Monday, January 22, 2007

Why I Am Pro-Choice

I made a commitment to myself that I would blog about women's rights in a purely positive way today. Frankly, the anger that I feel knowing that there are those who want to relieve women of their rights makes that quite impossible. But, I'll do the best I can.

For me, the 34th anniversary of Roe v. Wade is a day for celebration. It's the anniversary of the day that my people were released from government-enforced slavery.

Oh, now I know that many who read this will think that I have a lot of nerve comparing women under compulsory birth laws to slaves. Let's think about that for a moment, shall we? What does one call a person who must submit herself entirely to the well-being of another, or risk death attempting to escape that 'duty'? What does one call a person whose wishes for the use of her own body are not considered in the decision-making process? Slave is a harsh word to use, but in this case it is also an accurate one.

There were photos online of protesters in Pennsylvania today, carrying signs that read "Your mother kept you." They're right, my mother did keep me. She had no legal choice in the matter, really. Women's reproductive functions were still the property of the state when I was born, just over one year prior to the Roe v. Wade decision. She could have broken the law, of course. Many did. Many even lived to tell about it. She could not have had an abortion after Roe v. Wade, because the cancer the doctors discovered in her uterus while she was carrying me was quite advanced by the time I was born, and her uterus came out just after I did. Frankly, it's a miracle she survived at all.

So, my mother did choose to carry me to term and raise me. She made that decision for all of my siblings, too. And, trust me, they are legion. Yet, she celebrates with me and my siblings today, because she knows that her daughters do not have to choose between respect for their own rights as full human beings, and respect for the law. We don't have to 'choose' to risk our own deaths and risk leaving motherless children behind because the doctors or the government or some schmuck with a collar says that's what's right. Whatever else we may encounter in our daily lives, we have the comfort of knowing that we have full custody of our own bodies.

Some people may show up at this blog and say that I should be grateful that my mother was forced to risk her life and the well-being of my siblings so that I might live. I would ask them to consider under what circumstances they would choose their own lives over the safety and well-being of their own mothers and their entire families. Not many, right? I mean, not if they're not totally horrible people. Had my mother NOT chosen -- under duress-- to carry me to term, I wouldn't have a single bad thing to say about her. She owed me nothing.

There are those who would like to reinstate that slavery, just as there have always been reactionaries after every major movement forward in human rights. Those people will spend today trying to convince lawmakers and homemakers alike that it is in the best interests of the nation, the family, and the once and now proposed slaves ourselves that we gild our shackles and wear them proudly. Fuck them.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Bad Medievalist! No Mead!

That's a sort of empty threat, as Mead is perfectly vile even in the best of circumstances. But I'm not sure the medievals had cookie technology, and I've never read "meanwhile, back at the cookie-hall," so it had to be Mead.

Anyway, those of you who are the observant sort will have noticed a Quitmeter counter added to the footer space. So far I have saved myself about 20 dollars by not purchasing tobacco products. Yay! The cheapness, it is often quite strong within me, and keeping track of money not spent is good motivation.

HOWEVER, apparently the end of week one post-smoking gets to be a little hairy, and I needed further motivation. So, as a reward for being such a good girl, I decided to wander around the local consignment shop and see if they had anything in the 20 dollar range with which I could reward myself. That way I would have something tangible and more pleasant than fierce cravings and an ironically worse smoker's cough to remind me of my commitment to stop smoking.

As I was about to leave, empty-handed, because the stuff in the 20 dollar range at a consignment shop is just as crappy as the stuff in the 20 dollar range in any other shop, I encountered a framed brass crypt rubbing of a Knight and Lady with some Latin along the bottom. (I haven't translated it yet) Had to have it, right NOW! before somebody else saw it and stole it from me, the dirty scoundrels. I now owe myself about 150 dollars -- yes, I was gyped -- and I have to decide which room it's least creepy to have a big crypt rubbing hanging in. I'm not creeped out by such things, I absolutely love them, but one must consider the guests sometimes.

What amazes me is how well I can 'reason' myself into following my impulses. I've spent the week mostly battling my inner addict, and all the obviously crazy reasoning that it threw at me, successfully. That seems to have weakened me, though. I had no desire to spend nearly ten times the amount I'd saved, but I saw something I wanted to own and all the tricks of my psyche came out to convince me to buy it. And this time *they* won.

Well, maybe the debt of honor will get me through the next several weeks of not smoking.

On an even lighter note, links to some stuff that made me do the wonderfully attractive laugh/snort found at We Have Pie Charts via Chris at Mixing Memory :

People Who Fight With Swords

Pirate Information

Thursday, January 18, 2007

HOLY COW!! Blogger Let Me Through!

I thought the Homeland Security folks had decided to minimize the public's exposure to navel-gazing fluff and memes and very rare attempts at medievalist rambling, and thus had cut off my blog access like a buncha filthy commies. (That's right, Skippy, I said "commies." Tell me how the NSA is different from the Stasi. Go on, I double-dog dare ya!) Turns out it was just a prolonged technological glitch, but I'm still keeping a close eye on those commie bastards at Homeland Security. Just in case they get ideas.

While I was on my unintentional blog hiatus, some very terrible things happened.

1) Ancrene Wiseass, the blogger who inspired me to to try my hand at this blogging stuff, and was the first to link to me so that others would even know this place existed, has decided she's taking a prolonged, perhaps permanent, leave from blogging herself. Thanks for everything, Wiseass, and good luck wrestling that bear.

2) Michael Berube decided to quit blogging, too. No more show trials, or fun, smart-alecky take-downs of critics who just don't get it, or ...look, I'm not even going to pretend I understood the music references. I studied classical voice when I studied voice, and I wouldn't know a punk-rocker from a prog-rocker if they were both wearing signs. But, it was kinda cool to be able to say, "Hey! I may be a stereotypically bookish dweeb, but those guys over there appear to know about cool stuff, so nyah!" This also means that I will never have the opportunity to say in comments, as I often wished, the thing that you say to your favorite drinking buds after they've made you snort Guinness in public. To wit: "You guys are dicks. I love that about you."

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

When Will I Learn?

New Kid does an OKCupid quiz and it seems fun, so I do it. And I'm foiled every time! But I keep doing it. There should be a pill for that.

You stick out like a sore thumb, with your social awkwardness and mildly neurotic behaviors--but you don't let it get you down! You are The Geek, and are here to prove that people who know the first 1000 digits of pi and try to woo dates by talking about calculators can be happy too! You have friends...and they are probably just as odd as you.

Your low anxiety score implies that you are able to relax, can enjoy the here and now, and have a healthy amount of self-confidence.

Your high awkwardness score implies that you are socially inept, probably stick out from the crowd, and perhaps feel uncomfortable in large groups of people, such as at parties.

Your high neuroticism score implies that you exhibit neurotic behaviors--probably fanatic obsessions, counting compulsions, or other geekish tendencies. You may know every word to LOTR, or draw anime of all your friends.
The Geek
You scored 45 anxiety, 57 awkwardness, and 57 neuroticism!

Link: The Neurotic Test written by littlelostsnail on OkCupid, home of the The Dating Persona Test

Not that I should be surprised by the results, I am the woman who still harbors a secret crush on this guy:

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Happy New Year!

Hi folks! Hope everybody had wonderful holidays. I had lots of fun with the wee ones, and ate so many Christmas cookies that I will probably be spending the next two weeks in elastic waistbands. Better living through the invention of rubberband pants!

I'm now stopping at home for a moment of stillness and privacy between visits to family.

I do have one complaint about the holiday season. Before I left I made sure that the local felons who attempted to break into my apartment the day I returned from Christmas visiting last year would have an extra day to do so, and a nice clean and comfortable place to ransack. (I also removed all my easily carried valuables, including my computer tower.) These are not the smartest of felons, clearly, because they had a loud argument on my front porch last year about 'whether we should go through with it' when somebody 'thought that car wasn't here yesterday.' That somebody was right, of course, and I was waiting at the top of the stairs with my umbrella and hammer in hand, ready to do battle. Yeah, yeah, I know. Unsafe. I've always been more brave than intelligent, and there doesn't seem to be a cure.

Anyway, this year I decided that robbing me would absolutely serve them right. I'm a grad student. Hello. I threw my fancy earrings in my handbag, and my computer tower in the trunk of my car, and that was the end of my hockable belongings. Still, attempted felonies do not excuse poor hostess skills, so I left a sparklingly clean place, and a number of snacks and beverages on the kitchen counter. And, after all my elaborate efforts to secure my fortune and my reputation, they didn't even bother to show up this year. I call that rude.