Archive for August, 2007
As you’ve no doubt heard, on August 6th, six miners became trapped underground in a horrible coal mining accident in Utah. The search for these men has been on-going, and while it’s been a long time, many are unwilling to give up hope. I sincerely hope the miners are found alive, and I truly feel for the families. But, if I’m being perfectly honest, I can’t say that I’ve devoted all that much time to thinking about this incident. It may sound callous, but I don’t recall feeling any profound sadness about it, either; in general, I wish it had not happened, and I totally agree that it’s sad and awful, but I won’t pretend that it’s something that provoked strong emotions in me. Perhaps it’s because I don’t know any miners. Maybe my monkeysphere is just too small to allow me to care deeply about it.
In any case, the bottom line is that I feel bad about the mining accident, but I’m not losing any sleep over it. I suspect I’m not the only one who feels this way, though I bet most people aren’t comfortable admitting it. It makes you sound like an uncaring asshole.
The reason I mention this is not to reinforce what an asshole JoseMonkey is, but to contrast it against another story that was recently in the news that did provoke strong emotions in me.
Last week in West Virginia, a dalmatian named Alex got caught in a storm drain and was buried alive. After two days of searching and two days of digging, the dog’s owner was finally able to free him. When I saw this story, I nearly started bawling immediately. Then I watched the video of the man pulling his dog from the hole, and I completely lost it.
I’m not sure what is says about me that I was so thoroughly moved by the dog rescue, yet rather detached and insensate when it comes to the trapped miners. Get this: I know the dog’s name, yet I can’t name any of the six men that are trapped in the mine.
This isn’t the first time I’ve caught myself caring more about animals (generally) and dogs (specifically) more than people. I can watch a film in which endless people are brutally killed without emotion, but if one effing on-screen dog gets hurt, I’m a mess. I find WWII weaponry to be fascinating, but mention a dog mine, and I get really upset. I won’t even watch the cartoon “All Dogs Go To Heaven” because, the way I figure it, I know where that’s heading and I’m not interested!
Does all this make me a jerk? Perhaps. What can I say? JoseMonkey’s just keepin’ it real.
People are often surprised when Mrs. JoseMonkey and I explain that Baby V was not born in a hospital. She was born at a birth center, with a midwife and a nurse attending. There were no doctors present. Other than the midwife and the RN (and Mrs. JoseMonkey, of course), I was the only other person in the room. (Until Baby V arrived, making her the fifth person in the room.) About six hours after she was born, all three of us went home to sleep in our own beds.
Volumes have been written about the over-medicalization of pregnancy and birth in our society and the benefits of the midwifery model. I don’t have time to go into detail right now, but I thought some of you might be interested in reading this article that I came across today. In addition to extolling the virtues of a natural, non-hospital birth, this article talks about how the mindset of treating pregnancy and birth as an illness affects the costs and quality of our healthcare.
As many of you know, I work out of my home office fairly regularly. Because of this, I don’t see all of my co-workers face-to-face for days or some of them for weeks at a time. Furthermore, I’ve just come off of a short leave of about three weeks following Baby V’s arrival. Needless to say, it’s been a while since I’ve seen some of my work friends.
So today, I went in to the office for the first time in a while. I was catching up with some of my co-workers when one of them, Vijay, decided I needed to be taken down a peg or two.
With a blunt candor normally reserved for children and retards (not to mention retarded children), Vijay observed that I clearly hadn’t had much time for exercise while I was out of the office.
To be fair, he’s right; I’m not the fattest I’ve ever been — I’d have to gain another 15 lbs. or so to hit that embarrassing number — but I’m probably a good 15-20 lbs. heavier than I was about 12-18 months ago. I’d guess that about 5-10 lbs. of it was packed on in the last six months. Maybe it’s that so-called sympathy weight that expecting dads gain. (Frankly, I don’t buy it. It sounds like an excuse for fat guys who happen to have knocked up their wives.)
I guess it’s time to drop a few pounds. Ugh. Thanks, Vijay.