Monday, October 31, 2005

Marriage and Judges

Today’s nomination of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court saddened me. Replacing the first woman to sit on the high court by a man. Each nomination seems more white, more male and more out of touch with the average Joe. Didn’t Bush attempt to woo the soccer mom, saying that W stood for Woman? Exactly what has he done for women?

And then I read an article this weekend suggesting that the feminist movement was all just a cruel hoax and that women are now back to being objectified and putting finding a man above everything else. I’m so disconnected from all of that. Am I really living in that reality? I’m still waiting to meet a woman who is just crazy to find a man. Actually, I have, and she had several suitors knocking on her door, but didn’t like them, yet she still complained of no boyfriend. I guess she wasn’t that desperate. Where does that fit into the generalized theories on how women are marrying for money and men are chasing the young and beautiful.

I think it is impossible to generalize on trends in coupling. There will always be the older, wealthy man/younger, attractive woman syndrome. And I’m on Anna Nicole’s side – she deserves $1M for every night she spent with that old millionaire. We all know what that arrangement is about – and his sons are repugnant trying so hard to hoard their father’s money. She worked for it, what did they do?

Just imagine nights at home between Anna Nicole and Howard Marshall. Could it have been satisfying to either side? Can a relationship with such inequality – where the woman is entirely dependent on the man who may or may not replace her with a younger model on her 40th birthday – bring happiness to either party? Happy marriages often have a basis of mutual respect – how can there be respect with such inequality? Doesn’t the thrill of being owned wear out after so long?

All questions today. But there are happy endings.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Prop 73

In today's Daily News there is an editorial about Prop. 73. Prop 73 is a loaded measure, the main gist of it is about parental notification. Here's the full text:

Now parental notification polls well - who can be against supporting families and keeping parents involved in their children's life? Now, this measure doesn't actually have anything in it to foster better family relationships. Nope it says nothing about creating resources for fostering better relationships or encouraging frank discussions about the birds and the bees. Instead it calls for notification of parents if a doctor finds that a girl wants to get an abortion. Now, you'd think that the parent might want to know if the girl is pregnant - Nope! Nothing in there required that they be notified if the girl is pregnant.

Now that just boggles my mind - would the parents want to know if she is pregnant? Simply pregnant? Then the could help her get pre-natal treatment or support her through the process of getting an abortion.

Which means that a scared, ill-equipped to be a mother, girl goes to the doctor, find that she is pregnant and learns that in order to get an abortion, her alcoholic parents must be notified before she can have the procedure. Just for fun lets say she is 14 and had a 20 year old lover. As we are all aware of this epidemic of statutory rapes which this bill is supposedly going to stop.

She then declines the offer and leaves the office. Nothing happens. Her parents are not notified nor is the rapist caught. She then goes to the library and hops no the internet to find alternative methods. Prop. 73 has just eliminated the safe way for her to terminate her pregnancy so that she might continue high school, go to college and not be a teenage mother.

On the internet she learns that the abortion pill is a combination of mifipristone and misoprostil. Next she finds an online pharmacy that sells it with out a prescription. She gets the product which she hopes, as some of those online pharmacies are less than reputable, is the actual medication and guesses at the dose... and she may or may not have a "spontaneous abortion" that could land her in the emergency room. Or she could find a back alley abortion doctor who is just some psycho with a knife waiting to prey on young, vulnerable girls.

As it is, we do not need a law mandating family relations. We didn't need Congress involved in Terri Shiavo's death and we don't need a state constitutional amendment that is more about getting abortion to be defined as, "the death of the unborn child, a child conceived but not yet born" than it is about parental involvement.

I urge all Californians to vote no on Prop 73... but don't stop there. Vote all the initiative down. The governor has mandated an election at our tax payer expense because he is unable to get his way with the legislature - tell him no.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

A Miracle of Modern Nature

So, I am coming to believe that we should have to courses taught to all children in this country. The first is the Constitution. Citizens must have a broad understanding of how their government functions in order to fully participate. Second, we should require a complete understanding of the Scientific Method.

I'm following the intelligent design trial in Dover, PA with morbid fascination. Now, I don't believe that science and religion are mutually exclusive ideas. Science is the study of the world around us. It is measurements and pattern identification blended to created theories, rules and guidelines for prediction. When there isn't a clear understanding, the problem, anomality or whatever is tested and poked and prodded until there is an understanding. Scientists don't just make something up to fill in the blanks.

Tonight's NOVA featured a segment on scientists trying to create life in the lab. There's a bit about DNA production (which I have to say I found very odd. I had NO idea that if you put the chemicals into a vial they would self organize? How insane is that??) and then a bit about qualities that make life. I'm not big on the idea of bringing lab produced life into existence - I find it highly risky. However, it did make me ponder exactly what caused the chemicals and atoms to get together and figure out how to reproduce, grow and change things into energy.
What the *@#$? How did that happen?? Now I'm not going to surmise or invent an answer. I'm OK with not knowing.

When you get around to thinking about it - there is an AMAZING amount of stuff we didn't know. How in the world did we get so far with so little knowledge? We're still trying to figure out what causes lightening - which I loathe due to their unnatural and dangerous qualities - big bolts of energy hurled at the ground. Ick.

We are still discovering the big and small about the world around us. It almost makes me want to go into science! Screw this sales stuff - give me a lab! Let me study what happens in the brain to bring about ideas. Now, I hate the idea we can be broken down into molecular structures, electric and chemical reactions, it is so humbling. However there doesn't seem to be much evidence to the contrary. I'm too tired tonight to figure out the implications of that in terms of one's soul and what it means to be alive - makes my brain hurt. It is scary and unpleasant, but so is taking out the trash after the left-over fish has been steeping in there for 49 hours. It is foolish to hide from the unpleasant. Hiding or rejecting a fact on emotional grounds does make it untrue.

but I digress from the title which is a touch of Jen-speak. Sunday at the Loose Caboose Cafe in Crestview I was reading Geology Underfoot in Southern California and was amazed at the Cajon Creek and the fault line that have carved the Cajon Pass from the mountain range. Miracle of Modern Nature.

Friday, October 14, 2005

False Names

A Year in Los Angeles is a misnomer. We've been here 1.5 years now. At the same time it all feels like a grand transition. I don't want to stay in Los Angeles for the long term.

However it has access to so many nice places, be it Bishop or Big Bear or Warner Springs. In town, there is such little beauty. The incessant and numbing landscape with few landmarks for orientation leaves the traveler sucked dry.

The pleasure of living in Los Angeles seems to be more in the ability to escape it. The famous in Malibu which isn't really Los Angeles at all - just hills that meet the sea. The Rich lock themselves away in compounds tucked into the hills.

Those who cannot get away are suck in the smog. With so many particles there is so little atmosphere. No mood, the city is a blank set. Feeling and mood are created temporally and only for the camera.

Buona Sera.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Balancing the good, the bad and the funny

I hope I'm not the only one who found today's rehearsal of the Administration's "Spontaneous" Teleconference with our soldiers amusing. I know there is a long and devious history of staging events with the military. Why call it spontaneous if it isn't - isn't that telling falsehoods? I think they are getting sloppy - what have we had from them recently? Staged town hall meetings - with not a single opposing view; reporters on the payroll who lob softball questions. Oops.

Here's the story for those who missed it:
All this does make me wonder if that story of Bush's debate ear bug might have some truth to it.

As for the good - I sold another library today. Last month I was concerned about my sales. They were not coming in - despite all my calls and pleas and attempts. It was almost as if all of my prospects closed down for the month. My territory does not include any state hit by the hurricanes - so I was mystified. So, I've got a bit of breathing room this week and so far, I've had 4 libraries come in this month. It gives me a bit of breathing room.

Last night we were at the big book store at The Grove. Michael wanted to find a specific book for a new endeavor. I wandered off to find myself in the Sales Section. After last month, I'm especially open to new ways of staying ahead of the game. Adjacent to it is the section on job hunting, career paths, cover letters - a veritable cornucopia of job securing literature. Are both sections so full of books because not a single person has a clue of how to secure sales or get a job? My impression is that it is much like Vegas - everyone has a system.

As for the bad, well, I took care of that. Two hours in the salon and my hair is an indescribable shade of red. I feel honored - I get my hair done by the same talented artist as Xeni Jardin. I love her platinum, but I can't get away from the copper.

Good Night and Good Luck.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


In the August 27th issue of the Economist there is a bit about the explosion of goat farming in American. Between the hunger of recent immigrants and the craving for goat cheese, there is a boom in the market for goat.

Recently Michael and I were thinking of skipping out of the rat race here in Los Angeles (he works for Disney and I sell automated tape backup libraries) and buying land to escape to. Part of the escape would likely include a victory garden (remember, we are at war), several goats, if not an entire herd (I did try to make goat cheese and it turned out OK but due to my inability to find single shots of rennet of the web, I now have a life-time supply), a pug and possibly a cow. Michael tells me that cows are quite sweet, but they are more than twice my size, so am not convinced. They could squish me accidentally - not a feature I look for in local pets.

However, I suspect this will remain a fantasy for several reasons. While I quite like the idea of escape, I know that running does no good. I ran off to Italy for my junior year of college, had a wonderful time, but was unable to flee the requirements of adulthood, academics and graduation requirements. Now I hold a degree in Architecture and sell computer equipments...

I am a firm believer in facing reality, which is why I've started this blog. I have interests and ambitions in politics. Currently I'm considering getting a Masters in Public Policy and Economics. However, advanced degrees as well as post-graduation employment will likely require writing. Michael suggested that I start a blog to get myself to write regularly. We'll see if that works.

Good Night All.