Monthly Archives: February 2011

Charlie Sheen is Irrelevant

Um, ok, Charlie Sheen: f@#k him, who gives a f@#k what some spoiled moron does with his life He has no power or significance he’s a distraction from the real problems in this country, let him have his damn fantasy life, it keeps him out of the way of real life, rather than keeping us out of real life…wake up folks there’s a revolution brewing, and it may be for real this time. (No offense to my Sheen watching friends)
Readers, I’m going a little rogue for a bit.  Normally I plan out my blog topics, think them through, do some editing. Sometimes I’ll veer from my intended course to respond to a recent news event of something that impacts my community or family; but i usually make an effort to relate the post to my mission and to my intended audience. In the next few days, weeks, however long it takes, I will most likely be posting more frequent, probably more brief, entries. And believe me, the issue I will be covering, namely the incredibly united and dedicated resistance to the radical changes that the very wealthy are attempting to enact, is a shining example of my Dream and Mission in action.  
I’d like to present my readers with a few tips

  • don’t rely on mainstream media for your information, they are NOT accurately (not even remotely accurately) reporting what is going on here in Wisconsin and all over the country
  • after you check out some of the alternative sources (links below), take a moment to sit with your reactions. What are your gut feelings? I say this because it is NOT my intention to force my views upon anyone. I will present facts and information which may not be available elsewhere.
  • Take some time to review your core values, ethics and principles, aside from any media input. How do they relate to what you see on the news, all sources of news.
  • If you are inspired by the Unity and Solidarity you see in citizens response to things like Gov. Walker and many other governors attempts to slash collective bargaining rights, funds for education and healthcare while allowing enormous tax breaks for the wealthy, including out of state interests, I encourage you to take action. You may wonder what you can do, you may feel powerless. You are not,
  • Discuss these issues with your friends and neighbors
  • Educate yourself so you are well informed and equipped to engage in discussion.
  • Make a poster, hang it in your window
  • Write a letter to your representatives. Important tip, the reps who support unions and labor, working families and the poor, don’t need convincing, they need encouragement and thanks. Pleas for reconsideration and review of dangerous policy are best sent to any representative who may be wavering in their support of these measures. There are republicans who are questioning the ethics of these proposals.
  • Please feel free to contact me, either by leaving a comment or by sending an email to nanakoosa@yahoo.com
  • I will be updating my Facebook status with news and events at various points throughout the day http://www.facebook.com/nanakoosa

And Please know, you are free to disagree…that is the beauty of the Freedom and Democracy we are fighting for.
In Peace and Solidarity,
Jenny

links:
http://www.truthout.org
http://pol.moveon.org/
http://www.democracynow.org/


This is what Democracy Looks Like

Hello Everyone, Wild Women, Mobilized Mamas, Grouchy Grandmas, Auntie Activists, Bad Girls, Feisty Felines and Wily Witches,
Can you tell I’m stoked? I spent most of the day yesterday in Madison, WI at what was the biggest, most unified, peaceful protest I’ve ever attended and I’ve been doing this since my parents dragged me along in a backpack to the Civil Rights Marches of the early 60’s.
For once the mainstream media got a few things right, the attendance numbers, which tend to be greatly underreported, seemed fairly accurate at an estimate of at least 100,000 people. Probably even more relevant is the demographics of the group; in addition to the usual activists there were Police, Firefighters, representatives from every Union, parents, grandmas, kids, babies, dogs, people of all races, economic status, educational levels and career paths. And they all got along, clustered in small groups of conversation, offering each other food, water and help staying warm. The local businesses were very accommodating by allowing people to come inside and warm themselves or use the bathroom. The weather was quite cold and snowing, beautiful big fluffy flakes. Despite the freezing damp cold the atmosphere was energized, but completely peaceful. After two weeks of protests/peaceful assembly there have been no arrests, no serious incidents and the town is amazingly clean.
As I write this I’m clicking back and forth between writing and checking updates on twitter and facebook. I have contacts with people who are there in the Capitol tonight and it’s both exciting and amazing to me how technology has evolved to the point that we can organize internationally and within minutes if not seconds. The transparency and real life stories that are overlooked (or repressed) by the mainstream media allow for citizens to make informed choices based on real life situations and consequences.
On a personal and professional level I can’t tell you how encouraged and grateful I am for this. It is fulfilling my dream of bringing the voices of the “invisible” into the public sphere.
On a political and spiritual level, my mind is spinning with the implications of the Unity and Solidarity as we witness enormous changes and uprisings in support of Human Rights and Social Justice, not only here in Wisconsin and America, but in Egypt, Libya and worldwide. Perhaps we are in the sunrise of the Age of Aquarius.
Peace and Solidarity,
Jenny

© 2011 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard


Stand with Planned Parenthood

Hello all,
This post is my contribution to a united action, a “blog carnival” sponsored by Fair and Femini
st.com to support Planned Parenthood and womens’s reproductive rights. Planned Parenthood is about more than just birth control. They provide std screenings, annual exams and I have found their staff to be a great resource for information on women’s health in general.
I first utilized PP’s services in 1976, I was 17 and had just become sexually active and I knew I did not want to become pregnant at 17. A friend and I took the city bus to what at that time was the “free clinic”. I remember it was located in a refurbished home in the heart of the Inner city, a little different world for a white girl who had been raised on College of near campuses all her life.
There was a group of about 10 girls, around my age, who were given a group information session with question and answer time at the end. The two women who facilitated the session were warm and friendly; they took time to listen to our concerns and addressed our teenage Urban Legend based questions with respect and decorum.
Looking back, the physical facility although warm and inviting (it was after all once a home) would never pass inspection by today’s standards. There was no air conditioning and I remember as I lay on the table enduring my first ever pelvic exam, the curtains fluttered over the partially open window and I could hear the sounds of children playing outside. It was comforting to me, in this room that was once someone’s bedroom; and hearing the laughter of children reminded me I was doing this to preserve what was left of my own “childhood” by preventing pregnancy.
I continued to utilize the services of PP throughout my 20’s, much of that time I did not have access to insurance. When I was able I’d leave a few dollars in the donation box. In my late 20’s during a routine exam, the test revealed abnormal cells on my cervix. Turns out it was HPV now known to often be associated with Cervical Cancer. The case manager at PP helped me apply for assistance and find a clinic that would treat me. If I had not had access to that initial exam, at no cost to me, who knows how things would have turned out.
Now I have two grown daughters, both who use PP for their family planning services. I have 2 beautiful granddaughters, age 8 and 9 (both planned!) and I hope that when the time comes, they will have access to the same affordable, accessible services the rest of us have had.
And that is one of many reasons, and for all the daughters and granddaughters that I stand with Planned Parenthood.

Image courtesy of http://fairandfeminist.com/

© 2011 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard


Solidarity in Wisconsin

Unless you’ve been living on a deserted island or watching a 5 day marathon of tevo-ed American Idol, you’ve seen what’s happening here in Wisconsin. Governor Walker has not only granted huge tax breaks to his wealthy cronies but is attacking the Public Employees Unions, going so far as to propose revoking collective bargaining rights. Another proposition included in his plan has received much less attention from the press, but is equally devastating to Wisconsin’s families. Walker has proposed drastic cuts to Medicaid and is requesting stricter guidelines to determine eligibility for the program. Generally a family must earn within 200% of the Federal Poverty level to qualify for the State’s Medicaid, known as Badgercare. Part of Walker’s proposal would limit eligibility to 130%. Walker would need to request a Federal waiver to impose this change, but appears to be confident it will be granted. Meanwhile other states are following suit, finding ways to justify waivers of the Federal Healthcare guidelines. The Feds have granted waivers in the past most, notably to the State of Arizona which has been widely criticized for their changes in healthcare policy. Since these changes have been implemented 2 people have died as the result of being determined to be ineligible for previously approved transplants. Approximately 90 pre-approved patients awaiting transplants are now being denied the life saving measures that had once offered hope for survival.
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/News/arizona-transplant-deaths/story?id=12559369&page=1
Amidst the attempt at Union busting, the proposed cuts in healthcare and other public services the 117 million dollar tax cuts (actual total is uncertain) to the wealthy is a slap in the face, a kick in the teeth and well many distasteful analogies come to mind, I’m sure you can fill in your own.
The good news that has come of this fiasco is the incredible solidarity, support and unity that have been demonstrated not just by Wisconsinites, but from supporters all over the country and in other parts of the world. Protesters in Egypt, in the midst of their own struggle for Democracy and Freedom have sent words of encouragement and support… and pizza! According to several sources one business in particular has received over 2,500 worth of donations to buy pizza for protesters, some orders coming from as far as Cairo and Europe as well as other states here in the US.
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0211/49888.html
Local Union hospital employees have also donated food and many Madison residents and business owners have opened their doors to provide shelter, food and warmth to the activists, many who have been stationed in Madison for days.
The protests are expected to continue for at least a few more days, beyond that it is difficult to predict what will happen. No matter what we Wisconsin residents are grateful and inspired by the support and solidarity from around the world. I encourage my readers to do anything, no matter how small a gesture may seem, to do whatever they are able to help our cause. This is after all, bigger than Wisconsin. Walker’s brand of political insanity spreads like a disease and other states are already working on similar proposals. On the Federal level anti abortion measures are going to restrict more than just abortion, but will also limit access to birth control and routine healthcare for Women all over the country.
The Intention for this blog and my germinating White Wave Consulting business is born of the principles of self advocacy, empowerment and social justice. Here is our chance to have a voice, to empower ourselves, others and to create real social change.
Please see my Facebook page for ongoing updates, links and ways you can help.
In Peace and Solidarity,
Jenny
© 2011 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nanakooas-Healing-Place/113453765336219


>Post Treatment Realities

>EOT, Post Treatment, “when I’m done with treatment..” While we are in the midst of treatment these phrases dangle before us like a piece of candy on a string, just out of reach but promising sweetness. I really didn’t know what to expect for myself after treatment. I have read other peoples’ experiences. I have read the materials provided by the pharmaceutical companies and medical professionals, which I have come to realize are Pollyannishly optimistic. My general experience throughout this process is that we all experience treatment a little differently although there are many many similarities.  In the support groups I follow often one person will ask about a befuddling symptom, certain that they are manifesting bizarre and unusual reaction, only to have a half a dozen others respond with similar stories.
To be honest I hadn’t looked into the post treatment stories very thoroughly. I figured I’d cross that bridge when I got to it since life on treatment was basically best lived one day at a time. I knew I wouldn’t immediately “bounce back”, that it would take time to rid my body of the poison I’d been ingesting and injecting  for the past 48 weeks. I knew it would take time  to renew my body from the strain that it had endured, the anemia, the weight loss and  the compromised  immune system but beyond that I didn’t have much of an idea of what to expect.
Here I am 10 days after my last shot, still not knowing what to expect from one day to the next. My energy level is improving slowly, I tend to overdo it and wipe myself out by capitalizing on the newfound ambition. My appetite is back and making up for lost time and although my mouth is still a little sensitive to certain foods, I’m finding my taste for variety is coming back. My mood has improved greatly…well until yesterday, that is.
 I had been developing pain and goo in my ear for a few days. I put off going to the doctor because I knew I’d be over there on Friday for blood work, and also because that’s what I do, I procrastinate. I put off those visits to the doctor until I’m really miserable. By Friday my ear was visibly swollen and incredible painful, my neck jaw and head all hurt as well.
This occurrence  took some of the air out of my sails and seriously dampened my mood. “Haven’t I suffered enough in the last 11 months?” and “Can’t I just start feeling better?” “waah wahhh”
 I realized that treatment doesn’t really end when you stop taking the meds. There’s going to be a transitional period while I detoxify and regain my strength and hopefully my sanity. Like most things in life we hope treatment will be linear, predictable and finite; and like most things in life it is none of those.
And like all other things in life, we take it one day at a time, we do our best and we do it better with the support of others.

© 2011 Jennifer Hazard


The "perfect body"

The “perfect body”

What image comes to mind upon hearing that phrase…”the perfect body”? Remember in the 70’s Bo Derek was a “10”, in the 80’s, well I’m not sure what the heck was going on there but a lot of people were into aerobics, jazzercise and fitness gurus. In the last couple of decades things have improved…slightly, slowly. Among my daughters’ generation it is desirable to have “booty”, a nice big juicy butt. This is good because many women carry their weight in their hips, thighs and butt unlike the androgynous teenage boy look that was sold to us in the 60’s and 70’s. But to have a look or body type become “vogue” is precisely the problem. It’s hard enough keeping up with wardrobe style changes (I don’t even bother) but body type changes? Hah. If thin is in, thick is out, if thick is slick thin is out; meanwhile as the trends change we all living in the body genetics gave us.
Much has been written, discussed and filmed to address the impact of the media (especially advertising) on women’s self image. It’s not breaking news that many of us, especially younger women compare ourselves to an unrealistic ideal. When I was a teenager and into my early 20’s it didn’t even occur to me that the bouncy curls and wild waves that adorned women’s’ crowns were actually permed, styled, sprayed, teased and otherwise cajoled into looking that way. I honestly thought that was how they looked naturally. My own hair was fine, straight and would not hold a curl no matter how hard I tried. I actually cried one night because my boyfriend was flirting with a “Big Hair” girl. And the worst part was it never occurred to me at the moment that any man shallow enough to choose one woman over another based hair volume was probably not someone I’d want to be with anyway.
Now getting “older” and having sustained a certain amount of wear and tear, I am extremely grateful that I got the deadly sin of envy out of my frame of reference. We are pressured to look a certain way when we are young, and as we age we are pressured to maintain that ideal which isn’t even realistic for a young woman much less a 50 year old who has had babies, fallen off motorcycles, washed hundreds of thousands of dishes and all the other experiences that can affect how we age.
Plastic surgery which began as a quirky trend utilized by celebrities has now become disturbingly commonplace. It’s not only the extremes of actual surgical alteration that is becoming normalized, If a woman resists dying her hair as it grays she is either “so brave” (a phrase often delivered condescendingly) or is simply seen as eccentric. Once again the “old hippie” stereotype is invoked to dismissively invalidate a woman’s conscious, self affirming choice.
On the flip side I would be a hypocrite if I condemned women who do choose to dye their hair, go to the gym to maintain that perfect tone, or even get some “work done”. After all we’re talking about our bodies, our choice; Choice being the key issue. If a woman chooses this route because she can afford it and she does it for herself with self awareness and confidence, I say go to it. After all I have altered my body with tattoos, piercings and the occasional purple or blue dye job; but I have also come to appreciate and love the scars, the stretch marks and all the imperfections that each tells a chapter in my story. Does this mean I’m always happy when I look in the mirror? Hell no, I haven’t transcended vanity, I’m only human. But I no longer allow those disappointments (I’m talking to you cellulite) to drive me to making obsessively poor choices including berating myself for not living up to some unrealistic Ideal.
This is a topic I’d like to follow up on, there’s so much more to be said. In the meantime I’d love to hear my readers’ thoughts and experiences with body image: either in comments here or on my Facebook group (see link in sidebar) I’m also including a link to The Now Foundation’s “Love Your Body” campaign. They have some wonderful projects, especially those designed for college age women. I strongly encourage you to check out the link!
Peace…and Love your Body, it is your temple.
Jenny
© 2011 Nanakoosas Place, by Jennifer Hazard


>Guest post by Anna

>Hi All,
Here I am done with treatment, although still feelings the effects of Thursdays shot, looking forward to see what the future brings. I’m feeling optimistic, knowing I can’t feel worse than I have for the past 48 weeks, ha ha!
 I wanted to share the link to this post by Annmarou at Heppy Countdown.  First of all she has a delightfully wry sense of humor that is valuable for anyone on treatment or puzzling with this disease. Most importantly, however, is Anna’s Strength and Courage when questioning and confronting her doctor. Anna’s story is a shining example of assertive self advocacy. It’s so important that we remember that this is our health were dealing with and we are required to make choices that can be life altering. If our medical providers fail to provide us with adequate information, choices and emotional support, it is our right to ask for what we need.
One more note, I know it’s not always easy to be assertive, to speak up for ourselves, I wasn’t very good at it until I hit a certain age; in that case it may be an option to have a trusted friend, family member or professional advocate (if your community has them) accompany you to your appointments to ensure you are receiving the care that is your right.
Peace,
Jenny

© 2010 Jennifer Hazard