Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Russian Propaganda: Arrest me if you want to assholes!

Seeing as I was banned from the Russian Social Media site VK.com last week and my blog is about to be completely banned from Russia, I have decided to post this blog post as a FUCK YOU to President Vladimir Putin, courtesy of the blog Russian Propaganda.

On July 3, Mr. Putin signed a law banning the adoption of Russian-born children not only to gay couples but also to any couple or single parent living in any country where marriage equality exists in any form.

A few days earlier, just six months before Russia hosts the 2014 Winter Games, Mr. Putin signed a law allowing police officers to arrest tourists and foreign nationals they suspect of being homosexual, lesbian or “pro-gay” and detain them for up to 14 days. Contrary to what the International Olympic Committee says, the law could mean that any Olympic athlete, trainer, reporter, family member or fan who is gay — or suspected of being gay, or just accused of being gay — can go to jail.

Earlier in June, Mr. Putin signed yet another antigay bill, classifying “homosexual propaganda” as pornography. The law is broad and vague, so that any teacher who tells students that homosexuality is not evil, any parents who tell their child that homosexuality is normal, or anyone who makes pro-gay statements deemed accessible to someone underage is now subject to arrest and fines. Even a judge, lawyer or lawmaker cannot publicly argue for tolerance without the threat of punishment.

Finally, it is rumored that Mr. Putin is about to sign an edict that would remove children from their own families if the parents are either gay or lesbian or suspected of being gay or lesbian. The police would have the authority to remove children from adoptive homes as well as from their own biological parents.

Not surprisingly, some gay and lesbian families are already beginning to plan their escapes from Russia.

Why is Mr. Putin so determined to criminalize homosexuality? He has defended his actions by saying that the Russian birthrate is diminishing and that Russian families as a whole are in danger of decline. That may be. But if that is truly his concern, he should be embracing gay and lesbian couples who, in my world, are breeding like proverbial bunnies. These days I rarely meet a gay couple who aren’t raising children.

And if Mr. Putin thinks he is protecting heterosexual marriage by denying us the same unions, he hasn’t kept up with the research. Studies from San Diego State University compared homosexual civil unions and heterosexual marriages in Vermont and found that the same-sex relationships demonstrate higher levels of satisfaction, sexual fulfillment and happiness. (Vermont legalized same-sex marriages in 2009, after the study was completed.)

Mr. Putin also says that his adoption ban was enacted to protect children from pedophiles. Once again the research does not support the homophobic rhetoric. About 90 percent of pedophiles are heterosexual men.

Mr. Putin’s true motives lie elsewhere. Historically this kind of scapegoating is used by politicians to solidify their bases and draw attention away from their failing policies, and no doubt this is what’s happening in Russia. Counting on the natural backlash against the success of marriage equality around the world and recruiting support from conservative religious organizations, Mr. Putin has sallied forth into this battle, figuring that the only opposition he will face will come from the left, his favorite boogeyman.

Mr. Putin’s campaign against lesbian, gay and bisexual people is one of distraction, a strategy of demonizing a minority for political gain taken straight from the Nazi playbook. Can we allow this war against human rights to go unanswered? Although Mr. Putin may think he can control his creation, history proves he cannot: his condemnations are permission to commit violence against gays and lesbians. In May a young gay man was murdered in the city of Volgograd. He was beaten, his body violated with beer bottles, his clothing set on fire, his head crushed with a rock. This is most likely just the beginning.

Nevertheless, the rest of the world remains almost completely ignorant of Mr. Putin’s agenda. His adoption restrictions have received some attention, but it has been largely limited to people involved in international adoptions.

This must change. With Russia about to hold the Winter Games in Sochi, the country is open to pressure. American and world leaders must speak out against Mr. Putin’s attacks and the violence they foster. The Olympic Committee must demand the retraction of these laws under threat of boycott.

In 1936 the world attended the Olympics in Germany. Few participants said a word about Hitler’s campaign against the Jews. Supporters of that decision point proudly to the triumph of Jesse Owens, while I point with dread to the Holocaust and world war. There is a price for tolerating intolerance.

Влади́мир Влади́мирович Пу́тин пошел на хуй

(Please support Russian Propaganda by visiting their website, reposting/re-blogging their posts and keep the message of the atrocities propagated against the LGBT people in Russia in everybody’s minds.)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

This Will Not Save You In a Zombie Apocalypse.

Sometimes throwing money at a problem really is a good idea to solve it.  However, when you are in the midst of a tough economic climate, as we all are of late, this is not always possible.  But in certain circumstances your failure to do so will end up costing you a lot more that you might have thought.  And to make matters worse you will end up realizing it was all your own fault to start with.  This past weekend hubby and I decided to take on some long overdue projects around the house, and in an effort to save some money we decided to do it ourselves.  As most of you know, we do not have the greatest track record when it comes to DIY and this time was no different.  This is how giving our guest bathroom a makeover and overhauling our garden’s sprinkler system ended up having us in dire need of a Plumber and Electrician and why we may possibly not survive a Zombie Apocalypse.

Let me first start off by saying that hubby is very handy with power tools.  He even knows what types of drill tips to use on different surfaces.  I on the other hand have no clue and never bothered to actually give a shit.  All I know how to use is a hammer and a screwdriver and that should be sufficient to save our lives if there ever is a Zombie Apocalypse.  After all, in an Apocalypse there won’t be any electricity so a drill will be pretty useless and won’t make much of a weapon.  And if that is all you are going to rely on you will die and in your final moments you will seriously envy my self-defense skills with a screwdriver and hammer.  But I digress…  Let’s get back to our DYI.

Seeing as I have always been brutally honest with you on my blog, I should admit something.  I cheated.  I did not install the new sprinkler system all by myself.  I hired a guy to do it for me.  Did you really think I would do something like that all on my own?  Gawd, it’s like after four years you don’t even know me!  I did however take him to a “Farmer’s Outlet” to go and buy all the material.  It being early on a Saturday morning and me being slightly hungover from one too many glasses of Chardonnay the night before, I found the whole experience rather daunting.

Apparently real farmers shop there and me standing around pretending to Facebook or Twitter on my iPhone with my sunglasses on in the middle of the shop did not really help me fit into the setting at all.  Also, apparently it is rude when a shop assistant in Khaki clothing asks you if he can “Help” you to screech out the word “No!”.  But in my defense the fucker snuck up on and startled me and when he spoke I thought he was a member of some kind of far right militant group who was about to kidnap me.  I mean really, who wears Khaki anymore these days?  It’s so 1980’s Apartheid era, don’t you think?

About thirty minutes later, in a shop that made me feel like I was in a bad version of the Twilight Zone, we had all the supplies we needed.  We headed home and he started with what seemed like the digging of trenches around our garden.  I remember thinking how cool it would be to have a moat around our house and how useful that would be in a Zombie Apocalypse because zombies can’t swim, but then realized it would be totally impractical.  So I left the guy to do his thing, went inside the house and caught up on some of my television programs.  In the mean time hubby was out shopping for all the new additions for our guest bathroom’s makeover.

Sometime during the day I got called by the sprinkler guy who profusely apologized for severing some electrical cable in the garden.  Being a tad confused seeing as I did not know that there were electrical cables under the ground in our garden and also thinking that it was dangerous and a health hazard I just looked at him for about five minutes not knowing what to say.  Eventually, we figured out that the electrical cable supplied power to our garden lights and I told him not to worry about it and to just finish installing the new sprinklers.   I also cautioned him to try not to cut off any other yet undiscovered health and safety issues in our garden.  He eventually finished without unearthing any more dangerous and potentially lethal garden traps of doom.  We tested the new sprinklers, they worked fine, I paid him and then wondered how much an electrician would cost to come out on a Sunday.  In the mean time a more serious issue was about to develop in the guest bathroom.

Hubby decided that seeing as the style of our guest bathroom is a bit outdated and old that he might as well stick to that theme and hang old classic mirrors in the bathroom.  He also picked out some old painted pictures from the early 1900’s of my deceased ancestors to accentuate the theme.  No wonder our house gets so many ghostly visitors.  So on Sunday afternoon hubby started drilling holes into the tiled bathroom walls.  All was going well until hubby walked into the living room with a concerned look on his face and the only words that he spoke were “I think we have a problem”.  And he was right.  We did have a fucking problem.  He had accidentally drilled a hole right into a water pipe in the wall.

Water was gushing out of the hole in the wall and it did not take long for us to determine that he in fact hit the hot water pipe.  He had inadvertently created a steaming waterfall right above our bathtub, which would have been romantic and whimsical if that was indeed the look that we were going for.  But it wasn’t.  So now we had two problems:  A severed electrical cable and the Victoria Falls, that was heated I must add, in the guest bathroom.  To make matters worse – it was a Sunday!  So calling out a Plumber and an Electrician would have cost us a fortune.  So we did the only thing we could.  We turned off the geyser and the water and pretended like nothing had happened.  But denial can only last that long.

On Monday I had to take the day off to deal with our DIY mishaps and get in the professionals to help us fix our mess.  Luckily hubby uses a handy man at his work that is not only good with plumbing and carpentry but electrical work as well.  So at around 9:30 he pitched up and I had to explain to him that not only are Hubby and I hot messes but we had a little fuckup in the bathroom and in the garden.

He gave me that look that I am sure means “Thank God for people like you.  Without you I’d be out of business!” and he started digging in.  He removed the tile through which hubby had drilled into the water pipe, fixed the hole and patched back the tile, then he proceeded to the garden to work on the case of the severed electrical cable.  It took him quite a few hours longer to fix the electrical cable and he did concur that the cables weren’t safe.  He did something or another to make sure that our garden doesn’t kill us and left and we got his bill several hours later.  His fee was reasonable and we were more than happy to pay him because we really should be punshed for our own stupidity and we should be ashamed of ourselves.  Which we kind of should be but in reality are not so much.

So this weekend ended up costing us a lot more than what we anticipated but at least we learned a few valuable lessons:  1) If there are any electrical cables buried under ground in your garden make sure you know where they are or you could die and 2) Always make sure you know where all the water pipes are in your walls before drilling any holes.  Neither one of these two lessons will help save your life in the event of a Zombie Apocalypse but they will save you a shit load of money.  Which is always a good thing.

Till next time.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Addiction: Is It Really Worth It?

Another celebrity died due to a drug overdose this weekend.  Cory Monteith who played the role of Finn Hudson on the popular television series Glee passed away on Saturday.  It was confirmed that he died as the result of a heroin and alcohol overdose.  Cory now joins actors like Heath Ledger, Corey Haim and River Phoenix, who all battled with substance abuse and died as a result of their addiction in their early twenties and thirties.  In recent years we have also seen many well know celebrities tragically succumb to drug addiction.  More recently there were Whitney Houston, Amy Winehouse and even Michael Jackson (although technically his doctor killed him).

The drugs most frequently found in these reported deaths were cocaine, heroin, alcohol, diazepam, alprazolam, hydrocodone and methamphetamine, to mention but the top 7.  We would be fools to believe that drug addiction is only secluded to poor communities, the homeless and prostitutes on the streets.  We would also be even more ignorant to believe that only the super rich and famous can become addicts.  Addiction affects everybody and chances are that even you have been affected by addiction in one form or another.  So this led me to wonder, why we are so afraid to talk about it.

For many years drug addiction was believed to only be associated with the illegal substances we all are familiar with today.  Alcohol and nicotine addiction are also still common and are also responsible for numerous deaths each year.  But, in recent years new trends developed – people started abusing and getting addicted to prescription and over the counter medication:  The most common being Opioids (painkillers like Oxycontin or Vicodin), Depressants (tranquilizers and sleeping pills like Xanax or Valium) and Stimulants (mood stabilizers like Adderall or Ritalin).  Today people can buy these drugs from their drug dealer right alongside cocaine, crack, heroine, ecstasy and marijuana.  But I don’t want to bore you with a lesson in drugs with this blog post.  I want to share with you my story about being affected by addiction.  I want to tell you about alcoholism.

You cannot always tell if a person is an addict.  It could be the housewife down the street, a colleague at work, a professor at college and even a family member.  My father is an alcoholic and one thing I have learned growing up in a home with him is that addicts can hide their addictions very well.  I also learned that addiction is not something that happens over night (not with alcoholism anyway) and it is a gradual process sliding towards a precipice, and once the addict has slid over it, coming back from it is very difficult if not impossible for some people.  My father’s drinking started when I was about six or seven (or at least that’s when I became aware of it).  It started off with him and my mother having a sundowner after work.  Then it progressed to my father drinking too much at every social function he attended, most times driving us home as drunk as a skunk.  As I grew older his drinking increased resulting in innumerable fights between him and my mother.  Fights I still remember to this day.

My father would come home from work functions drunk, too inebriated to make sense.  Sometimes my mother would lock him out of the house resulting in him once breaking down a door.  None of their fights were particularly pleasant and luckily my father was not the type of alcoholic who got aggressive and physically abused us.  The first time he went to rehab for his addiction was when I was in my late teens.  He came home and drove his car into the gate of our house.  He was too drunk to get out of the car and my boyfriend, at the time, and I had to carry him to the bedroom.  It was embarrassing as hell as the accident drew quite a crowd in our street.  The following day my dad was admitted to a rehab facility.  After a long time being treated physically and receiving therapy he finally came out clean.  Or so we thought.

Addicts are extremely manipulative and they are proficient liars.  For a few years after my father came out of rehab we believed that he was finally clean and that he was a recovering alcoholic, but we were deceived.  As it happens my father never stopped drinking.  He just did it in secret.  After my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer and with her passing eight months later, I discovered a journal my mother had kept.  From reading it I learned how bad my father’s drinking really was and how my mother tried to protect my sister and I from the truth about the man my father truly was.  I was shocked but being naïve, my sister and I wanted to believe that my father had changed.  We were in for a rude surprise.  It seems that after my mother died there was nobody left to keep him in check and his addiction got out of control.

After my mother’s passing my father lived with my sister and her husband and he stayed in the garden cottage on their property.  My sister noticed that sometimes at 4am the lights in his cottage would still be on.  During that time my father also got into all kinds of accidents with his car.  Then one day their housekeeper pulled my sister aside and told her about all the whiskey bottles she had to throw away from to garden cottage every week.  Naturally my sister was shocked, upset and felt bitterly disappointed.  So she and her husband decided to collect a week’s worth of discarded bottles (which were many) and prepared for an intervention.  Unfortunately, I could not make it as hubby and I had left for our honeymoon to Egypt.  When we returned my sister informed me that my father had voluntarily admitted himself to a rehabilitation facility.  This was his second stint in rehab.  All was well for a couple months, but again things would turn for the worst.

My father met his new wife a couple months after he came out of rehab.  I met his new wife three times in my life.  Once for breakfast when my father first introduced her to us, then at their wedding and the last time was at a BBQ at my sister’s house.  I cannot really say that I know her well, but soon after they got married she started phoning my sister and I wanting to know why we never warned her that my father had a drinking problem.  Both my sister and I were quite taken aback seeing as we asked my father on numerous occasions if he had told her that he had been to rehab.  He said he had.  But he lied.  Just as he lied when he told us that he had stopped drinking.  I knew that he started again because as hubby and I left my father’s wedding reception the first thing he did was to go to the bar and ordered a whiskey.  His addiction won yet again and he continued to lie about it.

I once also got a frantic call from my father’s new wife saying that he had fallen down the stairs, landed on a vase and had a bad cut on his arm.  I asked her if he was drunk when it happened and she said no.  Later in hospital it was determined that he was.  He got her to lie for him.  I have not seen or spoken to my father in over six years and my sister and I currently have no contact with him.  It is sad to think that my father chose his addiction over his own children and grandchildren.  It is even more distressing to think that from the age of five that I never had a real father as alcohol not only took him away from me but also took him from his family.  My father has also broken off all contact with his own brothers and sister.  So all family he has left is his new wife, her children, alcohol, and as they would like us to believe, Jesus Christ.  Because you know, Jesus made wine out of water so wine is not bad for you.

Addiction ruins lives, destroys families and even kills.  Is it really worth sacrificing everything you have, everyone you love, your dignity and self-respect and in some cases even your life for a drink, a pill, a pipe, a needle or a drug laced joint?  If my husband and I are ever to have children I will do my damnedest to make sure my marriage and child are never exposed to or have to endure the evils of drug abuse.  Having lived through it and experienced it firsthand I know how much pain it causes for those people around the addict.  I know how selfish addicts are, how they lie, manipulate and I know that if they do not really want to get help sending them to rehab will accomplish nothing.  I know this sounds harsh, but this is my experience with addiction and it’s painful and there are always casualties.  If you are reading this today and if you are an addict, I plead with you to take a long hard look at your life and ask yourself – Is this addiction really worth it?  If your answer is No, please save your own life and seek help.  Your life is worth more than what you might think and there are people out there who love you.

Till next time.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

I Am Quitting. Again.

Ok people news flash – I have decided to stop smoking.  Again.  Because you know, I don’t want to die.  At the moment it feels like my lungs are about to apply for asylum because they hate me and they want out of this body.  Also, I might be coming down with bronchitis or pneumonia or some other dreadful disease that you can only catch in the gutters of slums in a third world country.  Either way, I have reached the point where I am sick of smoking and this will be my fourth attempt to break this hold the tobacco companies have over me.  They are sick motherfuckers who are responsible for countless deaths each year and I am hell bent on not becoming one of their statistics.

As I mentioned before, this will be my fourth serious attempt at quitting fags.  The previous times I tried to quit using Patches, Zyban and Campix.  The patches worked as long as I wore them and I managed to quit smoking for about three months.  With Zyban I did not stop smoking at all as half way through my treatment I had a bad reaction to the medication, broke out in hives and looked like I rolled around in poison ivy.  With Champix I stopped smoking for about four months but the side effects of the medication almost killed me and fucked up my liver.  Champix also made me dream of Nazis and I had the most bizarre nightmares while I was on that drug.  I also blame Campix for me contracting pneumonia which landed me in hospital.  Quitting smoking is hard and the way in which you decide to do it is very important.

Going cold turkey is most definitely out of the question as I will in all probability commit a murder.  I am far too pretty for jail and do you even know what they will do to a person like me in prison?  I would become someone’s bitch and end up getting addicted to crack cocaine or crystal meth which is far worse than smoking.  Also, I like my rectum the way it is.  Medication is also out of the question seeing as the previous times didn’t turn out so great.  So I guess I am left to go back to trying the patches again.  I usually wear a patch when I take international flights and they worked wonders to suppress my nicotine cravings.  Let’s hope they do the trick again this time.

I first started smoking when I was sixteen and I blame my sister for my addiction.  You see, she made me smoke while we were on a family vacation and we had to share a hotel room.  She was already smoking at that time and convinced me to try it.  She even bought me a packet of Marlboro’s.  Admittedly when I tried it the first time I found it gross.  But I thought my sister was super cool and I wanted to impress her so I started smoking.  In retrospect I don’t think my sister made me smoke on that holiday to improve my own coolness.  Her real reason to make me smoke was to prevent me from telling on her to our parents.  She can be devious sometimes and this is just one of many times she conned me into doing things that I really shouldn’t have.  Big sisters can be evil like that but I love mine even though she got me hooked on the Devil’s crack aka nicotine.

Normally when I try to quit smoking I tend to become somewhat of a bitch.  I just cannot help it.  I develop a short temper, become emotional and overly sensitive.  I have also been known to throw tantrums in public which is embarrassing for everyone involved.  But taking into consideration that these days smokers are being treated like lepers and we are banned from smoking in most places, quitting might really not be such a bad idea.  I am tired of all the judgmental stares people give you when they walk past designated smoking areas looking at you all like “How gross are those people, sucking on those tar and cyanide filled cigarettes polluting our clean air and killing innocent puppies and kittens”.  I know you judge us; there is no reason to deny it.  If you could throw fake blood on us like Peta does you totally would.  Only it wouldn’t be blood, it would most probably be tar or muddy water.

There have been many times that I regretted that I started smoking.  When you start to smoke you do not know how hellishly difficult it will be to stop.  Many people successfully quit only to start again years later.  Look at my sister for one.  She quit smoking when she had her first child.  She was a non smoker for seven years and then at my birthday party last year she bummed a smoke off me et voillá, after seven years she started smoking again.  Sure it could be seen as my revenge for her getting me hooked on the Devil’s Crack (nicotine) but it just shows how hard it is to stay clean of cigarettes.

The real reason why I have decided to stop smoking, other than the fact that I don’t want to die of lung cancer, emphysema, a heart attack or ass cancer, will be revealed in due course.  Yes, people there is some big news on the horizon and if you want to find out what that is you will have to keep on reading my blog.  And no, I am not just saying this because I want to bullshit you into coming back to read my blog.  The news will blow your mind! But I digress.  My deadline to start weaning myself off the Devil’s Crack is Monday next week.  Bad things usually happen on Mondays so why not start my nicotine rehabilitation on a Monday as the day is going to suck ass anyway.  Hopefully I will stay the course and really quit smoking this time.  Smoking is a filthy habit that will kill me if I don’t stop.

Till next time.

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