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Why? Who? What's this blog about? It's about MEEEE!

Being a Widow

My experience of dealing with grief as a widow

Astrocytoma

About Jane's brain tumour journey: Astrocytoma.co.uk
 

Penis-Into-Vagina-Equals-Marriage

30 May 2008

One of my favourite blogs is Pam's House Blend (apart from her support for Obama in the US presidential race, rather than Hillary) mentioned an article that claims that a marriage can be defined by Penis into Vagina. Well, Pam does not believe this but some weird woman called Melanie Scarborough does. She claims gays can never marry because a marriage is only legal once it has been 'consummated'. And according to Melanie, consummation means sex between a man and a woman. And since gay people can not do penis-into-vagina, the whole marriage debate is a moot point since their union cna neer legally be valid unless they can do penis-into-vagina. Right.

"They may have engaged in various intimacies only Bill Clinton would not describe as sex. But unless the relationship includes the one act defining marital union, the marriage can be annulled because it is deemed to have never existed."

But where does it say that 'that one act' is penis-into-vagina? Maybe that one act is, erhm.....seeing each other pee? Or brush teeth? Somewhere apparently (but no source of course for this) there must be an exact definition of 'the one act that defines marriage'. Please let me know if you find it. I feel sorry for all those couples who are married but do not have sex by putting penis into vagina. I wonder if they know they are not really married...

It seems to me that more and more, Americans are clutching at ever thinner straws to try and avoid the inevitable truth.
Keep Reading: "Penis-Into-Vagina-Equals-Marriage"

Sarah Jessica Parker looks like a horse

29 May 2008

Sarah Jessica Parker from Sex and the City looks like a horseSex and the City-star Sarah Jessica Parker always reminded me of someone. And now I know. Sarah Jessica Parker looks like a horse! And I am not the only one who thinks so, according to sarahjessicaparkerlookslikeahorse.com.

If you need convincing, they have evidence...
Keep Reading: "Sarah Jessica Parker looks like a horse"

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

27 May 2008

Don't bother with this one. Indiana Jones & The Crystal Skull is rubbish. Aliens? Flying Saucers? Surviving a nuclear explosion by hiding in a fridge? Come on! I wasted 2 hours of my life on this. Plot holes the size of the Grand Canyon, a storyline so thin you can see right through it, held together by an old man wearing a smelly leather hat.
No thanks.
Keep Reading: "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull"

Richard Dawkins Rocks

21 May 2008

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Following on from my rant below on fundamentalist and evangelican Christians, I found this lovely website for the Out Campaign. This is a movement created by Richard Dawkins to counter act the growing influence of christianity in society. Shame that it will get confused with gay activism, but that's no reason not to support it.

"...even if the religious have the numbers, we have the arguments, we have history on our side, and we are walking with a new spring in our step – you can hear the gentle patter of our feet on every side."

Indeed Mr. Dawkins. Excuse me while I am off to the shop to buy myself one of those wonderful t-shirts to show my new found Atheist beliefs!
Keep Reading: "Richard Dawkins Rocks"

Top 5 Reasons I hate Christian Fundamentalists

20 May 2008

Last night I watched Dispatches on Channel 4. It showed a bunch of Christian fundamentalists trying to influence politicians in Britain. Shocking. Unfortunately, as usual, when they were really challenged on their beliefs and left speechless, instead of pushing on, the reporter allowed the question to go unanswered. The first one was how old did she think the world was? Did she believe it was the biblical suggestion of around 4,000 years and if so, how did she explain the hard facts of carbon dating & fossils? She responded by stuttering and then asking for the camera to be turned off. The second question was her real opinion about Islam. She called it a false religion and when asked if that meant she thinks Islam is the religion of the Devil, she turned her microphone off.

Why do reporters never say: No, hang on. I asked you a question. If you are so sure in your beliefs, you should be able to answer that. Surely a simple reporter can not challenge your faith so fundamentally that you have no answer to a really simple question?

But no. As usual, the answers went unchallenged.

Anyway, I believe it is not Muslim fundamentalism we should be afraid of (not that I ever was) but Christian fundamentalism. Christians have discovered the true power of PR and there is a massive amount of money available to them to push their cause. They use the argument that this (and the rest of Europe) is a Christian nation and hence their ideas are perfectly normal, right? Well no. And here is why.

1) They are hypocrites.

Yes, we all are, I know, but I do not claim to own the truth, they do. Examples: they keep screaming about 'the gay lobby' and how immoral groups are pushing their agenda. Erhm....how is trying to get in to government and lobbying parliamentarians not exactly the same? There is no difference, but for them, a lobby by someone they don't agree with is seen as 'shoving their agenda down our throats' but their own lobby is not at all exactly the same.

2) They pick and choose who to oppose(like everyone else) but say they don't

Kind of fits in with the above. Apparently they can decide which sin is worse than others and how each sin should be fought. Homosexuality is a sin they target viciously. I don't know why because I can think of many other sins that are actually harmful to people. Like pedophilia. Or adultery. In these case, innocent people are victims, not consenting adults. They oppose abortion and some of them think killing abortion doctors is OK because they anger God by...erhm....killing someone. Right. You either believe in the bible or you don't. You don't get to pick and choose and say: Well, we do not stone adulterers to death anymore in the 21st century but we can still kill gay people.

3) They are (gullible) cowards

When challenged on their beliefs, they simply walk away or refuse to answer, saying we just do not understand the word of God. Ever tried dicussing the fact that the bible has 2 stories of earth's creation (the Paradise Theory and the Primordial Soup Theory) and they will say there is nothing contradictory about them at all. Or ask them how come god says all children are innocent but those born in sin (out of wedlock etc.) are apparently not so innocent eventhough they haven't done anything wrong. Or ask them how they feel about the PROOF that the earth is millions of years old instead of the biblical few thousand years? You'll get a wary stare and you'll be told you are simply refusing to believe. I think that is cowardly. Why not enter a discussion with an open mind. Me, I just prefer to believe science, not fiction.

4) They want to impose their will on all of us

This is the most dangerous one of all. In the name of 'morals', they try to change things for everyone and impose their beliefs on everyone, even people who do not believe in their god. They want to ban abortion. Well, I want a woman's right to choose. So why not allow women who want that choice to have an abortion and if you, as a Christian, feel this should not be done, then you simply don't have one. if you feel gay people should not have equal rights, then don't work at a registry office where you may have to marry gay people. If you believe shops should not be open on Sunday, then stay in the house but let me get my shopping without bothering anyone.
I don't go out telling people they should all become gay because it will make them happier. Yet that is exactly what they do to the rest of the world. instead of leaving us in peace, they go out to tell everyone who is not like them only they know the truth. Arrogant bastards.

5) They claim anyone who disagrees with them does not have an open mind

The most hypocritical of all really. (In fact, I think, looking at the above, all 5 things say: HYPOCRITE in one way or another) I accept that some people do not like gay people. I accept some people think abortion is a sin. I have an open mind to others. That is not the same as agreeing with them and it does not involve telling others they are stupid, going to die, going to hell, should not be allowed civil rights or have their opinion heard. That is however exactly what evangelical christians do. If I tell them they have no right to attack me personally without knowing anything about me, if I tell them I do not believe in their god and that I think they are morally wrong, they tell us all that their opponents do not have an open mind. They put themselves in the position of a victim, trying to get sympathy.

So maybe this is my coming out. I am done with them. I hate them. I believe they are trying to overturn all that we have been fighting for. Freedom of speech, freedom of choice, freedom to live how we feel. I am so angry about it that I am even considering getting involved in some kind of politics to try and stop them.
Keep Reading: "Top 5 Reasons I hate Christian Fundamentalists"

Deflated

19 May 2008




Fixed in a mere 10 minutes for only £15. Hurrah for old fashioned craftsmanship!
Keep Reading: "Deflated"

Birma leaders are funny

16 May 2008

I don't usually comment on international politics (other than to have a go at American foreign policy) but this morning I was struck by something I heard on the BBC news. Apparently the military leaders in Burma have decided that the relief effort after the recent cyclone is over and that it is now time to start rebuilding.

Excuse me, would you please repeat that? Yes, they think enough has been done and that the international community should really stop trying to get all this aid in to the country. Bodies are piling up along river banks, cholera is a real threat, people have no water or food and live on the streets among the sewage. In Rangoon, the only place where the international aid workers are allowed to go, things are pretty swell and well organised but nobody has been allowed in to the rives delta where the devastation is enormous. Army checkpoints make sure nobody can get in to the delta to see the situation first hand. it is as if the leaders actually want these people to die.

Meanwhile, the leaders claim they got 92% approval for the new constitution in last week's referendum. The upshot is that people are not getting their wallets out to donate money to the relief effort as they feel the money will be wasted anyway with aid workers not being allowed in to the country.

At the same time in China, after the earthquake, the government is doing everything it can to make it look they are on the case and, from what I read, the relief effort there seems to have gathered pace and is a million times more successful than the one in Burma. Of course China still has a terrible record of secrecy but they seem to be at least willing to let other people help them. That in itself is progress compared to only a few years ago.

Reading about these things makes me sad, sick, frustrated and angry...and happy that I am lucky enough to live in a place in the world where I can moan and bitch about politicians as much as I want, knowing that if a disaster happens, I will be in (relatively) good hands.
Keep Reading: "Birma leaders are funny"

An English weekend away...

12 May 2008



JD and I went on a little mini-holiday this weekend. We packed the tent and our bikes and headed off for Sherwood Forest for some cycling in Nottinghamshire. The weather was hot, the new bicycle carrier for the car was working like a dream and the campsite had clean toilets. What more can you want. Saturday's cycling was perhaps not the most productive (we got lost at just about every junction) but it was good fun. Only 12.5km in total.

Sunday was a bit more fun. We drove to Edwinstowe and cycled around until we came to Clumber park. What a nightmare. On a sunny day, English people all get in their cars and drive to a big grassy park where they all park their cars, rent a bike and cycle no more than 200metres from their cars. We accidentally entered Clumber Park and I got really confused and wanted to leave as soon as possible. It was so busy, we could hardly cycle. And all you saw was half naked people on a big grass area next to their thousands of cars, pretending they were in the country side, surrounded by thousands of people, a visitors' centre, a chapel and bike hire shops. Really frighting experience. Of course we got lost again on our way to the exit and nearly run over by a few big 4x4 cars that were queuing up to get in to the park with their windows shut and air conditioning on full blast. AARRGGHH!

We finally managed to escape and when we arrived back in Edwinstowe, we stumbled across something wonderfully relaxing: a village cricket match on the cricket green. We sat down for 45 minutes and were mesmerised by the whole thing. So typically English. Relaxing, fun. Just lovely. The local butcher in the same team as the policeman and a couple of young boys thrown in for good measure. Wonderful end of a nice weekend.

Let me make an observation here: cycling in England is shit. The network for cyclists is terrible, signposting of cycle routes is dismal. No wonder people don't cycle much in this country, for fun or as a commuter. It is dreadful. I know as a Dutch person, I have been spoilt by how well the roads cater for cyclists but even specially created cycle tracks have terrible signposting, meaning you really need a compass to make sure you know to turn left or right at every junction. In The Netherlands, on cycle paths, be they recreational or on 'commuter routes', the signs point towards towns and places, rather than, for example 'Blue Route' or 'Green Route'. This means that if you get lost on the way, you can always find your way again really easily by going in the general direction of the route you were following. Of course I understand that The Netherlands have so many cycle tracks anyway that there is rarely a need to create separate cycle routes for recreation. But even then, recreational routes are signposted clearly below the straightforward direction signs. (see picture)

When you go cycling through the woods or countryside, you are presented at just about every junction with charming little 'toadstools' that tell you where to go. I love these and they are part of my childhood memories. They not only have the directions and distances marked on them but they also have a unique 5 digit number. These numbers are marked on the cycling maps and are very useful aid to checking your position.

How did Dutch cycling-directions become so organised? Well, it is all done by 1 organisation so the tourist-type routes are signposted by the same people responsible for signposting all the other routes hence everything fits together, all routes can be mixed & matched without any trouble and are easy to find. You can get on your bike on a Sunday without a map and with only a rough idea of where you want to go, you will be able to follow the signs and get where you want to be. (if you are interested, this site explains all about how wonderfully organised cycling in The Netherlands is)
Keep Reading: "An English weekend away..."

Vive La France

06 May 2008

Listening to Jodie Foster's interview in French (see below), I remembered how much I enjoy French, speaking French and listening to French music. When I was in high school I had a major crush on my French teacher from day 1. I was a lonely child with not many friends and this teacher was the first person to treat me like someone with a brain and valuable opinions. And so I had a schoolgirl crush on her. I wanted to be the best at French I could possibly be. And so I started listening to French music and radio and watching French TV. After a few years, I would say my French was pretty darn good. My teacher, initially delighted at having a young girl so interested in her subject, eventually had to ask my parents to talk to me so I would stop following her around everywhere in the school. A bit embarrassing but as a result, my French is still totally fab.

It has deteriorated a fair bit over the past 10 years as I have not spent much time in France at all. Jodie Foster, in her interview, explains it to the TV hosts by saying her French is 'old'. Like Jodie (whose French is much better than mine!), I find myself using words and expressions that were used 10 years ago and I have not 'progressed' since. So I have at least one thing in common with Jodie Foster. More than most people!

Anyway, the point I was trying to make is that, during my crush on my French teacher, I spent loads of time listening to French music. The French Chanson was very popular in The Netherlands in the 70s so my parents quite enjoyed listening to my music as loads of itt was old stuff. A 12 year old girl listening to Charles Aznavour did not make me lots of friends in school though... Some more modern French music made its way in to my bedroom, together wit RTL Radio.

With summer on its way, I have already been listening to my Italian stuff lately. I will be adding Florent Pagny, Patricia Kaas, Michel Fugain and Julien Clerc to my playlist soon.



Keep Reading: "Vive La France"