Thursday, November 30, 2006

Last Day, Blah Blah

I have a few blog posts percolating that I want to write but I haven't had the time. These include posts on how I felt the first time I used a disabled parking spot because I had Peanut and her walker, how it went at her first dentist appointment, and all of the weird things wrong with my house. I know everyone's writing about the end of NaBloPoMo, but really, I started this blog by posting every day so I'm not sure that I learned much from it, except that perhaps that Peanut is by far the most interesting thing about me to most people. Ok, that sounded more pitiful than I meant it to sound. It's just that I have to work harder to find non-Peanut things to write about that people still find worth reading and commenting on. Thanks for sticking around--I actually have a couple more Bloglines subscribers than when I started, so either a few people decided to subscribe instead of clicking, or a few more people actually have too much time on their hands than is good for them.

There is no cute Peanut story today. She accidentally poked my mother hard in the eye today, leaving my mother only able to keep one eye open and Peanut a basket case for the rest of the evening. It was not a fun bedtime. I'm going to have to find her re-set button, because this can't go on again tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Feels Like Rain

When the weather map looks like this, it means my head hurts.

Extreme barometric pressure changes give me migraines. Kind of like a trick knee, but suckier.

Sorry for the lame post.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

She Isn't Deaf

I actually have things to post about, but am way too freaking tired.

Tonight at the store she stared down a couple of other people who stared at her in the walker. Then, after the third person was explaining it to their child, she announced, "Mama! Another person was asking about my walker!"

She doesn't seem angry, just somewhat confused as to what all the fuss is about, and not especially appreciative of the attention, whether positive or negative.

So if you see a cute little girl in a pink sweater walking in the smallest walker you've ever seen, please avert your eyes. I tell her they look because she's so cute, but I think she's on to me.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Oh Yes, She Goes There

I don't know what you hear amongst the wails of the tantrum that occurs before bedtime, but what I get to hear now is "But I want to walk!"

She's going to have to either write for soap operas or run for office with those skills.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

We Can All Stop Worrying Now

We're leaving the store after dark, and Peanut is looking sadly up at the sky.

Bad Mama: Are you looking for the stars, Peanut? I think they're all behind the clouds.

Peanut: And the moon?

Bad Mama: I think the moon is to, Honey. It's cloudy out.

Peanut: I don't want it to be cloudy out! I want it to be starry and moony out!


So, yeah, that whole walking thing? She's totally into it. Walked all over the grocery store this morning, and we spent more time in T*arget this afternoon than I want to admit to you. She Has. To. Touch. Everything. It probably took me 10 minutes just to get her to walk away from the animal crackers.

And you know how one of the things they talk about in interracial adoption, about being a "conspicuous family"? I think I have an inkling of what it must be like. She couldn't have gotten more attention if she was running naked painted lime green through the aisles. The hippie food store was pleasant that way, with everyone simply smiling and saying how cute she was. The other place, not quite so much. There were plenty of people smiling, but there was a lot more outright staring. And so very many children pointing and asking loudly, "What's that she has?" Obviously, I can't get upset about that, but it did get a little old. I think it was particularly bad just because most people talk to their children about wheelchairs, but not about other kinds of assistance devices. The worst was actually something that was meant to be benign, I think, and that was when a child asked and the parent said, in front of Peanut, "Oh, it's a walker to help the baby walk". I don't know about your kids, but boy, mine is not happy to be called a baby for any reason right now, much less when it comes to walking.

But before anyone feels too bad for her, let me tell you how she handled it. When she heard what the woman said, she stopped dead in the middle of the aisle, blocking the way for everyone, and fixed a stare on that woman that I thought would burn a hole through her head. She said nothing, didn't smile, just stared. The woman was smiling at her, but kind of lost her smile as she edged by the freaky little girl in her pink sweater and walker. Peanut turned her head to watch with an expression that made you think it was about to start spinning on her neck, and then, when the woman was past, she looked up at me, smiled and soldiered on down the lane.

She did it again to a very rude little girl who was too old to be pointing and asking so loudly, and it clearly freaked the kid out. I wish I could explain properly how proud I am. There is no better retort that I could have made, no better response to the staring than this dead-eyed stare back.

I wasn't kidding when I said she was scary.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

She Likes To Play Tag, Very Slowly

Now that Peanut has figured out that it's more fun to walk than be carried, she wants to do EVERYTHING she hasn't been able to do before. Pushing her toy baby stroller, or walking around carrying her dolls in her arms. I've had to help her name her emotions a little more often than usual--"You are feeling frustrated right now because you can't push the stroller with both hands". How can I tell her she has to be patient? No almost-three-year-old is really known for patience anyway, much less one that has been watching everyone else have fun she couldn't have for her whole life.

I also have to adjust to the fact that everything will take at least 30 minutes longer now than before, not just because she walks slowly* but because she has to learn to choose to listen to me, rather than just getting picked up and taken to her bubble bath or to the dinner table. It's a process that most children go through gradually, but hers is sudden and rather dramatic. For both of us, really. I've never had to teach her about things like electric outlets before. My house isn't really baby-proofed. She was limited by the poor maneuvering of her scooter before, so she really couldn't get into much, and she'd really stopped using it much because she just couldn't do what she wanted with it.

Of course, I should have been more careful what I wished for, right?

*She thinks it is hysterically fun to chase us or have us chase her. Even at 0.25 mph.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Sweet Pea

Tonight, Peanut ate a whole bunch of peas. This may not seem like a big deal, I know. However, I will now list all the foods she currently will eat, and you might then understand why I felt this was important enough to post about:

(*Foods she is not usually offered, unless we are eating them in front of her or she is getting a treat for some reason)

Toast, with peanut butter or jam
PB&J sanwiches
Pancakes/waffles/french toast with syrup or sometimes jam
Various breads and rolls
*Ice cream
Soy milk smoothies
*Chocolate pudding
*Goldfish/Teddy Graham crackers
*Chai Tea with lots of milk
*Potato chips
*French fries, but only once in a while
*Chocolate candy
Cheese pizza
Scrambled eggs (but only at Grandma's house, for some reason)

and now, cold peas

No, there is no meat. No pasta. No vegetables of any kind until the peas. The only cheese or tomato is on pizza. We have to be very careful about not feeding her the same thing a couple of times a day, because the healthy options are so limited.

We aren't terribly worried about this. Her doctor isn't either. We give her a multivitamin (mostly) daily, and she's growing and appears healthy and active, so we don't feel it is necessary to push her. We talk about how yummy our food is in front of her and always offer her bites, but she says, "No, thank you" and that's it. She tried a few bites of ravioli when she had a bad cold, but wouldn't again once she got her sense of smell back. I sometimes ask her to try a bite and sometimes she obliges, take one bite tonight of baked potato with a bit of sour cream, swallowing it, and saying no to any more. Really, what else can I ask for?

So every new food is an occasion. And now it's all down for posterity, so when she grows up to be a food critic I can show her this and laugh.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Today, I'm Thankful

And this is why.
(Sorry, there's no sound)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thankful For Restrictive Handgun Laws

**To those coming from Outdoor "Logic" and Gun Blogs:
If you think that all liberals want to take your guns away, perhaps you should take a look at Howard Dean's stance on the subject. Or John Tester's. Or my drunken former neighbor who decided against "surprising" me in my old apartment when faced with the business end of the deer rifle I was holding. Or maybe ask the pile of fresh venison in my freezer. Yeah, that's right. I'm not a vegetarian either. Then, just for funsies, you might check out what gun laws Rudy Giuliani passed while mayor of NYC, or what George Pataki passed as governor. You can google it, I'm sure you'll enjoy it.**

I am in the foulest of foul moods. Everyone else is posting about all they are thankful for, but all I am thankful for right now is that I don't own a gun. I'm not mad at anyone in particular, it's just that nothing seems to be going the way I want it to go and I have PMS and have to clean the house before noon tomorrow when 14 people will be here to eat turkey.

I will be better tomorrow--I know this is hormones and stress.

I hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving, or a pleasant Thursday workday to you Canadians.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


It was this or the story of what my dog did to a rabbit in the backyard the other day, and subsequently what she did on the living room floor last night. This is better.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Really, You Can Skip This If You Want

The only interesting thing that happened to me today (and I mean "interesting" as in "somewhat different than the same mind-numbing shit that happens every single day of my life), is that I took down the curtains in the dining room that came with the house to wash them. For the first time. Shut up, there have been more pressing things to wash-- I have a bazillion cats, after all. Anyway, Big Daddy and I took them down and then realized that, damn, we actually have pretty windows under there, perhaps we should not put them back up. So we won't. However, that means we still need to buy some new blinds, as the ones we have are all water stained from when the house was being re-roofed (it was 84 years old and still had the original roof under a couple of layers). We had a series of storms that began the day after they ripped everything off, storms that were record-breaking, and the tarp on the roof came up and the interior of the house got drenched. If you don't already own a home, seriously, don't buy one. If you think I'm joking, one of my next posts will include the list of things wrong with this house, including the fact that one of the walls of my bathroom doesn't go all the way to the ceiling.

I also got some of this china. I put it on the credit card, because it was waaaay cheaper than that website would lead you to believe, and we are having 14 people over for Thanksgiving and I don't own that many plates. It's very pretty and it made me very happy.

I don't know why I am subjecting you to this post, as I already washed out of NaBloPoMo over a week ago. I think it is the perverse idea that somehow it will still count if I do the thirty posts even if they aren't every day. But I still have to do it every day. I think this is supposed to be helping me discipline myself as a writer or something. Perhaps that isn't necessarily good for the world.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Next We'll Try Pandas, Gorillas, or Sea Turtles

Tonight, Peanut and I were playing our usual game of "Let's put off bedtime" by looking up animal pictures on Google Image Search. Her first choice was "an orca whale, Mama!" (Daddy just spent a week working in Seattle, so he brought her home her own stuffed killer whale), so I did the search, and she pointed at the pictures she wanted to see more closely. The first one was this. The next was this. And finally, this.

Anyone sense a theme?*

I made her pick something else after that. First she chose lions, and then, for reasons I don't think I can explain, Lamb cakes.

*For those of you not clicking the links, the theme is that we're fucking killing the planet and everything on it

Friday, November 17, 2006

Yes, I'm Doing A Meme

Came From Cluttergirl, and others

[A is for age:] 33

[B is for beer of choice:] New Glarus Spotted Cow, but it really depends

[C is for career:] Um, you can say Real Estate

[D is for favorite Drink] Kir Royale

[E is for essential item you use everyday:] Antiperspirant. I take it backpacking.

[F is for favorite song at the moment:] Rehab, by Amy Winehouse. I don't know why.

[G is for favorite game:] Football

[H is for hometown:] In Northeastern Wisconsin, at one time pop. 6210

[I is for instruments you play:] Well? None. I took a lot of piano, and could play simple tunes on most of the instruments in the band. I lack discipline in this area.

[J is for favorite juice:] Orange

[K is for kids?:] One, my Peanut

[L is for last kiss?:] This morning, from Peanut

[M is for marriage:] I'm on my first (yes, it's a bad joke)

[N is for full name:] Bad Mama Carrie

[O is for overnight hospital stays:] During Peanut's birth, a couple of other times for observation because I have a tendency to present like I have appendicitis when I get an ovarian cyst

[P is for phobias:] Heights, and I have developed stage fright

[Q is for quote:] You should be the change that you want to see in the world. -- Mohandas Ghandi

[R is for biggest regret:] Not finishing school

[S is for sports:] Heh. In theory, hiking. I loved playing baseball as a kid. I lift weights now regularly.

[T is for time you wake up:] The alarm is set for 7 am. On a good day, I sleep that late.

[U is for color underwear:] Ivory VS bikini

[V is for vegetable you love:] Sweet potatoes.

[W is for worst habit:] Interrupting. Reading email and not responding to it right away so then I forget it. Paying bills late.

[X is for x-rays you've had:] My entire body has been x-rayed at one time or another.

[Y is for yummy food you make:] From-scratch chocolate pudding. Chocolate chip cookies.

[Z is for zodiac sign:] Capricorn

What about you? What are your ABCs? Link to yours here.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


I don't have much to say. I got home tonight at 7:30 after leaving at 8:15 am, and this was the shortest day of the week for me. I'm really freaking tired, and found out that my husband's company has decided some of their employees, i.e. those in my husband's position, don't deserve to participate in the Christmas party this year. These employees are scattered all around the country (there aren't really that many of them), and in past years they flew the employees and spouses into the home city for two days and had a nice big party for them one of those nights. These guys are away from their families for usually 5 days out of every week, and work their asses off while they are gone, but they aren't worth spending the money on now. I was looking forward to this trip, which I only got to do once before, so now I'm really pissed. So I will not get to see Jen (whose husband works for them too and as a couple are some of our best friends), and I will not get to see Andrea, who lives in the company's city, and whose kid I had a present picked out for. Boo.

Okay, I know you really came for the cute Peanut quotes:
She opened the linen closet at my mom's today, looked at all the nicely folded towels and sheets, and said, "We live in a very nice house". This is funny to me because a) she doesn't live there but apparently wishes she did, and b) she would NEVER be able to say it while looking at our linen...pile.

She was able to open this closet, of course, because she could walk up to it in her walker. She mostly walks for candy rewards, but apparently getting into closets and drawers is a mighty powerful motivator too.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Peanut: blah blah Diego! blah blah blah Diego!

Bad Mama: Why do you like Diego so much?

Peanut: 'Cause he's a boy! And he gots hair on his head, like I have hair on my head!

We're going to have to have a discussion about standards, I see.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Today Peanut got a walker. Emphasis on "walk".

It was a hit.

Pictures/video are forthcoming, once I catch up with her.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Really, She Won't Even Touch Chicken

Seriously, someone needs to tell me that just because my kid tells me one minute that she looooves her new stuffed hippopotamus and it's her favorite toy ever, and then the next minute she tells me that she's going to "put Gia in the oven and cook her and eat her", doesn't mean she's going to grow up to become a sociopath. Somebody else's kids did weird things like this and grew up to be pediatricians or kindergarten teachers, right? Right?

Sunday, November 12, 2006

But She Doesn't Even Eat Meat!

Peanut: Daddy, would you like some soup?

Big Daddy: Sure, I'd like some. What kind of soup is it?

Peanut: It's Diego soup!

Big Daddy: Diego soup? You're serving me Diego soup?

Peanut: Yes, it's delicious!

I wouldn't end up alone with her in a dark alley if I were you.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

That's My Girl


Peanut, on the potty: Daddy, what was that?

Big Daddy: You farted, Honey.

Peanut: No, Daddy, I passed gas. I was passing gas.

Yes, I grew up in that kind of household, and I don't see any reason my daughter shouldn't too.


On Wednesday I read a quote in the paper from some guy up near Green Bay who said he voted for the gay marriage amendment, because he believed marriage should only be allowed between a man and a woman. He said he didn't have a problem with allowing civil unions, just not actual "marriage". I can't find the article online anymore, but what he said is burned into my brain, because it shows me what the problem really is with the people in this state. It isn't that they're homophobic, it's that they are illiterate:

"Marriage. Shall section 13 of article XIII of the constitution be created to provide that only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state and that a legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized in this state?"

Not content to just mess with the families of people whose sexual practices she doesn't approve of (has anyone ever asked her if she's into fisting? Because I don't approve of that), the director of the main group supporting the ban has decided to move on to messing with straight people :

"What was highlighted in this campaign is that marriage is indeed under attack and no-fault divorce is one of those attacks," Julaine Appling, CEO of the Family Research Institute of Wisconsin and president of the "Vote Yes for Marriage" campaign, said Tuesday night.

Appling said the Family Research Institute, which led the fight for the same-sex marriage ban, would "judiciously" examine Wisconsin's no-fault divorce law and eventually approach legislators about introducing changes. Under the law, spouses can request termination of the marriage without having to prove marital misconduct. Appling said she could foresee proposing a longer waiting period for divorces and implementing required premarital counseling.

There is good news. With the state Senate now controlled by Democrats, one of them is introducing an amendment to the amendment.

Erpenbach said Friday his proposal would honor the ban on gay marriages, but rectify potential problems in the second sentence of the referendum, which he said stripped legal rights from straight and same-sex unmarried couples. Those protections include the right to receive domestic partner benefits and have legally binding contracts, including wills.

...Erpenbach said he does not understand how the state can expect same-sex couples to continue paying taxes and being lawful citizens when they are denied protections and benefits afforded to married couples.

He said supporters of the gay marriage amendment always claimed that they did not intend to discriminate against gay couples, just protect the institution of marriage.

"If that's not their intention to discriminate, let's make sure it's in the constitution," Erpenbach said.

He also said civil unions are separate from marriage, which he described as more of a religious institution.

"The state is supposed to be separate from the eyes of any God," he said. If supporters of the amendment were "going after civil unions, they should have said so."

So now Ed from Green Bay can get beind this, right?

Friday, November 10, 2006

Nice Try

With me, my mother and Peanut having colds and Big Daddy being out of town, posting has been and will be light for a bit. I've already failed at the whole NaBloPoMo thing, through a combination of blogger issues and plain lack of time, and I don't think it counts if I manage 30 posts if it isn't one a day. Oh well. Sorry.

The good news is, I got the doctor to prescribe me the good drug for my headaches and neck pain. The only one that ever used to help me back when I had the chronic headaches. It isn't used much anymore, because it has an abuse potential much higher than others that are similar, but the others didn't work for me so I get it again. Yum. Yay. I can only take it at night because it makes me loopy, but it's a really awesome loopy.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Vote Today

And leave some time. In my voting station, I was #102 at 7:30 am. In off-year elections, I usually end up going late, and am somewhere around #350. The line this morning was out the door and around the corner.

In WI, you are allowed to register to vote at the polls. New this year, in addition to your proof of address, you need to bring your driver's license or state ID if you have them, and be prepared to offer up the last four digits of your social security number if you don't have either. If you have them but not with you, you can vote provisionally and it will count as long as you call the clerk by four tomorrow to give them your number. You do NOT need your ID if you are already registered at your current address, but I would bring it anyway in case there are problems. There seem to be plenty all over the country. I'd link to a website with the listings of reported broken machines, etc., but it has crashed from the traffic.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Vote Tomorrow

I am so tired that even the fact that I have been called by Russ Feingold, Bill Clinton AND Bradley Whitford in the past 24 hours is not enough to keep me awake and blogging. Sorry. Besides, those guys only want one thing from me, and it isn't good conversation.

And Another Thing

We are going to the polls on Tuesday in this state and being asked whether we should constitutionally ban gay marriage, and whether we should reinstate the death penalty for the first time in 150 years. We are not voting on school funding reform. We are not voting on which plan we prefer to make sure all our children have medical coverage. No, apparently the most pressing issues for our state are the "gay marriage threat" and how to kill our prisoners. So now you all want to move here, right? Because everything else is going so well?

I really need to get to sleep.

Ok, I'll Make An Argument (Second, Briefer Version)

Ok, first of all, a definition. On my blog, a troll is not defined as someone who posts politely and respectfully a comment that I disagree with wholly and in full. A troll would have replied, "u fag, i hope u die of aids suxxor!" or "repent because you are going to hell for thinking gays are ok, what about the children!" or suchlike. Carlos has a different definition, which he has expressed to me on numerous occasions. Regardless, name-calling is not allowed unless it is done by me, in which case it is always appropriate.

With that out of the way, Anonymous, you lost me pretty quickly. As Carlos pointed out, 1.5 percent of the population is still a hell of a lot of people. 4.5 million, actually, or the number of Native Americans and Alaskans that identified themselves as such on the 2000 census. It is 800,000 fewer than live in the state of Wisconsin. By contrast, only about 1.6 million Americans regularly rely on wheelchairs to get around in public. Yet we feel that's a good enough reason to require curb cuts and accessible rest rooms at great expense to business, as well as providing tax-cuts for the installation of powered doors and other accessibility items to business. Would you have me tell Peanut that because there are so few people like her, we shouldn't bother providing these things for her? These are not nameless, faceless people. One of the people who commented before you married her wife in Canada and they have a young daughter. I have at least one other periodic commenter who is also in a committed relationship, trying to have a baby. This isn't some abstract, philosophical argument for them. These kinds of laws affect them and their families, and I can't imagine how you could look someone like Elsewhere in the eye and tell her that her life is sinful and doesn't deserve the protections my family has.

Next comes the religious argument. I am a Christian, but admittedly no scholar of the bible. Carlos made some points there, and I have a devout friend or two who do know their scripture, disagree with the ban, and might be tempted to add their two cents in soon. I do know that there are plenty of items in Leviticus that I violate regularly. I am not adverse to wearing a cotton-blend from time to time, for instance. Nor do I make any animal sacrifices at the end of my menstrual period. However, that is all beside the point. I do not think that homosexuality is sinful nor immoral. You do not have the right to impose your religious interpretation of the bible on me or anyone else. You don't. My church is a mainstream church, and my minister, who has a doctorate in theology, signed a statement against the ban. Go ahead and see how many others, including the US Episcopal Church, have publicly renounced the ban. Obviously, many learned people of faith have reason to believe that either homosexuality is not as sinful as you think, or that the government has no business regulating this behavior.

The bible was used at one time to justify slavery. The Word of God is now being used to justify torture (for a breath of fresh air after that link, see the other side), as well as the oppression of gays and lesbians. I don't believe Jesus's teachings could allow any of these actions to be considered Christian behavior, and I find it ironic that I would be accused of not being open-minded by someone who would vote to ban a basic right to people whose "lifestyle" is not one they agree with. All I said was that I question the character of someone who thinks that's ok. I didn't say you shouldn't be allowed to vote or anything. But if you don't like this, feel free to go find another country that doesn't separate the church from the state. Saudi Arabia comes to mind. Or Haiti. Though Finland and Denmark might not be so bad. Of course, they allow civil unions.

But say you are steadfast in the idea that gay marriage is wrong, no matter what. Leaving aside the fact that it is already illegal in Wisconsin, please understand what the ban says. They want to have written into the constitution not only a ban on gay marriage, but on anything that even looks like it supports any kind of official relationship outside of marriage for anyone. This is where business gets involved. Labor unions, chambers of commerce, and various other business leaders and groups, like that bastion of the left, the UW-system Board of Regents, are against the ban. Similar bans have cost other states and cities millions of dollars in tourism and convention money. The way the ban here is written, it will likely mean that domestic-partner benefits will be illegal, and will certainly no longer be offered at the state level. That means a lot of people who might want to do research for the UW, or take a position at Oscar Mayer, will choose to go elsewhere. It's been happening at the university for quite some time, actually, as we're the only one in the Big Ten that doesn't offer benefits, and never would with the ban in place.

Or you could vote against it for the children. Both the WI chapter of the American Association of Pediatricians and the WI Medical Society are against the ban. From the AAP site:

WHEREAS, strong and credible medical evidence demonstrates that legislation which outlaws or invalidates civil unions and domestic partnerships other than those between a man and a woman is potentially harmful to the children and
WHEREAS, despite this evidence, the Wisconsin legislature is currently contemplating such legislation, and a change in the State of Wisconsin constitution regarding the definition of marriage and
WHEREAS, Wisconsin children would suffer the same deleterious effects, if such legislation is passed, that has been documented in other states
BE IT RESOLVED, that the Wisconsin chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics opposes the referendum to amend the State of Wisconsin Constitution regarding the definition of marriage because the proposed amendment is not in the best interest of children.

Of course, they are against spanking too, so you know what crazy thinking they are capable of.

You will have to trust me when I tell you I have heard the arguments against. Boy howdy, have I ever. So do me this favor: please browse the FAIR Wisconsin site, and read the list of editorials against the ban (click to read them too. Tomah's is pretty good, actually). They have info regarding the religious arguments against homosexuality, and why they are perhaps spurious. They talk about the legal and economic ramifications.

Wisconsin was one of the first states, if the the first, to ban discrimination on the basis of sexuality. Now we are considering writing that discrimination into the constitution. If we are to amend the constitution, it should be to give people more rights instead of taking them away. If you don't like gay marriage, then don't marry someone who is gay. Just don't force someone else to live your idea of Jesus's teachings. On that note, I leave you with the Slacktivist:

In every religion, it seems, you'll find a group loudly proclaiming its allegiance and submission to the dictates of scripture -- the Bible, the Koran, the Pentateuch, Dianetics, it doesn't matter which. Their every action, every aspect of their lives, they say, is shaped and determined by the commands of their holy book.

Such sternly obedient believers face an epistemological dilemma. How can they know, with certainty, precisely what it is that their scripture demands? Most of us believer types, in every religion, tend to interpret our holy books through the lenses of reason, tradition and experience. But for these biblicists, reason, tradition and experience must all also "submit" to the dictates of the scripture. The meaning of scripture, therefore, has to be treated as self-evident and unambiguous -- two things which scripture tends self-evidently and unambiguously not to be.

Suggest any form of scholarship, textual, literary or linguistic criticism and the biblicists tend to get angrily defensive. These are all useful and important tools for determining what it is that scripture says and means and requires of its adherents. But the biblicists aren't interested in refining or clarifying their supposedly self-evident interpretations. They reject all such study as a potential threat to their own preferred interpretation.

And that, right there, tells you all you need to know about their supposed allegiance and obedience to their scripture. The scripture is not their true starting point after all. Their starting point is their own preferred interpretation, their own preference. They, and not their supposed Word of God, are the ultimate arbiters of truth, reality and meaning.

That's why whenever you hear someone say that the Bible is "inerrant" and "infallible," what they're really saying is that "My reading of the Bible is inerrant and infallible." What they're really claiming is, "I am inerrant and infallible."

What they're really claiming is, "I am God."

Now I can go back to bed.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Not Happy.

Oh my God I just spent two fucking hours writing a post in response to my Anonymous commenter (and to Carlos's use of the troll word, which I disagree with strongly in this case, Carlos, I love you but you know my feelings about that), that was beautifully reasearched and linked and argued and I clicked one one window to close it and suddenly the computer closed four windows including the create post window and somehow Blogger didn't save the changes and oh man am I fucking pissed.

I'll try again in a few minutes, as well as adding the post I was supposed to post yesterday but I ran out of time before going out dancing so I blew my NaPoBloMo promise out the window in less than a week. Sometimes I suck. But not about FAIR Wisconsin. I'm right there.

Friday, November 03, 2006

FAIR Wisconsin

A couple of weeks ago, I bought a political button to wear on my coat. I've done this sort of thing several times in the past, either buttons or stickers or yard signs.

It reads, A FAIR Wisconsin votes NO. That's it. But never before have I gotten a reaction to a political statement I made like I have with this one.

One man saw me and smiled, sticking out his arm so I could see he was wearing the same button. His friend then pulled out his rainbow pendant, and said, "thank you". Over the weekend, I was in the store buying Peanut's costume when two young boys were horsing around, and one called the other a faggot. As I turned the corner to the aisle they were leaving, there were two women there, wearing rainbow pins, and looking tense. They saw my pin, and visibly relaxed, and we all shook our heads over the future felons. Today, while eating lunch at the bagel shop, one of the counter clerks walked over to my table and quietly said, I see you are wearing a FAIR Wisconsin button, are you planning to volunteer? Because we need you.

I had been thinking about volunteering, and had donated some money, but it was this last encounter that made me answer yes. It's not just about wearing the buttons or saying all the right things while having drinks with your friends. It is time to do something. The only shift I could fit in was one on election night, a get-out-the-vote drive for people who might have forgotten to stop in at the polls. I wish now that I had done more.

The constitutional ban on gay marriage in Wisconsin would not only ban gay marriage, which is currently illegal in our state as it is, but disallow civil unions and most domestic partner benefits. It is without a doubt one of the ugliest pieces of legislation I have seen come through our state. It is so very wrong on so many levels that I truly find it hard to believe that it ever got this far. Wisconsin has always had a proud tradition of progressive politics, and a decent history of protecting the civil rights of its citizens*. Anyone who knows me very well will know how proud I am to be from here, to have roots that go back 175 years in this state. It shames me that there is even a chance that this amendment might pass here.

There is no justification that can be made that makes this right. None. Don't tell me you think it is immoral, or bad for families, or whatever it is you think is wrong with extending civil rights to adult American citizens. You're wrong. You're as wrong as if you said blacks and whites shouldn't marry, that women shouldn't be able to own property, that people with brown skin should be owned by those with light skin. If you allow a athiest, heterosexual couple to get married by a judge with no mention of God, you cannot tell me that there is any good reason why two adults of the same sex cannot be married if they find someone to marry them.

Having been raised in a conservative, Republican household, I can usually see the points being made by the other side of an issue, to see the shades of gray. I know that people who disagree with me about going to war in Iraq or how the government should handle entitlement programs are not necessarily bad people, that two people can look at the same set of facts and come to different conclusions. But not in this case. And I will not apologize for judging your character on the way you see this issue.

Those of us on the left are often considered "soft" because we are known giving people the benefit of the doubt, for trying to see all sides of a complicated issue. I don't personally believe that those tendencies are character flaws. However, in this case I believe that those of us who know what is right need to take a stronger stand. This was acceptable at one time. We told people all over this country that it doesn't matter if you think blacks shouldn't be allowed to live in your town or eat at your restaurant, that it wasn't okay to hound people from their jobs for their political affiliations. It isn't ok to take rights away from a significant population of law-abiding, tax-paying citizens. I didn't write a reasoned, nuanced argument here because I don't believe there is a valid argument to be made for this ban.

We vote on November 7, this Tuesday. Several other states have similar referenda on their ballots, and while they are not all as encompassing as Wisconsin's, they are all ugly in their own way. Please go. In Wisconsin, you can register at the polls-just bring your driver's license and proof of address. In Madison, you can go to the city website, punch in your address, and it will tell you where your voting station is. You can vote absentee at the city clerk's office on Saturday, Nov. 4, and from 8-5 on Monday, Nov. 6. The polls are open from 7 am until 8 pm on Tuesday. Unless you are in the hospital, there is no excuse.

Buy a button from FAIR Wisconsin, wear it proudly, and go and vote. If for no other reason, because I said so, and Big Daddy says I'm always right.

Now you're sorry about this whole posting-every-day thing, aren't you?

*Read about Robert M. LaFollette, Sr., and his wife Belle Case LaFollette to see what I'm talking about--we aren't all backwards hicks out here in the Midwest.

Thursday, November 02, 2006


"Flaghead" has become (naked) "Mrs. Broom".

This involves a sticker of a broom stuck down the neck hole of the stripped doll body.

You all wish you had my kid, just admit it.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Bonus Scary Post

So I went in to say good-night to Peanut (Big Daddy is putting her to bed), where I found her with her doll, Emily. Only she'd pulled Emily's head off, stuck the plastic flag from her pirate ship in the hole, and dubbed her "Flag Head". "Flag Head" then had a conversation with Emily's head (how are you, I'm fine, would you like something to eat?) She protested mightily when I offered to put Emily's head back on her body.

Next year I won't bother dressing her up for Halloween, because she's freaky enough on her own.


I forgot to get the digital camera back from the person who borrowed it, so I had to buy a cheap camera at the drugstore to take pictures of the cutest kitty ever! last night. So right about the time everyone is sick of looking at toddlers in costumes, you'll get one more!

We took Peanut to the assisted-living place where my grandfather lives. They were having trick-or-treat there, and can you really think of a scarier place? She stopped talking as soon as we walked in the door, and wouldn't as much as hold out her bucket to get candy. I don't blame her, what with the cheek-pinching by over-rouged women in bad wigs. Grandpa had forgotten completely that we were coming, so he greeted us in his underwear, and interrogated me about when he would see my father because he hadn't seen him in a really long time (two weeks, actually, but it might as well have been two years). Peanut started talking again non-stop literally as soon as we walked out the door of the place, and asked for candy.

The worst part for me is that I can no longer use the excuse of "Peanut can't chew well" in order to take her Tootsie Rolls for myself. I suppose it's worth her being able (if not willing) to eat normal food.