Thursday, November 30, 2006

The end is nigh...

Yesterday, I quit my job. I didn’t have a fit and start to scream and throw things (as I dreamed I did over the weekend). I gave my boss a dignified letter explaining that I would be leaving in the end of January to do my student teaching. And, to my amazement, my feelings after making this disclosure were completely unexpected. Of course, I expected to feel better, having finally gotten it over and done with. And to some extent, I did. But what surprised me, overwhelmingly, was the feeling of complete and utter depression and the desire to just go home and lie in bed and cry.

This made absolutely no sense to me. As some of my more long-term readers may remember, I frequently hate this job. I don’t always hate it. Some days I feel so good about what little I am able to do. And some days I am inspired by the selflessness and generosity that working here allows me to see in other people. But more often than that, sadly, I am riddled with hatred for the mundanely stupid things I must do (like change light bulbs and empty the recycling), for my micro-managing paperwork-Nazi of a boss and her/our raging Hun of a supervisor, for the way it makes me see the world and how people sometimes treat each other, for the ridiculous circus that fund-raising and donations are. I have told myself for months that I just had to hang on a little while longer and that I would soon be done with this frustrating place.

And now that the end is in sight, I just want to cry. Why?? It just doesn’t make sense. I’ve hated this job and despaired that I’d never survive until student teaching with my sanity intact. The more I think about it, the more I wonder if it’s because in losing my job (or, more accurately, quitting) I am losing a little bit of how I see myself. For 2 ½ years, the person I see myself as and who I think others see me as, has been tied into this notion that I am working in a position of support for the frontlines of social change. Sure, I hated a lot of it, but change is hard, right? I am learning things and seeing things firsthand that most people will never see or learn. I guess in some ways it made me feel special to be there to lend comfort and support to survivors (if only over the phone) or to help haul donations in and out. It has given me a sense of contributing to making the world better, if only for one or two people on occasion.

And I suppose, to some extent I was fooling myself. I spent the majority of most days arguing with contractors, getting the vacuum fixed again, fighting with our house account holders at local grocery stores over the 19 cents sales tax we were inadvertently charged, getting yelled at by the secretary, trying to outsmart computers and think ahead of our computer users and/or politely explaining to angry donors why it isn’t financially responsible for a nonprofit to drive an hour away to pick up a donated mattress set (and lose money in the process) that is, in all likelihood, hollowed out and covered with pee stains and, for which, I should instead be expressing unparalleled gratitude and promising to personally come clean the donor’s entire bathroom with a toothbrush. I do know one thing, though. In our state’s current economy, I am terrified of the prospect of quitting a decent-paying job without having another one lined up. It’s going to be hard enough for us to be living on one income for 14 weeks but it will be even worse if it takes me another month or two to find another job, especially one that pays this well.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I swear we do actually feed him...

Sam is on the move! He isn’t exactly upwardly mobile (he’s still too young to walk) but he is definitely horizontally mobile. He doesn’t crawl, exactly. He does what I like to call the “wounded army crawl” meaning that he pulls himself forward with one arm while dragging the other limply along and kicking a lot with his feet. Though he started out rather slow, he has now picked up the pace and can cross a small to medium-sized room in under a minute. He gets into everything. This has lead to me surreptitiously filling a small basket with his toys and putting it in the middle if the floor while hoping aloud in a voice the neighbors must hear, “Gee, I hope nobody gets into this basket of very expensive, special items. They are extremely fragile and irreplaceable and only grownups should touch them!”

Apparently, this has also lead to a couple of new preferences. The first is that he is utterly in love with feet. According to the ladies at daycare, he will drop anything (except maybe a tuna sandwich, see below) and hit the pavement if anybody, anywhere in the room looses a shoe. He’ll cross the room in a flash and have it in his mouth before anybody knows what’s going on. He seems to have an unnatural affinity for chewing on shoes, which makes me wonder if we accidentally swapped him out, at some point, with a puppy.

His other new habit has lead him to become what they call a “scavenger” in daycare. He has taken to hanging out under the lunch table while the bigger kids eat bigger kid food. He lies in wait like a hyena on the prowl, watching for somebody to drop a tasty little tidbit, which he instantly snatches up in his insistent little fists and attempts to…um…gum to death. (His first two teeth are coming in now and so he’s not exactly chewing yet.) In any case, yesterday I heard that they had to pry a bit of tuna sandwich that he “rescued” out of his grubby little fists. This is undoubtedly a quality he has gotten from his father because I, personally, would rather chew on shoes than eat a tuna sandwich.

To prove that we DO actually feed him, the following is a list of Sam’s Thanksgiving Day food firsts: turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, candied apple, pickled beet, pumpkin pie and cherry pie. He will also hold a green bean in his hand and chew on it, though he doesn’t ever swallow any of it.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

I didn't just fall off the liberal potato wagon, you know...

Today I took a moment out of my lunch break to do a little Christmas surfing. My mom had mentioned that she was thinking about getting Sam a Cabbage Patch newborn for Christmas. Because I am a liberal-wacko, I am okay with this. Actually, I loved the idea. I have no qualms whatsoever about letting my little boy play with dolls. In fact, I like the idea of raising him to be loving and nurturing.

But here’s the hitch: no matter where either of us looked, all we could find was girl dolls and we were hoping to find him a little boy doll to play with. So I thought to myself that I would go straight to the source to see where I could find him a little boy doll: the Cabbage Patch Kids website. And what I found there was very disturbing in a pod-people-sci-fi kind of way. There are no boy newborns, only boy older kids! Where do the older boys come from, if not hatched in the cabbage patch like the rest of them? Oh the possibilities!

And it’s no wonder this country has issues with accurate sex education classes! This is way confusing! Girls are born as babies and grow, and boys just mysteriously appear. (Warning: sarcasm my be closer than it appears.) Perhaps this is a cleverly designed ploy of the ever-powerful male hegemony to reinforce the notion that pee does, in fact, just mysteriously appear on the toilet seat, dirty clothes do just appear on the floor and dishes do just appear in the sink. I know, I know! Boys come from the Mess Fairy, same as those other things, right?

On a more serious note, though, I am very disappointed. I had really attached myself to the idea of him having one. I suppose we could get him a different boy doll, but let’s face it, there’s just something different, something superior about Cabbage Patch Kids. Other dolls never quite measure up. Maybe he can just have a girl doll. I truly don’t know why gender is such a big issue. I guess it shouldn’t be.

Also, this reminds me of a little boy Owen used to work with at the preschool. I can’t remember his name, but he was very into cleaning and ironing in the housekeeping corner. All the other kids would be gathering for circle time and this little boy would be dust-bustering the rug or something. One day he tried to iron the wrinkles out of Mr. Owen’s forehead. While Mr. Owen didn’t mind, I daresay he has a ways to go before his ironing skills are on par with Martha.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Factoid of the day

Courtesy of Writer's Almanac...

It was on this day in 1968 that NBC executives made one of the worst broadcasting decisions in the history of network television, interrupting their coverage of a football game between the Oakland Raiders and the New York Jets in order to show the scheduled movie, Heidi, about an orphaned girl who goes to live with her grandfather in the Swiss Alps.

There was one minute left in the game and the Jets were leading by 32 to 29, when NBC went to a commercial. No televised football game had ever gone longer than three hours before, and executives weren't sure what to do. Timex had paid a lot of money to advertise during Heidi, and network executives figured the Jets would win the game anyway, so after the commercial break, the movie began.

Football fans were enraged. So many people called to complain that the NBC telephone switchboard in New York City blew 26 fuses. People were right to complain. What they missed was the Raiders coming back to score two touchdowns in the final minute, winning the game 43 to 32.

It was that game, and the storm of protest by fans, that forced TV executives to realize how passionate the audience for football really was. Two years later, networks began showing football on Monday nights as well. And because of that game, the NFL now has a contract with the networks that all football games will be shown until their completion.

A safe assumption...

Let's just assume, from here on out (or, at least until Sam is in school) that this writer is writing/babbling after at least one night of less than 4 hours of sleep (and probably more than one, if recent trends hold). The cause of this sleeplessness might be, but is not limited to: a baby that has awakened crying at least hourly, stress-derived insomnia and/or compulsive reality TV-watching as a way of inspiring a sense of smug superiority that suffices as escapism. Let's just try to keep that in mind as a context in which these little "pearls of wisdom" (as Mrs. Meddler would have said in 10th grade Honor's Literary Allusions) are written.

Not that I'm making excuses because a.) I don't have to (I am the blog OWNER, after all) and b.) I do actually mean what I say. I just sometimes wish I'd said so with better grammar, better spelling and, on rare occasion, more gentility.

And...on a sad note, it occurs to me that this blog has not been the same, and has really declined in terms of comedic value, since the unfortunate departure of my beloved Velma (again, the cat, not the "Good-woman") and Roxie, the 3-legged, not-so-lucky-after-all cat who cost us $600 is amputation fees only to run off 3 months later. I miss them too much. As it turns out, for a non-animal lover (and, in fact, a dog hater), I am such a cat person. Life just isn't the same without them.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Oh man...there she goes again...

Dear Anonymous person who still won’t take credit for his ideas:

I’d like to begin by thanking you for coming back to continue our discussion. It’s so nice to have a readership! However, I’m afraid I’m going to have to take issue with some of the things you mention in your most recent comment. I answer them this time because I feel so strongly about them. However, I think this will have to be the end of our dialogue because I also feel that in a publication, which is how I like to view this little blog of mine, you can beat something TO DEATH. And I think the rest of the readership gets tired of it. So I will answer you now and then this will be the end. (P.S. Text shown in purple is exact quote, copied and pasted from the comment. I refuse to take ownership of somebody else’s misspellings when I generate enough of my own.)

You say: “You may assert that certain groups of people have been oppressed throughout history, and maybe still are today; either institutionally, culturally, or on an individual basis, and I wouldn't attempt to dispute that. I do it myself. You do it. All sane human beings do it. It is an imperative of survival to make discriminatory judgement about another person's or group of persons' intentions when engaged in social transaction. If you don't you are soon extinct.”

I take issue with several things here. My first problem is that the fact that you refer to me making an “assertion” as though it were unsubstantiated fact or rumor. It is not. It is absolutely and 100% objectively true and, if you don’t agree with that notion, than I can’t hope to have an intelligent conversation with you because you are obviously incredibly deluded or you have just landed from another planet and have yet to read a U.S. history book (make that a truthful, unbiased U.S. history book). Secondly, one of the great things that separates us from the animals (besides opposable thumbs) is our ability to employ metacognition, our ability to think about how we think. Though many out there still act like it, we are not animals. We are, supposedly, highly advanced and well developed beings capable of employing rationalization to conquer the gut-reactions of base animal instinct. (This is demonstrable in that we have a criminal justice system that prohibits us from literally acting like animals to each other.) We are not in peril of extinction – far from it. And, again, if I am to suffer arguments of the impending extinction of the white, Christian masses, I must abandon any attempts at logical discourse. Long story short: We’re not animals, we’re supposed to know better.

You Say: “Life is unfair. It's a shame. What we can in an enlightened society is respect all people as individuals and judge them on their merits.”

First, I will not listen to another privileged, white male whine about the injustices of society. It’s like listening to a glutton whine about starvation. It’s bullshit. It’s easy, from your perspective, to say “Life is unfair, get over it.” Walk a mile in another person’s shoes for a week or two, brother, and then you can sing the blues with the best of ‘em. ( I suggest you do a little research on Standpoint Theory.) And secondly, if (and it’s a BIG IF) people in society WERE judged on their merits, then affirmative action programs wouldn’t be necessary. But it’s not, and you know it’s not. I know you know this because you just explained to me how it’s okay to be prejudiced. That, in fact, it is a matter of survival. Again…bullshit. If people were judged on their merits as individuals, then we wouldn’t have to make assumptions based on some perceived group membership.

You say: “The flaw is that you can not confer rights on a group, only on an individual.”

This baffles me, as a woman, since my right to vote is guaranteed under the 19th amendment which grants women, as a group, the right to vote. As much as I would love to have my name personally amended to the constitution, I don’t see it happening. And, besides, what about our basic rights as members of the human race? Laws NEVER name specific people or individuals. They ONLY apply to groups of people.

You say: “You offer many examples of discrimination and institutional oppression, yet there's no emperical data to back it up. Saying women are below he poverty line is just statistical hokum.”

If you don’t know of the vast libraries of information and resources that empirically back up my exact statements, then I’m guessing you DID, in fact, just land here in a space ship. Try looking at the U.S. Census Data, for one. According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research in Washington D.C., though only one fifth of all families are headed by a single mother, they make up nearly half of all families in poverty. A family headed by a single mother has an 86% higher chance of experiencing poverty. In 2002, almost 30% of female-headed families were living in poverty. Or, if you really want statistics, I can give you some that hit close to home. In the last fiscal year, the agency I work for sheltered 68 women and 74 children who survived domestic abuse. In addition, they handled 773 domestic abuse crisis calls and 70 sexual assault crisis calls, served 573 domestic abuse clients not receiving shelter and 221 sexual assault clients who did not receive shelter. So yeah, I do know what I’m talking about and can back it up with statistics. I could go on all day. I could write a book citing all kinds of empirical data sources to support every single point I mentioned. It IS NOT “statistical hokum.” That, sir, is a cheap-ass, “liar, liar, pants on fire,” bullshit cop-out. And, besides, it’s just not true. (P.S. Cheers to your wife. I wish more women AND MEN could afford to stay home with their children. You’ll hear no feminist rhetoric from me that puts her down. Raising a child is the hardest job a person can do. She’s a hero, plain and simple.)

You say: “There's no shortage of studies showing how allowing applicants into universities they're less qualified for only increases the chances they're going to fail; wasting the time and money that would have been succesfully invested at a lesser school.”

If all public schools received the benefit of equal funding, there is no doubt in my mind that there would be a better showing, in general, by ALL college students. A recent study shows that the reasons for lower graduation rates among minority students are "many and varied," including "personal or family financial problems." (i.e. not just because they’re dumber or less appreciative). Apparently, black and Hispanic students' "comparative lack of financial resources" and the striking differences in financial assets between whites and blacks, could be at fault. And let me just clarify one thing: one cannot confer rights on groups, but one CAN summarily disparage them as intrinsically “less qualified” solely on the basis of race? Ouch. What happened to looking at individuals? Fact: people ARE NOT getting an “equal shot” if they’re not starting from the same place. In addition, it IS NOT the student’s fault when he/she is not “qualified” for higher education. It is a failure of our public education and the failure of legislators who are okay with the fact that some schools have the best of everything (i.e. swimming pools, state-of-the-art technology, bathroom doors) while others are sitting desks that are falling apart and using textbooks that are 10 years old. For you to blame the student is just plain wrong. Unless you’re going to assert that some “groups” are just inherently less qualified. At that point you become racist and/or sexist AND wrong.

You say: “I would be so unbelievably resentful that I'm viewed as intrinsically less qualified to the degree that the government has deemed it necessary to give me special treatment.”

BELIEVE ME….those who benefit from affirmative action programs ALREADY resent our society for the endless crap they put up with in the course of trying to hack it through daily life. (Again, I refer you to an exploration of Standpoint Theory.) When it comes to getting a “break” from the government (or other affirmative action program), most people are happy for the break from the struggle. (And don’t even try to tell me how “bad” you have it. If you have a computer and time to comment on blogs, then you have no idea what “bad” is.) Affirmative action programs don’t confer low expectations on people. They acknowledge the lack of opportunity with which these people have been presented and attempt to level the playing field in light of it. And, furthermore, for you to even presume to think for these people is, to use your own words, “arrogant” and “condescending.”

You say: “How will we ever get past this nonsense until we live up to the ideals laid down by the framers that ‘all men are created equal.’?”

You will find the answer in your own quote. The framers of the constitution DID NOT include those same rights for women or people of color. At that time, in fact, people of color were not considered to be part of the human race at all, and the words you quote were not meant to apply to them. You have heard of the famous Three-Fifths Compromise, perhaps? That each slave counted as 3/5 of a “real” person? The rights set down in the constitution applied only to white men. And THAT is the source of the problems today. Those men were given privileges that women and people of color were denied. Those privileges have become so institutionalized since that time that some people fail to recognize their continued existence at all, though they are very much alive and well in our society. (Note: this writer wonders how smart it is to live up to the ideals of persons with poor grammar. But, I digress…)

You say: “I resent, however, that the support of the MCRI and proposal 2 somehow makes me a racist.”

It doesn’t necessarily make you a racist…it could actually make you sexist too. If you really weren’t either racist or sexist, then you would want women and people of color to have the same chances for success as those poor, privileged white man. If things truly were equal, then our Congress would be 51% female and would have a racial make up with proportions matching those of our population as a whole. Argue with those statistics.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


“Coprophobia: An abnormal and persistent fear of feces (bowel waste). Sufferers of coprophobia experience anxiety even though they realize their fear is irrational.”

There is a rogue poop on the loose in our house. I guess that’s what happens when you have kids. I took Sam’s diaper off this morning to change him and, in addition to the daily 10 gallons of water that saturate his little size 2 diapers, there were three little bitty pebble poops, perfectly round and hard and about the size of raisins. For a second I wasn’t even sure if they were poops, and so I bent down to get a good look at them and, sure enough.

And then in a twist that perfectly exemplifies the kind of mental illness that comes with having a baby, I called Owen in to show them to him. They were so unusual! But when he got there and I held up the diaper, it was empty.

Oh shit, I thought. Where’s the shit? It had rolled off and onto the changing table. But (gasp!) there were only two! One of them got away and I couldn’t find it. Of course, in that general area there were about a million places it could have gone and so, I suppose it will turn up.

But, for now, everywhere I go, I am on the lookout for the rogue poop. I checked the cuffs of my pants and the bottoms of my shoes…under the furniture and everything. It is in hiding, waiting until Sam is playing on the floor while I put his clothes away and then it will make a sneak attack. I will either find him eating it or wearing it. And I’m already saving up my loose change for the therapy session that’s going to require.

I am also now paranoid about finding poop all over the place, such as in our waiting room at work. I saw three different phantom turds there today, all of which turned out to be some organic compound dragged in by the feet of our clients…except for one, which was a piece of orange string. That would have made an ESPECIALLY BAD turd.

Monday, November 13, 2006

As promised...

a picture of our little crustacean.
We thought he might be too small to be a lobster...maybe a prawn or a crawdad.

What 's cuter...

than an infant with a penguin on his head?

on the move

It's always a good time for Johnny-jump-up!

Sam sets a daycare precedent

I used to secretly laugh at parents who talked about their children’s unusual and inflexible eating habits. I would think to myself, “what a chump…I guess we know who the boss is in THAT family….blah blah blah…” That was until I became one of those chumps. I have a child who will not eat anything green. And the kicker is, he doesn’t even know what green IS yet. But, I guarantee you, just you TRY to get him to eat green. It won’t happen. He literally sucks his bottom lip into his mouth and locks his jaw so tight that you couldn’t break through with a jackhammer. (He also does this when one tries to give him medicine, which is pretty much every day now that he has had two separate ear infections and strep throat within the last 6 weeks. Then I am forced to plug his nose until he opens his mouth to breathe and stick the eyedropper in.)

So I can’t say that I blame them at daycare when they allowed my angel-baby to set a new daycare precedent. He is officially the first baby to eat his solid food (i.e. baby food) while sleeping. How, you ask? Apparently he fell asleep sitting up at the little lunch table but he kept moving his mouth in the eating motions and so they just kept spooning his food in. Apparently he ate everything, even the peas. So I am thinking I’m going to have to get a pocket watch so that I can hypnotize him to sleep every night so that I can feed him his veggies. What else can I do?


Thursday, November 09, 2006

Dear Anonymous Commenter II...

I have received yet another anonymous comment (OMG!! Grow some 'nads already...) Here are the contents of said comment:

"I believe you were misinformed on Proposal 5. It did NOT guarantee SCHOOL funding in line with inflation. It guaranteed teacher salary and pension in line with inflation. And if we guarantee it, where is the money coming from? If you read Devos or Granholm's platform they both promised to allow for more of the intended school funds to get to the classrooms. Right now only 56% gets to the classroom, the lowest in the nation. Proposal 5 would have NOT promised the money would go to the classroom. If the money would be spent where it is supposed to be spent there would be no need for a proposal 5."

So, Anonymous Commenter II, in response to your comment, I present, for you, the EXACT wording that appeared on the Michigan ballot (appearing in bold type). Please note that it was approved by the Board of State Canvassers on August 25, 2006. Please also note my emphasis, in a stunning violet color.



The proposed law would:

Increase current funding by approximately $565 million and require State to provide annual funding increases equal to the rate of inflation for public schools, intermediate school districts, community colleges, and higher education (includes state universities and financial aid/grant programs).

Require State to fund any deficiencies from General Fund.

Base funding for school districts with a declining enrollment on three-year student enrollment average.

Reduce and cap retirement fund contribution paid by public schools, community colleges and state universities; shift remaining portion to state.

Reduce funding gap between school districts receiving basic per-pupil foundation allowance and those receiving maximum foundation allowance.

As you can plainly see, not only does it NOT mention mandatory raises for teachers, but it LIMITS contributions individual districts must make to retirement. Further, it also helps lessen the gap between the “have” districts and the “have not” districts. This is important to us Northerners because of the unbelievable funding disparagement between the downstate schools and schools up here. And you're right, it doesn't address the percentage of funding that makes it to the classroom, but that is hardly a reason to vote it down. I do think, however, that it might be a very good reason to draft a second law covering just that issue.

From what seemingly disreputable source did you get your information? I daresay you were misinformed. As a courtesy, I have highlighted the inaccurate statements in your comment in red. After all, it is MY blog...

Dear Anonymous Commenter...

Yesterday’s post received a comment from an anonymous reader (What is it with these people with such strong beliefs and yet who are unwilling to take credit for them? It baffles me…) who took issue with my comments about Proposal 2, dishonestly entitled the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative. I would like to thank that anonymous reader for taking the time to comment and also for doing so in a civil, respectful manner. I think all politics would be so much easier if people could actually just talk issues instead of resorting to personal slander, so my hat’s off to you, Anonymous Commenter, for sticking to the issue at hand.

A portion of the comment reads “Every opponent that has spoken out about this proposal has failed to answer one simple question. Can you answer it? What is wrong with equal protection under the law?” (For the entire comment, click on the “comments” link at the bottom of yesterday’s post.) I will do my best to answer it, though I offer no guarantee that you will agree with my answer. But then, I guess if it were so cut-and-dry, there wouldn’t any debate bout it, would there?

Affirmative Action programs are important because they give people or groups of people a fair playing field. In my opinion, this IS “equal protection under the law.” Because my degree, my career, and the area I know best is Women’s Studies/Women’s Issues, I will address this matter from that vantage point. However, the same truths ring true for many of the minority peoples in this country as well, including, but not limited to, African American and Hispanic American cultures.

Programs that give so-called “preferential treatment” to women are put in place to help make up for the fact that, since this country was founded, women’s rights have been severely limited in comparison with their male counterparts. As you may know, despite the best efforts of Abigail Adams in persuading her husband to “remember the ladies” in the framing of the constitution, in the early days of our country, women were not allowed to vote, own property, seek higher education, speak publicly or enjoy many of the other freedoms enjoyed by males. In addition, until late in the last century, physical violence perpetrated on a woman by a man within the confines of a marriage was not only permitted, but was recommended. As a result, women in this country have spent dozens of decades “behind” in the rat-race to success.

Even in “modern” times, the barriers to education, self-improvement and even to successful careers in business and politics that have been systematically and institutionally imposed on women HAVE NOT provided them with “equal protection under the law.” Women remain the majority of persons living below the poverty line in this country. They are largely blocked from participation in higher-level politics, high-level positions of business and even from executive positions in the entertainment industry. Women also are more likely to suffer spousal abuse, sexual assault and murder at the hands of an intimate partner and, in the vast majority of these crimes, the perpetrators, who are almost always male, are never brought to justice.

Tell me, Anonymous Commenter, where has OUR equal protection been all these years? Where was it when the courts decided that there is no such thing as rape within a marriage? And where was it last week, when the Maryland Appeals court overturned a rape case, stating that a woman cannot withdraw her consent for sex after penetration has occurred? Where was it when women fought to gain entrance to male-only educational institutions? Where is it when the woman who is raped is convinced by the police and the prosecutor NOT to press charges? Where was it when our little girls were taught that their value lies in their beauty and compassion and not in their voracious little minds that start out every bit as hungry as little boys’ minds? Where is it when women are paid an average of 75 cents on the dollar to their male counterparts? Where is it when a middle aged woman dies of a heart-attack because studies about heart disease are only conducted on men and the ER staff don’t recognize the difference in symptoms in women, dismissing her as emotionally upset or pre-menstrual. Where is it when the female junior high student is encouraged to take child development courses rather than high-level math and science? Where is it when our little girls are sexualized to become victims while our little boys are militarized to become perpetrators? Where was in when women were intimidated away from filing sexual harassment claims and then fired in retribution? And why, Anonymous Commenter, is there no Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution guaranteeing under the law that women and men are equal?

So here is my final answer to you, Anonymous Commenter: Affirmative Action Programs are put in place to EQUALIZE the opportunities for woman to participate in “non-traditional” careers. They are designed to encourage girls from any income bracket and from any background to explore ANY career they choose, not just those traditionally considered “female” (and, coincidentally, low-paying). They are designed to help young women pay for and gain entrance to male-dominated educational institutions. They are designed to allow women THE SAME OPPORTUNITIES AS MEN. When women have finally broken through the limitations heaped on them by centuries of biased laws, unfair social practices and gender-based discrimination and when they HAVE “equal protection under the law,” then, and only then, will I be okay with the end of Affirmative Action Programs.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Oh (mostly) Happy Day!

Governor Jennifer Granholm (a.k.a. “My Best Friend, Jenny”) has been reelected, maintaining not only a democratic leadership of this state, but also allowing Michigan to keep it’s B rating on the Political Participation index of women reflected in the “Status of Women in Michigan” report written by the Nokomis foundation and in Institute for Women’s Policy Research of Washington D.C. Not only does Gov. Granholm maintain a democratic sense of how the state should be run, but she maintains a powerful voice for women in the state of Michigan.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California has been nominated to become the first female speaker of the house. For those of you who haven’t watched your School House Rock recently, that means that she is third in line for the presidency should (heaven forbid) anything unfortunate happen to the president and the vice president (such as, say, another hunting accident).

Donald Rumsfeld has resigned. The PEOPLE have spoken…and the PEOPLE have decided that they have been lied-to in the most heinous way regarding the conflict in Iraq (FYI: it is not a war. It only becomes a war when the congress issues a Declaration of War, something that has not happened, by the way, since WWII.). Now if we can only get Cheney to stop pocketing money (via Haliburton) for the recovery effort, and get the services to the people of Iraq as we were supposed to have been. After all, they have poorer infrastructure now (worse roads, fewer hours of electricity, less usable water) than they did when we invaded with our weapons of mass distortion. (I guess we should have listened to the UN inspectors after all…)

The Dems have taken control of the House and (last I heard) possibly the senate. THANK GOD. Now, maybe, we can start fixing the problems with things like education and social programs.

Voters in Michigan are, apparently, schizophrenic. It’s the only thing I can figure to explain why we would elect almost all Dems to both the state and federal governing bodies and then screw up SO ROYALLY with our proposals. Proposal 2??? It could mean that I might just kiss my job goodbye. (That’s right, folks, it could result in a loss of funding for women’s agencies like mine.) And Proposal 5? How could we NOT choose to maintain school funding with inflation? Either we are a state of whacked-out and uninformed democratic voters OR the moderates and the more liberal of the Republicans are so phenomenally pissed out the situation in Iraq that they really, REALLY wanted to send a message. In any case, I do have to admit that I hang my head in a little bit of shame for living in a state that sees no benefit in helping women and people of color rise above the institutionalized hindrances to their success. It may be a Democratic club, but it’s still an old boy’s club after all. And one last thing: the only reason Proposal 2 even made the ballot was because of voter fraud. The entire campaign was a monumentally dishonest sham. And I quote: “he Michigan Civil Rights Commission, the governmental body charged with investigating civil rights violations in the state of Michigan, recently concluded an investigation of MCRI in which they found that MCRI had committed widespread and systematic racially-targeted fraud in their petition campaign to secure ballot access.” Courtesy of Wikipedia.

Now if we could just DO something about the ridiculous gay marriage ban...

Friday, November 03, 2006


Most mornings, on the way to work, I listen to NPR. And I'd like to think that, most mornings, I miss the segment called "StarDate" because it airs at 8:06 and I am at work by 8. However, this morning I was running a little late and I heard it. This morning's show was about the light-year and it was so interesting that I thought I would share part of it with you:

There's an easy way to visualize the light-year. If you shrank the galaxy so that the distance from the Sun to Earth were just one inch, then a light-year would be almost exactly one mile.

But the nearest star system to the Sun -- Alpha Centauri -- is more than four light-years away. To picture that distance, imagine a giant map on which Earth is one inch from the Sun. The most remote planet in the solar system, Neptune, would be about 30 inches away. But Alpha Centauri would be more than four miles away -- a reminder of the vast gulf that separates us from even our closest stellar neighbors.

If you want to read/listen to the whole thing, go to

Thursday, November 02, 2006

I got tagged...

Four jobs I’ve had:
Store manager – Blockbuster Video
Americorps worker – MSUE/Farwell Elementary
Sales Department Assistant – Nissui Corporation
Procedure Writer – BNFL, Inc./Big Rock Power Plant

Four movies I can watch over and over:
Sense and Sensibility
Pride and Prejudice (The BBC Mini-series. NOT the Kiera Knightly disaster)
My Fair Lady
Love Actually

Four places I’ve lived:
Traverse City
Mount Pleasant

Four TV shows I love to watch:
Project Runway (Tim Gunn for President! – “Make it work, people, make it work.”)
The Soup
America’s Next Top Model (and I am SO ashamed to admit it!)

Four places I’ve been on vacation:
The Outer Banks
Prague, Czech Republic
Krakow, Poland
Tourist Europe (i.e. London, Paris, Venice, etc.)

Four of my favorite dishes:
Grandma Alice’s chicken and dumplings
Chicken and Amish noodles (it isn’t very soupy)
My mom’s pot roast
Thick-crust pizza

Four sites I visit daily (well, maybe not daily, but often):

Four places I’d rather be right now:
Ikea (Owen says I’m obsessed)
Prague (I am dying to see in winter and, um, it’s snowy here today)

Well....look who it is!

I figured that, since I am going on 2 months now without so much as a peep, I maybe ought to try to write something to salvage what possible readership I have left. I can say with all honesty, though, that the big reason I haven’t written much is because I have been very busy both at home and at work.

At work we had out biggest fund raiser of the year. This is not as labor-intense for me as it used to be, but it does create a lot of hubbub. I have been behind at work for months and am now just finally getting caught up.

Our home life has been remarkably more exciting. Here are some of the bigger events that have happened since last I wrote:

We moved. Owen and Sam and I are now in our apartment. Though, as testament to how hectic things have been, there are still boxes all over the place.

I turned 28. Not a lot of work to be done there, but I thought it worth mentioning.

I had surgery…followed by some minor complications and a longer-than-expected stay at the hospital. No big drama there, though. They were as “routine” as complications can get. What wasn’t routine was the sinus infection I was diagnosed with less than a week later. How miserable.

We took Sam to the ER for the first time. He was experiencing massive vomiting and diarrhea and, by 2 a.m., we gave up and took him in. They gave him a suppository to stop the vomiting and within a day or so he was fine again.

We took Sam to the ER for the second time. Two days after we took him for the first time. It turns out, he had his first ear infection. He got a shot of antibiotic and, within 4 days, the doctor couldn’t even tell which ear had been infected.

8 days after he was pronounced “cured,” we took Sam in for his 6-month well baby visit and vaccines. He’d been running a mild fever, which we attributed to teething since he seemed fine otherwise. But it turns out that he has another ear infection. And, my sinus infection has returned. So great…history repeats itself in the most unpleasant ways.

We took Sam visiting for his first Halloween. It was too cold to take him trick-or-treating and he can’t eat candy anyway, so we just visited a few friends. Our little lobster was a big hit! (pictures to come soon)

And that’s about all. We still have a lot on our plates, but I will try to be better about positing more now that things seemed to have settled down a little bit. We’ll see how long that lasts.