Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Power of Parenting and Archibald Cox

I believe that it is very important to begin brainwashing one's children as soon as they are expelled from the womb. This morning I happily realized that I have been quite successful at this. My 9-year old excitedly called me downstairs to show me the players he created for a video football game. There were 2 running backs. One was named Barack Obama, and the other John McCain. Obama ran with the ball, gaining about 50 yards. McCain - well, let's just say he didn't do so well.

Of course, I am not the only parent that brainwashes their children. Many do. I saw a story on the news today about an 12-year old child who was suspended for wearing a homemade t-shirt to school that said something to the effect that Obama is friends with terrorists. He was told by the principal that he could either change his shirt, turn it inside-out, or be suspended. He chose to be suspended. The child's father believes this to be a violation of his First Amendment rights and is threatening to sue.

Luckily for me, I took a class in law school entitled "First Amendment Law" which was taught by a visiting professor from Harvard. You may have heard of him - Archibald Cox. (If you don't know who that is, look it up). The University of Colorado School of Law is highly-regarded and very selective in their admissions process (which would explain why they didn't accept me when I first applied). After transferring there, I was worried that my intellect may not match that of the other students.

Professor Cox was tough - very tough. He had clearly spent many years using the "Socratic Method" to torture Harvard law students (it's worse than waterboarding). To my surprise, as the students began to recognize that Cox was far more challenging than other professors, they began to skip class. And I don't mean a class here or there. I mean every day. How could they skip? This was Archibald Cox! He's a First Amendment Law legend! He wrote the fricking text book! This was a once in a lifetime opportunity! What a bunch of wimps!

The problem for me was that with the resulting small size of the class, Professor Cox had fewer students to call on. And for some unknown reason, he liked to call on me a lot. (I'd like to think it was my due to my extraordinary wit and intelligence - but it wasn't). He was very old at this time and wore huge hearing aids. I was very shy back then and terrified that I would expose my ignorance every time I spoke. As a result, when called on, my voice would get very, very quiet. Professor Cox didn't seem to recognize my fear, so he would say "What ?" while fumbling to turn up his hearing aids. But the fear and humiliation were worth every second of the torture. He told us stories of his time as the Watergate Special Prosecutor (fired by Nixon) and the many times that he appeared before the US Supreme Court (more than any other attorney). It was fabulous. He was fabulous.

One day we had a visitor in class - famed photographer Annie Liebowitz. She came to watch him in preparation for her photo shoot of him for a cover of Vanity Fair. She saw me being humiliated. But I digress. I brought this up only to get to the matter at hand, which is that the Supreme Court has routinely decided that students do not enjoy the same degree of First Amendment rights as the rest of us. Bummer for this kid's dad. He thought he'd get rich being an ignoramous (oops, I mean Republican).

For more on Archibald cox, read the following article.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "I think it would be really cool to have a tail that you could use like a monkey." Uttered by Gunnar while watching an episode of What Not to Wear in which a weird woman walked around with a fake tail attached to her buttocks.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Two Lesbians and a Baby (Repost)

I went to a baby shower that was being held in celebration of the birth of an adorable little baby girl to a lesbian couple (in vitro). It wasn't much different than any other baby shower that I have attended (other than the joke about the immaculate conception). Personally, I have no problem with gay people having children. Especially gay women. I know that fathers allegedly bring something to the parenting table (other than DNA). But who's to say that a lesbian woman can't bring comparable benefits? In my house, my husband and I have completely different parenting styles (his consisting mainly of yelling). But theoretically it's a team effort. Sometimes my approach works. And sometimes my husband's approach works. But I don't think that his penis makes any real difference.

Two women still make a team. Now I don't know if this couple is married (in a non-legal way), but I don't really care either way. Is there something about a marriage certificate that qualifies any of us to be parents? Lots of people are having kids without the "benefit" of marriage and no one seems to care. Of course, the big question, is whether gay people should be allowed to marry at all. Some argue that gay marriage threatens the institution of marriage. I really don't get how ANYONE'S marriage, or non marriage, impacts MY marriage. Does a marriage between a man and woman strengthen my marriage? I don't think so. Gay marriage isn't legal, yet the majority of marriages break up . So, what's the problem? Religion.

Some religions consider homosexuality to be a sin. I'm not sure how the inability to legally marry, and, thereby, gain the numerous legal benefits of marriage, reduces homosexuality, but I haven't been to church lately.

I'm not a card-carrying lesbian. I am not trying to marry a lesbian. I am just annoyed that so many people believe it's ok to impose their religious beliefs on others. It's the same with abortion. Whether or not I personally would have an abortion, doesn't mean that I (or the government) can make that decision for other women. It's personal. Honestly, I believe that men should not be allowed to say anything about this issue at all. I've been pregnant, and given birth. It's no picnic.

And now, the elephant (or presidential candidate) in the room. First, Republicans are in my bedroom deciding who I can sleep with. Then they allow insurance companies to pay for Viagra so some old man can get it up, but don't allow insurance to pay for birth control, despite the fact that the birth control would prevent the very pregnancy that might result from the Viagra and that might require an abortion. I consider myself to be an intelligent person, and I don't get this.

The next President will most likely enjoy the HUGE privilege, and resulting impact, of selecting several Supreme Court justices. Women fought for many years to gain the right, first to birth control, and then for safe abortions. Many people don't realize that this very access to choice will be up for review in the Supreme Court. Anyone judge who says that they are obligated to honor the previous decisions (such as Roe v. Wade) of the Supreme Court (Chief Justice Roberts) is full of shit. The Supreme Court can do whatever the hell they want. Thanks to Bush, the Court already has 5 Catholics. The next President can seal the deal for generations. I'm scared. Are you scared?

I'll add something to this in light of the recent passage of the health care reform bill. Right now I'm in Tucson for the Rockies spring training and we are leaving to golf (I don't golf. I'm there for moral support).

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Velvet Coffin and John McCain (and this is not a reference to his advanced age)

Ok, so I'm flipping through the October issue of Oprah and I see this article about career stalls. The signs: 1. You're not being included in meetings the way you used to - CHECK; 2. You begin to sense that your boss and teammates aren't talking to you as often. - CHECK; 3. Pay raises and promotions are passing you by. - CHECK. Whoa nelly!

The article goes on to cite the 3 most common reasons that careers might stall: 1. Boredom - CHECK; 2. Underperformance - I'm not sure I'm willing to check this one; and 3. Embedded reputation from past errors - uh, they got me there. Bad email fiasco. Enough said.

So, last month, in my final act of what Charmaine refers to as false pride (which I consider real pride), I quit. As the article says, people in this situation always wonder why they didn't leave sooner. As one staller put it, "I see that time now as if I were in a velvet coffin. I was so comfortable, I didn't realize I was dead." Now that's depressing. I don't think that I was "dead." I was just extraordinarily pissed off.

But did you know that John McCain voted against equal pay for equal work? He said that women just needed more education and training. Yeah, he graduated in the bottom 1% of his class (which is basically one question shy of failing). And he could be president. After my first year of law school, I was 3rd in my class. (It went down from there, but that's a long story). And yet, despite having achieved a doctoral level degree (the highest in my company), I was paid less than everyone except the office manager. What's up with that? Maybe John McCain can advise me what further education I need. Check him out below.


Sunday, September 14, 2008

My Republican Cell Phone

My new cell phone is a republican. I tried to download a ringtone and wallpaper from Barack Obama's website, but my phone said this device was not compatible with this download. Say wha? I think this confirms what Hillary once said about the vast right-wing conspiracy. Think of all of the young people (ok, stop laughing, I don't mean me), trying to download the ringtone so that every time their phone rings, everyone in the vicinity hears the voice of change (and sanity). Of course, Verizon doesn't want this because then they won't continue to get tax subsidies when they outsource jobs to India. But, before I get on my soapbox (which is a clear and present danger), you have to watch this video of Barack on the Ellen Degeneres show. It's been a long time since we had a president who could move this well!



Tuesday, September 9, 2008

15 Minutes? I Just Need 30 Seconds

I have now arrived. I was on tv last night. Ok, I was just attending a city council meeting and it was televised on the government access channel (people skip by it on the way to NBC). And yet, I feel a little famous. Especially when the music teacher at my son's elementary school told me she saw me on tv ( while she was switching channels). For about 30 seconds, I was the central focus on channel 8 as I made my public comment regarding my support for building a baseball field (read previous posts for context). While I would like to characterize my television debut as an overwhelming success, I will have to admit to a momentary inability to find the proper word (any word). At least I know that I will never be a news anchor! This picture is the stadium in Omaha where the College World Series is played. The team in the dugout is Fresno State which won the series this year. Go Fresno!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Why Can't Women Be Football Coaches?

Did you notice the number of men coaching women's sports in the Olympics? (A bunch). Did you notice the number of women coaching men's sports? (Zero). What's up with that?

I want to coach my son's football team, but I'm pretty sure they won't let me. The youth football league here is whacked, much like the youth football league everywhere else. And I'm not sure why moms put up with it.

My son is the one tackling the quarterback and causing a fumble (#12). Cool, huh! (Feel free to praise the unbelievably skilled amateur photographer who was able to capture this fraction of a second)! Anyway, what is it about a vagina that precludes a person from coaching football? Look, I'm not asking why a woman can't be elected president (I'll address that in another post). I'm just asking why a woman can't teach a bunch of children how to hit each other. I mean, moms, especially stay-at-home moms, have seen more tackling amongst their children than the most voracious armchair quarterback man. Sure, we are usually trying to stop the tackling, but it can't be that hard to switch it around. It's a simple game. You throw the ball, you catch the ball, and you hit the ball. (Oh wait, that's baseball.)

But something is seriously wrong when a stupid volunteer coach argues with, and then yells at, a parent who fails to understand that "conditioning" is more important than trying to prevent an asthma attack. Or when a coach gets annoyed when a parent removes their child from a practice that is completely surrounded by lightening. (Colorado has the highest number of lightening-related deaths in the country). I could be wrong, but I doubt that women would endanger children as much as men. Oh I forgot, it's a man's world. More evolved men even admit that as witnessed by the following video.


The Trouble With Birthdays and Husbands

I have been advised that in the interest of my neighborhood friendships, I need to remove this post. If you have already read this, please try to erase it from your memory banks. Thanks.

Four Indians and a Computer

I am truly sorry to all of you faithful readers for the delay in my posts. I am having HUGE problems with my computer. It just took me about 20 minutes to get on the internet and every minute or so I get pop-ups trying to sell me anti-virus software. I attempted to address this problem by downloading the most recent version of Norton. I paid $80 and it failed to download. So I started a "chat" with Norton. After about an hour working with Deelip, he/she (I can't tell if it's a boy or girl) came up with the ingenious solution that my computer has a virus. Hmmm. I wanted to say that that was I bought the "anti-virus" software, but I was concerned that my sarcasm would not be understood given both the email format and the language barrier.

Deelip couldn't help me so he/she transferred me to Dilip (I'm not making up these names). He/she then decided that I needed to purchase their virus removal service ($100) so that the initial software could load. So he/she transferred me to Kishore. Kishore gained remote access. Then after a while, the chat disconnected. When it became apparent that the virus removal hadn't worked, I started another chat. After another long wait, I was transferred to Rakesh. But since this entire process took 4 hours and I still had no Rakesh, I bailed. So now I'm out $180 and still have viruses and no anti-virus software.

Since then, I have been emailing Norton (I refuse to start another chat) demanding a full refund. Apparently no one actually reads my emails or the history of the matter, so they explain how to download the anti-virus software (which is impossible due to the virus). Woe is me!