Saturday, June 30, 2007

Holy Cow Eh? Almost forgot Canada Day

My adopted country, how I miss thee..thy Kids in the Hall, thy Hockey (actually, no scrap that, don't miss that), Parliament Hill on Canada Day, filled to the brim with people and the fireworks, wide open spaces.. REALLY wide open spaces.. canoeing on the great many lakes in Ontario/Algonquin Park, the self effaced people, let's see what I can scrounge up on Youtube to celebrate Canada Day...(thanks Granny for reminding me what day it is)

William Shatner - I AM CANADIAN


Rockin' Girl Blogger Award goes to...

As you read in the previous post, I got 'awarded' and consequently tagged for the Rockin' Girl Blogger Award. I could say right back atcha to Mary for tagging me but then it ends up being one of those 'thank you, thank YOU!, THANK YOU!!' etc etc etc. lol
However, the idea is to award/tag 5 other rockin' women/girls and I realized how few blogs I frequent are headed up by women.. Still, here goes :

Is America Burning? Granny, Worried and Gadfly are three diverse women from different parts of the country (US) who comment passionately on all things hypocritical; politics, gay and lesbian issues (having a gay child in the family), the war in Iraq (having a son or was it grandson?? sorry Worried, forgot) and the dangerous mix of politics and fundamentalist Christianity. Who says that blogging is for the 'young' self absorbed, here I am look at ME, generation? Daily do they post and daily do they keep me informed of things that go unnoticed in the big media.. You gals rock!

Betmo, from Life's Journey. Very involved, outspoken, informed and informative. That is how I found out about the upcoming 7/7/7 concerts all over the world next week. A fellow participant in the now non-functional 'bloggers against torture', she and I and a few others were early participants in the 24hr blogging marathon for raising awareness about Guantanamo. Check her out for progressive commentaries. And did I say informed?

Miraj, from Baghdad Chronicles. She in all her vulnerability and terrorized moments has a strength that one can only be thankful for when reading her posts. Even though she has not posted since January of this year, many people return to check up on her in the hopes of some report that she is doing well. That she is alive. I fear we will never know. Even in the best of times in our comfortable lives here outside the war zone it is easy to get out of the groove of posting. How much more when you are faced with daily terror, danger, and seemingly (?) insurmountable challenges? Miraj, where ever you are, you rock girl!
Still worthwhile to check out her posts.

Zazou, of Make Some Noise. Zazou is another politically motivated blogger with strong artistic overtones (undertones, 'tones'??). Her Arabic connections stem from a previous marriage to a Maroccan, and having lived in the culture being much more understanding of the complicated and varied Arab backgrounds of which there are many. She's an American living in SoCal and always has something interesting to say and share with her artistic friends.

Um Naief.. Hynotic Verses. Actually, in respect for her 'new identity' as a new mom, I won't share her real English name as she's an American married to a Bahraini. So now, she's 'Um Naief', mother of Naief. It is fascinating to follow someone else's travails and trials living in a very different culture dealing with everything from inlaw superstitions, to frustrations regarding politics etc. As is common with those with blogs, she's outspoken and has plenty of interesting life stories to share. To take that big leap of faith to follow one's love to such a different culture, it takes strength and courage and devotion.. you rock girl!!

So with this award, I present to you an accompanying mission; report on five other rockin' girl bloggers and pass along the award.


Military site for casualties

One of my blogger buddies, a military mom Mary ( Get Your Own ) posted this link on her site. It is such a sobering site to see the names, ages and where or how they died, I can imagine (as much as I can, I have no children even old enough to be in the military) how awful it must be to check that site and perhaps even seeing your childs' name on it. Of course, they will not post someone's name unless family was notified, but if you know people who are in the same troup (batallion, what do you call it??), you can figure that something might be wrong.

Another military mom in my neighbourhood just had a two week holiday with her son who had to go back about 11 days ago. She's been so worried as she and him had heard of some his military buddies having died in the course of duty while he was home. She's been so depressed and sad. I wonder how parents can live 'normally' while they worry so deeply with their children in Iraq or Afghanistan. My heart goes out to them. This fourth of july, I have been assigned (volunteered by fellow board members of our neighbourhood association, thank you) to organize the annual social bbq/picnic. Actually, it was for Memorial Day but we got rained out so I figured I'd combine Memorial Day and the Fourth. We are still having high chances of rain so cross your fingers.
My plan is to have people bring things for a care package for that ladies' son as a gesture of community support. Let's hope for a good turn out..
and let's hope I will get back in the swing of posting.. Mary just tagged me for

a 'Rockin' Girl Blogger' award.. I guess in my case, sometimes I rock, and sometimes I gotta roll with the punches.. that's what I've been doing lately..
Sure gotta get back to that 'rockin' state!!
I have to tag 5 other rockin' girl bloggers but I'll have to do that later today..I am being 'tugged' by my brood for breakfast.. rock on y'all!

Military site; U.S. Casualties in Operation Iraqi Freedom

Friday, June 29, 2007

Yes, Prime Minister..time for some Sir Humphries!

And now for something completely different..
I just found out today how little my doctor's office cares about their patients..such as myself. My own doctor is out of town for a week, and the doctor on call was not willing to call something in to the pharmacy for my nausea caused by going back on lexapro.. neither do the other doctors in the practice. They do, however want me to come in, and 'review' my chart (which they obviously cannot do without me).. and pocket $60 for the visit thank you very much.
It's time to find another doctor's office.. it's time for.... Sir Humphries..

Monday, June 25, 2007

Lexapro Rehab

hello lovelies, it's been a while. I managed to go 'kookoo' with my 4yr old who obviously needed to go to summer school for a bit because she really missed her class. Now, there is peace in the house in the morning and her mood is better.

Speaking of which..hers is, mine isn't. For the regulars, you know I had started taking Lexapro last Fall because of sudden anxiety attacks. Well, I tried to taper off once but apparently went down to much so I 'had' to start taking it again. I figured, I can wean myself off over the summer very slowly. Well, I started going from my 10mg to 7.5mg and just took it every other day and then lo and behold, I forgot about it. I haven't taken it for a week and yesterday whilst shopping I was fighting a panic attack the whole time. Last week, I started to experience insomnia and funky headaches and then it dawned on me, 'bleep'' withdrawals.
I was told by my doctor and my obgyn to not read anecdotal information about that online but if you're concerns re. side effects (like gaining weight, luckily always having been skinny, I supposedly look 'normal' now plus am tall) so you do go and look for an online community of people in the same boat.
My brain feels addicted. Not like street drugs addicted, would not even know what that felt like, or alcoholically 'effected' (ok, been tipsy a few times but hated the feeling so that was that!) but somehow, knowing that you have to taper off this meds makes me feel as if I was 'made addicted'. This is what I read on this one group:
lexapro is supposedly 98% protein building and that is the reason for it taking a long time to get out of your system. If you quite cold turkey, you can get delayed withdrawals.

I took my regular dosage this morning and am on the look out for a psychiatrist. Not that I need such a person for a major issue other than counseling with the guidance of a medical doctor so I can get off this meds once and for all. I hate addictions or the feeling that I 'need' something (that is why I never did drugs, I did not like the idea of being controlled by something, or how it could control making me feel) but there you have it. When you're a parent, a busy parent, you don't have the luxury to just crash and boohoohoo all your troubles to a loving support group that will take over the reigns of your household. I need to function which means driving to school, doctor appointments and being 'present' and not in a fetal position..
I hate it!
Anyhow..temporary setback.. really need to time the withdrawal to fit into your life..can't be too busy...
what a hassle..

Monday, June 11, 2007

Robert Jensen interviews Abe Osheroff

Robert Jensen is a University of Texas Journalism professor here in Austin. As an activist and writer, he also co-founded Third Coast Activist. The thing that always gets me is the lack of overall interest in serious political issues with a strong desire to change things for the better. Campaign and electoral changes come to mind where we can un-seed the two parties and have more parties shake things up and work on consensus building or coaltion building, rather than one party vieing against another with all the reactionary platforms that come with it.

Check out the site

Anyhow, check out this interesting interview where Abe Osheroff basically says, forget about joining activist groups, work on your own. Well, he's talking about himself really but I agree; nothing can be done at this point in time to change the mindset of the majority of Americans. Life is just too good for them. Excerpt time:

4) Building political movements in an affluent society
RJ: Let's talk about movement building, about the tension between the need for people like Turnbow, with all that energy and passion, and the need for discipline and organization. For years you were a member of the CP, which was highly disciplined and organized. After leaving, you've mostly worked on your own politically -- with people, in groups, but not in that kind of disciplined organization. Is there a way to balance this? Can we have structures that bring people in and organize the energy, without restricting and limiting people in the way institutions sometimes do?

AO: Well, we may never achieve that. It may not be possible to balance those things. In fact, it's not sensible to believe it can be achieved. Rather than a goal you think we'll get to, it's a direction in which we have to move, to build a movement that keeps those things in balance. But I have to tell you, at this moment, I can't think of a movement that I would want to be a member of.

RJ: Do you mean a recognizable political movement in the U.S.?

AO: In the U.S. at the moment, I have two options. I can do what I'm doing, which is working somewhat independently, or I can quit. There's no movement that exists out there for me to join. The way I look at my work, frankly, I feel like I'm helping -- together with others -- to plant the seeds for a different type of movement. To me, a lot of my work is a seeding operation. What I think we need is -- something that's always been absent in American political life -- is a conscious attention to activism as a way of life and as a vehicle toward achieving some kind of structure for society which will be of use, historically. Right now, that structure does not exist, and it will not come into being by declaration, or by a handful of people desperate to have some kind of movement who institutionalize one. There's no basis for that right now in this country.

RJ: No basis for...

AO: A movement, a real movement. There are a lot of people in motion, doing all kinds of things. But there's nothing that represents them -- not the Communist Party or the civil-rights movement, or anything like that. There's a void.

RJ: Do you mean that there just doesn't happen to be an existing structure, or that the conditions are such that you don't think one is possible right now? I agree there's no movement in any serious sense. But are you saying you think the conditions are such that one can't exist right now?

AO: I think right now it's kind of fruitless to work at creating such a thing, at least for me. It seems to me there's no way in the world it could happen right now. If others see it, I'd love to learn about it, but I don't see it.

RJ: What's missing that makes that impossible right now?

AO: Well, the big thing that makes everything difficult is that the so-called movement in our country consists basically of middle-class people, who are fairly comfortable. That's what most of the movement is. And such a movement has its value, but it's not exactly a durable basis for building things. I'm not going to negate it; there's a great deal happening. But it cannot result in real positive growth. We have a thing here in Seattle called SNOW -- Sound Nonviolent Opponents of War, as in Puget Sound. It's based on consensus. It became a wheel, with spokes, a coalition with no hub, no axle, and it's in a constant state of crisis and disarray. I mean, we don't deserve the reputation we've got in Seattle for activism.

RJ: When you say middle-class, is it U.S. affluence that stands in the way of a real movement?
Read the rest HERE.

Which reminds me when I spoke with this lady at a birthday party. She said that people are not suffering enough to make changes. And a comfortable middle class won't.

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Saturday, June 09, 2007

China and the Sudan connection

We get the Wall Street Journal and even though I do not agree with some of its conservative views, I have learned and always did anyway, that in order to learn about any issue, it behooves you to read from different or differING news sources. This past week, my eye caught this full page huge ad from Save Darfur. I wish I could post it, but it's too big, follow the LINK instead. It's called " Beijing games, Darfur genocide " and it makes the connection as you can read below. In the face of still being basically ignored, I could not help but wonder whether this could become or would become, or SHOULD become an issue for boycotting China's Olympic Games. What do you think? has a post called "Ad campaign seeks to shame China into loosening ties with Sudan" that's worth checking out...

A new ad campaign attempts to draw a contrast between China's high profile role as host of the 2008 Olympics and the more controversial hand it has played in backing Sudan, scene of a four-year old humanitarian catastrophe. The campaign is being sponsored…

Eyes on Darfur, check out physical evidence of satelite pictures etc.. HERE
Want to write a letter to the editor of your newspaper regarding the China-Sudan connection?

More about the China-Sudan background, check HERE and HERE.

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