Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Book Review: The Sky Isn't Visible From Here

The scenes from Felicia Sullivan's book are heartbreaking.

Stories of her childhood as she watched her mother abuse drugs, and abused by often-violent men. Stories of a child who had to take her mother to the emergency room on a regular basis when the dope stopped feeling good. Stories of a nomadic youth. Stories that aren't filled with love, and don't have happy endings.

I didn't know where to start with my review. I really didn't. It isn't because I didn't get it, because I did. It isn't because the book isn't good, because it is. I didn't really know where to start, I think, because I am very aware of the fact that a lot of the author's childhood was like my own.

I too, lived in a home with a single, drug abusing parent, and sure as hell, it wasn't pretty.

Ms. Sullivan tells us about some of the minutiae of life with her mother, and her own struggles with addiction and it's aftermath. Anyone reading this very personal, powerful, and moving memoir, should come away knowing at least one thing for certain: That the wreckage of substance abuse isn't just physical, and it isn't just mental. The wreckage is emotional, and it's raw... and despite what you've been told, time doesn't heal all wounds.

Felicia Sullivan's well-written story is one of survival, not victory.


Sometimes survival is the best we can ask for.

This review is sponsored by the Parent Bloggers Network, and those fine folks at Algonquin books.

You can read Felicia Sullivan's blog here.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Product Review: Cleanwell Antibacterial Wash

My kids are old enough that I don't have to get terribly involved in their biological dirt... and that's a good thing. The problem is that whether you have little kids or not, it's a dirty, germy, nasty world out there, folks, and most of those germs aren't airborne. No, they are right there on your keyboard, or the door knob, or the steering wheel, or on that dollar coin... or on any of the myriad surfaces that you and I touch every day.

Now, just because I don't have small kids doesn't mean that I don't get dirty... believe me, I do! I make my living as a tactical firearms instructor, and whether it is during training exercises, or during routine weapons maintenance, my hands get dirty. After a day of intense shooting, the last thing to do before finishing for the day is to clean all of my weapons. The problem is getting not only cleaning the burnt carbon and harsh chemicals and oil from my hands, but cleaning them with a soap that won't leave my skin dry dry and papery. As you can imagine, working in a government buliding, the soap in the men's room is usually that harsh, hard-core, skin-drying, industrial stuff that NOBODY wants to use.

In my home life, I do all of the cooking, and since I am a carnivore, and Mrs Gunfighter doesn't much care for beef, I use chicken in lots of the meals that I make. Now, boneless, skinless, chicken breasts aren't a major threat to your health, like a sub-machinegun... but Salmonella is.

So, whether I am at home or at work, I need my hands to be clean. Clean and disinfected, and I think that CleanWell's antibacterial wash will do exactly that. Whether I am in the kitchen, cutting up a chicken or at the range cleaning a sub-machinegun, shotgun, or pistol, when I use CleanWell, my hands get clean AND disinfected.

Here is the best part. CleanWell products won't hurt the environment. You see, the production of some of the chemicals in some other antibacterial soaps and hand-sanitizer's find their way into the environment either during the manufacturing process, or via waste water. Not so, with CleanWell. The active ingredient in CleanWell's products in Ingenium, which, according to company reseaerch, is a botanically sourced plant oil (that utilizes Thyme), which kills %99.9 percent of the bacteria which will make you sick.

Lastly: Guys, sure this stuff is environmentally friendly and it doesn't smell like turpentine, but it isn't unmaly. Remember: Environmentally savvy is the new studly!

Hey folks! There is a contest going on... people want to know how you get dirty... it's a photo contest, and you can find it here. It's brought to you by ShutterSisters

This review is sponsored by the Parent Bloggers Network, and those fine, environmentally friendly folks at CleanWell.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Book Review: Sex Detox

Sex Detox: Recharge Desire. Revitalize Intimacy. Rejuvenate Your Love Life.

Author Ian Kerner, Ph.D, wastes no time in this book. He jumps right in and makes it plain that American sex lives are broken. According to Dr. Kerner, our lives and our culture are so oversexualized from the media, music, and online pornography, that our own sex lives have become unsatisfying. Our increasing lack of exercise has eroded what he calls our "sexual fitness". According to Kerner's research, sexual dissatisfaction has become the primary for divorce (a stupid reason, I think). This oversexualization, fostering unrealistic visions of Hollywood-perfect bodies, and surgically enhanced pornstars has hurt us. Well, he might be right, but the good thing is that he has an answer: The Sex Detox regimen.

Kerner posits that too many people in this country are engaging in unsatisfying sex (and that goes for singles involved in the "booty-call" life as much as it does for the married fuddy-duddies), and that sex can be greatly inproved by simply not having it.

That's what the man said: Have better sex by not having sex.

Sure, some of you are nodding sagely, and some of you a spewing your beverages while bellowing WTF? I found myself in the latter category... but reading on, I had to concede that Kerner has a point. Denying yourself something that you want, something that you really crave, while it is sitting right there on the couch with you... and probably thinking similarly randy thoughts about you, can really increase the mental aspect of sex... which has to be better than having sex just because you are supposed to every other Tuesday night.

The Detox plan is very detailed, and from reading it, it seems to make sense. By the way, you don't have to be in a committed relationship for this program to be effective. Singles have as much sexual toxicity as those in committed, long-term relationships... it's just different.

I'm not going to give you a detailed description of the plan, but I'll tell you, I think that Kerner is on to something. Reading his plan, I think that it would be good for anyone who thinks that there is anything toxic in their lives, from sex, to friendships, or even the beginnings of substance abuse problems.

Give it a read. Even if you don't use the plan, you'll probably learn something useful.

Full marks for Dr. Kerner.


This product review was sponsored by the Parent Bloggers Network, and the fine folks at Harper Collins books