March 25, 2008

Hyperbole is of the Nature of Prevarication, Mrs. Clinton.

Here's what Hillary said about a trip to Bosnia during her tenure as First Lady:
I certainly do remember that trip to Bosnia... I remember landing under sniper fire. There was supposed to be some kind of greeting ceremony at the airport, but instead we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base.
And this is what really happened:
CBS News showed footage of her walking calmly across the tarmac with her daughter, Chelsea, and being greeted by dignitaries and a child.
Maj. Gen. William Nash, who has since retired but was then the commander of United States troops in Bosnia and was at the Tuzla airport that day, said in an interview that there was no threat of sniper fire at the airport during Mrs. Clinton's visit... "She never had her head down... There was no sniper fire that I know of."
Ah, Mrs. Clinton, the situation in Bosnia was horrific enough; exaggerating your experience to the point of a downright lie is insulting to the true victims of that vicious conflict.

Oh -- and this is just one more reason why Hillary is most definitely not who I want to answer that middle-of-the-night phone call.


I fancy myself an active pregnant person -- at least since I've been feeling better.  But there is a hitch: apparently pregnant people aren't supposed to be comfortable whilst being active. I have searched for pregnancy yoga wear, and despite the 3 million prenatal yoga DVDs on the market, I can't find an appropriate  tank top anywhere. They're all super low-cut (which borders on the obscene during a good downward dog) or $60 (hey, I like yoga, but I'm still cheap).  T-shirts are okay, but clump after a nice sun salutation, requiring constant adjustment (a real downer during a relaxing practice).  What is a poor pregnant yogi to do?

March 23, 2008

Morning Sun

Today is Easter, and my sister just helped me relive a childhood memory (okay, it extends way into adulthood, but the memory is still good, so I'm going to share). We used to put on this great song by a little-known (albeit very talented) Presbyterian musician, James Ward, every Easter morning and dance and dance, while my mom, burdened by her M.S., sat in her chair and laughed with us, singing along. It is still, by far, my favorite Easter song. And when I just played it, BO'B danced, too! Happy Easter, everyone.

March 17, 2008


Our baby has BOY parts!  Back to the name-choosing drawing board... 

March 13, 2008


Scott Simon, the host of Saturday Morning Edition on NPR, was on Diane Rehm this morning, and, when referring to my favorite presidential candidate, said "President Obama. Gosh, I wonder why I said that?"

Vaginas are spiritually harmful

Okay, so that isn't exactly what Bishop D'Arcy (Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend) said. But it's close.

First, to Father Jenkins. He decided to allow the Vagaina Monologues to be performed on campus (albeit without fundraising for local charities that help battered women and children) this year. The performances will occur in an academic classroom, with an academic panel in which the Catholic viewpoint is represented afterward. Here's what he said:

My decision in this matter arises form a conviction that it i an indispensable part of the mission of a Catholic university to provide a forum in which multiple viewpoints are debated in reasoned and respectful exchange -- always in dialogue with faith and the Catholic tradition -- even around highly controversial topics. Notre Dame's policy on controversial events rests on the conviction that truth will emerge from reasoned consideration of issues in dialogue with faith, and that we will educate Catholic leaders not by insulating our students from controversial views, but by engaging these views energetically, in light of Catholic teachings.

I'm not Catholic, but I'm also not unfamiliar with controversies on religious campuses. I went to Calvin College (a Christian Reformed college), and while I was there the Student Activities Board invited the Indigo Girls to perform on campus (which made me so excited I nearly peed my pants). But all kinds of people were out of sorts because Amy Ray and Emily Saliers happen to be attracted to other women, and homosexuality is against Christian teaching. Of course, they allowed the Dave Matthews Band and Hootie and the Blowfish to perform on campus (and one of the Hooties went on to have, um, "relations" with several -- that's right, several -- Calvin students. I guess the fact that the students were of the opposite sex, even though it is still unclear whether the sex was consensual, is okay). Neither band happens to be known for their piety or chastity. This is to point out the hypocrisy inherent opposing certain (but not all) "controversial events" on religious campuses.

Anyway, back to Notre Dame. Here's what Bishop D'Arcy said:

I am convinced that permitting performances of The Vagina Monologues is not consistent with the identity of a Catholic university... [t]he difference between the works of authors such as Nietzsche, Gibbon, Luther, and Joyce, and The Vagina Monologues is a difference not of degree, but of kind. The former have written serious philosophical, theological and literary works, which have influenced Western thought. As such, their work has academic merit ands worthy of serious discussion and critique in a classroom setting Father Jenkins believes that Eve Ensler's play was written to shock and offend. How can one put such a play, which many consider pornographic, on the level of serious works such as the writing of Gibbon and Luther?

In allowing performances of the play on campus again this year, whether or not they are officially considered part of the V-Day campaign, Notre dame continues to cooperate in advancing the campaign's agenda, an agenda directly opposed to the dignity of the human person and is antithetical to Catholic teaching

The play is little more than a propaganda piece for the sexual revolution andsecular feminism. While claiming to deplore violence against women, the play at the same time violates the standards of decency and morality that safeguard a woman's dignity and protect her, body and soul, from sexual predators. The human community has generally refrained from exposing and discussing the hidden parts of a woman's body, preferring to consider tehm private and even sacred.

The play depicts, exalts, and endorses female masturbation, which is a sin ... and the implication is that the historic, positive understanding of heterosexual marriage as the norm is what we must recover from.

The play is an affront to human dignity, as Catholic teaching understands it. If it is performed, it should be denounced, Otherwise, the University appears to endorse it as in some way good and the impression is given that Catholic teaching is one option competing among many.

Oh, there are so many things to say. The idea that an international campaign that aims to end violence against women is an affront to human dignity is as ludicrous as it is deeply insulting. My private parts may or may not be sacred, but they are MINE, and I'll say their name out loud if I damn well please. Whatever happened to the human body being a beautiful creation of Go? Or does that only go for penises? If the Bishop will recall, Eve only had to cover up in the Garden of Eden after sin entered the world. Isn't the need to cover up, to make shameful, our sexual organs, then, a consequence of sin?

Also, what exactly is D'Arcy's opposition to V-Day? Perhaps it is that "V-Day generates broader attention for the fight to stop violence against women and girls, including rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation (FGM) and sexual slavery." Or maybe he opposes "hard-won funding that helped open the first shelters for women in Egypt and Iraq." I know, it's that he doesn't share V-Day's vision, "a world where women live safely and freely."

Also, I'd be surprised if Nietzsche's writings weren't meant to shock and offend the culture of the time, institutionalized "belief" in God. But yet Nietzsche's claims that God is dead is less offensive to Catholic teaching than bringing to light the oppression of women -- in all their constituent parts -- in our culture?

I applaud Father Jenkin's decision to allow this play to be performed on campus. I do not agree with his attitude about it, and hope that Margeret's House gets lots of donations even if an official fundraiser isn't allowed. But at least young women at Notre Dame will be a little more enlightened, a little more empowered, after seeing their colleagues bravely perform The Monologues. You, too, can see them: performances will take place on campus March 26, 27 and 28. Of course, the place and time are not on the ND Events Calendar. But word will be out and about, if you're interested.

March 12, 2008

20 Weeks

I'm half-way there! Woohoo!

Travels, Part 2: Atlanta & Savannah

Oh what fun to go someplace warm and sunny (at least theoretically) in March! First stop: Starfire Drive, where the O'McReeds live. Despite the fact that half of the house is torn up and being renovated, we had a lovely time. A few dinners out (Indian and Mexican -- I'm truly feeling better!) were lovely, and a wonderful chance to catch up with T & J, who have set a date for their wedding: November 1. Yet another great time to visit someplace warm and sunny! My mother-in-law made it her personal mission to outfit me with maternity clothes for the length of my pregnancy, and I ended up with a much fuller bag than I started out with! We also found some absolutely adorable wall decorations for the kid's room, with beautiful pictures and alliterative alphabetical poetry.

I also decided it was time to start the Belly Project: Here I am at 19 weeks. As my friend Ximena said, I still look like I'm just eating too much, but I'll get there. Sooner rather than later would be nice. I feel pregnant, so I'd like to look pregnant, thanks. I have been wonderfully surprised by the fluttering little kicks and punches that I've been feeling sometimes. BO'B really likes to become active when I'm just relaxing. That doesn't bode well...

After a few days of family bliss, we went to Savannah for Barmecide's ACIS conference. Day 1 was lovely! We walked around, scoping out places to eat (always a must for a new city -- FOOD!) and meeting up with Gavin & Jen for the evening. Day 2, the three of those smarty-pants gave their papers, which were all wonderfully entertaining, even for a lawyer like me. Good job, all!

We spent the rest of the weekend exploring and eating and exploring some more. What a gorgeous city! Even there, however, my camera spent too much time in my bag... but here are some shots -- we saw FLOWERS! In MARCH! I think that was the best part... I also love the Spanish moss-laden oaks filling the picturesque squares throughout the city, and especially in Forsythe Park.

Some moss growing on the front steps of an Old Savannah House:

Those majestic oaks:

Barmecide did a little good ol' fashioned southern drinking, too -- here is one particularly special drink, which had more ingredients than I care to list here. Instead, I'll just show you the placemat, which details just how to make this, um, concoction:

Yay for fun in Savannah!

A Visit!

I don't have lots of pictures of this one, but the first weekend of March my sister came down to visit with her three kids. It was, to say the least, a full house over here! First, I had to get rid of all peanut and egg products, due to life-threatening allergies on the part of my dear nephews... here's to clean cupboards (it had to be done eventually). Among the highlights was the fruit of a request from Anton, a Notre Dame Sports-obsessed 5-year old. He had it in his head to shoot baskets at Notre Dame's basketball court. All seemed hopeless at first, when the young man (read: pimply-faced kid) told us that it was "impossible" for us to even view the court. Barmecide, being the great uncle and smart guy that he is, simply walked us around to another door. We walked by the walls of ND paraphanelia with Anton, who could barely contain his excitement, saying, "LOOK! Notre Dame SOCCER! LOOK! Notre Dame SWIMMING! OOOOOOOOOH, Notre Dame Football! Football! FOOTball! LaCROSS! What's that? Oh, FENCING!" Then we made our way to the court, doubtful we'd be able to do more than catch a glimpse. While we were up in the stands, though, a very nice young woman (read: very nice young woman) asked if the kids would like to shoot baskets! She gave them foam hats and made one kid's dream come true.

The kids also went to the Studebaker Museum, which bored the socks off the older two kids, but which was like a wonderland to Christian, aged 2. He is, shall we say, "into" cars. he kept running around screaming, "COW! WED COW! BOO COW! GO COW!" (that means: Car! Red car! Blue car! Gold car!) if he didn't have a diaper on, he would've left little puddles all over the place, he was so excited.

Along with some rare TV time, the kids all-in-all had a great time. So did we: hosting family, it turns out, is really fun! Thanks for the visit, Dershems!

Travels, Part 1: Tacoma

Over Barmecide's birthday weekend, we went to visit his brother and sister-in-law in Tacoma. It was so much fun to be able to see where they live and work, meet some of their friends, and (for me) finally eat something besides a burrito for dinner! Here are just a few of my favorite shots -- one is Mount Rainier, the other of rocks along the beach. (Unfortunately, as usual, my picture-taking was limited because I kept forgetting I had a camera in my bag.)

We also went to Pike Street Market, where Barmecide at his fair share of seafood...

and we went to a fantastic local Seattle bookstore, where I set to looking for the perfect baby name (no decisions yet!) and buying a Will Shortz Word Game Calendar. I truly am a geek.

We watched the Oscars (my favorite song won Best Original Song!) with some of their friends, ate a lot, saw a movie, ate a lot, chatted about politics (Obama supporters! Yay!), and ate a lot. A great long weekend!

Thanks, K & M, for all the fun.

Compliments of my Mother-In-Law

The George W. Bush Presidential Library is now in the planning stages. 
The library will include:
  • The Hurricane Katrina Room, which is still under construction
  • The Alberto Gonzales Room, where you can't remember anything
  • The Texas Air National Guard Room, where you don't have to show up
  • The Walter Reed Hospital Room, where they don't let you in
  • The Guantanamo Bay Room, where they don't let you out
  • The Weapons of Mass Destruction Room, which no one has been able to find
  • The Iraq War Room. After you complete your first tour, they make you go back for a second, third, fourth, and sometimes fifth tour
  • The Dick Cheney Room, in an undisclosed location, complete with shooting gallery
  • The K-Street Project Gift Shop -- where you can buy (or just steal) an election
  • The Airport Men's Room, where you can meet some of your favorite Republican Senators
  • Last, but not least, there will be an entire floor devoted to a 7/8 scale model of the President's ego.
  • To highlight the President's accomplishments, the museum will have an electron microscope to help you locate them.
When asked, President Bush said that he didn't care so much about the individual exhibits, as long as his museum was better than his father's.