Thursday, May 30, 2013

Dis-Organized Religion

Awhile back our friend MOV from mothersofbrothersblog (be sure to check out her blog!) suggested we do a post on (dis)organized religion. She left this suggestion inside a comment she left on our post about the proper way to spell donuts. Should it be donuts or doughnuts? She suggested calling them “Holey Cakes”, but then said people would argue about whether they should be spelled “Holey Cakes” or “Holy Cakes”. Thus religion.

So MOV here’s our (dis)organized religion post.

To start I would first like to point out that between the two of us Pat is the more scholarly one while I’m more of the science fueled street fighting type. Therefore I will divert a lot of questions and the reciting of historical accounts to him.

Let’s start by first defining what organized religion is and what it isn’t. If a religion is considered not-organized it means they believe in wizards or something, right Pat?

Pat: Sounds good to me. I’m down with wizards.

What are you asking, exactly?

Christian: I’m asking you to define the differences between organized religion and disorganized religion. Duh.

Pat:  Oh. That’s easy. About one hundred years and ten thousand people.

I suppose you could count any religion that uses a professional Franklin Covey™ organizational system to manage its business as “organized” as well.

Is that what you were wondering?

Christian: So are you saying that to qualify as an organized religion you have to have at least ten thousand members and have been around at least one hundred years? This would mean that Scientology isn’t an organized religion. To me those guys seem pretty organized. Too organized if you ask me.

Did a google search for Scientology and found this. Apparently they even
now have their own air force! Scary.

Pat:   Oh, for god’s sake (pun maybe intended...not sure yet)! Three back-and-forths into this post and you’re already trying to get me in deep with the Scientologists? C’mon, man. Do you want a blog-partner, or is this your attempt to finally go solo by having me offed by the underground Hollywood mafia?

I defer to the Germans when it comes to Scientology. Their government does not recognize them as a religion. Or at least they didn’t as of the last time I checked in with the German government. I assume they still don’t, as it’s not very German to change your mind on something within a decade. And I don’t necessarily agree with them (<-- intentionally vague there), but if I’ve learned one thing so far in this life it is that you’re best advised to not mess with official German governmental declarations.

Christian:  Are you suggesting that you might get “offed” by the Scientologists if you bad mouth them? I’m guessing that would definitely make them organized so I guess the question is more are they really a religion?

I did some more research into them and found out that not only do they have their own Air Force but they also have the last army of Samurais.

I can see why you might not want to offend them. But for now let’s put aside your safety and answer me this; what qualifies something as a religion? Is it just the believing in a higher power or does the love I have for a nice carpet qualify as religionous?

Pat:  Do you pray to your carpet? Do you look to your carpet for moral fortitude and guidance? Do you ritualistically cleanse yourself--sage smudge or water bath--before treading on said carpet? Do you read the fibers of your carpet to decipher the history of your carpet and it’s people?

If so, then...heck, sure, sounds like you’ve got a religion. If not, then’re not a freak. Like the Scientologists. Are freaks.

There. I said it. It felt good, but you need to know that if you don’t hear from me again, it’s YOUR fault for pushing me to the point of publicly discrediting and mocking Scientologists. And please send the authorities to look for my family, as Xenu probably took them to another planet in the Galactic Confederacy.

Christian: So scientologists also believe in my carpet? I’m confused. Granted it’s a pretty awesome carpet but I don’t recall Scientologists being into carpets. But to be honest as long as they don’t get any dirt or food on it they can believe in my carpet as much as they want.

OK, let’s put aside Scientology and Carpetology for now and move on.

Pat, can you explain which is better for society as a whole, organized or disorganized religion, and why? Do they both have their pros and cons or is one inherently more beneficial to a diverse society?

Also, if you could keep your answer to three words or less that would be great.

Pat:  Vague at best.

Christian:  Super! So what you are saying is that they both have their place in society whether they believe in carpets or have their own army of last samurais.

Well, this post has been very informative for me. I hope it was for you too dearest cherished readers. Next time we promise to tackle a less serious topic. Assuming Pat is still alive.


Editor’s Note: Christian here. I just wanted to give a shout out and thanks to Kianwi over at Simply She Goes. She participated in the April A to Z challenge writing about nostalgia and memories from her childhood. She made it into a game/contest allowing people to guess her age based on her posts with one lucky guesser receiving a box full of nostalgic prizes. It was pretty fantastic.  

But guess who guessed right and won? That’s right, this guy. Oh and who has two thumbs too? Wait. I was supposed to say that first. I meant guess who guessed right with two thumbs? This guy.

Still not right.

Anyways, I’ve scheduled an appointment with my doctor to see if I’m clairvoyant or something. I’ll keep you posted. Big thanks to Kianwi for the prizes, they are awesome. Both my kids and I love them. And be sure to go check out her blog right over here and tell her Barack Obama sent you. That will sound a lot more impressive than telling her we sent you.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

"I Just Want to Pee Alone" Review Extravaganza Bonanza-palooza

Today is a first at PCPPP. It’s our first book review! We’ll be reviewing the book “I Just Want to Pee Alone”, an anthology of the work of 37 strong, empowered women. The book consists of 37 short essays (one for each author. Go math!) relating some aspect of being a mother and finding the humor in the absurdity of child raising.  

Under full disclosure it should be noted that our friend Kelley over at Kelley’s Break Room - who is one of the book’s author’s - asked us to do a review and sent us two free copies (physical...not that digital e-book sorcery), which is technically the very first compensation either Pat or I have ever received for doing this blog stuff. I guess this means we have a revenue stream now or something. We’ll probably need to start filing taxes too. Not sure.

(Pat: we need to claim something. I sent in my taxes a long time ago. I do NOT want to get audited!)

Anyways, while still under full disclosure I would also like to disclose that as a child while playing pretend Army - where you run around with sticks pretending to shoot at your friends and yelling “I GOT YOU! I GOT YOU!” - there were a few times where I yelled “I GOT YOU!” but I had really missed.

Phew. It’s good to get that off my chest.  

Now some might say that by doing a book review post we’re selling out to the man. But in actuality we are selling out to 37 women which we can all agree is way cooler and much hotter.

Others may be wondering why have us review it? The book is about the trials and tribulations of being a mother and after all we are just two dudes that write a nonsense blog and hardly ever even mention that we own have kids. Well, we can only assume they’re wanting to break into that elusive brutally handsome and rugged males market. Kudos ladies!

So without further ado let the reviewing begin. I’ll start...

Christian: First off I think it should be noted that this book is nothing like Lord of the Rings. There are no magical rings, wizards or Hobbits and hardly any mentions of Orcs*. I might even go as far to say that this books is very un-Tolkien-esque. However it is much funnier. And there are a lot more vaginas. In fact, reading this book is like traveling through the wardrobe to the land of Vagarnia.

Pat:  I have to start off by admitting that I am kind of terrified to say anything about a book written by a group of women who are so at ease with saying the word “vagina” in so many contexts. I took a lot of Women’s Studies courses in college (I thought it might be a good way to get a date. It wasn’t.), and I learned that the word “vagina” can sometimes mean “Don’t you dare say a goddamned thing if you don’t have one, dickhead”.

Pat’s notes from reading the book.

Christian: Well yes, I guess vagina can mean many different things. But in the context of this book it typically means the place where children come out of.

But the book isn’t entirely about vaginas. It’s about finding the humor in the madness and frustration of being a parent, which every parent can appreciate and relate to. And the page numbering is sequential, which is a big plus in my book!

Pat:   Good point! I can remark on the numerative qualities of the book and not feel at all like a male oppressor! I think this book did a fantastic job of not only sequentially numbering the pages in the book, but also making sure odd numbers always appeared on the right side of the book. That kind of attention to detail is really hard to come by these days.

I was also really captivated by the stories.

Christian:  You mean in addition to the page numbering?

Pat:  Yeah. There were a lot of them that talked about poop. Granted, it was baby poop, and I would just as soon forget about meconium, but I LOVE it when the ladies talk about poop. It’s just funny....poop.

Christian: Yes, it’s nice to have hobbies. Anyways, another thing that is great about the book is that it’s not a how-to or advice book on parenting. It’s just pure humor. No “You need to do this”, or “Research shows that” or “You can’t do that, it’s illegal”. Just funny honest stories about parenting.

Pat:  You’re absolutely right! As I was reading it, I kept thinking it would have been a great partner text to the whole What To Expect... series. Kinda’ like a What You Couldn’t Ever Have Possibly Fucking Expected... book.

Although, I have to admit...I thought there would be more Orcs in it.

Christian: Yeah, it is hard to get past the lack of Orcs. But it does cover a wide range of parenting styles which allows all readers something to identify with.

Pat:  Parenting style? Am I supposed to have one of those? Do YOU have one?

Christian: Oh yeah. It’s rather simple though. I pretty much go with my instincts and when I get into a tough situation I just ask myself “What would David Lee Roth do”?

Pat:  He would just yell “Panama!” wouldn’t he? And then do a high kick?

Christian: You would be surprised how often that helps.

Pat:  Hmm. I also really liked how the various entries addressed the multiple aspects of parenting, and motherhood in particular. You have your pregnant moms, your birthing moms, your toddler-moms (wait, that one sounds funny), your moms-of-many-kids, and your daughters of other moms...

Christian: But no Orc-moms.

Pat:  No...sadly, no Orc moms. But I bet the Orcs would have LOVED the story of Meredith’s mom’s ashes blowing in the wind. That seems like something Orcs would find funny.

Christian: I would like to think so. *wipes tear from eye*

Pat:  Anyways...I also noticed that all of the authors had a certain devil-may-care attitude towards motherhood...and womanhood...and general personhood. Like, these are the kind of ladies empowered womyn who wake up in the morning and get the job done. They don’t care about how they look, or how pristine the minivan is, or how clean and un-smelly the kids are. They get the family through the day, and I respect them for that. Life ain’t pretty, and these womyn embody that!

Wait...that didn’t sound like I wanted it to. I have no idea what they look like. I bet they’re really hot! Wait, that doesn’t sound right either. Shit!!

Christian:  They seem like the kind of womyn you would want to hang out with. Something tells me they could really hold their liquor.  

Pat:  Yes! Thank you! Amen to that, brother!

So...there were A LOT of these stories that resonated with me...basically anything hinting at actions that would undoubtedly lead to lifelong regret.   

Christian: So true. As a parent I related to a lot of these stories too. Granted in my earlier years when I was a single dude, racing cars and hitting the blackjack tables while doing lines of cocaine off womyn’s tits, I may not have related to a lot of the stories, or even understood them. “Is episiotomie an art class I can take?”, my younger self would have asked.

But even if the whole parenting thing is not your scene, I bet you know someone for whom it is. For example I bet your mom has kids. And this would be a great gift for any mom with a great sense of humor.

Pat:  True. Not for everyone. Like...not for fans of Sepultura.  

BUT...if you are a fan of self-deprecating womyn who speak truths about the unspoken underbelly of pregnancy, childbirth, child-rearing or annoying-but-ultimately-lovable husbands and families...then THIS is the book for you!

And it talks about poop. And vaginas. It talks about vaginas A LOT!

Christian: Yes. So in conclusion we are giving this book 5 thumbs up out of 4 stars. It is available in paperback and for your Kindle and can be purchased here, here, and over here. We recommend buying about 15 to 20 copies.

* Frodo is mentioned once on page 15. For real.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

IV, V, VI, I, II, III or I, II, III, IV, V, VI

Parenting is hard. There is no absolute right way to do it and it’s filled with all kinds of challenges and decisions that need to be made.

But there’s one particular decision I need to make for my children that has been weighing on me for quite some time now. It’s a tough one that we all have to make at some point and its outcome can have grave and long lasting effects on our children. Pat’s children are older than mine so most likely he has already had to make this decision so I thought I would seek his advice.

Pat, which order should I have my kids watch the Star Wars movies in? Should I go with the original three then the new three, like we did since they were released that way, or should they watch them in chronological order of how the story goes thus watching the news ones first then the originals?

Pat:  My eyes are still kind of buggy from the title of this post, Christian. I thought I was doing an eye exam or something like it. Roman numerals? Really? the risk of offending Star Wars fans, do you even have to tell your kids that the three most recent films were even made? I mean, Iran almost got away with denying the Holocaust. I bet you could get away with a little historical revision. Besides, your kids are gonna’ have to find SOMETHING to hate you for. Why not this?

Christian: Hmmm... Not telling them about them you say? Interesting. I hadn’t thought about that. Is this what you did with your kids?

*dials first six digits of Child Protection Services, waits for Pat’s answer*

Pat:  Nope, they saw all of them, multiple times, in multiple orders. Had nothing to do with film appreciation or cultural collateral or being “with it”. It had everything to do with me and their mom needing a good three hours of peace and quiet so we could sleep/drink/makesweetsweetlove while avoiding parenting responsibilities. What do you think the chances of being walked in on asleep/drunk/makingsweetsweetlove are when they’ve got Jawas, Droids or JarJar keeping ‘em happy?

Christian: So which order did you have them initially watch the movies while you and your wife were having drunken sex while sleeping?

Pat:  Well, duh! That’s a no brainer! We went with the classic--and what should be mandated--IV, V, VI, I, II, III. Wait...I think. I’ve never been good with Roman numerals. We did “Star Wars”, and then went forward, and then I guess went backwards before going forwards again. Right? I mean, isn’t that how we all did it?

Just to be clear, I was talking about the movies, not about drunken sex. Re-reading the above, I realized that some of our readers might mistakenly think that my wife and I have some freaky sci-fi sexual fetishes.  

I think I’m going to get in trouble for talking about this stuff here, ‘cause my wife reads our blog. Yep...pretty sure I’m gonna’ get busted.

Christian: Are those waffles your wife that woman is holding? That’s weird. I don’t remember any waffles in the Star Wars movies. There must be a waffle character in the newer movies that I’m not remembering.

Anyways, I’m glad to hear you went with the traditional viewing order of IV, V, VI, I, II, III. To be honest, that was going to be the order I have my kids watch them regardless of what you had to say.

I feel the main reason, amongst many, for watching them in this order is so that the surprise and shock of learning that Darth Vader is Luke’s father can still be experienced. SPOILER ALERT! Oh wait, the SPOILER ALERT was probably supposed to go before I revealed Vader is Luke’s father. Oh well.

If you watch them in chronological order, by the time Luke is introduced you already know Vader is his father. Lame. That would be like watching the Sixth Sense already knowing Bruce Willis is dead. SPOILER ALERT! Dammit. Missed it again. Sorry.

So at what age did you finally let your kids watch them? According to my wife 6 months was too early so I have been waiting for a few years now.

Pat:  Geez, Christian...6 months is WAY too early. It has been scientifically tested and proven that kids’ brains at that age have no ability to even comprehend the power of a light saber over a blaster, so the whole premise is lost on them. Waste of time. Complete waste of time. You better start over.

We waited until our oldest was two and a half, and our youngest was just one half. Wait. That’s the same as 6 months, isn’t it. Shit. We do this ALL the time. I think she’s gonna’ be pretty screwed up. Oh well. Details.

Christian:  Don’t worry. As long as she can discuss the nuances of the Empire’s governmental control strategies over the various planets throughout the galaxy in online chatrooms while living in your basement as an adult, she’ll be just fine.

Just fine.