Archive for April, 2007

Who’s your horse?

Did y’all act like good little Americans and watch the debate last night? It was ridiculously overcrowded (seriously! Eight candidates and only 90 minutes?), but overall I found it to be interesting and in some cases enlightening.

Here’s how I would have ranked the candidates before the debate:

1. Edwards/Clinton (I’m having a really hard time picking between them)

3. Obama

4. Richardson

And the rest, in no particular order (mostly because I knew little about them):

Dodd

Kucinich

Biden

Gravel

Here are some of my observations about the candidates:

Richardson: Wow, he really tanked during the course of this debate. I have always liked Bill Richardson because I think he’s an amazing diplomat and generally a respectable statesman, but I thought it came off as really desperate and arrogant in this debate. It really REALLY bothered me that he kept going over on his time limit, in a couple of cases making it to where the other candidates couldn’t even answer the question. I thought his skirting of the Gonzales issue (he said he hadn’t called for his resignation because he was Hispanic) was poorly done, and none of his answers really impressed me that much

Dodd: Came off as being the most politicky of all the candidates (which is a tough act in this crowd!), and also had the most canned answers of all the participants. Good ideas on some counts, but overall I wasn’t impressed

Edwards: If anyone “won” the debate I would say it was him. He came off as smart, tough, charming, and honest. I thought he made some really good points with his “Two Americas” campaign, and the fact that trust needs to be brought back to the White House. He also had the best quote of the evening with: “We ought to ask Americans to be patriotic about something other than war.” YES!

Biden: Blown away by Biden. Without a doubt, he had the highest gain in my head from this debate. I knew almost nothing of him before the event, and he really impressed the hell out of me. I thought he came off as exceedingly capable, very trustworthy and dependable, and totally electable. I can’t remember what in particular he said that made me like him so much, but I was really satisfied after all of his answers.

Obama: Yeah, he’s great. Yeah he charming and full of hope and yadda yadda yadda. I just can’t get excited about Obama. He did well, I think, but didn’t do anything to raise my opinion of him.

Clinton: I think she did a terrific job and came off as being tougher than usual, which is remarkable. I love Hilary Clinton, really I do, but I can’t decided if she’s my candidate or not. This debate was somewhat odd, because sometimes she came off as wooden, and sometimes she came off as utterly human, like with the VA Tech answer. I trust her.

Kucinich: Yawn!

Gravel: You’re are nutbag! Definitely the Kooky old man in the corner over there (or what was it he said he felt like, the “potted plant?”). I love that he’s passionate, but honestly, politicians need to learn to control the passion. He made some good points, certainly, but I don’t think he did much for his campaign.

After the debate, here’s how I rank the candidates:

1. Edwards

2. Biden

3. Clinton

4. Obama

5. Dodd

6. Kucinich

7. Richardson

8. Gravel

Highest gain was obviously for Biden, who’ll I’ll be watching much more closely from now on. It’s still WAY to early for me to choose my candidate, and I think they all need to prove themselves further, but he really made me start thinking outside of the CLINTON/OBAMA/EDWARDS maelstrom. Sadly, I doubt we’ll have a candidate that isn’t one of those three, just because they have hijacked the spotlight.

Not that it is a bad thing, because I think all three of those candidates would make excellent presidents, but it just seems undemocratic to have it already laid out in front of us SO FAR before an election.

Y’all don’t be afraid to back one of the little guys. There is still time.

Now. If you watched the debate (or hell, even if you didn’t) tell me what you’re thinking. Did anyone impress you? Did anyone crash and burn for you? Who do you like? TALK TO ME!

A few things

I’m crazy busy at work this week, so forgive me for the lack of updates.

BUT!  I have 2 things today.

1.  An outstanding time waster!  Vote for Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people of the year!   Now I’m warning you, there are about 200 people on this list and it is really hard to stop voting, so be prepared to get fired from your jobs today.  As of writing this, #1 is Stephen Colbert (yaaaay!) and #204 is Paris Hilton (hahahah, you wretched skank!)

2.  Y’all!  There is life on another planet!!  Well, maybe.  Scientists have discovered a new planet in the Libra constellation that is the first “Earth-like” planet ever.  Mild temps, water, mayhap even a wee bit of life?  Could be.  I’m especially excited about this because I’m a Libra!  This is totally the planet of Tayloropolis.

GOOAAAAL!! (except that not really, unfortunately)

Reason # 9,008 that I have the best boyfriend in the world:

About 2 weeks ago I came home to find a big, important looking envelope in my mailbox from the Charleston Battery, our wonderful local minor league soccer team. I was surprised, because it seemed awfully official, and while I go to every game I can, I hardly had reason to expect anything of note from The Battery.

(Though I have to admit, I may have held a little hope in my heart that perhaps my favorite player, #4 Tim Karalexis, who is unspeakably hot and kinda looks like Michael Vartan, had finally realized and understood my unrequited love and was now sending hope in the form of a big, official envelope. Maybe.)

I opened it up and was surprised to find a big Charleston Battery magnet, about 400 schedules, a “guide for season ticket holders” (wait! WHAT?!) and a smaller, even more official envelope that held a ticket to every single home game. And OH MY GOD HOLY SHIT JUST LIKE THAT I was a season ticket holder. Because my boyfriend loves me. And sends me the most incredibly thoughtful, absolutely wonderful surprises in the mail. Ever. Y’all. For real. I have the greatest boyfriend in the history of boyfriends.

(I’ll give you all a moment to let your jealousy subside.)

All better now? Good. Anyway! Last night was the first game of the season, so my roommate Leezle and our favorite, most entertaining friend Mike all went out to watch some soccer, drink some beer, eat some hotdogs, and watch some fireworks and ogle the hot soccer players.

So I have for you a photo essay.

We drank some good beer:

And some not so good beer (because it was on special!) (I’m embarrassed)

And ate some stadium food:

And Leezle bought me a souvenir!

And I was a soccer hooligan:

But there was some wholesomeness, I swear! It’s not always debauchery with me, y’all!

We even did some surgery (because we wanted to know what the special foamy-making thing was inside of the yummy beer can):

With my teeth (this is a lie!):

We were pretty close to the action:

And I mean REALLY close:

Then after the game, we got to go on the field!

And touch hot soccer players! (though his hotness was somewhat diminished by the 5 young, tow-headed children running around him and calling him “Daddy!”

And then there were fireworks! Hurrah!

 

We really had a fabulous time, even though it was a nil-nil game so we couldn’t celebrate a win (but also! no loss!). If y’all live in Charleston, you should really come out to the games. It is always a wonderful time, even if you don’t like soccer (which Mike doesn’t! And he still had fun!) And hey, if you don’t have anyone to go with, you can come with me! Because I’ll be at all the games! (we sit by the bar, like true soccer fans) (but seriously, you should really come to the games with me) (seriously).

Lighten up.

Alright, y’all. Because I went all “intense” and “deep” and “crazy” yesterday, here’s a really funny joke that my roommate told me last week. You’re welcome.

A man walks into a bar (bet you didn’t see that one coming!).

He sits down at the bar and takes a tiny man and a tiny piano out of his briefcase. He sits the man down at the piano and the guy starts to play.

The bartender says: “Dude! That’s amazing. Where did you get that?”

The man says: “Well, I have a genie that lives in my pocket. I made a wish and this is what I got!”

Bartender: “Wow! Can I make a wish?”

Guy: “Sure. Worth a shot.”

So the bartender thinks about it for a moment, rubs his hands together and says, “Genie! I wish for half-a-million bucks!”

There is a loud crack and the bar fills with smoke. All the sudden they hear quacks everywhere and as the smoke clears, the bar is suddenly full of ducks.

Bartender: “Dammit! I didn’t say ‘ducks.’ I said ‘bucks!'”

Guy: “Yeah, well, the genie is a little hard of hearing. Do you really think I wished for a 12-inch pianist?”

Ba-Dum-Chaaa!

UPDATED!!

And then my mom left this one in the comments, which made me laugh out loud, so I’m a-postin’ it:

So this guy goes into a bar. On the bar is a gallon jug of $20 bills–almost full. He asks the bartender what the deal is with the $20 bills.

The bartender says that he has to pay $20 to find out…”no way” says the guy. And then he proceeds to drink..after about 4 beers and his curiosity peaking he agrees to find out and places his $20 in the jar.

The bartender then tells him that in order to win all the money in the jar he has to perform three tasks:

(1) There is a quart bottle of the hottest, most potent pepper sauce that exists in the world. You must drink it without comment and exclamations.

(2) There is pit bull out back who has an abscessed tooth–you must pull it.

(3) There is a 90 year old woman upstairs who has never experienced an orgasm–you must satisfy her.

The guy says “you must be crazy! I wouldn’t even drink the pepper sauce; let alone those other things!”
And he realizes he has lost his money.

After about 6 more beers and a couple of bourbon and cokes, he says…”okayyyy…”

He swigs down the bottle of pepper sauce and even though his face gets beet red and he starts sweating like it’s August in Alabama, he doesn’t mutter a sound.

He walks out back and the bartender and all the clients in the bar hear the most god-awful fight that they can imagine…barking, screaming, yelling, growling, biting..it was almost to painful to listen…and then, there is total silence. The bartender tells everyone that he thinks the pit bull has killed the guy.

At that moment the guy walks back into the bar–he is bleeding profusely; his clothes are ripped to shreds; he is barely able to stand…

And he says..

“Sos, okayyyyy…where’s the old haggg wif the baddd tooth…”

A dark day for choice

Yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled to uphold the Federal Abortion Ban that was signed into law by President Bush in 2003. In this law, abortions during the second trimester of pregnancy are now criminalized, with no exception for the health of the mother.

I don’t think I’ll surprise anyone by saying that I am pro-choice, or even that I am intensely, fanatically pro-choice. Abortion rights are the political issue that I consider more important than any other, and nothing determines my votes like a candidate’s stance on this issue. This ruling yesterday was an devastating setback for the pro-choice movement, but more importantly it was a terrible blow to personal rights and freedom for all women.

I realize that abortion is an incredibly emotional issue, and almost everyone has a strong stance one way or another. I respect that people find abortion to be wrong, but I can’t understand their justifications. I have yet to hear one argument made by an anti-choice supporter that made me even consider for one moment that they were right. As long as I have known what abortion is, I have recognized the need for it and been happy that the option was there.

I can’t help but think that most people who are anti-choice are being incredibly short-sighted and naive. They seem to think that these women who are having abortions are using it as a form of birth control, and they are regularly aborting healthy babies for no other reason than that they can’t be bothered with it. They seem to think they are taking it lightly and that they aren’t considering in implications of what they are doing. I will admit, I think there are probably women out there who do feel that way, but I can’t believe that is the majority of the women out there. Every story I have heard about abortion, and everyone I know who has had to deal with it has expressed the pain and the anguish that a decision like that caused.

I, thank God, have never had to make the decision to have an abortion, but there have been times when I thought that I would. I have known and loved people who have gone through this. I have watched them struggle with it morally, ethically, emotionally, and it is heartbreaking in every single instance. Any woman (or couple) who has to make a decision like that has nothing but my sympathy, and I hurt for them. It is a terrible, life-changing choice, and I hope I never have to make it.

But the choice has to be there. How can we possibly live in a society where someone is forced to be a mother? How can we live in a society where a child is brought unwillingly into a family? How can we live in a society that doesn’t respect the fact that having and raising a child should be the most important, well thought-out decision that anyone can make?

They argue that life is precious, and therefore should not be wasted. I agree, life is incredibly precious. And because of that, it should never be taken lightly. How can someone argue that it is OK to bring a baby into a life where they are unwanted and uncared for and have no hope for a healthy happy future? How is it respecting and honoring the miracle of life to condemn a child to misery? How can you argue that that is a better alternative than safely removing a clump of cells from a woman who doesn’t want it? I will say it again: Nobody should ever be forced into motherhood.

And for those of you ready with the “there is no such thing as an unwanted child” argument, how about this? According to the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) there are approximately 523,000 children in foster care. 523,000 children in foster care. Five hundred and twenty-three thousand children without parents, without family, and many without hope of ever being welcomed into a loving, safe home. And that is just in this country. There are millions of children in orphanages in China, Russia, Africa, and elsewhere. And you think that it is a good idea to introduce more unwanted children into this world?

But even for those people who can justify forcing children into lives like that, and even for those people who think that aborting a potentially healthy baby is an unforgivable sin, what about the other instances? One of the things that upsets me the most about this bill is that there are no exceptions. There are no instances when it is allowed or OK. Not even in the cases of catastrophic fetal problems. Here is the story of one woman:

When I was 18 weeks pregnant at my doctor’s office in Lexington, Massachusetts, I remember eagerly anticipating the ultrasound that would tell my husband and me whether our baby was a boy or a girl. We were so excited, oohing and aahing like the giddy, expectant parents that we were. The technician, however, was quiet, and I started to panic. We learned that the ultrasound indicated that the fetus had an open neural-tube defect, meaning that the spinal column had not closed properly. We had to go to Boston immediately, where a new, high-tech machine could tell us more.

In Boston, the doctor spoke using words no pregnant woman wants to hear – clinical terms like hydrocephalus and spina bifida. The spine, she said, had not closed properly, and because of the location of the opening, it was as bad as it could get. What the doctors knew was awful: the baby would be paralyzed and incontinent, its brain smushed against the base of the skull and the cranium full of fluid. What they didn’t know was devastating: would the baby live at all, and if so, with what sort of mental and developmental defects? Countless surgeries would be required if the baby did live, and none of them could repair the damage.

It sounds naive now, but I never considered pregnancy a gamble. Sitting in the doctor’s windowless office, I tried to read between the lines of complicated medical jargon, searching for answers that weren’t there. But I already knew what I had to do. Even if our baby had a remote chance of surviving, it was not a life we would choose for our child. I asked over and over, “Are we doing the right thing?”

Our family – even my Catholic father and Republican father-in-law, neither of whom was ever pro-choice – assured us that we were. Politics suddenly became personal – their daughter’s heartbreak, their son’s pain, their grandchild’s suffering – and that changed everything. If President Bush’s Federal Abortion Ban had been in force on that day, my husband and I wouldn’t have had this option.

My personal story about Bush’s abortion ban

Imagine being pregnant, being overjoyed with the idea that you are going to have a child. Imagine eagerly awaiting the life that you have imagined and then imagine getting news like that. This baby who’s face you have created in your mind, who will have your husband’s eyes and your mother’s smile, this baby you have already named and loved and known. Imagine hearing that this baby will never know you, will never speak, will never be cognizant of anything around it. And that is if, IF, it lives.

And now imagine having to carry that baby to term. For 5 more months you will have to carry this baby, loving it more and more every day, feeling it growing inside you, and at the same time knowing that this baby will never be anything more than a vegetable. Imagine having to actually give birth to this baby. To go through the pain and difficulty of labor and instead of being able to hold your healthy child…

Even the though of it is so incredibly terrible, so catastrophic, that tears are welling up.

Because I now know that if that ever happens to me, if I am ever cursed with the knowledge that my baby barely mentally and physically functions, that will be my exact fate. That will be what I have have to go through.

Or imagine if the news is even worse news:

I could see my baby’s amazing and perfect spine, a precise, pebbled curl of vertebrae. His little round skull. The curve of his nose. I could even see his small leg floating slowly through my uterus.

My doctor came in a moment later, slid the ultrasound sensor around my growing, round belly and put her hand on my shoulder. “It’s not alive,” she said.

She turned her back to me and started taking notes. I looked at the wall, breathing deeply, trying not to cry.

I can make it through this, I thought. I can handle this.

I didn’t know I was about to become a pariah.

I was 19 weeks pregnant, strong, fit and happy, imagining our fourth child, the newest member of our family. He would have dark hair and bright eyes. He’d be intelligent and strong — really strong, judging by his early kicks.

And now this. Not alive?

You should read the rest of this article.

One of the unintended consequences of this law is that doctors are no longer being trained to perform these procedures, so instead of being able to have the dead fetus removed from her womb immediately, this woman was forced with the choice of a risky induced labor or living for a week with a dead baby in her body while she waited for one of the few doctors in her area to be able to perform the (much safer and easier) abortion.

So thank you, you people who are so-called pro-life. Thank you for condemn women to misery. Thank you for cursing children to awful lives. Thank you for making this world a better place. Well done.

About Virginia Tech

I’m as shocked and appalled as everyone else by this, and I don’t really know what to think or what to say, but I’ve been struck by two things along the way.

1.  Does anyone else think it is really odd that the shooter was a South Korean?  I know it is extremely racially insensitive of me to think this, and it is also a broad generalization which I hate as a rule, but I don’t peg Asians as mass murderers.  They just never seem to be the people who cause the problems.  I hope this doesn’t create a backlash for the Asian community.

2.  I’m getting really upset at people blaming the University for not notifying people after the initial shooting.  This is ridiculous.  How often do domestic arguments turn into giant shooting sprees?  Nobody though the situation would escalate into something like this, and they shouldn’t be blamed for what happened next.  I realize that a lot of people are looking for someone to be angry at, and they are looking for answers, but Virginia Tech shouldn’t be scapegoated for this.

Maybe just a little bit blasphemous

Oh my God, this is funny. My brilliant and witty friend, Marc, who always manages to find the funniest things on the internet sent this along to me.

The Old Testament as told through Lego models.

I thank my stars for the internet on a pretty regular basis. I can’t think of what my life would be like without the convenience of Google and E-Mail. I praise the ability to be able to immediately find a better word without having to drag out my thesaurus (and that I have spell checkers! because I totally just misspelled thesaurus! [oh my god! twice!]). I am so pleased that I don’t have to rely on CNN or, God forbid, Fox “news” when I’m trying to get a sense of the world. But seriously, sometimes I’m just so thankful that there is now an outlet for people to act out the Bible in Legos. Where would we be without this sort of thing?