June 30, 2005

Hot Girl-on-Girl Sleuth Action!

The battle between tomboy Trixie Belden and titian-haired Nancy Drew is ON:

Why would the great Nancy Drew come to Sleepyside to work on a mystery? Oh, I suppose the location of a mystery wouldn't much matter to the daughter of a former prosecutor who is now flush with income from his world-renowned private practice. I often have to work within a pretty tight radius, unless Honey Wheeler's father tosses me a trip as a crumb in return for hauling around his emotional cripple of a daughter. In contrast, I'm sure your father was happy to send along your pals Bess and George, along with a generous per diem to cover the food needed to enable Bess's grotesque eating disorder.
Nancy ain't trying to hear that, see?
Trixie, as I read your letter (which fairly reeked of your Crabapple Farm upbringing, if you don't mind my saying so) with cool detachment this morning, I couldn't help but feel a pang of sympathy. It seems like you have a lot of issues--hardly surprising for a girl with only $59.72 in her "college fund" (does your father really work at a bank? Just curious).
Will George Fayne settle it all with a mud-wrestling match between the two? If she doesn't, I'm sure it won't be for lack of trying.
Posted by Ilyka at 08:27 PM | Comments (8)

I'm Talking to YOU

But I'll put it here just in case it ever comes up again with anyone else, which I hope fervently it does not, because believe it or not I do not enjoy being an asshole:

If I am on a mailing list for Thing A, and you send me an email about Thing B, and Thing A and Thing B are wholly unrelated, yet you use Thing A to retrieve my email address in order to email me about Thing B, and you're already aware--or should be--that I am against your stance on Thing B with every fiber of my being, but you click "Send" anyway, you are forever after one foul, corn-speckled shitstain of a human being in these parts.

It's called spam. I don't want any.

Meryl Yourish has often expressed a wish for anti-Semites to just die already. I'm on board with that.

I'm also on board with this wish: Wifebeaters and your apologists?--Die.

It isn't nice of me. It certainly isn't Christian of me. But if I have to argue with the Lord Himself about it, it also isn't going to change. Ever. Accept it, or get lost.

But first, have some email. Because one good turn deserves another.

(For the pathologically curious, the full text of the email is below the fold. I have added emphasis where I felt it appropriate. Hmm, appropriate: Now what does that word remind me of? Oh, right: How appropriate it isn't to send unsolicited email.)

Return-path: TWSchuett@peoplepc.com
Envelope-to: ilyka@ilyka.mu.nu
Delivery-date: Wed, 29 Jun 2005 17:49:30 -0500
From: TWSchuett@peoplepc.com
To: ilyka@ilyka.mu.nu
Subject: Children and the elderly at risk from VAWA 2005
Date: Wed, 29 Jun 2005 15:21:32 -0700

I am a blogger, an activist for unserved victims of domestic violence since 1999, and someone with 20 years’ experience working in, around, and with social services and private charities. I know how these programs work, and what makes for good and bad programs.

Without doubt, the 4000+ agencies and services funded and supported by the Violence Against Women Act of 1994, are among the worst programs I have seen. They do not serve their communities with any practical service, and they mislead the general public as to the need for and workings of their programs. These agencies are in a constant state of crisis, due to poor financial and other management, and often have adversarial relationships with other community services and law enforcement.

While it is generally believed these programs provide services for all women suffering abuse, in fact the women accepted in these programs are chosen by arbitrary rules which exclude many seeking help. Women who have jobs, women with male children over the age of 12, and women who wish to address their problem while remaining in their marriage are among those who are denied services, as are abusive women, who are generally claimed not to exist in significant enough numbers to consider.

Despite the fact of this severely limited client base, shelters are always at or near capacity due to the fact that these programs define domestic violence in such broad terms as to cover nearly every kind of negative exchange between couples. Staff and volunteers are trained to encourage women from the initial contact to believe they are in a serious, dangerous situation which can only be helped by the shelter. Often shelter personnel will coerce and threaten women looking for assistance if they appear hesitant.

Those women who accept aid are presented with a “solution” that requires divorce, and immediate application for various welfare programs. Clients and their children are indoctrinated with feminist ideology, which places blame for the problem entirely on patriarchal men, and presumes women are always victims in need of outside guidance.

While it should be obvious this approach cannot address the many facets of the actual problem, any other way of addressing the problem has been rejected by these agencies, who actively prevent research and development, as well as any suggestion of relaxing their rigid standards of who is “deserving.” Domestic violence services are unique among the variety of agencies serving the community in that they have made no effort to change their approach in thirty years.

VAWA has exacerbated this problem of stagnation, and 10 years out, there is no evidence that women in actual situations of domestic abuse are any better off than before. So-called “batterer treatment “ programs, which are also based on feminist ideology and funded by VAWA, have also been shown to be of dubious value. VAWA sponsored programs are not expected to comply with the same standards of accountability and transparency as applied to other agencies, which makes actual analysis difficult, but the simple fact of these programs being mandated by the government at all is telling.

Healthy, successful social programs do not require federal assistance, as they are willingly supported by the communities they serve.

VAWA is due to be reauthorized, and legislation has been introduced in both houses of Congress to that end. VAWA 2005 expands the scope and reach of these agencies into the areas of elder and child abuse, which could have disastrous implications for existing programs. Agencies which serve children and the elderly have historically been free of the gender bias and political agenda which characterize the women’s shelters and batterer programs. Applying feminist ideology to these programs could put many children and elderly people at risk, considering the known performance of past and current VAWA programs.

It is unknown at this time how VAWA’s advocates would expect to implement their agenda in their new arena, but the prospect is frightening.

The feminist political machine is working overtime to push their legislation through Congress. Already, the Senate has stacked its July 19 hearings with pro-VAWA supporters, who no doubt will provide the Judiciary Committee with the same unsupportable advocacy research, and the blame-and-shame techniques they use on the general public.

The politically-connected groups you’d expect to be right out front, fighting this threat, are demoralized. The previous VAWAs in 1994 and 2000 sailed through without a hitch, and they expect more of the same this time.

This time there is far more at stake.

We cannot allow our elders and children to become part of the social engineering experiment that has been sanctioned for the past ten years, with adult women and men as the guinea pigs. This is not the same old VAWA that was easy enough to ignore as long as you didn’t know anyone directly affected.

It is time for the bloggers to speak out, and create a mass of public opinion that cannot be ignored or explained away. We are not afraid of the feminists, because we know how few of them there are. We know their only concern is in keeping the funding, and their jobs, because they are unemployable anywhere else. We know there are honest, concerned legislators that are only waiting for permission to send these ugly, divisive, programs back to the private sector where they belong, and can die a natural death without the artificial support of your tax dollars.

To track the current status of VAWA, go to http://thomas.loc.gov/ and enter the bill number.

-- Senate bill: S. 1197
-- House of Representatives bill: H.R. 2876

Trudy W. Schuett

P.O. Box 1252

Yuma AZ 85366

Posted by Ilyka at 01:56 AM | Comments (4)

June 29, 2005

Gag Reflex, Triggered

Say, someone call me if ever Danny Ainge goes spastic on Oprah, or his wife gets an official church handler to mind her manners for her, or Danny's accountant starts muttering something about "dead agenting" that guy at the IRS, or Dan and the missus lock one of the kids in a hotel room for weeks. I would like to know about any of that.

Ditto Steve Young.

Yeah, no reason.

Posted by Ilyka at 11:23 PM | Comments (11)

I'm Sorry

That's all. Just . . . very, very sorry. Because it sucks.

Posted by Ilyka at 01:12 PM

I Scored 75 out of 100

But shut up. I can quit anytime I want to.

Posted by Ilyka at 10:27 AM | Comments (6)

New Expanded International Version

Nice! The old "two cows" joke has been updated:

• You have two cows but you don't know where they are.
• While ambling around, you see a beautiful woman.
• You break for lunch.
• Life is good.

This is my own personal, shamebased version:

• You have two cows.
• They make a real mess of the apartment.
• Your father thinks you should clean up after them better.
• You don't.
• Oh hey! New emails.

Posted by Ilyka at 03:35 AM | Comments (0)

So What Does Smurfette's Pap Smear Look Like?

Answer me that, Dr. Tom Cruise. Hmm?

Posted by Ilyka at 01:01 AM | Comments (1)

June 28, 2005

Party On, Prigs!

Oh would you relax; I am kidding. I just really wanted to use that for the title to this, my humble little reminder that it's Cotillion time again. You may enter the dance via the main ballroom--


Or rest your poor feet a moment on a brocade footstool in one of these cozy, elegant salons--

Maxed-out Mama

Not a Desperate Housewife


Knowledge is Power (er, eventually. Technical difficulties over there at present.)

The more this goes on the more I enjoy the multiple-hosts thing. I like to see what each woman does with it. Creativity abounds.

Posted by Ilyka at 11:02 PM | Comments (6)

Wanna See Something?

Okay, but it's not going to be Peruvian folk art.


(That "wanna see something?" has been bugging me--it was reminding me of something, but I couldn't think what--and I just now figured it out: It's almost, but not quite, what the redhaired girl begins every "It's a Fact!" short with on the old Kids in the Hall: "Wanna know something?" Now I'm wondering if maybe the "Fact" sketches would have been funnier if one of the troupe had just shouted "Wanna see something?" and then run up to the camera to . . . show you some folk art.)

Posted by Ilyka at 10:40 AM | Comments (1)

Ones Who Do

I learned back in the 80s, when "perfect hair" meant mucking around for two hours or more with hot oil treatments, mousse, gel, blowdryers, curling irons, and hairspray, that I was not cut out to be a girly-girl. It's a lot of work, it's really boring to stand there and do it; it's time you could be spending taking a walk or going for a swim; and at the end of it all, what have you got? You ask a guy if he likes your hair, and he says what now?

Come on, all together. I know you know this one:

"It looks fine."

"Fine" is underwhelming payoff for two hours of work if you ask me.

Sure, your girlfriends might notice, but so what? And you never know when one of them is going to be contrary and get a little too honest with you about it:

"Do you think this looks all right--what I did with my hair?"

"Um. Um, it's okay . . . ."

"No, you hate it, I can tell. What's wrong with it? Is it the bangs?"

"No no no, I don't hate it. It's just . . . I dunno, I think I kind of liked it better the way you did it yesterday."

"You mean with the scrunchie and the--"

"Did I say yesterday? I meant last Tuesday."

Good luck recreating whatever the heck it was you did with your hair last Tuesday. And again: For what?

Although if you take great pains with your appearance you'll notice. You might even get a kick out of it, a little mood-booster from knowing you look extra good. Which is great, except for one thing: Tomorrow, you'll just have to get up and do it all over again.

I'm not a girly-girl or a ladies-lady. But I think I might, just might, qualify as this kind of woman:

With the rare exception of those women who are goddess perfect and still manage to handle a career, home and family, I think most women fall into the same category as I do. We are simply the ones who do. We do the best we can to make sure the people we love are well taken care of, regardless of what that entails.

Whether we are married or otherwise have men in our lives, if the water heater goes out, the hamster escapes and gets trapped in a wall or some other day ruining calamity strikes, we are the kind of women who just deal with it rather than have a huge melt-down and call you guys in sobbing hysterics.

Not, you know, that there's anything wrong with sobbing hysterics, um, on occasion. I mean, that's what my friends tell me. I never have that problem, myself.

Posted by Ilyka at 07:38 AM | Comments (2)

To Change Would Mean to Make an Effort

Words mean things. In the comments here, I'm berated for using the b-word, and perhaps rightly so, though I don't think it's a good debate tactic to hone in on one word you dislike to the exclusion of, well, the point.

When you make a habit of focusing on the one bad word to the exclusion of the overall point, you can wind up sounding like the editor-in-chief of The Age, Andrew Jaspan, who was stunned by a man's use of the word "asshole" to describe his kidnappers:

I was, I have to say, shocked by Douglas Wood's use of the asshole word, if I can put it like that, which I just thought was coarse and very ill-thought through and I think demeans the man and is one of the reasons why people are slightly sceptical of his motives and everything else.

The issue really is largely, speaking as I understand it, he was treated well there. He says he was fed every day, and as such to turn around and use that kind of language I think is just insensitive.

(To avoid being insensitive myself to lefties who mayn't want to click the above link to the Herald Sun, fear not: The original audio is right here on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's website; see link under "June 22." Requires RealPlayer, sadly, but I can't help that.)

We're in sorry times if you can't call men "assholes" in even these circumstances:

Wood’s kidnappers kicked him in the head, tied him up blindfolded for 47 days, and murdered two other captives in front of him.
Hmm. No, I'm not seeing how it's Wood who has the sensitivity problem.

Michael Totten blames it on Jaspan's insular environment:

There are concrete steps you can take to avoid becoming like Andrew Jaspan. Get out of the office. Visit a third-world country – Cancun in Mexico doesn’t count. Work on a shrimp boat. Join the military. Become a journalist embedded with the military in a war zone. Become a cop. Go on “ride alongs” with cops – if you’re a writer, as Jaspan is, they will let you. Work in construction for a couple of months. Next time you go to Europe, visit Bosnia instead of France. If you do spend your life in a rarefied office (and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that all by itself) read books written by people who don’t spend their lives in rarefied offices.
I don't think even Totten really expects anyone to practice these suggestions--not when it's so much easier to suggest instead that you merely watch cartoons and eat at Applebee's to clear out some of that rareified air upstairs, while you try to figure out what could possibly be going on in the bovine, yet unfathomable, minds of the pro-war. Seriously: Why go through the hassle of scheduling a ride-along when you could be out eatin' good in the neighborhood?

(Audio link via Tim Blair. New York Times link via my best pal. Luckily for her, I don't think the concerns of sensitive Aussie journalists affect red staters at all--why, I've scarcely read a thing about it 'til now.)

Posted by Ilyka at 04:21 AM | Comments (6)

June 27, 2005

Did I Forget to Mention, Forget to Mention Funky?

Eventually, I will quit giggling. It just won't be anytime soon:

I caught an incredible performance by David Byrne at the Hollywood Bowl in LA tonight. Backed by the Texas-based Tosca Strings. Impassioned, funky, magnificent.



What do I smell? I smell home cookin'!

. . . it's only the funky!

It's only the funky!

Now I used to think this man was funky:

--but clearly, I had no idea the true nature of the funk.

I will find a city, find myself a city to live in--

--but only after I ascertain that it is FUNKY.

Good night.

Okay, okay, okay: I didn't see the show, obviously. Maybe it was really and truly impassioned, funky, and magnificent.

It's just a little bit to me as if Charlotte had written "SLENDER," "BIPEDAL," and "AQUATIC" in the web above Wilbur.

Posted by Ilyka at 11:15 AM | Comments (2)

Suspended Between Nausea and Disgust

Oh, this is special, so special: Another Great Moment in Blogging that I missed while moving.

Tell me why I craved an internet connection so badly while I was without one, because right now I swear I can't remember.

You know, you don't get exclusive rights to the "feminist" label (and all the abuse that comes with it--because let's face it, that's the real perk of it right there), and you don't get to gloat about how yours is the only side that really values women's issues, and you don't get to pat yourselves on the back for blazing the trail for women everywhere (of all nations! Colors! Creeds! Religions! Classes! Backgrounds!), if your reaction to a group of female conservative bloggers getting together to try to move on up this here blog ladder is to regress to eighth-grade bitchiness:

Embrace your prig-hood, ladies. You aren't getting bonus points and spared from being called prigs by me because you express affection for a culture that's long past and no threat to you now.
Embrace your insularity, Amanda.
Bring me the head of whoever said this citizen journaliatizement thing was good.
Word to that! Only progressive women ought to speak their minds, because they're the only women who have minds to speak. The rest of us just have to recite whatever Karl Rove tells us to. And he uses such big words, too! Mean Mr. Rove, mean!

Oh, but he's so cute though.

Leave silly surveys all over the place, m'dears, but y'all never have the story about 3 friends, a chandelier, the local fire department and a couple bottles of Jose Cuervo to gloat over.
Wait, this was directed at Darleen, and as some of you know I'm not always fond of Darleen, so . . .

. . . no, you know something? Whether I like Darleen or agree with what she has to say doesn't enter into it, because as a matter of fact, it's still a dumb, petty, bitchy thing to say. I have a better sex life than you. Ooh, and I'll bet you got breasts sooner and kissed boys before I did and made the cheerleading squad, too. Wanna medal?

I don't care about that shit. Can you write? Can you make me think? Can you make me doubt what I'm sure I know, reexamine questions I've already answered, consider things in a way I hadn't before? Can you make me think? Or do you just really excel at being juvenile? Because I know how to find LiveJournal already.

Not that I enjoy being bitchy or anything, but I took a look at her oh so risque page and, honestly, would you fuck either of these people?
Pardon me, but obviously you do enjoy being bitchy. Oh, I know: Darleen asked for it by linking her photos and her weblog in the first place. (You progressive women, y'all love the "she asked for it" argument, am I right?)

On the other hand, Amanda, you did just exhort an entire group of women, most of whom you don't read and don't know, to "embrace their prig-hood." On the basis of . . . I don't know. Old stereotypes of repressed, religious Republicans mixed with just enough actual examples to pass off as gospel, I guess.

Yes, some conservative women don't see anything to "gloat" about when it comes to sexual promiscuity. Yes, some conservative women like pearls and pumps. Yes, some conservative women do have copies of The Surrendered Wife at home. Yes, some conservative women have the awfully annoying habit of simultaneously reaping the rewards of feminism while denigrating the progressive women who blazed that trail for them in the first damn place. I'll back you up on that last particularly.

And some liberal women do have overgrown armpit hair and do wear no shoes but Birkenstocks and do smell horrid from bathing in environmentally-friendly "natural" products that don't contain any actual "soap" and do view men with suspicion and mistrust, if not actual loathing . . . but it wouldn't be very helpful of me to harp continually on that stereotype, so guess what? I don't.

Oh, I forgot: We're all about feminism until it threatens to include women who don't think like we do, vote like we do, fuck like we do (this is apparently the most important factor when judging women, and I'm right happy I've got women on the left to tell me that)--so to hell with being helpful.

remember those girls in high school who explained those horrid monkey-bites on their necks by saying they were really curling iron burns? Just saying ...
Finally, someone makes an actual high school reference in a thread that was flashing me back to high school anyhow.

Curling irons. Ai.

Then we have the who's-the-biggest-prig contest between Amanda and Darleen. You know--the important shit that women blog about when they're not being oppressed by The Man:

Still, it's the sort of cat-fighting we don't have enough of in the blogosphere, or at least that's what I hear. And maybe it's enough to scare away any other Cotillion members who want to go toe-to-toe with the Panda-bloggers and crew.
I think this is the part where I'm supposed to be all, "Bitch, bring it," but . . . no. I went to high school once, had enough of it that time, and never was much of a fighter even then, either.

It's just depressing, is what it is. This is going "toe-to-toe"--this fucking catfight? Really? You couldn't pick out a post that covered an actual idea or event or issue--no, you had to fling shit at a fanciful introduction to a damn link roundup, because it's totally outside your ken that a woman could vote Republican and have ever smoked a doobie, flashed some skin, listened to jazz, or taken a drink.

Don't kid yourself, Amanda. That isn't "toe-to-toe." It's just plain being a bitch. Which, great, but then cop to that instead of thumping your chest and declaring yourself too intimidating to those weak-kneed conservative cheerleaders..

Now, let me take a moment to reprogram myself to be in harmony with the rest of the world. Let me recite the mantra:

The Democratic Party is the enlightened party, the party of the open-minded and the intellectually curious, the party of the inclusive not the exclusive, the party of the egalitarian not the elite, the party of the underdog not the overlord, the party of . . .

. . . oh yes indeed you are, my widdle snookums! You are all those things and I am so proud of you!

You go right on telling yourselves that. You go right on wondering why women won't vote "in support of their own issues" and wondering why they are so "self-hating" and such "willing participants" in a "fundamentally patriarchal, misogynistic system" and blah-diddy-blah-blah-blah, and please, don't even consider listening to one of us if we should dare depart from our Rovian scripts long enough to suggest, however timidly, that maybe it's actually easier for us to shrug off a Republican guy begging us to "post more photos so I can link you once in awhile," than it is for us to shrug off an entire bitchfest led by the women who claim they're only trying to help us.

You can shove that help right up your asses. You're no sisters of mine.

Posted by Ilyka at 04:54 AM | Comments (23)

Pissy Little Work Post

Move along, now! Nothing to see here but childish, unprofessional, ungrateful biting of the hand that feeds.

Where to start, where to start? Oh, my: So many candidates making me want to set phasers to "KILL" today.

Let's start with physician assistants and nurse practitioners. This doesn't speak well of me, but it's the bald truth and I'm tired of hiding it:

I probably hate you.

I'm sure you're good and thoughtful people with many talents and abilities, the kind of people who give to charity and tell the most marvelous anecdotes at parties . . . I'm sure the problem with me hating you is me, that is, and not you.

But there it is. Odds are real good that I detest you.

Why? Well, because in my experience, you're almost invariably guilty of one or more or even all of the following:

1. Giving me the supervising physician's name in a big slurred rush so that neither I nor any other speaker of English can possibly decipher it.

I know you're in a hurry, but listen: I need that name, see? So slow the fuck down. I'm not so stupid as to ask you to spell it--I know you would never do that and more importantly, I know that when doctors do try to be helpful by spelling the name, they almost always spell it wrong--but, you know, maybe pronouncing it? It would be helpful to me.

2. Interrupting the dictation to confer with other hospital personnel and not putting the fucking phone on hold while you do it.

You know, it's one button. Oddly, all the M.D.'s appear to be capable of locating it and depressing it at appropriate moments. So I have to ask: Why aren't you? Is it something they teach only in medical school?

Yes, I know you need those lab results on that other patient right away, but you'd be pretty pissed off if some dingbat transcriptionist, me for example, started typing them into the present report on another patient, wouldn't you? So help me out here. Put the phone on hold! Help me not be dumb and piss you off.

As for interrupting the dictation to gossip about personal shit, well, an awful lot of you do that, too, which is even worse, and I'm embarrassed to report that a lot of you doing it are women. Quit setting the movement back forty years, bitches, and gossip on your own fucking time.

3. Playing Chinese fire drill with the report sections.

This is a flaw you do share with various M.D.s--but whereas I have some M.D.s who, in the midst of the lung exam, will suddenly inform me that the patient vomited twice last night and once this morning, requiring me to page back up to the history to insert that tidbit there--whereas I have a few scatterbrained doctors who do this occasionally, I have maybe only one or two of you P.A.s and N.P.s who don't do this like, constantly.

And guess what?--Most of the M.D.s who do this warn me first ("oh--note to transcription: Could you go back up to . . . .") or apologize afterwards ("I apologize for that. Back to physical exam . . . .") or thank me for bearing with them or even, believe it or not, all three, warning, apology, and thanks (which isn't necessary--the warning beforehand is really all I need--but it's awfully sweet nonetheless, don't you think?)--but you people? From you I get NOTHING. You're being a pain in my ass and you don't even have the courtesy to warn me that you're about to commence being a pain in my ass. I have to believe you're giving intramuscular injections to your patients sans warning, too. Not even a "this may sting a little" first.

4. Taking three times as long to say half as much.

It's a simple 1-cm laceration repair on an otherwise healthy patient. How is it that nearly every single one of you is able to stretch that out to eight minutes of yak, yak, yakking? Even residents can wrap up a suture repair faster than this. It's embarrassing. Shut up already!

I know I should just be grateful for the sweet, easy lines you give me as you yak, yak, yak about how the patient has no history of recent travel, no polyuria or polydipsia, no hematemesis, melena, or hematochezia--I got macros for all this, I should just shut up and type it in my neato macro shorthand, but fuck! You people are boring the daylights out of me!

And yeah, it's just a thought, but maybe you wouldn't have to rush-and-slur through your attending's name, the lab results, the current medications, the ALLERGIES, or any of the rest of that marginally important stuff, if you just wouldn't take eight minutes to describe a simple laceration repair.

Am I so off base about this? Is it that your attending's a real stickler for detail, a real ballbuster, so to speak? Because I notice your attending can dictate a simple laceration repair on an otherwise healthy patient in under a minute, usually. So I have a feeling I'm missing something here, but I just don't know what.

5. Slanging it up all over the place.

This sucks on accounts for which my company has been instructed not to type slang, which as of this writing is all the accounts I work on regularly.

Holy tele-for-telemetry, non-M.D.-people, but you sure do loves you some slang!

You love crit and lac and vanc and subQ and osmo and segs and you love 'em all way, way, way beyond how much even the most cryptic, shorthand-speaking M.D. loves it.

Three words: Trying too hard. Yeah, yeah, I know you're "inside" a very "exclusive," "elite" industry, one that has its own special language, its own special mystique.

That's nice. Now just say vancomycin like a normal health care provider.

6. Using the transcription as an outlet for your frustrated creative writing career.

All I'm asking for, here, is a little conformity.

If everyone else at your hospital calls that section, "Medical Decision-Making," then how 'bout you say "Medical Decision-Making," instead of "Clinical Decision-Making."

If everyone else at your hospital refers to it as "Medical History," then how 'bout you say "Medical History," instead of "History of Past Health."

If common phrases to describe successful treatment of a patient's hypertensive urgency include:

blood pressure decreased to . . . .

the patient's hypertension resolved following administration of clonidine, down to . . .

after Lopressor, the patient's blood pressure came down nicely to . . . .

patient's hypertension abated on its own . . . .

we were able to reduce his initial blood pressure to . . . .

her hypertension was alleviated with . . . .

. . . then why do some of you have to do dumb shit like say "his hypertension resigned down to 146/77 at the time of discharge?"

Resigned? Yes, okay, I can kind of see how you might think that almost works but--no. No, I lied. I can't see it. What I see in my mind's eye when you say it resigned is a cardiac monitor flashing "I QUIT" or even "TAKE THIS JOB AND SHOVE IT" where the blood pressure numbers should be.

I know it would be totally hampering your individuality and repressing your True Self to ask that you just say "decreased" when you mean "decreased" and, frankly, I don't care about your individuality nearly as much as I care about my own, and you're driving my individuality completely insane with this "resigned" shit, so KNOCK IT OFF. Decreased. The blood pressure decreased! Or "came down nicely." I admit I'm kind of fond of that one, too.


Don't mind me. It's just one of those days.

Posted by Ilyka at 01:14 AM | Comments (1)

June 25, 2005

Feed the World II

But this time, do it right. Do it with heart. Do it with Bono's Third World Products.

That's why, in times of strife, when the developed nations of the world turn a blind eye to your hardships, let one word ring clarion like a bullet in the blue sky: BONO.
Act now, Third-Worlders--take advantage of these savings today.
Posted by Ilyka at 11:05 PM | Comments (3)

Maybe Now I Will Watch That Movie All the Way Through

Raising Arizona: Okay, no, probably not. I'll just enjoy the version below "with Glen as the government and H.I. as the typical American citizen:"

you know you have to click the pretty picture, right?

I think I mentioned it once, but I ain't too fond of that movie. Dang if it don't fit the Kelo decision like lubed condom on a horny sailor, though, I tell you what.

Posted by Ilyka at 10:09 AM | Comments (5)

June 24, 2005

Coming in at #19 on the List of 'Ways You'd Prefer Not to Start Your Workday'

Pressing "play" on the footpedal, and hearing:

CHIEF COMPLAINT: Foreign body in rectum.

Somewhere up in the top 10, I imagine, is "being the person responsible for removing foreign body from rectum."

Oh, but I'm dying to tell you what the object is. We could play 20 questions from now 'til Armageddon, and you'd never guess it. Alas, I am not dying to lose my job and I'm afraid this object is sufficiently unusual that there's a real risk to patient confidentiality here.

I will say this: When confronted with a product label stating "WARNING: Contents under pressure," it simply does not occur to me to wonder, "Gee, would this fit inside my bottom? Let's find out."

This world and its people--I'll never understand it.

Posted by Ilyka at 01:03 AM | Comments (10)

June 23, 2005

And Then Some Days All You Want to Do Is Sit Around Reading Dumb Celebrity Gossip

I know, I shouldn't do it, and I'm sorry. That's not an apology to you, by the way: That's an apology to me.

Somehow or other I got hooked on all the delicious Scientology-bashing going on in the way-too-generous Defamer coverage of the whole Tom Cruise/Katie Holmes thing. I say thing because you can't possibly call it an engagement, not without inviting me to laugh at you. Those two are "enamored" of each other like I'm anorexic.

Tom, let me give you the opposite advice from that which Cartman once gave his dog: Be gay! Just be gay already. There. Was that so hard? Be gay so I don't have to read about you anymore. Thanks.

As for Scientology, how does it continue when Harlan Ellison's already explained its humble origins?

Ellison: Scientology is bullshit! Man, I was there the night L. Ron Hubbard invented it, for chrissakes!

I was sitting in a room with L. Ron Hubbard and a bunch of other science fiction writers. L. Ron Hubbard was famous among science fiction writers because he was the first one to have an electric typewriter.

. . .

We were sitting around one night. ... who else was there? Alfred Bester, and Cyril Kornbluth, and Lester Del Rey, and Ron Hubbard, who was making a penny a word, and had been for years. And he said "This bullshit's got to stop!" He says, "I gotta get money." He says, "I want to get rich".

Interviewer: He is also supposed to have said on that same night: "The question is not how to make a million dollars, but how to keep it."

Ellison: Right. And somebody said, "why don't you invent a new religion? They're always big." We were clowning! You know, "Become Elmer Gantry! You'll make a fortune!" He says, "I'm going to do it." Sat down, stole a little bit from Freud, stole a little bit from Jung, a little bit from Alder, a little bit of encounter therapy, pre-Janov Primal Screaming, took all that bullshit, threw it all together, invented a few new words, because he was a science fiction writer, you know, "engrams" and "regression", all that bullshit. And then he conned John Campbell, who was crazy as a thousand battlefields. I mean, he believed any goddamned thing. He really believed blacks were inferior. I mean he really believed that. He was also very nervous when I was in his office because I was a Jew. You know, he was afraid maybe I would spring horns or something.

. . .

So science fiction fans picked it up, they began proselytizing, he started making money, when he had made enough money he was able to spread out a little more, then he got more cuckoos, you know, pre-Charlie Manson assholes that had no place else to go, and he began talking to these loons as if "Dianetics" really meant something. Then he wanted to get tax-exempt status, so he called it "The Church of Scientology".

Now, they've gotten so big that they own property all over the country, and it is impossible to stop it. They infiltrated the FBI, they infiltrated the tax department, ... the funny thing is, Ron Hubbard and I still occasionally communicate with each other. Every once in a while, a couple or three times a year, we exchange letters. And I write to him, you know, and I say, "Hey Ron, when is this bullshit going to cease? These cuckoos are really driving me crazy! They come around the house with pamphlets!" And he writes me back, and he says, "It's the good work, it's the good work."

It's all very funny stuff. He was going to write a new story for me for the last "Dangerous Visions", but I guess he got too busy counting his money. I don't know.

(Note to the skeptics: Yeah, it's taken from a usenet posting, but it's also referenced [albeit with dead link] on Ellison's homepage, which lends credibility. Plus, doesn't it just sound like him? Come on, it totally sounds like Harlan Ellison. I, for one, believe.)

Friend of L. Ron or no, I used to wonder how Ellison could just laugh off a pseudoreligion that commits horrors like this, but I think this bit--

then he got more cuckoos, you know, pre-Charlie Manson assholes that had no place else to go
--serves notice that in the battle between Ellison's compassion for the downtrodden and his disgust for the idiotic, disgust won out.

Disgust is certainly closer to what I'm feeling now, after wasting all that time reading about Tom Cruise. But there, maybe I can just blame it all on science.

UPDATE: My work is complete.

'PRE-CLEAR' UPDATE: "No, you puss-bag. It's H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds, and it wouldn't kill you to put his f--king name on it." (Much love and thanks to Ith, Fabulous Sci-Con Babe for the New Millenium, for that link.) Bits like this are why I would do Harlan even if he were 91--he's profane, sure, but he is profanely awesome, and he has a habit of saying out loud just what you were thinking anyway, and he tells stories like you only wish he could.

Which reminds me, buy his books. Make Harlan happy, and yourself too. That retrospective on the Amazon page is a helluva deal for $16.47 new, and it'll keep you entertained for weeks. Not a bad place to start acquainting yourself with a gifted writer.

Posted by Ilyka at 01:14 AM | Comments (16)

June 22, 2005

It Is the Herpes

The hand herpes only! Is no from sex!

I love this visit-to-the-doctor anecdote. Helen compares her MD to the bumblebee-suit-wearing Hispanic on The Simpsons, but all I could think of was Dr. Nick Rivera.

"Hi, everybody!"

"Hi, Dr. Nick!"

I hope she's in better hands than that.

Posted by Ilyka at 08:27 PM | Comments (4)

The Rabbi Versus the Pope

Meryl, I think, will like this one--a joke about Jews vs. Catholics from Outside the Blogway. (Read the blog title carefully, Meryl--this is not that other, crappy blog with the similar name. You know, the one authored by Mr. Monotony?)

Found this via MaxedOutMama. That reminds me: I mayn't have the most traffic going to share with people, but if you want a link from me regardless?--Telling me something like this--

You are the funniest person I have read in a long, long time.
--would not exactly hurt your chances, okay? Flattery gets you everywhere around here.

(Of course, I did lift the "Engrish" meme from Jim, so technically, I suppose he's the funniest. No, the hell with that--he'll have to fight me for the title.)

Posted by Ilyka at 06:34 AM | Comments (3)

June 21, 2005

Get Your Lazy Bum off the Treadmill and Run, Punk

That's who's on THE LIST today: The punk kid who was sitting on one of the treadmills in the workout room so he could watch Nebraska play Arizona State in the college world series. Look, when even I can bother getting my fat rear up on the other treadmill to try to slim down, I sort of lose any sympathy I might otherwise have for your no-cable-affordin', too-cheap-to-go-to-a-damn-sports-bar, lazy ass.

I never say anything to these people, but then I'm always left wishing I had.

I'm also left seething at those self-help books, you know the ones, where they tell you just not to let stuff like that bother you--oh, excuse me: not to let stuff like that "sidetrack you from your goal of attaining inner peace." I've decided books like that are written by people who want the jerks of the world to conquer and have free reign. Maybe human beings weren't meant to maintain inner peace 24/7. Maybe sometimes we're supposed to fight back a little.

Don't even get me started on how funny I find the phrase, "college world series." Crikey, I didn't even know they had one. My dad's a big Yankees fan so I'm marginally one myself out of respect for him, but that's the extent to which I pay any attention to baseball. It'll be a cold day in hell before I can bring myself to care about college baseball.

But there's always a bright side: This guy was a Nebraska fan.

ASU beat them in extra innings.

Suck on that, ya lazy punk kid.

Posted by Ilyka at 11:47 PM | Comments (4)

June 19, 2005

Conversations with my Father

Setting: I'm seven years old and doing this thing that I do where my dad pulls the couch out from the wall a foot or so and I get up on the back of it and pretend I'm walking the balance beam.

My mom: Ilyka, get down from there! You're going to fall and crack your head open doing that!

Me: I will not! I'm being careful!

My dad: She's fine. I'll keep an eye on her.

My mom: Don't contradict me in front of the children.

My dad: I'm not contradicting you. Cripes! I said I'll keep an eye on her. Could you relax?

My mom: Fine. When she falls and breaks her legs, you'll be the one driving her to the hospital. NOT ME.

My dad, to me: You hear that? If you feel like you're gonna fall, try to fall towards the couch. Don't fall towards the wall. I'm not missing the game to take you to the #$@^ hospital.

Me: I won't fall.

My dad: Yeah--did you hear what I said? AIM FOR THE COUCH.

Me: I heard you!

Me: . . . but I'm not gonna fall.


Setting: Driving my recently-deceased grandfather's car home to Arlington, Texas, from Middletown, New York, my father and I find not one hotel vacancy in the entire state of Pennsylvania, and we damn near don't find one hotel vacancy in the entire state of Virginia . . . until, at 2:30 a.m., we finally find a hotel in downtown Roanoke that could politely be said to "have seen better days" and could rudely (but more accurately) be said to "stink of mold."

Me, opening door to room: Uh, wow. This is really craptacular.

My dad: It's also $230 a night.

Me: For each room?

My dad: $230 a night each. Too bad you're not a boy.

Me: That's highway robbery. This place is a pit.

My dad: Listen: For $230 a night, you love this hotel room.


My dad: Right. See you in the morning.


Setting: I am arguing with my father about a female relative's habit of simultaneously giving me money, then criticizing me to death.

Me: I'm sorry I said mean things to you about her.

My dad: Eh, it's all right.

Me: But I'm not cashing that check. She thinks she can pay people to let her be rude to them and I don't play that.

My dad: Oh, cash the check. What are you, stupid? Look: Someone sends me money, they can insult me all they want. It's Italian rules: You do a favor for me, I do a favor for you.

Me: It's doing her a favor to let her point out my every flaw?

My dad: Who knows? That's not the point. Look, I'd be suggesting new flaws for her, is what I'm saying. Just give me the money.

Me: "Thank you for your generous donation. Incidentally, have you ever noticed how clumsy and awkward I am?"

My dad: Now you're thinking.


Setting: My father and I are loading the moving truck at my old Dallas apartment.

My dad: Two vacuums? Whaddya need two vacuums for? Wait . . . three vacuums? Is this a hobby for you?

Me: It's only two vacuums. That one's a carpet cleaner.

My dad: But this carpet is filthy! It's embarrassing. I can't believe my daughter lives this way. Three vacuums, you'd think you could plug in ONE of them sometime.

Me: I have good intentions.

My dad: That's what the road to hell is paved with.

Me: If I'm going to hell, it's going to be for something more serious than not vacuuming.

My dad: I don't wanna hear about it.

Me: No. You don't.


Setting: Again, we're driving home a car after a funeral! This time it's my (still living) grandmother's car and we're going from the Salt Lake area of Utah back to Dallas. This time, we already have a hotel room reserved in Pueblo, Colorado, but what we don't count on is hitting 6 hours of steady snowfall, starting in Vail.

My dad: I can't see the road.

Me: You're fine. I can see the edge on my side. You're in the lane.

Me: . . . I think.

My dad: How many hours has it been?

Me: I think two.

My dad: I can't stand this. This is the sort of driving your mother should be doing. She's used to this crap. I'm not.

Me: You're doing fine.

My dad: #*%$! Did you see that guy?--He hadda be doing 70, at least.

Me: Native. Probably thinks we're pathetic.

My dad: Better pathetic and alive than reckless and dead.

(Here I go silent to try to get in a rosary. I figure we need all the help we can get.)

My dad: Could you talk to me? It keeps me alert.

Me: This BLIZZARD isn't keeping you alert?

My dad: I mean I need the reassurance that I'm not about to pitch us off the mountain.

Me: Sorry. I was trying to say the rosary.

My dad: When the Virgin Mary offers to pilot this car through the snow in the middle of the night, THEN you can talk to her. Right now you talk to me.


Setting: I'm over at my parents for Sunday dinner, and they have the missionaries--the Mormon missionaries--over. Mormon missionaries depend on other Mormons for meals, is how it works. Let's not get into that now; the point is, it's me (the apostate ex-Mormon), my father (a Mormon convert), my mother (Mormon from birth), and two eager-to-spread-the-gospel young missionaries.

My dad, winding up a discussion about his conversion to Mormonism: I'll tell you what I do miss sometimes, though. I miss having a beer.

My mom: [shoots my dad Look of Death, laughs awkwardly to cover for it]

My mom: George . . . .

My dad: What? It's the truth. I do, I miss having a beer sometimes. On a hot day, a nice cold beer--it just tastes really good.

Missionaries: [grinning their eager-to-spread-the-gospel little ASSES off.]

My mom: You shouldn't say--

My dad, to missionaries: A lot of people, they drink beer for all the wrong reasons. Because their buddies drink it. Or they just want to get drunk. But I really liked the taste of beer. That's what I miss. The taste. Oh, don't get me wrong--I did a lot of drinking in college--

Missionary Uno: Uh, Brother _____, did . . . didn't you say you went to BYU?

Missionary Dos: [dispenses with the grinning and moves up to outright giggling.]

My dad: Oh, yeah! You know, they really didn't have much of a football team back then. Not like now. You guys ever wanna watch a BYU game, just give us a call. We got the Dish, you know. I get all the games now.

My mom, icily: I think Brother Missionary Uno was trying to express his disappointment at learning that you were drinking beer at Brigham Young University.

My dad: And you weren't?

My mom: George?

My dad: What?



Happy Father's Day to my dad, he of the many sarcasms.

Now you know where I get it.

Posted by Ilyka at 12:12 PM | Comments (6)

An Idle Question Which May or May Not Be Intended to Stir up Trouble

Hey, remember the Pajamas Media launch announcement? I know: I've been trying to erase it from my memory, too. I mean, blech: Here we take the two chief advantages of blogging--namely, the freedom of (a) not having to earn a living by our writing and (b) not having to run our dreck past an editorial board--and what do we do? Search for a nifty new way to screw all that up. Oh, but the money! Yeah, yeah, the money. Can't I just sell Avon or something?

But whatever; some guys are into the idea. And I do mean guys, because this is what I'm wondering: Is there even one woman on that editorial board, or is this--

An editorial board consisting of Glenn Reynolds, PowerLine, Lawrence Kudlow, Hugh Hewitt, Marc Cooper, Wretchard of the Belmont Club and Tim Blair, as well as the founders, is already in place with other bloggers in many countries having signed on as contributors.
--still the way things stand?

Does anyone care? How many integers between 1 and 10 do you think I can recite before someone leaves me a comment to the effect that "I thought you, as a woman on the right, of all people, would understand that obviously Pajamas Media can countenance no such reprehensible concept as affirmative action?"

Go on, pick an integer! Because, personally, I'm betting on 3. Two, if Richard Bennett shows up.

I mean, I don't know, I'm just wondering: Am I the only person who reads that list and thinks "Wow, look, it's a bunch of middle-aged white guys?" Because listen, middle-aged white guys, nothing against y'all, but you do realize: Those of us who are NOT middle-aged white guys have been listening to middle-aged white guys in positions of authority for, gosh, all our lives? It's getting a little old. If you're not a middle-aged white guy, it's a little like living in a world where Ed Sullivan and Walter Cronkite never go off the air. Your names change, your faces change, occasionally your thoughts even change, but the origin remains the same.

Can we just knock it off for a minute and quit pretending backgrounds don't matter? Backgrounds matter. We like to tout the chief virtue of America, the American dream that you can come from any background and still be somebody, and in that respect I'm the loudest cheerleader of them all. This IS what's great about the United States. I'll back that up against anybody, 'specially if they're French.

That said, backgrounds matter. You do not look at life the same way I do, middle-aged white guys, anymore than you look at life the same way Solomon does, or the same way Erica does, or the same way Meryl does. You don't, not because you're bad or sexist or racist or hegemonist or fascist or I don't even know what the epithet du jour is--but none of them are the reason.

You don't look at life the same way because you can't, anymore than you can know what it's like to run on one leg. You can imagine, of course, but that only gets you so far. Neither can I look at life the same way you do. I know what it's like to have a dad, for example, but I don't know, will never know, can never know, what it's like to be a son to a dad. I am always and forever a daughter.

I just know I'm going to get someone completely missing the point on this--saying, for example, that the ideals of freedom and democracy are universal. Yes, certainly, and points to you, Enlightenment Man, for recognizing the obvious, but you are being all left-brained about this at a time when I want you to be right-brained for a minute. Look: It reassures people to see people like themselves. That's all I'm saying.

And I'm not buying any arguments to the effect that "Well, we couldn't find any talented black writers" or "Gee, no women bloggers expressed an interest." Well, no: When you keep the planning of a venture within your own intimate buddy circle composed of guys just like you, I guess that lessens the odds that someone of a different background will just magically show up to diversify the whole endeavor.

Would it kill you to get a non-middle-aged white guy, is I guess what I'm asking, and also: Do you really, honestly not understand that having such a homogenous background makes a difference in how people perceive and respond to you? Because if you claim that, then you're asking me to believe that you're just that ignorant, and based on what I've read by most of you, I don't think you guys on the Pajamas Media editorial board are that ignorant.

Exclusive, maybe. Cronyistic, perhaps. But not ignorant.

Posted by Ilyka at 11:50 AM | Comments (9)

Careful with that F-word


“Religious fascism.”

One of the mantras you hear invoked from time to time is “words mean something.” But they obviously don’t. When intelligent men can make such a specious observation you realize that “fascism” has ceased to mean anything at all, and exists now as an all-purpose slur, a tar-soaked brush to slap on anything you don’t like.

echoing Orwell,

The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies "something not desirable."
The Orwell is more concise, but then, he was kind of a fiend for brevity like that. Anyway, I like the "tar-soaked brush" bit in the Lileks version.

Nothing ever really changes. Nothing.

Something about the best writing telling you what you already know comes to mind here, too. (Yes, yes, I know in the original quote the subject is "books," not "writing," but--look, just go bury your head in Canterbury Tales until you calm down a little, you sorry lit geek. I am trying to paraphrase here; do you mind?)

It's a little depressing if you think about it--50, no, 60 years later, and "fascist" still means "something not desirable" to more people than not.

I don't know how you fix that, either, except maybe by laughing loud and long at every frenzied hyperbolist who tries to fling the "fascist" label at you with his, uh, tar-soaked brush.

Works for me, anyway.

Posted by Ilyka at 02:03 AM | Comments (5)

June 18, 2005

Things I Missed While Away

Besides Margi coming up preggers . . . an awful lot.

First of all, the continued rise of the Cotillion. I'm indebted to Beth, Jody, Janette, the American Housewife (and how much do I love that blog design? Ooh!), and Denita TwoDragons for totally covering for me during the move and linking my dumb stuff even though I wasn't available to submit it. It is not every woman who will do that for you, but then, these women, they are not every woman. Their milkshakes, they are better than yours. (And now they're all coming to kill me for saying that.)

Second of all, the Michael Jackson verdict. Well, I didn't really miss it, because I heard it on the radio (HOT 103!), but I missed whatever discussion there was on the internet about it, and THANK HEAVENS FOR THAT, and may I just echo Dr. Alice here?

Hopefully I'll never have to hear anything about this guy again.

Oh but that reminds me . . . can I interrupt this for a short Hot 103 story?

Hot 103 is this sort of hip-hop station and they take a lot of requests, and they tend to get a goodly number of teenage girl callers, and the teenage girl callers, they get a little nervous about being On The Radio. (They should call Michael Savage some time; that'd cure 'em. Did I ever tell you about the time I called Michael Savage? No? Well, that has to wait; this is the Hot 103 call-in story, not the I-can't-believe-Ilyka-called-Michael-Savage story--although come to think of it, I can't really believe it either.)

Anyway. So the boyfriend and I are in the car listening shortly after I get here one night (and the poor boyfriend, he neither hips nor hops, but he was a good sport about the Hot 103; also, it IS my car) and the first request call of the hour, the DJ asks for the girl's name, you know how they do.

"What's your name, baby?"

And the girl goes "Uhhhhh . . ." but for like twenty seconds, which is a long, long time on the radio. And finally she comes up with it: "Chrissy!"

I got a bad feeling Chrissy struggles on those exams where you get extra credit just for writing your name in the upper right-hand corner, you know?

So a couple calls later, different girl, this one knows her name even, and the DJ does the standard thing before ending the call: "What station keeps you rockin'?"

And this girl, sounding completely terrified, cries, "What?!?"

I mean, it was an appropriate response if, say, the DJ had just said, "You know, your mom died today." It was not an appropriate response to "What station keeps you rockin'?"

Okay, maybe you had to hear it, but the boyfriend and I riffed on that one for hours:

"Station? I'm calling to order a pizza!"

"What?! Rocks? In my radio? Where?!?"

In fact we're still running with this, sadly. Today I called him and I had him on the speaker phone, so he didn't quite hear me when he picked up and I panicked, thinking he wouldn't hear me at all and would hang up, so I quickly snatched up the handset and shouted, "What?!?"

It turns out to be a really good all-purpose expression, is all I'm saying. He knew it was me right away.

Finally, the third thing I missed was the Terri Schiavo autopsy.

No, you shriek, talk about something else something else anything else la la la la la I can't hear you!

Of course you can't hear me, dummy--I don't audioblog. Hello! I would never inflict that on you. You have my solemn promise. And I'm sorry I called you "dummy." It just slipped out and I didn't mean it, I swear.

I like this excerpt from a post (found at Judith's) from Right Wing Nut House. Disclaimer: This author strikes me as neither particularly wingy, nor nutty:

. . . I hope we’ve all learned some valuable lessons. I hope we’ve learned how easy it is for this kind of ethical debate to be hijacked by those on both sides of the issue with personal agendas. I hope we’ve learned that if we’re ever going to come to a consensus that we must somehow learn to talk to each other rather than past each other. And I hope we’ve learned that whatever side of this issue you came down on, the person on the other side was not wearing horns and sprouting a tail or trying to enslave all humanity in some kind of theocratic nightmare of a world that would take away your access to internet porn or ban your Girls Gone Wild videos.
Let me do what I do best and take a minute to make this all about ME, because, hey, that's what "my side" was so frequently accused of doing anyway.

The tough thing about the Schiavo case for me was realizing that a fair number of my internet friends were taking pains to be tactful with me despite disagreeing with me about it.

Let me be clear: It's not that they disagreed; that isn't what bothered me. I can handle the disagreement. The painful part was realizing that there were people who disagreed with me who were biting their tongues about it.

And in fairness, I did my share of tongue-biting myself (well, not here. But most of the time). If I were a greener, more hotheaded young blogger, oh, the delinkings that would have ensued! It was damn hard not to get passionate about the whole thing. Yet knowing that it was just as hard for the people on the opposite side to stay calm didn't seem to help me one bit.

And it still doesn't, if you want to know, because I still think you were horribly, horribly wrong. I think this--

we must somehow learn to talk to each other rather than past each other
--was the first notion to go flying out the window.

See, we don't agree on the problem; thus we're bound to disagree on the solution. That's how "talking past each other" starts. You don't have to be Dr. Phil to figure that out, and in fact it helps if you aren't.

I don't think this was a right-to-die case. That makes it basically impossible for me to discuss it with someone who does think this was a right-to-die case.

What I'm left with is one thing: My country said it was a-ok to let a woman take thirteen days to die of dehydration and starvation, and here's what they asked from her as far as proof of her consent:


I can't get anything in this life without signing something. Here, you try it. Go try to make a major purchase, register for a junior college class, renew a driver's license, file a change of address form, without anything in writing. I have to sign shit just to get a doctor to give me a fucking physical.

"Yes okay you have my consent to take my blood pressure and my temperature and do whatever other shit you doctors want to do, yes okay, that is why I scheduled this appointment with you IN THE FIRST PLACE." I have to sign that stupid form before I can even get behind the Magic Doctor's Office Door, the one you can only go in but can never come out because they gotta route you past the billing clerk and you need a different door for that.

I can't get anything without putting it in writing, and you can't either.

But your husband who's been married to you for less time than Tom Cruise was married to Nicole Kidman, that guy, he can take a couple of relatives with him to court, overrule the man and woman who gave you life in the first place by saying "It's what she would have wanted"--and dibbity-dibbity-dibbituh-that's all, folks.

No. I don't get that. I'm not going to get that. It is not in me to get that.

I've made my peace with the fact that some people think I'm completely off base on this, but it's conditional on the fact that I now think those same people are also completely off base on this, and, well, that's a bummer.

Then again, I'm neither hungry nor thirsty right now. That's one for the plus column.

Posted by Ilyka at 10:53 AM | Comments (6)


Questions in Engrish:

1) Has your father the cheerfulness which is known you?

And then some! He has also the many sarcasms! Many ass remarks of wisdom hath my father's house!

2) It is many the dog and the cat it spreads out how, it has?

Under no circumstances should the dog and the cat be spreading out for each other. No.

3) How many licks it adopts obtains to the tootsie popular music center?

Didn't Jules Verne already write a book about this?

4) Which thing fairies for one life?

That Hubris, I think that Hubris might have been a fairy for one life once. I can't prove it, but how else are we going to explalin the whole Roadhouse thing?

5) The some box the grass spread out and for it left?

Many some box spread out grass and left, yes. So, so many.


Your turn. Pay attention and follow instructions:

1. Delete the first question listed above.

2. Bump the remaining four questions up one number each (question 2 becomes question 1, question 3 becomes question 2, etc.).

3. Make up your own fifth question. Translate it from English to the foreign language of your choice (I used the babelfish), then take that translation and translate it back to English, whereupon you should discover a perfectly formed question in, yes, ENGRISH.

4. If you got this from me, be a dear and link back to this post. If you got this from me but you hate me, link back to Jim. It makes him happy.

Posted by Ilyka at 08:02 AM | Comments (7)


That's right, 6:

It's not easy to feel vituperative in such fine weather, but for you and for you? I'll work on it.

Posted by Ilyka at 04:00 AM | Comments (5)

June 17, 2005

What in the Damn

I take a couple weeks off to move and, of course, to drum my fingers impatiently on the counter over and over again as I navigate the Qwest menu to find out why it takes them THAT long to hook me up with a little hot DSL action (note: this question was never answered to my satisfaction, but then, it's all water under the bridge now). But as I was saying, here I go thinking that I can leave you people alone for a wee time and what happens? I find out Margi's gone and got herself knocked up like some kind of teenager or something. What is UP with that? You kids, can you ever just behave for one minute?

Congratulations, Margi and husband. I wish you all the love and luck in the world.

Posted by Ilyka at 10:38 PM | Comments (3)

June 16, 2005


That's the number of spam comments I've got to clean off this thing. Also approximately the number of years it feels like since I've been without the internet.

So. Uh, how are you, internet?

Posted by Ilyka at 10:36 PM | Comments (10)

June 02, 2005

Q & A

Okay, so far just one person has asked me about the upcoming move, but let's pretend bunches and bunches of you asked so that I only have to run through this once:

Q: Why are you freaking out about moving? You live in an apartment. You don't even have kids! Boy, just wait 'til you have children; then you'll know true moving frustration, let me tell you. Why I remember this one time, my Jeremy, he--

A: Uh, thanks. First of all, I am freaking out because I am prone to anxiety and the freaking out, it's just what I do.

Second of all, I am freaking out because I'm not moving down the street. I'm not moving across town. I'm moving from here--

--to there:

Q: Whose flag is that?

A: New Mexico's.

Q: New Mexico . . . okay, is that--

A: Yes, that's one of ours, if that's what you were wondering.

Q: I knew it wasn't Canadian, but the other--you know, since I live up north, I wasn't exactly sure--

A: No. Definitely not Canadian.

Q: What brought this on?

A: A happy confluence of opportunity and desperation.

Q: No, I mean, why are you moving to New Mexico?

A: Because it's home to the world's largest enchilada, fool, and I'm starving.

Q: Oh COME on--

A: Also, it was the first state to declare an official state cookie.

Q: I know you're a great greedy whale of a woman and all, but this cannot seriously be all about food.

A: YOU eat wimpy Dallas salsa for 11 years and tell me food doesn't enter into it.

Q: You're not going to tell us why you're moving, are you?

A: Not entirely, no, but I did I mention New Mexico is home to the Hatch Chile Fest? My September is going to be biz-ay.

Q: Can you at least tell us where in New Mexico you're going?

A: Las Cruces! Home of the world's largest--

Q: --enchilada, yes.

A: Right.

Q: Hey, that last link says Las Cruces is a top retiree destination. Does this mean you've finally realized your dream of living among the seniors?

A: Either that, or all this time you've been reading a blog by an elderly woman and just never noticed. That reminds me, I've got to get these rollers out of my hair before Matlock comes on. It's a two-parter!

So that's why I'm freaking out: Because if heaven forbid I forget something, I can't just DRIVE BACK 700 MILES AND FETCH IT now, can I?

Posted by Ilyka at 08:30 AM | Comments (18)

June 01, 2005

Onward, Upward

As I said in the comments, everyone should write this well when they're wondering whether it's time to throw in the towel:

It’s my belief that God put us—all of us—here for a reason and, for most of us, it isn’t just to hole ourselves up in prayer and contemplation and wait for the end times. Some of us have to get down in the mud and rassle with the hogs, when necessary. . . . Throwing up one’s hands is exactly what it sounds like: running from a fight.
Thankfully, I don't think she's going to do that.

(And now back to the moving chores. The next one of you to write something that knocks my socks off and compels me to link it has to get over here and help me haul these old clothes off to Goodwill. Honestly, you people.)

Posted by Ilyka at 10:53 PM | Comments (3)