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Blog For Choice Day 2008 [Jan. 22nd, 2008|06:51 am]
Today is the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the US Supreme Court case which guaranteed a woman's right to an abortion finally being protected under the constitution. Today, pro-choice bloggers everywhere are celebrating by taking part in Blog for Choice Day. From the website: "Blog for Choice Day provides us with an opportunity to raise the profile of reproductive rights in the blogosphere and the media, while celebrating Roe's 35th anniversary. Plus, it's a great way to let your readers and the mainstream media know that a woman's right to choose is a core progressive value that must be protected.

This year's topic: tell us, and your readers, why it's important to vote pro-choice."

Despite what you may think of America, our often bullshit electoral system and our woefully limited two-party system, the fact of the matter is that being educated about our political candidates and who we choose to support with our vote is vital if we want our country to truly become the free and fair place we imagine it to be. Many people take our reproductive rights for granted, thinking that we'll never go back to a time of back-alley abortions and illegal contraception. However, the reign of Bush and Co. and the last eight years of seeing access to our legal rights limited and attacked shows how important it is to vote for pro-choice candidates.

The clever rhetoric of pro-lifers boils down to a few simple ideas. First, that woman are "too emotional" to decide whether or not abortion (or motherhood) is right for them. That we need to be protected from difficult decisions by having those choices taken away from us. That life begins at conception, and so EC is immoral. That we should "take responsibility for our actions," implying that pregnancy is a punishment for having sex for any reason other than procreation. Pro-life politicians support and promote laws that would only work in a "perfect" world, a world where every woman wants to be a mother and has the emotional fortitude, the financial stability, and the supportive network to raise a happy and healthy child. A world where birth control never fails. Where rape and incest never happen. Where we all guide our lives by the same moral compass and believe in the same god and have the same goals for our lives. That world doesn't exist. I doubt it ever will.

Pro-choice politicians are a little more realistic. They recognize that abortion is an unfortunate circumstance, a difficult decision, a private matter that is almost never taken lightly or without thought. They agree with pro-lifers that it would be a wonderful thing if abortion was never necessary and they take (rational and realistic) measures to minimize the number of abortions. But pro-choice politicians realize that there will always be unplanned pregnancies, and they trust women to make the choice that is best for them under their circumstances.

I vote for politicians who respect me and my choices. Who protect my basic rights, and see me as an equal, and believe reproductive rights are important and necessary for a truly democratic society. We have our rights because we fought for them, and if we want to keep them we'll have to keep on fighting. This is why I vote pro-choice. I hope you will consider doing the same.

PS - I'm Not Sorry has real stories from real women who have had abortions. Any speech by any politician pales in comparison.

x-posted to The New Me
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changes [Nov. 26th, 2007|02:12 pm]
I just officially resigned from Piney Woods Roller Derby. Madame Furie is no more.

This may come as a shock to many of you, since I hadn't been talking or writing about roller derby in a while. Or maybe it's not so surprising, since I hadn't been talking or writing about roller derby in a while. The thing is, I've been feeling pretty ambivalent about derby for weeks now, maybe months. I never fully recovered from the split with NRG way back in June, I felt resentful about having to start from scratch after putting in so much work already, and while I still love the sport, the pure, unadulterated passion I once felt was missing.

And then there was the time issue. Roller derby takes up a lot of time. There's the time spent practicing and training, which was always my favorite. But then there is also the time spent at meetings, planning events, moderating discussion boards, creating promotional material, writing press releases, attending events, calling people on the phone, leaving messages, returning messages - the list goes on and on. The mental energy that running a roller derby league requires is not a feat for the faint of heart, and my heart? My heart has been faint.

Mostly though, the ups and downs of this past month have taught me some lessons. Sometimes I need to be selfish. I need more time to myself than I thought. And if I am going to live my Personal Legend, then I need to shut up, sit down, stop filling my life up with a thousand different distractions, and write a fucking book. I'm 25 years old. Jonathan Safran Foer wrote Everything Is Illuminated when he was 24. I don't know what this means, except that I love that book, and I love writing, and I have wanted to be an author since I was ten years old. And living your dream means making sacrifices. Roller derby is the first sacrifice I'm making, and I have a feeling it won't be the last. But it's okay. I'm not afraid. For the first time in a long time, I feel like I'm finally on the right path.

(cut and pasted from The New Me.)
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breathe in, breathe out [Oct. 10th, 2007|12:10 pm]
I'm having a hard time sitting still today. I wish I had roller derby practice instead of yoga tonight. I hope I don't "accidently" hip-check someone out triangle pose. Because that would be wrong... right?
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it's the little things [Oct. 9th, 2007|02:57 pm]
I was going to recommend that driver's ed be included in the litany of required classes for college freshman, but now I think we're going to have to start with how to walk.

Seriously, how hard is it to ambulate in a straight line without wantonly changing direction at the drop of a hat? As a cyclist who rides her trusty bike to and from the university library twice a day, five times a week, I can attest to the fact that y'all are idiots. My (totally rad, 1975 blue Raleigh) cruiser has a little bell, but what's the point in politely ringing it when you're either on your cell phone or listening to your iPod? And did you know that cars are supposed to stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk? Did you think that your gargantuan pick-up truck covered in faded George W. stickers and blasting god-awful country music doesn't count? Well guess what - it counts extra.

Just back from lunch break and fuming. Back to your regularly scheduled blog reading.
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putting things in order [Oct. 4th, 2007|02:40 pm]
So. This whole "I'm a writer who doesn't write anything but blogs and book reviews" shtick is getting pretty old. I need to start writing again. For serious. I've decided to take small steps, so as to avoid total and complete failure. I will work on my zine all weekend. Then, I will begin waking up an hour earlier on Tuesdays and Thursdays to sit at the computer, NOT turn on the Internet, and write something with the intention that said something is a form of fiction which will not be published on any one of my five or so blogs. I write too much about myself for having such an only marginally exciting life.
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priorities [Oct. 1st, 2007|09:57 am]
No one seems to care about roller derby as much as I do. At least, not at work. And Nathan was only mildly interested in my extended play by play of the breathtaking action at Nationals. What is wrong with these people? Priorities! For serious! I even acted out a leg whip for my co-worker and all I got was a raised eyebrow. Granted, I'm not wearing skates and it's 10 AM on a Monday morning, but still. I feel so alone.

Full recap, with links to even fuller recaps, at The New Me.
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shambles [Sep. 19th, 2007|01:50 pm]
My apartment is falling apart. From the broken pipe in the bathroom, to the stove that won't get hotter than 53 degrees, to the dryer that can only be turned on as we're going to bed lest we shout how our day was to each other over the racket. Too much furniture and no one wants to buy it. The kitchen floor won't stay clean and the dog is secretly sleeping on the bed while we're at work. I know this, though I haven't seen it myself, as he is always at the door when I come home, jumping in the air and wagging his tail. But the comforter is always flipped up on the side, which can only mean that he has found a way to crawl underneath the blankets despite lacking opposable thumbs. He's a crafty one, that dog. Now if only he could figure out how to fix the plumbing.
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twitter [Aug. 31st, 2007|02:17 pm]
I need another web-based distraction like I need a hole in my head. And yet...

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underwhelmed and over easy [Aug. 24th, 2007|03:45 pm]
I've been feeling a little overwhelmed lately, but also kind of bored. I think it has something to do with the end of summer, the start of September, and the fact that I am not gearing up for yet another semester of school. I'm graduated, got the degree, and now all the little projects I've had lined up for months - years! - can finally be completed, attended to, enjoyed. And yet... I haven't done a damn thing since I handed in that last paper. Sure, I'm going to work every day, and I started up yoga again, and my fledging roller derby league requires a lot of time and attention - so I have been doing things. Just none of the things I pictured myself doing during all those daydreams at the computer when I was supposed to be writing papers. I think I need a vacation, a few days to put my affairs in order, mop the kitchen floor, adjust to a slower pace of living, make time for coffee and writing and mailing letters and embroidering and doing a new zine. I want to make a list of Top Five Things To Do, things that are on my 101 list and things that will just plain old make me happy. I like lists. Lists are good.

Top Five Things To Do

1. Make curtains for the office.
2. Finish projects for craft swap.
3. Organize and clean kitchen.
4. Donate or give away all the clothes I own, but do not love.
5. Make my zine (I have all the text, I just need to lay it out and doodle).

There. That feels better.
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101 in 1001 [May. 22nd, 2007|01:34 pm]
I've decided to take part in a project that I stumbled across while surfing the tubes. It's called 101 in 1001, and the conceit is that each person who signs up for the challenge creates a list of 101 goals they would like to complete, and they have a time frame of 1001 days in which to do these things. I started my clock on May 17, which means my deadline is February 11, 2010. Ample time! I'm going to be tracking my progress at my new 101 blog, but for the link-phobic or just plain lazy, my list of goals can be found below.

The List!

Writing and Reading

1. Finish a completely revised manuscript for Barracuda Betsy.
2. Make a new zine.
3. Attend a zine fair.
4. Find three new zines I really love (0/3).
5. Send two handwritten letters per month (0/72).
6. Write one short story per month (0/32).
7. Write in a different place (coffee shops, libraries, etc) once a month (0/32).
8. Join a book club.
9. Be a NaNoWriMo Municipal Liaison.
10. Sign up for and win NaNoWriMo again.
11. Create a file system for works-in-progress and future ideas.
12. Create a portfolio of all published articles, reviews and clips.
13. Write a Letter to the Editor about something positive.
14. Attend a Writer’s Retreat.


15. Take a road trip to the Hill Country in West Texas.
16. Visit New Orleans.
17. Take part in a Sustainable Energy in Motion Bicycle Tour in Oregon.
18. Ride the Amtrak to the West Coast.
19. Drive to NY with Nathan and Seamus for Christmas 2007.
20. Go to the WFTDA championships in Austin in September 2007.
21. Leave the country (returning is optional).
22. Go on a rock-climbing/camping trip.

Self and Health

23. Leave Texas and move back North.
24. Join an established roller derby league in a larger city.
25. Try and attend a Gotham Girls roller derby practice when visiting New York.
26. Finish my Masters program at TWU (August 2007).
27. Give up dairy products for good.
28. Run in a 5k.
29. Read How to Practice by the Dalai Lama.
30. Practice.
31. Weight train two to three times per week.
32. Do 50 push-ups in a row.
33. Go on a long bike ride (20 miles, minimum).
34. Get rid of my cell phone and revert back to a landline.
35. Go one month without drinking any alcohol.
36. Get a professional massage.

Organization and Finance

37. Pay off my First Financial Bank credit card.
38. Save at least $5,000 ($1,667 per year).
39. Start an IRA.
40. Find a librarian position that I love. Get hired!
41. Purchase my own laptop. (This can be new.)
42. Acquire a more professional wardrobe. Aim for second hand!
43. Learn how to design a website.
44. Create a professional website for my budding freelance career.
45. Get rid of all my CD’s that are scratched and won’t play.
46. Find 5 new female musicians/bands to fall in love with (0/5).

Crafting and Cooking

47. Make the ReadyMade dog bed for Seamus.
48. Transfer all my loose recipes into an organized binder.
49. Build a letter box (seals, wax, stationery, stamps, stickers, postcards, regular cards, envelopes, etc).
50. Complete and submit an assignment to Learning to Love You More.
51. Grow mint and make Mint Juleps.
52. Learn how to use my sewing machine.
53. Sew a whole outfit (underpants optional).
54. Learn how to play one Ani DiFranco song on my guitar.
55. Make a worm hotel for composting.
56. Learn to make my own jam.
57. Get everything on my walls into frames.
58. Learn to use the screen-printing kit.
59. Do three craft swaps at crafster.org (0/3).
60. Purchase three pieces of original artwork (0/3).
61. Make my mom a quilt.
62. Bake a pie from scratch.
63. Get a funny family photo taken of myself, Nathan and Seamus.
64. Turn the photo into a New Year’s card and send it.
65. Brew my own beer.
66. Take an interesting photo every day for a month.


67. Participate in a Critical Mass event.
68. Donate money to Planned Parenthood.
69. Volunteer at an Animal Shelter.
70. Work with Radical Reference.
71. Go green and use only natural, non-toxic cleaning products in my house.
72. Join the American Library Association.
73. Buy used whenever possible.
74. Support small, independent businesses, especially those owned by women.
75. Introduce a teenaged girl to feminism.
76. Volunteer at a Rape Crisis Center.
77. Be an active supporter of my presidential candidate of choice in the 2008 election.


78. Get a tattoo.
79. Return phone calls within three days.
80. Send friends birthday packages so they arrive on or before their birthday.
81. Get a grown-up bed (including new comforter, pillows, and bed frame).
82. Use all seven tiles at once while playing Scrabble.
83. Take a more proactive role in the Netflix que.
84. Make a Nacogdoches Rollergirls scrap book.
85. Give someone the gift of a subscription to Bitch.
86. Spend one whole day in bed.
87. Adopt another pet.
88. Take my mom out to lunch.
89. Get a pair of Converse sneakers, even though they’re super trendy.
90. Make a mix CD for each season (0/10).
91. See an off-Broadway show with Nathan.
92. See Ani DiFranco in concert.
93. Eat at a really good Indian restaurant.
94. Dress up as something really scary for Halloween.
95. Get my ears re-pierced.
96. Acquire a pair of pearl earrings.
97. Host a clothing swap.
98. Take Seamus for a swim in an ocean.
99. Get a Purchase College hooded sweatshirt.
100. Teach Seamus a new trick.
101. Create a new blog to keep track of my progress with this list and update with photos of my accomplishments.
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