Monthly Archives: April 2008

Life in the house of sick.

For the past 3 days I have become obsessive compulsive with disinfecting everything in sight. Since coming home from seeing The Phantom of the Opera on Saturday night (6 rows from the front!!), I was greeted with a pukey kid.

From Saturday night onward, Emma has had several bouts of nausea that has tested my resolve as a mama. (ha! Resolve. That’s another name that I’m acquainted with these days — it’s the name of a carpet cleaner) I consider myself a pretty compassionate person, but vomiting is where my sympathy draws a line. I’m just tired of having to clean up, wash up, laundry up, and disinfect up everything in sight. I’ve gone through Emma’s bed linens twice in the last 3 days. So far I’ve resisted taking a Lysol wipe to Emma, despite my exhausted and germaphobic state.

I’ve heard that this is a three day flu, which hopefully means we’re at the tail end of it — just in time for Jerry to get sick, of course.

On the bright side of vomiting, who knew that collecting air sickness bags was so interesting? The bag above is from a virtual museum of barf bags, and here’s a site that collects bags from all over the world.

Commas, Turning Up, Everywhere

WASHINGTON—In the midst of a crisis that may have reached a breaking, point Tuesday afternoon, linguists, and grammarians, everywhere say they are baffled, by the sudden and seemingly random, appearance of commas, in our nation’s sentences. The epidemic of errant punctuation has spread, like wildfire, since signs of the epidemic first, appeared in a Washington Post article, on Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben, Bernanke. “This, is an unsettling trend,” columnist William Sa,fire, told reporters. “We’re seeing a collapse of the grammatical rules that have, held, the English language, together for, centuries.” Experts warn, that if this same, phenomenon, should occur with ellipses…


Threat vs. Warning

So our Mormon visitation is continuing — while I think Jerry is getting a little tired of it all, I’m still keen on having them come over. Maybe it’s because I like being friendly to them in a big-sister kind of way. I just figure that they must be rejected, mocked, or not taken very seriously in most of their visits — and at least in our home we’re not out to deconvert them or to recruit them to our “right” religion. Besides, these guys epitomize the meaning of “nice” (though I think you could also find their faces under the words “sheltered” and “naive”).

Anyway, last week they brought one of their Mormon sisters along for the visit, in order to better talk about the LDS church’s view of family relationships. Now up to this point, I’ve been pretty quiet in these visits, with occasional outbursts when talking about the church’s view on black people and homosexuals. This visit, however, was about family roles — my roles — as a wife and mother. This is where things started to get really interesting.

The elders passed out the LDS church’s proclamation on the family for us to read. It’s pretty standard religious faire — the male “presides” over his family, the woman “nurtures” it, blah blah, blah. The objections I have to their views on roles are pretty similar to the ones I’ve always had in traditional evangelical churches.

The only difference in this conversation was the discussion of gender, and its role in our pre-mortal, mortal, and eternal life. Apparently our pre-mortal spirit has a gender, though when we pressed our guests on how gender is defined, they could only point to the assignment of sexual organs. This adds a whole new dimension to things, or as Jerry put it, “the power of the penis.”

Toward the end of the proclamation, this is stated:

We warn that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.

I pointed out this statement toward the end of our talk, and asked them if these statements were supposed to be a threat (I later asked for clarification about which “calamities” were being specifically referred to). The reply to my question was that this wasn’t a threat, but instead, a warning.

Which puts a whole new spin on things, doesn’t it? I suppose it’s all in how you view what’s being said. They see this as a warning to nonbelievers, I see it clearly as a threat for those who don’t comply with their doctrines. Maybe that’s one of the (many) reasons of why I’m not involved with religion anymore. I couldn’t accept these types of righteous threats as warnings, and because of that, I didn’t want to involve myself with any of its doctrines or practices.

So while I may not be any closer to converting to Mormonism, I am getting better perspectives on the human traditions of faith — and also learning more about myself in the process.

What he said:

Without [religion] you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things.

But for good people to do evil things — that takes religion.

Nobel Laureate Steven Weinberg

Getting my priorities in order

News Talk 650, that bastion of right-winged talk radio, apparently has a new target — working mamas.

Tammy Robert, the producer for John Gormley’s show published a post, “Children & Places They Don’t Belong” to criticize a SK politician‘s choice of having her 6-month-old with her at a press conference.

. . . makes Baby a prop. A political prop, which Jones whipped out at the right time to further her cause.

Congratulations Jones, you’ve been in politics for five minutes and you’re already morphing into everything you’re allegedly against – exploitation being tops on that list.

Here’s an idea for Jones – how about she gets her own priorities in order before she starts worrying about what the government’s should be.

Nice. I love it when women are criticized for daring to mix roles as a working woman and a mama — it’s even more delicious when the venom comes from another woman.

Apparently this issue and breastfeeding in public were the topics d’jour on Gormley’s show this week, prompting a group of local mamas (and I!) to plan on staging a “Mother In” on Monday at the radio station.

Here’s the Facebook page that gives the details for the event. While it’s tempting to say that this is all to protest the negativity exuding from AM 650, our group is instead hoping to call attention to a larger issue — that being a parent and being active in the outside world aren’t mutually exclusive activities. While I’m not necessarily toting Emma to my classes, I do know that I have a supportive workplace that recognizes (and backs) my responsibilities as a parent.

It’ll be Emma’s second social justice event, which isn’t so bad for a 15-month-old.

Garfield, Revisited.

via Rilla, I give you Garfield minus Garfield:

Who would have guessed that when you remove Garfield from the Garfield comic strips, the result is an even better comic about schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and the empty desperation of modern life? Friends, meet Jon Arbuckle. Let’s laugh and learn with him on a journey deep into the tortured mind of an isolated young everyman as he fights a losing battle against loneliness in a quiet American suburb.

So true — without the snarky, fat, annoying cat, the comic has a whole new dimension. See for yourself:

[and hey, even Jim Davis (Garfield’s creator) digs it!]

She makes me scream, too.

Why Hillary Makes My Wife Scream
The Nation

My wife Barbara has begun yelling at the television set every time she hears Hillary Clinton. This is abnormal behavior, since Barbara is a meditative practitioner of everything peaceful and organic, and is inspired by Barack Obama’s transformational appeal.

For Barbara, Hillary has become the screech on the blackboard. From First Lady to Lady Macbeth.


It is as if Hillary Clinton is engaged in a toxic transmission onto Barack Obama of every outrageous insult and accusation ever inflicted on her by the American right over the decades. She is running against what she might have become. Too much politics dries the soul of the idealist.

It is abundantly clear that the Clintons, working with FOX News and manipulating old Clinton staffers like George Stephanopoulos, are trying, at least unconsciously, to so damage Barack Obama that he will be perceived as “unelectable” to Democratic superdelegates. It is also clear that the campaign of defamation against Obama has resulted in higher negative ratings for Hillary Clinton. She therefore is threatening the Democratic Party’s chances for the White House, whether or not she is the nominee.

Since no one in the party leadership seems able or willing to intervene against this self-destructive downward spiral, perhaps progressives need to consider responding in the only way politicians sometimes understand. If they can’t hear us screaming at the television sets, we can send a message that the Clintons are acting as if they prefer John McCain to Barack Obama. And follow it up with another message: if Clinton doesn’t immediately cease her path of destruction, millions of young voters and black voters may not send checks, may not knock on doors, and may not even vote for her if she becomes the nominee. That’s not a threat, that’s the reality she is creating.

Your turn, Jon: