Thursday, July 26, 2012

Hearty Chuckle Thursday

... because those things just freak me out...

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Cute Photo Tuesday

Is your "case of the Mondays" happening today? Did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed? Were you like me and got woken up by actually falling out of bed?

Here's a baby penguin to cheer you up :)

See? You feel better already! Ha!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Hearty Chuckle Thursday

...because that would just be a scary, awful world to live in...

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Cute Photo Tuesday

Having a case of the grumps like me today? This may cheer you up, as it did me :)

Walrus' reaction after getting a birthday cake made out of fish.
And you may now smile :)

Friday, July 13, 2012

50 Shades of Lusting After Magic Mike

Objectification of women is nothing new. We see it everywhere: movies, TV shows, advertisements, strip clubs, at the mall, etc.

Neither is the objectification of men. I think that women are smart in that they act appalled that men are "perverts," but do the same thing behind closed doors. I think that women know how to be "ladylike" and whisper and giggle rather than cat-call. I also think that women are not that different from men.

Case and point: Magic Mike and 50 Shades of Grey.

Don't get me wrong.... I am not saying we are exactly the same. But, men get a bad wrap for "acting like guys" and oogling women's booties and boobs. And sometimes, they make excuses for their behavior. But, don't women do a similar thing? Only maybe we don't shout out inappropriate things or say that we'd like to "tap that." (Although I've actually heard a few women say that.) Instead, we fantasize about marrying the guy or dating him or "what it would be like" to [fill in the blank]. We are not that different from men.

I knew right away that Magic Mike was off limits for me. As soon as the preview finished, I had to catch my breath. That Channing Tatum. He's an attractive guy. And he definitely has moves like Jagger. But, I knew that whatever that movie planted in my head would be there for a while. The dancing. The muscles. The love story. And down the road, I would compare. Why can't my boyfriend/husband look like Magic Mike? Stripping is okay, as long as the person needs the money, right? Maybe I can just watch that one scene again, and I won't feel so lonely tonight.

Don't get me wrong, I have not seen the movie. I have no idea what it's about other than an article that claims it's based on Mr. Tatum's past as a stripper. And by based, I mean it probably has hardly anything to do with it other than the nudity. But, somehow, this makes women feel liberated and like they are in some sisterhood. 73% of the audience the opening weekend was female. I was shocked and saddened to see two of those women were past mentors.

I had not heard of 50 Shades of Grey until a few women spoke of it at church. They were against it, calling it pornography. It wasn't a book-bashing, but they made it clear where they stood and why. The rebel in me wanted to have the "you can't tell me what not to read" attitude, and then I stopped. These women love me. And love the Lord. Because of those two facts, I can deduce that what they say is rooted in love for me and the Lord. Even if it's "don't read this book." And the more reviews I've read about the series (because why write one of those books when you can write a a whole flock of them!), the more I am saddened for women.

I read this article today that had a quote in it. “[‘50 Shades’] is less about overt sex and more about the things every woman wants,” says Jenny Hutt, SiriusXM host and “Shades” obsessive. “They allegedly have this S&M relationship — but he doesn’t ever hurt her! It’s about women wanting to be adored, ravaged and respected. The book serves as a reminder to women that it’s OK to like sex, to want it. But at its base, it’s romantic."

I think a lot is lost in the fact that women keep fighting for their liberation: sexually, financially, relationally, professionally, emotionally and spiritually. Do these women not know that they have already been liberated? We [women] need to stop acting like the oppressed and start walking out the freedom that women's liberation did and, more importantly, the freedom that Christ died for.

We. Are. FREE. We don't need a book full of sexually-charged chapters to remind us of that. We need to walk out healthy relationships the way God intended. Sin is oppressive. So, if you're walking in sin and experience sex outside of how God intended, it is going to feel shameful and you are in bondage to that. That is normal. That is life without God. But, He has so much more for us than that life. Instead of reading books that help us feel like we have more sexual power or more sexual rights or more sexual freedoms, we need to be looking to the One True God that will satisfy our hearts. That is the freedom and validation that our hearts crave.

Here's what I'm not saying:
-If you've read 50 Shades, I am judging you.
-If you've watching Magic Mike, I am judging you.
-Women aren't allowed to be attracted to half-naked men.
-I am above being crass and inappropriate.

Here's what I'm saying:
We have an opportunity to stop treating each other like pieces of meat and instead to pursue healthy relationships with ourselves and one another. God designed us to be sexual beings. It is not wrong to be turned on by something. But, when it's when we treat sex (a good thing) as an idol (an ultimate thing), that things get dicey. Maybe Magic Mike and 50 Shades make women feel like they, too, can stand up and shout, "I'm sexual and it's okay!" But, there are ways to "be okay" with your sexuality without objectifying a person as a sexual object.

Other posts on the topic:
Jarrid Wilson: Magic Mike
Ms. Gore's Diary: Magic Mike Who?
Melissa Jenna: 50 Shades of Magic Mike (In which I am VERY UNCOOL)
The Wardrobe Door: 50 Shades of Magic Mike- The Pornification of Women

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Hearty Chuckle Thursday

Because it's Thursday, which is almost the weekend, I thought it was quite appropriate for some funnies to tide us over.

Monday, July 9, 2012

#Lynchpocalypse: Fallen (Under)Wire

On June 29th, 2012, The Derecho of 2012 swept through Indiana, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia. If this is the first #lynchpocalypse post that you are reading, stop now and read The Derecho and Bridge Jumping. Those should catch you up with the rest of us.

If you know anything about me, you know that I have a hard time remaining serious for a long period of time. It is just uncomfortable for me. And so, I make jokes. I make light of heavy topics. I offend people, sometimes accidentally and sometimes knowing that I'm being offensive. But, I can be serious. Sometimes.

So, in the wake of the seriousness of El Derecho, I cracked jokes, tweeted jokes, and facebooked jokes. I just needed to.

I'm still convinced that this is funny, so if you do not, I am sorry (kind of). But, I think the momentary wit was entertaining, especially since AEP was too busy to reply/refused to reply.

Where it all began...

Like a mature human, when I didn't get a response, I cracked a joke about (under)wire.

I checked in the next day when their SM person ignored me.

I was getting a little desperate for attention, I guess. No shame.

A thought came to me: be nice to them and they will give me something.... anything...
Nope! Still nothing...   -___-

I was feeling defeated with Operation: AEP @Reply.

But, I wanted to try. Maybe if my friends RTed my comment, they would listen. Wrong. Sigh.

My last fruitless effort at (selfishly) getting a tiny bit of attention from the busy AEP workers.

They have not heard the last of me. Project Fallen (Under)wire 2012 lives on.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

#Lynchpocalypse: Bridge Jumping

First of all, Happy Independence Day! I know that it is really the 8th, but I started this post four days ago. So, Happy Anniversary of Freedom to Us :)

Now that little order of business is taken care of, on to the sequel to the first part of the Lynchpocalypse Series. Apparently, a few people (No, I won't embarrass you by calling you out, @jennnyv and @sportgym1. Oh.... oooops! Haha!) were upset by the cliff hanger at the end. For that, I apologize. Maybe I wanted to leave you hanging so that you would want to come back to my blog? Or..... maybe the tiny human that I nanny had just woken up and I had things to attend to. Probably that last one.
Whenever you make plans with a group, it's important to know that there are variables. And you should always have a back-up plan. Originally, the plans were to hike to The Devil's Marbleyard. I personally wasn't too keen on climbing over huge boulders in the heat, so I was going to sit that one out.

Then came the forecast for 100+ degree weather.

So in walked Plan B. Plan B was to do something involving water. Simple enough. I was definitely up for that. We were going to drive up to the Arnold Valley Pool, which was a natural spring up in the mountains. Swimming in cool water all day definitely seemed more appealing to me!

And then Derecho happened.
In the wake of Mr. Derecho,we decided the thing we wanted more than anything was to submerge ourselves in water and splash around.

But alas, there were roadblocks.

Roadblock #1: No Power. This meant no grocery stores were open, no ice for our coolers, no food, no cold drinks, and no ability to pay for things (unless you already happened to have cash).

Solution #1: Sheetz. All the Sheetz gas stations were opened. They just didn't have any power. So, we made the "gas station food" our lunch/breakfast, bought mildly cool drinks, and fretted over the fact that no power = no gas for one of the cars.
And, for the record, no road trip is complete without a Hot Pocket or two.
What're you gonna make? Hot Pocket!

The trick was on how to cook it... But don't worry. I found a solution!!

100 degree weather + a car dashboard = somewhat gooey H.P. :)

Solution #2: "Out in the Sticks" BP on the Way to the Water. That gas station meant a lot to me. Some of the things that we were able to obtain was ice, cold drinks, real food, ice cream and gas. That gas station may have been laughably in the middle of nowhere, but it hooked us up with legit stuff.
Literal Roadblocks: Path to Arnold Valley Pool Closed. These came as we tried to enter the Blue Ridge Parkway. Storm damage was much more than we anticipated. When we got to the road, there were cones to the immediate right. So, we peeled out to the left, undefeated. We drove almost a mile and came to a screeching halt. Road. Block.
To some, road blocks are an invitation. Not to us...
Solution #3: Begin Plan B Plan C. We headed a few miles back down the road to the James River Footbridge. Why? The title of this blog says it all: Bridge Jumping. As if being part of a 700-mile storm that compares to an F1 tornado wasn't enough, we decided it was a good idea to fling ourselves off ledges and a 45-foot bring into the 20-foot-deep river below.
The James River, viewed from a tall, tall ledge.
On my VA bucket list are many things that I could only do here in Virginia. One of them is to jump off that bridge.... and hopefully not die.

Then we arrived and I looked at the bridge up close.
My friend, Jen, surveying the jump.
That sucker is high.
Like, really high.

Like high enough that I knew I couldn't do it on my first try.

I had three brave friends. And by brave, I mean that they stood on the ledge of the bridge for a considerable amount of time. Mary was up there for about twenty minutes and then leaped off, yelling unintelligible phrases. The other two stood on that ledge for a little over an hour. Waiting, hoping and praying for the courage to step off the ledge into the air. Jaime jumped with the help of a cute boy, who offered his, "Do you want me to jump with you?" services. She happily let him join her. After a couple deep breaths and a countdown, Jen did it!
Getting into position.

I was so proud of them.

Inspired, I jumped off a three-foot ledge. Go me.

The adventurers of the day.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

#Lynchpocalypse: The Derecho

What is a derecho? Yeah. I thought most people would be asking that. I didn't know what one was until this past Friday. And the only reason I found out what it meant was because one ripped through where I live.

Derecho: a widespread and long-lived straight-line windstorm that is associated with a fast-moving band of severe thunderstorms. They travel in the direction of movement of their associated storms, similar to an outflow boundary (gust front), except that the wind is sustained and generally increases in strength behind the front. A warm weather phenomenon, derechos occur mostly in summer, especially June and July in the Northern Hemisphere. They can occur at any time of the year and occur as frequently at night as in the daylight hours.

Okay, enough nerd time. So, basically freak winds of 70+ mph ripped crap up. It was kinda scary. No, it was quite frightening actually. I think the thing that made it the scariest was the fact that I was driving in the middle of it. That was my choice, so I blame no one. No complaints. But, it was still scary.

The lights started flickering when I got out of the shower at home, so I quickly got dressed and booked for my friend's house who still had power at that point. I figured if the power went off, at least we'd be together in the creepy-creepy dark.

As soon as I started driving, I had doubts as to whether it was an actual good idea, or if my panic was just ignited. Less than a block from my friend's street, my suspicions of just how dangerous the weather was getting was confirmed as an entire tree fell on the two vehicles in front of me

If you had trouble understanding that because of the crazy italics, let me clarify:

I was driving behind an SUV and a pick-up truck. 
They were side-by-side. 
A fully-mature tree snapped and fell. 
On the vehicles. 
While we were driving. 
It was one of the scariest things that I have seen. 
Mostly because, well.... who expects that you will be driving down the street and a tree may fall on you?
Probably me and those two people, now.

Power ended up being knocked in millions of homes in Ohio, West Virginia and Virginia due to Derecho 2012. Originally, AEP estimated that we would get power back on the 7th. So, a few of us that were already planning a trip up to swim in the mountains decided to band together. We went on our trip after finding a few stores that were open (whether or not they had power was an entirely different question).

The blog to follow is the entirely true story of what happens when a group of half sane-half crazy women are forced into community.... 

Stay tuned. But, in the meantime, here's a sneak preview of some of what is to come