Monday, October 31, 2005

Ahh it’s been too long…

So about two weeks ago, on a Sunday, I had my great adventure: kayaking at Monterey Bay. I’d seen the advertisements through my weekly student housing newsletters, and since someone backed out, there was an open space for me. We grouped up according to who could drive, so the four of us (CS, philosophy, education, and myself – the only time you get an interdisciplinary group is when you go on trips through housing) banded together and rowed together. Beautiful day for it – we ended up staying in the wildlife refuge (Elk Slough, I think), rather than going on the open ocean, since the waves were too strong. But in the slough, it was calm and sunny. Seemed like it took forever to outfit us, instruct us, and then, finally, get into the water. It was amazing… seals, sea otters, and rows and rows of pelicans. The seals seemed curious about us, and would watch us, but the sea otters seemed to take offense when we got too close, and would stop playing. And pelicans do crazy things with their beaks – we kept watching them turn their bottom beak “flap” inside out (or something that LOOKED that way, rather startling). On the way home, I dozed again… I’d been out late at Jill’s (her German party) the night before.

Let’s see… so I remember that Thurs., going to Lupe & Elda Maria’s for The Motorcycle Diaries… biking to the farmer’s market on Sunday w/ Marissa… baking pumpkin muffins… baking acorn squash & the seeds (smelled & tasted like autumn)… making my own version of hummus… Finishing Cloud Atlas… Reading In Memoriam…

In more recent memory…

Last Friday, in celebrating Halloween, I dressed up as a very feminine version of the Cheshire cat. A group of us met up at Justin’s…Jill & I were the only ones who dressed up… Then briefly visited the party/ dance – some funny costumes. Got to bed very late… Saturday was a day of work, biking to Mollie Stone’s, etc. Sunday morning Jill & I biked over to the farmer’s market… we tried persimmons, decided they taste kind of cinnamony, bought acorn squashes, tomatoes, apples… The farmer’s market is the best part of my week, it seems… I get VERY excited about all the inexpensive, organic (or at least pesticide free), & fresh produce. This week we’re trying out these little rounded yellow squash – on the advice of other market-goers. And I gave in to the temptation to buy raspberries. In further food related news, I made sushi tonight… rolled mango, avocado, tofu, & zucchini. Kind of a “what I’ve got around the apt.” style sushi.

Anyway, so yesterday was also a day to buy plane tickets for a visit home before Christmas… laundry… reading in the lib… lots of reading… And today, in pursuing a possible presentation topic, I visited two new libraries on campus. Amazing collections. I ended up in this tiny corner of the Education library, which houses old editions of classics for children, language study guides, anthologies, etc… Some beautiful editions. And I ventured into the depths of the Art & Architecture library. Hard to tell from the first floor, but the basements are packed. Lovely smell of books. Glad to finally be finding these places – I’ve missed having that assurance of being able to find what I need.

OK, because SNL was, in selected parts, hilarious, here are some quotes:

Tina Fey on Weekend Update, 10/29/05: "Yesterday...Libby was indicted...for more on this story, ask Scooter, apparently that mo fo will tell you anything!"

Tina Fey on W.U., 10/29/05: "A new poll shows that 66% of Americans think President Bush is doing a poor job of handling the war in Iraq, and the remaining 34% think that Adam and Eve rode dinosuars to church."

Rachel Dratch playing Harriet Miers, addressing the issue of being/ thinking she was unqualified: "But then I thought, you know what... a man wouldn't second guess himself like this. I mean, Donald Rumsfeld never says "Hey, I can't be Secretary of Defense, I never even served in the army!" Right? Porter Goss doesn't say, "Hey, I can't run the CIA, I don't even have any intelligence experience." And Mike Brown didn't say, "I can't run FEMA, I'm the Head of the Arabian Horse Assocation, for Pete's Sake!" I mean, we're all unqualified, why am I the only one who has to admit it?"


In further political news, I'm hoping for a good fight against Samuel Alito's nomination. Bush says Alito has "a deep understanding of the proper role of judges in our society. He understands that judges are to interpret the laws, not to impose their preferences or priorities on the people." That's funny, because in the early 90's, he was in favor of requiring women seeking abortions to inform their husbands (Planned Parenthood vs. Casey). It's not going to be a big secret that the man is not exactly pro-choice. And the last person I want sitting on the Supreme Court, is ANOTHER white man who thinks he knows better than everyone else when life begins & at what point a fetus's "potential life" is more important than the very REAL life of a woman. And if Roe v. Wade is overturned, and abortion is illegal in at least certain parts of the United States, it doesn't mean women won't still have abortions. It's just that the middle, upper middle, and upper class women will travel somewhere else to have one, whereas the poor and working class women will either resort to a "back alley" abortion or go through with the pregnancy. Which will be one more child on the welfare & medicaid lists, which, no surprise here, some Republicans in Congress are currently trying to cut even further (so that we can pour more money into fighting a war that most people in this country disagree with).

Something I'll never be able to figure out: the federal gov., following I believe the evangelical Republicans' qualms, refuses to put any tax money into counseling women about abortion options, or helping low income women obtain abortions. But those qualms are clearly not raised when it comes to entering wars on scanty -- misleading -- even, dare we say it, concocted -- evidence. So basically, tax dollars will continue to support sending young Americans off to a quagmire of a war in which they can kill other very much alive persons. It's a curious thing. If only the radical Republicans had been so worried about innocent lives being lost, back when the administration was trying to convince us to enter a war with Iraq. If half this flurry of activity and research -- this indignation against Miers in large part because she wasn't conservative enough -- had been used to research the charge of weapons of mass destruction & a link with Al Qaeda... well, maybe we wouldn't be at war right now.

-- Rant over (for now) --


karuna said...

If Roe V. Wade was overturned, it would not make abortion illegal at all. Instead, it would go back to being a states decision. States like California, Oregon and Mass would have legalized abortion probably, and states like Alabama and Texas (more conservative) would probably not have legalized abortion. Just FYI.

Anonymous said...

Donald Rumsfeld did serve in the military. He was an aviator in the Navy from 1954-1957.