Thursday, March 31, 2005

Virginia gets Midwives

So Virginia is one of 16 states left behind that don't allow midewifery of any kind (you know, the assistant midwives, too). But not anymore! I don't know why it took me so long to figure it out, but who cares. What counts is that I know now.

In my women's studies sr. seminar class this evening, my prof looks right at me and asked if I knew anything about it. I was stunned bc 1) she was assuming that bc I'm a mom, I'd know about this kind of stuff and 2) I couldn't believe I didn't!
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Muslim Woman Leads Prayer Service in NYC

Okay, so I had heard about this, sorta read about it, but obviously did not pay that close attention because I found out last week that she's a professor at my University.

Notice I have 3 different links and I am alive on this campus and have wondered where my head has been that I did not fully realize the implications of this and pay attention to it more closely. There are Islamic women that attend my school, including 1 or 2 that wear the full hijab (I can't tell if it's the same woman everytime because I can't see their faces). There are even more Muslim men so I was not surprised to learn that the University had moved Amina Wadud to teaching via teleconference now.

I attended a lecture series last night that asked the question: Can Science and Religion Define Our Sexual Orientation? Before my favorite prof began to speak, she gave props to Amina Wadud and the table behind me cheered loudly. After that, she then repeated the question and said, "My short answer is they already do." It was a good night.

(Note: All of the links may look the same, but it's only the first 3 or 4 paragraphs, even though it does seem that each copied from the other.)
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Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Mary Cheney tells her side

I just saw this and, well, I'm not sure what to make of it exactly as I see this as somewhat odd. How could/can she support her father and Bush when they are attempting to limit her rights? Even when Cheney himself strayed from Bush during that one public appearance where he supported his daughter, no one spoke up and said, "Shrub, stop being a Dick."
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Title IX

This says it better than I can, but the short version is that the Supreme Court, with Justice O'Connor writing for the majority and Justice Thomas writing for the minority, came to the decision that retaliatory action was to be included under Title IX so that a person speaks up againt (in thise case, sex) discrimination, has a course of action if s/he were to be fired or in some way retaliated against.

The ruling came from a case where Roderick Jackson had been fired because he complained about the treatment of the girls' sports teams and how they were being treated compared to the boys' teams:

"I went through the chain of command – from the school Athletic Director, to the Principal, to the Athletics Director of the system, to the Director of High Schools in Birmingham, and to the Deputy Superintendent of Instruction, who is the second in command of the system -- to try to level the playing field for my team. I was astounded that no one cared. Worse than that, they got angry and fired me from my coaching job."

What Justice O'Connor also stated, is that educators "play an essential role in the enforcement of Title IX, which would be stifled if educators could be subjected to retaliation without redress when they seek to correct violations of the statute."

Of course Justice Thomas believes that the majority is taking part in legislation that is better left to Congress.

I have to agree with the majority on this one. It was a close vote, 5-4, but Justice O'Connor makes many valid points throughout her opinion. By stating that educators have a major role to play, especially coaches, so retaliation is then a discriminatory offense in itself makes perfect sense. I like knowing that if someone becomes the "whistle blower" and then gets fired (or worse), they have some recourse for action. They have a way to protect themselves and as the amendment stands now, it does not specifically state that retaliation is included, hence Justice Thomas's dissenting opinion.

There were other cases taht have been ruled in much the same way, where other "whistle blowers" could sue for their jobs back or the money they would have gotten. Birmingham didn't just fire Jackson, they smeared his reputation for bringing the very unpopular issue of gender discrimation into their realities and for that, I'm glad the Supreme Court agreed with him.
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Monday, March 28, 2005

Pharmacist's Right's

I had a nice blog going about this and then my pc went nuts and so now it's gone.

I'll try to recreate but it won't be as good (or it might be better).

The trend has opened a new front in the nation's battle over reproductive rights, sparking an intense debate over the competing rights of pharmacists to refuse to participate in something they consider repugnant and a woman's right to get medications her doctor has prescribed. It has also triggered pitched political battles in statehouses across the nation as politicians seek to pass laws either to protect pharmacists from being penalized -- or force them to carry out their duties.

This is a direct attack on a womans right to birth control and/or emergency contraception. It is not up to each individual pharmacist to pass judgment onto each individual woman who needs this medication for whatever reasons.

There are the few cases where a pharmacist has even refused to tell a woman where she can get the presription filled and confiscates it instead.

I read this and of course it angered me:
Brauer, of Pharmacists for Life, defends the right of pharmacists not only to decline to fill prescriptions themselves but also to refuse to refer customers elsewhere or transfer prescriptions.

"That's like saying, 'I don't kill people myself but let me tell you about the guy down the street who does.' What's that saying? 'I will not off your husband, but I know a buddy who will?' It's the same thing," said Brauer, who now works at a hospital pharmacy.

Last time I checked, these two situations were not the same so therefore, in my world, uncomparable. Is she pro-death penalty like so many other "pro-life" zealots because if she is, she just contradicted herself. This lady is a nurse, who is held to a much stricter code of ethic than are pharmacists'.


"The rights of pharmacists like him should be respected."

I almost snorted when I saw that. Why is it a pharmacist's rights, one who refuses to treat everyone equally, should be respected when s/he is not respecting the rights of those who are in need of her/his services?

Agh. I feel this whole argument is ridiculous since those who work in public service jobs such as doctors, pharmacists, firefighters, police officers and the like, are there to make sure we are taken care of, regardless of their personal beliefs.

Was I ever wrong.
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Sunday, March 27, 2005

Harlem Globetrotters

We went to see them today and it really was a great experience. They did the usual tricks and stuff; most of them were in college somewhere in the U.S.

As they were introducing the players (the lights were down and the colored strobes were going), my niece looked at me and said, "I don't like this because it's freakin' me out." When they actually played a game and scored, Peanut would shout "BooYah!" When they would do an interesting dunk, he would excitedly exclaim, "I saw that on the dunk contest mom!"

I have a sports freak on my hands, which is okay because I like basketball (and sometimes football) myself. I'm hoping he goes mainly for the basketball since that I can tolerate as there aren't any mass amounts of lethal blocking involved.

Then I went out and got Peanut a "jersey" and a Globetrotter basketball. He loved them both and after the show was over, we got the ball signed. What I didn't realize then, is that the infamous Curly "Boo" Johnson was in the corner my sister decided to get in (Peanut had to use the bathroom 30 seconds before the end of the game) and his signature is now on our ball. This ball, upon truly realizing the implications of that man's signature, will forever be enshrined at our house and not allowed outside for play time, a fate of which Peanut was most depressed in finding out.

I didn't realize that Curly was also the man, who used to be very bald, who would show up on the Scooby Doo cartoons on occasions with other Globetrotters.

We thought the kids would only last for half the show, but they ended up wanting to stick around for the entire thing, only showing signs of boredom and restlessness in the 4th quarter (the quarters, btw, were only 10 min long and they had special "time outs"). Peanut just wanted to dribble his basketball.
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Sunday's Word of the Day

I am thinking of making my Sundays the Word of the Day. Sure they are your Sundays, too, but you don't have to make them the Word of the Day if you don't want to.

So today's word is: sapid. I like this word because it rhymes with vapid yet has no similarities.

sapid \SAP-id\, adjective: 1. Having taste or flavor, especially having a strong,pleasant flavor. 2. Agreeable to the mind; to one's liking.

vapid (vpd, vpd), adjective: 1. Lacking liveliness, animation, or interest; dull: vapid conversation. 2. Lacking taste, zest, or flavor; flat: vapid beer.
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Friday, March 25, 2005

This is just silly

Bobby Fischer

He's been held in Japan for the past 9 months for "trying to leave Japan using an invalid U.S. passport."

The U.S. has been after him because he "was wanted by the United States for violating sanctions imposed on the former Yugoslavia by playing an exhibition match against the Soviet Union's Boris Spassky there in 1992. He had fought deportation since he was detained by Japanese officials last July, and at one point had said he wanted to become a German citizen."


Nevermind the fact that he's a little anti-Semitic and claims all Jews are trying to ruin his life.
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Whose Right to Life

I found this editorial in a group discussion board about the Terri Schiavo case on Care2 (a must have on your favorites) and can only say Wow.

The case some of these people are making is just bogus and it saddens me to see that they are believing everything without questioning anything.
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Thursday, March 24, 2005


Like feministe, I've got no comment.

But I will add this: Nicholas Sparks, who wrote The Notebook, the sappiest book/movie of the year, wrote a very romantic novel and he's a man.
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words to hate

"titties" - I know pigs and cows have "teets" and sometimes they are called "tits", but what's up with calling women's breasts/boobs the same thing? ew.


"mixed" - when dealing with people, because they are biracial, not mixed.

Any others?
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Dear MoveOn member,

On Sunday, Tom DeLay and Bill Frist, the Republican congressional leaders, convened an emergency meeting of Congress to pass a bill that that interferes with the Terri Schiavo tragedy. And although in five years no other issue has prompted President Bush to return to Washington during a vacation—including the tsunami—Bush flew back from his ranch in Texas to sign it.[1]

Bush, Frist, and DeLay claim that they're acting out of concern for Ms. Schiavo. But a memo intended only for Republican Senators—uncovered by ABC News—reveals Republicans' true concern: "The pro-life base will be excited...this is a great political issue...this is a tough issue for Democrats."[2] This story also takes the heat off Tom DeLay, who is facing a number of serious ethics charges and legal scandals.[3]

Americans can have different personal opinions about what should happen to Terri Schiavo—life is precious, and this case raises some important ethical questions. But we can all agree that that's what the courts are for: to make the call in difficult circumstances. That's why Congress' interference is such an ugly and shameful incident of political grandstanding. There's no legislative purpose here, just a blatant attempt to play politics with someone's life.

We need to tell the Republican leaders in Congress that this kind of pandering and demagoguery will not stand. Will you sign our urgent petition to Congress to tell them they must stop using one person's tragedy for their own political gain, and move on to the important business facing our country?

Sign up now

Even many right-wing activists are concerned about Congress's interference in this case. GOP pollster Tony Fabrizi told the L.A. Times, "It becomes a more crystallized proof point that we are no longer the party of smaller government. We have become a party of 'It doesn't matter what size the government is as long as it is imposing our set of values.'"[4]

The New York Times talked to David Davenport of the Hoover Institute, a conservative research organization, who said, "When a case like this has been heard by 19 judges in six courts and it's been appealed to the Supreme Court three times, the process has worked even if it hasn't given the result that the social conservatives want. For Congress to step in really is a violation of federalism."[5]

Medical ethicists are also outraged at the armchair diagnoses of Republican doctors in Congress, including Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. As the Associated Press reported:

"It's disturbing that doctors who would never venture a comment about the health of anybody from a homemade video are sitting on the floor of Congress making declarations," said Art Caplan, chairman of the Department of Medical Ethics at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Medicine. "My own impression, from a distance, is that they've subverted what they know to be good medicine for the aim of achieving a political goal."[6]

And reporters are now raising questions about a right-to-die law Bush signed as Texas governor, contradicting his position in the Schiavo case. Just last week, the law was applied for the first time, allowing doctors to remove a critically ill infant from life support against his mother's wishes. According to the Houston Chronicle, this marks the first time in American history that courts allowed a pediatric patient to die against the wishes of their parent.[7] As the Knight Ridder

News service reports:

"The mother down in Texas must be reading the Schiavo case and scratching her head," said Dr. Howard Brody, the director of Michigan State University's Center for Ethics and Humanities in the Life Sciences. "This does appear to be a contradiction." Brody said that, in taking up the Schiavo case, Bush and Congress had shattered a body of bioethics law and practice."[8]

It's time to speak up about this kind of political posturing, and ask Congress to get back to work. Can you sign our petition to Republican leaders in Congress to stop grandstanding on the Schiavo tragedy?

Sign up now

A large majority of the American public agree that Congress was wrong to interfere in the Schiavo case, and less than a quarter believe Congress acted out of real concern about Schiavo's life, according to an ABC poll.[9] And the nation's editorial boards agree. Check out this sampling from many of the nation's papers, compiled by the National Journal's Hotline:

"The U.S. legal system is not supposed to be one of legislative 'do-overs... Lawmakers may believe that they acted this weekend to save a life, but they also took a step that diminishes the rule of law" (Washington Post, 3/22).

"When the Founders wrote the Constitution, they devoted the largest section to spelling out the powers of Congress. Nowhere did they include the right to play doctor. Terri Schiavo's story is tragic enough without political malpractice" (USA Today, 3/22).

"The Bush administration and the current Congressional leadership like to wax eloquent about states' rights. But they dropped those principles in their rush to stampede over the Florida courts and Legislature...It may be a formula for short-term political success, but it is no way to preserve and protect a great republic" (New York Times, 3/22).

"Congress' unwarranted and brash effort to seize judicial power in the case of Terri Schiavo is shameful truly a low point in its recent history" (Kennebec Journal, 3/22).

"What has happened here is that the GOP, famously the party favoring limited government intervention into people's personal lives, has inserted the federal government squarely in the middle of an incredibly personal medical issue. And they've done it all in the name of making sure that some of their core voters stay with them" (Athens Banner-Herald, 3/22).

"Terri Schiavo has the right to die ... Congress and President Bush should be ashamed for prolonging the suffering and trying to legislate what is clearly the authority of the courts to adjudicate" (Atlanta Journal Constitution, 3/22).

"Coming at a time when crucial health care services are being slashed, it is particularly upsetting to see this kind of expensive grandstanding on the part of congressional Republicans over one high-profile case. This is not compassion: This is cold-blooded political calculation" (Charleston Gazette, 3/22).

"One by one, the bedrock conservative convictions of the national Republican Party are giving way...yielding to the demands of a raucous religious right that has become the Republicans' most reliable electoral base" (Trenton Times, 3/22).

"Washington's empathy for Schiavo centers on vying for political points, not merely concern for one family's personal, medical plight. That makes this unwise intervention by elected officials even more distasteful" (Philadelphia Inquirer, 3/22).

"To have the legislative and executive branches of the federal government mobilize on a Sunday as fast as if we'd declared war in order to intervene in a family's medical dispute is, frankly, frightening. It's an unprecedented intrusion by the highest echelons of federal power into a private hospital room. It's dangerous. And more than a little Orwellian" (Augusta Chronicle, 3/22).

Let's tell Tom DeLay and Bill Frist to get back to business. Please join us by signing the petition at the link below, and sending this message on to your friends and family.

Sign up now

Together, we can restore some common sense to a Congress that's out of control.

--Eli Pariser and the whole MoveOn PAC Team
March 23rd, 2005

1. Schiavo case exposes political divide in U.S., Reuters AlertNet
2. GOP Talking Points on Terri Schiavo, ABC News
ABC News
3. DeLay Under Fire Over Ethics, Associated Press
4. Some in GOP Fear Effort May Alienate Voters, L.A. Times
5. G.O.P. Right Is Splintered on Schiavo Intervention, New York Times
New York Times
6. Physicians in Congress criticized, Associated Press
7. Baby dies after hospital removes breathing tube, Houston Chronicle
8. Law Bush signed prompts cries of hypocrisy, Knight Ridder Newspapers
9. ABC News poll
Polling Report

Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.
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Tuesday, March 22, 2005

My peanut! Posted by Hello

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Gender Fluid

My ex husband and I have gotten into some nasty fights over this. He doesn't understand it so, natural to human behavior, he is afraid of it. My ex husband also believes that, like most everyone else, being a girl = bad.

When my son was two, my sister, neice and I were sitting at the table having dinner. My niece stated very matter of factly that she wanted to be a boy when she grew up (she is 5 months older and in kid years, that's a lot). My son told her that she was a girl and that girls could not be boys. My sister then informed him that he could be a girl when he grew up.

Not kidding here: he cried and cried because he did not want to be a girl.

That, along with many other similarly poignant moments, made me realize that even at the young age of 2, girls know it works out to their advantage to be a boy and boys know that it's not good to want to be a girl.

It really did hurt my feelings although it probably shouldn't have. All throughout my life (all women's lives really), I've been told how bad we are, that we are the bearers of original sin, are weaker, sexier, etc. The list could goes on.

However, I don't feel bad or weak or stupid or less intelligent. Quite the contrary actually, though there have been more times than I can count on my two hands when various men have tried putting me back in my place, most through imtimidation tactics.

I think it was when peanut had just turned 4, we were driving our long route home yet again and I had this giant thought: almost all men are raised by women; there may be father's involved and in a small percentage, some fathers are more involved in the upbringing of their children than others. The concept of women raising men is nothing new, sure, but when you think of all the men you have ever encountered that treat you like shit, you can't help but wonder if they would allow their mothers/sisters/daughters/aunts/nieces to be talked to that way. Ask any of those men and their answer will most likely be an adamant hells no.

Then why would they treat women they don't know like that, or their girlfriends/wives?

The question that loomed in my mind that night was this: at what point to men stop realizing that their moms are human and women? or better yet, at what point do they realize this? Then I wondered when boys stopped listening to their moms. I don't mean the usual "take out the trash, clean your room" type stuff, but the intent listening to one's body language, to their real thoughts. I wonder if many a man's disconnect with the women in their life comes from the fact that kids generally don't see their parents as human, hence the extreme shock the body suffers when a parent becomes severely ill or dies. Kids are narcissitic, I am all to aware of this fact, but somewhere around 6 or 7 they can begin to become fully aware of the people around them.

I also tend to think girls do not have the same disconnect as boys do.

What is so great is how peanut gives everyone hugs, regardless of their gender. Just this afternoon he raced across the street to give two of his classmates, who were girls, a "group hug." It makes me proud that he does this as I'm hoping to break that rigid man-type that his dad keeps trying to set him in. I sat next to the mom of one of those girls tonight at the "program from hell" and she told me that her daughter and peanut hug on each other all the time (she comes around in the afternoon and helps with getting kids on the buses). *sigh*

Another example of gender bias is the peeing standing up thing. I didn't care if peanut stood up or sat down, but the rule here is if he leaves the seat up, he has to pee sitting down for a day or two so he can see how it feels. I can certainly understand why he'd want to because shit, it's hella convenient. But my ex husband told him that "men pee standing up and that's it." WTF? He's 5! Agh.

But that's what my ex husband does. He believes letting peanut wear makeup, paint his finger/toenails and letting him wear dreses, among other things, will *gasp* make him gay.

He has since relaxed a bit, but he still holds to this rigid idea of masculinity. I didn't go a very good job of explaining it to him a few weeks ago, either. One day it'll start clicking I hope, as I bring more of those types of issues up. Right now, we have to work on actually getting along before we can do anything else, lol.

So those are my thoughts on this gender fluid thing. I believe in letting a kid be the best kid s/he can be. In the words of Michael Kimmel, just let them have it all and soon enough they will begin ciphering out what they do and do not need and keeping the best parts for themselves.

P.S. I'm really really tired so there will most likely be a lot of typos in this - please point them out to me, k? Thanks.
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gem of a find...

I found this while looking for a site for the Sharon Kowalski case. It's wonderful and it's a sermon given by a Unitarian minister (but it's Unitarian, who would have expected any less right?).

Just a warning, it requires that you have Adobe Acrobat Reader.

And a quick note: I figured out why my sidebar shows up all the way down at the bottom - I have a smaller computer screen and I figured this out today when I noticed that on the other pc here with a 17" monitor and the ones at work, also with 17" monitors, it shows up just fine. I know, the lightbulb does work, I promise.
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so little time!

Too much going wrong and so little time to blog it!

So I'm leaving you all with a list of must-sees:

Mark Fiore gives us a "Security Family" cartoon.

The EPA on ignoring itself about mercury poisoning.

I'm sure you all have heard that the judge in the Terry Schiavo case has declined to have the feeding tube reinserted, which means it will go to the Federal Appellate Court.

This is actually interesting as I would love to see some more challenging books entering into our public school systems myself. Education is supposed to be educational the last time I heard.

Here is our favorite feminist-type columnist from the NYT's on women being more genetically complex than men.

Born into Brothels looks like a great movie and if you haven't already seen Hotel Rwanda, please do.

Word of the day, courtesy of spoonerism - the transposition of usually ordinary sounds in a pair of words (what we excuse as not being able to talk).

And check out these sites: Code Pink, Oxfam, Sojourner's which is a progressive Christian group for peace and relatively reasonable I think.
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Monday, March 21, 2005

Pirates still exist?

Who'd a thunk? Now peanut is going to really be confused.

We've read books on Samurai Cats, green-teethed Pirates, Dinosailors, along with various other books, I'm sure, about Pirates, Knights, Dragons, Dinosaurs, etc.

All of these no longer exist, so I had passed this word of extinct onto peanut (it took him forever to grasp its meaning as he would tell me daily that a Tyranasaurus Rex was going to wake up any minute and come and swallow us up). Now if he asks about pirates and their existance, I might have to tell him yes. Even after I have also told him that they weren't very nice when they were around the first time.

You know, everytime I think of Pirates, I do not think of Johnny Depp, I think of Voltaire's Candide, a very, very dark comedy that others in my class used to laugh at. Dark comedy is not supposed to be funny, or so I had thought. (Go ahead, click on the link, you can search inside the book!)
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the Terry Shiavo case

I am going to be honest here when I state that I don't care whether she lives or dies, but only that her family stops this bitter battle over who gets to decide that right. I am also angered by the local and federal courts getting involved with a case, just 1 single case, where they really have no jurisdiction. Are they going to police all of the families out there who have thought about (or are currently thinking about) euthenasia? What about the Dr. Kovorkian's of the world?

This may sound cold, and I am not meaning it to be that way necessarily, but it is not up to me or anyone other than Terry Shiavo and her husband whether she lives or dies. She has been in a constant vegetative state for the past 15 years; if she hasn't recovered by now, she isn't going to. Specialists will tell you that the perfect time for rehabilitation is right after the injury.

One has to wonder if Terry's parents aren't fighting her husband on this because of their selfish need to keep her alive. Perhaps, too, there is always that hope of a miracle that will keep people going. Even in Steel Magnolias, Sally Field's character listened to Julia Robert's husband and "pulled the plug" they say.

But at what point is it enough?

Two courts have said the feeding tube needs to be stopped and it appears that a third (and federal one at that) will be saying the same thing. Maybe the judge will be taking into account the length of time Terry has been in this state of mind or that for the past 10 years, her parents have been dragging her husband in and out of the courts. It is mildly ridiculous.

However, as a parent myself, it's got to be hard to let go and to give up that hope that keeps you going. Maybe if they let Terry die, they themselves will die. It is an unspoken rule that parent's are not supposed to outlive their children so maybe this is what they are feeling, too.

Either way, I think they need to take a long, hard look and figure out just who they are doing this for: themselves or Terry.

Updated my thinking: I had learned about Michael Schiavo's mistress and 2 children yesterday morning (it's when I really listened instead of half-ass listening because, like the Michael Jackson case, it was getting old) then I started thinking harder about it. 10 years he's been trying to have Terri's feeding tube removed and he's been dating this new love for 10 years as well. Terri has been in this constant vegetative state for 15 years - why didn't he try to remove the feeding tube during that first five years? It could be that he was going through personal issues with grieving and the like, but I gotta admit, it does seem a bit odd that he began to fight to let his wife die right around the same time he meets a woman who he would like to get married to. Why didn't he just divorce Terri and move on?

The Schiavo dilemma reminds me of the Sharon Kowalski case; even though Susan Thompson wasn't fighting for the same right as Michael Schiavo is for now (he to let his wife die, she to let her wife live), Susan fought for the basic right of gaurdianship and only because of her lesbian relationship to Karen she was denied that right. Michael may only want the same thing, to be able to decide what is best for his wife. Who knows?

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needing a little bit of help

If anyone could tell me why my sidebar is all the way down at the bottom, I would be greatly appreciative. I went into the template to add some new links and damned if the sidebar didn't move to the bottom some how. Since I am teaching myself html, I have no idea what to look for in order to fix it.
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sappy weekend

I started the weekend off by dropping my son off with his dad, then heading back towards home but deciding that I can't read there because I'm always interrupted. So I get off the interstate to head for Barnes & Noble, only I'm hungry. Then I see PetSmart and remember I needed a cat brush yet walk out with said brush, 2 cat bowls with the rubber bottoms, a hanging cat scratcher, a container of catnip (upstairs cat goes bonkers for this stuff) and some Pup Corn for the dogs.

Of course I can't stop spending there. I walk next door to the shoe place that is having a 2nd pair 1/2 off sale. Peanut is always needing shoes it seems, so I pop in. 15 min later I am purchasing a pair of Sketchers for peanut and a pair of Fubu's for me (and for much less than what this website is offering them up for).

Thrilled, I walk the packages back to my car then head on to Panera Bread where they have a buy two special: get a 1/2 sandwhich and cup of soap for $6 (or something), which I do along with a bottle of root beer.

Once I get my food, I sit and read for an hour. The book is that good and the place is that warm and cozy that I can sit and just read for an hour and not get interrupted. It was nice and relaxing indeed.

I finish and then finally move on to Barnes and Noble. It's gotten chilly outside at this point since the temperature does drop in the evenings still (because in the summer, it stays 90 degrees even at night). I walk in, head straight for the cafe' where a sign proudly announces that it is open at 8am's now, but the book floor isn't. This doesn't concern me because in downtown Richmond, there are about 4 or 5 momnpop coffee shops to choose from.

Anyway, I order a chai hot (my favorite drink ever and the only time by body gets any type of caffeine outside of chocolate) and get the dark chocolate peanut butter pie. Later, I only eat about 4 bites of this pie because it is so rich, but it is so good, too, that I couldn't resist this one splurg.

I arrived at Barnes & Noble around 8pm and left at 11pm when they closed. I sat in one of their cozy oversized chairs and read for another 2 hours with only getting up to pee.

The book I was reading, btw, is Vertigo by Louise DeSalvo and I must recommend to anyone and everyone. Yes, it is a movie by Alfred Hitchcock, which thanks to this book, I must now see.

Reading that book got me thinking and it got me thinking a lot. I finished it yesterday morning while sitting in my silent kitchen for about 3 hours (with about as many interruptions) and could only think nice things about it (notice my lack of articulation). DeSalvo has a gift for articulate thought and seems to say exactly what she means. It's a story about her life, which she says in the beginning is ordinary and unexciting. Women tend to say this about themselves a lot.

Her story reminded me of my own story, which isn't anything like hers really. But DeSalvo believes that she has a lot in common with Virginia Woolf even though they aren't alike either. DeSalvo states that because they are both women is enough. Maybe that is what is going on with me and DeSalvo, or me and Woolf for that matter. DeSalvo comes from an Italian immigrant family in Hoboken, NJ, Woolf from a prominent British family and me, I come from nothing prominent at all unless you count my fathers 24 years in the Navy. Yet there is still something that links the three of us together.

DeSalvo tells all of her adolescent drive for sex and how it provided feeling and, in a sense, taught her to feel. She liked having sex with boys because they were easy to control and easy to please. All of her relationships with the various men in her life reminded me about all of mine - from the very first boyfriend I had (in 8th grade I think it was, who I was too afraid to touch because I didn't know what I was supposed to do) to the guy I fell deeply in love with around age 18 and dated for 3 years even though he took me away from my friends and family, got angry easier when he had been drinking (he never hit me, but he came close several times, he just fought with other guys instead), to of course, the failed marriage to my sons father. That was doomed from the beginning, I just didn't listen to myself very well. Then I got pregnant and needed health insurance and we both had talked about marriage already so we went ahead and did it. Dumbest thing I ever did. There were several other relationships between those, but the above were the biggest ones I guess you could say; the ones that had the most impact.

There was the guy I couldn't stop dating in my sophomore and junior year of high school named Joe who, because my hamster died, bought a beautiful teddy bear hamster. I creatively named him Teddy. Joe liked to come to school either drunk or high which pissed me off because I took school seriously even if my grades didn't necessarily reflect this thought.

In many ways, the people we meet and get involved with teach us something whether it be good or bad. There is almost always something to take away from every encounter we have with another human being.

Getting back to the book, DeSalvo writes of the depression that was ever present in Woolf's life and the illness being the main reason Woolf killed herself (by loading her pockets down with rocks from the river and then walking into it). She feared the voices were coming back again and didn't think she could survive another breakdown. DeSalvo believes her mother had the same illness and so did her sister. DeSalvo, upon reflection in her adult years, realized that her mother coped with it daily and fought to keep it down but began to lose after the death of her second daughter (DeSalvo's younger sister). Then, DeSalvo says that because she writes, she is able to feel better about herself, about her life and somehow it makes her world stand on two feet again. When she doesn't right, she becomes angry, bitter and biting.

When I read that part of the book, I began to realize I was the same way on almost the same terms, though I wouldn't consider myself a spectacular writer. In many ways, this blog is good for me because I can write ordinary stuff down and, even if no one reads this, it gets whatever angst is occuring inside my head out of my system and down onto "paper." I can make it real by saying out loud, which is something else Woolf points out in another essay of hers. To speak the truth gives it a realistic power, something you can't take back once it has been said.

I was also diagnosed with depression about 3 years ago. When I began to go to work without brushing my hair or really caring if I matched, I realized there was a problem (I was also staying up really late as a result of insomnia, another common symptom I found out). So I went to see a shrink, which was the best damned thing I could have ever done in my whole life. She got me in the habit of writing things down, even if it was just a sentence or two from that day. Then I started writing letters to my friend LJ who lives in Virginia Beach and she wrote to me. Quickly, we both realized how therapeutic it was and still continue to this day even during the time we suspected her husband was reading them (he was a controlling, self-centered, manipulative asshole who thought all the letters were about him).

Of course, feeling this way because of a most powerful, unsuspecting memoir, I did a stupid thing and watched The Notebook. The movie really isn't that bad, I have to honestly say. It's sappy sure and has a decent yet somehow predictable ending, not to mention that it's plot isn't anything new, but yet somehow, the way it was told was so....real. The feelings coming from the actors/actresses was much more believable than say, Maid in Manhattan or any other J-Lo movie for that matter. I can't categorize this one as a "chick flick" though, only because it's about a man loving a woman so much, he would do anything for her and be anything to please her. That's not a side that is shown too much as in reality, a guy would get ribbed for being "pussy whipped," "controlled," "wuss," etc. Personally, I love it when a guy can be himself no matter where he is, including with me and his friends simultaneously. I also happen to think that it's the only way anyone should ever be. But this might also explain my current lack of a love interest.

And of course it is only times when I watch movies like this that I miss having a partner in my life. So I feel extra sappy now and need to get it out of my system because it is also times like these when I feel lonely the most.
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Sunday, March 20, 2005

long words

Someone called me this today: perspicacious.

I had to look it up because, honestly, I had never seen it before. And it was very cool to find out that it was a big compliment.
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Saturday, March 19, 2005

Today is a good day

I am sitting listening to Phantom of the Opera, studying for my midterm on Monday and drinking a beer.

And it's warm outside, higher than 65 degrees even.

And spring starts tomorrow.

What can be better in life than to do what you love best (learning/reading) and be left alone to do it?

Oh yeah, doing it in my own house! lol
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Thursday, March 17, 2005

Musings about "mommy blogs"

While I was reading some other thoughts on this issue over at unfogged (warning, do not open the comments thread unless you have plenty of time to wander through over 350 posts), I began thinking of my own "mommy musings." (Thanks to BitchPhD.)

I talk about my son a lot and how my world has been affected by his presence in my life and all that stuff. Like BitchPhD said somewhere in that long line of posts, a woman gets more political after she has kids than before. Our worlds are opened to so much other stuff that we hadn't thought about before, because, as is most often the case when one doesn't have children, there was no need to.

What he said to me in the kitchen yesterday: "Mom, what's this tee-ball stuff all about?"

So I explained it to him.

He says, "Ohhhhhh." Then proceeds to jump and hop around the kitchen for several minutes.

That does remind me: Mother's Day. There is all this great stuff for moms to do with their daughters, but nothing for moms and their sons. So I have decided to crash a tea party this year or something similar and see how it goes. It's kinda how there are matching outfits for moms and daughters, but nothing for moms and sons. It's almost as if it denies that there can be any real link between us because we are not of the same gender....or assumes that there is an ever-present father in these rapidly shrinking "traditional families" so the son automatically wants to emulate the male gender.

Anyway, I don't think I talked much about the "mommy blogs" issue, but I'm really tired and can't seem to spell occasion right, so I think it's time to try again tomorrow and go to sleep today.

Nighty night.

Edited because I most certainly did not talk about "mommyblogs." I will try to do more accurate analogies later.
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Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Offshore drilling in Alaska

There is a heavy debate going on right now. Go to C-SPAN2 to watch for yourself.

All republicans with some democrats, the supporters of this legislation, which is being attached, in a very sneaky way, to the national budget, are arguing that we are in a "national energy crisis" and how expensive does oil have to get before we acknowledge said crisis and do something about it, namely opening up a wildlife refuge to oil drilling.

As you can see in The Washington Post article, that only by 2025 will we be able to pump 1 million barrels a day, which only matches what we import now not even by half.

This makes critics like me wonder what in the hell we're doing this for if we won't be able to match what we import even after 20 years. Why screw with an entire ecological system just for 1 million barrels when we could have sunk all that money into coming up with a better way to use our natural resources? We know the technology is there because hybrid cars have been popping up all over the place. We know solar energy could work if its technology was improved upon.

During the debate, Senator Boxer (gotta love her, wish she were my Senator) made some good points. What about the reckless attitudes of the drillers themselves? Oil leaks from drilling barges are known to happen, what will happen to the animals, water, etc., when that happens? Do the ends really justify the means? She zinged my wonderful Senator Allen for his comment that the place where they want to do the drilling being "the dark side of the moon." She put up an enlarged picture of some artic animals such as a polar bear and said something like, "Well, as you can see, it doesn't look much like the dark side of the moon to me."

Huh. You go girl.

Senator Trent Lott is speaking now and he can't even get it straight as to what they want to drill for "up there." He said that if he were to put any pictures up here, he'd put those of his grandchildren. Then he goes on to angrily state that we need to produce more oil, natural gas, coal, etc. as well as conservation efforts and alternative fuels. He also says that "his state will have oil."

Lott says that he is angry at this congress and the previous congress, and even the American people, for fighting this issue. Whatever.

Senator Maria Cantwell layed out, with many facts backing her up, how we should be fixing what we've already got instead of increasing our overall supply. She states that the language of the current legislation does not guarantee a decrease in gas prices or that it will even stay in the United States. Good point.

Oh, something funny. Senator Trent Lott pronounced Venezuela as "Ven-zu-way-la." Hah, priceless!

So, if you wanna help get the word out that most Americans are not for the drilling, go to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), send some letters, sign a petition or two, and let those that matter know you are not in agreeance with this neglectful and untruthful piece of legislation.

And while you are at it, check out this article from Common Dreams. You will be amazed how this has been happening for so long and still, no major news reports on it. *sigh*

Update: All that listening for nothing; they voted 51-49 to open Alaska up to drilling, which they say could give them 10.9 billion barrels. They fail to tell you that it will take 20 years to get the first million.

Also in the papers, at least mine anyway, is that the citizens of the towns and villages are now "on their toes." They want to be the first person in line when the rules are made and I don't blame them. However, I do not have much faith in my coorporate hungry American "friends."

Keep reading....

Monday, March 14, 2005

Is motherhood a Myth anymore?

I don't think it is, just as this article in Slate suggests. Too many women have written about motherhood in the past 20 years or so for it to be much of a myth anymore. (Not to mention Oprah getting in on the action many times the past few years.)

Yet, take a gander (such a funny word considering its a female goose) at all of the comments attached to this one article. If you have a hotmail or msn account, you're good to go; if not, you'll have to create one. I have posted as singlemom25 and there are a few women on there who have zinged moms who work and put their kids in a daycare - especially the one mom from Canada who claims that her kids are in a daycare setting with unionized workers (ahhh, to be in Canada despite the high taxes). I replied as I felt they stepped way out of line. It seems they are stay-at-home-moms (SAHM's) and think every woman who has kids should be, too, without taking into account that more and more women are being indoctrinated into the lives of the low-income and poverty levels of our glorious capitalist system.

I guess I became angry as I don't think any mom should ever be criticized for her choices of staying at home or working outside (or in some cases, in) the home when each should be her choice and about what the family can afford and feel comfortable with. I don't appreciate being vilified for something I also don't have much of a choice in; there is no partner in my "family," there is only the 2 of us and I kinda like it that way. I think by working, I'm setting the example for my son that just because a woman is a mom doesn't mean that she has to be married or stay at home. If he marries a woman one day that chooses to do so, then more power to them both. But I hope to have taught him well enough that he will have the choice to stay at home with his children, too. I wouldn't want for my daughters to have the small scope of thinking they could only being a SAHM, but I also know that this isn't likely to happen as long as you instill in all children that they can be anything they want to be and to follow their dreams (the gender fluid thing is cool, too, you should check it out).

Plus, I like having an identity outside of my child as it gives me a sense of belonging to something outside of living for my son 24/7 (which, naturally, I do anyway but I've been able to gain a nice, calming balance over the past 2 years). There are plenty of times when having an extra person would be great, but those come so few and far between lately. What I do not appreciate is assuming all of America is married to opposite sex partners - heterocentrism and, coining a new phrase here, marriagcentrism. Both of these are highly evident in our current "free America" with multiple laws and amendments popping up banning gay marriages and such. It's absolutely disgusting but I'm taking myself off topic so that's a rant better saved for another day.

So yeah, those 2 moms got me riled up because I don't appreciate their extremely close-minded view of the world. Another poster made the comment, something like when is it time for parents to take responsibility for their own children and that Canada's taxes are so nuts because they have standardized health and child care. That poster claimed that Canada = "the village" and the parents = irresponbility because they are depending on their government instead of their neighbors/community.

As I brought to the attention of someone else recently, if all of our neighbors took care of each other, as is usually thought of by anti-welfare folks, then we wouldn't have needed such legislation in the first place, eh? Back in medieval Europe, there were still extreme poverty conditions more so than upper class folks. Were those upper class folks more generous because they had more to give? Obviously not because instead of the lower class diminishing, it only got worse. We developed welfare because it was a way to help out our neighbors without leaving any one group of people responsible for the care of others.

We all seem to come from the same school of thought: I'll let the next person do something; I don't want to get involved; it's not my job; and so on. America is a highly individualized society and we don't help our neighbors out much anymore or the homeless population would be declining instead of increasing steadily as the economy idles.....

Ahhhh, I could rant about this subject all night, so I think it's best to end it now. Check out the article and some of the comments as I would love to hear what you all think.
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Falsifying History

That's what the new book The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History supposedly does and by reading some of the exerpts, I'm inclined to agree. Anyone that would leave out 200 years of an expansive slavery movement is not a reliable author in my mind.

It is interesting when you read some of the reviews on Amazon, too, as they seem to support everything that Woods describes as being written by left-wing extremist nutballs.

As said on Slate, "The book's title gives a clue to its agenda." That paragraph goes further to state that anyone using the phrase "politically incorrect" is using it as an excuse for their (often) brutal honesty and uses it against us lefties who tend to use Politically Correct language, you know, the kind that includes others and let's everyone know that we are supposed to be a team here....

I urge you to read the link and if you need something a little more balanced, try this book. It was introduced to me through a class a few years back and I loved it. To the best of my knowledge, it was not meant to subscribe to any one political agenda, but to merely lay the facts out as truthful as can be done.

(Warning: repeating myself) I myself know that any history book that does not include the Slave Trade is false from the beginning. It's like saying that the Holocaust never happened or that women were never the matriarch.
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Sunday, March 13, 2005

Virginia and it's no sense laws

Yep, I live here. The General Assembly session wrapped up last month but not before deciding that what Virginian's do in their cars is a privacy issue.

I've already ranted about this once before so I won't bother anyone with it again. However, I am still irritated on their decision of what one does in their personal vehicle is a matter of privacy, yet women can't decide what is best for ourselves in the manner of our own personal health.

Why does one qualify, but not the other?

Update: I forgot about Virginia's ban on showing porn in your car while you are driving.
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Friday, March 11, 2005


The chairmen want to cut food from the Agricultural Department instead of the aid that farmers are allowed to collect in subsidies every year. Cutting either one is bad enough. Why can't they cut the millions of dollars that go to the study of shrimp sex? Or the millions of dollars that are out there somewhere that most likely don't need to be where they are.

Cutting food stamps and other various nutritional programs such as WIC (Women, Infant and Children) means that many families will be cut off; 300,000 says the article. In a country that brings in the most money, how are we not able to save our own communities from starving?

Oh that's right, we have a trillion dollar deficit to start paying off yet as long as there is a war going on, it will just keep getting bigger and bigger and get the idea.

As someone who has used food stamps, WIC, daycare assistance and still has medicaid for my son, I'm really pissed that the programs we need the most are the ones that get cut first.
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Race and 'Rights'

You know, I'm not even sure what to say to this. George Will is almost completely dismissing the real need to have a U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. He claims that they have no power, yet is that because they aren't given any because they are a committee that is supposed to look out for the rights of all human beings, especially minorities?

I have to admit my own bias when reading anything by George Will, especially if his subject is women and/or race relations. He seems almost entirely ignorant of the reality that race is still a large issue when it comes to civil rights. One only has to google "Race and 'Rights'" to see how race has not only effected the U.S., but how race has been effected by the U.S.

It was just last month that I found an article in the Washington Post about Race Being a Factor in Texas Stops. Seriously, as I said here, is it really that much of a surprise?

Then there is what the NYT's reported on: Women and Minorities Still Not Hired as Frequently in Ivy League Schools. (of course, now you have to pay to see the whole thing, sorry!)

The two above examples are from February 25th and March 1st, respectively. And George Will (I think), is saying that a Civil Right's Commission is not needed? Granted that it has been ridled with problems and it needs a new leader, but it could be given the power to do what it was originally created for.

George Will and Gerald Reynolds only relegate civil right's to African-Americans (or black - everyone subscribes to a different way of identifying themselves). They fail to realize that civil rights are basic human rights and that emcompasses everyone who is a minority or oppressed within the current U.S. political system: black, asian, hispanic, russian, italian, white women, homosexuals and persons with disabilities (I'm sure that I am missing someone, but you get the point).

Agh, I can't even think right now this article has me so flabbergasted. Maybe I'll come back to it later.
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random smandom

My son informed me this morning on the way into the city that he would like to get his ears pierced someday. So I asked him how about now. He said no, just someday.

Well, as I was getting him out of the bath this evening, when he stated quite exictedly how he would like to get his ears pierced right now. So we might be making a pit stop tomorrow night while very close to the mall.

I'm excited about this because I've been asking him if it's something he would be interested in for quite some time. Not to mention that he said ears, as in plural form. I don't think my ex-husband is going to appreciate the whole ear-piercing bit, but I have also yet to get him to understand that while peanut is only five, he is still old enough to make a lot of decisions on his own about what he likes/dislikes, wants/doesn't want.

So we'll see. I'm not expecting too much because peanut changes his mind often and that's exactly what I am waiting for tomorrow evening. But it proves that he's been thinking about it at least.

Oh! Our glorious learning conversation this morning was about inertia and the theory of motion. We had the pleasure of seeing an 18-wheeler turned on it side in the middle section of the interstate this morning, in the same space that seems to attrack the massive wandering trucks, and so promptly discussed why little tiny cars should not cut in frong of big, hulking trucks since they cannot stop as fast as the teeny cars as they have more weight on the back. I told him that when the truck's cab begins to stop, the trailer is still going and pushes the truck into a skid or a jack-knife.

Then I gave him some kid-friendly examples such as when he's riding his bike and runs into the gate. The bikes stops, but his body doesn't.

Then there was the case of him falling, putting his hands out which stops his arms from hitting, but his head still hits the ground.

That is enertia and the theory that I can't seem to remember right now (it's ____, stays in motion). He was actually very interested in it and was excited to get to school to tell his friends and teacher. But that could have also been the gruesome news of seeing an 18-wheeler on its side, too.

Last nights discussion was lymph nodes and how they produce the attacker cells to kill all the bad germs. I showed him where 6 of them were and he thought it was funny.

He goes for testing on Tuesday for ADD but I truly think it's boredom. I think back over all the times we've had similar discussions as the two above and realize that this kid is bright. In fact, he called himself a genius this evening while waiting in the Wendy's drivethru line, then rescended, stating that he was a genius but not. When I asked him how he could be both at the same time, he replied with, "Because I don't know a lot of things to be a genius." Wow, talk about brain power packed into a 5-year old. I certainly was impressed.
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Wednesday, March 09, 2005

My name change

I keep changing my name (poster name anyway) because I can't figure out who I want to be. I thought I wanted to be dante's mom, but quickly realized that I get called that enough at Peanut's school and the like, that I didn't want adults calling me that, too.

Then I tried taking on my old Ms. boards name of findingfeminism and that didn't seem to fit anymore either, as I don't feel that I am finding it anymore. Learning yes, finding, notsomuch.

Then I thought of 'the nut' and was like, Hey, that is brilliant since the title of my blog is Welcome to the Nuthouse. I also like calling little man Peanut and being able to get away with it. hehe.

So it appears that 'the nut' is here to stay.
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Today is Wednesday

and my son is going back to school after running a high fever for the past 2 days.

I took the Motrin into the school nurse and asked if the Dr's office had faxed over the form for the meds since they weren't prescribed. Nope. Then I explained to her how I had called Monday afternoon and asked if someone could fax the form to the dr's office so that the dr could sign and fax it back - since I thought Peanut was going to school yesterday - only to find out nothing had happened and I had even given them an unintended extra day since I decided not to send Peanut to school yesterday. What fun.

So I fill out the form there in the nurse's office and put the dr.s office # at the top since the nurse said that she would try calling the office to get the fax # (at the time I didn't remember it still being on the floor in my car). She saw the # and promptly asked if it was long distance then told me that if it was, they couldn't call long distance on their phones. No problem for me for as she was doing all that explaining about not being able to call, etc, I remembered that I had the fax # out in my car.

I went out to my car and got the fax # and when I came back in, handed the four-folded, bright pink piece of paper directly to the nurse who had been speaking with the administrative secretary in the office. She said "Okay, thanks, we will give this a try." Then I left, feeling exasperated at how much work was going into getting a mere medical form signed.

Oh, in that span of maybe 10 minutes, the nurse reminded me 2 times that she didn't have to do this for me, that she was doing it to be nice and that she wasn't trying to fight me about it. I don't think she was having the same conversation I was.

The best part is yet to come.

I went to my 10am class and around 10:40, I get a call from the nurse telling me that she couldn't get the fax # to work and that it was telling her it was a TDD line and such. I asked her if she tried dialing the area code, too, since it was long distance. "Yes," she said, "we tried everything." I don't know how much 'everything' one needs to try with an incorrect fax #, but hey, she's proving to me that she's not the brightest bulb in the box by now.

I asked her which # she had been faxing to. She told me it was the # that I had written on top of the form. She also told me that she had tried looking "his" (the dr.) name up in the yellow pages but couldn't find "him" in there.

Sighing in much agitation, I reminded her that the # at the top of the form had been the office #, reminding her of our conversation about her not being able to call long distance and that I had given her the fax # when I came back from my car on a bright piece of pink paper.

She told me that she didn't have a pink piece of paper.

Then she told me that I didn't tell her the # on the form was the dr's office #.

At this point I'm past my patience with stupid people mark. Was she not in her head when all of this was going on? Is this woman, who is in charge of the sick children at 2 schools, really this incompetent?

Apparantely so as she yet again reminds me that she is not obligated to do any of this and she is doing it to be nice. Then she hung up on me.


Point 1: Being helpful is doing nice things that you wouldn't ordinarily do without having to tell/remind the person you are helping that you are doing it to be nice.

Point 2: No job description is ever perfectly stated and yeah, when it comes to forms for the dr's, it is the nurse's job to make sure the proper paperwork is filled out. By me doing it, I become the middle woman and it can quickly become a game of phone tag and mass amounts of phone calls because I would have been relaying messages back and forth between the two like 2 school age kids not talking to each other. Who does this very same thing at a dr's office? The nurse.

Point 3: With that all said and done, I do realize that the way I reacted to her imcompetence might not have been the best decision, but she takes a larger portion of the blame for this one. After all, it was just a stupid form that has to be filled out just so my son can have 1 Motrin tablet before he goes to his after-school program this afternoon.

Btw, I've been in the administrative service industry since I began working when I was 17. By now, I know what unprofessionalism is and I know that your job description doesn't always neatly cover what is expected of you, yet you do what you need to do in order to get the job done.

Side note: I wonder if the nurse had a twin there with her today which would account for her not remembering anything we had discussed while I was standing right there in front of her.
Keep reading....

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

And I'm the English major

I knew that "irregardless" was not a real word. According to, it is a bastardized form of "regardless."

So I looked up "agreeance" because I was wondering if I had the word right. I learned something new tonight when yet again informed me that it is a bastardized form of "agreement."

I also know that there are other words out there that are misused horribly, such as "heighth" and "expecially." Now's your chance to chime in with your own experiences with the horrible misuse of the English language.

Let's hear 'em!
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It's International Women's Day

Happy Day to everyone!! Rememer to celebrate the many women in our worlds history who have made it a better place to live.

It was pouring rain when we came into work around 9:00am; the wind was coming in strong, turning many an umbrella inside out. Approximately 1 hour later, it was snowing. Yesterday was a beautiful 70 degrees F.

With this funky northeaster like weather in mind, why is it that so many women still insist on wearing stilletto-like high heels? They get stuck in the bricked walkways here or in the mud on the occassions that one might actually find any dirt downtown to step in....I remember when Tropical Storm Gaston blew through here dumping over 12" of rain in just 3 hours (on already drenched soil and critically overflowing rivers) and yet it seems that so many were unprepared for his onslaught. Of course, no one was expecting it to stall right over us either which I didn't find out 'til I had already been in my car for an hour just trying to get 1 mile down the road (total trip home: 6 hours. It still wasn't as bad as those who had to make 95, heading into Richmond, their resting place for the night).

It is also interesting to note that it is now sunny outside with only partial cloud cover. You gotta love Virginia storm systems.

And my son is still very sick with a high temp and sleeping on my lap, which is causing me to rvert back to one finger typing. Fun.
Keep reading....

Monday, March 07, 2005

Random stuff

I got my nose pierced here yesterday before I went to get my son from his dear 'ol dad. It hurt, but not as bad as some other things that I have inflicted upon myself (namely a c-section). My family pretty much ignored it yet my niece exclaimed, "What is that on the side of your nose!?" It was funny for about 1 second and then she was off again. It's really not that bad to care for and I expected it anyway.

It does look kinda neat though when you stroll into your sons pediatricians office with a new nose piercing, a tshirt that reads Sisterhood is Global and said son is in his pj's (it's 2:oo in the afternoon) and has such long hair that people often mistake him for a her. We now complete the look I think, ;).

Then, tonight, I got into the discussion of violence against women in the military and was told that it's rare now. It was a Naval officer that I was having this conversation with who, when I said that women aren't even given gyn services, birth control or rape kits in Iraq, he pulled the gender card on me. It was the usual line of "You can't knock hard to get in the door then complain when you're in" kind of statement. He then said that I had claimed gender didn't matter yet was trying to argue for different treatment. I then said that for the most part, gender doesn't matter, but when it comes to biological innards, women are different and so therefore need different care than the past all-male military did. If they are going to allow women into wartime situations, then I believe the military needs to provide for them as they would the men.

So I did what any good person asking a valid question would do: I googled Violence Against Women in the Military and got several hits. I came across this first, which clearly states that violence against women is rampant in the military now given the scandal at the Air Force Academy in Colorado and the 5 military men who promptly came home from combat and killed their wives or girlfriends.

Then I found this which also clearly states that violence against women in combat zones is still a pervasive problem. 37 women who have claimed sexual assault or abuse is still 37 too many for me.

Of course, then there is the issue of the effect of a military on a civilian population when said military is basically left to fend for themselves. The point I had made to said friend is that if a commanding officer takes the lead in harassing a woman, raping her, sexually assaulting her, etc., he is sending the message to his men that his behavior is okay and tolerated within the limits of their military functioning. The CO should be the example of orderiliness and composure, yet it is also known that some men, when given greater power, become greater assholes. I remember a man who once was severely pissed off at me because I refused to be intimidated by his shear size and "power." I was only 18 at the time so I didn't fully understand what it was he was trying to accomplish, but I never forgot what happened either. This man never made it above an E5 I think, which was Chief in the Navy. Later, I found out that he verbally and emotionally abused his wife and their son was beginning to call his mom things like, "Stupid bitch," etc. It was horrible and it's equally as horrible to find out that it is happening to a woman and yet there is nothing you can do about it.

This makes me wonder how said friend, who is a Naval officer, could have missed this. Perhaps he doesn't want to see it? Perhaps he doesn't fully realize it is there given that he is a man and will never know what goes on in a gyn's office and why it's so important? When I quoted some data, he told me it was outdated, yet my sources are telling me its from 2004, just like the ones I have included here.

One last source, which is kind of interesting as it seems to be the "rules" for dealing with persons that engage in domestic violence or sexual assault while in another country while employed by the Armed Forces.

It's no mistake that gender and conflict are still hot issues. I believe women should be allowed into combat but I also believe the military needs to be aware of the different ways in which gender is perceived, still, in this modern age. Not to mention that women do need different health care for their biological parts and protection if she is raped by one of her own servicemen or if they decide to take part in consenual sex. It's like what we have discussed in class: as much as we want to say everyone is the same, the perceptions of what a woman can and cannot do are still deeply imbedded into modern society and until it levels out, there are slightly more considerations a woman will need to have in order to protect herself.

And no, guns is not one of those. Which is what said friend weighed the price of birth control against; that the need for guns is greater than than the need for birth control and that in a wartime situation, people should be abstaining from sex. A very true and forthright thought, yet if we can't even get our teenagers to abstain from having sex, and that's just in middle and high schools, how will we get adults to do it? I told him that it was a flawed and unrealitic theory and he disagreed. So we are each entitled to our own opinions to say the least.

And now I need sleep desperately as my eyes and head are beginning to ache. I know someone has something to say about this, so chime in with your $.02 already.
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Saturday, March 05, 2005

The Bush Team's Abortion Misstep

Is it considered to be "evil" and "against them" if I am reveling in the fact that the Bush representatives at the UN meeting in Beijing, which was designed to strengthen the international laws of Violence Against Women, made a fool of themselves?

I can't wait until the official report comes out so I can check it out as this seems to only tell us some of what went on over there.
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Friday, March 04, 2005

Will wonders never cease?

Alan Colmes directly asks Ann Coulter if she is calling him a liar and she becomes stunned, laughing and asking, "You can't be serious." It really is priceless though because she loves to talk and she doesn't really talk about anything except how Canada should be happy we (the U.S.) allow them to be our neighbors and such.

She really has absolutely no coherent arguement at all, which is quickly becoming typical of neo-repubs, meaning completely right-wing zealots who cannot, and refuse to, see outside of their small little box.

She went into a panic when she realized she got the facts on Vietnam wrong.
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Bush vs. Women

I think it's safe to say that the 'W' does not stand for women.

The National Women's Law Center has been nice to compile data about women from each state and how they will be affected by Bush's cuts to Medicaid. It's kinda sad but what isn't when it comes to Bush and his trimming the fat, so-to-speak?

So check out how your state ranks in the scheme of things. I guarantee you won't be disappointed.
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Thursday, March 03, 2005

I have moved

I moved here from LiveJournal because, well, it seems easier to use and it's prettier. Not to mention that I get to add my own links on the side, have an archives button, etc. Yay!

So for now, if you want to read me, go there. I'm not sure about transferring anything over to here but it won't take me long to fill this one up ; ).
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