Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Gender Roles In Afghanistan

Here's an extremely interesting article about gender roles in Afghanistan. It mostly talks about a practice of dressing girls as boys for safety and to bring esteem to the family. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/21/world/asia/21gender.html

Some of the girls love to become boys and regret it or have a difficult time when they have to go back to being girls and some are sad that they can't be girls all the time. Some girls ask to become boys and some are chosen by their parents.

I'm curious how many of these girls want to take on the role of boys because they have more responsibility and freedom and how many do it because looking and acting like a boy matches their own gender identities. It would be nice to know that transgendered children have a chance to be themselves.


Monday, September 27, 2010

Beautiful Scary Comic from emilyterrible

My kids are all grown up but if they were still little I would definitely be reading them this fantastic comic from @emilyterrible. It's perfect for getting ready for Halloween.

If you're not following her on twitter you totally should. She posts gorgeous, fun drawings.

In other news I have some lung thing. Maybe pneumonia, maybe bronchitis. Interestingly it presents with the same symptoms as a tension pneumothorax but of course it's not because I've had it for a couple of months and would be deader than dead if it were a pneumothorax. So you know, whatever.

Cullen has a plantar wart which he is having removed. I took him for his first appointment today and the doctor said he was going to put some "strong acid" on the foot. He leaves it on for four days then comes back after a bit, the doctor debrides his foot and they start over again. This goes on for like a month. What could be more fun than that? It's hard to imagine.

My neighbor's boxer jumped into my yard and I thought he was going to mix it up with Mal but luckily some visitors rescued us. The boxer seems nice but kind of growly and Mal was on the leash so I was a little worried about Mal feeling trapped by the leash and overreacting. But all was well and we made our escape and went to the store and all was well.

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Not Rich Enough

Scalzi has a good post up about the difference between being poor and not feeling rich. http://whatever.scalzi.com/2010/09/21/why-not-feeling-rich-is-not-being-poor-and-other-things-financial

While the post is good and interesting its the comments that I found fascinating. You've got your "the government doesn't know how to spend my money" folks and the "you just think I have money" folks, which are to be expected. But then there are posts from someone who was a bill collector, someone who is in a similar position as the guy who started the whole thing, but sees things from a very different POV, some posts from people who were pretty poor and are now making ends meet and are very aware of how blessed they are.

Also I'd love to know where I can find a gardener for twenty bucks a week...


Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Ghost Horse

I love this drawing of the Ghost Horse by George Bushotter, who was also a storyteller.


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Excellent writing tips

This article is about non fiction writing but it certainly applies to fiction as well.


The author has common sense suggestions that don't occur to lots of people. I especially like what he has to say about not writing at the last minute.

I used to write my columns on Thursday night so they'd be ready for Friday morning but I feel quite a bit less stressed now that I try and do 100 - 200 words Monday through Thursday. If I aim for 100 I usually hit 200, which is nice.

In other news I was at Petco today with Mal and Cullen. We saw this super tough looking dude who was cradling a tiny little Min Pin puppy. It was so cute!


Thursday, September 16, 2010

I Beat the Odds!

For some reason everything I've looked up this evening leads to something about meningitis. Seriously. There's this three word phrase comic: http://www.threewordphrase.com/forsure.htm

An article about the shooting up at Johns Hopkins today (a terrible event) led to this article, http://www.baltimoresun.com/health/bs-hs-meningitis-stevenson-20100915,0,6722783.story, which has this surprising statistic.

There have been 10 such cases so far this year of meningitis in Maryland, according to the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. There were 12 cases last year, but an annual average of 21 this decade.

Really? That few?

I looked up the population of Maryland in 2003 and found this:

In 2000, Maryland's population was 5296486, according to the federal census conducted every 10 years by the U.S. Census Bureau

which means the odds of me catching meningitis was less than 1 in 211,859.44. (I say less than because Maryland's population has been growing each year, so in 2003 there were more people, making it less likely for me to one of the chosen ones.

You'd think with those kinds of numbers I'd have at least won the lottery, which I should mention I did do in 2001. I won a thousand dollars matching six out of seven numbers in an online lottery that was free to play. My seventh number was one digit away; I think I had 14 and the number chosen was 13. Oh fickle fate.

So I've been at both ends of the spectrum, beating the odds for good and for bad.

In addition the intracranial hypertension I have hits something like one in 100,000 people and the blood clot I had when I was pregnant with Cam was millions to one, according to my doctor.

On the other hand a friend says I never have to worry about getting say breast cancer, because I never catch anything ordinary. It's all rare and odd diseases.

On a completely unrelated and hopefully lighter note, here's an article about how dinosaurs had sex. Apparently it was quite charming. Who knew? http://www.cosmosmagazine.com/node/639

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Sunday, September 12, 2010

This is super cute

Cullen sent this to me.



Saturday, September 11, 2010

Crazy Busy Today

No big surprise as I'm often crazy busy.

A couple of things - Meg Cabot wrote a beautiful attack on the World Trade Center memorial, which I closed out but you could easily find it by going to her blog.

Tomorrow is the anniversary of the attack on Fort McHenry that led to Francis Scott Key writing the Star Spangled Banner so it's a good day to go and visit. They're on their non summer hours as of last week so close at like five. If you're going to go don't wait too long. Doggies are allowed, but only in the perimeter.


Thursday, September 09, 2010

Death Spiral

My dog is doing something called blowing his coat, which is not as kinky and weird as it sounds. It means he goes from being a fluffy double coated Akita to being an Akita with just an outer coat in preparation for winter. Of course he needs his fluffy inner coat for winter; I guess it's like getting your period where you slough off your uterine lining to prepare for a fresh one. In the spring he blows his coat to prepare for summer, so he doesn't die of heat.

So what does this mean? Well for one thing it means I have to sweep the sun room every five minutes as the floor turns white pretty quickly. It also means a lot of vacuuming and a backyard that looks like the grass is mutating into something else.

It also means that between the coat and the ragweed my asthma is in overdrive and I'm having to use my nebulizer a lot. Which also means my hands shake all the time. Which makes typing even simple sentences a pain. Should it really take fifteen tries to type one word and an exclamation mark? Apparently it should.

If you're still having a hard time imagining what this is like imagine this. Mal's sides look like mice have been chewing on them and if you grab the loose chunks they come off in your hand. You'll end up with a fistful of fluff and another couple of bags worth waiting to be removed. It's interesting...


Sunday, September 05, 2010

Browse Inside The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett

Browse Inside The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Goodbye Earl

It looks as though hurricane Earl is going to spare us the brunt of his wrath as he heads on up to Massachusetts instead. We're still under a hurricane watch, tropical storm warning, tropical storm watch, storm surge watch and something else I can't even remember because I ran out of space, but should be pretty much okay.

High tide could be a couple of feet higher than usual and we might get blow out tides tomorrow, which would be cool and awesome but I have to work and will likely miss them.

Earl was a cat four but is currently a cat two I believe. He is still a large and powerful hurricane, to quote the National Hurricane Center.

This song is dedicated to Earl.


Wednesday, September 01, 2010


I think the feelings expressed in this story are very common, esp when we're young. Hopefully most of us handle things a little better. I particularly like the layout of this story.