Contigo To Go!

 

I went shopping for a new water bottle since every one I’ve ever owned has eventually ended up leaking, which is not very helpful for someone who is a writer and also keeps paper in her bag. I just wanted to get the word out (though I’m probably the one who’s behind on this topic!) that this new Contigo water bottle I just purchased is pretty damn awesome. The only reason I say this is because water is one of the few drinks in the world that I can hardly stand to drink. I’m the type of person who will more likely reach for Naked Juice or a fruit juice of some kind, even soda, before thinking to just drink some good, old fashioned H20.

 

Contigo AUTOSEAL 24-Ounce Water Bottle

 

But, for some strange reason, since I’ve started using this bottle, I’ve been emptying it multiple times throughout the day (into my mouth, not a sink, I mean ^_^). I don’t think the bottle itself is magic or anything. I do appreciate the fact that it’s free from spills and leaks, unlike every other water bottle I’ve ever bought. This was the reason I purchased it in the first place.

 

 

But, if you’re looking for a new bottle for your water, I’d say it’s worth a shot to check out this model or one similar. It has a button for you to push in order to open the canister to drink (hence the near impossibility of spills and leaks), which also means you can drink with one hand (helpful for avid multi-taskers like myself); it has a handle the can be attached to a backpack or keys; it keeps your water cool for a pretty long time (it says up to 2 hours on the label); and, for those of you who pay attention to that sort of thing, it’s made of BPA-free Tritan (TM).

 

Let me know if you have (had) a similar experience to my own with this bottle.

 

Thanks for reading!

‘Preference’ and ‘Choice’, Sittin’ in a Tree…

Because there has been some confusion in my social circle about it, I’d like to clarify something about what a preference is.

Of course, this word is (when I’ve come in contact with it) mainly used regarding homosexuality. Just as with vegetarians, health buffs, and heterosexuals, these lifestyles are based upon preferences that we all have. Vegetarians prefer not to eat mean, health buffs prefer to stay active and fit, and heterosexuals prefer to be romantically and sexually involved with people of the opposite sex. Now, what is a choice in these instances is whether or not to fulfill our own life desires by acting on these preferences. The truth is, vegetarians are physically capable of and, in some areas of the world, strongly encouraged to, eat meat. Health buffs have lots of surrounding influences that might encourage them to sit on the couch and watch television as opposed to hiking with their dog in the park. Heterosexuals (especially in college, it seems) are sometimes tempted to experiment with same-sex sexual encounters–and some have.

Take another example into consideration: I don’t like spicy food. Things like Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and buffalo wings I can handle, but habanero and jalapeño–not so much. Therefore, my preference is to not ever eat those things throughout my life. I would have a spicy-food-less lifestyle. However, if my life or well-being was in danger based on the fact that I have that preference (for instance, I have some life-threatening disease that only the constant consumption of Serrano peppers will cure), then I do have the choice to go against my preference for the sake of preserving my life. Just because I prefer not to eat spicy food, doesn’t mean I’m incapable of it.

The same goes for people who choose to act on their meatless lifestyle preference and live as vegetarians. I’m pretty certain that if they were stranded on a desert island full of poisonous plants, but that just so happened to be overflowing with big, juicy birds of some kind, they wouldn’t starve themselves to death for the sake of a preference (well, the sane ones, anyway).

So, when speaking of homosexuality (or heterosexuality, for that matter) it seems like the same principle applies. Someone has sexual feelings towards people of the same sex. Yes, they do have to make a choice concerning whether or not to act on those feelings. As we’ve seen throughout our history, there are sometimes situations in which being honest about one’s preference can have dire consequences, whether they be physical or mental.

I’ve heard many a story (shucks, I’ve been a supporting character is some!) regarding a homosexual teenager who spends their high school years dating as many people of the opposite sex as they can. Then they get to college and try to do the same thing for a little while. Sometimes, that story plays out so far that these people actually marry people of the opposite sex, even though they’re not anywhere near as attracted to them as they are to people of the same sex. They spend their entire lives trying to suffocate a very real and important part of who they are as a person.

I couldn’t imagine trying to eat spicy food on a daily basis just so I wouldn’t be ridiculed by people who like spicy food. It sounds really painful and miserable. So, if I think that about a mere food preference, can you imagine what it must be like to do that for something as significant as your sexual preferences?

So, if you’re a heterosexual who believes that homosexuality is a choice, I’ve got a mental exercise for you: Imagine if you lived in a world filled with homosexuals and you were one of the few people that preferred to have romantic relationships with the opposite sex. What would you do? Would you try to hide it and passively “go along to get along”, or would you assert and accept yourself for who you are proudly and without remorse?

Physical exercise (not the calorie-burning kind, sorry!): Go five days without something you prefer to consume or do on a daily basis. Don’t have that morning cup of Starbuck’s. Don’t go for midday walk at lunch. Don’t watch your favorite television show after a long day at work. Pay attention to how you feel when you don’t get to do these things. Multiply those emotions by 10 = a fraction of what it must feel like to try to keep your true sexuality a secret.

So, just as very pale African-Americans chose to pass as white if they could, there is a level of choice involved in all of our lifestyle decisions. A person from a foreign country once asked me why homosexuals felt the need to make such a big deal out of coming out by doing it at events like prom, graduations, and birthday parties. I told them that these people are probably simply reacting to the “big deal” that the rest of society makes out of their preference to be romantically involved with people of the same sex. It’s fascinating how directly people’s reactions to their environment reflects what is pushed upon them by that environment.

I don’t think too many heterosexual people feel the need to “come out” and announce to the world that they aren’t homosexual. People don’t seem to think twice if they see someone eat a plate of food laden with meat. No one seems to care one way or another if you decide that you want to have children some day.

However, let the opposites of these circumstances take place (you are a homosexual, you are a vegetarian or–heaven forbid!–vegan, you don’t want to have kids) and we’ll suddenly find insults, sideways glances, confused faces, gossip, and a barrage of questions.

For some reason or another.

Thanks for reading!

Uh-oh, Volvo!

 

 

 

 

I’ve been hearing for the past week or so that Volvo is on the decline. I just read yet another article about it today. I’m sad only because it’s the first brand of car that I ever owned and really “fell in love” with. It was affordable, but the design was intuitive and comfortable–and this was how I felt about the old one I got for graduating college that was a 1991 model. After I finished graduate school I bought a 2004 model.

 

Of course, in general, I’m sad to see Volvo be no more in the states. This feeling is only exacerbated by the fact that I was Volvo virgin just 5 years ago. And it seems like there are so many old Volvos still on the road (around Louisville, anyway) that I got the impression that they were good-quality cars. Then again, maybe that’s the downside of building something that lasts so long–people don’t have to buy new ones for decades at a time! Oh, well. The market has spoken.

 

Anyone else going to miss Volvo? :C

Damn it! They’re Still Here!!

 

In case you didn’t see it or hear about it, here is a link to the recent Cheerios commercial that aired featuring an interracial couple (African-American and White, presumably) and their mixed-race daughter.

Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of commercials exhibiting this newfangled thing we sometimes call “racial harmony”, including various interactions such as jumping around with pajama pants on, driving in a car, or watching a football game together. In these instances, the commercial was really (of course) focused on the product, and it was almost as though (hold on to your pacemaker) the race of the people involved in the advertisement DIDN’T MATTER.

I’ve also noticed many more television commercials placing women in the role of decision-makers in households (I even saw an article about how many women have become the primary breadwinners in homes in recent years) and more commercials featuring African-American women who embrace their natural hair, as pretty much every other race does for the most part, instead of having their hair chemically or thermally straightened or wearing a wig or extensions.

Father’s Day is coming up! 
Get something now so you’re not scrambling later. You know how much you hate that feeling...
 
 

I’m not sure where this push is coming from, but I’m certainly glad it’s here. As I noted in my post on gay marriage, sometimes I fear the United States is showing signs of social retardation–but then I see commercials like these and breathe a sigh of (relative) relief.

When these people make comments that negatively stereotype certain races, it just reminds me that it takes all kinds to make the world go ’round. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, I just wish their attitude towards other races and the idea of races coming together to create things–advertisements, products, people–was more palatable to them. I hope Cheerios and other companies who have edged their commercials in this direction of progressive thinking will continue to do so. They’ve certainly got my business for the insight that they’ve shown already.

I’d love to hear any sensible arguments about why there shouldn’t be interracial couples, or at least why they shouldn’t be shown on television. Don’t be afraid, I’m not here to rail against you. I may not agree with you, but at least I’ll gain some insight into your line of thinking.

Thanks for reading!