Deep Thoughts: No biggoted CEO actually changes his beliefs because we boycott

Homphobic pasta - so delicious!Recently, the internet has been all in a huff over Mr. Barilla making “we’ll never make a commercial that shows gay people” remarks in a recent interview. I won’t rehash it here, seeing as we’ve all heard it by now. In case you live under a rock, see here: Barilla exec apologizes for remarks on gays

Now; this is just another in a long string of executives saying stupid stuff causing the buying public to rise up and boycott their products/stores because what the dumb shit said or did was just that stupid. (Google Chick-fil-a for another obvious example)

  • Yes, boycotts are a great way for the general public to express their moral outrage at whatever stupid nonsense said executive has expressed.
  • But does anyone really think that a boycott put on by faceless strangers said executive never personally interacts with will ever really change that executives’ deeply held personal beliefs?

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Deep Thoughts: a simple two-part plan to save our society and our economy, courtesy of my husband

I married a smart man. It’s kinda fabulous. That having been said, I’m about to attempt to type out a coherent rundown of the weighty conversation he and I shared last night. Here it goes:

Baby Boomers:

Have you maxed out your retirement plan? Maxed out your employer’s contributions? Maxed out whatever pension plan? Have you reached a point in your career, job or field where there is no possibility of further advancement? Have you reached the point that you’re just going through the motions at your job and the monotony of having done it for years has led to your output/performance slowly slipping? Have you discussed retiring with others but you keep working because you think you’ll just get bored being retired and you simply don’t know what you would do with yourself? Then this blog post is for you! Continue reading

Deep Thoughts: How my husband helped me improve from borderline-diagnosible OCD cray-cray to being just “Type A”

ThaliaBrandon.com says it's all fun and games till the men with the white coats show up.I used to be crazy. Seriously.

I went through my daily life fighting serious impulse control issues and borderline-diagnosable OCD. Here’s what a normal day included for me back in my early twenties:

  • On the way out of the house in the morning, pick up the level that I left in the exact perpendicularly-aligned spot on the counter and go through the whole house making sure everything hanging on every wall was perfectly level.
  • Drive the same route to work every day, counting the dashed white lines in the pavement along the route. If I got the number wrong on a block, I would circle back around and drive that block again to correct my count.
  • Perform the same work tasks in the same order and for the same duration every day, organizing tasks by seasonal necessity
  • Keep my desk meticulously clean with items lined up parallel and perpendicular at all times.
  • Everything must be organized alphabetically, numerically, and even my closet was organized by color and season
  • Everything I bought must be of the correct brand, package size and quantity. This never deviated.
  • Falling asleep by repetitively counting the folds in my bedroom curtains until I couldn’t keep my eyes open from sheer exhaustion and I’d finally pass out.

This list could be much longer… seriously. This is just the regular stuff. I’m not listing the cray-cray stuff for fear of sharing with the world how bad I really was. As ca, be learned via this awesome article about OCD, OCD is really nasty to experience. I’m about to quote here so read this:

“OCD is “ego dystonic,” which means “out of sync with your ideal self” or “making you look and feel like an asshole.” People with personality disorders usually think they’re always in the right, and people with psychosis often don’t realize that their delusions are coming from their heads. But one of the defining aspects of OCD is knowing that your thoughts are bizarre and your rituals are senseless.

Additionally, OCDers don’t even get any joy out of their compulsions. Relief, sure, but it’s temporary, like scratching a mosquito bite or responding to a YouTube comment. You don’t want to count all the leaves on every tree you pass, you have to.

Panic attacks, Tourette syndrome, hypochondria, body dysmorphic disorder, and eating disorders are all so-called OCD spectrum disorders. They’re diagnoses in their own right that exist on their own but also hang around in the background while OCD fucks your mind. They’re like its creepy cousins.”

So at that time, for me, if something was out of place or happened to come out of order in my day, I could quite literally feel my heart rate increase, my anxiety increase, and I was for the most part a nervous, neurotic, anxious mess of a semi-depressed person who couldn’t control my impulses most of the time.

This created problems in all areas of my life, including dating and relationships.

Because I had such poor impulse control as a young adult I was rather voracious sexually (I joked this morning to a friend that it’s amazing to me that I’ve been friends with this guy for a while now and I still haven’t eaten him.) Yeah. I used to hunt men. Simply because I had such poor impulse control that I couldn’t help myself doing what I wanted to do, when I wanted to do it, and now I look back and I’m just so thankful that I never got into drugs or alcohol because with my habitual tendencies and lack of impulse control I would have been on a one-way trip to Amy Winehouse town. Continue reading

Deep Thoughts Q&A: If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do?

THE QUESTION:

If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do?

THE MULTI-PART ANSWER:

For starters, human life expectancy is at an all-time high. Life isn’t all that short unless you make it short (think drug use, sloth plus gluttony, poor life choices and other such life-shortening behaviors) and life can be as long and fruitful as your mindset will let you feel it is.

  • Your lifespan will feel longer to you if you do more meaningful, worthwhile things in the course of that single lifespan. Continue reading

Deep Thoughts: How at age fourteen I experienced a valuable epiphany about human sexuality

ThaliaBrandon.com knows that people hating you most often has nothing to do with you - it's them. Not you. So don't waste time worrying about other's opinions. At twelve years old I was in seventh grade. Yes, I was a year ahead in school. Anyhow…

Picture this:

Me and my female tweeny friends sitting around on the quad for “lunch”, which at that time consisted of a can of Barq’s Root Beer and a small bag of crunchy Cheetos – because I did eat that unhealthily at that age, but I digress…

So picture this group of tween/teen girls sitting in a circle in the shade, all of us relatively grunged out in flannel shirts and holey jeans because this was the 90’s.

The topic of discussion on this particular day was suggested by the nominal leader of our pack, Hannah. Her question was, “What type of man do you want to marry when you grow up?” and we went around the circle in no particular order giving our answers, and the rest of the group generally ridiculing each and every answer because no two girls answered the same and tearing each other down was what the group did. Continue reading

How the culturally accepted myth of the “Happily Ever After” relationship/marriage is actively destroying our happiness

ThaliaBrandon.com asserts that Disney is ruining your happiness. Read why. Disney is making us unhappy.

Let me be more explanatory, and I’ll get this idea across eventually here.

Romantic love is a very new idea, considering the entire span of human history. If we look back over the course of recorded history, we actually see that arranged marriages for the greater good of the families/culture/society were more the norm regardless of the feelings of the two people being hooked up by their village leaders or parental units.

From that random tidbit of data, I’m going to segue into my own thoughts on the matter.

Teaching young girls to “follow your heart” essentially translates to this:

Go out into the world as soon as you’re barely legal and make some serious life choices based on nothing more than your emotions; without consideration for reason, logic, and especially without thinking through the likely outcomes that will stem from your choices. Continue reading

Deep Thoughts Q&A: What would my child self think of the adult I’ve grown up to be?

Reflection leads to better self awareness at ThaliaBrandon.comA worthwhile question if there ever was one!

How many of us can remember our childhood aspirations for our own futures? How many of us have actually grown up to be astronauts or rock stars or pro baseball players?

Most of my childhood friends were adamant they would grow up to be the next Whitney Houston, and the boys all wanted to be Michael Jordan.

I’m dating myself by saying that, I know, but still.

If you’ve read my previous post about the worst ever career day, you might already know that when I was still young, I was thinking about my future character and considering what kind of person I wanted to grow up to be.

Did I want to be a world-famous pop star? Hell no! Even at nine years old, that looked like a whole lot of trouble and not nearly as much fun as my girlfriends were sure it would be. Continue reading