Saturday, December 26, 2009
Friday, December 25, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
When reading the text, one should keep in mind her approach to textual interpretation. As any informed Christian knows, Bible verses can be manipulated to make a case for almost any kind of theological belief. Verses that seem to contradict that argument can be easily reconciled through a number of tactics, in order to maintain one's stance. The assumption that many theological hucksters try to foist on an unsuspecting public is that texts, like the Bible, interpret themselves. No research on anything outside the text is necessary in order to understand it. Although the Bible has many passages that can be plainly understood by any literate individual, if one is to grasp what the Bible says in-depth, it is simply impossible to do without being familiar with history, theology or what other parts of the Bible say. Blind proof-texting is not a sound approach to scriptural interpretation. But this is precisely the approach Ms. Arthur has taken. She isolates from their contexts whatever verses she produces, even to the point of contradicting herself.
Monday, December 07, 2009
Friday, December 04, 2009
Laurie is the birthday girl today, happy birthday to you!"
"We had a very lovely time, at your party, your birthday party.
The cake and ice-cream were just fine, at your party, your birthday party.
We hope next year, you'll ask us back -- we'll be here, you can count on that!
So thank you for a lovely time, I'll invite you to a party of mine!"
Both of these songs, preceded by the traditional "Happy Birthday" (which you already know, I'll wager, so I didn't feel the need to transcribe it for you), are sung at every birthday at my mom's house. This is part of the Donovan legacy; my grandparents sang these songs with their kids, and my mom taught them to us. When I've celebrated a birthday with Freddy's family, and these songs are not sung (because they don't know them), I feel something is missing.
Growing up in Chile, my mom always sang these songs with us. Even though they were in English. Now, we went to an English immersion school, so our classmates spoke English as a second language, and most of my dad's family also spoke English, but the songs still would have made some parents feel out-of-place... not my mom. She sang them to us at every birthday.
I bring all of this up today, because today, December 4th, is my mom's 60th birthday. Not that she looks it, mind you, but I swear to you it is.
Back in 1973, when Salvador Allende was elected President in Chile -- the first democratically elected socialist president -- my mom was packing her bags for a Fullbright Scholarship study abroad program. She had three countries she could go to: Chile, Argentina, and a third one I can't recall at the moment. She picked Chile because they had just elected a socialist President. (When she told me this, and my jaw dropped all the way to the floor and rolled down the hall and around the corner, she said something else about how Chile had great psychology programs and lots of great studies had been/were being done there, or some other malarkey, but she's let the real reason out of the bag already).
That's how my mom ended up in Chile, where she met my dad and decided to stay after her one-year study abroad program ended, causing much rage from my grandparents.
I guess that tidbit (that my grandparents flipped out when she said she was staying, but she stayed anyway) should have clued me in, but it didn't. I knew that part of the story growing up, but it still didn't hit me how strong and awesome my mom was and is until just the last few years.
My mom is the oldest of seven. SEVEN. And of those SEVEN, five are boys. Men. And, in my grandparents' poisoned-by-sexist-society-and-strict-gender-roles eyes, "better."
So, it's my mom, then four boys, then one more girl, then another boy. My mom was, essentially, a Mini-Mom. She was a live-in nanny. When I spent Spring Break with my aunt and uncle, the second-born, my aunt (who had dated my uncle since high school) told me Mom was, indeed, the Mini-Mom. When she and my uncle came home from school, it was my mom who asked them if they wanted a snack, and made it for them. (There is less than 2 years between my mom and uncle, in case you were wondering.)
This is why Mom-as-a-revolutionary-socialist was so shocking to me. She was the Goody-Goody-Two-Shoes. She couldn't be a socialist!
But then again, she's a social worker. She works way too hard for way too little money. Sometimes she works for free, because the families need her and she's not going to turn them away because the insurance company is slimeballing its way out of paying, again.
So, really, is it any wonder she raised a bleeding-heart liberal pro-choice Christian? I guess not. Apple, tree, not falling far from, and all that.
Speaking of being a pro-choice Christian (which I always type as "Christina." Egocentric much?), I owe my faith to my mom. She was the one who was there, always, when the Catholic Church, or the self-righteous priest or religion teacher, said something stupid that, essentially, went along with the Pope's teachings but not with Jesus's. She talked to me about it, and answered my questions, and told me God loves me, full stop. Like when the priest gave an entire sermon on how to pray: that you have to pray kneeling by your bed, elbows on the mattress, or God doesn't hear your prayer. Mom told me that was ridiculous, God doesn't care how you pray. "You can be sitting on the toilet and God will hear your prayer," she said. Which of course immediately gave me the visual of the priest, in his black robe, sitting on the potty.
Mom was the one who took me, kicking and screaming, to the youth group meeting at the Lutheran church we'd started attending. I was too shy* to go, but she made me, and three years later I was president of the youth group. So there. (I'm actively over-involved in my current church, as well. All because of Mom making me go to that Sunday afternoon meeting.)
Because of my mom's work with abused children I always considered myself pro-choice. I've known from an early age there are way too many unwanted and unloved children in the world to force women to bring in more. I used to say, back in my high school days, that I would not personally have an abortion, but the procedure should be legal for any woman that wanted it.
In college, when I got pregnant, I found out that, indeed, I would have an abortion. My mom raised me to be strong and assertive enough to make that choice, and thanks to her teachings on what God's love was all about, and the Lutheran church's teachings -- as opposed to the Pope's -- I knew that God left that choice up to me, and that He put certain people and events and circumstances in my life to help me make that choice.
You see, my mom does her work quietly. (She doesn't post it on a blog, for the world to see, like *ahem* some people I know...)
But when the claws need to come out, they do.
When we first moved to the US (from Chile), we showed up in the middle of the school semester, even though we had just finished a full school year in Chile.** I had just finished 8th grade, and my mom wanted me to go into high school. The high school counselor wanted me to do 8th grade again (because, really, how could a girl who'd been going to school "south of the border," in what had to be a third-world country because it wasn't the US or western Europe, ever be able to compete with our super-duper USian students???)
Mom was not going to have any of it. She quietly, calmly sat in the counselor's office, explaining to him that I was capable of doing high-school-level work, and that I should be put in 9th grade (even though it we were two weeks away from fall semester exams). She didn't leave until he agreed.
By second semester (i.e., three weeks later) I was in honors English. So take that, stuffy ignorant counselor man!!!
I got a special treat a few weeks ago, when Mom had to have a chat with her littlest brother, who had been harassing my sisters and me via Facebook. I wish you had seen her pwn his sorry self. In the dynamic in which they grew up, she is female and therefore less than. He is male and therefore superior. Yet she proved him wrong, on so many levels, during that phone conversation. Because you don't mess with her cubs, and because she rocks. (I wish I could elaborate, but not only is this blog post eternal as is, but I should take the high road and not divulge details of the jerkitude of said uncle. Plus, the point is my mom rocks.)
My mom's mom is a product of her time. There are strict rules for what women should and shouldn't do, how they should behave, and how they should treat their husbands. (Even though my grandma was a bit of a rebel -- she went to college even though her mother wanted her to come home, since she'd already met my grandfather and therefore already had a husband. So the rebellion and outspokenness does come from somewhere...)
I can imagine how my mom was raised, what expectations were put on her as she grew up. Especially as the oldest, and a girl to boot, when there were six other children in the house. As I was growing up I did more than my fair share of whining and complaining and saying mean things against, and to, my mom... pretty much every single one of which I regret now. Not just because I'm a grown up (arguably) and know better, but also because I have gotten to know my grandmother and have an idea of what my mom experienced as she was growing up. Looking back, knowing all I know now (why is it always that way?) I cannot believe my mom was as "free" with me as she was, considering where she had come from. (And please note I'm not trying to bash my grandma, she was a product of her generation and her parents' generation and upbringing as well.)
So this is a tiny insight for you, Blogosphere, in to the Mom of Criss***. I could write a series all week long about her, but I don't want to bore you. (And there's some stuff she might not appreciate me putting on the blogosphere...)
(Also, sorry none of us can make you a cake as cool as all the cakes you've made for us. Like this one, or this one, or this one, or this one, or any of the bazillion others you've made for us over the years... Strawberry Shortcake cakes, and Hello Kitty cakes, and Darth Vader cakes, and Belle cakes, and...)
I have found more cakes!
Racketball racket for my step-dad
Combo birthday-anniversary cake for my grandparents
Pony and Ariel
Cats (because, really, how could we not?)
You can also check out all the wonderful Mom-love she put into her confections here, on Marcy's special birthday cake Flickr set.
*Yes, I know. Believe it -- High School Criss looked nothing like Post-Divorce Criss.
**Seasons are opposite on the other hemisphere, so our school years went from March to December. We had Christmas over summer vacation.
***Um, and others. Lots of others, actually. And Grandmother of three more. She's a busy woman.
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
Last night, or rather this morning, at about half past the midnight hour, I validated my NaNoWriMo novel, SHOWMANCES: ALL'S FAIR IN LOVE AND THEATER. All 50,134 words of it.
Sadly, at around 49,000 words, I realized that was the point when my novel should have started.
And here I was, looking forward to a month of editing my 2004 NaNovel and reading books and the like, thinking I was done with SHOWMANCES for the time being.
Do I write out the rest of it, at least a slim skeleton of what the rest should be?
Do I put it aside, and finish edits and rewrites and newrites (it needs a lot of work) on the novel I was working on before November?
Do I try to do it all at once? (Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 2004 NaNo. Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday: 2009 NaNo. Sunday: collapse?)
You know what would be cool?
If I didn't have a pesky day job, and could write full-time.
Friday, November 27, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
Some blogs to read:
genderbitch's I Will Not Forget Them
Chally at Zero at the Bone
meloukhia at this ain't living
kaninchenzero at FWD/Forward
Also, Queen Emily's post from 2008 on how to mourn
If you want to know who is being mourned, here's a list. Please note it is by no means a comprehensive list.
Arwyn says lots of good things here, especially for us cis folk. Read, learn, remember, act.
If you are on Twitter, you need to follow the ladies I linked above, as well as nueva_voz (when I checked her blog she didn't have a TDOR post, but if she posts one I'll update the links).
This article is also a good read (any day of the year).
And now, I'm going to sit my white(-looking) cis a$$ down and let these women mourn in peace.
From jaysays.com: Transgender Day of Remembrace 2009: The Exclusion Question Answered
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Second Story Press was co-founded in 1988 by Margie Wolfe and three other women dedicated to publishing feminist-inspired books for adults and young readers. We are proud to be marking our 20th year of publishing award-winning books that entertain, educate, and empower.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Also, don’t forget to catch Rosalind talking about the brand new version ofQueen Bees & Wannabes on the Today Show on Wednesday, October 14 in the 8 o’clock hour!
Thursday, October 08, 2009
Cis is a Latin prefix meaning “on this side” or “on the same side”; it was purportedly first used in the form “cisgender” by Carl Buijs in 1995 (or 1994). Writer and professor of biology Julia Serano uses all three terms in her book Whipping Girl; she credits first learning of them from Emi at eminism.org. Cisgender and cissexual are adjectives for those who are not transgender or transsexual. Much like we refer to trans persons, we might also refer to cis persons.
These terms mean, simply, that one’s intrinsic or subconscious sex (or gender) is in accord/agreement with one’s external, physical sex/gender, and always has been. Much like the term “heterosexual” (or “straight”) when it was first introduced, some cis individuals are offended by the term; this is a nonsensical, privileged position, however: as Monica Roberts puts it so well, Cisgender is not an insult.
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
EDIT: As much as I love almost everything you say here, Geroge, I do have to point one thing out. I know you're doing it for funnies and that clarifying your statement would kind of kill the joke, but lesbians can also be in need of an abortion. Sadly, they can get raped too, and probably do as a result of homophobic hate crimes.
Also, abortion is not always an elective procedure. A lesbian couple, or a homosexual couple, using a surrogate, can suffer complications during a pregnancy and need to terminate it. Let's not exclude homosexuals or deny their realities.
That said, I have to applaud your genius:
"When ... some of these other cardinals and bishops have experiences their
first pregnancies, and their first labor pains, and they've raised a couple of
children on minimum wage, then I'll be glad to hear what they have to say about
Sunday, October 04, 2009
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
This morning I started Lois Lowry's THE GIVER. This is one of those YA classics that's always been at the bottom of the To-Read list, but for some reason it never drew me to it. The cover was not particularly fascinating (an old man's face), and if I did read the back-cover description it was vague enough that it didn't grab me. But as I was loading up my MP3 player with audio books, I saw this title, and added it to the list.
I have a nice 30-minute commute to work, which is good, but this morning it still wasn't long enough. I didn't want to get out of the car, even though I was already late for work (I had to drop Indy off at the vet again this morning. Yes, AGAIN. That cat will be the
(WARNING: potential spoilers ahead)
The story takes place in a world where people live in communities and if they do something bad, or get too old, or don't fit in, they are "released." (At first I took that literally, that they were banned from the community and had to fend for themselves out in the probably post-apocalyptic wild, but then the penny dropped and I realized "released" was a euphemism.)
Spouses and children are assigned; one male and one female child per family unit. Regardless of when you are born, you "graduate" to the next age in December, with everyone else born in your same year. The Rules dictate at what age you can learn to ride a bike (when you become "a nine"), and, when you become "a twelve," the Elders decide what your job will be.
One of these jobs is "nurturer." These are the people who take care of the children from birth until that December, when they are assigned to a family. Of course I wondered where the babies came from... Were they all conceived in vitro? Did they have slave women, trapped in a dungeon somewhere, who were constantly artificially inseminated to populate the community?
What made it so hard to get out of the car this morning was that just as I turned into the campus's parking lot, Jonas's little sister Lilly mentions that the baby Father has brought home from his nurturer job (the baby's having trouble sleeping through the night, and he wants to take care of the baby at home overnight to see if that helps -- otherwise the baby will have to be "released") has light eyes, just like Jonas. Jonas only knows one other person, besides this new baby, who has light-colored eyes like him; Lilly says, "Maybe he has your same birth mother."
Aha! So it's not in vitro grown in test tubes, like Brave New World babies were. Who are these birth mothers? Where are they? Do they live in the community, or are they hidden from view, because pregnancy is dirty (the result of Cardinal Sin)?
I have to wait until 5:00 to find out...