Friday, April 9, 2010

I've not written anything since January, apparently. Oops.

I'm working full-time for the first time in my life, and it's kind of killing me. Not in an "I don't like my job" sense, because I do, but in a "good grief, this takes everything out of me" sense. 3-year-olds, it turns out, are exhausting.

The thought of finding something coherent and analytical to say is a little daunting.

I suppose I could shift the focus of this blog to more of a personal journal type of thing, but I worry that that would be completely boring to people.

So, I don't know. I'd like to get back to posting frequently, and to actually have something worthwhile to say....I hope that can happen.

Blog For Choice/Blog-aversary

Friday, January 22, 2010

Good God! I've not been blogging much lately. I didn't realize quite how infrequent the posts have become.....I think I need to find my enthusiasm again....

Anyway, it's "Blog for Choice" day. Incidentally, it's also the anniversary of my having started this thing.

I'm pro-choice because every human deserves COMPLETE bodily autonomy. Whatever one's "beliefs," one does not have the right to dictate what someone else can or can't do with hir own life or body.

So there. Simple.

You know what makes me happy?

Sunday, December 6, 2009

You know what makes me happy?

Feminist dads.

At the beginning of the school year, my head teachers and I let the parents know that they are more than welcome in the classroom, should they want to come in and do art, make music, read a story or cook something with us.

On Friday, one of the dads came in to do a small art project with the kids. He arrived early to set up, and was playing with his daughter and chatting with the English teacher and with me. For whatever reason, all the kids were late that morning (okay, maybe not all of them.....just most), which gave us a lot of time to fill him in on class goings-on and whatever. I mentioned that I found a nifty t-shirt that I want to start wearing to school, to counteract some of the "I like princesses and only want to draw with the pink marker"* bullshit that's going on in the class.
The shirt has a crown on it, and says "Self-rescuing Princess." (available here)

This dad, whose daughter Maggie is a super kid and well on her way to being a kick-ass empowered girl, loved the idea of the shirt. He told us that he was so frustrated at Halloween, because even for little girls, the ready-made costume choices were frilly princess, frillier princess and slutty pirate girl.....oy vey....**

Then he said that last week, when the grandparents were all in town for Thanksgiving, his dad was reading "The Paperbag Princess" to Maggie. Grandpa was a little uncomfortable with the message, apparently, because he finished the book and gave an addendum: "Then the prince went on to Stanford and got an MBA and became a CEO."

To which Dad responded with an addendum to the addendum: "And the princess grew up to get the world to achieve WORLD PEACE!"

I love that this dad is just quietly and calmly going about being a fantastic feminist ally and active partner in raising an empowered feminist kid. He's not reciting empty tropes about "girl power" while encouraging Disneymania. He doesn't work till 8pm all week, then take the kids to the park once on the weekend and expect a cookie for it. He just chooses the books and movies and costumes carefully, buys the striped leggings instead of the frilly shit, and comes into the class to do art with us.

Okay, so when it's his turn to do Maggie's hair it turns out a little wonky, but no one's perfect, right?

I'm so glad that I've got this family in my class, and I wish all our parents were this cool!

UPDATE: Feminist Dad is also insanely good at holiday gift (a box of See's chocolates! Woot!) had a lovely, lovely hand-lettered note.

*Maggie ended up deciding that she wanted to be Pocahontas for Halloween, so dad made the costume himself.

**There's only one pink marker, for whatever reason, and I'm sick to death of seeing all-pink drawings. So I hid the marker in the closet. I know, I'm evil.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

If you haven't already, please make a donation to my friend Maggie.

Donate here.

Life, the Universe and Everything

Saturday, October 24, 2009

I knew that I hadn't written anything in some time, but it wasn't until a second ago that I realized I had gone a full month without posting.....

I've been overworked and preoccupied lately, by a number of things:
1) Spending 90% of my work day tending to 1 child, to the detriment of the other 15.
2) Spending my weekends grouching about having to go teach music lessons to belligerent students whose parents can't be bothered to schedule a regular time for lessons because of soccer, softball, swimming, and, last week, going to adopt a dog.
3) Getting horribly sick with the worst cold known to humanity, and wishing that it were the flu because then the symptoms and the name would be on the same level of misery
4) The universe crashing down horribly on those I know and love.

1) Yes, there's a child in my class who is so out of control, so toddler (developmentally, not age wise), and so disruptive and violent that if I don't tend to him ALL THE TIME it will mean physical and emotional harm to the other students. Thanks, admissions director. Fuck you too.

2) I'm sick of it and am trying to find a way to fire my students, despite the precipitous drop in income that that will mean for me.

3) It was only a cold. No fever, at any point. And yet, I felt miserable for a good 2 weeks....blech.

4) a. A family friend and well-known Bay Area conductor went in for a scheduled heart surgery. She suffered clotting problems and a stroke on the table, and never regained consciousness. A week later, her partner chose to take her off life support and take her home to die in peace and dignity. Imagine having to make that decision?? Her death was misreported, and I inadvertently passed on news of her demise before it had actually happened. I feel like the biggest shithead on earth for that one. She died the next day.

b. The same day that I misreported K's death, I found out that my dear blog-friend Maggie had been rushed to the hospital after 48 hours of the most intense pain that a human can imagine. She waited that long to call 911 because, of course, she has no health insurance.
Luckily, the public hospital in Austin was on ER diversion, and she was instead rushed to the best hospital around. She was treated by an ace surgical team, and is being given the best care possible.
It's damn lucky that the other ER was on diversion or Maggie would likely be dead right now.
The bad news is that because she's uninsured and poor, there's no way that she can pay for this care. She might get chucked out of the hospital before she has recovered if we dont' come up with funds FAST.
Go to her personal blog, Meta Watershed, or the news blog where she writes, Group News Blog, to read all of the harrowing details and to DONATE. Give till it hurts. Please. This woman has done more for the world so far than I can imagine squeezing into one life and she's not done yet. But she desperately needs everyone's help.

You can do donations through Paypal or by sending a check to Group News Blog with "Maggie Jochild" in the memo. Maggie has such limited mobility that getting the mail and getting to a bank and that sort of thing is nearly impossible.

c. The next day, my mom's ex's mother died. She was elderly, and had been declining fast, and it was "time." Still very sad, though. The ex and mom were together for about 12 years, and in that time, we got to know his family quite well. His parents were such dear people, always welcoming and kind. She'll be truly missed.

d. At some point in all of this, another friend was also rushed to the ER. I don't have permission to write about her situation, but suffice it to say that she's living in a new town, at a new school, without family or close friends yet, and my heart just aches for what she's going through....

e. My mom is having to go in for a surgical procedure this coming week. Besides having to deal with a boyfriend who recently had a stroke, and a mother who is completely dependent on us for transport and such.

f. Boyfriend's father just had a pacemaker installed. At least once the leads have disconnected. He's in Canada, though, and Boyfriend is pretty bummed about living so far away.

So, yeah, life has been really intense lately.

There have been plenty of things that I've read or heard that warrant essays in response. I just haven't been able to deal.


That's Genius

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The list of this year's MacArthur fellowship (aka the "Genius Grant") winners is out, and exactly half of the recipients are women. Woot!

Several are older women, several are women of color. Science, the arts and the humanities are represented all represented.

Glad to know that it's not always bad news for women!

(one of Boyfriend's co-advisers is a former MacArthur winner.....yay for women in science and engineering!)

That's Not My Name

Monday, September 21, 2009

Safeway, the grocery store chain, apparently has a policy that states that guests should be thanked by name at the end of each transaction.

After scanning and bagging one's groceries and taking one's money, employees will print out the receipt, look at it, and say something along the lines of "Thank you, Mr. Aggleflaggle, have a nice day!"

They will get the name from either the credit/debit card or "Club Card" info, at the bottom of the receipt. I suppose that if you pay in cash, and don't use a club card, you'll just get a "thank you, have a nice day."

So here's where it gets interesting.

I almost always buy groceries with my debit card, because the cash in my wallet usually only suffices for a coffee or a burrito. This means that my name appears on the receipt along with my card information. I don't have a "Club Card" of my own, so I always plug in either my grandmother's or Boyfriend's phone number, to get the discounts that way.

This means that the checker has a choice of names. And, interestingly enough, the checker seems to always choose to read the "club card" name, not the debit card name.

Which means that on a fairly regular basis, I get addressed as "Ms. Boyfriend'slastname."

Which weirds me out completely.

I usually don't correct them, since that would require me to spend more time in Safeway. I hate supermarkets, you see, and usually try to dash in and out as quickly as possible.

But yeah, their assumption really bugs me. If you see my name (on the credit/debit line) and some dude's name, why would you assume that that's the right last name?????


Semi-, but not completely related:

Why are so many women my age changing their names when they get married? Women who seem otherwise feminist and progressive? Just among friends and coworkers, I can think of at least 6 or 8 people who have gotten married in the last few years and have changed their names. I can only think of 3 who have gotten married and kept their names.

I mean, not even getting into the "why get married?" discussion, why is this trend still so prevalent?

I know I sound horribly judgmental, but I really don't understand.

Especially when the women in question are performers, who rely on publicity and "getting their names out there".....


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