health care

Things That Make You Go, "WTF?!"

Good morning, folks. I hope your weekend was better than mine. I've got some caffeine and a bit of a rant brewing.

It is, of course, an election year and therefore everyone and their mother is sticking some appendage into their mouth or talking out of their ass.

By now you've probably heard about Republican candidate Todd Akin's outrageous and egregious claim about "legitimate rape" not leading to pregnancy. If you didn't, allow me to inform you. The Missouri nominee for a senate seat said,

"From what I understand from doctors, [pregnancy as a result of rape is] really rare. If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let's assume maybe that didn't work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist."

Oh, sweethearts and dear ones, I don't know where to start with this one. Okay, that's a bit of a fib, I know exactly where I want to start, but I understand that some of you may not want to get into politics. That's fine. Those of you who do...let's get together after the jump and dive into the cesspool that is Horribly Stupid Soundbytes from Political Figures!

*Possible trigger warning. We will be talking about rape/sexual assault. 

Okay...for one moment let's forget that this is even about abortion. Okay? We're not going to talk about pro-choice/pro-life, ultrasounds, birth control or women's rights. We're going to focus solely on this gem of ignorance brought to us from Mr. Akin.

"Legitimate Rape"  What in the bloody blue blazes of Satan's scrotum constitutes "legitimate rape"? Here's how I understand it: Person A makes an unwanted sexual advance on Person B. Person B makes it known through physical cues or a simple "no" that these advances are unwanted. When Person A presses the issue and forces sexual activity to happen... this equals rape.

I know that our society likes to muddy the waters by taking pages from the Blame the Victim playbook. Rather than educate our youth that rape is wrong, we're telling our girls not to leave the house dressed like sluts. We're conditioning more women who will internalize assault as their fault and therefore be less likely to come forward. It does not help when judges let known rapists go because they feel the women were asking for it. It's true. Click the link and be prepared to calm your gag reflex.

So, is Mr. Akin saying that "legitimate rape" is one where a woman is ushered off the street into a back alley and violated by a stranger? According to Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), nearly 60% of all reported rapes are committed by someone the victim knows. Does Mr. Akin feel that "date rape" is a sketchy area because clearly the woman wanted to be with this man, therefore, she can't possibly have been "legitimately raped"? I'd like to know what the would-be senator feels on this matter, but he hasn't clarified this statement. (Sure, he's walked it back and tried to weasel out of it, but he stayed away from explaining this particular phrase.)

Rape is rape. If Person A is told NO, but continues anyway? Done.

"A Really Rare Thing" Mr. Akin seems to be focusing on the idea that getting pregnant as a result of sexual assault is akin to finding a four-leaf clover. (We'll get to his reasoning why shortly, believe me.) But, there is some factual basis to this part. The US Department of Justice estimates that 5% of one-time unprotected sexual encounters will end in pregnancy. That's rather low, to be sure. There are many factors that may contribute to or skew this figure--particularly when trying to apply it to incidences of rape or incest--however, RAINN estimates that in one year, 3,204 assaults (out of the nationally reported 64,080) will end in pregnancy.

The frightening thing about RAINN's statistics, however, is that a woman is more likely to get pregnant from an assault than her attacker is to spend a single day in jail.

"...ways to shut that down..."

This is where Mr. Akin's statement takes a turn for the wacky and truly terrifying. While yes, we women are graced with a body that does amazing things in the nether regions, I think Mr. Akin gives a little too much credit to the feminine mystique. According to his statement, I've got a vagina rigged with trip wire, laser sensors and high explosives that James Bond couldn't get into with all the help from Q. And if he did manage to Mission: Impossible his way in there with his secret agent sperm, I'd have my uterus on lockdown faster than you could say Pussy Galore.

Look, it doesn't work that way. You see, a woman has no natural failsafe. Any college co-ed will tell you that we cannot will ourselves to Please God Don't Let Me Be Pregnant any more than a man can make one big boob by smooshing both of them together. We are not so in touch with our strange and mystical ovaries that we can make them stop the presses.

Funny thing: we all learned this in school. Biology class is nifty. Granted that Mr. Akin comes from the generation of "put an aspirin between your knees" birth control, but I'm pretty sure he went to school before No Child Left Behind started to dumb down the masses.

Akin says that he got this information from doctors. Unless those doctors are the same high school girls who think that you won't get pregnant if you have sex in a pool, spin around 3 times and bark like a dog after he comes... I'm dubious of Mr. Akin's sources. I'm betting they look like that guy up there.

At least he finishes off with a bang, that cooky Mr. Akin. He says that if our wily vaginas don't manage to purge the invader semen, the rapist should be punished. That's fantastic. I'm glad he's on our side. (See above reporting statistics and the average that 97% of rapists walk free.)

There Should Be Some Punishment Here's the thing: Would-Be-Lawmaker Todd Akin is right. There should be some punishment. Rapists should be held accountable, women should feel they can report these attacks without the blame-the-victim bullshit that inevitably ensues and we should live in a world where a football stadium full of people are not assaulted every year. However, there are these roadblocks standing in the way of that utopia. They're called "politicians". Redefining rape, trying to package rape and abortion, using them as wedge issues and ammunition in an onslaught against women's rights... Yeah, to put it bluntly, they suck. And there should be a punishment for that level of stupidity. It's fine to be that ignorant in the privacy of your own home, but when it affects my uterus, you're done.

It reminds me of John Waters (filmmaker of such cult classics as Hairspray, Cry-Baby and Pecker). He once said that if you go home with someone and you can't see any books, don't fuck them. I think we need to impose a similar rule in politics.

So, here's what I want you to do.

If you think that Akin and other such people seeking office on a platform that spews ignorance and outright lies.... Don't vote for them. Period. Don't let this shit into a position of power. If he doesn't have a grasp of 4th grade biology, he doesn't get to play with your rights or money. Savvy?

If you aren't sure, you're still on the fence and want to see what's what? Pick up a book. Educate yourself. Scour Google for hours and use reputable sources, not just Wikipedia. Feed your head with knowledge, then, once you've done that... Don't vote for this shit.

If you agree with Mr. Akin and think he speaks gold-plated gospel... DON'T VOTE. Period. It's your civil right to vote, sure, but if you're completely off reality and scientific fact in the process, you've ceased to live in our country and now inhabit the same plane as unicorns, snozwankers and vermicious knids. Feel free to blow bubbles into your chocolate milk and fuck some electric sheep, but please, don't screw up my reality because you've abandoned it.

Nerdmaste, my friends.

EDIT 8pm, 8/20 - Two things have been brought to my attention since I posted this this morning and I wanted to give them a place here. 1) A dear friend of mine made the comment, "No doesn't mean no. No is implied until removed." This is an excellent point. She went on to explain that the burden of consent should not be on the victim, yet that is where we place it. She finishes off her statement saying that if there is already a blanket consent--for example, in a pre-existing relationship--it is up to the "victim" to communicate when sex is off limits. I think she's got an amazing point when it comes to where we place the burden of consent. It's something to think on.  And 2) Someone shared this open letter to Todd Akin by renowned feminist and writer Eve Ensler. Read it. Have kleenex handy. --jw

Sluts and Sports

So there's a lot going on in the news to talk about, and anyone who's read my blog for any amount of time knows that I have a plethora of opinions. Rather than rant at length about All The Things, though, I'm just going to condense things down a bit. Join me. Let's chat.Sports: I'm an Indy girl, born and raised, and I hate to see what's going on with my Colts. Last week, owner Irsay decided it would be in the club's best interests to cut Peyton Manning. Alright, after last season and a nebulous future and your new golden boy Andrew Luck waiting in the wings, I can see where that might make sense in someone's mind. I'm sad that Peyton is leaving the team, but hope he finds a new home where he can play out his remaining years and thrive. (If that place happened to be Phoenix, Arizona, I would be ecstatic. Just sayin', love. Come to the desert. You'd look spectacular in red.) I'll still cheer on my Colts and I'll still root for my #18 every week wherever he lands. I'm grateful to him for all he did for Indy as a player and as a member of our community. And even with all the cash he gets for breaking those records, the man has class. Love love love my Peyton.But could someone please tell me what Irsay was smoking when he thought it would be brilliant to pack up pretty much the whole damn starting offensive line and send them off in a Mayflower truck? I mean, has Irsay discovered some new tropical hallucinagen? I have heard the argument that "well, when you're rebuilding a team you need to cut the old players who won't be around much longer to afford new players who can grow together". Bollocks! What about having veterans to coach your young blood and temper fresh talent with wisdom?

The mood around Indy this week has been like a funeral and it's not hard to understand why. I remember the 80s and 90s. I remember the days of Jeff George. (*shudder*) I remember when every week Indy watched the Colts suck monkey taint while other teams stomped our defensive line into the end zone to use as fertilizer. Back then, a local musician named Duke Tumatoe penned a song. Every Friday the song would be played as a kind of rain dance hoping that the gods would deliver touchdowns to our dehydrated Colts. I haven't heard that song in an age because it hasn't been needed with Peyton around. Now, though, it seems it's time to dust it off and start crooning. Lord, help our Colts.

Women's Health: Every day I get an email from someone wanting to make my dick bigger, harder, stronger to give her great stony pleasure. Usually this is in the form of a cock-enhancing drug. And I don't even have a penis. Junk mail at its worst. I mean, I at least have a roof or a carpet, so those ads for carpet cleaners could be useful, but without a penis, Viagra is just entirely out. One thing I've never gotten, though, is an email offering me contraceptives or an abortion. At least those would be anatomically correct. But, it seems that once again my vagina is getting me into trouble simply by being. You all know what I'm talking about and if you don't you must live in a media-free vacuous hole that even the Amish look upon with awe and wonder. Santorum, Rush, state legislatures ... riddle me this...
What the fuck is going on with the political war on women's health?
Look, I get it that there are people who have objections to birth control. I also understand that some people see abortion as murder. I'm willing to have civil discourse over this. Me? I'm pro-choice, plain and simple. I have a daughter, so obviously you know what my personal choice was, but I respect your right to make whatever decision you and yours feel is best for your situation. Done. Period. I won't begrudge you your opinions.
However, when you start trying to make and enforce laws that would violate another human being's body, laws that are specifically designed to humiliate and remove a person's choice of how and when to reproduce? That's when I get a little bit miffed. These same people who say that a woman who uses the Pill is a slut are the ones who see no problem with floods of emails busking for Viagra.
Are we really having this conversation now? A woman who is being responsible for herself and her partner is suddenly a prostitute and should have no problem shaming herself YouTube for all to see. Do I have that right? A woman's body is to be used by men specifically for pro-creative sex (sometimes with the help of Four-Hour Boner Juice) and the only choice she's allowed to make is whether or not she opens her legs. Do I understand?
Bullshit.
Put your probes away. Educate yourselves on what a woman's body does, how and why it does it and how contraception helps those actions run smoothly. Quit your male posturing and sit the fuck down with your happy blue pills, a bottle of Lubriderm and a box of Kleenex.

Stompy Boots

Hello, my loves. I come to you today not with silliness or heartwarming tales of my home life. No, today I come to you with a certified, 100% pure, uncut Wahine-style rant of the ages. Oh holy shit, I'm primed on this one. Allow me to just tell you right now: THERE WILL BE PROFANITY. Lots of it, probably. I've been incensed and I'm ready spit fiery porcupine quills in the general direction of this woman's face. Lace up your boots and come watch me kick in the teeth of a festering boil on the ass crack of humanity. So, today's rant comes to us from Liz Trotta, a contributor on (shock and awe) Fox "News". Either she's a satirical artist who just needs some time to hone her craft or she's a fucking nutjob.

So, the Pentagon recently reported that sex crimes committed by army personnel has gone up 64% in the past six years. A statistic bandied about in the Pentagon's study said that in 2011 every 6.5 hours, a US soldier committed a violent sex act. This is higher than the civilian population rates and is based on the 3200 crimes that were reported for that year. Considering how many sex crimes go unmentioned...? Yeah. Staggering numbers. The wording is a bit sketchy, but I believe this number pertains specifically to the assault of military service members by their peers. Soldier on soldier abuse. Security measures are being taken to protect our servicemen and women from these crimes, but they still happen. According to the Pentagon's numbers, domestic abuse and child abuse in the homes of US army personnel is on the rise as well. Initial reactions by officials are that the soldiers with PTSD are more likely to resort to violence.

Now... I look at this report and I see a few things that jump out at me.

  • First and foremost, we're not taking care of our military when they come home. I know from the experience of friends who fought in Afghanistan and Iraq that it's no picnic. Period. You do the best you can with what you're given. When they come home, though, we're not taking care of them. Our soldiers need mental and physical support on the homefront to deal with the hell they've been through while away at war.
  • The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are taking their toll on our people in ways that are kept in the shadows.  We think we're safe on this shore. No, we don't have car bombs or riots in the streets. There aren't rockets blowing up fifty yards from your office. But we're not okay here. We are not unscathed.
  • Gender is not specified, so it can (and does) go both ways.
So, are we all on the same page? The soldiers that have been giving up their sanity, homes, jobs and families (you know, the parts of their lives that aren't just biological processes) to go thousands of miles from home to sit in a desert where things explode all around them and people shoot at them all day... yeah, those people... anyway, they're turning on one another (at home and overseas) and on their families when they get home. (**Please know that when I say, "they", this is an obvious generalization. Not all soldiers cope with their demons in the same ways. Some have tremendous support networks even if the government doesn't provide it to them.**)
When Fox "News" ran a piece about women serving closer to the front lines, they turned to pundit Liz Trotta (the previously-mentioned object of my unholy wrath) to weigh in on the subject. She brought up the Pentagon's study in her interview. What was her reaction as a professional and as a woman? Let's take a look. Let's let Liz tell us what she thinks about this horrific insight into our failure to take care of our troops...
Let's just distill that to its finest point, shall we? "What did they expect?" Seriously? Fucking seriously? Oh, Liz, where do we begin with the myriad ways you've proven yourself to be a daft twat? How about this...?
FIRST of all, you've taken the Pentagon's findings and immediately made assumptions that women are the victims. Now, while that may be accurate, it is, at this point, an assumption on your part. Poor journalism on your part. Strike number one.
SECONDLY, you have just joined a sad group of our society that looks at sexual assaults and automatically assigns blame not to the criminal but to the victim. I don't care if you're a man, woman, gay, straight, lesbian, child, or a purple snouth from the planet Kuzbain: If you say 'no', and someone forcibly brings harm to your body, you are a victim. And there's a stigma to the word, but fuck that. Bad things happen to people and when they do, they shouldn't be harassed about it to add further insult to injury. A victim's emotion and stress and need for healing is valid. Period.
Also, along this same point, let's not forget that sexual assault is not an act of sex, it's about control and will. This pisses me off to no end that our society--Puritanical and strangely bent on sexualizing everything--still sees rape as something that must involve a penis, and therefore, must be solely about that most taboo subject that is sex. It's not. Sex crimes are about taking. The rapist isn't stealing a stereo or mugging someone for extra cash, nor are they just trying to get off. No, a rapist s/he's actively seeking to rob someone of their control. *That* is currency. A dominance of will. It's a power thing. Sex crimes involve terrorism and physical violence. Either Liz Trotta has had the good fortune to never have experienced a sex crime (first hand or through a friend/family member), or she needs a few rounds of therapy to help her with the self-loathing she's got going on.
Seriously, Liz, you're going to sit there with your face hanging out and tell me that a woman who wants to serve her country by laying down her life to take up arms... you're telling me that she should expect that rape or assault comes part and parcel with her oath? Fuck. You. Regardless of gender a person should never be told to take rape as just part of the job. It's like the shit argument of "well, when you go out looking like that, what do you expect?" That doesn't jive in the military population since everyone's wearing the same thing and it's not all flash and short skirts. And it doesn't flow in the civilian world, either. Why? Because there is this thing called respect for others. We shouldn't be teaching our girls that a bright shade of lipstick and a low-cut blouse are an invitation to be raped, we should be teaching everyone (boys and girls) that no means fucking no! Respect. Self-responsibility. Liz, you've just joined every jock on every 80's after school special who grinned and drawled, "She was asking for it." Fuck. You.
THIRD: You're bitching that this is a web of red tape strung up by feminists just to spend your tax dollars on helping women who've been raped? Seriously? Liz is bitching about feminists and that's fine (masochistic, but fine). However, could someone triple check me on something? Go look at the video. In the sidebar within the first few seconds, her credentials slide by. It says that she is the first woman to cover a war for broadcast  news. Gee, if you don't like feminists, maybe you should head back to the kitchen, put on your lipstick and start making a sammich. Turn over that journalism degree from Columbia. Stop taking royalties on those books you've published. Just shut up like a good little woman and use the 19th Amendment for a tampon.
FOURTH! (and this one burns me up...) She says that pressure from feminists has built this web of bureaucracy to "support women in the military who are now being raped too much".  Oh, fuck, where do I start with this sentence? Like it's such a sin to support women. Let's pass that for a moment and move to my favorite part... "support women who are" what? Being raped too much. Too much. Because once should just be overlooked? As if it's like hot dogs where there's an acceptable about of rat shit that can go into the food before the FDA gets pissed. What the fuck is this!? Let's just say this in nice big letters that everyone will be able to read:
IT SHOULD NEVER BE ACCEPTABLE TO RAPE/ASSAULT SOMEONE!
And then, (FIVE) the Fox "News" anchor actually stands up for lady soldiers, agrees that women need support and protection and what does Liz do? The cunt sneers and laughs! When a FOX NEWS anchor has to tell you the difference between right and wrong, you've got issues. AND THEN (six), she digs the hole deeper with this gem:
"That's funny. I thought it was the mission of the [Armed Forces] to defend and protect us, not the people who were fighting the war."
Holy shit, you want to talk about a sense of entitlement? Listen, you crotchety old bag of lipstick, your logic here is severely flawed. I'm not sure if it's the senility settling in or brain damage of another sort, but allow me to educate you on a few things. A) Yes, the Armed Forces are there to defend the country and its citizens. B) That's not funny. Not at all.   It goes like this, Liz. We don't conscript our soldiers from slave populations. We don't outsource them like your tech support team for your iPhone. Our soldiers are us. They're your neighbors, they teach your grandchildren, they sit across from you in church. They have just as much to fight for--if not more--than you do, you fucking hag. Do you know what they've sacrificed? Do you have any earthly clue what the soldiers and their families go through in the name of "defending and protecting" you?
In case you haven't noticed it a camp in the middle of Afghanistan isn't exactly luxury accommodation. When your husband is gone for months at a time and you have to be both mother and father to your children during that time, it's not something that lands you on the cover of Vogue. If you're lucky enough to have your spouse come home with all limbs in tact, what about their mind? Have you ever had to kill someone Liz? Have you ever had to duck and cover because a missile hit the building less than a football field away? Have you had to watch a friend die or hold his organs in his body while waiting for help? Have you had to raise a family alone because your husband is serving his country?
I know for a fact I couldn't do it. I couldn't be an Army wife like my friend April. I couldn't be a soldier like Sgt. Tydings. I couldn't do it. It takes stones and it takes sacrifice to wear a uniform for your country. They deserve honor and respect, but you've just raised your voice with the others who make our wounded warriors feel like it is truly a thankless job. They deserve ticker tape parades and more, they deserve your gratitude. But you laugh instead. You snark off.
And now you'd take dignity away on top of that? Go to Hell, lady.
Fuck off, Liz Trotta. You're a disgrace to journalism. You're a horrible woman. You're a pitiful excuse for a human being. Shut. Up.

Unilever: The TSA for your T&A

So, it's no secret that I adore Stephen Colbert. Taking my morning chai with last night's episode...yeah, that's a good start to a day. It's also no secret that I've struggled with self-esteem issues for a lot of my life. I grew up the fat kid. Being taller than most of my classmates for all of elementary school and shopping in the plus size section didn't exactly help when the pretty kids made fun of me. Even after I grew into myself and lost and gained weight (rinse, repeat ad infinitum) I constantly fight with the voice in my head telling me I'm too fat, too hairy, too pale etc. So, you can probably guess that I was thrilled to see my beloved Colbert tackle female insecurity. Take a look.

The Colbert Report Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Word - Buy and Cellulite
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog Video Archive

Seriously, Dove? Are you kidding me? The same people who are doing the "Love The Skin You're In" ad campaign, the same people who are saying that little girls shouldn't be ashamed of their freckles... you're going to start giving us new ways to criticize our own reflections? You're brandishing insecurity and using your brand status as authority. You're no better than other made up regulatory groups out there. You say you know what beauty is and think you know what's best for us. This, though, this is the last straw. This is bullshit.

Look, the irony that I was plucking my eyebrows whilst listening to the Report this morning is not lost on me. I'm a woman and I've grown up with these ideals (however ridiculous and unattainable they may be) thrust upon me from all angles of media. While I like to say I'm enlightened and that I don't need to lift-and-separate; have calves that pop with the perfect strappy sandals; have smooth, poreless skin; have lustrous, full-bodied hair without a tinge of grey...but only on my head, no errant eyebrows, chin whiskers, armpit or leg hair.... *deep breath* that voice in my head still tells me that my reflection isn't good enough. That I need to lose a quarter of my body weight before I reach "pretty" because beauty and fat do not coexist.

I have a daughter. She is 5. She tells me I'm beautiful because she doesn't have these societal inhibitions. She doesn't "know better". She goes to school wearing green and orange paisley print pants and a pink shirt and sparkling pink shoes because that is what she wants to wear. That's what makes her comfortable and that's her style. She isn't embarrassed about it, she doesn't care. She doesn't worry that she's too thin, tall, short, fat, thin...she just wants to be herself. Hell, on Halloween it's hard to get her to dress up because she is so damn comfortable with who she is she doesn't feel the need to pretend to be anything else.

I am jealous of that.

She doesn't know any better? She knows best.

Why do we do this to one another? Why do we give one another new things to be insecure about? I'm a writer, I'm insecure enough as it is. Why do we have infomercials about laser hair removal, back fat, crow's feet, full-grey-coverage? And really Dove? The same people who tell us to LOVE THE SKIN YOU'RE IN are just going to give us something new and completely stupid to worry about?

Fuck you, Dove.

You had me when you started that campaign. I loved you for it. The idea of turning the tide...telling fashion magazines to go fuck themselves because beauty is in every woman, not just Size 0 airbrushed, photoshopped blondes. Why do we do this to each other?! There's got to be a woman working at Dove or Unilever or Vogue or whatever who can just say, "This is demeaning." There's got to be a way that we as consumers, women and men, can say "FUCKING STOP!" This is not okay. Fueling insecurities, making new ones, giving power to that most critical voice in a girl's head... it's not okay. It's psychological abuse at our own hands. It's self-esteem suicide. Don't buy into it.

I know, it's easier said than done and I know that this is coming from someone who uses Biore pore strips on my too-large beak of a nose and constantly laments the 60 pounds I've gained since I had my daughter. I'm not perfect (but then, the ad companies are banking on that), but that doesn't mean I should be made to feel even worse about bullshit problems that don't exist. When I went home from school crying because the other kids called me a beached whale or fat ass or whatever the particular epithet was that day... my parents told me that it would change. That people wouldn't always be that way. Seeing this latest in frippery...I think my parents may have been wrong through no fault of their own. We're still picking on one another. We're still doing our damnedest to feel better about ourselves by belittling each other. Stop. Just stop.  I've said it before and I'll say it again. You are stunning. You are the stuff of stars and you are meant to shine. The hardest part is believing it, isn't it?

Of Raining and Pouring

You know that old adage about April showers? Yeah, well, my April is a definite rainmaker.

Started off strong with my 31st birthday. Not a landmark birthday by any means, but definitely happy times. Did dinner with some of my dearest and felt very loved. My daughter even wrote a poem for me, stood on her little step stool and delivered it with all the grace and aplomb of a 5 year old. PS: She lost her second tooth yesterday and was upset that the Tooth Fairy brought money instead of something cool like a coloring book. Yeah, my kid is awesome.

Speaking of, last week she had her first field trip with school. I went along to help herd the cats kids. That was an experience, to say the least. A billion and one field trips at the Science Center that day and all our little charges in red shirts. You'd be proud of me, dear readers, that I did NOT, in fact, tell the teachers that it was never a good idea to put someone on an away mission in a red shirt. See, I can be good. Oh, but I speak too soon. I ended up griping about the school library's lack of organization to the woman who did the initial organization. *headdesk* Come on, the Magic School Bus books (some of my favorites, I might add) are NOT considered Non-Fiction. School buses do not turn into butterflies, therefore, fiction. Done. Don't get me started on one mother's comment that our school (Charter, Montessori) does not need fiction in its library. *shudder*

So, that was last week. Didn't leave much time to blog. "But, Jamie," you say, "that's just 2 days. What else did you do?" Well, as I said, April is pretty crazy for us. This week, a family of four will be coming in from out of town and spending a few days with us. So, I have to prepare my house to take on guests of epic awesomeness. This means cleaning and making sure that kids and cats won't die at some point.

Oh! Dude, speaking of my cats. TyGrr, my escape artist, knows that the door knobs mean "out". Well, yesterday, she decided to evolve. She still doesn't have opposable thumbs, but she was jumping up, gripping the door knob with one paw while batting at the deadbolt with the other. We are so screwed.

But, I digress. Business.

Cleaning, birthday, field trip... last week. This week, guests, a birthday party (for a friend, not me), volunteering at the school's library (*shifty eyes*) and working on that thing I do. You know, writing.

Next week I've got more volunteering, more writing and a bachelorette party. The week after that? Wedding. Two of my favorite people are finally getting hitched and I wouldn't miss it if I was comatose. Also, found out yesterday that I'm in the bridesmaid bullpen. Good times! Also, my best friend in the entire world is coming to visit for a couple of days. I have seen him ONCE in the past 6 years, so I will be relishing my Bri Time. There might even be midnight margaritas. Just sayin'.

Oh, and about the writing. I have 7 projects right now that want my attention. SEVEN. I want to edit/polish the novella I wrote in February now that most of my betas have gotten their feedback to me. I want to outline the next book in my zombie series. I want to take the novel I wrote in 2009 and chop it for parts, then overhaul the whole damn thing so that it isn't made of suck. Plus, there's a slew of short stories I want to write or expand on. And, I have this blog.

Yeah. I'm a busy Bee Girl. That being said...

...I'm going to put the A2A Tuesday flash challenges on indefinite leave. We only had one entry for the Madame Curie lookalike contest, and he was disqualified later.  There were less than a handful of you participating and I haven't taken those challenges myself due to the rest of my work load. So, for now, no more flash challenges from me. There are several out there for you. Go visit Chuck Wendig for a weekly flash fix.

So, I've rambled at you long enough, I think. I do have something to pimp, though. Last week, I had a IV drip of Tab Benoit thanks to Pandora. Seriously, if you've never heard of Tab Benoit, go thou and google him now. The bayou bluesman is phenomenal and his voice is aural dark chocolate. I'd serve him with dirty rice and andouille. (Not to be confused with Alan Cumming whose accent I want to serve over ice cream.)  Go now.  I had to force myself to switch stations today. Today, we're piping in my "Drag Queen" station. What can I say? I'm in a Britney/Xtina/Gaga mood today. Sprocket, my not-so-little-anymore black cat, is curled up on my lap and purring in approval. She's a good helper when it comes to warming my thighs or feet, but a terrible distraction when I want to write. Her mind control powers force my fingers away from the keys and into her soft fur.

Be excellent to each other, y'all.  Until next time....