The Mickey Mouse Paper

I’m terrible at math, still. Not the accoutrements of math. I can get an Excel spreadsheet to work and I can usually figure out how to turn all my budgetary issues into elaborate story problems.

I just cannot work numbers. I still have to think for many seconds about what 7+4 equals. I have a hard time multiplying by 8. When I was in fifth grade, we had to memorize our multiplication tables and then we’d take these tests where we had a minute to answer thirty multiplication problems. If we didn’t a certain amount of them correctly, we had to stay in for recess. I could get them right if I had enough time.

I just always ran out of time.

See, the way I learned to memorize the multiplication tables was by singing a little song and committing it to memory. One times one is one. One times two is two… eight times eight is sixty-four, etc. So, if I wanted to answer, say, what 8×7 was, I had to sing the whole set of eights to myself.

I missed out on a lot of lunchtime recesses and so I began to hate math, both because I was failing to pass these quizzes and because I was missing prime socializing time.

So, finally, one day, my dad brought me into the living room and opened the second drawer on the desk, which, up until that point, we were forbidden from touching at all. And there, in a package, was some notebook paper with Mickey Mouse in the corner.

Now, it would be fun to do math! I could do my math assignments on the Mickey Mouse paper. I could write my math teacher elaborate stories in the margins of my homework, because there, in the margins already, was Mickey.

It’s stupid, but it worked. I looked forward to doing my homework so that I could use the Mickey Mouse paper. Doing my homework lead me to improving my math skills–not to genius levels, but to “get to finally go outside for recess levels.” And that was good enough for me.

So, a little while? Six hours

I’m over at Kleinheider’s making an ass of myself about abortion. I would have thought someone would have called me on the unfairness of claiming personal insult, but so far no one has.

My best line?

As for your hysterical outrage about linking abortion, gay rights, and racial discrimination, I can barely bother to reply. If you can’t see how those are all issues of bodily autonomy and self-determination, I can’t help you.

But really, we both know, you don’t want my help. You want to win one for your side by putting an uppity liberal woman in her place.

I only hope you’ll begin to speak in your weird right-wing language like you did in this thread before this winds down. Once you start in with the “Californi-cating” and the “lezbo couples” and the “Helen Degenerate” (Is that a jab at both Ellen Degeneres and Helen Thomas?), it’s a bit like watching a possessed man spewing forth in some foreign language.

So, go check it out, if you’re bored this afternoon.

[Edited to add that you should go check out Exador’s comment. Or, shoot, I’ll just reproduce it here:

Doesn’t that show that just about everybody can agree that abortion is not a first choice for even the most pro-choicer?

Can we agree that it’s a difficult decision for any woman?

This, my friends, is why I think it’s impossible to write off the libertarians. Sure, they swagger around all he-man like, and burb, and drink beer, and shoot things, but sometimes they just say things in a simple, elegant, and beautiful way and it makes me think that they’re not as easily discountable as we’d like to believe (and that’s not just because I agree with him).]

Silver Linings

Okay, so asking me to be in The Vagina Monologues is apparently the equivalent of asking a garlic farmer to host a party for vampires.

That doesn’t mean there isn’t a bright side.

1. The Butcher doesn’t know that Miss J. isn’t coming, and so he’s at home cleaning as we speak.

2. I bought the most awesome necklaces for the show to wear in a big pile, but I’ve been having fun wearing them all week.

3. And at least now I know that, if any of you are stalking me, you’re the shittiest stalkers in the world.

Both Funny Ha Ha and Funny Ouch

Well, I just got off the phone with Miss J. who is sick with the flu and so is not coming down to see my fabulous theatrical reading of cooter facts, both good and bad.

This brings the sum total of people I know who are coming to see me in The Vagina Monologues to 0.

Yes, zero.

It’s kind of funny in a really pathetic way.

Okay, no. It’s very funny.

I mean, it’s not so funny for The Vagina Monologues, which is a fund-raiser for an actual good and helpful charity and so, you know, could use the ticket sales.

But funny for me in a humbling way. Even with promises of cooter talk and my good bra, I could not talk one person who knows me in real life into spending a fabulous evening at the theater.

Yep. I suck.

Well, shit. Maybe if I buy a ticket for the Butcher, he’ll come. I mean, he’s got to be over on that side of town anyway, because he’ll have to give me a ride home.

And yes, that would be really funny, too, if it weren’t happening to me.

I’m Done for a Little While

I think I’m done arguing about abortion for a little while. And it’s really because I can’t argue about it with people who think it should be illegal and still respect them.

There’s two reasons for this. One is that I don’t understand how anyone can go through childbirth or witness childbirth and not be pro-choice. When you see a woman who wants a baby crying and screaming and bleeding and there’s shit and piss and she’s calling out for her grandma or her god and crying some more and tearing apart and she’s begging for anyone who can to stop the pain and this goes on for hours, sometimes days… when you see that how can you feel okay about compelling women who don’t want babies to go through it?

Do you just block this part out? Do you justify it to yourself in your head by saying that that’s just how it is? Or that it’s not so bad? Or that women are built to handle it? How do you watch a woman giving birth and not see it for the tremendous gift that it is? Who do you think you are to compel someone to give a gift that costs that much?

The other reason is that I’m tired of being polite. I was telling Exador yesterday that I wish there was a way for abortion providers to play hardball like the militant gay-rights folks. We all know that anti-abortionists themselves have abortions and hide behind doctor-patient confidentiality and we let them. They do this right now. They did it when abortions were illegal.

Sure, it’s fine and dandy to force me to carry a pregnancy to term, because I’m just a whore who deserves to be punished. But when it’s your daughter, Deacon, who’s looking at either going to college in August or having a baby in August; or your mistress, Senator, who says “We have to find a way to take care of this or I’m going to tell your wife.”; or your sister who’s been a stay-at-home mom to her three kids who shows up at your door because her husband’s leaving her and the kids out of the blue and she’s never worked outside the home in her whole life and she needs a job now because she’s got mouths to feed, but, oops, she’s pregnant; or your girlfriend who was raped; or your wife and the doctor says “There’s something wrong with the baby and it won’t live outside the womb, but if she carries the pregnancy any farther, delivering it will probably kill her.”; or you…

When it affects you, “make abortions illegal” crowd, then a lot of you have no qualms about availing yourself of them. And if you have enough money, when most women who need them can’t get them, it won’t matter to you if they’re illegal. Do you honestly think there’s a single rich person in South Dakota or anyone in the legislature who’s at all worried that they’re going to make abortions illegal? No, because the laws won’t apply to them. When it comes to abortion, it rarely does. They’ll travel or have “emergency appendectomies” or whatever.

And I’m tired of knowing that and still fighting with you. I know it’s not all of the “abortion should be outlawed” crowd, but it’s enough of you that I’m starting to feel like it’s pointless to continue the debate. No reason I ever give will be good enough to justify why I might have an abortion. And any reason you give for why you or your loved one needed one is supposed to be excused as a tragic necessity.