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March 30, 2005

more on the Schiavo case

I found this article on the Terri Schiavo case to be very interesting. Thanks to billy for posting it. I know we are all sick of hearing about this, but I am seeing opinions elsewhere that I have a hard time agreeing with.

What scares me most is the precedent that the government can intercede in the case of an individual. I know they say it won't be able to be used as precedence, but I don't trust that. I hope it would not happen again, but there will now be something to judge against, that the federal government can step in to change the law for one person.

Please tell me I am misunderstanding what is happening and that isn't a true concern. Yes, I care about the individual that is Terri Schiavo. And not to sound harsh, but people die in war all the time for the better of the country. Isn't that how we revere those we have lost recently? So why does this one person get to turn federal law on its head to save her life? A life which I am not sure anyone would want, and which she has apparently told people besides her husband she wouldn't want either?

*sits back and watches the nutjobs come out of the woodwork to holler at me*

Current Affairs 12:20 AM | Permalink | Comments (14) | TrackBack

March 27, 2005

the beauty of aging gracefully

I found this on Tribe.net at a time I really needed to read it. I hope it makes it to you who need to read it too.


I was at a wedding Saturday with a lot of women in their 20s and 30s in sexy dresses, their youthful skin aglow. And even though I was 20 or 30 years older, a little worse for wear, a little tired and overwhelmed by the loud music, I was smiling.

I smiled with a secret Cheshire-cat smile of pleasure and relief in being older-49 and change, which even I would have to admit is no longer extremely late youth. But I would not give you back a year of life lived.

Age has given me what I was looking for my entire life-it gave me me. It provided the time and experience and failures and triumphs and friends who helped me step into the shape that had been waiting for me all my life. I fit into me now-mostly. I have an organic life finally, not the one people imagined for me or tried to get me to have or the life someone else might celebrate as a successful one-I have the life I dreamed of. I have become the woman I hardly dared imagine I could be. There are parts I don't love-until a few years ago, I had no idea that you could get cellulite on your stomach- but I not only get along with me most of the time now, I am militantly and maternally on my own side.

Left to my own devices, would I trade this for firm thighs, fewer wrinkles, a better memory?

On some days. That's why it's such a blessing I'm not left to my own devices. Because the truth is I have amazing friends and a deep faith in God, to whom I can turn. I have a cool kid, a sweet boyfriend, darling pets. I've learned to pay attention to life, and to listen. I'd give up all this for a flatter belly? Are you crazy?

I still have terrible moments when I despair about my body. But they are just moments- I used to have years when I believed I would be more beautiful if I jiggled less; if all parts of my body stopped moving when I did. But I believe two things now that I didn't at 30. When we get to heaven, we will discover that the appearance of our butts and skin was 127th on the list of what mattered on this earth. And I know the truth that lam not going to live forever, and this has set me free. Eleven years ago, when my friend Pammy was dying at the age of 37 we went shopping at Macy's. She was in a wheelchair, with a wig and three weeks to live. I tried on a short dress and came out to model it for Pammy. I asked if she thought it made me look big in the thighs, and she said, so kindly, "Annie? You just don't have that kind of time."

I live by this story.

I am thrilled-thrilled-ish-for every gray hair and achy muscle, because of all the friends who didn't make it, who died too young of AIDS and breast cancer. And much of the stuff I used to worry about has subsided-what other people think of me and of how l am living my life. I give these things the big shrug. Mostly. Or at least, eventually. It's a huge relief.

I became more successful in my mid-40s, but this pales compared to the other gifts of this decade-how kind to myself I have become, what a wonderful, tender wife I am to myself, what a loving companion. I get myself tubs of hot salty water at the end of the day in which to soak my tired feet. I run interference for myself when I am working, like the wife of a great artist would: "No, I'm sorry, she can't come. She's working hard these days and needs a lot of downtime." I live by the truth that No is a complete sentence. I rest as a spiritual act.

I have grown up enough to develop radical acceptance. I insist on the right to swim in warm water at every opportunity, no matter how cold, no matter how young and gorgeous the other people on the beach are. I don't think that if I live to be 80 I'll wish I'd spent more hours in the gym or kept my house a lot cleaner. I think I'm going to wish I had swum more unashamedly, made more mistakes, spaced out more, rested. On the day I die, I want to have had dessert. So this informs howl live now.

I have survived so much loss, as all of us have by our 40th-my parents, dear friends. my pets. Rubble is the ground on which our deepest friendships are built. If you haven't already, you will lose someone you can't live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of a beloved person. But this is also the good news. They live forever, in your broken heart that doesn't seal back up. And you come through. It's like having a leg that never heals perfectly-that still hurts when the weather is cold-but you learn to dance with the limp. You dance to the absurdities of life; you dance to the minuet of old friendships.

I danced alone for a couple of years, and came to believe I might not ever have a passionate romantic relationship-might end up alone! I'd been so terrified of this my whole life. But I'd rather never be in a couple or never get laid again than to be in a toxic relationship. I spent a few years celibate. It was lovely, and it was sometimes lonely. I had surrendered;

I'd run out of bullets. But I learned to be the person I wished I'd meet-at which point I found a kind, artistic, handsome man. we have been together 20 months now, when we get out of bed, we hold our lower backs, like Walter Brennan, and we smile.

Younger women worry that their memories will begin to go. And you know what? They will. Menopause has not increased my focus and retention as much as I'd been hoping. But a lot is better off missed. A lot is better not gotten around to.

I know many of the women at the wedding fear getting older, and I wish I could gather them together again and give them my word of honor that every one of my friends loves being older, loves being in her 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s. My Aunt Gertrud is 85 and leaves us behind in the dust when we hike. Look, my feet hurt some mornings, and my body is less forgiving when I exercise more than I'm used to. But I love my life more, and me more. I'm so much juicier. And, like that old saying goes, it's not that I think less of myself, but that I think of myself less often. And that feels like heaven to me

Other People's Words 08:27 PM | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack

March 22, 2005

PURE - amazing!

Recently some of my bellydance sistahs went to Houston for a PURE event. PURE stands for Public Urban Ritual Experiment, and hosts events of bellydancers and percussionists to go out in the cities to create living art. Go here and watch the video of some amazing PURE dancers in New York City.

Some of the dancers who experienced this are hoping to start a PURE group here in the DFW area. I've offered my help and hope to be dancing in such events either later in 2005 or early 2006, as soon as we can get it all organized. I'm excited! I am sure there will be video of the event and I'll post it or a link to it here when it happens.

Dancing 11:34 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

which flavor of tea are you?

Just to prove it always (almost always) works out this way

You are Egyptian Licorice Tea!
You are Egyptian Licorice tea! Only the daring pick
you up at the market and sample a taste. You
have a unique taste and are not for
everyone..yet once someone is attached, they
seem to stick around for the most part.

Which flavor of tea are you? (with images)
brought to you by Quizilla

Just like Anne, of course.

Quizzes 03:03 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 21, 2005

in like a lion

Happy Equinox, Happy Spring! Ok, I'm a day late (and a dollar short) but I am thrilled that spring has finally sprung. Yeah, the lawn needs mown regularly now. Yeah, the weather is erratic and the pressure changes leave us all feeling like crap, at least here in Texas. But I can't complain that the temps are in the 70s and 80s  and the breeze blows through in a way that makes the local parks irresistable.

On that note, my creativity levels have increased, woohoo! My little gnomes and wizards are coming along (more photos soon) and I have finally picked the art back up and am creating characters for an online comic strip. I have the first two strips written but need to finish designing the way everything looks. Thank goodness for books on art and drawing since there just aren't any really good places to go learn to polish your drawing style here without being in school. Maybe they'd let me audit, but honestly I don't remember any classes at UNT teaching what I want to know. Oh well!

Thursday last was Harem Night at Stratos and the show was wonderful! My good friend/teacher Jessica Dawn and I are going to dance at the next Harem Night, April 10 at Constatin's. That is, if I can get the choreography memorized and my backbends working right again. I haven't been keeping my flexibility up as much as I should but this is a great reason to get it back, as well as my strength. 20 days and counting! Meanwhile, Little Egypt had another great weekend of classes and dancing and...I do have a copy of my last performance on DVD. For those who asked, your copies will be in the mail soon and I will post one here as soon as I figure out how to do it.

A word about the BellyDance Academy that is hosting the Harem Nights. The place is run by Neenah and she is a legend and a goddess. When I mentioned the woman who could roll quarters on her stomach, up and down, left row, then middle row, then right row, this is the woman. Her muscle isolation is incredible and her show is not to be missed! She is a lot of fun to watch and has great stage presence. Dancers like Neenah inspire me to keep working.

Dancing, fun stuff, Life 11:51 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 17, 2005

green and geeky

Not much to say today except Happy St. Paddy's Day. In lieu of coming up with something cool to say myself, I direct you to Michael Hanscom's blog, eclecticism, where he has an amazing pre-review and explanation of an up-and-coming Star Trek movie, Star Trek XI. Just below that entry is one about the next Star Wars movie and how the trailers lure us into a false sense of security that this time the movie will be better than the last ones and return to the glory that was episodes 4-6. I can't link to it, though, as I get an error page each time I try. So just go look for yourselves. :)

addendum: Michael sent this link along to the Star Wars entry. It worked for me and should work for you too.


Film, Holidays 09:10 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 16, 2005

now presenting....

The first "normal" looking gnome. More to come!


I may give him mittens. We'll see.

Knitting 04:26 PM | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

March 14, 2005

March madness

Just a few links here to mark  the special days of March:

March 14, today (for another 10 minutes) is Einstein's birthday. 2005 would be his 126th birthday, 100 years after he came up with the theory of relativity and other fantastic discoveries. Yep, he was 26. Amazing, isn't it? And they say youth is wasted on the young.

March 14 is also Pi Day. Why? Because 3/14 is the first three numbers of pi, 3.14159......  Go buy a t-shirt and support a mathematician.

March 15, the Ides of March, the day Caesar was warned against which has become synonymous with unlucky days just like Friday the 13th. Note that in some months the Ides falls on the 13th instead of the 15th. Sounds ominous. We all knew teens were trouble. Ever hear of unlucky Thursday the 27th? Nope, it's too close to Thanksgiving.

By the way, has anyone seen the amazing flowers blooming in Death Valley right now? Scientists call this a once in a lifetime event. The floods in California dropped 6 inches of rain on Death Valley, three times the usual amount. This caused dormant wildflowers to bloom all over, which in turn caused caterpillars which will become Sphinx moths to come chow down. The fat 3-inch caterpillars will attract birds and rodents, which will in turn attract larger animals. The cycle of life which isn't normally seen there in Death Valley is present now till around July. Beautiful. Death Valley isn't so lifeless after all.

Current Affairs 11:50 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

March 10, 2005


Well, I am still sick (bleh) but have been occupying myself with knitting a gnome, among other things. I didn't go out and buy new yarn for this, so this first gnome is Pictish, with a woad blue head. Today maybe I'll get to his pointy hat and the arms and such. Here's a pic of our gnome so far. Note that he stands up on his own. Yes, he looks like a badminton birdie. Just you wait.


And here is a picture of the base, which I am particularly pleased with. I'll post some more pictures as I finish him up. The next one may be more traditionally colored. We'll see. This is also a great pattern for making little ghosties for Halloween. Fun!


And here is one with his hat on. The front seam should probably be in the back, but I wanted the hat to point backwards. Anyway, the seam is a little sloppy but for my first gnome I am fairly pleased. More to come as he gets facial features and a tunic and arms.


Knitting 10:18 AM | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack

March 07, 2005

Monday, Monday

The weekend is over, the dance has been danced, and we are all resting now. Personally, I'm sick and I don't like it one bit. I am sure once my body discovered the stress from rehearsals was gone it relaxed enough to let the bug loose and make me feel like crap.

So, nothing erudite or enlightening today. At least for now.

much ado about nothing 10:42 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack