Thursday, March 31

Benchmarking

[Benchmarking]

I have a friend who is a sports-loving rugged boy, but is scrupulously clean and impeccably groomed. He's a beer-drinking man's man, but is manscaped.

In the beginning of our relationship, I found it curious and shocking to watch him interact with people. His behavior was just so different from that of the men I was accustomed to being around.

He always holds the door open for the person following him — regardless of whether he's with that person, regardless of that person's gender and regardless of that person's age — provided that person is within six-or-so seconds of reaching the door.

He always gives up his seat on the train to someone who ostensibly needs it [on a related note, I almost got into a fight a few days ago when I asked two young women whether one of them was injured or impaired and that was the reason they weren't giving up a seat to the elderly woman standing near them].

As for his relationship with me, I have never opened a door when unless he was carrying something heavy; he has never failed to help me with my coat; I have never gotten into a car that he was driving when he didn't open my door first; he generally pulls out my chair for me at restaurants. He seemingly effortlessly does all of these things for all the other women around him as well.

My early feminist training encouraged me to believe that such actions were the marks of misogynists, that they were [at least signifiers for] control mechanisms and we should always be wary of those who act this way.

But I'm older now, and I have points of comparison. And, I can tell you that I know that he's not a misogynist — and I've been around a few blocks and can identify many varieties of those including the gen-x and hipster breeds that work so hard to pretend that they're not.

I realized today that knowing him has affected the way that I judge other people. I realized that — for good or ill — when it comes to what I consider polite behaviors of a certain type, I hold the actions of others against that benchmark.

Of course, I have other benchmarks too: as smart as, as tall as, as hung as, as attentive as, as talented as, as kind as, as whatever as. But, I didn't realize that I had this one.

Sunday, March 27

Channeling Julia

[Channeling Julia]

I like to cook. I frequently don't cook because I'm busy, overworked, and, perhaps more importantly, I live alone. It's not as much fun to cook for one, and recipes — especially the ones I have — tend to be for many.

But, I'm getting back into it. Recently I've made chili, split pea soup and chicken soup. Last night, I went to the grocer with the intention to make my week easier. The plan was
  • modified pasta carbonara with chicken and bacon for last night's dinner [salad on the side]

  • chicken, broccoli and cheddar quiche for lunches and dinners throughout the week

  • chicken broth for quick soups and such throughout the week

  • banana bread for this morning's breakfast [which was to be served, and was served, with mascarpone and bacon]
All went as planned. The carbonara was very tasty. The quiche is in the oven. The broth is in variously sized containers in the fridge. The banana bread is half gone.

I can't help thinking that we'd all be happier and more balanced if we did this consistently. Many of us only eat crummy food on a regular basis because there's nothing else to eat.

Monday, March 21

Being a Girl

[Being a Girl]

It's been stuck in my head for days because of that new Gap campaign . . . . 
When I have a brand new hairdo
With my eyelashes all in curl,
Well, I float as the clouds on air do.
I enjoy being a girl!

When men say I'm cute and funny
And my teeth aren't teeth, but pearl,
Well, I just lap it up like honey.
I enjoy being a girl!
And, damnit, as much as I consider myself a feminist, I do enjoy being a girl. A girly girl. I like baubles and bangles and barrettes. I like glances and grins. I like irresponsibly high heels. I like being coy as much as I like to strut. I like flirting. I like always having my nails — fingers and toes — polished. I like having men open doors for me, and I like being smiled at when I hold open doors for them. I like to giggle. I like unsolicited neck rubs. I like lip gloss. And, I really like tops that are obviously chosen to enhance my not insubstantial cleavage.

Is that so wrong?

Wednesday, March 9

Signifying

[Signifying]

Recently, I've witnessed:
  • half-assed drag racing on side streets
  • titles on business cards that can't fit on a line
  • über-mächtig laptops resting inactively on tables at coffee shops
I used to wonder whether such men [and, yes I recognize that some women engage in such behaviors, but all I've seen recently were men] realize that the reaction that they'll likely get from smart women is "you sad, short-dicked little man".

I've come to believe that they do realize this. They simply aren't interested in smart women.

So, rather than be annoyed when witnessing such behaviors, I'm beginning to be pleased by them. I'm pleased that they're signifying their stance so strongly. It's good for society at large that they're so obvious.

Friday, March 4

Toys

[Toys]

I'd played the 20q.net game online quite a few times, and found it fascinating. I just went in to talk to my boss, and although he was on the phone, he pointed to a present for me. It's the pocket version. It's so cool.

Tuesday, March 1

Lift the Data as Easily as You Lifted the Laptop

[Lift the Data as Easily as You Lifted the Laptop]

Yes, there shall be an substantive post soon.

I really don't have a good excuse. I mean, yeah, I've been busy with work. And, I was away this weekend. And, I lost my wallet. And, I have had a long bout of the sniffles. But, none of that means I was unable to post. I've just been lazy.

Le big sigh.