Friday, July 30, 2004

What a speech, huh? Johnny boy was channeling me last night, I *swear*! In fact, until yesterday’s comeuppance with the fish & the chips, I was planning to blog about how much it pisses me off when the right wing labels us pessimists for pointing out that reality isn’t all the sweetness and light they want it to be; and that they are the true cynics who believe that nothing will ever get any better – that this is as good as it gets (and as good as it should be). That it’s OK and acceptable that 3 million *more* Americans have slipped into poverty since Bush was in office. That it’s OK and acceptable for 3.8 million Americans to have lost their health insurance under Bush. That it’s OK and acceptable that the crime rates have climbed steadily, with murder rates alone up 3.1%. That it’s just fine and dandy to have nearly 1000 American soldiers and close to what, 15,000 innocent Iraqi civilians lose their lives in a military campaign that is only making us *more* vulnerable to terrorists, not safer.

Then Kerry encapsulated my thoughts with one line: There is nothing more pessimistic than saying America can't do better.

So as long as the psychic connection is in place, I’ve got a great idea I’m trying to channel in his direction. One of those incredible, mind-blowing ideas that come as you’re drifting off to sleep at night. It’s about how we’re going to recruit those 40,000 additional troops we need. Are you ready? Really? OK here goes: Extend veteran’s benefits, and (here’s the revolutionary part) make them transferable to next of kin. What good does a GI Bill or VA home loan do for a dead soldier? That’s right. Nothin’. So. If a soldier does die while in service to her country, his/her veteran’s benefits can be used by a sibling, spouse or child. Oh – and I don’t know if they already have these or not, but we should have small business loans for veterans, too. Just in case they don’t *want* to go to college. And tax breaks! I know, it’s impossible to compensate a family financially for their tragic loss, but is it really fair to ask someone who has done so to pay the same amount in taxes as someone who hasn’t made that sacrifice? I’m thinking a $2500 tax credit each year for 5 years following the loss. All we offer those families now is a flag and “pride in knowing they died serving their country”. Yeah well. Pride won’t put food on the table, will it? And you know how Republicans are suckers for any and all available tax loopholes. This may finally convince more of them to sign up!

This way, when one of those “service” families who have multi-generations of kids in the military makes the ultimate sacrifice and loses one, that sacrifice can serve to help someone else in the family escape the same fate. By enabling a spouse, sibling or child of the deceased to use their benefits to go to college, or start their own business, or buy their own house – it will give them options their relative never had, and hopefully keep them *out* of harm’s way.

What do you think? Am I totally nuts?

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Note to Self:

The fetalfry does not care for fish fry.  Or french fries.  Maybe it's a cannibalistic taboo, maybe it's a commentary on the high levels of mercury in Halibut these days.  But either way, that expensive $11 lunch you had at the Fish House just went down the toilet.  Literally.    Anybody got a mint?

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

I'm feeling a bit better, now (from MyDD):  Kerry Looking Very Strong in Oregon

Doctors Without Borders Abandons Afghanistan

So, so sad.  Snip: KABUL, Afghanistan (CNN) -- The international relief group Médecins Sans Frontières has announced it is pulling out of Afghanistan after 24 years because of security concerns and frustrations with the U.S. military.
MSF -- or Doctors Without Borders -- blamed the Afghan government for failing to catch and prosecute attackers who killed five MSF workers earlier this year.
It also blamed the Taliban, who have specifically threatened its aid workers, and the U.S.-backed coalition, which MSF said had "blurred" the image of aid workers as the coalition attempted to "win hearts and minds."
"The killing of our own colleagues, together with the government's failure to arrest the culprits, along with false allegations of the Taliban, have led us to come to the regrettable conclusion that it is no longer possible for us to work here," said Marine Buissonniere, MSF's international secretary.

I'm more than a little surprised by this allegation they're making, though: "We feel the U.S.-backed coalition has contributed to the blurring of identities," Buissonniere said, noting the coalition had constantly attempted to use humanitarian assistance to build support for its political ambitions.

Gluck and Buissonniere announce the group's withdrawal from Afghanistan.
"MSF denounces this attempt to co-opt humanitarian aid; to use humanitarian aid to win hearts and minds."  Buissonniere said providing humanitarian aid is no longer viewed as a neutral and impartial act in Afghanistan.  She cited a coalition leaflet which pictured an Afghan girl carrying a bag of wheat which said that for assistance to continue, Afghans need to report information on the Taliban and al Qaeda and others.

I've always believed that if anything, the U.S. coalition wasn't doing *enough* to provide humanitarian relief.  But that was before I found out we were using it to blackmail the people into helping us.  Unfuckingbelievable!  No wonder we're hated - every "charitable" thing we do comes with very dangerous strings attached. So what - if you don't know anything about the Taliban or Al Queda you don't get any U.S. aid?  Then why WOULDN'T you turn in your innocent neighbor who you've had that ongoing beef with for years?   So we've turned from torture to extortion as our primary method of gathering intelligence in Afghanistan and Iran.  Lovely.  Quite a step in the right direction, don't you think? 

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Convention Wisdom

Like most folks in Blogdom I've been anxiously awaiting the preliminary dispatches of my more priveleged cohorts who were given press passes to the DNC this year.  I was running around like a headless chicken chasing down link after link trying to find them all when I finally came across this handy-dandy website that consolidates everyone's posts.  Woohoo!!  Of course, I watched the Clintons' speeches last night.  I was not disappointed.  I need to bookmark the text of Bill's to use for future reference - he did a fantastic job of describing in clear terms what the differences are between the two parties.  The best part was how he detailed what Bush's tax cuts have 'cost' America:

"They protected my tax cuts while:
·         Withholding promised funding for the Leave No Child Behind Act, leaving over
2 million children behind

·         Cutting 140,000 unemployed workers out of job training
·         100,000 working families out of child care assistance
·         300,000 poor children out of after school programs
·         Raising out of pocket healthcare costs to veterans
·         Weakening or reversing important environmental advances for clean air and the preservation of our forests."

And how they want to continue to hamstring the country in it's fight on terror:

 "In this year’s budget, the White House wants to cut off federal funding for 88,000 uniformed police, including more than 700 on the New York City police force who put their lives on the line on 9/11. As gang violence is rising and we look for terrorists in our midst, Congress and the President are also about to allow the ten-year-old ban on assault weapons to expire. Our crime policy was to put more police on the streets and take assault weapons off the streets. It brought eight years of declining crime and violence. Their policy is the reverse, they’re taking police off the streets and putting assault weapons back on the streets."  

"On Homeland Security, Democrats tried to double the number of containers at ports and airports checked for Weapons of Mass Destruction.  The one billion dollar cost would have been paid for by reducing the tax cut of 200,000 millionaires by five thousand dollars each. Almost all 200,000 of us would have been glad to pay 5,000 dollars to make the nearly 300 million Americans safer—but the measure failed because the White House and the Republican leadership in the House decided my tax cut was more important."

Good, good stuff!

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Freaking Hysterical, and hysterically freaking?

Parodies both candidates, but still funny!  I needed a laugh after getting into another frustrating as hell argument over Iraq/ Afghanistan with my co-worker D. today.  Which prompted co-worker J. to remark afterwards that maybe I should watch my blood pressure, given "my condition".  On the one hand -  I know it's not doing me, or the fetalfry any good to bang my head against a wall.  Though I felt I was actually showing remarkable restraint.  On the other hand - BITE ME!!!  Am I supposed to turn into an apolitical slackwit just because I'm pregnant?  Maybe I should count my blessings.  At least they're not chalking up my intensity to "womanly hysterics".

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Emotional Rollercoasters

Sorry  I haven’t been posting much, I had a little scare this week and was a bit preoccupied.  Some bleeding, to be precise which had me totally convinced I was miscarrying, up all night terrified to go to the bathroom to see if there was MORE blood on the way, and bewailing the loss of a child I hadn’t even met yet.  But even more scary – amongst all the despair and fear was some relief, too.  That I wouldn’t have to go through with this, after all.  That the nausea and exhaustion would quickly dissipate and leave me the same old person I always was, free of worries about breastfeeding and genetic screenings and projectile baby diarrhea. 
So a few days have passed, everyone I talk to from online support buddies to OB nurses to dear Mom tells me that some bleeding during the 1st trimester is very common (especially after sex) and that I have nothing to worry about, especially if I’m still experiencing pregnancy symptoms.  So yes, the nausea is still there, my left boob felt like it was on fire last night and I’m still exhausted, so that leads me to believe them.  The nurse I spoke to on Monday, and the one I met with yesterday at the OB clinic aren’t concerned at all.  They didn’t offer an ultrasound or examine me or anything.  By this time I’m reasonably sure it was a false alarm but Curt was still tripping out – afraid to work the late evenings he’s supposed to be doing to finish this job for his new boss and leave me alone.   I had a couple of piss-on-a-stick tests left from the 3 pack I’d bought so I took another one just to be sure.  Yep, still very much prego.  He was much reassured by this.  All hail the psychological power of the piss-on-a-stick!!! 
OTOH Mom is of the opinion that they’re a mixed blessing.  Back in her day you didn’t really know if you were pregnant.  After 2 missed periods you could be fairly sure, but you could easily have a miscarriage or some other benign bleeding after the first one and just think you had a light or weird cycle.   But this also made it difficult to determine how far along you were though, too.  Ignorance could well have been bliss, but on the other hand, they also thought it was OK to drink and smoke during pregnancy so it didn’t much matter if you were knocked up or not.  You could still carry on just like you did beforehand.
So now after resigning myself to possibly losing the baby I’m again coming to terms with the idea of “Oh shit, I’m pregnant!” and all that entails (projectile baby diarrhea & all).   Just a note to all you professional and amateur pregnancy  advice-givers out there:  When you TELL somebody that it’s perfectly OK to have sex during pregnancy, you might want to *also* mention that if you do have sex, don’t be alarmed if there’s some bleeding afterwards.  It’s very common.  OK???

Thursday, July 15, 2004

And one Kah-nee-Ta...!

Curt & I began dating one year after American Pie came out.  I’m sure we rented it on one of our date nights, which inevitably led us down the merry path of recalling our own youthful forays into sex and the loss of our virginity.  He had a huge crush on Alyson Hannigan  from her Willow days on Buffy (which he quit watching when she went gay).  Like her character on American Pie, I too played the flute in high school band.  Sadly though, I never made it to Band Camp so missed out on the apparently traditional sexual hijinks that occurs at all such camps.  Curt says it was especially popular at the church youth group camps he attended.  Heh.  
But anyway.  My equivalent “band camp” stories came after high school…. When my brother got me a job working at the same little resort in the middle of an Indian reservation he & some friends were working at.  The seasonal summer staff was basically college age kids and slightly older drifter-type losers who all lived in company housing on site.   Even though it was technically a “dry” reservation (besides the resort) it was legal to consume alcohol in your own home.  Which we did.  Boy did we ever!  Even those of us technically underage.  There just wasn’t much else to do besides work, and party.   Take American Pie, mix it with Dirty Dancing and that about sums up my 2 summers working at Kah-Nee-Ta.  I know it sounds sappy as hell but I truly came of age up there in the desert.
So Lorn’s recent tales about lifeguards, alcohol and sleeping naked over at Buddha Stew is bringing back some of those memories.  The ones Curt calls my “And one time…. At Kah-Nee-Ta….” (in perfect Alyson Hannigan speak) memories.  Now I was not a lifeguard.  Nor did I sleep with any.  And contrary to what you think I was not a total drunk, either.  In fact, I’m proud to say that while I imbibed quite often I never got so drunk that I blacked out, or did anything I regretted in the morning.  But I did learn my limits when it came to booze.  I learned to drink responsibly, and learned to say “no” and mean it, even under the influence, and how to stick to my guns despite intense pressure by ardent suitors to say “yes”.  I learned to have sex on my terms (responsibly) or not at all.  
One day maybe I’ll write a book about it.  But I’ll just stick to one story today, speaking of lifeguards.  There was one guy, I’ll call him Mike - who was pretty cute in a buff, Mid-Western wholesome Polish kind of way.  In his other life he was a Serious Swimmer.  And like many Serious Swimmers he shaved his legs (and arms, I guess) which made him the butt of many of the other hairy manly men on staff.  Well, that and the fact that he was Opie-like naïve and a total goody two-shoes.  He did not drink. Or smoke.  And he was, in fact a virgin.  But the funny thing was, he would typically capture the interest of some young hotties down at the pool during the day while on shift and invite them up to the staff housing to party at night.  At which time my brother and his friends would proceed to woo them away from Mike, who by the end of the night would be left lost and alone, once again.   They weren't as stupid as the other guys who gave Mike flak for his hairless condition.  Oh no, they knew on whose side their bootilicious bread was buttered.  Mike was the Man, man!  But still, poor Mike.  I wonder if he joined the priesthood or something.  
Speaking of boozing it up, have I mentioned yet that I have NEVER, EVER wanted a drink more in my life than I did the other night?  I usually don't drink more than one glass of wine a week (unless we go out or are socializing, which is a rare event).  But something about knowing that I COULD NOT have a drink for the next 9 months brought up hitherto unknown lush tendencies.  The thought of hot cocoa topped with Amaretto made me drool... and the site of a case of Henry Weinahrd's beer on sale at the grocery store about brought me to tears.  I'd heard pregnant friends complain about this phenomenon but I thought I'd be immune.  ***sigh***
In other news, I told my boss & 2 coworkers who were here of my good news this morning.   I think it went well.  My boss asked what "my plans are" and I told him it was too early to tell.   To which he said, "yeah, I wouldn't believe you anyway".  'Cuz you know, about a third of every other woman he's ever worked with said they'd come back to work and then changed their mind (including his wife).  So much will depend on Curt's working situation & how much we can get ahead financially before then.   So we'll see.

Remember Civics??

Al's got Dan Savage on his show today and is discussing the whole gay marriage issue. One of the reasons I like Al is because he gets regular folk from BBQ restaurants in traditionally conservative Christian communities to get on the show and discuss with his guests the issue du jour in a constructive, respectful manner. Today a typical Alabama homemaker got on and basically gave the party line for opponents of gay marriage.  "It's wrong because I believe it's wrong, and my beliefs should be codified in U.S. law because I believe the idea of the "separation of Church and State" is a myth. I believe America was founded on Judeo-Christian ideals (which just so happen to coincide perfectly with mine) and those should continue to guide the highest law of the land".

Aside from the fact that her argument is totally devoid of logic and reason (I know, why does that surprise me?) these people scare the everloving shit out of me. I just assume that every other schoolkid learned the same basics of United States History that I did. But apparently, they choose to ignore the facts (right along with the scientific proof of evolution). This is the classic conservative Christian argument on same sex marriage (and prayer in school; and reproductive issues; ad nauseum.)

So here's what I learned in school: We rebelled from England on the belief that "all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed".

In other words, that all humans are born with basic rights, the most important being a right to live, in whatever way they feel will make them happy, with no government trying to stop them. Implicit in that statement is the fact that your rights to Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Happiness should not come at the expense of someone else's. In other words, you can't kill someone because it makes you happy. Furthermore, it is the Government's PURPOSE to secure your right to do what makes you happy; and that they get that authority not from God, not from an organized Church, and not from a foreign king, but from the very people who it rules.

So then we fought a war, and won it to take the power to create this new kind of government for ourselves. We drew up a blueprint, called a "Constitution" that then outlined how this novel new government would work. Nowhere in this blueprint was sex addressed, nowhere was marriage addressed. Interestingly enough, nowhere was God addressed, and nowhere was religion addressed, either. Presumably, this is because the framers felt these were personal and religious issues that the Federal government had NO SAY IN.

Then, shortly after the original blueprint was ratified, they realized there was a very good chance the *majority* would use their new power to try to deprive minorities, and individuals who they did not agree with; of their basic rights (that we went to war to protect in the first place). So they drafted 10 short amendments to make it absolutely, perfectly clear what the ruling majority could NOT, under any circumstances do to deprive individuals of their rights. And first among these, was that the government should make NO LAW with regard to religion; or deprive individuals from freely expressing their religious beliefs.

Had they *intended* the laws of the new country to be based on Christian and/ Biblical belief they would have said so. They'd have said "We the Christian people of the United States, in order to form a more Christian union....". But they did not.

In fact, the constitutional legitimacy of same sex marriage (and homosexuality in general) seems like such a slam dunk to me I'm totally amazed there has not been a defining case that's gone to the Supreme Court on the topic, so the Supremes can, once and for all tell the states that individuals have THE INALIENABLE RIGHT to have sex with people of the same sex, if that makes them happy (or if they just *think* it will); and that states CANNOT deny (parental & marriage) rights they give one group of people to another group of people based on sexual orientation.

Homosexuality is a religious issue, pure & simple. Even if you don't subscribe to an actual religion and accept their particular take on it, it's a personal belief as to whether or not it's "natural"; and morally good or morally bad as a result. No matter what you believe, WHO THE FUCK DOES IT HURT????? Just because *you* don't think *you* would be happy in a same sex relationship, why do you feel the need to legally BAN another person from doing it?

For instance, I know without a doubt that I could never be happy being married to a religious fundamentalist. In fact, the very idea of it is totally and absolutely repugnant to me. Furthermore, I think fundamentalists live a morally wrong lifestyle and it breaks my heart to think of them teaching impressionable young children that a fundamentalist lifestyle is "OK". But does that mean I want to deny them the legal right to marry each other? Or have children? Hell no! Because if that lifestyle makes them happy, and they're not hurting anyone in the process then what business is it of mine???

Heck, even if I thought it *was* my business what legal right do I have to try to use law to force strangers to adopt my lifestyle? As the Constitution clearly states, I have NONE. Period. End of Story. Even if an overwhelming majority of citizens agreed with me and passed a law that made it illegal for two Fundamentalist Christians to marry, it would not be constitutionally legal and would never stand up to Supreme Court review. We would have to pass an amendment first that repealed the freaking First Amendment to make it so.

So in an effort to re-educate the American public I propose three new bumper stickers (since they apparently don't read history books):

"It's the First Amendment, Stupid."

"You can't have the right to live life by the Bible
without my having the right not to."

and for the rainbow contingent:

"Life, Liberty & The Pursuit of Happiness.
Same Sex Love Makes Me Happy.
End of Discussion."

I'm open to more suggestions...

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Fetal Felicitations!

Doc. R. has confirmed...we be gestating!!! Though not as far along as I'd thought... only 6 weeks 2 days. Ultrasound says expected day of arrival March 7!! I think, therefore that conception occurred shortly after our visit to Barney, the shrink. Guess that was money well spent, huh?

So to answer my burning questions.... food must be cooked, so don't worry too much about deli if it's not raw. I shant worry too much about toxoplasmosis, either. It's very rare (and more common to get it from undercooked meat), and I can't get it just handling/ grooming the kitties. Any kittybox cleaning/ gardening needs to be done with good gloves and copious handwashing afterwards. And my BP was a little high: 114/88... just something to keep an eye on. No advice to refrain from stressful sibling debates, though. I should, also forego smoothies in favor of actual fruit (damn!) unless I make them myself (due to added sugars). I have been instructed to not add too many calories to my diet since I'm already overweight. I'm not feeling the urge to gorge myself so no problem there.

So the next step is to check out the birthing facilities at the local community hospital I think I'm going to use, and if it's acceptable then make an appointment with an OB Dr. R referred me to there. Unfortunately, she no longer delivers babies herself. This is rather disappointing since I've been seeing her since I was 18, but I guess I'll get over it. We also have to decide which, if any pre-screening tests we're going to have done at that time.

I could go to one of the two mega-big regional hospitals that are on my healthplan but they're both 30 - 45 min. away depending on traffic. The littler hospital is only 10 min. away and has passed the critical Grandma (an R.N. who has worked in the area for 30 yrs) 5 star reputation award. Appointments and classes will be more convenient, too. They might not have the super-duper high tech neo-natal intensive care unit on site but they do have surgical facilities and we can always transfer to one of the big trauma hospitals if something does go wrong. I know I'd talked about doing the waterbirth thing but my cousin informed me that contrary to their website, they have had a few births go bad, which did require ambulance transfer to the hospital emergency room (just down the road), and there was at least one infant mortality as a result. Besides, I doubt my insurance would've paid for it.
I have my very first prenatal visit to the doctor in 2 hours. Curt, unfortunately could not join me since he's starting a painting job today (on a probationary basis). Other job prospects are looking up - InHell has lifted their hiring freeze so it's possible he may get back on there, but that will take awhile.

So I get to ask all my silly questions like can I eat deli foods? How common/ dangerous *is* that whole toxoplasmosis thing?? Do I really need to quit arguing with my idiot brother about politics to keep my blood pressure down (as Curt is insisting I do?) Actually, on the last point I think I'll move to email instead of over the phone. Much more effective - I can send him links & everything to prove that even if he believes Bush is handling the war on terror well and was justified in going to Iraq his domestic policies are what are so damned scary. If it were anyone else I'd say "fuck it" but my brother remains the only person I can indulge in knock down, drag out 2 hour debates with. That habit of mine has a tendency of scaring the other 'normals' in my life, but it's kind of the only sick and twisted way my bro & I show our love.

The truly sad thing is, he used to be a good Liberal like the rest of us (though certainly not a clone) but since he's been in the Coast Guard, any discussion having to do with national security boils down to this cloak & dagger bullshit where he gets all patronizing: "now Sis, I'm privy to a lot more classified information that you'll never hear, and my #1 concern is to protect YOU and the rest of the country so just trust me on this..." Combine that with the fact that he has always been extremely susceptible to pursuasive individuals (like Dittoheads, which the military and rural communities he's been a part of for 10 years are chock full of) and you get the gist.

But I'm thinking for the sake of the baby, who probably doesn't appreciate my skyrocketing blood pressure or my skipping dinner to argue with his/her uncle; for the sake of the neighbors, who have to listen to me yelling into the cellphone in the backyard; for Curt, who gets pissed that I "allow" my brother to upset me so much... and possibly endanger the baby (a whole 'nother issue... but anyway); and for myself, who loses much-needed sleep laying awake at night forming my rebuttals and next offensives, I definitely need to change my tactics. But I'm not giving up on him yet.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Helloooooo.... Vote By Mail, anyone?

I know I'm sounding like a broken record. But now this article says Tom Ridge is not only warning us about possible election day terrorism, he's looking into ways to postpone the election alltogether as a result.

Election Day Worries

American counterterrorism officials, citing what they call "alarming" intelligence about a possible Qaeda strike inside the United States this fall, are reviewing a proposal that could allow for the postponement of the November presidential election in the event of such an attack, NEWSWEEK has learned....

Friday, July 09, 2004

Freaky Friday Blog

I’m totally exhausted today – physcially, mentally & emotionally; my neck is incredibly stiff & sore (even after a visit to the chiropracter) and I’m just not really into working.

A recent new poll that puts Bush ahead of Kerry has seriously dragged me down. I just canNOT stomach the idea of another 4 years of that evangelical incompetent in office and I’m beginning to worry people are really much stupider than I give them credit for… they just might vote him back in.
“I want Bush in there, because the other guy is like sending a boy to do a man’s job,” said Glenn Foldessy, 45, of Streetsboro, Ohio, outside Cleveland. Foldessy, who usually votes Republican…”
Correct sentiment, but so completely backasswards it’s ridiculous. And this really freaks me the hell out:
“Bush gained ground among suburban women, a key constituency that increased its backing for the president from 41 percent in June to 52 percent.”
Are so many suburban women really that stupid?

You know when you’re watching a really scary movie and the suspenseful music starts to cue up and the idiotoc “victim #2” is wandering *alone* in the dark, spooky house to try to find some ‘noise’ she heard and the camera cuts to the masked psychotic murderer just waiting around the corner, holding up his meat cleaver dripping in blood…..?? That’s where I usually cover my eyes and plug my ears and keep asking Curt, “is it over yet?” or get up and go to the kitchen to put away food and do the dishes. Anyway – I’m getting that same identical sickening feeling in my gut that something awful is about to happen everytime I read the news lately. Well, the prego-queesiness might have something to do with that sick feeling but I swear it’s triggered by any article that indicates, in any way that Bush might actually pull it off come November. And the prospect terrifies me. Not necessarily the thought of Bush himself (though that’s bad enough) but the thought that the MAJORITY of Americans LIKE and support him and his policies is enough to make me seriously consider applying for immigration to some Scandinavian country. My faith in my fellow Americans will be totally shattered. And the suspense is starting to get to me. I want nothing more than to hit Fast Forward to see if I'll ever wake up from this nightmare.

So today I’m desperately in need of some good news… something positive to take my mind off what I fear is the world's impending doom. So far, all I can find is this wonderful news that a retired school custodian, housecleaner and grandmother of 8 won the $294 million MegaMillions jackpot ; and that the spacecraft Cassini successfully entered Saturn’s orbit this week and is starting to send back images and data; after a seven year, 2.2 billion-mile journey where it relied on 4 different planetary gravity boosts and complex target manuevering to make it, since no single rocket could launch it to it’s final destination. How impressive is that?

Thursday, July 08, 2004

More Reason to Vote By Mail

Tom Ridge announces "credible evidence" that Al Queda is planning attacks to disrupt the election. Now here in Oregon I feel pretty damned safe - one benefit of having a vote-by-mail election. No polling places in convenient carbomb range. So why isn't the administration encouraging people in other states to sign up for absentee ballots (and avoid the polls all together?) Oh yeah, 'cuz then they wouldn't get to send their vote into the great cybervoid of the newfangled Diebold machines.....

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Access to contraception denied by medical professionals

This article linked to by Rubber Nun reveals exactly why the anti-abortion/ pro-choice debate is so important. Most people I think oversimplify what is, at heart an incredibly complex issue. But as this article points out, it’s a very short leap from denying women safe, legal abortions to denying them contraception and basic sex education. As the current administration increasingly makes appointments and sets policy to codify its “no extra-marital sex/ abstinence only” agenda regular folks in positions of power are feeling justified in denying their professional services/products to women who they judge are violating their own, personal religious views on sex.

As the article illustrates, that means doctors are increasingly refusing to prescribe birth control pills and if they do, pharmacists are increasingly refusing to fill those prescriptions. How soon will it be before they refuse to sell condoms, too? Then refuse to provide treatment/ medication for STD’s such as HIV to unmarried patients?

It’s not about abortion. It’s about being able to legally impose your personal religious views of sex on the rest of the population. These people think casual sex is “sinful”, that any negative consequence that arises out of that sin – be it an unplanned pregnancy or an STD - divine “punishment”. They believe the highest purpose a woman can serve (some even think the only purpose she *should* serve) is to bear children; and that her life, health, pain and suffering, personal goals and dreams are utterly insignificant compared to her primary purpose of breeding.

They also believe their own, personal ticket to heaven is dependent upon making others abide by these beliefs. Unfortunately, many do not care if that is accomplished willingly or not so they will exercise any shred of personal power they posess to see it done. When the government gives them that personal power, it’s bound to be abused in this manner.

Sunday, July 04, 2004

So this is starting to sink in a little bit. I'm still thrilled, but a little scared, too. I could still miscarry, this could be a tubal or something - it's quite early yet. I'll feel more like celebrating when my doc tells me everything's gonna be allright (dammit now I've got reggae goin' through my head!). I can't make an appointment to Tues. so I'll just hang in there. I think what I'm most worried about is the whole circus like affair of being pregnant. The fact that everybody and their dog will feel they have the right to monitor my behavior and pass judgement on what I do/don't do. That perfect strangers on the street will cast derisive looks if I'm spied exiting a Starbucks.

According to an online due date calculator, the baby should make his/her debut somewhere on or around my own birthday (end of Feb). Heh - another Pisces in the house! That oughta be interesting! The parental units & other assorted fandamily were all thrilled, too. I'll bet 10:1 my mom's already started laying out the baby quilt.

In the meantime, I'm just trying to get used to the idea of sharing total metaphysical quarters with another being for awhile - one who is going to be very demanding. I'll make you a deal, little fry.... you don't make me puke on a regular basis, kick my bladder or make me start craving disgusting shit like sour kraut and I'll eat lots of leafy veggies, lay off the booze for awhile and stay out of smokey bars.

Maude, who am I trying to fool? I've got no bargaining power here... I'm just along for the ride. My only job is to stock up enough food stores, stay healthy and do my best to keep the boat headed downstream, bail furiously if we start to swamp and call the rescue swimmers if we get in trouble. Let's pray to the River Gods for a smooth journey, little one!

Happy Independence Day!!! You're losing yours....

*gulp* Guess it's official, then! I supposed it remains to be seen what we're going to call the little bugger while he/she's gestating. Everyone in blogdom, it seems has adorable little nicknames for theirs. Maybe the Little Ragu (since I'm Prego... hah!) Curt's reaction to seeing the stick on the counter was "are we gonna have a BABY???" "We're gonna have a BABY!!!" amidst assorted dancing around. Then, "ironic we found out on Independence Day... that we're going to lose every shred of ours..." Posted by Hello

Friday, July 02, 2004


According to this website, I'm the 52,162,565 richest person on earth! There are 5,947,837,435 poorer than me! That puts me in the top 0.869% richest people in the world. So that makes me feel both better about our current financial situation... and sadder at the same time, knowing how shitty so many other people have it around the world.

Thanks to Politics & Technology.
I’m a little bummed. Curt didn’t get the killer (salaried) job he was supposed to be one of the “top 3” candidates for. So it’s back to the job search. *sigh*. I’m drowning my sorrow in Blues music today. That’s right, the coolest part about 4th of July weekend in River City is the annual Blues Festival at Waterfront Park, proceeds of which support the Oregon Food Bank. Folks bring their boats down starting the week before to jockey for position on the river near the stages. Many tattooed people in black abound and what’s not covered in leather gets sunburned. Young kids high on life (or other substances, you never know) line up in front of the stage and start impersonating whirling dervishes. It’s lots of fun! And this year, OregonLive’s got a streaming radio feed of a bunch of the songs from artists that will be performing. So I’m jammin’ at work, trying to decide which day we’ll go. Tomorrow looks like their focusing on Zydeco. I could get into that – get a little cajun pick up after we’re done helping Dad fix the plumbing in our tub. If we weren’t so dead ass broke we might take one of the short 2 hour “Blues Cruise”s on the Spirit of Portland.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

In more personal news (TMI alert: consider yourself warned)….

My Scottrade IRA finally received my 401k rollover from the shitty former employer (after the previous administrator had to send my docs back to their HR person *twice* due to their incompetence…) Only 5 months late, but whose counting? I was going to put most of the balance in a smart, safe index-tracking mutual fund but I couldn’t resist buying some shares of some stocks I’ve had my eyes on forever. Namely, Ballard Power (BLDP - fuel cells – long, long term prospect I wanted to buy 5 years ago when it was at an outrageous $100/share; now it’s done to a far more reasonable, and affordable $9/share); Netflix (NFLX - based on the “buy what you like” theory of investment proponed by some sweet little ladies who wrote a book a while back); Alcan (AL - one of the ‘good’ metal companies from a socially responsible standpoint); and my “safe” bet… United Technologies (UTX – high tech building and aerospace products… like Otis elevator! Carrier air conditioning! And Sikorsky helicopters! And UTC Power - another fuel cell company (gotta hedge your bets)).

Speaking of things being late, it’s been 11 days since my favorite communist-colored Aunt Flo was expected to arrive for her monthly visit and there’s still no sign of her. I thought 7 days ago she might have been tiptoeing across the threshold but it was a false alarm. EPT said “No” last weekend so I’m determined not to get my hopes up like the last time, though it would be ironic as hell if our spawning drive was successful the same month we agreed to give it a rest for awhile (for the sake of the relationship). It could, just could be - that the hint I caught of her last week was actually implantation bleeding. No nausea yet, but the gatekeeper (aka “cervix”) has dropped and gotten soft (where she’s supposed to be if I were, in fact preggers. If Aunt Flo were on her way she’d be on full alert, high & tight). Boobs are a bit sore (no help there), but no cramping and I have been a bit tired lately. Time will tell. I’ll check with EPT again if she’s not here by Sunday.

The Kittlin has temporarily given up his snake-hunting regimen and is, according to Curt replacing it with playing “chicken” on the road with passing cars. Fuck….aDuck…!!.In my experience there’s only one cure for the feline’s fascination with the open road. And that’s by losing the game. If they’re lucky, they survive with minor injuries (like both Cleo & Ozzie). If they’re really, really lucky – they just get a good scare (like Jack, I suspect). But if they’re not lucky…. You get the picture. I’m debating what to do. I think I’m going to try training him, though it’s hard because I’m not the one home during the day when he’s doing it. Some folks have reported good success using the “click” method of training with cats . It’s worth a shot.

My other inclination is to park myself down on the sidewalk with the riding lawn mower (or something equally as scary-sounding) and lay in wait, then start it up every time he moves toward the road. But there’s no guarantee if he panics and runs it will be *back* towards the house. So the positive re-enforcement clicker way is probably the best option. I think I’ll sign him up for accidental pet insurance in the meantime, just in case. $9/ month can buy a lot of peace of mind. If it means me bringing a lunch 2 days a month instead of eating out, Iit's worth it.