My First Blogging Award

I am, oh so, honored to have this award bestowed upon me by Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein. Truly it is one of my finest achievements and I dedicate this blog to him and will show my gratitude by lifting every picture I use in this posting from his site, as he has so bloggorifically demonstrated to be the way things are done around here.

I earned 4 2/3 place prize and now have the task of passing this award on to other bloggers. This may be tricky because, as Dr. Monkeyman describes, "You get one of these for making comments on other people's blogs. It shows that you read them and that you are a good egg for leaving a nice comment every now and again." Basically, I got this award for being a kissass while reading his awesome (there I go again) blog and now I must do the same.... The only problem is, I do not have the high level of comment history Dr. Muckus has and since I probably shouldn't give the award right back to Dr. Monkster, I will have to award my five spots (as is the precedent) in the only way possible, unless I start new google accounts to comment myself.

The First Place Prize Winner who, in addition to getting the strong arm thingy gets this early schmoozing picture of Mr. Dr. Von Monstermonkey (pre-facial hair,) iiiiiissssss... the shut-in we'd all like to keep company, The Hermit, Mr. Davis Fleetwood. After his sister-site, No Cure For That, posted a few things I wrote, I emailed him solicitously and he was my first (commenter.) Thank you for your encouragement, Davis (schmoooooze.)

The Second Place Prize Winner iiiissss... Blue Gal, as she posted a comment here when I (benevolently) baited her by referring to this picture of Ann Coulter on my blog in a comment I left on hers. I cleverly referred to this photo as an effective form of birth control (for Democrats. It has a more Viagra-like effect on elephants.) An added bonus (and I lied, this picture is not from Monkey Muck) is that Mr. Monkeyshine loooves this picture. Without any further ado, I hearby award, in addition to the strong arm thingy..., a picture of Mr. Monkey in his panties (ooolala!) to you, Blue Gal!

The Third Place Prize Winner is a three-way (hmm) tie between 1) the nice-seeming blogger whose blog is in Spanish (I could only read it very slowly) who spammed me so politely, I'm not sure what's real, 2) the blogger who referred me to his site about the rapture (it was confusing,) and 3) the person who offered me summer cash like I knew her..."Like I was saying about earning summer cash...." She's one of my biggest fans. I'd like to offer you guys complimentary haircuts at Dr. McMonkey's hair salon.

Since these are my only commenters thus farly, I will tempt your comments by way of bribery. These are the stakes, the prizes, the goods for 4th and 5th place prizes (in addition to the strong arm thingy.) You know you want them!

A piece of original art by Dr. Monkey Von Gogh himself (I want one in my classroom when I become a math teacher (though the faint indication of breast would probably be prohibited- even in a biology classroom.) It's in the style of 70's educational. Think of Schoolhouse Rock when you look upon it. Dr. M- That's a major schmooze!)

And, one cheap beer poured in your mouth by Monkey Stud's adopted son from his vacuum cleaner sales days.

Thanks Dr. Monkermuckeysteiner!


Two Great Tastes...

Davis Fleetwood interviews future Congresswoman Cindy Sheehan!

Part 1

Part 2

On a far more frivolous note, I thought I'd post this little piece of personal art. I saw this quizzy thing on Phydeaux Speaks.



Hey Emperor, Your True Colors are Showing!

I recently received a bulletin concerning W's intention to veto a ban on mercury in vaccines. I thought I would pass on the info. George Bush has threatened to veto THE 2008 LABOR-HHS-EDUCATION APPROPRIATIONS BILL. Is the threatened veto justified? Not according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Who would W's selective and erroneous fiscal frugality benefit?

On The Democratic Underground mzmolly wrote, "The elder George Bush sat on the Lilly board of directors in the 1970s, and White House Budget Director Mitch Daniels was a Lilly executive. Lilly CEO Sidney Taurel was named by President George W. Bush to the Homeland Security Advisory Council. In November 2002, Congress passed a provision, tucked into a spending measure for homeland security, to indemnify Eli Lilly from lawsuits and require families to seek compensation through the federally funded Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. It was repealed in February 2003 after public outcry. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) still hopes to pass a similar bill. Congressional consideration for Eli Lilly makes sense: In the 2002 election cycle, the company gave more than $1.5 million to federal candidates, with three quarters to Republicans, making it the fourth-biggest giver in the pharmaceutical industry, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. In the current election cycle, the company already has given close to $230,000 (67 percent to Republicans) to federal candidates."*

Safe Minds warns, "Under the current administration, mercury has been and will continue to be knowingly injected into the youngest of American citizens. The controversial mercury-containing preservative thimerosal has been linked by thousands of parents as being the cause of their children's mercury poisoning and autism."

The flu vaccine, which continues to be manufactured with mercury, is recommended for all pregnant women, infants and children despite the fact that the Institute of Medicine in 2001 recommended against the policy of exposing these same sensitive groups to thimerosal containing vaccines.

Mercury is the second most toxic metal known to man behind Uranium. Thimerosal is used in vaccines not because it is good for you, but purely because it supposedly prevents vaccine contamination. Yet some have questioned why thimerosal is even considered for vaccines because there are obviously safer alternatives to preventing contamination. Questions also remain about how pharmaceutical companies conduct vaccine research and how the government regulates those companies.

Despite these facts, sickening reports such as the one below continue to make out that injecting the second most poisonous substance in the world into babies is actually GOOD for their health:

During Bush's reelection campaign in 2004 he stated:

"I support the removal of Thimerosal from vaccines on the childhood national vaccine schedule. During a second term as President, I will continue to support increased funding to support a wide variety of research initiatives aimed at seeking definitive causes and/or triggers of autism. It is important to note that while there are many possible theories about causes or triggers of autism, no one material has been definitely included or excluded."

Despite this he now plans to veto a bill that would remove Thimerosal because of "costs". What costs would these be? Do the costs of big pharmaceutical companies and fat government kickbacks outweigh the costs of the healthy brains of every child in America? Seemingly so...

Furthermore, though Bush stated that the evidence for links between mercury laden vaccines and autism are not concrete, there are scores of studies and testimony from credible figures asserting the exact opposite.

Starting in the early nineties, government regulators dramatically increased the amount of Thimerosal exposure to babies by adding two new vaccines to the roster of mandatory immunizations children must have before enrolling in school. The combination of the Hepatitis B vaccine and the HiB vaccine more than doubled the amount of mercury children.

Mercury expert Dr. Boyd Haley of the University of Kentucky has testified before Congress and the Pentagon as well as the FDA as one of the nation's leading experts on Thimerosal and mercury poisoning, revealing that his research leads him to believe that some children are genetically predisposed to storing mercury in their brains, leading to neurological disorders, including autism.

The combination of the Hepatitis B vaccine and the HiB vaccine more than doubled the amount of mercury children in the 90s. "If you take a ten-pound baby in, and it gets four shots on that one day, which is a common practice - that's equivalent to giving a 100-pound person forty shots in one day," said Haley.

Haley has also proposed that Thimerosal in infant vaccines was also the most likely toxic agent involved in Gulf War syndrome and autistic spectrum disorders. Think about this, they are injecting into babies something that is breaking down the bodies of full grown combat veterans.

While the FDA questioned thimerosal's safety in the 80s, noting that it was "not safe for 'over-the-counter' topical use because of its potential for cell damage", and while it was removed from animal vaccines for the same reason, the government regulatory committees did nothing to question its use in childhood vaccines.

It's too dangerous for cats and dogs but the government is happy for our babies to be pumped full of the stuff on a regular basis.

Dr Haley has also pointed out that it is also well known by any good biochemist that thimerosal and aluminum react dangerously when combined together. Given that Aluminum is a compound added to many vaccines as a catalyst you would think the government would have heeded this warning, yet it has still done nothing.

Despite the continued reports doubting the link between Thimerosal and autism, more studies have continued to verify the link. As reported in the Capitol Times recently:

A study done at the University of Washington in 2006 showed that baby primates exposed to injected thimerosal (50 percent mercury), at a rate equal to the 1990s childhood vaccine schedule, retained twice as much inorganic mercury in their brains as primates exposed to equal amounts of ingested methylmercury. We know from autometallographic determination that inorganic mercury present in the brain, following the dealkylation of organic mercury, is the toxic agent responsible for changes in the microglial population and leads to neuroinflammation.

In other words thimerosal, inorganic mercury, leads to neuroinflammatory disease which is proven to be the underlying medical condition of autism.

Furthermore In a study done at the University of Arkansas last year, autistic children were found to have significantly lower levels of the antioxidant glutathione. Glutathione is the major antioxidant needed for the elimination of mercury at the cellular level.

Moreover, Professor Philippe Grandjean, from Harvard University and the University of Southern Denmark, considered the foremost scientific authority on the development of children’s brains, has recently claimed that the average human IQ is plummeting primarily due to IQ points in the population being chemically destroyed via low level mercury exposure in children.

The links between the ingestion of mercury and neurological breakdown are clear and proven. Professors all over the world are telling us outright that it is literally destroying people's brains. Even if you choose to believe, in the face of all the evidence, that the links are still somewhat questionable, the solution is still obvious. GET IT OUT OF THE VACCINES NOW.

Safe Minds also point out that according to the EPA, one in every six women of childbearing age already has blood levels of mercury...."**

* I took the liberty to insert mzmolly's own links into the quote.
**I recieved this from a third party by way of a bulletin on MySpace.


A Few Minutes Can Make a Big Difference!

H.R. 1234 is legislation to end the US occupation of Iraq immediately.

H.R. 676 is a plan for Universal Health Care.

H.R. 333 is Articles of Impeachment for Vice President Richard Cheney.

We don't have to wait until the election to have true Universal Health Care in the US or to end the war. That's a myth being propogated by a few of the Democratic frontrunners!

Call Nancy Pelosi 202-225-0100...NOW!
Just tell her (or leave a message) that you support House Resolutions 1234, and 676, and 333.

Send your congressman an email! It only takes a few minutes and is easy!

You can copy and paste this message:

I am writing you to inform you that I am a voting menber of your district who is in strong support of the following House Resolutions:

HR 1234, Please end our occupation of Iraq!

HR 676, Please vote for Universal Health Care for all Americans!

HR 333, Please bring Articles of Impeachment up against Vice President Cheney.

Thank you for your time and consideration in reading this.


If you have a blog, join the 35Percenters today!

The following is a MySpace bulletin posted by Nancy Sheehan today. Take a look...

Time's Up, Congress!
Impeach Now!
Journey for Humanity and Accountability, Day 14
Cindy Sheehan

Our Constitution established a tri-partite system of
government, with the notion that each branch of
government would act as a check on the other two.
Unfortunately, for the last six years, the Republicans
in Congress have largely viewed themselves as
defenders of the Bush Administration, instead of a
vital check on overreaching by the Executive Branch.
By doing so, I believe they have acted to the
detriment of our Constitutional form of government.

We have seen so many transgressions by this
Administration that it is easy to forget last week's
scandal amid this week's new outrage. I am hopeful
that compiling all of these events of the last few
years will help wake all of us up to the gravity of
these matters and the cumulative damage to our
Congressman John Conyers, Constitution in Crisis
July 31, 2006

Congressman Conyers wrote this brilliant and stinging
indictment of BushCo almost a year ago. The booklet
outlines and expounds on the crimes of the Bush
Regime, and my question for him the last time we met
in May, was: What has the President and Vice President
done since the Dems regained both houses of Congress
in January to miraculously become “innocent” of
treason and other high crimes and misdemeanors?

Today we march from Arlington to Congress.

We arrived in DC yesterday from Crawford, Tx after two
weeks of our journey.

Twenty-five (sometimes a little more, sometimes a
little less) of us have traveled from town to town
where we were almost universally welcomed with a small
amount of protest mostly in the form of the
foul-mouthed and gnarly-breathed, Gathering of Eagles
(they call us “hippies” “dirty”). All along the way we
have encountered our fellow Americans who are sick and
fed up with the crimes of BushCo and the slaughter in
the Middle East.

Today we will march from Arlington Cemetery where
absolutely no desecration is planned by our group, but
where desecration has been committed on a daily basis
by the neocon war mongers who use our troops unwisely,
illegally, immorally and for monetary and political

When we arrive at Congressman John Conyer’s (D-Mi,
Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee) office
today we will arrive with over one million signatures
on petitions to impeach George Bush and Dick Cheney.
We will arrive with the sentiments of the majority of
Americans on our side. We will arrive with a thirst
for justice and armed with the truth and compassion
for our children serving in Iraq and our brothers and
sisters who have had to suffer there under the
corporate greed of US war profiteers.

The other day in San Diego, Rep. Conyers told an
audience that he would go forward with impeachment if
3 other members joined him, well he has 15 other
members already signed on H(Res) 333 which is Articles
of Impeachment for Dastardly Dick introduced by Rep.
Dennis Kucinich. Both Rep. Conyers and Speaker Pelosi
need to be reminded of what their constitutional
duties are and must be forced to act now before it is
too late. I wonder how many more of our troops and
Iraqis they are willing to sacrifice on the altar of
partisan politics?

Today there will be dozens of us who will sit-in
Congressman Conyer’s office until he agrees to do the
right thing and we will risk arrest if he doesn’t. We
are doing it because we profoundly believe that
accountability in the form of impeachment is
imperative to restore the rule of law and to protect
the future from an executive branch that has run amok.

We march for peace. We sit for accountability.

On Tuesday, July 24th, I may become a candidate in
California’s 8th district. The balls’ in Congress’
court now. I hope they come through for us.

Go to www.thecampcaseypeaceinstitute.org for more info
on our Journey for Humanity and Accountability or to
donate to help with expenses.


Oh Ann, I'm not even going to argue with you...

Actually, I probably am, but have to admit you are right about the gist of it. I saw Sicko last night and feel so much more betrayed by my elected officials than I already did! I am really despising being an American right now. I really don't mind you (Ann, I know you read my blog) saying those things about me really 'cause I actually am against America right now. And by American I mean the major corporations who are running the show.

I truly believe that Dennis Kucinich's plan to offer universal health care in the US and pull us out of Iraq are the best options I see for even wanting to be an American. This is why Ann picked on Edwards rather than Kucinich. You don't have anything on him and he's the biggest liberal in the field. US, quit wasting my money and thousands of precious lives on the war!

That does it, Ann!


Victoria’s Garden

By Freida Bee

It has been raining all summer and Victoria has neglected her garden while waiting for a better day. This morning she decides to weed it while the ground is soft from nearly two months of daily rain, because a great fall garden is the most realistic plan of action for her at this point. With her gardening hat to deflect the mist and an unheard of long sleeve shirt in July in Texas, she dons her sandals and her wrap-around skirt that reeks of her profession, teaching, and goes out at sunrise before she has to make breakfast for her kids.

She sinks into the ground a bit as she makes her way to the tall grass she’s been looking at through her kitchen window for two months now. The grass has not gone to seed, fortunately, and it is able to be pulled out, roots and all, very easily. It becomes difficult to kneel in the dirt as it is squishy and, though she is kneeling on cardboard, the mud, a fine mixture of organic compost, worm castings and native soil that needs more mulch, has already worked its way into her sandals between her toes. She tosses her shoes onto the adjacent grass and lets her toes burrow in the mud. The cool home grounds her as she avoids pulling out the few plants that have survived with such little sun, basil, a tomato plant that has not born fruit and the perennials from last year. The rosemary and thyme are suffering from all of the moisture, but the oregano, which had been gnawed to the ground by rabbits within two days of planting last winter, is big and lush, heartier from the abuse.

There are several squash plants growing and Victoria is just this morning able to ascertain which of the sets of seeds she had placed along the perimeter and in the compost have actually germinated. Acorn squash and miniature pumpkins are the victors. She had been hoping for a less time-consuming squash to cook, like a zucchini. She has been on a zucchini kick lately since she made the perfect batch of it sautéed in late May just after her husband had extended her garden for her as a mother’s day present. She had sliced zucchinis into lengthwise segments two inches long and braised them with melting butter just long enough to add cumin, paprika and salt to the cast iron skillet before she doused them with enough water to steam them. She had to be careful not to add so much water that the zucchinis would get soggy though. In her third batch of these she discovered the fine soup created if she did add more water, but turned off the heat after they were just softened. Even Jeremy, who was a finicky eater, asked for seconds.

As she thinks of those small pumpkins and how the boys had decorated them gaudily at the pumpkin patch her mother-in-law had taken the children to last fall, she wonders what she should plant for the upcoming cool weather and recalls the information on the wrinkled list from the county extension agent which she keeps in the nightstand next to her side of the bed. She begins to crave her morning tea, which is usually steeped nettle leaf and peppermint that she picks from the shady bed next to the house. It is thriving. Victoria notices she’s cleared a sufficient amount of overgrowth to spread mulch for now and can remove the rest as she plants beans and late okra and cucumbers soon. She will plant beets, turnips and spinach just before school restarts at the end of next month.

Because her green and blue print skirt, which is her favorite, is getting muddy, she unties it and tosses it into the grass as she lets her bare ass fall into the mud. She laughs at herself and then begins to cry. She misses her husband so much it surprises her. With a pain in her chest, she pushes her hands into the mud, feeling at one with the dirt for just one important moment.

I Can't Believe I am Wanting W to be Safe Right Now!

As I write this, Dick Cheney is president, pretty scary. I'm just hoping that he doesn't know the doctor who's putting George under. If you saw 24 last season, you know what happens in these circumstances.


A Lazy Redneck’s Money Saving Guide to Preserving the Environment

By Freida Bee

Most of us are lazier than we wish we were when it comes to preserving the environment. Don’t feel bad. Just shift your perspective and lighten up on yourself and greenhouse gasses. Most lists of this nature, while well meaning, really underestimate the laziness of many Americans, especially in the South during the summer when you’re home with your kids.

√ One of the easiest ways to save on the costs and resources required for heating water is to bath less! This may not appeal to everyone, but there are other ways to cope. Does it really make sense to have kids take a bath when they just spent hours in the pool that day? Some may be squeamish about the chlorine and can encourage their child to do a quick rinse in the outdoor shower before leaving the pool.

√ You can turn your AC off while you’re at the pool and save doubly, using nature’s air conditioner…water.

√ The other option regarding bathing is to up your tolerance a bit on what you call cleanliness and shower every other day if you are a daily showerer or at least spread your showers out a bit. One morning and then the next night and then the day after’s morning, if that’s not too confusing.

√ If you are not lazy, but are reading this list, then you can install a switch with a timer on your water heater. Fortunately, we have one that was on ours when we moved in or we may not have put one on ourselves. We could set it to turn the water heater off during the night if we read the directions, but I find it simple enough to flip on when I wake up. The water only takes 20 minutes to warm up, more time to snooze.

√ As far as the bathing goes, I have also found that I can bath all four of my children at once and they love it! We hook the hose, with a sprayer on the end, on top of the trampoline net and they all four jump on the trampoline while the water pours down on them. This activity incorporates entertainment, bathing and watering the lawn (if you have one) all at once. Just drag your trampoline around to water different locales each week.

√ An easy way to save gas is to stay home.

√ Easy ways to cut back on your light bill are to sleep more, go to sleep early, or use the light of the TV if it’s on anyway.

√ We use Netflix. It makes watching movies so much easier than having to actually go to the video store.

√ Read the newspaper online. Who wants to get dressed to go get the newspaper from the end of the driveway anyway? Just read the news online. There’s also free news mixed with entertainment on the radio on NPR which you can usually find at the left end of the dial (usually the first station you get to... easy.)

√ Have your kids have friends spend the night for several days in a row. They want this anyway and then when it’s the other parent’s turn, you have a babysitter without much effort. There is less driving your kids around this way.

√ Farm your own veggies in your yard. This requires some long-term plans regarding your projected laziness in the future, but can really pay off in terms of not having to go to the grocery store so often. You can put the trampoline over the garden (unless there’s corn) and have the kids water it.

√ Don’t buy shit. Every cent you save means the less you have to work.

√ If you have to buy shit, buy it used rather than new. The thrift store is one-stop shopping for back to school clothes, Christmas presents and appliances. Who needs Wal-Mart? They’re over-priced anyway!

√ Don’t waste your money on cable (I can’t say it enough that the less you spend, the less you have to work, thus drive, etc.) The cable guy may be cute, but do you really need it? Using Netflix and the Internet is plenty for us. If we’re really desperate, we read books (we bought from the used bookstore.)

√ Give and receive hand-me-down clothes for kids. The easiest back to school shopping is saying, "Thank you," and opening the bag and putting the clothes in the drawer. (You may have to wash them first if they stink.) Finding another parent who has a child older and a child younger than yours, same gender optional, can save you tons on clothes… at least until they are teenagers. (Now, my teenager and tweenager have discovered the hipness of vintage clothing, but I'm one of the lucky ones.)

√ Don’t put pesticides and herbicides on your yard. It’s just easier and safer for your kids who probably like to be barefoot in the yard if you've raised them in true redneck stylings. Howard Garrett has some great Organic Pest Control Techniques. Isn’t letting your kids release a bag of lady bugs easier than spraying chemicals?

√ Stop thinking your yard has to be made of grass. Who likes to mow anyway?

Well, I’m too lazy to go on here and have got to put some laundry in the dryer. I let it sit in the basket for a day and it’s halfway dry (less time in the dryer!) but you’ll learn your own timing so it doesn’t mildew. This green living takes practice. I also have to get the kids to put their toys in their rooms cause I don’t want to clean their mess. I have simplified my life by not bothering to get them to clean their rooms more than once a week this summer, but they do have to take their mess with them. It’s much easier and one of them has even broken down this year and started cleaning her room on her own, before I even ask! That’s less minutes used on my cell phone and another few cents in my pocket, which is less I have to work, equating to less gas I use and that’s just good for the earth.

P.S. If you're not a redneck, but are lazy, here are some other tips from the Lazy Environmentalist.

P.P.S. I know you expected more with the badass title, but I'm just too lazy to edit it to make it any better.


Oops, One Child Left Behind

¿What's Wrong With This Picture? *

Maria era una estudiante muy excelente at Bowie High School. En todos sus años de la escuela she had been an honor student and was muy excited that she was ser la primera persona en su familia to attend college. Her acceptance to UT was guaranteed as she was en los diez superiores perent de su clase. Maria had worked hard to overcome the fact que el inglés era su segunda lengua and had done so quite successfully. She had even come to find in her job ser bilingüe tenía ventajas.

Maria found out that the Language Arts portion of her TAKS score was too low cuando su maestra de inglés approached her con las otras fechas hacer el examen. Maria knew that sin los cinco puntos, she would not graduate. Maria era muy nervosa en la dia de la make-up test and was tired porque ella trabajaba tarde la noche antes. She did her best y esperaba ser suficiente.

En mayo she found out that she had failed el examen a dos puntos este vez and would not be allowed to graduate. Su madre said she cried for days that her plans for college were to be postponed. In the summer ella esperó la prueba siguiente y trabajaba todos los dias because her family needed the money. She found out que su ayuda financiera for the Fall semeser was denied and she would have to wait hasta el año próximo even if she passed the test.

Maria's manager recognized her true potential and promoted her rapidamente. Maria nunca asistió a la universidad; su hija era la primera.

*Based on true stories

I love this Colbert Report posted at The Largest Minority. Standardized tests are another way that corporations are exploiting million dollar contract opportunities at the expense of our young people. Immigrants are the pride of America. Check out Texas Ed Equity Blog . Good stuff.


Su Voz es Desmasiado Reservada a Otra Parte

Her Voice Is Too Quiet Elsewhere

The whole six months John and Madalena were fucking on her couch, Madalena had the distinct feeling that something was amiss. Because these feelings were vague and unfamiliar to her, she dismissed them altogether as they planned to escape the oppressive security of their small hometown. Madalena gave up the jobs she loved and her next semester of college to move to Philly where they could both pursue their educational interests.

Before leaving, she had been selected to be a part of a delegation of Witness For Peace, which would travel to Nicaragua y Guatemala para transformar las polìticas de los Estados Unidos en America Central. On the trip Madalena felt certain that she would like to pursue the political work further than the two weeks allowed and had even wondered if moving to Philadelphia with John was the best option for her.

In Guatemala several people became somewhat ill from the water, they supposed; Madalena was one of them. While the group was visiting a church in Santiago Atitlan, una ciudad which had successfully been able to ban the military’s presence in favor of a citizen-manned police force, Madalena had the realization that the way she was feeling combined with irregular bleeding in her cycle were signs that she was likely pregnant. She confided to one matriarch in the group and became disgusted by el café y los Marlboros with twice the chemicals of those sold in the US. Feeling sad that her wishes to return with a more long-term delegation seemed unlikely, Madalena became apprehensive about breaking the news to John.

John’s reaction was lukewarm, as she'd feared, and the couple proceeded with their plans to relocate to Philly by the end of July. Madalena continued to ride her bicycle despite the fact that when she passed those incessant tar-burning contraptions, she would have to pull over and vomit for the next five months. She was dismayed that she had such a hard time getting a job after leaving jobs she loved in her hometown, one of which had been a coveted position in the town’s only health food store. She was always upfront to say that in seven months she would be taking off to have her baby, who was born the same month the Family Leave Act was passed.

She was depressed and lonely while John worked as the manager of a bar where his boss was madly smitten for him and he drank late most nights. She alternated between crying and journaling and reading about breastfeeding, birth and parenting to bide her time. In September, John informed her that this “whole thing” was not something he wanted after all. Devastated, Madalena roamed Philadelphia, relishing the unusual smell of grass as she rode by the small parks and discovered alternative movie houses showing Ingmar Bergman movies.

Eventually, she called a former roommate who she’d heard was returning to Austin, where she had lived for the five years prior to returning to her hometown to “buckle down.” He and another of their friends were planning on returning to Austin at the same time as Madalena and the trio decided to get a house together. In December, Madalena, painfully, left John and returned to Austin after an awkward holiday spent with her family who clearly pitied her and would have known better themselves. Marriage first would have prevented her current dilemma, they implied.

The overwhelming smells of Austin’s lush winter greenery and a renewed ear for her inner voice greeted Madalena and she knew she was home, even as she crashed on couches until a new place was secured. Two of her old friends had a child, themselves, while she’d been gone and they welcomed her into their new circle of parenting friends to which she would soon belong. She was told of a midwife who would barter birthing expenses for house cleaning and resettled into the city she’d scorned for its slacker attitudes just over a year before with a new openness that made her a true Austinite.

(Above Photo by Freida Bee) El Palacio en la Ciudad Guatemala, June 1992: What is not terribly visible is that many indigenous people who had been displaced from their land by the military were camping out on strike in front of the palace in Guatemala City. The McDonaldses, banks and the like had military personnel with automatic weapons on post throughout the downtown.


A Brief Respite

A Brief Respite

The day was young yet, but Sandra was already exhausted. Her son had cried from three to five, as he often did around that time. She did what she could for Raul, but had learned there was little to do besides console him lovingly, periodically offering her breast, just in case. Juana did this as well, so Sandra was better equipped to handle it now with Raul. She remembered crying herself through Juana’s spells, unsure what was wrong and desperately wanting to fix the situation. She made and drank teas of hops and valerian so that the medicine would pass through her breast milk and it did seem to help. She was diligent to burp her child immediately after his feedings and to avoid eating broccoli and cabbage herself, all to prevent gassiness from being the cause of these colicky spells.

Sandra had begun to suspect that her children were picking up on her own stressed-out state. She had not had a break…ever in her four years of parenting and was not even aware that there was a different way for mothers to be. She was married when Juana was young, but it never seemed to occur to her husband to relieve her from her motherly duties. Sandra had not lived any adult time in her life before having children to know any better than continuing to do what she was told. But then, rather than it being her father, it was Carlos who had called the shots.

Sandra’s father was from Mexico and, in fact, had another family there she had never met, but her mother was from San Antonio, which is where Sandra continued to live, even after she died. Carlos was working in San Antonio for a landscaping company when he met Sandra. She knew he had a wife and three children in Mexico that he lived with between November and March, the off-season, when there was little work. Sandra had married him so that he could get a green card and not have to leave for so long at a time. He had gone to Mexico to tell his other family that he wished to remain in Los EEUU, but never did return. He had not given Sandra any contact information for his family in Mexico, so she was unable to ascertain whether he was dead, arrested, or simply choosing to stay away. Sandra hoped he was dead as she drifted off to blessed sleep.


13th blog entry on Friday the 13th

Really, this picture is here so that I can reference it to put it in my profile, more substance tomorrow. I need to write something less faux newsworthy than my last few blogs. If you want the real deal, go to the links to the right. Davis and Manila do that better anyway. You can sign the petition that Cindy Sheehan wants to take before Congress at impeachbush.org.

I'll be at your service tomorrow...or something like that. If you just really want more, you can check out my myspace blog from last night. It was different, mainly because I discovered Rachel Kramer Bussel yesterday. There is much to enjoy at her Lusty Lady blog. Here's an excerpt from one of her books, "Most Unexpected" part 2 from Naughty Spanking Stories from A to Z, Volume 2. It's totally hot!

It's Not Over 'Til It's Over

I called and actually enjoyed it! Thanks for putting it in such simple terms. This call to action was posted the day before congress voted on a pull out date. But, if Bush has been willing to veto stem cell research, he'll veto anything. Sorry to sound pessimistic, but I don't think he intends to let this one go through. He's one of those fuckers that doesn't pull out when he's asked, I can tell! There is my very non-scientific view of the matter, but I have offered in response to this vid to do the deed that might get W impeached, or at least castrated.


Like, Totally

When I was, like, in Jr. High, I, like, kid you not that, I, like, talked like a valley girl, like totally. I, like, watched, like, "Square Pegs" (vid below) and, like, loved Devo. Lisa Nova, you, like, do it well, like totally. What a, like, role model W is, like totally. I was, like, thinking the other day, you know, like totally, "Like, How bad does, like, Watergate seem now?" Reallly, like, that's a, like, good point. Let's, like, oust, like, another Tricky Dick or is it, like, true they can, like, get away with, like, murder? Like, cool. It's, like, totally annoying. Like, duh.

I, like, really fell in love with my husabnd after we'd been dating for a while when we, like, attended a Y2K New Year's Eve Karaoke Party and, like, sang "Whip It" from memory as a duet. Gretchen Phillips sang Rocky Horror Picture Show songs, masterfully, intermittently throughout the night and I insisted on bringing my children with me because I did not want to be apart from them when it turned midnight and the shit hit the fan. There had been indicaotrs in the day that nothing or little would happen as a result of clocks turing midnight, but I was not very trusting anyway.

When 911 had happened, I was quite dismayed and saddened, of course, but it was all the anthrax hype that freaked me out more. I had dreams about it and then had dreams water supplies had been contaminated. Then when we bombed Afghanistan, I got really freaked out. I was flinching when there were airplanes and dreaming of air raids. War had entered my psyche. It had, literally, not been there before. My parents dropped out of school when they were pregnant with me and my father, who was a dj for the next 30 years, was prepared to move to Canada if his number was called. Fortunately, that did not happen and I got his genetics there more than my mom's (in that department.)

Maybe there is a culture that believes in "the rapture," but does anyone seriously welcome that. The year after I was watching "Square Pegs." I watched "The Day After" and my world changed; I lived in fear of nuclear war, if even subconsciously for many years. Somehow, that fear subsided, but George had brought it back and has moved the doomsday clock ever closer to midnight in his administration, though his foreign policy decisions and by ignoring scientists about the environmental disasters that face us all.

I think when we look back on this time in history, we will realize that his inaction and denial of scientific evidence regarding the environment and global warming will prove to have been grounds to impeach him. I had an ethereal door open to me in my dreams that I had wished to enter, but was not allowed to take my daughter through and let the opportunity pass. Unless a staircase drops from the sky and everyone is allowed to pass, I'm not going anywhere. But, George, I hope you will. Ah, the days of such worries...


You Go, Cindy!!!

Finally, someone with the support to succeed is standing up to those elected officials who vow to change it all and then do the same old thing. I'm not saying it's easy to go against the grain of severely established institutions, policies and predudices, but Nancy Pelosi, you just got served. Thanks Cindy! I think you can do it! Nancy, don't get too complacent.


I'll make blackberry pancakes in a minute.

Fuck You, Dr. Laura

Caroline noticed that when she compared, her legs were certainly bigger than those of the truly pretty in her Seventeen Magazine. She then observed that they were even bigger than those of her friends who were also cheerleaders. Incidentally, her mother, who was normally thin, was dieting after the birth of her baby brother and suggested that Caroline join her.

"Caroline has a great body," she'd heard that a hot guy had lied. Determined not to be different from her classmates, she went on a twenty-year mission to lose ten pounds. She was a track star and ran more and more miles every day and took to Diet Cokes and calorie counting.

One summer she succeeded with months of 850-calorie days, but the school-sponsored Miss Southern Belle Pageant reaffirmed that her efforts had been unsuccessful. No one noticed that more extreme measures involved laxatives, fainting, and coffee.

Smoking became the healthiest habit in her life, though it hindered her running. She cries when she watches Olympic stars on TV specials and wonders why that could not have been her.


No Offense to the Real Men in the House: A Belated Father's Day Note on this Testosterone and Beer-Filled Holiday.

“How did you get this gum?” my mom asked. I had gotten it all the way back to the, like tenth, house we had lived in with those uncomfortable new leather couches. “May I please come back to your store?” she made me ask a man with a tie. When I got home “Silly Love Songs” played while I cried about silliness I did not understand. Even Sean Cassidy could not console me from his postered state.

“Evil Boweevil” was his hit that flopped into unfortunance. “Real genius,” it has been called, in retrospect, while he made our lives a living hell. Safer to be his ally, my mother and brother I detested, as I secretly have security since.

I got lost on my way to school in Omaha again that day my mother pulled us from class to depart. Though I’ve seen him less than seventy-two hours since, his legacy is in my heart for me and my family to bear.

Thanks Dad.

Oh yeah, Happy Fucking Fourth of July!


Sunday, Bloody Sunday!

Afghans: 62 Taliban, 45 Civilians Dead

The fact that I could post this blog most any Sunday is the sad thing. Others have likely posted this video, one of my favorites by rx2008, in the past, but it is timely again today.

Since July 4th is right around the corner, I thought it my patriotic duty to compile some info here for anyone who might be interested in doing a small part in preventing the murder of foreign residents or of yourself or a loved one by the U.S. government.

My partner has been planning on going back to school for the last few years and we have had to consider how we would fund his delayed college education. He realized that he had no recollection of registering for the draft. (Though in some states, men are registered when they get their first drivers' licenses.) He called a selective service 1-800 number where he could find out definitively whether or not he'd registered. He called this number and entered his social security number, as he was instructed to do, and found out that he was not listed in the government's database as being registered, yet he was born well enough after 1960 that his information should have been transferred into the electronic system. He realized that he would not be eligible to receive federally funded student loans because of this. A few weeks ago, his father called him to say that he had found that pertinent draft registration documentation. Somehow, he had unknowingly registered for the draft, lost his documentation and then inferred he would get no student loans. If only he were that lucky. He found out about a selective sevice site and saw that he was, in fact, registered.

This is the proverbial rock and hard place and according to this site, Draft Registration is No Joke, achieving conscientious objector status is difficult and delaying registration is preferred. Here is a helpful conscientious objector site so that you can decide for yourself. Draft Registration is No Joke advises the preventative approach because once registered, changing your status is nearly impossible. Their solutions at that point are to fail the physical and avoid the letters as are those of draftresistance.org, so get informed.

Bush's war effort is running low on men and women. Let's hope that this mock draft directive does not become necessary. It's very funny, but scarily probable.

Even Cindy Sheehan gave up on her fight to convince Congress to end the war after they recently voted to continue funding.

Dennis Kucinich's and Ron Paul's were the only TWO votes against expanding our failing policies beyond Iraq recently by voting against the Rothman-Kirk Resolution article from The Larget Minority blog. Thank you Dennis and Ron. But, respectfully, Ron, I am voting for Dennis!