Saturday, July 4, 2015

That Coke Has TWENTY Triglycerides

Okay, again on the topic of weight.  A friend of mine (not skinny, but definitely not fat) who lives in a small "city" nearby was at breakfast with her hubby in a local diner when she overheard a couple of yokels, who were none too skinny themselves, loudly ranting between themselves about how horrible fat people are. Apparently they combined their single-digit IQ's and determined that all overweight people are fat because they WANT to be fat.

These geniuses supported their case by discussing a neighbor who was "so fat she had to use a wheelchair." They then went on to talk about how her garbage contained many Coke bottles.What scintillating lives these two must have that they feel the need to critique the contents of their neighbors' garbage.

The culmination of their dual diatribe came when one of the geniuses commented that he knew that "Every one of those bottles of coke has 20 triglycerides!"   My friend was so stunned by this "revelation" that she didn't laugh out loud, slap them, or tell them off.

I guess we know which end of the gene pool they come from, don't we?

Sweet, Sweet Revenge

In my last blog entry I talked about Madame Snarky, who has all the tact of a bull moose, and her comments about my weight.  Well, I got a bit of revenge yesterday.  We went to the pool again and she was there.  She didn't say anything about my weight, but she and some others got off on the topic of religion.  Those who know me well know that I usually avoid theological discussions with unreasonable people, which includes most of the religious people I know. In fact, I only discuss religion with some people for the express purpose of pissing them off.

In the midst of the religion discussion, MS revealed that he is Jehovah's Witness or, as D says, Jehovah's Witless, which seems more apt to me. She then promptly started telling us all that HER beliefs were right and everyone else was inherently wrong. At one point I put my hand up and told her directly not to preach at me.  She continued and, trying to be tactful and not wanting to ruin my own good mood, I immediately removed myself from the discussion while she was telling Linda (a devout Christian) how wrong her beliefs were.

When I rejoined the group a few minutes late I was pressed give my religious views.  You should have seen the look on MS's face when I looked her in the eye and told her I am an atheist. It was PRICELESS!  I might as well have grown horns, hooves, and a tail.  At least she distanced herself somewhat from me after that.

I wonder how long it will take her to try to get me kicked out of the gym because I'm a bad person.

Friday, June 26, 2015

I get it! I'm FAT!

Okay.  SOME people obviously weren't  taught good manners as children.... Or they have forgotten them.

As those who know me in person are aware, I'm "fluffy" at best.  In fact, some days I feel I border on Gabriel Iglesias' definition of  "DAMN!"

I have been going to a gym to exercise in the pool for well over a year. Since I don't swim as such -- my attempts would be more aptly described as creative drowning -- I do, generally stay moving while we are there, usually an hour or so. at a time. It's not much, but at least it's something. I refuse to use the evil machines in the gym part because I've never met one that didn't cause my knee or back pain to get worse, so I don't expect to lose much, if any, weight.  I;m just trying to stay as mobile as I possibly can..I usually don't feel too bad about my weight when I'm there because many of the others who use the pool are there for the same reason.

Unfortunately there's usually one person in any group  with no tact whatsoever. I've met more than one in my visits to the pool.

First there was the man who always wanted to chat but apparently didn't like ANYONE, especially overweight women.  I called him Grumpy.

Next was a man who, decided to tell me, without me asking for his input, that, if I would just do as he said I could "lose all that weight."  No, he wasn't a trainer at the gym.  He was just some random man who thought that, as a woman, I should be happy to be offered his male guidance.

The pi├Ęce de r├ęsistance, however, is a woman whose tact switch seems to be permanently shut off -- maybe even congenitally missing.  Over the weeks she has made several comments to me that were snarky, at best. Generally she feels it necessary to point out to me that I am overweight, as if I had no idea. In the past I've tried to just laugh it off, even though I was upset.

Today, however, Madame Snarky (MS) surpassed herself.   Four of us were discussing the difficulties of finding swimsuits that fit and in which we are comfortable.  While Linda was talking to someone else, MS asked, "Why don't you just go to a fat farm?"  Because of my issues with confrontations and the sheer shock, I simply responded that I couldn't afford it. I told Linda about it and, not 5 minutes later, in front of Linda, MS  started telling me I needed to be moving faster.  Linda told her outright that she needed to stop being so rude.

Linda also reported her behavior to the front desk.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Ya Gotta Love a Two Year Old

I'd never met a two year old with impeccable manners before until my youngest son's youngest son hit two. When I show up at his house he guides me to "my" place, urges me to sit down, and makes sure the footrest of the recliner is up and I am resting comfortably. Also, when he gets a snack such as crackers he insists on sharing them with the other children in the house and, often, the adults as well.

The rest of the time, however, I wonder when this little pistol of a two year old replaced my angelic little darling. He expects to get his way in all things, especially when it comes to food  when he has it, which is anytime he is awake. ,xxxx, zzzzz,, xxszxx, z,\*"*¾s. (That was a message from the young man himself. He got to my tablet while I was away from it for a few seconds.) He's the only child I've ever met who wake up thin and is chunky when he goes to bed.

He's also a master builder and climber. If something he wants is out of reach, he will devise a way to get to it.  I've seen him climb the refrigerator shelves and use chairs of different heights, rambling from a child's chair to a barstool to build stairs so he could reach the cabinet where the snacks are kept.

I figure by the time he's fine he'll be rebuilding computers and retiring the house.




Thursday, January 2, 2014

It has been way too long since I blogged. I don't even know when the last time was, but it wasn't recently. Far too many things have happened in the meantime.  In 2013 I lost a sister (in Feb) and a nephew (in March).  I also got a new grandson (in Feb) and my first great-grandson, who was born early (in January) due to complications.  The same granddaughter who gave birth to the great-grandson is pregnant again and should have the baby in March.  Maybe I'll get a new great-grandson for my birthday.  Probably not, though, unless there are problems, so I hope that it's a little later.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

G is for God, or the Lack Thereof – April 2012 Blogging from A to Z Challenge

I wrote this and submitted it to someone who was asking for stories of how and why people became atheists.  I have decided to include it here, as well.  The link to the other site containing this article is.  http://davidgmcafee.wordpress.com/2012/04/14/atheists-coming-out-series-featured-story-2-cleta-darnell/ My part is the same, but there are other stories there as well. I already know that I will probably get heat from this, but I'm standing by it.
I know a lot of people who have been “converted” to one religion or another. I, on the other hand, was raised in a solidly Southern Baptist family and, for want of a better word, eventually de-converted from Baptist to Atheist. Far from preventing me from straying from religion as they hoped, my family’s ideas, actions, and attitudes made me less of a believer over the years. I have always believed that the only reason most of them ever did the “right” thing is out of fear of otherworldly reprisals.
My earliest memories of going to church are of crying when I didn’t get to go to Sunday school. I now know that it was the social aspect that attracted me, even though I was often treated badly or ignored by my classmates. Their families had moved up, financially, faster than mine and I was often ostracized for not dressing as well as the others. I now realize that an undiagnosed hearing loss, which left me clueless to the nuances of things around me, also contributed to my lack of conformity.
In an attempt to fit in, I was baptized around age 10 or 12. I knew even then that I didn’t really mean it. I only vaguely remember deciding to be baptized. My recollection of it may be hazy, but I know that I did it mostly out of peer pressure. I was still something of an outsider among the kids in both my school and my church (many of whom were the same people) and I somehow thought being baptized would bring me more acceptance. Despite my need for acceptance, the process left me feeling like a charlatan. The whole thing went against my logical side. Long before the whole “intelligent design” movement, I asked several people including my parents and my Sunday school teacher, who was also one of my teachers in public school, if it wasn’t possible that there was a compromise between evolution and creationism. My inquiries were met with a resounding “No!” That rejection of any possibility of free thought opened my mind to the possibility of being free of my family’s delusions. Now don’t get me wrong, I didn’t go straight from wannabe believer to atheist with no steps in between. I started out as a questioner.
My initial salvation from religion began when I was a teenager in the form of my best friend’s freethinking family. Though she and I drifted apart many years ago, I still think of the good they did for me. In fact, I still think of her mother very fondly and visit her on occasion. If it weren’t for that family, I don’t know what I might have done when my mother, who was the center of my world, died when I was barely fifteen. Everyone in my family except my father had spouses and children to rally around them and Daddy, well, he had his church – the same church I already felt out of step with. My friend’s family served as my anchor when I felt everyone and everything else had set me adrift. Without their support, I believe I would have gone into a serious downward spiral.
The other thing my friend’s family gave me was permission to question, to wonder if what I had learned was based in fact. Questions that were met by my family and church with “No,” and “Don’t question, just believe,” were met with discussion and encouragement when posed to her family. With them I was exposed to other religions, specifically Catholicism, which was their family’s “official” religion. With them, I attended masses in both Latin and Spanish. The Latin I knew nothing of and the Spanish I knew a little of, but they explained things as they went along, or after the fact when appropriate. Prior to this, my only exposure to “other” churches was attending my sister’s wedding in a Methodist church and a couple of visits to the fundamentalist Baptist church my niece attended. They were so strictly fundamentalist that I was asked to leave a skating party I attended with my niece because I wasn’t wearing nice enough clothes, specifically a “Sunday school” dress.
In my experience, being honest meant being ostracized and shouted down – most of all by my family. I did get a few licks in, though. As a rebellious teenager left alone with a detached father, I learned how to lash out when I wanted attention. It was not uncommon for me to threaten to date a black or hispanic boy or, worse yet, a CATHOLIC! My favorite jab at Daddy, though, was to refer to the bible, his beloved bible, as a book of Jewish fairy tales. That one statement could cause a full relief map of the state of Texas to appear in the veins on Daddy’s forehead.
Daddy never did give up on his religion. One day, Mere weeks before his death at age 94, he asked me what I was reading. I told him and he thumped, literally thumped, his bible and said, “This is the only thing I need to read.” Because of his age, and my refusal to mar his last days with dissent, I neither laughed at him nor answered with what I thought. Later that day, I vented by updating my Facebook status with, “If you never read anything other than what you already believe, how do you know that what you believe is true?”
As an adult, I tried never to begrudge Daddy his religion. Before he died, I made a nice hand-stitched cover for his old bible. I fear it gave my family false hope of my impending “salvation,” but I would have done the same no matter what book it was. I also helped arrange for him to be buried with his bible. It was his companion in life so I felt it was only right that it accompany him in the casket. My main reason for this was to minimize the potential for fights and bad feelings among several of his grandchildren who had already expressed an interest in having the bible. Putting the bible in his casket with him took it out of play. When the man from the mortuary asked if we didn’t want to keep it, I told him that too many people wanted it and this was a way of preventing family squabbles. I refrained from telling him I felt it was just so many pages of fiction and there are plenty more copies of it to go around.
Daddy wasn’t the only religious zealot in our family. My oldest sister, more than 15 years older than me, can hold her own as a religious fanatic. Once, when my son was acting up, as children will do, she told me to put the heel of my hand on his forehead and tell the devil to “be gone.” Now bear in mind that this woman has one son who has been in prison since his late teens for murder, and her oldest son has almost completed his life’s work of drinking himself to death. Looks like that plan really worked for her; and still, she has the gall to wonder why I don’t believe.
Her daughter is my favorite family bible-thumper despite the fact that for quite some time she was a member of a Christian sect that I considered to be a true cult, where the pastor often used the pulpit to rail at her parishioners for a variety of personal transgressions because, after all, anyone and anything she didn’t like was “evil.” My niece and sister, among other family members, now know my opinions about religion, but at least my niece has finally learned that she will never be able to change my ideas and attitudes, so she accepts them. That doesn’t stop her from occasionally trying, but she has learned to gracefully accept “shut up” as an answer. I wish her mother would do the same. She loves to make little jabs at me whenever possible. Her most recent attempt involved quite pointedly discussing with her daughter, in front of me, how “When we go to heaven, God will make us forget friends and family members who weren’t saved so we won’t be unhappy.”
It’s no surprise to me that I hedged about my (non) religious views for years. It’s only with the advent of the atheist groups online, which I found through a nephew who also happens to be an atheist (thank you, Donald [http://contributor.yahoo.com/user/111823/donald_pennington.html ]), that I have become more open about my views. Many people who matter very much to me still disagree with my views, some quite vocally so. Nevertheless, I find feeling free to express my thoughts and feelings about religion to be liberating.

Friday, April 13, 2012

F is For FREEDOM – April 2012 Blogging from A to Z Challenge

What happened to freedom in the USA?  When did we begin to lose it again?  There are those who would go back to the days of McCarthyism, which apparently they consider “the good old days.”  Today’s scapegoats are no longer “communists”.  They are women, poor people, and gays – basically anyone who might take away money or power from the “haves.”  I’m not talking about just the financial “haves.”  I’m talking about the biased and bigoted “haves” as well.

The “haves” are the ones who would make it a potential felony to demonstrate in the presence of the Secret Service.  This country was FOUNDED on dissention and demonstrations.

The “haves” are the ones who would make it illegal the videotape the police, or audio tape a court session. 

The “haves” are the 1%.  They are the people who believe they should pay a lower tax rate than the middle class.  After all, they are worth more financially so doesn’t that make them worth more socially?  They are the ones who expect extra tax breaks on the premise that they will “create jobs” then they outsource to other countries and put hundreds of people out of work.

The “haves” are the hyper-religious, and even sometimes the moderately religious.  They feel threatened by anyone and everyone who doesn’t believe in their version of god.  More than that, they fear and hate anyone who doesn’t believe in God.  Basically they fear that which is different.

The “haves” are the people (mostly conservative men) who want to control women by limiting their access to health care, contraception and, yes, abortion. 

The “haves” are the people who believe they can, and have the right to, “close down” Planned Parenthood.  NEWS FLASH!  Planned Parenthood is not a public agency and you don’t have the authority to close them down.

The “haves” are the people who can afford their medical insurance or to pay out of pocket, so they don’t see why anyone should need a safety net. And no, there really is no medical safety net unless you are in abject poverty with children to raise, are disabled, or are over 65 – or you’ve been elected to the US Congress or other high office.  (I’ve actually heard someone say, “If they can’t afford medicine, they shouldn’t get sick.”)

The “haves” are the people who don’t have to worry about their Pell grant being cut off mid-semester, not because they aren’t doing well enough in classes, but because they are progressing too quickly, or who are told they have already “received their limit” when they were counting on the money they were promised to pay their rent and buy food.

Mostly, though, the “haves” are the people who fear that someone will learn that they aren’t perfect. 

I have news for you “haves.” There are more of us than there are of you, and we already know you’re not perfect.