Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Girl cat is feeling very humbled tonight. When I came home this afternoon, she slipped out the door into the hallway without me noticing. About an hour later, my neighbor knocked on my door and said, "Is this yours?"
Girl cat was sitting on the mat right outside my door. Which is lucky, because all the doors look the same. Lots of time, the cats here get lost and can't find the right door.
One of my friends had a baby yesterday - very scary emergency C-section involved. I went to see her today and got to hold the baby. He's perfect - flawless skin, sweet sweet little face. Completely adorable.
A few quickies:
• The size of the package DOES matter. They said so on The Today Show.
• Don't get too attached to streaming movies on Netflix.
• Anderson Cooper slaps around a birther.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Saturday, November 27, 2010
I had diarrhea earlier in the week. I took immodium on Tuesday and that stopped all action back there until Friday. My skin, especially in the pelvic area, is dry and itchy. So far, those are all the side effects I've noticed.
• Did you know that nutmeg is the Viagra for women?
• A Catholic priest in Texas was charged with sexually abusing a boy, including raping him at gunpoint, and the boy's family was also suing him. Now he's been arrested for trying to hire someone to kill the boy.
• Meanwhile in California, a priest was severely beaten by a man he had sexually abused more than 30 years ago. The priest has been accused of sexually abusing more than 10 people, including his sister and nieces and nephews.
• A town in India has banned single women from using cell phones. The reason? They're afraid women might try to arrange their own marriages.
• A survey in South Africa showed that more than 30% of men admitted to raping a woman or a girl, 75% had perpetrated violence against a woman, and 90% believe a woman should obey her husband.
• Undercover FBI agents prevented a teenager from blowing up a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland, OR. The FBI has intercepted several such plots in the last year. Good intelligence - a helluva lot more effective at fighting terrorism than molesting people at the airport.
• Rush Limbaugh rains all over Thanksgiving. (No, I don't mean he peed on the turkey.)
• The Museum of Broken Relationships.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Here's a collection of first-hand accounts about the new TSA procedures.
This is a story about a bladder cancer survivor. The TSA agents broke the seal on his urostomy bag which caused urine to leak all over him. He was forced to walk through the airport and board his plane soaked in urine.
A flight attendant who's also a breast cancer survivor was forced to remove her prosthetic breast. Other stories of breast cancer survivors being humiliated.
And this is about a rape survivor who felt like she was being raped all over again. She was patted down by a male agent.
From a TPM reader:
I am made to strip off a very light-weight jacket, so that I am standing there in a skimpy shell, not how I prefer to appear in public. The TSA agent proceeds to run her hands through my chin length hair and pat the top of my head (WTF?). then she rubs her hands all over my torso, before informing me that now she is going to insert her hands between my breasts.
Next she says, "Lift your shirt." Huh??? Turns out she wants to knead my elastic waistband thoroughly -- not sure what explosives I might be hiding in an elastic waistband, but, boy, she is doing a thorough job of kneading my midriff. I offer to pull down my pants for her, and start to do so, because I am getting really pissed off by now. She keeps offering to take me to a private location, but I am thinking, first, I do not want to be anywhere in private with her, and second, it is her groping I object to, and not anything that any other passenger might be seeing -- in fact, I want people to see what is going on.
Her next order is to spread my legs as far as I can. Yep, that's what she said. She then gropes my legs, and kneads my butt so firmly that I have to move my feet to keep my balance ...
My crime? I have a hip replacement ...
What I experienced at Reagan National on Friday was humiliating and infuriating beyond anything I thought would happen, and I am still steamed days later.
From Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic - his conversation with a TSA agent:
"Yes, but starting tomorrow, we're going to start searching your crotchal area" -- this is the word he used, "crotchal" -- and you're not going to like it."
"What am I not going to like?" I asked.
"We have to search up your thighs and between your legs until we meet resistance," he explained.
"Resistance?" I asked.
"Your testicles," he explained.
'That's funny," I said, "because 'The Resistance' is the actual name I've given to my testicles."
From another TPM reader:
I'll take planes for cross-continent or overseas travel, but it's gotten to the point that the TSA checkpoints cause more anxiety than the flight does to the point that I'd rather drive six hours than take a one hour flight. Because they're arbitrary, capricious, poorly trained, sometimes corrupt, and have attitudes that make the bouncers at your average strip club or dance club seem like milquetoasts.
Put the rules in writing. Stick to them. Fire, and if necessary, prosecute those TSA agents who don't stick to them. Have some degree of transparency. If it requires paying to hire people with brains, then pay for it. Realize that inconveniencing people for security is ok. Subjecting them to literal terror is not. And keep things in perspective. 2800 people died on September 11. Of course it was terrifying and horrible and tragic, but also remember that 42,000 people died in highway accidents in the US the same year....
Lots more stories here.
A few quickies:
• The Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled the Family Research Council as a hate group. The FRC's annual Values Voters Summit is a mainstay for Republican presidential candidates. Now, the FRC is on the same list of hate groups as the KKK, Aryan Nation and Nation of Islam. FRC earned this designation because of anti-gay statements made by its leaders. They've said that gays are more likely to be sex offenders, that they would like to deport gays, and that homosexuality should be criminalized. So who do you think Glenn Beck and Fox News are going after next? The Southern Poverty Law Center will be the new ACORN.
• The editor of Motor Trend magazine tells off Rush Limbaugh after he criticizes their choice of the Chevy Volt as car of the year.
• Police in St. Paul, MN, detained a Republican state legislator Tom Hackbarth outside a Planned Parenthood clinic after a security guard saw him carrying a loaded gun. Hackbarth said he didn't know he was at Planned Parenthood. He was actually stalking his internet girlfriend. But he doesn't know her phone number or address and he can't remember which dating site he met her on. He has a permit to carry a concealed weapon.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Friday, November 19, 2010
The message is clear: even after a genetic bounty, all-but-certain plastic surgery and dieting, good lighting, a pro-photographer, and dozens of shots, even the fantasy woman is not fantastic enough. Ironically, it's that mentality, and its cookie-cutter sexual sensibility, that's helped make Playboy irrelevant in the years since.
• Last year, Nebraska politicians decided their Medicaid program would no longer cover prenatal care for illegal immigrants. The assistance ended March 1. Since then, doctors have seen an increase in babies dying in utero, low birth weight babies and premature births. Long-term and short-term care for those babies will cost the state more than preventative prenatal care would have. The doctors have also seen an increase in the numbers of women considering abortion. Which is the great irony, because the same legislators who oppose health care for immigrants also oppose abortion.
• This is why I'm a cat person: An elderly woman in our area bled to death after she was attacked by her German shepherd.
• This gave me the heebie jeebies.
• Drunk girl gets stuck in a dryer
The Republicans are planning to shut down the government like Newt Gingrich did in 1995 when they took over Congress under Clinton. Back then, it failed because Clinton was able to paint them as the bad guys. But, as one TPM commenter wrote:
One thing that would work in the GOP's favor this time is that Obama and the current Democratic "leadership" are far poorer communicators than Clinton was. Clinton knew how to frame situations in his favor and he knew how to consistently and forcefully articulate a message. If the GOP tries a shutdown again, the Democrats will likely capitulate in the name of "being bipartisan" or otherwise fail to convince voters that the GOP is on the wrong side.
Another commenter agreed:
The GOP has learned from experience that they can say and do ANYTHING without significant pushback from this administration. I have no doubt a government shutdown is coming, and I believe the Republicans can come out looking like the good guys by forfeit.
So the question is this: when are we going to start awarding the Medal of Honor once again for soldiers who kill people and break things so our families can sleep safely at night?
He also wrote:
The bottom line here is that the God of the Bible clearly honors those who show valor and gallantry in waging aggressive war in a just cause against the enemies of freedom, even while inflicting massive casualties in the process ...
What I'm saying is that it's time we started imitating God's example again.
Did he forget that whole New Testament thing about "love thy neighbor" and "turn the other cheek"?
Some guys came along who wanted to rehab the building and open a new grocery store at that location. The city gave them forgivable loans and helped them apply for assistance through the Small Business Administration. The assistance was part of the federal stimulus package. The assistance was approved and the guys planned to open the store last summer.
The store, which will create 20-30 new jobs for a town that desperately needs them, won't be opening until after the first of the year, more than six months after originally planned. The reason why? Because they had to wait for Congress to vote to reauthorize the program.
So 20-30 people who could be working right now will be out of jobs for at least a few more months. And people who can't afford a car will keep schlepping groceries clear across town.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Today when I was at my radiation treatment, the therapist asked me what I planned to do with the rest of the afternoon. I said I was going home to watch Robert Redford on Oprah. She said, "Who's he?"
Eek. Am I really that old?
I told her he was the top box office star in the world in the 1970s. It was only later that I realized this girl wasn't even born in the 1970s. I also said he was the Brad Pitt of his day. She said, "Really?"
Yeah, really. The prettier, smarter, more talented version of Brad Pitt.
Monday, November 15, 2010
I had an appointment with my psychiatrist this morning. The Wellbutrin seems to be helping my depression but it's depressing my creativity. I have no voices in my head and no creative urges whatsoever. He told me that when he was working at the University of Utah, he treated a lot of students who were writers, artists, musicians and actors who had the same problem when they were on medication. He said that if I would stay on the meds for a year and work on retraining my brain, I would be able to get my creativity back.
Or I could just stop taking my meds and it would come back right away.
I'm going to stay on the meds at least until I'm done with radiation. He wants me to stay on them till spring. He didn't tell me when he wanted to see me again and I didn't make another appointment.
I felt really down after the appointment. Partly because of the meds lecture. Mostly because he kept mentioning my hair. Has it started coming in yet, maybe I'll have some by Christmas, etc.
Most people don't say anything about it. They all notice but they try not to. The lack of eyebrows is what really gives it away. I've got a little bit of "dirt" showing on those too.
Friday, November 12, 2010
"This is my attempt to make pedophile situations safer for those juveniles that find themselves involved in them, by establishing certain rules for these adults to follow ... I hope to achieve this by appealing to the better nature of pedosexuals, with hope that their doing so will result in less hatred and perhaps liter sentences should they ever be caught."
When people, including several celebrities, started complaining on Twitter, Amazon at first defended the book:
"Amazon believes it is censorship not to sell certain books simply because we or others believe their message is objectionable. Amazon does not support or promote hatred or criminal acts, however, we do support the right of every individual to make their own purchasing decisions."
Now, after public outcry, the book has disappeared from Amazon's website. Yesterday, when I searched their site for the book (by title), it was the first result that came up but the link led to an error page. Today, it doesn't even come up in the search.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Tuesday, November 09, 2010
From now on, they won't have to do that. The treatment itself only takes about 5 minutes. I just got back from my second treatment. They zapped me 4 times - once on each side, once in the front and once in the back. I think they're aiming for lymph nodes in the back - the ones that are attached to the aorta.
My new little bird friend seems to be doing very well. She's very chirpy, really active, and she's eating and drinking a lot. I think she's lonely though. Finches need other finches to be happy.
A few quickies:
• Meet Eric Easley. Crazy enough to have sex with a miniature horse. Stupid enough to leave his wallet at the scene.
• Fark headline of the day: To be fair, if somebody's pants are on fire, you should probably expect them to lie about what caused it. (the story)
• First they sliced open our breasts because they weren't big enough. Now they're slicing off our labia because they're too big.
• A woman is in jail in North Carolina for her possible involvement in the murder of her 11 year old stepdaughter. She recently wrote a letter complaining about the hate mail she's receiving. She said: "I just wonder if Zahra hadn't survived Cancer an[d] been from Australia, if it would truly be like this. There are so many missing kids, but Zahra isn't missing."
Saturday, November 06, 2010
Yesterday, she left her bird in the hall. I was afraid it would end up in the dumpster too, so I took it in. I was worried about how my cats would react. So far, they haven't bothered it at all. Boy cat gets up on the counter right beside the cage and watches it, but he hasn't made any attempt to go after it.
The bird is a society finch. They're really chirpy, especially in the morning. They don't like to live alone so I'll probably get another one before long. It's lost a lot of feathers - possibly molting - but more likely stress since it appears that the cage was really neglected for awhile.
Last summer, I blogged about how I had bought a bird cage at Goodwill and really wanted to get some finches. My therapist is convinced that God put the finch in the hall for me.
It wasn't God. It was my crazy neighbor.
Friday, November 05, 2010
People who've read my blog before will notice I'm not talking about politics. I'm too depressed about what happened Tuesday. And scared. Branstad got elected governor and the Republicans took over the Iowa house, which means there's a very good chance that the state health insurance program I'm on will be cut. At least I should be through with my cancer treatment before that happens - unless they find more cancer in one of my checkups. If I have a recurrence after they've cut the program, I'm screwed. The cancer center made it very clear on my first visit - if you don't have insurance and you can't pay, you can go to hell for all they care.
I've been watching "The Nanny" every night on Nick at Nite. I've got the theme song stuck in my head - "the flashy girl from Flushing, the nanny named Fran."