My Write Road - SL Baum

... MY WRITE ROAD - S.L. BAUM ... I am a mother, a wife, a former teacher, and a writer! Crafter, baker, taxi driver.......

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Hot button topic of the day that has me shaking my head... tight pants!

So there have been a bunch of blog posts, articles, FB posts, tweets, etc in the past week that have caught my eye... about tight pants... in particular leggings (and yoga pants). The first blog post I read was written by a woman saying that after her husband told her it was hard for him not to look at other women in leggings, she asked him if other men were looking at her with want (or lust) and he said that they probably were, so she decided never to wear them again in public because she didn't want to cause those thoughts. She also stated that she only wears them at home now, with a shirt long enough to cover her rear end. < - - - I'm trying to figure that one out... not quite sure how letting her husband see her backside (with leggings covering it) is something to avoid... I'm pretty sure he's seen her naked, in panties, in a swimsuit... but I guess that's not for me to figure out. The other thing that was in that post was quote from a man stating that women wearing leggings might as well be naked, and that the pants were designed to entice desire in men. **EDITING TO ADD** I apparently read the sentence wrong in her blog - she said she wears them at home OR out in public only if her shirt is long enough to cover her backside. I'm so glad I reread it. That makes so much more sense. AND, I agree with her (for the most part) about the covering the bum thing. BUT, I have no problems running errands in my work-out gear. My convenience is WAY more important that me worrying about whether or not some guy is staring at my booty as I shop in Sam's club, or pick my kids up from school!

After her post went viral everyone else started weighing in... opinions flew... I have my own (obviously - we all do) and I am going to start out with this: if that woman doesn't want to wear legging anymore it is entirely up to her. Thankfully, we live in a country where our dress isn't really restricted (unless blatant nudity is involved). We don't have decency police employed to run around making moral judgements and arrest people based on their wardrobe... and I'm glad I live somewhere where we all have that freedom. Of course there are always people making moral judgements (usually in their own heads) on the clothes others wear. Every. Single. Day. Sadly, most people are wired that way. Judgements, judgements, judgements.

I've shared some of this with my teen girls, and what I want them to take away from this is that they are not responsible for the lustful thoughts of the male population (or the female one for that matter). My girls can wear legging all they want, I wear them too (and I'm in my 40s - I offer no apologies). But, yes, I prefer that they have a shirt long enough to cover their rear.  I really do not want them to walk through life trying to make sure other people stay on a moral path... they have their own path to worry about.

But the main thing that struck me throughout reading all these blog posts (and responses) was that - THIS IS NOTHING NEW! Tight pants have been around FOREVER. For decades - many, many decades. Short, long, somewhere in between, women (and men) have been wearing tight pants. Why all the buzz and fuss to start out 2015??

Lets go back to the 90s
Spandex pants in 3 lengths - long pants, capris, and shorts!
Actually the biker shorts thing was HUGE - men and women both got into it!
If a woman wearing spandex shorts "might as well be naked"
then a man in biker shorts leaves little to the imagination!


And a little farther back - the 80s
Okay - so there were a lot of women wearing "leggings" in the 80s - but the boys
of glam rock almost had the girls outnumbered! And it wasn't just the actual
rockers, the male fans did it too. AND, I must point out,
this group is STRYPER - a christian rock group.

Okay here's the 70s

These aren't exactly legging, but they are the tightest satin pant
(possibly in the world - yes, that's sarcasm). I mean, look at their crotch area! 
Wow! I would have looked horrible in those. I'll keep the non-shiny, stretchy, 
forgiving material of my leggings - thank you!

And back to the 60s
A long sweater, leggings/tights, and boots - that was an outfit - and still is!
And it looks amazing on her, and I recently wore something quite similar,
and I looked pretty darn good as well.

The little girls below, ummm, pants were optional back then??
Actually - little girl sometimes wore SUPER short dresses & nobody cared!
This was 1970 - tail end of the 60s - gateway to the 70s. 
They look adorable. 

And the 50s
Audry Hepburn, style icon. Body hugging outfit from top to bottom!

The 40s
Sewing pattern... the shorts aren't super tight, but paired with that top...
I'm thinking somebody had some lustful thoughts.
I was even able to find a similar outfit!

Lastly the 30s 
TIGHT, tight, tight. And with how short they are, nothing is
left to the imagination (as they say - actually I just did - up there).

Earlier than the 30s, I'm stuck with looser pants, but I can find short dresses. Don't even get me going with the bosoms of certain eras... talk about exposed! I was trying to focus on the tight pants side of this argument... so that's where I stopped. If I just went for the clothing that could possibly cause others to think impure thoughts, I'd have to put up a pic of every single article of clothing ever made. Because people have had desirous thoughts about other people since animal hides were first used to cover the body, and threads were first woven to make cloth! I could put on the baggiest, most unflattering outfit every made, and there would be somebody who would look at me with desire. That doesn't just go for me... that goes for any woman (or man). Sexual thoughts happen, regardless of wardrobe... in my opinion. But that's just my opinion, everybody has one!

Last one: 1701 
Look away, my female (and male) friends, keep your thoughts pure.

SEE WHAT I MEAN - FOREVER!





Thursday, January 15, 2015

Doing your job correctly has become "NEWS"

I like to browse through the stories on Yahoo... and for quite some time now, I've noticed that it has become noteworthy when someone does what they are supposed to do. The media bombards us with negative stories so much that acting appropriately and using logic is now something to shout from the rooftops. My moral compass is working - please reward me - or at least give me some attention for it!

Someone returns a wallet with $$ - WooHoo!
A guy getting booked helps a police officer that has collapsed - Shocking!
Teaching your children that it is wrong to steal - This deserves a pat on the back!

The last one made me stop and read the article and then the comments...
ARTICLE HERE: The most important lesson I've taught my son so far
In short: Her son stole a toy from a store, she brought him back and made him go up to the counter to admit what he'd done and pay for it. Shocker alert... almost every one who commented on the story said that their parents had done the same to them when they had taken something when they were little.

Guess what. I did the same thing. My eldest took an angel pin from a bookstore, and then showed it to me when we got home. I told her it was wrong and that we needed to make it right, and then I drove right back to the store. She brought it up to the counter, to return it and admit that she'd put it in her pocket. The lady at the counter told her that she shouldn't have taken it, and then thanked her for returning it. Did my daughter learn a lesson? I think so. My youngest took a golf ball from a museum in another city. When I found out, I made him sit next to me while I called the gift shop and told them what he'd done. Since it was silly to mail back the golf ball, we settled on mailing a check instead. My boy and I talked about it, he wrote a note to say he was sorry, and then we put the envelope in the mail. Did he learn his lesson? I hope so. But that's all we can do as parents; lead by example, have open and honest conversations with our children, and hope that they learn something along the way.

Children need to be taught right from wrong. They need to know that their actions have consequences. Children need to learn that they need to admit their mistakes and right them (if at all possible). It is our job, as parents, to teach these things. I didn't take the job hoping for brownie points, ribbons, and trophies.

Yes, I know that there are lots of bad parents out there. No part of me believes that reading that article on Yahoo is going to be a lightbulb moment for anyone. "Oh, I'm not supposed to let my child get away with stealing?" EVERYONE knows that stealing from a store is wrong (even the kids - or they wouldn't show us the item with guilt in their eyes), but some people make the choice to do it and somehow justify their actions. The fact that they feel the need to justify it proves that they know it is wrong to begin with. EVERYONE knows that telling a bold faced lie, cheating, and intentionally harming someone is wrong. There is a basic moral code that we have as human beings - which has nothing to do with cultural norms - and unless there is a medical reason (a kink in the brainwaves) - it is a conscious choice to do wrong.

Was that the "Most important lesson" I've taught my kids - wow - I sure hope not. And to give the author of the Yahoo article proper credit - she said "most important lesson so far." That's so true, we will constantly be teaching them lessons and I don't think I'll ever know what that most important lesson will be. My children will figure it out when I am no longer there to teach them. Until that time comes, I will be the best example I can be... and admit the mistakes I make along the way.

Please deposit brownie points below - I'm quite sure I deserve them ;-)



Friday, October 3, 2014

I have no hot dogs... my smart phone wants my daughter to know that.

My phone wants my daughter to know that I have no hot dogs...

Strange but true.

The suggested words feature on smart phones has always amazed, confused, and entertained me. Today I let it run wild to see what it would come up with. My kiddo #1 had just sent me a text to let me know that school was almost out - to remind me that it was a 1/2 day because I had mentioned that I hoped I didn't forget and end up late to pick up my kiddo #3. I went to type "OK" and got as far as the "O" when my phone suggested "Ok" so instead of pressing on the "K" I just pressed down on the suggested word.

Then I thought... I wonder what my phone will suggest next? So I just kept selecting the first word (out of the 3 it suggests - even when you are not in the middle of typing one). I clicked and clicked and clicked and clicked. Amazingly, it even suggested punctuation marks when it figured I was at the end of my sentence. I would love to know that type of programming that goes into this... well, maybe I wouldn't (just in case there is some sort of mind-meld in there somewhere - kidding - I know my Samsung is not seeing into my brain - or is it).

So here is what my phone decided I wanted to say to my teenager today... I stopped when it started repeating itself (and yes - it was going to keep going). There must have been a scratch in the record (sorry, young people, you may not be able to get that reference... sadly).

I have not hot dogs - but hey - apparently I have transportation!



In defense of my phone... it is aware that my daughter and I have had the conversation below (without any suggested words). It does know that we talk about strange things in the Baum house.


Monday, March 31, 2014

New Release - CRUSH


I'm happy to announce the release of CRUSH… the final novel in the LUSH trilogy.
Available at Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Smashwords,
and soon at Apple, Kobo, & other various e-book outlets.

During Bluebell's Lush Ambassador tour of the Concords, Three was attacked. The Council imposed a mandatory curfew, suspended nonessential travel, and ordered her back home to One. Before leaving for home she receives a cryptic message telling her, "Make your father remember. It's the only way." Will Bluebell be able to find the truth before someone discovers she knows more about Concord than any Citizen should?




Wednesday, January 15, 2014

30 days of "Making an Effort" - #OOTD

So... after a couple of days of forgetting to take a picture I've decided that I proved my point to myself, and I realized I was taking somewhat longer to get ready because I actually thought about "have I taken a picture with this shirt on already?" Dumb thought, because who goes 30 days without wearing the same thing two or even three times!? That's when I decided that continuing to document my outfits was no longer something that I wished to do. But I will say... I am still taking the time to put on something nice (most days), and doing this made me think about my wardrobe. I even went through my closet and made a pile of give-away shirts that I no longer wear. Purging a closet is a lovely thing!

DAY #21
That cello will be there all week ;-)

DAY #20
Happy Monday! 
That's my cello from HS getting ready to go up in the attic.

DAY #19
Super Bowl Sunday - simple black dress & jean jacket.

DAY #17 & #18
I have no pics... I have no excuses.

DAY #16
Headache... and another Youth Symphony board meeting.

DAY #15
I am still feeling a bit off... but with an early morning
ortho Appt for my #2 - an early school day - and an
Induction ceremony for my #1 ... I just need to get over it.

DAY #14
Still feeling like yuck... yoga pants and
old sweatshirt (got it on my honeymoon).
I had to cancel my dentist appt.


I'm documenting my #ootd for 30 days - because sometimes a girl needs to prove to herself that she is worth the effort!

Today, I forgot that the kids were getting out of school an hour earlier than usual (it's a Wednesday thing). I was a sweaty mess from the treadmill, when the realization hit me, so I took a quick shower. Thankfully, I didn't need to wash my hair - that would have doomed kiddo #1 to have to stand outside of her HS much longer than usual, waiting for me to finally get there.

When I got out of the shower, I glanced at the clock and saw that I had no more than 20 minutes to get my butt (okay - my whole body) ready and out the door, so I could begin my daily round of offspring retrieval. So after drying off, I stared at my closet for a moment before deciding to wear a simple black dress - one piece of clothing, a time saving decision. A belt, a necklace, a pair of flats, my rings, and a watch were quickly put on and then I started on my make-up. After that, I ran a curling iron down my hair (I use it more or less as a flat iron, with a bit of a wave at the ends, on most days).

A quick side note about make-up: About 10 years ago, after the birth of my 3rd kiddo and after I'd been (more or less) a stay home mom for three years, I started doing a quick 5 minute make-up job to myself on most days. It just made me feel better about myself. I remember once when my younger sister was over my house - I had to leave to pick-up one of my kiddos from school so I ran into the bathroom to slap on a  little bit of make-up. She asked why I would bother, unless I had somewhere to go afterward. I told her that those 5 minutes make me look better outside and then I felt a little better inside. Maybe it is stupid, vain, whatever - I don't really care. I do know that when I put a little bit of effort into how I look, it improves how I feel.

20 minutes later and... Success! I was ready in time. As I left my closet, I glanced in the mirror and thought, "This ended up being a pretty cute outfit, and I am wasting it." I was only going to get the kids from school. After driving to all 3 schools and retrieving all 3 kids, I planned to walk up to the Dutch Bro's window (a treat for the kids - plus I recently discovered that I love Chai latte from there)... and then later tonight I'm going to get take-out for dinner (school fund raiser). No one important was going to see me in my cute outfit. But then I thought, "I'm going to see me. My family is going to see me. That's important!" And maybe my attitude about spending 5 minutes on my face needs to be expanded to spend a minimum of 20 minutes (more if I need to dry my hair) on my whole self.

I saw an article on the internet lately about a man "dating" his wife (putting some extra effort into their marriage)… an then another one where a woman noted that particular article and stated that she could spend more time and effort on her appearance (just to please her husband)… but I think I could put more of an effort into myself, just to PLEASE MYSELF… to remind myself that I'm worth that effort! And guess what… when I put that effort into myself I bet Hubs will end up noticing, and in turn that seems like it might have a positive effect on our marriage as well. Who knows? But I'm doing it either way. So here is day one.

DAY #1
Side note: I am 43 - so this whole "taking a good, posed picture of myself" is not a skill that has been cultivated. I am also not promising to keep a clean closet for 30 days - lets not get crazy. And I fully realize that this blog has a whopping 37 followers (and only 36 on my Instagram), so I know I could get away with slacking off on this promise to myself and no one would call me out on it.  So this really is just for me! Here's to the next 30 days of #ootd (outfit of the day - for those who don't know - I just figured it out myself last year)!

DAY #2
I have a board meeting tonight for the East Valley Youth Symphony... 
I figured this would be comfortable enough to wear all day. 
Thursdays are my crazy day. I'll be going until 8:30 tonight.


DAY #3

It's headless, but it's me!


DAY #4
After a long evening at Barrett Jackson.


DAY #5
Forgot to take a pic... So here it is (the next day).

DAY #6
Wet hair... don't care :-)

DAY #7
An outfit fit for the doctor's office...

DAY#8
Criminny - I need a tan!

DAY #9
This is called… I'm writing and treadmilling today
and will only be wearing this!
Yup, I even drove to the kids' schools
to pick them up this way.

DAY #10
Lunch with a friend...

DAY #11
Furniture shopping... new couch... yay!

DAY #12
Lounging around the house day...

DAY #13
Not feeling good today...
stuffy head=comfy clothes







Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Concord Road Blocks

I've been pretty darn good at putting myself on a writing schedule for the last year. I give myself a goal month and try my hardest to finish the writing, editing, beta reading, and revising periods of each new novel in a timely manner... but things do not always go as planned for me.

After releasing LUSH in April of 2013 - I promised HUSH in October, and I delivered!
But between those two novels, I said that The Eve of Destruction (The Immortal Ones - book four) would be finished in June... I had to push to July.
I'm doing it again. I'm giving in to the creative voice in my head that says, "Not everything can go as planned!"

I promised CRUSH in February... I even put it in writing... I was planning on a Feb 28th release (in my head - I hadn't made the actual date public yet). But I woke up this morning and realized that I would not be able to deliver. There are truths about Concord that I didn't even know about until I woke up this morning, and in order to get those truths into the novel I will have to work them in and change some things... because not everything can go as planned. So, I am sorry to have to make you wait longer. My new date is March 28th... I'm giving myself another month to make sure that I am able write the story that wants to be written (and not just a story that will make it out in a timely manner).

In advance, I thank you for your patience. Bluebell has some things to figure out...

MARCH 28th 2014

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Accountability

I surrender - I am no good at updating a blog!

With Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and a Website as well... the blog suffers. Not sure why, but probably for the same reason that I have a bunch of half filled and/or empty journals. The idea is wonderful. I'm just no good at the follow-through.

But... I've seen these word-count-thingies (yes, that is a technical word) on other writer's sites and thought... "What a great way to hold yourself accountable for your work." And if nothing else, it will at least keep my readers informed of my progress while I work on future stories.

So, they are installed; here, on my blog, and also on my website < --- one of these days I'll just combine the two.

Now you can help with my accountability and yell at me to, "hurry up and get that book done on time!" I may not respond well to the yelling though... just an FYI.

Cheers to the New Year!
SL