Archive for category rant

Words of Loathing

Posted by on Sunday, 6 July, 2014

I am truly, wickedly adoring reading this thread at The Toast – it’s all about books you HAAAAATE. Now, the problem is, while many of the hated books I agree with or have never read due to general apathy, many of the ones people are talking about hating are ones I LOVE – The Little Prince? 1984? HOW CAN YOU HATE JACOB HAVE I LOVED?

I feel so loved to know that I am not the only one who didn’t just dislike The Scarlet Letter, OTHER PEOPLE WANTED TO SHRIEK WITH RAGE AT IT TOO! It was written as a newspaper periodical, so dude got paid by the word –so even though i know WHY it takes him 13 paragraphs to describe someone answering the damn door, it does not mean that I have to ENJOY it. Other people understand and can articulate my hatred of The Mists of Avalon! Hated! When someone finds out they read fantasy they almost always ask me if I’ve read this! I read it as a teenager and it was terrible and then the christians made everything horrible the end! GAH. And THEN I found out the author was a child molester?! WHAT.

I also hate The Stranger. H.A.T.E Nothing happens, it doesn’t make a speck of sense, and I DON’T CARE BECAUSE I HATE IT. Ironically, I got the highest grade I had gotten on a paper in my AP English class for my essay on this book. Which is hilarious, because i didn’t understand the story or what the essay was supposed to be about, so it was all complete bullshit.

Tuesday’s with Morrie was a bookclub assignment for me, and everybody else talked about how they luuuuuuved it, and I was sitting there looking at them like they were made of vomit because i can still not get over how the author describes the “happy way” food fell out of Morrie’s mouth while Morrie was eating because no one had ever taught the dying asshole not to talk with his mouth full and it is the GROSSEST THING and UGH.

Mercedes Lackey and the Vanyel books SHOULD have been good – a gay protagonist in a fantasy novel? SIGN ME UP. But he was SO WHINY and all OH POOR ME, and I was GLAD when he died. GLAAAAAD.

The general hatred of anything and everything Cassie Clare thrills my little black heart, as I was in the Harry Potter fandom when her fanfic plagiarism first came to light and if you don’t think she hasn’t blatantly stolen material and stuck it in her crappy books you are WRONG.

The first book, though? My very very first deeply hated book?

Forever, by Judy Blume.

I read it in high school, probably, because I wanted to know why it was so controversial.

(keep in mind that I was a very precocious reader, and had previously read very enlightening things that featured much much of the sex, so while I knew the very basics, I was still very innocent about such things)

It’s controversial because it’s about teenagers, sex, and birth control. Alright, awesome, a book that deals with those things, good info to have, fabulous, let’s go.

I got about halfway through the book before whatsherface stops whatshisname from sexing her up, and you know what that douche does? He WHINES about how much it hurts to be turned on and then she doesn’t follow through.

I might have been innocent but that is still BULLSHIT and I threw that piece of shit across the room.

HATE.

Things I Know

Posted by on Wednesday, 11 June, 2014

1. If I owe you money and you don’t want paypal, you will most likely never get your money, even if I know I wrote a check and put it in an envelope AND put it in the mailbox. What happens to these checks? They never clear the bank. They just..disappear.

2. Barnes and Noble not only carry absolutely no books about kids who like non-stereotypically gendered stuff, they also don’t have an LGBT+ section. They stick anything they have in the Women’s Studies section. I’m fairly sure gay men, trans-men, and those who identify as anything other than women would not be ok with this. I left a comment card and plan on irritated letters and tweets.

3. The husband went to Russia and got to pretend to be a cosmonaut and had a fabulous time and didn’t puke at 4Gs in the centerfuge.

4. The husband is now gone again.

5. The husband will return the day I leave for a writing retreat, and leave again FOR AN ENTIRE MINTH the day I come back.

6. I like peanut butter cookies.

You are the Everything

Posted by on Thursday, 10 December, 2009

Wow, I really love Taylor Swift’s new song, Fifteen, don’t you?

I mean, all the lyrics really remind me of being in high school. And I can’t even imagine her poor friend, Abigail, who had a boy steal all of her life savings. I mean, I’d be pissed too if my best friend had been taken advantage of and bought him everything he wanted, and then he broke up with her when she went broke.

…What? Of course it’s talking about her life savings. The lyrics say quite clearly, “Abigail gave everything she had to a boy who changed his mind.” What else would she be talking about?

*scoff* Oh, please. Be serious. There’s no way she’s talking about sex. Come on. No one is dumb enough to believe that. I mean, “everything she had?” She can’t be talking about sex, because that would mean that without her virginity, Abigail is left with nothing. That a woman’s worth is only measured in her remaining a virgin, and that if a girl has sex, she is nothing.

And nobody believes crap like that anymore, right?

….Right?

“At Least”

Posted by on Saturday, 10 October, 2009

Back when I had Voldemort – and by “had,” i mean, “expelled him from my body,” people would ask about his birth, and I would say how fast it was, and how intense, and how disappointed I was that Brandus hadn’t gotten to be there.

And, I’m not sure if it’s because there is a large military community in Alaska, or what, but almost universally, if I said that, they would come back almost immediately with, “At least he isn’t in Iraq!”

Because, you know, obviously, I was being a selfish bitch to express the want to have my husband by my side while being in labor – when I was overwhelmed and hurting and alone.

I always had to resist the urge to punch the people who said that in the face.

Because what if he had been in Iraq, and I had said how disappointed I was that he hadn’t been there – what would they have said then? “At least he isn’t dead!” “At least he hasn’t abandoned you!” “At least he doesn’t hit you!”

I mean, just..what? Why CAN’T I be sad about something I wanted not happening?

And why can’t I be sad that I’m at a new school, in a new classroom, with a whole new set of expectations and stresses and stupidity?

Why do I have to hear, “At least you have a job!” “Just be happy you’re employed!” Why? I want to punch these people in the face, too. If it was someone who was unemployed saying it, at least they have an excuse to say it – bitterly, even. But every single person who says it to me is EMPLOYED. Usually in a better paying job then mine.

At least I have a job! At least I’m not on the streets! At least I’m not on meds to control the anxiety I feel about dealing with the principal and the expectations and the utter shit that goes with being in an intensive needs classroom!

…no, wait. Never mind about that last one. It’s too late. My one goal this year was to make it to January without anti depressants. I forgot to make a goal about anxiety.

At least Im on anti anxiety meds! At least I’m not suicidal!

Hi Dad! I’m in JAIL!

Posted by on Tuesday, 1 September, 2009

My new workplace is..interesting. To say the least.

I got called in on the carpet on Friday, after working there a whole two weeks, and my job was threatened.

And I quote, “There are 200 people out there who would love to have your job! They would take your job in a second!”

What exactly did I do?

I went on a home visit, and then went to lunch. I didn’t call the school to check in.

I was very upset initially, but today, when i got a memo in my box about newsletters being turned in that had not been proofed very well, I realized the woman just has some emotional control issues.

I realized this because she used some of the EXACT SAME SENTENCES to describe how this newsletter thing was UNACCEPTABLE as she did to tell me my work ethic and slacking (nope, not kidding, she called me a slacker) was UNACCEPTABLE.

Newsletter vs being out of the school for three hours…

Hmmm.

I’ve come to realize this has a very specific feeling. See, while I was being yelled at, she insisted I give her the name and phone number of the family I was visiting. To check up on me. Much as you would check up on a teenager who had a history of lying to you.

That settles it. Next time she’s out of town, I’m throwing a party. BYOConstruction paper, ’cause toast forbid if you dont have any when she checks in your cabinets.

“That Guy”

Posted by on Sunday, 14 June, 2009

I was linked to this post about rape and men and the culture surrounding rape, and Ive been reading through the comments and the linked posts for the past four hours.

To me, it all boils down to how tragic it is that there are not more men who are willing to be “That Guy” who stands up to his friends/guy he doesnt know/stranger on a train when a woman is being hassled/is unable to consent/looks uncomfortable with the attention. What is worse is that when a man is That Guy, he gets praise and thanks and grateful expressions that he didn’t take advantage when she was drunk/stopped when she said no/walked her back to her house and made sure she was safe – instead of it being a standard of common human decency.

I think men who are That Guy SHOULD be praised, but I also think that it’s horrifying that they need to be.

I’m lucky, I’ve never been in a situation where I was honestly afraid of being assaulted. I’ve been groped (I was 12. He was a grown man), I’ve been pushed past my point of comfort in sexual situations (full conversation- Me: no, i’m not comfortable with that. Him: Just trust me. – and because I was 16, and wanted to be liked, or whatever, let it continue), I’ve been leered at, and I’ve had lewd suggestions offered – but I’ve never been afraid for my life or my body. Does that make what has happened to me any better? No.

I’ve met That Guy. I’ve been around That Guy. I married That Guy. That Guy who goes pelting down a dark alley IN THAILAND because he hears screaming. That Guy who interrupts a friend and goes, “dude, she’s way too drunk for that.” That Guy who doesn’t try to “talk me into it.” That Guy who approaches the mom and daughters of our next door neighbor who have locked themselves in a van, and stays there with them trying to talk the drunk dad down until the cops got there.

Before him, though, there was a whole group of That Guy – both boys and girls. I was just a kid, and so were they. But there was a boy harassing me, and the group of That Guy closed ranks. They didn’t leave me alone – not ever. The boy wasn’t allowed to sit anywhere near me at group times. They kept me safe – and at that age, I was probably not in danger of anything other then annoyance. And that is what sticks with me. That a group of kids who were maybe nine years old were willing to stick up for another kid they had just met.

For me, I need to learn how to better step up and be That Woman. That Woman who says, “excuse me, you’re in my seat,” to a guy who is clearly coming on to someone who doesn’t want it. That Woman who calls the cops when the couple on the street looks to be in an argument that could turn nasty. That Woman who speaks up when someone says something derogatory or joking about a woman, or rape. I’m pretty darn good at doing it when it comes to someone using the word “retard” or someone saying nasty things about people who are gay, so why do I have such trouble when it’s someone who is talking about women?

The other thing I pulled from this is the sheer rage I feel over rape being classified as a “woman’s issue.” Rape is NOT a “woman’s issue.” A woman (or man, or transgender person, or child) should not EVER be raped. Rape should be fully accountable as a MAN’S issue. As a HUMAN issue.

I know the statistics. I know how lucky I am. I can point at some of the women I know and say, “a man raped her.” I was involved in the Vagina Monologues, I’ve gone to Take Back the Night events, and I still feel like I can’t do enough.

Other links of interest:
Men Speak Up – men for gender equality and sexual respect
An Emotional Missive to Men – women have a checklist to even leave their house. modestly dressed? not asking for it? female?
Anti-rape role models – a discussion of men in tv/movies/books who are That Guy. Surprisingly, Austin Powers is on this list.
Thoughts on Men and Rape – a man’s take on it. And he’s just as pissed as I am.
Sex, Thugs, and Rotten Role Models – opinion piece on the murkiness of “consent.” I heartily endorse the idea of replacing consent with “mutual pleasure.”

Crouching Buddha, Hidden Jesus

Posted by on Saturday, 27 December, 2008

When my mom was here for Thanksgiving, she pulled out all of the presents she had for Voldemort for me to approve.

In that pile were two horrifying outfits, several toys, and a couple of cute books that she went into great length about.

You can imagine our surprise, then, when we opened our gifts the other day.

Interestingly, the books had MUTATED or SPAWNED or something to MAGICALLY include a book we had never seen before! It definitely wasn’t in the pile of things we had approved, and, seeing as the gifts had been left here, it’s not like she threw in something extra at the last minute.

No, staring up at us, with no way to explain how he had gotten there was: THE BABY JESUS, MY FIRST BIBLE STORIES.

Now, this might not sound like much to those of you who are Christian and religious, but frankly, my mother’s continued worry about my soul has been..tiring. And i know exactly why that book wasn’t in the approved pile.

Because she figured we wouldn’t approve it.

Which is dumb, frankly, because we plan to expose him to all manner of religions, and then he can make up his own dang mind.

So, just to make sure the Jesus book didn’t scar him, we taught him a very important word today. While we were playing on our bed (or rather, while I should have been able to sleep in, but my husband threw the baby on me), the Dark Lord saw Brandus’ Buddha sitting on his bedside table.

It comes out a little wonky, but it is, in fact, clearly the word ‘Buddha.’

I cant wait to tell my mom!

Goods and Bads

Posted by on Thursday, 6 November, 2008

While a part of me is still wanting to run around the block waving an American flag and screaming “WHOOOOO!” at the top of my lungs after the election, another part of me is wanting to hide under the bed until life stops being mean.

I got asked to leave my long term sub job, which I was not heartbroken by, by any means. I call the other schools I have subbed for and let them know I am available again. Both schools sound..startled or more like, ‘and why the fuck are you calling?’

We just got a notice in the mail that Voldemort’s and my health insurance rates are going up $30 a month.

We just got a notice that daycare rates are going up anywhere from $10 to $25 a week.

And I’m unemployed.

We could pull him out of daycare, and I could stay home full time with him. Not really something I’m interested in doing, to be honest, but I could do it and I wouldn’t fell the urge to stab myself in the throat everyday, the way I do with teaching.

I could get any other job around here. But Blockbuster gave me a sad face and an ‘ooops! you just missed our hiring for the season!’ so Im really not sure if it will work or it’s worth it.

If I can find a job paying $6 an hour, and get full time work, we can pay for daycare and pay for health insurance.

It’s usually about this time that I start thinking, “I bet I could get a job as a teacher…” And every time, ultimately, I’ve made that choice to teach. I’ve chosen my wallet over my mental health.

I have a list of places to go today. I’ll dress nicely, smile pretty, cross my fingers and pray to whatever deity might be out there to just give me a fucking job already.

And then I’ll look at the school websites.

Les MisBarak

Posted by on Friday, 12 September, 2008

The national campaign office for Barak Obama has just won the ENTIRE FUCKING INTERNET.

If I wasn’t already voting for him, I would vote for him based on this awesome AWESOME piece of awesomeness.

This makes me feel SO MUCH BETTER, and brought a smile to my face while I was dealing with the seething rage that occurred after I learned that Sarah Palin allowed rape victims to be charged for the cost of their rape kit.

*seethes*

Honestly, that’s what did it. I have stated that I really dislike her stances, her beliefs, and her policies, but that one little fact just sends me around the bend. I cant even EXPRESS how angry I am. I might sound calm right now, but trust me, I am not. That is the most disgusting, most VILE thing I have ever heard. To take a woman who has been brutalized, who then has to relive the entire thing verbally AND experience another type of violation in order for the rape kit to be completed, to then be HANDED A BILL for the rape kit? Completely, horrifically unacceptable. Violation on top of violation piled on top of pure utter shit.

I will not be voting for you, Sarah Palin. I will not be voting for you, John McCain.

Your policies overall go against every shred of decency I possess.

Yes, we fucking can.

Whatever I Did in My Past Life, I am Very Very Sorry

Posted by on Friday, 6 June, 2008

Seriously, I have no idea exactly why the Travel Gods hate me, but they REALLY REALLY DO.

I mean, Ive missed flights in the past. I’ve been rebooked and flights have been delayed and traffic is inexplicably horrible for 3 hours leading up to when my flight is supposed to leave.

But, come on.

To start with, as Brandus was leaving Colorado – in his car, to drive to North Carolina, he got his oil changed.

This was a responsible thing to do, yes?

Well, then, he gets about 2 hours outside of Denver, and there is SMOKE! and OIL! and a weird PING! His car is now broken and needs to be towed.

He gets it towed, gets it looked at (might I mention that this is taking HOURS during which he is supposed to be driving?), and it turns out that the jiffylube neglected to tighten a bolt they needed to tighten. THANKS JIFFYLUBE!

they have agreed to pay for the whole mess, up to and including the tow and diagnostics.

Phew! I says. Thank goodness that’s over!

AHAHAHAHAHAHA. Yeah, RIGHT.

The next day, I take myself, two cats in hardsided cat carriers, 1 suitcase, 1 stroller, 1 car seat, 1 laptop, 1 diaper bag and 1 baby to the airport.

I walk in, walk up to the counter and say, hello! I am here to check in! I wish to go to North Carolina, and look! I have brought my cats, like we told you we would on the phone when we booked the ticket!

Oh. Says the lady. Your plane is delayed. Let’s try and book you on a different flight to keep you from having to wait.

AWESOME, says i.

Hmm. She says, United doesnt have anything, Delta is booked. Hmm. Looks like its going to be this flight. Sorry about that! We’re replacing the Captain’s Chair so it’s comfy!

Great! says i, thanks for trying!

Now, what needs to be checked in? says she.

As i said when i walked up here, i says, i have this large suitcase in eye blinding purple, and i have these two lovely kitties in their hard sided carriers for to go under the plane, as we arranged when we bought our ticket. also, i have a small child tugging on my pants, excuse me.

Oh dear! she says. Cats? We dont ALLOW pets under the plane!

*blink* Your website disagrees. Matter of fact, your website doesnt say a damn thing about it, and have i mentioned that we called and told the airline when we BOUGHT OUR TICKET?

I am so sorry! she says. Maybe we should reschedule you on tomorrow’s flight so you have time to take care of your cats?

WHAT? No! I have to go TODAY. And I dont have anyone in town I can leave the cats with!

…hmm. well, let me check with the other airlines and see about getting you moved onto one of their flights…

*seethe*

No..no, they dont have any openings. Well, you could carry them on into the cabin?

I dont have their soft sided carriers!

Can you go home and get them? We can rebook you for tomorrow!

STOP TRYING TO GET RID OF ME!

I should also tell you that I had a dead cell phone, had sent my charger with brandus by accident, and also had a very hungry baby trying to climb out of his stroller and up my leg.

I ended up going to the luggage store (which, thank joss was open at 6 in the morning) and buying two obscenely expensive soft sided carriers, and then CARRYING THROUGH THE AIRPORT 2 cats, 1 laptop, 1 diaper bag, 1 stroller and 1 baby. Oh, and one of the expensive soft sided carriers didnt have a functioning shoulder strap. Which I didnt notice until I had already gone back up to the ticket counter and put the cat in it. So, I have a baby in the stroller, the diaper bag in the stroller pocket, the laptop over the handles of the stroller. One cat on my shoulder, and the other sort of balanced on top of the laptop bag while I held onto it with one hand, and with the other, steered and prayed the stroller wouldnt over balance.

And my plane was STILL delayed.

Standards

Posted by on Thursday, 10 April, 2008

A couple of weeks ago, we had school wide standardized testing. During which I got to administer four separate tests to six different kids, all of whom got accomodations or modifications. Three got the whole test read to them. Four got calculators. All got extra time.

And Im sitting there, listening to the principal remind me us how go about administering and invalidating a test if necessary, and I remember why No Child Left Behind is killing our schools.

No Child Left Behind, by itself, isnt the problem. It’s a nice idea. One hundred percent of our high school kids will graduate high school.

Great.

But, how they’re going about it – the endless standardized testing – is killing kids and schools and teachers.

Teachers are finding their jobs on the line – a school in Chicago has already fired all of their teachers for next year. Fired. ALL OF THEM. The principal wants to start over fresh, with a new group of teachers.

It wont happen.

What will happen is that school will get ever closer to starting, and the school will panic because they dont have the teachers. They’ll rehire whoever will come back, and plug the holes as well as they can. To me, that means teachers who arent qualified, teachers who have little experience in the area they are hired for, teachers who are bitter over their treatment, and who arent going to put effort into it.

Now, dont get me wrong, im hardly a model teacher. Im a slacker who hates paperwork, and currently the special ed secretary has been leaving me death threats because of it. But, Im decent at my job. I am well trained. I work with kids, and I work hard.

Did you know that the very first recommendation from the government for schools who dont make AYP is to fire your current teachers?

AYP is Average Yearly Progress – fail making it too many times, and they shut you down. Failing/Passing AYP is determined by standardized test scores. A certain percentage of all of a schools’ students – including bilingual, including special ed, including new transfers – have to score “Proficient” or higher on the standardized tests.

My school – a school in the middle of the Alaskan bush, where most kids come into kindergarten not knowing their alphabet or how to spell their names, a school where 90% of the kids are considered English Language Learners – my school has never passed AYP. Most of the schools out here dont.

Part of the reason is that the teacher turnover is very high. Teachers spend a year, two years, three years, and then they leave. Tell me, then, if getting a new staff is so helpful, why arent we passing? Why havent we hit AYP?

Those are the easy problems. The problems that can be seen with No Child Left Behind without having to look hard. The other problems are a little more subtle.

Let’s say that a certain percentage of students (I believe it’s 80% of kids) have to measure as “Proficient” on the tests.

Great! You say. Let’s get those test scores up! So, you turn your focus to the lower scoring kids. The kids who try so hard, but don’t have a clue.

No, wait. That isn’t right. You don’t turn your attention to THOSE kids. If you do – I mean, sure you might help them learn something, and their scores might go up, but they won’t go up enough to actually PASS. Don’t focus on those kids.

Focus on the kids in the middle. The kids right on the edge.

The kids who passed are fine, they dont need any help. The kids who failed spectacularly, well, there’s no help for them. It’s these kids, these golden kids right here, that make or break this school.

In theory, it doesnt sound too bad. The kids on the border need help. You help them. The school passes!

But, what about the other kids? What about the kids who dont understand enough of the test to pass it – whether that’s because they have a learning disability, have anxiety about tests, or don’t speak enough English to understand what the questions are asking? What about them? Do they matter?

Most of my kids fall into that lower range. I give them every accommodation I am capable of and everything legally allowed to be given.

Most of them don’t even try, anymore. They already know they’re going to fail. They look around at the other kids – the border kids – the ones who get to come after school and play math and word games on the computers. They look around at the kids who get ice cream for coming to school on test days and awards for passing as “Proficient,” but no one pays a damn bit of attention to the fact this kid went from “Far Below” all the way up to “Below Proficient.”

What do these kids see? What are we teaching our kids? What are we teaching our schools? Our schools are learning how to cheat the system, how to pass kids at any cost, how to invalidate test scores, how to refuse a new student’s entry to school until after the test window.

Is this what we want?

LYLAS

Posted by on Tuesday, 25 March, 2008

Dear Babysitter-of-the-week,

I realize we have had some communication mishaps! Perhaps we should go and examine each misunderstanding!

For example, when I said, The baby can have one container of babyfood a day, and some of these neat finger food crackers with a baby on the front of the package,

I did NOT mean, Please stuff my baby full of this yummy allergen-risky peanut butter!

And, when I said, You can’t take the baby to your house,

or even, The baby needs to stay here,

or EVEN I understand that you took him to your house today, thank you for telling me. Please don’t take him, again.

I did NOT, in fact, mean, Please take my child out into the cold weather OF ALASKA in god-knows-what clothes for god-knows-how-long to get to YOUR HOUSE, where my husband and I have never even seen.

I understand your confusion! These things could happen to anybody!

I mean, after all, I know you know that it’s not ok to let OTHER PEOPLE’S KIDS into our house “to play” or “to visit” before school starts after we’ve left! I mean, WHO WOULD DO SOMETHING LIKE THAT?

But, there is ONE MORE TINY misunderstanding we need to clear up.

When we welcomed you into our house to babysit, and told you Feel free to use the television. Here are all of our movies. Adjust the temperature to your comfort level!,

at no point EVER did I mean OR say, Feel free to use my computer.

Nor did I say, Be sure to let the child rip off some of the keys! He LOVES that game!,

and I FOR DAMN SURE never said, After the child has ripped off the keys, be sure and close the keyboard and pretend it never happened! Don’t feel the need to tell me!

Because there is NOTHING I like more than coming home, opening my laptop and noticing that FIVE KEYS HAVE SPONTANEOUSLY DISAPPEARED.

Now, we’ve got those silly little misunderstandings taken care of! Let’s go over one more thing, ok?

When I say, We’re going to hire our old babysitter back,

I mean, The girl who stays with an abusive jackass at least knows how to follow our rules and respect our stuff.

Is that clear enough? I can draw you a picture, if that will help.

Please, let me know. By which I mean, WHAT THE FUCK, LADY.

Sincerely,
alianora

My Kid, My Life

Posted by on Saturday, 16 February, 2008

I keep running across the idea of “Ive wanted kids my whole life!” and “My life just wasnt complete without kids!” Followed by, “I loved him before he was born,” or “I fell in love the instant I saw him/her.”

It took me..oh..a good month or so.

Maybe I am freakish. I mean, it is very very possible that Im the weird one, here.

So many women talk about how when their baby was born they couldnt stop crying tears of joy. Or that they kissed them and held them and felt this surge of love.

Heck, when they handed the Little Dark Lord to me initially, I thought, “OH GOD WHAT IF I DROP IT?”

…actually, that’s pretty much what I thought the entire time i was in the hospital. The hospital where I delivered doesnt even HAVE a nursery – every mother rooms in, which is awesome. But, they got me and the kid upstairs and settled and then mom went home and I stared at the closed door, left all alone with this little tiny fragile scary thing.

I ended up cosleeping with him in the crock of my arm all night (well, the whole 3 or 4 hours I actually had to rest..and could actually sleep) and woke up every 10 minutes to make sure he was breathing.

You know, I always rolled my eyes whenever people talked about doing that, and now here I am, sneaking into the bedroom during long nap times, just in case.

But, still, I wasnt overwhelmingly in love with him right off. I wasnt swept away with joy and completeness. The kid was born. He was squirmy and floppy and terrifying.

That’s why when people talk about wanting another baby SO BAD, or wanting to hold a newborn, or how wonderful newborns are, that I try not to snort. That’s why, when people, like Amber Benson (and wouldnt you think she would know better?) start talking to me about the next one, and how many I want, I just end up staring at them blankly.

I love my kid.

But, why is it so much ANYONE ELSE’S BUSINESS if we have another one? Why does THE SCHOOL PLUMBER feel like he can chuckle condescendingly and say, “Oh, you’ll change your mind,” when I say I currently have no interest in having another baby? I still remember labor – or no, I DONT remember labor, in parts, and that freaks me out. I remember being pregnant and seasick for four straight months. I remember being alone on a hospital bed, gagging into a basin from pain, while my midwife and my mother chatted about knitting and Brandus was running around Pants in a panic, self medicating.

If I dont want to go through that again, it’s my own damn business.

Could I change my mind? Sure, maybe. But that’s MY choice, dammit.

So, the school plumber, principal, native guys, women online – you can all kiss my ass.

Places and Faces

Posted by on Monday, 3 December, 2007

I dont talk about the bad stuff where we live all that often.

Part of it is because its “normal” for out here, partly because i dont like the startled looks people give us, or the lectures from my father.

Right now, the Dark Lord is snoozing beside me in his stroller. Im at work. He isnt at home with the babysitter, where he normally is.

The babysitter is in Anchorage, which we knew about. She’ll be gone for a week.

She missed a day last week, because she wanted to take him over to her house, which she has done in the past.

We said no. She decided to take the day off rather than walk back to the house, get her baby, and walk back.

Really?

2 days after she comes to us and tells us that her boyfriend hit her? That he kicked her out of the house, barefoot, in her pajamas, with her baby still sleeping inside Thanksgiving night? That he was drunk?

2 days after she asked us to take pictures of the scratches and bumps on her face, and the bruises on her wrists? after we offered her a place to stay?

She wants to take MY KID over to his house?

Are you KIDDING ME?

Amongst Our Weaponry

Posted by on Sunday, 9 September, 2007

1. i looked around for a new wordpress theme, but every single one i tried annoyed me with how it ended up looking, so you are stuck with this one. because it gives all the information i want, all right there, without me having to mess with it.

2. brandus now has a blog. but nothing has been done with it yet, so im reluctant to give out the domain name. will let you know.

3. have done things to the blog roll. *handwavy* added and edited and cleared a few things out that i just dont read anymore.

which means there is now an ever increasing number of mommy and daddy blogs being added. oh dear.

4. im about to head out for a different village tomorrow night, leaving brandus and voldemort alone. for 2 nights. i found myself frantically counting ounces of milk in the freezer, hoping hoping hoping that ive left enough.

yes, there is formula too, if absolutely necessary. I mean, the kiddo wont starve. but he hasnt had formula in months, and im worried he wont take it now.

and..i cant figure out if i should still be pumping every couple of hours while im at my training. there is a freezer available, but..i dont know. and then having to haul it all back with me in my little cooler on a teeny plane. ack.

5. the dark lordling now has a little cousin! The Critter was born August 20th at 12:01am! Voldemort’s Aunt Natalie and Uncle Dave are understandable thrilled.

The boys wont get to meet for quite a while, with us living on one edge of the country, and them living on the other.

6. We’ve been playing with Skype, as part of trying to figure out how to introduce the cousins, and its working pretty well. Plus, its free, which is also way of the cool. we’ve got brandus’ folks all set up, and we’re working on my folks.

7. Dominos has THE most disturbing commercials about dessert food. first, there was Fudgems, and now there is the oreo pizza mustache.

WHY GOD WHY.

Ashley X

Posted by on Sunday, 7 January, 2007

For those of you who missed the story of Ashley X and her “revolutionary” new treatment to make her disabled life better, Ill give you a quick run down.

Ashley is a nine year old girl, whose parents decided to remove her uterus and breast buds, as well as giving her extreme hormone therapy to keep her small and portable.

No, really. That isnt a joke.

The parents’ site is here, and goes into much more detail of their rationalizations and the whats and whys.

Their main argument, and really, I cant fault their reasoning, is that these procedures will make Ashley’s quality of life better – by keeping her small, she can be more easily moved and can therefore stay at home and participate in family activities. I can see that the family just wants what is best for her. I can. Truely, I can.

But I find this whole idea horrific.

Removal of the uterus was done to prevent her from having a period, which would be difficult to keep her clean during.

Ok, I can see that. Ive worked with severely disabled teenage girls, and, trust me, them having their period was no picnic.

Removal of the breast buds was done to make her more comfortable, as the family is prone to large breasts. Breasts would make the chest straps on her bathing chair and her stroller much more difficult to fasten, and would rub uncomfortably on Ashley. The other reason is to reduce her sexual appeal, so her caregivers wont sexually abuse her.

Ok, sure. I can get that. All of it.

But, then, there come all of the other thoughts. On one hand, as a SpEd teacher, I know how difficult it is sometimes to work and care for kids OR adults with severe/profound issues. One the other hand, WHAT THE FUCK?!

My main, main concern is this whole mess is choice.

Supposedly, Ashley has the mentality of a 3 month old, and cannot roll over, walk, talk, or hold a toy.

Prove it.

Not the lack of physical ability, but show me that she is mentally three months old.

You know what? You cant.

Why?

Because Ashley is completely nonverbal, and has no way to communicate. Without the ability to comminicate, how can we have any idea what her level of cognitive processing is? How do you evaluate it?

As far as I know (and I know there is much I dont know), you cant.

Ashley might have a lot more going on upstairs then we know about. If you look at the pictures of her on her parents’ site, she smiles, she makes some eye contact, she interacts. Her parents say she loves music and has a favorite musician. She likes watching tv.

My other issues have alot to do with the extremes gone to by the parents/doctors in the “Ashley Treatment.”

Removal of the uterus to prevent menustration?

Arent there medications that can do that? Maybe the implanted birth control? If its a birth control concern (and it might be, there is an article I cant find about a woman being sexually assaulted while in a coma/vegitative state, and her family being denied an abortion. Will look for it. ETA: Found it, check bottom of post) Why such an invasive procedure?

Why full removal of her breasts? Wouldnt the addition of all those hormones slow her breast growth anyway?

Why the extreme hormones? Do we even know what effect that might have on her later in life? Her parents state that they chose the hormones as they have been used since the 1970′s to prevent very tall girls from topping 6feet and limiting their marriage prospects, so they knew it was safe. Um..Im not even sure which direction to approach that one from.

Mostly though, they desire to keep Ashley a child (and yes, that is exactly what they are doing) is because:

Furthermore, given Ashley’s mental age a nine and a half year old body is more appropriate and more dignified than a fully grown female body.

Why is it more dignified? Why is it more “right” for her to be 40 and the size and shape of a child, than it is for her to be a 40 year old in the body of a woman?

Other people have said things much better than I can, and with much more perspective than i. Have some links. I encourage you to check them out.

Disability/Sexuality and Ashley

Did I miss something?, on medical ethics and disabilities

WIMN’s Voices examines the problem of disability and choice

Gender and disability brings up some very good points, including whether this would have been acceptable to the medical community (or even thought of by the parents) if Ashley had been male.

There are many more links that I am still working my way through, so if you come across more, pass them my way.

Any thoughts on this are also welcome.

Side note: For an interesting look at autism and someone who was misdiagnosed as severely retarded, check out Autism is a World. Its controversial, but very interesting.

ETA: The article I was looking for, about the disabled woman being denied an abortion is here. I was wrong, she wasnt in a coma, but she does have seizures, CP and autism. Oh, and the mental abilities of a one year old. Thanks, Jeb Bush!

Has anyone heard of a resolution on this one?

You Want Me to What?

Posted by on Saturday, 6 January, 2007

Scene: 2 people, peacefully driving in a car, flipping radio stations
Cast: our beloved heroes, alia and Brandus

*static, buzz, bad music, Christmas music*

Brandus: *grunt of irritation*
alia: *flips stations*

You must be intolerant of these things!

alia: *rolls eyes, reaches for radio controls*

But you must be intolerant in a LOVING WAY!

Brandus: WTF?

Show people that their beliefs and actions are UNACCEPTABLE! But you must do so in a way that says, “I love you! Jesus loves you! Stop your descent into Hell!”

alia and brandus: *confused looks*
alia: What the hell does that even MEAN?
Brandus: So..when I talk to them to say, “Fuck you,” I should say it in a very respectful, “I dont want to bash your brains in” kinda way?

Time Card Bingo

Posted by on Wednesday, 28 June, 2006

*eye twitches*

i just got called into the boss’s office.

not because i am in trouble, mind, but because he wanted to talk to me about my timesheet.

i go in there, and my timesheet is marked all over in red. Guess by who? THE ICE CREAM QUEEN*. The boss just “wanted me to know,” so i looked it over.

I have written down IN: 9:00 OUT: 3:30 most days, as that is my normal schedule. Some days are a little different, getting here at 8:30 or staying til 4:00 or 4:30.

She has crossed off and written in IN: 9:15. Or OUT: 3:28.

And, in some places, where i ahve LUNCH:12-12:30, she has written, in red, “WENT ON LUNCH AT 11:50.”

And my personal favorite, when i wrote OUT: 4:00, because i left the office at 2 and yelled, “INSPECTIONS! CALL THE CELL IF YOU NEED ME” and then WORKED for the next two hours? No, she has written, “LEFT AT TWO.”

All together? Her alterations? Add up to about an hour and a half of time. I raised my eyebrow and told the boss that if he wants to dock me that, he can, but that i dont lie about my time. i dont steal in 15 minutes. Plus, i ask, she sits back in that cubicle…does she have a camera hooked up in my office to monitor me?

He said that this mess with her has been going on long enough, and he will take care of it (which I will believe when i see it), and i will be paid my full amount.

I am not angry, oddly enough. I annoyed. And my last day, im
bringing in a poster board and writing down EVERYTHING she does that day and posting it on her cubicle wall.

9:03 – leans back and sighs – 5 seconds.
9:10 – fixes pantyhose – 10 seconds
10:00-bathroom – 4 minutes
10:05 -chats with office mate for 10 minutes about how hard her job is

….

12:00-monitors office mates’ discussion of what they brought for lunch – 2 minutes
1:00-accidently stabbed through eyeball with pencil by ravishing manager
1:01-bleeds and is very unproductive for half an hour
1:31-leaves for hospital, doesnt work for the rest of the day.

TIME WASTED: 4 hours, 2 minutes, 7 seconds.

honestly, IM NOT MAD. im a little boggled by the fact im not spitting fire, but im not. I just dont care. and i will be just as polite and professional as i always am, and will even resist the urge to inform her that im on the phone with a personal call, or to let her know that my lunch is going to be 1 minute over because i have to go to the bathroom.

I am cool. Like cucumbers and water. Or like, COOL AS ICE, which stars Vanilla Ice, and is just as bad of a movie as you think. I know, ive seen it.

And liked it.

*Ice Cream Queen got her name when my boss, myself, and another worker decided to go pick up Dairy Queen. When we got back, the BigBoss called us in, and said that next time, we have to invite EVERYONE, because we hurt the Queen’s poor little tender feelings.

Damn It South Dakota

Posted by on Saturday, 18 March, 2006

Seriously, the stupidity is spreading.

So, it started with South Dakota, banning any and all abortions.

We wont discuss the one “exception” that was offered, because it makes me so angry i could spit.

But now, lets all go read the bill that Georgia offers to ban abortion.

now, abortion is a highly controversial topic, and if you dont agree with me, thats fine.

but, jeeze, READ the stupidity in this bill!

Abortion results in increased tobacco smoking…Abortion exploits women, treating them and their children as mere property, and abortion is contrary to feminist values…

*grimace*

I just…gah.

I love how numbers from studies are quoted, but the studies arent named or made available. and its “one study says,” not, “repeated studies show.” as far as im concerned, in all my fun years of research papers, one study doesnt prove a damn thing.

look, i might not ever get an abortion, never even really think about it, for ME. but thats ME and i wont make decisions for the rest of the world.

write your reps and your senators, like im about to do. i dont care that i live in colorado now. i grew up in Georgia, and i cant just let this time pass. i didnt say anything about South Dakota, and i wish i had. obviously, it started a trend.

Safe as Houses

Posted by on Friday, 10 March, 2006

On saturday, Im sitting on my booty in my pj’s, watching movies with a friend.

Brandus has gone down to Denver to see his folks, who are AGAIN in town to deal with Mimi’s estate stuff.

Krispy and I have gotten sucked into the BSG miniseries, and are watching avidly as Cylons destroy the world and most of humanity.

Phone rings.

Its brandus. Hi, Brandus!

“Do we want a house?” What? “Do we want a house? Mimi’s house, my parents want to give it to us!” Um.. “No, they’re serious.” Ok, sure, I’d love a house.

Click. Return to Cylon central.

Phone rings. I roll my eyes at krispy, who laughs, because she’s gone through the days when brandus calls me seventeen times a day.

Its Brandus.

“Are we sure we want a house? They said if we want it, its ours!” Sure, but im not going to get excited over something i dont think you’re parents will actually do.

Click, Cylons, phone rings. Lather, rinse, repeat.

By this time, i can HEAR his parents squeeing with excitement in the background, yelling “Come down and see your new house!”

So, krispy heads home, i gather all of my stuff and head to denver.

On sunday, they walk us around the house. we discuss things with Brandus’s mom’s brother, as half of the estate is his.

“Sure, no problem, they can have the house if you buy my half out. sure.”

By this point, im still not believing it, because im not stupid and ive been through the whole “sure! we’ll do that/buy that/give that to you!” that the folks do every few months. which usually results in nothing.

and, i can tell, their feelings are hurt, because im not excited.

but, they are insistant.

“This is YOUR house now! Look! A shed where you can make soap! Craft room! living room! washerdryercouchkitchenhardwoodfloors!”

so, yeah, i start thinking it will happen.

“Your house! Move in tomorrow!”

I bring up something. What about the taxes? They’ll be expensive, and we cant afford them!

“Oh, no problem! All taken care of! YOUR HOUSE! Have a key to YOUR HOUSE!”

So yeah. brandus and i get all squeey and start talking about paint and light fixtures and stuff. and i have a key and a garage door opener, and life is good.

we have a house. and it was free!

This is all very exciting. we call my parents, my sisters, my best friend, its all very cool, because DUDE, we have a house!

we are GIDDY.

Brandus isnt even too broken hearted about not getting into his PhD program.

And then, naturally, comes Tuesday. I come home from dance, brandus is in bed and grunts a hello. i go to bed, he accuses me of hogging the covers and keeping him awake. i figure, uhoh, something happened. i figured it had to do with grad school, and go to sleep.

the next morning, my phone rings, its brandus, he left early.

“Dont tell your boss you’re moving.”

um ok. why?

we dont have the house. you know, OUR HOUSE with the keys and the garage door opener and OUR HOUSE?

yeah, sorry. taxes! you guys shouldnt have gotten so excited! its not like this is OUR fault!

im still very bitter, and im not happy with his folks, because hell, they told us and told us. and im mad at myself, because i know better.

So, we are houseless. and grad school-less. and my boss just accepted a new job.

so, our lives are upside down at the moment. in less than a week, we’ve been turned on our heads.

Blah.