Sunday, October 31, 2004

Mini Mid-Life Crisis

Okay, so I am not quite ready for a midlife crisis, so perhaps for the purpose of not sounding like a stupid Big Chill character, let's just say that I am struggling with some identity issues.

Maybe it's the change in the weather and the fact that it is All Hallow's Eve? Whatever the reason, I am having one of those "who am I?" and "what do I want?" attacks. The questions are hounding me - I've spent many nights struggling to fall asleep, thinking about all the things I want to accomplish in life.

I know, it's impossible to do everything - I also know I have a terrible habit of never finishing what I start. That stubborn resolve has kept me moving through days like these, stoically ignoring those nagging voices that keep telling me I'm not following my heart.

Part of the problem is my belief that "following your heart" is selfish, some melodramatic ideology preached by new agers who have no ability to be accountable or commit. After carefully analyzing the messaging behind the New Age movement, I have found it to be every bit as delusional and self-absorbed as any other religion.

So now I am left with this void and a lack of belief in anything, really. I suppose that is why I identity as pagan, because it's as close to the earth as you can get with spiritual expression, and there's no dogma in it. It's sort of a "build as you go" spirituality which I can appreciate.

Anyone, getting back to the issue at hand (can you tell I am stalling?)...

As some of you know, I have been quite interested in the environment, deep ecology, and animal work. I have always been drawn to the earth because being in the wild is the only thing that gives me pure peace of mind and emotion. During a rough childhood, I spent many hours absorbed in coaxing feral cats out of barns to eat, catching frogs in the pond, picking wildflowers in the fields, building forts with my brothers and sisters in the woods that lined our property. Some of my best memories were of camping with my siblings under the stars, basset hounds in tow.

As I got older, my sense of place was more defined. I felt connected to the desert - Arizona felt like my birthplace even though it was far away from my actual place of birth. The canyons and the warmth of the Southwest... I miss the desert. I miss the sense of being at home there.

I have been struggling with many decisions as of late. Do I stay with being in a business with Rick? Do I look for a nonprofit, salaried position? Do I take a better paying job for the next couple of years and save up enough money to travel again?

If I do some of these things, there will be consequences. Like anything, there's a trade off. On one hand, working with Rick has been a positive experience. Building a business together can really test the depths of your love. It's hard work, but has provided a lot of valuable experiences and has taught me innumerable lessons. In addition, I have picked up many news skills I would have never acquired otherwise.

On the other hand, there's no time for anything else. The line between work and home is blurred.

Rick and I have had many heart-to-heart conversations about my role in the business, where I see myself eventually. No matter what the conclusion, it's a tough decision. There's a part of me that really knows I belong in a nonprofit role - particularly contributing to an ecological or animal based project. I can feel it - that's what I need to be doing.

So - this is the tricky part - how do I go about it without feeling like I am ditching the business? There's a feeling of guilt associated with what I want versus what I believe is expected of me.

I am unsure what to do... As you can tell, I am sorting out my life right now and am taking the opportunity to use this journal as, well, a diary. Hah. I need some direction.


Friday, October 29, 2004

Betty Crocker on Acid

rebel rebel Posted by Hello

I stumbled across this rather dated photo of me at a wee 19 years, diligently working on my zine 'Betty Crocker on Acid.' I loved that zine. I think I still have some copies kicking around. It was my first taste of truly independent media - the vehicle which got me interested in small presses and publishers.

And that hair?! Sigh... my black hair days.

Anyway, some of the topics my friend, Liz (co-author and fellow punk) and I covered were abortion, BGH (bovine growth hormone), religion, and indy music. We were pretty radical for southern Indiana. No wonder we both left.

I haven't talked to Liz in many years, and I miss her. I think, last I heard, she is teaching in Chicago - so like her, changing and molding future adults.

I'd venture to say, knowing some of you a little better now, that at least two of you had a zine. Come on, fess up. What was it called? When did you do it and why?

You can tell me, the older and wiser girl in the photo...

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Cat and a chilly evening in

So I am heading home a wee bit early tonight to do my weight lifting routine and hang with the cat. Very relaxing. He has few complaints that a good stomach scratch won't solve.

I'm feeling so blah - hence, I haven't written much on a personal note the past week or so. I always get this way when the weather starts turning, as if my outlook on life wilts with the maple leaves.

I've tried to do some writing to get out of my funk, but I don't want to go down the path of maudlin poet, so I am choosing to cook and throw myself into mindless activities. I wish I didn't hate to knit or sew. I am not patient enough for that. I have considered getting involved in some butt-kicking activism, something to motivate my spirit - maybe something to do with smog or urban sprawl or wildlife. Hey, you think it's work to avoid, but I call it the natural antidepressant. Volunteering is good for your soul.

Anyway, I started a list of things I would like to do this winter...

My half written list of things to do to keep me sane this winter

* volunteer with charity of choice
* look for publishers (I have three books haunting me)
* plan next year's road trip across Canada
* update the business plan (like driving nails in my skull, but it must be done)
* get together with friends
* bake
* read (twist my arm)
* update - it's sadly in need of fresh content
* mend clothes with holes (yee hay, sexy!)
* write real letters to friends and family
* find a new place to live (if at all feasible)
* find a mentor - i really want an eccentric, wacky, funny mentor
* make holiday gifts (which is tough since i hate to sew)
* work on novel
* throw a dinner party
* get a massage
* do nice things out of the blue
* remember to play in the snow

Okay, it's a start.

What do you do for fun or to lift your spirits during the long winter months?

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

'Manly' Men Club Each Other

Maureen Dowd: Kerry cooks his own goose

Tromping about in a camouflage costume and toting a 12-gauge double-barreled shotgun that shrieked "I am not a merlot-loving, brie-eating, chatelaine-marrying dilettante," the Democratic nominee emerged from his shooting spree with three fellow hunters proclaiming, "Everybody got one, everybody got one," showing off a hand stained with goose blood.

I am always disappointed when I see a fairly decent guy pandering to the lowest common denominator to score points. I should not be surprised by this, but I am always taken aback when I see Kerry out doing the hunting and fishing thing. It seems to obviously contrived, but I guess since so many voters are prepared to vote for the Repugnant-ans, I guess they are pretty darn gullible.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Petting zoos are pure madness

We spent yesterday getting pumpkins and all our harvest and Halloween needs at a little farm north of the city. Like most farms, they had a petting zoo of sorts, a large barn with a few chickens, pigs, and goats. You can imagine my delight (she says sarcastically) to see all the unleashed children running after the animals. I just don't get parents and their disregard for how their children react to animals. It really ties in to that concept that animal are just "things" placed here by God for our use and amusement.

I know farm people who eat meat and explain to their kids, in a non-saccharine way, what occurs and why (according to them) with their animals. They still demand that the kids treat the animals kindly - no running after them, no rough play, no loud noises. They seem to have more respect for the animal's current space and livelihood than what I witnessed yesterday with the SUV-driving Toronto parents. So why don't these "PC city folks" get it?

While I like the idea of exposing children to nature, I am always hesitant when it comes to petting zoos and barnyard displays, where domestic "livestock" are effectively treated like they are pets. They are not. Most of them end up on plates, after all. The message given is confusing and inappropriate. Isn't it more valuable to take kids on nature walks - where wildlife is viewed from afar? Or perhaps to an educational IMAX film? Or maybe (GASP!) to the library?

Don't even get me started on the petting zoos at parks and carnivals. All the noise and chaos drives me mad, let alone the terrified animals! These farms are a good example of how disconnected we are from food and how food reaches our plate. It was all very dismal and I am reminded of why I stopped eating meat.

Finally, after watching a gaggle of dumbass adults and tweens run after (and repeatedly try to corral) an AWOL rabbit, I had seen enough. Next year I will be sure to get apple butter at the grocery.

Saturday, October 23, 2004


I am trying to recoup from a really dumb decision I made. Nothing traumatic, just something I should have known not to do, and yet, did it anyhow. Grr. I hate making stupid decisions, mostly when they affect others, and particularly those I love, negatively.

Anyway, I am left to deal with my own embarrassment and anger today, which is not fun. I am certainly glad making mistakes weighs heavily upon me. It seems I could have used a taste of this rationality and responsibility in my twenties, but like everything else, maturity takes time to develop.

When I was younger, I was completely "off the hook." I didn't want anyone to expect anything from me; I had that misguided drive to feel free. I, like Terry over at Farbled, rambled around, moved often, dropped out of university, and led a life of parties, travel, drinking, and well, more drinking. If there's a song about "whiskey and bad, bad men" out there, I should have written the lyrics.

From a certain distance, and on particularly stressful days, where the responsibilities are mounting and the money scarce, I might look back on those times with a certain fondness. There was lots going on and nothing ever troubled me for long because I stayed well ahead of the thoughts that nipped at my heels like rabid dogs. Hitting my late twenties, I was catapulted into a decision to "cut the shit" and start focusing on creating some stability.

I'd like to believe that the stability Rick and I have created is static. But nothing in life is static; change occurs and flexibility is required if we want to continue to grow. Sometimes I think I white-knuckle this concept of stability for fear of losing it all. This is the wrong approach. This fear, in fact, will only drive me directly to the doorstep of chaos.

What's more important now is not so much the stability, but the reasons I have to maintain a peaceful life. I have loved ones who mean the world to me, and they expect me to take care of myself. I want to be solid and dependable for them, which means taking care of myself. It's an easy formula, really, and yet for many of us, so hard.

Today, I am thinking about the changes I have experienced and am happy I have had the tenacity to face mistakes, without the excuses, and do my best to grow from them.


Thursday, October 21, 2004

I'll See You in Court, Flipper!

U.S. Court Says Whales, Dolphins Cannot Sue Bush

It's really too bad, too, because there are a number of other species with reason to do the same. Reading this, I envisioned the trees in Lord of the Rings confronting the Bush administration.

Can Men and Women Be Friends?

I have been having a great discussion with the guys over at Think about this topic. There's a lot of good ideas being shared - a fair balance of opinion.

Anyway, I thought I would open up the conversation to everyone here.

Do you think men and women can be friends?


Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Music for a cold, rainy day

I admit it, I was one of those nerdy girls who made mixed tapes for all the boys and girls I loved. Still do, only now I burn cds for them.

The power of music to communicate still overwhelms me. I listen to certain songs and am immediately reminded of various points in my life and the people with whom I shared those experiences.

It's funny, I was discussing with Rick a certain angsty-boy-band and suddenly had a strong reaction, a feeling of rage crept into my chest as I told him, "I hate that band." But why? In fact, that particular band reminded me of an arrogant guy I used to date who played their music non-stop. Ah-hah!

Another singer-songwriter's music reminds me of a smoky evening in a college bar, crowded around them at 3 am, sharing a pack of smokes. And another group, who shall remain nameless, of a trek across the Midwest with a collection of disfigured Barbies and a stranded St. Louis phone call.

You could say everyone has a soundtrack for their life. I'm curious, what would yours be?

As for me, I am going to make myself a mix for the day:

  • What a Wonderful World - Louis Armstrong
  • No Poetry - Gary Jules
  • Goodbye - Patty Griffin
  • Fish and Whistle - John Prine
  • I Believe - Chris Isaak
  • Is Jesus Your Pal - GusGus
  • Paper Thin Walls - Modest Mouse
  • I Can't Wait - The Sundays
  • The Messenger - Dan Lanois
  • Hard Times - EastMountainSouth
  • Hole in the Bucket - Spearhead
  • This is the Hour - Jimmy Rankin
  • Goddamn HIV - Mary Gauthier
  • The Other Man - Sloan
  • Jolene - Dolly Parton
  • Cello Song - Nick Drake
  • Beautiful People - Rusted Root
  • Song of Solomon - Kate Bush

Okay, now you....


Monday, October 18, 2004

Some Web changes

Hello everyone,

Please be patient with my ever-evolving blog. I am getting ready to re-do the template and it will be posted in various stages throughout the week, so if it looks like hell for awhile, you'll know why. ;-)

By the way, what's up with the popularity of William Shatner?

Dear Mr. Shatner,

If I have to hear one more song from your new album, I am going to be sick. Campy or not, accept your limitations, buddy, and move on. Don't you have enough commercials to keep yourself well stocked in prune juice?! Come on, stop making money on music when so many deserving muscians cannot.

Thanks for listening (and I still love you in Star Trek),


Sunday, October 17, 2004

A great site for brain polishing...

If you want to delve a little deeper into controversial subjects, Think! is an excellent blog to reference. When I need to dust off the old grey matter, I head (no pun intended) over to Chuck's site for a little bit of blasphemy.

Since I posted over there today, I'm saving my regular jane commentary for tomorrow.

Happy lazy Sunday!

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Make my skin crawl

Scary movies Posted by Hello

Like many of you, Autumn is my favorite time of year. For one, it gives me a great reason to watch hours upon hours of scary movies. I must confess, to Rick's dismay, I am a horror movie junkie.

Now, mind you, I have heard all the arguments why horror movies should not be watched; how they glorify and promote violence; how they portray gender stereotypes in an especially offensive way; and how they impact the collective paranoia of us North Americans. Okay, I hear all that. But I am chagrined to confess, I still secretly like them.

However, I do not watch a lot of true crime or serial killer flicks. Frankly, I find anything meant to entertain that is based on horrific events abhorrent. I stay away from this type of horror altogether. It's insulting to people who have lived through acts of violence and creates a strange voyeuristic connection for people who have not.

What I do enjoy are all the ridiculous, but scary flicks about zombies, vampires, ghosts, people who just won't die, etc. They are too unreal to impact my psyche in any negative way, and sometimes they are so poorly made, they are comparable to comedy. One really stupid horror that comes to mind is Bats. What a shite film! And yet, so funny. :-)

Anyway, in the spirit of this season, I'd like to ask all my good and faithful readers - What are your top ten favorite scary movies?

I'd love some recommendations, and indy or obscure films are especially welcomed.

Eerily yours,

Another bloody run-in with the testosterone club

ARGH! Why am I always subjected to these blogger men who have something to prove?! This is the second time some guy has gotten really defensive and has tried to lambaste me over something I said which was misconstrued. I think I have a knack for inadvertently pissing guys off. I'm serious. It's always relating to the business blog, too. I have come up against guys with chips on their shoulders - who are determined to "put me in my place."

This has happened a few other times that I haven't mentioned, too, just to spare you the rant. But I am seriously getting angry with these guys who attack me for no reason. And I mean, no reason. I am not even saying anything considered "controversial," political, or religious. It was simply about writing, for pete's sake!

Rick thinks I have a "victim" presence and am an easy target for jerks. Maybe so, but I thought I had my "don't F*&$ with me" aura pretty well defined. Oh well. I'm tired of fighting with idiots. If only I were the type of person who can just turn the other cheek. I think I make matters worse by developing claws rather fast. I would be a wicked mother bear. :-)

Now I feel bad. Don't you hate it when jerks ruin your day?


Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Carnival of Cute

My kit Posted by Hello

On my way home last night, I happened across a new mother with her TRIPLETS in a big carriage. One of the sleepy trio happened to wake up and start crying, whereupon the new mama quickly picked him up and cuddled him, for fear he'd wake the others.

I have to admit, although I am not yet ready for motherhood, I was turned into a melted pile of moosh - I mean, they all three had matching lime green caps. How cute is that?!

Anyway, it occurred to me that, in the midst of life's daily bull, there are some moments when all you can do is smile. I am sure that's the premise behind Louis' "What A Wonderful World." It is wonderful because it's what you create and what you take the time to witness.

We all need a little cute every now and then. So today, I am kicking off the first in a series of monthly "Carnival of Cute" posts. Prepare to cheese.


Pup Posted by Hello

Napping Posted by Hello

Rubber duckies Posted by Hello

Yawn Posted by Hello

Goats Posted by Hello

Bunny Posted by Hello

Chick Posted by Hello

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Presidential Debates = Corporate Sponsorship

I find incredibly vexing - and believe me, I am not easily vexed - that the Presidential Debates are paid for by corporate sponsorships. This eeks me out for a few reasons, most importantly, the association created, whether figuratively or literally, between the election process, our leaders, and big business.

Another problem area is the exclusion of independent party representation. With corporate money funding the debates, in order to remain truly bipartisan, independent party leaders should also be invited to speak. Otherwise, the boundaries of the established Federal Elections Campaign Acts are blurred.


Connie Rice: Top 10 Secrets They Don't Want You to Know About the Debates


Presidential debate group loses lawsuit


The Debate Debacle
Keeping candidates out of the presidential debates is the secret shame of American politics.

Having watched the debates in the past, I have come to the conclusion that nothing relevant is ever said. If you cross sectioned media outlets over the course of 2004, and gathered all the headlines and soundbites, you'd have the bulk of the debates right there.

What I find more interesting to observe is the speech patterns, body language, attire, and presence of the candidates. Everything from how they sit to the color of the tie is scripted, strategically planned to produce a desired public persona.

It's all very surreal.


Sunday, October 10, 2004

Women who love losers...

I spoke with a dear friend of mine today - someone with whom I share a strong kindred connection, yet seldom see.

We met about 12 years ago. She's nearly 12 years my senior - wicked bright and beautiful, an amazingly complex woman with a strong will and a cool 8 year old.

Anyway, life seems to be going quite well for her; she's starting her own business (an organic foods grocery and tea emporium) and has her house almost paid off. Her relationship with her daughter is awesome - she's a wonderful mother who inspires a lot of confidence and curiosity in her child. And despite being a single mom, she works her butt off and makes things work, and well.

Thing is, she chooses the lowest life forms imaginable to couple with, hence her divorce from the father of her cool kid. This seems to be a lifelong trend - her attraction to losers. I just don't get it. I mean, I'm bright enough to know what drives women and men to pick lousy, suck-ass partners. Low self esteem, patterns learned in childhood, inexperience, etc...there's a pathology at work. I have heard from a lot of other women, who have also had to witness their girlfriends battling it out with a plethora of bad choices.

Now she's involved with some wingnut fundamentalist who constantly fights with her on political and social issues, and undermines her efforts at every opportunity.

She openly discusses their differences with me, and says she's not sure why she stays with him. Part of it relates back to her wanting a solid guy who is dependable, someone who provides a decent male role model for her child. However, is this good enough reason to stay with someone who is incompatible? She already has had to limit his rhetoric around her daughter, for fear his "values" will be passed on.

Another issue is where she lives: in the middle of the Bible Belt. Having lived there, I know how tough it is to find a person interesting enough to warrant warming your bed. Most of the people in the area are carbon copy Christians. Still, I think her choices could be improved upon if she raised her standards, which would mean some working on a little thing called self-esteem.

Anyway, this is bugging me immensely. Her argument is very male-negative in that she believes all men are pretty much alike. Given her choices, I can see how she formed that stereotype, but it's a little like self-fulfilling prophesy. Since I have never been in a long term relationship with a woman, I can't say whether or not women are any better in terms of honesty, respect, and loyalty. I know I have not been with one guy who hasn't lied to me about sex and/or other women. You'd think I'd be jaded, but no. I just am ignorantly blissful in believing that women lie, too. Is that bliss? Hah. I am jaded.

So what gives, men and women bloggers? What are your thoughts on why good women/men love losers?


Friday, October 08, 2004

Human gentrification

Is it me, or did anyone watch Extreme Makeover last night and think that the punk girl's original look surpassed her made over look?! Her sense of self was completely eradicated.

I've been thinking a lot about the trend to recreate the body. There's much to be discussed, mainly body image, medical technology, religious ethics (Shouldn't people who believe in God feel like changing their appearance is an insult to their creator?), man's quest for immortality, etc..etc.

I think it's interesting that the show originally started out with people who have appearance issues that are hard to argue. It wasn't simple, "I wish my boobs were perkier...," these participants had scars, sun damage, poor dental health, etc. Despite your opinion about the plastic surgery biz, you ended up feeling that the doctors were doing these poor souls a favor. Of course, the participants doted on the doctors as though they were demi-gods. It was a good day for everyone involved.

Now, however, I am wondering what direction the show is gradually moving in. The participants are less "scarred" than "unconventional." Such is the case with last night's gal. She wasn't disfigured by accident or birth. She just looked like an eccentric punk.

And what's with the commercials for plastic surgeons and clinics?! Weird.

All arguments about appearance aside, what irritated me even more about the way the punk was received, was the message the show gave its audience: If you choose to look different, or unconventional, it's because you have low self esteem and secretly want to look like other conventionally pretty girls.

While I don't argue that this is never the case, it certainly isn't a statement that rings true for everyone. Some of the most confident, inspiring people I know look quite unconventional. It's not because they aren't beautiful in their own right (whatever that means), it's simply that they don't follow a conventional standard. They don't buy the brands we're supposed to buy. They don't wear their hair in any particular fashion. They just don't think about appearance with the same level of importance.

I find it really sad that we're such a wealthy nation, we can put so much time, money, and energy into creating these beauty standards that mean nothing except to the people who make money selling them.


Thursday, October 07, 2004

Kim is a STAR!

I am too flattered. Kim at Kim Procrastinates wrote me a really cool blues song. What a wonderful gift from such a talented gal. Thanks Kim!

Jane Crow's Blues:

Feminist pagan woman
you make us smile
your hubby is cute and
you've sometimes been wild

we like to read your blog
you remind us to be
environmentally thoughtful
keep wild animals free

you've got your own business
you work really hard
remember to try to
xerox body parts

Crow with glossy blue feathers
and a pointy orange beak
knows how to fly
all the way to the moon....

feminist pagan woman
you're really so fun
when you build your tiny house
try skylights for sun....

Kaw OCT '04

© Kim Wells

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Missing Aboriginal Women - Canada's Shame

I have been reading a lot about the poor track record Canada has for solving the unnerving number of missing persons cases in the aboriginal communities. It is disheartening and really says something about how little attention crime against poor and disenfranchised communities is given.

According to Amnesty International - who recently castigated Canada for its alarm record - at least 500 native women have been murdered or have vanished in the past 30 years.

And on CNEWS today...

"As researchers prepare to write their findings after six months touring the country talking to victims' families, police, and aboriginal leaders, secretary general Alex Neve says they are dealing with a human rights issue that requires immediate attention from politicians, police and justice officials.

"It has become very clear right across the country the degree to which sexism and racism . . . are very much what is putting aboriginal women at risk," Neve told a news conference.

"It puts them at risk of being targeted for attack and violence in the first place and the racism and discrimination further kicks in a double hit because it very much flavours the degree to which the police and justice systems take the case seriously." (read more...)

In addition to the news release, I recently happened across this site, dedicated to those missing women. Very sad and sobering! It's time for Canada, a nation who toots its own horn on its positive aboriginal relations, to back it up and start giving these poor women the justice they deserve.

Busy Blogger

Sorry I have been so lax here, but I have been swamped in a number of weekend projects, plus I have started yet another blog. No, I am not a glutton for more writing venues - I actually wanted to start a blog exclusively dedicated to writing/news about the wild animal trade. Ever since I became familiar with the horrors of the wild animal trade, I have been closely following related news, legislation, etc. and thought it would be a good idea to follow these issues in a blog. For those interested, you can catch these updates at:

No Wild Pets!

In the meantime, I have something on my mind which I will likely blog about later this afternoon.


Friday, October 01, 2004

Too rich not to share

This is just sad...."That's not the way ya cook that thar chicken, pa!"

Family dinner escalates into shootout

I find it amusing that their names are Harley Lee and Jackie Lee.

Me Me Me

It's my 31st brithday. Feel free to shower me in gifts and praises. Hah.

I think I am going to make myself a good mix of music to celebrate - at work. :-(

jane, birthday dish