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Monthly Archives: November 2012

“What a crazy fluke,

we’re gonna get nuked

on this happy holiday.”                        

         –  “Weird Al” Yankovic

For most people, the thought of any and all December holidays is far more frightening than the words “global thermal nuclear war.”  At least, when the bombs drop, you don’t have to worry about parking.  I worked retail for about ten years.  My stomach still clenches in terror the first time I see a Christmas sale advertisement on TV for the year.  But you can survive the December holidays by following these December holiday stress tips.

December Means More Than Christmas — Get Used To It

There is controversial evidence that Jesus was born in the spring or summer and not mid-winter.  However, mankind (or manunkind) has a tradition of celebrating the winter solstice (the shortest day of the year) and the gradual return of spring with some sort of major party, so the birth of Jesus was good enough of an excuse to party.  Long before Christmas, there was Midwinter’s Day, Saturnalia, Yule and Hanukkah (pardon my spelling).  Kwanzaa has now joined the crowd.  Christmas just gets the most advertising.  I just avoid offending anybody by saying, “Happy December!”

Be Nice To Retail Workers

This December holiday stress tip deserved its own post here.

Don’t Have It On December 25

Christmas, or any date-specific holiday, is a real pain in the patootie just because everyone is expected to celebrate on the same day.  Well, believe it or not, there is no law saying you HAVE to celebrate Christmas only on December 25.  No Christmas police will come knocking at your door is you and your family decide to have Christmas or any other winter celebration in, say, mid January.   Any retail, food service or travel workers in the family will especially appreciate this.  They are so overworked in December that they tend to sleep all through Christmas Day.

It also is a lot less crowded and cheaper to travel in January than in December.  By following this December holiday stress tip, you have time to relax and enjoy your party time.

Never Get A Pet As A Present

Never never never never never never NEVER NEVER get a pet as a Christmas present for someone not expecting it.  This is an often overlooked December holiday stress tip that leads to very serious consequences.  A pet is not something that can be shoved in a closet when you are no longer interested in it.  Also, animals have individual personalities that can clash terribly with your gift recipient’s personality.

You need to invest a lot of time, energy and emotional commitment in properly caring for a pet.  The bustle and excitement of holiday time will freak out a pet rock, let alone an eight week old puppy.  Pets as Christmas presents mean crowded animal shelters by Easter. We already know that human beings treat other species with a total lack of good will.  Let’s not keep this tradition alive, shall we?

Hope these tips help.  Have a stress-free December holiday.

Reverse culture shock sucks!

Reverse culture shock sucks.  I suppose there is a more scientific yet adequate way of describing reverse culture shock, but I haven’t found it yet.  When I came back to the country I was born, America, after five years of living in England, I felt like a fish out of water.  Everything was so weird — the food, the music, the humor, the adverts and especially the attitudes.  This is reverse culture shock.

The thing that really got me was seeing half a pizza in someone’s trash can.  Half a pizza!  What a waste!  I actually went home and cried, remembering nights when I was homeless in England and would have killed for just one slice and here someone was throwing HALF A PIZZA AWAY.  My American family members couldn’t understand why I was so upset.

When you experience reverse culture shock, you see your homeland through another people’s eyes.  It’s like the covers have all been lifted off of the things you took for granted as a kid.  You start to wonder why people in your native country act the way that they do.  But if you start asking questions, others can get nervous.  So you stop asking.

This is a great time to see a professional therapist or go online to find others who suffer from reverse culture shock.  These can be foreign exchange students, veterans, missionaries or people who worked overseas.  You may also discover (as I did) that my previous therapist also experienced reverse culture shock when she went back to visit her native country.

As many Americans sit down to Thanksgiving dinner, any non-Americans in the country are probably stunned into silence at this country’s holiday of consumer greed and endorsed gluttony.  Those Americans who have returned to their home soil after many years will also feel the same way.  It can drive a person into isolation and worsen depression.

But more people than you may think have dealt with reverse culture shock and they know exactly what you are going through.  Although I’m an atheist, I found some good advice about dealing with culture shock from Southern Nazarene University.  They recommend that you:

  • write down your feelings
  • try to ignore what you can’t control (such as another person throwing out a ton of food) and focus on what you can control (by personally making sure you do not waste food)
  • don’t avoid getting done daily tasks, even if they seem a bit weird

Never take your mom’s meds

It’s been a little while since I’ve been able to post on this blog.  I was gone because I took one of my Mom’s sleeping pills last week.  In my defense, my Mom offered the pill to me because I had my period.  I do not sleep well when I have my period.  But that’s another story.

Anyway, I took one 30 mg temazepam (generic) and was there went the week.  I slept for about three days and was stoned for 4 days.  Now, unconsciousness and feeling stoned have their advantages, but not when you have to take care of an invalid mother and a bunch of pets.  I also pooped myself and didn’t realize it for hours.  I see no advantage to that.

Temazepan is also sold  in America under the brand name Restoril.  It’s for short-term insomnia.  My Mom takes it about once a week and swears that she wakes up refreshed the next day.  Of course, she falls asleep about an hour later and most of the next 23, but she’s retired and she can get away with that.  I can’t (dammit.)

Now, I’ve been writing web content since 2006.  During that time, I’ve written dozens, if not hundreds of articles, blog posts and what-not warning people to never take any other person;s medications.  So, of course, I ignored my own advice.  Hey, this was my Mom.  We were alike is so many ways.  We even share the same mental illness diagnosis.  But we have vastly different reactions to temazepan.

Your reactions to prescription medications varies according to your current health, weight, other medications or herbs you may be taking.   Even the manufacturer recommends patients take only 7.5 milligrams until you know how badly temazepan affects you.  And idiot me took 30.   I was lucky not to have stopped breathing.

Next  month, I’ll just get back to my usual menstrual insomnia.  Maybe I’ll be able to get some blogging done.

Boudior photography is where women pose in clothing-optional images.  Most of the time, the setting is a bedroom, which is how this type of photography got its name.  Photos made unique and eye-opening gifts for the women’s significant others.  A woman could be the star of portraits, pin-up posters or calendars.

But what is really eye-opening is that the women who model and pay for these photos are claiming that their self-esteem has greatly improved since the photo shoot.  In an interview with the Dallas Observer, photographer Lynn Michelle says that her clients talk to her about their insecurities.  Perhaps this is the reason why many women claim to feel so good during and after their shoots.

The best boudoir photographers, often women themselves, do tasteful shots featuring a woman’s face or silhouette.  Women do not have to be naked in the photos.  Many choose lingerie, but some wear swimsuits, evening wear, tutus — or just about anything you can think of.

Some women just realized that they looked good until the photographic proof was right in front of them.  What began as an interesting art fad around 2005 has branched into mainstream photography.  Now a wedding isn’t complete until a “morning after” photo shoot (and apparently a “trash the dress” photo shoot as well.)

You want to know what I think of boudoir photography and self-esteem?  Get rid of your partner and learn to masturbate.  Nobody can do it better for you than you.  This way, you don’t have to put up with psycho lovers and their certifiable family members.  You also don’t have to worry if the photos or the negatives fall into the wrong hands.

When I was younger (before my Prozac days) I did pose in naked photos for two of my ex-boyfriends.  I regret doing them and do not recommend suffering from major depression to do them.  Okay, I didn’t look half-bad in them so if they came to light I wouldn’t be that upset.  I am upset to realize that I look a hell of a lot worse since the photos were taken.  Then I eat a pint of Ben & Jerry’s and feel a lot better.

I wonder if there will ever be Ben & Jerry’s photo shoots?