Natural Resources Committee

Are you familiar with the Natural Resources Committee? The sprawling reach and compartmentalizations of the way it’s structured are fascinating and worrisome.

I spent an hour today, during a thunderstorm in the tipi with the furbs, combing through the website (everything the committee has done the past decade is linked in a very short list of one-page summaries) and some relevant Wikipedia articles linked. I watched a two hour committee meeting on YouTube the other day & got interested.

The Compact of “Free Associated States” and the Wikipedia information on our nuclear test sites in the Pacific Islands and the refusal of healthcare for cancer and diabetes patients from those areas is excruciating, and the end of the article sites Arkansas as a large residential area for said patients… there’s a dialysis clinic in Hope, Arkansas which caught my attention the other day as oddly placed and now makes more sense…

https://naturalresources.house.gov/subcommittees/full-committee-insular-affairs

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compact_of_Free_Association

More soon, much Love,

-Effie

Menstruating in the men’s room, for Jesus…

I’m not often shocked by people being surprisingly good and kind. Today, I was shocked:

“Good morning…

Thank you for reaching out to us with your concerns. I apologize for the delay in getting back to you.

Pastor [name] reviews & makes decisions on all changes made to the [Church Building Name] buildings. With that being said, your request is something that must go through his office for review – as you know, Pastor [Name] is out on sabbatical but he will be returning early August and we will be sure that he sees your email and someone from our team will get back with you.

Again, thank you for reaching out, we’re so thankful to have you as a part of the [Church Building Name] family.

Praying you have a blessed day.”

Now I’m gonna have to go bleed in a bathroom, just to be polite.

More soon, much Love,

-Effie

Some kind of mood…

I said to someone recently that I have a long story about Mexican Pizza from Taco Bell from my youth, and to this day when I’m in some kind of mood, I still like a Mexican Pizza.

I just learned it’s been a couple of years at least since I’ve been in that some kind of mood. I just tried to go order a Mexican Pizza, and was told it’s been discontinued for two years. I wanna know why.

More soon, much Love,

-Effie

Kilts & kneesocks; menstruation & health codes; vaginas, oppression & regulation

My freshman and sophomore year of high school, my mom sent me to a knee socks and kilts boarding school. I didn’t really fit in… but I had a side business altering kilts for people… if you sew the buttons on the outside of the waistband, it looks like the kilt is buttoned as intended… but then you can sew Velcro on the inside of the waistband, making the kilt instantly and endlessly adjustable… so it could be shortened up around the waist, and then quick-changed down to the hips to make it look longer when you see a staff member with a ruler, like a DUI checkpoint for slut-shaming kids. 

Anyway. My sophomore year, the school was gonna replace them kilts with some uuuuuugly ass jumpers that were one piece bib bullshit that couldn’t be hemmed… so, I started a petition. I got about two-hundred & fifty parents, faculty, staff, and students to sign the petition that we should get to keep our kilts or democratically vote on the replacement. My dorm counselor refused to sign it, and tried to laugh me out of her office. “Your husband signed it.” …”He WHAT?!” (Her husband taught history.)

So I had an appointment with the Dean of Girls because I was being disciplined for eating someone’s bagel out of the community refrigerator. She handed down my punishment for the bagel, and asked me if I had anything else I’d like to say, and I pulled out the petition and signatures and handed it to her. She was forced to acknowledge the petition at the next all school assembly, and the girls still wear kilts to this day. 

We need safe, sane, and legal menstrual hygiene products disposals in all of the bathrooms. The Church ain’t got nothin’ on Dean with a ruler. After sophomore year, I moved out on my own, bounced around a few public schools, and then dropped out and got my GED… not entirely unlike my organized Church Building journey.

“…

we’ve covered a wide variety of topics; and I appreciate your help with all of those questions. I have another important question to ask you which will take us in a vastly different direction from our previous messages, and I’m going to dive deeply, quickly into some information for context.

My Missouri driver’s license identifies my body as legally male. My Missouri birth certificate assigned my body as legally female at birth. The difference is the gender transition I have journeyed through in the forty-years time that those two legal documents were printed.

Everyone’s gender transition is different. I’m sure that your personal journey from youth, to your experience as a legal adult male, was very different from mine. Many people I’ve spoken with, who were also assigned female at birth (AFAB), have taken similar but different steps in the process of transitioning. It’s a wide and varied spectrum of what’s possible (sometimes it’s an accessibility issue: having the financial access, or having care providers who are willing and able to help, or physically being somewhere it isn’t a life-threatening risk) and what’s necessary (just like cisgender men, Transmasculine & Non-binary people don’t have a uniform set of requirements for feeling comfortable in our bodies). 

During my medical transition, I have taken testosterone, but have declined surgical intervention. This summer, I have been slowing my testosterone injections to ween my body off the prescribed dose. After several years of HRT, my physical presentation has reached a point that I feel more comfortable when I look in the mirror & the way the world communicates with me feels more authentic, and I no longer have access to a medical provider, so I’m at a pause point on pursuing more treatment. 

This brings me to the reason I’m contacting you, and the reason for providing so much personal information to give you the context. Since I have declined surgical intervention, I still have a fully functional menstrual system; however, I use the men’s restroom, and I will no longer have the medically heightened testosterone which halted my menstrual cycle in recent years.

I have spent the summer in Arkansas, but I’m often within driving distance of the [Church Building] campus. I have had a hankering to go to the Wednesday night service more than once, but I have an important safety concern when I think about that attendance. 

There are typically small waste disposal bins in the stalls in women’s restrooms, but I didn’t see similar receptacles when I used the men’s room at [Church Building]. I am concerned that if I am menstruating when I attend Wednesday night service at [Church Building], there isn’t a way to dispose of menstrual hygiene products which would be in keeping with health codes, and basic decency. 

My personal experience in similar situations, early in my transition, before I started testosterone, didn’t leave a lot of great options. Typically, I had to wrap the biohazard in an excessive amount of toilet paper, wait until the restroom was empty (which often required a very long wait, made me late to university classes and meetings), hide the biohazard somewhere up my sleeve or in my pocket—in case anyone walked in—and then quickly use the trash can in the main area between the sink and the door which is most often used for paper towels. The large congregation who attends [Church Building] doesn’t leave a lot of breaks in foot traffic in the bathroom, so that undesirable option doesn’t even seem possible, and would likely mean I would spend the entire worship service sitting on the toilet. It’s also not a great solution in the first place. 

My son is 17. As a parent, I would not be thrilled with him being exposed to improperly disposed biohazard while he was in youth group, just because I had to use the bathroom when The Chapel was the designated overflow seating during the height of the pandemic social distancing… or simply because a parent might need to use the restroom when picking kids up from youth group.

I’m not entirely sure how to condense all of that information, and those concerns, into a specific question. But the large head count in the auditorium during any service at [Church Building] says it’s statistically impossible that I’m the only person with this safety concern, and I guess I’m just asking if you might be able to help, please. 

Thanks again for all of your kindness and help thus far,

….”

More soon, much Love,

-Effie

“…but that’s… not now… that’s then.”


Yesterday was plain awful, you can say that again.

I’ve had the song from Annie stuck in my head this morning… because yesterday was a steaming hot plate of bullshit. Maybe the past month… or maybe just the past forty years. I’m not certain who’s to say and draw the line in the sand between awful and not awful. However, by anyone’s standard and definition, yesterday was just plain awful.

My personal tell on myself, when I’m having a just plain awful day, is I start looking in the classified listings for jobs in places I’ve never been. Just to review the record… at the moment, I have what can only be described as my dream job… and yesterday, I started looking at entry level jobs in industries I’ve never worked in, in places I’ve never been. That’s a fuckin’ awful day.

Today is better, and I’m grateful for that.

More soon, much Love,

-Effie

Did you go to law school? If so, where, why, and can you get your tuition refunded?

Please don’t let this person be a judge.

Neither The Constitution, nor Judges… appellate nor Supreme Court, create rights. The Constitution allows for creating regulation of rights.

Legislative Branch does a shitty job of defining the parameters of that regulation. Judicial does a shitty job of enforcing the parameters of how that regulation can be & is enforced.

Rights are either unregulated implied powers, or regulated rights denied and violated by government law. Nature, the limits of individual and social ability, creates rights. I’m surprised no one in the room knew that.

I suppose that sheds some light on why so many states require a person to go to law school before taking The Bar Exam, if that’s the agreed premise to that question.

More soon, much Love,

-Effie

Gesture, colloquialism, or outright lie?


One of the more peculiar things humans say is, “you need anything, you let me know.” I’ve noticed people saying it a lot lately, because I’m new in town. And in that context, it’s delightfully kind; but what exactly does that mean?

“Anything? I need everyone to move out of the buildings, live in a tent, and talk with the trees at least an hour a day. Can you make that happen?”

I just say thank you and go on with my day, much the same way people say “fine” when asked “how you doin’?”

-More soon, much Love,

-Effie

24/7/365/8

Trees stand up, all day, every day, their entire lives.

I get tired from sitting down in a car all day.

More soon, much Love,

-Effie

Pine trees, you trees, we all trees for pine trees…

I met some of the nicest trees today. I’ve never seen anything like them. I just stopped the park ranger and asked what kind of trees & I was told pine trees.

That doesn’t make sense to me. I’ve seen pine cones before, big huge decorative ones the size of my head. The pine cones on the ground here are itty bitty, the size of big strawberries. Obviously there are varieties of pine, and that just goes to show how much I know about pine, but these suckers are three trees tall and the trunks aren’t more than a foot or two in diameter.

I have a million more questions for the park ranger now. And I’m super hurting for how many pine trees have to be cut down to make “plain ol’ pine planks,” if this is how old and high these trees grow to still be this thin yet majestic. It’s stunningly beautiful here.

More soon, much Love,

-Effie

*Update: the Internet says it’s Short-Leaf Pine

Last Name, Comma, First Name

In the old school name format, Kamala Harris’ name is fuckin’ hilarious phonetic genius.

“Harris…Comma…Law.”

That’s better than Danger as a middle name.

More soon, much Love,

-Effie