Thursday, December 30, 2004

Block that conception! Block that conception!

Sometimes, one just has to present the other side of fertility.

More Than One Can Conceive

As Skuy, a retired pharmaceutical executive, points out with some sorrow,
"there's really no motivation to save an old contraceptive."

Still, here and there, gynecologists and patients with a sense of history
have held on to favorite devices. Skuy, 72, has traveled the globe to acquire
them. His collection, he says, is more than a curiosity: It's about science and
sociology, about the limits of modern medicine and the ageless drama of human

The artifacts "tell of a human motivation across the centuries, in
different countries and different cultures, to limit family size," he said.
"There are any number of museums that display fertility symbols. The story of
how people tried to curb their fertility is every bit as important."

I love this article and this old guy. There's nothing better than applied science combined with bedroom history. I'm such a biological feminist at heart.

I have tried hard to find online a particular book I liked so I could reference it here. It did a compare/contrast of female/male anatomy and came to very different conclusions than the rest of medical science. It made me wary of male analysis which was actually sexist, even if it wasn't deemed as such.

With this sort of discussion and my own health history, I have a big problem with the male medical model in the treatment of female disease and health concerns. Guess that's why Mr. Skuy's collection made me laugh; he looks for ingenious anti-model material.

I am inserting these books I did find at the university library catalog here, but I don't think any are the one I was seeking.

Biology & feminism : a dynamic interaction / Sue V. Rosser.
Subject(s): Feminism. Human biology--Social aspects. Sexism in sociobiology.
Publisher: New York : Twayne Publishers ; Toronto : Maxwell Macmillan Canada ; New York : Maxwell Macmillan International, c1992.

The science question in feminism / Sandra Harding.
Subject(s): Women in science. Feminism. Science--Social aspects. Sexism.
Publisher: Ithaca : Cornell University Press, 1986.

Women, feminism and biology : the feminist challenge / Lynda Birke.
Subject(s): Feminism. Human biology--Social aspects. Sexism in sociobiology.
Publisher: New York : Methuen, 1986.

Science and gender : a critique of biology and its theories on women / Ruth Bleier.
Subject(s):Women--Physiology--Philosophy.Human biology--Philosophy.Sex discrimination against women.Feminism.Sexism.
Publisher:New York : Pergamon Press, c1984.

Women look at biology looking at women : a collection of feminist critiques / edited by Ruth Hubbard, Mary Sue Henifin, and Barbara Fried, with the collaboration of Vicki Druss and Susan Leigh Star.
Publisher:Camb., Ma. : Schenkman Pub. Co., 1979.
(I cannot find a Table of Contents or a good description of this one.)

But in my additional research, I found a few more I'd appreciate reading:
Female Ejaculation & the G-Spot by Deborah Sundahl
The Case of the Female Orgasm : Bias in the Science of Evolution by Elisabeth A. Lloyd
The Politics of Women's Biology by Ruth Hubbard

And two classes I'd love to take:
Women's Lives in Science

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Just a kiss before I go this way and that

From E!Online:

Literally, physically, she has a very big mouth. When I was kissing her, I was aware of a faint echo.

--Kiss-and-tell too much Hugh Grant in the Enquirer, on his Notting Hill costar Julia Roberts. Couldn't be any bigger then Grant's, since he seems to be able to fit his whole foot in there.


People always gives us real quotes from the
stars. Check out some of the celebs who waxed pithy when queried, "What body part would you change?"

[A]t least one celeb is standing pat: Cybill Shepherd says "My breasts are so versatile now. I can wear them down, up or side to side."


I wonder if the over-achieving Julia would have said, "My cavern of a mouth," in reply?

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Naked Twister and other games

'Naked Twister' Broadcast Nets FCC Fine

'The commission said the "Naked Twister" broadcast dwelled on descriptions of female genitalia and breasts in an explicit and graphic manner.' There are Howard Stern wannabes everywhere.

I have considered purchasing Twister for my son. He played the cub scout (clothed) version recently. Someone brought a towel with the game board printed on it. It is great for making others look stupid. Good clean or dirty fun, I guess.

As far as dirty fun goes, I would enjoy getting Fore-Playing Cards, Sexdrive, or The Sex Game. P and I do have these silly dice, but we don't use them very often. My dad had some playing cards like these stashed high in the kitchen cupboard. I would get them down and look out of curiosity, thinking my essentially asexual father a pervert. Now I know that I'm so much worse.

Back to the good clean fun side... I come from a game-loving family. Growing up, we often played games around the family table. We liked Life, but my mother's favorite was Aggravation - fitting, huh? When we weren't gaming as a family, my parents would sit at the dinner table with its vinyl tablecloth and play cribbage, drinking a pot of tea. I love cribbage, but I've never played it since, haven't found a partner. I did try the online version, but it was more cut throat than I what I remember as I sat in an orange- and avocado-colored kitchen.

My mother's family was big into Yahtzee. I learned to count and multiply playing it. Wonderful for all ages, it also helps to teach poker skills, although poker faces are not required. I have the junior version for J, so he's getting indoctrinated already.

Mille Bornes was another favorite at home; it's one of those games that you either love or you've never heard of it. It was especially fitting when I was taking French and learning to drive. The best part, of course, was being able to declare, "Coup Fourre."

I always buy J games as gifts. He got Battleship for his birthday and we love to play it together. He likes it so much that he wanted the hand-held version, which I got him for Xmas. He has a new Connect Four, too, plus more electronic stuff. I've tried keeping him from the electronic form of gaming, but it is becoming impossible.

The Connect Four game idea came from his therapist last spring. Using play therapy, she dove into my son's psyche and told me that he is so advanced in some areas, when he acted like a 6 yo, I didn't know what to do with him. He'll forever connect Connect Four with that nice lady who played games with him.

The favorite game of my ex and I was What Were You Thinking. We'd gone to a couples game night at a friend's and got hooked. I bought it for ex one year for his birthday, so he got it in the divorce. I am considering replacing it, b/c it is so easy yet so much fun.

I could go on and on, but I'll pause this time. What are some of your favorite games?

Friday, December 24, 2004

Blue Light Special on FSH

I talked about getting an FSH bloodwork order last week, but I still have 3 or so weeks to wait to use it on Day 3. I really need to know if I am over the hill sooner than that, kind of as a bad omen for the New Year, I suspect. (I hate when I am fatalistic.) Then maybe I can make resolutions based on what's real instead of perceived or desired.

I am considering Menopause Monitor by Estroven for in the mean time. Their site states:

As women approach menopause, their FSH levels will gradually increase. Once FSH
levels reach 25 mIU/ml, women are considered to be experiencing perimenopause.
When they run out of follicles (eggs) capable of responding, their FSH will be
high, and they will stop having menstrual periods. Women in menopause usually
have FSH levels above 40 mIU/ml.The Estroven Menopause Monitor will detect and
give a positive result if a woman’s FSH level is 25 mIU/ml or higher.

The enterprising local KMart today carried it for $19.99. I'm not sure about wasting my money on it, mostly b/c it seems too good to be true and I've never heard of it. Has anyone else used it? I figure it is a hell of a lot cheaper than having a blood test that won't be covered by insurance. The manufacturer claims to score comparably with blood tests, but they do not say use it specifically on day 3. Instead, they say to use the 2 tests enclosed about 1-2 weeks apart.

To me, knowing that my FSH is below 25 mIU/ml would be very meaningful; if below, I'd consider continuing with the blood test. If high, I'd know hope is lost.

The FAQ answers simple questions about cycle changes and menopausal symptoms like insomnia, hot flashes, and irritability. Nowhere does it mention using the test to gauge fertility in a pro-fertility way. The the FAQ does say, "This test must not be used to determine fertility. Do Not make contraception decisions based on the results of this test."

That's kind of funny, not that I'd want to do the test to see if I could stop using birth control.

I can say that this is a potentially positive test that I don't want.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Finally in the holiday mood

I'm not much for Xmas. I got out a Santa Claus snow globe as a decoration, so I'm not a complete Scrooge.

But I just found a site that makes it all better now: The 12 STIs of Chirstmas, which you should consider playing in private, i.e. not at work or around people lacking in senses of humor.

Remember, I'm affected, so I laugh at all but the very last line, b/c that part just ain't true.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Intentionally mundane artsy toilets

In further confirmation that it is a man's world, a signed urinal from 1917 was voted the most influencial piece of art of all time.

I love art history and have undertaken a modern art avocational study for the last few years, to the point that I do understand and appreciate the movement (no pun intended :) Further, I studied pre-modern art history for real while working on my Master's, so I sincerely appreciate the formal study of art history, too.

Following is the way I see Duchamp's urinal. I have two points I haven't seen elsewhere per se...

1) As a point of comparison with something most people understand, whereas Impressionism was about replicating the momentary fleeting glimpse of a scene/feeling/gesture/light, modern art is more focused on the intention rather than the outcome.

Hence, the hunk of porcelain isn't a mere urinal any longer, b/c the artist declares that it is now art. "I intend this urinal to be art!," pronounces Duchamp. "So be it!"

And so it is.

2) As a result, the Duchamp's urinal piece is highly influencial, b/c it removed art from the canvas (or other conventional medium) and absolutely plopped it down into the mundane.

Although art is construed to be rather hoity toity, progressive artists have always struggled to make art closer, more real, more relational, more banal, even. The removal of the superficial gloss or veneer is the goal of true art, not dressing it up.

There are many examples, but I will cover only a few. This "dressing down" phenomenon happened in the Renaissance and other transitional times when art dared to go beyond the sacred (with only church or mythological subjects represented) and attempted to portray the secular, the commonplace. Think about Dutch genre paintings like those of Hals and Steen, with lively family scenes, full of revelry, noise, and community. (This style is my favorite.)

Or consider all those Impressionists rejected yearly by The (uppity and traditional French) Salon; they dared to paint relaxed, playful scenes and strayed into the ill-respected landscape. Lastly, ponder the edginess of Goya and Picasso who insisted upon dramatically portraying the horrors of war; their paintings were statements relevant to both their peers and their leaders.

Removing the gloss, all of these paintings are of the things of life, of existence, and of the world, truly the "Reality TV" of old.

Art is about bucking the system, not about being lofty. Status quo is ever passe. Adapting to a bucked system just means there's a new movement to be rejected and remade.

For future reference, I think the most influencial piece of art for the post-post-post-post-modern era should be the female urinal. I'm an artist. I'll be glad to sign it. We deserve equal time.

Yahoo bad, Yahoo good

Yahoo caught me with this title:

Don't Read This One...

Shit. Am I just stupid?
Makes me so glad we went to Cozumel instead of Playa del Carmen this year.


I do love when someone uses a public podium for a big fat "So There!"
Especially when it involves Bill O'Reilly.

HOLLYWOOD (Reuters) - They really said it -- notable quotes from the news:

"Hope all is well, kiss the plaintiff and the wifey."

--Ludacris raps on his new album to Bill O'Reilly, the Fox News anchor who cost Ludacris a lucrative endorsement deal two years ago by denouncing his lyrics as 'garbage.'


Maybe we could send Bill O'Reilly to Playa del Carmen on an all expense paid vacation... one way, of course.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Going the combo route

Too much this week to post separately...

Famous Atheist Now Believes in God
WTF? I can understand there being a black or white element to choosing about religion, i.e. Agnosticism is an uncomfortable shade of gray for me. But this guy's going from black to white (or white to black, depending on perspective) is a mighty big leap. If he is best described as a Deist, that is definitely not Atheist and it is all moot anyway.

What were the mechanics of this transformation and what scientific discoveries were so convincing?

I'd be curious to see his video. If he swapped sides merely b/c life is complex, he is being overly simple. It is almost impossible for the human mind to comprehend, but he is forgetting the millions of years of evolution whereby unfit things just didn't stick around. The life of animals/beings/plants/etc of today fit together today because their lot has been cast to fit together with other life. Those that didn't fit no longer exist, except to say there is a lot of 'forced evolution' happening b/c of man.

Two of my favorite books relating to this topic are:
The botany of desire : a plant's-eye view of the world by Michael Pollan
Guns, germs, and steel : the fates of human societies by Jared M. Diamond

Court: Mom's Eavesdropping Violated Law
This Mom did what all mothers do: she kept her ears pealed. Yes, she used a little extra help, but I believe that nothing coming into my house, my turf, is free from my inquiry and my potential wrath.

It reminds me of a friend with a 14 yo daughter who is the twin separated from birth from my bf's daughter. They even have the same name. The friend's daughter is actually locked in her room each night; she is never without supervision. Her phone calls are taped for content, particularly for who she's talking sex with and about. Amazingly, she was told about the taping at the outset and she fully knows that her mom does the taping, but she still talks junk. Duh?

Much like 'my' L, she just doesn't seem to get the value of 'towing the line' to get something you want later. There's a lot to be said for 'towing the line' and, kiddos, you can get away with a mighty lot of stuff if you just give your parents what they want sometimes. I had a great time partying as a teenager while my parents thought I was an angel. As long as you demonstrate that you know how to act, then its okay to kick up your heels a bit.

Birth Month Seen Linked to Multiple Sclerosis Risk
"People born in May in the northern hemisphere have a higher than average risk of developing multiple sclerosis, researchers said on Tuesday.

An analysis of data from studies of more than 42,000 people in Canada, Britain, Denmark and Sweden showed that May babies have a 13 percent increased chance of suffering from the illness later in life, but that having a November birthday decreased the average odds by 19 percent."

Between the +13% for May and the -19% for November, that's a 32% spread. Unbelievable. Take those odds to Vegas!

The scientist and infertile in me wonders if it is related to another seasonal issue: lower sperm counts in the summer lead to lower pregnancy rates, contrasting with higher sperm counts and pregnancy rates in the winter. May and November are exactly 6 months apart, as are summer and winter. Are summer sperm not only less numerous, are they also more defective?

Friday, December 10, 2004

An ocean of what?

I did enjoy Oceans Eleven, but it wasn't really a stand out for me even if it was an above average remake. Films that are so polished and big-named, well, they don't exactly turn me off, but they bring things down a notch. When you compound the common sequel phenonemon of toning things down a couple notches further, they shift to the 'only if I catch it on TV' file. This happened for me with Matrix; I still haven't seen the 3rd installment, only having caught the 2nd on TV.

I am warmed to see Oceans Twelve being rated at "Fresh" at RottenTomatoes. At 63%, it isn't up for the Academy, but it could be respectable enough to see. I read recently that it is so slick that is is sickening, but I may take the chance.

It stars a bevy of brightness. Let's review.

George Clooney - yummy, quirky, responsibly irresponsible, I actually respect him, talking here about his age
Julia Roberts - discussed her of late and I never understood the America's Sweetheart halo; am baffled by her self-proclaimed over-achiever title where by, in comparison, a mere one baby must belong to an under-achiever
Matt Damon - just be glad, bud, to not be attached at the hip to either Ben A. or Greg K.
Brad Pitt - his versitility is inspiring, but I will always love a River Runs Through It
Catherine Zeta-Jones - I abhor her; I think Julia runs neck and neck on the bitch scale with this one
Don Cheadle - I love him and I would like to see more of him
Vincent Cassel - ?, will have to look him up
Andy Garcia - he's the entire reason I'm writing this post, I could devote pages to his presence, both with his genteelity and with his passion, as well as his face, eyes, smile, hands...
Carl Reiner - is he the token ugly, old guy?
Elliott Gould - no, he must be
Scott Caan - we're so lucky to have the 2nd generation thang going
Bernie Mac - who also deserves a post to himself; Bad Bernie was perfect in Bad Santa
Casey Affleck - who I suppose isn't technically 2nd generation, but might as well be

So who might float your boat or raise your blood pressure?

I have the kid this weekend, so it'll be no adult flicks for me. Maybe we'll finally get to see Johnny Depp's Peter Pan.

Guns and Posers

Gunman Kills 4 at Ohio Heavy Metal Show

Of course, this is the band L saw with her mother a few weeks ago.

See reaction from Ozzy and other metal heads here.

I think Dimebag's hosebag followers should be happy somehow. Now we have the mention of the honorable name of "Dimebag" in every household. He's more famous than ever. It is every rocker's dream. They'll be in league with Nirvana.

Besides, I can imagine choosing "Dimebag" over "Nicklebag" as a name, but why not think big and choose "Quarterbag" or "Dollarbag"? Am I missing something here? I learn it isn't Dimebag, the direct result of it a measurement system for various types of drugs, it was instead from him being called Diamond Darrell, which was shortened to Diam, which morphed into Dime and Dimebag. Apparently, all this DB trivia was on the Damageplan website, which has itself morphed into a tribute site.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

A flick and a musical interlude

This is my all-time favorite snippet scene from a movie.

You know it: Body Heat.

Picture Matty (Kathleen Turner) and Racine (William Hurt) at the beach on the boardwalk...

Matty: You're not too smart, are you?
Racine shakes his head no.
Matty: I like that in a man.

Screenplay by Lawrence Kasden
3rd Draft
Octover 6, 1980

Classic! In my mind, though, I condense it to be, "You're not too bright... I like that in a man."

That's actually better, Mr. Kasden. Believe me. It resonates.

My favorite reference to this movie is in a Jimmy Buffet song.

Frank and Lola

By: Jimmy Buffett, Steve Goodman 1982

"Lucy and Ricky, Fred and Ethel, Laurel and Hardy, Spanky and Buckwheat, Rocky and Bullwinkle, and Frank and Lola... they're all good for a laugh."

Lola loves Frank, Frankie loves Lola
On their second honeymoon in Pensacola
Tryin' to find a little privacy

Oh me there been too much screamin', fussin' and fightin'
The doggies were yellin', the children were bitin'
Frank and Lola tryin' to get together again

So he took her to this movie called "Body Heat"
She said the Junior Mints were mushy and the sex was neat
Oh my, Frankie weren't we better than that, before our spat
Frank told Lola, honey can't you see
That I'll jump start you if you'll kick start me
Frank and Lola tryin' to get together again

So they strolled along the highway, they walked along the beach
They stopped at several raw bars where they slurped a dozen each
Bought a bunch of popcorn from the fat man on the dock
Baby turn back the pages, turn 'round the clock

Lola told Frankie time we put it to the test
After Frankie told Lola she was still the best
They fell asleep in the sand underneath the Florida moon, in June
Lola counted rainbows, Frankie counted sheep
'Til they almost got run over by the lifeguard's Jeep
Frank and Lola tryin' to get together again

Go, Frank, go
Lo la, lo Go,
Frank, go, wow


So they strolled along the highway, they walked along the beach
Stopped at several raw bars where they slurped a dozen each
Bought a bunch of popcorn from the fat man on the dock
Baby turn back the pages, turn 'round the clock

Lola loves Frank, Frankie loves Lola
On their second honeymoon in Pensacola
Tryin' to find a little priva-
Tryin' to find a little priva-
Tryin' to find a little privacy

Go, Frank, go
Lo la, lo
Go, Mango

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Back to our regularly scheduled programming

I tried to prep myself and I told myself that I could read this without getting pissed off. Of course, that's not humanly possible.

The McCaughey clan is cuter than ever, and each child is asserting his or her own personality.
By Paula Chin

Slide Show: Septuplets Turn 7!

Slide Show: Septuplets Through the Years

My son was two months old when the McCaughey litter was born. It made him seem miniscule, an afterthought, in comparison. Little did I know at the time, that bitch Bobbi would be stealing all of our collective potential future babies, too.

Amongst many, I have to pick out these lines for a parenting missive.
These days, the greatest challenge for the McCaugheys is balancing their
children's growing need for independence with the desire to keep them close to
the nest. "They've made so many friends, they're always saying, 'I want to go
play with so-and-so,' or 'Why can't so-and-so come over?'" Bobbi says. "We can't
accommodate them very often. Kenny and I are very close to our brothers and
sisters and want to spend weekends with them and their kids."

There's also the siren call of
-- and the risk of parental enslavement to schedules and
chauffeuring. Brandon, a natural at baseball, was dying to play, but after
careful deliberation, the McCaugheys said no for now. "It's partly because of
how much all the equipment costs and how it would cut into family time," she
says. "My dad didn't allow me or my five siblings to do sports for the same

WTF? Fundamentalism gone awry? Shoot, I forgot, they call it, "family values."

Do their kids not deserve a life outside of the parental sheltering gaze in order to pursue their own lives and interests? At least they're not locked in the closet and they do attend, gasp, public schools. However, with the title of the piece doting, "each child is asserting his or her own personality," does that mean that no one has paused long enough to notice that before they were fucking 7 years old? Babies show personalities within minutes if you don't have litters.

Bobbi, be creative. Find yourself some kind infertile who will take your kid to baseball games. Or team up with another baseball parent who doesn't mind doing it for you. Cost shouldn't be an issue for anyone wanting to play, because scholarships are available. I'd hope to some misc diety that you could afford a $10 glove, b/c that's all it costs. No other equipment is required. Better yet, recycle and borrow one from a neighbor, the coach, or a fellow church member.

Don't make paltry excuses. You really do want them in that closet, you greedy Sicko.

Seriously casual, I think

HOLLYWOOD (Reuters) - They really said it -- notable quotes from the news:

"Because of my age, I can't party with the big guys anyway. I haven't seriously smoked pot in years."

--TOMMY CHONG, 66, who is taking a role in the off-Broadway show "The Marijuana-Logues" after serving nine months in prison for selling a bong, in the New York Post.

Gentle readers, I can't let this quote rest on its own laurels. I think Tommy is smarter than he's letting on, or maybe not, if I can actually figure it out. He makes a good side-kick, knowledgeable and helpful, let's ask him ourselves...

Tommy does not say, "I seriously haven't smoked pot..." or "Seriously, I haven't smoked pot..." Instead, he says, "I haven't seriously smoked pot..."

In other words, he has casually smoked pot. He hasn't been the All Star, consummate 4:20 professional about it lately, but then he is a (reformed) slacker, right?

I witch I had a penis tree

Oddly Enough does it again:

Penis Tree: Fertility Symbol or Political Poster?

Monday, December 06, 2004

Snap...snap...snap...Cool Cat Home Boy

A super fast one
For the future last one,
Secretary of State...
That is.

HOLLYWOOD (Reuters) - They really said it -- notable quotes from the news:

"I'm Colin Luther Powell
Public service is my thing
Don't do it for the ring, don't do it for the bling."

--Secretary of State COLIN POWELL, making his debut as a rapper at the Kennedy Center Honors in Washington.

Friday, December 03, 2004

For your shopping pleasure

Visit Archie McPhee's for the dumbest stocking stuffing, cheapo gift exchanging, white elephant giving junk around.

I want to get P the bacon air fresheners for his car.

Me? Thanks for asking. I'd like the aluminum can purse, please.

(Cue Announcer. "Not a paid endorsement.")

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Blogger sux

I spent the better part of 2 hours on a post, only to lose it in the publishing process. I usually do a copy before submitting. Of course, I didn't today.

I'm pissed.