Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Global Exchange

I just found this great Fair Trade online store. Check it out people and buy stuff!!

I swear, by the time I move out of my parents' house, I'm going to have an apartment full of Fair Trade stuff from all over the world. At least I will be able to look around and remind myself that there is indeed life outside of these United States.
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Is it really worth it?

All's I gotta say (in my version of southern) is:

Shurb should call each mom, dad, husband, wife, brother, sister, son and/or daughter who lost someone and was thereby directly effected by the war and tell them that War is Worth the Sacrifice.

My dad asked me last night if I would say that War isn't worth the sacrifice with regards to the American Revolution. I told him we can't really say that now because its done and gone already, but without it we might not be where we are today either.

He said, "Exactly."

Then I said, "But with this war, we're not fighting for our freedom. Shrub sent troops into a dead-end war under false pretenses. That's completely different circumstances than colonists wanting to be free from England's rule therefore fighting for themselves on our own land."*

And I still believe it is, which is why this war is compared to Vietnam so much. We didn't have to be a part of either one, but Iraq we started all by ourselves. I don't know why it has to be said over and over again, ad naseum, how badly Bush lied. Perhaps someone will start actually investigating him, bringing on the Impeachment process.

Does he need to get caught having oral sex with interns and then lying about it for charges to be brought against him?

*Yes, Shrub has said this many times before and he said it again: "He said the only strategy to tackle militants was to "defeat them abroad before they attack us at home".
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Monday, June 27, 2005

what to talk about

I'm tired of repeating the same news over and over again to a seemingly choir-like audience. Those who read my blog tend to agree with me so I feel that I'm not saying anything new. Besides, am I supposed to report on the never-ending dread of these United States of America?

Or that it looks as if Rehnquist will be retiring fairly soon; it's only a matter of time now. Then I believe all hell is going to break loose trying to replace him. This new space definitely scares me as it is a lifetime appt and we're on shaky ground with their rulings anyway.

Or that Christian Chick Lit has been increasing in sales steadily over the past year or so?

But the AMA (American Medical Association) did agree to back the legislation pending that would make pharmacists fill a prescription for EC/BC and if not, refer the woman to someone who will right away. I can deal with that.

Upon reading this article a while back, I got to thinking. When most people speak of poverty, they aren't necessarily thinking of white people, though I'm sure we all know poor white people exist. A college friend of mine, N., is constantly repeating this refrain: "I wish people would stop thinking all white people are rich. We're just as poor as the next black/hispanic person." I used to think she was imagining it, but through my experiences over the past few years, I've noticed the pervading sense that white people aren't expected to be poor and are looked down upon if they are. When a black/hispanic woman is homeless or on welfare, society scoffs, but in a way that only holds these women in their place of poverty and subsequently are blamed for it. It's a vicious cycle that often those who are living on welfare have a hard time getting themselves off it. I'm not saying we need to stop studying black/hispanics in poverty situations because they still remain the greater population of poor folks, but it is something to think about.

Dorothy Allison writes about white poverty as does Isaac Shapiro.

When I read about this new anti-rape device invented by a woman in South Africa, I wasn't sure if I should be happy or sad for the women in the "Rape Capital of the World." Happy because they'd have a better way to protect themselves; sad because they needed a better way to protect themselves since their government/communities don't seem to be doing too much to help them out without coming to such drastic measures. Read what this device does to a male penis:

The device, which Sonette Ehlers, its inventor, has patented, is worn like a tampon but is hollow. In the event of a rape, she said that it would fold around the rapist’s penis and attach itself with microscopic hooks. It is impossible to remove the clamped device without medical intervention.

Several other womens' groups in South Africa want it banned because it's a horrible way to treat a man. At least that's what I get out of their dissenting voices throughout the article. The way I see it: they are living in the Rape Capital of the World and no one is doing anything else to ensure the safety of women and young girls, so Sonette Elhers felt she needed to take matters into her own hands (er...vagina). After a few men/boys get their penises trapped in this contraption, I'm pretty sure they'd stop trying to rape so as to keep their penises in tact. Perhaps the men/boys should consider controlling their sexual urges so that this lovely piece of metal wouldn't be needed to begin with. What a shocking thought that would be!

On a lighter note, I finished reading Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. Wonderful, beautiful read and I highly recommend it to all who have not heard of/read it before. Most of the book is set in Afghnistan/Pakistan and the narrator tells a very compelling story. I'm not going to say anything more because I don't want to ruin any of it.

Yesterday, after I woke up around 10:30am, I began to read Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and plan on reading the 2nd installment when I get home this evening, Second Summer of the Sisterhood. I have a feeling both books make up the one movie since a lot of it can be condensed but I wonder how they plan on doing the inner dialogue (there is a lot of inner dialogue in the 1st book as the girls try to find each other without them all being together which has defined them previously). I'll find out tomorrow evening since I plan to finally see the movie around 4pm or so. I'll keep everyone posted.

I saw Batman Begins last night and can I just please say that Christian Bale looks as yummy as ever, especially since he had to get muscles for his new alter ego? And there's a new guy with pretty blue eyes, too, who played the evil Dr. tormenting his patients with some gas toxin stuff. And now I really want one of these.

Christian Bale played Laurie in Little Women; in Newsies, Disney's attempt at reviving musicals; in Reign of Fire with Matthew McConaughey as well as several other B-list films but who cares? He's nice to look at. Perhaps this film will shoot him higher, who knows. He's also British and does a pretty good job of hiding it though I wish he didn't have to. Gotham is in a world all its own anyway. As for the actual movie, it really was better than at least 3 of the 4 Batman movies already out there. I wasn't sure Bale could pull off being The Batman but came away with feeling he pulled it off. IMO, Michael Keaton was the better of the 3, but now I think Bale is up there, too (now making it 4 men who have played Batman). George Clooney and Val Kilmer just weren't good at being both Bruce Wayne and Batman.

And that's my exciting news for now. Peanut comes back home to me on July 1st. yay!!
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Friday, June 24, 2005

Hi Ho the Darey O'

the Nazi's are coming to town.

Yes, I just found out they will be in Yorktown, tomorrow morning, to hold a peaceful rally meant to honor George Washington:

...the NSM is holding the Yorktown rally to honor George Washington and other founding fathers whom they claim held separatist and anti-Semitic views.

I know that Washington wasn't the most liberal anti-segregationist in the bunch and fought like hell in wars, etc., but I was not aware that Washington was an anti-Semitic. Can someone help me out on this? I do suppose I could google it, or I can make Jenniebee give us a history lesson (she's a great resource if ever you need to know history, lemme tell ya).

They, too, have a right to a peaceful protest since our Founding Fathers made sure we had the right to freedom of speech by making it our very first Amendment. Being as it was made #1, I'm guessing it was their top priority.

However, this brings up the question: is it free speech when it's damaging or harmful to others? Is it free speech when what you are saying is considered "hate speech?" While the ACLU might shake its head emphatically, most of us might agree that hate speech isn't included within the 1st Amendment.

But that, too, could be challenged because some who are against Bush and everything he stands for use hate speech when they liken him to the Nazi's, such as those who will be protesting tomorrow in Yorktown. I know several people who have referred to him as the new Hitler. Isn't that hate speech?

More directly, I believe hate speech to be more than calling someone 'asshole' or 'bitch.' Hate speech is when white tank tops become "wife-beaters," or when the GodHatesFags crowd hold horrible signs about Matthew Shephard living in hell for his sins and that he deserved to die because he was gay, or when anti-choicers stand on street corners holding false pictures of aborted fetuses, calling the women who go into such clinics, "sinners, whores, going to hell, murderers," and so forth. Nazi's of Hitlers time and of the present, along with the KKK, fall under this category of Free Speech and it's disturbing.

Hate speech is inciting the intense feelings of hate for someone simply because they aren't like you.

Which is why I enjoyed meeting Martin Luther King, III last night at HyperLink Cafe'. He was brought to Richmond through a new political organization (bi-partisan) whose main goal is to get those young adults between the ages of 18-24 interested in politics and to the polls on elections days: GenerationEngage. A lofty goal, but it can be done. Both Chris Lewis and MLK, III spoke about the people that gave their lives, literally, so we all could have the right to vote. Sure it was accomplished at different stages in life, but it was done nonetheless.

It was great seeing MLK, III, because as my friend L. said last night: "He's a walking part of history."

Lt. Governor Tim Kaine was there, as was Russ Potts and Jerry Kilgore's wife. Kaine got up and asked the crowd, "Would you let someone else choose your boyfriend or girlfriend?" Of course we all said no, loudly. Then he answered, "Then why would you let someone else choose who runs your state or country for you?"

Good point but he's preaching to this choir sans Nut House. I've voted in every single election since I turned 18. When I didn't know the candidates, I'd lean over and ask my mom who I was supposed to vote for (I don't do this anymore because now I'm always paying attention, but I wasn't always like I am now either).

To have been in that room last night with such a diverse crowd (I was the minority and it felt great) and hearing such inspiring inclusive speech gave me goose bumps. Seriously people. I wanted to cry I was so damned happy. It also helped to affirm my future direction in this world: poverty, hunger, birth control. All for those who can't say it or know how to do it for themselves.
Then I look at the paper this morning. It's frustrating when you attend such a great event and yet no matter what you do, there are still groups of people who want to put you 4 steps back.
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Tuesday, June 21, 2005


6.11.05, originally uploaded by a nut.

Look! There I am. I had been looking for me everywhere. Whew. Glad I found myself.

And if someone would be so helpful as to tell me how to increase the margins on the sides so all that extra pink space goes away I'd be most grateful (or how to at least use that space).

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Monday, June 20, 2005

A Request

This is a request for support from me for a fellow classmate who is spending her summer in anti-choice Mississippi where they are not allowed to open their mouths and tell women about their choices, including abortion. Abstinence-only "sex" education is taught, there is only 1 abortion clinic and they were allowed to have "pro-life" license plates. Her is a copy of her email from yesterday:

Hey guys, i just wanted to drop a quick note - this summer i'm working inMiss and it is crazy. Everyone is Pro-Life and they even have licenseplates here for "choose life". They have billboards everywhere sayinghow abstinence is the only answer and abortion sends you to hell. Iwork with families all day and i have to bite my tongue constantlycause they will always tell me about how they enrolled their childrenin an abstinence course (14 weeks!!!!). I am writing because firstoff, we should be thankful we live in VA! Also, I was wondering ifanyone had some bumper stickers they could mail me because I know Ican`t confront people, but I at least want my feelings to be known.Anything of the sort would be AWESOME, especially for the fewfamilies I run into who are sick of the overwhelming pressure aganistabortion. They even have an emergency clinic for women consideringabortion in order to convince them otherwise. Thank y`all tons for your support.

Sorry if there are typos but I only get a quick minute to use theweb. Thanks again!!

(Yes, we're the south so we say y'all a lot. It's in our blood.)

If any readers out there would like to send her an email of encouragement or send her pro-choice stuff to hand out, please contact me personally via email as I'd like to not post that information all over the web for various reasons. If any other bloggers would like to pick this up in order to get a wider audience, please do so. I'm more than happy to share!!
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Sunday, June 19, 2005

Rape and Woman Hating Behaviors

It's the same tired debate which is why I haven't talked much about the young woman missing from Aruba, who is now almost certainly dead. How about the hundreds of other women that disappear each week under the same circumstances that we don't hear about?

And of course, this kind of talk brings out the crazy woman-haters who feel they need to post hateful crap that misses the much larger issue.

Take the latest post at Feministe for example. The first commenter isn't making a lot of sense and seems too busy apologizing for disagreeing that the true meaning their comment is lost.

Feministe linked to another article that gave the whole post written by another blogger, Creek Running North. It's good stuff so go read. There is also a commenter of that post who seems to have missed the entire point.

Because what those who blame the victim fail to realize is: the rapist is just as much at fault for his conscious decision to rape and/or murder a woman simply because she is a woman. In fact, I think the rapist is completely to blame so scratch that earlier thought. A woman could be walking down the street, on her way into the club at the corner, but that doesn't give the man who lurks in the alleyway she has to cross in front of the license to rape her.

I remember when Beverly Hills 90210 was finally hitting their show's finale and Kelly was raped on her way to meet Dillon at a bar in order to save him from his alcholic fate. They did a bad job convincing me Kelly was really raped, but they didn't allow her to wallow in pity and suffer through a horrific trial either. Of course she ended up choosing Dylan in the next couple of shows and the rape was forgotten, but my point is that even 90210 tried addressing the issue (yes, I was one of those suckers but sometimes you can't help yourself).

Commentors on the threads have also been comparing rape to muggings, carjackings, etc. Wtf? The two are like apples and oranges. So yet again I feel the need to bring out the short story called, "The Rape of Mr. Smith." Read it for yourself, it's that good and makes a great point.

"The Rape" of Mr. Smith

This small piece is so clear on the injustices – legal, cultural, and attitudinal – that are visited upon women who are victims of rape that it is used everywhere – women’s studies courses, in rape crisis centers, in training seminars for police and social workers – yet no one seems to know its origin.

It must be remembered that we are all subject to rape: those who have been raped, those who may be raped and therefore have their lives altered, and those who are related to the victims of rape.

The law discriminates against rape victims in a manner which would not be tolerated by victims of any other crime. In the following example, a holdup victim is asked questions similar in form to those usually asked a victim of rape.

"Mr. Smith, you were held up at gunpoint on the corner of 16th & Locust?"


"Did you struggle with the robber?"


"Why not?"

"He was armed."

"Then you made a conscious decision to comply with his demands rather than to resist?"


"Did you scream? Cry out?"

"No. I was afraid."

"I see. Have you ever been held up before?"


"Have you ever given money away?"

"Yes, of course – "

"And did you do so willingly?"

"What are you getting at?"

"Well, let’s put it like this, Mr. Smith. You’ve given away money in the past – in fact, you have quite a reputation for philanthropy. How can we be sure that you weren’t contriving to have your money taken from you by force?"

"Listen, if I wanted – "

"Never mind. What time did this holdup take place, Mr. Smith?"

"About 11 p.m."

"You were out on the streets at 11 p.m.? Doing what?"

"Just walking."

"Just walking? You know that it’s dangerous being out on the street that late at night. Weren’t you aware that you could have been held up?"

"I hadn’t thought about it."

"What were you wearing at the time, Mr. Smith?"

"Let’s see. A suit. Yes, a suit."

"An expensive suit?"

"Well – yes."

"In other words, Mr. Smith, you were walking around the streets late at night in a suit that practically advertised the fact that you might be a good target for some easy money, isn’t that so? I mean, if we didn’t know better, Mr. Smith, we might even think you were asking for this to happen, mightn’t we?"

"Look, can’t we talk about the past history of the guy who did this to me?"

"I’m afraid not, Mr. Smith. I don’t think you would want to violate his rights, now, would you?"

Naturally, the line of questioning, the innuendo, is ludicrous – as well as inadmissible as any sort of cross-examination – unless we are talking about parallel questions in a rape case. The time of night, the victim’s previous history of “giving away” that which was taken by force, the clothing – all of these are held against the victim. Society’s posture on rape, and the manifestation of that posture in the courts, help account for the fact that so few rapes are reported.

We don't examine vitcims of robbery like we do victims of rape. A woman who has been raped doesn't need a grand inquisition, she needs someone who believes her, mainly the judicial system. However, the "American Society" tends to blame the woman full force, including the young woman whom Kobe Bryant purportedly raped. One of the biggest wins claimed by the defense was allowing her past sexual history to be included in the trial, including the supposed fact she had sex the night before and the morning after the incident with Bryant.

Do we need anymore proof?

by Adrienne Rich

There is a cop who is both prowler and father;
he comes from your block, grew up with your brothers,
had certain ideals
you hardly know him in his boots and silver badge,
on horseback, one hand touching his gun.

You hardly know him but you have to get to know him,
he has access to machinery that could kill you.
he and his stallion clop like warlords among the trash,
his ideals stand in the air, a frozen cloud,
from between his unsmiling lips.

And so, when the time comes, you have to turn to him,
the maniac’s sperm still greasing your thighs,
your mind whirling like crazy. You have to confess
to him, you are guilty of the crime
of having been forced.

And you see his blue eyes, the blue eyes of all the family
whom you used to know, grow narrow and glisten,
his hand types all the details
and he wants them all
but the hysteria in your voice pleases him best.

You hardly know him, but now he thinks he knows you:
he has taken down your worst moment
on a machine and filed it in a file.
He knows, or thinks he knows, how much you imagined;
he knows, or thinks he knows, what you secretly wanted.

He has access to machinery that could get you put away;
and if, in the sickening light of the precinct,
and if, in the sickening light of the precinct,
your details sound like a portrait of your confessor,
will you swallow, will you deny them, will you lie your
way home?

I'm sure many other bloggers have talked about this same issue ad naseum and I feel no need to keep reiterating a very simple fact: Men Can Stop Rape, too, by controlling those "natural" urges. Women don't tease men into an erection anymore than men seeing elephants having sex tease them into one. The erection is the only natural response begat by sexual organs. What we do with that horniness thus becomes a conscious decision to do something about it. That is when many men make the conscious decision to rape a woman and there is absolutely nothing natural about it.
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Friday, June 17, 2005

Pit Bulls Banned in Denver

This story has me livid. Banning a specific breed* of dog because it has the potential to be dangerous to others is ridiculous. Do we ban white guys for beating their wives or for having the potential? Some may say that I'm comparing apples to oranges, but I think a person's pets should be additional family members. If you can't treat them as you would want to be treated, then you shouldn't have them.

Of course, Denver is saying the ban exists because "all" pits are being used in dog fights and to protects drug lairs. Yep, that's a great way to solve a much bigger problem: just get rid of the dogs then hey, all those dog fights will stop and those guys will stop running the drugs. Jesus fucking christ people!

Then I read this:
Georgia and New Mexico have recently introduced bills that would ban the breed statewide.

WTF? Where will all those dogs go? They plan on euthanizing them, that's where.

Owners who already have pit bulls get to keep them only if they have the dogs fully neutered, leashed and muzzle in public. Damn if this doesn't ring of discrimination doggie style.

I have recently started volunteering for an organization called Pet Harbor who mostly rescue Huskies. They are one of the best breeds for family's and children I think, yet Huskies are on most states dangerous dogs list because they have a high prey drive. Peanut loves Brock because he gets up on the trampoline with Peanut and jumps/plays with him but its not rough. Brock played carefully with Peanut, almost as if he understood this was a kid. When other dogs got up on the trampoline with him, Brock would growl and fight them off.

A dog being of a certain breed does not give any indication the dog will turn into an Evil People Attacking Machine. There have been enough of just about every breed that bite, but we seem to only hear about the same dogs over and over again. No one gets to hear about the Great Danes, Golden Retrievers, Collies or Springer Spaniels that bite kids/adults on a regular basis. We only get to hear the hyped up stories of the more aggressive dog breeds as a sort of media frenzy attack in order to scare the shit out of people. Dogs become agressive and a problem because of their owners and upbringing, not their breed.

Not too long after the pit bull attacks near my house in Spotsylvania County happened, I saw a guy walking his two pits (massive babies they were) on the sidewalk in Carytown. Then there was another guy walking his pit puppy (brindle and the cutest). I have 3 pit bull mixed breeds and the only one that is iffy around kids is the pure bred who was severely abused when she was a puppy (so much so that she still can't hear the jingling of a belt and it's been 7 years at least).

I think it's about time that legislator's start punishing the owners of the agressive dog(s) or take each occurance as a case-by-case basis. By banning a whole breed, it's like saying all black guys are thugs so if police arrested them all and put them in jail, they'd be saving themselves a lot of time by getting it out of the way already.

I love pit bulls, bull dogs, bull mastifs and the like. I have met more good pits than bad as it depends on the ownership and care the dogs get. By banning the breed, the overall problem of bad ownership is being condoned and those who want dogs to protect them will just find another breed to do it with. Next thing you know, no one will be able to have any dogs because they will all be considered too dangerous.

*Pit Bulls are actually two breeds: American Pit Bull Terrier and American Stafordshire Terrier. The former are usually smaller and more Bull Dog, the latter are taller, lean but still muscular. Most of pit bulls get bored easily and have a "dumb dog" complex but get to be very smart as they mature (my youngest can open doors with the handles).

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Thursday, June 16, 2005

hoo hum

It's been getting very hot here lately and so that makes me lazy and sleepy. Tuesdays heat index was 107, Wednesdays was 105 and today its relatively mild thus far. I don't start sweating as soon as I walk 1 block and the weather guy said we are in an 8 now, down from 10. Yay! Peanut has been falling asleep on the way home now, too, catching on that I'll let it slid a little since its so warm. Not anymore!

But, the reason for my post this morning is to show you all that even I can be an idiot.

I got to Peanut's Talk Dr. appt this morning, went back in to fetch his colored pencils, came back out and closed the now locked door (which is a rarity). We went inside to check in and get him started, she eventually shoos me out so the two of them can chat for a bit and so I go back out to the reception area to schedule another appt. 2 weeks out.

The receptionist gives me back the card and I start searching for pockets. Realizing I didn't have any, I then wondered where I put my keys. I walked back out to my car to search the roof area to no avail. Then I look inside.

Yes, I left them in the car extremely visible on Peanut's booster seat, right where I had laid them when reaching for his colored pencils. Fun you say?

I call Jenniebee's husband since I knew he likes breaking into Fords (mostly to prove how shitty they are, not because he has a side job in boosting or anything) but alas, he was without vehicular transportation.

So I call Jenniebee, because she also has an extra car key that I had given her for instances like these. However, my key was on her key ring at her parents house. She had taken B.'s set of keys that morning as a result.

But, Jenniebee's good brother J. could be bribed into going to get B. and then coming to help B. break into my car. They agreed to purchase a Super Nerdy Reading Lamp for his troubles.

I think the best part is when I was talking to my friend S., joking about my extra set in the ashtray inside (I have a separate key for the trunk which is the reason they are there). Then I remembered making 4 extras: 1 for Jenniebee, 1 for friend L. who lives in Virginia Beach, 1 for home....

And then it hit me. I had one in my bookbag, in the bottom of my "pen bag" the entire time. I dumped everything out of that pen bag to verify, which gave S. and I a good laugh.

J. just happened to call at that time as well and he was nice about it, reminding me that we all have moments like that were we've been wearing a pen behind our ear for the last hour, then when we want to use it, wonder where we've put it. Or the times we can't find our glasses because they're on top of our heads.

Yeah, even fairly intelligent people can have brain farts, too.
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Tuesday, June 14, 2005


I was looking in the San Francisco Times for the story of the 11 year old boy mauled to death by two pit bulls when I noticed this brilliant piece of writing instead (never made it back to my search either).

It's a 7-part series about a 23-year old woman who was diagnosed with a very rare form of cancer earlier this year. She had begun a 2-year fellowship with The Chronicle, her dream job, when the diagnosis was made. I would like to warn you: if you cry at sappy stuff, you will cry over Alicia's story.

Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
Chapter Six
Chapter Seven
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Friday, June 10, 2005

Pictures in Flikr

Finally, you can see the pictures of our trip to the river on Mothers Day in just one click instead of about5 or so. Enjoy! When I get home this evening, after shopping at Lowes for a new designer toilet seat, I'll post pics of Peanut lookin' ghetto and sweet all at the same time!
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Thursday, June 09, 2005

My turn for the book meme

Number Of Books I Own: I'm with Shades on this one: if I could count my books that easily, then I shouldn't have been pegged for a meme. I did build my own bookshelf just last fall that is 60" high, 77" long and is completely full already, with 2 stacks of books almost the same height of the bookshelf on the floor beside it. Then there is the hall closet that I share with the towels. Need I say more?

Last Book I Bought: Funny that Shades pegged me for a book meme just as 8 books mysteriously showed up at my house yesterday afternoon. But I didn't pay for those which means I didn't buy them so they weren't the last book I bought, either. The last official book I bought is a wonderful book everyone should read called Operating Instructions by Annie Lamott. It's an older book and a published journal about her first year after having Sam, her son, as a single mom. It's great I tell you! Before that it was three books by Alice Walker which were purchased by Flea at The Honeysuckle Shop.

Last Book I Read: Hmm, this would require me to actually finish one. I've started Dance of the Dissident Daughter by Sue Monk Kidd, Now is the Time to Open Your Heart by Alice Walker, Operating Instructions by Annie Lamott and The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. How's that for summer reading?

Five Books That Mean A Lot To Me: I didn't know this at the time, but

Animal Farm by Orson Wells has come in handy throughout the life I've lead after finishing that book. I remember that half the school was reading 1984 and half was reading this and it's been a good resource just as Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale has. (I know, scary isn't it?)

Dance of the Dissident Daughter by Sue Monk Kidd definitely counts in this category in case you couldn't tell already. She charts her journey back into the Sacred Feminine, but spiritually. She starts the books with a flashback of her walking into the pharmacy where her daughter worked and as she was approaching, 2 guys were standing behind her daughter and 1 man said, "Now that's where I like to see a woman, on her knees." Kidd walks up to the men and replys, "That's my daughter and we don't belong there. We don't belong there. She started off as a devout Baptist, tried to be an Episcopalian for a while then ended up not being a part of any organized religion.

Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions by Gloria Steinam because this was the first actual feminist piece of non-fiction I read about 3 years ago. Yes, I'm still kinda green but that's okay. I have my whoole life ahead of me to learn more! Before this book, it was John Grisham, Patricia Cornwell, Dean Koontz and others of their ilk. Thank Gloria for turning my lightbulb on!

Books like Passing by Nella Larsen and The Diary of an Ex-Colored Man because I'm a white woman and don't have to think of these things and how important it was to "pass" in order to decrease your chances of being lynched. These two books, amongst others of course, helped open my eyes to a whole new world (although I was not completely unaware of it but also didn't really think about it).

A Doll House by Henrik Ibsen and "Trifles" by Susan Glaspell. Both of these were written in the early 19th century and were my first taste of feminist fiction plays. It gave me hope that not all of the work was anti-woman from the very beginning. Of course, then I was introduced to Sappho and talk about excitement!

Like Shades said first, these leaves out a lot such as The Color Purple and From the Temple of My Familiar by Alice Walker, Elizabeth Berg isn't bad though her endings kinda suck, Jan Karon writes cute, quaint tales about an Episcopal priest in Mitford (can't remember the state but who cares since it's all made up anyway), The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall (it was banned from England in the early 1920s because it was unapologetically homosexual in nature and was okay'd in America after it gained notoriety). But I could go on...I have over 100 books to choose from.

So read up and enjoy. Now I'm gonna go read one of my 4 books that I can't seem to finish.
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Talk Dr. Day

That's what today was, or this morning rather. The "good" thing is that Peanut had one of his usual meltdowns in the office, right there for the Talk Dr. to see. It's good because she got to see what I deal with multiple times a day sometimes or even multiple times in one evening. It can be very stressful and tiring.

So based on the responses to the questionnaire that both his teacher and me filled out, he has been officially diagnosed with Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Won't his father be proud.

I found out that it's genetic and the child gets it from someone else with the same problem. In my case, both me and my ex husband could have been the carriers, but something tells me its me. I was with the temper tantrums and such.

Peanut will be seeing the Talk Dr. for a long time most likely so she can help him learn ways to show his emotion without hitting or crumbling to the ground in frustration and/or anger.

This also means I have to tighten up on my parenting.

I told her this morning that there are times when I just don't want to fight about something so I let him get away with more. Who wants to fight with a kid all the time? Not I says the fly.

But anyway, I thought I'd let you all know the deal. Now it's time to start reading up on this thing and get going!
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Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Ummm, I've got new books

But I didn't order them.

Yep, I opened a surprise package to find 8 Terri Blackstock books and I have no idea who in the hell sent them to me. My only clue is that on the back, "Western Christian Bookstores" is on the pricetag of $9.99 each.


Update: I even tried contacting ebay to no avail. I'm just tryin' to make sure these books are really supposed to be it that difficult a concept to comprehend people!?

Update #2: I found out who they belong to and yes, they were sent to me in error. Yay! So hopefully they will be out of my position sometime this week!
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Tuesday, June 07, 2005

A horse is a horse of course of course...

there will not be a trial anytime soon for Saddam Hussein. The guy wasn't very nice, but even he deserves the right to a fair and speedy trial. After all, we're demolishing his country and liberating his people, enabling them to live a life filled with freedom and democracy.

Okay, there was just a little bit of sarcasm in that paragraph.

I'm tired of the war. Not because I'm sick of hearing about it, but because I'm sick of all this bad shit such as peeing on the Koran, beating prisoners, the "lawful"raping of women and holding others (I refuse to call them prisoners because in my world belief, you have to actually be accused and tried for a crime before you can-or should-be considered a prisoner) for an undetermined amount of time going by "unnoticed" by the popular media. Even when the stories did break, nothing was been done about any of it.

By not calling the perps on their wrongdoings, we send the message that, Hey, it's still okay to do all this bad stuff, just make sure the pictures don't get published or the story leaked.

It's the mistreatment of the significant issues that get me riled up. And both Dem's/Repub's are guilty of sweeping the sand under the carpet so-to-speak.
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Monday, June 06, 2005

discrimination starts early

But we already knew that, didn't we?

This evening, while sitting in the bleachers watching Peanut in his teeball game, this young girl comes back to her mother after visiting the concession stand where she promptly announced, "Now I remember why I hate gay people." Her mother asks her why. "Because they are so rude," she replies back.

Agh, how I wanted to pipe up and tell her that a person doesn't need to be gay in order to be rude; that I have ran into many a rude straight person. Especially white men.

But would it have done any good? I think not though she may have thought twice before opening her mouth again to say something so ignorant around complete strangers.

In other news, my moms friend with a now 6-month old and 2 other boys came over Sunday afternoon with only the infant. My sister made the disparaging comment that she was only bringing the wee one and I said, "Well, she's breastfeeding so she's kinda tied to the child."

All you breastfeeders out there will love what she said next: "Well it's not like she can't use a pump and leave him at home."

What did it matter to her? Nothing. Little baby Ian wasn't harming anyone, nor was his mom for bringing him. There were about 10 teenagers in my backyard who were used to seeing Ian. And thanks to all of you wonderful women who have taught me more about breastfeeding (that I wish I had you around when I was aggravatingly trying to do it myself), I informed her that the pump is used for those times when a kid cannot come at all. This was not one of those times.

She rolled her eyes and said, "Whatever."

Such a nice, tolerant sister I have yes? And they say I'm the big meany.

I've been reading a lot lately on those dads out there who think they pay too much child support, want equal parenting time and generally want permission to harass the shit out of their ex-wives/girlfriends for the rest of their lives. It's been great fun and I can't read too much of it because I get angry.

Mostly I get angry because their way of thinking is so off-center that they can't see what they are actually doing is ditching any last chance they had of being with their kids or gaining full custody of them. When a woman needs a restraining order against a man, hardly will he end up with any sort of custody outside of supervised visits (I say hardly because I have heard of this very ruling happening before, esp. from those dads who have more money than the moms).

Trish Wilson brought to our attention specific events, such as a dad killing his 9-month old son because his ex-girlfriend was making him pay child support without rekindling the relationship. Child support doesn't need to be paid if the couple is together, but he will never find this out since he shot both the baby and himself afterwards.

These men should somehow be resuscitated in order to live out the rest of their miserable lives in prison, remembering everday what put them there to begin with.

Pinko Feminist Hellcat has been talking about it for a while, but I can't figure out how to search her site for the rest of her posts on this delightful topic. Hopefully she'll visit this place and link it for us all.

It's all pretty amazing stuff because you can see how truly warped some people really are.

Amanda over at recently wrote a pretty good post about this issue and how her relationship with her father helps her to think of this issue more critically. She was on "His Side with Glenn Stacks" yesterday afternoon: go have a listen, it's pretty good. She even links to her provious post on the same topic.

And we certainly cannot forget the indelible Feministe who has written about this topic numerous times and has a way to search her site for easier reference.

For those of you needing a visual to put with some of these "activists," please refer to the Fathers 4 Justice websites with the latest news about their protests.

I can't help but think that if my parents had ever gotten divorced, I wouldn't see my dad much. We hardly talk about the sorts of things Amanda can talk to her dad about. We definitely don't get mushy. I have only noticed, as an adult and now a parent myself, that the relationship that my dad and I have is less than ideal. Even when my dad was home, we'd ask my mom for everything, including the questions about boys. I distinctly remember sitting down one evening and asking my mom about wet dreams and what they were, having purposely waited until my father went to bed.

Now, as a divorced mother, I would not want my ex to ever get full custody of Peanut as he will turn this precious soon-to-be feminist into a little asshole with no respect for others. And this 50/50 custody bullshit? I think its ludicris since kids need a standard routine. I have a good friend who shares her daughter in this type of arrangement and it might be doing her more harm than good as she's had a few behavioral issues not to mention a hard time coping one week to the next.

I do think it's interesting that some of these dads think they either pay too much child support (when they pay at all) or shouldn't have to pay it. This was a big issue with my ex who thought that because he paid me $300/month, he should get to claim Peanut every other tax year. I laughed and told him when he started paying 51% or more for his care, then he can start claiming him. We haven't had to have that discussion since and I just found out that he ends up paying every year while I get money back. Divine retribution is what I call it.

Anywhere from 3-30% of mothers receive child support from their estranged significant others, my sister being one of them. (I can't find anything from a worthy source online, so this one will have to wait 'til I can look it up in other, more reliable sources. My friend S. might be able to help me with this, too.) When you have less than half of a gendered population paying for their kids, why is it insisted that child support isn't needed? Should dads not have to pay for their kids, too?

I talked to another mom at Peanuts teeball game tonight and her husband won't pay for anything anymore. He left her with the mortgage, a van payment, the kids (2 cute boys) and had all invoices switched to his new residence so he can tell if she's paying or not as a way to show she can't afford those things in turn making a push for why she needs to get rid of them.

This is a guy trying to take the home and stability away from his kids. WTF is up with that? Does he not deserve a little bit of a reality check because she instigated the divorce?

Please, go tell it to someone who actually gives a damn.
Keep reading....

Sunday, June 05, 2005

about yesterday

I didn't get my car fixed and I'm kinda disappointed. I do not (do not) like to quit and admit that I can't do something. So, when after 3 hours I could not fully separate the tie rod from the hub assembly and it was going on 4:30 in the afternoon, I called it quits and put everything back together again. Now I have to pay someone $200/side to fix the bearings for me. This really sucks because I don't necessarily have that money to spend but I was the stupid one who took my car in to get an inspection and it didn't pass because it needs the bearings replaced first. So Fuck.

If I had been working on the car with my dad, and began first thing in the morning and not at 1pm, both sides would have been finished. And yes, this truly bugs me.

But my dad and I aren't exactly on good terms with this whole "helping" thing because he ends up doing it for me. I got irritated with him when I had my flat tire because I kept telling him that my tire was wobbling pretty bad. He, of course, brushed it off as being a side effect of putting 'fix-a-flat' in the tire. When I went to have it checked out, it ended up being a bent rim. So I got mad at him because he didn't listen to me and we had a disagreement.

Today I slept too late and stayed around to help my mom with her cookout this afternoon. Whew, it's hot here! My mom let me take her car to pick Peanut up because I think she's feeling pity for me or something.

My car still rattles underneath despite replacing the insulater that keeps my muffler extension from supposedly rattling. The car isn't in anyway fixed. I feel like the car is falling apart, actually. I bought it for $950 and this $500 repair job along with the $1000 coming in August to fix the struts/strut mounts, it will have exceeded its value. I'm pissed so naturally I would start wondering why I'm doing this whole school/work part-time thing when every car I've owned while completeing this "adventure" has sucked and practically run themselves into the ground.

I can't wait for December to get here already so I can move on to the next phase of my life which includes living in a very urban areas so I won't need a car and of course, living somewhere my parents aren't.
Keep reading....

Friday, June 03, 2005

more from the kid

I have to share a Peanutism because it's so cute.

Wednesday we went to Lowe's so I could get some of those EnergySaver lightbulbs and I decided to get a new desk lamp. We looked at the 50 or so they had and of course Peanut loved the Touch lamp - the ones that don't have switches but turn on/off just by touch - but I had seen this Robot Lamp. Of course Peanut was hooked on the lamp he could play with without me yelling at him but I told him we were going to get the Robot Lamp "because it had more character."

Now he tells anyone who will listen that, "We got a new lamp with a character in it."

So tonight I told him to turn the bathroom light on for his nightlight. He turns back to look at me from the hall and said, "I'm gonna turn the character light on instead."

How can you not like this kid, eh?

Last night, my niece (who is 6) and him were goofing off, kinda wrestling around.

All a sudden we heard, "Dude, watch your nails!"

He had grabbed the back of her shirt and her skin, too, we soon found out when she came flying into the kitchen crying hysterically (there is only one degree of emotion with my niece and it's always dramatized which is why I can be seen dancing around the kitchen singing, "And you are a Drama Queen....) accusing him of scratching her on purpose.
Keep reading....

Martha Burke has a point

I just finished reading this somewhat short article by Martha Burke and it got me thinking.

This last election, you know, where we were duped into voting Bush into office yet again, the Dem party didn't really take one giant stand and say, "That's my story and I'm sticking to it." They waffled, they bit around the edges....they were afraid of losing as we all saw this as being an important election. We risked losing our country so I can see why the Dem party was a little freaked.

However, the way they chose to go about it was a bit asinine. Now Howard Dean is in charge and I'm not sure he's got the right idea of how to lead the Dem's either. In Burke's article, she reminds us of his appearance on Meet the Press last week (which I slept through) and do I wish I had watched. He wants to take the "frame" of "abortion" and "pro-choice" out of the platform altogether and wishes he could somehow pull it off. His reasoning is that the basic argument is whether or not women have the right to decide for themselves what is/is not right for their bodies. I can agree with that because, after all, that is what it boils down to: do we trust each individual woman to make these choices for herself and if we don't, how come?

Dem's weren't really interested in the woman vote at all. We make up most of their voter base (or used to), yet they didn't feel the need to sway us. How sad. We get ignored by the right and the left now. The Dem's removed the Equal Rights Amendment from their platform this past election, which I was unaware of. That makes me not like them even more. We have a new mayor in Richmond who is kicking ass and burning tons of bridges. What many are saying about him is: it's easy to say no when you don't give a shit. This could also be said for the Dem's in power. They aren't women or a minority so they have no real idea what it's like not to be treated equal. When their power is brought to their attention, or thwarted, they cry "reverse discrimination."

I can't see myself not voting though and I knew I wasn't going to vote for Nadar. I wanted Dean actually and heartily defended him after the "Dean Scream" incident.

Speaking to a co-worker just a little bit ago, we joked about how the election was all about "manly men" and according to Ahhnold, Dem's and masculinity don't belong together.

All of this party politics has been on my mind because here in Virginia, we get to vote for a new Governor in November (they are only allowed 1 term). Both the Repub and Dem primaries are June 14th (in Virginia you don't have to register as a Repub or Dem that way everyone can have flexibility within voting, get to the polls, etc) and I've been pondering my choices.

I know that I will not vote for Jerry Kilgore with or without the speech therapy that is beginning to take his Appalacian twanginess away. I don't like Tim Kaine either and he's the Dem. My only other alternative is the Independent, former Senator Russ Potts. He used to be a Repub and in fact tore himself away from the party not too long ago. He consistently votes pro-choice/woman/family but I may throw my vote over to Kaine to ensure Kilgore's defeat.

Then there is Lt. Governor, which is what the primaries are for. And guess what? There are two (!) women running this time. Cool yes? My friend S. and I are elated because the Lt. Governor usually runs for Governor in the next election. There is a guy running, too, but I don't think he has a chance (the guy is Senator Bob Bolling, my Senator actually, and I really really really don't like him). Delegate Viola Baskerville is staunchly pro-choice, pro-little people, pro-liberal everything just about. Just today my friend S. sent me an email that detailed Baskerville's tax plan that would take effect next year, not in 2009. Baskerville is for the rights of women, the elderly and the disabled. I had to send myself an e-card from Leslie Byrne's website to find out about her stance on Civil Rights, pro-choice issues and the like. Even then she has consistently skirted around the issue and that does not please me.

The Richmond Crusade for Voters rejected Baskerville and voiced their support for Byrne instead. I'm hoping they are wrong and end up eating crow.

And I just signed up on Baskerville's website to put a sign in my yard. Yay!
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Posting pictures

I'm having a hard time figuring out how to post more than one picture at a time on this thing...any suggestions, ideas?
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