December 25, 2012 - Merry Christmas
December 22, 2012 - Inspiration
So a couple of weeks ago, I was walking thru my bedroom when I caught sight of something I found to be very interesting…
(and I swear I didn’t orchestrate this. All the items just really kind of found their way there somehow. Even to the chair that also sits at my bedside which I had put there for Kizzy,) any way
I have to admit I love it.
Btw - Van Gogh had called his piece - The Bedroom in Arles
So this is why I am naturally calling this piece:
The Bedroom in Arlington
December 9, 2012 - The Arrival...
So my mother showed up in a wig (that misrepresents her age), a Santa hat, a Christmas sweater with dancing penguins, in a pair of Red zumba pants with tassels (with one of her pant’s leg pushed up) and completed with “Lotsa lites! >>FLASHING<< Holiday Necklace”…
But I prefer to remember her like this:
November 6, 2012 - Election Day!!!
Do you know why I believe I live in
The GREATEST Nation on Earth?
BECAUSE EVEN OUR CATS CAN VOTE!
October 31, 2012 - Still my most favorite poem...
October 18, 2012 - Colors
The other day I put on my grandmother’s jade pendant and realized that the colors red and green have long existed together than I once thought of…also, my new gang sign.
October 1, 2012 - Happy Moon Festival
I nearly missed last night’s recognition of moon festival! However, this past weekend I did notice our little rabbit hard at work again. My buddy Allan and I were walking home from a show late Saturday night when I noticed how full the moon had become. I pointed out to Allan our Mr. Rabbit and we both laughed—while I also felt quietly to myself..the falling in love all over again with the Myth that brings us here together now.
~Lady and the Jade Rabbit~
On the moon tonight
her hope shines as he works hard
on her way back home
Will he ever make
that sweet elixir that sends
her back to love's arms?
She looks to the hare
his work seems steady and straight
but there she still waits
Up high in the sky
eternally far from him
that love of her life
And hare knows this true
as he pounds and pounds away
as she sits waiting
But for lone hare too
she remains the only love
he ever knew, so
Is then hare honest
with his mortar and pestle
does he mix it right?
Or does this hare trick
to keep his lovely lady
forever so near?
You can be the judge
but see now in this moonlight
two great loves so very bright.
September 23, 2012 - Sunday Poem
I woke up
on the living room floor
with carpet fuzz
in my mouth
and my cat passed out on my leg..
...tough being the
gutter vision of absolute Grace
sometimes, really tough.
September 19, 2012 - Sorry, I've been sleeping..
I was just snooping around the internet the other day when I came across a poem that I think best captures what it might feel like being the product of two heritages that are diametrically opposed to each other. The combination of words hit so hard that it almost, ALMOST, made me want to cry.
And to imagine what this poet had to endure to get to this kind of magnificent metaphor is something I simply don’t envy…but do, however, greatly adore.
Here, she said, put this on your head.
She handed me a hat.
You ’bout as white as your dad,
and you gone stay like that.
Aunt Sugar rolled her nylons down
around each bony ankle,
and I rolled down my white knee socks
letting my thin legs dangle,
circling them just above water
and silver backs of minnows
flitting here then there between
the sun spots and the shadows.
This is how you hold the pole
to cast the line out straight.
Now put that worm on your hook,
throw it out and wait.
She sat spitting tobacco juice
into a coffee cup.
Hunkered down when she felt the bite,
jerked the pole straight up
reeling and tugging hard at the fish
that wriggled and tried to fight back.
A flounder, she said, and you can tell
’cause one of its sides is black.
The other side is white, she said.
It landed with a thump.
I stood there watching that fish flip-flop,
switch sides with every jump.
--Natasha Trethewey, current U.S. Poet Laureate (2012)
August 25, 2012 -Delusions of Grandeur, how it works
I just had a memory of something I used to draw on myself with a blue bic. I first drew it in the 8th grade, right above my hip bone..I'm not really sure why.. It was just something I did.
I kept it on for weeks. Retracing it.
The only other person who saw it was a girl named Samantha. We were in gym class and I was changing into my gym shorts when one day while in the locker room, all of the sudden I heard:
Oh my god, Did you get a tattoo???
I knew immediately she was referring to the dark blue cross image I had drawn on myself.
I responded quickly to her:
Oh no, I was just thinking about it. Playing around. Seeing what it’s like.
I recall she nodded in approval. And we never talked about it again. And I have never mentioned it again, not even to myself. A few times since 8th grade I have thought back upon that memory…though it wasn’t until now did I wonder what was it I was drawing on myself.
I knew I had seen the image since 8th grade. However, I don’t recall in 8th grade ever have researched the image, or seen it. But I had to have. However for all I know right now is that it was just something I drew on myself. But don’t ask me why a pen and my hip bone were so close together one day; they just were.
So then just awhile ago, I recalled the memory and decided I needed to figure out what the style of cross was that I had drawn on myself. I knew the image had been called something else, but in looking that up, I found that it is also called by another name, and this is what I discovered:
Now only those who know my name and how I spell it can truly appreciate this, so to those people who know me.. all I have to say is pretty
August 10, 2012 - Just having fun with Palindrome
July 16, 2012 - Devil's Dictionary, new entry 4 u Mr. Bierce
Hopeless: Adj. When a man addresses you as “Hey Kitten” and then you politely correct him and say you don’t roll like that (esp since he’s the boyfriend of an acquaintance) and then he turns around and says, “Oh, okay, sorry Tiger.”xoxo.
July 5, 2012 - Best Bday Gift Ever
Welp it finally happened (and secretly I kind of prayed it would this way), but look what we found in the back woods of my parents' place just 2 days before my birthday..she was trying to find some shelter in their garage..and well now, she’s curled up in a ball next to my feet as I sit and type this out…
We named her Kizmet. We are not sure if that’s the name we are keeping, but so far it’s sticking.
And well despite my life currently being turned upside down now by this suddenly new addition to my life…I have to say that even though I look like Medusa here, we still seem mighty comfortable in our sheets.
June 23, 2012 - Installation - Series #1 - No.
This pix with Black Sabbath's Snowblind playing on loop in the background.
*shot taken Snowmageddon 2009 TTG (TM)
June 18, 2012 - 3.14
I had a dream about my 6th grade math teacher the other night. It’s been awhile since I thought about him. The last I did was probably about a year and a half ago when a bunch of us on Facebook found out that he had died.
It’s a little odd that I would be having a random dream about him…having not thought about him at all…then suddenly a dream, and now here I am, struggling to understand the significance of it, yet deep down inside already knowing just how really significant it is…to me at least. Dreams are funny like that I think.
Mr. Lock was known as the “cool” teacher. I had him for homeroom and math class. I loved it. We got away with a lot in his class. But he was always cool about it; hence why he was always considered so. Every once in a while he’d get upset, but for the most part, he was just cool. And I’m convinced for his “coolness” us kids rewarded him with relatively good behavior and decent grades. He was a lucky bastard.
There were so many things to recall about Mr. Lock: His little green rag top Karmann Ghia car (at least that’s the kind of car I think it was); the plaque on his desk that read “Bald is Beautiful”; but what I think was the most fun about Mr. Lock was his nicknames. Mr. Lock would give, I think, just about every kid he ever taught a nickname. I don’t know how in the world he came up with all of them. But a good example is how my sister got hers, which also goes to show just how dedicated he was to this. My sister had Mr. Lock 4 years after me.
I think the story goes, my sister had dropped a pencil or something beside her desk, and she bent over to reach and get it, when all of the sudden her desk tipped over and the edge of the desktop descended right down onto her poor little fingers. Yeah, pretty painful. I remember she had her fingers taped together for weeks. Poor girl. But it’s also how my sister became known as “Fingers” for the rest of the school year.
So in my dream, he looked just as I’d remembered him. The bald, tight-lipped, flustery at times guy who not only taught us math, but who also drove the cool little green car around, and around what we called The Circle.
Our neighborhood was built around a circle with the elementary school being in the middle of that circle. Naturally the circumference of that area became known as The Circle. Mr. Lock was also in charge of the School Safety Patrol program. As school patrols, some of us selected six graders would stand at different posts around the circle to help the rest of the neighborhood kids get to school, and as part of being in charge, Mr. Lock would load up a few of the student-patrol officers and ride around and around the circle making sure we were all okay at our posts while getting the rest of the kids to school okay too.
Funny, I have these fond memories of him and that little green car, going around and around the circle. You could always count on him coming around again, and this I could see in my dream. But what I don’t see in my dream about Mr. Lock is what I see when I’m awake...
I see a very young me, sauntering up to the blackboard, and carefully and meticulously copying my math problem onto the board. However before I go to sit down, I also see again a very young me draw in that chalk the little freshly baked pie next to my assignment. Signing off, Pattie Pie.
Mr. Lock had nicknamed me Pattie Pie. And it was a cute name. I loved it. I thought Mr. Lock was so clever, SO GENIUS.
But Mr. Lock was also a Math teacher.
And you know, I never really got that until the day I found out he had died some 2 years ago, and then having had the dream about him the other night, it’s all making me remember getting it again.
It kind of makes me smile softly to myself. I have this vision of him now, way back then, leaning up against his desk, arms probably crossed, watching his students put up their math problems, and then him seeing me who is carefully and meticulously drawing my freshly little baked pie next to my name…and with a satisfying grin spreading upon his face, I see him thinking:
She has no idea.
And you know what, he was right. I had no idea. But now I do, and all I really think now is, wow, that's really clever. What a great nickname.
and what a great story.
May 28, 2012 - Someone else's ... boots.
Every once in a while I think I manage to do something really great..and not necessarily for myself—though sometimes just by virtue of doing it for someone else you still manage to do it for yourself..but just great in a sense that I think I did something that added just a little bit of more meaning to something that was already incredibly meaningful.
I spent this Memorial Day weekend finally participating in my very first motorcycle rally, Rolling Thunder XXV 2012. Last year, if any of you recall, I was only able to sit on the sidelines to watch the Ride that pays homage to all our Vets both past and present every Memorial Day weekend here in Washington, D.C. (See May 30, 2011 - Memorial Day - Thank You entry). Last year, I had just gotten my M-class that May and was still a little too green to participate in what many consider to be one of the most honorable ways to pay tribute to our service men and women. I mean really, where else does over a quarter of million motorcyclists get together to hang out in the D.C. heat and humidity for over 8 hours just to take part in a short 5-6 mile ride that takes less than 30 minutes to complete. But I’m not complaining, because we all know how much more our good men and women have had to endure with their service to our country in order to preserve all our wonderful freedoms we have today. Pretty fantastic.
So my day started at 8:15 am meeting my friends Brindisi and Bob down at the Harley Davidson in Fort Washington, MD. From there, we would receive a police escort down to the Pentagon since the numbers assembled were already incredibly impressive. Brindisi is my buddy who I hung out with last year at this time. Brindisi has already made this ride at least 10 times before in the past, but last year sat out with me at the sidelines. Bob is our mutual friend whom I met through kickboxing, where he was my instructor for seven years. Bob is also a Vietnam Vet where he served for the AirForce, and he has lost count as to how many times he has made the Rolling Thunder ride. I felt really honored to ride with both him and her. They are awesome buds.
We finally arrived at the Pentagon parking lot a little after 10:30 am, where we then joined the legion of hot, smelly bikers all looking for a little bit of relief in the shade under the trees. It was quite the scene and one that will be totally a part of me forever.
And despite the solemn nature of the event that we all knew was the reason for us coming together, we still managed to have a little bit of fun. Brindisi and I made friends with a few cool guys who sat near us under the trees. Bob and I walked thru the crowds where I did nothing but giggle at Bob who kept commenting on the few men who should’ve really been wearing their shirts. Um, Fat overalls biker man, I will never forget you. As well as adorable biker puppy with red riding goggles. And of course one of my more hilarious moments was the text exchange I had with another buddy of mine who was also at the gathering,
Me: Nyla, Where are YOU?
Nyla: I don’t know how to tell you. LOL. I’m by a Harley.
It was really fanfare extraordinaire, simply wonderful experience!
But 7 hours later, the reason why we all gathered together finally arrived…it was time to RIDE.
And for me, it was important to make sure this ride was one I’d never forget. To commemorate the event I did what I hoped would be the best way to honor my father’s service and the service of every good man and woman out there. I decided to wear my Dad's combat boots he wore during his tour of Vietnam '70-'71. How crazy is that? The very boots I wore were the same boots that saw the streets of DaNang, Saigon, and Chulai...and now some 42 yrs later, here they were, on the (big) feet of his daughter rolling thunder thru the streets of DC.
I can’t even begin to explain the amount of honor I felt the whole ride through, however that wasn’t without a little bit of dishonor I also felt. Half of me wondered just what in the world was I doing, trying to ride in the shoes of my father who dedicated his life to service where all I really do is dedicate my life to “having fun”. But then again, the other half of me knew exactly what I was trying to do—
I was trying to ride in those shoes of my father so that I WOULD understand what he and every other service man and woman actually DO sacrifice in order for me TO dedicate my life to “having fun.” And all I really have to say is Thank You. Thank all of them for doing so. And thank God for bringing my father back from Vietnam. However, for those who didn’t come back and also for those who still have to… both that war then, and all the wars past & present now, this ride was for them…as was...
...me trying to safely get my foot under the gear shift, me trying to be sure my laces were tucked in safely, and me trying to be sure I understood that the 8 hours of heat, the killer sunburn I now have, and all the exhaust fumes that packed my lungs all day long was okay, because Lord knows, good men and woman have been through so much worse. So for all that…it's Them I thank.
Ah…what a remarkable day truly… and oddly enough, I still feel a bit high from it all. And one last thing I'll share about this experience before I go off in search of other great experiences is that I found that there’s really something similar about the sound of rolling thunder…both in the sky and in the streets…in that in some ethereal way..I think they both try to tell us something about our world…
That that desire for Peace is truly ever ongoing…
Bob & Brindisi kickin it under the flag at Harley Ft. Washington
Me sitting bad ass with Dad's boots
Happy Memorial Day
And to Dad, Bob, and all the other Vets, Thank You.
April 30, 2012 - I once had a roommate named Hal.
Compared to my last blog entry, which I know seemed to go on and on and on…much like Kubrick’s masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey seemed to, I’m going to keep this as brief as possibly, but …
I totally realize we have a screwed up health care system, yeah, a totally-fucked-up-screwed-up health care system..BUT, when you actually DO have the insurance AND HAVE FOLLOWED ALL THE RULES SET FORTH by this very totally-fucked-up-screwed-up health care system…
Yet when you show up to pick up your prescription—the prescription you are very well entitled to because you have spent years paying into the system to INSURE YOU WILL GET THE SERVICE YOU PAID FOR...
The clerk who is filling your prescription, stops, and actually looks you in the face and says,
"Oh I'm sorry, but I can't give this to you right now…”
(Despite the very fact you’re also hacking up a lung and looking like the walking dead)
“…because currently the computers are down at your insurance company."
This all really makes me kind of wonder…
Just who the fuck is running things here…US or the MACHINES?
seriously, download overload for real, compute on that…people.
PS. And we, me and Hal, didn't get along very well. Go figure.
March 25, 2012 - The Fortitude in Fortuity
So there are a few topics I have the tendency to shy away from discussing not because I’m uncertain of how I feel about them or am simply afraid to discuss them, but because usually the topics I speak of are areas of concern in which I often find myself in a constant state of struggle with, and so to address them publicly, I think, would be irresponsible of me since in addressing them at the moment, and often in hot debated moments, things could be said that might not be authentic in nature—and this authenticity is what I find to be crucial in any points made during a discussion. Now having said that, let me say that what I’m going to share in this blog isn’t at all my attempt to tell anyone how they should live their life, or judge how they have. That would be the last thing I would EVER want to do. I have enough problems just trying to live and examine my own life, let alone everyone else’s. However, what I will share is something I know to the core of my soul is something that needs to be shared…is begging to be shared…and, on some level, has come to me for the purpose of being shared. (So I am) But, if you should end up taking everything I have to say as a political ploy for any particular partisan agenda (this will make sense toward the end), well than that’s your prerogative. But sincerely, this isn’t about politics at all. This is about an instance of Truth that I know I witnessed and am just simply compelled to share.
So about three weeks ago, there was a paper that was quietly published in the Journal of Medical Ethics. It made quite a splash in its initial appearance, but has since not gained much momentum in the media, or rather the major media units, and while I could speculate as to why, I’d rather not for again inciting a political discussion that I just don’t have the energy to care about at the moment. Now on the same day that I should come to find this paper was the day our office held a retirement party for a coworker of ours who had been with our particular agency for forty years…I’ll say that again, 40 YEARS! Isn’t it rather hard to believe any one person could actually be at any one job for that amount of time? However our coworker Frank had managed to do it and so I gather if anyone was entitled to a retirement party, it certainly was him.
Now…I promise the fortuity of the two events will make sense later…but I digress.
It really was a nice party, too, complete with Italian food fare and decoration (since Frank is a proud Italian American) which included all sorts of assorted cheeses, meats, olives, and cannolis. And FYI, the cannolis were AMAZING. But again, I digress.
So, the party included about thirty of us gathered around and soon the speeches and well wishes got under way, and as I sat listening, I again became amazed at Frank’s history with the Rehabilitative Services Administration. I just couldn’t fathom 40 years at any one place, so naturally a lot of admiration was setting in for the little old man who was not only known as the official grammar police since he worked as an editor for the agency, but also who was known as the official office paparazzi since he’d walk around with his camera strapped around his neck snapping photos whenever and wherever he could of employees. Frank liked to do this, and his need to capture our office’s history in the form of random pictures made him an affectionate member of the office.
So there we all were again, thirty of us sitting around the room quietly taking in the history of our dear Frank, when our commissioner, who had been chartering the nice and thoughtful program, finally brought things to an end. At that time, the commissioner then invited everyone and anyone in the room to now feel free to share with each other any stories about Frank or well wishes they’d like to express to him personally. Well…what then followed the invitation was this……
Talk about an uncomfortable silence. It was incredible. Here we were, thirty or so grown adults with absolutely nothing to say about a coworker of ours we all knew well, and could most certainly think of SOMETHING nice to say given the occasion. But did anyone muster up? Nope. We all just sat there for what seem like forever, just kind of stupidly looking into each other’s faces. I recall seeing Frank’s own visage becoming increasingly uncomfortable as I saw it fall with sadness at the realization that perhaps no one was going to say anything about him or to him. The panic in my own gut rose as I took hint at what was going on and recall immediately thinking to myself, Oh my god, isn't anyone going to say something!?
Unfortunately I knew it wasn’t going to be me since I was now suddenly paralyzed at the knowledge of where my own place on the totem pole was at work, and feared that suddenly my stepping out and up would’ve probably come off as a bit disingenuous AND weird given the current state of awkwardness that was now slowly encroaching upon the party.
And, boy…was it awkward.
So as we sat there letting time pass into eternity, was it then when we were all FINALLY met with what seemed to be the most beautiful strings of words I have ever heard in my entire life:
“Hey, I’ve got something to say to Frank. Frank—I just want you to know I love you. And I am going to miss you.”
The words came from a woman named Annette and it was then followed by the sweetest hug ever exchanged between two people—two FULLY realized people (but I’ll say more to that later.)
Now, I can’t even tell you how immediate was the response to both Annette’s words and actions. The entire atmosphere of the room changed in an instant. It was no longer silent and awkward, but warm and full of such love and admiration. I remember as soon as Annette’s words came over us did we all as a group melt into such sweet sentiment, clapping and cooing, that it was hard not to notice just how perfect the moment was/and still is. I was so relieved and happy, and for a moment yet again, proud to be a part of a group of people that I know is truly special.
Incidentally, Annette’s words did finally break through that obviously cold hard ice, which only enabled a good twenty minutes or so of coworkers now feeling comfortable enough to share all their funny and heartwarming stories about Frank. It was the perfect ending for a perfect party, and I’m certain Frank was sent off feeling the exact same way.
Now fast forward an hour or so after the party and having returned to my desk and routinely checked in on my Facebook newsfeed did I now come across a posting of a news article about the aforementioned paper.
But before I go on switching gears here, I just want to add that this isn’t, again, some ploy by me to get anyone to see the world as I do. How could you anyway? You are not me. But in making the connection I’m about to, that is, drawing the line between the two dots I know that go together—is simply my attempt to illustrate how I think the world works when faced with such uncertainty. I really do believe in fortuitous moments. I believe in the connection between them. And I believe this is the way the world works. And now one might ask how do I necessarily “know” that that dot connects to this dot … well, let’s just say dot-to-dot games were always my favorite as a kid, and I was really good at them.
So this article I came across was in response to the paper published by this Journal of Medical Ethics. The paper was written and submitted by university professors Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva, and is entitled: After-birth abortion: why should the baby live? And the article about the paper was published by The Telegraph.
The Telegraph’s article basically was reporting on the backlash Giubilini and Minerva were receiving on their paper that addresses the topic of “after-birth” abortions, which offers the position that the reasoning and logic that justifies abortions should also be applied and can be applied to “after birth” abortions, which is the killing of babies right after birth. The two posit that the justification used for aborting fetuses which is that fetuses are of not yet fully realized “persons,” so neither are newborns and as a result this “after birth” abortion should also be justified in practice.
Upon finding this article, personal feelings aside, I immediately needed to know more, so I sought out the actual paper.
Read here or copy and paste: http://jme.bmj.com/content/early/2012/03/01/medethics-2011-100411.full
The paper is actually quite brutal to read and I can understand why people ferociously lashed out against it. After doing more research about the paper, I discovered that both professors claim the paper was not meant to incinerate. It was meant to open a discussion between academics on the realities of abortion. I have read a ton of commentary on this, and like what many have said, what Giubilini and Minerva offer is either every Pro-Lifer’s nightmare or actual dream in that their position demonstrates, with ease might I add, at how far the abortion justification can actual be extended to quite logically. But again, I don’t want to turn this into a position paper on where I might or might not stand on the issue of abortion because that’s not what this is about. And despite this paper’s incredible sophistication and headiness, that is quite apparent in its reading, I do however still feel compelled to add a perspective to it and its position that I think is seriously missing.
Now as I read slowly through the paper, I really couldn’t help but feel like I was almost eavesdropping on an almost Orwellian frame of thought. That somehow I had found my way into the minds of people preoccupied with social class, social economics, and its ultimate control of both. It’s hard for me to make my point without sharing what some of the paper said and I’ll start by simply including the paper’s abstract:
Abortion is largely accepted even for reasons that do not have anything to do with the fetus' health. By showing that (1) both fetuses and newborns do not have the same moral status as actual persons, (2) the fact that both are potential persons is morally irrelevant and (3) adoption is not always in the best interest of actual people, the authors argue that what we call ‘after-birth abortion’ (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled.
Now to say that Giubilini and Minerva’s arguments are philosophically intense would be an understatement. I, personally, have no degree in Philosophy. I took one philosophy course in college; had a platonically messy relationship with a guy who was a philosophy major (in other words all we did was have sex); and tried to read and understand a bunch of philosophers’ works all on my own, from Aristotle to Whitehead, which I’m still trying to wonder if that’s just something that’s on my face.
But despite my novice, I can still recognize thought provoking ideas and concepts, and Giubilini and Minerva’s paper certainly delivered that for me. Their arguments are profound and perhaps costly, but more importantly, some of what they had to say was deviously insidious; though perhaps not intentionally so. I seriously do not think that what either of them had to say was an attempt to create disaccord for the sake of creating disaccord. I think that they were honestly just exploring ideas and concepts that have been simply explored before except for now the exploration has happened during a time when currently women’s reproductive rights are being discussed and chattered about with crazy fury and gusto. So the heat was basically already turned on really… they just turned it up.
And really, there are so many points I want to make about this paper … but in the interest of length, I’ll just address one part in it that I find so necessary.
In the paper, Giubilini and Minerva, suggest that often times a woman will choose an abortion if an abnormality is detected within the fetus. More often than not, a woman will come to this conclusion of an abortion because she realizes the possible economical and psychological burdens that a child who is not “normal” could impose upon her and her family.
They go onto to say that also there are times when such severe abnormalities are not detected before birth, and so as a result, the new mother is now left in the position to care for a newborn that she would have otherwise not have cared for had she known the condition of the fetus prior to becoming an “actual” newborn.
With these two points made, Giubilini and Minerva then make the argument that the moral status of a fetus is equivalent to that of a newborn in that they are both still not fully made “persons”. Again, this here is the philosophical part I do NOT want to address right now, and could probably try to at another time. But nonetheless, with that posit in mind, Giubilini and Minerva conclude an “after-birth” abortion should be justified under these circumstances thus making the mother not morally obligated or even liable in the care for this “abnormal” newborn.
Making you cringe yet?
Anyway, so in making their argument with regards to abnormalities in the fetus, they make quick mention of one genetic disorder known as Treacher-Collins syndrome or TCS and then pay particular closer attention to infants who are born with Down’s Syndrome. I do not know why they singled out infants born with Down’s Syndrome, but they used persons as such to make their argument both in defending the physical abnormalities justification as well as the moral status, or lack of one in again the justification for “after-birth” abortions as in the following exerpts:
However, such rare and severe pathologies are not the only ones that are likely to remain undetected until delivery; even more common congenital diseases that women are usually tested for could fail to be detected. An examination of 18 European registries reveals that between 2005 and 2009 only the 64% of Down's syndrome cases were diagnosed through prenatal testing. This percentage indicates that, considering only the European areas under examination, about 1700 infants were born with Down's syndrome without parents being aware of it before birth. Once these children are born, there is no choice for the parents but to keep the child, which sometimes is exactly what they would not have done if the disease had been diagnosed before birth….
Although it is reasonable to predict that living with a very severe condition is against the best interest of the newborn, it is hard to find definitive arguments to the effect that life with certain pathologies is not worth living, even when those pathologies would constitute acceptable reasons for abortion. It might be maintained that ‘even allowing for the more optimistic assessments of the potential of Down's syndrome children, this potential cannot be said to be equal to that of a normal child. But, in fact, people with Down's syndrome, as well as people affected by many other severe disabilities, are often reported to be happy.
Nonetheless, to bring up such children might be an unbearable burden on the family and on society as a whole, when the state economically provides for their care. On these grounds, the fact that a fetus has the potential to become a person who will have an (at least) acceptable life is no reason for prohibiting abortion. Therefore, we argue that, when circumstances occur after birth such that they would have justified abortion, what we call after-birth abortion should be permissible.
Honestly I think it’s the sentence, “On these grounds, the fact that a fetus has the potential to become a person who will have an (at least) acceptable life is no reason for prohibiting abortion,” that makes me shudder the most because of the very small part that also precedes it, “…when the state economically provides for their care.”
Now if that doesn’t sound Orwellian than I do not know what does because essentially what reads here is that even if one leads a fairly acceptable life, one that could be very well be perceived as happy, it is, however, in the interest and cost of the STATE that actually should have the final say in who may be possibly permissible to live out his or her own natural given life.
It’s all rather mind boggling, and this is only a small part of this paper; the rest is just as provoking in all its utter perplexity. And I have to be honest that by the time I finished it, words like eugenics, extermination, holocaust all began to drift in and out of my mind. I mean, seriously, how could you possibly get away from such terms when you read stuff like this?
So as I sat, pretty dumbfounded and trying to process everything I had just read, suddenly something in what had happened earlier in that day immediately came to mind that simply would not allow this sophisticated, philosophical, highly-intellectual argument win me over with its tightly knitted logic. People with “abnormalities” or disabilities are not necessarily nothing but a burden upon society, as it seemed Giubilini and Minerva were implying in so much that even such burdens should be made cause for being abortable. No, these once fetuses-then newborns-and now people have very much a place in this world just as much as people who are deemed healthy and “normal” seem to have as I saw it. Though after this paper, I was beginning to wonder if even the perceived “normal” people were not just as abortable.
But really, I can’t even believe I am making such an argument and in the year of 2012. Have we’ve all gotten so twisted in our humanity that we’ve even lost our own scruples? I mean we all know where such statements like, “unbearable burden on the family and on society as a whole, when the state economically provides for their care,” can possibly lead to and you’d be a fool to think otherwise. But I don’t want this to become just a righteous indignation rant because this isn’t what this is about, it’s about what was written…and it’s about people like Annette.
Remember Annette? The woman I spoke about who remarkably was the only person who mustered up and broke the ice at Frank’s retirement party while the rest of us sat paralyzed by our own deep dark secrets. Annette was the only angel that lifted Frank out of his sudden despair. She was also the savoir that released the rest of us from our own prisons. And no doubt, she was the godsend that wasn’t afraid to show Frank just how much she loved him. But most importantly, she is also the one person in our office who lives with Down’s Syndrome.
So do you now see where I am going with this? After reading what Giubilini and Minerva had to say about people with Down’s Syndrome and the implication that they seemingly offer just burden upon family AND society, I immediately knew that they were incredibly inaccurate in offering only that perspective. Now obviously I do not take the viewpoint of family because I do not have any family members who have Down Syndrome nor do I know anyone who cares for anyone with Down Syndrome, but I do, however, take the viewpoint of society because I am a part of society and in this part I simply have to say that is not true for me. I do NOT see people who live with Down Syndrome as a burden and I’d like to think most of society thinks the same as well. But since I can’t really speak for all of society, I think I can at least speak for most of the folks, if not all, who were in that room that day when we all sat completely and utterly mentally retarded ourselves. And really, I’m not kidding here. We were all mentally retarded that day. Annette was the only one who wasn’t. And SHE’S the one living with a disability that claims mental retardation as its defining characteristic.
WHAT IRONY, she exclaims!
Honestly, I really have to say the exchange between Frank and Annette positively demonstrated to me and everyone in that room that only Annette was capable at that moment of such unabashed love and sincerity; a demonstration of such that none of us seemed able, and quite frankly, disabled to do so for whatever reason, shyness, fear, ego…but luckily for us, our own disabilities had suddenly enabled Annette to become the more fully developed person than any of us could have ever hoped to have been at that given moment.
And this is why I have responded the way that I have at Giubilini and Minerva’s paper and what they have offered in justification for “after birth” abortion. I find that their logical analysis truly lacks naturally practicality, if not the entire loss at the larger concept of nature. They point out the burden, the cost, the psychological effects of the burden and the cost, and they use family and society as the vehicles to carry such damaging evidence for justification. I sense they perceive fetuses-then newborns-then persons who live with certain disabilities as anomalies in an otherwise perfect nature. But what I see is just nature. People who are born with disabilities or are otherwise considered “abnormal” have a place in our world just as much as anyone else. And though their “place” might seem small and insignificant that doesn’t matter by virtue of simply having place, even though sometimes it may seem that they shouldn’t. Sometimes “purpose” is not always revealed to you, to me, or to society when we expect it. Sometimes it’s revealed so plainly that you can’t get away from it like one’s own nose…but sometimes, it takes its time and then suddenly and slowly it is revealed and in a moment so subtle, sometimes only one person, like myself, might see it.
But is your purpose, my purpose, or Annette’s purpose really something we want to leave up to a few academics to discuss or debate? And while I do recognize that they do have a point in that yes, the situation could be a great burden upon a woman and her family if she were to choose seeing through the caretaking of a life that was born with a few to many disadvantages and disabilities. I understand that. It is hard. It is difficult. Yes, this is true. And I certainly wouldn’t pass judgment on anyone who sought out or considered an abortion because of those exact reasons. However, I would just want a woman and her family faced with this kind of decision to also consider this: Is not a life that faces the most challenges often times the same life that reaps the greatest rewards?
That’s all I’m saying.
But again, this is not me trying to impose upon or force anyone into thinking the way that I do about what Giubilini and Minerva propose in their paper. I am merely offering intimate data on what it is that they propose…and I think I do it in a way that really debunks what they see as their justification to “after birth” abortion with regards to people who live with Down Syndrome and of such. And at some point I should probably try to debunk all that I could probably debunk in their paper, but quite frankly, I’m really tired of all the debunk-debunk-debunking...
Funny, why do I suddenly hear Annette’s hearty laughter over my joking around right now? Probably because I know she’s the only person in a good place to do so.
So, I hope what I've said answers Giubilini and Minerva's question on Why should the baby live...because in the end, you never know, one day you too could be finding yourself stuck frozen solid in ice and needing your own "Annette" to come and break you free.
March 17, 2012 - Happy St. Patrick's Day!
I can't help but to repost a limerick I wrote last year in honor of the saint who has allowed us Americans this one day of the year to get so irresponsibly shitfaced that we eat stale cupcakes smeared with FD&C Green No. 3 and wear clothes and hats that should otherwise be considered the official theatrical wear for the Emerald City number in an adapted version of that beloved classic now entitled The Oz of Wiz; because really, that’s all we seek to do after all that drinking any way.
But nonetheless, through all that obnoxious glee and inexplicable Irish innocence, there still rests a legend, a myth, a story ... about a man and his faith. And I suppose that's good reason enough to celebrate so unabashedly in these streets. So...who cares, let's drink and be merry. Sláinte!!
There once was a saint named Patrick,
T’was lucky to be Ireland’s good maverick,
For through his blessed talk,
Of the great shamrock,
He showed the Trinity's holy magic.
February 27, 2012 - Goodbye Billy Song
What is it about cats? And why do I have such an affinity for them? This past week my sister and I let a kitty stay with us while a friend of a friend went out of town for work. This acquaintance needed a cat sitter really badly, and while my sister and I were super keen on cat sitting, we weren’t very keen on going to anyone’s house to do the deed. So instead we invited the kitty, his name Tigger, to come stay with us at our apartment so as to get better tending to and of course, in turn, enjoy more company as well. It all ended up working out great…it really did. That is, until it was time to give Tigger back.
And it really took no time to realize that as soon as Tigger’s mistress returned to take him back would I (and to some degree my sister) be left again with that empty feeling, much like how we felt when One passed away a little over a year ago. Both of us had so much fun playing with Tigger and providing all the love and affection we could to him that I almost feel like we may have over done it. BUT that isn’t to say that I would do anything differently. Tigger is a sweetheart and to have him in our home for just this week was awesome. And yes, on some level, I’m beginning to remember what it was like…to have one of these sweet furries around again. But man, the moment we did end up giving Tigger back, was a moment I swore I could reenact the ending scene of the movie Gremlins. OH yes, you all remember that moment when little Gizmo turns to Billy and says goodbye… “Bye—Billy” And then tears. Yep, it was just like that.
But last night, Clarissa and I did laugh at ourselves about how suddenly empty we both knew we were going to end up feeling. I mean, what were we going to do now with no one to pet and flurry kisses all over? That was when I turned and emphatically commented to her that IN NO WAY was I going to pet HER or kiss HER all over. We laughed pretty hard at that and came to a mutual agreement that maybe it was time to think about getting another kitty or … geez … what about boyfriend? I came to that sudden conclusion because at the end of all this, I think what Clarissa and I both discovered is that we both really enjoy caring for someone. I think when we are given the opportunity to show affection and love toward another being is when both of us really feel close to our authentic selves, and I’m certain of this because of the utter enjoyment both of us receive when we are able to give this very kind of love. It certainly explains why a good number of our personal relationships haven’t really worked out because I sense that those that are on the receiving end of our love and/or affection just don’t really know how to take it. I mean nine times out of ten, you provide that kind of unconditional love to a guy and he’ll A). Get all scared and run for the freaking hills or B). Do something so shitty to you that you have to sit and wonder in the end, WTF? All I did was love him. And again, yes, that IS all we ever do really… is love. And it’s a lot of what women do, only to be returned, often times, with love that never really quite measures up to that of a true woman’s love. Guys are SOOO weird when it comes to that. They get all crazy instead of just sitting there taking it quietly, with maybe only the lapse of a quiet steady purr. I mean really—guys—even cats can take it and we all know how finicky a cat can be..but in the end, to pets a cat can really only beset soft eyes and swaying tails. Good grief, if only guys could purr.
I think that’s what it is about cats honestly and why they are such awesome substitutes for affection. I think women, in particular, are built to provide this kind of affection. I mean after all, we have babies and shit. But while not every one of us can necessarily have a child or will, here then the good Lord provided us with these wonderful receptacles of furry goodness who are all too willing to take our pets and praise. I mean seriously. They just sit there and purr. And it’s awesome.
But I really don’t want to turn this into a single woman’s diatribe about men and cats. That would be … just … too … too… sorry, I’m currently looking for ear plugs in vain hope to muffle the volume of this stereotype I now hear.
And while I’m at it, I think I better go and get a kitty (or something) pretty soon because I also just got up from this computer, went into the other room, and tried to pet the top of my sister’s head.
She fully agrees. =^..^= purr
January 23 - February 5, 2012 - Year of the Dragon!!
Gong Xi Fa Cai! Happy New Year!
I just wanted to take a moment to wish everyone a wonderful New Year, once again. And I wouldn't be keeping in my heritage if I didn't make a big to-do with it being the luckiest Year of the Dragon. The Chinese often consider the Year of the Dragon to be the most auspicious in the cycle, so we should all consider it just as well. So in that dragon spirit, may good fortune & prosperity come to you with extraordinary flair and poised beauty all year long. And as you soar thru the days with strength & courage in all you do, should challenges come your way, may you fly right thru them with dragon grace & speed. And most especially, may your year be blessed with those thrilling moments only inspired by the true magnificence of our most mythical & magical creature, the Dragon. Gong Xi Fa Cai!!
January 14, 2012 - what happens when you are supposed to be cleaning house, but instead turn such boredom into a spiral of fun..and yes I