Archive for February, 2012

In a move of shocking stupidity, I inserted myself into a comment thread on Facebook that quickly dissolved into discussing the validity of contraception as health.

There’s no one to blame but myself, but I mean, COME ON. When faced with comments like:

 “contraception is not a health issue. Contraception is something to prevent pregnancy when people are in search of personal pleasure”

I was COMPLETELY UNABLE to control my blood pressure and you think I’d have learned nothing from my years of being taunted by my brother into every stupid argument possible (most notably: the Christmas eve argument about whether or not my opinion that I did not want to live in New York City was valid. His position: Invalid Opinion. My position: OMG ARE YOU KIDDING ME WHAT THE HELL [repeat at the dinner table for three hours])

Anyway. I was feeling really beat down by the comments on this thread because a) you can’t win this argument, and b) I like the friend whose wall this was on, and I didn’t want her to think I was going all crazy on her friends.

And then she posted this, and I wanted to stand up and cheer. Shanti, my dear, you are fantastic. Thank you.

From her post:

“‎1997 – bill introduced by a Republican Senator and Representative to require contraception coverage.
2000 – EEC ruled that all employers with more than 15 employees must provide contraception coverage if they provide other preventative care…. John Roberts says he will defend the rule.
– Iowa’s GOP majority legislature requires contraceptive coverage with no religious exceptions
– Arizona passes a bill with similar requirements but does exempt religious institutions. Sponsored by a Republican, signed by a Catholic Republican female Governor.
2001 – Republican George Pataki signs a similar mandate for New York.
2005 – Republican Mike Huckabee signs a bill that exempts religious institutions that, like the current bill does not exclude colleges and hospitals. The bill not only got bi-partisan support but was sponsored by two GOP law makers.
2006 – Republican Mitt Romney affirms a state law that requires contraception be provided.

In other words – this is an assault on religious liberty because the Obama Administration proposed it, not because they’re codifying a law already in place in the vast majority of states – laws written, voted for and signed by Republicans, with no cries of outrage.”

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I find I write here more when I’m reading a lot; good books will get my mind moving and narrating and I find it easy to use this space as an outlet.Which is a segue into why I haven’t been writing here: I’ve been reading SUCH CRAP. It started innocently enough: I was in the Charlotte airport and saw for sale the cheesiest looking book I’ve ever seen:

It was like the subplot of Romancing the Stone come to life. Honestly, I don’t  think until that moment I’ve really understood that books like that were real, that people actually wrote them and chose that type of cover and that other people actually bought them. I think in my mind the entire romance novel industry was made up as a fake occupation for Kathleen Turner. 
But no: it’s real and it’s writing books titled “Never Seduce a Scoundrel.” So of course i had to to tell my friends; it was like spotting an exotic animal: “Look at this! In the flesh! AROUND PEOPLE!!! Stare and gawk with me!”
Upon receipt of my mocking email (that included the above shot of How To Wed A Wild Lord, because of course I did), a friend wrote back: “Actually… That series is …kind of good.”

You guys. It’s a SERIES. There’s MORE THAN ONE. (Thank you for defining “series”, Liz.) Sure enough:  To Wed A Wild Lord is the fourth in the Hellions of Halstad Hall series, and obviously the only thing for me to do was go get the first one – “The Truth About Lord Stoneville”

Look. I’m not proud. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out which was worse: paying money for the book so I could read it on a Kindle and maintain plausible deniability, or getting it for free from the library and show my shame to the world as I read. (I went library- momentary shame on an airplane but no trace of its existence once returned.) (Unless you’re flying with coworkers) (pro tip: smutty paperbacks do NOT fit inside the covers of the latest Harvard Business Review.) (I’ve heard.)

Soooooooo. That’s where I’ve been. Like I said, I’m not proud. These books are basically the same story, over and over, stories that take roughly two hours per book to finish, and while I’m positive those two hours could be used in MUCH BETTER pursuits, for the past few weeks, it’s been the mental chewing gum that I needed. I think I’m about to snap out of if, however, and will be hopefully returning here with many intelligent THOUGHTS about THINGS and not caught up in the web of books like “Let Sleeping Rouges Lie.”

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Shoe Magic

A poem sent to me by mother, which is fitting given how much she and I really enjoy ourselves some good shoe shopping (although to be fair that’s about 80% “the company we have” and 20% “the shoes we find”)

(maybe 70/30)

Shoe Magic by Nikki Grimes

The shoe rack
is stacked
with promise,

With dreams
to wake.

What you do
where you go,

who you grow

Up to be
depends on
The steps you take

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Three Hour Tour

I’ve been traveling for the past three weeks, with one more week to go. I don’t mind this kind of travel; it’s a part of my job, not that frequent, the change of pace comes at the right moment , and while this kind of whirlwind means most personal administration gets forgotten (email? Blog? Eh?) it’s not a permanent routine and thus totally doable.

(to level set the crazy, though: in the past 16 days I’ve been in: Portland, DC, Baltimore, Ft. Worth, San Francisco, Birmingham, Milwaukee, and Raleigh, and next week will hit Orange County and Portland [again]. Whew.)

(I am always hesitant to complain — wait, actually, I’m NEVER hesitant to complain however I am cognizant that while I’m complaining, it does air on the side of douchebaggery. I think there is a certain type of personality that takes pride in being ohmygod so busy and in every exasperated sigh and complaint of “God, not this airport again” there is an element of bragging about how important we are as individuals that our very presence is required in person for a job to be done correctly. I get that this can come across, I really do. But I also get that like, 16 days of travel is tiring regardless, even though I am the exact type of personality to volunteer for this type of gig.)

But let’s not let this discussion of why one would complain interrupt me from actually complaining:

So, for what, 10 years? Southwest has been doing the open seating thing, where you board the plane in order you check in and take whatever seat you want. This is nowhere close to new procedure, and I dare say it is no more arbitrary than having the airline assign you a seat. (“But what of my first class option?” you ask. Yes, yes, I know. It is terrible back in steerage. But it’s also an $80 dollar ticket, so like, work with it.) But even though the open seating idea isn’t new, even though it has proven to actually be, in many cases, more efficient than airline assigned seats, there is still always that one guy that has to bitch loudly and frequently while lining up: “What are we, cattle? [LOUD SIGH]”

Dude. You bought the ticket. You knew it was Southwest, and you knew this was how they board. No one forced you to be here. Shut it, already.

Compare the open seating boarding procedure to my most recent experience boarding a United Airline flight:

There we all were, crushed in a mass, waiting to board. At the gateway there were two roped off lines next to each other for approaching the jetway: one on the left with a red carpet, one on the right with a black carpet. First Class was called to board, then Business Select, then Premier, then Global Something Something, then 1k… Etc. (United Airlines has clearly taken notes from the caste systems in India and Downton Abbey).

All these lovely people walked down the left side red carpeted path. When the gate agent finally got around to boarding us working class folk, we also proceeded down the left side path, following the example set by our First Class/Premier Exec/Global Something Something/1k betters. A line of probably 20 people had formed and walked down but before anyone was let through -I’m not even kidding you here-  the gate agent made everyone REVERSE DOWN THAT PATH,  MOVE ONE FOOT TO THE RIGHT, AND WALK UP ON THE BLACK – not red- CARPET. Like, he literally refused to take their ticket and let them by if they didn’t come up the side that was explicitly for non-elite members.

I mean, come on. The important people were already on the plane! They’d never know that we defiled their red carpet! We won’t tell, promise!  Just let us board in our herd of seating zones and thank our lucky stars we didn’t have to put up with the indignity of open seating. Whew.

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