Thursday, June 24, 2004

Narcissus Down Under


Final post before vacation - this is a very silly picture that I took of myself at 2 o'clock this morning just before tumbling into bed. If Vader can do it, so can I! You all behave yourselves while I'm gone. I don't want to come back to find any of you bloggers married to each other or knocked up or nursing hangovers. I have booked those activities exclusively for myself this week. A couple of tidbits. Was watching The Daily Show last night and they showed a snippet of The Chimp at a press conference saying, "The Prime Minister brought up the Abu Gareff..................situation...." The WHAT situation, Mr. Chimp? Jon Stewart pointed out that when the Commander in Chief can't even remember the name of the prison at the center of the prisoner abuse scandal, it just kinda seems like he doesn't...really...give a shit. On a non-political note, remember the FAKE SHOPPER with the Rutger Hauer eyes that I wrote about a little while back? Well, I disdained him because I thought his job was stupid and a waste of time and I was sick of him making googly eyes at me when I went in there. Well, he caught someone the other day. Young Asian woman, looked totally normal, but he stopped her on her way out the door and then the cops came. So now I feel bad in two ways. One, it turns out his job is not so much stupid as...not-stupid. Two, perhaps he's making eyes at me and following me around the store for a completely different reason than I thought... Do I look untrustworthy? Look at me - do I? Well, let's hope airport security doesn't think so. Y'all be good. (Yeah, right.) I'm out.

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Wednesday, June 23, 2004

The Chimp and His Patriot Act, 3rd Installment

And finally for today, from McSweeney's Daily Reason to Dispatch Bush DAY 60: On the morning of May 11, 2004, Steve Kurtz's wife, Hope Kurtz, died of cardiac arrest in her sleep. When the police arrived they found unusual artwork made with biological substances and laboratory contraptions like Petri dishes. So they called the FBI. The FBI arrived at Kurtz's home and detained him, impounding his artwork, books, manuscripts, computers, and his wife's body, because of a new provision to the Bush Administration's 2001 Patriot Act. The provision states that it is illegal to possess "any biological agent, toxin, or delivery system" without the justification of "prophylactic, protective, bona fide research, or other peaceful purpose." Kurtz is an art professor at SUNY-Buffalo. He writes and makes artwork about the politics of biotechnology, often using unusual materials such as sealed Petri dishes with the kind of E. coli that is commonly used in science labs in colleges and universities. He and his wife were the founding members of the Critical Art Ensemble, described on the group's resume as "tactical media practitioners of various specializations," who "focus on the exploration of the intersections between art, critical theory, technology, and political activism." Kurtz has helped write several books on the subject of biotechnology, including Digital Resistance: Explorations in Tactical Media, and Electronic Civil Disobedience and Other Unpopular Ideas. On June 15th the FBI tried to indict Kurtz on unknown charges at a grand jury hearing, despite earlier test results that showed no harmful specimens were used by the artist. For now, Kurtz is free on bail. However, the FBI continues to subpoena witnesses for future hearings. The FBI also seized Critical Art Ensemble's performance materials concerning genetically altered food. The materials were scheduled to be part of an exhibit titled "The Interventionists: Art in the Social Sphere" at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams, Mass. Kurtz's colleague, Robin Held, was questioned by the FBI. She said, "they asked incredibly inflammatory questions. ... I remember one of them asked, 'If you heard there was an explosion in Buffalo that killed 100 people and Steve Kurtz was involved, would you be surprised?' I said, 'Yes, of course, there couldn't be an explosion involving Steve. He's an artist, not a terrorist.'" She concluded that "[Kurtz] is caught up in some Kafkaesque drama..." (Sources: www.caedefensefund.org. www.channel.creative-capital.org. Duke, Lynne. "The FBI's Art Attack: Offbeat Materials at Professor's Home Set Off Bioterror Alarm," Washington Post, 2 June 2004. seattlepi.nwsource.com.)

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Updates


1. I got a new apartment. This is mostly good. Hardwood floors, working fireplace, "breakfast nook," no upstairs neighbors, built-in book shelves, gas stove, shower and bathtub two separate entities, 4 shower heads in tiled shower, French doors in living room. I move in September 1st. Happy Sloth. Had to give up dishwasher. No laundry in apartment (but is in building). No deck. $1700/month. Not-happy Sloth. But it's either that or move to Dorchester. Yay for Boston housing crisis! 2. I leave for Australia on Friday. After tomorrow will not be blogging until after July 4th. Any last minute advice on bouncing around down under (not the perverted kind) will be appreciated. 3. It is end of fiscal year and I am very very very busy. Must try to control addiction to crack cocaine that is blogging. 4. Just visited a blog called "People Who Deserve a Beatdown" - it is linked in sidebar now. I find it highly enjoyable and wish it was set up for commenting. 5. Will likely update again later because am addicted to crack cocaine that is blogging.

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Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Grumpy Sloth


Today is Pet Peeve day. It started on the bus this morning and inspired me to make a short list of my biggest pet peeves. 1. People who wear too much cologne and/or perfume on the bus. Please! Sloths are not morning creatures. We are groggy and angry and have been known to accidentally kill people before 10 a.m. Also, we are nauseous when we wake up. If you are wearing too much smell in an enclosed area, forcing other people to breathe you into their noses, do not complain if you are vomited upon or accidentally killed. 2. People who STAND on the LEFT side of the escalator. Sloths are not morning creatures. We are late for work and in a hurry every single day. It's just like a highway, stupid-standing-still-people!! PASS on the left!! 3. Homeless people who stand at the door of the ATM and ask for money. Sloths are poor, ok? In some dialects, Sloths are po. I know you're po too and if there wasn't one of you every five feet in this neighborhood I would probably feel more sympathetic. If you want some change, maybe, but why do you stand at the ATM? This is where people go because they don't have any money at the moment. Then they acquire money in denominations of $20. Do you REALLY think I'm going to give you twenty dollars? I live in a tree! I eat papaya! I'm no better off than you are! 4. People who tell me I'm going to grow out of not wanting baby sloths, as though I'm going to reach a certain age and suddenly come to my senses and realize how silly all that non-baby-wanting was. Since when do all women have to want babies? Some of us don't want babies! And we will never want babies! Have your own babies if you like them so much! 5. People who mill around in the middle of the sidewalk, forcing the rest of us to walk in the street to get around them. Similarly, people who walk abreast and take up the whole sidewalk, then don't move into single file when passing a sloth walking alone. It's just goddamn etiquette. Stop acting like water buffalo. 6. People standing on the sidewalk with clipboards. If I see you and you are carrying a clipboard, I will cross the street rather than be accosted by you. You may be able to trick the tourists and the first-year students, but your clipboard doesn't fool me. No, I will not give you money for breast cancer research (cigarettes) or AIDS research (crack) or to save the environment (pyramid scheme). I feel sorry for the suckers who fall for that shit, but not that sorry. 7. People who wear those goddamn ruffle skirts. I am not entirely opposed to looking at your ass when the breeze blows, but I am opposed to looking at that skirt! The 80's are over! Thank god! What is wrong with you that you can't look at that skirt and know, just know, deep in your gut that it is UGLY?? You think because Paris Hilton wore it, it is suddenly attractive again? Get a spine!!! 8. People who, when relating a previous conversation to you, begin every other sentence with "So I says..." or even "So I says, I says...." Sloths have long claws that can reach all the way around your throat and stop you from "saysing" anything else. Ever. 9. People who abuse their cell phone. Cell phones are for telling someone where you are, where to meet you, if you're going to be late, if you're going to be early, if your car broke down, if you've been mugged, or "I'm at the store, do we need booze?" They are not for chitting and chatting about nothing while you wander around a store or ride the bus next to me. I don't care about you!! Stop making me listen to your boring life!! Sloths have long claws that can break cell phones into many many pieces before handing them back to you nicely. 10. Ann Coulter.

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Monday, June 21, 2004

Fahrenheit 9/11

Surprise, surprise, neocon groups are chomping at the bit, trying to intimidate theaters into pulling Michael Moore's new movie "Fahrenheit 9/11," winner of the Palm D'Or at Cannes and uber critical of the current administration's handling of the mass murder on September 11th. MoveOn.org is trying to organize people into a mass attendance of the premiere on June 25th in order to break the record for a documentary premiere and send a message to Bush and his minions that we are PAYING ATTENTION to what they do. Please click on the link to check it out!

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A Tidbit

From News of the Weird: "....And in April, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of part of the Patriot Act (a public document) but couldn't publicly reveal what its lawsuit claimed because such disclosure without Justice Department permission is forbidden by the Patriot Act. (The Department OK'd a heavily censored press release 22 days later.) [Washington Post, 5-13-04]"

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Wankers and Bums


Ok, sorry for the long silence. My parents' computer is just not for me. You'll be happy to know, however, that today's updates involve both nudity and masturbation. 1. Gay Pride Portland was...eh. I didn't attend the parade so for all I know it was super fabulous. The Pier Dance, however, was pretty lame. Always in the past there have been big decorations and video screens and color everywhere, etc. This year there were hardly any decorations, no video screen to see the D.J., and it was really dark, meaning the pier just wasn't lit well. So instead of feeling like, yay, gay pride, let's all be proud and celebrate, it felt more like we were in the back of a dark club and everyone was fucked up and cruising. Plus, it was cold. And windy. So I had to put a jacket over my pink boob shirt. Not good! The thing that irritated me the most was that the pride committee gave the vending contract to the Holiday Inn this year, instead of a locally-owned/gay-owned business even though they got less of a discount. And thanks to the Holiday Inn, the Pier Dance ran out of water at 11 o'clock so all the kids who weren't old enough to drink alcohol but wanted to dance, had nothing to drink at all. 2. My mother and I were walking along the boulevard above the beach on the East End of Portland yesterday. The boulevard and the beach are separated by a stone wall that is about shoulder height for beach-goers. We were walking along, la di da, when we saw an old man in a red t-shirt walking along the beach right against the stone wall, coming toward us. As he passed us, he gave us this shifty look like he was up to no good. So after he went by we leaned over the fence and looked down to see him walking down the beach nekkid except for is t-shirt. Little old many wrinkly bum disappearing into the distance. For some reason, perhaps penis-related, I was reminded of the time, not long ago when... 3. ...I was walking home from class one night around 10 p.m. As I approached my house I noticed a car parked in front of it and glanced in as I walked by. In the driver's seat was a man - young, maybe early twenties, baseball hat - yankin' on his thang like his life depended on it. He saw me. I froze. He froze. I un-froze and kept walking but I was already laughing. He sped away and looked me in the eye one more time as he was peeling out - he looked so horrified. I felt bad for him. He had New Hampshire plates and I figured he just got blue-balled on a date and wanted to rub one out before the long drive home. But who knows. Maybe he was just a perv. 4. And finally for today (although I may update again later), from McSweeney's Daily Reason to Dispatch Bush (and this one's good) DAY 58 The Bush campaign has raised $296.3 million since 1998, giving it the advantage in both the 2000 and 2004 elections. One-third to one-half of this $296.3 million was donated to the Bush campaign by only 631 people. This is the end result of Bush's "Pioneers" campaign fund. The maximum individual donation to a presidential candidate by law is $1000; however, the Pioneers have been able to work around this regulation by creating a network of people, mostly businessmen, who are each able to persuade 100 friends or more to donate the $1000 maximum to their cause. Donors who have raised at least $100,000 are dubbed "Pioneers". Those who have raised at least $200,000 are called "Rangers". Of the 246 Pioneers and Rangers in the 2000 campaign, 104 of them have received a job or appointment during Bush's reign in the White House. Twenty-three of them have been made ambassadors. 2000 election Pioneer Kenneth Lay, former Enron chairman, sent the White House a list of eight persons he recommended for appointment to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission upon Bush's election. Two of the persons he recommended were appointed to the five-person commission. The Pioneers group is now twice as large as it was in the 2000 election. (Source Cohen, Sarah, Thomas B. Edsall and James V. Grimaldi. "Pioneers Fill War Chest, Then Capitalize." Washington Post, 16 May 2004)

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Thursday, June 17, 2004

The Chimp

And finally for today, from McSweeney's "Daily Reason to Dispatch Bush" DAY 56: A group of 27 retired diplomats and military commanders, called Diplomats and Military Commanders for Change, has released a statement demanding that Bush be replaced in November. The statement condemns the Bush administration's foreign policy for severely damaging national security and international relations. Their statement cited "manipulation of uncertain intelligence about weapons of mass destruction [and] a cynical campaign to persuade the public that Saddam Hussein was linked to al Qaeda and the attacks of Sept. 11" as reasons for the group's implicit endorsement of John Kerry. In a news conference at the National Press Club on June 16, former director of the State Department's intelligence office Phyllis Oakley, a signer of the statement, said, "Never in the two and a quarter centuries of our history has the United States been so isolated among the nations, so broadly feared and distrusted." The statement attacks the Bush administration for having "adopted an overbearing approach to America's role in the world, relying on military might and righteousness, insensitive to the concerns of traditional friends and allies, and disdainful of the United Nations ... Motivated more by ideology than by reasoned analysis, it struck out on its own." In the statement and at the news conference, the group emphasized that the cumulative effect of the Bush administration policy has been to reduce the standing of America and the safety of Americans, and that the administration is not equipped to handle its responsibilities. Former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia Chas Freeman denounced the "post 9/11 atmosphere of hysteria" and said that "I think we will in time come to be very ashamed of this period in history ... and of the role some people in the administration played in setting the tone and setting the rules." Former ambassadors appointed by presidents from both parties, and retired military commanders and state department officials whose careers span three decades, make up much of the signers of the statement. Others include Adm. William J. Crowe (chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under Ronald Reagan), Marine Gen. Joseph P. Hoar (appointed by George H.W. Bush to lead U.S. forces in the Middle East), Gen. Merrill A. McPeak (former Air Force chief of Staff), and Adm. Stansfield Turner (former head of the Central Intelligence Agency). (Source: Slevin, Peter, "Retired Diplomats, Military Commanders Fault Bush's Leadership," The Washington Post, June 16, 2004. Dunphy, Harry, "Former diplomats say Bush should be voted out of office for Iraq, other foreign failures," Associated Press, June 16, 2004.)

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Shorts:


1. Ack!!! Today is even hotter. My skin is slipping off. By the time I finished blowdrying my hair this morning, I needed another shower. And yet, soppingly disgusting as it is outside, I am sitting here in my office with my space heater on. I know it's wrong. I know that. But the temperature range within which I am comfortable is so wee. It requires constant maintenance. 2. So this weekend is Portland Pride and I will be attending the Pier Dance on Saturday night. Hopefully there will be more photographic opportunities. I'm going to wear my pink "boob shirt" for maximum exposure. There is nothing like being complimented by a bunch of gorgeous men who have no ulterior motives. Very good for the ego. The trip is also a flimsy excuse to visit my Mamacita who is always amenable to a little Daughtercita time. 3. This is a picture of a Softhead. There are no two alike. My household has three. They can be purchased at Ferdinand on Congress Street in Portland, Maine. 4. There is a guy who works at the Trader Joe's in my neighborhood who has eyes like Rutger Hauer. He would be cute except for the creepy, ice-white eyes and the fact that he can't seem to dress himself in anything other than jeans and a dirty sweatshirt. He makes (ice-white) eyes at me when I shop there. Here's the thing he's a FAKE SHOPPER. He's like an undercover spy, walking around with a basket, never checking out, just walking around waiting for someone to try to steal something. And he thinks we don't know! WE KNOW YOU WORK THERE, CREEPY-EYE MAN. I am tempted to stick a bunch of grapes down my pants just so he'll catch me and then I can OUT him. 5. On the Bill O'Reilly show two nights ago (yes, sometimes I watch for a few seconds - it's sort of like running out into traffic for quick adrenaline rush) The Blotch (Mr. O'Reilly) was interviewing The Newt (Gingrich) and The Newt said, in all seriousness and with The Blotch nodding vigorously in agreement, that the only reason Michael Moore's new movie won the Palm D'or at Cannes was that the festival takes places in France (oh, really, Newt?) and the French are anti-American, and "Fahrenheit 9/11" was the most anti-American movie that debuted there. Those pesky French! Yay for the "No-Spin Zone!" 6. As mentioned in comments, The Prince of Darkness has, by general consensus, been stripped of his title and will now be referred to as The Reaper. Dubya has also been stripped of this title and will now be referred to as The Chimp (which is still better than he deserves).

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Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Sweaty Sloth


It is 88 degrees and muggy here today. I don't do well in this weather. Outside it feels like I'm breathing hot mayonnaise. If I had to pick one season it would, of course, be autumn. But if I had to choose between perpetual winter and perpetual summer, winter would always win. I'm going to go home and lay on the cool couch until it gets warm and then I will lay on the other couch until it gets warm and then I will have to come up with a new plan. Sometimes I sleep with ice wrapped in plastic at the foot of my bed and alternate freezing my feet. Today's short topic is nicknames for dalliances (men who for whatever reason occupied only short interludes a la Sex and the City but with less witty banter). This excludes actual boyfriends. If you know me, feel free to guess who is who. The Talker The Prince of Darkness (not to be confused with George W. who also sometimes goes by this moniker) The Amateur The Mastodon The Bee Sting (also known as Fathead) The Dart The Navy Seal The Shakes There may be more but I really hope not.

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Monday, June 14, 2004

Shorts


First of all, I feel compelled to mention (after some wicked wicked Indian buffet the other day) that one of the best things about being single is that one can eat as much onion chutney as one pleases. Second, it is of note that Rush Limbaugh, that bastion of blustery, self-righteous hypocrisy, is getting divorced. Drugs are bad, mmmmkay? Marriage is a sacred and eternal vow between one man and one woman, mmmmkay? The sheep that follow me are too brainwashed by hate to see that I am the incarnation of all that I decry, mmmmkay? Mmmmkay. Finally, from McSweeney's Daily Reason to Dispatch Bush: DAY 53: Meet The Press, February 7, 2004: RUSSERT: If the Iraqis choose, however, an Islamic extremist regime, would you accept that, and would that be better for the United States than Saddam Hussein? PRESIDENT BUSH: They're not going to develop that. And the reason I can say that is because I'm very aware of this basic law they're writing. They're not going to develop that because right here in the Oval Office I sat down with Mr. Pachachi and Chalabi and al-Hakim, people from different parts of the country that have made the firm commitment, that they want a constitution eventually written that recognizes minority rights and freedom of religion. Rose Garden press conference, June 1, 2004: Q: Thank you, Mr. President. Mr. Chalabi is an Iraqi leader that's fallen out of favor within your administration. I'm wondering if you feel that he provided any false information, or are you particularly — BUSH: Chalabi? Q: Yes, with Chalabi. BUSH: My meetings with him were very brief. I mean, I think I met with him at the State of the Union and just kind of working through the rope line, and he might have come with a group of leaders. But I haven't had any extensive conversations with him. Q: I guess I'm asking, do you feel like he misled your administration, in terms of what the expectations were going to be going into Iraq? BUSH: I don't remember anybody walking into my office saying, Chalabi says this is the way it's going to be in Iraq. (Source: NBC News, 2/7/04. See transcript at: msnbc.msn.com. President Bush Discusses the Iraqi Interim Government. The Rose Garden, 6/1/04. See transcript at: www.whitehouse.gov.)

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Gay Pride 2004


So, this past weekend was Boston Gay Pride. I went to the parade with a friend and we cheered and hooted and clapped and got very sunburned. I took many many pictures. If you would like to see some, please click on the link below. It was a great time - lots of beautiful men and beautiful women and beautiful creatures who could have been either. The colors were just incredible. Electric blue hats, pomegranate red head dresses, glittery gold gowns, and bubblegum pink feather boas. Planned Parenthood was there, the transgendered men and women marched, PFLAG, the Gay Blades, everyone was strutting down Boylston Street. And of course there were a lot of wedding dresses and tuxes. There were bubbles blowing around and confetti was flying, people were handing out condoms and stickers and, of course, beads. Then people gathered on the common for music and food and booths selling knick-knacky stuff. The weather was perfect and everyone was so happy. Then it was time to go home so my friend and I got on the subway at Arlington Street. The subterranean environment inside the subway station was disappointingly different from the huge party above us. It was dark and too hot and no one seemed very celebratory. One of the marchers was in the station too. Just an hour before we had seen him walking down the middle of Boylston Street, waving and grinning. He had been wearing these little hot pants with streamers coming down from the waist, red angel wings and a white feather mask. He looked fantastic in the parade. But now, underground, out of his element, he looked a little scared and deflated. His wings were gone. His mask was off. But he was still wearing the hot pants and streamers. As it turns out, he was right to be scared. He got on the same train as us and we were in the same car. Two stops later, this couple got on the train, a man and a woman. The man was wearing an American flag kerchief on his head. The woman had on a Red Sox cap. She didn't want to stand next to the beautiful, glittery man in hot pants. She tried to get away from him but the train was too crowded and she couldn't get far. She called him disgusting. The man insulted him as well, but I couldn't quite make out the words. The beautiful man looked so sad. And he got off the train soon after. I was fuming and loudly denouncing bigotry when my friend looked me in the eye and said, "They're not worth it." He was right. They weren't. They were just ignorant jerks. But I was so sad that Pride Day had to end on such a shitty note for the beautiful streamer man. No matter how proud gay people are, no matter how much progress they make with civil rights, they are still in danger of being hated to death around any corner. Happy Pride.

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Friday, June 11, 2004

Shorts:


I love how now that Ronnie is dead we conveniently forget that his policies supported apartheid in South Africa, that he funded the slaughter of innocent people in Nicaragua and that he accused mothers on welfare of using food stamps to buy liquor. Oh, and what was that thing he did with trading arms for hostages? WAKE UP PEOPLE. RONALD REAGAN WAS AN ASSHOLE. He may have been cute and charming, but the Gipper was a sickening, evil man inside who caused very bad things to happen to good people. And don't even get me started on the hypocrisy of the stem cell research debate. Goddamn neocons don't give a shit about anyone until something happens to one of theirs. Whew! Take a deep breath...cool out...COOL OUT!! On a lighter note, a close friend of mine who works in a pediatrician's office told me that two nights ago the doctor on call was paged with an emergency at 3:45 in the morning. Apparently the mother of a 14-yr-old girl was extremely concerned because her daughter was having "vaginal spasms." The doctor was totally confused and asked the mother if the daughter was masturbating. She apparently didn't know or didn't think so. Vaginal spasms. The doctor said to my friend the next day, "I hope she enjoyed them at least." And finally, this week is gay pride in Boston and, thanks to our Supreme Judicial Court, we can celebrate for the first time a sea change in social policy as it relates to same-sex couples. I am so proud to live in this state at this moment in history. HAPPY GAY PRIDE EVERYONE!!!

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Thursday, June 10, 2004

Day 51

From McSweeney's "Daily Reason to Dispatch Bush" DAY 51: The Bush administration has cut off all funding to the Family Planning Association of Kenya and Marie Stopes International-Kenya, because these groups provide safe abortion services and post-abortion care. On June 3rd it was reported that seven Kenyan clinics have closed down as result of the cuts in funding. Most of the clinics are located in slums or rural areas, and were depended on for other services including immunization, vitamin supplements, and treatment for malaria and STDs. It was estimated that 1,560 people were served every day by three of the clinics; others functioned as training sites for doctors and nurses. Since the Mexico City rules were implemented by the Bush administration in 2001, the U.S. is prohibited to financially aid organizations offering abortion services. Funding has been cut by over $35 million. At the same time, unsafe abortions and maternal mortality rates have increased in Kenya. (Source: Arthur Okwemba, "Clinics Close Over Abortion," Daily Nation, Kenya, 6/3/04. Maggie Fox, "U.S. Abortion Policy Hits Clinics Abroad," Reuters, 9/24/03. "The Impact of the Global Gag Rule," Planned Parenthood Federation of America, 7/1/03, see article at: www.plannedparenthood.org.)

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Graduation Day (which happens to be a terrific Chris Isaak song)


Today is commencement for the university that I work for. It's warm and rainy and the quad is laid from corner to corner with a thick carpet of happy, black-robed, square-hatted graduates. Every few seconds they let out a collective hoorah. Last year I worked on a satellite campus. It wasn't that far away, but I didn't have to walk through the quad to get to my office, so I was totally unprepared for the hooplah and the bag-searching, metal-detecting, I.D.-checking, etc. this morning. So I got through the gate and then I had to walk along the periphery of the shenanigans to get to my building. The reason that I work for this school is so that I can get my degree on the cheap. I work full time and usually take three classes per semester at night. The university pays for two of them. I'm a good student - I got all A's last semester - and I love being in school, being busy, even being stressed out. But it feels like it's taking forever. The credits build up so slowly. I need 128 credits and each class is worth four. That's twelve credits per semester unless I take an agonizing lab class and only have time for eight credits or even four or even zero, like the semester that my aunt died and I had to drop everything. Somewhere along the way I lost track of the fact that someday I'm going to graduate. I just take my classes, do my thing, slog through it every minute, every day, every week, every year. And I would like to say that seeing those kids today was a pleasant reminder of the reason I'm here and an affirmation that it has all been worth it. But it wasn't. Walking along the edge of that sea of rustling robes and dangling tassels, I was only reminded that I'm 28 years old and I don't have a bachelor's degree and yet another year has gone by that I don't get to feel like I've really accomplished anything even though I have worked so fucking hard. And this cold stone of envy just sat there in my gut. I really didn't see it coming and I was shocked at how much it hurt and how it pulled the tears out of my eyes even as I was being waved across the street on the other side of the quad by a policeman holding the traffic back with the palm of his hand. It was so hard to breathe. And I know it doesn't make sense. I mean, everyone who works in this office has a master's degree and they don't make any more money than I do. The woman who sits at the front desk and answers the phone has a master's in theology. The guy who moves money back and forth between accounts has a master's in history and he's doing glorified data entry. As is the guy who pays invoices and who has a master's in music theory. But it's not about money. It's about shame. I'm a smart person who fucked up and now I'm trying to fix the life I broke and it's taking so long and when people ask me what I do I can't say what I want to say. I have to say, "I work at this university...*pause*...and I go to school there at night." And people assume I'm getting a master's or a PhD, but no, I'm way back here at square one, overseeing reimbursements for a bunch of post-docs who are younger than me. Blah. I know it's stupid to complain. I was just so jealous of those kids this morning and it made me feel shriveled and sour and exhausted. Even now my eyes are leaking and I'm trying to hide behind my hair so that I don't have to explain that I'm crying because I'm too petty to be happy for anyone else.

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Wednesday, June 09, 2004

The Worst Man

Today - from McSweeney's Daily Reason to Dispatch Bush (although this one's about Dick). DAY 50: When Dick Cheney was a Wyoming congressman from 1978 to 1989, and secretary of defense from 1989 to 1993, he voted against the Equal Rights Amendment, abortion rights, funding for programs meant to help schools desegregate, legislation that would instigate collection of data about hate crimes, and funding for the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act. From 1985 to 1988 Cheney repeatedly opposed U.S. sanctions on the then-apartheid state of South Africa. In 1986 he voted against a House resolution to call on the South African government to free Nelson Mandela from prison. (Source: "Cheney On the Issues," Associated Press, October 2000, www.usatoday.com, www.bush-cheney.net)

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The Best Man

Oh how I love Jon Stewart. I saw him perform at the Orpheum a couple of months ago. His presence in the world is so reassuring to me. The Daily Show is the only news worth watching on television. NPR Morning Edition is for headlines, New York Times is for in-depth and op-eds, television news is for suckers. The link below is the commencement speech that Jon Stewart gave recently at The College of William and Mary.

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Monday, June 07, 2004

Drooling Tired


So. Exhausted. I need a weekend to recuperate from my weekend. Debauchery abounded. Let's not even go into Friday night. Saturday night I girlsat one of my friends while her boyfriend and my ex were at a bachelor party on a boat with a bunch of strippers. Those two descended on our girl's night after the boat docked and proceeded to tell us every grisly detail of the evening up to and including the fake-lesbian sex on the floor with the two-headed dildo (yes, full penetration - I was so happy to be privy to that information) and the disgusting racist comments of a "friend" of theirs about one of the strippers who was black. They were both yammering away in tandem at this monumental volume and it sort of seemed as though they were traumatized. They kept shaking their heads and saying how awkward everything was and I didn't even have to bring up the whole daddy-raped-me-and-now-I'm-a-stripper thing (blanket statement, I know, I'm sorry), they wanted to talk about that too. I mean, they came home and spilled their guts and wanted hugs and it reminded me of a friend of mine who I saw right after he witnessed a motorcycle rider get his arm ripped off by a tractor trailer. He walked in to a bar I was at and sat down next to me and needed all this attention and care which is to be expected, but I wasn't sure why slightly mistreated strippers gave our men this existential crisis. Then of course we were sworn to secrecy and had to pretend we didn't know anything about it when... ...the next day I had to go to a baby shower with the same friend and the girlfriends of the boys who had been on the boat the night before (good thing no one actually reads this blog). Neither of us are baby people and we were sitting in the worst possible place for the hangovers we were nursing as there were screaming children literally running in circles around us. She looked at me after a particularly piercing scream from one of the small mammals scrabbling in our orbit and said with total sincerity, "I think I'll feel better if I throw up." And I know I should have felt really bad, especially since her hangover was largely my fault, but after the third time she went off to puke while everyone else was eating chocolate mousse and playing party games with baby food, it started to be a little tiny bit funny. Everyone else gave the mother-to-be colorful hampers and baby monitors and little itty bitty socks and whatnot. We got her a gel eye mask, a soothing lavendar eye pillow, a rolling massage thingy and a great big bottle of champagne for when she's finally done breast feeding. She thanked us for being the only people who bought a present that was actually for her. At the moment I'm grinding the sole of my foot into the corner of a filing cabinet in hopes that the pain will keep me awake.

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Friday, June 04, 2004

Flight


A couple of weeks ago I dealt with the biggest bumblebee I have ever seen flying around my room by running out of said room and slamming the door. I have an intense fear of stinging insects - even cute fuzzy ones. I opened the door a little crack and peaked through.There it was - trundling through the air like a furry, floating lawnmower. It was so big and slow, it was like the Hindenburg. I couldn't believe it could get itself up in the air. I was laughing so hard and then suddenly the bee was gone. I couldn't find it anywhere. I went to sleep and the next day I was brushing my hair when I felt something crawling on my foot. It was my little Hindenburg. So I grabbed a cup and a piece of paper, snapped a couple of pictures for posterity (since I knew no one would believe me that it was the size of a plum stone) and released the poor thing. It wasn't lookin' so hot when I let it go but I'm hoping it was just thirsty. I put it under a forsythia in the rain and wished it luck. So last night I took a sedative that my doctor prescribed for me for flight anxiety (I'm going to Australia in three weeks). I wanted Diazapam but she insisted on prescribing Lorazapam or Marzipan or whatever it's called. I took it last night because I wanted to try it out and see what it's like before stuffing a bunch of pills in my maw on the plane. I only took one. It was about the size of a tick. Well this morning I looked like I was doing the walk of shame to the bus stop, weaving down the street, ankles quivering back and forth in my high heels, sunglasses jammed on my face, hair everywhere. I fell asleep on the bus and my head snapped back so hard it almost came off. Of course I tried to toss my hair and pretend that I had folded my neck in half intentionally but I wasn't fooling anyone. Why can't I have Valium? Why? Why? I don't want to waste a day in Australia with a Marzi-Loraza-whatever hangover. I can't walk around all fucked up, looking like a crack whore in $300 shoes. It ain't right. Last thing for today: I started reading this blog called Life at TJ's Place. If you don't know me and are a blogger, you probably already know about it. If you are a friend or family member, don't worry, it's not my ex-boyfriend. Just some random dude. Anyway, it's totally addictive and if you have a few minutes you should check it out. Link is below.

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Wednesday, June 02, 2004

U.S. Judge in San Francisco Strikes Down Federal Law Banning Form of Abortion


And finally a bit of good news! In appreciation of one federal judge's sanity, I will include here a letter that I sent to every single one of the 17 Democratic senators who voted in favor of the ban on late-term abortions (I also sent a thank you letter to the two Republican senators who voted against the ban - and I am proud to say that they are both from my home state of Maine). See the link below for the story on this small initial victory in the New York Times. Please remember though, that the FDA recently voted not to approve emergency contraception for over the counter availability against the recommendation of it's advisory panel, thereby casting serious doubt on its role as an uncompromisingly science-based agency. Write to your senators, people. Seriously. Dear Senator, I want to express my deep disappointment in your decision to vote for the unconstitutional ban on late-term abortions. How your conscience can allow you to so ably assist our Right Wing, Republican leaders to strip American women of the rights and freedoms that we have fought so hard to attain, I cannot imagine. While it is not surprising, it is certainly disturbing that so few of our lawmakers can find it in themselves to have one speck of empathy for the women who have to make these terrible choices. I am outraged that a woman who discovers late in her pregnancy that the child she carries has a brain stem, but no brain, will now be legally forced to carry that dying fetus to term. I am outraged that the grief of this, the most tragic kind of loss, will now be compounded by a second loss - the loss of power, of autonomy, of the right to do what is best for self and family. I am outraged that the cruel and hypocritical agenda of the Far Right has been allowed to flourish in a country that prides itself on freedom. And I am outraged that you, a Democrat, have chosen to be a part of it. The big picture: women without freedoms, women as second-class citizens with no right to control their reproductive lives. The smaller picture: the woman whose child, a child she desperately wants, is horribly deformed and horribly doomed. How dare you add to her grief? How dare you presume to know more than her doctor? How dare you force her, an American citizen, to give birth to a dying child?

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Tuesday, June 01, 2004


Spent the weekend with the parental unit fixing up their downstairs apartment for short-term rentals and taking pictures of their cat, Felix. He's so old, I can't believe he's still alive. His ears have gone completely bald and his meow is now just a pitiful little puff of air. He sleeps between my parents, under the covers with his head on the pillow. The good thing about his advanced years is that you can get a camera lens right up in his grill and he doesn't even flinch. On a less positive note, he can't kill squirrels in the yard anymore and he pukes all the time. But we love him.

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