Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Vegans and Sex Offenders and Facebook, oh, my!

So, I'll start with the vegan.  We've been Facebook friends for a long while now--never met "IRL," but she's the friend of friends, and she can be very smart and funny.  Unfortunately, she's also frequently strident, condescending, condemning, intolerant, and flat-out insulting toward folks who don't share her dietary peccadilloes.  Yes, this is the same woman I wrote about the other night.  Well, last night, she reposts a story I'd posted (here:, but uses it as a weird way of defending her smoking.  That's right, the woman who spends at least a little time every day insulting folks like me who are omnivores pumps cigarette smoke into her body on a daily basis.  Her argument?  Why isn't it okay to slam this woman, but it's perfectly fine to slam me for smoking?

As someone who has struggled with both weight and nicotine addiction?  I felt uniquely qualified to answer that one.  And I did.  I said, "Because my fat doesn't waft across the room and clog up your lungs, your sinuses, or cause asthma attacks.  My fat doesn't cause YOU to suffer chronic ailments.  My fat doesn't stink like a wet, lung-y ashtray, and it doesn't coat the walls and blinds in homes I rent." 

Harsh?  Maybe, but it was a stupid comparison for her to make--smoking and weight are like apples and anvils.  Weight is its own problem, and you can't make smoking LESS bad by saying, "Yeah, well, what about fat people?"  That's just a dodging tactic.  I know, I did it for years.

She gave me every crappy excuse *I* ever gave when I was caught up in the throes of nicotine addiction.  She argued that SUVs put off more pollution than her cigarettes (yes, but I'm not trapped in a room with SUVs, cigarettes can't carpool six people to work, and aren't you old enough to realize that pointing at someone else's failings doesn't excuse yours?), that health insurance costs more for smokers (sometimes--ours never did), etc.  And, being a little tired of her, I said, "You know, I used to say the same silly crap when I was trying to avoid facing just how lousy an addiction to smoking is--it was silly when I said it, and it's silly when you say it."

She dropped me.  After almost two years of my biting my tongue and not fighting back when she told me what a slob I am, what an uninformed, sloppy pig I am for eating meat, how my diet is single-handedly responsible for every ill in the world, she dropped me.  After almost two years of her posting "natural news" article after "natural news" article, post after post on the magical wonder-qualities of veganism, after her astoundingly silly posts about how it's abusive to train dogs because . . . oh, hell, who knows why, she dropped me the moment I actually argued back. 

Saved me the trouble, I guess.  See, that's why I never argued back for these nearly-two years--because I had her pegged as one of those who can dish it out but can't take it.  I was right.

Now, on to the sex offenders, eh?

I got a message from one of my dearest friends that an old classmate of ours--a classmate who is a registered sex offender--is back on Facebook.  This guy has a history of "enticing minors," and he knows he's not supposed to be hanging out on Facebook (he knows it because he's been tossed off Facebook before because of his sex offender status).  She reported him again, and, no doubt, he'll disappear again.  For a little while.  Since it's been a while (and because my niece and nephew still go to my Mom's house pretty frequently), I pulled up the state sex offender registry and started checking.  And WHOA, there's some guy who's on my Facebook friends list!   AND he's non-compliant!  Wow!  And what's that?  Some sex offender with multiple charges and child victims just moved in two houses down from my Mom's place!  Obviously, all I can do is warn my niece and nephew, and let the poor woman with the two young daughters next door know. 

Before you think I'm some pitchforks and torches type, I'm not.  I absolutely believe that sex offenders should be rehabilitated and given another chance.  However, this guy's already been convicted twice, with the offenses more than three years apart.  So he's had his second chance.  He blew it.  That aside, I still don't want him driven out or hurt, but I believe wholeheartedly that the parents in his vicinity have a right to know so they can protect their children.  Imagine how awful it would be if this man attacked one of those neighbor girls and I had never warned them?  This isn't the first time there's been a sex offender on the street--there was one just across the street a few years ago.  We all knew, all our kids knew, but no one harmed him, no one damaged his property or treated him badly.  We just watched our kids and made them aware that they weren't to hang out there or in any way engage in depth with the guy.  It worked.  No one got hurt, everyone was safe, and the guy wasn't hassled.  Like I said, I'm all for rehabilitation and a new chance at a good life, but, as a parent, I need to be aware.

On a totally unrelated note, what's happened to my Muscadines?  Last year, there were tons of them at the stores, but this year I only found them ONCE at Walmart!  None at Wegmans, none at Shoppers or Giant--what the heck?  I've been waiting all year for more Muscadines!  If you've never heard of or seen a Muscadine grape, they're an east coast phenomenon, they're native to Virginia, the Carolinas, etc.  They don't ship well, so I'd never seen one in Utah.  The flavor is very sweet, with an intensely tangy, smoky skin that slips right off (though I eat the skin).  Amazing!

Muscadines--yes, they are that big.  If they were green, they'd be "scuppernongs."

And that's been my excitement for the day.  Tomorrow is Charlie's birthday.  Our one year old puppy!  We're going to take him to Petsmart and get him a treat.  We sure do like him.

Charlie, fresh home and ears flat-no clipping, just needed tape.

Charlie, with Fala and the boys, ears taped up with medical tape.

Charlie and his beautiful ears today.  Singing.

Oh, and one last thing--tonight our President, Mr. Barack Obama, is facing off against Mr. Mitt Romney in this campaign's first debate.  With all due respect, Mr. President, hand him his backside and gently nudge him on home.  Thank you.  For everything. 

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