Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Rut, rabble-rousing

Part one

I always wish I could come back with some really awesome story of what I've been up to when I don't get around to posting for almost a week. Alas, I've just been watching episodes of Sons of Anarchy one after another and feeling varying levels of unexplained blogging ennui.

I'm in a book and music rut, too. I know it's bad because the other day when I started the car and the Led Zeppelin CD I've had playing for the last three weeks kicked in, Nico piped up from the back seat and said "Singing this song again!" If my two-year-old has noticed that we've heard "Custard Pie" 64 times already, it's probably time for something new. And last night I realized that for the first time in I don't know how long, I don't really have a current book I'm reading, or at least not one that has seized my interest. I've got The Omnivore's Dilemma by the bed, but I tend to forget about it when I'm feeling bored and reader-y in the evenings. The last two non-tattoo books I read this year hooked me so good that I stayed up until ungodly hours finishing them so it feels a bit strange to not have something that I'm looking forward to picking up each night. All of this is to say that if you have a new (or old beloved) CD or band or book to recommend, please hit me up in the comments. Do you feel drunk with power? You should!

Part two

I try to stay out of politics in the hopes they'll stay away from me, but it's hard sometimes. A few weeks ago I posted on facebook and Twitter in support of Planned Parenthood and was pleasantly surprised by how many people shared or commented in similar support. With Lent upon us, the local Catholic diocese is once again staging a "40 Days for Life" march in front of the Planned Parenthood clinic. I do support peaceful free speech and I try to be open-minded about other people's beliefs that are different from mine, but I have to admit this really has always bothered me. It really aggravates my deeply ingrained live and let live tendencies. I'm not going to start a "40 Days for Women's Rights" or a "40 Days for Affordable Reproductive Care" march in front of the church, you know? I hate the idea that any woman would be intimidated out of seeking health care (or contraception) by the marchers, because even though they seem to be peaceful and non-threatening, I would've never had the courage to walk by them even a few years ago. I also feel awful for the staff who are already in a high-stress job and seeing their specific choice of career being vilified all over the news. If someone was protesting outside my workplace because they wanted the world to believe that what I do (and love) for a living is rotten and awful, that would make me feel pretty shitty.

At the tail end of the last 40 Days session, I pushed down my conflict-avoidant pansy-ness and stopped by the clinic with a gift card for a dozen donuts. I told the woman at the front desk that I wanted the staff to know that there are people in the community who appreciate and support them and the services they provide. I'm not telling you this because I want a pat on the back. I'm saying it because if everyone who posted a supportive facebook status or tweet would take a minute to send a thank-you note or stop by with some muffins or make a donation to Planned Parenthood, imagine how much that would mean in this difficult time. I won't say I challenge you to do it (Bossiness-averse! Avoid conflict!) but I definitely suggest it.


  1. Dude, I don't even know what kind of music people listen to these days. And books? The kind without pictures? People read those?

    On another note, I think that is an awesome and kind gesture, and if there was a PP in this town, I'd so do it.

  2. Favorite line: "I'm not going to start a '40 Days for Women's Rights' or a '40 Days for Affordable Reproductive Care' march in front of the church, you know?"

    What a good idea about stopping by with actual support. I guess it doesn't do them much good if it's only on Facebook, huh? I'll bet a card (I'm picturing something from the "Cope" section of the greeting card aisle) would be nice, too.

  3. This may even be the perfect occasion for that obnoxious "hang in there" card with the cat hanging from a tree branch!

  4. Love you for that. Dumb antis. We don't have the same...fraught situation here in Canada, in fact I've never seen an anti-abortion protester, but our government is definitely leaning to the more conservative at the moment and I'm not convinced that the debate is over and done with here.

    Speaking of Canada, I just finished a good book by a Canadian author named Jen Sookfong Lee, called The Better Mother. her previous book, The End of East, was even better.

    And I am reading a book called On Writing Well, by William Zinsser, and it is calming in its straightforwardness.
    EG: on style and authenticity "Trying to add style is like adding a toupee. At first glance the formerly bald man looks young and even handsome. But at second glance -- and with a toupee there's always a second glance -- he doesn't look quite right. The problem is not that he doesn't look well groomed; he does, and we can only admire the wigmaker's skill. The point is that he doesn't look like himself."

  5. while i hold no love for anti-abortion protesters (what other people do with their reproductive parts is their business), the thing that really chaps my ass is that they don't even offer abortions at the planned parenthood here. instead of marching around outside a place that offers pelvic exams and pre-natal care, how about taking a road trip to protest somewhere where what they're protesting actually takes place.