Having an off Day!!

There are some definite pro’s to making your living traveling from one place to the next, spending thirteen weeks, and then moving on to the next hospital. I’ve been able to see places I probably would have never seen. Made friends is places I didn’t think I would. Learned from Nurses all over the country. It’s great.

But for all the pro’s there are some definite draw backs. Not the least of which seems to be the effect that age has on your ability to adjust to a new place, a new climate, and a new schedule over and over again. I’m finding myself struggling with the beginnings of menopause, which I personally believe I am much to young for of course. I remember thinking that my Mother had to be exaggerating when she talked about how miserable the hot flashes she was having were. Now, I realize that my mother must have been understating their effects in an effort not to terrorize me because it’s MUCH worse than she let on. As a matter of fact, this is the most agonizing thing I have ever dealt with. To make it worse, I am in a new place, where no one knows me and I’m not comfortable sharing my physical status. So, I am certain that they are looking at my dripping wet hair and thinking that I am either about to have a massive heart attack or that I have some disgusting personal hygiene problem.

Add to the hot flashes and the night sweats the fact that my body is irritatingly less firm, and my skin has these interesting little brown spots popping up all over it. I suppose I should be grateful. They’re just age spots and not carcinoma’s. My period, which for decades was as regular as clockwork and little more than a slight irritation in my day to day life, is now a dreaded week long struggle to find time to run to the bathroom every hour and wonder if it is actually possible to bleed to death during your period.

It would at least be some comfort to be going through this at home, where I have friends and family that know me, and will understand. Where my partner can offer me the pity that only someone ten years your junior can offer you, because they don’t yet understand that what they are seeing is an inevitability that is racing towards them like a freight train. Where I can spend my days off snuggled up on the couch with my pets, who truly understand my need for unconditional love, and don’t seem to be staring at the age spots on my arms. Lastly, where my Mother is right down the street and I can ream her out for not warning that this was coming so that I could have had a complete hysterectomy, started on hormones long before this all started! Now, where’s that G-D bottle of advil?

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Who are they lying to? Us? Or Themselves?

There’s a repetitive theme out there that tries to explain why Gay and Lesbian couples shouldn’t be allowed to get married. It is used over and again as if the more often it were cast out into the waters, more likely it would get a bite. It’s an argument that on the surface sounds as if it comes from a sincere concern, but when applied equally to both sides of the argument about gay marriage, it falls apart pitifully and questions the validity of not only gay marriages, but many heterosexual marriages as well.

Eric Hogue is a radio talk show host, and a syndicated columnist. He also calls himself a “contemporary cultural pastor”. On Crosswalk.com today, a for profit religious corporations web site, he has an article posted that argues once again that same sex marriage will somehow undermine heterosexual marriage. He argues that marriage is not about spousal happiness, but about one thing. Rearing children. He makes the argument that marriage has historically been about that one thing, and not the mutual happiness of the two people who desire to marry.

Overlooking the fact that children raised in same sex families do just as well as children raised in heterosexual marriages and that adoption does indeed allow same sex couples to raise children who would otherwise have no family at all, he maintains that there is no validity to the joining of two same sex individuals because of two things. We can’t procreate and we can’t provide both a male and female role model.

I’m sure that it makes religious extremists feel better to say they are discriminating against other American’s because of concern for the well-being of children, than to admit that they just don’t want to grant the same rights and protections to that they enjoy to people who they see as different from themselves. But if you apply that concern to both sides of the issue, it just doesn’t hold water.

If marriage is all about procreation, then what about those tens of thousands of infertile couples in America? If they can’t procreate, should they not be allowed to marry. If marriage is to be defined not by love, but by a couples ability to have and raise children then what reason do those heterosexual couples who can’t have children have to get married? If children can’t be raised in a home that doesn’t contain both a male and a female role model, what about the vast number of children currently being raised in single parent families? Should those single parents have their children taken away from them because they weren’t able to make a heterosexual marriage work? Sounds ridiculous doesn’t it? It gets better. What about the elderly who can’t have children, or heterosexual couples who simply don’t want children?

My personal opinion is that the arguments they make are just sad attempts at hiding the truth from not us, but themselves. They don’t want to admit to themselves that they just don’t want to give gay and lesbian couples the right to marry, because they hate us. Deep down inside, they don’t want to share any of “their” rights with us because they don’t think we deserve to have them. They may say out loud that it isn’t hate or bigotry, but some altruistic concern for children. It makes you wonder who they are lying to. Is it to us, or to themselves, as a way of fooling themselves into believing that they aren’t denying the rights and protections of marriage to others simply because they don’t share their religious views? It doesn’t really matter who they are lying to, they’re the only ones who are buying the lies.

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ENDA wins in the House

Watching C-span on television isn’t exactly my idea of a good way to spend a rare day off. But today, I watched. Sitting on the edge of my seat as if I were at a real cliffhanger, when in reality I knew what the outcome would be. It wasn’t the outcome that I was waiting to hear, it was the path to get to the vote that I was so interested in.
In case you live in a cave and haven’t heard, the House of Representatives voted today to extend the nation’s employment discrimination protections to gay, lesbian, and bisexual Americans. While the bill was first introduced years ago, this is the first time that it has made it to the house floor, and it passed with ease. The bad news is that even though it passed with an overwhelming majority, even that majority might not be enough to see it become the law of the land. It still has to pass through a thinly divided senate, and then of course, there’s our fearless leader standing with his veto stamp. No doubt he is drooling at the opportunity stamp out any hopes of having our jobs protected by the same laws that protect his.
Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), a survivor of southern discrimination against black Americans, spoke of how today’s vote would “break down more signs”, referring to how protesters in the 60’s helped to break down the “whites” and “blacks” signs of those times. He spoke out about how he had fought too hard to end discrimination, to vote against it now.
There were many speeches of support, and I was thankful for each of the brave congressional representatives that stood up in defense of our right to have our jobs protected from bigotry, misunderstanding, fear, and hate. Unfortunately the speech that gripped me the most, was by the bills biggest opposition, Rep. Mark Souder (R-Ind). He made a comment about how offended he felt to see his religion and his beliefs portrayed as bigoted and hate filled. He just doesn’t get it. It’s not “his” religion that is hate filled and bigoted, just the way “he” interprets and practices it.
His argument against the bill was so ridiculous to me, that I found it hard to believe that he could even stand there and make it without being embarrassed by it’s lack of merit. I mean really, a religious book store being prevented from refusing to hire, or being able to fire a gay, lesbian, or bisexual employee? That argument is supposed to justify not offering any of us protections?
What about the GLBT book store down the street. Guess what? It’s against the law for that owner to refuse to hire a conservative religious employee, or to fire them because of their religious views. It’s an argument that he wants to use, but only if he’s allowed to define the circumstances under which it’s applied.
The world is changing, and the evangelical religious right is grasping at straws to try and maintain some control over the evolution of our society. It’s not going to work, it may take time for the change to happen, but it will happen just the same. Today, the US House of Representatives took a bold step in that direction, and they did it at the request of a majority of Americans. That majority believes that gay, lesbian, and bisexual Americans deserve to be treated equally. Religion and personal beliefs are a choice. It’s a choice that is protected by law and rightfully so. It is not something that a minority group can dictate to the rest of the world, and punitively enforce.
If the bill passes the Senate, no doubt Bush will Veto it and the fight to override that veto will be a difficult one that we may not win. But this bill won’t go away. Another President is coming. A new generation is waiting in the wings to stand up and tell the religious right that they don’t want to be bullied into accepting their narrow minded, bigoted, discriminatory, and yes – hateful ideas.

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