Sunday, October 24, 2010

7 Deadly Sins Challenge: Day 7--Lust

Seven love secrets (I'm putting the PG-13 version here... and I dunno if I'd actually call these secrets. Just facts. The real "secrets" are elsewhere...)

1. For all of my relationships over the past three years, with the exception of the current one, the next guy was already "waiting in the wings." There's no #2 this time, so I'm not sure what that means.

2. I remember the names of everyone I've been with, all x of them... although I have to think hard sometimes to remember the name of one particular ONS.

3. I thought I was in love with my first. Maybe I was. To this day I still feel a little way about him. I call him Mr. Magic Voice because his singing is what got to me.

4. Once I'm done messing with a FB, I generally don't acknowledge their presence anymore. No hard feelings or anything, but when that one connection is over, what else is there to converse about?

5. My friends have always come to me for sexual advice. Even back in high school. I have no idea why... lol

6. I briefly considered becoming a phone sex operator, because everyone told me I had the voice for it. I gave that up once I realized that internet porn had stolen all of the thunder from phone sex. LOL

7. Although I have some "unconventional" interests when it comes to sex, I don't consider myself a freak. "Freak" means abnormal, and who gets to decide what's normal? And would the standard be what people say is normal, or what they normally do? The two don't always match up!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

7 Deadly Sins Challenge: Day 6--Gluttony

Seven guilty pleasures.

1. Shopping
I shop even when I know I shouldn't. It's not to the extreme where I'm going into debt or anything like that, but money is eeeextra tight at the end of the month because I've been shopping so much at the first of the month. BUT I shop after my bills are paid so... *shrugs*

2. Ice Cream
I am a fat girl. A fat girl who likes ice cream. If you have it, I will eat it. Again, *shrug*

3. TV
I could sit and watch Desperate Housewives, SVU, The Gates, House, and Psych all day long. And HGTV, History Channel and Food Network? Pppsssshhhh... If I didn't work, I'd be a straight up couch potato.

4. Books
I'm a bibliophile who has trouble letting go. There are books piled up everywhere in my room and my old room/office/guest room. Some of them I haven't read in forever but I still have them. Maybe getting a Kindle or an iPad will help me out with that... IDK.

5. Shoes
Can shoes be placed in a separate category than shopping? I believe so. My closet is overrun with shoes, PLUS I have the little Shoe Under thingy (shoe organizer than goes under the bed). I usually end up giving shoes away every couple of months and it's still always plenty. Funny thing is though, I never seem to have shoes to go with the outfits I plan, so I have to buy more. See? It's necessity!

6. Punishment
Ummm, I don't think I wanna go into details here. LOL

7. Makeup
It's the craziest thing: I rarely wear makeup, but I have a whole warehouse in my room! I'm especially guilty of this with eye shadow. I have so many different palettes it's insane, but wear eyeshadow maybe once a week. Maybe. At least I put the many shades and brands of lipstick to good use. So that's not too bad... right?

Friday, October 22, 2010

7 Deadly Sins Challenge: Day 5--Greed

Seven worldly material desires.

You heard Mr. Douglas--I mean, Gordon Gecko.

1. A MANSION. Even though I don't plan on having a big family, I want a huge house for entertaining. Five bedrooms, 6.5 baths, formal dining room, bar in the basement, entertainment room, big backyard with the outdoor kitchen, office/study, a special room just for me and my husband plus any "special guests" we may allow when we feel like being... social. Yeah, I want alla that.

2. A YACHT. I think it would be soooo cool to have a little mini mansion out on the water! Going up on the deck to work on my tan (I gotta keep this body extra dark chocolaty, doncha know), being able to see different places while still having all of the conveniences of home? Sign me up.

3. A BUGATTI VEYRON. 1001 horsepower. Enough said!

4. EGYPT. No, not the actual country. The island. Really any of the islands in The World. Or The Palm, I'm not too picky.

5. LIVE IN STAFF. I would love to have a trainer, chef, maid, driver and stylist in my home, at my beck and call.

6. HUGE CLOSET FULL OF DESIGNER CLOTHES AND SHOES. Do y'all remember the scene in Sex and the City when Carrie saw the closet that Big had built? OMG that was like porn. I want--no, need that in my life.

7. UNLIMITED ACCESS TO TIFFANY & CO. I am a sucker for Tiffany's, and I'm on their site drooling all the time. Would be nice to be able to walk in and say, "Hi Muffy, I'm back. Let me have that Legacy ring with the diamonds and platinum in a size 10. What stone, you say? Well, let's get the rubellite, the purple sapphire, the aquamarine, and the pink sapphire. And be quick about it dear, I'm in a hurry..."

Thursday, October 21, 2010

7 Deadly Sins Challenge: Day 4--Sloth

Seven things I neglect to do.

1. Study at any point besides the night before a test.

2. Post blogs when I intend to post them.

3. Create a budget and stick with it.

4. Get organized and stay organized for longer than a week.

5. Call people "right back" -- although I (usually) really mean it when I say I will.

6. Mani/pedis. Long as the nails are clean & not too long... eh.

7. Figure out everything my computer does. I've had my Macbook for almost two years and I still find surprises because I never took the time to really explore it.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

7 Deadly Sins Challenge: Day 3--Wrath

Seven things that piss me off.

1. SLOW DRIVERS. Especially when they pull out in front of me going at least 10 miles slower than I am. Or won't move out of the left lane. Or make a complete stop to turn when it's not necessary. Or don't go when the light turns green. Or think that just cuz they're retired and have all day to ride around doing nothing that I want to spend 20 minutes of my lunch break stuck behind their slow-moving butts.... Ya know what? I think other people driving PERIOD pisses me off.

2. Not being able to find cute clothing/shoes in my size. There is an unaddressed discrimination against ladies with big feet. Why is it that some of the cutest shoes are only available in small? Why can't stores order more than one size 10 shoe? Why do shoe makers neglect those of us with odd size feet who need a 10.5 and can't work with their 10 or 11? (I'm looking at you Jessica Simpson!) And the plus-size clothing.... Lawd. If it's cheap, it's hideous. If it's cute, it's costly. Where is the in-between?

3. Victim mentality. If you think that everyone is out to get you, everyone wants to see you fail, no one ever helped you, you're the only one going through ish... I don't want to be bothered with you, because I will be tempted to tell you to jump off the nearest bridge expeditiously. Seriously, stop looking at everyone else like it's their fault that you ___________. Look at yourself. Oh, and if everyone tries to distance themselves from you? You may want to look within. I'm just sayin.

4. People taking my kindness for weakness. When you're on my good side, I am sweet as pie. But trust, you don't want to try & take advantage of that. I can do a complete 180 on you and be the biggest, dirtiest bytch alive when pushed to that point. I don't like it, and I try to avoid it, but some folks have to see for themselves that behind the smile is a problem that they really don't want!

5. Incorrect spelling/grammar. I'm not some kind of grammar nazi (usually). I know there are times when people relax with their verbiage, especially on the "interwebs." But if you are constantly mixing up to/too/two, your/you're, there/their/they're, etc. I'm gonna have a problem with you. There have been many a blog posts I've come across where the content and topic were great, but I just couldn't get past all of the errors. They invented spelling/grammar check for a reason, folks.

6. A man who can't take the lead. In some aspects I'm very old fashion, and I suppose this is one of them. I expect a man to be able to make decisions, to provide (when necessary in dating, period in marriage), to protect... Basically to be a leader. A sorry man who looks to his woman for everything raises my ire.

7. People who don't know & have never done my job, trying to tell me how to do it. I think that one is self-explanatory!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

7 Deadly Sins Challenge: Day 2--Envy

Seven things I lack and covet.

1. My own home. Preferably a condo. (Yes, the real estate agent has not bought her first house! For shame...) 
picture from

2. Free time. Between two jobs and grad school, not to mention all the other obligations in my life, I'm jealous of anyone who can get a moment to relax and enjoy themselves. 

3. Marriage. WAIT, let me clarify: a happy, healthy partnership with a faithful husband. Yeah, that's what I mean. Not just any old "I do; we's married now!" type deal.

4. A Camaro. I see them every day, everywhere I go! They're taunting me yall. They are!
picture from

5. Inner peace. I'm envious of people who can be calm and peaceful regardless of what goes on around them. I just don't have that...
6. High metabolism. Don't laugh, I'm being serious! I know some skinny-minis who put away food like it's nothing. Meanwhile, I sniff a donut and got an extra 2 lbs. It's not fair, I tell ya!

Funny thing: My ideal size is the same as the "big" one in this pic!

7. Inherited wealth. I'm not ashamed to admit it: I'm lazy and would LOVE to not have to work! I can just imagine what it would have been like to grow up with the world at your fingertips... *le sigh* Maybe in my next life.


Monday, October 18, 2010

7 Deadly Sins Challenge: Day 1--Pride

I peeped this over on L. Michelle's blog and decided to steal it :) I am starting today!

The 7 Deadly Sins Challenge...

Day 1 - Pride. Seven great things about yourself.
          Day 2 - Envy. Seven things you lack and covet.
Day 3 - Wrath. Seven things that piss you off.

Day 4 - Sloth. Seven things you neglect to do.

Day 5 - Greed. Seven worldly material desires.

Day 6 - Gluttony. Seven guilty pleasures.

Day 7 - Lust. Seven love secrets

So here we go: PRIDE.
1. My way with words sometimes shocks even me. Of course, it usually happens when I'm not trying, which makes it that much more awesome.
2. My hair is (and has always been) really fly. Need proof? Check here and here. I'll wait.
3. I'm a really good cook, with seafood being my specialty. If you are a seafood fan, I can have you ready to propose within one meal. And don't let me make my macaroni & cheese with it! You'll have the plate in one hand and be pulling me to the courthouse with the other. It is NOT.A.GAME.
4. "Call me Mrs. Flinstone, I can make yo bed rock!" LOL Seriously though, I am that deal when it comes to *ahem* workouts of the adult nature. And I am not ashamed.
5. My spending/saving habits are improving. It feels pretty good to know that even when I'm "broke" according to my checking account, I'm still sitting kinda pretty in the savings.

6. I'm multi-faceted like you wouldn't believe! My interests are so varied & I code switch so easily that I can easily fit in to just about any situation. Not that I want to most of the times, since I'm kinda anti-social :) but if I need/want to, it's not even an issue.

7. My legs. Usually when someone asks about my favorite feature, I'll say something like eyes or hair. But really, my legs are great. Kinda funny to me since I am a big girl, but it's true!

**By the way, it was really hard to come up with seven things! I'm not one to took my own horn (that often).**

Monday, October 11, 2010

Pinkwashing: Think Before You Pink

What is pinkwashing?

1. a term used to describe the activities of companies and groups that position themselves as leaders in the struggle to eradicate breast cancer while engaging in practices that may be contributing to rising rates of the disease. (source)
2. Using support for breast cancer research to market products, particularly products that cause cancer.Pinkwashing is a blend of pink, the color associated with breast cancer research, and whitewashing, "concealing flaws." (source)
3. The term “pinkwashing” is sometimes used to describe products which are targeted at people who are concerned about breast cancer, with the “pink” being a reference to the pink ribbons used to symbolize breast cancer research. Pinkwashed products are often sold with claims that the purchase of the product will benefit breast cancer research or patients suffering from breast cancer, leading consumers to believe that they are making a sound ethical choice by purchasing such products. (source)

The most recent company (that I can recall) to be nationally blasted for pink washing was KFC and their pink "Buckets for the Cure" campaign. This was especially egregious as many believe their is a link between cancer and food like fried chicken. However, pinkwashing is not always so obvious. Some companies feature the pink ribbon or turn packaging pink, leading consumers to believe that profits from purchasing those products will go towards cancer research donations. This is not always the case. Some companies make no donation at all, while others make a minuscule donation, sometimes only $.50 of profit.

Think Before you Pink has some questions consumers should ask if they are looking to "buy pink."

1. How much money from your purchase actually goes toward breast cancer? Is the amount clearly stated on the package? If you can’t tell how much money is being donated, or if you don’t think it’s enough, give directly to the organization instead.

2. What is the maximum amount that will be donated? Whenever there is a cap, your individual purchase may not contribute anything to the cause, depending on when you shop and whether the cap has already been met.

3. How are the funds being raised? Sometimes the purchase alone does not ensure a contribution.

4. To what breast cancer organization does the money go, and what types of programs does it support?

5. What is the company doing to assure that its products are not actually contributing to the breast cancer epidemic?

Remember, if you want to make a donation, you can make donations directly to the National Breast Cancer Foundation and Susan G. Komen. And if you want to show visible support, there is The Pink Ribbon Shop (which donates to various legitimate cancer research foundations) and Shop Komen.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

No Wedding, No Womb: A Middle-of-the-Road Perspective

*Note: This post has zero stats on how good/bad children of single mothers are, how they fair in life, comparisons between single parent & two-parent families, jail stats, economic info, nada.  If you're looking for all that, I'm sure you'll find a lot on both sides of the argument by simply following the #NWNW hashtag on Twitter. This post is STRICTLY the opinion of Tori D., and I reserve the right to change that opinion or stay stubbornly mired in it, should I choose to do so.*

A few week ago, I saw posts popping up about No Wedding, No Womb, an initiative that some black bloggers--mostly women, from what I saw--started as an effort to reduce the high percentage of out of wedlock births. Seems noble enough. Of course, in typical Tori D. fashion, I couldn't get any thoughts together in time, so I dropped it. I figured it would pass relatively unnoticed anyway, so why post something when it's dying down? But um, it didn't.

Within the weeks since #NWNW appeared in the Twitterverse, it has morphed into an ugly battle. From the opposition, I've seen tweets calling NWNW self-hating because it "puts down black men" and picks on poor black women, insensitive to homosexuals, a put down from people on moral pedestals, illogical, anti-feminist in that it ignored a man's role & responsibility and the assertion "these bitches are dykes." I hadn't followed the battle that was going on, but these were the tweets that were flooding my timeline. So when I finally go back to see what #NWNW supporters had to say, there was an onslaught of attacks towards those who were born or had kids out of wedlock instead of defense of their stand.

What the hell happened?

It amazes me (though at this point in my life it really shouldn't) that people could see the same thing with such starkly different perspectives. Granted, I have not read all--or even a majority--of the posts that were written for NWNW. The few that I did read told personal stories and didn't come off as belittling to me. But then I thought about it a little differently: Would I be offended if I were the result of a casual fling, or even a relationship that just didn't result in marriage? Would I be pissed if I'd had a child outside of marriage? Would it somehow be less infuriating if it wasn't just directed at black women? How would this whole movement affect me? Clearly I don't have an answer as these are all hypothetical. Honestly, I can see both sides, especially when they bring in different elements that I had not initially considered when NWNW came into play. However, I think a lot of people (on both sides of the argument) are letting feelings and personal circumstances color how they receive the message, or causing them to not receive it at all.

So what's the Tori D. interpretation of NWNW?
Have a baby when you are ready. Practice safe sex. I know many people don't go looking for trifling, no good people to have babies with (male or female), but being selective about who gets the goods and what you do to prevent pregnancy could mean a world of difference for you. Now what constitutes a "suitable" mate? Well that's on you boo. But consider whether you know and like/love the person well enough to potentially have to deal with them for the rest of your life--wedding or not. No shade to those who had OOW children; things happen. Even if you do background checks on potentials, use condoms & birth control religiously, it could still happen, and the dad could still be an ass regardless of who/what he is. But actively try to reduce those chances until you decide you want to bring a life into the world.

I guess that's more "My Womb, My Way" instead of "No Wedding, No Womb." At the end of the day, I believe the intentions behind NWNW were good. But what's that famous saying? Oh yes, "The road to hell is paved with good intentions." From the sidelines, it looks line NWNW went to hell in a handbasket.

Anyway, what's your take on the NWNW debacle? I'd love to hear differing opinions on it (without the constraints of 140 characters!)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Breast Cancer Myths

As I'm sure you know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. People all over the country are gearing up to walk to raise money for a cure, sharing survivor stories, or paying homage to those who lost their battles with breast cancer.

Also, around this time every year, emails begin circulating (even more than usual) about things that will cause or prevent breast cancer. Research has proved many of these to be myths, yet many are unaware of this and continue to spread misinformation. Here are a few common myths and the truth of the matter. Click the links below for even more breast cancer misconceptions.

Myth: Only women with a family history of breast cancer are at risk.
Reality: Roughly 70% of women diagnosed with breast cancer have no identifiable risk factors for the disease. But the family-history risks are these: If a first-degree relative (a parent, sibling, or child) has had or has breast cancer, your risk of developing the disease approximately doubles. Having two first-degree relatives with the disease increases your risk even more.

Myth: Wearing an underwire bra increases your risk of getting breast cancer.
Reality: Claims that underwire bras compress the lymphatic system of the breast, causing toxins to accumulate and cause breast cancer, have been widely debunked as unscientific. The consensus is that neither the type of bra you wear nor the tightness of your underwear or other clothing has any connection to breast cancer risk.

Myth: Wearing antiperspirant increases your risk of getting breast cancer.
Reality: The American Cancer Society pooh-poohs this rumor, but admits that more research is needed. One small study did stumble on traces of parabens in a tiny sample of breast cancer tumors. Parabens, used as preservatives in some antiperspirants, have weak estrogen-like properties, but the study in question made no cause-and-effect connection between parabens and breast cancer, nor did it conclusively identify the source of the parabens found in tumors.

Myth: Annual mammograms expose you to so much radiation that they increase your risk of cancer.
Reality: While it's true that radiation is used in mammography, the amount is so small that any associated risks are tiny when compared to the huge preventive benefits reaped from the test. Mammograms can detect lumps well before they can be felt or otherwise noticed, and the earlier that lumps are caught, the better one's chances for survival. The American Cancer Society recommends that all women age 40 and older receive a screening mammogram every year.

Myth: Hair straighteners cause breast cancer in African-American women.
Reality: A large 2007 study funded by the National Cancer Institute found no increase in breast cancer risk due to the use of hair straighteners or relaxers. Study participants included African-American women who had used straighteners seven or more times a year for 20 years or longer.

Myth: Overweight women have the same breast cancer risk as other women.
Reality: Being overweight or obese does increase your breast cancer risk—especially if you're past menopause and/or you gained the weight later in life.

Myth: I’m too young to worry about breast cancer.
Reality: While it’s true that your breast cancer risk increases as you get older, the fact is that women of all ages are at risk for developing breast cancer.

Myth: Birth control pills cause breast cancer.
Reality: Doctors say the evidence isn't strong enough for them to recommend that women stop taking birth control pills to avoid breast cancer.
Some studies from the mid '90s showed that birth control users had a slightly increased risk, but researchers caution that pill formulations have changed since then (most contain much lower doses of the hormones linked to breast cancer risk).
This research also found that the risk returned to normal 10 years after women stopped taking the pills. Some research suggests that risk may depend on ethnicity or age (African-Americans and those who take pills after age 45 have a slightly increased risk), while other studies found no association between pills and cancer whatsoever. "This suggests that birth control–related breast cancer risk may not be the same for all women," says Susan Love, MD, a breast cancer surgeon and founder of the Army of Women, "which is why we need the Army of Women to help figure out whether subgroups have different risks."

Myth: Drinking from a plastic water bottle left in a hot car can cause cancer.
Fact: This rumor falsely claims that dioxins—a group of toxic chemicals associated with an array of health problems, including breast cancer—leach from the heated plastic into the water.
Plastics do not contain dioxins, and the sun's rays are not strong enough to create them, says Michael Trush, PhD, deputy director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Urban Environmental Health. Most single-use beverage bottles sold in the United States are made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET), a substance tested extensively for safety.
There is some evidence that heat can cause bisphenol A (BPA), a compound that's been shown to have estrogenic effects in animal studies, to leach from plastic bottles into the water. (The "estrogenic effects" are thought to impact cancer risk.) However, most single-use water bottles sold in the United States are made from BPA-free plastic. And there's no proven link to breast cancer in women anyway. To be safe, drink from a reusable plastic bottle labeled "BPA free," or choose water bottles with a "1," "2," "4," or "5" in the recycling symbol on the bottom.