Saturday, March 30, 2013

Firmoo Glasses - a little Product Review!


It may be a little known fact, or maybe it isn't, but I'm pretty much blind. Way back in 1982/83 - when I was in the 3rd grade - seated in the second row of my class, the lovely (and strict) nun teaching us our theology lessons choose me to read the 10 Commands off the board, and gave me a detention because I refused to do so. I refused to do so, because I COULDN'T SEE THE BOARD. Good job Sister Mary Something-or-other.

So I got glasses. The last in my family. And my life was over... (because it was 1982/3 and everyone still sang, "Boys don't make passes at girls with glasses." But now its 2013 and boys make passes at anything.)

I normally wear contacts, and to be honest, I can't drive in glasses. Something about the lack of clear peripheral vision messes me up, but when I'm home - all I wear are my glasses. If I don't leave the house for a couple days, I won't wear my contacts at all. For the last 13 years I've worn the same pair of glasses, but about a week ago I got a new pair - ordered from Firmoo.com, an online eyeglass store, and here is my review of the whole experience.



#1 - Firmoo is inexpensive. Seriously. My glasses (see above) cost $26 (plus $6.95 S+H), and I say "inexpensive" because they're not cheap. These are nice glasses. They arrived at my house with a super nice case (seen below), a glass cleaning cloth, and a screwdriver (which I immediately fixed every single pair of sunglasses in my house with), oh, and an extra screw!



#2 - Yes, they ship to you - but they ship to you. I have a 4yo, and my husband and I have 1 car - this makes travel difficult. I can't drive off to the mall, or wherever, to get my glasses during the week. I have to wait until the weekend, and by then I don't feel like going to the mall - because it's the MALL and filled with teenagers and too many shoppers. I'd rater go to the park, or sleep on my face.

My glasses took about a week to get to me. If they're easy, they arrive 3-5 days, tinted can push it back to 5-7 days, some of the tougher glasses, like wraparound, take a bit longer.

Also,  you can get sunglasses here too, both prescription and regular.

#3 - I love to make lists.

#4 - I really like my glasses. It took me a bit, but I had the old pair for a VERY long time, and it was an old prescription. When I received these, they're larger than my old glasses, with a new prescription. Larger, because that's the fashion in 2013, and if you've ever worn prescription glasses, and had to up you prescription, you know that first day is a bear because you feel like the world is sliding off to the left. (Or maybe that's just me)

But I recommend these.

The down side - you don't get to try them on, and there is no one there to adjust them. BUT there is a little photo you can click the glasses on to see what they will look like on a face, and you can upload your own photo. As for the adjusting, you have to fidget with them yourself. And if your nose isn't crooked, you should be fine.

Now. I'm off to write something.
Have a killer day!

aryn

Monday, March 25, 2013

1-Up



It's all a game, isn't it... this life we have.
Waking up, running until we drop; taking a moment here and there, wondering how we got this old;
How this became the life we have.

Not that it's a bad life.
It's not.
But repetition can agitated even the quietest souls.

I look out the window and see this big old world,
And my heart is still so very young and I want, and I want, and I want,
All the dreams I've always wanted.

Let it begin - my mind screams,
Let it all begin, and let the world swirl around my feet,
Lifting my hair, a tornado above my head - a human bullet.

But my feet are firmly planted,
And I keep moving forward, following this stream I chose a while back,
Hoping it is the right one, knowing I should doubt myself less.

Seriously, it's annoying.
The doubting doubters and the negative thought process.
There's a band name for you.

Life keeps coming, and moving, and passing by;
And I watch people fade into memory.
Time almost forgotten, save for a few laughs that look more like a movie clip, than my past.

So, this is this life.
The world I now live.
Knowing, it will also pass by, pushing me to the next level of the game.

Life, with it's beauty and disease - hopes and fears.
Life, with it's music and it's words.
Life - and we dance.

Around the stagnation;
Past, and over the potholes;
Under everything else, as we play, and play, and play some more.

Frustration lost in the lyrical movements of time.
Time, that eases the fingers of doubt free.
Freedom that brings the perspective we need to get past ourselves.

We set the traps subconsciously.
Shuffle, ball, change.
Hoping we won't trip, and if we do, that we will get back up and keep going.

Because that's what is all is, what it means, what we need to do -
Keep moving
Because death isn't when we die - we die when we stop playing.

Leaving us to sit in perdition,
With a goose egg, when all we really ever wanted,
Was 1-up.




Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Chaos, autopilot, & Steubenville

Life has been interesting over the last few weeks. Part of me wants to say, "When isn't life interesting?" but there are a lot of times that everything slides past me and I hardly notice because I'm running on autopilot. But right now I'm calling it interesting, because the mundane is where the genius of our lives germinates and grows. It's those little unseeing moments that turn and mold us into the very beautiful people that we are.

I've spent a lot of time in the past few months writing - and why shouldn't I? It is what I want to do with my life. I've also spent a lot of time being angry at the world, annoyed with it, and wishing it would somehow get swallowed up by a nefarious black hole, which would finally leave me with the peace and quiet I have not only earned, but so very much deserve. But that's not life, is it? Life isn't a pretty picture box of only splendid moments, with a few awkward ones here and there - it's a big heaping mound of garbage. It is the public city dump (especially in a time of social networking) where you have to sift through to find the good, and pull it away from the bad and the down right stinky.

For me, life really is on repeat most days. I have a small child. I am at home with said child. I write. I watch TV. I text. Sometimes I even shower - I really should do that more. I rely on the internet to talk to people more than not - for when I am lonely, it is you reader, that keeps me company - even if you don't realize you are doing just that.

But for others, life is the true definition of chaos. Which looks like this:


cha·os  

/ˈkāäs/
Noun
  1. Complete disorder and confusion.
  2. Behavior so unpredictable as to appear random, owing to great sensitivity to small changes in conditions.
Synonyms
confusion - disorder - mess - clutter - muddle - welter



I feel for these people, and I know that I'm lucky. I really do. I've known that for some time, and I am thankful for it. Now, this isn't to say I haven't had my share of "moments" - everyone has. But in this moment, what people from the outside world see when they look in on me is calm, and this is where it all gets interesting because, when we look in, we automatically compare - because we are taught that competition is life. People thinking, feeling, openly admitting that we/they think that we/they are better than someone else. This is, in my opinion, the biggest problem we have in the world, and it is the root cause for so many of our problems - case and point, the Steubenville Rape Trial that exploded in the media and on the internet over the weekend, bleeding into this week. [The link I posted above was chosen for a reason, because it is the only article I've read, and I've read way too many about this case in the last few days, that not only tackled the issue, but spoke of a solution.]

My initial reaction to this case was to get very angry and hateful towards the two offenders - which I'm sure many can relate to. Part of this is as a mother, another part is as a female, and a victim, because honestly I think I know literally ONE female out of the hundreds, who has not been sexually assaulted at one point of her life. (Granted, I've never asked, so I could be wrong.) Sexually assaulting females in this country is more prevalent than cancer - but we never talk about it, because it makes us feel awkward. And why does it make us feel awkward? Because we live in a country that refuses to talk about sex in a positive light. We only can hear these loons with their poster board signs that tell us we are wrong to feel human. They tell us we should be ashamed for having human urges, so we sweep it all under a rug and we - the parents and the guardians who should be tackling these issues head on in order to teach our children, both boys and girls - turn our heads and then act surprised when our kids don't know the difference between right and wrong, because they, just like us - have never been taught how to deal with these urges in a positive way.

"I'm sorry I posted the photos" said the offender that received two whole years in juvenile detention. A place that will not education him on his wrong doing - no, but it will only group him with other boys who think they are better than girls. Better than the female body that brought them life, that cared for them with a warm place to incubate for months, before becoming the arms and the breasts that held them and fed them. He never apologized for what he did, because he is not sorry. Because he has never been shown that he should be sorry - by his family, by his coach, by the community, by this country. Hell, didn't Ben Roethlistberger do the EXACT same thing? And what was his punishment? 6 months on the bench and a Superbowl ring? (BTW, that link isn't to the original rape in question - that one is here). So these are our heroes. This is the world we live in - a world where suggesting someone take a Women's History class will get laughs and jeers if you're NOT female, and were we idolize people like Ben Roethlistberger, Ray Lewis, Michel Vick, and best of all O.J. Simpson - the man who murdered his wife and another man and got away with it. And why? Well because he was better than her, and he is better than us.

Everyone is saying that we shouldn't feel sorry for these boys, but I do. I feel so sorry that they were never taught to see the beauty in this world. That they were never shown that we, men and women, need to work together as one, as friends and family - because this ability is what makes humankind special and the "top of the species". But we aren't taught that, are we? We're taught we are better because we can be violent, because we are white or black or green or purple, because we can hate, fear, conquer - because we have a penis or a vagina. We are taught to use sex as a weapon, and not only on TV, Film, & Video games, like everyone likes to blame - at home, in the street, in our sports teams, in our military, in our Congress, our government, our religion and in the world.

I feel sorry for these boys because sex can be a wonderful, fun, exciting and beautiful thing. It's an amazing bonding experience on many levels, and should never be taking lightly, and should never ever be used as a weapon.

An average of 93,000 women are raped in the United States in a year - but know this, since the victims are usually harass,   and told they somehow "deserve it", this number is highly inaccurate, because the women are ashamed and don't come forward. We harass them, because we think we're somehow better then them, because it didn't happen to us - but we're not better than them, if we are anything it is an extension of them. I always tell myself, "Imagine it was you, Aryn" and then react. Imagine it was your daughter, sister, mother, friend, lover.

You are no better.
I am no better.
We are all the same - we eat, we sleep, we hurt, we love.

The moment you hear yourself say "I'm better than..." another person, you need to step back and reflect on your life. The only person you should ever strive to be better than is the person you were yesterday - and yes, maybe you have a not so shiny past - that in no way means you can't have a beautifully mundane blessed and shiny tomorrow.

We need to take moments like this, like Steubenville, to reflect on - to discuss in a constructive way - and to make change on SO MANY levels. This is not the world I want to leave for my son. Is this the world you want to leave behind when you die?

Life has been interesting lately, because a corridor to conversation has been opened, and we need to take this time to talk about what went wrong, and figure out how to change it. We need to figure out how to change ourselves, how to evolve into humans who can talk about sex without feeling weird. To evolve into a class of humans who embrace our mistakes and fix ourselves, so that we begin to change the world into one that doesn't see the deprecation and humiliation of another human as something that is funny - because it's not. We need to evolve into a world where we help these offenders to grow and change, to see the wrong in their ways, so they realize and understand what they did was wrong, and that we are all very much equal. We need to live in a world that offers help to the person who has been victimized, and not make fun of them, only spreading more hate through ridicule, finger pointing and saying ridiculous things like, "she deserved it." No one deserves violence towards them.

Education and equality is where we will find the change and compassion this world needs.  And that education comes in the small moments - when we take our child's hand and explain to them the difference between right and wrong, and show them they are to be held accountable for their actions.

It's easy to get caught living a life on autopilot, I do it all the time - but that doesn't make it right. We need to look around, objectively, and speak up. We need to look at ourselves, and start there. We are not better than any one but ourselves, and that is OK. We need to be as Gandhi said, to "Be the change you wish to see in the world." Don't judge, don't assume - listen, love, grown, and learn.

We hold the power to change, and it begins in ourselves.




Thursday, March 14, 2013

standard routine


The ups and downs of life make everything worth it, and suck all at the same time. But it is still great because, because, because... and let the run-on-sentence continue.

I sit in front of computers more than not, mostly to write. Writing by hand leads to hand cramps, and messy handwriting, yet I know, when it's obsolete I'll bitch about it.

"Why don't we write any more?"
"What's wrong with this generation?"
"When I was a kid..."

Gripes gripping us by our throat, because that's what we do. Then life continues. Just to spite us.

I woke up this morning to the poking and humming of my child. "Move over, mama." His toes and fingers still warmed by sleep, my brain still foggy, so I listen. Waiting for him to find a comfortable spot. We spoon as the fog thickens in the morning air. Marine layer gravy, hiding the mountains I love to stare at. And we cuddle, and giggle, and I try to sleep, but he won't have it. It's morning. It's fun time. We must play. We must sing. We must create. We must dance. We must, we must, we must... and let the day continue.

I run up and down the stairs over and over with a broken basket in my arms, teaming with dirty underwear and socks. I miss the days of having my own washer and dryer. That work. Without coins, so many coins, that sometimes I don't have. On days when we miss the potty, and hit our pants. Poopies pants. Puddles of pee. One day it won't be like this.

"Remember when you wore a potty watch?"
"Remember when you wore diapers?"
"Remember when you were a tiny baby? Well I do."

It changes, all of it. The good. The bad. Even the horrible, heart wrenching moments - they change, morph, twist, turn and become - something else...

The day holds vast/short hours of things - mundane, exciting, life filled things. All of them. None of them. Waiting around corners, in shadows, behind/in front of me, by/next to you. And there it is, all of it. Just as it should be. As it was meant to be. As it was/will be... and then, and then, and then... we dance, and dance and dance. And we sing, and sing, and sing.

The world is beautiful
The world it scary
The world is loud
The world will make you cry
...it will kill you...

Because that's what it does.

The door opens, and I go out, or he comes in, and we sit and watch and wait for the nothing. We have reached that age when we realized stillness is a gift, and silence is an offering to your sanity - begging you to hold on for just - one - more - day...

And while you sit and wait, listen - because it's there. All of it. Waiting. Just beyond the noise. The not so secret, secret... it all lies inside of you... and let the run-on-life continue...

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A little product review - Green Fin Wine


So I'm a bit frustrated today as a writer... which has absolutely nothing to do with the wine bottle you see above, outside of the fact that I wish I had some in my house - at this moment. I have an empty bottle (seen above), I polished off the contents last night - leaving me nothing but peppermint tea for this evening. (Which is fine... I suppose...)

Since moving to sunny L.A., my husband and I have began to drink more wine. There is a story behind it, as there are most things, and I'll give you the condensed version:

Math Equation of my life - we have:
     1 Car +
     1 Income +
     1 Child =
                At Home Date Nights
 
This little scenarios is fine with me - I like the old ball and chain, he's cute and is into Doctor Who these days (total bonus). This has lead us to consuming wine on our in house date nights.

Out here in good old California most of the stores have these deals, "Buy 6 bottle of wine and get --% Off" one place is 10%, the other is 20%, and then there is Trader Joe's, who has copious amounts of wine lining their shelves - some with a special "Trader Joe's Winery" label, which are wines made from vineyards specially for Trader Joe's at an exorbitantly low price, and these lovely wineries allow old TJs to slap their name on the front.

(BTW, Trader Joe's have a bulk discount too. I just never use it. Moving on...)

This is not the case with Green Fin Organic California White Table Wine. They retain their own name.

I stumbled on this bottle of wine while I was searching for another brand all together (which I never did find). Green Fin is only $3.99, which was the first thing that caught my eye, on top of it also being Organic, I later found it is also vegan. This brand is part of Bronco Wine Company, which is huge, but who cares - this wine is good, and once again - IT'S ONLY $4, and unlike the Charles Shaw wine that Trader Joe's is known for, it doesn't give me a massive hangover after only 2 glasses.
So that's why I'm here - as a person with the above "math equation of my life" - I can't really afford to go out and buy a bottle of Louis Jadot (even thought I love it, and even thought its only a meager $12.99 at Target, but that's the Beaujolais, most other bottles of Louis Jadot begin at $20 and go up)

I can't tell you what the price is outside of L.A. - I know some wines I used to buy in Cleveland for $11 are only $5 here (vineyards, baby), so it may be more out east, but if it's not - totally check it out. It's a great way to relax after arduous day filled with blank pages, and when you find out one of your submission never went through - a month after the fact. I know... it's just one... but I'm angry at myself for not checking sooner! Just as I'm angry with myself that I don't have another bottle of Green Fin in the hizzal. I mean house. (no I don't, I mean hizzal.)
A bottle of liquid courage that allows you to chill, let go and let the words find you.*

*I am in no why shape or form, advocating that wine or alcohol of any sort, is some sort of elixir that will lead to literary greatness - so don't think that I am. I just like wine, and Green Fin is yummy.*


Monday, March 4, 2013

Writing and Music - (bad) music and writing


I'm attempting to make a soundtrack for the next book I want to write. This will be the first contemporary story I've written, but I like the story playing in my head, and really would like to go with it - and music is always a nice touch, whatever your writing.

Seeing the story is contemporary fiction (and most probably YA) - I started to do a little research. Not that I doubt my personal choice of music, I think the Clash are timeless and Op Ivy could be the voice for this young generation as much as it was for mine (which was wasn't the first group of angst teens it was meant for. Why am I defending my age? No clue. Continuing...) I just think there is something out there from now that can have the same effect - and is having the same effect. This lead me to the college boards looking for an idea of what is out there, what "kids these days" are listening too... blech... never again.

If that is an example of what "kids" are listening too, the "kids" in my book will have a pension for older music, and obsessively listen to The Velvet Underground, Patti Smith, The Who, The Clash (most other bands that start with "the"), ELO, Squeeze, and on and on, because (and I'm not mentioning names, because I refuse to publicize this "music") what I heard was utter trash with overly ironic lyrics that are meant to be skin deep and ultra quirky.

My search has been moved to Songza - my favorite free streaming music app, and website. I hope more people are listening to the new underground indie scene that has a bit of profoundness it some of its songs. That said, I'm still up for recommendations - feel free to comment below. I love to learn about new music, even if they're not Billboard Top 100 songs/artists.

You may be asking, "Does she know how old this makes her sound?" And the answer is, yes, I do - but I stand by my words when I say irony only goes so far. If you want to write a great song that people will remember for years, write from your heart and stop being a jackass. It's irritating.

Most of all, if you're going to go that far, at least have a ukulele in the damn song. Ukuleles are always ironic, just "because".

But seriously, if you can recommend a band, please do so! Who are you listening too?!!
Comment below!