All posts by Lara

Hug-onomics – Where We’re Headed As A Global Society.

Let’s think about economics for a moment:  there are various instruments and forms of ‘value’ that are arbitrarily assigned to arbitrarily chosen symbols or objects that can be used in exchange for goods, services, trades, etc. Stocks, bonds, shiny rocks dug up out of the ground, mashed, dried, flattened and colored wisps of processed wood pulp, discs of refined metal ores, pretend ‘money’ dreamed up out of the ether of cyber networks – how is any of it significantly different from the wampum, cacao beans and grains of rice that were used as currency in past cultures?

No difference at all.  It is an artificial system, imposed because of a lack of trust and goodwill, inflicted upon us by greedy, suspicious folks with mega-issues who project their own deviousness in matters of trade, upon others and therefore insist on a form of accounting that they can keep in their sight and in their grasp.

For lack of this ‘money’, people sicken and go without medicine, they hunger, starve and die, live in extreme poverty, exposed to the elements and left to suffer and die, children are bought, sold, violated and murdered.

For want of this ‘money’, babies are injected at birth with poisons that hospitals know full well will result in injury and even death, our venerated senior citizens are abused and languishing in ‘nursing’ homes, despite money having been collected for their care.

For want of this ‘money’, wars are inflicted upon far-off lands, to seize resources that make a very few people even more bloated with ‘money’ than they already are,  bombs are hurled, buildings collapsed, environments are irradiated and floods are unleashed, because at the end of it all, it puts more ‘money’ in the pockets of a very, very, very few people.

Some would say that “Money is the root of all evil.”  It actually isn’t.  It’s the absence of love that is the root of evil.

We’ve already seen what the use of ‘money’ has done to our world, now how about we take a look at how LOVE, in place of ‘money’, would affect our world and our lives?

Imagine for a moment that in an instant, all the ‘money’ disappeared. In its place, hugs would be substituted.

Yes, you read that correctly – HUGS.

Hugs are now the lingua franca of finance and economics, the currency of trade, the unit of redemption for every kind of transaction under the sun.

Want a new tv? Walk into a shop and offer a hug (or a gesture of goodwill and respect, for those who are touch-averse). You walk out with a tv and both you and the shopkeeper have a warm glow in your hearts at having received a boost to your endorphins and the myriad other positive emotional, mental and physical benefits that hugs provide.

In an instant, there is no need for theft – what would a wanna-be thief do with 80 tv’s? Sell them? For what? All he’d get for them would be hugs and those are now free for the asking! So no more need for theft. Need food? A hug is the payment of choice. Even online transactions can use hug emoticons – those brighten up the screen when you see them, they’re so positive and cheery!

With all these hugs going around and bolstering the ‘economy’, folks are much more emotionally satisfied, less lonely, mentally more stable…what need for drug addiction or alcohol dependence?  No need for a war on drugs, heck – between the decrease in theft and the steady decline of addictions, and all the resultant crimes – soon the court systems won’t be as overloaded and the prisons will no longer be filling up with increasing numbers of inmates.  In fact, all those convicted of drug possession and thefts could probably be let loose, because it would be very unlikely that they’d backslide in the new ‘economy’!

No more homelessness, no more joblessness (Did you know that even now there are people who earn ‘money’ by hosting ‘cuddle parties’ and offering ‘hug therapy’?) What to study in school? Whatever brings joy to your heart! School is free in exchange for hugs!

Why not have job festivals where local vendors, artisans, practitioners, etc offer demos of what they do and offer internships to potential apprentices!  Oh look, Tony the Cheese Shop owner is looking for an apprentice to train because he’d like to retire and become a juggler! I’ll sign up for that!  After an apprenticeship has been completed, Tony can just hand over the keys to his establishment and his apprentice will now own the Cheese Shop!

Why not? It really IS that simple!

No crime, no hate, no politics for money, no holding back someone of promising skills, abilities, talents just because they can’t ‘afford’ the training or because the occupation doesn’t pay the same as the 3 other jobs a person would need to juggle to keep their family barely surviving.

Just people – happy, healthy, kind people, doing what they love, without artificial limitations holding them back from achieving their potential. Families without abuse, work environments without exploitation, a world without ‘money’.

Hug-onomics – it’s where we’re headed as a Global Society, and it’s a lot closer than you might think.

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“Hug-onomics” is copyrighted 2017 by L.D. Golubchik, all rights reserved.

(Pronounced “HUHG-oh-NAH-micks”)

Mama Gets A Piercing

or  Things About Piercing I Never Knew!

piercing

Mama needs a new pair of piercings

Recently I, a 40-something mommy of twin 4 yr olds, decided to visit a tattoo parlor.

No, I wasn’t there to get a ‘tat’ for myself.  Instead, I visited for their other specialty: body piercing!
Just regular, run-of-the-mill earlobe piercings though.  I’d been deprived of my earrings for a good while – 4 years, in fact – in fear that my twins would try to remove them the hard way, and in the meantime my piercing holes had closed up.  Now, finally, my kids are (barely) civilized enough to not rip out my earrings, so I needed to get my ears re-done.

And apparently the only safe way to do that, according to my research, was at a tattoo parlor or piercing studio.

Having chosen to forgo the ol’ ‘sewing needle and ice-cube’ method that I employed with my 2nd attempt at piercing my ears back in ’94, I first googled for the nearest mall chain-jewelry store where they have young women, still in the first flush of college-hood, wielding piercing guns with a jaded air.

Surprising info about mall-style piercing guns

It was during my online search for such a place, that I stumbled across some disturbing information: piercing guns are the WORST way to get a piercing done. (followed closely by the sewing needle method)

According to the APP (Assoc. of Professional Piercers) the guns cause excessive and unnecessary damage to earlobes and cartilage, and despite claims of being sanitary because of the disposable cartridges used, they are not autoclaved.  Autoclaving is the only reliable method of properly sanitizing surgical implements.

The problem of sanitation for cartridge-loaded mall-style piercing guns, is that they have ‘blowback’, the fine aerosolized spray of blood from the blunt force trauma of forcing the piercing through the flesh and cartilage, which stays on the gun and accumulates, user after user after user.

Such piercings are ripe for infections and contamination from blood-borne diseases.

Another problematic feature of the gun-piercings, according to Jorge, the pleasant young man at Jerzey Ink who performed my piercings one Saturday afternoon, is that the earrings themselves that are used with such guns have posts that are too short to allow for the initial swelling. This causes further tissue damage and makes it harder to keep the wound clean while it heals.  The APP also concurs on this point, as well.

Jorge demonstrated with his lip piercing. Indeed the post was a bit longer than what had been used on my ears with my 1st piercing which had been with a mall gun back in ’85, and there was a fair bit of clearance between the skin surface and the post clasp.

Well, Jorge really knew his business, because my ears did initially swell a bit, but were still comfortable and had plenty of room to do so. The swelling quickly went down by the next day, and when it came time to clean the wounds, the longer bar did make it much easier than had been my previous experience using standard sized earrings with my first and second attempts at piercing.

While going over the aftercare instructions, Jorge also cautioned me against another thing that I had done in my previous piercings – using hydrogen peroxide to clean my ears. Apparently it’s not the best choice in preventing or treating an infection with the piercings. He persuaded me to instead try the piercing aftercare spray sold in his shop.

Since he was so knowledgeable, I decided to put myself in his hands and trust him. And after perusing the spray bottle’s list of ingredients, I was quite relieved to find that there were no toxic or carcinogenic ingredients, such as propylene glycol, sodium benzoate or other harmful things commonly found in commercial cosmetic products.

This wasn’t what I thought a tattoo parlor would be like

Jerzey Ink, located in Harrison, NJ was also a lot different from what I expected a tattoo parlor to be. It was bright, spacious, with the clean lines of the minimalist decor giving an air of competent professionalism to the place. In fact, the entire place was scrupulously clean. There were no offensive images decorating the place, and it rather resembled an upscale salon.

The staff there were friendly, helpful, respectful and very patient with all of my questions. They also took no offense at my questions regarding their sanitizing procedures and volunteered to show me their latest spore-count report for the autoclave. They have it inspected every month, and it gets broken down and reassembled every other month.

Aftermath

It’s now several months later, and despite a small setback wherein I learned that I had a metal allergy and had to resort to hypo-allergenic post-holders, my ears are healing nicely without any of the problems I had with my first two attempts at ear piercing.

And so far my twins, after initially requesting a closer look at my earrings (“We’ll be gentle Mama, we promise!”), have left my ears alone. (Update: Lol! I can’t believe I fell for that! The earrings went back in the box once more and the holes have closed back up again. Going to have to get them re-pierced now that the kids are 10! 😀 )

So, if you’re in the market to get yours or your child’s ears pierced, I strongly recommend that you visit the Assoc. of Professional Piercers’ website first, to learn more about how to have a safe piercing.

(This is a re-print of an article I wrote a few years ago for a website that has since been discontinued.)

A Non-Stop Whirligig of Mama

a-six-armed-business-woman-multi-tasking

Have you ever seen a plate-spinner show at a carnival or county fair? The kind with a poor schmuck who carefully balances some plates atop some sticks, gives the plates a spin and then spends the rest of the time running madly back and forth, trying to keep all those plates aloft without them crashing to the ground.  Inevitably, he’s gasping for air, struggling mightily back and forth to give wobbling plates another spin, and practically passing out from exhaustion by the time the final plate’s shattered on the ground.

Welcome to my life this past week…month… 😀

For the past six weeks, I’ve been prepping one of my twins (the homeschooled one) for a placement test (this past week) to get her back into public school.  She finally aged out of the *cough* horrible *cough* elementary school in our district and can move up to the next level of school where it seems the administrative staff actually have functioning human souls.

If they hadn’t been so darn nice when I attended orientation night for my other twin, I wouldn’t have even considered it as a possibility.  But they were VERY nice and willing to work with us on transitioning her back to public school.  The only snag was that since I’d been focusing on going the homeschooling route, we’d used a Waldorf School-based accredited curriculum, which was dandy, however it was not Common Core (ugh – shudder). So in the six weeks before her placement test, we had to cram a bunch of common crap…er…core.  Khan Academy was a great help, but not quite enough.

She really loathed the process and I wasn’t a big fan myself.  But by the end of it, we think she probably did pretty well on the test…for the parts of it she wasn’t horrifically bored by.

You’re probably wondering why the heck we’re even considering putting her back in public school since we obviously are cognizant of common crap’s…er…core’s epic failings.  It’s because I do much better at being “Mama” than “teacher”.  I’ve got a kid that LOVES art, creative writing, poetry, science, and absolutely loathes and detests common core math (although if she bothers to pay attention to it she’s actually rather good at it) and she could give a rat’s patootie for anything else that’s non-fine-arts or science.  This does not make for a comfortable educational experience.

But her twin’s getting all kinds of assemblies and class parties and access to clubs that she’s been left out of (with the exception of a one-day Shakespeare for kids event that I harassed the organizing teacher into letting her participate in, as public school folks usually tend to treat homeschooled children as though they are on par with roaches.), and while she’s had ample socialization (YES HOMESCHOOLERS HAVE ACCESS TO SOCIALIZATION!!!) most of the neighborhood kids have school experiences in common that she’s been left out of (due to the school’s own epic failures at curbing bullying which necessitated our switching her to homeschool this year, though I give massive kudos to her twin’s teacher who made great efforts to deal with bullying that threatened her students).

And while I’ve been homeschooling my child, I haven’t been able to do a thing with my own writing and art.  I don’t regret basically putting my life on hold for a year, my child’s worth it, but I need some me-time, just out of self-preservation. 😀

Then, while we’ve been prepping, my best friend came for a visit about a week ago and a few other things popped up since then that had me running from plate to plate, trying to keep everything in the air.

Also last week, I went to a totally AWESOME 2-day blogger convention and toy expo called Blogger Bash / Sweet Suite, and I’ve been getting my WishStones business off the ground and I’ve got a limited window of opportunity to produce enough WishStones to last me the entire year before the weather turns too cold and wet to make those outside (can’t do it inside, not enough ventilation).

And then there’s the missing 7 or so chapters of the book I’m writing that I wanted to have a 1st draft ready by end of August so I could pitch it to any publishers/agents at a sci-fi convention I’m planning on going to.

And all the follow up with brand reps I met at the Blogger Bash convention.

And general mommy-ing all the while.

Ya know, it’s pretty rude to roll around the floor, laughing your butt off at me, like that. 😀  I totally could have really managed all of that…really. In some alternate universe where I had a time-machine, and a cooperative ‘me’ from another dimension willing and able to help me out…and if I sprouted six more arms and legs…and maybe hired a couple people…

So, I’m a pretty tired mama, right about now. 😀

And things don’t look to be letting up anytime soon.

Wrestling With My Inner Demons :D

cat 1

I’ve actually been pretty busy the past several months, but none of that managed to make it into my blog. The reason for that? I’ve been fraught with anxiety over it all.

However, it’s all good stuff!  I’ve started a YouTube channel for my geeky culture videos, I’ve begun a local Geeky Grown-Up club and gotten the library to sponsor it, I’ve begun this year’s production of my WishStones (orgonite), and had my first-ever sale of those which went far better than I expected, and I’m back to working on my urban fantasy novel trilogy.

But the reason I’ve slowed down on my blog, my videos, my orgonite-making, my book-writing is all the same – I’m scared to bits, totally anxious over any and all of it and it’s gotten me practically paralysed with fear.

Totally not of the fun-ness.

All of my endeavors, including this blog, have to do, in some way, with putting myself out there, making myself vulnerable, opening my self – my best and most precious inner parts of me – up for rejection and disaster.

I’m scared to fail, I’m scared to be criticized, I’m scared to be rejected, to be thought foolish, to be ridiculed, to be dismissed as a nut or weirdo.

And I’m scared to succeed – because what happens then? Consistency is not my strong point, neither is organization, and if I try to make anything into any kind of consistent endeavor, I’m scared I’ll muck it up, it’ll be  a disaster, I’ll get cheated, I’ll fail to fill orders, scared quality will go down with repetition, scared that I’ll have to deal with SPREADSHEETS!!!! AAUUGGHH!!!! (I positively loathe spreadsheets!) It’ll all be a confusing, bewildering mass of overwhelming disorganization and I’ll be feeling all kinds of terrified and chaos and there’ll be a rain of toads somewhere in there as well!cat 3

What if I make mistakes? What if people just look pityingly at me and condescendingly tell me that I just don’t belong among others who are far more ‘with it’ and ‘put together’ and ‘professional’ and far, far better at doing things than I can ever hope to be?

Am I completely freakin’ nuts to ever think I could be good at anything? I just want to hide under the covers with lots of plump pillows and my plush critters. Go away, world! Lara is busy hiding until everything packs up and goes away!

So yeah, scariness and anxiety.

But ya know – I don’t want to live like that. I don’t want these self-limiting feels to hold me down, and it’s the scariest thing in the world (and I’m sniffling back mucus and wiping tears as I write this post), but I know what I want in my life, I know how I want my dreams to come true and instead of waiting for a fairy godmother to come and wave her wand and do it for me (’cause it would still be me, at the end, living in that life, fears included if I don’t manage to beat ’em before then) so I’ve decided to not let myself get in the way of myself getting what I want.

So I’ve re-started editing the video I shot the footage for back in May, I’ve gotten back to work on my book again, and I’ve set up that Geeky Grown-Up club (20 or so members so far and we haven’t even had our first meeting), and I had that WishStone sale, and I’ve started making more WishStones.  And I’m so, so, so freakin’ scared while I’m doing it all, but I’m doing it anyway! (Except I’m careful to not be all stressed when I’m making the WishStones, because that messes them up,. I can manage to be calm in those moments because it’s really fun to make them :D)!  And I’ll be going to a blogger convention in a few days where there’ll be loads of other people that will likely be better dressed, more poised, more savvy and generally more everything than my own personal hot mess of a self.

I figure that eventually, the fear will give up and go away as long as I keep moving forward doing what I want.  When I go for it and the sky doesn’t fall, and I can positively manifest the experiences I want to have and my worries are proven to be unfounded, I figure those worries will dissipate.

So if you happen to stumble across me somewhere, curled up in a fetal position, whimpering and having a stress-moment, don’t worry, I’ll be ok.  I’ll get back up on the horse (not a real horse – I’m acrophobic and horses are way high up there) and get back to whatever it was that I was doing.cat 2

But hugs are always appreciated. And if you need a hug too, I’ll be happy to oblige – as long as you’ve got a reasonable minimum of good personal hygiene and don’t get grope-y. 😀

We’re all going to have our dreams come true, we just have to keep plugging away at it and it’ll happen, I just know it! 😀

We scaredy cats can succeed at getting our happy-ish endings too! 😀

happy kitty

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