Weekend Introspection

–Sometimes I can be arrogant, and disdainful of other people… but I think at least some of the time, this stems from the frustration I feel at being unable to do anything significant to affect the bad behavior of others.

For instance, today while reading a blog entry on Own Your Shit, (don’t you just love that name?)  I realized after I posted it, how my comments could possibly be construed as arrogant.   I sound as if I feel superior, morally and intellectually, to those careless and self-involved enough to enjoy our beautiful world and yet pollute it with their garbage and ruin it for others.  In a way, I guess I do feel superior…but whether or not you agree with my assessment of their behavior or my own, I believe part of the reason I feel so resentful of them is my inability to reach enough of them to make a difference, and the very real likelihood that it wouldn’t make a difference even if I could.  You can’t argue with self-involved.  You can’t argue with stupid.

Image courtesy of http://littermob.blogspot.com/ .   Check out this site; their efforts on behalf of Mother Earth are commendable.

Image courtesy of “littermob“. Check out this site; their efforts on behalf of Mother Earth are commendable.

— The second “revelation” for the weekend is that maybe I need a change in my perspective when it comes to my smoking.  I should apply the same no bullshit philosophy I have on so many other things and with so many other people to myself.  Basically, you can’t have everything you want.  I should stop being selfish, because even though I enjoy smoking, it would be better for my health (and wallet) if I didn’t, and I owe it to my daughter to be healthy and provide a better example for her.

Oooor, I could just be rationalizing another excuse to quit smoking and thus reduce the anxiety I feel over it.

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Strange Sunday Musings: Tasers and Belly Buttons

1) Do you think there’s a guy somewhere on this planet that has ever tried to sterilize himself with a taser to the nuts?

People do some stupid shit, and the dumb-assery is not just limited to kids.  Grown “adults” who should know better come up with all sorts of inventive ways to cause unintentional bodily damage to themselves.  You would think the outcomes of some of these experiments would be obvious.  Think of all the people who end up in emergency rooms after trying to use vegetables or small furry rodents for sexual satisfaction.  People looking for an easy or cheap way to do something, (or get away with something) and they get these bright ideas.  Think of all the strange warnings on products we buy everyday…those warnings just prove that some moron, somewhere, at some time, tried to do exactly that stupid thing that the label is warning you not to do.

Please do not allow your dog to operate a motor vehicle while on this medication

Please do not allow your dog to operate a motor vehicle while on this medication

Oh, shit...

Oh, shit…

2) Do kittens have belly buttons?

Earlier today, the J* pointed at the cat’s tummy and said “ba-ba?” which is how she says “belly button.”  Hubs said, “No, honey, the kitty doesn’t have a belly button.

I turned to him and said, “Yes, he does!” I know this because I have felt the kitty’s belly button before…  It’s not much more than a small dent in his belly, buried under a lot of fur.

Or have I?

Kittens are placental mammals, and therefore should have belly buttons.  However, unless you are right there at the moment of birth, you may not see the umbilical cord like you would on a human baby.  That’s a mother cat usually chews the cord off after a kitten is born and the mother may then eat the placental sac.

(Image courtesy of Knittin' and Kittens)

(Image courtesy of Knittin’ and Kittens)

So, there you go…  Now, aren’t you glad you asked?

Be Thankful: Finding Beauty in Your Surroundings

I live in a suburban town in KY.  A short drive will take you past a great many fields, some expansive, and most featuring dilapidated but somehow charmingly antiquated barns and farmhouses.   Tobacco fields in the summer.  Cows, horses, and deer.

And of course, there are trailers, and yards littered with children’s toys, one or many broken down and rusted out cars.   A great many of the yards are what you might typically expect of the hillbilly stereotype.

Despite the trashy look of some of the yards, there is much beauty to be seen in the farmers’ fields, shady wooded areas, creeks and rocks.  But when things become commonplace, when we are used to seeing them day in and day out, we forget how amazing some of the little things in our world are.

I admit to being dismayed when I drive through a beautiful area and a hulking industrial structure the nature of which I couldn’t even begin to guess mars the beautiful landscape.  I wish the skeletal looking scaffolds and dirty looking pipes would disappear, and I have to remind myself that it may be ugly, but it probably helps create a service or product most people including me use everyday, and is (or was, if it is no longer in use) a necessary evil, so to speak.

As I said before, I live in a sort of suburban area, still twenty or thirty miles from an actual “city,” but not quite in the middle of nowhere.  I live in an apartment complex, and my front door faces a shopping center.

But as I stood outside enjoying an ill-advised cigarette, I took a moment to enjoy the mild temperature, the look of the wet flora around the small patch of ground that constitutes my “yard.”

Last night I laid in bed thinking about how things are going in my life, and just being thankful.  I have a great husband and kid.  I get to stay at home with my child and write, and this blog, which I started a year ago, is garnering more views everyday.   Maybe it’s not the novel I wanted to have published, but it’s more than I had last year at this time.  My bills are paid up and I have a few bucks left over this week.  I’m looking into classes for something I’ve been thinking about for a while, something that would give me the skills to start the next chapter in my career life.

So I guess the point of this long-winded post is the cliche’d “appreciate the little things.”  Is it still a cliche’ if it’s true?

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Happy Halloween: Be Kind to Bats

Many animals get a bad rep as a result of old superstitions, their “displeasing” appearance, and mostly people’s ignorance.  A couple of my friends and fellow bloggers have already touched on the dangers that cats, especially black cats, may face on Halloween, and where some of those superstitions come from.  You can check them out here and here.

In honor of Halloween, and since cats have already been covered, I’d like to take a brief moment to mention another one of Halloween’s under– appreciated critters– the industrious, beneficial, and [yes, sometimes even] cute Chiroptera… the bat.

First and foremost, bats may seem scary, but not only are they relatively harmless (unless you’re a mosquito or something,) but they are actually beneficial.

Why are bats good?

Most U.S. bats eat insects. A single bat can eat up to 1,200 mosquitoes in one hour. Some bats in the Southwestern U.S. also pollinate plants like the big saguaro cactus while drinking nectar.

How many bats have rabies?

Fewer than 0.5% of bats have rabies. Since 1960 there have only been 40 reported cases of humans getting rabies from bats.

Do bats suck blood?

Few bats drink blood. However there are some Vampire Bats that live in Central America, South America and Mexico that feed on the blood of warm-blooded animals like horses, cattle and birds. 

Source: http://www.eparks.org/wildlife_protection/wildlife_facts/bats/

Plus… come on now, tell me these little guys aren’t the tiniest bit cute!

squueeeeee!

I HEAR yooooou!

Terrifying, ain’t it?

Well, Happy Halloween, everyone.

 Be kind to your furry friends!

Work In Progress- Pen and Pencil Sketch

Medium: Mixed Media PaperGraphite Pencil HB, “Sharpie” Fine Point Pen

work in progress- pen and pencil ©alienredqueen

source image

The sketch is turning out pretty good, considering I don’t do architecture usually…  But the sketch pales in comparison to the beauty of all this green…