Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Not J

I always say that I don't 'do' people, even though I really want to.

This began as J, but one needs a model for more than 5 seconds. It's tough to ask for more from an 8 yo, the bugger. Hence, the inspiration is J, but it doesn't look like him. Other details aren't quite anatomically correct b/c of nothing to compare it to. Alas.

I could fix it, but I have begun forcing myself to stay with the spirit of my intention at the outset - a quick pencil sketch, in this case. Doing and capturing are more important than perfection, even tho the original, fleeting model, himself, is perfection, except for that wiggle worm stuff.

Monday, November 28, 2005

And the quints endorsement commentary evolved a life of its own

I wasn't sure how to contact Sarah Gilbert (to clarify: I thought about it, but didn't dig very much) to give her a courtesy call that I found an askance sort of reference in The Post to her quints name piece or that I was using her work in my recent entry (or the follow up). I don't read Blogging Baby, as it doesn't generally apply real well to my life circumstances (and I'm relatively, although blindly, sure that their infertility section is not the brand I feel in my cold, bitter heart), so I am not familiar with her body of work, her overall slant.

I suppose I'm glad that she found out about the two articles on her own (Jeez, the first one was at #5 overall for blog hits yesterday at BlogPulse. And it triggered Sarah's first post to be at #9. Thanks, Julie.) and that she decided to continue writing about the topic at Blogging Baby. She now has a beef with Mill*y, the Wash Post author who picked her out (as revealed by me) as the "reason" the quints weren't receiving endorsements. In her latest article, she also disagreed with the way he portrayed the parents in a Post picture, one he apparently took himself. He showed harried parents with the three infants home at that time, Sarah commenting that he could have tried to spruce them up a bit, but he seemingly chose to let them look, well, greasy, tired, and underdressed in order to further their endorsement-seeking cause.

While her analysis might be true, the parents could have looked more put together, I remember life with one newborn and, although I wasn't seeking endorsements, I sucked at just one kid. I looked and felt like hell, not getting my head above water until he turned 4 months old. I could not fathom caring for three whilst visiting the other two in the hospital. Nor could I imagine getting dressed just to have more pabulum spewed on the next outfit and adding to the already strained wash load. I understand wearing Ts, nightgowns, robes, sweats, and jeans on a really good day; shoes optional; shower, comb and make up MIA. I think these parents look normal and I would not have critiqued the picture.

Further, Sarah said that she didn't realize the family was African American based on ethnic names akin to Sha'nay'nay Me'Asia or that her piece could have been construed as racial. While I am not a regular reader of Sarah, I have to wonder who Blogging Baby "hires" (I am assuming they get paid unlike the insect here) to write and edit. Is there not someone who might have brought this to her attention? The web-creating crew obviously knew of the race, as the picture in Sarah's first piece shows the mother, Jannell Dickens, who honestly looks pretty damn good there after having quints. Obviously, Sarah isn't uploading/coordinating her own Blogging Baby posts/pictures the way I do in this Churp, Churp monopoly I have, but you'd think she'd have some formatting/content input or routinely check to see how her pieces look on line to see if anything affects the presentation of material.

Besides Sarah quoting from my brilliance and intelligently agreeing with my first post (tongue in cheek, people!), I kind of think she could have kept her mouth shut this go around. The critique of the picture was overboard and the blindness to race was naive at best.

But then maybe I'm just a crusty, old, pragmatic, barren witch who casts stones at both sides of an argument just for fun (and, seriously, for the sake of blogging and media integrity), trying to bring them together in the middle...

So, back to the crux, people...

Here's the address if you wish to donate even a mere dollar this holiday season:
Dickens Quintuplets Fund
M&T Bank
University Hospital Branch
22 S. Greene Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
Attn. Tamara

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Flicks, no spoilers, I think

I love holidays for the movies they compel me to see. Friday, I saw two, both on the indie side. Went alone. Love it that way.

Sarah Silverman: Jesus is Magic
65% Fresh at Rotten Tomatoes

Sarah Silverman is bleeping hilarious. The best description I could think of for the flick is Rocky Horror meets stand up. She is imaginative and gutsy, leaving no slur unturned. She's out for all with a sweet, yet scathing, tongue.

My favorite line is when she pseudo-empathizes with the post 30 crowd trying to conceive a child: "The best time to have a baby is when you're a black teenager." [You had to be there.]

Nothing is out of bounds to her and she gets away with it.

The Squid and the Whale
94% Fresh at Rotten Tomatoes

This movie is about how divorce affects a family, but it sets the premise well into the movie with a description of a NY museum display of a squid being devoured by a whale. I guess one could debate who is the squid and who is the whale in the movie, but I have pretty firm opinions on that.

Like so many good family dynamic movies, a kid steals the show. The younger son, swilling beer and sharing his middle school self love with the masses, was disturbingly charming and particularly endearing with the given situation.

It was anything but a tear jerker - rather a good, solid movie that served as a reminder for me about the subjectivity one has in viewing one's life circumstances.

Anybody else see these, or Capote, or Johnny Cash, or anything else gotta see?

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Fond farewell, Chris

Have you ever heard of Chris Whitley? He's one of my favorite singer-songwriters.

I've loved his music since Living with the Law over a dozen years ago. You'd probably recognize tunes off of there. At the link, listen to portions of Poison Girl and Big Sky Country - sassy modern blues.

He died on Sunday.

Check out his music and see if you don't become a fan, too.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

No longer anonymity with sperm donation?

I found a recent newspaper particularly interesting. A 15 yr old boy wanted to find his father, but he was the product of an anonymous sperm donation. Trying to explore as far as he could, he did what any good genealogist does. He started with what he has: his own Y chromosome.

Y chromosome analysis is a common test with new, specialized laboratories now devoted to conducting it. Many family associations involved with genealogy pool together to do studies to see if the Y chromosomes of their male members match or are similar. For example, using Y chromosome studies, labs can tell whether this Northern clan of Yahoocytes is related genetically to that Southern Yahoocyte family. Or if this stray Googlehorn stem belongs in the greater Googlehorn branch. If related, they'll discern how closely or distantly, depending on the mutations involved when compared to the anticipated frequency of mutations.

It is helpful for relations in general, but not necessarily in relationships, except, for example, if Junior doesn't match Senior, but the Mrs. really enjoyed her milk deliveries.

This 15 yo boy thought he might find the country of origin of his father, little more. His results, however, revealed two men, strangers to each other, who all had a 50% change sharing the same father, grandfather, or great grandfather. The men also had similar last names, but had different spellings, according to the findings in database at Family Tree DNA of Houston.

This bright 15 yo decided to take things a bit further. With the donor paperwork his mother received, he knew the birthdate of his father. He took his search to OmniTrace.com, obtaining a list of all the people born on that date.

You guessed it. One had the same surname as the two Y chromosome relations. He has contacted his father, but the details were not released.

Now there's a website paralleling the efforts of the still anonymous boy, Donor Sibling Registry, whereby information on donors is collected with the goal of matching up half-siblings from common donors.

Judging from what I read at the site, there are an awful lot of donors who were Ph.D. candidates or medical school interns. I figure this kid got a sizable chunk of his gray matter from daddy.

Of course, ethicists are split as to whether the interests of the boy (and other donor children) supersede that of the donor or whether this fiasco will unravel the entire donor community.

What do you think?

Monday, November 14, 2005

We bloggers are entirely too powerful

aka What do the media, blogging, ART, race, and given names have to do with high order multiples' endorsements?

I was doing some reading yesterday and happened upon this article:
Few Answering Quintuplets' Needy Cries
By C*urtland Mill*y

It seems that new parents of quints, Jennell and Noval, aren't getting the loot that other quint families have supposedly gotten in the past. (Other details first, then I take up the issue, below, where The Post's author hypothesizes several reasons for the lack.) The family lives in a one bedroom apartment and the father is now unemployed. They'd like diapers, formula, and a van, the usual stuff.

Here's the address if you want to donate:
Dickens Quintuplets Fund
M&T Bank
University Hospital Branch
22 S. Greene Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
Attn. Tamara

Jennell, the daughter of Floryn and sister of Sharita, took clomid to overcome what I figure was PCOS. She was a stellar responder to her medical jump start.

Very fortunate, Jennell performed the miraculous by staying pregnant with 5 babies past 30 weeks, but, as anticipated, her babies came early: JaMir Amare, a boy, and his sisters, Si'ani Ritay, NaRae Dimetria, Jade Na'Liyah and Rayne Anye. They weighed in at 1 lb 12 oz to 2 lb 13 oz. Three have already gone home and two more are expected this week. They were only born about 8 weeks ago, so they are already overachievers, coming home before their due date.

You can probably sense an undercurrent around here. I do have a beef concerning the "whys" this family hasn't received donations according to the author, who writes:
Companies usually donate all the baby products and volunteers step in to provide services from housecleaning to nursing care.

But none of that has happened for Dickens and Davis. Except for the help of a few family members and friends, they are pretty much on their own.

Part of the problem was the initial media coverage of the Sept. 21 births. A 22-year-old woman has five babies after taking fertility drugs. As word of the births spread, some bloggers who monitor births online -- supposedly for the purpose of helping to find resources -- began mocking the names that Dickens had chosen for the babies...

I didn't realize bloggers were quite so powerful! We can stop commercial endorsements with the blink of an eye or tap on a keyboard.

I wondered who these mighty and snarky bloggers were, so I looked through Technorati (what The Post links to for searches), Google Blogs, and Blog Search Engine and found only one blog entry referencing them - and it wasn't even me, even though I readily admit that I contemplated a post 8 weeks ago. That sole blog entry must be the one "blogger(s)" responsible for the Dickens plight.

We need to blame Blogging Baby for there being no van in the Dickens' driveway. Thanks a lot, Sarah Gilbert. You crashed that party, rained on that parade. The family is hard up b/c you wrote an article questioning the kids' names. Further, this almighty article was read by all endorsement-welding PR people who collectively decided it would be too difficult to market something based on Si'ani or NaRae.

This does not add up for me. If people like Sarah are going to make fun of select names (and have authors like C*urtland Mill*y blame those same names), they are missing the multi-seat boat. There are a mighty lot of higher order names to make fun of. Just look at this list of 'famous' ones. There are bland names and ridiculously made up ones, too. I wonder the breakdown of freebies going to Jonathon, David, or Molly vs. Shipley, Rhealyn, or Shira. Do their endorsements differ?

What about a mixed bag, one sibling group (notice, I have not said litter) containing both a Matthew and a Genesis? [Oops, pro baseball player there who didn't even use fertility drugs. I'd hope he doesn't want baby endorsements, but then again Star Jones got endorsements to pay for her wedding. Humph.] Okay, then Jantzen and Briley vs. sibling Zachary. Did only the traditionally named one get endorsements? Does Zachary alone ride in the new van?

Or is it different if a surrogate carries the fantastic five?

I doubt it.

And, people, I really doubt that a lack of endorsements for the Dickens had anything to do with their children's names, or (what the real implication is, faulty as that might be to make inferences about) their race, or the media, or bloggers, or that she took fertility drugs. Or even the otherwise overlooked fact that they're not married.

One could say there are too many strikes against the Dickens for endorsement recognition, but I think the reason Jennell got no endorsements is b/c there are too damn many people having the likes of 5 babies at once. There was another set last week. (Sorry, but I cannot find that link again to the new set in Indiana - and that itself is a clue about media coverage, or the lack thereof, for moderately higher order multiples, if there is such terminology. People are much less enamored with the phenomenon. It has become almost commonplace.)

Most of us around here are in baby underload, but most of the world is in baby overload. It's not our fault, nor is it the Dickens. So don't blame any of us, CM.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Happen to meet Margaret?

When I was at P's last night, we watched Trading Spouses for the first time. I was intrigued, to say the least, by the Evangelical (??) Christian woman, Margaret, in the previews. It turns out she was traded to a astrologer/hypnotist family for a week, seemingly designed to be a square peg in a round hole situation. It obviously didn't sit well with her, either. See the telling video of her coming back home. Scary woman, so she is. (Hear a funny condensed version of her rant set to music here.)

The hypnotist mom was lovely. She took Margaret's surprisingly normal children under her wing and made them feel special. She also directed $20,000 of the family's money/winnings (each traded spouse gets $50,000 to allocate as desired to her new family upon departure) for Margaret to have the stomach stapling surgery she wanted, money Margaret initally declined, b/c the situation was "dark-sided" and she "rebuked" it as a "God Warrior."

P commented that Margaret looks like Cartman; I guess he's not alone in his observations judging from the comments at the first link. He also said she reminded him of his own screaming mother, minus the religion angle. Poor guy!

See/listen for yourself and check out the sorry state of modern Christianity. What is it? Some 70 million Americans are Evangelical?

I rebuke them.

And so, thankfully, did an awful lot of voters on Tuesday.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Morning greeting

What a beautiful way to start the day. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 03, 2005

My popular bosom

In 16 hours, the limit of my counter's cache, I got 14 hits plus, below, for my post Tits, hooters, boobs, boulders, melons, breasts, and ice cream cones yesterday. I have been floored at the response, particularly b/c half are actually people seeking real information, not wanting descriptions of boobies.

I feel even more redeemed for having revealed myself that way with the post. B/c these people actually have the proper wording down, they are leaps and bounds ahead of me and I would love to learn off of their experiences. And there are just as many people searching every single day. This is a very common concern, I am learning.

On the personal front, I mentioned to P that I think fixing my breasts would be covered by insurance and you'd have thought I'd killed his cat with the look on his face - jaw-dropping sadness and shock. He begged me to please, please, please not mess with the breasts.

I am taking his concerns under advisement.

In order of hits, not relevance (!), following are the yesterday's hits and their rank within the search engine for that search.

#1.....Tell your boobs to quite staring at my eyes

#3.....liz clayman boobs

#1.....bilateral asymmetry breast milk production

#7.....top 10 solution for bigger breasts

#6.....hypoplastic tubular breasts

#30.....growing bigger boobs younger sister

#7.....pert breasts

#21.....tubular breasts

#570 (talk about persistent!).....breasts breastfeeding techniques

#3.....sister melons

#2.....Breast Deformities Tubular

#5.....tuberous puffy shape

#20.....tuberous breast deformity

#1.....pancake boobs national geographic

My only surprise is that none yesterday came seeking accessory, flattened, or inverted nipples. They get attention many other days. Can't forget the nips.

PS - These are from overnight and through the day, just those that pertain directly:
wrinkly old tits
hypoplastic tubular breasts reconstructed
tubular hypoplastic breasts
hypoplastic tubular breast
ice cream boobs
abnormal breasts hypoplastic
cone puffy nips
saggy boulders
Breast Symmetry (Tuberous)
i have awful breasts

Obviously this is an issue to lots of people. Why don't we hear about it more in this our perfect society? There is a hierarchy of acceptability when it comes to birth defects and wonky breasts rank low in acceptance. If knowlege is power, those with tubular breasts feel powerless, b/c knowledge sure is difficult to come by.

Please share if you have something to add, even if this is an "old" post.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Repeat performance

This time, it is sitting next to my bed in a baggie. We both forgot it, but he hasn't mentioned it yet this morning. He goes to his dad's tonight, so I won't try to do it again until Thursday night.

Please remind me, people.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The obligatory

Here's J's Halloween shot. Or it might be some kid off the street, can't tell.

Are we taking bets as to whether he's smiling in there?

Oh yeah, he's a werewolf mummy, in case you couldn't tell.