Department Of Trying To Remember How I Organized This Bookshelf
Dateline: a week ago; 7 am-ish. Moiself is on my elliptical exercise thingy,  which is in the corner of our family room next to a floor-to-ceiling bookcase. I open the podcast app on my cellphone and place the phone on the second-from-the-top bookcase shelf. After five minutes I want to listen to a different podcast, and as I reach for my phone I notice, as if for the first time, a row of book titles on the top shelf.
All of the book case’s shelves are – or were, I think – organized as per some kind of theme. Thus it gives me no small amusement to look at the following titles on the top shelf and wonder to moiself who arranged these books…knowing full well it was moiself…and having no memory of why I put those titles there ?
* The Complete Works of Mark Twain, Volumes I and II (Mark Twain)
* Ball Four (Jim Bouton)
* I am Spock (Leonard Nimoy)
* My Antonia (Willa Cather)
* The Lathe of Heaven (Ursula LeGuin)
* The Thurber Carnival (James Thurber)
* The Odyssey of Homer (Homer Simpson) 
* The Search For Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe (Jane Wagner)
* Candide (Voltaire)
* Tarzan of the Apes (Edgar Rice Burroughs)
* Go the F*** to Sleep (Adam Mansbach, Ricardo Cortés, illustrator)
* * *
Department Of Following Up
The relative risk of mental health problems following a single elective first-trimester abortion of is no greater risk to mental health than carrying a pregnancy to term.
(APA American Psychological Association, “Abortion and Mental Health,”)
“Most antiabortion activists oppose abortion for moral and religious reasons. In their effort to win broader public support and legitimacy, however, antiabortion leaders frequently assert that abortion…harms women physically and psychologically….
Likely because the science attesting to the physical safety of the abortion procedure is so clear, abortion foes have long focused on what they allege are its negative mental health consequences. For decades, they have charged that having an abortion causes mental instability and even may lead to suicide, and despite consistent repudiations from the major professional mental health associations, they remain undeterred. For example, the “postabortion traumatic stress syndrome” that they say is widespread is not recognized by either the American Psychological Association (APA) or the American Psychiatric Association.
(“Abortion and Mental Health: Myths and Realities,”
GPR – Guttmacher Policy Review )
As per in last week’s post, here is the follow up I mentioned in this post:
“Apparently, there are some people who are shocked and/or disappointed to learn that Norma Jean McCarvey, aka “Jane Roe” in the 1973 Roe V. Wade SCOTUS decision, admitted she was paid for her notorious “flip-flop” – from pro-choice to anti-abortion – by the anti-abortion side….
Such tactics are no surprise to many of us who have worked in women’s reproductive health care. The anti-abortionists  use the ends-justifies-the-means excuses for their deception, propaganda, and outright pants-on-fire lies.
Moiself has more stories than I care to recall, from both my days at Planned Parenthood and a private OB-GYN practice, having to do with women’s encounters with anti-choice exploiters activists. One of the ickiest stories I will detail in next week’s post.”
And now, the Icky Story ®.
One of the largest studies about women’s emotions after an abortion finds most feel relieved and don’t regret their choice, even if they struggled beforehand or worried about stigma. The study, one of the largest to date on the topic, was published Sunday in the journal Social Science & Medicine.
( CNN, women-emotion-abortion study 1-15-20 )
Whether a girl or women terminates her pregnancy because it was unwanted (unplanned; the result of contraceptive failure; the result of rape/incest/molestation)… or it was dearly wanted and anticipated, until maternal and/or fetal health anomalies arose, she most likely experiences situationally-appropriate sadness. And then, she moves on…unless she has the misfortune of getting involved with an organization like WEBA which, perversely, seeks to convince the woman that she cannot move on, and that she has been physical and emotionally damaged will be haunted by shame and guilt. 
What’s the number one emotion women experience after getting an abortion? …New research has found that most women feel relief after an abortion.
Nearly all women in the study — including those who had difficulty making the choice to end their pregnancy — said it was the right decision 5 years later.
The report, which was published in the journal Social Science & Medicine on Jan. 12 (2020), debunks the assumption that women regret terminating their pregnancies — a notion that’s been used by anti-choice activists to lobby for mandatory waiting periods and abortion counseling in many states.
(“99% of Women Say They Feel Relief, Not Regret, 5 Years After Having an Abortion,”
When I worked for Planned Parenthood clinics in the Bay Area, one of the clinicians I knew volunteered to do some espionage for us, by “infiltrating” a WEBA group..
PP administrators and clinicians didn’t want to destroy the group from the inside, or do anything that dramatic or nefarious. Rather, after public encounters with WEBA groups, which had started to appear alongside right wing religious groups demonstrating at certain PP clinic sites, we were curious as to what WEBA was saying – about both Planned Parenthood in general and women’s reproductive health care in general – in private.
WEBA (“Women Exploited By Abortion”) was  founded in the 1980s by anti-abortionists who claimed they wanted to find a more emotionally violent way to lie to women “expand the anti-abortion conversation.” They did this by promoting the (unsubstantiated) idea that women who have abortions experience substantial emotional, mental, and physical distress and regret as a direct result of the procedure itself and the lack of information given to them regarding “post abortion syndrome.” 
PP clinician MT volunteered to go underground, as a woman who’d had an abortion and was interested in joining WEBA. She offered to do so after encountering a group of WEBA sign-carrying women (at first, always led by a man  ) at an anti-abortion protest.
MT noted that the WEBA group seemed to be connected with a couple of church groups. She called the churches and, after being screened by receptionists, was able to attend WEBA meetings over a period of several months.
The stories MT told…oh, if only we had cell phones back then! For fear of being found out MT did not carry any kind of recording devices, but wrote down her experiences in a notebook immediately after each meeting.
When I learned of MT’s adventures and asked her to recount them, the first thing she said to me was that the group’s acronym should be changed, from WEBA to WEBMEFWMH, as in, “Women Exploited By Men Exploiting Fragile Women’s Mental Health.” However, MT agreed with my observation that the latter wasn’t as catchy an acronym as the former, nor even pronounceable to most Americans, who might think it was some kind of Czechoslovakian skin disorder.
MT said she was angered and disgusted by what she saw at the meetings. Although the misinformation and outright lies told about medical issues did not surprise her, what did surprise her was how the dominant emotion for her was *not* anger and disgust, but sadness. She was saddened to see a group of obviously unhappy and depressed (some dangerously so) women (whom I called the “WEBA waifs”) who needed professional help…and who were obviously not going to get it in WEBA.
Numerous studies (at that time, and now) showed that “post abortion syndrome” does not exist. Rather:
* if you were a woman who had mental health issues before having an abortion, you would have them afterwards – abortion wouldn’t change or solve that.
* if you were a woman who was mentally and emotionally stable before having an abortion, you would remain so afterwards, even as you might be temporarily angered/saddened/frustrated by the circumstances of your life which led to your choice to terminate your pregnancy.
While MT couldn’t say whether the WEBA waifs she encountered were emotionally fragile before they’d had abortions, they were obviously fragile in the present. Not once did MT hear any offers made, by the WEBA facilitators, for the chronically disturbed WEBA waifs to seek medical/psychological counseling. The depressed and agitated WEBA waifs were made even more so by their participation in WEBA, a group which purported to embrace them and their experiences, but which in fact kept them whipped up in an emotional frenzy about the “sin” they had been sucked into. This (in MT’s observation) was so that they could be deployed like rabid dogs at anti-abortion protests…and MT noticed that the WEBA leaders would stoke their rhetorical fires – i.e., ramp up the hysterical rhetoric – just before the group was deployed to a protest site.
Calm and serious folks offering pamphlets and chanting slogans is run of the mill, but a pack of sobbing women, pulling at their own hair, holding signs with dead baby slogans and screaming about sin (“Planned Parenthood forced me to murder my baby – JESUS please forgive me!”)…now, *that* is an attention-getter.
Shy, even-tempered woman that she was, even while “undercover,” MT did not at first merit much attention from the WEBA leaders, which was fine with her. MT’s main interest was the in plight of the WEBA waifs. One such WW whom MT befriended, “DF,” was obviously, as per MT, “on the edge.” DF confided to MT about being bullied into carrying a sign with “pictures of hell” – a sign DF had adamantly told the WEBA leader she did *not* want to hold – at a recent anti-abortion rally. DF spent a lot of time mumbling to herself during WEBA meetings and rocking back and forth, like an autistic child. MT was so concerned about DF she approached one of the WEBA leaders after a meeting and suggested that not only was DF was in acute distress, DF had confided to MT that being on the front lines of demonstrations only exacerbated her pain: “I think DF needs more help than we can give her, perhaps a medical evaluation and professional counseling….”
MT’s observation was quickly shot down.
“That’s what WEBA is for – these women receive the best counseling available, from the group and the church pastors! If you are suggesting a need for psychological counseling – which, BTW, if you don’t know yet you should know, is a tool of the devil – you need to get yourself right with God. Only Jesus  will help these women heal, and to suggest otherwise shores up the atheist’s clever secular agenda disguised as in the medical profession…”
The reaction MT received from the WEBA leaders – when she suggested that obviously distraught women should not be deployed at protests but should be devoting their time and energy to getting healthy – made MT think that her cover was about to be blown. She only went to two more meetings after that, each one sadly confirming her suspicions that those WEBA waifs and their individual psyches were not important to the church leaders – the only thing that mattered was the “work“ that they were doing on the picket lines.
* * *
* * *
Department Of Inquiring Minds Want To Know
How can I *not* be a thing, or display a certain characteristic, if I can’t be that thing/exhibit that characteristic in the first place?
If I am impatient, I can also be patient. If someone judges an action of mine to be undisciplined, there is some standard by which I can display discipline.
What this is leading up to is the burning question I had in my mind, after doing a New York Times word puzzle game, in which I got points for one word but was informed that its “root” is not a word:
If I can be unruly, why can’t I be ruly?
* * *
Department Of Righteous Causes About Which I Have One Minor Reservation
I fully support equal/gay marriage and the rights of LGBTQ parents. Moiself does have one particular concern re the latter issue – perhaps psychologists have already studied this, and can reassure me about my qualms?
Specifically, I am concerned about a child growing up with two fathers and thus being subject to *twice* as many Dad Jokes.
* * *
Department Of Let’s All Go To The Biffy
In a recent post to his Facebook page, a buddy of mine used the term “biffy,” which warmed the cockles of my heart. My Aunt Erva used to say that word (“Excuse me, I’m off to use the biffy”). No one else did that I knew of. Thus, I thought it was one of her own peculiar euphemisms, until, when I was around 11 years old, I asked my mother about it. She told me it was a term favored by “older folks” and that no one really uses it today.
Now, I say, let’s bring it back. Given our alternatives:
bathroom; restroom; loo, the facilities; powder room; W.C..; shithouse, tRump closet; outhouse; ladies/gents room; dumpster; privy; back house; can; john; lavatory; House of Wi; bum chapel; crap castle; coffee house; dingleberry creek; relief station; temple; Parliament plumbing; bog; house of easement;
isn’t biffy a wee bit (sorry) more festive?
* * *
Bad Poetry Written In My Head While Walking On A Drizzly Manzanita Morning
Past The Golf Course, Which Is Open, And Where I See Two
Rain Gear-Clad Persons About To Tee Up
I think I could tolerate golf in the rain,
My usage of “tolerate” I must now explain.
Some people love golf, but as I understand,
golf courses are harmful to water and land.
Ground water, habitats, wetlands and more
fouled by chemicals and fertilizers galore
which must be applied to maintain the course grass….
I think of the waste, and it just chaps my ass.
And yet, on this morning, I pass the course by,
Caught by surprise as I feel myself sigh
at the sight in the mist, on a morning serene,
And I’m struck by my feelings – they’re quite unforeseen.
I’ll rethink for a moment a “sport” I disdain,
and maybe, one day, I might golf in the rain.
Mark Twain supposedly  called golf … a good walk spoiled.”
It’s a good thing elk don’t read.
* * *
Pun For The Day
Broken pencils are pretty much pointless.
* * *
Department of Epicurean Excursion Evolution 
And here’s what I made for ours, one day this week.
Featuring this week’s Theme Day and recipe:
Tofu/tempeh Tuesday: Kimchi spice roasted tofu with mango red pepper lime salsa
☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼
Recipe Rating Refresher 
* * *
Department Of We Need This Sentiment, Now:
You Can Do This Hard Thing
* * *
May you stop whatever you’re doing and reorganize your bookshelf into categories which will flummox cultural anthropologists of the future, as well as anyone who knows you;
May you try a sport you think you disdain (preferably in the rain);
May you know that, eventually, you can do this hard thing;
…and may the hijinks ensue.
Thanks for stopping by. Au Vendredi!
* * *
 Aka, “device.”
 Just seeing if y’all were paying attention. Homer Simpson is a cartoon character, and not the Homer who wrote The Odyssey of Homer. ( Homer Simpson wrote the much neglected third book in the saga, The Iliad of Idiocy.)
 And, they turn out to be correct – she will be filled with shame and guilt because WEBA will make sure to shame and guilt her, even under the guise of helping her.
 I use the past tense, as I haven’t heard much about or from them in some time and don’t know if they are still active, or have been absorbed into/by other anti-abortion groups.
 MT discovered that, although WEBA was ostensibly for women, it was “sponsored” by conservative Christian evangelical churches, whose dogma also decreed that men must hold all positions of leadership. When some pro-choice advocates pointed out that, at the WEBA rallies it was a man holding the megaphone and directing the WEBA women, at the very next rally (and for all subsequent public appearances by that WEBA group) an older woman was put in front on the group and given the megaphone. Another PP “spy” who attended the rallies thought it was rather comical, and obvious, that this newly appointed woman “leader” hadn’t been well-trained: when she was asked direct questions she couldn’t help but hide her reflexive deference, and she would look to the man in charge of the group – now off to the side, pretending to be just hanging around and * not* in charge – as if to get his approval before she said anything.
 Eventually…allegedly. When he makes up his mind to get around to it…’cause he sure wasn’t helping any of those poor women at the time.
 Sounds like something he *would* have said, and yet the first traceable printing of that quote comes from the post WWII years, and Twain died in 1910.
* Abject Failure: I’ll make a canned wieners & SpaghettiOs gelatin mold before I make this recipe again.
* Tolerable: if you have the proper…attitude.
* Yep: why, sure, I’d share this with my cat.
* Now you’re talkin’: Abby the support Avocado ® approves.
* Yummers: So good, it merits The Purple Tortilla Chip Of Exclamation ® !