succumbing to peer pressure

Friday, March 19, 2004

So good right now

Just got home from playing soccer on one of the most beautiful Friday afternoons in recent memory. (sorry to all you kids under snow - GA currently has some beauty to spare, so if I could send it your way, I would) Am tired and sore in a most satisfactory way. Since I'm apparently regressing back to my undergraduate days as a raging alcoholic (out drinking Tues-Thur this week) I passed on a night of dancing with the chem kids and instead will (hopefully) be getting a little more work done and watching lame-ass girly movies. Of course, this is merely so I can justify spending tomorrow afternoon bar-hopping and watching march madness with Ryan and her friends. Anyway. My weird early Thursday morning post was a result of getting my feelings hurt on St. Pat's day, but then the day ended up pretty well, so I was kind of still carrying around this upsetness but was also kind of happy and a little confused and tired and ... whatever. It's really unimportant in the grand scheme of things. Suffice it to say that two of my friends still owe me an apology (imho) and Travers totally came through as the nice guy that he is.

The other fun factoids that I learned about reproductive health in third world countries are:

- hundreds of thousands of women give birth every year in third world countries with packets from UNFPA consisting only of a clean plastic sheet, a bar of soap, a sterile razor blade, and string. Nothing else. Conditions are so dire that this tiny little improvement in the sanitation of childbirth has significantly improved women's health. They still don't have doctors or midwives to help with labor, and god help them if the child is breech or the delivery is otherwise difficult in some way.
-America's $34 million is 12.5% of UNFPA's budget
-Europe has added several million more to the UNFPA fund in an attempt to make up for America short changing them
-No other country has *ever* defunded UNFPA for any reason other than fiscal.

Thanks George W. Bush. Way to set an example. I suppose that's what he meant by "compassionate conservative"?

Thursday, March 18, 2004


My friend Cara and her boyfriend Kevin planned an inexpensive spring break camping in the Outer Banks. They didn't plan on a hurricane hitting during their second night. It's actually a fabulous story, one that she tells far better than I would, but the point here is a small detail - she described how they were trying to find somewhere to go, a hotel or some sort of shelter, and reached a flooded section of road. They could see a car accident had occurred on the other side of the flood and Kevin said, I can't leave them. Not, perhaps we should call for help for them, but I am incapable of abandoning these people whom I have never met, so I will wade perhaps 50 yards through chest deep near-freezing water to make sure they're ok. I like to think that I would rise to an occasion like that, and I always admire the abstract heroic acts of people on television or in the newspaper. But it's entirely different when the living, breathing people are those whom I am lucky enough to call friends.

Also inspiring today was meeting Jane Roberts. A retired French teacher who is so outraged by President Bush's careless veto of $34 million dollars for the United Nations Population Fund (the folks who provide reproductive health care to third world countries - everything from condoms to basic ob/gyn check-ups to midwives and birthing assistance and neo-natal care) that she woke up at 3 am with the idea - a brilliant social statement that Bush was wrong and ordinary Americans will right that wrong - 34 million friends. Everyone donates one dollar. One, single, little dollar. To make up for the President's mistake. To pay for things like surgery for 13 year old girls suffering from fistulas as a result of pregnancies before their bodies were ready. (don't know what a fistula is? look it up, then dig a dollar out of your wallet and mail it to the US Committee for UNFPA, 3800 Arapahoe Avenue, Suite 210, Boulder CO, 80303 or go here and donate online) She's travelled to Senegal and Mali where she's met women who have had life saving c-sections, thanks to funds from the UNFPA. I have so much more to say about this, but it's way past my bedtime, so tune in tomorrow for more fun facts about poverty-stricken women in third-world countries - just another segment of the world population receiving a giant Fuck You from the current administration.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

I smell like a bar and I can't quite decide how I's been a rather up and down day...yeah, perhaps I'll just sleep on it....feeling a little too unsettled to put coherent thoughts together.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Two kinds

Also, part of tonight was a study in two different kinds of conservative Republicans (obviously, there are more than two different kinds, I just happened to be seated across from two people). A friend's girlfriend, J, is a self-proclaimed financial and governmental conservative/social liberal. She and I had a really interesting and fruitful discussion wherein we were able to espouse polar opposite views yet each maintain an open mind and civility. It was truly lovely. T, the gentleman who happened to be seated next to her (neither her boyfriend nor my friend) was, imo, a perfect example of the type who gives any party/affiliation a bad name. Of course, there was plenty of alcohol involved, so he probably deserves some benefit of the doubt, but even J admitted that he was certainly not helping her cause. J and I would pin point a very specific issue on which we disagreed, and then elaborate on the "facts" as we knew them, how we came to believe the things we believed on said issue, etc. T would jump in with a loud overgeneralization, which, more often than not, had nothing to do with whatever J and I were discussing. It was frustrating, but made J seem all the more reasonable, even when she was saying things like, "The liberal media..." Anyway, despite the fact that I now reside in "the dirty dirty" I have found myself far more surrounded by liberals here than I ever was at Case. So it was interesting and refreshing to hear first hand the sorts of arguments I've been astounded by in mainstream (and not so mainstream) newspapers, radio, and television.

Wow. Mixed feelings of happiness and guilt. How Megan planned for this evening to go: DayDreamer's Guide meeting at 5:30, swing by mixer a little after 6 for a quick free dinner, arrive only slightly late for 7:00 March Meet-up. How tonight actually went: Day Dreamer's Guide meeting at 5:30, arrive at mixer a little before 7, food takes 2 hours to arrive, never get to March Meet-up. Instead, have really, really good time with friends. So, happy about having so much fun with people I care about, guilty about not going to "making the world a better place" meeting. Feel like a hypocrite. Also feel irresponsible because goal for today was another two pages of writing about refugees and whatnot and instead all I really want to do is pop a movie in and go to bed. Just enough alcohol in the system to be sleepy. On the bright side, it's "only" 10 pm and perhaps with a little coffee I can stay up for a couple more hours and crank out a couple more pages and redeem my worthless butt. Let's hope so. As Travers mentioned, it's way too early in the week to be starting. Tomorrow is St. Pat's, so it's mostly a waste. And Thursday is Taco Mac night. Sheesh. I'm more of (ok, perhaps just as much of) an alcoholic as I was back during freshman year!

Sunday, March 14, 2004

A Face the Nation interview to make your day (from atrios, of course):

SCHIEFFER: Well, let me just ask you this. If they did not have these weapons of mass destruction, though, granted all of that is true, why then did they pose an immediate threat to us, to this country?

Sec. RUMSFELD: Well, you're the--you and a few other critics are the only people I've heard use the phrase `immediate threat.' I didn't. The president didn't. And it's become kind of folklore that that's--that's what's happened. The president went...

SCHIEFFER: You're saying that nobody in the administration said that.

Sec. RUMSFELD: I--I can't speak for nobody--everybody in the administration and say nobody said that.

SCHIEFFER: Vice president didn't say that? The...

Sec. RUMSFELD: Not--if--if you have any citations, I'd like to see 'em.

Mr. FRIEDMAN: We have one here. It says `some have argued that the nu'--this is you speaking--`that the nuclear threat from Iraq is not imminent, that Saddam is at least five to seven years away from having nuclear weapons. I would not be so certain.'

Sec. RUMSFELD: And--and...

Mr. FRIEDMAN: It was close to imminent.

Sec. RUMSFELD: Well, I've--I've tried to be precise, and I've tried to be accurate. I'm s--suppose I've...

Mr. FRIEDMAN: `No terrorist state poses a greater or more immediate threat to the security of our people and the stability of the world and the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq.'

Sec. RUMSFELD: Mm-hmm. It--my view of--of the situation was that he--he had--we--we believe, the best intelligence that we had and other countries had and that--that we believed and we still do not know--we will know. David Kay said we're about 85 percent there. I don't know if that's the right percentage. But the Iraqi Survey Group--we've got 1,200 people out there looking. It's a country the size of California. He could have hidden his--enough chemical or biol--enough biological weapons in the hole that--that we found Saddam Hussein in to kill tens of thousands of people. So--so it's not as though we have certainty today. But what--think what happened. There were 17 UN resolutions. There was unanimous agreement that he had filed a fraudulent declaration. The final opportunity was given with the last resolution, and he didn't take it. He chose war. He didn't do what Kazakhstan did. He didn't do what South Africa did. He didn't do what Ukraine did. He--he didn't say, `Come in and look and see what we have.' He was engaged in active deception. We'll ultimately know a great deal about what took place.

I'm sorry, "he didn't say, 'Come in and look and see what we have.''??? I thought we were the ones who pulled weapons inspectors out of Iraq after Saddam allowed them into the country. Then again, I suppose I'm not up on my revisionist history the way Rummy is. But it does brighten my day to think of him twisting in the wind, confusing which lies he's supposed to be spouting this week. Seriously, it's worth downloading the entire transcript from here to read him attempt to explain what's being called the "backdoor draft policy" by the Military Officers Association of America. And my absolute favorite part comes at the very end:

SCHIEFFER: Finally today, I call your attention to the words of 18-year-old Emily Nemeyer of Tampa, Florida. She recently won a contest sponsored by a student group called Freedom's Answer, in which teen-agers were asked to complete the sentence, `If I were president.' Her answer was published in today's Parade magazine, and here is what she wrote.
`If I were president, I would remember what it was like to live with two hardworking parents barely eking out a living day by day. I would remember that there are always two, maybe even seven, sides to an argument. I would remember in times of war to visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to ponder if it is truly worth the price to inscribe that many names on a wall once more. I would remember what it's like to stand on a beach, staring at the ocean and feeling completely insignificant in the grand scheme of things. I would remember how it felt to watch the second tower collapse live on television. I would remember and swell with pride at being an American.'

I just might have to send that to President Bush. We might all be a little better off if he remembered such things.

A Date?

I still can't figure it out. The facts: he picked me up a little after 8, we went to a bar in east atlanta, traded off paying for rounds for about 4 hours, no awkward silences or shortage of conversation, stopped at a restaurant for some food on the way home, got back around 2-2:30, I invited him in, we chatted on the couch until around 3, he hugged me goodbye. (hugged!)

I know, doesn't sound very date-like to me either. But, a good time was had by all, which was nice. And I can't really figure out why else a guy would invite out a near-stranger for a one-on-one evening. Seems if he were looking for a friend he would have invited me along on a group activitiy. Who knows. I'm done trying to understand dbb (dumb boy behavior).