Friday, May 30, 2008

Youtube Fridays Part deux

Go see Sorghum Crow for this awesome vid that was pointed out by Tengrain at MPS,I laughed my ass off at it. Awww the wonders of the blogging community. Leave your comments at Sorghum Crow's blog.

YouTube Fridays

I have gotten into the habit of watching Last Comic Standing on NBC over the past few summers. There is nothing else on at this point of the year and some of the time the comedians are really funny. These are two comedians called God's Pottery, I was laughing so hard when I saw them. This is them on Last Comic Standing. It showcases a bit of their songs and also gives an introduction to them which is just as funny as their songs.

God's Pottery on Last Comic Standing

Just a full version of one of their songs, so funny.

Team Jesus- God's Pottery

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Go Read this, NOW

Just go read this awesome post by the Cunning Runt.

Book Review- 1491:New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus

As a history buff and as someone who finds Amerindians and their culture especially Pre-Columbian Amerindian culture really interesting, I had seen 1491 by Charles C. Mann before and knew that I wanted to read it. I have also recently read Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel and so looking at cultures prior to the invasion and colonization by Europeans was something I was reading about a lot lately. Mann starts the book with a look at Pizarro's invasion of the Inkas in South America and the interaction among the Amerindians of Massachusetts with the Pilgrims. Each of these looks at the different groups shows a different way in which the Amerindians decided to interact with the explorers and the ways in which these interactions affect the differences in the outcomes for each group. Although each of the Amerindian groups were eventually colonized and killed off, there a vast differences in how this occurred. Where the Inkas were conquered by military force, one of the tribes of Massachusetts made a strategic choice to help the Europeans with the hope that they would align with one group over another. (Unfortunately the book had to go back to the library today and I just finished last night so I no longer have the book and I cannot remember the tribe names right off the top of my head.)

The next sections of 1491 look at how the Amerindians came to America from Asia initially and where the first settled communities might have occurred. There is much controversy on how and when peoples first came to the Americas and where they first settled and Mann goes into much of this controversy, attempting to look at much of what has been written and found as the controversies have developed. This then leads into a discussion of the different groups of peoples in the separate areas of the Americas starting with the Andes, then Mesoamerica, then North America and finally Amazonia. Mann looks at each geographic area, and discusses the different people and settlements that developed there. He looks at not just the major groups that we may think of like the Inkas, the Mayas and the Aztecs, but their predecessors and also how each of these groups developed and then the aftermath of European invasion on these groups. He also discusses the groups of North America such as the Mississippian cultures that developed that I did not know that much about. This was great as I knew about the Amerindian groups of Mesoamerica and the Andes and knew the legends and stories that surrounded Squanto and the other Amerindians that the Pilgrims first encountered, but I did not ever learn about the groups of Amerindians that lived in much of what is now the US owing to the fact that many of them were so ravaged by disease, specifically smallpox, that by the time the explorers met them, they were a shell of their former glory. There are also the images we have of the Plains Indians on horse back, where in fact horses were a European import and that the Plains Indians did not hunt or use horses prior to the European invasion. I knew that horse were imported here from Europe, but I did not know how these societies developed prior to the European invasion.

Mann also looks at the naive idea that the land that was invaded by the Europeans was virgin land, that the Amerindians had no impact on the land or were innocent steward of the land. He looks at the vast changes that Amerindians had on the land from agriculture to the cultivation and breeding of maize which is not a wild species and had to be created by humans to the use of fire to alter the land so that farming and gathering of certain plants could be accomplished by the humans on the land. He also looks at the ideas that the people who were here were not as savage as the Europeans liked to think nor were they as peaceful as we now like to think, the Noble Savage. This changing of the land is also reflected in the final section of the book when he talks about the effects of the mass death of the Amerindians and how that affected the land so much. He discusses that bison may not have been as plentiful as were then seen by explorers and pioneers. That Amerindians competed with bison, mule deer and elk for food like maize, and other herbs and plants so they were pushed to where they were available a few days ride when the Amerindians wanted or needed meat, but were far enough away that they were not eating from the gardens of the humans. This is one of many changes that the geography and plant and animal life went through after the extermination of the Amerindians at the hands of the Europeans.

Overall, this was a very enlightening book and added much to my understanding of the Pre-Columbian Americas and the people who inhabited this land. Mann is not always an unbiased writer, at times scolding present situations where Amerindians are still treated poorly or adding other notes that are not totally unbiased, but as a very liberal individual I didn't mind these biased comments. If you want a purely unbiased commentary you may have to just overlook some of this, but I also didn't find that the commentary was overwhelming and that Mann did a very good job of trying to look at all of the issues involved and the various controversies that have erupted in anthropology surrounding Pre-Columbian America.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The intersection of sports and gender

For those of you who didn't know, this weekend was the Indianapolis 500 and Danica Patrick was trying to become the first women racer to win this big race. Now I didn't watch the race, but from what I have read she was having a great race. But this is not really the big news from this event concerning her, Danica's car was hit as she was pulling out of her pit stall with only a few laps to go in the race. But what happened next is really what I want to talk about, the video shows Danica getting out of her car and then purposely heading toward the other driver's car and looking like she might tell this guy off and possibly throw a few punches or push the other driver around. (I apologize for the video, but it was the best I could find and if you go about 2 minutes into the video you can see what I am talking about.)

This is apparently not the first time that Danica has gotten angry at another driver for wrecking her and the last time she did push the other driver around a bit. It is also not uncommon for racers to have verbal fights and even at times a little bit of pushing after one driver is seen as costing another driver a race by wrecking them. So the fact that Danica was going out of her way to get into a confrontation with another driver is not that unusual and not really why I am bringing this up. The reason I bring this up is that as I was listening to sports talk radio one of the people who emailed the show (just to note, not one of the sports talk anchors, but they did read the email and they did not make a point to disagree) made the comments that would be expected at this point. "See this is why women should not be in men's sports. They can hit a guy and guys can't do anything back. Guys can't hit them or push them. They just have to take the abuse and then they become embarrassed and no man wants to be embarrassed by a girl." I paraphrased a bit there, but you get the gist. Of course, this is misogynistic and this should not be acceptable for us to think that women cannot and should not compete with men in any sport they want to, but also then what should be the response if a women comes up and starts hitting or pushing one of the male competitors? Sure there should be no violence in these sports and we should not accept any hitting or physical confrontations of any kind in sports, but this is the real world and hitting and pushing happen as emotions get out of control. And if this was two guys there might be a punch thrown or just yelling, but should we expect the same if a male and female get into a brawl? Should a male hit a women if the situation calls for it? Can he hit her is she hits him first?

This is a more complex issue, for me, than the initial glance. There is something deep down in my soul that says a man should not hit a women. I know this is probably sexist as I am thinking of women as fragile or that that men would just overpower them and yet this not what I am consciously thinking. I am thinking I was taught whether explicitly, like being told, don't hit girls, or implicitly, like the whole idea that this is a social no no for a guy to hit a girl, that as a male I should not strike a female for any reason. I think it also has to do with when I think of men hitting women it is in the context of physical abuse and that is obviously not right. Abuse should not be tolerated ever whether it is the male who is the abuser or the female. And the prevalence of the male as the abuser is also prevalent in our society which also adds to my own issues with men hitting women even in a fight. But on the other hand, if we are truly in a society where women can and do compete in sports that are traditionally male and if we think that it is stupid that men would feel like they cannot compete as hard against women. That they cannot wrestle a women in Greco-Roman wrestling or play football with a female or even play basketball against a girl cause she might get hurt, then where does this leave us when in the course of a sport emotions get the best of us and a girl punches or pushes a male? Would it be acceptable for the guy to retaliate? Would it be OK for another racer (I am using racing here as it is the easy example right now) to go over to Danica and start yelling at her if they felt like she had cost them the race just like the male racer would do to another male racer? Can we truly separate gender and sports as much as we would like?

Give your thoughts in comments if you want as I really have no answers to this one.

What happened to the "Maverick"?

This cartoon pretty much answers why McCain is now trying to play both sides.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Movie Review-Quinceanera

Quinceanera is the story of a young Latina and her quinceanera. The quinceanera is the celebration of a girl's 15th birthday within several different Latino cultures. It is a celebration of a girl becoming a women, in many ways it reminds me of a Bar/ Bat Mitzvah for Jewish children although the age of 15 does seem to make more sense than 13 for us Jews. The story surrounds the impending quinceanera of Magdalena. In addition to the up coming life cycle event, Magdalena is also pregnant, which she does not know for much of the time, but does have a huge impact on the film and her life. When her father finds out Magdalena is pregnant, he kicks her out of the house and she goes to live with her 85 year-old uncle where she joins her cousin who has been kicked out of his parents house. The story now follows Magdalena and her uncle and cousin in their house and her struggles with being a 14 year-old teenage mother. There are never any question of abortion or of adoption, it is taken for granted that she will have the child. The father of the baby is willing to be there and does seem to love Magdalena, but when his parents find out that he is the father to Magdalena's child, he is sent away to live with other relatives as he is supposed to have a future.

The movie is very well written and directed. Emily Rios who plays Magalena does a superb job as a 14 year old who is struggling with pregnancy and her father and also wanting to be able to not have this baby stop her from accomplishing her dreams. The film switches back and forth constantly throughout the film between subtitled Spanish and English, which took me a few times to get used to. I have been around children who are bilingual and watched them switch back and forth quickly between languages, but having to read subtitles and then not having subtitles as the characters were speaking English took some switching in the brain. The film does a wonderful job of giving an insight into the culture of this family and the evolving culture of the Latino Americans who now live here. We see a tradition that was at one time much more religious turned into a giant party where some of the tradition and religion have begun to fade away, another similarity between the Bar Mitzvah and the Quinceanera. This film echos real life in that even at the end, things are not tied up. We are not sure what is to happen with the baby and life will still continue on after movie is over. There is no total conclusion to the film, but this episode of the Quinceanera in Magdalena's life has now been concluded. This is a wonderful film that is both funny and dramatic at the same time without being overly dismissive of the Latino culture and yet not overly sappy either. There is no violence, not much swearing and no sex in this film, so don't be scared off by the "R" rating. There are a few short scenes of one character smoking marijuana and some brief and really general discussion of sex, but nothing that deserves an "R" rating in my opinion.

I miss blogging

I miss blogging. Sure you do, I haven't done it in almost a week and so I must not miss it that much and yet I do. I keep thinking that there are so many things I want to post. I find article in the newspaper I want to talk about, I even have a folder for "blog fodder" and yet do I do posts on any of this, nope. I could use so many excuses, the move, I am tired when I get home, I have better things to do, so many excuses, none of them are valid though. I just put it off, I procrastinate like I inevitably do with most everything. I should be so much further along in packing, I only have like two weeks left and I keep thinking, I should do more, I should pack some today. I do have some tuff packed and I have a good bit of stuff sold that I wanted to sell, not quite everything yet, but many of the big things, yes. I miss blogging. I miss sharing my thoughts. I miss just putting something out there even if it is totally superfluous. I read blogs and I don't even comment as much as I would like to anymore. There are no excuses. I just need to start to make more time to blog and to comment on other blogs.

This is random and probably not grammatically correct, but I needed to just type and see what came out. I needed to just jump start things.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Four years ago and yet still so true

I saw this clip at Shakesville. I remember the hubub that came our of Jon stewart appearing on Crossfire but I am nt sure i ever saw the whole thing. I am glad I have now and so with no further ado...

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Hockey commercial

Since I have been watching hockey most of this week, Go Pens, I keep seeing this commercial and it tickles my funny bone every time.

Friday, May 16, 2008

YouTube Fridays- Charlotte Church edition

I kind of stumbled upon these Charlotte Church videos. I know they are not here at her best when she was younger and had a better voice or so I have heard, but I still really liked these covers.

Charlotte Church and Amy Winehouse- Beat It

Charlotte Church- Somewhere over the Rainbow

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Happy Birthday

A little birdie tells me that it is a certain Texas blogger's birthday so I am wishing him a happy birthday with this song.


And it seems there has been a small oversight and this same blogger is not on my blogroll. How that happened I am not sure, but I am adding him now as well.

In tribute to Leo

Please go visit the Gourmet Goddess and give your condolences. As many of you know, I am moving to Chicago in June to start an offline relationship with her so this may be a bit biased, but still... Today she had to put a friend and kitty to sleep due to health problems. Please go over there she is really struggling as I am sure any of us with pets would be and needs to know the support that we can give her as a blogging community.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I guess this was to be expected

Today John Edwards endorsed Obama for president. There was much speculation since he left the democratic primaries about who he would endorse, Clinton or Obama. There seemed to be some thoughts that of course he would endorse Obama as he and the Clintons had issues in the past and that he was a change candidate so was more like Obama than Clinton. Also, it seems as though it is a certainty that Obama will win the Democratic nomination so this seemed like a good time for Edwards to endorse Obama as he is not really going out of a limb here. I just wish I felt more comfortable with one of the candidates, whether it is Clinton or Obama or someone else, Nader does nothing for me either.

40 people dressed as panda bears and Jack black

Yes that pretty much is the description of this scene from the Cannes Film festival. I laughed so I figured I would share.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Saturday, May 10, 2008

FYI: Not all women vote the same

According to this article, there is a deep divide among feminists over who should be the Democratic candidate, surprising isn't this. I mean don't all women vote the same, don't they all share the same brain and the same thoughts, well don't they. Oh yeah that is right, feminists are people and people have different thoughts from each other. Just as not all men vote the same, then not all women will vote the same. And if not all women will vote the same, than that means that not all feminists will vote the same. This is yet another article which tries to make everything black and white in this Democratic campaign. Apparently, since there are a variety of different opinions among feminists on the blogoshere and in the main stream media there is this huge divide. The feminists will forever be divided and if we do not unite soon, than our vote will be meaningless in all future elections ever according to this article. This article does nothing, but talk about how the two sides are basically warring. There is even a quote where Clinton supporter Gloria Feldt, former president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, says, "We're squandering an opportunity to be seen as a voting bloc that turns elections. Unless we are working together, in a strategically thought-out effort to vote in our own best interests, we are in danger of never having another election where people will say women can determine the outcome." Now I hope this is taken out of context and I am sure there was more to it than this, but really is this article and this quote really saying that if women do not all vote for Obama or all for Clinton, than every politician can forget about the female vote forever. I don't think anyone who discounts 50% of the population has much of a chance anyway. The final thing I can say is that there is a lot of worry about if the opponent's supporters will support the candidate even if it isn't their candidate, well I am not seeing many feminist voting for McCain, so it is not like he will get these votes. Sure there is a possibility that Clinton supporters (I am sorry to make this conclusion, but I just can't seem to find a way for Obama to lose at this point) will not vote in the general election and that would hurt Obama and we as feminist and feminist supporters (remember I have issues calling myself a feminist) need to vote for whoever the Democratic candidate is against McCain, but still McCain is not getting the feminist vote anyway. So yes, there are differing opinions in the feminist movement, but so what. Not all men vote the same, so why can't women have differing opinions as well.

Transgenderism and children, part 6

Yes, this actually the sixth post I have done on this topic or topics that are very similar. I started in July 2007 with this one and then there is this one, this one, this one, and, of course, this most recent one. It seems I talk about this idea a lot from what I can figure and I didn't even include the other probably five or six times that I have discussed children and gender roles or children and sex education. Since I have done this so often and seems to come up here a lot, I really want to do a much shorter post this time. NPR had a two part series about transgender children this week which you can read/ hear here and here. The first one is about two families and how they are approaching the fact that their six year old boy is transgender in very different ways. While one family is accepting this fact and trying to find a balance between allowing their child to have dresses and other more stereotypically feminine items, the other family has actually taken away all of the feminine toys of their child. Both families have made their choices in accordance with child psychologists that specialize in trangenderism in children. The therapists are the ones who disagree with how the child should be treated when they view themselves as transgender. I found myself frustrated with the psychologist who insisted the parents take away the feminine toys and not allow the little boy to use "girl" colors. This seems to go against working in the child's best interest, you are making a child become someone they are not comfortable with and you are attempting to change this child. You are not listening to the child and what they are saying in addition to the non-verbal communication that they are sending. This child still wants to play with girl toys and when they are at a family gathering where there are dolls and such, they will sneak away to play with them. The child also has to ask their mother to not take them near where there might be the color pink or to hold the parent's hands over the child's eyes so that they cannot see the pink. How is this a good thing when the child is still this traumatized by the actions you are taking as a doctor? Also, as a parent, you have bought your child toys that were stereotypically female, dolls and such, so why now do you think that you should change that. I would understand if you kept trying to change your child and then a therapist agreed with you and so you continued with the same course of action, no I don't agree with it, but at least you were consistent. But doling one thing for six years and then radically changing your actions because someone tells you that the child may have some struggles because, "Girls would want more boyish boys. Bradley would be an outcast." This therapist is doing a great job of perpetuating the misogyny that is inherent in this society, telling parents that girls only want manly men, that is the stupidest thing I have ever heard.

The second part of this series is about a family who is starting their son on hormone blockers to suppress his puberty. The child is transgender and is now 10 and has always seemed to be transgender. The suppression of the hormones that cause puberty will allow the child to wait till they are close to 16 when they can then start to take the hormones of the opposite gender to become that other gender. So the boy in this story will be able to start to take estrogen when they are older so that they may feel like they are more comfortable. The hormone blockers also allow for the child to have more time to figure things out mentally, if they decide that maybe they do feel like a boy than they can stop the hormone treatments and continue on with puberty, if they really still feel like they are a girl than they can start the estrogen treatments. This seems to me to be a good compromise. The most common response from both professionals and others is that these children do not know what they want. They will feel like one gender one day and another the next day. So now they have the ability to be 16 till they finally really have to be sure of what gender they are. If the child still feels like they are the opposite gender after 16 years of their life, than we need to respect their wishes and they will probably not just one day wake up one day mad at themselves for making the wrong decision.

This is a tough decision for parents, I know. It has to be tough to know what to think when your five year old boy thinks that they are a girl. It has got to be easy to dismiss this and tell yourself and others that they are so young how can they know? But if your child still thinks they are stuck in the wrong gender after 10 or 15 years of their life, than although this is still tough, it is also probably the truth.

I also want to thank my mom for sending me these articles, I am not sure I would have seen them anyway and this is definitely a topic that I just keep exploring.

Friday, May 9, 2008

It is good to be an old, white man

Yet again, Keith O. rocks and points out the hypocrisy of Obama and the storm over his relationship with his former pastor Rev. Wright versus McCain's continuing relationship with Falwell and Hagee.

h/t Tengrain

YouTube Fridays

Freaks and Geeks is so funny. I started watching the episodes again, I had seen them already a few times, after finishing Kick Me which I reviewed here. This is some funny shit.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Great headlines

Great tits cope well with warming

Now the article is about birds and how the bird great tits seem to be doing well with global warming and the changes in the environment, but... Um yeah on my google reader all I saw was basically the title. I clicked it alright, mostly out of curiosity.

Moving sucks, well kinda

As many of you know I am moving to be with someone special in my life, YAY, and I am moving a long distance, from NC to near Chicago. And I am moving at the beginning of June. Yeah I know it isn't as early as some bloggers in this little sphere who are also up to big changes. And why is it that it seems like there is a disproportionate number of bloggers that I read who are in major changes in the past ohh I would say 6 month. But back to the point, I hate to move, well it is not that I hate to move. I hate the stress of packing and trying to figure out what to pack and at this point what to sell. I hate trying to leave a job that although the pay sucks and I question at times why I teach, I still like the people and I like working with kids and it kind of allows me to pay the bills (yeah bills are tight at times, but that is another post). I am working on finding another job and i have had interviews and I even have one that looks really good, but until I get there and do an in person interview, it is not set. I just dislike the up in the air feeling of not know what is happening in my life. I am excited to move, but really the actual getting things done so that I can move is just annoying.

Although, I am bitching a lot about this and do feel stressed. There are some really good things too. I have had interviews, I seem to have had at least some interest in me as an employee. I have a cube to move my stuff, no moving van for me, just don't have the need for all of that room and it also allows GG and me to drive one car and have someone else bring the movable stuff and it is cheaper than a moving van. I have a moving van for the local move of taking things to the moving cube storage facility, sure they will bring the cube to me, but that would add and extra $400 to the cost and I am trying to cut cost here. And finally, I put up a lot of my stuff on Craigslist to sell it and well, this has been great there has been a lot of interest and even a few people who are either stopping by to buy some of my stuff or at least coming to look at stuff they think they may want. I can see where I may have sold a chair, washer and dryer, bed, and my plasma TV maybe by the end of the weekend. If I thought it would sell so quickly I might have waited a bit longer to advertise as now I will lose this stuff, but that is fine with me as I can go to the laundromat, I don't need the chair, I have an air mattress I can deal with for a month or so and I have one TV I am keeping so that I don't miss my shows. Oh and the best part of it all is that I think we are stopping in the Asheville area for a night and Asheville is possibly my favorite city in NC. It took me too long to figure that out, but still i do love Asheville. But I still am a little unnerved lately. I decided to take a mental health day today as I laid in bed not able to sleep for a bit last night and then woke up well before my alarm this morning. I just needed a bit of a break.

If you have read this rambling, why?? I just needed to ramble here for a minute and thank you for your indulgences.

Book Review- Kick Me: Adventures in Adolescence

I recently heard that the creator of the show Freaks and Geeks about life in the 80s had written a book about his own life that much of the tv show was based upon, so I had to read it. Kick me by Paul Feigis that story. Feig writes about his life starting in elementary school and ending with his senior year in high school. The book is totally anecdotal and although it does follow a general chronological order, many times Feig refers to times earlier in his to show the progression of his life. The story is really funny and a quick easy read. It also helped me remember why I love Freaks and Geeks so much and then I started to watch the DVDs and so many of the situations in the show now are much funnier because I have seen them in his book as well. It was great to see where a writer and creator came up with the ideas for a show especially as the situations are so autobiographical. Feig is a great writer and so if you are looking for a quick read to remember you adolescence or to see the funny times of someone else's than pick this book up and enjoy.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Just joshin' around

I have seen this meme over at Phydeaux and at Konagod and thought it looked fun so I did it and had some fun with it.

The rules are that all the answers have to start with the same letter as does your first name.

1. What is your name? Josh
2. A four-letter word: jump
3. A vehicle: jalopy
4. A city: Juneau, AL
5. A boy's name: jackson
6. A girl's name: Janice
7. Alcoholic drink: Jack Daniels
8. An occupation: jester
9. Something you wear: jeans
10. A celebrity: Jack Johnson
11. A food: jalapeno
12. Something found in a bathroom: jacuzzi
13. Reason for being late: just woke up
14. Something you shout: Jumpin' jack flash!
15. An animal: Jaguar
16. A body part: jaw

If you liked this meme, have at it. And no you do not have to find videos or anything to go with them, but as I was thinking about this meme, I kept coming up with videos in my head so I decided to add them just to make it my own.

I did my civil duty today

Yep, I voted today on my lunch break. It was a good experience, no lines and the people at the poll were really nice. So you might be wondering who I voted for, as a smart blogger told me last night when I wanted to vote for John Edwards, write him in. So I did just that I wrote. Now this is one of those scan tron type things where you fill in the bubble and then feed it into the machine and it reads it, so I am sure my vote will not be counted by the machine, but I still did what my conscious said was right.

Monday, May 5, 2008

When is it too early for a child to realize that they are transgendered?

In comments to one of my more recent posts, FranIAm wanted my thoughts on this post by Quaker Dave. And since it was Fran, I wanted to oblige, but I wanted to do it here versus there only because my thoughts are more complex and I wanted to have my own space to discuss this. Also, this is a discussion that I seem to keep coming back to at this blog, sexuality and children.

The article is about a 9 year old boy who wants be be able to dress as a girl and be called by a girl's name. The parents went to the school and asked for their help in transitioning this child into a school that they were already attending, but now as a girl. The school was very supportive and sent out letters to parents saying they would have a discussion with the 100 children that were in the same grade as the transgendered child about what this meant and how they should "be nice" to the child. Although, I have no experience at all in this area of feeling like you are the wrong gender and hence I have no idea if this is too young for a person who is transgendered to realize that they are in the "wrong body". I know I have read of other individuals who have said that they are aware of feeling wrong for a long time even as early as being a young child. I am glad that the parents are being supportive of the child and that the school is also trying to be supportive of the family and the child. There are, of course, other parents who have their concerns and do not feel like the school should be allowing a boy to dress as a girl or have asked that their child not attend the discussion about this child. I would like to say that these parents want to be able to discuss this with their own child in a way that is more tailored to their own child or that they are afraid how their own child will handle this so they want to protect them as only a parent can. But I know that more likely the negative comments and thoughts are born out of just plain ol' prejudice and fear. They are somehow afraid that their child will get teh gay or that this will make their own child want to dress as the opposite gender. This of course will cause mass chaos, not. This is one child and in all honesty I would guess that most of their friends already know what is going on. I would guess that the transgendered child has talked to some of their friends or at least their friends know that the child is not comfortable in their own skin. So the parents are the ones freaking out while the kids are just handling it.

So I guess now it is time to get into my own thoughts on this. I think it is good for a child to be able to explore their own sexuality. I have said many times before that just because the child is playing in the dramatic play area and may even be wearing a dress while they are playing does not mean they are transgendered or even gay. I see nothing wrong with this child wanting to find a way to be comfortable in their own skin and if that means that they feel as though they are the other gender and want to dress and be called by a new name, that may work. The child is not undergoing any surgery, that is where I would get concerned. I would say that a child is too young to be able to know that they want to have a surgery that will drastically alter their body in that way at that young of an age, but wanting to dress differently and feel more comfortable, I think is good. I applaud the school for handling the situation in the manner in which they did. It would have been very easy for the school to say that the parents are on their own, that they could not tell the child they could not change their dress and name, but that they would also not call an assembly about this situation either. The school could have said that the child can use whatever name they want, but the teachers will call them by their birth name. The school could have said that this would be a violation of the dress code and not allow it. There are a myriad of things the school could have done and they didn't. They did what was the most supportive to this family. As a teacher how would I handle this situation seems to be the next step in my thinking and I think that in the age of children I am working with 3-5, this may not be an issue, not that a child may feel like they are the wrong gender, but that the parents are still dressing the child and they are not yet choosing their own clothing, so they are at the mercy of the parents. But if I was working with older children, I would try to be supportive of that family and child and help them in any way I could.

Now as a parents, of course I would be supportive if my son or daughter felt like they were the wrong gender and wanted to find a way for them to feel more comfortable. I would want to talk to them about the issues they were having and work with them to find a solution. If this solution included having them dress as the other gender or have a new name or however they wanted to express themselves, I would want to support them. Another thought I had on this issue was that this is still enforcing the gender roles though. This child is choosing to dress like a girl, which would seem to me to mean that they are wearing dresses, or pink or maybe makeup and yet not all women wear makeup or dresses or other stereotypical female attire. If my child wanted to wear a dress or makeup, I would ask them why, not in a disapproving manner, but as a why do you have to wear dresses or makeup to be considered feminine. I am not sure of the answer to this and I am not sure what else can be done for a boy to feel like they are more feminine, but I am also not sure that I, as a parent, would want to stop my child from expressing themselves.

The final thought as I thought about transgendered children is from two different shows that I really like that have transgendered children in them. First, The Riches, the youngest boy in the show happens to like to dress as a little girl and has even at times used more feminine names, I believe. The irony to this is that Eddie Izzard plays the father and he happens to be a cross-dressing comedian, but the idea for the son to be a cross dresser was born before Izzard got on board according to most reports. As to one of my earlier points about the other children, in the most recent episode, Sam, the son, is caught listening to some girls talking about "cute" clothes. Later one of the girls comes over to his house and helps him to do his makeup and find an outfit, she just accepts that this is Sam and wants to be their friend. The girls parents might flip if they found out that their daughter was helping a boy cross dress, but the girl has no issues with this. Here is a brief film clip from the show which emphasizes Sam and cross dressing.

The second show is My So-Called Life. In this show, which I loved when I was in high school especially as the characters were all supposed to be around my age, one is the characters is gay, Ricky. Which is not the same as cross dressing and I know that, but the point I am making is that he was in the girl's bathroom and would put on makeup and none of the girls thought anything of it. So again, the kids are more accepting than the adults.

This school did the right thing and I am glad to hear that the parents are being supportive toward their child, but it is sad to hear that the parents are having an issue with this, when in reality I doubt that the kids will be as worried as the parents. And maybe the ideal thing to have done was not to make a big deal out of it, not hold an assembly for this issue, but if you don't than you are only asking for trouble when the parents do find out. As my mom would say, it is a "dammed if you do and dammed if you don't" situation. You can't just be supportive to the parents of the transgendered child and help the faculty to adjust and know that the kids will be fine because parents will flip and yet you can't send home a note saying that you will be talking to the kids about this because the parents will flip. So the school did the only thing they could, they were supportive to the parents and did their best.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

How do people find me?

Well it is that time again. Time to look at the stat tracker stuff and see how people stumble upon my little blog here.

sex- apparently people are finding me from looking up sex. It is one of the top searches for me. I guess the past few days of talking about teenagers and sexual education have caught up to me, huh.
what do women think of speedos- this is not a question i think i have ever addressed and honestly I am not sure that it is something I am all that interested in, but women who read this please feel free to answer this question.
wearing pretty feminine dresses transgender-ok then
a boxer be, a boxer do song- this is a song? well I want to hear it too.
feminine little boys wearing dresses-just cause they wear dresses does not make them feminine. There are plenty of boys who wear dresses just cause they are emulating their mothers or there is not much else for them to wear in the dramatic play area.
masturbating witches-well i guess i did touch upon this, but I am not sure why you would want to look that up. It kind of seems like a sad idea of bad porn to me.
outback incest-what the hell is outback incest? Is this incest in Australia? And why does incest come up on these searches that find me?
dress up costumes animal videos gay-is this basically furry homosexual sex? But this seems like a random bunch of words.
list of incest movies made till now-again with the incest and why would anyone want a list of incest movies?
boxers having sex-you really want to see dogs having sex? That is called bestiality, maybe you should use a more accurate search or maybe you want boxers like those people who box, but then how do you know they are having boxers when they are having sex?
youtube woman straddling-OK and you find me with this how? Sure I have YouTube Fridays, but that is never porn.
boxer am sex-And finally something with sex again, so this person wants to find dogs having sex in the morning?

People find me in the weirdest ways, but to those of you who find me in other ways and then read me, Thank you.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Why can't women have sexual happiness?

This article discusses that at least one female legislator in Ecuador wants to make a women's sexual happiness a law. This has, of course, caused great controversy as the male legislators are uncomfortable with the idea that women are not just baby carriers and sexual objects. How dare women want to be more than just men's playthings? Have they no shame? Next thing you know they will want to be treated equally with men outside of the bedroom too, for shame. The idea that women's sexual happiness needs to be legislated and possibly even put into a constitution saddens me a bit. The fact that women are not granted the same types of allowances to be sexually happy as men troubles me. But the fact that someone is trying to do something about this is exactly what is needed. Someone needs to stand up and say well if we need a law that says that women should have the right to not just be the property of men, than dammit it should happen.

One of the other legislators is accusing Ms Soledad Vela, the legislator responsible for this new idea, of "orgasm by law". This is obviously inflammatory, it is saying that she is only trying to say that all women should have orgasms. This may not be a bad thing, but it is also not what I would guess this women is trying to do. She is attempting to provide a law that would make abortions legal, make anti-rape laws stronger and give women more power over their own bodies. She is just trying to create laws that allow women to be equal to men in society. Yes, I know this is a radical idea, women as equals in the bedroom and in life. I know that for many men the idea that women should have the legal right to have control over their own body is rather radical i.e. the abortion debate, but this should not be that radical. We should be able to recognize that men and women both have a legal right to their own bodies and should have the right to have that control from being able to have an abortion if they so wish to being able to say no to a rapist and not just stranger rape, which is really uncommon. the rape that usually happens, the one that happens when a women is raped by someone they know, a relative, a friend or their significant other. So if a law is needed than I think we should have one here in the U.S. The religious right is creating laws that would undermine human beings, they want to get rid of abortion laws and they want to outlaw gay marriage, so I think, on the left we should fight for laws that empower humans. We should fight to make the laws that support abortion stronger. We should fight to make gay marriage legal on a federal level and we should continue the fight to make all people male and female equal under the law.

I am not saying that the Left is not already doing this, just saying we need to continue fighting the good fight and pointing out that countries that are supposed to be behind us are actually ahead of us in some issues. I can't even imagine a legislator proposing a law that women encourage women to be able to obtain sexual happiness let alone putting this in the Constitution even if we were making a whole new one.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Movie Review- Night Watch

Nochny dozor (The night watch) is a brilliant film. I first heard of the film in a comment thread over at Sir Robin's place, I think, when he and Gourmet Goddess were discussing it. At that point, I am not sure how much GG and I were taking, but it sounded interesting so I put it in my queue. I finally decided it was time to watch it. Now I have kind of a hard time discussing this film as it is part of a trilogy of films, so it is kind of hard to discuss one film without the others. But I have no yet seen the second one and the third film does not come out for another year according to IMDB. So I figured I would just talk about this one and the next one when I see it, hopefully this weekend.

The film is set in Russia and surrounds the mythology of good versus evil or the Light versus the Dark in this film. There is a truce between LIght and Dark, where they coexist until the final battle is to commence sometime in the future and it seems as though this is the future and the battle is about to start. The effects are awesome and the action is also incredible. On the DVD I had, there was a dubbed in English version with the Russian version on the flip side. I, of course, went with the Russian version with the subtitles because dubbed movies bother me so much. So, I was even amazed at the subtitles. They are not just words across the bottom of the screen, they fade in and out at times, they are red at times to represent blood and they vanish at times like smoke. Yes, this is a really minor thing and is easily done with computers, hell it is similar to PowerPoint, but it does also add to the movies when even the subtitles are part of the action. This is such a great film and blew my mind. I cannot remember a film that I liked quite as much and that blew my mind quite as much.

Things you always wanted to know, but were afraid to ask

Here's the rules:
A) The rules of the game get posted at the beginning.
B) Each player answers the questions about himself or herself.
C) At the end of the post, the player then tags five people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

1) Ten years ago I was: I was finishing up my second semester at the University of DE. I had transferred there from UNC-Asheville. I think I have told this story before, so I will not repeat it. I was also geting ready for my first summer as a rides operator at Hershey Park.

2) Five things on today's to do list: Hmm well today is pretty much shot as it is 9 PM, so how about for this weekend.. 1. Grocery shop 2. go to the library possibly, 3. Do the lesson plan for next week 4. See if I can find Daywatch at blockbuster ( I have no patience to wait for netflix this time) 5. Take Logan on a big long walk

3) Things I do if I were a billionaire: I have no fucking clue. I have done the whole what i would do if I had a million dollars and maybe even if I had more than that, but a billionaire is way beyond my whole concept. But anyway, to try and pretend. 1. I would donate a whole lot of money to various charities like probably over half of it. 2. But my parents a beach house, my mom wants one kind of at least she loves the beach and having the luxury of having her own place I think she would like. 3. Buy my brother, sister in law and their future rugrat a bigger place. They will need the space. 4. Pay off bills. 5. Buy myself a house or bigger house for us or some such living structure.

4) Three bad habits: 1. Chocolate 2. watching too much TV 3. not walking logan as much as I should

5) Five places I've lived: Hanover, PA, Cary, NC, Greensboro, NC, Newark, DE, Washington, DC

6) Five jobs I've had in my life: Lifeguard, swim instructor, preschool teacher, rides operator at hershey park, Americorps VISTA leader

I have no interest in tagging anyone, so if you want to do this, please go ahead ans just let me know in comments so I can check it out.

YouTube Fridays

I found this while looking for Crazy by Gnarls Barkley yesterday. It is a great anti-war parody of the song.

This I just found, it is a cover of Crazy done by Charlotte Church and Nelly Furtado, cause attractive women who can really sing are one of my weaknesses.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

dirty keyboards, fertile women and minorities who can't swim

So this is basically a roundup of three articles that i have seen that intrigued me and that i wanted to comment on.

First, this article says that our keyboards are dirties than our toilets in the office. Now this makes sense we eat at our desks and people don't wash their hands after going to the bathroom, but dirtier than our toilets now that is disgusting. And remind me to never use a public computer, it just isn't worth it.

This article says that women's voices are sexier when they are fertile. Now this makes no sense to me and sounds like someone made this shit up. The hormones affect your larynx which then affects your voice and although we men cannot really hear a difference, we can hear a difference. Sounds like bullshit to me. Maybe we are just sensing the pheromones or something, but a voice change that is basically infinitesimal and we can hear that or at least sense it, nope not buying it.

Now this article, I really don't know what to make of. It says that the number of black children who can't swim is almost twice the number of white children. As someone who has taught swim lessons at two different points in my life and who thinks everyone should learn to swim or at least feel comfortable around a pool, this is aggravating to me that a whole ethnicity seems to be ignored. The article mentions that much of this traces back to segregation and the fact that not many pools were built for non-white peoples, but still... But then again, I have had friends of many different ethnicities and there does seem to be a larger fear of the water from friends who were African-American, so maybe there is something to it. There is also the fact that many inner city families just do not have the money to afford to pay for swim lessons, they can may be able get a ball or the local recreation department will do basketball or football for the kids for really low prices, but a pool is so hardly ever really cheap or free. But then again I have been at two different YMCAs that have offered free swim lessons for a week right at the beginning of the summer so maybe it is more about letting people know of the opportunities and getting out into the community more to get more people swimming. But when when almost 60% of people who are polled cannot do something that could end their life, we need to see if there are ways we can fix this.

My day

"You may be right. I may be crazy." Just FYI.

You may be right- Billy Joel

Crazy- Gnarls Barkley