Friday, May 29, 2009

She Cooks a Mean Breakfast, Too

To one of the most amazing, beautiful women I have ever known...

To a woman who sings along unabashedly with the in-store music at the grocery store.

To the woman smiles with her whole face and laughs with her whole body and heart, and makes me feel clever and funny for causing that laugh.

To the woman who stood up for the rights of others as leader of the Diversity Team in her workplace, even after it earned her hate mail and harrassment.

To the woman who writes letters and sends packages to soldiers in Iraq who otherwise get no mail from home.

To the woman who taught me right from wrong, and inspires me to try and make her proud.

Happy birthday, Mom. I love you.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Ain't Nothin' Like the Real Thing, Baby

..sadly enough.

Northfield Laboratories, one of two U.S. companies making great strides in the development of artificial blood, is closing its doors, while the other company, Biopure, is allegedly struggling financially. While the science is still far from perfect, I have high hopes for the technology and hate to see this extremely important research suffer such setbacks.

Our country's blood supply is in a perpetual state of critical shortage. Sure, you've heard it last month. You've heard it last year. You heard it a decade ago. But with more stringent screening policies and donor refusal guidelines, and an aging population, it's truer than ever. And the stuff gets used more than you might think. Not just for traumas with acute blood loss, but for conditions from severe anemia to cancer to clotting problems.

Y'all may know that I don't exactly have the best track record with blood donations. Most embarrassingly, I got sick a while back at a blood drive hosted by a local veteran's lodge. It was my fault, I forgot to eat before I went down there...but retching into a wastebasket near the snack table while poor little old war veterans fluttered around me in a mild panic was not one of my more dignified moments.

But this is what I'm saying. I've got uncooperative veins and an occasional tendency to get woozy, and I can show up every 8 weeks. What's stopping you?

Eat a hearty meal before you go - saving lives is a great excuse to break that diet for just today! And drink, drink, drink, both before and after. Heck, drink a big bottle of water just before you go in. It takes about 45 minutes to an hour from start to finish.

And you'll be my hero.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Silver Lining to Prop 8?

The topic of California's upholding of Proposition 8 has a lot of folks talking - and a lot of folks feeling discouraged. I'm an ardent proponent of gay rights and found myself hollering at the radio in my car when I heard the news yesterday. But I am an unflagging optimist by nature, and I'd like to take a moment to step back and get some perspective.

An article in the Huffington Post yesterday caught my eye with its unusual title, "Why the California Court's Decision is Good for Gay Marriage" "Um, what?" I thought. But the gist of the article is that the Court's ruling was not that gay marriage was bad, but that the voters have spoken and the proposition was valid...thus placing the responsibility squarely with the people. From the article:

"By upholding Proposition 8, the California Court effectively tossed the ball back to the voters of the Golden State. The Court thereby ensured the long-term outcome of gay marriage: Given the strong support of younger voters, gay marriage will be approved in California by ballot initiative, perhaps quite soon. Moreover, when gay marriage is approved by popular vote, conservatives will not be able to blame a "judicial activist" court for their loss."

Frankly, I find it objectionable that the state constitution can be changed on a whim by a simple majority vote...and personally, I disagree with the decision. Gay marriage is a civil rights issue, and the court is deferring to the voters' right to choose a discriminatory law to restrict the civil rights of a group. (Would they have upheld the voters' right to reinstate segregation by majority vote?) But the decision is made, and the point in the article has some merit. Times aren't changing as quickly as we'd like, but they are changing, and the younger generations are picking up the cause.

We went from the Emancipation Proclamation to the Civil Rights Act in just over 100 years...and less than 50 years after that, we elected a black president. Breathtaking.

We now have five states - 10 percent of the states in the Union - who allow gay marriage, and D.C. has just passed a law to recognize those marriages. Most of these were approved just within the past few months, and more are in the works...look to New York and New Jersey within the year. Breathtaking.

For all the times I want to weep over this, there are a lot of reasons to smile as well. Chins up, folks, and blessed be.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Where'd the old site go?

Anyone who has come to this site by an old bookmark may notice a sum up, "Lemon Curry?" was originally a blog I started under a former Google account, originally intended to be a general personal blog, but which quickly took on a life of its own as a blog primarily about my adventures in the best job I ever had, as an intermediate school lunchlady. However, I left that job in February of 2008, and shortly thereafter a personal tragedy took me away from blogging for quite some time.

It felt odd to just pick up and continue from there, but I love the lunchlady stories, so though they will no longer be updated I have preserved the former blog under the name Peawees and Peas, and it can still be accessed.

Life marches on. Circumstances change. I change. Time for a fresh start.