Why I hate West Hollywood’s plastic bag ban

My favorite way to re-use plastic shopping bags.

My favorite way to re-use plastic shopping bags.

My neighborhood of West Hollywood implemented a ban on plastic bags while I was in Maui (who, by the way, implemented a plastic ban on the island back in 2011). While I love the ban on Maui — keeps plastic bags from floating into the very nearby ocean and killing ocean wildlife — I HATE having it in West Hollywood.

I always re-use the plastic bags that I get my neighborhood Ralph’s to line all my small trashcans in the living room, bedroom, and bathrooms. Once the trashcan is full, I lift out the plastic bag, tie it off, and toss it. I also re-use them to clean the litter box. And I can use them for picking up dog poop.

Because they’re such an integral pat of my waste-management system, I was even willing to pay the extra few cents to keep using Ralph’s plastic bags. Only to discover, the other day, that they switched to these even thicker and larger plastic bags that I’d NEVER be able to re-use. They’re too big to be portable, too tall for my trashcans, and to thick to be tied around dog leashes. I’m not sure I’m getting the logic in switching thinner, more useful plastic bags, with thicker less-useful plastic.

At least, I thought Trader Joe’s — the only other place I shop every week — still has the paper bags that I use as my recycling bins. Once the paper bag gets full of paper, plastic, and cans I dump ‘em in our buildings’ recycling containers and use a fresh bag. But no! THEY’RE now 10 cents as well! What the what!?

I get a plastic bag ban, but a PAPER BAG BAN? That doesn’t make any sense. They didn’t ban paper bags in Maui when they did away with plastic. And paper is totally recyclable. So what the hell, WeHo. You just made it WAY harder for me to re-use and recycle.

Yes, I’m totally just bitching, here. I’m being a baby and having a fit. I am glad that this is a step in the right direction environmentally, but it’s having a negative impact on my individual household. I at least can hoard plastic bags from other towns, and maybe even buy fancy ones on Amazon if need be. But since I’ve stopped bringing back paper bags from Traders, we’ve stopped recycling completely. Which is a total bummer.

The only good that’s come of it, is that I get to break out my favorite canvas bag more often:

"Green with aloha" bag by artist, Heather Brown.

“Green with aloha” bag by artist, Heather Brown.

Anyone want to help me out and collect plastic and paper bags for me? Anyone else have any other insights into these changes that I don’t understand: Switching thinner smaller paper bags for larger thicker ones, and a ban on paper bags? Or did YOUR town do a plastic bag ban? Are you used to it by now, or does it still fuck up your flow?

We need to talk about 3D ultrasounds

This morning I woke up and did my usual waking up routine — check texts, check emails to make sure the Empire didn’t blow up overnight, then check social media feeds as I try to squeeze in the last few minutes of cuddly warm sheets time — when BAM! I was surprise blasted in the face with a horrible photo of a 3D ultrasound. (Not sure what I’m talking about? Peep this Google image search at your own risk.)

WHY Magic Woody Allen Zombie Jesus!? Why can’t a simple “I’m pregnant!” do? We can generally just take your word for it. We don’t need photographic evidence of said impregnation. Better yet, I’d love you even more if you didn’t pregbook at all. But you can totally just say “I’m pregnant” without forcing us to see every fetus wrinkle.

There’s nothing cute about those alien stomach monster photos, NOTHING. They’re creepy and horrifying, and a completely unsettling thing to see at 6am. (Seriously, my fingers could not hit the “hide” button fast enough.) I know I’m not the only one who believes 3D ultrasounds are awful. I first threw this fit on Twitter and got responses from followers, baby-havers and non, who agreed — calling them “creepy” and saying things like: Read More

My thoughts on the Trayvon Martin murder case

I have been consumed with the Trayvon Martin murder case. I think about it all day and night. It bothers me most when I’m out walking the dog, hoodie on and hood up to protect my ears from the cold. I mull the details over like a mental worry stone. So many things bother me about it and I just have to vent.

I’ve spent my time in a few gated communities. My parents have lived in two of them since they moved from Los Angeles, and they were both predominantly white. Even so, as I’m walking around the neighborhoods and I happen to see a person who is *gasp* not white, my first reaction is not ‘SUSPICIOUS PERSON! CALL THE POLICE!’ Hoodie, or not, my first reaction, as a person who is not crazy, is ‘Hello person who more than likely lives here.’

The fact that Zimmerman’s first thought was immediately of suspicion because he sees a person of color walking around with a plastic bag, wearing fucking sweatshirt, tells me that this dude is clearly not right in the head.

Then I think, well fuck, Florida gave this nut job a gun and the permission to cary it around as he sees fit. This brings up the whole problem of gun legislation and all my worries concerning that.

And THEN I think… where the hell is Zimmerman anyway? There’s a dude, who’s not right in the head, who just murdered an innocent person, out there in the world somewhere, and he’s carrying a gun. And that freaks me out to no end.

And THEN I think… if that Invisible Children dude suffered a nervous breakdown from all the pressure of his instant and not necessarily positive fame, that could EASILY happen to Zimmerman… and he’s been known to shoot people when he gets freaked out.

And THEN I think… HOW HAS HE NOT BEEN ARRESTED?

An innocent child is dead and his murderer is wandering free. How is this fair? How is this okay? I don’t want to live in a world where this okay. And THAT is why I can’t stop thinking of this case. It’s so all kinds of wrong that I’m just having a hard time accepting this unbelievable reality.

Windy walks and a special request

Day two of pseudo-forced vacation was a total bust due to weather.

The only highlight was that I took a long walk in the morning with my mother. It was incredibly windy, so the kite boarders were loving it, but it was a pain in the ass for us bipedal people. I could barely hear a word my mom was saying as we were walking side by side. But even though the wind was kicking up white caps like mad, we also spotted a whole bunch of frolicking whales way off in the distance. My first whale sighting in a year. It was wonderful.

We also came across an open house being run by a friend of ours, Gail, the realtor that hooked us up with our home in Maui. That was also really nice.

The walk, however left me feeling beyond exhausted and, since it started POURING rain I just spent the day napping, or surfing the web.

Which brings me to the worst part about this vacation…

Every. fucking. time. I try to relax and read emails, or comments on my blog, or click through my beloved RSS feeds, or even WRITE a blog, or write 750 words, or even glance at my phone, I get at LEAST one person bitching at me for what they perceive as working.

“Are you working?” “No.” “Mmmm hmm. I don’t believe you.” “I’m just [enter something here.]” “Well, you look like you’re working/it says you’re working on your IM status (that I haven’t thought about in over a year)/been online for a while.” “I’m not.” “Well, you better not be working.” Or people telling at me to do other things that, if they were at all possible to do at the moment, I WOULD BE DOING.

In the last two days I’ve been scolded by seven different people, and mostly SEVERAL TIMES by the same people. It was mildly annoying at first, but now it’s starting to anger me. ESPECIALLY since the whole “not working” stipulation to this trip was not even my idea. I feel like I was forced into not working and, so far, it’s turned out to be just as stressful as if I still had deadlines to worry about. Only now it’s promises to keep, and appearances to keep up, and actions to constantly defend.

And I know everyone who has lovingly bitched me out, indeed, has the best of intentions, I know you all are just looking out for me. But OMG it’s stressing me out. I hate having to defend my actions every time I open up my laptop. Just because I’m on the internet does NOT mean I’m working. Yes, I work on the internet, but I also do OTHER things on the internet, I also find it relaxing to just surf the internet, just like normal folk.

But unlike most normal folk, I actually LOVE my job. The act of turning a blank page into something entertaining and/or inspirational is a wonderful feeling. I would LOVE to be getting my mind off of things by writing new posts, but I made a promise to Aaron that I wouldn’t, so I can’t. And that sucks, because I could really use a distraction when my mind starts racing with all the thoughts that eventually ramp up to an anxiety attack.

Anyway, this is all to say. I love you all, but if you see me online PLEASE stop asking me if I’m working. Ask me ANYTHING else, because if I’m online it means there’s shit-else to do, so a chat would be nice. But the constantly checking in to make sure I’m relaxing is seriously stressing me out.

Now, to give a little bonus to those of you who actually read this entire tantrum, here’s a video that Stephanie (Offbeat Mama) shared with me that really cheered me up:

This is straight up REAL

So I got an email from another Flickr member, Madam Bizarro with the subject “stolen photo” which read:

Megan–you might wanna bust this guy.

[insert now defunct link to a photo in Lightko Studio's facebook portfolio]

Took one of your photos of Aaron’s bite and claimed it is his special effects make-up. Yeah, dude, I guess it DOES look real, since it IS.

And sure enough, I clicked over and saw this: (WARNING: If you don’t want to see the inside of my husband’s leg, do NOT read any further.)
Read More

Bloggers, don’t do this…

Today I got an email from someone trying to get Offbeat Bride interested in linking to, or featuring their post about Star Wars weddings. In the email they stated, “if you want to lift a couple of photos that’s cool… but please use with a link to us.”

My response:

I find it interesting, if not a bit hypocritical, that you feel so strongly about link-backs, when at least one of those photos came from Offbeat Bride with no link back. I should know, because I’m the one who took that photo! I also don’t appreciate that it’s been shrunken down so much that my photography logo can’t be seen, and photoshopped beside two other photos that aren’t mine, neither of which have credits or link-backs.

Also, as a photographer who works for a professional website, “lifting a couple of photos” for our own use is not something I’d be comfortable doing.

Not surprisingly, I haven’t heard back from him and my uncredited photo still remains uncredited.

Radvent: the bright side of holding grudges


It’s hard to come out of a place of resentment, and it takes practice (just like everything). Practice forgiving about small, everyday things. You can always non-forgive later. Who and what are you ready to let go of resentment toward?

The thing that I like about Radvent, thus far, is how we kind of feed off of each other — clearly we’re all feeding off of Lasertron, (she is, after all, leading this crazy journey) but sometimes, when Ariel writes her post first, I get to read that and then both Lasertron and Ariel’s posts can inspire me and lead me to think about different things than I might have originally wrote.

Today in Ariel’s post she wrote, “My favorite sentiment on this issue boils down basically to this: when you hold grudges, you’re letting some asshole live rent-free in your brain. Forgiveness = eviction.”

I like that. It makes sense. But the thing is with me… It works in the opposite manor. I hold on to grudges just long enough to figure out if I want to have this person in my life and then when I make the decision that I still wanna keep them around, I drop it! I totally let it go. I think that’s one of my guy-like qualities — one day I’m pissed and the next I’m like, “Whatever, let’s get a beer.”

Of course the grudges I do keep? Oh ho! They stick around forever… thereby allowing me to keep the ones who’ve done me wrong completely out of my life. I’m a very weak person in a lot of ways, especially when it means, confrontation and/or saying “no” to people. I often let people who treated me like shit remain in my life because I was afraid of hurting their feelings. So keeping the grudge coals hot inside of me allows me to tell them to “fuck off and keep fucking off.”

That’s the long way of explaining that basically… I don’t believe holding grudges is a bad thing — it’s the only way I can really keep up boundaries and defenses. I am not ready to let any of these people back into my life…

  • the school bullies who made my life a living hell from 3rd to 12th grade
  • insensitive and untrustworthy family members
  • overly dramatic friends
  • neighbors who express their desire for me to get raped
  • the gutless assholes who robbed me at gunpoint
  • managers who’ve thrown me under a buss to protect their own asses
  • any one who’s ever hurt Aaron

So who am I ready to forgive? Who is welcome back into my good graces? I’ve thought about this all day long and (unfortunately?) (fortunately?) there’s no one I’m willing to let down my guard with under the guise of “forgiveness.” Because, when I thought about it, I need to keep the grudges that remain to keep myself protected still.

And when you really get down to the heart of the topic… I think that I’d be better asking for forgiveness more often. Now that’s a bigger problem for me.