Friday, May 18, 2007

Suicide In My Family

Please pray for my family. Yesterday, my uncle decided to end his life. There just aren't any words to describe things right now. I don't know what to think or how to feel. My cousin is the one who found him in the garage where he had shot himself in the face. She's only fourteen. My aunt is having to deal with all of the tough decisions right now. I can't write any more right now. Maybe I'll write some more later on today. This is just so hard to bear.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Saga Continues

Over the weekend, a doctor at the local walk-in clinic prescribed a Medrol dosepak and some Vistaril to help with the itching and nausea. I stopped taking the Vistaril after Saturday night because it was making me delirious. Yesterday I woke up nauseous and vomiting. The German was able to get my rheumatologist to fit me in today. They had to push a bag of IV fluids into my arm because I was so dehydrated. They took five vials of blood and a chest x-ray. My rheumatologist works in the same office as my regular doctor (general practicioner) so I had to go and see her too. I was in the hospital from that morning until yesterday evening. The results:

They are going to look at what the tests show and then hold a consultation to decide on how to proceed next. Meanwhile, they prescribed some Phenergan to help with the vomiting. The doctor had written for me to get the suppositories but it might not have been clear because the pharmacist filled the prescription with the oral version instead.

They are very worried about the sudden weight loss I've experienced. I am worried about it too. Hopefully I'll feel better soon.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

"...And A Mere Child Shall Lead Them"

I don't know if all parents experience this but sometimes I go through periods when I really don't think my daughter pays attention to a word I say to her and then something happens and I realize that children are listening to what we say even when we're not talking directly to them at all and, if we are lucky, we may even get the chance to see them do things we might not even know they are capable of.

I spent all but a couple of hours in bed yesterday. While I was in bed, The German came and told me that I really needed to see what VanGoghGirl had just showed him. He said that she had written something on her blog that he thought I'd like a whole lot. It was a while before I was able to get up but when I did, I just had to shake my head and wonder why God saw fit to give me such a great kid.

Here is VanGoghGirl's take on what Native Americans, from yesterday through today have experienced and what she thinks about the current immigration issues:

Native Americans And Their Suffering

And while you're at it, check out another example of kids speaking out about in defense of human rights and dignity for all.

Courtesy of Nezua:

Kindergarten Class Pwns The MinuteMensos

Man, kids today are really amazing! I just feel bad that even the little children are talking about this stuff while so many of us--especially me--haven't "found the time" to speak out. What will these little ones think of us if they watch us witness all this injustice but never do or say anything about it?

Friday, May 11, 2007

A Small Request From Me

I know that some people who pass through here are religious or spiritual or otherwise hold some sort of belief in the power of intentions or well wishes. I am not doing so good right now. I've been having some health problems lately and I was kind of hoping that they'd go away without getting any more serious but that's not happening.

I'm having a lot of trouble with my gastro-intestinal tract. At first, I thought I was losing weight because I wasn't eating a lot of snacks as I have the tendency to do too often. However, I have been slowly losing my appetite altogether, not just for snacks. When I do eat, I become nauseous no matter what it is I actually eat. Even when I keep my food down, I can't keep it in me long enough to get much use out of it. As a result, my weight has just kept dropping and it's getting worse.

I've been having trouble sitting at my computer long enough to write very much. I have a dozen unfinished drafts that I couldn't sit long enough to complete. I plan to get around to them as soon as I'm feeling better but I'm just too fatigued right now.

Anyway, if you're the kind of person who meditates or prays or anything like that, I'd sure appreciate it if you'd keep me in mind. Today has been an especially bad day and I need and could use any help that whatever is greater than mankind can offer. Hopefully, my rheumatologists and other doctors will be able to get me through this quickly so that I can go back to gaining weight instead of losing it.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Thursday Thirteen Edition Five: 13 Boys & Girls I'm Totally In Lust With

Thirteen Boys & Girls I'm Totally In Lust With

1. Schleprock (Travis McCoy) from Gym Class Heroes
I totally fell in love with him I heard the song "Faces In The Hall". I love it when het black guys show that they aren't homophobic. The fact that he's kissing William Beckett in this linked photo just shows that he also has good taste in guys too.

2. Pete Wentz from Fall Out Boy
I can not tell you how many times I have googled this boy's pictures. He is the coolest emo kid in the scene, hands down. He's also known to kiss on boys every now and then. Can it get any hotter than that? I don't think so. Recently, they stirred up the right-wingers because of a comment Pete made at one of their concerts: "You can leave this show and say I think this guy is an arrogant jerk. Or think this band is better than this one -- because these are your opinions -- I understand that. The only thing we consider unacceptable is for you to engage in sexist, racist or homophobic behavior. If you do and want to continue to we don't want you as a fan -- return our merch and leave." Now some angry mom is harassing them for turning their concert into a "liberal homosexual rally" by giving his "personal political rally". F.O.B. says they stand by their statement.

3. Corinne Bailey Rae
This woman is exquisitely beautiful to me. Her songs are sweet and nostalgic. I couldn't imagine God making a more gorgeous woman than her. I hope I can see her in concert one day. I have this photo set as the background on my desktop.

4. Joshua Redman
Claim your five pounds if you know who this guy is without having to look him up. This Black Jewish saxophonist is also graduated summa cum laude from Harvard University and was accepted to Yale Law School. Instead, Josh wound up pursuing a career as a jazz musician after winning a prestigious jazz competition in the year before he was to begin at Yale. If you ever decide to buy any of his music, make sure you get the cd with the song "Last Rites of Rock 'N' Roll" on it. It sounds like a mixture of Ravi Shankar and John Coltrane. This multi-talented man really rocks my socks. I love jazz musicians! He's the hottest (most talented) jazz player since Wynton Marsalis.

5. Lenny Kravitz
When I heard he was moving to New Orleans, I could have just died on the spot. My youngest brother recorded some music with him about three years ago. I have a couple of, uh, interesting stories to tell about Kravitz but I can't put them on here because VanGoghGirl might one day read this and I sure don't want her knowing about it. I fell in love with Lenny when the "5" album came out. I was dating this chocolate-toned guy with the thickest head of dread locks that I had ever seen. We were addicted to that "5" CD. I was a virgin and he wasn't but he was cool with my decision to stay that way. Nevertheless, he still managed to be an excellent lover for as long as our tumultuous, on and off again relationship lasted. Every time I listen to Kravitz, I am reminded of him.

6. Patricia Velasquez
I first saw her play Ank Su Namun in the movie "The Mummy". She has the most amazing pixie eyes. I've watched that movie five or six times just to see her in it. I hope she stars in more movies in the future.

7. Thandie Newton
Okay, I have a thing for graceful necks. Her face is simply cherubic. It certainly doesn't hurt that she's got that cute little British accent.

8. The Artist Still Known As Prince
Face it. This guy is still the sexiest human being on the face of the planet. This man could talk me into doing anything as long as he played his guitar when he asked me.
(Update: Black Amazon just sent me this link to Prince giving an acoustic performance of "Cream" on MTV. Trust me, you want to hear this!)

9. Djimon Hounsou
This man looks like the good lord dipped him in milk chocolate and sent him down to earth just for me. His smile makes me absolutely melt.

10. Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock
I love this photo of him with the tattoos showing. I know it's old but that signature look he does by raising one of his eyebrows is still ├╝ber-sexy to me!

11. Omahyra Mota Garcia
She's a model from the Dominican Republic that she grew up in the U.S. She is usually dressed very androgynously and she works this look better than any other up and coming model currently on the scene. She also starred in Jay-Z's "Change Clothes" video.

12. Anthony Kiedis
This is the man who sang "Under The Bridge" while I was in my "experimental" phase in high school. I once got to see him play at Lollapullooza when it came to New Orleans one summer.

13. Naveen Andrews
Some people didn't know about him until he starred in "Lost" but I remember him from as far back as the movie "Kama Sutra" (which every person with a pulse should make it their duty to see at some point in their life). Is there any man on television today with glossier hair than Naveen?


Pharrell Williams

Billy Joe Armstrong

Johnny Depp

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

My Dad's Strategy For Feeding A Family Of Eleven

Man, Kactus just brought back so many memories with this post:

Food stamp Chronicles: The Meat Deal, It's A Big Deal

This reminds me of when I was a teenager. There were nine of us kids in the house (a step-family situation) plus my parents. My step-dad had eight kids total. Five of them moved in with us when my parents married. The other four of us were my mother's kids from her first marriage. You can probably imagine how stressed the hell out my mother was trying to adjust to having twice as many people to feed every night, especially since my oldest brother is the one who used to do most of the cooking when she was a single parent. Still, she did want to do the "Proverbs 31" routine. Incidentally, if anyone ever wants to get an understanding of how those fundamentalist groups convince the women to go along with sacrificing any secular ambitions just to stay at home, home school the kids, and sew matching outfits for all the children out of ugly dollar-store bedsheets, just read those verses.

Anyway, my mom gave it a good try but it really was too much work for her to deal with. Eventually, she informed my step-dad that he could choose. Either he could have a wife who goes to work five days a week or he could have a wife that cooks dinner every night. He chose to take over the cooking duties. Even today he happily refers to himself as my mother's "cooking wench". It wasn't that hard for him since he was used to feeding the multitudes every night as a single father.

We didn't get any food stamps because my parents had good jobs but it was still really expensive feeding that many people. I remember really early in their marriage my step-dad introduced my mom to the idea of buying food in bulk. Before my mom got re-married, we had only ever made groceries at the regular stores like Schwegmann's and Winn-Dixie. A pound of ground meat was more than enough for a meal when it was just the five of us. That sure wasn't going to cut it once we added six more people to the list, so my dad introduced a couple of changes around the house. He bought a big deep freezer and moved it into the garage. At first my mom didn't think we really needed one and I didn't see the point of it either.

Not long after that, my step-dad took us for a ride to this little whole in the wall place off of Franklin Avenue just before you reach the Industrial Canal. It's not a horribly poor area. Many of the working-class people in that neighborhood owned their own homes, but it was still a very low-income part of the city. A big percentage of folks had lived in that area their entire lives. People tend to stay in the same area for generations here in New Orleans.

We pulled up to the store in the big raggedy van that was the only vehicle we had that could seat almost all of us at once. I used to dread getting out of that van because it was so beat up. And then there was the fact that there were just so many of us! I mean, a room could be nearly empty before we get there and as soon as we walked in, it was instantly over-crowded. Still, this place was crowded even before we got there.

When we walked in people were barking out orders and negotiating deals and paying for goods. It was a neighborhood butchery. I didn't even know there were butchery shops in New Orleans. I'm guessing that most other folks that I knew were familiar with this place either, but it sure was popular with the people in that neighborhood. The butchers seemed to know nearly every customer in the store, including my step-father.

My mother looked as out of place as any person could possibly be. I was totally aggravated because of the noise level. The loud laughing and talking made me wince. My dad walked up and grabbed one of those little paper tickets that you pull out of the plastic case on the counter. When his number was called, he carefully pushed his way up to the high counter that separated the customers from the butchers.

On the wall behind them, there were signs announcing the different deals available that week. It wasn't like the deli at the old Schwegmann's grocery store, which was long closed by then but, as any one will tell you, had the best selection of meats to be found in all of New Orleans. In fact, my daddy--the biological one--used to work in the meat department at Schwegmann's a long, long time ago. At the butcher shop, you couldn't really buy sliced meat. Well you could, but you had to buy it in bulk and then they'd slice it for you for free. But it wasn't really a problem because, for the price you'd pay for a quarter pound of ham or turkey at the grocery store, you could buy an entire pound at the butcher-shop and I mean, how could you beat that sort of deal?!

My step-dad started asking my mother which deal she wanted to pick and what combination of cuts she preferred. She was looked at the board so incredulously. I was surprised too. You could all of the common man's food like pig tails and pickled meat (both used for seasoning in dishes like cabbage or white beans) but they also sold every sort of t-bone and tenderloin steak that a foodie could wish for. You'd pay more for those cuts but I'm sure it was less than what you'd pay anywhere else. After a little bit of discussion, my mom and dad told the butchers what they wanted. They chose one of the bigger package deals so that it would last us for a while.

One of the nice things that I remember about that place was that they always threw in a little lagniappe. This place was a poor man's paradise. Besides the deal they picked, the butcher also sold my dad a 10 lb pork roast for five dollars. Can you believe that? Ten pounds of meat for five dollars! I wasn't sure whether I was remembering correctly, so I called my dad tonight to ask him about it and he verified what I recalled.

I don't remember how much my step-dad spent that day but I do recall that he paid for his order with a hundred dollar bill and got change back. All of the older kids had to help carry the bags to the car. I remember riding home that evening with the bag of meat on my lap, smiling and thinking about how good we'd be eating for the next month.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Hillary Clinton Allies Herself With FireDogLake

The majority of the comments on this post are ridiculous. Even though the FireDogLake regulars may choose to remain unaware of why so many people have a problem with Clinton's guest-blog, those reasons still exist. The racist rants of David "T-Rex" Ferguson, Hamsher's completely disgusting and unprofessional responses to those progressives who dare to criticize her positions...Need I go on?

Clinton definitely sealed the deal with a lot of potential supporters by this latest move of her's but it's probably not in the direction that she wanted. When she and her husband held the liberal blogger's luncheon in Harlem back in September of last year, many of us in the blogosphere pointed out the quite conspicuous fact that there were absolutely no people of color or people with disabilities to be found at the event. When Peter Daou, who organized the event, claimed that this was just the first of many such events and that bloggers from these other groups would be among those in attendance, some were willing to give Clinton the benefit of the doubt. However, this never materialized and now, to top it all off, she goes and allies herself with the most blatantly racist elements of the democratic blogosphere.

I have to wonder, what does her campaign think this says to the more intellectual and/or informed Democratic bloggers? Did FireDogLake's support help Ned Lamont? That blackface picture is simply the one that got the most attention from the media; It's only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to ethnocentric, racist, and crude posts on FireDogLake.

As a feminist, I so wanted to see an intelligent woman like Clinton in the presidency. With regards to the Clinton couple, she is, in my opinion, the smarter of the two. However, being smart does not mean that you are concerned with the interests of people of color or people with disabilities. If the elections were held today, I see no reason to prefer Clinton above the other Democratic hopefuls.

Ignoring minority groups might not have made much of a difference in former races for the democratic nomination. However, with the presence and popularity of Barack Obama, she can ill afford to disregard them. Decisions like this one may well cost her a sizable chunk of voters. In fact, given her actions, I think she may well deserve to lose them to Obama.

Please Don't Assume I'm Miserable. Just Ask Me

Blue over at The Gimp Parade wrote an interesting post about "Gimp Etiquette". Lots of people chimed in with their views about what they prefer and how they think people should behave with respects to interactions with people with disabilities. One of the comments really irked me and I think that their sentiments are probably not as rare as I wish they were. I haven't quite decided whether this is only an internecine issue among the general community of people with disabilities but I suspect that if some of us with disabilities think like this then there are probably lots of non-disabled people who have similar views.

I decided to address her comment in the hopes that others will see that there is a diversity of views about this. People with disabilities are not some monolithic group. Some people who are deaf do not consider themselves disabled. Some do. Some people who have had limb amputations do not consider themselves disabled. Some do. Even among those who do consider themselves as having a disability, there are diverse opinions on topics like exclusion/inclusion, euthanasia, use of prostheses, and much more. In short, we are individuals.

I wanted to make that clear because people often try to find some rule that will apply to how they deal with all people with disabilities. Sadly, there are even some folks within the disability community that also have this tendency.

Blue had quoted my Similarities Between Being A Person Of Color & A Person With Disabilities post. In it, I discussed how I'd seen a couple of other people (on another blog) talk about their distaste for those strangers who sometimes approach them to ask questions about their disability and I wondered if the reason that I'm never bothered by these questions had to do with the fact that I'm from the south. Blue inquired about whether others had noted any regional differences in behavior and preferences. Sara, from Moving Right Along, commented on my view by saying,

However, just because someone is warm and friendly doesn't mean s/he's also polite and considerate, and bringing up another person's potential source of misery just because you're bored and want to talk seems wrong to me, even if it is culturally acceptable locally

Well, here's the problem with that: What's wrong depends, in large part, on where you are. Earlier in her comment, Sara mentioned

For a long time living in New England I stopped smiling and saying "hi," though, and got all furtive like, not everyone else here, but so many people. I had been rebuffed just smiling and saying "hi" so many times! But working retail I realized that the people around me were starved for kindness, just suspicious of strangers. They needed to see a motivation for the kindness or at least have it framed by a safe environment like a grocery store cash register before they could accept it. And then I realized that even though I'm a "foreigner" here, I had let local culture shrivel me. So I'm back to smiling and saying "hi" to everyone. And on a nice spring day, everyone smiles and says "hi" back. Almost everyone, anyway.

Now, personally, I don't mind people saying "hi" to me. In fact, I enjoy it. However, not everyone feels that way, regardless of the reaction that Sara says she usually receives. Reading her comment made me think about Eastern culture. In many societies, it would be rude and/or improper to smile at and engage in unnecessary speech with strangers even if you are behind a cash register. It's presumptuous to assume that people that one doesn't even know are "starved for kindness". Is there any reason to doubt that some people may actually prefer the customs that Sara criticizes?

When I first moved to Illinois, I was fresh out of the deep, deep south and coming from a social environment where chivalry was not just a nicety but actually a requirement. I was living in a co-ed dorm so there were plenty of male-female interactions. Plus, there were lots of great stores and I didn't have a car, so I did a lot of traveling on the "El" (elevated train) and walking downtown on the Magnificent Mile.

Down here in New Orleans, I used to catch the bus a lot. You could get all the way out to the surrounding cities via the bus for less than three bucks or you could get a pass and ride the bus all day long back and forth for about five dollars. During the years that I regularly rode the bus, I saw a lot of things. There were some rude people but most people were pretty well-behaved. Even an elderly man would try to get up to offer his seat to a pregnant woman. In contrast, I watched on the El as folks just watched a woman struggle standing up. But okay, maybe that's just the "plebs", right? Wrong!

The dorm I lived in was chock full of rich kids and the Mile was full of very ritzy stores. Now, where I'm from, people in that income bracket/social sphere are supposed to have impeccable manners but, to me, those people in Chicago were down-right rude. I was taught that men were supposed to open the door for women. Both genders were to open the door for the elderly and all adults were to hold the door for little kids. None of that seemed to apply up there. The boys I met had no idea what side of the sidewalk to be on when you walked with them and I never met a single student, female or male, from Chicago who knew that when a male and female are together, the male is supposed to go first when going down the stairs and the woman was to go first when they were going up the stairs. It might not seem important to most people but, as a girl who was coached on this stuff all throughout childhood, it was very easy to become frustrated with those who were not so trained.

I was thoroughly disgusted with the guys up there. To me, they were simply ill-mannered and should have been "raised better". However, in one conversation when I was talking with a girl from Chicago, I marveled over the fact that women up there just let men get away with not holding the door for them, she basically told me that she was far too busy to wait on a guy to open the door for her when she's trying to get some place. That was an epiphany for me.

They weren't rude nor were they wrong for not observing what I believed to be common courtesy. They just valued different things and they were following the rules of etiquette in that area. That's why I see Sara's statement as problematic. She's not from here, so it's not really sensible to try and apply her ideas about what's proper and improper to this obviously different culture.

Besides her view about what's wrong, there's also that other part of her comment where she mentions bringing up some one's "potential source of misery". The truth is, anything could be a potential source of misery, so if her principle were followed, one should never bring anything up with anyone. I understand that there are some things that people tend to associate with misery but I'm not so sure that I'm comfortable with the idea that having a disability is necessarily more likely to be a source in misery than other things one might have.

Sara goes on to mention a fellow New Orleanian blogger, Liz, who expressed delight over an incident where someone saw her post-chemo hair and recognized her as part of the "secret sisterhood" of people who have/had cancer. With regards to what Liz said, Sara mused that

If someone had said that to her while she was still in chemo, deathly sick, and still bald, I wonder how she would have responded...well, you know, she's in the south and seems like a generally friendly person, so maybe it wouldn't have fazed her, but I can't help but expect it would have charmed her somewhat less

Now, I have no idea how Liz would have felt but I've actually been in the situation that she posited. Despite what Sara expects, I really got a lot of comfort from the folks who could tell what was going on with me and took the time to give me a few words of encouragement. Many of those time, such interactions ended with me being given a hug. Upon meeting other people who have/had cancer, I really enjoyed congratulating them on surviving another day.

As a matter of fact, there were more than a couple of cashiers at Wal-Mart who stopped and gave me hugs even when it meant holding up the line for a second and I never heard a single customer complain. One of the cashiers broke down crying to me one day because her sister had just been diagnosed as having an incurable cancer and she didn't know what to say to her or how to talk to her and she didn't know anyone who could give her advice. By asking me about my cancer and getting a friendly response from me, she felt comfortable asking me about how to deal with her own sister. I feel like talking to her and comforting her was actually a service to another person in the "sisterhood" because her sister would benefit from having a sibling that had a better idea of how to effectively support her.

And you know what? It meant a lot to me that even random strangers would take a moment out of their day and say something kind instead of just turning away as if I were some hideous monstrosity. I'd rather deal with the folks who ask questions than the ones who just turn away as if I'm walking around smeared with poop on my face or something. Seriously, I detest the folks who do the "if I don't look at you, then maybe you'll disappear" reaction when I happened to be in close proximity to them. It reminds me of the folks who think that saying they "don't see color" or are "colorblind" when it comes to issues involving people of color.

I have a beautiful head. When I lost my hair from methotrexate, it seemed as if every single African boy on campus remarked on how pretty my new look was. Do you know how empowering it was to be seen as beautiful even while I was going through such rough times? At first I wore scarfs to cover my head but the confidence I gained from the supportive statements from others helped me to feel free to show my head as it was, to show that nothing about beauty is necessarily precluded by having cancer.

I wish I could say that Sara stopped there but, unfortunately, she didn't.

Generally, no matter where you live, I think it's best not to bring up hideous things like cancer to strangers who seem to be suffering with it, even if you've got it, too, and no matter how much you burn to express sympathy and/or support

That line really bugged me. Saying cancer is a "hideous thing" was pretty offensive to me. Cancer is a part of who I am just like being a person of color, being a woman, being a mother is also a part of my identity. While there can be some pretty awful things about it, I don't consider it to be hideous. I just wish she'd have put herself in my shoes. What if someone were to say that being a person with a prosthetic leg is a hideous thing? I'm thinking that she might not see it that way or appreciate having someone assume what her experience is like.

People who have it or any other nasty thing to deal with every day deserve any minute or two of their lives they can grab where they don't have to think about it, even if the rest of us are exploding with love and a desire to be of use

I know I enjoy the times when I don't have to think about my disabilities but I don't necessarily try to live my life thinking about it as little as possible. I actually see things quite differently from what she suggests. In reality, cancers like mine don't get nearly enough funding. The only way that will change is if it gets more attention. And guess what? Non-disabled people aren't exactly beating down the doors to spend their life fighting for stuff they know nothing about.

When people say "God bless you!" to me when I'm visibly disabled (sometimes my issues are not as apparent as on other days), unlike Sara, I actually LIKE it. I look at it like this: People down here are really religious (Louisiana ranked the highest of all the states when it comes to those who attend religious services weekly). When they say "God bless you" they are essentially wishing you the very best in all things. That's a sentiment that I can definitely appreciate from anyone whether I'm disabled or not.

While I was mid-treatment, I experienced a moment that will remain in my memory for the rest of my life. At an inter-faith social function, I happened to meet a rabbi who had also dealt with cancer himself. Rabbi Weinstein--who is one of the most ethical, compassionate, and intelligent individuals I have ever encountered--asked me if I minded and, after I assented, he offered up a Jewish prayer for healing and recovery for me in Hebrew and English. I'm not Jewish and he didn't know me at all but he took that opportunity to show me--a complete stranger--a measure of human kindness that the average person rarely gets to see from their fellow man. Do I wish that interaction had never happened? Do I wish he had ignored the fact that I was obviously dealing with a lot of issues that he could personally relate to? Not one bit!

I'd rather people ask me questions than to walk around thinking that my cancer makes me miserable. In fact, having cancer makes me feel more alive than I ever did before it. But you probably won't find that out if you decide that having cancer is miserable and any outward sign of its presence should be ignored. Often people aren't just ignoring it because they are trying to be polite. They are ignoring it because, for them, the idea of having cancer is so horrifying that they'd prefer for people like me not to talk about it with them.

So yeah, put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Return of The Geek Girl: Recharging Your Batteries Using Other Batteries

Don't even ask me where in the heck I found this. I couldn't even tell you. I'm fairly sure it was on someone's MySpace page--Yes, I do go slumming on Myspace from time to time. Anyway, I thought it was really neat and useful for those who feel a bit guilty every time they throw away batteries that aren't quite dead but lack enough "juice" to power the device you bought it for.

How To Recharge Batteries - video powered by Metacafe

Watering The Daisey

I know I might be pretty late in speaking up about this but I've been a bit under the weather for the past few days. I'll post about that in a minute. Anyway, there's this incident where an audience member comes up and pours a bottle of water onto the notes/script during a performance by the actor Mike Daisey. That doesn't really describe it all that well so you can check out what happened in the video below.

Okay, I totally disagree with the way this guy destroys Daisey's notes. I'm not a big fan of Thomas Kinkade (i.e. Painter of LightTM) but I certainly wouldn't dream of going to his gallery and destroying his art. That's basically the equivalent of what was done in this case. Now, that said, I put most of the blame on the folks who communicated about the content of the show before the school bought the tickets. The school officials should have done a better job of finding out what Daisey's show was like prior to purchasing the tickets and the box office staffer should have made it quite clear that this show wasn't appropriate for kids.

I know. I know. Some people might say I'm a prude. I'm well aware of the fact that not everyone has a problem with their kids seeing a show like Daisey's. Okay, that's fine with me. It's none of my business what other folks do with their kids. My problem is that I don't think that the school had any business bringing kids to a show like that. My opinion is that if parents wanted their kid to see Daisey's show, then they could take the child themselves. What was the purpose behind the trip? Did they think Daisey's content was related to some lesson they were learning at school?

Personally, I think that Mike Daisey's theatre performance was pretty dull but to each his own... My problem with him is how he behaved afterwards. One adult in this group acted inappropriately. However, calling a bunch of kids cowards and screaming at them just ain't right either. Nevertheless, I can understand why that happened. Daisey had just been assaulted and he was still reeling from what happened. Still, it wasn't exactly the children's fault that the adults in charge decided they should all leave.

Apparently Daisey got the impression that this was some Christian group that decided to protest his show. It turns out that they were simply from a public high school. On his blog, Daisey discusses how he later got in touch with the water-pouring audience member and, at the end of the conversation, decided to forgive him. However, the whole post seems to show that Daisey is just unwilling to let go of the idea that this incident was motivated by religion or religious "values" and from all that I've seen, this really doesn't seem to have been the case.

I dunno. It just sort of bugs me because I've been hearing so much about the seemingly never-ending Atheists versus Christians debate. I just don't think that they need any more fuel added to the fire right now. Please, let Kirk Cameron and Brian Flemming duke it out all by themselves. And on that note, I leave with a mind-numbingly boring lovely picture from Mr. Thomas Kinkade himself:

Wednesday, May 02, 2007