Monthly Archives: December 2010

Thanks, Obama, for Finally Following Through on Something

I see Obama has signed the repeal of DADT into law. While this is encouraging, my primary thought is finally.

My aunt served in the Army for 25 years, beginning in the early 1960s. She was stationed in Vietnam when things were exploding everywhere, and served tours in Japan, Germany, Korea, and other places. Wherever she was, she would send us kids coins and paper money from the country, which was totally awesome.

My aunt bought me cowboy shirts and boots when I was 4 years old and had a hankering for Western wear. She had a Palomino horse when she was stationed in the US, which was so cool.

After she retired from the military, she owned a bait shop and named it “Top 3” after me and my siblings. She was also a member of a motorcycle touring club, which is where she met her husband.

But, while in the military, she primarily had girlfriends.

Somehow, this did not ruin troop morale and bring about the downfall of the US.

I’m not about militarism, but I’m glad queer military folks will now receive their due respect. Finally.

Post Script

When I first came out to my parents, there was tremendous uproar because OMG, do you know what happened to your aunt?

The way my mom said this, do you know what happened to your aunt?, I thought something crazy horrible had happened.

Here’s what happened to my aunt: her parents were asses to her when she came out to them in the 1960s, so she cut off contact with them. My mom helped her parents track down my aunt, and apparently there was all sorts of drama.

To which I said, my aunt’s bi-ness didn’t cause the drama, her parents’ stupidness did.

Before I came out, I had no idea my aunt was bi. She was just my bait-shop-owning, horse-owning, motorcycle-riding aunt who was super awesome (but smoked, which wasn’t cool).

I had to explain to my parents that nothing outside of myself, or outside of my aunt, caused us to be not-straight. It’s just who we are (and considering the genetic link, unsurprising). The military didn’t make my aunt bi (as my mom postulated), and women’s studies classes didn’t make me gay (for one thing, I’ve known I was not-straight since I was at least 9 years old). To thine own self be true, Free to Be You and Me, and whatnot.

Despite my parents’ wackiness about some issues, I give my mom kudos for allowing us to hang out with my aunt and remain in contact with her, even though she has the bi-ness. If being around my aunt did anything to us kids, it made us want to travel outside of the US.

I think the loss of contact with her sister back in the 60s made my mom realize that sticking together as family and supporting each other is more important than someone being not-straight. It’s a tough lesson to learn, and I’m not saying my parents learned it perfectly. But even when they were telling me that if I just grew my hair long, I wouldn’t be gay, they were also sending me rent money. As much as I wanted to cut myself off from them on some days, I still knew that they loved and cared about me (even if it was expressed in a convoluted manner).  Life and family are complicated, no doubt. It took more than 40 years, but I think my parents are finally okay with the not-straightness of their family members.

In a similar manner, the repeal of DADT hopefully heralds a new era of openness and acceptance in the US. Let this silly matter of straight/not-straight not impede the truly important matters of justice, equality, and compassion. If my family can get over it, so can this country. End post-script.

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A Heavy Head Day

Saturday afternoon I felt really tired, and after going to the gym Sunday morning and feeling totally wiped out, I came to a dreaded realization.

I’m sick.

You know I don’t feel well when I spend 7 hours on the couch doing nothing. Not just because of my personal drive to do something, but because sitting/lying on the couch irritates my (apparently) chronic hip pain.

Moving means no hip pain. Sitting means lots of hip pain (like now – lots of pain). I’m working on the pain with myofascial release and by doing various leg weight machines at the gym. Also stretching. Lots of stretching.

Things are getting better in that the pain is more of hey, still here! instead of HAHAHAHAHA YOU THOUGHT YOU GOT RID OF ME 3 YEARS AGO? THINK AGAIN MF’ER ‘CAUSE I’M HERE TO CAUSE YOU MISERY.

So when I sit or lie down, the pain also settles in with a cup of tea and warm blanket and makes itself at home in my deep left gluteal muscles. If there’s anything I can count on in this world, it’s the hip pain.

Anyway, I’m feeling much less sick today. My body is fine (except the hip, of course), but my head is awfully heavy. I stayed home from work and slept a frenzied sleep all morning. I hate sick days.

Things would be bad enough with just sickness and hip pain, but I had a little row with my dad yesterday. I thought he had outgrown his angry, bullying self, but vestiges of it came back yesterday. This resulted in me calling him up and telling him that, while he was able to talk to me in such a manner when I was growing up, he can no longer talk to me like I’m a piece of shit.

Many other things were said and issues semi-resolved, and the conversation ended with him asking, “so what day are you leaving to come here?” And me answering, “Thursday afternoon.”

My dad can be messed up, but at least he and I can talk honestly to each other. And sometimes “talking” means “yelling.” I don’t particularly like that part (I had to wait to call him until Porkchop was in the shower, because I don’t like the person that I have to be sometimes when talking to my dad), but it’s better than never being honest at all, I suppose.

I would say the angry yelling exhausted me and made me sick, but I was already feeling unwell.

Happier Things

Two weekends ago brought a few inches of snow to St. Louis. This was the chicken coop in snow:

Snowy Coop

The chickens stayed snug inside. A couple of them ventured down the ladder, saw the snow and felt the chilly air, and ran back upstairs. When some of the snow melted and then turned to ice, a couple of the chickens ventured outside of the run and slip-slided around on the ice.

I felt a little guilty laughing about it, but a chicken sliding around on ice is quite an amusing sight. At one point, rather than having to touch the snow or ice, Agnes flew across the yard back to the coop. Considering one of her wings is clipped, this was quite a feat.

Moldy Dreams

Last night I dreamt Porkchop and I moved from our house into a stinky old apartment with cracks in the cement walls and black mold growing out of the cracks.

I kept thinking, we should never have moved out of our house.

I hate dreams like that.

Also, I think I should seriously push for getting someone to regrout our showers. I worry about mold setting up behind the tile near the corners where the grout is loose. I worry about it a lot.

I’m also worried that I’ll totally bomb the math portion of the GRE. Last night I took a practice test and missed half of the math questions.

Not good.

The main issue is that I just don’t care about how to figure the area of various triangles. Or how to make ratios to relate areas of squares to areas of equilateral triangles, or what-have-you.

Geometry was never my strong suit. Well, basic 2-D geometry, anyway. Calculus and 3-D geometry stuff is another matter, however. Probably because it’s just much more interesting to imagine things in 3-D.

Anyway, I have a few weeks to get down to brass tacks and make myself relearn this basic geometry crap. Three weeks, and then I ‘ll take the darned test and forget about geometry again.

I’ll Snap YOUR Ginger

This weekend has been full of studying…so much studying I can’t wait to take my lab practical tomorrow.

During breaks, Porkchop and I cooked two different types of cookies: chocolate chip-oatmeal-pecan and gingersnaps. The gingersnap recipe is from Good to the Grain (which I checked out from a library, but is also on my wishlist!), and the cookies turned out quite lovely.

Yummers!

I also poached an egg this morning for breakfast.

That doesn’t sound like much of an accomplishment, but it was the first time for me to poach an egg without using a special egg poacher implement. I just slipped the egg into water with a splash of vinegar and simmered it. Magic! Crazy!

Perhaps eggs benedict will be on the breakfast menu next weekend. We certainly have enough eggs now.

Grisly Finds in the Backyard

This morning Porkchop happened upon a grisly scene in our backyard: a large spot of blood at the bottom of our deck steps, and part of a squirrel on our patio.

A raccoon (or what we think is a raccoon based on tracks) regularly tries to get into the chicken run. And since there were raccoon-ish tracks around the squirrel remains, we’re guessing the raccoon either killed the squirrel in our backyard, or brought it along and left it for us to find.

A warning maybe?

Your chickens are next?

Your Cat is Ripe

In my A&P lab, we’ve been dissecting cat muscles for the past month. At this point, the cats are getting quite stinky.

Ewwww.

Our lab practical is Monday, and while I want more time to study, I’m ready to be finished with the cats. My lab partner and I had our cat graded yesterday, and we received 38 points out of 40 (an A). When I inquired about the 2-point deduction, the professor merely replied, “No one is perfect.”

That explanation might fly with an undergrad, but I’m not amused. Give me a score sheet and grading standards!

Anyway, some random observations about cat dissection:

  • Larger cats are easier to dissect. Ours is itty-bitty with wee muscles.
  • Cats with dissected forearms still have fur on the paw portion. This makes them look like they’re wearing mittens. Which means I picture dissected cats wearing mittens and dancing to Christmas carols.
  • Cats have a lot going on in their forearms.
  • I can no longer look at Keetah without imagining her muscles, which means I’m picturing her lying on a slab, dissected. Sadness.
  • Judging from a certain cardboard box in the lab, preserved cats can still go rotten. I would not want to be the one who lets the rotten cat out of the bag.