March 18, 2003

“Should Saddam Hussein choose confrontation, the American people can know that every measure has been taken to avoid war."

“These attacks are not inevitable.”

These words were spoken by George W. Bush.

23 July 2002

“C reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.

From the Downing Street Memo

March 18, 2003

. "And every measure will be taken to win it.”

23 July 2002

"There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action.”

It is now clear that the Bush administration knowingly made a false case for war to the American people.

Please join Congressman John Conyers in asking President Bush to answer for his actions and words in the run-up to the Iraq invasion. Sign the letter.

Do it for the innocent Iraqi civilians who have been caught in the crossfire.

Do it for the soldiers, who have been grossly misused by the Bush administration.

Do it for the victims of the September 11 attacks, who have become merely an excuse for George W. Bush to wage war on a dictator who had nothing to do with the attacks that killed these people.

Do it for America, which deserves the truth.


All right, let's see if this works

If this worked, you are looking at a picture of Monkey from a few years ago. This was the third time she cut her hair, and the most drastic cut she ever gave herself.

As you can tell, she is quite proud of herself.


I'm joining in with the Big Brass Alliance, started by Shakespeare's Sister, which is going to be taking some action with the other organizations supporting After Downing Street.

I haven't figured out how to add the logo, a pair of Big Brass balls, to my blog.

But I am reminded of an incident from my childhood.

When my brother was born, his testicles didn't descend, which is a fairly common occurance. Because it can affect fertility, if they don't descend on their own by the time the little boy is about 2 or so, they will do surgery to put the testicles where they belong.

I was sitting with my mother in the doctor's office. Dr. Dalton was a serious man, a little intimidating for a pediatrician, but he was the kind of doctor that got a child's attention and respect. He was explaining the situation to my mother (I was probably about 9 or 10 years old) - Little Bro's testicles were nice and toasty inside his body, so they needed to come out if he was ever going to give my mother any grandchildren. He explained the surgery and the care my brother would require while recovering.

At the end of this discussion, my mother asked "What are testicles?"

I was mortified.

Dr. Dalton held out one of his large hands, cupped slightly, and said in his dignified and serious voice, "you know, BALLS".

Memorial Day

My family hasn't been American long enough to lose anyone in an American war - on my mother's side, both of her brothers wanted to go to Vietnam, but the Army only took one of them, and he never saw combat (my other uncle had a hole in his ear drum, so he didn't pass the physical). One of my cousins joined the Air Force but finished serving his time before the first Gulf War; his younger brother joined the Navy at the tail end of the Gulf War but never saw combat (although he did leave the Navy with a big old drug addiction, which he has never recovered from).

On my father's side of the family, those of his siblings who came to the U.S. eventually went back - his older brother used to own a bar in Brooklyn, but headed home because he found the pace of life way too fast. My dad's oldest sister retired to England, in large part because of the election of George W. Bush. Another one of his sisters moved back to Ireland when her son (who was born in Ireland) graduated from high school - her husband, a plumber, was itching to benefit from the resurgent Irish economy.

But I do know some veterans. My FIL was a POW briefly in Korea - he told the story of his escape once, and every hair on my body stood on end - it was riveting and terrifying, and he's lucky he survived. The dad of one of my close high school friends (and he's a dad who is very special to me) served in Vietnam

And about 2 minutes from my house is a small green that houses the war Memorials for the town's citizens who died in combat - when I read those names, of those who gave their lives in war, I recognize some of the names from kids who go to school with Sio & Monkey.

It's not difficult to share the grief of those families who have lost someone in Iraq. And it's not difficult to look at why those men and women were in Iraq and get angry.


I never thought the Oompa Loompas were scary....

...until I saw this.

Politics at the Pulpit

Rev. Heretic gave a Memorial Day sermon to remember this morning.

He once again decried those who use the pulpit for partisan politics, but he noted that religion has had a positive impact on politics before (most notably the Civil Rights movement), and he felt it was appropriate to talk about our foreign policy on Memorial Day weekend, when we have so many men and women who are in harm's way in part because of what he termed our misguided and unbalanced foreign policy in the Holy Land.

I'm going to miss Rev. Heretic when they appoint a permanent minister. He always gives me something to think about.


Blogroll Update

I've added Alternate Brain, which has a shiny new look.



We have always had Upon Further Review on our blogroll.

I'm It

The lovely Shakespeare's Sister has tagged me with this questionnaire, which is making me feel all Sally Field, because I'm a big dork. Anyway, here we go:

Three names you go by (that won't give away your identity): Moe, Mom....I'm woefully bereft of nicknames. My father used to call me Monikey-monikey, though.

Three screen names you've had: sijoma, jomasima, lokison

Three physical things you like about yourself: My feet are very nicely shaped with toes that are the appropriate proportion to their peers; I have great hair - a lovely shade of coppery red with natural curls (but not too curly); and great tits. I can't waffle on that, they are terrific, and tend to be the only thing that most men look at when they talk to me.

Three physical things you don't like about yourself: I wish I had a longer neck, that I was taller (I'm the only shorty in my family), and that I hadn't been born with hip dysplaysia.

Three parts of your heritage: potatoes, Guinness, lamb...i.e., Irish, Irish and Irish.

Three things you are wearing right now: jeans, socks, and my favorite bra.

Three favorite bands / musical artists: Ben Folds, Nellie McKay, Talking Heads.

Three favorite songs: Army by Ben Folds Five, Caterpillar Girl by The Cure, and Take Me To The River by the Talking Heads

Three things you want in a relationship: humor, honesty, consideration.

Three physical things about the preferred sex that appeals to you: I find both genders physically appealing, but I'm more hetero than not, so here goes: big hands, slightly taller than average, slim but not slight.

Three of your favorite hobbies: watching movies/tv shows, reading, theater.

Three things you want to do really badly right now: Take a vacation, eat a cheeseburger, quit my job

Three things that scare you: jumping into the water feet-first, my 16 year old driving, losing my job.

Three of your everyday essentials: water, sunglasses, sunscreen

Three careers you have considered / are considering: Midwife, Music Teacher, Actress

Three places you want to go on vacation: Paris, Barcelona, New Zealand

Three kids' names you like: I love my children's names, plus Declan.

Three things you want to do before you die: learn another language, publish a novel, meet my great-grandchildren

Three ways you are stereotypically a boy: I *never* hear that noise in the middle of the night; I can wake up, take a shower, and be out of the house within 20 minutes, I don't decorate.

Three ways you are stereotypically a girl: I moisturize every day, I like getting dressed up and feeling pretty, I crave chocolate and salt 4 or 5 days a month.

Three celeb crushes: Daniel Day-Lewis, Jason Bateman, Eddie Izzard

I'll have to pass this on to 3 people who actually read this blog, so I'll go with: The Chemist, JRH at Upon Further Review, and Jill at Brilliant at Breakfast.


I don't like tangy apples

Over at Rittenhouse Review, there is a bit of whining going on because a recent study indicated the Red Delicious, a type not favored by Jim Cappozzola, is the most healthful apple.

I'm quite pleased, though, since the Red Delicious is my favorite type of apple. I pass by the MacIntosh, I have disdain for Granny Smith, don't care for Macouns or Romes or Galas or Pink Ladies. I like the perfect sweetness of a Red Delicious.

Although I could write an ode to melons, my favorite of all fruits.

I'm not a scientist, but....

I was just reading this article from the Telegraph which is reporting on a study that ostensibly proves that having an abortion can have a negative impact on any pregnancies that follow the abortion.

I'm just a secretary, but the following paragraph that explains the methodology used sort of raised a flag for me:

Her study compared the medical histories of 2,219 women with babies born at less than 34 weeks with another 618 who had given birth at full term. Overall, women who had had an abortion were 40 per cent more likely to have a very pre-term delivery (less than 33 weeks) than those without such a history. The risk of an extremely premature baby - one born at less than 28 weeks - was raised even more sharply, by 70 per cent. Abortion appeared to increase the risk of most major causes of premature birth, including premature rupture of membranes, incorrect position of the foetus on the placenta and spontaneous early labour. The only common cause of premature birth not linked to abortion was high blood pressure.

I would think that if you wanted to determine whether abortion impacts future pregnancies, the sample you would want would be women who had abortions and then went on to have another pregnancy - then you could determine how many women who had abortions experienced problems with a subsequent pregnancy. And then you would have to have a control group, I guess, of women who did not have abortions but had more than one pregnancy, to determine the differences between the two, and whether any of the problems experienced can be linked to abortion.

This sample seems to be heavily weighed to include women who have not delivered a full-term baby, so it seems natural that a large percentage of them would have problems with subsequent pregnancies, whether or not they've had an abortion. And what percentage of the women who had premature births had them because of high blood pressure, which was not linked to abortion? That statistic is not included.

So help me out, scientifically inclined readers - am I off base in my concerns about this study?

Idle questions

I've just been reading a bunch of abortion and dentists with Freudian syringes related posts around and about the internet, and my mind started wandering (as it often does when I'm bored at work), and I started wondering: Who do my eggs belong to? Does a man own his sperm? If I consent to sex, and I'm using birth control that fails, have I actually consented to allow my sex partners sperm to engage with my egg? If a man uses a condom and there is a hole in it unbeknownst to him, has he really consented to putting his sperm into someone else's body?

Added to blogroll

I've added firedoglake, The Green Knight, and Pam's House Blend. Three fine blogs that I should have added a while ago.

I'll probably be making some more changes to the blogroll soon. I'm still trying to figure out how to break down the list - I may have a short list of favorites at the top, and then the big ones I visit daily (but who hardly need my link) just to stay on top of things. I use my blogroll as a starting point, so I definitely plan on keeping it.

I5BOTD 5/26/05

Today's Indie 500 Blog of the Day is:

Brilliant at Breakfast

which opens with a great Oscar Wilde quote.


A Fox I can get behind

I really enjoyed reading this blog. I like his idea for an atheist flyer.

How do I love thee, Shakespeare's Sister?

Here's one way. I've found some great blogs thanks to Shakes Sis' daily blogwhoring post.


Some Watery Tart (which, btw, great nom de net) has a post up about Music Nazis she encountered at Borders.

I wouldn't say I'm a Music Nazi (I did marry a man who *loves* Styx), but I do think people's musical tastes can be revealing. There was a girl in my madrigal class who was putting CD's in a portable case once, and I asked her what CDs she owned: "Celine Dion, of course - I have all Celine Dion, Kelly Clarkson, Clay Aiken, Cher, and Phantom of the Opera" - I don't want this person carted off to music re-education camp or anything, but I can safely say that I might not want to invest too much time in getting to know her, either.

As I'm getting older, I find that I am turning into my mother when it comes to music. I love all my old favorites, but I am still intrigued by new stuff that sounds interesting. My mother is a sucker for a melody, and in my middle school years she was obsessed with Ozzy Osborne, who, bat-eater or not, put out some very melodic metal. Behind the guitars was a catchy tune, and that's what my mom likes. My metalhead friends thought my mom was so cool.

When I was in high school, though, my taste in music did not make me cool. I would say the split of what kind of music people listened to broke down this way:

30% Monsters of Classic Rock/Music To Get High To - Led Zeppelin, The Who, The Stones, Pink Floyd, The Doors
40% Whatever was on America's Top 40 - Bruce Springsteen? Okay! Cyndi Lauper? Why not! Michael Jackson? His videos are so awesome!
15% Prog Rock - Rush Rules!
10% New Wave - The Police, The Cars, Berlin, Talking Heads
5% - other - country, punk, "I only listen to classical", funk, R&B, hip-hop (my town was 99.9% white, but there are always people who are listening to the next big thing)

Although I like Springsteen and Cyndi Lauper, I fell pretty firmly into freak territory. I was a little too hard-edged (what with the mohawk and the surly attitude) to fit in with the New Wavers, but not quite hard-edged enough to fit in with the punks.

Now I'm not as regimented in my musical tastes. I love Ben Folds, who is most often compared to Elton John (who I loved when I was 8 and Crocodile Rock was kind of funny to me, but lost interest in after that); I love Rufus Wainwright with his mush-mouth singing and sincere and personal lyrics; I love Nellie McKay with her smooth jazz voice, her perky Doris Day looks, and her brutal and funny lyrics; I love the spare punk sound on The White Stripes first CD; I like Missy Elliott, OutKast, Queens of the Stone Age (and even though he looks like Craig Kilborn, who is like the anti-sexy to me, Josh Homme is, IMO, unbelieveably sexy), the Foo Fighters, The Shins....

Now Sio hears from her friends "your mom is so cool!"

Political Burnout

Between the nuclear option, the filibuster, the evil bitch Priscilla Owens' manslaughter of a quadriplegic ("he didn't die while in front of my court") the vitriol towards pro-choice voters at Kos, the Newsweek retraction, neocons at PBS, Okrent's fact free criticism of Krugman, and James Dobson all over the fucking TV, I'm feeling very burnt out on any subject related to politics. I'm sure the next outrage is right around the corner, but right now I feel all raged-out.

I5BOTD 5/25/05

Today's Indie 500 Blog of the Day is:

Mad Professah Lectures

and if that pic is the Mad Professah, damn, he's hot.


catching up

Over the weekend, Amanda at Pandagon wrote about a Salon article on friendship break-ups.

One of the incidents that is detailed in the article is Kate Roiphe's story about sleeping with the man her overweight best friend was hot for - even though she didn't really like him.

This happened to me in high school.

I spent my first two years of high school at a private Catholic school. When my older sister was asked to not return for her senior year, my parents pulled me, too. So when my junior year started, it was almost like starting a brand new school - I hadn't kept in touch with any of my friends (something that continues to this day, I'm sorry to say).

At the start of the school year, we had standardized testing, and I was passing the test sheets to the boy behind me when I suddenly felt struck by Cupid's arrow - who was this beautiful boy with the soulful brown eyes?

I started observing him. Some would call it stalking. But I didn't have the nerve to interact with him. I knew we liked the same music. He was a frequent call-in guest to a radio show at UCONN that I listened to. I got my first job working at the same store where he worked, and I worked up the courage to start a few conversations with him. He was polite but distant.

I denied that I was in love to everyone, but finally I told my best friend. She gave me some tips (this was my best friend who slept with many, many people) on how to get his attention. But it just didn't seem to be working.

At the end of my junior year, I got accepted at the Center for Creative Youth for their Creative Writing program. So I left school with nothing but a picture of my love object.

Best Friend came to visit me at CCY one Saturday, and she told me that she and my love object had met at a club a couple of weeks before. And she said they slept together. And that now they were dating.

DATING!!!! Best Friend didn't date, she fucked and moved on. I left the room and locked myself in the bathroom stall. Best Friend came in and sat on the floor and wouldn't leave. She cried and told me how messed up her life was and how great it was to finally have something normal like a boyfriend, and that she didn't think she could bear it if she had to give him up. So I just forgave her. I decided it was more important to me to have her in my life than to have him in my life.

Of course, it was so much more complicated than that. It was a betrayal. I held myself in such low-esteem that I didn't really think I could have a better friend than Best Friend. And her own problems put mine into a perspective that, in a way, helped me cope with my own shitty life.

I5BOTD 5/24/05

Today's Indie 500 Blog of the Day is:

Tom's Irrelevant Musings

which don't seem terribly irrelevant to me.



For the third time in less than a year, I'm going to see Ben Folds! and for the second time in less than a year, I'm going to see Ben Folds and Rufus Wainwright together!

Got my tickets this morning - I'll be going to Boston for the show. And now I have to get Want Two, which I've been putting off.

All this was made possible through my singing gig - we have a pops concert coming up so that means extra rehearsals and extra cash. As much as I loathe Gilbert & Sullivan musically, I have to thank them for writing their crappy music so I can sing it and make some money.

Friday Random Next Blogging

Because I didn't get an iPod for Mother's Day!

ZippiKnits - ooh, a knitting blog! I learned how to knit shortly after I gave birth to Sio (which is nearly 16 years ago). I was home with this charming happy baby, and kind of bored (Sio was a much easier baby than I had any right to expect - it's not much work when your baby only smiles and laughs), so we spent a lot of time at the library, which was a long walk from our apartment. One of the books I took out was called "The Learn To Knit Afghan", which gave directions for making 30 or so squares of knitted fabric to piece together into an afghan.

I learned how to knit and purl, but I never had the patience to make the whole afghan. My completed projects are primarily scarves (no counting required after the first row). I've also made one sweater that I never put together, for Monkey (still in a plastic bag in my attic, waiting to be put together for a grandchild), one sweater that I put together with one sleeve inside out*, for my friend Melissa's first child, and a few baby hats.

Sio, OTOH, is a very good knitter, and has made several sweaters without using a pattern at all.

The author of this blog seems like an absolutely lovely woman, she knits beautiful things and takes care of tortoises. What a nice first stop for our random tour!

Up next, we visit Coisas de Laurinha, authored by Laura from the United States, and written in Portuguese.

Atras da cortina is also in Portuguese, but the author, Susie, is in Portugal.

Next we have ARmageddon is written in English, but it's written by IT Analyst Relations professionals, so even though I recognize the individual words, I don't quite follow the meaning.

sabor a sal contains some beautiful pix, and I think this is also in Portuguese.

I think we'll stop there for today. With all this Portuguese, I'm suddenly craving some of the goodies at one of the Portuguese bakeries in Provincetown. There is one that sells these pastries that have shrimp inside....sooo good.

*It was an accident, and I was too tired of looking at the damn sweater to correct it.

I5BOTD 5/20/05

Today's Indie 500 Blog of the Day is:

Jaded Reality

written by "a fiery and fresh opinionated chick".


Preserved for all eter....hey, how long does newsprint last?

It's amazing the things you can learn from reading blogs.

For instance, I was visiting Opinions You Should Have, and I was reading a very funny post, "Bush To Retract War". I opened the comments, and lo and behold, I see some very familiar words in there. And then I see a very familiar name.

And then I realize that I'm reading the letter I sent to the New York Times.

My office gets the Times every day, so I went to the recycling bin and found it, in the Letters to the Editor for May 17th. And I never would have known if it weren't for blogs.

I5BOTD 5/19/05

Today's Indie 500 Blog of the Day is:

American Dash

nice pix, good posts on the issue of nuclear non-proliferation.


45% Abnormal

I was over at The Chemist's and he had a quiz result showing what kind of blogger you are (he's a pundit blogger). I went to go take the test, but I got distracted by the "How Normal Are You?" test.

You Are 55% Normal

(Somewhat Normal)

While some of your behavior is quite normal...

Other things you do are downright strange

You've got a little of your freak going on

But you mostly keep your weirdness to yourself

I have no quarrel with the results, but I am curious about which answers made me less normal. I suspect it might be because I don't care if other people are in the bathroom with me, but dude, that's just because I'm a mother, and you get used to not being in the bathroom by yourself. In fact, every morning, Monkey and I have a little conversation while I'm in the shower and she's using the toilet. That's quality time, my friends.

I5BOTD 5/18/05

Today's Indie 500 Blog of the Day is:

True Blue

I particularly like her post about the health-care priorities of this administration, linking it to an embryo-adoption program. Read and enjoy!



One of my pettier qualities (and I have a lot of them) is my obstinance at participating in popular cultural activities* (unless I discover them before they become popular, like Harry Potter**, Stephen King*** pre-accident, Buffy the Vampire Slayer**** etc.)

I confess to carrying some pride over having never watched an episode of "Everyone Loves Raymond", I've never read a single Michael Chrichton (sp?) book, and I've never seen a single Star Wars movie.

That's about to change.

Damn those idiot right-wingers, but I have no other choice.

*Because I'm a liberal elite, of course. I'm the most elitist administrative assistant ever.

**I read the first book before it became huge in England, let alone here in the U.S. I feel partly responsible for the success of the series, because a local radio host has a monthly book show where people phone in recommendations, and I was the first person who recommended HP on her show.

***I started reading Stephen King before he published Carrie. It all started because I was on an Edgar Allen Poe kick, and the Horror section of the library also contained Stephen King. That was circa 1978-79, so I was 9 or 10. And yet I can't watch a scary movie, even today.

****I actually paid money to see the movie, and even though the movie kind of sucked, I kind of loved it anyway. Plus, Joss Whedon zinged the Young Republicans in the movie, and that was the start of my Whedon love.

I5BOTD 5/17/05

Today's Indie 500 Blog of the Day is:

The Podunt Post

alternatively called Words on a Page


I remember when I first started getting interested in politics

Sio is at that age where she is just beginning to get really interested in politics. Tonight, as we were driving to a music rehearsal (we're both singing in a Gilbert & Sullivan concert, blech), she and I were talking about gay marriage. I always think of gay rights as civil rights - if you're a citizen in good standing, you get to have all the same rights as all the other citizens in good standing.

Sio thinks that in addition to framing the discussion in terms of civil rights, we should also be addressing it as a freedom of religion issue. I know that the right doesn't care about freedom of religion, they only care about their freedom to make everyone observe their religion, but I love that my sweet girl is thinking about this stuff. She's honing her arguments by talking to her former boyfriend who is very religious and conservative. And the best thing is that she's adaptable - he sticks to his talking points, she keeps coming at it from different directions. She's much less knee-jerky than I was at her age, when I was dressed in black from head to toe, too angsty and faux-revolutionary to enjoy my teenage years.

If there were a God, would He *Really* be on the side of the assclowns?

And if so, why on earth should rational people believe in Him?

My mind is just reeling over the fact that the assclowns on the right are more upset about a magazine reporting on atrocities (real or fictional) than they will ever be over our government engaging in war and other assorted atrocities (real) because of the existence of Saddam Hussein's WMD's (fictional).

I just read on a certain celebrity blog that the White House is asking Newsweek to apologize.

Pardon me while my fucking brain explodes


It seems simple to me. If you mislead, distort, LIE to go to war, if you change the rules of war so you can torture people, if you create a Gitmo, if you refuse to allow fair trials for suspects, if you are responsible for getting us into a situation that results in pictures like these YOU DON'T GET TO BE OUTRAGED WHEN REPORTERS REPORT ON THE FUCKING ILLEGAL AND IMMORAL SHIT YOU ARE DOING!!!!!


I5BOTD 4/16/05

Today's Indie 500 Blog of the Day is:

12th Harmonic

Yes, I know it's not the 16th yet.


There will be no Friday Random Next Blogging today

Yes, my featured bitter roaming of Blogspot blogs because I don't have an iPod like the cool kids will not be seen here today, primarily because I am going to be busy this afternoon.

But also because I have a concert tonight that I'm slightly worried about. I mentioned in an earlier post that I was preparing the song "Erbarme dich, mein Gott" by J.S. Bach, and tonight I will be singing that. But I will also be singing with the worst choir I've ever sung with - and it's not because they aren't good singers. There are plenty of good voices in the choir. They just have the crappiest attitudes of any singers I've ever met. Mostly due to the bitchiest soprano section evah! But in a few hours, it will all be over, and next semester I will be complaining about Remedial Algebra.

I5BOTD 5/13/05

Today's Indie 500 Blog of the Day is:

(Southern Cross) Words

authored by Gregory in Australia, yet another place I would like to visit.

Death Penalty

In slightly less than an hour, convicted serial killer Michael Ross will receive a lethal injection, and become the first person executed in New England in 45 years.

As I was flipping through channels tonight (avoiding cleaning my house for the party on Saturday), I witnessed a local news anchor promoting his program - "I'm going to witness Michael Ross's death - nbc30 brings you the top news, first!" - which is just gruesome, regardless of how one feels about the death penalty.

I have avoided reading about this story, because I'm conflicted. I really am. Because I can see that the families of the victim really want this, they feel it will bring them closure. And I can read that Michael Ross wants to die.

At the same time, I don't think the state should be killing people. Even reprehensible people. I can't imagine witnessing someone's death as bringing me any kind of satisfaction. If Dick Cheney was strapped down to a table and filled with chemicals that would kill him, I don't think I could watch. I don't think it would make me feel whole again.

Death begets death. Capital punishment just doesn't seem like a real solution, it seems like a way to avoid a solution.


Why the filibuster is important

To protect us from sickos like Priscilla Owens.

I5BOTD 5/12/05

Today's Indie 500 Blog of the Day is:


Because I'm kind of lazy today, and I know I don't have to read this one to recommend it.


I5BOTD 5/9/05

Today's Indie 500 Blog of the Day is:

Liberal, Anti-War Avenger

He's got an interesting post up about blogger ethics. Read and enjoy.


Freedom of Speech

Recently, the Gay-Straight Alliance at South Windsor High School participated in the National Day of Silence. In response, four young bigots came to school wearing anti-gay t-shirts (on one conservative message board, one schmuck indicated that there was left-wing media bias because in the article, they didn't label the shirts as "pro-marriage").

I tend towards absolutism on Freedom of Speech. I don't agree with the sentiments on the t-shirts these boys wore, but if a school is going to allow children to express their pro-gay opinions, students who disagree should be allowed to express their bigoted opinions, as well. From my perspective, it's always good to know who the bigots are. This might just be my rationalizing that is saying this, though - several months ago I posted about the outrage I felt when driving behind a car with a pro-Bush sticker on it, but then I realized it was helpful to be able to identify the idiots and radicals amongst us.

But still...still, there is something about this whole thing that really bugs me. It's not just that the boys expressed an opinion that I happen to disagree with, either. I guess its that on one side, you have people who are gay standing up to claim their equal rights, and people who aren't gay but who believe that all people should have equal rights standing up to support them. And on the other, you have a few rabble-rousers who are never going to experience a shortage of more than equal rights, because they're white males*. (And for the record - when someone else is equal, that doesn't take away any amount of equality from anyone else - there is not a finite amount of equality, that once we've divvied it up between the white men and the white women and the black men and black women, that we will run out, and we'll have to take some equality away from the white males to make it up to the Hispanics or the gays or the Asians. I'm not a math whiz or anything, but that's correct, isn't it?)

And I guess that's what bugs me about this. People on the right are not only proudly expressing their bigotry, they are defensive about it, pretending at victimization. It's pathetic. It's unnecessary, because no one is trying to stop people from being heterosexual. No one is trying to stop anyone from being (or claiming to be) Christian.

Let the bigots speak, but I don't think there is any need for people to listen to them.

*This is completely an assumption on my part.

eta: The response to this incident has been almost entirely supportive of the 4 bigots (which I feel free to call then since they have identified themselves as such). I tried to add my opinion to the story, but it hasn't shown up yet. However, I encourage anyone who reads the article to share their opinion on the subject.

Mother's Day part deux

Mother's Day forces me to contemplate motherhood, and my own complicated feelings about that particular state of being.

My own mother, who I love dearly, is kind of a nut, and I learned more how *not* to do things from her than I can ever fully articulate. When my older sister and I were little, we constantly worked to gain attention from mommy, who was generally neglectful - she would send us outside on summer mornings at 7am, remind us that we couldn't knock on anyone else's door until 9am, and we wouldn't see her again until it was time to come in at 6pm, to eat dinner, take a bath, and go to bed (our bedtime was a firm 8pm, no matter the time of year - I have sorrowful memories of listening to all the kids in the neighborhood playing our invented game "kisserbug" (freeze tag, with the twist that in order to move again, you had to get kissed by someone who wasn't It - what can I say, we were a curious bunch).

In addition to generally ignoring us, letting us beg off of neighbor's for lunches and drinks and use of their bathroom, she was also the person who taught us the meaning of the word "betrayal". She would wait until my father was in a bad mood (always a short wait), and then start letting him know the many ways we misbehaved, pressing harder and harder on him, asking him what he was going to do about it, and then we would find ourselves on the wrong side of his fists. Those were nights (and it wasn't every day, but it was frequent enough), where I went to bed sobbing so hard it took me hours to catch my breath, but I stifled the noise lest I rile him up again.

She also taught us how to lie, and oh, she was a masterful liar. She taught us to make sure our story had elements of truth, to not overelaborate, to change the subject if questions about our story arose. We particularly had to lie to protect her from my father - she would go out and buy something we couldn't afford, and then make up a story about how someone in her family sent her the new chair or lamp, and we kids had to back her up. My older sister mentioned to me recently how she still feels like embellishing things that actually happened with fantastic lies, because its the way we were raised - if we could come up with a lie that entertained, that was enough to get us out of the hotseat sometimes.

Then again, my mother would sometimes pack all the kids in the neighborhood into her van and take us all to the drive-in. She taught us how to jump double-dutch, how to use a pogo stick, how to make a whistle out of a blade of grass. She taught us all kinds of "Miss Suzy" hand-slapping games. She was famous amongst my friends for giving out socks at birthday parties - everyone called her the "Sock Lady". She taught us a million songs. She never blinked an eye no matter what kind of animal we brought home - although she was a city slicker, she didn't balk from snakes, lizards, frogs, turtles - even a bat. Somehow, those good things she gave us seem to outweigh the bad. When I look at my mother now, I look at her with empathy, understanding how she really didn't know what the hell she was doing most of the time. When you have bad parents yourself (and she did have lousy parents - an abusive drunk (she married a man just like dear old dad) and a mother who treated her like a black sheep), you never get to see how to be a good parent.

There are times when I think I'm the greatest mom in the world, and there are times when I'm sure I'm ruining my children's lives. I often feel like the motherhood manual that other moms seem to have read (the one that says when they're supposed to have their physicals and dentist appointments and how to discipline and how to get your kids to make their beds and set the table and whether or not 7 is too young to have a sleepover party) somehow missed getting sent to me, that I'm the only mother stumbling through, not really knowing what the hell I'm doing.

To combat my many weaknesses as a mother, I tell them, every day, that I love them. They know that they can talk to me about anything. They know if they tell me that it's a secret, that I won't tell anyone, not even daddy*. I admit when I'm wrong. I apologise when I overreact. I build them up, because to me, these two young woman are the coolest, most amazing, beautiful, hilarious, intelligent people I know. Without them, I wouldn't be a mother, and so on Mother's Day, I have to thank my Sio and my Monkey for being my kids. They make me look like I know what I'm doing.

*unless of course it's something very very serious, which thank all the forces of the universe, has never happened.


Mother's Day

Bitch, PhD has a great post up about Mother's Day.

I honestly did not know about the political history of Mother's Day. I always thought it was just another Hallmark holiday.


Over at Shakespeare's Sister, inspired by a post from one of her regular commenters, Paul, is looking for a theme song for her blog.

This challenge has forced me to face something about myself. I'm not really a music lover. Well, that's too harsh - I do love music. But I mostly love music that I can sing along with. I don't always listen carefully to lyrics, and I'm totally out of the loop on what is cool. I don't care how great a songwriter, say, Kate Bush is, I can't listen to her because I can't sing along with her (or I don't enjoy singing along with her, anyway). I like the odd Tom Waits songs I have in my collection, but I rarely put those CDs on because I can't sing along with old Tom without hurting myself. On the other hand (bless me father for I have sinned), if a Journey song comes on the radio, I cannot help but sing along with it. I know all the words to a great many Eagles songs, because Don Henley and I have a similar range. How many Hail Marys does that earn me?

Anyway, I've decided that this blogs theme song is going to be The Cure's Caterpillar Girl, only because it makes me feel kind of happy inside.

Friday Random Next Blogging

In honor of Monkey's 8th birthday, which is tomorrow, I'm randomly visiting 8 blogs today, because I can never get on the computer at home.

Erin's Fitness and Diet Log

Erin has a goal to goal to lose weight and fat, and she seems to be doing pretty well. But her goal weight seems too low to me - I'm only 5'2", and 135 is my goal weight. Erin is 5'8".


written by Guiseppe in Milan, Italy - in English! You can tell it's not his first language, but he gets the point across, and I like what he has to say about the evolution/creation "debate" in Kentucky (can you have a debate when only one side comes to the table?)


authored by a different kos, en espanol (or possibly Portuguese?)

Etcetera, Whatever

I recommend reading his post called "Soldiers of Christ", it's a very interesting read.


Nice pics, and I like her URL name.

Political Asylum

"a Refuge for Progressives, Liberals, and other Thought Criminals"


a non-partisan, non-violent media watchdog group. It's a pretty good read.

Fine Whine

This one is written by a woman in her 60's who is raising at least one of her grandkids (maybe more than one). It's kind of heartbreaking. I want to give this woman a hug (and I'm not a huggy person). But she's wrong about Michael Crichton and global warming.

Well, there you have it - no adverblogs this week, which is good.

I5BOTD 5/6/05

Today's Indie 500 Blog of the Day is:

Stone Court

a two person blog that I can offer belated wishes to (yesterday was their 1 year blogiversary).


Well, everyone has a certain amount of shit

I am:
"You're a complete liberal, utterly without a trace of Republicanism. Your strength is as the strength of ten because your heart is pure. (You hope.)"

Are You A Republican?

I5BOTD 5/5/05

Today's Indie 500 Blog of the Day is:


chosen because we're currently dinosaur obsessed at our house. Monkey and I are building a dinosaur out of recycled materials (oj cartons, wire hangers, paper towel and toilet paper tubes, empty tissue boxes, etc.). I tend to get a little carried away with these kinds of projects.

In 1st grade, Monkey had to make an imaginary animal, and she was really struggling, so I just sat down and made my own, figuring she would find some inspiration in my haphazard attempt. Except that my imaginary animal turned out to be really cool - I used a lunch size brown paper bag as the body, stuffed with newspaper, and I cut scales out of bits of wrapping paper. I made the tail fins from construction paper, made eyes out of buttons, and in the top of the fish, I put a pipe cleaner that was shaped into a loop, which I could use to blow bubbles.

This imaginary animal project was great, btw - the kids had to not only make an imaginary animal, but explain why the animal had the features it had - a little evolutionary biology in action! Monkey's project was a gazelle that had a snake like body, and she said it developed that way because not only did it run in open plains, but it also spent a lot of time in crowded forests, so it could use its flexibility to maneuver through the dense undergrowth.

Anyhoo, back to the I5BOTD - this blogger is in Concord, California, which happens to be the birthplace of both Tom Hanks and Loki, both of whom share 2001: A Space Odyssey, as their favorite movie.


I5BOTD 5/4/05

Today's Indie 500 Blog of the Day is:

Jinky the Cat

Read and enjoy.



I've been feeling so overwhelmed for the past few days. These are the things that I'm currently working on:

Massive clean-up project at work, scanning all purchasing and meeting documents and getting them up on the website

Cleaning my house - an ongoing nightmare

Painting the kitchen - I think it's time to finally decide on a paint color, since I've had color swatches up on the walls & cabinets for nearly 2 years

Sight-reading medieval hymns for a friend who needed a last minute substitute

Preparing for my big solo at a concert next week

Preparing my string quintet to accompany my solo - I still haven't heard the violin soloist yet!

Preparing for the concert generally - difficult to do when the teacher has no idea what time we're supposed to be there.

Helping Sio study for her AP test

Helping Sio learn her lines for the one-acts she doing at school

Dropping subtle hints for what I want for Mother's Day (You know what would be nice, Loki? Not handwashing the dishes anymore would sure be nice. I wish there was some sort of automated machine that would wash dishes, because then none of us would have to handwash dishes again!)

Balancing the checkbook, examining the savings account and realizing we can't afford to give Sio the 16th birthday she deserves

Those are just a few things, off the top of my head. Plus, reading the news everyday has my Outrageometer constantly set at: WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK!, which I don't think is necessarily a healthy level to keep.

Okay, I feel better now that it's in black and white. It's not as overwhelming as it feels. The family will help clean and paint, the concert will be brief and I know I'll get an A in the class, the kids are good musicians and they'll show up and be prepared, Sio will do great on her AP World History test, and I know she doesn't want my help studying for the AP Chemistry test. I might not get a dishwasher, but at least I'm not the only one who does dishes. Sio isn't getting a big 16th birthday, but she does get to go to London and Greece this summer, so I know she won't take it to heart.

Now, all we need is to get the Fundies and the Bush administration out of the picture, and everything will be better.

Gimme a 5

Today, Sio is taking her World History AP exam. So if anyone is reading this, and would like to send some good thoughts her way, please do so. (Her top college choice is University College London, and if she has 5 AP classes with a 4 or a 5 on the test, she can be admitted as a freshman - if not, she has to finish a year of college here, and then enter as a freshman. Of course, all this is moot if we don't get the proper financial aid, because without it, she'll be attending community college with me.)

I5BOTD 5/3/05

Today's Indie 500 Blog of the Day is:


He/she (sorry, I didn't check) has an interesting post up about the latest in the court battle over the Washington State governor's office.


I5BOTD 5/2/05

Today's Indie 500 Blog of the Day is:

American Bodhisattva

Forgoing nirvana to save others.

Good blog, but now I'm going to have that Steely Dan song stuck in my head all day.