This Thursday Is Blog Against Disablism Day.

Check it: May 1, 2008 is Blog Against Disablism Day.  A whole mess of blogs will be discussing discrimination against disabled folks, from political, social, moral, personal and any other perspectives people want.  Count me in!! 


A Little Like Moses At The Red Sea.

There are many things I’m not proud of, like my love of Jimmy Buffet and the fact that I’m a teeny bit interested in Sex And The City. Among that list you could also find a category of behaviors labeled “I’m sometimes not above using challenges to my advantage.” Even other people’s challenges; I’ve used my disabled brother’s handicapped placard for a better parking spot in the summer heat (but only when he was present, of course!). Last night, this particular vice came out in a new way. My after-work bus was completely full. Weighted down with a heavy bag, my spare sneakers, and a book, suffering not-so-sensible pumps and a growing 4.5 months pregnant body, I tried something new.

I leaned back, made a face like it was Ellis Island circa 1905, rubbed my stomach and slightly waddled. And BAM!! Just like that 3, yes 3, men got out of their seats and offered them to me. One even walked from the back of the bus to tell me he had done so. I’ve never had the kind of sex appeal that could make this happen, so it was awesome in every way. And yes, I took a seat. Thanks fellas!!

You’re Once, Twice, Three Times A Brawler.

I think I forgot to send one or two thank-you notes after our wedding five years ago, but now I don’t feel like we were such bad newlyweds afterall.  Excerpts from after the jump: Read the rest of this entry »

Parenting Lesson Numero Uno

Friday Baby Daddy and I splurged on a pizza. A very large pizza. The rationale being there would be leftovers the next day, when Baby Daddy would be painting the nursery and would surely deserve some pizza. However, it appears Bambino had a different idea. For as soon as I started in on my first slice, I began to feel the most dramatic baby movements I’ve felt to date. “The baby must love pizza!!!” I concluded, reaching for a second slice. “That’s my child,” my Italian-American hubby gleefully noted. Caught up in the excitement, I ate half the pizza.

Moments later I began to question that decision. By then, the wonderful baby movements had been replaced by the worst heartburn I have ever experienced, and a very real fear that we would soon revisit the pizza in a significantly less appetizing form. And so was learned a valuable lesson: baby shouldn’t get everything baby wants. Overall, I’d say that was worth it. Otherwise 16 years from now the heartburn could be a lot worse!!!

Way To Go, Baby Daddy!!!!

A few weeks ago friends of ours put their beloved lab on feeding tubes to save him from a life-threatening digestive problem.  It was an admirable labor of love after months of expensive treatments and vet visits.  Discussing this situation in front of our pound dog Sampson, who despite his name has a chronic case of everything, hubby said, “well of course we would do the same for Sampson.”  I was glad for the moment that Sampson’s vocabulary is limited to “treat; walk; sit” and “eat it” (used for giving him his many prescriptions).  Because, frankly, I questioned whether feeding tubes might be crossing the line for poor old Sampson.  

Today, the situation gave me a great vision of what a fantastic baby daddy hubby is going to be.  He left the house at 6 a.m. in a suit to attend his Bible study and then spend a full day in court advocating for foster kids in a system that is completely exhausting.  Still, he reported in the lunchhour that he couldn’t chat; was across town putting seven different syringes of formula in a doggie-sized feeding tube, whereafter he would be cleaning the insertion point and heading back to court.  Motivated not only by the love of a friend, but by his compassion for animals.  All I could think was, “is this a guy I should be having kids with or what?”  Good thing since I’m 4.5 months pregnant!


Stay Classy!

Just because you’re an 18-year old hanging out in your wheelchair at an event for the First Lady doesn’t mean you won’t have to take your punches now and then.

P.S., a note to journalists: You’ve already aroused our sympathy with the idea of a girl in a wheelchair being punched in the face by a rabid war protester, you don’t really need to use the totally outdated term “wheelchair-bound.”  Her wheelchair is not a prison, it is a tool.  On the other hand maybe I’m just snarky because on the way to work I was “bus-seat bound” and now I’m “ergonomic office chair-bound.” Putting it that way, it is kind of exhausting.

Etiquette in 2008.

I love to read etiquette books, especially very old ones.  The tips are often entertaining because outdated (like how to avoid advances from your boss), or useless (like how to dress for an audience with the Pope).  But they also give me a sense of well-being in knowing that I’m treating others appropriately when I might otherwise feel awkward. 

However, more and more frequently I am finding that even the modern books fall short for regular life.  For example, what was the appropriate remark when a man on the train told me out of the blue that he’d just done 17 years in prison for armed bank robbery, and was “looking to turn over a new leaf?”  I tried a simple, “good for you,” but it just didn’t feel right.

And what about this one? I’m pretty sure the barrist-a at my regular Starbucks is in the advanced stages of becoming a barrist-o.  She has a neutral name, like Jo, though I won’t disclose it because I feel like that would be rude.  She’s been on the masculine side since I met her, in terms of her hairstyle and posture, and her Dickie’s and button-downs.  Not remarkable, really, until I saw her today after her months-long absence.  Her hair was much shorter; her face more square.  “You got your haircut,” I said, “it looks cute!” 

“It was time,” she said.  Not an odd response, except her voice was about 10 octaves deeper.  So I got stuck pondering a follow-up.  Whereas “just in time for summer” might have worked, “just in time for becoming a man” felt a lot more accurate.  But how, exactly, would that play out?  Miss Post, please advise. 

I Don’t Mean To Be Rude, But…

A few hints that might help us, my co-worker/distant acquaintance/fellow bus rider, get along better during my pregnancy:

1) If you weren’t there when the baby was made, your opinion is not requested regarding: whether it was planned, the child’s name, my desire for an epidural, my choice to learn its gender in advance, how much weight I’ve gained, and/or whether I’m leaking anywhere strange.  And for the record, all leaking would qualify as strange.

2) Unless your delivery was 4-hours or less let’s not go over the details.

3) My pregnancy does not mean I have developed an interest in your general gynecological health. As a result it’s okay if you don’t tell me about that unusual surgery you had in the 80’s.  I previously didn’t even know there was such a surgery, and I was fine with that.

4) Please stop warning me that I won’t be able to laugh without peeing after my baby comes.  I plan on having a hilarious child and this threat really puts a damper on things.

5) Kegel exercises are not office talk. Ever.

6) I don’t care that you skiied, skydived, rode the mechanical bull, drank boilermakers, smoked crack, or did anything else during your pregnancy and your baby turned out fine, I am still going to pass on sushi and bike riding for a bit here.  If we stipulate that you win, can you please stop competing?


Well, Gol-ly!

   Is there some kind of presidential Stockholm Syndrome that makes Jimmy Carter want to cuddle up with Islamic terrorists?  Or was he just severely bullied as a child?  Because I just can’t get over the fact that the guy best known for two things: Iran Hostage Crisis and Habitat for Humanity isn’t getting busy at Home Depot this week rather than pretending to smooth things over with Hamas.   The diplomatic track record isn’t exactly exceptional, is all I’m saying. 

Oprah, You’re Wrong.

Disliking Oprah is like disliking Forest Gump: it’s just not polite to talk about it.  It’s not her celebrity interviews that bug me: I love hearing Cindy Crawford pontificate on motherhood as much as the next gal.  It’s the way she constantly pushes her reckless notions of spiritual life based on nothing but anectodes and superficial thinking.   

There are a lot of people out there feeling empty, broken, needing answers to life’s very reasonable questions: like where does suffering come from and what purpose could it possibly have?  Maybe I’m jaded; my brother is quadriplegic.  But I can tell you that to anyone not insulated by a gazillion dollars and a staff paid to like her, questions about suffering can mean spiritual, and sometimes literal, life or death.  So getting the answer right is important. 

An example of Oprah’s mental negligence comes from today’s “Meditation with Oprah,”  which is Oprah’s way of teaching you to pray.  Read the rest of this entry »

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