So the latest information about the boy scouts in Atlanta with regards to their exaggeration of black members in urban areas just makes me reject them and their ilk even more. It's ridiculous even. Sure there is pressure to recruit, recruit, recruit, but if you aren't getting the numbers via honest means, shouldn't that be telling them something?
Of course, if you read to the bottom of the article, Alabama might be doing the same thing. Interesting how they are both southern states that originally had large populations of black people since we decided to drag them all from Africa hundreds of years ago.
As many of you may know, the Boy Scouts exclude people pretty regularly. If you don't think, act or look like them, you don't belong with them. If you don't believe in god, are female or are openly gay, you aren't included in their click. Peanut wants to be a scout because his dad has gotten it in him that this is a cool thing to be. Peanut's dad grew up in the Philippines 'til he was 15 when he moved here with his stepdad and mom. What the hell does he know about being a boy scout? (Of course, this is also the man that doesn't understand why I won't even consider Regent University for grad school.)
Yes, I want my kid to learn discrimination and bigotry from a supposed christian organization. And his dad doesn't see anything wrong with it as he thinks Peanut should be taught that all this stuff is bad for society. Agh! Does he not see himself as a minority at all?
But that is another rant for another day. Let's get back to the boy scouts shall we?
Let us not forget the story that broke not too many moons ago about the scout leader who was found guilty of possessing child pornography. Does that make him gay? Shouldn't this now challenge their "No Gays Allowed" stance since pedophilia is not a disease inflicted on gay people? One can only hope.
Personally, and I do mean this literally, I love this part:
As has been expected for some time, the Department of Defense has formally agreed, as part of a settlement in the Winkler case, that they would notify military bases around the the world not to sponsor BSA units. The reason the DOD has to drop these units is because BSA has decided that it is a private religious organization. DOD said that it "has long had a rule against sponsorship of non-federal organizations" and BSA's new definition of itself, and its religious test, makes its illegal for DOD to charter some 1,200+ BSA units. If BSA did not require a religious test and adopted a more inclusive religious policy of other WOSM Scouting Associations, then DOD would probably still charter BSA units.
The case is still ongoing, as DOD spends millions of taxpayer's money on maintaining and running the quadrennial national jamboree. That question, as well as the units chartered by public schools across the country, are next.
The quadrennial jamboree is in my backyard almost. It would take me less than 5 min to drive to Fort A.P. Hill where it is held every time. They did gussy up downtown before they descended upon us the last time it came through, adding new signs that announced to all who cared "Welcome to Bowling Green: Home of the Boy Scout Jamboree" and repaving the roads. It will be interesting to see what transpires since that would mean our town stands to lose a lot of money and the boy scouts would lose a rather large financial backer.
But it does mean less traffic and less noise! I can deal with that, couldn't you?
Heh, I like this tag line from About.com:
News, information, and court cases dealing with the Boy Scouts of America and their insistence on discriminating against gays and atheists without having to pay any social price for their positions.
It makes me wonder if these cherished boy scouts pay any attention to the media attention they are getting, both good and bad (mostly the bad because I can be rather sadistic at times). I remember that brief moment when a court somewhere in the U.S. told the boy scouts to allow openly gay men into their ranks. But I also remember that was a decision that was quickly appealed and then rescinded.
damn boys and their penises.
Welcome to the Nut House
A little bit of nuttiness, a whole lot of feminism
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
So the latest information about the boy scouts in Atlanta with regards to their exaggeration of black members in urban areas just makes me reject them and their ilk even more. It's ridiculous even. Sure there is pressure to recruit, recruit, recruit, but if you aren't getting the numbers via honest means, shouldn't that be telling them something?
Monday, May 30, 2005
So I have decided that next time, I'm gonna drive a separate car so I can avoid spending too much time with my mom.
Yesterday, I came out of this really cool coffee shop in East Aurora and sat down after venting my irritation that my niece was slamming the chess pieces down onto a glass table. My mom says to me, as I'm sliding into the seat across from her, "For such a young person, so much irritates you."
Grrr. So I fire back, "I was your little girl once and I remember A LOT of stuff irritating you, too."
She didn't talk to me for a while after that.
We are just way too much alike to be living under the same roof as adults (or what she claims as me "passing" for an adult).
It was fun seeing my grandma and aunt/cousins again. They are, of course, a lot taller than me but the kids had a blast playing with the cousins. The cousins had a great time playing with the kids, too, since they don't have their own and appreciate kids especially when they're gone.
I think I've seen the most of Buffalo ever on this trip, too. I got to see the amazing Lake Erie where it meets the Niagra River. Being from Virginia, I'm just not used to seeing lakes that huge and then referring to them as having coastlines and such. It was a great experience though, too bad I had forgotten all about the camera.
I do plan on posting some pictures tomorrow that I took of the greener, moutainy parts of Virginia to show all of you unsuspecting readers that not all of Virginia is a big suburb (that's just the coastline).
But for now, I'm tired and just wanna veg out. Being around a 6 and 5 yr old the entire weekend always at someone elses house really tries ones fragile nerves. I was thankful for the hotel room each night as I could kinda let them loose and not have to worry about them breaking anyones anything for a little while.
I almost forgot. On our first night there, we let them go swimming in the pool located in the lobby area of the hotel. We had opened the door and no sooner had gotten all the way in the room when Peanut had already stripped off his shirt and went flying into the water. The problem? It was 3'6". This was over his head. So I had to rush to the side of the pool, throw down my new hardback book (small price to pay for your child, I know this so don't worry) and reach into the pool to grab my now near drowning kindergartener. Thankfully my mom had her swimming suit on and jumped into the pool, too, to catch him.
Yes, my heart was pounding mightily for quite some time after that. Whew.
Thursday, May 26, 2005
I forgot! I am leaving bright and early tomorrow morning for upstate NY. Buffalo actually. My dad's parents live close to Buffalo so we're staying in a hotel somewhere in there. Erie county is where we spend most of our time (the Erie county fair is lots of fun). Seneca Falls is nearby, too. Tunawanda is where my Aunt S. lives.
We were going to visit the Buffalo Zoo, but it's going to be cold and rainy the.entire.time so we're going to the aquarium and children's museum instead most likely. 2 kids in a hotel room all day does not a fun day make.
So alas, I will be missing you all, my blog-world friends. There won't be any internet connection either, I think, so I don't know if I will be able to check in. Sometimes there is a business room that has a pc. Who knows.
Does anyone in the blog-world live near Buffalo? Hmmmm?
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
I started my summer class on Monday and it's about how to write fiction so needless to say, I've been busy. I had never considered myself a fiction writer but its coming surprisingly easy. It's a 5 week course so who knows, maybe I'll post a story or two up here once everything is finished.
I've also been performing my coordinator duties for a conference I attend in July. I don't just attend it anymore, I actually help plan it. I get the registrations, enroll people in their workshops and then, about 2 weeks before the conference, I have the daunting task of assigning appx 250 people rooms. These rooms, mind you, are not all updated into the 21st Century. The springs at Shrine Mont (in Orkney Springs, VA) are what originally attracted people to the sight back in the 1920s. It's a beautiful place without cell phone reception or an internet connection, air conditioning and heat but plenty of mountain air and green green green all around! I look forward to going up there, not for the conference, but for the atmosphere. The conference does have a plus side such as the unorthodox liturgy's (last year we prayed to Mary instead of god/jesus. Cool huh?) and the outstanding food.
Anyway, my point was going to be that since not all rooms have their own bathroom and more and more registrants want their own room with their own bathroom, too, it gets interesting. One woman emailed me yesterday stating that if she could not have her own room, she was going to have to ask for a refund of her deposit. The raging witch in me wanted to email her with a response like, "Well, then I guess you'd better start asking." But I know I can't do that. So I emailed her with a nice, pleasing response instead (I know, *gag*). Promises cannot be made because I don't know for sure what's going to happen and whose going to be in what room 'til I get which houses we are assigned for the duration of our stay. So this ought to be interesting. There are usually a lot of people happy with their room choices, though. These are also the people who have been coming for the 30+ years this conference has been happening and know what to expect.
But this is only the beginning. July 15th is when I head up there so I'm sure you'll be hearing more.
Onto another topic: Peanut and I went to see the psychologist yesterday. Thank goodness she understands my concern about his behavioral patterns. She also said that bright kids tend to pick up on things a lot faster and are more susceptible, emotionally, to certain non-verbal communications. Huh. We now have appointments to see her for the next 3 Thursdays at 9am, Eastern Time, where she will be playing and learning about him without me present. I think it will be good for him since I'm sure even 5 year olds need someone to talk to. She is also going to see if perhaps he is too bright for his own good and is just simply bored with school.
When I dropped him off this morning, the other kids were getting their packets of work out and guess what? It's Wednesday and he had already finished his. These were 3 large, thick packets. I'm also not sure when he got those packets, but if most of the class is getting them back out in order to continue working on them and he's already finished, one can come to the conclusion that they just got them on Monday. I'm worried about all this smart stuff disappearing over the summer, especially during the weeks he is with his dad. *sigh*
I saw a beautiful man on the bus this morning. He was of a different ethnicity than mine, but I don't know for sure and I have now realized the "middle east" is only the "middle east" because we are using the U.S. as the center point. So I don't want to say that. Perhaps he was Indian (India) or maybe from Iraq. Who knows (I'm sure he does). He was still beautiful and a dr. He was in scrubs and a white coat. Long, spindly fingers. *sigh* And then the bus stopped and he went into the building and I kept walking straight.
But then I saw the beautifully bald man that works in my building, too. He's some sort of dr. as I usually see him in scrubs and a white coat but today he was in civi's. He didn't see me though as I was behind enough for him not to notice. See, I get mute around these beautiful men. Isn't that funny? The most I ever manage to croak is, "Hi." I feel like I become emblazoned with a big "L" on my forehead at times like those.
And I'll be damned if I didn't have something else in my brain that I felt was blog worthy. Oh well, it will come back to me eventually.
On to yet another topic because I like multi-tasking my blog entries; I have been paying attention to the news of the protestors that heckled Laura Bush. She is taking it much better than her husband ever has and I don't think she made them sign a "Bush Support Pledge Card" either. I wonder if the Prez knows about this.
What perhaps weirds me out is how Laura Bush is always smiling. While watching her on the news, her smile hardly wavered. People were shouting some nasty things at her, but still she smiled. Does she think we don't know what's happening? She isn't running for Miss America either so the smile doesn't have to stay plastered on her face. It is a welcome change to her husband’s ever-present smirk though.
She's been on a lot of interviews lately, too. This time, she wants to make a real difference being the president's wife and it's been obviously working. The public loves her. Laura Bush's approval ratings are significantly higher than the presidents which I think can be both a good and bad thing. Perhaps he will take some pointers from her, eh?
What has she done for society during her time in the White House? She hasn't come up with any great policy changes, she hasn't come up with an all encompassing health care plan like Hillary....so now she is stumping for her husbands reputation and that of the U.S. She is the president's little bag of tricks up his sleeve. And I like her. Too bad she can't be president for a while.
(Psst, check out this anti-Bush bumper sticker site.)
(PsstPsst, thanks to KT for helpin a sista out.)
Saturday, May 21, 2005
I haven't done much in the past few days and I have to be honest when I state that I have also stayed away from the news. I guess you could say that I am putting my head in the sand for a bit. Relaxation can't be done if I'm constantly getting angry with the news and the rest of the world, right?
Anyhow, my car did not pass inspection yesterday as it needs new bearings on the front wheels. The car place wants $200/side. I'm going to see if Jenniebee's husband has any interest in helping me out in this department now that he's taken up lounging 'til the fall. Other than that, I have a new/used rim so I won't wobble my way down the interstate anymore but I'm losing air quickly in another tire. Great.
We went to this store called Mongrel that has lots and lots of cool gifty ideas. I got a book full of reused paper, a nifty present for my friend Jenniebee and a little red book for Peanut. He's in this stage where he must write and/or draw something pretty much at all times. I'm all for it bc little does he know, it helps him practice his writing and spelling skills. He was very excited when he learned how to spell "di" and "dice" yesterday evening. I also told him that he's my kid and he will not be a bad speller/reader. And so far he's not. He's catching on very fast and it's so much fun (not to mention the fact that I get to learn the fundamentals all over again).
I did watch Broke Down Palace again last night. That movie is actually pretty good and I wish Claire Danes was in more stuff.
As I was leaving this afternoon, I saw my dog across the street at the ballpark saying hello to a few people who were practicing. They were not pleased but hey, at least I know where to find her whenever she disappears (she goes to the same place everytime)! Then, after dropping my dog back off at home, I'm driving down the road when I see a turtle in the middle of it. Since driver's haul ass down my street, I pulled over and helped the turtle to the other side of the road, quickly. I think it was a snapper but it had its head tucked so far inside, who knows. It had a lot of read on its skin which is usually a sign of a snapper. Box turtles are another common sight around here but they are all green and yellow.
Today I took part in RABL at Carytown Books. That was a great experience actually. I read approximately 20 pages from The Color Purple by Alice Walker and my friend S. read from I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou, each for 30 min. Afterwards, we perused the bookstore, buying more books. (Yes, that would be about 6 books in 2 days now as I got the ones I ordered from Flea yesterday. Thanks Flea!) I read with my stronger growing southern twang bc The Color Purple takes place in the south, after all. My friend S. tried to sound southern but really ended up sounding more like she was from Boston. It was cute and funny at the same time. Later, after we left the bookstore, she admitted that she had thought she was picking out the story about the little girl whose mother died and the father was raising her....looking at her real dumbfounded, I laughed when we both finally figured out that she thought she was picking up To Kill a Mockingbird and I had to give her a little bit of grief for that as well (she had gotten the stories confused).
Afterwards, we went to a local natural food store called Ellwood Thompson's and I got some granola (there were so many to choose from!), soy ice cream (delicious btw), Boylan's Root Beer (a local brand), Kiss my Face peach scented lotion and a rainforest chocolate/peanut butter bar that helps to save the elephants. I would have bought more, but what the hell would I have done with it all? I need my own place for real.
I dropped her off and started home. When I got here, Peanut was wearing my nightshirt and stretching the hell out of it while watching LOTR, the first one. Come to find out, he's already seen it and I'm sure I can figure out who let him see it. My mom was watching him but she did call me before to ask if he could. I thought I had told her no, but oh well. It was almost over by the time I got home anyway.
And I've been chillin' pretty much since arriving home. We now have a makeshift clothesline out in the back and I had hung some of my clothes up to dry after my mom and I had gotten into a stupid nasty argument where once again it was mentioned that she could do whatever she wants to my stuff "Because it's her house!" So I took my clothes out of the dryer and hung them up all over the house. But it saves energy to hang them up outside anyway and, believe it or not, they actually dry faster. Too bad my backyard is full of large quantities of pollen and spider webs though, bc that is what most of those clothes are now incrusted in. Ah well.
December is not that far away!!
Thursday, May 19, 2005
It appears that the Republican-controlled Congress had a last minute reality check and didn't ban women from combat altogether afterall. Sure women are limited, but it's an amendment that reflects what is already happening now anyway.
This is the first line, "House Republicans retreated from a sweeping ban on women in combat support and service units..." Nice to see isn't it?
It's not what we wanted, but it's closer than it was last week. We can't change everything overnight, but we can make strides for more change.
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
So who here thought the U.S. getting AMWR would be the end of their greediness? Me, too. Apparently, I was naive to think greediness somehow meant one usually stops when they got what they were originally after. Stoopid me.
I just read this a few minutes ago and I'm pissed. Because now are they not happy with only AMWR, and since they can't drill of the coast of Virginia, they are going after the other two nature reserves in Alaska: Teshekpuk Lake and the Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge.
It makes my blood boil to see how they want more and will seemingly stop at nothing to destroy all of our beautiful earth and take from it 'til she cannot give anymore. What happens when there isn't anymore to take? Agh - I hope I won't be alive to see then.
I wanna know why I keep seeing these kinds of comments,
"Now, however, concern about rising prices and dependence on foreign crude is forcing a new look at the area. "The country needs access to its oil and gas resources, and this area is a petroleum reserve," Henri Bisson, Alaska state director for the
Bureau of Land Management' (BLM), said in a speech announcing the Bush administration's plans to overturn Clinton-era rules that closed Teshekpuk Lake and its shores to oil leasing.
when I should be seeing more plans to produce hybrids or alternative fuels that burn more efficiently in the usage process. I'm not a science geek so I can't help in this area but I know it's being done thanks to current ideas such as BioDiesel which has recently made it to the news. The technological knowledge is there people, use it!
I don't think anyone is seriously contemplating the long term effects drilling can have on any environment. It's easy to guesstimate, but it's totally different when it actually happens. I've seen groups of people build and they don't care what they run over or in to. They just know they have a job to do and want to get it done as quickly as possible. Shit, I got upset when the local construction company put a bunch of 4x4's down so their tractors could get over a creek, totally blocking the creek in the process which, in essence, can destroy a local ecological system completely.
(The 4x4's were so embedded in the earth at that point, there was no way I could have moved them and talking to the company to remove them wasn't an option as I've been told they are very cutthroat. They cut down every.single.tree. on a 10-12 acre lot save 3. Tropical Storms Gaston/Isabel blew those 3 down quickly. Now the guy who had the house built has been spending way too much time trying to even out his land so it doesn't become a massive moat everytime it rains. Had he just left all the trees there, it wouldn't be a problem.)
There isn't much voice of reason in the article from yahoo!, but there have been local resoluctions passed:
To Ed Alexander, the shareholder who pushed the antitrade resolution, the proposed development will lead to an influx of outside workers, urban hunters, and roads that will cause social and environmental strains. "I think it's going to hurt the people up here for many years to come," says Mr. Alexander.
There is this, too:
Critics worry, too, that the swap could open up other protected lands. "This would be a very bad precedent to do a land exchange to facilitate oil and gas development within a wildlife refuge," says Deborah Williams of the Alaska Conservation Foundation.
We opened up AMWR and now they want more. They are going to keep wanting more until there is nothing left and only then will they realize they should have relied more heavily on alternative fuels, only to find that it's too late because they drilled everywhere, killing everything.
To me, continuously drilling for oil instead of "recycling" is to bring on the Apocolypse.
I love my lakes, rivers and streams and I like that I can go to the river now and see lots of herons, egrets, fish jumping out of the water, turtles sunning themselves....I seriously am heart broken that my county doesn't recycle plastic anymore. I think I'm going to start bringing all of our plastic and bottles into Richmond and set them up on the curb of someone's house on recycling day. I can't even throw out a plastic shower curtain without thinking of a gazillion things I could be doing with it. In the winter, I burn all papers and thin pieces of cardboard that aren't recyclable.
I don't want to imagine living a life in a world that no longer has the infamous whippoorwill to wake me up in the middle of the night with it's loud shrieking. It makes me very, very sad indeed.
(Okay, I just found this post on Daily Kos, and he didn't know about the ANWR being snuck in the back door as this post was dated April 30th. He must not read my blog bc then he would have gotten a play by play since I was listening to it being debated on the Senate floor via CSPAN. Someone should tell him to read my blog and he might learn something a month and a half early. Oh. Wait. I'm a mommy and I blog about mommy stuff....)
Monday, May 16, 2005
Occasionally I watch The Hour of Power because I'll be passing it by and the preacher guy will start talking about creationism or something and so I'll listen for a bit. It usually doesn't last more than 10-15 min though.
However, I stopped longer yesterday because I saw a metal skeleton of a dinosaur being made, people talking about how excited they were to have that opportunity, etc.
It was for a film called Creation Live that will be shown in the Crystal Cathedral sometime next month.
So I am confused: isn't creationism about us spontaneously combusting out of dust and that god left the dinosaur bones for us to find and that the earth cannot be billions of years old? Or am I thinking of a different kind of creationism than these people?
First, from the NYT's:
More on that church in NC that couldn't keep its pastor out of politics.
The neverending battle for control over the programming for NPR, which was also discussed yesterday on This Week.
From Paul Krugman, his $.02 on The Downing Street Memo.
From the various sources that make up Alternet.org:
An interesting piece on Bush's House Homophobe.
Here is a neat blog called Operation Truth and looks to be updated by soldiers who have been to Iraq or other "wars." Some interesting comments and discussion on the role of women in the military and the current legislation to ban them from the front lines.
Here is an article from Friday's WashPo that puts faces and names to the countless women now serving in combat positions in the army. It's a good read.
And I think this will be the last one. From Yahoo!, Repub's mull banning women from combat-related duties.
But I will leave you with a great site to buy fair-trade items that also helps fund food, mammograms, etc. when you shop: The Hunger/Breast/Child Health/Literacy/Rainforest/Animal Rescue Site (look at the top of the page for the various tabs). Enjoy!
Sunday, May 15, 2005
So I went out on a date tonight. He's nice and been reading my blog for a while now. How can a guy be bad if he reads my blog without me having to hit him over the head and stuff?
I got a haircut today, too. Whoopee I know.
But it was the movie I saw this evening that, I think, has to be the best.movie.ever. Folks, this is getting-a-babysitter worthy for real.
What is this movie you ask?
It's Crash. Pay very close attention to the first words Don Cheadle speaks. They are also the first words spoken in the movie: do not miss them.
I liked this movie tremendously because it confronted just about every single stereotype we as Americans face and impose onto others. We get stuck therefore we crash. Perfect title really because it's exactly what happens. If you've never read Flannery O'Connor, do. She enjoys confronting stereotypes in her literature, but its mostly christian/non christian. I haven't read nor heard of too many books that take on the subject Crash did head on. If you know of any, please send them in!
This movie was so good I'm going to see it again tomorrow with my friend S. so we can talk about how it sucks to be a woman but yet we're still safe because we're white women. Warning though, the movie will jerk you around emotionally and do bring tissues if you are prone to tears. It's all worth it, trust me.
Saturday, May 14, 2005
I did enjoy just laying around last night and vegging out in front of the t.v.
But I've been hearing about "base closings" for a few weeks now but never really followed up on it. I think it's hilarious, to be honest, because Clinton was criticized heavily (and still is) for signing off on the base closings about 10 years ago and here we are, about to close more with Bush's approval.
Bush is supposed to be "pro-military" and to "support the troops" so it's only fitting that I find this ironic.
And this has the panties (or boxers, tighty whitey's, etc.) of the repub's in a twist, for real. After all, the title of article is "Legislators scramble to reassure constituents." Accroding to the DoD and our wonderful Donald Rumsfeld, the US could save nearly $50 billion. I wanted to know how they are justifying it besides the simple statement that it will save them money, so I searched on.
“Our current arrangements, designed for the Cold War, must give way to the new demands of the war against extremism and other evolving 21st Century challenges,” Rumsfeld said.
This was the reasoning behind Clinton's decision, too. It didn't make sense to have the military capacity that we did when there was no longer any threat. Of course Bush thinks everyone is a threat to us now except those who really are, but he's still allowing the closures. Funny how I haven't seen any of this in the major press, but I might not be watching the same channels.
It is interesting to see their aim is to better fight extremism and to "consolidate similar or duplicative training and support functions to improve joint war fighting." Heh. Heh heh.
I have to admit that I am secretly enjoying this decision because Bush ran his campaign stumping for the military vote. Now, according to this report, he'll be allowing the closure and realignment of 33/29 bases, only 1 being in Virginia. Go figure.
Here we have the largest Naval base on the east coast. The Pentagon, Quantico and Fort A.P. Hill are also large bases but the latter two are used for testing new weapons and take up a large chunk of the military's budget (Fort A.P. Hill is in my backyard practically and the canons/guns they fire shake the house sometimes).
I now have the proof to say, "See? And you thought he was goooood."
People in town after town are worried. I guess they have a right to since, in many instances, those bases are the towns livelyhoods. If they move those workers to another state entirely, the towns lose that revenue. Which may be why this suburb of San Francisco is ok with their base closing.
They should take the advice of this article's author and plan for the fall, just in case.
Friday, May 13, 2005
Just so everyone knows, classes are over for the semester and I might not post much just because I want to sit somewhere else other than a desk with computer shoved in my face. Also, I want to start reading the tons of articles I printed out with regards to women in the military so I can start formulating a post. This has become a hot topic lately and I feel that I need to say my piece, too, as I'm all for women being in every position, including infantry. Congress, however, has started to take actions that would take women out of any support position, again relegating to 2nd tier status in the military which could only hurt them.
So that's what I will be doing. I might post mindless stuff here and there, but I really want to work hard at the military thing since it's very important.
And I still need to write that one thing up for feministe, which I will now have all my brain cells to do it with.
Thursday, May 12, 2005
Yesterday, Peanut and I were sitting at a table with a bright orange/yellow umbrella in the Commons Plaza on campus, his favorite place to eat lately, when I realized I had forgotten napkins when we had gotten his slice of pizza.
Quite adoringly and adult-like, he looked at me and said, "But I can take care of myself."
I smiled and reminded him that it wasn't him I was worried about, it was the people I didn't know who might take him from me. He then asked if any of my friends would take him and I said, "Well, I don't think so but sometimes even friends do some really not nice things to each other."
We then had a conversation about his friends and one named B. who smacked him and that it wasn't very nice of him, even if they were friends. He's a bright, perceptive kid, but I could be biased because I'm his mom.
Then I asked what he learned in school and he replied, "We learned history!"
Me: "Oh yeah, like what?"
Peanut: "Betsy Ross and the flag."
Me: "You do know that it's not proven Betsy Ross created that flag, right? They just think she did."
Peanut: "Yeah, she made the one with the circle of starts on it."
Me: "They think she did. There isn't any proof."
Peanut: blank stare bc his mommy does this sort of thing to him a lot, making sure he knows the truth about stuff.
Me: "So who else did you learn about?"
Peanut: "George Washington!"
Me: "What about him?"
Peanut: "I don't know. We just did two worksheets on him."
Me: "So, you did two worksheets and can't remember the pictures you colored or anything?"
Me: "Hmm, how's 'bout the American Revolution and him being our 1st president...."
Peanut: "OH YEAH!"
Yeah, it was hilarious. Then he got up because he was going to time himself as he ran from his chair to this sloping section of grass. He does that multiple times while we are there, everytime we are there. At least he's consistent.
Watching him do this, he asked me if I remembered the festival we attended in the same place (it was VCU's Intercultural Festival and he's half Filipino so I wanted him to see). I did remember. I also remembered how I allowed him to walk along this very wide concrete ledge and on one end, a flag was taped to the edge. Seeing that he was walking "on" it, I went over to tell him to get off and that it is highly disrespectful to walk on anyone's flag. And since it was the Kuwaiti flag, I think, I didn't need to piss anyone off, me being the white woman and "enemy" of sorts.
When I got there and told him this, two young women were looking at me, than him, making nasty remarks but I couldn't actually hear what they were saying. Given the looks on their faces, they were not happy I was allowing Peanut to walk around the flag, but not on. I come from the opinion that what someone does to their own flag is one thing, but I will not disrespect it nor allow my son to either. I did tell Peanut if so much as a toe touched the flag, he was going to have to get down. Then I changed my mind and told him to walk up to the flag, stop, turn around and walk the other way.
Being at the ICF also made me accutely aware that us white people don't have our own culture. Sure we have traditions, but everything in our culture has been taken from someone else's. White people don't have a dance like the Hawaiian or Idian (native) tribes do. White people do not link together automatically because we are white people. In fact, I wish some white people would stop believing that I think like them. They must think I have a sign on me that says: "Please, come up and tell me your most racist/sexist/classist joke ever. Please." Many white people are under the assumption that we don't need that village to raise a child and instead individualize our own space, which excludes just about everyone else, even neighbors. I feel that we have gotten ourselves into a "culture" of haves and have nots instead. So sad and depressing really.
Speaking of depressing and on to another subject.
I don't even have the urge to make nice with my sister anymore. She blames me for everything so I just don't want to even bother. She wants to move out of the house in order to get away from me. She's 27 now. She's never lived on her own. How in the hell am I stopping her, when there has been absolutely no reason for her not to move out in the 5 years I've been here? Yesterday when I tried talking to her about the Great FL Contradiction in terms of responsibility and maturity, she didn't see the contradiction between letting Ordinary Citizen fight force with force and 13 Year Old Girl choose whether or not she wanted to have an abortion. She said that they were too different issues and they couldn't be compared. When I tried explaining to her that it wasn't the circumstances I was comparing but the assumption of one group of people to be able to make a clear distinction of what force was and a young girl making the decision over her own body, she still refused to separate issue from reasoning. Ah well. I left after about 5 min of supposed conversation.
My sister and I only seem to stand each other when we don't actually talk about anything that matters and of course, it's all my fault. I'm not easy to talk to, I put in my $.02 too strongly, blah blah blah. (She told this to New Beau, who was afraid to get in a political conversation with me after that. How nice of her, I know. And when I pointed out to her how rude that was, that's when she said the $.o2 reasoning in there.) But, what she fails to realize and what I have begun to point out, is all that stuff she doesn't like me doing, she does it too. My mom says she would like us to patch things up, but how can I be the only one doing the patching? Does she not carry any of the responsbility here?
What's that old, wise proverb? Oh yeah: We find our faults in others.
Yep, she's finding them in me but blaming it all on me, too. Nice.
So, I would just like to hit her real (REAL!) hard one day and tell her to get the fuck over herself already. As my mom said to me recently, my sister's very naive. I, personally, can't wait 'til she moves out so she can see just how much easier it really was living in my parents house. (A fact that she adamantly denies bc, as she says, my mom and dad are not in-house babysitters. Whatever. She hasn't been paying rent since she bought a new car 3 years ago.) I also can't wait for her to move out since she has the biggest room in the whole house and the one I will be acquiring when she finally gets the lead out of her ass.
Anyway, my final point to all this is: I have a really hard time taking criticism from people because I've been getting it from my family since the day I moved back in. Now I'm at my wits end so when others, such as friends like Jenniebee, try to provide any sort of constructive criticism, I don't take it well at all. I usually just stop talking altogether or get mad and point fingers back. Neither is a very good way to deal with it but, well, I don't have too many examples to go from here. My mom used to joke me about this feminism thing, but in front of other people. When I was pregnant at 18, she told just about everybody who would listen despite my pleas for her to keep her mouth shut. (My very pro-life neighbor found out as a result of this and becamse angry bc there were so many families out there who wanted babies. I told her to tell her friends to adopt those crack or fetal alcohol syndrome babies if they wanted infants so bad.) My mom's been there for me through a lot, but damn she can be critical. And I hate it because I'm just like her, even in that respect.
This is an issue that's been bugging me - the sister thing - mostly because I'm just sick of getting blamed for her problems with me. I've just had it. Literally.
Note: For the record, I don't say a bunch of nasty things about my sister. I really don't talk about her much at all 'til she does something stupid like go to dinner at some guys house she had never met before. With her daughter, my niece. Alone. She just doesn't occupy a lot of my minds energy because it's really not my place to start telling everyone but her how bad a person she is. But she doesn't give me the same respect and that is what is bugging me.
But, as the highlight for my day, I just ate a peanut butter/chocolate tart and it was DeeeLicious.
Wednesday, May 11, 2005
I've been using my dad's laptop lately so that I could accomplish the heroic feat of writing 4 papers no matter where I was.
Tonight I went to the "My Documents" folder where I had saved a few of my papers, to delete them as I am all done and needed to save them to the server instead.
I saw a folder called "Stories," so I looked. I was expecting VFW related stories.
My dad is the CO of the VFW: Veteran's of Foreign Wars. And he's dling porn in his spare time. On a pc that's supposed to be strictly for VFW stuff.
So what did I do? I opened three of them and left nasty notes, especially the one that details disgusting visions of bondage: the woman gets blindfolded and her labia gets pierced with an "S" so she can be the guys "whore" but against her will, but of course she really did like it and had an orgasm (please note this is pure sarcasm).
I think the note I left on that one says, "Bondage porn is not cool, dad." And on the other I said, "That you read this shit when 3 women live in the house is disgusting. Remember you have daughters; would you want this done to them??" He'll know who wrote it but I doubt he'll say anything. This also might mean that I won't get to use the laptop anymore, but that's okay since the semester is now officially over for me anyway.
Somewhere around January/February, I was on the desktop signed on under his name and I looked in "My Favorites," curious if mine would show up if logged in under his name, etc. Instead I found a bunch of bondage porn sites. I didn't know they were bondage of course 'til I clicked on them.
Found out that my upchuck reflex still works pretty good, too. The women didn't look much older than my sister, who is now 27. Shit, they didn't look much older than 18. There was one woman who so contorted which is also how I found out that my upchuck reflex still works.
Needless to say, I deleted every last one. Let him do that shit when I don't live here for fucks sake.
My friend asked me if he ever said anything about his mysteriously missing porn links. "HAH!" I said. "What's he gonna do, ask all of us where his porn went?" I bet my mom has no idea he has this disgusting habit.
What is it with guys and porn anyway? The first story I read isn't so bad bc it's purely meant for eroticism, but even that didn't represent the woman as equal and exoticized the black man.
Agh. Thank goodness it was only words this time. After seeing those links he saved and a documentary called "Not a Love Story" in one of my classes, I'm not interested in seeing pron images for a very, very, very long time.
Monday, May 09, 2005
Just as I was thinking about calling Children's Hospital to check on the status of Peanut's application (he had been on the waiting list), I got a message from a woman there today. So, May 24th at 8am we will be checking into his first initial appointment. Yay!
What sucks is that it wouldn't matter if I told Peanut's dad or not. I couldn't get him to come to Peanut's child study team meeting. Just the other night he told me, "I don't care how bad a day he had Nut. He said he had a bad day and that's all I need to know."
And this coming from the guy who gets upset with me because I don't volunteer information about Peanut and the goings on here in our "other life." *sigh*
Sunday, May 08, 2005
This morning, while sitting to write the previous post, I decided that it was too nice a day to sit at the kitchen table making myself type the last 3 pages of my paper when Peanut and I could take our lunch and head to the Rappahannock river.* So I asked him about it and that's what we did.
Within 5 min of getting there, after finding a nice wide group of rocks on which to perch in order to partake of our PB&J sandwiches and fruit, I gazed out over the water and almost immediately berated myself for not bringing something to write on or with. This happens to me a lot so I haven't quite figured out why I still think I won't want to write anything when I go to places like this. (I have even bought myself a digital voice recorder recently for those long drives in the car when writing doesn't seem to go well with driving.)
Where we were perched, I happened to look across the river from us and saw not 1, but 7 Great Blue Heron. They were hanging out, doing their fishing thing and chasing each other out of the good spots. I got to see several catch large fish and swallow them whole and it was the most amazing and natural thing I've seen in a long time.
Sitting there and gazing at the herons reminded me of a book I read last summer for a Nature Writing class called Refuge by Terry Tempest Williams. She wrote about her mother dying of cancer and juxtaposed that experience with that of the Great Salt Lake and it's overflowing ability to remind those in government positions that Nature could not be tamed nor predicted. It's a great read and I highly recommend.
Anyway, in the book there are sections where she talks about her walks through the sanctuaries of Great Salt Lake and the many birds and flowers she sees there. She remembers which birds come to migrate every year, laments on which ones she hasn't seen yet and wonders where the Isis are. Perhaps I make a mental note of almost every bird I see now, just as she did for a long time, when I visit oceans or rivers because some part of me wants to remember what they look like just in case 2020 rolls around and we're steadily approaching a barren Earth. It's not a world I want for my son's future and sitting on that rock was a melancholic experience for that reason. It brought to mind all that Bush and his regime are trying to do to our forests (see my previous post titled Environmental Suicide) that house so many species of birds/reptiles/amphibians/animals that one can easliy lose count. Even the Repub's have been getting in on the chastising. Bush has relaxed restrictions for companies and industries that weren't strong enough to begin with and of course, he has denied Global Warming exists despite hard evidence to the contrary.
So, getting back to our trip. We finally came upon another place to chill and relax (because he wanted time to eat his brownie bites) and I looked out over the river again. This time, there were 3 Great Blue Heron, a few Mallards and Canada Geese, then this 1 lone Little Blue Heron. As we watched the Great Blue Heron close to us catch a fish and swallow it, another hawk-like bird dove into the water and came out with a large fish. Instincts told me this was an Osprey, but I wasn't sure. I looked it up when I got home and yay, I was right!
I think the other fun part was doing with Peanut what my dad did with us when I was a kid. Often we would all drive up to Richmond for the day and on the nice days my dad would take us to the James River where my sister and I would clamber around for most of the day. Ahhh, those were the days.
*The picture is one from further up river, this is more like where we were which is also further down river. And I can't tell from where along the Rappahannock these are being taken either.
It's Mother's Day and CBS Sunday Morning ran a great spot on the reason behind Mother's Day, how it got started and about a mother's angst during times of war. I loved it. (It says WAR Letters but really, the segment is about a guy who went around the world trying to find war letters and he shares the ones written by soldiers to their moms - it's good and touching.)
Also, they had a brief segment on "mom bands." I got a kick out of it and even liked it when one of the rocker moms said that she didn't think moms had to be one type anymore and they are proof of that. Click on the above link and scroll down 'til you see the bolded caption PLAY DATE and you will see 4 links to sites about these women.
And I also wanted to send a shout out to all you mommies, soon-to-be mommies and those who, to speak of a touchy subject, once had children: you will always be mommies in my eyes and should be honored as such.
Saturday, May 07, 2005
It seems that the military is still under the impression that women serving in key roles is not that much of a problem. We are now allowed in combat zones, just not on the "front lines."
A new report has surfaced stating that accusations of sexual assault and sexual harassment in the military have increased by at least half. While I feel that I have been saturated with such goings on, it appears that the military keeps learning this all over again every year. You know, that "Oh, wow, women are discriminated against in the military? Still? Are you sure?" attitude.
As many of us know, nothing was truly resolved at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs despite the reports of over 200 women who went on record to say that at some point while there, they were raped, sexually assulted or harassed. I get so frustrated and angry because it seems that we're not beling listened to by anyone that matters. Not even our own president thinks our rights and protections are equal to his own.
In the WashPo article, it states there were 1,700 reported cases in 2004 yet only 3-4% of those result in any sort of judicial punishment by the military. That's a sad sad number. A classmate of mine was in the military for 2 years. I'm not sure why she was released early, but she told me of the deeply rooted misogynist attitudes she experienced while there and even had to sign a paper upon her release that said she did not experience any gender discrimination while serving. Obviously, if you are making someone sign a statement that says there was no gender discrimination, it must exist and should be addressed. Not ignored.
An interesting question: How come I can google "violence against women in the military" and get 7,660,000 hits yet the military can't seem to find their own reports?
I even found this nifty one page fact sheet that says:
Evidence shows that violence against women is a pervasive problem within the military, just as it is among civilians. However, women in the military are particularly vulnerable to abuse due to geographical isolation from family and friends, and the potential for social isolation within the military culture.
One woulda thunk the military would have started becoming more female friendly by now. They have begun to adopt new polities that try to remove barriers to victims reporting the abuse...I just don't think they follow through with it very well on the individual level as women report being afraid of their lack of privacy and being held responsible for such things as drinking too much or "leading a guy on."
It is no surprise that the military breeds violent human beings. They teach soldiers to kill, kill, kill without regard to the human life they are aiming for. And because "being girly" is a bad thing, especially when going through bootcamp, it enables women to be seen as bad as well. This is a correlation that many still do not see nor understand.
Which is why I was upset to learn that prisoners in an Arizona prison are dressed all in pink but still wear the standard orange jumper. I believe this equates prisoners to being "girly," therefore being a girl must be bad.
And let us not forget Schwartenager's accusation that the Democrat's in Northern California were "girlie men."
My sister is dating a former Army Ranger and this worries me. Just this morning he was getting a thrill off hitting her on the upper thigh with a piece of the bleachers he had broken off. The second time I told him to please not do that in front of me. And it pissed him off that I would demand such a thing as that.
I have days like today where I feel violence against women permeates our news and culture, yet people are too busy blaming the women that they often don't realize it's the societal pressures that place us in these positions. No one individual can be blamed but the institution of patriacrchy can and all those who strive to uphold its oppressive restraints.
Friday, May 06, 2005
I consider myself an ecofeminist among other things. So I get quite upset when I hear that Bush is pro-environment because, as the Tucson Citizen reports, that's a big fat lie.
Bush not only wanted to drill off the coast of Alaska to decrease our dependency on foreign oil, he has now lifted a ban on logging and road building in forested areas. I don't think our environment can survive much more of the taking and not giving anything back game and it saddens me to think that in 20 years or so we'll be living a life that is usually only made up in Sci-Fi movies.
There isn't lengthy commentary in the article and of course, the Undersecretary for Agriculture states that the goal is to "afford protection to roadless areas in the right way." and that
Efforts dating back 40 years failed, he said, because they ignored the views of state officials and local residents about how national forestland should be used and invited lengthy lawsuits.
There really shouldn't be a whole lot of argument here: the 10 year plans state that no building can be done for various environmental reasons. There are many of us who would like to know that trees and forests will be around in the next 20 years or so. Where's the problem in that logic exactly?
Thursday, May 05, 2005
Okay, what's up with a 16 year old dousing a 2 month old baby with pepper spray...seriously. Did she think the baby was going to start kung-fu karate chopping her or somethin'?
Then, the murder of 'Precious Doe' has been solved. The gruesome part? The stepdad kicked her in the head and left her on the floor for two days. She died as a result because they would not seek medical treatment as each had a warrant out for their arrest. If that weren't bad enough, they carried her to a local church, went to the back and stepdad used hedge clippers to cut her head off. Nice, I know.
Ah but if that weren't bad enough, how 'bout the story of the puppy in Iowa whose eyes and nose were superglued shut?
Come on people!
I got a call from Jenniebee just a bit ago who informed me that Peanut's school had called even at my behest to call my cell phone during the day because I'm a single mom and most often we aren't home during the day.
The Vice Principal informed me of Peanut's behavior during art class this morning and it wasn't good. It appears that while sitting down to do the work, Peanut got upset that the kid next to him wasn't following the directions and when this other kid wouldn't listen, Peanut threw a pencil across the room and hit another kid in the head with it.
We've been having this issue for quite some time now at home: this morning it was flinging his shirt that I wouldn't let him wear (he is wearing blue camies and the shirt was beige Hawaiian print - Idon'tthinkso) on the door frame like he was trying to hurt the wall.
While I feign ignorance to the cause of said outbursts, the kid is only doing exactly what I did at his age. This anger thing is deep in there and I don't know where it comes from in order to stifle it. I do realize that there is a direct corelation between my stress and his reactions so I've been trying to play it super calm while secretly wanting to just put him somewhere 'til finals are over and the last paper is turned in.
A month ago, his school evaluation team suggested that he see a psychologist post-haste, which makes sense and I've started the ball rolling on that but haven't heard from them in a while. So I will be calling them in just a bit to check on the status of our application. Peanut has medicaid so I can't go just anywhere and the Children's Hospital is supposedly staffed with some excellent folks. (I say supposedly because I haven't actually met any of them yet.)
My ex-husband, when I try talking to him about this and how he needs to be more on top of Peanut during his weekends with him, just blames it all on me and the people in my household. It is tense in my house but I can't be the only one to blame, either. My niece, just this morning, was correcting Peanut on how to write a certain letter and how to say a certain word. She just turned 6 in March and is on his ass almost constantly which might also be where Peanut got the message to be angry when someone is doing something wrong. Who knows. But I sure wish those pyschologist folks would hurry it up already.
It is very aggravating especially when he has meltdowns: he'll just scream and scream and scream and doesn't seem to have the ability to calm himself after that point. I try hugging him really tight and just holding on to him which works occasionally, but he's getting bigger and stronger now and not so easy to contain. The interesting thing is, none of this happens when it's just been me and him all day long. It's when outside influences are brought in that his personality seems to change and perhaps he is getting too much stimulation. He's mostly a solitary creature and likes playing with other kids when he's ready to play with them (which pisses my niece off).
But, it's one gigantic puzzle to figure out and hopefully we'll figure it out soon so we can get a better foundation set for the rest of his school career.
Tuesday, May 03, 2005
So I was looking at the referral links to my blog since it is interesting to see what people searched for and how they found me.
Someone actually searched for *peanut "his ears pierced."* How odd is that? Not to mention somone else searching for Ford Focus and I popped up with my post on Chix and their cars....
Monday, May 02, 2005
So I posted some great blogs earlier and now I'm going to post some great websites.
I have 2 finals and 2 papers to write in appx 2 weeks so I most likely won't do any heavy posting but I have began research for a post on Women in the Military which was brought up on Dr.B's (can you tell I visit a lot?) website via a post she read on PhDFraud.
This writing for myself and not prof's is sooo much more enjoyable as I don't have to worry about getting a good grade. And if anyone has pointers for writing a theory-based paper for a pain in the ass sociologist prof, please let me know. She keeps reiterating the fact that we must have a feminist theoretical approach in our papers but other than stating, "According to the Disability Feminist Theory, women who have a disability want to be included in the 'pro-choice' argument in that they want able-bodied feminists to realize they desire to be mothers, too," I'm quite lost on her meaning.
Anyway, here are the links:
White Ribbon Alliance for the National Safe Motherhood Campaign
Woman's Hour on BBC presents Women on the Front Line
Have a look and a listen and most importantly, enjoy!
Check these two blogs out:
PostSecret where you can mail your secret to them on the back of a homemade postcard which may or may not be shown on the website. Some of the secrets are amazing and the artwork extraordinarily imaginative.
Then there is Sivacrasy who informs us of another fight for abortion rights in SC and where I found PostSecret.
Check them out and I promise you will not be disappointed.