July 27th, 2007

Rat Bastard Friday


Photo courtesy of Magz

Who's the bane of YOUR existence? Surely there's someone who pisses you off in such a huge way that it merits flogging, at least. 'Round here, we call that person a RAT BASTARD. Who is the person you most want to rip a new asshole for whatever reason? Go ahead - now's your chance to put them on blast. Start commenting, and have fun gettin' your hate on - and out. IP logging is off and anonymous commenters WERE welcome, but I've had to disable it since I've gotten six tons of bullshit spam comments lately. Sorry about that.

Go on - vent your spleen...

Also, check out/participate in the Friday Confessional and the subsequent Sunday Stoning, brought to you by the fantastic city_of_dis.

Oh, PLEASE Be True!

And the Next Republican Outed By the DC Madam Is...
Howie Klein: Rumor has it, House Minority Leader John Boehner is the next Republican hypocrite to be exposed.
This post, written by Howie Klein, originally appeared on Down With Tyranny!
The Buckeye State Blog has revealed that the next member of Congress who will be revealed as a client of the DC Madam's, the way David Diapers Vitter (R-LA) was, will be a Republican member of the Ohio congressional delegation.

If you remove Senator DeWine, freshman Jim Jordan, and the 2 women-- Mean Jean Schmidt and Deborah Pryce-- from consideration, that leaves 8 possible perps: Steve Chabot, Michael Turner, Paul Gillmor, Dave Hobson (too old), John Boehner, Pat Tiberi, Steven LaTourette, and Ralph Regula (way too old).

Most people Every single person we've contacted so far says it's Boehner.

Why Indeed.

Why Do Doctors Get to Decide When a Woman Is Old Enough to Have Her 'Tubes Tied'?
Women under 30 who have made the decision not to have children often find their requests for tubal ligation procedures denied -- simply for the reason that doctors think they are "too young."
This article is reprinted from American Sexuality Magazine.

"I'm sending you this email as I can't sleep after the non communication we had after dinner ... I respect your decision not to have children but what I do not understand is why you get so defensive, you never give why? What's helped you make this decision? I could tell my friends and family 10 reasons why I didn't want a child or a husband [when I was your age]. You just place a high wall between us and make statements that I don't understand and you don't explain. IE, it will never happen I'm making sure of that??? Are you having surgery? Is your partner? Are you ill? What does this statement mean? I make a statement, "Never say never," again you get upset. Lauren*, no one knows what life holds for them... There are some decisions you'll make in life that will live with you forever and I want you to realize this. I do understand this will come with time and maturity. I guess we'll always have a wall between us due to our strong wills and selfishness."
-- love mom (Mrs. Green*)

Ever since Lauren Green was a little girl, she knew she wasn't interested in motherhood. While other girls dreamt of dolls that peed, Green fixated on everything but: "I was going to get married as soon as I graduated college, and I would design my houses and I would design my wedding, but there were never any babies involved."

She's been dealing with the ardent disapproval of friends and family ever since. Especially from mom.

According to Green, now a twenty-five year old graduate student, not so cryptic emails like the above are standard between her and her mother, whose dreams of one day being called "nana" are radically out of sync with her daughter's choice to remain child-free.

"My mother just thinks I'll change my mind. I think a lot of people think I'll change my mind," admits Green, by now all too familiar with the weary, knowing smiles of those who think they know her better than she knows herself. People, so it seems, are somewhat inept when it comes to distinguishing womanhood from motherhood.

For now (at least) mama Green needn't worry; though she's tried, and will try again, Green has thus far been denied any permanent form of birth control, specifically tubal ligation.

Tubal ligation -- known more commonly as "getting your tubes tied," -- involves closing the fallopian tubes so that the egg cannot travel from the ovary to the uterus, where, normally, a fertilized egg would develop into a fetus.


Soliciting Advice, Commentary, & Questions On Effectively Running A Chaotic House With Kids...

Okay, here's the deal.

My sister needs a break in a big way. I've been wracking my brain lately to think of ways to help her, and I think I've figured something out that will really lighten her load up a bit. She's got a very demanding, insomniac infant that she's breastfeeding who never allows her much time to rest, so that alone is reason to be frazzled and have your once steel nerves be shredded completely, but it gets a lot more complicated than that. Until now, I've been spending occasional days/nights there taking care of the household chores & general cleanup, making meals, helping with the kids, and getting laundry caught up. I'll still do that, but I believe in the old adage that if you give a man a fish and you feed him for a day - but teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. First, a little backstory on the family:
Home: A great place out in the country, nice and quiet on the outside and not nearly enough quiet on the inside. 5 humans (Mom, Dad, 3 kids) 3 cats, 1 dog. Much laundry, many dishes, and the usual clutter. Kids have been homeschooled for the past year, and are about to reenter public school in the next 2-3 weeks.

Mom: Christi. Also known as daisy_down. Stay-at-home Mom. On the proverbial ledge because she's overworked (that's a spectacular understatement) and severely unrested. Demanding baby, difficult children (one is a 14 year old boy, do the math; the other is an oversensitive, emotionally taxing preteen girl with health issues). Already exhausted without the incessant kid bickering and neverending drive on them to do their chores - they already know, but get nothing done without having to be told to do something, and it is always an argument. Had 2 miscarriages before conceiving the new baby, so has effectively been pregnant for two years. The new baby was a high risk pregnancy, so homeschooling the kids suffered - but they're going back to public school and reentering where they should be. Needs help, and fast.

Dad: Tony*. Hard worker, always busy, overcommitted, not at home as much as he should be and not as effective at contributing to household stuff as he needs/is needed to be. Thinks being supportive and helpful = the occasional "Are you okay?", but not the occasional picking up after self or doing any of the household chores that need attention. Delusionally thinks that as the breadwinner that he's absolved from anything else, apparently. Has anger issues and is prone to explosive temper tantrums/outbursts with a tendency towards belligerence. Heart of gold, best and most loyal friend you could ever have, loves and defends his family tremendously.

Eldest Child: Jake*. 14, so completely unfit for society (as 90% of all teenagers are). Typical smartass, complains that everything is "not fair", and by everything I mean anything he is required to do and any consequences he must pay as a result of his actions. Extremely argumentative, somewhat immature for his age, argues with sister regularly. In spite of all of this, is a very good kid and we've decided to keep him. Loves his [info]Uncle Biscuit.

Middle Child: Sara Claire*. 10, hormonal preteen. Extremely precocious, but leans toward lazy and tends to half ass all chores/tasks by taking the easy way instead of the effecive way every time - practically without fail. Moody, tends to sulk a lot which drives EVERYONE batshit crazy. Is suffering from Crohn's disease, the most recent bout of which is likely going to require surgery in coming weeks, so is in a great deal of discomfort a lot of the time. Also suffers from the delusion that she is smarter than most adults, and decides to do things on her own timetable instead of the one given her. Thoughtful and insightful, sweet and affectionate, and Loves her [info]Uncle Biscuit.

The Baby: Willow. Looks like Suri Cruise, only much prettier and with relatively sane parents. Loves her [info]Uncle Biscuit, as well as the rest of the family, but is demanding and cannot get on a sleep schedule. Hates anything that requires her to lay on her back, actively despises carseats. Loves Stephen Colbert (I'm completely serious, she loves him - when the show comes on, she cooes at the tv screen). Farts a lot.

* Is in for a VERY rude awakening.
I'm working out the details on how to give a lifestyle makeover for this family and rules/delegated responsibilities/commitments for them to enact that will give them all a chance to participate in making the house run smoothly and effectively, and mostly giving the kids (who are now old enough) responsible choices to make to budget their time between school, homework, chores, and leisure. Mom & Dad have also got to be vigilant about their own maintainance and participation in order for all of this to work.

The Plan
Basically, I want to assign roles to everyone so that each knows what they are responsible for. The parents have to know how to hold accountable for X thing and to issue appropriate consequences for breaking rules, not meeting responsibilities or finishing chores/tasks in an appropriate timeframe, and making sure it all gets done correctly as the habit has been to half-ass everything instead of getting it done right the first time. Issuing punishments will no longer be an argument, simply a notice given. Arguments are curtailed immediately, and will result in stiffer punishments without fail - no more free rides or looking the other way. The beauty of MY system is that as long as they do what they're taught is the correct way to do chores, behave appropriately, and meet their responsibilities - they never ever have to be punished - so should they wind up being punished for any reason, it will be clear that it is their own fault. individual punishments (no tv, no computer, no video games) are ineffective, so from now on punishment = being grounded. Being grounded means you finish your schoolwork and your chores, then you go to your room - where you may read at your leisure, but that is all. The only reasons to come out of your room are for bathroom breaks and meals, nothing else, no exceptions.

Once school starts and bedtimes established, everything will run on a certain schedule. Their is a 2-3 hour window of time after school and completed homework assignments to budget between getting chores done and indulging in leisure time. School/homework comes before everything, as it is their primary job/responsibility. All household chores the kids are responsible for will be divided equitably into three categories: daily, every other day, and once a week (limited to weekends). Two lists will be made covering all chores, and they will alternate week to week on each list. Jake will be blue, Sara Claire will be pink. The lists will be posted permanently on a board in the home office, and Mom will be responsible for assigning each list as blue or pink each Monday for that week. She will not address whether or not a chore is completed until 6-7PM daily (check time), at which point everything must be completed in order to have leisure time watching TV, playing video games, or having computer time. This will effectively have them earning their leisure time, which is the point to teach them how to be accountable for their time and responsibilities. Everything is listed out for all to see and there should be no reason come check time for anything to have been unfinished.

Any instances of arguments or fighting between the kids will be handled by parents calling time out, at which point they will have to go outside until their issue is resolved. They're old enough to start compromising with one another, and when they fight with each other is never has anything to do with Mom or Dad - so I'm instructing Mom & Dad to not only divorce themselves from the tension, but no longer allow it in her home. Home is a safe, sacred place where strife and disharmony is no longer allowed - you WILL work out your differences and you WILL be kind and respectful to one another. They'll learn by being tired of having to go outside and not being allowed back in until conflicts are resolved or squashed, and they will do it for themselves.
Likely it is going to meet with resistance, but that's just too fucking bad.

I'll be there in the beginning of next week to put all of this down to paper and discuss it at length with the adults before bringing the kids on board, and will be there as it is all being explained and put into place as a system to address any questions and give appropriate answers. Basically, I'm going to throw down this gauntlet and be the proverbial 'bad guy' who ends summer vacation laziness, and let Mom & Dad shine as the bystanders who happen to agree with it all, only it isn't THEIR idea. That way any hostility or resentment gets directed outside of the house and away from Mom & Dad. Deliciously evil, innit?

I've already told Christi that if they complain about it not being fair, they are to call me and not complain to her as this is my system, she just happens to agree that it is a good one. That way she is absolved from accountability and reproach with the fairness issue. If they actually do call me to bitch, I'll be reasonable but unyielding. Either way, I've long ago secured my position as the "Cool Uncle" by ALL nieces & nephews, so it's a moot point.

Questions, comments, suggestions? All are welcome!

Please Link To This Post

Habitat for Humanity

When five feet of water flooded their apartment in New Orleans, Shawn knew that she and her daughter Hayley would be homeless. But she didn't know that when they were torn from their home, they also would be torn from each other.

The Senate can improve post-disaster support that's so critical for low-income families and their children whose homes are destroyed.

Will YOUR Senators?

Take Action Today!

The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina "was the worst time of our lives,"Shawn says of the agonizing months she spent searching for a place to live while Hayley was miles away in Texas with relatives.

So far, the housing needs of families post-disaster have not been met, and Habitat for Humanity is advocating for policies to solve this problem -and if you act today, hope for families like Shawn's is on the horizon.

The Senate can - and should - take immediate steps to improve post-disaster support that's so critical for low-income families and their children. Will your Senators?

Take one minute to urge your Senators to put better policies in place.

Housing problems afflict a full one-third of Americans, whether it's poor-quality shelter, unmanageable payments, or overcrowding. When a disaster strikes, and families are displaced, these issues can quickly spiral out of control.

"We lost all our belongingsexcept what we managed to take with us when we evacuated," says Shawn. Families like hers - homeless and separated after a disaster - need a support system that helps them get back on their feet without traumatic separation and unsafe living conditions.

Why is this legislation so important? If it had been in place, disaster response likely would have included:

  • A flexible menu of housing options that meet the needs and circumstances of families, including allowing families to remain in damaged homes when possible, and using trailers, hotels, apartments, and other options when appropriate;
  • Community-based recovery efforts that allow more families to remain near their homes, jobs, schools, and support systems; and
  • A streamlined housing response that ensures families have immediate access to a single point of contact for housing-related services and that all families receive equal access to consistent benefits.

Hurricane season is upon us. Don't let another disaster strike without this legislation in place.

Please - add your voice in support of this critical housing legislation!

Habitat for Humanity is dedicated to helping those in need obtain decent, affordable homes. When disasters strike, those who are already vulnerable get hit the hardest. Their future rests on decisions made today!


Jonathan Reckford
Chief Executive Officer
Habitat for Humanity International