Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Hush little baby

On with the show, then.

Why do people give women grief when she says that she doesn't want to have children? 
(there's a long diatribe that my muse of the week followed up this statement with, but for reasons I can't explain, will not copy and paste.  And I'm too lazy to write it out again...)

Touche, Penney.  Touche.  Magnifique.
I once fell into this category.  I once believed that children were adorable, were cute, were a bunch of other choice words, but not for me.  But times change, circumstances change, and my perceptions change. 

Whether you want children or not, your body is wired to bear them. And success, in evolutionary terms, is defined by your ability to produce offspring and raise them to reproductive age.  Throughout history, a woman's place has been to nurture, to bear children, to care for hearth and home.  It was her responsibilty to bear children to carry on the family name, to help with the home, et cetera, et cetera, ad naseaum.  And even though,  by most people's standards, this is an outdated viewpoint, it is still so incredibly ingrained in our society that women who, in a sense, rebel against the norm, are looked at as some sort of freak. 

I think today's culture has shifted to a more selfish universe, one in which children are viewed as a burden rather than a blessing.  Granted, having children slows a person down considerably.  But so much is experienced through the eyes of a child, so much joy and laughter that can only be experienced through being a parent.  And I personally don't believe that any woman can truly and honestly say that she doesn't want children with a concrete and resolute finality.  Women, whether we like it or not, are wired to reproduce.  At some point, the sight of a stroller will make your heart flutter and the sight of a pregnant woman will have you dreaming in pink and blue.  And you realize that you're not so adverse to the idea of having children after all. (I, of course, realize that this was a giant blanket statement ) Whether a woman chooses to act on this is a different question entirely.  But it does beg the question regarding single women looking for sperm donors.  If women could turn off the desire to reproduce, why are these women, most successful and professional, looking to have children without a partner?  The desire to have children is a powerful one.

I don't know that it's so much about giving a woman grief for not wanting to have children as it is a lack of understanding.  Women, especially women who already have children, can't see beyond the pale.  It's a foreign concept, one that some cannot wrap their minds around. 

Each person is entitled to his or her own choices in life, and so long as the choices we make are responsible ones (in dealing with the question of whether or not to have children, you have to question your own level of responsibility) and don't negatively affect others, the decision is ultimately ours to make.

Brave New World

I knew she was going to pull this out of her hat before too long.  Call  it a hunch. 
I know I'm going to set some people off.  I know that this is a major debate.  All I ask is that you respect my decisions and opinions as well as the decisions and opinions of anyone else who has the balls to comment on this one.  You don't have to agree with me, you don't have to like me.  But respect me.

{as written by Miss P}
Abortion- What side of the line are you on? Is the line gray? Whose choice is it? What if girl wants one and guy doesn't? Should it be unlawful for her to terminate in this case?  What if pregnancy was from rape?
This is a majorly serious discussion topic today. Hopefully it doesn't get to violent of a debate. Let's all remember to respect the right for people to have their own opinions. I myself would never under any circumstances abort. However in the case of a rape I would have to seriously think about if adoption would be better for the child.
I have so many conflicting ideas on this topic.  When describing myself, I'm staunchly pro-choice.  I'm pro-choice because 25% of maternal deaths occur because of trying to get an illegal abortion.  I'm pro-choice because a woman, in a desperate situation, is going to choose, regardless of whether the choice is legal and protected by the US government.  I'm pro-choice because the question the government is asking isn't really about abortion, it's about the grey line between church and state, and about trying to scare women and girls into abstinence.  I'm pro-choice because the I support the use of, and the education about, sex education, contraception, and the like, rather than naively believing that kids won't have sex if they're not taught about it in school.  I'm pro-choice because the "pro-choice" movement supports the advancement of women, not just surrounding the topic of abortion, but in areas like prenatal care, insurance, well-baby visits, maternity leave, and women's health, whereas the pro-life movement only seeks to force someone else's theology on women.  I'm pro-choice because a child should be given every opportunity in the world to succeed--being unwanted from day 1 is no way to start life.  I'm pro-choice because I believe that my beliefs are exactly that...mine.  The government has no grounds to decide my morals and values.  The government has no grounds to decide if my decisions coincide with the religious right.
It astounds me that people think that by overturning Roe v Wade that abortions will disappear.  People, are you really so naive?  Again, women are going to choose.  The question is whether or not she can choose safely.  Women die from the horrors of back alley procedures.  Did you know that in some Latin American countries, where abortions are nearly always illegal, that the black market abortion industry is one of the most lucrative? 
Where do men come into the picture?  Does a woman have a responsibility to tell a man that she's carrying his child and that she is...or has already...terminated the pregnancy?  Absolutely.  I'm a firm advocate for father's rights as well.  Even though I have a lot of choice words relating to women's rights, there are so many men who are left out in the cold when their partner discovers that she's pregnant.  A man has a right to know that he is the father, and in some sense has a right to have a say in the decision.  It takes two to tango in the first place, after all.
Was someone watching House this week?  Because the topic of rape was at the forefront.  Anyway. In cases of rape, I again go back to what I was saying.  A woman is going to choose.  Will she remember the rape every time she looks at her child?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  Can she live with what happened to her?  Is she able to bring a child into the world in an emotionally frail state?  Those questions are not mine to answer.  But regardless, a woman should have the right to choose what to do with her body.  She was violated and the choice to have a child was not one that she was prepared for.  It wasn't even a risk that she was taking.  It was a choice that was forced upon her.  More than any other reason to choose, a victim of rape should have access to an abortion if she so chooses.
To see Roe v Wade overturned would be a crying shame and a step in the wrong direction.  Children are a blessing, but are also a major responsibilty.  Rather than decry the number of irresponsible people  who have children born into poverty or into situations  in which they can't be protected, allow the woman to be responsible.  Allow a woman to choose.

Monday, January 29, 2007

A blog a day

Here's the idea.
The "other" blonde bombshell that lurks around my office says I need to write more.  I (along with some help from a fellow sporatic blogger) argued that I ahve to feel moved to write--that I have to have something to talk about. 


The proposal:  She'll give me a thought-provoking question every day for a week.  And I'll write about it.  Whatever the topic, no matter whether I have strong opinions or not.  If it's successful, I think I might start polling y'all for more ideas. 

Leave me comments to let me know you're reading with me, and let me know what you think.

I'll post number 1 later today.

Happy Monday :-)

Saturday, January 27, 2007

It's been a hot minute since I last said anything.  So, without further ado, here goes nothing.




That's about what my head feels like these days.  I work my butt off, go home, rinse, repeat.  Not a whole heck of a lot has changed.  Well, some things have, but I'm not quite ready to broadcast it to the universe via xanga yet.  Nia moved back to Montgomery, and Finger moved in.  I love my house, but it's a wee bit different living with him.  As pantry is in alphabetical order.  The house is (always) clean.  The movies are arranged by title.  Wait.  The PANTRY is IN APHABETICAL order.  Yes, my friends...I am living with an OCD organizer.  I think, for April Fools Day, I'm going to rearrange his world...UN-alphabetize everything. 

In other news, even though the Saints aren't playing in the Super  I think hell froze over with that team this year. 

I need a vacation.  And a boat drink.  And I don't have either one. 

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

how much would could a woodchuck...oh, nevermind.

Wood chips.

That was our famed GWB's alternative fuel recommendation.

Among solar, wind and water power, he also throws in...wood chips.

Although I 'm a proud driver of a VW Beetle, which so MANY people like to poke fun at (and hey, I completely understand. The wonderbubble does not hold it against you. I drive a yellow goldfish bowl...I get it.), I don't think even IT would run off of wood chips or its byproducts. And for that matter, does that mean that I have to fight off the squirrels when trying to fill up my gas tank? Or heat my house, for that matter?

Again I ask myself, "how did this buffoon get elected to office, not once, but twice?"

Not to mention he mentioned Palestan and Afghanestine when talking about the holy lands. Did I miss something in geography? Or did we add a couple of new countries to the middle east while I wasn't looking?

Wood chips. Look out, squirrels. You've got competition.

Monday, January 22, 2007

rainbow droppings

I wrote this a while back, but the same subject was brought to light again when someone commented on the pin in my car. Tereasa gave it to me a while back, and it says "Rainbows make me happy." It's been hooked to my rearview mirror ever since. The other day, I drove a coworker home, and he commented on it and said, "Huh. Guess you swing on the other side of the fence." I started to get defensive, but instead I was only saddened because a symbol that used to mean cheerfulness, happiness, good luck and all sorts of other (happy) things now can only represent homosexuality. More on this in a minute.

But now...time for a story.

Up Til Dawn was an annual fundraiser for St. Judes, and the theme was cartoons. My DG sisters and I decided to use the Care Bears as our theme, replete with fuzzy ears and the little red hearts pinned to our pants. In addition, each of us picked our representative Bear, which we made into iron-on transfers for our t-shirts. Being that pink is one of my favorite colors and I am usually the optimistic one, I chose Cheer Bear-the one with the rainbow across its belly.

...thus begins the rainbow ordeal...

Since Up Til Dawn, the bears that we have chosen have become our mascots of sorts. I went to Wal-Mart in search of the Care Bear Cousins, in particular Playful Heart Monkey, for Tereasa. Upon which time I noticed that there were no Cheer Bears. Every other Care Bear, as well as Care Bear Cousin, as well as several newly invented Care Bears, were on display. All except the one sporting a rainbow. So I asked an employee. Who proceeded to inform me that Cheer Bear was only sold in sets containing other Care Bears, because of its inherant gay-pride symbol.

Hold up. As most of you already know, I have nothing against anyone with same-sex tendencies. I have no homophobia. (If I did, I would lose most of my friends). But I have issues with the idea of not selling a children's toy because of its "homosexual overtones" Excuse me? I seem to recall Kermit the Frog singing about rainbows. There was even an entire cartoon/toy theme devoted to rainbows (Rainbow Brite?).

Rainbows are a sign of hope, a sign of promise, a sign of good fortune, a sign of pushing forward until you find your pot of gold at the end. I have no problem with the gay/lesbian community using the aforementioned symbol. As a matter of fact, I find it fitting- cheerful, happy, encompassing all colors. But I do have a problem with anyone who now assumes, merely because I like rainbows, that I must be homosexual. So what have I done about this problem? Rather than hide my rainbows in the closet, I flaunt them. Rainbow bracelets? Got 'em. Rainbow Care Bear? Got it. I'll just keep on walking with my rainbow flip-flops. (Kudos, by the way, to Old Navy, who doesn't shy away from my favorite colorful signs of cheer, merely because someone might get the wrong idea...

I'll get off of the soapbox now.

Skittles, anyone?

Friday, January 19, 2007

by way of introduction...

I believe in serendipity. I am a hopeless romantic. I am the eternal optimist. I would say I roll with the punches. I am a dog lover. I like rainy days. I am extremely laid back. I am a true Gemini. I entertain myself…and others in the process. I love a yellow hibiscus. I love orchids. I am pregnant with my first child. I have loved and lost, I have loved and lost again, and still I believe in the magic of love. I can do a nearly perfect impression of Woody Woodpecker’s laugh. I love the little things in life. I love Christmas lights. I love all holidays. I love to celebrate birthdays. I rarely get dressed up. I love feeling like a princess sometimes. I don’t think a part of me will ever grow up. I feel sorry for people who try to be someone that they’re not. I’ve never seen Star Wars. I have never seen an Indiana Jones movie. I have seen the Never ending Story so many times that I’m surprised the video will still play. I know every word to the movie Dirty Dancing. I will always have a fondness for rainbows. I love glitter. I still believe in Santa—and I always will. I know all of the words to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles intro—and Saved by the Bell, and the Fresh Prince. I have a degree in English, and no, I don’t teach and no, I’m not a lawyer. I have read more than I care to remember—it matters not if it’s a book, a magazine, or the back of the bottle of shampoo. I still believe in fairy tales. I like to be alone—it helps me think and clear my head. I am not as nice as some people think I am. I sometimes miss the point. I sometimes miss the boat altogether. i don’t really know what to consider myself—I’m part southern and part northern—the New Jersey comes out sometimes, the Alabama comes out sometimes. I hate being hot. I am an extreme liberal. I hate my toes. I was a band geek in high school. I have been published in four literary magazines. I love taking pictures. I love the beach—but not the sand. I would live on a boat if I could. I know how to jive. I have a unique style of dancing of my very own. I am an introvert. I am extremely shy—I’ve just developed coping mechanisms to deal with it. I believe that the best friendships are those in which you may only talk once a year but can pick up where you left off. I generally try to see the beauty in all things. I don’t believe that ignorance is an excuse for anything. I physically hurt when children are innocent victims. I am a survivor of domestic violence. I have volunteered to help those who can’t help themselves. I have secrets. I like to dance around my living room. I know the muffin man—lady, actually. I hate the color green. I won’t wear shoes that hurt my feet more than once. I wouldn’t wear shoes at all if I could get away with it. I think a genuine smile is one of the best gifts you can give or receive. I love snow. I hate crowds. I love to travel, but I love my own bed, too. I believe that home is somewhere that you can be accepted as you are and loved regardless of faults. I’m a daydream believer. I have been to—and walked barefoot on—Abbey Road. I hate hot dogs. I have an extreme weakness for French fries, popcorn and Sunkist. I have lost sixty pounds in a year’s time. I have two tattoos. At one point or another, I have had the following pierced: my ears, my cartilage, my tongue (three times), my nose, my eyebrow and my belly button. I only have my ears pierced now. I love the theater. I love the Phantom of the Opera, Carmen, and Les Miserables. I used to play the viola, the violin, the flute, and the piccolo. I tried to learn to play the guitar. I have feet that are two different sizes. I go by my middle name. I wish on shooting stars. I still own my ice skates, even if I haven’t been ice skating in nearly 10 years. I love garage sales. I hate antique rugs—blame my dad and uncle for that one. I thank God every day for my parents and how much they have given me.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

purple people eaters

Miss P writes:
And on the 7th day he rested…I think NOT, Caitlin my dear!   Today's topic: Evolution…  ;)
It is the writer who might catch the imagination of young people, and plant a seed that will flower and come to fruition.
- Isaac Asimov
I saw this quote and thought I'd alter it for our fearless blogger…
It is the blogger who will catch the boredom of her favorite office workers, and mix and beat it down and bake that shit into a fabulous fruitcake.
-          Penney Powell 
Cait betta gets ta bakin'!
So come one and all fellow bored office workers and let us eat!!!
I love it.  If only she knew how little my culinary skills have progressed.  At least I can "cook" with words, because my baking skills are severely lacking!! (you know, I think i should learn to make a fruitcake.  Then I could just, you know...hand them out at Christmas.  A fruitcake from Fruitcake?  No?  Not funny?  Whatever.)
Evolution...that's a can of worms.  Once again, I'm at odds with so many on this one.  But not necessarily for the reasons you might think. 
I don't have any answers.  I don't know which way to cast my lot--some would say that it condemns me to hell to consider anything other than creationism, that even questioning the idea that God created the world, Adam and Eve, Garden of Eden, Genesis-fishcakes.  To question creationism, to listen to the reasoning of science means, to some, that I'm siding with Darwin, that the ability to question and reason and think things through and not blindly accept the religious right's propaganda...I am condemning myself to hell for even considering the idea that Darwin could be right.
I don't know.  But I do know this.  Why on EARTH would we choose to only educate our children on one side of the issue?  Is that what we really want for the future?  To only see one side of an arguement?  To teach them that questioning and exploring the possiblities and making an informed and educated decision...on anything, not just about this particular the way to go?  Do we want to hide the truth?  Or possible truths? 
I found this statement in reference to Evolution Sunday 2007 (which, incidentally, is this Sunday.)
    We believe that the timeless truths of the Bible and the discoveries of modern     science may comfortably coexist. We believe that the theory of evolution is a     foundational scientific truth, one that has stood up to rigorous scrutiny and             upon which much of human knowledge and achievement rests. To reject this         truth or to treat it as "one theory among others" is to deliberately embrace             scientific ignorance and transmit such ignorance to our children. We believe         that among God's good gifts are human minds capable of critical thought and     that the failure to fully employ this gift is a rejection of the will of our Creator.     To argue that God's loving plan of salvation for humanity precludes the full         employment of the God-given faculty of reason is to attempt to limit God, an         act of hubris. We urge school board members to preserve the integrity of the     science curriculum by affirming the teaching of the theory of evolution as a core     component of human knowledge. We ask that science remain science and that     religion remain religion, two very different, but complementary, forms of  truth               The Clergy Project
To reject science and research because of religious beliefs is to reject medicine, to reject technology, to reject moving forward. One of my favorite books of all time is Brave New World.  Is it any surprise to anyone who has read the book that I firmly support seeing all sides of an issue, to open your eyes and your minds and learn, explore, dream, and experience? Freedom to choose how to live our lives and to make educated decisions--to question your own beliefs and why you believe the things you do...why would we want to take that away from schoolchildren?  To turn them into mindless automatons who can't think for themselves.
Was there a "clockmaker" who wound up the earth and let it run its course?  Did God create the world in a week?  Did we evolve from sea anemones (ok, I just really like the word "anemone")?  No one can answer that with certainty.  That's a matter of faith.  But to know that there are other beliefs and other ideas than your own...that is a doorway to understanding.
On a personal note, I've enjoyed this tete-a-tete with Miss P, and thanks so much to everyone who has read and commented.  I'm sorry to see the week end!  I'll keep writing more often if you'll send me stuff...otherwise, I'll write when something moves me.  Like sea anemones.
Much love!