Tuesday, February 28, 2006


They drive me batty. That goes for my mom, sister. . . even Peanut!*

So when I noticed NASCAR Nut pronouncing 'with' as 'wif', I had tried to let it go, but it's really hard when it's such a simple word and it was being abused so badly.

I asked him if he had noticed he said it that way to which he replied no. I then asked him if he could stop saying it that way and he said sure, he'd try.

Let me just add here first, that my sister constantly and consistently says 'expecially,' 'excessory' and so on. It drives me bonkers. When I've corrected her the few times, she just snarled at me and told me to shut up.

When she actually spelled 'accessory' as 'excesory' I pounced, telling her she'd have spelled it right if she were saying it right, too. Again I got the glare.

Back to the issue of 'wif.'

I haven't corrected NASCAR Nut when in public, but waited until later while on the phone or im'ing each other. I may cringe everytime a word is mispronounced, but I'm not totally rude.

Anyway, when I asked him Saturday evening if he'd noticed his misuse of the very word I had asked him about, he said sorry and that he'd try harder next time. I told him that he should be trying not to say it that way regardless of me being in earshot since it's a mispronunciation and his habit is due to pure laziness.

He then asked how come the mispronunciation has to be fixed and why can't it just be accepted as part of him.

My reponse was, "Because it's driving me nuts." And well, it is.

I then told him that character flaws or eating meat I can accept as part of him, but lazy speech I cannot. My feeling is, friends or not, you don't have to love every single part of them.

His next question is where this irkiness is coming from as he asked if I would correct a black man saying 'ax' instead of 'ask' and so on.

"Do I look like a freakin' bigot to you?" I wanted to ax. Yes, I love hearing 'ax' or hearing 'r's' added to words where there shouldn't be any but only correct white guys. Give me a fucking break.

Instead, I politely said, "Uh, no, lazy speech is lazy speech and it all drives me nuts equally. It's just depending on how well I know you is when you get corrected."

Because seriously, the white guy that sells me car parts in town isn't the best talker, but I hardly know him so his speech gets by me. I know I get to leave the situation soon so I can usually deal with it.

A little anecdotal evidence as background.

In 2004, Tropical Storm Gaston blew through here, stalling right over Richmond and dumping 12" of rain in 1 hour. We flooded. Everywhere. It took me 3 hours alone just to creep the distance that usually takes me 15 min. In that span of time, I was listening to a local radio station here that had begun to broadcast a local news station, allowing those of us stuck in our cars to keep up with the weather, what was happening around town, etc.

For that entire 3 hours I got to listen to them all pronounce Gaston as Gas-stone. I'm sure imagining me yelling at the radio is hilarious as I'm sure passersby thought so, too. I also asked the radio if they had ever watched Disney's Beauty and the Beast because the narcissitic guy's name was, hold your breath, Gaston.

So no, I will not accept the mispronunciation of 'with' as "part of you." The word has a -th on the end so that means it should be pronounced as such, damnit.

*This goes for me, too. If I fuck up, lemme know! I misspell a lot of things now because I've been relying to heavily on grammar/spell checks. Sue me.
Keep reading....

So much is happening

One thing I'm happy to see is that this port deal doesn't look like it's gonna happen. Even with Bush threatening to use his veto "powers," his party is trying to skamper away without calling attention to themselves. Torn between party loyalty and national security, it seems they still can't get away fast enough.

Now we learn the National Guard did not (and to the best of my knowledge, still hasn't) back the deal because of several, some major, gaps in security. Yet Shrub specifically stated, after 9/11, that he would protect us all from further harm. I also remember him saying something like fighting terrorists, winning, etc. I don't believe I imagined it since it is still his favorite thing to utter whenever in front of cameras and microphones.

In true Shrub form, he has promised funding and equipment for the National Guard, which would bring everything back to pre-Iraq levels. Right.

Then, in an 8-0 decision, with Alito abstaining, the Supreme's voted in favor of anti-abortion protestors, in what might be the end of a 20 year battle of the wits.

I can certainly understand why they did. In 1994, the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act was passed, dealing mostly with access to abortion clinics, which set out specific guidelines for anti-abortion and pro-choice protestors alike. (Granted, it was passed because religious zealots were blowing up clinics and shooting dr.'s, but anti-choicers seem to forget that it seems.)

The Supreme's clearly stated that extortion and racketeering laws could not be used to stop protests because the Supreme's were not seeking to create 'a freestanding physical violence offense' in the federal extortion law known as the Hobbs Act.'"

And now states are taking the Plan B debacle into their own hands, deciding whether or not it should be available with or without a prescription, can pharmacists refuse to dispense it based on religious reasons, will they have to direct women somewhere else or can they just flat out refuse, perhaps lecturing them in the process and more importantly, should it be available in that state at all. Since the FDA refuses to listen to their own committee members, it only makes sense.

My answer is a resounding yes, but I'm a woman who pretends she's autonomous. It's shit like this that reminds me I'm not, nor are other woman for that matter.

When I had my scare back in December, I was entirely grateful for knowing about Plan B. I didn't want to wait 2 or 3 weeks to find out if I was truly pregnant or not, then go through another abortion. Taking Plan B assured I would not be pregnant and thus, eliminating the need for the abortion in the process.

So if you want to reduce the number of abortions performed every year, the answer is very simple: allow women access to birth control and Plan B. It's easily a no-brainer.
Keep reading....

Monday, February 27, 2006


I found her because she had found my blog and thought I would be interested. So I clicked on the link provided and was subsequently impressed by the background picture and then by the writing. She provides great in-your-face rhetoric mixed with sarcasm. My kind of gal!

So peeps o' mine, check out One Tenacious Baby Mama and let her know who sent ya.
Keep reading....

Friday, February 24, 2006

The choices we make

Hello! I'm Charlie from Shades Of Grey, and today is my blogiversary. By way of celebration, our hostess has graciously agreed to trade blogs for a day. Well, actually, two days, because Welcome To The Nuthouse turns one itself in about a week. So if you hate this post, you might want to send the nut an email and let her know that she should cancel plans for next week. Or something. Actually, I hope you like it so it doesn't come to that. And if you do like it, please feel free to stop by Shades Of Grey every now and again. This past year of blogging has been very rewarding, and a big part of that is due to the friends I've made.

And in a sense, this post is about friends. Actually, it's about the consequences of publicly standing up for your beliefs, even when those beliefs are unpopular.

It probably comes as no surprise that I consider myself a feminist. There are as many definitions of feminism as their are feminists, but as for myself, feminism is all about choices. It's about giving a woman the choice to stay home with her family as much as it is about giving her the right to go to work instead. It's about a woman's right to decide what to do with her own body. It's about acknowledging that women are human beings just like men, with all the rights and choices that entails. And though it's a cliche in some circles to say it, feminism helps men in innumerable ways, too. Indeed, feminism isn't just a women's rights issue. It's an everybody's rights issue. The more choices women have, the more choices men have in return.

As you can probably see, feminism is important to me. Promoting the ideals of feminism leads to better lives for everyone. So the choice to live as a feminist should be an easy decision to make, right?

It isn't.

The reason for that is because it isn't a choice a person can make once and then forget about. As a feminist, I am confronted with choices every day. Do I laugh at a sexist joke just to be polite? Do I "defend" myself as expected when someone says that my choice of soda is girly? Do I speak up when someone whispers in a conspiratorial voice that we all know how women are?

The social pressures to conform are enormous. As a man, it would be easy to delete my blog and forget about feminism altogether. It is certainly far easier to be a closet feminist than to come out in the open. Because it is so easy to stay in the closet, it's a safe bet that there are tons of us just waiting for the day that it seems safe to express those views. And that's why it is so important to speak up.

Oh, I'm certainly not judging anyone for the moments when they don't. Those everyday choices I was talking about? Sometimes I make the right choice and speak up. But other times I just can't find the energy to make the effort. So this isn't about judging anyone's feminism. Rather, it's about being judged. It's easy to praise the feminism of Betty Friedan, Andrea Dworkin, or Anne Lamott. It's easy to call them heros. It is easy to say that their sacrifices were worthwhile because they have each made a prominent contribution to women's rights. It's much harder to see one's own actions as heroic, especially when the only obvious result is to earn yourself a reputation for being difficult. But in many ways, it is it is the person who does speak up who makes the biggest difference.

Of course, while it's true that feminism can be characterized as a series of choices, it's also true that it isn't much of a choice at all, at least for me. It's a lot like going on a diet, actually. They say that instead of going on a diet that you intend to go off of later, it's healthier and easier to make a lifelong decision to change the kinds of foods you eat. Adjust how you live your life, and your health will follow effortlessly. In the same way, it seems that the more I manage to internalize my feminism, the less of a choice I find I have. The societal pressure disappears when you realize that you don't want to be friends with those kind of people, anyway.

Though I wrote this post from the feminist point of view, I think it's worth pointing out that it didn't necessarily have to be about feminism. The greater point is true regardless of which philosophy you speak of. I could've written about religious tolerance, racism, classism, LGBT rights, weight issues, or disabilities. Though the examples would change, the point remains the same: the way you choose to live your life does make a difference.

Thanks again to the nut for allowing me to post here. Swing by Shades Of Grey and wish me a happy birthday! And check out the post that the nut wrote on my blog while you're there.
Keep reading....


Sometimes it's bliss but only if you really don't know what the hell is going on. In this case, it would be nice to sit with my head in the sand, but I can't. Between South Dakota's General Assembly banning all abortion and the Supreme Court's decision to hear the case of the "partial birth abortion" ban, I'm not all that optimistic that women will have any reproductive rights soon.

And we're supposed to be the No.1 nation when it comes to human rights. If the anti-woman, anti-choice fuckers get their way, my ex-husband is just gonna have to move with me to Canada, fer real.

Here is what everyone else is saying on this issue:

Molly Saves the Day gives us instructions on how to perform our own abortions, or D&C's are they are referred to in the medical world. Like Jill, I don't necessarily endorse this, but I'm not stupid either.

Jill gives us a great run-down on just why the court could (and possibly will) overturn Carhart. It's sad really, but we need to be prepared.

Wing Chun over at This is Not Over has a brief blurb and wonders what would be the best course of action. Will telling the Governor of South Dakota to ignore his beliefs really work?

Liza of Culture Kitchen sends out a fuck you to South Dakota.

There is, of course, always Jessica at Bush v. Choice who keeps us up to speed on the happenings around the nation with regards to reproductive rights of all kinds, especially now.

And of course Amanda puts out her $.02. She's good at it, too, so we'll let her.

Charlie at Shades of Grey has a few more links and quite pointedly shows us just how much dKos and Kevin Drum really care about women's reproductive rights.

Lawyers, Guns and Money, as always, has a good take on this lovely piece of legislation.

And how could I have forgotten Shakespeare's Sister?

If you know of more, let me know and I'll add them to the list.
Keep reading....

Friday Dog Blogging "Love My Pit" style

Thank heavens even Virginia has realized breed specific legislation wouldn't work, but that holding dog owner responsible for their wayward dogs, regardless of breed, will. (Click on the images to make them bigger.)

Too bad California, considered to be the most liberal of all 50 states, has not:

A number of negative consequences could follow. Who would have foreseen animal control coming into the homes of Denver residents and confiscating family pets solely based on breed, not behavior? Who could have predicted the exclusions written into insurance policies that render homeowners uninsured if they have the 'wrong' kind of pet. It started with Pit Bulls, then expanded to Chows, Rotweillers, German Shepherds, Dalmatians and others.

Check out this open letter to Ingrid Newkirk, President of PETA. She says that PETA fully backs the banning and euthinasia of all pit bills, eventually eradicting the entire species.

Labels: , , ,

Keep reading....

The Ultimate in Friday Cat Blogging

An entire Fatboy Slim video dedicated to....dressed up kittens! You will not be disappointed, I promise, so go watch. Now!

(courtesy Cute Overload)

Labels: ,

Keep reading....

Thursday, February 23, 2006

No one told me

Last friday I had the distinct pleasure of partially attending a conference called WomanKind at St. James Episcopal Church in downtown Richmond. It's a beautiful church, but that's not what I was after. Anne (pronounced Annie) Lamott was to be the keynoter and who can resist the woman who stood in front of a room full of Catholic's and defended women?

She started off by saying she doesn't believe in any kind of normal. That reminded me of a bumper sticker, "Why be Normal" with the N turned around.

Not one person thinks they've got the right owner's manual -- they're all just flailing. . .
I loved this because it spoke to our necessary offers for advice on how to live life "the right way." Quite plainly, there is no right way.

When you stop and realize that no is a complete sentence on its own . . . you're so free!
When talking about how women (specifically in the church) need to learn to say no in order to take care of themselves first, others second.

We can dust their butts off and pick them up and get them going again, but I will not carry the box home so you start throwing stuff out of the plane because it's keeping the plane flying too low. . .
When talking about the Special Olympics and how every participant has an Angel, someone to keep them focused, to help them up when they fall. When one runner falls or gets confused, the others will come back to make sure Suzie is okay. They are worried about that person and will often take their hand and finish the race together.

She mentioned Bush, though not necessarily by name and this is one of those times: She relishes the thought that when (if) Bush enters Heaven, he doesn't necessarily get to choose who he sits next to/with . . . and so he may end up sitting next to someone like her. Lots of laughter and applause from that one remark.

Very poignant and spot on remark:
I realized taht I've been damaged and certainly many women have been destroyed by trying to be sexy and throwing themselves at men . . . and I'm done with that.
This was in regards to a good friend of her who she said isn't particularly interesting, but she's extremely intelligent. Anne described this friend as being a "watcher," one who takes people and the world in, absorbing and learning from them. Then Anne said, "You can't throw her to the men at the table because she just doesn't play."

Then she said, "It's a great feeling when you realize you don't have to play," meaning play the demure femme games of the oppressor.

Eerily enough, she talked about the "demons of doubt" in her head. She said if she's going to write for 2 hours, she has to schedule 2hours and 45min, the 45min being for all the head talk and self-doubt she has to inevitably get through first -- remind you of any particular British woman from our past? Virginia Woolf and "A Room of One's Own" or "Professions for Women" perhaps? Let's all kill the Angel in the House!

Anne also said its gotta be a woman thing, to constantly be filled with self-doubt. I seriously wondered if she has read any feminist theory books, or Virginia Woolf even.

A few random quotes:

Try to be where your butt is.
In reference to feeling overwhelmed by the world, what's happening in it, etc.

No one told me the world was like the Special Olympics, where, when you fall down, someone is there to pick you up ---- and I'm not making this up."

The opposite of faith equals certainty, not fear.
Direct jab at Bush again. If you've read any of her stuff, you'd understand.

"The spirit rejoices when it hears something it knows."
Here my mom jabbed the shit out of my elbow with her elbow to make sure I wrote it down. I told her I couldn't write anything as long as she was moving my left arm like that.

If you don't get in the water, the voices of the oppressor's have won."
She actually used this several times - the voices of the oppressor's - and generally, I believe her to be speaking of Patriarchy though that's not what she said. I find it increasingly odd that she does not align herself with feminism even though that's exactly what she speaks of indirectly. Of course, it might have freaked some of those church ladies out to have heard the "f" word used openly.

No one tells you that's what being a woman of faith is - to be afraid and to say it out loud.
This was in reference to truth and how the church (and the current administration) doesn't speak of it very often and in many cases allow it.

A quote of Toni Morrison's she used, "The function of freedom is to free someone else."

I loved this one:
God loves you just the way you are but she loves you too much to let you stay like this.
I think it speaks for itself.

I don't know much about God, but I do know s/he isn't American or male.
Here's something we should all be living by:
Only go as fast as the slowest part of you can go or is going.
I've read several of Anne's books and I think she's a great woman despite having to overcome a life of several addictions early on. And hey, she's a single mom, too!
Keep reading....

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Ninth Carnival of the Feminists is up!

And yours truly has been included. Check it out. Lots of great reads, seriously.
Keep reading....

Children, the Littlest Politicians

(Their title, not mine.)

I had posted on this earlier, giving a brief summary of a research study that showed lawmakers were conservative or liberal based on the gender of their offspring.

Now for the follow-up.

Today, though, the gender gap — that men lean right and women lean left — has become a political truism, and a series of new studies suggests that gender plays an even bigger role in politics than many believed. Having a son tends to make parents more conservative, it appears, while a daughter makes them more liberal. The parental has become the political.

Lots of speculation is made though, such as all us parents of boys must be more conservative because we spend so much time fishing with republicans. Hmmmm, I didn't realize that only repub's fished...
Keep reading....

Interesting book

It's called Self Made Man and it's about a woman who lives the life of a man for 18months. I've not read it yet and only just heard about it myself, but it does look interesting.

However, couldn't one just read any piece of literature written by or about a transperson(s) to know what living the life of the other gender is like and how things have changed? Sometimes one could even learn a bit on the subject of social differences between the genders and how they are reinforced when reading books like this. (Leslie Feinberg anyone?)

Or, better yet, one could simply visit Gender Public Advocacy Coalition (GPAC) to see what others in various communities are trying to do in order to combat gender stereotypes.
Keep reading....

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Get ready people!

Because we, as a nation, are "on the cusp of technological breakthroughs that will 'startle the American people'."

Are you ready?
Keep reading....

Sometimes I just really hate people.

This article, also in the WashPo, reviews an HBO documentary being aired tonight. They found out that dogs being sold for research are 1) mostly stolen pets that a family is undoubtedly missing and 2) being sold to the kennels for $15 a head but sold to labs for $250.

(I really hate that research for make-up, shampoo, toilet paper, etc., is done on any kind of animal so I try to use brands that don't participate in this inhumane acts though it isn't always easy to do.)

What this documentary, called "Dogs", seeks to shed light on is the poor conditions the dogs are subjected to while waiting to go to the various labs or research facilities that will torture them even more. (Can we say Iams?)

So pretty much it's like, "Hey, you should be treating these dogs with utmost respect because they're going to be tortured even more! We should love and care for them until they have to get tubes shoved into their precious tummies, their eyes filled with mascara's and eyeliners or strapped onto a table to see what kind of reactions they have to various chemicals."

Agh. Sometimes I just really hate people. Because in my head, that group who did the undercover work should care about what happens to the animals at all stages of their lives, not just the parts before being sold into involuntary (unknowing) servitude.

(No, I am not a PETA freak. They take things too far and are for a nationwide ban on pit bulls and their eventual euthanizing/eradication as a breed.)

Labels: , , ,

Keep reading....

Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens

There was a pretty good article in today's WashPo that makes a good case for why Stevens's could very well become the next swing-vote.

Stevens's remarkable staying power has been good for liberals. At a time of conservative ascendancy on the court, he anchors a four-justice center-left bloc that would probably shrink to three if President Bush could appoint his successor. After the confirmation of Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. to replace Sandra Day O'Connor, the liberal radio network Air America began playing "Hang On Stevens," a parody of the 1960s hit "Hang On Sloopy." The song implores: "Just wait until Bush leaves before you resign."
(You can listen to "Hang on Stevens" here if you haven't done so already.)

Stevens's has a varied voting record, sometimes voting against, say, affirmative action then later, voting in support of it. He has consistently upheld the ban on capital punishment for minors and persons with mental disabilities. You know Bush doesn't like him because Stevens's voted against Mr. Bush in the 2000 decision that gave him the presidency over Mr. Gore. (Come to think of it, this is probably why Stevens's wasn't picked to be Chief Justice.)

And did you know Stevens's dissented 21 times in the 2004-2005 term, making him the courts most frequent dissenter?

I'm not much of a prayin' woman, but I will be prayin' that Stevens's decides to hang out while Bush ruins our country and retire when a Democratic president takes over. I'm also hoping he kicks that "frequent dissenter" label into overdrive when they decide on the partial birth abortion case later this year.
Keep reading....

And so it begins

The Supreme's have agreed to hear, again, the so-called ban on *Partial Birth Abortions* which has been struck down in three national districts as unconstitutional. The reason the ban has been deemed unconstitutional is because it fails to include a health exception for the woman. Roe v. Wade ruled that states could place restrictions on abortions over 20 weeks, but said legislation had to include a health exeption, an opinion Justice O'Connor has supported time and time again.

What do the anti-choicers have to say about this new development?

The federal law in the current case has no health exception, but defenders maintain that the procedure is never medically necessary to protect a woman’s health.
Because all the bad stuff that can happen during a pregnancy only happens in the first trimester. Seriously.
Keep reading....

Monday, February 20, 2006

I finished my first sweater!

It's exciting seeing a finished project that you created all on your own, with moderate help from an instructor when you can't seem to get those bobbles just right or, as in my case, figure out the cabling. (I found out that it's not my fault close-ups get blury, but the camera's inability to focus.)

The back looks like the front, just without the numbers.

I finished these oven mitts/pot holders, along with the dish clothe, last week. I really love the material and colors; these will come in handy when we finally move into my own place.

Keep reading....

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Eight Below

Peanut and I saw the movie earlier this afternoon and I gotta say, it was pretty decent for what I was expecting. It was made by Disney and, well, they've been sucking for quite some time now. They usually don't tell the truth either, but in this case, who wants to really know that 7 out of 9 dogs die and that the 2 survivors ate the others in order to stay alive?

But I'm actually going to agree with the few good reviews. I felt the movie wasn't about the human aspect at all, but about the dogs and what they decided to do in order to stay alive until they could be rescued. The several reviews that have picked it apart have missed the point I think. They perhaps saw this as only Disney missing the mark again, and for that I will agree, but sometimes you have to separate a movie from its creator, much like occasionally, you have to separate a great actor/actress from their true, off screen personality.

In Eight Below, we were allowed to get to know each dog and their individual personalities. That is much better than anyone with Disney has done in a long time.

That said, we here at Pet Harbor are expecting a run of abandoned and dumped dogs approximately 3 months from now, when the people who had to have a husky or malamute so badly realize they require a lot more than what the movie let's on. It's why we're going to be hanging out in front of a local movie theatre this Saturday in hopes we can educate a few people.

So I beg of you, if anyone you know, including yourself, decides they just have to have one of these beautiful and wonderfully loyal dogs, read up on them first and then adopt one from a rescue or animal shelter - DO NOT buy one from a breeder. Pay special attention to the bad parts. (Like how they are called "4-legged Houdini’s" or that they are known for counter surfing and digging up your backyard.)

Huskies are not easy to train as sometimes they just don't want to do it. They can be very stubborn but will also shower you with kisses and hugs and be the bestest friend you could ever have. They are high energy all the time and have to be kept busy. As soon as they get bored, they'll tear your house apart. Literally.

They are absolutely beautiful dogs that will follow you to the end of the earth (and who also love snow), not to mention that they will do anything to please you.

Just please, please, please make sure huskies and/or malamutes are the dog for you before you adopt one. And then run out and spay/neuter them if they aren't already.

(This article was odd, as it called on the humans for behaving so badly and leaving the dogs behind. Since this was inspired by a real occurrence, wouldn't it have been in bad form to have everyone survive just because we can't stand watching them die?)

The picture is one of our rescues: Rocco. He's my doggie boyfriend and a lover of humans but an alpha male among the dog world.

Labels: ,

Keep reading....

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Dream a little dream of me (or of someone else if you prefer)

I had an odd dream last night (yet not so odd). The only reason it can be considered odd is that the man in the dream was very obviously Ben Affleck.* I remember waking up and asking myself, What the heck was that all about?

When I thought about it, I knew exactly what it was about as I've had dreams like this on several occasions but only this one starred the former flame of JLo.

Now on to the dream I'm sure you're all dying to know about:

Ben and I were sitting in a seat arrangement that resembled a movie theatre, yet I don't recall if that's what we were actually doing - watching a movie that is. I know we were watching something, just not too sure of the particulars.

Showing that I haven't totally lost my mind, I do remember thinking, while sitting next to him, "Wow, I'm sitting next to Ben Affleck..." Yet at the same time there was more to it than that. We seemed to have known each other fairly well as we were 100% comfortable with one another: he sat to my right with his left hand resting casually on my right leg, just above the knee. There was this feeling of complete serenity, like we had been seeing each other for quite some time, that it was us who were married.

Yet, while this was happening, I had remembered Jennifer Garner and Violet. This may have been the real-life part of my brain kicking in, telling me this scenario would never happen because, duh, he's married. (But just so you know, it's rumored that he and Jennifer, along with Violet of course, are looking for a place to live in Virginia as Ben supposedly has his eyes set on a Senate seat here.)

In my dream, I had this feeling that we were not only familiar with each other, but the "in love" vibe was felt, too. I had even checked his ring finger, which was the very hand that rested on my right leg, noting that though the ring wasn't there, a fine white line was, meaning it had been removed fairly recently.

When it was time to leave, we had planned on leaving through the back door of wherever we were but it was pouring outside. Somehow the paparazzi had found out Ben and I were in the building so naturally, they were waiting for us outside all exits. We could see Ben's pine green BMW not far from where we stood just inside the doors yet we couldn't get to it. This is when I had the most profound moment I think I've ever experienced in a dream, seriously. (Well, the ones I remember anyway, which aren't very many.)

It was kind of like I knew that if he went into that car by himself, I'd never see him again. That when he left standing there, he'd be driving home to Jennifer and Violet, putting his wedding ring back on as he drove. Yet I was okay with that. There was an eerie calm that possessed me at that point, a point when most anyone would be hyperventilating because their perfect love just ditched them forever.

I've been looking up my dreams long enough to know the ones that make it to morning and through my waking are important and usually have significant meaning. Many I have had to ponder for quite a while, but this one worked itself out, sort of. That can sometimes be off-putting because it makes you face what you haven't wanted to in the past.

So Ben drove off in his beamer and, though I missed him terribly, I was okay.

This is the point where my alarm rang, screaming at me that it was now 6:30am and I needed to get my ass out of bed. Even if it was Saturday.

I think this is the 4th dream that has played out this same way. Each time, however, it's a different guy (but so far one I have known or known of at some point in my life) and different circumstances, and I may get a little further in understanding the relationship aspect of it, but the guy still leaves in the end. Also, there has yet to be the act of sexual intercourse in the dreams. We’re never in the same financial situation, though we’re never poor either. Hardly ever are we in the same house or city, yet the vibe is always that we know each others most intimate secrets.

I know these dreams come from somewhere deep within my subconscious, very possibly to remind me that I'm not the badass woman I pretend to be, and that even I desire a partner in life. One who will love me unconditionally for as long as I need him to. I just think it's odd that every time thus far the guy has left but on good terms, almost as if his contract is up and the job is done.

In real life, it’s been me leaving all but one of my long and short-term fly boys.

What I gather this dream to have meant:

♀Yes, I do want to find that *eternal* love, and that I long for someone to sit next to me in the movie theatre who will not roll his eyes when I point out how sexist/racist/classist/ableist someone is being or that my dislike of a movie is not purely one of overreaction, but of an honest opinion.

♀ That person would also have to be touchy-feely as well as someone who won’t be up my ass. I do require my own personal time and space. Who the hell likes to be watched over their shoulder constantly?

♀ That, while I have the capacity to love someone with my whole heart, they will not become my soul purpose for being (except for Peanut of course). My life is my life and I fully expect to be treated that way as I hope he would expect me to do the same.

♀ Maybe I’m just not supposed to be with only 1 person for the rest of my life. Maybe I’m meant to have several meaningful, though certainly long-lasting, relationships, just not the everlasting love that we’re led to believe is really out there. Gloria Steinham said she had several relationships that were noteworthy; some lasted 2 months, some lasted 10 years. It simply wasn’t until she was older that she felt ready to officially dive into the depths of marriage.
That said, I will admit these damned dreams leave me longing terribly for what I don’t have and it sucks.

This intense feeling is what I’m sure many of us felt after watching the movie “The Notebook.” The author, Nicholas Sparks, in an interview, admitted that his stories embody what he had hoped to find in his life; an intense love for another person that, no matter what, hardly diminished, even after sevens years apart. Sparks admitted it was not something he experienced in his life, but he hoped others might be more successful in finding it. Funny thing coming from a guy who’s been married for 10 years at least.

So I sit here now longing painfully for someone to share a bed, to provide me with a friendship that will far outlive sexual intimacy and irritable mornings. And damnit, someone who is willing to put up with my criticalness and nearly OCDesque behaviors even when they’re extremely unbearable and the only thing they would most enjoy is throttling me simply because they love me and that's just the way I'm wired.

*Which is very odd in and of itself for hopefully obvious reasons but mainly because I'm not all that attracted t him. What does draw me to him is the natural, down-to-earth aura that exudes from his interviews and the like. I also believe Jennifer Garner to be down-to-earth and much more real than many stars out there which is why I think the two are a perfect couple and I hope they make it.
Keep reading....

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Huskies of the Round Table, er, Trampoline

Ever wondered what a husky meeting looked like? Well, look no further! You even get the kid on the trampoline as a bonus! We're getting ready for the wide release of Eight Below over here. Peanut is very excited that yet another movie will have the huskies he has grown to know and absolutely love in it. In fact, 2 of the dogs from the movie came from a rescue in Maryland. Now isn't that something to be excited about? I don't have the heart to tell him that Disney lied again. But hey, he's only 6.

This is what it looks like when Peanut goes into the outside part of the cat room. A few weeks ago when I was inside cleaning out the boxes, sweeping up all the thrown about litter, etc., Peanut held a Cat Voting School and in attendance were these same kitties: Timberland (white), Moe (dark orange), Dandelion (lighter orange, I call him Fang Boy because, well, he's got fangs), and I think that's Sebastian on the far side, black hind area and tail poking out. Oh, the tail sticking up right in front of the camera belongs to Zeus. He's a huge 25-30lb cat who absolutely loves attention and will sit on your lap as long as you'll let him.

Labels: ,

Keep reading....

LL Cool J

He was on our local (and definitely syndicated) rap, r&b and hip hop station this morning promoting his new clothing line, Todd Smith, various new movie deals he's working on (he's getting into the producing business), etc. Isn't he just dreamy?

Of course, I think he's more playa playa but what the hell do I know. He does have a wife and kids so he must be doing something right.

He now has a very obvious tat which covers his right arm, too.


P.S. The Rock is also on my freebie list and, sadly, he also has a wife and kids. Damnit people, save some for me!
Keep reading....

Girl Power II: Stuff of a Different Kind

Brought to you by Peace X Peace.

Some male members of Afghanistan's new parliament think women members should be chaperoned when they travel. As one Afghani woman, Zeefunun Safi, put it, "If my husband accepts me, and lets me travel and be a member of parliament, then who are you not to accept me?"

Who'd a thought that having relationships with other women would be good for our health? Like the ladies at Peace x Peace said, "Someone actually got paid for this fairly obvious piece of information?"
Keep reading....

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Girl Power

I found this article this morning. The title alone, "For Fraught Preteen Years, A Class on Being A Friend. Notice how the title is not gender specific, yet when you read the byline, it informs you it's a counselor working with girls only. I can certainly understand why, since, as Amy Dunne admits, girls can be mean.

Dunne works mainly with 5th Grade girls, helping them to discuss relationship angst and to work out their feelings of rejection by other girls instead of remaining, well, angsty. Many of the girls she works with have graduated from her "Chicks and Cliques" class, which the principal of the previous elementary school she worked for now requires as part of the curriculum.

While I can certainly understand its premise, the fact that it is only directed at girls is somewhat limiting. Could you imagine the difference a class like this could make in the lives of boys? Sure boys do more direct bullying and are more likely to confront their problem, but they're also the ones doing the gay-baiting or trying to show with every breath how masculine they are.

It does state in the article, in only one sentence, that Dunne's program was so successful, she created one for boys. Perhaps if the article would have provided a more balanced view of both programs I wouldn't be so skeptical.

Ah, but that's letting the program off easy. In some instances, what happens if a girl decides to present herself as more masculine and Dunne's approach doesn't work? Isn't limiting girls to pink and purple paper or suggestions of eating popcorn or taking a bath as a way to deal with rejection helping to confine young women to the role of femininity?

I think more information is needed in order to make up my mind completely. Who knows, if something like this really does work, and can also help break down gender barriers, it might be worth doing something similar in schools here.
Keep reading....

Local Stupid Shit

Isn't it nice when the local Sheriff's office has been letting its detectives, who are single of course, partake in the very thing they are trying to eradicate?

That would be the Spotsylvania County's Sheriff's Department who, upon trying to crack down on a prostitution ring fronting as a massage parlor, allowed it's single (read: not married) detective's to solicit and then participate in "sexual misconduct" with the very women they were attempting to prove guilty.

The reason, given by Spotsylvania Sheriff Howard D. Smith?

Most prostitutes are careful not to say anything incriminating, so sexual contact is necessary, he said.
Ahh, yes, because the women suddenly stripped off the undercover detective's pants and started giving him a blowjob without asking or requesting money first. Right. Or, better yet, the cops were laying there, enjoying their foot rub, when amazingly, strange tongues start licking them all over. Last time I checked, money had to be exchanged first and an actual conversation took place to determine what services were being requested, if any.

"If I thought we could get the conviction without that, we wouldn't allow it," Smith said. "If you want to make them, this has to be done."
From what I understand, this excuse would not hold up in say, a drug bust. Wouldn't it be considered abusive if an undercover cop started sampling heroin, coke or crack after a deal to make sure the runner wasn't lying? After all, it's not like dealers/runners are out on street corners wearing a placard that reads, "I've got crack in my pocket! You can get crack right here for $25 a rock!"

But numerous police and legal experts said they were not aware of any law enforcement agency in the Washington region, or the country, that allows sexual contact in prostitution investigations. Police should not break the law to enforce it, they said.
Wanna see a direct contradiction and proof that indeed this has happened in the Washington region and the nation? Why, it's in the very next paragraph:

Similar investigations by police in the Maryland suburbs in recent years have not ended well. In 1995, police in Howard County allowed detectives to receive sexual services from masseuses. But prosecutors later dismissed the charges against nearly all of those arrested rather than expose the investigation's tactics in open court. Five years ago, Montgomery County police sent informers into massage parlors to have sex with women there. Prosecutors told police to stop the practice, which they did, and dismissed charges against the women.
But I thought it hadn't been done anywhere else? And if it can happen here where corruption isn't necessarily the name of the game for our little Virginia police force, it can definitely happen in the much larger cities, such as L.A., Detroit or NYC where corruption of law enforcement is high.

Smith said most "professionals" know better than to name an explicit act and a price. And with the Asian-run parlors that have periodically sprung up in Spotsylvania, he said, "they don't speak much English. There's not a lot of conversation."
This made me laugh. So they can't speak much English which excuses the detectives for having to go "all the way?" I'm not buying it. Again, from what I understand, a conversation generally takes place up front to ensure payment of services once they've been performed. Even non-English speaking persons find a way to get their point across and since the cops would be there looking for specific signs of prostitution, it shouldn't have been hard.

What everyone is screaming about is that taxpayer money was used so these detectives could get their jollies off on the county's dime. I don't live in Spotsy, but I do live right next door. If it were the Sheriff's office where I currently pay taxes participating in something like this (hell, let's face it, it's the simple fact that the Sheriff thought this was an okay way to go about busting prostitution rings that's bothersome), you can bet I'd be pissed to.

Nevermind that it's cops, sworn to uphold the law, who are taking advantage of an already impoverished group of women.
Keep reading....

Women on Campus

So, wanna take bets that this will be used to further the "War on Boys?"

Keep reading....

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

A Day in the Life of a Mom

So last night was one of those nights when my dear little Peanut was lucky to be left alive.

Yes, I am certainly kidding yet at the same time, maybe not.

If any of you are on the fence about To be or Not to Be a Parent, then certainly think about the endless arguments you will have about homework, bedtime, teeth brushing, getting up in the morning, getting the kid dressed or making her/him do it themselves. It never stops. Really.*

Especially when they start realizing their negotiating powers.

Yesterday, when Peanut and I got home, I let him play outside in the snow for about 30 minutes. When I opened the door to call him in, I got this response, "Hold on 'til I defeat the enemy."

I called him again, still standing in the doorway.

"Wait mom! I need to defeat the enemy first!"

"Peanut, if I have to go outside in this freezing-ass weather, you're going straight to bed!"

Needless to say, he complied that time.

But, it was only to be continued upstairs when I told him he would not only write his words 3x's each, but he would also use each word in a sentence.

Oh. My. Goodness. You'd have thought I pulled his hair out or something because all I got for approximately 15 minutes was, "But mom! (whine) I only have to write the words 3x's each, that's all my homework...(whine). My teacher didn't say I had to write sentences....(whine)"

I'm sure you can hear that lovely voice in your head, especially if you've already got kids.

So I told him to either do it or there would be no video games before dinner. That didn't stop him. So I told him he got one more chance to whine and then he'd be going to bed before dinner.

"What! (whine) But mom! I'd miss my dinner! (whine)" (Please imagine that in the whinest, cryingest voice possible.)

After about 30 minutes and still no change and I'd had enough. So I put him in bed.

He promptly stood up, screamed, then threw his pillow in my general direction. (He's a bad shot, fer real.)

I picked that little shit right up and carried him downstairs to this perfect "corner facing" spot and there he stood screaming at me for the next 10 minutes or so while I went in to start dinner.

You can always tell when their resolve is wearing because they go from screaming, "I don't like you very much!" and "You're so mean to me mom!" to "Mom? Mom? Can I get out now?" and "Mommy, I'm really sorry. I'll do my homework now."

It didn't matter since our dinner of pancakes was almost done. I did have a chat with him about anger being a perfectly acceptable emotion, but he will not treat others in the house or his or my things with disrespect just because he doesn't want to do his homework. I also emphasized that I was not punishing him for his anger, but for his outburst and the way he choose to handle his anger.

He said, "Okay mom. I'm sorry. Can I eat now? Because I'm really hungry..."

One thing about kids anyone without them might not completely understand: they are completely and totally narcissitic and self-centered. It's only with converstaions over a long (very long) period of time that they get out of that. Peanut has been showing great signs of immense empathy lately so there is hope.

But of course our fighting did not stop there, no. That would have been a miracle or something right?

He did come to the kitchen table and attempt at doing more of his words and sentences until dinner was ready. However, he wouldn't fix the one sentence (I think it was), so I held on to his pancake until he was done. He whined and cried about that. It didn't take him long to just fix it though because he was hungry and my niece had already started eating hers, right across from him.

Then he still whined and cried while eating, when finally, I told him that if he didn't stop crying, he was going to have to go in the other room until we were done eating and only then could he come back in. When he realized this meant eating a cold pancake at the table, by himself, he quit. The clouds soon lifted and my kid was happy yet again.

But because I was sticking to my word, he got put into bed directly after dinner. No snack, no playtime at all, nothing. And that was at 6:30pm. (Say what you will, but I cannot put him to bed without dinner. I just can't, so I don't even both using that as a bargaining chip.)

This morning he woke up bright and early at 7am without any of my prodding.

Breakfast went fine.

We get in the car to head down to Richmond and, guess what? The fighting over words and sentences started again, lol. This time though, he was stuck in the car with me, attached by a seatbelt so he couldn't escape, lol. We ended up sitting in front of the school for an extra 10 min or so because he was correcting his a's, taking the 'e' off growe, putting an 'e' on squeez and replacing 'write' with 'right.'

So I'm saying this: if I could have had a drink at 9am and gotten away with it, I most likely would have.

I'm hoping it being Valentine's Day and the field trip to the SPCA his class is going on this morning will put him in a better mood. But I'm not holding my breath.

* Once (and only once), Peanut's dad used this excuse for not being a parent even for just 4 days a month: "Everytime I get him he's a new kid and I have to figure him out all over again." I looked right at him and said, "Welcome to my world!"


Keep reading....

Are you scared of Iran?

A USA Today/CNN/Gallup poll wants to know.

Nearly 7 of 10 of those surveyed over the weekend say they are concerned that the United States will move prematurely to use force, but they also seem to recognize the quandary that policymakers face. There is almost as much concern that the Bush administration won't do enough to prevent Iran from gaining a nuclear arsenal.
At least the article starts off by saying Americans aren't completely buying this "get them before they get us" bullshit anymore.

I did love this comment though, made by Richard Eichenberg, a political scientist at Tufts University

The Muslim world is in an uproar over the Danish cartoons (portraying the prophet Mohammed), Iran is quite vocal in challenging us, and Iraq continues to be a drip-drip-drip of daily violence. (emphasis mine)
The good thing is that the article does mention Bush's ratings drop, which has gone back down to 39% despite his speech tour and the State of the Union Address.

That's not really a surprise to us anti-patriots though.
Keep reading....

Fair Trade Chocolate

I wish I had found this, you know, before Valentine's Day. . . as in, before today. Not that it would have made any difference since there really isn't anyone in my life who would want chocolates anyway.

However, there are some sites on here that sell baking chocolate and cocoa so I may have to check them out after all. You know, to distance myself from Nestle and Hershey's even if it's just a little bit.

There are actually a lot of chocolatey desserts I'm dying to make, I just don't have anyone around who will eat them.
Keep reading....

Sunday, February 12, 2006

A plan for the Dem's?

In the introduction to his book, The Left Hand of God, Michael Lerner quite articulately explains why, over the course of 30 years, the fundamentalist Right has won America over with the ideas they seek to dismantle once they are in power.

By addressing the real spiritual and moral crisis in the daily lives of most Americans, a movement with a progressive spiritual vision would provide an alternate solution to both the intolerant and militarist politics of the Right and the current misguided, visionless, and often spiritually empty politics of the Left.
And this is only the 2nd paragraph from his introduction.

Further down, he explains how the Right Hand of God sees the world and why so many Americans are flocking in huge numbers to their side of the spectrum:

By contrast, the "Right Hand of God," sees the universe as a fundamentally scary place filled with evil forces. In this view God is the avenger, the big man in heaven who can be invoked to use violence to overcome those evil forces, either right now or in some future ultimate reckoning. Seen through the frame of the Right Hand of God, the world is filled with constant dangers and the rational way to live is to dominate and control others before they dominate and control us.

It is the search for meaning in a despiritualized world that leads many people to right-wing religious communities because these groups seem to be in touch with the sacred dimension of life. Many secularists imagine that people drawn to the Right are there solely because of some ethical or psychological malfunction. What they miss is that there are many very decent Americans who get attracted to the Religious Right because it is the only voice that they encounter that is willing to challenge the despiritualization of daily life, to call for a life that is driven by higher purpose than money, and to provide actual experiences of supportive community for those whose daily life is suffused with alienation and spiritual loneliness.
I can't help but argee with Lerner in his assertion that the Right claims to fight for the very social programs they denounce in the very next breath, once they see you're on their side.

Wasn't it President Shrub who proclaimed the U.S. to be "addicted to oil?" Didn't Congress, the very next day, still put ANWR on the ticket? And aren't Congress members still trying to open the east coast to more drilling, namely off the shores of Virginia? If I do recall correctly, the Fundi's claim to care about those who were affected by Hurricane Katrina, the poor, old and minorities, yet they support making Bush's tax cuts permanent and fully support him in making the biggest cuts to Medicaid thus far.

Yet still the Democrat's sit around hoping this "Conservative Climate" will pass.

Nothing has been more dispiriting than to watch years in which Congressional Democrats continued to vote for tens of billions of dollars to fund the war in Iraq even after learning that the country had been lied to and manipulated into that war. Even after conservative Democratic congressman John Murtha called for immediate withdrawal from Iraq within six months in November 2005, the Democrats were unable to firmly endorse that courageous call.

I wanna know when Democrat's, as a whole, are going to stand up together and say, "Fuck this shit. We're taking a stand and it starts now!"

I'm not holding my breath.

Without a larger spiritual vision, the Democrats too often develop their programs by poll data, reacting rather than leading.
Can we say Hillary Clinton? She wants to be a viable presidential candidate in 2008 yet I don't think she'll make it purely because she has not taken a tough stand on anything and that's what this country needs, not more pandering from the one party that is supposed to represent the values of the minorities.

Lerner says we either need to revamp the current Democratic and Green parties, or create a new one. I'm all for doing whatever it takes to get out of this "If you're not religious, you aren't worthy of god's love" agenda that seems to be permeating America, if not the world.

A reshaped Democratic Party, or a new party, must minimally:
  • Understand, acknowledge, and respond to the spiritual crisis in American society--and provide a progressive spiritual vision that is more attractive than the one currently offered by the Right.
  • Recognize that people hunger for a world that has meaning and love; for a sense of aliveness, energy, and authenticity; for a life embedded in a community in which they are valued
  • Reject the tendency to regard people who are not part of the liberal culture as stupid, demented, or evil.
  • Fight for ideals that are not yet popular and be willing to stand for those ideals even if that means temporarily losing some elections.
  • Unite secular people in a movement with "spiritual but not religious" people and join both of those groups with progressive religious people.
  • Reject and combat the religion phobia that dominates important sectors of liberal and progressive culture.
Are you ready? I am.

(You can view a conversation with Michael Lerner here. This book has the umph needed to "change our way of viewing.")
Keep reading....

Let it snow, Let it snow, Let it snow

For those of you who said winter was over, the snow on the ground outside right now proves otherwise. Remember, Virginia gets their winter anywhere from January - March, and yes, there have been times when it has actually snowed in March. Weird, I know.


Keep reading....

Saturday, February 11, 2006


I found this today and wanted to share. It says it's helping to remind the blogosphere where the women bloggers are.
Keep reading....

Hi, my name is Nut and I am a White Woman

Yet not entirely. I still don’t make a full $1.00, I can’t walk onto a car lot and be taken seriously and I still have rooms full of white men who don’t trust that I know what to do with my own body.

Concurrantly, I still have more privilege than women of color. I can walk into a bank and be expected to have money to put into an account. I can walk into a store and not be followed around by the store’s security officers, waiting for me to steal something. I am not expected to have multiple children each by a different man; I am not expected to live off welfare; I am not expected to be a single mom.

I find it disheartening when I hear a black woman say she’s beginning to hate white people or that a woman of Asian decent already does. Not necessarily because I am white, but because I know I’m not like those white folks who keep the racist, bigoted system of oppression going strong.

But there is something else to that, too. How does hating an entire group of people solve anything? Wouldn’t that just keep the cycle going?

I believe hating an entire group of people within a society to be too easy. It’s simple to say you hate someone and stop at that. Hating a faction of persons allows an individual to retreat back into their safe zone where they know life will stay the same, comfortable illusion it’s always been. I once heard a non-gendered person (I honestly couldn’t tell which pronoun I should use) say, “I always try to stay outside my comfort zone.” Imagine if a larger part of society choose to do just that. The world would be a much different place, yes?

Saying that I hate all men would also be equally erroneous. But I can say I’m weary of them, as I also believe hating them all is counter-productive. How will I ever solve the problem of sexism or classism and dismantle the patriarchal system they depend on if I don’t give it the raw energy needed to begin taking it down brick by brick, one class ceiling at a time? Anger can be used to motivate and provide the necessary determination, which can keep a person going for a long time. Granted, in order to keep up the fight, one must see results and I usually take it in the form of “Aha” moments myself.

I believe allowing yourself to hate all white people, all men, all heterosexuals, all Asian’s, all transgendered people, all homosexual people (I think you get the idea) - gives you an excuse to stop trying.

But here’s something I’ve been wondering for a while now: why is it ignorant or bigoted for a white person to say they hate all or any minority group(s), yet it’s considered understandable when a person of color announces they hate all white people (which, really, I can certainly understand if not empathize with)? Isn’t it all the same thing? Aren’t we holding an entire society accountable for the relative few that are the true assholes?

Why is it hate speech when a white person uses derogatory words to describe any marginalized group, yet not when it’s the other way around? Why is it okay for a black person to say something like, “That crazy cracker is at it again,” or for a Hispanic/Latino to say something like, “Stupid gringa, watch where you’re going.” Or when someone of Asian decent uses the term “gay” or “retarded” outside of its original meaning?

I’m not trying to accuse anyone of “reverse racism” or to imply in any way that, as a white woman, I am marginalized because I will tell you right now I am not. I only get shoved to the side because I’m a woman and I fully acknowledge that race, class, religion, differing abilities, sexual orientation and a myriad of other identities are not only parallel, but often intersect one another.

What I am saying is hate speech is hate speech is hate speech, regardless of who is saying it or advocating its position in our lives. And I think it’s time we all acknowledged that. (And, unlike so many fundamentalist’s, I do not believe this to be included under the Free Speech umbrella or consider myself to be the “PC Police.”)

I also think it’s important to remember that racism isn’t White on Black or vice versa. Hispanics don’t like Latino’s and Latino’s don’t like Asians and Asians don’t like Muslims and Muslims don’t like African and African’s don’t like Arabs and Arabs don’t like….we are all guilty of prejudice.

Having said all the above, I highly recommend everyone see the movie Something New. It shows another perspective of interracial dating: when a black woman dates a white man and all the prejudices that come along with it. It’s very, very good and thought provoking. I might just write an official review of it tomorrow. Or not.

Also, someone from the comments on reappropriate linked to this post from Ampersand. I highly recommend you have a look as it very much intersects my point (or perhaps says it better, you decide).
Keep reading....

Friday, February 10, 2006

Peeing in Peace

And no, it's not for those of you who are shy about peeing in public or for those mommies out there who get followed into the bathroom when your child was otherwise entertaining themselves just moments before.

It's about transgendered (.pdf) folks being allowed to pee without worrying which bathroom they should choose to do the peeing in. When a MTF or FTM is transitioning, they may find it difficult to pee in either place because they are not either gender at the moment (hence the meaning of the term androgyny). Something as simple as going to the bathroom can rapidly become a traumatic experience.

Which is really what Peeing in Peace is about. Why aren't there non-gendered bathrooms? Who cares whether you have a penis or a vagina, so long as you pee in the proper place?

That said, I do wonder if non-gendered bathrooms would be safe, which isn't about it being right or not. I do think it's the right thing to do, I'm just not to sure it's safe given the large amounts of intolerance this society still suffers from. We've heard the stories of people getting attacked in bathrooms, more so women than men, yet I feel that safety is a mere glitch than an argument against non-gendered bathrooms.

I have been known to use a men's restroom from time to time and I've given men permission to men to use a woman's restroom a few times, too. Usually this happens when I know there is only 1 stall so as not to disturb anyone else or make them uncomfortable. However, I've had to go in men's bathrooms several times in order to help Peanut. (At Busch Gardens once, as soon as I got in the stall and locked the door, several men came in. We ended up waiting for almost 10 minutes before it was finally empty again. You should have seen the look on the guy’s face that was going in as I was going out. Priceless.)

So my point is, why not non-gendered bathrooms? Is there really any harm in them? Wouldn't it help transgendered and androgynous persons feel more comfortable within their own skin and in society?

)This whole quest for inclusive peeing rights could also expand to disability rights. Have you seen some of the accessible stalls? Who the hell do they think will be accessing them? Certainly not persons using a chair or a walker....)
Keep reading....

Friday Dog Blogging

Since I forgot to post something last night as I won't be home until very late this evening, I'm going to post a picture of one of our huskies who finally went to a forever home. His name is Brock and he and Peanut absolutely loved each other. Whenever we would go visit Brock, Peanut would get on the trampoline and Brock hopped right up there trying to play. It was so cute! Had we been able to, Brock would have been ours in a hearbeat.

This is Peanut on his first plane ride (he was 4). I'm hoping that we'll get to go on many more as soon as I get a full-time job, get my master's and start truly earning some kind of real money.

Labels: ,

Keep reading....

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Can bloggers make a differnce in the World o' Politics?

Here's a great article via AlterNet.org that asks Can blogs revolutionize progressive politics

It's really long and goes into a lot of detail, but many of the bloggers we know and love are mentioned inside it somewhere:

Echidne of the Snakes
Amanda at Pandagon
Culture Kitchen
Salon Broadsheet (it's free, you just have to watch a commercial)
Chris Nolan of Spot-On

And one gets to see what dKos really thinks about us minority and/or women bloggers. (Not like we didn't almost know already, but still.)

Can you believe it, Kevin Drum really has tried to include us into his daily discourse. Have I missed something? Asking once, "Where are all the women bloggers" doesn't count.

But do notice how the first two-third's of the article are all about the men's, with women and minorities being added under a "diversity" heading.
Keep reading....

Dolce & Gabbana run gay ads

One comment about this blurb said both the print ad and commercial weren't that far a leap.

Maybe for the UK, but here in America were we banned Buster from visiting a little girl in Vermont who just happened to have 2 moms, it's a huge one indeed.

I, however, do agree that the print ad is a little creepy because every man is dressed but the one (who is also oiled). They men who are dressed are also higher, either standing or sitting, than the man lying (laying?) on the ground.

The same commenter who said this isn't a big leap also said she'd be angry if it were a woman lying on the ground surrounded by the same men in the picture. I do agree with that sentiment, however, I wonder if women see it as oppressive because we are constantly portrayed in such a manner even in today's society or if it really oppressive even when it's all men?
Keep reading....

Eve Ensler is gonna be on TV

Eve On TV In February

V-Day Founder Eve Ensler will appear on a variety of national (US) television shows this month.
mtvU's 15 Minutes With... invited V-Day Georgetown activist Kendra Jackson to meet and interview Eve. The segment - which also interviews Kendra on campus - airs from Thursday, February 9 to Tuesday, February 14 (repeating throughout the day).

Beginning Friday, February 10, an interview with Eve will appear on PBS' To The Contrary. To The Contrary is an all-female news analysis series, providing an important, timely forum for women to discuss national and international issues and policies, presenting news and views that are rarely available elsewhere on television. Each PBS station airs us at a different time so please visit http://www.pbs.org/ttc/schedule.html for your local station.

On Saturday, February 11 at 9pm, the documentary Beautiful Daughters will premiere on Logo. Directed and produced by Josh Aronson and Ariel Orr Jordan, the original documentary looks at the lives of four transgender women intertwined with the casting, rehearsal and opening of the first transgender V-Day production of "The Vagina Monologues".

On February 19, Eve has a guest appearance on the popular Showtime Television Series The L Word. Unlike recent celebrity cameos, Eve will be playing a character.
Tune in! Please check you local listings for airtimes.

Courtesy V-Day.org.
Keep reading....

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The First Annual Radical Women of Color Carnival is up and running, too!

And you can find that wonderfully insightful roundup at Reappropriate.

This is even better perhaps because it's not just a bunch of white people talking about feministy stuff (though it is equally as important - just provides a new view of life).

I, however, am making myself turn off my computer and then I'm making my way to bed.
Keep reading....

The Eighth Carnival of the Feminists is Up and Running!

And you can find it at Gendergeek.

Lots of good posts over there (some I read when they were originally posted) so go have fun learning how big and expansive the feminist umbrella can be!
Keep reading....

This I'm not sorry about this either, but for a different reason.

The Guatamalen government is pushing through a progressive family planning bill despite its severe opposition from both the Bishop and President. The Catholics vow to fight it.

I guess they don't want Guatemala, a country with the highest birth rate and high infant mortality and malnutrition in the region, to end up like the U.S.

The law was vetoed by President Oscar Berger, but congress decided to enact it unilaterally on Tuesday.

The new legislation requires the government to promote the use of contraceptives and provide sex education classes.
You see, I read something like this and I think, Great, they're trying to get women healthy, keep babies alive and curb their population growth since, you know, they're already a poor country who can't support what citizens they have now, much provide adequate health care.

But no, apparently they are attempting to promote a "culture of death":

The Archbishop of Guatemala City, Rodolfo Quezada Toruno, said the family planning bill would open the door to abortion by promoting what he called a "culture of death".
Oh my, not abortion! Because, you know, Guatemalen women have never heard of abortions or that they can take care of unwanted pregnancies with home remedies that have existed for centuries. (.pdf; begins on page 4)
Keep reading....

I can't say that I'm sorry.

It looks like the Shrubites are tabling the economic reform plans for now. Oh. Darn.

"You have to say (Bush's economic plan) is in trouble," said Greg Valliere, managing director of the Washington Research Group of Charles Schwab & Co.
The only thing I am gonna say is, "Thank fucking god." Oh, and let's hope they stay delayed until he's either impeached or voted out.
Keep reading....

Is it true?

Are congressmen with daughters more apt to vote against restrictions on abortion and/or vote more liberally on reproductive rights?

According to one Ebonya Washington, who compared the 1997-1998 Congressional term to that of NOWs ranking of each Congressman for that same session, found that those with daughters scored an average of 12 points higher than those with all sons.

She found that legislators with all daughters have NOW scores that are 12 points higher than those with all sons. Among those with three children, "each daughter is associated with an increase of nearly 3 points," Washington said.
And it didn't matter if the man was a Dem or Repub, their daughters influenced their voting patterns regardless.

Now why can't they figure out that every other woman out there would appreciate the same courtesy?
Keep reading....

You're an A$$hole...

You all must go watch this video NOW! Seriously. Go. Now.
Keep reading....

See what happens?

I've been so busy reading everyone else's blogs that I've been neglecting my own. That's what happens when school work is no longer beckoning you and the free time you used to crave is now all there. So much time in front of computers that I totally understand the new phrase "mouse potato." (Thanks Orange.)

I've also been spending a lot of time over at Pandagon, especially in light of the new controversy that arose out of Coretta Scott King's funeral service yesterday, what with Reverend Lowery sticking it to Bush with Bush sitting right behind him and all.

My theory is that Reverend Lowery, and the others that chose to go the political route, were taking the chance of a lifetime to speak to The Man and have him actually listen. As some of you may know, Bush has yet to accept a speaking invitation to the NAACP. His logic does not include minorities and I'm sure he didn't even know who Coretta Scott King was until she died, which automatically got him a privileged seat at her funeral.

Here is my partial comment over on Pandagon:

But what did they expect? They got a privileged spot at the funeral only because they are the First Family. They didn’t (or haven’t) earned that right. They haven’t acted, in the 6 years Shrub has been Prez, as if they’ve even wanted to have that spot. The Shrubites do absolutely nothing that would benefit minorities and/or women and have totally wrecked what the Kings fought for to begin with.

Some say, including liberals like me, that the funeral was not the time nor the place.

I could agree with that if the person laying in the casket had been someone of a *normal* (or less of a cultural icon if you will) status. But it was Coretta Scott King and Shrub sat there smirking, making various facial expressions or squirming in his chair while whomever was speaking attended the podium. Could he not see the TV's focused on him?

So yes, I believe the public criticism, where Bush couldn't ban them or have them arrested, was warranted and long overdue.

If you missed any of Lowery's speech, you can see it here.

And do check out this fine piece of writing in the WashPo today titled The Captive President.
Keep reading....

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Preacher throws puppies from his truck

Check this video out. Thankfully a man had been behind him and saw the whole thing. That man confronted the pastor then picked each puppy up and took it to the local humane society.

Pastor Vincent Kohn has been arrested and charged with animal cruelty.

Labels: , ,

Keep reading....

Why breed-specific laws don't work

They don't work because they don't seek to get to the root of the actual problem: irresponsible pet owners.

I live very near Spotsylvania County where an 82 year old woman and her dog were killed by 3 pit bulls last August. Like the shark attacks a few years ago, this caused the media to put a spotlight on pits and other *dangerous dogs* when they attacked someone or something. In Suffolk shortly after Dorothy Sullivan's death, a 4 year old boy was mauled when he wandered into his backyard where a pit bull had been chained. In Orange County somewhere around that same time, a 2 year old boy had wandered into his backyard where the family's rotteweiler was chained.

Interestingly enough, one Don Bauermeister, who helped get pits banned in Council Bluffs, Iowa, admitted that by November 2005, there had only been 12 homicides by pits and pit-mixes. Sure, you're asking, Only?, but when you look at the much larger picture and that the number 12 represents a mere 10% of the current pit bull population, yes, it's an only.

Have we started a war on black labrador's, especially since one mauled the woman who is now the first ever recipient of a face transplant?

Ms. Dinoire described how she awoke to discover her horrible disfigurement after her black Labrador chewed off the lower part of her face while she was unconscious from taking sleeping pills last May.
I find it contradictory how the two dogs have been treated in the media. Had her face been mauled by a pit, german shepherd, rottie or doberman pinscher, there would have been a witch hunt doggie style.

Admittedly, pits do have a bad history because they were originally bred for fighting. However, banning the breed doesn't mean the problem will go away, because those persons intent on mishandling pits or any other dogs will simply choose a dog not on the list.

So, once again, to all who scream that pits are bad (like Kerry Dougherty), remember that problems such as this are almost always bigger than they seem and quick fixes rarely work.

Anectode: My ex-husband is one of these irresponsible owners and I don't think he should have anymore dogs ever. However, he is also one those people who like to have pits purely for the status symbol. Right now he's got 3. All are kept in a crate 24/7, only let out to go to the bathroom and maybe for some brief exercise time. I've been trying to find a way to either get them to the SPCA/Humane Society or get them to better homes all without his cooperation. Sadly, what he's doing isn't illegal because they're being fed/watered and they've had some shots.

So if we want to get at the real problem, start passing laws that will convict people like my ex-husband of animal cruelty with the punishment of jail time and a hefty fine for each count.

(Which some states have done, btw. If you read the very first link, it gives you that info. Virginia has a non-breed specific law that allows persons to control dangerous dogs, which also allows individual cities or towns to decide how to regulate dangerous or vicious dogs. Actually holding owners accountable is a law still being debated.)

Labels: , ,

Keep reading....

Rush Limbaugh

This link to MediaMatters proves further why I have never ever listened to him. Ever.

Why is he still on the air?

Note: I just realized I spelled his name wrong. At first I wasn't gonna change it, then I thought about all the people who might be looking for him so then correctly spelling his name became important.
Keep reading....

Monday, February 06, 2006

Because they said it better.

I've been sitting around wondering what I should post about next, when I realized that so many other bloggers have said more than me and better, too. So here goes, it's a link dump "Because they said it better" style.

Jill at Feministe gives us her opinion and thoughts on why the violence and overall mayhem in Berlin is not a good form of retaliation. Sure, the newspaper ran a very bigoted cartoon targeting Muslims, but does violence really solve anything, ever? We're fighting a "really long war" so you'd think we would know better.

Amanda over at Pandagon puts in her $.02 as well.

New found Andrea at Vociferate sticks it to the man, literally. (You may have to scroll to the post titled "Bring on the Trolls" added January 16th.)

PostSecret. Because if you haven't been reading this site already, then you should definitely start.

Charlie, of the Shades of Grey fame (and who helps me fix the broken shit I mess up on my template from time-to-time), let's the Democratic party have it for ignoring their base: us liberal bloggers.

And honestly, I'm really sick of hearing how boys have it soooo rough in today's public school system. Seriously. Because if you pay close attention, it's really only white boys doing the complaining.

Blitzed on what a Culture of Fear is really like. Which more or less coincides with lost clown's post on Rape and Survival. (again, may have to scroll.)

So, the invention of lots of gadgets has made a woman's life easier huh? I think Emma (where a commenter to a previous post began this whole discussion), Amanda, Zuzu and bitchlab are disagreeing with that assertion. And of course, so do I.
Keep reading....

Friday, February 03, 2006

Help the man.

Hi everyone in the Nut's world. I've got a problem, and I'm having a
tough time figuring out what I should do about it.

Background first.

I am a single parent. My son, 17, lives with me. It's not an easy life for me and him. Not bad, but not awesome either. My job requires 41-50 hours per week, plus an additional 45 minute drive to and from. And twice a week I have to drive another 45 minutes to get to my night classes. In between all this, I have to try and make sure my son eats, does homework, chores, etc. He is a junior in high school. He recently got his driver's license and he works part time at a nearby business. I also have 2 other children, my daughters, 11 and 4, who I usually get 2-3 weekends a month.

I'm having lots of problems with my son. He is, in general, a very intelligent young man. He knows what he needs to do for work, school, etc. But he just refuses to do these things. The 1st 9 week grading period, he got an F and 2 D's. He lost his internet privileges for the 2nd 9 weeks. His interim grades came in and one of his C's has dropped to an F and so has one of the D's. His previous F is up to a C. This week, while still waiting for his report card to come in, I received a letter from
his English teacher. His interim showed a C, but his grade for the 2nd 9 weeks was a dismal 31.4 - an F. The teacher says he has not been turning in his homework and such. His semester grade is a failing 64.2. Needless to say, I'm not a happy camper. But I tell him I'm gonna wait until his report card arrives before I decide on a punishment.

Today, after arriving home from adding him onto my auto insurance policy, I find a speeding ticket on my desk. My son was caught on radar doing 60 in a 45mph zone, right in front of his school. He drives a POS car, a 1990 Cavalier. The road he was on is maybe a mile, if that. And at least half of that is 35mph, not 45. Besides his school, there is also a middle and elementary school on that road. I'm pretty upset about the ticket, but then I figured out I am required to be at court with
him for the ticket. He can't just mail in a payment. I have to be there with him. Which will require me missing work. I hate to be that way, but money is too tight to begin with. Arggggggg.

I feel like I should ground him big time. No TV, videogames, car, work. But I also need him to work and do those things, because they keep him from getting into other more dangerous trouble when I'm unfortunately too busy to be there watching him like a hawk. His real mother we haven't heard from in almost 5 years. And his step-mother has enough on her hands, what with my 2 girls, her new 1 year old son, and her boyfriend's 3 kids. I feel like I need to handle this, but I just don't know how or
what to do.

Help me please...I really don't know what to do now.


Keep reading....