Wednesday, January 31, 2007
When the people said 'No' to our abortion ban, they really meant 'Try again'
Highlights, you ask for? Highlights you shall get! (Full story here.)
This year’s bill would allow rape victims to get abortions if they report the rapes to police within 50 days. Doctors would have to confirm the report with police and would have to take blood from aborted fetuses and give that information to police for DNA testing.
You see, a woman's word is not good enough. Leave aside for the moment the sheer repulsiveness of the idea of a bunch of legislators deciding who can and cannot control their own body, imagine you're a rape victim. Too traumatized by the experience to tell anyone, you try to forget it and get on with your life. No one knows, so maybe it never really happened, right? Right. Okay. Pull yourself together, try to act normal, keep it quiet. Then, you realize you're pregnant. Fuck! Ah, but! Even though you live in S.D. where the AmeriBam rules, there are exceptions for rape victims. So, you screw up your courage, scrape together the money and go for an appointment -- only to find out that, because you didn't report your attack, you're going to have to carry your rapist's victim to term. Poor you, so sad. But what did you expect for getting yourself raped, mmm?
But, what if you're an incest victim? Surely you would be allowed an abortion, right? Well, yes. Maybe.
In the case of incest, a doctor would have to get the woman’s consent to report the crime along with the identity of the alleged perpetrator before an abortion could be performed. Blood samples from fetuses would have to be provided to police in incest cases, too.
If you agree to report the crime, as well as name the rapist, you can have your abortion. Isn't that nice of Us? Yes, yes. We thought so too. Nevermind that maybe it's your father and reporting will tear your family apart. Or maybe your grandfather or brother or favorite uncle. Nevermind the trauma you'll experience when there's a public record of your abuse, for anyone to find by a quick search at the local courthouse. Nevermind that you'll still have to go through a trial. Or that maybe no one will believe you. You wanton little 10-year-old, you know you seduced him! No no, We choose to ignore the actual ramifications of this law in service of the Little Angel in Your Belly. (Note: Yes, of course, I want child abusers to be prosecuted. But there are a lot of reasons abused children don't come forward and forcing them to do so in order to receive medical care is just wrong.)
And why, you may ask, are these exemptions so extremely narrow? Because women lie, of course.
One of the 25 sponsors, state Rep. Gordon Howie, said the rape and incest provisions are strict to ensure that women don’t say they have been victims in order to obtain abortions.
And why in the world would a woman living in a state that allows abortion only in such specific circumstances lie in order to get one? It just baffles the mind, doesn't it?
There's also an exception for the life and health of the mother. But -- come on, you knew something was coming, right? -- again, a woman's word isn't good enough. Neither, apparently, is the word of her own doctor.
It would allow abortions to save women’s lives and in cases in which their health would be seriously jeopardized by a continued pregnancy. However, a doctor could perform an abortion only if a doctor from another practice concurs that a woman’s health is in jeopardy.
Not only do women lie, but so do the doctors who regularly care for them and are most familiar their with particular health situation. So, if the doctor who has cared for a women since she was a baby and who knows her family history and personal health quirks believes an abortion is the best option -- that's not good enough. No, she has to see a doctor who is completely unfamiliar with her history, who may very well simply believe that all abortion is unnecessary. There's no provision in the law to allow the woman or her doctor to pick the second doctor, so who knows? Maybe the legislature could set up a panel of doctors it deems 'knowledgable' enough to make the decision for the woman. Because, of course, there's no way a woman could make a decision for herself, now is there?
So. Isn't it about time we started an Underground Railroad to get women out of South Dakota? And for those of us who live in states that like to mimic S.D.? Please?
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
This is why we need a fragging Plan C
Short version: A woman is raped and reports it to the police. While taking her statement, they do a routine background check on her and find out there's a warrant for her arrest. For a juvenile matter that's over four years old. What to do, what to do? Why, arrest the rape victim, of course! Book her, toss her in jail and -- wait, it gets better -- deny her emergency contraception. Despite the fact that she's got a valid 'script for it. Why? Because it's against your religious beliefs. And, she's in jail, where else is she going to get the damned thing filled?
Other people have tackled this already. See here,here and here.
I don't know what to say about this, except this is yet another reason I'm pro-choice. It's not about abortion. It's about being regarded as a living, breathing, worthy human being. It's about not being punished for having a vagina. It's about getting the medical treatment you need in the time you need it. It's about basic goddamn human dignity. How hard a concept is that to grasp?
How many times can one woman be victimized? I pray her familly gets her into counseling immediately. What these people did. . .it seems unimaginable to me. A victim of a violent crime comes in and you throw her in jail? (One of the many links about this I read today said the warrant was issued because she owed like $4500 in restitution for a juvenile offense. Which may have been a fucking clerical error. So, think about this, this woman's dignity and humanity was worth $4500 to these people. Fuck that.) Then, after you've got her in jail, you refuse to let her take medication she needs because your god doesn't like it?
Well, you know what? That god is an abusive bastard and utterly unworthy of worship or even fucking acknowledgement. It's followers are self-righteous pricks who deserve to understand, one day, all of the pain they've caused others.
When Insomnia meets PMS
Ahem. Reminds me, V comes on tonight. Must get my Mac fix.
Anyway, I've been thinking about why I've been so crabby lately. It's not a mystery, really. I had to go off my meds for about two weeks because I ran out and didn't have the money to get a refill. Then, when I got a the money, my new frigging insurance wouldn't pay for it! Because the Cymbalta isn't on their formulary. So, I had to get my old doctor to call in and wrangle with them for a bit, but she got them to approve it. So, I'm back on it again but that little time off was enough for a flare up to settle in and it doesn't seem to want to go anywhere. Then, I caught a cold. So, I have a cold, my shoulders and hands are aching and then -- glorious PMS. Which means my back, abs and ankles are aching too. Blah. And on top of that, I get hit with insomnia. It's like....my hormones are trying to kill me. They are. Sometimes, at night, I think I can hear them whispering together, conspiring. Bastard things.
So, I'm going to ask the new doctor about putting me on the damned pill when I go in next month. This new pill, Yaz, is supposed to be good for PMDD (Which is really what I have, but the Cymbalta knocks it back down to regular PMS), as well as birth control and it's good for moderate acne. Which I've got, because ya know, at 32, it's good to look like a teenager. Grr.
So, here's the thing -- when I've got PMS, I hate my body. Not only for the physical pain -- that I can actually deal with, but for in an emotional way. Seriously, when I'm pre-bleed I just generally dislike my body. I'll look at myself and think "Yuck. Who'd want to fuck that?" And I know, when I start thinking that way, what it means. It's really the only time I think that way about myself. I'm also retaining water like a madwoman, so my clothing is really not fitting right. Hell, even my shoes don't feel right.
And I know most women feel something like that, but I'm wondering if they get it to the degree I do. I've always felt like this. I don't even have to see myself, I'll just start thinking how awful I look. How oily and bloated and desparetely unattractive I am. Which I don't geniunely believe, but those thoughts just keep coming. I change clothes a dozen times, because nothing looks decent to me. My hair feels brittle and lifeless, my skin is in revolt, even my fucking teeth hurt! I feel like a hulking mass of blobby-ickyness. Like a cave troll. It's really nasty.
And then, my period starts and I feel like myself again. Also, when my period starts, I lose my appetite. I'm totally not hungry. Which is good, because the week before I cannot stop eating. *sigh*
I love being a woman. I really do, but sometimes I wanna ask the Universe just why I have to go through this. I mean, I do not intent to ever have children, so really, it's kinda mean to make me deal with this every month when there will be no pay off. I want a doctor to invent a pill that allows you to shut down your reproductive system until and unless you want to have a baby. That way, no periods unless you're trying to concieve. It would be amazing.
I have other posts I want to write. At work, I come up with all sorts of things I want to write and say, but when I get home, I'm too damned tired. (Which is probably because, oh wait, I'm not sleeping!)
I want to do another abortion post -- specially since some nutter forced-birther has linked to me thanks to the Blog for Choice post. I will, I promise. Soon as I get some sleep.
Monday, January 29, 2007
My issues haunt my dreams
Then, I'm zipping around the bloggy-verse and stumble upon his webpage. In which he has posted this simple message: "She was of the large" followed by a little frowny face. And of course he got tons of comments about how awful it was he had to go out with a fat girl.
Gah. I can't escape even in my damn dreams!!
Sometimes I think the universe is trying to make me crazy. After talking to the Possiblity, it hit me like a lead weight that I'd been worried so much about being rejected that I had forgotten that hey, maybe /I/ won't be impressed. It was a nice snap back to reality and I was feeling much better. Because my friend Georgia is right, I'm very good at taking ownership of myself and my rights in all situations but a dating situation and that just doesn't make sense. It's not my job to be impressive. It's my job to just be me. And part of being me is realizing that hey, just because someone is interested in me that doesnt' mean I have to be interested in them. Which I know, but is easy to forget with all the conditioning women get in our world. Why, how dare you reject this man's attentions? Don't you realize how rare that is? Don't you realize it might never happen again? Sure, he's not everything you wanted, but dammit, he's a man! And you're 32, unconventional and if you want to escape the old-woman-eaten-by-cats-and-not-found-for-two-weeks fate, you'll snap up any man that wants you, dammit. How pathetic is that? How utterly insulting.
So, anyway. As I was saying, I've shaken that off and yet...here it comes in my dreams! Dammit. This is not amusing, Universe. Stop. Now. Leave me alone, already! (Unless you're planning to drop Sara into my lap. Because that, I'll take some shit for.)
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
I also bought new lipstick. I am addicted to lipstick and lip gloss. I cannot help it. It's a strangeness. But I picked up two new tubes of lipstick and multi-pack pot o'gloss. So my lips look smoking.
Plus, I've shaved. I don't shave. It's against my nature, or so I thought. But no, this time, I thought I'd shave. I have so little hair on my body at the moment, I feel naked when I'm clothed. But, it's an interesting feeling. I kinda like it. Hrm.
Also, regular, daily applications of body lotion. Well, baby lotion actually. Because it makes my skin soooo soft. Which is good, because my elbows and knees get really dry in the winter and crack, then bleed. Now, definately no bleeding or cracking. Just lots of smooth, smooth, ubersoft skin. It's really nice.
I'm feeling decidedly feminine lately. And I want to wear dresses! I never want to wear dressed. I'm anti-dress. But, I'm thinking, I'm not really anti-dress. I'm anti-the-kind-o-dresses-I-was-raised-to-wear. Which is: boring, aged, no fun at all.
The kind of dresses I want? These:
I totally want that green one for next spring. And the brown one? Come on. It's adorable. I am a little concerned about my arms though. They are not just big, but rather flabby. Well, the tops anyway. My lower arms are quite shapely. Go figure. So, since I will be wearing these dresses come spring, I bought myself a set of simple weights to work on toning up my upper arms. I figure, I do that regularly, by the time spring shows up, my arms will be amazing. And then it's tank-tops and strappy sundresses. Dammit.
False rumors about Obama? No, really?
(Leaving aside, of course, the fact that Obama has said publically that yes, he did attend a Muslim school when he lived overseas. He also attended several Christian schools. And he has publically claimed to be a Christian. But none of that matters, of course. Let the rumors begin! We can't have a black man in charge of the country! My, he might do something...like get us outta mess our Cowboy President has gotten us into. But I digress.)
From the CNN story:
Obama lived in Indonesia as a child, from 1967 to 1971, with his mother and stepfather and has acknowledged attending a Muslim school, but an aide said it was not a madrassa.
. . .
But reporting by CNN in Jakarta, Indonesia and Washington, D.C., shows the allegations that Obama attended a madrassa to be false. CNN dispatched Senior International Correspondent John Vause to Jakarta to investigate.
He visited the Basuki school, which Obama attended from 1969 to 1971.
"This is a public school. We don't focus on religion," Hardi Priyono, deputy headmaster of the Basuki school, told Vause. "In our daily lives, we try to respect religion, but we don't give preferential treatment."
Vause reported he saw boys and girls dressed in neat school uniforms playing outside the school, while teachers were dressed in Western-style clothes.
"I came here to Barack Obama's elementary school in Jakarta looking for what some are calling an Islamic madrassa ... like the ones that teach hate and violence in Pakistan and Afghanistan," Vause said on the "Situation Room" Monday. "I've been to those madrassas in Pakistan ... this school is nothing like that."
You can read the entire article here.
I'm having a moment here -- swirling thoughts about assumptions that a black man, raised in foreign countries as a child, with one parent a native of Africa cannot, in fact, be a real American. Despite the fact that he was born in this country. Despite the fact that he has served political office. Despite the fact. . .the sheer reek of prejudice is unbelievable. A dark-skinned man with a Muslim name. . .how much power he has, to strike such fear into the hearts of Good Ole Boys everywhere by doing, what? Existing? Asserting his right to run for office? Or is he so frightening because people like him? Even white people? Does that make us race traitors? Liking what we hear from the black man? And are we supposed to care that a buncha rednecks don't like us or him?
Dirty politics already. Goddess help us. We've got two more years of this.
Addicted to the pretty
My darling Sara:
(BTW, if you watch Grey's Anatomy, don't you just adore the friendship between Callie and Addison? Finally, two strong, capable women who are *gasp* nice to each other! Look, no cat fights! No 'you stole my man, bitch!' Just two women who are friendly and nice to each other and seem to genuinely care about each other. Holy Gods, how did that happen?? Shhh, don't tell anyone. It'd like to see more of this.)
And, my other secret girlfriend, America Ferrara:
Isn't she just glowing? I first saw her in 'Real Women Have Curves' -- an awesome move, btw. (What? It's full of curvy Latinas. You think I'm missing that?) I absolutely fell in love with her for that movie. Plus, she was in 'Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants' last year. Yeah, it was a teen movie, but it was also very good and all about girls and their friendships. It was also awesome. I suggest you see both of them, if you have not. And watch 'Ugly Betty', starring my love here. She's an amazing actress and just lovely to watch.
Monday, January 22, 2007
Why I am pro-choice
It should come as no surprise to anyone who reads this blog with any degree of regularity that I am completely, across-the-board pro-choice. Even in situations when I myself would not have an abortion, I support a woman's right to make that decision for herself, as well as her right to access to safe, legal medical care. I've blogged about why before, but since it's Blogging For Choice Day, allow me go to into more detail.
First, I believe the right to choose is a fundamental human right. This belief comes from a mix of sources, both scientific and religious. On a religious front, I believe in absolute free will. I was raised as a fundamentalist Christian and have since converted waaaay away from that, but the one theme that has been central to my faith has been free will. People are independent agents. We have the capacity to make our own choices, regardless of how other people feel about those choices. We have the right to accept the consequences of those choices, as well as the responsiblity of those choices. To deny us that right is to deny our humanity. To say that a woman is not capable/allowed to make the choice to end, continue or begin a pregnancy is to say that a woman is less than human. It is to deny her full humanity. To force her to continue a pregnancy she does not want is to enslave her to her body. To force her to bear children she does not want, either to force her to give them to other people to raise or to raise on her own when she does not want to, is to enslave her again. Human beings have a fundamental right not to be enslaved. To say women can/should be forced to remain pregnant against their will is, again, to deny them humanity.
Until a fetus can survive on its own, outside its mother's womb, its 'rights' do not compete with a woman's. One is a fully-formed, already living, interacting with the world, human being. One has the potential to be such a person, but isn't yet. Do you enslave a human being to a potential human being? Does the possibility of a life trump the actuality of a life? That's illogical and points back to this -- women are not human beings, therefore not granted full human rights. Which, frankly, I think is bullshit.
One size does not fit all -- even in the most wanted pregnancy, bad things can happen. The child a woman tried to conceive for 10 years can cause her extraordinary physical stress, some of which can endanger her life. If my kidneys start failing in the third month, my doctor says they'll be completely gone by the fifth month and I won't survive long enough to give birth, should I be forced to go through with it anyway? Or what if I'm not going to die, but the damage the pregnancy is causing will be long-term, rendering me incapable of actually caring for my child for a substantial period of time? Or what if the medical bills generated ruin me financially? What if the child has some disability that will render its life unlivable? Who gets to make that decision? The state? The state that has absolutely no idea about my life, what it entails or how it's impersonal decision will affect me?
Or what if I just don't want a child? What if I was using birth control religiously, but it still didn't work? Don't I know myself and my life better than anyone else? When I say, "I'd be an awful mother", how can the state possibly know better than me?
The belief that all women want to be mothers -- even if we don't know it -- is rooted in the belief, again, that women are not fully human. No one would say a man does not know his own mind. No one would say, "Oh, sure. He doesn't want to be a father right now, but that'll change as soon as he sees that baby/the first time they put it in his arms." And when a man decides he cannot hold the burden of fatherhood and disappears, there isn't anyone going after him to drag him back into his child's life. It's almost expected that a man isn't going to want to be an active part in his children's life. (Which is an other post all together, because again, that's bullshit.)
Mostly, I'm pro-choice because I know women who've had abortions. I know women who have had multiple children. I know women who have had miscarriages. Simply, I know women. I know women and I know that we are capable of making intelligent, informed, often difficult decisions. The myth of the woman who aborts for fun? Bullshit. I've never known it to happen. I had a roommate in college who ended up pregnant. She was maybe 18. It was not the time for a child, so, she had an abortion. It wasn't an easy choice for her. In fact, it left her in tears, but it was what she felt she needed to do in order to have a decent life. I know women who have had six, seven, eight children. Each child was a wanted, loved child, who came into a family determined to make their lives good and decent. I've known women who had several miscarriage. I've known women who cannot have children of their own flesh, who have adopted instead. The common thread? They're all women. They're all fully-realized human beings making the best choices for their own lives, without state interference. They examined their lives, their minds, their beliefs and circumstances and made a choice -- to end a pregnancy, to attempt a pregnancy, to carry a pregnancy to term, to adopt a child as their own.
The right to make a choice -- fundamental human right, full stop. Whether I like the choices any individual woman makes is irrelevant. It's still her right to make that choice, to take on the consequences and responsbility of that decision. Because she's a human being, not a slave or child who needs the state to make her choices for her.
Thursday, January 18, 2007
Goddess damned blogger!
My Own Private Gender Gap
I'm not sure what to make of that. Maybe it's because I've been in a very girl-centric mood lately. Really, I was expecting to meet a girl (and hey, maybe I have. . .but that's another story). I've been awash in very feminine energy and I've been pulled toward other girls. So this whole, wait he's got a penis! thing . . .not what I was expecting.
Which is something the Universe will /so/ do to you. Hmp.
Still, there's something to the fact that, if he were a she, I would have substantially less angst about hooking up. It's not because I think hooking up with a girl would be less 'real'. Fuck that. No, it's...I never have the same sense of panic or worry with women. It's a level playing field, no power struggle.
Well, shit. That's just shit, isn't it? Because here I am, assuming about a person because he's a Man, instead of oh, I don't know, letting him just be a person and not assuming X,Y and Z about him because he's got a fucking penis.
*sigh* All this work and I still need deprograming....
Eleven years isn't that much of an age difference, right?
Here's the thing -- I have sexual issues. Well, actually, it's more accurate to say I have vulnerability issues and when are you more vulnerable than during sex? I consider this to be a personal failing, even though my bestest friend Georgia would, and has, told me it's not a failing. But it feels that way, desparately.
I cannot believe anyone would want me. Stupid, isn't it? I know it's dumb. I know and I genuinely believe that I'm a pretty damned incredible person. And yet. . .the thought that someone would honestly want to have sex with me? It just doesn't occur. Even now, writing this, I'm starting to tear up because I'm so very used to being rejected.
It's my default position. It happens, over and over again. I am not pretty, not by any conventional standards. And that's not just because I'm fat, but I'm also not...I don't know how to explain it. I'm certainly not ugly, but I'm not pretty. I've never wanted to be pretty, except that being pretty seems to be the key to being loved or even desired. So, I don't want to be pretty. I want to be wanted. And I'm so used to that not happening. I talk to people a lot online and, when they're local and we're hitting it off, you know how it goes -- it's the whole pix exchange and whatnot. And I cannot count the times when all conversations have just stopped, dead, once they see my picture.
Which is stupid, because frankly most of these people? Eh, they're not princes/esses. They're just people, some prettier than others, but still. I'm not thinking "Oh, can't talk to them anymore becuase they don't look like X. . ." So what gives with people having that attitude with me?
So, anyway, as I've said, it's my default position. I just expect it. So, I'm talking to this person, let's call him The Possibliity, and he's all 'send me a pix'. So, well, I figure...why not? (Hearing the conversation in my head as I do, of course. Blahblahblahblahblah...) I send him off to my OKCupid page, which has my photo on it. Thinking, well it was nice having someone to flirt with, lalalalala.
Only, he doesn't get the whole "oh, hell...how did I end up talking to another fat girl?" bullshit. He got even /more/ suggestive...which totally didn't make sense to me and now I'm like...Uh. Okay? Now what do I do?
Cause, here's the problem: He's beautiful. I mean, seriously, lust-inducing, I must paint you beautiful. And beautiful people don't like me. Only, he kinda does. Also, he's 21. And I'm, uh, not.
*smacks head against the wall* Here's the problem: I do not know how to handle this. . .I mean, yeah seriously beautiful. And well, he's 21, so, stamina. Maybe not the most talented or sophisticated, but those can be learned. Definately enthusiastic. And I kinda like the idea of having a Boy-on-Call, ya know? So, why am I stuck stumbling over this sense of...I just don't know how to do this!
That's it, you know. I want and I want and I can't have and then suddenly, I can. I could call him now and he'd be here as soon as he gets off work. And well, neither of us is looking to get married, just have some fun.
ARG! I blame my fucking Southern Baptist upbringing for this angst. I so very do. That and I've been out of the game for sooo long. Wasn't I supposed to get to slowly ease back in? No? Oh. Okay then.
Here's the funny: my "resolution" this year was to end this stupid celibacy streak. Just smash it dead, gone. Slutfest 2007 I called it to my friends. They agree, 'tis time. But I really didn't think I had even the slightest chance of you know, doing it. I've gotten so used to resigning myself to nights with B.O.B., I never thought ahead to what I'd do if I, ya know, had a chance at some human companionship.
And so, of course, when I did my little New Year's ritual, I wasn't /really/ expecting the Gods to hear me. Ha. So now, ya know, step up to the plate, see what happens. And I find, I'm a bit of a coward. Gah.
Bad Zan! Bad! Smash the brainwashing, dammit! Grr. Arg.
So. . .because I'm conflicted, but not stupid, I've added getting a script for birth control to my list o'things to discuss with my new doctor at my appointment. Until them, I'm going to be picking up some condoms. Haven't done /that/ in ages either....Hell, I have some extra in my next paycheck, so I'm going to order a pack of Plan B from drugstore.com. Hopefully, won't have to use it, but better safe than sorry and all.
So anyway, I don't know what the point of this post is. I'm just kinda....rattled? In a weird way. Not a terribly bad way, but....it all comes back to that fucked up religious training. If you plan for sex, if you take steps beforehand and have all your birth control and options lined up, well, that means you're doing it on PURPOSE. You're not just gonna ACCIDENTLY fuck. And that's BAD.
ARG! Godsdamnedfuckingsouthernbapstistbastards!! Shut up, shut up. I wanna get laid, dammit. (Did I mention he was beautiful? And kinky? And twenty-fucking-one???)
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Note to self. . .
When you say to the Universe, I'm feeling disconnected from my body. I'm feeling that the only thing my body is good for is pain. I want to remember that my body is for joy and pleasure and sensuality. Send me someone to help remember that. Don't be surprised, oh idiot, when the Universe says -- OK.
And don't be surprised when, the Universe having listened in on all those little secret fantasies of yours, this person is fucking beautiful. And sexy. And totally, completely into making you feel all those things you'd forgotten.
Now, oh idiot, is NOT a good time to get all self-conscious and shy and worried about how he'll react to your body. This body you do love, remember?
Gah. Note to self: remember, when you ask for something and the Universe delivers, you've still got to ACT ON IT!!
Gods Damn Southern Baptist upbringing...grumblegrumblegrumble...
Come out, come out, wherever you are...
I promise, I will not bite. (Well, unless you're into that and then I am so very there. Ahem.) And I won't let Mac bite you either. She still owes me for that time I....well. Never mind. It's private and all that.
Also, if you happen to be near Baton Rouge, you especially comment! I'm looking for a cohort to run away to South by Southwest in Austin in March. So...step up, start talking and maybe we can go see some awesome bands.
That is all.
Revising the script
Which is rather blissful for me, frankly. Good timing too. The girl I share the office with is on maternity leave for six weeks and I've got the place all to myself. Ha! Guess what I'm gonna be doing? Yes. You're quite right. Bad Zan, here's a publishing deal. Or something.
So, anyway, last night I pulled out the copy of what I've gotten written (hard copies rock, people. I became obessed with them when my thesis -- both of 'em! -- got eaten by computers when I was in the final round. Gah!) Something wasn't quite right with it before, which is why it got put down. Then I got sick and was on meds and well...that happens. Ahem. So, anyway I'm reading it and was like -- well, hell! One of my main charcters is the wrong fucking gender! Dammit. I hate it when that happens.
So, Adan is becoming Adrienne in the revisions I'm doing this weekend. Which makes things feel a bit more True. A few more tweeks will be necessary to the character, but essentially she's better now.
I'm also a bit concerned about one of the final scenes in the book. (Yeah, I write the last chapter first. I need to know where I"m going before I can figure out how to get there. Sue me.) It needs to be there, doubtlessly. It resolves one of the big conflicts, well, two of them, really. But it's kinda....Here's the thing: my heroine is, in my mind, a clearly feminist heroine. She's not saying it or whatnot, but the way she lives her life, the choices she makes, the relationships she has -- it's pretty damned clear. So, something happens to her in this chapter that needs to happen, but I'm worried about the reaction people are going to have to it.
And on one hand, I don't care. My story (Yeah, Zera says, your story. Keep telling yourself that Typing Slave.), my rules, right? And it makes sense. It's necessary. But it's not really pretty. And you know, it's more her reaction to what happens to her that is what I worry people will react badly to. (She says: Fuck 'em. Let 'em bitch. They would anyway. Now, go write me a damn sex scene! I haven't gotten laid since chapter three!!)
And so, now I'm thinking it's not so much a problem, but something to mull about. Hrm. Still, I think the scene isn't what people may read it as, so . . .(Again -- fuck 'em. I'm a big girl, I knew what I was getting into and did it willingly. Hello, isn't that called consent? Self-determination? So. Fuck 'em. Go.Write.My.Sex.Scene.Dammit.)
So, ahem. Well, yes. I'm writing again. (Thanks Bainen! ) I may be getting weird. Sorry :)
(Actually, my friends used to give me a giant berth when they knew I was writing. One day, I came out of my room to find Stef had stuck a note on my door -- Do not Disturb. She'll fucking Kill You!! Hmp.))
Monday, January 15, 2007
Best. Soup. Ever.
2 lean steaks, cut o'your choice. Mine came from my Mom's freezer :)
1 can beef broth
1 can tomato sauce
Some tomato bullion
Pasta o'your choice
1 can whole kernel corn
1 can diced potatos
1 can sliced carrots
Sage, Thyme, Crushed red pepper, Basil, Sea Salt, Black Pepper, Tony's seasoning, Oregano, whatever other seasonings you have in your cabinet.
Cut steak into bitty cubes. Toss in the stock pot with beef broth, tomato sauce, tomato bullion, plus buncha water. (Can you tell my Mom never put much stock into measuring? This is how I learned to cook. Just eyeball it, stop when it looks right.) Add chopped onions and seasoning, heat over low to medium heat until slowly boiling. Heating it slowly gives the meat time to soak up the seasonings and get really tender. Stir occassionally -- but seriously, I was online and downloading music the whole time I was cooking, so it doesn't need a lot of attention. So long as the heat isn't really high.
When you get a nice slow boil, toss in some pasta. I used elbow mac, but whatever you got. I don't think spigetti would work, but hey, who knows? Have fun with it. Let this all keep slow boiling until the pasta is done. Add in veggies. I drained all the water off mine, but you can leave it on if ya like. Or you can use fresh veggies. Or frozen. Whatever.
Let everything simmer for awhile, giving the veggies time to get tender and absorb some seasoning. When they're tender to your liking, dish up and eat. Makes more than I'll be able to eat in a week! Yum.
I think I'm cooking like this as a sort of comfort measure. I'm not feeling terribly well. My head is seriously dizzy and I'm stuffed up like crazy. And so, since I am resisiting the urge (and do not have the money) to go buy myself a gallon of ice cream, I'm cooking the things I remember my Mom making. Huge pots of soup and chickeny goodness, things that have good memories attached to them. I don't know what people do who don't have parents who cooked. I can't remember my childhood without that memory. Something was always cooking. Might not have been much, but we had something. I made myself pancakes last night. My mom used to make pancakes for dinner when my dad was offshore at work. Dad always wanted a meal-meal for dinner, but when he wasn't home we'd have whatever we wanted. Pancakes or waffles or oh! She used to make the most awesome yeast bread cinnamon rolls. They were HUGE and we'd have them, just them, for dinner. Cinnamon rolls and cold, cold milk. *sigh* I may have to call her and get the recipe. Hrm....
Saturday, January 13, 2007
Feed your belly
2 chicken thighs/breasts/whatever
2 cups cheese o'your choice
1 can Rotel
Boil chicken, let cool and remove from bone. Set aside
Boil pasta! Mama uses spigetti (which, yeah, I know is not spelled correctly. What can I say? Hooked on Phonics Works for me!) but tonight I used elbow mac. Because it's what I had. Pick your pasta, you cannot go wrong.
Dump cheese into pasta, stir until nicely coated.
Dump Rotel into cheesy pasta, provided you have not already devoured it. But really, it's worth the wait.
Dump in chicken.
Mix it all up, dig out a bowl and eat.
Mom usually puts in cream of mushroom soup too, I think. But I didn't have it, so I didn't put it in. Doesn't matter, it's all yummy. I recommend draining a bit of the juice off the rotel, unless you don't mind your pasta thingy being a bit watery. Rotel-cheesy-chicken watery, but hey.
I may have to post on cooking. I have discovered to very many people my age do not know how to cook. I don't understand this. Everyone cooks in my family. Even I cook and I'm not a huge fan of it. There's a running joke in my family that I can't cook. It's a joke because I can, in fact, cook. Pretty damn good at it. I just don't, because why would I cook for just myself?
(Although, should I find myself a nice partner I'll be happy to cook. You may leave your applications in the comments. Thank you.)
Friday, January 12, 2007
Who Am I? -- On Being Zan Malkovic
I am not Southern Baptist
I am not conservative
I am not Republican
I am not skinny
I am not straight
I am not extroverted
I am not good at math
I am not comfortable in the spotlight
I am not good at taking orders
I am not stupid
I am not a pretty girl (ya know what I mean by that, right? I mean attitude, not appearance.)
I am not a dog person
And so on and so on, ad nasaum.
But what I've never been really good at is defining myself by what I am. I'm doing better at it, thanks to my bout of therapy. I had to start out making myself make lists of what I AM.
I am smart
I am funny
I am a good friend
I am bisexual
I am spiritual
I am pagan
I am liberal
I am fat
I am happy
I am a cat person
I am a writer
I am an artist
You know, that stuff. And so, I'm getting much better at shaping myself by the positive -- that is, the things that apply in actuality. Defining myself by myself, not by other people. Being the measure of my own woman, as it were. And so, in some ways I've come a great way forward. This is evidenced by the fact that I'm not longer suicidal and that I'm blessedly hopeful about the future.
And yet, in other ways, I still see that Lack to be a defining characteristic and I'm jealous of those people who don't have that lack.
I am beginning to know myself, but where does this Self belong? Where is her community? Her chosen family?
I was not raised with any sense of ethnic identity. I longed for it, in ways I didn't understand then, but I didn't have it. I am, simply, a bland white girl. My family is Irish/Scots/Cajun biologically, but culturally? Eh. We're just bland, no really ties to any particular place, white folks. This is not, in and of itself, a bad thing. It is simply something that I wish were different.
I've noticed that the blogs I read most often are those by people of color/defined ethnicity. I confess, I am horribly jealous. In spite of all the baggage that comes with being a POC in this white-washed society, you have a sense of community. You have a network of people who have common cultural markers. You have somewhere to go where people go "Yeah. I get that."
And I realize, of course, that it's not so simple. I realize there are countless problems within communities, however they are constructed. I realize that my outsider eyes don't see everything or really much of anything. But it seems nice to me to have somewhere to go where you're understood.
The closest I have ever come to that is the Christian culture I was raised in. You know, the one that drove me to the brink of suicide, made me think I was damned eternally and left me with panic attacks and anger issues that required intensive therapy? Yeah, that one. And yet, as bad as it was, there was also a certain sense of belonging there. True, these people didn't really know me, and they probably would have kicked me out (or prayed over me real good) if they had realized some of those things I was keeping hidden, but it was nice to have somewhere I could at least pretend to fit in.
I don't do good in cages (and really, who does?) but I'd like to have some sort of vague definition, some set of parameters that I could see in the distance, to help me get my bearings. The church ritual, as much as I hated it, helped me do that. They saw me and said: "Ah, yes. Zan. The smart one, the stable one, the dependable one." I was called, routinely, wise. Imagine, for a minute, being a 15 year old and having adults tell you that you're wise. People who extolled wisdom as a virtue, gift from God sorta thing. I don't know that I agreed with them, but it was nice to have that place. It was frustrating as hell too, because who wants to be WISE at 15? I wanted to be fun and free and the bad girl. Alas, I never have been. (See, there I go again: self-definition by denial).
I keep thinking I should have done more, been more by this point. A pointless thinking. Everyone thinks that, don't they? But I take stock of my life and think -- where's my story? I haven't suffered greatly, not in the ways that we think are worthwhile. I am sick, it's true. I feel isolated, that's true. But isn't that everyone's story? Isn't that everyone's role? So, I have survived repeated suicide attempts. So, I have survived an immune system that is trying to kill me. So, I have managed to keep sane against the odds. And yet. . .those "bad" things you're 'supposed' to do? I've never done them. No run-ins with the law, no bouts of drugs or alcohol, no inappropriate sex with inappropriate people. Not so much as a fucking one-night stand. My obstacles are all internal. The only enemy I have is myself and she's not that much of an enemy most days.
(And see? Again, that paragraph. I cannot help it. My default position. Zan is not...)
What stories will I tell my grandchildren? The grandchildren I'll never have because I have no children. When I'm old and finally gray, sitting in the nursing home, what is it about me that's going to stand out? Because even though I hate being center stage, I have to stand out. I have to be different somehow, otherwise how will I know who I am in the crowd? (And yes, my therapist made a note about that need to be different too.)
Who am I, then? I work to try to keep from defining myself as what I am not, but lately I'm beginning to think that all I am is boring and unexceptional.
Yes, it may seem dumb, but for someone who spent the last six years working with people who had no interest in socializing...it means a lot.
I *hearts* Baton Rouge. Ayep.
Boudreaux died and was on his way down to Hell. In anticipation, the Devil turned up the thermostat to make it extra warm for Boudreaux.
When Boudreaux arrived, the Devil asked, "Hey Boudreaux, how do you like the heat down here?"
Boudreaux says, "Mais, it's just fine. It reminds me of Bayou PonPon in July."
That made the Devil mad. That night, he turned the thermostat up all the way it could go. Man it was hot! When Boudreaux woke up, the Devil asked him, "NOW how do you like it down here?"
Boudreaux says, "Mais, it's fine. It reminds me of August on Bayou Lafourche."
As you might expect, that made the Devil all the more mad. Well, that night, he turned the thermostat down all the way it could go! The whole place frosted over. Icicles started forming from the rafters.
When Boudreaux woke up, the Devil asked him, "How you like it NOW, Boudreaux?"
Boudreaux, shivering, through blue lips, says, "Mais cher, I'm one happy Cajun!"
The Devil was infuriated! He yelled, "What do you mean you're one happy Cajun?!!"
Boudreaux, still shivering says, "The Saints done won the Superbowl!"
Die Pachelbel, die!!
Dude, he spoofs Green Day. (Punk rock's a joke, it's really just baroque . . .).
Thursday, January 11, 2007
That girl, you know? The one whose never afraid,
Never backs down, never doubts, never gives up, always laughs
And cries and loves and screams and does as she likes and
Fuck anyone who tries to tell her any different.
That girl. That's the one I want to be.
The one I see in my mind, before I look in the mirror,
Before I listen to the voices, on and on and on telling me I'm just a girl.
I want to go out dancing by myself and not worry what anyone else thinks
I want to drink the whole bottle of wine myself,
Go barefoot in the ocean, dye my hair purple, tattoo wolf prints on my left hand,
Pick up a stranger, kiss until I'm breathless, fuck for the sheer joy of bodies and breathing and needing and feeling.
I want to rescue kittens and plant roses, play my music too loud, love too hard and give up on regretting a single moment.
Fake an English accent while shopping in the French Quarter, use an alias, learn to fly a plane,
Paint a mural on my bedroom wall and keep secrets until I die.
That girl's alive, she's real and she feels everything.
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
I've chronicled my own trip through illness, depression, whatever on and on here. And will again, I'm sure. But this post isn't about me. (Ha!) I have a friend, someone I love very much. He's the same age I am. In many ways, we're like twins. When we met, we have that spark of recognition you only get once or twice in a lifetime. We just clicked. Like we'd known each other forever.
He's got a lot of the same issues I have, even. Depression, possible chronic illness. (He thinks he's diabetic, but he won't go to the doctor because his father was severely diabetic and he had to watch him die.) Anyway, he's also brilliant and artistic. But he had some problems when we started college and lost his scholarships. So, he set out, for a semester at first, until he could get things straightened out. Well, that one semester has turned into nearly a decade now. He never finished college, he doesn't have a job, or a driver's license. He lives with another friend of ours, who doesn't require anything of him, really, except for him to be there for her as a friend. Free room and board, doesn't make him get a job, no paying for any of the bills. And that works for them.
But I wonder -- since I know he's still decidedly depressed and often unhappy -- what it is that keeps him from doing something different. So, he doesnt' want to go to college. Sure. It's not for everyone. But there are all sorts of things he could do. He's a talented writer and artist. And there's no reason he could do a simple, basic job -- fast food, retail, whatever. Sure, it's not glamarous, but you know, someone has to do those jobs, don't they? He'd need to learn how to drive and get a license -- so how hard is that? I'd teach him, his roommate would teach him. There's nothing really standing in his way of having at least a simple job. It would get him out of the house, which would go a long way to helping with his depression. Maybe he'd get a job with insurance, so he could get on medication for that depression. And find out if he is, in fact, diabetic or if those symptoms are in fact caused by his depression.
He operates out of fear, a lot. I understand that. I lived in fear for years, worried that the doctors would tell me that I was dying. That all those symptoms were dangerous, deadly. Probably cancer. I feared I'd never get a new job, never find love again, never have anything more than I had. And it was fucking hard to get past it, but something in me would not let me give up, even when I wanted to. Even when my brain is screaming just let me die already!
So what is it that is there for one person, but not for another? Why did I have that in me, even when I didn't want it, to find a way out of all that hell? Finish school, find a job, go to a doctor. Go to another doctor. And another one until someone finds out what the hell is wrong with me. Take some time to heal, let time cure all those emotional wounds. Take the chance, step outside, see what makes life worth living.
So why can't I give that to him? Why can't I convince him to come stay with me for awhile, get out of that place he's in, so that he can see there's more out there and that he can have it? Why can't I convince him he can stay with me while he goes back to school? (He's mentioned he wants to go to culinary school and there's one reallly close to my house.)
Why doesn't he want more? And I think he does want more. I think he wants a life of his own, where he has his own job and his own apartment and his own life and value and no more depression. So why can't I get through to him that he can have that? That there are people who've done it before and hey, I can show you the way out, if you want.
I know that you cannot force anyone to move before they're ready. I know that there were doubtlessly so very many friends who thought the same thing about me at one time. I get that. I just...hasn't he lived like that long enough?
Sunday, January 07, 2007
A change of perspective can do you good
It strikes me as very strange, how easily I've taken to life here. This is the largest city I've lived in, and given that it's swollen from Katrina evacuees still it's now the largest city in Louisiana, and I finally, finally feel like I can breath. Is that strange? There's more traffic, more people and yet I feel like I'm finally able to just relax and be here.
I spent the day doing a little shopping. I wasn't going to spend any money, really, but I found some great sales at World Market, so....I got a new curtain for my bedroom. This gorgeous shade of orange. (Have I mentioned I love orange?) It's kinda the color of a sun-bleached pumpkin. Plus, I found a Tibetian silk lamp for my bedroom. It's hanging in my bedroom now. It was so very on sale -- $7 instead of $25. Well, what was I supposed to do? I had to buy it. Plus, they had votive candles for 9 fricking cents.
Also, a collection of Christmas hot chocolate I had to try. Oh well. So goes a whopping $23 bucks :) I'm so bad.
It's funny, how doing something as simple as buying a few things for my bedroom make me happy. A new curtain, a new lamp, it's all enough to make me smile. I can't afford the big purchases I need for the house yet (like a washer/dryer and a new sofa) but I can do the little things that make it feel better. I'm thinking I'm going to decorate my bedroom in an Asian theme, mostly. I don't know. I love the colors and the patterns, so that's probably where it's going. My mother will be so happy when she sees the giant Buddha I'm thinking of putting over my bed. Oops?
Yesterday, I spent the day with my friend Clara, who came down from Alexandria. We went to dinner, did a little shopping. I bought four freaking new bras. Seriously, best money I've spent in ages. I needed some that fit. Apparently, losing 30 lbs. makes things fall off of ya. Figure that. Friday night, after work, I went to a going away party for a co-worker. It's been a busy weekend.
Funny thing, in the two months I've been working at this new job, I've socialized more with my co-worker than I ever did at my old job. They clearly want me around. They genuinely like me. I fit. It's a strange feeling for me, seeing as how I never seem to fit anywhere. And yet, going further south, which I didn't want to do, is where I find home.
Part of it is that I don't feel like I have to pretend to be...well, anything really. I'm just me and that's fine and no one knows any better, so I can be whatever and whoever I want without pre-judgement. So, I'm bisexual. So, I'm pagan. Great.. Wanna get a drink? It's so...different.
People who knew me before and who see me now are just stunned by how fucking happy I seem. Every one has remarked on it. It's that stark a difference. And you know, I feel like saying -- this is who I've always been. This is who I really am, who I've always known I was supposed to be. How can you be surprised by this? Is it that you just really didn't know me at all?
Anyway, now that I'm here and happy, I need to network. So, I'm looking over the lesiure classes LSU offers....now, what do I want to take? Beginning guitar? I would, but I don't have the guitar yet and no money for it...so I'll do that next session. Photography? Beginning Italian? Yoga? Pilates? Some kind of dance class? It is possible to go from famine to an embarassment of riches this quickly?
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
I've found out what it takes to be a man
And mom and dad will never understand
What's happening to me.
-- Green Day, Coming Clean
In my listing of bisexual celebs, I somehow missed Billie Joe Armstrong. And I don't know how, since 1.) he sings for my favorite band and 2.) he's gorgeous and I.Want.Him. He wrote Coming Clean about realizing he was bisexual, which is pretty apparent to anyone whose gone through it and heard the song. So, add him to the (woefully short) list of publically out bisexual celebs.
So, I'm thinking about sex. Again. I find I do that far, far more than I'm supposed to. Because, ya know, we womens. We never thing about Teh Sex. But more specifically, I'm thinking about sex in context of relationships.
In my perfect world, I'm a happy little slut. No shame, no hangups, no problem finding lovers. A guy or girl catches my eye? I saunter up, flirt a bit, pass out the digits and suggest we go somewhere more private. The sex is always good, the orgasms always intense, the afterglow always beamy. Nice world, huh?
In reality, of course, it is far from a perfect world. I'm got more hangups than there is blog-space to blog about 'em. Shame? Well....I think I'm actually over the shame part. (Yippee!! Score one for therapy. Now, to tackle the 1,999,999,999,999,999 more. . .)And finding lovers? Ha. Yeah. As I said, I'm taking applications, but. . .no takers.
And sex is not always good, is it? Physically, I mean. We all know, emotionally there are more hidden mines than you can imagine. But, you'd think, physically at least, there should be some kind of guaranteed payoff. Orgasm should be a given and they should come easy. I mean, I can make myself cum in 45 seconds, why can't everyone else? (Yeah, I admit. I timed it once. So sue me.)(And granted, it's not /always/ that fast. But come on, what woman can't make herself cum in three minutes or less?) (Or, uh, am I a freak that way?)So, anyway, the lack of guaranteed orgasm or skilled partner is why I'm not a one-night stand kinda girl. I mean, if I'm getting undressed and naked, I want the Happy, ya know?
In a relationship, it's different. Sure, maybe it's not good today. Maybe it's just okay. Maybe you'd really rather just turn over and go back to sleep. But you don't, usually, because you're in a relationship and you care about your partner. And you know that it will be good again, next time. Or later on you can take your time. Or you can agree to try out what you want in the future. There are payoffs, dividends, lots of Happy Happy Joy Joy.
So I'm faced with this problem -- I don't do one-nighters and I'm not in a relationship. And, being human, I'm needing more contact than with my trusty Rabbit. I need the weight of another person, the sound of someone else breathing in the night. Picking up the phone to call someone in the middle of the day to see if they can pick up Chinese food on their way home from work. Someone to share a bottle of wine with, to take vacations with, to do the damned laundry with. I need the physical presense of someone else in my life.
This need is becoming more intense lately. It makes a certain amount of sense, really. I've spent the last six years doing a lot of work on myself, a lot of putting things in order, dealing with some issues that doomed my last relationship. Being a good partner just wasn't possible for me before. I was too depressed, too sick, too impatient and needy. I was too in need of being the center, of having someone to support me and too unwilling to embrace a partner's quirks without judgement. I don't think there's any shame in admitting I would have been a very bad girlfriend. It's just a process of evolution. I know I would have been toxic, and so I didn't date anyone. I didn't draw anyone into my mess, because I knew I had to fix it.
So now, now that I've got my health under control and I've got my career on a stable, non-stressful path. Now that I've wrestled with those issues that kept me slightly ashamed -- of myself and of my partner, no matter how great they really were -- I find myself growing increasingly in need of someone. Not just anyone, of course. I'm certainly not desparate.
I think I have this great life to share. Sure, it's good living it myself, but it would be better if I had someone to go on with me. I've gotten to the point in my life where I can see my strong points and my weaknesses and not hate myself for either. And I think I can do the same for a partner, should I find one.
I used to think, if I fell in love with a woman, it would be near impossible to be open with my family about it. And, truthfully, I'd still be hesitant. But it's not something that truly terrifies me anymore. The fear comes from the thought of losing them. And I fear that, not just because I deeply love them and count on their support, but because losing them would leave me alone. And, until now, I haven't felt that I could truly, honestly survive on my own. I haven't felt, well, like an adult. It felt like I was still stuck in college-kid mode. But now it's different. I had a goal - find a new job that has promotion potential, that allows me to save for retirment, that will let me pay off my student loans. And I found it. On my own, with no help from my family. Did it, embraced it and gods help me, and totally in love with it.
I used to feel that, if my family couldn't love me enough to accept me in all my shades of being, there must be something wrong with me. I spent so very much of my life thinking their must be something very wrong with me, for any number of reasons. Too fat, too weird, too queer, too goth, too depressed, too smart, too angry, whatever. And now, it occurs to me, that there's nothing wrong with me. That if they can't accept me, they're the ones with the problem. And eventually, I think they'd come around. My mother, at least. My dad? Gods, I think it would break my dad's heart and I can't stand that thought. Who knows what my brother and sister-in-law would do. It's a scary thought, my terribly Baptist family finding out. They'd think that I betrayed them somehow, when the truth is they'd be the ones doing the betraying.
Part of me is angry that I even have to consider this. Should I fall in love with a woman, I have to weigh the pros and cons -- to tell the family or not to tell the family, to risk that lose or not. Falling in love shouldn't break your heart and it shouldn't have to be a secret.
Monday, January 01, 2007
Going in the right way
(As Yet Untitled)
I wake up,
missing her dark eyes and ink-stained hands, to find her
drinking black coffee at 3 a.m. trying
not to wake me.
But it's impossible to sleep in this heat,
with a busted air conditioner and creaking overhead fan
that stirs up mosquitoes and scares off dreams.
I call her back to bed,
missing the weight of her hips pressed tight to mine.
The sweat pools between our breasts,
escaping to soak the sheets and she smiles.
Another goal this year -- more writing! I always feel better when I write and so...more writing.