Friday, July 28, 2006
Terrorists or queers...who do you hate more?
Since Elizabeth and Uccellina have already had words on the new and incredibly dangerous law regarding transporting a minor for an abortion, I'll refrain.

I will, however, discuss this country's brilliant policy on discharging gays from the military. The answer to the question in the title, apparently is queers.

Reason: More than 11,000 service members have been dismissed under the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, including 726 last year -- an 11 percent jump from 2004 and the first increase since 2001 - according to CNN.

The "General Accountability Office" (which must mean the military is only generally and not fully accountable) also noted that nearly 800 dismissed gay or lesbian service members had critical abilities, including 300 with important language skills.

Is this administrations hatred of homos so hazardous, our fear of fags so formidable, our pansy panic so perilous that we discharge perfectly capable men and women who SPEAK ARABIC?


Fifty-five of the discharged were proficient in Arabic, including Bleu Copas, a graduate of the Defense Language Institute in California.

Sergeant Copas, a member of the 82nd Airborne (for fuck's sake) was discharged this year after being asked “Do you work off duty with the local community theater?” I am not shitting you. He was targeted by an anonymous email campaign that apparently came from one of his comrades-in-arms. Idiot.

Discharging and replacing these sissies of the service has cost the Pentagon nearly $369 million, according to the Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military at the University of California, Santa Barbara. OK - they didn't use those words - but seriously kids... what the fuck?


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Thursday, July 27, 2006
A list.
First. I haven't slept an entire night in over a week because of the damn ass heat. It is just a little bit pissing me off.

Second. This weekend I am attending a fabulous wedding for which I have nothing to wear.

Third. Next weekend is my sister's shower, Allison's shower and Maxine Harris' memorial service. Which is going to be like a 20 year reunion for all of us OGs from APLA. Ahhh! Still. Nothing to wear. Shit.

Fourth. I forgot my damn camera today and so I cannot show you photos of the freakin' fabulous needle felting kit I received from my SP. However, I can say that she sent me perhaps the best power metal ballads CD ever!!!! It includes Lita Ford. Seriously. Lita Ford! Thank you so much SP!!!! How did you know?

Fifth. Michael got a new tattoo yesterday. Seriously, how jealous am I? Even my writing is green with envy. I've decided to get a back piece for my birthday. Happy birthday to me!!!!!

Sixth. According to Julia, some restaurant has opened up called "The Bread Bar". Seriously? They serve other things but their piece de resistance is bread. BREAD! Bread and cheese, bread and jam, bread and butter, bread and tapenade and some bread on the side. Needless to say, I will not be eating at the house of ill repute.

Seventh. My lovely Scottish office mate is in Edinburgh defending his dissertation. Because what I need is an office mate with an M.D., Ph.D. Hmmm.

Eighth. Apparently I had a lot to get off my chest this morning.

Ninth. I turned in my prescription last week but I ran out of Prozac this morning and hell will be paid if the pharmacy does not cough it up by this afternoon. Seriously. Hell. Payments.
(UPDATE 1:30p.m.) No need to fear. Prozac is ready.

Tenth. Go check out the new website I'm creating for work. I love it actually.

Finally. There was the awesomest high speed chase this morning through my old stomping grounds. The guy was seriously doing 80 down De Soto. Total anti-climax. Not that I wanted anyone dead but after at least 1/2 hour, he pulled into a parking lot, got out of his car and laid down on the ground before the cops even caught up with him...How's that for letting your audience down?



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Tuesday, July 25, 2006
When life gives you AIDS....make lemonAIDS!
This is another quote from my lovely, talented, and catty husband. Actually it's a quote from my favorite Jewess, Sarah Silverman from her "Jesus is Magic" film. Which I loved. I am also fond of the magazine - Heeb. Catty, just like Sarah and Michael...hmmm. Perhaps it's a theme. Something to look into during therapy maybe?

By the way, he doesn't have AIDS, just HIV infection. I just thought I'd share. Also, if you've never seen the Family Guy episode where Peter and his a cappella group sing to a guy that has "full-blown AIDS, not HIV but full-blown AIDS!" you have GOT to check it out. I was speechless. Then I laughed so hard I almost wet myself. Pretty! Then my sister called to see if I had seen it, cautiously wondering what I thought. The laughing part of me answering the phone pretty much gave it away.

I'm working on a number of clinical trials at once today and am very, very busy. Therefore, this will be the end of my post.

More tomorrow.


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Friday, July 21, 2006
Another fine mess

This is a photo of me on the Israel/Lebanon border with the lovely Sgt. Beer (his real name!)

When I lived in Israel, there were soldiers everywhere. Every bus station, every street. In restaurants, Uzis belonging to men and women of the IDF were slung over the backs of chairs. I traveled throughout the country endlessly aware of someone with a gun close by. I even fired an AK47 while I was there. It doesn’t make me proud. I became so desensitized by the time I moved home that it was odd coming back to Los Angeles – a place where guns are hidden, locked in cabinets.

I am sickened by everything that is going on. Michael describes it thusly:

“You kill me, I kill you.”
“No – you kill me, I kill you!”
“No – you kill me, I kill you!”
“No – you kill me, I kill you!”
ad infinitum….

The military on both sides have agendas that civilians do not share.

I’m not saying that Israelis don’t want their soldiers returned or that some Lebanese don’t side with Hezbollah and want Israel to be flattened into a sheet of glass, however, every Israeli and every Lebanese in their right minds want peace. They want to wake up in the morning unafraid to send their children to school. They want to go grocery shopping and go to work. They want to live a normal life. They want to come home to find their families safe – they want to put their children to bed without having to lie to them.

Enough already. It is so beautiful in the Middle East. I can’t show you how the air smelled beautiful. How the rocks under your feet were bathed in history. How even the dust, you knew, was the dust of millennia.

It is so scarred by war. I would love to show Israel and Egypt to Michael -- places I loved visiting. I would love to visit Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon. I cannot – but the real tragedy is that people who live in these countries with so much history cannot get a peaceful night’s sleep. They are not able to come to the fullest realization of themselves because they must put up with constant hatred and a barrage of weaponry that they are desensitized to every day.

Enough already. Here is a poem from Pablo Neruda that I was sent:

Too Many Names

Mondays are meshed with Tuesdays
and the week with the whole year.
Time cannot be cut
with your weary scissors,
and all the names of the day
are washed out by the waters of night.

No one can claim the name of Pedro,
nobody is Rosa or Maria,
all of us are dust or sand,
all of us are rain under rain.
They have spoken to me of Venezuelas,
Of Chiles and Paraguays;
I have no idea what they are saying.
I know only the skin of the earth
and I know it is without a name.

When I lived amongst the roots
they pleased me more than flowers did,
and when I spoke to a stone
it rang like a bell.

It is so long, the spring
which goes on all winter.
Time lost its shoes.
A year is four centuries.

When I sleep every night,
what am I called or not called?
And when I wake, who am I
if I was not I while I slept?

This means to say that scarcely
have we landed into life
than we come as if new-born;
let us not fill our mouths
with so many faltering names
with so much sad formalities
with so much pompous letters,
with so much of yours and mine,
with so much signing of papers.

I have a mind to confuse things,
unite them, bring them to birth,
mix them up, undress them,
until the light of the world
has the oneness of the ocean,
a generous, vast wholeness,
a crepitant fragrance.

— Pablo Neruda


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Monday, July 17, 2006
Lime juice does not belong in your vagina
I attended a Grand Rounds Seminar on Friday presented by Dr. Sharon Hillier, a professor of OB/GYN and molecular genetics and biochemistry at the University of Pittsburgh. The talk was on microbicide development to prevent transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.

Microbicides are the underdog of HIV research right now, however, trials are moving along quite successfully.

With an effective vaccine being many years away, microbicides for both vaginal and anal intercourse, are the best hope for thousands of women around the world that have little say about how and when they are going to have sex. Various microbicides are in the pipeline right now.

But you say, Faith, what about the lime juice?

Well, for quite a while, we humans have known that the ph of the vagina is about a 4 - a pretty acidic ph level. In order for HIV to survive, it needs to be in an environment at a more neutral ph - like in semen, which is about a 7.

So, to kill HIV we would need to raise the ph level. How would we do that? It seems pretty logical that more acidity would raise the ph levels in the vagina, thereby making it an inhospitable environment for HIV.

There is a problem however. Your vagina is just fine the way it is. If you add acidity to it, you are likely to get ulcerations, thereby making the vagina far more susceptible to HIV infection. Dilute the lime juice, you say? Sure, making the vagina less likely to ulcerate and the microbicidal properties ineffective.

By the way, just in case you haven't heard -- the spermicide, nonoxynol-9, not so safe either. It's a detergent and also tends to cause damage to the vaginal and rectal mucosa.

There are a few lessons here.

1) Just because it's natural doesn't necessarily mean it's good for you.

2) Safe and effective microbicides are just around the corner. In fact, there may be some available to go on the market in 2007.

3) Also, your vagina and rectum are marvelous little microenvironments that care for themselves properly most of the time. You don't really need to do anything to keep them functioning. Therefore, for the most part, unless your doctor says it's ok, don't put substances in your vagina or rectum that don't belong there.

For more information about microbicide research go to


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Thursday, July 13, 2006
Dating women - a follow up from Crazy Aunt Purl
Crazy Aunt Purl's post today was about the lack of real men in the world of dating today.

I have to add on that dating women (which I have to disclose, I haven’t done in about 3 years, what with the breakdown and all) does not necessarily fix all problems (despite many of her readers wistful wishing that we could all be lesbians).

Women do have a better sense of how to ask another woman out on a date.

I must say that I went on one exceptionally memorable date where she asked me a week in advance, packed a picnic, drove me to the Lancaster wildflowers which were in full bloom and we hiked through the most gorgeous acres and acres of poppies I’ve ever, ever seen.

There were other problems with this one – specifically, she was vegan and after dating for a few weeks I would say, where would you like to go for dinner (since I’m an omnivore and have virtually no restrictions to my diet)? She would respond, "Anywhere you want to go." And then end up ordering fries and a salad for dinner. Annoying much?

Another memorable (first!) date I went on involved said date offering to get rid of "all of her cats" because I’m allergic. In fact I believe the exact quote was, "I always knew I'd have to get rid of my cats." Yikes! Scary! Run away!!!!!

But no!

I stuck around long enough that she somehow managed to make her way into my security gated building to stick a "gift" in my door! I ran far far away after that. I've heard that she still sometimes comes around my building asking about me 5 YEARS LATER!!!!

My point is, though I think some women are better at the whole dating thing, there are other, shall we say, complications involved in dating another female.

Disclaimer: The following are generalizations. I am not sniping, nor am I feeding the patriarchal paradigm. These are some of the things I've actually experienced.

1. The U-Haul is not a joke. If it is a joke, it is one of those jokes that has more than a shred of truth to it.

2. I've always said, there are 13 lesbians in Los Angeles, 12 of them are dating each other and it's almost time to switch.

3. Girls come with issues. Volumes. Subscriptions. Entire magazine racks full of issues. Generally we have to talk about all of them. All the time.

4. Lesbian events. Generally, she wants to go to them. They usually involve acoustic guitars. There's going to be a sign language interpreter. Not that that is a bad thing!!!

5. You might still have to put up with fantasy football.

6. There are food issues. You think straight girls have food issues? Lesbians have food issues. Vegans, vegetarians, no nuts, wheat allergies, organic, tofu-based, grassy-tasting grossness.

I'll admit. I don't eat nuts. We're all allowed our quirks. I'll also admit, I was a vegetarian for 8 long years. It was a phase. Today, I love me some barbequed cow.

One of these days I might find myself back in the dating pool. I might be surprised to see that things have changed. Or, I might not.
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Wednesday, July 12, 2006
The truth about everything...
Stitch n’ Bitch last night was quite the interesting mix of conversations. I wish I had written them all down!

There was a motorcycle outside for an extended amount of time revving his engine so we got onto the topic of motorcycles, which I love. We talked about Harley-Davidsons versus other motorcycles. I recently bought Michael a book called She’s a Bad Motorcycle, in which Sonny Barger, founder of the Hell’s Angels, sings the praises of Japanese made cruisers which don’t leak or break down constantly. In fact in one interview when asked what her would ride if not a Harley, he replied,

"I would probably ride a BMW or a Honda ST 1100. The Harleys are getting better every year, but they're still junk. I mean I bought my wife a brand new 2000 Dyna Glide Sport and it goes into a speed wobble at 85 and I've done everything that I can do to get it out. I'm a good mechanic, I've followed their directions, we took it their shop, they've done work and it still wobbles on her. The factory tells us to change the shocks. Now why should we buy a brand new motorcycle?"

We also talked about underwear choices. Apparently Angela and I are the only two people not wearing Victoria’s Secret in the whole wide world.

The question also came up as to why people wear underwear in their doctor’s office when the nurse has specifically told them to take EVERYTHING off and wear a gown.

Then we started into the most interesting discussion regarding our body consciousness. One of our members is an MD who said that she is constantly asked if things are too big, too small, too loose, too tight, too red, too white, too brown, or otherwise abnormal.

I imagine that I would have a better perspective on my own body if I was seeing all shapes and sizes every day.

Here in L.A., the first 25 pages of virtually every free rag are all about being pulled up, enhanced, decreased, puffed up, smoothed out, whitened, straightened, tightened and plucked. We are a city obsessed.

When I was in Europe and the Middle East, people looked their age. Women of 35 went out onto the beach in a bikini with cellulite and leathered skin. Men with gray hair and sagging breasts wore nothing at all. Not to say that there weren’t hot, fit men and women, but usually they were 20-something. Even the fit older folks had saggy skin on top of their musculature.

In Los Angeles, there is such an incredible amount of pressure to be beautiful and to defy age. There is makeup that touts its age defying qualities. How are we ever supposed to get comfortable with who we actually are if we are constantly being bombarded with messages that tell us that we can be someone better. If you had the power to make yourself a better person, wouldn’t you be just a little bit angry or disappointed in yourself if you chose to keep yourself the way you are?

That message, that you’re fine the way you are, but with some money and time you could be so much better, is killing people in this city every day whether its in the form of a botched surgery, a suicide, steroids, an overdose or an eating disorder. Yet I still look at the photos in Vogue, I still beat myself up over my size, I still sometimes think that if I had a million dollars I would call all of those whiteners, straighteners, plumpers and sculptors and shell out everything I have for the "perfect" body.


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Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Super-quick meaningless post
Just a quick post since I'm in an incredibly fun argument with a pharmaceutical company today who feels like they don't have to pay for all the costs of a clinical trial. FUN!!!

Anyway, this weekend, Michael and I took a ride up to Newcomb's Ranch, which I've discussed in previous entries. It is probably my favorite ride. The air is so clean up there, the sky is clear, it's about 20 degrees cooler than it is in the valley and there's barely another person except other riders.

#2 - Got a gift from my sp yesterday! The yarn is really soft - I've never seen it before and the needles are gorgeous - cooperatively made by Maine and Russian artisans. I love them!!! Thanks SP!
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Thursday, July 06, 2006
Our national decider
Today is the birthday of the President of the United States. He turns 60, an age at which I hope to reach, and an age at which, I hope to be a lot wiser than I am today. I fear our president has never had such a thought.

The President's reliance on faith over fact, his intractibility to see views other than his own becomes more frightening on a daily basis. His absolute failure to admit mistakes is not a strength but the weakness of someone who fears his own fallibility. W's lack of real world knowledge is akin to "Let them eat cake." For instance, "As you can possibly see, I have an injury myself—not here at the hospital, but in combat with a cedar. I eventually won. The cedar gave me a little scratch."—After visiting with wounded veterans from the Amputee Care Center of Brooke Army Medical Center, San Antonio, Texas, Jan. 1, 2006.

His faith-based programs are now funding a program in a South African town that promises classes on human anatomy, HIV symptoms and antiretrovirals contingent on study of the Gospel of John. I wrote an article about it here.

Our national decider feels so entitled that he finally had to be chastised by the Supreme Court and reminded that he is not above the law. What a wonderful independence day gift to all of us.


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