Thursday, December 04, 2008

Flock Together

A conversation between me and Mr. Misha today:

Me: Look at those two birds, they look like they are fighting mid-air.

Mr. Misha: They were probably fucking.

Me: But it's not mating season. They fuck in the spring, not in the winter.

Mr. Misha: I think those birds are Mid-air Winter Fuckers.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Don't Get Me Wrong, AT&T Still Sucks.

I found my iPhone! It magically reappeared. I am very happy. I am not sure if it was just lost, or if it was taken and then given back. I don't care. I sent a few celebratory messages and then the realization hit me. "I have to call AT&T to get them to take the block off my phone."

Oh shit.

I borrowed Mr. Misha's phone one last time and dialed 611. The lady that answered the phone was quite pleasant and nice, but informed me that ONCE AGAIN, their computers are down. They were down the night I called to tell them the phone was stolen. She told me she thought she might be able to get me unlocked if I didn't mind waiting a few minutes. I said sure and started playing Free Cell on my laptop. After a while, she said her computer was frozen, but her co-workers' computers were working. Instead of transferring me to one of them, she told me to call back.

I didn't want to be a bitch, so I hung up and called back. I went through the stupid phone tree thingy again. My call was answered by someone who also had a frozen computer. I asked him to transfer me to a service rep with a working computer. He transferred me back to the phone tree thingy and I started pushing all the buttons again. I was starting to get pissed. When my call is finally given to a human, I get the guy who apparently has a mouthful of porridge. I cannot understand a word this guy is saying. When I tell him I can't understand him, he just speaks LOUDER through his mouthful of porridge.

I take a few deep cleansing breaths and say, "Is your computer working?" He responds in what I believe to be the affirmative. "Can you activate my phone please?" He replies, " Yursh malm. Jush un mermont". I patiently wait. He then says "Malm, ishl be gedd ferns cerl". And then my phone rings. I hang up the iPhone and ask him if he could please send me a text, to make sure that is working. He replies, "Shlure malm." I get a text from him and quickly say thank you. As I was getting ready to hang up he says, "Tanshk fersh..." I just hung up, I couldn't handle being called "Malm" one more time.

Some dude from "The AT&T Executive Team" left me a voicemail yesterday. I am going to call him back and see what he has to say. I am going to try and remain cool.

In unrelated news:

Joanie is having surgery today. She is having her rotator cuff repaired @ 1:30 Pacific time. Send her some good vibes, or prayers or intentions or whatever, if you can.


Sunday, November 16, 2008


I have had my wireless service with AT&T for over a decade. I have always used AT&T for my land line and I have used AT&T for my internet services for the past 4.5 years. This summer, I purchased an iPhone. Last night, it was stolen. 

I called and made a police report. I called my insurance company and reported the loss. I called AT&T to report my stolen phone. The computers were down and no one was able to give me any information regarding replacing my phone. This morning, I called the Vallejo store and spoke to a very rude person who told me that I was going to have to pay full price for a replacement phone since I was not eligible for a new phone. 

 I was sure this must be a mistake. AT&T would not penalize me for being so unfortunate to have my phone stolen. I figured the woman was as stupid as she was rude, said thank you and hung up. I then called AT&T customer service number. While both people were pleasant, they informed me that, in fact, what the incredibly rude woman at the Vallejo store said was true. AT&T was going to try and bilk an extra $150.00 from me to replace my phone. 

I couldn't believe it. Normally, I would just grin and bear it. But my home phone has been out of order for almost a month and AT&T still has not been able to fix it. I am left with NO PHONE. Heaven forbid I would have an emergency or a health problem, I doubt that 911 would respond to an urgent email in a timely matter. 

I am seriously considering taking all of my business away from AT&T. Everything- internet, wireless, home phone. I want to be treated like a valued customer. I want to be treated with respect. I want a new iPhone without being screwed. I am posting this letter on facebook, on myspace, on my blog, I am sending a copy to Apple and I WILL TELL EVERY SINGLE PERSON I KNOW HOW HORRIBLE I HAVE BEEN TREATED BY THIS COMPANY.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Blogging Against Hunger

"To admit the existence of hunger in America is to confess that we have failed in meeting the most sensitive and painful of human needs. To admit the existence of widespread hunger is to cast doubt on the efficacy of our whole system." -George McGovern, 1972

This past June, my friend Lauren asked me to join her in a pet project of hers, Blogging Against Hunger. (You can read my previous post
here.) I wrote a lengthy, fact-filled post about how hard it was to feed a family of four in my county. I wrote about how food insecurity affects children. It was quite verbose. So when it came time to participate once again, I felt like I little left to write about.

But now things are worse. Family homelessness is
rising in the United States. 2008 has been declared the year of global food crisis. Food banks are experiencing an increased demand for groceries along with a decrease in donations of food and monetary gifts. As the holiday season approaches, many Americans are not worried about putting presents under the tree, but how they are going to put the next meal on the table.

When I look back, I was probably considered "Food Insecure" while I was in nursing school. At the end of each quarter; my student loan money would be running out, my work hours were decreased so I could study for finals and my cafeteria card was often "frozen" and useless until I could pay the balance. For two weeks, my roommate and I would eat ramen noodles, rice and canned goods that had been passed over when times were better. When we went to work as nurse's aids in the hospital, we would load up our pockets with crackers and broth from the patient "kitchens". My mom would offer to take me to Costco, but I couldn't afford the gas to drive to pick it up. As desperate I thought I was back then, I never went hungry. I never went to a food bank. I never went to a soup kitchen. I never faced what many families face now.

The other night at work, while examining one of my patients, I heard her stomach growl. A pregnant lady with her stomach growling. After I finished my assessment, I raided the kitchen. I pulled out turkey sandwiches, pudding, fruit, juice, milk, crackers, whatever I could find and brought it into the room. I told her kids to hop up on the bed and have a picnic with mom while I went and called the doctor. After I discharged her, I wondered, if she hadn't come in that night would her kids have gone to bed hungry? This woman had a job and so did her husband. They had health insurance. But they didn't have enough to eat. It's happening here, in America, people are going to sleep hungry. Parents are going without food so their kids will not.

I know for many, times are tough. But I am asking you to help your local food bank. Anything you can give will be helpful. It can be as easy as changing the day or store that you shop for your groceries! On December 9th, Whole Foods will be donating 5% of the day's net sales to local charities like Bay Area Food For Families and Coats For Kids. You can check their website to see which charity they are supporting in your area. Find out other ways you can give (or get) assistance through the links below:
The Hunger Site
America's Second Harvest
Mercy Corps
Bread For The World

If none of those sound appealing to you and you live in Northern California, Mr. Misha has a fun and easy way to help. When the nieces and nephews of the his clan were still believers, he would dress up as Santa on Christmas Eve and hand out presents to all of the good little boys and girls. His mom was going to give the suit away, but Mr. Misha said, "We have friends with kids who still believe in Santa!" So, he has brought the suit home and I am taking reservations for those of you who would like to visit your house this December. He will be busy on Christmas Eve delivering presents, but any other day between Thanksgiving and the 23rd of December is available on a first come, first served basis. All he asks is that you make a donation of non-perishable food to your local food bank. You can either drop it off yourself or give it to Santa when he visits and he will drop it off for you! Contact me off blog if you want to schedule a visit.

If you would like to participate in Blogging Against Hunger, you can find out how at these links:
BAH- Blogging Against Hunger (myspace group)
BAH- Blogging Against Hunger (facebook group)
Cross posted

Thursday, November 06, 2008

For Barney, the only occupant of the Dubya White House I will defend.

When I finished nursing school, I made a list of things I had to get as soon as possible:

A reliable car
A house
A dog

I bought a Volkswagen Jetta. I bought a house in a sleepy little town about 20 minutes away from the hospital where I was learning how to help women birth their babies. The first two purchases were pretty easy decisions. When it came to getting a dog, it was difficult. Every dog in my family had been a rescue, a stray or a hand-me-down pooch.

I didn't know where to start, so I went to the pound. What a sad trip that was. The only dogs available for adoption at the time were pit bulls. My boyfriend at that time, Evil Steve, was ignorant (like many people are) and did not want a pit bull. No matter how much the volunteers tried to reassure him that they had temperment-tested all of the dogs before putting them up for adoption, he wouldn't budge, Pit bulls would attack and kill us.

I asked friends and co-workers for advice on what kind of dog to get. I worked with a bunch of English nurses and they all enthusiastically recommended the Parson Jack Russell Terrier. So I went to the library, because that is what you did before the Google, and read up on Jack Russells. They sounded wonderful. Energetic, funny, loyal and smart. I was hooked. I started looking for a breeder. I found a local breeder and picked out a cute little male that we named Cosmo.
Cosmo came home with me when he was 3 months old. I crate trained him, I took him to puppy school, I potty trained him. He was hysterical, not a day went by that Cosmo did not make me laugh.

Evil Steve did not find Cosmo as wonderful as I did. He didn't like the willfulness of our Terrier. He bullied him, yelled at him, and I suspect, when I wasn't around, he beat him. Cosmo became so afraid of him that when Evil Steve would come home, Cosmo would cower and pee on Steve's feet.

Not long after, I realized that Cosmo wasn't the only one being bullied and I kicked Evil Steve out of the house. But the damage was already done. Cosmo bit me. Tore my lip in half. Then he bit my mom. Then he bit my uncle. I took him to the vet for advice. We made sure there was nothing wrong with him medically. We put him on medication. It didn't work. I hired a dog trainer who was a little too "New Age" for me and told me that Cosmo was possessed. A priest came to my house when my grandmother died and my Godmother asked him to bless our dogs. The other dogs sat quietly as Father Tim sprinkled Holy Water on them. Cosmo jumped, snapped and snarled at the water as Father Tim blessed him. I gasped, remembering what the trainer had said. Father Tim just smiled and said in his Irish brogue, "I think that little one needs more than a sprinkle of Holy Water!" I couldn't imagine how one would find a dog exorcist.

So I took him to UC Davis, they had a Behavioral Medicine department at the Veterinary School. He was enrolled in a research trial. I followed their instructions, but he was still snapping and snarling. I tried for over a year, but I couldn't fix him. The Vet said I should put him to sleep. I couldn't do it. I called Jack Russell Rescue; they said to put him to sleep. I called UC Davis, they said to put him to sleep. So one afternoon, I took him to the vet and had him put down. It was the worst feeling in the world.

A few months later, I got Lola
. She is the sweetest, most loving, docile, little Terrier that you will ever meet. This little dog pushed all the bad memories of Cosmo and my failure back. Then Cesar Milan came along. Each time I watch his show where he takes a biting, snarling dog and turns the pooch into a loving fur ball, I cry. If only I had known about The Dog Whisper. He might have been able to save him.

I still love Terriers. I love their intelligence. I love their humor. They are great little dogs, if you treat them kindly and show them respect. So don't fuck with them.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Whore Underwear

When I was in elementary school, I wanted a blue satin jacket with a picture of Sean Cassidy on the back. My mom said no and told me satin jackets were worn by cheap women. As I approached the middle school years, I wanted to dress up for Halloween like naughty Sandy from the movie, Grease. My mom said no once again, saying that only trashy women wore satin pants and red shoes. When I was a teenager, my mother would never let me wear red bras or panties. She told me only WHORES wore red undergarments.

A couple of years ago, I went to New York with a friend of mine and we went to this wonderful store called Intimacy for professional bra fittings. One of the bras I ended up buying was red. When we left the store, I immediately called my mother and yelled into the phone, in the middle of Park Avenue, "I BOUGHT A WHORE BRA! IT'S RED AND I AM WEARING IT RIGHT NOW!"

Friday, October 31, 2008

The Gout

My mother has "The Gout". She has it in both legs and in all places, her thumbs. To prove to me that it was not her flip-flops that caused her tangle in the rose bushes this past Monday, she went gardening barefoot yesterday and ONCE AGAIN fell into the rosebush. She has bruises and scratches all over her back and butt. I sent her home with a bunch of my shirts with stains on them I couldn't get out. She is a miracle worker at getting stains out and I figured if she was busy handing out trick or treat candy and fighting stains, she probably won't fall into the rosebushes for a few days.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Safety First

My phone conversation with my mother on Monday.

Joanie: Hello

Misha: Hi mom, how are you doing?

J: Great (sounding pathetic)

M: You don't sound great. What happened?

J: I fell in the rose bush again.

M: Are you bleeding? (she has a rare and deadly bleeding disorder)

J: No, I don't think so.

M: Why did you fall in the bushes AGAIN?

J: I don't know. The ground is soft and level and..

M: What shoes were you wearing?

J: Flip flops.

M: Mom, you need to wear better shoes when you are gardening.

J: I know. I think I just need to be put in a box to keep me out of trouble.

M: A box? Like a dog crate?

J: No, a big cage. I could dance in it.

M: You want me to put you in a cage to keep you safe?

J: Yeah, I could just dance around.

M: That doesn't sound too safe.

J: Well, nothing will happen to me unless someone tries to get into the cage and dance with me.

M: So let me get this right. You want to become a Go-Go dancer?

J: Yes.

M: For Safety?

J: Yes.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

It Creeps Up On Ya

It started slowly. First, I got an email. I didn't think anything of it. I get tons of emails from groups asking me to write to someone or make a pledge about something or send money. I read the email, agreed with the cause and sent a letter to my congressman. I said that they could contact me with other "action alerts" if need be.

Then I got an email asking me to submit questions for the (then) upcoming presidential election. I wrote some questions. Some of them were smarmy and I didn't expect them to be used. Some were thoughtful and I thought they might be used. They weren't.

Then I received a "voter guide". I thought it was nice that they would include me into their group, even though I wasn't "one of their kind". It didn't actually tell me how to vote, it merely wanted me to ask myself (and the candidates) certain questions before I cast my ballot. I had already sent in my ballot, but it was nice of them to remind me how to vote responsibly.

Then yesterday happened. Yesterday they sent me a membership card. I knew it must be a mistake. I am not one of them. I certainly support them, for the most part. But I AM NOT ONE OF THEM! I checked their website and I was correct, I do not qualify to be a member.

Yesterday, I was sent an AARP membership card.

It hurts. It really does.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Canine Vulgarity

Mr. Misha and I were sitting on the couch the other night watching TV. Both of the dogs were on the couch with us; the pug was nestled in Mr. Misha's armpit and the cocker spaniel was stretched out between the two humans. At one point, Mimi decided to stretch out and struck a pose much like this one: Photobucket
Since her head was on my lap, I stroked her ears and told her she was a vulgar little girl. To which Mr. Misha replied, "She's just showing us her petunia."

In nursing school, I was told it was called a vulva....but forever more, it will now be known as 'The Petunia'.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Who Knew? (Misha is mad about ballroom, again)

The first time I ever saw Mr. Misha dance was on our wedding day. It never came up during our courtship. I knew he loved music, I knew he had rhythm, but I was a little worried that I would dance with him once on our wedding day and that would be it.

Little did I know that I had married a Dancin' Machine. With the first song, he was out on the floor shakin' his booty and having a great time. Even 4 years later, people still talk about how much fun they had dancing with Mr. Misha. It was great.

Monday night was the season premire of Dancing With The Stars. As usual, Mr. Misha retired to the Man Cave while I watched the first show of the season with glee. Every once in a while he would come out and take a peak, but for most of the evening, he stayed away. I loved the show. One of my favorites was retired NFL Defensive Tackle, Warren Sapp, "The Quarterback Killa". I have a thing for big, bald guys with big smiles. I voted for him, hoping I would see him dance on Tuesday night.

Last night, I had to work. It turned out that my patient was a fan of DWTS too. Since she was resting comfortably after her epidural, she turned on the show. While I charted and titrated her IV drips, she and her family oohed and aahed over the costumes and dance moves. I saw snippets of the show, but I knew I had set the TiVo, so I made sure my main focus was the nursing care of my patient.

Then suddenly, my pocket started to vibrate. I excused myself from the room and took out my iPhone to see who was texting me so much. I had multiple text messages from girls who had been at our wedding that simply read, "Warren Sapp reminds me of Mr. Misha". That explains why he is one of my favorites this year!

For those of you who didn't see DWTS, here are Warren's two performances:

The Cha Cha

The Quickstep

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Close Encounters Of The Joan Kind

I know that most of you have enjoyed reading stories about my mother, Joan. Well, there is one story I would like to tell you, but it would lose something if I just typed it out here on the interwebs. So, I asked my mom if she would like to start making little videos that I can post on my blog. She agreed. I decided to start with her stories about her theory on how she contracted Acquired Type 2B Von Willebrand's Disease.

Check out this video: Joanie and the Aliens

Now tell me, do you think she is joking or is she serious? I am not sure. She tells it so seriously.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Why Are You Yelling At Me?

Products I will never purchase because their commercials annoy me:
American Taxpayer Associates, Vonage and Nutrisystem- their commercials are significantly louder than the ones that precede or follow them. These commercials are so loud that they have actually waked* me up from a sound sleep. It pains me to say, that Bare Minerals commercials are too loud also. But since I bought their product before their commercials tried to deafen me, I will forgive them. I LOVE MY Bare Minerals!

Enzyte- that fucking whistling is annoying. But if you turn off the sound- the visuals are kinda funny in a Bevis and Butthead kinda way.

Products with doorbells in their commercials-
Swiffer Wet Jet, Windex and Domino's Pizza. Every time these commercials appear on my television and the doorbell sound goes off, both Harley and Mimi become ballistic. Barking, running to the door, spinning in circles. When they realize that no one has come to visit them, they look so forlorn. It's a wonder why both of my pooches are not psychotic by now.
Viagra- the Viva Viagra song. Ruined the Elvis original for me permanently.
Liberator Medical- I am a nurse. I put urinary catheters in all the time. But for some reason, the way the woman in the commercial says catheter and urinary infection, skeeves me out.
Liberty Medical with Wilford Brimley- Dude, it is pronounced DIE-A-BEET-EASE, not DIE-A-BEAT-US. I want to smack him when he says it that way. It could only be worse if he said, "I got the sugar problem or I got The Die-a-beat-us".
Tony Little and his Gazelle- To quote in late, great musician, Wesley Willis, "Cut the mullet". It's like he is trying to be the macho version of Richard Simmons.
The Sham-WOW guy- seriously, he is very patronizing to the camera operator. And he yells.

Speaking of yellers,
The Oxyclean, Orange glow, Kaboom and now Health Insurance hawker.........Billy Hayes- the king of the cranked up, screaming TV Hawkers. Dude, layoff the Red Bulls and Starbucks!

So, what's bugging you lately?

I thought I should use the word "woke", but grammar check says "waked" is the correct one. Any opinions on that?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Another Conversation With My Mom.

I sent my mom a copy of this picture.

She called me as soon as she read the email and told me she loved it.

She said, "How nice it is to have such a clever husband that can do such clever things. Are you going to send it to Barack Obama?"

I told her I thought he was a little busy right now to appreciate Mr. Misha's photoshop skills. She then told me she was going to show it to my Uncle John. I groaned and said "Why?" I really didn't want a late night phone call from my redneck uncle giving me shit about my politics.

She said, "Don't worry. He's all Democrat now. He said the other day that he was making more money and having more fun when the President was getting blowjobs in the oval office. Now that there is some retard from Texas in there shooting his mouth off and blowing countries up, his business has not been as good."

I laughed and replied, "Yeah, blow jobs aren't usually lethal, are they?"

My mom replied, "Nope. Good thing, since people are just going around sucking dicks like they are just shaking hands nowadays."

"Really?" I replied. I wondered what kind of crowd my mom was hanging out with these days. "So does Miss Manners have a book out on proper blow job etiquette now?"

"Well, I don't know if there is a book. But I know that people are doing it all the time now."

I started to tease her a bit and said, "So in China or Japan, instead of bowing to each other, do you think they are blowing each other?"

"I don't know about over there, but here...well, they say that here everyone is blowing everybody."

"Mom, that must be what Paul is doing wrong in his job interviews. He should be putting penises in his mouth instead of shaking hands. I'll tell him you said he should be blowing perspective employers."

"Michele! I did not say that. That is not for boys. Boys don't give blow jobs, girls do."

"What about Aunt Jon and Uncle Tom?"

"That's different."

"I am going to tell Paul you want him to give blow jobs."

"Don't you dare."

"I am. I am going to tell him right now."

"Michele Marie! Do not tell your husband we were talking about oral sex."

"Mom, I am gonna tell him and then I am going to write about it. Everyone will know that you were talking about blow jobs."

"Well, just make it clear that I only TALK about them."

Friday, August 22, 2008

Mother Daughter Profanity.

Thursday my mom came up to visit me. She helped me with some straightening up so when the girl comes to clean my house, she can actually clean. I kept reminding her that she did not need to give the house "The German Scrub-down", merely help me get stuff out of the way for the cleaning lady. She wouldn't listen. This is the conversation we had in my kitchen:

Me: Old woman, if you don't stop sweeping the floor I am going to kick your ass.

Her: Oh yeah? You with your gimpy neck and arm? How are you going to kick my ass?

Me: You are old, you have a pain in your ass from your sciatica, only one eye, a torn rotator cuff and two swollen feet. I have still have one good arm, two eyes and two good feet. It won't be a fair fight and I'll kick your ass. So quit sweeping the fucking floor!

Her: Shut the fuck up you ungrateful child!

Me: Now Joan, be nice to me. I am the only child. Not only will I pick the nursing home you'll get put into, I will also be writing your obituary. You've seen what can happen with that!

Then we both starting laughing so hard, I started to cry and she peed her pants. In my kitchen. We had to mop the floor anyway.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Lessons Learned From An Obit.

My mom, like many seniors, reads the obituaries in her local paper each morning while sipping her cup of coffee. She often calls me and reads them to me on the phone. I normally tune her out and play on the computer while she reads them. This latest one was different. Here is how our conversation went:

Me (hearing my mom read yet another obit to me): "blah, blah, blah, yadda yadda, Dolores...never had a kind word or deed..."

Me: "Mom, shut the fuck up! What was that?"

She read it again.

Me: "No way. This is a joke. Give me that chick's name and I will google it while you read the rest to me!"


The lessons I have gleaned from this:

1.) Be careful how you treat people, one of them might be writing your obituary.

2.) The death of someone hurtful doesn't erase the hurt.

3.) Therapy and forgiveness are good things.
Things my mom and I discussed about this obituary:

1.) It is one sided. A cheap shot towards someone who cannot defend herself.

2.) Her family needs therapy or something to get over these feelings of anger and hurt.

3.) We would never air our family's dirty laundry in the newspaper.
For more info on how this got into the paper, click here.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Comcast Sucks

While I was at the doctor, some dude from COMCAST CABLE came to our door and asked Mr. Misha if he could come into our backyard. Apparently, the box, or pole or whatever, for our entire street is located in our backyard. Mr. Misha said sure and secured the doggie door to keep the dogs in the house. When I came home, the COMCAST CABLE dude had left, so we opened the doggie door. I went to the bedroom to go on the myspaces and Mr. Misha went into the man cave. A few minutes later, I hear a man outside my bedroom window yelling "Harley!" I thought it was Mr. Misha. Then I hear it again. I holler to him, "Why are you yelling for the pug?" He hollers back, "What?" Then I hear the front door open. I go out to the front of the house and our neighbor is walking back to his house. He told me that both of the dogs were running around in front and he let them back into the house and closed our back gate. I thanked him and went back into the house.

I was LIVID. I got on the phone and I called COMCAST CABLE. I told the poor woman that answered, "I don't have comcast. I don't want comcast. I am very happy with my current company. I wanted to tell you that one of your workers came to our home today...blah, blah, blah...AND HE LEFT MY GATE OPEN. My dogs escaped and were running around out in front of our house! If anything would have happened to them, I don't know what I would have done! These dogs are our children. I would be inconsolable. No amount of money could ever compensate me for the loss of my dogs. Please inform your worker what he did. Please find away to fix my neighbor's cable without coming into my backyard. I have been letting your company come into my backyard for years. I have been awakened while sleeping during the day, even though I have a sign that says 'Daytime Sleeper, Do Not Disturb". This is the last straw. COMCAST CABLE will no longer be allowed into my backyard, ever!" Then I said thank you and hung up. Mr. Misha just smiled and went back into the man cave.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Lancelot, Eat Your Heart Out

When Mr. Misha and I were newlyweds, he worked for a company located about 2 1/2 hours away from our home in Napa. The commute was too grueling to do everyday, so Mr. Misha started looking for a cheap room to rent close to his office. I was amazed how quickly he found a place. He would be sharing a house with two guys named Rick and Dan.

He told me he found them on craigslist and that they were both single, gay men. He said he thought they would be the most appropriate housemates for a
newly-wedded man. He didn't want me to worry about late night keg parties or girls hanging around the house all the time. I could have cared less because I trust him, but his intent was sweet. It was a pretty nice arrangement. Mr. Misha's room was just like his "Man Cave" at home and the rest of the house was clean and orderly. The three guys got along well. Dan had a big Bull Mastiff named Tess. She and Mr. Misha became fast friends. Mr. Misha helped the guys with their computer problems and they fed him. I was looking forward to meeting them.

Around Christmas time, I went down to the Silicon Valley for Mr. Misha's company Holiday party. I was greeted at the door by Tess and Rick. As I rubbed Tess' belly and scratched her ears, Rick went on and on about how much he loved having Mr. Misha as a housemate. He became extremely animated as he told me how Mr. Misha "saved" him.
"One evening I was cooking a little something in the kitchen, a little something, not too heavy because it was late. Anyway, I must have been clarifying butter or something but all of a sudden, this horrific loud squealing noise started in the kitchen. I was so scared; I had no idea where it was coming from! I just froze. I was about to faint from the horrible sound when, like a night in shining armor, your gallant husband came out of his room, grabbed a broom and jousted some contraption from the ceiling and the noise stopped! I don't even want to think what would have happened if my knight, your husband, hadn't been there to rescue this damsel in distress!"

That's Mr. Misha: Rock-n-Roller, Reverend, Computer Genius and Jouster of smoke detectors.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Home Of The Whopper.

As you get older, the things that are really important to you become clearer. After wasting most of my 20's dating Evil Steve, I sat down and made a list of what I was looking for in a mate. Over time, a series of hysterically awful dates and an abrupt and incredibly sad ending of a relationship, I had perfected my list.

I wanted someone who was tall, at least over 6 feet. I wanted someone who was chubby. I wanted a bald man with a goatee. I wanted a man who was smart, respectful and would make me laugh so hard I would pee my pants. The man could not be: a pilot, a cop, a doctor or a lawyer. It was a pretty simple list and was a good guide to help me weed out unsuitable prospects.

Mr. Misha fit the bill. After dating only 6 months, I must have fulfilled all of the items on his list too, because he proposed. I accepted and a few days later we went to see his mom. She seemed very happy about the engagement, but she sent Mr. Misha out to run an errand and sat me down for a chat.

In her Polish accent, she warned me:
"Hunee, I vant to make sure you know vaht you are gettink into. Pawvel is goot boy. He is sveet boy. He only have 3 tings wrong vit heem, but zay are zee whapperz."

I started to feel a little scared, but I didn't stop her.
"Numbear wan, he is alvays late. If you vant heem to be somevars at 3 o'clock, you must tell heem it es 1 o'clock. Nevere tell heem ze real time or you vill nevere gets zare on times."

I already knew that, he had been 4 hours late for our first date and 2 hours late for our second.
"Numbear, two. He ees not goot vis de monee. He is like hees fazer. He thinks dat when monee get into hees hand it burn and he must spend it. Ven you are mar-eed, you must put screws to heem and you are in charge of monee."

Not a problem, he had already told me about that. I would be in charge of the money.
"Und numbear three. He know how to clean, I teach heem. But he don't do. He is messy all time. I tell him he has to be clean now if he have wife, but you need to put screw to him. Make him clean, don't follow heem around and clean for heem. Put screw to heem, he know how to clean."

After she was sure that I understood the extent of Mr. Misha's 3 whoppers, she seemed a little surprised that I still was willing to marry her son. I told her that her son had disclosed his whoppers to me and I knew what I was getting into. I tried to tell her about unconditional love and how I agreed to marry her son "as is", but she would not hear it. She just kept repeating to me,
"Put za screws to heem!"

Six months later, we were married. In the spirit of marital harmony, our second bedroom had become "The Man Cave". The rules of the man cave were:

Keep the door closed and if the junk or stench of the man cave ever started to waft out to the rest of the house, Mr.Misha would have to clean the man cave. The plan worked out pretty well.

The following spring, we decided to start a family and adopted our beautiful cocker spaniel, Mimi. She was so sweet and became very attached to me. When I would come home from work in the morning, she would snuggle up in bed with me and sleep quietly all day.

After a busy night of birthin' babies, I came home and went straight to bed. After a few hours of deep sleep, I woke up abruptly when I rolled over in bed and felt something hard poking me in my side. I reached down and felt it. I couldn't tell what it was. I opened my eyes and realized that I had rolled over on a half-eaten, petrified hamburger.

I was completely grossed out. I jumped out of bed, threw the burger away and stripped my bed. I threw the sheets in the washer, took a quick shower, brushed the dog's teeth and re-made the bed. After some deep breathing and relaxation techniques, I was able to fall back asleep.

Several hours later, I was awakened again when something hard jabbed me in my side. I instantly jumped out of bed and saw a partially eaten, fossilized burrito. I had no idea where the dog was finding these things. As I took the sheets to the washer for a second time that day, I noticed the door to "The Man Cave" was ajar. I called Mr.Misha at work and told him about Mimi's discoveries. Through his laughter, he agreed that The Man Cave guidelines had been breached and he would be spending the weekend cleaning.

After he was finished purging the man cave, I made Mr. Misha call his mother and let her know that I had, as she recommended, "Put zee screw to heem".

Sunday, June 08, 2008

I Don't Know How They Do It (Blogging Against Hunger)


Who are Bloggers Against Hunger?

Since myspazz was acting so strange yesterday, the BAH blog event will go on for another day. Take some time and read these posts for the Blogathon, "Bloggers Against Hunger"!

****Some of these folks have "friends only" blogs, make them your friend, tell em BAH sent you!

To join BAH- Bloggers Against Hunger

Sage Boucher's Blog

Free Rice

Paulie's Blog

Tears In Rain

Bellesouth's Blog

End Hunger. Buy Local

Selles' Blog

Hunger in Lower Texas

Mama Loves Puppies Blog (friend's only, so send her a friend request!)

Carrying Capacity

Just Mel's Blog

What's Wrong With Us

CC's Blog

Reporting From Maine

Aaaaaaaaron's Blog

Chances Are, You Won the Lottery

Torment's Blog

Bloggin Against Hunger

McFeisty's blog

In The Ghetto

Misha's Blog

I Don't Know How They Do It

Lauren's Blog

Life in a Soup Kitchen

Chaosgrrl's Blog

BAH – It's Complicated


A while back, my dot-comrade Lauren, asked me to join her in an event she called "Blogging Against Hunger". I enthusiastically agreed and started to research the topic. I read, and read, and read and then read some more. I am ashamed to admit, that even though I probably face this problem in my daily work life, I really didn't realize the extent of the problem. I decided to attack this blog challenge scientifically, I loaded my draft with facts, figures and pleas. Then I wrote. I wasn't satisfied with the finished product. It was dry. It sounded like a platform speech for Miss America.

So I decided to attack this project a different way, MasterCard style.

Minimum wage in California-
$8.00/ hour.
Working full time-
Two person monthly income-
(before taxes)
Cheapest rent in Napa
2B, 1B-

Price for a gallon of gas-
Monthly gas costs, assuming
you work in town, have only
one vehicle and don't
drive a SUV-
Monthly utilities without TV,
cell phones, water or garbage-
Health Insurance for 4 people
not including medications or
doctor visit co-pays AND
assuming the employer
subsidizes the cost-
Childcare for 2 kids,
since both parents work-
Money left over to feed, clothe,
and clean your home and family-
The cost of putting your
kids to bed with food in
their stomachs-

$55.00 a month leftover to feed a family of 4!

I don't know how my patients do it.

Please find out what you can do to help the fight against hunger. The hunger of others is immoral and if you think that it doesn't effect you, you are wrong.

Here are links, articles and video produced by others regarding hunger:

Bill Moyers Journal:Hunger In America


Online Videos by

The news at the grocery store is grim for many. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, food prices rose by 4% last year, the largest increase in 17 years. And, the USDA predicts they will rise another 4% this year. Eggs are up 40% in the past year; milk up 26% a gallon; a loaf of standard bread, 20%.

All across the nation families, government agencies and food banks are feeling the pinch. So many people are in precarious straits our government figures 28 million Americans will be using food stamps this year, the highest level since the program began in the 1960s. Almost one in l0 people in Ohio get food stamps; one in eight in Michigan, and one in six West Virginians. The rising food prices make that assistance worth less and less and food banks and pantries are facing increased need and those same higher prices.

The government has specific terms to quantify the nation's access to food — recently removing "hunger" from its designations.

* Food security People have access, at all times, to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members.
* Low food security: Reports of reduced quality, variety, or desirability of diet. Little or no indication of reduced food intake.
* Very low food security: Reports of multiple indications of disrupted eating patterns and reduced food intake.

The federal government reports its annual figures in numbers of "food secure." In 2006, 89 percent of U.S. households were food secure throughout the entire year. The remaining households (10.9 percent) were food insecure at least some time during that year, essentially unchanged from 11.0 percent in 2005. The prevalence of very low food security was 4.0 percent of households, also essentially unchanged from 2005 (3.9 percent).

America's Second Harvest profiles extensive demographic profiles of emergency food clients at charitable feeding agencies. Their Hunger Study 2006 found that 4.5 million different people receive emergency food assistance from the system in any given week.

Find out how you can get or give assistance through the links below:

The Hunger Site

America's Second Harvest

Mercy Corps

Bread For The World

BAH- Blogging Against Hunger (myspace group)

BAH- Blogging Against Hunger (facebook group)

America's Second Harvest provides nationwide network of member food banks and engage our country in the fight to end hunger. You can search their database for a food panty near you and get tips on how to donate and volunteer.

"About 1.1 Million Ohioans Receive Food Stamps, Highest In Nation"
AHN Media, Julie Farby, March 25, 2008.

"High Grocery Bills? Get Great Deals on Dated Food Amish Country Grocery Store Says Outdated or Damaged Food Is Fine to Sell"
ABC News, Ryan Owens and Ely Brown, March 18, 2008

"Hunger Pains"
THE WASHINGTON POST, Kirstin Downey, April 8, 2008

"One in 6 West Virginians is on food stamps: Officials say higher cost of food, fuel diminish value of assistance"

CHARLESTON DAILY MAIL, Justin D. Anderson, March 26, 2008.

"Rising Food Prices Hard in Brooklyn"
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, Amanda Coleman and Veronika Belenkaya, April 8th 2008.

"What Grocers Teach Us About The U.S. Economy"
FORBES, Melanie Lindner, April 9, 2008.

Health Consequences of Hunger

Hunger and under-nutrition contribute to a number of negative health consequences:

A joint analysis released by the Center on Hunger and Poverty at Brandeis University and the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) shows how hunger and obesity not only pose separate and distinct health risks, but also can co-exist in the same household.

According to FRAC's survey of families living below 185 percent of poverty -- the Community Childhood Hunger Identification Project (CCHIP) -- hungry children suffer from two to four times as many individual health problems, such as unwanted weight loss, fatigue, headaches, irritability, inability to concentrate and frequent colds, as low-income children whose families do not experience food shortages. This relationship between hunger and health problems was unaffected by income. In other words, hunger had a strong effect on children's health no matter what the income level of their families.

According to CCHIP, hungry children are more likely to be ill and absent from school.

The infant mortality rate is closely linked to inadequate quantity or quality in the diet of the infant's mother. In 1996, the infant mortality rate in the United States was 7.3 deaths per 1,000 live births. Black infants in the U.S. died at more than twice the rate of white infants, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

Stunting (low height for age) in children results from inadequate nutrition.

According to the U.S. Public Health Service, the Surgeon General's 1990 goal of eliminating growth retardation of infants and children caused by inadequate diets was not met because significant numbers of low-income children continued to suffer retarded growth. In 1992, almost twice as many low-income children as would be expected were short for their age.

Iron-deficiency anemia in children can lead to adverse health effects such as developmental and behavioral disturbances that can affect children's ability to learn to read or do mathematics, and increased susceptibility to lead poisoning. Anemia remains a significant health problem among low-income children, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Pregnant women who are undernourished are more likely to have low-birthweight babies. These infants are more likely to suffer delays in their development and are more likely to have behavior and learning problems later in life.

Hungry children are less likely to interact with other people or explore or learn from their surroundings. This interferes with their ability to learn from a very early age.

Hunger has a negative impact on children's ability to learn in school. School-aged children who are hungry cannot concentrate or do as well as others on the tasks they need to perform to learn the basics. Research indicates that low-income children who participate in the School Breakfast Program show an improvement in standardized test scores and a decrease in tardiness and absenteeism compared to low-income students who do not eat breakfast at school.

According to the Tufts University Center on Hunger, Poverty and Nutrition Policy, evidence from recent research about child nutrition shows that, in addition to having a detrimental effect on the cognitive development of children, undernutrition results in lost knowledge, brainpower, and productivity for the nation.

Hunger and malnutrition exacerbate chronic and acute diseases and speed the onset of degenerative diseases among the elderly. This not only leads to an unnecessary decrease in the quality of life for many older people, but also increases the cost of health care in the United States. National data for people ages 65 to 75 show that a majority are not consuming even two-thirds of the nutrients they need to stay healthy.

Hunger, and insecurity about whether a family will be able to obtain enough food to avoid hunger, also have an emotional impact on children and their parents. Anxiety, negative feelings about self-worth, and hostility towards the outside world can result from chronic hunger and food insecurity.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Motherly Advice

Warning: The Surgeon General Has Determined that Cigarette Smoking is Dangerous to Your Health

Legendary designer Yves Saint Laurent dies at 71

When I heard the news of YSL's death, I was reminded of a childhood memory of mine.

It was the 80's. I was wearing black clothes, trying to look sullen and calling Ronald Reagan all sorts of bad names. When not at school, I was hanging out with my friends at a coffee house downtown called the Bronze Seal, shopping in thrift stores, hanging out on Telegraph Ave in Berkeley or going to dance clubs in San Francisco. I thought I was super cool.


I am not sure when I had my first one, but during that time, I started to smoke clove cigarettes. I loved the smell. I liked the sweet taste they left on my lips. I loved that they were dangerous.


I tried to keep it from my mother. I didn't smoke when she was home and I would burn incense to mask the smell. One day, my mom came home unexpectedly and caught me. She thought I was smoking pot. I showed her the package and reassured her that I was not a pothead. She seemed relieved and told me, "Fine, just don't burn down the fucking house smoking those things."

She really didn't have any other choice. She smoked too. She smoked these long brown cigarettes that looked like slender turds.


Since I lived in suburbia, cloves were hard to find in town. At first, one of my friends from the next town over would buy them for me. Then she moved back into suburbia and I lost my connection. So naturally, I asked my mom to start buying them for me.

I had my driver's license, I could drive to the next town over but I was not old enough to purchase cloves myself. After she got home from work, I would drive my mom to the smoke shop and get her to hook me up. She was not thrilled. The commute back and forth to the smoke shop was seriously cutting into my mom's very busy social calender. After a while she refused to do it, "Why don't you just smoke regular cigarettes?" she questioned.

Once again, I was without a connection. So I took my mom's advice and picked a brand. The brand of cigarettes I chose were these:


Maybe in a future post, I will tell you about the night my mom taught me how to correctly "do" a tequila shooter.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Laughter IS the best medicine, but Appletinis help a lot too!

I just got back from my weekend with the Hoz. We stayed in a little house in Gurneville, near the Russian River. We never left the house. The six of us ate, drank and laughed from Friday night till Sunday brunch. I laughed so much my cheeks and sides ache.

This get together was long overdue, since we had not gone a trip together since 2002. What a blast. My shoulder/neck injury did not bother me too much. The HOZ were awesome and didn't let me do anything except relax and have fun.

Here are the HOZ (I was taking the picture and couldn't figure out how to use the timer on my camera):

Here I am, hungover and exhausted, eating a Pop Tart and drinking coffee out of my new mug:
The mug was a present from my Goddaughter, Gwenivere.Ninang means Godmother in Tagalog.

Two days of Mimosas in the morning, Appletinis in the afternoon, wine with dinner and White Russians for nightcaps definitely had an adverse effect on my exterior.

The 40 hours of laughter and good friends has done WONDERS for my interior. I feel like the happy Misha I was 30 days ago.

I hope to have more pictures (maybe some video) and some great stories posted later on.

Hope everyone has a great week!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

All I Wanted Was A Bowl Of Clam Chowder

About a hundred million years ago, one Tuesday in March, I finished nursing school. I wouldn't graduate until June and I wouldn't sit for my boards for at least a month.  My boyfriend at the time, Evil Steve, asked me what I wanted to do to celebrate.  I said that I would love to drive to the coast, go to a little place called Jenner By The Sea and have a bowl of clam chowder.  Since Evil Steve was also known as Cheapo Steve, he was delighted that I said clam chowder instead of steak and lobster. He said that he would pick me up that Saturday and fulfill my request.

(It would be good to note that when HE graduated from college, I took him to southern California for a week; Disneyland, Mexico, LA, the whole deal.)

Friday night, when all Seventh Day Adventist nursing school students should be sitting in church for Vespers, I went down to Calistoga with some of my other sinful classmates to celebrate the end of the quarter.  A whole bunch of beers and several badly sung karaoke songs later, I was poured into bed.  I awoke Saturday morning with a huge headache and a queasy stomach.  I knew it was going to be a long drive, so I forced myself to eat breakfast, downed some Motrin and got ready for my big day.

Evil Steve was late, as usual.  He arrived in a fouler mood than his normal dour self and was in a hurry to leave.  I quickly grabbed my stuff and hopped into the truck.  Evil Steve chose some brain melting, crappy, heavy metal to blast as we drove the winding, mountain roads to the coast. I didn't dare ask him to turn it down, instead the thrashing guitars and screaming vocals pounded along with my beer-induced headache.  It went down hill after that. When I asked to stop for a bathroom break and a drink, he rolled his eyes and sighed. He told me to "hold it" until we got to
Booneville. I didn't want to fight, but Booneville was at least 45 minutes away and I didn't think I could "hold it" for that long.  I said I could wait for a drink, but I really needed to pee.  He snorted and swerved off to the shoulder and snapped, "Find a bush." Since this was before I had any self-esteem, I grabbed some Kleenex, said thank you and went off to urinate al fresco.

After stopping in Booneville for a
beer, we headed back out and eventually made it to the coast.  As we winded south down Hwy 1, I watched the waves hit the shore and tried to forget what an asshole my boyfriend was.  I had nearly forgotten and all of a sudden, he swerved off to the side of the road and stopped the car.  On the other side of the road, a truck was flipped on it's side and the occupants we on the road bleeding. Evil Steve jumped out of the car and yelled, "DON'T WORRY! MY GIRLFRIEND IS A NURSE!" I shot him a dirty look and got out of the car.  I had only been out of nursing school for 4 days. I had not sat for my boards and I had no idea what to do with these people.

The kids had been wearing their seat belts and just had scratches from the broken glass.  The mom looked like her shoulder was dislocated, but I could get a pulse in her hand, and she had a big laceration on her forehead.  I instructed Evil Steve to wrap her arm against her body with something so it wouldn't move and to apply pressure to the cut to slow/stop the bleeding.  I moved onto the dad.  He had not been wearing his seatbelt, according to the mom.  He had been scalped; his hair was a big flap hanging off his head.  One of his pupils was smaller than the other one and when I felt his pulse, it was very fast and irregular. I was scared shitless.  Another good samaritan handed me some gloves and a first aid kit.  I asked him for some blankets and a bottle of water.  We put the dad's legs up above his head; I rinsed off his scalp with the water and flipped his hair back onto his head. I told him not to move and just watched him until FINALLY, the EMS arrived.  I gave them a little report on Mom and Dad and then went back to the truck.

As we started to drive off, Evil Steve said, "Wow, that was cool."  I shot him a cold look and told him, "If you ever do something like that to me again, I will kick your ass.  I am not even a real nurse yet. I have no 'emergency in the field' training. I don't run up to strangers and announce that you are an asshole, so please don't tell strangers I am a nurse." He didn't speak to me again until we reached the restaurant.

It was the best fucking bowl of clam chowder I have ever had.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Blogging For Choice

I want to warn all of you that I am participating in "BLOGGING FOR CHOICE DAY". This won't be funny. This will be long, REALLY LONG. If you choose to comment, please be respectful and polite and I will do the same. Please do not post graphic photos. I am a believer of the first amendment but I will delete abusive, hateful or offensive comments. If this topic is upsetting for you, for whatever reason, just skip my blog post today. I will also be posting this and then going to work for the next two nights. I won't be able to respond to comments or delete offensive ones when I am at work or sleeping. I am praying that everyone will behave while I am out birthin' babies...

I had no idea how I was going to start this blog. This is not my forte. I scoured the Internet researching. I wanted to have facts. I wanted to prove my point. I thought about who would be reading this. I wanted to be thoughtful. I outlined the reasons that I am Pro-Choice. I went to Pro-Life websites to look at their arguments. (I know my NARAL brethren would prefer I use the Anti-Choice moniker when referring to them, but I will refer to them as they call themselves.) I talked with friends who have had abortions. I talked with friends who thought about having abortions and who ultimately didn't. I talked with my mom about what it was like before Roe v. Wade. I was lost. I have no idea how to write this post.

I am Pro-choice. I want women to have choices: The choice to have a safe, legal abortion, The choice to continue with their pregnancy, The choice to keep their baby, The choice to give their baby up for adoption. I want women to have access to affordable, comprehensive reproductive care. I want women to have access to affordable birth control and emergency contraception. I want children to have comprehensive sexual education and I want their parents to have a choice whether or not their children participate in that education. I want every child to be a healthy, wanted child.

It is that simple for me. It is not about the actual procedure of an abortion. It is about having a choice. So here I go. I am going to try and give you my argument for CHOICE.

Let's start off at the beginning of this dilemma, SEX.

We live in a culture today where sexual images and content are prevalent. Ironically, we now live in a time when the only sexual education we are supposed to teach is Abstinence Only Education. Guess what? It doesn't work. Independent researchers found that in four typical abstinence-only programs sampled from around the country there was absolutely no difference between the sexual activity of kids in these program and kids who were not. Children in these programs admitted to having sex at the same rate and starting at the same age as other students not in these classes. Whether they were in an abstinence-only class or not, by the time they reached 17 years of age, half the kids said they had had sex and half had not.

So half of the kids are not having sex? Not so much. They may not be having "penis in the vagina" sex, but they are still getting it on. A study from 2005 stated, "Many teens who take 'Virginity Pledges' substitute other high-risk behavior for intercourse". Theses teens, while may not have vaginal intercourse until they are married, are engaging in oral and anal sex at higher rates than the non-pledging virgin teens and less likely to use condoms once they become sexually active. These "pledgers" similar rates of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). "Advocates for abstinence-only education assert that premarital abstinence and post-marital sex are necessary and sufficient for avoiding negative consequences of sexual activity, such as STDs," the study says, adding, "This assertion collides with the realities of adolescents' and young adults' lives." "Advocates for abstinence-only education assert that premarital abstinence and post-marital sex are necessary and sufficient for avoiding negative consequences of sexual activity, such as STDs," the study says, adding, "This assertion collides with the realities of adolescents' and young adults' lives." "Not only do virginity pledges not work to keep our young people safe, they are causing harm by undermining condom use, contraception and medical treatment,"

Telling kids every day "don't have sex" and nothing else, really does not work. A report released by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states: For the first time in 14 years, the number of teenagers having babies in the United States rose last year, The report reveals that between 2005 and 2006, the birth rate for teenagers 15-19 years rose 3%. This follows a 14-year downward trend in which the teen pregnancy rate fell by 34% from its all-time peak in 1991.

Now someone is pregnant: What does she do?

Adoption or Keep the Baby

Well, it sounds great, but there are some problems with that, because we already have plenty of kids to adopt.
Nearly One Quarter of Foster Care Children Are Waiting for Adoptive Families.
In 1999, the latest year for which totals have been finalized, there were about 581,000 children in foster care in the United States. Twenty-two percent of these children -- about 127,000 kids -- were available for adoption.
Foster Care Population Down From 1999
Preliminary federal estimates indicate the foster care population decreased from 581,000 to 556,000 between 1999 and 2000. The number of children waiting to be adopted, however, increased to about 134,000 during the same period. [4] Early estimates for 2001 show the foster care population marginally increased to 565,000.
Many Children Spend Years in Foster Care
Almost 70 percent of the children waiting to be adopted had been in continuous foster care for two years or more; twenty-five percent for five years or more.
Many More Adoptive Homes Needed
Even with the recent increases in adoptions from foster care, the number of children waiting for adoption on September 30, 1999 was more than two-and-a-half times the number of children adopted during that year.

Until we can find homes for the thousands of children that go un-adopted each year, it unrealistic to think that EVERYwoman faced with unwanted pregnancy will be able to find a home for her baby.

Let's say she does find someone to adopt her baby, but they have no money…just a loving home to raise the child. This woman needs health insurance for herself and her unborn child. She will need: food, shelter and clothing. Who is going to support this woman while she is pregnant? Maybe she already has children, are you going to support them too? Who is going to write the check?

If she keeps the baby: Who is going to support this child after it is born? Who wants to write the check? Are you going to make faces and roll your eyes when you stand behind her in the check out line and she is using her WIC coupons and food stamps? So often "Pro-lifers" will support a woman while she is pregnant, then forget about her when the unborn becomes a newborn.

We fail our children when we do not teach them how to avoid pregnancy. We fail our children when we fail to find homes for them when they are put up for adoption. We fail our children when we do not support their mothers with job training, affordable housing, healthcare and childcare. We cannot take care of the children we have. It is cruel and irresponsible to force a woman to continue an unwanted pregnancy unsupported.

I urge all of you reading this to think about this issue when you are voting, both nationally and locally. Women's rights are slowly being chipped away by people who only support life while it is in the womb. If these folks are left unchecked, they will continue.

Here is some Freedom of Choice Talking Points to consider.
This article can be found on the web at
Freedom of Choice Talking Points
[Posted online on May 1, 2003]
Though polls consistently show a majority of Americans supporting freedom of choice, abortion rights are facing their greatest attack since the Supreme Court decision Roe V. Wade legalized abortion in the US thirty years ago.
§ Since 1995 states have enacted 335 antichoice measures.
§ Increasing numbers of states are imposing parental notice or consent as a condition to minors obtaining abortions.
§ The Bush Administration is nominating strongly antichoice judges to federal courts, including Carolyn Kuhl, Jeffrey Sutton and Priscilla Owen.
§ Bills banning "partial-birth" abortion have been passed in the US Senate and introduced in ten states. The vaguely worded bills seek to criminalize safe and common abortion procedures throughout pregnancy.
§ The number of abortion providers in the US has fallen by nearly 66 percent in the past twenty years; currently only 13 percent of counties have abortion providers, and eighty-six of the nation's 276 metropolitan areas don't have any abortion providers at all. Now more than ever it is essential that people who support full reproductive rights register their opposition to these rollbacks of Roe V. Wade. Contact your political representatives. Write a letter to your local paper. Call a talk-radio program. And join one of the many organizations that are working to guarantee continued, inexpensive access to abortion. NARAL Pro-Choice America, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the National Abortion Federation are all groups we heartily recommend. We've also compiled the following talking points for further information.

1) Reproductive Freedoms Are a Fundamental Human Right
It is a fundamental right of each individual to manage his or her fertility. Such reproductive rights are an integral part of women's social, economic and political rights, and have been affirmed in numerous international treaties and conventions including CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination against Women) and the Program of Action of the United Nations International Conference on Population and Development.
2) The Denial of Safe, Legal and Affordable Abortions Threatens Women's Health In rare cases, carrying a pregnancy to term can pose a serious health risk to a pregnant woman. Whether or not abortion is safe, legal or affordable, women still have recourse to it. When abortion is illegal they are forced into having underground and often unsafe operations. This greatly compromises the health and well-being of pregnant women. Each year at least 78,000 women die around the world due to complications from unsafe abortions (13 percent of maternal deaths), and hundreds of thousands more suffer short- and long-term disability. Legalizing abortion helps prevent this tragedy--within five years of legalization, abortion-related deaths decreased 85 percent in the United States.
3) Legalizing Abortion Does Not Increase its Incidence
Statistics show that women worldwide, when faced with an unwanted pregnancy, seek abortions regardless of the legality of the procedure, and whether or not safe services are available. Countries as diverse as Canada, Tunisia and Turkey liberalized their abortion laws without an increase in the abortion rate. Holland, though it has a non-restrictive abortion law and free abortions, has one of the lowest abortion rates in the world, far lower than many countries where abortion is illegal (e.g., Chile and Brazil).
4) Medical Abortion Is a Very Safe Procedure, Especially in the First Trimester (When 88 Percent of Abortions Take Place) The health risks from an abortion are minimal.

- Less than 1 percent of women experience a major complication.
- The risk of death associated with childbirth is eleven times greater than the risk of death from an abortion.

5) When Women Are Not Free to Choose, Children Risk Coming into the World With Parents Who Are Not in a Position to Properly Look After Them
6) Though Abortion Remains Legal, Restricting Access to Abortion Penalizes the Poor, Who Are Less Able to Pay for Such Operations Despite the fact that abortion is legal in the United States, access is decreasing as numerous barriers have been set up. These include consent forms, extended waiting periods and, most notably, the Hyde Amendment, passed into law in 1977. The legislation denies federal funding for abortions (except in cases of rape, incest or when a pregnant woman's life is endangered) for poor women who rely on Medicaid, disabled women who rely on Medicare and Native American women who rely on the Indian Health Service for healthcare. In addition to these women, federal legislation denies access to abortions for Peace Corps volunteers, women in federal prison, women in the military, teenagers who participate in the State Children's Health Insurance Plan, patients of Title X family-planning clinics, residents of the District of Columbia and federal employees and their families. Only fifteen states make state Medicaid monies available for non-discriminatory funding of abortion. Abortions in the first trimester without complications start at $250-$350, and can run into the high hundreds or thousands of dollars. Without Medicaid funding, low-income women do not have equal access to a vital and legal medical procedure. Furthermore, welfare laws discourage states from providing assistance for abortions as well as to unwed mothers, placing low-income women in a double bind.
7) The Most Effective Way to Reduce Abortions Is to Reduce
Unintended Pregnancies Western and Eastern Europe have similar abortion laws but the West has far greater access to effective contraception. They also have, respectively, the lowest and highest abortion rates in the world. The Bush administration's decision to end contributions to the UN Population Fund, which funds family-planning projects in 142 countries, will perversely result in approximately 2 million unwanted pregnancies, 800,000 abortions, 4,700 maternal deaths and 77,000 infant and child deaths.

If you are still reading this, thank you. If you scrolled down to this, thank you. I will leave you with this story of my friend, who shall remain anonymous, but gave me permission to use her story in this blog.

I have a friend. She is personally against abortion. She is also one of the most fertile people I know. She got pregnant before she was old enough to buy a beer. She kept the baby. She met a man; they fell in love and got married. Despite using birth control, she got pregnant again. That man she fell in love with and married? He cheated on her, he was verbally abusive and he left her when her second child was an infant. She worked long hours to support her two children. She fought to get child support from their fathers. Then my friend started having heart problems. Serious heart problems. She had extensive testing and many surgical procedures to treat this condition. Her heart doctor told her not to get pregnant; he said it could kill her. He also told her that she could not use any contraceptive device that contained hormones. That meant that the pill, the shot, the patch and an IUD were out of the question. She petitioned her insurance company to get her tubes tied. They denied her claim. Her heart doctor, her family doctor and her OB/GYN doctor all wrote lengthy letters to her insurance company to try and change their minds. They still refused. In all of this chaos, she met a man. They fell in love. They got engaged. While planning their wedding, she found out she was pregnant. Their birth control had failed. My friend knew that getting pregnant and carrying the baby to term could kill her. She had been literally using birth control to save her life. It failed.

What should she do? Some people are okay with abortion if it is to save the life of the mother. Her doctor couldn't say for sure if the pregnancy would kill her, but he couldn't guarantee that she (and the baby) would survive. There are no absolutes in this world. We should always have a choice when fate reminds us of that.