Friday, February 27, 2009

Count it, anti-choicers!

Total slam dunk: The Obama team is going to repeal the asshattery known as the "conscience rule" - a tricksy little parting gift from the Bush administration that allows medical professionals to deny patients abortions on moral grounds. As far as I know, this moral decision could override medical necessity or the incidence of rape and/or incest. Once this rolls back, a doctor's personal beliefs cannot affect a woman's health or the difficult choices she must make.

I'm all about personal freedom and responsibility for one's choices. I'm all about being able to air beliefs publicly and to have those beliefs respected. For some medical professionals, the Conscience Rule was a godsend because it allowed them a legal recourse for a difficult personal and professional decision. I sincerely do not envy the pro-life doctor who is asked to perform an abortion, and I hope that someone who disagrees with me out there can say the same thing in some inverse way (maybe, "I don't envy the queer who gets told regularly that she's in the wrong bathroom"). That said, a decision about one's own body is not fundamentally a doctor's decision. A doctor advises and performs their job, but the patient must make their own medical decisions or have an agent or guardian make the decision for them. Doctors don't have the right or privilege to impose their will, generally speaking, and the Conscience Rule was thus unfathomable to me; that affords doctors an enormous amount of power and sets a precedent for all manner of co-opted medical decisions.*

HIPAA (the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act, for those who don't have the pleasure of dealing with it daily) gets a face lift, courtesy of the stimulus bill. Ultimately, the rules surrounding protection of health care information will be tightened up, and everything will be made electronic. This is great for protection of patients and efficiency, but it's going to be a short term pain. Pretty appropriate for the stimulus bill, which, if all things go as El Presidente says, will have much the same crunch effect.

*Obviously, there are many exceptions - ER medicine springs to mind - but I'm speaking of planned procedures here.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Utterly petrified about law school

Friday, February 20, 2009

JD to be, suckas!

That's right. I got into my first choice law school, Lewis and Clark. AND they're giving me a monster scholarship. HELL YES!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Coastal City Badass

NPR nerd alert: is the liberal elite answer to the Chuck Norris facts of yesteryear. Check it.

Today's theme seems to be nerdy obsessions. I'll try to come up with a hat trick. Birdwatching? Problems with keeping my glasses on my face? My athletic ineptitude? The possibilities are endless!

Confirming fears that don't pertain to Billy Crudup's naked body

Right, if you're not a Watchmen fan, just skip this one.

The leaked scene of The Watchmen film was rather disappointing, but will likely translate somewhat more flatteringly to the big screen. Yes, Malin Ackerman as Silk Spectre 2.0 was a hot-if-uninspired choice, but I'd rather see her navigate the Sally J/Doc Manhattan lines with grace and butcher the action scenes than vice-versa. This will be a sweet-looking, ahem, visually astounding film no matter what. It's the stuff between the explosions, the political messages, the subtext, the cinematography and editing, that will make this film either kick-ass or an overwhelming disappointment.

Honestly, I'd have rather seen it made into a mini-series. I'd steal cable for that.

Also, if you want to see the leaked scene, go through Blogtown, PDX. Worth it for their splash illustration.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Take that, Palin!

What does it say about my family that my mother sends me homemade granola for Valentine's Day? Buncha Alaskan hippies.

Monday, February 09, 2009

strangely timely, salon.

This little number very nearly inspired me to post 25 random (or at least non-connected) things about myself on Facebook. Read it - the article addresses the exhibitionism and poignancy of putting the personal on the internet. That's something I've sort of grappled with, since it feels like I need to justify my use of time and space on the blog. To that end, the few people who read this must care at least a little about what I have to say. So while I'm not about to throw out a number list, or even take Megs' very thoughtful idea of writing a sweet, short note to 25 people, I'ma talk about me. Unabashedly. Because I want to and because this crazy digital culture of ours allows it.

One thing that I take very seriously is keeping my engagements with friends and not turning down invitations. I've been on a streak of flaking out on people lately, and that makes me feel tremendously guilty. There's a mental list going of who I need to call and make plans with, of who I need to see first and foremost next time I hit Eugene, Seattle. Even if it's not a big deal to the other party, I can't help but take it to heart.

Being queer has shifted in meaning significantly for me. At this point, it's critical that I keep that face forward, that I not shy away from correcting people ("I'm not a sir", etc) or seeking out a queer community to call my own. Navigating queer/straight business has not been hard for me, not since I moved to Oregon. Since it's sunken in that I'm in a friendlier place, that it's okay to like the ladies, that that is what is natural to me, I can stop looking over my shoulder or feeling like the Man is about to vandalize my wheels or what have you. Alaska-wise, I got off easy, but finally starting to let go of the internalized ickiness is such a release.

Not to be all linked out (or to totally shill for Salon), but this article came on the heels of my snot rocket post. We're talking different fluids, but I'm all for more openness about the body. That said, I found it extraordinarily difficult to publish that last post on the grounds of Eww. It's funny how we can intellectualize things like that.

Although I like my job and think that I'm on a solid trajectory work-wise, I wish that I'd studied totally different things in college. Spanish, for starters, and biology. There were so many programs that I was too clueless to try, or too scared to fail because of big, scary math. So I read comic books and now that feels like something of a cop out. For that reason, I aim to take a Spanish class when I can afford it.

I hope my little brother knows just how important he is to me. These are the conversations that are hard to have.

Biking, boxing, and running help me enjoy my body more. I know full well that I'll be of the scrawny persuasion unless I pop out a baby, so I definitely enjoy feeling strong even though there's not a whole lot of meat to me.

Giving up meat has been fantastic. I haven't looked back.

I am a birdwatcher. Some people know this and some don't, because it's frankly rather nerdy and used to be somewhat embarrassing. If I could learn all the names of the plants and animals in the Northwest, I would.

Law school count so far: One acceptance (Temple), one rejection (Northwestern, shock of shocks), four no shows. I am not going to move to Philly, but it's nice to know that Temple thinks I'm worth it.

Cleaning my chain rings yesterday felt GREAT. Cleansing. Like taking a shower after a long plane ride or like some sort of spiritual rebirth. I took my chainguard off (finally) and it's never going back on. My poor bike needs more TLC than I give it. Her.

I want to make art again.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Dee 'sgusting

That was your warning.

I snot-rocketed so fantastically, the business-suited motorist next to me, with an astonished (perhaps admiring?) smile, mouthed, "WOW." As if to say, "That was an achievement. I will arrange for a plaque." People are strange, particularly when it comes to non-verbal commentary.

Verbal commentary, unfortunately has yielded crappier results of late. Biking mid-afternoon the other day, a guy in the passenger seat of what looked to be his 20-something son's car. He opened his window and shouted to me as they pulled away, nodding at the woman on a bike in front of me, "I wish I were riding a bike behind HER, too!" He threw in a lecherous grin for good measure. Initially stunned into stutters, I didn't want the woman (who didn't acknowledge this exchange at all, or at least didn't turn around) to interpret my silence as complicity, so I shouted "ASSHOLE!" at the parting car.

Something about the range of communication on the streets between cars and bikes intrigues me. It's intrinsically combative, I think, as both cyclists and motorists feel entitled to the road. But it's also a little bit intimate, as the commuter sphere is a personal space - think of all the things you do in your car, think of how it's your own traveling bubble. Most bikers I know have a certain biking face, a certain biking mentality they enter, which I think is comparable. I'm more apt to talk to a stranger when I'm biking than walking or grocery shopping or whatever. Still, the latter example shows that being revealing is a two-way street, if you'll pardon the pun/cliche.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

new favorite food

Stir-fried tempeh with any green veggie (last night: kale and leftover steamed broccoli) over brown rice. The stir-fry sauce? A nearly holy trinity of tahini, Bragg's and hot sauce. Salt and pepper to taste, destroy.

Also, I just heard Obama say "...the last couple of years" (talking about Pakistan, I think) and I definitely heard "let's have a couple beers." Obama for drinking buddy! Yesh we can!