My schedule was giving me headaches, my results-to-effort ratio was far below acceptable, and my ear hurt. I was pissed off, busy, frustrated, unhappy, and much more pessimistic than usual. It was time to make changes in my life--so I did--and now I'm here to tell you about some of them.

There is some stuff that I will not even try to go into now, but there are 3 personal usage things that I want to discuss here. I made proud changes to my personal routine. I decided to go with real butter, natural toothpaste, and baby shampoo.

Real butter: There's just too many kinds of fake butter out there. Too many oils, too many forced elements, it's ALL artificial, and there's too much variation. Buying margarine is a joke. I'm not going to buy 3 seperate tubs of margarine for my different types of fake butter usage. This was an easy decision; butter. Did you know that there are only 2 kinds of butter? Really; 2 kinds. There's salted butter, and unsalted butter. Now THIS is a decision I can make. I even ate a big mouthful of it. Now, all by itself, unsalted butter tastes like soft cardboard. In cooking, however, I am quite satisfied with real, live, cow butter. Moo.

Next up; toothaste: Years ago I noticed on the back of the Crest and Colgate tubes that little warning: DO NOT EAT. I've also been bored enough in my life to read the ingredients on these tubes of lethal pastes and gels. It's a conspiracy theory stronghold, and a network marketing selling point that standard toothpaste is poison. So go swallow a big mouthful of some corporate colored goop.

I went and found this all-natural toothpaste at my local shopper's paradise. So I get it home and brush with it--no big deal. I then decided to eat a big foamy mouthful of it--because that's what I do. And it tasted like, you guessed it, soft cardboard. It wasn't really exciting, but I forged ahead with my studies.

Next stop; shampoo! No more "thicken your thinning hair" formula, no more tropical banana-smelling crud, no more Sesame Street Big Bird, and no more generic dollar-store poo for me. I'm going to get some pure, simple, no-more-tears formula! I want the most basic, nearly- natural product that is being promoted to little fat mothers to rub into the hair of their own little wet, naked, and highly vulnerable offspring. My logic is good, sound, and just.

I want some gentle, non-toxic baby shampoo. It might be expensive, but it will be very good. It will be water-based, mild, and it shouldn't have any major chemicals in it, right? I am so smart! So I lather up...

Jeezus. I got some of this stuff in my eye, and it stung! No, I mean it STUNG! Baby shampoo! I have to admit that it did flush out fairly quickly, and I still have most of the frequently-blurred vision in my left eye, yes. But if I were a baby I would have been screaming, kicking and crying like it was a torture tactic. It was like mace in a bottle.

There were only 2 things left to do: #1 TASTE IT! So I gulped a big foamy mouthful. Oh man, that was so definitely cardboard. I mean "cardboard central". Now; the butter was pretty close, and the toothpaste actually may have been more of a 'notebook paper' flavor, but the baby sham was all about a cardboard taste, okay? Trust me.

The other thing to do, #2 was to read the ingredients. My left eye went fuzzy again, but I drove on in the name of science. Water! Yes, it's water-based; just as my panel of experts had hypothesized. Right after water, however, this "gentle" product heads straight to the dark side of the force. There are 9 ingredients, 9, that are some kind of man-made chemical things which don't exist in nature. In comparison, the hair thickening stuff has 15 chemical elements, and the tropical goo has 11, yes, but we are talking here about the 9 UNNATURAL elements in baby shampoo.

Check it out; sodium trideceth, sodium laureth-13, and tetrasodium EDTA. I'm not going to pretend to be 'professor lab coat' here and tell you exactly what these chemicals are, but "sodium" IS salt; so I'm guessing that you wouldn't want to be rubbing these 3 "salty" chemicals in your infant's eyes, okay? It might create a little bit of a BURNING sensation, huh? Damn, my eye hurts.

You do realize that we are still talking about baby shampoo, right? Shaking my head in disbelief, laughing, and rubbing my eye, I decided to read the whole label on the bottle. Surely, with all of these chemicals there must be a poison warning, a skull and crossbones threat, or at least the polite toothpaste greeting of: DO NOT EAT. No. In fact, what we get is a product commentary: "A mild and gentle formula shampoo for baby and the entire family. Will not irritate eyes or scalp. Leaves hair fresh, clean, and soft. Gentle enough for bleached or tinted hair". Great; so babies are bleaching their hair now? Does the bleach have sodium in it? What does bleach taste like? Ow, my eye still hurts. Go away.

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