May 28, 2009

Rants and Rights

I know it's people's stupid choices and poor birth control use that results in unplanned pregnancies, but the fact that there really is no form of birth control that is 110% effective still terrifies me every time I think about it (which I try not to do, but sometimes it's impossible). 

So I got on Google and am liking Essure. It's simple, it's more effective than tubal ligation, doesn't destroy the man's sense of manness, and is pretty cheap and sometimes covered by insurance. (It's fast, it's simple, and the gold kit is free!) Doesn't even require anesthesia and the back-up period is only three months, during which you can still use pills. There's even a test to confirm whether or not it worked and your period still comes every month like normal (which is a huge relief). You could even use pills and be double sure you're not getting knocked up. Essure's website says it's the only form of birth control that has not resulted in a pregnancy in clinical trials (it's been around for 5 years) which makes me wonder why the Mayo Clinic says it's 99.8% effective. That's still interesting because the Pill is 99.9% effective... How is sterilization less effective than perfect use hormonal birth control pills?

I wish the male pill would come out now. I want a back-up that's not a condom, but all the other forms are just as spontaneous and effective as condoms. Unfortunately, no doctor would sterilize a 23 year old woman, which, honestly, should open doctors up to lawsuits. If a woman got a lawyer to draft a liability waiver that made her unable to sue the doctor for anything related to the sterilization and signed it in front of the doctor, lawyer, and doctor's lawyer (which they already make you do, kind of) and the doctor still refused to sterilize her she should be able to sue the doctor for child support if she got pregnant. 

The mother of a friend of mine had cervical cancer but her doctors wouldn't give her a hysterectomy because they claimed someday she might want more kids. Even though she had cervical cancer. Even though she already had two kids. Even though she wasn't married. Even though both her kids were unplanned. Even though she should not be having kids at her age or after being treated for cervical cancer. Did I mention even though she had cervical cancer? Doctors are cruel idiots sometimes. 

I know I wouldn't be able to get Essure now (not until I have at least 2 kids and am over 35, which totally defeats the purpose), but it still sounds awesome. And since abortion should be illegal, if you asked some people, women not only can't do everything they can to prevent pregnancy but they also must raise the accidents when they happen. Sigh... Little women still can't make decisions about their own bodies.

So there's my rant. I get all worked up over stuff like this when my body starts complaining in the middle of my preset cycle. Damn hormones.

May 27, 2009

Children's Pool

No more, harbor seals. No more...

Today, in the second controversial decision this week, a San Diego Superior Court judge ruled that the Children's Pool must be returned to the children. The seals must go.

I always side with the animals in things like this. Though the cove was built (in 1931) as a safe place for children to swim, it has since become overrun with harbor seals. They've had generations of babies, imprinted that tiny beach in their minds, and pooped it up year round. They've (apparently) also attracted sharks to the area, though shark attacks in San Diego are so rare

My question is what is so special and important about this tiny cove that this small war has waged for 15 years? I've been there many times in the last 4 years, and these last 4 years have seen the most fighting, and it's just a maze of sharp rocks and plant life, outside of the seals. Even if the seals and their poops were nonexistent, I wouldn't want my kid in the children's area that's filled with sharp rocks. Because the cove is protected from the tide the waves don't have much effect on the sandy floor, which means rocks can't be worn down and sea weeds can't be uprooted. 

It seems to me that, seal poop aside, that cove is in need of a major overhaul if it's going to serve its original purpose. I also have a brooding feeling that by calling it a "children's pool" parents will think it really is a pool, and not a part of the ocean, and will allow their children to wander and swim unsupervised (or with distracted supervision). It's only a matter of time before the first lawsuits roll in.  

May 26, 2009

Proposition 8

Made me so happy!

I'm not surprised at all that the ban on same sex marriage was upheld today. Asking California's Supreme Court to lift the ban based on a technicality was a long shot, and a move that controversial wouldn't be decided based on a technicality. So it'll either go to the US Supreme Court or back to the ballot. Since justices decided to keep the validity of the existing same sex marriages this might be a court case: the law is going to have a hard time discriminating against only some gays. 

Pre-march crowd.

A rally was organized at Balboa Park today in protest of the courts decision, followed by a march, and I went to check it out and take some pictures. A rather large turnout gathered on the grass lining Sixth Street; some brought dogs, some brought signs and some brought bottles of water to hand out to the marchers. I filled out a post card to President Obama saying why I believe in marriage equality. I took forever to think of something clever to say, but the nearly blank card began with "I believe in marriage equality because" and all I could come up with was something about how the Declaration of Independence doesn't say "except for gays."

Coolest sign there.

I was asked to say into a video camera, in 15 seconds or less, how the ruling affected me. I said something very lame and once I got back home I realized I should have said: "The ruling makes me feel like I am a better person because of my sexual preference, but that is not how I want to be judged. I'm sure homosexuals don't want to be judged for their sexual preferences either."

Yay St. Paul's!

Last week a few California voters shot down several propositions aimed at reducing the state deficit from 20-something-billion-dollars to 15-ish-billion-dollars. Shouldn't we be doing everything we can to raise money in this time of need? Gay marriage won't save our state, but an influx of weddings would certainly help our economy. Who knows, maybe with the revenue and taxes generated from gay marriages we wouldn't have to take as much money from our schools. Ha, I'd love to see research on that.

Couldn't have said it better myself.

To my homosexual friends and neighbors: One day we'll look back on all this and be ashamed and embarrassed that we thought you were second class citizens and our kids and grandkids will be amazed you didn't have the same rights as everyone else way back when. When the baby boomers start falling we'll be heard, and we'll make it right. Eventually...


May 25, 2009

My Advice

Don't be afraid.

Everyone, including myself, could use this advice today and every day. Fear hold us back as individuals and as a group, or race, or species, or nationality. Fear changes our motives and actions and can often prevent us from doing what we really want to do. 

The reason this piece of advice can apply to anyone at any time is because it's so vague and encompassing. Even the fearless have at least one fear, be it of being alone, of others opinions, change or of their own deep thoughts. America was so afraid of another attack that we were willing to sacrifice the very ideals that we were bombed for. People too often marry the person they're with more because they're afraid of being alone. People lower their own standards because they're afraid they won't live up to their own expectations. They stay in one town because they're afraid of starting over on their own. Or even live in fear of regret.

Living in fear, no matter how common your fear is, is no way to go through life. What is going to happen is going to happen and worrying about change or something you can't affect only gives you an ulcer. Don't be afraid.

May 24, 2009

Blue Collar White Collar

Thanks to Netflix, I've been watching season 1 of "Mad Men." Despite all of the male characters being complete assholes, it's an addicting show with a relatively high degree of accuracy in displaying the professional and personal relationships between men and women in the sixties. The main character is Don Draper, an ad executive with one of the biggest marketing firms in New York (and the world). Don and his sweet and beautiful wife Betty have the iconic American Dream: he's an executive, she's a homemaker, they have two kids and a dog, they live in a big house, and he has two girlfriends on the side.

Wait, what?

I've got to hand it to the directors for making arguably the biggest sleezeball on the show be the most likable character. The guy has a devoted wife who tells him about how she can't wait for him to come home so they can have sex and he's turning her down (and onto the washing machine) because he spent lunch with one of his two girlfriends.

Anyway, my point is how the American Dream involves a white collar job. People put up with your blue collar job as long as you aspire to be a lawyer or doctor. A real job requires suits and heels and a desk in an air conditioned office. I wasn't too happy with my "real job." I hated heels, froze in the summer, and stared at a computer screen for 8 hours a day. I'm happy being a worker; I like being active and interacting with people; I loved working in a photo lab, driving buses, stocking organic groceries, and now driving the photo caravan. I will wear my horrible tans with pride this summer as I once again realize that happiness in work and life is worth just as much as (if not more than) a fat paycheck. I love loving my job.

May 22, 2009

How I Am A Nerd

I miss the Internet. I miss reading peoples comments on, miss seeing the latest fails and lol's, miss reading depressing post secrets the day they come out. But mostly I miss the daily hunt for material good enough to blog about. While I was unemployed this blog served as a purpose for me, a thing I could do to not feel like I was worthless. I did go running most days, I cooked beautiful and healthy meals, kept my apartment sparkling, gave the kitty all the attention she wanted, spent hours job hunting and sending out resumes and cover letters, and then was free to spend the rest of my hours, often late into the night, on the interwebs. I learned about the online personalities of some commenters on my favorite sites, discovered new and interesting websites, signed up for other writing websites I have yet to use, and had a grand old time. I didn't have tv and was bored of all my movies (and the computer doesn't have sound), so buzzing around the Internet didn't feel like the colossal waste of time it was. I understand how people feel like they have friends on the Internet- friends they've never seen or heard. Still don't understand online dating, though; people aren't the same online as in person, people! Alas, it's time to leave and I still haven't seen fark in days. Sigh. I feel worthwhile now, but I miss the friendly Internet.

May 20, 2009

Jumping The Shark

Not since the last episode of Scrubs on NBC was I this disappointed in a season finale. The Office is a great show: it's smart, it's funny, it has good acting, and it has lovable characters with great writing. But I fear season 6 will be the beginning of the end.


The viewer can infer in the last minute of the last episode, through an unrealistic and rushed "routine" ankle sprain check, Pam and Jim find out Pam's pregnant. They don't say it specifically, but there's a lot of shocked then happy faces, then lots of hugging, then a call to Dwight to say they won't be returning to the volley ball game, then more hugging. The nurse had asked Pam if there was "any chance you're pregnant" and she didn't answer, which was a give-away I dismissed as being retarded. Surely a show as good as The Office wouldn't stoop to a pregnancy...

AAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRGGGGHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Dude, Pam was engaged to Roy for three years and didn't get pregnant with him. Is it that hard to use birth control? Did she suddenly start forgetting to take the pill? Did they run out of condoms and do it anyway because they're so in love and engaged?  Is it a miracle baby, conceived despite the use of hormonal pills and condoms? There are SO MANY forms of birth control it's crazy the human race has devoted that much thought to avoiding parenthood. And since she had been engaged before to another man and didn't get knocked up we can assume she was using some form of birth control, and now is not using that same, presumably reliable, form with Jim.

So, now that she's pregnant, the show is going to change dramatically. And it will suck. Here's how:
  1. When the show comes back on in the fall Pam will be about six months pregnant and dealing with hormones. They'll either open next season with a wedding or they'll have married during the break. 
  2. Once Pam has the baby she'll take time off work. Which means she won't be in regular episodes. And it'll just be Jim at work talking to her on the phone about how the baby isn't eating or whatever.
  3. Jim will have to move up and become a regional manager in order to support his baby and Pam, or he'll have to find a new job.
  4. If it keeps going to season 7 the focus will be off the office and on Jim and Pam's family life. 
They could bring back some old characters for some drama, like Roy or Karen or Holly (Michael drama is usually pretty good), or they could have Toby create some drama with Pam. The writers are going to have to come up with some good stuff for the next season or The Office is a dead duck. 

May 18, 2009


Today at work I reunited a worried mother with her lost baby. 

Kaya reaching for a snack.

During the "deluxe" tour we wandered into the South Africa exhibit and found Kaya hanging out with an unrelated rhino and her son. Later on we heard Kaya grunting for her mom, Golpara, and saw her searching the fields. Baby rhinos are almost the most adorable things on Earth, and seeing one lost and grunting for her mommy was too cute. 

Kaya eventually found her older sister, Asha, and was happier and stopped grunting. But then we happened upon a very worried Golpara. She grunted non-stop and slobbered all over the place, looking in the back of the truck and finding nothing but guests, then peeking in the cab. If you've never sat behind the wheel with a worried rhino poking her horn through the open window you don't know what you're missing. 

So we decided to help. I had to back the truck up a winding road (using just the side mirrors), but by the time I did Golpara had ambled off to continue her search. My trainer and the guide called out to her and her ears perked back: Golpara ran back to us and I drove towards Kaya and Asha. Golpara never stopped grunting and almost literally ran in circles around the truck. Rhinos are very light on their feet and look and sound like ballerinas.

The grunting finally stopped when Golpara caught sight of her baby. But Kaya, though she was lost and crying less than 30 minutes earlier, ran from her mom as if afraid of punishment. Pretty damn adorable. 

So that was my day. How was yours?

May 17, 2009

Bumper Stickers

Let it be known I hate bumper stickers. It's the most pretentious way to let me know what your opinions and beliefs are and try to convert me while I'm stuck behind your ass in traffic. Today I saw a car with 3 bumper stickers about abortion. The most annoying was the image above. Allow me to point out its flaws:
  1. Mary was a virgin. Virgins don't generally get pregnant spontaneously.
  2. Mary didn't even know she was pregnant until the angel came and told her. Remember, this was pre 95% accurate pregnancy tests.
  3. The angel told Mary she was carrying God's child. If an angel told you, as a virgin, that you were carrying God-made-manifest wouldn't you listen?
  4. The angel also visited her fiancee, Joseph, and told him to man up even though it wasn't his kid. Joseph was a good dude and listened to the angel and raised Jesus until he was at least 12 years old.
  5. The bumper sticker implies that being pro choice means you automatically have abortions. Pro choice only means you are for the concept of women having the legal ability to choose to terminate a pregnancy or carry it to term. I could never have an elective abortion, but I think all women should be able to make that decision for themselves. I'm also a stable person and not everyone is.
  6. The bumper sticker also implies that the holiday of Christmas would be the only thing missing if Mary aborted Jesus. I assume the woman who drove the car believes that all children and embryos and sperm are gifts from God and should be cherished, but the bumper sticker she so proudly displays insinuates all she'd miss is a day off work.
  7. Since Christmas is no longer the sacred remembrance of our Savior's birth, but more like a commercialized way to show how much others mean to you by placing a price tag on an annual gift, maybe it wouldn't be such a terrible thing to not have a Christmas. Mind you, I love the Christmas season where people are generally in a better mood (save for family squabbles), even if only because of anticipation of presents (I hope I get a pony!), but it's gotten so out of hand. 
  8. Easter is supposed to be the more sacred and important Christian holiday because Jesus dying for our sins and rising from the dead is what Christianity is all about (correct me if I'm wrong). Christmas is like Hanukkah: just not as important as Passover. So whoopdeedoo.

May 13, 2009

I Need To Learn To Self Edit

It's been a long and very busy week, and I had little time to get on the computer, much less write. Though I already love my job I need to keep writing, and to do that I must learn to self edit so the task of blogging won't be as daunting. Curse my long windedness!

Somewhat recently I saw this article about Obama's federal funding plans for sex education for teens. During the campaign America more or less realized abstinence only just doesn't work (thanks, Bristol!). No matter who says what, teens are going to have sex, so we might as well show them how condoms work so they don't get pregnant and scabby on top of it.

 It's kind of cute, actually.

I believe too many people (adults included) have such a blase view of sex. But I also believe that too many people (adults included) think sex is an act that should be banned except for the two or three times necessary for procreation. Since I'm a believer in the "happy medium theory" I'm all for couples waiting until they're ready to have sex. And though "ready" will vary, I doubt most high schoolers are "ready" for that sort of thing. 

On the other hand, what if we told our kids the truth about sex from the very beginning, from the first time they asked where babies come from? What if, rather than blaming the stork or saying God decided it was time, we said something like:
Babies come from the mommy's uterus. The daddy puts his penis in the mommy's vagina and that's how the baby is made. Then it lives in the uterus for 9 months until it's born.
I'm reminded of the movie Kindergarten Cop, where the little boy stands up and announces "boys have a penis, girls have a vagina!" If we don't teach kids that their body parts are bad words they won't feel any differently about their penises than their arms or their vaginas than their fingers, and they'll grow up comfortable about their whole body. In sex ed they can then learn how to protect those sensitive body parts for when they inevitably do what those parts are supposed to do.

This budget cut goes hand in hand with Obama's act to reverse the Mexico City Policy his first week in office: both wins. Here's a quote from Rep. Carolyn Maloney regarding our own policy:
"It's about time that evidence-based management - and sanity - return to family planning programs."

May 5, 2009


For 3 years during high school I insisted I did NOT dance. Colorguard involved rifles and sabres, I did not do the dancing part. I had friends who did dance in colorguard, but not me. When we had mandatory try outs for dance I didn't sweat it because my goal was to not get it. My senior homecoming was a bust: should have gone to City Walk like some of my friends did. Even prom wasn't the best, considering I passed off my boyfriend to my single friend and had ONE dance with him during the whole night. I didn't dance.

In the years following high school, up till now, I've reconsidered dance. It's really not as bad as I once thought. At Moorpark College I took a swing (dance) class where I switched off partners every two minutes and had a great time whenever I wasn't with the Arab guy who shaved his arm hair (gross). I actually liked that class, I liked moving around with the skilled male dancers, being led around the classroom, being told I was a great dancer. Since then I've more or less romanticized dance, always pestering the boyfriend to go dancing (even though I'm almost always pestering for the sake of pestering, not because I really care), enjoying Bollywood movies and remembering where friends went to salsa lessons. 

Tonight I watched House, M.D. and a ballet dancer ended up in the hospital after being dropped by her fellow dancer/lover.  Her main concern was being able to dance again, and the team ridiculed her (behind her back) for it. But if you are lucky enough to be able to do your passion for money then that seems like a pretty valid concern. The show isn't over yet (yay TiVo!) but they're throwing around words like MRI and syphilis, and House's best friend's girlfriend is personifying House's subconscious, so I can't really draw any conclusions just yet. Also, this is a tipsy post (happy cinco de mayo!), so I may be missing a link or two.

Anyway, the boyfriend said he's about to pass out if we don't go to bed about a minute ago and he's now asleep on the couch, so off to bed for us. First day at my new job in seven hours!

Combating Global Warming, One Marriage At A Time

Indonesia came up with a brilliant solution to fight deforestation and global warming while at the same time inciting a new symbolic tradition for newlyweds. The bridal gift is a sapling, and the new couple plants this baby tree together. The sapling symbolizes the couple's youth and oneness, and as they grow together in love so the tree will grow strong and mature. Like the couple will provide for and take care of each other in the decades to come, so the tree's branches will provide food and shelter for the animals of the forest, who depend on the tree as much as the tree depends on them.

Also, it's mandatory.

Indonesia is apparently #3 in greenhouse gas production (behind us and China), and deforestation is a big problem. Newlyweds must plant a total of 10 trees. The kicker is if you get divorced you have to plant 50 trees. Curb deforestation while cutting back on divorce rates. It's a win win! 

It's estimated that 50 million trees are needed to start reversing the effects of over farming, and that's just in the city of Garut alone. Since the government doesn't have that kind of money (how much would 50 million saplings cost, anyway?) they decided to get those too-in-love-to-notice couples in on the fun and peg it as a symbolic gesture of their eternal and ever growing love. The Indonesian government is genius!

May 4, 2009

Virgin Lips

Every so often we see stories like this, where a couple touts the goodness of remaining "pure" for their spouses on their wedding days. For the sake of ranting, I'll ignore the idea that purity is the woman's responsibility because the men in the article also saved kissing for the altar.

First, the people who wait until marriage tend to get married very young. Of course your fiance seems perfect... you've only known him/her a year and you haven't had the chance to discover their dirty secrets. No wonder it was worth the wait if the wait was only a year.

Second, if you haven't had sex you don't know what you'll like about it. Relationships have broken up due to sexual problems. What are the chances the person you marry is just the right size for you and likes exactly the same things you do if you've never tried?

Third, having sex with someone isn't just about lust and penetration. It's about sharing a bed, sharing a bathroom, getting used to the idea that you can't hog the sheets or sleep sprawled out in the center of the bed. It's about your partner's tidiness, cleanliness, and timeliness. The physical act of sex brings so much more to the table that can't be learned otherwise and allows for unimaginable intimacy. 

Fourth, if you're having your first kiss on your wedding day, will you jump right to sex on your wedding night? How is that not awkward? Weddings are tiring, stressful events and the happy couple has to spend hours hugging relatives, kissing, dancing, traveling, and smiling, and are then expected to try having sex for the first time? Surprisingly, many couples still say it's worth the wait.

Fifth, if your first kiss is so special you want to have it with only one person, why would you want 100+ people to watch? Are they also going to watch you have sex for the first time? Maybe if it's that sacred you should have the first one in private.

Last, the plus side of waiting until your wedding day to kiss and have sex is you can mould your partner into whatever sexual shape you want (assuming, of course, you're sexually compatible). You can teach your spouse exactly how you like to be kissed, touched, and... everything else. You learn together and neither have anything to compare the other to. I still think it's a bad idea, since you have no idea what you're getting into, but if it's that important to both people then to each their own.

May 1, 2009

Swine Flu

OK fine, I'll talk about swine flu. Everybody else is doing it.
Pigs are actually very clean animals. It's not their fault you feed them trash.

When I heard a few days ago that Egypt ordered a mass cull of their 300,000 pigs in response to the swine flu pandemic I thought, is swine flu even in Egypt? 


So, if there are no cases of swine flu in Egypt and the disease is spread from human to human, not by pigs, why did Egypt go crazy with the cull?

The answer lies somewhere between politics and religion. Egypt, a mostly Muslim country, decided that since pigs are filthy creatures it would be in the country's best interest to get rid of pigs altogether.

Here's how Egyptian pig farms work: the farmers (the small Coptic Christian minority) collect the trash from city streets. They separate out the organic material and feed it to the pigs. They sell the pigs one or two at a time to butchers. The "farms" are nothing more than tiny fenced areas in the slums where whole families live among the pigs and trash and whatever other animals are around. They have no means to slaughter, package or store the meat themselves, which is why they can only sell pigs by butchers' demand. 

When the government decided to kill all the pigs in Egypt they promised compensation. But at the last second the government not only took back that promise, they charged the farmers for the slaughter, saying they could have the meat to sell as compensation. Problems with this:
  1. Muslims don't eat pork. These farmers would have to sell to the Coptic Christians, who make up less than 10% of the population.
  2. The Coptic Christians are the ones who keep the pigs. They'd just be selling to their neighbors, who already have a bunch of pork from their own dead pigs.
  3. Since they don't have freezers or other means to store the meat the vast majority will go rancid in the Egyptian heat before they can sell it.
  4. A whole segment of the population is now out of work with no other means for survival.
  5. They could continue to collect trash, but they did that for free to feed their pigs.
What does the Egyptian government have to say? Killing the pigs is "a general health measure, it is good to restructure this kind of breeding in good farms, not on rubbish." What does the World Health Organization say? Big mistake. Dumbasses. Egypt plans to "restructure" the garbage collection by signing contracts with corporations, who will charge a fee, and will build new farms specifically for pig rearing. Muslims see pigs as dirty, and pretty much everyone sees trash as dirty, so you can see why the Egyptian Muslims associate the Coptic Christians with "dirty," since they do the trash collecting and the pig raising. 

My thoughts on swine flu? You're not going to die from it so calm the f down and go about your business. Don't travel to Mexico not because of the swine flu pandemic but because the police will kill you and stash your body in a shallow, mass grave.