Monday, October 29, 2007

Torture Memos

Yeah, you may have heard that George Bush, Alberto Gonzales, the us intelligence service and various military leaders all got together to try and articulate the many horrible things one can get away with in the name of protecting the fatherland.

This post will not be about that. If I got your hopes up with the blog title just go get some Carolyn Forche' poems. She'll meet your mood today.

Instead, consider the plight of our dear Khubz:

  • Her mommies have begun wrestling her to the ground throughout the day. Mama pins her down with her body while Mommy says something reassuring like, "It's okay, habibeti, it's okay. Just open your eyes. . . Open. . .Abre tu ojos. . . Abre. . .Abre" And despite the reassuring voice, the clearly crazed Mommy pries Khubz's eye open and administers what one can only assume is poison. Or antibiotic eye drops for pink eye.
  • On Friday she was strapped into a carseat for 8 hours while zipping south on I-35. On Sunday, 8 more hours while heading north. To what point and purpose? Why are we heading back up when Tita, the keeper of all abuelita-related goodness and the maker of really yummy quesedillas, is still in Texas???
  • Once she finally got home on Sunday and was released from her aforementioned restraints, what was her reward? Lentils! Lentils with fresh rosemary, but lentils none the less. Unbelievable.
  • Additionally, the "keeper of the cheesecake" has been getting stingy. No matter how Khubz would sign "leche" then climb up on my lap and sign it again an inch away from my face "LECHE" and even when she signed a two-part phrase: "LECHE, POR FAVOR" It was unreal the way that Mommy just shook her head even in the face of a tearful (and starving--note the aforementioned lentils) Khubz. Sure, Mama whisked her away to go tumble around in the grass, but Khubz knew there was cheesecake inside. And sure, she's having a good time with Mama now but as soon as she remembers how upset she is watch out!
  • Because the keeper of the cheesecake is being hateful, Khubz wasn't even given cheesecake before being put down for her nap. This, in fact, is a violation of her constitutional rights. She let us know. "This idea SUCKS!" she screamed as Mommy kissed her head and laid her in the crib. "I will NOT kiss the bunny pillow night-night for naptime. I will BITE the bunny!" Mommy quietly walked out of the room and went downstairs where she and Mama surely toasted champagne and likely feasted on cheesecake. Bitches.
  • Finally, the mommies are neglecting their nighttime duties. Khubz woke up three separate times last night and each time Mama came into the room and patted her on the head IGNORING Khubz's screams from her crib of solitary confinement. Did Mama forget how this works?? Khubz cries, Mama comes to pick her up, brings her into the family bed (now distressingly being referred to as the "mommies' bed") where Khubz snuggles in for the night. Just Khubz, Mama, Mommy and and endless nighttime cheesecake buffet. What is wrong with them lately?

It's bad, I know. She is really, really pissed at us.

I have to keep her away from other babies for awhile (especially babies like this one.) I don't think I could handle an organized movement of them.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

One week later

Well a few things have happened. . .

We had some friends stop by on Sunday for light edibles and conversation.
I ran up to iowa friday & saturday to do a little cooking.
Khubz had a bit of a hard night Saturday night.
Scully & I encountered a slight conflict over the weekend.
The weather has been okay lately.

The above is my paragraph of understatements.

All in all, a fabulous (if dramatic) weekend. Everything turned out okay in the end and though I would particularly like to write about Sunday I have a need to simply move along because other things seem to be going on.

The best announcement: Khubz's ear infection is completely resolved! Hamdillah!

Other good news: Khubz has her first carnival at daycare and Scully has volunteered to work the one-year old room. My only obligation is to bake a cake for the cake-walk and hang out with Khubz. This suits me fine and I am delighted by this division of mommy-labor. (sorry Scully!)

In another world, I was part of a conversation at work about the merits/demerits of keeping names of sexual assault survivors' names out of the media. I'm not going to write it out now but I just wanted to mention it to compel me to follow up and write more later. The whole hook was that not printing a survivor's name only contributes to the stigma, secrecy and affirms this atmosphere of shaming survivors. (of course, the culture does stigmatize survivors; victims are punished by perpetrators and the community for speaking out and our fucked up idea of "womanhood" tells women they should be ashamed of being "damaged goods.") But nevermind all that. . .

The thing that kept pulling me back was this comparison to "outing" of closeted queers. And it has been the most powerful political strategy for queer communities--to simply say who we are and not let people obfuscate my sexuality. It has been the greatest change agent of anyone I know who has had a hard time overcoming feelings of homophobia. . . to learn that their daughter is queer, for example.

Of course, SA survivors also use this strategy. . . it's what survivor speak out" circles are about. It's why we read so many "telling their stories" anthologies. They key is that she is telling her story--not a journalist. That's what makes it a powerful change agent.

So it all makes me wonder why I get such a thrill out of the outings (a la Larry Craig or Ted Haggard) Aren't they closeted because they know how badly queers are treated? Well, sure. . . But they actively participate to worsen the climate for queers. Does this mean they deserve to taste homophobia directly from all the people that used to have them over for prayer meetings? Yes. Yes it does.

Oh, except that no one deserves homophobia, remember?

I promise I am not defending these assholes. They made money, made their careers, built their lives using homophobia as currency.

Do you see why I never should have started writing this?

I do remember seeing a t-shirt that said, "Instead of outing celebrities, I think we should just stop fucking them." A little wordy for a t-shirt, and there's a big difference between a generic celebrity and a politician who uses his institutional power to further marginalize my family. . . But still. Nice point.

Well, hell. . . I do hope I come back to this thought later. (maybe) Until then, forgive the incomplete post.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Quick distraction

For you dtwof fans.

I appreciate being selected as Toni (except for the cheating on Clairce part) so I'm going to assume the " straying from your long term partner" is an uninformed assumption that Khubz has been taking all of my attention. Clearly someone has not been reading my October posts! Also, I would go with "high-femme" and scratch the "highly-feminine." I am a dyke, thank you very much. I think Toni would agree.

Which Dyke to Watch Out For Are You?
created with
You scored as Toni

You are Toni, the highly-feminine, Puerto Rican lesbian of your gang. You've been letting your attention stray from your long-time partner. It's time to take her to bed and find a new use for that goose-necked lamp!















Who are you, dear reader?
Alison Bechdel herself turned out to be Stuart. Who knew she loved a utili-kilt so much?

more news on ear infections

As heard on Morning Edition this morning.

And, yes, she still has her ear infection. And yes, last night was a difficult night. And yes, we're going to ask her dr. about this at her appointment next week. And yes, it is unlikely that Khubz is the lone target of a New York bug, so yes, the dr. will likely roll her eyes and dismiss Scully as crazy mommy # 143 but yes, we will ask anyway.

New Stubborn Ear Infection Resistant to Drugs

by Richard Knox
October 17, 2007 · Doctors in Rochester, New York, have discovered a new strain of bacteria that's causing ear infections in children.

They report in the Journal of the American Medical Association that it's resistant to every antibiotic approved to treat these common infections.

Baby Genevieve Lawson was one of the first children to get the stubborn new ear infection.
"She basically had an ear infection from January until April," says Alison Lawson, Geneieve's mother. "Iit just never cleared up."

She says doctors tried one antibiotic after another without success. The infection was finally cured by a strong antibiotic approved only for adults.

Genevieve is one of nine children in the Rochester area known to have gotten the so-called superbug. Technically it's called the 19-A strain of Streptococcus pneumoniae — strep pneumo for short.

Dr. Michael Pichichero of the University of Rochester and his colleague Janet Casey discovered it."There are 2,722 previous strains that never had exactly this genetic information whereby the bacteria has acquired resistance not only to amoxicillin — that standard treatment for ear infection — but all 18 antibiotics approved by the U.S. FDA," Pichichero says.

Nine cases isn't a crisis. But the discovery has captured the attention of public health experts who track antibiotic-resistant germs. "What was found in Rochester was worrying for two counts: it was a very, very resistant of strep pneumo. And it was a strain that was not covered by the vaccine," says Dr. Elizabeth Bancroft of the Los Angeles County Health Department.
She's referring to a strep pneumo vaccine introduced seven years ago. It protects against seven different strains. It's greatly reduced the incidence of pneumococcal infections in children. But researchers had predicted that by suppressing the most common strains, the vaccine would open the door to new ones like the 19-A Rochester bug.

Bancroft says once a new bug has evolved, experience teaches that it's likely to spread.
It would not surprise me if we see this in other practices across the country. It's a worrying trend for Rochester. We don't know yet what it means for the rest of the country," Bancroft says.

That's why Pichichero is warning fellow pediatricians to be alert to ear infections that don't go away. The fear is hearing loss —- or worse, that the infection might go to the lung or brain, although that's not happened.

Pichichero suggests children with the symptoms go through an ear tap, which involves sticking a needle through the child's eardrum to withdraw a sample of fluid. It's fast and doctors say it doesn't hurt much, but it's scary for kids, who have to be strapped down. And Pichichero says many doctors don't like to do it.

It might be necessary to get an ear specialist to do the procedure. But for now the chances are very slim that most doctors and most parents will have to confront a case of the new strep pneumo bug. "It may never spread from Rochester — and it may never go to the lungs and the spinal meningitis form. And we hope not. But we just need to be aware of that possibility," Pichichero says.

Meanwhile, the makers of the current pneumococcal vaccine are working on a new version that will protect against the 19-A strain. But it won't be ready until at least 2010.


Ah, 2010.

I yearn for you for so many reasons.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

i love october

i love
i really
really love it.

you're pretty
i think you can
figure out

Sunday, October 14, 2007

And the ear infection keeps on. . .

Keeping on.

Back to the dr. on Friday and her ear infection is raging on as it has been the last 3 weeks. Poor girl. We decided to bring out the big guns and go with an antibiotic that is delivered as a single injection. She was not expecting that.

After the injection as I'm trying to calm her & so we're nursing. They also asked us to wait 15 minutes after the injection because, you know, some kids go in to anaphylactic shock after getting this antibiotic.

So she's crying and nursing. Feeling mad, angry, betrayed.

Nurse. Nurse. Nurse. Chomp. Chomp. Chomp.

That's right, honey, you just take it out on the breast. It's okay. You're okay.

And she doesn't seem to be calming down. Well, she stopped crying, she relaxed, she started nursing nicely but she still seemed pretty worked up.


She's red-faced. That's what it is. Oh. And her legs are all red. So are her arms.

And she's starting to swell.

So I get the nurse who agrees that she's broken out into hives but reassures me that she's breathing fine and that's really what we worry about. She's going to go find the dr. 15 minutes later the dr comes in and the hives have resolved themselves. She looks more mottled, like she'd just thrown a fit (which she had.)

So it all turned out okay (hamdillah) and now we just wait and see how she feels. This morning? Not tons of improvement. Of course, her Uncle Jeeb and Aunt Aline left this morning (they came down Friday) and that's enough to make any kid feel crabby. She loves them & was very sad to see them go.

All I know is her first nap of the day was at 9 (early, early early, especially since she slept until 7 today) so who knows what the rest of the day will hold?

Anyway, Eid Mubarak everyone!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Too brilliant. . .

Okay, just ignore some of the sliding between the saudi governement and the saudi 9/11 hijackers. Otherwise. . . this is brilliant.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

It is October

The thing about pears is that they were never meant to live in isolation. They require community. Even when said in the singular their name implies company. Try to say "pear" without saying "pair." Can't be done. And pears grow to rely on a sister or lover or friend. Their bodies ripen with an expectation there is someone to lean against, to spoon, to hold onto, someone with whom to share October.

I have often said
that I love Scully
all the time.
But I love her
even more
in October.

Monday, October 8, 2007

I'm not the only one

Just look at this. Look.

There was this lesbian comedian (i can't remember her name) that i heard at a womyn's fest (a decade ago when I went to womynsfests) and she was bemoaning the lack of imagination she encountered when coming out to straight friends. "But what do two women do with each other?"

She finally started answering like this:

"Go find yourself a persimmon. A ripe & tender persimmon. Ease it open. Run your tongue along the rim of the fruit. That is what two women do with each other. "

I'm not the only one who thinks this way, you know.
Really. Go get yourself a persimmon. Try it.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

On the other hand

Perhaps everything I love & hold dear cannot actually be undone by a hotdog.

I hope the preceeding poem was read with a healthy tone of wry irony rather than oh-woe & drama. I deleted the hotdog posts and decided to put them back in the name of honesty. I didn't say it was always pretty here around the fruit basket, did I?

That's all for now.

who is heading back upstairs to worry about how the majority culture will impact Khubz, how I can safeguard her from the patriarchy, and how I can do it all while still reading the latest stash of early 80s slut books harvested from the library book sale. Wish me luck!

Friday, October 5, 2007

more proof of how "not ridiculous" i am, right?

it was just a hotdog
& she certainly enjoyed it.
& i know it was
just a hotdog
too humble
to have any
agendas or
hidden meanings.
all traces of conspiracy
have surely been
processed out.
she ate it
with relish
(with mustard, actually)
she devoured it
inhaled it
she fully
consumed it.
& i know it is
just a hotdog
but i am really
worrying more about
what will consume her

It happens, right?

Quick call in to clc to check on Khubz. She is fine, she is happy, she is healthy, she is enjoying herself, she is playing with toys, she had a good time going outside, she is safe and she is well-rested. What more could two mommies want?

"did you know that she loves mustard?"
"no. . ."
"she loves mustard! We had hotdogs today for lunch and. . . "
"Did Khubz eat hotdogs?"
"Oh, because I packed her lunch today and we don't eat hotdogs."

Lots and lots and lots of apologies from Kara, the lead daycare provider. She's really, really, really sorry and I really, really, really believe that it was just an honest mistake. She's got how many kids and they're hungry and it's chaos. I'm not mad at her but I am perturbed.

Now I'm not crazy. I don't fear that Khubz is going to suffer dire health consequences because she had a hotdog for lunch. I'm not worried that the pork she consumed will now preclude her from going to heaven. I am not terrified that she's had a hotdog and next she'll want to sing the star-spangled banner. So, please, know that I am not being ridiculous.

I am not turning in my notice at work so I can stay home with her. I am not looking for a new daycare. I am not designing a "no pig, please" t-shirt for Khubz to wear to daycare.

And since I am not flying off the handle I do think that means I get to rant about my f e e l i n g s . . .

The problem with all of this is that it represents the rub of my family against the majority. This is not the first conflict (duh) but it is one of the first where the primary point of impact is Khubz as opposed to me or Scully. And she is encountering this conflict in the absence of her mommies, in the absence of anyone who even knows there's any conflict at all. Because we represent the conflict and they are simply being the majority.

I don't want her eating hotdogs. Not because there is anything inherently destructive about one hotdog but because I want us, our family, her mommies, me & Scully to set the norm. They already set the norm with all of the rest of her daily environment: the music, the books, the rules, the language, the toys. And we have her in care there because we feel like their norm is generally compatible with what we want. We like their rules, their toys, their music. . .

But there is something about the way Khubz's world tastes.

It is wonderful to share food with other people & find out what their world tastes like. It's not a big deal that she ate a hotdog. I fully expect to delight her with funnel cake at the county fair and beef ribs at the rhythm & ribs festival. It is her everyday, her norm, her standard, her landscape. . . That's what I insist on keeping in family.

Please know that I am not hoping to keep Khubz in a bubble.
I am not delusional about all the dominant/crap I consume (just wait for the upcoming post on the library book sale.) I liked this whole rant better when it was punctuated by beautiful pictures of spices.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Celebrating Banned Book Week

Have you kissed a librarian lately? ( I know at least one dear reader who can answer with a hearty "yes!" You know who you are.)
Ray Bradbury, said, "You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them."

Have you kissed Ray Bradbury? Don't worry, you don't have to.
Seriously, though. What is the most challenged book from 2006? The Qur'an? Lolita? The tale of O? Any answer would be hideous, right? Even banning an Ann Coulter book makes my skin crawl. But let's consider what the true answer is.
That's right. Have you read this book? Just ask Khubz about it. It's your everyday Daddy penguin and Papa penguin fall in love and they build a nest and they hope and they hope and they hope and then a baby penguin ("Tango") comes into their lives.
Apparently some people who read this book haven't read my post about how homophobic assholes should just say, "I'm so glad your baby has come to you." Instead those same assholes file complaints about this children's book being "anti-family." Enough of them for it to rank the # 1 challenged book, according to the ALA.

Really? Anti-family? Huh. Because this book is right up my family's alley.
Does the book depict wild, sadomasochistic penguins cruising for queer sex in the bathroom at the zoo?
No. We leave that sort of behavior to closet-case, asshole senators.
Well does the book depict bizarre, unnatural gay acts that might tempt young readers to purchase a cart load of butter-flavored crisco?
Um, if by "gay acts" you mean a couple taking turns nurturing the egg, sharing responsibility for getting food and nuzzling one another--that's in the book. But I didn't read anything about the zoo keepers providing any crisco.
Does the book suggest that love matters more than gender?

Yes, actually.

Does the book suggest that two people, no matter what kind of genitals they have, who love each other can make a home with one another?

Does the book suggest that a child can be part of a family even when that family does not replicate or imitate or honor the patriarchy?


And that is the problem with this book.

, like these assholes, have a problem with a book that suggest that two men can love each other. That a child can be loved by and nurtured in a family that does not look like the families these assholes have. That they (these assholes) do not get to define what love or family means even though they control the laws, the process, the guns, the money and usually the world.

and I manage to divide up household responsibilities even though there is no penis to distinguish us or guide us. Scully and I manage to cuddle and argue and pay our bills and go home for the holidays and get the oil changed and the laundry done--even with a matched set of vulvas.

I wouldn't mind having a bit more money. I certainly wouldn't mind having a bit more influence over the laws, the process and the world (in which case we'd be getting rid of the guns.)
But I decide what "family" means to me. I decide how I love in this world.

And tonight, I decide which book to read before bedtime.

It's very, very sweet.

This was supposed to be a post about banned book week! Sorry!

Just go thank a librarian, will you?

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


Do you already know about this?

The Great Mofo Delurk 2007

Thanks, as always, to Two Shews for keeping me up on the blogosphere.

Today is official "DeLurker" day. I'm awfully glad you're here and I hope you leave a comment in honor of DeLurker Day.

(A Lurker is someone who reads the blog but never comments, leaving the author to feel like nobody ever, ever reads the blog. This only leads to oversharing in an attempt to cajole the silent masses into talking back. And trust me, you don't want to know about _______ )

So make my day! Leave a comment.

You can start by completing the following sentence:
No, trust me, I really, really DO want to know about ______ .

p.s. Don't be fearful--I've already rudely called out one person on the blog. I promise never to do so again. No matter how much that Sally girl threatens me. :)

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


The girlchild is still sick. Scully is at the dr. with her as we speak. I normally wouldn't post something like this but I'm starting to feel desperate.

I hope we're all better soon.