Monday, January 27, 2014

The Disease of Entitlement: If you haven't Earned it, you don't Deserve it!


Nothing gets my blood pumping more than people who are completely and ridiculously inflated with a False Sense of Entitlement. It never fails to baffle me when I look at some people's lives and behaviours and see the extreme lengths they will go to take what they want, when they want it.. even if they don't DESERVE it, and especially when they haven't EARNED it.

The number one area I see this most in is FINANCES. I'm not sure how or when this started but it's now become the NORM that even if you can't afford certain things and your flat broke you THINK that you still DESERVE to have them anyway. I literally cannot believe my ears when I hear about the luxurious lives some people lead all on CREDIT. I've heard several stories, one in particular, where someone was not able to pay their Child Support yet could afford to go on vacations down south. How in God's name is this possible? Well, I guess for this to be possible you need two things: #1: CREDIT*  AND  #2 a huge false sense of ENTITLEMENT. (*or someone else's credit)

It's not just vacationing on credit that makes me crazy but people who are financially in ruins (or partnered with people who are in financial ruins.. how convenient) buying new cars, new homes, new furniture for their new homes, eating out constantly, having big weddings, having children, buying coffee everyday, getting pets, cell phones, laptops, ipads, make up, flat screen tv's, clothes, hot tubs/pools, huge snow blowers, elaborate gardens, smoking, partying... ugh. I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

How is it that these people who can't afford these items, or who are broke, or bankrupt think they deserve to have any of these things?

Maybe you're saying to yourself, "Sure Bootsy.. you're probably a big hypocrite doing the same stuff."  Actually, no. I'm not. If I don't have the means to go on vacation and travel, or get new electronics or eat out, or buy new clothes or procreate then guess what? I don't! And it's all because; if I don't have the money for these luxuries then I have not EARNED the privilege of acquiring these luxuries.

Why do people think that they have the RIGHT to live like rich people.. or even just to live like middle class people if they can't afford it?

Perhaps it's because I was raised from humble beginnings that I feel this way. When I was little a dollar symbolized a loaf of bread. Twenty dollars might as well have been a million dollars for me and my mom. I was raised by a single mother who was uneducated and had to work multiple odd jobs just to pay for rent and put food on the table. Sometimes, there was only food for me and she would go hungry. She did things the hard way. The honest way. If we didn't have money for something we didn't get it. Once we had the money, then we could enjoy the benefits of it. She taught me that being In Debt to others wasn't a good way to live. She taught me NOT to OWE other people; to make good on my word, have a strong work ethic and to NOT to have a False Sense of Entitlement.

Contrary to popular belief: Nobody owes you anything. And just because you are alive and breathing doesn't mean you deserve to go on vacations and buy expensive new cars and spoil yourself with endless luxuries.

You shouldn't feel ashamed that you can't afford what some other people can afford (or pretend to afford); You should feel ashamed if you're doing these things and you CAN'T AFFORD IT!

Besides the financial aspect of Entitlement there is also the general Behavior of Entitlement. For example, people who are educated in a specific profession or area of study. Let's say for example, where this person lives there are no current jobs in their area of work. Maybe they are a Computer Programmer and there is nothing in that trade available for employment but there are other jobs open in a lesser paying (or more humbling) position. I've seen it countless times where that individual says, "There's no work for me in my profession so I CAN'T work. There are no jobs." Oh my God!  NEWS FLASH!!! There are jobs! Maybe not ones you WANT to work at, and maybe you're over qualified for them BUT, in my opinion, there is NO REASON NOT TO WORK. If there were no Nursing jobs for me to work at where I live I would be putting my resume in at Tim Horton's, Mac's Milk, McDonalds, the grocery store... everywhere! You know why??? Because there is no excuse not to work. Not only that, there's no excuse to be sitting on your ass for 6 months crying that you've done everything possible and say that there's just "no work".

People like this don't mind 'putting others out', if you know what I mean. They don't mind holding their hand out for money, or a line of credit, or a place to live, or borrowing someone's car, or asking for rides constantly, eating other peoples groceries, or just bumming out in their parents home not cleaning up after themselves, taking and taking and taking! I would be mortified to do any of those things. I would be so ashamed of myself. Where's the SHAME in the world? Where's that feeling of GUILT? Where's that negative feeling when you put someone completely out of their way to DO FOR YOU? And to do for you constantly?

I'm tempted to say that the blame lies with those individuals who ENABLE these people. But I don't think that's entirely true. There are some obvious cases where the ENTITLED person is consistently getting ENABLED by a friend, or family member or parent; but I think ultimately, at the core of the issue, the onus lies with the person 'taking advantage'. That being said, I think people in general are so afraid to say 'no' to others. They are afraid to confront the ENTITLED INDIVIDUAL. "Hell hath no fury like a narcissist denied," (Sandy Hotchkiss, author of Why Is It Always About You?). I guess some people just need to grow a pair of balls, and other people need to lose them. Painfully.

These are, mostly, extreme examples... but I see this stuff a lot. I see it way too much. Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one who thinks behaving this way is super F-ed up. Am I the only one?


Saturday, January 25, 2014

Misguided Eye Liner Applications: And Tales of Make up Gone Wrong

Ok.. I desperately want to encourage women to rethink the black eye liner on the inside of your lower lids. It has such huge potential to look sooooo awful. There is a time and place for this sort of look. With 'appropriate' complimenting make up to the rest of the face and a corresponding 'appropriate' occasion.. this look can be amaze-balls. But the vast majority of what I see is just plain wrong and Fugly (F-ing Ugly; for those who are just joining the 21st century).

This very kind blogger person has taken the time to enlighten some very misguided people on appropriate make up application. No offense intended to the perpetrators of this ungodly, crime to the entire female gender.. but let's get our act together ladies. Here is some great advice on the subject (see the link below)... and please go wash your face immediately :D


Friday, January 24, 2014

Dallas Buyers Club

One of the best movies I've seen in a long time. Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto both received Golden Globes for their performances and they definitely deserved them. Matthew's character in the film is a 'regular Joe', southern, Rodeo junky in the year 1985. At that time HIV was largely considered to be a 'homosexual disease'. Matthew's character, coincidently, is a major homophobic. In the beginning of the movie he is diagnosed with HIV and from there his world is about to turn upside down.

Jared Leto plays a Transvestite who is also infected with HIV. His performance is amazing! Both of these actors deserve the Academy Award for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor!!  And the film is based on a true story. What an eye opening, raw, inspiring and heart warming story :)

The Secret to Finding a Fulfilling Career

My sister just sent this blog link my way and I think it's a really interesting perspective on what drives our career path, and what is essential in finding a fulfilling career.

As children we are taught to find a career by being asked, "WHAT do you want to be when you grow up?"  So then our process of figuring out our profession is based on deciding WHAT we want to do. The first thing we do in deciding is by picking a career. Then comes the, "HOW" do we attain this career.

One main question that seems to be left out or over looked is the "WHY". This question requires the person to consider the reasoning behind the chosen career.

The idea being illustrated here is that people are happier and more successful when they align their personal values with their career... the "WHY" factor.  Emilie (the author of the blog "puttylike") reflects on her own personal values with this topic:

"But, recently, I’ve started to think again about my career path, by looking at jobs I’ve enjoyed in the past, jobs I’m genuinely passionate about, and jobs that I don’t know much about but which appeal to me:

LGBT activist – encouraging people to accept other people the way they are

Author – writing young adult novels about accepting yourself, and going after the life you want

Teaching assistant – helping children find those ‘aha’ moments so that they believe in themselves

Personal trainer – helping people to become the way they want to be, and proud of themselves

Blogger – inspiring young people to live on purpose by working out who they are, and what they want

There’s a pretty obvious theme there of helping (young) people to feel good about themselves, and to improve their lives and self-esteem."

A recent TED talk by Simon Sinek further looks into this idea of personal and professional success not being measured so much by the WHAT and the HOW.. but the WHY.

Bootsy :D

Major Snow Storm in Austin, Texas... Is this a joke?

This is what a Major Snow Storm looks like in Austin, Texas.  Today has been called an "Austin Snow Day"!! This major weather event has forced the city to close schools and major highways. You've got to be kidding me.

See other horrific images of this brutal snow storm below:

Bootsy :P

Shoppers Optimum Points: A great budgeting resource

So.. this is a new, untapped area for me that I've just recently started to utilize. I've always been adverse to 'loyalty programs' and store 'points' plans in general. When I hear the word 'loyalty' in context with businesses trying to sell me stuff it normally makes my skin crawl... however I think the Shoppers Optimum Points is really onto something.

Over the past year we have accrued enough points to receive a total $440.00!!!

How did we do this you may be asking.. "this sounds too good to be true". Well, it's not! And it's fricken amazing!!

This is how we do it:

Usually every weekend or so Shoppers Drug Mart holds these "20 times the points events" (if you spend $50.00 or more) or "Spend over $75.00 and receive 18, 500 points" events. Soooo....

when you look at the way the points work:    95,000 points = $170.00

What we have started to do is utilize Shoppers for grocery items and all of our staples in the house. I think people overlook that Shoppers now a days is basically a grocery store. They frequently have the cheapest milk, eggs and discount bread. Most of them also include fresh fruits and vegetables and a small freezer section.

Basically once a month, or every two months, we will stock up on all of our home essentials: toilet paper, paper towels, cases of pop, soup, bbq sauce, milk, eggs, snacks, cereal, protein powder, feminine products, personal hygiene items, cleaning supplies, vitamins, Ibuprofen/Tylenol, make up, family gifts/presents, etc(prescriptions are not included in the deal though). It's pretty easy to get the total up to $75.00.. but the main idea is that you would normally buy these items anyway at the grocery store or Costco.. so it's not like you're spending anything extra, or buying anything you don't need already.

If you went shopping on the "18,500 points events" you would only need 5 shopping trips to bring your total points to 95,000 (cash value = $175.00!!)

This is where it gets tempting to go crazy and have a huge shopping spree!!! BUT, if you hold out and wait for these "Spend you points Events" you can earn back even more! During these events, when you're 'cashing out your points', Shoppers will give you even more points!!!

Twice now, we've gone in with our 95,000-100,000 points, during a 'spend your points event' and ended up with $220.00 worth of Shoppers merchandise for FREE (each time)!!!!!

We literally would go in, each of us would grab a tiny, Shopper's shopping cart ....and then Divide and Conquer! lol After check out, we take our TWO carts full of whatever we want and walk out the door feeling elated and also in shock. I always feel like security guards are going to 'jump us' on our way out. It feels like you're stealing stuff lol.

So.. there you have it! $440.00 worth of groceries and home essentials for free.  At present we're close to our third shopping extravaganza, all free, courtesy of your local Shoppers Drug Mart. :)


Saturday, January 18, 2014

Acts of Kindness: Faith in Humanity Restored

This is an amazing website I just found by accident while Googling for images for 'kindness'. I think acts of kindness are so amazingly redeemable against all kinds of our personal faults and short comings. I also believe that people get the idea of Christianity wrong because of inflexible, rigid, overly religious people. Kindness; In it's pure, simple, quietness.. is true Godliness.

These images are both moving and inspiring.

A father and mother kissing their dying little girl goodbye. If you are wondering why all the medic people are bowing: in less than an hour, two small children in the next room are able to live thanks to the little girl's kidney and liver.

God bless xoxo

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Smart Communities (aka: Tiny Houses): Sustainable Living Solutions

This is a very neat website that I found on Kijiji while browsing through the Real Estate section. Smart Communities Ontario offers living solutions that are sustainable, environmentally friendly and very cheap. Of course these means living in 'tiny houses' ...but it's so cute. I think this would be perfect for single people, couples without kids or retired people. Imagine not having to pay rent, mortgage, condo fees, or expensive, monthly utility bills. The utility costs for this house are less than $50 a month and the cost to build the it begins at $15,000.00. The website also includes an interesting interview with a couple who live (literally) in "a little house on the Prairie".

Here's the Youtube link:

Power outage?? No Problem :)

In Ontario we have recently been stricken with several bouts of Power Outage. But, I find it's not really a problem. That being said we've also been blessed by having 'short' power outages, unlike our unfortunate neighbours in Toronto who suffered days and weeks at a time.

We recently purchased a wind up Radio/flash light/solar panel/cell phone charger for $33.00 online. With one minute of 'winding' the radio lasts for almost an hour. It also features emergency broadcasting channels with live updates of news and weather. Not only is this useful for power outages but will most definitely prove essential for any future Zombie Attacks!

Our BBQ on the patio has a side burner with which we were able to boil a kettle for hot water to make coffee with our French Press.. and Sean made eggs and toast! With candles burning inside for some extra warmth, and our wind up radio set on a Classical Music channel, we felt like King and Queen having a Grand breakfast and living by our wits. We also sat and just talked for several hours given that there was 'nothing better to do' and had good fun chatting, snuggling and playing with the puppies. I also sat and read an interesting magazine article from a REAL magazine (Vogue: Jessica Chastain story, December 2013) that was given to me for Christmas.

When I heard the click of the power coming back on and the furnace firing up.. I was almost saddened at the thought of 'technology' pouring back into our happy little time we were having. But, all in all, who am I kidding? It wouldn't take long for me to go into hysterics if the power outage had lasted for more than 24hrs lol.

With a little ingenuity and a little elbow grease (or Pam cooking spray) we weathered through unscathed and all the more happy I think.



Best Card Ever!! Hope to get this one day ;)

Monday, January 13, 2014

Elementary School Children Rally Against Bullying

This is a very touching story of how these young school children rallied around a 1st grader and stood up against Bullying. It's so encouraging to see young people standing up for others and showing human compassion.. very touching. I teared up :(

Mother Brings Baby back to Life with Two Hours of Cuddles

After giving birth to premature twins this mother was told that one of them 'didn't make it'. Jamie was not breathing and pronounced dead after delivery. This amazing story will warm you heart and make you believe that miracles do really happen :)

20 Things Women Should No Longer Have to Apologize For

Great Article!! Made me laugh and think, 'Damn straight!' :D

Are we Raising our Boys up Wrong?

This is a very interesting video on the socialization of boys and men. It's a 3min video that looks into issues like, "what does it mean to be masculine" and deals with common phrases that little boys hear all too often, "Be a Man!".

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Golden Globes 2014!!!

I'm obviously super excited about tonight's Golden Globes!!! What movies and actors am I voting for???  I have absolutely no idea. I haven't seen any of the movies up for Best Picture. So you may be asking yourself, "Why are you so excited then? And why are you so silly?"
BECAUSE I love celebrities, and fashion, and celebrities!!! 

My main reason for watching is to see the lovely actors and actresses all dolled up, strolling along the red carpet, smiling and waving like 'all is right with the world'.

I love Tina Fey and Amy Poehler! They are super hilarious and will definitely have us all in stitches. I can't wait to see their opening monologue.

I also love to hear acceptance speeches.. good ones, bad ones, sobbing ones.. I find them very entertaining!

The latest Designer Fashions are sure to be displayed in all their glory and it's always fun to see who 'nailed' their looks and accessorized appropriately. It's also equally enjoyable to watch the actors who look like train wrecks dressed in horrific clothing and then "Boo" them in my drunken state from my couch :)

The link below also has a pdf file 'Ballot' link that shows you everyone who's nominated and you can 'play along at home'!!

See you on the big screen!
Bootsy :D

Hospital Code Black: Bomb Threat.. and other musings on the life of a Nurse


As much as I love my job as a nurse, I hate employee education even more. But as all 'evils' go.. they are apparently 'necessary'.

Since I work in a hospital it is important to know the different codes that may be called overhead. For example: Code Blue-Cardiac Arrest, Code Yellow-Missing Patient, Code White-Aggressive Person, Code Brown-Sh*t Spill.. just kidding, but close... Hazardous Material Spill.

These education sessions are provided online and usually turn out to be pretty darn hilarious. One of my favourite parts of these education sessions are the vivid and realistic images they show that correlate with each Code.

For example: Code Brown (depicted by several unconscious employees who appear to have just been slimed)

It's also important to note that if there is ever a local, biological hazard you will need to be decontaminated by the band members from DEVO.

Just recently I was reviewing the Learning Module for Code Black:

After a Code Black is called in the hospital can you guess what the nursing staff and health care professionals are required to do? 

You're probably thinking: "Move patients to a secure location", or "Evacuate the area", or something like that. Well, interestingly enough, all of those answers would be wrong. We are told to do the opposite of all that and to go and LOOK for the potential "suspicious package" in our area.

Are you Frickin Kidding me??? Look for the bomb?? Let's get something straight. I'm a nurse. Not a one-woman, bomb squad. Seriously, if I hear a Code Black I've got two legs and I am RUNNING! I saw "The Hurt Locker". Can I say 'no thank you'?  I may suffer from generalized anxiety but I'm not stupid. I can just see it now. Me. Looking for a bomb. With a fresh dump in my underpants. Not only is the hospital management on crack they also seriously over estimate the strength of my anus.

Alas, I digress... at least it all makes for interesting, work related, blog rants.


Cat-in-a-Box Studio: My super talented Sister Pam Boutilier

This is my incredibly talented sister Pam Boutilier! She is an Artist SLASH Veterinarian! She has a huge heart and vast love for all animals. She works with various media and does custom portraits of families special, little critters. Over the years Pam and her husband Jim (who is also a Vet) have taken in countless animals who were destined for 'Doggy and Kitty Heaven' way too soon. This of course means that their home is filled with hair and kibbles.. but they are kind people nonetheless. And they usually give me alcohol when I visit, so it's really a win-win for everyone.

So just let your eyes feast on the compelling and heartfelt works of Art by Pam Boutilier!

You can check out more of her work at:

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Blood Plugs for your Ear holes

What's cooler than having blood on the inside of your body???  You got it....Wearing blood on the OUTSIDE of your body!!! All we need now is a present day version of a psychotic Angelina Jolie and an older boyfriend to make them super popular!!!

Money for Dummies

WARNING: If you loathe the idea of feeling completely ashamed and embarrassed about yourself Do Not read the following...
So I've done some rough calculating for the average full time worker (16 shifts{12 hrs per shift}/mth, specifically referring to fulltime Kingston General Hospital staff ). This calculation also includes normal, weekly 'eating out' expenditures for an average family of three.
I think I'm rounding down in my calculations for example, this only includes one medium Timmies coffee a day which some people they buy more than that and I'm sure some people order take out/eat out more than once a week(plus the restaurant calculation does not include alcoholic beverages)...
BUT! ...that being said, I think the numbers are easy to manipulate to your own personal habits :D

 Underground parking: 16 shifts a month ($16/day) = $256/mth ($3072/yr)

Lunch at work: 16 shifts a month ($7/lunch)= $112/mth ($1344/yr)

Coffee break: 16 shifts ($1.60/break) = $25.60/mth ($307/yr)

Breakfast at work: 16 shifts ($4.00)= $64.00/mth ($768/yr)

Pack of cigarettes a day ($10)= $300/mth ($3600/yr)

Eating out at a restaurant (avg family of 3: $58.88/wk{tip incl. 15%})=
                                                                                        $235.52/mth ($2826.24/yr)
Ordering take out ($25.00/wk)= $100/mth ($1200/yr)

Over One Year (if you're awesome enough to over indulge in all the aforementioned, gluttonous acts)...this equals: $13,117.24/yr!!!

Over Ten Years all of the above adds to: $131,172.40
***Note: if that same amount of money was invested/saved (@ 7% interest) over ten years you would have: $189, 106.87!! 
Okay...I know what you're thinking, "Amanda. You're bat-crap crazy. Where the heck do get 7% interest back on your investment.. are you drunk or just plain ridiculous???" Well the truth is both.  But seriously... Believe it or not this number was not just pulled out of my rear... like most things are.  Before inflation, the average stock market gains per year (over the past hundred years) has been... you guessed it... 7%!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Top ten list: How to be Super Popular on Facebook!!! :D

Top 10 List: How to be Super Popular on Facebook !!!
(and get lots of attention!... and make more friends!.. and make people Love you!!!)

10.  Post 'cruelty to animal' pictures!!!!  By posting pictures of starving and beaten animals people will think that you're a kind person and will want to hang out more. **Definitely guaranteed likes on this.

9.  Update your status when you feel hurt or sad. Updates like, "I'm having the worst day of my life!!!" or, "Ugggghhhhhhh!!!!" will definitely show people you fragile side and will encourage them to boost your spirits!!

8.  If you're lucky enough to have someone who actually wants to marry you and look at your face everyday for the rest of their life, be sure to add weekly (if not daily) wedding updates and count downs!  Posts like, "Only 287 more days till the Big Day" are sure to get your friends admiration and jealousy!!! :D

7.  Posting pictures of your kids is always a win on Facebook!!!  ... especially if it's followed by some random thing your kid said! People LOVE to see pics of your kids and know exactly what they said, every day.. no matter how stupid or insignificant it may seem! :D

6.  If you're in a new relationship Facebook friends LOVE hearing about how wonderful your new boyfriend is! Updates like, "Came home to flowers, wine and a bubble bath!! Best guy ever!!" are sure to win the hearts and affections of all your loved ones!!

5.  Are you a real humanitarian who enjoys charitable acts and giving and doing for everyone??? Oh my god.. You have to share the shit! People need to know how great you are!! :D Seriously though... by sharing your good deeds and 'liking' random pictures of pediatric, cancer patient's you're letting everyone know what a true and generous heart you have! :D

4.  Did someone famous die today? You definitely have to post "RIP Mr. so and so"!!! This not only shows that you are a respectful Facebook contributor, but that you are also a worldly person who is aware of the current affairs!! :D

3.  Are you going out with friends later??? Are you super excited about your cool, twenty something year old life???  Of course you are!! You're twenty-whatever years old!! You've got to share that shit! Tell us all about it. Are you super drunk right now?? Did somebody say something super funny while inebriated? People want to know all about it! :D

2.  Did you just get a chain-letter Facebook Post that said, "If you don't share this you will go broke and be murdered by your next door neighbour"??? Holy Crap... you better share that shit!!! Not only would your Facebook friends be completely devastated by your grotesque and untimely murder, but they would be completely insulted if you didn't share such an important, life-sustaining post!! lol :D

1.  Insider Jokes??? These are great on Facebook!! Not only will it peak your Facebook friends curiosity...but it will make them think you're super funny!! Then... they will want to hang out with you!... and be your close that they can share inside jokes with you!!! And other people will be sooo jealous!! lol :D

Best of luck!
Bootsy :D

$32.00 a month in Groceries??? Get out!

This is how one person could live on $32.00/mth in groceries. Not that I would want to do this, but I find it personally interesting. I over hear people talking about there ridiculous grocery bills every week. People will say to me, "I costs us $200 a week to feed my family of four." Telling me this as if, "that's the facts people!!". That's, apparently, what it takes to feed four mouths (two of which are under five years old). So naturally my reaction is, 'You're obviously completely stupid with your spending!!'.  Of course, this is what I say in my head (it would be wrong to criticize someone...right? :p).

Soooo.... this dry, storage supply of food is gluten free and consists of  300* lbs of Rice, 60 lbs of Beans, 60 lbs of Sugar, 16 lbs of powdered Milk, 8 lbs of Salt, and 10 quarts of cooking Oil.

Here's what "Seek these Things" blogger has to say:

"If you ever had to live off just this food, you could eat 13 oz of uncooked (about 39 oz. cooked) Rice per day, and 2.5 oz of dry Beans. You would have 5 teaspoons of Oil, and 2 teaspoons of Salt to cook and season with. You would need about 36 oz of clean water to cook your rice and beans.
Your 16 lbs of dry milk will make 80 liquid quarts of milk, that’s about 7 oz of prepared milk each day. Milk reconstitutes at a ratio of 1 to 4, milk to water, but you could probably stretch it further, and make it taste much better, by adding your 2.5 oz of Sugar to it.   You would also need between 0.5 an 1 gallon of clean water to drink each day.
This diet would provide between 2100 and 2700 calories each day, depending on how much of your cooking oil was consumed with your food.  (1460 white rice, 240 black beans, 600 cooking oil, 0 salt, 160 milk, 240 sugar, 0 water.)"

*Yes, only 300 lbs, not 400 like in the picture

I think it's interesting to compare what we 'think we need'... with what we would 'actually need' to survive.

TED Talk: 13 year olds career goal is to be "Happy and Healthy"

This 13 year old Logan Laplante who was pulled from the regular education system and home schooled. Not only was he allowed to tailor his own learning curriculum but he was able to choose the style in which he learned. His 'beef' with adults is being constantly asked, "What do you want to be when you grow up?". He's smart enough at his age to know that he doesn't have the slightest clue what he wants to do for a career. He does know that no matter what education or career he pursues, his ultimate goal is to be "Happy and Healthy". His talk is truly inspiring.. this kid has more on the ball at 13 than I do at.... ummm... 29  ;)

The talk is only 11mins long.. definitely worth it!

Stop the Hunger

7,205,489,355         Current world population right now

   894,609,420         undernourished people in the world right now

1,585,460,571         overweight people in the world right now

   528,486,845         obese people in the world right now

            24,708         people who died of hunger today

          300,450         people who died of hunger this year

Healthy Dose of Shame


My question is: Shouldn't we feel Shame or Ashamed of the things we are doing wrong?

There's a huge movement going on in the world right now that I'm just becoming familiar with. There are now groups called the Fat Acceptance Movement and the Pro-Obesity Movement. This literally blows my mind. From a Health standpoint I don't see any sense in promoting a lifestyle that is both harmful to yourself and your family, as well as socio-economic burden it places on our health care system. This applies to any context really not just obesity and over eating. It appears that the day has come where we are no longer expected to ' change our ways' and 'clean up our acts'. Instead, society invents a "PRO-Movement" to support whatever bad habit we have so that we can ultimately avoid feeling ashamed and, apparently, feel “good” about our bad habits.

"Several years ago, one of the best-loved theme parks in the world shut down a classic ride so it could make some adjustments: People had become so obese that the ride’s boats were scraping the bottom.

How would obese patrons feel if, in front of hundreds, they were required to stand in a different queue—one simply marked “Obese Riders Here”?

And instead of meeting just a height requirement, theme park guests were also forced to meet a “width” criteria.

Or when boarding an airplane, fat people would be called separately so they could sit in extra-wide seats, for which they pay double?

And what if stadiums had a section of reinforced double-wide seats where obese folks were required to sit?
Unfortunately, our country doesn’t go for such options, which is truly a shame.

And that’s precisely the problem. There is no shame."

see full article in link:

That article is pretty controversial and I'm not saying that I fully agree with the author however he does make some valid arguments. The idea of "shame" in general speaks to all sorts of areas of 'over-indulgence'.

I really enjoy all the ads and commercials that are filled with catch phrases like, 'You deserve it!', "You work hard, you deserve the best!", "If it feels good do it!" The sense of entitlement that the media is filling our heads with is enough to make me want to vomit. They now have Hedonism resorts where you just over indulge in anything available to you: food, alcohol, sex, drugs... whatever there is to fill up on I guess. Their sole purpose is to feel Pleasure. Constant Pleasure... pleasure of every kind.

The real issue underlying these indulgences is the ultimate escape from pain and suffering. Suffering has become the most hated word these days. Total avoidance of pain is the goal and look at where it's taken our society. This avoidance of suffering has led us in the pursuit of “instant gratification”. It has taught us to remortgage our homes so that we can buy brand new cars that we “deserve". It's taught us that we “deserve” to be pampered constantly with hair appointments, tanning, massages, clothes shopping, tattoos, make up, eating out at restaurants, and consequently racking up our credit cards till they're maxed out. This pathway to constant gratification has us taking vacations we can’t afford. It’s taught us that it's ok if we're morbidly obese because we should be proud of our curves, so just keep on eating. Ultimately, society has enabled us to the extreme point where you no longer have to “Earn” something in order to “Deserve” it.

"German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche was a critic of Hedonism and Utilitarianism. He posited a theory of morality which saw the "Will to power" as the main driving force in humans. In Beyond Good and Evil, he states: "Well-being as you understand it - that is no goal, that seems to us an end, a state that soon makes man ridiculous and contemptible" (BGE:225).

"Nietzsche critiques hedonist conceptions of happiness in his parable of the Last man, "the most despicable men"

Nietzsche sees this as contemptible is because he sees suffering as necessary for cultivating human excellence, for example in The Gay Science, where he writes:

"Only great pain is the ultimate liberator of the spirit"

There is a vast continuum between absolute Gluttony/Hedonism and Adhedonia/Suffering. But therein lies somewhere the “happy balance”. Total pleasure with no pain and suffering is neither healthy nor realistic by any stretch of the imagination. On the other end of the spectrum: total suffering in itself would be equally unrealistic and disadvantageous.

“Shaming” unhealthy habits is not completely foreign these days.  It appears that society in general has been way more excepting of 'shaming' other unhealthy practices. For example:  smoking. Smoking is not prohibited inside buildings. Even outside smoking access is quite restrictive and you have to be a certain number of metres away from building entrances and so forth. There is definitely a sense of shame hovering over smokers in our day and age. It is not widely tolerated or accepted and it's because of how dangerous and negative it is on our bodies and other people.

What I seem to be witnessing is this ridiculous idea that we should never feel ashamed of ourselves. We are, in essence, 'Ashamed to feel ashamed'.

From my own personal experience I’ll go out on a limb and say it's healthy to be uncomfortable with yourself at times. It’s healthy to feel a sense of shame about your bad choices and wrong doings. The first step in Alcoholics Anonymous is standing before a crowd of people and admitting you're an Alcoholic. Within that admittance rests a sense of humility. Humility: a motivator for change.

There is a need for people to start becoming more accountable for their actions instead of going out and creating new community groups to support their wrong doings and poor life choices. The true enemy is the false sense of entitlement which tells you it's ok to do whatever you want and to avoid pain at all costs.  Having a healthy sense of shame or regret is not the enemy... it's an ally.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Neil Gaiman Commencement Speech

This is Neil Gaiman. Author, journalist, screenplay writer, producer.. and the list goes on and on. He gave one of the best commencement speeches that I've heard at the University of the Arts. He encourages the graduating class to, "make glorious and fantastic mistakes", "it means you're out there doing something."

One of my favourite quotes from this speech:

"Something that worked for me was imagining that where I wanted to be – an author, primarily of fiction, making good books, making good comics and supporting myself through my words – was a mountain. A distant mountain. My goal.
And I knew that as long as I kept walking towards the mountain I would be all right. And when I truly was not sure what to do, I could stop, and think about whether it was taking me towards or away from the mountain."

I'm also a big fan of the 'fake it till you make it' idea as Gaiman highlights in his closing statement:

"So be wise, because the world needs more wisdom, and if you cannot be wise, pretend to be someone who is wise, and then just behave like they would."

Facebook Defriending

"Say What???"

We've all had the unpleasant experience of coming to the point where you no longer want to be "Facebook friends" with someone. It's extremely awkward and unpleasant but seriously, some people need to go. Or maybe your relationship has grown apart for various reasons and you don't feel like sharing your Facebook activities with these people anymore. When you come to the point where you look at your friend list and can't even remember how you know these people you need to start hitting the old proverbial 'delete' button.

I've had some pretty interesting experiences with this whole 'Facebook defriending' issue. One time I was defriended and then the person who defriended me asked why we weren't Facebook friends anymore. I said, "Umm… because you defriended me???"  To which they acted utterly surprised and said, "NO! It must have been an accident."  Then they asked to be friends again. Okay. So if you're going to de-friend someone at least have the balls to own up to it. I did.

I defriended someone recently. First off, this was not a close friend of mine (more of an acquaintance) and to say that I 'tolerated her antics' would be putting it lightly.  Weeks after I defriended her, to my surprise, this person 'private messaged' me and said, "Hey, I see we're no longer connected through Facebook. Thoughts????".  To which I immediately laughed out loud. Seriously? She’s are going to say, "Thoughts???" So I decided to deal appropriately with the situation and be super polite. I explained that I was cutting back on my Facebook time and acquaintances and had thoughts about deleting my profile all together, which was true. She responded with, "That's fine Amanda. You're choice. Please delete all of the photos of me and _____ (another friend of whom was not involved in this situation at all) off your profile."

Sooooo.... this is when 'de-friending' people becomes 'Blocking' people.

When bitches get crazy, bitches be getting blocked. I was completely dumbfounded by this person's response. It was like I was back in 7th Grade again (or maybe 3rd grade). This illustrates perfectly why I didn't want to be her Facebook friend. And I was right.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been defriended by people plenty! Most times they are individuals who I have lost contact with and who weren’t really close friends to begin with. Am I offended? No. Does it still hurt a little? Sure… but I know I shouldn’t care. I’m a big girl. You have to remember that it’s ok if everyone doesn’t like you. You can’t be everyone’s friend all the time. I think it’s also equally ok to not want to be friends with everyone, or share your personal life events with people you barely know.

If someone defriends you, I think the best thing to do is walk away. They obviously don't want to be your friend so why should you care? I would save the private message confrontations for things that really matter and just put on your big girl panties and Move On!