Friday, April 29, 2005

Abortion Fails to Kill Both Twins - Mother Sues Hospital

This is one incredible story about a “wrongful life” suit. What would it be like to grow up knowing your mother tried to have you killed and then sued the ‘hit-man’ who didn’t kill you like she’d planned?

Nice Surprises

Last night Kevin and I parted ways for the evening. He went to a Sacramento Rivercats (minor league baseball) game with several guy friends. He had a good time and came back home pretty pleased that he’d caught his first foul ball ever.

“All those games my dad took me to as a kid where I’d brought my glove and hoped and hoped I’d get one and it never happened,” Kevin reflected “Until now.”

Because it was the first foul ball of the game, he also got a bonus prize – a coupon for a free haircut. It’s a good thing because he really needs one. His regular barber (a.k.a., wife) has really been a slacker lately.

Last night I attended a surprise birthday party for a lady at my church. It was planned by her daughter, who did a great job. Some people have a special knack for planning parties. (Angela, you did good!) I was pleasantly surprised because I won the party game … and I never win those things. It was a game where we were each given various words (mine were “whiskers,” “dishwasher,” “hold,” etc.) and we had to write a themed poem out of them. In the end, everyone voted for the winner. And I won … ha! Although I’ve never really enjoyed reading poetry written by all the famous poets, I do periodically like to write stupid, random poetry myself … probably just for the challenge of it.


Last Wednesday was our second childbirth prep class. For those of you who are starting to get worried, let me assure you that I will not be giving you a play-by-play of all that we learn and do at these classes. But this week we did watch a recorded live-birth. And that’s worth mentioning, I think, for this reason: I’ve never seen anything so simultaneously amazing and gross – at the same time.

Kevin, in his imaginative mind, had pictured it to be a lot worse than what it was (I guess!) and so it was good for him to see it. Before this particular class he said he didn’t think he would want to cut the umbilical cord (I think he envisioned huge pliers and blood spurting everywhere) … but now I think he’s more open to the idea. MAYBE.

More on illegal immigration ...

So, Thursday Gov. Schwarzenegger praised the “Minuteman Campaign,” a group of volunteers who enforce federal laws regarding border control. And here’s the statement released by the leader of a Mexican American group: The governor's comments are "shameful" and "nothing short of base racism … I think we're seeing the real Arnold Schwarzenegger. The mask has now fallen," said Nativo V. Lopez, state national president of the Mexican American Political Assn. "Those of immigrant stock should have no illusions about what his real sentiments and feelings are toward them."

The ironic part is that Schwarzenegger IS an immigrant. But the difference between him and the people Mr. Lopez represents is that Schwarzenegger came here legally. And to allege that legal immigrants won’t understand Schwarzenegger’s sentiments is to insinuate that they’re ignorant and can’t understand the issues.

I had hoped there wouldn’t be any more outrageous comment in this article so I could just roll my eyes and dismiss it. But then it got worse …

The article states that nonprofit groups, such as Humane Borders and No More Deaths, provide water for [illegal] immigrants crossing the border. Federal wildlife officials have provided water stations in the desert for animals but have been criticized for not providing enough for people.

Schwarzenegger says: "What we're doing basically is, by not really securing the borders, we're saying: 'Look, here are the various water stations. Here are the places where you can cross the borders. Here is where we're going to help you.' The whole system is set up to really invite people to come in here illegally, and that has to stop."

But Enrique Morones, president of the Border Angels, an immigrant rights group, says: "I assure you, nobody is coming here for the water, and the stations we have set up by various organizations is a humanitarian effort.”


I’ve never heard anything so contradictory in all my life. Why on earth would water stations be purposefully placed in the middle of the desert if it’s certain no one is going to drink from them? And doesn’t the fact that Morones admits it’s a “humanitarian effort” clearly suggest that humans are going to benefit (i.e., drink) from these water stations?

The only consoling factor of this piece is that my friend Mike Spence of the CRA was quoted at the end. And Mike’s a really good guy.

Okay … The End (for now).

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Observations of a girl who’d like to change the world, if she could … Instead, she blogs …

I thought it was odd to see several lobbyists and staff members wearing denim jeans today in committee until I saw a legislator also in this causal attire. At that point, I figured there had to be a memo floating around out there somewhere. And I hadn’t gotten it. Later I asked one lobbyist what was going on. She said that the jeans were being worn in protest of a ruling in 1999 by an Italian judge. The judge apparently said that a woman couldn’t have been the victim of rape because her jeans were too tight for anyone to take off but herself. So, every year on April 27 (“Denim Day California”), persons at the capitol – both men and women – don their jeans to criticize this injustice. As I sat in my chair, observing all the denim, I really wished I could’ve been in the loop on this one. Not only could I have joined the protest, I could have also been much more comfortable than I was.

The first bill heard this afternoon was to ban the sale of soft drinks on public high school campuses throughout the state. (It’s already been banned for lower grade levels.) It’s interesting to me that the same legislators who think high schoolers aren’t yet mature enough to decide what type of drink to purchase on campus (i.e., soda or 100% fruit juice) argue that they ARE mature enough to decide, completely on their own, whether to undergo a major medical procedure to abort their child.

The next interesting bill would require that all vending machines in the state be filled with at least 50% healthy foods. The opposition to the bill was a guy who is legally blind and crippled and makes a living operating vending machines. He said: “This bill takes away my living. I can only sell what consumers are willing to buy.” He went on to say that they “test” the various snacks in the machines to see what “moves.” The things that don’t move have to be discarded and they, obviously, get no profit. He, as a vending machine operator, knows that the type of people who buy items through vending machines would, generally, much rather have a Twinkie or Snickers than a bag of carrots or soy chips. If half of his vending machine has to be occupied with health food, not only will he lose profits from the rest of the items not being able to be marketed, he will also lose profits from the health foods going bad and having to be discarded when they are not sold. After the arguments were made, the democrat-controlled committee voted against him. They apparently think that having more health food “available” will make California a healthier state, despite the pleas of the vendors to be left alone. After the vote, the crippled, blind man hobbled away from the table, down the ramp, shaking his head and wondering how on earth he’s going to feed his family next year. I, sitting about a hundred feet away, was dumbfounded by what I’d just seen. How can the party who alleges it’s the party of compassion turn away this gentleman who a) made completely commonsense arguments and b) is just trying to make a living? I don’t think I’ve ever felt so bad for anyone in all my life. (Later on in the afternoon, the committee chair – a democrat who voted against the crippled, blind man – was chomping loudly on a bag of red licorice. This was also an interesting observation, to me. Why didn’t she grab the bag of raisins instead? After all, that's what she expects everyone else to do.)

The last bill, that’s worth mentioning, would create a universal health care system in California. As the supporters of the bill lined up, I thought to myself: “Um, yeah, that’s exactly what you’re going to be doing when you’re critically ill and trying to get in to see a doctor, if this bill passes.” How on earth can anyone who’s ever been to the DMV want the government to control our healthcare system? Geesh. I just don’t understand these people.

Okay, I’m done complaining for now … I need to go home and put on a pair of jeans.

Parenting = “Coaching”?

Lately I’ve been madly running around to various legislative hearings to testify on an assortment of bills. Yesterday, there was the gay marriage bill, which (no surprise) passed from the Judiciary Committee. There were also several other bills, one dealing with protecting the rights of religious foster parents to dictate morality in their homes. The opponents of this bill are afraid that religious foster parents will be too restrictive with the children in their care. They don’t think that the foster parents should be able to impose their set of moral standards on children. Basically, their view is that parents are there to affirm the child’s behavior unless it’s against the law. So, it would be okay for a parent to tell their child to not smoke (as a minor) but it would not be okay for a parent to tell Johnny he can’t cross-dress. One opponent even said that a parent shouldn’t be able to forbid a child from swearing in their home, since that would be placing a moral judgment on what’s appropriate for the child to say. (See how out-of-hand this “tolerance” business has gotten?)

To these people, parenting is about “coaching.” It’s not about being an authority figure for your child. And it’s certainly not about directing the moral upbringing of your child. Unfortunately, insane laws in California that target religious foster parents are driving many good people out of the system. People of faith, who just want to open their homes to a needy child and show them love (which often involves “loving discipline”), are being blacklisted.

And today … I’m testifying against a bill that would force pharmacists in California to dispense contraceptives and emergency contraceptives against their moral or religious convictions. A handful of other states have “freedom of conscience” laws that protect religious pharmacists. California, of course, would be the first state to compel a religious pharmacist to violate his/her conscience. Don’t you ever buy the pro-choice rhetoric. The pro-choicers are not for “choice,” they’re for abortion. If they were for “choice,” they would respect a pharmacist's right to choose too.

The truth revealed ...

Kevin and I have been on this walking frenzy lately. (I think our neighbors will soon believe we’re maniacs because we’ve been walking so much.) This morning I told Kev I needed to stretch before our walk and then proceeded to bend over and touch the ground with my hands while standing. He looked at me in disbelief and said, “If you can do that, I think you can certainly tie your own shoes.” Up until that point I’d been getting away with having him think that my swollen belly was preventing my shoe-tying capabilities. So, he had been dutifully tying my tennis shoes for me for the past several weeks. And, I admit, I had been enjoying this little service. All it took was one little slip this morning … now it looks like I’ll be on my own again! Oh well …

Monday, April 25, 2005

Strong Words

One word liberals love to throw around a lot is the word "hate." In fact, until I started tuning-in more to liberal rhetoric, I was oblivious to the world being filled with so much "hate."

Aside from the fact that liberals don't think it's possible for a person to be both "loving" and philosophically opposed to homosexual marriage (i.e., you're always hateful if you oppose gay rights), the most recent name-calling assaults seem to center on illegal immigration. If you oppose it, you're (naturally) a very "hateful" person ... and racist, to boot.

Here's a recent quote from the speaker of the California Assembly, in response to Schwarzenegger's criticism of illegal immigration (and his subsequent withdrawal):

"I don't know why he said it, but I'm very pleased he has totally removed himself from those folks who espouse that kind of hatred."

Frankly, I think it's rather "hateful" (I'll use their magic word) to undermine the struggles of legal immigrants who worked hard, and waited long, to come to this country by rewarding illegal aliens, who cheated the system, with all the rights of citizenship.

If someone is dense enough to not realize the difference between illegal immigration and racism, then heaven help them. Or, do they realize the difference but then proceed to use the emotional buzzwords simply to gain sympathy for their cause from the ignorant masses? Many times I suspect it's the latter.

It's these hate-calling people who preach tolerance (as they define it) as the greatest virtue. Interestingly enough, I've found that these are the most intolerant people on the planet. As soon as you venture to disagree with them, you're labeled "hateful."

It doesn't make any sense until you realize that, for them, tolerance is a one-way street going (of course) in their direction.

Friday, April 22, 2005

What's Your Type?

I used to go to church with a guy who has a business using the Myers-Briggs "personality types" to help pro-sports teams recruit players. (Cool job, eh?) The theory is that some "brain types" (as he calls them) are better in certain sports than others. And my friend is very successful in what he does.

When I first met this guy, he told me all about myself, even though he didn't know me from Adam. After that, I was hooked. I read his book ... and other books on the subject. I found it all completely fascinating. (To see his website, go here.)

Recently I found a website that is categorizing blogs by personality type. I hope it grows 'cuz right now I'm the only ENTP on there ... and I think it would be interesting to meet more bloggers with my type. (TypeBlogs website link.)

Although some people allege that typing puts people in a "box," my take on it is that typing is very helpful to understand a person. For instance, my mom's type is almost completely opposite from mine. (She’s ESFJ.) Understanding her type has helped me to appreciate her more.

If you want to take the test - which is not always 100% accurate, I might add - you can go here: Jung Typology Test.

Lastly, a caveat: You should remember that there are both biological and environmental/sociological factors that make a person the way they are.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Child Birth Prep 101

I love people. And I love meeting new people. So maybe that’s why I was excited to begin child birth preparation classes last night.

On the way there, Kevin said, “I hope this isn’t going to be one touchy-feely support group session after another. If that’s what it’s all about, I’m not going to like it.” Apparently he had been talking to his buddy Matt earlier in the day and had been told that, when Matt and his wife went through this type of class, the guys and gals were divided into groups and the guys were asked to write on a chalk board all the things they were excited and nervous about. Apparently, Kevin isn’t into that sort of thing …

In the end, it was better than he expected. Although … they did ask all of the nine couples present to go around the room and share information. One of the things they asked for is if any of us were concerned about anything in particular. Kevin (I was proud of him) volunteered that he’s concerned about me being in pain (what a great guy … so empathetic!) and he’s also concerned about the “grossness factor.” As soon as he said this, the rest of the guys burst out with laughter as if they were relieved some other guy was courageous enough to say what they all were thinking.

So, yes, it was a good time.

Oh, and I’d be remiss if I failed to mention Rob. It always seems like there’s someone in the group who’s the class clown. In this particular group, it’s Rob. Most of the women in the room were concerned about the “unknown” and the “pain.” When his wife also stated she was concerned about the pain, Rob blurted: “I don’t see what the big deal is. You know, like … Sacagawea.” He then went on to talk about all the women throughout history who have squatted in the fields, popped their babies out, and then kept on working. (Like my dad says, they must not make women like they used to!)

When it came time for Rob to share what he was most concerned about, this is what he had to say: “All the pillows on my side of the bed are … GONE. When will I get my pillows back?”

[Note: If I were to ask this question, it wouldn’t be funny. But Rob has this certain demeanor that makes everything he says funny. Know what I mean?]

Even though Rob is a little edgy, we still like him. And it’s nice to have someone in class who is so honest and down-to-earth.

Concerning the whole pain thing … I’m still not sure what I’m going to do. I was opting for a natural birth experience but now I’m second guessing that decision. I mean, what’s the point as long as it doesn’t harm the baby or substantially pose serious threats of harm to myself? At first I was thinking that so many women throughout history have done it naturally (i.e., no pain meds), so why shouldn’t I? But then I realized how flawed that reasoning is. It’s like saying that “so many women throughout history have gone without microwaves, so why should I use one”? If technology has made food preparation more careless … and I avail myself of this blessed technology on a daily basis … why shouldn’t I permit technology to make my labor and delivery less painful?

Anyway … it’s something I’ll still need to mull over a bit.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Entertainment and Conversation

We really enjoyed our visit with Kev’s parents. One thing that we did a lot of was engage in conversation – sometimes about important things; other times about nothing in particular.

In this entertainment-charged world we live in, I often think that many people have lost their ability to enjoy simple things … like plain, down-to-earth conversation. (And with the advent of the internet, e.g., things like blogs – though we love them dearly, it’s becoming less necessary to engage in face-to-face communication).

One thing Kevin has commented on is how certain people we know from southern California (where I grew up) always appear to need “something to do.” They have to be on-the-go; they have to be entertained; they have to be amused. They can’t simply sit down on the couch and kill five hours talking about nothing … and actually have fun doing it.

But it’s hard to blame them when they are simply a byproduct of their culture. That’s the norm for them. In fact, until I moved to Virginia and, later, married a guy from the Midwest, I also was oblivious to anything different.

And it truly is amazing how different the culture is in California compared to many other places in this country. California is much more amusement-focused (and image-driven) … and it’s not hard to understand why. There’s a lot to do here, especially in the big cities. California natives are used to living fast-paced lives and so, when the opportunity presents itself, it’s counter-intuitive to just relax and enjoy simple times. The California culture encourages an entertainment mindset.

Once upon a time, this all seemed to be fine and good. But now that I've experienced "another way," I’m not so sure I like it.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Modern Love: Truly, Madly, Guiltily

Well, in my opinion, Ayelet Waldman should be Mother of the Year. The best thing I think a mom can do for her kids is love their father. How many of these other moms will be divorced (or, even worse, have a nonexistent relationship with their spouse) when their kids turn 18 because they neglect their husbands?

March 27, 2005
Truly, Madly, Guiltily

I HAVE been in many mothers' groups - Mommy and Me, Gymboree, Second-Time Moms - and each time, within three minutes, the conversation invariably comes around to the topic of how often mommy feels compelled to put out. Everyone wants to be reassured that no one else is having sex either. These are women who, for the most part, are comfortable with their bodies, consider themselves sexual beings. These are women who love their husbands or partners. Still, almost none of them are having any sex.

There are agreed upon reasons for this bed death. They are exhausted. It still hurts. They are so physically available to their babies - nursing, carrying, stroking - how could they bear to be physically available to anyone else?

But the real reason for this lack of sex, or at least the most profound, is that the wife's passion has been refocused. Instead of concentrating her ardor on her husband, she concentrates it on her babies. Where once her husband was the center of her passionate universe, there is now a new sun in whose orbit she revolves. Libido, as she once knew it, is gone, and in its place is all-consuming maternal desire. There is absolute unanimity on this topic, and instant reassurance.

Except, that is, from me.

I am the only woman in Mommy and Me who seems to be, well, getting any. This could fill me with smug well-being. I could sit in the room and gloat over my wonderful marriage. I could think about how our sex life - always vital, even torrid - is more exciting and imaginative now than it was when we first met. I could check my watch to see if I have time to stop at Good Vibrations to see if they have any exciting new toys. I could even gaze pityingly at the other mothers in the group, wishing that they too could experience a love as deep as my own.

But I don't. I am far too busy worrying about what's wrong with me. Why, of all the women in the room, am I the only one who has not made the erotic transition a good mother is supposed to make? Why am I the only one incapable of placing her children at the center of her passionate universe?

WHEN my first daughter was born, my husband held her in his hands and said, "My God, she's so beautiful."

I unwrapped the baby from her blankets. She was average size, with long thin fingers and a random assortment of toes. Her eyes were close set, and she had her father's hooked nose. It looked better on him.

She looked like a newborn baby, red and scrawny, blotchy faced and mewling. I don't remember what I said to my husband. Actually I remember very little of my Percocet- and Vicodin-fogged first few days of motherhood except for someone calling and squealing, "Aren't you just completely in love?" And of course I was. Just not with my baby.

I do love her. But I'm not in love with her. Nor with her two brothers or sister. Yes, I have four children. Four children with whom I spend a good part of every day: bathing them, combing their hair, sitting with them while they do their homework, holding them while they weep their tragic tears. But I'm not in love with any of them. I am in love with my husband.

It is his face that inspires in me paroxysms of infatuated devotion. If a good mother is one who loves her child more than anyone else in the world, I am not a good mother. I am in fact a bad mother. I love my husband more than I love my children.

An example: I often engage in the parental pastime known as God Forbid. What if, God forbid, someone were to snatch one of my children? God forbid. I imagine what it would feel like to lose one or even all of them. I imagine myself consumed, destroyed by the pain. And yet, in these imaginings, there is always a future beyond the child's death. Because if I were to lose one of my children, God forbid, even if I lost all my children, God forbid, I would still have him, my husband.

But my imagination simply fails me when I try to picture a future beyond my husband's death. Of course I would have to live. I have four children, a mortgage, work to do. But I can imagine no joy without my husband.

I don't think the other mothers at Mommy and Me feel this way. I know they would be absolutely devastated if they found themselves widowed. But any one of them would sacrifice anything, including their husbands, for their children.

Can my bad motherhood be my husband's fault? Perhaps he just inspires more complete adoration than other husbands. He cooks, cleans, cares for the children at least 50 percent of the time.

If the most erotic form of foreplay to a mother of a small child is, as I've heard some women claim, loading the dishwasher or sweeping the floor, then he's a master of titillation.

He's handsome, brilliant and successful. But he can also be scatterbrained, antisocial and arrogant. He is a bad dancer, and he knows far too much about Klingon politics and the lyrics to Yes songs. All in all, he's not that much better than other men. The fault must be my own.

I am trying to remember those first days and weeks after giving birth. I know that my sexual longing for my husband took a while to return. I recall not wanting to make love. I did not even want to cuddle. At times I felt that if my husband's hand were to accidentally brush against my breast while reaching for the saltshaker, I would saw it off with the butter knife.

Even now I am not always in the mood. By the time the children go to bed, I am as drained as any mother who has spent her day working, car pooling, building Lego castles and shopping for the precisely correct soccer cleat. I am also a compulsive reader. Put together fatigue and bookwormishness, and you could have a situation in which nobody ever gets any. Except that when I catch a glimpse of my husband from the corner of my eye - his smooth, round shoulders, his bright-blue eyes through the magnification of his reading glasses - I fold over the page of my novel.

Sometimes I think I am alone in this obsession with my spouse. Sometimes I think my husband does not feel as I do. He loves the children the way a mother is supposed to. He has put them at the center of his world. But he is a man and thus possesses a strong libido. Having found something to usurp me as the sun of his universe does not mean he wants to make love to me any less.

And yet, he says I am wrong. He says he loves me as I love him. Every so often we escape from the children for a few days. We talk about our love, about how much we love each other's bodies and brains, about the things that make us happy in our marriage.

During the course of these meandering and exhilarating conversations, we touch each other, we start to make love, we stop.

And afterward my husband will say that we, he and I, are the core of what he cherishes, that the children are satellites, beloved but tangential.

He seems entirely unperturbed by loving me like this. Loving me more than his children does not bother him. It does not make him feel like a bad father. He does not feel that loving me more than he loves them is a kind of infidelity.

And neither, I suppose, should I. I should not use that wretched phrase "bad mother." At the very least, I should allow that, if nothing else, I am good enough. I do know this: When I look around the room at the other mothers in the group, I know that I would not change places with any of them.

I wish some learned sociologist would publish a definitive study of marriages where the parents are desperately, ardently in love, where the parents love each other even more than they love the children. It would be wonderful if it could be established, once and for all, that the children of these marriages are more successful, happier, live longer and have healthier lives than children whose mothers focus their desires and passions on them.

BUT even in the likely event that this study is not forthcoming, even in the event that I face a day of reckoning in which my children, God forbid, become heroin addicts or, God forbid, are unable to form decent attachments and wander from one miserable and unsatisfying relationship to another, or, God forbid, other things too awful even to imagine befall them, I cannot regret that when I look at my husband I still feel the same quickening of desire that I felt 12 years ago when I saw him for the first time, standing in the lobby of my apartment building, a bouquet of purple irises in his hands.

And if my children resent having been moons rather than the sun? If they berate me for not having loved them enough? If they call me a bad mother?

I will tell them that I wish for them a love like I have for their father. I will tell them that they are my children, and they deserve both to love and be loved like that. I will tell them to settle for nothing less than what they saw when they looked at me, looking at him.

Do What Is Beautiful

This weekend Kevin’s parents were in town to attend two of his concerts. He sang Carmina Burana … twice. As always, his chorale does a magnificent job. For those of you unfamiliar with Carmina, it’s a series of pagan poems written in the 12th Century. One “new” thing was having ballet dancers appear on stage sporadically to highlight some of the dramatic moments of the piece. The conductor also arranged for subtitling for the first time. The text of Carmina, unlike the other (sacred) pieces sung by the chorale, was somewhat crude in various places. But the music itself was incredibly moving and completely inspiring.

Kevin’s mom remarked, after the first concert, that she is glad that Kevin can “not only do what is right and good, but also what is beautiful” by engaging in the Arts. I thought that was a very rousing insight. After all … life would be so bland and dull without the color and spice of art. God not only gives us beauty but also enables us to do beautifully.

Friday, April 15, 2005


I’m starting to work from home on Fridays now. There are many advantages for me doing this but, at least right now, the thing I’m most grateful for is saving an hour and a half of commuting. And so far this new work schedule has worked out well. Last Friday I was able to focus and get a lot done.

Several years ago I remember talking to an appellate attorney who worked from home. She said the hardest thing for her was the fact that she had to learn to ignore the dirty dishes sitting in the sink, and all of the other housework piling up, in order to work on her briefs. Hmm … I don’t think that will be a problem for me. I’m always looking for a good excuse to put off the dishes.

Yesterday Kevin had a hearing in the Bay and I went with him. We left Wednesday evening and didn’t get back until last night. On the way home, we listened to the Michael Savage radio show. Because I don’t really care for any of the other radio hosts that broadcast during that time of day (typically my drive home from work), I often tend to listen to Savage. He gets really annoying sometimes – especially his voice when he goes on a yelling rampage (he’s from the Bronx) – but I often find him to be very amusing. So, like a bad habit, he’s hard to shake, and I continue to listen to him. Recently I’ve been feeling guilty I listen to him so much. If he can so easily grate on my steel nerves, then I wonder how badly he upsets my child. In fact, my worst fear (lately) is that my child will be born knowing the voices of three people – me, Kevin, and Michael Savage. Ugh. But because I can’t stand being bored in the car, I continue to tune-in.

And my only consolation is that, now, my child will be relieved of hearing Savage at least one day a week … those blessed Fridays.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Having Your Cake and Eating It Too

I know this is “old news” but I’ve barely had time to eat, sleep, and groom lately, let alone blog. So, now that I have a second, I thought I’d take this opportunity to state what I think is a huge hypocrisy. And it all stems from the Charles and Camilla brouhaha. I realize that a lot of people could care less about Charles and Camilla. To make my point, I was trying to talk about it with Kevin in the car this morning (as we carpooled to work) and I could tell the whole saga just wasn’t exactly his cup of English tea. His eyes started glazing over – and that’s a dangerous thing when you’re driving 75mph on the freeway.

But here goes anyway … This is a blurb I found on the BBC website:

“In the eyes of the Church of England, both Charles and Camilla are adulterers who must carry some blame for the breakdown of their first marriages. They knew each other long before Charles met Diana, and Mrs. Parker Bowles' husband is still alive. So they cannot be married in church. The solution offered to them, as to many others, was to marry in a civil ceremony and then have their union blessed in a religious service.” (Go here to read the rest, if you care.)

This, to me, is a perfect illustration of following the “letter of the law” and ignoring the “spirit of the law.” If a church feels it cannot perform a wedding, how can they justify blessing it? Doesn’t it all boil down to the same thing (which is approval)?

I’m not arguing that Charles isn’t entitled to move on with his life. It’s obvious that he and Camilla are perfectly suited for each other. You can tell he loves and adores Camilla with the core of his very soul … and apparently this has been the case for three decades. You can see it in his eyes. Unlike the photos of him and Diana, when he’s with Camilla, he seems at peace with the world. Camilla completes him. What he should have done was marry her in the first place. But he didn’t. And the Church of England needed to make up its mind and either refuse to marry him or bless him OR decide it’s okay and do both. But, instead, the Church of England decided it wanted to have its cake and eat it too. And I’m still trying to wrap my mind around the madness of it all.

Lunch on Arnold

Today there was a big pro-Arnold rally at the capitol. When I heard about it, I wasn’t exactly motivated to get out of my seat and walk three blocks just to see the body-builder, turned actor, turned politician.

But then … I heard that they were giving away free lunches.

For some people (e.g., Kevin), food is not a motivating factor in their lives. For other people (e.g., Amy), food will make them move mountains and swim shark infested rivers. So … pretty soon I found myself at the steps of the capitol listening to a bunch of pro-Arnold rhetoric.

Arnold is a good governor insofar as he has some excellent ideas for fiscally salvaging this mess-of-a-state. And he’s willing to stand up to the special interests. And, let’s not forget that he’s “hip.” Like a friend of mine said, there aren’t too many people who could ride around the state in a hummer talking about pension-plan reform and make it sound "cool" (or at least "palatable" to the common man). But, somehow, Arnold pulls it off.

What I don’t like about Arnold is the fact that he’s in bed with the Kennedy family (literally) on all of the social issues that I care about most. But, let’s not talk about that right now …

The free lunch ended up being a hot dog. (I should have guessed.) You know, I honestly can’t remember the last time I’ve eaten a hot dog. Maybe ten years? And, just in case you care to know, I don’t feel badly attending his rally just for the free lunch because I did end up signing five of his initiatives. So, at least in a small way, I contributed to the good cause.

Oh, and Tom Arnold, the actor, was also there. He (a “proud democrat”) made some inflammatory remark about how you know you have a good governor when he can honk off both the extreme left and the extreme right. And then he added, “Sorry Rush.” This statement was interesting only considering the fact that most conservatives wouldn’t think of Rush as “extreme right.” What I happened to know (that Tom Arnold didn’t know) was many of the people I saw in the crowd are farther right than Rush. And most of the core activists in the GOP party are farther right than Rush. It was a major faux pas. But Tom’s from Hollywood … so we don’t expect much from him.

Monday, April 11, 2005


Right now is a really busy time at work for me … I’m looking forward to the “rush” of the legislative season being over (already) … but that probably won’t be for some time. Tomorrow I’m testifying at a hearing against the legalization of physician-assisted suicide (PAS) in California. It just so happens that the organization I work for is also conducting a “Citizens Lobby Day” tomorrow. So, basically, we’re going to take a bunch of people with us to the PAS hearing, and then go back to our meeting-place, do our regular seminar, and then go lobby for a while. It’s going to be an insane!

Anyway … I’m not going to blog for long (although I miss blogging when I’m really busy at work) because my eyes have been glued to my computer for almost the past eleven hours and things are starting to appear hazy … ugh.

Probably the most fun thing we did this past weekend was go to a co-ed baby shower for a friend. I’m a freak when it comes to party games … I like them all! At this shower, we were all blind-folded and had to taste various baby foods and guess which ones were which. It was quite hysterical, actually. As I sat next to Kevin, ready to be blindfolded, I said to him, “Doesn’t this make you fondly remember those childhood birthday parties?” Anyway, it was nice to go back in time … That’s the problem with being a kid – all you want to do is grow-up and you don’t realize, at the time, how good you actually have it!

I also spent quite a while on a house project and later found out that all my time (and frustration) was for naught when Kevin had to come home (after helping some friends move) and re-do the entire project! But … that’s life … I guess.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Paint, Courts, Life, and Death

Last night we finished painting the “nursery” … except for one small thing. And, before I get yelled at … yes, I realize that some people say pregnant women shouldn’t be around paint. But I did my independent research and decided that the risks with latex paint are practically nonexistent, especially in a well-ventilated room, so I went ahead and did it anyway. It only took two evenings, fortunately (it’s a small room). I started the project by myself on Monday night while Kevin was at his choral rehearsal. When Kevin got home at around 10:30, I was covered in paint. It was in my hair, on my nose, on my arms and legs, clothes, and even under my bare feet. Kevin scratched his head, in complete puzzlement at how I could manage to make such a mess. What can I say? For me, painting is a total-body experience.

Today Kevin is down in L.A. because his boss is arguing, before the California Supreme Court, that the California Coastal Commission is unconstitutional. This is a landmark case and Kev’s firm has already won at both the trial and appellate court levels. It should be interesting to see what happens … If the Commission is ruled unconstitutional, all of its decisions, since its inception, will be null and void. And that would have incredible repercussions in this state with seemingly endless miles of coastline.

Yesterday I was nearly killed (no joke or exaggeration) as I walked several blocks downtown from my office to my car. The signal for my crosswalk had turned green and I began to walk across the street. A taxi-van driver, planning to make a left turn across my path, was daydreaming (or something?) and the car behind him honked for him to wake up and move on. He then hit the gas to make his left turn, without first looking to see if any pedestrians were crossing (i.e., yours truly). You know how you’ve seen those movies (e.g., Home Alone, Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood, etc.) where a car has come within inches of a pedestrian before suddenly screeching to a halt? Well, that was me yesterday. When I saw the van coming my direction, my panicked instinct was to move backwards rather than keep on moving toward the curb. I think I probably ran backwards about four feet when the van finally stopped about two feet from where I stood. It’s a good thing a) the driver finally saw me and b) I had moved backward a few feet. What’s most comforting is that God protected me (and the baby) yesterday. He is good!

On the street corner where my death almost occurred is a little sidewalk café where several persons were drinking their afternoon coffee. During the whole episode, as my life flashed before my eyes, I could hear several people screaming. Obviously, they had seen what they thought would be the demise of a hapless, pregnant woman. After the incident was over, the taxi-driver rolled his eyes and drove on (never stopped) and I continued walking to my car. By the time I reached the curb by the café, the shock of it all had vanished and, because of the released tension (and definitely the hormones), I began to involuntarily shake with sobs. Although I hoped no one at the café saw me crying, I knew it was inevitable. This big gruff guy, smoking a cigarette, tried to console me by retorting, “Those d--- crazy taxi drivers!” Even though it wasn’t the most graceful thing to say, I’m sure he did his best and I really appreciated his kind attempt to calm and cheer me.

Lastly, I learned yesterday that “fetus” means “little one” in Latin. It’s ironic that pro-abortionists won’t use the phrase “abort a baby” but insist on the phrase “abort a fetus,” which essentially means to kill a little one. Wow.

In the same genre, but concerning fetal movement, thus far I’ve been feeling these punching, kick-boxing moves that the baby loves to wage against the sides of my uterus. Over the past week, however, I’ve started to feel these deliberate "rolling" motions when I put my hand to my abdomen. Maybe I’m just being optimistic and simplistic, but it feels like my baby is “playing” with my hand and responding to my touch. And even if s/he isn’t, it’s nice to dream … Like Kevin says, I have the ability to convince myself of anything I want to believe in.

Friday, April 01, 2005

"April Fool's!"

You didn’t think I’d forget about this most-important holiday, did you? If you’re scrounging around for some ideas, here are A Few “Family Fun” Suggestions

And, for all you chefs out there, here are some ways you can have fun with your family at the dinner table.

Lastly, here are the alleged Top 100 April Fool’s Day Hoaxes of All Time.