Butterfly Cauldron

Friday, April 27, 2007

Random observations

Who knew that getting a little somethingsomething makes you sleep better? Well, probably a lot of people, but eh. Two nights in a row, I've slept the whole way through. Nice.

Amusingly enough, the Boy hasn't called me since. I find it funny, actually, instead of annoying. I suppose if I'd been more emotionally invested I'd be annoyed, but eh. Maybe he'll call, maybe not. I'm still sleeping better. Yay.

Also, have you ever noticed that when you've got one person's attention, you seem to miraculously become more attractive to other people? Seriously, since I've been hanging out with the Boy, I've had a good half dozen other men express interest. How does that happen? What's with the feast or famine? Not that I mind, you understand. Because I'm all about the feasting. Hell yes. The universe owes me, dammit. Pay up.

I've got four or five stories stored up that I want to blog, but I just can't do it. They're too depressing and I'm really tired of depressing. I'll get around to it, I'm sure. But, tomorrow my Mom and Grandma are coming in to see me. We'll have chinese, I'm sure. Yay. Then, I'm going to a sci-fi club meeting with a co-worker. We're watching Pirates 2 and having pizza. Oh yum. So I'll be basking in the socialization glow. Whoohoo.

Also! I got my performance review this week. I exceed expectations. Go me! I'm so not used to having really good reviews, seeing as how I spent the last six years working for Gannett. And they based your raises on your evals and they didn't want to give anyone a raise, so they scored everyone really, really low. Ha. Bastards. So, I get a raise starting my next paycheck, plus I'll be officially a permenant employee on May 6. And you know what that means? It means, since I'm in Civil Service, that I'd have to come in with a gun and pop off a few to actually lose this job :) Yeeeesss...job security! So, now I can actually start decorating my bedroom in earnest, because I know I won't be leaving anytime soon. I can plant some flowers in the backyard and really settle in. Whoohoo. I'm happy.

Also, in six months, I get another raise. Yes. 8 percent in a year. That's more than I got the entire time I was working at Gannett! Gah, I hate those bastards. Grrr. Grrrr!!!

So, anyway, I'm off to contemplate something for dinner. I think I'll make that shrimp garlic manicotti I've been eyeing.

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posted by Zan at 5:37 PM 3 comments

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Quick Hit: Kady rocks

The scene: My brother's home. In the yard sits a wayward, lonely little pug puppy. The other dogs refuse to play with her and the cats have mocked her. She is sad, sad, sad. She has also never been at this house before, but it seems friendly. As she sits there, a car pulls into the driveway. She stands up, hopeful, and wags her little tail.

In the car: Brian spots the dog and looks at Kim. Oh no. They know what this means. Is there a way to get Kady into the house without seeing the puppy? Ha. Not likely.

Kady, preceptive child, spots the puppy and makes for her like a beeline.

Kady (to puppy): Oh, my doggie! Where have you been? I've missed you sooooooo much!
Brian: Kady, we don't know where that dog has been. We don't know whose she is . . .
Kady (scooping up the now happy puppy and hugging her tightly): She's mine.
Kim: Kady. Someone may be missing her.
Kady (stubbornly): She's MINE.

And so, my niece now has a new dog. Her name is Missy. And she belongs to Kady. Period.


posted by Zan at 5:14 PM 4 comments

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Story of my life?

Set your music playlist on random, list the songs that come up. Music for your life:

Opening Credits: God/Tori Amos

Birth: Fix Me Now/Garbage

First day at school: Saturday/Go Betty Go

Falling in Love: Happy Right this Second/Trinket

Fight Song: End of the Line/Concrete Blonde

Breaking Up: Everything in It's Own Time/Indigo Girls

Prom: Midnight Train to Georgia/Indigo Girls

Life: Precious Things/Tori Amos

Mental Breakdown: Late Again/MXPX

Driving: I'm Thinking/Autopilot Off

Flashback: In My Time of Need/Ryan Adams

Wedding: Dizzy/Luna

Birth Of Child: Push It/Garbage (Okay, now I'm laughing.)

Final Battle: Shimmer/Shawn Mullins

Death Scene: Ahab/MC Lars

Funeral: Out of Sight/Uncut

Ending Credits: Come on Home/Indigo Girls

--What? No Green Day? Is that allowed?

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posted by Zan at 5:55 PM 0 comments

A tale of two moods, part two

And now, for the badness.

This damned Supreme Court decision has made me a bit. . .infuriated, upset, worried and ultimately very, very tired. It does nothing to 'save babies' and does a whole lot to endanger women's health. It outlaws one specific procedure, often the safest one for the women. It is preformed for two reasons -- either the mother's life/health is in danger or the fetus has a defect incompatible with life. It is not performed on women who are carrying viable feti. The pro-lifers have done a good job of promoting the lie that a woman can waltz in at 7 or 8 months along and just have an abortion willy-nilly, but that's just not so. The state is will within its rights to regulate third trimester abortion. Those laws do not need a court review, because Roe provides that right to the state, provided exceptions are made for the life and health of the mother.

Well, the health of the mother /used/ to matter. This new ruling basically says, it's not so important. And that pisses me off. Because now the door is open for further restrictions that leave out health exemptions. Without those exemptions, the law is giving primacy to the fetus, regardless of the consequences for the woman. Kidneys failing? Pregnancy causing a mental breakdown? Resulting in blindness? Paralysis? Too bad. You can live through those things. I mean, there's dialysis and medication, right? And people live all the time without being able to see or move. So, no. No abortion for you. So sorry. (Not really.)

This ruling also says nothing about viabliity. Often, so called 'partial birth abortion' is performed before the fetus is viable. It will not survive outside the womb, so it is fated to die. And yet, thanks to this ban, a women who finds out at 19 weeks she's carrying a fetus that doesn't have a brain will now have to undergo either an induced labor and delivery or a dialation and extraction -- basically, the fetus is scrambled in the womb and pulled out piece by piece. Not only is this more dangerous -- there's a chance the uterus will be perferated by either the instruments the doctor is using or by the bones of the fetus -- it also denies the family a chance to say goodbye to what is usually a wanted child. You can't hold a pile of pieces in your arms, but you can hold an intact body in your arms. All that's required is a small hat to hide the incision and grieving parents can hold and name and kiss their lost child. It provides for a sense of closure, of making the loss more real. But now, that chance is denied.

Do you want to see the real face of intact dialation and extraction? (Which seems to be the procedure most closely matching 'partial birth abortion' since there is no such medical procedure.) This post is the best real life story I've read yet.

Personally, the loss of a health exemption terrifies me. My illness puts me at an increased risk for late term miscarriage. Which means, I've got a 25% increase in losing a pregnancy in my last trimester. So, if I make it to 8 months and my child dies, this law means I'll have to either have labor induced or have a C-section. (Technically, this procedure can be performed when the fetus is already dead. Maybe. But with this law in place, the chances of finding a doctor willing to chance peforming the procedure is not good.) Either I subject my body to the prolonged stress of labor to produce a dead baby or I subject my body to major surgery to produce a dead baby, instead of a significantly shorter and safer procedure. And while I may be willing to chance either labor or a C-section to bring a living child into the world, the government has no right to demand I do so to bring forth a dead baby.

But more than that, the loss of the health exemption means that, at any point in my pregnancy, should my health begin to fail, the state may have the right to demand I endure that danger. With the court striking the need for a health exemption, there's nothing to stop the state from restricting second trimester abortion and not including a health exemption. So, at four months, if I start to develop paralysis or neurological problems (I have an increased risk for strokes or seisures, thanks to the Lupus), it may be of no consequence. When it's clear that the fetus is not viable, the state can still keep me from protecting my own health. True, at the moment no such laws exist, but with this ruling it is only a matter of time before they do.

And so, what will I do? Frankly, this ruling makes it more likely that I will elect an abortion during the first trimester, where Roe protects my right to abort for any reason. Truthfully, I'd been more willing to attempt a pregnancy knowing that, should my health being to decline, I had the option of saving myself. Now that that right is endangered, why should I even make the attempt? Why should I risk carrying a child when the state is taking away my right to protect my health? I may well have an uneventful pregnancy, but that's by no means gauranteed. So why would I try? Why should I try?

So, there you go. Thank you Supreme Court for making the decision much easier for me and, doubtlessly, many other women. If I don't have the option to protect my own health, should the need arrive, I have no reason to attempt to carry a pregnancy to term. In fact, I have a strong incentive NOT to do so.

The United States Supreme Court -- encouraging abortion since 2007.

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posted by Zan at 4:31 PM 0 comments

Saturday, April 21, 2007

A tale of two moods, part one

I'm split in two, emotionally. On one hand -- the shit that went down this week pisses me off. On the other -- the Boy came over last night. So. Very different moods. We will begin with the better of the two: The Boy.

Remember when I said 21 was too young? When I said we'd never have anything to talk about? Well, I was an idiot. A scared, uncertain idiot. Fortunately, I got better.

Here's the thing -- he's very persistant. He's been calling me every couple of days, talking to me online almost every day. He's been sweet and attentive and, here's what earned him the second chance, when I told him I was having a flare up and then disappeared for a few days, he called me to check up on me. My frigging ex didn't even call to check up on me when I was sick.

So, after a week of feeling like shit, I felt better yesterday. (A combination of the fact that the weather cleared up and that my boss was gone from work for a few days and I saw a dentist about a troubled tooth.) So, I called and invited him over.

He was adorably nervous. And sweet. And really willing to talk, just had to ask questions. So, we curled up on the couch and watched Office Space. It was sweet and nice and really good for my damaged ego. Even the cat didn't try to kill him! It was amazing. Sure, she didn't let him actually pet her, but she did come up and sniff him without hissing.

Hey, Cassandra -- remember my fondness for tall, pretty, skinny boys with tattoos? Guess what he is? Ayep. I've resolved not to think too much about this and to just have fun. So, if you see me angsting here? Smack me.


posted by Zan at 8:34 AM 6 comments

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

I had a dream. . .

. . .that I was on the Dr. Phil show. I was a doctor and I was telling Phil off.

Why? Well, because the idiot (and he really did do this a few months ago) had made statements on his show that Lupus was simple a form of arthritis and was not life-threatening or debilitating. (He had a guest on who had Lupus and he was saying he'd done 'his homework'. Yeah. Right. Dr. Zan says, you fail.)

So, I was on his show, reading him the riot act. Tell the 20K people that die from Lupus each year the disease isn't life-threatening. Tell the 10s of thousands more who become debilitated by the illness each year that it's just a form of arthritis and not disabling. Grr. Arg! Die pig die!!

I was so wound up that I woke up arguing. I was in my bedroom, talking to Dr. Phil and I couldn't calm down for hours. Fucking hours! Gah.

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posted by Zan at 9:20 PM 3 comments

Monday, April 16, 2007

Cassandra Says I have to do this. . .

So, my British Brain Twin has tagged me. Blame her.

A- Available or Single -- Chronically single (and Cassandra won't loan out her husband!)

B- Best Friend -- JC or Clara

C- Cake or Pie Cake -- Tea and cake or death! Er, Cake.

D- Drink of Choice -- a nice, fruity wine

E- Essential Item -- Ye ole iBook

F- Favorite Color -- Purple, red, green, brown, black, orange -- NOT BLUE. Never, ever blue. Unless you want people to die.

G- Gummi Bears or Worms -- Bears. I like biting the heads off.

H- Hometown -- *sigh* Oakdale, Louisiana.

I- Indulgence -- Good linens and expensive bodywash

J- January or February -- Neither

K- Kids -- Not that I'm aware of.

L- Life is incomplete without -- modern medicine! I can't help it, when you have a chronic illness, meds take priority.

M- Marriage Date -- Excellent question. Anyone got an answer?

N- Number of Siblings? One

O- Oranges or Apples? Pears

P- Phobias/Fears -- Funny story. I used to be horrifically afraid that I was going to get a debilitating disease that would cause me excruiciating pain and suffering. . .And now? Well, when the most horrible thing happens, and you survive, you stop being afraid

Q- Favorite Quote -- I'm sure I've said something witty, but I can't think of it now. Oh well.

R- Reasons to smile -- I'm not dead! My cat and my niece and butterflies and really nice candles and chocolate and flirty 21 year old boys who love, love, love you and...oh, all kinds of things.

S- Season -- Fall

T- Tag Three -- Let's see. Mac and Elle and...YOU.

U- Unknown Fact About Me -- I want to be reincarnated as a cat.

V - Vegetarian or Oppressor of Animals -- Oppressor. Totally. Where's the BBQ?

W- Worst Habit -- I am appallingly unsure of myself in matters of romance. I cannot believe anyone would want to be intimate with me :(

X - X-rays or Ultrasounds -- Had 'em both. Hate having to have either.

Y- Your Favorite Foods -- Chinese, Mexican, Italian, steak, potatos, cheese!, chocolate, anything that I didn't have to cook myself :)

Z- Zodiac -- Scorpio, Wood Tiger

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posted by Zan at 5:58 PM 3 comments

Mirror, mirror

I did a year of therapy to come to terms with my relationship with my mother and I still get tangled up in it.

In the arc of my life, I'm not sure anyone will ever have more influence on my than my mother. It makes sense, seeing as how she's the first person I ever knew. We have history, she and I. We go way back.

For a great deal of my life, my mother was unhappy. I don't know if she was aware of it, but I was. She battled depression, untreated, undiagnosed, unnamed, but fierce just the same. I was her oldest. She saw herself in me. Even my name is merely a longer verson of hers. I was her first chance at building the family she didn't have as a child. A stable, harmonious, no one abusive or cheating or lying home. She and my father waited three years to have me, after they got married. And yet, they were still so young. Does any 20 year old really know what they're getting into when they give birth? Does any woman, ever?

I was independant from birth, I'm told. The sort of child who was perfectly happy to play by herself for hours. I didn't need her, my mother has said to me. I didn't seem to need anyone. Sometimes I wonder if she resented that. If she expected her daughter would need more direct attention. But, I didn't. I had the same needs as any infant, of course, but when I was older? I was content to amuse myself, even though my mother stayed home to take care of me.

My mother's untreated depression, as well as my own, ignited when I hit puberty. From age 12 to when I moved out at age 17, we faught. Constantly. Non-stop. About how I folded the towels. About the music I listened to. About my friends. About how long I took in the shower. About how I spelled my name. About anything and everything. It didn't matter, we faught. My father and brother, both huge, strapping men, were afraid of us. They learned quickly that getting in betweeen us was a bad idea. And so, they hid. Those big, scary men hiding from two women. It's funny, in hindsight.

She wanted to much to see herself in me, I think. And there are parts of her there. How can there not be? I get my temper from her. And my stubborness. But mostly, I'm me. I'm not my mother, even though I felt compelled to be like her. Because that's how I was supposed to be. Because she was.

We learned to make compromises. She stopped being so insistant that I dress a certain way. That I take certain classes. It wasn't always bad, not when we were both in remission. When our minds weren't clouded with depression, we could be civil to each other. Nice, sometimes. But the problem with depression is that it always comes back. And then she would say something and I would be angry. Or I would say something, or not say something, and she'd be mad. It was a long, twisted, neverending cycle.

And then -- college. I left and never wanted to go home. Which hurt her, of course. She made me come home that first summer. And I moped and brooded and staked out the mailbox, waiting for letters from my new friends. She was hurt that I wasn't happy to be back home. That I wasn't happy to be her little girl again. I thought she was treating me like I was 12 again. We started fighting. Again. But this time, my grandmother (her mother) stepped in. You have to let her go, she said. She's not a baby anymore.

I remember, that first summer, I was talking about the next semester starting. And I said, I can't wait to go home. And my mother, my poor mother, looked like I'd slapped her. Because she thought I was home. But I wasn't. I wasn't even close. And my grandmother, my wonderful, wise grandmother, just put her hand on my Moms and smiles. But that is home to her now, you know. This is what you wanted. This is what you raised her for. She's her own person. And you have to let her go.

And yet, mothers never really let you go. I don't know if it's possible, really breaking that tie. Now, we don'ty fight. Now, we can respect each other as women, not simply mother or daughter. And yes, we still disagree. On just about everything. Religion, relationships, money, where I'm going to live, politics. And there's some sort of uneasy peace. There are things we don't talk about. Because if we do, we'll fight. And it's more important now that we don't fight.

Still. She's in my head. I think, when I'm considering accepting a date, what my mother will say if this turns into a longterm relationship? Because it matters, even if I don't want it to. If I take this job and move across the country, how will it affect her? I think these things. I take that into consideration. Even when she wouldn't want me to. Even when I don't want me to. Because she's in my head and my heart and there's no getting around that.


posted by Zan at 5:29 PM 1 comments

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Walking to New Orleans

My first trip back to New Orleans post-Katrina was. . .fun.

First off, we went on Easter weekend, so that may account for the lack of crowds. But I don't think so. The streets were basically deserted for the first few hours. By mid-afternoon, there were more people mulling around, but still, nothing like the levels pre-Katrina.

We got into New Orleans around 5 p.m. Friday night. Exhausted from driving and whatnot, we checked into our hotel, planning on having a low-key evening. The hotel (The Residence Inn on St. Joseph St.) was awesome. My friend Clara, who made mucho money last year, decided to spring for it. Which is good, because no way I could pay $300 a night. Anyway, she got us a suite. We each had our own bedroom, our own bathroom. There was also a living room, dining room and kitchen. We had a mini-apartment. It was very nice. King sized beds with real linens, pillows that I wanted to steal so badly and comforters, really comforters, not those nasty little coverlets most hotels have.

We decided to head out for dinner and founds this hip Chinese place across the street. Hipstix. I highly recommend it. We didn't, of course, get Chinese. I had the striped bass and it was Oh.My.Gods. awesome. (New Orleans has fantastic food in general.) It was cooked in this pineapple, mushroom, green onion, berry, mint sauce that was just.....wow. We had some really good wine, caught up (I haven't seen her in ages and we used to hang out like eh, every day, when we lived in the same town.) Then, it was back to the hotel for a dip in the hot tub and sleeeeeeep.

Saturday was Walking Through New Orleans day. Our hotel was a short walk to the Quarter, so that's where we went. First, we dropped by the IMAX to see a feature on coral reefs. Clara loves 'em so, we watched. The IMAX is nice, but I wasn't overwhelmed. I did, however, get to relax and plot out the day. After that, we got our tickets for the aquarium and then headed on down to the French Market.

I have to admit, I adore the French Market. All those open air stalls, filled with tables of stuff. I know, it's kinda low-rent, but oh well. It's fun! I bought way too much jewelry, as I always do. Amber. I looooooove amber. So, I have new earrings, new necklaces, new bracelets. I'm happy. Amber makes me happy! I found this gorgeous amber butterfly...had to have it, didn't even care about price. But, the Market itself, while awesome, was not as big as it used to be. Before the storm, it went on and on and on. Now, it's fairly decent sized, but clearly smaller. The 'market' part is no more. There used to be a section devoted to actual food. But that's not there anymore. Hopefully, it will come back, once the area recovers. It's hard to bring your produce to market when your garden space has been ruined by all the gunk that was in that water, after all. And gods know, the seafood industry has taken a hit.

After a nice long wandering through the market (Clara's first time. And boy was she pleased. She was like "now I see why you like this place." Girl spent more than I did.) we headed back up the street for lunch. (We ate at the Hard Rock Cafe. Not my choice, but she wanted to go there and hey, she did pay for the hotel.) Then, it was off to the aquarium.

You can tell there have been serious changes to the place since the storm. It's recovered, but it's not quite as amazing at it once was. They rearranged things, expanded the kids section. That was all good. But it took me forever to find my giant sea turtle! Finally found it, since I wasn't used to the new layout. There were really far fewer turtles than usual. They used to be all over the place, but now? Not so much. It made me sad, since I love turtles.

We did a little more wandering, then headed back to the hotel. It was starting to rain (frigid, freezing rain in April?? In Louisiana?? ARG!) and we were walking, so . . . We got off our very, very tired feet for awhile, then decided -- we was tired, we werent' walking to a restaurant for dinner. So, we got Japanese delivered and watched Mean Girls on tv. (Very funny movie, if you haven't seen it.) Then, it was a nice trip to the workout room and looking longingly at the hot tub -- it was outside and it was in the frigging 30s!! In Louisiana. In April!!

And then, we packed up the next day after having a really yummy hotel-provided breakfast and headed home. All in all, a very fun trip, if a bit low-key. We both needed a break and it was nice to get back to New Orleans. We're planning to head back down in a couple weeks to do the museums. There are four or five within walking distance of the hotel.

So, that's my dispatch from New Orleans. There were clearly signs of recovery, but it was clear that there was a lot of rebuilding that needs to be done. Lots of apartments being built and for rent, but rents are extraordinarily high at this point so not many people can afford them. I really love New Orleans. I love the feeling of the place, the age and the history. And it hurts to see it still so far from what it was. But still. . .it was a nice weekend.

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posted by Zan at 6:47 AM 1 comments

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

DNA Anaylsis?

Read my VisualDNA     Get your own VisualDNA™


posted by Zan at 8:55 PM 2 comments

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

If I were an M&M. . .

She needs a whip, but there's Zan, the Chocolate Mistress of Pain! Gar!


posted by Zan at 7:18 AM 4 comments

Laugh. It's good for you.

Only Alanis could redeem what is possibly the worst piece of "musical" dreck ever recorded.

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posted by Zan at 7:06 AM 0 comments

Monday, April 02, 2007

Dear Idiot,

It is considered, in polite society, the thing to do, you know. When you must cancel an appointment, an engagement or a date. I realize that perhaps they do not teach you this in Mississippi, but for the rest of the civilized world, the canceling of a date requires a simple phone call. If the callee is not at home, a simple message on the machine "So sorry, but I can't make it. My grandma got sick/the cat has the flu/Satan is in the White House/pick your favorite excuse." This is considered courteous behaviour and, interestingly enough, increases your odds of getting laid, should the callee wish to reschedule your date.

What should you not do? Well, you should certainly never, ever simply not show up without calling. But, should you have an issue -- like, perhaps, you lost a phone number -- you could avail yourself of the wonders of email. It's not exactly top brow, I know, but a date broken over an email is much preferable to the No Show, No Call method you choose to employ. And, as this was in fact a first date, you need not worry about excessively injured feelings upon breaking the date. After all, we have known each other far far too little time for either of us to have developed genuine fondness for the other.

And yet, I now feel a certain emotion toward you. Yes. Yes, I do. What is this emotion? Why, it is annoyance. And the urge to stab you in the eyes for your boorish behaviour. But, being a civilized person, I will refrain. I simply hold to the universal truth that what you put out returns to you, often trifold. And I think now that the previous girlfriend you told me of was correct in the cancelation of your wedding.

And so, since you have yet to call me, I leave this message here, should you find it. I fear you may find my phone unanswered, should you attempt to call. After all, I am a busy girl. Cats to pet, men to seduce, worlds to conqueor and all that.

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posted by Zan at 5:02 PM 5 comments