Well, That Was Unexpected

Real life is stranger than fiction...depending on which authors you read, of course.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

a brave new world

I went in for my pre-op appointment for the cysts. a moment of note was when i asked my doctor "if you have to remove my ovaries, can we harvest my eggs?" to which he responded that if the ovary is bad then the eggs are bad too. he said "but you will still be able to get pregnant because you will have your uterus." to which i responded (apparently not abreast of the sensitivity of modern fertility mores) "but they wouldnt be my babies, they'd be some other woman's babies?" the doctor says "well, you'd be carrying them, they would be yours" and i say "but genetically not mine?" and he says "well, no" to which i respond "well then, hell no, we can adopt." i guess that should go out as fair warning to anyone who potentially wants to mate with the julie: i am not willing to incubate your child just for the sake of your genetics. if it isnt our 1/2 and 1/2 lovechild, it doesnt gain admittance into my womb.

you know i'm going to eat my words on that later. but whatever. in fact, if the ovaries go, i wonder if i should start selling off my baby carrying capacity as a surrogate mother. start popping out other ladies' kids. that could add a whole new twist to the isaiah 54 passage that i keep reading as spiritual consolation..."the children of the barren woman will more than her who has kids...spread out your stakes and enlarge your tent"...i'm envisioning it "yeah, so i'm pretty booked with 5 births until 2013 but i might be able to squeeze you in in may 2012." i wonder how many kids it would take to pay off my car. i'll be my own personal brave new world.

so my new music discovery is the Kills. i love their album, midnight boom (discovered on woxy, naturally) and already have tickets to the show in may. i need someone to go with. i feel bad for dragging charity my hetero lifemate to everything (but i mean, i still WILL, of course). so if, perchance, anyone develops a love for The Kills in the next two months, you should let me know and let charity off the hook.

i guess that's about it for now. T minus 6 days to surgery. i'm going to put together an email list of people to update after it's done. if you are reading this, you will probably be on it. maybe it should just consist of a graphic thumbs up or down. that does rob the result of the complexity i feel in my heart though. on the one hand i feel like, yes, i want my ovaries saved and potential julie jrs roaming the earth (thumbs up)...on the other hand...no more periods ever again?! (also thumbs up!) i'm torn.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Spread, how i love thee, let me count the ways.

Song of the day:
Los campesinos: you! Me! Dancing!

Spread: So Kim has been asking me for months if I have gone to this restaurant called Spread (i know, i know, the name is ripe with entendre.) it is entirely vegetarian and organic--all vegetables are picked the same day you eat them. the owners are these former attorneys who eschewed corporate life for the organic life and they cook and serve everything themselves. we had a spinach salad with fuji apples, berries, avocado vinaigrette and maple croutons; pomegranate sangria, thai pizza (which impressed me most by including broccoli, but pureed and mixed with aged cheddar or whatever, in such a way that you could not tell it was broccoli at all); pesto grits with grilled vegetables, and fresh fruit fondue with a white chocolate pretzel peanut spread and dark chocolate peanut spread (these are the "spreads" for which they are apparently internationally renowned: www.spreadtherestaurant.com). the whole experience was, frankly, orgasmic. it gave me a foodgasm. which was only heightened by the wonderful sense of well-being had by knowing that everything we ate was natural and helpful to our bodies. it is pretty pricey (well, especially the all natural sangria happiness) but was the perfect meal to send me off into my cyst surgery, after which my digestive system is likely to be a bit off kilter. it also seemed like the perfect meal to bolster my resolve to eat naturally post-surgery. i guess i probably agree with julia that there must be something terribly unnatural in our modern diet that spawns these cysts (btw, try talking cysts to some women in yoru life. suddenly everyone you know has had them or has moms, sisters, friends who have)

this experience brings to mind the joke i havent gotten out of my head for the past few weeks, relayed to me by corinne, (by ralphie may): people think salads are the enemy of fat people. that's completely untrue. fat people love salads: they're delicious.

Friday, March 14, 2008

sausage and the law.

Quote of yesterday from my Neil Gaiman book Fragile things: There are two things you shoudl never watch get made: sausage and the law.

my high schoool biology teacher's 18 year old son died of a random and freakish aggressive brain tumor last week. this let me to a thought: i wonder if they have punching bags in hospice wards.

an interesting article about the findamental difference in communication between males and females:

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

#1 must have

Music for the day:
The Kills: Last day of magic
Tilly and the Wall: Beat Control

I was really feeling the lyrics of this Sleater-Kinney song, #1 Must Have today:

Bearer of the flag from the beginning
Now who would have believed this riot grrrl's a cynic
But they took our ideas to their marketing stars
and now i'm spending all my days at girlpower.com
Trying to buy back a little piece of me
(Everywhere you go they say "Hello,
weren't you the one that sold your soul?"
Every time you leave the say "Oh no,
why did you ever let us go?")

And i think that I sometimes might have wished
for something more than to be a size six
But now my inspiration rests
in-between my beauty magazines and my
credit card bills

I've been crawling up so long on your
stairway to heaven
And now i no longer believe that i wanna get in
And will there always be concerts where
women are raped
watch me make up my mind instead
of my face

The number one must have is
that we are safe
(Everywhere you go teenage
is the rage
inside your pants
and on the front page
EVerywhere you go it's die or be born
if you can't decide then
it's your own war)

No more
and for the ladies out there i wish
we could write more than the next
marketing bid
Culture is what we make it
yes it is
now is the time
to invent

weirdest story of the week:

Friday, March 07, 2008

WOXY love, surgery dates, etc.

Well, the big news for this week is that my surgery date is set: April 4th. Linda Way pointed out that this is tomb sweeping day in taiwan (4/4 4=DEATH double 4 =super death) but for me it will be WOMB sweeping day, the day of the year when my new OBGYN sweeps out the grapefruits attached to my ovaries and restores them to their rightful shape (well, or takes them out altogether, which is admittedly sort of scary and leaves me questioning my assumed view of reality, one of the assumptions being that if i ever wanted to have children, it would be my choice, my family being generally very fertile and whatnot. and you know what does it mean to be able to pass ones genes on and despite knowing that millions of kids need loving homes and i would love to adopt, what is that nagging anchor in worldly thought that makes me want to have my blood go on for time immemorial and what significance do i attach to that hope?)

In other lighter news, I found a fabulous new radio station to listen to through itunes or online: woxy at www.woxy.com. i love discovering music and with my commute i have been able to attest to how even the best of commercial radio repeats itself painfully. i actually had no idea that soundgarden, stone temple pilots, and nirvana were still so popular and so stale when played ad nauseum. I mean some people like music, and some people use it as a tool for self-definition, and for better or worse i think i am one of the latter. so i need new music. my great new finds for last week were:

1. Hallelujah by The Helio Sequence
2. One Day Like This by Elbow
3. Did I step on your trumpet? by Danielson
4. Stateless (that's the band name. some kind of electronica/hiphop/instrumental)
5. not due to woxy but to lisa's myspace; fleur blanche by orsten.

I am a heavy drinker. Right now for instance there are three drinks sitting on my desk, and every single one of them is caffeinated. this after watching a special by some very cheesy but well-meaning man named Dr. Amen (heh) on PBS about how you can heal and hurt your brain. and caffeine hurts your brain by restricting its blood flow. there are things like alcohol, smoking, and heroin that hurt it a lot worse. but still. turkey is good for your brain. i wonder if my turkey sandwich balances out the green tea, coffee, and diet coke on my desk. green tea is also supposed to be good for your brain. as is exercise, prayer, learning, and community groups (churches, hobby groups, etc.)basically things that are good for your body are good for your brain. i cant believe i am not eating more salmon and avocado since they are apparently superfoods and i love them dearly. he did have some interesting things to say about argumentative people, someone say to whom if you wanted them to come to the store you would actually say "i'm going to the store, but you probably don't want to come so i'm going to head out" and then they do come. for these people he said to make sure they have a carb-rich diet because carbs are mood food. if, of course you happen to be in charge of feeding such a person, that is. hopefully you can just see the error of your ways and abandon ship.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Eharmony response by Elizabeth

scarlett johansson is auctioning off a date with her hot self, which leads me to the sad wasteland of thought that includes how much a date with ME would auction off for. (i.e. can one auction into negative numbers)

in any case, in the vein of posting other people's thoughts on my blog--please do see the hillary clinton piece by jim wallis below--everything below this paragraph was written as a response by my friend elizabeth to an email sent out by eharmony. the parenthetical comments are hers and are hilarious. i hope you enjoy them as much as i did.

Oh my God! A woman flirting with a single man? We MUST alert the church elders!A friend of mine who is currently doing the eHarmony thing jokingly forwarded me this awesome advice column on how to flirt. It was extremely useful, so I thought I would share it with all of you in case you needed some guidance.

Flirting 101 for the Ladies ("the" "Ladies"? This article was so written by a dude)

Welcome to Flirting 101, your guide to charming any prince in 2008. Whether you're a natural-born lash-batter (Ouch. Sounds dangerous.) interested in brushing up on your skills or a novice looking to cultivate your come-hither credentials, this is the year to embrace the fine art of flirting. (Shoot. And here I was all ready to waste time graduating law school and passing the bar. Thanks, article, for helping me dodge that bullet!) Ready to get your flirt on? (Geez. Only if I can raise the roof and let the dogs out at the same time. Got flirt? This article is so cutting edge.) Let's get started!

First, it's important to acknowledge that flirting can happen anywhere, at any time, with anyone. (Disclaimer: Except, of course, with minors, the elderly, married folks, people of the same gender -- this is eHarmony, after all.) From picking out produce (while picking up guys) (or picking your nose or picking some flowers) at the grocery store to making casual conversation while standing in line for your latte to exchanging flirty glances at the dog park (hopefully with other people, but he did say "anyone"), you can-and should-flirt daily! (No need to focus on living your life: focus instead on catching your man!) After all, practice makes perfect, and to become a seasoned flirting pro you should practice often.

Second, it's equally important to know that flirting doesn't have to lead anywhere. You can routinely flirt with cute strangers and never give them your name or number. By flirting regularly, you allow yourself to hone your flirting style so that when you do meet someone you're interested in, you'll have all the right moves. (Thank God for that. I've been up nights worrying.) The result? He'll ask for your number in no time. Score! (And joy poured forth from the heavens. My every wish granted – a penis-waver to call my very own.)

Now that you're down with the importance of flirting daily, here are some tips to help cultivate your individual flirting style: (and by "individual," we of course mean, "just like every other woman reading this article.")

Be yourself (and always be prepared) (As long as "yourself" is always centered around how best to make strangers find you attractive at every moment in the day)

To flirt with confidence, you don't need to channel Marilyn Monroe. Instead, it's important to be yourself-your smart, sweet, sexy self, that is! And because flirting can happen anytime and anywhere, a seasoned flirter takes her cue from the Boy Scouts (What about the Girl Scouts? Asshole.) and is always prepared, not to mention looking her best. That doesn't mean wearing tons of makeup to the gym or stilettos to the supermarket. No, to be the best version of yourself, you should follow this simple rule: Always leave the house with the appropriate amount of makeup, hair styling, and cute and comfortable clothing for the day ahead of you. (Um, the appropriate amount of makeup for the gym is zero. Zero makeup.) That way, if you happen to spot a cute stranger while running your Saturday errands or on the way home from work in the evening, you're armed and ready to get your fabulous flirt on! (Wow, so he likes that catch phrase a lot. Do you think he uses this in other areas of his life too? Like, in the evening, he gets his floss on prior to getting his sleep on?)

Make the most of your flirting moves

When you do find someone you'd like to flirt with, it's time to use your best flirting moves. These include making eye contact and then looking away, offering a shy inviting smile, and playing with your hair. (These tips are particularly helpful if you find yourself flirting in 1934.) If the object of your flirtation approaches, let him do the initial talking and respond with subtle enthusiasm and confidence. Continue to make eye contact and smile. If he says something funny, be sure to laugh. (Well, shit. Now I see where my problem has been.) That's a definite ego boost for any guy who's brave enough to approach a cute girl! (And Lord knows what most guys need is more ego.) Be sure to give him the occasional compliment to encourage him. (For instance, "I hear you were born with a penis! Well done you!") Finally, if you're enjoying the flirt fest and would like him to continue and/or ask for your number, find a reason to touch your guy. (Not there, pervy . . .) If you're talking and want to emphasize a point, squeeze his arm. (And squeal, "Jinkies! Is that your bicep?") If he says something particularly amusing, laugh and lightly touch his hand or leg. (If it's *really* amusing, just give his crotch a good firm squeeze.) These simple flirting moves tell the object of your flirtation that you're interested, giving him the green light to ask for your number.

Don't try too hard (Other than wearing makeup to the gym and practicing your "shy inviting smile" in the mirror every night)

Flirting is a subtle sport, and one that should not be played too aggressively. (Oh. Well, scratch that last crotch-squeezing thing, then.) That begins with your appearance. Don't wear something too provocative (low cut, too tight, too short, too revealing) (It's important to remember that nice Christian guys are repulsed by the female body, and would prefer no reminders that you have icky girl bits like breasts hanging off you.) It sends the wrong message that you're not so much flirty as you are, well, easy. (Unless you actually are easy. In which case, go away, whores. Find your own article.) That's actually an important distinction to make-the difference between flirting and being overtly sexual. (Try not to give off the impression that you are interested in, or have even ever considered the concept of, having sex someday.) Flirting should be light, fun, and casual, whereas being overtly sexual entails using overly suggestive words and aggressive body language. Don't make the mistake of trying too hard and being overtly sexual. (Or, alternatively, of using the phrase "overtly sexual" three times in three consecutive sentences.) Instead, relax, have fun, and be fabulously flirty! (While simultaneously being both sexless and nonthreatening. Guys dig chicks without any depth or complexity whatsoever.)

Play the game (and play to win!) (I think we can all agree that if we're using these tips, "winner" is not exactly the term that should be applied to us.)

Flirting is a game of cat and mouse. Just as you shouldn't try too hard, you should also NOT do all of the work. Let the object of your flirtation pursue you, too. Make him work a little to get that pat on the arm and/or giggle. (Personally, I request one-armed pushups from all potential suitors.) If your attention and affection come too easily, he'll quickly lose interest. Remember, you're a catch. Play the game by letting him try and catch you. (Sort of like how hyenas pursue prey until it seems like it's begging for death. Be the prey!)

Leave him wanting more

Even if you're having the time of your life, always, always, always, leave him wanting more. Cut the conversation or date short, using a variety of vague excuses that'll make him wish he had just a few more minutes of your fabulous time. (Better yet, kick him in the balls and run the other direction. That really gets 'em going.) Excuse examples include:
"This has been fun, but I really have to go."
"Look at the time. I should get going."
"It's been great talking to you, but I can't stay any longer."
(Other excuse examples: "I'm sorry, I have to go practice how to more perfectly mold myself to every man's fantasy of a vapid penis-worshipper," or "I have to leave so I can pretend to be more fabulous than you while really calculating my every move in a desperate attempt to make you like me.")

By being just a little bit mysterious, your guy will go out of his way to try and see you again. If he hasn't already, he'll definitely ask for your number now that he feels you slipping away. And then it's up to you whether or not you hand him your digits. (Which of course you will. He's a man, and having a man is always better than not having one.)

In 2008, the key to flirting lies in being yourself, practicing regularly, and making the most of your finely honed flirting moves. By becoming a seasoned pro, you greatly increase your chances of dating success because you've mastered the art of not only getting a guy's attention but playing the game and leaving him wanting more. Soon you'll be able to charm any prince who strikes your fancy. (Especially once he finds out that all that charm was lifted directly from a lame dating website article.) And in the meantime? Flirt away! (No. GET YOUR FLIRT ON. Haven't you been listening at all?)

I think we all learned a little something, don't you?

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Denouncing the Hillary Haters (by Jim Wallis)

This is from Jim Wallis' blog.

Last week I wrote about unfair attacks on Sen. Barack Obama's faith. And though it hasn't been in the headlines as recently, Sen. Hillary Clinton has also faced a steady stream of criticism of her faith. Christianity Today summarizes in sad detail and rightly debunks these "baseless blows to the former first lady" in a recent editorial, which I recommend reading:

The talk-show host, Robert Mangino, responded in a way that epitomizes many evangelicals' reaction to Hillary: "I know it sounds judgmental, but I just can't believe she's a Christian. I think all of her talk of faith is pure politics."

From all sides of the political spectrum, evangelicals respond with a surprising amount of disgust upon hearing Hillary's name. ...

Some prominent conservative Christians, although toned down in their language, have nonetheless relied on cheap shots to join in the fun. At a 2004 Republican convention, a Family Research Council spokesman passed out fortune cookies with the following message: #1 reason to ban human cloning: Hillary Clinton. The late Jerry Falwell, though not noted for his tactful public statements, announced at a 2006 Values Voter Summit his wishes for this year's election: "I certainly hope that Hillary is the candidate. Because nothing would energize my [constituency] like Hillary Clinton. If Lucifer ran, he wouldn't."

The editorial points to a higher ground from which Christians should discuss politics - both for the sake of the person in question, and relationships inside and outside of the church:

While the loudest political voices this election season will keep only a loose rein on their tongues, evangelicals do well to ponder the Bible's insights into the mysterious yet profound connection between a person's heart and mouth: "The things that come out of the mouth," says Jesus, "come from the heart." Which is why Paul says, "Now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips" (Col. 3:8). Biblical psychology assumes not only that the words of our mouths reveal the state of our hearts, but that words have power to shape the heart—for better or worse.

What's more, vitriolic language directed at political figures does not, to use the Pauline metaphor, attract others with "the aroma of Christ." It just creates a stench, making it more difficult to nurture relationships with those who want to meet Christ and who happen to support Clinton. Such talk easily slides into denigrating those on the other side of the political spectrum—who may just be on the other side of the aisle on Sunday mornings.

None of this precludes vigorous and pointed disagreement in the public square. Neither John the Baptist nor Jesus nor Paul was always meek and mild when they challenged the principalities and powers. But when vigorous political discourse turns into bashing of public figures, it perpetuates a great lie: that they are merely the ideologies and symbols attached to them. When a candidate's ideology is mistaken for his or her personhood, it masks a crucial truth: that each person, no matter their political views, bears God's image and matters deeply to him.

While pundits see candidates as punching bags, evangelicals are supposed to see candidates as, well, people.

I can't count the number of times that reporters have asked me about Hillary's religion, just assuming she must be pandering. One asked, "when was the first time Hilary talked to you about her faith?" I said that it was the first time I met her - after she came to Washington in 1992. The reporter didn't seem to believe me. I explained, as I have to many reporters, how Hillary Clinton was a Methodist youth group kid in Chicago, where her youth pastor took teenagers on "urban plunges" to the inner city and to hear Martin Luther King Jr. speak. Her Methodism is apparent in her longtime advocacy for children, as well as other issues. Agree or disagree with her politics, it's clear that Hillary Clinton is a committed Christian laywoman.