No Ordinary Princess

...anything but ordinary...

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Nightingale

There are flocks of nightingales in my small suburb this summer. I only just heard one for the first time a few summers ago in Reading, Pennsylvania on smoke breaks in my old ER. I finally heard one near my home last summer, across the railroad tracks from where I would walk Sadie late at night. I think I'd never heard anything more beautiful except the cooing of my son as an infant, his toddler's belly laugh.

I know the nightingale. I, too, am awake and alone in the middle of the night trying to create beautiful music.

Technorati tag: life

Help!

I need a real blogroll. My Google sidebar is nice but the blogrolling function stinks! I really like those that show up on people's sites with "**New**" or "**Updated**" on them.

Anybody have any suggestions? What do you use? Why do you like it? Down side and pitfalls?

Technorati tag: blogging

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Hope You Didn't Miss Out!

I sure hope you remembered to celebrate National Masturbation Month by participating in yesterday's Masturbate-a-Thon. If you didn't have a chance or forgot about it (though how one could forget is beyond me), it's only Sunday and it's a three-day weekend for much of the US so you have at least a whole day/night to make it up!

I participated grandly this evening. What I lacked in an attempt at a masturbate-a-thon record I made up for in quality, and that's what matters most to me.


Have a hand at it! Give it a stab! You never know what you might find!

Technorati tags: cunt-positive / humor / life / masturbation / self-awareness / sex-positive

Lest I Mislead Anyone

Lest I mislead anyone, don't assume I know what I'm talking about here.

I received a lovely comment from the mystery man who blogs at Refugee from Reason in response to my posts about not wanting Hillary Clinton to be the Democratic candidate for the presidency in 2008. Here is his gracious comment:

I'm a yellow dog Democrat whose worst nightmare is Hillary versus Condi. For the record, I covered the Nixon impeachment proceedings for one of the nation's leading newspapers (not the Post). And, dare I say it, Nixon's not looking too bad these days. It would be marvelous to impeach Bush, but then we have Cheney. And if he were gone, we'd have Hastert.

The nation is in dreadful shape, as you are so clearly aware. Notwithstanding the polls, I'm not entirely certain that the citizenry has the will or the understanding to effect the changes necessary to place us on the correct course, whatever that may be at this point. Yes, I wouldn't at all mind seeing Al Gore in the White House, or Bill Richardson or John Kerry or even Joe Biden. But even then I wonder if our political system is so rife with rancor that we'll recover in the next decade; certainly it'll be tough for whoever is President next to undo what's been done.

I take solace, however: I was fortunate enough to cover Washington when the likes of Proxmire, Mansfield, Dirksen, Scott, et al were there. Those memories of sharp policy driven legislation give me some hope that there'll be a new cycle one day. Further, we are, after all, a young nation, relative to Western Europe and still have much maturing to do.

Keep it up.

Refugee from Reason
Here is how little I know about politics...I had to go Google "yellow dog Democrat" to find out what it is. Of course, it makes perfect sense once you read it, but I had no idea.

I don't want anyone to think I'm some wise political pundit. I'm an ER nurse. I will soon be a Nursing Informatics nurse or an ER nurse in a different ER pursuing a degree in Nursing/Health Care Informatics or Law (can't make up my damned mind!). I stretch out here from the corner of my sofa and spout off. I'd like to think I do that fairly well. I have keen instincts and intuition and I can "read" people well
but I am not someone with immense political know-how or savvy. If that's what you want, you'll have to look elsewhere.

What I am is a woman with opinions, with a strong sense of fairness and of right and wrong. I am a moral woman who tries to live her life by The Golden Rule. I am a woman with a big mouth who's learning to use it. What I am is sickened, saddened, disgraced and alarmed by what I've seen happening in our country (because whether the right wing likes it or not, middle-class, progressive or liberal folks like myself have every bit as much right to claim it as they do) and the direction we've taken in the past several years. Need I mention a start date for my disillusionment? Suffice it to say I have finally been motivated to put an actual bumper on the actual bumper of my car (not in the back window) and here is that bumper sticker:


Cafe Press Beat Bush Gear


I'll be danged if I could figure out how to put the link to Beat Bush Gear in that photo. I'll get it yet, though. I'm still learning. I'm learning about a lot of things. I'm learning about American and world politics. (I don't want to hear any smart-assed "old dog, new tricks" comments, please!) Are you surprised that a middle-aged woman who has just become a grandmother should be talking about learning new things, about going to college or law school? If so, shame on you...you shouldn't be. I have the rest of my life ahead of me. Shall I throw myself into my child and family and stagnate until I die or shall I push ahead into new, uncharted territory and take a chance of making a fool of myself? I'd choose the latter. As the old song says, "It's better to burn up than to fade away." I just can't picture myself fading away.

In answer to the points raised by my much more politically savvy amigo...

To be honest, I hadn't considered the real-life implications of a Bush impeachment and the presidential line of succession. I don't approach even a remote level of comfort in that list until I get to the vicinity of Dirk Kempthorne, and I haven't seen enough of his action as Secretary of the Interior to have a firm opinion. I know the environmentalists were not happy about his appointment but some of them wouldn't be happy unless Rachel Carson herself returned from beyond and ran the department with Al Gore as her deputy-secretary. Let's just say that those Idahoans are quirky and libertarian enough that I might be able to meet them in the middle somewhere.

The fact of the matter is, there's not a snowball's chance in hell that Bush will ever be impeached, unless all their dirty, little secrets [here's another one...Bush lies! ("Oh, my!")] are leaked out of the closet. And, although I have wet dreams about just that, it's not real likely to happen. So, I feel safe leaving my "Impeach Bush" ribbon up there. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act has a better chance of making it through Congress than do articles of impeachment against George W. Bush.

I am in near complete agreement with the second paragraph, especially the part about Joe Biden. I've long been a fan of the senior Senator from Delaware. He seems a stand-up guy. I've been surprised he hasn't been considered more seriously for the presidency but then I've known about him for a long time having always lived in a neighboring state. Whoever crosses that threshold next will have his work cut out. (I told ya I don't think it will/can be a woman this time.) The horrendous damage done to the Supreme Court alone, in the form of Samuel Alito (text of Planned Parenthood v. Casey, Third Circuit opinion and Alito's partial concurrence, partial dissent) and John Roberts
could leave us scraping off Bush's droppings for decades to come though I insist on maintaining a slender thread of hope that the overwhelmingly conservative tilt of the current court might push Roberts toward a more moderate position.

I can only recall Proxmire, Dirksen and, of course, Nixon from the passel my commenter named. It's not important to me that I remember exactly which great, democratic leader performed which Herculean task. What
is important to me is the impression I had of the government of the United States during my early and formative years. Senators and Congressmen/women were civil to each other. Strenuous debate and open dissent were accepted, even encouraged, yet an opponent's viewpoint was not denigrated. There was respect in both houses of Congress. There was dignity and civility in the White House, as well.

I think back as far as I can and always envision grace associated with the presidency. Kennedy was elected when I was three-and-a-half, was shot when I was five-and-a-half but I can remember the Kennedy years. Civility. Johnson...well, maybe civility isn't quite the word for him but a certain sort of 'decency,' in a perverted sense of the word, might do. 'Decency' in the sense of advocating for passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Medicare amendment to the Social Security Act. Nixon, though a sneak and liar (is that a Republican thang?) was still a civil man. Gerald Ford...can't say anything about his presidency stands out for me except for the fact that he fell down a lot and that a "Squeaky" woman tried to kill him. At least he wasn't an asshole.

James Earl Carter, Jr. is one of my all-time heroes and must be one of the most civil, decent souls on earth. If I could meet any person alive today, I think it would be him, just to say, "Thanks." Carter got a bum rap in '80. (Here's the official, White House site for Carter.)

Reagan...civil.

G. H. W. Bush, aka Bush I...civil.

Clinton...always courteous and civil...maybe not quite
always 'decent.'

Hmmm...so just when
did utter arrogance; total disregard for the will of the greater portion of American citizens; complete disrespect for international laws, treaties, conventions and governing bodies; a messianic call to complete the task God has set before Him...I mean him...and a zero-tolerance policy toward dissent and reasoned debate replace civility in government? All hail George, Holy American Emperor. It's hard to believe it's only been five years. It feels more like a lifetime.

We can do better, America. We need to be able to openly disagree with our elected (shall we remind them they
are elected?) leaders without fear that our wive's security will be compromised. We need to stop our own human rights abuses before we call others to task for torture, inhumane treatment and 'disappearing.' We need to staunch our own full-tilt hurtle toward fundamentalist religious statehood and restore true democracy here at home before we can successfully export it.

Well, I've rambled long enough this night-into-morning. The nightingales have been replaced by cardinals and robins and song wrens and I must get to sleep. My body must think I'm back on night shift.

I just wanted to dispel any impression that I actually
know anything about this. I am, after all, a simple ER nurse. I can only save one life at a time, not a whole country. Keep on tuning in if you want to hear the opinions of a quirky middle-aged woman with great instincts who has a computer and a big mouth and is not afraid to use them. Grab a cup of coffee and a scone and pull up a chair. If you're looking for the sagacity of political people "in-the-know," well, there a whole list of them over to your left. Surf your socks off!

Technorati tags: blogging
/ life / US politics / world politics

I've Got That Post in the Pipeline

Well, the post I promised is in the works, the one with my new, little drop-down text box. : ) But it's getting way too late to do it tonight (this morning) with work in the AM. It has to do with the insightful and encouraging comment left by the blogger who writes at Refuge from Reason on my post Here's the Deal.

To the commentor, thanks for the lovely, motivational words. You've given me more to chew on than I properly could on this only one day off. I love your site and am sorry to hear The DaVinci Code sucked. (My word, not his.) Also, I've stolen your link to The Institute of Official Cheer (hilarious) and you've got some great music links on your site!

I promise it's coming! I only work tomorrow then have at least Monday and Tuesday. Writing that post sounds like a great way to spend my Memorial Day. That and maybe finally figuring out how to grill a decent pork rib. Ahhh...garden salad, sauteed asparagus, egg potato salad. I can taste it now.

Until then, this is Technorati tagged: blogging / humor / life / US politics, if you follow the link to the comment.

I Have a Dream

I take surveys. I've always loved them. I enjoy standardized tests, too. Is this odd? I like neatly filling in little ovals and circles. I like having a system for test-taking and performing well under pressure. I like precision. Why do you think Emergency nursing appealed to me? That's why I think venturing into nursing informatics would be a good match for me, too. Precision. I enjoy surveys so much I even subscribe to MySurvey.com. (I feel like I just let out a dirty secret. Oh no, that was an earlier post.) I get to feel as if I've contributed to society...admittedly, in a totally inconsequential, superficial way...and I get paid for it. Sort of. Once I save up 140,000 reward points I can get a GE Advantium oven! I anticipate delivery around 2024.

I went to MySurvey last night and completed a survey. Afterward I toodled around the site a bit. I checked out the rewards I might someday earn. That's where I found the oven. I'm sure this is the next "microwave." Convection? Pah! Give me halogen bulbs! That way, when the FDA eventually bans them because of the horrible carcinogenicity of foods cooked with halogen bulbs, I'll be able to retire comfortably on the settlement from the class action suit.

Hey, I didin't say it was a good retirement plan.

I fed my soul by checking out the charities to which I could make a contribution with my reward points. My conscience tells me to donate them to some worthy cause. My heart tells me I want to retire in Barbados. Last time I had checked, there weren't any charities which really appealed to my bleeding heart liberal sentiments. Not so tonight. I wandered over to the I Have a Dream Foundation. Established 20 years ago, this foundation offers tangible social and emotional support, motivation and financial assistance to groups of underprivileged children. Basically, a class of students or a group of children from an area (a "housing project" is cited) is "adopted" for the 12 to 16-year term of the 'project.'

::timeline...several hours later::

I went off on a tangent trying to find out more about the I Have a Dream Foundation. I like the concept. I remember hearing of similar programs sponsored by wealthy individuals or groups. A major sponsor of this charity is the H. N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation. Trying to find out more about the foundation or the executives of I Have a Dream on the internet has been like pulling teeth. I guess that's one of the privileges money can afford...keeping your identity private despite great wealth.

The Berger Foundation is a tough nut to crack. Their stated purpose is as follows:
The basis Mr. and Mrs. Berger used in establishing their foundation was to provide people with the opportunity to improve their own situations.
That's certainly laudable. I agree with helping others to learn to help themselves. I agree with giving people, starting from early in their lives, the tools they'll need to 'succeed,' to find fulfilment and happiness in their lives and to make a contribution to the greater good. I checked out a couple of other charities the foundation supports, including the Appalachian College Association and Alice Lloyd College. Alice Lloyd College was founded by Alice Spencer Geddes Lloyd. She has an interesting history:

The College is named for its founder, Alice Spencer Geddes Lloyd, who came to the Eastern Kentucky mountains from her native Boston. Early in her career, she was a writer for local newspapers and periodicals. In 1902, Miss Geddes was publisher and editor of The Cambridge Press, the first publication in America with an all-female staff.

Her first efforts at the Ivis Community Center in Knott County, Kentucky, were to provide health care, educational services, and agricultural improvements to the region. One year later, Mrs. Lloyd, with her mother, moved to Caney Creek at the behest of local resident Abisha Johnson, who offered her land on which to build a school.

Alice Lloyd's dictum, "The leaders are here," became the inspirational impetus for what is now Alice Lloyd College. She was joined three years later by June Buchanan, a native of Syracuse, New York. Miss Buchanan served the ccollege until her death in 1988 at the age of 100. The college was chartered in 1923 as Caney Junior College and became a four-year institution in 1980. Since then, hundreds of students have earned baccalaureate degrees and scores more have continued to complete graduate and professional programs at little or no personal cost. Many those graduates have returned to the mountains as teachers, physicians, attorneys, and community leaders.

The above information was shamelessly pilfered from PND, or Philanthropy News Digest, which is a part of The Foundation Center. I used to date a development person, a woman who was a fundraiser by profession. It's fascinating stuff, really, this world of worthy, non-profit organizations hitting up the wealthiest corporations and members of society for a helping hand. Ideally, individual, family and corporate foundations would (should?) be the backbone of non-profit funding. In my perfect world, people who had more would naturally gravitate toward sharing their abundance with the less fortunate. It's a damn shame it doesn't seem to happen that way more.

Ah, I sense myself stumbling down the path toward a class rant and will stop myself here.

It's interesting to note the following about Miss Lloyd...
She was joined three years later by June Buchanan, a native of Syracuse, New York. Miss Buchanan served the ccollege until her death in 1988 at the age of 100.
Can we say "Boston marriage?" I sometimes wish I lived in the days when relationships like Boston marriages (that's a great article from MS Magazine on platonic "housemate" relationships) were tolerated, not quite accepted but tolerated. Today, there is more acceptance of same-sex relationships but much less tolerance. I'd rather be more ignored than abhored, thanks.

Back to the Berger Foundation and I Have a Dream. I still don't know what to make of them. Much of what I've found associated with these organizations and the people at the helm smacks of either moderate Republican or "New Democrat," neither of which thrills me. I really would like to lend a hand to those in need but I'm just so damned picky!

Technorati tags: feminism / humor / "isms" / lesbian / life / sexuality / US politics / women

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Testing my little drop-down text box

Hello there,

I am a fledgling computer geek. I have to keep typing in here to reach the bottom limit of my text box to see if the overflow will work. I just wrote this html tag for a drop-down text box for Blogger. I sure do hope this works. This was really fun. I like going to sites and picking up bits and pieces of what I can do then figuring out how to make it work here. I guess I haven't reached the lower limit of the scroll box, which is set at 100 px. I have, really, no idea how big 100 px is except that it must be 1/6th the width of this box, since that it set at 600 pixels. I want to reference something in a post but don't want it to be a mile long. I thought this was a good solution and have spent the past hour or so figuring it out. Look over to the left for the Red Burka button, a tag I created to link to Tennessee Guerilla Women, an organization I support.

I wound up changing the width to 475 px because it looked better and doesn't lead to a horizontal scroll on the page with my Google sidebar.

Oh, yes! I can't believe it actually worked! Time for me to go do a hoochie-coochie dance around the living room then finally write that post I've been thinking about.

Woo-hoo! I'm going to become a geek yet!

Congratulate me! ; )

Technorati tags: blogging / computing / life /

Here's the Deal

If we've got to have Hillary in '08, can we please get someone else to dress her? Bill's obviously not doing a very good job of it.

Remember those hats from the 70's, the knit ones with the giant, plastic sequins sewn on them? Who decided it would be a good idea to recycle them? Please tell me this isn't going to be the new, hot trend, unless it's for a new micro-bikini. Now, two of those little discs, strategically placed...that, I could see.

Even the infamous blue, stained dress had to look better than this.

Can we say, "What Not to Wear?"

All kidding aside, this pic is from the Democratic Leadership Council's website. Funny, but the "New Democrat" Credo reminds me a lot of the GOP of old. Remember when we thought Newt was bad? Who ever thought we might look back, nostalgically, on those as the good, old days. The buffoons on the Hill now make Gingrich look like a proper centrist, don't they? And what I've seen of Hillary of late has me wondering how much further she has to go to meet Newt in the middle.

Technorati tags: bitchy / humor / US politics / women

Friday, May 26, 2006

Oh. My. God.

I just found my "check page links" function!

Oh. My. God!

I am such an incompetent boob sometimes! Where have I been?

ROFLMSAO!

Oh, and I'll add the tags in the morning. I'm tired now! ; P

Technorati tags: blogging / computing / humor / life

If You Have Ever...

...worked in healthcare, particularly in an acute care setting, you have got to read this!

This...woman......is...funnier...than...shit! (And we all know how funny that can be!)

After you've sipped from the chalice, you'll want to drink deeply from the well.

Enjoy!

Technorati tags: blogging / feminism / humor / life / nursing / nurturing / women

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Time to Add a Medical / Nursing Category

Via the Women's Bioethics Blog, I found the following fascinating sites:

Blogborygmi appealed to me because it's the writings of an Emergency Medicine resident in New York City. Who knew they could write? Great site, I'm sure it's rafters and cellars are packed with oodles of interesting stories.

That led me to head nurse, the journal of a neuroscience nurse. I like the way she lays it out, "
Brain on the top, spine down the back." You didn't know we had to have little memory joggers like that, did you? ; ) Oh, and she's got some great links. Yah, she's a feminist!

From head nurse, I made my way to Career Consulting for Physicians, by Ivo Drury. How curious I should wind up there in the midst of my mid-life career reevaluation and transition. I wonder if he counsels nurses... Still, an interesting concept, person and blog.

Finally, through Blogborygmi, I trotted on over to Medgadget. How delightful! My favorite combination, medicine/science and technology! You know I'll be keeping tabs.

Technorati tags: blogging / health and science / life / nursing / self-awareness

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

No Hillary in 2008

Okay, I'm just throwing this out there but...are people crazy? Does anyone really believe that Hillary Rodham-Clinton, a woman, can win the White House in 2008? I appreciate all the woman has done and everything she's suffered through. I've not been terribly pleased with her move toward centrism in recent months, which has felt more to me like pandering to the enemy. I would love to see a woman as president of this country and feel it's long overdue but I doubt the American voting public is going to agree that Hillary in 2008 is the right woman at the right time.

Aside from making recent overtures to the right, she's got too much of a too recent past. The American public doesn't forget that easily or that soon, especially when there's illicit sex involved. An impeachment? First one in a century? I know it wasn't Hillary on the hot seat but the taint is there and it exists still. People know. People remember. I don't think people will elect her.

Why not look toward a black candidate, like Illinois' Barack Obama, for some fresh blood. How about good, old Al Gore, who would be a shoe-in on the sympathy and righting past wrongs votes alone! Thanks to Crooks and Liars (gotta love 'em!) for the link to the SNL video on a Parallel Universe in which Al was granted the presidency in 2000...

I thought it was a mistake for GLBT groups to push the issue of same-sex marriage in 2000 and 2004. It wasn't the time; it was too soon. And look what it's brought us. Think about it, Democrats. Do we want to make a point and lose or do we want someone who will move this country forward for a change? That might not be Hillary, not in 2008.

Just my two cents.

Technorati tags: bitchy / feminism / lesbian / US politics / women

Good News for Girls and Women

This is an article from the Philadelphia Inquirer from Friday, May 19, 2006. I practically jumped up and whooped about this in the restaurant when I read it. A local pharmaceutical firm, Merck, received a unanimous recommendation for approval from the medical advisory panel for the US Food and Drug Administration for a vaccine against the sexually-transmitted Human Papillomavirus. Gardasil, the new vaccine, could be approved for introduction and use by mid-summer, according to the Inquirer article.

In case you're not familiar with HPV, here is the very interesting CDC fact sheet on Genital HPV Infection. I find it very interesting the way this governmental agency must pussyfoot around with the wording:
"HPV infection can occur in both male and female genital areas that are covered or protected by a latex condom, as well as in areas that are not covered. While the effect of condoms in preventing HPV infection is unknown, condom use has been associated with a lower rate of cervical cancer, an HPV-associated disease."
C'mon. Why can't they just come out and say what we all know...if you're going to have sex with it, put a glove on it. Regardless of the lack of data on the effectiveness of condoms in the prevention of HPV (or any other STD) transmission, it can't hurt to use a condom! Where, oh where is Joycelyn Elders when you need her? Now that was a woman who wouldn't be afraid to put a Trojan on a cucumber in front of a bunch of 15 year-olds! Oh, that's right, she was forced out by the fundamentalist religious right. Damn!

There are some other helpful resources available at the CDC website on HPV.

Here is the fact sheet for the HPV Vaccine.

And this is the main CDC page for HPV. Very interesting stuff here. Now, if they could just do without the continual abstinence-is-the-only-way message and involve themselves in the real world...

Regardless, it's about time someone got moving on this. Despite the way the CDC seems to be downplaying the risk of developing cervical cancer from HPV infection, any case of cancer from a preventable cause should be prevented if it's within our ability. I sure would have taken a vaccine as a kid to reduce my risk of contracting the two strains of a virus that causes up to "70 percent of cervical cancers" (according to the Inquirer article) as a sexually active adult.

The vaccine also protects against the transmission of genital warts caused by two strains of HPV. I happened into a Merck drug representative when I was at my hospital for a committee meeting yesterday. (Thanks for the pen! : ) We got to talking about the vaccine and he told me their research indicates near 100% efficacy of the vaccine. Of course, longer-term follow-up studies will ultimately tell the tale of safety and efficacy but it's all very exciting news for women and girls the world over.

Now, on to that breast cancer vaccine, the HIV vaccine.....

Technorati tags: feminism / health care / lesbian / US politics
/ women's health

Addendum: Thanks to Women's Bioethics Project Blog for the link to this article about potential religious right opposition to Gardasil.

Via my Site Meter

I have discovered that this is the number one result for the Google search, "i am a middle aged woman who loves to masturbate." To think someone might have been to this site and that was the best or only way they could remember to get back? Sad, I think, but I'm not sure for whom.

And, lest anyone get the wrong impression, I love sex. Primarily, I'd prefer that experience to be a mutually enjoyable experience with one other female human. Given the fact that I've been single for a while and haven't historically done otherwise meaningless sexual encounters, that means the sex I have lately is of the masturbatory type. I wouldn't necessarily categorize myself as "a woman who loves to masturbate" but as "a woman who loves sex" and, since I'm single, that means solo sex for now.

No, I'm not taking offers for otherwise meaningless sexual encounters right now. If that policy changes, I'll be sure to post.

Technorati tags: blogging / humor / life / masturbation / sex-positive / sexuality

Oh, The Places I've Been!

I've discovered some of the most interesting places tonight, all thanks, originally, to Alas (a blog).

Through "Blogs that link here," I was drawn into the world of the Pinko Feminist Hellcat. How could I resist a post title that included all the words, "fault," (either definition) "vagina" and "bitch?" Could you? Just reading her biography was enough to make me want to go back, and I will.

Reading her blogroll led me to Pandagon, but not before a detour through Jedmund's (it's emphySema that'll get you) old site to Blue Girl in a Red State. Another side trip found me, once again, at Shakespeare's Sister. Funny how often I wind up at sites that are part of the Big Brass Alliance, huh?

Anyway, the ultimate adventure tonight was finding my way from Blue Girl to StripGenerator dot com. This has got to be just about one of the coolest things I've ever found out there. You can go create your own comic strip! For all of us wannabe geeks, this is the brass ring. I don't have to pretend to know how to draw, don't have to conceive of backgrounds. I can choose my characters, create their identities and make them do and say pretty much what I want. A control freak's wet dream! And, no, I haven't yet played with it to the point of creating a strip but I sure know where it's at now.

I hope you have as much fun out there as I have this evening. Peace. Love. Women. All that jazz.

Technorati tags: blogging / feminism / humor / US politics

Monday, May 22, 2006

Thanks TGW!

If you've got a moment to spare and want to yuk it up big time, head on over to Crooks and Liars to check out the SNL animated skit on presidential outtakes! Hilarious!

I got there via Tennessee Guerilla Women, fighting the good fight down south!

Technorati tags: bitchy / feminism / humor / US politics / women

Feathers, Pillows and Clouds

Wow! I'm still flush with excitement! I decided, just for the heck of it, to click on "Blogs the link here" on my Technorati stuff. I figured it would just be me. On the rare occasions I've checked that stuff, the links are almost universally my own. Lord knows I've tried to let my little world know how I was spending...or wasting, it's all a matter of perspective...my time.

I turned near as red as my shirt when I found I am linked over at Patricia Kirby's Ramblings from the Desert and found that not only is there a link there...I actually made her list of "Folks!" Oh, someone fan me, please! "I was walking on clouds. Now I'm walking on feathers on pillows on clouds," or some such nonsense from the movie Roxanne. (Loved that flick!)

I mean we're talking a writer here, folks. Not your simple, run-of-the-mill muse-meister like me. This is a woman who's been paid actual cash money for what she does! And she's got a mouth like a gutter tramp. And she got a tongue sharp as a scimitar. And she's got a wit quick as a bolt of lightning. And she is funnier than hell! What's not to like? It's everything I love most in a woman! Check her out...I guarantee you the howling you'll hear will not be the coyotes, it'll be your own howls of laughter!

Wow! I'm so humbled!

Technorati tags: blogging
/ humor / life

Sunday, May 21, 2006

I hate to admit it, but...

...I like Joni Mitchell. That's "like" as in I love to sing her songs, not as in I'd like to date her.
But tell me, does she really still wear her hair like this??

Time for a new do, Joni!

Technorati tags: bitchy / humor / life

So Much for Good Intentions

What did Dad used to say? "You put shit in one hand and good intentions in the other..." I promised myself I'd get to bed at a reasonable hour and it's now three o'clock AM. Sounds pretty reasonable, especially since the last two nights have been 8 and 7:30 AM, respectively. So, although I had all sorts of goodies planned, I spent too much time at Bad-Assed Girls, playing with my WordPress blog and adding to links here to be able to come up with a post or two. You can check out MadMom and Mutt or BAGs in the meantime, if you'd like.

Hopefully, i will see the other side of noon this morning. Look for more in the coming few days.

Maybe it was, "You put wish in one hand and shit in the other...."

(Disclaimer: I will not attest to the veracity of those links until the morning, late morning or early afternoon.) (Link veracity-check)

No, wait. "The road to hell is paved with good intentions." Or was that "shit?"

(No Spellcheck was used in the typing of this post)

Technorati tags: blogging / life

Friday, May 19, 2006

A Good Day, as Far as I Can Tell

Yep, today was a good day...what I saw of it anyway. I finally fell asleep around 8AM with the laptop open on my lap in bed. Fortunately, I woke up five hours later in the exact same position and Lil' Bessie here suffered no harm. As my final waking act, I'd clicked "publish" on that last post, which is now duly proofread and corrected. I was aghast at how abysmal my spelling can be when I'm semi-conscious!

Needless to say, I did not see morning today, except for that part between midnight and 8. I crawled out of bed around 3-ish, did dogly duties and headed to my diner for "linner." Today, I couldn't even rationalize it as "brunch."
There are no pressing garden tasks. I've planted everything except my cut flower bed, the black willow I bought to memorialize my dad and my tomatoes, watermelon, canteloupe and marigolds. Oh, I think I want some chives, too. They are all no biggies, though, and I have the luxury of being off until next Thursday so life stretches out before me on this dreamy Friday evening full of hope and promise. Sounds like it's time to entirely blow the evening organizing my photos and catching up on my favorite blogs.

Yep, a good day.

Technorati tag: life

The Long, Dark Nights of the Soul

I've had trouble sleeping since last fall. I've been taking Lunesta since late December, after Dad was diagnosed with mesothelioma. Thank God for a long-term prescription sleep medication. The last time I had a bout of insomnia, three or four years ago, I was taking Benadryl every time I needed to sleep. I was working night shift then (7PM-7AM's) so that meant a lot of Benadryl. My family physician told me Benadryl (diphenhydramine), taken regularly for longer than a couple of weeks, actually interferes with the Delta cycle of sleep thus resulting in less effective sleep. I tried Ambien but it didn't keep me asleep long enough. Lunesta does.

But it feels like it's time to let Lunesta go. I've cut back to one tablet (the dosage for me is two or three tablets)
. Last night, I didn't take any though I did take Benadryl for the side effects of a steroid injection I got a couple weeks ago.

My therapist told me I shouldn't fight it and just stay up all night if that's how it works out. That's how it worked out last night. I seem very receptive to "processing" in the wee hours. Maybe it's the stillness. Perhaps it's the nightingale that's singing in our woods. Maybe it's simply because I can't garden in the dark. Last night, I decided to take my therapist's advice. That's why it's 8 AM and I'm still up, typing away. This is a wonderful outlet.

I stayed up, typing and sufring away until the nightingale was drowned out or chased to bed by the morning birds and the sleepiness threatened to overtake me. Then I walked Sadie at 6 AM, following a thundershower (the earth smelled wonderful!). Then I showered. Now I'm waiting for my hair to dry so I don't wake up with it sticking up in all sorts of odd directions.

It's nearly dry and I'm exhausted so it's time for me to go. Now I can lay me down to rest clean, sated, conscience clear, content and in peace, my soul unfettered.

Technorati tags: life / middle-age / self-awareness / spirituality

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Masturbate-a-Thon, 'Coming' Soon

May is National Masturbation Month.


Did you know that? Have you been participating?


Why should you masturbate? Let's hear what masturbation pioneer
and guru, (Well, I guess she didn't invent the wheel but she sure showed us how to ride! ; ) Betty Dodson has to say on the subject...


Why Masturbate?

[POST THIS ON ALL BULLETIN BOARDS] (I wonder if she means the ones at work, too. I could post it on the one in the bathroom.)

1. Because masturbation is immensely pleasurable, invigorating, rejuvenating and fun.

2. Because masturbation proclaims that sex is good in, by, and for itself.

3. Because masturbation makes you a better lover.

4. Because you can have more sex more often.

5. Because sexual pleasure is each person's birthright.

6. Because masturbation is the ultimate safe sex.

7. Because masturbation is a joyous expression of self love.

8. Because masturbation offers numerous health benefits including menstrual cramp relief, stress reduction, endorphin release, stronger pelvic muscles, reduction of prostate gland infection for men and resistance to yeast overgrowths for women.

9. Because masturbation is an excellent cardiovascular workout.

10. Because each person is their own best lover.

11. Because masturbation with a partner can be educational and hot.

12. Because masturbation increases sexual awareness.

I adore number 5 and I could always rationalize with number 9! Gotta love Betty!


If you've gotten enough practice in so far this month, you might be primed and ready to participate in the Masturbate-a-thon on Sunday, May 27, 2006. All proceeds from the San Francisco event (well, monetary proceeds, anyway), will benefit the SF based Center for Sex and Culture, which co-sponsors the event with Good Vibrations.

If you've never been to Good Vibes, either in person or by phone, catalog or internet, you must go there now! Especially if you're a woman who's never masturbated or been to Good Vibes, you may not proceed without doing one or the other. I'm serious. I've written a code into the html to prevent people who've never masturbated and/or never been to Good Vibes from continuing with this post.

Sorry, Dubya, Dick and Don.


If you won't be able to make it to a Masturbate-a-thon venue, to participate or to spectate, you can still partake, one way or another, in the privacy of your own home. Just remember to bring yourself some flowers and a nice bottle of wine. At least rent a video, damnit. Cheapskate! (I had to change the link for "video" because it wouldn't take you to my video wish list on CAYA.com. Darn. It's pretty much the whole lesbian video library.)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

On a related note, you have heard about the religious conservatives' war on masturbation
, haven't you? Here's the proof of the vast right-wing conspiracy presented by that pentultimate nemesis, Bill O'Reilly. (Oh, and don't miss the Keith Olberman's video interview with the creators of Sweet Jesus, I Hate Bill O'Reilly.com.) What are you doing to stop the war on masturbation? Get those hands busy, Missy! Idle hands are the devil's workshop and all that. Only you can prevent the end of self-love as we know it!

If you need advice, wit, toys, lube, safer sex supplies, great graphics and an easily navigable site (clear, largish print, for those in the Golden Years) check out Come as You Are., the place where these lovely buttons are for sale! They have a great selection of videos. Be sure to check out the lesbian flicks, if you lean my way.

God bless those crazy Canucks! Canada is sounding better all the time.

In the mean time, I think I'll go perform my training ritual. May 27th is only days away. Adds a whole new visual to the term, "practicing homosexual," now, doesn't it?

Technorati tags: masturbation / women / feminism / sex-positive / cunt-positive / self-awareness / lesbian

"I Love my Woman's Body" ***UPDATED***


I posted a couple days ago on loving my woman's body, literally and figuratively, and about crying after orgasm. Imagine my delight this evening when I was exploring Betty Dodson.....well, her site, at least...and found an "Ask Betty" question that fit my situation exactly. Nice to know I'm

"doing great."



Technorati tags: women / sex-positive / masturbation / cunt-positive / feminism

My New Ribbon

I managed to get to The Pissed-Off Progressive wandering around the internet this early-afternoon. I hereby admit I stole the idea from that site via the Impeach Bush Coalition. I also admit I'm not going to take the time right now, since my dog needs a walk, my belly is growling and my garden is loudly calling my name, to investigate these site further but the first impression is very good. This handy-dandy post sure will be convenient when I come back later to check them out.

As much as I don't want to be reactionary, I'm really starting to think impeachment may become the only viable option to stop this madman and return some semblance of sanity to American politics. He's run roughshod over our country, economy, international relationships, Constitution, civil rights, bodies, Supreme Court, etc., ad nauseum, for too long. I once held out hopes that we could survive until the 2008 election and then work on repairing the damage. But he's done so much harm in five years and has so little to lose, I can no longer see any other option. I'm really beginning to think censure or impeachment may be the only option to stop the madness and get our country back on the right track.

I'm sure to be posting more on this as I ruminate over it in coming weeks. Try to contain your enthusiasm.


Now, this is one even I might consider "taking for the team!"


Technorati tags: humor / US Politics

Blogroll, of Sorts

I started this really great post after work tonight, then I got sidetracked. You know how it is. One blog leads to another and, the next thing you know, it's 3 AM. I hope I can recreate the thought stream in the morning. Afternoon, more likely. At least I've created a way for me to conveniently access my favorite blogs until I can figure out how to interact with BlogRolling. I also hope to figure out del.icio.us and Technorati for tags, categories and such. Good thing I have a week off!

In case you didn't figure it out, I feel particularly drawn to Tennessee Guerilla Women. This seems like a wonderful collection of women fighting the good fight for what they (and I) believe in and they're not just about Tennessee. I've shown my appreciation in a tangible way, via negotiable US currency. I hope you'll keep tabs on them a while and maybe feel moved to do the same.

Now, if only the weather isn't perfectly gorgeous today (supposed to be mostly sunny and 74...uh-oh!) and I don't get sidetracked in the garden all day, you just might get that promised, and eagerly anticipated, next really great post.

Two nightingales are singing for me to go to bed...

Technorati tags: blogging / feminism / life / US politics / women

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

I Love my Woman's Body

I masturbate. There, I've admitted it.

In case you hadn't heard, May is National Masturbation Month. Go ahead, spill that seed while you still can.

I am a living, breathing middle-aged woman. I am a grandmother (photos immediately foisted upon any who breathe even a whiff of a request, so be careful). I feel. I appreciate my mind, which is keen. I appreciate my spirit, which is open and willing. I appreciate my senses, which allow me to interact with the world. I appreciate my body, which is a marvel of chemical engineering, whether by design or chance.
I have been aware of my sexuality since about the age of five. By that I mean aware of myself as a sexual creature, not aware of the fact I am a lesbian. That came much later. I spent a number of years single while raising my son. I've been single for the past two years which has been the greatest gift I've yet given myself. As a healthy woman who loves sex, of course I masturbate.

In recent months, I've taken to sometimes crying after orgasm. There have been reasons for this sadness, primarily the loss of my dad, who passed away in March, one month to the day before the birth of my grandson.
God's irony is sometimes hard to bear. I have been in private psychotherapy for almost two years. The progress I've made, especially since Dad was diagnosed with mesothelioma in December, has been difficult and painful. I've identified some of the feelings associated with those tears...grief that it took my father's illness and death to help me get to a place where such intense feeling is possible, fear that I'll never be able to share these overwhelming emotions with someone rather than as a solo pursuit. Not fear that I'll "never meet Ms. Right," whoever she is, but fear that the emotional block would always prevent my sharing this wonder that is my body fully with another woman.

Last night what rose to the surface was shame. I remembered my mother being distressed by her mother having to remind me repeatedly to, "keep your hands out of your Mary Jane." Why "Mary Jane?" I have no idea. We certainly weren't using the word "vagina" back in 1962. I remembered peeing my pants when I was going to visit a friend when I was about 7 or 8. The friend wasn't home and I "couldn't" walk up to a stranger's door and ask to use the bathroom even though, even in Camden, NJ that still would have been possible in 1964. So I went down an alley about five blocks from home and peed my pants. That made me cry because I was ashamed. It also felt nice, in ways I didn't fully understand, and the feeling of pleasure filled me with shame.

I remembered sitting on my left foot at my desk in fourth grade. If I sat just right, I could rock a little bit on the heel of my corrective shoes and it felt really nice. My shoes were to correct a condition known as Pigeon Toes. My toes pointed, quite a bit, in toward each other. The legs were casted for 6 months followed by years and years of corrective footwear. They were hideously ugly, of course. They looked like the saddle shoes but were either all white or a solid, dull, brick red. I always got the red. I think I was too 'dirty' for the white. The shoes did straighten my feet out and their hard soles and heels had other, more interesting uses.

I would gently and as subtly as a 10 year-old can muster, rock and rock. The teacher, Miss Lickfield (yes, that was her real name), hated me. I was the 'new' kid from the 'city,' so I was considered a tough, undisciplined troublemaker, though I was scared shitless. Miss Lickfield used to wear spiked heels. If your foot was in the aisle as she walked around the room during class, she would grind her heel into your toe. My toes were ground more times than I deserved, in my opinion. I wonder now if it was because Miss Lickfield knew what I was doing as I sat on my left shoe. Was Miss Lickfield doing the same thing behind her desk? She wasn't unattractive, our Miss Lickfield. She was slender, probably in her early forties, able to wear spiked heels, beehive hairdo, never married. I heard later she was dismissed a few years after our class trudged through. Eventually, her bizarre behavior could no longer be ignored. Too late for me, though.

I cried last night for all the family shit and cultural shit that made me feel shame for something so beautiful for far too long. I cried because I ever tried to hold back that flood of feelings for fear it would engulf me and wash me away forever. I cried that little children are ever told to keep their hands off their bodies. Even though it made me a little uncomfortable (and made him very uncomfortable), I told Mike when he was young that he could touch himself but he needed to do it in the privacy of his room. Then I tried really hard to respect his privacy as he grew up. Except for the incident of the condoms on prom night, I was pretty faithful to that promise. I hope my grandson will be given the freedom to love his body. I hope he will be taught to respect his body and everyone else's. It's a lesson I wish I'd learned long ago.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I went to so many great sites on my cruise this evening. I've made some additions to my links on MadMom and Mutt, if you're interested. The best of the wonderful things I saw tonight was at
Brutal Women. My post would be remiss if I didn't point you in the direction of the beautiful, powerful women who grace the home page. Check out the photos at the bottom...incredible, strong, gorgeous women.

Enjoy!

Technorati tags: / / / cunt-positive /

bitchy / "isms"

Friday, May 12, 2006

"I'm no ordinary princess..."

Those words, "I'm no ordinary princess," are lyrics from a favorite song by my favorite folk artist, Dar Williams. Dar speaks of my life in many of her songs. We seem to have traveled similar paths from different starting points. The end result is the same. We are both women seeking to understand who we are and actively participating in that discovery.

I am a woman. I am a lesbian. I am middle-aged. I became a grandmother for the first time last month. (Thanks, Jen & Mike. Hi, Brendan! Nana loves you! : ) I am intelligent. I am gullible. I am an animal lover, particularly dogs. I am trusting. I am relatively guileless. I try to live a life I can be proud of. I have never felt "ordinary." As a matter of fact, I don't believe I've ever been ordinary.

I am a feminist. I think I am (finally!) coming to understand that.

I am a late bloomer.

I was so entranced with the Sixties I managed to miss the Women's Movement of the Seventies and skipped right over to motherhood in the Eighties.


I hope this little corner of the universe will serve as a place for me to explore what being a feminist means to me, how I feel about being a lesbian, a woman and a political progressive. Feel free to come along for the ride.



I am no ordinary princess.