Friday, October 30, 2009
Yes, Culver's. A quick and easy meal of grilled cheese, fries, unlimited root beer and a cup of frozen custard can be had there for less than five bucks, and besides, I had a coupon for a free birthday sundae that I wasn't about to let go to waste. Not even moderate-to-severe depression can keep me from taking advantage of a bargain. And depressed I certainly was, for the hour before we went to dinner was spent enduring the hysterics of my nine-year-old son. What triggered his rage is a biochemical mystery that has yet to be revealed, but by the end of it, he was a snotty mess. We honked him out with some tissue and saline spray and thought we were good to go.
Somewhere around his second cup of root beer, he started coughing and couldn't stop. His body lurched, and there it was, on the curling wrapper left from his ButterBurger: a dark brown pool of birthday vomit.
For a second, Matt and I forgot our parental duties and just stared at it. Were we going to laugh? Cry? Join in? Matt came to his senses first, cleaned up the wrapper, and hustled the boy to the bathroom. "He's fine," he assured me when they returned. "It was just that coughing fit that triggered it."
What will happen when I turn 39?
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
I love this picture. Liz (at left, with our friend Jenny, aka Spike) is mugging over the birthday cake she made for me the day I turned twenty. I'd only been her friend for a short time, so the cake was completely unexpected. It was such a thoughtful thing to do--I didn't know yet that it was typical of her.
In 2007, the year I turned 36, I received a phone call from Liz. She lay in a hospital bed at Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston, there for what everyone hoped was just the world's worst-ever case of pneumonia. In truth, her body was shutting down, wrecked beyond repair by cancer. Somehow, despite great physical and emotional pain, she summoned the energy to call me and ask how I was doing, since she knew this birthday would be the first one I'd celebrate since I fell out with my parents and sister. I was stunned.
Liz tried to be optimistic. She mentioned the possibility of chasing down a clinical trial somewhere and asked if I'd visit her at the Mayo Clinic. I said I would meet her anywhere. I kept my voice light and happy, but never in my life have I felt so afraid. The last words we spoke to one another were "I love you."
Matt and the kids took me out to Davanni's that night. The world's best hoagie tasted like cardboard. I went home and promptly threw it up. Liz died three weeks later.
Last year, in another emotional purging, I posted a long and painful piece on my old MySpace blog about the baffling behavior of my former best friend, a woman whom I once considered close as a sister. At some point, she decided that our friendship was over, without bothering to inform me. I couldn't help but contrast her coldness with Liz's warmth, with Liz's need to make sure I was feeling okay on my birthday even as she lay in the hospital, dying.
Matt and the kids bought me an ice cream cake and a bottle of wine. I devoured them both, and then, a few hours later, threw it all up.
A birthday is meant to celebrate the fact that you're alive. Since the year 2007, all I have felt on October 29 is grief, pain, and a sadness so deep it's physically intolerable.
So please, bear with me on Thursday. If I'm not smiling, it's because I'm holding all the vomit in.
Friday, October 23, 2009
If you're like me and you're continuing to watch the Franken Amendment as it winds its way through the Senate, you're a fan of a new site called Republicans for Rape. What better way to call out the 30 Senators who voted AGAINST a silly thing like allowing sexual assault victims to pursue criminal charges against their attackers? Looking at their pasty white faces smiling out from their roll call page is a source of inspiration towards action. As in, let's get these assholes out of office ASAP.
As a lifelong Democrat, it's easy to gloat when you look at those pasty faces, all of them with an accusatory R after their names. The site is REPUBLICANS for Rape, hee-hee! No one from MY team would ever collude with these jerks! Foolish me. HuffPo recently reported that Sen. Dan Inouye of Hawaii is buckling under pressure from defense contractors to either defang the amendment or to remove it entirely. Uh-oh.
But how to express our disappointment when we are freezing our tails off in Minnesota's early winter? (yes, it may snow today.) How can we be sure that our Midwestern concerns aren't buried in a tub of poi? Washed out to sea on a surfboard? Cracked like so many macadamia nuts? What follows below are some handy tips from a RFR commenter nicknamed F. Murray Rumplestiltskin. He writes: "I was going to blog all that - but this comment thread will surely get many more eyeballs than my blog ever would. Feel free to copy and paste the advice and share it widely. God bless America."
F. Murray, I salute you. I am reposting and sharing this widely. I ask that my readers do the same!
A. It's useful to be a constituent. Very useful.
B. Proxies are useful to hide your real location. When leaving a message to Mr. Inouye your *cough* *cough* senator I strongly suggest you leave use a proxy. Google proxy. If need look up "(internet) proxy" at wikipedia. Knowledge is power.
Proxies are slow and annoying - it may take a few minutes to find one that works - but people - c'mon - rape needs your support!
The form that pops up requires:
1. a first and last name
2. an address (constituents live in Hawaii)
3. a city (constituents live in Hawaii)
4. a state (constituents live in Hawaii)
5. a zip (constituents live in Hawaii)
6. an email (I wonder if it gets checked. Hmm....)
Okay boys and girls - you get the hint? I have a feeling that emails from non-constituents are glanced at, ignored and then deleted.
The following is all done in the name of fun and for demonstration purposes only.
#1 - I think that's manageable without assistance.
#2, #3 - The link is google map link for hawaii.
I don't know if links are allowed. Gee whiz - would you look at that - maps have addresses and cities.
#4 - The default state in the drop down is Hawaii.
#5 Google hawaii zip code
#6 - Boys and girls, I think I've done enough already.
This was my message:
Dr. Mr. Inouye,
As a proud member of our military - I salute you in supporting rape!
[name of a guy in the military who actually lives in Hawaii]
And, boys and girls, note that - even though it was annoying and slow - I used a proxy *FIRST* and then went to the link via the proxy. Supporting rape requires REAL effort!!!
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009
They not only printed my letter, they made it the Letter of the Day!
I am very pleased. I'd be more pleased if the Nobel Peace Prize had been awarded to Thich Nhat Hanh instead of you-know-who, but we can't have everything.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
I am writing to protest your condescending coverage of Sen. Al Franken's recent amendment to the Defense Department Appropriations Bill that would ban military contractors from using arbitration to resolves cases of sexual assault. First, your paper neglected to report the senator's proposal of the amendment, which was inspired by the horrific (and well-reported) story of Jamie Leigh Jones, an employee of a military contractor who, after enduring a brutal gang-rape by several co-workers, discovered that her employment contract denied her the right to seek criminal charges against her perpetrators. Second, the StarTribune failed to note that the amendment passed 68-30, a significant victory not only for Minnesota's junior Senator and Ms Jones, but for unknown others who have suffered in silence.
When your online news blog Hot Dish Politics finally deigned to cover the issue, it did so under the headline “Franken get testy over statistics,” implying that the real story is Sen. Franken’s demeanor in front of the Judiciary Committee. Even a casual viewer of the embedded clip, offered as proof of Sen. Franken’s behavior, would realize that the senator was carefully deconstructing the argument that arbitration is an appropriate venue for the criminal charge of sexual assault. I daresay that the StarTribune’s editors, not to mention its readers, would get more than testy if they witnessed a corporate attorney attempt to argue away the constitutional rights of a friend or family member.
I am grateful to Sen. Franken for his steadfast commitment to this issue. I only wish more people were as “testy” as he was in the face of grave injustice.
I remain, as always,
The Radical Housewife
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
I was so excited that when we got home I served three blond children a chocolate cake, whilst a young Bing Crosby gazed at me with amused adoration.
Friday, October 2, 2009
I daresay that the Midtown YW is the most diverse place I know in Minneapolis. There are bodies of all colors and sizes (yes, this is a health club that hires instructors who aren't stick figures. Some are quite large and can still kick my butt in Body Pump). Some people wear hijabs, some are covered with tattoos. Some push walkers, some push strollers. Some are queer-identified, some are not. Quite a few speak little English, but the babysitting staffers have a cheat sheet so they know how to say "let's play!" in Somali.
I LOVE THIS PLACE.
So why am I so surprised that Nazis hate it? I shouldn't, because the melting pot at the YW represents all they hate. Yet this has me in a state of shock:
NSM Twin Cities Protest
- ANNOUNCEMENT -
On October the 3rd, the NSM Twin Cities unit will be holding a demonstration against an anti-white privilege and white supremacy workshop being held at the Minneapolis YWCA. This event entitled "More Than Skin Deep: Uprooting White Privilege and White Supremacy one cell at a time" is targeted at whites who are aware of these so-called issues and want to learn more about how to destroy it in themselves and others.
As a White civil rights group NSM Twin Cities plans to take action, by defending the rights of Whites not only in Minnesota but nation wide; showing the promoters of this event that we will not stand for such treachery . This event is open to all peoples that want to take a stand along side us, against the people who want to destroy our race and all that it stands for.
For more information regarding this event please e-mail Twincities [@] NSM88.org .
Cpl. Erik Flann
NSM Twin Cities unit leader
I guess my real surprise is this: THERE ARE NAZIS IN MINNEAPOLIS? WHAT?!! But a little research revealed that this Erik Flann fella is actually from Lino Lakes... which actually doesn't make me feel a whole lot better. Luckily, Minneapolis is not the kind of town that puts up with this crap for long. Already there are plans for a counter-protest that will drown out the few assholes who don't manage to get lost on our big, tangled, urban freeways.
As for me, you know I never met a protest against racism that I didn't like. However, this Saturday, like all other Saturdays, will find me inside the Midtown YWCA. I'll be getting Miriam to her swimming lesson, taking Elliott to the Fit Kids' Gym, dropping Miriam in the babysitting room once she's dried off, then enjoying a blissful hour on the elliptical whilst reading Mother Jones and plotting all-out revolution based on LOVE, not hate.
BECAUSE I LOVE THE MIDTOWN YWCA.