You Are At The Archives for March 2012

29 March 2012 in , , , ,

Bizzarrooo World...

MARCH 29, 2012

OK. So many places to start with this one, it actually leaves me a little speechless. We as a society dress our dogs and put our children on leashes. That's messed up! This continent has officially gone nuts. Get a grip people.

Dear pet owners, your dog will do just fine without the latest threads. Believe me clothes are not imperative to an animal's survival. They have this little thing called fur, which stays on for, well....EVER.  I'm pretty sure your four legged friend will still eat, shit and sleep the same way whether it is sporting a Burberry coat or not. Don't try to peg me as some animal hater here either. That could not be further from truth. There is a miniature pincher in my life, her name is Maple. She doesn't belong to me, she belongs to my sister. That does not change the fact that I love Maple. I dog sit her when my sister goes out of town and I very much enjoy it. However in the winter I have to put on her stupid outfit as directed by my sister. I put on her coat and her shoes, yes she has shoes. I put them on reluctantly. But I do it.  I mean when it's -40, I can see how a dog that size would get a little chilly. Fair enough, I suppose I can agree with the fact that sometimes these clothes serve a purpose. Sometimes they are funny and cute, but some people take it overboard.

I don't see the point in giving your dog a ponytail, dressing him in jeans and a wife-beater then making him pose for what looks like a professional photo shoot. The one in the dress isn't any better. That's weird. That's over the top. That's completely unnecessary. Do people think dogs enjoy this? Do dogs enjoy this? Are people really this bored? Why not take the dog for a walk, or throw a bone without having the dog visit the beauty parlour first.  

And children owners, is that how I should refer to you? As far as I'm concerned you gave up the right to be called a parent the second you put your child on a leash. A LEASH. I mean it is actually laughable. I will admit I don't have children, but I can say with confidence that when I do they will not be raised on a leash. Why? Hmmm, maybe because they are not a dog. Are the people who are dressing their dogs the same people that put their kids on leashes? I am honestly baffled. I suppose an argument for safety can be made here. It keeps kids safer. You know what else keeps kids safe, and I'm just going out on a limb here, good parents that actually pay attention to their children. A leash for your child is another tool to allow you as the parent to not have to pay attention. I can't shake the feeling of how degrading it is. Is lovingly holding your child's hand the old phased out way of doing things? 

I don't want to down play the fact that parenting is hard, and that it gets tiring and that sometimes you are just at your wits end. I dig that. There has to be a better way than a leash though? 

So answer me this, when your child is embarrassing you at an establishment will you take them outside and tie them to a pole? And in the spirit of being ridiculous, can leashed and unleashed kids play together or should playgrounds be separated into leash and off leash areas?

the outspoken introvert

18 March 2012 in , ,

There's a pill for that.

MARCH 18, 2012

So the war on drugs wages on but is it being fought on the right front? I used to think it was easy to distinguish bad drugs from good ones; legal was good and illegal was bad. My naive way of thinking amuses me now. Being legal does not necessarily make something less harmful. Being legal simply means that it's distribution occurs in a different market; that market being the pharmacy as opposed to the street.

Heroin, for example, is horrible. Highly addictive with life changing consequences. It is illegal now, but in the past it was prescribed for pain.

Cocaine, is another one which now, is also illegal because of it's addictive qualities. It used to be prescribed for a number of things ranging from exhaustion to depression.

Marijuana can't be left out of the mix. Although it is illegal for recreational use, it is prescribed medically to help with a number of conditions. It is important to point out that in potency Mary Jane pales in comparison to the drugs listed above.

Throughout the years these drugs have gained quite a stigma. What worries me is that they originated as popularly prescribed medications. So is Valium the next marijuana and Oxycontin the next heroin? It is generally assumed that if it's prescribed by a doctor it's safe. This is a dangerous assumption to make in our drug obsessed culture. 

There is a pill for everything. If you have a headache, you take an Advil. Migraine, something stronger. If your body is aching, you take a Tylenol. If your stomach hurts, you drink a little Pepto-Bismol. If your dick can't get hard, pop Viagra. If you're sad, eat a Prozac. Having trouble concentrating, Ritalin will sort you out. Trouble sleeping, there is sleeping pills. A little anxiety, Valium will fix that. Pain, don't worry take an Oxycontin or Percocet. Don't want a baby, take your pick of birth control.

We are consuming over the counter and prescription medications in copious amounts. Who is paying attention to their effects? Oxycontin is an opiate and derived from the same source as heroin, it's addiction is reaching epidemic levels; yet it is still prescribed. Valium and the sort, such as Diazapam and Ativan are turning people into walking zombies unable to feel real emotion. Prolonged uses can result in memory loss and rage. Birth control pills are being recalled all over the place from causing irreparable damage such as blindness, blood clots and death. Ritalin, if used by someone who does not have ADHD has the effect of the street drug speed. Prolonged and excessive use of Advil can lead to breathing problems and hallucinations.  Tylenol has proven to cause liver damage.

The inspiration for this post came from a TIME Magazine article ADHD: Why the Youngest Kids in a Class Are Most Likely to be Diagnosed. I won't go into details of the article here. You should really check it out, even if you just skim over it. It makes a very compelling case. It's disheartening that Ritalin is being pushed onto kids who might not even have a disorder to begin with. They might just be regular, distracted kids. Not to mention the effects of growing up thinking you have ADHD, when you don't! Without standardized testing, it's really one guess over another.

Drugs are suppose to be available with a prescription because that is suppose to act as a checks and balance to keep them out of the wrong hands. That is a great little thought in theory, if it resembled reality even slightly it would be even better. Doctor's are given kick backs from pharmaceutical company's for using their product. It's almost like a commission. People die because of the wrong combination of drugs being prescribed to them. A lot of the celebrities who have passed away in recent years have been found with wrong combinations of prescription medications. It wasn't a street drug overdose. 

I'm not saying that we should doubt every single doctor, the majority are well-meaning individuals. However, we should be aware about what we are putting into our bodies. If you're not going to willingly roll up a bill and snort coke up your nose then you probably shouldn't fill that prescription blindly either. READ and LEARN. I'm not implying that everyone go to med school, but we should be aware. Prescription drugs can be just as addictive and harmful as street drugs; you just buy them in different places.

It is very clear that a guy selling blow or heroin by the pounds should be in jail. How about the guy prescribing Oxy and Valium like it's candy? Does the fact that he wears a white coat and has a prescription pad make him any less of a drug dealer; especially when he collects a bonus cheque from big pharma? 

the outspoken introvert

06 March 2012 in , , , ,

A Quick Guide to Apologies

MARCH 6, 2012

I rarely have to apologize because I'm perfect and never do anything that warrants an apology! (Insert sarcastic font, if it existed.)  I'm definitely no communication expert, but throughout my years of apologizing I have noticed things. Things which I will share with you.

For those of you who screw up from time to time pay attention; a proper apology goes a long way. Firstly, I have a general rule which I try to follow fairly rigorously. If I'm not actually sorry, I don't apologize. I don't see how my insincere apology is suppose to make things better. I'm lying! Which makes things worse.

Now let's get to the nitty gritty. 

I'm sorry, but...
Take but out of that equation and you might get somewhere. The but is a huge no no. You should omit it at all costs. Three letters cancel out the main attraction the, I'm sorry. Nothing positive can possibly come after the but. You're sorry, but it's still their fault. That's not the way it's supposed to work. Let me demonstrate:

"I'm sorry, I really didn't mean it like that. Let me explain."


"I'm sorry, that's not what I meant; but if you hadn't brought it up we wouldn't be having this conversation."

The but creates a backhanded apology; it's quite clear. See the difference?  If you don't, you're a lost cause so don't waste your time reading further.  Keep it simple, say I'm sorry and state why. 

I'm sorry that's the way you feel...
You might be sorry that's the way they feel, but if they feel that way because of you, own up to it. From my experience there are two sentences there:

1. "I'm sorry."
2. "That's the way you feel."

This is easy peasy stuff. If you're looking to resolve matters with a constructive conversation start with the first one. If however, you're feeling argumentative and want to get into a fight please feel free to go with number two. Better yet combine them. Clearly when dealing with an apology aggravating statements should be kept to, non-existent. Therefore, I'd suggest steering clear of pointing out that you're right and the other person, and their feelings, are wrong.

Wide open arms
Apologizing isn't always an easy thing to do and therefore it carries with it a set of expectations. The person who was wronged expects an apology. Those who have screwed up come to the realization that they have to apologize. Ok. This apology usually comes with the expectation that everything will be forgiven once they muster out the I'm sorry. Hopefully they'll leave out the but. Clearly they should be welcomed with open arms, a drink, a laugh, maybe a little dance and the wrongdoing should be forgotten in it's entirety. Stop it people who screw up! Don't make it about you. If you screwed up allow the forgiver some space, don't just expect their forgiveness and a clean slate immediately. Sometimes you might not be forgiven. That doesn't mean you shouldn't apologize. Forgivers, remember that this space is supposed to be used for reflection on the apology and  to forgive; not to torture the person who is apologizing with silent treatment. 

If these tips fail you, I'm sorry I'm not an expert. However, refer to the Formal Apology Template above, it might be better equipped to help you out.

the outspoken introvert 

05 March 2012 in ,

Spread the blame, or not.

MARCH 5, 2012

Although a little outdated the cartoon still makes a good point. We as a society have gotten good at shifting blame. We are only a culture of "I" when it comes to pleasures; surely nobody wants to deny themselves anything. The tables turn when it comes to troubles though, immediately we turn into a culture of "you". Nothing is ever anyone's fault, it's always somebody else's.

It's pathetic really. We are responsible for how our lives turn out! Yes, of course other people have an impact. Sometimes it's good and other times it's not but that does not mean that they dictate the way your story goes. You have to take responsibility for that. 

Taking the above cartoon into account, I've encountered teachers who would have been more suited to be Stalin's personal assistant rather than an educator but me failing a class is not their fault. It's mine. School is just one facet of this trend. Blame shifting happens everywhere, in one way or another it affects our personal and business relationships as well. I see it everyday. I've done it.

Sure there's been times when I've blamed others for my problems. It makes it easier to deal with, depending on how serious the issue was. There has been times where I've felt like the victim and felt hard done by and like all of it was someone else's fault. Of course I get down when times get tough but after a while I get annoyed with self pity and I have to do something about it. Ultimately I'm the only one that can. I believe in personal accountability, it's my story. 

There has to come a point where one stops blaming others. It is imperative to one's evolution as a human being. We have to admit to our mistakes. We have to own them. We have to fix them.  If blame is constantly shifted to other individuals we never learn anything. Instead it reinforces the idea that we can be below average versions of ourselves and that we can get away with it. It is a self-deluded way of going through life.

In the end it comes down to a choice, an honest self-evaluation is hard. Are you going to own up to it or are you going to pass the buck?

the outspoken introvert

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