Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Why my daughter takes Karate

and why the others will when they're old enough.

This disgusting piece of misogyny (the article referenced, not the commentary I linked to) is just too disturbing to really comment on (or link directly to - just... icky to link to it). Feministe did, and I’ll let her speak for me and the rest of the decent people around… I just can’t bear to ruminate on the fact that there are people out there that think like that.

I'll just say that rapists are beyond scum. This asshole and his "property rights" piss proves he's only interested in himself, fuck everyone else. Literally.

I hope he finds himself in prison one day for finally being caught fucking someone over, surrounded by big beefy men who want to lay claim to him.

Yah, I don't usually curse (on this blog), but his blather is dangerous, and by blaming the victims, makes life that much more dangerous for the rest of us.

Hattip to Echidne for exposing me to this nightmare.


Ok, just can the last entry

Because hating Fox News has nothing to do with irrational fears and baseless pedagogy. No, hating Fox News has everything to do with crap like this that they insist on propagating to the masses. (I swear I saw "Why the Left Hates Sex" headlined on FoxNews.com while reviewing it for my previous entry. I now cannot find the link on FoxNews, but really, they DID have it on there earlier!)

The Chemist does a great job breaking down the inane diatribe of Jennifer Roback Morse. Visit him for a larger review of her entire article. What I'm going to blabber on about are these excerpts:

"This assault on sex first emerged with the subject of income equality. This mind-set has never been at peace with the fact that child-bearing places distinct demands on both women and men. Men tend to work more steadily in the paid labor force throughout their lives, while women tend to cut back on their labor force participation during their child-bearing years. As long as men and women can cooperate throughout their lives in marriage, both men and women can be made better off by combining these different economic strategies. Men may have a larger amount written on their paychecks, but their wives get the benefit of their earning power.


"But the Left’s war on sex differences transcends the merely political, and pops up in the most personal ways. For instance, most first-time parents slide into “stereo-typical gender roles.” Studies show that people who embrace gender equality are likely to be upset by the arrival of their first child. Because of their deep commitment to equality, they often become angry at their partners and ultimately at themselves. Unless they can surrender their rigid Leftist gender ideology, their marriage is headed for divorce and they are headed for misery."

So, unless we women get married and go back to being barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen and obey our Lord and Master Husband in all things, and our men stop trying to be involved in raising the children, we are headed down a hedonistic path full of failed marriages and misery. Men can’t raise kids, and women can't ask to be treated fairly in the workplace. Because, you see, she shouldn't be in the workplace at all. She should get married straight out of school (high school, since Morse elsewhere in her article also shows a great disdain for anyone involved in collegiate studies, even though she has a PhD), or work and not complain about how she's getting paid less than her male counterparts. After all, men work harder and will stay with the company longer, and men have kids and a Little Woman at home to keep. How DARE we inconvenience The Corporation by having a womb... or a sense of self-worth.

The freaky thing about this woman's argument is that she is condemning her ideologue of "The Left" for championing gender equality, when she herself condemns women for being different than men. Can't women do ANYTHING right? We double-xers "tend" to cut back on our "labor force participation" when we have kids. Ok, maybe many of us do (although not me or the millions - actually billions if you use the entire human population - of other working moms). Yet, you see, the Eisenhower-era Stepford Wife Privileged Right paradigm in Morse's reality is not the reality in the grander, larger reality in this country. You know, the families who have kids being raised by either single dads, single moms, single grandparents, breadwinning moms with stay-at-home-dads, same-sex couples, and where both parents work at least one job. Add to that list of pariahs married couples who don't have kids at all either by choice or biology, and she's pretty much condemned the vast majority of American families to misery and divorce.

To insinuate that I am less of a woman for not marrying a man whom I can "get the benefit of (his) earning power" is fightin' words. Not to mention her assumptions that my husband is less of a man for not giving me that "benefit," and that he can't possibly raise the children in any reasonable fashion because he's not following the paradigm of the Privileged Right. Even if I had a trust-fund and a husband whom I could suck "benefit" off of (yes, go with the double entendre, please) so I wouldn't have to work, doesn't mean that he is any less capable of caring for the kids, or that I am any less worthy of earning what I am due. Yah, he's not going to squeeze any critters out of his dick, but he's still a Dad, a Parent, a person who knows which end the poop comes out of and how to kiss a boo-boo better than many Moms I know. And I may take my twelve weeks of (hard-earned, massive overtime worked to cover it and still working for The Office at home while on) maternity leave when I have a baby, but that doesn't mean my work is any less valuable than that of my male peers.

The Left doesn't hate sex. We, if I may speak for us all, like the diversity that the different sexes offer, and the multitude of solutions different sexes provide for getting through life. What we do hate is using sex to discriminate. Which is exactly what Dr. Morse is promoting.

Monday, November 28, 2005


I really don't want to question the intelligence and moral value of people because of their choice of channel to program into the number one spot for their XM radio. But I do.

I've gotten into rows with people viscerally repulsed by the thought of interracial relationships. One claimed she wasn't a bigot because, hey, her daughter's best friend is black. There are times I wonder, and I admit I wonder with a smirk, how the mother would react if it evolved into an interracial lesbian relationship.

For me, my telling Flaming Brand of Bigotry is this admission: Some of my best friends listen to Fox News.

I really don't know how they do it. How they survive without their brains imploding is beyond me. Just like some can't fathom why a white woman would fall for a black man, I can't conceive how people listen to that drivel, much less believe it.

The KKK burns crosses on mixed-couple's front lawns. I fight back a sneer when someone tells me what they heard on Fox News on the way to work.

Them: Jim Crow laws, mob violence, lynchings. Me: Rolling eyes, heavy sighs, spit-takes.

"They can be good people. If they just had stronger family values, they'd get off welfare."

"I love my friends. Even though they're misguided, they have a good heart."

There's nothing wrong with people of a different race, it's just their skin color that's the issue.

There's nothing wrong with my friends, it's just Fox News that's the problem.

Just like racial bigots, I see no need to change my opinions about my chosen target.

The only difference between the racial bigot and me, of course, is that I'm right.

Friday, November 25, 2005

You wanna know why I'm at work?

Because I hate shopping. Thank the Goddess for the internet - I found some really cool toys for the girls in just a few minute's time (every kid gets a jack-in-the-box!), with only needing to use my middle finger for the letters E and I.

Because, you see, the real pisser for the season isn't dysfunctional in-laws or toy advertisements on Nick Jr., no, it's Mall Traffic.


Even when I'm not TRYING to get to the mall, everyone else is, so I get jammed behind me-first-and-f-the-reindeer-you-flew-in-on mall shoppers flipping each other off while I'm driving to Wild Oats for some bulger. Wish they had on-line ordering.

Nope, today, Black Friday, I'm enjoying a nearly-empty office and no malls between me and my drive home.

Dinner, sadly, will have no bulger.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Et tut?


(cue Steve Martin's song)

Let me state that ancient Egypt is big in our house. If I hear Hubby up late watching television, it's not porn I'm sharing my husband with. Instead, it's various Egyptologists and their theories behind everything from how the pyramids were built to what really happened to Queen Hatshepsut. I can't complain, after all, N's conception blessing was at a temple of Sekhmet. The girls have shown enthusiasm for such studies, too, so we don't hear complaints when Jimmy Neutron is switched over to Bob Brier.

So, when the Boy King was within driving distance, it wasn't a matter of if, but rather when. Which was last weekend. Seven hours on the road, rhumba lessons at 3 am in the room above us at the hotel, over an hour in line waiting to get in, and we were THERE, Man.

Old stuff. REALLY old stuff. Really old broken stuff but it was so old and so cool it didn't matter. Most everything was from someone else's tomb, not Tutenkhamen's, but it was still goose-pimply exciting.

But what we really wanted to see was the Big Wow, as Hubby called it. You know, what you see in your mind when you think of King Tut. The funerial mask, in all its gilded glory, with the reds and the blues, the snakes and that flail thing. And the eyes - had to see those eyes. I was getting shivers just thinking about it. Soon it was nearing 8 pm, and the girls were either a) too tired b) too overwhelmed with so much to see or c) too interested in going to the kids fun section instead of being with all these stodgey adults oohing over a viscera vessel that they were ready to move on. We had to briefly look at the really cool things to get to the Big Wow before we lost them.

And then, suddenly, we were at the gift shop. Wait! Where's the Big Wow? Did we miss it? Crap!

Nope, turns out Egypt refused to let The Big Wow out of the country. All those advertisements and posters and websites and three-story-high commandments to SEE TUT HERE! with the funerial mask demanding your attention were misleading. What a letdown.

But it was still cool, and we don't regret it, or the eight hours it took us to get home.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

I just love Jimmy Carter

He wrote a piece for the LA Times yesterday:

This Isn't The Real America
by Jimmy Carter

In recent years, I have become increasingly concerned by a host of radical government policies that now threaten many basic principles espoused by all previous administrations, Democratic and Republican.

These include the rudimentary American commitment to peace, economic and social justice, civil liberties, our environment and human rights.

Also endangered are our historic commitments to providing citizens with truthful information, treating dissenting voices and beliefs with respect, state and local autonomy and fiscal responsibility.

At the same time, our political leaders have declared independence from the restraints of international organizations and have disavowed long-standing global agreements — including agreements on nuclear arms, control of biological weapons and the international system of justice.

Instead of our tradition of espousing peace as a national priority unless our security is directly threatened, we have proclaimed a policy of "preemptive war," an unabridged right to attack other nations unilaterally to change an unsavory regime or for other purposes. When there are serious differences with other nations, we brand them as international pariahs and refuse to permit direct discussions to resolve disputes.

Regardless of the costs, there are determined efforts by top U.S. leaders to exert American imperial dominance throughout the world.

These revolutionary policies have been orchestrated by those who believe that our nation's tremendous power and influence should not be internationally constrained. Even with our troops involved in combat and America facing the threat of additional terrorist attacks, our declaration of "You are either with us or against us!" has replaced the forming of alliances based on a clear comprehension of mutual interests, including the threat of terrorism.

Another disturbing realization is that, unlike during other times of national crisis, the burden of conflict is now concentrated exclusively on the few heroic men and women sent back repeatedly to fight in the quagmire of Iraq. The rest of our nation has not been asked to make any sacrifice, and every effort has been made to conceal or minimize public awareness of casualties.

Instead of cherishing our role as the great champion of human rights, we now find civil liberties and personal privacy grossly violated under some extreme provisions of the Patriot Act.

Of even greater concern is that the U.S. has repudiated the Geneva accords and espoused the use of torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, and secretly through proxy regimes elsewhere with the so-called extraordinary rendition program. It is embarrassing to see the president and vice president insisting that the CIA should be free to perpetrate "cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment" on people in U.S. custody.

Instead of reducing America's reliance on nuclear weapons and their further proliferation, we have insisted on our right (and that of others) to retain our arsenals, expand them, and therefore abrogate or derogate almost all nuclear arms control agreements negotiated during the last 50 years. We have now become a prime culprit in global nuclear proliferation. America also has abandoned the prohibition of "first use" of nuclear weapons against nonnuclear nations, and is contemplating the previously condemned deployment of weapons in space.

Protection of the environment has fallen by the wayside because of government subservience to political pressure from the oil industry and other powerful lobbying groups. The last five years have brought continued lowering of pollution standards at home and almost universal condemnation of our nation's global environmental policies.

Our government has abandoned fiscal responsibility by unprecedented favors to the rich, while neglecting America's working families. Members of Congress have increased their own pay by $30,000 per year since freezing the minimum wage at $5.15 per hour (the lowest among industrialized nations).

I am extremely concerned by a fundamentalist shift in many houses of worship and in government, as church and state have become increasingly intertwined in ways previously thought unimaginable.

As the world's only superpower, America should be seen as the unswerving champion of peace, freedom and human rights. Our country should be the focal point around which other nations can gather to combat threats to international security and to enhance the quality of our common environment. We should be in the forefront of providing human assistance to people in need. It is time for the deep and disturbing political divisions within our country to be substantially healed, with Americans united in a common commitment to revive and nourish the historic political and moral values that we have espoused during the last 230 years.

Hat tip to editormom for pointing it out.

Nice guy, honest about things most folks would blanch at, intelligent, and has lots of integrity. I won't lie, our family was hard-hit with the economy under his administration. Of course, OPEC and a slimey congress didn't exactly help. And I was worse hit with the economy under Bush The First. But I still admire the man above any other public figure alive today. He has certainly done more for his country and his professed values after leaving his office than any former president in over a century, if not ever. He was preaching to the choir in my case with this letter, but I still found it all that more compelling as it was Jimmy Carter writing it.

Thanks, Jimmy.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Why y?

N and I have been going over vowels. AEIOU, sometimes Y. My evil plan is to get her to start putting an "e" at the end of long-vowel-sounding words, not so much like "permeate" at the moment, but a tad simpler, like "lame," as in, this post. "See, f-a-d is pronounced fad, while if you put an e after the consonant after the a you pronounce it fade."

Forget that the kid just learned what "vowel" means, and the only reason I think she remembers that is because I told her Sarah Vowel plays Violet in "The Incredibles." Consonant? Isn't that the name of that new girl in class? Well, at least she seems to understand that a consonant is any letter other than A, E, I, O or U, and I find that promising.

Yet, what about sometimes Y? I must have missed that bit about why "sometimes" in first grade, or whenever they teach you about vowels. Now that I am teaching someone about them, I need to get to the elusive bottom of this Y thing. Is there ever an instance where Y is not a vowel? Is there some exclusivity rule about vowels, where Y can't be treated like a vowel, as if it's some dissed junior high school girl who didn't read the memo about only wearing green tights on Tuesdays instead of on Thursdays? My memory fads in my old ag, I remember nothing of this Y rule. I remember the vowels by repeating the old adage "A E I O U, and sometimes Y" just like how I blither on in that poem to remember how many days are in the month of November.

Dammit, Jim, I'm a scientist, not an editor.

So, since I'm inclined to include Y in all my parties, I've made the bold decision to simply include Y in my list of vowels for my kindergartner. She can learn to banish it to the loser consonant clique on her own time.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Better than best?

We made cookies the other day. I've become lax in my old age, or perhaps my harried life as working mom to three kids and wife to a kidney-stoned invalid, so we went the cookie-mix route. Just add one egg, one-third cup oil, mix, bake, enjoy the extra inches on your thighs. I've taken to checking out the baking aisle whenever I go grocery shopping, just to see if the brownie and cookie mixes are on sale so I can stock up. You really should check them out, easy bonding time with the kids, minimal mess. Fabulous. The sweets usually go to waste, we can't eat them all, but it's fun making them.

A and N helped make these peanut butter cookies. A, newly-ish three, has only recently developed her attention span enough to be interested from start to finish when helping out in the kitchen.

While enjoying the first batch of warm, soft cookies, A proclaimed, "Mommy, these are the best cookies ever, plus friends!"

Definately. How better to improve perfection than add a bit of love, eh?

Thursday, November 10, 2005

November 5th has come and gone

Every year I find a muse to write something. As Mommy, it's my job to Remember, that's all I have left, and that's all she has.

But I failed this year. Life, you know, it gets in the way of death. Funny, that. I'd like to think that that's the way it should be, live - because you can, dammit. But when you're Mommy, and you are all that keeps something of her here, well.... I failed.

So, I'll pass along what I wrote the day she was supposed to come, my first loss, my first babylove, written while pregnant with my oldest, N. Reading it today it sounds utterly corny and hackneyed. If I were less tired, and less morose, I'd find comfort in it because, well, because I am Mommy, and She is a part of me.

The Colors of the Rain

I had a dream
Once... long ago
Now buried ‘neath cold drifts of snow
Of pain and grief and agony.
That freeze mere thoughts of you and me.

We laughed and played
Under the sun
On hills of green and sand of dun.
Where I discovered through your eyes
Forgotten wonders, joy and pride.
I dried your tears, and hugged you tight
And kissed you sweetly every night.

I loved you more
Than life is dear,
But you left and now I fear
That I will never love again
And see the sky above the rain.

My heart is cold,
The snow is deep.
Dark shadows find their way and creep
Into my dreams and waking hours
Lost, I cry and cringe and cower.
I cannot find my way out
of this frozen land of doubt.

I blame myself
For this frost.
You, my strength, my courage lost
Hope is gone, and faith as well
I am in the deepest pits of Hell.

I look out now
and learn that I
Have not seen the world go by
With people just as sad or more
Whom I had chosen to ignore.
Too deaf to hear their cries of sorrow,
Too blind to see me there tomorrow.

I wonder why
You chose to leave?
To make me cry and whine and grieve?
Or did you give me this lesson
To grow my strength and show compassion?

You took away
my belief
in myself and left me grief.
But now I start to understand
that you gave me a strong hand
to help me find unmeasured wealth:
compassion, courage, my own true self.

I recall
how glad I was
to find that you would be with us
I smiled, laughed, and reveled in
my growing child deep within.

I learned too
of love so deep
That I would do all things to keep.
I learned that I could be a Mom
and yearn to praise and hug and calm
my own sweet babe I did not know
emerging now from melting snow.

Time has passed,
And I now see
That you were here to teach me
Of love and life and loss and pain
To find the colors in the rain
That shine and dance and play with tears
of joy and grief and conquer fears.

I have a dream
You share with me
Of love and hope and destiny.
This one I carry is sweet and dear,
And I hold her with some fear.
But you have taught me to have faith
In myself and in her fate.

Mommy, November 1999

For our little lost one,
expected November 5, 1999, but never arrived.
Mommy and Daddy love and miss you very much.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Yes, it's three fourty-three in the morning

and I can't remember how to spell "fourty." It must be rooted in French.... I can never get the hang of French at a quarter to four in the morning. It's the pre-dawn hours that I lay awake desperately trying to remember how to spell onui...enoui, onwee.... where's that dictionary.

This is why I took German in High School. I never lay supine and delerious, trying to remember how to spell versmechen. I mean, why?

I wonder, is versmechen even German? There I did it... ruined a perfectly good non-obsessive trait. sigh.

Anwyays, it's nearing my lifetime-ago wake-up time when I commuted five hours a day, and I'm in the office.

Let it be known to All Mankind that the Coachella Valley is a heap of dog scat. Specifically, my database of the Coachella Valley, so by association, all within depicted by my bits and bytes is tarnished with the foul smell of chaos. I've been wrestling with this agricultural mecca for dates, grapes, and canine offal for several months, and it's come down to having to finish it today or, well, hell, I work for the Feds, I was told after I've worked for them for three years I could kill someone and still not get fired. So, it's not like I'll get fired if I'm not done, I'll just cause panic. And, Friends, Panic in a cloistered office environment is worth avoiding at all costs.

Which means I'm running on about six hours of sleep over the past five days.

If versmechen isn't a real word, it is now.

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