Blake Lively’s New Lifestyle Site

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I did a quick drive-by on Blake Lively’s new “lifestyle” website called Preserve.us. Welp, that was a serious waste of time. I’m all for capitalism and entrepreneurship; have no issue with people getting paid. But where I draw the line is, celebrities going live with these websites (Gwyneth Paltrow and her idiotic GOOP site comes to mind) selling merchandise that is either far too expensive for the average person. Or loaded with products that can be bought at any supermarket, department store or my personal favorite, Bed, Bath and Beyond, for much less. Blake Lively’s site is full of inane ramblings, random over-used quotes, odd pictures and quite frankly a very depressing tone emanating from the home page….bizarre.

Then when you look further and go to the product prompt, there’s BBQ sauce mixed with jewelry, clothing, pillows and other items that visually, makes no damned sense. Just because you can do something, doesn’t always mean you should. I feel Ms. Lively should probably do what she does best and that’s walk red carpets, wear fabulously expensive designer clothes, cuddle up to that hunky bundle of goodness husband of hers and just be a TV and movie star. Lets face it, she’s not Kim K who can make a dollar out of 10 cents for doing nothing. But I’m sure she’ll do well selling her wares to other celebs and the wealthy who have disposable income to burn. After-all, they’re usually the ones who keep celebrity sites afloat anyway. I mean outside of a handful of star-struck fans but that’s another topic I’ll save for later.

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Batsh*t Crazy…Why Narcissists Make Your Head Explode!

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We all know them; we work with them,  interact with them at events, parties, numerous social gatherings, school  and yes, they’re even in our  families. The ever-present all-consuming ones who create drama…they feed off volatile situations like legendary vampires feed off human blood. They go from person to person telling tales of imaginary wrongs foisted upon them by the abundance of bad people who always mean them ill-will. And believe me, it’s always and forever someone else and never them.

They can’t keep a job because the boss, lets see — hates them, is jealous of them, less intelligent than them, less deserving of the title than them and we can’t forget the “isms”, no need to name them. Never-mind the insignificant little details that may involve tardiness, insubordination, arrogance and possible incompetence. That’s conveniently left out of the conversation because…wait for it, it’s not their fault! Shhhhhhhh….

If their relationships or marriages fall apart, of course, they’re the injured party and here comes the pity express. Need I say more. They rant, rave, pout, whine, storm out of rooms like crazy people, point fingers, foster hellish and nightmarish situations that an Academy Award winning screenwriter couldn’t possibly dream up in a thousand years. But somehow in their twisted sense of self, they will never own up to being the writer, director, editor, executive producer and star of their own melodrama or in many cases, horror film.

Oh, and lest I forget, how they can drag other people into their bizarre psychotic episodes. They can have you embroiled in conflicts that you have no knowledge of until you start receiving texts, Facebook messages, Tweets, phone calls and emails asking to explain. And your first thought is what the fuck is going on?????? Then you call them on their bullshit and out comes the righteous indignation; head explosion part deux!

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Who am I talking about….energy vampires, malignant narcissists, self-absorbed morons, all about me jerks and batshit crazy loonies who live in a world created by them, for them and about them. No matter what, they can take a perfectly happy day and obliterate it into dust. When the meme “misery loves company” was invented, it was a person who was victimized by one of these foreboding creatures.

So people, take it  from one who knows, get these joy-sucking leeches out of your life! They serve no one but themselves and they don’t love anyone more than they love themselves. It’s evidenced by the their constant praising (of themselves) and kissing their own asses.  Oops, almost forgot, they’re smarter than everyone else on the planet and  they have no hesitation in telling you that…often. These nutters will drain the last ounce of breath out of your body and brain cells out of your head. They inherently aren’t worth what you go through to deal with them. They will never change but what they will do, is change YOU!

RUN!!!!! Your physical and emotional health depends on it!!!

Raising the Minimum Wage…Why Not?

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Today I was reading where Gov. Jerry Brown backed a plan to raise California’s minimum wage to $10.00 an hour by 2016. A number of Los Angeles-area business groups criticized the legislation, saying it would unfairly burden companies. And according to the article in The Huffington Post – Los Angeles, Stuart Waldman, president of the Valley Industry and Commerce Association, called the hike “obscene” and said it’s unrealistic to increase wages 25 percent in two years.

Well isn’t that special and of course the requisite reasoning for these businesses objections is that the legislation is done by people who don’t understand business. And they would have to pass the costs along to their customers and clientele. HOGWASH!! or BULLSHIT!!!!, you choose. California’s minimum wage is $8.00 which is higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25. However, states like Washington ($9.19) and Oregon ($8.95) are  higher.

Most of those who support this legislation says that the hike will add about $4000 annually to a worker’s paycheck thus with the extra money, they can infuse the local economy with much-needed revenue.  How bad can that be?

I feel the problem is not that employers aren’t able to pay employees a fair living wage, it’s that many of these multimillion dollar businesses simply don’t want to. Many of the owners are motivated by greed; they’re money-whores. They have been allowed to cruise for decades with hiring illegal immigrants, low-balling wages, paying no health insurance to many of their employees ( and this is done by keeping the employees below what would be considered full-time) and in some cases,  inciting an atmosphere of fear. Their stance, because of the over-saturation of unemployed people and illegal immigrants willing to work, is that all of their employees are expendable. If the employee puts up a fuss, then SEE YA! And the reality is that they will probably have that position filled within a few days, if that long.

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I  saw a couple of months ago where the owner of the restaurant chain Mr. Chow, Michael Chow, sold his small mansion, and I’m gagging at the idea of a “small” mansion, and bought a behemoth. Michael Chow is apropos of many of these business owners and restaurateurs who are out there putting up a stink about minimum wage. And I use him as example because he comes from affluence. His father is a renown Chinese actor and his mother comes from a very wealthy family. This is why most of those business owners have no clue. They’ve never had to work for minimum wage, they’ve never had to travel for hours to and from work and they’ve never had to work multiple jobs to make ends meet. They don’t have to figure out how to pay for glasses, braces, clothing, food, shelter, school supplies and college. That’s a given for them.

Many hop into their Rolls Royce Phantoms, Bentley’s, Jags and what not,  leave work and pass by their employees standing at the bus stop, and don’t even see them because they’re invisible and go home to their mansions in Beverly Hills, Bel Air, the Hollywood Hills or wherever they decide to lay their expensive hats and handbags. Unfortunately, most couldn’t care less if they tried about their employees plight.  I have seen many domestic helpers coming out of the Hollywood Hills on foot, down perilous hills, around dangerous curves all the while their employers were luxuriating at their plush, palatial estates.  You would think that knowing their helper doesn’t have a car, they could at least take them to the bus stop. Oh Hell no, what was I thinking.

According to CNBC, California is number 9 on the list of where the wealthiest 5% in the nation lives.

Percentage of millionaire households in 2011: 6.01%
Millionaire households: 750,686
Total households: 12.49 million

To me this is obscene. I don’t begrudge anyone their hard-earned success, but a lot of the wealthiest people’s success comes from family wealth and connections. It puts a person WELL ahead of the game when you have everything in place to succeed. It’s the same with housing. We have an influx of new apartment complexes going up here in Los Angeles almost every few months, but the vast majority of working people can’t afford to live there. The rent is starting in most places, anywhere from $3000, $6000 to upwards of $13,000 a month. Who are these millionaire/billionaire developers building these complexes for if it’s not for their own ilk?

Even with a minimum wage increase to $10.00 an hour, most people still have to live in undesirable neighborhoods or way out in the Valley where the apartments are cheaper, but there’s stiff competition to rent the ones in better neighborhoods. Living in the city where it’s convenient to everything…within walking and short driving distances to supermarkets, pharmacies and shopping complexes, FORGET IT, unless you have stayed put in a rent stabilized apartment for years.

It saddens me to know that we are fast becoming a nation where fiction is now becoming fact. We are moving toward the Dystopian societies of the films Elysium and Soylent Green. The gap is widening between the rich and poor and the middle class is being slowly squeezed out of the equation entirely. So I ask again,  why not raise the minimum wage to something where people can live comfortably with some semblance of dignity and respect? Well I guess raising the minimum wage would mean the wealthy just couldn’t buy another expensive toy…and we can’t have THAT, now can we?

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The End of a Helluva Week! Time To CHILLAX!

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After a week of war mongering, political posturing, death, destruction, work overload and all around joy killing discourse, I’m glad this week is O-V-E-R! Many of us have high pressure careers and stressful lives and by Thursday, we’re seriously on life support with one foot in the grave and the other one on skates. Come Friday…we’re done!  I don’t know about you, but I need a drink.

I’m tired, I’m drained, my brain is fried and all I need now is just to cut the air up full blast (in these parts, we have a freaky heat wave sucking all of your energy and oxygen after having a pleasant summer…wouldn’t you know it), a nice cool bath, some sexy music in the background and the cap popped off the bubbly; just allowing the madness to completely drain out of my body. Good times!

I hope all of my little Scoodie-oops out in the blogosphere will find your calming piece of the world and have a CHILL weekend with whomever or whatever you have in your life that brings you joy. Until next time, CHEERS!

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HAPPY LABOR DAY TO ALL HARD-WORKING PEOPLE GLOBALLY!

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To the global working community, have a peaceful and restful Labor Day! And remember this – people making up the “labor” have always been less valued than those individuals who are business owners, CEO’s, senior executives and various captains of industry. Without labor, life as we know it would have never come to fruition. It is time for the United States and any country who does not understand the concept of a “decent standard of living”, to step up to the plate and pay working class people a fair living wage. It is a RIGHT, not a present given only to a chosen few deemed worthy. Peace!

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Where Does the Madness End? Do We Start Cutting Away Our Body Parts Out of Fear?

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First of all, what I’m about to say is not any sort of anti-Angelina Jolie diatribe, don’t know the woman personally. Nor is it a biting, hard-hitting treatise on celebrity worship by society and the media. There are elements in the blog, but they’re there to make a point about common sense and allowing fear to get the best of you. So here we go….

I have definite opinions on what Angelina Jolie decided to do about the fact that she found out she was at a high risk of contracting breast as well as ovarian cancer. Though I’m not quite in agreement with the choices she made, I absolutely feel she had the right to do what she thought was best for her and her family. That being said, what is more troubling is the idea that we can somehow get these genetic tests, consult with doctors, have the surgeries (provided you can afford the entire process, including reconstruction) and all will be well in your life forever. Somehow, you’ve become cancer-proof.

WRONG! Angelina Jolie has the means to consult with the best doctors in the world. She can take off from her acting, recuperate and then get breast reconstruction. But what people fail to realize is that reconstruction is considered by most insurance companies as a cosmetic procedure and they are hard-pressed to pay for it. Then there’s the invincibility factor–have the surgery and you’ll never have to worry about cancer again. Never-mind that there are many other forms of cancer you can still be diagnosed with. And some, you may not have a family history of.

This sets many women up to have a false sense of security. And where does it end? Melissa Etheridge, who is a breast cancer survivor said on People.com and The Huffington Post that she felt (and I’m paraphrasing) Angelina’s decision was made in fear. She also felt that maybe she should have just waited for a while because she doesn’t have cancer. Innocent statement…well not to Angelina fanatics. They’ve ripped into Etheridge as if she stole something. How dare she say anything against their goddess because well, it’s Angelina Jolie.

Many of us have been personally affected by cancer, either ourselves battling the disease, a colleague, a friend or family member. Yes cancer is an extremely scary disease. Yes it does kill thousands and thousands of people everyday somewhere in the world. But there are some cancers, if caught in their early stages, that are curable and you can go on to live a long happy life. Even in the worst case scenario and you’re diagnosed with one of the hard to treat ones in its advanced stages, I am a firm believer that if it’s not your time, you’re not going anywhere.

The celebrity of Jolie has set a terrible precedence and this is why. Most people can’t afford those procedures nor do they have insurance. Nothing in life makes any one of us immune to disease, not even some high-profile celebrity. And, with all the genetic testing that is at our fingertips and some out there on the horizon, are we heading in the direction of being a society that believes in unnecessary, major surgical procedures instead of just taking a wait and see attitude if you don’t have the disease yet? What Jolie went through was indeed major surgery. Yes I understand that her mother and aunt died of the disease. I also understand that she wants to live to see her six children become adults. But what Ms. Jolie  and many of those who are contemplating  having the procedure is completely glossing over, is that at any given time, a person can leave their home and get hit by a bus, a car, have some freak accident, die of some undiagnosed illness they didn’t know they had or just simply die of natural causes. We are not designed  to live forever and no matter what you do, we have a definitive amount of time on our life clocks and when that time is up, we move on.

I am by no means saying that people don’t have a right to do with their bodies what they will, but what is extraordinarily disturbing is when women look to these celebrities, pop doctors and various other health gurus as their beacons of extended or eternal life. That misguided mindset could have them feeling as if they’re little bullet-proof superwomen, which in my opinion, is more dangerous than the diseases they’re trying to prevent.

Melissa Etheridge Calls Angelina Jolie’s Double Mastectomy A ‘Fearful’ Choice

Posted: 06/18/2013 8:48 am EDT  |  Updated: 06/18/2013 12:01 pm EDT

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Singer Melissa Etheridge called Angelina Jolie’s double mastectomy a “fearful” choice.

At least one person doesn’t agree with Angelina Jolie’s decision to undergo a preventive double mastectomy earlier this year. Melissa Etheridge, who beat breast cancer in 2005, told the Washington Blade newspaper that Jolie — whose doctors warned her of an 87 percent risk of developing breast cancer — acted out of fear rather than bravery.

The two-time Grammy winner, 52, said she suffered from the same gene mutation that Jolie claimed to have, but that she would have reacted differently. An excerpt from her interview is below:

“I wouldn’t call it the brave choice. I actually think it’s the most fearful choice you can make when confronting anything with cancer. My belief is that cancer comes from inside you and so much of it has to do with the environment of your body. It’s the stress that will turn that gene on or not. Plenty of people have the gene mutation and everything but it never comes to cancer so I would say to anybody faced with that, that choice is way down the line on the spectrum of what you can do and to really consider the advancements we’ve made in things like nutrition and stress levels. I’ve been cancer free for nine years now and looking back, I completely understand why I got cancer. There was so much acidity in everything.”

The comments are similar to ones that Etheridge made to Shape magazine about being cancer-free. “Once I overcame breast cancer, I wasn’t afraid of anything anymore. I now have a different relationship with fear. There are only two things in our reality, love and fear. I try to make choices out of love,” she said.

When asked about Etheridge’s comments Monday while promoting his new movie, “World War Z,” Jolie’s husband, Brad Pitt, said he hadn’t yet formulated his thoughts. “I don’t know. Somebody just said that,” he told Us Weekly. “Melissa’s an old friend of mine. I’m sure we’ll talk over the phone. I don’t know what it is.”

Jolie, 38, announced her decision to undergo surgery in a candid op-ed piece for the New York Times in May. Less than two weeks later, Jolie’s aunt, Debbie Martin, died of breast cancer at age 61.

Memorial Day

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Memorial day is a time to pause, reflect and remember those brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice to secure our freedoms.

They are our true heroes and heroines – we will never forget you. And to our military personnel still serving, you are loved, cherished and respected. May your journey be safe and come home to us soon.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE!

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