Does this shirt make me look altruistic?

Brands which integrate socially-conscious business practices are all the rage these days.  And rightfully so.  Corporate responsibility is a buzz-word, but one I hope will sustain.  If you’re going to buy something, why not make it an opportunity to give back?  Take, for instance, the popular shoe company TOMS.  I recently bought my 2nd pair of TOMS;  a pair of Chukka boots (my first pair had to go to Goodwill after my wife finally confessed to me that they looked like jazz shoes).  I have to admit, I felt good that my purchase would in turn provide for a pair of shoes for a child in need. (check out their statement here: http://www.toms.com/about-toms#corporateResponsibility).  But it doesn’t have to stop with shoes.

Think of the other items of on your list.  Your spaghetti sauce?  Try Newman’s Own brand (they donate all after tax profits to educational and charitable purposes).  What about that toothpaste or soap?  Try Tom’s of Maine.  Their products are made with natural and sustainable resources, from the product itself, right up to the packaging.  There are a host of brands offering socially-conscious options.  I advance that choosing from companies with these objectives will provide you not only with the quality product you’re seeking, but also with that good feeling we all crave. So for this holiday season, if shopping is how you celebrate, explore some of a socially-conscious brand.  I found a website which might help:  http://shopwithmeaning.org/.

McDonald’s, Oils, and my Stay-at-Home Kid

I know this goes against hipster sensibilities, but why the snobbishness about McDonald’s?  I just don’t get it.  Let’s be clear.  The food is DELICIOUS.  What’s more, there is a nice variety.  My wife is a healthy vegetarian.  Thus, she can opt for a nice garden salad with her dressing on the side.  Perhaps a Diet Coke with Lemon to wash it down.  Maybe even a Spring Water (yes, Spring Water).

While she is stabbing at cherry tomatoes and leaves of lettuce, I’m stress-eating a McRib Large Combo.  Mission accomplished.  As I chow down on the mysterious meat (because I don’t care) and pawing their golden fries 8 and 10 at a time, I truly feel the stress and pains of the world melt away like a nice massage (except a hundredth of the price).  The kids? Why, they are happily enjoying their Happy Meals.. HAPPY. MEALS.  The meals themselves induce happiness–I’m not lying–and if you don’t believe it, you haven’t had your kids indulge in one. So in short, McDonald’s is a place of joy.  So why the hate?  Go get your legumes and kale wraps elsewhere, you hipsters.

Any of you that know me also know I’m a sucker for the latest trend.  This time, it’s essential oils.  My friend Liz from seminary sells them (thelemondroplounge.com) and I’m hooked.  There is an oil for everything.  Stressed?  How about rubbing a little “Stress Away” on the back of the ears.  Anxiety?  Try a little “Harmony” on the bottom of your feet.  I even infuse a little Frankincense while I’m reading my Bible to feel holier. And it works!   Good smells just do something for me.  Very metrosexual of me, I know.  But who cares.  If it makes my crazy life a little less crazy, SIGN ME UP.  But in all seriousness, I do believe our culture is missing out on some really good, homeopathic cures that are right at our finger tips.  And sometimes we need a trendy package to get our buy-in.  So give these oils a shot.  You might be surprised.  Now if I could only find one for indigestion…remember that McRib?

Kid’s Activities are the heartbeat of the suburban lifestyle, and you don’t need me tell you that. Helicopter parents are all over the place, swarming like a WWIII invasion.  These kids are mastering everything from mandarin to travel soccer leagues, all at the expense of any parental solitude (or sanity, for that matter).  Why we feel so pressured to fill every waking moment of these kids lives is beyond me.  I had an idyllic childhood of playing in the woods and building blanket forts during rainy days.  If you suggested this to a Helicopter parent they would pop a Xanax before you could finish the sentence.  We are somewhat guilty in that each child gets to select one activity as “season” (in addition to choir/music at church).  But, to our relief, they haven’t chosen these intensive activities (yet).  In fact, it was somewhat of a relief when our diva daughter, Lauren, announced that she wanted to be a “stay-at-home kid”.  My Lauren doesn’t like to exert herself physically (emotionally? an ENTIRELY different story).   If she’s late for the bus, she doesn’t pick up her pace one bit.  She just stomps in her purple go-go boots just a little louder.  Ah, that’s my stay-at-home kid.  Now, I wonder if I could get her to do some laundry.

Hello & Welcome

Approaching the cusp of the second half of my life (the adult half, I guess), I set about on this adventure known as my blog.  Why a blog?  Well, I guess I have so much rattling around in this noggin of mine–musings on religion, politics, entertainment, social issues, and, well,  just life in general–that I needed a creative outlet.  I imagine that at times it will be interesting;  at times it will be dull;  but I promise you this–it will be authentic.  Maybe even gritty.  Perhaps, you’ll join me.