Monday, April 23, 2012
Monday, April 16, 2012
View the results of Early Morning Week
Friday, April 13, 2012
Though I'm 89.5% certain that my parents are responsible for my skin color, I've recently discovered through highly sophisticated analysis that there are a number of far more entertaining variables contributing to my "Caucasianity." They've led me to wonder whether or not I truly understand why I am the way I am. Do I live the life of a cracker because of my "genes?" Or because of my "jeans?"
Here are 5 Arguments for the latter:
Cold Cereal may be the breakfast of champions, but it's also the breakfast of "me." I've eaten it almost every day of my life, mostly in the mornings and without allegiance to a particular brand. Mini Wheats, Froot Loops, Golden Grahams, Raisin Bran, Apple Jacks, Life, you name it, I've had it!
But did you know that despite the great variety of cereals out there, they all have something in common? Take a look at the nutritional information on any box of cereal and you'll most likely learn that it contains 25% of your daily-recommended intake of Riboflavin. Yep. Riboflavin.
So what does this mysterious vitamin do? Scientists say it's a B-Vitamin used in cellular processing, but I believe it's responsible for making children's urine smell like Cheerios. That, and I think it makes people white.
It only makes sense! Why else would Latinos traditionally eat "huevos rancheros" instead of Lucky Charms? To prevent whiteness, of course!! General Mills even puts a little Irish man on the box to show what you'll turn into if you eat enough dehydrated mini marshmallows.
My point is that as a life long breakfast consumer, I'm pretty sure I've stored up enough Riboflavin to keep me white for the rest of my life. And I believe the cold cereal industry is partially to blame.
Halloween was obviously either invented for or by white people so that we could have one day a year to be more colorful than we really are. Of course, still being white, we weren't that creative and decided to dress up like Dracula, someone who is actually WHITER than white people.
Still, there are times when us white folk recognize Halloween as the great opportunity it is for our creed. In the 3rd grade, for example, I decided to take full ownership of it and expressed my whiteness through an impressive venture into the world of color. I dressed up like M.C. Hammer.
White people like to be clean because dirt is easier to spot on us. Wait a minute...that's not true with cars, so why would it be true with people? And I guess you only see whites on Hoarders...
Never mind. What I'm trying to say is hand sanitizer seems like something that makes a white person whiter. For example, people who have a little color on their hands tend to put lotion on them, not disinfecting alcohol that dries out their skin and makes it look white.
Which leads me to...
#4- DEHYDRATION BY CHOICE
But there is hope! Coca Cola reported a 1% decline in sales in 2011, meaning they only made $9.27 billion last year. Facts like this help me believe that the day will come when carbonation-based dehydration will no longer play a role in skin color.
#5- RESTAURANTS WITH STUFF ALL OVER THE WALLS
Which is fine! You're probably healthier for it. I used to love Chili's because it always made me feel so eclectic. I'd order a Quesadilla Explosion Salad for dinner and a Molten Chocolate Cake for dessert. All in all, it totaled out to 2,320 calories, 132 grams of fat, and 2900 mg of sodium. Did I mention I ordered the salad?
So I guess when I was feeling "eclectic," I was actually feeling heart disease. But I didn't think about that at the time. All I knew was growing up I didn't have a restaurant close by with stuff all over the walls, and by the time I was 23 years old, I had one 15 minutes away. It was the American Dream! Or at least the white, middle class version of it.
In conclusion, I think we can all agree that based on these five examples I have just presented, absolutely nothing has been proven. I know race can't be cured. It's not a condition, nor a choice. (Unless we're talking about sunburns, in which case, you got to apply the SPF, people!)
But race certainly isn't a trap either. While I'm quite happy being a honky, I know that what I choose to do as one is up to me regardless of any cultural or social diagnosis. For whatever reason, I am a white guy. But I'm also more than that. I'm Jeffrey Scott Parsons!
Wow, my name sounds really white...
Thursday, April 5, 2012
"It all comes down to Physics, you see."
Like a young Jedi knight piecing together the wisdom from Yoda's peculiar syntax, I would often hear my grandpa use this phrase and wonder how a simple cattleman had become such a proponent of this particular science.
Regardless of how, "It all comes down to Physics, you see" was one of the most popular sayings he used. (Right up there with the always-helpful 1st and 2nd rules of working with cows, "Shut the Gate!") So by the time I took Physics during my junior year of High School, I was somewhat disappointed by the general lack of urgency I felt in the classroom.
In fact, the only thing I remember from that class was a lively debate between the teacher and students over whether or not you could "make up time." The students debated that you could, citing the example of driving too slow for part of a journey, and then making up for it later by driving too fast.
The point I believe the teacher was trying to make, and I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt here, is that it is physically impossible to make up time, not figuratively.
This principle came to mind the other day when I got a little overwhelmed by how much I want to do in my life in contrast to how little time I have to get it done. Where, for example, was the time to learn French!? Certainly there could be a way to "make up time."
I started by examining the time I spend in my car. I usually drive for at least an hour a day, so maybe I could use that time more effectively. Perhaps I could be better at filling those drives with a proper balance of music listening, podcast playing, and "hand-free" communicating. Then again, the purpose of those drives is to safely take my body from points A to B, so it's probably better to focus on that.
Then I thought about my showers. If I could be in there a little less, maybe I could save some water and a few minutes. But the truth is I get really good ideas in the shower. In fact, the idea to write this experience down came to me in the shower.
So then I got more frustrated, which made me feel like complaining about it, and that desire to complain led me to think about all the time I spend complaining, which then ultimately made me want to complain to someone about complaining!
I mean, doesn't it just seem like a colossal waste of time? Complaining, I mean. I know venting can be healthy, and funny, and often times informative, but it rarely changes anything.
So what if I could add up all the time I spend complaining every day, whether it's online, or on the phone, or in person? Even if it just totaled up to 10 minutes a day, that would be over an hour a week, about 4.6 hours a month, and 2.5 days a year! Parlez-vous Francais, anyone?
You know, Isaac Newton's Third Law of Motion states that when a force acts from one object to another, there is an equal force acting back on the original object. So if you're pulling on a rope, technically that rope is pulling back.
That law is also a pretty effective way to look at how we spend our time. If we use our time and energy to complain about something, then that "something" is technically complaining back! And doesn’t that sound exhausting!?
So while frustration and discouragement come to all, and there's no need to feel guilty when they do, it's nice to know that we don't have to complain. If there's something we'd rather do instead, we can do that! Then we won't have to "make up time" for it later.
I guess that means Grandpa was right. It all comes down to Physics, after all.