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Friday, January 13th, 2017
10:58 pm - Hair
I've never been much of a girly-girl. Not that there's anything wrong with being a girly-girl, as long as it's the person's choice.

Easily, for the past 14+ years, I have had short hair. I couldn't imagine having long hair again. Today, I got my asymmetrical pixie-bob thing cut even more. This time with an undercut. The lower back and sides of my head are now completely shaved. It feels GREAT! I've been experimenting more and more with my hair the past few years than I ever have before. Maybe, it's because I feel secure with employment such that I won't get fired if my hair gets too "weird".

So let's go down Amanda's hair odyssey.

Looking back on photos of me in the early 1980's, I had the haircut that most little girls had at that time. Heavy bangs, with long hair in the back. It was semi-mullet-ish. According to my mom, I pitched a fit anytime she tried to braid it, or put my long hair in any sort of ponytail or pigtail. Maybe this was my start of rejecting many feminine-esque things.

Then, come 4th grade or so, my mom, probably frustrated with me, had my hair cut off into this horrid bowl cut. It was the late 80s and still a haircut of the time. I remember crying my eyes out when the hairdresser cut off my hair.

Then come 6th grade, I had grown my hair out some and convinced my mom to let me get a perm. It was the early 90s. Every girl wanted a perm. So there I was, with heavy, straight bangs, and frizzy perm hair. So cute! I had no idea what to do with my permed hair. I thought that the hair pick wasn't enough to get out the tangles, so I'd brush my hair, leaving it a wavy, frizzy mess. I kept with the perm look for another 2 years.

Then, I started growing out the permed hair. And good riddance. Eventually, it grew out enough, so I was left yet again with heavy-ish bangs and straight hair. Maybe not the cutest of looks. But I pretty much ended up wearing my hair back everyday, because there was always that one weird kink in my straight hair, such that I couldn't wear it down. I had no idea how to use a straightening iron or anything on my hair.

It was my Junior year of high school. It was a weird time. I decided out of the blue to cut my hair and have a bob. It also meant growing out my bangs. This was also the first year I experimented with dyeing my hair. I went with a black semi-permanent dye. I'm still surprised my mom let me do this.

Then, my hairdresser, who did my hair, my mom's, and my grandmother's, died all of of a sudden. He was gay, although I didn't know what gay even meant at that time. We suspect it was HIV / AIDS, but we'll never know. Because, my hairdresser was dead, I went to one of those cheap places to get my hair cut. They didn't understand what a stacked bob was, and ended up shaving the back of my head. Not quite the look I was going for.

Frustrated with my now short hair and not knowing what to do. There was no Pinterest at that time. I then opted to cut it all off via my mom's new gay hairdresser. I was going for that Winona Ryder pixie look. At this time, I had my first real boyfriend. To be fair, I had no idea what was going to happen when I went to get my hair cut. It was also one week before the Winter semi-formal dance. I later eventually found out, that my boyfriend (who was an asshole), almost broke up with me, because I had cut my hair.

I kept with the pixie-do for another 6 - 8 months. I actually liked it. However, my douche-y boyfriend, not so much. So that's when I began the process of growing out my hair. By the time I entered college, my hair had finally reached chin length. I kept growing it out. Despite growing out my hair, my high school boyfriend, who went to the same college as me, never ran his fingers through my now long hair or any of that romantic shit.

So, my hair is now long. But quite frankly, I have a three-head i.e. a short forehead. I need some sort of bang or else I look weird. That's when I opted to go with bangs and long hair, again. It was my sophomore year of college. I still ended up wearing my hair back the majority of the time. I rarely got it cut. Eventually, my hair grew quite a bit past shoulder length. I look at pictures of me from this time period, and damn, that shit looked terrible. No style. Just bleh.

Then, the movie Amelie came out. I instantly fell in love with it. And I wanted the main character's bob with bangs. This was 2002, maybe 2003. I don't quite remember.

I rocked this bob look for quite some time. There were a few variants. Sometimes, I let the bob grow to chin length. Other times, I had it cut much shorter. It's a good hairstyle for me. It was very simple for me to maintain. All I had to do each morning, was run some water through my hair, and brush it, and instant cuteness! I got many compliments on my bob from complete strangers. The only downside was the bangs, actually. The bangs readily picked up any forehead oils, causing them to look greasy and stringy - not cute! And given how fast my hair grows, I'd have to cut my own bangs between hair cuts. Having short hair, you have to get your hair cut every 6 - 8 weeks. But my bangs, needed trimming every 4 weeks or so. Eventually, I got decent enough at trimming my own bangs, but it was a tedious process that took a good 15 - 20 minutes, to make sure my bangs were straight.

Over this time frame, I experimented with various hair colors. For awhile, I was dyeing my hair various shades of auburn. It's a beautiful color of hair. But most cheap hair dyes from the drug store, for this color, don't last long. After 2 weeks, you're left with a brassy colored hair, that isn't cute. Being the chemist that I am, I have read that there's something about the red dyes for hair, that just don't last long, no matter what you do.

I also experimented with black hair dye. Black is an excellent and classic color for a bob. And I did variants of black, blue-black and purple-black. One summer, I went wild. I bleached my hair and dyed it bright red with Manic Panic hair dye. It left my hair a frizzy, damaged mess, and of course the color faded to an awful red-pink color after a week. Then the brown roots started to show. It was a fun color while it lasted.

Eventually, I went to black again. It just worked for my punk-gothy-emo self at that time. Then, come 2007, I got tired of having to dye my hair every 8 - 10 weeks. Being the cheap ass that I am, I opted to dye my hair myself with cheap drug store hair dye. I bought one of those hair dye strippers, from the drug store. Not good. It only ended up bleaching my roots and not removing the black hair dye. Definitely, not a cute look. I then had to bleach all of my hair and I dyed it brown, similar to my natural shade.

I let my hair remain the ugly shade of brown for awhile. But then come 2008, I started to go gray. It was maybe 4 - 6 gray hairs at most, but I wasn't ready to have any of that. I was 27 and not ready for gray hair. So, I started to dye my hair black again. I got some weird looks at the concrete place when I came in with black hair. They thought I was going "goth". Little did they know....

I kept up with doing the black hair (myself) until 2014. That's when I learned a neighbor of mine, a hairdresser, was doing hair with fun colors out of her house. It was tempting. I always wanted "fun" colored hair, but never worked anywhere, that I could get away with it. At my current, secure, job, I work alongside people with visible tattoos. I figured, worst case scenario, if my employer had a problem with my crazy hair, I could always dye it black again.

My neighbor dyed my hair black, but with purple hidden streaks. It was the first time I had anything like this done to my hair. It's a long process, that takes a good 4 - 5 hours to do. Also, around this time, is when I decided that I was bored with Amelie bob and got my hair cut to mimic Jennifer Lawrence's cute pixie-do. No one gave a fuck about my new short hair. And it took 4 - 6 weeks once the purple dye started to fade a bit, before anyone noticed my crazy hair colors.

Since then, I have experimented with blue, teal, and magenta streaks. It's fun. I couldn't imagine myself without crazy colored hair now.

I love my short hair. I couldn't imagine having long hair ever again. I try to tell my friends with long hair, that they need to try it short, at least once. Worst case scenario, it will grow back. Thankfully, the hubby prefers me with short hair. He saw a picture of me with long hair and hated it. My hairdresser also loves my short hair. Probably, because it means I do have to visit her more often vs. those with long hair and only want the "ends" trimmed off, every 6 months. According to my hairdresser, she has fun cutting my hair. It means, she gets to try out all of the techniques she had learned over the year. Actually, it can be difficult to get her to cut my hair even shorter sometimes. My thought is that it will always grow back.

So now, I have this asymmetric pixie-bob-undercut-do with magenta streaks. It's fun. If I wear boyish clothing, I do give off a lesbian vibe. Though, nothing wrong with that. I do need to get it dyed again. I'm thinking black with blue and purple streaks. I'd love to try out the rainbow hair trend or do something even more crazy with the color. But I think that may be a bit too crazy for my employer.

(pbr me asap)

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017
11:08 pm - Sad
It's been 2 weeks since Lily has died. I'm trying to stay strong. Some days I'm good. But tonight, I just straight up feel sad. I miss the never ending love, affection, and companionship I got from that kitty. I had pets and such growing up, but none that lovely me quite like Lily did.

I've been through animal death before. It's never easy. When Onyx died, it was tough. I missed her. But I also had Lily to help me through it. Lily changed after Onyx died. She became the cuddly, lap cat, I always wanted. She rarely left my side. My bond to Lily grew way more in those 4 short years.

Cavey, my other cat, is sweet. But it's not the same.

current mood: sad

(pbr me asap)

Saturday, January 7th, 2017
7:03 pm - Snowmageddon 2017
Well, I survived the great Atlanta Snowmageddon of 2017. YAY! The folks were super excited that Atlanta might get anywhere from 1 - 5" of snow. The Midwesterner in me, just laughs at this but the South is not prepared at all to hand that white stuff. What ended up happening, is a lot of freezing rain and a light dusting of snow. The majority of the roads were quite passable come the afternoon.

Although, I did have one tree in the backyard snap from the weight of the ice still on its leaves. I'm glad I had 2 sick trees taken out last week. One could have possibly fallen on the house under the right conditions.

I laugh at how snow is handled in the South but it does make sense. Atlanta has maybe 5 snow plows and keeps low stocks of de-icing salts and sand. Quite frankly, snow is such a rare occurrence, that it doesn't make financial sense to keep up with the expenses of removing the snow. I'll move onto some of my Atlanta snow stories in a bit. Although, any threat of the white stuff is enough to panic everyone to raid the grocery stories for bread, milk, and eggs. Apparently, French Toast is a popular thing to make when you're snowed in? I think the weather people are in cahoots with the bread, milk, and egg industries.

I actually like the snow days. They're usually a good excuse to veg when I'd normally be working, something this introvert loves. It means comfy pants, hot toddies, binge watching TV, knitting, and maybe cooking a tasty pot of some sort of soup / stew.

The last Snowmageddon in 2014 was terrible. Atlanta was the laughing stock of the country. It wouldn't have been so bad if everyone had not gone on the treated roads all at the same time. Pretty much every business, school, and government office let everyone off early at the same time. It resulted in the great snow jam. I followed the disaster on Facebook. I had friends that spent 10+ hours in traffic trying to get home. I was lucky that my normal 30 - 40 minute commute only took me 1 hour. If I had left work, 15 - 30 minutes later, I would have been unfortunately stuck in the thick of it. I ended up missing work for 2 days. The one thing that did piss me off, is that I did have tickets to see Book of Mormon, opening night at the Fox Theatre. I was greatly looking forward to the performance, but the showings that night and the following were cancelled. I was at least able to score tickets for another performance, but not opening night.

But because of Snowjam 2014, which left kids on school buses stranded or left at some schools, everyone is now paranoid about a single snowflake. Even before it had started to snow / sleet yesterday, schools and many work places had an early release. According to some teacher friends, many parents opted to not even send their kids to school for fear of a repeat of 2014. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

My last great Atlanta snow experience was in 2011, when 4 inches fell. Schools were out for a week. I missed 2 days of work. I did attempt to go to work on the 3rd day. The roads were still quite bad, but I felt obligated to go in. At that time I was still working for the concrete place, and my coworkers were workaholics. So I always felt guilty if I didn't at least put forth some effort. It turned out that the 2 workaholics came in both days. To be fair, they didn't live that far from the office and could have walked if they wanted to. But still, take yourself a nice day off, like the rest of us.

On the 3rd day, my Floridian hubby decided he was going to attempt to drive in the snow. I told him not too. Even with my snow driving skills, it's still difficult to drive in it. My Honda Civic isn't meant for it. Plus, Atlanta has a lot of hills compared to the relatively flat Midwest. Well, hubby ended up getting his car stuck in the neighborhood, and had to leave his car while he walked home.

Anywho, it's still quite icy out and the temperatures are dropping. There's a 10 degree wind chill warning tonight. I'm going to hunker down extra hard, and enjoy some more relaxation before work and things start to pick up again. I might as well try to keep my batteries charged as much as I can.

current mood: cold

(pbr me asap)

Friday, January 6th, 2017
7:58 pm - Planned Parenthood
So now, Planned Parenthood government funding might be on the chopping block now too. Compared to other government funds, the 500 million that goes towards Planned Parenthood is pretty much nothing, and none of it is allowed to go towards abortion.

I've mentioned my views on abortion on here before. And it's always constantly evolving, and usually for the better. I become more and more pro-choice but not necessarily militantly so.

Unfortunately for many, Planned Parenthood is now synonymous with abortion. To be fair, they are technically the largest abortion provider in the USA. But there are far more private clinics that do abortion too. I always find it ironic to hear stories about abortion protests that happen outside Planned Parenthood clinics, even though that clinic doesn't even provide abortions. They only provide referrals.

Fortunately, I have never had to use Planned Parenthood's services. I was always lucky enough to either be abstinent in regards to sexual intercourse or when I did become more sexually active, I did have my own health insurance and could afford to go see a doctor to get my birth control. However, many of my female friends relied on Planned Parenthood in their early 20s and college days. Usually, they didn't have health insurance or the means to get healthcare. And this wasn't necessarily healthcare for birth control either. It would be yeast infections or all of the other wonderful stuff that comes with owning a vagina.

Even though I am pro-choice, I do see abortion as baby murder. However, I do think it's far more complex than just baby murder. It's not a black and white issue, but more gray. Several of my friends have had abortions. And when I hear their reasons for them, I totally get it. One became pregnant very early on in her marriage despite using contraception. She choice to abort because she wasn't ready for a child, plus she has health issues that make any pregnancy immediately high risk. She later on had 2 lovely children, when she was ready to take on such responsibility. Another friend had ectopic pregnancies, where the embryo implanted in the fallopian tubes. This can be quite deadly. Although, some don't consider ending ectopic pregnancies as true abortion, the "baby" was killed.

I try to keep up with all of the various abortion laws going into place across the USA, the TRAP laws. They're all aimed at supposedly improving the safety of abortion, but in reality they're designed to make abortions more difficult to get. I think it's despicable. You know what's dangerous - childbirth! The childbirth mortality rate in the USA is way to low from where it should be. Childbirth is more dangerous than abortion.

I've heard arguments from all sides of the abortion debate. Everything from the fetus is a parasite and therefore not a baby. To it's a baby and should be loved and cherished vs. brutally murdered. I don't think either argument is necessarily wrong or right. I get where both sides are coming from.

Ideally, I wish we could let abortion be the difficult, medical, personal decision that it is. I don't think any woman is happy to have an abortion. The procedure and the side effects sound quite sucky. But also caring for a child can be quite sucky too. I mean, I don't see abortion clinics passing out frequent customer cards. Get four abortions and your fifth one is free! That doesn't happen. Yeah, there are some women who have had multiple abortions. But that's a rarity. Many women seeking abortions already have children and usually don't have the means to care for even more children. Especially with how we're all about reducing programs such as Welfare and Food Stamps. Can't we just let women decide what is best for herself and her family? Hopefully, with accurate medical guidance from her doctor?

(pbr me asap)

Wednesday, January 4th, 2017
10:20 pm - Obamacare
I guess I'll start off with saying is that I hope that Obamacare doesn't get repealed by the Republicans until they have an adequate replacement and none of this "repeal and delay" nonsense.

So here goes my opinions on Obamacare or as it should be referred to aka the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

I don't think it was a bad Act but it was hastily put together. Improvements are necessary. But I also think, even if more time was spent fine tuning the law itself, there still would have been various hiccups during implementation. There always are.

Personally, I have benefited from the ACA. The big one for me was the pre-existing condition clause. If you go back a few years in my LJ, you'll find my rants about the debacle I experienced when my thyroid condition became a pre-existing condition and I lost coverage for that issue. So what happened there, is that I had a few days gap between health insurance coverage. I pretty much crossed my fingers that I wouldn't get in a car accident within those few days or get some sort of disease. Because of this brief coverage gap, my thyroid stuff then became a pre-existing conditions. I had no idea until I got the bill for my yearly blood work and it wasn't covered. Typically, I'd pay $30 - 50 for the blood work but now I was on the hook for $800+. Thankfully, my PCP was able to code the blood work differently so I only ended up paying $300 for the blood tests. It still sucked, but thankfully I had a nice chunk of savings in my bank account, so I wasn't hurt by this expense.

Secondly, my birth control is now free and I get a free cervix scraping (a pap smear) every year. Woo-hoo! The husband and I secretly joke that my birth control pills are my slut pills. To be honest, I wouldn't mind paying a reasonable prescription co-pay for my birth control. It seems fair to treat it like other medicines. JUST AS LONG AS IT'S COVERED! I ran into a situation with a former employer's insurance where birth control wasn't covered. Being the naive person in my 20's, I just assumed it was always covered. All of my other prior insurance plans covered my slut pills. Well, that employer didn't cover them. At that time, I was actually on the Nuvaring. That ended up now costing me $65 out of pocket vs. the $20 - 30 copay. Again, thankfully I had the funds to cover that extra monthly expense, but I know not everyone is as fortunate. I ended up eventually changing over to the Pill. The cheapest one my doctor could put me on, was a Pill that cost $14 / month out of pocket. Although, I am a big proponent of Contraception. I mean, it is one of the best ways outside of abstinence (and who really does that?) to prevent unwanted pregnancies and thus, also abortion.

The ACA has its issues. Some plans didn't cover enough and were too expensive for some. That unfortunate group that's too poor for Medicaid but not quite wealthy enough to pay for coverage got screwed. The initial website roll out was chaos but was quickly fixed.

Overall, the ACA has been an OK success. More people are covered and I hope that means healthier Americans. And the ACA hasn't been the "job killer" some thought it would be. Why not fix the issues instead of straight up repealing it and possibly harming millions of Americans? Heck, even nickname it something less controversial too!

But let's face the real facts here, health insurance is expensive. Healthcare is expensive.

A few years ago, when my husband worked for a non-profit, we were on their cushy health insurance plan. It was pretty decent. But it still didn't cover everything. For awhile, I had to have some physical therapy that wasn't covered by insurance until my $1500 deductible was met. Deductibles still confuse me, although I think health insurance is meant to be extra confusing so that no one understands it. Anyways, this meant that I had to pay $100 for each therapy session out of pocket. Again, thank goodness I could afford it!

Health insurance has always been expensive, even prior to the ACA. And the costs always increased every few years. There were a few lucky people that had great and cheap coverage through their employers, but again they're few. I think for my husband's good plan with his non-profit employer, still easily took out $500 - 600 / month out of his pay. I knew people that easily paid $600 out of each bi-weekly paycheck in order to cover themselves, their spouse, and kids. That's practically a house payment or rent for some, and that's only being used towards insurance.

It sucks that health insurance is so expensive. And I barely use it. My major expenses are my yearly thyroid blood tests, vision, my yearly pelvic exam so that I can get my whore pills - pretty simple stuff. But I'm also a fairly healthy adult. The insurance is there, so that if something catastrophic were to happen, I at least don't go too much into debt. It's sad to see people who do have insurance go into crazy amounts of debt. It's just plain WRONG!

The insurance companies are partially to blame. They are profit driven, and making coverage more expensive while covering less makes them quite profitable. I mean, how else are the CEO's going to get their million dollar plus bonuses! However, the hospitals are also partially to blame as well. Everyone charges different things for everything. And this is also how you hear stories about basic aspirin pills costing $10 at hospitals. TIME magazine had a great article a few years ago called A Bitter Pill about these ridiculous costs. The hospitals have to mark up everything and then the insurance companies then bargain that price down. It seems like a ridiculous system and the losers are the end person, the patient.

A few years ago, I had to have a MRI. I went to the outpatient clinic I was recommended to go to, which was in-network. Everything was scheduled at a time / date that was convenient to me. Low and behold, I get a call from my insurance provider, that I couldn't go to THAT clinic. I had to go somewhere else that was maybe $1500 - 2000 cheaper. Sure, I get the cost savings, but it was the same damn procedure. Being scared that the insurance wouldn't cover the MRI at all if I kept my current appointment, I went ahead canceled and had to reschedule. It was a pain in the ass. I did it but I felt that it wasn't quite right. And then, because I went somewhere else for the MRI, the results didn't even get sent over the appropriate doctor. I went in for my follow up and my doctor had no idea where my MRI results were. Which meant, I had to spend extra time at the damn doctor's waiting for the results to be faxed over. And then, to make this whole ordeal even ridiculous, I get a check in the mail, a year later for $80. Apparently, when I did pay the ultimate bill (something like $250), that bill was too high. It should have been $170, which is why I got a check in the mail, an entire year later. My mind is still blown by that.

Overall, I think the ideal way to fix the ACA, is to have a government option available. And hopefully we get our heads out of our asses and eventually do some sort of single payer system, like everyone else does. But I just don't know how we could even go that way at this point in time.

(pbr me asap)

Thursday, December 29th, 2016
1:21 pm - Lily and the Brush
Another Lily memory came to me today.

Lily was a short hair kitty. Long hair cats are pretty but I don't have patience for the maintenance that comes with it. However, by brushing a short hair cat, you do cut down on some of the cat hair, that covers everything. Seriously. I have cat hair stuck in my keyboard. No clothing is without at least one strand of cat hair.

I would on occasion brush my cats, but Lily would go crazy for being brushed. For some reason, she liked having her face brushed. I could just hold the brush, and she would somewhat violently rub her face against the bristles. To me it looked like it almost hurt but she would love every second of it. I could even lay the brush on the floor, and she would start rubbing against it. I always thought about getting one of those corner brushing things you can affix to the walls of your house, but I never quite go around to it.

Dammit, I miss that kitty.

The other cat, Captain Caveman aka Cavey, we adopted after Onyx died, is being extra sweet to me. But it's not the same. Cavey is my husband's cat. She prefers him.

I know I'll get around to adopting more cats eventually. I sort of want more black cats, but I wonder if the resemblance would kill me.

I'm having Lily cremated along with her favorite voodoo doll toy. The urn I chose is a black cat that's lying down in a pose similar to one she would do. Her ashes will sit on top of my yarn cubby thing, alongside Onyx's urn.

Part of me wonders, as I get more cats and they die, will I just have this urn / ash collection eventually? Am I THAT crazy cat lady? What happens when I die? As of now, it doesn't look like I'll ever have children. What happens to all of my stuff when I die? Who inherits it? Although, I wouldn't mind having my ashes mixed with my cat's ashes, whenever I do die. But I don't know the legality of that.

current mood: depressed

(pbr me asap)

Wednesday, December 28th, 2016
2:06 pm - More Lily Memories
I may post more Lily memories as they come to me. All one of you who maybe read my LJ anymore are probably tired about hearing about my damn cat. But Lily was more than just a cat to me. Yes, it's different than losing a person. But pets have a special place in your heart. I want to record some memories before they get covered up in my mind by newer ones.

Lily truly loved me. Her love was unwavering. She always wanted to be around me. I live in a split level home. Sometimes, I'd be in the lower level watching TV. You'd hear this yowling sound. It was Lily calling for me, worried as to where I was. Or so I'd like to think. I'd yell out to her, that I was downstairs, and she'd come running down to me, often looking for pets, but so happy to have found me.

Lily was always my constant companion. I have this weird shower / bathroom configuration in my home. The main shower-bathtub has sliding glass doors on both side, with bathrooms on either side. It's weird. But the hall bathroom would be open, while I'd take a shower. She'd sit there outside the shower, sometimes fussing at me as to why I was willing to be so wet.

I didn't let Lily in my bedroom after the great pee incidence. This was many moons ago, back when I lived in a 2-bedroom department, when I first moved to Atlanta. For many years, Lily and Onyx shared the same litter box. But out of the blue, Lily decided she no longer wanted to share, so she peed on our main bed. I pretty much soaked the mattress in Nature's Miracle to get the pee stink out. Yeah, this sounds gross, but it's sometimes what you do as a pet owner. Plus, mattresses are expensive. The hubby and I then had to sleep on our couch. Well....Lily then peed on that, so we had to sleep on the floor, while everything was drying out. Terrible times.

There were sadly a few other pee incidences. It sucks. But as my mom always says, you can't have nice things when you have pets or kids. It's true. The husband always liked to think that Lily's inappropriate peeing was related to me. Whenever I was stressed, she would start peeing on things. Me and Lily did have a deep connection but I don't know if it was quite THAT deep.

Because I was afraid of Lily peeing on my bed, I didn't allow her in the bedroom without me being there. Although, I did eventually let her start sleeping me after the peeing problems. I'd have to get her out of the bedroom each morning by shaking the treat bag. Eventually, I didn't even have to do that much. She associated me getting out of bed, and going into the kitchen to pour my morning tea = treat time. No treat bag shaking required. I'm not sure who had who trained. Did I have Lily trained to get out of the bedroom without shaking the treat bag? Or did she have me trained to give her treats every morning?

While I would get ready in the morning for work, Lily would wait outside my bedroom door, so peacefully. She would then sit on the top steps. I'd give her a pat on the head, and tell her I'll be back later because I have to make money to buy her food and treats. It was one of our morning rituals.

Lily was never much of a lap kitty. Except she'd want to get on my lap, when I was at my computer. Never when I was on the couch. It was quite odd. Sometimes she'd start drooling on me, because she was so content being on my lap. Other times, she'd bite my hand if I wasn't petting her enough. Though the one thing she liked to do while sitting on my lap, especially on lazy weekend mornings, was to accidentally dip her tail into my morning tea. She didn't do it on purpose, but her tail would be happily wagging and it would flop into my tea sometimes. I had to tell Lily, that kitty tail tea doesn't taste good.

That's all of the Lily stories I have for now. I may post more as they come to me.

current mood: nostalgic

(1 drunk amanda | pbr me asap)

10:47 am - Lily - RIP
Well, the worst happened. Lily passed away last night at the vet's office.

She was still quite critical when I last saw her. The vet gave me the option of taking her home overnight, just in case that would be less stressful. I thought the 30 minute car ride, would actually induce stress. I also had the option of taking her to a 24-7 vet hospital, but those places get kind of crazy, and I didn't want to subject poor Lily to any more stressors. The vet thinks Lily died peacefully. I hope she wasn't in any pain, at least.

If you scroll through my older posts, you'll find my eulogy to Lily's sister, Onyx, who passed away just a little over 4 years ago from the same thing - heart disease. With Onyx, it was quite sudden. Lily, it was a few days. It's still not easier.

Apparently, Lily had a heart that was too big. It's not something that vets can usually find out unless they do invasive ultrasounds and x-rays, that are also quite expensive. But I like to think that Lily's big heart meant she loved us extra hard.

I know that I gave Lily and Onyx an amazing life. Way better than if I had left them to the Central Florida wilderness where they'd surely be killed by something or get knocked up at a young age.

Onyx was a sweet kitty and it was tough losing her. But I think losing Lily is going to be extra tough. Lily and I had a different sort of bond. Anyone that hung out around our kitties enough, knew that Lily was crazy for me. I was her human. She did eventually start to love the husband, but I was definitely her favorite.

I had dogs and cats growing up, but they were never own. The pets tolerated me but they always preferred the company of my parents. Onyx, and moreso Lily, were my first true pets. And Lily was the first pet to prefer me.

Lily and Onyx represent a lot to me. I first found them as kittens back in 2004. I was 23 at the time and I was just officially entering adulthood. These kitties were there for me, through good and bad times, as I was trying to figure out relationships and this crazy thing called life. I'm now 35. I still don't have this adulting thing figured out, but these kitties were representative of this turbulent time of my life.

I have tons of Lily stories and pictures, which I'm going to share some below.

Lily was my alarm clock. Not so much in the "feed me" type of way that many cats do. But when my work alarms started going off, she got used to me petting her each time I hit snooze. If I didn't pet her, that's when she would start clawing at me or sometimes even biting me, in order to get attention.

Lily was quite militant about being loved. She loved being petted, and if you stopped when she wasn't ready, she was sure to let you know with a nip, head butt, or a paw pat, that you weren't done. I could call her name from any room in the house, and she would come running to me, excited for any bit of attention.

At night, she'd give me dirty looks telling me that she was ready for bed. She'd jump on my bed, anxious to be petted and loved on. The past 6 months or so, I always tried to love her extra before bedtime. It was our own special ritual. I always would think to myself, that Lily is a senior kitty and soon enough, these special times would be no more. Little did I know that it would happen sooner vs. later. I always thought her love for me was so fierce, that she would be one of those awnry cats, that lived till their late teens / early 20s.

Lily was kind of a boring cat. For the most part, she just would sleep, eat, and would want to be petted. She never played with toys too much. But there was this one toy, that she oddly took a liking too. During a trip to New Orleans a few years ago, I stopped in a pet shop in the French Quarter. They had these homemade voodoo doll cat toys made out of sticks, dried hay, and some felt. It was $2 and supposedly benefited the homeless kitties of the French Quarter. Lily never played with this voodoo doll toy. Except 2 years ago, she all of a sudden took a liking to this toy. She didn't play with it. But she liked bringing it to me. Many mornings, I'd wake up with the voodoo doll in the bed with me (yuck!) or at the bedside. Other times, I'd hear this weird yowling from her, and here she'd come to whatever room I was in, with the voodoo doll in her mouth, where she would then drop it by my side. It was her "kill". She often did this to my husband and I, while we were watching TV. We'd always thank Lily for the voodoo doll, and give her pets for being such a good kitty. Over the years, the voodoo doll lost its head and an arm. I always thought this meant there was some sort of decapitated kitty now in the French Quarter. I'm having the voodoo doll cremated with Lily.

I'm going to miss that kitty, fiercely. It still hasn't sunk in quite yet. But I know it will get better eventually.

current mood: sad

(2 drunk amandas | pbr me asap)

Tuesday, December 27th, 2016
10:35 pm - Lily Update
Well, my worst fears have come true. Lily is in the midst of heart failure. I'm so glad I took her to the vet this morning vs. waiting until her scheduled appointment on Thursday. She's still in dire condition now and she's staying at the vet overnight. I'm hoping she pulls through.

The past 6 months or so, when Lily would jump into bed with me at night, I'd give her some extra lovin' and I'd think to myself that she's a senior kitty, and eventually I'll no longer have these moments. I just didn't think it would be THIS soon.

Losing Onyx was tough, but I think losing Lily is going to be tougher. And here I am thinking of the worst again. It's hard to be cheerful when my furkid is so sick.

Lily was always obsessed and possessive of me. My husband and mom, always noticed this. When I'd leave for work in the morning, my husband would tell me how Lily would yowl for a while, wondering where I went. This kitty LOVED me LOTS. It's kind of special to be owned by a cat. I had dogs and cats growing up, but they were never mine and I was never quite there's.

But then, these 2 little black kitties walked into my life. I almost consider them to be my first real pets. They were the first pets I was truly responsible for.

I'm hoping Lily pulls through. But even then, she's going to be on borrowed time. Her poor heart is enlarged, probably because she just loved too much.

current mood: sad

(pbr me asap)

Monday, December 26th, 2016
8:32 pm - Lily
For those that have friend me on the Facebook, probably already know this, but my dear kitty, Lily, is quite sick.

She's 12 years old and a Senior kitty. I knew that one day she'd have to cross the rainbow bridge, but I never thought it would be this soon. But then again, I'm expecting the worse.

On the 23rd, I noticed out of the blue, she had this weird limp on her back leg, and her paw was knuckling over. She was fine, just a few hours earlier. So the hubby and I rushed her to the emergency vet at 10 PM. It turns out, Lily had a blood clot. I was given a prescription for Plavix, to help break up the clot and some painkillers. That's it. No x-rays, nothing outside of you should follow up with your veterinarian soon.

Giving the pills and painkiller doses to Lily has been a nightmare. I'm already nursing an infected thumb from her biting down on my hand and several scratches. Poor kitty and poor Amanda.

The good news is that the Plavix has worked and Lily is no longer limping. The bad news is, she hasn't been behaving like her normal awnry self. For the most part, she stays in one of three spots all day. I have her quarantined in my craft room which has now been dubbed the kitty hospital. She's also not eating, but at least she's drinking some water.

I'm hoping her lethargy is only a side effect of the medicines. However, I did the kind of stupid think by googling blood clots in cats. Supposedly the prognosis, isn't great. It's good I caught it so soon. However, blood clots are a possible sign of an underlying heart condition.

As some of you may recall, Lily did have a sister, Onyx, who died several years ago from congestive heart failure. It's not something you can routinely test cats for and I was hoping that Lily maybe won the genetics lottery and didn't get this trait. But it looks like, I might be wrong.

I'm taking her into the vet tomorrow. I have an actually appointment on the 29th, but I don't want to wait that long now. I'm hoping for the best but expecting the worse.

current mood: worried

(pbr me asap)

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016
8:59 pm - Islam
So apparently, our oh so wonderful PEOTUS is talking about a Muslim registry again. I still can't believe that shit. It's so terrible.

Yes, there are legitimate concerns about radicalized Muslims. Although, I'd say the same of anyone of ANY faith that has become radicalized.

There's easily over 1 billion Muslims in this world. However, the majority of these Muslims are actually in Asian countries, and we give less of a damn about them because they don't come from the Middle East. I hate the idea of villainizing an entire religion because of a few bad apples. The same goes for Christianity. I have known many wonderful Christians in my life. For the most part, they're not super vocal about anything political. They just want to worship their God and live a quiet, peaceful, Christian life. But there's always that one vocal asshole, that will make you think all Christians are the same as those dicks of the Westboro Baptist Church.

I live in one of the most diverse areas of Atlanta, which means I live near quite a few Muslim folks. Quite frankly, they don't give a fuck about my lily, white ass. They just want to buy their groceries in peace, just like me. The Muslim cashiers at my favorite international market, don't even flinch if I have bacon or alcohol. They're just trying to make a living, and get through their day, just like me. Also, halal chicken sausage and Chinese food is quite tasty. I did get a little creeped out when I saw a woman in a burka, at Michael's one day, buying yarn. I've only seen pictures and videos of women in burkas. It looks oppressive, but it's definitely something else to see it in person - she looks like a giant, black ghost.

Anywho, I thought freedom of religion, was one of the principles, the United States was founded on. I'm all for people practicing their religion however they see fit, as long as it doesn't involve things like animal or virgin sacrifice, because that is kind of wrong in some ways. Though, I think many religions have gotten away from that type of thing.

By no means, am I a scholar of Islam. Some say it's a peaceful religion, others say it's violent. Although, as someone who was raised Catholic, you could say the same of Christianity. The rebuttal I always hear is that the violent Christian stuff is only in the Old Testament, but most Christians adhere to the teachings of Jesus in the New Testament....except when it comes to things such as homosexuality or abortion, or any other controversial social cause. You can cherry pick the Bible and the Quran. Scripture can be interpreted in many ways. Plus, we don't know how much has been lost in translation over the years either.

ISIS, they're a bunch of bad people. And I don't think they represent Islam at all. They're just a bunch of power hungry thugs. And they kill way more fellow Muslims than they do Americans. I still don't understand the Sunni vs. Shia Muslim in-fighting. But quite frankly, the more we demonize Islam, it's just more fuel for ISIS and other radical groups. They need this hatred to recruit disenfranchised youth. It's just like what gangs in the USA do. We do need to stay vigilant about ISIS's activities, but we can't demonize an entire religion because of it. Watch this video https://news.vice.com/video/what-its-really-like-to-fight-for-the-islamic-state) from Vice of actual ISIS fighters. You'll see how young and unprepared their fighters are compared to any military.

And there's now the hijab / burqa debate. While, I don't agree with the idea of women having to cover up so much, but if it's what a woman thinks is modest and it's HER choice, then so be it. For some women, not showing any cleavage or thigh, is modest. Other's it's a baggy, turtleneck with long sleeves or looking like one of the Duggars. We need to stop policing what women wear - let them choose how they want to be modest or not at all. Although, I do think that you shouldn't be allowed to drive while wearing a burqa - more for safety reasons than anything else.

Quite frankly, didn't the USA do something similar with the Japanese during WWII? A few years ago, I was on vacation in Los Angeles. I just so happened to be there when the Japanese American National Museum had an exhibit all about Hello Kitty, so of course I had to go check that exhibit out. It was overwhelmingly cute and amazing, by the way. But after you get done looking at the overwhelming cuteness that is Hello Kitty, you then get dumped out into an exhibit about the Japanese internment camps. It was a well done and educational exhibit but damn was it depressing. There were articles from Life magazine from that era about things like "How to spot a Jap" or how to tell the difference between a Japanese person and a Chinese person. Could you imagine seeing such an article in modern day publications? It's some terrible shit. Although, the most heart wrenching part of the exhibit, was that they found one of the actual internment camp barracks, that was still standing. The barrack was disassembled and reassembled inside the exhibit. The barrack was a straight up shack. I couldn't imagine having to live in one.

And we're considering something quasi-similar for Muslims now? Haven't we learned our lesson?

I get that things like 9/11 or the Orlando shootings are horrifying and sad. But given statistics, I'm probably more likely to die in a car accident or die from cancer or heart disease, than be killed in a terrorist act. Yeah, all of this terrorism stuff is scary, and our government needs to stay vigilant but not at the cost of demonizing innocent people.

(pbr me asap)

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016
10:53 pm - The "War on Christmas" and Other PC Garbage
Ah, it's time for the yearly "War on Christmas" debate because it's supposedly so uncouth to say Merry Christmas to anyone, and you have to say the more generic Happy Holidays. It's such a foolish thing, that angers most people.

As far as I'm concerned, there's no War on Christmas. Christmas in in full swing. You still get to celebrate the holiday, whether you go to Church or do nothing but drink eggnog. It's an official holiday for many in the USA. Even other, non-Christian countries celebrate Christmas. Did you know, that in Japan, they celebrate Christmas by going to KFC? It's apparently a big damn deal over there.

Christmas is everywhere, even before December. Heck, there are even special stores that sell Christmas stuff year round. I don't see how there's a War on Christmas. The entire world is becoming more and more secular. It's just how it is. If you want to go the Jesus route, that's cool too. You still have the right to do that. No one is blocking you from going to Church on Christmas Day.

The main reason for saying Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas, is that not everyone celebrates Christmas in that way. It's a way of respecting other people's beliefs, and is just a generic nicety. What's so terrible about being nice and respectful? However, I have yet to know anyone outside of militant atheists that get upset about being told Merry Christmas. Quite frankly, there are worse things that people could be saying to you. Merry Christmas / Happy Holidays or Happy Hanukkah or Happy / Merry Whatever is a nice thing to say to someone.

So please, wish me whatever happy holiday of your choosing. I don't mind. It's such a petty thing to be offended over. And it beats being called a fuck face or something like that.

However, I do think PC (politically correct) culture can be a bit overbearing at times. It's confusing. There are contradictions. And the militant PC police types are annoying, when they try to correct everything you say. However, I don't think being PC is a bad thing either. Overall, it's just a way to be kind and considerate of others, and what's so wrong with that?

The PC police are annoying. However, outside of large corporations and government, most individual people are free to say whatever they want. You want to call black people the N-word. It's a bad word, especially for white people to use. But it's legal for you to do that. It's going to be hard for the PC police to actually send you to jail over you exercising your free speech rights. However, you have to be OK with people calling you out on it, and possibly calling you even worse names.

I'm often reminded of this xkcd cartoon. It's quite poignant with the truth of it all.

(pbr me asap)

Monday, December 19th, 2016
11:49 pm - Is Anyone Here?
It's been over 3 years since my last post. Recently, there's a private Facebook group I was added to that has exploded with a bunch of former LJ users, reminiscing about LJ.

Lately, I've been thinking about picking up blogging again. I kind of miss it. Although, I'm not sure if LJ or some other format would be better. I have no idea what the cool kids are doing anymore. Let alone if anyone I know would even read my ramblings.

I love Facebook. It's kind of like LiveJournal, or at least it appeals to my introversion. Text based communication is far more appealing to this introvert. However, with Facebook, it seems like if you post anything over a paragraph, no one reads it. I know I don't. Maybe I've developed adult ADD or something. But unless something grabs my attention after reading the first few sentences, I find myself just scrolling through and maybe clicking the occasional "like" button if the sentiment is good enough. I still don't understand Twitter let alone Snapchat. I'm an "old" now.

Today, I started looking back on my LJ posts. Dammit, I was a crazy broad. I might still be. Although, I found myself posting less and less, as life got busier and Facebook became the way to communicate online. But with Facebook, there's just sometimes too many people that friended you, whether it's former coworkers, family, or neighbors, and you don't always want them to know some of your deeper thoughts, because they just wouldn't get it.

When I look back on my early 20s, damn it was chaotic, and much of it has been logged here and my private, hand written journals. I had a lot to figure out. Who I was. Who I wanted to be. Who I couldn't be. I had to figure out this whole having a relationship thing. What I wanted to do with my life.

I suffered from depression and anxiety, greatly during my late teens and early 20s. I saw countless therapists and was on quite the cocktail of various drugs. For the most part, the drugs just made me sleepy, and who wants to sleep for 14+ hours a day? I can't remember the last time that has happened to me in my adult life. The talk therapy helped the most.

I still wrestle with my inner demons. Although, one aspect of adulthood that has helped with keeping my sanity, is work or mostly having a routine. Pretty much I go to work. Come home. Pet the cats. Maybe cook dinner. Talk to the husband some. Maybe have a glass of wine or a beer or bourbon neat. Fuck off online. Go to sleep. On the weekends, more of the same. A thrill nowadays, is going out to some eclectic restaurant or if I even stay out past 10 PM. I've started to realise that I'm an introvert, and staying home in my comfy pants is far more appealing most days and nights. Kind of sad, that I've lust that exploratory spunk. I guess that's what work does to you. It killed all of the crazy energy I had, that sometimes resulted in chaos.

In 2017, I'm going to try to write, at least here, more often. For now, I think it's going to be mostly political stuff. I have a lot of thoughts on things, and I think I have an unique viewpoint of a few things that you don't see in the comments section. In the past, I have tried to turn this into a craft / food blog, but I kind of sucked at there. There's Ravelry or Craftsy that are more suited for sharing crafty things. And while I still cook, most of the time, I'm not done cooking until 7 PM or later, and by then, there's no good daylight for taking sexy food pics. Other than that, my life is rather boring. Most LJ people that cared found me on Facebook, and we follow each other's lives there. It's good for that at least. As much as I should go on a Facebook diet, it's quite handy to use it to follow so many things - neighborhood happenings, news, what company is having a sale, cute cat pictures.

(pbr me asap)

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013
10:46 pm - Undecided
I've never been the biggest fan of children. Even as a child, I never cared to play with baby dolls and pretend to change diapers. But I was oddly fascinated with the dolls that did actually poop. I never wanted to hold my baby cousins. I did do some babysitting in high school, but these were older kids, ages 8 - 10, so they could somewhat entertain themselves. I was just there to prevent fights, prepare meals, and make sure homework was done.

Oddly, I always knew I wanted to get married. For some reason it was ingrained into this Midwest girl. But I always thought that eventually kids would come along, it's just what Midwest girls do, right? I never had much in the way of fantasies about my ideal wedding day, let alone the number of kids I would have and what their names would be. If you had asked me a few years ago whether or not I wanted children, I would have told you hell no. Just certain factors weren't in play yet. It's not like I need to have certain milestones at a certain age, but I knew that if I were to ever have kids, I wanted a stable relationship, steady employment, a flexible employer, and a house. I have those now, but why am I so undecided?

For some reason I thought that when I became 30, that darn biological clock would go off and I would be baby crazy. I'm 32 now and I'm still ambivalent. My ovaries don't want to explode every time I see a baby. I'm just kind of 'meh' about the whole idea. I still have a few years left before my reproductive capabilities go away (without having major medical intervention). My desire to have children varies from day to day. Some days I'm 60% for kids, other days I'm 75% against having kids. I know everyone says that when the kid is your own, it's "different". I do believe that, but should I have a child if I'm this wishy-washy? If I'm going to make a baby (assuming I can), shouldn't I be in love with the idea first?

One of my major reservations against having kids is just the amount of work it takes, especially to do it right. Some nights after work, I barely have the energy to feed my cats. My dinner may consist of crackers, hummus, and a glass of red wine. I couldn't imagine coming home from work and have this needy thing to attend to or else I'll be put in jail. I shudder at the thought. At least with cats, they're fairly independent. And honestly, if I did have kids, my goal would be to make them independent ASAP. Not like I would kick them out at age 18, but once they become tall enough to reach the buttons on the washer / dryer, they're doing their own laundry. Same thing goes for food prep. I'm not about being a child's slave. If my kid ended up being a picky eater and wouldn't eat my healthy, home-cooked dinners (i.e. not crackers and hummus) which I do make from time to time, I'd make them at least try it. None of this make a separate meal crap for each kid. And if said kid didn't like my food they could go ahead and make themselves a bowl of cereal or PB & J sandwich and suck it. Yes, I would tell my kid to suck it. I was that picky bastard kid who hated veggies. But because my parents always made me try everything, whether I wanted to or not, I have become open to new foods. I actually eat weirder shit than my parents now - think organ meat, goat, weird veggies, and raw / pickled things.

Another reservation is I HATE modern parenting trends. My kid would be a "special snowflake" just like everyone else. But none of this "kids will be kids" horse shit. I will NOT be child's friend ever. I would be their parent and said child will have consequences and boundaries. I'd be a "mean mother" (http://www.yarnharlot.ca/blog/archives/2013/10/04/the_meanest_mother_in_the_world_.html) Also, screw having my kids involved in 584947582 activities at once in hopes of their dumb ass getting into Harvard. My kid would only do activities they wanted to do, and only one per month. I'm not going to be that parent that's constantly driving their kids around, living in a SUV / mini-van. If my kid truly wanted to be a school bus driver vs. a scientist, so be it. But of course I'd advise them on consequences of decisions. No helicopter parenting shit. In fact, because of this, I think I would be a great parent, the type of parent I wish there was more of. And I know, being a parent isn't easy. In fact, it's a thankless job. But I'd like to think I would be a no-nonsense type parent. My mom surely was, and I think I turned out the better for it. Even though, I didn't quite get the "nurturing" vibe from her. I hated her for it, especially during my teen years, but now I'm so thankful that I'm not such a clueless Millennial. This blog (http://kidobsessedamerica.com/) probably describes everything I find wrong with modern parenting. I get that babies and toddlers may not have the most control. But when I see 8 or 10 year olds, throwing fits at the grocery store, or can't sit still in a restaurant, that's when I start to question the skills of the parents. I try not to be judgmental about that shit, because parenting isn't easy, but I just loathe spoiled brats.

Another reservation is health consequences. If you don't know, I was diagnosed with an auto-immune disorder called Graves' Disease when I was 14. This disease impacts your thyroid, which pretty much impacts every organ of your body. I had my thyroid destroyed with radioactive iodine when I was 15 and have been on supplement thyroid hormone ever since. According to my endocrinologist, I shouldn't have any pregnancy complications, let alone problems trying to become pregnant. But various Graves' Disease message boards tell a different story - everything from women who have suffered multiple miscarriages to almost deadly pregnancy complications - to it taking several years to become pregnant. It's scary. And honestly, I don't know if I'd be tough enough to persevere through miscarriages. It makes me worry that I may not have much time left to safely have kids.

I have read several books on this matter (Why Have Kids?: A New Mom Explores the Truth About Parenting and Happiness, Two Is Enough: A Couple's Guide to Living Childless by Choice, I Can Barely Take Care of Myself: Tales From a Happy Life Without Kids). I was hoping these books would help solidify a decision on whether or not I wanted kids. But all they really did was just put words to my reasons why I'm hesitant on having kids. The husband and I talk about this topic every few weeks. I think that we put more thought into such a decision compared to some parents. Maybe what it will take for me to have kids is to have an "accident" and find myself pregnant.

Honestly, I do think I would be OK with never having kids. There are plenty of homeless cats in this world that need love. I have quite a few older friends that are 'childless by choice' and honestly, I don't see their lives lacking in love or anything like. In fact, they seem to have rather fulfilling lives. They take amazing vacations, go to fantastic parties, restaurants, concerts, etc. They have successful careers and supplement family with friends. It doesn't seem like such a bad lifestyle. It's different and may not be the status quo, but I don't see anything wrong with never wanting to reproduce, especially since there is medical technology of all sorts to prevent pregnancy. And I don't think it's selfish either, because honestly I don't see them enjoying parenthood. Why subject a kid to someone who may loathe them?

What if I don't have that maternal instinct? I somewhat feel it for my cats, but not towards babies or kids. Because I don't long to touch or hold babies, doesn't that make me a defective female? That's how I often feel. I don't even have that pretty, bubbly girl handwriting. In fact, my handwriting (more like printing since my cursive is even worse), looks like a 5 year old boy's handwriting. I've always felt like a defective female since I've never had the longing for typically girly things. But oddly, I do enjoy being crafty and cooking, but I think that's more due to my creative side. I'd be a hard ass parent, and probably for the better. But I'm afraid, I'd totally be lacking in the nurturing area. And my worse fear, is that I would totally hate my child - none of that love at first sight shit. What if I never *loved* my child? I'd make sure their physical needs are met. But what about their emotional needs? I see myself totally sucking in that area.

But on the other hand, what if I end up regretting NOT having kids? What if when I turn 50 and decide I just totally fucked myself over by missing out on such a life changing experience? Could I live with that regret? Perhaps. I don't think it would be crippling, but I may need some therapy and lots of wine. I hate missing out on experiences. I like experiencing new things. It's why I want to travel the world, once I get my 3 weeks of vacation every year. I want to eat weird foods. Put myself in weird situations. I want to know what it's like to grow a human inside of me. What it's like to breast feed. But unlike a temporary trip to a foreign country, having a kid is lifelong commitment.

I ask myself everyday, how would today be different if I had kids? I think about it. Some days I'm more OK with it. And other days, I just want to take Plan B for the hell of it, since the idea of being a parent scared me so much. Who knows if I'll ever make up my mind, before it is too late. Or if I'll find myself pregnant or that biological clock will finally go off, and I'll be baby crazy. But I do know, that if I actively go into making a baby, I want it be something I'm completely OK with, in fact, in love with the idea, no regrets, consequences be damned. Will I ever get to that stage? I honestly don't know. And I don't think it makes me a selfish person, or whatever else people tell you when you say you don't want kids. And I don't hate kids. I'm not their biggest fan. But I do enjoying seeing my friend's Facebook posts about their kids.

current mood: contemplative

(2 drunk amandas | pbr me asap)

Sunday, February 10th, 2013
4:53 pm - Fiscal Cliff
I really wish I hadn't become a bit of a political junkie. The political climate of this country has just become too unreal over the past few years and I can't turn away. Part of it, is because I'm afraid of what rights, especially regarding my reproductive freedoms, will be taken away. I want to unsubscribe from various political feeds on Facebook and stop watching The Daily Show, and live in la-la land, but I just can't.

Anyways, regarding this whole fiscal cliff issue, I read something recently that really "hit the nail on the head" in regards to economics of the US of A. It was in the Chemical & Engineering News magazine I get for being an American Chemical Society member, of all things. Basically, as a country, despite our economic woes, we are still rather wealthy but CHEAP. Yes, we're a nation of tightwads. Which honestly, I don't think is such a bad thing. I'm all for frugality. But we're frugal in all of the wrong ways.

The way I see it, we want a lot of shit. A beefed up military. Safety nets for the poor and elderly. Healthcare. Bridges. Roads. Education. Regulatory bodies. You name it, we want it. But all of these things cost money to do. This money has to come from taxes. It's basic Economics 101. We want all of this stuff, but no one really wants to pay for it via increased taxes. So where is the money supposed to come from?

Basically, we all just need to suck it up. We need to cut some shit out as well as increase taxes. Stuff no one really wants to do. It seems like every program is critical to someone, whether that be the EPA to Sesame Street. What can we really cut? I'm sure there's some sort of excess somewhere. And part of that is our military and all of these wars we've been fighting. But we need to cut out the bullshit and the stuff we really don't need, whether we like it or not.

Secondly, taxes have to be raised and loopholes closed, for everyone, not just the rich, the middle class and the poor need to contribute a bit too. It will suck. We all like our money. But guess what, we'll learn to adapt. Humans have a really good way of doing that. As Americans, I've noticed that too many us treat money just like water, it runs right through our hands as soon as we get it. I've known too many people, who make decent salaries, who live paycheck to paycheck. Perhaps we all need to learn to live with a little bit less, and I'm sure we will do just fine.

If we want to reduce our deficit, that's what he have to do. But unfortunately the fuckwads (Republicans AND Democrats) who are making these decisions for us, don't seem willing to do anything. Can't we just fire them all and start over?

current mood: bitchy

(1 drunk amanda | pbr me asap)

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013
4:54 pm - Guns
Even though I'm somewhat pleased that Obama won the past election, I can't help but still feel a bit ranty. Things are still crazy in the USA and I've never seen this country so divided. Perhaps we'll be the next great "empire" to fall, if things don't start changing. It seems that everyone, Republican, Democrat, Other are all on edge.

So, one topic that I've been wanting to rant about is guns. And it's all more relevant now, after the tragedy in Connecticut.

To be honest, I'm not a fan of guns. I don't own one, nor do I think I would ever own one. But do I want ALL guns banned? Not really, as I do see a legitimate need for them in some circumstances, such as people who live in rough neighborhoods or the boonies, people who need to shoot coyotes and such who attack their livestock, and those that hunt game, either to keep various animal populations under control or to feed their families.

But is there really a need for your average American to own a semi-automatic weapon or ammo clips that contain 30+ rounds? I don't think so. That type of weapon is designed specifically for killing. I would love to see a ban on such things. And yes, I know that banning such things won't 100% prevent tragedies. In reality, if someone really wants to get a gun, they will find a way. Look at where our "War on Drugs" has gotten us. Drugs are forbidden and illegal, but many people use them. But if limiting access to automatic weapons and ammo, would save a few lives, then I'm all for it.

Probably, one of my biggest peeves is gun owners. Please fucking secure your guns. This is how so many guns get into the hands of bad people. Lock your guns up or wear them on your person. I know several gun owners. To my knowledge, none of them keep their guns in a secure safe, for obvious reasons. They have their guns for protection, therefore the gun is in an easily accessible place, such as a night stand, car glove compartment, or on a wall display. I would rather more people get permits to carry vs. leave their guns unsecured.

Let me tell you a true story. ~2 years ago, there were a string of break-in's in my 'hood. They were traced back to a group of juveniles, who were truant, and would break into houses during the day, because that's when no one is home. The items they were looking for: gold, flat screen TV's, and guns. Because they can be readily sold. Anyways, these juveniles were staking out a lady's house. She left to run an errand. Unexpectedly, she came back and the look-out's ran away out of fear. Well, she had some guns just lying around the house. The juveniles took these guns and ran off. A neighbor saw this and ran off after the juveniles. The juveniles took the guns (which were loaded) and started to shoot back at the neighbor. So basically, the guns that were there for protection, were now being used against the owner. It's some pretty damn scary shit for a suburban neighborhood. Thankfully, these juveniles were later caught. Apparently, as they were shooting at the neighbor, they somehow shot one of their crew in the ass. When they went to the hospital to get the bullet wound taken care of, the doctors, as required by law, have to report such wounds. Sadly, most of these kids were under 18, so they just got put in a juvenile detention center for a few days, before they were released.

I'm pretty sure there are statistics out there showing that households with guns, there's a higher probability that one of the family members will die from a gun related death, whether the couple is in an argument, or a kid is playing with a gun and shoots himself or a friend. Please please please secure your guns. Especially if you have kids or crazy people living with you, like this unfortunate incident in CT. If you knew your kid is mentally disturbed why the fuck do you have guns laying around that are readily accessible?

I would love for guns to be more difficult to get. Perhaps we should regulate gun ownership just like we do with cars (which are also deadly weapons if you think about it). Have mandatory gun safety training and such. Again, I know that this won't 100% stop gun related deaths, but if it saves a few lives, then it's worth it.

Also, fuck the NRA. Why do they honestly think that having more "good" people with guns would have prevented such tragedies as in Sandy Hook or Aurora? Let's be honest. As long as you have decent aim and a semi-automatic weapon with a large clip of ammo, it only takes a few seconds to kill a large amount of people. That's probably not enough time for a "good guy" with a gun to do anything about the situation, if they're not already dead or scared shitless. And giving teachers guns or having armed guards at every school probably won't help. I just find it ironic, that the same group of people who are advocating for such crazy measures are the same ones that want less government interfering with people's lives. Hmm....

At my high school, back when gang violence was every parent's worry in the 90s, we had hall security guards. They weren't armed but they were there to prevent any fights. These security guards were either old people, I'm talking about people in their 70s, or people who weren't in the best health. All they really did was catch people who may be walking in the hallways when they were supposed to be in class, or to tell us to stop running. If there was a fight, these guards were pretty much physically powerless to stop it. And besides, wasn't there an armed guard at Columbine?

Another issue that needs to be discussed is mental illness. I'm pretty sure that good portion of Americans have some sort of mental issue, whether it's depression, ADHD, autism, anxiety, etc. We're all pretty fucked up. Who knows why were are all so crazy? Perhaps it's our genetics, lifestyle, or the food we eat. Who knows. But depending on the extent of the illness, it can be a lot to deal with. And in a country, where access to medication and talk therapy, may be limited, because of cost or lack of insurance, that's a big problem. I've had my own bouts with depression in the past. Thankfully I had insurance that helped pay for my anti-depressant medication and regular talk therapy. But even then it was a cost and took time to schedule the therapy. Sadly, many Americans don't have this luxury. My depression seems fairly easy to regulate compared to people with more severe mental disorders.

Honestly, I don't know how a family, with 2 working parents (or just a single parent), can operate when a child needs 24-7 care for an illness, mental, physical, or emotional. What do you do? If you're wealthy enough, the family could possibly afford a nurse to come in or pay to send their kid of to a mental hospital. Or perhaps, one parent makes enough money, that one parent can stay at home full-time to care for their sick child. But sadly, this isn't the case for many families, who are barely making ends meet. As I've mentioned previously, perhaps a move to socialized healthcare would be good. That way children can get the care they need, without bankrupting their parent(s). Bring back the state-funded mental hospitals. And have them operated properly, where the patients are taken care of and not abused. Think of all of the jobs that would create.

current mood: restless

(1 drunk amanda | pbr me asap)

Friday, November 2nd, 2012
3:16 pm - RIP My Sweet Onyx Kitty, November 2004 - November 1, 2012
So, I has a sad. I had to put my dear Onyx to sleep yesterday. She was a very sweet kitty who was greatly loved. She had a wonderful life, that was cut far too short.

I may not have mentioned my kitties too frequently on here. But I had adopted 2 kittens in November 2004. They are sisters and both are all black and both have a tiny white spot on their bellies. Their names are Lily and Onyx.

When I found them, I was still living with ex-douchebag in Florida. At that time I was contemplating adopting an orange tabby cat that was hanging around where I worked. During my night shift, I'd go out and play with the cat. Apparently it's common practice for assholes to dump off unwanted animals at industrial parks. Anyways, on my week off from work, I meandered over to the community mailboxes at the apartment complex to check the mail. I was tossing some junk mail into the garbage, when I saw a small streak of black run by and then another. It was 2 black kittens that someone had abandoned. Behind the apartment complex, was a small industrial park. I don't think that these kittens had been out on their own for too long, as they weren't too scared of me. I was able to snatch up the more outgoing of the two, who I suspect was Lily. But Onyx was a bit more shy, and had walked through the chain link fence, but still close enough to see what was happening to her sister. I pulled out a long piece of grass and was able to use that as toy to get Onyx to come out from behind the fence, so I could grab her. It was love at first sight. Here's a crappy photo of me and my 2 tiny fur babies:

Growing up, I had always been a dog person. I liked all things furry and cute, but preferred dogs over cats. But that changed when my parents adopted the cutest and most playful tuxedo cat in 2000. Ever since then, I've been a cat person.

Anyways, the ex and our roommate let me keep the kittens. Their original names were Leela (now Lily) and Leia (now Onyx). The ex had come up with them. Not that they're bad cat names, but when we broke up and I took full custody of the cats, I wanted new names. I adored my little kittens though. They made coming home after a 12 hour work shift and 1 hour commute, so wonderful with their cuddles and love. When they were smaller, they would both cuddle up on my chest and just purr.

In order to tell Lily and Onyx apart easily, I put different colored collars on them. But as they started to mature, so did their individual personalities. Lily was definitely the dominant and more outgoing one. While Onyx, was a bit more timid and just oh so sweet. She was even sweet to her sister Lily, who was a bit of a bully. They were my constant companions and helped get me through some tough times with their love and cuddles. Eventually, I no longer needed the collars to tell them apart. I could just tell. Sometimes the husband would like to screw around with me, and he'd swap out their collars.

So here's a funny Onyx story. After the ex and I broke up, I moved out and got my own apartment. Unfortunately around this time, Lily and Onyx, had somehow gotten fleas, despite being indoor cats. So in order to not infest my new apartment with fleas, Onyx and Lily promptly got a bath before they had a chance to do any exploring. My mom and I were giving Lily a bath and Onyx was in the closed door bathroom, waiting her turn. Lily was done with her torture and now it was Onyx's turn. But Onyx was nowhere to be found, despite the closed door. We looked all over the bathroom and eventually we noticed that there was a gap between the bathroom cabinet and floor that this tiny kitty crawled into. We had to lure Onyx out with treats. It was kinda cute as you'd see this tiny paw reach out for the treats. We did get her out, but we then sealed up that gap with some tape and cardboard so it wouldn't happen again.

Onyx loved her hiding spots, whether they be high or low.

Another one of Onyx's favorite hiding spots was underneath my wood sleigh bed I had. There were drawers under the bed where I stored my underwear. Onyx learned how to pull these drawers open, pull out just enough underwear so she could crawl through the drawer to the middle void under the bed. Sometimes I think Onyx liked to hide just to get away from her mean sister, Lily, who had a tendency to beat up on her a bit.

In our current house, Onyx loved hiding in the basement. When we first moved in, she hid mostly in our basement, in this closet under the stairs. It was a bit dusty under there, so when she did come out, she would become a gray cat vs. a black one. Eventually, Onyx got used to our big house. One of her favorite things to do was to sit in front of the large windows throughout the house aka "Cat TV" and watch all of the birds and squirrels.

My cats have always been indoor cats. But from time to time I'd take them outside with me. They love sniffing all of the new smells, but at heart Lily and Onyx are both scaredy cats and would freak out over each new sound.

Sometimes, I'd even knit for my cats. They only ever got into my yarn once. I had just bought some Hot Pink Lion Brand Microspun yarn, which was expensive for me at the time. The yarn was still in the plastic shopping bags on a chair. I left the room for a few moments and came back to a Hot Pink string disaster. Both kitties were to blame. I spend at least an hour trying to untangle the mess, but I did eventually have to toss some of the yarn because it was just too knotted up. Here's Dino-Onyx:

As Lily and Onyx started to reach middle age, they both mellowed out to some degree. But I am definitely their favorite person. When I come home from work, there would always be 2 black kitty faces in the french door windows, happy to see that I'm home. Or perhaps that it was also dinner time. Onyx and Lily always wanted to be in the same room I was in, even the bathroom when I'm doing you know what. After Lily had a few accidents on our bed, we stopped letting the cats sleep with us. But when I'd wake up in the morning, both cats would be sitting outside the bedroom door, waiting for me.

One of our favorite games to play with the cats is the "Treat Game". Basically we skip kitty treats across the hardwood floors and watch the kitties scurry and pounce on them. I always made sure to give Onyx extra treats since mean Lily had a tendency to hog the treats, because Onyx was just a bit slower.

I don't know if I preferred one cat over the other. Both have distinct personalities in their own cute way. Lily has a tendency to be a bit shitty and aggressive. When Lily wants love, she'll head butt you or paw at your hand. It's kinda cute but can get annoying at times. As for Onyx, she was more submissive and had to groom Lily. So I always tried to be extra sweet to Onyx since Lily was sometimes so mean to her. Onyx, even though she might have been a bit slow, compared to Lily, Onyx was far sweeter. On some nights, I would sneak Onyx into the bed with me, sans Lily, and she'd become a whole another cat. She would head butt me to get some love and do cat dances on the comforter before she snuggled up next to me. She was just oh so sweet and dear. There wasn't a single mean bone in her body.

A few days ago, I noticed that Onyx wasn't really eating. Each cat has their own food bowl, so it's hard to tell because Lily can be a bit piggy and eat sweet Onyx's food. I thought that maybe Onyx just didn't like her dry kibble anymore, as she would eat treats. So the next day I got some wet food, which is normally a treat, and Onyx really wouldn't eat any of it. She was also becoming more anti-social and just not her usual self. So the day after I took my sick Onyx to the vet. They did some x-rays and they showed a large mass in her chest and fluid on her lungs. This was causing her to have problems with breathing and her pulse was low. The vet told me it was cancer and more than likely I would have to put my sweet Onyx to sleep. I almost passed out when I heard this news. I definitely wasn't expecting this response from myself.

I couldn't just "pull the plug" just yet, so I wanted a 2nd opinion. So I took Onyx to see a cat veterinarian she had seen before. The cat vet did some more x-rays and suspected that it was heart failure caused by heart disease vs. cancer. The vet wasn't 100% sure but suggested that Onyx get a chest ultrasound at the nearby emergency animal hospital. So I rushed Onyx over there. But by then, she was very frail. The ultrasound confirmed that it was heart failure. There are some medications she could have taken that may have temporarily stopped her heart from failing, and would have extended her dear life for maybe 4 - 6 months, granted she would make it through the 4 days she would need in the hospital for the treatment and recovery. Here's a picture of my sweet Onyx in the oxygen chamber that was helping her breathe. She was so happy to see her mom and dad and get some last minute love and kind words.

It was a very difficult decision to make but we decided to end her suffering. Because of the fluid on her lungs and around her heart, it made breathing so difficult for her. Onyx was such a sweet cat and very loved. She had a wonderful life, that was just too short. I knew that one day my kitties would go, but I just never though it would be this soon and so sudden.

Unfortunately, heart disease is difficult to diagnose in cats. I am a good cat mom and I take my kitties in once a year for their annual exam. The vets were always amazed by what good condition Onyx and Lily were in. At Onyx's last check up, she was in good health. Supposedly, heart disease in cats is genetic, so here's to hoping that Lily doesn't have it. I read that there are genetic tests you can have done for some breeds of cats to see if they have genes for heart disease so you can get them on preventive medication early. The only other way to screen for heart disease is to have an x-ray or ultrasound done. And these just really aren't standard tests you have done on kitties unless there's something really wrong. Maybe I'll have them done with Lily. Because cats are really good about hiding their illnesses, I didn't know anything was up until it was far too late.

There's definitely a hole in my heart and there are so many reminders in this house of my dear Onyx. Her sleeping spots. How she liked to sleep on my shoe pile. Where she would sit, waiting for me. I know I will get over this eventually. But for now, I'm just feeling rather blue.

current mood: sad

(3 drunk amandas | pbr me asap)

Friday, October 19th, 2012
5:50 pm - Foreign Policy
As it seems as of late, I have an opinion on almost everything in regards to this upcoming election. And I definitely have opinions in regards to the USA's interactions with other countries.

The War in Afghanistan:
I just want this to be over. And actually, I was never a fan of us being there to begin with. Am I glad that many of the bad folks in Al-Qaeda have been captured or killed? Sure. This world could use fewer of such hateful people. But on the other hand, it seems like the more we do in that area of the world, the more these folks hate Americans. If you kill or capture one of the leaders, there's another person to take their place. Let's just get the hell out of there, and let these people govern or kill themselves.

In fact, I think we should stay the hell out the Middle East all together. Why does the USA have to play peace keeper all of the damn time? I say let these people find their own way to freedom and democracy. Now with things like the internet, smart phones, Twitter, Facebook, these people are finding ways to organize. And let's face it, democracy as we know it in the USA, probably isn't going to work all that well initially, just due to how different the culture is in the Middle East. Look how badly fucked up some countries in Africa now are due to us trying to play their savior and instilling democracy. Now these African countries have tons of debt, crazy crooked dictators who were put in by us, extreme poverty.

I say we should stay out of ALL conflicts unless, we are attacked as a country, or called upon by the United Nations to help.

I truly feel sorry for the poor people who are stuck in such wretched places. Whether they have to deal with disease, social injustices, genocide, or whatever tragic things. But I say leave it up to all of the various charity organizations across the world to help and just donate money to them.

Because let's face it, keeping such a beefed up military is hella expensive and has contributed a good part to our ginormous debt. I say downsize the military to a more reasonable level, and put our veterans back to work, at home.

I know of some people are are hesitant for us to cut back on military spending because of threats from other countries. Perhaps Iran and North Korea are developing nuclear weapons. By why is it that the USA can only have nuclear weapons and no other country? Not that I really want the USA to experience a nuclear explosion on our soil. But can we just monitor the situation and act accordingly as needed?

And besides, don't we have far greater issues on our own soil that need rectifying vs. meddling in some foreign country's affairs?

(1 drunk amanda | pbr me asap)

Friday, October 12th, 2012
10:26 pm - Abortion
Sadly, abortion seems to be one of those topics that horribly divides us, for better or for worse. I'll admit that it has even influenced me in regards to who I'm going to vote for this election season.

Overall, I'd say I'm pro-choice. I think there are a lot of "gray" areas in regards to abortion, and it should be left up to the woman, the man who donated the sperm, and her doctor to make the decision whether to abort or not.

I was raised in the Catholic faith and thus pro-life. I used to think that pro-choice people were just a bunch of hateful baby killers. But I met some pro-choice folks in college and they changed my mind. I now believe abortion is a far more complicated issue.

I have had a few pregnancy scares over the past few years. Missed periods. Late periods. None due to pregnancy, that I'm aware of. But I also use contraception. Anyways, whenever my period was late, or the one time I did miss it and took a pregnancy test for the first time in my life (which came back negative), the thought of abortion did come across mind. When these events happened, I was in a decent place to have a baby i.e. I was married, had a stable job, financial stability, etc. But despite all of that, the idea of dealing with a baby, was still not a good thing in my eyes, especially in regards to how it would impact my marriage and career.

Overall, I'm not a fan of abortion. I think it's a nasty thing to do. I do believe that there is "life" at conception. Just like a plant cell or an amoeba is a living thing. As a scientist, I see a cell as a living thing. But when does that bundle of cells turn into a person with rights, I do not know. But if so-called pro-life people want to prevent abortions, I think there are far better things that can be done besides try to pass awful, ridiculous laws, trying to close abortion clinics or to picket abortion clinics with gruesome pictures of aborted fetuses. MOST abortions do not involve a fetus being cut up and bloody. I truly believe that if we give women more options either while pregnant or before pregnancy occurs, we'd drastically reduce abortions in this country. So lets look at various reason why a woman may choose to abort, for good, bad, or indifferent.

Life of the Mother / Pregnancy Complications:
This seems like a no-brainer. If being pregnant is endangering the life of the mother, it makes sense that an abortion may be medically necessary. This decision should be left to the mother, the sperm donor, and the doctor. If the mother dies, there's probably a good chance that the baby will die too. Check out this recent story from the Dominican Republic where ALL abortion is illegal (http://abcnews.go.com/Health/pregnant-dominican-teen-center-abortion-debate-dies-delayed/story?id=17044066#.UHi-jIZQCdk) So a very young woman is pregnant but also becomes diagnosed with leukemia. There's a high probability that the chemo will not only kill the cancer cells but also kill the baby. So doctor's spend weeks upon weeks debating this issue. In the meantime, both the mother and baby die. Just fucking awful. If a woman wants to face medical adversity in hopes of having her baby, she's a saint. But if she chooses abortion in order to survive and to maybe have another baby at another date, I don't see the problem with this

Rape / Incest:
Some politicians fear that women will fake a rape claim just to have an abortion. Sadly, there are woman who lie about rape. I don't agree with that. But I truly think that is few and far between, compared to woman who actually become pregnant due to rape or incest. If the woman wants to keep the baby despite the rape or incest, more power to her. But I don't have an issue with a woman wanting to abort under these circumstances. Rape is traumatic enough, let alone having to deal with a baby and possibly having to grant visitation rights to your rapist. As for incest, doesn't that create a higher probability of genetic disorders?

How about we try to prevent rape and / or incest? And not just leave it up to the responsibility of the woman by telling her not to wear short skirts or to watch her drink. How about we teach men not to rape? Don't fuck your relatives. Seems simple enough, right?

Fetus Medical Complications:
I have a bit more issue with this. Some people may choose to abort due to some sort of horrible medical anomaly with the fetus. I can understand the heart break of possibly having to deal with a baby who may only live a few days do to some sort of bodily defect. I don't blame some one for not wanting to deal with this. I think most parents want their kids to have 10 fingers, 10 toes, and be as normal as possible. To have the best possible life. Even if the baby won't die, but perhaps the child may just spend the rest of their life as a vegetable and need constant medical care. Is that life? What if you can't afford to pay for a live-in nurse or tons of surgeries? It truly is a tragic situation that I couldn't even imagine.

But then again, it is a living person. What constitutes a medical disorder that would determine abortion is the best solution vs. I don't want my kid to have 11 toes or the breast cancer gene or curly hair? How does this play into Eugenics? I don't really know. I believe that if someone were aborting based on these reasons, they'd do so for valid medical reasons, not because their baby may have brown eyes or the baby's gender. But here's where you enter a gray area.

Being Poor / Uninsured / Unemployed
If I was poor, didn't have insurance, or was employed, there's no way in hell I'd feel like having a baby because I wouldn't be able to provide the best possible life for the baby. I'd want the best medical care which typically requires having health insurance via an employer and some money.

Being Young:
Personally, I don't want teenagers having babies. Most of them aren't mature enough to handle the responsibility having having a baby. And their babies are more likely to be young parents. I've seen it within my own extended family. A hundred years ago, it was more common place for women to have a baby at a young age, just because woman got married a lot younger and weren't expected to become educated.

Other Medical Complications:
There are some women who are unfortunate enough to have medical issues, such as arthritis, severe allergies, etc, that make everyday living complicated, let alone having to deal with pregnancy and caring for a baby 24 / 7.

Having a Bunch of Other Children to Care For:
If a woman, already has multiple children to care for, having another child, let alone a helpless baby to attend to, is definitely difficult and costly. I have no idea how my grandmother manage to have 6 children. I wouldn't blame a woman who already has multiple children to care for, not wanting an additional child.

With the 4 instances mention above - not having adequate medical care, being young, health issues, multiple children already - one would think that under this situations a woman would know that having a baby may not be the best idea. But somehow they end up pregnant, especially considering that there are readily available ways to prevent pregnancy. Well......yes and know. Some on the Right want to make it seem that any woman can just readily get contraception, whether that be pills, condoms, IUD's, etc. But truly it isn't that easy.

I'm fortunate enough that I have health insurance and my current insurance does cover contraceptive medication such as the birth control pill. With my prior employer, their health insurance provide did NOT cover birth control. It's horse shit if you ask me. (Like having to pay for doctor's visit due to pregnancy and me taking maternity leave wouldn't have cost them more money!) It was also a complete shock to me, when I had to pay $60 out of pocket for my birth control, that had previously only cost me $10 with insurance. Thankfully, I've been blessed financially and can pay for such things. But I did later switch to generic birth control pills, that cost far less out of pocket, but I had more horrid side effects. Not fun, but at least I wasn't pregnant, right?

Despite birth control being technically readily available, there's a lot going on legislative wise trying to limit access.

First, there's all of this talk of defunding Planned Parenthood. I've never have had to use their services but I've known several woman who have, due to not having health insurance. They went to Planned Parenthood to get contraceptives NOT abortions. And it has been shown over and over again, that Planned Parenthood does a lot of good things, and abortions are a very tiny portion of what they provide. And tax payer dollars aren't used towards abortions. I don't think tax payer dollars should be used towards abortions, just because it is too controversial. Woman NEED access to healthcare and contraceptives.

Also, what's up with locking up the condoms at stores? Are there really that many people shoplifting condoms? Why are we so prude-ish when it comes to sex? Watch most TV shows, music videos, etc, there are all sorts of references to sex. We're human. It's in our nature to want to fuck. Sex is EVERYWHERE in the USA. We're almost obsessed with it. But we don't talk much publicly of it. Like we're ashamed. The more taboo you make things, the more we want to do it. Sex had been around for a long ass time. We have been fucking each other forever. Why keep something so secretive? I'm not saying we should be out fucking in public, but let's at least have adult conversations about it.

Secondly, I don't get this whole thing with employers not wanting to provide contraception access in the health insurance they provide to their employees because it violates their religious freedom. Perhaps this is some gray area in regards to how birth control pills work such as it making the uterine lining an inhospitable place for a fertilized egg to implant itself. But I really don't see how this is a religious freedom issues. I identify as a Christian. If I personally saw birth control pills as equaling abortion, I wouldn't take them. But it's not my right to enforce my religious beliefs on others. And whose to say this doesn't happen naturally? Not all fertilized eggs become babies. Does this mean we should investigate every woman's period or a tragic miscarriage as an abortion? Hell no! And if you has a Muslim business owner forcing ladies to wear burkas due to their religious beliefs, I'm sure the Right would have quite a bit to say about that and it violates their religious freedom. It'll be interesting to see how the response would be if there was male birth control....

We need better sex education. Screw this abstinence only crap. I do believe that abstinence is the only way to 100% protect yourself from unwanted pregnancy or STD's. But let's face it, as humans we're going to fuck each other. And we need to know how to protect ourselves. I do support that if a full sex education is against your moral beliefs, you can prevent your kids from being subjected to it. But for those that don't care as much. young kids need to know. I don't believe adequate sex education is going to corrupt them. Just turn on prime time TV and you'll see enough sex and boobs. I even remember being as young as 9-10 years old and hearing things about penises and sex and blowjobs on the playground, and I was a fairly protected child. Kids are going to find out about this stuff from friends, the internet, TV, whether parents like it or not. And kids need to know what they can do to protect themselves.

We also need to instill in kids, what the hazards of teen pregnancy, STD's, etc, are. It's not as glamorous as what MTV shows. We need to instill values in kids that they are more than just their genitals. That getting married and having kids isn't the best thing you can ever do with your life. There's more to life than just how well their genitals function or how many people you can fuck.

And for woman, who don't want kids, why do we stigmatize this? This is how I see things as a woman:
If you're not into sex or don't want to have sex, you're a prude.
If you like sex, you're a slut.
If you have a baby out of wedlock, you're a whore and selfish.
If you have an abortion (despite the wedlock), you're evil and a baby killer.
You leave work to care for your kids, you're selfish and not a good employee.
If you're a working mother, you are neglecting your kids.
If you don't want kids period, you're just selfish.

It seems like no matter what a woman does, there's someone who is Mr. McJudgey-Pants, who criticizes what we do. There's no way to win.

We need to make adoption easier to do. Or set up it up so you can drop off your baby with no judgments at fire stations or whatever.

Basically, we need to stop this love obsession with the fetus and give women viable options in regards to controlling their fertility and the ultimate outcome. I truly believe if we did this, the amount of abortions would drastically decrease.

current mood: pissed off

(pbr me asap)

Monday, October 8th, 2012
10:58 pm - Campaign Contributions
Let's face it. The current political system in this country is broken. It no longer seems to be for the people but for large corporations.

I'll be honest. I donated $75 to President Obama's campaign this year. That was the first time I have ever donated to a political campaign. One donation was after the whole Senator Akin / legitimate rape comment, because I was so pissed of with how Mr. R. Money handled it. And another donation was just to get a bumper sticker for my car.

I do believe that people and corporations should be allowed to donate money to political campaigns. But there needs to be limits on how much can be donated. And don't even get me started on that Super PAC crap. It makes me feel like our political leaders can be bought and sold by the wealthy and the wealthy owners of corporations. But since pretty much ALL of our elected officials are on the payroll of wealthy donors, I doubt current regulations regarding campaign donations will ever change. I read somewhere that which ever political candidate can raise the most money, typically wins the election.

And why would someone donate huge amounts of money to a someone running for a political office? Because you're hoping that they'll vote similarly to your ideals. And if you're a very large donor, that's definitely going to attract some personal attention. Or at least an invitation to an exclusive, fancy dinner, where you might get a few minutes to spew your ideals to the political candidate.

These large donations aren't usually "no strings attached". If I received a million dollar donation from someone, I'd feel obligated to do some of their bidding in one form or another. Even with my own wedding, my parents foot the bill. Even though the day was supposed to be about celebrating my marriage, I didn't 100% celebrate how I wanted to. I had a fabulous wedding. No complaints. But because I wasn't paying for anything, I kind of had to go along with some things that my parents wanted. The same thing goes on in politics. "If I scratch your back, you scratch my back."

Don't get me wrong, I do believe that corporations do need a say in government regulations. Their voices need to be heard. But the current system is set up for that! Government areas such as the EPA and FDA, allow industry to comment on new rules and regulations. The EPA, FDA, etc are required to calculate any financial impact the rules would have on businesses, and take that into account. The government isn't as "rigged" against economic growth as some on the Right would make it seem.

Besides the fact that you have to be a bit crazy to want to run for public office in this day and age, I don't see how your average person could even afford to, with all of the money it takes to finance a campaign. Either, you have to come from money. Or you probably grew up semi-wealthy, were able to get a good education and go to an elite college, where all of the other politicians go, make some contacts, get a high paying job straight out of college, and get money that way.

current mood: frustrated

(2 drunk amandas | pbr me asap)

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