Have a present (not just for ferrouswheel). It's the leaked full text of the US's draft chapter on intellectual property for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement - an agreement that's essentially between the US and a bunch of smaller pacific nations, which seems to my jaundiced eye to be a case of the US attempting to bash all the other nations into its prescribed shape by dangling a free trade carrot.
Problem is that for New Zealand, agreeing to the US terms would tie us up in all sorts of knots that are objectionable to the NZ public, without really improving our trade position at all. Don't believe me? Here's a google search I did for TPPA. As you'll see, the links are pretty much all critical of it. From what I gather, the agreement won't help our dairy exports, will worsen our public health system, and will turn our internet into a draconian copyright-protection mechanism (which is what that doc up there is about). Here's a summary in the Herald.
So, um, why would New Zealanders support an agreement that's mostly to their disadvantage, that is being negotiated in secret so they only get to find out what's in it through leaked documents? Dear John Key, kiwis don't want this if it means we get to kiss more US arse (oh, and let them take our money offshore) for little-to-no benefit to ourselves. Kthxbye.
I've gotten off pretty lightly with my biological XX stuff. My boobs stayed small enough not to be an annoyance, I did the whole pregnancy/childbirth/breastfeeding thing with minimum sickness, pain or hassle, my body went back more or less where it should afterwards. My periods are not particularly painful or heavy, my PMS is controllable with diet, I can use an IUCD without problems so I don't have to mess with my hormones for birth control. etc. So, lucky me.
But there's this one thing that happens every now and then that just makes me want to pack the whole thing in and get myself sterilised or something. In the grand scheme of things it's nothing. But..
You know how after you've been an adult for a while, you get to know your body pretty well and most women know most of the time when Blood Week is going to start. There are unmistakeable signs! Sore boobs, back pain, zits, cramping, bloating, spotting - whatever your signs are, you know them, right? And for me, usually I can predict/time it to within an hour or so. But sometimes my body decides to mess with me. It goes like this:
Period: *faint loom*
Me: "Gosh, my boobs have been sore for a few days, time to start carrying the cup in my bag."
Me: "Hmm, cramping, back pain, heaviness in the lower abdomen, I'd better go check for spotting."
Me: "Gosh no spotting. What is going on? Why do I feel like my uterus is full of ball bearings?"
Period: *dodge swerve pivot disappear mwuahahha*
Me: "Fuck you, period"
Thing is, this little cycle can go on for several days as I walk around with my cup in my pocket, going to the loo every 5 minutes and feeling as though at any moment my distended abdomen will explode in a gush of arterial blood, and nothing actually happens. Nowadays because I use a cup, at least it's not expensive. But it annoys the hell out of me because it's the only time that the biology of being a woman detracts from my day-to-day life in such an invasive way. The period itself is not a problem, the bated-breath expectation that it'll leap out from behind its cover of conflicting symptoms and embarrass me without warning, is. Because nobody wants to go through the rigmarole of having your period if you don't actually have it yet, but if you don't you're lining yourself up for dealing with a mess. And it frustrates the hell out of me that my life gets interfered with like that by something I have no control over.
Yeah yeah, first world problems.
If you haven't bought your ticket for Psylent Night yet, you probably should. Cosmic Corner has them. Also, no news from the lab about First's snot culture yet. Massey said her nose-oscopy would cost $1400, so we're waiting for the lab results to rule out fungal infection before taking it any further. Meanwhile, there's still a little old-looking blood coming out of her nose, she sounds like she's breathing through a pipe, but other than that she's happy. *crosses everything some more* Also, she likes that she's getting meatballs morning and night. First says: A dog could get used to that.