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All posts for the month June, 2013

Obesity a Disease?

Published June 26, 2013 by Laitie

    Recently, a friend of mine made a very disturbing status on facebook. She said, “Obesity should not be considered a disease. People need to learn to get up off their lazy asses once in a damn while.” It really hurt my feelings, coming from a friend. And she apologized to me in a message, explaining that I was not fat, let alone obese, that she knew I ate healthy, and that her status was about other people. But, here’s the thing. I -am- fat. I -don’t- eat healthy. I make unhealthy decisions. So what she said really hurts.
    Now, it’s not that the entire status hurt. It’s true, obesity is not a disease in and of itself. Sometimes, it’s caused by diseases. What is actually offensive is what she said after that, and how it relates to obesity/overweight-ness. But she’s only in high school, and hasn’t learned as much about this kind of stuff as I have. So, this is a calm, educated response to her.
    Let’s start on the personal level, because this is my blog and I can start with the personal level if I want to. If you really don’t want to read this part, skip this one paragraph. I don’t eat healthy. I am very lazy. But that’s just the surface of why I’m fat. People say that you have to really wan to lose weight. Well, I have a condition that makes it ten times easier to gain weight and ten times harder to lose. So, I’ve already given up deep down. But I still tried a couple times. I tried the exercise thing. Rode three-five miles on my bike every day one summer. Didn’t lose a single pound. I tried the diet thing. I was always hungry. Food has always been my go-to. When I’m sad, when I’m lonely, when I’m bored, food is always there for me. So, I’ve basically completely given up, now. Why bother? The only time I ever lost weight was when I stopped eating. And I don’t want to stop eating again. I’m fat because I have a condition. And because I’ve lost all hope.
    Those aren’t the only reasons people in this country are overweight. It’s awful, really. People in this country don’t have much money to spare. They’re too busy buying stuff that advertisements tell them that they need to be happy. To be beautiful or handsome. To live. And all that stuff is expensive. There’s little left for healthy food. Yes, healthy food is expensive. It’s massively expensive. I can buy a burger at a fast food joint for a buck. I can make a burger at home without all that grease for five bucks. That’s five times more than the fast food joint. So, people buy the affordable, unhealthy stuff. Making those companies richer and encouraging them to keep doing what they’re doing.
    Now, let’s throw a sick person in there. This person now has no money to spend on food, because all their money is going to the medical agency.
    Food stamps. You only get so much. You can only afford so much.
    Throw in a couple kids. Need to feed them? Need to entertain them, too. And put them in daycare so you can work and actually afford anything to care for them. Working minimum wage? Ha! You’re fucked! Not a chance of a healthy diet.
    Some people are sick. Most people can’t afford a healthy diet. This society idolizes unhealthy lifestyles. From spending all sorts of money on this and that to eating unhealthy yet affordable food.
    I haven’t done much research on this topic, so if you have any more information, please leave a comment. Thank you so much for reading. Take care!

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Cinnamon Loved the Snow

Published June 21, 2013 by Laitie

This is a piece I wrote in college about my dog that passed away my senior year of high school. He had been in my family since I was five years old. So, when he passed, it was hard. Especially for me.

I hate to toot my own horn, but as I was re-typing this from my hard-copy (there’s been two computers since I wrote this), I began to cry. I don’t know if it’s because I loved Cinnamon, my old dog, if it’s really that good a piece, or both. Let me know what you think? Enjoy.

Cinnamon Loved the Snow
Cinnamon loved the snow
All day he could lie
In the shadow of his tree
On a white winter day
The little flecks of sugar
Sweetened his fur
A white outline of
His ebonies, sables, and creams
He belonged there
Adding color to the clean canvas
Never moving
Always there
So he laid there forever
Watching, listening, loving
Until something greater than him
Called to take him away.
Sometimes on a white day,
Or a blue, or brown, or green,
Look outside the window
And you can see
How much he
Loved the snow
For he is there
In the shadow of his tree.

True Christianity

Published June 7, 2013 by Laitie

    I may not be the most devout Christian, nor the most skeptical atheist, but I witnessed something this morning that made my questioning mind be put at ease.
    I’m spending the weekend at my best friend’s house, because she lives four hours away from me. It’s the first time we’ve seen each other in over a year, and the first time I’ve had a chance to really get to know her family. Last night was my first night here. So I didn’t know what to expect when I came upstairs this morning.
    There at the kitchen table sat my friend’s mother, reading her Christian books and praying.
    I don’t know how I feel about Christianity. On the surface it’s a great religion, but there’s the little things about it and about religion itself that gives room for skepticism. We all know this. Many people spend their lives trying to disprove Christianity.
    But something about this devout woman spending her morning with her religion that just gave me an indescribable feeling of peace.
    People say religion gives people a reason to be kind an generous. And that’s wrong, because you should be kind and generous out of the kindness of your heart. But looking at this family, it’s quite obvious that that is not how they “use” their religion.
    Most of all, religion is used for hope. What are we without hope? Hope that the sick will heal. Hope that there is some place better for the dying to go to. Hope heals.
    The kindness that this family has shown me is not because it will help them get to heaven. You can tell genuine kindness, and this is it. They are kind to me because they have been brought up to love. Brought up believing that every human being is a brother or sister. They have been taught to love their brothers and sisters.
    I don’t know enough about other religions to make the following statement about them. But Christianity, more than anything, is about love and family.
    In the Christian’s mind, God is our Father. He knows what’s best for us, even if we don’t agree with him at the time. Sometimes, he even needs to discipline. Whether death is a form of discipline or not, however, is a debate I don’t want to get into right now.
    God does what is best for -you-. For example, the family I’m staying with had a friend from church come over to fix their dryer and he told me this story. When he was young, his father fell sick. He was in the hospital for five weeks. For four weeks, it was this man’s hope that his father was going to make it that kept him going. Then, he prepared himself and his family for his father’s passing. He said, “God did what was best for my father, not what was best for me.” Lots of times, our needs conflict. But Christians believe that God will never do something to you that you cannot handle.
    I don’t know how I feel about that statement. After everything I’ve been through, I fell into depression. I also have some really bad anxiety and the worst temper I’ve ever had before. I feel like this is all a sign of me not getting through. I need man-made medications just to get through the day. But at the same time, I’m having the time of my life at my best friend’s house right now. So, perhaps I can handle this. I don’t know.
    The main thing I wanted to say? This is how true Christians live: love your Father, love your mother, love your brothers and sisters. Trust in your family. They may let you down time and time again, but you have nothing without them. Have faith in your family, and in the end, they will come through for you.

Of Fairies and Leafmen: An Epic Fanfiction by Laitie Montai

Published June 6, 2013 by Laitie

Prologue

Mandrake grinned as he looked over his beautiful work. No, he was not dead. How could he die from his own power? But it worked, letting them all think he was dead. With all the power he had gathered from this new triumph, he would soon be ready to face them again. To destroy them all.

He laughed at the thought of that. A cold, sinister sound. It made the fairy shiver. She waited until it slowly faded away before bolting. She flew as fast as she could, as close to the dead ground as possible. It was easy to avoid looking around at all the decay. She didn’t want to see what her once lively, green home had been reduced to.

‘The Leafmen,’ she thought. ‘I have to get to the Leafmen.’ She almost made it to living forest again when one of Mandrake’s henchmen found her.

Chapter 1

“…and next thing I know, I’m flat on my back with Mub on top of me!” Nod and MK laughed at the end of the story.

“I guess being a Leafman really is still pretty adventurous,” MK said.

“Yeah,” Nod said. “But not as much as it was with Mandrake around. Which is a good thing.”

“A very good thing,” MK agreed. “So, have you guys-“

“Nod!” Nod turned to see a Leafman by the name of Slannen fly over on his hummingbird. “Ronin spotted something by the Eastern border. We need to go. Now!”

“Sorry, MK,” Nod said. “I gotta go.” Before MK had the chance to say good-bye, Nod was gone.

‘What was that about?’ MK wondered. The Eastern border . . . She knew where that was. She ran to the foyer and pulled on her boots.

“Where you going, MK?” her dad called.

“Something’s going on at the Eastern border!” MK shouted back. “I’ll be home later!” With that, she raced out of the door and towards the edge of Moonhaven.

The fairy huddled behind the root of the tree. She had barely gotten away with her life. Her wing was bent and she was bleeding. She had to get to the Leafmen quickly. Before Mandrake found the bulbs. Before he could begin his raid on the Leafmen.

But how? She was exhausted, and she never did pay enough attention in lessons. So she only knew a few healing spells and none of them included speeding the healing of a bent wing. She would never make it in time.

It was then that she heard a low humming. It started out very faint, then grew louder and louder until the entire air was filled with it. She looked up at the canopy above her and saw them. The hummingbirds. And…were those fairies riding them?

No, not fairies! Leafmen! They had found her! She was so excited, she lept up to her feet despite her sore legs. She jumped up and down in excitement. But her happiness dwindled when an arrow came whizzing by her ear, digging into the ground behind her. Did they really think her a threat?

The Leafmen encircled her in the air before landing on the ground and dismounting their hummingbirds. The one that seemed to be the leader walked forward towards her.

“Who are you and what are you doing here?” he demanded. Soonrah shrunk back, reaching behind her to feel the safety of the wood against her fingers.

“I-I…Well, I…” She was too nervous. She couldn’t speak. She shivered as she crouched beneath the overhang offered by the tree root. “P-Please, I-“

“Ronin.” A young man made his way over to the leader. “Ronin, look at her,” he said. “She’s so scared. And she’s wounded. She probably just needs help.”

“Nod,” the leader, Ronin, apparently, said sternly. “Go back to the ranks.”

“But Ronin-“

“Back to the ranks!” The young man, seemingly Nod, frowned. He set his chin and walked right up to the fairy, who only backed up more. But he offered out his hand.

“I’m Nod,” he said. “Don’t be afraid of that old guy. He only wants to protect his people.”

Shakily, she took his hand. She looked around quickly to make sure no arrows were drawn. None were. “I-I…I’m Soonrah,” she said softly. “P-Please, I need your help. My home is gone. Completely destroyed. And if you don’t listen to me, the same will happen to yours.”

“What are you talking about?” Ronin demanded.

“I ca-can’t talk about it here. It’s too dangerous. Please. We must go further into your land.”

It didn’t take anything more to convince Ronin. But he made certain to keep this fairy under a close watch. He helped her on to his own bird and they flew to Moonhaven in silence. Once they landed, Ronin dismounted and walked towards the Queen’s meadow. Nod helped Soonrah off the hummingbird as Ronin walked into the meadow.

“My Queen,” he said with a bow. Queen Darcy turned at the sound of his voice and grinned at him. “Ronin. How are things?”

“I’m not sure, My Queen,” Ronin said. “We found a fairy by the border. She says Moonhaven is in trouble.”

“A fairy?” the Queen asked. She had heard tales of fairies, of course. But she had never known them to be real. Beyond her lands, she always thought there to be other Leafman-kind protecting their own lands.

But she had to focus on what was important. The safety of her people. “How is Moonhaven in danger?”

“She would not tell us. Not until we were well within our borders.”

“Then let’s hear what she has to say. Let her come.”

Ronin nodded and left to fetch Soonrah and Nod. All three walked back in together, Soonrah keeping close to Nod. Ronin still made her uneasy. When she saw the Queen, she gasped. She was so beautiful.

“Hello,” Queen Darcy said gently. She grinned at the fairy, happy to see a real one for the first time in her life. “I am Darcy.”

“Hello, Your Majesty,” Soonrah said respectfully. She gave a small bow, as much as her wounded body would let her. At least the fairy knew some sort of royal protocol. There had been a queen of fairies, as well.

“Please tell me. Why do you think our lands are in danger?”

“Because of him, Your Majesty. He has destroyed my home. Everyone and everything is gone. And you’re all next. I know it.”

“Who, Soonrah?” Nod asked.

“Mandrake,” she said gravely. “He’s alive.”