Monthly Archives: March 2008

about who I once wanted to be

I had this image of who I wanted to be.  A strong, authoritative, confident woman, the one who maintained a feminine nature, who didn’t feel the need to assert herself by wearing power suits or by sitting in and bearing my breast as indiscreetly as possible to make a point about breastfeeding being beautiful.  I want to be a mother and a career woman and also have my hobbies which include sewing, gardening, and painting.  I also want to help women with decisions about health issues, I want to make sure women know their options and are educated before making these decisions.  I think women, as a whole, are a powerful force in helping each-other become the women we want to be and women are a powerful force in society.  And I think some women have taken a wrong turn.  And I wouldn’t be blogging about some women because it would only be considering an isolated portion and there are plenty examples of groups that aren’t doing this.  But I’m writing about these women because they are getting too much attention, too much credit, and I don’t want them to represent me. 

I think women have found a new source of liberation through blogging.  And that’s great.  I think this is a great platform to use for many good things – news/opinion, ideas, sharing, connecting, venting, whatever you can think of.  And now companies and marketers have jumped on it and are targeting this platform.  Which is also great, it’s tapping into niche audiences like never before and it offers marketers a direct line to their customer, something that often gets lost.  But in terms of a representative community, mommy blogs are taking over the tubes.  And I wish I could say that’s a good thing, but I think the community has succumbed to popular girl syndrome.  What started as a community for networking and finding resources has exploded into a conglomerate of mommyblogger+insert here (journalist, crazy cocktail queen, political junkie, craft-guru, posh net-worker….)  And it’s a marketing magnet.  Companies have jumped on this community and schmoozed it into a sense of entitlement.  Just follow mommybloggers on twitter and you’ll see how quick some are to jump onto mistakes marketers make when gearing offers to this community.  In the end, I think it’s harmful to other mommybloggers trying to establish themselves without being so quick to the draw on bashing the first company that does the wrong thing, the company that doesn’t have a woman speaker at the conference, or the political rally that under-represents mothers.

And while this is seemingly geared to mommybloggers, it’s not.  It’s also about women in the corporate world, the higher-ups, the decision makers.  The sense of entitlement reveals itself in business deals.  While sweet in the beginning, I’ve been bitten in the ass by passive-aggressive women using others to deliver messages so that the head can keep smiling to the public.  This isn’t the case everywhere, it’s just a disappointment to me when a stereotype proves true.  I want to believe more in humanity, people, and women.  I like having mentors and heroes, I think it’s important to have these people throughout life.  But as a twenty-something, I’ve been disappointed as of late by the women around me.  And as a blogger, albeit just a personal blogger, it’s important to find these mentors and heroes in the blogging world.  That sense of entitlement translates down to people just entering the blogosphere.  I met a girl just barely out of college at a conference last year and her sense of entitlement shat all over me.  She was trying to dig for information on my boss and I pointed her in the direction of my boss and she snipped, completely shoved her face up near mine and noted how I was not helping her at all.  I passed this information to my boss, and you know, my boss pays attention to how not only the managers are treated, but the coordinators and assistants as well.  The entitlement attitude in the women blogosphere is contagious, and I don’t think it’s going in a direction I want to go.

1 Comment

Filed under Life

on going for it

In college I had an irrational fear of going home for the summer.  Mainly because I knew I had left home for good and really did not want to return.  So after my freshman year, I stayed a few months taking an extra class and sculling on the lake.  Learning to scull is much different than rowing in an 8 boat.  First you have to learn to carry the boat out of the hold by yourself, balance it on your head to the water, flip it down into the water, then balance your way into the seat without letting it flip.  But then something about being on the water alone and hearing the rythmic motion of oars hitting the water followed by the silence of a slow recovery before the next stroke, it’s the most calming and focus-driven I think I have ever been.  And it made me want to push myself to the limit.  Until the day the oar caught on some algae and I flipped.  My coach came by to talk me through getting back into the boat, but he wouldn’t help. I was mortified.  You basically have to flip the boat so as not to leave water in the bottom and then throw your body over the center and spin yourself around until you are parallel with the boat and can pull your feet up under you back into the seat (trick about rowing is you can never stand on the bottom of the boat, the shell is so thin to keep it moving you will likely step through.)  This took me a good 15 minutes.  I remember wanting to cry from exhaustion and inhaling so much algae water.  Afterwards, a varsity girl came up to me and told me how the coach usually keeps his eye out for the novice that flips first.  This was a good sign, it meant that person wasn’t afraid to push herself.  I had been the first novice of the year to flip. 

I admire people who go for it and take risks because I know plenty of people who hide behind their comfort wall and never just say “fuck it” and make the step.  And I’m convinced that people who take risks are happier.  You know those people who just coast along and let life take care of them?  and all the better if they hook up with someone who will ensure everything will be taken care of?  or for that matter, the ones that cut opportunity short because the comfort zone is just too cozy to leave?  I don’t buy that those people are really happy.

Sometimes work feels like an endurance race, like I’m being judged on how much can I get done, how much can I trudge through, and still maintain pace.  I speak with my best friend on the phone and tell her what I am doing and she often says, “you know, I just try and get through the day taking on as little as possible.”  Lately, every time I talk to my mom she’s exhausted from work and seemingly lives in a constant state of sighs, a chaotic day repeated over and over with frustrations building.  I screw up a lot at work.  Sometimes I want to spend entire days hiding under my desk.  Sometimes I feel like all I do is apologize for my mistakes and it takes so much energy and sugar just to keep moving forward with a positive attitude.  But in the end I hope all my mistakes add up to the fact that I am taking risks and those risks will propel me forward.  At the very least, taking risks keeps me on my toes.

Leave a comment

Filed under Job, Life, Uncategorized

the truth about celery

I’ve only snuggled up to 2 men in my life, and the only commonality between the 2 has been the faint smell of celery.  This caught me by surprise at first, I thought it was just one person’s unique smell.  But when after writing this about wearing boys dirty shirts b/c they smell like celery and this somehow relaxes me, a colleague mentioned that she’s heard this before.  I admit, I didn’t believe her.  Then I found this in Men’s Health:

The Celery Seduction

Forget about all those pheromone sprays that are supposed to attract women. Researchers looking for a real turn-on tonic have focused on the potent male hormone androsterone, which is also found in celery. They believe androsterone is released through perspiration after eating. Your partner may not actually smell it on you, but because androsterone is thought to attract females, don’t be surprised if she snuggles up real close. Even if you don’t get lucky, keep in mind that you’re eating a low-calorie, fiber-rich food that helps clean your teeth and freshen your breath. Not a bad deal either way.

So, I’m not just some weird girl attracted to men who smell like celery.  No wonder wearing boys shirts relaxes me, it’s apparently one step away from getting laid.

2 Comments

Filed under Food, Life

Performance in the absence of commitment

I just cleaned my dishes and found moldy yuckiness that used to be hummus and lentils sitting in the sink.  I have clothes strewn all over my living room and I just dined on a bag of candied ginger.  Monday this week I received an umpteenth phone call from my mom asking “is something wrong?  are you mad at me?” and an e-mail from my best friend “are you hiding?”  I expect one from my grandfather soon, who I briefly got in the habit of talking to every Sunday and ashamedly let the routine slide.  And tonight I found a neglected medical bill from September of last year and did I mention I recently had 5 parking tickets out on my car at once?  5?!  Those of you who know me know that this is not me at all.  I’ve been emotionally absent from most things going on in my life and I should know myself well enough that the instant detachment from life is a sign of high stress and very bad things to come.

I got called out yesterday by my boss when she asked, “what capacity of work load are you at?”  And I gave her a blank stare.  She then asked “are you able to take on anything else?” And I laughed and shook my head.  She asked me what projects I need to drop in order to get things done and I told her and she let me drop them.  This was followed by a very brief but firm reminder that when this happens I need to let people know.  I was really embarrassed, but the truth is that I had no idea I was taking on too much.  I’ve been working on a project for months now that is about to launch and seeing the full picture has peaked my interest in the potential for other projects.  So while I’m trying to do basic admin stuff all I can think about is Trapani’s Upgrade Your Life that I was reading on the BART train and how this stuff should really be taught to anyone entering a new job b/c all my project files and inbox folders are shot to shit from bad methods of organizing when I started 2 1/2 years ago and really, why haven’t we signed Merlin Mann?  Why hasn’t anyone signed Merlin Mann, b/c there’s a market for him.  And oh look, right when I call him the “Dooce” of Mac fan-boys, she goes and blogs about how great his twitter stream is and this is how my day rolls away from those basic admin duties into the world of endless marketing possibilities and there’s so much to pursue.  Which I guess is a good thing, in a way.

But I worry I’m adopting an ADHD work ethic.  And I think it’s because I can’t commit.  While I’m enjoying work, I can’t commit to one aspect of it.  I dabble in stuff but I don’t usually delve into opportunities fully and see them through to the end.  It’s no secret that I want to go to medical school, 15 credits into the pre-med post Bach program and I have yet to formally enroll.  Because while everyone else is convinced I’ll be able to do it, until I can convince myself that I can go for it and won’t fail at it, I am unable to commit.  Maybe it’s a flaw in how I equate passion with success.  Passion should allow for failure.  And it’s times like this I want to quit everything, pack up my stuff, put Jack in the car, and move back home to Louisiana and enroll full time so I can focus.  Louisiana has to be the best place for me to focus because every time I go all I can think about is how do I get out, and if that means going back and leaving only upon entry into a medical school, chances are I’d wrap the prerequisites up in record time. 

Although as tempting as it is to run away, this is only half of my life.  The other half spent last night searching for coyotes at dusk with ex-boy and Jack.  And when 2 coyotes snuck up behind us on the trail just as we had given up because all light was gone and I could barely see Jack prancing in their direction, off leash, all of the above worries slipped from my mind and some from my bladder because I was so scared I very well could have peed in my pants and not even known it.  I froze, Jack froze, ex-boy froze.  In fear of Jack thinking I was playing chase, I didn’t move toward him to grab him, we all just stood staring at one another.  And when the coyotes walked off I screamed at Jack with a tone ex-boy couldn’t identify and hesitated to say it contained slight quiver but there was fear.  And it was awesome.

Leave a comment

Filed under Dog, Job, Life

What’s yours?

I hear this every day.  I can’t make it around the lake without hearing it.  And this is what they’re asking about:day-before-easter-and-katherine-jed-080.jpg

I have no idea what he is.  I usually answer “mutt.”  The only known is that he’s red heeler / Aussie cattle dog.  He has the markings of a beagle, the stature of a whippet, and more than 5 people have said he trots like a hyena.  (Including the creepy dude that had to mention he has seen hyenas in Africa and can verify that he does move like one.) 

I had 3 criteria for a dog, I wanted a hiking partner, a running partner, and a Frisbee dog.  I used to threaten ex-boy that these things combined would make for some serious competition for the main man in my life.  And Jack has 2.5 down.  (he’s a bit of a poser with the Frisbee, he loves trotting around with the disc in his mouth covering his entire face and he knows how to retrieve the Frisbee, but going for it mid-air, he’s got some coordination kinks we’re working on…)

I thought about having the $75 breed DNA test done, but he’s probably a compilation of more than 2 breeds in which the accuracy drops from 75% to 45%.  Not worth it.

But what is worth it is that he makes strangers smile.  (and scares away poets.)

2 Comments

Filed under Dog

signs of spring

The Whistler, he’s back.  (and all those blog entries in between that one and this one is an odd reminder of how much can happen in a short period of time.)

The poet is back, too.  He caught me last summer in line at Andronico’s.  I felt someone staring at me – I hate that feeling, so I turned around to look the culprit in the face.  (tip: boys, don’t stare.  go up and say something, but don’t do what this guy did.)  And that’s when he offered to recite me a poem.  The other day, standing outside of Starbucks with Jack, I felt his stare as he crossed the street.  He approached me and offered the poem.  Fortunately Jack doesn’t like poets. 

Lastly, every day between 6 and 8 pm I get antsy.  No television watching, no chores, no sitting in front of the computer – I have to be outside.  And if I’m not I get really anxious thinking I am wasting the day and the sunlight and every ounce of potential the day may have held.  I’ve done the same thing every since I was young and I used to go outside and sit on the driveway or swing in the hammock or go on very long walks by myself until the light was gone for the day.  I have trouble letting daylight go, and unknown potential for that matter.

Leave a comment

Filed under Life

my totally awesome easter present

queen-bee-chirp.jpg

I love it!  More very cool stuff here: http://www.queenbee-creations.com/

1 Comment

Filed under Life

the poop in the bag story

I made a reference to poop in the bag a while back and realize that if I don’t tell the story of what really happened, well, people can make assumptions in all kinds of directions on that one.  So I’m going to clear up the story right here…

Senior year in college (Skidmore), I was working around 28 hrs/week and taking about 15 credits.  Needless to say I was drained and more often then not fighting off a cold.  On top of that, I decided to go home for Thanksgiving, the first time I had done so since I entered college.  It was because my dad had contracted West Nile Virus and after being in a coma for a month, I wanted to go home to see him.  It was an emotional trip and I came back feeling disconnected from campus life and unable to talk about what I had experienced at home with my friends. 

I also returned to campus having contracted something vile.  Something that had me racing to the bathroom after every single thing I ate and gave me stomach pains that had me in tears. I went to health services and they told me to eat certain things and if it didn’t go away in a few days to return.  I followed the diet list perfectly, making homemade compote and eating rice and bread, but I found myself in bed often from lack of energy or on the floor in tears from not being able to follow along to my roommate’s yoga video due to stomach pains.  Upon returning to health services pleading for drugs, they weighed me and I had dropped a significant amount of weight, enough to question what was going on.  Did I get a prescription?  Nope!  I got 3 little containers that I had to provide “samples” in so they could be sent to a lab and dissected. 

I came back to the apartment, looked at my roommate, told her what I had to do, and sat down and probably cried.  I was so miserable my roommate almost bought me a cushioned toilet seat to help ease my suffering.  It took me a day to get the nerve to hold a cup, nevertheless three different cups, underneath what I could only describe as liquid acid that was coming out of my body seeing how I hadn’t eaten for a very long while.  But I did it, and damn if I wasn’t going to bring that back to health services ASAP so I didn’t have to keep it in the apartment.  So I put them in a brown paper bag, drove as fast as I could to campus, parked and ran the shit to health services.  Relieved, hoping to get a quick response to what was ailing me, I came back to my car and found a parking ticket.  Yes, I had knowingly parked illegally, but you can understand why. 

This was back in the day my spending was monitored so closely that if my tuition reflected that I lost my id card, I was docked that amount from my allowance.  Needless to say, my allowance paid the bills and my measly $5.25/hr at the Gap paid for groceries and the occasional dinner out with friends.  I was broke.  So a parking ticket was something I just could not afford.  So I appealed it.  And I wrote a letter to campus security and explained as eloquently as possible “I had to deliver poop to health services, and you can see why I wouldn’t want to spend the time trying to find a parking space with such an urgent matter sitting on my passenger seat in a paper bag.” 

And you know what, my appeal was approved and I got out of having to pay that ticket.  Even though I’m fairly positive my appeal letter is still hanging on the wall of campus security.

Later that week I received a phone call from health services “were you in another country recently?” I responded “umm, no.  Well, I was in Louisiana, so I guess that could be another country.”  I had caught some kind of rare parasite that eventually passed through my system at the expense of 10lbs lost painfully.  And I’m pretty sure it was this incident that keeps me from appreciating food to this day.  But the moral of the story is, if you ever need to get out of a parking ticket, plea poop in the bag.

3 Comments

Filed under Life

fear

Someone once told me they were afraid of dieing without leaving anything behind to be remembered by.  It came across at the time like some ego-driven, selfish comment that I wanted to yell back at “that’s not what life’s about!  it’s not about doing something to be remembered by, it’s about doing something that can make a difference today, whether your name is attached to it or not isn’t important, no one will ever be that important!”  But I think I’m equally if not more selfish and ego-driven.  Because while I can honestly say I’m not afraid of dieing, I am utterly and completely afraid of growing old.  And that has nothing to do with making a difference in the world today and it will never affect anyone else but me.  I am scared of not being that graceful old woman that has long grey hair and still goes for walks and goes snow shoeing with her dog, the one from movies and rejuvenating facial cream commercials.  What if I’m that distant, frizzy thinning haired lady that still wears clothes from the 1990s and can’t keep up with the kids of today and all the technology business. 

Ex-boy and I joke about how we would allow the other to commit suicide or euthanize the other if we get incapacitated.  But it’s true.  Those people that are kept in comas for years and years because someone swears it’s an act of god they’re still alive is bullshit.  Someone else having to wipe my ass when I get old because I can’t?  Nope, can’t do it to myself or the other person.  It’s these kind of things that make me cringe.  Or even watching someone try and make their way through a garden or the beach with a walker?  Sometimes when I run I push myself really hard because my dad lost his ability to run and if that ever happened to me I know I would go nuts.  So I have to get the running in now, be appreciative of it, let it keep me sane while it can, because if for some reason that disappears with old age or chance, I believe I wouldn’t last much longer. 

And then there are the shallow reasons I don’t want to age.  For men, middle age is something society can easily find attractive.  But for a woman, entering middle age and then going through the whole birthing thing if you decide to have children, and having to re-coop from that alongside the slowing metabolism and the old-lady butt, the one indicative of someone who doesn’t work out because it sags and tends to look like you’re wearing a diaper…  Yes, I’m a shallow person indeed.  But it’s what keeps me standing in front of the mirror every morning an extra minute for every year I get older, stepping on the scale in front of the mirror naked, examining if that mole on my butt has travelled farther off to the side or if it’s staying put, if my thighs are touching more than yesterday, if those laugh lines don’t disappear as quickly as they used to, and damn if I don’t start smiling I’m going to have those wicked old lady frown lines. 

I wish I could focus my energies on leaving something behind that I could be remembered by, it’s starting to be a more admirable pursuit than being the girl stuck in the mirror, trying to figure out how she’s going to pull off fooling everyone into thinking she’s aging gracefully.

1 Comment

Filed under Life

completely juvenile

I love ferns.  Why?  because they have FLAGELLATED SPERM!

and I know that is completely 12 years old of me, but I laugh every time I think of a plant having FLAGELLATED SPERM.

Leave a comment

Filed under Life, plants