Do you want to know just how much I hate freakin' sitekey crap on bank websites?

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And yes, I know I'm going to get some drive-by anonymous commenter telling me that posting this means that people can hack into my account. No, it really doesn't, because they don't know my username and password in the first place. The sitekey crap is to protect stupid people who would otherwise enter their username and password into phishing sites; it doesn't get you into my account. Also, if you did get into my line of credit, all you'd really be able to do is transfer money back and forth between my line of credit and my checking accounts, which I'm sure is extremely satisfying to big bad criminals.


Philadelphia to require Boy Scouts to pay for their homophobic policies

I'm always pleased to see official bodies refusing to support this homophobic organization. This is fabulous news.

It's one step closer to a free nation where discriminatory organizations aren't permitted to receive any public support in any community.


I need some help making a bigoted comment here

I feel this urge to make snarky comments about people who, when you say something and they didn't quite catch it, respond with "WHAhappened?"

The snarky comments I want to make are something along the lines of this: Uh, nothing happened, you dumbass. What happened was I said something and you wished for me to repeat it, except that clearly you already know that, so why don't you just ask me to repeat it instead of asking questions you already know the answer to? My original statement wasn't about anything happening, but you wouldn't know that, would you? You know, since you didn't hear what I said and all.

The only problem is that I'm not quite sure where this behavior originates. It's something I've only witnessed in New England, but it's hardly widespread enough to be a regional thing. It's a fairly small group of people who do this. I can't put my finger on it being tied to any particular neighborhood, race, class, or ethnicity.

Can someone please provide some insight so I can at least properly label my rant as classist or racist or neighborhoodist toward a particular group?


GO INDIANS!

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!


Not only is One Smoot Short of a Bridge helpful, but it is also stalking you

I recently looked through my Google Analytics account to see what search queries are bringing people to my sites. There were many straightforward queries about subjects I've written about, several straightforward queries from people pretty clearly looking to find me specifically, a number of porn-related queries that surely proved disappointing when a site came up that pretty much only uses sex words in a sociological context, and some that were just flat-out strange (like "o rly owl + global warming").

Once I got past being stuck on how people out there are even stranger than I thought, I decided I might as well put my Analytics report to good use. So, I'm going to try to answer some of the queries that brought up my page but wouldn't have provided the person with much of an answer. Here goes:

"boston charities that pick up furniture"

I'm a fan of Boomerangs. They'll pick things up if they're in good condition and you have a decent amount of stuff. The charity benefits the AIDS Action Committee. If Boomerangs can't help you, someone at freecycle can likely come by and get your stuff. I do not recommend doing any sort of business with the Salvation Army, as they're discriminatory toward GLBT individuals (google this if you don't know the background on this).

"does water kill hiv"

I have no idea why this person ended up on my site rather than the CDC or something, and I'm not sure whether that's flattering or disturbing, but yes, yes it does.

"how does one become licensed music therapist"

One becomes a Board-Certified Music Therapist (MT-BC) through completion of an accredited program, clinical training, and passing the board exam. The Certification Board for Music Therapists is the place to go for official information. In Massachusetts, a music therapist is likely to hold state licensure as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, which allows the clinician to bill to insurance companies and diagnose people and all that good stuff. I did the music therapy masters program at Lesley, which prepares people for both credentials. I highly recommend it. I don't really recommend getting the MT-BC credential without masters-level training in counseling, because based on my experience, I wouldn't have been eligible to do most of the work I've done without the LMHC.

"eleventeen sex pics"

WHAT?!

"how to start eating salads"

Again, no idea how this brought up my blog of all places, rather than a recipe site or something, but my advice would be to go make or buy one, then consume it.

"is you son of a bitch a sentence"

I contend that, yes, "You son of a bitch!" is a sentence. Exclamations usually include an implied verb, which makes them a sentence. "[You] Stop!" and "[I wish for the object of this sentence to be] Damn![ed]" are both sentences in this respect. Similarly, this sentence can be understood as an expression of fact with an implied copula ("You [are a] son of a bitch!") or as a remark in which the speaker's declaration is the predicate ("[I hereby declare that] you [are a] son of a bitch!").

"what is a one year doctors visit called?"

An annual physical examination.

"where the river shannon flows?"

Ireland.

"what to do with side yard"

Pave it?

"what year did michael jackson abuse a 13 tee year old"

Michael Jackson has not been convicted of any offenses toward children. Regardless of your faith in the United States judicial system, please go read up on how it works.

"maiming someone"

Ummm...

"how to stop being gay"

Attempts to achieve this are commonly called reparative therapy or conversion therapy, and all of the mainstream healthcare and human services professional organizations strongly discredit this practice. Practicing conversion therapy is grounds for being defrocked in these professions, due to how harmful it is to people. You have my utmost sympathy and encouragement in your coming-out process, and I encourage you to instead find a community that can support you in this process.

Stay tuned for more One Smoot fun facts as more people find my site through strange and unusual search queries.


It's 9:00 on a Saturday...

You know you've completely lost any chance of ever having any sort of a life when your Saturday night routine consists of you and your spouse turning on Magic 106.7 at 9:00 to see if they play "Piano Man," then laughing hysterically that they do. For like 20 minutes.


I've always said you can't legislate morality, but...

I came across this story at Gimp Parade. It's not terribly recent, and I'm kind of surprised I didn't come across it before.

To summarize, a light-skinned mother of Dominican background and a Caucasian father are the parents of two girls. The older daughter was conceived traditionally as far as I can tell. The second daughter was conceived through IVF, using this couple's own egg and sperm. The family noticed that the baby was much darker skinned than any of them, and has hair texture and facial features characteristic of having much more African blood than Mom appears to. The family did some investigating, and found that the clinic made a mistake and used the wrong sperm.

The court ordered that the couple can continue their medical malpractice suit, but not their mental suffering suit. I agree with this, but I'm a little disappointed that our current court system pretty much has to stop there. This has me wishing there were some process, similar to the frivolous lawsuit statutes, whereby the courts could decide not only to deny most of the compensation they're asking for, but could also simultaneously find that the tactics used in their suit are abusive to their children.

Obviously, the clinic didn't provide the specific service they were under contract to provide. The couple expected to raise a child who was biologically related to them, shared their medical history, and so forth. Sure, I can see how they're entitled to a bit of compensation.

What's horrific is that they're trying to make a case for the pain and suffering they and their daughter will endure because she is someone who is perceived as African-American.

While I'm not arguing that she will have a harder time in this society because of her perceived race, this is absolutely the wrong direction to take. Gimp Parade does a better job than I could of summing up the political implications of this. What I'm particularly reacting to is what this says about these parents, their relationship with their children, and how this is going to affect these children.

The one think I do have to say about the political implications of this is that the race argument isn't valid in terms of demonstrating how the clinic's error affects them. If the clinic had made an error and used the sperm of another Caucasian person, there would still be an error, and they would still deserve the exact same compensation. It should absolutely not be a "worse" infraction that the error led to the child being browner than the correct process likely would have. This is just not caselaw that I want to exist. Their testimony only needs to involve a couple of sentences, which is that they expected to have a biologically related child.

Furthermore, where do they get off thinking that any particular combination of sperm and egg is a guarantee of anything? Their first (fully biological) child could just as easily have ended up with recessive darker skin or textured hair, or a birth defect, or any number of conditions. She could have also been (and still could be) in an accident or contracted an illness and become someone who looks and behaves very different from their expectations. If the first child had been born looking and acting like anything other than the two beautiful healthy children pictured in the article, would the family make public statements blaming the father's own sperm, talking about how horrible it is that they must go through life with a child who has kinky hair or is missing a limb or has autism?

As I've said before, it scares me that there are parents who are only interested in parenting children who look and behave and learn just the way they had anticipated. I don't like the idea of "race as disability" as this family is trying to play it, but I think it's a valid argument when it's turned around. No family expects that their child will have mental retardation or dwarfism or autism or facial deformities, and sure, there's some grieving around this, but then the parent(s) owe it to the child to accept who they've got. Most families do know what race of child they're getting, but I'm frightened by the emphasis this family is placing on how they should have been able to control what they'd end up with in terms of race. No parent is able to control what they'll end up with in any sense, really, even once the kid is here.

I guess the thing that disturbs me the most is that this girl is going through life with the clear message that she isn't quite what her parents wanted. She doesn't look quite right in their eyes, and they're not quite happy having to explain her. Again, if one of the girls had been born with a disability, would the family appropriately explain her needs to people, or would they stomp around with an entitled attitude that they didn't sign up for this? It's the entitlement that really gets me. This is a family who had the resources to receive IVF, and who ended up with two beautiful healthy daughters, and all they can focus on is how they've been shafted and what a horrible situation it is to have two beautiful healthy daughters? I've never been much of a fan of "starving kids in China" arguments, but I think it's pretty appropriate here.

Believe me, I understand the part about the grief that she isn't biologically his, and not what they expected. And I know there's extra work that goes into raising a child who isn't biologically related and who doesn't "match." This gets quite a bit harder when you speak to the national media about how devastated you are about how your child looks and how she wasn't what you wanted. Instead of learning about resources for raising a healthy multicultural family, this family is devaluing and traumatizing their daughter.