Sunday, October 30, 2005

Her Tired Hands Are Beautiful

Her tired hands are beautiful,
their sharp cracks and wrinkles
smoothed under the lotion
she applies before bed.

I'm too old now,
to nestle in the warm spot
between her shoulder and chin,
and fall asleep.

With tear drenched cheeks,
I'd look to her, and know
her smile would chase away
all my fears.

For all those years she raised me,
I was too busy to come home
raise my sleeves,
and dirty my hands.

And now all I taste
is the sour tears of guilt
running down my throat
making me sick with regret.

After years of running
as far as my feet could take me
I only wish
to click my heels and return home.

~Oct. 30, 2005

I wrote this thinking of my mother, who is the strongest woman I know.

The 50 Year Old Virgin: Harriet Miers

Harriet Miers has been asked countless questions about her stance on a variety of topics, however the topic most covered has been her belief or disbelief in a woman's right to choose. We know that Harriet Miers is not married, I do not believe she has ever been married. Secondly, she has no children. Thirdly, she has a crush on a married man, President George W. Bush. (Can you picture her in a cat fight with Laura?) In sum, her sex life isn't looking to peachy. I don't think that she has what it takes to get good old Dubbya to do her in the oval office, Clinton style. (I apologize if this is too raunchy).

So, shouldn't the real question be: Has Harriet Miers ever had sex? Perhaps if she had a relationship, had a sex life, she would understand that birth control is not perfect and neither are human beings. Some women get pregnant easier than others, and sometimes you just slip up. More importantly, some women cannot use the pill because of blood disorders or because they smoke, and the risk of clotting is too serious. These women often use other forms of birth control, but forms that are not as effective as the pill. There is always a chance of pregnancy, no matter what.

So, back to my point about Harriet not having sex. If she has never had a sex life, never had a steady relationship, never taken the pill, never taken a pregnancy test while crossing her fingers that the result is negative, HOW IN THE HELL DOES SHE UNDERSTAND A WOMAN'S RIGHT TO CHOOSE?

If I could ask her any question, I would ask her the last time she had sex, and what type of birth control she uses. Then I would ask her what the effectiveness of the various forms of birth control are (none of them are 100%).

Then I would ask her what her thoughts on a woman's right to have sex are? Should we not have sex if there is a 2, or 5% chance we could become pregnant when not ready? What then?

If Harriet wants to make judgments about American Womens' private lives, I think we have a right to understand her private life.


In response to a recent comment, I wanted to leave a message to alert readers that I am being sarcastic. Please, do not take this writing literally.

On a serious note, it is frightening how relevant politician's personal and sexual health is to their work and their beliefs. Our personal experiences and views of sex are highly correlative to our view of ourselves (either as man or woman). It is sad that men who beat or sexually assault women are given microphones and put upon stages to speak on their views of women's rights, abortion, and any family issue. While no person is perfect I do believe lines should be drawn. For instance, when I worked as an advocate at a police department, I was made to undergo a lie detector test and full background check. If a politician is given a government position, should he or she not undergo the same type of test to make sure that he or she is not bringing values into the government that we as a society do not condone?

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Legal Fact of the Day

Topic: Tort Law
Cause of Action: Loss of Consortium (Negligence/Wrongful Death)

Loss of Consortium is the loss of companionship, sexual relations, and other services.
A spouse may bring this action against the tortfeasor who has caused his or her spouse to be disabled or killed due to their own acts of negligence ( I believe it may exist for intentional acts as well).

Historical Fact:
Originally only a husband could sue for loss of consortium when his wife was tortiously injured. The reason for this was that the wife was viewed as a mere possession of the husband. The case was similar to an action for property damages.
Today, there is no such rule. A wife or husband may bring an action for the loss of their spouse.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Poorly Prepared: Hiking Mt. Rainier

This is an old story, from the Summer of 2004, but I felt that it may be interesting and amusing for some to read.

It was day 14 of a 17 day trip from Michigan to California. Adam and I reached Mount Rainer, Washington on July 6th around noon; with just enough time to fit in an afternoon hike. After setting up our campsite in the damp and cool underbrush of towering redwoods, we set off to hike the Skyline Trail, which was described as a strenuous hike. This was the fifth National Park we had visited, and the word strenuous no longer intimidated us, nor did mention of patches of snow. {Note here the word was "patches"} As we approached the main lodge, located at the base of Mount Rainer, it began to drizzle. The peak of the mountain was not visible, and became less visible as we grew closer. The cotton clouds and thick fog seemed to be on their way in, rather than out. Before heading off, we packed our day packs with plenty of water and some light snacks. Hesitating for a moment, contemplating the possibility of increased rainfall, we decided to cram our raincoats into our packs.
Five minutes into the hike, we find ourselves stepping over patches of snow and streams of runoff from the top of the mountain. Within 20 minutes, the patches of snow are no more. We are now trudging through layers of snow reaching at a minimum five to ten feet in depth. The trail is now marked by red flags and the fog allows only the visibility of about an eight yard radius. Of course, at this point we were amused by the terrain and excited by the fog. Our limbs were still warm and our feet were still dry, but not for long. Funny, the trail description didn’t mention this sort of landscape. After hiking for over an hour, having met no other hiker along the way, we began to get nervous. My legs had turned cherry red and my hiking boots were now small swimming pools for my toes. Not to mention, my summer hiking pants, were soaked and heavy with water. We were now trekking up steep snow covered mountainside, angled at 40-50 degree inclines. What had started as an exciting and unusual hike, mixed with laughter and happy conversation, was now a silent drudge combining grunts, sighs, and intermittent fighting.
We pulled out our flimsy paper map of the trail so many times, that the tattered folds were separating and disintegrating in the moisture of our palms. We had not yet reached the midpoint, and we debated over whether to turn around or to keep going. We kept going. The description of the midpoint included mention of a rest area and rest room. Perhaps we can go inside and get warm, we thought. Ironically, the midpoint rest area was under construction and there was a simple, barely welcoming, port-a-potty. Thankfully the cold air smothered the stench. Adam and I walked over to the elegant restroom, and huddled between its blue wall and the face of the rock wall beside it, barely shielding ourselves from the wind. We stood there a moment; long enough to empty some water from our boots. We then pressed on. This area of the trail included several areas of step incline, and therefore frequent areas of drop-off, where the flags were connected with yellow cording. Thankfully the fog blocked an honest view of what would be a long fall down the mountain if I were to lose my footing.
After about three and a half hours, we finished the trail, having met no one along the way. As we approached our car, we caught a glimpse of some hikers heading up to the trail. They were strapped with ice picks and crampons, water proof pants and quite an impressive amount of gear. Here we were, soaked through, tired, and yet oddly proud. We finished that trail with no special gear, no waterproof clothing, and certainly no crampons. Of course, we were also idiots. The lesson was to never trust a hiking guide when you are in the mountains.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Bathed in Grey

Soothing to the eyes, and always so comfortable.
I have a grey shirt that always brings me peace.
A grey tee shirt that makes me feel good.
A grey sweater that warms me.

I have several photos of grey pebbles, that for some odd reason bring me a sense of calm. There is something clean about the color, clean and simple.

My mother always hated it when I wore a particular grey shirt with off-white buttons. It made me look pale. I agree, it isn't the most fitting color for my complexion. But it offers so much more than those shirts that "bring out the eyes." Maybe I like grey shirts specifically because they ask nothing of me. In fact, no one does. I don't have worry about using mascara or the right amount of blush to bring out the cheekbones. I will look pale no matter what, and I don't mind. I will blur into the background of city faces and stone buildings, dirtied sidewalks and bleached skies. No one asks me for anything. No one hollars at me while carrying a 40oz. No one even asks me for a quarter before I walk down the stairs to the subway.

~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~
I know this is perhaps the strangest entry I have ever written. But I had to.
I obviously wore grey today.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Hours of Laughs: Toothpaste for Dinner

You must buy the book: "Toothpaste for Dinner."

This is such a wonderful way to waste a half hour. The drawings in this comic book skillfully show emotions that often cannot be expressed in words. They are simple drawings, yet they strangely show so much expression and humor. If you need some humor at work or at home, these comics are the perfect addition to your collection of humorous knik-knacks.

The comics on workplace humor are the most amusing. They usually pinpoint the frustrating moments we all share, or the awkward experiences between bosses and employees or among co-workers that seem to happen far too often.

Thanks to the WONDERFUL Tim R. I have experienced hours and hours of enjoyment with this book.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

100 Strokes of the Brush Before Bed: Review

Personal Book Review of "100 Strokes of the Brush Before Bed."
Finished on 10-6-05

First Some Info:
This is Melissa P.'s first novel and was published (not written) when she was seventeen. Over 1,000,000 copies were sold. The book is considered an International Bestseller. In an interview with The Bookseller (UK) Melissa P. stated that she "discovered [herself] through sex." The book is categorized as a fictionalized memoir...leaving you to guess what is real and what is elaboration.

To start, I have two main questions:
--Who are the million + people that bought this book? ( I am honestly curious what the demographics of the people are who bought this book. What is the main selling point? It can't possibly be that people think it is good. The only reason I can understand is the mere scandel of it as well as the turn on for many. A book about a young teen having sex with men of varying ages, being raped, being the slut of up to 5 men at a time, is unfortunately going to be very appealing to many.

--Who did the translation? Does it do her writing justice?
I feel that the writing has been greatly harmed by the translation. If I spoke Italian, I could make the decision myself. Unfortunately I do not. Even if the writing style was improved, the substance is still heavily lacking.

All in all, I think that the idea of the book has potential, but that it failed miserably. The descriptions of sex and of her own feelings were lacking authenticity as well as originality. I felt like the descriptive words were repetitive (which isn’t surprising because it is difficult to come up with different words for the male “member” etc.). I am thoroughly sick of reading the words “my sex.” I was constantly aware of the fact that the author was a teen, and not an experienced writer.

There was a moment toward the end of the book, when I felt something somewhat interesting happening. Then I realized I was inserting meaning, where there wasn’t any. This was the moment, where I saw the potential of the story. It was a brief, brief, moment. The potential that I saw (which again is NOT implied in the book at all and doesn't seem to be in the author’s head whatsoever) is how many women and young girls are often more comfortable with being objects, than feeling like women or girls in a loving relationship. That we are so used to being judged and depicted and desired according to our physical characteristics, and our ability to project a much so that what should feel good and normal (love and respect) is often what we must grow accustomed to as we age. This idea, could have easily been developed alongside the narrative and would have added immensely to the book. Instead we have affair after affair ending with a very dissappointing and unrealistic relationship that develops faster than ice melts in the sun. The innocence of Melissa came through slightly, but was, in the end, still underdeveloped.

I suppose that is it. The book doesn’t deserve any awards...but will remain (I am sure) on the top 10 list for men who are closeted pedophiles.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

First Climb at Castle Rock SP: Goat Rock

Today, after many months of climbing indoors, I finally made it outdoors to the real thing. I planned the trip with a guide (husband and wife team) based out of Santa Clara, called Epic Adventures,

We spent the day at Goat Rock, and I got in about six or seven climbs. I also got a feel for how to climb outdoors and I survived my first huge overhang (when done falling several yards away from the wall) which scared the life out of me. I climb mostly 5.10A,B,C at the gym but outside I was climbing 5.7s and 5.8s. All in all it was a great experience.
The guide we went with was awesome, a real pro who knows his stuff but isn't arrogant. I would recommend Epic Adventures to anyone.

At the end of the day we repelled down the side of the rock, and learned how to set up a top rope. I know what's on my Christmas list: CLIMBING GEAR!

I can't wait till I'm good enough with the gear to go down and set it up myself. Talk about a release of stress and getting your mind off the everyday crap. I will definitely treat gym climbing a little differently now, and will be less afraid of the meager overhangs.