Archive for March, 2007

Just another guy that makes me proud to be pro-choice

March 24, 2007

<p><a href=””><img title=”Nophoto” height=”150″ alt=”Nophoto” src=”; width=”150″ border=”0″ style=”FLOAT: left; MARGIN: 0px 5px 5px 0px” /></a> The guy with the pictures of hacked up babies is at it again.</p>

<p>I saw it on the news the other night. This is the guy that has a truck plastered with billboard size pictures of hacked up, in some cases headless, babies. He calls them aborted fetuses, even though they are fully matured babies dripping with blood. <a href=”″>This time</a>, he’s parking in front of a Catholic School in San Mateo. The parents are furious, but they can’t stop him. He says he won’t go away until the church agrees to preach every Sunday against abortion and the parents agree to help him picket the local Planned Parenthood clinics. It’s freaking the kids—and the parents—out.</p>

<p>I can’t believe the guy is still at it. I had to drive by&nbsp; him for months some years ago. I remember trying to shelter my toddler’s eyes from this bozo when he used to park outside of Planned Parenthood in Menlo Park. Back then, he also had mutilated dolls hanging from signs. It was lovely. And there was nothing the city could do to stop him, though they tried, he won every lawsuit. Well I’d be the last one to argue against free speech, and in favor of censorship, but we do prevent advertising companies from plastering billboards with graphic sex, so it seems there are limits. Is there anything San Mateo parents can do? I upped my contributions to Planned Parenthood that year he was in my neighborhood, and only wished I could have done more.</p>

But you feel so good when its over

March 16, 2007

J0407126     I’m feeling pretty good right now because my boobs are not being screwed into a nasty plastic vise. Sure, my neck still hurts a bit, an aftermath of an injury a year and a half ago. And I’m sniffing a little from allergies. But right now, I’m hardly noticing those chronic annoyances because my boobs are free!

    Yeah, I did the annual mammogram thing today, early this a.m., figuring I’d get in before things got backed up in radiology and be at my desk by 9 a.m. I took an ibuprofen before, thinking maybe that would block the pain a little. It didn’t. The mammogram technician thought that a shot of tequila might have worked better; next time I’ll schedule my test for the end of the day. But I don’t think there’s any drug in the world that could make having your breasts squeezed in a high-tech waffle iron fun. And no, it’s not a consolation to me that I experience more than the average amount of pain because I’m what one politely calls small-breasted (that is, flat), and so a mammogram means a fair amount of pulling before the squeezing can begin, but I did appreciate the sympathy. Love the fact that the technician tells you to hold your breath—like I could actually breathe in that position!

    But, oh, after it’s over, you feel sooo good. You truly appreciate being pain free. Go ahead and cut me off, you idiot that didn’t see the right-lane-closed sign. And sure, knock that construction cone right in front of my car; I don’t care, because my boobs are not being squished anymore, so the world is a wonderful place.

    I’m also dancing around in joy because I don’t have to do it again for another year, and I already got the results and they were good. (Express results, one perquisite of having once had a biopsy, it  makes me a premier member of the mammogram club.)

    On Monday I knocked off another annual exam, ye olde eye test. That’s another way to make you appreciate the little things in life, like having your vision return after several hours of walking around in a blur with dilated eyes. But that’s another post, although one I didn’t write because I couldn’t read the screen….

“Hanging Out” has new meaning

March 9, 2007

ClotheslineI have a clothesline.

The clothesline story started two summers ago. I’ve always had “do not machine dry” clothes in my loads of laundry; usually I’d hang them over the towel racks and shower curtain rods in the bathrooms, where they’d sit for days. (Occasionally I’d accidentally throw them in the dryer and shrink them too small for me, but still too big for the other female in the house.) Wet clothes all over the bathrooms did not make me happy, and I always suspected the kids occasionally used my camis as hand towels, but it didn’t occur to me that I had an option. I mean, yeah, my mom has a clothesline—people in New Jersey do. People in Silicon Valley, at least people whose houses I visit, don’t.

OK, now this makes absolutely no sense. In Silicon Valley, it’s gorgeous clothes drying weather like nine and a half months out of 12. In New Jersey, clothes get randomly rained on in the summer and frozen in the winter. (Nothing like taking a stiff sweater off the line; you have to lean it against a wall until it softens, you can’t even get it into the clothes basket.)

But the whole hanging things on a clothesline drill seemed like just too much for me. I mean, with a dryer, you yank things out of the washer and throw them into the dryer in one smooth movement, then dryer to basket and basket to the corner of the bedroom where the clothes sit unfolded for days, getting steadily more wrinkled as the kids, desperate for clean clothes, pull out their favorites. They sit, that is, until Thursday night when Grey’s Anatomy sends me looking for an excuse to lock myself in my room for an hour.

But every summer I do the clothesline thing for two weeks because our 1940s vintage summer rental does not have a washer or dryer, just a clothesline. It also does not have a functional can opener, which limits cooking options somewhat, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Anyway, since  it’s a beach house, we have lots of wet clothes, towels, and beach blankets, the latter because at least several times over the two week vacation I misjudge the time of high tide, which isn’t always when it the tide tables say it will be. We fill the clothesline every afternoon; empty it every morning. We never have enough room, and because the clothesline crosses the driveway, we have to leave a gap for the car. It used to seem like an endless chore.

But two summers ago, something changed. Maybe it was because while I was outside hanging up towels I could hear the kids coming to blows over who got the best spot on the couch to watch Spongebob (cable TV, one thing the beach house has that home does not), and I thought, gee, I’m busy hanging up towels, I can’t possibly go deal with that. And then I stopped, and took swig of my Rolling Rock and a sniff of the dry clothes piled on the porch chair and it all suddenly made sense. Or maybe it was when I was unpacking, and realized how good the suitcase of line-dried clothes smelled. (I pulled out a T-shirt and shoved it in the back of a shelf and haven’t worn or washed it yet because it still smells good.)

Anyway, when I got back to California at the end of that summer vacation, I bought a clothesline. And it sat in my office for a year; I wanted my husband to help me hang it up but didn’t ask because I figured he’d think I was nuts, or at least extremely tacky. (Yeah, I’m perfectly capable of doing it myself, but he’s nail-boss around here. It’s just the way it works.)

Then back to NJ for another summer vacation, and hanging out clothes, and the smell of T-shirts dried in the sun.

And I got over feeling weird, and DH only rolled his eyes a little before he helped me put the clothesline up. It is supposed to run from the fence to the garage, but when the garage was being painted I tied it to the playstructure, and there it stayed. I have a cute little hanging bag of clothespins. And I managed to hang out wash two whole weeks in a row last fall before the rainy season started and my cute little hanging bag of clothespins developed speckles of mold.

But today the sun is shining, March breezes are blowing, and I hung out 2007’s first shirts (not a whole load of laundry, I haven’t gone completely retro. Yet.) And they smell soooo good!