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Thursday, August 31, 2006

my family: a comedy

I have nothing to do. Except laundry and annoy Paul by calling him at work. Which, go figure, gets annoying.

This morning I woke up at either four or five to the sound of my mom yelling at my grandpa (because he can't hear very well and Taiwanese people talk loud to begin with) that he can't go back to Taiwan yet because he just got here yesterday. Apparently he woke up in the middle of the night and decided that while America is nice and all he would really like to go back to Taiwan. Like, RIGHTNOW.

Eventually I fell back asleep but around eight the hubbub started again. My dad came into my room looking for the cat and then my mom started yelling for my sister to wake up. Then my mom came into my room to ask me (again) whether or not I was sure the new regulations would allow her to bring carry on luggage. I tried to just lay in bed for awhile but eventually gave up and crawled downstairs to see if I could be of any assistance to anyone.

I heard some commotion between my mom and my sister because my sister thought it would be easier to check in her luggage but eventually capitulated because no one else was checking in luggage and she didn't want to be the cause of them all waiting around the baggage claim in Detroit. But this meant we had to consult the TSA website about whether or not she could bring her eczma lotion on board with her since she has the tendency to break out in hives when she travels. According to the TSA website you can bring either 4 oz or less of prescription medication with the passenger's name on it OR 4 oz or less of essential non-prescription medication. Well my sister's lotion IS prescription but she had thrown away the box that had her name on it so she was panicking about whether or not it would qualify. Finally I just told her that it was only a 1/2 oz tube and just to tell the TSA screeners (if they gave her crap) that she would break out in hives on the plane without it. But I think she was still skeptical because she went down to my mom about it.

Then my mom told me to go downstairs and hang out with my grandparents but she came down a few minutes later to remind my grandpa to take his high blood pressure medicine, which made him slightly irate. He started going off about how he didn't even bring his medication and he didn't need it anyway, but apparently his daughter (he's actually my step-grandfather) had given the medicine to my grandma before they left Taiwan. However, he still refused to take it and my grandmother scoffed at the idea of taking high blood pressure medicine, because well he had just eaten a banana. And apparently if you've eaten a banana you really don't need high blood pressure medication. It may sound strange, but I've found that my grandmother is usually right about these things. She has this uncanny ability to come to the same conclusions as all these scientific studies before the studies have even come out. I kid you not.

So anyway, after that little escapade, suddenly my grandmother started wondering where one of her purses was. We thought she was talking about the luggage which my dad had already taken to the van because my dad gets nervous when taking people to the airport and always starts packing things into the car as soon as he can. So we had to bring the bag back in to be searched to no avail. My mom kept asking my grandmother what was in the purse that she needed since she already had her other purse with her, and my grandmother kept saying it had the passports in it. Except my mom had taken the passports from her on the day they arrived because my grandmother, who is getting on in years, has a tendency to misplace important things like her passport and her wallet (which is something that happened last time she came to visit). But regardless, she would not let us leave for the airport until we found this other purse and when we did eventually find it we realized that she was really trying to find my grandfather's high blood pressure medicine.

So my mom ran out to the car where my dad had already buckled in my grandpa and she straight up lied to him and told him that she was giving him some vitamins so he would take his medication!

Ah yes, this morning was pure comedy. And I couldn't go back to bed after all that excitement. Somehow the cat slept through all of it though.

wingless was still breathing at 6:56 PM - 0 comments

wedding update

We still haven't settled on a color (yet) but on the way back from Santa Barbara we did pick our first dance song. I'll give you a hint: It's not Unforgettable or I Swear. So far I haven't found it on any "top" first dance song lists and that's how I like it.
wingless was still breathing at 12:42 AM - 0 comments

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

i love my ama

Ah. The Bay Area. Where it is not 118,000 degrees. Instead? I'd say upper 70's to low 80's during the day and a slightly nippy but still comfortable upper 60's in the evening. In other words: Perfect.

I learned a bit of disturbing news today from a good friend I haven't spoken to in a long time. Very disturbing indeed. I won't get into specifics but some people? Seriously need to take some anger management classes and stop taking things out on the ones they purport to love. My mom was telling me about a client of hers who has anger management problems and how she's improved a lot by remembering my mom's advice when she gets angry: Leave the room and write down why you are angry before going off on anyone about it. Sage advice. My mom is an awesome therapist. Too bad she's my mom cause I could sure use some therapy (not so much anger management, but I have my own set of issues to deal with, and no I don't blame my mom for them, they are mine and I own them).

Anyway, I (finally) received verbal confirmation today that, yes, indeed, I have been accepted both into my program and into the school. Supposedly I should officially be in the system by tomorrow (or at worst the day after) and then I can finally get the ball rolling on my financial aid. The day before I'm slated to move into my on-campus housing =P As Grace said, I am cutting it close. But that's just how I roll apparently.

My grandparents are visiting from Taiwan right now before they leave with the rest of the family (minus me and my dad) to Michigan for my cousin's wedding. Tonight before my Ama (grandmother) went to bed she gave me a hug and said "I love you" (in English) and then said (in Taiwanese) "You were such a cute kid and you knew how to speak Taiwanese so well too." I'm telling myself it's her way of saying I'm one of her favorites =) Or else she's saying I used to be so awesome and now I just kind of suck. But since she's my Ama I doubt that's what she meant. Somehow I think grandparents are even more starry-eyed about their grandchildren than parents are about their kids.

wingless was still breathing at 11:14 PM - 1 comments

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Israel Emergency Campaign

This email was forwarded to me today by a good (Jewish) friend of mine:

Dear Friends,

There was a horrible friendly-fire tragedy in Southern Lebanon a couple of weeks ago. One Israeli tank mistakenly opened fire on another Israeli tank, destroying it, and killing the tank commander. The gunner of the destroyed tank was a recent immigrant to Israel, from the former Soviet Union. He spent the night pacing outside his commander's room in Rambam Hospital in Haifa, head in his hands, covered in blood and tears, mumbling to himself in heavily-accented Hebrew, "Asiti maspik? Asiti maspik? Did I do enough?"

"Did I do enough?" These are tough words to ask ourselves after something like this happens. They are even tougher words to ask now, when our brothers and sisters in the State of Israel are attempting to return to their broken lives and destroyed homes in the north of the state. The fighting may be over – and I pray that it is over – but the work has only just begun to rebuild our country. The costs are in the billions; the need for aid is immense. New olim – immigrants to Israel – from Ethiopia have lost their absorption centers and schools. Homes have been leveled, businesses burned to the ground. Children will attempt to return to school this fall and deal with the shock of missiles raining down upon themselves and their families. Here in the safety of the United States and Northern California we ask ourselves, asiti maspik, have we done enough?

We cannot, pray though we might, change what has happened to our brothers and sisters in Israel. We can, however, change their futures. Join me now in making your donation to the Israel Emergency Campaign. Let us show the world that when the need is great, the Jewish people stand together. Let us show our people in Israel that when we were called upon to help, we answered. Most importantly, let us know, once and for all, that we will not have to ask, asiti maspik? Let us do enough.


Jonathan Berg
Young Adults Division Director

"Live Generously."

How to Give: Go to the Israel Emergency Campaign information page, located here. Click on the Israel Emergency Campaign flyer, fill out the secure form, and make your fully tax-deductible contribution to help your people.

How to Volunteer: The Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley is having a Telethon for the Israel Emergency Campaign on Wednesday evening, September 13, from 6-9pm. Please join us in reaching out to members of our community for support in Israel's current crisis. There will be two training session, one at 5:30pm and the other at 7pm to catch you up on what is happening on the ground in Israel, and the difference that just a few more dollars can make. Federation, JCC, and JFS will provide a bunch of phone lines, but we are also asking people to bring their cell phones to help out. Light refreshments will be served. Please RSVP to Jonathan at svyad@jvalley.org or 408-357-7503.

As Congressman Tom Lantos pointed out (hat tip John Hawkins, who else?), "Lebanon will get help from both Europe, the Arab world and the United States. Unless the United States provides some aid to Israel, Israel receives no aid."

If you can afford to give, or happen to live in the SF Bay Area and have time to volunteer, I can't think of a better cause at present time than helping out a staunch and unwavering ally in the War on Terror.

wingless was still breathing at 11:46 PM - 0 comments

leaving on a sentra

So half my things are safely stowed away in boxes inside of my trunk. The other half? Strewn about Paul's room. I am slated to leave the Los Angeles area in about three and a half hours and counting. So what am I doing? I'm totally watching all these stupid reporters (who created all the hoopla in the first place) grill the poor Boulder DA about why she made this whole thing out to be such a big deal. Bitch! (They haven't really used that word yet but there's one especially nasty reporter who keeps insinuating it).

I woke up this morning and called my future (I hope) school to check on the status of my application and was told that it's still being reviewed. Which made me very depressed because this means I still can't get my financial aid loan stuff processed, which means I can't pay for my housing, which means...do I have anywhere to move into at all this weekend? Who knows? Not me. The bizarre thing is that I've been accepted into my program apparently, but not yet the school. Even though the school requirements constitute a lower bar than my program requirements. Oh, bureaucracy, how I hate thee.

wingless was still breathing at 10:22 AM - 0 comments

Monday, August 28, 2006

carpe diem

It's finally starting to hit me. Tomorrow I will finish stuffing all my belongings into my car, piss off the cat by shoving her into her carrying bag and off into the great blue yonder I go. I've never lived in the Central Valley before. But then, six years ago, I had never lived in Los Angeles either.

Tonight I heard from one of my roommates. She's a 2nd year. She said that our complex is known to be full of people who love to party. Which would be great if I were a freshman, but unfortunately as a tired, old, crochety, engaged grad student? Not so appealing. She said she's hoping to be able to move into a better complex once the semester starts and people start dropping, so I may do the same if it really appears unbearable. I thought I was going to be living with seniors and graduate students only so this is a rather unpleasant surprise. Someone remind me to keep telling myself it's only for four months.

My sister asked me tonight if I need those extra-long sheets and then I really started to feel like I was regressing. But I know I'm not. I'm not going to be an undergraduate after all, just living amongst them.

I'm trying to be positive but suddenly I feel like the next year is a huge question mark. What will it be like living away from Paul and Taz? Will I survive my very first winter outside of California? Will I be able to bring my laptop on the plane with me or will they be banned for transatlantic flights? And if so, will the in-flight movies be any good? - because they better be. All very pressing questions.

Last night I had this dream about the wedding. It was kind of bordering on a nightmare but not quite because the wedding wasn't awful it was just not very interesting. And not very well planned. Remember awhile ago when I was all, "I don't know what everyone is talking about because wedding planning is so totally easy"? Yeah, starting to be a bit more of a headache. Mainly the color coordinating of the dresses and the fact that we can't all (and by all I mean my bridesmaids, Paul and I) come to an agreement on what specific color blue they should be. I think by the end of this I will be aware of every single possible shade of blue that anyone has ever made a dress out of. I'm hoping that it will go back to being a piece of cake once we get over this hump because really? It's supposed to be fun! And DANGNABIT I WILL make this fun again. I'm the bridezilla of fun! easy! wedding planning. I refuse to be one of those brides crying over the flower arrangements the day before the wedding.

wingless was still breathing at 11:33 PM - 1 comments

for the love of america

Apparently there was an illegal immigration protest in Maywood, CA over the weekend, which of course necessitated a counter-protest from the illegal community. Jake Jacobsen over at Freedom Folks has a little quiz for those of you who haven't heard what happened at this "patriotic" counter-protest.
So, at the protest, in an absolute fit of patriotism what action did our illegal alien brain trust undertake to show their love for the land they are currently colonizing?

Did they...

1.) Get the mayor that bottle of Glenfiddich he'd been eyeing?

2.) Somehow manage to follow the law for nineteen consecutive minutes?


3.) Hoist the Mexican flag over a federal building?

Considering the behavior noted at previous pro-illegal immigration rallies, it's not too hard to guess the right answer. But go check your answer just in case =)

wingless was still breathing at 10:51 AM - 0 comments

the ranch

Paul and I spent the weekend at his buddy's ranch just outside of Carpinteria (a couple towns away from Santa Barbara). Taz, apparently, spent the weekend hiding under Paul's bed.

On Saturday we went to the wharf and had fish'n'chips and did some wine tasting (mainly delicious local wines). Then we went back to T's place to wait for him to get back from his night of drunken debauchery at The Standard (downtown LA) and played fetch with Rowdy (his doggy) who ran out with a tennis ball in his mouth the moment we opened the door. T got back not too long after we got there and after a walk and an unsuccessful attempt at starting a fire we headed into Carpinteria for dinner at a wonderful Japanese restaurant called Sushi Teri. Then back to the ranch where the boys relaxed on the porch with beers and cigars. Can you get more "ranch" than that?

T's mom and brother arrived late after taking many a wrong turn on their way down from the SF Bay Area. His mom actually ended up driving down to the Best Western in town after hearing about how T killed a monster-sized rat that got into one of the beds in the Lemon House (which is where they were supposed to stay) but alas the Best Western was full so she ended up coming back and spending the night with the rat. Which worked out great for the rest of us since she made a delicious breakfast for us on Sunday morning. Plus his mom is really fun and cool.

Afterwards they hit golf balls for awhile until it was time for us to change into our polo-watching outfits. T's friend Brock (from good ol' Texas) got us all into the polo club to watch what T referred to as the "West Coast World Series of Polo" complete with a fancy buffet and endless yummy champagne. If you've never been to a polo match, go! Immediately! The horses are amazing and is there any halftime in any sport that can beat stomping divets being rewarded for your work with free glasses of champagne? Nope.

After the polo match (Duende beat Windsor Capital 13-11) we headed back to the ranch and the nice Mexican family who works with T on restoring the ranch had prepared a delicious feast for us. I was still stuffed from the buffet so I didn't have much of the meat/rice/homemade tortillas, but I did partake of some of the fruit and played more fetch with Rowdy (who, I swear, has the best life of any dog I know).

So that was my weekend at the ranch. It's always a lot of fun, except the bathrooms, which I find really gross, and the resulting constipation. But I suppose its worth it to get to see my baby in a cowboy hat. Rawr.

wingless was still breathing at 9:56 AM - 0 comments

Friday, August 25, 2006

in case you couldn't tell, i am not a feminist

This morning I woke up at the buttcrack of dawn to drive my man to work. Why? Because I love him. Because sometimes love means doing things you don't really want to do. And because I know for a fact he would gladly take a bullet for me and so really, getting up at 6:30 am to drive him to work isn't that big of a deal. Of course the waking up with the sun was made that much more painful due to the fact that I stayed up until two in the morning reading a slew of inter-linked and absolutely fascinating articles about why it is that life has become harder for (good) men in modern American society. More specifically, how a feminist backlash has made life more difficult for both sexes to attain happy, satisfying and fulfilling marriages/relationships.

First let me preface this by saying I'm not arguing (and I don't think these women are either) that all men are virtuous, loyal, loving and deserving of appreciation. There are certainly many men out there who are dogs and scoundrels and deserving of scorn. But what I think each of these women is arguing is that the feminist culture has become so focused on the rotten men out there that women now feel as though ALL men are inherently untrustworthy and rotten, which is certainly not the case. Like most of the women out there I have been mistreated and hurt by men I have cared about and have experienced in my own family unspeakable betrayals by men. BUT just as there are men out there who do rotten things and destroy their families there are women who do the exact same thing. This is human nature, not specifically male nature and this is something that feminists do not seem to recognize. I think what each of the articles I am about to link points out is that many women have become totally blind to the fact that good men still exist out there and that our perception of men becomes our reality. In the movie The Wedding Date there is a line, "Every woman has the exact love life she wants." When I first heard that line I (like the main character) was a little bit offended, certainly this couldn't be true. But as the movie progressed both I and the main character came to realize that while this is obviously a generalization and perhaps not applicable to specific cases, it is largely true. If you see all men as untrustworthy pigs, undoubtedly that is the type of man you will end up with. However if you recognize that there ARE good men out there and diligently seek them out your chances of finding one will be much better than otherwise.

And with that...onto the articles...

Via The Anchoress I was directed to this thought-provoking piece by a lady named Fausta. The piece entitled A hypothesis on why men's lives are more difficult nowadays argues that three factors have contributed to making modern American mens' lives more difficult than their female counterparts:

1. The Church of Oprah
2. Sex and the City
3. Teen girl media

She makes some very interesting arguments and while I can't really comment on her commentary on "The Church of Oprah" since I've never actually watched Oprah, she's pretty dead on in her assessment of Sex and the City (as much as I love the show and think it's hilarious, I definitely do not think any young women should view the main characters as role models) and women's magazines.

In the updates of the piece she links to another excellent article written by a woman who calls herself MaxedOutMama. I agree with almost everything she has written but here are some of the best parts:

We have created a situation in which men cannot win, and then we wonder why so many women end up bitter and dissatisfied? Get real, sister. Men are less inherently certain of themselves than women, and they need public affirmation that they are on the right path. They could use a little private appreciation, too. Virtuous men are like perpetual motion machines for women who love and support them. You give them an ounce of love, and they return a pound of loving loyalty, support and deep, unspoken appreciation.

The best thing a mother raising a daughter can do in this society is to teach her to be virtuous, and to make demands of herself to do the right thing towards others. Then, and only then, will the daughter become an adult woman who is capable of recognizing and appreciating a fine man. Because decency is hard. Decency is a struggle! Trying to live a decent life is an epic adventure much more praiseworthy and admirable than climbing Mount Everest. Anyone who tries it will find that out, and in light of the knowledge of her own failures to live up to her own standards will then be able to appreciate the attempt in a man.

Here's the truth: If women want virtuous men, then they need to publicly say that, and live out that truth in their own lives. If women want abusive, useless men, then the best way to produce them is to announce that all men are untrustworthy and vaguely sinister addictions against which every enlightened woman should be on guard. In our public culture, women treat men as if they are food addictions, and constantly go on anti-male diets, fearful that an extra pound of male-appreciation might creep into their psyches and wreck their superbly lean and mean naked-psyche profile in the vast, bathic, confessional world of Oprah, hallowed be her name.

I think that MaxedOutMama points out truths that modern American women seem to have forgotten, or perhaps were never taught: Men are inherently egotistical animals. Stroking their egos will go a VERY long way. Modern women nag and criticize in the hopes that somehow this will nudge their man into doing the things they want them to do when what I've found is that the best way of getting your man to appreciate you and do the things you want him to do is to lavish praise on him and not to lash out at him. I never simply *expect* him to do anything and I thank him for doing things from giving the cat water to taking out the trash, to doing all the heavy lifting when it came to our move. Although I *do* expect him to do these things, I know that in order for him to continue *wanting* to do these things he must feel as though he is being recognized for them. Because this is how men are. They want to know that you know they are doing it out of love and not because it is merely expected of them.

In MaxedOutMama's comment section she has another excellent post in response to one of her commenters:

On the other hand, if a woman is taught to deny instinct for the first 35 years of her life, she will have a danged hard time learning to exercise those instincts suddenly. All the scar tissue she has built up over those years, combined with the truly devastating messages society instills, will serve as a barrier. That was what Fausta meant by "surrendering to a man's love".

That's what it feels like. You lose a piece of yourself that you can never get back. You are never going to be whole again without him. That's what that "one flesh" thing means. It's true. There actually is a union at some sort of non-physical level. For instance, if I stop off at the store on the way home, I can tell whether I need to buy eggs or Chief No-Nag did just by thinking of him. I usually know if he's getting sick before he does. I admire him. I respect him. I like him. I love him. But we are also joined in a very basic way that I cannot explain to you. It is below mind.

I don't know if you have ever spent much time around animals? I swear to you that this is a very strong and observable trait in females. It's unquestionably genetic.

I could no more cheat on or try to attack Chief No Nag than I could fly. But then, I wasn't raised in a setting that taught me to lie to myself about what I wanted and then blame a man when I never felt instinctively satisfied with the life I had. I was raised by parents who wanted us to understand that we are both animals and something else, and to understand that instincts are not all bad and that thoughts are not automatically wrong.

I think it's really sad but true that young women nowadays are taught that dependency on a man is a bad thing. Again, you have to choose wisely, because depending on a bad man is definitely a bad thing. But what is so wrong about depending on a good man? As MaxedOutMama rightly points out, it's not one directional, a good man will depend on his woman too. And this is what a marriage is and should be.

Okay, one last related article (there were a few more but I may have to link those later as this is getting long) by RightThinkingGirl entitled Natural Marriage. Although I wouldn't agree that men are the stabilizing force in all marriages (for example, in my own parents marriage I can conclusively state that my mother is the stabilizing force) I would agree with her that men certainly can be the more stabilizing force in many marriages, my own future marriage definitely included in that category. The crux of this part of her argument is that men are inherently more team-oriented than women and that this fits in perfectly with the idea of marriage:

Once a man decides that you are his teammate, you are his teammate forever. To go back to the example of the firehouse, the man will never leave his friend in a burning structure. He will put himself at risk to recover his teammate. Women, because we're different than men on every level, do not feel this same way to most of our teammates. We are much less likely to commit incredible acts of that kind of physical bravery. We do not typically run into burning buildings, stand and fight back if bullets are being fired in our direction, or fly F-16s into combat zones. But the man will not hesitate. To protect the team, he will run into the burning building. He will stay and fight. It's his job and his destiny.

Men view marriage as a team effort, and are most likely to persevere when things hit a rough patch. They are, contrary to feminist wisdom, the ones who thrive in equal marriages and become disspirited when is the only one committed to so-called 'team' goals. While they might assume a leadership role (or not), they are also teammates and depend on their teammates to perform.

I think this is something I have always really admired in men and is perhaps why I have so many more male friends than female. I do have three very close girl friends who I have known forever and who I don't doubt would do almost anything for me and vice versa, but in general I would say that men tend to be much more loyal to one another and much less likely to stab each other in the back.

Anyway, that was actually kind of a precursor to the actual main focus of her article which is the feminist ideal of marriage, what "should" be and what seems to actually work in the real world.

Sometimes, what should happen within the confines of a human invention is not necessarily what will happen. What really works can surprise you.


It's [the division of labor in her marriage] peaceful and happy, but is it equal? Well, he does 100% of the going-to-an-office thing, in an extremely high-pressure job. He also makes 95% of the money. I rely on him to do it and to keep me in personal trainers, nannies, maids, and Prada bags. He relies on me to keep the house running smoothly so he can concentrate on work, which will keep us secure well into the future. We actually talk about his work very little but we talk about my books a great deal. His interest in my writing makes it clear that he understands it's not just a silly hobby or a way to make shopping money for me; outside the family, it's the most important thing in the world to me. None of this is politically correct, but it works. And the thing is - it just happened that way. It didn't require a plan. I think people who criticize traditional roles simply don't understand how satisfying they can be, how - dare I say it? - natural.

Our love and respect for each other is equal - but nothing else is. I do whatever I must to make him happy. He does the same for me. Take away the ratios, and that's what we're left with, in all its splendid, unequal glory.

I think this is a point I try to make to some of my more feminist friends (although I wouldn't consider any of them hardcore feminists and it's not hard to be "more feminist" than me). Having grown up in the mighty blue state of California I can certainly understand their tendency to believe that housework, cooking, childcare, etc. should all be split 50/50 as we all grew up with mothers who both worked and took on the burden of most of the housework. This is mainly because our parents grew up in a culture (traditional asian culture) where the woman does most of the domestic work, yet they lived in a place (California) where generally both parents must work in order for the family to live comfortably. As a result we grew up watching our mothers work both in and out of the home and feeling as though it was all very unfair and that men should really have to participate more in domestic issues. So I do understand where the idea of "this is how it should be" came from. And at the same time, growing up in the big blue state of California amongst lots of liberals we also came to believe that a woman MUST have something outside of the home in order for her life to have value and meaning. And that is why so many of my friends cannot imagine a woman actually wanting and choosing to stay at home, not having a career, and making her family her number one priority. We were never taught that this is "ok." We were taught that if you don't have a career, once your kids grow up you will have nothing and your life will be meaningless. We are taught to fear that. And so we try to do everything we can to ignore the fact that biology and evolution inherently makes us the better care-takers of the home and the man more designed to go out and bring home the bacon.

I was talking to Paul about RTG's article and he said that if you put it in terms of economics its like...comparative advantages. If you have a field that's good for growing wheat and then a very lush tropical piece of land good for growing fruit, it doesn't make sense to say that each plot of land must be split in half and both fruit and wheat must be grown on both pieces of land. Basically - just because two things are different (in this case, men and women) and have different comparative advantages does not mean that they are unequal. In fact, they are equal, they're just...well...different.

This kind of goes back to my post a few days ago about feminisim and fertility and how feminists are always talking about how things should be instead of accepting reality for what it is.

Well, that's about all from me for now as I have to go outside and watch my virtuous, loyal man wash my car even though he just worked for 11 hours and is undoubtedly exhausted. I'm a lucky gal =)

wingless was still breathing at 2:53 PM - 2 comments

abortion as murder

Via John Hawkins - this sickening story:

Police and prosecutors in Hialeah, Fla., are investigating an abortion clinic incident that has all the markings of murder. On the morning of July 20, an 18-year-old girl walked into the A Gyn Diagnostics Center to abort her baby at 23 weeks. She had received medication to dilate her cervix the night before. By that afternoon, however, the clinic abortionist, Frantz Bazile, had not shown up for work.

The girl delivered her baby, alive, moving, and trying to breathe. Clinic worker Belkis Gonzalez then allegedly cut the umbilical cord, stuffed the wriggling, gasping baby into a biohazard bag, and sealed the bag shut.

(emphasis mine)

While I've said before that I don't necessarily agree with outlawing all abortions (specifically first trimester abortions) I do think that travesties like this are directly linked to our society's cavalier attitude towards abortion and what pro-choicers claim are merely "fetuses" and not human beings in the making.

I also think that this once again highlights the absurdity of the pro-choice movement when they make the argument that life begins only at birth (their definition of "birth" being only when the baby is completely born - thus their justification of partial birth abortion as not being murder). As John Hawkins correctly points out:

We may gasp at the cruelty of taking a "wriggling" baby, stuffing it into a biohazard bag, and watching it slowly suffocate to death. But, if the abortionist had shown up on time, cut that same "wriggling" baby to pieces with surgical tools, crushed the child's tiny skull like an eggplant, and then vacuumed the grisly remains out and stuffed the remains into a biohazard bag, the baby would be every bit as dead.

Something that, for me, hits particularly close to home is that this murdered infant and I share the same birthday. Rest in peace, little one.

wingless was still breathing at 2:04 PM - 0 comments

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


On September 11, 2006, 2996 bloggers will each be paying tribute to one of the victims of 9-11. I will be paying tribute to Dorothy Mauro, 55, who died in the World Trade Center attacks.

I think they still need a few hundred bloggers (although since Michelle Malkin has posted it on her site this will probably change quickly) so if you have a blog and are interested visit 2996: A Tribute to the Victims of 9-11 for more information.


It's so hard to believe sometimes that almost five years have passed since that terrifying day. I still remember it as though it was yesterday...wrapped up in a blanket from morning until I couldn't keep my eyes open anymore watching the news and sobbing. I don't doubt that we lost some of the best people that America has to offer on that day.

I didn't even personally know anyone who died in the attacks and yet I felt and still feel such a profound sense of loss everytime I read or hear about the victims. I can only imagine what their family members must be going through if it still affects me in such a way five years later. The fact that the woman I will be paying tribute to has a twin sister breaks my heart even more. I cannot imagine losing my own baby sister in such a way (or in any way really), but to lose a twin...God...that's unimaginable.

I decided to participate in this tribute because I feel like a lot of people want to just forget about what happened to us on 9-11 and forget about the fact that thousands of their fellow Americans still live with a pain that is palpable. We need to join together to remember the victims of the senseless hatred directed towards our country and reach within ourselves to find the resolve to keep on fighting the good fight so that nothing like this will ever happen again.

Edit: There is a reason why I am adding this edit but I won't go into detail. Suffice to say, it seems like some people out there would like to forget the collective promise we made as a country to never, ever forget (perhaps out of their annoyance that 9-11 helped Bush win re-election?). I for one, do not intend on breaking that promise. I REFUSE to forget because there are so many Americans out there who don't have the option of forgetting - they can do nothing but live with their loss for the rest of their lives. We owe it to our fellow Americans to remember. I think this post from the creator of the tribute project sums it up very well:

Part of me would like to say that wasn't the reason I created this. And I suppose consciously it wasn't the reason. But maybe my subconscious, like many of yours, was looking for a way to remember, to feel connected.

As easily as I tear up when I read about Candace I can tell I'm not over the pain, fear, anger and loss of 9/11.

Maybe I never will be.

Maybe I don't want to be.

Maybe that's a good thing.

I don't know if the majority of the bloggers participating are liberals or conservatives and I really don't care. This is something that should transcend politics and party affiliations. If 9-11 taught us anything it was that we are all Americans. I have very little respect (actually, none) for anyone who can't recognize that.

wingless was still breathing at 2:29 PM - 1 comments

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

feminism, fertility and the conservative-liberal birthrates

So this afternoon as I was lying in bed feeling pukey, miserable and congested, I overheard Brit Hume talking about how conservatives are now out-reproducing liberals by 41%. Apparently the disparity between birthrates may be able to change the political demographics of a state (even one as liberal as California) within the next ten years. At first I was a bit surprised to hear that the gap was as large as it is, but on second thought it makes perfect sense. After all both abortion and feminism have negative effects on birth rates, and liberals tend to be the biggest cheerleaders for both.

This got me to thinking about fertility and how I recently learned the frightening fact that female fertility begins to decline at the average age of twenty-seven. Twenty-seven! That's only three years away (for me)! What a scary thought. I wanted to do some fact checking and so I started scanning the internet for articles discussing female fertility and this was one of the first that popped up.

It begins by talking about how studies have found that most women are unaware of the age at which their fertility begins to decline. It then goes on to talk about how the fact that fertility actually begins to decline earlier than previously thought (they used to think it was early 30's), underscores the dilemma that women who want both a career and a family face in today's world.

All of that was interesting and seemed to fairly portray the challenge of balancing career vs. family, I didn't even take much issue with the part where one of the women interviewed seems to be complaining about how no one ever told her, her fertility would not last forever (is that really something we need to be told?), but I did have a problem with the very last person interviewed in the article - some professor of sociology and women's studies at Wellesley College, Rosanna Hertz.

Hertz says Hewlett fails to make the case that if the working climate were altered, more women could have children younger and integrate that with work.

"She doesn't make that argument in this book that there is a way to do both," Hertz said. "I still believe that what she is advancing is an old model which says you either have children or you have a career and you should have your children younger."

To me, the idea of "You CAN have it all!" is the inherent flaw in liberal/feminist thought. For some reason these people seem to think that simply because something is "unfair" it can therefore be changed to be made "fair." This shows a clear disconnect from a little something that I like to call "reality." Yes, it is unfair that a woman's career will always suffer more than her husbands when they decide to have children. Just as it is unfair that a father will NEVER have that bond that a mother has with her child after carrying it in her womb for nine months. Tough nuts.

In a capitalistic society, people who advance in their careers are those that can and want to sacrifice most of their time to the goal of moving up. This is how it is because, in a capitalistic society, companies promote those who make them the most money. It's just how it works. And it makes sense. Yes it may not be very friendly to working mothers, but, well, tough. The world isn't fair.

I'm not saying that it is or should be impossible for a woman to have a rewarding and satisfying career, I think my own mother is a prime example of how that IS possible. BUT, and that is the key word, raising a family will always require a lot of sacrifice, particularly on the part of the mother due to the fact that she must carry the child for nine months and she is the one that produces the breast milk. Is it fair? Maybe not. Can you change this? Nope.

Feminists need to stop propogating this myth that it is possible to have everything you want without sacrificing anything. Life is about making choices and prioritizing. If, as a woman, having a family is something that is important to you then you have to come to terms with the fact that your career may suffer for it. If you want to work in a high-power, high-stress industry the sacrifice may be even more pronounced since these sorts of industries will inevitably value those workers that can work the longest hours and have the most accomodating schedules (something you will not have if you choose to be a mother). The working world cannot somehow "change" so that working mothers will not have to sacrifice anything in order to raise their children. This is not very realistic and it's ridiculous for people to talk about it as though it is. This would be like men saying that pregnancy simply has to "change" so that men can experience the same type of bond that a mother experiences with her child while carrying it. If you want to work in an industry that requires 80 hour work weeks, how can this somehow be "changed" to accomodate mothers who don't want to miss out on their kid's entire childhood? Are feminists asking to be *gasp* treated differently than men?

I know that all the feminists out there who are reading this are probably shaking their fists at their monitors right now, but I tell it like I see it. Starting a family always requires sacrifice and nature requires that the mother will always be stuck doing more of that sacrifice. Sure it's not fair, but it's not fair that some people are born blind. Should we poke everyone's eyes out so that the world can be "fair?"

wingless was still breathing at 7:43 PM - 1 comments

you can't win in LA

So the westside has ridiculous, insane, make-you-want-to-shoot-at-people-from-your-car traffic. BUT, the weather, oh the wonderful, breezy, perfectly-regulated-by-the-ocean-which-is-only-7-miles-away weather. The San Gabriel Valley? Less traffic (sometimes) but HOT. Uncomfortable, painfully, I'm melting heat. And I'm sick to boot (thank you Paul who gets sick because he doesn't eat fruit - this is according to his mother). Also the uncomfortably warm laptop in my lap is not helping. And because Paul's bedroom door has the tendency to blow open everytime there is a slight breeze walking around naked is not an option. Instead I have been engaging in a bizarre ritual of splashing water on myself and then blowing down my shirt. Hopefully neither of his parents will walk in on this.

I will be writing a post either tonight or tomorrow re: the birthrate of conservatives vs. liberals and also fertility and its relation to feminism. Yup, I'm actually going to try to write a coherent article on it.

wingless was still breathing at 4:51 PM - 0 comments

Where are Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig?

Michelle Malkin has been drawing attention to a disturbing situation that hasn't been getting much attention. Recently FoxNews correspondent Steve Centanni and freelance cameraman Olaf Wiig were kidnapped in Gaza and yet their media brethren (other than the FNC family) seems rather unconcerned. I've found all of this rather odd considering that Christian Science Monitor lady who was kidnapped and all the hubbub that surrounded her kidnapping. It seems as though the kidnapping of fellow journalists, who are as of now still missing, deserves at least a bit more attention considering all off the hoopla surrounding the 10 year old Jon Benet Ramsey case. But yanno, that's just me. Please keep Mr. Centanni and Mr. Wiig and their families in your prayers.
wingless was still breathing at 3:11 PM - 0 comments

Monday, August 21, 2006

greetings from a nomad

Well, we had quite the weekend but we survived and are now completely moved out of our apartment. Even though Paul was sick all weekend and still did the bulk of the moving himself (with the help of my wonderful cousin Jeff in the westside and his pledge bro Danny here in Arcadia - I am generally useless when it comes to moving) I think Taz was the one who was most traumatized by the move. She spent most of Saturday freaking out about the fact that the furniture was slowly trickling out of the apartment and when we got back to the apartment on Sunday I heard some pathetic meowing coming from the closet - where she probably hid all night. She finally seemed to be getting use to the newly empty apartment when we finished all of the cleaning and had to stuff her into her carrying bag, which elicited some angry meows and frantic pawing at the zipper. Of course, once she realized she was in a car (i.e. OUTSIDE) she kept trying to burrow deeper into the bag. She seems to be adjusting nicely to Paul's house except for the fact that she won't go downstairs and Paul's mom had to peer under the bed to get a look at her.
wingless was still breathing at 11:25 AM - 0 comments

Saturday, August 19, 2006

this is supposed to be fun right?

Now that I've quit my job and have taken my challenge exam my days have actually become somewhat more interesting. For example this afternoon I had lunch with my dear friend Lian at the best Japanese lunch spot ever and before that we popped in on my old bartending instructor to say hello.

After lunch we zipped over to a doctor's appointment and then wedding dress shopping! I know that girls are supposed to love this part of the wedding preparations but I don't really like shopping period and wedding dress shopping? Is a little bit traumatic. I am not used to a perfect stranger coming into the dressing room with me and saying that I can either leave my bra on or take it off. Totally nonchalant, like "whatever you want." (I left it on in case you were wondering). I don't like trying things on. And I hate the whole process of choosing which ones to try on. You know that Sex and the City episode where Miranda is crib shopping and she's complaining about how she doesn't need Crib World she needs a store where there is only one crib and its called "This Is The Perfect Crib For You." Yeah, I need a wedding gown store called "This Is The Perfect Wedding Dress For You (And You Can Afford It!)" Yup, that sure would be nice.

wingless was still breathing at 12:11 AM - 0 comments

Thursday, August 17, 2006

i think i've mentioned before how much i hate packing, but i really hate packing

As I've mentioned, we are moving this weekend. I am, sort of, packed. As in I emptied out a drawer full of shirts and threw them in a suitcase. And what was once the contents of our medicine cabinet is now the contents of a plastic UCLA store bag.

I am really bad at moving between places. I hate packing and I really hate unpacking. This is why sometimes I prefer not going anywhere to, say, going on vacation. I hate packing that much.

One time during my freshman year of college I returned from a visit home and immediately unpacked my things. My roommates stared at me as though I had a third eye. They could not believe that I had gone on a trip and returned, and yet they would not be spending the next week and a half tripping over my suitcase.

On top of it all, tonight Paul sprung on me the fact that we have no one to help us move. Even though I asked him four times over the last three weeks if he had asked his friends to help and he said yes. Each. And. Every. Time. So, ah, if you're interested in helping us move on Saturday I'll be your best friend forever.

wingless was still breathing at 11:07 PM - 0 comments

move the f on

Is anyone else as irritated as I am by the fact that the coverage of the Jon Benet Ramsey case has pre-empted the coverage of the ongoing Middle East conflict? I mean, if they really caught the guy then fabulous, but honestly, who cares? It's a ten-year old case, get over it already. There are more important things going on in the world, like, oh, I don't know? The fact that Israel and Lebanon are still on the brink of war? The fact that France, the "leader" of the UN force is only committing a few hundred piddly soldiers to the cause? The fact that the Iran remains defiant and the UN deadline is coming up?

Is this really where our priorities lie? Cause I for one, could care less. I don't want to hear all this speculation on whether or not he's really the guy, just let me know a year from now when there's a verdict, mmmkay? Until then, let's try to focus on things that actually matter to the general population.

wingless was still breathing at 5:18 PM - 0 comments

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


The crooning is getting louder. And there are tambourines and some kind of drum-like sounding objects thrown into the mix now. I swear to freaking....does LA not have noise ordinances???
wingless was still breathing at 11:01 PM - 0 comments

addition to the will-not-miss list

When the Hare Krishna's one street down have one of their street festivals and are still crooning away on their loudspeakers at 10:30 PM the night before a big test.

I can't decide which is worse, the Mexicans I used to live across from who would blast their mariachi music at all hours or this.

wingless was still breathing at 10:35 PM - 0 comments

my home away from home

I've been trying to write this post for awhile. But I can't figure out what I want to say. Maybe there is too much to say.

So come Sunday we should be completely moved out of our very first apartment together. It just hit me that this was our first home together and now it is time to move onto the next thing. Somehow, though, I don't feel too broken up over this, it's just a realization. Maybe because I never expected this apartment to be a permanent thing to begin with. Actually, I've never really accepted Los Angeles in general as a permanent thing for me...It's always been my home until I eventually move back to my real home (the Bay Area).

But still, there will be things I will miss. I will miss the farmer's market across the way every Tuesday. I will miss seeing the old couples holding hands as they shop for organic apples and the dad's with their toddler's (which always make me think of Paul with our kids someday..hopefully). I will miss Zankou Chicken and En Sushi and Johnnie's Pastrami and Ramen-Ya and the dynamite mac roll at Sushi Mac. I will miss the abundance and variety of food that are actually within walking distance. And the movie theatre across the street which we only went to once. I will miss World Cafe and the other cool cafe/restaurant/bars that are available to me down here when I'm in the mood. I will miss that feeling I get sometimes when I'm driving around the Westside and it hits me that this is a place people dream of coming to and I live here. Oh and I will definitely miss the year-round perfect weather.

Yes, there are certainly things about Los Angeles that I will sorely miss a couple months from now when I'm in the central valley and longing for a really delicious Cubano sandwich from Versailles or desperately looking for a chic place to unwind after a tough test. And when I'm in France freezing my butt off next February I will probably be longing for the 70 degree weather they'll be experiencing here in Los Angeles. But I will remind myself that I will be back in a year and it won't be so unbearable.

As much as I hate Los Angeles sometimes, as much as I've never let myself accept this as my permanent home, I must admit that over the past six years it has become a home to me. Still not a place where I can see myself raising my family, but it's been a home to me nonetheless.

And just in case I'm ever really missing LA at some point here is a list of things I will NOT miss about LA: perpetual traffic, searching for parking spots, the fact that the sky is never really blue (not the way it is up north), having my car dinged all the time because there is not enough parking, the snotty drivers, the snotty waiters (hm...although France may have more, who knows), the rampant Hollywood mentality...did I mention the perpetual traffic?

wingless was still breathing at 6:17 PM - 0 comments

Saturday, August 12, 2006

goodbye (again)

Today was my last day at my old company (again). Last night we all went out to one of my coworker's mom's restaurants in Hollywood and had some good ol' fashion, drunken, Republican fun. One can never go wrong with champagne, mojitos and chilean sea bass (for free to boot)! I am really going to miss those guys, I've never worked in a more entertaining office and I highly doubt I ever will. For one, the constant jokes about getting the HR guy on the phone are only so hilarious because of the incredible un-political corectness that goes on in that office. And that's what I love about it. I love that we can tease each other mercilessly, make racist, sexist jokes at each other, and all laugh together because we KNOW we're joking around and no one is offended by it and everyone participates in it =) Feelings in that office are never hidden, if someone has a problem with something you've done you can BET that the person they've got a problem with will know it - and that it will all blow over by the end of the hour (if not the end of the next ten minutes). Those people have become like my family (you can only treat family the way we treat each other) and I'm really, really going to miss seeing them every day.

Where else can a male coworker say he's going to make his future wife take ironing lessons and the girls in the office start talking about their own ironing skills (or lack thereof in my case)? Only a Republican office =) Where else would I find an office full of people who like country music and will talk crap about the UN with me? Where?! Nowhere. Sigh.

wingless was still breathing at 1:53 AM - 0 comments

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


Am I the last person on the planet who's NOT on myspace? I refuse to conform.
wingless was still breathing at 12:00 AM - 0 comments

Monday, August 07, 2006

how to shoot yourself in the foot

Gosh, there's so much I want to comment on (Middle East conflict, Reuters photo scandal, etc.). But. I. Have. Too. Much. To. Do.

The sad thing is, I'm not even doing it! I'm like half doing it and half watching cheesy chick flicks like The Wedding Date. And now I'm blogging! What am I doing to myself ><

Tonight Paul ate 5 hot dogs for dinner. The other night I dreamt he had a heart attack and wanted me to drive him to the hospital =\

wingless was still breathing at 11:23 PM - 0 comments


I think I'm finally starting to make my way out of the muck. I realized today at church that the barrier that existed between myself and the Lord is finally gone now and I smiled. It made me feel certain about what I am doing.

Now that I can finally think again I really need to schedule my challenge exam so I don't have it hanging over my head anymore. Oh and this is my last week of work!

Although I haven't been writing about it I've been following what's going on in the Middle East very closely. I'm tired now so I will write tomorrow but I'll just say two things: I stand with Israel and anyone who doesn't is an idiot.

wingless was still breathing at 1:05 AM - 0 comments

Friday, August 04, 2006

lyrics as life

I'm sorry 'bout the attitude I need to get when I'm with you
But no one else will take this sh*t from me
And I'm so terrified of no one else but me
But I'm here all the time
So I won't go away

Hey, it's me
Yeah well I can't get myself to go away
Hey, it's me
Well I can't get myself to go away
Oh God I shouldn't feel this way, no

Reach down your hand in your pocket
Pull out some hope for me
It's been a long day
Ain't that right
And no Lord your hand won't stop it
Just keep you trembling
It's been a long day
Ain't that right?
wingless was still breathing at 9:41 PM - 0 comments

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

encountering the donkeys

At the farmer's market across from my apartment today I was asked whether I'd "like to help the Democrats win the November election."

I responded with a smirk and a clear "No."

Next time I'm going to say, "As much as I'd like to shoot myself in the foot."

Maybe it's because I live in Los Angeles, but why is it always the liberals out and about pestering people as they attempt to go about their daily lives? This is the 2nd time this week I've been approached to help out some liberal cause while purchasing produce.

wingless was still breathing at 5:25 PM - 2 comments

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