Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Random Questions and Ponderings

I cannot put two ideas together in a linear fashion so I am just relying on random numbered questions and ponderings. Please read with an open mind.

1. Why, oh, why does that couple at dance have to hog the dance floor? There are at least 12 couples in the class and there is a huge dance floor for all of us to share, but the showy couple that also likes to goof off has to take over and impede on our space. Ugh! What to do about floor hogs?

2. Why is it one of the coolest things when you go to a restaurant and they greet you by name? We have become regulars at San Tan Brewery and it is nice to be recognized. Are just being needy? Or is it that we feel like we are reliving Cheers?

3. Why did Vans decide to sponsor an outdoor concert in Phoenix in the middle of the Summer? Today, I spent four hours out in the 105-degree summer heat at the Warped Tour. The music was great and I was so wanting to hang out longer to see the bands play, but goodness it was hot. I have not felt that horrible after a day in the sun. Bad time of year for something like this, but thousands of people still showed up.

4. Why is it so exciting to makeover one of the rooms in my house? I am going to tackle my bathroom this weekend and I am so excited about the prospect. I have paint, a new shelf, new shower curtain. My bathroom is going to look totally new and I am thrilled to bits. Wonderful Fourth of July project this weekend.

5. Why is Deadliest Catch so interesting? It is a show about a bunch of guys who fish for crab. Why do I feel so compelled to watch?

Music musings this month: U2, The Sundays, Westside Story, Belanova, Wilco and Depeche Mode.

Current read: In Defense of Food...trying to barrel through it so I don't have to renew my checkout of the book from the library.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

My Thoughts on This Week

The death of an important doctor this last weekend has been weighing very heavily on my mind. First, it is just the image of a man ushering at church just as he would every Sunday and seeing a man come toward him with a gun. I can imagine the congregation hearing the shots fire and echo through the sanctuary. "What could that be?" Next, a sweating and anxious young man coming to get his wife in as quiet a way he can. The sound that echoes through the sanctuary next is the terrified and disbeliefing scream. Just thinking about this scene now brings tears to my eyes. Quite frankly hearing about the details of any human being killed is a frightening tale that aches my heart.

I know that this doctor was a controversial person in this country. I know that many people may see his name and think that he was also a murderer and that what he got was what he deserved. It is hard for me to believe that.

He stood by the side of frightened women who were carrying babies they wanted (hence carrying to a late term), but had to terminate the birth because of the risk to their own health. He cared for them and their families to ensure that not only was the woman's health taken into account, but that the family was able to cope with the pain of the loss - at a time when no one else would be there for them. Who can ever really cope with the loss of a child -- born or unborn? No one. It is a scar that a woman must always live with; a deep pain that may never heal. Nonetheless, some instances of health make it a necessity. But, politicians have stepped in where they don't belong. It is a woman's body; it is a decision she needs to only confide in her family and doctor to make.

Everyone's personal feelings on the matter of abortion are different -- personal. Personal. Where are we missing this? Just as religion is personal so are everyone's thoughts on health care. It may not be the choice I would make for myself, but I am not the one who dictates to others. I also don't condone war, but there are certainly a lot of them going on around the world. Our beliefs don't dictate to the environment; it doesn't work that way.

Sorry, I digress. What I choose for myself doesn't mean that I am better at making decisions for others. And, certainly what I believe doesn't mean that it should be so for others. Can I make the choice for a woman with an abusive husband, drug addiction and no home to live in? Can I make the decision for a family that already has five children and the main bread-winner in the household has lost his job? Can I make the decision for the woman who finds herself alone, pregnant and carrying a child with Downs Syndrome? I can't. I hope I never have to face the decision. It takes an amazing amount of courage and determination.

And, where does terrorism and striking fear into women who have to make this choice actually help? Where does it actually make a difference? Where does it make impact? It doesn't. It only creates fear. Not rationale. Not educated adults. Not women who feel they have worth.

The doctor's death was sad and unnecessary in and of itself. But, to hear the commentating on his death like it was God inflicting his wrath on an evil person is just so ignorant. I don't remember God giving us the right to judge others on this planet. When did that happen? This doctor was a respected man who fought for woman's rights to make their own decisions when it came to their reproductive health care. He continued to do what he believed was right and provide a service to women that thousands in the country refused to at the risk of his own life. Courage. Fighting for what he believed in. Standing up with women when politicians didn't think the voices of millions of women just weren't loud enough.

The point? This is bigger than just making my own decisions about the birth control pills I would like to take to keep from becoming pregnant until I am ready to have a family. This is about being a woman and being able to make my own decisions. Period. I have a voice, dammit. And, I don't want a politician to look at me and say, "Well, you are in your thirties, a career-minded woman and, oh, a blond. You can't make your own choices. Let me do it for you. Keep being the fragile, hopeless creature you have always been. It's for your own good."

No, thank you. Women have gotten much too far to just sit down and allow politicians to do this to us. To objectify us. Did the women before us fight in vain? I hope not. In a time when women are doing everything that men do...why aren't we given the same rights in every way that men are?

I pray for our country every day. I pray for people who are on both sides of this fence every day. I pray that God will truly come back into the picture again - a loving God where we embrace our fellow human beings and come up with solutions through dialogue together instead of yelling at one another. Instead of shooting one another.

I am sad today and will be for a long time. We are destroying the world and the people God has created just to get our way; just to impose our thoughts and beliefs on others. Is it worth it? Is the anger and dissidence worth it? Is the fear worth it?

I don't think it is.

What is? A woman who is smiling with the light of hope on her face because she has freedom, knowledge, and a future. Precisely what this doctor fought for.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Swing, Swing!

So, we started our first night in the combination ballroom dancing class we are taking through the city. It was so much fun! We learned the East Coast Swing tonight. What could be better than looking into the face of my best friend (my husband) and dancing to Glen Miller? Um, nothing. I can't wait to see what the next 6 weeks of classes hold for us. We really want to practice in between classes and keep it up after classes....finding someplace for us to dance on a regular basis. Ooooh, fun!

I love spending time with Ryan! He is awesome! That is all I can say. He is just awesome! No one else can make me smile and laugh like he does. And, well, he is so adorable.

Okay, enough fawning over my husband.

My current music interests -- two new CDs I bought at my favorite music store --The Hold Steady and Heartless Bastards. Now, before you discount the last band because of their name....they are great! The lead female singer has a wonderful smoky voice like Pretenders' frontrunner Hynde. And, the sound is a bluesy rock and roll. Really enjoying them. My friend who owns the music store told me that her counterpart in Cincinnati sold 750 copies of the album the day it came out. Wow!

Another music interest -- Laura Pausini. I have listened to a couple of her songs and I am certain she is Italian. The song she does with James Blunt -- Anticipada Primavera is lovely!