Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Snuggle time: during (above) and after (below)

I have writer's block. I've drafted about three different texts to go with the pictures, but nothing's seemed right. So, just enjoy the pictures of my kooky pets mobbing my kookier husband.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Note: A Change

All righty, I'm makin' a change on this here blog o' mine. I'm no longer going to abbreviate your names. Honestly, I just can't keep all of the abbreviations straight. Too many of my nearest and dearest have names that start with the same first letter.

However, I swear to never use your last names. If you have children, this rule won't apply - their names will remain abbreviated or will be changed to avoid confusion.

If you have a major problem with me possibly referencing your first name on this blog, let me know, and I won't use it.


Another interesting perspective

From I Blame the Patriarchy (thanks, Heidi, for the recommend):

Butt-swat Preservation Society goes to bat for jailed teen boys

I laughed the hollow, mirthless laugh of an obstreperally-blocked spinster aunt when I read this story about the two butt-slappin’ 7th-graders in McMinnville, Oregon whose ‘horseplay’ — that is, an avocation leading them to cavort through the halls spanking female students — has landed them in juvy, facing felony sex charges. The responsible adults in their lives are now scrambling to determine whether their actions were criminal or just a matter of boys-will-be-boys engaging in “a common form of greeting.”

I laughed because these boys are precisely the product of their culture. Do these outraged parents and attorneys and sociologists and radio jocks and sexperts really expect that boys will not initiate attempts to dominate girls as early in their lives as possible? Do they imagine that misogyny is a figment? Do they delude themselves that the attempt by these boys to join their elders in satisfying, lifetime careers of culturally-approved sex-based harassment was merely an anomaly, an aberration?

Apparently not everyone does. As the father of one of the jailed ‘McMinnville Two’ whined, “We’d all be in jail if everyone got arrested for this kind of stuff.” Too true, Mr. Redneck, too true. Everybody hates women; why, it would be insane to criminalize patriarchy. Which is essentially the argument in favor of defining the efforts of pubescent boys to forcibly dominate pubescent girls as ‘horseplay.’ How can it be antisocial when all of society condones it? Quoth a dudely editorialist in the Salem StatesmanJournal: “[T]o criminalize […] brutish behavior is irrational and counterproductive.”

Blowhards variously use the words ‘irrational’ and ‘insane’ to describe this case, but what is really nuts is that anyone should expect anything but criminal behavior from kids raised to revere a culture of domination.

As usual, the real nub of the controversy, although nobody is acknowledging it, is not over whether a couple of 13-year-old boys facing 10 years in the hoosegow for butt-swatting is an “overreaction.” It’s whether female humans have a legal right to personal bodily sovereignty.

Incredibly, in 2007, the jury’s still out on that one.

Can't have it both ways

How Much Jail Time for Women Who Have Abortions?
By Anna Quindlen, Newsweek
Aug. 6, 2007 issue

Buried among prairie dogs and amateur animation shorts on YouTube [actually, the video has since been removed by its owner] is a curious little mini-documentary shot in front of an abortion clinic in Libertyville, Ill. The man behind the camera is asking demonstrators who want abortion criminalized what the penalty should be for a woman who has one nonetheless. You have rarely seen people look more gobsmacked. It's as though the guy has asked them to solve quadratic equations. Here are a range of responses: "I've never really thought about it." "I don't have an answer for that." "I don't know." "Just pray for them."

You have to hand it to the questioner; he struggles manfully. "Usually when things are illegal there's a penalty attached," he explains patiently. But he can't get a single person to be decisive about the crux of a matter they have been approaching with absolute certainty.

A new public-policy group called the National Institute for Reproductive Health wants to take this contradiction and make it the centerpiece of a national conversation, along with a slogan that stops people in their tracks: how much time should she do? If the Supreme Court decides abortion is not protected by a constitutional guarantee of privacy, the issue will revert to the states. If it goes to the states, some, perhaps many, will ban abortion. If abortion is made a crime, then surely the woman who has one is a criminal. But, boy, do the doctrinaire suddenly turn squirrelly at the prospect of throwing women in jail.

"They never connect the dots," says Jill June, president of Planned Parenthood of Greater Iowa. But her organization urged voters to do just that in the last gubernatorial election, in which the Republican contender believed abortion should be illegal even in cases of rape and incest. "We wanted him to tell the women of Iowa exactly how much time he expected them to serve in jail if they had an abortion," June recalled. Chet Culver, the Democrat who unabashedly favors legal abortion, won that race, proving that choice can be a winning issue if you force people to stop evading the hard facts. "How have we come this far in the debate and been oblivious to the logical ramifications of making abortion illegal?" June says.

Perhaps by ignoring or infantilizing women, turning them into "victims" of their own free will. State statutes that propose punishing only a physician suggest the woman was merely some addled bystander who happened to find herself in the wrong stirrups at the wrong time. Such a view seemed to be a vestige of the past until the Supreme Court handed down its most recent abortion decision upholding a federal prohibition on a specific procedure. Justice Anthony Kennedy, obviously feeling excessively paternal, argued that the ban protected women from themselves. "While we find no reliable data to measure the phenomenon," he wrote, "it seems unexceptionable to conclude some women come to regret their choice to abort the infant life they once created and sustained."

Even with "no reliable data," he went on to conclude that "severe depression and loss of esteem can follow." (Apparently, no one has told Justice Kennedy about the severe depression and loss of esteem that can follow bearing and raising a baby you can't afford and didn't want.) Luckily, there still remains one justice on the court who has actually been pregnant, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg roared back with a dissent that called Kennedy's caveat about regret an "anti-abortion shibboleth" and his opinion a reflection of "ancient notions about women's place in the family and under the Constitution—ideas that have long since been discredited."

Those ancient notions undergird the refusal to confront the logical endpoint of criminalization. Lawmakers in a number of states have already passed or are considering statutes designed to outlaw abortion if Roe is overturned. But almost none hold the woman, the person who set the so-called crime in motion, accountable. Is the message that women are not to be held responsible for their actions? Or is it merely that those writing the laws understand that if women were going to jail, the vast majority of Americans would violently object? Watch the demonstrators in Libertyville try to worm their way out of the hypocrisy: It's murder, but she'll get her punishment from God. It's murder, but it depends on her state of mind. It's murder, but the penalty should be ... counseling?

The great thing about video is that you can see the mental wheels turning as these people realize that they somehow have overlooked something central while they were slinging certainties. Nearly 20 years ago, in a presidential debate, George Bush the elder was asked this very question, whether in making abortion illegal he would punish the woman who had one. "I haven't sorted out the penalties," he said lamely. Neither, it turns out, has anyone else. But there are only two logical choices: hold women accountable for a criminal act by sending them to prison, or refuse to criminalize the act in the first place. If you can't countenance the first, you have to accept the second. You can't have it both ways.

Thursday, July 26, 2007


So, right now, I'm reading two wonderful books - Harry Potter & the Deathly Hollows by J.K. Rowling and Fun Home by Allison Bechdel.

The first, I won't say too much, since it's already been widely talked about. I'm only about a third of the way done and am loving it.

The second book - Fun Home - is fantastic. It's Bechdel's autobiography in graphic novel form (she's the cartoonist behind Dykes to Watch Out for). Her story focuses on her own "sexual awakening" (for lack of a better phrase), and her father's closeted homosexuality and death. It is awesome. She does a wonderful job of weaving in raw truth, reflection, intellectual analysis and emotional tenderness. Plus, I really dig her drawing style. So, go out and buy it already (or get it from the library).

A funny little story about reading this book - I took it with me yesterday when I went to get some blood drawn. I was reading it while waiting for the nurse, and when she came up, she asked what I was reading. Living in a conservative area, I decided to just say it was a cartoonist's autobiography. She then commenced telling me about the wonderful books she'd just heard about and couldn't wait to read - a Christian series about a youth moving to a Christian town and how that plays out. But she said she would definitely tell her daughter about Fun Home because her daughter was always looking for new books. Tee hee.

And perhaps it's not fair to giggle. I know lots of Christians who are gay-friendly, and the nurse and her whole family might just love Fun Home. I guess what I found amusing is that I hesitated telling her the real premise of the book, but she had no qualms telling me that her books were Christian focused. I'm still getting used to that - people assuming that I am Christian and/or interested in Christian things (books, music, TV shows, etc.). Having lived in Portland and Chicago, having attended a very liberal arts school, I learned to challenge my assumptions about one's religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, etc. So, I'm still surprised when people make assumptions about me, then don't follow up with a question clarifying if their assumption is correct.

I don't feel I'm expressing myself very well. I'm too worried about sounding judgmental. Which is funny because I am being so, but I'm trying to spin it so it sounds like I'm not.

Anyway, another recommendation, music this time - The Gossip's Standing in the Way of Control. I am loving this album. The lead singer's voice is reminiscent of Janis Joplin - soulful, deep, scratchy at times. And good beats and guitar riffs. Love it.

Okay, me and my judgmental ass our going to sign-off now.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Soothing the Savage Beast

So, I'm at my radio show right now - it's a music interlude. The topic of the show is reproductive rights abroad and I'm playing lots of groovy international music (i.e., not sung in English). I'm actually very proud of that fact - only one of today's song is in English (a little Scottish ditty). I actually had enough in our iTunes to fill 2+ hours of non-English music. I'm so jet set. Actually, much credit is due to Ms. H and her wonderfully diverse music library.

Now, on to the subject of this post. Some of you have already heard me rant about driving in Walla Walla. Well, not driving, but Walla Walla drivers. They drive me crazy (ha ha). Many drive at least 5 mph under the already low speed limits in town, which top out at 35. And if you honk at them or flash your lights, they slow down even more. Oh, how this makes me crazy. I hate feeling that I cannot change something. They also change lanes without blinkers, stop in the middle of the street for no reason and opt to obey traffic laws when it's convenient.

In light of that, I've come to the conclusion that I need to be more Zen while driving or I was going to give myself an aneurysm or wind up in jail. I tried listening to music, and I tried listening to NPR, all to no avail. Finally, I have found my saving grace - books on CD. Listening to them puts my brain into balance mode - the part of my brain that usually rants about other drivers is silenced into focusing on the narrative, thus freeing up the other part of my brain to pay attention to the road. I actually think listening to books on CD makes me a better driver. Right now, I'm listening to The Bonesetter's Daughter by Amy Tan.

I wanted to share, in case any of you are like me. And to let those who already aware of my rage know that it is being soothed.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

A new post!

I was thinking last night that I haven't posted in a while, mainly because I've lacked to urge to blog, meaning - nothing has happened that moved me to write. That's not to say that I didn't have a fabulous time with the PDX gang this past weekend, but nothing happened that I felt compelled to write about, to share with all of you.

So, instead, I will answer these questions that I stole from Ms. L and perhaps provide you with some new insights into my psyche.

1. When was the last time you went out?
Last night, to the local food co-op party at my friend's house

2. What was the last movie you saw?
In the theaters -- Waitress

3. Miss someone?
Yes, I always miss my grandma

4. Are you scared to fall in love?
I'm guessing not, since I am in love

5. What were you doing this morning at 7 am?
Driving J and Bella back from the park

6. What were you doing this morning at 10 am?
It's still 42 minutes away -- yesterday, I was sitting at my desk

7. What were you doing this afternoon at 12 p.m.?
Yesterday, I was still sitting at my desk; today I'll be meeting someone for lunch

8. Name a country you want to visit:

9. What was the last thing you ate?
Sprouted wheat toast with peanut butter

10. What was the last thing you drank?
Carrot, guava and pineapple juice and hot water with lemon

11. Last text message received?
"FYI - Isaacs becomes Mill Creek road. - kiss" from J

12. Do you have a nick name?
Not really

13. Things you need to do everyday?
Take my vitamins, pet my dog, kiss my hubby

14. The last person who called you?

15. Rate your day 1-10.
So far, an 8

16. Anything exciting happen today?
Going to look at a house

17. Do you ever lie about your age?

18. How many things in your past do you regret?
A few; I try to keep the list short either by not doing certain things or by choosing not to regret them

19. What do you want to be when you grow up?

20. Who was the last person you hugged?

21. Have you ever had your heart broken?

22. Do you shop at Hollister?
No -- where?

23. Has one of your friends ever stabbed you in the back?
A long time ago

24. Did you forgive them?
I tried

25. How long have you had myspace?
Couple of years

26. Have you ever skipped school?

27. Have you ever slapped a girl in the face?
I think when I was young

28. Do you ever wish you were a man?
When I was younger, I wondered what it would be like to be a boy

29. Where's your number one on your top 8?
Not hip with the lingo

30. What is your favorite possession?
Um...my iMac?

31. Do you own a gun?
No, though I stand to inherit quite a few

32. If you could tell your last ex something what would you say?
I hope you're well

33. Do you get nervous before doctors appointments?
A little

34. What do you think of hot dogs?
Morning Star mini corn dogs are the best

35. What's your favorite Christmas song?
The Merry Christmas Song (Chestnuts roasting on an open fire...)

36. What do you prefer to drink in the morning?
Coffee, hot water with lemon (aids the ol' digestive track)

37. Can you do push ups?
"Girlie" push-ups, yes -- do I do them? No

38. What is your secret weapon to lure the opposite sex?
Currently, my D cup boobs

39. Name the last 3 things you have bought?
Groceries, snacks, map of Paris

40. Name 3 things you drink regularly:
Water, coffee, juice

41. Current hate:
My period

42. How did you bring in the New Year?
Playing Carcassone and watching Tiki TV

43. What shirt are you wearing?
Black and white striped t-shirt from the Gap

44. Favorite color(s)?
Green, purple, blue and black

45. What did you fear was going to get you at night as a child?

46. What's in your pocket right now?
No pockets

47. Best feeling in the world?

48. Worst feeling in the world?
Not feeling myself worthy

49. What song do/did you want played at your wedding?
Honey & the Moon by Joseph Arthur

50. What song do you want played at your funeral?

51. What were you doing @ 12 AM last night?
Sleeping (but not snorring!)

52. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up?
Hurry, turn it off before Rachel (the cat) notices (so she won't start demanding her breakfast and I can sleep)

Friday, July 13, 2007

Me & My Girl

She hates having her picture taken.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

You can listen to my radio show!

I just learned that 90.5 KWCW (where I do my radio show) streams its programming, which means you can listen to VOX ROX via the internet live as it's happening. Here's how:

Just visit www.kwcw.net and click on Listen In! on the bottom right of the page. A little menu will pop up, offering you the options to Find, Save or Cancel - click Save and save to your desktop (or wherever). Then open a player (Winamp works - you can download it here) and through the player, open the document you downloaded (in Winamp, click on File, then Play File). The station should then start streaming through the player (in Winamp, the station will be saved to the player, so you won't need to keep doing this).

Note - I believe streaming music this way takes up a ton of bandwidth, so if you're listening on your work's network, you might want to check with your IT department first.

So, when's my show you ask. Thursdays, from 1 to 3 pm PST.

And what's the show about you ask. Reproductive justice, sexual health and all things Planned Parenthood. It's co-hosted by me and Erin, my intern. We do a lot of talking, but also play some good tunes.

Tune in, if you can. We'd love to have you.

Monday, July 02, 2007


Hey!!! I made it back to WaWaWa safe and sound after a wonderful week in San Fran. The training was great - lots of learning, good folks, and mui restful. Then a weekend with HD and she delivered...loads and loads of wonderful food. My favorite - the ice cream. Oh Bi-Rite ice cream, if it wasn't so late, I would compose an ode to you right this very second. Truly, folks, it's so freakin' good. And all the cups and spoons are made from compostable materials, so no remorse taints the ice cream eating experience.

A tie for second - a visit to H&M (European clothing store) and learning to play Petanque (French bocce balle).

Of course, all of this was wonderful only because I did all of it with HD. Who, by the way, has one of the cutest cats ever - a white Persian named Elvis.

Okay, off to bed. Probably not much more posting this week, as J's family reunion is in full force in a camp none to far from where I now sit.

P.S. HD helped me set-up an RSS feed for this blog (click on Subscribe: Posts (Atom) at the very botton), which means you can subscribe and you'll be notified every time I post something new, so you won't have to keep hitting the Refresh button incessantly.