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July 29th, 2008

Toddler Fun: Blood on the Basement Floor

_That_ caught your eye, didn't it?

Everything is fine.

I was hanging out in the (nice cool) basement with T. last night. He had his Little Tikes cart he was driving around in a circle on. I had my laptop I was wasting time on. Each circuit of the basement, he'd stop for a goldfish cracker and I would hand him one without taking my eyes off the screen, pleased with the general success of benign neglect.

Then for reasons I could not explain then or now, I looked down and saw blood drop stains all around the basement floor. Down goes the laptop. Up the stairs with me and T. hollering for papa saying he's bleeding check his feet. It turned out to be a teeny tiny little stubbed toe cut (I've bled all over carpet and linoleum not realizing in exactly this way), which R. carefully cleaned out, put a bandaid on and then taped over to discourage T. from removing the bandaid. No more basement riding last night. Instead, I got to go back down there with a wet rag and try to remove all the red.

This morning, J. is taking the day for appointments and so forth so it's just T. and me. All thru breakfast, constant requests for "basement?" So we're back down here with the cart, the laptop, the goldfish crackers. But hopefully, not the blood.
http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/front/la-na-justice29-2008jul29,0,5868533.story

This is more on the US AGs firing under Gonzales. Apparently one of the AGs was fired as a result of rumors that she had a lesbian relationship. Part of the rumors circulated included as "evidence" of a relationship was that the two women commuted to work together.

Now, I have carpooled in the past (actually, in retrospect, I carpooled a _lot_ in the past, sometimes on a motorcycle -- kind of a triple threat in terms of saving gas, not to mention having a lot of fun). And that carpooling (with a man) led to rumors of a relationship. So I can't say this surprises me. Much.

But it really pisses me off. It did then. It does now. You should be able to share a _ride in a moving vehicle to and from work_ without people assuming the relationship extends to sex. Grow the fuck up people. Makes you wonder what those people think of vanpools. An orgy in the HOV lane?

And for the record? While I generally support whatever consenting adults want to do, sex in moving vehicles is Not Safe. So don't do it on public roadways.
On one level, yay!

On another leve, ho hum.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/29/health/29well.html

“Doctors used to be the only source for information on medical problems and what to do, but now our knowledge is demystified,” said Dr. Robert Lamberts, an internal medicine physician and medical blogger in Augusta, Ga.

I just want to know: how _old_ is Dr. Robert Lamberts? Because I'm trying to think of a time when doctors were the only source of information on medical problems and what to do. And I'm coming up with, never in _recorded_ history. I don't know much about medical doctors before people were writing shit down. Do you? I'm betting Lamberts doesn't, either.

This is right up there with, when _I_ was young, fill in the blank here. Or, in the economic framework, the recent spate of hilariously dense punditry on how at some point in the not too far distant past, no one borrowed to buy stuff. Uh hunh. Pull the other one. It's got bells on.

These have fully replaced the when _I_ was young, people didn't [name sexual practice here]. Does this mean I'm not young any more, am old, or are in some iffy territory in between?

Parker-Pope tends to be on-again off-again; this is definitely one of her off-again moments.
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/29/us/29transport.html

We're driving less. We're taking public transit more. Public transit runs on fossil fuels, same as private vehicles, and they're having trouble making ends meet. There is some federal money for public transit, but apparently, we aren't spending it (I think we can guess why). Now, there isn't enough money from the gas tax for road work already committed to. Congress is proposed to use money from the general fund. Bush says he'll veto it, but will okay a transfer from public transit money to roads.

Let's just stop and think about that for a minute.

At a time when we're switching over heavily to public transit, Our Offal Leader wants to take the tiny amount of money we mark for public transit, and spend it in further subsidy of private vehicles via the road system.

Nice.

Bringing Peter and Paul into the discussion, I think, obfuscates things. The correct analysis is:

Last Ditch Attempt to Subsidize Halliburton/GM/etc.
http://newoldage.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/07/29/single-childless-and-downright-terrified/

I've been reading a little bit, inadvertently, about the child-free movement. I had known about this movement (in much the same way I knew about some of Richard Stallman's other idiosyncrasies) but not paid it a whole lot of attention. The most recent occasion for encountering it revolved around a fascinating (and thus far unanswerable) legal question about whether children can be required to pay for the nursing home bills of their indigent parents. Several (I think, actually, most, but I'm totally unable to drill down to real details) states have Napoleonic Code-type laws on the books that make family members legally responsible for each others bills. For the most part, the only ones that are actually enforced are between spouses, and parents for minor children. I dropped into a child-free discussion on a forum in the course of trying to google an answer to this question.

For a very long time, I was on the fence about whether I'd have children ever (and, had the financial circumstances of my life gone at all differently, I almost certainly would never have had children); my circle of friends and acquaintance includes a disproportionately large number of women who have never had (and, as we all age, will never have) children. And men, too, for that matter. Some of those people intended to never have children; others, it just never worked out. But none of them were particularly political about it, so I don't have the kind of direct experience of this political position that I do for, say, ethical vegetarianism or veganism.

One of the questions which arises within this debate is what happens when you grow old? While Jane Gross doesn't appear to be particularly politicized on the child-free thing, as a child-less and unmarried woman who has recently supported her own mother during her decline and death, she feels some concern about her own prospects and discusses the possibilities intelligently, with an emphasis on the lack of legal support supplied to friends and family-who-aren't-spouses-or-children (siblings, say, or extended family) who might be able and willing to supply assistance in one's last years (FMLA rules, for example).

She generalizes the issue to the weak status of friendship within our legal system, an interesting stance, particularly given what's going on with the Lambeth (sp) currently. After all, if we're all over the New Hampshire bishop for availing himself of the legal support supplied via civil unions and suggesting he should have waited or not supplied such juicy red meat to bigots, er, opponents of gay clergy in the Anglican community, we'd be saying he'd have to rely on those non-existent legal supports for friendship (should that be in quotes?). Which is to say, even after you've really gone after all the paperwork (health care power of attorney, power of attorney, living will, various proxies, blah, blah, blah), is not a whole helluva lot.

An even larger and more disproportionate fraction of my circle of acquaintance really subscribes to the notion of "chosen family" as opposed to family-of-blood (little Dr. Who reference for ya there). Any opinions about whether we should modify our legal system to better support "chosen family"? I'm particularly interested in non-sexual connections, but also somewhat interested in what people would like to see in terms of supporting polyamory. One argument for polyamory is better/more stable support of children; equally, polyamory could become a framework for support in old age (altho I don't know that I've ever seen anyone explore this idea in any detail).