A New Year Beckons

A year or so I wrote out my resolution for 2005, which was to make my house neater. Alas, I failed miserably at that resolution. I should have resolved to get an A in math, but last January I hadn't even worked up the courage to take the placement test, let alone sign up for the class. The class in which I got an A, in case you didn't know.

I still like making resolutions, though. I love the possibility of a fresh start, even if I don't always take advantage of it. So here are my resolutions for 2006.

I resolve to lose weight. It's a cliche resolution, but since 2003, I've lost 50 lbs or so, and in the past month, I've gained back 15. I must reverse that trend.

I resolve to get rid of things we don't use. I believe that I get so overwhelmed when I attempt to organize because I have so much crap that I don't need.

I resolve to spend more time with my kids. 2006 will be the last year we are all together, and I want to make it a special one.

Like many things in my life, I feel like my blog has lost focus. I have to think a little bit more about what direction I will go in. We still have 3 more years of Bush (unless saner heads prevail and we impeach the bastard and his bastardly administration), and I'm sure further outrages to withstand. I will come back to this item after more thought.

If I don't talk to you (here or elsewhere) before then, please have a happy and safe New Year's Eve. The maurinsky family will be poolside, with certain members possibly imbibing a few girly drinks to ease in that extra second.



Course: 30259 MAT* B075 H Prealgebra - Nmbr Sense, Geom
Campus: Main Student Body (CR & NonCR)
Grade: A

Yes, that's right, I got an A!!!!!!!!! I cannot believe it, I must have done well on the final exam.

I have never, in my entire life, gotten an A in a math class. Yes, it's remedial pre-Algebra, but I flunked pre-algebra when I took it in high school (that was the year I went to summer school...good times, actually.)

Okay, now I must celebrate.

Holiday: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

The Good:

my father hasn't had a drink since before Thanksgiving
the kids are thrilled with their presents
my mother accepted a gift!!!!
my brother seems to have taken to fatherhood like a fish to water
my new niece is a doll
*on the ride home from the midnight service, I laughed harder than I have in years

The Bad:

no sleep
Loki is depressed about working on Christmas
Loki's family was cranky because even though we told them not to wait for us, they did, and we didn't get there till 4pm.
Sio loved her gift, but we have to go get another part for it to work
Monkey got $80 of gift certificates to Libby Lu, a store that I loathe

The Ugly:

Me, after no sleep
my dining room after being used as the gift wrapping center
Loki's mood - he is wallowing in his negative feelings
this version of 'O Holy Night' - although it did provide me with *huge laughs.


Seven things

From Sis:

Seven Things To Do Before I Die:

1. visit every continent
2. learn another language
3. be in a movie
4. publish a novel
5. be a great-grandmother (I plan to be very old)
6. have sex with someone other than Loki (just to see what it's like)
7. pass math (my grades haven't been posted yet)

Seven Things I Cannot Do:

1. Sit cross legged
2. remember to charge my cell phone
3. jump into the pool feet first
4. run
5. have voluntary surgery (no such thing in my world)
6. get a tattoo
7. get a tan

Seven Things That Attract Me to...Blogging

1. writing
2. swearing in front of my children without them hearing
3. lots to read
4. makes me feel less lonely
5. makes me more aware of what's happening in the world
6. helps me sharpen my debating skills
7. gives me stuff to think about

Seven Things I Say Most Often

1. "Monkey!" (only with her real name)
2. "Sio!" (only with her real name)
3. "Cugel!" (the dog)
4. "well," (I'd like to get rid of that one)
5. "you know,"
6. "hey" (it's an all-purpose word)
7. "shit"

Seven Books That I Love

1. A Prayer for Owen Meaney
2. The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
3. Still Life With Woodpecker
4. Good Omens
5. Christopher Durang Explains It All For You
6. To Kill A Mockingbird
7. Edgar Allen Poe short stories

Seven Movies That I Watch Over and Over Again

1. Serenity
2. Galaxy Quest
3. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
4. Hedwig and the Angry Inch
5. High Fidelity
6. Amelie
7. Toy Story

Seven People I Want To Join In Too

Anyone who wants to

17 years ago

(Before I start, have you ever written an entire, brilliant post, only to accidentally delete it? Remember how perfect the deleted post was? That happened to this one, so remember, this is an inferior copy.)

I woke up, ran to the bathroom, and threw up. Morning sickness. Except I had morning, noon, and night sickness. I went to J.C. Penney, which was the closest store, and I picked out an off-white dress from the clearance rack. I think I spent $24.

I got home, took a bath in the chilly bathroom (no shower), and got dressed. Loki got out of the twin bed we shared (we were in loooovvve! who needed more than a twin?) and got dressed in his best suit.

There was ice and snow on the ground from a a storm, so we drove as quickly as we could without risking our lives. We were late, of course.

The wedding was held at a bar in Durham, CT; Loki's hometown. Our guest list was small: Loki, me, the Justice of the Peace, Loki's father, aunt, grandmother, sister and brother-in-law. I had only met them that summer, and got the distinct impression that they all thought I was going to ruin Loki's life. And I loathed his BIL, who, upon hearing that we were getting married, asked us (loudly) when the baby was due.

We weren't planning to keep the baby at that point, so I had no intention of telling anyone other than Loki that I was pregnant.

I've been to a lot of weddings. The bride and groom always seem nervous, but touched with a giddy excitement as well; Loki and are nervous, but touched with abject terror as well. The one thought that keeps running through my head is not that I'll mess up the vows or faint, but that I am quite possibly making the worst mistake of my life.

I don't remember the particulars. We said our vows, and Loki's dad bought lunch for everyone. I had chicken, which I threw up before we even left the restaurant. Loki and I went back to our apartment to change clothes and pick up the cake. I worked at a restaurant, and the guy we bought cakes from had heard I was getting married and made me a beautiful, one tier hazelnut cake, which turned out to be delicious, which made the cake the best part of the wedding.

We went over to Loki's dad's house for Christmas Eve, and I just about fell over when I saw the presents under the tree - there were so many, we practically couldn't get in the living room. We watched a video of the wedding - yep, the terror in my eyes was captured on tape. Loki and I looked at other, our expressions saying "we'll be taping over this one as soon as possible."

That was our wedding. It had all the hallmarks of disaster - a teenage, pregnant bride (I was 19); neither bride nor groom had a college degree (although Loki now has a BA in English); we had very little money, and very few prospects.

And yet. Somehow, here we are, still mostly happy. He drives me crazy sometimes, because he's never on time for anything, he gets speeding tickets practically every other month, he sometimes starts talking and doesn't stop for literally hours (one time, I made the mistake of asking him what happened on an episode of Star Trek: TNG. It took him longer to tell me what happened than the episode lasted, nearly two hours). He works at night and doesn't get enough sleep, which makes him crabby.

And I'm no picnic. I'm a slob, I have a foul temper, and I'm the worst back-seat driver ever. I spend too much time on the computer, I watch too much TV, I don't always stay on top of everything that's going on.

And yet. We have two beautiful daughters, we have a nice home (even if it is a little sloppy). He makes me laugh, I make him laugh; we like the same movies, we share the same values and political leanings. I don't believe in any of that soulmate crap; I'm sure Loki is just one of the people I could have ended up with happily, but I'm glad that we found each other.

Happy anniversary, Loki.


Poor me

I probably shouldn't post anything today, because I'm feeling sorry for myself. Loki has to work Christmas Eve, which is also our 17th anniversary, so he won't be home. He has to work New Year's Eve, too. I've been feeling kind of lonely, just because the holiday makes me think about all the people who I haven't kept in touch with (because I suck), many of whom I miss terribly. My older sister and my younger sister are having competing brunches, and the older one is angry that the younger one is encroaching on her holiday tradition (the younger one is oblivious to said holiday tradition, because the older one never invited us to her brunch). So Christmas morning, we'll be driving all over the place to make an appearance at ever Christmas.

And I still have presents to wrap. And of course, all of these are trivial complaints compared to so many people, that I feel guilty for the self-pity. Loki won't be home, but he's not in Iraq. I have to drive all over the place, but I have lots of places to drive to, and there are plenty of people who don't have anyplace to go, including their own home.


Five things about me

Stolen from the Tart.

1. I learned how to read before I turned 3.
2. I am the shortest person in my family (5'2") and at size 9, I have the smallest feet in my family, too. (Not counting Monkey).
3. When I was seven or eight years old, I was at my father's Irish club (a bar), and I sat on a set of dentures that someone had lost in their bar seat; the guy was so happy to get them back, he paid me $80, but my father used it for beer money.
4. I've never lived by myself.
5. When I was a senior in high school, I declared myself a lesbian, because at the time, I was madly in love with a woman, but I knew Loki was the guy for me the first time I saw him.

Nobody puts Dubya in the corner!

Driftglass slays me. True, his artistically enhanced Dubya is way more articulate that the real life version, but I'm all for artistic license when it's funny.


My head hurts

I think I popped a blood vessel in my brain, holding in my rage about the cowards who are defending George Bush's illegal domestic spying. And then I didn't help the situation any by reading about the strike in NYC. I know my friend The Fixer is against it, but I've gotta have solidarity, because anytime the worker is against the man, I'm going to side with the worker, who is invariably the one getting shafted. When other working class people take the side of the man, the man is one happy motherfucker, because there is nothing better than getting all the people you are screwing to fight against each other.

The workers in question get paid more than me, and get better benefits than me, and they can retire at 55. But I will defend them, because the amount of money the NYC economy is losing because of the strike can be correlated with the amount of value they get from these workers, who work in unpleasant and unhealthy conditions to keep the city moving.


Thanks, everyone

I finished my test early, went over it three times with the calculator, and now I'm home. I think I did okay. I started to panic when I wasn't sure how to figure out the first two questions, but I just skipped over them and went on to things I did know, and I figured out how to solve the first two after getting into the groove a little bit.

I think I can trace my mathphobia back to second grade. We had a subtraction worksheet, and I breezed through it. The teacher went around the room, having each student answer a question. I figured out which problem would be mine, so I would be sure to answer quickly (I was a huge dork in elementary school, major suck up teacher's pet type - although it was always sincere - I adored my teachers. You would have hated me, most likely).

So the teacher, Mrs. Johannsen, got to me, and I answered confidently. And she said "That's incorrect, Mr. Snider, can you answer the question?" And I stood up and told her that *she* must have the wrong answer, because it was not possible for *me* to be wrong. And then, the horrible, sinking, puking feeling that descended on me as I redid the problem and realized I was wrong. That was a horrible moment. Thus, my fear of math was born.

I've made a lot of progress on the subject of being wrong. I can say it with ease, which is good, because with the freaking brainiacs I live with, I have to say it more frequently than I would like.

Good vibes, good thoughts, prayers, sacrifice a goat...

If you could offer any of the above for me, I would appreciate it. Between 7:45 and 9:45 p.m. EST, I will be taking my math final exam. I did spend some time studying this weekend, but believe me, I need all the help I can get.


I'm a man, baby

You scored 53 masculinity and 46 femininity!
You scored high on masculinity and low on femininity. You have a traditionally masculine personality.

My test tracked 2 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:

free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 28% on masculinity

free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 13% on femininity
Link: The Bem Sex Role Inventory Test written by weirdscience on Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

Other ways I'm like a man: I hate asking for directions, I have to hold the remote control, and I'd rather have a frontal lobotomy than watch Lifetime.

P.S. I apologize for the Austin Powers reference. It won't happen again.

Overdue addition to the blogroll

Adventures of the Smart Patrol

I don't know why that's taken me so long.


Cowards and Scoundrels

I've had a busy couple of days, but I just spent about an hour and a half tooling around the blogosphere, reading all about Bush's spying eyes.

What really got me feeling riled up was heading over to Pam's House Blend, where she somehow manages to survive Freeperland to dig up their response to the belated revelation made by the New York Times.

Is there anything more cowardly than being a Freeper? Everything they stand for grows out of their fear - fear of the other, fear of change, fear of loss, fear of pain, fear of looking bad, fear of embarassment - I'm amazed any of them leave their houses everyday. I'm not surprised they like guns, because when you're as scared as they are, every other person out there must seem like a threat. And I'm not surprised they support scoundrels like George W. Bush, because they'd rather have a strongman dictatorship than a democracy, and we know that Bush, who is both a scoundrel and a coward, loves the idea of a dictatorship. As long as he gets to be the dictator.

They don't even understand what makes America great, for all their flag waving. If they were standing in front of Solomon, they'd be the mother who would be okay with cutting the baby in half, as long as they get what's their's. "Break the laws, Mr. Bush?" they'd say, "rip that Constitution in half? Okay with us, as long as we feel safer!"

Cowards and scoundrels, the lot of them, as well as the politicians they support.


Our Sis is hitting the big time

Check it out:
OUT OF TOWN....I'll be on vacation for the next few days, but I've roped in a couple of wonderful guest bloggers to handle the site while I'm gone: Hilzoy from Obsidian Wings and Shakespeare's Sister from her eponymous blog.

That's from Kevin Drum. I can't wait to see how the trolls react to someone who isn't as moderate or accommodating as they are accustomed to at Political Animal.

A teenage rite of passage

Sio is not a typical teenager. She is friendly and smiles and says hello to everyone, she helps out around the house without being asked, she manages a serious academic workload while participating in tons of afterschool activities, and she never gives me the thing that some people describe as "lip" or "sass" (I say some people because those are not words I can use in the way they are supposed to be used - let's just say that she doesn't have a bad attitude or a rebellious nature.)

But now she's hit a teenage rite of passage. Not driving a car (because we can't afford to add a teenager, even an honor student, to our insurance). Not staying out after curfew, because she doesn't have a curfew (more inappropriate mothering, I'm sure, but she's a responsible kid and she's never stayed out as late as I did when I snuck out of the house as a teenager). Not smoking or drinking or having sex.

No, she is (along with several friends) starting a band. They have their first rehearsal after school tomorrow.


The inappropriate mother

When Sio was about 4 years old, (which made me a mere 23)I was cast in a production of Hair at the Hole In The Wall Theater in New Britain, CT. I had quite a few solos in the production, including the lead on both Aquarius and Black Boys. I practiced around the house, and that's why Sio went to pre-school and taught the other kids how to sing "Black boys are delicious, chocolate flavored love! Lips like licorice candy, keep my cocoa handy, I have such a sweet tooth when it comes to love."

I was definitely an inappropriate mother. I wasn't totally irresponsible - we never listened to Sodomy, and she couldn't keep track of all the letters in LBJ, so she never put together the L-S-D lyric. And although she came to rehearsal with me, she never saw the nude scene (although I did, in fact, participate in the nude scene, which is why I can say that nearly 2000 complete strangers have seen me buck naked.)

I was older and more mature when I had Monkey. I gave up the theater because Monkey was such a demanding baby - unlike Sio, who would sit and color for hours, Monkey demands that I devote all my attention to her!

But I have lapsed a little, just a smidge, into inappropriateness. For her bedtime story for the past few nights, I've been reading Monkey chapters of David Sedaris books. Tonight, we read Six To Eight Black Men from Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, since it's Christmassy. Tomorrow, I'll probably pull out the Santaland Diaries, and maybe this will be our new family tradition.

Oh, yeah, that will help

No one is going to get peace in the Middle East for Hanukkah this year.


One down

I drank 36 oz. of water before 9am this morning, another 36 before noon, and another 36 by 5 p.m.

But the church was really dry tonight, so I planned to keep a bottle of water with me during the concert. Except that I left my water in the choir loft, and I sat in my seat, each song bringing me closer to my solo, each moment my mouth getting more and more dry.

I was not pleased with how my solo went. This self-loathing thing is hard to get over. We had a bunch of guest singers, and I felt like they were mocking me when they congratulated me on doing a good job...that can't be normal, can it?

Anyway, the audience ate it up with a spoon, and several people specifically came over to tell me how wonderful I was. One woman told me it was the highlight of the concert. That's nice to hear.

Tomorrow night I get to be in the audience, so that will be a nice change.


My week in music

Since I spent most of my day either singing or listening to music, I thought I would share another link, to a local band called Farewell to Arms. The keyboardist is a friend/acquaintance*, and they will be touring in January, so do check them out. I've only heard this one song thus far, but I keep coming back to it, and I am going to buy their CDs after the holiday season, when I cash all my choir checks. .

I spent most of my day at two Roundtable concerts, which means a concert performed by the Roundtable Singers of Manchester High School. They are an excellent ensemble, and Sio sings in the alto section. The first concert was at the Manchester Historical Society, which was not the greatest space for music, particularly with the very loud heating system that kept going on and off, and limited space.

The second space was divine - the 50 or so voice chorus sounded like 500 voices in the sanctuary of the First Congregational Church of Vernon.

Tomorrow night is the dress rehearsal for the South Church Christmas Concert. I met with the director and the bass player on Saturday to practice my solo. I was not terribly warmed up, the sanctuary was freezing cold, and I held back a little. The director was pleased with my pitch, but asked me if I could be "more black". I did not ask her to define what that means.

Tuesday night I have a dress rehearsal for my Madrigal choir concert, which I will be leaving early to head to the South Church concert. Fingers crossed that I am sufficiently black for my solo.

Wednesday night, Sio has another concert, this time with the Chorale, the school's female chorus, and several other vocal and instrumental ensembles. Thursday night is our regular choir night, but we'll probably be off, since next week's service is the children's Christmas pageant. That means that Saturday morning, I have to bring Monkey to church at 10am so she can practice her solo.

Friday night is my madrigal choir concert. I'm not in love with anything we're singing, and we certainly have some weaknesses as an ensemble, but I love singing madrigals, so I'm planning to have a good time.

To recap: check out the link, buy the CD, and join me in wishing my voice holds out, that the frequent handwashing will keep me from getting sick, and that my freaking allergies go back into hiding.

*I'm a New Englander, it's hard to make friends.


The Big One

In addition to my constant musical companions Ben Folds and Rufus Wainwright, another musical artist I love deeply is Nellie McKay. Her debut album, Get Away From Me, was incredibly inventive, with genre hopping songs (disco, torch song, rap, etc.) that were piano driven. I picked up her first CD after reading a review of a show, where mention was made of two things that piqued my interest: that she was very funny and politically progressive.

I was hooked after listening to the first three songs - I had the CD for about 2 months before I listened beyond that point. On the basis of the first three songs, I bought a copy of the CD for my older sister, who I knew would love it. She called me later that week and told me "I love her. She's a headcase, but I think that's why I love her."

Nellie's second CD is coming out in January, but you can preview one of her songs, The Big One, about a tenant's right activist, at Nellie's website. If you don't like it at first, give it a little time and listen again - it's unusual sounding, certainly, that Doris Day voice with a hip-hoppish accompaniment, but there's something good there.

I can live without Wal-Mart and Target

But lord help me if I can't get my medium regular at Dunkin' Donuts.


Yes, that's my head in the sand

There is so much crap going on right now, that I hardly know where to begin. The U.S. is torturing people. Ford Motor Company has decided to embrace the religious right. The military is lying to the families of dead soldiers*. A deal was reached to extend the Patriot Act. The most retarded "War On..." something reaches new levels of stupidity with each passing day.

So I'm going to talk about food and Project Runway.

We had two Thanksgivings this year, one with my FIL, where we had a 14 lb bird, and one with my sister, where we had an 18 lb. bird. Since there we didn't make a bird, we only got limited leftovers. So I went out and bought a turkey last weekend. The store only had 4 birds left, and they were all 25 lbs. So I bought a 25 lb. turkey for the 4 people in my family. That's 6.25 lbs of turkey for each of us. It's worked out brilliantly so far - I've made turkey quesadillas, turkey pot pie (instead of using a pie crust, I used a popover recipe - really enjoyable), and a casserole with mashed potatoes, peas and corn, turkey, gravy and stuffing. I think I'm going to make Turkey pie a la Shepherd's pie tonight. For lunch today, I had some of the leftover casserole, and the turkey just tastes better with each passing day.

Project Runway:
I don't know exactly how come I started watching this last season, but I got hooked, and it looks like Season 2 will be just as good. The designers I took a shine to after watching the audition videos (Emmett, Raymundo, Daniel Vosovic) haven't really shone very much - yet - and the judges get input from Bravo before they announce winners, which means sucky designers (like last year's Wendy Pepper) get to stay around simply for the drama, not because of talent; and so far, the best designer also happens to be a massive dick. Still, as someone who is fashion impaired, I am always amazed at the designs the people come up with. (I'm also grammatically impaired, apparently).

*hat tip Shakespeare's Sister


You've got to be fucking kidding me.

I accidentally turned on the radio on my way to school this evening, and I heard the most hilarious joke on NPR. Apparently, Al-Jazeera aired a video of an American who has been taken hostage. The comedian telling the story on NPR said that George Bush said we do not pay for hostages, and that we would use our intelligence gathering to determine the location where the hostage is being held.

Couldn't you die from laughing? I mean, after the whole WMD thing, surely it had to be a joke. Right? Right?


"We, of course, don't pay ransom for any hostages," Mr. Bush said.

"What we will do, of course, is use our intelligence-gathering to see if we can't help locate them," Mr. Bush said.

I'm sure the family of Ronald Schultz must be feeling very optimistic about the outcome of this situation.


More Math Success

Tonight in class, our teacher handed back all the homework assignments we handed in over the course of the semester.

My heart did backflips as I collected my assignments. 100%. 100%. 100%. 100%.

I'm really pleased, because I did all the math myself and only used the calculator to doublecheck my answers and help me figure out any mistakes I made.

I'm starting to feel a little bit of confidence, now. I did a practice exam this weekend and my main weakness is fractions, followed by ratios and percentages.

In addition, I am positively giddy because I have only one more math class before my exam. I'm supposed to have two more madrigal classes, but we're expecting snow tonight, so I'll have to wait and see if the snow falls and if school gets cancelled.


Jesus Joy!

Over in the comments thread for this post, and commenter rayceeya wrote:

I went to that way of th master site and found I'm directly guilty of breaking nine out of ten commandments. I guess I'm going to hell anyway.

which reminded me of a conversation Monkey and I had today. We had a candidate for Senior Minister preaching today, and he said that if you tell one lie, you're a liar. If you ever take something that doesn't belong to you, you're a thief; if you have ever taken the Lord's name in vain (and he told us he knew we did since we are in Red Sox territory), then you are a blasphemer.

At lunch, Monkey and I were joking around, and I told her she was a liar, a thief and a blasphemer. She replied "Hey, I'm not a thief!" Oh, she makes me laugh.

Monkey is a firm believer in Jesus Christ as her Savior, and in God in general, which makes her the only non-heretic(k) in the house. She hasn't been going to church, though, because of two unpleasant things happening at the same time: 1. They stopped funding the Children's Music program; and 2. She witnessed a minister from a different church that rents space from South Church slap a girl in the face. She reported the guy, and the group is no longer at the church, but I don't think he ever faced any criminal charges (he's a real smooth talker, this fellow. Slick as a willy).

Anyway, the Director of Children's Education kept calling and asking Monkey to come back, and they finally swayed her by reminding her that the Christmas pageant is coming up. The girl loves a pageant. So she came back to church this week, and she was welcomed like the prodigal son, and she even got a solo in the pageant (she is really a terrific singer).

At South Church, they do an Intergenerational message, where they call the kids forward and do a sermon just for them. Rev. Heretic used to open with a series of knock-knock jokes, one of the many reasons I miss him every Sunday. Today, the person who was supposed to do the sermon didn't make it to church, so this really annoying member who sticks her nose into absolutely everything wrote up a sermon for one of the choir members to read.

This was during our rehearsal, in the morning before the service starts. The choir member who was drafted to deliver the Intergenerational Message came up to the choir loft, and she relayed that annoying member wanted her to say the following:

You know that excited feeling you get when someone opens a special present you made for them? I like to call that "Jesus Joy!"

Oh. my. fucking. god. I had tears pouring out of my eyes I was laughing so hard. I could never be a Christian, because I could never believe myself if those words came out of my mouth. My inner cynic would be rolling her eyes, telling me I was full of shit.

Anyway, the phrase Jesus Joy has already, in less than 24 hours, become a catch phrase in our house. I made a nice dinner today, and John told me that eating it filled him with Jesus Joy. We rented Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Sio declared that Johnny Depp must have been filled with Jesus Joy to pull off that performance.

I hope it goes away soon, because it's starting to lose the ability to make me laugh.


5 true stories and 1 explanation for why they will continue to be told

R. was 13 years old. Her father had abandoned her and her mother, so she would come home to the empty apartment after school. It was an older guy who lived in the apartment complex who did it. He was probably in his early 30's. She never reported him, because she felt like she had done something wrong, maybe even flirted with him a little bit. Since her virginity was gone, she decided she was going to have sex with whomever and whenever she wanted. She even worked in a brothel.

T. had an ideal upbringing - two parents who loved her and treated her with respect. She was innocent and naive, and a devout Catholic. It was her boyfriend who did it. She believed in waiting until marriage, and firmly but lovingly said no. But he did it anyway. She never reported him, because she was so ashamed that she would not enter into her marriage as a virgin. She felt tainted, and would not have another relationship until she was in her late 30s.

K. was a quiet child in a loud, boisterous family. She was painfully shy and would hardly talk to anyone. It was her father who did it. She never reported him, because who would believe her? How could she even say the words when she couldn't say simple ones, like "Hello". She got married in her early 20s, because that's what she was supposed to do, and she had children, but she could never hug her children or tell them she loved them.

K2 was kind of a wild kid. She liked going out drinking and having sex with her boyfriends, she even had a one night stands from time to time. It was a friend of her brothers who did it. She never reported him because she figured she shouldn't have had those drinks, so she just got what she deserved.

L. was 14 years old. Her father had passed away recently, and she was a mess. It was her boyfriend who did it. She never reported him, because she knew he had bragged about it at school, and she didn't want to lose him.


These are the stories of five of the women I know who were raped.

Here is a story that offers an explanation for why these stories will continue to be told, for why there will continue to be women and children who do not report it when someone violates their body.

I don't know what else to say. The way this poor woman has been treated by the so-called justice system is abominable. The entitlement of the dicks who did this to her is nauseating. The cruelty with which the judge has treated her is reprehensible.


All the time I've wasted....

I was reading Pica's Dear John letter to the butternut squash, and I started thinking about my own food history.

As a child, I was beyond picky. I wouldn't eat cheese, mustard made me feel queasy, and I actually threw up when I accidentally ingested a pickle. And don't get me started on vegetables. The only veggie I would eat without a fight was the potato, and then only if it was in french fried form. When forced to eat peas, I would swallow them whole as quickly as I could, lest I accidentally catch a taste of the veggie. I cried when my mother put carrots on my plate. I wouldn't even taste corn. I think I went a whole year of my life (possibly longer) where the only thing I would eat was Cheerios and ham on white bread.

When I moved out of my parents house and started doing my own cooking, I suddenly realized that the reason I hated vegetables was because my mother is the worst cook in the history of the world. (Seriously - we ate boiled chicken in our house. Boiled. chicken.)

So I could never write a dear John letter like Pica. All of my letters to food would be passionate love letters. Dear Pineapple - I weep copious tears when I think of all the years I refused to taste your succulent sweetness. Dear green pepper, I ignored you for long, but finally my eyes have opened and I see your natural beauty.

But I will never eat a lima bean. Cause they are just gross.