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Posts

  • Don’t We All Want To Kill Ourselves?

    There is a fine line between creativity and mental illness. When tapping into the true artistry of the mind and heart, your sense of reality can change. People who move us the most with their creative gifts allow themselves to examine culture in a manner that digs deeper than most of us are willing or able. Yet the more layers you philosophically peel off of the onion of life, the more the tears are going to flow.

    The tragedy of Robin Williams’s death does not simply lie in the questions surrounding his suicide. The specifics details may not be known, but I think we can assume the genuine and significant existential angst this brilliant man must have experienced. Creative, artistic, reflective people can’t be happy all the time. When you take the time to really sit down to contemplate humanity, the world, and the seeming futility of life, there is no way not to wonder, “What is the point?” People who truly consider the nature of existence will never naively subsist in society.

    In order to get out of bed in the morning, most of us choose to ignore the harshness of life. I don’t wake up thinking about genocide or child prostitution. Instead I worry about what I am going to eat for breakfast and what form of caffeine to ingest. I read the news to stay informed, but I distance myself from the information I am inundated with. “Wow, that sucks about the Ebola outbreak in Africa… sigh… good thing I don’t live there.” To avoid paralysis, I avoid emotionally connecting with the horror of the headlines each day.

    There are moments when the callous, protective, self-involved layer is shed and my rare underbelly is exposed while I weep about how helpless I really feel about the state of the world. In high school I often came home from school and cried – not only about drama in my own daily life, but largely about the merciless awareness growing in me about the grave injustices of the world. The innocent benevolence of my childhood was replaced by the brutal realization of history. I wished with all my heart I didn’t have to feel the truth in this way.

    The reality is the human condition is depressing and many of us are probably slightly depressed all the time. There is so much suffering inherent in being alive. Heartbreak, death, failure, oppression, unfairness, the confusion of identity – there are endless reasons to feel destitute and wonder about ending it all. The journey is how we learn to deal with all the massive disappointments we face. For people who live in the world of Hollywood, the pressure to be adored is unparalleled. While the glory of being worshipped is an intense high, the moments you are not must be a serious low. Robin Williams’ career was spent in an industry that treats people as disposable and replaceable. It had to be challenging as he aged to understand his sense of self without constant public validation.

    People who take their own lives don’t hate life, but actually love it the most. They see and feel beauty so acutely that the pain of the ugliness in our world is too much to bear. The schism of these extremes must be maddening. For those of us who have found self-preservation in the middle, we can never truly understand the power of having those bipolar forces to pull at you. I find comfort in knowing that in addition to the extreme darkness someone must experience to take their life, there was also a time when they were immersed by lightness so bright it was blinding.

    robin-williams-blog-(i)

    August 13, 2014 • Current Events, Health, Musings • Views: 4716

  • Music Is My Boyfriend

    When I think back to my childhood and teen years, the majority of my time was spent in my room, with the door closed, listening to music. I would sing, dance, and play songs that made my cry so I could look in the mirror and watch myself cry and then cry some more because of the sight of my own tears makes me cry. It was all very tragic and emotionally fulfilling.

    Music has served as the mood regulator of my life. It is like Prozac for my soul. I can be in the most pissy state of mind – ready to slap an innocent old lady in the face with my tit – and then I get in my car, pump up the jam, and suddenly I feel amazing. Music transports me into another dimension, and relieves me from the chaos of my mind. Most cases my misery is self-induced, and a driving beat reminds me that life is a ride so I might and well shimmy my shoulders to the rhythm.

    I always have music playing in the background, and I guess this compulsion has passed on to The Munch. She now wants to spend hours a day listening to her songs. Currently we don’t exactly have the same taste, but it is still something we can do together. Munch is really into the soundtracks of The Little Mermaid, Cinderella, and Frozen. Wait… I take that back… we actually do have the same taste because those records are fucking awesome.

    I am sure she will eventually broaden her horizons from Disney movies, but right now she is committed to memorizing every word of every song of every film they ever made. There is a pretty good possibility I will be committed to a mad house before this is accomplished, so pray for me that she transitions to 90’s hip hop soon.

    music-in-room-blog-(i)

    July 18, 2014 • 4 years old, Musings, Old School Stories, Parenting, Playing, Toddler Thoughts • Views: 2339

  • Why Are We Such Hypocrites About Sex?

    When I was a kid my parents took my brother and me to Europe for the summer.  They wanted to show us the places where they grew up, and travel down memory lane with their children to bear witness.  I am sure they took us to many historically significant sites, and spoke with nostalgia about their past gone by – their intentions being to educate and expose us to the culture of our heritage.  But for some reason all I remember about that trip was listening to Prince on my Walkman while driving 120 miles per hour down the Autobahn, and boobs on TV.

    I guess in Europe it was considered okay to advertise yogurt with bare breasts.  Considering the fact that all the beaches were topless, why not have a nipple remind you that strawberry is a delicious flavor for your favorite dairy treat?  Actually, I now remember the topless beaches too, and my being too shy to expose my 7 year old chest, but then also feeling awkward about being the only girl in a full piece bathing suit.  But I was fascinated by the idea that on the beaches in Hungary, showing your breasts was not considered nudity.

    I wonder how we in America can be so uptight about nudity, and yet still use the woman’s body as a selling point for almost every product on the market?  A sexy girl can sell cars, cigarettes, beer, men’s body spray, peanuts, fast food hamburgers…. Yet at the same time if we happen to see a nip slip while she is breastfeeding then quick call the cops and arrest her.  There seems to be such a mixed messages when it comes to female sexuality where it is totally okay for major corporations to exploit her, but if she is to look sexy on her own then she is asking to be raped.

    Which brings me to an article that a fellow blogger wrote about here, where this mom of 3 sons wrote an open letter to teenage girls.  It starts like this “Dear girls, I have some information that might interest you. Last night, as we sometimes do, our family sat around the dining-room table and looked through your social media photos.”

    Okay stop….

    Call me old fashion, but that seems like a really weird thing to do at dinner.  Shouldn’t you guys be talking to each other instead of look at pictures of teen girls on Facebook?

    She then goes on to say how “I think the boys notice other things. For one, it appears that you are not wearing a bra.  I get it – you’re in your room, so you’re heading to bed, right? But then I can’t help but notice the red carpet pose, the extra-arched back, and the sultry pout.  What’s up? None of these positions is one I naturally assume before sleep, this I know.”

    Ummmm, actually yeah I do do that.  It’s actually really great exercise.  But has this women ever looked at a magazine, or turned on the TV?  It seems really condescending to blame girls for being inappropriate when they are imitating what they see as culturally acceptable in our every day media.  And if mom thinks this is the sauciest stuff her kids are seeing on the internet I invite her to do an hour tour of the porn-world that is out there for everyone to enjoy assuming they have fingers to click the “yes I am 18 button.”  And believe you me, the culture of modern pornography is way more disturbing and graphic then any 16 year old trying to look cute before going to bed. (If you are my grandmother read no further… skip to the next paragraph… but I think we should be way more concerned of videos like “2 dicks one ass” and how that is impacting the male expectation of sex then we should care about some young girls mimicking a Vodka add).

    I guess this mom had good intentions with her open letter – thinking that girls should care more about their personalities and intelligence then worrying about posting seductive selfies online.  But at the same time, should females feel ashamed for wanting to be sexually desirable? Or should they alone be held responsible for men wanting to fantasize about them? And why is sex something disgraceful?  I mean I know it is kind of funny that a man puts his wingy-ding in a fuzzy-wuzzy, but that is nothing to be embarrassed about!

    There is this idea that we have to protect our children from sex, and if we keep them away from it they will never be curious about it.  There even seems to be the prevailing opinion that sex or nudity is more dangerous for them to see than violence.  But is this reasonable thinking considering sexualized images are so prevalent in the advertising world and modern pop culture? And I feel like kids in indigenous tribes are exposed to naked people all the time, and I am pretty sure that the exposure makes sex, nudity, and sexuality less intriguing because it is so in their face.  I mean when you are waste-high and constantly have to dodge bumping into genitals, chances are that you are not going to be half as interested in sex as a repressed American teenager.

    hypocrites-about-sex-blog-(i)

    September 6, 2013 • Current Events, Musings, Women's Business • Views: 1512

  • Overcomplicating Important Issues

    I think a lot of people try to sound smart.  There is a fear of being simple.  I have it myself sometimes.  There are moments when I use prose that perhaps may be rooted in embellishment as a means of aggrandized interaction, and potentially I extrapolate my usage of syntax in order to provide the illusion of an excessive capacity and propensity towards immense unyielding intelligence.

    In academia and intellectual circles it is not only commended, but also expected for work to reflect an advanced level of education.  I get that people of graduate level degrees want to experience information that reflects all the time, money and effort they have committed to their brains.  The expectation to communicate this way undoubtedly shapes the conformity towards it, but there is a time and place for that type of mental exertion.  It is fine and dandy to want to look clever in front of your clever friends, but when writing and talking about politics, world issues, the economy, the more people can truly understand what you are saying, the better.

    The capacity to take a complex idea, and translate it into something that is easy to digest is a skill, and takes a lot of fiber.  Bob Marley, Plato, Yogic philosophy, all make the effort for their message be universal.  I understand that news sources feel pressure to cater to a specific audience, but at the same time how are more people going to be reached if the writing is too intimidating.

    When informing people about world events it is not a time to flex your rhetoric.  There is a difference between grandiloquence and discourse.  Considering the average reading level of an American’s is at an 8th grade level, technically all pertinent information should cater to that.  I know Fox news tries to seduce its demographic with flashy graphics and sensationalism, but that doesn’t mean people are getting a more in depth understanding of what’s happening.  Part of why there is so much misinformation is because the most important news is often clouded by incapacity to explain it clearly.

    I recently watched this show called VICE on HBO, which is done in a hipster-gonzo journalism style.  I was immediately impressed with the show and their effort to create media that aims to clearly inform a younger audience about the issues.  But I started reading articles where people were shitting on the show for being too simplistic – just a bunch of bros that aren’t delving into the intricacy of the subjects.  I found myself outraged that people were so arrogantly critical of an attempt to use narrative and story to highlight problems everyone should be aware of.  The snarky comments saying it is only news if you are totally uninformed were absurd in the context of wanting young people to be a part of the dialogue.

    Even though I love Chomsky and want to dry hump his mind, how can we get his words into a forum that everyone can comprehend?  That needs to be the real agenda.  Only when people are inspired and impassioned to learn, will they challenge their minds to read and listen to more complex material.  So why not do everything we can to get people in the door and get the process started?

    (You know… just crawl in a bag and keep things simple)

    overcomplicating-issues-blog-(i)

    April 17, 2013 • 2 years old, Current Events, Musings, Political Banter • Views: 1102

  • Thanks…. I guess

    Leaving your child in the care of another is always a risk.  But it is one of those necessary risks, like eating food you dropped on the floor, or sitting down on a public toilet to diarrhea.  I always appreciate when someone watches The Munch for me, but it means I have less control over what happens in her day.  Especially when said caretaker happens to be my mom.  Who although is exquisite, will do as she damn well pleases – because she is still the boss in our relationship.

    Toni: “So Mom, how was she?”

    Mom: “She was okay.  She had what I like to call a ‘weak day.’”

    Toni: “Ummmm what does that mean?”

    Mom: “Well, she basically watched the Ipad all day.”

    Toni: “What???????!!!!!!!!!”

    Mom: “She seemed pretty tired, so I gave it to her thinking she would fall asleep, but then she didn’t and wouldn’t let me take it away.”

    Toni: “So she watched the IPad for 6 hours today?!!!”

    Mom: “Yeah, pretty much.  I tried to have her watch Dumbo, but she got really upset when they locked Dumbo’s mother up, and made me turn it off.”

    Toni: “Mom are you out of your mind!!!!??? You had her watch the scene in Dumbo when the locked up his mother??? I am still traumatized by that.  I couldn’t watch that now and not weep. “

    Mom: “Yeah, she was pretty distressed by that.”

    Toni: “How could you do that??”

    Mom: “Toni, Dumbo is a beautiful movie.  I could do a whole diatribe on the meaning of Dumbo.”

    Toni: “Mom!! She is only 2! I can’t believe you let her watch the saddest thing ever to be drawn in the history of all film.”

    Mom: “Calm down Toni. Then we watched Alice and Wonderland for a while, but she really didn’t like it when Alice got shrunk into the bottle.  She made me turn that off too.”

    Toni: “Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!”

    Mom: “So then she insisted on watching these stupid silly things.”

    Toni: “You mean, like, a cartoon for a toddler?  Like Mickey Mouse? Or Pokoyo? Something that doesn’t have severe animal abuse or LSD flashbacks?

    Mom: “Something inane like that.  And she kept trying to have me watch it with her, but there is no way I am watching that crap.”

    Toni: “Wow.  Okay.  Well… I am going to go process this information now.”

    Mom: “Think about it this way Toni, at least now you have something to write about.”

    She wasn’t kidding about that!

    PS: I went to look for the scene in Dumbo to share with you.. and it literally comes up as Dumbo Sad Scene in Youtube

    “Seriously…. why did they do that to Dumbo’s Mommy?”

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    March 25, 2013 • 2 years old, Family Drama, Parenting, Talking and Not Talking • Views: 1494