Monthly Archives: March 2014

The Germ Paradox

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“I think germs are ugly. I don’t like them because you can only kill 99%. There’s always that 1% that’s out to get you.”

Ahh, the germ paradox. So can we all just agree that yes, germs are ugly? Ok? Set? Good. Now onto the good stuff.

 

Let’s define germs, so that we’re all on the same page. For all intents and purposes, a germ is a disease-causing microorganism. Yes? Fine? Good. Like I’ve mentioned earlier in the week, some seriously awesome horror movies can be spawned off of this. But I’m pretty sure they’ve already done flicks on germs. (The Germ, Contagion, The Seventh Seal, etc.) But the scariest part of these skin peeling, nerves testing, gag reflex pushing movies is that more often than not, they are plausible. If not based on a true story. Take movies like Contagion for example. It’s a Hollywood-ized, romanticized, Damon-ized story that COULD ACTUALY HAPPEN. With all the travel and close contact we have today, spreading an airborne disease would be so easy it makes me want to crawl into a hole and never breath near another human again. Ever.

These theories are pretty mainstream, too. It’s not a secret that the best way to annihilate the human population of Earth is either: A) Nuclear War; B) Airborne Toxic Event; or C) Dragons. If I was going to take us out, I would choose option B. (Mostly because A is too expected, and C is too cliché) All you have to do is release a quick-mutating disease that is spread my contact or, even better, is airborne. Then you’re set. Just sit back and watch the world burn. Because if you’re planning something like this, then you don’t want money, fame, love, success. You just want to watch the world burn.

So how is all this nonsense a paradox? Well, in our race to cleanse ourselves of these disease causing germs, we have invented marvelous chemicals that you can spray all over your house, in your clothes, and even rub on your hands right before you eat. How wonderful! They are actually. Well, most of them. Where would we be without soaps and sanitation? If you said “The Black Plague” you are correct! I also would have accepted “Europe in the Dark Ages”. One of the reasons The Plague spread so fast was the lack of sanitation and the abundance of clothes sharing, (like with dead people). So now we wash our hands and don’t catch The Plague. But the one catch on all these great products is that little sticker that reads: Kills 99% of Germs! So while you’re washing your hands, killing off the 99%, that 1% is NOT DYING. In fact, they’re getting stronger, they’re becoming resilient. And in time that 1% will become the 99%, only the chemicals will only be able to kill the 1%.

The paradox is that whilst trying to destroy the germs that can harm us, we are making them stronger and harder to kill. Hence an eternal battle between humans and germs that we will never win because we can’t kill all the bacteria because we need bacteria to survive. Yet at he same time, germs are taking lives everyday. So where does it end? It doesn’t. That’s a paradox.

Don’t forget the glitter- iamtheseventies.

 

Weeds (No, not like the TV show)

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“I think weeds are ugly. Like when they pop up in your garden and make the whole thing look ugly.”

Just for clarification, we’re not talking about the TV show Weeds nor are we talking about marijuana. Anyways, weeds are ugly. They are hard to get rid of and hard to kill. Isn’t it annoying when you work so hard to make your garden look nice and pretty then you turn around and it’s overrun with weeds? Weeds have been the source of Saturday morning chores for decades. Why?

Not all weeds are bad, you know. Dandelions are weeds, but everybody’s blown the flowers of and made a wish. Little did we know that those little “fairies” were the dandelion’s seeds and when we blew them all over the place, we were signing ourselves up for three weeks worth of weeding. Other weeds, like thistle, are dangerously beautiful. Their flowers are vibrant and enticing, but thistle weeds are notorious for their sharp thorns on their stems.

One of the great things about weeds are that they’re resilient. We can spray them with chemicals, yank out their roots, and chop them up; but they’ll be back next month. That kinda reminds me of us. Some humans think they’re better than others. It’s like we think that there’s two kinds of people: the ones we want in our garden Earth and those we don’t. Some people think they’ve got this birthright to out the “weeds” of society. But they never do it themselves, they hire other, slightly lower, people to do their dirty work for them.

Maybe I’m mixing my metaphors. What I’m trying to say is what if the rich posh people are the flowers, the hard working middle class are the gardeners, and the poor dirty homeless people are the weeds? Welcome to planet Earth, we just have a place for everybody, don’t we? Think about it. We can spit on them, ignore them, or try to eradicate them, but they’re resilient and keep coming back. There will always be homeless people. So maybe we’re going about this the wrong way. Maybe we need to treat weeds like we’d treat regular flowers. We shouldn’t let them overrun our garden, but we shouldn’t expel them either. Same with people. If we help each other out every once and a while, then we’d have less homeless people anyways.

So whether we’re talking about plants or people, just be kind. Sure weeds are a pain, but think about the insane similarities between how we treat actual weeds and how we treat the weeds of society. Scary, right?

Don’t forget the glitter- iamtheseventies.

Attack of the Molds! (Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You)

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“Ugly? Oh, um… Mold. Yeah it’s gross and is like death.”

Aha. Just a precursor of what’s to come, my dear readers. Mold grows on things that are decaying and is nature’s way of saying “Hey! Missed your chance to eat me! Time to throw me out now.” But how can we make this ugly, smelly expiration date into pure beauty?

 

This week (and mostly next) are going to be big in my blog world. We’re going to really dig deep into beauty and where to find it. But more of that to come. First up to bat: Mold. So it’s pretty gross, right? A fungi with innumerable amounts of relatives, found everywhere from your backyard to your attic to your refrigerator. That’s a scary thought. If you are looking for the plot of your next horror film, I’ve just fed it to you on a silver spoon. Mold can cause serious lung problems, not to mention GROWING inside of you. Yes, it’s true. Some people with severe reactions to mold and other fungi are at risk for developing mold in their lungs. That not only sounds ugly, but makes me nervous.

 

Now hold on a minute, just because mold can be found just about anywhere in the fongging world, I’m not saying that y’all should never do anything anywhere ever again. First off, that would be impossible, considering mold is just as likely to be found in your house as in your favorite flower shop, so don’t even try it. Second, just because it’s out there doesn’t mean we should be afraid. Sure, we should take preventative actions to stop mold from growing in our homes, but we can’t eliminate mold from the entire planet Earth.

 

Yeah, I wouldn't take a dump here if I were you... http://www.amerifirst.com/amerifirst-blog/?Tag=foreclosure

Yeah, I wouldn’t take a dump here if I were you…
http://www.amerifirst.com/amerifirst-blog/?Tag=foreclosure

The world is full of potentially dangerous matter. And there’s no way in hell we can possibly protect ourselves and our loved ones from all, if any, of it. The best we can do is watch our step and sometimes take things with a grain of salt. I don’t think we are going to live longer if we wrap ourselves up in bubble wrap and breath through a gas mask for the rest of our lives. We as a population need to accept danger. We need to say, “Yes, there are things out there that can kill me in under a minute. And yes, there are things out there that could have been killing me my entire life. But it’s ok.” The world is a very dangerous place. But hiding in our basements (where mold is mostly likely to grow, mind you) and cowering in fear, waiting for the day that something kills you is not the way to survive. We need to educate ourselves and our up and coming generations. We just need to get street smart, people. Living is the only way we learn how to die. And that’s ok. That’s fine.

 

So how is mold beautiful? Well, as dangerous as it can be, it reminds us that even in the 21st century there are still things out there that have been around since the beginning of life that have the power to end us. Mold, like death, is nature’s expiration date. It says “Time to go, move on to the next place.” Mold is beautiful because it reminds us that life is only beautiful because of death. We’re so worried about staying alive because we know that eventfully, we will in fact die. And at MY funeral-

Don’t forget the glitter. iamtheseventies.

NEVER EVER LOSE

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NEVER EVER LOSE

“Losing is ugly. No, losing to yourselves is ugly.”

This was all that I could think of after my game today. We lost, and it was ugly. It started ugly, went through a whole hell of ugly, and we crash landed at the rancid feet of ugly. There wasn’t a single person on my squad who wasn’t biting their tongue, wasn’t tense, and wasn’t responsible.

After the very first inning, I came into the dug out and lost it. I was pissed, scared, frustrated, and most of all disappointed. I lost my head and I needed to calm down, breathe, and take responsibility. It wasn’t my place to get angry and if my team hadn’t had my back, I would have gone into the second inning still pissed and would have played even worse than I did (which was still pretty bad). I came in close to tears and immediately had a teammate on my ass telling me to get out of it. She got my head back in the right place, but I was still pissed. Four other team mates asked me if I was ok, then proceeded to (figuratively) smack me back into the game. I counted to ten, took some deep breaths, and quit playing selfish ball. They were right. Yes, I made severe errors, but I had to make up for it and I had to be strong for them, for the team, for my team. My squad.

But now that that’s out of my system, I went back and mentally reviewed the game and our situation as a whole. Biologically, we are designed to be the underdogs. We’re teenage girls. We need stickers on our foreheads that read: Caution! Contains Raging Hormones! Our brains are nowhere near fully developed. We’re just trying to make the transition from awkward teenager to mature young woman smoothly. Yes, we dwell on things, yes we overthink EVERYTHING, yes we have other things going on, yes we are a BIOLOGICALLY ENGINERED HOT MESS.  No we don’t have to let today set the pace for the rest of the season. One of my coaches was painfully disappointed. But so were we. We can’t change who other people are or how they react to things, we can only control how we handle situations.

It’s not losing that’s ugly, it’s the disappointment and the dwelling on it and the not getting over it that’s ugly. We can play a damn good game and lose. That isn’t an ugly loss. Today was an ugly loss. The only thing we can do is to move on. We acted the way we did because we cared, because we got hurt, because we ARE a family. On any other team, I doubt anyone would have cared as much. If we hadn’t gotten angry over that loss, it would have meant we didn’t care. I’d rather have a coach who gets animated over a loss than not cares any day. And if we hadn’t gotten angry, frustrated, pissed, if we didn’t cry then we didn’t play with heart. Yeah we could have played with heart and played better. Losses like this prove that we do care, and that should motivate us to shape up. Look, today happened. (Take a deep breath). I love you guys. Tomorrow’s another day, another chance to get it right. Hey, why do we fall?

So that we can learn to pick ourselves up.

(Dedicated to Santa Barbara Dons Softball Varsity Squad, 2013-14)

Don’t forget the glitter- iamtheseventies.

 

 

 

Can Crutches Become Cool?

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“Crutches! I hate crutches! They’re ugly and I hate them!”

Sorry if this is repetitive on the injury thing, but I couldn’t pass this up. My friend Jake said this very passionately when I asked him what he thought was ugly and why, and I can’t say I blame him. After a gnarly snowboarding crash over winter break, Jake’s leg has been in a brace and he is sporting a nifty pair of crutches. But he’d rather be without.

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How Do I Loath Thee? Let Me Count The Ways…
http://www.freevector.com/people-with-crutches/

I can easily see how crutches, which are supposed to make your life easier during your recovery, can make your life hell. Steep hills, stairs, getting up, sitting down, and oh yeah, walking are now intense challenges worthy of a sliver medal. I personally have never had crutches, but even seeing my friends hobble around makes me cringe. I rely on my independence and I wouldn’t be able to function without being able to go to practice, without being able to be mobile. That would be more painful than the injury itself. Kudos to you, Jake, and all y’all other crutch-users for having such patience.

Crutches are kinda like the annoying internet quotes about hope and love and other things that the internet falsifies. Both crutches and annoying quotes are helpful: but only when you really, truly, absolutely need them. Other wise, we don’t want to see them people.

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Again, We don’ t need this BS right now, OK? Say something real. Something true. Something no one else knows.
http://www.wallpapergang.com/Motivational/Quotes-Dont-Lose-Hope-wallpaper_20060.html

But as much hate mail as they must get, crutches deserve some, if a very small amount, of appreciation. Jake, imagine your life right now without crutches. Imagine having to hop up and down the hill to the MAD Academy everyday. Not a pretty sight is it? See, aren’t you glad you have those wonderful crutches?

Don’t forget the glitter. -iamtheseventies.

So, If Mick Jagger Is Wearing Tennis Shoes, Does That Mean He Isn’t Cool Anymore?

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“I think tennis shoes are ugly. I don’t like the way they look, and I don’t like the people who wear them.”

This quote is funny to me because, based on their shoes, my friend is judging people. Funny, right? A person’s shoes do tell quite a bit about them though, don’t they? Even Forrest Gump judges people by theirs shoes. Not that Gump so much as judges people so much as listens to their story. But when you see a person’s shoes, do you listen to their story or make up one up that you think goes with the shoes?

Tennis shoes are a bit odd, however. They’re clunky, awkward, and usually pretty worn out. In today’s foot fashion, your shoes tell a lot about you. For example, if you wear Dr.Martens, you could be seen as intimidating and tough. A pair of Toms looks relaxed and outdoorsy. Chucks can be seen as classic (if worn right), hipster (if worn wrong), or a Montecito prick if worn stereotypically. And toe shoes are just weird. So where do tennis shoes fit in?

Tennis shoes give off a vibe of quiet, stay at home type. Chances are, if you get out you have probably been exposed to the World Wide Web of shoes and variations there of. And wearing tennis shoes to school can make you seem socially awkward or dorky. But that’s not the real story, is it?

Your tennis shoes are on your feet for a reason. You woke up, put on some socks, and laced up your beat up old tennis shoes. Or maybe they’re brand spanking new right out of the box can’t wait to show your friends. But they didn’t just appear on your feet. You could be wearing tennis shoes because you are going to play tennis! You could be the comeback kid of Wimbledon! Or you could be wearing them because you are on your way to run a marathon for the latest form of cancer. A couple years ago my dad ran over One Hundred miles in his tennis shoes. Over the span of a year, but still! Those were some lived in kicks.

So I guess that’s the moral of the story: Shoes are meant to be lived in, however you chose to do so is on you. Shoes tell the story of our lives, and the only people worth sharing those stories with are the ones who ask, not the ones who assume. Keeping it real on a Saturday evening. 🙂

Don’t forget the glitter- iamtheseventies.

Broken Bones Call for Help (Literally)

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“How about a serious injury? Like a shark bite, or a broken bone? That’s pretty ugly.”

Ouch. No really, serious injuries are very painful. But where would we be without them? (This Post Could Have Been Really Gross But I Took Pity On Your Poor Stomach)

Shark bites, shattered knee caps, split skulls, stitches on your eyeball, you name it. All serious injuries are stories that beg the question: Was it worth it? Sometimes the answer is ‘Hell yeah! I’d do it again any day, broken arm and all!’ Other times, the answer is a grimace and a little upchuck. And yet injuries are experiences. And experiences, good or bad, are the stitches of life.

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Stitches of life
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Someone once said that suffering builds character. So if we don’t suffer doesn’t that mean that we’ll never have any character? I’m not saying y’all should go about looking to break yourselves, but pain is a side affect of life (or maybe it’s the other way around). But accidents happen and everybody hurts. Yet with all this new technology coming out, it’s getting easier and easier to fix unpleasentries. It used to be that if you broke your arm, you might never walk again. In the near future, you can chop your arm off and they’ll just harvest some stem cells and grow you a new one. All this can mean only one thing: really bad business for horror movie killers.

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Sorry Mr. Scream
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Serious injuries could potentially become a thing of the past; we should embrace them while we can. And things like shark bites remind us that we don’t, in fact, own the world. We live here with other creatures and have to respect that. That’s why when people blame animals for causing serious injuries, it really bothers me. We have to learn to coexist, and if we can’t, then we won’t be the ones taking the fall. Are we humans really so selfish that we would rather kill off every other animal than take a couple for the team? Hate to say it, but a few random deaths caused by animals are not going to stop a population that’s growing exponentially. People die, it’s what they do.

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People Die
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Sorry for the morbidity, but we are talking about serious injuries. Look, they happen. Yeah it bites, sometimes in more than one way, but humans are the eternal underdog. And as underdogs, it is our responsibility to transform into the comeback kids. Besides, maybe in the future, kids won’t be doing heroin or applying glitter eye make up for kicks. Maybe they’ll be breaking their bones just to regrow them with some cheap stem cells. But until that day, we have to tough it out. Besides, suffering builds character.

Don’t forget the glitter- iamtheseventies.

Rust In Pieces

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“Rust. Rust is ugly. It’s decay and gross.”

Corrosion, the enemy of all toys containing metal. I understand why one might have a grudge against rust. It’s such a drag when you leave your Star Wars action figures outside overnight, only to find their joints rusted up in the morning. I remember just how it felt to run outside on a bright summer morning, grab Han Solo off the dewy grass, and see those tell-tale signs of rust on the tiny screws in his knees and elbows. Rust is like old age for toys: One day you’re running around with the rest of your eternal life before you, the next you’re rusted up, can’t move and are being thrown away.

Old Rusted Toys

Old Rusted Toys
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Of course, the rusted man has been immortalized forever on the silver screen in one of the most well-known films of all time: The Wizard of OZ. The Tin Man goes with Dorothy to OZ to ask the Wiz for a heart. Why would a rusted man who needs constant oiling want a heart? Many theories have arisen from L. Frank Baum’s original books and the 1939 classic. I personally think that Dorothy is trying to not grow up, and the Tin Man is supposed to be the stiff and rigid adults who are certain they are right. But the Tin Man got so mean and crabby that he started to rust. So when Dorothy strolls past, he needs her help. Dorothy, not knowing better, rushes over and help loosen up his corroded knees and elbows. Then the Tin man realizes that it’s so much easier to move if you’ve got oil (which can represent love or kindness) so he wants a heart so that he will always have love.

A Tin Man with a Heart

A Tin Man with a Heart
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So in actual real life, rust can be a pain. But if you look at a box and see a circle, then you can make rust into the bad that shows you the good.

Don’t forget the glitter- iamtheseventies.

Dare you challenge me to a duel of wits? Let me know what something you think is ugly and why below and I’ll prove you wrong. (Maybe) Cheers!