Woman hating of a strange new scale

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Last evening, very stupidly, I clicked on a Yahoo story called "The Best and Worst Summer Barbecue Foods. I'm not sure why I did this, but it's possible that I was lured in by the photo of a hot dog. It's also possible that I was temporarily inhabited by pod people....

It explained that hot dogs are better than burgers because there are fewer calories, and the portion size is predetermined for you. It should have been a warning when I came across the sentence "And if you're among the half of Americans who slather their hamburger buns with mayo..."Because apparently, mayonnaise is an evil super villain food that will kill you in your sleep.

Oh, but it gets worse. They continue to tell you to "eat this, not that." In fact, apparently the writer has a whole book with that title, devoted to telling you that you're a stupid, fat piece of shit, and only his book will save you from eternal damnation. Charming, ne?

The last paragraph starts off offensively enough with "If you absolutely must cave in and eat something sweet, choose an ice-cream sandwich." Ok, fair enough, I like ice-cream sandwiches, cuz, you know, who doesn't? But still, I wasn't aware that that was a personal failing.

The food that you absolutely must avoid, though, is apple pie. At this point I'll just quote, because it's so unbelievable.

Don’t be fooled by the wholesome association with "mom." Think "Eve," instead, and eternal damnation. The crust that holds those innocent apple slices is fashioned from lard and refined flour, and the fruit floats in a thick ooze of sugar sludge. Pie has more calories than an 8 oz sirloin and more sugar than most candy bars — and that’s not even counting that big scoop of vanilla ice cream you’re likely to flop next to the slice.


Eternal damnation from pie. Eating pie is akin to the acts of that terrible whore-ible creature Eve, whose feminine failing made us all fat.

Or something.

Also, what the hell kind of pie is this guy encountering?? Lard in a crust? I'm sure that somewhere that has happened, but who bakes with lard these days? I wouldn't even know where to buy lard if I had to!! Also, "thick ooze of sugary sludge"? I don't think I've ever eaten a pie filled with oozing sludge.

So, um, yeah, I'm wishing death on this "writer." The comment section is gross, with all sorts of people claiming to be enlightened by this shit, but one user gets the Kat stamp of approval. She or He says:

One more stupid article by the fat police. Get lost! I'll eat what I want. I'm 85 and nothing will hurt me much.
Thank you, anonymous Yahoo user. You are actually a reasonable human in a sea of stupidity.

User John, however, needs to be hit over the head with a roll of organic, locally made goat cheese made from the milk of grass fed goats, containing a zillion yummy, delicious calories:

Any article that shows food choices and their respective calories and fat is a good article. Americans need education about the foods they eat. The more they know about what they're eating, the easier it will be to make good food choices. Keep articles like this coming!

Um, education? How is comparing desert to original sin education? Moron.

I haven't found any way to contact the authors of the article, in order to lay on some criticisms.

I have more to say about body issues and such, and will do that shortly...
Happy Sunday! Eat some pie!

Template Changes

Friday, July 25, 2008

I'm messing around with templates and colors....Please let me know what you like and what you don't. In general, I really liked my old template, but it always bugged me that there were those huge, hot-pink stripes on the sides.

I'd love to have something interesting and creative, that doesn't look like the general Blogger templates.....thoughts?


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Day three of sitting on my ass in the reception office of the school where I work......soooo bored....
There's construction going on in the office upstairs, which means lots of dust and noise, which means my throat, nose and head are unhappy. There's almost no one around, just a couple of administrators' underlings, and no actual work for me to do. Basically, I'm being paid to wait for the phone to ring.
If you're in the area, and are free around lunch time, come entertain me! Please?!

Update to this morning's post

Monday, July 21, 2008

Senator Hillary Clinton has written a petition against the Health and Human Services Department attempt to call birth control abortion. She's written an article about it, which you can read at Huffington Post and RH Reality Check.
Here's the petition:

They want to do what? How? Are you sure?

Friday, July 18, 2008

I've been trying to write about this for days, but I keep getting stuck because I don't know how to spell "ARRRRRGGGGHHHHHSSSSHHHTTTTTRRRRAAAAUUUGGHH!!!!!"...you know, that thing that Macauly Culkin did in Home Alone?

Because it seems that the Department of Health and Human services wants to change the labeling for contraceptives. They want to classify hormonal birth control as.....wait for it....wait for it....abortion!

Yes, the Bush administration's trained chimps, I mean minions, I mean idiots...oh well, I'll just go on...are trying to say that contraception is the same as abortion. "What thar fook?" You ask?
This same group, on its website today, released the results of study showing that the birth rate among teenagers is increasing. And yet they want to get rid of birth control.

I know, right, this sounds so ridiculous? Why on earth would they do such a thing?

The answer: So that they can remove contraception from the list of things that get federal funding. Among other things. Like making sure that pharmacists don't have to go against "their conciences" by allowing other people to live their lives the way they choose.

The other question is how. How on earth would they manage it?

The answer: By claiming that life begins at conception (fertilization) and therefore all fertilized eggs are people too.

Here's the thing. The American Medical Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists both contend that pregnancy begins with implantation, that is, when the fertilized egg implants in the uterus. Basically, so does the rest of science. It's impossible to test when an egg has been fertilized, and not only that, but a large number of fertilized eggs never implant, whether or not contraception is involved. Something like 50% of all fertilized eggs never turn into pregnancies. Some studies say that as many as 80 % of all fertilized eggs never implant. Therefore, claiming that fertilization is the beginning of life is ridiculous, since in so many cases, fertilization doesn't lead to pregnancy.

That's kind of beside the point, though. The people supporting this argument don't care about science. The Bush administration has shown over and over that it doesn't care about science, and this is no different. It's something that affects so many of us, though, that we can't let it happen.

Here's the insult to add to the injury:
It's where the HHS tells you what to do if you think you've been discriminated against based on gender or sex!!! Um, you mean like your policy that screws over women and takes them back to the dark ages??

Here are a couple of links to letter writing campaigns against this decision:



Here are some more coherent, better researched write ups of this horrendous plan:



And some information on how pregnancy happens (heheh...not that kind of info, silly!)

More Beaker for your pleasure

Thursday, July 17, 2008

It seems that the most popular part of the Muppets 4th of July song was Beaker. Beaker rocks, so I'll further amuse you with more.

This time, Beaker takes a more serious, classical turn. Beethoven has never sounded so good:

Neither has Bizet:

Enjoy your Thursday, and thanks to Celeste for sending me these!!!

E avanti a lui tremava tutta Roma.....update

Saturday, July 12, 2008

What I said on Saturday night:
Just back from Berkeley Opera's Tosca. Considering that I don't like Puccini, and can only barely stand Tosca, it was pretty awesome. Must go start on the review now....I'll be back in 36 hours, when I'm done!
Today: I managed to finish my article early, and under the maximum number or words, so yay! And it looks like the editing was done sparingly this time....sometimes the end result is very different from what I actually write....

If you're a Bay Area person, I recommend seeing Tosca. Despite her 1st act hairdo, which is totally horrible. I don't remember why I forgot to mention it in my piece....oh well. With the hat they made her wear, the hair probably didn't fit any other way...

Oh, and Ariodante was a bit uneven, but mostly fantastic. Susan Graham sang her despair aria while curled in a ball on the floor, facing away from the audience. She let out some of the most incredible singing I've ever heard......

Got Hope?

Sunday, July 6, 2008

I just saw an Obama bumper sticker saying "Got hope?"

Increasingly, I don't. I want to. I want, more than almost anything, to get a Democrat in the White House. I want a president who's smarter than a 5 year old, who grasps complicated concepts, who cares about something other than winning the "I'm mightier" pissing contest.

Help us, Barack Obama, you're our only hope.

This week, though, he seems to have decided that kissing right-wing-nut-jobs' asses is somehow helpful. Either that or he's really a lot more conservative than anyone realizes. Or his inexperience is showing......or all 3.

Obama gave an interview for the Christian magazine Relevant. That in itself is pretty strange. Or would be, had Obama not said this week that he wants federal funds to go to religious "faith based" organizations.

"Relevant" magazine is "a multimedia company whose purpose is to impact culture and show that a relationship with God is relevant and essential to a fulfilled life."

So, in this article, Obama discusses abortion, specifically late-term abortion. Both the interviewer and Obama use the term "partial-birth abortion." This is not a medical term, and was invented by the pro-life extremists. That's the first sign that this interview is worrisome.

As if using the uber-right's terminology (rather than informed, medical terminology) isn't enough of a problem, Obama jumps into a totally worthless debate. He falls into the trap by even holding a discussion about late-term abortion. I'll get to that in a minute. This is what he has to say about late-term abortion. It's a direct quote, not a paraphrase:

I have repeatedly said that I think it’s entirely appropriate for states to restrict or even prohibit late-term abortions as long as there is a strict, well-defined exception for the health of the mother. Now, I don’t think that “mental distress” qualifies as the health of the mother. I think it has to be a serious physical issue that arises in pregnancy, where there are real, significant problems to the mother carrying that child to term. Otherwise, as long as there is such a medical exception in place, I think we can prohibit late-term abortions.

Here are the problems with that statement:

1) He thinks that the government should define the occasions in which it's appropriate to perform a late term abortion. I don't see any way in which it's possible for the government to predict any or all of the instances in which such a procedure would be medically necessary.
2) He thinks that these reasons must be physically necessary. "Mental distress" doesn't count. Again, how can a government determine the mental distress? He's basically saying that "health" means physical health and that mental health is inconsequential. People have been working for years to get the medical community to realize that mental health is real and serious and that it impacts a life as much as physical health.

Here are the larger problems:

1) He's having this discussion in the 1st place. Why is that a problem?
This whole interview seems to be saying that late term abortions are happening all the time and that women are having them willy-nilly just for fun.

Total. Myth.

Anti-abortions activists will tell you that Roe v. Wade allows abortions right up to birth. Also a total myth. It states that after viability, abortion may only be provided "where necessary, in appropriate medical judgment, for the preservation of the life or health of the mother." Therefore, any additional ban or discussion thereof is redundant and useless.

The actual statistics say that late-term abortions account for less than 1% of all abortions. Furthermore, there are only 2 clinics in the US that will perform them, though I don't know if there are doctors in other hospitals that will do the procedure in an emergency. 3rd trimester abortions have only happened in wanted pregnancies, in cases in which maternal or foetal health are in serious jeopardy.

Since the procedure is already regulated, rare, and done only in such serious medical emergencies, it's ridiculous for a presidential candidate (or any half-way intelligent person) to frame the argument as if this is a pressing issue to be discussed and decided.

I'm frustrated that Obama fell into the trap. It's important to resist the framework set up by the Christian Right. Their framework is faulty, not scientifically based and illogical. If we continue to allow discussions that use their vocabulary, we'll never get anywhere.

I really wish that Obama had realized that and had supported the "change" he seems so fond of.

A few days later, Barack Obama felt the need to explain what he said. It's just as troubling as the original article:

My only point is this -- historically I have been a strong believer in a women's right to choose with her doctor, her pastor and her family. And it is. I have consistently been saying that you have to have a health exception on many significant restrictions or bans on abortions including late-term abortions.

In the past there has been some fear on the part of people who, not only people who are anti-abortion, but people who may be in the middle, that that means that if a woman just doesn't feel good then that is an exception. That's never been the case.

I don't think that is how it has been interpreted. My only point is that in an area like partial-birth abortion having a mental, having a health exception can be defined rigorously. It can be defined through physical health, It can be defined by serious clinical mental-health diseases. It is not just a matter of feeling blue. I don't think that's how pro-choice folks have interpreted it. I don't think that's how the courts have interpreted it and I think that's important to emphasize and understand.

Okay, let's dissect Obama's response:
A woman cannot choose on her own, but rather "with her doctor and her pastor." In other words, the little lady can only choose with the help of some strong, sensible men.....great.....

Next: "I have consistently been saying that you have to have a health exception on many significant restrictions or bans on abortions including late-term abortions."
You have, have you? Well, that's funny because we just determined that THE LAW already limits late-term abortions to instances in which life/health are at risk. Therefore a ban is totally unnecessary.

I will grant him that the middle paragraph is accurate. People do fear that those horrible murderous women are destroying foetuses for fun. Their fears are baseless, though, and we need to work to give facts and accurate information, not stock their anxiety.

Last paragraph: "It can be defined through physical health, It can be defined by serious clinical mental-health diseases. It is not just a matter of feeling blue." What part of LIFE AND HEALTH IN JEOPARDY do you not understand???? Feeling blue? Are you joking? A woman goes to her doctor and says "doc, I'm 23 weeks pregnant and I'm feeling blue." The response is not going to be "okay, well, it's abortion time." Not by any stretch of the imagination!!!

I would really like to think that Obama can help steer this country in a new direction, away from the politics of fear, away from a secular government being run by religious extremists, and away from having leaders who don't understand simple concepts. I would really like to think that he can.

I hope he can. I think he's got to stop trying to kiss up to groups that will never vote for him, stop trying to please everyone by diluting his stances on things that he supports (or opposes) and think before he speaks.

Sunday Odds and Ends

The NASA website has photos of Mars, taken by the Phoenix lander. Check them out, they're super cool!

For 4th of July I made Cook's Illustrated's recipe for dark chocolate cupcakes. They were beyond delicious, and I could easily have eaten them all day. Fortunately, there were fewer cupcakes than there were people at G's barbecue, so I didn't have to worry about making myself sick on chocolate!

We're off to see Ariodante at the Opera today. I can't wait! It features Susan Graham and Ruth Ann Swenson. Susan Graham is my idol, when it comes to singing. If I could wake up one day and spend a little bit of time in her life, I'd be overjoyed. Ruth Ann is a wonderful soprano, who is elegant and charming on stage, with a great voice and great acting skills. then she opens her mouth to talk and out comes the broadest Long-Island accent you've ever heard. It's hysterical.
They've gotten rave reviews, I love them both, and I'm very excited.....and thanks to student rush tickets procured on Boyfriend's student id, I can almost afford it!


Friday, July 4, 2008

We hold these truths to be self-evident: That Muppets rock.

Summer (updated)

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Considering how little I'm doing this summer, you would think that I would write more. Unfortunately, though, every time I read something interesting, or get an idea for a post, I file it under "things I'll get to later." Wherein later means.....uh.....never.

I'll get started by sharing the best photo I've ever seen. I have no idea who these girls were or why they were playing ukuleles in bathing suits and heels. They seem to be having a great time, though:
(from the Library of Congress)

I don't know why this picture didn't load yesterday.....

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