Tuesday, August 31, 2004

More bull#@*& demands from the corporate sector

And further to my little rant on the business world, I ran across this essay from the UK on corporate structure and doing away with limited liability entities. This fellow advocates a economic structure built upon partial liability corporations (with some allowance for supplemental insurance), then to full blown liability down the road. Interesting.

Also, I'm a bit freaked out by what free speech rights might allow if corporations were entitled to them absolutely.

Read on...


Monday, August 30, 2004

After the "power lunch"

Running a business is not in my nature. It is as foreign a concept to me as enjoying having your legs waxed. And yet, here I am.

The business is not mine, really. In fact, I am sort of de facto Principal until my partner can get the firm going enough to allow me the emancipation I am seeking. I will likely go back into fundraising for nonprofits or, if I am really masochistic, perhaps freelancing as a fund development specialist and grant writer. Neither of these professions lead to great wealth, which goes back to my original point of mostly hating everything about business.

My partner has a great deal of talent as an artist. In an effort to save himself from a life of Kraft Dinner, he started a home based business in graphic design. Four years later, the business is doing pretty well for its size. We (I joined on two years ago) have two employees and a little office in the Warner Brothers corporate office building. All in all, I am quite happy for him (for us) and really enjoy the entrepreneurial spirit he's exhibited.

Still, one thing I cannot get used to is the politics and general bad behavior of fellow business persons. It is cut-throat at times, eerily cozy at others. People are motivated by that sickeningly overused cliche, the bottom line. Friendship or no, at the end of the day, it's all about who walks away with the bigger bag of cash. Relationships are only as important as the deals they help produce. I believe the documentary, "The Corporation" sums up beautifully how companies operate, or how the economy works in general.

Now don't get me wrong, I can put on the gloves just as good as any capitalist. I mean, even when I was working for nonprofits I could correlate between a "flush" economy and hard times. Making money is not bad per se. Without people making money, there would be no not-for-profits. Wanting to provide for yourself, your family, and your cause is all important and necessary. You can be a responsible business person and retain your ethics and integrity. This is my mantra...

When times are hard, though, I must share in the passionate lust for greater profit, looking ahead at all the competition that would surely squash us given the chance (you can't throw a pencil without hitting another graphic designer here). It's simple, "Stay ahead or be left behind." There's no 100% good guy/gal in business.

Yet I will never get used to the manipulative kindness, the bravado, the rudeness, the "I need it yesterdays..."

Maybe I just don't have the personality to handle people; I usually get unhinged by bad behavior or mean spirited power plays, especially when it involves someone I care about as the object of someone else's aggression. My mama bear kicks in and I am pissed off for the rest of the day. Guess such is the case of you work with a spouse, lover, or friend. Your instinct to step in and defend them or build them up is often negated by office politics or the politics of being a business owner or professional.

I suppose being in business for yourself is better than having some pointless 9 - 5 job that you hate. There are plenty of people out there doing that and will continue doing something they hate to make someone else money. Such is the wheel. Some days are brutal. Some are okay. The roller coaster ride that is your financial state at any given time is draining.

Sometimes I just want to hide back in the world of not-for-profits and wait for the donations, one shy step away from the money-making-machine. But I am here today and am, as always, presented with new tests to my patience and sense of decency. I am convinced that my curse word vocabulary has been improved since falling into the small business scene.

Off to put out another proverbial fire...

Curmudgeonly yours,

Random thought of the day...

Why don't you ever hear anything about haunted cars?

There are a lot of people out there who spend a ton of time and money on their beloved auto...Yet you just don't hear about haunted cars. It seems to me that if you put all this time and money into your vehicle, you'd be inclined to haunt it rather than your house.

It isn't like you car is junked after you go, either. A lot of family members inherit cars. Favorite cars and trucks are sometimes then sold to strangers. Some of them do have a life beyond two year trends. A classic cars, for instance.

Does anyone have a haunted car story? Christine doesn't count, by the way. Tell me your scariest account of an automobile haunting...


Saturday, August 28, 2004


Aua Marine Mermaid
You are the Aqua Marine Mermaid. You are pure and
brave. Strong and True. Your best friend is
your seahorse, your steed. You have fought many
battles in your own life and in the sea. No
matter what challenge you overcome it.
Congratulations there are very few of you.
Would you rate my quiz for I am brave too?

What kind of mermaid are you? (Gorgeous Pics)
brought to you by quickly

This is a completely indulgent posting for the day, as I am dealing with a flooded basement, a caffeine withdraw headache, and tight deadlines at the business.

I hope everyone is having a less disastrous weekend. When will Mercury retrograde end its reign of terror????

Frazzled and frantic,

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Lessons in strange places...

angels Posted by Hello

I was watching a re-run of an old Unsolved Mysteries last night (okay, so it is my version of junk food TV!) and a story they spotlighted resonated with me enough to bring it into my Blogger today...

If you have seen the program, you probably know that they feature the occasional "feel good" story about old friends or lost family members being reunited. Well, this was one of those.

Last night's little feel good episode was about a man searching for the woman who saved his life. Apparently, on the way home from the hospital, where his wife had just given birth to their first child, he lost control of his motorcycle when he hit a large pool of water (as he explains it, there had been a rain storm a few days prior, and while it wasn't raining at the time, the low lying lands had been flooded).

When he hit the water, he was immediately thrown from his motorcycle and landed head first in a drainage ditch. Even though he was wearing a helmet, he was knocked unconscious -- And the last thing he remembers was a flashing light, then nothing...

When he awoke, he heard a "soft, calm voice" telling him that all would be okay. He remembers being helped out of water by someone he described as "magically beautiful, with the face of an angel." [His sincerity in his description was apparent. You could hear his immense gratitude and his love for this woman he believes is his guardian angel.]

Anyway, from there he remembers being helped into a car, then darkness, then waking up in the hospital.

According to police reports, the woman happened to come along at the right time, saw him face down in the water, pulled him out, talked to him to maintain consciousness, but left soon after the ambulance came. She provided no name.

To make a long story short, the guy is alive today because she happened to act quickly. That, in and of itself, is wonderful. And despite suffering from mild seizures to date, he would have been dead in a matter of minutes if not for the passerby.

But this is not what I wanted to focus on...

What I find most interesting is when they actually found the woman and reunited them. Half expecting to see the face of the "angel" he described, I was taken a bit off guard see a conventionally plain woman, not physically spectacular, and certainly a far cry from what we traditionally deem an "angelic appearance."

In fact, the woman looked quite tired, overweight, out of fashion, perhaps even frumpy. I immediately thought about my reaction and my obviously brainwashed attitude about conventional beauty...Why did I assume she would be some thin Barbie, for instance? Where the hell did I get this narrow concept of beauty, of "angelic?"

And yet, as I watched this man speak to her, his "angel," I could plainly see that to him, this woman is a walking portrait of Beauty, a Goddess.

Nothing will change his view of her because she is the reason he shares in the joys of being a father, of being a husband. Her humanity and quick thinking, as accidental as it all may be, is treasured in him so that every time he gazes upon her, he sees the boundless beauty of Life. What could be more beautiful than that?

I am still amazed and will try to think about the lesson one simple twist of fate provided for two strangers... and for me.


Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Greed and its many manifestations....

This is an interesting little essay-style article about Greed, as seen on Common Dreams:

America's Disease is Greed

I generally agree with most of the points made, albeit I was a bit chagrined to see his mentioning of the Catholic Church's definition of the "four sins that cry to heaven for vengeance" ... as if the Catholic Church should point its wealthy finger?!

I had a discussion with someone about greed and whether or not it is a part of human nature: that drive to want more. Personally, I would like to believe that little over-touted thing we call "reason," which is supposed to make us shine above other animals, gives us the ability to control our desire(s). However, why is it so many people find this an impossible task? Could it be, we are taught that it is our right to demand more for ourselves and our family?

Certainly the concept of "winner takes all" is very important to the functionality of capitalism. And as powerful a figurehead as Reagan was/is, he certainly cannot be held accountable for the greed of the United States. Last I checked, we had the desire for "a chicken in every pot" before Reagan was on the scene.

Still, I don't believe Socialism, or its demonized counterpart, Communism works. Due to many years of brainwashing in the US and my personal experiences with the unbridled greed of others, I was taught that a purely egalitarian world, where food and shelter is shared and evenly dispersed, is a mirage. I was taught that those who believe in such a bullshit utopia don't have a firm grasp on reality. Yet here I am, wanting to believe that cooperative communities can and do work.

Do I believe nurturing, communal societies can exist? Yes, but on micro-scales. There are numerous projects that have cropped up in inner cities which give people the opportunity to serve their neighborhoods by helping to create homes and jobs for those without. These include projects to build affordable housing and create employment opportunities -- all producing great results -- and gives good argument as to why municipalities should have more control over the governing and financing of their jurisdictions.

So perhaps rampant greed can be abolished, not rewarded. Perhaps we are best suited for small communities, where global borders are eradicated, and self governance becomes necessary, only to be questioned if and when a community takes negative action against its own or other communities. Smacks of Star Trek, doesn't it? Maybe I shouldn't be teasing my Trekky friends after all?



Saturday, August 21, 2004

Books that change your life

I read a really wonderful posting recently by a woman who cited Dorothy Allison's Two or Three Things I know for Sure as one of those life altering books, something that spoke to the core of her and reflected her life experience. I took notice because it is one of my own personal favorites, a collection of essays spoken from the blood and guts of a woman who has the gift of a true storyteller.

When I read Dorothy Allison, Sapphire, Anne Sexton, Pat Conroy, etc... I am reminded of the power of words and the revolutionary act of telling your story, of speaking your truth. In my opinion, there is nothing more powerful than honesty. All the bombs and bullets in the world cannot silence the truth. It is the life force, and in my opinion, is truly soulful.

I grew up in an abusive home. I understand completely the need to voice your experience and the concept of the "personal as political." I recall reading a passage from a speech Andrea Dworkin gave about the power of the father as a microcosm of the power of patriarchy and wealth. Her admiration for the victims of abuse who are coming forward and telling their story is evident, but it doesn't stop there. She recognizes and embraces the political act of truth telling. It is not only cathartic, it is revolutionary. Amen.

While I am not a follower of Andrea Dworkin per se, and while her analysis of sexuality is a bit myopic, I rejoice in her dedication to and reverence for the stories of "common people."

When I started writing at age 1o it was out of necessity. My discovery of poetry saved my life. This is not melodrama, it simply is the case. I believe that creativity has the power to save you from losing Self. Without Self, children fade away into mental illness, addiction, suicide, etc... I am a great believer in creative therapy for abused kids for this very reason.

Off the cuff, I can think of a few books that changed the way I view my place in the world. These are books that I find inspiring...

1) Anne Sexton, Collected Poems

I cannot tell you how much discovering her poems changed me. She is the reason I started writing. Her raw, unsettling poems make her the preeminent feminist poet, and the godmother of most female slam poets out there.

2) Dorothy Allison, Bastard Out of Carolina

By far, the best female American storyteller. Her writing style is intimate and uncomfortably close. This telling of her own story through a fictional character is stark, unwavering, painful, and is certainly one of the greatest books about poverty and child abuse ever written.

3) Susan Bordo, The Unbearable Weight

This is one hell of a book about eating disorders and body image, but SO much more than that. It is a brilliant, all encompassing exploration of culture's quest to re-shape and redefine the body as related to the treatment of women.

4) Riane Eisler, The Chalice and The Blade

This is an extension of books like When God Was a Woman, but with more of a focus on how we can cultivate a spirituality that is truly egalitarian and life-affirming today. Impressive, provocative, and a great tool for those of us who have been hurt by "power-over dogma" and rigid monotheism.

These are only to name a select few, but I must keep it short today.

Tell me, what are some of the books that changed your life?


Friday, August 20, 2004

Dream analysis

I awoke this morning from an extremely disturbing dream (actually a series of dreams). I'm curious if any one of you has studied Jungian dream analysis and can tell me what this psychotic dream is about, because I am stumped and am feeling a little "off." Here goes...

I was camping with a group of people. I do not recall if they are strangers or people I know. They seem nameless to me now. We are staying at a cottage up North. Pretty typical setting for an Ontario summer.

In any event, we are all sitting at a picnic table near our fire pit, when I noticed a big blob near the woods. I go to investigate and see that it is a clear, almost see-through sac. It looks like a cocoon or pod or egg of some sort. Inside, I can make out what looks to be a human, but with clawed paws and a type of beak, almost like a bird. The body is a mix of skin and feathers. It's very large, too, the size of a human.

I call out to the group and they stay at the table, but yell back at me to see if it's alive. It isn't moving, though. I move closer and then it appears to struggle just a little. I tell the group, whereupon they tell me to see if I can help it out of the cocoon.

It struggles some more, moving its claws frantically. I feel very sad and sorry for the pitiful creature, and am worried that it is dying.

I start to reach down to help it open the sac, but it finally tears through on its own. It struggles and I see the human skin slip away and a large, odd looking bird emerge and clumsily fly into a tree. I wonder if it will survive, but know that there is nothing I can do for it now. I hear it moving around in the tree, as it acclimates to its surroundings.

Then I wake up.

It is really creeping me out in an X-Files sort of way. Maybe Terry can illustrate something for me to post that looks like a human/bird/reptile/badger hybrid.



Thursday, August 19, 2004

discombobulated me...

I realize that I have spent so much time today (by the way-just saw a blog link to Prison Pete-anyone read this blog?) waxing philosophic (I do a lot of waxing) on other people's blogs that I am neglecting my own (and leaving the biz blog dry). But I digress....

My mind is racing today, so this will be a disjointed puzzle of a posting, simply so I can throw out some ideas...Bear with me.These are some topics I am thinking about exploring further, but with the approval of my beloved readers (all 5 of you). Feel free to put the kibosh on any of the following:

- vegetarianism and farm animal rights
- self-publishing
- why I am sick of political blogs
- Gaia Theory
- traveling cheaply
- Seasonal Affective Disorder
- The Metrosexual down the hall
- why Daniel Lanois is cooler than you
- egocentricity
- immigrating to Canada
- crones
- genetic engineering
- documentaries

By the way, and as a follow-up to the urban homesteading post, I happened to watch a program on green living the other night, and they spotlighted a Toronto homeowner who is doing some fantastic things to make his home more ecologically sound. He even collects rain water, which runs into a cistern in his backyard. I am enthusiastic and am considering calling my friend, Dave, who is slightly obsessed with natural energy. He can help me plot the construction of my urban "green" house.

Toronto also is the only city to use deep lake water to cool its urban buildings , thus decreasing use of electricity.

Cool, eh?

jane_crow, getting ready to take a cat nap

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

piglets, ferris wheels, and junk food

It's that time again: the Toronto Exhibition, or The Ex. For those of you who live outside of Canada, it's basically a giant 4-H fair in the city.

For most adults, this is a place you avoid at all costs. A place filled with screaming kids, sticky, rickety rides, and asphalt for miles. For most adults, only the mantra of "Can we go? Can we go? Can we go?" by their kids can persuade them to develop enough of a resolve to deal with the crowds. Not me, though. I am one of those insane, childless people who LOVE fairs!

I love everything about the Ex (well, except for the fact that a lot of the animals I cheese over will end up on a plate). I love all the junk food. I love the smelly horse barn. I love the old women and their macrame crafts. I even enjoy the occasional kiddy ride which will inevitably leave me green and with whip lash.

My poor husband has agreed to go with me again. He is a trooper.

I am especially excited to see that the Village People are taking the stage this year. I hesitate to think about what chaos will ensue when a bunch of drunken, green, junkfood-filled fair-goers try to emulate the choreography.

The RCMP ("Mounties" for you foreigners) will also be performing. I hope they don't get confused with the Village People. If you see a poor dancer in a stiff red ensemble, please point him to the correct venue.

I am especially saddened by the fact that we won't see the cat show this year. If you have seen Best in Show, you have some idea of the spectacle. It seems that one has to be a very big, older woman with Doris Day hair, or a skinny, attractive gay man to participate.

All in all, it's well worth the $100 you will likely spend on winning a big ugly stuffed bear.

Ah...The Ex, making big kids happy since 1879

Monday, August 16, 2004

On a personal note...

August 16, 2002 Posted by Hello

Today is our 2nd wedding anniversary.

2 years may not seem that impressive to those of you who have been married for five or more, but for two self-confirmed loners, this is something!

Let me share some cheesy tidbits today, and I promise I will go back to my regular posts tomorrow. One can only handle so much fluff. Keep your buckets handy, kids.

Some little useless info about us:

1) We met online, on a non-romantic message board.
2) We were friends for nearly 4 1/2 years before we met in person.
3) Rick's Canadian; I was born in Indiana.
4) We got married at City Hall with just three of our friends present, at 9:15 am!!
5) We are both addicted to The Simpsons.
6) Our friends make us look like midgets (we're both under 5'6").
7) Rick's allergic to cats; I have a cat.
8) We're both autumn babies.
9) Rick's 1/2 Japanese; I'm Scotch-Irish. We will kick your ass and politely bow afterwards.
10) We're both first borns.
11) We own a graphic design firm.
12) Both of us are university drop-outs. Go underachievers!!
13) We're creative -- Rick paints and Aleah writes poetry.
14) We both love Ron Sexsmith but think his head is shaped like a frying pan.
15) We got married only 5 months after we first laid eyes on each other.
16) Rick likes to cook; I like to eat.
17) Rick is 5 years older than moi. Geezer.
18) Rick likes to argue; I hate to argue, but we are both incredibly stubborn.
19) We use "nacho chubby" as a pet name for just about everyone.
20) Rick sent me chocolate chip cookies on our first Valentine's Day.
21) My phone bill was close to $1,000 before I moved to Toronto.
22) Pro bono.
23) The first year of marriage was really hard.
24) Rick has his first childhood stuffed toy, a monkey named Jacob. Don't call him Jake. I have mine, too, Leo the lion hand puppet.
25) We were both fat babies.
26) Rick cannot dance. Really.
27) Oatmeal is the key to optimum health and happiness.
28) Rick's first office was in a converted sauna.
29) I used to be a fundraiser for a children's home.
30) We have the world's ugliest kitchen table and chairs. This is really superfluous, really, but I really want to get rid of the set.
31) I have never met Rick's mom or his only sibling.
32) Rick has an Uncle Ben whose real name is Kyoto Tateyama. Go figure.
33) Ricks middle name is George. I have a friend named George. George Kostanza is our favorite Seinfeld character.
34) I bought Rick a guitar for xmas two years ago and he can play quite a few songs now.
35) I hated every minute of high school. Rick was popular in high school.
36) Chocolate covered almonds have no shelf life in our house.
37) All of Rick's friends have kids. None of mine do, give or take a few.
38) We want kids some day.
39) Rick's a solid Virgo; I am a mercurial Libra.
40) Nobody thought we'd make it through the first month together, but here we are!! In yo' face!

Okay, my other half is giving me the evil eye, so that means back to web work.

jane_crow, pondering two years of marital bliss

Friday, August 13, 2004

The American Southwest

Bryce Canyon, Utah Posted by Hello

When I see the wonders of the southwestern terrain, I am deeply humbled. The enormity and overwhelming beauty of the deep canyons leaves me speechless. The complex structure of the rock formations tell stories of time, endurance, and people who have been on this continent much longer than any of my own ancestors.

My friend, photographer, Elizabeth Siegfried , composed a series of photographs and archival images entitled A Sense of Place. For her, home is the cottage get-away her ancestors built over one hundred years ago near Algonquin Park in Ontario. To sit on the side of the lake and gaze across the water brings back memories of people both familiar and unfamiliar to her. The sensation of knowing a place so intimately is to be connected to the grand scheme of things, or, as some call it, the circle of life.

Although I have no far reaching history to connect me to the southwestern landscape, somehow my spirit resides there. A feeling of reverence and respect for a place, where precarious weather and heat make life an ongoing struggle, stay with me. Light and dark, heat and coolness, downpour and draught, nothing escapes notice in a landscape devoid of clutter and superficiality. There is an honesty about the desert that I am drawn to, an unapologetic need to survive in the eyes of all canyon dwelling species.

When I reflect upon pictures and memories of my childhood in Utah, or my later years in Arizona, I know I will some day return. On a visceral level, my need to be there is an ache that I cannot avoid forever. There is a lesson there I have yet to learn. And when I return, I hope to have the people I love with me, sharing in the wonder and beauty of this magical place.

jane_crow, desert dreaming again

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Visit my business blog

My husband is feeling jilted over at the business blog. If ya'll can find it in your hearts, please visit:


I promise, you'll be entertained.


Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Urban homesteading

tiny house Posted by Hello

I am really excited about the concept of urban homesteading. I have been voraciously devouring any information I can find online about creating an environmentally sound, self-sufficient lifestyle. In relation to this, I have also been thinking about how houses have gotten obscenely big for the smaller families we now have. Actually, everything we buy in North America is big(ger): automobiles, homes, boats, property, food, etc... The exception to this rule would be the trend to downsize everything one owns to fit into an overpriced condo. This is not out of a concern for the environment, however, so much as it is a statement about the diabolical real estate market in urban areas, and the upwardly mobile's desire to own property. Hence, the condo.

One of my central reasons for wanting a smaller home is to encourage my family (which just consists of Rick, myself, and a cat--but it's a start!) to spend more time outside. I even take my cat on a walk on a leash, that's how much of a believer I am in being connected to trees, plants, other living things found in nature. I hate to see kids sitting around in front of one screen after another. No wonder so many kids are obese. It pains me to also know that our Western desire for more is hurting the earth (it takes a lot more energy to heat and cool a 5 bedroom home, than a simple 2-3 bedroom bungalow-given they both have up-to-date insulation, etc.). Same goes for big SUVs. What gives with that trend, anyway? I never see any of the people who drive these babies involved in off-roading excursions. It is simply an assault on our air, and it pisses me off.

There's also a true sense of peace that comes from tending your home and garden. I do not follow the Tao in whole, but there's an essence of mindfulness created when one stops to notice tiny buds, the way the air smells after it rains, the songs of the cicadas...

It goes without saying that my heart is in the country. I am truly a country gal, but alas! I am betrothed to an urban aficionado with an allergy to all things found in nature. This seems to be some cruel twist of fate, but here it is: country girl in the city (not to be confused with Amish in the City, although I was born in a very small southern Indiana town just 5 minutes from Montgomery, from whence one of the Amish guys came -- Go Montgomery, Indiana boy! You show those city bastards!).

But I digress...

Anyway, I am very enthusiastic about the possibilities of re-creating a smaller home and adding solar panels, energy and water saving devices, and a large vegetable garden. Unfortunately the local bylaw prohibits farm animals, so I will have to do without the goats and chickens. This concept of "little house on the prairie"-meets-Toronto is keeping me going through the unusually nasty, cold summer. And, is also giving me reason to stay patient as we build up just enough to move out of our little apartment dwelling into our first home. The thought of owning a home is both scary and thrilling. I have heard horror stories, but most people will agree, the freedom to create a home for yourself and your family is powerful and compelling, especially if it is a dwelling that helps create self-sufficiency.

In the meantime, I am pondering some things I can do with respect to gardening, lifestyle change, etc. that can be accomplished in a rental apartment. Does anyone have any ideas? I don't have a lot of natural light, so bear that in mind, and we have about two-three months of really good weather in Toronto. Any and all feedback is appreciated. I do grow herbs and try to use mostly natural cleaning products.

jane_crow, trying to appreciate the simpler things in life

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Pregnancy scare and a sense of loss

I recently had a bit of a fright with a missed period (two weeks late). I started to suspect pregnancy when my generally healthy stomach started to revolt and send me into two straight days of roller-coaster nausea. Seeing as my periods have been messed up for the past few months, after weaning off of the pill (for reasons I will get in to in a minute), I decided to give it a few days before overreacting and heading to the nearest drug store.

Well, those few days passed, and last night I picked up my expensive urine stick and headed home, thinking about one million thoughts in a time lapse of twenty minutes. I mean, I had this imaginary child's entire 18 years planned out in my mind. It was the most synergistic episode of thought-jumping I have ever experienced -- I only wish I were that innovative at the office!!

Heading to the washroom to perform the instructed tasks, I stared fervently at the stick for 10 minutes, until I was certain nothing living resided in my uterine home (sorry for the strange visuals - hah).

Of course, I picked up the phone and notified the hubby, who was no less than elated with the news. I threw out the expensive stick (for what they cost, I should have had it incorporated into junk art or something!) and went to make dinner.

That's when it hit me, UTTER SADNESS. I stood at the oven and started crying?! My imaginary child no longer. What's strange, is that I did not want to be pregnant. I did not want to have our already tight budget stretched so thin I wasn't sure how we'd ever afford a kid right now. I didn't want to go through the pains, sickness, hormone surges, you name it that all my female friends are currently experiencing or have experienced.

Still, I was very sad.

Somehow, in the twenty minutes it took for me to visualize this person I might bring into the world, the fantasy was completely gone. All my plans forfeit. My sense of loss real, despite all reason and logic. It was primal. It was a phantom, and left my entire body feeling empty.

I know that in a few days I will be back to my old self, and will have forgotten the way I am feeling today, but today sucks. I am hopeful for an end to the feelings of sadness when I emerge back into my old frame of mind, with a new understanding of how lucky I am to be able to choose a better time to bring a child into the world than right now.

My partner doesn't get any of this. How could he?

My plan now is to look into some herbal solutions to regulate hormonal levels and menstruation. Does anyone know of anything of hand? I am a birth control pill skeptic for many reasons, so I am trying to regulate myself without the use of the pill.

All feedback is appreciated, and don't be shy if you are an enlightened man.


Saturday, August 07, 2004

Letting go Posted by Hello

I can imagine standing here...falling into the lull, the blue cavern of solitude. I can imagine the absolute silence, the cool wind coming in off of the water, the faint echo of waves moving into the mouth of the cave and pouring back out again. Today is forever hectic, but I am reminded that I can create a space for reflection, even if at my desk. Maybe it's the wet summer we've had, but I feel change in the air today. I am expecting some sort of transformation through an event...but what will it be.

Off to ponder yet another awkward premonition,


Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Thin-spiration among youth

I am so disturbed by all the pro eating disorder blogs and sites that have been cropping up over the past few years. By sheer unfortunate accident, I stumbled on to a blog about anorexia and thin-idealization the other day. For lack of words, well, I am truly saddened by this. The odd thing is that, having done mountains of research and writing on the subject of poor body image, I am still shocked when I encounter it. Especially now that there's an easy-to-access forum for kids with eating disorders (i.e. to get tips, share current weight stats, and provide general "thinspiration" for other teens).

In the very core of me, I am trying to avoid making this into a circus (which is why I am not mentioning the links). I don't want to further fuel the spectacle that is and was eating disorders in the media (because, although I don't believe that the advertisers are solely to blame, I do give them a lion's share of the responsibility). Frankly, I don't want to provide attention to the subject for fear that the inevitable will occur: "Oh, look at those freaks!" blah, blah, blah. As if eating disorders occur in a vacuum, where only seriously deranged kids succumb to them.

The reality is that there have been body image disorders and body modification trends since the beginnings of recorded time. Medieval nuns participated in extreme fasting, which has since been labeled "holy anorexia," and still occurs today. During the height of Elizabethan fashion, whale bone corsets constricted the waists of many higher ranked femmes, whose organs would often atrophy. Some women required the corset simply to sit upright. And let's not forget the painful process of foot binding, where the feet of girl children where broken and bound with rags until they were successfully deformed.

During the conservative and upwardly mobile 80's, eating disorders, such as bulimia and anorexia, reached new heights of popularity in the media and in the lives of the rich and famous. It appears now that we are in another (no thanks to the current uber conservative US government) decade of superficiality. Whether you blame it on national wealth and privilege, the media, celebrities, religion, etc., it looks as though eating disorders are back in full force in the lives of our young. Thank goddess I am childless!

It's even stranger to me, that for all the reasons one could succumb to an eating disorder, the excuses are still so rooted in dualism: The body is corrupt / mortal and must be sublimated / reworked / punished. Rooted in the assumption that the body is
"the intolerable weight" that keeps us down, and its punishment leads to spiritual heights (as it was written during the formation of our current monotheistic religions), this belief has morphed into the "no pain, no gain" mentality of the upwardly mobile, fashion and age obsessed Western culture that we reside in, or are forcing others to reside in.

Our culture's obsession with all things new, only lends itself to the re-making of the physical as it ages, grows, changes. The plastic surgery industry practically deifies youth and looking young, as if aging naturally is suddenly un-natural. Our sterilized gentrification of the body is the bread-and-butter (so to speak) of some of the richest industries. We pluck, gorge, mutilate, sterilize, castrate, demonize, and deny our adult bodies and wonder why our youth have such an unhealthy relationship with their appearance.

This is no attack on the thin or waif-like, either, as eating disorders also play out in obesity. While I do support a healthy portrait of the female body, I do not believe being obese to the point of causing serious health problems "revolutionary." Again, it is simply the counter-response to our already warped relationship with our body. We cannot claim ignorance in North America. We have all the research constantly shoved in our face. We know what eating disorders can do. I wonder what the next step is?

It's up to us to regain some control over our own physical and mental health. Believe me, the health care industry is dying to get ahold of the latest trends and use them to propagate new "miracle cures" and treatment programs. Real, proactive answers are not coming from an industry that makes money off of disease.

There are some wonderful organizations out there doing their part to end negative body image, like About Face . Still, it's not enough...

What are some of your ideas? Anything happening in your city to address the issue of poor body image and eating disorders among youth?


Monday, August 02, 2004

Happy Lammas!!

Lammas fire Posted by Hello

My favorite things to do on Lammas

1) Go to a harvest festival
2) Bake pies
3) Meditate outside
4) Read a book under a fruit tree
5) Light candles and burn incense
6) Dance to The Mollys
7) Drive down a long highway
8) Make a bonfire
9) Hang out with good friends
10) Potluck!
11) Make an abundance alter
12) Go to a renaissance faire
13) Go horseback riding
14) Camp
15) Bask in the sun
16) Make sun tea
17) Work in the yard
18) Long nights of tireless sex (or, if you are alone, a wonderful bath and massage is also good)
19) Plant something
20) Make a list of bad habits and "old baggage" you'd like to get rid of and burn it in a controlled bonfire
21) Donate food to the local food bank
22) Burning Man festival in Nevada (I want to go!!)
23) Canoeing
24) Make corn dollies
25) Picnic with my sweetie

What are some of the things you like to do?

jane_crow, wishing you all bright blessings for mid-summer