Tuesday, March 31, 2009

T.I. and Chris Brown

I love The Young Turks on youtube, but I have to say I very much disagree with this particular video:



Their argument is that T.I. didn’t actually commit a murder, but Chris Brown did beat up Rihanna so he should get more jail time.

wtf?

How can anyone possibly think that a domestic violence situation is more threatening then the federal offense of purchasing three machine guns and two silencers by a convicted felon?

It just doesn’t make any sense to me.

Even if Chris Brown is found guilty of domestic violence (fingers crossed), he's still a first time offender and will probably receive probation, a fine, domestic violence counseling, and 30 days in jail at the most. Maybe

Do I think that’s enough? No not really. But do I think T.I. deserves less then that? No fucking way.

T.I. was convicted of a felony for possession of crack cocaine with intent to distribute in 1998. Therefore, he is not allowed to lawfully buy, receive, or possess firearms or ammunition of any kind. When arrested, T.I. had four different guns in his car plus six more at his house, including ammunition.

This is not a small deal and I don’t care if he’s a gangster or his friend was shot in front of him. There is no excuse in my book.

Maybe T.I. should move to the freggin suburbs and get some new friends.

I can protect myself from a man’s fists; I cannot do the same with a fully automatic machine gun.

To even compare these crimes is completely ludicrous. If we were talking about a suspected terrorist or a convicted child molester, people would find it a lot harder to rationalize this sort of behavior.

T.I. will only serve ten months with good behavior and yet we’re still questioning his sentence.

It makes me sick.

UK actors who rock my socks off

Haworth made a list of his top ten American women that get his blood moving and I thought I’d do the same with UK actors.

For one, I’m still crawling my ass back to the living and I don’t have the energy for any critical thinking.

For two, it’s just fun.

I’m sure I would have a different list if I actually lived in the UK and had more exposure to different actors, but these guys rock none the less.

Here we go:

10. Tom Hardy. I’m not gonna lie, the only movie of his I’ve ever seen is Star Trek Nemesis. But he was great and I have a soft spot for Star Trek.



Plus, I like how his teeth aren’t perfect and he scowls a lot (perfect example above). I know that seems silly but I like it when actors aren’t “perfect.”

9. Damian Lewis. Got to show some love for a redhead. I really liked his role in Dreamcatcher and Life is one of Ryan's favorite shows.



He seems quirky and I like that in a man.

8. Simmon Woods. He's just adorable.



How could anyone not love Mr. bingley? And I love a man in period costumes. Odd, I know...

7. Christian Bale. I found myself not wanting to add Bale to my list for some reason, but he really is an amazing actor.



I pretty much fell in love with him the first time I saw American Psycho. (Plus I have a major hard on for the movie Velvet Goldmine.)

6. Alan Rickman. I know he's a lot older then me, but I just love him.



Dogma is one of my all time favorite movies and I have a major crush on Snape. I can't help it, I just do.

5. James McAvoy. This one’s kind of odd for me. I don’t look at him as a leading man, but I adored Penelope so here he is.



He seems like someone you could drink a beer with and I like that he isn't too "pretty."

4. Cillian Murphy. He’s just gorgeous.



He has the most perfect bone structure.

3. Gavin Rossdale. Even though he's not really an actor, I'm a huge Bush fan (and he was great in Constantine).



When I think of the perfect male specimen I find myself thinking of him. I hope we get to see more acting out of him.

2. Clive Owen. Again, I like that he isn't "pretty" like some of the other men on this list.



He just gives off this raw maleness. I can't help but get the impression he'd know to handle business.

1. Ewan McGregor.



Trainspotting, Velvet Goldmine, Star Wars, Moulin Rouge, Down with Love, and Big Fish. This guy rocks. End of story.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Daily Obsession - No Doubt

I love CDs.

I’m just not big on buying my music online a song at a time. It works for some people, but it’s just not my thing. I like to be able to actually hold my favorite music in my hand and go through piles of different artists.

Plus, I’m a sucker for the little booklet that comes in CD cases.

Since the music industry is trying to keep sales from dropping, they have had to bump up their game and most CDs now include a lot of extras. Like DVDs of live performances.

The downside is they take up a lot of room and it's easy for one to get lost in the pile.

(I also love records, but I don’t have anything to play them on so I’ve refrained from purchasing any.)

I don’t know about you guys, but I love when I forget about a CD that I used to listen to all the time.

Because it makes listening to it again a real treat.

That happened to me today.

While looking for something to listen to, I came across my No Doubt Tragic Kingdom CD.

I can’t even remember the last time I listened to it in its entirety and it brought back all these memories of being young and driving around with my friends because we had nothing better to do.

I just love it.

Sunday Morning:



Excuse Me Mr.:



And the song that made No doubt a household name.

Don't Speak:



Bathwater (not on TK but I love it immensely):



I can't help but think of summer when I listen to No Doubt (I'm the same way with Sublime).

And what girl didn't want to be Gwen Stafani? (Especially being married to Gavin Rossdale.)

Although I liked No Doubt's later work, nothing comes close to Tragic Kingdom in my book. Tragic Kingdom will always be the classic “No Doubt sound.”

I really hope they get back together.

Watch this. Now.

I’m dying.

Ok, not really. But close enough. I’m the kind of sick where everything hurts your throat and there’s the distinct fear I’ll use up every piece of toilet paper ever made.

Its times like these that make me wonder at my irrational distaste for taking over the counter medicine.

Hmmm….

While I run off to ponder that, I want to share this video with you.

Watch it. Now. Please.

Warning: I take no responsibility if your brain decides to implode because of all the ass fuckery in this video.

You have been warned.

And a thanks to Miss Britni for showing me it’s awesomeness.



My favorite:

“The woman just has to lie there and receive the sperm.”

Some more highlights:

"Sex is not really meant to be pleasurable for the female. It is primarily something the man will enjoy."

"If the female enjoys the sex, that's nice. That's a little extra, but it's not necessary."

"The pain in childbirth that’s a punishment from God for women because Eve obviously ate the apple."

"Lesbian I don't understand at all. I thought the point of lesbianism is their disappointed in men, so oh we’re gonna go with women now? Which is kind of lazy. Why not search a bit harder for a man that you do like?"

"Lesbians keep making themselves less attractive to men, cutting their hair short and wearing mannish clothes. You're never going to become a heterosexual dressed like that. No man will like you."

"They have the clitoris, which I said is a gift from god. But I'm not sure what they're supposed to do with that, since it doesn’t have reproductive function. And I'm not sure how Jesus feels about licking it, which some men tend to do to that to give the woman pleasure. I think it’s mainly for the women to touch themselves. God said maybe I was a bit harsh on you for kicking you out of paradise and giving you the pain. So here, have this little toy for you to play with. Then the man can put his penis into you and derive his pleasure from that.”

“Your man’s had a rough day. All he wants to do is put some sperm in you. Don’t ask him to lick your…he doesn’t want to have his nose up there. Cut him some slack is all I’m saying. Don’t get into that. Put the sperm where it needs to be. And women, you can play with your clitoris I guess. That’s what god wants you to do.”


Hahaha...what a dumb ass.

He totally disregards the woman’s g-spot and the fact that not all women are naturally lubricated enough for vaginal sex not to hurt.

I read some comments on his page that said this was a satire, but I haven’t seen any evidence of that. I think there is a good chance it is a joke though.

People can’t really think this way. Can they?

I also watched his video about homosexuality (since he mentioned it in this video) and his argument is the pain is a warning from god that what you’re doing isn’t right.



Again, he completely disregards the fact that some penises are big to the point of pain and not all anal sex hurts.

He also claims that atheists can’t believe that homosexuality is natural and accept the reality of evolution (you don’t believe in evolution. It just is) because they can’t work together.

What an ass tard.

I don’t understand how people can think being gay is unnatural when there are other homosexual animals. It just doesn’t make sense why that isn’t proof enough.

Homosexuality is unusual, not unnatural.

This guy is a piece of work.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Glenn Beck: Obama is Being Controlled by the Teleprompter

They just make it too easy:



Cenk says it all.

Idiot.

Meghan McCain

I’m completely uninspired today to write anything. I feel like crap and have a major sore throat. Plus the weather was really nice yesterday so, of course, it had to snow last night.

Blah...

Anyways, I had been meaning to talk about Meghan McCain so I might as well do so today.

I’m gonna say this upfront; Meghan McCain has a long way to go in her role as a republican pundit.

Stupid? I don't think so. Ignorant? Sometimes.

Some people say she just isn’t bright enough, but I haven’t really seen any evidence to support that. She has shown to be ignorant on a few different topics but that's mainly because she’s young and inexperienced in her new role.

I also think her father being in politics puts restraints on some things she might want to say or do (obviously).

That being said, I LOVED this video clip because she summed up the future of the Republican Party in a minute 37 (at least if they hope to have a future).

On Larry King Live:



She really needs to stop calling all these people old, but she does hit the nail on the head.

Social issues are strangling the Republican Party.

Just look at the numbers. You’ll see that on most social issues the country leans away from the Conservative ideology.






The center now leans left.

The only social issues the Republicans have similar views with the majority are regarding the death penalty and opposition to gay marriage (what a triumph).




Even then, the Republicans don’t fully relate with the public.

In regards to gay marriage, a disproportionate amount of Republicans want a constitutional ban (45%) compared to the overall amount (30%).

And polls have consistently found lower support for the death penalty when it is offered as an alternative to life imprisonment with no possibility of parole

I may not know the direction the Republican Party needs to take, but Meghan McCain is right that social issues shouldn't be at the forefront.

Because when it comes to social issues, all the Republican Party has is death and inequality.

So maybe people shouldn't be so quick to disregard one of the newest voices of the Republican party.

-Stem Cell and Health Care poll found here. Terrorism poll found here. Abortion poll found here. Gay Marriage poll found here. Death Penalty poll found here.

(Wow. I put way more effort than necessary into this post. lol)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Weekly Address 3/28/09

"The President addresses the people of North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota as they face down disastrous flooding. He speaks of what the government is doing, but also stresses that times of crisis like this are reminders of the need and opportunity Americans have to keep their dedication to service."

Friday, March 27, 2009

Unemployment Issues

As some of you will know, I was fired from my job in December for “immodest attire” (since I’m obviously a skanky whore who doesn’t know how to clothe myself).

So I'm still a little bitter. Shoot me.

Well, I finally got around to applying for unemployment last month and I was approved.

What the unemployment office said: “Claimant was discharged due to immodest dress in the work place. There was no final incident as reason for discharge. Best information indicates that the claimant was not discharged due to a recent final incident. Employer failed to show how claimants continued employment was adverse to employer’s rightful interest. Culpability is not shown. Benefits allowed. Employer charged.”

But when I checked my mail yesterday, I had a notice requesting my participation in a phone hearing because the county disagrees with the unemployment office’s decision.

WTF?

Can’t these people just fuck off?

It’s not like I even want to be unemployed. In fact, I very much loathe being unemployed. I want to work, but there just aren’t many people hiring right now.

And I do not want to deal with this.

What the county said: “The employer disagrees with this decision and states claimant was discharged for wearing immodest attire to work.”

It doesn’t make any sense to me. They are agreeing with what I said. How is that a disagreement?

They also included two letters with their appeal. One being my termination letter and the other is a disciplinary letter I never received.

I can’t help but feel like I’m going to be thrown under the bus.

I’m hoping this is the county’s standard policy and not just some residual hard feelings towards me, but you never know.

Maybe I can find a job before the 12th and I won’t have to deal with this.

*Update: I talked to some other people who worked for the county and turns out this is common procedure for them. It is not likely they will win, they just have to try to fight it.

Rebuking Bush (again)

I know I’m a little behind, but I’m so happy that the Obama administration has signed the U.N. declaration that calls for the decriminalization of homosexuality.

From Rueters:
State Department spokesman Robert Wood said the Obama administration, which took office eight weeks ago, would now join 66 other U.N. member states who supported a U.N. statement in December that condemned human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

"The United States is an outspoken defender of human rights and critic of human rights abuses around the world," Wood told reporters.

"As such, we join with other supporters of this statement, and we will continue to remind countries of the importance of respecting the human rights of all people in all appropriate international fora."

Gay rights groups immediately welcomed the move.


"The administration's leadership on this issue will be a powerful rebuke of an earlier Bush administration position that sought to deny the universal application of human rights protections to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals," said Mark Bromley, who chairs the Council for Global Equality.

The U.N. General Assembly had been split over the issue of gay rights, with many Muslim countries refusing to sign on to the statement because of opposition to international attempts to legalize homosexuality.

A rival statement read out by Syria at the time gathered about 60 signatures from the 192-nation assembly.

The United States was the only western state not to sign on to the gay rights document. All European Union member states endorsed it, as did Canada, Australia and Japan.

According to the sponsors of the Franco-Dutch text of the document, homosexuality is illegal in 77 countries, seven of which punish it by death.

Not gonna lie, I found, "the United States is an outspoken defender of human rights and critic of human rights abuses around the world," line to be pretty hilarious.

But good move for the Obama administration none the less.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Daily Obsession - Maynard James Keenan

I love love love Maynard James Keenan and I am in the mood for some Tool and A Perfect Cicle today.

Judith:



Judith is my favorite song from APC.

Not only cause the music is great, but because the lyrics are pretty fucking awesome. They had me with the first line, "You are such an inspiration for the way that I will never ever choose to be."

The Outsider:



I know it's silly, but I like the way he wears a wig when he plays with A Perfect Circle and the way he usually stands to the back.

My favorite Tool song is Schism:



I love the line, "the light that fueled our fire then has a burned a hole between us so."

(On a side note, I somehow got into an argument about the big bang while getting this video. lol)


Sober:



Tool was the first concert I ever went to and Maynard has one of those voices that is just as good live as it is recorded (he also wore only a pair of hot pants and was covered head to toe in black body paint).



"People have to follow their hearts, and if their hearts lead them to Wal-Mart, so be it." -MJK

Got to love that.

Star Dust

I was watching a show about the loch ness monster in Scotland (hey it looked interesting) and I found myself thinking about what creationists deny their children in the name of their faith.

I know that seems like an odd connection, but it really isn’t.

See, the beginning of the show talked about how the lake was formed, and how Scotland used to be connected to North America.

I was completely flabbergasted.

It really shouldn’t have come as such a surprise since we’ve all colored little Pangaea maps in elementary school, but it’s just not one of those details that rolls around my head every day.



I found myself going back to that fact over and over.

You can look at the road cuts and see rocks in Scotland’s Highlands that match rocks found in New York perfectly.

They’re one and the same.

As my brain chewed on that wonder for a moment, I found myself thinking about creationists.

Because even though it seems so small, I had a moment of true awe at the way we’re all connected. I can’t help but think it’s a shame that so many children won’t get to experience that for themselves.

On Darwin’s Day I posted a video of Dawkins and he said something along the lines of:
“It’s a privilege to know where we come from and to deny children that privilege is wicked. It’s a depravation that should not be visited on any child when the truth is so staggeringly exciting. It really is an exciting thought, that we are cousins of all living creatures. It’s a beautiful thought.”

It is a beautiful thought.

The romantic in me revels in the idea that we’re made up of star dust.

(eagle nebula)


The atoms in our bodies have been recycled for millions of years and gone through countless other living things in countless other places. How can someone not find this extraordinary?

People wonder how atheists can take comfort in the truth that there’s no after life (though I find the idea of infinity far more frightening), but we don’t need to.

For me to know that when I die the atoms in my body will return to the universe to become something else brings me more peace and feelings of connectedness then any religion has ever given me.

To take that wondrous truth away from children is a grave injustice.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

You can’t consent to rape. End. Of. Story.

I just read the article One Rape Please (To Go): I Paid a Male Whore to Rape Me Because I Wanted To by Tracie Egan and I’m a little dumbfounded.

First off, I want to say that I found the article to be funny and narcissistically witty. I’m not even a mild fan of Tracie’s (I remember an article where someone said that her goal to be famous has turned her into a caricature of a real person and in a lot of ways I agree) but I did enjoy this particular personal story.

Now that that’s out of the way, I am annoyed at how she keeps calling this rape.

If you PAY a man to dominate you, set up boundaries, safe words, and CONSENT, then you are not being raped.

It’s pretty fucking simple.

I talked a little about rape fantasies before, but this q&a from feministing’s Professor Foxy sums it up eloquently:
Professor Foxy,

I've had submissive sexual fantasies since I was very young and it's something that I've always found really difficult to come to terms with. I'm a very assertive and driven person in real life so it's just really hard for me to accept how much I sexually enjoy giving up control and power.

I've been dating my current boyfriend for two years and we've experimented quite a bit with bondage and dominance play. It's always incredibly arousing and fun for me. And he enjoys it too because he can tell how much it turns me on.

Intellectually I understand that these feelings are just a part of my sexuality and that they don't have anything to do with who I am outside of the bedroom. But at the same time, every once in a while I just feel so ashamed and guilty. It's hard to reconcile being a feminist with my strong sexual desire to submit. What can I do to accept my sexuality for what it is?

-Conflicted feminist


Hi Conflicted –

A good step towards accepting your sexuality for what it is may be to unpack it a little bit more. I want to quote you back to you: I'm a very assertive and driven person in real life so it's just really hard for me to accept how much I sexually enjoy giving up control and power.

I'm going to come back to the first part, but first let's focus on the second part of the sentence: I sexually enjoy giving up control and power. YOU give up control and power. In the real world, power and control are taken from women in an effort to make them submissive. In your sex life, as convoluted as this may seem, you are in power because you make the choice to give up power. Your boyfriend (yay for him) engaged in this because you (still in power) asked him to engage. As much as the sex play is about you "giving up power," in reality you are still the one in control.

A friend of mine is a strong, independent, assertive woman, who, like you, enjoys being submissive sexually, says it this way, "even when I am being submissive, I know that I am the one in power. I let the person dominate me, I set what can and cannot be done, and I can call a beginning and stop to the action."

And now back to the beginning of your sentence "I'm a very assertive and driven person in real life." Sex can be a healthy way of achieving balance in our lives. Acting out your submissive side (a side every person has) allows you to unwind and let go. We all need to have a place to act out all of our different sides and it looks like you have found a place to act out one of them.

I’ve read too many articles rationalizing rape because a good portion of women has submissive fantasies (so of course we must all secretly want to be raped and therefore deserve it when it happens), but what Prof. Foxy so perfectly points out is the huge devide between giving up power and having your power ripped away from you.

And I can't help but think that throwing around this kind of language doesn’t help the situation.

When so many rape victims still have a hard time saying they were raped (I also talked my struggles with this), I find it distasteful how easily people use it for entertainment value.

I can’t see anything positive coming from the view that rape is funny and somehow sexually fulfilling when we live in a society that is quick to judge the victim and pardon the rapist.

Now obviously Egan should not be the example of how to look at these sorts of issues. She may claim to be a feminist, but she does so only as a cloak to rationalize her behavior.

She’s funny but I can’t support most of her ideas that trivialize the hard work a lot of women are dedicating their lives to and her previous attitude that she hasn’t been raped because she’s “smart” make me want to throw up (glad to know I’m a dumb ass).



More here.

Either way, this article really bothered me and I felt the need to say something.

As entertainment, the article is great. But in the context of feminist empowerment, not so much.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I just find this funny

I talked about my friend Stacy a few posts back and how I've known her forever.

Well, I was going through my old pictures so I could scan them onto my computer and look what I found:



hahaha...that's us in 5th grade.

Here's the beginning of high school:



The other girl in the picture it Audra. I've know her just as long, but we spent all of elementary school, middle school, and high school being arch nemeses. Even though we've both wised up, it's fun to think back about all the unpleasant things we would put each other through. (And believe me, there were plenty.)

Total side note: I remember in 5th grade when Audra got so mad at me while we were playing basketball at a birthday party that she tried to throw the ball at me. Only I moved out of the way and the ball landed dead center in middle of the cake...haha

It makes me smile to think about it.

Graduation day:



At Christmas time:



I know it doesn't mean much to everyone else, but it warms my heart to see these pictures.

I may have had a hard childhood in some ways, but in others I'm really lucky.

"I want people armed and dangerous..."

I don’t know if you’re lucky enough to not know who Michelle Bachmann is, but she’s a Republican State Representative for Minnesota and she’s fucking insane.

Like Anne Coulter crazy.

Photobucket

I think this quote sums it up:
“Listeners should rejoice right now, because there are believers all across your listening area that are praying now. And I would say that if you can't attend the rally, you can pray. And God calls us to fall on our faces and our knees and cry out to Him and confess our sins. And I would just ask your listeners to do that now. Cry out to a Holy God. He wants to hear us, He will hear us if we will confess our sins and cry out to Him. Our children are worth it and obedience to God demands it.”
-on the radio program "Prophetic Views Behind The News"
Oh yeah. And it just gets better and better.

Her most recent lunatic ideas:



From Political Animal:
BACHMANN ON 'ENEMY LINES'.... It's obviously just rhetoric from overly-excited far-right lawmakers. It's no doubt intended to fire up the activists (and donors) who help Republicans succeed.

But when Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) casually refers to elected Democratic officials as the "enemy," and nonchalantly refers to keeping her supporters "armed and dangerous," it's probably a good time to remind Republican lawmakers to turn down the temperature a bit.

On the one hand, it seems clear that Bachmann was speaking figuratively. On the other hand, is it appropriate for a member of Congress to speak in any context about being armed for revolution? [TPM]

No, probably not. But this seems to fit in with a larger trend. We have one GOP lawmaker saying the party should emulate the insurgency tactics of the Taliban. We have another arguing the party should position itself as "freedom fighters" taking on the "slide toward socialism."

And now Bachmann is throwing fuel on the fire of right-wing rage.

Obviously, Bachmann and other unhinged conservatives have the right to say what they please. But at a minimum, I think it's fair to describe this kind of talk from elected leaders in positions of authority as irresponsible.

WTF? She's a member of congress sworn to uphold the constitution.

I don't understand why she's still in office.

Prayer in Texas Schools

One of the things I’ve heard time and time again from religious parents is how the separation of church and state actually attacks religion (because Christians are so persecuted in America of course).

Prayer in school is one example always used.

Some ague that the government has taken away their children's right to worship their sky fairy god freely and openly during the school day.

Why this argument is complete utter crap is glaringly obvious to most non-religious people.

Only mandated school prayer has been removed.

That’s it.

Students can pray anytime they like, it just can’t be forced or endorsed by the school.

Simple right?

But for some odd reason, parents find the idea of a personal relationship with god horrifying to comprehend and their solution is to disregard everyone else’s personal freedom and turn our schools into a Sunday school jamborees.

From statesman.com:

DALLAS — A federal appeals court on Monday upheld a Texas law that requires public school students to observe a daily minute of silence in order to pray, reflect or otherwise remain quiet.

A three-judge panel from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans affirmed a district court ruling, saying the law is constitutional because it expressly allows any silent use of that minute, whether religious or not.

The provision, which took effect in September 2003, changed the way school days begin in Texas, allowing children to "reflect, pray, meditate or engage in any other silent activities" for one minute after the American and Texas pledges of allegiance have been recited.

Solicitor General James Ho argued for the state that the moment of silence fostered patriotism, provided time for contemplation and protected religious freedom.

Circuit Judge Edith Brown Clement noted the lawmaker who sponsored the moment of silence bill expressed a desire to add prayer to Texas' existing statute after the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals found a similar law in Virginia was constitutional.

But the judges said the law that ultimately took effect in Texas allows for any silent use of the time.

I’m really bothered by this.

Not because I’m offended by people who want to pray at school, but because of this is another dangerously uncertain dam that needs constant watching in case it should decide to drown us all in the Lord’s glory.

With our failing education problems in this country already, it just seems like such a huge waste of time.

That's not even taking the fact that Texas has one of the highest rates of teen pregnancy in this country into account. It makes more sense to spend that minute a day to remind kids about the importance of condoms and birth control then on prayer.

I’m also concerned with the way the word “patriotism” has become a mechanism to sneak prayer into schools (similar to how “intelligent design” has become a code word for “creationism”).

If a parent wants his or her child to attend a school that nurtures their delusions religious beliefs, that’s completely their personal choice and they have every right to enroll their child in private school.

But if they decide to enroll their child in public school, then the secular ideals of a secular society should be upheld.

And those parents are just gonna have to suck it up.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Stange Weather

One of the biggest adjustments about moving to Utah has nothing to do with Mormons or their need to put nasty ass fry sauce on everything.

But it's seriously gross people and you should stop.

It has to do with the way the weather can change in a heartbeat (some crap about mountains and air streams).

I never really experienced it living in San Diego, so I still find it shocking how the weather can go from a lovely 60 degrees to utter crap in a few hours.

This weekend:



This morning:



wtf? It's gonna be crappy all week too.



Blah.

Domestic Violence Made Real

Originally, I wasn’t going to talk about this but the response of some people has made me feel like I need to say something.

From Feministing:
Do Something , an organization "using the power of online to get teens to do good stuff offline," has made a video re-enactment of the Chris Brown/Rhianna conflict as part of their 1 in 3 Campaign (designed to education young people about dating violence). It's obviously based on the actual police notes from the incident, making it highly realistic and unavoidably horrifying:


While I could understand why some people would be outraged by this bold PSA tactic, I'm completely in support of what Do Something is doing. They're making the incident--which has been so obscured by the media hype, ignorant commentary from pundits and the public alike, and so much disrespect--real again. A woman, a man, out of control emotions, and inexcusable violence. If Rhianna weren't already horribly outed by this whole incident, I might feel like it were an invasion of her privacy, but at this point, it's just so public. It seems like the most respectful thing we can do for Rhianna is make sure that this whole thing inspires young people to get educated about relationship violence--as the ad does.

What bothers me about this whole thing is the response to the actors being white and how people find it as racist.

Why is it racist?

I’m not being sarcastic. I really want to know.

Is it because this somehow means we should be more sympathetic to a white women being beat up by her boyfriend? Is it because the idea of the “angry black man” has become some facetious stereotype in our society? Is it because we just wouldn’t care if the actor portrayed a woman of color?

Why?

I’ve never wanted to be one of those white people who cries about reverse racism (because even though it does exist, it seems so trite to wine about the social injustice of it) but I’m a little annoyed how every action can be viewed as racist.

Or sexist.

Or against our “most precious and unique people.”

Our society has become so sensitive about every little comment a person can say that we are loosing creditability and the ability to converse openly and honestly with one another.

Talking about this video and racism only does one thing, takes the focus off of domestic violence and places it somewhere I don’t think it really belongs.

Because we don’t know why these actors were chosen (maybe they were volunteers), but we KNOW that this situation happened.

If people are going to be upset, it should have more to do with the possible re-victimization of Rihanna by having to watch her ordeal over and over instead of the perceived intention of the director.

And lets be honest, people would say it was racist if both these actors were black.

So maybe my ignorant white female perspective is showing, but I think we’re missing the bigger picture here.

Embryos = Synthetic Human Blood

Anyone who thinks there are no benefits from embryonic stem cell research should read this article.
Scientists in Britain plan to become the first in the world to produce unlimited amounts of synthetic human blood from embryonic stem cells for emergency infection-free transfusions.

A major research project is to be announced this week that will culminate in three years with the first transfusions into human volunteers of "synthetic" blood made from the stem cells of spare IVF embryos. It could help to save the lives of anyone from victims of traffic accidents to soldiers on a battlefield by revolutionising the vital blood transfusion services, which have to rely on a network of human donors to provide a constant supply of fresh blood.

The multimillion-pound deal means Britain will take centre stage in the global race to develop blood made from embryonic stem cells. The researchers will test human embryos left over from IVF treatment to find those that are genetically programmed to develop into the "O-negative" blood group, which is the universal donor group whose blood can be transfused into anyone without fear of tissue rejection.
This blood group is relatively rare, applicable to about 7 per cent of the population, but it could be produced in unlimited quantities from embryonic stem cells because of their ability to multiply indefinitely in the laboratory.

The aim is to stimulate embryonic stem cells to develop into mature, oxygen-carrying red blood cells for emergency transfusions. Such blood would have the benefit of not being at risk of being infected with viruses such as HIV and hepatitis, or the human form of "mad cow" disease. The military in particular needs a constant supply of fresh, universal donor blood for battlefield situations when normal supplies from donors can quickly run out.

But developing blood made from the cells of spare IVF embryos will raise difficult ethical issues for people not happy with the idea of destroying embryos to create stem cells. It also raises the intriguing philosophical question of whether the synthetic blood will have come from someone who never existed. In theory, just one embryo could meet the nation's needs.

Scientists in other countries, notably Sweden, France and Australia, are also known to be working on the development of synthetic blood from embryonic stem cells. And last year, a team from a US biotechnology company, Advanced Cell Technology, announced that it has been able to produce billions of functioning red blood cells from embryonic stem cells. But the US work had been held up because of funding problems dating back to the ban on embryonic stem cell work under the Bush administration. President Barack Obama has since reversed that policy.

In Britain, the project was held up because of the difficulty of finding funding for "translational" research that attempts to take scientific studies in the laboratory into the earliest stages of commercial development. This problem has now been overcome.

Did anyone else have the urge to shout “boo ya?”

Just me?

Huh. :)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

A New Look

I’m feeling restless today and I have killer heart burn from drinking pineapple rum and orange juice all night last night.

I never got heart burn until I got pregnant (another gift from Holden) and it’s unpleasant to say the least.

Plus it makes me feel old. lol

Anyhoo, I am excited to say that we finished painting the living room. I still have to paint all the trim and the light switch cover thingamabobs, but the main part is finished.

Some pics:



Holden being shy:



What NOT to do:



(I already repainted the t.v. stand and scraped all the paint off the bookcases. Now I just need to find a way to get the primer out of the carpet...)

Ta Da:



Like a thousand times better right?

The paint is a little more blue then I was expecting, but it works alright with the green and orange I have in the house.

We also framed out my painting in the living room and it looks great.



It feels so much more like a real painting instead of just a piece of cardboard I fiddled around with in my basement. (And would it kill my couch cushions to sit straight?)

So that's it for today. I've been a busy bee this weekend.

I will get back to my regularly scheduled bitching tomorrow. :)

WooHoo!

I finally finished my application for financial aid for college.

I always find my laziness astounding.

It only took about ten minutes, but I had to find all the necessary papers so I put it off time and time again.

Today I just sucked it up and let a little Elton John entertain me. :)



Now I just need to find my grant papers...lol

Cheers!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Weekly Address 3/21/09

The President reflects on lessons from his time spent outside Washington this week, which only reinforced the four core principles in his budget.



President Obama's message to the Iranian People:

President Obama's special video message for all those celebrating Nowruz, or "New Day." This year, the President wanted to send a special message to the people and government of Iran, acknowledging the strain in our relations over the last few decades. After committing his administration to a future of honest and respectful diplomacy, he addresses Iran's leaders directly.

Choking Hypocrisy

I am in the middle of finishing up all the painting in the living room today so I didn’t plan on posting, but after reading the comments Governor Palin made about President Obama’s Special Olympics remark, I feel the need.

In case you missed it, here’s what Obama said:



Bring out the peanut gallery!

From Anchorage Daily News:
Palin is mother of a child born with Down syndrome. She says this was a "degrading remark about our world's most precious and unique people, coming from the most powerful position in the world.

The former Republican vice presidential candidate says she hopes the comment does not reflect how the president truly feels about the special needs community.

First, just because you have special needs child doesn’t mean you’re a champion for special needs parents. Similar to how, for some god awful reason, not all women are feminists.

Second, President Obama apologized. End. Of. Story. He also put billions of dollars into his stimulus bill for special education. I'm not too surprised Mrs. Palin isn't aware of that since that would involve actually reading something, but I'm pretty sure that reflects how he "truly feels."

Third, I think the most pressing matter here is Governor Palin’s refusal to accept $172 million for Alaska schools, which about $74 million alone was designated for poor schools and special-needs kids.

Do I hear someone choking on their own hypocrisy?

People are going to criticize the President, even when he doesn't deserve it. I get that. That's politics.

But please take the time to at least fill the cracks in your own glass house before you start throwing stones.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Random randomness

I’m not really in the mood to talk about anything in particular, so here are a few things I thought I’d share with you.

Today is my good friend Stacy’s Birthday. I’ve know her since we were in elementary school and I’m lucky enough to still have a good friendship with her.



She’s one of those people who are so wonderful that I can’t help but wonder sometimes why she hasn’t wised up by now and dumped my crazy ass. lol

I made this little pic for her. I put it in one of those floating frames and it looked pretty nifty if I don't say so myself.



So Happy Birthday Stacy! :)

I also found this really cool site where you can make your own font out of your handwriting for free.

Just go to the site, print out the page and fill it out (make sure you don't put your real signature at the bottom though).



Scan it. Upload it. And your done. Easy Peasy.



Pretty awesome right?

And speaking of pretty awesome (man I'm slick), look at this statue (Beethoven maybe?) I got at the thrift store for $1.50.



I'm totally loving it. I think I'm gonna paint it bright orange and put it on the bookshelves in the living room.

And since this post has spiraled into randomness, here is one of the creepiest videos I've seen in a long time:



Hahaha. I think my favorite is the fire muffin.

So, that's it. Hope everyone has a kick ass weekend!

Now I just got to convince Ryan that today is the perfect day for painting the living room (it's 66 degrees and sunny...woohoo!). :)

*card from Bald Guy Greetings and found here.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Taking Steps

One of the most heart wrenching and beautifully written blogs I follow is called Taking Steps: Trouble ensues when you let monsters talk pretty.

It’s written by Little Light who couragously gives us a veiw into her thoughts and life as a trans woman of color.

Her posts are so thought provoking and touching I almost always tear up (but I’m a big baby when it comes to movies/writings and I get teased mercilessly about it).

Her most recent post is about the way boys/men use violence to assert their maleness and how society expects that violence to be used toward transgender children.

I found it hauntingly beautiful.
The first thing you need to understand is that masculinity, maleness, is inculcated and enforced with violence. It's either actual violence, or the threat of violence, or the implied threat of violence. Constantly. It's how men and boys are taught to train each other into maleness. This is true even at a very, very young age; go to a kindergarten playground, and you will see little boys shaping each others' masculinity, according to the rules they're taught by older boys and by grown men, with violence. It starts very early.

Take a little girl and throw her into that group of boys. Leave her with them and only the instruction, "Do whatever you want with her. Shape her into whatever you want to. Your scalpel is violence." Just sit with that for a minute. The image of handing a little girl who doesn't understand the world yet to a group of boys who are given carte blanche to use violence to shape her into whatever they think is appropriate.

It's a horrifying image. It's hideous and disturbing and wrong and it makes my flesh crawl thinking about it. And that's the way we, as a society, ought to react; if something like this scenario went public, there would be newspaper headlines.

It happens every day. Every hour. But while decent people automatically find this scenario a yawning, shocking evil when the little girl we envision is cissexual, this is considered the normal and proper way to treat a little girl who's trans. I knew I was a girl that early; I was kicked out of preschool for refusing to admit that I was a boy. And then they handed that little girl to the boys for the next fifteen years and said, "Do what you want with her. We will look the other way or cheer you on as you turn her into whatever you want to. Your scalpel is violence. It's only proper if she screams."

This is one of the revealed, naked faces of oppression: if it were done to the privileged person, it would be considered abuse. If it's done to the marginalized person, it's the status quo. But it's not only that. It's not only about oppression; it's about how and why we internalize oppression.

This is a horrifying story. It's the kind of story that threatens to break your mind if it's your story. And you have to protect yourself somehow. You have to hold yourself together. You have to make it make sense. Because a world where that can be done to a little child who never did anything to anyone, who's not even old enough to understand why she's being hurt this way even by her parents until nowhere is ever safe, that's not an okay world. That's not a world I think a lot of us, including me, are strong enough to hold as true. So we defend ourselves by believing what it tells us.

I let the world tell me lies. I let myself believe that I was so bad and wrong and monstrous that I deserved what I got, that I even let someone rape me just because I was so desperately craving to be touched at all, because even abuse was more closeness than I felt I deserved. I let myself absorb the idea that I was completely delusional, and that all my knowledge about myself was false twitchings of a sick mind, because the alternative to that painful lie, the lie that I was a monster living in a fantasy world who was inherently freakish and unlovable? The alternative was worse. The alternative was that I didn't deserve it, I wasn't disgusting and unworthy of love, that I was a child put in an abusive situation and forced to stay there for no good reason. I wasn't strong enough to let that be true, as a child. I wasn't strong enough to let that be true as a teenager who couldn't sleep, who worked out on a punching bag every day after school until her hands bled, who spent every day thinking of newer, cleaner exits from living. I wasn't strong enough to let that be true as a college student who was fetishized and mocked and treated as a contaminated, essentially pornographic animate sex toy unworthy of any kind of closeness that didn't have the tinge of "dirty" and "perverted" seeping into it, who couldn't hug people or say "I love you" without fear that it would be considered creepy.

I wasn't strong enough to accept the truth of how strong I was. Acknowledging and owning my vast strength meant acknowledging that I was holding up something very heavy all the time, that I had been through hardship and not just normal life, the natural order of things. What I wasn't strong enough to accept was that I was a good kid, a strong kid, a brave kid, because that meant admitting that I was going through something that required virtue, strength, and courage, something that would make an inspiring TV movie about human resilience if it were happening to a person considered real by her society. Accepting that I was okay, that I was even beautiful, meant admitting that what I went through at school and at home, rather than being normal and good, was a horrorshow.

So I bought the lie instead. I let them convince me for a large swath of my adolescence that I was, really, a boy. The idea disgusted and horrified me, but not as much as the truth, that I was right, that I was trustworthy to myself, that it wasn't my fault. It was better to live in a world where I was a boy--or even a boy who wanted to be a woman someday--and had lived a normal life, than a world where I was a girl who was systematically stripped of her sense of self, subjective reality, and personhood, subjected to near-constant violence or its threat, and treated as a contaminated, dirty thing. The lie--even the lie of "boy who wants to be a girl" or "woman in a man's body," as though my body was someone else's--as skin-crawlingly painful as it was, was nowhere near as painful as the truth of being a girl trying to find her way to womanhood and living through this on the way.

This is how we internalize the lies. This is how we accept the yoke of oppression. By living in a world where the truth that we are beautiful and worthy and lovable is even more painful to accept than the lie that we are none of these things, because all sense of fairness or order vanishes when you look the truth in the eye. If we are beautiful, we are in a world that does not care about our beauty, and even grinds it in the mud. If we are strong, we are living in a world so heavy that it saps our strength until we are tired all the time. If we are ourselves, we are living in a world that systematically strips away our selfhood like roast chicken scraped from the bone.

Until we are strong enough to look this in the eye and fight it, to stand up and fight and make the part of the world we stand on more okay no matter how hard it is or what it takes--until we are so very strong that we remember we are strong, and beautiful, and true, worthy of no end of love, no matter what--it's just too much to bear. So we accept false stories instead, about how we're dirty and ugly and weak and unlovable. We have to. I had to.

I am writing this down because I know that in an hour, or a day, or a week, I will be listening to the lies again for a while. How else do you live? How do you go on in the world without accepting that the injustice is just, or not your problem, just a little, just for now? How can you walk in a world where the truth is true instead of breaking down and crying? So we internalize the lies for a while in order to let things make enough sense to get through the day. Gravity pulls comfortingly down. The alternative, the raw, vulnerable, pulsing truth can only be taken in doses, even if they're bigger doses every day. It's so hard to just let it be real. How can you let it be real? How can you really pull off the lid and look down into that darkness and let the truth--that you live in a world where you're not considered fully real, fully human, and that if you were considered real, what was done to you would be considered unacceptable, retch-inducing, but you're not and it isn't?

You have to tell yourself the stories. Just for now. Just until you're strong enough to bear the weight of the truth and see with clear eyes, if you ever get that strong. Just until you are so full of overwhelming bravery and power that you can finally insist that you are lovable and loved, that you deserve it in every cell of you, that beauty shines through you as a conflagration of glory. When you stand there, blazing in your awful wonder, you can move the whole world. You just have to get through the pain of knowing that you are true, that you know, that you are everything you will ever need to be.

It hurts to say this and it hurts to hear: you are lovable. So am I. The chasm between that truth and the world we allow ourselves to live in every day is deep and dark, but it is still the truth and always will be.

You are everything you ever hoped you would be, and I love you. When you are strong enough, please, shine.

Check out her blog. It’s a shining gem of honesty in a world of bull shit.

*All emphasis and links are hers.

Cat Fights

I was going to talk about the Meghan McCain article where she criticized Ann Coulter, but I just kind of forgot about it and found more interesting things to talk about.

And when Laura Ingraham felt the need to defend Coulter’s honor by commenting nastily on her radio show about Meghan’s weight, well I thought it was petty (and extremely tacky) but didn’t really feel the need to talk about that either.

When, yet again, the ball bounced back to Meghan’s court and she decided to write a body positive article about the pressure to be thin, while simultaneously finding a way to criticize Ingraham's age, all I could think was you've got to be kidding me.


Is this really what the female side of politics looks like? Is this really what we’ve been reduced to?

Of course this sort of behavior is nothing new, but I can’t help but feel disappointed that ideological differences have been reduced to back and forth comments about age and size.

And we wonder why men don't take us seriously.

This article by Dahlia Lithwick sums it up perfectly:

At first, it just made you go hmmm: Here was Meghan McCain blitzing the airwaves with her thoughts on what ails the GOP and using her column in Tina Brown's the Daily Beast to pick fights with Ann Coulter. In a deliberately controversial column that decried Coulter's tendency to deliberately court controversy, McCain wrote: "I straight up don't understand this woman or her popularity. I find her offensive, radical, insulting, and confusing all at the same time." That earned her a week (now spilling into two) of prime time television spots including The Rachel Maddow Show and The Early Show.

But the blonde-on-blonde catfight spiraled into a third dimension of lowlights when conservative radio show host Laura Ingraham—perhaps feeling left out—mocked McCain on her show last Thursday for being, among other things, cute, liberal, and, er, "plus-sized." Meghan, forced now to defend her weight as well as her politics, posted what she termed a "thoughtful" response at the Daily Beast, criticizing Ingraham for making her size an issue, then took the fight to The View yesterday morning, winningly telling Ingraham—while, of course, channeling Tyra Banks—to "like, kiss my fat ass."

In case you're still scoring all this in the margins of your seventh-grade Brenda Walsh yearbooks, Ingraham then took yet another swipe at McCain on her blog, calling her a "useful idiot" and "flavor of the month."

You. Have. Got. To. Be. Kidding. This is the female version of the Rush Limbaugh-Michael Steele-David Frum smackdown for the soul of the GOP? One skinny blonde attacking another skinny blonde who is angrily defended by a third skinny blonde, after which everyone retires in a huff to their favorite health blogs to angrily discuss the importance of a positive body image and the need to support a healthy body mass index?

Ever wonder why some men think women are less than serious political thinkers? It certainly helps explain why so many men continue to believe that when it comes to "political discourse," women are all long, sprawling legs and silky blond hair in a tangle on the dessert cart. It's one thing to air your dirty laundry. But are we really stupid enough to be having a front-page battle over a plus-size thong?

Can you imagine the Y-chromosome version of Meghan McCain's recent appearance on The View? With Rush Limbaugh sitting at a round table surrounded by four supportive men, lamenting that men should help one another out more and that weight is the "last socially accepted prejudice" in America? Can you imagine David Frum sneering about Limbaugh or any other well-known political critic, "I've never heard of him before" as Meghan McCain giggled yesterday about Ingraham?

If you're going to fight about politics, fight about politics. Here's a useful litmus test: As long as the media continue to cover women's political differences in their "Health" sections, we are probably doing something wrong. Just as Michelle Obama has been reduced to a perpetual fashion story, the fight for the future of young women in the GOP has now become a body-image story. Well done, ladies! Way to get your thoughts and preferences taken seriously!

Were Ingraham's comments about McCain's weight thoughtless and stupid? Of course. Are McCain's hands lily white in the catfight rules of engagement? No. Don't believe me? Consider that her first column on Coulter attacked the Republican pundit for, among other things, her "voice." It reminded me of nothing so much as Sarah Palin's claim that she couldn't stand Clinton's "whining." When women, or men, criticize women's voices it's not all that different from going after their weight. It's a way of reducing what they have to say to what they sound like. It's a way of questioning their entitlement to speak at all. Which is why it's not something men typically complain about in other men.

Then there was McCain's nasty little zinger about Ingraham's age. Maybe you missed it amid all the fat chat. But in her column asking Ingraham to lay off the gratuitous weight comments, McCain dug deep and landed this little gratuitous snot-bomb: "Unfortunately, even though Ingraham is more than 20 years older than I and has been a political pundit for longer, almost, than I have been alive, she responded in a form that was embarrassing to herself and to any woman listening to her radio program who was not a size 0."

Get that, readers? Laura Ingraham is really, really, really old. She's so old she's been a pundit for longer (almost) than McCain has been alive. Classic girl-on-girl smear. And not something, say, David Frum would try on Rush Limbaugh because in man-world, being old and experienced is deemed a good thing. McCain has to know that when twentysomethings call fortysomethings old, they really mean it's time for Botox and a good divorce attorney because I'm coming to take your husband. There's a lot of snark in McCain, which will doubtless make her a brilliant heiress to the Coulter-Ingraham crown someday, but it makes her cries of mistreatment somewhat more difficult to tolerate.

And that's the problem. Meghan McCain just hasn't been doing this punditry thing long enough to understand that you can't suck and blow at the same time. The single most baffling line penned in the current catfight comes in McCain's latest salvo against Ingraham: “I also thought the media outlets that reported on Laura's comments about me were out of line. I don't listen to Laura's show, so if journalists hadn't picked up on it and reported on it, I never would have known what she said. I wonder how Laura would feel if at some point someone were to criticize her daughter's weight and broadcast it nationally on the radio.”

Now, I don't want to expend a whole lot of energy here close-reading Meghan McCain, but is she, in fact, claiming that the media outlets that joyfully reported on her Coulter claims, interviewed her about them, and then reported on those interviews were "out of line" for covering Ingraham's remarks as well, because such widespread media coverage allowed McCain to hear unpleasant things about herself?? Is the problem here that only Meghan's complaints about others are fair game or that claims about weight are not news? Oh, Meghan. Go out and buy a copy of US Weekly. Weight is always news.

McCain's problem isn't her weight, or her views, or even the fact that she doesn't know a lot. It's that she suddenly holds a rather enormous megaphone without understanding that the person most likely to be smacked on the head with it is herself.

Last week, McCain told Maddow "If it was too hot in the kitchen, I'd get out. …" Yesterday, Ingraham retorted that "you know, sometimes the kitchen gets a little hot." The problem with the whole hot-kitchen metaphor is that it's as archaic as these women who keep flinging it around. Women can fight in the kitchen if they want to, and they can crank up the heat if they so choose. But until we remember to argue on the merits, avoid the tired Mean Girls clichés, and speak as though what we have to say matters to men as well as to the viewers of America's Next Top Model, we'll never be taken seriously, in the kitchen or anyplace else.

I completely agree with this article and have always felt that when a person resorts to personal attacks you've automatically won the argument by default (since they obviously don't have a valid point).

I also don't understand why being young or thin is a weapon in the political arena where information, facts, and the ability to grasp complex concepts is so much more beneficial.

I do have an issue with the way the writer says, "until we remember to argue on the merits, avoid the tired Mean Girls clichés, and speak as though what we have to say matters to men as well as to the viewers of America's Next Top Model..." because it implies that the people who watch ANTM (which is mostly young women) aren't as intelligent as men. At least that's how I took it.

But her point is valid.

As long as we continue to allow ourselves to be sucked into these sort of petty arguments, we will never be taken seriously in the world of politics.

And since people like Bobby Jindal and Rush Limbaugh are inhabitants of that sometimes cooky place, that's really saying something.

Poor Taste

I know it's not right to judge other people, but I am shocked that someone would pay almost $300 dollars for one of these pink foot rests (Moroccan Pouf from John Derian).



They're totally cute, but $300 freaking dollars? WTF? This is really irritating me for some reason.

Mainly because out of 55 comments (I'm referring specifically to the totally cute and inspirational blog called Making it Lovely) only one person questioned the price.

Everyone else was heralding her decision at picking the more expensive model which was $100 dollars more then the cheaper version (and the dimensions were exactly the same).

I just don't get some people.

To me it seems like such a waste of money that could go towards so many other things and I hate how people always equate price with worth.

Sometimes I think being poor is good for developing common sense.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A SoulPancake Challenge

I saw this really cool idea over at SoulPancake and just had to share.

From SoulPancake:
They say that if you write something down, you have a seven-times-better chance of actually making it happen. If that's the case, who needs a palm reader when you have a Sharpie?

Step 1. Grab your favoritest color Sharpie.
Step 2. Write something on your palm that you REALLY want to happen.
Step 3. Snap a photo and paste the link below.
Step 4. Don't sniff the Sharpie.

Some Examples:



I thought it was super neat and went ahead and did my own.



Give it a try. It's actually a lot of fun.

And check out the site. It rocks.

Don't trust me?

Just check out the quick video explanation from Rainn Wilson below (it's only like 40 seconds).



You really don't trust me? I'm crushed ;)

The New Dora

The new and improved Dora the Explorer has just been released.

What do you think:



So she's thinner, prettier, and better accessorized.

I guess we should just be thankful they didn't lighten her skin and give her a convertible with GPS navigation.

And where the hell is her backpack?

Adoption vs. Abortion

I just read this amazing article from a woman who has had an abortion and given a child up for adoption and the ramifications of both.

It was incredibly insightful and I recommend it to everyone.

I was going to only post part of it, but I felt like that was a grave injustice to this woman.
Hey, Shakers, Liss has graciously allowed me to yell in her forum. Many thanks, Liss. I have no other outlet for what I'm about to say. I want to tell you first: at least one of you knows me in person. What I'm about to say is something you do not know about me. If it's not you, then one of your friends might be like me.

I'm the birth mother of an adopted child, vehemently pro-choice, non-Christian, very unsuited to motherhood, and after over a decade, have got some things to tell the world about adoption. It's been stewing since I heard about the recent rash of pre-abortion ultrasound legislation. While I am touched that so many men in such various states are so deeply worried about women possibly being all sad from having an abortion, I wish to point out to these compassionately bleeding hearts that the alternatives are not exactly without their own emotional consequences.

Keep in mind, this is from over a decade ago, and maybe things have changed - but I did four quick searches and found one site that says it's for birthmothers, and it turns out, it's to show them how easy it is to find a good family for your baby. It's a placement site; they don't care about anything but babies. I didn't find a single one for birthmothers who have already given up their kids. I'm sure they're out there. Somewhere. No need to go google for a half hour just to find me one site, okay. If you do, you've proved my point.

I have given a baby up for adoption, and I have had an abortion, and while anecdotes are not evidence, I can assert that abortions may or may not cause depression - it certainly did not in me, apart from briefly mourning the path not taken - but adoption? That is an entirely different matter. I don't doubt that there are women who were fine after adoption, and there is emphatically nothing wrong with that or with them; but I want to point out that if we're going to have a seemingly neverending discussion about the sorrow and remorse caused by abortion, then it is about goddamn time that we hear from birth mothers too.

Believe me when I say that of the two choices, it was adoption that nearly destroyed me - and it never ends. The only comparison I have is the death of a loved one. The pain retreats, maybe fades, but it comes right back if I poke at it. Writing this has taken me nearly two weeks. Normally, I can write this amount in about thirty minutes, with bathroom breaks. I started to type, and stopped only to reread, then go wail into my pillow. There is no such thing as "over" with this.

Birth mothers are a demographic seldom heard from, and then generally only in the context of how soon they want to "replace" their lost child. This is a huge WTF to me. I went into a self-destructive tailspin for over a decade, and never once thought that maybe a new doll would do the trick. Yet every support group, every online forum, every possible resource I found, all zeroed in on this one-size-fits-all panacea. I didn't want a new baby. I never wanted any babies in the first place. I also didn't want an abortion, and I don't see how any of my reasons for any of this are anyone's business, either. It was my choice to make, and that is that.

What I didn't realize at the time - because not one person in my whole life had ever seen fit to mention the possibility, including the pre-adoption counselors - was that I'd spend so long hovering on the edge of suicide, desperately trying to find some way to deal with an all-consuming pain I had no idea even existed. I had never needed help so badly, and I doubt I ever will again. I've known a lot of birth mothers, and I consider myself lucky; I'm less broken than many of them, somehow. Maybe it's because I never did get any kind of therapy. I couldn't find any that didn't make me feel inhuman.

I don't know what the post-adoption counseling is like now, but in my day, it was through the adoption agencies or religion. In my case, the adoption agency was Catholic, lots and lots of Catholicism, so no help there; I was also extremely upset that they provided psychiatric, drug-assisted help, but not mention that it was possible you'd have need for it until after it was too late. This is the kind of thing you really need to know before you make the decision, if only to brace yourself. No, until the baby was gone, it was all paperwork and offering to put me into a nice Catholic household where I could go to church with the family, watch wholesome programs on TV. I'm not Catholic. I'm not even Christian. The idea of church revolted me, as much as it would revolt others to have to follow a religious or non-religious lifestyle that they don't share. Also it was mentioned that I'd have to go along with all the Catholicism, because if I didn't, my host family could have me removed. To where? That question was never answered. Also, I don't watch TV, not that anyone asked.

So I handled it myself, which wasn't easy, but at least, I could pee in the middle of the night without someone I barely knew hovering outside the door. I'm not sure what mattered more, privacy or freedom, but they were both necessary.

Then the baby came, and soon I realized that it had fucked me up considerably to give it away. When I did, I went looking for help. The adoption agency I went through was so Catholic that my fillings hurt. So, I looked around. I kept looking for ten years. I never found counseling or therapy or any kind of help whatsoever that wasn't about self-hatred.

Post-adoption counseling turned out to be focused on getting yourself together enough to make yourself a new Christian baby so you could be a good Christian wife and mother. I kept getting the same thing. What if you don't want to have a New Baby (tm), or can't? Or you're not religious? And why the fuck are actual babies so disposable that you're expected to get over it after a suitable period of mourning (i.e., till you get a good Christian husband) in the case of adoption? It's odd how this does not apply in the case of aborting a blastocyst, when you're expected to wall yourself into a tomb away from decent society and gnaw on the bitter bones of your own despicable evil. Bad woman. BAD.

Where did this all-too-common idea that the only normal reaction is "longing for replacement motherhood" come from? I think that it at least partially comes from the roles women are assigned in society. Sometimes it seems like the only acceptable choice we have is when to become a mother, not if. I had my tubes tied without having any more babies, and all of a sudden everyone viewed me as an alien life form. Maybe, just maybe, if we had less "make BABIES!1!" pressure in this world, we'd have fewer stories such as Susan Smith and Andrea Yates. There's nothing wrong with wanting to have kids. There's a hell of a lot wrong with making people feel like monsters if they don't.

I'd also like to point out that every time I mention the adoption in public (including the Net), one of these things invariably happens:

1: metaphorical pat on the head: "you did the right thing", which helped at first, but rapidly came to sound amazingly condescending. Nobody asked me if I was doing okay or anything like that, ever, even though I quite spectacularly wasn't.

2: "what kind of a woman gives up her BABIES?!" - this is always said by exactly the kind of people I don't want to be having a conversation with in the first place.

3: "don't worry, you can have another one" - would people say this to a parent whose child had just died? That's what giving one up feels like.

4: a lecture on the evils of abortion, which seems grotesquely out of place in this context, and inevitably makes me turn extremely vicious in real life. I can pretty much guarantee that talking about the downside of being a birth mother on the Net will bring out at least one, regardless of where on the Net it's posted. I can also safely assume that any such commenter will not have read this far, but just in case, I want that commenter to know one thing: your deep concern for pregnancy (in a thread about adoption) sounds more like the self-righteous squawking of someone so deeply disturbed over their own lack of bone-deep ethics that they're compelled to spend their days lecturing the rest of us. Address your own issues. I suggest volunteer work, but I don't recommend any kind of personal contact; you lack empathy. Many cities, even small ones, have beautification programs involving cleanup and planting trees, which might do for a start. You will be enriching the lives of others, improving your own health, you can proudly point out "your" trees, and you'll feel self-righteous with damn good reason for a change.

Back to my topic, which was:

Adoption fucked up my head far worse than abortion. I've googled over the years about the psychological aftereffects of giving up a baby, and what little I found is astonishing. Depression and suicide rates ridiculously high, comparable to PTSD - and beyond a shadow of a doubt, there is no way you can cook any post-abortion trauma study to come anywhere near post-adoption trauma levels. Strange how peer-reviewed studies on this are damn near non-existent; strange how nobody mentions any of this when it's not just your mind on the line, but also that of your kid or kids (more on that later). Strange how this is never on the radar when these stupid obstructionist anti-abortion rules are proposed by retrofuckwits.

They're always blatting on about how concerned they are for us, apparently because women aren't capable of making decisions without the gently guiding hand of all-knowing patriarchy, lest we irreparably damage our emotions and drown in a whirlpool of remorseful tears. They care ever so deeply about the long-term psychological effects of not having at least 10 months to consider whether or not to terminate a pregnancy, but no mention is ever made about women who actually do give up the baby. Seems to me that anyone who actually does so is lauded far and wide for Doing the Right Thing, but is simultaneously despised for being an unnatural uterus-bearing mechanism which has horribly malfunctioned. Where the fuck did that narrative come from, and why does everyone buy into it at some level?

Nobody ever seems to address this stuff.

Nor do the pro-lifers (or the media, or anyone outside of pro-choice circles) ever address the stats on adopted kids having lifelong issues with having been given away. I freely admit that I don't know what adoptees go through, so I'm going to let others do the talking on that topic (I really hope you do; I only know my side, and I fret and worry and freak out about my child). Again, though, you never see pro-lifers worrying about anything besides forcing a birth. I never see pro-lifers doing anything constructive about adoptees of any age.

Emotional fallout only matters to them as a political talking point, in a conversation that includes space only for what is convenient to their preexisting narratives. There's no space to talk about, for example, how, to give a baby up for adoption, you've got to get the father's signature on the papers, or else face legal hell (now, or later). I was raped, by a so-called friend; I had to go through legal hell to get a signature anyway. It was pretty damn adversarial.

Men are generally left out of the conversation altogether, and when men talk about losing a child, it is most frequently on various men's rights forums getting worked up about having their kids taken away in divorce, as if that's comparable. I am looking forward to a man wisely explaining to me how this is not at all the same thing as what he's been through, because his is worse, because it's his money, for 18 years, and he didn't want the kid in the first place, and she was a bitch anyway, and men have no rights and it is so unfair. And when MRAs aren't busily whining about losing their children in a custody battle, they're whining about how they should have some say in whether a woman is allowed to get an abortion, even when they don't want the child and want it put up for adoption. I can't even imagine the psychological ramifications of being forced into adoption, when it's indescribably hard after a decision made of one's free will.

To wind this down: one size fits all doesn't apply to adoption, any more than it does to abortion. If there's going to be discussion about mental issues arising from abortion, then there had damn well better start being just as much - if not more - discussion about mental issues arising from adoption. I cannot say that I'd be surprised to find out that any concern on the part of pro-lifers about birth mothers ended the second she signed the papers; I will scream "Hypocrisy!" as loud as I can if they try to pass off their latest brainfarts as such. You've seen this already: they also argue about the sanctity of a fetus' life, but I see no legislation addressing the quality of life of adoptees.

None of which matters to the kind of people who picket clinics. Not me, not the kid, nothing. All they care about is whether or not they win.

I found this incredibly touching and want to thank the woman who wrote this.

Even though she did so anonymously, there will be plenty of women helped by her experiences.

Thank you.