The centerpiece of any good, robust political system is healthy debate, and part of that debate should be questioning our leaders. While people who don't "like" Obama drive me nuts, I respect the fact that they have every right in the world to dislike him, and to question him when he does things. (you know, unlike when Bush was in office, and those who questioned him were considered Un-American) I welcome it, actually. QUESTION our leader. We put him there, but it is his responsibility to lead us and do the things that are right for us, so when he's going down a wrong path, SPEAK UP for heaven's sake!

Ok, that being said, there's a small group of nutjobs that just chap my ass every time I hear them given press time. You know who I mean... the people who claim, nay, INSIST, that Obama was not born in the US. They are discussed in the press so much that the WH has given them a NAME! They are known as the "Birthers", and completely believe that he was born in Africa, not America. The WH gave in to the stupidity about a year ago, and posted a copy of his Birth Certificate online, they have recieved witness accounts from hospital workers, etc, and have even pointed to a local NEWSPAPER in Hawaii announcing his birth.

There's a great blurb on the CNN.com ticker today about Press Secretary Robert Gibbs shooting down the "Birthers". (article is HERE). In the comments section was a response so TRUE and hilarious at the same time that I was nearly crying with laughter over it:

posted by: Yo morons! on July 27th, 2009 4:43 pm ET

"His grandmother did not say he was born in Kenya–it was his step-grandmother who said that about 40 years after the fact, AND she was not present at his birth.
I feel silly indulging this nonsense; it's like trying to prove a negative. Birthers, can you prove that Bush is not satan? Can you offer me one shred of proof that he is not satan? What's that? No proof?
Can you prove that Rush Limbaugh does not survive solely on the consumption of human flesh? Do you have any proof whatsoever?
Can you prove that Laura Bush is not a robot? And I don't mean your run-of-the-mill wire and steel robot, but a high-tech cybernetic organism designed to conrol your thoughts? C'mon birthers, prove it! I will not be satisfied until you prove it!
The certificate is out there and has been vetted. For god's sakes, devote your energies to helping your communites, or alternatively, learning how to read and operate "the google".
Otherwise, take another swig from your clay jug and remember to holler for Pa when the vittles is ready!"



Ever since Professor Gates was arrested (and then released) the other day, I have tried to apply a huge grain of salt to the whole affair. Yes, this is easy to do for me becauseI am white and have never experienced racism - HOWEVER, grain of salt nonetheless.

While it is certainly likely that the officer was simply doing his job and arresting an unhelpful combatitive man, it is also just as likely that the cop was racist and just profiled the whole situation.

And while it is likely that the officer was asking unneccesary questions and not answering Gates' simple questions, it is also equally as likely that a man who has probably experienced racism before approached the entire situation with his OWN prejudices against the cops and wasn't gonna be helpful no matter what.

I was not there, so I'll never reallyknow what happened, so again - grain of salt for everyone involved.

Now, every piece of reporting out there I've seen have all said things like travesty, racism, profiling...no grains of salt from anyone.

Except now.....

Read the following article from Dr. Boyce Watkins (originally appearing on the website thegrio.com). Watkins says: "What is abundantly clear is that this is NOT the case of a poor Black male being exploited by the racist, classist power structure. "

And then there's the picture....

I see a policeman with his hand out trying to calm Prof Gates down....I see Prof Gates look like he's yelling "Help".....I see a black officer in the foreground....I see him cuffed in front (which is actually a sign from the cops that they didn't really feel threatened by him)

what do you see?

ETA - I was just reading over this entry and realized I didn't link to the article.... idiot..."DD"

A loophole just big enough

Some friends of mine (like Don) have blogged recently about the big "affordable healthcare" issue swirling around politics right now. Sometimes within the debate, the amount of numbers and statistics thrown out there make my brain fry...just a little...
However, I was thinking earlier about my own personal healthcare, which is not bad as far as I'm concerned. I get paid every 2 weeks, and from each paycheck I pay 3.11 in dental, 15.29 in medical & 4.04 in vision.
Sara is on my insurance as well - we are VERY lucky that my job offers partner benefits - and thats for everything. So, there's an additional line item where an added amount for dental, medical & vision is added on just for Sara to pay for HER coverage.

Here's where it gets nutty - follow me....
(in the following paragraphs I am simply being critical of the PROCESS, this is by no means a judgement of my employer - I respect the fact they are doing best they can)

Ok, so since Sara is not a taxable dependant, my job does not cover the TAX incurred with her coverage, so that charge is passed on to me.

Let me 'splain. After my gross earnings are calculated, there is a charge for my employers cost added to my "earnings". And then, my taxes are figured off of THAT total. Then under the deductions area, that charge that is ADDED up above, is subtracted down below.

So, I am TAXED at a higher rate just so that I can have Sara covered. If I were married to a man, I would just qualify for a family plan, and not only would I not be taxed at a higher rate, our coverage could be deducted pre-tax. (right now, my coverage is deducted pre-tax, but Sara's isn't...).
This isn't my job's fault, there is no law in place that guarantees coverage for my spouse. Beause let's be honost - Sara isn't my girlfriend or my "life-partner", she's my WIFE, legally she is my COMMON LAW WIFE. In about 3 weeks, we are celebrating 8 freaking years together. That's longer than either one of my mom's first 2 marriages. We're working on the baby thing (once she's done with school), and thankfully she has decent medical coverage so that we can get good pre natal care, and once the kid(s) are born, they'll qualify for coverage as well.

But I'll be taxed higher....


Favorite images from NYC trip

Unfortunately, when you're on weight watchers, this is as close as you can get to "the best bagels in the world" ::sigh::

Imagine what the musical world would be like now if this memorial mural had never had to be done.

yeah.... first time face to face with Frida.... kept myself together long enough to take a good picture. Then I sat on a bench across the room and looked at her for about 10 minutes. amazing.

Top of the Empire State Building at sunset.

There's a placque in front that reads:
"For three decades this sculpture stood in the plaza of the World Trade Center. Entitled "The Sphere" , it was conceived by artist Fritz Koenig as a symbol fo world peace. It was damaged during the tragic events of September 11, 2001, but endures as an icon of hope and the indestructable spirit of this country. The Sphere was placed here on March 11, 2002 as a temporary memorial to all who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center.
The eternal flame was ignited on September 11, 2002 in honor of all those who were lost. Their spirit and sacrifice will never be forgotten.

"Statue of Liberty! I crush your head! I crush your head!

Right near the "registry room" at Ellis Island, they were restoring some support columns when they uncovered a bunch of handwritten notes and pictures scribbled on thecolumns by the immigrants while they waited to be processed. Most things were in a completly different language -but the emotion certainly showed through.


Stealing from Bob

So, Bob (or, Devil Vet as some know him) does a regular thing on his blog entitled "Favorite Things this Week", and it's usually an image of some kind that he particularly likes.

I'm stealing the idea.

I'll call it something else of course (maybe I'll just call it "stealing from Bob"), and I won't post it every week, but nonetheless posting the images will become more common.

This week, Sara and I went to NYC, and we went to the big museums. There were some pieces of art that astounded me (that Matisse is BIG), and others that moved me (Frida, I love you...), but nothing made me THINK and feel as much as THIS piece did.

The painting is simply called "Woman Ironing", and our pal Pablo painted it in 1904. It was clearly done during his "Blue Period", and it certainly does a good job of evoking THAT emotion for me. I stared at the damn thing for the longest time. I just couldn't get over her left shoulder. that pointy left shoulder. SHe's so thin, and obviously working hard on something. her hair is mussed so I assume she's hot and sweaty. Thin and tired. and yet..... look at her face.... just a hint of a grin.

"I eat too much....I drink too much... I want too much...too much!"

The 3 people who read my blog know me face to face, so it's pretty obvious when I say... I'm a heavy gal. I sort of always have been.
I've tried a couple of times to track the genesis of my weight gain, and while laziness and poor food choice is the biggest factor, some of my worst habits began when I was younger.

Between 2nd and 6th grade, my mom's second husband's alcoholism was truly spiraling downward. I hated being anywhere NEAR the guy. During that time, I didn't have a lot of friends, so rather than be out of the house all the time, I retreated to my room. This is when I started devouring huge books at a time, and always with a snack in my hand. Always.

I would go to the library and smuggle candy bars in. I would hide candy and junk food at home in my drawers and down it all while reading some 1,000 page book. I started to get a little chunky, and as I slowly put on weight, things got worse and worse at home. By the time my mom threw him out, I was in the 6th grade, and I'm pretty sure I was well over 150llbs. And I also starting developing the twins - my collosal pals up front that made be a TRUE roly-poly (round in the middle and huge on top).

During 7th grade I was having a very rough time adjusting to junior high. The kids were all new, and they were cruel. Time for another candy bar. Plus my dad was really sick that whole year. 7th grade sucked. And then in May, Dad passed away. It kicked me in the pants a little. I started taking better care of myself (um, meaning I showered every day now), and started wearing makeup to school, wearing nicer outfits - trying DESPERATELY to make friends and fit in. I became the funny heavy chick. Pass me another candy bar.

So, bad eating habits, laziness and all that have contributed to BIG Dianna. And then Sara and I got together, and we just always wanted to stay home and eat food (I believe they call that nesting....)

Anyway - Sara and I sort of hit the wall where our collective weights were concerned.

For me, I have always been a fast walker, and someone who could bound up the stairs no matter what my size. In the last year or so, my knees have started to hurt, my back hurts more often now...and I knew it was time to make the change.

Sara and I both joined Weight Watchers a month ago. And its been nothing but good things. Sara has lost close to 12 pounds, and I'm just a smidgen under 10 lbs lost with 9.6 total.

We kept it super quiet the first few weeks - because that is what has always doomed us before - as soon as we talk about it, we fall off the wagon. This time, we were focused, and we were determined. We didn't tell a soul for over 2 weeks. And now, we're telling a few people at a time, and have been enjoying the "high-5's".

We also made it past 2 big bumps in the road - 4th of July (pulled pork sandwiches!) and a trip to New York City (Hot dog vendors EVERYWHERE!). We feel really strong for being able to make it past those two events, and we feel like anything that comes our way we'll be able to make SMART food choices.

Here's a semi-recent pic of the 2 of us - it's from the rehearsal dinner from her Sister's wedding. (back in October, but whatever) We are both at our heaviest in this pic, but we are already changing from that. The chins are receding, and our waistlines are getting smaller already.

Now, in this coming October I'm going to have another wedding to go to, and I expect to be in a lot of pics since it's my BROTHER'S WEDDING!!!!!!! (Hooray! Better late than never Danny!)
I fully intend to post some pics of me and Sara and compare what our faces and bodies will look like - looking forward to the "no-double-chin" pics!!!!



On monday, I was in a little pain, and it really made me think - what the hell made this topic so taboo? What part of history just made it the worst topic?

Ok, so I had my period - and still do (4 days a month guys, no getting around it), and I just don't get the fuss. I mean, it's a bodily function, right? Albeit, with a slightly grosser product than urine, I'll give you that. But the fuss? I don't get it.

I've had conversations upon conversations with guys (AND girls) talking about pee, poop, vomit, sperm, ..... as soon as the word "period" comes up, everyone makes a face, plus their ears "lalalala - I can't hear you". Really? blood is grosser than poop? grosser than VOMIT? Don't even get me started on the grossness of sperm - I've been in conversations that included such sparkling phrases like "drop my load" or "squeeze one off" and have even been a party to the "never use the towel next to a guys bed" topic. Gross in their own ways, but hilarious nonetheless.... Does anyone not understand the hilariousness of uncontrollably bleeding for 4 days every month? I mean COME ON!!!!!

(I think it's a hilarious coincidence that today of all days my favorite humourous blog is dedicated to the internal lady parts - please go check it out and laugh!)