Friday, October 22, 2010

What a Feminist Learned Today

Today I learned that when men grow hair on their faces, it's funny, it's adorable, it's endearing, it's wonderful.

Today I learned that when women grow hair on their legs, it's disgusting, it's unspeakable, it should not be discussed in polite company, it puts one off one's lunch.

Today I learned how angry I am, that this double standard should be so casually assumed by so many people.

It seems as though Blogger won't let you embed video any more, so here. Go and watch this. Pay close attention (I'm using my teacher voice right now) to the last thirty seconds or so.

And then, maybe, the next time someone says that leg hair on a human being is shameful and degrading, we can do what I was not brave enough to do today - we can say a massive and collective screw you to the masses who think we are less than human because we are women.

Friday, October 8, 2010

On being thankful for your own damn self

without any assistance or guidance from you 
i have loved you assiduously for 8 months 2 wks & a day 
i have been stood up four times 
i’ve left 7 packages on yr doorstep 
forty poems 2 plants & 3 handmade notecards i left 
town so i cd send to you have been no help to me 
on my job 
you call at 3:00 in the mornin on weekdays 
so i cd drive 27 1/2 miles cross the bay before i go to work 
charmin charmin 
but you are of no assistance 
i want you to know 
this waz an experiment 
to see how selifsh i cd be 
if i wd really carry on to snare a possible lover 
if i waz capable of debasin my self for the love of another 
if i cd stand not being wanted 
when i wanted to be wanted 
& i cannot 
with no further assistance & no guidance from you 
i am endin this affair
this note is attached to a plant 
i’ve been waterin since the day i met you 
you may water it 
yr damn self
-ntozake shange

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Random, with Angst and Pictures

I just realized the other day that I've been working my butt off for three years, and I have, financially speaking, gotten exactly nowhere. Three years ago, you see, I was getting child support, and a whack of money from the government (Child Tax Benefit FTW). Now, no more child support, and I make too much money (oh, irony) to qualify for the Child Tax Benefit, and we've taken up riding and competitive swimming respectively, and if we want to keep doing that then our budget (and by "our" I mean "my," because only one of us works in this household, and it sure as hell ain't the dog) is very, very, very tight.

And I know I shouldn't complain, because there are so many people with less than I have, and when things are tight AFTER you've paid for all your bills and expenses and food and extra fun things (riding, swimming) then you have no one to blame but yourself, and I know that September is always hard because of back to school things, but HOLY COW, I would like things to be easier. Sometimes. Just once or twice, maybe, so I can see what it's like. I promise not to get used to it.

Anyway. Moving on.

Fall is, all financial disasters aside, my favourite season. It's the colours, the weather, the fact that it's not dark all the time yet, that golden light we get here over the fields, the excitement of a new school year. The air is cool and crisp and dry, and you can crunch leaves under your feet and smell their spicy scent, and sit in front of your fireplace at night, and wear your lovely knitted sweaters.

Most of all, I love fall because it isn't February.

I have decided that I want to knit a blanket - the Moderne Blanket from Mason-Dixon Knitting. Here's someone who's already done it, if you're curious. (If you're curious about why someone might want to knit a blanket, well, I just can't help you there. Some people like skiing, some people like knitting blankets. There's no accounting for weirdness.) I want my blanket's colours to be fallish, even though I made that word up and don't know quite what I mean. Like this, maybe:

Or this:

But probably this, for sure (maybe):

 I like the dark spruce green, the sage green of the fields, the dark red and the bright yellow of the leaves changing, the blue blue sky, the patches of green grass that last and last, the water that reflects the long autumn afternoon light, the blush of the sunrise.

Decisions, decisions.

Perhaps I will just go and make a pumpkin pie, instead.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Poem for Saturday - really sad edition

Dog's Death
By John Updike

She must have been kicked unseen or brushed by a car. 
Too young to know much, she was beginning to learn 
To use the newspapers spread on the kitchen floor 
And to win, wetting there, the words, “Good dog! 
Good dog!”
We thought her shy malaise was a shot reaction. 
The autopsy disclosed a rupture in her liver. 
As we teased her with play, blood was filling her skin 
And her heart was learning to lie down forever.
Monday morning, as the children were noisily fed 
And sent to school, she crawled beneath the youngest’s bed. 
We found her twisted and limp but still alive. 
In the car to the vet’s, on my lap, she tried
To bite my hand and died. I stroked her warm fur 
And my wife called in a voice imperious with tears. 
Though surrounded by love that would have upheld her, 
Nevertheless she sank and, stiffening, disappeared.
Back home, we found that in the night her frame, 
Drawing near to dissolution, had endured the shame 
Of diarrhoea and had dragged across the floor 
To a newspaper carelessly left there. Good dog.