14 April 2006

Giant Iceballs of Wisdom

I am feeling like I need more than one blog. I have such wonderful Pearls of WisdomTM to share with you, yet I don't want you, My Public, My People, to get burned out with my excessive posting.

Oh well, screw it. I can't help myself. If this compulsion replaces my Shoveling Food in My Mouth compulsion, it's a win-win for me.

FIRST UP - let me offer my most hearty congratulations to Tony Sossong, a friend who just got accepted into medical school. Go check out his website. He is cute, smart, talented - listen to his opera clips, check out his clever site design (he did it himself) - and nice, nice, nice. A good cook to boot. I hate to tell you, ladies, the lovely Sarah has already snagged him.

I wish him much success. Would I trust him operating on me? Get out the scalpel. He doesn't even have to finish med school.

Second - WHAT IS GOING ON WITH all these California iceballs??

Tell me, please - do I need to wear a helmet when I go outside? It may seem silly to you, but just wait until a giant ice ball traveling 90 mph lands on YOUR tennis court. You'll be heading down to the bike shop, too.

There's even a technical term: "Megacryometeors!" What is going on? Some say that it is global warming...but duh, these are ICE BALLS. I don't understand. But I guess no one else does, either.

THEN we get to the meat of my post. Or should I say the crap? You decide:

As much as I hate to give this book more publicity, I just can't stop myself...here goes.

The publication of "To Hell with All That: Loving and Loathing Our Inner Housewife" just proves that you can get still get about any feminist-bashing book published in the U.S., even if the writer is patently unqualified to write on the subject at hand.

Caitlin Flanagan, a mother of twins, is as unqualified to write a book on stay-at-home motherhood as I am ( and I have zero children, one fabulous dog).

Her premise is that, if all you uppity womens out there would just quit your jobs and attend to your husbands, you, too, could be sexy and have a lovely home and spend time with your children.

There's only one gaping crater in this theory.

You see, Mrs. Flanagan, who is so eager to dish parenting and housewifely advice to you poor, unwashed masses (in the New Yorker fergodssake), has both a full-time nanny AND a maid.

Ah, ladies, you are so foolish. You thought you needed feminism to make you happy. What you actually need is to abandon feminism...and to get some good domestic help.

Pardon me while I toss her book on the floor and stomp all over it.

I have neither a house, nor am I a wife. Why am I so pissed off when I don't have a dog in this fight?

Because (you have to read that because with the tone of a patient four-year-old explaining something) because this book is just another example of how we as women are taught that everything we attempt to do is wrong. Of why we should feel guilty and bad and stupid about our lives.

If we have children early we are neglecting our own education and development. If we have them late our eggs are getting stale and we are risking infertility or birth defects. If we don't have kids at all, there is something terribly wrong with us.

If we are working mothers, we are selfish and cruel. If we are stay-at-home moms, we are missing out or can't hack it.

And then we are supposed to be at war with each other over these differences.

I want to plug my ears and say "lay-der lay-der lay-der" (my childish noise-blocking noise) and then scream "SHUUUUUT UUUUUUUP!!!!!!" (Exclamation point, exclamation point).

For the record: if you are making your best attempt to take care of yourself, your family, your friends and the world, I don't give a lick how you do it. You're all right in my book. You can stay home, you can go to work. (Or hopefully you can write brilliantly and make a six-figure income with highly successful blogads).

You can start your family early, late, or not at all. You can even have a full-time nanny and maid. It isn't my business.

But if you go around telling everyone else how to live their lives and how great yours is and why everyone should be just like you, you don't get to play in my yard. You don't get to talk to me anymore. And you certainly do not get half of my cupcake.

You just have go away and play by yourself until you learn to be nice. Go, Caitlin, go.

13 April 2006

Ok, Ok, I'll do it. Six weird things.

Izzy of IzzyMom and Christina of A Mommy Story both tagged me for THE SAME meme. Coincidence? Hm....I guess it means I really have to do it. Here goes.

Six Weird Things About Me

1. I, too, am a picker. I was strangely delighted to find out from this meme that Izzy picks compulsively at zits and scabs and everything. I don't feel so alone. I CANNOT STOP, despite scars and blood and cellular devastation. If there was a 12-step group for skin pickers, I would be there. It is gross, but it is truly an addiction. I am not kidding.

2. I do not have a TV. That makes me very, very weird in the USA. It does not make me any more virtuous or any less lazy. It's not like I am writing novels or helping the poor. Instead of a cable bill, I have the time-sucking Internet.

3. I have a terror of snow. The thought of being where it is snowing sends me into a panic attack. The last time I was in snow country and these little tiny fuzzballs of snow started drifting down, I woke up Mr. Stapler and demanded to head to a lower elevation.

4. The last time I held a baby was in 1988. I am clumsy, and they wiggle, that is why.

5. I hate to shop for clothes and shoes and pretty much everything else except books and food.

6. I have absolutely no problem being naked in front of strangers. And I am not, as they say, a small woman. I'm not in shape. Far from it. I'm just like "Hey, it's me, get over it. Have you not seen cellulite before?"

Ok, that's me in some of my weirdness. I saved the really good stuff for my therapist.

Now to pass it on.

Here are the rules:

1. Reveal six weird facts/things/habits about yourself and then tag six people.

2. Leave a "You're Tagged!" comment to let the people you have tagged know they have to reveal six things (or the entire blogosphere will explode and it will be their fault).

3. Leave me a comment letting me know that you have completed your mission (if you have chosen to accept it!?.

I am going to tag Untitled Life, Fluid Pudding, The Sarcastic Journalist,John the RA, the dishy Wilson Hardcastle and of course, Gandhi Rules.

Sheesh. Six tags is toooo dang many. I hope they decide to play along or I will feel like the birthday party girl when no one shows up.

After looking back and seeing I just did a meme two weeks ago, this begins my new rule: One Meme a Month. Meme of the Month Club.

12 April 2006

Tenebrae Link Roundup

Ever since I saw Bo Lozoff speak a couple weeks ago, I have been obsessively reading the newsletter for his Human Kindness Foundation, A Little Good News.

The newsletter is compelling reading, full of letters from people in prison, whom Lozoff works with extensively. Their stories of spiritual transformation are so hopeful, coming as they do from people who have done terrible things and lived terrible lives.

Then there's this amazing and well-written story by Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi of Iran (registration required, damn you, New York Times) about the day she was working on some legal documents and found a discussion of how her government wanted to kill her.
Research from Tufts University shows that white people get smarter in the presence of people of other races. I guess I will be going off to do my Masters degree at Howard University, then, because I can use all the help I can get.
I have an unquenchable love for genius Tamil composer A.R. Rahman. His tunes combine traditional Indian instruments with modern dance beats and the result has made him the most popular composer on the Indian subcontinent. He has sold over 100 million albums.

Check out what is quite possibly the best video ever shot on top of a train - Chaiyya Chaiyya from the movie Dil Se.
And in closing, I don't know what took me so long to find Fark. Drew Curtis's daily weird and funny news link roundup is worth reading just for his hilarious descriptions of the articles.Thusly:
Minister links hip-hop to Satan, claims heavy metal started it all, when everybody knows it started with disco

Cornell Biology Department to offer course on intelligent design. Two-month schedule starts with lecture on "Great Breakthroughs in Intelligent Design Research," followed by 59.5 days of lunch

10 April 2006

No huns

Ok, all is well, crisis averted. I still hate the government, but as my sister would say, whaddya gonna do?

I made myself feel better by realizing that everything has pretty much always sucked as long as humans have been around to notice and that, though everything seems tremendously sucky, it could be worse.

Huns have not invaded this week. Potato famine is not currently happening. Taxes are still due, but I think a little financial juggling could take care of that.

My windshield is still cracked (thank you, you stinking dump truck on the freeway) but my hair is now cute, thanks to a really nice girl at Fantastic Sams (quel surprise! A better $14 haircut than the $60 place I got suckered into last time!) And my landlord will be over tomorrow to plug the leak in the bathroom ceiling. Getting better all the time.

I SO wish I could blog from work. My best ideas pop into my head while I am there. And my best ideas are never about work, LOL.

Thank god I can't, or else my Very Important Projects would go undone, but I can't help but think no one would ever notice. Ah, cubicle life. So rewarding.

09 April 2006

Things fall apart - this is depressing

You may want to pop a Prozac before reading this.

I have avoided posting as long as I can. I don't know what my problem is - midlife crisis, or mourning over the end of democracy? I'm just so pissed, so bone-deep mad, that George Bush can apparently get away with doing whatever he wants to while we all sit here like Stunned Mullets incapable of even reacting.

I used to run an Amnesty International group and I was soooo proud of being a U.S. citizen. I would write to these foreign dictators and point out that they shouldn't torture, shouldn't hold people without charge or trial, should give the accused access to legal counsel. But then I wake up in 2006 and find that MY country has a leader who thinks that is all ok, that we are holding people in prison for YEARS without charge or trial because of minor visa violations, that we torture and send people to gulags and it is somehow all ok. I feel sick. I love my country, and I want it to live up to those beautiful principles we set forth in our founding documents. I'm a stupid idealist, I know, but that is my nature.

That is only part of it, of course. One of my favorite book titles, and books, is Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart. I have just been feeling that things are falling apart so rapidly, and I know others are feeling it too. Polar ice caps, people breaking up, tornadoes, hurricane season around the corner again, taxes due, gas at $3 per gallon...is anyone hopeful anymore? Please feed me a ray of sunshine if you've got one. Otherwise, I will go over to Cute Overload and hang out until I can get my smile back.

PS It is at times like this I want to ask all the mom and dad bloggers - how did you get brave enough to have children? Didn't the crappiness and messed-upness of the world scare you when you were contemplating having kids? Did you think about the polar ice caps melting, about loss of species, including us? I have a bunch of reasons for not having kids, but ecological disaster was a big part of it.

My top ten reasons:
1. I never felt the urge
2. I thought I should not contribute to overpopulation
3. I thought the world was going straight to hell in a handbasket
4. I need a lot of peace and quiet. A lot.
5. I do not find babies at all attractive, generally
6. Sheer laziness
7. If I can't find someone I would like to marry, imagine how much harder it would be to find someone I wanted to breed with
8. I was unconvinced of the wisdom of adding more of my genes to the gene pool
9. I could never imagine affording kids
10. Does the world need more of me? Even half-me? I don't think so.
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