Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sunday birthday

Every seventh year one's birthday will be on a Sunday. If you happen to descend from a religious tradition where purchasing goods or services on Sunday is forbidden, and if the majority of your local friends and family also subscribe to this tradition, your birthday will be less fun on these every-seventh-year occasions. If you have a golden quilted jumpsuit onto whose dorsal side you sewed the words "Birthday Suit" that you particularly enjoy wearing in public on your birthday while surrounded by friends and family, Sunday birthdays will be even more disappointing. It's just not the same to wear such a treasure around the house.

This year, I have a Sunday birthday. I wore a skirt and blouse instead of my birthday suit and went to church instead of well-populated public places. I felt a little despondent.

During church, one of the other church ladies snagged me in the hall wielding my sodden-bottomed niece who had requested a diaper change. Her mom was teaching a lesson upstairs and dad was nowhere to be found, the church lady told me. Could I possibly?

Sure, lady. It'll just be the icing on my birthday cake. You got a diaper?

As we proceeded through the intricacies of diaper-removal and -replacement, Adri and I were chatting. "Need new diaper!" "Yes, punkin, you sure do. We'll get it fixed right away." "Fix it!" "Mmmm hmmm. We'll fix it."

And then, a pause...

And then, drawers dropped, bottom exposed, face all aglow...

"Happy birthday Amy???"

It was, far and away, the best birthday greeting I have ever rececived. From now on, if you want to wish me a Happy Birthday, please, first remove your pants.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Clean air for breathing

Here is an easy way to do a good thing. This week we can be thankful we have (somewhat) clean air for breathing--let's make sure our kids/hypotheticals will too!


The other day, while teaching, I told the kids that their next lesson was going to be on sexual assault prevention. I wanted to give the a chance to get mentally prepared to take something seriously (for once in their charmed lives). One kid with scraggly hair, a t shirt advertising a punk band, and a wily look in his eye piped up for the first time ever, "You mean, like, no means no and passed out doesn't mean yes?"

Well, kid, now that you mention it, YES. Hmm. Now what am I going to teach?

Maybe he could give me lessons on being concise. I bet my blog would get more hits.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Thanks Missy for posting about world hunger on your wonderful blog. I recommend this post and all the others to all of you. That right there is a big ol' stamp of approval.

I want to fast the day before Thanksgiving and donate ten dollars to Oxfam. I would like to find twenty others to do this with me. If you are willing, please post a comment here. If you would also like to link to the original site on your own blog, let me know. I would be eager to see how many people we can invite to participate in this easy way to make a small difference.

Also, if Ikea is a terrible monster, tell me about it. I can take it.

A Great Tag from a Great Gal

Let me preface with a story from yesterday's class.

Having read a chapter on Multicultural Counseling, my classmates and I were invited to do an activity to help us become more culturally self-aware. It involved a worksheet that looked a bit like elementary school busy work (in a good way); there was a circle in the center where we were to write our names and then satellite circles (like lollipops radiating out from our name) where we could indicate a few of the traits that we identify as being part of our self-concept. The teacher probably explained the task more succinctly; I am sorry she is not present to do so now.

My palms got sweaty. My head began to swim. There were only four bubbles in which to identify my most-defining aspects of self! I flustered around for approximately three times longer than necessary and came up with: 1) traditionalist 2) moralist 3) feminist 4) upper-middle-class female from the east coast (no need to mention that this is actually three identifying traits. I was up until three in the morning because of it.)

We then proceeded to a small group where we could discuss which of our traits were associated with power and privilege and vice versa. As the other group members began to discuss their traits, I noticed that theirs differed from mine in a fundamental way: theirs actually meant something. While it would take me seventy three hours to describe what I mean when I identify myself as a "moralist", the lady in my group who, wisely, identified that she is a fiancee had nothing to explain. Her identified traits were all self-evident and stress-free, much like the other group members' identifiers.

Although I do not typically respond to tags, this one is from a grand gal whose post was very funny, so I think you should read it.

It is in the spirit of aforementioned unnecessary complication and loquacity that I bring you this tag:

Things I value:

1) Ikea. In the name of all that is good and holy, I beg you not to tell me the reasons their prices are so low; if I have to stop going to Ikea when I've had a rough day who knows what might happen. I might end up at McDonald's! That's what! Then how would you feel?

2) People who tell me new things. Because I am woefully aware of the great many things I do not know, I really appreciate when people tell me something new, especially when it is something I care about. This valuing obviously extends to the folks who have written books that have changed my mind and, consequently, my life. Thank you all!

3) People who can do things I purposely tell myself are impossible so I won't have to do them. marathoners, quilters, gardeners, writers of books, I'm looking at you.

Things I do not value:

1) Paypal. Every time I find myself confronted with the Paypal homepage I know I am in deep yogurt. I think they have evil corporate monsters that change people's passwords, preferred credit cards, and shipping addresses when nobody is looking. Hey, Paypal! Go suck an egg!

2) One of my jobs. Although I am grateful that I get paid for more hours of work than I do, I hate never knowing if I did anything right. And while I don't mind adolescents, I now know I prefer them in groups of one.

3) Projects that make me feel guilty. Currently I still own the computer tower and monitor that I used in college. The monitor is often completely non-functional. The computer is antiquated. The only reason I still own the whole she-bang is that it is the only machine that has a floppy drive and I have one floppy disk with a significant amount of material on it (also from college), but the disk won't give up its information. The computer claims the disk needs to be reformatted. So I need to discover how to reformat the disk, download my college education onto a flash drive, and give the computer to good will. It's only three steps, but the computer sits in the corner of my bedroom making me feel like a loser, as it has for four solid years. So help me, I hate projects that take more than an hour to finish.

I tag Kelsey, because I think she will play. If any of the reast of y'all want in, feel free to self-tag.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


I am a reader of food blogs. I began when I "went vegan" a year and a half ago and I have never looked back. Food blogs have educated me about a central part of life and I have a lot of fun reading them. They have picked up where a hypothetical bunch of pie making females left off in the grand progression of my learning how to take care of myself. I didn't know what a pattypan squash was but now I do. Talk about empowerment.

But I have to say, there are two adjectives that turn up astonishingly often in the food blogosphere that really bug me. These two words are 'comforting' and 'cloyingly'. Why not just say the macaroni and cheese is fattening? And that the cookies are too damn sweet? You know? Sheesh, people. Get a thesaurus.

Friday, November 14, 2008

The feelings never die, they just go into remission

I try to be friendly. In my classes, especially, I have been making an effort to make eye contact and smile at folks. I am hoping that this concerted effort will make me into a more well-rounded and appealing human being. Some people are still too annoying to manage a smile at but, for the most part, I do a pretty good job. Eye contact for everyone.

However, I have noticed that one girl in one of my classes intimidates me. I find myself avoiding her kind of awkwardly (she is not aware of this, of course. The whole drama remains mine, and now yours, to enjoy). But today, I was feeling a little more pert than usual, and looked her right in the face and smiled. She smiled back. For her, the moment was over. She is no longer thinking about it. But I was plunged into intense awkwardness. I felt myself blushing and not knowing where to look. And then I realized.

She is the spitting image of my death crush from sixth grade.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Geoffrey Beene Gives Back

It may sound like a children's book, but the title of this post is actually about this.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Fun and festivity

I woke up this morning two hours before the alarm went off because I was so excited that it was election day. I think NPR has washed my brain for good. Either way, the whole day has a special feeling about it and, even though my guy is unlikely to win (which I still can't quite make sense of) the day has felt electric to me. Living in a place where, at least in theory, we can all vote to choose our government officials is a rare blessing and one I enjoyed today. Even Starbucks and Ben and Jerry's are kicking down free stuff for folks sportin' I Voted stickers. I'm not here to say Starbucks isn't The Man, but, hey, a free beverage is a free beverage (I probably won't take them up on their offer, but just sayin'.)

My most favorite part of voting was casting my vote for Nader, of course. But a close second was the location for voting in my precinct. It is called the Multi-Ethnic Senior Hi-Rise. I think all voting should be held in Senior Centers because it was evident the residents couldn't have been more pleased about the high volume of traffic, if only for one day. There were old disabled people everywhere, greeting me at the door, wishing me well, thanking me for voting. It was pretty delightful, and I'm glad that the voting locale made it easy for some less-mobile folks to have their say.

As I walked into the Multi-Ethnic Senior Hi-Rise, I must say I noticed that I fit in better than I should have for my twenty six and eleven-twelfths years. It was like I knew where I would be heading when I picked out my outfit today...

Happy voting! I hope Nader wins!