Archive for January, 2006

flip

If I could indulge in a flippant dismissal for a minute… The way that Guillory talks about canon formation makes me freakin’ nuts.  I’ll agree with him for like half a sentence and then he veers off into assholedom again in the slipperiest of ways.  I feel like at some point I need to:

- pick him apart, basically, fisk him
- write a short punchy essay explaining my vision, from completely different frame of reference

I need more feminist essays, and there’s some — Lillian Robinson always rocks – but… something is missing. I’m sure it’s in some conference proceedings somewhere…  But whatever I find is super specific. Jill Dolan, but it’s about film and I disagree with her anyway.

so it’s funny, I want to say this, and here is the right place to do it, and I wouldn’t say it on my other blog b/c it’s not coherent enough. and i have a horrible feeling that the place to look is like… aaaaa… Spivak.  must i really?  aaaaaaa.   I was looking something up that she said about clitoridectomy as metonomy and I had a sudden feeling if i dove into her work, i would GET it better than i used to, because i’m a better reader of density, and also because i’ve been coming to some of the same places through third-hand absorbtions or reinventions.
But it would take me like 2 years to understand… What?  I think something about marxism, value, and “literary value”.  like if I took my whole understanding about “value”, turned it inside out, and slammed the idea of value in economics against it all.  Um, blah blah….

My god. I just googled around and found a cool  thing that is startlingly useful right away.
The Stanford Encyclopdia of Philosophy: Feminist History of Philosophy

 

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no kidding, yes

Amazing post from Bitch PhD about marriage, feminism, equality, and having children.  SO TRUE. I’m going to have to read that book!

more later… i have to work…

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gravity

Yesterday Moomin made some innocuous remarks that led to a great discussion. It reminded me how what sounds childish can be profound & thoughtful. Kids are often having insights that they find it difficult to express.

Moomin: You know, my eyes are above my nose. Isn’t that funny?
Me: (driving, thinking about feminist literary recanonization) Mmmm-hmmm. Yup.
Moomin: And my nose is above my mouth. Right? Right? Right?
Me: Mmm-hmmm. It sure is. *I’m thinking, Thank you, Captain Obvious.*
Moomin: And my MOUTH is above my CHIN.  Isn’t that FUNNY?
Me: Hmmm. Sure is!   (?????)
Moomin: And my chin is above my neck and my neck is above my body and my body is above my feet. Right? Mom, my body is above my feet.
Me:  Yes, absolutely. Your body is above your feet. Yup. YAAAAAAWWWN. Didn’t we cover this concept 4 years ago while watching Elmo videos? Above and below. Prepositions 101. Please, god, give me patience and let it not show that I am bored senseless.
Moomin: So everything is above and below something else. Because my feet are above the EARTH. And my head is also above the Earth. And the sky is above my head. And SPACE is above the Earth. Mom, is space above the solar sister? Or is the solar sister above space? Mom, how did the solar sister begin?
Me:  OH!!!!!! 
Me: Oh. Oh. Hmm.  I get it.  Um.  Maybe the universe is above space. But then what’s above the universe?  Er, ahahaha.  The solar system probably began as a sort of cloud of interstellar dust. And blah blah blah. Dust. Coalescing. Er, elements. Particles. Gravity.
Moomin: *considers this a while*   Mom, if gravity made the Solar System begin, what made gravity begin?  How could there be no gravity, and then, gravity?
Me:  *I start to cry a little out of happiness and complex feelings of inadequacy*

I will spare you my lame explanation of the Big Bang and how I ended up saying “Go ask your dad, the physicist” to many further questions. And of, like, creation myths and stuff.

So, this reminder to myself and to y’all to listen and wait, because you can’t always see the questions and thoughts behind the words — of anyone — not just kids — it’s  not like 5 year olds normally bust out with, “Mom, I was pondering some questions of deep philosophical and scientific importance. Could we discuss how everything exists in relation to everything else, and also, infinity and the end of time?”

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BlogHers!


BlogHers!
Originally uploaded by jennifer myronuk.

Yay! A nice photo of the fabulous BlogHer founders and organizers.

Really, I should have behaved myself at that party… and tried to be a little bit respectable… and not been all spazzy and silly… So as not to disgrace their professionalness or distract anyone from their kickassitude.

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geek calendar again

I was flippant about making a “Women of Blogher” calendar a few weeks ago. But what I was really picturing was something that would actually be inspiring and cool and informative geek girls — not more cheesecake. Though I have fun playing around with cheesecake, performativity, porn, dressing up in funny outfits, etc.  it’s not always the way to go to get information across and  I partly agree with Laura Scott  about the Geek Gorgeous calendar. It’s fine, and it’s funny, and it’s  ironic and self-parodying and sexy, – it succeeds in being playfully subversive. It skims money off the dudes, and gives the dudes the actual words of the models, with a dose of feminist thought — something I love in any cheesecake opportunity. 

But does it provide a model for the girls it means to serve?  Hmmm, I could totally see myself thinking it was awesome in high school, but middle school, not so much.  But… it can’t do everything at once.  

I was picturing something like Barak’s “Moveable Feast” – portraits of the subjects – at their computers or in some kind of natural habitat for them – more like a couple of book jacket photos with a bio that talks a) about the woman’s personal history, how she got to where she is, something more detailed than “stay in school, take computer science classes”  b) where she is, i.e. professional accomplishments or something.   Is this even necessary?  It seems so cheesy and boring to propose it, but on the other hand I loved those kind of books when I was little, like “Portraits of Famous Women” or anything about women scientists/inventors. So, do we have that sort of book/web site for computer science, for younger girls?  Surely someone’s already done this?  I have no idea…

Perhaps that kind of project feeds into a “cult of personality” thing that would be distasteful for some feminists and yet … it would be very cool.  Girls need role models, realistic pathways of how a programming/computing career can go and how to get there.

My point is that if we want something different, we should make it, and not criticize the Geek Gorgeous project, which is hilarious & amazing.  For all the dumb movies where the geek girl suddenly takes off her glasses, blow dries her hair, becomes sexy and seems to lose her BRAIN.

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riding those bucking broncos

Okay, I flounced around the Blogher party like a crazed weasel… being mildly obnoxious…

Lisa Stone gave me a nice pat on the head and let me babble to her for a while about something, synergy and positive impress-each-other competition and literary salons and how movements form and I believe I said that the way their process was, was like this amazing realization of everything I believed in feminist theory and politics. I keep having that kind of conversation lately and I’m sure it comes off like I’m in some annoying cult.

Anyway, she and Jory and Elisa and Laura Scott all were very happy and party-ish but also exhausted and deer-in-the-headlights from all the work.

I got to hang out and talk a bit with Sour Duck, but we mostly talked about… hair and stuff, and who was in the room… next time must pick her brains about feminism and what she likes to read and what she thinks about Everything In The World.   danah was in full on rant mode about youth culture and the history of young people in the labor force, v. fascinating so that I kept feeling that I was staring at her too hard.  Meanwhile everything was distracting.. I was hyper and exhausted at the same time… and there was always something happening with cameras and microphones in the corner, fortunately always far away from me and my scandalous exhibiting of my natural behaviors.

Meanwhile my heart was breaking because I wasn’t at Writers With Drinks… I  had to tear myself away from hearing some amazing performers and from a cosy table with Rook and zAmber and our other friends!  and also missed C.’s comedy and… her dress to die for.  She was in a tight silver dress, lowcut, super classy, that stopped at her hips, and strappy silver platform shoes. Spacegirly! She’s a phaser set on stunning!  My god, when she dresses up like that I just freak out. But mostly I so love her for the hard work she puts into that event, all the work that most people don’t see, that makes it so good. She’s so thoughtful and brilliant and awesome and can transmute anything into, well, something else!

I must remember to blog tomorrow about the other night and our fabulous buffy game with whump and cyn and the gang…

I should go to sleep but i’m all wound up…

Since Jo dared me to show my underwear… well, I kind of hope those pictures come out, and I kind of hope they don’t! 

I hope my badgirl silliness moments don’t make people ignore the brain, and the things I have to say. because I have a lot of fun at parties… most of the time I’m very boring and sit around in bed in frumpy pajamas with used kleenexes in the pockets, like right now, blogging and drinking plain hot milk, or sit around at my desk or lie on the couch writing whatever, festooned in cats and surrounded by piles of open books. Which is not the impression one might get from looking at photos of a person showing her underwear at parties.

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vileness in snotville

At the last minute I remembered Moomin’s new dance lessons.  We whooshed off. “So, where is it again? Mom, are you sure you know where it is? What about the directions?”  Thanks for the vote of confidence… And I *had* directions. But the Art Ctr was “closed Monday” and dark and no one came to my knock. We tried the building across the street, which turned out to be the library (where I am now.)  Yup, that’s the building – the closed one.  Back across the parking lot in the rain with increasingly-upset-and-balky Moomin.  Someone came to my banging on the door this time to tell me to go around the back.  IN THE RAIN. Thanks, bitch!  Put up a sign next time!

Then the dance class turned out to be 4 tiny blond princesses in pink sweatpants. I’m not kidding. They all were pinked out from head to toe, and all blond. Fuckin’ hell. The teacher ignored me, ignored Moomin, I had to ask her 3 times if this was the right class (we were THREE minutes late by their clock… but she acted like I totally pissed on her Cheerios.) Moomin sat down in the furthest possible away spot, and she ignored him some more. Then she pointed me to the sign, which said, Dancers Only, observation day is the last class.  So I walked out.  Through the window I could see that Moomin couldn’t take his shoes off and all the other kids had their shoes off and he was too shy to ask for help from the Ignoring-him bitchwad.

I hung about a bit more, and tried to ask a question or two from the observing Moms with lattes and toddlers in the RAIN.  You know when you stand in front of a group of people and are waiting for a pause, or a look, or other acknowledgement, so that you can politely break in…   I did that for a good while. And got only quick glances of appraisal and … dismissal.   OH THE BITCHES. So I busted in, asked my question; as one, they made tiny moues of disapproval and bewilderment…    I could draw a little cartoon with their thoughts in a shared thought balloon:  “What kind of mom would hire a nanny like THAT?”    I was all like “Oh great, Badgerina, good day to wear your army pants, Bruce Lee t-shirt, gelled mohawk, and battered fluevog maryjanes, because that ain’t going to get you hired as a mom in Poloville.”

They did tell me where the library was and I’m grateful.   I wonder if I can get my money back and yank him from the class.    You’d think the teacher would at least say “What’s your name”  and invite him to sit down.   I mean what the fuck.

Why did I think this would be a real dance class, just cause it was expensive?  I should have realized it’s expensive to keep out the rabble… rabble like us…

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pains and triumphs

The triumph was that the shirt I wanted a month ago at old navvy was still there, in boys’ XL, and now marked down to 3 bucks.  WOOT!  Now I have a dark polo shirt with purple stripes. I’m all studly and butch.

Pain was going on a "hike" and bike ride with Moomin and Rook at Bair Island. Wind got into Moomin’s eyes. The path was too bumpy for his bike. When we left the bike, he worried about robbers. 

Then I yelled at some guy for having his dogs offleash. "It’s ILLEGAL. And … the endangered nesting Clapper Rail."  And he yelled at us that his family has been here for 4 generations and we should go back to where we came from.   "Oh, like being born here makes you exempt from the law?"   Rook was embarrassed; Moomin right up in the dude’s face with me to protect the baby birds… 

Maybe, also, I’m just a tiny bit afraid of big dogs!

The triumph after that:  half an hour after the off-leash dude left, as we were leaving, I saw great blue herons mating.  "That’s funny, aren’t they like, uh, solitary? and stuff? Why is that one flying right next to the other one? Wouldn’t it be cool if they mated? But probably not, nahh…. oh man. Oh wow. They’re sort of walking around with their beaks up. OMG that one just got on top of the other one. It’s all flapping its wings like mad! They’re mating! They’re totally doing it!"

How great that I happened to have the binoculars pointed right there!   I’m glad the herons were far enough away that they couldn’t hear my rude sports commentary on their hot romantic encounter.

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Super ninjas


  Super ninjas 
  Originally uploaded by Liz .

This morning we were superhero ninjas. As Super Shadow Lightning Ninja Woman, I followed nature, slipped through the shadows, spied on Golden Lava Evil Guy, worked with my partner Ninja Boy (pictured here with swords in belt), tricked our Ninja Master by pretending to be rocks and trees, and practiced my Tiger-Claw style.

You have to picture Rook, half-dressed, lecturing us. "Behold my tiger-claw leap!" *freezes in claw pose, then whooshes in slow motion as if on a wire to the couch*   "Oh yeah? Behold my tree sloth leap!"   "Dude. Tree sloths don’t leap. They plummet."   

Darth Vader was our tiny robot ninja friend, who spies on evil supermice that live behind the mirror.




yawwwwwn

Went to a job fair for community colleges that are hiring for Fall… Schmoozed… Some people liked my goofy hair (it will Speak to the Youth)  and chatter of writing and teh Internets; some didn’t; some tried to hire me on the spot to be their bilingual program administrator, and I’m not fully bilingual.

I shudder to think what my hair would speak, if it could.

The yosemite/modesto people were super cool. They have a program called “BEYOND TOLERANCE” with posters and litle pins. Every month they have beyond tolerance discussions and speakers. Hmmm!  I liked them best, and they liked me.

Ran into J. Ramos, a poety playwriting guy… he is after me to join his monthly writing group. He heard me read once I guess. A nice guy!  I was thinking, his group should come to an open mike, by invitation, all at once… and all read!  slam east bay and peninsula together at high speed!  He wears a beret and talks very fast…and said “you can bring your HUSBAND” … ahhahah, funny!  my god, white woman alone not GOING to any oakland writer-guy group.  without bodyguard!  Jeeeeeeeeez. As if.

So, Joe was sweet, I’m curious to see his work, I remember his happy reading at the 20th anniversary thing, the big event at the unitarian church downtown, off in a corner room with salsa.

Off to games day at a strangers’ house. Will remain a stranger. How rude Crawla was , all round voted most likely to be rude … Mean, surly, unhelpful, cold, and vile.  To me, to Rook, to Moomin, and to Eliz, which sent me berserk. Crawla, I’m glad I corrected your misunderstandings of the rules and Crawla I’m glad I kicked your ASS in a complex game I’d never played before. If I ever come to your house again I’ll stick gum under the table and to the gum I’ll stick a card that says “boo yah, i kicked your child-hating, ocd houseproud, condescending ass at Puerto Rico and I’ll do it again.”

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