Thursday, September 29, 2011


I'm getting older. It's attacking me from all sides. I decided long ago to accept age with grace and aplomb (haha, yeah right), to not fight wrinkles at the age of thirty and, depending how soon it kicks in, not dye my hair. We'll see, I'm only twenty-four just now, but it is humorous to see how quickly age is catching me up. Time is often depicted as a relentless creep, something that stalks you with slow steps. But it seems to me (at the moment, at least) that age pounced upon me. I went from a college gal, pulling all-nighters and making 3:00am doughnut runs, to a stodgy spinster, who also happens to be ironically married, in a matter of months. Really, if I weren't allergic to them, we'd probably have ten cats (please don't mention that two dogs is roughly the size equivalent of ten cats). Now, there are a few things that I choose to do (or not do) which aid in my aging process:
1. Lack of exercise. Gosh, I'd love to be someone who enjoys exercise but frankly, walking the dogs and some light yoga is about as active as I get. With Winter coming on, my chances of waking early enough to get my heart rate going is drastically decreasing. I've noticed I'm not as flexible as I once was, even in normal stretches, and my knees make a definitive cracking sound when I crouch. Maybe I should work on that.
2. As before stated, I love anything vintage. My particular eras are the 1920's-1950's. If I had been my age in 1947, I would have been born in 1923 which would make me roughly 88 about now. And, let's face it, somewhere inside, I am 88. We watch the Wheel of Fortune, daily. Also, I'm cold, so go put on a sweater.
3. I have the taste palate of an old person. Dried apricots? Yummy. Stew? Tasty! Hot cup of tea? Daily necessity.

In a few years, when Buddy Holly and I have children, I will quickly devolve into a Mom-Jeans wearing, Mom-translator needing, Honda Odyssey driving, out of touch, suburbanite. I am proud to say that I currently do not drink coffee. Caffeine dramatically affects me and I've managed to maintain a normal lifestyle without it. I recognize that will change the instant I have a newborn.

What really brought the aging process home for me today was that I spent about 20 minutes of my lunch break compiling a list of weekly TV shows I'd like to keep up on. Because I can't remember what night Up All Night is on (Wednesday) and I sure as hell don't know which channel New Girl belongs to (FOX). Next thing you know, I'll have that little slip of paper taped to the back of the remote which tells me what number each channel is. I actually don't know what number each channel is. I let Buddy Holly figure that out.

Anyway, bedtime is ten latest in our house. I love Werther's and hard peppermint candies. I'm worried about seeing the Beach Boys in concert because the show doesn't start till 8 and how will I stay awake? And I do have a grey hair, just the one though and I keep plucking it. But I think I'm okay with getting older, remember aplomb. Now that age has made a significant leap into my life, I'm hoping to plateau for the next thirty years or so. Anyway, if you really want to feel old ask an eleven-year old if they know who the guy from the Hanes commercial is. If you don't have an eleven-year old handy, just visit this XKCD.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Modern Woman 2

You may or may not be aware of the DC Comics reboot. If you are not aware, DC Comics is issuing a reboot of their comics, all of them. In this reboot they have stated a desire to broaden their target markets and provide comics for more minorities. In an attempt to broaden the comic market to women they have rebooted the Catwoman and Red Hood and the Outlaws comics (among others I'm assuming, but these are the ones in the press). For more on this situation please check out these blogs:
Comics Alliance: the review getting the media attention, not particularly safe for work
Ms. Snarky: a slightly less vitriolic response but none the less powerful
Michele Lee: perhaps the most meaningful response DC could choose to listen to

In any event, Buddy Holly and I have been discussing this situation since 9:30 this evening (it's 1:00). He is now zonked out asleep because men seem to have the ability to go from 60mph to 0 in a few seconds flat. I meanwhile am wide awake. We discussed a lot of things both directly related to the DC reboot and wild, unrelated tangents but the reason I'm typing to you in a dark living room now is because one facet of this situation goes back to my previous post.

In this strange, transitional period where equality between the genders is, at once, a "Well, duh" situation and yet not widely practiced, I am bothered that equality for women has really just led to more work for us*. We are expected to not only be "chefs in the kitchen, ladies in the living room, and whores in the bedroom" but also well-adjusted, ball-busting, go-getting workforce powerhouses. Who has the time? I'd be delighted to make my living as wife/mother/mistress but give me the space to do so. Let's get one thing straight, being a homemaker is a career and being a mother is a full-time job. So if you want me to keep the house clean, rear the children, and have a nutritional supper on the table by six, then let me quit my day job. If you expect me to be woman enough to manage a household then be man enough to afford it. Because there is no way in hell you can expect me to work the same hours you do and come home to manage all the chores you are too tired to do.

Also, as a side note, Gentlemen, women generally have a running list of things that need to be done going in their heads. It is often distracting. If you helped check a few items off that list, we'd have more time to think about sex. It's hard to get your engine revving when you just remembered the towels need to be folded. And I'm sure you'd say that the towels could wait and they probably can but it will still be in the back of a woman's mind, niggling and distracting her from the pleasure at hand. Just something to think about.

As a final note, I would like to ensure the readers that Buddy Holly is not a chauvinistic prig. He felt the Comics Alliance article was a bit too harsh, especially in light that the artists/writers are at the whim of corporate marketing and marketing dictates that sex sells, especially to a predominantly male audience. We agree that the broader issue underlying this symptom is a problem (one not easily remedied) and that, while the execution of "sexually liberated" female characters was not well done, it is not fair to kill the artistic messengers (they don't know any better).

In the end, I am glad that articles and posts like the above-stated are being made. They are small steps in bringing equality to realization. Now is not the time to be quiet and compliant and I hope that DC will take these responses into consideration. There is already a female fan base and we have asked for strong, powerful, sexual heroines. Don't give us prudes, that's not what we're asking for, but don't feed us male fantasies and then tell us they should be our own. I don't need to see a Batman butt-shot but I also don't need to see Catwoman (or Starfire) shagging anything that moves. Give me a woman who is aware of her sexual prowess (and uses it to her advantage) but not one who is defined by it.

*I am also bothered that sexual liberation means that women can now be sluts without the previous shame consequences. Why didn't we instead raise the bar and expect male sexuality to be beholden to higher standards? An example, in Iron Man 2, Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) and Natalie Rushman (Scarlett Johansson) are entering the expo center. Rather than viewing this from above or beside, we watch from behind and below. It is a deliberate cinematic choice to watch their tight, pencil-skirt clad asses ascend a set of stairs. Brief, entirely unnecessary, and it drives me crazy. To make this situation right, I do not want to see a towel-clad Robert Downey Jr. or his butt in a nice tuxedo. I don't need to be stooped to a lower sexual level to even the playing field. I'd rather they removed these altogether. I don't need to see any one's butt whatsoever and frankly, neither does anybody else.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Modern Woman

I spend a lot of time (more than I would like to admit) feeling guilty for my lack of domesticity. I'm not nearly as crafty as I would like nor am I the accomplished cook, letter-writer, writer-writer, or gardener as I would hope. Flipping through Sunset magazine and watching Primal Grill and America's Test Kitchen only serve to assure me of my shortcomings. But this afternoon, as I drove home from grocery shopping (I hate shopping on Sundays) I had a reality check. I work a forty hour week, as does Buddy Holly. I am up at 6:30 every morning to make sure the furries are fed before heading to work an hour early, so that the husby and I can carpool and save on money. I spend my day taking care of a house, God's house ya'll. I manage to keep our house clean which is quite the feat with four dark-haired life forms shedding hair and cells. I manage to try one new recipe per week. It might not be everything I had hoped or even that good but I try something new.
So, this is me saying that I'm done feeling guilty. Yeah right, I'll have plenty of self-degradation parties in the future. But when I do, I'm going to remember this. So no, I might not be as good a cook as I would like, but chicken Kiev requires time that I just don't have right now. No, I don't have the English garden in my backyard that I have sketched in my journal but come Spring I will find a Saturday to dig up the crepe myrtle and plant some geraniums next to the mailbox. No, I don't have the time to decorate our home and make the improvements we've discussed since we moved but it's comfortable and ours. I'm not crafty, I can't make harvest candles or Christmas wreaths or personalized stationary, but I have a knitting basket next to the couch and I sometimes use it. I'm not a published writer and my novel is currently on hiatus but I'm writing here and when I'm done writing this post I'll go work on my short stories. Maybe one day I'll be a stay at home mom, maybe one day I'll home school, maybe one day I'll have so much time on my hands I'll be bored and I'll take up scrap-booking (against all my better instincts). It's not likely but maybe one day. Now, if I could just fit in some exercise, I would really feel accomplished.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Oh, I think there's something in my contact

If you are unacquainted with Gary Larson's The Far Side, I'm sorry that your life has been so meaningless thus far. Larson's humor is a stellar example of my own, the subtle and eccentric. He has a very nice piece that shows a, presumably Middle-Eastern man, attempting to change a contact lens whilst sitting against a lying down camel in the midst of a dust storm. The caption is something to the effect of "Bad places to change your contacts."

Last night, when I was awake at 3:30 because Elena ate about a pound of grass and decided to regurgitate it, I was realizing I have no idea how to survive a sand storm. There are plenty of things I have no idea how to survive (martial law, zombie apocalypse, tsunami) but, with all the rationale that comes with 3:30 in the morning, it seemed critical to me that I learn how to endure this particular calamity. Keep in mind, I live in the Plains, plenty of grass, no nearby deserts or sand dunes, but you never know, okay? Anyway, I'm delighted to inform you that I am now knowledgeable in sand storm survival and you can be too. Thanks WikiHow! Needless to say, I will be sure to carry water and petroleum jelly with me at all times. I wonder if chapstick would work just as well as the jelly? I always have chapstick. Also, interesting note about the above article, you are supposed to not get low to the ground because that's where the highest concentration of particles are but do stay low to the ground in order to avoid heavier flying objects? I'm imagining this to be a sort of duck, rise, and shuffle evasive maneuver.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A hot cuppa

When it comes to cooking, Betty Crocker is my go-to gal. Just this evening she gave me a fantastic recipe for sage potatoes. Many Christmases ago my brother, Snur, and wife gave me the vintage Betty Crocker cookbook, circa 1950. This is the coup of cookbooks, the climax of culinary compendiums! This is the Betty Crocker that provides not only recipes and a guide to setting your table but tips on how to maintain personal outlook  ("While children are napping, do something refreshing. Write, knit, or listen to pleasant music"), how to maintain health and posture during chores ("Alternate sitting down tasks and stranding up tasks. Don't be on your feet too long at one time"), and how to refresh your spirit ("Notice humorous and interesting incidents to relate at dinnertime") (pg. 431). It is only missing a page on how to mix hubby a cocktail before he gets home ("Remember Ladies, no man wants a slothful wife!") (the cookbook doesn't actually say that) (I kind of wish it did). This is my absolute favorite cookbook and I use it any chance I get, simply because it's vintage. I love anything old-fashioned. Buddy Holly would say that I'm actually just a hater, particularly of anything newer than 1965, which is factually incorrect because I love Back to the Future and have a deep affinity for Grooveshark, thank you very much.

Mismatched Earrings

There is a custom in China, when two friends (girls) meet, to exchange an earring.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The King's Speech

I'm not always the last on the bandwagon but, when I am, I wait a year. I wanted to see The King's Speech when it came out in theatres - Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter, AND Edward VIII? Yes, please! I read the memoirs of the Duke of Windsor (the title Edward VIII was given after abdicating) in undergrad and wrote a paper on the abdication. It is fascinating to me on multiple levels. So, a movie that deals with the abdication and George VI's ascent to the throne was high on my list. But going to the movies is expensive these days and, thus, I have just now got around to seeing it on Netflix. So anyway, if you are late like I am and four Oscar awards aren't enough to convince you, please let my obviously-more-important-than-the-Academy opinion sway you as to this movie's merit.