Wednesday, January 31, 2007


The other crabs pull them down...

Over the summer, I taught a film about some impoverished families living in Mississippi. And I always taught what I read on the forum section of the IMDB (Internet movie database). When discussing the "Cinderella" of the film, a girl who desperately desired to get out, many viewers asked about her. Where was she? What was she doing?

Unsurprisingly, she was living about a mile away and had a couple kids. She was 18 and hadn't finished high school. Someone actually posted, "One crab tries to get out of the bucket and the rest pull him back down."

Victim blaming tendencies notwithstanding, the sense that the other crabs were responsible for Cinderella's predictable ending saddens me to no end.

Florida is reminding me of the crab story.

It's been weird here.

A silly choice to move, a gamble. Not paid off, and we're moving on. Northeasterners send job offers. With DP benefits or insured companies (as opposed to self-insured companies) in marriage or civil union states. Then send the hundred bucks or whatever it costs already married folks to get civil-unioned. By the way, how must THOSE test cases be coming, I mean, you can't deny gay couples the benefits of marriage, but aren't there a ton of gay married couples living there that don't want to get remarried or get whatever state peice of paper they're giving out these days?

I enjoy the swamp, but I get the creeping suspicion that no one understands a word I say. And not in an unedcated, "my oh my does she have a full set of hair" kind of way. Though I admit I'm fascinated by the local ambulance chasing lawyers' tv commercials..."we was in trouble. if it weren't for Axe Gary we was going to lose everything!"

It's more than that...though on some level grammar issues do hinder most conversations that I have, making me double take what a lot of people are saying. It's something more...some sort of Southern "problem that has no name." I say something. It misfires. Someone looks back at me with deer/headlights innocence. And usually responds with some remedial advice, a subtle suggestion that *I* am the moron in the room. The constant assertion that I'm the one with a problem is disconcerting, but especially scary when I think about what Mel must have felt like leaving her and showing up in the frou frou suburb of Chicago as a teenager where no doubt her way of dealing with people was taken as a sign of severe mental deficiency, much as I'm starting to see it in most people from around here.

Mel tells me that everyone in the medical industry and the school board and what not are just used to people having no idea what's going on. Therefore calls to confirm fax numbers often turn into, "Did you press the 'send' button?"

Discussions of meta-issues are personalized and the big picture missed: "At my work affirmative action means we get these people who can't do their jobs. Why do you vote for something with quotas and want me to not hire the best man for the job?" (a misunderstanding of the program as well as an attempt to gear the argument toward something that only they know anything I give a crap about their company's problems).

I don't know to what extent this issue is regional, or classed. It's both, yet...not. How does it work?

Tuesday, January 30, 2007


Crying and whining young children for sale.

How do you handle the almost-two temper tantrums when your kid cries for 20 seconds before she works herself into such a tizzy that she barfs? Cuz I am NOT standing firm, then cleaning puke while they both cry and scream and barf some more while I ignore them and haul out the foaming carpet cleaner.

I have used foaming carpet cleaner twice today. And at least 10 times this week.

My daughter ate cookies for dinner.

No, I am a *good* parent ~ she ate organic wheat and oat cluster molasses grahams for dinner! Dammit! And really, what's the harm in that every couple weeks? Oreos, not THAT would have been a travesty of discipline. And health.

Thursday, January 25, 2007


Advice about viscous asses

Do not diaper cream your baby's butt when it's so red they scream, get up, and hide in a corner of the couch. Because, see, the stuff is so viscous, it will leave two white, giant butt cheek prints on the dark brown couch.

Do not take someone else's composition class at *%&$^# city college. Someone may post to the discussion board that they are so good at sending emails that they "send email with great viscosity."

"Oh, they did not," Mel said.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Not surprisingly

You Are the Very Gay Velma!

She might not even realize it...
But Velma is all about Daphne... not Fred!
What Gay Childhood Icon Are You?


MIA probably should be worried about me. I am SO NOT a tay-at-home mom. I'm baking the children in gingerbread as we speak.
Mel's gone to work at a fish joint.
I've done this to my family. It'sa good thing they're all about to be dessert.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Pity: Party of Four Please

Mel told me to put a paypal address on this entry so that we could all run far, far away. But I'm not that pathetic yet. Needless to say there is one overriding point to this blog: moving here was a bad, bad idea. I could be working at a happy Barnes and Noble in Massachusetts, and the who;e fam would be delightfully covered by my health insurance. Which we'd have. Our neighbors would be gay and democrat. They would not drive Ford F-150's and protest for their right to carry concealed uzis.

We've made bad moves in the past.

All of them, in fact.

We just keep moving places because it's a good opportunity. Not a good place. Mostly, it's a scary place: Iowa, Arizona, now Florida. But we figure this next move will finally be the one that gives us the autonomy to move on.

Now, life is speeding by and each move puts us farther and farther away. Now we don't even have the money to run, I have no legal rights to Soren, and the next job prospect that I take, I'll be doing what I left Arizona to never do again: pay for the family plan and cover 2 of my family members. And make a subsistence living in the place with the lowest cost of living around. Yippee. I LOVE working the same job for 2/3 the money. It makes me feel soooooo appreciated. Not to mention making me the consumate a team player with a sunshiny attitude. Downward and downward we go.

The pediatrician's office this morning was b-a-d. It started the downslide, though, to tell you the truth, the sliding started about 5 days postpartum with Alice too. The fear, the sense that one must GET OUT NOW. The office And Mel now officially confirms my initial assessment of the "girls" that work there: they are, in fact, "girls." And Mel adds that they are girls with gang tattoos. They tell you to "put her there" to weigh and measure your child and don't tell you the results. They order tests to be done without your consent. Occassionally they get threatening when you have the audacity to decline tests. It's a battle. You may win, but you'll fight. Everyone in the front office (no well child/sick child entrances) is discussing their medicaid plans even while they ignore their treatment at the hands of the girls. The check-out people have now officially stared at us both like we were complete idiots. On a bright note, Mel liked the doctor too, but said that she was rushed.

It's funny, because the last time that I was there, a faggot told me that I was very brave for telling the counter girl that I was on medicaid (er, Alice was) since I was admitting that I was on public assistance. But in truth, the class distinction is a bit backward. I realized this time around that the class pendulum has swung the other way, and has little to do with money or the desire of Floridians to pay for gays' kids' healthcare lest their parent be allowed to cover them at work. It has to do with the assloads of cultural capital dripping out my butt every time I walk in there, and my ability to maneuver the system in a way that none of those other people in the waiting room could. Because they leave there not knowing how much their children weigh, or what tests were run on them while they were held down and screaming.

If they too decide that the treatment sucks, they will get the same thing at the next place they visit, since they will show up having no idea what their kids weigh. And looking ignorant. And on and on it goes. But it's true that Soren will not be treated like that again. Because we have something that they don't. That sucks too. But not for Soren.

I miss Dr. Carter. We did not appreciate her. If you're in Scottsdale, PLEASE take your kids to Jodi. Because Jodi is wonderful. Granted, you will have your own class shit in which to stew, since your youngin' will play nintendo in the waiting room and cavort among at least half a dozen Petunia Picklebottom bags and Peg car seats in toffee/coffee latte pattern fabric.

Enjoy it while you can. This momrning a man actually had a seizure in our pediatrician's office and they DIDN'T SEND A DOCTOR OUT!

Oh, and while the doctor's office sped my spiral, lots of other groovy stuff is happening to us in this goovy place:
1. Soren will have an ultrasound on Monday to confirm that her butt dimple does not go through to her spine. Oh goody. I am so elated at the possibility that we'll all get to deal with that. That would just make my year. I did this to her. I made us completely unable to care for her, took her to a place where I can't find her help or care. Then spent all our savings pissing around for 6 months doing nothing to get her out. WHY didn't I get us out?
2. The nephew boy is going through another episode of I'm-an-asshole-watch-me-fuck-up. This time it involved some mysterious anti-seizure pills. Except we're all too numb/familiar with this scenario to do anything, and yet again, there will be no consequences. He'll be doing the same thing next week. To let him reap the consequences?

Monday, January 15, 2007


The Tar Pit

So there are these faggotsthat are ostensibly our "friends." They mean well. But when good-meaning people try to cure your cold, watch out. They may bring you Buckey's.

Seems innocent enough; the stuff is Canadian. Canadians enjoy the highest quality of life on earth. Fine. But this stuff is rancid, and can only be purchased in grimy grocery stores in the ghetto. It's hoodoo medicine, perhaps made by drunken grannies in someone's basement speaking to one another in Gullah or broken Haitian French. It should be called Mama Lola's Cold Swill and it shuld probably be banned in most countries where absynthe is also off-limits.

So I've been drunk for 2 days, foaming at the mouth from this Buckley's, and yes, my cough is noticably suppressed. But "Canadian balsam" and "pine needle oil" seems better suited to furniture polish than anything meant to be ingested, no?

Saturday, January 13, 2007


No voice, tiny baby

It's hard to do more than merely watch Alice as she destroys the baby's various accoutrements when you have the kiddie crud.

It started off with a tiny little white spot on my tonsil during the labor. I ignored it, in spite of its raw little stabbings demanding attention. But I'm a trooper, having had 10,000 sore throats in the last year. Yes, that's an official count. It's getting to the point that I'd consider having my tonsils out, 1950's style. We're talking 10-year-old burining, non-swallowing, knock-down drag-out tiki death viruses here. Flat on back viruses. And one stomach flu, the likes of which I haven't seen since Jr. High. Who knew you could get the kiddie crud when your kiddie doesn't go to daycare. And when your kiddie doesn't get the crud. Your kiddie just stresses you out and you go out into the world sucking on various latex nipples after they've fallen on the floor in Big Lots and *you* get the kiddie crud. Repeatedly. The last time, I got some black-market antibiotics from my mother-in-law's pharmacy to kick the crud out of me after 2 solid weeks of whimpering madness. I hate the kiddie crud, but it's become a routine part of my life.

No comments about my inability to weigh more than 100 lbs., please. I am currently eating chocolate cake, and for the rest of the peanut gallery, I'm chasing it with an orange and some tea. Everyone satisfied?

Well, the blister disappeared, leaving me to battle the aftermath with 3 hours sleep since Tuesday night...oh Tuesday night, I shall remember you for the next 2 months...and here I am.

No voice.

This is a long blog entry because you are my only human contact! People come in and snicker, "Can we make her do that all the time? Hardy har har," and wander back out. Damn them all. Damn the kiddie crud.

Friday, January 12, 2007


It's a...

GIRL. Her name is Soren and she's 7 lbs. No, we don't know where Mel kept that. In her chest cavity?
22 hours after arriving at the birth center, our waterbaby was finally born. No, I'm not sure how someone can be 5 cm dilated and still have a 22 hour labor. Poor Mel. She deserves presents. A big peanut butter fluffernutter sandwich at the top of the list. There's probably a lot of birth shit that I could say here, or else birth shit from Alice's birth that bears thoughtful analysis. But my ability to thoughtfully analyze anything is officially on holiday. For like 10 months.

You're probably looking at 4 months of mush-mouthy summary of plot points from "the View." Just be forewarned.

I'm so bruised, and I didn't even *have* her. But I'm not able to talk about that, because Mel would beat my ass for complaining about a few bruises and pulled muscles. Her mom brought over the Rockstars, and we're going to be chugging along on extra vitamin and caffeine goodness for quite some time.

Funny, because after I had Alice all I wanted in the world was to smoke pot and cigarettes. And smell vinyl. Ahhhhh...

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


Blogging for baby

Five cm means half way there, right?
Mel's making me write a paper for A's college class about my birth story as an incidence of bias. The professor already wrote back saying that the thesis needed to be stronger, and HOW was that an incidence of bias?
Of course, I could be misinterpreting his meaning, since he didn't write in complete sentences or use standard written English grammar.
But maybe it was just me who read the portion of the textbook (co-written by 5 fabulously brilliant, I'm sure, professors from Redeemer College. No really, I'm sure their research I status is coming through any day now. Along with their designation as a Hispanic Serving Institution. Hahaha.
So anyway, Mel told me that I wasn't getting anything out of doing this class other than adding to my workload (exceptionally high for the unemployed, what with 5 hours of daily flea decontamination and bouts of regret and self-hatred around the Florida decision...our own, as well as the 2000 election, you know). So she said I had to use it for therapy.
I hope that works, since I'm not sure Mr. Masters of Math is so aware of the fact that thousands of scholars have already bludgeoned across the point that all U.S. normative hospital birth is an instance of gender bias. What a nut. I can't believe that anyone would ask that question, so let's hope it's not the beginning of a Hermione-esque urge on my part to hound him as a know-it-all for the next 15 weeks.
Of course, it would be theraputically satisfying to make him earn his $1500 a semester as an online instructor, now, wouldn't it?

Friday, January 05, 2007


More activism today

Fine, I'll breastfeed forever if someone arreststhis woman who may be responsible for most of the birth deaths in the United States. Which, by the way, does NOT have a low infant or maternal mortality rate. Unless you think that being roughly 40th globally for each is something to write home about. You know, killing more than double the number of moms and kids each year than our Japanese or Dutch counterparts.

She seems to make it her business to post wildly misleading and unresearched information criticizing homebirth advocates for hurting women. Methinks she protestesth too much, Dr. Shmocker.

MD's go to school with, what, 100 other people in their classes? That's got to be an incredible acceptance rate, doesn't it? They can't all be the smartest pencil in the case.

Someday I will learn Swedish and live a healthy and safe life.



Formula Feeding Feminist Activist

But who am I? I mean, my kid is currently spending her naptime awake in a dark room, alone, smacking the door repeatedly as if to say, "Let me out, woman!"

But I'm mainly prompted to start a FF campaign because googling "formula feeding is best" calls up myriad uneducated cat-calls about WIC mothers, not to mention MSW studies about black women on food stamps and their belief that formula is a ritzy, healthy, middle-class aspiration conveniently funded by the state. Not to mention the hissy fits about people believing that they are affording their children "on their own," meaning without state assistance. Except, you know, a capitalist and racist structure that got you your job in the first place and one that actually gives your family benefits. But sure, you've done it all on your own, sweetie.
So we create the obstacle, then we stigmatize it. I've known all this before. But maybe I'm just bothered by the lack of studies about why breatfeeding is "best" or the lack of the very definition of "best" amidst the stigma that FF'ers are "worse." That does psychologically affect parents whether or not they know it (I'm not saying it makes FF'ers "feel bad," I'm saying it structures their lives and situates them in the debate and in the grand scheme of US motherhood without their permission).

For the BF'ing googlers, "best" seems to include the 100 hits of women saying how "terrible" they felt as mothers and women for being unsuccessful breastfeeders and the admonitions that being good enough simply requires one's own fortitude -- the weak and the poor. They just don't care about their kids enough, I hear. They're "selfish." But of course, this woman had clearly never lived with a parent who was unhappy to be parenting. Cuz that's a loved feeling, but at least they got some boobie. Sheesh. A bottle, now that would have been the culprit in their future health and welfare problems.

Perhaps I'm most annoyed that the BF movement doesn't seem to have any brilliant spokespeople.

Should I stop this door banging?

Thursday, January 04, 2007


Expressive Language "Delays"

Sorry for the quotes. I do want this post to be find-able, but I can't bring myself to jump on the diagnosis bandwagon. I could go around diagnosing everything and everyone in my house as failing to meet normative goals for health and happiness, and I maintain that we're hardly riddled with pathology for the diagnosing. We do continue to be riddled with fleas, though.

Some info for parents whose tykes express no interest in speaking, but appear otherwise bizarrely normal in their own freaky little ways, just like mine:

1. The MacArthur Communicative Development Inventory (to tell which percentile your little freaky talker falls into, at least according to those (I'm sure) wildly expert test-maker statisticians (how reliable) costs $99. I'm sure that adds to its widespread dissemination and therefore its accuracy.

Meanwhile, you can expect your low income baby or non-white toddler to score much lower than her/his upper class white counterparts. Don't even order the test, just pick a nice white score and drop 10 percentage points. Proof that white rich people ARE smarter and better? It must be (scoff). Use it as a reason to continue to vote to obliterate poor people into dust if you will, since clearly this means they should not reproduce, since they and their offspring are just too stupid to ever get ahead. This must be why they're poor.

2. Teaching parents to teach "target" words to their kids...ta da~! Teaches target words to their kids. I admit, I'm blown away.

I'm floored by the (sarcastic) intellectualism of the studies in language "pathology" that are currently out there. Let us all praise speech/language pathologists for intervening early. And thank god I just spent one of my last days on the full-text study databases (sniff) reading these things. And while we're at it, thank goodness we're not living in the 1800's when late talkers just never bothered learning language. Oh wait, that never happened.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


The Nature of Culture

An academic post: how do I explain breastfeeding as socially constructed as natural? Well, that part seems easy. We live in a culture that tells us what is natural and what is unnatural. Formula is unnatural. Even when comprised of 100% of ingredients that are found in nature. But it's like I've always wondered, "what ISN'T found in nature?" Who and what is deemed more natural and glorified? And why? There are still questions about health, and too many feelings on "both sides" to express. But why are there 2 sides? Why is it EITHER healthier or LESS healthy? How in the heck are we going to study the pro's of inmunities and what they do to bodies 70 years down the line? How are we going to quantify the fewer ear infections of breastfed babies, especially when much of the problem may or may not be the antibiotics given to FF babies, not the infections? Why aren't we afraid to talk about what we don't know, can't know, and can't study? Because that terrifies me.

Did 70's lesbians advocate for breastfeeding so heavily because they were so closely aligned with radical feminism, philosophically bent on celebrating all those things "feminine" and therefore all those things deemed "inferior"? And is my resistance to the cult of breastfeeding today derived from my late 80's queer impulse against the gendered and sexes naturalness of what is somehow deemed inherently female? After all, there are breastfeeding men, it's true. Then why do women feel more womanly through breastfeeding? Why not more...goatlike? After all, goats breastfeed. It's a very goaty thing to do. Some women do it, yet it's an innately womanly thing to do and not a goaty thing to do, though some goats breastfeed too.

Simplistic answer: the social construction of natural womanhood. Lesbian feminism. And me over here in this corner with ACT-UP trying to relive the queer glory days of breaking down any and all sex/gender/sexual system through mall kiss-ins and posters on NYC busses. And throwing down our bodies in St. Patrick's Cathedral. Damn, I would have made a great androgynous 80's queer. WHY oh WHY was I stuck in Mr. Foley's 5th grade classroom instead? Getting laughed at for my glittery gelled hair. What a loss.

The question of the day: why didn't lesbian feminism shift to more queer ground when radical (straight) feminism seemed to?

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


Cleared for takeoff

We are "allowed" to have a baby now. I must go have sex.

Sunday, December 31, 2006


Smelly girls wax poetic about breastfeeding

Don't worry, we only smell when overwhelmed by the chemical combination of dish soap and wet cat. We also itch, but now, what does that have to do with the nature of breastfeeding?

So, in finding a nearby pediatrician that appreciates holistic medicine and non-vaccinating, we run the risk of 1. finding someone who ignores our midnight pleas to just call us in some penicillin and more importantly, 2. lectures us about breastfeeding. Or the lack thereof. Mel got a referral card from the midwife's office, and with several exhausting and virtually useless well visits ahead of us, we may check it out and get suckered in to the docs that aren't an hour away. However, breastfeeding is always an issue.

I have yet to find someone who thinks a fabulous response to this question is a lengthy analysis of the social construction of the "naturalness" of breastfeeding.

And I SO want to find that doctor.

Because I read all the studies. Today. Not about the health benefits of breastfeeding, but about the family dynamic of lesbian families who do or don't breastfeed. Most do. This perplexes me, but I suppose it all makes sense in the grand historical sccheme of feminist "empowerment" through that radical way of celebrating all things once downtrodden. And enjoying mothering. And embracing it.

I have never, ever, repeat, never, wanted a small child near my boobs. Boobs are fun, not food, as I see it. I'm sure you can go ahead and diagnose a number of culturally constructed psychological problems from which I suffer for my intense desire to never breastfeed, so go ahead. I'm not so interested, having little desire to think about breastfeeding.

Well, lots of lesbians think about it and most try it. According to *the literature*, a few even quit for relationship issues (leaving out the *co*parent, calling the coparent a coparent, reinforcing that biology = mommyhood, reinforcing the naturalness of parenthood and thus behaving antithetically to all my queer impulses...or maybe that's just my take.

And since Mel has 5% more desire to breastfeed than I do (i.e. not so much desire), we're devised some excuses for the doctor that will certainly lecture us about immunities and nutrients and wholly ignore 1. sex 2. bonding with the kid for all parents 3. intense desire to enjoy pills again. Feel free to vote on your favorite:

Mel wants to go on antidepressants (runs the risk of having notes on "family dynamic" in child's records

Mel was sexually abused as a child and therefore cannot breastfeed (which shuts down further questioning, sadly, hard to lie about with a straight face. Yes, we're bad people.

Mel grew up on a hog farm (I made this one up myself) where multiple family members have had serious health problems from exposure to pesticides, therefore we're using organic formula instead

Mel was sexually abused by a hog (what we'll end up saying under duress).


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