Wednesday, April 24, 2013

I have recently become slightly obsessed with YouTube.

It all started while watching a friend's drunk cooking show.  In the suggestion box was a show called My Drunk Kitchen.  The snippet showed a cute, short-haired girl ... holding a plate of nachos!  So of course, I had to click over.  At once I was hooked on her silly drunken show.  I discovered her not so drunk confessions, her coming out story, how to spot a straight girl, & other videos such as her draw my life story.  She makes sure that her viewers are encouraged to embrace themselves, to love themselves, & to not be afraid to be silly as fuck.

In one episode of My Drunk Kitchen, Hannah had a guest on her show ... Grace Helbig, aka DailyGrace.  & again, I became immediately addicted to watching these ladies & their YouTube videos during my lunch hour on a (mostly) daily basis.  (Which is great since Grace is about the only YouTuber who uploads daily ... & because I had years of their videos to catch up on!)

While watching another episode of My Drunk Kitchen, I spotted another recommendation ... My Drunk Sex+.  It was a video featuring Hannah Hart, on a channel called Sex+.  Again, I was hooked.  Now, while the other channels I was watching were funny, & usually a bit drunken or ridiculously geeky, this channel was (while still funny), completely informative.

Laci Green's videos brought me back to a lifelong issue that I've had as mostly an inner dialogue.  The issue of where we ALL stand in today's society as humans, as female, as male, as whatever gender you identify with.  When I was in Girl Scouts, my mom (also my troop leader) had me complete a research project in gender studies, & how women are portrayed in the media.  Back then you couldn't simply look up a video on YouTube or find a documentary on Netflix, so we went to her college's library & did some video research on how photos of women are altered.  On how the standards for women are unreachable at times because they're simply not even real.  We also looked at obesity standards, & the falsities of the BMI scale. How obesity standards are very low according to this scale, so that people are made to think they're overweight when this scale does not even take into account a person's bone size, or muscle mass.  Big pharma uses this scale to make people buy weight loss drugs (especially in the 90s), & from friends, I hear that even the military uses this as a scale for weight management.  While in the military you must be fit, or in shape.  Using the BMI scale is crap, when it comes to this.  Personally, my cousin's husband is 6'1", 235lbs of large bones, & dense muscle.  The dude isn't a normal skinny type.  According to the BMI scale, he should weigh a measly 185lbs.  Just imagining him at that weight makes me cringe.  He has no body fat, his muscles aren't ridiculously big ... he's just a large boned person.

During my first year in college I took a sociology class on Women in American History.  In this class, I was introduced to the movie Iron Jawed Angles, about the women's movement of the 1910's in America.  They also held a production of the Vagina Monologues at my school.  I was introduced to a very in-depth teaching of women's health, sexual health & safety, & the idea that sex wasn't dirty, or wrong - but pleasurable, normal, & that it should be embraced.

Now why the hell hadn't I learned this in school before I was sexually active?!  Why does the public school's teaching of safe "sex" promote abstinence, when, honestly, we all know that isn't going to happen ...?  & why on earth, with all the information available, are they STILL teaching these same antiquated ideas to kids.  Why don't they actually educate them?  Allow them to grow, & become adults in a safe environment.

While attending the Bioneers Conference last year, I noticed a lot of focus not on the environment, but on gender issues.  At the time, this irked me since this was supposed to be a gathering of people in support of the environment, & issues on the grass roots movement.

After watching Laci Green's Sex+ & rekindling a passion for gender equality (that never died, but simply got side tracked with my obsession with the health of this earth), I am now excited to attend Bioneers for the purpose of seeing if they have anything on youth & gender (besides earthy stuff).  I've also looked at the school I'm aiming to attend to see if they have anything on gender.  I think minoring in Women's & Gender Studies, while majoring in Environmental Studies, might bring me to an odd focus about gender roles & how society dictates to us who we're supposed to be & how we're supposed to behave as women or men.  I like this idea.  I'm super excited to learn more, to continue to grow with my knowledge of what's out there in relation to this topic, & to hopefully one day bring this knowledge to others.

Up next:  let's talk about the terms "boyfriend" & "girlfriend" in contrast to "partner" "lover" & whatever else you guys & galls call your significant other.

Thanks for reading!  Have a happy hump day!  ♥

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

"Who looks upon a river in a meditative hour, and is not reminded of the flux of all things? Throw a stone into the stream, and the circles that propagate themselves are the beautiful type of all influence. Man is conscious of a universal soul within or behind his individual life, wherein, as in a firmament, the natures of Justice, Truth, Love, Freedom, arise and shine."  Ralph Waldo Emerson

I know what I need to do.

I need to quit wanting support & community, & just do it myself ... I think I know what "it" is.

I'm so reliant on approval, love, & acceptance ... when I should just go, be. 

I have so many good ideas & my own stubborn resistance sets me back from accomplishing things.

From here on out I will live to be wild & free, & completely me.  Without the confines of society, of communal acceptance, without preconceived notions about who Cal is.  I know who I am, deep down in my heart.  & I am here to live my life as me.  As who I am completely.  

Anne LaBastille, via:  Tumblr

Pictured above is a hero of mine, Anne LaBastille.  She was an ecologist, an environmentalist, & an American author.  She was a contributing writer for the Sierra Club, & National Geographic.  She traveled around the world working with many non-profit organizations to study & alleviate the destructive effects of acid rain & pollution on lakes & general wildlife.  She was also a noted wildlife photographer, & her work appeared in many nature publications.

Soon, I will begin reading her Woodswoman series.  I hope to become further inspired.  To gain further insight, knowledge, & excitement for where I'm taking my life, where my life is going, & where it is now. 

"A Man needs to feel the rhythms of the earth; he needs to have in hand something real — The tiller of a boat, a set of reins, the roughness of rope, or simply a shovel. Can a man live all his days to keep his fingernails clean and trim? Is that what a boy dreams of?"  John Elderedge

"The spiritual life cannot be made suburban. it is always frontier, and we who live in it must accept an even rejoice that it remains untamed."  Howard Macey

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Here in sunny Southern California it's about that time where we get our perpetual Summertime.  It's pretty awesome if you ask me, although I know some people who would object, roll up their windows, crank the a/c, & hide from life for most of the year.  I love the element, I embrace them, & I can't get enough of our dry Southwest heat.  Sometimes I even follow the lead of lizards & lay out on the cement with a nice towel barrier to soak up the sun without burning my back.  It's amazing ... as long as I remember the sunblock.  A burnt Cal is not a happy Cal.

Spending so much time outside has me for a bit of a loss of words.  But I would like to share one thing with you; from my childhood, this is, & has been, the pinnacle of my Summertime world.  Please enjoy some dreamy, Muppet-filled music: