Thursday, July 30, 2009

Library Unit Four: Fun With Menstruation

“A Women's Curse?”
Meredith F. Small
The Sciences, Jan/Feb, 1999 p. 24-29

The bulk of Small's article discusses the work of UofM anthropologist Beverly Strassmann's study of menstruation among the Dogon of West Africa. What she was seeking was the possible roles that menstrual taboos could play into “natural fertility” populations. Strassmann believed that there were important biological roles being generally ignored, in regards to menstruation and reproduction.

The Dogon worked out to be a very good choice for study. The Dogon women spend their menstrual cycle segregated to the menstrual huts. Through urinalysis Strassmann determined that this segregation was closely adhered, in spite of most of the women finding the experience extremely unpleasant. This made it very easy to follow the cycles of the women in the villages Strassmann was studying. And with nearly two years of data on 477 complete cycles, studying ninety-three women, there was a great deal to work with.

One of the reasons for the taboo, she discovered, was to help determine paternity. In a culture where the father is responsible for his children and where property is passed along to male heirs, it is critically important to keep track of who the father of a given child is. And when it is everyone can see who is going to the menstrual huts, and who isn't – it becomes easier to determine who impregnated a given women. This is also important because the Dogon people are polygonous and there is no taboo against sexual intercourse for those who are unmarried.

This taboo also managed to make it clear if a woman happens to be infertile or menopausal. When a women in prime reproductive age is always visiting the hut, it becomes apparent that she is obviously not likely to reproduce. On the other hand, when I women stops visiting the hut altogether, is it obvious she is no longer fertile.

Strassmann also hypothesized that menstruation may have evolved as a method for conserving resources – keeping the body from using too much energy on reproduction, during a cycle that renders women infertile for a period of time. Instead of producing the excess that usually goes into creating a fertile place for a potential zygote to begin gestation, during the period of flushing things slow down entirely.

What I found most interesting however, is the possibility that women in Western society are at a distinct biological advantage to women who live within a natural fertility paradigm. The data shows that women in Dogon society, for example, only have an average of 110 menstrual cycles in their lifetimes, compared to the average of 350 to 400 for Westerners. Between reproducing at a significantly higher rate than Westerners, and breast feeding vigorously for longer periods than most Western women, they don't menstruate nearly as often.

I also found the discussion of the way that Dogon culture utilizes menstruation as a multitool for determining a great many issues within their society. While the underlying reasoning is significantly different, it turns out that this is a very useful tool for their culture, for a whole lot of reasons.

Finally, I find the interconnection of anthropological study, biology and sociology extremely interesting. Beyond the subject matter, the cross discipline integration is of particular interest to me – especially as I am seeing that there are a lot of other disciplines and even very different fields of study, that have a great deal of relevance to the direction I am going with my studies and where I want to go with my career. It is terribly exciting to discover new directions, new areas that have are potentially critical components of the places I wish to go – the ideas that I am keen on fostering and developing.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Library Unit 3: Culturist Propensities

I would just like to add from the getgo, that when I am talking about the arrogance of the West, I am most certainly not excluding myself. And I also think that it is important to make a distinction that is not made in this paper. Included in that arrogance is all of Western culture, not just those of us with pasty beige skin. Because this is really less about race, than it is about culture and our arrogant assumption that because we have digital watches, we are the sum of civilization. It is about people who live in different subsistence paradigms. It is about people who live in different social constructs. It is about recognizing - All of Us recognizing, that different, does not mean inferior. I don't care what color your skin, or your place on the economic spectrum. I don't even care about your education or intelligence.

We are, all of us, guilty to some degree or another.

“Rangers By Birth”
Will Hurd
Cultural Survival Quarterly 30.2 Summer, 2006

Will describes an awfully untenable situation, that I was happy to read has subsequently been resolved – at least in part by his work. The tribal peoples who live in and around the Omo National Park, by Will's account, have managed a wonderful balance of man and nature. This is evidenced by the belief of many that this is a wilderness, when it is actually the home of an estimated 50,000 people. And there is evidence of people much like these, living on these lands and with a similar balance for about 5,000 years.

Yet Westerners believed that there was some need to interfere withthese peoples and “manage” the lands of the Omo National Parkmore carefully. The African Parks Foundation, funded in part by theWalton Family Foundation – the same Walton family that owns WalMartand Sam's Club and other wealthy individuals, signed a 25 year leaseon the park in 2005 – threatening to displace the estimated 50,000Mursi, Suri, Nyangatom, Dizi and Me'en tribesmen who reside in thepark.

Yet these are people who understand the land, understand the ecology and their garden. They are horticulturists who practice eco friendly slash and burn gardening. They are herdsmen, who are careful not to allow their cattle to interfere with the ecosystem. They are also remarkably adept trackers and sometime (though rarely) hunters. They know where and how to travel this land safely and with very little risk from some of their less “polite” neighbors, such as crocodiles and water buffalo.

To be perfectly honest, this article made me bloody damned angry. I am sick of this idiotic notion that Westerners have, that when something is actually functional, we should stick our noses in and try to “fix” it. Yet where there are egregious human rights violations taking place, or even genocides, we can't seem to do anything, except maybe to protect our “interests” in the area. Which is always the exploitation of local natural resources, the proceeds from which do little or nothing for the local indigenous populations, instead usually lining the pockets of a few.

So to make ourselves feel good, we try to kick functional populations who are living in harmony with their environment, off the lands that they and people like them have inhabited for thousands of years. Because somehow we know better than these people who have lived here for so very long. Somehow we have the answers for “protecting” the diverse animal populations and vast array of plant life that is in parts simply an aspect of the ecosystem, a source of food, a source of building materials, fibers for ropes and clothing, a pollen source for domestic bees, food for cattle and also the pharmacy of the people who live there. And that is just a simplified list - I am quite certain that volumes could be written about the balance these people have achieved with their environment.

And this is not just the story of these peoples. This is the story of indigenous populations the world over. Populations that Westerners too often believe that we need to “help,” when they need nothing of the sort. We assume that because a people lives differently than we do, more primitively than we do, that they are somehow inferior – lacking some critical component of Civilization.

I have recently been told by someone that dark skinned people are somehow less moral than us white Westerners, because it takes cooperation and a certain moral fiber to live in our colder climates, than it does to live in these tropical and subtropical climes. That is the fundamental underpinning of Western thinking, though the more diversity oriented among us would cringe at the racism and culturalism stated so boldly – so openly. Yet that thinking is what drives many of the very Westerners who would cringe at hearing it stated so succinctly.

It is that thinking that causes supposed conservationists to decide that they, as “enlightened” Westerners can do it better than these people who have lived on those lands for centuries, if not Millenia. We don't like to put it in those blatant terms, but what else can we call this absolute height of arrogance and hubris? We. We who have managed to cause more damage to this planet, in the last 150 years, than was ever caused this planet since the mass extinction of the dinosaurs millions of years ago. We Westerners deciding that we can somehow do it better? We have a word for that – the same word that would be used to describe that bald statement I ran into the other day; Racism.

Autism, Racism, Menstruation and More!!!!

You may have noticed the last couple of posts happen to be rather innocuously and generically titled "Library Unit X: Cultural Anthropology. As I was going through and finishing these short papers, it occurred to me that the assignment as given, produces short papers that are not unlike blog posts - in fact they are a lot like blog posts. Or at least they are like blog posts that I would produce if I didn't say fuck with some regularity...

The assignment was to read seven articles and write a two page paper about each, summarizing the article, tying it to something we discussed in class and providing our response to it. It was not meant to be formal, instead being more about how each article made us feel - what we gleaned from it, how it changed our perspective or if it did. As it occurred to me that I was writing papers that would make decent blog posts, it also occurred to me that I am exceedingly busy and unable to write much. So I have a total of seven of these papers and wanted to throw this post in there to make sure that there was something to reference them, that has a less generic title - especially before I post the next one, which happens to delve into a rather more important issue.

I didn't make the next one the first one I posted, because I wanted to have a moment to draw some attention to it and the fact that this anthropology class has done rather a lot to further alter my attitude about certain aspects of primitive cultures and the West. I have long held the understanding that primitive does not equal savage and uncivilized. But that attitude has evolved considerably over the course of this cultural anthropology class. Because I am learning that one, these primitives are in many ways far more "civilized" than those of us in the West and two, I am not nearly as "enlightened" and close to free of bigotry as I thought I was. This is not to say that I didn't accept that I had some underlying bigoted undertones - it is a rare person in the West who doesn't. But I thought I was pretty good about that sort of thing.

In the next post, which will probably go up later this morning or sometime this afternoon, I will delve into the systemic bigotry of Western society. In the paper, I was not terribly clear and wanted to clear it up here, just as I intend to clear it with my instructor. When I describe the arrogant culturalist tendencies of Westerners - I am absolutely not trying to exclude myself from that picture. Because even though this class has sent me a little bit further in the right direction, I am a product of my culture and all that entails - the good, the bad and the exceedingly arrogant.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Library Unit Two: Cultural Anthropology

“Remapping the World of Autism”
Roy Richard Grinker
AnthroNotes, Fall 2006, 27:3

In this article, Grinker describes how autism is dealt with in India and Hindu culture. In India, most autistic children are not diagnosed specifically with autism. Rather they are given a generic diagnosis of mentally retarded (MR) or paagol, the Hindi word for mad. This is slowly changing, but the traditions of such a richly tradition driven culture such as India's, make that progress seem infinitesimally slow at times. And an autistic child, at least the boys (which is better than 3/4's of all autistic people), are often a major source of conflict with those traditions.

A consistent theme through the article, is that autism often causes familial conflicts that are serious enough to break up families. There is a great deal of blame thrown around, often couched in terms of something that one or both parents must have done to anger the gods. Sometimes that blame is extended to the child's grandparents, who in Indian culture bear no small responsibility for the spiritual and by extension of that, the physical well being of the families of their children. Divorces are very common in the families Grinker describes in this article as well.

An autistic child also interferes with the normal process of the mother pushing her child away at about age five, into the fathers world and that of the extended family. In India, rather than
children developing their individuality, it is important for them to develop their familial identity first and foremost, with personal development coming behind. The extended family therefore often takes great exception when the mother of an autistic child refuses to send him (or her) to be embraced by the influence of the rest of the family. Or worse, the extended family simply refuses to deal with the autistic child. Whichever direction it goes, this is never very good for familial relationships, relationships that form the cornerstone of Indian society – though this too is slowly changing across Indian society.

Though the families described in the article have dealt with their child's autism in strikingly different ways, there is a great deal of similarity. And those similarities are not unique to India and Indian culture. Because while the motivations or the names of the gods may change, the Indian parents of autistic children experience is much the same as it is here in the United States.

Families in both India and the U.S. face many of the very same challenges, something I suspect is the case in many cultures. Caring for and raising a child with special needs takes a great deal of
special care – care that is going to be required for that child, no matter what culture is being discussed. About the only difference that might be found, is in cultures that may believe that it is
imperative for family and friends to make a significant contribution to the care of the child and to ensure that the parents engage in a reasonable level of self-care, thus making it possible for them to provide quality care for their child. But I again suspect that rather than being a cultural difference, most every culture has families that get this kind of help from friends and family, but like the cultures of India and the U.S., such families are also probably a rarity.

Something that really hit home for me, was the notion that even in such a tradition driven culture as India's, there are parents of special needs children who fall into a familiar pattern – becoming rather Bohemian as one mother described her and her late husband. This is another very common theme amongst the American families of children with special needs. Some of us may have started out rather “different,” but there are plenty of parents who naturally learn to live life to a very different beat, as they learn to accept, embrace and love their child for everything they are. I suspect that it is virtually impossible for most parents to even try to fit in and accept their child's neurological differences – there just isn't enough energy in any one person to make it all come together. But there is also a great deal of joy to be found in being part of a family that while different, is also honest and open about who they are.

Library Unit One: Cultural Anthropology

“The World of the Little People”
Morwood, Sutikna and Roberts
National Geographic, April, 2005, 207:4 p3

On the Indonesian Island of Flores, Morwood et al set out to find more evidence of whoever had left tools that were more than 800, 000 years old, in a cave. This is not very different than what a lot of archeologists do – nothing particularly exceptional about this dig, except that the island of Flores was separated from the mainland of Asia, by about fifteen miles of ocean in the lowest of seas of that period. This doesn't seem like a very long distance to modern humans who have traversed the oceans of our planet earth for thousands of years now. But the notion that there might have been protohumans this far from the Asian mainland, even ten thousand years ago, flies in the face of everything we thought we knew before.

What they eventually found, in late 2003, was an even bigger surprise than they were expecting. Because rather than finding fossils of Homo erectus, who existed on the Asian mainland, around the time that the tools found by priest and amateur archeologist, Theodor Verhoven in the 1950's and 60's were made – they found the fossils of what was later named Homo floresiensis. First thought to be the fossil remains of a child, it was soon realized that Hominids weren't immune to natural selection. Assumed to be the ancestors of Homo erectus, Homo floresiensis fell prey to the same thing that island populations of many species undergo – they shrank.

But while their brains had shrunk with the rest of their body, they were certainly intelligent. Found amongst the remains of their living spaces, was evidence of fire, spears and the bones of stegodonts – some with clear signs that they had been hunted by these spears. What makes that so remarkable, is that the stegodonts of Flores, were the dwarfed cousins of their ancestral line from the mainland – at only 800lbs on average, these early cousins of modern elephants were still quite a match for a hominid species whose adults were about the size of an average preschool child. Presumably, H. floresiensis didn't need to kill very many of these stegodons, to fill their small bellies for a good while.

But most breathtaking of all, is the short time ago, that the latest remains found date from. There is strong evidence to indicate that Homus florensiensis was alive on Flores, a mere thirteen thousand years ago, with the oldest remains dating from ninety-five thousand years ago. Keeping in mind that the first tools discovered by Verhoven, were about 850,000 years old. It would seem apparent, that hominid life flourished on Flores, for hundreds of thousands of years, without modern humans stepping foot on this island, until about four thousand years ago. While the modern human race was spreading it's tendrils of population around the globe, Homus florensiensis was flourishing still, on Flores.

This fits well with discussions about evolution and homids, really making for a very exciting read for someone who has a strong interest in primate and hominid evolution. Being especially fond of clearing up the common misconceptions that many people have, as to the nature of evolution and especially human evolution, it is very useful to have examples such as this to draw on. Showing that rather than being a drive towards a particular pinnacle of achievement – a ladder up to who and what we are now, evolution is about adaptation and mutations that are not always functional and can sometimes be harmful in the long run.

The other thing that is so very exciting about this, is the discovery of very similar remains at Dmanisi in western Asia, more than six thousand miles and separated by roughly 1.8 million years, from Homus florensiensis. This leads us to more questions than answers and is evidence that there are probably more isolated hominid populations, just waiting to be discovered. And it leads to some very interesting questions about how two populations, separated by nearly two million years and thousands of miles, could be so very similar.

Millions of years after our early hominid ancestors took to walking upright, it has become an exciting time for discovering more and more interesting things about these, our ancient ancestors and other protohuman species that diverged at various point along the way, but who didn't survive all those millenia.

Exciting times indeed...

Friday, July 24, 2009

Because I love you all, I wanted to mention...

...that I am becoming increasingly busy, as the end of the summer semester approaches. I have a shitton of work to get finished and a week from today, I am picking up my boys from TN. I will still have two finals to take after they are here and lots of important, fun things to do with my kids - whom I only get for a very short, less than two week stretch. Then I will have a few days to take care of non-school type business (Like the job I have managed to somehow basically take over), before the absolute greatest women ever is coming to see me, for about a week.

So blogging is going to be lite - or should be. If it's not, please feel free to naggingly ask me if I have gotten ahead of the mountain of shit I have left to do. Not that I expect you to, it is after all my responsibility to put my work ahead of my infesting conversations with my big blue meanieness (really, really, mean and nasty, big blue meanieness)...But if you have the urge and notice I am being a little more obsessed with a argument than someone who has too many other things should be, feel free to point out my stupidity in being so obsessed right now....

See you all on the other side...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Loving Book Memes Even More...

Update HERE!!!!

It turns out there are some very self assured motherfuckers on Cath@vwxynot?'s blog, who think that because they didn't fall out of a frakking sailboat, that they haven't been tagged with this meme!!!11!!!1! So chall (I don't care if you're a godless fucking Swede - we still want that list, even if half of it won't be in Americanish), T. Joseph and Mrs. Ch - you are now officially fucking tagged!!!!111!!!!

There have been some interesting discussion arising from this little book meme that we managed to bust out of the confines of FaceBook (which I have managed to get into again - but only because I got "friended" by someone I don't think I've seen or heard from since about 4th grade)...Stephanie wonders why so many of the folks who have outies instead of innies, seem to like 1984, while it was distinctly missing from the lists of most of the innie types. And also...Why The Fuck Does Anyone like that shit!!!!111@!!?????@???!?//!! (Ok, she didn't put it quite like that, because that would be more like something I would do, not Stephanie, but still...

And in comments there, Greg was lamenting the fact that so many people decided to forgo the rules - as he saw it. Only he wasn't talking about my horrifying decision to go all ADHD, when reading his initial post and making a rather longer list. He felt that folks were listing books that might not have had that much of an impact. He gave a three part criteria - A. did I read this a long time ago and B. can I tell you significant detail about what was in the book, and C. does at least some of this detail still matter......

I actually did a lot of discussing 1984 over there and would heartily recommend you check it out...I also responded to Greg, but less adequately than I like. While I can say that for the most part, everything on my list fits Greg's ABC, that is only because I didn't consider posting Don't Remember, But Fuck All Was That Important To Me... Because honestly, some of the most influential books I have read - the ones that really stuck with me, are the ones that I mostly remember by their affect on me. Ones that I may have a few vague images of (I am one of those people who totally animates everything he reads) and nothing more - except the vivid recollection of how it changed my thinking.

I only listed a few children's books for this reason. It's not that there weren't many more (although I still am frakking pissed that I didn't get the Chronicles of Narnia down there) of those children's books that really mucked with my mind - there were a lot more of them. There were, for example, a couple of other books that had much the same message that Matilda did for me. One of them came quite a bit earlier than Matilda, and was much more inclined towards the theme of financial poverty, with intellectual, creative and emotional wealth, being superior to the opposite. Haven't the slightest clue what it was called and seem to recall that at some point financial wealth is also acquired, but that is a couple books on and is entirely secondary to the all important wealth of mind and heart.

I believed then and still today, that love and mind are far more important than material wealth - not to say that material wealth isn't important...But in all honesty, if it were just me - no kids, no Juniper - I would be perfectly content with barely enough. Live in a small studio, with a small space to sleep carved out of the piles of books - along with a small space to sit and eat and write...I am entirely confident that I could have been satisfied with that. But kids and the most beautiful and brilliant lover a man could ever dream of having in his life, this is not such a laudable goal in life. So when I will never be an old women and I shall never where purple...

And there are other books that I simply can't remember, that nevertheless are still a part of my life and who I am. For example, before Encyclopedia Brown, there were other boy detectives and similar adventurers who sparked my sense of justice. Characters who drove solidly home the notion that justice is more important than most anything - including at times, the rules or the law. That underlying the rules and the laws - some of which might actually contradict it, was an evermore important code of conduct - code of justice. And that sense, that drive for justice that began when I read a book at about six or seven, eventually evolved into a pretty absolute belief in the rule of law, true justice and a firm reliance on my moral framework. The absolute I hold these to now, was sparked when I read that now forgotten book at six or seven - though the principles have evolved considerably and matured a great deal in the last twenty-six, twenty-seven years.

So really, my list would have been fleshed out nicely with about eight or nine; Don't Remember, But Fuck All Was That Important To Me...I would even have been willing to give up some of the books on that list to include those.

I love all of you, I really do...

A couple of people have emailed and now that Canuck has left a comment about it... (don't be assuming this get's Canadia off the fucking hook - though you may get an important position in the government (I won't even make you rule Texas))

I did in fact get the money I need for the meds, thanks to someone lovely and wonderful, who shall remain anonymous (unless he doesn't mind the mention of his psuedonym). But I will not deny that being a student, I am not financially well endowed - indeed in relative terms, my penis is probably bigger... And since you have asked, I have gone ahead and set up a paypal button. We shall see how well that works out for me... I've actually been stuck out of my account, because I changed debit cards from when I opened the account, forgot my password and forgot the combination of security questions. Dreading the whole notion of calling to get it figured out, I have not done so until today. However Amal(sp?) was really quite helpful and had me all set in a matter of minutes - I didn't even have to close the account...

I would like to be clear that I am not asking for money, I am surviving. But I am not going to argue with people who would like to help. Like most every single contractor I have worked for would say, don't argue with people trying to give you money. Especially when your wallet isn't trying to drag your pants down...

I am really grateful for all the wonderful things my readers have done for me, especially given that I don't have a huge audience by any stretch. You are all quite wonderful and several of you have become rather important to me...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Books Meme - YAY!!!!! I Love Book Memes...

Updated...And again, with a new tag or two...

Though I usually hate fucking memes...

Greg posted a FaceBook meme to his blog and I really rather liked it, so I thought I would do it here. Because apparently every time I want to go to FaceBook, I have to get a new fucking password - by some quirk, the cookies don't remember and neither does FireFox. Besides, there are lots of interesting people around here...

So the meme as Greg put it, is to list fifteen books that had the most profound impact on you - ones you can think of in fifteen minutes or less. I say fuck that bullshit - don't be entirely constrained by rules!!!!111!1!1* I listed the books that have stuck with me the most, that I could think of in fifteen minutes (honestly, I am not sure about the time, I know it was right around fifteen minutes).

I am going to tag people too!!!! Because people have tagged me with these fucking things, so why should I not torment my friends (and a fucking Canuckistanian or two)!!!!!!11!!@2!! So I want to tag Jason, Cath@VWXYNot?, Lost Marbles and, now that we got those fucking Canucks** out of the way, Toaster, Dan J and Stephanie, who has probably done it on FB***, but Fuck FB, Fuck it up it's stupid, password forgetting ASS!!!!11!!**** And now, Scicurious must be tagged, along with sbh!!!11!!1!! Thus putting the balance where it should be - far more Mrkins, than fucking Canucks!!!1111!!1!

It also occurred to me, that I should note these are all books that stuck with me - had an impact. That does not mean and should not be taken to imply that I endorse everything on this list. There are several volumes I assuredly do not, as well as volumes that I neither liked nor disliked, but which nevertheless are stuck in my head forever. V for Vendetta, for example, is a decent graphic novel and went well with 1984 and Brave New World, but the only reason it's on this list, is because it is also rather exceptionally violent and contains extremely disturbing imagery - fine now I would think, but I read it when I was eleven. And I consider Wesley's Works a colossal waste of my time, but it, along with On Being and Essence (not nearly such a waste of time) largely molded my theological outlook for years.

And I included children's books I love. What should surprise is not that I did, but that I didn't include more of them. For example, I am rather bummed that neither Encyclopedia Brown, nor The Hardy Boys (the original mind) made the list. I spent many hours in trees with one or the other. Duncan McTavish in Switzerland was also rather important to me - eldest rather likes it too, along with Paddington (I love how being a parent, I get to share this stuff with my boys). And I absolutely adored the concepts of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and a novel that I spent the last few minutes of my fifteen trying to remember in vain. The theme of poverty ridden families being rescued from it by a child was one of my favorites - in spite of the fact that I totally thought my middle to lower middle class family was pretty wealthy...

*actually, I just went all ADHD and didn't read the instructions carefully. Rather amusing, given the title of Greg's post was The Fifteen Book Meme...

** I would have tagged Jodi - actually would love to see her list, but I didn't want to give too much credence to the soon to be Canuckistanian invadees...

***Besides, she probably did the lame, FB version that only allows for fifteen books...

****I would also harass Juniper with this, but I don't want to throw more shit on her plate - though I would love it if she too, wanted to actually do this...

The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious
V for Vendetta
(Read when I was eleven)
Brave New World
Stranger in a Strange Land
The Doors of Perception
Heaven and Hell
John Keats
In the Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors
A Bear Called Paddington
The Art of War
The Godmakers
Arabel's Raven
Breaking the Spell
Wesley's Works
On Being and Essence
(not in Latin)
The Hero with a Thousand Faces
The Dosadi Experiment
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
The Demon Haunted World
Crewel Lye
Book of the Dead
Book of Living and Dying
The Foundation Trilogy
The Heart of Addiction

I am not fond of asking for help - but I am not afraid to...Or to give something back for it.

Thanks to a very lovely commenter and dear friend, things are looking much better. If you really would like to help out, please call your local "sliding scale" clinic and ask about donating the funds for helping someone in your community get the prescriptions they need. Because I am far from alone with this problem and I can almost guarantee someone in your community could use the help...

We have run into a rather bad snag in my corner of the world. Overall things are rather sunshine and roses - at least as sunshine and rosy as they can be. But a somewhat nasty - scratch that - a very nasty problem has arisen. There is a need for medication, coupled with a very frightening lack of resources for meds for this month as possibly next. I think that next month is looking more promising and after that it is totally smooth sailing. But this month is most definitely fucked.

I really fucking hate asking for help, but I also dread the idea of school and honestly, life in general, moving backwards instead of forwards. I also want to be very clear that I absolutely do not want to impose on anyone who is in dire straights themselves. I am just hoping that some of you might have something to spare and would be willing to help out. It needn't be much, because I have come to gain a great many friends here on the intertubes and the need isn't that huge - though in relative terms, the cost of a months worth of wellbutrin - even the fucking generic, is rather high (for example, the combined cost of everything I take - sans my wellbutrin, is 1/5th the cost of my monthly scripts).

I also thought it would be fun to turn this into a something of a challenge - I will donate an hour of time, for every ten dollar increment towards the meds. I will grant that I was already intending to do some community volunteering, but I have simply been unable to form a solid plan for that. So if I actually get to my goal, I will commit to *52 hours over the next year, of **maintenance and repair to my local YWCA - who I understand can particularly use the help...

I am trying to figure out the whole fucking paypal thing and will probably leave the damned thing up, once I figure out how to actually get into my existing paypal account and how to post an icon. Until then, please email me if you can and want to help. And as an added bonus, I will be happy to hear what you might want me to write about and try to comply with requests as quickly as possible - which isn't to say it would necessarily happen quickly. I have a semester to finish up and boys coming hard on it's heels and......You get the picture...I am hopeful however, that the next semester will not be quite so brutal. It's a little heavier load, but in a regular, sixteen week semester, rather than this really short one I'm in now...

*above and beyond any other volunteering I am planning for - which admittedly is uncertain right now...

**Or whatever else they need done - as I understand that they also need donation pick-up help as well...

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Christian Logic: Why I Don't Love My Boys...

Sometimes people wonder why I am so very fucking angry about theism and it's pervasive influence on our culture - and most other cultures for that matter... My very favorite neighbor to the north (you know, one of those Canuckistanians) recently got into a little tangle with someone who is a picture perfect example of where this anger comes from. After that aforementioned tangle with Jason, the cowardly fucking Christian decided to write an offensive piece of garbage about that encounter.

I had a thoughtful discussion with an atheist named Jason about real love. He deemed that it was “hateful” to claim that Atheist are not able to love their children.

Well Denny, that would be because it is a fucking hateful thing to claim. Hateful and strikingly ignorant. But Denny's ignorance doesn't stop there...

If God is love, then it is true that an atheist is incapable of loving their child. Atheist by definition reject God; therefore, an atheist is not capable of loving their children. God’s love never fails; however,an atheist love will fail based on the chemical make up of that person.

I don't reject any god, I also don't accept the conception of gods - Denny and I are operating on separate paradigms. But let's explore this logic for a moment, with the assumption that Denny's god is real and described accurately in the Christian bible...Denny's god demands - or at least used to, before Christ, that parents stone children who don't respect their parent's authority. While it can be argued that said god changed it's mind later on, there is no denying that the god Denny worships used to demand that parents kill their children for misbehaving. On the other hand, when you strike past Denny's stunning ignorance of neurobiology, you would find that there is highly unlikely that an atheist, or anyone else for that matter, is going to go through a neurochemical shift that would suddenly cause them to stop loving their children. It can happen, but when it happens, it happens at the result of a pathological imbalance - what we would call mental illness. And this is not something that Christians are immune to - such neuropathology can happen to anyone with a fucking brain.

Now you can go take a look at the rest, I am not going to keep going through this line, by line. But if you want to comment on it, don't bother doing so there - the comment likely won't get posted, no matter how reasoned and polite you might be. Indeed, I took Denny on his face and made a comment in good faith, which I will post in a moment - a comment that he chose to respond to in email, apparently thinking that posting it to his blog would be a bad idea.

Jason is far from the last line on love and atheists. Not all of us would agree with him, just as not all Christians would come close to agreeing with your assertions, here or there.

I am an atheist, after spending the vast majority of my life trying to reconcile my Faith with reason and reality. I understand very clearly, many different Christian premises about the nature of love. Now you may just decide that because I am now an atheist, I must never have been a real Christian, in which case this is probably a pointless exercise. But I am not going to assume that you are rather bigger than that.

When I was a Christian, I was very caught onto this notion of love and godly love. I have written very extensively over the years, on 1 Cor. 13 and that has been an absolute my entire life. I have believed absolutely in loving everyone, unconditionally. When I was a Christian, I absolutely believed that this was the least I could do – the least I could be, as a living testament to my god. The thing is, now that I am not a Christian, I not only continue to love like I did – I have found a much deeper and meaningful love than I have ever experienced.

Emotions are chemical based, because we are chemical based – everything we think, is based in chemical processes. The difference between you and who I am now, is that you somehow see this as making you less of a person – less miraculous than you actually are. Rather than arguing that this is somehow mundane and degrading, I would ask; Why do you think that this degrades us? We are truly marvelous and beautiful creatures – what makes us who and what we are, is awe inspiring. It is much like the notion of creation, versus evolution – I am far more inspired and awestruck, by the understanding of how we – these significantly flawed, yet wholly remarkable creatures came to be, than by the notion that we and the universe around us, were just magically “poofed” into existence. I am awestruck by the notion of the billions of years and virtually infinite space that spans out universe.

But the thing that I actually really have to disagree with Jason about – rather strenuously even, is this idea that our emotions are fleeting things – they assuredly are not. While some of our emotions are fleeting things, that which is most important to us does not evaporate, it usually just gets buried. We humans have a remarkable capacity for compartmentalizing and do so on an ongoing basis. Were we to stop, we would quickly be completely overwhelmed by the inability to process absolutely everything. So the vast majority of what we see, what is happening around us, goes into tidy little compartments – some of them much like the RECYCLE function of our computers. Certain types of information are harder to reach while they are still there and only stay until we have put so much more in, that it disappears.

But there are a great many things that never leave us – though we may get past the worst of the impact of those events, people and the feelings they inspire. And when we dwell on them, it is easy enough to recall and experience those emotions again – unless we’ve repressed it, which is something that men are especially good at.

I don’t believe in gods anymore, don’t believe in the supernatural at all. That doesn’t mean I have any less capacity for love and emotions than you do. Indeed, believing as I now do, that such beliefs are dangerous and overall bad for us, I not only love you, but much as I am sure you love me and wish that I would come back to God’s grace, I wish you would come to reason and out of the dangers of magical thinking.

And I too, love my children. Ever so very deeply and in a way that to you, a fellow parent, can totally relate to.

You can see how terribly offensive my comment was - no question why he wouldn't fucking let it post out of moderation. I will note here however, that I misunderstood Jason and he did clarify it here. Sorry Jason, your comment makes a whole lot of sense now. And for anyone going over to read that, please ignore my comment below - that was meant for Jason only and frankly, I'm concerned that if you read it, you may decide to kill me. But I digress, because while Denny the Cowardly fucking Christian chose not to let my comment post, he did respond. And out of respect for his notation on the bottom of his email, admonishing that it is indeed intended only for me, I will have to request that you not actually read the following quotes and just read my responses to them - I post them for Denny's reference, so he knows what exact points I am responding to...And if you like, you could take a break and go read Jason's response to Denny the Cowardly fucking Christian's blog-post, which he was blissfully unaware of, until I pointed it out to him....

A person can claim to love their children; however, it is impossible for chemicals to love chemicals. I don't doubt that chemicals can affect emotions; however, love is not an emotion. Your statement, "I love my children" while denying the existence of God informs me that your definition of love is based on chemicals and not truth.

Denny, we are not talking about neat little bottles of chemicals in your child's chemistry set. Nor are we talking about stuff that got mixed up in a laboratory. Please take a moment to learn a little bit about the human brain and how all this thinking and feeling stuff works...We'll wait for you...

If you gave up Christ for your emotions, then that explains why you are an atheist. Jason at least was honest about atheism.

I gave up nothing for my emotions - my emotions had nothing to do with my becoming an atheist, except in so far as they actively prevented me from becoming an atheist a great deal sooner. I am an atheist because I finally lost the battle of attrition, wherein my religious brainwashing was fighting to reconcile my Faith, with reason and reality. But I love the implication that I am somehow lying about who and what I am, and why...

In order for atheism to be true, it has to admit to the existence of truth. As soon as an atheist makes a claim on truth, they just established the existence of God. In other words, it is logically impossible for atheism to be true. When you make a claim on truth, you are admitting to an unchanging reality that exists beyond our own. Truth is unchanging; however, everything in our experience is changing. The only basis for truth or for reason is the existence of God.

You know, I love me some elementary, circular logic and this example is truly circular and very elementary. But worse, it's also predicated on the notion that atheism is based on any claim of truth.

First of all Denny, I reject the god paradigm that your abysmally fucking stupid statement was based on. Your premise fails on it's face right then and there. Secondly, I would like to point out that this is a logical fallacy. Even if we were to give that atheism is predicated on some claim of truth, it would not stand to reason that said truth implies anything unchanging, beyond our reality. The only way that this would stand, is if we accept as an absolute, the existence of a supernatural that there simply isn't any evidence for. And finally, I am not an atheist because I believe there isn't a god or any sort of supernatural. I am an atheist, because I have not seen evidence to indicate the existence of either. I don't <i>believe</i> anyfuckingthing...I accept that there may be a supernatural, I just don't see evidence to suggest it. I even accept that there may be a godlike higher power - again, I just don't see evidence for it. Still further, I accept that there may be a interventionist, godlike higher power - just not the evidence. Finally, I even accept the possibility, no matter how slim, that <i>your</i> version of god is real. The thing is, without evidence to suggest that any of these are true, I reject the premises. And in the order I listed them, I go from finding these premises exceedingly unlikely, to being about as likely as the premise that The FSM is coming to save us and guide us into a beautiful reality of peace and piracy.

Mass and Energy that has been informed by information establishes the fact that a mind does exist which is the source of that information. In other words, God does exist and it is undeniable if you hold to truth.

A fucking moron says what? Seriously Denny, you need some help - please do me a favor and spend a little time on elementary logic... You are doing a hell of a job of showing just how fucking bereft our educational system is...

And for the record, logic and this silly notion of <i>evidence</i> based reason are not tools of Satan, created to drive man from god. Least ways, I give that notion less credence, than I give the notion that your version of god is real. We'll skip over the next couple of paragraphs, because once you ground yourself in elementary logic, you will see that it is just more of the same fucking bullshit.

The fact you were trying to be a Christian and now an atheist tells me that you never found the Love of God that can be yours through Jesus Christ. If you would have found it, you would never have left.

Fuck you. Seriously you fucking shit eating little bastard - Fuck You!

Now I am almost inclined to just leave it at that and be done with your sorry fucking ass, but I want to clarify something you asked to clarify, because one, I am honest and two, it will provide you with a short lesson in logic. In your second email you asked...

You stated that your love is now deeper and more meaningful.

If your love is chemically based, everyone's experience should be the same since you are hitting the love chemical; however, it would seem to me that admitting that love is now deeper would imply that you activated a new chemical that is forcing you to believe that it is now deeper....

Do you think that love can really go deeper for an atheist?

For the question you asked, no. I don't think that faith or lack thereof has anyfuckingthing to do with one's capacity for love. I do not think that becoming an atheist made it possible for me to suddenly love that much more deeply. I would suspect that Faith was running some interference before, but the truth is, after becoming an atheist, I also got help for my neurological issues. I also became more focused on metacognition and better understanding myself. It also makes a huge difference, that I have now met a women whom I love quite passionately and with a depth I previously assumed was simply not possible for me to feel.

People, especially men, are perfectly capable of not recognizing. ignoring and even suppressing emotions. Humans have that capacity to compartmentalize that I talked about in my comment that you are afraid to post to your blog. Because of that capacity, we are perfectly capable of never even realizing how we really feel about things, people and ideas. We can repress memories and desires, without ever realizing what we've done. It is mostly just coincidence, that I have broken through some seriously damaging compartmentalization since becoming an atheist.

But I really want to hit on this fucking ridiculous notion you have about neurochemistry and love. It is not some singular chemical that we can just take "hits" of, to feel something more or less. It is a complex interaction of neurotransmitters and the "hardware" of our brains. We're all different, because our brains are all different. Our specific, individual brain chemistry is easily as unique and far more complicated than our fingerprints. This is what prevents us from being singular, automaton like creatures - one indistinguishable from another.

This is all relatively simple to understand, even if the mechanisms are complicated. No gods needed and unlike godbased, lazy fucking assumptions, there is a great deal of evidence to back up every assertion I have made here.

Friday, July 17, 2009

It is your place to say it, Greg, but you're wrong.

I started writing this post as a comment and soon realized that it was far more appropriate as a post in itself. Greg is rather fucking angry about all this blog violence and infighting. Indeed, he is prepared to stick his angry boot up someones ass so far that they'll need a shoe-shine rag to brush their teeth, if they tell him that it's not his place to say what he said...

Of course it's your place to point this out - it's your fucking blog. For that matter, this is your place to comment on it too. However, I don't agree with you...Or more to the point I do, but not everyone who agrees with us on one or more of those issues, agrees with us on all of them. And therein lies the problem and the point I was trying to make to Volcanoman on that other post.

As an atheist, I am willing to accept that atheists who have what I see as reprehensible moral frames, also happen to have a common enemy with me. Honestly, common enemy or not, there are those in that group who I just flat refuse to ally myself with - which is rare for me. As an environmentalist, I accept that there are even some pretty hardcore fundamentalist theists who also happen to be ardent environmentalists - and again, there are those among them who I just can't in good conscience ally myself with.

I could go on and on - for every issue you raise, there are people who agree with us on that issue, while fervently disagreeing on others. Excepting extremists, I am happy to ally myself to those people on those specific issues, while accepting that on other issues, they are my enemies. But given that there are those in each of those groups who are my enemies, it stands to reason there will be some infighting - or outfighting within the group might be more accurate.

And then there are those with whom I have fundamental differences with, when it comes to tactics. Like Chris - you know, that dude who just came out with a book coauthored with a awesome marine biologist. He doesn't see a lot of utility in trying to convince theists to abandon theism, believing it far more important to convince them that there isn't an inherent between accepting science while being a theist. While I have no problem with making the latter point clear, I will not - absolutely will not allow that point to interfere with my fundamental belief that theism is poison - no matter what type or extreme that theism takes.

Nor am I going to play nice about it - something that many atheists believe is counterintuitive. I believe that it is a good thing for people who aren't comfortable with the sort of rhetoric I occasionally am prone to not to engage in it, but I also think it's a good thing for people who are to do so and I think it's a good idea for people who have some other way of going about it to do things their way.

But most importantly and why I categorically reject your premise, is that this very discussion is a good, incredibly positive thing. This "infighting" you are objecting to - this is exactly what drove me to where I am now. I've been engaging in this argument for about six years now and my position on it, as well as my personal religious beliefs are almost in perfect polar opposition to what they were when I first engaged in it.

I am not alone, or in any way unique.

There are a lot more people reading this stuff, including these discussions, than there are people commenting on it. Hell, with my tiny traffic blog, I get emails from people who just aren't comfortable commenting. The other post garnered me four emails from people who just wanted to tell me they appreciated my comments to Volcanoman (one also mentioned the other person I was arguing with). You get a lot of traffic and I imagine that it's only a tiny fraction of that traffic that ever responds.

It is important for people to see and understand that atheists aren't some homogeneous group of people. It is important for people to understand that the thing that makes us atheists, is a lack of religious belief - and nothing else - absolutely nothing else. Sure, there are a lot of things that many, maybe even most atheists would agree on. But that has nothing to do with us being atheists - it just means that we happen to have other shared values.

And this discussion does more than show people what atheists are and aren't. It also exposes them to arguments about the nature of religion and magical thinking - arguments that they may never hear anywhere else. It shows them that a) not all atheists are angry and/or b) that some atheists are - both of which are valid and valuable points to theists or those who simply don't identify as atheists, though their actual beliefs may qualify.

Some Nerdy Goodness to Start the Day!!!!!!

And I don't even like hip-hop...

And for my aspie friends...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Ooh!!! Those Damned Canucks are Getting Rather Uppity!!!!

All right Toaster, we need to step this shit up... Time to head into that super secret laboratory on the bottom of Lake Superior and start cranking out some Canuck asswooping!!!!

You want to play tough with US, Canada?!?!? It's on motherfuckers!!!!11!!1111!!!!! This plan for world domination is staring with your motherfucking polite little asses there, eh!!!!!!11!!!!!!!

Time for some motherfucking moose casserole!!!!!1!111!!!!

You violated the conventions against torture, by giving us Celine Dione, now were bringing it back with a vengeance!!!1!!1!11!

(Thanks for Neil Young though, just to be fair)

(Not that we're going to fight fair, we're going to DESTROY, DESTROY, DESTROY!!!!!1!!11!!!1!)

(And we won't be setting up a moosemincontrol ray on Mackinaw Island - Nor will we be engaging in psychological warfare involving impoliteness, littering and bumping into you until you lose your mind from repeatedly apologizing*)

(*See Toaster, now they don't know the plans anymore)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Fuck Homogenized Atheism

Over at Greg Laden's blog (he often has some of the best conversations), I have gotten into a rather heated exchange with a Nathan Myers (my response starting after this comment) and intended on posting about the baseline question/assertion I made - and I still do. But then another commenter, Volcanoman, made a rather impassioned plea that I can appreciate, while thinking it's a really bad (not to mention impossible) fucking idea. I rather spent more time than I probably should have on my response and realized that it is a rather important point, so I am posting it here. And because I have three tests in the next two days (the two hardest tomorrow) and really need to study some more, I am not going to muck about with it...

The world is an increasingly nasty place and its rational people, although naturally fractious and irritable it seems, need to come to common understanding and present a unified message of intelligent discourse, robust information, and moral superiority.


What you don't seem to understand, Volcanoman, is that there isn't some common understanding and never will be. The fact that we happen to agree that religion is a bad idea, does not imply any sort of common understanding - many of us think religion is a bad thing for very different reasons in the first place.

Take the rather heated interaction between Nathan and myself - whichever one of us might be right, we absolutely do not have a common understanding and given the general tenor that our exchange took, it is unlikely that we ever will. If we do come to a common understanding of the issue we're discussing here, it won't be because of each other - I don't generally find myself deciding to agree with assholes who talk smack and I doubt he tends to decide suddenly he agrees with people who call him a complete and utter fucking moron. So if we ever do find ourselves on common ground in this, it will be because others convinced one or both of us that another position is the correct one.

And a lack of religious belief is not a reasonable foundation on which to build any unified message, nor is it inherently a precursor to intelligent discourse. Like I said, people decide that religion is bad, or that they simply don't believe, for a vast array of reasons - not all of them intelligent and by definition not unified.

Chris Mooney, for example, is not religious because he grew up without religion. He was never inundated with Faith and therefor it is perfectly natural for him to be an atheist. Me on the other hand - I struggled and fought for the vast majority of my life to desperately cling to the remnants of the very profound, very deep seated, absolute Faith of my childhood. It was only after a nearly thirty year odyssey through Faith and conflicting reason, that I finally lost the war of attrition and became an atheist. It took even longer and was only after my interactions with people who were damaged even more than I was by Faith and then with people who's experience was far less intense but just as nefarious, that I came to believe that religious indoctrination of children is inherently abusive and moreover, that it was intensely abusive to me personally.

Chris Mooney, OTOH, hates it when people say the sorts of things I said in my last sentence. Comfortable enough position to take, when one has never experienced the abusive nature of religious indoctrination. And you think that I am even capable of joining a unified message with Chris, or anyone else who believes it would be better if people with opinions such as mine, kept them to ourselves?

And quite frankly (and honestly no offense intended), you can take your moral superiority and shove it up your ass. Atheism does not make anyone morally superior to anyone else, nor does theism make anyone morally inferior to anyone else. I know a whole hell of a lot of people I would judge morally superior to others - and religion has absolutely nothing to do with that judgment. There are a lot of people, theists and otherwise, who follow a moral framework that is similar to my own and many of them manage better than I do. There are also a lot of people who behave and even fundamentally conduct their lives in a way that goes hard against the most important aspects of my moral framework - many of them theists and many of them atheists.

Never mind that those folks feel quite the same about me and my moral framework. Though that does shoot us back to the last point. Because if I can't show a unified front with Chris Mooney, who in spite of our significant difference of opinion is probably living a lifestyle that is closely aligned to my moral framework, can I be expected to be unified with someone who's moral framework is fundamentally different than my own? I disagree with Chris and cannot come to a consensus with him on some fundamental issues, but I rather like Chris and would probably enjoy hanging out with him and having dinner.

I cannot say the same about an atheist who believes that social safetynets are an infringement of their rights, that torture is ok, if it is making us safer, that the rule of law can be thrown under the bus, when push comes to shove - I could go on and on. People like this I wouldn't want to have dinner with, even if they happen to have virtually identical views to my own on religion.

But the bottom line, absolutely fundamentally fatal flaw to your line of reasoning here, is in the functional fulfillment of this goal. Because while I am sure that there are people who have made positive changes in their lives, due to the way Chris Mooney deals with religion, it wasn't a Chris Mooney who helped push me past the final blocks. Likewise, there are people who appreciate my condor and general attitude about Faith - people who are, or recently were theists, who find themselves rather intrigued by my attitude and where it comes from - they, like me, are unlikely to make the choices we would like them to, because of what a Chris Mooney - or for that matter, a PZ Myers has to say about it.

There are a lot of assholes in the world, who are assholes in much the same way that I am an asshole. And guess what? They appreciate assholes like themselves and the way we put things.

I like you and appreciate your position - I really do. But I have no interest in your homogenized, "Kumbaya," campfire fucking bullshit. We need all of us, being who we are, to affect positive change. Because when the positive change in question is an end to religion and lack of religion is the only common thread, homogenization isn't going to get us very far.

And btw, Motherfucking Canadians are going Down Eh!!!!!!!!!11!!11111!!!!!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

I love to be loved...

Not sure exactly who is sending it - it may even be the company that makes them, but I am extremely grateful to whoever decided that I should have the newer generation e-cigarette. I got an email from the company a couple days ago, confirming the order to my address. Kind of freaked at first, because the order is for the E9 with several cartridges - an order totaling about $100 including shipping, thinking there was a mistake that I was going to get charged for.

There wasn't. I emailed them and was simply told that it was not charged to my account. They didn't say that they actually sent it, but given the language issues and that they use a third party for "help" questions, that doesn't rule it out. And I had mentioned to them that I have been writing about their E9m, which is a very different model, they may have decided they wanted me to write about the new generation nicotine vaporizer.

In any case, I will have the opportunity to write about the E9 within the week.

But if one of my readers decided I should have one, I would like to say thank you ever so much. And just in case anyone was wondering, I really love books. I am all about the books really. Especially books by people who want to send them to me and find out what I think about their books. In fact, if anyone sends me their book to review - I would be all about reading and reviewing it.

I almost forgot to give an update on the smoking, while I am on the topic...

I am still smoking, having steadied at about 3-5 cigarettes a day, sometimes only two. I had a couple of days that went to six, but have been doing less far more than more. I do seem rather stuck on the last few, but that is far better (and cheaper) than the average of 20+ I was on before. Mine does seem to be a common experience with the e-cig, though there are plenty of folks who manage to quit tobacco altogether rather quickly.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Can any of my readers tell me about Glucosamine/chondroitin supplements?

Yet another supplement that I would really love to see studied further. It is maddening to find that there is a great deal of information out there - almost uniformly positive, yet be unable to find more than a couple of NIH studies that are cautiously optimistic. One of them was pretty much focused on the actual amount of these substances in various products, compared to the amount the label claimed they contain.

I am going to try it since my doctor let me know that there is no reason to think it would mix badly with my meds, but I would love to know if anyone can give me some more information. I didn't actually get to talk directly with my doctor, but his head nurse let me know that he has recommended it to patients and thought it might be helpful for me. At the same time, she emphasized that it's unlikely that he knows of more information about these supplements than I am (they know how I tend to be about this sort of thing).

I have spent a while on medline and pubmed. I have yet to spend much time in the databases of full papers I have access to. If any of you know of something you would point me to, please feel free.

Thanks for all the fish!!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

One would think that a bunch of Educated Scientists...

...Would recognize the rising of old ones from the depths of time and space - but apparently they want to find a more "normal" explanation for the sewer blob that portends the rise of Cthuluh!!! Juniper sent me a link to this hellish video...PZ Meyers and Dr. M seem to think it's just some sort of worm...

I hope they get eaten first - after the loons...

Yet another thing to love about my partner - she recognizes OUR DOOM!!! for what it is...

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

For the record...

...I have the absolute greatest girlfriend and partner ever.

Not only does she put up with, well, me, she is also in love with me. I love not being alone. I love knowing that no matter what kind of day I have, I have Juniper to make it better - and she has me.

No matter how much life sucks sometimes...

...Life is fucking good!!!