Next Tuesday is the day. And I truly hope everyone is already registered and planning to vote in the upcoming election. I found some statistics that really made me sad. According to life.familyeducation.com only 54 percent of eligible voters cast their ballots during the last four decades of presidential elections. Compare that embarrassing number to Italy's 90 percent, Germany's 80 percent, France and Canada's 76 percent, Britain's 75 percent and Japan's 71 percent. We rank 35th in voter turnout out of the world's prominent democracies. If that doesn't make you feel a little ashamed, I don't know what will. And, honestly, I'm not sure what causes the feeling of indifference towards voting. Sure, sometimes I can feel like my vote really won't matter, but more and more people are feeling that way. This is supposed to be a strong, proud country. We need to end the apathy. In my opinion, you have no right to complain about how the country, state, county or city are being run unless you participated in the democratic process. If you aren't well informed and involved with bettering your community, how can you just sit there and complain about what's going on? I'm not trying to wag my finger at anyone, I'm just trying to light a fire under a few butts. This is serious stuff. Whether you're a Democrat, Republican or anything in between, we need to care enough about our country to really do something. This country was built on the idea that every person would have a say in how things were run. We just can't forget that.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
So, after hearing that basically everyone suffers from "Agh, is that me?!?" syndrome when they see themselves in pictures, I went back to look at some of mine and I decided it was the way I'm posed that makes me look 30 pounds heavier than I feel. So, I decided I'd check the Internet for tips on how to look good in pictures. Though I'm not sure they'd all work for impromptu pictures, if you get used to them, they could become second nature.
- Always turn partially sideways with your weight on your back foot.
- To minimize appearance of a double chin, pull head slightly forward and press your tongue to the roof of your mouth.
- Watch your posture! Pull shoulders back, chest up, and there's no shame is sucking in, but only a little. You don't want it to look like you were sucking in.
- Use items you're holding to camouflage areas on your body you're self conscious about. Like holding your purse in front of your stomach.
- Hold arms just slightly away from your body to keep the upper arm from looking flabby. But don't look like you're about to fly away.
- If you're planning a photo, opt for a monochromatic look. One color from head to toe is always slimming, even if it's not black, though darks are better at this than lights.
- Invest in some Spanx. I don't think there's a woman out there that couldn't benefit from some Spanx!
- Finally, to get a fresh, natural looking smile, look away from the camera, then turn towards it and smile just before it takes the shot. This is not easy, and takes some practice to master
I'm sure it would take some practice to master these. And if you're going to practice, do it behind closed doors so you don't look like a crazy person. Really, though, pictures aren't about looking back and thinking, "Mmmm, smokin'!" They're for memories. Remembering a great experience you had. So, I guess just stop stressing and smile. It's better than not having a picture at all.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Growing up, Halloween was one of the greatest holidays. Not only was it great to dress up, but trick-or-treating was one of the most enjoyable traditions out there. Back when you'd get all dressed up and, with supervision of course, you walk around your neighborhood door-to-door, ringing doorbells and yelling trick or treat with such thrill that you barely noticed the terrible cold (Utah+October=FREEZING!!). But this tradition is fast becoming nothing more than a memory. First, it moved from door-to-door to trunk-r-treat. This may have been a Utah thing as it centered around the Mormon church. The members would get together in the parking lot and kids would go from trunk to trunk collecting candy. Though this still kept the essence of trick-or-treating, it lacked any real threat of the trick and the event went more quickly than the door-to-door method. Then our little town also tried what we called BooFest, where the local businesses on downtown would give out candy to trick-or-treaters. Sadly, both of these traditions have faded and it's simply not safe to go around trick-or-treating anymore, even in our little town. In my opinion the only solution to this is to throw a party. Whether it is simply a family party, or a neighborhood block party, it's really the only route to go anymore. Adults have been having costume parties for years now, but I'm more worried about the kids. But there are so many websites out there giving ideas for Halloween parties, the work is almost done for you. Costume contests are almost necessary, because we don't want to lose the importance of dressing up. And the food is always key, with cauldrons full bubbling over with dry ice, and a menu with spooky names. Or, for slightly older kids, create a haunted house. I loved doing this when I was younger. You could do it in a garage or use laundry line and put up partitions in the back yard. Do it just for the family, or invite the whole neighborhood over. Also, check out this article for some other great and easy alternatives to trick-or-treating, it had the best info I've found. We can't let Halloween die. Just because we can't safely send our kids out trick-or-treating doesn't mean Halloween can't be just as fantastic, if not better. Just don't forget to tell your kids what Halloween used to be like.
Friday, October 17, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Thursday, October 9, 2008
We had an interesting assignment in one of my classes a little while ago to write down ten experiences or adventures we'd like to have in our lives. I really liked the assignment, so I decided to list my ten here. Some of them are very simple, while others may take me a few years. They're not in any particular order, and I'm sure this list will be changed and added to as time goes on, but it's still fun to think about. As mom always taught, life really isn't about the things you acquire, but the experiences you attain...
1. Live in New York City: This one is actually my number one, though I'm not sure when it will happen...
2. Learn French: I've always wanted to be bilingual. Honestly, I'd also like to learn Spanish and Italian as well.
3. Try sushi: Like I said, some of these won't take much effort.
4. Write a book and get it published: Don't ask me the subject, cause I don't know.
5. Run/Complete a 5K: Walking a 5K would probably kill me at this point, but it's good to be ambitious.
6. Visit Europe: Well, western Europe anyway; Spain, France, Italy, England, Ireland, etc.
7. Road trip the old Route 66: I've always thought a road trip would be fun, and Route 66 has to be the most famous.
8. Learn to paint: Watercolor is actually what I'm most interested in, though oil painting would obviously be cool, too.
9. Master yoga: Yoga is hard! Way harder than I expected.
10. Go on a safari: A real one, I really want to touch an elephant. It would just be great to see those animals in their habitat.
Some of these are a little short-sighted. But, I guess that way as I cross them off my list, I can add more to them. I'm sure I'll wake up in the middle of the night thinking "Crap! That should have made it on my list!" but oh well. This is my list as of right now. To me, these are more important that owning a new car, or buying that big new house (or loft, for someone like myself). Besides, those things seem to be getting harder and harder to acquire. But there's nothing stopping me from training for a 5K, or writing a book, for that matter. What would be on your list?
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Friday, October 3, 2008
Ok, you know how they say people who suffer from anorexia or bulimia have a skewed body image. So that if they look in the mirror, they don't see what they really look like, they see someone who is fat. Well, I'm pretty sure I have the opposite problem. And yes, I say problem, because it's still a skewed image. When I look in the mirror some days I see someone who, while being a little overly voluptuous, really isn't too bad. Then I see myself in pictures, and it makes me wonder how off the image in my head is. Again, I'm not looking for any "oh, Becky, but you're beautiful" or "you're not fat", I'm just relaying an interesting thing I've noticed about myself. I don't want reassurance, I'm more interested to hear if this has ever happened to anyone else. And after I have seen myself in a picture or gone clothes shopping (a hell in it's own right) I go the other way and every time I look in the mirror, I see something I'm not so happy with. On those days, all I can focus on is how bloated I feel or how uncomfortable my clothes are. Is this too depressing, because I really don't mean it that way. I see it more as an phenomenon of the female psyche. And I must say, it makes getting ready in the morning a real bitch!