Friday, February 29, 2008

Dumb Question of the Week

So I called my OBGYN's office to let her know that NuvaRing dod not work for me, since it wouldn't stay in place. The receptionist took a message. When I told her I couldn't use NuvaRing because it would not stay in place, she asked "And you're sure you're putting it in right?"

Okay, keep in mind that when I talked to my doctor about the NuvaRing on Tuesday, I had said I would worry about having it in right, and she said "There is no one right way."

So, does the receptionist think I'm some kind of imbecile? I mean, look at the Nuva Ring. You have to hold the sides together so that you can get it up there, and then you push it as far back as you can. Yeah, I'm too stupid to do that correctly.

So I firmly replied "YES." and she said "Okay...I'll give her the message."

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Let Freedom Ring? Not So Much...

Well, the NuvaRing just didn't work out for me. I did have some minor pain/tenderness in that area after inserting it, but I thought that would go away. But, it didn't. But the big issue was that it wouldn't stay in place. You are supposed to push it as far back as you possibly can. Well, I did. didn't stay there. It kept sliding down. Not out, but down. Sometimes I was freakin' walking around the office at work and I could feel the thing sliding down. Not pleasant. This morning I was washing in the shower and I could feel the stupid ring poking out. Um, that would DEFINETELY be a mood killer in the bedroom. And the fact that it wouldn't stay in place and kept sliding down did not instill confidence in me that it was a reliable method of birth control. So I did a Google search on Nuva Ring reviews, and it's a little scary. After 2 days of pushing it as far back as I possibly could, I realized it's not staying in place, so I just threw it out. Ugh.

In reading the reviews it sounds like a fair number of women had the same issue. I wonder why on earth they don't have different sizes? I mean, off the bat, I'd think that women that have had kids might need bigger ones, and young women who haven't had kids may need smaller ones. And hey, people's bodies vary. It's not a one size fits all situation, obviously. Oh well. The birth control search continues.

The Quandary of Endorsements and Affiliations

John McCain has been endorsed by Pastor John Hagee who believes, among other things, that there is no such thing as a good Muslim, that Hurricane Katrina was God's retribution for a gay pride parade in New Orleans, and that it is the duty of the President to hasten Armageddon in order to further the Second Coming. As Glenn Greenwald notes, not only does Sen. McCain not "denounce" and "reject" this support from this hate-monger, he is "very proud to have Pastor John Hagee's support."

Also today, Obama has just been endorsed by Louis Farrakhan. Obama also came under criticism because the church he is a member of, last year gave Farrakhan an award for "epitomizing greatness". To most people, the hate that Farrakhan preaches about whites, Jews and his view of women as second class raises some red flags.

The column caught the attention of the Anti-Defamation League, which was preparing to publicly press Obama to distance himself from the award and from Farrakhan. But Obama's campaign, before the ADL could act, put out a statement doing just that.

"I decry racism and anti-Semitism in every form and strongly condemn the anti-Semitic statements made by Minister Farrakhan," Obama said in a statement released by his aides. "I assume that Trumpet Magazine made its own decision to honor Farrakhan based on his efforts to rehabilitate ex-offenders, but it is not a decision with which I agree."

Abraham H. Foxman, ADL's national director, welcomed Obama's words.

"Issues of racism and anti-Semitism must be beyond the bounds of politics," Foxman said in a statement. "When someone close to a political figure shows sympathy and support for an individual who makes his name espousing bigotry, that political figure needs to distance himself from that decision. Senator Obama has done just that."

This isn't the first time Obama's church, and his minister, have created a hiccup for his campaign. In February, Obama disinvited Wright from giving the invocation at his campaign kickoff in Springfield, Ill., apparently fearing controversy from Wright's Afrocentric teachings.

"Afrocentric teachings"? Look at the church's web site and click on "About Us". How would people react if "black" were replaced with "white"? Obama is actually multiracial, not just "black". But he attends a church that honored Farrakhan and whose head pastor favors "afrocentric" teachings?

Aaaaaand...begin uncontrollale vomiting...NOW!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

So Cool!

click to enlarge
So the NuvaRing welcome kit comes with a little timer. You start it when you put the NuvaRing in, and it beeps when it's time to put in the new one. But the REALLY cool thing, which really appeals to the techie geek in me, si that you can download a NuvaTime app to your computer!

Good News!

I saw a new OBGYN today. She's new at the practice that I've been going to for about 3 years now. I needed to discuss birth control options with her. My dermatologist put me on antibiotics for a couple of months, and of course, that "may decrease the effectiveness of the pill", and I'm not using condoms for the whole 5 or 6 months I'm taking antibiotics, because then what'ss the point of being on the pill, right?

So I talked to her about different options. Implanon - no. Most women who try it have a lot of breakthrough bleeding, even after several months, so then end up having it removed and going to another method. Well, who wants to deal with that? Nobody.

Mirena - it's an IUD that also uses hormones to prevent pregnancy. For women who have not had kids, the insertion can be more painful, and there is a risk (although not a huge one) that you could expel your uterus. Yes, that's right. Your entire fucking uterus. I basically said "Okay, next option?"

Nuva Ring - this one I wasn't sure about. I thought I would worry about whether or not it was in right, etc. My doctor said there is no one "right way". You can feel to check and make sure it's still in. If it's in, as long as it's not uncomfortable, you're good. You remove it every 21 days to have your period. I asked if there was a risk of it coming out during sex. She said it's uncommon, but if it does happen, you rinse it off and put it back in. It can be removed for up to 3 hours without risk of pregnancy.

Wow, well, that sounds...really good! And easy! She explained how to put one in, then left me alone to try it. I happened to be at the end of my period now, so after putting it in and taking it out (to make sure I could), I put it back in.

I don't feel anything at all. I forgot it's there. So for the next couple of months (or until I plan out the rest of my vacation time for the year) it's Nuva Ring.

I did tell her that I don't want kids, and that I have known that for about 4 years now, and am very comfortable with it and sure about it. I'm 32, and the other doctors at that practice didn't want to do a tubal because I'm not married and don't have kids, and were afraid that I might change my mind later. Heh.

She didn't bat an eyelash, and said "At 32 you pretty much know your own mind." We talked about it a bit, and she asked some questions: how does my boyfriend feel? Would he consider having a vasectomy, since it's simpler and less invasive than a tubal? What if we broke up and I met someone who wanted kids? I said "But I still wouldn't want kids, so I wouldn't be with someone who wanted kids." She said take about six months or so to think about it, since it's irreversible, and then if after that, I still wanted to do it, she would do it!

Monday, February 25, 2008

I Heart Tina Fey

And this is why. I think I'm going to have a t-shirt made that says "Bitch is the new black!"

Friday, February 22, 2008

For Anyone Who Wonders Why Feminism is Still Necessary...

I'll try not to gag or barf as I type this:

All I can say is...don't let anyone tell you that the struggle for equality is over, because that's bullshit. I need a drink.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Missouri wants PlanB Classified as Abortion Inducing

This is why all adults need to keep an eye on this stuff. Birth control matters. Reproductive health matters. If we don't pay attention, each state, one by one, is going to try shit like this.

OK, let me see if I have this straight. Based on what I have always read, heard and understood, the medical community considers pregnancy to begin when a fertilized egg implants in the uterine lining. There are plenty of times when eggs are fertilized, but do not implant in the uterine lining, and pass out of the woman's body without a pregnancy ever developing. That just happens naturally. That is not abortion.

In college I did a research paper on the difference with which pregnancy is described in regard to in vitro fertilization (IVF) and abortion. Women who undergo IVF have several fertilized eggs placed in the uterus to increase chances that at least one of those fertilized eggs will become implanted in the uterine lining. What blows me away is that right on the FAQ page of most sites for places which provide IVF, you'll find something similar to this:
What happens to any extra pre-embryos?
A: A maximum of four pre-embryos will be transferred to the uterus for possible implantation. Patients will have several other options regarding the disposition of the remaining pre-embryos. One option is to freeze pre-embryos for your later use. Other options are to donate or simply dispose of them. Excess pre-embryos, if any, belong to you, and you will determine what is to be done.

So if you do get pregnant and you have any leftover fertilized eggs, you can just toss those out or freeze them for later. It's totally up to the couple, since they "own" the eggs.

Uh, excuse me? How is it that couples who have "extra" fertilized eggs laying around, and just leave them in a freezer or toss them out and nobody gets all up in arms about it or tries to pass laws against it?

Not only that, but women who have 3 or 4 embryos implant can decide to have "multifetal pregnancy reduction", or "selective termination". Basically, abort some of the ebryos. Nobody gets upset about that either. That's okay, as long as you are having SOME babies.

OK, then how about this: instead of abortion, doctors can just "harvest" the fertilized egg and the woman can then decide if she wants to freeze it for later or just toss it out. Somehow, I don't think anyone would go for that. Because the truth is that the Right to Life nutjobs who support this kind of idiocy just don't want women to be able to take control of their reproductive health. They want a situation where women have sex only at risk of getting pregnant and carrying the pregnancy to term.

So women who don't want kids, have use birth control but have it fail - it's not okay for them to have abortions. But for couples who spend $10,000 and up on IVF, it's okay for them to toss out their extra embryos, nobody gets upset about that.

Greater Risk of Violence from Domestic Terrorist Groups

This article was a teeny tiny little sub-sub-sub headline on this morning. Researches from various universities and institutions, including American University, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Center for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism in College Park, Maryland, the University of Oklahoma, John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City, are seven times more likely than foreign terrorists to commit acts of violence in the United States.

Of course, since that doesn't help to justify the United States' military presence abroad, that article probably won't get a lot of attention.

Friday, February 15, 2008

I Can't Believe People Need to Have These Things Pointed Out to Them...

But, they do. A new department director in my company, who started two weeks ago and came from a company that rhymes with "schmay oh elle" (whose employees seem to be defecting to my company at an alarming rate), in his first three weeks at my company, has:

  • shown up for work every day wearing ratty jeans, tennis shoes, a t shirt with stuff printed on it and a wrinkled button down shirt sloppily, partially buttoned over the t shirt
  • failed to use his hair brush since starting this new job
  • skin so pale I briefly wondered if his genius dad built an underground fallout shelter and he lived in it for the first 35 years of his life
  • complained about having to be at work by 9 am today for a meeting
  • showed up 20 minutes late to the 9 am meeting without calling or emailing to say he was running late, and without apologizing for keeping the rest of us waiting
  • showed up without the document that was being discussed at the 9 am meeting
  • argued that the document was never sent to him, and didn't admit he was wrong when it was pointed out that it was sent to him at 4:32 yesterday
  • in his second meeting at his new job, used the word "douchebag"

Click to enlargeSigh...

Now, I'm no puritan, and I have a pottymouth. I have used vulgarity and done some creative cursing. HOWEVER - - NOT. AT. WORK.

I cannot imagine what was going through this guy's mind to blurt out the word "douchebag" in his second meeting in this new job. Then again, he loves the sound of his own voice, laughs really hard at his own jokes, and makes jokes about programming...I think I'm going to break out in hives from the nerdiness factor. Why do I have to work with so many fucktards? Why can't I just work with NORMAL PEOPLE??? Is that too much to ask???

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Sex Toys No Longer Illegal in Texas

Check out this article. What I find particlarly telling is this excerpt from a brief in the case explaining why Texas has laws banning sex toys and until 2003, had a law prohibiting consensual sex between people of the same sex:
Texas has legitimate 'morality based' reasons for the laws, which include "discouraging prurient interests in autonomous sex and the pursuit of sexual gratification unrelated to procreation."

So basically, the state of Texas only wants people to have sex if they intend on making babies. Not to enjoy sex or experience intimacy with a partner or loved one. The thing that scares me is that this sounds a lot like the hard core pro-lifers who want to ban hormonal forms of birth control so that women can't protect themselves against unwanted pregnancy if they have sex, and also want to ban abortion. Gee, do you think they have an agenda?

Monday, February 11, 2008

Anti Choicers Defeat Bill to Make Contraceptives More Accessible

So, lemme see if I have this called "pro life" legislators in South Dakota voted against and defeated a bill that would have protected access to contraceptives.

Some pharmacists believe that hormonal forms of birth control and the morning after pill (Plan B) cause abortions, and therefore refuse to dispense them. Currently, they legally allowed to do this by South Dakota state law. The bill would have drawn a clear line between contraceptives and abortifacients, which would have made it illegal for a South Dakota pharmacist to refuse to fill a birth control prescription.

That can't be right. Wait - they are against abortion, so doesn't it make sense that they would support laws that would help to decrease the abortion rate by making it easier for women to prevent unwanted pregnancies?

Apparently not. According to them, a 16 year old girl needs parental permission to obtain birth control. Seriously. How realistic is that? And how many teenage girls have the type of relationship with their parents where they can realistically ask for a permission slip so she can get a prescription for birth control?

The article states:
Kimberly Martinez, executive director of the Alpha Center in Sioux Falls, which provides services to women and men involved in unplanned pregnancies, opposed the bill and applauded the Senate for its majority decision Wednesday..."The key to reducing the number of unwed pregnancies and abortions in South Dakota is sexual integrity relationship education, which includes healthy decision making, healthy relationships and refusal skills," Martinez said.

Oh, so she just thinks that girls need to be taught to say no to sex unless they intend on making a baby. So if a 16 or 17 year old girl wants to have sex with her boyfriend, any pharmacist in the state of South Dakota can refuse to dispense her birth control prescription. And if a grown woman doesn't want to have children, weather or not she is married, then she is in the same situation - have sex at risk of pregnancy, because getting birth control will be a gamble.

A gynecologist who lives and practices in South Dakota disagreed. Maria Bell, who specializes in gynecologic oncology at Sanford Clinic Women's Health, said 95 percent of all women in South Dakota will use a method of birth control at some point in their lives. She added doctors prescribe birth control for reasons other than contraception, such as regulating menstrual cycles or treating ovarian cysts.

"I'm confused as to why more doctors, citizens ... aren't up in arms over this," Bell said of the bill's defeat. "To be denied birth control by the personal beliefs of pharmacists is really appalling."

Because issues like that are never covered on the evening news or on or major newspapers. That's why looking at independent news sources is so important. Otherwise the important things like this slip by unnoticed, and you don't realize that you missed your chance to do something about it until you go to your local pharmacy and your pharmacist refuses to fill your prescription, like Karen Romano, the first woman featured in this video:

Sunday, February 10, 2008


How the FUCK did I miss Bush openly admitting that he doesn't read the news himself, but relies on "other people who have probably read the news themselves"?????

The only thing I can think is...can he read? Seriously?

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Pimpin' Ain't Easy

Well, for male politicians it is. It's fine for them to have their families campaigning with and for them. But because Chelsea Clinton was campaigning for her mother and making phone calls to celebrities and delegates, MSNBC commentator Bill Shuster said that Hillary had "pimped out" her 27 year old daughter. Never mind that Chelsea grew up in a political family, has politics in her blood, loves her mother and believes in her campaign and naturally wants to do what she can to help.

Never mind that Mitt Romney had his sons driving around and campaigning for him, that was fine. Or that all of the other candidates have had their wives and children make appearances at speeches and help with their campaigns as well. That's fine, but God forbid Chelsea actually make some phone calls on behalf of her mother's campaign. That's clearly prostitution by Hillary.

Bill Schuster has apologized on the air for his remarks and has been suspended by NBC. NBC also offered an apology, but coming after Chris Matthew's chauvanistic comments about Hillary and his apology only a few weeks ago, Clinton may not participate in the February 26th debate scheduled to air on NBC.

I can't blame her. What is she supposed to do now? If she talks about these remarks publicly, then she's playing the "poor me" game, playing for sympathy because she's a poor, picked on woman. If she doesn't address the comments and participates in the debate, then she acts as if it didn't happen and there is really no consequence for commentators who behave this way. She's in a hard spot and I feel for her. That won't change my vote, because I vote on the issues, but I still feel for her. She is getting a different brand of mudslinging and persecution than the other candidates, and it's disgusting.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Those Pesky Facts

I love the site RH Reality Check. They provide such great factual information, and have such cool sections, including Policy Watch, Issue Briefs, Election 2008 (which posts surveys that candidates filled out), Fact. v. Fiction and Reckless Rhetoric.

Today their blog has a fantastic article by Dr. Poppema, who was an abortion provider for many years. She completely takes down four common myths about abortion, including my favorite, the "Abortion should not be used as a method of birth control" cry. I have never, ever heard of, let alone met, someone who used abortion as their only method of birth control. But anti-choice people always assure people that there are Evil Women out there who have tons of unprotected sex, then skip off to get an abortion. Yeah, because it's so cheap and easy on a woman's body. Dr. Poppema says:
I hear this one so frequently and yet in decades of providing abortion services to more than 30,000 women, I met only two women who used abortion as a birth control method...These two women experienced blood clots while on birth control pills, ectopic pregnancies with the IUD, and they were allergic to latex condoms and spermicide. Using the rhythm method with abortion as backup was the best method for them. I've never met a woman who cavalierly chose abortion as her method of birth control.

I've always wanted to see statistics to back that claim up as well. So far none of the anti choicers using that as a reason to ban abortion have been able to provide any factual support for that assertion.

My second favorite is the assumption that only stupid or irresponsible sluts need abortions. The good doctor tackles that one as well:
Until we have a foolproof, easy-to-use form of birth control-in my opinion, that would be a pill, paid for by insurance, taken only once a year, with absolutely no side effects or adverse reactions, and absolutely no failures -- then we cannot condemn women for having unintended pregnancies.


Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Unravelling the Mystery

Click to enlargeOK, so a friend told me that Maryland does have a primary, and it will be on Feb. 12th. Thank goodness she happened to mention it. The only source I could find online that wasn't an advertisement? Wikipedia. But that entry wasn't there a few days ago when I looked. At that point, there was NOTHING.

Now, to find my polling place. That was a bigger challenge. I was sure I had never changed my registered voter address from my parents' house. Why would I? Since then I have moved several times, living in apartments with roommates. So it made sense that I would leave it as my parents' address. So I did a search for finding your polling place in Maryland, and found the University of Maryland, Baltimore County Verify Voter Registration page. I searched by my name and my parents' address. Nope, that's not it. Hmmm. I know I had never filled out the form to change my registered address. So how could that be wrong? I finally just started entering all of the zip codes I had lived in and found it that way. Somehow it was changed to an apartment I lived in for one year 7 years ago. I have no idea how, since I know I never sent any forms to the election board.

At least I found my polling place and it's in an area I'm familiar with, and is nearby. But why does it have to be so difficult? Why can't you look up your polling place using your social security number? That would make sense, since each SS# is unique.

For that matter, why do we have to go to one specific place? If you are registeredClick to enlarge to vote in a particular state, why can't you just go vote at any polling place in that state? And while we're at it, why not have voting days on weekends? Or have the polls open for an entire week? Not everyone has the kind of job where you can take a long lunch to drive to your polling place and wait in line to vote. I pointed this out to a coworker today, who is black. He paused, then said "And most people who don't have the kind of job where they can take time off to vote are poor people and minorities." BINGO! I know I joke about conspiracy theories, but seriously, think about it.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Super Tuesday?

Chances are you've been bombarded with news about "Super Tuesday". I wanted to really get an understanding of it, since this is really the first year that I've become interested in the political process and the presidential election. Well, I can't find any information that clearly explains what Super Tuesday is or how it works. The best explanation I found was on Wikipedia.
In the United States, Super Tuesday commonly refers to the Tuesday in early February or March of a presidential election year when the greatest number of states hold primary elections to select delegates to national conventions at which each party's presidential candidates are officially nominated. More delegates can be won on Super Tuesday than on any other single day of the primary calendar, and accordingly, candidates seeking the presidency traditionally must do well on this day to secure their party's nomination.

I had to read that a couple of times to really absorb all of it. And then I think, again, that so many things about the way our country elections politicians is messed up. The whole thing about caucases, how much money is needed to run for ANY type of political office, the fact that delegates are the ones doing the nominating, and the fact that we even have an electoral college. Why on earth we don't just have regular, Joe Schmoe citizens voting for people, and have the popular vote determine who is elected, is something I don't understand.

Why the policital process has to be so uncessarily complicated is just mind boggling. I guess it would be asking to much to have it make sense. For example, on Super Tuesday, Wikipedia says that a primary will be held to elect delegates. OK, so who is voting for these delegates? Everyone, or some government body? I can't find an answer anywhere. And if the delegates are the ones who will be making nominations for each party's presidential candidate, then why are the candidates bothering to spend all of this time and money on television commercials, and campaigning to regulary people, when they really just need to win the support of delegates?

It shouldn't be this confusing. If anyone can point me to a good web site that clearly explains how this works, I'd appreciate it. Update at 2 pm on Monday: at least now I don't feel so bad about finding this confusing.

And, I've decided...if it comes down to Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, I'll vote for Obama. This article on The Nation does a great job of summarizing my own feelings.

I'm Still Here

I was touched to receive a comment from Feminist Gal today asking "Where are you? You haven't posted in a while." Wow, people actually read my blog, how cool! Well, I'm here. Last week I got a horrific virus that had me puking my guts up for about 10 hours and landed me in the ER due to dehydration. Fun fun. My poor boyfriend had to take me to the ER at 4:45 am, where even though there were only 2 other people in the waiting room we had to wait over an hour, and I had to keep walking to the bathroom to puke.

Speaking of which, whenever a woman of child bearing age who isn't sterilized goes to the doctor or hospital, for any kind of illness, they HAVE to see if you are pregnant. Fine, I understand that they have to take that precaution because many medications can't be given to pregnant women. They asked me if I was pregnant and when my last period was. I answerd that no, I was not pregnant and that my period had just ended. The nurse asks "Is there a chance you could be pregnant?" Well, yeah, I guess, but it has to be pretty damn small since I just told you I just finished my period and I use birth control. I mean, I'm not a statistician, but what kind of answer are they looking for? Since I haven't had a form of permanent sterilization, I can't give them an absolute no.

Then, since my boyfriend is, of course, sitting and waiting with me, one nurse keeps calling me "Mrs." even though I correct her. What, she's never heard of anyone living with their significant other? That wasn't that bad though. Once I was at Georgetown University Hospital, which is Catholic, and even though I was there without my boyfriend at the time, EVERYONE there called me "Mrs." For some reason they seemed to assume that any female over 25 must be married. Weird.

In other news, I made an appointment with a different doctor to talk to her about getting a tubal. My boyfriend and I actually discussed this while at the hospital last week. I was telling him that all of the forms of hormonal birth control had side effects that ruled them out for me, or made me not want to try them. I said "I wish I could just have my tubes tied, that way I could just take the pill to keep my periods under control." He agreed and said it would make the most sense. Then I thought "Wouldn't it be great to NEVER have to worry about getting pregnant again? Yes, yes it would!"

So I have an appointment for next Wednesday. We'll see how it goes. I am going to tell her that I've known for four years that I don't want to have children and that hasn't changed. I'm 32, so hopefully she will take me seriously. If she shows hesitation (as other doctors have) I'll ask at what magic age she will be comfortable giving me a tubal. Or Essure, I'll ask her about that too. That would make my life easier!