Tuesday, December 16, 2003

It Can't Happen Here

I don't care if you're conservative, liberal, Republican, Democrat, Libertarian or Green, all Americans need to take a long hard look at the Bush adminsitration and it's handling of political protests. There have been many reports of anti-war demonstrators being targeted by the Bush administration. Now there's This article from Salon about the police response to protests at the Miami Free Trade of the Americas summit. Senior citizens were sprayed with tear gas. People attempting to leave the area were shot at close range with rubber bullets. Journalists who declined to be "embedded" (and it's not a coincidence that this phrase sounds so much like "in bed with") in the police force were arrested and harrassed.

This is not an aberration; it's America as Bush and co. would have it be. This is the Homeland Security endorsed strategy to deal with anyone who doesn't toe the party line. Their definition of a terrorist is anyone who doesn't agree with them. Their definition of an anarchist is anyone who rocks the boat and dares to oppose them.

This is important. Dissent is a vital part of democracy. Peaceful protesters are not the enemy. Attempts to discourage people from exercising their right to protest are unconscionable. Violence against peaceful protesters is un-American.

That said, protesters - do us all a favor and don't encourage this shit from the authorities. Engage in peaceful protest. Avoid violence and vandalism. Behave yourselves and don't use a rally or protest as a place to air your authority issues. And I've found that it doesn't hurt to dress for the occasion. Like it or not, most Americans are more likely to take you seriously if you're dressed "normally" - leave your fetish gear at home.

Friday Five, On Tuesday

Laura asked:

What are your five most popular (or common, rather) home cures, Granny's Recipes or magic tricks even for curing or preventing any old disease?

1. Hot Salt Water - swished around in my mouth for canker sores, gargled for a sore throat. The trick is to get the water as hot as you can stand it, and very salty. I don't know if it actually cures anything, but it feels damn good when you stop, and everything's relative, right?

2. Lemon Tea with lots of honey - Essential for sore throats.

3. Cepacol cherry lozenges - another important part of the sore throat cure. Much, much better than the mentholated ones, which are Evil.

4. Mega-doses of vitamin C - My one effort at prevention.

5. Hot steamy bath - clears the sinuses and makes everything better. I like to add lavender scented something to mine, to help me sleep.

See the other (more prompt) participants on the side bar.

Thursday, December 11, 2003


Two weeks to go until Christmas and I'm in deep denial. You see, we were counting on a big lump sum payment from Adam's job to pay for our Christmas this year, and due to some problems with the paperwork, it won't be here until early January. Meanwhile, we've had quite a few unexpected expenses in the past few months, so there's not a lot of fat in our budget to cover extras like Christmas. I'm swallowing my pride and borrowing enough from my parents to buy the kids something, but everyone else is going to have to settle for an old fashioned Christmas - the one that starts on Dec. 25 and goes through the feast of St. Stephen on Jan. 6. On the upside, I'll be doing my Christmas shopping during the after Christmas sales, so I should get lots of bang for my buck.

I realize that this is a seriously first world problem - there are many familes that don't have the money for Christmas at all, now or in 3 weeks, and as Anne Lamott says, if you can solve your problem by throwing money at it, you don't have a problem. Still, it's disappointing. I had a fantasy of getting this money at the beginning of December and going out and very efficiently getting all our shopping done and mailing gifts off so that they would arrive well before Christmas. Now I'm sort of scrambling to get the kids stuff without having to borrow too much from my folks and fretting about the necessary belatedness of the other gifts and it's kind of taking the joy out of it for me. It's easier just to ignore it all. Which is too bad, because usually I really like this time of year.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Catch Up

Between the holidays and Adam's vasectomy (warning potential tmi), I haven't been blogging as much as I'd like. So, a roundup of recommended links from the past week or so:

Good stuff in Austinmama the past few weeks, including several articles from Friday Fivers:

Last week, Adrienne had a wonderful article about family photographs and memories.

This week, Merideth has a poignant and moving feature article about her sister-in-law's death

And my new column is up as well. It's meant to be reassuring to all those who've been worried about the state of my marriage. (Yes, Mom, I'm looking at you!)

Very good Annie Lamott column in Salon, as well, about the Advent season and the ways in which we are all broken, but healing each other.

Friday Five

Rob's topic:
Which five 'toys' at any time of your life have meant the most to you and why?

(I stupidly posted this in draft form on Friday, and didn't realize it - sorry for the delay)

Here's the thing, I really don't remember playing with toys that much as a kid. I learned to read when I was 3 and I pretty much read all the time from that point on. I remember playing with toys, but none of them have stuck with me as particularly special.

1. My computer. A world of information at my fingertips. Sullied only by the fact that I have to share it with Adam and the kids. Merideth has a new laptop and I'm green with envy at her luck. The thought of setting everything up to suit my tastes and mine alone is rivaled only by the idea of wireless internet access and surfing the 'net from the local coffee shops.

2. My dvd player. I'm not big on electronic equipment. I want something that allows me to enjoy the content, but I'm unlikely to notice differences in picture or sound quality. What I love about dvds are all the extra goodies you get.

3. The cd player in my car. Similar reasoning - we have a cd player in the house, so having one in the car means I can listen to my newer music there now.

4. Um, the light bright I got when I was 8? I remember it was a very cool toy.

5. My toy record player from when I was maybe 3. It was one of the old fashioned ones with the thick plastic records. I think I drove my parents crazy with it, playing the same songs over and over again.

All the other players are listed in the sidebar,