In the name of God, here's looking forward to a single, unified Orthodox Church of the United States.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I've been trying to keep my location as secret as possible, but this is too important to hide for the sake of anonymity:

Vote NO on Proposal 2!

Nov 4th

On November 4th, Michigan voters will decide whether to radically amend the state constitution to allow lethal research on live human embryos.


For those of you who are registered to vote in Michigan -


Proposal 2:

· permits unregulated and unrestricted research on LIVE human embryos

· does not ban human cloning

· if accepted, could not be changed by any state or local law

· is not about human embryonic stem cell research – which is already legal and unregulated in Michigan



If you need to, please look into requesting an absentee ballot today! The media are doing everything they can to keep this issue quiet, yet legislation like this would only lead further down a slippery slope of unethical research. Please help end it here!

Visit: http://www.micause.com/


To download an absentee ballot: http://www.michigan.gov/sos/0,1607,7-127-1633_8716-21037--,00.html

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Like a Bandit

Wow! Dumpster diving rocks!!

Okay, okay, I didn't actually dumpster dive, but the house director put a big ol' box of unwanted (and disgustingly unclean) kitchen items in the lobby today and said, "Have at it."

And boy did I ever.

Here's what I walked away with:

  • Two heavy-bottomed sauce pans, different sizes
  • One frying pan
  • One bread pan
  • One 8"x8" pan
  • One muffin pan
  • One blender that's so old, it has wood paneling and the electrical prongs are the same size
Whoo hoo!

Sure, as I mentioned above, they were pretty grody (I think I'll have to soak the blender in bleach water before I actually use it), I got a good work out getting most of the items clean, and they're not the prettiest, matchy-matchiest of things, but they work, so it was totally worth it.

Can you believe I heard one of the girls in the dorm say she looked through the box and, since everything was so grimy, she lost interest. Man, when EJ and I get married, we're not exactly going to be rolling in dough, so, a little elbow grease is cheaper than anything we'll have to buy!

For serious, guys. For serious. =P

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Well, it looks like Ron Paul has endorsed Chuck Baldwin.

I'm still so, so torn. Baldwin and I differ on key issues, but we have much more in common than not. I thought about voting for Bob Barr, but he just doesn't seem strong enough. I also thought about writing in "Jesus Christ", because, the way things are going for me, that makes the most sense.

I'll probably vote for whomever EJ is voting for, since I have issues with women voting to begin with.

Book Review

UNPROTECTED: A Campus Psychiatrist Reveals How Political Correctness in Her Profession Endangers Every Student by Miriam Grossman. M.D. (previously published under the name Anonymous, M.D.)

Warning: Some mildly adult language to follow.

Wow, where do I even begin with this one? I don't want to give the author a blanket pass, but I learned so much from this little book and would recommend it to anyone, despite my ideological differences with Ms. Grossman.

Let me start off by saying this book is not just some opinion piece to which no one pays attention. Ms. Grossman has quite a few prominent individuals backing her up: Dr. Laura Schlessinger (who was the first to publicly reveal the author's name - with the author's permission, of course), "Nick Cummings, Ph.D., an ex president of the American Psychological Association; Cal Collarusso, M.D., an eminent psychoanalyst and educator; and Joseph McIlhaney, M.D., who had been on the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS and founded the ... Medical Institute for Sexual Health... Then came excellent reviews in the Wall Street Journal, National Review, the American Spectator, the Weekly Standard, ... Fox News,... Newsweek,... 700 Club,... interview[s] on over one hundred radio shows and [speaking engagements] at the Family Reasearch Council, the Best Friends Foundation, and the Claire Booth Luce Foundation in Washington, D.C." (ppX-XI).

Each chapter focuses on a different issue commonly faced by college students, such as "safer sex", STDs, infertility, HPV, abortion, etc., with the misinformation about risky sexual behavior being the overriding theme. At the beginning of each chapter, she introduces the reader to a student who is facing one of the issues she wishes to discuss, then describes and defines whatever it is she's talking about, how she thinks it's best to treat it, and explains how it has become such a political issue that psychiatrists and psychologists can no longer effectively diagnose and treat the problem out of fear for their livelihoods and reputation.

Take Stacy for example:
[Stacy] was an athlete.... She got up at five to do laps, and worked out at the gym for at least two hours in the afternoon. Her physical condition was a priority, and she was careful about what she ate ... she avoided processed foods and additives, and took lots of nutritional supplements. No alcohol, nicotine, or marijuana. No soda for Stacey -- only bottled water. This wasn't easy ... [b]ut she had strong convictions about the benefits of this lifestyle....

Following her annual exam at Student Health, Stacey got a call from the nurse. Her Pap test was abnormal; she probably had a sexually transmitted infection called HPV....

She was in crisis, afraid and confused. It's true that most cases of HPV seem to be harmless and disappear, but at the same time, the virus causes nearly every case of cervical cancer. About four thousand women a year die in this country from cervical cancer, around the same number that succumb to AIDS. Even if Stacey was infected with a "low-risk" type, it could still cause warts on her genitalia and cervix, and the treatment of these warts may be painful, cause scarring, and be expensive. The virus could be with her for life; there is no cure....

So, here was a bright, self-disciplined young woman.... Stacey's life was about self-restraint, self-control, and self-sacrifice in the name of a healthy body. Except when it came to her sexuality. (pp. 13-16)
Would it surprise you to know that, according to this book, most doctors wouldn't warn Stacey to curb her sexual lifestyle for her own good and the good of those around her. Most would probably just throw a condom at her and say it's up to her whether she continues to sleep with multiple men or if she even tells anyone else about her "problem." Instead of giving the world accurate, clear information about STDs (of which, most cases of HPV aren't even the worst), the propaganda machine would have us believe the problem is minor or easily taken care of. Some even go so far as to say "Everyone's got an STD! It's no biggie!"

In chapter 3 (Memo to the APA: Believing in God is Good for You), Ms. Grossman quite appropriately realizes that, of all the people groups in America, those who take their religion seriously are significantly less likely to engage in risky lifestyles. The author writes that about 50% of psychiatrists claim to "have no religion", a disproportionate amount compared to other professions, and she deplores how her colleagues seem to think fundamentalist Christians, Muslims, Jews, Mormoms, etc. are merely fringe groups and need not be taken seriously. She advocates for the study of religious people to see if any insight can be gained from their behaviors.

Not all is sunshine and light in this book, however - though those do heavily outweigh the darkness. In the section on abortion, Ms. Grossman advocates for the depoliticization of the procedure. Though she never comes right out and says it, it's quite obvious the author doesn't think abortions themselves are the problem, but rather the way in which they're viewed. She says the negative emotional effects of abortion are very real, but, because it is such a hot issue for both sides of the morality spectrum (that's my choice of words =P) women aren't being properly taken care of after having one. Those who align themselves with Planned Parenthood say there are no adverse effects from abortion while those on the other side say that nothing but bad comes from them (which side I happen to be on, I'll make that clear right now). It was good to see her advocating for better post-abortion counselling, and she did provide some graphic depictions of medical abortions (abortions using the pill as opposed to surgury), but, overall, I didn't think this section went far enough. Abortion itself is the problem that needs to be dealth with. These hurting women went in there thinking it would take care of their problem, but, in fact, it only created new ones - sometimes with debilitating effects. One thing that made me almost jump up and down with joy, though, in this section, was her compassionate treatement of the men who experience abortion; talk about being shoved off the cliff of this debate! Overall, I'm glad she opened this can of worms, even if I don't wholly agree with her.

So, as I said above, I would recommend this book to anyone - religious or areligious, liberal or conservative. Her truths stand clear no matter what part of the political spectrum we ascribe to. If you are religious, be aware that you might not find every part of this book to be biblically sound; the author doesn't try to make it a religious book, so don't begin reading this expecting something that's not there.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

I'm not a Republican, but that new movie "An American Carol" looks really really funny. =P

Book Review

I finished reading With Child: Birth Through the Ages by Jenny Carter and Thérèse Duriez on Friday. I picked it up because I have a growing number of natural birthing books on my amazon.com wish-list and was hoping that maybe, just maybe, my college library would have some of them in stock. It didn't have any of the birthing books, but it did have Unprotected: A Campus Psychiatrist Reveals How Political Correctness in Her Profession Endagers Every Student by Miriam Grossman. M.D. (review to come when I finish). I found With Child mixed in with the other women's psychology books as I was looking for Unprotected. The title intrigued me and I checked it out on a whim.

My initial reaction as I began making my way through the first few pages was "Great, just another feminist revision of history," but I forced myself to continue and, after I got past how all the great nations of the past had made concerted efforts to keep wimmins down, they finally got into the history of birth, but, faced with such bias right off the bat, I wasn't sure what I could trust and what I couldn't. They had certainly done some investigating, which is great, but, overall, I felt like I was reading a glorified research paper with an agenda rather than something written by experts in the field. Every piece of history was colored through feminist goggles and didn't take into account the religious practices of the peoples in question, other than to reiterate how those had helped in the subjection of women (with one notable exception: the authors acknowledged that Christianity, if nothing else, left hospitals as its legacy). They used the term "Dark Ages" with all seriousness, a label that has been rejected by leading historians since the 1970s! Instead of creating an easily accessible glossary of birthing terms at either the front or back, they used technical birthing language throughout and didn't define some of the most frequently used until page 171 of a 254 page book - or didn't define them at all. Yes, this was meant as an introduction to the topic, but the authors' constant use of feminist lingo, shoddy scholarship, and disorganized, and downright confusing, arrangement of the book made me wish I hadn't wasted the five minutes it had taken me to check it out.

To be fair, the historical quotes sprinkled liberally throughout are interesting and useful and not everything is tainted with the authors' bias. Thanks to this book, I finally know what an episiotomy is (yikes!). I was also amazed that the authors didn't mention Margaret Sanger - unless I completely missed her (there were two sections of about 5 or 10 pages I didn't read). Despite these small strengths, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone - it is unscholarly and horrifically biased. It would be safer and more reliable to do your own research on the subject of the history of birth than to trust this book for anything except the quotes.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

and Blogger just rearranged my three latest posts. I wonder what happened?

Ich bin in Himmel

I was talking to EJ last night (as we do every night - w00t for free Verizon to Verizon minutes!!) about what life will be like once we're married and settled in together. He seemed to really want to impress upon me the fact that any further schooling he may have might keep him away from the house for the majority of the day and that he'd be very tired and cranky when he got back in the evenings and he made sure to point out that I'd pretty much be the only one in charge of the house during most of the week and, when he walked though the door, he'd want me to look nice and greet him with a smile and have supper steaming on the table, because, no matter how tired I was, he'd be tireder (yes, I thought that word appropriate) and would want to just collapse and relax and be pampered. He seemed to think I might be averse to this, but all I could do was giggle like a schoolgirl and try to explain that that's what I've been dreaming of doing for so long now.

Seriously, that sounds like heaven: a decent part-time job at an airport (for the flight benefits) then spending the rest of my time making any little apartment we have feel like home so, at the end of the day, EJ can return to a place where he'll know he can rest and be loved. I'm getting so giddy just thinking about it.

P.S. - Of course, the weekends will be a slightly different matter - that'll be EJ's time for projects and whatnot that I simply can't do on my own. =P

Words Almost Fail Me

I cannot believe it. I really ... I just ... wow, I really am at a loss for words. Hang on while I think this out.

~

I just got back from supper in the dining hall and as I was making my way towards the trash a woman who was walking to a table in front of me spilled her entire basket of fries and a burger all over the floor. The table right next to her was filled with jocks who broke out laughing and none of them moved a finger to help her pick anything up (her hands were full with a plate, drink, and silverware, which was probably why the basket was so precariously perched to begin with); I quickly deposited my own dishes and picked everything up for her while the "men" looked on ("men", because they apparently have the maturity of a two year old - who laughs when someone gets hurt). They should have brushed me politely aside with an, "Oh no, we'll get that," and not only helped pick up those fries and burger, but should have offered to go and get her another basket and then walked it to her table so she didn't have to try carrying it again.

I'm. so. angry. right. now.

This is what we're coming to?? And why is it always jocks? Why do they collectively act like only slightly evolved apes? One of them was actually braying like a donkey in the line to the dining room to get attention, a fact which I wouldn't have brought up had the other incident not occurred. These are the types of men we're raising to lead the next generation???

Yes, this is a generalization, but I have yet to meet more than one or two jocks, either male or female, who were ever kind of helpful to me or more interested in others than they were in themselves or their sport. (You can give me all the anecdotal evidence to the contrary that you want, but this has been my personal experience throughout my entire lifetime.)

Bloggerdom

I love blogs. I love finding new blogs. I drive EJ crazy talking about all the blogs I read. It's probably bordering on addiction.

Which leads me into the blog I "found" today. I've known about it for awhile, but didn't start reading the archives in earnest 'til last night. Ave Maria Gratia Plena..., written by the Coffee Catholic who lives on an organic farm in Scotland with her husband, her soon-to-be-born child, and a gazillion cows and sheep. Passion ensues.

I found this particular tidbit for new mothers in this post (not that I'm a new mother, but I want to be someday!).

God created us Man and Woman. One of our beautiful and holy duties is to join with God in creating life. But that life is not ours ~ it is God's. That baby belongs to the Lord and He chooses us to be Good Stewards of His creation ~ in this case, the child that we find in our arms.

Just as that child does not belong to us, neither does "our" time. Every second of every day of our life belongs to God. He breathed the breath of life into our bodies and started our time. This time is His, not ours, and we have no right to lay claim to it and say, "You are demanding my time from me!"

If something is not ours then we cannot resent being asked for it because we are not giving or losing something that belongs to us. Therefore I cannot resent God's child from asking of God's time from God's Stewards. When that baby wakes up at 3am and cries for the breast I have no right to groan and complain of how "...the baby is demanding my time." That's God's baby and God's time and as the Good Steward of that baby it is my duty to lovingly give of that which honestly doesn't belong to me in the first place. God says, "Take this time and give of it with loving generosity." He does not say, "Horde it for yourself."

Lovely and so very very true.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My Wedding, Post 1

So, I figured I'd start a little series on my wedding plans. For those who haven't read the "About Me" section, I'm getting married in November, God willing. You can never tell with the military, so I speak with the understanding that none of this may happen at all if EJ's base decides he can't come home for the days required. That's also why I have no set day in November yet.

The reason we decided to get hitched in November in the middle of the school year and not on some balmy June weekend was also thanks to the Marines. You see, the military has no legal respect for fiance's, girlfriends, friends, etc. The only people who have any legal clout with a Marine are his wife and immediate family. Anyone else is left out in the cold. As soon as this was driven home to us and we realized that, should anything happen to me, EJ would probably not be able to help and vice versa, we decided to quit stalling and get 'r done. Thus, it began.

When EJ first proposed to me Sept. 7th, 2007, I had dreams of a grandiose wedding with hundreds of guests and a reception to make one's jaw drop. Of course, I quickly realized just how much that would cost and the headaches required to plan it all and as an overreaction I began dreaming of a quick courthouse wedding with just the immediate families and a nice dinner somewhere afterwards. Being the only girl, my parents wanted something big and grand for me as well and were devistated when I told them I'd changed my mind (oddly enough, my dad was more upset than my mom - I mean, he was really angry). Eventually, I decided I still wanted a church wedding and a reception hall, but tried to keep things to a minimum as much as possible. I'm a simple girl, I don't need much, and, besides, the point of a wedding is to get married, and it doesn't matter if you spend just $50 on the license or $200,000 on the whole shebang - you still end up in the same state of matrimony. =)

It was after all that that we were hit over the head with the legal ramifications of not being married as described above and bumped up the wedding to a little less than two months from today. My dad nearly had a heart attack and my mom wasn't too thrilled either, but, we determined to press on anyway and trust in the LORD to provide.

We've cut the guest list down to about 22 people, there's a beautiful old hotel near where my family lives, in which I'd love to have both the ceremony and the reception if it's not too expensive, and that leaves only the rings and the license. Hopefully, I can keep the whole thing under $2,000. I'll do as much of the work myself as possible, though it's difficult when you live 200 miles away from where you want to be married and so can only take tours and tastings on the weekends. But, as I said before, I'm keeping this as simple and low key as possible, for my own sanity and for our wallet's sake.

And that's it for now!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

It has been raining non-stop for two days. I've never seen it rain so consistently for so long without stopping in my life. I think it's from Hurricane Gustav, but I don't know for sure.

Thankfully, the forecast for tomorrow is partly sunny, so hopefully the farmers' crops won't be ruined and things can get back to normal.

EDIT: It was from hurricane Ike. And it did stop raining finally. =D

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I love love love these "modified baseball hats" from Headcovers Unlimited, offering more coverage.

Classic Baseball Hat

Sporty Baseball Hat

Lace Baseball Hat

The site is for women struggling with cancer, so it's a great cause!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Sunday, September 7, 2008

My First Orthodox Service

I went to the Eastern Orthodox church today. Coming from a non-denominational protestant church and even having attended a number of Catholic masses in my time, let me tell you - it was quite the change!

To begin, there were only pews in the back and along the walls to be used by people with children or the elderly (though none of the elderly in attendance actually utilized them). The rest of the open space was covered in carpet, on which most of the congregation stood - yes, actually stood - for everything but the sermon. The alter was behind a solid, icon covered wall, accessible only through three doors (from what I understand, this is pretty standard). The liturgy was mostly sung or chanted (that will take some getting used to). There was quite a bit of crossing ones self and bowing and prostrating (though, by no means, was everyone doing everything at the same time. It helped me be less self conscious) and I wish I would have understood more of the significance of each of the actions; it was quite beautiful, even in such a small church.

Yet, despite the rituals I (vaguely) described above, this was the most laid back service I've ever been to. People were walking in and kissing the icon in the middle of the room 15 minutes late and no one seemed to mind, children ran hither and thither, and a delightful old man kept explaining out loud different aspects of the service to me and the girl I came with (because it was painfully obvious that neither of us had ever been to an Orthodox church before) right as the priest was speaking or chanting - again, no one seemed to mind. And it was absolutely the most adorable thing I think I've ever seen to watch the littlest kids crossing themselves or kissing the icons. One little girl, couldn't have been more than two, would cross herself any which way she pleased: middle-of-nose to the belly button to the right shoulder to the eye to the left clavicle to the belly button again. I wanted to snatch her up and snorgle her right there. =P

I've been investigating Orthodoxy for less than a week, but I'm finding more and more in common with it. Case in point: I first began looking into it because so many headcovering blogs that I read were/are run by Orthodox women and it was so beautiful to see most of the women in this church with their heads fully covered. =)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Das Español!

So I'm taking Spanish 101 just for kicks and giggles this semester - and, surprisingly, it is actually affording me plenty of laughs. I've studied German for the past seven years and it's been rather difficult to break the habit of automatically thinking in German whenever *any* foreign language is brought up.

For instance, we're learning numbers up to 30 in Spanish right now and some of the exercises include simple adding and subtracting.

So, for a problem like 2+4=6, my initial thought process goes something like this:

dos plus vier son sechs*

Throw that into a translator and see what it spits out. >.<

* 'dos' = '2' (Span.)
'plus' = '+' (Germ.)
'vier' = '4' (Germ.)
'son' = '=' (Span.)
'sechs' = '6' (Germ.)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Headwear

This sun visor for use over scarves looks kind of neat - a little bit pricey, but interesting, nonetheless.

This one, from the same site, is similar in design, different color, slightly less expensive and, I think, looks better. =)

Monday, September 1, 2008

A Brief Foray into Politics

In light of Sen. McCain's recent VP pick, Gov. Palin, I'm left wondering - what will life be like as a Christian once we as a nation refuse to acknowledge any of God's commands?

This nation has chosen to place as frontrunners men who would otherwise have been highly unelectable - and yet, something occurred cosmically that allowed them to become serious choices. Chance? Coincidence? I think not.

McCain's choice of Gov. Palin is a brilliant strategic move that, I admit, made even a hardcore, sort-of-libertarian such as myself reconsider him for a brief nanosecond - and then I remembered the Bible. For all her conservative qualities, there's still that niggling little fact of the authority of the Good Book and what it says about women in power.

~*le gasp*~

I know, I know, crucify me on the alter of self, but, seriously, there's no getting around any of this. Deborah, in ancient Israel, was a shame and rebuke to the Israelites for being the only person God would use as a Judge, because there were no good men to stand up in her place. What does that say about this situation? Yes, I know the U.S. is no longer a Christian nation. I don't pretend that it is. I don't pretend to think that most people will agree with me here (see crucifiction statement above). However, I, as a Christian woman, cannot support this lady, or any of the other mainline candidates. As a result, I am prepared to see my faith, and the faith of all true Christians, tested as it has never been tested before in this country.

Kelly has also written a series of posts on this subject and, unlike me, she explains her reasoning:

The home, the family, the raising of children--it is the zenith of human accomplishment. It's a full-time job, requiring full-time attention if it's to encompass all God intended. The sphere of influence available to a woman is profound...reaching out in all directions, even into other generations, past the impact of VP. She does not have to assume a political office, directly overseeing national affairs to change the world! Read full article.

See the rest of the series here and here and be on the look out for any new posts she may make on the subject.

EDIT: Here are some links to other sites with articles discussing Sen. McCain's choice (there are plenty more out there, too):
  • Vaughnshire Farm: Post 1, Post 2, Post 3, Post 4, and Post 5 [All highly recommended].
  • Mrs. Chancy at Ladies Against Feminism.
  • Doug at Vision Forum. [One of the things he points out is that"Americans must consider the real possibility that the United States may have a mother of young children serving ultimately as commander-in-chief of the military... ." Great, they'll be handing out teddy-bears and SpongeBob band-aids to every troop - before they don't send them out to defend this country. We may also see women being fast-tracked into even more combat situations, which puts our young men at far greater risk (hey, they're forced to believe in this so much they'll die for it! ... Oh geez, I just made myself a little sick.).]