Musings of an Amateur Diva

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Location: Kennedale, Texas, United States

Single mother of two trying to find my way in the world. Feminist, Socialist and Atheist living in Jesusville, USA.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Sign this!

A little while back the mom blogs went through a bit of a tiff over a spot on the Today Show that grossly misrepresented the issue of mothers having a drink at playdates. Basically, the mothers would get together, their kids would play and everyone would eat lunch together. At these gatherings the mothers would have a glass of wine with lunch, say. So, Today does this segment on it, in which, amongst other tricks, they do this shot of a jungle gym with kids playing on it past a couple wine bottles looming large in the forefront. They did a real hatchet job. Then, they had a "discussion" afterward with Melissa from Suburban Bliss and railroaded her. It was pretty terrible, all in all. Just another excuse to attack mothers for no reason in particular. And it got the blogworld (or, at least those of us who are moms) up in arms for awhile. Well, apparently has got together a petition, to end the mommy wars in the media.

The premise is that with mothers in our nation (and, indeed, the world) facing so many struggles on so many levels, why do we really need to make up reasons to become alarmist about what horrible, selfish, lazy bitches mothers all are? Why can't we focus the media on real issues that would really help mothers? Here is the petition. Please, everyone sign!

Apparently after the Today Show thing, enough bloggers made enough noise, and enough people reacted by taking the issue to NBC that the show took a second, more balanced look at the issue. So, there's maybe some hope?

Anyway, Alice Bradley writes about it much more elegantly than I do.

Here is Melissa's blog. She was brave enough to go on the Today Show in the first place.

Here is the Today Show segment.

And, really, it's not just this segment. It's all over the place in the media, blaming mothers for not being enough, or being too much. If you work, you're selfish and neglecting your kids. If you stay home, you're lazy and being a poor role model. If you work part time, you're not good enough on either front. There's just no real way to win.

Friday, March 23, 2007

I'm not sure the irony is intentional

From NPR today: "Flanked by veterans and their families, Bush accused the Democrats of political theater."

Thursday, March 22, 2007

I was just reading through this post on Punkass Blog - okay, really, I read the comment thread more than the actual post, because the comment thread was really the bit that I found remarkable. I liked the post. I agreed with the post, but the comments really blew me away. Most of them not in the good way. In a "Oh my word, do people really think this way?!" way.
Here's a gem, for everyone to check out:

Guy #1: You really don’t see any inherent benefits accorded to you by this society simply by being a dude? Are you sure about that?

Guy #2: Yes. There is no Patriarchy

This guy is apparently not kidding. I'm not even halfway through the comments. It's a combination of depressing and hillarious that I am having trouble describing.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Maybe someone has thought of this stuff, but Homeschooling is such a sudden sensation (I know it's been around a long time, but has, in recent years, become much more widespread, to, I think, unprecedented levels) that I'm imagining there are a lot of cracks to fall through. Plus, my neighbor across the street recently switched over to homeschooling her son, and her flippancy about how easy the process is (Just having him fill out, essentially, worksheets provided by the company and reporting his scores to the company.) sets off a few alarms in my head.

I mean, the first and most obvious is who is really regulating what kind of education these kids are getting? It doesn't seem to me that there's a lot of real oversight involved in this, which means that there are going to be kids coming out of this undereducated when it's too late to effectively reverse the damage done. Now, I admit that it's my opinion that on average homeschooled kids get a better education than kids in public schools. They get personalized instruction by someone who really cares about them getting a good education, and can learn at their own pace, etc, etc.. but sometimes they're *not*, and who's looking out for those kids?

The second thing, slightly more worrisome in a more long term way is... do these kids get vaccinations? Kids have to have vaccinations to get into school, and a lot of them, frankly, wouldn't get vaccinations if they didn't have thie requirement. Vaccines are unpleasant, inconvenient and often expensive. I remember with my son's vaccines getting into Kindergarten, the pediatrician wouldn't give them unless he also had a full physical, which cost me 120 bucks. Ouch. But, we did it, because we *had to*. Now, I also believe these things should be provided free of charge, but even without the cost there are those who would not get vaccinated if they weren't compelled to do so. And the reasons these diseases are next to unheard of in this day and age is because most everyone has been immunized against them, so they can't take hold here. Without that shield, might we see outbreaks of, say, polio?

Here's my real concern, though... schools catch abuse. Often abused kids have only their teachers and officials at the schools they attend as adults they can trust outside of their families. Homeschooled kids have the potential of being incredibly socially isolated, and thus powerless if they have an abusive parent or parents. There are ways, as my brother (who intends to homeschool) points out, to be sure the kids get socialization with other kids their age - group classes, outdoor activities and the like. But there's no requirement to become involved in these sorts of things, so that homeschooling could be an excellent way to disguise dysfunctional or dangerous family situations.

Like I said, I haven't really researched it. These are just my thoughts, but it seems problematic, on the surface.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

I've been feeling very creative, lately, which is a good sign, I think. I've thought about trying to do some writing that isn't roleplay related, just writing a story. It's something I didn't really have the patience for in the past, but I'm considering trying. Also, I should get some paint and get started on some of the furniture around here that I keep meaning to beautify.

Mostly, it just feels like something is inside of me and wants out. It's a craving for something I don't have words for, and I'm going to have to find a way to get it out, to fill it up, whatever metaphor you choose to go with.

I've finished the books I was reading. I was a little dissapointed with the last in the series, but I loved the way the author ended the series. One of the things that he would do that was both interesting and occasionally annoying, was to resolve things "off camera"... events would transpire where the current narrator was aware only of the outcome, or the effects of the action, so that you got what had happened, because you, as the reader, had been privvy to more information than the current narrator had. This was mostly an interesting way of moving the action along without getting bogged down with minute detail too often, and giving the reader different perspectives on different parts of the story, but once or twice I felt that Kim Stanley Robinson took it too far and would have too much happening away from the reader's ability to witness it. It was, occasionally, too pat. A character came back and had resolved some issue he or she had had, and one was given no insight as to how that had happened, or why or what might be going on with that character. As if the author was stumped as to how to fix something, and so says it was fixed and leaves it a mystery as to how.

But mostly he used this style to great effect, and it helped to keep the story from dragging, over all, and allowed it to be a tale with a wide range of characters, and go into some detail in each of their lives without getting too, too long. Sort of the anti-Robert Jordan, come to that.

So, I think that I'm going to start outlining a story, and see where it takes me. Listen to lots of inspiring music, read some books... really explore the depths of my creative process. I hope to have some really great updates here in the near future. I feel so much more stable in different areas now that hopefully it can express itself in the ability to express myself creatively again. I feel like it's been a long time. I feel... on the verge of something, somehow.

Oh my gosh!! The bug lady called me again! Just now! Those who read my blog when it was a livejournal might remember the post about the bug lady. She calls and thinks I'm "bug" and creeps me out with her sing-song voice. Last time it was "Where are you, bug?" And "Nancy, I swam through the water", and this time, she just opened with "Hi, bug!"... so, less like CIA code, but still kinda unnerving.

After I'd told her it was the wrong number, I sort of regretted it. I didn't even ask her what the hell she meant by the water thing, or who was bug... or even pretended to be bug to try to crawl into her psyche at all!

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Life moving on.

Well, I started my new job this week. Michael has had some problems with a bully in school recently and is in a new class. My car is acting up, smells funny and getting warmer than usual. I got some extra money, recently. Things are going pretty well, in other words. I worry about Michael still, but am not sure what to do about it other than to support him and wait it out. I prefer when I can do something, of course, but I can't be there all the time, I'm not even usually there when things happen that set him off.

My job is going well. Today was my first day off. The girl training me wasn't going to be there, so there wasn't much for me to do, so the boss said to go ahead and stay home, which was nice. It's really great there, not a lot of heirarchy.. pretty much everyone does his or her own job, and Mark, the lab manager does a few extra organizational tasks, but leaves everyone to take care of their own stuff. It keeps the environment relaxed and easy going.

The car is going to wait until I get my first paycheck, but I'm not too worried about it. Soon, I will be looking to get a new car. If I can pull it off, a hybrid.

All in all, I'm happy and doing well. Really happy.

I miss Chris though! (Who is my online friend who hasn't been around to talk to lately.)

Oh, and take a look at this article. I was a part of that poll! They called me and asked me all those questions. I feel powerful.

Thursday, April 28, 2005


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