Empty Elizabeth

In front of something, yet still behind...

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Slippery Subjective Significance

Is eugenics impending? The slippery, or maybe just slightly wet, slope leading there is discussed in a Slate.com article.
PGD stands for preimplantion genetic diagnosis. Simply put, it means that embryos for IVF(in-vitro fertilization) are screened for certain genes before they are implanted into the uterus. If an embryo has a specific gene (usually one associated with a type of cancer), the embryo is discarded or frozen. In other words, it's not used. The article goes on to try and define the "line". Where is the line drawn over what is screened for and what is not? Where is the line drawn for what is a significant risk of early- or late-onset disease? It further delves into treatability.
Regardless of most of these parameters, the significance of a certain disease and it's risk factors is dependent on the mother, or parents, of said embryo. Even though there may be "lines" drawn, the significance of any disease is subjective to the recipient. As Saletan writes, "if significance is subjective and anxiety is sufficient, won't some parents feel that severe asthma meets that standard?" One more step down the slope. Where does line finally get drawn?

As for Leather's assurance that PGD "can still only be used for a minority of
people if there is a clear history of cancer across generations of a family,"
why should anyone respect that line? Once genetic testing becomes cheap and
universal, why shouldn't anyone who finds out she has a cancer gene be able to
test her embryos for it?

This is why I can't bring myself to read much anymore, let alone drag myself off the couch. One article leads to another. Do I really want to know these things are going on in my world? Do I want to squander my time pondering the future in this world? I'd rather be watching "Mad About You". The problems never stretched far beyond the walls of Paul and Jamie's apartment.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Message From Mom

My parents recently babysat for 4 whole days. The next week, my mom sent me a little email with an observation I had to share:

"You know you've been around your grandkids too long when you go to take off your tennis shoes and realize you double tied the laces."

Thank you, Mom (and Dad), for watching the kids! We appreciate it so much!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Are there Limits?

My husband and I were watching TV the other day and I happened across Austin City Limits. The Killers were playing. Then a band called Spoon came on. I enjoyed them very much.
I haven't been "into" music for a long time. Time. That is what keeps from it. I no longer have time to listen and search and discuss music. I used to be a fountain of useless facts about bands that I loved. I could tell you that Shawn Smith from Satchel played on this certain Afghan Whigs song and that he, together with Greg Dulli from the Whigs now (and also at that time) are in a band called the Twilight Singers. And on and on. Only other people that liked these bands cared. It's sort of like "name-dropping". But, it kept me sane, I think.

Back to Spoon. Together with the wonderful custom sound adjustment on our TV set and the HD broadcast of ACL, it made for a nice experience. Not every band can put together a song that you can rock along to. Sure, all songs have a beat, but not all can make you move. It made me think about how, never before, has there been a song exactly like the one this band is playing right now.
Is music truly infinite? Are there a finite number of notes, or does the scale continue on: ascending and descending into infinity? If so, there is an infinite combination of notes and instruments possible, never producing the same song twice. It is true, people are influenced by other musicians and music, and you may hear that in the song. But still, that song is truly original.

Just like people, I suppose.

My Mother's Day

I got up early (since I went to bed early) with SE and SM.
I made the boys pankcakes.
I got dressed for church.
I changed my pants.
I changed my shirt.
I changed my pants.
We went to church (I love large liberal churches).
I got 2 carnations and a rose.
We went to the mall and ate lunch (easiest for picky eaters like me).
Shopped a bit.
Shopped a bit by myself (thank you dearest hubby!).
Purchased new jeans, 3 tops, comfy J. Crew flip-flops and some smelly stuff from the Body Shop.
Got a white rose from the lovely people at J. Crew. How sweet of them. (I was dragging SM with me at that store).
We went to Sam's Club to load up on groceries.
Went home.
Watched Grey's Anatomy. WOW.
Also, nothing says Happy Mother's Day like that thing that means you're not a mother again.