Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Lazy-Ass Librarian Tuesday: For All You New Lawyers!

And you thought this day would never arrive!

Happy First-Day-of-the-Bar-Exam Day! In honor of your brand-new career, here's a video of what happens when practicing attorneys dine together. Be sure to watch it full screen. It's lots more fun that way.

Better you than me, Bub.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

AIDS2010 in Vienna, with Puppets and Everything!

I'm happy to link to Day Two coverage of the AIDS2010 international conference in Vienna, where my friend Mark King is a correspondent for TheBody.com. In this video, Mark explores HIV/AIDS and youth programs. A particular delight is his interview with teenage activists from around the world. If these kids are any indication, our future is in very good hands.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Food. An Encore.

Waaaaaay back in October, I posted about where food addiction has taken me. It was a little on the graphic side, so I won't put you through it again. Suffice it to say that, for me, losing weight isn't just about trying to cross my legs gracefully, or finding a lower-fat recipe for bean dip. It's about full-blown, low-bottom, chronic-relapsing, life-threatening addiction in the most serious sense of the word.
I'm not trying to be terminally unique here; I'm stating a fact. At my heaviest I was five-feet-nothing and 245 pounds. So I'm not your average gosh-she-could-stand-to-lose-maybe-twenty-pounds kind of girl.

I'm 55 pounds down from that awful place, but I've been losing and gaining the same five pounds for months now, because I haven't been able to stop eating destructively.

I suppose super-sized addictions call for the big artillery (Wow. Talk about a mixed metaphor. Or simile. Or something). So here's what I'm doing:


I was just about to tell you about how now I'm willing to go to any lengths, and how I'm taking all this fabulous action, and how this time it's gonna be different, really it is!, and how the next time you see me you won't even recognize me because I'm never going to eat a trigger food ever, ever, ever again.

But let's face it: The chances of that are, oh, I don't know, some infinitessimally small number barely above zero, out of maybe a bazillion.

Personally, I'm sick of the whole stupid thing. And I'm fairly sure my inner circle is pretty sick of hearing about it too. As, perhaps, are you.

But considering the grim alternative, I'm gonna have to bank on those odds, deal with it one more time. and hope for deliverance. Just for today.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

You and Your FUD: Ladies, Submit No More!

In the late 60's and early 70's, I thought feminists were a bunch of bra-burning nut jobs. Then I became one myself... Well, okay, except for the braless part.

(It's all my cousin Jeanne's fault. That godless heathen taught me that her sons were perfectly capable of making their own dinner. And then she told me that sex is fun. That's just the kind of subversive shit that still undermines American family values today.)

I've heard the usual theories about how Western culture got to be so patriarchal. You know, like, because women get pregnant, and we have less upper body strength so we're vulnerable to physical threats from men. And, well, you know, because God said so. Or so they say.

Well, those theories are all just a lot of crap. We live in a patriarchal society for one reason, and one reason alone: Men can pee standing up.

Think about it, gentlemen: you're so much more mobile. Whip it out, do your thing, shake it off a little, shove it back in, and you're good to go. You're out there skinning your second woolly mammoth while we're still pulling down our pantyhose.

I became particularly sensitive to this disadvantage when I was down on the farm, with nothing but mud for plumbing (that is, until we built a sawdust toilet out of a five-gallon paint can and a toilet seat, but that's a tale for another day).

Well, squatting in a field of mud at 3 a.m. in the middle of a thunderstorm gets really tiresome after a while. I began to get penis envy.

So one day I Googled "women" and "pee standing up." And what did I find? Just the end of patriarchy, that's all! Directions on how to pee standing up if you're of the female persuasion. And even a little gadget you can buy if you're not so good at following directions.

(That was also the summer I tried to learn how to juggle. I still can't do that, either.)

At any rate, for some unknown reason, I repeated the Google search today. And boy, have we come a long way, baby! Now there's a wiki article on how to pee standing up. And lots and lots of gizmos to try, if you're luckless au natural. There's even a name for them: FUDs, or Female Urination Devices. The minute I saw all those products I knew I had my blog post for the day. I'm pleased to present them to you now.

First, there's the P-Mate. This handy little thingamajig is covered with a four-leaf clover design because it's "good luck to have one with you when you are in need." For your convenience, they come in packs of five.

Next up is the GoGirl. Billed as "the way to stand up to crowded, disgusting, distant or non-existent bathrooms," the GoGirl is a little funnel made out of silicone. Please note: There is a right way and a wrong way to hold your GoGirl.

Then there's the Whizzy. I can't tell much from the picture. Fortunately, there is a section on "How to use your Whizzy." I bet their sales rep can't say that with a straight face.

Next, we have the Shewee. Cute, huh? Frankly, it looks a lot like the GoGirl to me. But it comes in different colors and there's all kinds of ways to accessorize. Note, however, that the Shewee hand model is holding it wrong!

But I think the prize (for size, if not for originality) has to go to the Shenis.


I can't even think of anything to say about the Shenis. Except to note that it also comes in black, and that one is even bigger. Ha ha ha.

To complete your ensemble they also sell She-Nutz. Perfect as a keychain. Or earrings. 

And I'm pretty sure my head just exploded.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

In defense of (most) government bureaucrats

God, I'm soooo tired of hearing about how government can't do anything right, and how private enterprise can't do anything wrong. And I'm especially tired of hearing that every single government worker in the entire U. S. of A. is a lazy dolt. Hence, this vent.

Based on my experience, "government efficiency" is not an oxymoron. I've worked in or around all three branches of government, in both state and federal venues, as well as in the private sector. Trust me: people in the executive and judicial branches of government work plenty hard. As a group, they're about as efficient as private-sector employees. Indeed, many are more efficient, because they don't enjoy the luxury of adequate staffing.

As for the legislative branch of government, the front-line workers -- clerical and support personnel, security, legislative aides, librarians, lawyers, et cetera, et cetera -- work really hard, too. I know, because I have to keep up with them during the legislative session.

So, who's left? Where are all those surly, inefficient government bureaucrats I keep hearing about?

Well, all I can tell you is this: the government folks I haven't yet mentioned just happen to be the same ones who love to perpetuate the stereotype.

Hey. Just saying.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Be Visible. But Vigilant.

It's been an eventful week for the LGBT community here in Georgia . First, the good news: Vandy Beth Glenn won an important victory in her lawsuit against Georgia state officials. The District Court for the Northern District of Georgia (a federal court) granted her motion for summary judgment against the one remaining defendant. As you may recall, Ms. Glenn was fired from her job as legislative aide for the Georgia state legislature after she informed her boss that she was Transgender and would be transitioning from male to female on the job. The district court found that in firing her, the state had violated Ms. Glenn's equal protection rights under the 14th amendment. Relying on solid precedent, the court found as a matter of law that Ms. Glenn was fired because she refused to behave and dress like a man. This, the court ruled, constituted impermissible sex discrimination. I've read the 50 -page opinion and it's a good read. (since I'm writing this on
my phone, I can't provide a link to the opinion and can't give nearly as much detail as I'd like). All that's left is to determine the remedy - Ms. Glenn wants her job back - and that will be addressed at a hearing scheduled for next week. Of course, an appeal is likely.

As encouraging as this development is, my enthusiasm is tempered by more sobering news: a few days ago a gay couple was attacked and beaten in Piedmont Park (again, I can't provide links or much detail). Judging from the news reports, it appears to have been a hate crime.

It's still dangerous out there, folks, even in our own neighborhoods. I'm reminded of that bumper sticker: 'Freedom is not free." Those of us who enjoy greater acceptance in society do so on the shoulders of others who - whether voluntarily or not - have found themselves on the front lines. And because these sacrifices aren't just in the past, we never know when we might be called into the fight ourselves.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Notes on a Move

1. I am here, and so is my stuff. Finally.

2. Among the things I can't find: Deoderant. Pillow Talk. Silverware. The cat.

3. There's a used condom and a couple of rolled-up used paper towels in the carport. I'm pretty sure they're not mine.

4. Rocket-the-Dog immediately made herself right at home by peeing on my bed.

5. Forrest, on the other hand. won't pee or poop at all.

6. Kitchens are not designed for short people.

7. I don't think they make HVAC air filters in that size or shape.

8. This time I'm buying a garbage can with wheels.

7. Thank God for 24/7 grocery stores.

8. My life is good today. Disorganized, but good.