included this paragraph to inform any readers of that filing.  Effectively, if you received your treatment or they stole money from you BEFORE they filed their bankruptcy case in 2009, this means you may NOT file a lawsuit against Pure Med Spa, except through the bankruptcy court, and there only for certain causes of action.  You may NOT contact the company in any way about the money they owe you.  You may NOT call the CEO and harass him.  In short, you may not do anything to them.  That is the point of the bankruptcy stay, to protect the company from creditors, and I absolutely support this, even when the filer is as abominable as Pure Med Spa.  The same laws that protect Pure Med Spa protect you if you ever had to file, and speaking from experience as a bankruptcy attorney, that relief means a lot to people who are being harassed night and day by creditors.  Don’t think this means you don’t have options, just follow the rules to ensure you don’t violate federal law.

Original Post Let’s Eliminate Pure Med Spa:

I admit it, I do make my title statement without actual and personal knowledge of how well they perform their spa services. I have only my customer-no-service experience with them stealing my money to go on (I am planning to sue here in a couple of weeks once I get the paperwork together). However, Pure Med Spa needs to be run out of town on a rail.

In spite of my lack of spa services, I can glean from the feedback I get here that Pure Med Spa has a lot of people really upset. See my previous post on them here. By far, I get more hits on my blog because of Pure Med Spa than any other. WordPress has a feature where we can see the searches people use to find us. Every single day, without fail, someone connects to my post on Pure Med Spa because they searched for it with some derogatory descriptor like Pure Med Spa complaints or Pure Med Spa sucks or Pure Med Spa steals money or Pure Med Spa ripoff. These are all actual searches and the list is by no means complete. I received a comment from a woman asking me to contact her about her horrible experience. I received others describing their horrible experiences.

Here is a quote:

I paid Pure Med Spa thousands of dollars, in return received cancelled appointments, broken equipment, refusal to honor the packages I purchased, and overbooking, in addition to extreme difficulty and delay in even getting an appointment due to overselling and short staffing…. hat really bothers me is the company’s indifference and arrogance. It seems to just be an effort to take money from clientele without accountablity to perform the services people pay for. Michelle

Here is another:

I’ll kick Pure Med Spa’s ass too. They are liers (sic). They sold me a treatment which they had known that the machine will burn my skin because of my skin type. But they still talked me into buying it. Then later, they told me the machine would burn my skin, and they are trying to give me some other more expensive treatment which I do not need at all. They have a stupid ‘no-refund’ policy, they would not give my money back, that is for sure. Lucy

Considering the number of people who are searching for Pure Med Spa because of problems with the place, I would suspect there may be enough people out there who could file a class action lawsuit against them. That said, even though I’m an attorney, I know very little about class actions, especially since the feds made them harder to file. I do think though, that someone ought to look into it. That place needs to have its ass kicked straight out of business.