April 26th, 2005


Even More Defective Wildlife

There's a new squirrel in town, with some kind of lump. It doesn't look like a botfly lump. It does look rather painful. It's on the left side of belly, a swollen round node with dark red skin on top. My guess is "very well-fed tick" but "abcess" is also a contender.

I almost got a photo of him. I saw the poor thing, got out the camera, screwed on the telephoto lens, set up the blind, found him, zoomed in, focused, and...the battery died.

By the time I took out the camera, changed the battery, and got back, Scarface had chased off the miscreant for the crime of standing within twenty feet of the feeder, and I missed my shot.

We'll see if he comes back, and hopefully I can play Spot That Malady. I hope it's a tick. I hate ticks, but "Ticky" is a better name than "Abcessy" by a country mile.

Minor Amusements

A quick little painting, but of course, Deeply Relevant, as I explore the social ramifications of birdwatching-as-hobby, the relation between subject and object, causing us to question the very nature of Art itself, wherein the viewer is invited to question who is the watched and who the watcher, using that universally relevant symbolic language of cute li'l mousies with things on their heads.


(no subject)

The grayness of the day was making me moody. There's nothing in particular to be depressed about, life is generally good, but you know how it is...the gray...the dank...the dark...you get that kind of hollow knot under your sternum and find yourself drinking tea by the gallon and trying to find something good to brood about.* Living in Arizona sort of broke my light meter, I think.

I stood looking out the back window, feeling vaguely sad. Then a female cardinal landed in a nearby tree, fluffed herself up, and began preening extravagantly. I watched until she flew away, and just as I was about to descend into a Robert-Frost-esque moment of melancholy introspection about the healing power of nature, balm to the rueful human soul, etc, one of the squirrels came up, plopped his butt down on the railing about two feet from me, and began cleaning his ass with the sort of dedicated enthusiasm generally reserved for a certain class of Mapplethorpe photos.

Robert Frost would not have approved, but hell, you gotta laugh.

*How many times a day you have to go to the bathroom because of all that friggin' tea is not a good subject for brooding, but if you're desperate...

(no subject)

Some of you have probably tripped over this already, but if you're looking for something to be outraged about, pull up a chair!

The Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act of 2005 (Senate Bill 51 and House Bill 356) has been referred to committee in both the House and the Senate. It contains this definition:

WOMAN- The term `woman’ means a female human being who is capable of becoming pregnant, whether or not she has reached the age of majority.

Hmm. I'm...not a woman. And neither is my mother. (Neat trick, huh? Pr'aps it's hereditary...) If you're menopausal, sterile, or on birth control, you're not a woman under this definition. A twelve year old with early menarche is twice the woman you'll ever be, honey.

Possibly we're men, in which case I'm in a gay marriage, and James is in for a real shock. Or I could go off the pill, thereby making me a woman again, but then we couldn't have sex, so the poor man may have to choose between upholding traditional family values and gettin' laid.*

Really, I try not to be a deranged feminist. I'd like to think I'm pretty good about it. I go along believing I'm equal, and assuming pretty much everybody else who isn't some kind of freakish religious dinosaur does too, and gritting my teeth at tampon commercials, and it generally works out. I can't think of the last time I flew at someone, harpy claws extended, screaming "DIE YOU TOOL OF PATRIARCHAL OPPRESSION!" I go through whole weeks without dwelling on the fact that someone, somewhere, in power, probably believes that I'm basically a glorified uterus capable of simple housekeeping chores and the occasional blow job.

And in the grand run of things, since this is just a legal definition for the terms of one bill so that they can try to guilt-trip women getting abortions even further, it's a minor point in a generally obnoxious piece of "Shame on you for having an abortion, you bad, bad woman!" legislation.

But come ON. At least a teeny bit of token effort on the part of people drafting this stuff. A shred. At least try to pretend that you're not defining women's importance by their possession of a uterus. I know you are, you know you are, but maintaining the polite fiction is the only thing that keeps me from thinking I've woken up in a Margaret Atwood novel.

*I suspect this will not be a difficult choice.
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