Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Old cat, old tricks

The mouse in the apartment is still at large. Have I mentioned this before? I think I have. Yeah. Mouse in the house. Little bugger made its first appearance while Smokey was recovering from his oral surgery. Ever since I've seen it here or there. I chased it down the hall once. It took a hard left, fell over on its side, legs flailing in the air, and still managed to right itself and scurry off behind the stove.

And where was Smokey? Laying on a pile of the Dude's clothes on the bed. Relaxing.

So yesterday I'm on the couch and out of the corner of my eye I keep seeing movement. And then finally I see it, the mouse. It's under the coffee table and I lunge at it, and predictably it dove back under the couch.

I had given up on Smokey mouse hunting. He's 17 and half-toothless and I'm pretty sure his hearing is going. The Dude brought him into the living room anyway, just to see if the presence of a cat would mean anything to this mouse. Smokey sauntered onto my lap and curled up and got cozy. I remarked that my cat had become only a pet and not a mouse solution.

But then he lept very deftly from my lap and pounced in front of the couch. He then skulked around, maneuvering skillfully and with purpose. He attempted several tactics to try and get the mouse to come out. Years fell away from his face and body. Smokey meant business. It was awesome. I felt so proud of him. Funny isn't it? Proud of a cat for being a cat?

Well, I was. Just when I'd figured he was old and retired from life, he surprised me. How I love that cat.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Day 1

I'm young, I'm childfree and I'm on vacation. So naturally, I slept in and have spent the morning on my laptop in bed. I have no real plans today. On one hand that's pretty awesome, as not working is delightful, but somehow I'm experiencing holiday guilt. You know, the kind where you have a stint of time off and you feel kind of bad about not being out there in the world doing something worthwhile with your time?

And I don't even mean charitable or anything. I mean like being out having fun outside or with friends or in a park or shopping or getting a manicure or at the beach or on a road trip-- you get the idea. Basically using my time off to enjoy myself doing things I would not normally do is what I feel like I ought to be doing, mostly because I'm already not terribly busy so doing nothing at all should not feel so damn good.

Only it does. I'm not very Type A, I never have been. I guess I'm not even Type A about fun. In any case, I have to conserve my monies a bit. I'm still paying off Smokey's vet bill, $1,100 more to go, and Mexico, about $550 more to go. Funny thing about Mexico is I'll probably experience the same do-nothing guilt, as I do enjoy just sitting by a pool with a book and a drink, and not necessarily playing games, surfing, or touring local towns.

What I may do is buy some new slippers. Smokey, in his infinite love for me, took a dump inside my last pair. Yes, inside. I found out when I put my foot inside the slipper. I only have two questions: How did he manage that? And what did I do to him? Anyway, the slippers were so old and tattered that they didn't survive the washing machine.

Regardless of my lacklustre approach to time off, day 1 of booked vacation is under way. The only thing I can say for sure about today is that I may get dressed. Maybe.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Think good thoughts

This really speaks to me. I feel the same way.

Additionally, this makes me love life.

And some positive feelings are needed today and a reminder that I genuinely love people. A group of about 100-150 people tore up downtown Toronto yesterday. And police let it happen. They all congregated around this group, mostly protecting that goddanm fence around the G20 summit, and did nothing to protect store owners' property.

Police then broke up peaceful protest in designated protest zones, firing tear gas, rubber bullets and using intimidation tactics.

Toronto is like a police state right now. If you live downtown, leaving your home can cause you trouble. The Dude and I are staying at home, well out of the downtown core. It just doesn't feel safe or reasonable to be out.

I'm thoroughly disgusted. I'm upset with the anarchists who ran amok in downtown Toronto and destroyed people's business fronts. I'm angry at the police who allowed it to happen. I'm furious with the prime minister who decided against all advice from Toronto MPs to hold the summit in downtown TO, knowing exactly what happens to the cities that host the G20.

Basically, any country that hosts this pointless gathering should have the sense and decency to hold it in a remote location, where citizens lives are not disrupted or put in harm's way, where businesses won't lose money or sustain damage to their property, where so much police won't be required. Hosting the summit in the largest, most densely populated city in the entire country was a massive fail.

Think good thoughts, Toronto, this bullshit will come to an end. Then we'll survey the destruction to our home.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

So maybe I like it

So as it turns out, I kinda like hot yoga. The first time I was unprepared for the level of heat and exhaustion. This time the class sort of flew by. And it's always the same routine, which really helps the minutes tick away. Also, amazingly, after only my second class, I was able to touch my toes in certain stretches, something that has never happened for me before ever.

Yes, I'm 27.5 years old and this is a first. Fancy that, eh?

You know, it's kind of funny. The things you think you're going to like or get into or even try are so far off base when you're a teenager. When I was 13-15, I wanted to learn guitar. Now, I have about zero musical ability, and in fact I tried to learn piano for about five years. I never really progressed and strangely the year I quit I stopped understanding math. Buzuh?

Anyway, I thought it'd be cool to learn guitar. I also wanted to learn to ride horses. I did ride a horse once when I was 20 and I didn't care for it. Plus, as it turns out, large animals make me nervous. I mean, they're neat and I like to look at them and I enjoy the idea of a horse, but yeah. That's about it.

When I was 15 I thought I was going to wait for marriage to have sex. I thought that would happen by 25 and then I'd start having babies. I was also pro-life (because virgins don't have to worry about that sort of thing, and it's easy to lack empathy when it's not your problem).

Pretty much you never know what you're going to do or like. Hell, I didn't even think I liked peppers, green beans, zucchini (See a pattern here? I thought I hated vegetables), tomatoes, oranges, eggs, brown bread...

And now I'm belly dancing, eating Indian food and stirfry, living with my boyfriend, now taking up yoga and generally not doing or being anything I had planned on doing or being. Is this really how long it takes a person to figure out who they are? Almost 30 years?


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Hot Yoga: Sweat Bath of the Ages

I did hot yoga yesterday. I was effing drenched in ways and places I never knew was possible.

So I get there 20 minutes early, thinking I should sign up, change, stretch, blah blah blah. First step into the studio I was hit by a wave of humidity. The working conditions of the reception area struck me as a type of hell. But I was determined.

So I change and go into the classroom 10 minutes early and holy Christ on a bike, it was even hotter. I suddenly question my decision and kick myself for coming so early because now I'm stuck in this room longer than I have to be.

There's this guy in there about 60 years old with a body that looks like it means some lean angry business. You know when you see a young beefcake and he kind of looks bloated and puffed up? Like if he stops working out for a week he'll deflate? These muscles on this older guy were mature looking, the kind you can only imagine from long-term constant reliable use. These muscles were a lifetime in the making. He was bald, topless and looked like he'll probably live another 40 years.

So eventually others file in and the instructor arrives and points out I'm a newcomer and that I should just try to stay in the room, if I can manage it. So I'm thinking WTF and then she tells me I might get faint or nauseous. Well fuck.

So we do these deep breath stretches, and I don't who who else is aware of this, but breathing in humid hot air is a damn chore. It's hard, man. Like I could not do it. This is just the initial breathing, too. I had trouble with the breathing part.

So I'm looking over at the older guy, who resembles a more badass version of Mr. Clean, and he's already beading up a sweaty storm. I'm definitely damp and clammy at this point, but this guy's really melting like a snowman.

After several poses, I want a drink of water and I'm told I'm not allowed yet. No, we have to finish this one pose before we drink anything. Well.

So around the hour mark (and this is a 90-minute class) we finally get to sit down. I am soaking in my own juices. My hair looks like it is trying to abandon ship and each strand is every woman for herself. I look down at my legs and not only do they remind me of under ripe strawberries, but I can actually see water seeping out of the pores. I feel the unsettling sensation of water dripping all over my body without having had any water poured on me. I look over at Mr. Clean and a steady stream of sweat is literally trickling onto his towel.

During various poses sweat dribbles into my mouth and up my nose. My clothes are wet and heavy. And finally with 15 minutes to go I allow myself to collapse, where I lay on the ground and just ride the rest of the class out.

Leaving the class into the slightly less humid reception room was refreshing, peeling off my sopping clothes was a relief, the shower felt incredible. When I finally left the studio I couldn't even handle how good I felt. And suddenly the whole hot yoga thing made sense. You don't go for the actual yoga, you go for how you feel afterward.

In my still clammy and sweaty glory men were checking me out en route home, I slept like a baby at a reasonable hour and got up feeling refreshed at a normal time. The Dude told me I was glowing today.

So frig. Do I, as an adult, take up a hellish activity for the benefits? Or do I quit after one class and feel guilty every time I walk past the studio on the way for ice cream?

Time will tell, I suppose.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Hot Yoga

When I was 17-- hell, when I was 22 even-- I gave not a shit about vegetables or exercise. I made an attempt at tai chi in my early 20s and eventually gave up because I couldn't be bothered. I didn't like zucchini or peppers until I was about 24. I didn't take up dance until around then either.

Oh, the wasted years of mediocre health. I was doing pilates and enjoying it until I moved last October and my fragile routine crumbled under the change. I've been wanting something else to complement dance since (Anything for flexibility) and for some reason I can't seem to force myself to take the trip into town to get back into it.

So this week I start hot yoga. Frankly, I could stand to lose a few pounds and this is an activity I can do a few minutes from my house. Even on my laziest days I think I could make myself go. And I do get a lot of lazy days where video games and the internet have a much stronger draw than doing anything that would be to my physical benefit.

I bought new workout clothes to motivate myself. Also, it being hot yoga means lots of laundry. And I'm not going to go if every two classes I have to do a load to be able to go again.

I'm really hoping that this is going to be something that sticks. Of course I actually have to start. Maybe once I do I'll finally be able to touch my toes. I'd like to be able to do that before I hit 30. I mean, frig. If I don't get my ass cracking on my health and flexibility now in my 20s, I'm kind of screwed for the future, right?

I miss being able to eat McDonalds with no repercussions.

Friday, June 18, 2010

'Dem Teens

Teen movies I saw in the theatre (As a teen, of course)

Can't Hardly Wait
She's All That
American Pie
American Pie 2
The New Guy
10 Things I Hate About You

I remember liking them all, much the way I remember liking McDonalds before I developed better taste buds. The ones aimed at girls were about popularity and its relationship with dating opportunities. The ones aimed at boys were about getting laid at parties. The ones that were unisex had male leads and were about both. And this is the same crap that was available in the '80s, only with different fashion, music and slang.

16 Candles
Weird Science
Pretty in Pink
Some Kind of Wonderful

They're all just rehashes, right? Uncool girl saved from uncoolness by attractive cool boy who has an epiphany that the uncool girl is actually hot deep down inside? The less attractive girl is finally really noticed? The nerdy guy gets the girl and the last laugh and wins in the end? The popular girl decides to go for the less cool guy. The end!

And I'm pretty sure the same old nonsense is being re-done for the millennials. Is that what we call the '00s? Who knows. Anyway.

Know what I think teens need more of? The Breakfast Club. But not a remake, but other topics than dating, getting drunk and laid. Stuff about self identity, real conversations, things that would be relevant to the target audience. Only not played by people in their 20s.

Just worked on a teen movie that covers all the basic shtick: cool girl gets dumped, ditsy popular girls and their cool boyfriends, nerds liking sci-fi, alcohol being the key to coolness, getting laid at parties and crushes coming to fruition.

I've been wondering, are teenagers really vapid and flakey? Or is it just life imitating art? I remember the images I grew up with of what teenagers are supposed to be and do. I thought, if that's what it is, then that's what I want. Maybe if we expected more and presented more, then young people would be more.

Yesterday I watched a show about the Andes, where a 3-year-old could expertly peel potatoes with a sharp knife. I've long thought kids were too coddled these days, and I'm not suggesting every parent should teach their children knife skills, but certainly if children are capable of more than we allow them to learn, then definitely teenagers are capable of more depth than they show en mass. Am I right?

But our world in this hemisphere is doling out crap for them to consume, and it seems only crap. And a little bit of escapist drivel is a good time and harmlessly enjoyable, when in good balance with other things, like matters of higher thinking and reflection and honest insight. But where are those things to be found? Really, I have no idea.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Feels like home

So I switched up the design of ye olde blogge. Obviously, I didn't do the design myself, but I think it's more me.

I got a cheque in the mail for $100. It's an HST apology, more or less. I make under a certain amount so I got a rebate. I immediately and frivolously blew it on a new dress and other such fun items. Sure, I do have a big vet bill to pay off and a Mexican wedding/vacation to pay down, but...

This is for McPal.

So, anyway.

Speaking of McPal, the Dude and I had him and his boyfriend over for dinner a few nights ago for French food. We have really discovered that we enjoy entertaining. I like when people are in my home. It makes me feel good.

Growing up, my house was sort of a central hub for friends in the neighbourhood. Part of it was the central location in the subdivision. But mostly I think it was the atmosphere. My mom was into cozy decorating. You walked into the house and it was like being in a country home. Everything was comfortable and inviting, very few things were precious. The dining room opened up into a covered deck, filled with wicker furniture and items from flea markets.

Friends of my brother and me felt comfortable grabbing a snack from the fridge. People put their feet up. Everyone hung out. The house was always tidy if not perfectly clean. Lived-in would be the word. My mother did housework on the weekends. But she also made time to read and play Tetris. She was a fairly relaxed person, particularly for a single mother, and I think my friends responded to that and felt good about being in her home.

I want a home like that. I love pop-ins, I enjoy people feeling cozy at my place, I want to recreate that feeling. My home doesn't look like it's from the country, but it does have a kitschy quality to it (Thanks in part to the Dude and his predilection for bringing home curb treasure). I think the mishmash of stuff makes the place welcoming. In a way the living room is like the Island of Misfit Toys.

This is the first place the Dude and I have ever bothered to entertain in, and I think it's due to all the effort we've put into making it comfortable and pleasant here. In a way, for the first time in awhile, I feel more at home, rather than in transition. And that's weird because rather than than spending time in one place and growing into my apartment, I've been in constant flux and slowly over time my apartments have been growing into a home, through trial and error, accumulation and removal of furnishings. This place isn't the last destination either.

You know, one of the things that couples tend to have problems with is stuff. And when the Dude moved in, yeah, there were territory issues. But over time our respective tastes have compromised and merged fairly organically. It's a nice feeling to know he's been instrumental in feeling at home. In a way, he kind of is my home.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

There but for the grace of God go I

It's nearly 1:00 a.m. The Dude is in our hometown, seeing his mom, his buddy and his dad. Mostly it was a trip to help his dad paint a fence or something. The Dude is handy and helpful like that.

So I'm home enjoying some solitude. I got into this Facebook debate today with people I don't know. About what? Essentially inherent altruism versus looking out for number one. The question was what does social justice mean to you? Good question about an important topic.

I wasn't going to respond but I saw an answer: It's the opposite of personal freedom.

Yeah. I mean, are you kidding me? Ensuring opportunities for all is in contest with personal freedom? How do you even have freedom without opportunities? If you can't get a higher education, for example, or if you don't have access to healthcare, you're not free. You're trapped.

Then this guy pipes in about how hard it is being taxed 30%. This guy's an American and I did a check on American income tax rates. He has to make well over 100k, and possibly even close to 400k. Am I supposed to sympathize about his taxes? If he made 200k, he'd still be bringing home 140k. That's an incredible living.

I guess I just don't understand. I don't make nearly that much. I don't earn a year what he must lose in tax. But that just means what I do get taxed affects me more. And I don't mind. I don't mind doing my share via taxes to pay for roads, schools, hospitals, fire and police services... etc. I'm a reasonable person who understands these important features of modern life, even the ones I don't utilize at present, require money.

And to require that all the subjugated masses have what they need to develop themselves is only sensible. We're not all born to wealthy privilege. Actually, most of us aren't, that's why it's called privilege.

But it goes beyond that. There's all kinds of privilege that gives a person an edge. Being a man, being white, being straight, being attractive, for example. Then there's not being an immigrant, not being disabled, or not being a Muslim or Jew. Anything wrong with being a gay black female Jew? No. In fact, that is pretty cool, actually. But will you encounter more than your fair share of hardship compared to the Christian straight white guy from money? Uh, yeah. And it's not fair and that should be rectified.

So having programs and rules in place to discourage bigotry and to provide services that the public can avail themselves of, if only they have the drive, is compassionate, and moreover, intelligent.

But try telling this to these rich privileged people who are terrified of living in a world that's more fair to others, because all they think of is what they may lose, rather than those who suffer rising from poverty and oppression.

I called it greedy. One guy took umbrage. But what else can you call it when you feel violated at the thought of your tax dollars being spent for the good of the poor? It's a crap shoot in life who gets what. Who gets the looks and intelligence, who gets the talent and wealth, who gets the opportunities and support. It could have been anyone of us born into suffering or prejudice. And even later, anyone could meet disaster and need services in place to help, even you, even me. Like my aunt says, there but for the grace of God, go I. I'm agnostic, but you don't have to be religious to see the wisdom in that way of thinking.

Vote Green.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Good Chickflick vs Bad Chickflick

Remember the chickflick list? Tonight we finally finish it. Yeah. What was supposed to take 30 days has taken half a year. But it's coming to a close with The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. Which, for those not in the know, it's a film about mother-daughter relationships, motherhood, friendship that ages through the years and loyalty. It has little to do with romance, which is rare for a movie geared towards women, and I like that.

However, speaking of chickflicks, let me talk about a bad one I saw very recently. The Wedding Planner. If you want to see a movie about a woman who is capable at her job, but too mentally inept to speak up and properly call a man out on his lying bullshit OR too meek and simpering to correct a man who's telling damaging lies about her personal life, then this is the movie for you!

The mere fact I can't fathom anyone, even a stupid person, being this clueless about how to proceed in life tells me the writers who generated this garbage have no business being in business. It's really infuriating.

Set the stage. A woman working in her capacity as a wedding planner, with a couple whose groom failed to mention he was engaged while he was on a date with said planner, experiences an awkward moment. An eccentric man (that her father had set her up with) runs up while she's working and tells everyone in earshot that they're engaged, which they are not.

The wedding planner:
A. Tells the man on no uncertain terms that not only are they not engaged, but he is disrupting her work and that he should leave.
B. Quietly asks security to remove the man, and discreetly mentions to the couple that she is not involved with this man.
C. Goes along with the lie and does not correct the groom while he gives her hell for not being clear she was engaged on their date.

I didn't finish the movie, but I know how it ends. You see, the bride says something that makes her not perfect at one point, so clearly she's not the woman for this sneaky groom. This clears the way for the wedding planner to start a relationship with the liar who dates other women while engaged. And then... she finally gets HER turn for HER special day! Yay!

And sadly, I'm pretty sure now that if I encounter someone who liked this movie, I may just wind up respecting them less for it, much like if I found out they were a Scientologist.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Rock the Gala

The gala, the gala, the gala. I love the gala.

I had a great time, exposed my belly and of course looked chubby in the tummy in most of the photos that were taken, but what can you do? I still danced my best, looked my best and felt awesome about it. And now I feel ready to move up to the first intermediate level. Two years of dancing and I really feel like I'm a dancer now. Not a great dancer, but a dancer. I claim it as part of my identity and that makes me happy.

The day following the gala, I went to a cupcake/tea party. It's about as fun as it sounds, which is basically loads of fun. It was at McPal's boyfriend's apartment and it ran for about nine hours. We drank tea and ate sandwiches, made and ate cupcakes, had pizza, good conversation. It was exactly the sort of party I like to attend.

I woke up this morning still full and with a belly that looks as though it's quit on me. There's also about six cupcakes in the kitchen, begging to be eaten. Four of them are Sesame Street cupcakes: Cookie monster, Oscar the grouch, Grover and Bert. Oh yes. A few of us got creative. It was, after all, a meeting of the craft club. I don't know how I'll be able to eat those, though. I mean, how do you take a bite out of Grover's face? I'm sure the Dude will find a way.

Before I go, here's something I read recently that really struck a chord with me. I'm still on a feminist rampage of important causes and want to share this item from one of my favourite blogs.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

In the now

My last rant garnered a lot of attention and some thoughtful discussion. And that makes me happy. The Dude and I watched this yesterday. It's called Dreamworld 3, and it's a documentary piece on music videos and the way they influence our ideas about masculinity, femininity and sexuality. It was very thought-provoking.

Speaking of femininity, my belly dance gala is tonight. This is the first time I've felt ready to not just dance, but smile. I feel confident tonight. I feel comfortable. I'm going to go out there and enjoy it, not just freak out inside and wait for the high to come after I'm done. I'm hoping to be more in the moment.

I find it can be hard to do that on a regular basis, be in the moment. So often I'm either reflecting on the past, what did and didn't happen. Or I'm thinking ahead, about the life I want and what I need to do to get there. I so rarely just live what is happening in the now. I get lost in my head and think forwards or backwards.

So tonight I'm going to try and do just that. Be present on stage, be me, dance, enjoy it, rather than just trying to get through it without screwing it up.

Wish me luck.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Status Quo

Every now and then I get on my feminism horse and go for a gallop. It's a horse that needs frequent exercise and not enough women ride it.

I've been following a number of blogs (Obviously). I've posted the funny ones, the STFU ones, but more seriously, I actively read Rabble Pro-Choice, Feministing and Slut Had It Coming.

In particular, today on SHIC, I read this passage about abortion:

If you believe abortion is OK in instances of rape but not in cases of consensual sex, ask yourself: Why? Am I really all that concerned about the “unborn”—because remember, it’s not that fetus’s fault if the woman carrying it was raped—or am I making a moral judgment about the behavior of the woman involved and whether or not I think she “deserves” the right to an abortion based on her behavior? If the latter, what you’re indulging in is misogyny (yes, even if you’re a woman) and slut-shaming, and there’s nothing admirable, fair, or right about that.

And that really spoke to me. I felt that way when I was a teenager, before I became a real person (i.e. a thinking person). But really, if you think abortion is murder, rape or incest should not matter because the fetus is a person. To be consistent, you'd truly have to disregard all circumstances of the fetus' conception. And of course, that would make you a douche utterly lacking in compassion.

And most people are compassionate. So they say in the event of rape or incest, let the poor woman abort, so long as she feels bad about it. But if she actually, liked the sex, slut better be having that baby, yo. And that's fucked up.

Sometimes (often) I get fed up by other people's expectations and projections of what a woman should be, or what a woman must be if she deviates from these pre-conceived ideas. I tried to show some family my belly dance moves and it was implied I did it for dollar bills and I was asked to sit down. I won't lie, that really hurt my feelings. I also felt misunderstood, and was baffled that an expression of my femininity must thus be a ploy to attract and extrapolate attentions and money from men. I couldn't enjoy the movements of my body and dance for me. It had to be a sexual thing. Because I'm a woman.

This is a common belief. Have you ever heard of the Bechdel Test? It's what you ask yourself before you watch a movie:
1. It has to have at least two women in it,
2. Who talk to each other,
3. About something besides a man

And you know what? Those are effing rare. I actually can't think of very many movies I've ever seen that fit this criteria. They're out there, but try to come up with 10. See how long that takes. Movies with two or more men who talk to each other about something other than women are easy to find. Try to come up with 20. It'll take you less time.

In fact, most of our childhoods were pretty much consumed with this problem: The Smurfette Principle. And it starts on Sesame Street. Sesame Street fails the test. A show supposedly gender neutral for children fails the test. It's the first damn thing kids see and half the population is not catered to. Why? Because males are considered some sort of default for human kind and females are secondary.

So what do you wind up with? You wind up with women, who are perceived as weaker versions of men, whose lives revolve around men and attracting men. You have women-centred plots and female leads considered as for women only, and male leads considered for everybody. You have those female stories frequently being driven by the relationship the women have with men and that's pretty much it. You have girls growing into women with few truly female stories to call their own.

You know how if a man admits to liking something feminine he has to be embarrassed and apologize? And if a women likes masculine things, she can brag about it? Yeah. That's what I'm talking about. Even when it comes to homosexuals, gay men get shortchanged because they're identified as more feminine, whereas lesbians though still prejudiced against, get a male seal of approval because it's sexy (and being considered masculine at the very least suggests power or intellect).

So no, women are not considered by many as having the right to choose because they're not considered strong or independent from male imput, and this is not only bred into us from an early age, it's perpetuated on an hourly basis all our lives. It's all connected. It all stems from thinking women either aren't as smart as men, aren't as relateable as human beings, are here for the pleasure of men, and essentially are a variation of men as people rather than people in their own right.

We have women trying to garner respect by rejecting femininity because they believe having a feminine side is bad. It's like the black girl saying the white doll is better and sadly hesitating before admitting she looks like the black doll. It's crap.

I don't need to hear "Sex And The City is actually a pretty good show," as though it's surprising that a story about women could be good. I'm tired of men being embarrassed to admit to liking feminine things. The only reason behind it is the inferiority we associate with femininity, as though it's actually shameful to be that way, as though femininity is something to apologize for.

I mean, even the word feminist has a bad rap as "man hating". You know, because women thinking of themselves as people, and deserving of opportunities is still so foreign a concept that it has to be steered back to women and the way they feel about men. I love men, but it's not all about them. To hell with the status quo.

End rant. For now.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Smokey the practice run

I think caring for Smokey sometimes gives me a taste of motherhood. He woke me up several hours early this morning insisting on being fed wet food. I know that's what he was angling for. It's the same bang-your-head-against-the-wall experience every time it's been introduced in this house. He goes bananarama for it, disregards all feeding schedules and every time you so much as shift in your seat, he thinks you're getting up to go to the kitchen to feed him.

Well, he's been on it for a week because of his oral surgery, but enough's enough. I'm out of it and I'm not getting anymore. A week of recovery should be enough, considering I'm still giving him his painkillers. This cat, man. I love him terribly and often I want to throw him out the window.

So he's back on dry food. He's eating it, and I'm not giving in to his whining. I look forward to someday again being able to open the fridge without him losing his shit over it.

So since I couldn't get back to sleep, I made use of my time and cleaned the apartment. As it turns out, I'm very motivated to do grunt work early in the morning. Who knew? I certainly didn't. I can never really get going on work-work until about 10 or so and then I can hit my stride, mostly because if I poke around anymore, I'll have a hard time finishing.

But somehow housework felt like procrastinating at my job, which spurned me on. Wild. Well, no, not really wild. Actually it's just a mediocre coincidence about something mundane. Such is life, and possibly another look into motherhood. Being a parent must really fill you with an incredible amount of love to be able to keep on doing it, because frankly sometimes when I get these whiffs of what it must be like, I start to re-appreciate my vacant uterus.

There is some sort of daycare of sorts a few houses down. I see them in their yard from my top floor deck occasionally. I found them super obnoxious. Not the children, the adults. I watched for awhile and realized everything they did was structured. What ever happened to free play in children? Why don't some adults realize that anything they have to offer in the world of play is pointless compared to what children learn and discover playing freely with other children?

It's like the cornerstone of learning how to connect with your peers. It's a lot of trial and error and roughhousing and conflict and imagination at work. Why take that away? It's so arrogant and unnecessary. It's like they have no faith in these kids to figure it all out. Or they think children should never be bored.

Boredom is awesome. It makes you entertain yourself. It gives you time to think and imagine and reflect. Some of the best time I had as a kid was the time I spent alone, devising my own games, working out my own thoughts, reading, teaching myself to draw. If kids are always being given directions and following instructions for how to play, how are they ever going to figure out who they are, what they really want, or how to relate to their peers on a deeper level?

For all the drudgery that is parenthood, I do look forward to being the kind of mother I'd want my child to have and to provide a childhood I think would be beneficial. Beyond the boring everyday tasks, I think actual parenting would be satisfying.