Taking the consume out of Christmas- a new approach to sustainibility

This year I only spent 48.00 on new Christmas gifts. I have 3 children and a niece to shop for- 4 kids total. If you include my niece’s mother, my children’s step-cousin, and my brother that is 7 people to buy for. So how did I only spend 48.00 on new items? 

First of all the garage was packed with 8 non-working bikes that needed inner-tubes and tires. I spent 15.00 on inner tubes and found a bike out in front of the dollar theater that provided new tires. It took 2 hours to repair the bikes- so 3 of the kids have bikes again. I bought a new monopoly board game for 7.00- we played it for an hour last night and are starting another game once I finish my coffee and blogging ( while watching Washington Journal).

A new Slip N Slide and kiddie pool for the 6 year olds- 25.00 total. 48.00 new items from Walmart -yes Walmart is freaking evil but I couldn’t find the dang slip n slide anywhere else and my carbon footprint looking would have been as high as the cost of utilizing Walmart to purchase items that will enable the kids to use bike transport to school and for play without relying on rides.  Walmart total- 48.00 and tax. 

At Plato’s Closet I bought 14.00 worth of gently used wallets and new earrings for my ex-sister in law and my step niece. At Once Upon a Child I found a vintage boxed barbie for 8.50 and a barbie wardrobe for 7.50- my niece was taken care of. My daughter Violet has autism and LIVES for toys that play music and encourage imitation of adults her little tea set and toy tablet were a total of 9.00. An adorable LaLaloopsy rocking horse and doll were 12.00. Gently used clothes for all the kids cost 45.00- these included leggings, t-shirts and brand new Quiksilver and Hurley shirts for my sons. Total- 134.78 on gently used toys and clothes. 

All other items were obtained from Craigslist and a Christmas party raffle win.  Items- 2 DS games, a skateboard, telescope, etch a sketch book, 2 puzzles, a 25.00 Olive Garden gift card, and a helmet- Total cost- 40.00- 25.00 for the raffle basket ticket and 15.00 for the DS games. 

Did the kids want more “stuff”? I am sure they did but the money we saved from not over consuming is going towards a trip to Universal next week ( annual passes cost me 22.00 a month), we have gone to the dollar movies twice, gone out to eat with the Olive Garden card and spent time together assembling the puzzles and playing Monopoly. This week we are going to Barnes and Noble to have quiet reading time ( and sharing 2 brownies and a hot cocoa- total cost 8.00). I explained that I can spend all my money on more “TOYS” or we can have fun over the winter break. They chose fun. Or maybe I chose for them- either way as a society we all will need to figure out a way to consume less and think about how to have fun. The earth’s resources are FINITE and I for one am sick of thinking how our consumerism is killing the planet and how a 14.96 plastic toy costs the earth at least 100.00 between the amount of energy needed to produce and transport the item, the depletion of resources. 


If we want to change America it does not mean that do not like America- it means that we examine consumption and learn to begin living a more sustainable lifestyle. 

Duck Dynasty- Or how I learned to stop being outraged and spot a troll

Duck Dynasty:

The title should tip ya’ll off. This is a “dynasty”- sons and grandsons being the inheritors of pop’s hard work and smarts. Maybe Phil and Si ( ok not maybe DEFINITELY) are rednecks but the sons? I found some great pre-beard photos of them and they look like preppy metro guys.

No redneck guy I have EVER EVER met would wear tennis shoes. EVER. IDGAF that Jax on SOA wears them. NO real redneck/country boy wears tennis shoes mudding. We got trolled.

The Robertson (CLAN) have trolled all of white lower middle class racist christian southern midwestern people into Wal-Mart and A&E. The family has made more millions in 2 years on reality tv than the Duck Commander call would have ever grossed. Ever. So white people wake up. Your hero has a Master’s. The sons went to college and were little golf playing preppy boys that is why they have hot ( surgically altered- check the photos pre-beard) wives. The family have shown internet savvy as they titled an episode “John Luke after Dentist” playing on the  eponymous title of the viral video depicting a child after an especially trippy dentist visit.

Poppy Phil married Kay when she was 16 and he was 20. This was not a crime then but I still find it very creepy and sort of controlling.  Probably to make sure he had a “good Labrador/wife”. Now those bestiality comments make sense.

He thinks good women and good dogs are alike. Yep. He screws his dogs. And I have a first amendment right to say that. Right? His comments about blacks are not ignorant. He really thinks because he doesn’t hate black people that what he said is just fine. See I think he is a bigot if you are “one of those blacks”. You know. The ones that don’t think that the South shall rise again and all that fucking malarkey.

In the end he is an old racist white douche that has trolled us. His family is fake. They are greedy and prideful and boasting and gluttonous. All sins by the way.

Ayn Rand is the mother of “Bro-Grammers”.

After reading an interesting piece called “The Bacon-Wrapped Economy about the tech millionaires proliferating throughout the Bay Area I had a few random disjointed thoughts that I hope to coalesce later but some initial ideas about our extremely heterogenous society and how this contributes to our lack of unity and the fact that we are doing poorly internationally on education measures in comparison to ethnically homogenous and less religious countries.

First thoughts the new wealth- to me they sound like Ayn Randian nightmares. Bro-Grammers oh my. They are white, male and mostly hetero with no guiding ethos except that they think they are entitled to wealth due to the work that OTHERS did before them,

But they are progressives? Time to back this bitch up a little.

As a mother of 3 children ( two on the ASD spectrum), female, Caucasian with a side of Sicilian, low income, daughter of a single mother and now a single mother I am more representative of American social values than the average bro-grammer. They took our jobs! That should be the rallying cry of the low middle class college grads who aged 25-38 years old. We had no idea that CODING- fucking CODING would take over the economy and leave smart jobless people begging to work at Wal-Mart. If I were smarter I would move to Silicon Valley and open a cigar/coffee bar, a hummus eatery, and a brothel.
We need a redistribution and I don’t disagree with the Kickstarter model. I don’t expect “Microsoft Medici’s” because they aren’t fucking Italian. Italians have a very ingrained cultural affect that honky ass white bro-grammers can never get- you help those that can’t eat because it is what is right. Being benevolent is part of boosting your capital socially and politically. It is doubtful that this new wealth class will succeed for long because they are not “giving back” which since Rousseau has been an assumption of the social contract. When I have something I give because I believe that you or someone else may help me in the future. Altruism is a basic human and animal behavior to promote generosity. If altruism in the purest sense is non-existent then we have an endemic sociological decay occurring in real time.
I don’t disagree about the symphony and ballet being elitist. Rather than decry their overall value why not use some of your nouveau riche wealth to make them equal. Buy symphony tickets for a entire 6th grade at a low income school and post the pics to Instagram and build your social capital. You need values and ethics to live correctly- I first learned about Immanuel Kant’s Logic when I was 25 and sort of dating an IT guy. He taught me the value of extrapolating logic to my knowledge of politics and history. The mind meld I had fantasized about since reading Asimov’s “Foundation” series was born.  Learning to be a psychohistorian is not easy. But I am learning every day.