Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Real Trayvon Martin Photo

Yes, I have it. The real Trayvon Martin photo.

You would think at a time when people are snapping so many photos and posting them all over the place, we could find a photo of Trayvon just before his death. But they are few and far between. It's a bit controversial because initially the photos that were used showed him as a 12 year old. The media wanted to show his innocence. So the side that wanted to assassinate a dead teenagers reputation decided to do one better. They started posting pictures of a huge muscled man with tattoos on his face and claimed that it was Trayvon while they complained about the dishonesty of the media. Only it wasn't a picture of Trayvon. It was a picture of a rapper in his thirties. I guess posting a picture that isn't even of the young man is more honest somehow. 

So here are the pictures of the big scary teenager which according to snopes was taken just nine days prior to his death at his mother's birthday party. He's the tall skinny one standing to the side. With no tatoos on his face.

 Now doesn't this guy strike fear into your heart?

Nope? Me neither. He looks like a kid that one of my kids would bring home.

I tried to be fair and find a picture of Zimmerman at around the time of the incident, but I couldn't find that either. The initial picture posted of him was a police mug shot taken several years earlier, which the side that supports him says isn't fair.

Instead, they prefer the picture taken while he's going to court. After he's trimmed down, wearing a suit and tie and looking like an accountant. Which I doubt is the way he looked when he was following Martin around in the dark. I don't think that's the image that Martin saw.

So why is this important? Because Zimmerman profiled Martin as dangerous.

Now bear in mind, Zimmerman does not have any training in profiling. He just decided that this kid (excuse me, young man because kid inflames those who want to ruin his reputation), who was walking home from the store with skittles and a bottle of iced tea, was a dangerous felon and needed to be followed around. After all, he was wearing a hoodie.

Yeah, you know those sweaters with hoods. I had one when I was five, only back then we called it a kangaroo sweater because it had a big pocket across the front. Every North American teenager, unless they belong to a strict religious sect, has at least one hoodie. Go into any clothing store and you'll see them everywhere. They're as popular as jeans.

Not only was he wearing a hoodie, but he was wearing it with the hood up. Now, isn't that suspicious. A kid walking in the rain and wearing a hoodie up on his head to keep the rain off his head. He was probably wearing jeans too.

He wasn't exactly huge either. 5'11 and 158 pounds. Although not tiny it isn't big enough to play defense on the high school football team. I had one son that reached that height at 14.

Now Zimmerman on the other hand, although shorter by a mere 3 inches (really measure 3 inches, it isn't that much) weighed close to 200 pounds.

So Zimmerman follows him around for awhile and then calls 911 and claims this kid is acting suspicious. Now, if I had some guy following me, I would probably act suspicious too. Maybe I'd duck into trees, and hide in shadows and go down alleys, anything to shake this guy. Personally, I might go and knock on a door asking for help but then I'm a middle-aged pudgy woman. I would likely be helped. I doubt Martin had that option. Not many people would help a black teenage boy at night time.

One thing I would not do, which Martin is criticized for not doing, is go home. Why would I lead scary creepy rapist guy straight to my home where either I'm alone and can't call for help when he breaks in, or where my loved ones are? Or where he can hang out anytime he wants waiting for me or loved ones.

While Zimmerman is on the phone, he tells the dispatcher that he's following Martin. The dispatcher says "you don't need to do that". Now to me, that sounds like a nice way of saying "don't do that." But Zimmerman who is feeling pretty sure of himself, ignores this little piece of advice and decides to continue to follow Martin. After all, he can handle himself. He's got a gun.

Now Martin could have called 911. He had a phone on him. And he should have done that and then hid somewhere until they came. But he's a teenage boy. They believe they can handle themselves. I know this. I raised three of them. He was probably tired of running (at one point he did run because he was being chased). So he decides that the best defense is a good offense. He might also have had a history of being negatively profiled in the past, and he might have felt that 911 wouldn't get there soon enough, or wouldn't help him at all. So he decides as a teenage boy that he can take care of himself. Interestingly, Zimmerman is suffering from this teenage boy syndrome as well. He hasn't grown out of it. Zimmerman by the way, is not some old guy. He's only 27 or 28 at the time. Not only does he have youth, but he has more experience than Martin.

Now if it were me, and I had like martial arts skills or something, I might confront my stalker too. I would want to know what he wanted. I would likely feel that was better than waiting to be jumped from behind. Martin didn't have martial arts skills, but I bet he thought he could defend himself against creepy guy. Added to that, Martin may have seen Zimmerman on the phone and concluded that this stalker guy was calling his buddies to come. So there's a time issue involved as well. Added to that, there is some evidence that he was afraid of being raped. Bear in mind too, that this young man has likely been raised to do anything to get away from strange men. Yell, scream, fight. I even read someone saying that Martin should have shown respect to Zimmerman. That's right. Show respect to creepy stalker guy.

It's here that things are unclear. Zimmerman claims that Martin came out of nowhere and started punching him, smashing his head against the concrete again and again, and Zimmerman pulled out his gun and killed him in self-defense.

Except that doesn't fit Martin's actual profile. He doesn't have a violent history. But it's what got Zimmerman off in court because there wasn't any evidence to refute it. The jury only had Zimmerman's testimony, so they had to aquit.

There are several scenarios that could have happened. By the way, I'm not disputing that Martin punched him and hit his head into the concrete. The evidence supports it. But why did he do that?

Martin could have confronted Zimmerman and told him to back off. Zimmerman could have swung at him and missed or grabbed Martin causing Martin to punch him. Or Zimmerman could have shown Martin the gun. Now if he did this, Martin might be thinking "I'm screwed. If I walk away he could shoot me in the back. If I do nothing, he could shoot me anyway. Better incapacitate this guy so he doesn't shoot me." If that happened, then one could argue that Martin was acting in self-defense.

Zimmerman could have also been the one who did the confronting and Martin didn't see any way out than to hit him and try to knock him out. Remember, we're talking about two guys with stupid teenage boy I can handle anything syndrome. Except one was a teenage boy and may be excused for going through that phase and the other one was an adult and should have known better.

We don't actually know what happened because Zimmerman is the only voice. Martin doesn't have one. Zimmerman took care of that.

People like to bring out Martin's history and call him a thug. There are various things thrown around to try and assasinate this young man's character, a young man who can't refute it. Specifically, he was suspended several times from school.

One time was for tardiness and truancy.
Another time for graffitti. He marked up a wall with the letters WTF.
He was also found with some jewelry and a screwdriver.
His third suspension was for suspected marijuana use and having a marijuana pipe.
There was suspicion that the jewelry and screwdriver might be related to a burglary, which there was no record of. Martin did not have any charges brought against him and had no juvenile record.

That's his big scary record. There was also talk that he was looking to buy a gun and he had naked pictures of girls on his phone.

Now there's an unusual young man. He was interested in seeing naked women. As for the gun, yeah, that's a little scary, except, Zimmerman actually had a gun, so he was one upped on that by Zimmerman.

Zimmerman actually had a record so he beats Martin out on that as well.

At 21 Zimmerman was charged with assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest. This was the mug shot that upset so many people. After all it wasn't fair to show his mug shot from a handful of years ago. Yeah. Whatever.

That same year, Zimmerman's fiance filed a restraining order for domestic abuse. So he's the kind of guy, who not only beats on women but beats on women that he claims to love.  He filed one back. Do you see a pattern here? Zimmerman starts fights and then whines when someone fights back. Is it possible that his fiance hit him back? Yep. In self defence.

When I was in junior high there was this guy named David (and no I'm not changing his name to protect him. It' s not like he was named Marmaduke or something). Anyway, David liked to go around starting fights. He was this little skinny guy and he would hit girls while walking down the hallway, and then he would cry when some guy would defend the girl and hit him back. He would cry and go running and complain that he was being bullied.

Sound familiar?

So Zimmerman has a record of violence. And he carries a gun.

Martin has been criticized for carrying a screwdriver.

As far as I know, it's not illegal to carry a screwdriver around. They can be handy for all sorts of things. Sure they can be used for breaking into things, but they can also be used to fix things. In fact, I think that's what they were designed for. And yes, in a pinch, you can use it for self defense.

Now a gun can be used for a number of things too. Like killing. And...well, hunting for food because when you live in the suburbs you never know when you might get the chance to shoot a deer for dinner.

For some reason Martin's screwdriver is more ominous than Zimmerman's gun. Yes, Zimmerman was legally allowed to carry the gun. And Martin was legally allowed to carry a screwdriver.

The other thing is, does it really matter what was in Martin's backpack or phone? Unless of course, Zimmerman can read minds and has xray vision into back packs to justify following around a skinny teenager. But I don't think he has those super powers. I could be wrong about that. Maybe he is like Clark Kent and all those other super heroes and doesn't want anyone to know about his super powers. I guess he just doesn't have the super strength to combat a guy who weighs 40 pounds less than he does.

Now if Martin were following someone, or trespassing on people's yards, or breaking into cars, or causing a disturbance then Zimmerman would have reason to do something about it.

But as far as I know, walking down a street is not suspicious.

I walk down streets all the time. Sometimes the neighborhood isn't mine. I like to look at the houses too. Does that make my actions suspicious and justify having creepy guy follow me?

But you see, I'm a middle-aged pudgy woman. I can get away with it.

A black teenage boy can't. He could get killed for it.

In fact, sadly he did. I wish people would remember that when they criticize this young man. Do they really think it's fair that this young man should be remembered for some teenage mistakes? He never got time to correct them as the rest of us have.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Steamy Veggies

I am going to tell you how to do steamed veggies WITHOUT A STEAMER.

I know. It's amazing. Not only can you do it without a steamer, but even more amazing, I'm the one telling it to you.

Someone asked me how to do it once. Once is enough.

I know your mom completely covered the veggies in water so that they were swimming. It's what they were taught to do. They thought drowning it was necessary.

Here's the thing. When you pick a vegetable, you have killed it. It's already dead.

Just to make sure it was dead, they thought they should boil it to death which is silly since you can't boil something to death that is already dead. But they did it anyway.

It's why we all grew up hating vegetables.

When I was in home-ec class we were instructed not to do that. Instead we were told to just cover the veggies with water, and then boil it to death. That way you only drowned them a little bit before completely killing them off.

I'm going to make a wild suggestion here.

Do not drown your veggies even a little bit. Yes, I know that drowning is drowning whether you drown in two inches of water or sixty feet, but still. Don't drown your veggies.

Remember, they're already dead. Doing more is overkill. Overkill. Get it?

Anyway, take your veggies and just put a little water in the bottom. Get their feet wet.

Now put them on to boil with a lid.

When the water starts boiling, let it boil for a minute or two and then here's the shocking part. Turn off the heat!

I know. How can food cook without any heat?

But this is why we call it steamed veggies. You've created steam. Now let the steam do the trick. Do not remove the lid! You will let that steam escape and that is not what you want.

Let it sit there on the cooling down burner for about five minutes, or while you're finishing up the rest of your meal, or while you're painting your toes, or while you're reminding your kids for the eight hundredth time to pick up their jackets and backpacks.

Then remove the lid and Voila! You have steamed veggies that are cooked, yet still crisp, full of color and delicious because you haven't taken all the flavor or texture out.

And people think I can't do anything.

Okay, now look at the picture. Weird or cool? You would think this was done by a modern painter but no.

Giuseppe Archimboldo (don't ask me to pronounce that) was an Italian painter who lived from 1527-1593. He specialized in painting portrait heads made up of vegetables, fruit, flowers, fish and books. Perhaps he couldn't read and thought books were for wearing on the head. I don't know. To see more of his work go to Giuseppe Archimboldo The Complete Works.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Now I'll Tell You What I Want, What I Really Really Want

I have been single now for over ten years after a twenty year marriage which makes me about a hundred and two. Okay, it doesn't but it sure sounds like that.

Actually, I admit it. I'm fifty. That half century. I don't look it (at least I'm told that although they could all be lying to me), I don't feel it, and somehow, most fifty year old men are not attractive to me. Maybe because I think of fifty as old, and I'm not old.

On the radio today they were asking women to make a list of the ten things they want in a man. So it got me thinking. I seem to remember making that list when I was a teenager and then I didn't follow it when I chose a husband. That stupid love/infatuation thing got in the way. Not that love/infatuation is bad. I sincerely hope it comes my way again, but boy do we get stupid when it does.

So, I thought I would write out a list to guide me and hopefully I'll remember it if I ever meet a single man who shows any interest in me. I haven't yet. There's a whole bunch of divorced women out here but I have no idea where the divorced men go. Must be some black hole somewhere.

So here it goes, in no particular order. Yes, I'm numbering them, but the numbers are NOT important.

Things I'm Looking for in a Husband

1. Someone that I'm physically attracted to. Yes, I know looks aren't everything. But at the same time, I should want to kiss him. I should like looking at him. I should feel tingly when he looks at me. I should want to wake up in the morning with him. Notice I said "to me." So he may not be physically attractive to you - okay, who are we kidding, I'm attracted to the obviously attractive - but still, I think basics are important. He should be clean. He should have a nice smile and twinkly eyes. He should take care of himself. I'm not a tatoo fan, but if he has a couple I can live with them, however if they're crawling up his neck I can't help but wonder if he ran out of skin, and if they are taking over his face then I'm out of there.

2. Someone who is kind and respectful. Like not kind as in "I'm going to pretend to be kind because that earns be brownie points" but someone who is honestly kind. Where kindness is not a chore but a way of life.

3. Someone who has a sense of humor and appreciates my sense of humor. If he doesn't get my sense of humor then how can I possibly write about him in my blog? Seriously, I don't want someone who can't laugh. Seriously.

4. Spiritual. No, I don't mean that he has to cross his legs and chant. I simply mean that he is open to God. He doesn't have to be LDS (which I'm sure shocks my LDS friends) but I can't be with an atheist. Can you imagine the fights that would happen? He would call me crazy when I tell him that God told me to do it. I don't mind someone who is searching. Frankly, I think LDS men are sometimes over rated in my church. So many or them are control freaks who want to put women in teeny tiny boxes. Not all of them. But a good number of them.

5. Someone who is morally strong. He knows what his values are. He isn't going to cheat, or be abusive. He isn't going to have the cops show up in the middle of the night to arrest him for stock market shenanigans. He's going to be able to stick to his guns when it's important and he isn't going to be a push over.

6. Someone who's sensitive. If I want to cry, he should be able to deal with that. If he wants to cry, he should be able to deal with that. If something is sad, or difficult, he should man up and deal with that in a sensitive way.

7. Someone who is financially stable and responsible. Being poor at 20 is fine. It's expected. Being poor at 40 or 50 for a man, shows someone who has completely missed the boat and fallen into the lake. What's he been doing all those years? Now I'm not saying he should have a mansion, but I think he should have more than a van down by the river. He should know how to pay his bills. If he has minor children, he should be caring for them financially. This is not me being money hungry. This is me being practical. Romance goes away when you have to share the cardboard box by the dumpster.

8. Someone who appreciates the arts. He doesn't have to be carry around a paintbox, dance like a ballerina, or wear a beret. But it would be nice to be able to talk about books with someone and occasionally go to the theatre together. It would be nice if he were literate and uses that skill on a regular basis for pleasure.

9. Someone who is young at heart. I don't want to marry a grumpy old man. Well, I wouldn't anyway. I don't want anyone who will turn into a grumpy old man. I need someone who can be spontaneous, who likes to have fun, who is willing to make a change or go on a new adventure, who doesn't want to stop learning, who wants to travel and see new places, who doesn't need to go to bed at eight o'clock every night, who is romantic, who isn't ready to settle into some boring old routine. I want someone who grabs life and opportunity and is willing to make mistakes and have fun.

10. Someone who adores me. Not someone who is just looking to get married and settles on me. But someone who honestly adores me. Who wants to spend time with me. And I'm not a time hog. I don't need someone around all the time because some things I like to do alone - like shop. And if he wants to do things with his buddies like camping or watching sports, then I hope he please does so and doesn't expect me to do it. But I want someone who puts me first in his life so that I can put him first in mine. I want someone who wants to go to the movies with me and go to dinner with me and cuddle on the couch with me. I want someone who wants me and isn't sighing over the ex, or the bikini model that turned him down, or the girlfriend who got away, or the girlfriend he dreams about.

Well the list was supposed to be ten, but I have three more that are important to me.

11. Someone who doesn't view women as less than them, who doesn't idolize Rush Limbaugh, and who believes that women should be able to do anything that they desire. Note number 4 under spiritual where I mention that some LDS men like to put women in teeny tiny boxes. They also claim they honor and respect women when they do that. What they really mean is they honor and respect women when those women do what they say and stay in their teeny tiny boxes. I need someone more generous than that and more secure in his masculinity than that.

12. Someone who is confident and goes after what he wants. Frankly, shy men don't attract me. It simply wouldn't work. I'm shy. I don't like to chase men. I like being chased. It would never work if neither of us can approach the other. We would both be waiting for the other one to make a move.  I need someone who's secure about himself, because I'm not. This is one instance where opposites attract.

13. This is a biggie. He can't be afraid of rats or rat cousins. He has to be able to kill these things, preferably without me knowing about it. Because both of us standing on tables screaming does not help me. If he's afraid of spiders, that's fine with me, because I can kill those without a problem, but the rat thing is important to me. At the same time, he can't want those rat things as pets either.

So there's my list. So, anyone know someone who makes the cut.

Did I mention that he has to be single? Yes, I know. Let's just complicate things. All the good ones are married.