Saturday, October 07, 2006

Why you should always go to class

So I missed class last week due to illness. Imagine my surprise when I show up this morning and find out that -- we have an exam!!! It was like one of those nightmares where you didn't know there was a test and you never went to class. Well, I had gone to class, but had missed much of the lecture on one chapter in particular.

I will not be missing any more classes.

Big sister

I just watched my little sister's marching band compete via webcast. Not as good as the live version, but it was pretty awesome nonetheless. I am constantly amazed at the discipline and skill these kids put into the band. There's 200ish of them, and they are dedicated, hard workers to the very last one of them.

Sadly, they didn't win. I, of course, think they were robbed, but I may be biased. But suffice it to say, I am one proud big sister.

Friday, October 06, 2006


As Shedd volunteer-extraordinare, I am currently being trained to clean the penguin exhibit. (This is the site of my major ass bruising from earlier this week.) While at first I wasn't too excited about penguins, I have to say, my perspective has changed.

[begin brief lecture mode]

Penguins are flightless seabirds. While many people assume they live in arctic climes, they mostly just prefer chilly. Their feather have evolved into a waterproof layer of insulation they need to maintain their body temperature while swimming. Wings provide steering and propulsion underwater. They eat fish. Predators include seals, sea lions, whales, and sharks.


Penguins are way cooler than I ever expected! They swim incredibly fast, and are amazingly agile. Frequently when they come out of the water they just shoot straight up, landing upright on the rocks feet above the water line. Water just beads up on their feathers, it's incredible! Right now the birds at the Shedd are molting, and it's quite pathetic. They look very ragged, and don't much feel like eating. But soon they will be feeling more like themselves, or so I am told.

I have two favorites so far. Number 18 is a little rockhopper penguin who was mostly hand-reared. Her parents were first timers, and didn't feed her quite enough, and she had a heart condition when she was hatched. All the human contact has made her very social, and she likes trying to climb into laps, or convincing a human to lift her down from her high ledge, rather than jumping. Number 10 is a gentoo who very much enjoys visiting with the trainers when they clean the exhibit windows. If a trainer lifts her into the air, she will sit in their hands, then dive off into the water.

They all are interested when people enter the exhibit. I've been nibbled on repeatedly, as they see just how interesting I am. I'm supposed to ignore it, though, so I'm not interesting at all. Ah well.

Next week: otters! Yay!!

Five Things Feminism Has Done for Me

Picked up this meme from several places, including Shakespeare's Sister, JackGoff, Amanda, and Feministe.

It took me a while to get to this, both because I've been feeling so hideous, and because I wanted to ponder it. I'm a little shamed to admit that I've not thought about it particularly long and hard before this, or at least not specifically. So it's already been a great topic!!

1) It's given me a world where I didn't grow up ashamed of my sex. I was fortunate enough to be born into a time and family where it never once crossed my mind that being a girl was worse than being a boy. I never questioned that I could be whatever I wanted, and if I decided when I was 7 that I was never getting married, well, that was okay too. (I did change my mind on that.) My dad encouraged me to join the Math Club, and I played soccer at a very competetive level for several years. My teachers encouraged me to be an engineer, astronaut, or whatever my heart desired. I cannot ever remember a time that I was denied or discouraged from something because I was a girl.

And all this is because so many women fought so long and hard before me to make it so. I can never thank them enough.

2) It's made me more observant and critical of my own inherent prejudices. While some of this is part of getting older and maturing, I also credit my exposure to feminism. I once never understood how someone could choose to stay home and have kids rather than work. "What a boring, stupid choice!" I thought. And while I continue to think it probably wouldn't be for me, feminism and feminist blogs have forced me to read accounts and stories of women (and men) who have made just that choice, and happily. And I realize that I can be a narrow-minded, pig-headed wench sometimes. But feminism encourages us ALL to expand our world view.

3) It's given me choices. As I touched on a little earlier, I have had the choice to do what I want, which wasn't possible even 30 years ago. I can choose my profession, to marry or not, to work outside the home or not, to have kids or not, or to have sex or not. I can vote. I can, as Shakes says, "Let my freak flag fly." I can play video games, train animals, look forward to calculus class, and enjoy bad movies with impunity. I won't be shunned, or prosecuted, or raped, because I refuse to conform to old, patriarchal ideals of feminine behavior. And I am grateful beyond words.

4) It's made it okay to have and enjoy sex. While I also credit my parents for avoiding the whole "body is bad, don't touch!" message, that would never have been an option before feminism. But I grew into an adult who didn't feel badly that some things felt good, some things felt REALLY good, and dammit, I enjoyed them!! And if it weren't for feminism, my parents couldn't have given me and hubby the advice to "live together before you get married."

5) It's given me hope for the future. I watch my sister growing up, and know that she, too, can be whatever she damn well wants. I know my (potential) daughters will be confident, assertive, and eclectic individuals, and society will not (generally) punish them for it. My (future) sons will understand how to respect women and their past struggles, and how to encourage the women around them to do what they want, too. I see a future where misogyny will be the exception, rather than the rule. And I feel hope.

Boob tube goodness, nostalgia edition

So I queued up He-Man on Netflix. I have so many fond memories of that show!! I had all sorts of figures, as well as a vehicle or two and the castle. And the animals, of course.

So we pop in the disc last night, and are almost immediately laughing helplessly at the show. How could I have forgotten that EVERY SINGLE LINE of He-Man's dialogue was echoed???? And that "fabulous" secrets were revealed? That one had me laughing every single time he said it for like three episodes.

And the morals!!! Ohmigod. I STILL can't stop laughing. Which sucks because it makes me cough.

So we won't be buying this series, but I'm glad I queued it up. I'll probably grab the best of disc at some point.

Next disc: She-Ra!!

It's the little things

The other night, I was laying in bed waiting for my NyQuil to kick in. Hubby was snuggled up next to me, not quite snoring. My most wonderful dog in the world was sleeping on her bed next to ours, snoring rather enthusiastically.

It's moments like that that make me realize that I'm the luckiest gal in the world. Pure bliss.


Little things first...

For all of you waiting with bated breath, my backside feels better. Not great, but better. I'm not squeaking in pain every time I stand up. Yay!!

In other health related news, my cough has gotten worse, in that now I sound like a sea lion mating call. Whee. And the stuff I take to loosen the crap in my chest tastes like ass.

Veronica Mars is still the shizzle!!!!!

That is all.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


I figured I'd better explain my absence from the blogosphere today, in case somebody cares.

While performing my duties as volunteer extraordinaire at the Shedd today, I slipped and fell in the penguin exhibit. On my ass. Hard. In front of tons of visitors.

It now hurts to sit, walk, and cough. As well as tons of other things I'm sure I will discover in the next day or so. So blogging will be light until my tailbone hurts less. MUCH less.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Boob tube goodness

So I'm a bit of a TV junkie. Embarassing to admit, but there it is. And a new season of mind-numbing goodness has begun!!!

(Possible spoilers ahead for Heroes, Lost, and Veronica Mars)

Firstly, Lost. Actually, we don't watch Lost anymore. Why? They made all my favorite characters unlikable AND unbelievable last season. They could stay on the damn island for the rest of their lives for all I care!

But larger than that was the feeling I got that they were just winging it as far as the plot goes. I know, I know, supposedly they have the whole thing mapped out, but it's just too --- something. Too many coincidences, too much about the numbers - it's like they were trying to make crack for people who like to feel like "insiders", who know all the interconnectednesses of the characters and the incidents and all that crap.

Which leads me to Heroes. Second episode was last night, and I enjoyed it. I LOVED the pilot. But I'm concerned the same thing may happen. We are finding levels of connection (screen saver of comic book cover is same comic child is reading is same comic written about the future) that make me worry.

And they are choosing to make the story feel good, rather than good. Right after the episode ended, I turned to hubby and said "I'm so glad the other brother can fly, too! I would have been so sad if he couldn't. It would have been a better story, but I would have been sad." I think that will sum it up.

That said, I still have high hopes. Can't wait to see where they go with the cheerleader, and the stripper with her kid.

And finally, Veronica Mars. If you haven't seen this show, run, don't walk, to pick it up!!!! It's smart and funny and sweet and has an edge that I've never seen in a show about high school. It's brought me to tears, both laughing and crying. And it actually has something to say about class warfare and inequality, things I would not have been able to conceptualize easily on my own.

And it starts again tonight!!!! [happy dance] Season three. Veronica goes to college, but not before we find out the deal with her dad standing her up at the gate for the plane. I can't wait!!!

Blogging is hard!!!

(Christ, I sound like Barbie...)

Some days, I just don't know what to say. I mean, I could babble about TV (Veronica Mars starts tonight, YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!) or work or my lingering cold/pneumonia/whatever, but I'm not sure that would really be worth much of anything. It would certainly bore people....

Wait. It's my blog. I can do whatever I damn well please. And maybe if I keep writing, I'll actually get halfway good at it.

This stream of consciousness brought to you by the letters L and W, and the number 3.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Peri-pregnancy depression

Feministing has an interesting post about depression during pregnancy. Apparently, not everybody glows when they're knocked up!! Some women even feel (gasp!) sad!!!

This struck a chord with me because of my last ob-gyn appointment. Hubby and I are thinking about having children someday. Maybe. If the stars align correctly. I also happen to be living with depression. ( I prefer "living with" to "suffering from" -- seems more empowering or some such shit....) So I asked the nurse practicioner about my antidepressant and pregnancy.

She proceeds to tell me that the only medication the doctor will "let" (her word!) women use is Prozac, and then what he recommends is that they go off their meds as long as possible, until they just can't handle it any more. Then they go back on, and repeat the process until the parasite is expelled.

I was speechless. I nearly started a bit of a scene, about how antidepressants can be less effective if you go off and on of them, about how Prozac gives me brutal headaches, and about how no doctor is going to tell me that I just have to "live with it" because he's an ass who is lucky enough to be happy every day of his life! But I didn't.



Okay, so the whole Rep. Mark Foley thing is disgusting on so many levels. This has been blogged about, but I just thought it bore repeating:

The GOP leadership knew!!!!!!! They knew and they did not do a goddamn thing to stop this bastard!! There are not enough exclamation points in the world to express how angry I am about this!!!!!

Bad enough that they trample the Constitution, rape the Geneva Conventions, give civil liberties a big "fuck you!" -- but now this. They put at risk of harassment and abuse children, children whose parents are their constituents, and who trusted them. Not only that, but they put a man SOLICITING MINORS FOR SEXUAL CONVERSATION in charge of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children!! What, did they think he had some sort of special knowledge of how this scum would approach kids??????

[deep breath]

Okay. A little better now. But I sincerely hope that whoever helped sweep all this under the rug goes down, and hard, for covering up Foley's little "peccadilloes". Fucks.


So I just finished watching Swimming Pool, and was quite disappointed -- bummed, even. After the previews.... Well. Let me start at the beginning.

I love thrillers, movies that twist and turn. Things that creep me out, supernatural or not. So imagine my delight to see this awesome trailer about a writer who goes to her publisher's house in France to take a sabbatical, and meets his rather kooky daughter... Much psychosis is implied, and there's eerie music all over the place. Yay!!

So, I queue it up on Netflix. (Thank god for Netflix, because hubby would NEVER have watched this!) I finally was in the mood for a good scare tonight, so I snuggled up on the couch, stoned on cold medicine and cuddled with a cat.


Sadly, there is nothing creepy about Swimming Pool. It's probably not a bad movie, though not my cup of tea. Hubby liked it because there is ample boobage. There was some unsightly European underwear at the breakfast table. And there was much character development, which was good. But NO scary!!!!!! Except maybe the underwear.

I have nothing against non-scary movies. And like I said, I'm pretty sure it's good. It probably even won some awards or something. But then, dammit, don't make a trailer like Hitchcock!!!