Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Picture of the Day

This makes me happy:

source unknown

Where the Riled Things Are

As usual, Jon Stewart is both funny and poignant:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Where the Riled Things Are
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorRon Paul Interview

Let's hear it for the two first names club! :)

Going Rogue

Can you guys believe "preorders for the former Alaska governor's book have made it No. 1 on Barnes & on Wednesday and at No. 2 on"

Though, considering that Ann Coulter has managed to sell over three million books, combined, I shouldn't be too surprised.

-via The Huffington Post

Update: Just wanted to add the newly released cover:

I don't even know what to say.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Whoopi and "rape-rape"

This makes me so angry. I usually love Whoopi but this segment is so much bullshit I don't even know where to start.

What. The. Fuck.

I really hope Whoopi lets us know what "rape-rape" is. (Besides that it's not when a 44 year old man drugs and forces himself on a 13 year old girl.)

Personally, I don't think it really can be more "rape-rape" after reading this statement from the victim:
"It was not consensual sex by any means. I said no, repeatedly, but he wouldn't take no for an answer. I was alone and I didn't know what to do."
I don't know about you, but that pretty much sums it up for me. And that's not even taking into account the fact the victim was only thirteen at the time.

It's a sad day when it has to be pointed out that you cannot "have sex" with a child.

Danny Leigh summed up the situation rather nicely:
"If you sense that a liking for barely teenage girls is being spun as mere hedonism, you're not alone. (And it's a tactic that seems to be applied to girls far more than boys - would D'Arcy describe Michael Jackson's best known accuser as "the sexy 13-year-old Jordie Chandler"?). Ugly as it is, the post does highlight the eternal conundrum of whether and to what extent our feelings towards a film-maker are coloured by their personal failings."

While I think Whoopi was probably trying to talk about legal terms and all that hoopla, it doesn't change the fact that she blatantly downplayed the rape of a child on national television. If anything, it seemed she, along with co-host Melissa Gilbert, were more critical of the victim's mother than the middle aged man who gave alcohol and drugs to a child before orally and anally raping her.

I don't really know what else to say.

-You can read Jezebel's great post here.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Places I love

This is my links page.

I will be updating this periodically and the link can be found in my sidebar under "Places I love" or at the top under "links."

Keep in mind that these links are in addition to the blogger blogs I follow. You can find a list of them here.

Daily stops:
BBC News
The Huffington Post
The Independent
Media Maaters
The Book Smugglers
Sociological Images

Hostess with the Mostess
Sam the Cooking Guy
Smitten kitchen
Noble Pig
The Pioneer Woman Cooks
Annie's Eats
Brown Eyed Baker
The Cutting Edge of Ordinary
Not So Humble Pie
Chaos in the Kitchen
Our Best Bites

The Crafts Dept.
Centsational Girl
How About Orange
Design is mine isn’t it lovely
Making it Lovely
One Pretty Thing
Badder Homes and Gardens
Eat Drink Chic

Blow at life
Fresh Eyes on London
Feaverish photography
The Official White House Photostream
Natalie Shau
Jenny Holzer
la chambre de church
Devon Smith

Me likey:
Belle Fantaisie
Agent Lover
Oh Happy Day!
The Musings of a Fatshionista
Line + Liv
The Uniform Project
The Freelancer's Fashionblog
Young Fat and Fabulous
Haute Macabre
This Blog Rules
Twinkie's blargh
Doe Deeree Blogazine
Makeup Gallery
Dollface is Candysweet
XL as Life

Urban Fantasy
Pickled Politics
Photography is Not a Crime
Bay of Fundie
The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life
Literary Escapism
Glenn Greenwald
Goths in Hot Weather
Information is Beautiful

Protect Insurance Companies PSA

I know this video has been all over the place, but I'm reposting just in case someone hasn't seen it.

I think it's worth it.

Hollywood speaks out to help insurance companies:

Another reason our education system is a joke

This video sums up one of the biggest problems in our country:

I often find myself wondering what life would be like if only more people in this country believed in “American exceptionalism.” I imagine puppies would fall from the sky and everyone would dance on rainbows made of starbursts.

Why should innocent children be forced to learn about boring old history facts, like isolationism, when they can have patriotic myths about Columbus and the Liberty Bell? I mean, it’s not really propaganda if it’s patriotic.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Judy Shepard at the Salt Lake City Library

Judy Shepard is going to be speaking at the downtown library this Saturday. She will be talking about her new book The Meaning of Matthew: My Son's Murder in Laramie, and a World Transformed.

click to make larger

I am totally planning on going and wanted to post this for any Utah readers. :)

A penis of my very own

My Human Sexuality teacher likes to use silly ways to help us to remember things. Even though it's a bit ridiculous at time, I would be lying if I didn't admit it actually works.

Last night we made models of the male anatomy. It was actually pretty funny and though I think we all felt a bit like elementary school students, it was a blast.

Here's a picture of the aweosomeness that is the model my partner and I made:

I hope that made you smile!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Intellectual Freedom

I must have conveniently forgotten that school actually takes work, cause I didn't expect to be so busy. I realize now I was being silly, but I just didn’t think of all the other things I’d have to give up in order to make the time to actually get shit done.

And I still need to find a damn job. I can’t believe it’s almost the end of the year and I’m still out of work. It’s ridiculous.

Anyways, since I’m a bit obsessed with not fucking up in school this time I haven’t had as much time to do things like blog. Honestly, there’s just nothing that can be done about that and I know I’m not the only one since a lot of the blogs I read seem to be in a similar situation.

Plus, politics has been ridiculously boring and repetitive lately. I’m so freggin tired of hearing about what a bunch of idiots the republicans are and what a group of pansies the democrats are that I can’t even find the energy to give a shit about health care anymore. It’s too freggin draining to actually care about something so political.

I’m really gonna try to get on my game and start spreading my work out (amazing concept I know) but knowing me I’ll do good for a week or two and then resort back to my procrastinating ways. It’s a sickness I tell you.

I did want to share the American Library Association’s (ALA) Banned Books Week with anyone who hasn’t heard about it though since it starts on Saturday.

From their website:

Banned Books Week (BBW) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment. Held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States.

Intellectual freedom—the freedom to access information and express ideas, even if the information and ideas might be considered unorthodox or unpopular—provides the foundation for Banned Books Week. BBW stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints for all who wish to read and access them.

The books featured during Banned Books Week have been targets of attempted bannings. Fortunately, while some books were banned or restricted, in a majority of cases the books were not banned, all thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, booksellers, and members of the community to retain the books in the library collections.

I am all about banned books. I like to keep lists of books that were banned, especially for sexual or religious reasons, so I can remember to read them (Margaret Bald's a good place to start). There's just something about reading a book that once so controversial that makes me feel like I'm giving the establishment the finger.

How very punk rock of me.

From the 2008/2009 list I’m thinking about reading: The perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, Wicked by Gregory Maguire, King and King by Linda de Haan, and Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen.

I've been meaning to read Brave New World and Wicked for a while anyways and I love the idea of a children's story where the king marries another king.

You can find out more here and a list of banned and challenged books here.

Now I'm off to write a paper about why I think men are more comfortable with their genitals than women and if I think the media has a part in it. Fun time.

Monday, September 21, 2009

A portrait of love

I've been going through my giant collection of random papers I feel the need to keep and I came across this picture Ryan drew of me when we first started dating:

I think I shall get it framed. :)

Back in the Day

You guys remember when this was the jam?

I know I'm not the only one who blasted the '98 Family Values Tour album.

Brings Limp Bizkit's Faith to mind too. (I know a lot of people bash Limp Bizkit, but I thought their cover was pretty good. And I love this song.)

There was nothing like the 90s. ;)

How to Write about Africa

I loved this so much I just had to re-post it here.

This is a performance piece of Binyavanga Wainaina's How to Write about Africa essay (I think the "Not" was added in the title for people who don't get sarcasm):

This video highlights our prejudices about Africa really well I thought. It also doesn't hurt that Djimon Hounsou is the narrator (isn't he lovely?).

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sunday Roundup

Happy Sunday everyone!

Random Picture:


I can't remember where I found this pic, but I just love it. This is the kind of thing that would be great blown up and hung over my bed.

It makes me think happy thoughts.

Articles you should read:

1. Rush Limbaugh: Let’s Resegregate Buses.

2. Teen birth rates highest in most religious states

3. Gender equality. This probably isn't what you think it is. It's short and poignant and I think it's worth checking out.

4. Do You Have the Right to Flip Off a Cop? Yes you do.

5. Maine anti-gay campaign echoes California


This made me laugh so freggin hard. (I'm still laughing just thinking about it.)

Thumbs Up:

1. Louder than Words is currently accepting submissions from girls ages 13-19 who are interested in writing a memoir.

2. I think the best news I've heard in quite a while is that Operation Rescue, a crazy anti-choice organization, may be shutting down.

3. Amanda Marcotte's review of Inglorious Basterds is the best I've read. I totally agree with her ideas about Tarintino and I've never really gotten why it seems so many feminists hate him.

"I think, gets a lot of pleasure out of demonstrating over and over again that you can get the 18-45 male audience that Hollywood desires into seats, and you can give them a story about a hyper-competent female hero who kicks ass in every way, and they won’t run screaming out of the theater clutching their balls in fear."

Love it.

The Middle Finger:

1. Alabama Supreme Court rules against Love Stuff. Love Stuff is a store that sells "vibrators and other sexual devices" that was forced to shut down because of an Alabama law that bans the sell of sex toys except for "a bona fide medical, scientific, educational, legislative, judicial, or law enforcement purpose."

One of the judges even claimed, "Public morality can still serve as a legitimate rational basis for regulating commercial activity, which is not a private activity." Ugh.

2. President Ahmadinejad is once again claiming the Holocaust was "a lie based on an unprovable and mythical claim". I don't even know what to say.

3. Not too surprisingly, Fox news has gone ape shit with the ACORN story. I just don't get how these people can call themselves journalists. It's gotten to the point where Fox isn't even a funny punch line anymore and it's just pathetic.

4. This story about Tasha Hill being attacked at a Cracker Barrel is infuriating.

Quote/Thought that makes me happy:
We must be all alike. Not everyone born free and equal, as the Constitution says, but everyone made equal. Each man the image of the other; then all are happy, for there are no mountains to make them cower, to judge themselves against. So! A book is a loaded gun in the house next door. Burn it. Take the shot from the weapon. Breach man’s mind… Then they were given the new job, as custodians of our peace of mind, the focus of our understandable and rightful dread of being inferior: official censors judges, and executors.
-Fahrenheit 451

Something you probably don’t know about me:

I want to adopt every animal I come across, but I actually hate the work that goes into caring for animals.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

All it took was a Lightsaber

I just love this picture of President Obama "fencing" with US Olympic Fencer Tim Morehouse with a lightsaber:

Photo Credit: Jim Watson/Getty Images

As one commentator said, "See? How telling: Obama chose a blue lightsaber. Everyone knows that Sith Lord Bush and Darth Cheney would've chosen red ones..."

Our president is so full of win.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Youth: a fountain of stress, wrinkly creams, and hyper sexuality.

I’m a really bad procrastinator and I tend to put my homework off till the last moment. Because of that, I haven’t been able to get much reading or blogging done. My general dislike for Fridays is starting to mature into love since I get to spend the day catching up on all the shit I’ve put off all week.

The fact catching up on news is like a mini-Christmas says something about my personality I’m sure.

Anyways, I’m going to do a round up again this Sunday as a way of clearing out my cache. It seems there is plenty going on, but nothing rant worthy. Posting them all together is just the sensible way of doing it.

Sensible? This must be what growing up feels like.

I find myself wanting to share another Jezebel post, but I don’t like how this is starting to become a regular thing. Maybe after this one I’ll just have to take a break.

Some of you may be able to guess that I’m talking about the awesomeness that is today’s post “Why Sexualizing Little Girls Sucks For Grown-Ass Women.”

photo by hulk4598

The post looks into how the sexualization of young girls and teens hurts all women since it pits them against one another (it also continues to reinforce the idea of women being nothing more but sexual objects for the male gaze).

Here’s a part of it:
Those who protest against sexy images of girls sometimes argue that people under 18 are innocent and asexual, but as Durham points out, this isn't always the case. Sexuality exists in (some) kids and teens — but that shouldn't make them objects of titillation for adults.

Nor should it make them sex symbols. Durham quotes sociologist Wendy Chapkis, writing, "the western ideal of female beauty [...] is defined by "eternal youth."" This is bad for girls, who have better things to do with their youth than embody an ideal of beauty. But it's also bad for adult women, who may no longer have the "naturally small, supple and nothing if not youthful" bodies that Chapkis describes as the ideal.

I'm far from the first to complain that the sexualization of very young girls devalues the women they will grow up to be. Durham hints at this with her complaint about the the "multibillion-dollar sales of anti-aging cosmetics, creams and plastic surgery," and she may explore it further in her book The Lolita Effect, of which the Guardian piece is an excerpt. But the problem deserves continued attention not just because it harms older women, but because it pits older and younger women against each other....

Plenty of girls and women admirably transcend these messages — seeking out older allies, advocating against ageism, and proclaiming both their sexuality and their worth outside sexuality throughout their lives. But they have to leap over multiple boundaries in order to do so. One way to remove some of these boundaries would be to let children be children — sexual, perhaps, but not objects of adult sexual desire. And not commodities in a value system they're not yet equipped to understand.

I really agree with the author that such an obsession on youth can do nothing but devalue women who are no longer so “youthful.” In a similar vein, we were talking about how the idea of masculinity perpetuates homophobia and sexism because it forces men, who want to be seen as "manly" by other men, to reject the qualities found among these two groups (nurturing, emotional, etc.) in my psychology class. When you learn to devalue certain qualities it only makes sense you would start to devalue the people who embody those qualities.

I think that point stands true here as well (and in most situations actually).

When we express, as a society, that youth is the most beautiful and wonderful quality a person can have, then were also saying the opposite. That not being youthful is less than beautiful or wonderful. (This is evident in the way we say, “You’re so gorgeous for your age…”) Those who are youthful would then feel privilege, while those who don’t would feel disdain towards those who do; hence, the hierarchy the author mentions.

The idea that we simultaneously sexualize young girls and fetishize the idea of their innocence or “purity” is crazy to me. (Some of you may remember I talked about this a little while back with the ATM photo shoot where the models dressed as young girls.)

One of the reasons I find this so interesting is because I lost my virginity at such a young age. Though I did have a “mature” body at thirteen (in the sense I no longer looked like a child and was already a 36C), I can’t possible imagine how older men could find me sexual. Don’t get me wrong, I dressed kind of trampy. But it was still painfully obvious that I was not a sexual being or had any sort of sexual prowess. I can only imagine that it stemmed from, as some of the commentators suggest, my lack of agency (how threatened some men must feel by women for that to be a turn on is astounding though).

I don’t know. Maybe I’m reading too much into my own experiences, but I think the post is definitely worth a read.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Aryan Nation brouhaha

Each week my Film teacher puts together different links that will prepare us for whatever movie we will be watching.

Last week the links were on Lee Harvey Oswald and the Bay of Pigs and the movie ended up being JFK by Oliver Stone.

The links for today are Mein Kampf, Reverse Discrimination, and the Aryan Nation.

hmmmmm....Our films are always about controversial topics and I'm quite interested to see what tonight's will be.

But look at this gem I found at the Aryan Nation website:
Fanaticism, ruthlessness and consistency must be the character traits of those who wish to join with us in the Aryan Nations. We are not interested - nor do we intend to become - a petty debate club nor are we interested in the kind of problem-oriented futility which characterizes many of the non-mainstream political groups in North America.

The future will be decided by those who embrace evolution and continue to take - again and again - the disciplined steps needed to evolve themselves as individuals - as this microcosmic change shall be the precursor for the execution of macrocosmic change that will not simply be comparable but rather surpass that which has been achieved on an individual level.

It shall only be these individuals who will be willing - and capable - to change the world in a significant way... To redress the imbalance caused by the Jew and their hubristic sycophants and restore this earth to a state of cosmic harmony.

If this change we speak of should herald a descent into Anarchy then we say ‘so be it’ with no regret or apology - for Anarchy is much preferable - and more capable - of causing the break-up of the current so-called ‘superpowers’ into smaller nation-states - than is the domesticated societal situation existent at present.

And it shall be in the smoldering ashes of the downfall of the current System wherein shall be born the seeds for a new global society in which Aryan homelands shall again be a reality; that is, if we have the tenacity, dedication and intelligence necessary to make it a reality.

For those who are brave enough, defiant enough and strong enough to evolve - to cull their own selves of the anti-evolutionary religions, thought processes and politics of the past - and then to cull their planet of all that which stands in the way of our goal of perpetual revolution for our enemies (which equals the spark of life for our people) then we invite you - and challenge you - to join our struggle.


I guess I should be happy that these people embrace evolution, but I don't think this is what Darwin had in mind.

Update: Ryan totally guessed it - the movie was American History X.

Elegantly cluttered

I want a room like this in my house:

Picture by Petra Bindel

Isn't it just lovely?

I love the smell of sarcasm in the morning

This is one of the best paragraphs I think I've ever read over at Jezebel (from "Women Today Are Fat, Unhealthy — And Full Of Themselves"):

It's tough to be a man these days, forced to live up to impossible standards. If only there were some way to make women feel a little worse about themselves, so they'd recognize how plain they were and stop turning down perfectly good blokes. Perhaps some sort of study that scrutinized every aspect of their bodies, all the way down to the feet, and pronounced their very measurements dangerous and unappealing. Then again, those deluded women would probably just ignore it — as Hay says, "it's easier for them to believe their own myths than to face reality - that they are completely ordinary."

If you can't guess, it's about a fat shaming article at the Daily Mail. (Though the article doesn't really shame fat people as usual. In a nice change, the article shames regular/healthy sized women. Way to set the bar Daily Mail...)

It's this sort of tongue-in-cheek writing that I love (though the sarcasm isn't very subtle here).

-You can read the full article here.

Edit: I thought I should share the picture the Daily Mail included in their article so you can get a sense of the bodies they are lambasting as unhealthy and unattractive:

Damn fatties.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Any ideas?

I know my regular readers to be quite clever (though I’m sure those who aren’t so regular are as well), so I’m hoping someone may be able to help me out.

See, I had to write about a group I was prejudiced against for my Psych class. For me it was rather easy to write about my disdain for the really wealthy. It was just the obvious choice for me and I don’t really think I feel so blatantly prejudiced against any other group (though to be honest Christians, at least the extreme sort, would probably be next in line).

But here’s where I’m at a lost - we were just told that the second part of our project is to spend time with whatever group we chose. Obviously I get the point of the assignment, but I’m not exactly sure what I’m supposed to do.

I mean, I don’t think hanging around Nordstrom’s is going to cut it.

I plan on asking my teacher for help on Thursday when I see her, but I was wondering if anyone had any ideas. (Unfortunately, the next part of the assignment is writing a paper defending the group you chose. Not looking forward to that.) I’m just not sure how I’m supposed to find a way to spend time with the wealthy.

The bright side is it’s only 3-5 hours so I can get it done with one event or whatever.

Any ideas would be most welcome. :)

Daily Obsession - Missy Higgins

This is making me happy today:

That's it.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

I'm a picture painting ninja

Our car broke down last week and completely ruined all my plans of doping up my loneliness with books and pop-tarts. Luckily, Ryan came home early and has spent the week trying to put the car back together.

Probably not the way he wanted to spend the rest of his vacation, but at least it’s practical.

I almost died without anything new to read though. I just don’t enjoy re-reading books for the most part (though I want to keep every book I read for some odd reason) and knowing I have plenty of books on hold just waiting for me at the library has made it that much worse.

Seriously, I’m surprised Ryan hasn’t left me yet due to my constant bitching about not being able to go to the library. I almost had a heart attack when I realized my "currently reading" shelf on my Goodreads was empty for the first time.

The only bright spot in all this - I’ve been pretty darn productive.

I have: finished my picture for Tiffany, almost finished my picture for Britni, started the background for my sister’s picture, made a picture for Ryan (which is actually based on me really wanted to make him a mix tape yesterday), started another picture (not pictured), and made two collage picture thingamabobs for two of my friends as a surprise for always being so supportive of me.

Not bad huh?

Though part of me wishes I had also felt the need to get some cleaning done, another part of me is feeling positively awesome. I never realized just how much time I spend on my book fix. (Don't worry books, I still love you.)

In fact, I might even go wash some dishes now.


-Keep in mind the flash washes out a lot of the background color and depth.

Bring on the autumn

Even though yesterday was hot as hell, I can feel myself acting like it's already fall.

Picture by anh quan

I find myself daydreaming about chili's and stews and all the wonderful fall desserts I end up baking every year. Throw cute sweaters, boots, and dresses with tights in the mix and I'm practically swooning. (Plus Halloween has always been my favorite holiday.)

There's just something about the last few months of the year that feel special to me. Autumn heralds in a more festive time of year and I simply can't wait.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

That's Gay: Commercials

I know my posts have been kind of thin lately, but I've been busy and I haven't felt very inspired to talk about anything in specific (though I have been inspired in other aspects of my life which is nice).

Anyways, I had this video sitting as a draft and I thought I'd share it since its freggin hilarious:

I'm pretty much in love with Brian Safi. If you haven't seen his "Lady Kisses" video you should do so now (just follow the link). It's just brilliant.

So that's it. Here's to hoping I'll have some more substantial posts in the near future.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Jay Smooth on Michael Steele

I've shared some of Jay Smooth's videos before (if you didn't watch the one about Asher Roth and race you really should) and once again Jay has hit the nail on the head.

Love it.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tree of Time

I finally finished my latest picture and I thought I'd share it (cause that's what I do...mostly).

I posted a work in progress a few weeks ago, but just in case the world doesn't hang on every word I type, I should point out that this picture from an Anthropolie catalogue was my main inspiration:

Click to make larger

I got to say I'm liking it. As usual it looks better in person, but I like how it's kind of eerie. The words are, "In certain lights we all look the same," which I got from the song "Shame" by Matchbox Twenty.

My only problem is I feel like something is missing. I can't really explain it, but it's driving me a little crazy.

...Anyhoo, there you have it.

More talk about health care

I stated before that I have no interest talking about health care until we get to the point where we can have a genuine discussion about our current system and what the future of that system should be in this country.

I have yet to see those hopes come to fruition, but I must admit I’m a bit excited to hear what the President has to say in his speech tonight.

I have no idea what direction Obama’s going to take, but I hope he finds a way to remind people that we’re talking about people here. Millions of people. Not insurance companies or death panels, but regular people who suffer, and will suffer, because of our inanity to face the fear of change.

I read a great article by Barton Kunstler over at the Huffington Post that reminds us what we’re really fighting for in all this (I know it's a tad long to post here, but I think it's worth it):
Last Wednesday night I attended one of the 3,000 vigils called by MoveOn to show support for health care reform. About 60 people showed up in our town, holding candles, and - as was planned for all the vigils -- taking turns reading 11 pages of one-sentence descriptions of MoveOn members "who are suffering under our broken health care system", as MoveOn's introduction stated. Some of the cases hit me like a punch in the stomach and I -- along with others -- audibly gasped. Others gave me a sinking feeling, a sense of hopelessness.

As the reading went on, I felt a growing outrage and, from what I gathered talking with others afterward, this was widely shared. Not the sort of outrage that would lead me to draw little mustaches on posters of Blue Dog Democrats or John McCain. But pretty pissed off nonetheless.

The vigil's organizer said that it was a fair guess most of us in attendance did have some sort of health care. Later, though, I happened to be standing nearby when a woman told him that she owed $125,00 in medical bills and had been forced to leave her home for subsidized housing. The stories on MoveOn's list are everywhere -- they are our neighbors' stories, family members' stories, the stories of other people just like us, trying to survive and flourish in an America that -- according to our national myths - should be compassionate towards and protective of its citizens.

Whom did we hear about as we read the list of people screwed over by our current health care system? "Samantha has been denied coverage since being diagnosed with cancer at the age of 3." "Tracy lost her leg to cancer, and is now getting dropped from Medicaid." "Christine's out-of-pocket expenses are forcing her to live in poverty while dying from kidney cancer." "Malyn died of cancer at age 63 because she couldn't afford health care and her employer didn't provide any." The term "because of a prior condition" appeared often. This is flagrant abuse - insurance companies, among the most cash-rich corporations in the world, can refuse to insure you if you have "a prior condition". That is, if you have colitis, as does one of the people on the list whom insurers would not cover, they won't cover you for anything. What if you get hit by a car, which has nothing to do with colitis? No health insurance -- because you have colitis.

"Ian is 20, has Type 1 diabetes, and has been denied health insurance by Medicaid, insurance companies, and Medicare/Social Security." "Michelle has breast cancer and her insurance will run out on October 9th of this year." "Jack's company forced its retirees out of its health insurance program by raising the premiums from $47.93 to over $600 per month." "Kerry is battling stage III breast cancer that went undiagnosed for too long because she had no insurance to cover routine health screenings." Another common term is "lost their home". Medical expenses are a leading cause of foreclosure and eviction, so the sicker you get, the more likely you'll get thrown out onto the streets.

On it goes. The real list is millions of names long. So where is the outrage? Where are the Democratic politicians telling these stories to their constituents, their colleagues, and to the nation as proof that the current system is failing so many? Why are Republicans and Blue Dogs playing low-life political tricks just to defend insurance companies (heavy campaign donors) and peddling a perverted version of an America where the government aiding its citizens is treated like a heinous act of treason?

Why has the media ignored the real outrage - not that of the fanatics who think the health plan will lead to a totalitarian state, but the outrage over the millions of people falling through the cracks...Excuse me, was I about to say "cracks" in the system? Let's change that to "widening crevices" in our health care system.

"Jackie has MS and no health insurance." Seven words that speak to an individual's courage and pain, to social injustice, and the chance for rescue and redemption, rescue for "Jackie" and redemption for a nation that must do a much better job of serving its people.

Fingers crossed that tonight's speech might make a dent in the hearts and minds of some people.

I Love Space

Have I ever told you guys that?

I know it sounds corny when you say it like that, but I really do. Almost every time I watch t.v. I look to see if something about space is on (which isn’t all that often coincidentally).

I’ve watched The Big Bang two hour special on the History Channel at least five times. I just love it.

So when I came across these new images from the refurbished Hubble Telescope I thought I would share:

From NASA:
What resemble dainty butterfly wings are actually roiling cauldrons of gas heated to more than 36,000 degrees Fahrenheit. A dying star that was once about five times the mass of the Sun is at the center of this fury. It has ejected its envelope of gases and is now unleashing a stream of ultraviolet radiation that is making the cast-off material glow.

From NASA:
This image of barred spiral galaxy NGC 6217 is the first image of a celestial object taken with the newly repaired Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) aboard the Hubble Space Telescope.

This isn't a new picture, but it's one of my favs:

Hubble Snaps a Splendid Planetary Nebula - The gaseous outer layers of a Sun-like star glow in space after being expelled as the star reached the end of its life.

Aren't they just awesome?

You can see more Hubble images here.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Vintage Trailers

I want a trailer like the one at the beginning of this video something fierce:

Isn't it just adorable?

I'm adding it to my bucket list - #79. Own & revamp a vintage travel trailer.

I see blue skies, yard sales, and a sore bottom in my future.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Fox Criticizes Obama For Speaking To The Children

I, obviously, don't agree with The Young Turks on everything, but this video is golden.

Enough said. Two thumbs up.

Where the Wild Things Are

I was reading a post about the movie Where the Wild Things Are on Jezebel and I was really surprised at how many people were bothered by the fact this movie was made (though I suppose I shouldn't have been).

Maybe it’s just because I’m looking forward to this movie, but I don't understand what the big deal is. I get that people get emotionally attached to certain things from their childhood, but should that really get in the way of new artistic explorations and growth?

I also realized I don’t really hold anything as being sacred to the point where it should never be touched. I can separate my feelings for a book from the actual book itself.

Did that make sense?

This movie will never change the memories I have of my mother telling me how her mother used to read Where the Wild Things Are to her when she was a girl and how special it made me feel (my mother almost never read to us).

This movie doesn't make those memories less special. It only makes new memories more accessible to an entire new group of people who may never have read the story or perhaps didn’t have much love for it in the first place.

(A perfect example is Charlie and Chocolate Factory. A lot of people hated the remake and were pissed to all hell when it was made, but I loved it. I just couldn’t get into the original and the remake gave me the opportunity to marvel in something strange and delightful. Are my experiences somehow worth less because they’re based off a remake? Are the people who loved the original no longer allowed their own experiences anymore? Of course not.)

There is little wonder in our day to day lives and this movie is nothing if not full of wonder. So lets revel in it instead of fighting against it.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

In which our heroine talks about her addiction once again

I was planning on painting the living room a new color while Ryan and Holden were away, but then I just ended up buying two new books which left me broke and yet thoroughly satisfied.

The only sad part, I read both of them yesterday. I can read pretty fast, but without all my daily responsibilities to keep a rein on my voracious reading appetite, I blew through both of them quicker than I would have imagined.

Now I’m kind of sad.

Good thing I have an ongoing love affair with my library (can you believe Catching Fire already has over 80 holds on the first copy?). I see another stock pile in my near future.

Very near future.

Update: I can’t believe how many awesome books are available at my library (and I’m not talking about the selection, which is great for the most part, but that these books aren’t checked out). People must be reading total crap nowadays or something.

I can’t wait to pick these up tomorrow. (I love that you can put books on hold online. It’s like the easiest convenience ever.)

Maybe ryan should go on vacation more often. :)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Lance Cpl. Joshua Bernard

I just read the story about Lance Cpl. Joshua Bernard’s death and the decision of AP to distribute a photo of Bernard after he “suffered leg injuries.” Most of the brouhaha about this story comes from the fact that the family does not want the pictures shown/published and AP has decided to go about it anyways.

What to think?

Well, there’s really no easy answer for this one. I feel for the family and I think it’s sad the father thinks this image is somehow disrespectful of his son's memory. At the same time, I’ve never had to have the news of my sons death followed by photos of it so does what I think even matter?

But at the same time, what about these images?

And these are just the tip of the iceburg.

I just don't know. It seems like sometimes we don't get to choose where the word takes us or what fate has in store for us.

But I do have to say that this story has done nothing but pique my interest.

The Death Penalty

I thought the article, Does Phillip Garrido Deserve To Die?, about the death penalty on Jezebel was really thought provoking.

I don’t know if I’ve talked about my views on capital punishment before, but it’s probably no surprise I’m against it. I think it’s barbaric and completely unethical.

Here is one particular comment that I thought was a bit harsh:
Call me heartless, but I couldn't give a damn if a murderer is coughing with a cold in prison because his blanket's not thick enough. Regardless of crime, prisoners are not there to enjoy their life, but to get punishment for harming society, and hopefully get motivated to not commit the same crime again. I have no pity for murderers or rapists or the psychopaths who are convicted and jailed. There are consequences for willfully harming a person.

There are cases of wrongful conviction, of course, and sometimes, as in the case of say, possession of marijuana, sending the person to prison is a waste of resources, but let's pretend for a second that our justice system is actually competent enough to sort out the guilty from the innocent.

I'm sure everyone will agree that some people deserve a second chance, and some deserve the death penalty or life imprisonment or no chance of redemption.

I totally get what this person is saying and I would be lying if a part of me didn’t agree with some of the sentiment, but none of that truly matters. What matters is the kind of society we want to live in and how we want to be remembered as people.

This post was destined to the draft graveyard, but we actually touched on this subject in my Race, Class and Gender class yesterday and the reactions were quite interesting.

A lot of the ideas talked about matched what you'll see if you follow the link and read the comments. Some people stating it's just following the way we're taught "every action has a reaction." Some people claiming it's somehow ethical because it's merciful (though why they have the power to decide what another human being might consider merciful is beyond me).

But the most interesting thing to me was the fact a lot of those same people were anti-choice (we talked about abortion next). Even though it's not too shocking in and of itself, I must admit I was a little surprised these people still exist.

For me it some down to this: Killing people is easy. Wanting revenge is easy. Rising above our anger and hurt to do the more humane thing? Not so easy.

And when is the right thing ever the easy thing?

What's ultimately right or wrong? I'm not sure. But I don't know if I can live with myself if I condone, even through my vote or words, the killing of other people.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

If my life had book titles

I'm not big on memes, but I thought this one over at See Michelle Read was interesting.

Here's how it goes:
Using only books you have read this year (2009), cleverly answer these questions. Try not to repeat a book title. It’s a lot harder than you think!
*Describe Yourself: I Am Legend
*How do you feel: It Sucked and Then I Cried
*Describe where you currently live: World's End
*If you could go anywhere, where would you go: Troy (I finished the trilogy this year)
*Your favorite form of transportation: Wildwood Dancing
*Your best friend is: Hotter Than Hell
*You and your friends are: Queen's Own Fool
*What’s the weather like: Sunshine
*Favorite time of day: Evernight
*What is life like to you: Tender Morsels
*Your fear: When You Are Engulfed in Flames
*Thought for the Day: Do You Think What You Think You Think?
*How you would (not) like to die: Swordspoint

Some of them are quite silly, but I thought I did alright (though the first one does make me sound a bit big-headed). If you're bored, give it a shot. :)

I’m back…mostly

Well, it turns out I did have strep throat. Fortunately for me, I was able to go to this “Express Care” center inside a Smiths grocery store (yeah, I have no freggin idea either) and be seen for only $5 bucks. Even though I’m not a big pill taker, I’ve never felt more ecstatic than when the Pharmacist called my name for me to pay for my prescription.

It was the highlight of my day.

I know you guys are probably thinking I should stop whining, but I am not joking when I say I would have rather gone through labor again than suffer what I went through yesterday. My labor was a walk in the park compared to it. At least the hospital had the decency to dope me up. (I not only couldn’t eat anything, not even yogurt, but I had a high fever with chills, headache, nausea, and was a tad prone to cry at any moment from lack of sleep. It was ugly.)

But today is better. Even though my throat still hurts like a bitch, I can eat some things and am no longer delirious every time I try to read or look at the computer monitor.

It’s amazing at how sometimes that’s all it takes.

Ok, enough about my sickness (hey I got to complain to someone). Ryan and Holden have headed up to Michigan today with Ryan’s father and uncle to see his great grandpa. Part of me is thinking, “woohoo!” but the other part is a little lost at what I’m supposed to do without them for nine days.

(I guess I’m whining again huh? Oh well. If you’re still reading this it couldn’t have been too bad.)

It’s just hard to figure out what to do when such a large chunk of your life has been based on the needs of another human being. (Though I do think the two day car drive to Michigan is almost enough punishment for Ryan for giving me strep. Almost.) I guess knowing I can spend all day reading is the silver lining out of all this.

So that’s it. Sorry this post was so crappy. I also used a crap load of parentheses. (I’ll work on that.) Luckily for you I will have a lot of time on my hands for the next week and so my posts should be much better.

You're welcome. :)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I'm dying

Seriously, this is the worst sore throat I've had in my entire life. Every time I swallow I feel like I'm going to die. (It's not even just my throat either. My damn lymph nodes are so swollen it hurts if I even move my neck a certain way.)

It's so bad, I'm secretly hoping I get hit by a car or some freak asteroid crashes into my house. Anything for a reprieve.

I'm also day-dreaming about all the horrible ways I can get Ryan back for doing this to me.

I don't know if I'll be posting anything soon (hopefully I will though cause that means I'm better) so try not to miss me too much.