Thursday, January 22, 2009

warning: rambles ahead

Sooooo, when you only blog every three months or so, you end up with a lot to say, so here goes nothing.

I had a kind of crazy high school teacher who advised me in my yearbook to "always channel my positive energy for good" which I think is funny--was he worried I would channel it for evil? Maybe I would have made a great enthusiastic drug dealer or an overly peppy oil tycoon?? Who knows. Anyway, I have an unusually enormous amount of rage lately, so I'm working on channeling it for good and it's a challenge. So if you have any tips on DOING SOMETHING PRODUCTIVE with one's rage, I'm all e-ears. A few things upsetting me lately:

Obama is not a socialist. Chill out. I don't really want to have this conversation, but the way people throw that word around is so dumb it's starting to get hilarious, and I'm embarrassed for them.

And, health care is a disaster. No buts about it. Quit saying "Well, in Canada you have to wait six months to see a doctor." A) that's not true and B) US health care is embarrassingly bad. We drop a buttload of cash on health care per capita and have nothing to show for it. Adequate health care is a right, not a privilege. A right. Yep. You heard it here. If you're sick, you should be able to expend your energy on getting better, not on figuring out if you can afford it. I could rage about this for a long time. My ever-wise and delightful rage support group member and friend Mormon Child Bride just said that it's funny when people act like giving everyone health care "is frivolous, like giving everyone a BMW." Bahaha! One more reason she's a champ. Anyway, I'm not saying I've got all the answers on health care, but I am saying that it drives me CRAZY when we act like there's no room for improvement, or that any improvement or attempt to change the system is turning us into Sweden.

Also, what's with people thinking it's racist to ACKNOWLEDGE RACE? If one more person says we shouldn't talk about how Obama's black, I'm going to lose it. He is black, and it is amazing that this country has elected a black man. No, I don't think he's Jesus, but I do think it's awesome, and ignoring that he's black is ignoring a helluva lot about his election. I'm proud that a country founded by slave owners has come far enough to put him in the White House. You know how he was sworn in on the same Bible Lincoln was? Well, I read recently that the justice that swore Lincoln in is the same one who wrote the Dred Scott decision. So, Obama's hand was on the same book as the hand of a man who, not all that long ago, held that black people were property. This is a big deal.

And now for an abrupt subject change: CHILDBIRTH. I don't think you are allowed to say you "went natural" if you had a medicated birth but no c-section. As much as I'd rather not write the word "vaginal" on my blog, I'm willing to do it here to make a point: just say you delivered vaginally if you want to express the fact that you didn't have a c-section but did, in fact, have an epidural and/or other medication. While I respect all forms of childbirth, if you say you "went natural," you are implying drug-free. Aren't you?? And misrepresenting that is just not fair. Even though I say I didn't do it for the bragging rights, I kind of did, so quit lame-ing it up, okay?

I also have a LOT of rage about when people don't acknowledge their own biases. I am biased. Of course I am. We all are. I had a professor that was always talking about "the liberal agenda" and even using that term seriously in an academic setting made me tune out most of what he said because I felt like he was Rush Limbaugh. Did he say important, interesting things? Probably, but I couldn't hear them because he was busy sounding crazy. I listened to RadioWest the other day about this Sundance film on free speech. I love First Amendment law issues so I was particularly interested, and I get what the filmmaker is going for, but she was just so flippant about "conservatives and their biases" that she came off sounding extreme and undermining what could otherwise have garnered a sizable audience. And if I'm turned off and I AM pretty liberal, what's everyone else thinking? Anyway, I have rage about that and more generally, when we only talk about other people and what they do wrong instead of thinking in practical terms about how we contribute to various problems (and then, how we can help solve them). For example, I complained about the air today (and seriously, doesn't it look gross?), then realized it's because of ME, and people like me, who do things like commute 90 miles round trip (even if it's only twice a week, that's a lot). So what can I do?

Drop out.

Just kidding. But I can only drive when I absolutely have to. See, my fault. I just keep thinking "So what?" As in, so what do I do about it? (Yes, I see the irony in this paragraph...I'm complaining about othr people complaining...hrmmmmm). But seriously. I'm taking a class right now that is digging up a lot of my rage about gender in the law, women's rights, and I'm working on "channeling it for good."

I also have rage about people not making new friends. I have a number of awesome friends, some old, some new, some twenty, some forty (really, I have made a lot of 40-year-old friends lately. No one knows why. I really like it, though. Forty is the new, um, cool age). Anyway, let's all make new friends. Hang out with someone new. Make a new couple-friend, a new girlfriend, a new lunch date, whatever. Why is making new hang-out friends so weird? We don't have to have kids the same age to hang out. Turns out you actually have a lot to talk about when you don't have much in common. At least, I think you do. I don't know; I need new friends. Bahaha! I shall now reiterate: "If two of you think alike, one of you is unnecessary." Now, sometimes I like thinking exactly like the people around me (i.e., when I have this intense rage and need a support group). But most of the time, it's fun to disagree and it teaches me a lot. It's a bummer Arby's ruined a perfectly good sentence: different is good.

In other news, our cute kid just melts my heart. She's doing this new thing where she covers her face with a blanket and we say "Where's our cute baby?" and she unveils herself and we yell "There she is!" and she smiles and claps and turns me into a pile of mush. I just can't believe how awesome she is. Also is there anything better than hearing your hub read your kiddo a story? Why, no, no there is not.

Also, I love Kneaders. Why isn't there one closer to where we live?

Welp, that about covers it.


Katie said...

Kathleen- I'm Erika Dunn Sullivan's sister, and I love your blog. It's hilarious and I love you! (Mom Jeans was my fav!) I will be your new friend. We'd get along great! Let's hang! Anyway, I have a little angel myself named Claire. SO FUN! There is nothing more joyful you are right in that one. Anyway, I was going to contact you because I am seriously debating having my next au-natural and I want to hear what you read/researched/what you would recommend etc. Email me.

Holly C M said...

Can I be your new friend? I am not a cool 40 and we can't do lunch dates, but I think you are funny and interesting. And in your presence I would be necessary :-) (as opposed to unnecessary). Those are the reasons why I lurk your blog.

The Boob Nazi said...

Not to pull one of those "my sister-in-law's father who lives in Canada died because he didn't get adequate care soon enough for his cancer" but I'm going to. He might have died anyway, but it sure would have been nice if he could have suffered for less time. But that's really where MY basis for it comes from.

Justin & Kamie said...

Kathleen is back! I love when you have rage. I miss my own rage. Maybe one day I will find it. Although if Obama's position on healthcare didn't find it for me, I fear it may never come back :) I agree with you AND boob nazi. Our healthcare system is broken AND nobody goes to Canada when they have cancer...they come here.

People are claiming they went natural because they didn't have a c-section. WWWHHHHAAATTTT?????? In whose world is getting a shot shoved in your spine considerd natural??

While on the topic I love epidurals. Period.

Finally, have you tried the mint brownies at Kneaders? Yummy goodness.

Lisa R.D. said...

I share your sentiments on all of these issues (so maybe it's better we don't hang out often, because I'd be unnecessary :))... You put it all much more eloquently than I could though.

elfrida said...

hey i'm steph's sister and i think right now you are my hero. seriously. law student, mum of adorable spawn, return missionary-yep that about covers all my bases. just thought i'd tell you in case you were serious about needing some new friends, though i'm not 40 yet. keep up the awesome blogging and the awesome existance in general.

Anna said...

Love all the rage! Seriously, it makes for a good read. ;) AND I like reading your opinion even though it is different than my own bias opinion.
heart you
ps- Kneaders IS good.

Anna said...

Love all the rage! Seriously, it makes for a good read. ;) AND I like reading your opinion even though it is different than my own bias opinion.
heart you
ps- Kneaders IS good.

AzĂșcar said...

I guess I'm unnecessary.

Liz said... know why you have so much rage, right? True, different is good, but I can't imagine being surrounded by so many "Mormons" in a law-school situation and my views are not nearly as liberal as yours. :)

Speaking of Mormons, the ones in my avenues ward are not nearly as cool as I expected them to be. They refuse to be my friend, try as I might. I have recently had empathy for the people who go inactive because they have no friends at church. Thank heaven for my awesome husband!

Also, I'm with Justin and Kamie...the mint brownies are to die for!!

megandjon said...

like the three million comments above me (and may i say even the comments on your blog are funny and intelligent!)i wholeheartedly agree with everything you said! i really hate it when people play so fast and loose with the catchprases (like "liberal media bias" or whatever)that you lose all respect for whatever they are saying. and it definitely works both ways-liberal or conservative!

and while i do see the problem with canadian healthcare and how people with cancer come here etc., i have to say that americans go to canada and mexico all the time for dental care and eye care and all sorts of stuff because they can't afford it here! so, you know, what a mess!

and i think the new mom thing has a little to do with the cut off from friends feeling. i've been feeling the same way a little. all my dearest friends that i would hang out with more are in happy valley and i'm too much of a granola to drive that far very often. and everytime i make "advances" on someone in the ward it just doesn't get too far! so can you come to my ward and yell at them about making new friends! actually i do have SOME friends, but they are all about 4 years older than me with 7 children, which makes them fabulous sources of advice and support, but pretty busy and hard to get together with.

and damn it, now i'm craving the veggie avocado on 12 grain hazelnut bread.

Sue said...

Amen to the health care and race and Obama things. Obama socialist thing I ranted about this on my blog a while back, and I do mean ranted. I'd heard it about seventeen times in one day (mostly from my husband who was following me around the house chanting "socialist, socialist") and I just completely blew a gasket. The dude is not a socialist. Freakin A.

I hate the idea that one kind of birth is more virtuous than another kind of birth. (And I'm not saying you said that. You're more about truth in labeling.) I had three c-sections, non-elective. I guess that ranks me at the bottom of the "working for it" totem pole. Here is how much I care about that:

Linds said...

I'm wondering which of the many semi-crazy teachers we had at good old LPHS wrote that in your yearbook. You said "he" so that rules out my two prime candidates--Woodward and Stillman.

KT said...

A to the MEN.

Which reminds me, I was listening to Christian talk radio the other day (I live in Florida, it's either crap radio or more crap radio) and one of the DJs said in reference to politics, "Is conservative talk radio the only place where we can find the TRUTH?!"

I've been laughing over that for WEEKS.

Also, what is up with measles coming back because people aren't immunizing their kids? DuuUde.

So said...

Great things to rage about. Channel that rage for good.

Am I considered one of your friends who are 40 even though I'm only 37?

Mrs. Clark said...

So, what is this thing about "going natural" when you've had an epidural? I had three kids, the second one with no drugs, and I gotta say recovering from that one was the easiest of the three.

Though I may not always agree with you, I have to admit that your comments are intelligent and thought-provoking. I think there are some simple, free-market ways to fix our healthcare system, without having a government bureaucracy run it. We should at least try them.

Enjoy that baby! This is such a fun stage, and you will never be able to spend this much one-on-one with your subsequent kids. Though you will love them just as much!

Mrs. Clark said...

Oh, and one other thing: I have a fabulous recipe for mint brownies. Email me if you want it!

Jay and Jess said...

I am really tired of the 'socialist' bull shat. Really- All the things that the Fox News cronies of the world accuse Obama of being 'socialist' on (health care and taxes) the American people are with him on! In poll after poll the American people indicate that health care ought to be a right. If anything, the pulse of the American public is more 'socialist' then the president is! (I can't get enough of saying 'President Obama'... I don't know why.. I just love it).

It is ridiculous that insurance companies can deny coverage to anyone- for ANY reason. If you had any sort of birth defect- you are denied. If you have been diagnosed with virtually ANY chronic disease- you will be denied coverage. I have high hopes for Obama and the Democratic Congress to finally institute universal health care. I think this is why he is so adamant in getting lobbyists out of the process.

Anyway- as always, you are right!

bonz said...

Katie: Hi new friend!

Holly: You ARE a cool 40, or however old you are!

Boob Nazi: I hear ya. I'm Canadian! (I know, nobody can believe it, but I seriously am). But I don't get how saying other places don't have perfect health care excuses American failure. But, God bless North America!

Lisa: You slay me.

Elfrida: Thanks, friend! Any sister of Steph's is a friend of mine. Are you having a party in your picture?

Kamie: I miss your rage, too. Bahaha!

bonz said...

Anna: No, no, no...heart YOU.

Azucar: Baha! Not unnecessary like we shouldn't be friends. Basically I just want people who I disagree with to listen to me. Selfish, I know.

Liz: move into my ward. Immediately. Please.

Megandjon: ditto. Come be my granola neighbor.

Sue: Freakin' A.

Linds: Thomas. Those were good prime candidates though.

KT: You crack me up.

So: You're 37!?! YES you are one of my fortyISH friends.

Mrs. Clark: I'm up for just about any health care solution. And thanks for the enjoy-the-baby tip...she melts my heart hourly.