Monthly Archives: March 2010

How to handle your monster, I mean child, in public…

So after college and my grad program, I had grand ideas about jumping right into the publishing world and starting my career as an editorial assistant. Well, fate and the economy hates me/everybody and that didn’t happen. Also, Indianapolis has next to nothing in the publishing field unless I wanted to do textbooks or Christian stuff. Um… no and no. Thanks but no thanks. Pass. So I’ve spent the past six months of my life working at Books-A-Million (after a terrible few weeks working the night shift in an Amazon warehouse, but that’s a whole different story about the gateway to hell). I’ve learned a lot of things in my retail job. Some of them will help in my publishing or other book related career; some of them will help me to be a decent human being.

yoinked from google images. i don't own this picture, don't sue me

Today’s lesson from retail involves children, or should I say, banshees. Oh. My. Dear. Lord. How does a creature so small make such a terrible, shrieking sound at such volumes?! Yes, I’m talking about a child having a tantrum. Whether it’s over a book or toy that they want and a parent won’t get, or a sibling hit them, or they’re being dragged away from the train table, the tantrum is always the same. Children are the reason that I hate weekends in retail, although I did win a bet once for how many tantrums there would be in a Saturday after noon shift. The details were that it had to be for more than five minutes, and you had to be able to hear it from across the store. I bet on five. I won.

Parents, when you have a shrieking child in the store, let me confirm for you that everyone is judging you. Especially the staff. I wish I could say something to these morons that are raising children, but unfortunately, I’m forced to hold my tongue. Does nobody discipline their children anymore?! I’ve had parents who will just sit there and ignore a child as it wails at the top of its lungs for 10 minutes straight. One woman completely ignored her daughter as she kicked and screamed and knocked over books trying to get attention. Ignoring is not the way to treat a tantrum in public. Because while the parent is ignoring, the child is still get enormous amounts of attention from everyone else in the store. Everyone else is looking from the child to the parent wondering how and when the parent will shut the brat up. And so, the child gets the attention it wants, rewarding the tantrum, and the parent looks like a complete idiot.

When a child makes a scene in public, the very first thing you should do is take the child out of public. Drag it kicking and screaming to the bathroom or to the car so that you’re the only person that the tantrum is directed at. Then you use your other disciplinary measures. Counting to ten, grounding, scolding, ignoring, and/or spanking. My mother used to say that if I kept crying, she’d give me something to really cry about; and that would shut me up quick.  The ignoring technique works with some children if they are in a controlled environment like your own home. Put the brat in time out and let it wail its head off where only you, the fine parent, have to suffer. But don’t let it wail in public. This is horrible parenting, everyone else within ear shot is definitely judging you, and some people–like myself–really hate you.

Parents these days just don’t do enough research on why their children act certain ways. Tantrums are ways that children communicate when their limited vocabularies fail. They don’t know how to tell you what they want or need, become frustrated, and because they haven’t developed social skills or any skills, it comes out as a wail. This is how tantrums start. However, they continue when a child learns that it can get what it wants from shrieking. When a parent gives in and buys the child the toy or let’s it have its way to shut it up, the parent is communicating to the child that this is a legitimate way to get something. Deal with tantrums in responsible ways at the time (just let it runs its course where only you have to suffer), and then when your child can actually think again, discuss the proper ways to ask for things. Teach them to use words and not screams. And for the love of all that is holy, take them away from other innocent people. Because you may love your child, but I certainly don’t. Don’t be passive in your child’s life, and don’t just react to get them to stop–that’s worse than being passive. Be the adult and start acting like one!

This rant brought to you by…corporal punishment!!! It’s not just for nuns anymore! So parents, feel free to lay a heavy hand on your child’s behind every once and a while to establish authority and punish bad behavior. (This blogger does not encourage or condone beating your children, using a belt or a paddle or anything other than your bare hand, and spanking should only be a rare form of punishment. Child abuse is not a joking matter and too many children grow up in households where parents or guardians beat the crap out of them. All I’m saying is that there’s a happy balance between not doing anything and abuse, and it’s called a stern spanking when it’s rightly deserved.)

Here’s a link to a news article that says pretty much the same thing as this post, but done much better. Hey, give me a break, I’m learning.http://www.smh.com.au/news/opinion/smack-in-the-middle-of-hysteria/2008/01/23/1201024992191.html

Oh and one last side-note: DON’T LET YOUR CHILDREN PULL THINGS OFF THE SHELVES AND THEN JUST LEAVE THEM ON THE FLOOR!!! Either teach your child to pick up and put it back where it belongs or at least give the pile to a sales associate who will gladly put it away. We get angry when you leave a mess on the floor!!!!!!!!!!!! *takes a deep breath* I just like my store to be clean and straight… Yes, I am a tad OCD.

Reefer Madness!!!

Mary Jane, Oh Mary Jane

When it comes to marijuana, it’s only okay to joke about it. But tell someone you used to hit the reefer in college, and WOAH! Suddenly you’re a hoodlum that fuels the drug cartels and gang violence. Well I’m here as a past user and connoisseur to stick up for this leafy little plant.

I’ll start my case off by stating that, yes, I am a PAST user. I’ve come to realize that you can get in a LOT more trouble for it after college, and it’s just not worth jeopardizing my career and future for a few hits now and again. So I’m sticking to my logic and not using again until this herb is legal. And yes, I would be using it medically and not for recreational purposes.

I have suffered from depression since childhood and have been on anti-depressants since I was fourteen. And every few years, my doctors and shrinks would have to mess with which brand I was taking or up the dosage because the drugs kept losing their effect. I would have at least one depression cycle a year. And when I say depression cycle, I don’t mean that I was sad for a few days a year. I mean that it would screw with my entire life, usually through my sleep cycle. Sometimes I’d have severe insomnia which was the case my freshman year of college when I watched PBS specials all night long in an attempt to fall asleep [and I now know SO many stupid random facts on soooo many topics because of it]. Other times, I’d sleep up to 18 hours a day like sophomore year when I nearly failed a few classes just because I missed so many of them. My depression is debilitating, and you can’t imagine what it’s like unless you’ve experienced it. It dips below the point of suicide to where I don’t even want to commit suicide because that takes effort and I’d probably just screw it up anyway. I’m the huge germ-a-phoebe and I spent three hours lying on the FLOOR OF MY DORM’S BATHROOM because I just didn’t see the point of getting up. I was content to lay there until I died. Therapy, anti-depressants, and light-box therapy could never control the extremes of my depression and mostly turned the world gray without any highs [pardon the pun] to balance out the lows that I was still experiencing.

So now that we’ve covered that I do indeed suffer from depression, I shall make my next statement. In the three years that I used cannabis, I’ve had no depression cycles. I’ve experienced my bad days or my bad weeks like any other person, but I haven’t had a problem with my weight or my sleep cycles which are the two biggest measurable indicators of my depression. That has been a blessing that I cannot even begin to describe. I believe that the cannabis is the reason.

But enough about me personally. Let’s get down to some business. [None of this was actually researched during the time that this post was created. These are all facts and knowledge that I’ve gained over three years of regular use. If I wanted to write a scholarly paper or submit to a medical journal, I’d do research and cite sources, but this is just a blog meant to bring a little enlightenment to those who don’t know much on the subject. I deeply apologize if something is a tad bit off. ] Cannabis was first made illegal in the early 17th century in Jamestown Colony, VA. Why? Because hemp was a competitor with the South’s booming cotton industry. And cannabis is one of those miraculous plants that can grow just about anywhere, including the north. In an attempt to rid cotton of its competition, Southern politicians slapped a Hispanic name on it and used propaganda to spread the word that marijuana was used by blacks and Mexicans and caused insanity, criminality, and death. I love F.D.R, but he’s the one that first crafted a national law making cannabis possession illegal via an unpayable tax on the drug. And the propaganda has stuck all these years. Well it’s time to break that!

Cannabis is much less harmful to the body than the legal vices, alcohol and tobacco, are. It is also impossible to overdose on cannabis. PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE. And it’s not physically addictive. Mentally addictive, maybe, but that also depends on the type of person using cannabis. Cannabis is less harmful than alcohol or tobacco is mainly because it doesn’t poison the body and it’s not altered in any way. You pick the buds off the plant, let them dry a bit, and smoke them. No fermenting, no adding rat poison and god only knows what else. It’s pure as God intended it to be. Now I’m not particularly religious [although I am spiritual, but I’ll probably talk about that in another post], but I do believe that cannabis has religious value. It brings the mind to a calm place that’s divine for yoga and meditation. One of my former roommates loved doing Bible study and worshiping while stoned. Despite popular belief, you can get things done while baked. I find logic problems and crosswords to be extremely amusing while enjoying the pleasures of reefer. It takes me a little longer to do, but the answers are still correct when I check them sober. Many of the stereotypes of stoners are actually false, while some remain very VERY true.

False stereotypes:

Stoners are lazy. SO FALSE. Yes, it’s easy to get sucked in to the TV because you’re not as good at multi-tasking when you’re high, but once you set your mind to doing a task, it gets done. Finding the motivation can be tricky, but that’s any college kid. I loved taking walks or bike rides while baked. It feels nice to use your body and appreciate clean air when you’re in a euphoric state.

Stoners don’t get anything done or don’t amount to anything in life. So many musicians and comedians are baked most of the time, and they have crazy busy schedules. I stayed on the dean’s list at an academically challenging school while smoking at least once a day. In fact, about 75% of my university smoked regularly. Some failed out, but they were going to fail whether or not they smoked reefer. Michael Phelps smokes weed, and he’s got how many Olympic gold medals?? And I can almost guarantee that Shaun White lights up. I mean, COME ON! He’s a snowboarder. And isn’t his super secret snowboarder camp in Colorado? [This is just conjecture at this point. Don’t quote me here; I’m trying to be light-hearted and humorous.] They have the BEST bud there. Oh, and in Canada too. Primo weed in the north.

Stoners are stupid or “Duuuuude, where’s my car???” The weed doesn’t make you dumb. It just happens that a lot of dumb people smoke it. A lot of dumb people drink too, and they just get dumber with alcohol. Try talking to a 4.0 Poli-Sci or Philosophy major who tokes. I promise you that they can STILL  kick your ass in logic, even while baked. Moderation also helps. There is a point when everyone just starts to giggle, but that usually takes a lot unless you’ve got some REALLY primo bud.

True Stereotypes:

Stoners say dude a lot. Dude… it’s true. There’s just something about the way it rolls off the tongue. Groovy is a most excellent choice as well.

Stoners get the munchies. You have no idea how good your favorite food really is until you’ve enjoyed it while high. I can’t even describe what’s different, but it is. OOOOooooOOOooh yes it is. Food is glorious.

The facts boil down to this. Marijuana consumption makes you hungry, sleepy, and happy. What is wrong with any of those things???? These are basic survival needs!!! Cannabis calms nausea, alleviates pain, and floods the brain with dopamine. These are all reasons why it’s prescribed to cancer patients. It balances out the side-effects of radiation. It’s not a cure for cancer, but it makes the cures we have a lot more manageable.  Cannabis is also a great cure for menstrual pains. It also makes sexual climax easier for a women while making it harder [no pun intended] for a man, allowing a women to have multiple orgasms before her partner climaxes. This last statement has been thoroughly tested and approved by this blogger.

Here’s what you can get medical marijuana for:

  1. glaucoma
  2. AIDS wasting
  3. neuropathic pain
  4. multiple sclerosis
  5. chemotherapy-induced nausea
  6. movement disorders
  7. asthma
  8. allergies
  9. inflammation
  10. epilepsy
  11. depression
  12. bipolar disorders
  13. anxiety disorders
  14. dependency and withdrawal symptoms
  15. symptoms of anorexia and agitation in Alzheimer’s patients

So there you have it. It hurts the body less than tobacco and alcohol. It heals the body and mind in so many ways. It was initially made illegal because it was a competition to cotton. It’s unaltered.

IT’S JUST A PLANT.

So come on United States government. Cut your people a break and legalize cannabis already. I’d really not like to suffer from depression again. But I will because I wish to be a law-abiding citizen. I’ll still fight for it to be made legal though because I truly feel that the benefits outweigh the dangers of this delightful little plant. For more details watch “Totally Baked: A Pot-U-Mentary.”

[And on a side note, I plan to pick a wedding dress made of a hemp and silk blend weave. Isn’t it pretty?!?!]

In which I have a grown-up blog… I hope…

What does it really mean to be grown-up? And did my generation read Peter Pan one too many times? Can I pleeeeeeeease wear black Chuck Taylors with my pin-strip suit???? In 11 days (YIKES!!!) I’ll be moving to Washington, D.C. after living in the Midwest for 23 years. I graduated with an English major and Business minor from Wittenberg University. Read my newly created “About WJ” page for all the details.

This blog’s purpose will be to ponder certain aspects of my generation (drinking games, how the hiring freeze has affected the recently graduated, the fascination with Chuck Taylors, and, unfortunately, Twilight), the funnier aspects of working retail to make ends meet, opinions on our culture, and to showcase my writing style. These are probably things the Internet has seen several hundred times before and from people far more talented than I. Nevertheless, I have decided to undertake this adventure and chronicle many of my other pseudo adventures as I explore a new city and adulthood (or rather, what I can pass off as adulthood). This journal will NOT be used to chronicle the everyday events of my life–not a “dear diary.” Cause… who wants to read that anyway??  I have a list of topics I’ll probably tackle first as soon as I put some of my writing samples up. I make a lot of lists in my life and have lots of random pieces of paper floating around my desk.

If you can’t tell, I like asides a lot and use parentheses and my dashes liberally. If it bugs you… tough! Thanks for reading!