grow up already


four years after an abortion
December 5, 2008, 7:42 pm
Filed under: tmi

i did have an abortion in 2004. i have been pro-choice since i was old enough to form an opinion, and i still am. women have been attempting to control their fertility since the dawn of civilization, through any means possible. modern, legal abortion was not invented. it is medical science, progressing to reflect the desires of female human beings. that said, i would not have one again. but i wouldn’t do shouldn’t be what someone else cannot do.

lately i have been thinking about my abortion. or- more succinctly- the baby i did not have. i admit, the following description of conception/life came from a pro-life website (yeah i’ve been reading those, that’s how bad i’ve been feeling!), but i do think it accurately reflects what a pregnancy actually is:

This single cell is now either male or female. This human is unique, i.e., never before in the history of the world has this exact individual human existed. Never again in history will another exactly like this human exist.

I always knew that if I got pregnant, I would have an abortion. It was very simple for me. Unplanned pregnancy = huge fuck up of plans, not OK. So when I found out, I was on it. My pregnancy was over within 28 days of conception. At the time, I felt bad about preventing a human life from happening…at best. But I now realize that what that pro-life website is saying is absolutely true. There will never be another “clump of cells” like the one growing inside of me in 2004. If given enough time, it absolutely would’ve turned into a real human being, and all the ensuing/surrounding lifetimes related to him/her would’ve followed. If given a long enough timeline, it too would have produced offspring.

OK so there’s that. Earlier this summer I read an advice column in which the question was from a woman who had an abortion in her early 20s and subsequently couldn’t have more children. She felt horrible about the one chance she had “thrown away.” I hadn’t thought of that, but the second I read that I began freaking out about not being able to have another kid. And  so, after a couple weeks of this really showing itself to me (in the form of jealousy of a single mom I just met with a beautiful blond little girl who is the same age as the one I didn’t have; in the form of visiting pro-life websites, in the form of looking at pictures of embryos at 6 weeks gestational age, etc.; in the form of desperately wishing I could get pregnant again soon even though I’m not ready nor in a committed relationship), I realized that I am not suffering post-abortion syndrome. It is one of the following:

  1. I read that someone who had an abortion (and therefore was once fertile) cannot have children later in life. Since I catastrophasize EVERYTHING, this may very well just fall into that category. In this case, we may chalk it up to anxiety.
  2. I’m pretty sure my bio-clock has recently started ticking. I’ve been ambivalent about children my entire life (including the time of my abortion, which probably helped) but lately I’m thinking, Holy shit I’ve got like 9 good years left and I’m not even dating anyone! and I actually do want a kid now. The fact that I did have a real shot at motherhood four years ago, at a very healthy age (although a very unhealthy lifestyle) may be weighing down.
  3. I just plain feel bad about the abortion, and it’s taken me four years to do so. I am experiencing so-called “replacement baby” feelings as a result, and my bio-clock is not in fact ticking at all.

Either way, I know two things must happen. One, I must accept and believe that I am not a bad person for what happened. Women do know when we should have children. That is why we have been attempting to control fertility (through abortion or birth control) forever. I knew that not only was I in a shitty, shitty place in life, the person I had pro-created with was a horrible person as well. I thought about raising it on my own. I thought about my own limited resources (financially and otherwise) and came to the conclusion that even if I had many more resources, nothing I alone could do would make up for an ass of a father. At best you are half of the parents, and in my situation, closer to a third. I’m not saying I was destined to have an unhappy child with a fucked up life- plenty of single parents and the beautiful relationships they have with their children prove otherwise. I just didn’t have the faith that I could be that person.

Second, I must stop imagining that I will never be able to have another kid. There is no karmic retribution for having an abortion  (and if there is, it rarely shows up as subsequent infertility- at least according to statistics). There is no punishment. I simply do not have the faith in ever being in a situation where becoming a mother will be a welcome experience! You know, the situation where you and the dad love eachother, and one or both of you has a decent job? I just don’t see it. And that alone is…karmic. To myself. And so, I must have faith that I can and will one day have a baby.



oh dear jesus
October 27, 2008, 9:43 pm
Filed under: quarter life crisis

this is what i get for dating a guy who is bisexual.

i like elliott smith now.



it did, in fact, cause me to question my own intelligence
August 30, 2008, 1:01 am
Filed under: tmi | Tags:

RE: the many, many warning bells that failed to go off (or, fuck it- DID)

Yeah, I’m for sure noticing that last post about my ex makes me sound about as smart as a sack of stoned garden gnomes. got it. check. insert maury povich joke here. how i managed to stay with this dude even long enough for him to commit such a variety of injustices is bothering me.

it’s funny cause i’m usually single, and always thought of myself as the one who was independent. you know how everyone knows a few girls who always have boyfriends? opposite!

but really, i’ve been in more relationships than anyone i know. mine are just shorter. which in essence means less successful. and all those man problems that only happen to other, stupider people? drugs, domestic violence, cheating, liars, thieves? i’ve had them all. i’ve just always left when shit would come to light and i’ve always thought that made me smart. but what’s so smart about picking people like this in the first place? what, exactly, is so fucking smart about leaving a place you shouldn’t have been to? what if you saw someone on the 5 o’clock news who was all, “well, i walked into the building when i noticed flames coming out of a second story window. i hung around for awhile until the smoke got real thick and i started to choke. then the building started to collapse. and then i got out just in time!” is that actually self preservation or just bullshit?

i’m calling bullshit.

i’m thinking of that saying where the definition of crazy is banging your head against a wall repeatedly and expecting a different result each time. from now on i’m going to do the exact opposite of what i normally do.



sporty periods
August 29, 2008, 7:32 pm
Filed under: rant | Tags:

Did you know Playtex makes a Sport tampon? Yeah, I saw the commercial the other night while watching My Life on the D List.

Of course the stars of the commercial were athletic women doing all kinds of shit. One of them was even riding a bike in white spandex shorts. On her period.

I thought tampons were just an anatomically correct wad of bleached cotton that absorbs the stuff that occasionally comes trickling out of my cervix. I honestly did not think such a wondrous miracle of human ingenuity could be improved upon. So now I can’t decide if my own menstrual experiences are okay or merely subpar. I mean, I’ve had my period for like 12 years now and never once have I had to sit on the couch in sweats for five days due to my usage of economical regular tampons. But I’ve also never biked around in white spandex shorts. Am I missing out? Maybe I should be shelling out $6 for a box of 16 of these things and start embracing all of what life has to offer.

If it were an infomercial, the first scene would be a very average, frustrated looking woman in the bathroom crouching with her legs shoulder width apart. She’d scrunch her face in anger and toss something off camera. Then you’d see a closeup of a pile of tampon applicators, apparently unusable due to faulty workmanship. It would be worse than the times we cleaned our floors with mops and soapy water, or didn’t use 10-ply antibacterial pre-moistened towlettes on the counters. Cut back to her face. She says, “There’s go to be a better way!” And there is. There’s the Playtex Sport, with it’s No-Slip™ grip. Next thing you know, bitch is inserting tampons while hiking with friends and not even breaking her stride.

 Next we’d see a woman trying to get up off the couch. The second she stands up she gets this funny look on her face and looks down. A puddle of blood forms at her feet. “Are you tired of  basically bleeding all over everything every month?” The woman just sheepishly nods and runs off camera. There’s got to be a better way, maybe even better than leaking all over your sweats and god knows what else. There is: The Playtex Sport has unique 360° Coverage™ and a one-of-a-kind backup layer.

Without technologically superior blood-absorbing products, or disposable antibacterial cleaning products, or vitamin enhanced food products, us women would all be slovenly, incapacitated birds.



i did either a very bad or funny thing
August 29, 2008, 11:29 am
Filed under: tmi | Tags:

My ex was at my house on Tuesday morning and he left his email signed in. Three days later when I went to check my own mail I was greeted with “Welcome, John! You have 24 unread messages!”

Well, he always was a lying son of a bitch. And he’s been trying to weasel his way back into my life. I read his email, hoping to find some proof that he’s still talking to the girl he cheated on me with, the one he claims he hasn’t seen since I dumped him. He even went so far as to explain how he’s “off women” in general right now, and all he does is work and visit his kid.

So not only do I find correspondence between him & C., I find no less than 10 responses to personal ads on craigslist in his Sent folder. And they weren’t regular personal ads if you know what I mean. One bragged about his “great” massages, another cheerily professed a love of “licken on tits.” Almost all pointed out his “tite body.” He never was much of a speller.

At that point I had to run to the bathroom cause I have a sensitive stomach.

When I got back from the bathroom, I decided to just finish reading C.’s emails, sign out and get started on the business of being totally fucking weirded out that my ex is trying to get laid via the internet.

Until I got to the message that said, “I wish I was wearing your sweatshirt right now, changing the smell of it.” A few days before I dumped him, I called him out because his sweatshirt had developed a very strong scent of body odor and Victoria’s Secret lotion.

So you wish you were “changing the smell of it?” Well I wish I was forwarding all of those personal ad responses to you right now, which will no doubt change the smell of whatever you’re wearing when you read them.

So I did. All of ’em. And a request to “meet up” with a girl who wrote back. As a finishing touch I sent one last email entitled “Merry Christmas!” in which I explained that the dumb asshole had left his account signed in, and this is what I found. I pointed out that he has repeatedly told me that he has not had any contact with any girls, and definitely not her. Lastly, I let her know that I would’ve broken up with him anyways, but since she chose to involve herself so directly in our relationship’s demise, here you go. You are in like Flynn.

She will not want to read them all but she will. Some will sting more than others but they’ll ultimately blur into a big pile of hurt feelings. It will probably mirror what I felt when I discovered their lengthy text conversations.

What she chooses to do with this information is her problem. I’m sure she’ll get the I-was-in-a-bad-place talk. Wouldn’t be surprised if she bought it. But she’ll keep the gift receipt, she won’t forget.

I did/do feel bad about such an intense violation of his privacy. While considering the ethical implications of the situation, I also considered him stealing my money, hanging out with C. behind my back, lying to me about both, and as the grand finale I imagined him doing a line of coke that my money had inadvertently purchased. Besides, he left his email signed in on my computer. I’m fucking telling you, something up there likes me. No bad karma here.



SF Chron finally came through
June 10, 2008, 9:39 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags:

Highly entertaining article on the practice of ghost voting in the capitol.

Original is here: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/06/08/INFS114789.DTL

CAPITOL CHAOS / AN ABSENCE OF ACCOUNTABILITY

Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi had no intention of voting for AB2818, a bill that the Castro Valley Democrat feared could undermine its stated goal of protecting affordable housing. But on May 28, she nearly approved it – without her knowledge, and without her presence on the Assembly floor.

As the roll call began, Hayashi was engaged in a budget subcommittee meeting on the Capitol’s fourth floor. Suddenly, two floors below, the light next to her name on the big electronic voting board in the Assembly chamber turned green, a “yes” vote.

Seconds later, it turned red.

Then green.

Red.

Green.

Finally, after 22 seconds of alternating colors, the space next to Hayashi’s name went blank.

While there are conflicting accounts of exactly what caused this dizzying sequence, this much is clear: Two people had their hands on Hayashi’s voting switches during the roll call on AB2818 – and one was acting against her will.

“Ghost voting” was not the only disturbing episode as the Assembly took up 316 bills in the three days leading up to the deadline for measures to pass their house of origin. In the frenzied treadmill, there was little or no debate on most matters, important bills died when legislators failed to vote, and votes were being cast for members without their express consent.

In the Hayashi case, eyewitnesses said her initial “yes” vote was cast by Assemblyman Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, an assistant majority floor leader who colleagues said had taken the liberty of voting for other missing members as bills were being rushed to beat the deadline.

“I don’t recall it, but I don’t deny it either,” de León said of allegations that he voted for Hayashi on AB2818. He added that deadline-day floor sessions can get “chaotic and wacky,” with “hundreds and hundreds of bills moving through.”

Assemblywoman Loni Hancock, a Berkeley Democrat who knew of Hayashi’s concerns with the bill, acknowledged intervening to prevent her colleague from being a potentially decisive vote for passage of a bill she opposed.

“I didn’t even know who pushed the green button originally,” Hancock said. “I was riveted on the screen, I was doing a million things …but I saw the green light go on … and I knew Mary didn’t want to be the 41st vote.”

The bill ultimately passed with two votes to spare, 43 to 32, with Hayashi among the five nonvoters. Assemblywoman Cathleen Gagliani, D-Stockton, then pulled the key out of her desk mate Hayashi’s voting station.

This extraordinary tug-of-war was in brazen defiance of Assembly Rule 104, which states, “A member may not operate the voting switch of any other member.”

Outside of the Capitol, voting for someone else is a felony subject to up to three years’ imprisonment. In the Assembly, where the stakes of a single vote are significantly higher, it is a rule that is widely ignored. Members routinely ask their desk mates to cover for them when they are away from the floor, usually with instructions on how to vote on specific bills. But if they leave their keys in their voting machines while away from the desk, they risk having a party-line voting recorded, whether they like it or not – as Hayashi discovered to her chagrin.

“It sounds like what is kind of the normal way we go about things got out of control,” newly minted Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, D-Baldwin Vista (Los Angeles County), said in a phone interview Thursday, when asked about reports of ghost voting, including the Hayashi incident. She promised to confront the matter at a closed-door Democratic caucus this week. “I hate that it had to come out this way, but it raised a red flag and I’m going to follow up.”

De León acknowledged that he voted for his fellow Democrats at times, to help keep bills moving toward the 41 votes required for passage, but he emphasized that he would never knowingly cast a vote against a colleague’s wishes. In the case of AB2818, de León said he was certain that he never discussed the bill with Hayashi, and was not aware of her position on it.

Asked about the ethics of voting for a colleague without specific knowledge of his or her position on a bill, de León noted that a legislator who did not like the way his or her vote was cast could later change it for the record. House rules allow an Assembly member to change his or her vote after a bill has been passed or rejected – up to the end of the day’s session – as long as it does not alter the outcome.

“It’s not like it’s etched in stone,” de León said. “It’s like you go to your ATM machine – same thing – change your vote.”

But not all legislators are eager to cast a yes or no vote, especially on the tough issues. In a practice that has been the focus of a series of Chronicle editorials since June 2002, many important bills were rejected when a potentially decisive number of Assembly members failed to vote.

For the nonvoters, “taking a walk” is the equivalent of voting “no,” because passage requires a majority of all 80 Assembly members. There is a pattern to this walking: In the vast majority of cases, the bill involves something average Californians care about – often consumer or environmental protections – while powerful corporate interests stand in opposition. Legislators prefer to euphemistically refer to this practice of avoiding what they were elected to do – Take a stand! Make tough decisions! Vote! – as “laying off” a bill.

“This practice of laying off is one of my pet peeves in the Capitol,” said Assemblyman Jared Huffman, a first-term San Rafael Democrat. “It’s not a courtesy, it’s not some lesser vote – it’s a no.”

Nonvoters delivered a death blow to Huffman’s AB3011, which would have required California cell-phone companies to get a customer’s consent before sharing his or her financial information with third parties. Landline companies are already subject to such privacy regulations.

Huffman said the AT&T lobbyists were out in force. They were aggressive, they were relentless and they were effective. “There are some powerful folks with an awful lot of influence in the Capitol,” he observed. In the end, 22 members failed to vote, including some Democrats who might be expected to support a consumer privacy issue (see chart).

“AT&T never loses,” said Lenny Goldberg, who lobbies for consumer and privacy issues. “They don’t always win, but they never lose.”

The telecom giant also prevailed in the Senate with the passive assistance of nonvoters. Sen. Sheila Kuehl’s SB1423 would have prohibited phone companies from charging an extra fee for unlisted numbers, which the Santa Monica Democrat rightly cast as a privacy issue. “They (telecom lobbyists) really went to the wall to stop this,” said Goldberg, who was working for the measure. At one point, they assigned one lobbyist to each member of the Appropriations Committee. On May 27, SB1423 died in the Senate on a 16-to-16 tie, with 8 nonvoters.

For the health insurance industry, particularly Blue Cross, target No. 1 in the Assembly was AB2805, authored by Fiona Ma in response to complaints from doctors and patients about the cumbersome process for reimbursement from preferred provider organizations. In too many cases, Ma said, the patients were, in effect, being asked to serve as billing administrators.

More than a dozen lobbyists were working the bill outside the Assembly floor as the deadline loomed. Many lawmakers waffled in the week before the final vote. On May 29, it was defeated: 30 voting yes, 16 voting no and 34 not voting.

“It just shows the power of the insurance industry,” said Ma, a San Francisco Democrat.

If there is an overarching theme to the chaos of the last week in May – the ghost voting, the walks, the switched votes without footprints – it is the extent to which the systems in Sacramento allow politicians to avoid accountability. What Californians see in the official record – even in the live telecasts of proceedings on the California Channel – can be deceptive.

For example, the video of the May 28 vote on AB2818 would suggest that Hayashi was racked with indecision: green, red, green, red, green, then blank. In fact, she was opposed to the bill. Her staffers, who knew her position, watched the office TV monitor with puzzlement as the lights flickered between green and red. They bolted up to the fourth floor to alert her that something was amiss.

“How do you think that makes me feel?” Hayashi said, when asked about the vote. “The California Channel is totally airing this. They’re probably thinking: ‘What is wrong with Hayashi: Why can’t she decide on this bill?’ ”

Hancock, who rescued Hayashi from a vote that would have been a double-cross to public-housing leaders in her district who were assured she would oppose 2818, said this was not the first time a key left in the voting machine resulted in a foul vote. Hancock herself was the victim when she was a freshman.

What is rare is for members to acknowledge such transgressions. The outrage over the infamous 2005 attempt by Sen. Carole Migden to cast a vote for one of her bills when it was in the Assembly was an aberration. When the violation is among members in the same house, within the same party, the pressure to close ranks is intense. At least one other Assembly Democrat privately told colleagues that he was the victim of a ghost vote against his will in the last week of May. He declined to be interviewed.

“I don’t think in any way, shape or form anything malicious was intended here,” Speaker Bass said Thursday, at which point she said she had yet to discuss the allegations with de León or Majority Leader Alberto Torrico, D-Fremont.

Torrico, whose new job is to oversee floor action, insisted by phone Thursday, “I’m not aware of any vote being cast against the will of a member. This is the first I’ve heard of it.”

Torrico added that he believed Assembly members were in compliance with “the spirit of the rule” if they give consent to their colleagues to vote for them if they’re away from the floor.

It’s clear that the Assembly majority leader is not the only one who hasn’t read the plain language of the rule: Members must cast their own vote.

Ma, who was elected in 2006 and holds the leadership position of majority whip, said she did not know that the rules explicitly forbid voting for another member. She said the ruling Democrats have “an understanding” that members who don’t want people voting for them do not leave their keys in their voting station when they leave the floor.

“Some people don’t let other people vote for them because they’re in marginal seats and they have to be very careful about what they are voting for,” Ma said of her colleagues who keep their voting keys with them.

“It’s just amazing to me that they have these rules and they ignore them – what other body can do that?” said Bob Stern, president of the Center for Governmental Studies in Los Angeles and an author of the Political Reform Act of 1974. “When is the Legislature going to learn … that people are watching?”



tryin to catch me ridin dirrrrrrrrrrty
June 4, 2008, 2:13 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Went to the DMV today. The damage: $1500 and a suspended license. MotherFUCK. Hefty fines at the DMV have been a part of my life since 2005. Whatever. I never feel like paying parking tickets when they’re due, that’s stupid but I accept responsibility. At the DMV I felt funny so I gave myself the “This is three years of total disregard for the law catching up with you. GROW UP ALREADY!” pep talk. I have spent two out of the last three years rolling around in my four door rag without no tags and I never get pulled over (even though my music SO loud, I’m swangin). They get behind me tryin to check my tags, I look in the rearview and they smilin! THEY SMILIN!  Ok sorry. The difference between this year and years prior is that I stopped driving. My car sits for months at a time. I only use it for going to Oregon and occasionally the East Bay. And frankly, I was willing to take my chances. Unfortunately my job wants me legal. So, $1500 for occasional runs to the Capitol and Costco.