Sunday, January 30, 2005

The benefits of blogging

When I started out, I was rather blind. I had not read that many blogs for reference. When I discovered that they weren't just for political (or other) big wigs, I knew I had a lot to say and it would do me good to get it out in this format.

I also thought that I might have something to teach, for example, to not wait until you're 34 to get pregnant for the first time, to not take fertility (or marriage, or mental health, or wealth, or security...) for granted.

I did not, however, know how much I would learn blogging.

It has helped me reconstruct important dates of things by going back through old posts.

It has helped me let loose of some baggage.

It has helped me reach out and receive incredible support. (Thanks!)

It helps me get my mind organized in two ways:

First, if I blog about something bothering me before I'm able to discuss it, I have created talking points for myself. My thoughts are more clear and my ideas are better constructed.

Second, when I commit my recent memories, impressions, and conversations to the written word, it serves as an apt "After Action Report," a military phrase describing the critical breakdown of details after an action.

Thanks, BlogUniverse, for giving me something I really need.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

As you can tell....

I'm cold. I'm trying to warm up.

Photo therapy (previous couple of posts) is helping me. I hope it helps you, too.

Fishing these warm clime pictures out have brought a couple Buffet songs back into my brain. My ex was a big Buffet fan. We saw him a good number of times, knew all the words to all the songs. My ex had everything both on vinyl and cd. He got it all in the divorce, and although, I do miss it sometimes.

Like now when I'm cold and would like to be throwing down a drunk.

Boat Drinks
By: Jimmy Buffett 1979

This mornin', I shot six holes in my freezer
I think I got cabin fever
Somebody sound the alarm

I'd like to go where the pace of life's slow
Could you beam me somewhere Mr. Scott?
Any ol' place here on Earth or in space
You pick the century and I'll pick the spot

Oh I know, (I know) I should be leaving this climate
I got a verse but can't rhyme it
I gotta go where it's warm

Boat drinks
Waitress I need two more boat drinks
Then I'm headin' south 'fore my dream shrinks
I gotta go where it's warm (I gotta go where it's warm)
I gotta go where it's warm (I gotta go where it's warm)
I gotta go where it's WARM!

I gotta go where there ain't any snow
Where there ain't any blow
'Cause my fin sinks so low
I gotta go where it's warm

The Stingray City Sandbar pic jogged my memory on this song and led to this post. This song always seems to return as my mantra. I can't snip it shorter; it's all part of who I am. It speaks to my sense of frustration.

Stranded On A Sandbar
By: Jimmy Buffett 1979

I enjoy this life as a jester
Seems to keep me movin' around
Like the wind that blows
Tide that flows
Have my ups and downs

All a part of some strange plan I'm sure
Start a new chapter each day
Honey, love gets lost, time gets tossed
'Cause we've both got our own different ways

I feel like I'm stranded on a sandbar
Stuck in my tracks like a street car
Playin' it for all that it's worth
I'm just payin' for my sins on earth

Now I used to go crazy for days at a time
Now I'm takin' my time with my days
Haven't found the answers like some that I know
I'm just stuck in a fairly nice maze

Climb to the top of the island tonight
Sit beneath the cashew tree
I want to count the stars, lights on the cars
That are shinin' up and down on me

I feel like I'm stranded on a sandbar
Baby I'm stuck in my tracks like a street car
Playin' it for all that it's worth
I'm just payin' for my sins on earth

The classic...

The Weather is Here, Wish You Were Beautiful
By: Jimmy Buffett

The weather is here I wish you were beautiful
The skies are too clear life's so easy today
The beer is too cold, the daiquiri's too fruitiful
No place like home when you're this far away
I don't care what they say (I don't care)

I'm afraid this one might apply, too...

Lovely Cruise
By: Johnathan Baham 1977

Drink it up, this one's for you
It's been a lovely cruise
I'm sorry it's ending, oh it's sad, but it's true
Honey, it's been a lovely cruise

These moments we're left with
May you always remember
These moments are shared by few
There's wind in our hair and there's water in our shoes
Honey, it's been a lovely cruise

To end on an up note: this one is another favorite, so joyful and playful...

Jolly Mon

He was makin' his way home on a dark and stormy night
When he heard a cry for help, and he saw a passin' light
When he reached the other boat, offered them a hand
They said Give us all your cargo
As they took a pirate stand

Oh oh oh oh, Jolly Mon sing
Oh oh oh oh, give 'em everything

Jolly Mon it's over sing your last song very well
They tossed him in the ocean 'cause their hearts were made in Hell
Came along a dolphin, he said, Jolly Mon hello!
I've always loved your singing, climb aboard, don't let go

Oh oh oh oh, Jolly Mon sing
Oh oh oh oh, give 'em everything

The night was filled with magic, they bid the sea goodbye
Swam into the heavens and they stayed up in the sky
And all the Island people when they wish upon a star
See the Dolphin and the Jolly Mon
Who tell them where they are

Oh oh oh oh, Jolly Mon sing
Oh oh oh oh, give 'em everything
Oh oh oh oh, Jolly Mon sing
Oh oh oh oh, make the magic ring

I want to share something funny

J, 6yo, Learning to Wear a Diving Mask
Stingray City, Grand Cayman

Copyright Mom 2004

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Bumper afflictions and inflictions

Lots of bloggers talk about how stupid magnetic ribbon bows are on the tails of cars.

I agree. They kind of remind me of Eeyore.

At a car wash near P's as I waited to waste $8, I noticed that an electric transformer thing next to it was covered in magnetic ribbons, enough to support the troops, save the whales, and cure cancer a couple times over were it not for Chinese capitalists actually receiving the funds.

I guess the magnets had been sadly beaten down by the monster within the wash and the workers (yeah, workin' at the car wash, yeah) stuck them on the metal box on display for the owners to come back. Or for pilferers to take massive yellow or red, white, and blue booty.

Coincidently, several days after that, I spoke with J's K teacher and she asked me to do a bulletin board for her, too. I'd done a bunch of them last year for her, kind of how I got broken in.

She said they'd be doing a unit on magnets soon and she'd like something related to that. Over the next weekend, I sketched out an idea: a large, red ACME magnet with yarn bits going to things it attracts, things it doesn't attract scattered along the bottom. P and I came up with several ideas of what magnets attract, like cans, metal shavings (like any kid has a clue what that would be), and paper clips, but coming up with ideas was harder than I'd anticipated. P then came up with the brilliant refrigerator idea. Yes, both of ours are completely covered and it is probably something a kid could relate to on a bulletin board.

Hark! Then I remembered that magnets attract magnets! And I knew where there were a bevy of magnets for free!

So I went by my handy dandy transformer. There were only 2 ribbons remaining, amazingly someone had come ahead of me to steal, errrr, claim the many, many magnets. Out of the 2, I chose a huge yellow one about supporting troops. You know me, I couldn't possibly do a God one.

However, I have it on good advice, that God pays attention to bumper stickers. I just saw this one last week:

God Bless the Whole World. No Exceptions.

Man, that driver is a pretty arrogant servant to be bossing God around and all.

What if I want to be an exception?

What if I don't want a ribbon on my car either?

What if the attractive forces of a magnet make more sense to me?

Alright, what if one ribbon touched me so deeply that I could take this crap all back? I've not seen this magnetic ribbon before. Please look here. Kind of takes your breath away.

Pregnancy, Infant Loss Awareness

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

East Coast Australia, East Coast North America

News break: I'm a tennis fanatic.

Even so, I rarely watch the Australian Open.

For one thing, I'm not in the tennis mood yet. That is, in part, b/c I don't usually watch indoor tennis on the carpet. I prefer hard court or even grass. Summer tennis.

For another thing, there is a 14 hour time difference. They play while I theoretically sleep.

They do play on tape while I'm theoretically awake, but it loses all its charm and excitement. There's a spoiler. As a match progresses, for example with men's tennis, the same guy has won the first two sets in the best of five competition. When they're playing in the 3rd set and you know there's only 15 minutes of televised tennis remaining, it is a safe bet that the same guy wins the third set. It doesn't go to four or five sets. There's not enough of a television slot to fit additional sets and they would have been cutting and pasting and editing the whole match to get snippets of a longer match in, if needed.

The punch line is prematurely revealed.

Sometimes, I will try to watch to see the athletic prowess and to hear the sounds. Love the sounds.

Last night I stayed up. Andre Agassi was playing Roger Federer. I am in love with the grace and power of Roger Federer, however this classy guy seems to have gotten a bit boastful, well, in this tourney's sound bites, anyway. He's earned it, 4 Grand Slams last year, the first to do it in about 40 years, plus the guy hasn't lost a match since the Olympics. He's a machine.

Andre, I've seen him play in person so many times. Last year, his warm up guy (brother?) gave J a tennis ball as Andre was coming in the stadium to practice the day before the local tourney. He's just as intense at warm up as he is in matches. During interviews, that's when you get the funny, self-depreciating Andre. On the court, he's all business. I respect that. I also appreciate the eye he has for the ball, how he can attack when others retreat.

Andre is 34 now. Roger is 23. Roger plays so much like Andre's old rival, Pete Sampras (my personal favorite), that sometimes I get glimpses of Pete and my heart aches. Pete is younger than Andre, having retired several years ago, but Andre is still hanging in there, having great successes. His wife has a lot to do with it, I'm betting.

But Roger made him look bad last night. I watched from 3:30 to 4:30am, only as an unmedicated insomniac can do. Even with the score of 6-3 in the first set, it was entertaining, but Roger was a Mack truck and Andre's doe eyes turned into deer-in-the-headlight eyes.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

He was JC to me

Johnny Carson died. I'm sad. He was one of the most funny, off-the-cuff personalities in television. I was sad when he retired and went even deeper into privacy. Although I'm curious about the present circumstances, I hope his family will be able to preserve his privacy.

Forgive Cricket's rendition and homage:

Gabor: Johnny, would you like to pet my pussy?

JC: Yeah, but you'll have to move that cat, first.

Some things just fit, even though it is said to be pure legend.

Way to call it!

"How do you describe that bib action on Serena's outfit? It sort of goes down and fastens into the lower part of the bodice," Dick Enberg queries and baits Mary Carillo.

Mary wryly responds, "You're doing a fine job of it yourself, Dick." Then she, master of the timeless descriptive phrase (e.g., Mary Pierce with her endless "re-babing"), adds, "It sort of looks dental to me. I don't think that's what she was going for."

I'm staying up late and seriously enjoying some live tennis action at the Australian Open during the match of Serena Williams and Nadia Petrova. (It is well established that I have a rather strong opinion about Serena, the t-girl.)

This AO get up is sort of the reverse of bib overalls. Instead of two straps going over the shouders, it is one fabric/strap combo that goes mid chest, encircling the neck, and coming down the back. The inset in it is a white open mesh which is what I think Mary got the dental idea from. It is kind of flossy. The bib contraption fastens into the peek-a-boo diaphragm-level holes of a yellow spandex sleeveless boob vice, complete with blue Flash Gordon swoops under the melons (as in water- not honey dews) and shoulder blades.

Dick and Mary didn't get down to discussing the bottom half or her boots, so I'll do it here, only days after Serena was ranked No. 6 on Mr. Blackwell's annual worst-dressed list. (I think The Mr. was giving her a break b/c she should have been a lower number. He knows that she is at least a talented tennis player, plus with the designs being her own I think there is an pity factor involved. )

Serena had on old fashioned, baggy, droopy white bloomers. They were covered by a long-ish white straight skirt with slits clear up to the waistband. It was essentially two big fabric rectangles, one in the front and one in the back. The size and length of the front one seemed to bother Serena as she often pulled at it. (See another version from the "line" here. It conveys the dental mesh idea well, almost looking like the wrapping for a cast.)

She once again wore her patented removable boots for warm up. This time, instead of the 2004 US Open "Hot Biker Chick" look, per Dick Enberg' characterization, they were sunshine yellow and white, matching her dental bib outfit.

I'm all for having goals, but I really wish Serena would pick the one she's good at and focus on it a bit more.

(Note: I edited this post for pictures and the following recent message, straight from Serena herself.)

Of course, as everyone expects, I will be wearing something special for the opening. It's actually part of my new line with Nike, the Serena Williams Collection. The line will include a new dress that transforms into a short. And, yes, I'll be wearing the boot again, with my Nike Serena Shox. I know everyone loves that boot! Although the boots won't be for sale, I'm still testing them, this is the first time we'll be offering what I wear on court to consumers, so that's really, really hot!

Serena Williams email sent to USA Today readers

Oh baby!

A Kiss to Build a Dream On

"There was a spontaneous combustion of love," said boxing promoter Don King.

King was commenting on the wedding kiss Donald Trump planted on his new wife, Slovenian model Melania Knauss.

"It was very romantic, and it was a long one," [Kathy, mother of Paris] Hilton said.

For more on (I pledge not to use snarky adjectives) American royalty, see Trump Marries Model in Glamorous Ceremony .

For more on American reactions to American pseudo-royalty, check out Zach.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Blogger credibility, ethics, and journalism

Blogger Influence Raises Ethical Questions (excerpted)(all emphasis added)

NEW YORK - When Jerome Armstrong began consulting for Howard Dean (news- web sites)'s presidential campaign, he thought the ethical thing to do was to suspend the Web journal where he opined on politics.

The growing influence of blogs such as his is raising questions about whether they are becoming a new form of journalism and in need of more formal ethical guidelines or codes of conduct.

According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, 27 percent of adults who go online in the United States read blogs. And blogs have greater impact because their readers tend to be policy makers and other influencers of public opinion, media experts say.

Longtime blogger Rebecca Blood circulated guidelines that call for disclosing any conflicts of interest, publicly correcting any misinformation and linking to any source materials referenced in postings.

"It seems pretty clear to me that having some kind of standard contributes to an individual blogger's own credibility," she said.

Yet Blood knows of fewer than 10 bloggers who have adopted her guidelines by linking to the document.

When Apple Computer Inc. got court orders allowing it to subpoena bloggers for the identities of people who had leaked company secrets, two of the bloggers responded by claiming they were entitled to protect confidential sources the way traditional journalists do.

So much of this article is a flight of fancy. It would have been much more effective to have used some numbers:

How many blogs are there?
How many of them seek a higher order of credibility?
How many of them are slapping the keys for pay?
How many of them are just regular folks with something to say?
How many of them are political?
How many of them are for external personal gain?

For me, social commentary is a primary goal. I like evaluating and asking questions about what's out there, as well as interviewing myself about what's in here. I guess the latter would be anti-social commentary.

Does that make me a journalist? No. Does that make me a curious commentor on the curious? Yes.

The last thing I need is someone regulating my creative outlet. If that were to happen, tho, maybe it would get my ass painting again.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Doesn't f*ck = fuck?

Relating in part to yesterday's post, A friend in need of bushes, sometimes I wonder.

Many bloggers write sh*t rather than shit and f*ck rather than fuck.

I believe sometimes it is because the writers are ultra conservative. They don't use curse words in their general life. Perhaps it is done for religious reasons, as if they won't be condemned somehow for writing sh*t or f*ck, even though it really is the thought that counts. Biblically, thinking bad stuff is as bad as doing bad stuff. So then, doesn't sh*t = shit whether it is thought, written, or said?

A lot of times, though, substituting sh*t, f*ck, or the like is said to be to ward off the potential Google search or the local pervert patrol. Now I may not completely understand perverts (or wannabes), for example Man Holds Up Sex Shop, Steals Inflatable Doll, but I can't fault anyone of legal age wanting a piece of ass. Or for reading free stuff online, having clean solo sex and not mindlessly impregnating or giving/receiving STDs or perhaps driving while drunk.

Often, the pots calling the kettle black or the (*)-using bloggers calling the searchers/readers perverted seem contradictory to me, incompatible, hypocritical, inconsistent, debatable, ironic even.

If one is talking about "h*mping like d*gs" in a public blog, then why would it matter if someone seeking "humping like dogs" found you? What makes them the pervert and you not? You're the one publicly taking about humping like dogs. And if you don't like being seen talking about "h*mping like d*gs," then why are you being so exhibitionistic in talking about it online like this?

What is it about some people's sexuality that makes theirs clean and others' dirty?

Thursday, January 20, 2005

I'm not a guy, but...

even I can tell he's blatantly wrong on this one.

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

"She's not sexy, she hasn't got a great body and she's not a great singer."

-- "American Idol" judge SIMON COWELL, on singer BEYONCE KNOWLES, in Esquire magazine.

A friend in need of Bushes

I am proudly currently #55 on this search:
naked indigenous american indian women showing cunts.

Good luck, Sir (I'm assuming), in your search. Looks like you were (bush) diving kind of deep getting down to my blog.

May I suggest Google, then click on the 'Image' link? (I am also assuming that you want a picture of and not just commentary on naked indigenous american indian women showing cunts.) At Google, you'll find this: nada. Sorry. Perhaps you should narrow (or would it be broaden?) your search, buddy.

For the record, this hit (additional Bushes) from my Project Inaugural Runway post is my second favorite hit of the day. It lead me to The First blog, surely to be a good read. I love reading about Bush Twins sightings, real or imagined. I don't think they're American Indians, although the old cliche 'wild as Indians' probably applies.

Just itchin' to

On Jan. 20, war protest will turn on a 'Dime'

Give me a challenge.

Don't spend money on Thursday, you broke ass thang.

Of course, I want to dig out my car and slide to the nearest grocery store. Just a little candy bar fix. Maybe some milk for my deprived son. He needs some cereal bars, too. The bread is moldy. Oh no! We're almost out of hot chocolate!

Then I could slide back toward home...tree....home....tree.....treeeeeeee.

And pay a deductible on top of it all.

Not today. But not b/c of "No Dime Day" either.

Just give me a challenge.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Fumbles and stumbles

Okay, I'm understanding the addiction to reality TV even if I hate the underlying material.

Tonight, I listened from a room away to the American Idol junk, flipping occasionally to The Amazing Race, P's favorite. I was being a good girlfriend trying to keep up with it.

Well, I saw the last freak, Mary, on AI, then switched to see who is still in the Race. Alas, I was too late.

But I wasn't too late for the opening moments of Judging Amy, a show I don't watch. But I couldn't turn it off. Amy was in the potty fumbling through an HPT.

Of course it is positive (she had to hold it up to the light to see) and she is stunned. I don't watch the show, so I don't know if she was raped by a psycho or she's with a married man. Either way, she's really pissing me off and she doesn't have to worry about me stumbling on to her show again. Humph.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Screaming for security

New FBI Task Force to Focus on Art Theft (excerpts)

PHILADELPHIA - Art theft may conjure up images of a suave movie villain creeping through a dark gallery or last year's bold daylight robbery of Edvard Munch's "The Scream" from a Norway museum. Most art heists, however, are far more subtle, involving forged documents, fake prints or smuggled cultural artifacts that slowly make their way into the hands of private owners or museums.

It's also a huge industry: Interpol ranks it third among property crimes worldwide.

A new national FBI (news - web sites) task force on stolen art hopes to learn more about the global trade and how to tackle it with the help of professionals and scholars in museums,
as well as art and antiques dealers.

Worldwide, only 5 percent to 10 percent of artwork reported stolen is recovered, said Lynne Richardson, who manages the art theft program at FBI headquarters in Washington. The group wants to learn more about how purloined art makes its way to U.S. shores.

The article makes me happy. In light of the guy and his mom last week, coupled with the losses because of them (but at least they got jail time), I am glad to see that officials are taking it seriously. It is not only important for the art, it is important for the buyers to know that what they're getting is stolen or for in-the-know buyers to get busted, too. It's a win-win situation and I can't believe that, with its ranking as 3rd among property crimes worldwide, that it hasn't been seriously addressed sooner. Fodder for more research by me, I guess.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

There must be hope

Romanian Woman, 66, Said to Be World's Oldest Mom

BUCHAREST, Romania (Reuters) - A 66-year-old Romanian
woman gave birth to a baby girl Sunday after years of fertility treatment and
was claimed by Romanian media to be the world's oldest mother ever.

Adriana Iliescu, a university professor and author of children's
books, had been pregnant with twin girls. One died in the womb and doctors
decided to perform a cesarean section in the 33rd week of pregnancy to save the
other. "We wanted to wait until the 34th week of pregnancy, when the children's
lungs would have reached full maturity, but we noticed Saturday that the heart
of one of the little girls had stopped beating," Dr. Bogdan Marinescu, chief of
the Giulesti maternity hospital in Bucharest, told a news conference.

I am so happy for her successful birth and so sorry for her loss of the other twin.

Does reading stuff like this provide hope or just false hope?

Friday, January 14, 2005

For the love of serendipity

Black 'Florence Nightingale' Portrait Goes on Show
LONDON (Reuters) - The only known oil painting of nurse Mary Seacole, known as the black Florence Nightingale, went on show at London's National Portrait Gallery Monday after being lost for years.

Seacole, born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1805 of a white Scottish father and a mixed race mother, not only overcame the treatment of women as inferiors but also the open racism of the era to make her way to the Crimea and nurse wounded soldiers.

The oil portrait dated 1869 by little known artist Albert Challen, shows Seacole in profile wearing a dark blue dress and red scarf with three medals pinned to her chest.

It was discovered by chance being used as the backing for a framed print.

Seacole, who was voted the greatest black Briton in a poll last year, died on May 14, 1881 at her home in London.
I love this story: a forgotten painting getting some deserved attention. I'm betting stock in Albert Challen works took a hike this week, too. I find it redeeming that, although her painting and its artist were largely forgotten, she is still immensely popular with the British people.

Everyone appreciates a good nurse, even over 100 years after the fact.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

More reproductive news

I have no words for this barrage.

Woman Pregnant with Wrong Sperm Gives Birth

BOSTON (Reuters) - A Connecticut woman who was artificially inseminated with the wrong sperm gave birth to a healthy baby boy, her attorney said on Wednesday.

Laura Howard last year sued an infertility clinic in Bridgeport, Connecticut, after her doctor informed her that she had mistakenly been injected with sperm from a man who is not her fiance, lawyer Bruce Jacobs said.

Howard, a 40-year-old nurse, gave birth on Tuesday to a 6-pound, 1-ounce baby boy, and DNA tests are under way to confirm the child's paternity, Jacobs said.
Clinic Asks Politicians to Donate Sperm

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Politicians in one Australian state have been asked to lend a hand and become sperm donors to help arrest dwindling supplies at an in-vitro fertilization clinic.

The Monash IVF clinic has written to 25 parliamentarians aged under 45 in Victoria state asking them to set an example for the rest of the male population by becoming sperm donors.
Yahoo! It's a Boy!

BUCHAREST (Reuters) - A Romanian couple named their son Yahoo as a sign of gratitude for meeting over the Internet, a Bucharest newspaper said Thursday.

Daily Libertatea said Cornelia and Nonu Dragoman, both from Transylvania, met and decided they were meant for each other following a three-month relationship over the net.

They married and had a baby this Christmas, whom they decided to name after one of the worldwide web's most popular portals. "We named him Lucian Yahoo after my father and the net, the main beacon of my life," Cornelia Dragoman was quoted as saying.

Noisy Lovemaking No Cause for Eviction

STOCKHOLM, Sweden - Noisy lovemaking is no cause for eviction — so long as it's done in the daytime, a Swedish landlord said Thursday.

The Tunabyggen housing company in Borlaenge, 137 miles northwest of Stockholm, made the decision after the neighbors of one amorous couple complained about their afternoon delights.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

FCUK that!

Ad Regulators Warn FCUK Again for Double Entendre

LONDON (Reuters) - UK advertising regulators signaled a weariness of the double
entendre used by French Connection to sell its FCUK brand and warned the
clothing chain again, this time over a promotion for its line of fragrances.

In an ad placed for French Connection by Zirh International in the Boots
pharmacy chain's magazine, a picture of a young couple sitting on a bed in their
underwear included fold-out samples of perfume with the phrases "open here to
try fcuk her" and "open here to try fcuk him."

The FCUK logo has courted controversy since its launch in 1997. Fashion mavens say the rebellious hip factor that helped catapult the brand to success has long since worn off.

I guess I'm so far from hip that I've never even seen this stuff before. In the deepest recesses of my mind, I am hinting at remembering a blurry reference to it. Nothing further. If the fashion mavens are right, I guess I'm too late to worry about it. (Excuse the lapse; J was born in 1997 and the next 2-3 years are a maternal haze.)

I can understand the Brit regulatory objections in magazines, but the the funny thing to me about the overall concern, and applying that to us Yanks, is that most Americans who want to have FUCK on their shirt will wear FUCK on their shirt. FCUK is kind of wimpy in comparison.

Also, keeping in mind that I'm a mother, I believe that most teenagers who have parents who would object to a FUCK shirt (or perfume or whatever) also have parents who would object to FCUK, too. And vice versa, doesn't care, wouldn't care.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Project Inaugural Runway

Laura Bush Selects Shimmery Inaugural Gown

As a junkie of Project Runway, having it unleash my age old interests in design, I enjoyed stumbling upon shots of the inauguration dresses for Laura Bush and the Bush Twins. (Note: Pictures are available 3 ways: in the Slideshow at the title link, by clinking on their names, or in the 3 posts previous to this one.)

I find Laura Bush's rather plain - a close silhouette, which nicely shows her waist, but I believe it is the same sort of thing she's worn repeatedly in the past. I'd call it Shiny Hourglass Frump. I guess it suits her age and personality, glittery crystals or not.

Her daughters' dresses are much racier, showing lots of cleavage and plenty of back. Babs is going as The Ice Princess. And Jenna, The Wild One, even has leather accents on her silk.

(My son liked Jenna's, innocently and thoughtfully asking if it might come in Mommy's size. Melt my heart, my blinders-wearing wee elf.)

The shindig the Bush Twins will be attending is called Texas State Society Black Tie and Boots' Inaugural Ball. It's in Texas, so it figures to be so sexist, only mentioning men's attire in the title. Strange. Guess that means even potato sacks are in, for women only, of course. Or do Babs and Jen wear boots and a tie with glam gowns? Or are there that many lesbians in Texas? I'm confused.

Public Service Announcements:
I know Babs and Jen already know these choice ditties, but I'll include them here so we all are aware of the indigenous lingo for the ever festive occasion.

Texas Boy's Mating Call:

Bitch, git in d' truck.

Texas Girl's Mating Call:

Ya'll, I'm so drunk.

Edit 21 Jan 05: Only The Ice Princess went with the flow (and the cartoon drawing was MUCH better than reality); the other 2 bailed and I'm not sure they were wise about it. Check out Fug.

Update 23 Jan o5: The twins swapped off designer creations, each wearing theirs at different events. I don't know who designed the alternate garb. All in all, I think Jenna faired best, with Sis doing everything she could to look pasty even. See more pictures at

(PS - I hate Blogger and the Hello pictures uploading thing. What a nut roll! Tell me if you can do this crap in less than a hour and if you can get more than one picture in post. No, ya'll, I'm not drunk, not this time.)

Inaugural Laura

Posted by Hello

Inaugural Babs

Posted by Hello

Inaugural Jenna

Posted by Hello

Rats and crickets?

Amazingly apropos, this is a serendipitous amalgamation of some elements of my last post:

Commotion, Distraction, A Modernist Poem
by Jason J. Loya

It begins....

a sqeek, a chirp, cccchurp chuurp churp, rp
anonsensicallineof - stop to dot
- complicated ramblings
Squeak Squeak Squeak eek

Is she speaking in churps and squeaks or do they need a new place to live b/c of the creatures associated with the churps and squeaks?

Although I appreciate it, poetry in general is something I can't quite get my brain around. You've now discovered my Achilles heel.

Help wanted.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Bloglines Blogroll

First, bottom line up front. It took a while to get here.

I invite you to see my Blogroll at Bloglines. This provides real time updates as the various blogs I read are updated, reducing the time it takes to flip through blogs.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Thanks, but no thanks, buster

Sorry, I've been sitting on this one, b/c it made me so upset, but I know you really need this info...

More Pregnancies, and False Alarms, in Winter

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Sales of pregnancy tests typically soar in the first months of the year, as more women than usual tend to become pregnant -- or just think they are, according to Inverness Medical, the makers of the Clearblue Easy pregnancy tests.

The guest expert here is Dr. Brad Imler, president of the American Pregnancy Association.

[M]ost births occur in August and September -- nine months after December and January. Furthermore, winter holiday months tend to be very stressful for women,and stress can cause women to miss their period -- often the first sign of pregnancy...

He explained that the best way to distinguish a true pregnancy from a false alarm is to focus on additional symptoms of pregnancy. These include tender or swollen breasts, fatigue, nausea, headaches, backaches and a change in appetite.
How kind. He's trying to diminish the sales potential of Clearblue Easy (an Educational Sponsor for American Pregnancy Association, while reeking of the truism about biting the hand that feeds you) and politely telling us that we're morons for being proactive in our quest for pregnancy confirmation.

I must gently point out, he's not a woman, so he has no real idea how breasts tingle, swell, and throb with huge variety from one month to the next. Same with all the other real symptoms of pregnancy which strangely mock the same symptoms as infertility, a decidely non-pregnant state!

It all ebbs and flows. We don't have control over symptoms, so we can't entirely determine their origin or impact each month. Just look at what an idiot the brilliant me is about such symptoms. Further, I was pregnant for a while w/my son w/o significant pregnancy symptoms, so seeking the grail of symptoms is as hopeless as, say, me getting pregnant again.

"The absence of other pregnancy symptoms is probably the best clue that it [a delayed period] is the stress of the holidays," he said.

In addition, many women start the New Year with a resolution to exercise more, and a big shift in activity -- such as going from no exercise to many workouts per week -- can cause periods to be delayed, missed or lightened, Imler noted.
In other words, we're all a bunch of ditzy fools, completely out of touch with our bodies, reading everything it tells us incorrectly. (Unless, of course, it is colon or breast or cervical cancer when you invaribly tell us we're pretty stupid for not listening to our bodies sooner. Hypocrites.)

Remember to watch out, ladies... Don't fall for the fitness blunder. Working out is evil! [I already knew that, thanks.] Don't stress! Relax! Give up your New Year's resolutions and social life now, b/c you're too fragile and easily mislead to handle them.

Puleeze.... Get with it, you pathetic sexist doctors. Come up with a different message. This one is boring, trite, dismissive, and condescending, but I guess that's what makes it so fucking effective. We're suckers for that, you know. I'm the (Da da da DAAAA!)(I need a uniform) biological feminist, so I should know.

On an even darker note, these are stats from APA's site...

16,438 women become pregnant
11,018 women give birth
4,780 women endure a pregnancy loss
8,219 women experience an unplanned pregnancy
1,172 women become pregnant while uninsured
5,479 couples begin to struggle with infertility issues

Although there's plenty of fodder, I'll focus on the last two stats.

Why, in this society where it is so PC to talk of an insurance crisis, are there 5 times as many couples each day dealing with new IF than newly pregnant uninsured women? Where's the press? I say we IFers are getting short changed yet again, this time in the media and in public perception. I'd like those potential drummed up exposure-related dollars to be earmarked for additional IF and SIF research as well as
I resent that ART access is a classist operation and I think mistaken perception and misappropriated funds fuel the lack.

Back to the American Pregnancy Association, b/c they're so fertile for commentary: another one of APA's sponsors is Conceive Magazine. Go there and see the intro page. That is appalling to me. Has anyone actually read this magazine?

Friday, January 07, 2005

When stolen isn't bad enough

Mother Testifies in Son's Stolen Art Trial

STRASBOURG, France - The mother [Mireille Breitwieser] of a convicted art thief [Stephane Breitwieser] told a court Thursday how she used a hammer to destroy irreplaceable works of art and force them into trashbags upon learning of her son's arrest.

Her son, a former waiter who once told a Swiss court that his desire to acquire art "became a compulsion," said he had been visiting museums alone since he was 10 and had a passion for works from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries.

Bernard Dastries, an official from a French government office for combatting trafficking in cultural relics, told reporters Thursday that the haul was worth an estimated $13 million to $20 million.

Seems that the mother thought the pieces were flea market finds. When she found out they weren't during her sons' legal battles, she did everything she could to destroy all the art.

The son, who never sold a piece, was a true collector of sorts. He felt so deeply for the lost pieces that he said, "She threw my life into the trash can."

You can't help to (tongue in cheek) feel sorry for him, to have such a passion and have it thrown away.

Might coulda been a mention of chUrp

Y'all listen up!

Interviewees are asked 250 questions to check unique Texas pronunciations and determine whether they use certain words and phrases, such as "polecat" for skunk or "snake feeder" for dragonfly. Some of the terms are used elsewhere across the Southern U.S. as well, but many combinations are distinctively Texan.
A glossary of Texas Twang
Y'all: You-all (can be used as singular or plural).
Croker sack: Burlap sack.
Snake feeder: Dragonfly.
Mosquito hawk: Dragonfly.
Snap beans: Green beans.
Light bread: White bread.
Flitter: Pancake.
Corn dodgers: Hushpuppies.
Pulleybone: Wishbone.
Polecat: Skunk.
Cold drink: Soda pop.
Tank: Pond.
Dinner on the ground: Potluck dinner.

Now I realize this was a Texas-oriented study, but they missed the jon boat on some of these Southernisms. I don't mention it much, but I grew up in the SE and married into another old Southern family - lots of subjects for analysis.

(Even tho he's from Florida, I think Larry the Cable Guy uses ex's "My Family Tree is a Wreath" relations as his inspiration. GIT-R-DONE!*)

Cricket's addendum glossary of South Carolina Twang
Poke: sack, as in "tote a poke"
Rurnt: ruined (a pronuncian thing c/o ex-MIL)
Uncrunk: when a car's engine dies, as in "the car come uncrunk" (c/o ex's aunt)
Cooter: turtle
Mash: push, as in a button
Poke Salad: an edible weed often found along railroad tracks, to be harvested prior to berries coming out (I once fertilized one for a month thinking it was a hydrangea, then felt the poke salad plant - no longer considered merely a weed - was so pretty that I took its leaves to a Southern-transplant chef friend's house as a hostess gift - she was thrilled!)
Yellow Bells: forsythia bush
Thrift: short phlox
Close: description for humid weather, as in "it sho is close outside"
Carry: practically any movement - as in carry yourself to the store, not just carry your packages home
Yonder: from 'bout here to infinity
Salve (pronounced saaav): anything applied to skin, doesn't matter where it is from or what its for
Short Pants: they're not just called shorts
Dixie Store: Winn Dixie grocery store
R.O.C. Co-Cola: RC Cola, b/c that's how Andy Griffith said it in a commercial 50 years ago (c/o my dad)
Coke: Pepsi
Coke: Dr. Pepper
Coke: Orange
Coke: Sprite
Coke: Coke

*Larry's got it going on. He knows every girl's wish list:

Well that's it. I have to go now because they just opened a Victoria Secret inside the Bass Pro shop down here and I'm gonna go get some crotch-less waders and an orange teddy for my girl. I heard they also have dildos with scopes on em! ... (Lord I apologize for the dildo/scope thing.. that aint right!)
No, Larry ain't right, but I guess he's experienced in IF? Spread the news, bubba.


Thursday, January 06, 2005

Duchamp's Toilet Brush

[PS upfront: This posts gets so many hits, but it isn't even about Duchamp's Tiolet. However, I had previously done a Duchamp post and you can view it here.]

Toilet Brush Warning Wins Consumer Award

DETROIT - The sign on the toilet brush says it best: "Do not use for personal

The $500 first prize went to Ed Gyetvai, of Oldcastle, Ontario,
who submitted the toilet-brush label. A $250 second prize went to Matt Johnson,
of Naperville, Ill., for a label on a children's scooter that said, "This
product moves when used."

A $100 third prize went to Ann Marie Taylor, of
Camden, S.C., who submitted a warning from a digital thermometer that said,
"Once used rectally, the thermometer should not be used orally."

Think about the people (men?) too busy to read such warnings! However, I have to wonder why it was men winning the first two prizes? Did their wives point stuff out to them? Is it an indication of them being well (potty) trained?

What about the non-readers in the world who could use this valuable information? Makes me glad to be literate, I'll tell ya.

Runway TV

Okay, I constantly berate both TV and Reality TV.

Never better than the worst of hypocrites, I have actually found a Reality TV show to my liking. Okay, to my yearning even - I began designing dresses for my dolls when I was 5 yo. The show is on Bravo, called Project Runway with this schedule.

"It promises to be delightfully bitchy television," says the Washington Post.

Project Runway is housed at Parsons School of Design in NY, featuring wannabe designers and crazed models. One of each is removed from the proverbial pincushion each week. I have seen episodes 1, 3, and 4.

I might not have admitted my fascination with this show if it weren't for something I missed from the 2nd episode. One of the designers crafted a maternity dress when given the task to create something that speaks to the word, envy.
VANESSA looked at envy from the point of view of one who wants children; that is, pregnancy
envy. Her muse would appear on the runway as though she were about to give
birth. The concept was easy for her, but she struggled and struggled and
struggled with how she would portray it.
I wonder if her struggles extend all the way to IF. I would bet.

Although Vanessa was not my favorite designer personality-wise, I did have an appreciation for her design from the week before. (The next week her grating honesty is what cost her; like her subject for envy, she wore too much on her public sleeves.)

That her envy gown took 2nd place monetarily in a silent auction where all the designers' gowns went head to head speaks to the power of her creation.

Envy, indeed.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Maybe P's off the hook a bit

The other day, P turned to me and said, "I guess we'll go to Vienna for our honeymoon."

Deja vu!

Jeez, sometimes I think he reads this blog on a stealth computer with stealth software - yes, I have inquired which browser they use at work just to be sure he's not hanging here. I know he doesn't read this from home.

But I just mentioned Vienna a week ago here and he mentions it within days, too. Scary.

(I have an awful lot of hits from the metro area I live in and I've never even said where I live, so it must be a coincidence. There really are a lot of people living around this region. Yeah, easy circumstances for coincidences, but I am paranoid nonetheless.)

On to Vienna's Klimt news... Seeing this news piece made my day.

Film About Painter Klimt Begins Filming

VIENNA, Austria - Shooting for a movie featuring John Malkovich as Austrian art
nouveau painter Gustav Klimt (
news - web sites) began Tuesday in Vienna, a publicity company said.

It is listed in IMDb, too.

I think I'll consider the flick to be additional research for my trip to Vienna, not a substitute for my trip to Vienna.

I guess P isn't off the hook at all.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Feeling Down Under

[Beeeeep! Public Service Announcement: I am going to post some rough-ish creations from last week just to make up for missing so many days.]

Thieves in Austria Steal Entire ATM

"Investigators said they were trying to determine how many thieves it took to lift the ATM which authorities say weighed up to 500 pounds and load it into the back of a delivery truck."

What? Did they never see Barbershop?

I find that flicks are great for learning life lessons. I recommend it highly. Following are a few examples.

Death to Smoochy always makes me a little prouder about standing by my ideals while wanting to be a little less granola. Scrooged always helps me to un-Scrooge a bit. Pollock proves to me that I'm not that crazy or self-destructive of an artist. Frida reminds me of how simultaneously tortured, infertile, and brilliant a woman artist can be. Artemisia Gentileschi reminds me how seemingly destructive relationships and decisions have two sides. Raising Arizona demonstrates the lengths I would not go to in order to have a child. Mystic River and 21 Grams tragically dissect how fucking unfair life is. A Life Less Ordinary serves as a parable for the ridiculousness of organized religion. Pieces of April reminds us that people can change, that maturing happens when we pessimistically least expect it, but that pre-change self leaves gaping wounds on everyone around. Motorcycle Diaries displays that personal growth is a process whereby eyes are opened wider and wider, with dramatic things happening as a result. The Big Lebowski reminds me how much I prefer Black Russians to White Russians and to not get too attached to a rug.

And Barbershop shows how fucking stupid it is to steal an ATM.

PS- Happy New Year