Category Archives: This, That and The Rest

For the stuff which doesn’t really fall into the other catagories…

Making a Murderer & A Dose of Self Awareness

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On November 15, 2005, I wrote the following on this blogsite:

“I also had an idea about writing a book about this man in Wisconsin, Steven Avery. He was in prison for something like 18 years for a rape before evidenced proved his innocence of the crime and he was set free. There were then stories in the media about how this poor man lived in a small ice fishing shack because he had no money and his life was taken away. I remember seeing these stories and feeling so bad for him. Today, he is being charged with the rape and murder of a young Wisconsin woman. Tell me there isn’t an interesting story here.”

Charlie and I binged on Making a Murderer the past few days. It is a documentary series regarding Steven Avery’s conviction in the Teresa Halbach murder. I am still trying to reconcile my feelings now with my beliefs before the documentary.

At the time and up until a few days ago, I really felt that this was an evil man who got what he deserved. I did think there was impropriety within the justice system. But, in my mind, if it got him off the streets – I was okay with that.

So, why was I so convinced he was an evil psychopath? Because I am far more influenced by the media than I was willing to admit. It was actually without any conscious or active absorbing. In one part of the film, we noticed that a news reporter used the term “compound” in regards to the Avery property. We both chuckled at the absurdity of that. Switching terminology here and there can make a world of difference when it comes to the forming of public opinion.

Another thing that really bothers me about my own assumptions – during this very time, I was going through my own trauma within the justice system. I was accused of a crime I did not commit…of being something I could never be. It was one of the most difficult, horrific times of my life and probably the only time I have ever truly come close to considering suicide. Not long after, I was treated for PTSD due to that event.

Even though I had first hand experience of being caught in the merciless claws of the justice system; even though I had people lie about me, turn against me and felt as if my life was torn apart – I didn’t consider that maybe this was also happening to Steven Avery. That makes me feel ashamed.

Did he kill Teresa Halbach? I do not know. I don’t know if we will ever know. But I do now think it is VERY possible that he did not.

I may write more about the particulars at another time. I don’t know. A lot being written lately – so probably no need. But I really urge you to watch this 10 part docu-series on Netflix. It will really open your eyes to what probably happens far more often than we would ever imagine. Power drunk egos with an axe to grind can ruin many lives and much too easily without consequence. Scary as fuck.

Nurse Jackie: Addiction Fucking Sucks

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When the series finale of Nurse Jackie ended and the credits began to roll, I was kinda like, “Ummm…so, THAT’S it?!” My feelings were mixed and I felt dissatisfied. After a few minutes passed and I really started to think about it, I soon realized that it was actually quite perfect.

While the writers brought to us: colorful characters (Zoe was by far my favorite), tragically hilarious storylines and sarcastic one-liners – the show was about addiction.  There was no real beginning and therefore, no real ending was called for. They wrote, for us, merely a glimpse into the life of one woman and her illness.

We are spoiled, as viewers. We like to have everything spelled out for us and then wrapped up into a box of closure topped with a bow. We want that big shoot out or that island wedding or some cataclysmic lesson. When everything doesn’t fit back into the packaging at the end, we are frustrated. “Fuck that! What happened?!” Well, folks, life happened. And I guess we just have to accept that the end wasn’t part of the story.

The tale here was simple: addiction fucking sucks. And addicts just aren’t who we once pictured them to be. They don’t come with flags and badges. And no one is immune. Addicts are smart, creative, funny, successful, kind, compassionate – they bear the most wonderful human qualities. They are loved and respected. They live their lives like everyone else – until, they can’t.

Jackie was very good at what she did – a skillful and polished addict. Her lying was survival. Her manipulation – masterful. And Eddie was as textbook co-dependant as one could be. Where there is a Jackie – there is almost always an Eddie. “You are my everything,” he said. They almost welcome the torment – they feed off of it. At least, for a while. Then there are also Zoes – who will worry and tend and clean up until they are strong enough to finally break away. They still carry their love, only it is more and more carefully protected as time goes on.

I cannot count the addicts I have known and even loved. I cannot measure the impact of each blow by their actions. But I am grateful that I have been able to avoid being a Jackie, so far. And for the most part, I have not stood in Eddie’s shoes. I have, however, been a Zoe. I have also been various co-stars and extras standing in the background attempting to duck from the impending shrapnel.

I have my issues, that is for sure.  This bouquet of neurosis has sheltered me from personally developing the disease a number of times in my life – and for that I am thankful. Having had a father, step father, grandparents, uncles, cousins and friends who battle with addiction – I know just how easily it could come for me. My father died at 46. My stepfather has been sober for decades. Others I have known and loved have all lived (or are living) their own story – each with different outcomes.

Dependency is a tightrope and each acrobat comes with their own finite set of chances. Sometimes there is a net on which to fall but eventually that net will fray and become unreliable. Either way, the exact conclusion can never truly be predicted.

How does it end for Jackie? What happens after they run to her as she lies half-conscious on the floor? It doesn’t really matter. We have many options from which to choose if we wish to fill in our own blanks. Perhaps we can insert our own experiences. Or maybe we can just be okay with knowing that the story wasn’t about how it ends – but rather the tenacious grip dependency can wield.

We know what we need to know – that Jackie was enslaved by an illness – like so many we see, know and love. That this illness can creep on suddenly or take decades to evolve. That some people do gain their freedom – to a certain extent. And that many end their stories dreadfully. But most of all, we know that addiction fucking sucks.

2014 Emmy Awards: My Ballot, Bitches

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Oh how I love my over-blown and excessive award shows. Yes, they are filled with overpaid celebrities who love to pat themselves on the back as though they are continually curing fatal diseases. And yes, I also know that they are wasting billions while people around the world are starving and bathing in their own toilets. It’s gross on every level. But I still love them. Sue me.

So, like the big ass dork that I am, I will be watching with my ballot in hand and tears on my cheeks because for some block-headed reason – I always cry. Once in a blue moon, I am actually happy for one of these people. But usually my tears are out of jealousy because deep down I know that I am suppose to be up there giving some bullshit speech in a fancy dress with fake boobs and an empty stomach. Me, damnit! ME!

(sorry)

Okay. So here is my take on this year’s noms.

Best Comedy – VEEP. This was a tough one (as many are this year). But a couple of the other ones I consider more drama than comedy (OITNB and Louis, oddly enough). While those shows still make me laugh – this season, they had much more seriousness to them. VEEP simply makes me Laugh. My. Ass. Off. Honestly, I almost pee myself during every episode.

Best Drama – Breaking Bad. While I love some of the other shows, BB is and will always be one of my all time favorites. Every week was better than the previous. Each season lived up to the last. It was just perfection. And, it’s gone now (insert snot blowing sobs).  We will never be able to ‘vote’ for BB again. It better win, yo.

Lead Actor, Comedy – William H. Macy. I love Louis a lot. But for acting? Macy has this shit down. And Shameless is his best work yet. No doubt in my mind – he deserves this win as much as his character does NOT deserve a new kidney.

Lead Actor, Drama – Bryan Cranston. Come on. Is an explanation really needed? My daughter and I have been watching a lot of Malcom in the Middle lately. Seeing the spectrum of this man’s talent is mind blowing. From silly and hilarious to scary and vicious – his range is like no other. Dude fucking rocks.

Lead Actress, Comedy – Julia Louis Dreyfus. This was hard because I think Edie Falco is fabulous in Nurse Jackie. But NJ is more of a drama to me and since this is a comedic award, it has to go to an actress who cracks me up. And Dreyfus does just that. Plus, she is usually pretty entertaining when she wins awards and I could use a good laugh tonight.

Lead Actress, Drama – Claire Danes. I have said it before and I will say it again – this chic in this role…no words. Quite possibly one of the best acted roles on TV ever. I almost have a hard time believing she isn’t really bi-polar. She is THAT good.

Supporting Actor, Comedy – Tony Hale. And no! It isn’t because of my Arrested Development obsession. Hale is truly one of the funniest actors on television. And on VEEP – he makes that show as great as it is. He gets into a character and he plays the fuck out of it. And he has me in tear dripping laughter every time.

Supporting Actor, Drama – Aaron Paul. Because I said so, bitches.

Supporting Actress, Comedy – Kate Melgrew. Yea. I know I said it was more of a drama. And it honestly pisses me off that it is being considered a comedy because much of the extraordinary acting in that show (Orange is the New Black) is dramatic including Melgrew’s role. I just adored her in this season and would love to see her win – even if the category is all fubared.

Supporting Actress, Drama – Anna Gunn. She was great in the show and the other noms don’t even compare. As simple as that.

Writing, Comedy – Louis C.K. Now THIS is where is MUST win. This season of Louie was outstanding!! I mean, as stupid as it sounds – I laughed (hysterically), I cried (more like blubbered) – I always wanted more and walked away in awe. A step above what I ever would have expected. This dude wrote from another level this season. Truly beautiful stuff.

Directing, Comedy – Louis C.K. Visually, this show also took the cake. Each scene was natural yet well thought out. Gorgeous and genius.

Writing, Drama – Vince Gilligan. When I am watching a show and constantly repeat the words, “How do people think of this crazy shit??!!” That is when I know I am one jealous ass writer. I don’t know how his brain was made or how I can make mine do that – but wow.

Directing, Drama – I don’t know. Between BB, Game of Thrones and House of Cards, it is too hard to pick. I guess maybe GoT because it has to be incredibly difficult. But the other two are so well done too. I dunno. I can’t choose.

Miniseries – Fargo. If you haven’t watched, you really have to. Like now. Do it, eh.

TV Movie – The Normal Heart. A true story that is truly heartbreaking, educational and so well acted you will crap your pants.

Lead Actor, Miniseries/TV Movie – Mark Ruffalo. People say the word far too often but…AMAZING. Plus, he is my boyfriend…so…

Lead Actress, Miniseries/TV Movie – Jessica Lange. I have been telling everyone that her role/s on American Horror Story have been her best work ever. And it is true. She needs to win this.

Supporting Actor, Miniseries/TV Movie – Matt Bomer. See Mark Ruffalo (above). Same words.

Supporting Actress, Miniseries/TV Movie – Toss up. It really is between Kathy Bates and Allison Tolman. Both so excellent and deserving.

More noms – Top Chef (reality show), Daily Show (variety series, writing, directing) and Fargo (writing, directing)

So those are my thoughts. And they are accurate and correct in every way so there is no need to question or debate. Just watch tonight and you will now know when I am yelling at the television (annoying the hell out of my family) or clapping like some drooling half wit at a children’s magic show.

Oh. And here. This is for you. Happy Monday.

 

Maleficent: It’s All About the Story (possible spoilers)

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Today, I took the girls to see Maleficent. I was not particularly looking forward to it. I am not much into kid movies unless there is a lot of adult-friendly humor and I especially don’t love the whole Princess/Castle/Fairy Tale themed thang. I also never really appreciated the acting talents of Angelina Jolie very much. So, I was going for the popcorn and to make them happy for 90-some minutes.

Well slap my ass and call me Judy…I actually liked the damn thing. It certainly could have used more humor. The acting was kind of forced and over the top (though I suppose the genre calls for it). And there was nothing that really made it wonderful or spectacular. But I absolutely adored the story and messaging.

There are few things more annoying than the whole ‘damsel in distress, a man must save her’ story line. Boring and gross. And while the original fairy tale is written this way, the movie is not. It still had enough of the old version to spark memories of reading those books as a child – the 3 silly pixies were always my favorite even though I had forgotten all about them until today. But it was really a completely fresh narrative.

Without giving too much away – I have to say, I truly appreciated the spin on the kiss element. From the time we are little girls, we are read stories about a man coming to the rescue. In movies, the love of a man is the greatest goal a gal can hold. In the original Sleeping Beauty, Aurora needed to be kissed by a man in order to awaken from her spell coma.

Well, this movie said ‘fuck that’. This movie told us that true love comes in many forms and that the love from a mother, friend, godmother, etc can be just as valid and meaningful as the love from a man. Princesses don’t need a Prince to save them, goddamnit, and I am so glad Hollywood is finally catching on.

Another concept I applaud in this film is the fact that there is good and bad in us all. Some have more villain than hero and vice versa. But we are all flawed and complex and multi-dimensional – again, some more than others. A fairy tale in which the bad guy is the also the good guy – how authentic is that.

Love, forgiveness, anger, fear, jealousy…what a wonderful character, Maleficent. How I envy any actor playing that role. And Jolie wasn’t so bad after all. But it really all came down to the story. Fantastic re-write.

Showtime’s ‘Time of Death’ – Ummm WOW.

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If you know me or read my shit, you know I am often overly sensitive. I am empathic and have my own mental issues and because of this, typical life occurrences – even when they are not happening to me directly – affect me more than the “average bear”.

My daughter (9) walked in while I was watching the new Showtime series, Time of Death. She may have noticed tears in my eyes and asked me what I was watching. I told her it was a show about very sick people who are dying. Her reply was the same exact reply most of my friends and family would give, “Why would you want to watch that?!”

Not only am I an emotional person, but, as some of you may know, I have an almost obsessive phobia of death. Much of my anxiety comes from this stupid (sometimes crippling) fear. So, most people who know me would tell me to stop watching stuff like this. But I can’t. And I don’t want to. I watch documentaries and read books about death, dying, afterlife, etc. And while some might think this only perpetuates my fears, it truly does not. It’s kinda like exposure therapy, I suppose. So quit telling me what to watch, damnit! Gesh.

Time of Death is a truly remarkable 6 part series (really hoping there will be more) that follows the end of life for a couple of different people in each episode. And throughout all of the episodes, there is one continuing story that deals with a family whose 48-year-old mother is dying from cancer. During this series, you really get to know this family and their struggles.

Maria was a single mother of 3 children – 2 teenagers and 1 adult daughter. The filmmakers do some brief interviews, but it is mostly just a view into their daily lives – some footage taken with handheld cameras carried by Little, the 25-year-old (very beautiful, strong and intelligent) daughter. During the time of their filming, Maria’s teen children struggled with their dire circumstances by lashing out. And the older daughter had not only the challenge of her mother’s illness and impending death, but also taking on the responsibility of younger siblings.

This family did not hold back. They were honest and raw. And they allowed us to watch; subsequently growing from their experiences. I have such admiration and respect for Little and her mother. And my heart goes out to the kids, whom even though they were making terrible choices, did they best they knew how at the time. They were scared and angry and they simply didn’t know how to process those emotions. And I do not doubt they will live with some regret. I say this due to my own personal experience with my father who died at 46 – after our long estrangement.

I finished watching episode 5 two nights ago and I still cannot get them out of my mind. In that episode, Maria died. And even though everyone watching was expecting that outcome – I mean, obviously – I suppose I wasn’t ready for it quite yet. I wanted her to have more time with her family. Quality time. Without the illness caused by the chemo and radiation. I wanted her to have the chance to have her younger kids come home from foster care before she left this earth. I wanted her to find peace while still here.

But that just isn’t how life plays out much of the time. We don’t all get Hollywood endings with closure and reconciliation. Life can be ugly and gross and full of bullshit. Death, equally so. I suppose it is our job to find the beauty, meaning and essence in both when we can; and cross our fingers and count on others when we can’t.

Below are two clips from the show. And below that is the first full episode. I dare you not to be riveted and emotionally exposed. I dare you not to care about these people and really think about what is TRULY important in your own life.

 

 

 

Free full episode:

British Television: Authentic and Appreciated

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I’ve been watching a lot of British television lately. I have gotten into Call the Midwife and Doc Martin recently. And I am about to start The Thick of It. I have always appreciated the dry, quick wit of our friends from across the pond. And the dramas have a way of making you actually care about the characters. But there is one characteristic of these programs that has really caught my attention and appreciation and is very much in contrast to American television – the casting.

If you turn on TV in America, you will see perfect teeth (likely veneers), size zeros, fake boobs, hair extensions, injected lips and so much makeup you would never recognize the actor without it. And pathetically, I am one of those weak-minded people who fall into the inferiority trap. I watch these shows and it somehow gets into my brain that I am supposed to look the way they do. But since I do not have the money or the balls to have surgery nor the discipline to starve myself – it is simply not possible. Because of this, I go through life feeling…well…ugly.

Cognitively, I know this is irrational. I know why they look the way they do. And I know that Americans have such an obsession with this contrived idea of beauty. Our media is the chicken and the egg. They have convinced a large portion of the public that we need to look a certain way and be a certain size in order to be attractive. And Hollywood perpetuates this by casting roles with actors whom are far from average. And while this happens with male roles, it is far more prevalent with females. We don’t blink when some geeky, short guy gets the “hot” chic. But do we ever see the chunky, average looking gal get the “hot” guy? Very rarely.

I do see some out of the ordinary examples once in a while. The Mindy Project is one show that does well at breaking this barrier. And Drop Dead Diva is another. But it is very few and far between.

However, when I watch British programming, it is so refreshing to see regular looking people. All shapes and sizes. Crooked teeth, real breasts, very little makeup…they look like…well, you and me. How fucking fabulous it that? And sure, they have their super beauties too. I mean, those damn hot chics are everywhere. Even in Racine, believe it or not. So we cannot escape them completely. But while watching these shows, we get a much more authentic appearance sample of the actual public.

I don’t know many people from England. But I have to wonder if they have body image issues to the degree that we do. I’d be willing to bet they do not.

The Me Me Me Facebook Game – MY TURN!

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So, I guess I was supposed to come up with 11 secrets nobody knows about me. Well…as you may know…my life is pretty much an open book. What I haven’t already or do not talk about – sure ain’t getting put on a Facebook status. But I came up with a few things that many people probably don’t know (nor would give a shit). And I decided to make it a blog post because…well…I felt like it.

 

1. I don’t know how to use chopsticks and I really am too uncoordinated to pull it off gracefully anyway.

2. I used to eat an entire sleeve of saltines after school almost every day as a young child. When I started to drive, that changed to a half of a loaf of fresh, warm French bread from O&H Bakery.

 

3. Even though I would probably love many different things about it, I am not terribly motivated to travel outside of the U.S.

4. A couple of weeks ago, Charlie brought home a pack of cigarettes. Since then I have been smoking about 2-3 cigarettes a day. I feel like shit about it too…physically and psychologically. I really need to start getting my healthy on…like now.

5. Sometimes I am pretty certain I was supposed to be a cat. And not just because I lick my own butt.

6. I have ten ear piercings. 3 on one ear, 7 on the other. Because I am allergic to nickel, it is very difficult to find matching earrings that are small enough and don’t give me a rash.

7. I admit that I did have a navel ring (P.C.) but I have never had a tramp stamp.

8. I take a bath AND a shower almost every single day.

9. I hate winter with the frozen cold intensity of an ice cream headache. I do not belong here and dream of the day when I can see sunshine and feel warm sand whenever I want.

10. I never learned how to play an instrument and I am pretty torn up about it.

11. Chances are, when you see me in public or at any kind of gathering…I am having anxiety. Some times more than others. Chances are speaking to you makes me nervous even though I am probably enjoying it. I am always worried I will say something stupid, have bad breath or just look ridiculous in just about every conceivable way. So, if I am acting weird…it is because I feel weird.

Hyperbolic Envy for Breakfast

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I never thought I would actually admit this publicly. It is embarrassing and I worry that people I actually like will hold it against me. I mean, really, it makes me sound so petty and unevolved. Kinda humiliating actually. But you know me…it is hard to keep my mouth shut when a thought makes its way into my thick skull.

Anyway…here goes it…

I am jealous of you.

(long belly sigh of relief with a touch of apprehension)

Yea, You. On Facebook. You make me feel those envious feelings with which I have always struggled.

Your constant happiness furrows my forehead. Your successes lead me down the road of inferiority. It’s all your fault that l feel poopy. And I just thought you should know.

Okay, fine. Maybe it’s not ALL your fault. But still…sometimes I do find myself in Poopyville covered in self-pity and resentment after reading my timeline.

I suck, don’t I? I mean, shouldn’t I feel happy for you? Shouldn’t I live a better life knowing that your’s is impeccable and graceful? And it’s not that I want bad things to happen to you. I would, honestly, rather you be content and pleased with your life. Really. Truly.

It’s just that I want that shiny happy life too.

Your kids are flawless. They always get good grades and special admiration from their teachers. I can see from your shared quotes that they say things far beyond their years and are clearly genius and way smarter than my kids. Your children clean their rooms, make you breakfast and never ever drive you to madness.

Your marriage reflects one of a romance novel. You two always post sweet messages to one another. All of your pictures are kissy kissy. And you never, ever fight. You’ve never even considered couple’s therapy; you’d never need it. In fact, you’re probably teaching your own “How to Have the Perfect Marriage” seminar. You don’t understand how anyone could ever cheat. Divorce is not in your vocabulary and your in-laws love you more than your own family – which is quite the feat since your family thinks you shit gold.

You don’t watch TV. You don’t have time for such drivel. And you have read every book on Oprah’s list and know the classics by heart.

You spend your vacations snorkeling in Hawaii and hiking in Costa Rica. And every holiday you serve food to the homeless.

You run 12 miles a day, when you have a cold. You enter every marathon and 5k within a 20 mile radius. And you’ve lost 8 pounds since Monday. You call yourself “bad” if you add cheese to your quinoa. And you only eat cake on your birthday. You buy all organic and haven’t had meat in 6 years.

You have 3495 friends. They all know you and like everything you post. You’re at a different party every weekend and have a girl’s night out once a week. You’re friends with all of your exes and they fawn over every picture you post. You never have to be alone except when you meditate, which you do 20 minutes each day.

You are a yoga master and can bend in the most unnatural positions. You look great in a bikini after 4 kids and 2 C-sections. Your boobs have never sagged because of your stellar genetics. And you function wonderfully on only 5 hours of sleep. You are wrinkle free and swear it is because you wear sunscreen even in the dark.

You have three degrees, work 10 hours a day and volunteer for every field trip.

You never yell or scream or swear. You live in a place of peace and positivity. You don’t complain or insult. Your self-confidence is genuine and unwavering. You are lovely in every way and when you die, the world will suddenly tilt to one side.

I want to be you. I have no excuses. I have to create the change. And perhaps I will do just that. Right after this 4th fun sized Snickers and episode of Real Housewives.

Food Stamps: Mean Girls on Face (Burn) Book

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For some reason, the interweb decided a few years ago that today (October 3rd) would be declared Mean Girls Day. I guess it all has to do with this clip from the movie:

Anyway, whatever. So, I was reading a thread the other night that was totally not fetch. And I was thinking…how appropriate right before Mean Girls Day. Because what I read appeared to be coming out of the organic apple pie hole of a straight up mean girl.

Okay, okay…here’s the dealio.

A local organic produce store (totes cute, btw ***and yes, I hate that I just used the term totes***) made a post on Facebook that they are now happy to be accepting EBT payments. For those unaware, that means Foodshare/Quest (food stamps, if you’re old school). This is a good thing, right? I mean the majority (hopefully) of us know that one of the most tragic aspects of poverty is the lack of nutrition which only helps perpetuate the cycle. I will talk more about that in a minute.

As I was reading the replies to this post, I was shocked to see the brazen and uneducated comments made by a particular woman. Using her full name (even though I was kind enough to redact) – with access to her Facebook page and personal information – she went on a majorly spazzed out tirade. Wanna see?

Thankfully, I was not alone in being appalled by the words this woman was spewing. Others chimed in with their disgust – giving me some hope that the world isn’t completely going to shit. However, what makes the whole thing even more sad is the fact that this woman is a nurse. I don’t know, but I tend to put nurses (like teachers) on a pedestal. I like to think of them having compassion and empathy. But all I can think about now is how I would belly crawl, leaving a skid mark of blood out of those sliding glass doors if I saw her coming toward my gurney.

And I cannot help but to wonder…if this is what she says out in the open, to strangers, for the world to see…what does she keep to herself?? And how many people out there feel the same way she does? A lot, I know. But, really, how many? Most? God, I hope not.

If you’re like most people, you might try not to think about the sad situations in life. You may try to blind yourself from the ugly and shut your ears to the screaming facts. Well, ya came to the wrong place because I am going to be serving you a few nutritious bullet points today:

  • SNAP benefits (less than $5 a day, on average), and the income requirements to even qualify for them (a maximum of $29,000 for a family of four), are hopelessly out of sync with the cost of living today
  • One out of every 2 kids in The United States at some point in their childhood will be on food assistance
  • Marion Nestle, author of Food Politics and a respected expert on nutrition and the intersection of nutrition and commerce, explain the evolution of farm subsidies and how these subsidies and commodity crops directly affect the prices of processed foods, making them the only really affordable choice for those with limited mean
  • Brief periods of nutritional deprivation during the first three years of life can permanently affect a child’s brain and have lifelong consequences
  • Dr. Alfio Rausa, a district health officer of the Mississippi State Department of Health, has seen firsthand how the predominance of processed foods in the diets of children have led to alarmingly high rates of obesity and diabetes as well as asthma and other conditions
  • Obesity and health issues caused by lack of access to healthy food costs the U.S. approximately $167 billion per year
  • One in 3 children born in the year 2000 will develop Type 2 Diabetes
  • 85% of those families that are food insecure have at least one working adult it the household
  • Food stamp eligibility is based on total household income. To qualify, the income for a family of 4 cannot exceed $29,000 per year
  • The average food stamp benefit is under $5 a day
  • The relative price of fresh fruits and vegetables has gone up by 40% since 1980 when the obesity epidemic first began. In contrast, the relative price of processed foods has gone down by about 40%
  • About 70% of agricultural subsidies have gone to just 10% of the total number of U.S. farmers
  • We subsidize the basic ingredients in processed foods. We do not subsidize fruits, vegetables and whole grains because the producers tend to be small producers
  • 76% of SNAP households included a child, an elderly person, or a disabled person. These vulnerable households receive 83% of all SNAP benefits
  • SNAP benefits don’t last most participants the whole month. 90% of SNAP benefits are redeemed by the third week of the month, and 58% of food bank clients currently receiving SNAP benefits turn to food banks for assistance at least 6 months out of the year
  • SNAP already has strict time-limits for unemployed workers. Able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) may only receive 3 months of SNAP benefits during any 3 year period, unless they are working in a qualifying job training program

(These facts and stats can be found in the documentary A Place at the Table and on the website FeedingAmerica.org)

I have written about this topic before. I wrote THIS earlier this year. And I wrote THIS in 2011. And my opinions on small details have wavered a bit as I have grown, become more involved and have educated myself. I have also become more compassionate. They say you get more conservative and less liberal with age – that has certainly not been the case with me. Let’s hope the chica above grows some compassion eventually. Let’s hope the people start to really see not only the big picture, but also realize these are HUMANS we are talking about.

My comment to this person was something like this (thread was deleted so I am going by memory):

I hope that people will realize that at any time in life, tragedy can happen. And you may have to one day use the programs that which cause you so much disgust. While you are using one hand to pat yourself on the back, you have another hand free. You can use it to help someone up or push someone down. The choice is your’s. But remember, karma’s a bitch.

2013 Emmy Awards…In My Words

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Sadly, today – on Emmy Sunday – I am plagued with yet another throbbing headache. This is the fifth day of this bitch and I ain’t happy about it. This happens often in the fall as the weather changes. And almost always when the barometric pressure is around 30. I am pretty sure this is another extraordinary reason for my needing to live in San Diego.

But every year…okay, ALMOST every year, I try to write an Emmy post. Not an Emily Post…because, let’s face it, my manners are shit. No, an EMMY post. I love the Emmy Awards because DUH I love television. This year is especially exciting (well, as exciting as a televised, over-the-top, self-congratulatory awards show can be) because I am a fan of so many of the shows nominated. Throughout this year I have been able to catch up on a few I had been neglecting.

Anyway – it is almost time for another epsom bath and hot compress, so let me hurry along…

And there is when I stopped writing because my headache just would not let up.

Let me start again…

Merritt Wever – Fuck Yea!!

I cannot even TELL you how much I love her character on Nurse Jackie. I am even willing to say that Zoey is my favorite character on all of television right now. And there is no one who could play it more perfectly. She makes me want to be her BFF every time I watch. Absolutely thrilled about her Emmy win.

Tony, Tony, Tony…

Oh Tony Hale. How I adore thee. I don’t think I could ever love him more as any character other than Buster in Arrested Development. But he sure makes a close second in VEEP. His awkward, doting portrayal as Gary is nothing short of hilarious. His win for Best Supporting garnered a big YAHOOO in my house.

Tony Hale even stayed in character during a bit at the awards show…

Breaking Bad…Duh

Another win I was quite happy about was, of course, Best Drama – Breaking Bad. After seeing Aaron Paul and *even worse* Bryan Cranston get ROBBED of their rightful statues…this was a sigh of relief. I mean, seriously, I don’t see how there could be any doubt. Breaking Bad is by far one of thee best television shows to ever…well…be. Direction, writing and especially acting on this show is just miles above most anything else. The fact that Sunday will be the series finale is leaving me a little heartbroken, quite honestly. And I sure hope Vince Gilligan is already hard at work on his next project.

A couple other moments I liked about the Emmys this year were: the tributes, the choreographers’ big dance number (usually I fast forward the musical scenes) and Bob Newhart‘s appearances (just because I love him…can you believe all these years and this was his FIRST Emmy?? Simply mind-boggling)


(this one made me cry yet again…)

All and all – I really enjoyed this year’s show. I am pissed that Cranston, Paul and some others did not win. I also think Corey Stoll from House of Cards should have at least been nominated. Neil Patrick as the host…meh. He’s alright. I’d like a little more edgy humor, but I guess that is more for the Golden Globes. Yea…it was a decent year. Lots of good stuff to choose from.