Open Letter to My 4 1/2-Year-Old

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Dear Son,

I am sorry that you are sick.  If I had the power to experience the ickiness and unpleasant feelings on your behalf, I would do so in a heartbeat, if only because I’m confident I’d remember and unquestioningly obey the age-old aphorism, “If you’re gonna spew, spew into this.”

Yes, I realize how difficult it can be to direct one’s vomit when our little tummies aren’t feeling very well, and not everyone can make it to the bathroom every single time.  But when I’m holding a fucking bucket in front of your face, wouldn’t it be so much easier to just go with it instead of turning away and yelling “NO!” ?

After being forced to throw away my mattress this holiday season because you peed in my bed one morning and didn’t say anything until after 10 pm that evening (when I’d finally noticed the smell), I would appreciate a little consideration.  Seeing that I have yet to purchase a replacement mattress and am thus forced to sleep on the floor, I’d have expected you to show a bit more discretion as to where you choose to unload the contents of your stomach.

And while I applaud your instinct to get up and run to the bathroom, the fact that you changed course to vomit in my bedroom doorway suggests you should further explore these instincts.  In the future, if you are standing in my doorway as you begin to barf, please do not continue on into my bedroom — at least not so long as I am sleeping on the floor.

At one point (shortly before dawn), you did manage to make it over to the toilet.  Perhaps it was simply a lapse in communication which caused to you to aim directly in front of the toilet, spraying undigested grains of Uncle Ben’s Spanish Rice all over the side and base of the bowl and soiling approximately forty percent of my bathroom floor.  If so, I apologize for the confusion and would like to clarify that the purpose of running to the commode when one has to puke is so we may puke into the toilet, not all over it it.

Bottom line: Throwing up on the floor?  Bad.  Throwing up all over Mommy’s blankets and pillows?  Worse.  Spewing into the potty, bucket, trash can, or bathtub?  YES!!!

Thank you for your cooperation,

Housekeeping

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Death is NOT a Medical Condition: PART ONE

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On December 12th, 2013, thirteen-year-old Jahi McMath died.  (I’m linking to the Dreamin’ Demon thread because it has accumulated a wealth of articles, links, and other relevant information.)

Her death occurred following three separate surgeries of the throat and nasal passages to improve sleep apnea  (including a Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty), but which the family has insisted was nothing more than a “routine tonsillectomy.”  This is not the only point on which the dead girl’s family and the hospital cannot agree.  Despite the fact that this girl has been declared brain dead by six different physicians — two hospital-based, three independent, and one court-appointed — the family is insisting she be treated as if she were still alive.

“They told me without your brain, you can’t take your own breath, well, she’s trying, so that means something’s working.”

Yeah, Mom — it’s called a ventilator.

Have I mentioned that the maternal grandmother is a nurse?

Mom’s first move was to take the hospital to court, insisting she be kept on life support.  On December 20th, a judge granted a temporary restraining order against the hospital to allow the family to seek yet another opinion.  Yes, that’s right; while the corpse was being kept hooked up to life support at the hosptial’s expense (because insurance does not cover the dead), a judge issued a restraining order against them, citing “a lack of trust” between parties.  This allowed Mom time to seek out an alternative opinion.  She found that opinion all right, in the form of Dr. Paul A. Byrne.

Dr. Byrne is a neonatologist and author of multiple books on how brain death is not death.  He is the founder of the Life Guardian Foundation, whose mission statement is “To protect and preserve God-given life from its conception to its natural end.”  Furthermore, he is opposed to organ donation and transplantation and believes the only “true death” is the one defined by the Catholic Church, citing 14th century rulings to make his case.

Not surprisingly, Byrne’s professional opinion was that the girl was still alive.  The hospital responded by pointing out Dr. Byrne’s ideological agenda, that neonatology is not neurology, and the fact that he never actually examined the body.

Fortunately, the judge ruled on Christmas Eve that he was sufficiently convinced that the corpse was in fact a corpse (what tipped you off, chum?) and that it could be disconnected from life support as early as Monday, December 30th.

But mom was not yet done — not by a long shot.  She then went to the media and declared her intention to move her daughter’s body to a nursing home.  On December 26th, the family claimed that they had found the corpse a new home:

“They told us there is a bed, they care for children like her all the time.  They believe they can provide her with care and support and treat her as if she’s a living person.”

A facility full of dead kids?  That’s a little hard to believe.  What’s even more difficult to believe is their claim that insurance would cover the cost of the dead girl’s “care.”

But in order for the corpse to be moved to this unnamed facility, Children’s Hospital Oakland would first need to perform a trachiotomy and implant a feeding tube, which they are not prepared to do for a fucking corpse:

“Children’s Hospital Oakland does not believe that performing surgical procedures on the body of a deceased person is an appropriate medical practice.”

(Perhaps if Mom had been a little nicer…?)  Though the hospital  initially refused to even consider transferring the corpse to another facility, they reversed their decision the very next day (December 27th), advising Mom of three prerequisites for transfer:

(1) Identify the facility she claimed had agreed to accept the body.

(2) Make arrangements for transport.

(3) Obtain approval from the county coroner — which is a legal requirement.

I’m guessing the hospital attorneys figured that by giving Mom a project, she’d stay the hell out of the way — undoubtedly realizing that such a transfer would be legally impossible anyway.

In the state of California, only hospitals, coroners, and morticians are licensed to transfer corpses.  Exemptions may be issued by the coroner’s office, but according to California Health and Safety Code 7355:

“the bodies of persons who have died from any cause shall not be received for transportation by a common carrier unless the body has been embalmed and prepared by a licensed embalmer and placed in a sound casket and enclosed in a transportation case.”

Later that day, the family claimed that the unnamed facility had “backed out” of the agreement after learning Children’s Hospital’s position on the situation.  (What, that the “patient” is dead?)  They then claimed that there were two more potential facilities lined up — one in California and the other in New York.

Mom then went ahead and set up an account with GoFundMe.com, seeking to raise $20,000 to have her daughters corpse airlifted… well… somewhere:

“I was just informed that the hospital my daughter was going to be airlifted to has backed out due to lack of Cooperation from Children’s Hospital Oakland.”

“The hospital my daughter was going to be lifted to.”  And yet the family has repeatedly claimed that the body was going to be transferred to a nursing home.  This is a crucial distinction to make!  By no means do I think this was a simple typo, because saying the body was going to a nursing facility would only continue to hurt her case, wheras claiming that it was a hospital makes the fund seem legitimate.  As I’ve already pointed out, Californian hospitals can transport non-embalmed corpses, but nursing facilities cannot.  I would not be surprised if the family’s attorney advised her to refer to explained the benefits of referring to the facility as a hospital.

So exactly was going to airlift the body?  Certainly not Children’s Hospital.  Mom is clearly lying about the airlift, and that isn’t all she’s lying about — but let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves.  As of writing this, Mom has managed to raise $21,966 — a value which is steadily increasing.

I want to know where the $20,000 figure came from.  I Googled “how much does it cost to airlift a patient,” and the first hit I came up with was Yahoo Answers, which suggested a flat $20,000.  (How much do you wanna bet that Mom did the exact same thing?)  The family claimed that one of the new facilities they were considering was located in California, while the other was in New York.  Did Mom honestly expect a helicopter ride to New York to cost the same as a ride within the state of California?

Moreover, I’d love to know how Mom expects the body to be airlifted out of there.  Does she plan to bribe the hospital?  Fat chance of that.  She’d have to go with a private carrier, which means that in order to airlift the body anywhere, it would first need to be embalmed.  Again, how will Mom manage to accomplish the airlift?  Perhaps a better question would be, What does Mom really plan on doing with that money?

On Sunday, December 29th, Mom claimed that one of the two facilities had agreed to take her daughter’s corpse, but that it has since backed out because of Children’s Hospital’s “interference”:

“I just found out that the facility my daughter was supposed to be going to has backed out!  Children’s hospital has once again interfered with the placement of my daughter we still have a chance at 1 more facility so let us all pray.”

Donations soared after Mom posted this on the GoFundMe page.  She doesn’t specify whether it was the California or the New York facility which backed out as a result of the hospital’s bullying, but that doesn’t really matter much anyway because the bitch is lying through her teeth.

After Mom’s latest GoFundMe post, Children Hospital Oakland decided they’d had enough.  The hospital’s attorney issued a statement which included an open letter to the family’s attorney.  The statement reviewed the three preconditions to transferring the corpse (a facility, transportation, and  coroner’s permission), not one of which Mom appears to have taken seriously.  Not only has Mom failed to contact the coroner’s office and come up with some sort of a transport plan (which isn’t really possible),  the letter has made a rather shocking revelation, one which explicitly contradicts several of Mom’s claims and casts doubt onto many, many more:

“To date, there has been no communication from any facility named by you regarding a transfer or requirements for transfer with any of the medical professionals at Children’s. The family has not identified any facility with which Children’s can have this dialogue.”

Reread that last quote from Mom about how Children’s Hospital “once again interfered.”  When she isn’t denying the facts, she’s pulling them out of her ass!

At this point, I think Mom is simply looking for attention and to cash in on her daughter’s corpse.  She’s upset about the death of her daughter and feels she deserves recompense.  She exhibits a pattern of lashing out against the very people who are trying to help her: accusing the doctors of insensitivity and essentially killing her daughter, conning benevolent morons out of more than $20k, and I’m now convinced that she’s simply trolling Children’s Hospital as a means of punishing them for the girl’s death:

“They have not given me a reason yet of why she went into cardiac arrest. They haven’t even given me a reason for her bleeding.  They haven’t given me a reason that they couldn’t stop the bleeding,” she said. “The only thing they keep pushing for me is to get her off their ventilator.

Because you won’t let them do an autopsy, you fucking moron!

Mom has been lying from the very start:

1. She lied about the operation being a routine tonsillectomy.

2. Odds are good that she either lied about the three unnamed facilities or else she lied to the facilities, which would account for why two of them have apparently backed out and why she doesn’t want the hospital in contact with any of them.

3. She was almost certainly lying about long-term care for a corpse being covered by insurance.

4. She clearly lied about a plan to airlift the corpse to that first facility.

5. She’s repeatedly lied about Children’s Hospital “interfering” with the corpse’s “placement.”

6. She’s clearly lying about what she plans to do with the GoFundMe money.

Even if Mom were to succeed in transporting her daughter’s corpse to some nice, cushy nursing home without violating California law, she would be guilty of a misdemeanor the moment the body was deposited.  According to California Health and Safety Code section 754(b):

 “every person who deposits or disposes of any human remains in any place, except in a cemetery, is guilty of a misdemeanor.”

Thankfully even California has some pretty solid laws against leaving dead bodies lying around; now if only people would acknowledge them.

The corpse is scheduled to be removed from life support at 5:00 pm this evening — that’s 8:00 pm EST.  I’d not be surprise if it’s further delayed, as the family’s attorney has been hinting about seeking a Federal injunction.  But even if the removal goes through as planned, we won’t be seeing the last of Mom.  I’ve no doubt she’ll be suing Children’s Hospital for botching this “routine tonsillectomy” that wasn’t actually a routine tonsillectomy.

Hyperbole and a Half Book

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Most exciting Christmas present of 2013: Hyperbole and a Half book.

I love Allie Brosh’s blog, and her new book was everything I hoped it would be and more.  From my Amazon.com Review:

I was initially very excited to have received this from myself for Christmas (thanks, self!) only now I feel as if Allie has failed me.

I cannot communicate the sheer excitement and wonder I felt to be finally holding this book in my hands.  Despite having a family that obviously expected to spend some time with me on Christmas Day, I found myself holed up in my bedroom (and at times, the bathroom), unable to put this @#$ @#$! book down.  I finished it in one sitting.

Afterwards, I felt empty inside.  Empty because I’d enjoyed this book so much, a book I’d promised myself I would enjoy one chapter at a time, savoring the delightful anecdotes and sage reflections which originally drew me into Allie’s blog and have kept me coming back for more — hungrily… like, velociraptor hungrily — ever since.  Instead, I yielded all self-control and ended up binging on this work.

If my brain were like a dog and I had the option of regurgitating the experience of this book and then re-ingesting my own brain-spew, I would do so over and over and over again.  However, my brain is not like a dog, and even if this were a possibility, I imagine it could only be accomplished a finite number of times before my brain completely turned to mush.

Which brings me back to my original point: that I feel Allie has in some way failed me.  No, I take that back; the truth is that she has failed us all.

It’s downright cruel to force someone to transition from the highly pleasurable state of Reading This Book to the dull and empty state of No Longer Reading This Book.  True, Hyperbole and a Half can and most certainly will be read over and over and over again, but the effect just isn’t quite the same.  It’s the difference between meeting someone new and exciting (before the novelty of it wears off and you discover they were lying about their marital status) and visiting old friends.  You’d better believe I’ll be revisiting this book, but I still want more.  From Allie Brosh.  A Part Two.  NOW.

If Allie truly cared about her fans, she would have found some means of communicating with her future self (like, her super-distant future self — from so far into the future that half her organs are made of synthetic materials and the other half have been cloned from canine stem cells), instructing her future self to send all future volumes of the Hyperbole and a Half book series back in time to Christmas 2013 so that they may be enjoyed sequentially and without delay, thus sparing us the dreadful inconvenience of waiting for Allie to write material before we can read it.

But Allie didn’t do this.  Thus, she has failed.  Which means that she must not truly love us — or that her future self does not have access to a time machine and/or synthetic canine organs with which to preserve her life indefinitely (or at least until time machines have been invented).  But that is a possibility I refuse to accept.

I’m rating this book five stars, because that’s the lowest rating I can give… right??

If you’ve yet to visit Hyperbole and a Half, there is likely something very wrong with you, or else you are probably new to the Internet (and to civilization in general).  Whatever your personal shortcoming, it can be rectified by immediately clicking here to visit Allie’s most recent anecdote about the awesome destructive power of dinosaurs… and of four-year-olds, for that matter.

Ugly Klingons or Racist Romulans? You Decide.

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It’s remarkable how the Klingon makeup has evolved over time.  But what do you say; are these true Klingons or simply Romulans in blackface?

WTF DID I JUST WATCH?!

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I’ve just witnessed the most disgusting and depraved ‘funny” baby video I have ever seen on YouTube.  It’s so bad that I cannot even bring myself to post the link.  Only 37 seconds long, it makes the shitty baby video seem heartwarmingly adorable by comparison.

It begins with a spread-eagled, presumably EC’d baby being “pooped” by a woman (presumably mom) over an open diaper.  An older child of perhaps two is clearly distressed by this sight, and her mother laughs and jokes as the kid freaks the fuck out.  The cameraman (I’m assuming Dad) can be heard teasing the toddler in the background.

Both parents are clearly fascinated by the infant’s defecation, and only the two-year-old’s reaction suggests an iota of intelligence.  The parents cheer the shitting baby on while the little girl cries and holds some sort of surgical mask over the lower half of her face.  Dad then begins snarkily cheering on the little girl, encouraging her to stare at her baby sister’s private parts as the poop works its way out of the infant’s ass.

The video ends with a hairy, overweight old man appearing in the doorway in nothing but a pair of boxer shorts.  I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if he’d paid for an hour with one (or both) of the children.

I’m not a fan of censorship, but I’m even LESS of a fan of children being victimized — especially by their own parents.  The baby may have been blissfully unaware of its surroundings, but the little girl was clearly being subjected to a sickening situation which her parental units seemed to find hilarious.  I reported the video to YouTube, though I’m sure it could be argued that it remains within their terms of service, as baby vag no longer seems to qualify as nudity these days — at least not on Facebook or Youtube.)

Why do people upload this shit?!  Do they find it cute?  Do they think it’s funny?  And don’t give me that, “We only put it up so Great Aunt Ethyl could enjoy these most-precious moments of our little snowflake’s existence.”  Aunt Ethyl doesn’t want to see that shit any more than the rest of us — unless the reason she can’t actually come and visit your snowflake Neveah (and witness these “precious moments” for herself) is that the State will not permit her within 50 yards of a child on account of her having previously viewed/filmed/directed/starred in “precious moments” of your first child (or someone else’s).

Besides, it doesn’t take uploading what is essentially child porn onto YouTube to keep in touch with friends and extended family.  That’s why we have Facebook — and STFU Parents.

NOTE: If you haven’t already bought Blair’s Book,  I highly recommended it as 101 on the world of parenting overshare via social media.  (There’s more to it than poop and baby vag; I promise.)

Teaching Modern Society a Lesson, “One Public Breastfeeding at a Time”

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I’ve decided to teach modern American society a lesson, one public breastfeeding at a time.

LESSONS IN PUBLIC BREASTFEEDING: A Mothering.com editorial about a woman who is repeatedly asked to cover her tits while nursing her baby and/or child in public.

The really hurtful negative reactions to my breastfeeding have come from people who don’t know me—strangers passing judgment. Once I sat down outside a Starbucks coffee shop at a table with some friends and friendly acquaintances.

When I began to nurse my child, one man—a friend of one of my friends—jumped up and went to another table. I looked after him, stricken, but he didn’t return. His blatant rejection and disgust felt like a punch in my stomach.

If I sat down for some coffee with a few “friendly acquaintances” and one of them whipped out a body part without giving any warning — whatever their intentions — I’d probably get up and move too.

In the private office of a mental health professional, as I sobbed while attempting to describe my feelings, my son started rooting and whimpering. I automatically put him to the breast, but the mental health professional interrupted me in midsentence: “Do you not have something you can cover up with?”

Speechless, I fumbled around until I found a receiving blanket. It was her private office, after all, and at that moment I felt too weak and vulnerable to snap back an appropriate response. I don’t remember if I was able to finish what I’d been saying, and I never went back.

Let’s review her mistakes now, shall we?

(A) She brings a newborn along to the shrink.

(B) She whips a boob out in front of the shrink.

(C) She takes offense when the shrink tactfully encourages her to cover up.

(D) She feels too victimized to “snap back an appropriate (?!) response.”

(E) She leaves the shrink’s office and never goes back.

LVNM basically says everything that needs to be said: