November 30, 2004

A Good Week in Blogland

First Julie has her baby, and now Grrl's gestational surrogate is PREGNANT!!! How awesome is that? Okay, now I don't want to totally jinx it for her, and those three exclamation points are definitely bordering on too much positive thinking, so that's it. No more celebrating.

Fucking Fuck

This news brief was the first thing I saw online when I booted up my computer this morning. I'm trying not to freak out, because really there's no reason the King would have been flying yesterday. None. For sure. Fuck. I'm trying really hard not to get hysterical, because I know he's fine and I'm sure I'll hear from him soon. I got an e-mail from him this morning (just after I read that damned article) saying he's well and has been busy, and that it's raining there. It was written before the plane crash, though, so of course I'm still totally freaked out. He would have mentioned it, I'm sure, if he was flying anywhere. Unless he kept it from me because he wouldn't want me to worry. There's no point in crying and throwing things at the wall now, because the soonest he could possibly contact me would be if he called late tonight, and that's unlikely given the poor phone situation there, so more likely he might be able to e-mail me tomorrow. So until then, I might as well just not worry. Yeah right. Fuck.

November 29, 2004

Get Off My Land, Crazy Lawn Man

My next-door neighbor is a very nice man. He lets us borrow his ladder, invites us to parties when they're going to be loud so we won't complain (and provides free beer), and seems to be a good father and husband. He is also very slightly obsessed with lawn care.

His lawn is green and lush, and is mowed twice a week without fail. He's owns more than one type of lawnmower, plus an assortment of clippers, shears, and other scary implements that he then uses to hand-trim the bushes and trees in his yard.

The right side of our house borders his property, and there is no fence in the front yard. Therefore, we have about a five-foot wide strip of lawn that touches his. When we first bought the house, it was brown and overgrown, and very embarrassing compared to his perfectly green, perfectly trimmed lushness. So we fertilized and mowed and generally got it looking pretty fabulous, all due to the King's hard work.

Fast forward to today. The weatherman is predicting snow on Sunday. It's been barely above freezing at night all week. The leaves have fallen, and because I am lazy and also because I believe in letting nature pretty much do her own thing, I didn't rake them. So they were lying on the grass, which is now a tad shaggy, but mostly just dry and dying because winter is coming, and that's what happens in winter. Everyone accepts that, right? In winter, you no longer need to mow your lawn, because it stops growing when the ground freezes.

Except my neighbor. Today, while I was at work, he mowed my lawn. That's right. He mowed his own lawn (presumably being careful not to mow down his Christmas decorations, which went up yesterday right on schedule), and when he was done with his part, he just kept on going, right onto our lawn. He did the entire half of the yard that abuts his property. There are now no leaves, and the mostly dead grass is shorn off. It's neat and it looks good, and it matches his yard perfectly.

I'm trying to be nice about this. I'm trying to be the bigger person. I'm trying to think he was just bored, or he knows the King is overseas so he figured he'd be sweet and help me out by mowing it for me. Really, I'm trying to tell myself that. But it's no use. I know why he did it. And I'm pretty goddamned offended by it. Because, really, this is it: He did it because my yard was not pretty enough to be next to his yard. Yes he did. What the fuck kind of person does that???

You Learn Something New Every Day

I learned a new word today, the name of a surgical term: labioplasty. Labioplasty is the cutting off of parts of one's labia minora so they are smaller and don't poke out from the labia majora. For an illustration (you may want to make sure no one else can see your monitor) see here. The primary reason for labioplasty is that some people (or, perhaps, their husbands) don't like the way their labia look after they've given birth. According to one plastic surgeon, "Many women bring us Playboy and say that they want to look like this." Seriously, how fucked up is this? I thought I'd heard it all with tummy tucks, chin lifts, and calf implants, but no. You just had a freaking baby--do you really want your vagina to look like that of a thirteen-year-old girl?? Why do women do these kinds of things to themselves?

November 28, 2004

Happy, Happy Holiday News

Batman has arrived! Julie and Paul must be so, so thrilled that he or she is here and doing well. I hope they are doing well, too--this must have been a bit of a shock, but even though the baby is a tad early, well, maybe that just means he or she will be advanced for its age! (No, I don't know yet whether it's a boy or a girl.) I'm so, so happy for them--they've had such a long, hard trip, and they wanted this baby so very much. Hopefully soon Julie or Paul will be back in blogland to tell us all about their baby themselves. Until then, a great big CONGRATULATIONS to them!
Updated to include:

There's another baby to report! Squid's new baby girl arrived yesterday as well! Much congratulations to her, and let's hope little Iz and Leelo are nice to their new baby sister! I know she's worried about the 1 in 20 chance that baby Mali will have autism like Leelo, so many good thoughts go out to her and her husband that all will be well.

November 25, 2004

When Art Imitates Life

Last week, I watched the pilot episode of House, MD, the new medical show. I don't think I'll be watching it again. Basically, it's about an arrogant, prick doctor who treats his patients like mentally deficient three-year-olds who should be verbally abused for daring to waste his precious, doctory time by hassling him with their medical problems. Thanks, I get enough of that at my RE's office.

Gobble Gobble

Happy Thanksgiving Day! Or, Happy Beginning of the End for the American Indian Day, if you prefer the less P.C. version. Am I the only dork who's bloggin on Thanksgiving? It's an odd sort of day for me--I'm home alone. The King and I have spent lots of holidays apart, and Thanksgiving really isn't a big deal for us, so I don't mind that much that he's not here. Primarily, it saves me having to drive 12 hours to Georgia to eat turkey with my in-laws. However, normally when he's overseas during a holiday, I go home to my family. But since I just went home a couple of weeks ago, I decided not to fly back there again now. Turns out it was a good decision, given the crappy weather and crazy delays at airports we had yesterday, but it's still a bit odd to be home by yourself on a holiday. In fact, it's my first time at it (except for one New Years Eve in college, and to be honest, I was pretty much drunk the whole night, so it hardly counts). But I don't mind. I'm having dinner with a very cool neighbor this afternoon, and her husband is from Hawaii, so they are making a traditional kalua pig (the kind you bury in the ground and cook for like twenty hours, except they're doing it in the oven, which is good, as it's raining out right now) along with the turkey. I always harass him to tell me all about Hawaii and what living there will be like. So I won't be totally on my own, and for the rest of the day, well, Netflix has provided me with six episodes of Nip/Tuck to thrill myself with. Rock on! Happy Turkey Day, everyone!

November 24, 2004

More Guilty Pleasures

I've just discovered my new favorite blog, Go Fug Yourself. Not only are the comments every bit as funny as the posts, but I have a secret addiction to looking at pictures of celebrities when they look like crap and making fun of them. Okay, maybe it's not that secret. Also, I love that this blog proved that I'm not the only one who thinks Anthony Kiedis's hair has gotten just really, really hideous. So sad, too--he used to be so, so, so very hot.

Very Quiet, Very Discreet Congratulations

I hadn't planned to post today, primarily because I am boring, secondarily because I just weighed myself and now feel like I need to go out and buy those appetite suppressing diet pills that are really just packed-together speed in a gelcap, and thirdarily because I'm supposed to be making lasagne for Thanksgiving tomorrow. (I know, the irony of the lasagne and the diet pills.) However, then I read this post, and I just had to jump up and down a tiny, tiny little bit, because NBHHY* for Getup Grrl, and she so, so deserves for it to continue not happening.

* Nothing bad has happened yet.

November 22, 2004

I Eat Like a Three-Year-Old, Redux

I often eat macaroni and cheese when I'm dining alone. It's never the good stuff, with the creamy cheese in those little silver packets, oh no. It's got to be Kraft, with the powdered cheese, in the blue box. And only the original, not those newfangled spirals and dinosaurs and crazy Spongebob shapes. No, I'm not down with the modern mac'n'cheese, it's the O.G. gangsta mac for me or nothing at all.

Once I've made the macaroni and cheese, I sprinkle a healthy dash of Lawry's Seasoned Salt on it. Don't ask me why, that's just how it's done at my house. Always has been. Then I eat it, normally, for the most part, but several times during each meal, I have to enact a special ritual that I have performed every time I've eaten mac'n'cheese since I was a little girl. I have to slide four macaronis onto the fork, one on each tine. And no fair using your hands for this--you've got to catch a macaroni on the end of the tine, then use the side of the bowl to push it on. And all the way, with no macaroni dangling off the end of the fork. Some of the macaronis are too curved and will split, so the ideal is a shortish, fairly straight macaroni. Once you get all four mounted on the fork at once, you put the fork in your mouth and use your teeth to pull off all four at once, and eat them.

How much of a freak am I? Do you think the fork-mounting macaroni are some kind of weird, subconscious, prepubescent sex thing?

November 21, 2004

Things That Make Me Want to Vomit

This story, courtesy of this week's News of the Weird. Chuck Shepherd, please don't be mad that I borrowed this story, but I couldn't find the original links to it online at AP or the Raleigh News and Observer:

North Carolina state Sen. Sam Ellis' bill to change a section of state law that actually gives an enormous right to rapists failed in committee this year, with the result that some rapists may inevitably go free. If a rape victim chooses to carry her baby, and then place it for adoption, state law requires that both parents agree to the adoption in writing, with no exception for babies conceived by rape. Thus, rapists might withhold their consent, thwarting the mother's wishes, unless she agrees not to press charges for the rape. According to a September Raleigh News and Observer story, at least three women have recently been in that situation. [Raleigh News and Observer, 9-6-04; Associated Press, 7-17-04]

If you live in North Carolina, could you please write to your state senator/representative, and tell him or her now revolting this is? Thank you. [end public service address]

November 20, 2004

Goddamned Crappy United Nations Flight Schedules

The King just called. He's not coming home when he was scheduled to. His homecoming has been pushed back about two weeks, to the first week in February. Damn it. I'm not shocked, and I guess I should remember it can be much worse--the last time he was in Afganistan, his homecoming was pushed back by two months. But it's still really, really annoying. Looks like I'll be selling our house by myself, just like I bought it by myself, last time he was in Afganistan. There's a certain sucky balance in that.

Other than the yucky news, he's doing well. It's late at night there, and I have no idea why he was calling me (although it was totally sweet), because he's planning to get up at 4 am to watch the Busch car race live, and then staying up to watch the final NASCAR race of the season in the evening. So it'll be a long day for him, but he loves racing more than just about anything else except me and the Corvette he used to own.

All right, I've got to go change the date on my countdown sidebar. Damn it.

November 18, 2004


I live in Virginia, near towns called things like Accokeek and Occoquan. I love the crackly taste of their names in my mouth, all those carefully delineated syllables. Our town goes by the far more pedantic name of Dale City--could it get much more white bread than that? I grew up in Southern California, where all the roads and towns have Spanish names like El Camino Real, the Road of the King, which if you pronounce it with the proper rolling r, sounds very royal indeed, and El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Angeles, the City of the Queen of the Angels, which always sounds like a melody to me, like the babbling of a syncopated river, even if you only call it by it's shorter pseudonym, Los Angeles.

November 17, 2004

And Now, on a Cheerier Note

On the airplane, as the stewardess approaches with the drink cart...

Youngish mother sitting next to me: Sam, honey, what do you want to drink from the nice lady? You can have whatever you want, sweetie boy!

4-year-old Sam: Milk, mama! I want milk!

Mother: Honey bear, you already had milk twice today. I think it's time for some juice. How about juice, sweetie?

Sam: Milk, mama! I want milk! You said I could have anything I wanted!

Mother: You can, baby! You can have anything you want. As long as it's juice.

November 16, 2004

The Worst Thing

I've been preparing myself to write this post for a long time--as long as I've had a blog, really. It's really hard for me, but I think it's finally time for me to address the biggest source of pain in my life. All you infertility folks who probably think I'm a dork for writing about infertility when all I've done is a round of Clomid, well believe me, I really do belong in the Barren Bitches Brigade, I just make up for a lack of miscarriages and years of IVF with a whole other kind of sorrow.

My mother is dying.

Fuck, I actually wrote it. I've never said the words out loud, although I think them constantly, dozens of times a day. I wasn't sure I'd actually be able to type them. I'm crying as I write this, though, so it's not without difficulty.

She's not dying today or tomorrow, but someday soon. I guess in the metaphysical sense, we're all dying, but my mother's death has a name. Alzheimer's. Rare, early-onset Alzheimer's that is frequently passed on through families, to be specific. After three years of misdiagnosis and random drugs given to treat hormone imbalances, weird menopause symptoms, and a host of other meaningless "illnesses," a year ago this month my father called to tell me that my mother had Alzheimer's. The King and I went out to Romano's Macaroni Grill that night for dinner. I haven't been able to eat there since.

For the past year, I've tried to come to grips with it. She's had symptoms for almost five years. The average Alzheimer's patient lives for eight years with the disease. Of course, the average patient also doesn't get Alzheimer's until he or she is about 70. My mother started forgetting things when she was 50.

I try to tell myself that I probably won't get it, that she probably doesn't have the genetic kind, because she has five siblings who are okay, and her parents didn't have it. She did have an uncle who had the regular, late-onset kind. I try not to think about that too much. Because it's incurable, you see. So I just try to tell myself it's not worth worrying about, because if it does happen, I can't stop it. I tell myself that I'm only 27, that even if I got it at 50 like she did, that still gives me 23 years with my husband, and to raise my children, if I ever have any. I try not to think about the King telling my 23-year-old child that his mother is going to start forgetting how to order meals in restaurants, and how to flush the toilet, and what his name is. I think that the first time my mother cannot remember my name, I might die myself.

I'm finally posting this because I hope it might help me face it better. I already cry every day a little for her, so crying while I type is not that hard. I find myself hideously jealous when I hear people say things like my sweet coworker, when I asked her how her day off went, and she said, "Great! My mom and I went and got facials at a spa; you know, that whole mother-daughter bonding thing." And I smiled and nodded like I knew, but I don't. My mother never did things like that with me; we had a lot of tension between us, and I always thought in a few years, we'd have one of those heartfelt moments where I apologize for all the crap I gave her as a teenager, and she hugs me and says she's sorry she couldn't accept my living with my boyfriend in college, and then we'd go to a spa and get facials. But now we never were.

I'm also hideously jealous of Getup Grrl, with her wonderful mother, who I wish was my mother so much. So because I feel guilty about feeling jealous, I'm going to emulate the better type of person (that would be Grrl), and try to find the humor in the whole dying-slowly-of-a-calcifying-brain thing. Cut me some slack if it's not funny; this is my first try:

Top Ten List of Why Infertility Is Like Alzheimer's Disease

10. Your doctor administers many painful and embarrassing tests, tells you he cannot give you a specific diagnosis and has no idea how to cure you, and then says that will be $500, please.

9. Your insurance company tries to avoid paying the $500 by saying that you have a preexisting condition that they don't cover. You say you're thinking of blowing up their building.

8. Your doctor instructs you to shoot very expensive, barely tested drugs into your body or swallow them although he has no idea what's actually wrong with you. And you do.

7. You wander in and out of the bathroom mumbling to yourself and pulling your hair out because (a) you can't remember why you were going in there, or (b) the fucking OPK stick is negative for the eighty-ninth day in a row.

6. Your body changes freakishly and you get fat or skinny, and you are either always too cold or always too hot, because (a) you are bloated due to the damned injections, or (b) you can't remember to eat.

5. People avoid you because they're afraid that whatever is wrong with you might be catching.

4. You curse loudly in front of small children because, at this point, why the fuck not?

3. Your husband starts giving you baths because he's afraid you might drown yourself in the bathtub if left alone too long on a bad day for either (a) your dementia or (b) your beta test.

2. Your family members give you ass-heady advice, such as "Take a vacation," "Eat more vitamins," or "Maybe more exercise will shake those plaques in your brain loose!" Fuck off, stupid people. I hate you.

1. They both suck.

In Which I Brag About My Husband Ad Nauseum

Good morning, everyone! Thanks for waiting so patiently for me to get home from my endless trip. I'm finally back and trying to pretend that it wasn't 2:30 in the freaking morning Pacific time when my alarm went off this morning. I had a decent trip home yesterday, except for the 4-year-old boy in my row who, when we began descending for landing at Dulles, began shrieking, "We're falling out of the sky! We're going to crash!" Even more alarmingly, he was laughing hysterically and seemed thrilled about the whole thing. His vegan, curly-haired mother responded, "Sam, honey, shh. The other people on the plane don't like to hear that. Honey, shh!" It didn't work, and he continued predicting our imminent deaths for 45 minutes. Then we landed and he jumped on my head in an attempt to be the first one off the plane. Cute kid.

So anyhow, I promised you an update on the King, so here it finally is. First of all, he's doing well and is more or less safe. He's been gone nearly a month out of the three that he's scheduled to be gone, so I think I'm safe to 'fess up to where he's been. I'm sure most of you have assumed he's in Iraq, but actually he's not: He's in Afganistan, specifically in Kabul, which is the capital. The reason I couldn't tell you that before is because his job is this fancy high-security super-secret thing (no, I'm not breaking any laws by putting this on the Internet, I promise). You're probably thinking, "What a pretentious bitch, making her husband sound all important and making us think he's off getting shot at in Iraq like all the real soldiers." My apologies; I'm really not pretentious and he really does have a pretty important job in the area of security. And it is dangerous there, although CNN has stopped bothering to report on Afganistan--it's old news, right? Two days before the King flew over there, a suicide bomber detonated outside the building he's working in. Nice.

He was there once before, two years ago. He was sent to Afganistan two weeks after our wedding, just a few days after we got home from our honeymoon. He was gone for three months that time too, during which I sold our house, bought a new one, and moved all our belongings into it. I also very nearly had a nervous breakdown from sheer terror--I didn't sleep more than two or three hours a night the entire three months. It's better this time, but I don't know how the families of the men in Iraq do it, especially when they've been there FOR OVER A YEAR. It's just insane.

But I digress. So, he's over there now, doing his fancy schmancy security thing in the interests of national security. Or so they tell me. He got a terrible flu the first week he was there, but assured me that he'd gone to the doctor and gotten some antibiotics:

Me: "Good, I'm glad you're taking some medication to get better. Be sure to take all of it--don't stop until you run out of antibiotics."

Him: "Yeah, it was weird though. The doctor had to send all his real drugs to Iraq because the guys there don't have enough supplies, so he bought my antibiotics from some Pakistani guy he met on the street."

No, I'm not kidding. Please write President Bush and thank him for his part in making my husband take medications that will probably cure his cold but give him cholera.

November 15, 2004


It's Sunday night, and tomorrow I head home to Virginia after ten days on the road. I have a long, confessional post to write, and I'll try to get it done tomorrow night, but it'll more likely be Tuesday before I can work myself up for it. Being on vacation has killed my complexion, as usual, so I feel that tomorrow night will involve spending at least thirty minutes with my face slathered with $18 Origins black charcoal mask, which turns me into a terrifying Halloween mask for a while and then leaves my skin feeling oh-so-soft. Also, I'll be shaving my legs for the first time in almost two weeks, as I forgot a razor and was too cheap to spend $6 for one at the hotel in Beverly Hills. Oy vey, the King would say. "Baby, that's gross. Don't tell me things like that." I can hear him now.

I'll try to pick up some good Overheards at the airport tomorrow, but since it's going to be like 6:00 in the morning, I don't have a lot of confidence that my brain is going to be working well enough for that. So in the meantime, if you have any good ones, please share them! Leave them here or write me at blogqueenie @ (How much of a slacker am I, getting other people to write my blog for me?)

November 13, 2004

Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are

Someone from Eugene, Oregon, has recently discovered my blog, and read pretty much every page in it in the past two days, according to my statistics counter. He or she has driven my page hits way up, and I appreciate the attention immensely, but I have an ex-boyfriend (THE ex-boyfriend, I should say, as in the one I thought was "The One," before I found the Actual One, the King) who lives near Eugene, and I'm wondering what the chances are that it's him. Greg, is that you out there?

November 12, 2004

Why CNN Sucks

I just had to post really quickly to vent about how much I hate journalists--they are incredibly biased and inaccurate. Normally I try to just ignore them, but I just couldn't let this sentence, about a 57-year-old mother of twins, go:

"She gave birth Tuesday by in-vitro fertilization at New York City's Mount Sinai Medical Center."

Ahem. She gave birth by in-vitro? What kind of stims do they give you for that protocol?


So, 18 of our soldiers were killed on Veteran's Day this year. I believe we're up to 23 as of this morning, with almost 200 wounded, and who knows how many hundreds of Iraqi people killed. I weep for our men more, of course, but I always remember that every one of those Iraqis have families just like our soldiers do. Kitten reminded me that I haven't updated about the King in a while--thanks for thinking of him. I can't tell you how supportive it feels to know that someone besides me is thinking of him. I promise to give a thorough update once I get home from this so-called vacation on Tuesday. For now, though, suffice it to say that he's safe and well, and thankfully, far, far from Fallujah. I wish I could say the same for all the rest of our friends and heros.

November 11, 2004

Family Ties

As promised, I'm back again. I'm sneaking some time in at my parents' ancient computer, trying not to go blind staring at their old-fashioned monitor--I've gotten totally spoiled by my flat screen at home. Their curved screen is making me go all cross-eyed.

I grew up less than 50 miles from Hollywood and Beverly Hills, and lived here for 22 years. I never once met a celebrity, except for sitting next to Sigourney Weaver in a movie theater in Santa Barbara once and seeing Ricky Schroeder at a LA Kings hockey game (does he count as a celebrity?). However, I have now officially met someone famous. Ming Na, the female Chinese doctor who had a baby a few seasons back on ER, showed up at my booth at our conference and introduced herself to me! We shook hands and chatted. She's interested in writing a children's book for us. I was totally cool and pretended I had no idea who she was.

Okay, that's a total lie. I turned around from helping a customer, saw her, and shrieked, "You're famous!" while pointing at her and jumping up and down. I'm not kidding, I actually did. And she was only like three feet away, so it's not like she didn't see me. I'm now totally embarrassed. But after that first shock, I was cool as a cucumber.

Someone else said they saw Mel Gibson dropping someone off at our hotel, but I missed that. To be honest, I would have preferred to have gotten to shake (okay, lick) his hand. Sorry, Ming.

The conference went well. We stayed at the Beverly Hilton, which was fabulous--chocolates on the pillow, terrycloth robe in the closet, Nintendo in the room ($6.95 for an hour), a balcony, and a pool heated to the temperature of a bathtub. I loved it, although I will say it was totally chintzy that they didn't have HBO. What's up with that? I was completely counting on finally getting to see uncut episodes of Sex and the City. We used to have HBO, but when Sex and Oz went off, we dropped it.

I got room service the first morning. It arrived on a table covered with linen. There was a rose in a vase, chilled juice, and a teeny weeny bottle of ketchup that I was seriously tempted to keep as a souvenir. And a very, very hot waiter in a tuxedo. Seriously. I almost threw him down on the bed, but 7:15 am seemed a little early for that sort of thing. And I hadn't brushed my hair in two days, so he probably didn't feel the same way about me. His loss, I say.

The King told me not to start expecting him to throw on a tux and bring me breakfast in bed, but since he forgot our anniversary last year, I'm pretty sure he's going to have to put up and do it at least once in the near future.

Ooh, I think Mom and Dad are back from their appointment. You know how when you go home, you instantly remember every distinguishing sound in the house? The toilet dripping, the annoying chirpy bird that lives outside your old bedroom window, the creaky floorboard in the kitchen? Well, I just heard the garage door open, so I must run and get dressed, because they want to take me to Uncle Herb's, the best diner this side of the Mississippi. And it's not just the best because they have a little train that runs around the walls, although I admit that I totally, totally love that little train.

November 10, 2004

Country Roads, Take Me Home

Or in this case, it was the 405 Freeway that took me home. That's right, the conference is over and now I'm at my parents' house for four days. Their Internet hookup is ungodly slow, so I can't do much on here, but I promise to tell you all about the conference soon. Let me tantalize you by saying that there is nothing more awkward than going to a racy Hollywood comedy club with two devout Mormons who are trying to schmooze you for a book discount for their publishing company.

November 05, 2004

And I Thought Kids Shooting Each Other in School Was Bad

I love our military and my soldier husband, and generally I am so proud of him and everyone else who serves. But sometimes I just have to say, seriously, what the fuck???

Non Illigitimus Carborundum*

Blogger is sucking hard today--sorry for the late post.

In honor of Grrl's new Trollies, the award for jerks who offend and hurt people's feelings in their blog comments, I've discovered this, the best of all websites. There is also this, which does not include as many insults, but really, how can you not love a site that tells you how to say "Stand aside, little people! I am here on official business!" in Latin?

In other news, there is a Twilight Zone marathon on Sci-Fi today, and because I'm working at home, I got to watch it on my lunch hour. I would like to propose that there has never been a better tv show committed to film than the Twilight Zone. It's just brilliant.

And in yet other news, I'm packing. Tomorrow morning I'll be heading off to my home state of California. I have to work at a conference in Beverly Hills for a few days and then will be spending the rest of the week visiting my parents. However, I will have Internet access the whole time, and I'm sure the conferees will provide me with many funny items for the Overheard column, such as:
"Where do I register?"
"See the huge sign hanging from this desk that says 'Registration Desk'?"
"Well, does that give you a clue?"

Now, I shouldn't be mean. The conference is about adoption, specifically how to make the adoption system in this country better, fairer, and more positive for the children and parents, both birth- and adoptive, involved. I often dislike working for a nonprofit, particularly when I contemplate not having had a raise for the last three years because we have, um, no profits, but we really do some good work sometimes. Hopefully this will be one of them.

* Don't let the bastards get you down.

November 04, 2004

I Just Can't Help Myself

I have a secret addiction, and I'm finally ready to 'fess up to it, here in front of the whole world. (Or at least the few people who read my blog.) Here it is: I love America's Next Top Model. It's the only reality show I watch--I think reality tv, in general and including Top Model, is complete dreck. I'm embarrassed to admit to it, but I just can't help it. Please don't tell anyone; I promise to get help.

The thing is, it's so, so empowering. Basically, you've got a bunch of tall, thin, beautiful young women all living together in a little apartment, sharing bedrooms and couches and showers. It's pretty much your typical porno fantasy land. (There was a recent episode where they all put on teeny weeny bikinis and got into a very small bubble bath together.)

And they're all extremely beautiful and thin...and miserable. They cry in every episode. They go through humiliating scenes of measuring the width of their thighs or staring at their pores in the mirror. They eat low-carb brownies and sigh over how many calories ketchup has. I watch them and I think, "Ha! You stupid, pretty girl! My mother was right--being beautiful doesn't make you happy!" I know, it's anti-feminist to laugh at them and make fun of them. Undoubtedly I should be sending them e-mails via UPN's website and recommending that they meditate and read Saving Ophelia, but really, fuck it. They need to grow up and get a life. Sorry, girls, you might be pretty, but you aren't women yet.

November 03, 2004

Send in the Clowns

So, hopefully soon Kerry will concede and we can all go on with our lives. That will be a little sad, but not unexpected, at least for me. I didn't watch most of the returns last night; I was exhausted, so I watched until they were about tied, with about 100 electoral votes each, then I crashed. Lo and behold, they were still tied this morning. No shocker there.

There was one big thing that disturbed me, though. I'm fully aware that the Bush campaign worked very hard to get out what they refer to as the "evangelical Christian" or "Christian Right" vote. Those are what the rest of us refer to as "crazy fundamentalist fanatics." That's right, let's get out the fanatic Christian vote! They're the ones best suited to telling the world that fanatic Muslims are wrong and shouldn't hate us! That makes perfect sense!

Well, apparently they did a pretty good job of getting the folks who think evolution is a joke to the polls. That's fine, they're Americans too, they get to vote. What alarmed me was the election of three new members of the House of Representatives. I think two of them are from Texas, but don't quote me on that. In any case, here is what these three new men believe:

Rep 1: No gay people should be allowed to teach in schools.
Rep 2: No gay people or unwed mothers should be allowed to teach in schools. (There was no word on his opinion about whether unwed fathers would infect our children with their moral turpitude.)
Rep 3: Any women who has an abortion should be eligible for the death penalty.

So, that's nice. I'm seriously considering joining Mollie at Greener Pastures and moving to Canada. The King and I have talked about it before, semi-seriously, but have never really given it too much thought because neither of us like being cold. But I just don't know if I can continue to live here if the move toward fundamentalism in our government continues. I know it's normal for historical shifts like this to happen, but I don't want to live through one. Besides, the Canadian national anthem is so nice, and their flag is pretty, too. So who's with me?

November 02, 2004

This Is the End

Of the election season, I mean. Not of my life, or the world, or anything like that. So go vote! I honestly don't care who you vote for. I'm a Kerry girl myself, but as long as you vote, that's fine by me. I'm just hoping one of them wins by a decent amount so we aren't forced to listen to weeks and weeks more discussion of the lawsuits and polls and all that. I'm pretty passionate about politics, but honestly, I am sick to death of that being the only thing on the news for the past month. We aren't the only country in the world, despite what CNN thinks. The UN is considering sending more "peacekeeping" troops to Africa as the people in the Sudan are dying, and there have been several bombings in Pakistan. But what is at the top of the CNN homepage? Parents of high school students protesting the students having to wear IDs at school. Given the incredible level of violence at American schools, I hardly think that's a major civil rights issue. How about the right of students not to be stabbed or beaten to death by their schoolmates?

November 01, 2004

Oh, the Irony

I'm copyediting a new book for teenage girls about teen pregnancy. It's full of all the same alarmist warnings that I heard throughout high school: You can get pregnant the very first time! You can get pregnant even when you're on your period! You can get pregnant in a swimming pool! And my favorite--You can get pregnant even if the penis never even enters the vagina! The demon-seed can just jump up on you and swim up to your hapless little egg, and then where will you be?

Now, I realize that it's very bad when teenage girls get pregnant and makes their lives and the lives of their children very difficult. Also, teenagers are in their peak fertile period and tend to have irregular ovulations, so just avoiding the middle of the month doesn't work so well for them. But it still chaps my ass to be reading this, knowing that not only can't I get pregnant by having sex at the optimal time, I DON'T EVEN HAVE AN OPTIMAL TIME! All those years I panicked every month--what if the condom leaked? What if I took a pill twenty minutes earlier one day than the day before? Oh God!--were so pointless. I was fanatical about never, ever missing a pill, for more than ten years. The King was equally religious about asking me regularly if I'd taken it, just to make sure I hadn't forgotten. Let me tell you, we're kicking our stupid selves now. I've been off the Pill for, Jesus Christ, almost 500 days, and I've had ONE period. One. Damnit.