June 25, 2006

This is going to be the fastest blog entry ever.

1. I'm in New York.
2. I have no internet unless I drag my laptop up to the library at Cornell which I actually didn't know I could do until today.
3. I'm having a damned good time.
4. Lots of dirt, though.
5. Really more dirt than anything else.
6. Except maybe mud.
7. I did find a partial arrowhead.
8. And bones, comma, not human.
9. My classmates, who are rad, have nicknamed me Bones.
10. They have also been involved in my drinking more (quite tasty) beer over the last two weeks than in the previous six months.
11. But my pool game is improving!
12. Ithaca is indeed Gorges.
13. A little strange for a college town, though; where are the record stores? The tattoo shops?
14. The sidewalk punks?
15. I'm actually supposed to be doing research here.
16. Which my project partner is doing while I dick around.
17. So I'll just give you two pictures and go do some real work.
18. These pretty much sum up what you need to know.
19. Cornfields.
20. Holes in the ground.
21. Dirt.
22. But god damn if I didn't do a nice job with those walls. Seriously. Let's have some wall respect around here.

Posted by dianna at 04:11 PM

June 11, 2006

Going, going.

I'm leaving for the airport in 50 minutes. An alarmingly small percentage of the things that I need in my daily life is packed into an alarmingly large piece of luggage which I'm not looking forward to lugging around, and somehow I'm sure that this complicated plan I've cooked up will get me to a place, and another place, and some other place and eventually home.

Suddenly I'm rather petrified about all this. But I'm sure that in the next 24 hours I'll have lots of time to be bored instead of petrified, as I sit in an airport and sit on a plane and sit in a van. One thing I know how to do, it's arrange time to sit.

Posted by dianna at 07:10 PM

June 10, 2006

Saturday cat blogging.

If you ever doubted whether I was the sort of person to post pictures of my cats on my blog, doubt no longer. That is precisely the sort of person I am. But you're about to thank me for it, because cats in things are fucking hilarious.

Exhibit A: Bella in a computer case, front and rear views. Hilarious. Note the tail.

Exhibit B: Peanut in a laundry basket. If my cat were a household appliance, she'd qualify for the energy star logo because of her low energy usage. We've only begun to explore the number of embarrassing ways we can exploit her unwillingness to move unless absolutely necessary.

Thank you and good night.

Posted by dianna at 10:06 PM

June 08, 2006

Well, that's interesting.

Now, I know that Arianna hoodwinked us all last year with this business about John Brian producing Kanye West's new album. Homonyms are hilarious. But I can't help but notice that Mike Doughty's band has acquired a new pianist, the Courageous Youngster, a fellow from Los Angeles whose name happens to be John Kirby.

Does John Brian even play piano? I just have no idea anymore.

Posted by dianna at 09:28 PM

June 07, 2006

I wonder if this is actually a good idea.

For me to post this, that is. I haven't had a trollfest on my blog in ages, but maybe now's a good time to tempt one.

My topic today is this post at Modblog (which, just for this entry, is free of kinky sex and graphic procedural photos, so click away) on the implantation of a blessed gold bead into a person's forearm as a faith-based substitute for a religiously-forbidden medical procedure. I was a bit startled to see this, since I tend to think of faith healing as physically noninvasive, but the idea of having a piece of holiness physically incorporated into one's body is a very nice one.

The discussion at ModBlog, though, has focused less on this procedure than on the fact that this person declined the more conventional medical intervention because of her religion's disapproval of it. I don't know what the original ailment or suggested procedure might be, only that this person's Muslim faith forecloses the procedure and her mullah suggested this instead. After a few predictable reactionary comments the conversation has settled in to a debate over the role of religious dictates in medical decisions. The central question: is it wrong for a religion to tell its followers they mustn't have particular beneficial medical procedures, or isn't it? Is it irresponsible for people to follow such dictates?

I've shocked myself a bit by deciding that no, with one particular caveat, it isn't. My caveat has of course come up in the ModBlog discussion: the age of discretion. I don't think a child too young to voluntarily adhere to a given religion ought to be denied necessary care based on its parents' religious prohibitions. In practice that's almost impossible to separate from being given or denied care based on the parents' secular values, and this is about two steps from becoming a very old and very ugly debate. I'd like to leave it aside for the moment. Given that we are free, flexible, and intelligent human beings around here, I see no reason why adults capable of making their own decisions and evaluating them should be protected from religious dictates which may run counter to their self-interest. If one doesn't agree with the dictate, one can ignore it, challenge it, or discard the religion entirely. If one does agree with it, great. Medical care isn't the decision of the patient's clergyperson, but that doesn't make it inappropriate for the clergyperson to offer doctrinal input that the patient is willing to hear. People are constantly giving me their advice on things that aren't their decision, which is fine because I don't have to follow it if I don't bloody well want to. It comes down to freedom of choice, which requires a variety of options and the respectful acceptance of whatever informed decision is eventually made.

So says the girl with her obsession with free will engraved on her skin. I'm curious what the rest of you think.

Posted by dianna at 06:20 PM

June 06, 2006

Torn between outrage and hilarity.

After three years of living in this neighborhood, I've finally been galvanized by the constant sexual harassment and occasional followings-home to get myself some pepper spray. A couple of weeks ago I went online and ordered some from Defending Women (on the logic that no company that shares my initials can be bad). Then I waited for it to arrive, which it didn't. After almost two weeks I emailed the company and asked them if they could track the shipment.

Today they emailed back and gave me the post office's tracking information. The package was delivered to my house last Wednesday, but when I got home Wednesday afternoon it wasn't on the porch.

Wait for it...

Wait for it...

That's right, someone stole my pepper spray off my porch. Ladies and gentlemen, South Berkeley. Unfortunately, it will be here much longer than all week.

Posted by dianna at 05:54 PM