Friday, August 29, 2008

The one thing God cares about

So all you have to do to be a genuine Catholic is oppose abortion - you don't need to attend mass or even count yourself amongst Catholics, according to Priests For Life President Father Frank Pavone.

Puppy chaser

Since the photo to my last post is so yucky, I thought I'd put up this cute picture to make it all better. (Via HBO, where you can find the photo attributed to Karen Nichols of Daily Inter Lake, AP)

Heads or tails?

I was wearing shorts and got into my car only to painfully find out that there was a penny baking in the sun on the seat. I seem to have branded myself with it - ow!

So was it heads or tails? It's sure hard to get a close look at the back of your thigh, so I can't tell. Andy says it's tails.

If it's heads, what year is it?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hillary's lyin' eyes

CNN has an article examining the body language during her speech at the convention last night. I don't know if I've seen a more egregious example of directing people to look at a professional, powerful woman's body in preference to listening to what she says. She says x, but she acts like she means ____.

What did Hillary Clinton's body language give away at the Democratic National Convention?

Dan Hill, a body language expert and author of "Face Time," told CNN that even while the words Clinton delivered offered an unequivocal endorsement of Barack Obama, her body language was much less affirmative.

It's entirely possible -- I think probable -- that Clinton isn't as gung-ho about Obama's candidacy as her speech says. I've long been an Obama supporter talking back to angry Clinton supporters I hear on the radio, but this "She's crying on the inside" story strikes me as intended to rub salt in Democratic Party wounds, especially Clinton supporters' wounds. Having gotten quite sick of the Clinton campaign months ago, I still think this is really uncool.

I don't think I've ever read an article that tries to triangulate a male politician's real feelings about a subject over which he must have conflicting emotions.

I'm reminded of a time when at work someone had posted a list of things women/men say vs. what they mean. I took it down, thinking propaganda encouraging the idea that women and men are so drastically different that they can't - or won't - use the same language to communicate is not very productive at all. Humorless feminist me, getting sick of the kind of sexist humor that people like to think is harmless, even as it buttresses sexism. In a workplace that includes both men and women who need to negotiate the power differential that they bring from the outside world into their jobs, this is quite counterproductive - encouraging people to think they are so clever they know what their coworker of the opposite sex is really saying, without needing to explicitly communicate their understanding of what's been said. According to jokes like these, you don't need to actually say what you mean, as long as everyone's got the decoder ring.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Boys do too like girls who do comedy

I'm watching the rest of the series of videos that starts with the video I posted below with the question about birth order, and the conversation has moved to the subject of how being funny has affected these women in romance. The theory that men are intimidated by funny women is floated several times. I'll admit that I get caught up in the dynamic of trying to "win the cocktail party," which gets quite thick at Moscow's Drinking Liberally meetings, which have been mostly attended by men so far.

I am pretty goddamn funny. If I'm going to say something to a stranger, it's almost always a joke that I break the ice with. Thinking of something funny to say about the situation I and a stranger are in always emboldens me to lean over and introduce myself to whoever it is that's sitting next to me. I would say that the thing over which Andy and I are most deeply bonded is humor. We're each the funniest person the other has met.

Quit your job and sit back and watch your influence grow!

There's an article in Time about the hits Michelle Obama took to her career in service of marrying and having a family with Barack.

It makes me a little queasy that the article is titled "Michelle Obama's Savvy Sacrifice," since it implies that Michelle made a calculating and clever move, letting Barack's career take precedence over her own. But who knows, maybe she'd be the politician by now if she'd stayed on her career track.

Most women who go down this path aren't setting themselves up to be First Lady. They're setting themselves up for letting their degree waste away in a filing cabinet, and possibly financial insecurity after divorce or their husband's death.


I noticed a while ago that most of my close friends, including my husband, are the oldest children of parents who stayed together all through their childhood (and are mostly still together, generally happily, as far as I can tell).

I thought of this after seeing this video (Via) of a conversation between female comedians who all happened to be the youngest child in their own family. So I wonder if this kind of birth-order social selection is common.

Friday, August 22, 2008

"Pro-abortion?" I know you are, but what am I?

I've got a deal for you proponents of the new HHS regulations allowing doctors to refuse to prescribe birth control on the basis of it possibly being, though not shown to be "abortion." I could stop taking my birth control pills and become pregnant before I'm ready, and then go out and have a real, honest-to-goodness abortion.

Do we have a deal then? I really don't wanna, but I suppose I'll have to if it's my only option for family planning. Who wants to give me a ride to the nearest clinic (2 hours away) where I could access such a procedure?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

What if the free market doesn't care about your archaic moral strictures?

The Idaho Values Alliance has issued an "action alert" regarding a same-sex marriage card Hallmark is producing.

(Via HBO)

If Hallmark started producing a "So you're going to hell 'cause you're gay" line of cards, and lost money, wouldn't it still be accountable to its shareholders, assuming it's a public entity?

Babeland tips for making Tri-State truly Idaho's most interesting store

Local outdoorsy and home maintenence shop Tri-State uses the slogan "Idaho's Most Interesting Store." Babeland's blog points out yet another reason this is true - not only is it a great place to buy maggots and worms for fishing, as well as high-end cooking supplies - but a source for discreet sex toys. (Link goes to Babeland's blog, which may not be work-safe, depending on your workplace's attitudes about sexuality - Babeland is a feminist sex toy store, the full name being Toys in Babeland, har har)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Sunday, August 17, 2008

You know you've said something truly funny when

...your partner laughs and just says, "I love you!" Andy told me from the other room that he was experiencing an incredibly strong desire to eat bacon, and then came into the room where I was sitting, and said, "Oh, that was a little wordy - I mean 'I'm awake.'"

Friday, August 15, 2008

I missed my chance

In person, years ago, I heard Bill Sali say that there are up to 40 barrels of crude oil in a tree. IT's too bad I didn't have a notebook where I could write down his words exactly to blog it, considering all the play his notions have gotten in the blogosphere this week,.

This *is* The Daily Mail, but the article isn't as misogynistic as you'd think.

I had to laugh out loud at Jessica's response to this. The actual headline:

Don't blind-drunk women who cry rape bear any responsibility for what happens to them?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Where in Idaho is Jim Risch?

I realized today when I was driving behind a car with a LaRocco bumper sticker that I've never seen a bumper sticker promoting Jim Risch's campaign. Ever. Not on a car, not stuck to a telephone pole somewhere, not anywhere between Moscow and Boise.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Getting personal

I tend to segregate my more personal posts to my personal blog, because I figure that I don't read any livejournals or personal blogs, so why would Cogitamus readers be interested?

Reading Melissa McEwan's feminism 101 this weekend inspired a change of heart, and made me realize how easily I've swallowed the misogynist, sexist old saw about emotions being for girls and therefore boring and stupid.

It wasn't until my personal life got kind of interesting this winter that I ever wrote much about myself on my blog.

Being a rookie at the whole fat acceptance thing, I was a little nervous about posting anything reflecting my struggle with body image to the Cogitamus audience. Previous experience with writing about body image and fat has taught me that putting together a post that advocates for myself is a good exercise in aligning my emotional and intellectual positions on my value as a person and how it relates to the form my body takes.

But as Melissa says,

Making the personal public and political is serious business.
Because women's stories aren't told, it's incumbent upon female
feminists to tell their own stories, to fill that void, to be
unrepentant and loquacious raconteurs every chance we get, to talk
about our bodies, our struggles, our triumphs, our needs, our lives in
every aspect. It's our obligation to create a cacophony with our
personal narratives, until there is a constant din that translates into
equality, into balance.

I'm tired of the Weight Watchers game, let's play Hungry, Hungry Hippos

Clive Thompson, in a column at Wired, has written a column about the "fun" of the Weight Watchers points system, by analogizing it to RPGs, and comparing eating healthy, low-cal foods to "hacking" the WW system. It reminds me of when I once asked my husband if he ever has kept a running count in his head of how many calories he's consumed. I was pretty amazed when he said he'd never done it.

Until then, I had probably done it every day of my life since fifth grade. It's a really boring game after a while, Clive.

Keeping that tally in the back of my mind was an unnecessary stressor taking up thinking capacity. I got all excited when I realized what a difference I could make in my life if I devoted all that energy and number-wrangling to making myself happy, instead of pursuing weight management or loss, which was never the result of all the calorie counting.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

I like summer

Here's to margaritas and This American Life after dinner!

Monday, August 04, 2008

So it's not just me

When I was a teenager, I drove a car that did not have working air conditioning, so I would roll the windows down when I drove from my town to whatever job I was working during the summer (either: lab work or foodservice). I was as bad an NPR addict then as I am now, so I would have to crank up the radio to hear anything over the air rushing in through the windows. When I'd get into town and stop at a stop light, I'd be blaring All Things Considered out my open windows, in the manner of someone playing loud music to show off their stereo system.

I had a similar experience today on my way home from work, when I stopped at a light and heard Robert Siegel echoed in the car next to me.