Sunday, November 13, 2011

Once upon a time there was a young woman living in port chester.  
Her roommate went away for a night leaving her alone and happy that her dear friend came to visit her.  
They had a wonderful time catching up, playing with her cat, and drinking one-too-many cosmopolitans while watching Sex and the City. 
I love weekends. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

not intended to be a factual statement...

Planned Parenthood, is either the major obstacle to America's recent budget deals or ONE OF the major obstacles to said-deals.  Because of this, it’s worth taking a minute explaining what they do — and what they don’t do.
Dear Sen John Kyl (R Arizona) stated....."You don't need to go to Planned Parenthood to get your cholesteral or blood pressure checked.  If you want an abortion, you go to Planned Parenthood and thats well over 90% of what Planned Parenthood does."
As you can see in the chart atop this post, abortion services account for ONLY about 3 percent of Planned Parenthood’s activities. 
3%.  NOT 90%.
That’s less than cancer screening and prevention (16 percent), STD testing for both men and women (35 percent), and contraception (also 35 percent). About 80 percent of Planned Parenthood’s users are over age 20, and 75 percent have incomes below 150 percent of the poverty line. Planned Parenthood itself estimates it prevents more than 620,000 unintended pregnancies each year, and 220,000 abortions. It’s also worth noting that federal law ALREADY FORBIDS Planned Parenthood from using the FUNDS it receives from the government for ABORTIONS.
When asked about his remark, Kyl stated the following... "The remark was not intended to be a factual statement but rather to illustrate that Planned Parenthood (an organization that receives millions in taxpayer dollars), DOES subsidize abortions."
So though the fight over Planned Parenthood might be about abortion, Planned Parenthood itself IS NOT ABOUT ABORTION.
 It’s primarily about contraception and reproductive health. And if Planned Parenthood loses funding, what will happen is that cancer screenings, contraception and STD testing will become less available, and more expensive.  Sexual Health should not be underestimated.  Especially in this day-and-age.  People need to be protected. 
The fight also isn’t about cutting spending. The services Planned Parenthood provides save the federal government a lot of money. It’s somewhat cold to put it in these terms, but taxpayers end up bearing a lot of the expense for unintended pregnancies among people without the means to care for their children. The same goes for preventable cancers and sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV/AIDS. You can find a lot more information about Planned Parenthood and its services here.

I know its been a while since my last update- I plan to write more frequently. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

a lil photo expo

So here's a lull in the Planned Parenthood talk.

My wonderful mother, has some great new photos I would like to share.

Check out her smugmug here and her personal blog here.

Yay nature.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

the siege of planned parenthood part II

This is a continuation of my

Click and read Part I first if you haven't. 

The problem for Live Action and its president Lila Rose is that the videos released do more to illustrate what is right with Planned Parenthood than what is wrong.  Even in the instance where the worker was fired, superiors were alerted after the actors left, and Planned Parenthood followed the right protocols

Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood, sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder warning of the possibility of an inter-state sex trafficking ring and requesting federal investigation. The letter is dated January 18 - weeks before the videos were rolled out for public viewing in an attempt to vilify the organization.

Here's where I get judgmental. I don't see organizations like Live Action doing much to help the poor, the sex-trafficked or low-income women.  No, it releases videos in the hope of undercutting Planned Parenthood's funding as a way to attack its abortion practices, but it also seems OK with imploding its abilities to help the very women they claim to be protecting. Their approach doesn't make pragmatic 

But let’s not pretend that sex trafficking is Rose’s real concern. Her target is abortion. And if she is truly interested in reducing the number of abortions performed — something most people who label themselves pro-choice would agree is a worthy goal — targeting Planned Parenthood is precisely the wrong way to do it.
The group’s annual $79 million in Title X funds, now in the crosshairs of House Republicans, wouldn’t go to abortions, which already are barred from federal funding except in the case of rape, incest, or life endangerment — and which make up only 3 percent of the services Planned Parenthood performs. Title X provides low-income women with breast and cervical cancer screening and STD treatment and prevention.

And with contraception, which reduces the number of unwanted pregnancies that create a demand for abortion in the first place.

"We've been here for the past 95 years, and we'll be here for the next 95." said Planned Parenthood's president, Cecile Richards.  Through its affiliates, Planned Parenthood operates more than 800 clinics and health centers across the country, serving more that 3 million patients every year.
Cut all funding?  I think NOT.

Friday, February 11, 2011

a little piece of paradise.

 Yesterday evening I went 'a walking in Riverside Park.
{before it got dark, of course}

In one hand I had a chamomile tea from Starbucks, in the other my iPod.  

I listened to Sibelius' 1st Symphony on my Bose Noise Canceling Headphones.
{those things are amazing, by the way.}

It's a beautiful stroll, especially with all the snow still around from past storms.  

The only sad thing is, my usual bench was covered in plowed snow.
{as were all the benches.}

I walked by the dog-park, and saw a German Shepherd playing with a Cavalier King-Charles Spaniel.
{so cute.}

Then I turned around just as the sun was starting to set, and made my way back home.

Simply a perfect evening.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

If men were the ones getting pregnant, abortions would be easier to get than food poisoning in Moscow

This week, the House began hearings on two abortion bills: the Protect Life Act and the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act. Both bills would outlaw the use of federal money for abortions. And to give the government more leverage, they would redefine tax credits as federal money. 

This latest attack comes on the heels of an escalation of anti-choice activity in the House.  This week, anti-choice leaders granted committee hearings to these two EXTREME anti-choice bills- {H.R.3 and H.R.358}- which among other provisions, would seek to END PRIVATE INSURANCE COVERAGE of abortion and ALLOW hospitals to DENY women abortion CARE 
{Even if her LIFE depends on it.}

It is very important that you all read up on the following Acts.  This is happening NOW.  There is not a lot of time to make sure this doesn't go through.  There are MANY petitions to be signed, and MANY Representatives to call.  If you need any information on how to do this, just message me.

Nancy Keenan is the President of NARAL {Pro-Choice America} said that an anti-choice proposal to completely eliminate funding for a domestic family-planning program will lead to millions of Americans losing access to contraception, cancer screening, and other basic health care.  

Only 6% of Planned Parenthoods funding goes toward the "Abortion Industry" as Rep. Mike Pence refers to the LEGAL termination of pregnancy.

"The new anti-choice House Leadership now wants to take away birth control and cancer screening from millions of American women and men." Keenan said.

While these politicians attack abortions coverage from every angle, they now want to deny funding for birth control, even though that's the best way to prevent unintended pregnancy.  Americans will not stand for this blatant hypocrisy.

The House Appropriations Committee announced through a press release that an upcoming Continuing resolution, legislation designed to keep the federal government running through the remainder of the fiscal year, will eliminate all $327 million in funding for the Title X program.  Title X is the nation's only program dedicated solely to family planning for low-income Americans.  About 4,600 health centers receive Title X funds to provide non-abortion-related services, included BIRTH CONTROL and CANCER SCREENS.  {NEED I SAY IT AGAIN??}

These politicians who are advancing these egregious attacks are the SAME ones that campaigned on the PROMISE of focusing on Jobs and the Economy.  Apparently attacking abortion coverage and birth control has become their agenda.  

{Thank you Dennis Miller for your wonderful quote as I used at the title of this post.}

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

au clair de la lune

One of my earliest memories would have to be at my Grandparents house in Floral Park, New York on Long Island. 

My Grandfather (Pierre) was born and raised in France, immigrated here when he was 18 years old.  He then met my Grandmother, Elaine on a Blind Date {romantic right?} and they were happily married shortly after.  So precious. 

When I was quite young I use to play in their garage {doesn't sound that interesting but to this day I remember how much FUN it was discovering everything}  They had old furniture and I would make them move the car into the street so I could take said-furniture and play with it in the driveway.  I would set up a "house" and my Grandfather would come out and play with me.  I would sing along to french tunes like Au Clair de la lune, Alouette, and Frere Jacques.  As my mom just pointed out, he was very proud of my language skills at the time.  I'm pretty sure if he was still alive, he would make me practice french with him daily, as it is the hardest for me of all the standard repertoire languages.  Still,  I've been told by my coaches that my French Diction is impeccable.  I would have to thank my Grandfather for that, since he exposed me to the beautiful language years and years before I ever ever dreamt of being an opera singer.

This was a time when things were simpler.  
Where no one had cell phones.
Where I didn't have responsibilities.  
I just needed to be a kid.
It might not seem like much, but this is one of the most vivid memories I have of my dear grandfather.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

a little canvassing memoir....

It's was 3 o'clock PM.  I had only one more hour to go.  One more hour in which I had to raise fifty-three more dollars so I could reach a hot-night (300+ dollars in one single shift).

I was standing on the corner of 7th AVE and 14th by myself.  My two coworkers were a block away, canvassing their dear hearts out.

Clipboard to my side, feet set apart, head high, smile on my face, and my spare hand ready to wave: Nothing could go wrong.  At least I thought so.

I saw a tall, handsome middle-aged business man walking towards me.  This was it.  I always got at least one big sustainer from a person of the more corporate variety getting off work every day.  My clipboard was full of generous one-time gifts from earlier, but I had yet to receive a monthly-member and I had a feeling this was going to be it. 

He was wearing a grey Armani Exchange suit, and was carrying an italian-leather briefcase. He looked like a genuinely nice guy.  Super Metro. 

 I use to think I had a grasp on profiling if people looked nice or not.  This wouldn't stop me from asking them, "If they have a minute for Women's Rights", but it would stop me from being so disappointed when nothing but garbage spew from their throats.

He was about 10 feet away when I made eye contact with him, catapulted off my feet and waved high smiling while saying, "Hello there sir, how are you today?  Do you have a minute for the pro-choice movement?"  I said it with such conviction I just KNEW he was going to stop for me.  

And guess what, he did!  

"Of course I do." Corporate said with a smile.

"Well thank you so much for stopping, what's your name?" I asked eagerly. 

"Sam." he stated.

"It's really nice to meet you Sam. My name is Nichole and I am a paid fundraiser working on behalf of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and I'm out here signing up members today, so I'm REALLY glad that you stopped. Have you heard of us before?" I asked.

"Of course I have! I am kinda in a little bit of a rush, if you could cut to the chase and I would love to get involved." Sam said.

"Sure no problem!  I completely understand." I said.  It was a Friday afternoon after all, and I was thankful this nice man even stopped for me as he probably wanted to get home and start getting ready for his weekend. 

"Well then shoot." he said with a smirk.  He was cute and I was glad I was getting him involved.

"The problem is, even though healthcare reform IS now law politicians are determined to deny women access to birth control and reproductive health care.................."  I kept going with my rap.  He was nodding, engaged, smiling EVERYTHING you wanted a potential donor to be doing.  I was going to get this.

"..........we're making sure that birth control and cancer screenings are covered under the new law as well as stopping unacceptable restrictions on a woman's legal right to choose."  I continued. 

"Wait.  You mean like.......killing babies?" Corporate asked.

"I MEAN making sure women in America have options." I said confidently.

"See you're a cute girl and everything, but a dime of my money will not be going to Planned Parenthood.  I've been at Protests, I hate what they do.  The world would truly be a better place if baby-killers like yourself did not exist." he said.  "Maybe your mother should have aborted you, HUH?"

His personality had changed.  He had been waiting until I mentioned anything about abortion to pounce and call me a baby killer.  Like why stop at all? Don't waste my time. Agree to Disagree. Geez. And before I could say anything he continued speaking.

"And I have a story for you. A buddy of mine use to work at the morgue, and we would go in after hours, and see all the dead aborted babies in jars and give them voices and play with them." He was smiling as he said this to me.  "People like you that kill human life, you're going to hell."

"Well sir.  Unfortunately I have a job to do here that does not involve facilitating a conversation about playing around with bodies at a morgue, so you have a good day."  I then jetted across the street.  

He screamed. "Baby-killer." after me.  I was done for the day.  Screw getting a hot night.

Despite interactions like this one, canvassing could be a blast at times.  But there are some sick fucks out there that prey on people just trying to raise awareness by standing on the street kindly asking if "you have a minute."  So if you guys see a canvasser out there and don't agree with what they're doing, don't stop.  They're not out there to change your mind.  They are there to find the people that DO care and get them involved.  And it can be a really lonely day if no one is stopping for them, or people are screaming at them one after the other so please I beg of you even if you don't agree BE POLITE. 

the siege of planned parenthood

Have you all heard of the organization called "Live Action"?

Here's a BRILLIANT piece of their propaganda.
Yes, these people DO vote.
(scary right?)

They're a leading PRO-LIFE group and what they have is something that is unfortunately working.  They are headed by the brainwashed Youth of America.

I hate to admit it but The Radical Right Wing really does have something going for them at this moment in time.  No longer are the days of only ugly-middle age men in robes denying women the right to choose.  Lila Rose is a beautiful, vibrant 20 year old girl and her mission: Right to Life.  

Let's not forget to mention, this is the same girl that feels Planned Parenthood's true mission is to eliminate the African American Race, or in her words....  "to "kill" as many "black babies" as possible."   


She seems to have a problem with many centers setting up a "Women in need" or "Justice" fund {designating money specifically for minority family-planning services.}  Of course she neglects to look at any facts before making a statement so extreme.

 The percentage of Minority unwanted teenage pregnancy as opposed to Caucasian unwanted teenage pregnancy is over DOUBLE {190% percent in fact.} despite, the population of Caucasian Persons in the United States being 65.1%. {source Quick Facts on Race %}

As if we didn't have enough wars going on, Live Action has facilitated the House of Representatives declaring one against Planned Parenthood Federation of America.   

There just seems to be a grand theme going on here.  Last month, they voted to repeal the health care law that would help make Birth Control more affordable for Women and Teens throughout the United States, something that would work to limit the number of unwanted teen pregnancy and abortions. 

 This month they've decided to go after an organization that provides millions of women with family-planning and basic health services. 
(I.E: pap smears, screening for diabetes, breast cancer, cervical cancer, and sexually transmitted diseases treatment & prevention.)

“What is more fiscally responsible than denying any and all funding to Planned Parenthood of America?” demanded Representative Mike Pence of Indiana, the chief sponsor against PPFA 

(I'm pretty sure it's Planned Parenthood FEDERATION of America, genius)

His Main Objective.
-to bar the government from directing any money to any organization that provides abortion services.

The problem here is Planned Parenthood doesn't use government money to provide abortions!  Congress already prohibits that, EXCEPT in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother.    Planned Parenthood PAYS FOR THEIR OWN abortion services, and this is what makes them a target.    Pence already has 154 co-sponsors for his bill.  

He was helped this week by Ms. Rose of Live Action as she and her team conducted a sting operation at 12 Planned Parenthood clinics in six states, in an effort to connect the clinic staff to child prostitution.  The Responses they got from a few people working at the clinic were not up to the standard that Cecile Richards (President of Planned Parenthood) would have hoped for and subsequently the employees have been suspended or fired for their negligence.  Richards released an EPIC Press Release that everyone should check out. 

Another piece of propaganda, released by Lila herself.

{I'm PRETTY SURE that the WAR in the Middle East, Genocide in Darfur, and Conflicts in Egypt are a BIT more dangerous than a woman's womb.}

Suffice to say, sure Planned Parenthood is in a compromising situation right now due to the videos released by Live Actions but this DOES NOT in any WAY, SHAPE, or FORM undermine the GOOD that Planned Parenthood has done for  OVER 93 YEARS!  Maybe they do need more Government Regulation and Supervision (as do MANY MAJOR NONPROFITS that receive MORE a year in TAX dollars than Planned Parenthood can even dream of.)

But the sheer fact is that they are the
nation's leading sexual and reproductive health care provider 
and advocate. 

And for the 93 years they've been in existence they have worked to improve women's health and safety, prevent UNINTENDED pregnancies and advance the RIGHT and ABILITY of individuals and families to make informed and responsible choices.

People need to look deeper into those that are attacking them as their agendas are not facilitated on a clean conscience.  They are trying to take us back to a time where women had no control over their bodies.  There is still a lot to come of this situation, everyone should speak out against the opposition and stand up for this wonderful organization.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

77% of anti-abortion leaders are men. 100% of them will never be pregnant.

Since I quit being a canvasser for Grassroots Campaigns working on behalf of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, I haven't missed much- except one thing, the high.  Yes I said the high.  The HIGH you get when you KNOW you are TRULY making a difference in the world.   

Talking to people, women-men alike about issues that matter such as affordable birth control, the importance of choice, and sex education was truly some of the best months of my life.  But it doesn't have to stop there, I can make a difference and when I read the following the other day the activist in me reignited and I realized I don't have to stand on the streets of Manhattan to do so.  So here we go.  Grab a tissue your eyes might start bleeding.

Representative Smith (R-NJ) introduced a bill that would penalize women who are raped and would effectively ban private insurance coverage for abortion for millions of women — even for women who have such coverage today. This bill would reverse existing protections that guarantee millions of women access to abortion coverage when their life is in danger. Most heartlessly, this cruel bill even bans federal funding for abortion in cases of rape that are not deemed “forcible.”

Rep. Smith and his extreme anti-choice colleagues have taken their campaign against women’s health and rights to a new low, and they must be stopped. Do your part now. Tell Congress to reject this attack on women’s health.

Source-  The Planned Parenthood Action Center Website,

'Forcible rape'? How is that even defined? There is no definition in the bill. Maybe I'm a do-gooder liberal who fell for the whole "no means no" mantra. Or that rape isn't sex, it's violence. But if a woman or girl gets pregnant through incest or rape (in ALL ways it is defined or understood) the government should not limit her choice by withholding the funding she could use to end the pregnancy -- if she chooses to do so.

"It speaks to a distinction between rape where there must be some element of force in order to rise to the standard, and rape where there is not," said Steph Sterling, director of government relations for the National Women's Law Center. "The concern here is that it takes us back to a time where just saying no was not enough."

People say Californication and Entourage are misogynistic, what about this bill? Rape is defined as forced, unwanted sexual intercourse.  Deeming some rapes "forcible" and some not is preposterous.  This is the first of many posts on this subject.   Me and a few fellow activists are calling over 1000 New Jersey Households over the next few days urging them to speak up against this BIGOT.  I will not be truly happy with myself as a person, unless I do everything I can to combat this crazy asshole and make sure women continue to be able to have the right to choose.    So you guys get out there and do the same, Read Up, Spread the Word, Sign Petitions, and Make a DIFFERENCE.

Congress: Where We Stand. Anti-Choice House, Planned Parenthood Action Center

The Two Abortion Wars: A Highly Intrusive Federal Bill, The New York Times

Thursday, November 25, 2010


I'm thankful for...

my family. 
my family is always there for me- so constant and supportive.  i would not be where I am today if it weren't for their love and support.

my friends.  your friends are the family you get to choose, and i've chose a wonderful, supportive group of people to surround myself with.

my pets.  i'm so thankful for my cat, neo.  he is the most amazing son any kitty-mommy would want.  i am also thankful for apollo, zeus, and athena- they are the best puppies in the world!

my voice.  i am thankful to have a gift, and smart enough to know i need to share it with the world.

nature. i am thankful for the wonderful world we live in, we just now need to learn how to take care of it better. 

love.  love is everywhere, and i love it.  i'm thankful to have been in love before, and excited for the next round.

laughter.  laughter makes the world go round.

literature. i love escaping to another world through reading, there is really nothing better.

music.   no need to elaborate.  music keeps me going.

cinema.  might seem shallow, but cinema makes me SO happy, I can't even express.  it is similar to literature, escaping to another world through the screen is priceless.

Suffice to say,  I'm very thankful for my life.  Life is TOO short to not live every day to the fullest, and be the best person you can be.  I am excited to eat delicious food with my family tonight.  I hope you all have wonderful Thanksgivings!