No Ordinary Princess

...anything but ordinary...

Thursday, June 29, 2006

A Few Good Sites

Thanks to Lingual Tremors for the link to Bitch | Lab, "where the lefties and feminists have dirty minds, too!" Sounds like my kind of place. I never have understood the need to divorce oneself from being very sexual in order to toe the feminist line. Hell, feminists have needs, too.

On a completely different note, I send my kind regards again to Sandra at
Forgiving Nature, this time for the link to The Loom, a great blog on all sorts of things that turn on science geeks like me. Links to interesting articles, a la Red Orbit Blog...another favorite. The Loom is part of a larger project of science blogs called, well, ScienceBlogs. ScienceBlogs looks like it will take you as deep as you want to go, to mix a couple of messages from this post.

ScienceBlogs led me, finally, to Seed magazine. You can subscribe to the hard copy or peruse the website, which is jam-packed with interesting science articles.


Technorati tags: bitchy / feminism / health and science / life / sex-positive / sexuality / US politics / women


Refugee from Reason informed me within the hour of the US Supreme Court ruling on the use of military tribunals to try detainees at Guantanamo Bay. Chief Justice John Roberts sat this one out, having sat on the appeals court which issued a ruling that upheld the use of tribunals at Gitmo. In a 5-3 ruling, the court decided that Bush overstepped the bounds of presidential power and that the tribunals violate not only US law but the Geneva Conventions.

All I can say is, "Yeah!"

Technorati tag: US politics

Bush Court Starts Biting

Another one thanks to the current male resident of the White House (would that the tree had fallen more true). GWB's Supreme Court (because they sure aren't feeling like my US Supreme Court any more) ruled that the gerrymandering perpetrated by Tom Delay in the state of Texas in 2003 was, basically, constitutionally sound. (CNN story here.)

That means it's open season on Congressional districts now. Any party with a majority in their state legislative bodies will have free rein to redraw US Congressional districts as they see fit, at any time, not just following the results of the census each decade. Only one newly created district in question was found to be in violation of the Voting Rights Act.

It terrifies me that Anthony Kennedy is now the swing vote on the court. He may not have been what Reagan intended but he's no Day O'Connor. If this ruling is an indication of what's to come with the new configuration of the court, I don't think things will be "swinging" in any direction I feel is right or appropriate any time soon.

This is what we will rue most. This will be the greatest of GWBush's many evils.

Technorati tag: US Politics

Flag Desecration

Can I tell you how disgusted and distressed I am that the constitutional amendment to ban desecration of the US flag came within one vote of passage in the Senate? What part of freedom of speech do our Senators not understand?

If we really want to stop the desecration of things we value as Americans, we ought to censor the Senate instead. Isn't it about time someone started seriously addressing the continual, insidious erosion of our constitutional rights and personal privacy in the name of overblown national security risks undertaken with such fervor and utter impunity by members of the current Presidential administration?

I say we riot daily on the Capitol steps and refuse to listen to any more bullshit until someone starts taking these assaults on our personal liberties seriously!

Thanks to Tennessee Guerilla Women for the great photo and for pointing me toward this rant.

For those who live in Pennsylvania, both our Senators voted for the amendment.

Technorati tag: US politics

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

First Installment

Just a snippet, a teaser, if you will. I have pretty much physically recovered from my trip to Barbados, though I still need to get my suitcase from American Airlines and a massage from my lovliest masseuse, Matt. I'm on my way to see my therapist, Rowena, this afternoon. It's probably a good idea for me to check in with her before I spew all my sordid tales here. ; )

Remember this post? Well, I found out that not only does God have a sense of humor, She has a wicked taste for irony. As in, I got my first period in almost two months in the first-class lavatory of the airplane on the first leg of my flight to Barbados! I almost peed myself laughing at the irony of it. Oh, and no tampons in the loo, only gigantic pads, my tampons all safely packed away in my checked luggage.

Too funny!

Hope it was good for you, God! I sure found the humor in it.

Technorati tags: bitchy / humor / middle-age

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

One Word


Technorati tag: who cares???

Friday, June 16, 2006

Alrighty Then...

All packed. Why is it that I have to be a chronic overpacker? Really, it's not too bad. For 10 to 12 days, one small-med sized rectangular case and one backpack to check. My small, leather backpack with absolute, they-lost-my-fucking-luggage essentials and one smallish laptop to carry on.

I love traveling. I love packing. I love small things...little soaps, little baby powder canisters, little Q-Tip containers. I am very proud of my essentials carry-on backpack. Here's its contents, roughly, because I'm not emptying it just to inventory it for you:

4 books and a journal, a mini bathroom kit with shampoo, toothbrush, soap, lotion, medications [routine and prn (or "as needed") meds], jewelry, one change of clothes (capris, top) 3 pair underwear, one swimsuit and sundress (for beach cover-up), small suntan lotion (SPF 30), one pair flip-flops, one pair ballerina slippers, important papers and other essentials, my brand-spanking new, never been kissed passport, gum, emergency candy bar (chocolate, of course), Band-Aids, tiny antibiotic ointment packet, pens, pencils, Chapstik, portable ashtray.

OMG! I Forgot cigarettes! ROFL! They'll have to go in the laptop case. All I have left to do is polish up a few pieces of jewelry, shower and dress. Notice I didn't mention sleep.

I haven't pulled a 36 hour all-nighter in about 5 years but I think I'm staying up now. This morning's flights should be interesting.

Technorati tag: life, self-awareness

Thursday, June 15, 2006

I Really Should Finish Packing

You know I'm not going to sleep tonight, don't you? If I'd known this, I would have slept until 11! But I have to take a smoke break then the laptop's right there on the sofa (I only smoke in the LR) and it's sooooo tempting. Next thing you know, my mind starts churning...

Nurse Pam
had a great post the other day with several wonderful links. In the comments, I mentioned that I've heard or read of a number of species that model a gender-isolated social system. Many species have female-only colonies which only welcome males of the species during the mating season. Some of the females even display lesbian tendencies.

This got me to thinking and that's a dangerous thing. Since most mammals' primary sense is scent, I wonder if there are any examples of transgendered individuals in the animal kingdom. That led me to wonder, if there are, how they are perceived and accepted or rejected in the presence of a female/gender-isolated social construct.
I wonder if anyone's ever studied this...

Oh, and speaking of science and research, I found a new site tonight via
RedOrbit Blogwatch, a great site in its own right. It's basically a Wiki scientific research journal where people can post research articles and make them available to the world at large, free of charge! Open-access publishing. Is this a great concept or what? If you're a science or 'smarts' junkie like me, I recommend a visit. You can find it at Public Library of Science.

A final interesting science find this evening is
context weblog, which is a little deeper than I can handle tonight but is bookmarked for future perusal. It's an examination of how culture is being created and evolving in a post-web world. Or, as they put it,
a new planetary culture emerge in the context of the digital information and connections. one culture that overcomes the old cultural dimensions clashes (science-art, universal-national, public-private, work-leisure, entertainment-education...).

context project is devoted to a net driven research and development on this new cultural context. the project's initiatives aims to appropriate and disseminate the emerging culture as a new 'art de vivre.'
Okay, I'll stop thinking and typing, shut up and get back to packing.

Technorati tags: feminism / health and science / lesbian / life

T-Minus 5

Five hours until I have to get up to get ready for my 4 AM cab ride to the airport. I still have to chuck all the clothes and books into their respective suitcases, shower and sleep. Somehow, I think I'm going to be missing out on the latter. I just couldn't leave without saying goodbye, especially since I now have a stalker who's going to be terribly lonely the next 10 days if I'm unable to find a wireless connection or am having too much fun to bother.

Au revoir, all. I'm sure you'll be hearing from me soon...

::slaps "Barbados-bound" sticker on back of travel trunk and waves over shoulder::

Technorati tags: life that's it. just life.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


Last day of work before vacation. Historically, I have been able to endure any bullshit handed to me when I've only had 12 more hours to suffer before two weeks off. Today, I'm not feeling so easy-going but, what the heck. It's only twelve hours.

In two days, I will be arriving in Barbados...ready for 10 glorious days of rest, relaxation, beach and book time and thinking about nothing else about work but those things that interest me...the ED/Information Services job and the dedicated Fast Track project I've been working on.

I can't wait!

Technorati tags: bitchy / life

One, Two

One: number of work days I have left before my vacation.

Two: number of days until I'm on a Barbados-bound plane.

Sixty: number of hours until I'm sipping a mojito on a white beach before crystal blue water.

This vacation?


Technorati tags: bitchy / life

Ann Coulter versus George Carlin, A Heavyweight Match

Via the Tennessee Guerilla Women, I learned that Ann Coulter (poisonous, skeletal sac) and George Carlin are slated to appear on the Jay Leno Show tonight. (Sorry, but it will never be The Tonight Show for me if it's got Jay Leno.)

I know
I plan to be home in time to see one of my heroes machete a few inches off those bony, bamboo-stalks Coulter calls legs. (Does she really consider herself attractive? A real woman has a little meat on her bones! Who'd want to grind up against a fleshless, skin-covered femur???) Check your local listings here on Meevee, an adorable recent find.

Technorati tags: bitchy / humor / US politics / women

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

New Sidebar Toy

I found a new gadget for my sidebar, thanks to Sandra at Forgiving Nature. Check out the Media Matters news box, brought to us by Media Matters for America. Great site! Check it out.

Technorati tags: blogging / US politics

We Take So Much for Granted

We have become a nation of ingrates. We have some of the best health care and educational systems in the world and we have no idea just how good we have it.

Two items from BBC World News this morning...

One was an item about a chorus of AIDS orphans in Africa.

The second piece was about rotavirus diarrhea. Rotavirus is fairly rare in this area of the US (the northeast). But the virus kills 500,000 children each year in developing countries. We will occasionally test a child for rotavirus but they've got to be pretty sick before it' considered. American parents rush their children to emergency rooms with the first sniffle yet 500,000 children under age 5 all over the world die from this annually. We might start IV fluids, make sure the child can drink then, usually, discharge. Women in developing countries have no such luxuries to offer their children as easy access to quality health care, adequate sanitation facilities, ready food supplies and generous government assistance.

Yet we take it all for granted.

I think there should be mandatory military or governental service for every American or legal resident from age 18 to, maybe 21. These young people could travel to countries in the developing world and see how a majority of the world lives. They could provide labor for necessary projects within our own shores and learn the value of hard work. Let's give our young people a real taste of what they're missing in their sheltered, little world. Then, maybe someday, we won't be seen worldwide as "ugly."

Technorati tags: health and science / world politics

Sucks II

Oh, and I have the beginnings of a contact dermatitis-type rash on my right hand.

God-damned poison ivy!!!!


Monday, June 12, 2006

Now THIS Sucks!

I'm 49 years old and have been (Guys, you might want to skip right over this's strictly girl talk!) getting my period since I was 16. For the last dozen years, I have forsaken my neat little 28 day cycle in favor of menstruating every 21 to 25 days, often with raging pre-menstrual syndrome. I think my body offering herself up to fertility for 33 years is quite enough, thank you.

~~~Post-related humor break~~~
Recent studies have shown that a woman's impression of a man's physical presentation varies in relation to where she is in her menstrual cycle. Immediately following menstruation, women tend to prefer men approximately five to ten years older, about 3 inches taller and clean-shaven. Immediately prior to menstruation, women tend to prefer a man dipped in tar, strapped to a straight-backed chair with a television strategically placed and tuned to HGTV and a remote control
juuuuuust out of reach. Oh, and with 2 inches of an 8-inch knife blade protruding from his left temple. Then set ablaze.
~~~Resume post~~~

So, I've been fairly dancing the hoochie-coochie recently. For the first time in over a decade, I have gone five or six weeks without a period! Woot! Woot! Woot!

Okay, I've had a few days here and there when I've had a little breast tenderness and I've felt a little knot in my back sometimes (I HATE back cramps!) but it went away with
no period to follow!

I was a fairly miserable bitch at work today (another personal goal met...a good day) ; ) but that's not unusual. But, this evening, my back started to hurt. I may have pulled something pulling a patient up in bed. This is the kind of stuff nursing shortages do, by the way. You're so busy and you know your co-workers are, too, so you use all your proper body mechanics and try to do something a little bit more than you should do alone. Then backs get hurt and nurses are out on medical leave and things are even shorter.

It's a strong ache in my low back, more on the left than the right, which has now spread into my buttocks and upper, posterior thighs. Very achy. Kind of like...menstrual cramps! And my lower legs ache a bit too, just like...

Sheee-it! Surely God could not be that cruel!

Considering that I haven't had a period in a month and a half, I will probably bleed like a stuck pig when I do menstruate again. Please.
PLEASE!? Not on vacation!!!!!


Technorati tags: bitchy / humor / life / middle-age / nursing / women

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Vacation/Summer Reading

This is my stack, so far. There are a few others but I've eliminated them from the running for travel to Barbados. These are the contenders. I know I've got to pare it down. There are 27 books here, not counting the empty journal on top. The stack is about two feet tall. I am only going away for 10 to 12 days...and I'm a relatively slow reader. I just like to have choices! I would have made a good pharaoh...or princess. : )

The topmost book is a real journal, fashioned by Laurel Burch with her self-portrait. I recommend taking a look at her stuff. It's beautiful...and Laurel ain't bad, either. I've never had a real journal before. I had "locking" diaries when I was a preteen and teen. I've had spiral-bound notebooks into which I've poured horribly morose teenaged angst and beautiful quotations. I've had spiral bounds in recent years to help me sort through my thoughts as I've been in therapy. But I've never purchased anything beautiful specifically for journaling or writing. I guess I've been rather noncommittal and impermanent about writing until I started blogging last year. Now it feels like a good idea to buy a really beautiful blank-page book to toss my thoughts into.

The Stack (or TS, as it may be known for this post...not to be confused with Terribly Sexy, which is me. It used to be Terribly Sad, but it changed.) consists of the spatial order from smallest to largest:

Four books by Janet Evanovich, the first four in her Stephanie Plum series. She has a great, little website, btw. I haven't been in the mystery section of a bookstore in ages. I think it's about time I read this woman. This could also be my positive reinforcement. By reading these in the rapid manner I do with books like this (and Christopher Moore (don't miss Chris's Picks, if you visit Chris Moore's site) and Vonnegut...(also check out Vonnegut's Confetti series, link at right) I give myself a bonie for and a break from reading something more intense. And if I should feel like all fluff and no substance on vacation, Janet Evanovich should be fairly easy to find on the island.

Next is Finding God When You Don't Believe in God, by Jack Erdmann, with Larry Kearney. This came up as a recommendation when I was buying some Anne Lamott on Amazon. The title intrigued me, though I do believe in God, of a sort. I could feel my in-laws cringing from 50 miles away as I typed that.

Anne Lamott is represented by Traveling Mercies, Some Thought on Faith, which I am almost finished. Maybe I'll squeeze the last of it into me on Thursday. Or maybe I'll take it to Barbados with me and leave it for the next guest. I sure found it inspirational.

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy is next. I think she's earned a place on the plane.

I bought Mark Haddon's the curious incident of the dog in the night-time for a number of reasons, none of which had to do with knowledge. The book is so visually interesting! Bright red cover, poodle cut-out, lower-case lettering. And it's got the most adorable illustrations inside (only a few of them, it's not a picture book) And the type is varied. I could go on and on...the texture of the paperback stock, the offset of the cover above its black background...). And the lead character, a teenager, tries to solve a mystery a la Sherlock Holmes, one of my favorite detectives! Obviously I'm leaning toward a trip to the beach for Mark, he's such a rugged individualist Brit. Okay, okay. I'm just a big kid at heart!

Dan Brown's The DaVinci Code. No, I haven't.

The Alchemist by Paolo Cuelho. Haven't read anything by him yet but think I'll enjoy him. Besides, this book is thin and light. Backpack.

Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass.

The Year of Pleasures
by Elizabeth Berg.

I decided to make my first foray into Phillip Roth via Portnoy's Complaint. I hope he's as good as his reputation and blurbs. Has to fly.

The Collected Stories of William Carlos Williams is a little weightier, in the literal sense. But I do so love short fiction and I've loved what I've read of William Carlos Williams. Definite probably/maybe.

Anna Quindlen's Blessings could stay home, I think.

I've simply got to have some Vonnegut on the beach so Deadeye Dick has got to go.

The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler is another tight, I mean slim tome. I think I can slip something into it, I mean slip it in somewhere. Barbados-bound.

Phillip Dick
's Radio Free Albemuth could probably wait until later in the summer.
(I find it rather amusing, in my typical twisted fashion, that, organized only by size, The Vagina Monologues got wedged between two Dicks ; )

Michel Faber's Some Rain Must Fall
could also probably wait for a Jersey beach day.

Now we get to the really big books. I need to do some serious weeding out here.

Founding Mothers by Cokie Roberts was one I really wanted to take along. Feminism, history and Cokie Roberts. What's not to lug?

Jhumpa Lahiri's The Namesake won a Pulitzer, for Pete's sake. How can I leave it home???

The Centaur was going to be my first foray into John Updike. I would have bought the Rabbit series if Border's had had Rabbit, Run. I like to start at the beginning. I really would like to take this one.

Rick Moody's The Ice Storm could probably stay home. Since it's one of my favorite movies, I practically know the story by heart. I might appreciate it more if I don't needlessly lug it thousands of miles.

The Bible According to Mark Twain has got to go!

America's Gulag
(see here, also) is an edition of The Spokesman, a British labor and social justice journal founded by Bertrand Russell. An essay by Kurt Vonnegut happens to be in this edition. And it's very thin.

Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream
by Doris Kearns Goodwin might have to wait until later in the summer as well. Although it came highly recommended, it might not be "light" enough in a couple of senses.

Finally, I'll have to see if I feel
Wicked enough to take the book along. This tale from the perspective of The Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire (great site!) was recommended to me by Kelly, so that's worth something. But, being at the bottom of the pile means it's the largest book of the lot. Is it worth the trudge, Kell? Help me, y'all! What stays and what goes?

Technorati tags: blogging /life / self-awareness

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Have I mentioned that... a week I'll be waking up in a beachfront cottage in Barbados after sleeping with a sea breeze blowing through the open window all night. Granted, I might not be waking up at quite this hour but...

Technorati tag: life (which is good!)

Friday, June 09, 2006

Loving My Garden

I have become a passionate (outdoor) gardener this year. I think I finally get what gardening is all about, at least for me. It's about getting to know the plants I use, figuring out their needs and providing a nurturing environment for them to grow. Not unlike raising children.

I'm so glad I was a mother because now I can dispense all sorts of motherly advice from a position of knowledge and relative power. Prior to raising Mike I was likely viewed as merely pompous with my hints and tips.

Now I can be a pompous asshole about gardening and plants, too, thanks to the beautiful success of my garden this year.

The lantana like more sun but are doing well enough in their part-sunny spot. The osteopermum are not quite so happy right next to the lantana but they're not getting transplanted now. The gerber daisies and caladium are, once again, not happy and I think I'll not try them again. They belong in someone else's garden. Maybe primrose would be happier...note to self to keep that in mind for next spring.

The rock garden is so-so. The pincushion flowers are dying but the alyssum (annual, I hope to find a perennial version next season) is taking and the pink saxifraga and nestor speedwell are doing well. My common thrift's foliage is anything but flowers yet...and the lysimachia, a "tender" perennial, is taking hold amazingly well. I have no idea what a "tender" perennial is. I guess I'll find out if it doesn't survive the winter. I'm sorry, but it makes no sense to plant perennials then dig them up at season's end. Sure doesn't sound like my kind of perennial.

The rock garden (brand, spanking new this year) is challenged by living on a slope. Unfortunately, the drainage is very poor in my apartment complex and a mini river runs through that bed in any rain, becoming a torrent in a heavy downpour. That seems to be what's done in the pincushion flowers. Many of them were exposed at the roots by erosion following a considerable amount of rain over the past few weeks. Live and learn. The rock garden is a good experience and will get better next year.

As always, the impatiens are going like blockbusters! I have white and salmon in the bed next to my steps with a few pale yellow begonias peeking up for interest. I have lavender and deep pink impatiens in my stump bed, along with a torenia and a couple of coleus. And, if the rain ever lets up a bit, I'm sure the impatiens and torenia in a sloping border will settle in and thrive. Pictures should be coming on my return from vacation.

I ordered a garden gnome online. The gnome I ordered was supposed to be 11 inches tall. The gnome they sent me is over two feet tall, and that's in his seated-and-resting-my-eyes pose! He was way larger than the tiny, GI Joe doll-sized space near the rock garden I had in mind for him so I stuck him behind a fallen log. I wasn't happy. I have, however, now found the perfect spot for him...I placed a few large, flattish rocks behind my impatiens border (in the path the bulk of the rain water flows) to act as a visual stair. There is a dead vine hanging there beside the trunk. I leaned his back against the tree trunk where he now reposes, eyes shut and one leg drawn up, dreaming the day or night away. It's perfect! I wish I had a photo...I surely will next time I go out. I was chased in the house after gardening yesterday by a heavy shower and had no time for photos.

Oh, and speaking about my vacation, my passport arrived today! I was surprised and a little disconcerted that this wasn't something I had to sign for (passport and birth certificate all in the same envelope). I fully expected it to arrive over the weekend and that I'd have to go sign for it at the post office on Monday. Oh well. Who am I to tell the Department of State how to manage the security of an American citizen's passport, huh?

Now I know they're going to let me out of the country. The big question becomes, will they let me back in???

Technorati tags: blogging / gardening / life / middle-age / self-awareness / US politics

Is it Just Me?

I try not to buy into conspiracy theories but it seems awfully coincidental to me that the US should happen to discover and kill Abu Musab al-Zarqawi at such a politically expedient time. The current male resident of the White House's popularity numbers have never been lower. Both houses of Congress look forward to what promises to be a grueling general election a few months from now which threatens to tip the balance of power from the wayyyy right tilt it's been sporting for over a decade.

Mighty convenient, is all I can say.

Technorati tags: US politics / world politics

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Any Suggestions?

Has anyone got a recommendation for me for a good book on the history of the Women's Movement? I mean the early history...19th and early 20th centuries.

Thanks in advance!

Technorati tag: life

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Back to Work

It's back to work today after running around the greater Delaware Valley yesterday gathering up birth certificates and such. I accomplished everything I needed to to apply for my US passport. I only hope Donald Rumsfeld isn't keeping tabs here or I could see an untenable delay in issuance. I wonder how easily it is to perform an extraordinary rendition in Barbados. Well, it'd be one way for me to get to Europe, huh?

Sipping mojitos on a white beach is only DAYS away, folks!

Technorati tags: life / self-awareness / US politics

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

March On, Activist Benchers (M. O. A. B)

Maybe a Biblical reference will feel like less a threat to the religious right-wingnuts . "Oh, it' an organization named, "Moab!" Must be one of ours!" Might get under the radar on this one before the radical religious right is on to us!

MOAB Judicial Watch, a purely fictional entity in my own, little Utopian imagination, has detected some pings in the SONAR. Translated, that means I found a couple of interesting articles and a thought thread sprung up.

Townhall offered this in the spring of 2004, prior to the bulk of the 2004 primary elections and, of course, the fall's general election. I thank God I have women like Phyllis Schlafly to be role models! I've been wondering where my burgeoning interest in facials, massages and pedicures came from. Perhaps my girlie-girl is finally coming out and I'll realize Anita and Phyllis were right! I AM a high femme!

I find it interesting that Mrs. Schlafly should predict difficulties with the voting process for the 2004 elections. Yep...there were. I bet she didn't comment about any irregularities after Ohio's results were in. Just like in 2000, any irregularities and judges' rulings benefited the Republican presidential candidate. Where were the activist liberal judges then? Being drowned out by the right-wing ideological ACTIVISTS and overruled by, are you ready for this, activist conservative judges. I know it's a shock to any who wandered over from Sorry. You should have been given complimentary packet of spirits of ammonia with your seminar program at the door. They ran out? So sorry.

C'mon, folks. It runs both ways. Are there federal judges who do not rule strictly by the literal word of the founding fathers who drafted our Constitution? Sure they are. Are there other federal judges who interpret the Constitution in its most literal sense, motivated by their personal, radical religious ideology? You betcha.

You fight for what you want, Phyllis, and I support your right to do that to the death (well, maybe not actual 'death'). And the rest of us can fight for what we think is right. (Wow! What a concept!) Hopefully, the silent majority of Americans who will want to fight that fight and at least register and vote in the November elections this year.

The other article is a second great one I found tonight from the Chicago Tribune which quoted the current male resident of the White House thusly:
"Our policies should aim to strengthen families, not undermine them," Bush said in a speech. "And changing the definition of marriage would undermine the family structure."
I don't want to get involved in the whole same-sex marriage ban amendment now but it seems to me the ones who are trying to change thee definition of marriage are the very people who are supporting this ridiculous amendment (aka political ploy). Maybe the red staters can't see a purely political move but we here in the blue states caught this one in a New York minute! So a completely riven social and cultural structure in the US is okay as long as the "family structure" is saved. Politicking by division.

It is never going to pass...not with 2/3 of the Senate nor with ratification by 3/4 of the states in the US. Not a snowball's chance in hell. It's an opportunity for Bush to pander to the radical religious right base he so pissed off by pandering to corporate and private wealth expansion and utterly mismanaging a meaningless war which is polarizing the country. It's his attempt to call the flock back to the fold in advance of a frightening mid-term election in November. (Register to vote!)

We need to hear some voices of reason come November, not just the screech of the opposition. And it's not just about stem cell research and abortion and RU486. It's about human rights and abuses around the world (including IN or SUPPORTED by the United States and possibly EXECUTED by the United States government), about economic and social justice, about a corporate mentality versus a peaceful, collaborative aapproach to inevitable globalization. It's about caring for our neighbors, our world and our earth. It's about making this a whole country again. "A house divided by itself cannot stand," said the wise man, Abe.

It's time for the majority to coalesce. It's time for us to stop being directed by those forces who are seeking to keep us divided.

Do I want Phyllis's Utopia to win out over mine (the following was brazenly stolen from's article, Judges in the Crosshairs,
by Michael I. Niman, ArtVoice 4/14/05 Thanks!)--
Phyllis Schlafly, a Republican stalwart who cut her teeth in the 1980s as an outspoken obsessive homophobe, recently told a conference attended by Republican activists, lawyers and a few members of Congress, that Congress should pass laws limiting court jurisdiction with regards to the Pledge of Allegiance, gay marriage, religious displays in public buildings, and, are you ready for this? The Boy Scouts. I guess that in this brave new Republican utopia, bad Boy Scouts go to special Bad Boy Scout Court where their deans of discipline can brand their badasses without any pansy court interference. Don’t worry about the U.S.. constitution. According to The Washington Post, Schlafly asserts that the Constitution is “not what the Supreme Court says it is.” No. It’s what Tom DeLay says it is – or ain’t.

Like Tom DeLay, Schlafly has specific judges in her crosshairs. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, a conservative Reagan appointee, is one of them. According to the “pro-life” Schlafly, Kennedy’s objection to juvenile executions constitutes grounds for his impeachment. Speaking at the same conference as Schlafly, author Edwin Vieira told the crowd that Kennedy should be impeached for striking down anti-sodomy laws as unconstitutional. These, if you are not aware, are the 19 th century blue laws lingering on the books prohibiting oral sex among consenting heterosexuals and any sex among homosexuals. According to Vieira, Kennedy, in negating these laws, “upholds Marxist, Leninist, Satanic principles.”

This theory of blowjobs upholding collectivist economic theory or of the avowedly atheist Lenin embracing religious principles would be comical – except this is no longer the embarrassing wacko fringe of the Republican party. Tom Delay shared this stage, giving them a charge via a televised presence. This is the cabal that’s in power. Any National Guard member or Army Reservist mired down as a human target in Iraq will attest to the life transforming power this group has over more and more of us.
Is it any wonder I want our "activist" judges to keep marching on? It is the responsibility of our government to do the best good and least harm for the most Americans, with fairness and justice. "Activitst" judges seem to help that happen.

Technorati tags: bitchy / feminism / "isms" / US politics / women / world politics

Join "No Activist Pharmacists," aka "N. A. P."

Who ever would have thought I would side with "The Evil Demon, Wal-Mart," as my friend, Tam, calls it. (She shops there, mind you...she has no real morals...the sobriquet is for my benefit alone.) But I have to commend the evil, demon corporation for standing up for what is right on this one.

Through the Women's Bioethics Blog, I found the following article from the Chicago Tribune. Seems The Evil Demon, Wal-Mart, hired a temp pharmacist with a rather religious bent through a medical staffing agency. So far, so good. Accommodations are made so everyone can be happy. The pharmacist does not have to prepare or dispense contraceptives or provide counseling for patients seeking information on birth control. The customers (read: women) can get the information and medications they need, want, are prescribed and to which they are legally entitled.

But that's not enough for the Mr. Activist Pharmacist (male, by the way). Oh, no! He feels compelled to throw further roadblocks up before women, some of whom have already passed through the gauntlet at Planned Parenthood, to prevent the exercise of their health care choices. Women who have called the pharmacy for information on birth control are placed on hold indefinitely by the pharmacist. He refuses to counsel these patients or to refer them to a pharmacist who would offer counsel. Apparently, he thought he was in a better position to make those decisions for the women he encountered.

Well, thank you very much! I'm so relieved I won't have to be bothered with those pesky choices anymore! At heart, don't we all really just want a strong, intelligent man to make our decisions for us? I pant for that!

(If anyone is truly dense enough to think I might have been serious there, IT WAS SARCASM!)

I am in complete agreement with this part of the statement from the Wal-Mart spokesman , John Smiley:
"Under the circumstances, this is about the best possible solution you could ask for," he said. "These cases are rare but when they do happen we are careful to make accommodations. We also have a responsibility to customers to ensure that their prescriptions are filled."
Kudos to Wal-Mart for doing the right thing this time. Still doesn't make up for
your anti-labor, anti-union organization practices (that's a wonderful page on Wal-Mart on the United Food and Commercial Workers Union website, the Super Centering of America, your overwhelmingly right-wing political contributions and filling the states' Medicaid rolls to the brim with your employment and "benefits" practices. May the corporation wind up in bankruptcy court someday anyway. Sorry.

Shame on Activist Pharmacists for trying to impose their morality on a woman's body and health care choices. You don't want to participate? Fine. Just don't actively work to prevent those who are willing to serve patients seeking birth control from following their consciences. Wal-Mart was right and offered an effective compromise. Shame on you for subverting any woman's rights to your personal ideology. You deserved to be fired. Now you can go into your second career as a religious-right martyr to the anti-contraception cause.

Hooray for "activist judges," who often get it right! May they live long and adjudicate well, especially if they're all liberal, at the current male resident of the White House suggests. Surely, only judges who rule in a manner with which Dubya disagrees must all be activist judges, right? Because those who agree with the "President."

Just the 'humble' opinion of the founding 'Mother' of N. A. P.

NAP on!

Technorati tags: bitchy / feminism / health and science / US politics / women / women's health

Monday, June 05, 2006

First Times

Just a quickie...I really should be out with the dog right now then in the shower for work. Yes, this is my first passport. What can I say...I lived a sheltered, fearful life. It's taken me until my late 40's to realize that I'll be safe, that I can travel by myself. Up until last summer, I'd never taken a long road trip alone, then I drove 7,000 miles and saw half the country in three weeks. Now I've determined that I will be okay flying away for vacation to somewhere I've always wanted to visit. The most dangerous thing I can envision is having to beat off the beach boys with a stick. They're sure to be salivating over a reasonably attractive, middle-aged American woman vacationing alone.

Anybody got any effective repellant for this?

Feeling better about oneself is the best revenge!

Technorati tags: life / self-awareness

Soon, I'll be on my Way!

To Barbados, in the sunny Carribean!

Thursday evening I was hit with the sudden inspiration to plan a trip to Barbados on my upcoming vaction. I had asked for a late May vacat., figuring I'd visit the Grandboy, but my boss never submitted it. So now, I have an arbitrary week off in late June (meaning two weeks, when you work twelve-hour shifts! : ). What better way to put it to use than to find a sunny, warm (but not hot) white-sand beach to bum around on?

So, passport office, here I come! I have my photos all ready. I've never had a passport and am actually quite excited about getting (and using) one. My flight (all First Class or Business class...all the way!) is on hold and I have until 11:59 Tuesday evening to purchase. I even got the same window seat for all four flights so I can get blasted on the way home and completely annoy my seatmate!

If I'm annoying enough, I just might get a whole two-seat row to myself! Now, that's a plan!

Sent my deposit down for the lovely, little pastel-colored cottage by the sea. The beach is just beyond the patio wall, with crystal-clear aqua water just beyond that.

A lounger, a beach umbrella, several mojitos and several more good (or trashy and fun) books and I'll be in heaven for 10 days!

Be jealous! ; )

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

Friday, June 02, 2006

Getting off on Science

Have I told you about my science fetish? I have a thing for science. (I think I have a thing for scientists, too. A lovely woman in a long, white coat... bookish... dark-haired (female scientists are always dark-haired, you know)... glasses... plaid skirt a plus... sliderule... whoops, my age is showing!) Logic has it that, had I been given that chemistry set instead of the doll and cradle (I promptly took the clothes off the doll and put them on the beagle. : ), I might be a world-renowned scientist right now. Then, I could be MadScientist! ; )

I love science and mechanics. I loved taking things apart and figuring them out. Imagine how fascinating a career in genetics might have been. I loved my dad's Popular Mechanics/Science magazines. I think I liked them more than Dad did. I subscribed to Omni magazine, may she rest in peace, from about 1980 until its demise. Sorry about that link but Omni was founded by Bob Guccione of Penthouse fame. (Penthouse was always my favorite...much more artistic and daring than Playboy but far more subtle than Hustler. I loved my dad's porno magazines, too, it seems.) Science as porn...gotta love it!

Science is one reason bedside nursing was a lucky accident for me. Something I could do quickly (and easily, as it turned out) that would provide me a decent wage and touched the hems of science. Something that could continue to stimulate my mind. I need to be continually learning, to be stimulated.

I was fascinated by the story on All Things Considered this afternoon about the "left-handed amino acids." (here is another link to the article from a British publication) Basically, left- and right-handed amino acids want to be in equilibrium. At some point, something happened to the amino acids growing in a puddle that made them almost entirely left-handed and from this pool was life-as-we-know-it created or evolved (you pick). The vast majority of amino acids floating around in our natural world are lefties. (sounds like some country I know and love) Now they're trying to find out what event or chemical reaction or whatever caused the shift from L/R diversity to an almost purely lefty world.

The British magazine I cited for the second article is called New Scientist. I've recently been considering getting a subscription to Science or Nature to get regular, in-depth science news but I dreaded the thought of a journal format. Journal articles are just so dry and boring! New Scientist looks like a solution for me. Science for non-scientists. Science-Lite! Just like Omni used to be. Okay, so I might have to sift through a little sensationalism but I can do that. Oh, and they're touting two of my heroes...David Attenborough and Stephen Hawking...geeks! ::sigh::

Time to go dream of strange subatomic particles and space dust and a long, white lab coat above a well-shaped calf.

::pink sigh::

Technorati tags: life / middle-age / self-awareness / sex-positive

Here is the Long-Promised Post

I know, I know. It took me long enough to get to it. But it was a big idea and an important one to me. I wanted to do it as "right" as I could. I hope you enjoy reading it (long though it may be) as much as I enjoyed researching and writing it. Now, it's way past time for bed...

"Lest I Mislead Anyone"

Technorati tag: blogging / life

Thursday, June 01, 2006


I worked a grueling stretch...five days/evenings out of the last six. I had Saturday off, big whoop, and spent all day recuperating from Thursday and Friday. Monday was the killer, though. They just kept pouring in. The natives in the waiting room were restless because there was no place to put them. The ambulances rolled in and out like caissons. I helped save a man's life and helped another make a loving and peaceful transition to whatever lies beyond. (It's okay. He was 95 and lucid up until the very end. He died very peacefully in a quiet, dimmed room with his wife of over 60 years at his side. Stopping extraordinary measures was his wish and his family's. May we all die like that.)

I totally pissed away the day today, my first off since the dreaded stretch. I went to therapy and tried to convince Rowena I'm doing well. I actually am doing well but she seemed to want a little convincing. Life is full and beautiful, even if a little lonely. Every day I feel more comfortable in my own skin and feel more liked by those around me. It seems the woman is just never satisfied, though.

So, I've prowled around a little bit tonight but have nothing momentous to report. Just a single, middle-aged grandmother making her way through the wee hours and into her own heart. What's not good about that?

I'll post more tomorrow, hopefully with wit and insight. I'll spew out more of my Radical Ideas for the Reformation of America. I will post more tomorrow, unless the undeniable urge to see the ocean overcomes me and I head to the beach. No Wi-Fi in OC, I'm afraid! Just sand and breeze and sun and salt air. Inhale deeply.

Technorati tag: life

My Grandson, the Old Man

I downloaded videos of my grandboy tonight. He is such a little beauty. Since my sister died, I've had an keen sense of the real possibility of tragedy in life. I've worried. I used to look at my son, my very special boy, and cringe that God might take that brown-eyed wonder from me as S/He did Michael's Aunt Lisa. Funny, but the boy went off to college and I eventually stopped worrying so much. By the time he married Jen, I'd pretty much stopped worrying about him altogether.

Now, I've got a new worry. His name is Brendan and he's just over 7 weeks old.

I look at him like a nurse now, like a clinician. Is his head too large? Should his eyes roll around as much as they do? Is everything okay? The real nurse inside me knows he looks fine, that the grandmother nurse is simply overreacting. The real nurse in me would like to bitch-slap the grandmother nurse in me across the room. It's funny how you cease being a professional when it's your child or kin.

I was glad I was able to bring my skills to bear at my father's bedside while he was in hospice but it was his daughter who cleaned his bottom and made him comfortable. His daughter just happened to know a whole lot about pathophysiology and comfort measures. Having that knowledge and using it to minister to my dad was important to me. It was my gift to Dad.

Now, I look into the deep brown eyes of my grandchild and worry that he worries too much. His brow is furrowed. At 7 weeks, he is careworn. His eyes seem to hold a lifetime of concern. He seems an old man at two months of age. Why do you worry so much, Little One? You have nothing to fear. Grandma can do all the worrying that needs doing for us both.

P. S. I did not do those sorts of things with Michael's face when he was a baby. Well, maybe the mouth thing because it's just so damned cute, but not the nose and cheeks! Bad Daddy!

; )

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