Friday, February 23, 2007

Is it Friday Already?

I feel like a walking jigsaw puzzle these days. There is so much going on in my head this week, I don't even know where to start. I was going to tell you guys about my fabulous experience trying to buy a car this week. (gah!)

Then I thought I'd write about my psychology professor and his creepy misogynistic lecture examples. ("Little Mary makes the bed and her mommy gives her an M&M.")

I read a news story about the Olympic women's ski jumpers who I wrote about a year ago. They're trying to get the Canadian officials to let them jump in competition and maybe get those fools at the winter Olympics to let the women compete too. They say that it is not appropriate for ladies to jump. Their concern is actually the landing part, which they say will damage our bones and reproductive systems. Yet, women can run marathons and participate in figure skating. Go figure.

I saw the new Dove ad at their website and had all kinds of thoughts about that one.

Somehow Tuesday turned into Friday and I hadn't posted a thing. Maybe it was all the classes, work assignments, auto loan applications and that exhilarating episode of Grey's Anatomy last night, but I haven't written a thing.


We'll try again next week, 'kay

Here's a random picture of The Cat That Ate Cleveland for your viewing enjoyment.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Oh, Yeah...

Happy Wednesday

Oh, is there something else going on today?
I hadn't noticed...

30 Going On 13

We've all been there:

You've gone to the library after school. It's been kind of a hectic day, maybe you had a fight with your best friend or your boyfriend, maybe a teacher singled you out for humiliation in Algebra that day. The point is you're feeling a little down. There is some crazy huge paper looming in your near future so you decide to get started on it. After navigating through the Dewy Decimal System, avoiding the creepy librarian and wandering the aisles you've finally found the books you need for your report. You think "I'll just sit down at one of the big tables and get a little work done while I wait for my ride." So, you plop down as quietly as you can at the ancient scarred wood table... and then you hear it.
The whispers and the giggles.

There are two girls huddled together in one of those study hutches across from you. You can see their heads pop up as they peer over it.They are both wearing different versions of the same trendy outfit. Their hair is sleek and shiny and long. They're wearing way too much eye make-up that just seems to accentuate their catty-ness. They are looking at you in your almost floor length, frumpy skirt and long sleeved knit top with your over sized coat and fuzzy red scarf. They sneer. They whisper to each other and dissolve into another bout of barely concealed laughter.

You wish you could disappear into the floor.

This happened to me last night.

It's so infuriating! I think I'm a pretty terrific person, y'know? I've been places, I've done stuff. I'm working really hard on a degree and most of the time I wouldn't let that kind of high school crap get to me. I've gotten used to the little "clackers" running around campus. These are the kids who are fresh out of high school and just haven't figured out that none of that stuff matters anymore. You know the ones. They're always on their pink Razr phones talking to their friends about what so-and-so said to them about who-ever-that-was blah, blah, blah. They're the girls that used to give me a hard time when I was in school. But I'm a grown up now. I don't have to take that shit from 19 year old little snots anymore!
This got me thinking about all that crap that's been in news over the last couple of years about female bullies and the like. Books like Queen Bees And Wannabees, Mean Girls Grown Up and Odd Girl Out. While I really do believe it's just a lot of hype, I can't deny that it sucks when you feel like that insecure kid all over again because of some snarky teen-ager. I found a terrific article written by Jennifer Foote Sweeney at about this idea that women are somehow meaner than men. She points out that: 1. there are no studies that prove that girls and woman are any "meaner" than men and boys, 2. if you're writing about female bullies and go out looking for stories about female bullies, chances are you're going to hear a lot about female bullies and 3. people tend to be "meaner" to their own gender. So men practice a slightly different version of bullying amongst themselves than women do.

It only makes sense that if men use a better-disguised form of bullying,
women are going to be more easily busted for aggressive behavior. And if people
are most aggressive with their own genders, women are going to have stories
about female bullies. Unfortunately, a book that uses those differences to
reveal a new vein of nastiness in the female gender profile is bound to be a big
hit. What better way to tap into feminism fatigue than to produce evidence of
the dangerous by-products?
No doubt, Mean Girls Grown Up will be used to
validate the position that women have abused the privileges of their new
empowerment and need to back off and be nice.

Well, to heck with that whole "back off and be nice" crap. I'll be nice when I make the same amount of money as a man and when our government stops trying to compromise my rights over my own body. "Polite women rarely make history" you know. Still, could we all just get together and agree not to snicker at each other in the library?

The best part about this scene: I was in the library reading A Vindication for The Rights of Women and The Feminine Mystique.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Am I going to have to separate you children?

Have you heard about the latest hoo-ha going on in D.C. this week? Apparently certain folks are getting their undies in a bunch because the Speaker of The House wants to be able to fly home. Don't these people have more important things to do? Isn't there a health care crisis in this country and a disastrous war going on?

The gist of it is this: The previous Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert, was provided a plane by the Pentagon in order to fly home to his district in Illinois after September 11th. It was deemed a security issue. Since the Speaker is second in line for the presidency, they thought perhaps we should keep this person safe by making a military plane available for their use. Not a bad idea all around.

C-20 Jet that Hastert used

According to ABC News "Since Sept. 11, 2001, the speaker of the House of Representatives — second in the line of succession to the presidency behind the vice president — has received what the Air Force refers to as "shuttle service," the use of military planes to travel for security reasons. Pelosi's predecessor, Rep. Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., used a C-20, the military version of the Gulf Stream 3 business jet, a twin-engine turbo-fan aircraft that seats 12 passengers with a crew of five. "

That's all well and good if you only live 700 miles from Washington D.C. But what if your home district is over 2,800 miles away? Say you live in...Oh, I don't know...San Francisco? You would need a bigger plane to get you and your necessary staff safely home from time to time. Apparently that's just not Ok with some Republicans and certain members of Pentagon staff.
They're making a big stink out of Nany Pelosi's request for a plane large enough to get her to CA non-stop. She and her staff were shown the options and they seem to have been told that the C-32 (shown on the left) was the only plane available that could make the trip. Of course, this is a much larger plane and is usually used by higher-ups like the first lady. It has all kinds of nifty amenities and whatnot that, admittedly, seem like a bit much for a politician who is trying balance the budget.

A bunch of folks at the Pentagon are pissed off that this woman (who has been very outspoken about their war) has risen to a position of power, a position in which she could very well threaten their plans for said war. Since they are a bunch of mid to high level bureaucrats, they can really make her life difficult, by leaking what sounds like information pertaining to an abuse of that power. I work in a large corporation, I know more about bureaucracies than I ever cared to. All these angry little people have to do is spin the info just so and...voila! you have a new Democratic female Speaker who is requesting special perks at the tax payer's expense. Makes a nice non-story, huh? SO much for bi-partisanship. Personally I think the Republicans must be pretty desperate if they're already resorting to this kind of crap.

This woman just wants to be able to fly non-stop safely from her work in D.C. to her home district in San Fran. Turns out there is another plane called a C-37A that can make the trip.

C-37A jet
"There is also the C-37A — a military version of the Gulf Stream 5, which is about the same size as the C-20, but is able to fly nonstop to California. One military source who asked not to be identified says that it may be that Pelosi and her aides were shown a C-37A and didn't understand that it was different and more potent than a C-20, since they look so similar."

After reading the story (linked above) here's what it sounds like to me.

Nancy Pelosi and Staff: We need a plane that can fly non-stop to California.

Pentagon Bureaucrats: You can either have this teeny tiny plane that will have to stop and refuel at least once each way or this giant swanky plane that can make the trip.

Military Guy: (to Pentagon Bureaucrat) Hey, what about this middle plane that looks like the teeny tiny plane but can easily fly 3,000 miles without stopping?

Penatgon Buerocrat: Shhhhhh! Don't tell that anti-war, peace loving hippie woman about that! We're trying to make her look bad here.

Military Guy: is that helpful?

Nancy Pelosi and Staff: Ok, fine. I just want a plane that can fly me home non-stop.

Penatgon Buerocrat: (rubbing hands together and twirling mustache) Not to worry little lady. Muwa-ha-ha-ha!

Sounds like we are having a major communication problem here, folks.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Urban Wildlife

I'm Baaa'ack!

Hi everyone. I'm sorry I kind of dropped off the face of the web there for a while. Things have been ...well...weird lately. I blame the post-holiday blues and life in general for my recent malaise. It's not that there hasn't been stuff to write about ('cause there's lots!) it's just that I haven't been able to gather the energy necessary and/or to concentrate long enough to write anything. I honestly think I was depressed there for a while. No fun at all.

But things are looking up. School started this week and I've already had some interesting classes. I was all prepared for the required Speech 101 class to be a real drag, but the teacher seems great and I think it's going to be a very cool class. I'm such a great big nerd that I think Statistics 225 is actually interesting and I have my first Psychology class this evening, so we'll see how that goes. I'm looking forward to that one a lot. I'm also trying an online Oceanography class. I've never done an online class before so we'll see how that goes. I think if I stay organized and keep track of all my due dates for stuff, I'll be OK.

I'm still adjusting to my new lifestyle as a single gal. I really do like my new apartment and if it's a little lonely at night, at least it's also nice and quiet for studying. I've gotten to decorate with my favorite pictures and whatnot so it feels like my home. I even went out and bought rabbit ear antennas for my TV so I can watch Grey's Anatomy on Thursday nights. I have my cat, Nicodemus, who is always there to say 'meow' rather a lot, actually. And my neighbors seem like nice folks. My amazingly supportive friends come over on the weekends and call me so I'm really a lucky girl.

There is one little area of single life that I am having a hard time with, though - pest control.

The other night I'm curled with my latest Netflix DVD, Veronica Guerin with Cate Blanchet. (amazing film by the way. Highly recommended) and I notice that Nicodemus is really interested in my shoe. Like crouched down on the carpet, tail-twitching interested. This is odd, I think. But then Veronica got attacked by some thug with a gun at her back door, so I left Nic to his own devices. A little while later, the wee beastie pounces on something from across the room and then I notice that he's chewing on something. Something crunchy. Upon closer inspection I see that it's a giant, brown cricket. I'm talking monster squeaker here, people. This thing looks like the Cricket That Time Forgot and it's in my apartment. And my cat is EATING IT! Eeeewwwwww!

I hate bugs. I can handle all manner of mice and rats and even snakes or lizards. I once got a sparrow out of my bedroom at some un-godly hour of the morning. But I draw the line at disease carrying, crunchy creepy-crawlies. In all my years of New York living I never once killed a roach. I had boyfriends come over and do it. I once asked the security guard in my dorm building to come up and deal with a particularly huge flying creature one summer. I don't do bugs.

But apparently my cat does.

<---- See the six-toed feet of cricket immolation!