...the Journal

Refrigerator Door

Peggy bought this for me the week I kicked her out of the house while I was traveling around with Steve.

Peggy is a nasty, sarcastic person.

Meet the Orphans
Do the names Mr. Coffee Nerves, Dave the Self-Denying Fish, Undead Lard-Can Man, or Mr. & Mrs. Corn Soya mean
anything to you? If they do, go here and take a walk down memory lane. If they don't, they will soon...

Give 'em the Finger
Visit the Finger Site and find out everything you ever (or never) wanted to know about flipping the bird.

Vending Machines
We all know the usual stuff in vending machines. But did you know that you can buy snow globes in vending machines? You'd be surprised the things you can get in a vending machine. This site gives you an exhaustive (and growing) list.


Take Me Home
by John Denver
w/Arthur Tobler

When Peggy was here, we listened to a lot of John Denver music (which I don't think Steve has forgiven me for). I was so intrigued by so many of his lyrics that I wanted to read the story behind them, so borrowed the book from her.

That's it for today!


20 January 2001

I never dreamed I would have a fan. But I met her today.

My friend Kathy had been telling me for a long time that a friend and co-worker of hers was "my biggest fan" and that she was always regaling Kathy (who is not a regular reader) with things from my journal.

A fan. Whoda thunk?

Kathy had been talking about getting the two of us together and today was the day. She looked surprisingly normal for someone who calls herself one of my "fans."

She is a Lamaze childbirth instructor and before lunch we talked about the difference in teaching childbirth now and 20 years ago. She explained how the advances in medicine have increased the number of women who are interested in hearing the basics of childbirth, but really are planning on having an epidural to eliminate the pain and really have no interest in learning about "natural" childbirth. In this day and age childbirth and breastfeeding have gone high tech.

I told her that a couple of weeks ago, I was watching one of the medical channels on television (I do enjoy watching stuff like surgeries and things like that--I’m weird). In this particular program, there was a woman who was giving birth with the assistance of an epidural injection, which numbs the body from the waist down, allowing her to give birth painlessly.

Odd my reaction. I felt sorry for her. I felt it was "cheating." I felt sorry that she wouldn’t be experiencing the exhilaration of working (it’s called "labor" after all) to push this new little human being out in the world and the thrill of feeling it emerge.

Later, I was sharing the conversation with Lynn, who has been birthin’ babies for many years now (when she was working in our office, we celebrated when she had done her 500th birth). She acknowledged that more of her patients now are asking for epidurals earlier in labor and are fearful of experiencing any pain. She explained that often the labors are longer because the women are unable to push effectively and, while they do have no pain throughout the birthing process, she sees that the bond between mother and baby is different with and without medication. Not that both mothers don’t love their babies, but the one who has "labored" and worked hard seems to bond more instantly with this new life she has worked so hard--and so painfully--to release.

While everyone has to do it her own way, it seems that as technology has increased we have become more and more a culture of the quick fix, "pain is bad," and "pop a pill for everything."

I’ve always felt that pain and discomfort serve a purpose. Now I’m not talking about severe pain. I’m talking about minor pain, minor discomfort. When you hurt your foot and take a pill to stop the pain, you walk on your foot and it doesn’t heal as fast. When you have a fever and you take a pill to get rid of it, you mask the symptoms and continue on with your regular life, but your body is still sick. It just doesn’t know it’s sick. And is it a good thing to be out there wandering around sick? A fever is a message to your brain: the body needs a rest. Go take a nap and let it heal itself.

Fevers were a mother’s friend. I know people who discover their child has a fever and freak out. 100 degrees. Oh my god....get the aspirin! I never did. I loved low grade fevers. 100 degrees. Put the kid to bed. Get an afternoon of quiet! Yeah--when it started to go up higher, I panicked too, but those low fevers were wonderful. I loved those.

I’m not saying pain medication is a bad thing. I love the fact that despite having a lot of dental work done, I’ve never felt any pain. Bring it on. More! More!

But it just seems to me that sometimes we rush too quickly to cover up pain, that sometimes pain has a purpose, and that, in the case of a normal childbirth, pain medication can take from a woman one of the most exhilarating experiences imaginable (well, perhaps second to conceiving the kid :-) )

Apropos of nothing, I just clicked on a news ticker that I get with Instant messaging and discovered that in Peru they have figured out how to keep people from dumping garbage, writing graffiti and urinating in the streets--they paint religious images on the walls. Apparently, nobody wants to urinate on the Virgin Mary.

I don’t think that would work here.

The above journal entry was written in the middle of the night and I’m not responsible for the ravings of a sleep-deprived brain.


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Created 1/20/01 by Bev Sykes