Thursday, August 28, 2008


If you think a girl can't get pampered while working two jobs and taking sixteen master's level credits, you've got another think coming. I'm down to get pampered, and hopefully you are too.

Jazzercise had a big summer celebration party in June during which I was bamboozled by a Pampered Chef rep. She was very Pampered Cheffy, real insistent, and was not going to be dissuaded from her conviction that I was the perfect candidate for a party. I tried to warn her...

"All my friends moved away. I have only three friends, and they all live below the poverty line."

"I'm practically vegan."

"I live in government subsidized housing because my income is so low."

She was undeterred. Fine, ok, you got me. I'll make you a deal. You can come to my little apartment and you can show all your gadgets (as long as they are made for use with plant foods) and I will invite all three of my impoverished vegan friends to the party (hey, guys, you're invited!) (so are any omnivorous friends who think it might be funny). But I'm not sending out those invitations you gave me to for two reasons 1) only ladies in the Junior League still send out printed invitations and 2) I can't afford the stamps.

So we are having a Vegan Pampered Chef party on September 6th and everyone's invited. Just RSVP in the comments if you wanna. Personally, I'm excited to see how the lady is gonna fill up a whole hour demonstrating how to use a mandoline and a citrus juicer. It should be rip roarin', so come on down!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Nader Interview

If you have ever wondered about Ralph Nader, and especially if you believe he cost Gore the election, this is a pretty good read. Thanks for the link, Ash.

Birth Survey

If you have had a baby, check out this website and take their survey. Sharing your birth experience may help improve someone else's!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

If you're smart

You will never make these. Once you have made them, you see, you will have to make them lots more times. But you will win major Housewife Points at all the potlucks.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Will to Blog

People, it's awful. I went from having no job, no school, and no real hobbies, to way too many of all three. And, funny thing is, it leaves me with nothing to blog about.

It doesn't add up, if you ask me. I mean, I have multiple jobs and my work is meaningful and rewarding, but it just doesn't lend itself to funny stories or appropriately-shared anecdotes. School starts soon, but what am I going to do, tell you I think psychotherapy is an interesting line of work or that I suck at stats? I have been doing lots of Jazzercise and am working toward an audition into one of the University's choirs but, honestly, there's nothing I can say that wouldn't be boring. Except about Jazzercise. And the possible-hermaphrodite that comes to class with the most amazing armpit hair I have ever seen.

I might start writing grants for Rape Recovery Center. See? How funny is that?

Gone are the days of belly-aching about perfect strangers I encounter during my housewifely day. Gone are the days of being so bored I can come up with things to say here, since there is noone, but noone, to say them to in real life.

It's a problem. It's a problem for my mother who doubtless still checks this thing to see if I have anything amusing to say. It's a problem for my husband who, brim with confidence that my abilities to transform the mundane into the captivating, signed my blog up for google ads just in time for me to cease and desist blogging almost entirely. It's a problem for me, because I like the sound of my own voice SO MUCH and have really missed giggling at my own jokes on the daily.

I'll work on it. I'll try to make room in my increasingly, cursedly, hectic existence to find a way to speak with levity about life, even when it isn't a total joke. But, it's gonna be tough.

School starts Monday. Wish me luck. It better be funny.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


I just noticed that I was searching for antiques on ebay, you know, just to pass the time, and i realized that I am an adult.

Just thought you should know.

Friday, August 8, 2008

What's for dinner?

These guys will tell you, if you ask.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Wise Women

First of all, read this and see how you feel.

I felt relieved.

Last night I went to a farewell gathering for one of the most delightful people I discovered in college. It was so fabulous to see her and see how she is becoming more of herself. The college girl who charmed my pants off is now a married woman on her way to becoming a Doctor of Philosophy, and seeing her feels just the same, and better.

While there, I was also graced by the presence of several other women who are and have been my friends. We chatted about life, the happenings and the news. Had a few laughs, had some potluck wares. Later in the evening an acquaintance showed up whose ripe waistline belied her fate. I heard someone ask her if she knew the sex of the fetus and she said the fateful words, "Oh, yes. It's a boy."

It is always a stressful moment for me. Has the mother considered the future of her child's genitals? Does she know that he will be unceremoniously tortured unless she refuses to sign the consent that will be presented to her, coupled with absolutely no information about the procedure she is about to allow? Has she ever seen an intact penis, and does she have any idea how one works?

Because I know all about it. It nearly kills me when I know that, for the sake of my conscience and the future health and safety of an unborn boy, I have to say something.

I start gently. "Have you done much research about circumcision?"

Usually she hasn't, unless I have spoken with her previously about the subject myself. She doesn't know. Nobody has ever said anything before.

I usually give a little information, things about the important function of the foreskin in adult males, or the fact that the surgery is not medically indicated, it is cosmetic and is performed with no anesthesia. I mention the footage I have seen of routine circumcision, the babies strapped down, the screaming until the child vomits on himself. I explain that, though it may seem a minimal amount of tissue is removed, the tissue that is removed is the most erotogenic a male body possesses and that removing it is tantamount to cliterodectomy in the eyes of some experts and, besides, it is larger than a 4x6 index card by the time the boy is a man.

Then, before she gets a chance, I rebuff some of the myths she may be using to justify her decision. If hygiene is the concern, then women have frankly got men beat a thousand times over in the folds of skin department; is it baby girls we should be after? If she has heard that it will make masturbation less pleasurable or enticing and she finds this idea appealing, I invite her to consider the number of men, cut or intact, who have not experimented with masturbation and suggest that if eliminating this habit is the paramount goal, perhaps infant males should have their hands surgically removed since the removal of their foreskins hasn't been enough discourage them significantly. If she thinks the child will be ridiculed, I mention that my husband, who was born in merciful Canada, has never felt inadequate for still having all the body parts he came with, and then follow up by adding that the numbers of parents who consent is declining all the time and it won't be long before cut men are the minority and considered anomalous; in fact intact babies are already the majority in most western states and in California 80% of babies remain intact.

Whether the moms are convinced is usually more about them than me. Some look horrified, knowing their consciences will not allow them to sign the dotted line, but distressed about how to bring it up with their partners who may find the new information to be painful and threatening. Some say that they will "do some research" but that they would never be able to watch "that sort of thing" on a video; precisely the "thing" that they will shortly consent to have inflicted upon their hours-old baby boy.

It sickens me, I can't lie. It depresses me. And when that pregnant mother left last night, head held high despite all I had told her, I wanted to cry.

But then all the other women who had been listening to my pleading and cajoling from the sidelines approached me. "Tell us more" they said.

There we were, in the very living room in which we sat as college roommates, where they once listened as I shared the information I was sucking out of birth literature as fast as I could find it. And, years later, they said "We have missed you; tell us more."

Women want to know, and they have a right to know about their bodies and what they can do. They have a right to know the power they possess as mothers, and the ways they can protect themselves and their offspring. They want to know how they can avoid being transplanted into the horror stories they have heard, and how they can create something that seems different and better. They want to bring a baby into their family in the end, of course, but they also want to bring into the family a mother.

I tell my friends to find a midwife who will support and attend them, who is educated about normal birth and how to help it along. I tell them that trying for this type of birth in a hospital is like going to a Chinese restaurant and trying to order pizza: no matter how many birth plans you have drafted and how many bradley classes you have attended, you are likely to be disappointed. I encourage them to have their babies at home, and tell them they can call me every day of their pregnancy if they like and I will answer their questions or find someone who can. I tell them I will come when they go into labor and not leave until the deed is done.

Homebirth midwives do good work and eventually the tides will change, but until then I will keep shouting it from the rooftops because it is too, too important for me to sit still and keep the peace.