Thursday, August 29, 2013

Miley Cyrus Is No Madonna

I finally took time out of my day to watch what everyone has been talking about, Miley Cyrus and Blurred lines.  I have read many reviews about that teddy bear train wreck and saw a trend trying to compare Blurred Lines on The VMAs to Madonna's performance of "Like a Virgin" at the first MTV Video Music Awards. As USA Today said,  the "From Miley to Madonna: VMAS Are The Place To Cross The Line."   Miley Cyrus didn't cross any lines.  She showed up on the other side of the line already naked.  If one is to cross a line, they need to start at the beginning with a lead up to something.  Clearly no one explained to Cyrus the art of, The Tease.

Okay, Miley Cyrus has some talent, but it was impossible to see because it was hidden by her tongue in a sea of teddy bears.  Comparing her performance to Madonna?  No.  Madonna performed and expressed herself in the way consistent with her persona she created.  It matched, it was fun and provocative.   Miley Cyrus was a hot mess.

There's no comparison.  Madonna created herself- "in the wild", if you will.    Miley Cyrus' talent was "farm grown".  She spent her childhood creating a great image, used her acting and singing talent and created her following: young teenagers and tweens.  Yes, that group has grown up but I'm thinking most of the fans who grew up with her,  would not be "twerking" or dry humping people dressed like teddy bears without some ecstasy and glow sticks at a Furbie meet up .  As I watched Cyrus emerge from  the teddy bear, I wondered if it is she, or her choreographer who has a shrine to Gene Simmons in a closet somewhere.

Look, I was no Robin Thick fan before Blurred Lines.  I get my music from itunes suggestions based on my Genius playlists, and yesterday I discovered Spotify.  I still have over 400 CD's.  Yes, I'm not super current like the kids.  I'm more into Foo Fighters and looking forward to the new album by System of a Down.  I dabble in pop and every now and then I like it.  So, I was really hoping Robin Thicke would be as hot as he sounded in the song and he was dressed like Beatleguise.
BEATLEGUISE!!!   It really didn't do anything for Michael Keaton's sex appeal, so I'm not sure what the hell Robin Thicke was thinking.  Together, Miley and Robin looked like 80s & 00's sitcom movie mash up gone horribly wrong.

I want to forget that whole thing happened.  I'm commenting in defense of Madonna.  Back in the day,  she took some chances and succeeded.  Probably because she was not once a child star with a following of tweens, etc...  Although we didn't mind dressing like her.  It was cool and creative.  The best part was, you could have fun with it.  I never took dancing classes and if I wanted to, I could finally wear a tutu to school.  Yes, I wore spandex and animal prints, but I also had lacy gloves.  Yes, I loved Madonna.  I'm coming out of the closet to all my friends here.  I LOVED HER!  But Madonna's influence was about being suggestive and pushing boundaries.  We saw her roll around on the floor and we could only assume she was "playing with her kitty"- and no one was on that stage but her when she was ding the deed.  AND, she did it at the end of the song.  She didn't have to simulate anything until she wanted to and that is the art of the tease.  Madonna played to her audience.  Not a random group of people onstage.  She made it clear she was in charge.  So, there is no comparison.  So USA Today, this is me, giving you the finger. Well, it's more like that thing Ross and Monica did in front of their parents, but you get the point.  Miley Cyrus is no Madonna.  And Brittany Spears is a whole other post I would not waste my time writing.

Won't someone please think of the children?!!!
Look, your kids have already seen creepier stuff.  Parents watching this with their tweens could use this as a teaching moment, instead of screaming to the networks about "showing sex to kids".  It's the VMAs.  They have been around nearly 30 years and "twerking" and crotch grabbing are nothing new.  Shut up about the networks' responsibility and parent your kids.  All you need to do is talk with them.  So if you want to think of the children, point that finger at yourself, not the networks.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Plants Don't Bark

You know those friends we have that help us move, confide in and think they know us better than anyone? We claim they know where we have "hidden the bodies" or help us tend that graveyard of skeletons in our closets.    They don't know anything compared to our pets.  In my case, it's my dogs.

This is a "shaming picture of my dog, Murphy.
I found this BBQ grill brush in her crate.
Thank goodness there is no site to "shame" dog parents!

My dogs have seen things I would never share with my friends.  They come into the room when I get out of the shower, I don't kick them out of the room if I'm having sex and I don't leave the room if I'm having a private conversation on the phone.  My dogs not only know where I hide the bodies, they know why exactly they need burying.

I am often asked if I still have my dogs. Let's face it, two dogs plus a kid, in a one bedroom apartment isn't exactly ideal, but dogs are not disposable. Just because I have gone from a Mc Mansion in the 'burbs, to an apartment in the city.  They bark when I would rather they be quite.  They need to be feed and walked, and they are not shy about reminding me with a bark if I'm stalling them while I'm involved in a Twitter chat.  Yes, dogs are work, but it's the good kind of work.

Plants come to my home to die, because lets's face it: Plants don't bark.  Last year, my son gave me and his stepmom tomato plants.  Every time I go pick up my son, I smile at the tomato plant thriving in my son's step-mom's yard.  It's a beautiful plant that brings an abundance of tomatoes, while my gift has decomposed and contributed to the growth of the grass in a backyard somewhere in Murrieta.  I'm okay with it, and so is my son.  My son knows I am far from perfect, but he does know I love him and a dead tomato plant has only taught him to deal with disappointment.  (My parent of the year award  must be lost in the mail.)

Murphy, Flapjack, my son and me circa 2004

My dogs get me out of bed in the morning.  It used to be my son, but he is with his dad half the time.  Children also grow up.  Soon he will be a teenager and will be too busy being angry with me to wake me up early and only rely on me as a food source.  But my dogs, they will never reach puberty.  They will nurture my maternal instincts because they can bark.  I was reminded this morning that my dogs keep me going.

I woke up to hear Murphy with her usual growly wine to take her outside.  (Flapjack will be here after September 1st.)  I opened my eyes and immediately noticed I had no air conditioner, my mouth was bone dry and my body just ached, especially my hands.  I did not want to get out of bed, but I could not let Murphy start barking.  (This is why plants die in my home- they can't bark.)  If  I don't have to get out of bed in the morning and I feel awful, I won't.  I think that's why I prefer living alone.

When a human stays with me, they take into consideration that I may not be feeling well, and will take the dogs out for me, to let me get the rest I might need.  It's really nice sometimes, if I do need a break- don't get me wrong.  I will admit, that with scleroderma and sarcoidosis, rest is good, but only sometimes.   I can lay in bed all day and I will not feel better.  If I get up, it takes me less than an hour to shake off the blah to push through pain that comes with living with a chronic illness.  For me, my state of mind can be my biggest motivator or  my biggest obstacle- but that's a whole other post.
Flapjack, after finishing a great book

Back to this morning: I threw on a hoodie over my Callahan Auto Parts shirt, pants (this time), shoes and take us out.  As soon as the door closed behind us, I saw the early morning sky and my mood was instantly lifted.  I walked out onto the sidewalk (because dogs aren't allowed on the beach) and I instantly felt better.  (I'm okay with no dogs allowed on the beach.  I like laying in sand that doesn't feel and smell like a giant litter box.)  I walked us to where we could both enjoy a view of the ocean. When we returned to the apartment, I resisted my urge to go back to bed.  Sure, I could have if I wanted to, but I wanted to get outside and see more.  Yes, of course my son motivates me every day, but he's not here every day.  My dogs are no substitution, they are part of our family.   I may look like an overgrown teenager from the 1990's with my t- shirts might read; Callahan Auto Parts, Saturday Night Live Quotes or Caddyshack movie quotes at 6am, but I make them look good.  Especially when  I walk my dogs, for whom I am grateful to every day for getting me up, and moving.

I need to create widgets, until then you may also find me on Facebook & Pinterest

Friday, August 16, 2013

Just One More Move...

Yes, I am going back to blogger.  So welcome to the newest location of The Mighty Turtle.  Eventually, I will have the .com name pointed to this address, once my archives are complete.
 I hope you like these changes,  find the layout more pleasing and the text easier to read.  
Thank you for continuing to read. - Karen

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Paraffin and Scleroderma: Comments on an article about scleroderma.

August 13, 2013

There is an article about a woman with scleroderma in the United Kingdom all over Facebook and too many social networks to list here. I have a few comments to make. Her methods of skin care work for her and kudos to her for having the time and resources to have a full body paraffin bath every day, but I have a few comments and some alternatives.
picture of oils for skin moisturizing in various   containers
Oil feels nice, but the type of oil used may create more work.
Applying oil can appear to be helpful, but many oil based products only coat, and do not penetrate to moisturize skin, especially petroleum based products. As someone who has used olive oil, Kama Sutra oil and too many moisturizers to name here, I can say honestly that oil coats the skin, leaves marks everywhere and leaves (me, it may vary for others) a dry skin surface in about 15 minutes. Many products claim to have "essential oils", but if they come in a plastic container, they are not true essential oils.
Undiluted essential oils should  only be stored in glass containers, because a true essential oil will may break down the plastic. The right essential oil can  nourish moisture starved skin because it will penetrate, not coat.  Essential oils can appear more expensive, but you need less of the product.  To find the best essential oil for you, don't be shy about asking for samples or asking for a low priced sample to take home and try a few days.
Essential oils are not your only option.
A great non-petroleum based cream or lotion works well if you can find one.  I have had great luck with Aveeno Moisturizing cream oil with sweet almond oil and Eucerin.  Currently, I use Votre Vu's Snap Dragon on my body and their hand cream Duette for my hands because I love it, and I sell it (for full disclosure) so I get a great deal on it.    If you have something that works, don't go searching for an essential oil.  (If it ain't broke, don't fix it.)
Ahhh, Paraffin.  It is nice...
Paraffin does work, but as a full body bath, the first thing I thought, (okay, second thing I thought...)  was this sounds wonderful, but is an unrealistic and expensive option for most scleroderma patients.  A simple hot bath with immediate application of a non-petroleum based moisturizer while wet, followed by stretching or assisted yoga (after drying off and dressed of course) will provide the same benefits.  A hot bath will warm the muscles, making them easier to move, which is the objective of the paraffin bath.  When I first started exercising again in 2005, I would take a shower before and after.  Warming up those muscles before warming up, is good for body and mind.
The professional manicurist in me speaks up: 
I have been working with paraffin since 1987. First as a manicurist, then as a scleroderma patient. A full body bath in paraffin really does sound awesome, but I would like to offer an alternative for 2 reasons.
1. Patients with raynaud's have a bigger risk for burns with paraffin. If one with raynaud's were to place their hands in a paraffin bath that was even slightly too hot, it can cause tissue damage to the extremity, going from extremely cold to hot. And because of impaired temperature sensation, a raynaud's patient may not be able to detect the bath is too hot. Thermometors can fail.
2. Open sores. One must never use paraffin if there are any wounds because of risk of infection.
Tips for using a parrafin bath for patients with Raynaud's:
1. Place hand in plastic paraffin bag, then dip bag into paraffin.
2. Scoop hot wax with hand using the bag as a barrier between hand, then turn bag inside out when removing from paraffin wax. (This will take practice. Don't be discouraged by a little mess)
3. Now, you have a bag of wax and you can feel how hot the wax is through the plastic. Use your forearm or wrist to touch the outside of the bag to feel how hot the wax inside the bag is. If it is too hot for your forearm it is too hot for your hands, feet or whatever it is you are placing in the wax.
4. Once the wax feel cool enough to tolerate COMFORTABLY, place your hand inside the bag.
Never, EVER use paraffin wax when you have an open wound or pressure sore.  Yes, even a paper cut.  Don't make me show you pictures of infected wounds- it's nasty!
For more information:
To help fund research for scleroderma, visit: Bounce to a Cure