Gluten-Free People Actually Have No Idea What Gluten Is

DISCLAIMER: I have many friends who have chosen the gluten-free approach to eating and I fully support their choices and understand their needs. I am not trying to be offensive… but this is hilarious.

I love this video about the gluten-free trend sweeping our nation. Don’t get me wrong – I do realize that some people have sensitivities to foods containing gluten – but I also feel like it has become one of those yuppie-white-person fads that is more about climbing on the bandwagon rather than being unique or responding to your own body, kind of like wearing hipster glasses or doing hot yoga or drinking juice cleanses.

I think it’s great that people pursue what makes them happy and healthy, but what bothers me is that many gluten-free folks are quite preachy about their new way of life, and insist upon shoving all the evils of gluten down my throat (never mind that I have no issues eating wheat products of any kind… it’s meat and veggies that make this girl gassy.)I don’t mind hearing your schpiel, but you’ve also got to trust that I know my body better than yours and maybe I don’t need to make such changes. What works for you may not work for me. Right?

Mr. Kimmel sums it up quite well: “A lot of people here don’t eat gluten because someone in their yoga class told them not to… Here in LA, [eating gluten] is comparable to Satanism.”

LOL. Seriously, I don’t know how gluten became so evil, especially since humans have subsisted on wheat and bread for thousands of years… What’s even more ironic, however, is my average conversation with a recent gluten-free convert:

“I feel so much better now that I’ve gone gluten-free. I used to eat donuts, and potato chips, and I drank beer, but I would always just feel so sick. I miss that stuff and sometimes I’m hungry, but I just can’t do that to my body anymore.”

Or:

“I caved after a long day of work and had 5 slices of pizza and played flip-cup. The gluten is TEARING me up inside!”

Hmmm… maybe it’s not the gluten in your diet, but all the processed junk food that’s making you sick? Maybe it’s breads and pastas too, but that’s not what people are sharing, in my experience. Who would have thought that donuts, beer, and pizza would make you feel sick? I mean, do we really need gluten-free cracker bits for Communion in our churches? Oy vey.

Things bugging me today

– Young children taking communion at church. It’s a holy sacrament, not snack time! Even though it is pretty delicious…. But seriously. I wasn’t allowed to participate till I understood what it meant!

– Ants invasion of my Raisin Nut Bran. (How gross is it on a scale of 1 to 10 that I ate it anyway?)

– Verizon Wireless. Actually, just Holly Ridge, NC. Every measure I have taken to improve my Internet situation has actually either done nothing, or made it worse, and at a co$t no less. I won’t bore you with details, but I have come to terms with a disconnected existence out here in the boonies… and a very confused bill.

– Health and nutrition studies. I heard eating too much of my beloved tuna means too much mercury in my system. So I mix some turkey sandwiches into my lunches. Turns out deli meats are high in cancer-causing nitrates. Sigh. I need to just eat what I want.

– The fact that I have no washer/dryer. Today is cleaning day and without a way to wash towels and sheets, I feel incomplete. It’s one of those small things I take for granted in daily life 🙂

End rant.

Rant of the Day

So, the below poem has gone viral among military wives (feel free to scan right through – it’s kind of long/bad):

A Military Wife

Lots of moving…Moving…Moving…Moving far from home…
Moving two cars, three kids and one dog…all riding with HER of course.
Moving sofas to basements because they won’t go in THIS house; Moving curtains that won’t fit; Moving jobs and certifications and professional development hours. Moving away from friends; Moving toward new friends; Moving her most important luggage: her trunk full of memories.

Often waiting…Waiting…Waiting…Waiting for housing. Waiting for orders. Waiting for deployments. Waiting for phone calls. Waiting for reunions. Waiting for the new curtains to arrive. Waiting for him to come home, For dinner…AGAIN!

They call her ‘Military Dependent’, but she knows better: She is fiercely In-Dependent.

She can balance a check book; Handle the yard work; Fix a noisy toilet;
Bury the family pet… She is intimately familiar with drywall anchors and toggle bolts. She can file the taxes; Sell a house; Buy a car; Or set up a move… …..all with ONE Power of Attorney.

She welcomes neighbors that don’t welcome her. She reinvents her career with every PCS; Locates a house in the desert, The Arctic, Or the deep south. And learns to call them all ‘home’. She MAKES them all home.

Military Wives are somewhat hasty…They leap into: Decorating, Leadership, Volunteering, Career alternatives, Churches, And friendships. They don’t have 15 years to get to know people. Their roots are short but flexible. They plant annuals for themselves and perennials for those who come after them.

Military Wives quickly learn to value each other: They connect over coffee, Rely on the spouse network, Accept offers of friendship and favors. Record addresses in pencil…

Military Wives have a common bond: The Military Wife has a husband unlike other husbands; his commitment is unique. He doesn’t have a ‘JOB’ He has a ‘MISSION’ that he can’t just decide to quit… He’s on-call for his country 24/7. But for her, he’s the most unreliable guy in town!
His language is foreign: TDY PCS OPR SOS ACC BDU ACU BAR TAD
And so, a Military Wife is a translator for her family and his. She is the long- distance link to keep them informed; the glue that holds them together.

A Military Wife has her moments: She wants to wring his neck; Dye his uniform pink; Refuse to move to Siberia; But she pulls herself together.
Give her a few days, A travel brochure, A long hot bath, A pledge to the flag, A wedding picture, And she goes. She packs. She moves. She follows.

Why? What for? How come? You may think it is because she has lost her mind. But actually it is because she has lost her heart. It was stolen from her by a man, Who puts duty first, Who longs to deploy, Who salutes the flag, And whose boots in the doorway remind her that as long as he is her Military Husband, She will remain his military wife. And would have it no other way

—Author Unknown

Ok, so while there is some truth to it, this is generally the kind of crap that irks me to no end with the military wife movement. I get that it’s meant to be empowering, but I feel like it’s exactly the opposite – mostly because it feels like some sort of delusion, and really just makes us look more ridiculous.

1) You can balance a checkbook? Pay your taxes? Buy a car? On your own?! Holy crap, GOOD FOR YOU. Seriously though, every woman should know how to do those things, whether you’re married or not. The fact that you can (because your husband’s gone and you have to, apparently) does not make you special or more independent than other women. It just makes you a normal and basically responsible adult.

2) Yes, we move a lot. Yes, we drop things at a moment’s notice to accommodate for our husband’s careers. We wait. All the time. This does not make me feel strong or independent in the slightest. It doesn’t matter how you package it to make yourself feel better – being a military wife is generally a submissive role. I’m not strong because I follow my husband everywhere and live for almost a year at a time without him. I gave up control and accepted a life of relative uncertainty and loneliness to be with him. That’s because of my love for him – not my strength and independence (and we all know love is the greatest force of all – so I am not faulting that.) I know this is important to him. Therefore, it matters to me.

3) On a related note, even the term “military wife” denotes dependency and loss of control. Honestly, the nomer has made me feel a little stripped of my dignity and value as an individual, at times. I will never forget when I first stepped foot into the DEERS office on base to update my IDs, insurance, etc. I don’t know why Chuck bothered to bring me along. I was a number. And not even my own number! My husband’s number. They didn’t ask me questions about my date of birth, my contact information, my health history. They completely ignored me and asked Chuck. As if I was a deaf-mute or something. I promise I’m not difficult to offend, but I truly felt like a dependent little mouse of a human being that day (nothing against mice, of course – they’re cute.)

4) On another related note, the way I am treated as a military wife (to include by some Marines themselves) can be humiliating. As with many groups, there are plenty of stereotypes associated with military wives, so it can take a hefty dose of effort to get one of Chuck’s colleagues to address or even acknowledge me as an equal sometimes. I can’t fully blame them (since those stereotypes are present for a reason), but I am always greeted with surprise when they find out I’m an intelligent and capable human being. Otherwise, in general – I’m just “the wife.” I’ll pop out babies at some point and be the emotional parasite in “flops” back at home.

5) To add to the irony of the situation, when I do accomplish something “independent”  (i.e., getting my own job, not showing up to every little event because I have my own stuff to do, not getting pregnant right away, etc) I actually receive judgement and exclusion from some of the very women who are supposed to be supporting me in this endeavor of “strength.” Seriously… can’t win!

Anyways, I don’t mean to be overly critical or under-appreciative. I was raised in the military, and I respect my husband to no end. I love many things about military life and there is plenty of value in it, even as a dependent. There are definitely areas where we are strong – but the truth of the matter is that it’s because we really have no choice. We are very dependent. Sure (some of us)  make the most of it, but it’s not because it’s what we want for ourselves or for our families, necessarily.

The job has to be done, so someone has to be willing to do it. It’s sacrifice. It’s giving things up. That could definitely be qualified as strong, but when to comes to the idea of being strong as a woman or an individual – the sugarcoating just doesn’t do much for me.

Super Annoyed!

Can a pharmacy just switch out your medication without telling you?? I get home and open my refill of birth control and it’s a totally different brand. I looked it up and apparently there was indeed a switch (to something “cheaper”), and lots of patients were taken by surprise. Even more annoying, the replacement gets terrible reviews, almost across the board…

I was very happy with my pill and don’t want to change it. Switching birth control pills is no walk in the park. Grrr. 

Applying for jobs would be a lot less time consuming and exhausting if I didn’t have to rewrite my resume for every online app’s format in ADDITION to uploading my actual resume. Why can’t that be enough? Adding all these entries over and over is just silly. Can’t they read? What’s the point? It’s redundant. Whatever happened to the days of a resume and cover letter? 

I’m about to give up on this damn thing. I’ve spent over an hour on it. I don’t even want this job and probably won’t get it anyway. But GAHHH I canNOT work at CVS for the next whole year. Unfortunately that’s settling a little too low for me… the 9 non-stop hours on my feet getting yelled at by customers and pharmacists for $8.50 per hour is not my cup of tea.

Sigh. Just a moment of frustration, folks. I’m grateful I held onto the pharmacy gig in case nothing else came through for me. But I hope the temp agency finds me something to hold me over till we get out of here… or else I might go a little crazy 🙂

Two Things are Irking Me Today…

…My hair, and my speeding ticket.

Chuck and I left Monday morning after a whirlwind 24-hour visit to the Outer Banks to visit friends. Moments after driving on a 70 MPH road, I was pulled over for going 74 in a 55 MPH. Grrr. Honestly, I didn’t even notice the change. Now I have to drive two hours away for my mandatory court date in November. I’ve never gotten a speeding ticket before (though I can’t deny that I deserve one almost daily…)

Anyway, I’ve been planning my schpiel so I can get the ticket reduced, though I can’t escape those court fees. Let’s hope for a male judge who appreciates a blonde with a twinkle in her eye. JUST KIDDING. Sort of…

Speaking of blonde, that brings me to annoyance #2. I’ve gone to 4 different stylists down here in NC and no one can seem to achieve the blonde hues I had back home. I’m not sure why it’s so difficult (is the dye/bleach different here?) but it seriously turns various shades of yellow or orange after 1 wash, if not sooner. This past time, I asked for partial highlights to touch up my roots – and somehow she ended up painting the top of my head with straight up bleach, resulting in an all-over yellow look.

The last time she did my hair, she used some gloss that turned it orange, so I think she was using the bleach to pull the orange out… but I just want foil highlights people!!! They’ve always worked for me. If I had wanted my hair bleached, I would have asked for that. Colors, dyes, glosses, etc. always make me brassy, so I have learned to stick to the basics. But, no one ever listens to me. “Just let me try this, I think it will work.” Sure. I really need to start saying no more aggressively while in that chair…

The situation is seriously just going to make me go dark(er) sooner than planned. I really don’t like yellow hair :-

On a more positive note – OBX was beautiful on Sunday 🙂

     

These kinds of memes annoy me so much! While I’m vehemently opposed to extreme dieting and all the “thinspo” crap that I see out there, I am naturally built more like the women in the top row, and have never felt fully comfortable with myself either. I’m coming into my own these days, but attitudes like this don’t help.

Beauty comes in many forms, and all are acceptable so long as your lifestyle choices are healthy. Our culture needs to stop being so critical of the female form(s) overall…and ladies, it starts with each of us (many of the harshest comments come from girls.)

And, I think it’s funny that so many people hold Marilyn Monroe as an example of true, “natural” beauty. She actually had plenty of work done to transform her from her Norma Jean days to the sexpot we know and love today… to include some plastic surgery. And if she was around in the age of tabloids, I’m sure some idiot would be blasting her cellulite. Just sayin’.

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In Defense of Facebook

A few friends of mine (okay, probably more like a few acquaintances of mine) have recently made the decision to quit Facebook. That’s all fine and dandy, but their reasoning got me all defensive. One of said acquaintances even wrote a tongue-in-cheek newspaper editorial on why she finds Facebook to be less of a blessing and more of a curse. So, naturally, I got even more defensive…

Say what you will about Facebook, but I have never felt more in touch with people (friends, networks, contacts, old co-workers, and everything in between) than I have since joining. I agree that in-person interaction is always better, but for someone like me, the stark reality is that there is no way I can stay so personally up-to-date with that many people. Facebook makes it easier for me to stay involved, despite all our busy and dynamic lives that often cross borders and timezones.

It’s a great supplement to phone calls, emails, letters (as if anyone still writes letters, lol), and actual visits. Plus – I don’t know about you – but my phone calls rarely touch everything going on in a friend’s life, and certainly not in mine. They are more like overarching, general updates, because there’s only so much time either of us has to just shoot the breeze like we were neighbors again.

Facebook gives me windows into the little details that someone may forget to include in a phone conversation. While there is such a thing as oversharing on Facebook, I love reading about a friend’s (or even an appreciated acquaintance’s) thoughtful insights, funny quips, recent adventures, and random rants. Whether I’ve known the person for years, recently met them at a social gathering, or fell out of touch but still have fond memories of the person, I genuinely enjoy seeing what they are up to.

My editorial writer acquaintance explained that Facebook leads to jealousy, competitive comparisons, feelings of inadequacy, and drama. Okay, so maybe there are one or two individuals I’m connected with that make me feel a little jealous and inadequate, but overall, I love to watch people succeed. It can be motivating! Or maybe, it’s just fun to see the many different paths my friends have taken. I have learned a lot from many of my connections, and I love information sharing – articles, images, blogs… you name it. I love hearing opinions, because they help me hone and develop my own, and challenge me to consider alternate perspectives.

As for drama – well, we all know drama existed long before Facebook, and will continue to exist long after. That will just depend on the user. And even if I wasn’t on Facebook, I probably would still eventually find out that Jane Doe got her Ph.D from Harvard, a diamond way bigger than mine from Tiffany’s, and a 5-star vacation in Paris.

Anyway, for the occasional annoying/obligatorily-friended person that clogs my newsfeed, Facebook has made it much easier to control what I see with the “hide” and “block” features. It also continues to allow me to limit what I share and who I share it with, to protect my own privacy (and I have learned many such lessons on sharing in my 8-odd years on Facebook!) But I will always love virtually staying involved with friends, family, and contacts from near and far via Facebook. I will  miss my acquaintances who are leaving – because they are two that I do actually love to follow and interact with from afar. One is an insightful young mother with a knack for making vegan diets look yummy, and the other is a budding political commentator with a killer sense of humor. I’ve learned something from both of them.

Maybe someday I will change my mind and find it creepy just like many of my peers, but for now, I will continue to involve myself in my little virtual Facebook community – because I know that unfortunately, without it, I would have lost touch with too many pretty awesome (or at least interesting!) people.