Friday, June 30, 2006

It Boils, My Blood Just Boils

I did warn you. I did say that I'm opinionated. Even then, I managed to be calm for the first two days of my blog. I suppose I could have managed longer, if only I didn't read. So, here are three things I have read in the last hour (Lordy, Lordy, all at once! All at once!) that have brought out the real me.

The first is here . So, now we have a vaccine for cervical cancer, and the religious right doesn't approve of it because the cause of cervical cancer is an STD. And I quote:
"I would be opposed to making it mandatory. They need to give people the choice to do it or not, not force it on us,"
Prestwich said. "I don't live my life in such a way that I am concerned about STDs. And I don't worry about it for my daughters."
How can anyone believe that her daughters are immune to STDs? Never heard of rape? Never heard of straying husbands? This -- oh, Gawd, there is no word for what this woman is -- this Maxine Prestwich person would rather take the chance that her daughters could die of cervical cancer than have them immunized for an STD. Because, we know, that if they are immunized, they might just not be afraid of sex and they might just have some. Apparently, anything to protect the virginity of young girls and women. It's ok to lie to them about condoms, to not give them information about birth control and sexuality, to risk their exposure to cervical cancer!

And the second is here, where we discover that the same religious right are angry at Warren Buffett and Bill Gates for making charitable contributions to Planned Parenthood. And, again, I quote:
Warren Buffett's new philanthropic alliance with fellow billionaire Bill Gates won widespread praise this week, but anti-abortion activists did not join in, instead assailing the two donors for their longtime support of Planned Parenthood and international birth-control programs.
"The merger of Gates and Buffett may spell doom for the families of the developing world," said the Rev. Thomas Euteneuer, a Roman Catholic priest who is president of Human Life International.
Referring to Josef Mengele, the infamous Nazi death camp doctor, Euteneuer said Buffett "will be known as the Dr. Mengele of philanthropy unless he repents."
Yes, God forbid that women in third world countries be given reproductive freedom! Just because being able to control the number and spacing of pregnancies is the single most important thing in empowering women, it must be opposed. Pro-life they call themselves. More like enforced birth if you ask me. What next? Take away the vote? Return to chastity belts? In my never humble opinion, on this one, if you don't got a uterus, you don't got anything to say!

And finally, on a related (in that it's about a woman's health) but separate (in that it isn't to do with sex) note. A story about a woman with a 32 pound cyst being given diet pills. Because, we all know that fat is the issue and the only issue! This reminds me of when my friend Robert (like me 64 years old and therefore, no longer adolescent thin like when we were in high school, but who, unlike me, has never been overweight a day in his life) went to the doctor because he had dropped 30 pounds without changing his eating or exercise habits and he was worried. When he got on the scale, the nurse congratulated him for the loss! So did the doctor. Here is a man without a weight problem who suddenly and without discernable cause drops 30 pounds and they congratulate him! Finally, he insisted so vehemently that they test him to find out what was wrong, and what do you know! Diabetes! We are so fatphobic in this country that a very serious condition would have been missed if the patient hadn't had better sense than the doctor. Are we nuts?

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Why Not Do It In Public?

So, I say in my masthead: Sometimes I fall on my face. Why not do it in public? And what do you know, my good friend Kate e-mails me that, in the masthead, I have misspelled accumulate!


I live on the border between wilderness and town,
Forest spreads above me, fenced yards going down.
Sweet rocket and conifers climbing up the hill,
My gardening neighbor bends plant life to his will.
Marmot, bear, and porcupine wander hillside free,
Raven, owl, and heron, each choosing her own tree.
And just across the street, behind the well trimmed hedges,
Birds in cages, dogs on leashes, cats on window ledges.
And I live on the border and choose which side to see.
It suits me to my very depth; both sides are part of me.

Alternate Thursdays

Today is my alternate Thursday! Oh, heaven. See, I take from a CSA (community supported agriculture) farm called Full Circle Farm. They are in Seattle, and I am in Juneau and the way it works is they fly organic produce from their farm there to their warehouse here to be boxed and picked up on Thursdays. You can take a large box or a small one, weekly or an alternate weeks. Since I live alone, I take a small box on alternate weeks.
Produce is a problem in Alaska. If you garden (and, living on the side of a mountain, I have no space for a garden) you are set for veggies, and if you gather you can get berries, but otherwise! Oh, otherwise! Last week, having eaten all of the fruit from my FCF box (I always eat the fruit faster than the veggies), I picked up a pound of Bing cherries ($7, horror of horrors says the woman who used to live near an orchard and buy 21 pounds of doubles and spurs [look funny, taste great!] for $7) and a tiny watermelon ($7) at the local grocery store. Hell, I'll name it. At the A & P (stands for Alaskan and Proud and the produce department should be the A & A [Alaskan and Ashamed]). Got them home. The cherries were lovely to look at. Tasted like sawdust! And the watermelon! My grandfather used to grow (among other things) watermelon. Every year he saved the seeds from the best and planted them the next year. By the time I was born, Grandpa Herndon was growing melons to die for. Well, let me tell you, if he knew about this poor excuse for cattle fodder he would spin right out of his grave! No satisfying crack when I cut into it. And then, one bite! One bite! No taste and slick. Soft. I threw that sucker away! $14 worth of fruit (well, not really $14 worth of fruit. I paid $14 for the fruit, but as far as worth -- had they paid me to haul it away I could retire), and not one edible bite.
So you can see why I love Full Circle Farm! The produce is wonderful. Full of flavor. (Well, once I did get a spoiled strawberry.) But, it is heaven. And this week I am getting: orange honeydew, grapefruit, peaches, nectarines, pluotes, limes, carrots, snap peas, Roma tomatoes, green onions, Romaine lettuce, Cremini mushrooms, and mint. I feast! I absolutely feast! Fruit! Salad! Carrots to nibble! And it is tonight!
Today is my alternate Thursday!

Would you believe?

So, I was reading this and had to share my thoughts on it with you. In a lifetime of being fat and reading about it, thinking about it, living with it, etc. I have heard a number of theories about why more people are fatter these days, starting with take out and modern conveniences causing us to eat too much and exercise too little and going to one study that claimed it was a virus. (Just what fat people need, an already fatphobic society deciding that you can catch it from just being around us! I can see it now, not only will they charge us more for plane seats [thank you, Southwestern] but they'll refuse to get on the elevator with us. Ooh, fat cooties!) And, some of the conclusions drawn by this study I've heard before: sleep deprivation and medication come readily to mind. However, my favorites here are 9. Darwinian natural selection and 10. Associative breeding.

Nine is saying that fat people live longer than thin people (and I read a study last year that said that and I have some very long lived fat ancestors) which causes me to wonder -- if we live longer, why is obesity a health problem again? Aren't all of those people who tell us that we need to lose weight concerned about our health? Don't they "just want you to live long enough to see your grandchildren"?

Ten says that fat people are having sex with other fat people, resulting in more chubby children. Think about that one for a moment. First off, don't we tell kids that if they are fat no one will be attracted to them? (Heaven knows it's what they told me!) And now, it seems, that we are so attractive that we are outbreeding the thin folks. Of course, fat people having sex with fat people would tend to result in fat children. But, and here is the kicker, aren't thin people having sex with other thin people? Doesn't that result in thin kids? How, exactly, does this work?

It puzzles me. But, one thing I gotta say, if we live longer and have more and more productive sex, score one for my team.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

How I Came To Blogging

So, last week I posted a comment on a blog I enjoy a lot (Pureland Mountain) and Tabor asked who I was and why I didn't have a blogsite. I got to thinking about that. Why didn't I? My daughter does. My son-in-law does. Several friends do. I'll bet I know people with blogs and I don't even know they have blogs. It certainly looked like a fun thing to do.

Besides, do you know what it means when I say I live with two cats? It means that I don't have a captive audience (who understands English) to tell all my adventures and thoughts and the minutiae of my life to. I have friends, but surely once in a while one of them would like to talk! It can't always be all about me. And yet, I have so much to share! I like hearing what is happening with them, but I am left feeling that no one really knows everything that is happening with me. And it is so interesting, surely they should! Surely they don't want to be left out!

And the thing you have to know about me is that I was once the ultimate oney-oney (only child). I was the oldest child of two oldest children. I was the first child, grandchild, great-grandchild, niece in the family. They hung on my every word. They thought I farted attar of roses! I recited nursery rhymes and counted and they thought me brilliant! It only lasted for five years, but it gave me an appetite for it. I love being the center of attention. I can get up in front of crowds and talk about anything and never get flustered. And I never took up acting because my own words are so worthy that it seemed a waste to recite someone else's.

And since I was born on the birthday of Shakespeare and Shirley Temple, the stars may have made me this way (says the skeptic who doesn't believe in astrology but who did say she contradicts herself).

Introducing Me

I have one grandchild (Maya, could you guess?), who I am justifiably proud of. Two children, both coming up on middle age, ditto pride.

I live with two cats, Merry and Pippin (litter mates), who are sometimes called Granny's Boys and sometimes The Hooligan Cats. Both are loving and funny, Merry is bigger and Pippin is smarter.

I come from a long line of strong women. My tenth great-grandmother was one of the first three arrested for witchcraft in Salem. My great-grandmother refused to promise to obey when she got married in the 1890s. One of my other great-grandmothers was raised by her widowed grandmother and her great-grandmother, who was born during the Revolution and died after the Civil War.

I live on the side of a mountain overlooking the Gastineau Channel, can watch bald eagles circling below my window, and sometimes knock on my own front door and yell before I open it from the inside because bears have been known to use my stairs.

I stopped being a hippy before the word was in the common vocabulary and am as opinionated as they come.