Monday, February 02, 2009

C.R.A.P. Sunday - Groundhog edition

Catch-up Rants And Platitudes - #2 - a brief look at recent news items, etc.

[I realize this is officially posting on Monday - getting something in just before, at, or after the deadline is sorta a specialty of mine.] So had my interview on the East Coast this past week - travel went pretty smoothly, and the interview itself not too bad. Unfortunately, up against three other very well qualified candidates, and did not feel any strong "good vibes" with any of the faculty. Called in a favor with a former adviser who may have some influence on them for me, but not anticipating good news. Back to the drawing board....

  • Octuplets - Hmmm, interesting - so she had herself a litter. Oh, there she goes, she had herself a litter again. I know, not exactly a "litter" for the first group of SIX kids, since they do range in age and I think there is only one pair of twins. But it is quite surprising how slowly information is leaking out about this woman, who is only the second to give birth to octuplets in the U.S. From what I have pieced together, she is a single mother, living with her own mother (or had been until recently), obsessed with having kids (planned to have 12), underwent IVF (in-vitro fertilization) with donor sperm and then had the embryos frozen. Somehow - after already successfully birthing six children over recent years - she managed to convince doctors to implant her with all the remaining embryos. When she hooked up with the docs that cared for her through delivery, she had seven viable embryos detected. Doctors offered to therapeutically reduce the number to give her overall pregnancy a better chance of going to term and having healthier babies. She refused - which is fully within her rights. A surprise 8th baby is delivered among all the others at about 31 weeks (9 weeks early) - fortunately far enough along that they all have a good chance of survival.

    Of course - all will require quite a long hospitalization before they are fully out of the woods, which is quite expensive. This single mom will be caring for 14 young children - which is an impossible task without assistance. How she managed the resources to secure IVF and then implantation for each of her pregnancies (also very expensive) is beyond me. What doctor(s) in the world would dump all remaining frozen embryos into the uterus of a mother of SIX is borderline unethical. Presumably she did not want "leftover" frozen embryos to be destroyed (will address this more in an upcoming post about abortion rights), and perhaps only wanted to become pregnant one last time, but that is so irresponsible on the part of the physicians as well as herself to intentionally place herself into a super-high risk pregnancy - risky for her health, risky for the guardianship of her current kids, and risky for the babies she would be carrying. Once everyone is back from the hospital, can you imagine what her home life will be like?!? Nuts.

  • Gay & transgender rights - please see my previous post for a dedicated rant on this topic. In the wake of the California prop 8 fiasco, there has recently been a victory for gay rights in Washington state, giving domestic partners all remaining rights of spouses (without the title of "spouse" itself). And without a whole lot of ruckus. Of course conservatives are complaining that it is a doorway to eventual gay marriage legislation.... Maybe that is the way it will have to go, slowly progressive steps until "marriage" is the next logical and undeniable right to confer.

    Something that bothers me though is the recent lawsuit filed by two transgender people in Illinois, demanding that the state alter their birth certificates to reflect their current gender status. Because they had their surgeries overseas, the Illinois government is refusing based on a lack of physician documentation. That should be a moot point - they ARE able to get passports, driver's license, etc. granted with their "current" gender. Why should birth records be altered? How is it ever acceptable to alter that sort of documentation? They were born as "boys" - not some ambiguous genitalia issue that was later resolved. They had elective surgery to become women, and are legally considered women based on their active personal IDs. Why should an archival document be changed? When a name is changed due to marriage or some other court procedure, the original birth certificate does not need to change. Granted, there is at least a paper trail to connect person A with their records under previous name B - so maybe a form documenting the change would be something to serve whatever need spurned this lawsuit. But changing vital records because of events later in life - that just doesn't seem right.

  • On the topic of Illinois government (maybe my last comment on it for a while?), driving home after a Superbowl party tonight I was unexpectedly pleased at the removal of Blagojevich's name from the open-road toll plazas. Granted, it was probably $15,000 that could have been spent for something else, but that price pales in comparison to the $400,000-ish dollars the signs initially cost. And wow - the government managed to get something done in just a matter of days from the impeachment. I guess some people were pretty anxious to see that name wiped away.

  • Dining out in a city in Tuscany - Not that I have ever had the chance to hang in Italy, nor do I anticipate this in the near future, but caught a snippet that made me triple take. Apparently, the tourism board of the city (Lucca?) has banned ethnic food. Huh? Well, new ethnic food. Their existing restaurants can stay, but apparently they will not allow any new establishments whose menus focus on any sort of non-local food items. No kebabs (Greek food), Thai, etc. Not even Sicilian food. What?? Isn't that basically a part of Italy? They want to preserve the feel of the region, but apparently even local chefs are complaining because "fusion" cooking is all the rage now, and they feel this could limit their menu options. But what happened to consumer choice and freedom?!? If I go to Tuscany I should be able to choose to have "authentic" Tuscan food... but should also have the option for whatever variety is available. If / when I go to such a region, I would definitely be staying long enough to enjoy several meals - why not have the option for a good curry dish as a break? This is also discriminatory to immigrants, who often support themselves by cooking up the cuisine of their homeland. "FAIL" for attempting to curtail freedom of choice.

  • Finally, I cannot hold my tongue (or fingers, I guess) on the topic of the "Snuggie." People, this is just a comfy robe, or a flannel shirt, or whatever garment is handy, worn backwards. Do you really needs these direct marketers shoveling more crap down your throats?!? I'd like to load up a garbage scow with all the Sham-Wow's, Ped-eggs, clappers, touch lights, Chia-heads, choppers and juicers and try to get the pirates off Somalia to take THOSE off our hands. SHAM-UGHH!

Well, I guess that is enough for now. If you made it all the way to here, even I am impressed. Hope you enjoyed the Superbowl - it was pretty tight, a good show right to the very end. In case you've got it taped, TIVO'd, DVR'd, or just hoping to catch highlights I won't be the one to spoil it for ya. But man - cannot believe the number of penalties ... that has got to be a record. Here's to hoping for a cloudy day tomorrow - no shadows for the little rodent.

Photos mercilessly stolen from Google images.


Ron B. said...

I guess I should cancel the Snuggie i decided to send you as a late birthday gift, Bonzo! Seriously, though, I laugh at those looks like those Snuggie wearing people are part of some doomsday cult! The Sham-Wow, on the other hand, looks like a useful thing (given the middle of the night baby feedings, I've been watching my fair share of infomercials).

bonzo said...

hehe - too bad, i was really hoping for a salad shooter. what really got me going was the fact that someone took the time to write an actual article in the sun-times about snuggies - gimme a break! talk about a slow news day.

cult, no shit. when my wife first saw them, she was jazzed over the idea of having an "imperial guard" outfit. if only i could get her interested in a gold bikini....