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Archive for July, 2012

The breast-feeding bullies are at it again!

Posted by Lissa on July 31, 2012

OH FOR CRYING OUT LOUD. They’re locking up infant formula like it’s medicine. New Yorkers are bloody BRILLIANT, I tell you!

Under Latch On NYC, new mothers who want formula won’t be denied it, but hospitals will keep infant formula in out-of-the-way secure storerooms or in locked boxes like those used to dispense and track medications.
With each bottle a mother requests and receives, she’ll also get a talking-to. Staffers will explain why she should offer the breast instead.

I personally would not want to try to lecture a woman who has just pushed an infant out of her pelvis – I’ve heard that can be rather grueling – but then again I ALSO would not want to try to lecture other women about their infant diet choices in general. What a good thing the geniuses in Nanny Bloomberg’s administration are smarter than I am!

I particularly loved this part:

Lisa Paladino, of Staten Island University Hospital, said: “The key to getting more moms to breast-feed is making the formula less accessible. This way, the RN has to sign out the formula like any other medication. The nurse’s aide can’t just go grab another bottle.”

The key to getting more people to do what YOU think is best for them . . . is to take away their other options. Or at least make them more tedious, more difficult, and less convenient.

And don’t forget the lecture! Nanny-statism without a lecture is like spaghetti without meatballs!!

Then again, it could be worse. I’m surprised Nanny Bloomberg didn’t go the full Gisele Bundchen route. Shhhh, don’t give him ideas. . .

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Random Thoughts

Posted by Lissa on July 30, 2012

In no particular order . . .

- This blog is officially stale. I can barely manage to post once a week, let alone have interesting (or somewhat interesting) posts every day.

- I’m still interested in politics. The difference from four years ago? I no longer feel urgent and passionate about it. Every new revelation about the corruption of the Obama administration, his basic class warfare mentality and the ensuing press lapdance just makes me roll my eyes and say, “Well, duh.”

- Maybe part of it is that I don’t live in MA anymore. Since I’m no longer surrounded by people who sing hosannas to Pres Obama (or Ted Kennedy, or Elizabeth Warren, etc. – Massachusetts really sucks), I no longer have to channel my frustration into my blog.

- Lack of frustration is a nice thing, though. Being mostly happy and un-angsty is a good baby incubator!

- Baby is GROWING GROWING GROWING. I’ve gained almost twenty pounds since I got pregnant. Thankfully all the weight seems to be going to my belly – my arms, legs and face look about the same – but the Baby Bump is more like a Baby Mountain.

- Remind me never to become obese if I can help it. The sheer difficulty in bending down to get something off the floor – let alone shaving my legs! – should be all the incentive I require to stay fit. For the rest of my LIFE.

- I’m reduced to getting pedicures because it’s too hard to touch my toes with fine motor skills for an extended period of time.

- I’ve found that swimming helps the lower back aches. I am very very grateful to have a pool in my backyard. I love Florida :)

- I’ve been athletic for most of my life. Oh, sometimes I’ve been woefully out of shape, but I’ve always been able to jog up stairs and lift heavy boxes and hoist suitcases into bins. It is WEIRD to ask for help because these tasks are either difficult or just not smart for me to do.

- Monkfish really does taste more like lobster than fish. Thank god. We eat fish almost every Sunday because it’s good for us. The only way I like fish is in sushi, or seared ahi tuna. Fish = YUCK.

- We’ve got someone new starting at the office today. This should be . . . INTERESTING.

- We went to see The Dark Night Rises yesterday. I will admit that when gun battle scenes erupted, I did a quick eye flick around the theater to make sure no psycho evil madman was aiming a gun. I did have a plan for concealment and had noted the nearest emergency exit.

Happy Monday, all!

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Nothing like glucose in the morning!

Posted by Lissa on July 23, 2012

I’m starving, I can’t drink water and my mouth tastes like a mix of orange juice and turpentine. Hooray for glucose tests!

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Last night I dreamed that I cheated

Posted by Lissa on July 18, 2012

I’m so ashamed!!!

I dreamed that I was on some Food Network-type cooking challenge, in which they divided us into teams and made us cook with weird ingredients. I ended up with a box of seasoned rice and red-and-white peppermint candies.

First, I couldn’t find a pot; I ended up running across the hall to my own kitchen to grab one. (Apparently I’m back in a dorm. This sucks.) Then I forgot to add the seasoning mix. Then I forgot to add water. And then time ran out. So I ended up with some cooked gelatinous mess that looked rather like a German pancake with scorched rice on top.

And THEN I realized that I’d totally forgotten the peppermint candies. So, even though time was definitely up, I surreptitiously crushed them and added them into the glop as I plated it.

Shame on me!!!

Also, I think I’m watching too much Food Network.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! (Mine included a Shower for BabyKitty!)

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Rajah, the Sexual Predator

Posted by Lissa on July 10, 2012

Monday morning, 3:31 A.M.

“MeOW! MeOWWW! MeOWWWWWW!!!!”

Bloody hell. Rajah’s molesting his girlfriend again.

You see, Rajah is an only cat. He’s never met a female kitty. But he does have one stuffed animal that he, um, romances. He carries her about in his mouth and digs her out of the storage box whenever I tidy the floor for vacuuming. And in the morning we stumble over the horrifying aftermath:

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(I left her safely hidden away. The rapacious kitty went and GOT her.)

This morning? Same deal. 3:30 A.M. “MerrOWWWW! “MerrOWWWWW!!!!”

A similarly hideous crime scene on my living room floor:

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Sigh. Rajah, you really need to get some hobbies, dude.

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The world may be doomed and most people don’t pay attention, but is that anything new?

Posted by Lissa on July 9, 2012

Unsustainable debt. A deteriorating military apparatus. A breakdown of the blue model in Europe and in many states; local governments and municipalities going bankrupt. The rise of a competing economic power in China that comes with a dictatorial government and an absolutely unsustainable demographic time bomb. And yet, the majority of adults in our country can’t name our Attorney General, can’t name the major players in the European Union, and will look at you blankly when you inform them that Medicare and Social Security cannot and will not continue as they have, because you can’t make up numbers forever.

They can probably tell you who the finalists are in American Idol, though. Or maybe Survivor, or Dancing With the Stars.

And yet . . . is this really any different than normal?

I’m too young to really have perspective on this, but surely during the Cold War the world was far more dangerous than it is today. The breakdown of the USSR was surely more disruptive than watching Russia and China angle for political and regional influence and power. And while the Middle East is a sucky mess, at least none of the neighboring countries have tried to push the Jews into the sea in the last few decades.

Were voters *actually* more informed twenty years ago? Thirty years ago? Hell, it hasn’t been THAT long since politics was “men’s business.”

Information is much more easily accessible nowadays – and, I think, much more interesting. We just have to convince our fellow adults that following politics is more fun than following soap operas.

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A conversation with a client about China’s one-child policy

Posted by Lissa on July 6, 2012

For the most part, I don’t talk politics with our clients. Or rather, if they want to talk politics I’ll throw out interesting anecdotes or amusing stories either from their side of the aisle or that are politically neutral; it’s not my job or my place to convince a client that he or she is wrong.

But there are some topics on which I can’t just be neutral.

Mr. H is a zany, scatterbrained, all-around nice guy who jumps around from topic to topic like a little kid playing hopscotch. I mentioned my grandmother, who was born and grew up in China, and he immediately asked for the motivation behind Chinese young women coming to America. “I go to these Chinese restaurants and there are these women who just left their families behind and don’t speak more than few words of English and why do they do that? Is it because of the one-child policy?”

I allowed how the one-child policy was pretty terrible so I could certainly understand that being a motivating factor for some of these women. He interrupted to tell me that he thought the one-child policy made sense for China.

Um. No, I don’t keep my mouth shut on this.

In a very pleasant tone of voice, and without at all attacking him, his views or his statement, I told him that I understood the goal of the one-child policy. I understood the desirability of cutting down on population growth, especially since the few fertile parts of China were chronically overpopulated. However, the one-child policy did not make any sense economically, in that it led to one child having to support four grandparents in their old age, which is just financially and demographically impossible. Furthermore, while I could understand the desirability of Chinese people having fewer children, the actual policy as it was carried out and enforced was nothing short of monstrous.

He had no idea what I was talking about.

It’s not hard to find what I’m talking about. It *may* very well be desirable for the Chinese people as a whole to slow their population growth. But I invite any of my readers to click on these two links – hell, one will probably do it – and then argue that the policy is NOT evil.

WARNING – THIS LINKS ARE EXTREMELY GRAPHIC AND DISTURBING.
Link 1
Link 2

An article from The Economist will give you the gist without inducing vomiting.

It’s not my place or my job to change people’s opinions. But it appears that opening people’s eyes to evil masquerading as public policy is something I have to do.

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Happy Independence Day!

Posted by Lissa on July 4, 2012

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Has class now trumped race as The Great Divide?

Posted by Lissa on July 3, 2012

So says Robert Putnam, anyway, he of Bowling Alone fame. (I took a Washington symposium between my junior and senior year of college that focused on that book … the gist of it, as I recall, was that you could track the health of a society by the number of its choirs, book clubs, debating societies, etc.)

It got me to thinking about my own experiences.

As far as “Belmont” versus “Fishtown”, I come from a purely Belmont background. No, we didn’t go on fancy ski trips to Vail or expensive Club Med vacations — in fact, our vacations were all either at our relatives’ houses in Toronto or at Ocean City, MD / Cape Cod, MA — but my parents (all four of them!) were college graduates who liked or loved to read. I was always in the Advanced classes at my schools and studied classic literature, history, etc. My friends and acquaintances were all going to college, of course; the real brains set their sights on Brown while others might aim for state universities, but everyone was going. Whether in my European History class, my American History Through Film course (which was AWESOME), my Holocaust class, the soccer field, the track or the stage, these were the people by whom I was surrounded. These were the people I knew.

I went on to a small liberal arts college (ranked in the top ten by US News & World Report). It goes without saying that it was purely “Belmont.” After a few years I went to work for a mutual fund company with headquarters in downtown Boston. Finance = Belmont.

I’ve only had two experiences really getting to know people from “Fishtown.”

The first was when I started out a Ye Olde Financial Company and took a second job to help make ends meet on my first apartment – I worked four mornings a week at Dunkin Donuts. The second was taking courses at Florida Community College when I was thinking about changing careers and going into nursing.

And yes . . . . the people were . . . . DIFFERENT.

Not demographically. DD was a largely female crew, mostly young, with a few women who were in their 40s; mostly white, with a few exceptions. My friends from Anatomy & Physiology class were all women, mostly black, with a few exceptions (including one blond who worked at a plastic surgery clinic and looked like Barbie). My group at Ye Olde Financial Company was mostly women, with a few men, and two out of the eight of us were black.

But the YEFC people . . . well, five of us were married, four of them with children. We all saved toward our retirement. The unmarried folks either were in serious relationships, were looking for serious relationships or were globetrotters who vacationed in places like Morocco and Paris. (How she could afford to do that I don’t actually know, but whatever.)

Whereas the DD people . . . one left for a two-week vacation to get married at 20 in Las Vegas. Her mother-in-law worked at the same DD and kept pestering the girl to hurry up and have babies so she could be a grandmother, already (I believe she was 43 at the time). Many of the workers complained about always being short of funds; they spent their money on rent, food, cigarettes, and perhaps marijuana. “Retirement savings” meant having an extra hundred bucks for emergencies, and most of them didn’t have that. I gave my five-minute Roth IRA speech to anyone who would listen, but they were much more likely to “buy silver, because my boyfriend heard that’s really supposed to go up next year.” Most were working at DD’s full time; a few were in nursing school and, like me, picking up a job to help make ends meet.

The community college people were for the most part trying to become nurses. Many already worked in medical clinics. They shared stories about ex-boyfriends with two phones, which they eventually learned was so the “men” in question could cheat on them. One had a baby out of wedlock at 19; another had two more children by two different men; a third had four children and was not yet married. Most of them had finished high school and never considered community college before, let alone a four-year degree.

The intelligence level between DD, the community college and YEFC was not noticeably different. I worked with quick, competent people and I worked with absolute morons in both places.

Have you worked and socialized in both worlds? What comparisons can you draw? What experiences can you share?

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Pregnancy: No one told me it feels like being on a roller-coaster

Posted by Lissa on July 2, 2012

And I mean that LITERALLY, not figuratively!!

BabyKitty started moving several weeks ago. He was kicking hard enough that Mike could feel it on Father’s Day (good baby!). It’s wonderful and I love it . . . there’s a certain feeling of unreality about pregnancy — that there’s an actual live human being growing inside me — and every kick, every flutter, every shift of movement makes it more real.

And that was before he started turning somersaults. Or maybe practicing hip-throws or back handsprings.

When he kicks really strongly, or when he does a big motion shift, it LITERALLY feels like being on a roller-coaster. You know how your stomach DROPS as you go over a big fall? That’s what it feels like! My whole internal system LURCHES and then settles.

Good thing I love roller-coasters, no? :)

All in all, I am having a very normal, boring pregnancy.

Which is exactly what I wanted.

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