Monday, December 26, 2005
Long Overdue Explanations
No doubt you may be seeking some sort of explanation as to my prolonged absence from the blogosphere. Well, this post should explain all...the mother of all posts.

The last time I was online was about a week ago. Since then, the world has been upended.

Last Monday, you may recall, I was still on bed rest, following doctor's orders and taking care of myself. Monday was supposed to have been Day 5 of the bed rest saga, but I had a regular doctor's appointment that morning.

I went in and my doctor first sent me to ultrasound for another well-baby test (this is an ultrasound where they look for diaphragm movement, 3 independent movements, and check fluid in a 30 minute window). We passed this test again, indicating that our baby girl was doing fine.

However, I then went into see the doctor. We discussed how things were going and she indicated her concerns for my health again over prolonging the pregnancy unnecessarily, given the baby's fine condition. She wanted to induce labor. I said "great! Let's do it!"

So, Monday after meeting the doctor, my husband and I raced home and packed our stuff for a brief hospital stay. At 2:00 p.m. that afternoon, we checked into our birthing suite (which was very nice). My doctor arrived at 4:00 p.m. and inserted the Cervidil. I may not be spelling that correctly, but in essence, this is the "magic string." They insert the string way up there and the gel that is implanted on it slowly melts with body heat and makes the cervix dilate. My doc told me that this might not "get us there" and that an additional string might be needed 12 hours later. This, it would turn out, would be the famous last words of this story.

You see, not long after inserting the magic string, they hooked me up to the fetal monitoring belts and it turns out I was already having contractions, though they were small and I just wasn't feeling them. No big deal, really. Prince Charming and I started watching some television and he soon fell asleep on the couch in our suite. Then I felt something.

It was sort of like a jolt or a pop. Then I felt something trickling oddly from my nether regions. It was exceedingly disconcerting. I freaked a bit, but figured it was probably just my water breaking. I yelled across the room to Prince Charming and finally woke him and explained this new development. He urged me to use the call button to call the nurse and I did. She came and confirmed that, yes indeed, my water had broken. She decided to call the on-call doctor from my doctor's office (not my doctor but his buddy) and share this new development. I should point out that this was happening at 7:40 p.m. My doctor's buddy (who I shall now refer to as the doctor) told the nurse to pull out the string, and that he was on his way to the hospital.

That's just about when I started feeling those contractions. And, holy hell, was that something I could do without!

You know how in the movies and on television contractions come regularly one at a time with significant time between moments?

Not mine. Not mine at all! It turns out that I am a bit different from most in that I was having couplets and triplets of contractions spaced tightly together followed by very brief periods of respite between couplets and triplets. My husband, my hero, was giving me ice chips and holding my hand as I ran this marathon (and busy joking to keep me from killing someone).

The doctor arrived and "checked" me to see how far dilated I was. It turns out that I was most of the way "there" and the doctor was astounded. He was also astounded at what the baby monitor indicated my contractions were doing. Anyway, he had them hook me up for a catheter and an iv and told me he'd be back soon. He also said the following words which made me feel so much better: "I'm not leaving until this baby gets here, so don't worry." That made me feel pretty safe.

And so he was. He returned about an hour later and told me I was fully dilated, but that the baby hadn't dropped into the birth canal yet. He said we needed to give this time to happen and asked me my views on pain management. Did I want the epidural? HELL YES! BRING ON THE DRUGS! I said. He laughed. (Remember, this whole time I feel as though the space-time continuum is erupting and reerupting every few minutes in my nether regions.)

Doc called the anesthesiologist and he came to do the epidural. Did I mention the shaking? Oh, well, I should. It turns out all of those hormones racing through your body at this moment in a woman's life can give you the uncontrollable shakes. So, there I was, perched on the side of my hospital bed with my feet propped up on a chair, a doctor sticking needles in my back, as I shake uncontrollably and fight off my couplets and triplets of contractions. Prince Charming has said, throughout the entire ordeal, that this is what scared him. He said I was shaking worse than Mohammed Ali and he was very concerned.

Yeah, me too, but I wanted the drugs.

Finally the epidural kicked in and my legs turned into rubber. The anesthesiologist asked me how I was doing and I may have told him that I love him. I know that I squeaked out, "You rock!" in a breathy voice as my pain died away. He laughed. It is good when you can make someone realize just how much they are appreciated in their work.

My doctor checked me again and said the baby still hadn't dropped into the birth canal, so he suggested that I get some sleep. He said that in 2 hours we would start pushing. "We." Yeah, right. Perhaps there was a frog in the pocket of my hospital gown?

Shortly before 4 a.m. on Tuesday morning, the euphemistic "we" started pushing. Prince Charming was on my left and my wonderful nurse was on my right. We fought through these couplets and triplets of contractions that were now happening practically all the time for 2 hours. The doctor was in and out of the room, mostly in after the 1 hour mark passed, and finally announced, to my dismay, that the baby still hadn't dropped. This is when we had our come-to-jesus discussion.

He said that I was doing a fabulous job, fighting like a champ, but that the baby already had a cone head. He said that we could continue down this path, but the pain would only get worse and would likely take many many many more hours. He also informed me that I don't have a normal pelvic arch. Most women have a pelvic arch with a 90 degree angle and mine is more like half of that. This means that my baby was going to have to do some very serious contorting to get past the road block. He said we had three options:

1. Continue to do what we were doing, knowing full well that pain, hours of intense labor, and the very real liklihood of a serious episiotomy were in the near future.

2. Continue to do what we were doing, but have him help matters along with the use of forceps (and all of the aforementioned unpleasantness of option 1).

3. Roll into the OR and do a Caesarian Section. I already had the epidural and the iv, so it was a simple matter of calling the anesthesiologist back for another dose of the good stuff and rolling down the hallway. Then he said the magic words: "We can have this baby out in 30 minutes."

Sign me up, I said.

So, they did. They rolled me into the OR and I got some much needed drugs. Then, I literally proceeded to tell jokes through my own surgery. I get sort of manic when I'm nervous, I'm not really perverse. Prince Charming got to "scrub in." He looks so cute in scrubs, but I almost didn't recognize him in his hair hat thingy.

We had our baby at 6:39 a.m. on Tuesday, December 20th. She wasn't super vigorous right out of the womb, but she perked up in no time. Prince Charming did just as I had instructed back months ago when we had our "worst-case-scenario" discussion and left my side to be with our baby girl. They stapled me back together and rolled me into recovery.

I still hadn't seen my little girl and was getting a bit anxious, but they finally brought her to me. I was still shaking like crazy though, and refused to hold her until I had better control of my motor skills. They gave me a shot of something and my shaking soon subsided. Eventually they took us upstairs to a new room for the prolonged recovery period that goes with C-sections.

Now, the details.

Our daughter, London Avery, weighed 7 lbs 4 ounces at birth. She has a full head of dark brown hair. She was 20 inches long. She is perfect in every possible way and we are well and truly blessed.

We didn't get to leave the hospital until Friday. And even then, we went with health concerns over London's weight (she lost weight waiting for my breast milk to come in) and jaundice.

We are over these hurdles now too, though, and blogging should return to normal soon.

For now, our thanks to everyone for all of the well wishes. I'm going to go feed my daughter.
posted by Phoenix | 12:02 PM | 21 comments


Thursday, December 15, 2005
Dress You Up in My Love
Today's topic for the Divas and Gents is: What does a man or woman's manner of dress say about them?

This topic, I will admit, has all sorts of potential for humor, but let's see what a serious take will get us, okay?

I think that there are lots of ways to go on this one. Suppose a man dresses like the cover of GQ and always looks sharp. To me, this means he is a sharp kind of guy concerned with details. However, it can also mean that he is a shallow guy only concerned with appearances. I have to be careful of that. Most of the time I take this tack in determining if a guy is sharp or shallow: personal hygiene. If the guy appears to be freshly manicured, speaks about his last facial, and has more beauty products than I do...well, let's just say he doesn't land in the Sharps box.

Now, suppose a guy is dressed in baggy clothes - jeans sliding off of his rear, underwear showing, oversize shirt covering a scrawny body. I'm not interested in getting any closer. I don't want to know where his peeps live, I don't care what video game he's playing. He's just not worth my time. I want to talk to adults, not over-grown boys still looking for someone to buy them beer. In my experience, a guy who hasn't mastered the art of the belt has no idea what is going on in the world outside of his Xbox, so I don't waste my time.

Now, suppose a guy is dressed simply in jeans, a nice shirt, and appears and smells clean. This is the guy I am most comfortable with. He isn't likely to think that he is prettier than me and might actually be worth a conversation. His clothing suggests that he is real and not opposed to getting his hands dirty. He may be an ass once you get to know him, but I'd still rather know an ass than a shallow prick, a stuffed shirt, or a hooligan. And, chances are better than average that at least I'll understand what he has to say.

Now, for the ladies.

This is tougher for me, because I have very strong opinions. A lady should appear neat and well-groomed if she wants to be taken seriously. Now, I don't think she needs to dress in the latest fad of look as though she walked off of the cover of Vogue. To me, fads are ridiculous and what passes for "women's fashion" is really a joke. A woman should look professional but feminine. I'm not talking Melrose Place and "suits" that are really miniskirts with jackets. No.

She should look put together, but effortlessly so. She should be carrying a quality handbag and be wearing nice shoes.

She should endeavor not to be caught out and about looking like a bag lady. However, I will make one exception: the grocery store. I don't think you should feel the need to dress for the grocery store. Who are you trying to impress, the stock boy? The fact of the matter is, grocery shopping is hell. You should dress for comfort, as though you might be spending six days in the trenches without a shower, rubbing up against humanity's ugly under belly. You don't want to be wearing your nice shoes in the trenches.

That's it. That's all I've got. Go see what the other Divas, Arielle and Silk, have to say. Also, check out what the Gentlemen have to say: The Maximum Leader, Jamesyboy, and Puffy.
posted by Phoenix | 10:47 AM | 1 comments


Life as a Shut-In
Well.

Well, well, well.

This is new.

I'm blogging from home.

I know, you are wondering why, aren't you?

You see, I have been placed on bed rest. That's right. I am a prisoner in my home, chewing on the tethers and whimpering for freedom (or at least something to do). I am desperate for a bit of interaction, but today is looking up - The Schwan Man will come this afternoon. Visitors!

Anyway, I'm supposed to be taking it easy. Posting will be light (unless I can get away with doing more).

Maybe I'll put in the BBC version of Pride & Prejudice and zone out on Colin Firth all day. That sounds like a plan!
posted by Phoenix | 9:51 AM | 2 comments


Wednesday, December 14, 2005
This just has me peeved
Sometimes, living in the Madison area is like living on the dark side of the moon.

You begin to wonder if the people have any sense whatsoever, or if they are merely stumbling around in the dark.

For example, the Madison City Council has such a lack of real business to do, that they are considering a referendum on the Iraq war.

As Dad would say, "These idiots couldn't pour piss out of a boot if the directions were on the heel!"

Tell me why, WHY, is this city business? Does everybody want to be Cindy Sheehan, or what? Is everybody desperate to make their play for Howard Dean's job? What in heaven's sake does this have to do with the city, huh?

First of all, if the council were to have passed it outright, nobody would have been shocked or cared in the least. We would have expected it from these wingnuts. But no! Instead, they decide to let it go to referendum so that "the people" can decide.

Of course, there is the small matter of the $16,200 that this will cost the city to put the issue on the ballot. A sum, I might point out, that is not budgeted and will have to come out of the "contingent reserve." So, in addition to wasting taxpayer money on an issue that the City has absolutely no power to change, we are also wasting time and energy talking about it. This, at a time when Iraqis are going to the polls to elect their first democratically-elected, non-provisional government EVER. This, I might further add, when Iraqis are telling people who don't appreciate the US and George Bush's efforts in Iraq "to go to hell."

Who is going to take the city council to task if these contingent reserve funds are needed for salt, snow removal, or some other real issue and aren't there for the taking? It is no damn wonder property taxes keep going up. The city council is throwing taxpayer money around like a sailor in a whorehouse. (Except, in my head they are the whores.)
posted by Phoenix | 12:38 PM | 1 comments


How Can Anyone Not Love Bucky Katt?


You should know that this all started when Bucky got into trouble with the Chipmunk Mafia - The Chipmunkfia. ("Chats Sans Frontiers" is "Cats Without Borders" for those not in the know.)

"I will break you and this box like a U.N. Resolution" - CLASSIC!

posted by Phoenix | 12:20 PM | 1 comments


Priceless: Naked Aggresion

Brought to you by the incomparables: Cox and Forkum.

Labels:

posted by Phoenix | 12:18 PM | 0 comments


Crazy Dreams
Only Regular Readers and the truly sick will find this amusing, but I'm going to tell you anyway.

Last night, I dreamed I was competing in the Amazing Race. I was stuck at a Road Block and couldn't proceed until I had completed the task.

What task, you ask?

That would be the task of filling my brown jug with urine.

I swear, this is a real dream. I have little brown jugs dancing in my head.
posted by Phoenix | 12:12 PM | 0 comments


Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Coffee Talk
Okay. Here is an update on current events:

1. Tookie is done. Arnold didn't save him. The Austrians are pissed about it, and consider it barbaric. La-dee-da. I wonder how Tookie's victims feel about the fact that it took over 25 years for them to get justice.

2. The Fed raised rates again.

3. Italy may be saved by porn.

4. Some Brits got in trouble trying to get into the Mile High Club, and caused a plane to be diverted to Bermuda over the deal.

5. Here's a cautionary tale about vacationing aboard a cruise ship. Of course, the closing sentence, to me, should have been given a bit more filling out. It just leaves you with more questions: "The congressional hearing will also touch on last month's pirate attack on a cruise ship off the coast of Somalia." Did you hear about pirates attacking a cruise ship? 'Cause I definitely did not.
posted by Phoenix | 2:11 PM | 0 comments


Baby & Me Update
Yesterday's appointment with the doctor was somewhat...troubling.

Long story short, I may be in some small amount of risk regarding my health.

The baby is fine. In fact, the doctor said she could be born any day and would be perfectly fine.

However, the doctor is concerned that I may be developing hypertension. More importantly, he is concerned that I am in the initial stages of toxemia/preeclampsia. In order to ascertain for certain what is up, I get to do a home version science experiment. I'm collecting all of my urine for 24 hours. (Will you look at that? All of my male readers just stopped reading.) I have a fancy catching tool and a lovely brown jug. Who knew that you'd have to keep urine refrigerated? Not me. I can honestly say that I would have guessed otherwise. So, in spite of the lovely feelings that catching all of my urine gives me, I am endeavoring to plunge ahead into this great unknown.

What? Too much information for you?

Suck it up. I assure you, no matter how queasy you are feeling at this moment, I feel much worse. I mean, you aren't the one catching and bottling your bodily waste, now are you? Suffice it to say that I have sanitized this for your edification and will only tempt you with what you missed by mentioning two words: anal swab.

Now you really want to be me, don't you?

Tomorrow I will take my little brown jug back to the doctor (Merry Christmas!) and they will run their tests. If it turns out that I am in danger, they will induce labor early to protect my health. It is not a big deal, the doctor assures me, and I'm trying to stay positive (in between all of my lovely science experiments).

Of course, I worry that I did something to provoke this. I'm not sure what it would be, but I'm a medical freaker. I hate white coats, the smell of hospitals, and the way they don't always tell you everything. Fortunately, my doctor has discovered this about me and knows that I need to understand completely for my own sanity.

So, I just want you to know that if posting comes to a standstill, it is perhaps because I am having a baby for Christmas. Which, is kind of nice in many ways. Either that or I am drowning in my own little brown jug of cold piss.
posted by Phoenix | 1:56 PM | 7 comments


Monday, December 12, 2005
Notice
Posting will be light today as I am editing video footage.

You had no idea how vast my talents were, did you?

It is true. I am a veritable Renaissance Woman.

Anyway, posting should be better tomorrow.
posted by Phoenix | 11:40 AM | 0 comments


Mommy & Me
Week 36 has arrived. According to the experts, we are coming down to the wire:

With four weeks to go, our baby is almost ready. S/he could drop into the birth
canal at any time now. This week, the fat is dimpling on the elbows and knees as
well as forming creases in the neck and wrists. The baby's gums are very rigid.
We had a big weekend, baby and I. My mother's best friend, who has known me since before I was born, came to see me. The interesting thing is, she's been a preemie nurse for decades. She took one look at me and said, "You'll be having that baby before two weeks have passed." On one hand, she certainly has the resume to be able to predict such things, on the other hand...I'm afraid she's just telling me what I want to hear.

She brought lots of gifts, of course, but the very best was a down comforter for the crib with a duvet cover. She embroidered baby's initial surrounded by roses and a circlet of leaves. It is breathtaking!

Later that evening, after our guests had left, I thought that I started feeling labor pains. It could just have been psychosomatic, but I had pain in my lower back that felt like prickles that came and went. I probably had sick or seven episodes in the night. My mother couldn't stop talking about how swollen my ankles are. Apparently I look like I have elephant legs, or something. She seemed absolutely horrified, to tell you the truth.

We have another doctor's appointment today. With any luck, our doctor will have good news.

Labels:

posted by Phoenix | 11:24 AM | 2 comments


Thursday, December 08, 2005
Sigh, Swoon, The First Kiss - Revisited
This post is making a repeat appearance because last time I jumped the gun. Do check the end, though, for links to what the other Divas and Gents have to say on the matter.

Today's topic for the glamorous gals of the Demystifying Divas and the Manly Mates of the Men's Club is Making the Move: The First Kiss.

Now, I have to admit, I'm a get-kissed the first time kind of girl, not the kind who runs around planting my lips on men at random. As such, I've decided to paint a picture of how I'd like to be approached for the first kiss, to give insight to the men.

It isn't that I disapprove of women who make the first move, per se, I'm just not one of them. As such, my advice on that score wouldn't be very helpful, would it?

Let's get on with it...

If you want to make a girl like me swoon, see stars, and generally go weak in the knees, you need to catch me off guard in a spontaneous moment. Don't wait until the end of the evening as though it is 1955 and you are Wally Cleaver. There is too much tension built into those moments for no reason. If we have enjoyed each other's company, and believe me you'll know, seize the opportune moment.

Say, for example, that we are walking back to the car from a lovely supper. Take my hand, pull me close, and look deep and meaningfully into my eyes. Say something simple and charming like "I simply must." Then, slowly descend and softly but decisively press your lips to mine.

Cut this first moment a bit short before delving deeper. This will allow me to catch my breath. (This is necessary because if you've done the lead-in and the surprise correctly, I will need more air.) Once I've taken in that air, you can expect me to be ready for more. Don't say anything in this moment. Look into my eyes again, and take me away from the earthly world with your lips. Kiss me like I am all that you need. Do not slobber. You may nibble on my lip if you desire. Wrap your arms around me and draw me even closer.

Allow the kiss to end sweetly on a sigh. Do not push this first encounter into a full-on assault that is headed for the bedroom. I'm not that kind of girl and your pushiness will get you nowhere.

Let the date move on in a normal course and at the end of the evening I will permit you to kiss me again before I close the door and you make your way home.

That is how I would instruct someone to make the first move.

Now, I must admit that I am not so picky. The above described scenario I would categorize as ideal. But, for an academic perusal, I feel it only fair to describe the most recent first kiss I've received, how it came about, and how successful it was.

Back in 1998, Prince Charming (who was then just Co-Worker X) and I and two friends were at a country bar in Champaign, IL. Everyone except the designated driver was drunk. I was drinking tequila shots and MGD bottles. Needless to say, I was drunk silly. Co-Worker X was drinking Brandy & Cokes and I had been stealing his cherries all night. (No jokes, please.)

At some point I became too dizzy to dance in my cowboy boots, so I sat out the Tush Push. Co-Worker X offered me another cherry and as I leaned in to accept it with my mouth, he kissed me instead.

This was quite a surprise to me.

And then, after I caught my breath, he kissed me again only deeper.

I was all atwitter. Quite suddenly I was sober and in dire need of the ladies room.

Long story short, we closed down the bar and our DD drove us home. When we arrived at my place, he walked me to the door and kissed me again.

He said, "Either you invite me in now, or I'll be back for breakfast."

I swear I don't remember what I said. I do know that for discretion's sake I sent him back to the car where our co-workers were waiting to take him home. I fretted and fidgeted in my own living room for about 45 minutes finding myself completely sober in no time. Then I drove over to his place.

And the rest is history.

Now, it is important to note, from a scientific approach, that Prince Charming's attempt at making the big move was not exactly perfect. However, you can't say that it wasn't a success. So, cheesy lines aside, I'm not sure that there is a perfect formula. The key ingredients for this kind of girl seem to be a) take me by surprise, b) look deep into my eyes, c) let me breathe, and d) hold me close.

Don't be timid. Be strong and confident but respectful and appreciative. Imagine that you are sipping the nectar of the God's Delight. Do so with all due reverance without being sappy.

That ought to do the trick.

You may expect the following to have something to say: Divas: Ally and Silk Gents: Jamesyboy, The Maximum Leader, Puffy, and The Wizard.
posted by Phoenix | 9:09 AM | 1 comments


Wednesday, December 07, 2005
Wednesday Coffee Talk
Here is another slew of stories you ought not miss from today's current events.

1. Holy Crap! That's all I have to say about this story. Remind me never to need blood in Russia, 'kay?

2. Using your finger to open doors and pay bills? I don't know. Call me old fashioned, but this kinda makes me nervous. Maybe it is the idea of random businesses having databases filled with my personal information.

3. The Supreme Court has decided that the Feds can take your Social Security benefits to repay your student loans. This is a ruling I can get behind! Take some personal responsibility, people!

4. The Al-Terror Network aired another al Qaeda tape yesterday. But now they have had to admit that it wasn't a new tape, but the unedited version of a tape from September. This has led me to the following questions and conclusions:

a. Al Jazeera really is on the side of the terrorists if they would pull this kind of stunt. So much for impartial reporting.
b. Al Qaeda must really be on the ropes if they can't even draft a new message but must resort to recycling the old tirades.
c. Bin Laden might really have snuffed it. We haven't seen any of his ugly mug in long enough, that I'm beginning to wonder. Al Qaeda would never admit to his death, because they'd get the same reaction from the Arab Street that Saddam got when they pulled him from his spider hole -- "you mean the earthquake got him? He wasn't martyred? He didn't go out in a blaze of bullets and glory? What a joke."

5. The Supreme Court is hearing arguments on an issue of having your cake and eating it too. A large group of Law Schools have their panties in a bunch over the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy in the military and the requirement of allowing military recruiters on campus if you want federal bucks. The Law Schools feel that if they don't like what they consider to be a discriminatory policy to gays and lesbians, they shouldn't have to permit the recruiters on campus. They feel that this is a free speech issue. However, they also feel that Congress's law that says, "fine, don't welcome them on campus, but say buh-bye to the payola" isn't fair, that it essentially restricted the schools from disapproving.

All of which is crap, of course. The fact of the matter is, they don't have any trouble getting up on that high horse, just lots of trouble eating at McDonald's instead of Charlie Trotters. If you believe in something forcefully, no price tag can deter you from your cause. Simply put, they want to have their cake and eat it too. Nobody is saying that they can't distance themselves from military recruiters by denying them access. They just have to give up the paycheck. If they aren't willing to give up the paycheck, well then, they must allow recruiters on campus, but still don't have to do much more. They can protest, they can speak, they can bloody well do as they wish, pretty much.

You'd have to be an idiot not to see the holes in their argument. It is total crap. Either you have the courage of your convictions to the tune of $100 million, ...or you don't have the courage of your convictions.
posted by Phoenix | 12:34 PM | 0 comments


Pearl Harbor Remembered
The following is the text of the speech given by FDR on Dec. 8, 1941 to Congress and broadcast to the public by radio.

To the Congress of the United States:

Yesterday, Dec. 7, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy - the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

The United States was at peace with that nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with the government and its emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific.

Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in Oahu, the Japanese ambassador to the United States and his colleagues delivered to the Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. While this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or armed attack.

It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time, the Japanese government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.

The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. Very many American lives have been lost. In addition, American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu.

Yesterday, the Japanese government also launched an attack against Malaya.

Last night, Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong.

Last night, Japanese forces attacked Guam.

Last night, Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands.

Last night, the Japanese attacked Wake Island.

This morning, the Japanese attacked Midway Island.

Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation.

As commander in chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense.

Always will we remember the character of the onslaught against us.

No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.

I believe I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost, but will make very certain that this form of treachery shall never endanger us again.

Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that that our people, our territory and our interests are in grave danger.

With confidence in our armed forces - with the unbounding determination of our people - we will gain the inevitable triumph - so help us God.

I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, Dec. 7, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese empire.
posted by Phoenix | 9:35 AM | 0 comments


"Pregnant Hottie" Might Be Better
Playful Hottie Obligingly Exchanging Naughty Indulgence and Xperiences

Get Your Own Sexy Identity Here.

(Shamelessly stolen from S.I.L.K.)
posted by Phoenix | 9:04 AM | 0 comments


Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Coffee Talk
Are you sitting in your circles? Good. Our Coffee Talk Subjects shall commence.

1. Saddam's trial is underway, and in the grand scheme of deposed dictators everywhere, he is all denials, hot air, and petulant temper tantrums. I mean, defending the big plastic wood chipper isn't easy, so the Dictator's Manual says to deny, blowhard, and throw hissy fits, no matter how disgraceful. Today, Saddam vowed not to return to the court and told the judge to "Go to Hell!" Charming. Perhaps that is a valid Iraqi Legal defense, I'm not sure. In any event, Saddam saw fit to level some charges of his own that I just laughed and laughed about:
NBC News reported that he also complained that he had been wearing the same
shirt and underwear for three days and deprived of shower and exercise
facilities. "This is terrorism," he said.

Who knew that teenage boys and young college men the world over were terrorizing themselves? Dirty panties = Terrorism? Riiiiight. If this is the new yardstick by which evil acts are measured, that plastic shredder is going to mean a brand new level of hell for Saddam and his henchmen.

2. Howard Dean, Idiot-in-Charge at the DNC, is saying that there is no way the US can win in Iraq and that the idea that we are going to win is "just plain wrong." He's beating that old Iraq=Vietnam drum again. He's been sipping Kool-Aid from Cindy Sheehan's sports bottle again. h/t: Drudge.

3. John Kerry apparently is up to his old antics again. Now he's calling American Soldiers terrorists. But, not to worry boys, he still supports you when it is politically correct to do so. What a fucking hack. h/t: Drudge.

4. More here on those secret CIA prisons for terrorist high value targets. What a tempest in a teapot.

Labels:

posted by Phoenix | 12:26 PM | 0 comments


Monday, December 05, 2005
Mommy & Me
Week 35.

We are inching ever closer to the big day.

According to the experts, this week is all about:
The average sized baby is around five and a half pounds now! The fat
accumulations plump up the arms and legs this week. The baby has gotten big
enough to take up most of the uterus, and there's less room to move around. The
testes have completed their descent in males.
Except, we were at 5.5 lbs 3 weeks ago. No wonder I feel so round and ungainly. I am now finding it difficult to do just about everything. I am never comfortable. My back aches all of the time. I get sleepy for no reason. It is a carnival ride, let me tell you. This morning the projectile vomiting of stomach acid was back on the list of things to do. Yee. Freakin'. Haw.

I've been trying to do too much, I know. Prince Charming watched as I fell asleep on the couch (sitting upright) on Friday night. He finally dragged me to bed at 8:00 p.m. I finally got out of bed at 9 am on Saturday, only to face the hordes at our local Super WalMart. Prince Charming went with me and now has an improved appreciation of what I face for him and his love of food. After grocery shopping, we came home and cleaned house, made three batches of cookie dough, popped a garbage bag full of popcorn, and then began preparing the meal for the dinner party we had that evening.

Prince Charming took pity on me and did most of the cooking, leaving only the salad and dessert to me exclusively. Well, okay, I did have to supervise the potatoes too. We had a lovely time with our friends (but then, we always do). However, between the blizzard and other matters, the evening was still over by 11 pm.

So, on Sunday, Prince Charming got up and shoveled the snow. I baked 6 batches of cookies and made one batch of popcorn balls in addition to doing laundry and wrapping gifts. Speaking of which, it was the first load of laundry I have ever done for our little girl. That really made the whole thing so very real.

We have our birthing class tonite. I'm a bit nervous. Isn't that ridiculous?

Anyway, blogging will be light today because I need to do some online shopping.

Have a great day.

Labels:

posted by Phoenix | 11:22 AM | 1 comments


Friday, December 02, 2005
New Sign For the Park
It seems it is time to put up a new sign in the park next to that one that says "Don't Feed the Pigeons."

This one should say...

"Don't Piss Off the Squirrels. They will attack."
posted by Phoenix | 12:59 PM | 0 comments


Friday Feature
Today, after several weeks off, we return to a regular feature: The Current Events Quiz, courtesy of MSNBC.

I am proud to say that I answered 80% correctly.
posted by Phoenix | 12:57 PM | 0 comments


Battles with Bureaucracy
I went to the animal fair.
The birds and the beast were there.
The big baboon, by the light of the moon, was coming his auburn hair.
The monkey, he got drunk.
And sat on the elephant's trunk.
The elephant sneezed and fell to his knees,
and that was the end of the monk!

This song kept going through my head as I was running the maze of bureaucracy at our local medical clinic yesterday. For some reason, I felt like the monkey.

I went to the clinic yesterday for the first time to interview the pediatrician that had been recommended to me. I made the appointment two weeks ago for this past Tuesday, but they called Tuesday morning and moved me to Thursday. No big deal, I thought. I don't have a medical situation.

They sent out a reminder letter, telling me the location of the clinic, the time of the appointment, and that Pediatrics was on the second floor. Groovy.

I arrived 10 minutes early for my 3:00 p.m. appointment, located the elevator, and promptly made my way to the second floor. Upon stepping out of the elevator, though, I came upon my first obstacle.

A sign blocked my way that said, "Please check-in with a medical assistant." So I stood there next to the sign waiting for one of the clearly not busy medical assistants to notice my presence. Finally, one noticed me. She asked me my name. I told her. She asked if I had "registered" downstairs. "No," I said. My letter told me to go to the second floor, so that was what I had done.

She directed me to go back downstairs. And I did. Whereupon, I had to wait for one of the other idiots in a bank of unbusy workers to notice me and deign to put down her magazine to help me. Finally, one called me over and get this - merely verified all of the information that existed on me in their computer. I didn't add any new information, they had it all. They printed the screen and gave me the paper and a medical chart and sent me back upstairs to see the Head Villainess in Bureaucratic Hell.

So, now familiar with the dance steps, I went back upstairs to see her. Once again, I had to wait by the signpost to the seven levels for some time before she noticed me. Then, in directing me over to her torture chamber, she acted as though she'd never seen me before. She asked if I had registered downstairs. I swear, I wanted to say, "no, lady, I decided to just pretend to do what you told me, figuring you'd be too busy to help me when I came back and I could sneak past your little security gate here. God forbid we actually let the sick see medical professionals!" But, of course, I didn't say any of that.

I gave her my chart and she looked for me on the list. From off to the left, I hear the nurse calling my name for my appointment. However, I still haven't been cleared by the Head Villainess, so I can't go to the nurse. The wackjob is still looking for my name on her list (ridiculous, because I was on it the first time she checked) and finally lets me proceed to the waiting room.

However, I am now 10 minutes late for my appointment due to jumping through the bureaucratic hoops, so now I must wait.

And wait.

And wait some more.

Then, I finally get to meet the doctor and everything is fine.

There was no security to get out, by the way. Or, I guess there could have been and I managed to slip through the dragnet.

Either way, I have to say that it was the biggest waste of my time that I've ever experienced. I felt like the Customer in Monty Python's Cheese Shop skit, only me without my gun. I could have run the place better in my sleep.
posted by Phoenix | 12:35 PM | 2 comments


Tookie
For those of you who have been hibernating lately, you should know that there is a brouhaha bubbling over in California.

You see, convicted murderer Stanley "Tookie" Williams is expected to get the end result of his sentence in two weeks. That is to say, Tookie was sentenced to death upon the finding of his guilt for four murders comitted back in 1979. He is set to receive his lethal injection on December 13th.

You can read about the background here, but to make a long story short, just know that Tookie was the co-founder of the street gang known as "The Crips," and that this is his claim to fame.

Tookie has exhausted all of his appeals and no can only hope that California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger will grant him clemency. Why? What drum do pro-clemency advocates beat to suggest that Tookie should be granted clemency? Would you believe that Tookie has been rehabilitated and has written a number of anti-gang books while in prison? Would you further believe that he has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize a number of times (though he's never won)?

For these reasons, certain celebrities have chosen to lend their voices to the downtrodden plight of poor Tookie and are doing the full-court press on his behalf with Gov. Schwarzenegger. They've been all over the news. I can't imagine how you missed it.

Now, I'm a believer in our justice system. I believe that it provides more protection to the guilty than they likely deserve and our interminable appeals process allows for injustices to be corrected, should they arise. I know many will take offense at this, but I'm also a believer in the death penalty. If you've ever been a victim of a violent crime, you will understand that some dogs ought to be put down for the preservation of law-abiding members of society. I do feel that there is something wrong with the death penalty though, and that is we don't do it enough.

It simply isn't a deterrent, because you can sit on death row for 25 or more years playing legal tiddilywinks and getting fat on the taxpayer. Tookie's victims didn't get to live an additional 25 years, I would note, with somebody else footing the bills.

Nevertheless, my real issue with this is the celebrity cabal that has taken up the cause. I am sick of their posturing and preening, their moral superiority, and the very sound of the Reverend Jesse Jackson's voice. Blech!

The fact of the matter is you should never set aside a jury's sentence lightly. For heaven's sake! These people sacrificed time from their own lives to do the citizen's duty. They weighed the facts (which still stand undisputed according to the failure of the appeals), and found the man guilty. They then decided that his crimes warranted the ultimate punishment. I wasn't in that room, but I know that they sweated over the decision to end a man's life. It would be impossible not to fully justify it in your own mind. I certainly don't think that the feelings of a few weak-minded celebrities should weigh heavier than those of the surviving members of the victims' families, nor should they sway the governor from upholding the wishes of the people who sentenced him.

All because the guy wrote a few books saying "don't do what I did, yo!"

Seems to me that his point really hits home if he is executed and made to pay the price for his crimes. Much more powerful to the boys in the 'hood if Jamie Foxx and Snoop Dogg are unable to save your ass. Maybe then they'll think twice. ('Cause I sincerely doubt they are lining up at Barnes & Noble to pick up Tookie's latest tome.)
posted by Phoenix | 10:19 AM | 0 comments


Thursday, December 01, 2005
Happy Birthday
Today is my birthday. Today is all about me.

You should not feel required to send gifts. Instead, send out positive thoughts.

Yay!

Labels:

posted by Phoenix | 10:16 AM | 10 comments


Sigh, Swoon, The First Kiss
Today's topic for the glamorous gals of the Demystifying Divas and the Manly Mates of the Men's Club is Making the Move: The First Kiss.

Now, I have to admit, I'm a get-kissed the first time kind of girl, not the kind who runs around planting my lips on men at random. As such, I've decided to paint a picture of how I'd like to be approached for the first kiss, to give insight to the men.

It isn't that I disapprove of women who make the first move, per se, I'm just not one of them. As such, my advice on that score wouldn't be very helpful, would it?

Let's get on with it...

If you want to make a girl like me swoon, see stars, and generally go weak in the knees, you need to catch me off guard in a spontaneous moment. Don't wait until the end of the evening as though it is 1955 and you are Wally Cleaver. There is too much tension built into those moments for no reason. If we have enjoyed each other's company, and believe me you'll know, seize the opportune moment.

Say, for example, that we are walking back to the car from a lovely supper. Take my hand, pull me close, and look deep and meaningfully into my eyes. Say something simple and charming like "I simply must." Then, slowly descend and softly but decisively press your lips to mine.

Cut this first moment a bit short before delving deeper. This will allow me to catch my breath. (This is necessary because if you've done the lead-in and the surprise correctly, I will need more air.) Once I've taken in that air, you can expect me to be ready for more. Don't say anything in this moment. Look into my eyes again, and take me away from the earthly world with your lips. Kiss me like I am all that you need. Do not slobber. You may nibble on my lip if you desire. Wrap your arms around me and draw me even closer.

Allow the kiss to end sweetly on a sigh. Do not push this first encounter into a full-on assault that is headed for the bedroom. I'm not that kind of girl and your pushiness will get you nowhere.

Let the date move on in a normal course and at the end of the evening I will permit you to kiss me again before I close the door and you make your way home.

That is how I would instruct someone to make the first move.

Now, I must admit that I am not so picky. The above described scenario I would categorize as ideal. But, for an academic perusal, I feel it only fair to describe the most recent first kiss I've received, how it came about, and how successful it was.

Back in 1998, Prince Charming (who was then just Co-Worker X) and I and two friends were at a country bar in Champaign, IL. Everyone except the designated driver was drunk. I was drinking tequila shots and MGD bottles. Needless to say, I was drunk silly. Co-Worker X was drinking Brandy & Cokes and I had been stealing his cherries all night. (No jokes, please.)

At some point I became too dizzy to dance in my cowboy boots, so I sat out the Tush Push. Co-Worker X offered me another cherry and as I leaned in to accept it with my mouth, he kissed me instead.

This was quite a surprise to me.

And then, after I caught my breath, he kissed me again only deeper.

I was all atwitter. Quite suddenly I was sober and in dire need of the ladies room.

Long story short, we closed down the bar and our DD drove us home. When we arrived at my place, he walked me to the door and kissed me again.

He said, "Either you invite me in now, or I'll be back for breakfast."

I swear I don't remember what I said. I do know that for discretion's sake I sent him back to the car where our co-workers were waiting to take him home. I fretted and fidgeted in my own living room for about 45 minutes finding myself completely sober in no time. Then I drove over to his place.

And the rest is history.

Now, it is important to note, from a scientific approach, that Prince Charming's attempt at making the big move was not exactly perfect. However, you can't say that it wasn't a success. So, cheesy lines aside, I'm not sure that there is a perfect formula. The key ingredients for this kind of girl seem to be a) take me by surprise, b) look deep into my eyes, c) let me breathe, and d) hold me close.

Don't be timid. Be strong and confident but respectful and appreciative. Imagine that you are sipping the nectar of the God's Delight. Do so with all due reverance without being sappy.

That ought to do the trick.

Ordinarily, this is the place where I would direct you to see what the other Divas and Gents have to say on this weighty matter. However, the Divas have seen the defection of our senior leadership and we've also lost our fishy friend. I'm not sure how many will actually post on today's topic, but I will update this post as I discover those participating.

To be honest, I can't really blame Sadie, Kathy, and Phin for defecting. I know they have lives outside of the blogosphere, as do I, and it can be difficult at times to balance everything. Furthermore, most of us blog as a hobby. If you have to start worrying about weekly essays, the fun of the hobby starts to look more and more like work. They will be heartily missed by me and others, I know. I personally loved to read what these three would have to say each week. Perhaps they will ring in from time to time.

For my part, an apology is necessary. I'm not a chat room kind of girl. I barely have enough time to answer email, surf, and blog (oh, yeah, and balance work, holiday crap, and baby). When the site went through its transition, I lost track and only recently found my way back. So, no recriminations, I love you Sadie, Kathy, and Phin, and will continue to chuckle at your pearls of wisdom.

If participation takes place, you may expect the following to have something to say:

Divas:

Ally
Silk

Gents:

Jamesyboy
The Maximum Leader
Puffy
The Wizard

Leave me a comment if you post on the topic and I'll update the links.

Update: Okay, so it turns out I jumped the gun. Everybody else is taking this week off, so this same post will be making a return on Dec. 8th.
posted by Phoenix | 9:03 AM | 1 comments


Poetry:


Popular Posts:


Fiction:

divas


mensclub


divaettes


fighting 101s