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Thoughts on Bristol Palin

I’m a very liberal Democrat. I have opinions about Sarah Palin, most of them negative. But generally, I try to ignore stories about her children, because it’s unfair for them to be stuck in this media circus, and the media’s treatment of them tends to make me uncomfortable.

Well, the latest news has made me uncomfortable enough to speak out. Bristol Palin has a new face. She says it’s orthodontic. Others are saying it’s plastic surgery. And my stance is that it could be both or neither but either way it doesn’t matter.

My face is not the one I was born with. After six years of orthdontics, my doctors realized that no amount of headgear was going to shrink my massive Hapsburg jaw. It needed to be cut to size.

I resisted. Mostly I was afraid of the surgery itself, but part of me was afraid of the permanency, and what this would mean for my identity. What if I didn’t like the result? What would my adult face (I was fourteen at the time) have looked like without it? Didn’t only vain people with low self-esteem change their faces?

My doctors said I’d have to have eight teeth pulled and still end up with dentures in old age if I didn’t get the surgery. They also made a compelling argument about how I was going to end up with a Jay Leno chin and sunken in cheeks if I didn’t get the jaw surgery and cheek implants.

Yes, cheek implants. Not only did I have mismatched jaws, but I had unnaturally sunken cheekbones. They were not affecting my teeth in any way. But they went badly with my very strong jawline and would look even worse as I aged.

I think I would have been okay with the jaw surgery, in the end, but the cheek implants grated on me. Everything made sense--the surgeon was going to be in there anyway, and it was a major cosmetic issue, but... This was plastic surgery. I was a feminist, and I didn’t do this sort of thing.

Except I did, because I was a teenager and I did what my parents told me to do. And, like everyone else, I am a little bit vain. I didn’t want to be an ugly old lady who hated her face and regretted being headstrong as a teenager.

And you know what? At 23 years old, more feminist than ever, I don’t regret any of it. And while there are very legitimate concerns about our society and plastic surgery, I’m not going to sit by and judge people who made an honest informed decision to change their bodies for whatever reason. But I will judge society both for creating the situation where you feel like you have to be beautiful to be accepted, and then for shaming people who buy into those views. Bristol’s new face is lovely, and I hope it makes her happy, no matter why she chose it. I, for one, love my new face, both for its working jaw and for its socially-acceptable proportions. And I refuse to be ashamed of it.

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Need help for a sick caregiver

I'm not sure where to begin looking for this info, so I'm posting it here.  I'm leaving this unlocked, so feel free to send more knowledgeable people this way.

My grandmother is the primary caregiver for my grandfather, who has advanced dementia.  He can't take care of himself at all, and has to be in a secure environment to keep him from wandering off.  Last week, Grandma was diagnosed with breast cancer.  She needs surgery, and soon.  What resources are available for them?  We're looking up homes for dementia patients, but we have no idea how realistic it is for someone to be able to take him immediately.

They have money saved up, so I don't think they're eligible for grants.  On the plus side, they can afford care for him.  He has good long-term care insurance, and she has health insurance.  We just need to be able to find out how to use that insurance to help them now.

They live in northeast Ohio.  If anyone can point me towards resources, I would really appreciate it.  We have the names of a few local dementia centers, but that's as far as we've gotten.

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My dad just called with an emergency question: How many shots can you get out of a fifth of liquor?

I think this beats the time when my mom called just to ask if opposums eat chickens, if only because there was a slim chance I might have known the answer to the latter.

For the record, the answer is 25.6 1-ounce shots or 17 1.5-ounce shots.  And no, opposums don't eat chickens, but they do sometimes eat ducklings.

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Warning: Cuteness Ahead

 Today, walking down the ramp from the dining hall, I saw this:



And then on the other side of the ramp, I saw this:



Silly mama was pulling them up the side of the ramp one at a time to cross and then freaking out whenever someone walked down the middle, instead of going a few feet down where the concrete was level with the grass.

This pretty much made my day.

Computer Help?

Can someone recommend a good (and preferably free) antivirus program?  I currently use Windows Defender and Symantec, and I think my computer is infected with something that's messing with them.  Symantec quarantined a bunch of Trojans a while back, and ever since then it freezes if I try to open up the quarantine folder or run updates that affect quarantine.  It doesn't find anything new on scans, though.

Windows Defender will literally scan all day without finishing (and never find anything).  Today I left my computer on for 15 hours as an experiment, and it scanned for that whole time, spending the majority of that time in the temp folder.  I shut my laptop and it started over when I opened it.  I kept on eye on it while I was doing other things, and after about twenty minutes it randomly started over and starting scanning from the beginning again.

I keep my computer updated, so I don't think both programs would go wonky like that unless something was messing with them.  I never had any trouble with them before the Trojan infection.

Edit: Oh God, there are 1832 items in quarantine.  No wonder it freezes.  How do I fix this?  D:

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What happened to wtf_science?  There was an entry about jellyfish this morning and I went back to reread it just now... and the community is deleted.

I hope it comes back.  I like that community.

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Exposure to Bright Light Intensifies Migraine Pain

Next, scientists will discover that snow is cold.

Although I did read somewhere else that study also showed why this happens and researchers can now make progress on migraine drugs that fight photophobia.  So that's cool.

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Dec. 8th, 2009

Sorry for double-posting, but this is completely unrelated to my last post:

I wrote my very first creepypasta the other day! Secret Youngstown!

I normally dislike writing microfiction, but I actually had fun with this. I might have to try writing some more.

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Dec. 8th, 2009

I've been meaning to write about England, but I've been so tired. Jet lag really took a hold of me, and while I was getting adjusted to that professors were assigning entire books to be read in like two days. So, yeah. No time.

We were supposed to go to the Lake District, but as a lot of you probably know, there was a 1,000 year flood in Cumbria and the police were like "Stay out, and whatever you do, don't go hiking!" Which is exactly what we were going to be doing all five days. Of course, our hostel was all "We're dry! We have guests here! Don't listen to those police, it's safe in Grasmere. What do you mean, refund your money? Lol, no." So we lost our money to them, despite the fact that all the trains to Grasmere were stalled and most of the roads were washed out.

We decided to go to York instead, which was a great choice. I'll share pictures later, but York is just a gorgeous city. They saved as many of the Roman and medieval buildings as they could, including nearly all of the Roman/medieval wall, which is actually still walkable. The part of the city inside the wall is fairly touristy, but in a really charming way. I loved it.

And then we went to the Bronte Parsonage and walked the moors. I have never seen anything so gorgeous in my life. I just stuck out my arm and took pictures as I walked, and every single one of them looks like a postcard. Also, we saw at least ten rainbows, no exaggeration. Huge ones that wouldn't even fit in one photograph. And one of them was a double rainbow. I would never have believed it if I hadn't seen it myself.

I've been back for over a week, but I still feel so peaceful. I've just never seen so much beauty in one place before, and I don't think I've ever had a vacation before where I've had so much fun all at one time without it being broken up by some sort of unpleasantness (we did have a little, but the two bad incidents happened in the same evening and resolved themselves without further drama).

I'm so glad I didn't chicken out on this trip, and it was worth going broke for. I may never have an experience like this again, and I feel like such a better-rounded person now because I've had the opportunity to leave the country and go on a major adventure with my peers instead of my parents (I guess Baltimore counts there as well, that was a different sort of adventure).

I have a lot of retrospective posts that I want to write. I've grown up so much in the past couple of years and I keep seeing how much stronger I am than I was even two years ago. I think I'll try to work on one of those this week, and I promise to put up at least a couple pictures of rainbows England.

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I'm back in the states. I'm going to have to write some really long journal entries to sum up this trip. Right now I have stuff to do, though. I've been up for about three hours now waiting for stores to open. I woke up at 6:00 a.m. wide awake and hungry. The only place here that sells breakfast food is McDonalds. After about an hour's deliberation I decided to walk there to kill time and wake myself up. It didn't kill enough time, though, so I've been hanging out here waiting for Community Market to open. It's weird being so wide awake when the rest of the town is this quiet.

I have so much laundry to do it's not funny. I guess that's on my list after grocery shopping.

England was amazing. This was one of the best weeks of my life, seriously. I can't wait to write it all down and tell you guys about it.

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