Sunday, December 31, 2006

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Oh Jebus

Look, I'm against the death penalty, even in the case of horrible tinpot dictators like Saddam Hussein.

I'm really not going to weep over his grave or anything. Honestly, part of me is glad he's dead.

But did they have to kill him on Eid? It's like, how could they have maximized offense to those who would have been offended? I know, kill him on a holiday that traditionally executions are suspended on!

Tch.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Major Blogroll Overhaul

If you're suddenly noticing you're no longer on my blogroll, please read here.

Please let me know if situations have changed and I need to update my information.

Also, feel free to suggest any blogs I should be reading.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Happy Holidays


merry xmas
Originally uploaded by plucky punk.
Celebrate your whatever with good cheer.

I'll be out of town for the next few days visiting in-laws.

Expect blogroll updating when I return.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

It's not a miracle, it's many years of Veterinary School

While idly browsing Yahoo News I came across this fluffy article about Barbaro the racehorse that suffered the shocking injury in the middle of the race. The horse is doing much better, which is lovely, to be sure.

But what caught my eye was this comment by Barbaro's surgeon.
Dean Richardson of the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center also is positive about the colt's recovery. The chief surgeon just doesn't see it as anything more than good medicine.

"It's not a miracle. It's anything but that," he said, sitting next to a Christmas tree topped with a stuffed Barbaro.

"Some of the Barbaro fans aren't going to like that, perhaps. I'm a scientist, I'm a doctor. I'm not a faith healer or a religious person. I believe in the application in science and I think nothing that's happened to him is particularly miraculous."
To which I say amen.

Ironically, of course.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Meme!

I wasn't technically tagged for this meme, but I'm doing it anyway.

So, the thing to do is list 5 little-known things about yourself, one of which is a total lie. See if you can guess which is the fake one.

1. I’m related to former corrupt, mob-tied mayor of Philadelphia Frank Rizzo.

2. I’m also related to Generoso Campos Marquetti, who was the first Black elected official in Cuba, and also was involved in the Cuban Race War of 1912

3. My vision is so bad I’m legally blind.

4. As an atheist, I hate Christmas.

5. Despite having brown-eyed parents, my daughter has blue eyes, which is totally weird. Genetics!

I need to enjoy blogs again.

And while I read that this type of comment is tolerated at the place of one of the matriarchs of the feminist blogosphere, I just can't.
In short, trans are nutjobs. The bathroom is about the last place I want to be alone with a male nutjob. These unfortunate, but seriously disturbed individuals belong on the 5th floor in a straight jacket. Not in a women’s bathroom.
And that's not even the worst of it. Antiprincess links to the thread here if you really feel like you're up to being exposed to some serious ignorant vitriol.

And yes, I realize that these were comments left on a post, not content written by the owner of this particular blog herself. However, that's the same excuse what's-his-name from Little Green Footballs uses. It's a bullshit excuse.

I've decided I can't live in a blogtopia (y!sctp!) where the feminist version of Little Green Footballs exists with little to no objection.

So, after a few days I will be removing from my blogroll anyone who links to I Blame the Patriarchy in their blogroll.

I don't think this will do anything other than make me feel better about my daily reading material.

Which is good enough for me.

Monday, December 18, 2006

YouTubing

Because the idea of the baiji going extinct really depresses me, here's something completely fun and meaningless and lighthearted.



Enjoy.

Dear Humans,

You suck.
For 20 million years, the white-fin dolphin, or baiji, swam China's longest river, the Yangtze. But a few years of breakneck development, overfishing and a massive increase in shipping have reduced sightings of this shy, graceful creature to zero.

A recent expedition failed to spot a single Lipotes vexillifer, and now conservationists fear the almost-blind, long-beaked animal is gone for good, the first big aquatic mammal to become extinct due to human activity.
You can read about the baiji in Douglas Adam's excellent book Last Chance to See.

Take a look, as this is all anyone will ever get to see of a baiji again.

Oh no....

Please do not let my husband click on this link. Nothing will be safe!

Via Majikthise.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Hee.


Smiling!
Originally uploaded by plucky punk.
This is just some random baby blogging.

You know, just showing off the superiority of my genome.

Look! She smiles! She doesn't always have that snarky, annoyed-at-the-dang-camera look on her face!

And look! She has teeth! They're really teeny and white, and she loves it when I brush them, the little weirdo.

Now, feel lucky you're not my boobs.

Additional Housekeeping

Welcome Cap'n Dyke, the Lesbian Pirate Queen.

Because, well, hubba hubba. Seriously.

Cripes.

California and Florida step out of the dark ages.
SAN FRANCISCO - Faced with grim testimony of poorly trained executioners operating in cramped, dimly lit quarters, a federal judge declared California's execution procedure unconstitutional.

The state's "implementation of lethal injection is broken, but it can be fixed," U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel ruled Friday in San Jose, extending a moratorium on executions in the nation's most populous state.

The decision is the latest in a nationwide challenge to lethal injection — the preferred execution method in 37 states — and came as Florida Gov.
Jeb Bush suspended all executions there after a bungled execution this week. Missouri's injection method, which is similar to California's, was declared unconstitutional last month by a federal judge.
And this description of a "botched execution,"
Medical examiner Dr. William Hamilton said Diaz's execution took 34 minutes — twice as long as usual — and required a rare second dose of lethal chemicals because the needles were inserted clear through his veins and into the flesh in his arms. The chemicals are supposed to go into the veins.

...Missing a vein when administering the injections would cause "both psychological and physical discomfort — probably pretty severe," said Dr. J. Kent Garman, an emeritus professor of anesthesia at the Stanford School of Medicine in California.

An inmate would remain conscious for a longer period of time and would likely be aware of increased difficulty breathing and pain caused by angina, the interruption of blood flow to the heart, Garman said.
Gah. Pretty freaking creepy, if you ask me.

Let's hope this suspension is permanent.

(I'm unabashedly anti-death penalty, in case you didn't notice.)

Housekeeping

Jack Goff is now at http://iamjacksnonblog.blogspot.com/.

And someone has been removed from my blogroll as I am finally annoyed enough not to read even their pretty good posts.

See if you can guess who it was!

Those FUCKERS!

Ugh! So I figured I'd upgrade to the new Blogger, no harm done.

Now I can't figure out how to get rid of their stupid "Blogger Navbar" hideous thing.

BAH!

**UPDATE** Although, I have to say, the posting is now very very fast. Kudos on that, at least.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Something to keep you all entertained...

...While I freak out about my finals.

Brian introduced me to Jonathan Coulton awhile ago, but PZ resparked my interest.

Check these out:



Code Monkey, with interpretive dance!



All we want to do is eat your World of Warcraft!



And the man himself with a lovely, sensitive version of...well, just click on it.

More of his songs here. Someone give him lots of money.

And someone pray to the gods of Environmental Science Finals. Now there's a god I'll believe in!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Hee.


Hee.
Originally uploaded by plucky punk.
The reason I've not gotten any work done is because this is sitting in my lap all day.

Squee.

Well, that and the fact that the professors are really piling it on as the semester winds down. Seriously, what kind of a jerk has a major test the week before the final? I mean, Come On (Rob Courddry voice...).

Just let me finish out the semester, then I'll be a good blogger again. There's been a few posts in the past few days, ones about both atheism and feminism, that I've wanted to respond to.

But I have to finish my biology take-home test thing first. That, and play with the baby more.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

YouTubing



My friend Dave told me he thinks Captain Picard (the character) is gay. Dave, who is also gay, thinks everyone else is gay too, so I totally disagreed.

Now I'm not so sure.

Via Daddytypes.

**ADDED**



Okay, so I was all ready to be mildly and gently amused by this clip, until it got to the part with "Darmok and Gillard at Tenagra," and I literally cried laughing.

I am such a geek.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Aw, crud.

Russ Feingold is not going to run for president in '08. Crud.

My mildly uninformed opinion of him was that he was pretty cool. Someone tell me something bad he voted for so I don't feel so bad.

Yay! Zuzu's back!

Zuzu has returned to Feministe. Phew! Guest posting is kind of a lot of pressure.

But I'm glad Zuzu is back and nothing came of the whole litigation creepy thing.

While you're there, read this post where some people are offended by this image.



To which I say, really? Offended? Is snark dead? Because I thought it was hilarious.

Although I, of course, am a bad, bad person, because I also thought this was hugely funny.

Am I a bad liberal as well as a bad feminist?

Friday, November 10, 2006

So...someone in Radio, hire me!

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Midland

"You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.

The West
Boston
North Central
Philadelphia
The Northeast
The Inland North
The South
What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes


Via PZ.

I know I haven't been around much. I've kind of had my hands full with teething babies.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Happy Halloween!


monkey
Originally uploaded by plucky punk.
Did I mention I'm studying primates this semester?

And yes, I know I need a new couch. Feel free to buy me one.

Took this right before we went trick-or-treating, which was fun.

It's kind of nice to be a parent for the holidays. It takes away the slight shame one feels at getting over-excited about things like costumes at the age of 28.

And I promise I didn't give the baby any candy. Most of it got passed back out to other trick-or-treaters.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

I was going to cross-post

But I'm too lazy. I promise not to neglect the Happy Land too much.

Read my Feministe posts here, here, here, here, and here.

I'll cross-post the next one.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Feministe-ing

For the next, well, until Zuzu comes back, I'll be guest posting over at Feministe.

How cool is that! I'm so jazzed they asked me.

So, I may be posting here a little less. I'll try to cross post and will probably be posing personal stuff like memes and baby blogging here.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

8 pictures meme

Via Jack.

First, a kitty.

hubcap

Next, cute little feeties.

monkey feets

This image...evolution?

zoo 008

Capitalism + Communism = Capicomitalunism

tivolution

I was reminded of this image (that I grabbed off some website a long time ago) after the hijab debate. I've always found it haunting.

tribalhijab

Faux Liberty...very evocative of life in America. (This is the 1/3 sized Statue of Liberty at the New York New York casino in Vegas.)

Fake New York

Viking spears. Yeah Taos Aelthing!

Aelthing 2005

And this is really one thing but it takes 5 pictures to illustrate. Look at this next time some petty drama is getting you down, and realize home much larger and more majestic the universe is than our petty squabbles.

rocky planets

gaseous planets

sun

arcturus

antares

Whoa.

Okay, so I tag Susan, Jules, elle, and JS MacGruder.

So busy

Will update the pledge drive later. Right now I'm studying my ass off for my huge Anthropology test. Will get back to blog later...

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Wow.

This is seriously one of the most effective posts I've ever read at a blog ever.

Just hold down the button on your mouse and imagine what each of those numbers streaming by represents.

It really puts things in perspective. It made me want to hug my mother or something.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Friday Cat Blogging


hubcap
Originally uploaded by plucky punk.
Poor Hubcap has been neglected since the baby was born.

It's hardly his fault. The baby smells better than him, generally.

And I'm done with midterms, yay! Well, except for the Anthropology one that's next week. But I'm trying not to think of that.

I will never live up to my punk potential...

Because I will never go to CBGBs.

Sigh.

A Call To Arms

If you're not already well versed in the travesty that happened to Biting Beaver, click here to read her story and here to read the consequences.

Long story short: an adult woman with several children in a committed relationship was not able to obtain emergency contraception in time (due to some serious backwards actions on the part of several doctors and nurses) and became pregnant against her will. Now she must pay for an abortion she really can't afford.

Reading about this seriously infuriated me, but I was also heartened that pretty much every thread I read about this story on contained information about how to lend Biting Beaver a financial hand.

What they say about tragedy brining out the worst in people *and* the best in people as usual proved true.

(To give to Biting Beaver, click here . Let's help out one of our own.)

But it got me thinking, as all of the feminist blogtopia (y!sctp!), including me once again devolved into an endless debate about "fun." What about the countless women who must have shared Biting Beaver's experiences who *don't* have all of blogtopia behind them?

At the Pandagon thread about this, Amanda linked to this charity, The National Network of Abortion Funds. And of course there's Planned Parenthood. What I'd like to do is to rally the feminist blogtopia around not only Biting Beaver, but around all women needing reproductive care (well, let's not euphemize, needing *abortions*) who can't afford it.

The average cost of an abortion in the United States is 468 dollars. Somewhere, there is a woman in need of this money who doesn't have it.

Let's see if we can get together and raise this amount, either by giving to Biting Beaver, the National Network of Abortion Funds or to Planned Parenthood. Please leave to amount you donated or pledge to donate in the comments (or if you've already donated, leave that amount).

And if you prefer to remain anonymous, that's cool. You can even email me your pledge.

Even if you can only donate a dollar, please do. (I know I've taken to paying bills with credit cards since going back to school and having a baby. I'm so broke I'm broken! So poor I'm po!) And if you can't donate anything, please at least spread the word either on your own blog, or if you don't have one, amongst your friends.

Let's demonstrate that feminist blogtopia is about more than infighting about clothes and shoes and waxing and whatnot. Let's demonstrate what we can do when we unite.

Again, here are the links:

Biting Beaver (and her blog, here.)
The National Network of Abortion Funds
Planned Parenthood

I'll be tallying the amounts as they come in. The first especially generous donation wins a free t-shirt of choice from either the Plucky Shop or the Aelthing Shop.

So that's my call to arms. Let's see what happens.

**update** The lovely John Goff starts us off with 25 dollars total. Just 443 dollars to go!

And Haloscan appears to be down. Nice. If comments aren't working, please just email me your pledge.

**update** Haloscan seems to have calmed down. Good.

Also, please no comments about the pros and cons of abortion. If the need arises, I'll put up a thread where this can be discussed.

And now we're at 45 dollars! 403 dollars to go!

**update** Thanks to everyone (and some anonymous donors) we're a whole *95 dollars* over the mark! Wow, I honestly didn't expect that to happen in a DAY! I'm totally impressed.

And super-thanks to Zvoruna for the first extra-generous donation. She wins a t-shirt.

**UPDATE** I'd like to see if maybe we could hit the target twice. So far it's at 105 over...let's see if it will happen again.

**UPDATE** Now we're at 155! Thank you, anonymous donor!

**UPDATE** We're at 180! Just 288 to go to hit the target TWICE!

**UPDATE** 200! Thanks to a donation from bluemeanie! Just 268 to go!

**UPDATE** Woot! Thanks to you guys we're down to 73 dollars!

(I think I converted pounds to dollars right...70 pounds is 130 dollars?)

**UPDATE** Sorry for the lack of updates, it's been a busy few days.

But now, if I've counted right, we've definitely doubled and reached a total of 1,423 dollars! That's a little over three hypothetical (or really, Biting Beaver's real one and two hypothetical) women we've helped secure the reproductive freedom for.

**UPDTATE** And the final tally (drum roll...) 1,458 dollars! (Barring any stragglers.) Thank you so much everyone for making this happen.

I finally have the time

So I'm done with midterms, and I finished my primate study at the zoo so
I finally have the time to address the issues that came up for me after
Biting Beaver told us all what happened to her.

But I can only blog from the sidekick while at work, and can't post any
links so y'all will have to wait until I get home.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

3 months


3months
Originally uploaded by plucky punk.
I'm not studying for my biology test...again.

I have to pump so there will be breastmilk for tomorrow while I'm in class and working.

The baby is sleeping in my lap, having just awoke wanting to be fed right when I was going to start pumping.

I'm so tired.

Monday, October 09, 2006

It's Columbus Day

And from here you can hear all the Native Americans going "woo-freaking-hoo."

But it's not too late to buy a special ceremonial T-shirt.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Okay

So I have an idea, inspired by Biting Beaver's unfortunate experience. I liked the idea of her getting money for each troll she got, but I wouldn't want her to have to sift through those comments again, and I don't want to stick my nose too far into her business. There's been information posted on Majikthise, Pandagon, and a couple of other places on how to send her a bit of financial help if needed.

But I think I'd still like to do something, maybe something a bit more general. I'll post about it by the end of the week, as I'd like to do this well and I'm busy with midterms until Fall Break starts Thursday.

But seriously, the shit's on.

My objection

I made these points on a thread at Feministe, but it's languishing in moderation, and I think this is the point that nobody gets in all this feminist sexwar crap so I'm posting it here, reworded slightly for clarity. And spell-checked!

Since ginmar violated the cease-fire, let me explain what really bothers me about 'examine your life choices,'? especially coming from someone with the opposite choices of mine.

What is the goal of the examination supposed to be? What conclusion am I supposed to come to? When certain matriarchs of feminist blogtopia say that marriage, fashion, beauty, and several other things that I indulge in are things I do without any possible autonomous choice in the matter, and these are things that she does not do, how am I supposed to feel about myself?

If I'm not being shamed please explain to me why not. Because I don't get it.

But most importantly, it'?s a moot point because it doesn'?t matter how you dress, or what shoes you wear, or if you get married or only buy big black effective toolkits or remain childfree for life or whatever. Because the patriarchy is going to oppress you anyway. You can't save yourself by not buying Vogue, or by shaming the women who do buy Vogue.

For evidence, see Biting Beaver's situation.

So all this harping on women like me who got married to a man and had a baby and indulge in fashion is totally pointless. To paraphrase Noelle in comments, dress however your comfortable (and I am dressed comfortably, thank you. My body size and shape means I'm more comfortable in skirts and my short calves and flat feet means I'm more comfortable wearing shoes with a heel) and live your life in a way that exploits the least amount of people possible while fighting for change in things that matter. Like, for instance, improving access to emergency contraception and abortion, or working for higher pay, or better education, or better child care, or getting universal health care, or working to stop domestic violence or whatever.

These issues affect all women, no matter what color their tool kits are.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

It's asskicking time.

So I'm planning to do something to help Biting Beaver, whose plight you
can read about on the first page of Pandagon right now. (I'm posting
from work on the sidekick so can't put in links.)

More info when I get home from work.



**added** So I'm waiting on some response to make sure I'm not being too intrusive.

In the meanwhile, here's a place to donate to, via Amanda at Pandagon:

The National Network of Abortion Funds

YouTubing



Do women get abused by their husbands when David Bowie wears makeup, too?

Jesus Christ

Apparently, I'm a tool of the patriarchy.

I wear makeup (or at least I used to, back when I had the time), therefore women are abused by their husbands.

No, seriously.

A shout-out to the shouter-outers

If you've put me on your blogroll and I don't have you on mine, please let me know! I try to make it a point to link to everyone who links to me but sometimes I miss things...

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

About that template...

It looks all pretty now in IE but not in Firefox. God knows what monstrosity I have on my hands in Netscape.

I have no idea what I'm doing. I got this template from some free template blog. Any suggestions? It looks like this in Firefox but I want it to look like this!

Five Things Feminism Has Done For Me

Zuzu has tagged me to share Five Things Feminism Has Done For Me!

First, let me say it's kind of nice to know others actually read my blog. (And thanks to all the recent commenters, too!)

Second, this is an excellent meme. It made me think about why I actually call myself a feminist. I mean, beyond the obvious. Thinking about what my life would be like without these things was a little frightening and humbling.

I'll try to do this without any is-ought problems. Here goes.

1. I can get an education without joining a convent. This is a big one for me. Curiosity about the world, be it regarding science, history, other cultures, what have you is so intrinsic to my sense of self that I don't know what I'd do without the opportunity to go to university. Likewise, my husband, my family, my daughter, my friends are all of utmost importance. I can't imagine what my life would be like without those relationships. Having Feminism in the world means that I don't have to choose between having a "normal" (to get all heteronormative for a moment) life and scholarship.

2. I can get married and have children without fear. Having Feminism in the world means that I entered into my marriage contract as an equal (well, some would say relatively equal but for the purpose of brevity...) partner with my husband. I can enjoy the good parts of being married without worrying that I won't be able to get to a safe place in a domestic violence situation (not that I'm worried, Brian!), or that my husband will be able to get away with leaving me destitute. Also, I'm free to enjoy a baby, knowing that I can have as few or as many children as I want and that I don't ever have to be pregnant if I don't want to be.

Seriously, my maternal grandmother had 13 babies and 7 miscarriages.

Holy crap. The poor woman must have been constantly pregnant for like 20 years.

Also, I can enjoy being married with a baby without having to worry that I'll have to give up any pursuit I find intellectually fulfilling, be it my education or my career or what have you. And I can be comfortable knowing that if I end up making more money than my husband (which I have, in the past...)it won't be an issue.

3. I can call bullshit when I see it. And be as snarky as I want to be! And it's fun!

For example, with Feminism I have the power to tell my mother that she will not pass her body-issue problems on to my daughter. I won't let it happen. And with Feminism I can tell my father that the Cuban machismo bullshit stops right here, my daughter will not be treated any differently than any of her boy cousins. And I can go all Betty Friedan on my husband until he helps out around the house, god dammit.

Cycles broken, end of story. Feminism lets me put my foot down.

4. I can vote! Honestly, I sometimes have a hard time wrapping my mind around how recent it was that women were given the right to vote. It was only in 1920.

19-freaking-20! Not even 100 years ago! There are women alive today that didn't have the right to vote when they were born!

The Emancipation Proclamation was written 57 years before women were given the right to vote! Hell, what puts it in perspective for me is that movies, projected movies with famous celebrities in them and everything, have been around longer than women have had the right to vote.

Without Feminism (and yes, I'd say it was already Feminism back then,) I would have no voice (well, the small amount of voice the Electoral College gives you, but again, brevity...) in my government. And that really chaps my hide. In fact, it's probably lucky I wasn't born before 1920, because I'm telling you, the Guy Fawkes masks would have been in the mail, that's for damn sure.

5. I can hope (and fear) for my daughter's future. The hoping part is obvious, I guess. I have all these little daydreams about taking my daughter to the zoo and teaching her about taxonomy and cladistics (okay...geek!) or going stargazing and teaching her about astronomy. I dream of her strong and healthy and (of course) a genius with good taste in music and movies. I don't have to frame any of those dreams in terms of her marrying a man or having babies (not that there's anything wrong with that). But when I think of her future I am free to think only of her.

Also, as a quick add to that, I have absolutely no anxiety about her getting married and "giving me" grandchildren, which was a huge pressure I felt from my family (thank you, Cuban machismo...). If she does marry a man, or if she marries a woman (because in the future they will have same-sex marriage. And jetpacks and flying cars.) or if she never gets married or whatever, I don't care.

But what about that 'fear' in there? How is that a positive thing? Well, without the changes Feminism has made, I wouldn't fear things like the South Dakota abortion ban, or the horrible state of sex education in public schools. They'd be par for the course and no big deal. I'm glad that Feminism makes me worry about things sliding down the slippery slope. My daughter will never be a handmaid, nor will her daughter, or her daughter's daughters!

Well, there it is. Now I tag:

Aliza
Noelle
John Goff
J.S. Macgruder
and Veronica.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

I am in template hell

Currently doing some template tinkering. Will try not to look like this for long...

**UPDATE** Almost done. But I have to go somewhere, so it won't be done until tonight.

Suggestions? Is the text too hard to read? Did I leave off a div tag somewhere? Please let me know.

Ohhh

Apparently Patrica Madrid and Heather Wilson are in a crazy-assed tie.

Cmon, local liberals...let's vote Heather Wilson out!

Patricia Madrid @UNM


Patricia Madrid on campus
Originally uploaded by plucky punk.
So last Thursday my Evolutionary Anthropology class got out early and I happened to come across Patricia Madrid giving a little talk to a small crowd. I paused to snap a few photos with my cameraphone.

Patricia is running for Congress against republican Heather Wilson. Not sure where the polls or anything like that stand, but from the ads Heather Wilson is running saying how independent she is from George Bush and how she voted for stem cell research and everything I kind of think Madrid might be looking good.

Anyway, in her speech to the crowd of young UNM students, and a few older looking people I think might have been UNM employees. She talked mostly about the war and how bad it was for young people, being they're the ones going off to die. She also mentioned how republicans in Congress had voted to increase student loan interest rates, which I hadn't even been aware of.

Mostly I noticed she was talking about how bad republicans are without mentioning anything she'd do differently, but she is a democrat so that's not surprising.

After she was done she came down from the podium and started shaking people's hands. I was curious as to how she stood on abortion and gay marriage, two things that I can see having more and more legal barriers raised against with little protest or fanfare, so when she got to me I asked her.

Now I'm kind of tall, and Patricia Madrid is teeny eensy weensy. So it was a little awkward, me totally towering over this woman. And as I was talking all these photographers surrounded us and I got totally nervous.

She said she was pro-choice (good!) and "against placing any impediments to gay marriage." Which sounds to me very weaselly, like she doesn't want to say same-sex marriage is *okay,* just that she doesn't think it should be illegal. But again, democrat, lesser evil, etc.

So what do I, the 28-year old with unbrushed hair, clothes I haven't had time to wash that probably smell like spit-up, and a 50-lb bag of books on her shoulder making her list seriously to one side, do to the dignified teeny weeny woman with a stylish, yet not *too* stylish suit and haircut gazing up slightly chagrined at my sleep-deprived countenance, after hearing her answer?

I pat her on the shoulder. Kind of like she was a little kid who just said please and thank you. Then, I get completely embarrassed and scurry away, winding up at my next class a full 45 minutes early.

Ugh. I have a problem dealing with semi-famous people.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

YouTubing



For Brian.

To be fair, I would totally make that face if I got my hands on a copy of the Star Wars Christmas special.

blahger

Blogger seems to be broken, right when I want to talk about Patricia Madrid at UNM.

Will this post come through? Who knows?

6 years


DSC_1416
Originally uploaded by feelingdave.
Me and B.

Married for 6 years last week.

Awww....

Question for the hivemind

(to borrow a turn of phrase from Lindsay...)

Okay.

So the baby is drooling excessively, has a runny nose but no fever, and has become prone to sudden screaming fits where she will chew on her thumb incessantly.

Is she teething? Already?

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Goo...


Tummy Time
Originally uploaded by plucky punk.
So the biology test was fine but now I have to worry about the environmental science test tomorrow and the religion (ugh, I know, what was I thinking) test on Tuesday.

*And* my anthropology professor totally over-assigned homework.

So, I'll get back to you in a second. For now, my nose is in a book.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Get your cute on, part 2



Probably only of interest to grandparents and other relatives.

I will go study now.

Get your cute on...


Meep
Originally uploaded by plucky punk.
I have a big biology test tomorrow and I'm not studying.


Well, some things never change.


Meanwhile, marvel at the blue anime eyes of my baby...cute, no?

Saturday, September 16, 2006

One more before bed

Meant to post this last week, actually. We've been having freaky amounts of rain here in the desert lately. Last week my dad caught this footage of a freaking waterfall behind his house. Craziness.



You can tell it's been raining too much for awhile because it's so green. The hill behind his house is usually brown and rocky, not all green and tropical like that. And certianly not with a waterfall.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Hey!

It was my blogiversary last month and I didn't even notice.

Maybe if I post a link to my wishlist, someone will buy me a present.

But then I guess I would have to post more that once every two weeks! Lol...

And now to totally undermine my argument about fashion and shallowness...

Let's get some shoes.

And this is the bullshit I'm talking about...

There've been a few threads on Pandagon the past few weeks where I've been compelled to jump to the defense of fashion, of dressing cisgenderd-ly (hmm...that's not a word, is it?) and stylishly. Most recently, there's this thread, where I commented:
Why is it shallow to appreciate beautiful clothes? If I appreciate a beautiful painting on the wall, thatÃ?’s fine and intellectual even. But if I appreciate a beautiful dress on my body or beautiful shoes on my feet thatÃ?’s shallow.

Not that the fashion spread in question isn'’t creepy, but IÃ?’m tired of being told one of my hobbies is designed to make me feel bad about myself when I actually enjoy it and have fun with it.
And then a bunch of people jumped up to say that fashion is bad because it's a requirement for women, because you can't get a job without affording a really great dress, etc. (Which I think is a huge exaggeration, because last time I checked no one wears couture gowns to job interviews, but whatevs...)

Sure, there's a huge issue with the fact that it's hard to get a job in a professional situation if you don't have professional-looking clothes. (but fashionable? The office manager at my last call center job looked like she shopped at the Dress Barn...)

On more than a few occasions I've been in a situation where I literally had no clothes to wear that would be taken seriously for a job I've wanted (this is a serious problem if you're trying to get a job...any job...when you're homeless), and it sucks. And it's wrong. And it's especially hard when you're plus-sized like me, because the places where you're likely to find cheap office wear are unlikely to have *anything* appropriate for my size. I know, I've looked.

And it's also kind of a strawman. Trust me, Dolce and Gabbana or Prada or Roberto Cavalli are not trying to sell clothes to women going for job interviews. And are employers really saying things like, "Well, I was going to hire the seriously qualified woman with the JC Penny's clothes on, but this 90-pound waif wearing Manolos came in, so never mind!" Unless you're interviewing to be Anna Wintour's assistant, I doubt it.

What's much more likely to happen is what's happened to Jessica of Feministing. Read this post, this post, and Jessica herself responding to what Ann Althouse, self-proclaimed representative of "real feminist values," had to say about a picture taken at a luncheon with Bill Clinton.
Jessica: I'm not judging you by your looks. (Don't flatter yourself.) I'm judging you by your apparent behavior. It's not about the smiling, but the three-quarter pose and related posturing, the sort of thing people razz Katherine Harris about.
From how Althouse describes it you'd think Jessica were hanging off Bill like a stripper hangs off a pole.

But she committed the crime of standing there (she's the one in the middle), daring to be the person wearing clothes of a flattering cut and proportion, with great skin and hair. Because she wore clothes that were'nt dated and that flattered her figure (and has a stylish haircut,) her work has no value, and she has nothing to offer.

The commenters at Pandagon that irked me are only further up the slippery slope from this, and this is only further up the slippery slope from the "she wore slutty clothes and deserved it" apology for rapists.

I see a lot of bloggers saying they're attacking the patriarchy, but somehow 9 times out of 10 they do this by attacking women. Hmm. (And yes, I realize I'm attacking some women in saying this...irony forever!)

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Genius

This is hilarious...but probably not safe for work.



Hee.

Yes, another content-fee post. Good thing I don't care! Woot woot!

Monday, September 04, 2006

RIP

You know, I always used to joke that one day that Crocodile Hunter guy was going to piss off the wrong animal and it would eat him.

Now that it's happened, I kind of feel like an asshole.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Words Mean Things

I agree with this woman, but for a slightly different reason.
ROSEMONT, Ill. - The newly elected head of the largest Muslim group in North America called
President Bush's recasting of the war on terror as a "war against Islamic fascism" inaccurate and not helpful to people of her faith.

Ingrid Mattson, the first woman president of the Islamic Society of North America, said Friday that labeling terrorism as "Islamic" only adds to a misunderstanding of the religion.

Mattson acknowledged that terrorist groups "do misuse and use Islamic concepts and terms to justify their violence."

"But I think that when we then bestow that term upon them we only make the situation worse and somehow give validity to their claims which we need to deny and reject," she said at the opening of the group's 43rd annual convention.
There's not even anything specifically Islamic about so-called Islamic fascism (and if you need this explained, I'll direct you to al-Muhajabah because I lack the patience and time). It's insulting to "normal" Muslims and makes "us" sound like we lack credibility.

But what really gets me about the term is...how is al-Qaida fascist? How can a stateless organization be fascist? Isn't it by definition impossible for a stateless organization to be fascist? And if we're talking about states that sponsor terrorism such as Iran, aren't they a theocracy? We already have a word for theocracy. It's theocracy.

I think the real reason the term "Islamic fascist" (or the Newspeak-sounding "Islamofascist") find resonance amongst the Bush administration and its followers is because if they can't use "communists" as their catch-all for evil because they'd sound like dinosaurs, and if they said they were afraid of a theocracy they'd really turn off their fundie base.

Sigh.

So I really want to start back with blogging regularly.

Maybe someday I'll do that birth post but I've kind of gone shy about it.

But I can't help but miss the blogtopia of a few years ago, when all of my favorite blogs weren't overrun with ad hominem (and ad nauseum) discussions 200 comments long about whether the childless are more oppressed than parents or vice versa, and who isn't accepting who's life choices and whether blowjobs can ever be consentual and whether or not my clothes are hurting feminism. I keep casting about looking for an interesting discussion to join in on and just getting disgusted by a bunch of people acting like 2 year olds who've had too much psychoanalysis done.

So give me a minute while I look for inspiration elsewhere.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Oh Come On.

Baby poop does not look like this. Please, this is less realistic than this travesty.

YouTubing

Amanda has me thinking of Klaus Nomi and other late 70s/early 80s weirdness. She's posted a video of "Total Eclipse," but to be fair I think this is much weirder.



Fini Finito in comments mentions this Nina Hagen performance of Ziggy Stardust...which I have to say is awesome(ly strange).



Which, combined with this post on women "rockers," got me thinking some more about women in music who managed to be female and not total sex-objects. Which of course leads me to the X-Ray Spex.



In the post about women rockers when Amanda wonders if a woman could get away with pulling a man on stage during a performance several people suggest Joan Jett as an option.



I think she manages to pull off sexy without being a sex object.

But I'll have to say the ultimate badass women rockers for me will always be Bikini Kill.



Although now that I'm breastfeeding I do have a little bit of a different response to the phrase "Suck my Left One."

Friday, August 11, 2006

Hee.

Headline of the week:

Paris Hilton bitten by pet kinkajou.


There are things going on in the world right now that I can't bring myself to blog about because they make me so angry.

Paris Hilton getting bitten by a wild animal she arrogantly calls a pet makes me smile.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

One Month


One Month
Originally uploaded by plucky punk.
Things are starting to get back to normal...sort of. I'm starting to get less nervous about the baby and more nervous about going back to school...again.

Birth story coming, before I forget it completely.

While you're waiting for me to get my shit together, there's a lot of good blogging going on at Pandagon lately, and Aliza at Babyfruit could use some love.

Cheers.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Oh! The Huge Manatee!

The whole world is going to hell, apparently. Can't say I'm surprised, but I have to say I don't feel like blogging about the new war that's broken out in the Middle East, or California burning down, or North Korea flinging Tipodongs (or however) at us.

So here's this instead.



Hee. Via Cute Overload. And wherever I stole the joke in the post title from, I don't remember where.

Top Five Things They Don't Tell You About Pregnancy

So now that the whole gestation is all over and done with, and before I
go into the birth story, I thought I'd take some time to spread some
slight wisdom.

Ever since I started blogging about pregnancy I've been getting the
occasional hit from people googling (which, I hear, is officially a verb
now) obscure questions about being pregnant. I know I had a bunch of
questions and problems that there weren't any real answers to.

So here we go, in no particular order. Maybe someone googling will get
some helpful info.

1. Morning sickness does not happen just in the morning. It may not go
away in the second trimester. Eating crackers does not help. And most
irritatingly, you can be struck with crippling nausea where you can't
peel yourself off the couch without projectile vomiting, but then the
next day be perfectly fine. This will do little to convince either your
doctor or your employer (or even your husband) that there is anything
wrong with you.

This is all apparently normal, and goes away almost immediately after
giving birth. I remember scarfing down the hospital food and commenting
to my husband how weird that was, since it was truly disgusting. He
looked at me askance and said, "Well your nausea's probably gone, huh."
And astonishingly it had, less than an hour after Abbie was born.

2. You may not gain any weight if you are already overweight. I was
totally freaked at each weigh-in before the doctor's appointments showed
that I wasn't gaining anything. All the pregnancy books say, even if
you are already overweight (which I certainly was), you're supposed to
gain some.

But my weight stayed absolutely even until the last 30 days, when I
gained a whole seven pounds (and Abbie at birth weighed seven pounds
eleven ounces. I haven't weighed myself post-partum yet so I don't know
if I'm back to usual yet.) None of this phased my doctor at all. I
don't know how much of it had to do with problem number one, but
everything was fine in the end so I gues it's apparently normal for this
to happen, too.

3. Pregnancy gives you super-smell. It gets so intense it's like a
mutant super power. And, at least for me, it happens the moment you're
pregnant. Seriously, if you ever find yourself sniffing the air
quizzically saying, "What the hell is that foul odor?" while your
significant other looks at you like you're crazy, buy a home pregnancy
test. You may have a problem.

Unfortunately for poor Brian, the super smell coincided with his trying
to quit smoking. There was many a time when I walked into a room he
hadn'tbeen in for hours and screamed, "Dammit Brian don't smoke in the
house!" He has quit, though, and the super smell faded at about the
same time the nausea did.

4. Your giant belly makes your ass look smaller. Okay, so that's a
joke one, mostly. But it kinda does.

5. Your hips and pelvis may stop actually bearing your weight. Blame
the cheesily named hormone relaxin, which all the pregnancy books say
'might cause your joints to feel loose.' What they mean by this is that
the front of your pelvis (betcha didn't even know there was a joint
there,) will start to unlace, and your hips will literally start to
rotate out of their sockets when you try to walk.

This is excrucuating, or at least it was for me. I couldn't walk
around, sit in a chair, stand, lie down, turn over in bed, or do
anything but sit in a specific position in the recliner. I started
using a cane to hobble about the house. And it wasn't a dull ache or
anything, but a sharp, gasp-for-air, make-your-eyes-water type of pain. Once, after a shower, I actually fell over and couldn't get up, and had to scream for my husband to help me. A true, 'I've fallen and I can't get up,' moment is kind of humiliating, even if it is just your understanding husband (well, he did giggle a little...) coming to help you out.

But apparently this is also normal. It took longer than the nausea and
the super smell to go away, but at three weeks out I can now bound up
and down the stairs with impunity.

So there it is, just a little bit of info that I wish someone had told
me. There's some more, probably, if I could think of it. (Such as, why
didn't they tell me the first post-delivery pee would hurt so much? I
started crying right there on the toilet.) But the baby is sleeping and
I'm starved, so I'm making a snack.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

2 weeks old


2 weeks old
Originally uploaded by plucky punk.
Still alive. Starting to get a routine down. Don't send the Coast Guard out looking for me just yet.

I'm starting to feel ever so slightly confident in this new role. I'm sure something will come along soon to undermine that, though.

I'm really really sleepy. Haven't slept more than 4 hours in a row since the whole shebang went down.

But all in all, not too shabby.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Abbie and Tigger


Abbie and Tigger
Originally uploaded by plucky punk.
Okay so I've lost all pretense of actual blogging. My life is now an endless cycle of eating, sleeping, pumping breastmilk, and diaper changing.

And, of course, posing stuffed animals with my sleeping child.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Monkey Toes!


Monkey Toes!
Originally uploaded by plucky punk.
Still working out the kinks in this whole "keeping the baby alive" thing. Never thought I'd be so excited about poop.

I think I finally understand the whole "parents excited about poop" cliche. It's not the poop, really. It's more like, "Your internal organs work! You're not going to die! I'm so relieved!"

Still want to blog about the birth experience before I forget it all. And I will return to normal political blogging someday. Remember when I used to blog about political issues all the time?

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Abigail Alani Gatsch


Abigail Alani Gatsch
Originally uploaded by plucky punk.
The Plucky Baby. Awwww...

Everyone involved is getting settled. I've discovered the priorities with a newborn in the house kind of go like this:

1. Attend to baby's every need.

2. Sleep

3. All the other crap you meant to do.

So I will be blogging more later.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Monday, June 26, 2006

Okay. So this is it.

These are my last few hours as a childless woman. I'm on my way to be induced.

Weird.

If anyone reading this is friends or family looking for me, I'll be at this hospital, and am not above begging for gifts.

Cheers, it's been nice knowing you,

Childless Vanessa.

Soon-to-be-known-as Mommy.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Good News Everyone!

Comedy Central is going to put Futurama back on the air!
Three years after the show last aired on prime time, the cable net has signed a deal to resurrect the former Fox animated series for a minimum 13-episode run.

Comedy Central will start airing the new shows in 2008.

"We are thrilled that Matt Groening and 20th Century Fox Television have decided to produce new episodes of Futurama and that Comedy Central will be the first to air them," said David Bernath, the cable net's senior VP.

The new episode order is part of a larger deal Comedy Central made with the production company last year, when they bought the syndicated rights to Futurama's 72-episode library.
Any show where Al Gore's head shouts "Peace out y'all!" before rocket-launching to Jupiter is fine by me.

In other news, I am now scheduled to be induced on Monday. I feel a little like one of the characters from a Final Fantasy video game when a bad guy casts "Doom" on you and a number counts down above your head until you die.

And now, I feel like a massive geek.

Poor baby I'm having. She's got geeky parents.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Hee.

Okay, this is funny.

Seriously. I laughed for like half an hour.

Via this thread at Pharyngula, which features an equally cringe-worthy clip of a drunken Connie Chung in a ballgown on a piano.

Things Happening Today

1. I am finally going to clean the damn fishtank. I am such a bad betta owner, I really should be ashamed. Poor Mr. Beaumont, king of fin rot.

2. Aliza seems to be in labor. Go cheer her on!

3. You should call your senators about the Net Neutrality bill if you like to read blogs at all. Because if your telephone company had their way, then non-corporate whore content might have a hard time making its way to you over the internet.

Read skippy's impassioned take on this issue. Several prominent blogs think nothing of accepting ad money from the dark side, apparently. This is more than shocking to me. You'd think liberal blogtopia (yes, skippy etc.,) would rally behind this issue.

Also, click on the thingy in the sidebar there that says Save the Internet. Tells you all you need to know.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Everyone hates Ann Coulter. Yay!!!!

I'm sure it says something about my emotional maturity, but it fills me with glee to see Ann Coulter being thrashed about in the media again recently.

Yes, all the arguments that she's just getting unneccesary attention for her hate-filled tirades apply. And I'm sure you're right. Just don't spoil my fun.

First off, there's her appearance on the Today Show. Ann, it's not smart to make like you sufferred on 9/11 just as much as the people of New York, while in New York.

It's a stupid thing to say anywhere, but you shouldn't say it to the faces of people who were standing in the streets watching bodies fall out of buildings in real-time, instead of through their television screens. They won't understand the subtle point you're trying to make.

PZ at Pharyngula has a nice takedown of some of her new book, Godless.
A reader (who will be nameless, unless he wants to confess in the comments) sent me a chunk of Coulter's book, Godless. It's worse than I feared. It contains the usual stock creationist crap presented at a rapid pace, full of the usual bald assertions of outright lies, intentional misinterpretations, and lots and lots of quote mining. Seriously, it looks like every paragraph contains multiple falsehoods or screwy manglings of science.
Not that I'm surprised. It must be so easy to be someone like Ann Coulter. All you have to do is make shit up, put it in book form, confuse footnotes with endnotes, and you're rich. You could work in the comfort of your own home!

In fact, I think I'm in the wrong business. Someone get me a blonde wig!

PZ also mentions why Coulter isn't better ignored.
Here's a counterargument: "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." I've watched good people do nothing about creeping lunacy and anti-intellectualism for decades. I watched appalled when that senile fool Reagan was elected. I was even more appalled when George W. Bush, airhead extraordinaire and utterly unqualified ignoramus, became president. The citizenry howls to destroy the science standards in our public schools, or complacently votes to lower property taxes at the expense of our children's minds. While we've quietly raised a rich crop in scattered little plots, we are about to be overwhelmed by the nightmarish weeds that overrun our neighbors'. We must stand up and shout, finally…and hope it's not too late.
I agree. Coulter and her ilk must be shown to be the lying hypocrites that they are. If your kitchen is crawling with roaches, you shouldn't just let them scurry around unseen in the dark. No, throw the light of day on those bastards, and grab the raid!

Over at Feministe, there's a contest going on in the comments for this thread to come up with the best insult for Ann without insulting race, gender, or otherwise. One of my favorite insults for Ann used to be that she was really "Andy Kaufman in drag." Not referring to anything about her appearance or dubious feminity, but rather to her schlockyness, and how it was so over the top that it had to be a joke a-la Kaufman.

However, I can totally see how that could seem insulting to the transgendered and will no longer use it. I remember reading on some blog somewhere that I don't remember comments about how Ann Coulter was a 'cunt' and how the person commenting would really 'like to rape her.' And that was one of the more disturbing things I've ever read on a blog. Not to mention all the comments about how she's anorexic, has an adam's apple, what have you. So no more of that.

But read the contest suggestions. My favorites are "Fascist Barbie" and "Vomitbag."

Finally, there's this amusing image from Mike Tidmus' blog: Codless.

And yes, I'm still pregnant.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Still pregnant

Yeah, still pregnant. But enjoying my early baby vacation time. Will blog as I feel like it.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Oh Lordy

Still pregnant. Oh my lord am I pregnant. Right now it feels like I'm carrying a watermelon between my thighs. The pain in my hips and pelvis is still there, although I can't quite tell whether or not it's getting better or if I'm just getting used to it.

I haven't felt much like blogging. It's too hot (101 degrees yesterday!) to do much more than lie on the couch and watch Law & Order reruns with a sort of dazed look on your face.

Still not sleeping much, which given the current hour seems obvious. I've gotten on a weird cycle where I sleep for two or three hours, wake up for five or six, then sleep for two or three again. I'm assuming it's my body preparing for the sleep cycles of a newborn, although it could be anxiety.

It's not like there's not plenty to blog about, though. Let's see...

The situation about the Marines in the Iraqi town of Haditha murdering a bunch of civilians for no good reason continues to get less press than I think it should. It seems clear to me that outright murder is the logical conclusion of the mindset evidenced by our troops after the Abu Ghraib scandal. This is the sort of thing that happens in a ground war, which is why you shouldn't engage in one unless it's a last resort. Which it pretty much never is.

There was a really good special on the Sundance Channel, if you have cable or satellite, that goes into this a bit. It's called The Human Behavior Experiments, and is reviewed at Slate here. The review is right that it's a little pulpy in its presentation, but it's worth watching to see how things like Abu Ghraib can happen so easily when people are put in certain, unrestricted authority type situations.

To paraphrase one of the psychologists interviewed, "These weren't bad apples, it was the barrel that was bad."

This is, again, the sort of thing that seems obvious. It's highly irresponsible to take people, stress them out incredibly, put them in positions of pretty much unlimited authority, push the idea that the enemy is inhuman, and expect them to act normal. Sure, these 'apples' were bad and should be punished for their behavior, but until the 'barrel' is changed then it will just happen again and again.

Ugh, it's all very emotionally draining for me to contemplate right now. I think my pregnancy hormones are doing a last minute catapult into the stratosphere. I'm finding myself in a constant state of slight panic, which I'm sure is pretty bad for the baby.

I've started my maternity leave early as my doctor says my blood pressure is slightly too high and I should be taking it easy. That, and the pelvis pain makes it impossible to do pretty much anything besides the forementioned Law & Order rerun watching (seriously, it's on one particular channel or another 24 hours a day).

But I'm bored out of my skull stuck at home all day, and I think Brian and I are starting to wear thin on each other. He's quitting smoking at the same time as all of this (poor guy), and his edginess combined with my hormones (and the frigging heat) make for some lively fireworks.

But he's also been so sweet, rubbing my back and fetching me things and making sure I stay rested. And plus he's a genius. He McGuyver'd up a swamp cooler out of a box fan and a damp bath towel.

I'm positive that if it weren't for him being around I would have collapsed into a gibbering mess several months ago. I guess that's marriage, when you're thinking to yourself, "You're so irritating, and I love you so much."

I'll have to get him a father's day present, but I'm not sure what.

Anyway, enough personal blathering. Is it wrong of me to laugh at this story?
KIEV (Reuters) - A man shouting that God would keep him safe was mauled to death by a lioness in Kiev zoo after he crept into the animal's enclosure, a zoo official said on Monday.

"The man shouted 'God will save me, if he exists', lowered himself by a rope into the enclosure, took his shoes off and went up to the lions," the official said.

"A lioness went straight for him, knocked him down and severed his carotid artery."
I know I'm doing nothing but reinforcing the atheist-as-heartless-babyeater stereotype here, but I'm sorry, that's hilarious.

Sigh. Only a few more weeks to go. Maybe I'll go into labor today and have a devil baby (link on that via Pandagon).

Friday, May 26, 2006

RIP

Desmond Dekker
Oh, man...
LONDON - Desmond Dekker, who brought the sound of Jamaican ska music to the world with songs such as "Israelites," has died, his manager said Friday. He was 64.

Dekker, who lived in England, collapsed from an apparent heart attack at his home on Thursday, manager Delroy Williams said.
That totally sucks. Check out some Desmond Dekker here.

**ADDED** RJ over at skippy's has a Desmond Dekker video up, and also a bit about Hamza El Din whose death was also announced today.

Friday Random Ten/Cat Blogging


hubcap
Originally uploaded by plucky punk.
This is pretty much the only thing I have the mental energy to blog about, although I will say I've spent pretty much all week reading Pandagon and Feministe, and advise you to do so as well.

Anyway,

1. On My Way - The Proclaimers
2. Soul Kitchen - X
3. I Held Her In My Arms - Violent Femmes
4. Tortise Brand Pot Scrubbing Cleaner's Theme - Shonen Knife
5. Laid - James
6. Flowers - Psychedelic Furs
7. Filipino Box Spring Hog - Tom Waits
8. Shake Your Rump - Beastie Boys
9. I Can't Stand It - Lou Reed
10. Jeepster - T.Rex

As an added bonus, since I'm such a crappy lazy blogger, I include a picture of another cat. Doesn't this picture of Hubcap kind of look like it was taken on the set of some sleazy 70's porn, what with the wood paneling and the orangey tint? My digital camera is old and doesn't white balance very well indoors.

heh

Ever get into a huge panic because your computer is suddenly acting like it has some sort of weird virus, and oh-god-just-what-you-need-on-top-of-everything, and your Trialware Norton Anti-virus just expired the other day, only to look down at your keyboard and notice the 'ctrl' key is stuck down by a huge glob of dried popsicle juice?

Who knew that would cause all sorts of weird crap to happen, like Firefox opening every link in a new tab and the scroll button on your mouse making the font size bigger?

Well, at least I didn't call tech support.

And it's still not as bad as the woman who I spoke to once who had her surge protector plugged into itself.

The popsicle goo scraped right off, btw.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Friday Cat Blogging


Charlie is cuter than you
Originally uploaded by plucky punk.
Must be nice, sleeping in the window all day. Myself, am pretty much couch-ridden due to hip and pelvis pain. Apparently it's pretty common, but I'm still going to complain and be a big baby about it. I figure I should milk this pregnancy thing for all its worth.

However, I just hope the HR department at my job understands...

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Holy Cow

Can't type long as sitting in the desk chair makes my hip throb like a monkey, but I wanted to bring attention to this post, found via the link farm at Alas. (And hey, thanks for the link, Amp!) This part, in particular, practically teared me up.
Before I gave birth, I went on paid maternity leave, as required by the state, about a month before my due date. After I got home from the hospital I had another six months of paid leave at two-thirds of my salary. After that paid leave was up, I continued to get "baby payments" of around $150 a month. I would have continued to get those so long as I remained in the Czech Republic, up to four years after Connery was born.
As someone who is currently doing the maternity leave dance with their employer, let me say, damn.

There's got to be some way to makes this work in the US. In the richest country in the world, this kind of crap is bullshit.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Yep yep yep yep yep

This is me practicing embedded YouTube.



Hey, did it work? And is it sad that the same stuff that cracked me up when I was two still cracks me up? Seriously, I love these stupid aliens!

This is from this huge post at folded space, via daddy types which I was idly browsing looking a ridiculous crap I'd never by but secretly lust for in a way that gives me liberal guilt.

By the way, what was with old school Sesame Street and the number 12? There's the 12 ladybugs in the Ladybug's Picnic song (which is awesome...sounds like a Guthrie to me.) And then there's the super-trippy, uber-funky counting to tweleve song here. (I mean, seriously, no wonder I smoked so much pot in high school if I was watching this as a kid.)

But what does the number 12 really represent? I think it's some sort of Jim Henson version of the Da Vinci code.

Although to me it doesn't come close to the floating, giggling baby head from Teletubbies. Ahhh! The baby head is coming to eat me!!!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

So I apparently am no longer sleeping...

Yeah, it could be said that I have a touch of insomnia.

It could be the fact that my bedroom is as hot as an oven (and it doesn't help when your big hairy cat wants to sleep on you), or that every time I close my eyes I see the teeny tiny figure that is the amount of money in my checking account, or the instant heartburn I get when laying down, or the ache in my right hip, or the carpal tunnel that's returned with a vengence in my left arm. Or, it could be that this is my first official mother's day (is it? There's no Fetus Carrier day...) and the thought is kind of freaky.

In any case, I am awake. And instead of doing any of the cleaning I need to do, I am blogging. Never say I'm not a procrastinator.

I can't even think of anything important to blog about so it's going to be linkage and movie trailers again.

They've been doing some interesting discussing at Pandagon lately. First there's this post, about dressing like a 'girl.'
That’s why, problematic as it is to buy into feminine drag, it feels empowering for so many women to finally, finally feel free to embrace the skirts and make-up. For me, being able to wear a skirt and some lipstick and even some nice shoes is a victory of sorts, a demonstration that I’m finally self-assured enough about my intellectual equality with men that I can let my guard down and enjoy looking girly. And part of it is no doubt age, too–after you don’t look like a teenager anymore you don’t feel like you have to build a wall between you and the creepy perv patrol so much. None of this is to say that women who don’t enjoy the girly thing are obliged to at all. Just that if you do have that inclination and you avoid it through most of your youth out of fear of being condescended to or worse, getting to the point where you are past that fear can actually feel empowering.
As someone who spent their teen years never wearing a skirt and now owns only one pair of jeans, yeah. I totally get that. Down in the comments someone mentioned cis-vestism, which is like transvestism but instead of liking to dress like the opposite gender, you get a thrill from dressing like your own gender.

That rings true to me. I've often complained that it's not fair that only Drag Queens are able to act like the outrageous ultra-woman I've always wanted to be. I want to name myself Amanda Hugginkiss and lip sync to ABBA songs while hot guys dance in the background. It's my destiny, man.

Then there's this post that addresses something with a similar theme, which is whether or not one feels the need to have children. Now it's weird saying this as a pregnant woman, I know, but for a long time I was very anti-breeding. So I've had this discussion many, many, many times before.

And then read this post where Amanda experiences gestalt and ties it all together.

On a different topic, I was talking with my husband the other day about how terrifying it is that the topic of global warming had transformed into something that will have horrible effects in the distant dystopian future to something that is having horrible effects right fucking now.

The hottest year on record was 2005. The last hurricane season broke all sorts of crazy records, most likely because of greenhouse gasses. Glaciers are melting all over the place.

So you'll forgive me if this movie trailer freaks me the hell out. I recognize it's a little hysterical sounding. (Was the "If you love your children, see this film" bit really necessary?) And Al Gore, bless his soul, still sounds like a total geek. But the before and after images of Patagonia and Mt. Kilimanjaro are honestly terrifying.

Not to mention the thought that it may take the World Trade Center memorial being underwater for the majority of Americans to make any sort of changes in their lives, let alone the government. I think that's the scariest part.

Oh god. The sun is coming up and birds are chirping.

I'm going to try to lay down again. Please send me sleepy vibes.

Or money.