Saturday, June 30, 2007


Okay, so Fred Flinstone has nothing to do with this post, or this avatar, but the 7-year-old said "I want you to put mine on there." And he's the boss.

Also, a cutie. Here he is!

Friday, June 29, 2007


Hey, look, I'm Simpson's-y!

Ever since I discovered the south park avatar maker, I've been waiting for a Simpson's version. I'm happy!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I'm fat

And in love with Joy Nash, after seeing her Fat Rant (via Kate Harding's awesome blog, Shapely Prose).

Unfortunately, aside from being fat, I have gotten myself into a very bad non-moving-my-body space (depression and isolating don't help),which is exacerbated by the hours upon hours I need to be sitting at the computer each day to complete my algebra assignments.

This morning I was craving pilates, so I put in the Pilates DVD I have and cranked it up to "fully modified", and found out that I have serious pain all over my body. My FEET hurt when I was doing toe exercises. I've been wondering (for more than 3 years) if I might have fibromyalgia - I'll need to talk to a doctor about that at some point.

But now it's some stretching, then some studying, then my midterm - an later, beer and blog talk at the MadInteractive event (bf is on the panel, isn't that cool?).

Anyhow, in honor of the Fat Rant and myself, I'm taking down my weight loss meter at the bottom of the page.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Bled Dry

Today is hard again. Just like that.
I guess I really did need to talk about what I was feeling, as laughing and ignoring the situation doesn't allieviate it.

I'm so sad, so worried, lacking hope, and focus.

This, as they say, sucks.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

I'm only bleeding

Here's me:

dolorous \DOH-luh-ruhs\, adjective:

Marked by, causing, or expressing grief or sorrow.

Dolorous derives from Latin dolor, "pain, grief, sorrow," from dolere, "to suffer pain, to grieve."


The worst thing about 'how I get sometimes' is how much sense it makes: because I am broken and imperfect I should kill myself. And there seems little else that would so perfectly and completely solve the problem that is me; the inconvenience to others, and all the other negative effects of my existence.

But there are many layers of logic and feeling between me and those feelings, at least in deed. I promise to let those layers break my fall stop me from jumping.

(90 minutes later)
I feel better now, after some music and a cup of coffee. I think sometimes lose sight to how much I need to talk about what I am feeling. I have been keeping things to myself precisely because I don't want to be a burden, but that, obviously, isn't working too well. Still figuring this all out, still figuring me all out. And singing some dolorous shanty tune about the weary cutters and the weary sea taking my laddie, that's helped too.

Friday, June 22, 2007

What makes a girl?

Okay, the post title has more ambition than what I came to post about, but as I was reviewing my Shrek the Third review, I remembered a poignant moment at the 7-year-old's dentist this week. As he was picking out his sticker, I noticed that under the roll of disney princess stickers was a small pile of Snow White stickers.

You know Snow White. the Black Haired princess. With a bob.

Yep, that's the one, the short and dark haired princess. Who is, apparently, not all that popular with the little girls.

And thinking about that reminded me of when I bartered at the childcare place at the YMCA, and a girl asked me if I were a girl or a boy. This was when I had a very "short natural" haircut. But at the time, I was wearing a skirt, had my nails painted, and if I recall correctly, had on a form-fitting t-shirt. In case you don't know, I'm a busty gal. To me it nearly defies explanation how someone could see me as I looked that day and "not be sure". Even a 4-year-old. But this kid, this apparently terribly sheltered kid couldn't recognize that I was female simply because I had short hair. That, I think, is indicative of how deeply fucked up society is 'round here.

So think about it, would you, and if you want to, tell me what makes a girl.

A better (but not perfect) world

Constant readers may remember my dislike of the messages in "Shrek the Third", and I'm happy to report that the children's film I saw yesterday was a lovely antidote to that sexist, *, stunningly executed piece of garbage.

"Bridge to Terabithia" was shot in the US and New Zealand, and the cast of kids at school was a great (perhaps idealized, but hey, it's using your imagination, which is what the film is all about) mix of colours and styles. It wasn't full of cookie cutters, and the possible stereotypes were tweaked pretty well.

There was a great message for parents, I thought, about having time for your kids (dads, hug your boys!) Overall it showed kids that they did not have to make a choice between 'reality' and creativity/happiness - they can coexist. And there were some decent attempts at encouraging empathy, standing up for yourself, etc. After one scene which showed the result of selective violence (comeuppance for a 'bad guy'), I laughed and laughed. Like I told the 7 year old afterward: I generally don't like punching, but sometimes people deserve a punch in the nose**.

It's a fun film with a bit of sadness (warning, bring tissues), great pacing, and for the most part a bad soundtrack (little heavy on girly pop which wears on me quickly). The film was based on a novel, which I remember seeing at the library when I was a kid. I'm planning to pick it up at the library this summer, finally giving it a read.

*what's a simple world for not noticing that there are other people besides white people in the world? - although I believe the situation stems from racism, I think it's to simplistic to call it racism, it must be better defined than that.

**hours after writing this I read it again and wonder if that came out how I feel it - I mean: dammit, there is a time for words (which is also pointed out very explicitly in the film) and a time to DO SOMETHING. Which may be having fun with your best friend or may be punching a jerk in the nose. Punching, is to be used sparingly, in extreme circumstances.

While looking at reviews of this film just now, I came across this awful review at Slashfilm (don't click if you hate spoilers, there are many here), and although there are thoughtful comments, many of them were about how awful the film was, not enough special effects, etc. I left my own 'brilliant' comment there. One commenter mentioned actually avoiding the film, but the negative comments encouraged them to check it out. I can only hope that in lieu of children's films (hell, all films) being properly marketed, more people like me will write about films they were pleasantly surprised by.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

I love you Big Brother

This made my morning, even before coffee.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Autonymph and the very bad, no good day.

I've decided to leave out the detail and just say: I'm having a bad day and I don't know what to do with my life.

I'm taking a note from the Hippocratic Oath: First, DO NO HARM.

This means, no phone calls emails, or in person harangues today.

I'm going to keep to myself today, and may even skip Algebra class (Wednesdays are 'optional' lab days. Turns out the prof isn't going to do ANY lecturing).

My moods, like the weather, are prone to change. I can wait it out.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Dinner Friday night was a smashing success. I made a super special dinner, based on the dinner his aunt asked for one year (which became a tradition, right Ted?). Spaghetti and Chocolate cake.

Since Ted and I were talking while I was at the grocery store, I had a chance to pick up all of the ingredients, ground sirloin and pork for the meatballs, a bottle of locally produced ragu, the cappellini pasta, and sour cream for the cake. I ended up making a chocolate sour cream cake with a chocolate sour cream frosting which was, if I do say so myself, really good.

The dinner was muy riquisima , and I ate too much (we had a very simple green salad and garlic bread as accompaniments).

Afterward we talked for a while and then we watched "Ricky Jay and his 52 Assistants", which was a lot of fun.

Unlike most of Ted's visits, I kicked him out early so I could go to bed, so our usual talking too late into the night couldn't happen. Unfortunately he only let me send him home with three measly pieces of cake, so I've been eating delicious chocolate cake all week. Yum! Tonight I'm going to feed bf some of the meatballs in meatball sandwich form, which I am pretty excited about.

It's so nice to make a special meal for someone, and I love birthdays, so it was a nice combination of those things. Growing up for me has meant letting go of the idea that I will be treated specially for my birthday (without having to tell people to do it), but it still is nice to celebrate, even if it's just by spending time together. Also, there is CAKE.

Monday, June 18, 2007

When it rains it pours: late spring gift edition

My boyfriend has been known to shower me with gifts. He was feeling expansive and generous on Saturday, and picked up a few lovely things. First off a box of chocolates from our local chocolatier Gail Ambrosius. I even shared all but one of the delicacies within. It being so hot and humid, fine chocolate must be sored someplace cool and dry or eaten immediately. We chose the eaten immediately option (which may explain why my ankles aren't swollen today) .

He also picked up a really unique item - Cocoa Pulp Fruit Spread. It is, literally, a jam-like concoction of 90% Cacao pulp and 10% sugar. Very tasty. I'm thinking of making up shortcakes, slathering them with said concoction, and serving them with Chocolate Shoppe Vanilla Ice Cream.

And to top if off, I am now the proud owner of a CD by The Handsome Family. I haven't taken it out yet, but I'm taking bets as to whether "Puddin' Fingers" or "Drunk by Noon" will be my favourite song. Right now I've got some red beans slowly simmering in some Futhermore Knotstock in an attempt to recreate the beans I made for the Tyranena Brewing Hopluck last Thursday. We head up there for crawfish, food and good beer and were not disappointed. A fun time. Bf's stewed corn was a taste sensation.

Algebra is rediculous. I've been logged into the system for 30 hours out of the last week. IT's like a bad Sci-Fi story, I'm just looking at a screen, insensible to all outside stimulation. Okay, that's not true. Just *most* outside stimulation. I'm really frustrated that right now the only thing standing between me and getting into the University of WI is Math. But I have to take these classes sometime. Blargh.

Ah... Just ate a piece of crispy bacon. Everything is right with the world.

Sleep: Makes life mo bettah

Wow, you know a nap is restorative when I woke from one, did my assignment for Algebra without crying, and kind of feel human again.

Srsly people, the maths are killng me.


Friday, June 15, 2007

Reach out and touch someone

Today I just happened to call my friend Ted, and during the call I just happened to remember that he was born 37 years ago today, and although he doesn't celebrate his birthday, I was calling, coincidentally, to invite him over for dinner. And he accepted. So we are having a dinner for Habeas Corpus, which, according to the ACLU, is having it's anniversary today.

I hope Habeas Corpus likes cake!

So, when the urge hits, I urge you to pick up the phone and call someone you have been thinking of. There may be cake in your future. Makes good sense, doesn't it?

Oh no, I have to call my Grandmother, right away!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Great "idea"

Last night I was chatting with my fantastic friend J and for some reason started putting things in "quotes", for no reason, and it ended up being so funny, I wanted to do it here.

My "plan" as it were, was to start quoting "everything" (which I now "realize" could include things like spoken word with the addition of "air quotes"). It's instantly "off putting", because (to me) it creates this "air" of sarcasm which is a bit unpleasant*. But funny.

Just doing it now makes me laugh. One of those irrational things that is hilarious to me, but not so much to "everyone else".

"Join me", won't you?

* Also, because people who do a lot of air quoting in "real life" tend to put the emphasis on the wrong "word", which is confusing.


I need to get over my perfectionism. I think it's killing me.

I see it with so many things, how I relate to my school work, to a job, in a relationship, how it stops me from enjoying people and building friendships, from talking to my family, being close to my kids. It used to stand between me and bf, but I work hard to eradicate it when I see it. The world of 'us' feels small and safe, unique and unlike the other parts of my world, tractable*. Perfectionism is less of a bother there, but it hasn't been destroyed.

But I do think my perfectionism is having an adverse effect on my health. Stress-related muscle soreness, insomnia, and mood swings, stomach aches, weight gain. All exacerbated if not caused by stress, exacerbated if not caused by misplaced perfectionism**.

Now, the long drawn out story of how I hate to edit my own work, fiction, non and otherwise, will *not* be told. It's early, I slept on the couch and had a series of strange dreams, and I am extremely thirsty.

*This is unfair, maybe? I think my friendships are also tractable, but I am more guarded with them, to a degree.
**Because in some cases, perfectionism is ok, right?

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Shit. I've said for years the only thing I'm really, truly scared of is Zombies. They don't feel, they don't think, they don't STOP. So instead of a clean nuclear-war-end-of-the-world, I'm sitting in my house, duct tape over the windows, waiting to be eaten to death. Or starve, whichever comes first.

Remember a few weeks ago, when the meteor was spotted over Canada? The little town wiped out (or so we thought), and a few news stories on it because it was so weird? I, grand conspiracy theorist and general Paranoid, thought "Oh, man, what if it's like (insert zombie movie here)?" I've always been like that - filled with a perverse desire to wake up to a world FUBAR, if only to see what my reaction would be. Has it helped me? I don't know.

Right now, totally insane but calm. M is here with me, and I have no idea where his dad is. It's been three days since people started turning in Madison - we haven't seen him since Monday morning when he dropped M off at my place for the day - although the stories were starting by then, he couldn't risk missing a day of work, he said. He called that afternoon to say he and some co workers were heading out in the work van and he'd try to get to my house. But so far, nothing. All the times I wished he were dead, I feel sick now. I hope - - never mind. I can't finish that sentence - it only comes out sounding worse each time.

Palmer got here yesterday - his roomies never came home from Portage on Sunday, and he finally gathered up his dad's old revolver and a few bb guns Stevie had and drove over here. I cried for about an hour when he showed up - I started when I heard his car with that loud muffler coming down the street and couldn't stop, even when I felt like I was suffocating from crying so hard. He's been trying to reach his mom and brother in Chicago, but so far, nothing. He's been really quiet today, withdrawn. He's been rationing his cigarettes - I always wanted him to quit, but this is not how I envisioned it.

We've got our half-assed survivalist stuff out - bathtub full of potable water, garbage bag toilet downstairs (it already stinks). I brought the gas can in from the garage on Monday when the first reports came in. And whatever would be a good weapon. The garden tools are lined up by the back door. The downstairs windows are criss-crossed with duct tape and the patio door is covered with a piece of plywood. Kept me busy Monday night. It's crazy - this doesn't seem real - nearly everything I've done is cribbed from some movie or another.

M is being pretty good, but he isn't really sure what is going on. I've always been pretty frank with him, but I don't know what to say now. And D? He's in New York with his dad - we talked Sunday. I have a feeling they are going to be okay (I decided to be positive *and* expect the worst, because I'm good). His dad's got a warehouse setup, so they have steel doors and plenty of space. The phones haven't been working out there, I guess, we haven't gotten through . I'm pretty amazed we still have electricity. I wonder if anyone else will see this entry or if it will be stuck on my computer forever.

My neighborhood is so quiet, it's eerie. My neighbors to the right took their teenagers and drove off on Tuesday, my neighbor to the left hasn't come out of her house at all as far as I can tell. The TV is still flickering in her den. Dog across the street has been howling. Do dogs turn into zombies if they get bit? We've been hearing helicopters sometimes, but no planes since Monday night. Two TV channels still broadcasting, but just a plain picture, no news. Radio? Static, but we are checking it.

Food is getting harder to figure out.For once my keeping too much food in the house is actually a good thing. And Palmer filled a duffel full of food from his house as well. We have been eating all of the fresh stuff and when that's gone, working on the freezer. Every day I figure is one day closer to having no electricity. I've got the batteries charging, for my walkman, so we will have a radio when that happens, but only for a few days. Trying not to worry about what I can't change. All the stuff I'm usually consumed with worry over: money, school, the state of the world; none of it bothers me now. Nothing matters now, except staying alive - no, staying SAFE and alive. That's what matters.

Tonight I'm getting out "Shaun of the Dead" and seeing if it makes me laugh or weep. And I'm drinking. The bar in the basement has plenty of booze.

I'm scared.

If you are out there, let me know.

P.S. You know what? I've been thinking about what scares me more: being killed by a zombie, or BEING a zombie? I don't believe that we are conscious after we die (no afterlife), but I don't know if some of our consciousness remains after we are infected or whatever. I hope not.


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Here's Why

The Anthropologist (it should be noted that reading her blog has caused me to begin referring to myself as "self", if only in my head) asked why I am taking algebra, and I thought everyone should know.

I'm taking algebra (high school algebra, really) because I have to take geometry and intermediate algebra, and when tested, I ended up there. You'll be happy to know that "algebra concepts" is not the very lowest rung in the math world. Indeed, it's at least 2 rungs up that ladder.

My current course and the geometry are requirements for entering the University of Wisconsin, and the intermediate algebra is a requirement for graduation.

I've taken high school level algebra at least 5 times, and I am just now kind of, a little bit, very slightly, beginning to understand a small part of it. Maths kill me.

In other school news, I got an A- on my paper and nearly cried. Did I mention that yet? Thank goodness I have therapy in two days.

I think I now officially have a 4.0 GPA (goes to check) (comes back, pouting). No, of course I don't. I have a 3.912 GPA, and before you say anything, it's not the same. But it's still wonderful. I'll have to tell you all about the format of my algebra course another time, it's interesting and I think I may actually retain some information! I'm hopefully optimistic about getting a B in this class. Only time shall tell.

While we are waiting for that to load, I'd like to mention that I've started reading 3 books simultaneously: ZZ Packer/"Drinking Coffee Elsewhere", Jim Crace/"Being Dead", and John Perkins/"Confessions of an Economic Hitman". The Packer and Crace are re-reads, and the Perkins is a first time. I am enjoying the fiction quite a bit and having just read the first half of the first chapter of the Perkins, I like it - it's just really depressing.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Word of the day, Monday June 11, 2007

quiescent \kwy-ES-uhnt; kwee-\, adjective:

Being in a state of repose; at rest; still; inactive.

This is VERY me today.
I'm emotionally and physically exhausted, and letting it slow me down.
Birthday weekend was fun, but I need a vacation day.
Summer school starts today tonight. I really really really don't understand algebra, so this should be interesting.

On the good side, this is a hybrid in class/online course, so there is a lot more structure than the class I took last summer. I have more of an idea what I am *expected* to learn, and online practice and other stuff. Wish me luck.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Madeleine Peyroux - Dreamland

Bf gave me Madeleine Peyroux's Dreamland for my birthday. This is her first album - proceeding her breakthrough CD Careless Love by 8 years.

It's every bit as dreamy as Careless Love, with the exception of the title track (a contemporary arrangement which I found jarring after the nine songs which proceed it), which unlike the other songs penned by Peyroux ("Hey Sweet Man", and "Always a Use")for the album, just feels wrong for the mood of the album.

I was very curious to hear her version of "Walkin' After Midnight", as I'm a Patsy Cline fan - nothing earth shattering, but a solid rendition.

"Was I?" is a really fun song - I'd heard her perform this on some radio show and then forgotten about it - it is impossible not to smile while listening to this one.

An Edith Piaf song (and the US/Germany title of the new Piaf biopic) "La Vie en Rose" - is a beautiful tune.

The album is rounded out by two Bessie Smith songs, which are really simply arranged, just vocals and piano or guitar.

The twelve short songs (album totals just shy of 40 minutes) are very enjoyable, with a good mix of styles (I'm sure even "Dreamland" will grow on me a little) - I will be listening to this CD a lot in the next several weeks, I'm sure.

Her website is all flash, so I can't link to specific pages, but you can sample songs from all three of her albums. She's headlining the Jazz fest in Madison tonight. We aren't going - I think I'll just bring the album over to his place tonight and we can have a listening party.

But if you try sometimes, you just might find...

As you are no doubt aware, you can't always get what you want.

I want oodles of calls, cards and gifts on my birthday, like I remember from the old days (and I know my memory is faulty on that point).

Instead I got serenaded on the last day of Engish class, and afterwards had a nice day with my kids, the lawnmower, a real Wisconsin Friday fish fry, and chocolate cake (and some gifts!).

The boys had to drag bf and I from our postprandial nap - we had cake at 10pm, after which the two old people went back to bed and the sugared up youngsters stayed up watching endless episodes of The Simpsons.

I had a really lovely day, set my already lackadaisical weight loss back a week or two, and feel fulfilled and lucky.

The ever widening gap

An interesting article in the Guardian Unlimited (online).
The author Mark Braund references the Make Poverty History campaign, and although the name is familiar, I don't know much about it. I did think these graphs were worth quoting:

The growing gap between rich and poor, within nations and between them, is an inevitable consequence of the way we've chosen to arrange the economy. Over the last 30 years, a politically-driven programme of economic liberalisation has tied economic success (as measured by GDP growth) to growing inequality. More people may be richer than ever before, but many more people are poorer; both are the inevitable consequence of economic advance under the current model.

It's pointless blaming emerging elites in developing countries for appropriating a disproportionate share of new wealth when that's exactly what happened in rich nations at a similar stage in their development. It's hardly surprising if an African running a recently privatised former state enterprise in Ghana or Gabon feels himself entitled to the lifestyle of an executive running a similar businesses in Europe or North America. That, after all, is what globalisation is all about.

Serious poverty reduction will only be possible if the economy is reconfigured to provide a redistribution, not of wealth, but of the factors that beget wealth. The growth in scale of corporations that has accompanied globalisation has restricted access to the resources necessary for economic independence to a small minority of people worldwide.

As next week is a relatively free one for me, I picked up a couple of books from the library at school (a small but fairly satisfying collection of fiction, and a lot of quite interesting non-fiction can be found there). I picked up ZZ Packer's "Drinking Coffee Elsewhere" (short stories), which I heartily recommend, and John Perkins' "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man", which I've heard a lot about. He's got a new book out and is doing the media circuit for it; hearing him talk about it prompted me to pick up this book.

I do believe "Confessions" will prove what this author is saying about economic liberalization creating greater economic inequality through the developing world is true.

In my Mass Communications class we had to watch a Tom Friedman interview (yes, the horror - to make it worse his shit eating grin was accompanied by a mock turtleneck/sport coat ensemble) and write about his ideas that the world is fair now because people in India get to affect American accents in call centers. Srsly.
Anyhow, this subject reminds me of him, because it's fairly obvious that while high tech stuff is moving across the globe (and you know, I need to learn more about what is going on in the less talked about continents in this discussion - Africa and South America), people are not being relieved of poverty in comparable numbers.

[I've just put in an interlibrary loan request for Mark Braund's book. Apparently there are 72 libraries in the world who have a copy of his book, 2 in Wisconsin. I'll review it when it comes in.]

Thursday, June 07, 2007

I lack a manifesto

This is something I have thought about a lot for many years. I really have never sat down and written out what I believe. I do want to do that for many things as I started to in the "this is what I think" post below.

This is something I am not here to fix - not right now. Final draft of paper (and I'm really angry this morning because I found an article about how bushco is working hard against international reproductive health programs because they acknowledge abortion as a part of reproductive health care - I do plan to write about this in more detail soon) is nearly done, take home exam also nearly there...

Just wanted to note it for posterity. Manifesto-esque posts will be on the menu for your summer reading (dis)pleasure.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Yay, I'm a genius

Ah, the many mood swings of the research paper combined with an interim class.
Feeling much more genius-y today than yesterday, although I'm STILL not done with the paper, I'm nearly there. I'll be sure to tell you all about it when it's done. I hate to excerpt it lest I use it as the basis for more research down the line and end up being accused of plagiarizing myself.

Yes, I'm serious.


Birthday in two days. Actually beginning to look forward to it.
Eat, drink, and be merry, and all that.

Tomorrow, I present my paper. It is likely I am the only one who is seriously considering writing up a presentation.

This is so crazy, my geeking out over what is essentially a pile of policy reports.
I'm loving it.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007


Coming up for air?

Sort of. Have 11+ pages for my paper (shooting for 15), and I'm officially SICK of looking at it, at the messed up formatting and the unfinished-ness of it.

I'm tired.

Have a headache.

Got mail and phone messages which freak me out, but are not worth it. Just move forward, things will be fine.

The plan is, beginning next week I walk wherever I can and drive where I can't walk. Which is most places. So I drive only where I REALLY need to go - I'm not dedicated to not driving my car nunca, jamas, but I am dedicated to trying it out. Getting up early enough to walk little boy to summer school, going grocery shopping on days I have class so I'm in the car anyhow. That kind of stuff. Plus more walking means more possible physical fitness.

And with gas prices being what they are and my car being what it is (falling apart), the less I drive, the better.

I'm really freaking out.

And, I turn 37 on Friday.
OLD. I'm officially getting there.


EDIT, a couple of hours later.
Crud, my headache is getting worse.
I haven't done any work on my paper.

Bah. I hate this kind of week. Too much going on and lots of worry followed by nothing.

Yes, I'm whining. NO, I'm not finished.
But in deference to my legions of fans, I'll do the rest of my whining offline.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

This is what I think

Today I happened upon a link to the blog Afrosphere, and I decided to write a response to this post. Here is my comment in full (edits where I caught them are in brackets)

Until women can control their own fertility, we will not be an equal part of our society [societies].

This means women need to be in control of when they have sex and with whom, in control of contraception (but not bear the entire burden of it), in control of the choice to terminate a pregnancy as well as in control of the choice to continue one even if she is poor, ill, or the father does not want a baby.

The right to all kinds of reproductive health care, and make no mistake, medical and surgical abortions are HEALTH CARE - whatever you think of abortion, is a moral right for both women and men.

For too long women (and women of the African diaspora [in particular]) have not had implicit or explicit control of our bodies. Moralizing abortion, considering it outside of health care, and stigmatizing women who make the choice to end a pregnancy are parts of the problem.

Yes, we can all agree that abortion should be rare, but it will NEVER, EVER be non-existent. We may disagree as to when a new life truly takes hold, and we may mourn those lives which never come to fruition, but the real, tangible lives of women must be put first.

Women are not merely vessels through which more life comes. We are mothers, sisters, wives, friends, lovers, workers, bosses, politicians, teachers…PEOPLE. People upon whom society rests its collective head, from whom we get our food, our companionship, our values, our consumer goods. They deserve, WE deserve to have control over what happens to our bodies.

Anything less is immoral.

Right now I'm working on a research paper about how gender inequity is negatively effecting women's reproductive health across the globe, and how a "gender equality" approach to reproductive health is a tool to make positive changes for women.

The gender equality approach to reproductive health care has the potential to make an enormous difference in the lives of women around the world. For over 30 years (not coincidentally along the same time lines of the mass marketing of hormonal contraceptives and population concerns) the focus of reproductive health care has been on women. Women's health clinics, female contraception methods, and a focus on what women can do to prevent pregnancy have been paramount. Let me make clear that this has not been a bad thing - controlling ones body is the essence of freedom, and I am glad for progress that has been made this way. What is troubling, however, is how the process of providing options has been turned around to make women solely responsible for conception and pregnancy (and childrearing) in many people's eyes.

What is exciting about the gender equality approach to these issues is that they don't start with a western notion of what poor women of colour need, but instead they look at the society and culture is and use that knowledge to create programs which will actively engage both men and women.

Strengthening the position of women in our global society will strengthen the family, help in the lives of children, and create stronger, sustainable economies. This is not a "feel good" idea, this is a powerful way to create change.

And for my part, I have become personally dedicated to furthering the idea that medical and surgical abortions are not a moral issue, but as part of reproductive health care options, a moral right.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

High Road, sort of.

Man, my exhusband is a fckng jerk sometimes. Srsly.
He's been drinking a lot lately, and that does nothing for his mental health.
10 more years!

"I need my inhalers refilled"

Two nights ago I had a long dream which involved wet suits, a flooding river, and me repeatedly quelling panic, because I cannot swim.

The three of us were, for reasons never explained, traveling down a swollen river in the middle of the night. It was in North America, but not in Wisconsin. The flora were all wrong for that. It was temperate, there were no animals or insects around, and it was very quiet, with the exception of us in our boat (which, at one point just disappeared). Near the end of the dream, the man (I was with one man and one woman, both relatively anonymous) and I swam to the shore. He had something to tell me. As I was wriggling out of my wet suit (terribly relieved to be out of the water - you know, can't swim), he came up close behind me and held his hand out. "I need a refill on my inhalers," he said. I was a bit vexed. Was there a Walgreen's in walking distance? I didn't have a wallet with me, did I? Was there a co-pay?

I didn't say anything to him, and he had nothing more to say. It was understood that I'd take care of it. I just pulled myself up to a dry spot on shore and finished taking off my wet suit, eyes on the twin inhalers sitting on the ground before me. Thinking about getting Tom Cruise's prescriptions refilled.

Happiness is...

Happiness is an imaginary condition, formerly attributed by the living to the dead, now usually attributed by adults to children, and by children to adults.

Thomas Szasz, The Second Sin (1973) "Emotions"