Some States Are in a State, Some of Our Rights Aren’t Right

I don’t normally do this kind of thing, but this kind of news bounces around my head and sometimes wants to get out.

Tampons and Maxi Pads Banned From Texas Senate (But Guns Are Cool)

Women are being forced to throw out tampons and maxi pads to enter the Senate gallery, which has been confirmed by DPS. That’s right: menstruating women are being denied entry to the Senate gallery unless they throw out their supplies.

Additionally, diabetics are asked to throw out their sugar packets.

However, people with concealed handgun licenses are allowed to bypass long lines to enter the Capitol itself through the expedited CHL entrance, and per a DPS officer, if a person has a CHL, they can take their gun into the gallery.

Hate crime: Woman, girlfriend beaten in South Austin

A man they knew from the neighborhood started following them… the woman’s masculine dress prompted anti-gay slurs, she said. The woman’s girlfriend, 25, told the men to stop, in vain, the woman said… he kept shouting slurs and daring the woman to fight, she said. “Tell your b—- to stop looking at me,” the man told the woman’s girlfriend, whom he knew from high school.

The woman said she did her best to ignore him but he kept following. Her girlfriend tried to reason with the man, asking him to leave the couple alone, the woman said.

But then a second man came up, cursing both of the women, and the first man took a swing and punched the woman, she said. The couple said they fought back and other men quickly joined in, dragging the women apart.

The couple struggled to get back together, pressed against a car as the beating continued and no one came by to help, the woman said. “I didn’t think we were going to make it out,” she said.

Finally, one of the men said the police were coming. The attackers, laughing, fled in one direction and the women went the other way. Both women had lost their shoes in the scramble, and someone had ripped one of the victim’s shirt off. The men stole their phones and cash.

Governors of Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin have all signed bills limiting access to abortion

The Texas bill would ban abortions after 20 weeks, and restrict when women can take abortion pills. It would also only allow abortions in surgical facilities, and require doctors to have admitting privileges at area hospitals. These provisions would likely close 37 of the state’s 42 abortion clinics because the cost of compliance would be too high.

Last week, as a part of the state budget, Ohio Republican Gov. John Kasich signed new abortion restrictions into law. Women in the state will now be required to undergo an ultrasound before an abortion, and an abortion clinic’s ability to transfer patients to public hospitals will be limited. It would also effectively defund Planned Parenthood and other family planning groups.

Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker also signed a bill last week that would restrict abortions in his state, requiring doctors to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 minutes of their clinic.

Ohio Republicans protect boats, but not uteruses, from intrusive searches

The new law “eliminates these intrusive searches,” said Republican State Rep. Damschroder, the bill’s sponsor.

Because if there’s anything Ohio’s Republicans hate it’s “intrusive searches” – unless, of course, those searches are focused on women’s reproductive systems.

Scott Walker Quietly Signs Bill Requiring Ultrasounds For Wisconsin Abortions

Gov. Scott Walker quietly signed a contentious Republican bill Friday that would require women seeking abortions to undergo an ultrasound and ban doctors who lack admitting privileges at nearby hospitals from performing the procedures.

Arizona Republicans Propose Bill That Would Not Allow Atheists To Graduate High School

A group of Arizona politicians… have proposed a law (House Bill 2467) requiring public high school students to recite the following oath in order to graduate:
I, _______, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge these duties; So help me God.

(I dislike the title of this article. I’m not an atheist, and it would be a hypocrite to say this oath too. It also wouldn’t prevent atheists from graduating. Instead, what it would do is make anyone who actually does believe in the Constitution of the United States and understand the Bill of Rights say something against their will because of their government’s law. It’s just sad.)

Supreme Court rules Drug Companies exempt from Lawsuits

…the US Supreme Court also made a ruling on lawsuits against drug companies for fraud, mislabeling, side effects and accidental death. From now on, 80 percent of all drugs are exempt from legal liability.

In a 5-4 vote, the US Supreme Court struck down a lower court’s ruling and award for the victim of a pharmaceutical drug’s adverse reaction. According to the victim and the state courts, the drug caused a flesh-eating side effect that left the patient permanently disfigured over most of her body. The adverse reaction was hidden by the drug maker and later forced to be included on all warning labels. But the highest court in the land ruled that the victim had no legal grounds to sue the corporation because its drugs are exempt from lawsuits.

Besides the larger implications of this, I keep thinking about the poor woman who… what? Now has to pay back the money she was awarded for winning the first lawsuit? Presumably it’s already put towards living and medical expenses?

Breastfeeding Viewed as Potential Terrorist Activity by New York Country Club

…Remans began to discreetly breastfeed her daughter Luka at the table.

Neijens, first secretary of the Belgium Mission to the UN, told the New York Post that a female employee of the club quickly interrupted Roseline’s perfectly legal and proper feeding of her baby with this sharp rebuke:

“Please leave immediately, you are disturbing the members!”

When Neijens protested and said it would only take a few minutes, the female staffer insisted that Remans finish in the restroom.

Understandably incredulous at the blatant ignorance on display at such a high end establishment, Mr. Neijens inquired why a baby would be asked to have lunch in the restroom when adults are not.

The Greenburgh Police Department arrived minutes later with Detective Scott Harding apparently yelling, “Close the doors!” with two other diners ordered to leave the terrace…

The officer warned the couple that they were trespassing despite the fact that country club staff had given them specific permission to dine. He also said that some fearful members thought Mr. Neijens’ black backpack indicated they were terrorists.

Hollie McNish, Poet Shamed By Breastfeeding In Public, Has The Last Word (VIDEO)

I thought it was OK.
I could understand the reasons.
They said: there might be a man or nervous child seeing this small piece of flesh that they weren’t quite expecting.
So I whispered and tiptoed with nervous discretion.
But after 6 months of her life sat sitting on lids,
Sipping on milk, nostrils sniffing on piss,
Trying not to bang her head on toilet roll dispensers,
I wonder if these public loo feeds offend her,
‘Cause I’m getting tired of discretion and being polite.
My baby’s first sips are drown-drenched in shite…

Journey of Journaling

My first attempt at keeping journals was unsuccessful. You get these ideas from people that things must be done a certain way. You say, “Dear Diary”, keep a record of events and thoughts, and write daily. You start on page one, you always write the date, and for the most part, you write.

When I was in high school, I was given another set of ideas behind journaling. Instead of a book of lined paper I was given a book of acid free, white paper that was as great for drawing, writing, or pressing fall leaves. I was told to fill it up with whatever.

The art teacher showed us his. Some pages were writing, some doodles, some serious sketches, and some contained nothing but a business card and some notes. There were saved napkins, random thoughts, lists, and newspaper clippings. He explained that a journal was for all kinds of things. It was there to help us record whatever and it didn’t matter what it was as long as you filled it.

Other journals I would start and write a few dated entires, not write for awhile, begin the next with an apology and a new commitment. Maybe I’d get to page ten.

The first book I filled was still from page one, but I filled it to the end with writing, drawing, painting, collages, clippings, thoughts, doodles, ticket stubs, and anything else.

These days I’ve found that I loathe page one. The pressure of beginning and end doesn’t lend itself to capturing a moment, or any space of real time. You can’t chronical it all in a time line, because when it’s happening we’re out there living it. To try to relive the exact thing on a page is tedious, boring, pointless, and really impossible. Instead I collect bits, reflect, and reassemble. It wasn’t before long that I started keeping a collection of paperish stuff. It didn’t matter if I didn’t have the time to say “Dear Diary” every day. When I went to a concert, I would keep the ticket stub. When I made an elaborate doodle on a post-it, I kept it. Ever wonder what to do with the cards you get, the packaging that seems too pretty to throw out, or the best fortunes you get from cookies? What about the posters that are too ragged for the wall or the wonderful color you saw in the hardware store and you grabbed a swatch of it?

Who ever said that they needed to go into the book the same day?

Years later, my first few folders are now a large leather case and a small plastic box. The big case has full pages and stuff I just haven’t looked at. When I am journaling, I can grab something from the case to put in. I usually cut it up and collage it. The small box is for the little pieces that are left, but I don’t want to throw away. That bit of gold paper might work on another page.

I befriended glue sticks and scissors, magic markers and pens, a utility knife, a glue gun, and colored pencils. I don’t like to be idle while watching TV or a movie or listening to music. I might be giving the book my full attention or just my subconscious.

I have more than one book going at the same time. I add to old pages as often as I start new ones. A bit from 1998 might be on the same page as 2008. I care more about the order of composition than the order of time. It’s how real life works anyways. In a weeks time you won’t remember the exact order of everything you did last week. It doesn’t matter either because you today are parts of your past, but not in any kind of time order. The events from 1998 sit beside those of 2008 in how they’ve shaped you. If that makes sense, they can make sense on a page next to each other.

Why do we try to make a strait line when a journey has twists and turns?

Past Sitting Beside You

We might order you too.
Screen shot from Lufia & The Fortress of Doom (SNES, 1993). I know I’d like fries with that.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but it keeps coming up. I’m moving forward, but since I’ve moved back to where I grew up, the past has been saying ‘hello’ at odd times and scaring the ever living CRAP out of me.

It then leaks into my subconscious and leaves a weird residue. I have weird dreams. I think about it too much. I get a strong urge to move (and I hate moving and rather like my place).

On one hand, being here is perfect. I have studio space. I have a place to live. My family is nearby. I have a nice yard.

On the other, it’s perfectly wrong for me. Memories live next door. I’m having a hard time finding a job that fits and isn’t ‘just another job’, but is something like the beginning of a career. I don’t know a lot of people I have deep relationships with nearby. There are a few (and I love you guys), but I feel like I’m still to far from them. They are an forty-five minute drive away. I really got to love being able to walk to everyone and everything. I’m back to being super inactive with little appetite. Then there is my family being nearby not always a good thing. Their problems become my problems.

I have issues with the general attitudes of people here. Yes, it’s a generalization, but I got used to people being friendly.

One of the first things that happened to me when I got here is that I got followed home by some woman in her car who screamed at me because somewhere I supposedly cut her off. She wanted me to get out of the car. I felt like I was on an episode of Law & Order or part of tomorrows news. I remember there was a news story years back about a person in MA who was shot with a crossbow and killed after being followed by someone with road rage. I figured I’d be safe in my truck as long as she didn’t have a gun or crossbow.

I feel like this is some psychological thing I should be able to break. I’m not in high school, but this is where I was when I was in high school. I spent a lot of my time a couple of streets over. I built up a new identity in college and post college. I’m someone who was a lot more confident, outgoing, and happy. Sure, I’ve kept the cynical half-smile and sarcasm, but I’ve grown up. Just by being here, I’m identifying with parts of my past that, though they are irrelevant, are managing to psych me out.

So, I build new memories of this place.

I am somehow simultaneously living and avoiding here. I interview for jobs outside of Boston, I take classes in the same area, and I hang out with friends up there too. I stay in my apartment when I’m here. There’s not a ton to do here in the middle of winter with little money, but there are things.

I live here. This is where I came from. I don’t hate this place, but I almost feel like it hates me. The people and attitudes I am trying to avoid are the ones with the issues. I need to stop owning that.

If Rory Blyth can deal with past living next door, well then so can I. Granted, this is no Portland, Oregon, but there are things to like, do, and people. I just need to gather up the gumption to go find them.

I need to put aside the girl that lived here so I can get on with being the woman that lives here.

Dreams: Busy Night

It’s no wonder I don’t feel rested sometimes- and this is only the stuff I can remember!


I’m dragged out of bed by my dad while I’m still sleeping. I’m so tired that I can’t hear anything for the first several minutes. Dad pushes me out the door. I have no socks or shoes on and no bra. Dad lets me buy shoes on the way to where we’re going, but not a bra. We stop at a convenience store and he goes to the clerk pay.

“Why do you need a bra? You look fine!”


“I don’t care how I look. I need support,” I look at the clerk, “Am I right?”

“She’s right, you know,” agrees the clerk.

I’m at a friend’s house now. She lets me borrow socks and a red bra. It’s late afternoon. There’s a hooking-up and dating BBS she wants us to try. I told her I thought of trying it once with a two mutual friends of ours, but I chickened out.

“Nevermind,” she says and goes to finish doing the dishes.

I stop her and tell her I’ll think about it. She smiles and asks me what’s different about this time. I tell her that I think it would be okay if I was with people I trust and I trust her. I also start to tell her about something that happened this past summer, but she gets excited and runs off to hurry up her house work. I’m on the fence, but if I’m with her and out mutual two friends, It’ll be fine. When the desktop PC finishes loading I dial the BBS. She logs in on her account. As we start to look through the profiles of groups of people I start to get excited. It has brief descriptions, sometimes pictures, of who they are, what they’re looking for, and interests. Finally we settle on one we both feel good about and know our friends ill be too. The group consists of Asian American 20-somethings who in general like Asian food, video games, and anime. My friend registers us as interested and describes our group. We’re given a time and place to meet today. We get ready, call our friends, and head out.

There is more than one group that was interested in the one we picked, so there is a foot-race to determine who gets the chance to meet them. I run as fast as I can and finish in a decent place, but most of my group is slow, so we lose. I’m sort of disappointed but figure we can just go back to her apartment, log in, and find another group. My friend tells me it’s too late in the day and the Board will be closed by the time we get back. I didn’t know it had hours. It’s a new thing, I’m told.

The next day I have to drive into town to attend a thing for my old high school. The event is in a very large auditorium. The people attending don’t even take up half of it. The proceedings are long and boring and I can’t pay attention. I start playing with a rubber band. I play with it simply at first, then hook it onto the ceiling and start using it to bounce and do aerobic tricks. I realize I should probably stop before someone notices. It’s with that thought, while in a back flip, I get tangled up in the rubber band. I can see how I can untangle myself, but I think the rubber band will snap. I’m worried it will fly at someone and poke their eye out. I do it and it doesn’t hit anyone. I end up spinning a bunch and get very disoriented and sick (like merry-go-round meets cliff-face vertigo). I crouch down to keep a low profile and crawl to where my old high school classmates are seated. I see a guy I used to know and go to sit by him. He helps me into my seat, probably thinking I’m drunk even though I explain. I’m suddenly reminded that I have a form that someone at this presentation has to sign to prove that I attended. I ask him if he could, give him the form, and show him which check boxes to check and where to sign. I lean over to point and he starts groping me. I push away, but my balance is still off and I stumble into the isle. He catches me, help me up (still groping), and helps me into a seat. He checks the wrong boxes on the form as blackmail. I say screw this and leave.

I have one more errand to get done today. I’m going to be early. According to an email it’s voluntary extra work day at the children’s museum I used to work at. I’m hoping to see some friendly faces and earn some brownie points- who knows- land a new job. I go to the front desk where my old supervisor is. She is busy talking to someone, but stops to introduce me. She says she’ll be right with us to start soon, but meanwhile I could fix up my finger nails. She thinks it’s important and there is a bin across the room full of nail polish. I look at my nails and they are worn at the tips- black with a clear coat of silver sparkles on top. I look through a bin with another girl who I start talking to. I tell her whose job I used to have. She says she likes my cow shaped purse. I open in and show her a cow shaped coin purse inside that says “moo-lah” on it. She says she has a friend who collects those. I tell her that I didn’t know they were collectible and I got it from my aunt on my birthday. She tells me she wishes I still worked here because I seem so nice and friendly. I thank her for the compliment and wish I had thought to grab food before I came.

While working we find a bunny outside. It’s not a wild one, but someone’s lost or abandoned pet. It’s big, tan and white in the belly and I pet it until it trusts me. Then I try to put it in a cage and it freaks out. I catch it again and put it in my truck where my cat is in his carrier.

It’s late when I get done. I’m driving on a rural road banked by trees. A large truck hauling logs comes up the road towards me and I realize he’s on the wrong side of the road. I try to go to the left, but still get hit on the right side, flipping my truck over. I’m okay. I check my bunny and cat. The cat seems fine, but my new bunny is dead. I call 911 with my cell phone and say what happened and where I am roughly. I tell them I don’t know if I’m hurt, my shoulder and knee don’t feel too good. I’m angry and say,

“That driver must have been drunk, because no one is that dumb.”

They tell me to get out of the truck and off the road. I take kitty with me. I go to take the dead bunny, but realize it doesn’t matter. The police and ambulance arrive. They drill me with questions about what happened until Mr. Gruff Driving a Logging Truck fails his breathalyser. The ambulence crew wants to put me on one of those stiff boards in case I have a neck injury. I tell them my neck is fine and I’ve been walking and bending it for twenty minutes. They still want to and I tell them no way am I getting in one of those things. Last time I was in one, I was left in one for a few hours. I saw my sister lay in one for two. My shoulder and knee hurt and it will make them hurt more. And my bunny is dead and I’m pissed. I ask the police if they think the driver will have to pay for the vet bill when I get my cat checked out. I ask them if I can sue for hurting me, my cat, and killing my bunny.