Pharma companies have been trying to turn women into Stepford wives

No other way to put it.

… We have been taught to apologize for our tears, to suppress our anger and to fear being called hysterical.

The pharmaceutical industry plays on that fear, targeting women in a barrage of advertising on daytime talk shows and in magazines…

… Sales of antidepressants and antianxiety meds have been booming in the past two decades…

Meanwhile, a lot of branches of the “health” and “fitness” industry with the full support and cooperation of mass media have taught women to feel ashamed of their looks, their size and their age. And, naturally, sales of products to change the color of the skin, etcetera, to lose weight and to maintain youthful looks have been booming too.

Money makes the world go ’round.

Sexual tension in “The Sound of Music”

So early in the morning, I landed on a blog I had never visited before. What caught my attention? The title. “The Secret Sex in The Sound of Music”.

… it’s obvious that Maria and Captain Von Trapp wanted to be non-stop boning from the moment she entered the house.

That may sound crass but taken in context with the whole article, author Meghan O’Keefe does make an interesting point.

But what’s even more interesting is the first (and, so far, the only) comment posted by one Rachael VanPelt:

You are disgusting. So now you have to ad sex to a movie where none exists?? This was once called love and romance. There is nothing sexual in this movie, it is all in your disgusting head.

I think the commenter is confused. Romance is a literary (and, later, film) genre; love does NOT preclude sex.

The problem, really, is that social norms obligate us to create a dichotomy between what is wholesome (romantic love) and what is not (sexual love). We see it in the way literature, TV shows and films are rated. We see it in everyday language when we subconsciously label activities and experiences as either “clean” or “dirty”. And there is that deep-seated guilt when we feel pleasure (though most deny it even to themselves) toward things that don’t fall under the wholesome/clean column.

*Insert deep exasperated sigh here*

Continue reading

Still blogging after all these years

Connie VeneracionThe title isn’t a complaint. No, not at all. More than anything, it’s an affirmation that, after 14 years, I’m still doing what I love to do — write, take photos and combine them to tell stories. That’s what I am essentially — a story-teller. Four years in law school and writing all those case digests taught me how to tell a story in an organized way in prose that is full of life.

What kind of stories do I tell? Not fiction, definitely (although writing a best-selling fiction is in my bucket list). I write about what happens in the kitchen, mostly (you guessed it — I have a very old food blog). I used to write the thoughts and debates that criss-crossed inside my head after reading the newspaper or watching the news (yes, I wrote an op-ed column for a broadsheet for years). And I used to write about family and parenting (so, yes, I used to write a column for a family magazine too).

That’s me.

Why do I have this blog when there’s that highly-trafficked food blog? This blog has the archive of the op-ed column I used to write — more than five years’ worth of politics, law and government. I don’t think I want to discard any of that. When I stopped writing about those headache-inducing topics, this blog languished for a while. I wasn’t sure what to do with it but I retained it anyway. A few days ago, I decided to separate it from my self-hosted blog and move it to Why? If there’s such a thing as “me time”, this is going to be my “me blog” where I can write about anything that comes to mind and not have to obsess about keyword saturation, SEO and social media shares. Think of it as recapturing the golden age of blogging when it was untainted by that awful invention called paid posts a.k.a. advertorials.

What this blog will be about, what topics will see more focus, I have no idea right now. I think I’ll let it evolve on its own.

IFTTT Recipes


Facebook is getting silly with its attempts to show users only what it thinks they are interested in. Users should have the right to filter content, not Facebook.

So, it is with this thought in mind that I will no longer share anything “original” on Facebook — not photos and not even the occasional antsy one-liners. The original will always belong to me, on my blog, and what Facebook will get is a mere copy. It is smart SEO and it is also a protest. There is a website called IFTTT which lets me do that.

I am still figuring out how to do the same with Instagram and Pinterest.

Never mind Twitter. I’ve always hated Twitter. Continue reading

Casting a ghoulish glow on brain hemorrhage


We tried making this drink in time for Halloween last year but our Peach Schnapps was bad and the Irish Cream did not curdle well. We have a new bottle of Peach Schnapps, Speedy made two shots of brain hemorrhage the other night and I was so excited to take photos that I missed the fact that the lamp on my desk has a yellow light (what interior designers call “warm”). The effect was a ghoulish glow on the already very disturbing appearance of the drink. Speedy has to make brain hemorrhage again, I’ll take photos with better lighting and post a recipe in the food blog.