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1. The new health care bill. I have no insurance (for those that might remember that I had gotten that job at the spa, I never bothered to update that for a variety of reasons on their end, it didn’t work out and the insurance was never started. No ill will from either side, but obviously no insurance either. And yes, I’ve tried through the state – but since I am not pregnant, I don’t qualify); I haven’t seen a doctor for the rotator cuff I’m preeeetty sure I tore a year ago. Because, it will then become ‘pre-existing’ for me to qualify to actually get insurance, and that’s just ridiculous bullshit. Plus we all know there are people out there for which naproxen isn’t enough.

2. Jack starts soccer tomorrow. I hope something fierce that he loves it. His friend’s dad is the coach, and that’s a huge relief for me.

3. Lorelei in this video from a couple weeks ago. She had been singing the damn Heyawk song all afternoon, and had just started singing some made up lyrics to the alphabet song. I tried to snag it and obviously my impatience at her Benedict Arnold leanings showed. Check at the end where she tucks her marker – uncapped – into her sleeve before walking off.

4. How far my Cats will go, and how difficult it’s been to not be more of a wench to those KU fans that are so obnoxious the other 97% of the time they don’t dramatically lose.

5. How much the new Gorillaz album kicks ass. This is “On Melancholy Hill”:

6. This nebulous zone I’m at now with old friends. My world has (logically) divided into PRE- and POST-DIVORCE, but I guess I never would have thought I’d lose touch with so many people. For some I’ve tried sometimes successfully to keep up, others I’ve waited on them, and licked my wounds. The rest were not unlike slicing off a tumor, and couldn’t have come at a better time. But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t fairly hurt I didn’t get more Christmas cards from the people I thought had ‘crossed over’. I admit that this is pretty superficial to care about, but really, aren’t the point of cards simply to acknowledge that someone thinks you count enough to get a greeting? There is no one I want to see that I don’t have some sort of interwebs connection with, so the idea of my being un-findable, sadly, can’t count. I’m thinking about shearing off the hundred or so people on Facebook that I either don’t honestly care about, or I feel relatively confident are just keeping the friendship to stalk my goings-on when they so desire. My boyfriend hates FB, and I can’t say I always blame him. Shrug.

7. Somewhat in the same vein, that Jon and I have decided to throw Jack’s birthday party this year jointly, including new significant others and estranged previous in-laws. Plus all the friends who had to choose Team Jen or Team Jon when this began. We’re hoping that if we can act normally, then everyone else can stuff it and follow along. I personally think handing out shots called Tension Relievers might facilitate this progress, but we’ll see. Either way the intent is good, let’s all hope it can be done.

8. That J. Davo is moving back. Hooray for Kedzie Hall reunions in the near future!

9. How much every year at the beginning of spring I look back and realize just how incredibly affected I was by winter’s lack of sun and warmth. And how every year I tell myself I’ll be better about taking my vitamin D, and YET I NEVER DO.

10. How much I loved the movie Alice In Wonderland. I love Tim Burton. Love, love, love. Also that the main girl looks like the child of Gwyneth Paltrow and Claire Danes. Right?

11. I’ve noticed a few wrinkles lately – which wasn’t a panic of vanity – but was a wake up call that I have got to start being better to my body. There used to be a time when eating Taco Bell would have made me sick. Now it’s gotten to where I look and feel blah all the time. I’m going to try to wean myself of coffee, and along with the CSA we just joined, eat more fruits and vegetables. BECAUSE I’VE EATEN ONIONS RECENTLY, PEOPLE. MORE THAN ONCE. DO YOU KNOW HOW HUGE THAT IS?

12. My beloved friend, the beautiful Miss Emily, has asked me to attend her birth as her doula, and I can’t explain how excited I am. I. Love. Babies. And. Birth.

Happy (sunny, hopefully) Tuesday, y’all.

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Dig it. Saw this as a blogmemeideawhatever, and I’m totally stealing it because I love having an excuse to write my posts as lists. Onward ho.

1. I, too, just got the new Buzz for gmail, and see now why my friend said it was becoming goobook. I love me some google, so I’m down. (I was also a wave behind some friends on the new FB layout, and I gotta say it feels a wee bit like being picked last for teams again in junior high.)

2. I’ve begun to edit a book in my spare time for a very nice gentleman who is in a writer’s circle with a friend. The money I make will be nice, but more than that it feels good to use my brain in a comfort zone; getting paid to (essentially) read books would be a cool profession to work toward.

3.  A dear friend from college is back in town for a few months, and is pregnant with her second child. Seeing her and being there for a prenatal visit has me more excited than I’ve been in a while about birth. I’ve been decidedly on hiatus with Bradley stuff, mostly b/c I feel like I shouldn’t be teaching impressionable first-time parents about what is often one of the most important days of their life, if I don’t have my shit (al)together personally. I have the knowledge and the passion to teach, but I don’t want to do it half-assed, and something just doesn’t feel right at the moment to try and pretend I can give them the focus and attention they deserve. Soon hopefully, but not yet. At least not for strangers. However attending births as a doula is a different thing, and I’m itching for another one. We’re coming up on a year since my last birth, and I’m getting baby crazy again. Either way, I’m hoping to take E with me to the next birth conference; the key speakers will be uhmaaaazing to see.

4. Divorce sucks. Even when you can pat yourself on the back for being amicable, it’s a messy, tiring and trust-eroding event that doesn’t simply end with the court date.

5. That said, we have Jack’s conferences tonight, and I am proud that we can have periods of pretty wicked fighting, but still remember what it was like to be friends – enough that we can put it aside and work together on things involving the kids. Co-parenting (aka My Not Having Full Control Over Every Aspect Of My Children’s Lives) has been the hardest part for me, hands-down.

6. I need to set up a new paypal account so I can renew my imbedding space so I can actually imbed songs instead of sending you to youtube to listen to the song “Sweet Disposition”. It was in the previews for 500 Days of Summer, so when it became popular recently I immediately remembered liking it. I’m sure I’ll tire of it pretty quickly, especially if it’s getting radio play, but until then I LOVE IT. Even with the U2 sounding beginning. I’m such a sucker for pop.

7. My boyfriend and I have the opportunity to piggyback on some friends’ vacation to San Francisco in May, and I’m trying to finagle finances to make it work. Mama needs a vacation, people.

8. Soon I will update the kids’ dictionary, but I’ll start (and publicly remind myself to do it) with Lorelei’s saying yets instead of lets, and Jack’s version of glubs instead of gloves. Heh.

9. My friend Liz and I are starting a business where we write or edit dating profiles for people. Not sure how it will go, but how awesome would that be to not only make enough money to work from home but ALSO bring couples together, one dating site at a time? Huzzah, right?! Win-win in my book, so head our direction for help, por favor.

10. And that’s it. I have the squiggly lines in my vision that prelude a migraine (possibly from navigating Buzz), so I’m going to say goodbye and happy Wednesday. Hope all is well in your worlds.

Short NPR article discussing autism dx and parental levels of education.  Seems obvious to have to state that the correlation/causation caveat is (in part) due to educated parents knowing to even seek out said autism dx, but I also don’t think their little maps can be written off quite so tidily. Because although I still every once in a while see articles on epigenetics and such, I have to wonder if eventually autism will be posited more convincingly as an evolutionary shift. It just makes sense to me to think that our technological growth is possibly (simply) becoming matched neurologically. And I wish I could find where I saw the stat that said people with Asperger were twice as likely to have fathers and grandfathers as engineers. I mean, come on. That’s pretty compelling if not full-on fascinating.

All the more reason why I personally think eugenics is reprehensible. Whatever.

More importantly, I wish people would stop polarizing into neurodiverse/curebie camps, because NOTHING IS THAT SIMPLE, and maybe it would slow people down from doing things out of desperation. Massive chelating of metals in the brain and restrictive diets and injections and everything else that scared parents are funneling into their children? It needs to slow down. Not because I’m against alternative medicine in the least. But because I’ve been that panicked parent, and at this point I want to have on the table the idea that perhaps if your child improves from whatever impaired state of functioning they were in, maybe they weren’t ever actually autistic in the first place – but merely (if merely can be used respectfully) just bodily toxic. And if that could be acknowledged as a possibility, surely it would be easier to mitigate the eternal fear surrounding autism. …Which would obviously foster better acceptance. …And also lessen the obsession to find a causation. I dunno. Call me crazy.

In the end I know I don’t have any more actual facts than probably anyone else with a strong view, professional or otherwise. But that’s pretty interesting, too. And worth noting.

So go Cats woot woot let’s all go crazy

and yay! for fellow (well, sort of fellow – I was English but I WROTE for the paper and all of my FRIENDS are J-schoolers so whatever) Kedzien Sam and his awesome, awesome.. awesome story – thanks BHS for the linky

and the world might have actually stopped spinning for just a wee moment when I recently realized that I can actually like a Weezer song (no really, I serious) and, in fact, secretly really really dig this one – though I still think their hubris is obnoxious so don’t get too excited

and happy Thursday everyone.

Sigh. I had a whole long rant written out about how freaking pissed off I am about this local hospital’s policy about separating mamas and babies for two days if mom shows signs of having H1n1, but I deleted it. I realized that there is no way I can write about this without offending a whole lot of people, and it’s just not in me right now.

I understand that this policy is supposed to protect babe from a scary, admittedly, virus, but to completely negate the – in my not even humble opinion – crucial factors that make those first few days irreparably important just makes me sad. These mamas need those hours for endorphin release. For milk production. For bonding. The thought of little babies in plastic cubes away from the one person whose smell and sound is the only thing they’ve ever known is barbarous to me.

I’m fully aware that many people think I’m a nutjob for my natural-leaning opinions, but I don’t see how there could be any mother who could have a healthy birth – of any kind – and not think something is just instinctively wrong when a member of the hospital staff walks away from you with your brand new miracle. I don’t care if you know that the colostrum that baby is missing out on has more antibody protection than the Fort Knox of quarantines, or that the hormones you might be missing out on could actually prolong your hospital stay if your uterus doesn’t contract well enough, or even that just having that baby at home – with full-on flu – is still statistically the safer choice, especially in relevant terms of nosocomial and iatrogenic infections. That really doesn’t matter. I’m just sad that we’ve gone so far from our instinctive biological histories that this is even an option. It’s just wrong.

I really don’t think I’m the nutjob. I just don’t.

RIP John Hughes. I’m going to watch ‘Some Kind of Wonderful’ tonight just for you.

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1. Welcome, Spring. And thank you for bringing my migraines back. I won’t take drugs for childbirth, but I’ll pop pain relievers like Tic Tacs every year ’bout now. It’s a good thing I can wear hats to my job, b/c I don’t have a C-clamp big enough, and my Royals cap is the closest I can get to that feeling of wanting to squeeze my temples until my eyeballs pop out.

2. My friend Kyle shared this article about auties and degrees of savantism/genius, and though I read it observationally, it still reminded me of just how freaking proud I am of my little stinker. He’ll be six this weekend, and once again I’m amazed by how hard he works to learn and understand and adapt. Man I love that kid something fierce.

3. On principle I’m right-clicking the hell out of this PC currently. I work with Macs all day long, and sometimes their functionality totally blows.

4. Totally digging this song by Johan Johannsson (whose name still sounds as lame in another language as it would if I’d written the English version John Johnson) called Fordlandia. I would like to use it in a documentary someday. It’s a super long song, so give it a minute to build.  So pretty.

5. Speaking of functionality, I saw one of those Easy Rider bikes today, and I legitimately don’t get why the handlebars are built like that. How does that not make your arms ache? I can’t imagine driving cross-country on one of those. What am I missing?

6. I have a sweet couple due in a month and I’m super excited. Births and the miracles within are incomparable, and I could use some rekindling of my faith in humanity lately.

And that’s all I can think of for now. I was going to launch into a been-brewing rant, but my head just simply hurts, and I don’t have the clarity I’ll need. Maybe I’ll try to come back later tonight.

Hope your worlds are well, friends. Feel free to respond to the random post with random thoughts; I’ve been missing a few of you lately.  😉

So this story conflicts me. On one hand, I think it’s awesome that this woman had the balls to take her halflings with her to report to duty, b/c I disagree with how out of hand this war has gotten (or even its validity in the first place, if we want to go there), and she was honorably discharged years ago and deserves to be able to raise her young family. She already sacrificed for her country and there is no one to watch the kids if she is pulled for IRR.

On the other hand, I’m sure a large majority of soldiers have families, and it’s never really convenient to do a tour in that life stage, obviously. And, mostly, I have a profound respect for the gravity of the commitment it takes to serve in the military that continually protects my pampered ass, and I don’t think that it should be (or is) treated lightly.

So there you go. I know some of y’all are military brats, and as I’m fascinated to the point of anthropological study of that entire world, I’d really love to know what you think.

1. This article is pretty cool. The epidural rate here is in the 90th percentile, and surely – surely – if you think about that you’d have to realize that that’s illogical. There are myriad risks associated with epidurals, and for it to be treated with the casualness of a Tylenol is ridiculous. A medical necessity, absolutely. But not for 90+ women out of a hundred.

2. It’s bitter cold and slushy and after 17 years of defending my love of chilliness based on some native Colorado elitism I am ready to admit that I AM FREAKING TIRED OF THIS  WEATHER.

3. My kids were puketastic all weekend (the pic of Lo is from a few weeks ago) and I am wiped today. But can I say again, in full-on guilt mode, that I cherish when Jack is not feeling well? He’s just cuddly and, well.. calm when he’s sick, and after relieving any mama worry that he’s in any danger, I just get to relax and spend quiet time with him. Such a parental paradox. Shrug.

 

Happy Monday, all.

I’d so audit this mutha (thanks Jay for the fwd):

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A class on The Wire

UC Berkeley is offering a class called What’s so great about The Wire?

Discerning critics and avid fans have agreed that the five-season run of Ed Burns and David Simon’s The Wire was “the best TV show ever broadcast in America”–not the most popular but the best. The 60 hours that comprise this episodic series have been aptly been compared to Dickens, Balzac, Dreiser and Greek Tragedy. These comparisons attempt to get at the richly textured complexity of the work, its depth, its bleak tapestry of an American city and its diverse social stratifications. Yet none of these comparisons quite nails what it is that made this the most compelling “show” on TV and better than many of the best movies. This class will explore these comparisons, analyze episodes from the first, third, fourth and fifth seasons and try to discover what was and is so great about The Wire. We will screen as much of the series as we can during our mandatory screening sessions and approach it through the following lenses: the other writing of David Simon, including his journalism, an exemplary Greek Tragedy, Dickens’ Bleak House and/or parts of Balzac’s Human Comedy. We will also consider the formal tradition of episodic television.

They’re skipping season two? Shameful. (via unlikely words)

  • Interesting story postulating that global warming is irreversible. The comments at the bottom are equally as fascinating; I’d love to have a roundtable with some Christians I know..
  • Speaking of, Anne Rice has had a conversion back to her Catholic roots.
  • So Brain Age said I was like.. 78? Yeah, well, suckit, Nintendo. I knew I was smarter than your silly little game.
  • Two very thought-provoking films I’ve seen recently were Milk and Business of Being Born. Would love to have a discussion with anyone about the social issues they encompass.
  • Reading this and digging it; lurve Chuck Klosterman.
  • The song “Count Souvenirs” by Junior Boys has been on repeat lately. It’s awesomely Depeche Mode-y.

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That’s all. Stay warm, friends~ .

1. Jack is ebbing again, in that he’s being a TOTAL PAIN IN MY ASS the last few days. I love him with a ferocity I’ve never known was possible – I know I’ve mentioned that – but he is the single most contrary human I’ve ever had the pleasure of spending every waking moment with. He argues when he wants something. He argues when he doesn’t want something. He argues if he feels something is unjust or unfun or just for fun.

He argues when he agrees with you. I’m really not kidding.

And it’s hard, because I know he’s not even always unhappy when he does it. Sure, he reacts to the stress he senses around him, but I think in part it’s his natural personality from.. erm.. grandparental bloodlines, and also as residual habit from when he first was navigating social interaction altogether. He is not a natural cuddler, but wants attention (as everyone does) so pressing everyone’s buttons around him ensures a modicum of it. I get it.

Regardless, he’s driving me nuts and I’m not in an awesome place with my autism parenting right now. It will pass, like every phase has, but one of us might not make it out unscathed from this one, that’s all I’m sayin’..

2. Lo has discovered the joys of whining. To which I say really, karma? REALLY?

3. I was shown an article today about a local newscaster’s wife being paralyzed by the flu vaccine – and the subsequent trial in vaccine court. This one’s particularly fascinating to me as someone who has such an aversion to the propaganda every year, it’s nauseating.

4.  Here’s a follow-up article telling that the Neo-Nazi family has had their children taken away by social services. I know we all had a nice pat-on-our-back rant about why they probably are d-bags, but I sincerely hope those kids needed to be yanked for legitimate reasons, and not because of the limelight they were in. Three and under. Oy. That’s so very little to be away from their parents, it breaks my heart.

5.  Saw Gran Torino last weekend. Hmm.  It was on many people’s Best Of lists, and my friend Justin really liked it, so I’ll just say I must have missed something. .. Both times I watched it.

6. My back is at about 90% at this point, which is relieving. Now I just need to go back to the gym, because despite herculean efforts to not eat the bagel with cream cheese that’s calling to me, the scale is reflecting my absence.

7.  It’s 2°.  Four hours ago it was 1°.  Toasty!

I want to have a discussion, because I’m curious what people think. My friend Alissa posted this article about the Campbell family who couldn’t get a cake made for them, because the name on the cake would have been.. Adolf Hitler.

The names of their other children are JoyceLynn Aryan Nation and Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie.

Instinctively I am repulsed by the idea and categorically write off the parents as ignorant, racist jackholes – which, let’s be honest, I’m guessing is a safe bet. (I mean, at least super-educated racist jackholes are aware enough to be a bit more secretive about their mind-warping views, right? They find more insidious infiltrative tactics, surely.)

Anyway, obviously my blood pressure rises when I think about what kind of life they are creating for those innocent kids; what kind of lifelong damage they could be creating just by naming them like that. On the other hand, I know how many people feel about me and my views on vaccines, so that’s a flipside I’m on. And this all leads me to wonder where the line is between respecting people’s belief whether you agree with them or not, versus unabashed judgment or disapproval.

[Does that make any sense? I might need more coffee to communicate effectively today..]

Basically, I’m wondering where the societal acceptance/civil liberty line is drawn, solely when discussing PC protection. Should we get to use emotion as a barometer? I mean.. hmm.. Ok: The average ambiguity toward the concept of disciplining children by spanking disappears completely when you can definitively call it child abuse, right? People agree on that. There is an acceptable emotional response to child abuse that no one realistically can dispute.

SO I GUESS I’m just wondering if I should be trying to be mature in acknowledging they have the right to their views, and get over my emotional response (as I ask people to do for my unpopular views), or if I’m validated in my repulsion, because who in the hell would name their child after a bastard like Hitler?!

So yeah. Do you think that’s subjective or impossible to define? Whatchoo think – about this or other issues that press your buttons under the PC umbrella?

PLEASE TO WAX PHILOSOPHICAL OR LEAVE COMMENT BELOW THANK YOU.

  • Was introduced to this today. I’d heard about “Prop 8 – The Musical”, but didn’t realize this was out there. 😉
  • Some pictures of my halflings as they continue grow. Hot damn but I make cute kids. Have I ever said that?

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So. I just found out from my parenting board that the KC Star posted an article last Saturday about avoiding holiday faux pas. In it, this gal was the ‘expert’ on the subject, and had the following to say about nursing:

Don’t do things that might make others feel uncomfortable. For example, a woman who didn’t want to miss an event came with her new baby and nursed in sight of all the other guests.

“The men seemed to like it, but a lot of women did not,” Lee says. “Unless you are going to a party with all the La Leche women then this isn’t appropriate.”

Hm. Of course that immediately pisses me off all kinds of ways, but mostly I’m annoyed with the male sexism of the quote more than her discomfort of what really is, I dunno, NUTRITIONAL NORMALCY. It just seems superfluous and snarky, and aside from making me want to flick her on the forehead, leaves me to think she’s defensive. Whatever.

But then it REALLY got ridiculous when one of the moms on my board wrote a letter to the editor to complain, and got this as a reply:

Thank you for sharing your opinion. Lee’s point was strictly limited to “in full view of other guests.” I don’t think the story implied that the nursing mother or her child were inappropriate.

Huh. I gotta disagree with you there, Cindy. That pretty much was the entire point of its inclusion in the story as far as I can tell.  I mean it was about faux pas, right?  And nursing? With words like ‘isn’t appropriate’?  Obviously I’m biased, but COME ON. Maybe reading comprehension is not Cindy’s strong suit as an editor [insert joke about KC Star here] but my anger ain’t nuthin’ compared to others, trust me, so I suggest she at least learn the word retract.

Anyhoodle, this was Karen’s badass reply (used with permission, of course):

Breastfeeding women face enough challenges nursing in public, and the embarrassment factor is a huge reason that women choose not to breastfeed. That article has possibly contributed to some women’s trepidation. I would like to suggest that, to do some damage control, the Mom2Mom could run an article about breastfeeding in public including informing women that there are laws in almost every state (including MO and KS) protecting them and listings ways to feel more comfortable doing so. As I can’t find an email for the mom2mom section at the moment, I hope you will pass on my suggestion.

Now, in reference to “in full view of other guests”. Would it have been appropriate to give the child a bottle “in full view of other guests”? If so, then it is always appropriate to breastfeed. Why is it that we are completely desensitized to images of exposed breasts in everything from lingerie advertisements to NBA cheerleader uniforms, but to expose them actually engaged in their only biological function is uncomfortable?

Many people would say “She could have covered up with a blanket” or “She could have gone to another room,” to which I say, why does feeding one’s child have to be done in hiding? Why should the mother be made to feel like a second class citizen or embarrassed in any way? (And for practicality’s sake, many babies will not nurse while be covered by a blanket, and why even attend an event if you know you will just have to spend most of the time sequestered in another room. Some people even suggest nursing in the bathroom when no private space is available—which is truly just disgusting).

Furthermore, the inclusion of the quote that “the men seemed to like it” is really in poor taste, and, as I said in my original letter, insulting to the guests in attendance. Unless the event in question was the high school prom, I highly doubt the men were getting their kicks from it, as Lee implied.

Unfortunately, I am not surprised to hear sentiments like these regarding breastfeeding in public, but the fact that the writer chose to include them, *and* that they made it through your editorial staff, is extremely disappointing.

To which I say DAMN STRAIGHT. And VERY WELL SAID. And GET OVER IT ALREADY, PEOPLE.

Or something like that.

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