Thursday, June 30, 2011

Thoughts on "Passing Gifts"

Well, another school year has come and gone and with it, year end report cards.  Generally, my youngest gets glowing reports in the A and B area.  The oldest, although very smart, has a little more trouble with school, but on the whole, she gets by with B's C's and the occasional D.

A friend on the Facebook brought up an interesting question.

What do you think about giving your kids gifts for passing onto the next grade?

Me?  I think it's kind of like paying your kid to clean their room.  A Non-issue.  It's something they are expected to do, it's their responsibility.  So no, I don't necessarily agree with buying gifts for simply passing from one grade to another.

That's no to say that there aren't some good arguments.  One other friend pointed out that working parents get yearly raises, so why shouldn't kids get similar?  And that's fair, to a point.  However, many raises are also awarded on merit, rather than for simply being there.. not for simply doing your job, but for doing it well.  A raise is also supposed to cover the increases in the cost of living that accrue each year.  A new bike, or XBox is not a living expense.

However, going to school is a responsibility, much like keeping ones room clean at home is a responsibility.  It is expected as a part of a household, and as a current/future member of society.  In my honest opinion, these are things that should be expected if they are within your capabilities, and offering rewards for them may only serve to foster a sense of entitlement, a "What's in it for me" mentality.  Education in and of itself is a reward.  Feeling good about yourself for having accomplished something is a reward.  Satisfaction on a job well done is a reward and I think a focus on these things is important to a child's self-actualization.

Now, I will say that I don't think there isn't some place for rewarding your children for hard work.  If they have gone above and beyond, then there's nothing wrong with acknowledging that with a gift or a special day, especially if you have a kid that really struggles.  But the focus should be on the effort rather than the end product.  Myself, I'd be more apt to reward a child who struggles with school who manages, through dedication and determination, to raise their grade from a D to a C+, than I would  a kid who regularly excels at school getting straight A's yet again.  I will admit that I don't know what it's like to deal with a kid who routinely struggles with school.  If I did, my expectations would be different, I suppose.

To use the housekeeping example again, I don't think I should have to reward the kids for doing things they are expected to do as part of a functioning household.  However, if there was something they did (say, for example, weeding gardens, cleaning the bathrooms etc) that was not a part of their expected chores, then I'd be inclined to give them a little something for their efforts, along with a (more importantly) a sincere "Thank you!" and "Great Job!" - an acknowledgement for contributing beyond normal expectations and going out of their way to help out.  It's probably an interesting contradiction that I'm more likely to reward my kids for doing things without the expectation of a reward.

It's also important to take into consideration what is considered a 'Gift'. I knew a girl growing up who received extravagant gifts each year for passing into the next grade.  Call it sour grapes if you will, but looking back this girl was a bit of an entitled brat, and this always became apparent around the end of school year, as she would brag about the new scooter, or bike she got for passing.  I know not all kids are like this, and giving your kid a present doesn't mean they'll also be entitled brats, but it's something that has always stuck with me.

I did enjoy one woman's idea that her and her family have a special dinner or special day, more as a tradition to celebrate the end the school year.  It sounds like less pressure for the parents (since much like the Tooth Fairy tends to leave more money with each tooth, Passing Gifts may get more expensive as the years go by) and a fun way to reflect on the year and look forward to the coming summer.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Nothing is more fun than commenting on something I'll never have to deal with..

Conversation I had with my sister shortly after the birth of my eldest daughter.

N:  So, are you going to have her circumcised?
Me (with utter shock): Uhm.  No.  Pretty sure that's heavily frowned upon in this part of the world.  I think the UN may be trying to have it banned, even.
N: Ah, frig.  Girl.  Right.

In fairness, my sister had had her second son a scant year-or-so earlier and it was a question she was surprisingly used to hearing.  I say surprisingly, because I would think the decision whether to snip your little one's pecker would be a pretty private matter, but as I have learned over the years, when it comes to conceiving, carrying, birthing and raising babies, nothing is sacred.

As much as I bitch about the perils of raising little girls, this is one area that makes me glad I never had boys, although nowadays I'm sure I'm a lot more clear on my stance as far as to snip or not to snip.  Unnecessary surgery?  Oh hell no.  I didn't even want to pierce my girls ears until they were old enough to ASK me.

That being said though, there's some interesting debate happening around a proposed law to ban male circumcision in San Franciso.  Personally, I think treating such a topic as a matter of a municipal by-law is silly at best, since anyone could drive out of town to have the procedure done.  Plus the proposed sentence of a year in prison seems, oh, I don't know, a little over-the-top.

No, this is one of those cases where "Education, Not Legislation" would be the most viable approach.  As far as I can tell, the most common reasons for circumcision  are:
  • For religious reasons
  • For hygenic reasons
  • Because it's better to do it when they are younger so they don't feel it as much (lolwhut??)
  • Fear of the child looking different than other kids or their respective male role models
Religion:  This is one of the main reasons why an all-out ban is asking for a shit-storm of trouble, because jailing people for performing what is viewed as a sacred ritual is going to cause all manner of discrimination suits.  In all honesty, I'd be willing to guess that the people who circumcise for religious or spiritual reasons are probably a smaller number than those who do it 'Just because'.   Aim for reducing the numbers elsewhere then eventually the major religions will catch up, just like the Catholic Church did with birth control..  oh, wait.

Hygenic reasons:  Teach your kids to wash their junk properly.  Pretty simple, no? From what I understand, research on the health benefits of circumcision are pretty sketchy and the benefits don't seem to outweigh the risks of just leaving well enough alone.   Yes, a kid may have a problem down the line that requires foreskin removal, but the thing is.. if you have a problem because you're intact, you can fix it.  It's a lot harder and likely more costly to fix issues from a botched circumcision.  And it's super-cheap to teach your kid to wash their junk.

Better to do it when they are Younger:  I call bullshit here.  I will not be convinced that an un-anesthetized procedure hurts a baby less than a older child or an adult.  The difference is a baby can't verbalize their discomfort in the same way.

But I don't want little Billy to Look "Different":  Calling bullshit again here.  This is where North American tendencies to be over-the-top Puritanical when it comes to our bodies and how they work really does a number on us.  So little Billy's little billy doesn't look like Daddy's?  Try this:
“Well, Billy, once upon a time, when Daddy was a baby, people had no problem with slicing off the end of your penis for no apparent reason, and even encouraged it. But we think they were wrong, so we didn’t, because we like you and don’t think cutting babies is cool.”
That's not so hard is it?

*snicker*  Yes, I have then mentality of a 12 year old.  Don't you judge me.

This line of reasoning always reminds me of this joke:
One day a little girl was watching her mom make a roast beef. She cut off the ends, wrapped it in string, seasoned it and set it in the roasting pan.

The little girl asked her mom why she cut off the ends of the roast. Mom replied, after some thought, that it was the way that her mother had done it.

That night grandma came to dinner and the little girl and her mom went to her and asked why she had cut the end off of the roast before cooking. After some thought grandma replied, that was the way her mother had done it.

Now great grandmother was quite old and in a nursing home. But the little girl went with her mom and grandma to see her and again asked the question.

Great Grandma looked at them a bit annoyed and said, "So it would fit in my pan, of course."

Friday, June 24, 2011

Sometimes you just gotta. (short fiction)

Standing at the busy intersection a young woman in her mid-twenties watched the light turn red out of the corner of her eye.  When the cars started into the intersection, she did a quick survey to make sure there were no cars in the right-hand-turn lane.  Although the light facing her direction was still red and the pixellated amber hand beckoned her to hold her place, she started out into the intersection, knowing the way was clear.

A little man watched from the corner as she strode confidently into the street with head held high and sucked in his breath.  When the walking man appeared on the traffic signal he dashed across the street to catch up with her.

"Excuse me! Excuse me miss!"  She kept walking, either ignoring him or not realizing she was the miss he was addressing.  Meeting her stride, he tried to get her attention again. This time she turned.

"Why did you do that?"

"I'm sorry?" she asked, puzzled at this odd little man who was attempting to keep up and doing a not-so-good job at it.

"The light.  It hadn't changed.  But you went anyway. Why?  Are you in a hurry?"

She stopped in her tracks. This was a bizarre line of questioning indeed. Shrugging, she replied "Well, the way was clear.  So I decided to go."

The little man furrowed his brow and shook his head.  "No, no," he said, clearly troubled. "The light had not changed.  You can't go if the light hasn't changed.  That's the rules."

She looked at him for a long moment before she replied.  "That light is there for the our protection.  But as people, we are able to make decisions, to gauge risk and to decide, ultimately whether we walk, or we don't walk.  Sometimes it's necessary to break rules, even small ones, to remind us even for a split second of our free will.  Of our agency over our own bodies and minds."

He looked around as he pondered her words, but when he turned again, she was already down the street.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

"Houss-keepink? Hoooouuuussssskeepink?"

Just doing some light house keeping.  Updated the blogroll and took off some folks who are no longer blogging or actively blogging.

D'Artagnan, if you're reading this... WTF man?  Not even a good bye?

I've also added some folks to the roster who I think are worth a read, so take a gander and see if anyone catches your fancy.  Moved the Popular Posts over to the sidebar so I could include more posts.  If anyone knows how to do 'Random Posts' or 'Related Posts' and wants to let me in on the secret that'd be great.

To date, my most popular search term is "Tom Cavanagh" which has led a whole fifteen people to this little piece of the internet.  Is it wrong that a little part of me hopes that Tom Cavanagh spends his spare time Googling himself and will one day stumble across this blog and fall madly in love with me?

It'd be great.  We could get a cottage on Georgian Bay where we'd sit and be reminded of light beer.

And this could be me.  I thought photo-shopping my head onto Julie Bowen's body could be construed as "Creepy" - Source
The Tragically Hip are playing in Bobcaygeon  this weekend (and if you're a Hip Fan you will know how epic this really is) and I'm in physical pain from the knowledge that I won't be going.  I'd almost consider offering perverse sexual favours to the person who could offer me me a ticket, but then again if I was willing to go that far, I might have held off on cutting the most-recent-ex out of my life for a couple weeks or so.

Maybe Tom Cavanagh has an extra ticket?

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go watch this video on loop and drink heavily and cry.

Extra points for Hugh Dillon's cameo.

Author's Note:  Just wanted to point out how creepy, out of its proper context, this still from the video is.  It's like the girl is off screen is going "Noooooo!" at the approaching Gord Downie in all his law-enforcement intimidation (for context: she's opening the screen door for him)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Good, The Bad and the Delightfully Cheesy.

Been a little quiet the past few days, I know.  Going through some stuff.  Had to cut off contact with someone who was very important to me in order to save myself a whole lotta time going through the emotional wringer and would you know it pretty much blows?  Big time.  Running the gamut of emotion, angry, sad, self-righteous and well.. you know how it is.  Boys n' such.  So I've been disgustingly emo over the last 24 hours.  I've had a few of my closest girlfriends be super supportive as I got all weepy and snotty and introspective about it, even though over the last 12 months or so the "I swear this time it's really DONE" has been nothing new to any of them.

But I swear, this time, it's really done.

Hit the local Party On The Dock this past weekend, which proved to be quite the raucous affair.  There was much beer, much dancing to all-ages friendly (as in 9 to 99) cover bands.  Okay, this is something that gets me every year.  The headliners are a group called Northern Harbour, who bill themselves as

The Ultimate Jimmy Buffet Tribute Band!

But.. if it's true as some say that Jimmy Buffett is essentially a cover artist himself, then wouldn't a Jimmy Buffett cover band really just be a generic cover band that happens to play Margaritaville and Let's Get Drunk and Screw? (which, incidentally, Northern Harbour DID play much to my amusement).

Anyway, was a fun-filled evening.  We closed the party, headed to the local bar, closed the bar, got food, ended up at the park and next thing you know it was all "Oh hey.  Hello, 5 am! Fancy meeting you here!"

A word of advice: Sitting down by the water in the wee hours of the morning may sound like an awesome serene idea, but you change your mind quickly when you wake up in the morning with goose shit on your pants.  Had awesome Karen-Walkeresque moment the next day as my bestest and I sat in her backyard feeling rather rough and a small child was driving around in one of those Power Wheels dealies.  Shielding my eyes from the sun I asked "Is it really necessary for that kid to be driving that thing this early in the afternoon?"

I'm fucking witty when hungover, I tell you.

My shitty mood after last night's drama nearly resulting in an ass-kicking today as I got a wee bit snarky with some folks who insisted on ignoring the giant No Loitering sign on the front door of our building and wound up with a rather frightening woman up in my face because apparently I'm doing a huge disservice to their hanging-around-in-front-of-Tim-Hortonsing by not-so-subtly suggesting her friends try standing 2-3 feet to the left or right AND NOT IN FRONT OF THE FUCKING DOOR.

How silly of me.

And then some guy got his ass handed to him in the parking lot about an hour later.  Cops and everything.  I have a great view from my desk.  And YES, I DID call 911, as buddy was taking quite the beating but I guess someone beat me to it because all I had to say was the address and "Fight" and they said "Yeah, we're already on our way." at which point the cops pulled up.

I swell with absolute pride at my town, which is NOT AT ALL white-trashy in ANY WAY.

Today my geek worlds collided.  For about 6-8 years I was a soap fan.  To be clear I was regular follower of the Guiding Light.  It started when I was hospitalized at 18, after which I drove my ex-husband nuts with it for years, and when the Sister and I lived together we watched religiously.

I stopped watching after I moved out on my own in 2005, as I wasn't home when it was on and I didn't have a VCR.  The show was cancelled in 2009 and a little part of me was heartbroken that I never saw the last episode.  I found out today that in 2006 Marvel Comics did a Guiding Light crossover based on a halloween storyline where Harley (one of my favorite characters) gets super powers and becomes a heroine by the name of 'The Guiding Light'

Har Har.

So this evening I wasted a whole lot of time looking up clips from this story arc on YouTube, and trying to find out where I can get my hands on the comic portion of the storyline, which apparently included Spiderman and the Avengers, as well as GL characters such as Buzz Cooper and Gus Aitoro (*drool*)

Beth Ehlers and Ricky Paull Goldin
Harley all Comic-fied - Source
 The link to the Comics Alliance page has a preview where you can see some of the other drawings.  I enjoy seeing the characters rendered in comic style.

The story arc on the tv side is atrocious, but what do you expect? Part of the fun of soaps is the groaningly bad melodrama and improbable story lines.  Hell, that's part of the fun of comics too.

They have so much in common.

Watch, and giggle.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

I just had the puberty talk and the sex talk at one time and now I need a drink, thanks.

Parenting with a straight face is hard.

It started with me telling the eldest child that we were going to make a point of going bra-shopping in the near future.  Although I may be less than observant sometimes, my kids a little bit on the exhibitionist side, a by-product of being an all-female household.  They're more modest at their dad's place, but here I sometimes find myself having to go "Seriously kid, put some damn pants on!"  So needless to say, I've noticed that.. well.. a shopping trip may be in order.  She's getting about that age. 

I was about eleven when I got my first bra, only a  year older.  In all honesty, I probably could have used one earlier but I was inclined to fight growing up tooth and nail, until in exasperation my mother foisted about five plain white training bras on me.  My period of denial was over.  Talk about your paradoxes.  My mom had one kid who spent each day looking down her top from the time she was about six years old, praying for the boobs that she finally got around the age of 35, and another kid who was fighting puberty with all the insistence of a pitbull on a leash who was probably doomed, if paternal aunts and cousins were any indication, to double-Ds by the time she turned 14.  (Thankfully my development ended as quickly as it started and I've remained comfortably 'average' boob-wise).

So the boobie talk turns into the period talk.  Don't get me wrong, my kids have been pretty cognizant of the concept of menstruation as it's not something I get all secretive about, but tonight we got into the logistics of this monthly occurence, the how's and the why's, beyond just "Hey kids, guess what.  Mom bleeds from her vag once a month, and eventually you will too.  Happy Birthday".

So the period talk turns into the 'Where Babies Come From' talk... ("Well, honey, mommy went to the hospital, the doctor put her to sleep and when she woke up she had a giant scar and a baby.")... which turns to the "How Do Babies Get There?" talk.  Which makes for a lot of "Ewwwww.."  and "That's weird!"

So, being MY children and clearly having inherited their mother's maternal instinct, this led to the "Dear God, How Do You AVOID Babies?" conversation, aka the Birth Control conversation.  I was heartened that the oldest had a clear grip on the concept of abstinence, but I went through the spiel of other methods as well.

Somehow this also led to the "How do gay people have babies?" conversation and my telling them about adoption, mostly (I was going to touch on in vitro, but they were getting bored by this time) and that it's not necessary to spell out gay - it's not a bad word.

I've come to the conclusion that along with being honest with your kids, it's also important to acknowledge if you, as the parent, feel a little embarassed answering a question... because it's going to show anyway, and I would think that it's better than pretending not to be.  Maybe that would encourage them to know it's okay to be a little embarassed to talk about such things, but that even if embarassing, they are still subjects that should be discussed.

  I dunno.. It's hard not to question myself in these situations.. am I telling to much?  Am I telling to little? Am I going to give them some kind of self-loathing complex where they think all sex is dirty or depraved or am I going to say or not say something that will lead to me becoming a grandmother before the age of forty? 

It's enough to keep you up at night.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Very Special Reverse Objectification Wednesday.

Thank you, Sarah Lindahl (and Kira) for providing the inspiration for this post.

Think back.

Way back.  Your first crush.  No, maybe crush is the wrong word.  Crush can mean "Aww gee, I like you.  You're fun.  Let's ride bikes."  which is an awesome and cool way to feel about someone, but not quite what I'm getting at.

Think back to the awakening.  Yeah, that one.  The first time you had that tingly-in-the-pants (or for the gentleman, that tight-in-the-pants) red-faced I'm-gonna-barf feeling.  When suddenly, kissing wasn't gross anymore.

I was somewhere in the ballpark of eleven or twelve years old.  I'm going to let you in on a little secret.  It's not something I'm proud of, but it's a part of my past and there's nothing I can do to change it now.

The object of my pre-adolescent lust?  Here goes...  no, come closer...

Scott Bakula.

What?  You didn't catch that?  Okay, fine.  *sigh*

Scott Bakula.

Shut up.

There was a love scene, I don't recall if it was in an episode of Quantum Leap or in the less-than-stellar football movie, Necessary Roughness, but my face went red and the pants got tingly and suddenly I didn't know where to look.

I think it may have been the latter, because I remember Mom took me and a bunch of kids from trailer park where we used to camp to the show, and I had a huge crush on one of the guys that came with us, even though he was two years older than me.  This may have added to my discomfort, since I had been inadvertently given new fodder for my inappropriate pubescent daydreams.

So how about you all?  Who was your first fantasy/crush/objet d'lust? (Je parle le francaise plus not real great)

Friday, June 10, 2011

An admittedly hyperbolic but not completely unfounded analogy...

Know what bugs me?  Movie theatres.

They are cramped, overpriced and everyone knows that today's films are full of the sex and the violence and are destroying our children and our minds.

What really gets my panties in a bunch, though, is the knowledge that right now, there are people receiving welfare - that's right.. social assistance, money from the government, our hard-earned tax dollars - and using that money to go to the movies!

I don't ever feel the need to go to the movies. Why should MY hard-earned tax dollars go people who are too lazy to work and instead just want to spend all day inside a movie theatre, watching low-brow brain-cell killing so-called cinema? Sure, some people only go maybe once a month, but what about people who go EVERY DAY? No, if MY MONEY is supporting them, it should be going toward FOOD, and SHELTER and HEAT.

I'd like to see the government set up special ushers at every movie theatre in the country to check to make sure welfare recipients aren't using their money to go to the show. They could put special chips in welfare recipients, and scan every person as they go in. If you're caught going into a movie theatre, then you lose your assistance. Yes, these people may end up homeless on the street, or may end up resorting to petty crime to subsist and end up in jail where my tax dollars would end up supporting them anyway, and at a far higher cost than the average reciever of assistance. 

But think of how much welfare money we'd save!! I'm sure the cost to put a chip in every single recipient AND hire people to man the entrances to the theatres would surely be offset if we could just get those damn movie goers off the system!

REVISED: The preceding was a piece of satire in response to the florida welfare law that requires every new welfare recipient to submit to a drug test.  I don't actually have a problem with people on welfare going to the movies.  Sarcasm fail.

Basically, I hate the idea of people ripping off the system as much as anyone, but the drug testing law seems like a case of using carpet bombing to kill a few spiders.  If the study cited in this article is any indication, then the cost of mandatory testing will cost more than would be recouped by getting the drug users off the system:
As part of a pilot program in Jacksonville and parts of Putnam County from 1998 to 2001, 8,797 people applying or receiving welfare benefits were drug tested.
Of those, 335 tested positive, according to a Senate analysis of the bill.
Basically my point is this.  Tax dollars shouldn't go to recreational drug use.  Fair enough.  But what about other frivolous expenditures?  How far do we go to ensure that tax monies go only to food/shelter/heat and at what cost?  Do we cut off an arm to get rid of a hangnail?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Everything I Ever Needed to Know About Canadian Geography, I learned from Twitter.

Hilarious trending topic on Twitter today - #badprovincialmottos  Let's all come up with the worst provincial mottos we can think of.

My contributions:

Ontario: It's where the capital is! No, not Toronto.. Ottawa.. No.. OTTAWA.. Otta.. Oh fr' chrissakes...

Quebec: Britain's Angry Step-Child*

Prince Edward Island: Our Dirt is RED. And yeah, Potatoes.

Manitoba: J-Lo came here once.

Favorites from other Tweeters

Alberta: We Gave you Nickelback.  You're welcome.

Saskatchewan:  As Flat as Your Nine-Year-Old Daughter

Labrador: Not technically a province, but we try!

Alberta: We're Not As Racist As We Used To Be

Newfoundland: where everybody knows your name but outsiders can't understand you when you tell them

Manitoba: It's not always this cold. Sometimes it's colder.

Nova Scotia: We've Got Crabs! 

By now, some of you U.S. readers (and those further abroad) may be confused and or bored and about to click to go find some porn or pictures of cats.  So you can laugh along with our blatant stereotypes, heres a province by province tutorial.  I hereby present:

Canada according to Twitter.

British Columbia:  Weed.  More Weed.  Will someday sink into the ocean.

Alberta: Oil, a fuckton of Conservatives and Nickelback.

Saskatchewan:  Flat.  Regina rhymes with Vagina.

Manitoba:  Boring.  Often forgotten by school children learning the provinces. Big-assed mosquitoes.

Ontario:  Self-proclaimed centre of the universe.  Is really big.  People don't know what our capital is.

Quebec:  French people. Still pissed about the Conquest.

New Brunswick: It's there, and it's not Newfoundland

Newfoundland:  They talk funny.  Weird time zone.  No jobs.

Labrador: Technically not a province.  Kind of like that family member that no one likes to talk about.

Prince Edward Island:  Really small.  And there's potatoes.

Nova Scotia:  Named after a bank. Had a big explosion once.  Shaped like a lobster/penis.

Yukon:  Cold

Northwest Territories: Not quite a province.  Also Cold.

Nunavut: Still Cold.  No one can pronounce its capital (Iqaluit)

For your convenience, I've compiled a map of our main exports, by province. Click to Enlarge.

Remember kids, knowledge is power!

*No, really.  Think about it.  In the context of Mother Britannia, the United States is the kid that ran away because they didn't like the rules.  English Canada is the kid that stayed at home until they finally got told to "..get the hell out, get a real job because you're not staying around here, playing your video games all day and get a haircut, ya hippie!"  Quebec is the angry stepchild who didn't ask to be there anyway and "...besides you're not my real mom!!"

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A few quick thoughts on SlutWalk (or "Oh great.. here she goes again..")

I've really been wanting to write about this, but my thoughts on the situation have been a bit muddled.  It occurred to me that many people were not clear on what the point of it all really was.

I mean, many people by now have heard the story of the cop in Toronto who was reprimanded for telling a group of women that they can avoid being victimized by 'Not dressing like sluts.'  Naturally this pissed a lot of people as victim-blaming based on clothing choice, based on how much someone has chosen to drink... well, it's all old hat by now.

The name Slutwalk is problematic, yes.  There are historical contexts around the word that hold different meanings for people of different backgrounds and cultures.  My understanding of these contexts is, well, shoddy at best, so if it seems like I'm glossing over them, it's just because I have not done adequate research into the issues behind the etymology.  In the context of the Toronto walk, it made sense.

It's not about the right to dress "slutty" (well, it is.. but slutty is a subjective term... hold on, I'm getting ahead of myself.)  It's not about the right to sleep with whomever you want, whenever you want.  It's not about the idea of taking back the word "Slut" - something I myself am less than totally comfortable with.  Yes, making a word taboo can give it power to hurt, but taking away the taboo doesn't necessarily take away the sting.

Basically what it boils down to is this:
No mater {sic} who you are or what you do, EVERYBODY is a slut in somebody’s estimation, and that means that as long as our culture makes “sluts” rapeable, it is a threat to us all.
Basically, it's the idea that one's perception of whether or not someone dresses like, or is, a 'slut' is NOT a justification for assault, and that policing women on their manner of dress, even out of sincere concern, contributes to a culture that puts the onus for risk reduction on victims to protect themselves from rape and other forms of sexual assault, rather than on the people doing the assaulting.

Basically, a Yes is a Yes.  A short skirt is not a yes. A pair of yoga pants is not a Yes.  A MuuMuu is not a Yes.

But when people say things like "Look at that girls' skirt, she looks like she's 'asking for it'" or when we slut-shame each other, we turn it into a "Yes, but..."

"Yes, people shouldn't rape, but... if (girls wouldn't dress so slutty) (didn't drink so much) (didn't leave their drinks unattended) (didn't smile and flirt so much)... they wouldn't get raped"

This is victim-blaming.  This is rape apology.  The point of the Slutwalk is not to get dressed up in your sleaziest attire and strut your stuff (although I'm sure some did), but rather was to point out that anyone, at any time, can be branded a Slut and as such, in our current culture can face blame for their own victimization.  Me.  You.  Anybody.

I look so the sixties soccer mom today

I do, I look like a total sixties housewife today.  Sleeveless blouse, khaki pants, big headband.  Such a MOM.

I'm ten minutes early to work today so I'm making a quick post.  I've been kicking ass this week at the whole 'getting-the-kids-out-the-door-and-to-school-on-time' thing.  Most days, if we make it for the bell, it's a good morning.  Today and yesterday we were ten minutes early, even after picking up the girls' stepsister (because I'm the best ex-wife ever) yesterday, and spending ten minutes searching for my iPod today.  That with the garbage out, cats fed, beds made, AND house relatively tidy.

Maybe I'm going through some kind of undiagnosed manic thing.  *shrug*

The eldest child leaves for camp with her school tomorrow morning, so I'm aiming for another awesome morning like the past two so the bus doesn't leave without her.  This is her first over-nighter without me, her dad that isn't to her grandparents' place so I'm going a little 'emotional-mom' over the whole thing.

The awesome part is that about four different schools in the area are going, including their school from last year, so she'll get to see a lot of friends she hasn't seen in a while, plus a few of my friends kids who happen to go to different schools.

In the meantime, I get some additional one-on-one with the little one.

I put up a tire swing in the backyard for the girls, as I have a bunch of tires hanging around from the Aveo, plus a mystery tire that has been in my yard forever.  Despite the large number of trees in my yard, not a lot of them have what you would call incredibly strong branches.  It must have been a sight for my neighbors, me making repeated attempts, while streaming obscenitites, to toss a rope 15 feet into the air in hopes of actually catching the specific branch that I believe would hold the weight of both my daughters.

Eventually I got the rope around the branch a couple of times, and knotted it around the tire roughly six million times. Unfortunately, after a few test runs, the knots around the branches tightened themselves, and now the tire sits about a half-inch from the ground, so I'll be re-tying the tire portion tonight so my kids don't lose their legs as they get squished between the tire and the ground.

Well, the 9'oclock whistle has blown so I'm signing off.  Cheerio, all and enjoy this lovely day.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Move along folks, nothing to see here.

Hrm.  Yes.  Well, that's a little embarassing.

Sorry for the false alarm, folks.

Turns out it was a pulled muscle, after all.  Well, "Soft Muscle Damage" is what the doctor said, I think.  I didn't really hear much past "Your ultrasound was fine. There's no blood clot."

Advil, Aleve, whatever.  Let us know if it gets worse.

I'm good with that.

I have come to the conclusion that I may have a little bit of the ol' PTSD where my past health issues are concerned, as can be evidenced by my previous post.  I'll admit, I was not in the greatest of places last night.

Feeling much better now, thanks, and extra thanks for the support.



Thursday, June 2, 2011

Forgive me this moment of blatant self-pity

This day can go right to hell.

As I write this, I'm semi-perched in my computer chair with my leg resting on a leopard print pillow on top of my sadly-neglected Nevada amplifier.  I'm bent like a contortionist trying to keep my leg elevated.  My belly itches and aches at the needles entry point and will probably become a black and purple angry mess any moment now.

Why the Cirque Du Soleil act?  Good Question.

Right at this moment I grapple with the possibility that my blood cells, those belligerent, sticky little bastards, nay, those belligerent sticky motherfuckers have once again decide to conspire against me and throw a rather nasty wrench into my otherwise contented day-to-day.

Earlier today I checked myself into Emerg to investigate the pain I'd been experiencing in my leg since late yesterday morning.  Initially I had thought I was dealing with discomfort from bad shoes, what between my flats that are too worn, heels that I don't normally wear that are too tight and sandals that are too big.  Anyone of these things can screw with your posture and in turn your joints and muscles.  But given my history, after more than 24 hours of not excruciating, but definitely irritating pain that would not completely subside no matter how much I walked, stretched, shook and massaged the leg, I decided it would be prudent to see a doctor ASAP.  And since ASAP to my doctor's office means "In roughly 2-3 weeks" then the Emergency department it was.

Oh, yes.  Dear GBGH, is it too much to ask that you open up an extra 3-4 emergency parking spaces?  Bad enough I'm AT the hospital, but I have to pay five bucks for visitor parking as well?  P.S. Whatever they tell you about hospital wait times in Canada, take it with a grain of salt because it depends on the hospital.  I waited maybe an hour and a half before I saw the doctor.

So the scoop is this.  Until I can get an ultrasound tomorrow, they're treating it as another blood clot.

I was given a shot of Heparin by a nurse who told me that it would likely bruise, as though I hadn't had hundreds of these shots, most of them administered myself, often with better results than the nurses.  I'm no stranger to the vicious subcutaneous bruising that injectible bloodthinners are capable of creating, no sir.

So, suffice it to say, I'm freaking out a little.  There's still a chance that it could be something as innocuous as a pulled muscle, a hamstring perhaps?  Does anyone know where your hamstrings are?  But, being prone to worrying, I'm not real optimistic at this point. My head is swimming with the knowledge that if, worst case scenario this is another clot, I'll likely be put on anti-coagulants indefinitely.

Three times is the charm, folks.

It may also mean having to rethink my employment situation as a desk job is definitely not ideal when one has circulation issues.  Perhaps I could blog professionally?  What professions are there that don't involve A) sitting all day or B) standing all day?  I don't think I'm hardy enough for the trades.  Postal Worker perhaps? 

So as I sit and pity myself and worry myself into a state, I'm also having a glass of wine, since anti-coags mean that I'll have to say good bye to that, as well as a cold beer on a hot day.  I may have to take up pot again, just to get through certain social situations, especially those involving country music and or a large number of strangers.  Which is counterproductive anyway, since the reason I gave that up is its tendency to make me distinctly anti-social.

You ever see a girl sit in an empty room by herself for forty-five minutes, staring at a wall?  Yeah. That's why pot has never really been a big hit with me.

What? Fun without alcohol? I'm sorry, you must not have met my friend, Social Anxiety.  No, he won't shake hands, he's too worried about stroking out at any given moment. 

No, wait.  That's me.

I'm being a big flubbin' drama queen I know.  If this is indeed the worst case scenario, the blood clot, I'll be fine.  I'll deal with being on meds again, I'll figure out how to negotiate the work situation, and my implied reliance on alcohol as a social lubricant is mostly hyperbole for the sake of comedic value.  I'll miss wine, but I'll deal with it.  I'm not going to stroke out.  It's going to be fine, and I'll probably sell the computer and get a laptop.  Gotta keep those feet elevated, you know.

If my hamstrings would like to take the fall on this one though, that'd be super.