semiotic_pirate: (boat on land)
Fair warning - heavy seas ahead. This be a long, rambling journey across the sea, and storms have wracked the ship.

In the process of getting an application package together for a new job prospect. Between payments to student loans and other things, what I'm making now isn't enough. I've done the research and I know that I'm making below the median for my profession in my area, and that I'm more qualified for the position (education and time in grade) than the median person represented by that bell curve. I've had enough with dealing with a position that has no opportunities and comes coupled with the need to deal with a passive-aggressive, workaholic manager that expects me to sacrifice home life obligations and balance of any kind because (a) that's what he does, and (b) because I don't have children.

While in the process of getting that application process together I've dredged up all kinds of new and old information about what had previously been packed up and put away from my past, in order to document it for the future (because modern, online application processes are more rigorous, and because of needing to figure out the details of my veteran status).

This is going to go on for a while, get some popcorn. )
That's how I got to the point I'm at now. Several years into the job I got before I even graduated with that Master's, I'm realizing that I'm being underpaid and I'm not feeling respected and valued - even though I was a key person in getting record profits from our "unit" for the past three years. Yeah. My department calls itself a Unit... I'm just noticing how bizarre that is and the dissonance I feel thinking about it in relation to the other units I've been involved with.

So. After all that... I ask you to wish me luck. Thanks for listening. It felt good to get that out after all this time. Maybe I'll get an interview. Maybe I'll get a new job. I've got a few plans on how to navigate the next few months and years. I've still got dreams for my future. Let's see what happens next.

Update

Mar. 8th, 2014 08:19 am
semiotic_pirate: (Pirate_Main_Icon)
It's one of those mornings where I feel I have to say a few things.

First thing I want to say is: people need to stop coming up to me at work and ruining my flow/day by telling me how "they just heard" and "how sorry they are for my loss" because I need to work while I'm at work not get sucked down into thinking about the few, random memories of my dad and get them started whirling through my head like a carousel.

The creation of that carousel is like a mini-thought-palace, more of a snow globe really, where I've taken all the snippets of memory and pasted them in the place of all the creatures on the carousel so that as it goes round I can see them together. The clearest one is a tiny, vague movie reel of learning how to drive in an empty parking lot, with my feet just able to reach the pedals and being just tall enough to see out the windsheild. I could be wrong about the details but that is the most clear of my vague memories. Another is the scent of solvents, grease and oil from walking around the City's big hanger like garage building with all the big huge orange trucks in various states of disassemblage.

The memories are important to me, and I've stored them away in a place inside my brain so that I can examine them in my own choice of time and need. Having that choice foisted upon me is shocking me and making me unable to focus on the stuff I need to be focused on at work. It's to the point at which I'm tempted to not acknowledge anyone's presence around me just on the off chance that they will take the opportunity to throw it out there at me.

-------------

The cochlea /ˈkɒk.lɪə/ is the auditory portion of the inner ear. It is a spiral-shaped cavity in the bony labyrinth, in humans making 2.5 turns around its axis, the modiolus.
semiotic_pirate: (eyeball)
About an hour before I was scheduled to leave work today I got called by my half-sister and was baldly told that my biological father had just died (of a heart attack). Let me preface this by saying that I have been estranged from this man since I was in my early 20s, or at least that's when I realized that my relationship with him qualified as estranged.

Sink into sadness back behind the blank stare )
semiotic_pirate: (speak your mind)
Sparked off of a recent post by [livejournal.com profile] crabbyolbastard I decided to start doing some digging. Being a person who has been personally affected by someone close who chose suicide over life, I wanted to make a go of understanding the mind-set of a person contemplating suicide. I realize that it is highly influenced by the societal, cultural, and religious underpinnings to each individual situation... But I also wanted to explore what was out there.

As a recovered Catholic, and especially after watching Religulous at the theater the other day, I don't need anyone pouncing about the sacredness of every life and how suicide is a sin, etc. Who wrote the Bible and every other "holy" book out there? Men. Not mankind either - men. For Christian doctrine has by and large held that suicide is morally wrong, despite the fact that no passage in Scripture unequivocally condemns suicide. Didn't Christ commit suicide? What he did is very reminiscent to what we refer to today as suicide by cop. Was that going a bit too far? Anyway.... on with the discussion on suicide.

I did a Google search for suicide rationale because when I used reason for suicide I got a bunch of speculation about suicide bombers, suicide terrorists, etc.

I found this interesting treatise on rational suicide that seems to have been published in the Washington Post back in 2004. The whole rationale behind this movement (pun intended) reminded me of an episode of Star Trek TNG, Half a Life where Lwaxana Troi falls in love with an (alien, yet humanoid species) scientist who is due to commit ritual suicide.

This article from Stanford University is also pretty interesting. The very long article addresses a gamut of questions and indeed begins by stating: For philosophers, suicide raises a host of conceptual, theological, moral, and psychological questions. Among these questions are: What makes a person's behavior suicidal? What motivates such behavior? Is suicide morally permissible, or even morally required in some extraordinary circumstances? Is suicidal behavior rational? Okay, I had to resort to skimming after a while, it is a very, very long article. The only thing lacking is that it focuses specifically on western, Christian philosophy. Even though some of that is obviously based upon ancient, classical (Greek) thought, it is at its heart, ethnocentric.

There's this article about a documentary from 2005 about a man named Stearn who, with a series of fatal diseases & conditions brewing in his body, when he committed suicide coined a term, self-made death, where death by your own hand is made out to be a choice like any other in life.

If people are legally allowed to put a Do Not Resuscitate order in place, (not that they are always followed) create Living Wills that delineate what they want (which are sometimes ignored) - why can't they choose death? Would the people who insist on denying people who choose DNR or who order via Living Will that they do not want to ever exist on life support in turn to be accused of being selfish in prolonging the suffering of an individual? Death With Dignity is described in the latter portion of this article.

There is The Hemlock Society - which in the United States (which can't understand the Socrates/Plato reference) is called Compassion and Choices and Death With Dignity as resources about End-of-Life situations and decisions.

This wikipedia article has some non-western, cultural opinions of suicide. New to me terms: Shame suicide, Heroic suicide (though I have read of examples of both, this is the first time I'd heard it called this.) A wiki on the philosophical views of suicide. Antoher on religious views. More on the "right to die" movement.

Hrm. Interesting: "Philosophical thinking in the 19th and 20th century has led, in some cases, beyond thinking in terms of pro-choice, to the point that suicide is no longer a last resort, or even something that one must justify, but something that one must justify not doing. Many forms of Existentialist thinking essentially begin with the premise that life is objectively meaningless, and proceed to the question of why one should not just kill oneself; they then answer this question by suggesting that the individual has the power to give personal meaning to life."

I am undecided. About whether I can accept another person's suicide as a rational act. I don't deny people the choice to lead, or end, their own life, as long as they do not harm another in their actions or inactions.

In my particular case; Yes, I grieved. Yes, I was angry. Yes, I thought for a very long time that they had taken "the easy way out" of life and were cowardly in self-annihilation. They couldn't cope with a situation that life didn't prepare them for. Just because I was able to live through it, and then their suicide, doesn't mean another would or could. I can't say I understand entirely, but I've made my peace with it.
semiotic_pirate: (Remember Remember)
Things are not looking good. It appears her condition has deteriorated a little, her lung infection isn't getting any better.

*large sigh*

What will be, will be. She lived a good and full life, I am not afraid for her sake or mine. However, I am a little worried about the rest of the family's reaction. I know that others in the family are already thinking and talking about the possibilities of what her will reveals. I don't care about all that, I had her company, memories of good times, and a couple of things (an owl pendant and a "spoon ring" that she got from her mother) that she gave me while I was a child that I will treasure forever. And my emphasis is on the intangible elements of the previous sentence.

Whatever happens, I feel a reconsideration of my beliefs about what happens to us after we die coming. I was exposed to a few different traditions of belief as a child, primarily Catholic. I've thought about other possibilities, reincarnation, nothingness, even the theory brought about in Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game Series, that we are reduced down to our philotic string components. Then there is the various mythology or ancient religious beliefs, Egyptian, Norse, and Greco-Roman being the ones I've investigated primarily.

What are your opinions of the afterlife? What influenced the formation of your beliefs?
semiotic_pirate: (fetal angel pain)





I am very sad right now. Around 3 PM we, ([livejournal.com profile] crabbyolbastard and I) were starting down the trail - that I brought [livejournal.com profile] surelle to the other day - and found a little baby turkey on the side of the trail. It was still breathing and even had that reflexive opening of the mouth for food (though I may have misinterpreted that). It's eyes were closed and I knew it must be in shock but... not two minutes down the road a friend of ours works as a veterinarian and they are also a hospital with an emergency intake area that is open most of the time. I cradled it in a section of my T-shirt and tried to keep my gait steady as we walked swiftly back to the car and kept my hand as a shade parasol above it en-route to the hospital. He had stopped opening and closing his beak/mouth but he was still breathing.

When we got to the hospital the staff was helpful, even more so when they understood that one of the Doctors is a personal friend. While one of the techs was making phone calls to try and get a recovery person experienced with birds to come in COB and I tried prying its beak open and pipetting water into its mouth. It wasn't swallowing much, but some was getting down. It even opened its eyes and tried using his legs a few times, though the neck was still pretty wobbly. The tech (Amanda) finally got in touch with someone (Amy) but she wouldn't be able to come in until Monday. However she told Amanda what to do in the meantime to try and revive Little Lurkey. I handed it over to her as she held out a soft towel to wrap him in and into the back she went. I asked her to have our friend call when she got out of surgery - which she was just about to go into, another emergency.

Well, we went back to the trail, COB and I. We went down quite a ways, further than I had gone with [livejournal.com profile] surelle. There were a lot more bikes than the other day too. Packs of them at times. We had just turned around and were headed back for a bit when COB decided to tell me that we may be getting thunderstorms, and motioned to the now darkened section of sky that was closing rapidly in on us. Yep, that's right, it was The Range Walk From Hell on the return trip from then on in. If you've ever been in the Army, you know what range walking is. If not, it's when you have to move very fast, but remain "walking" on the firing range. Running, well, that isn't looked upon well on the firing range, it implies panic or at the very least that something has gone horribly awry.

About halfway back, with occasional drops falling on us and the clouds having overtaken us completely, my cellphone rings. I answer it without slowing, sweat seeping freely out of every pore. It's Amanda. Apparently our friend had a chance, or made the time, to see our Little Lurkey before heading into surgery. She said, after a quick examination, that it probably had internal injuries or an internal infection. They put it on fluids (maybe an IV) and gave it some antibiotics. I didn't ask if they had put a heat lamp on for it... She told me she had just checked on it and that it had passed. She didn't say it was dead, just that it had passed. She extended her apologies and thanked me for bringing Little Lurkey in.

Yep. Still sad. COB hadn't even taken a picture of Little Lurkey... So I'll GOOGLE for a picture of a little young turkey. I found this great website about wild turkeys and it has a bunch of information about "young poults" of which I was unaware.

Thanks for listening.
semiotic_pirate: (Default)
hey... so I can't let the subject go yet. (I don't feel like putting the effort into finding a new subject, I've got finals!)

I'm slightly miffed, I put this (or rather the link to a post with a short summary) on a community I belong to and for the most part, everyone was totally for it.

Am I taking the whole situation too personally? To give some insight into why I think I'm taking it personally: I lost a son to SIDS, (and no, I'm not asking for a pity party, it is part of me, accept it) which is currently thought to be a genetic "defect" and I think I saw this as a way for people to take away the three months and ten days that I DID get to have with him, or perhaps, rather with some other mum down the road. Just because the child is fated to die, doesn't mean, (if you choose to give birth to him/her in the first place) that you shouldn't spend what little time you are given with them together...

I was born premature, with lungs that weren't fully developed and a heart murmur. I was put in an incubator, my murmur closed, and I am - currently - a very healthy individual. (And yes, I realize that my own birth wouldn't have qualified for termination.)

There is no question that the babies/children should be made comfortable (pain medication) but it wasn't like I was condoning insane life-saving heroics, I was an EMT I saw the crap families went through when they had to decide to keep "Grandma" alive an extra few days or months using machinery, etc. If it isn't "invasive" then it is okay - like giving oxygen. Let them die naturally, while being made as comfortable as possible, like they do in Hospice Care. That is the HUMANE thing to do.

Perhaps likening the committee in the Netherlands to the Wannsee conference was a little over the top. I didn't do that, the other article did. I was just giving more information on it for those who didn't know what it was or those who might be in denial about the whole thing happening in the first place. ::shrugs::
semiotic_pirate: (Default)
Okay, I'm totally disgusted here... I am an advocate for Choice... however, I believe that tests run during the first trimester of pregnancy can find most if not all deformities and congenital defects, etc. There is NO REASON that a doctor should be able to make this decision. Not only that, but it isn't going to stop with babies... it's going to escalate into the entire handicapped and mentally-challenged community... and probably further, once people are used to it. WE CANNOT ACCEPT THIS!

(Note: I have everything published so far in the news, except for the LA Times because I refuse to sign up for yet ANOTHER newspaper.)


Death by Committee
What the Groningen Protocol says about our world, and where it might lead next.

by Hugh Hewitt
12/02/2004 12:00:00 AM
Read more... )


Netherlands Hospital Euthanizes Babies
Nov 30, 4:24 PM (ET)
By TOBY STERLING

Read more... )



Euthanasia debate in Europe focuses on children
By MATTHEW SCHOFIELD
Knight Ridder Newspapers

Read more... )

and now for a little bit of a history lesson...


The Wannsee Conference and the "Final Solution"
Read more... )
semiotic_pirate: (Default)
I was in NYC this weekend. While I was there (on Sunday) I attended a (set of four) photography exhibits. One was called Looking at LIFE, an exhibition featuring over 200 prints arranged in thematic sections that reflect some of LIFE's (the magazine) particular preoccupations. It is located at The International Center of Photography located at 1114 Avenue of the Americas at 43rd Street. You leave all your bags, etc. at the door and pay $7.00 (non-members) to get in. It is running until November 28th. www.icp.org They have a website with information on the exhibitions. (the only one I didn't see was the one called "Ant Farm.")

In addition to their own prints whose focus appeared to be in the categories of photojournalistic portrayals of: (FYI: there was another exhibition on JFK all on the upper/main floor.) {downstairs:} Urban Poverty, Objectification and "domestication" practices of women, All wars the US has been WWI on, (including unpublished photos that were more heart-wrenching than the glamorized photo-ops we usually got and images from the Holocaust... the furnaces, the emaciated forms of survivors etc.) the horrible treatment of blacks during the civil-rights movement (including national guard with rifles on the buses) the Domination of Space and the Human fertility processes (they had a picture of a fetus developing inside of an experimental artificial womb environment) along with Animal experimentation for medical/science/space purposes, the Idolization of the Stage/Screen/Music Industries, and then... after all of this has been layered into your mind as preparation, there is the "hanging" room - which I call that because there was a hanging partition that only allowed you into the area in one way so you could not anticipate what lay within.

It was a line of photos, one to the next, around the room, with a poster of commentary, of all the prints sent over the internet, taken by non-professionals, with digital cameras, of Abu Gharib. I was flabbergasted, no, that's not the right word... I was overwhelmed, literally. I left the room and was confronted with the last thematic section... I had attempted to block it all in, but the absurdity of what we do to idolize and objectify "famous" people acted like releasing a locke in a canal's floodgate. I found one of my friends that I had come with and I sobbed in her arms, tears streaming down my face. I could barely speak coherently, I stopped trying. Then I stopped, wiped my face with a tissue, and thanked her for "being there for me."

I let her continue looking around (she was looking at the photos in a different order than I had.) Then I turned around. There behind me were the photos of JFK's death, his funeral specifically. (almost seeming to be, but not, a continuation of the exhibition on the floor above.) The last two photos, the second to last the one of JFK's son in his little jacket and hat saluting us the viewer, the last, Jackie descending the church steps with her black veil covering her face... There was a bench (one of the many scattered around the room) right there, I sat and stared at the two photos... trying to come to terms with all of the images I had seen...

(Background: I was in the military, and my experiences with them included the "normal" indoctrination procedures that they use... I was trained as a Military Police Officer. Part of that training included duties and procedures for guarding and running a POW camp. My unit (the first time in Iraq) had been activated and did this. We were trained for the humane treatment of prisoners according to Geneva Convention regulations. )

I was OUTRAGED. I started (when I cornered my sweety and aforementioned friend) spewing out how I took the whole thing personally, on both a moral/ethical/human level and on a PROFESSIONAL level. I knew better. I demanded to know whether or not these people were MP's, whether or not they had any actual TRAINING before they were entrusted with this responsibility or if they were just thrown into it, told to do unspeakable things, and (because once you taste of evil it becomes easier to do it again and you will actually gain a taste for it, conditioned to accept and even relish it - this is how you create monsters) told that they were doing their country a service... How could they swallow it? The lies, the conceit, the barbarity. DISGUST, NAUSEA, RAGE, SADNESS I felt empathy for, and outrage on the behalf of the prisoners. I understood the hate and fear of our enemies, or rather those that will or have become our enemies because of this... the families, the countrymen, the religious community of the victims.

I asked How?! Why?! WTF?!

The themes, they were all connected... We are the barbarians. We are the underprivileged, we are the animals, we are the oppressed, we are the suppressed, we are the idolized and the objectified, we are the killers, we are the dead, we are the subjects of experimentation...

WE. ARE. THE. VICTIMS.

After two days of contemplation, both conscious and unconscious, I have come to a place of semi-tranquil zen state. But, there is hope... All is not lost. If we recognize what we are capable of and consciously become more than our base instincts insist we are. But... we must remember and not fall back and degenerate into the animals we are. I know that my knowledge of the situation does not gaurantee the success of our evolution, however, the fact that it is possible gives me hope. Until there are no more tomorrows, or we are extinct, there will always be hope. Pandora, thank you.

x-posting to feminism community.
semiotic_pirate: (Default)
Hmmmn. Now we know why so many people use storage units... (well that and the way CSI had them being used on last night's show.)


Authorities confirm woman's deathbed murder confession
By Jay Lindsay, Associated Press, 11/19/2004 16:36
Read more... )

The case shows how easily people can be forgotten in a fast-moving society, Coakley said.

''The reality of it is ... people go missing all the time,'' she said. ''We see it. It's not that difficult to make people disappear in a transient society.''

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