I grow increasingly cynical about people (1) being self-centered and therefore callous, etc. to other people (2) designing things for workspaces they have never inhabited.
However, Joe came over for a couple hours in the afternoon and that was good.
Spent the day in Boston with Jonah.
Highlights of Boston include the Swan Boats and the fruit smoothie vendor in Harvard Square subway station.
We had lunch at Formaggio at the Garage at Harvard. I have become increasingly attuned to incidences of yummy vegetarian lunch options. That day (after we had had lunch) i noticed a nice place in the Harvard building next to Au Bon Pain at Harvard Square, and Au Bon Pain itself has a new vegetable wrap with balsamic vinaigrette.
I was reminded that verbalizing what i believe often helps me figure out just what it is that i believe.
I am also learning that it is difficult to have a wholly consistent rationale on any issue without being insanely extreme.
There are times when i’m in Boston and almost everyone around me is a person of color. It’s a distinctly disconcerting experience, and reminds me of what people of color must feel like nearly all the time.
Similar but not, some guy was staring at me (or maybe staring past me; i really don’t know) and i was suddenly so aware that i am a body.
There’s a fountain statue thing in the Public Gardens commemorating the person who pioneered the use of ether as an anaesthetic and i think i mentioned this in junction with talk about my mom’s dad being part of the ether at dinner -- anyway, somehow that led to the joke that he could be the Ether Bunny . :)
Would we like to guess what i got as my first 20th birthday card? A purple card with Disney’s Cinderella and her fairy godmother.
Happy Birthday, GranddaughterOkay, it’s purple (my favorite color) and there probably aren’t too many grown-up looking cards for adult grandchildren. And there was a nice note on the back and a nice check enclosed, so i’m not complaining. Just weird is all.
Cinderella was a princess,
though at first nobody knew...
But who could miss the “princess-ness”
of a granddaughter like you?!
Have a Royal Day!
- sent Oxford check
- put enough money in the bank that the check will clear
- mailed request for transcript to be sent to Plimpton Scholarship Fund
- wrote letter to Plimpton Scholarship Fund to renew my scholarship
- finished Smith’s financial aid form
Kevin made me a beautiful beaded (dark blue and gold) choker. I really should dig out my earrings. I packed them all up when i left Smith, obviously, and haven’t taken them out because (A) i’m lazy, and (B) one could barely see any earrings i wore because of my hair. With my new haircut i can show off the pretty earrings i own, though. I feel sort of Avril Lavigne with this choker and this haircut (though i’m not entirely sure why), which is disconcerting. And i keep thinking i need a spike bracelet to go with the necklace, even though i don’t like spike bracelets and have no desire to look punk.
I did dishes for the second time since i’ve been home. We used to use these scrubbies my mother knitted out of mesh netting or something, but they’re hard to make and we’ve run out. So we’ve been washing dishes with a thinnish sponge with scrubby stuff on one side. You can NOT tell me that everyone who doesn’t have a dishwashing machine washes their dishes with a SPONGE because that is worlds of wrong. Don’t they sell scrub cloths or something? There must be people reading this who can enlighten me.
I also made chocolate chip cookies because my mom was disappointed that Joe and i hadn’t made cookies. :)
I read Anita and Me by Meera Syal. *shrug* It got better as it went along because the girl, of course, grew up. The more grown up people are (and i don’t mean this in a necessarily lived-years sense) the better i like them.
I was reminded that HP5 comes out at midnight mostly only through LJ. We always order ours through AmazonUK and read it as a family. What with my being-away-ness i think this year the family is gonna read it over the summer and i’ll read it over Winter Break. I loved the books when we read them the first time. I hated the first movie (which i only agreed to watch because JK Rowling was involved and pleased with how it turned out) and then reread the book and liked it much less than i had the first time; i don’t like 11-year-olds after all. I expect to enjoy the fifth book but don’t mind not reading it for ages. Do NOT post spoilers about the book except behind a non-spoilery cut-tag. (But you all already knew that, right?)
Went in to Boston with my mother. Was in the Pru for the first time in my life. The expensive shopping areas just aren’t my thing. :)
Beauty & Main (?) took over part of what used to be the large Wordsworth in Harvard Square. The beauty industry encroaching on a bookstore? Wrongness.
In Back Bay there are signs that say “Don’t Feed the Pigeons.” I mentioned that at the Swan Boats there are small signs that say “Don’t Feed the Ducks.” I suggested that perhaps some people feed the ducks foolish things like caramel popcorn. My mom started miming being a duck with its beak stuck. She was mocking and i said she was making the baby Jesus cry. I got that from someone on LiveJournal, i can’t remember who, but that was our thing for the rest of the afternoon. I think “makes the baby Jesus cry” should be reserved for really serious things, but i got creative and said things like “makes baby Jesus blow a raspberry” and “makes baby Jesus throw things.” My mom cracked up so much. It really isn’t that funny, but what with all the grieving i was glad to bring joy. :)
The Network/La Red advertises in the T. I was reading the sign with my mom and noticed the gente transgenero [i know i’m missing an accent there] in the Spanish part and mentioned how annoying it is that languages like Spanish don’t have neuter forms so you have to give stuff like that a gender. My mother pointed out that you can mix the endings on a single referent, though, say stuff like “el mujer” and i agreed that that was quite cool and i hadn’t thought of that before.
I felt a lot like a Smith tranny boy (partly because i was wearing a grey t-shirt). I tend to think of myself as non-gendered because i don’t perform gender much and spend most of my time in places where that isn’t seen as actively subverting gender norms or anything, so this was really weird. Going into public women’s bathrooms feeling like that reminded me of the stuff i’ve read about butches and tranny folks. I’m growing increasingly tempted to use men’s bathrooms just to mess with people. I spilled my dinner on my shirt, so i changed into a dark purple v-neck shirt and often when looking in the mirror wearing saw a boy in drag. Gender and appearance are weird shit, yo.
I’m reading Judith Halberstam’s Female Masculinities and near the beginning she mentions tomboyish girls being forced to (try to) fit into feminine roles during part of their [I almost said “formative years” here, which strikes me as a very strange phrase because it implies that only certain years in one’s years help to form one.] adolescence and this reminded me of a little boy at work on Wednesday being asked about his drawing. I am of the mind that you say “Tell me about what you drew” not “Tell me what you drew” (more commonly articulated as “And what is this?” or “What did you draw?”).
A crime has been committedI started thinking (yet again) about how we put people into binary gender boxes all the time though it’s rarely relevant. The new library card applications put the gender box in the section we fill out, not in the section the applicant fills out, and i never check either box. When we sign kids up for the summer reading program we’re supposed to note the child’s gender because at the end we see how many kids from the different schools, of different ages, and of each sex, participated and how many met their goals, and all that. I’m glad i’m not working on that anymore, because i don’t think i could bring myself to mark down gender. I’m in an abolish gender markers phase.
against a human soul
as against the small child
who spends all day entertaining herself
with the colored blocks
so that she looks up
radiant at the end,
giving herself back to her parents
and they say
What did you build?
and then, because she seems
so blank, so confused,
they repeat the question.
-from “Study of My Sister” by Louise Glück
On Wednesday the weather forecast was rain through until next Wednesday, but it only started raining late Saturday afternoon. Hooray.
Got my check from Smith. Appropriate thank you gift for Susan Zachary would be....? I will be sending her a thank you card and a postcard from England, but i would like to do something more, even though i know she was basically just doing her job (and neither flowers nor chocolates feel quite appropriate).
Miles and Donnamarie came for dinner Saturday night and had photos from my grandfather’s funeral. That was really good, and next weekend they’ll be back with the video of the funeral.
My grandfather had no use for the bureaucracy of the military, but he loved the people; the vets were really where his heart was, and he had done a lot with a group of motorcycle Vietnam vets, so they were the escort in the funeral procession. My grandmother said he was “orthodox in an unorthodox manner.” I come from stock, yo. :) Miles said he had the gift of being able to bring a lot of eclectic people together.
I think of my grandfather as not being a very nice person, but Miles had a lot of wonderful stories about him from people he talked to while they were up in Alaska. Makes me feel better about the world and humanity and all. Course then i was listening to Miles and my mother talk about Naomi being crazy and i was reminded of how much i prize being honest with people and making the effort to understand how other people operate, not just assuming you know how people will react to things.
The religion part of the Jehovah’s Witnesses frightens me, but they are good people. Like old school good people. Miles called some head so-and-so and a half an hour later had a place to stay (read: someone let him and his wife stay with them in their house) in Alaska when they went up.
“They’re gonna make a really cute old couple – in like ten years.”
-my mother, on Miles and Donnamarie
In talking about my grandfather and his writing style and stuff, Hemingway got mentioned. I complained that everyone talks about how his so minimalist, but reading his stuff his writing style seems pretty to me. My father explained that when he was writing everyone wrote very elaborately, but then people imitated his style. See, that i can respect, but i hate that he’s presented as this paragon of minimalism when he really isn’t -- not in comparison to today’s literature.
Got a letter from JCPenney. These are all making me roll my eyes. Excerpt:
We d do our best to select quality programming for our advertising and will continue to do so. We have established guidelines, as a matter of policy, regarding commercial sponsorship. And very specifically, we attempt to avoid sponsoring programming that would be considered offensive to the majority of JCPenney customers. To monitor content, we employ an outside screening service to preview program episodes, before airing, for content and subject matter.I’m beginning to get tempted to write back to these companies and say something like, “Did you understand the letter i sent you? I am NOT offended by what you are sponsoring. In fact, I am offended that you want to dissociate yourselves from that, and that prejudice DOES offend me and may cause me to cease patronizing your establishments.”
Despite this diligent approach, on rare occasions beyond our control, our advertising may appear on a particular episode that may have questionable content. When this happens, we take appropriate corrective actions.
Hauled my brother to church. And aw, he was even willing to walk with me. And we got there early, which might be a first. The service managed to start nearly on time, and even with the infant baptism ran only a few minutes late. Again with the rarity. I swear next time i’m telling the parent(s) behind me to take their kid(s) OUT. Two weeks in a row and i am so done. Third week and i’m gonna snap. Shouldn’t one of the duties of the Diaconate be to tactfully tell people to take their children out when they get noisy? I mean, we have child care upstairs, plus down the hall in the Parlor there’s a speaker so you can sit with your kid and still hear the service. (There’s a speaker in the nursery upstairs as well.)
Got cute ankle boots at Payless. My current shoes are falling apart, and i’d really like black platform slip-ons like i usually get, but these will do. (I need to remember not to go shopping for shoes in the summer because all that’s sold is sandals.) Got a lovely photo album (read: future scrapbook) as well.
Today in my necklace wearing a light blue short-sleeved shirt with white flowers on it i look like my usual not particularly gendered self. No punk, no boy, just me.
Read The Buddha of Suburbia by Hanif Kureishi. 6 more books to go.
Summing why i liked it:
From Chapter 4:Summing why i didn’t:
I liked strong bodies and the backs of boy’s necks. I liked being handled by men, their fists pulling me; and I liked objects – the ends of brushes, pens, fingers, up my arse. But I liked cunts and breasts, all of women’s softness, long smooth legs and the way women dressed. I felt it would be heartbreaking to have to choose one or the other, like having to decide between the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.
From Chapter 8:
Chekhov was Dad’s favourite all-time writer, and he always said Chekhov’s plays and stories reminded him of India. I never understood this until I realized he meant that his characters’ uselessness, indolence and longing were typical of the adults he knew when he was a child.
I leave for NYC Monday. [Arriving Port Authority at 3:30] I will return on Thursday. [11am out of Port Authority, but i’m working that evening so i probably won’t get in touch with anyone until Friday.] I may or may not post while in NYC. I may or may not check my e-mail while in NYC. I do not have a cell phone. Try not to miss me too much. (And feel free to leave copious comments/e-mails even if it may be a few days before i get them.)