Friday, January 30, 2009

Twitter and Facebook are killing this blog

...because they let me provide bloggy little updates in a fraction of the time.

But I owe you more than that.

Have you seen the commercials for the new Dora the Explorer Suds and Styling head? Because that is what was missing from the character with a feminist/humanist basis—that a girl can be an independent explorer and problem solver. Hair-styling! Dora has short hair, so let's make a big head with long, silky hair that little girls can brush. The toymaker's one sop to feminism is that the toy has "face paint" rather than makeup—but what do you want to bet a bunch of little girls will go right ahead and paint makeup onto little Dora's face? Yes, Dora's time as a bold explorer is drawing to a close. It's time for her to focus on looking pretty for the boys. Can stiletto-heeled mini-skirted full-breasted Dora the Sexplorer be far behind?


And I'm all about freedom of choice, sure, but that woman with the octuplets: What the fuck? Let me count the problems here. Her infertility doc apparently transferred eight embryos into this patient. Eight! That is too many, especially in a 33-year-old woman with zero interest in selective reduction. "Surely the doctor just wanted to be kind," you argue. "This was her last best chance at becoming a mother, the poor dear." Yeah, except she already had six children age 7 and under. (I learned this from an LA Times article this morning, but I'm too lazy to dig up the link for you.) The 2-year-olds are twins, so it's possible that she did in vitro to conceive them and thus had a documented success rate with not only becoming pregnant (with or without in vitro), but having live births. And a lot of 'em! My cousin, a former NICU nurse, and I, a former NICU mom, guesstimated the total hospital bill for the mom's 7-week hospital bed rest and her C-section plus the eight babies' NICU stays. We're thinking $800,000 to $1 million. Did your health insurance premiums go up in January? Cases like this don't help. I'm betting her co-pay is way less than $750,000, so everyone else shares the cost. Which, you know, is fine if it's a bone marrow transplant or cancer treatment or something. But it just strikes me as selfish and a huge hogging of resources to have octuplets for your 7th through 14th children.

(Edited to add a link to Twisty's post on the octuplet situation at I Blame the Patriarchy. Be sure to read the comments thread there, too.)

Plus, it's still winter, and this January is the coldest January in Chicago in 24 years. And then there's the snow. We've had 2+ feet of it, and none of it has melted away. It's not as deep, though, because it's been condensing itself into a hard, unmeltable crust. I had a Facebook scrap with some Bostonians complaining about how woeful their slush was. Yes, we can all agree that slush is messy and icky and sloppy, and nobody likes it. But these Bostonians were acting like Chicago's January would be better than a day or two of slush. N to the O! I have not seen the ground beneath the snow for a solid month. The temperature may have snuck above the freezing point once or twice for a few hours, but the rest of the last month has been subfreezing. Cold, man. Sure, there haven't been all that many days with the subzero wind-chills, but day after day after day of 15, 20, 25—it gets old. The worst part of all this? February has yet to come. February is often even more discouraging than January because it just keeps being winter.

I do feel like I'm in a good mood today, but these things have been pissing me off. Now I can go have a good afternoon.

My job for you: Please vent some petty outrage in the comments. Something that's been pissing you off—let's hear it. Maybe you'll feel exorcised if you yell it loud enough.


imnverted said...

I have to chime in and agree with your statement about the octuplet mom. Not hearing the whole story when the news had a clip about her I was like, hm, she had to have help. But then to read the article from LA Times (love Fark) found she had 6 already? What the frak is she doing on fertility treatments when she already has 6???

I had to stop reading and close the page.

E. said...

I'm right there with you on the woman with the octuplets. Holy Christ! Her doctor should be defrocked. And while I don't make a habit of telling other people what to do with their ferility, I think there should be some sort of rule that after you have, say, five kids, you're not allowed access to the medical resources involved in fertility assitance. Five. That's fair, right?

Yeah, Facebook has definitely had a deleterious effect on my blogging. And since my blog's anonymous, I can't even link them!

Jay said...

Now you sound like someone's cranky nana.

Me, I'm also tired of the weather. I'm ready for some long spring twilights. I'm also ready for menopause; it's enough, already, with the cramps.

Maybe you were looking for something more significant? Well, too damn bad.

You know, I do feel better.

Anonymous said...

Ditto on the menopause, Jay. I'd say that is more than a petty outrage: on crampy days like this I imagine an army of para-menopausal women sucking down Midol and taking over the world.

But, what I'd really like to scream about is this: the two 2-hour meetings I was forced to sit through today, both very tasky, at least, but both stressful in very different ways, especially since I have 65 essay #1's to grade this weekend, and yes, all must be done this weekend so I have time next week to do all the damned tasks from the two meetings of today.

And yes, that is a run on sentence! So what?!

Thank you for this opportunity, Orange.

Orange said...

The latest on the octuplets' mother: She's a single mother, using donor sperm and in vitro for ALL 14 of her children. Her mom deems it an unhealthy obsession with having children that dates back to her teen years.

Anonymous said...

In calculating the cost of the kids, I think you and your cousin left out the ongoing cost of medical care for premature octuplets. It's not like they're all going to be fine and graduate from NICU and head home to lead uncomplicated lives....

As you said, I don't begrudge the use of medical resources for people who need it. But come on. This was a choice.

It's about 40 degrees here today, so our ugly, crusted snow (WORSE than you have, Ms. Chicago, so there!) is melting into ugly, brown heaps that will no doubt freeze into turdy-looking lumps that will be around until April. But I'm still happy that it's warm and sunny, so I'm going for a walk.

Narya said...

The mental ill health involved in that reproduction is pretty amazing. And finding a doctor to enable it just annoys me more.

As someone who is in the middle of that will-she-menstruate-this-month-or-won't-she stage of menopause, I am with you. I am tired of this, thank you very damned much.

Anonymous said...

Re the mother of fourteen. Aren't there any ethical guidelines for doctors out there about this sort of thing? As E said, usually I think peoples' fertility is their own business, but when someone's fertility is actually obssessive behavior that increases my insurance and taxes, I think I get to have an opinion.