Archive for opinions

Second Verse, Same as the First

Posted in Comments from the Peanut Gallery with tags , , , , , on November 17, 2011 by Alison Amok

Humor is just another defense against the universe.

-Mel Brooks

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Welcome back stranger/friends. I know, I know… I kept saying I was back and then never really came back. And I’m sorry. But I wasn’t feeling particularly inspired and life sorta got in the way. But no more. I’ve had my little hiatus and I have a lot of stuff to say these days. So. I am back for reals this time.

Quick catch up – Husband is fine, Amelia and Winston are dogs, cats are still alive, we still live in NoVa, I’m still going to school, we are still childless but have stopped actively TTC for awhile and my pancre-ass hasn’t killed me yet.

I cannot wait to meet new friends and reconnect with my old ones. As for my blog… This will be a place for my sarcastic tone, smart ass comments and general snarkiness to flourish. I will talk about our child free by no choice, our families, my dogs, other peoples pregnancies and whatever randomness I come across that day. Husband and I have been trying to conceive now for about 5 years. This time has given me some perspective which will be delivered piping hot via your blog rss stream.

So welcome back, join the running amok-ness that is my life.

Avoidance is a Noun, Not a Verb

Posted in Comments from the Peanut Gallery with tags , , , , , on January 23, 2011 by Alison Amok

To think too long about doing a thing often becomes its undoing.

-Eva Young

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I’m not purposefully lazy.  I don’t consider myself to be lazy at all.  I might be disinclined to be purposefully useful though.  (I never met a thesaurus I didn’t like).  I do, however, have a tendency to over-think, over-stress, over-eat, and under-do.  I love to write.  I love to share.  I love to read your responses.  I love knowing that someone I didn’t know until they responded to me, understands and appreciates my thoughts, my wishes, my intentions, my nonsense and my innate weirdness.  My favorite is the moment finding that long-lost best friend I’ve never met until just now.  I love literally wearing my heart and mind on my sleeve, putting out my most personal thoughts into the void that is the internet.  And I love that despite having conflicting opinions, and random haters, I have found some magical people.

But back to lazy.  I over-thought, over-procrastinated and over-ate some more.  I admit I flaked but that is finished.  I can’t do that anymore because I really don’t want to be lazy and I miss writing.  I miss the weird, over sharing anonymity that this medium allows.  So help me out here dear internet stranger/friend.  Read me, read my soul.   Be my friend, my confidant, my family, my critic, my devil’s advocate, my editor, my heckler, my comfort.

Welcome back to my over-cluttered mind and under-filtered thoughts.  I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions but in effort to make a…well an effort…. I am going to make one.  I am going to write.  I am no longer going to allow myself the luxury of avoiding this.  I will not fall into the same trap of “I don’t have anything to say”, “I’m tired” or “I’ll do it tomorrow”.   Mostly because we see how well I did it tomorrow because I didn’t.  So I am doing it today because you do care and you do miss me and I have something worth saying.  I am someone worth listening to.  Not because I struggle with fertility or because my pancre-ass is broken or even because I have a nice way of grouping words but because I can funny and real and my life is always something run amok – just like yours.

So, I have some wonderful ideas here to freshen up the monotony of my blah-blah-blah.  I’m going to start occasionally writing about the pop culture I love to break up the woe-is-me-schtick of infertility and pancre-ass.  I would love to have my stranger/friends join me in these discussions, maybe even start a half-ass book club of sorts.  Soon we start Philanthropy Run Amok, so keep an eye out for that.  And I’ll be restarting my “Just Another Manic Monday”.

I have lots to tell y’all about my life, pancre-ass, and infertility.   Don’t go away my old stranger/friends and welcome my new stranger/friends, we have some work to do.

Reproductive Rights Duplicity

Posted in Infertility with tags , , , , on August 20, 2009 by Alison Amok

“Future generations will look back at the beginning of the 21st century and marvel that intelligent people actually tried to stop biomedical progress just to protect their cramped and limited vision of human nature.”

-Ronald Bailey

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Hello?  Is this thing on?  Can you hear me?  Here, let me step up here on this soapbox so you can hear me better.

Reproductive Rights.  What does that phrase mean to you?  According to the Center for Reproductive Rights their “issues reflect what a woman needs to direct her own life and make healthy decisions: Legal, safe, and affordable contraception and abortion.  Good obstetric and prenatal care for a safe & healthy pregnancy. Information about reproductive health that is free from censorship.”

I’m confused though as to why reproductive rights apparently only apply to those who can get pregnant and those who don’t want to get pregnant.  And an organization that’s whole purpose for existing is to further the reproductive rights of women has only officially been involved in one instance of the rights of couples to pursue fertility treatments (and that wasn’t even in the United States).

Another term that is quite a misnomer is family planning.  According to Wikipedia, “family planning is the planning of when to have children, and the use of birth control and other tecniques to implement such plans.  Other techniques commonly used include sexuality education, prevention and management of sexually transmitted infections, pre-conception counseling and management, and infertility management”.  But when you do a Google search for family planning the services that come up are birth control, sexual education and abortions.  And lets not even begin that the picture that was deemed appropriate to symbolize family planning in the Wikipedia article was a picture of a common birth control package.  Again, how is it that the term family planning apparently only applies to those who don’t want any or more family?

Realistically, why is infertility treatments not included in family planning?  Just because I am biologically impaired when it comes to conceiving my children doesn’t mean that the methods I choose are not family planning.  Considering the fact that a heck of a lot more “planning” goes into any fertility treatment, I’m confused as to why infertile couples are overlooked and often mocked for their family planning efforts.

Take into consideration the growing environmental movement.  An article written for the online blog Babble was about how eco-activists are pushing the idea of overpopulation and how it is environmentally irresponsible to excessively procreate.  Titled The New Eugenics, the article also discusses how couples who pursue fertility treatments are often scorned as being indulgent, selfish and the four-letter-word of the eco world – polluters.  The author uses another article from the New York Times Magazine, this article was written by a woman who hired a surrogate after five years of fertility treatments.  Yet despite being a well written article about one couples infertility journey and their choices in their family planning sadly very few of the anonymous commentors took away the intended meaning of the article.

There were 404 comments to this article.  The first comment was left by H.H. in Port Hardy, British Columbia, Canada.  The enlightened H.H left the following comment:  “You’d think with nearly 7 billion people on this planet, a couple might think of it as a blessing that they can not add any more “consumers” to our Earth’s already overstretched resources.”  Sadly, H.H. wasn’t the only person who left such comments.  The author wasn’t just chastised for adding more “consumers”, she was overwhelming dismissed as being elitist and having more money than sense. The comments to this one article overwhelmingly prove that that the population as a whole just does not get infertility issues.

I don’t know about you but Husband and I are not rich by any standard.  I am a medically-retired, stay-at-home-wife.  I go to school full time.  Husband works for the government.  Luckily I was able to retain my health insurance because of my pancre-ass but my military insurance doesn’t cover all of our fertility treatments.  Infertility is an expensive disease.  And one that isn’t just a physical affliction, its mentally and emotionally exhausting.  It is a disease that permeates to the very fiber of your being.  Biologically, your reason for existing.

I’ve read articles and comments that actually go as far as suggest that as an infertile couple, we should “save the world” and adopt.  We should not be allowed to procreate and/or should use the opportunity to rescue the abandoned children of the world.  I’m sorry.  I am not here to save the world of its ills.  I am one person and I have one question.  Why is it ok for you to procreate or not by using “family planning” but as an infertile am not?

In June, I participated in RESOLVE‘s Advocacy Day.  On a day that was filled with health care reform rallies and protesters, a group of women and men sat one-on-one with their elected congressional representatives to discuss infertility.  We simply asked for them to help us receive equal health care rights.  Currently only 15 states require insurance coverage for fertility treatment and even then the laws vary.  And just from my personal experience I encountered legislative workers who were not only not interested in helping but openly so.  Yet our current president and congress plan on including taxpayer funded abortions in the pending Health Care Reform (to be fair, they plan on not excluding it).

So here we are back to family planning.  I don’t know about you but I’m more than a little upset about all of this.  I take offense to the fact that a disease that already makes me feel less human, less of a woman also makes me a target for eco-activists, well meaning albeit a little miss-guided.  I feel that I have to stand up and speak for this disease that affects so many.  Because infertility doesn’t just affect me or Husband.  It affects our parents who are not grandparents, our siblings who have no nieces or nephews and our peers who are unsure where their friendship lies in our relationship.  I just want a family and I don’t know what’s more of a basic human right than that.

I Say Tomato, You Say Tomato

Posted in Comments from the Peanut Gallery with tags , , , on May 28, 2009 by Alison Amok

L’accent du pays où l’on est né demeure dans l’esprit et dans le coeur, comme dans le langage.

(The accent of the place in which one was born lingers in the mind and in the heart as it does in one’s speech.)

-François, duc de La Rochefoucauld

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I Say Tomato, You Say Tomato…  So obviously that doesn’t translate very well into writing but that’s exactly the point for today’s post.  Today we are discussing accents, common phrases and your individual lexicons.

I am from the Grand Ole’ South, North Carolina to be specific.  Husband is from the Northeast, and he’s currently telling me that he is from Massachusetts.  Because apparently this makes a difference.  Anyways, luckily he is not from the “pahk the cah on Havahad Yawhd” area (Boston).  He is from Western Massachusetts, home to Amherst, farmland and the Basketball Hall of Fame.  I consider myself lucky he is from this area of the north because most the time listening to Northerners talk makes me want to stick a magnolia branch into my brain.

So while I claim the south as my home, in reality I am a product of international traveling.  My father was in the Air Force too and for the 18 years I lived with them we moved quite often.  From California to Turkey to seven years in Charleston, South Carolina to Italy to North Carolina.  I spent three years in Italy while in seventh through ninth grade.  I finished high school in a small southern town about thirty minutes from Raleigh.

So all in all, I’ve got about 12 years of southern dialect slowly driving every northerner in Husbands family crazy!  Funnily enough, a few years into our marriage, while we were living in Ohio, Mother-in-Law commented that I was rubbing off on him and he sounded so southern!  Now that I think about it, I do think my southern ways have rubbed off on him.

Northerners tend to speak quickly, get their point across and be done with it.  Southerners on the other hand… well not so much.  We tend to talk slowly, draw things out and run off on tangents.

For the most part, I really don’t have much of an accent and someday’s it’s worse than others.  And when I get worked up, let me tell you, my accent comes out hardcore.

I think the funniest thing that I say as a southerner is “use to could”.  As in, “Well I use to could get Krispy Kreme’s at the grocery store but now I can’t”.  And bwah-ha-ha my evil plan has worked because my dead set Northern husband now has worked that phrase into his vocabulary.

The first time he did, it was totally by accident and he tried to quickly gloss over it and keep talking…..but I caught it and totally jumped all over it.  “OMGOMG you SAID IT!  Hahahaha you are now one of us!”

And I’m thinking the worst part about Husbands slow southernization (nope not a word but it is now) is that he is becoming more open to moving even further south than our current Northern Virginia Home.  At first he was a litttle appalled to be living in a Confederate state but now we’re talking about moving to officially southern cities after I finish medical school.  We’re talking Charlotte, Dallas, Austin.  Be still my southern heart.

We love DC and most likely will stay in the area, just somewhere a little further south (HAHA) with more land.  Husband one day would love to have a mini-farm.  I have no idea why.  I told him go ahead buy your farm but I’m Scarlett O’hara-ing it (pre-civil war of course) and spending my time under the magnolia tree and shopping.  I don’t do dirty.

So as a living example of North vs. South in our home.  I’m thinking the war will go on, but I’m thinking the South will rise again.

So interwebs…. tell me about your accent and how it effects your relationship.

A Little Levity

Posted in Comments from the Peanut Gallery with tags , , , on May 21, 2009 by Alison Amok

“My method is to take the utmost trouble to find the right thing to say, and then to say it with the utmost levity.”

– George Bernard Shaw

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I felt a little levity was needed among my readers.  So I wanted to share with you one of my favorites from my funny collection.  In my life I find organization to be my comfort.  So I tend to list, group and categorize everything (as if you haven’t already noticed).  Some people have eating disorders, I am type-A+.  For when I can’t control anything else in my life, I can control my DVD library being alphabetized.  thankyouverymuch

Enjoy.

Hansel and Gretel DietSource

Defining Me

Posted in Comments from the Peanut Gallery, Infertility with tags , , on May 21, 2009 by Alison Amok

“If you find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere”

-Frank A. Clark

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Some newcomers to my blog, along with those who have been following my story for awhile, might be confused as to the overall tone of my blog.  So let me clarify it for you.

Infertility does not define me.  My health issues don’t either.  What defines me is a million little things that add up to make me the weirdo that I am.

I refuse to let my uterus dictate my life.  And while I’m doing that I feel like you actually might get to know me.

So please, take off your shoes and stay awhile.  I hope you come back and visit me often.  My true hope is that while our common bond of broken dreams might of brought you here, you stay because of me.

Welcome friend.

Just Another Manic Monday – 18 May 2009 Edition

Posted in Just Another Manic Monday with tags , , on May 18, 2009 by Alison Amok

“I laugh, I love, I hope, I try, I hurt, I need, I fear, I cry. And I know you do the same things too, So we’re really not that different, me and you.”

– Colin Raye

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While I am relatively a new member of the blogging community, I have been an active lurker for many years.  My blogging style is incredibly schizophrenic in that I tend not to stick to a single subject for each post and the spread of blogs I read is just as crazy across the board.  No one thing defines me and I find it incredibly appropriate that I find a connection with a huge array of bloggers.  Currently my  Google Reader is set to follow 363 blogs as of today, so for my Just Another Manic Monday I wanted to share with y’all some of the blogs that are my faves for the week (in no particular order).  So each week I’ll share my fab five +one.  The +one will be a blog that I’ve recently discovered – for a grand total of six a week.  Obviously, because I have some serious ADD, I’ll occasionally switch it up and list some of my fave new found websites instead.  I hope that you’ll join me and add your five faves either in my comments or in your blog.  All I ask though is that if you join my Just Another Manic Monday movement please provide a link back to my website because simply, I am fabulous and want to share my genius with everyone.  😉

So without further ado… Just Another Manic Monday – 18 May 2009 Edition

  1. Dana Loesch – Dana is the mommy-blogging genius behind Mamalogues.  She is a mover and shaker in conservative politics and one of the original minds behind the Tea Party movement and she really is the answer to the stereotyped old boy’s club that people normally visualize.  And if that wasn’t enough, she has her own talk radio show The Dana Show in St. Louis on 97.1 FM.  I think its incredibly cool that this smart, funny rocker chick is the brain child behind one kick-ass blog about her life and family and a young, fresh voice in the world of right-wing politics.  I find it incredibly refreshing to find a conservative compatriot in mommy blogging circles.  Don’t get me wrong, I completely love a ton of left-ish bloggers but I’m pretty sure conservative “mommy” bloggers are in the minority.  Plus it is pretty awesome that she manages to keep the two separate and cater to different audiences all while staying true to herself.  Dana is a self-professed “non-denominational Jesus Freak”, non-traditional image of a homeschooling mother with tattoos and is a recovering cuss-aholic who fiercely loves her children and husband.  Take a moment and check out this one hot mommy.
  2. Nurse K – OMG and LOL, Nurse K is the smart-ass ER nurse behind the blog Crass-Pollination. She describes herself as the “fine purveyor of: High-quality urban emergency nursing care, primary care, drug-seeker support services, physician handwriting interpretation, arrangement of rapid ambulance transfers to detox, bus tokens and cab vouchers, Stage 4 malignant cynicism, and concierge service.”  Her blog is unforgiving in providing an equal opportunity sardonic look into emergency medicine, medical personnel and the patients who walk through her door.  Check out the blog that is so funny and sadly true that someone  wrote “Your blog makes me lose faith in society.–Christine-Megan “.  I love this blog because I’ve worked in my fair share of ER’s throughout my medical career and can relate to every single story this crayzee lady tells. 😉  So take a break from your everyday life to explore the world of drug-seekers, crazy people, hypochondriacs, and self-absorbed characters in your local anytown ER.
  3. Mental Floss – The motto of the Mental Floss blog is “Where Knowledge Junkies Get Their Fix” and I don’t think I could think up a label more appropriate.  I am constantly joking that my goal in life is to learn all there is to know and this blog is instrumental in providing me useless knowledge to fill my annoying arsenal.  Daily I drive Husband crazy with another “did you know that….”.  Mental Floss is awesome because it provides you with not only the answer to whether or not men can breast feed but 10 stories behind Dr. Suess Stories.  Check them out and make yourself an expert in everything you never knew you didn’t know.
  4. Gizmodo – This super site provides me with my daily geek fix.  Seriously all things nerd, geek and dork can be found here.  Gizmodo distinguishes themselves from other tech sites because it provides a funny, entertaining, sarcastic but useful approach to modern technology and all things geek.
  5. We CovetWe Covet’s tag line “because sometimes want is too small a word” is about as self-explanatory as it can get.  This fabulous product review site provides “better living through consumerism” and is indispensable for finding great buys you never knew you always needed.  Because seriously who doesn’t covet porcelain replicas of the Walther “P” series pistol to get your one-tough-garden party-beyotch image across.
  • +1.  Sew Infertile – I found Sew because she apparently found me!  Unfortunately, she is a member of the barren sisterhood and has been trying to conceive for about 4 years now.  I’m completely enamored with her though because she has such a great sense of humor throughout it all.  Sew is a native of DC but is currently exiled in the south.  Her words not mine, because I heart the south;).  Its always nice to find someone who can commiserate on the out of control cost of living in the DC area but still thinks it is worth it to live in the greatest city in the US.  And to top it off she sells the most awesome aprons at C.ookin N.aked.  Take a moment to visit her site and read her story

So now its your turn, in your own blogs or in the comments of mine, tell me your fab five +one in your own Just Another Manic Monday.