Archive for July, 2008

Population Control

I’m listening to Diane Rehm Show; the present segment features Paul Ehrlich.  It’s a fascinating discussion about population control – fascinating not just because Ehrlich’s opinions, but also because of the statements and questions posed by listeners. Ehrlich jests that cars are best suited to host teenagers making love and not at all appropriate for daily commutes.  He also directly correlates population control with the rights of women (not just abortion, but equality in the work place too), holding up Europe as a positive example.

Here’s the link to the program…listening to it directly will be more edifying than me trying to offer you a decent summary.

Anyway, if I could call in, there are two seemingly opposite things I think I’d want to say…

On one end of the social spectrum, I have this special plan, a brilliant plan (or at least I think it is, and many of my friends have suffered through my explanation of why it’s so brilliant) to control population, and more importantly protect children from being trapped in unhealthy and dangerous environments.

Some form of birth control should be placed in the water.  Women would consume the water and be infertile until they decide they are ready to have children.  Upon making that decision, the woman and man she intends to conceive with will undergo a series of interviews and tests.  Then, once they are deemed capable, safe and loving, the women will be given the antidote and the be able to conceive.

Yes, that is a little bit mad scientist meets Stalin, but it is a plausible idea.

Now, on the other end of the spectrum, I wonder what this conversation says about our collective understanding of God’s identity and nature.  Is the power of God (whatever your perception of God may be) greater than any broad sweeping governmental plan, any revolutionary medical procedure and any looming population disaster?

If we fail to consider the identity and nature of God in the scope of this conversation, aren’t we in essence saying that perhaps God’s not real, or at the very least God can’t do much?

I don’t think acknowledging the power and love of God illegitimates the urgent needs connected to the worldwide population boom.  We are running out of space, fresh air and food.  That’s a fact.

But what about God?  Is God a fact?  Or a fairy tale?

A fairytale God has no influence on the situation.  That God’s hands are tied.  That God is as relevant to the situation as Super Man.

But if we’re willing to acknowledge that God is a fact (even if we can’t all agree on who or what God exactly is), the rhetoric will change.  We’ll trust that there’s something bigger going on than we could ever really know.  We’ll trust that the something bigger gives and takes away – both freely and lovingly.

My far-fetched birth control in the water idea may be practical, but it is not powerful.  It stands upon a foundation made of facts and figures, not upon faith.


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They take out softball and baseball and replace them with what?

Yoga.  Yeah, yoga.  Competitive yoga.

I agree with one of the guys in this PRI piece – the only way yoga will ever be competitive is if it’s combat yoga.

Although, I will readily admit that most people who can do yoga really well could probably kick my ass around the block and back a few times.  But doesn’t ass-kicking go against everything yoga stands for?  That’s, as Robin WIlliams said recently, like Ghandi with bling.

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One of the most frustrating things of my real pisser of a semester is that reading and writing became very difficult, if not impossible tasks.  Of course that’s a pain when you’re a grad student; they kind of expect you to do a lot of both.  But reading and writing have always been a major release for me.  They are a couple of my most important coping mechanisms and always have been.  Only running and music carry the same ability to calm and inspire me.

Two weeks ago, I realized I could read again.  Then I had enough guts to start writing again.  It feels so amazing.  And never in my life have I looked at a book and thought, “wow, I just read this.  this feels so good.”  Nope.  I’ve always taken it all for granted.  Not anymore.

So in honor of all that reading and writing mean to me, I’ve decided to share my reading list with folks.  As if people really give a rip what I’m reading, but whatever.  I’m totally amazed with the ability to read more than a paragraph that I want to shout it from the rooftops.  Here goes…

Currently Reading:

On Deck:

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New Hair

Got a haircut yesterday for the first time since January.  My hair was down to the middle of my back, and although I loved it long and super curly, it was just getting to be too much.  That and going 6 months between haircuts is just a little over the top for me.  The gal chopped off 10 inches of hair and it felt strangely good to see it go.

Thought I’d post some pics of the new do b/c a) I am a little bit conceited and b) both my mom and sister will be on my case if I don’t.  I’m only posting the very few good ones.  In all the other pictures, I either looked like a skanky ho or like Grace in the episode where she tells Karen “I’m going to …. KICK … YOUR … ASS.”

I love the cut, but I was a bit concerned about running.  I had asked her to keep it long enough to put it in a tiny ponytail, but she wasn’t on the same page as me when it came to defining ponytail.  I had my hair cut this short in high school once.  We have pictures of me from the state track meet my senior year.  While I ran, my crazy short hair just puffed right up and I totally look like a troll.  I think I will be sporting a lot of bandanas and hats to tame the frock.


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I’m a bit ashamed about not blogging for a long, long time.  I’m finally in a mental/emotional/tangible place to write, but am still waiting on a dose of creativity.  So until that actually happens, I am not too proud to solicit questions or respond to a meme.  For now, I’ll just try to give a quick update on life since my last post in mid-April.

1.  A month before my previous post, my world got rocked and not in a good way.  I don’t think the blog is an appropriate place to delve into details, but I can say that the experience stole my sense of security, made me doubt my value as a woman and question the reliability of my internal compass.  It messed with my head and it’s taken a long time for my head to get unmessed.  I’m still working on it.

2.  A few days later I found out I was not accepted into Arizona State’s social work program.  So much for trading the big mitten for a big desert in June.

3.  As a result of #1, school became a ridiculous challenge.  I had to get special permission from the very gracious dean in order to get extensions for every single class I was enrolled in.  I also had to fully withdraw from two class.  I finally finished all my course work last week.  That was a huge accomplishment since reading, writing and thinking in general had seemed impossible for a very long time.

4.  As luck would have it, it doesn’t really matter that I didn’t get into ASU because I didn’t manage to complete all the necessary course work to finish the seminary portion of my degree.  I essentially have no choice but to stay in Michigan for now.  I’ll probably be here for two more years since for a lot of reasons it makes more sense for me to just do an MDiv in its entirety and then move on to an MSW or other counseling degree.

5.  Work has also been a difficult thing to take on – a) b/c of my overall mental/emotional condition and b) because the mitten’s economy sucks and there are no part-time jobs for over-qualified hot chicks.  So for right now, I am doing child care for two families.  I’ve got one 9-year old boy and then 3-year old and  1-year old boys in the other family.  They’re cute, love them to pieces.

6.  I am completely broke.  To the point of seeking public assistance.  Last time I checked w/ DHS though, I was too broke and have worked too hard to be eligible for any aid.  How the hell does that figure?

7.  I’m in the middle of a series of tests to determine if I have a learning disability.  Of course I do.  It’s called Hebrew sucks.

8.  My primary coping mechanism for dealing w/ items 1-7 has been running.  Actually, for a while I went back and forth between beer and cigarettes, but eventually decided those were coping mechanisms for people w/ more money than I have.  I eventually got up to 35-40 miles a week.  Then I got, to quote my doctor, “the nastiest, ugliest out of control case of bursitis” he’s ever seen.   I meant to take pictures to show you but forgot.  You can still tell that one hip is way bigger than the other.  At one point it looked like I had a softball under my skin.  I had a gross bruise that went hip to knee, mid butt cheek to half to my crotch.  (ummm…what are the appropriate words??)  Oh…and I gave it frostbite early on.  That rocked.

9.  A robin built a nest in the tree outside my living room window.  It laid eggs, had babies and the whole family is doing well.  I meant to document this in pictures for everyone, but didn’t exactly get around to it.  The baby birds have turned into real sized birds in just a week.  It’s so cool.

That’s all.  I’d say a 9-point update is sufficient.


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