Friday, December 30, 2005

new astronomically determined time-unit milestone resolutions

  1. no longer bow to the pressures of trying to live up to the unfair expectations of "Merry" this or "Happy" that. If I want to be totally neutral or even mildly dislike the whole damn over-celebrated thing - more power to me!
  2. never again drink copious amounts of alcohol at high altitude followed the next brain-pounding day by eating a greasy reuben sandwich with a side of fries...
  3. never again buy flavored tootsie rolls in bulk on the web
  4. take part in at least one totally new and challenging social activity every month ("socially challenging" for me pretty much includes everything that involves interacting with other humans)
  5. finally make this the year I get overseas!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

doing the flip top pooper flop

At work I use a single-person unisex bathroom on the second floor. This morning, as I do many times a day (my bladder has shrunk, but that's a topic for another day!), I headed up there to relieve myself. Without looking, I turned around, unbuckled my slacks and sat down (as I always do when peeing).

I experienced just a flash of free-fall sensation until I managed to instinctively wedge my thighs into the sides of the toilet. My bare butt hung a few meager centimeters from the toilet's natural sea-level! I had barely escaped disaster! A split-second of rage ran through me and I cursed all men and their inconsiderate use of common restroom facilities. Afterall, if we women leave the seat down, the worst that happens to men who use the facilities after us is they miss the target and create a mess on said seat that they can pretend they never saw and leave to the next user. When men leave the seat up, women are in constant danger of drowning our bottoms in the bacteria- strewn swill that infects most bathroom fixtures. Yet another subtle form of male-domination?...

But then reason took hold and I remembered all the times in my younger days when my mom or a girlfriend would sternly chastise me for undertaking just such an inconsiderately male action. It's a rather distant memory to be honest (not due strictly to the relative short passage of time, but to my own perception of the distance of my current self from that time), but I seem to recall that when I lived a masculine life, it was rare that I thought of anything beyond my aim and avoiding any golden splash-back shrapnel, followed by a perfunctory flush and handwash afterwards.

Traditionally, the bathroom is a major gender-role divided environment; in some ways how the other gender inhabits their version of that environment is a dark taboo and I've always wondered why. They certainly seemed to be ok with a blending of those worlds in "Ally McBeal", didn't they? Hahaha - I promise - that will be the very last reference to that awful show you will ever see emerge from my fingers or mouth!

Until next time gentle reader, keep your fanny warm and dry and aware of its surroundings at all times before you take that toilet plunge!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

My Emmie with the green, green eyes and the slobbering tongue... Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

our president is a black gold whore

facts and info adapted primarily from: "Energy Company Policy," The Progressive, June 2005:

We all know GW and most of the conservatives don't give a flying fuck about this planet we live on, right? To them it's only a cauldron of sin and a fleeting and soon to be destroyed, god-imposed limbo. These wackos believe the "2nd coming" is right around the bend and some of them are even doing everything in their power to hasten its arrival!

Besides pushing the Israelis to take a hard line against allowing any sort of Palestinian state, and dismantling most of our system of checks and balances as well as the foundations of American civil liberties (besides those that protect gun and property owners), they are also working hard to divvy up and consume the last remnants of natural resources left in the world.

Fact: "In the first quarter [of 2005] alone, the four biggest companies--ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch/Shell, BP, and Chevron-Texaco--earned $97 billion in profits combined. Yet the House rewarded energy companies with at least $12 billion in tax breaks and subsidies."

[the nature of the Energy bill, still not passed, may have changed since I wrote this draft]. In addition to the blatant money issue, the Republican-controlled Congress is also pushing through a new Energy bill in Congress. Among a long list of things this atrocity of a bill does (see article link at top) to gut existing environmental regulations, here are just a couple of the biggest doosies:

  • allows corporations drilling for oil on public land to skip paying cash royalties to taxpayers - they get to feed freely and profit at the tit of scarce and fragile publicly owned natural resources.
  • allows energy companies to be reimbursed by taxpayers for part of the costs of complying with federal environmental laws
  • caps the liability of nuclear energy companies should a major disaster occur. Do ya think this will make them more or less safety-conscious?
  • allows energy companies to ignore some parts of the 1969 National environmental Policy Act, which requires environmental impact studies and public comment periods for all major projects on federal land (for example, oil and gas drilling and exploration). In other words, these corporations will be able to go onto some federal areas and start digging and drilling and disposing of waste products, etc. without any oversight or study of the possible impact on the surrounding environment/ecology. Know of any federal lands near you? How about near nearby national parks? The answer for most is probably yes.

The only way, obviously, to put a stop to this gutting of our planet and our collective pocketbooks, is to vote these bozos out of office. Add this to the list of reasons (and arguments used to convince friends) for making sure your vote counts.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

role models

My friend Meli and I were recently discussing our role models and I thought hard for the first time in a little while (but certainly this is always in the back of my mind) about my mom's influence on my life and about how she lives hers. She is without doubt one of the strongest women I know. Her ceaseless, selfless dedication to her family is always present and welcomed, but never showy or burdensome on us. At the same time she always makes sure that she has adequate space and time for her own passions; her own slice of life. She has a rare combination of fierce independence, strong but not overly assertive personality, open-minded intelligence, and traditional family values (and by that I don't mean conservative or religious - she is liberal and not very religious).

She also, in my mind at least, has achieved some amazing things in her life:
  • married for 37 years and maintained, at least from my perspective, a healthy balance between her independence and her dedication to my father
  • raised 2 kids, worked part-time and put herself through graduate school (while my dad worked very, very hard to support her and us) in the late 70's all at the same time (she has a Master's in Biochemistry)
  • despite almost dying as a child and as a young mother losing a kidney, she still works out on a regular basis and keeps herself in top shape
  • working in conjunction with my dad, instilled her 2 children with a sense of wonder at the world, open-mindedness, and with a workable set of organized-religion-free ethics that has enabled both of us to find our own way in the world.

For these things and much, much more I am eternally grateful that she (and my dad) is in my life, although I must admit to having some silly, vestigial (and I think quickly fading) "male" misgivings about actually telling her all this...