succumbing to peer pressure

Friday, January 23, 2009

It's a good day
(despite my personal grumblings)

Yay, Yay, and Yay! Oh Mr. President, you make me so proud!
"On this anniversary, we must also recommit ourselves more broadly to ensuring that our daughters have the same rights and opportunities as our sons: the chance to attain a world-class education; to have fulfilling careers in any industry; to be treated fairly and paid equally for their work and to have no limits on their dreams," Obama said. "That is what I want for women everywhere."
"While this is a sensitive and often divisive issue, no matter what our views, we are united in our determination to prevent unintended pregnancies, reduce the need for abortion and support women and families in the choices they make," Obama said. "To accomplish these goals, we must work to find common ground to expand access to affordable contraception, accurate health information and preventative services."


It is now late January. I am attempting to schedule my defense for the first week of March, assuming my meeting with my committee in February goes ok. This is proving impossible. Not only can I not get my entire committee in the same room, but I can't even get a damn room! I know it shouldn't matter all that much - once I'm done, I'm done, and if there's a little lag in actually getting all the final paperwork signed that should be ok. But this latest round of e-mails has seriously made me nauseous. I just want to be officially done!

Thanks Kate!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

It's blog for choice day!

I have always been pro-choice, with the underlying rhetoric to my choice changing, and (hopefully) becoming more sophisticated as I grow up. But ever since the day that one of my best friends needed a dialation and evacuation procedure to end a failed pregnancy that was endangering her life, I've simply lost the ability to speak calmly or rationally on this topic. Yes, I know this kind of procedure, and the reasons for needing this kind of procedure, make up a tiny minority of all abortions. Yes, I know many anti-abortion laws make allowances for the health of the mother. I don't care. I don't want loop holes for some, access for some. I don't want anyone to have the power to decide who gets the right to choose and who doesn't. Who are you to stand between my friend and her doctor and judge the choices they make and the reasons they make them? What business is it of yours to eavesdrop on that most personal of conversations? Who endowed you with the authority to determine what counts as a good enough reason to make one choice or another? How can you possibly write legislation that affects every woman, and every family, when every woman and every family is so different?

Back during the primaries, when I was trying to decide between Clinton and Obama, I noted that I was particularly won over by Obama's stance on government transparency. So glad to discover those weren't just empty words - from a memo our new president just issued to federal agencies:
"The presumption of disclosure also means that agencies should take affirmative steps to make information public. They should not wait for specific requests from the public. All agencies should use modern technology to inform citizens about what is known and down by their Government. Disclosure should be timely."
Ok, so it's perhaps not radical, and certainly we need to see these words directly translated into some actual government transparency, but god it's just so nice to once again have a leader who at least thinks about these things!

Monday, January 19, 2009


"I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today -- my own government."
MLK, April 1967
(streaming mp3 available here)


Ten OTHER Things Martin Luther King Said

Election Night in Harlem

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I kind of don't care whether or not this story is fabricated:

I love the Lincoln Memorial at night. It always inspires me. So I take Michelle and the girls. We’re looking at the Gettysburg Address. And Michelle’s describing what Lincoln’s words mean. The fact that these soldiers died on this battlefield means that any words that Lincoln could have said or any of us could have said would ring hollow. They’ve already consecrated this ground, and what we have to do is to honor them by working for —- for more just —- more justice, more equality here in America. At which point, Malia turns to me, and she says, “Yes, how are we doing on that, Mr. President-elect?”

JK Living

(I was going to link to Matthew McConaughey's website, but holy crap, is that thing an annoying mess)

My Dad has always described me as living a nomadic lifestyle, which I guess is a generally accurate description of the student lifestyle in general, but realistically, is just not an accurate description of me. I guess you could say when it comes to cities I'm more of a serial monogamist. I spent 17 years in WV, 5 in Cleveland, and now I'm working on 6 in Atlanta. And, as a student, I have had many a friend come and go, geographically speaking. Between friends and family I know people in DC, Boston, NY, FL, CA, Seattle, TX, London, Germany, and Australia. I have always been raised to consider people moving away as simply having an excuse to visit interesting new locales. And I've been caught up in my own drama - working on the dissertation, starting a new job, moving, etc. I haven't really paused to consider that I am leaving a home (perhaps more importantly, a home of my own creation). Something about tonight's party-hopping hit that trigger, made me realize that a mere 5 months from now I won't be living here. This will be a place about which I tell stories. A place that is a notch in my historical belt. I felt this compulsion to grab on to everything. To lie down on the ground and soak it all up. I flashed back to moving out of our place in Cleveland, to the empty rooms left by AWB and PC. I wondered what it will be like to wander this apartment when the rooms are empty and I'm checking for anything left behind. I guess I'm glad for the opportunity to ponder moving away for five months...