Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Nina and me

Meanwhile, true to my prediction this morning, "you're dead to me/consider yourself motherless" has reached "pass-the-salt" levels of normalcy. In that, I was exaggerating this morning when I said that we were at "consider yourself motherless"/"yeah, okay mom lemme just finish this article" but by the afternoon, at the beach, we were pretty much there:

Mom [from out of nowhere]: Consider yourself motherless.
A.: [Yawn.]

***

Mom: Who are you seeing tomorrow?
A.: Nina.
Mom: Oh, right.

Now, take a minute to note that the last time we were at Nina's parents' place was right before they moved (in which the least f*ed up thing that happened was when mom tried to bully me into trying on a fur coat). But that's not the subject of this post. The subject of this post is that mom's nonchalance, even in her current mental state, is bewildering.

I'm looking fulsome, says mom

Mom: Have you been gaining weight?
Dad: If she has, it's not noticeable.
Mom: When she sits like that, it's very noticeable.
A.: Like what?
Mom: Just like that, in your chair. You look very... fulsome.

The big picture

The big reason that being around my parents will stress me out if I let it--in other words, the reason I have to actively make a point of not letting myself get stressed out--is that their lifestyle not only bewilders me but reminds me of my childhood. My parents--mom is egregious, but dad not only enables her but is also inefficient in his own right--just do things in suboptimal ways. And my whole lifestyle depends on optimization and efficiency. I'm not the only one to feel this way about one's parents.

Life-hacking, I think, is how the kids these days describe it: simple tricks and habits that make things easier or just make things work. Like throwing things away as soon as you're done with them, rather than placing them elsewhere in the house and giving your hoarder-spouse an opportunity to debate whether or not they actually need to be tossed (or recycled). And by things, I mean everything from mesh bags that held lemons to things that are broken or long expired to things that pertain to bigger things that no longer work.

Life-hacking: refrigerating vegetables, so that you're not surprised every time that they eventually go bad. And that one's all dad, and his mind is f*ing intact. And yet, every time, I tell him to put things in the fridge, and he's all 'nah' and then two days later is all, "huh, that went bad."

Life-hacking: getting your $hit together so you can leave the house in minutes, not hours (we were supposed to be at the beach by now). God knows what my parents are looking for. And here we come back to the clutter: it's not just annoying, it's an obstacle. When you have so much $hit lying around, it makes it harder to find the $hit you actually need, when you need it.

Life-hacking: paying your f*ing bills online. All of them.

Life-hacking: never being in the position to say something like, "I can find the left shoe for so many shoes, but no right shoe."


Pieces of mom conversations

Mom: Did one of your friends give birth again? Is that why you're here?
A.: Yes. Nina.
Mom: Oh.

I don't blame mom for not remembering; I blame her for not caring.

There are conversations I don't mind having multiple times, questions I don't mind answering.

Mom: What happened to your nose?
A.: A coffee pot fell on it.
Mom: How?
A.: There's a coffee pot that lives on top of my fridge. I opened the fridge door, and it fell on my face.
Mom: Oh.

I don't mind repeating that. It's this that I don't care for (not once, not ad nauseum):

Mom: You're not having that cookie?
A.: No.
Mom: Why not?
A.: It has dairy in it.
Mom: What did dairy ever do to offend you? Should we just let all the cows roam free?

***
There's so much that I leave out these days, because it's not even worth it anymore; mom has raised the bar for bloggable material. Unless it's egregious, I skip it.

Postscript

So mom was watching the news Fox News propaganda last night, and I was doing my best not to listen, but couldn't help it. It was painful--it was so clearly agenda-driven at the expense of being factual. They weren't even trying to report; they were just trying to spin. I kept hearing, "Is Eric Holder the right person to go to Ferguson given his comments about race?" Really??

Anyway, here's more on Eric Holder and race (and law enforcement).

Consider yourself motherless

Mom: Did you watch the news last night?
A.: I was sitting here when the news was on.
Mom: So you know what he did. Your hero. That dirtbag that you voted for...
A.: Must you invoke 'dirtbag' so early in the morning? I don't want to hear that word or others of that tone, and I'm not going to engage in conversations on the matter.
Mom: What if someone really is a dirtbag?
A.: That's not the point. It's not about the substance; it's about the tone.

[Pause]

Mom: I think I'll stop visiting you, or being happy when you visit. Your father will still be happy about you, I gather. But I'm afraid I've lost you forever. We have nothing to talk about. We have nothing to do. I'd suspected it, but now I'm sure. I wish you the best. But consider yourself motherless. It will be less painful for me.

***
Is it sad, or fine, that I didn't even blink? That mom's 'you're dead to me' schpiel has become so routine--as routine as 'you're fat' once was--that I shrug it off? That entire conversation took place in even, measured tones. Think about that: mom said, "consider yourself motherless" and I shrugged.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tuesday ramble

It's been pretty calm, by which I mean, there's been little deliberate abuse. There's been plenty of agitation, from the moment I got in the car; mom feeds on it, can't turn it off. She doesn't know how not to be angry and doesn't want to. I managed to minimize the ranting during dinner, but there was still ranting. It's just what she does.

Meanwhile, I keep finding crap. As in, medicine that expired in 1985 that my parents nonetheless refuse to get rid of. I just don't understand how they can live like this, among the clutter (just like I don't understand why mom chooses to feed on anger). Obviously, I don't understand how people can watch Fox News. It's just. so. painful.

I guess it makes me appreciate my own (low-clutter, low-anger, minimal agitation) status quo that much more. I'm not OCD; my home isn't sterile or empty. But it's clean. And quiet--none of this loud TV in every room (which is not to say there's not music). And I'm not a saint, but I manage my anger and agitation. Otherwise I'd lose my mind.

Tuesday roundup

Boko Haram is still bringing hell to Nigeria.

Ireland is still treating pregnant women as subhuman vessels.

Yes, culture can discourage sexual assault.

Yes, yes, yes, this is what I've been saying all along: food security is not just about food production, and technology isn't going to affect distribution. I was disappointed to see DNLee retweet someone's uninformed sancti-scientist sentiment that it's dangerous to suggest we can feed 7-9 billion people with century-old technology, but it's not, because what I just said about technology, production, and distribution. See food waste. See Amartya Sen. See food security 101: it's not about food; it's about access to food.

Speaking of Twitter, it's both sad and comical when people don't realize that #notofeminism (ironic misandry is here and it's awesome) is a parody account (sad because there are enough earnest statements of equally ridiculous logic that nothing surprises anyone anymore; funny comical just because). But since I've followed it/retweeted it, I think some genuine anti-feminists have followed me. We'll see how that proceeds.

Oh and Doree Lewak's column is dumb beyond words and I'm not even going to link to it.

This article is sloppy and all over the place (surprise!), but transparency about food additives is an important issue. Why is it sloppy? It conflates additives and main ingredients (see: quorn); doesn't define its terms (what's processed? is pasta processed?); and doesn't distinguish between allergens (which are dangerous to some) and toxins (which are generally dangerous, but in a dosage-dependent way). In both cases, labeling is of the essence, but it would be good to be clearer.

Oh, Sainsbury, that's just stupid.

I know it's beneath me, but oh the schadenfreude that the McDonnells bring out in me! I keep thinking I'll get to the point where I'll just feel bad for them, but it hasn't happened yet.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sunday roundup

Ouch, big time, for Israel.

Also, Leonard Fein passed away.

There are limits to American power, but has the President overstated them? Aaron David Miller doesn't think so.

Ferguson's tensions were long stewing.

The Perry indictment, explained.

You don't need a gimmick to donate to charity.

Ed Yong rounds up the things to read about depression (among other things).

Mindfulness: not just for hippies.

Yeah, social science doesn't benefit from the Ashley Madison study, mostly because it's super-flawed.

Speaking of flawed: make sure you're not falling for pseudoscience.

Yes, this essay is a poignant reflection of Alzheimer's, but I can only relate to it from the opposite perspective: would that mom watch, take comfort in nature documentaries. I put on a bunch of them (well, for a few minutes each, until she balked) when she was here, after I bought the TV for her to watch. It got to the point where she said, "I don't want to watch the sharks!" even when it was a space documentary I'd put on. She wants to watch Fox News and feed her rage, stew in her bitterness.

Where people came from (to each state).

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Thursday ramble

It's been a rough few weeks (/months/years/centuries) in the world, so I know that my own rough few weeks at work amount to a picnic in relative terms. But they've been rough nonetheless. A roller-coaster, actually--not without its peaks. They culminated in a meltdown earlier this week, but even before that, they lead to an epiphany over the weekend, at Current Boutique: I was looking at blazers and thought, "you can never have too many blazers, but I'm past the point where a blazer can help or harm my career."

Thursday roundup

For Ferguson coverage, turn to Twitter. I haven't ready any full-length articles that get at the issues any better than the tweets do. I've been retweeting quite a bit, so check my timeline if you're not sure where to start.

Why arming Syria's rebels wouldn't have been the answer.

Koko mourns Robin Williams.

Speaking of spot-on tweets, one of the best I've seen with regard to Robin Williams' death was that depression isn't about the level of sadness, but about not being able to find joy. It reminded me of Jonathan Franzen's essay after David Foster Wallace's suicide (key excerpt on this blog, or search the New Yorker or follow the link within the link for the whole thing).

Two excellent pieces on outspoken former vegans. I don't agree with anything in either, but I've made the key point before: don't stop eating everything but air and then go write about how you felt better when you started eating meat again.

Okay, buddy, I don't disagree with your overall point, but I've got to call you out on some misinformation:
Agricultural production, too, is an area ripe for innovation. In most parts of the world, agricultural production accounts for a significant share of all water use. Short of asking humans to scale back on the amount of fruits and vegetables they consume, we are going to need new ways of farming and crops that aren’t as water-intensive or that take advantage of innovative new techniques for “agricultural water management.”
Fruits and vegetables are NOT THE PROBLEM. Do you know what the midwest mostly grows? Corn and soy (for animal feed, not for human consumption). These are important facts.


And two excellent pieces (well, one article, one comic) on the toll of harassment. I thought, as I was reading this and then another piece written by another survivor, how can anyone still not get it? Still not understand the space that women have to operate in? An excerpt:
There are plenty of things people do to rob women of their sexuality, though... There’s catcalling, which in essence is men making sexual demands of me without ever talking about consent, and reducing me to their sexual desire without ever asking or thinking about my sexuality or desire. The total goal, here, seems to be to make it so that women are empty sexual vessels, stripped of our own sexual identities and needs and wishes and fantasies, ready to give both our bodies and the way we think of ourselves over to what other people prescribe for us. They don’t want us to be less sexual, they want us to be less sexual in our own right.
There's a lot of sanctimony in this well-meaning essay, but there's more good than bad:
People silently struggle from all kinds of terrible things. They suffer from depression, ambition, substance abuse, and pretension. They suffer from family tragedy, Ivy-League educations, and self-loathing. They suffer from failing marriages, physical pain, and publishing. The good thing about politeness is that you can treat these people exactly the same. And then wait to see what happens. You don’t have to have an opinion. You don’t need to make a judgment. I know that doesn’t sound like liberation, because we live and work in an opinion-based economy. But it is. Not having an opinion means not having an obligation.
On a lighter note, "side boob," among other things, is in the OED.  So are "mansplain" and "douchebaggery."

Most of the stars you see are still there.

Kristof on the humanities.

Kale is still popular.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Monday roundup

Remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

This isn't your grandparents' South China Sea drama.

Anti-semitism in Europe is bad as ever.

I'm glad that interest in cashew apples is helping farmers, but I still don't believe in superfoods as a concept.

Heroin will f* up your life and the lives of those you love.

Alfred Nobel underappreciated math, but math got its prize.

Holy crap; there are some (women-)haters on the internet. And they're not very bright. And there's a debate about how to manage them.

The super-rich don't want to ruin their kids with money.

Speaking of which: this kid is going to have a rough life.

"Kevining": Mansplaining at a whole new level

I told a couple of friends about the conversation I finally had with a dude I met at speed-dating. You may recall that I wasn't particularly taken with any of the speed-dating dudes, but one of them was pretty intriguing, and I was willing to get to know him better. He and I connected through the speed-dating system, and then played phone tag for over a month (he was out of town, then either or both of us was working ten-hour days). Finally, this weekend, we got a chance to talk. And he threw up a red flag, i.e., he Kevined me.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Thursday roundup

A poignant essay on having children in a f*ed up world.

A more comprehensive takedown of David Brooks' latest column (than the more basic one I wrote earlier).

I've always said, quantum mechanics makes my head hurt.
Here's some sloppy science writing: "Plasma" is undefined in the text, but defined in the video as ionized gas. Is that what plasma always is, because I don't think that that's how people refer to plasma in the son. Also, I don't think the solar system and the heliosphere are the same thing.

Scientists out of their field love to tell you that organics are pointless, but recent events indicate otherwise. Similarly, I'll answer this call to explain why "GMO denial" is different from anti-vaxxing: because vaccines are a known, proven solution to a real problem (i.e., disease). If the question is, "are GMOs harmful to one's health," than that's as useless a question as, "do organics have more nutrients." Those are narrow questions that don't get a t the actual issue. And global food insecurity is not a matter of more technology in agriculture.

The Supreme Court is backsliding on women's rights, even as other human rights issues move forward.

I cannot deny it: Maureen McDonnell evokes epic schadenfreude in me, even though she's so pathetic--as Robin Givhan bitingly points out--that she merits pity instead:
At the highest levels, the fashion industry produces much that is breathtakingly original, beautiful and inspiring. But it also churns out those products that serve far more crass purposes. They equate money with inherent value.  They offer a flimsy validation of self-worth. They exploit the superficial belief that power, ambition and success can be encapsulated by few rarefied brands that have — through cynical marketing and false scarcity — come to signify that one has arrived.
Read the whole column; it's spot-on.


I feel like I could write an entire post--and maybe I will, this weekend--about dudes who insist on doing things for you (even after you've asked them not to). I was recently talking to my WMF (search the blog if you care enough), and for whatever reason, BE came up. I was somewhat surprised at even her reaction ("and then you owed him something"); um, no, I didn't. I don't owe anybody anything, much less for continuing to do things I've explicitly asked them to stop doing, even if they're generous things on the surface. It's called, boundaries. I stood up to BE the way I stood up to RM; I wasn't about to let either of them bully me into friendship or more. But WMF also said, "ah, you friendzoned him." What?? I mean, I declined to date him. Because I had no feelings for him and knew I never would, and because he annoyed me. Why does refusing to date someone--a perfectly normal thing to do--get its own derogatory name? 

Anyway, thinking about BE--a serial mansplainer--reminded me of when he tried to mansplain me to me. This isn't the first time a dude has done this, and it's even more egregious than mansplaining something tangible (even if you know more about it). I.e., BE would try to mansplain to me the issue I work on (and he wasn't the only one). Anyway, BE once mansplained to me that I was attractive, but that my sense of democracy prevented me from acknowledging it. The only possible translation of that is, "you're not as much of a bitch as you might be, given how attractive you are, because you don't look down on ugly people." More accurately, I don't believe in the concept of ugly people, except in the proverbial sense.

But this speaks to a bigger issue: we're--to paraphrase Eric Holder--cowards in how we talk about attractiveness. So much so that we judge people who handle it better (I keep telling you guys that Russians don't have this hangup). 

Smile! Because dudes you don't give a $hit about think you should.

I was not so lucky as this woman (before she was ever on the receiving end of an obscene selfie), but I'm glad I didn't have to assess so many of them.

Parents: it's wonderful that you think your babies are adorable, but nobody else should have to deal with their $hit (literally). Seriously.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Sunday roundup

If the Everyday Sexism feed hasn't been enough to take down your faith in humanity, here's Everyday Antisemitism.

Last week we established that other women's mammary glands aren't a threat to anyone's marriage. Even more importantly, Nicki Minaj's ass isn't a threat to anyone's children.

A very articulate takedown of "what-makes-women-attractive" list logic. Here's an excerpt from the first point:

‘Attractive girls’ are happier'

If he means, simply, “female humans whom I wish to mate with maybe” then who would care, unless it was mutual? Who is interested what features a random dude on the internet finds attractive in women (aside from me, I think)? And why does he think women should aspire to meet (only) his consideration of what constitutes attractiveness, instead of what makes them feel good in their own skin. I guess he thinks we’re not doing enough to make women ashamed of their bodies. Onward, brave soldier!
But, it’s safe to assume that because women are people (!), some will be happier than others.
Remember when Richard Dawkins was taken seriously? Same with David Brooks, who wrote a silly column about how we need to teach poor people character. Now, I'm all about character-building, but I don't think poor people have a monopoly on the need for it. 

Relatability (in fiction) is overrated.

Are the profound similarities in mythology around the world rooted in a common origin, or just universal humanity?

Tofu is obscene if you think about it the right way. I'm a proud chegan.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sunday roundup

On the cold chain and food waste.

What if scientists had Twitter earlier on?

George Ellis on philosophy in science (or lack thereof):
The belief that all of reality can be fully comprehended in terms of physics and the equations of physics is a fantasy. As pointed out so well by Eddington in his Gifford lectures, they are partial and incomplete representations of physical, biological, psychological, and social reality.

It’s very ironic when [Lawrence Krauss] says philosophy is bunk and then himself engages in this kind of attempt at philosophy...
If [Krauss, Stephen Hawking and Neil deGrasse Tyson] really believe [that philosopy is a waste of time,] they should stop indulging in low-grade philosophy in their own writings. You cannot do physics or cosmology without an assumed philosophical basis. You can choose not to think about that basis: it will still be there as an unexamined foundation of what you do. The fact you are unwilling to examine the philosophical foundations of what you do does not mean those foundations are not there; it just means they are unexamined.
I recommend reading the whole interview.

In the interest of remaining above internet name-calling, I'm going to edit an earlier post in which I'd referred to Ash Jogalekar as a moron. Because he actually read and responded to my comment about him, but not because the content of his response--which was basically, "who the f* are you?"--does him any favors. Nonetheless, I didn't intend a personal attack, and I don't need to pile it on (goodness knows his silly Feynman column invited enough critique on its merits). I maintain, for what it's worth, that I never got much out of his rambling columns--to each her own--and I take his point that he's not impressed with whatever he's seen on my blog. Let's agree to be unimpressed with one another's work without name-calling.

As always, Carolyn nails it on boundaries:
There’s nothing wrong with your boundaries... you just need to accept that people won’t always respect them, receive them warmly or allow you to set them without consequences. That’s just part of the deal with boundaries, and the boundary-crossing people who inspire them.
Raise kinder kids.

This is a sort of flip-side to the non-white feminism question (or, more precisely, exclusion of WOC from whatever 'mainstream' feminism is). These movements--human rights movements--needn't, shouldn't be mutually exclusive or even at odds.

I have little to add to the responses to Lauren of Apples; I'd like to echo/elaborate on two aspects of the response I've linked to: I wish for her to love her body and also to know that her marriage is stronger than other women's mammary glands. And that the insecurity that is causing the problems is internally driven and can't be helped by anything on the outside. It's just self-defeating to be threatened by women. 

Ooh, Jonathan Yardley reviews Alan Connor's new book on crosswords.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Various reactions to my latest JHLA run-in

My year-old call to not call continues to be, by far, the most popular page on this blog. Popular worldwide, i.e., women around the world are googling for advice as to whether to call, or for discouragement from calling.

And yet, I've wavered. I can't actually call him, no matter how much I want to (and I want to), because I deleted his contact information. But I've hoped to run into JHLA again, that we could talk without my taking any initiative.

And run into him I have. Not once, not twice, not three times... and each time, for whatever reason, we both shy away from talking to each other. The first time, I was caught off guard and operating under the impression that he wanted nothing to do with me. But it became progressively clearer that he did want to talk to me, if only to make things not weird. But it's been all near-misses, interactions and non-interactions. A few months ago, we actually exchanged words (logistical words, mind you), without acknowledging each other. Yesterday... we acknowledged each other, but passed up the opportunity to talk. I just chickened out--smiled weakly and kept walking. But enough about the details; I'm here to bring you my friends' awesome reactions:
  • "What?? [then, in a later text] What do you mean you didn't talk to him? I'm going with you next time!"
  • radio silence from one friend, either because words fail her (as they did last time) or she's out of the country. But all I had to text her was, "saw the guy; smiled but didn't talk."
  • "What are you, twelve?? [Pause.] Then again, he's twelve, too."
  • "You kind-of deserve each other."
  • "Next time, just sit in front of him so he can pull your hair."
A second person (quoted separately above) offered to be my wingman next time around. I just hope next time comes soon, because this is getting really old. So much so that, if I had his e-mail, I'd put an end to this and just contact him. I wouldn't ask him out; I'd just apologize for being a socially-inept jerk. I'm just stuck in this loop that's not serving anyone.

Other dudes keep asking me out. How do I say, "it's (generally) not you; I'm just crushing on someone else, and I don't have closure that he's not interested in me, too"?

***
Bonus: one of the people quoted above, upon listening to my description of the details--which included, "I wasn't entirely frazzled like I was when we went out, but it wasn't like I looked like I just got out of a spa"--said, "it would be interesting to see you just out of a spa." It's like he didn't believe it was even possible.

Anyway, onward.

Big Friday roundup

The Middle East.

The very real limits of collective mourning.

Russia's corner is of its own making.

African migrants risk their lives because their lives are at risk anyway.

Widodo wins.

Foreign policy has always been unpredictable and crisis-driven.

We have to keep saying this, but PUA philosopy is as incorrect-wrong as it is scary-wrong: the way women dress, etc., is not about you.

On the topic of "wrong": #womenagainstfeminism. See also Sean Carroll's take:
Sometimes it's frustrating when people don't understand science. Then I see a tag #WomenAgainstFeminism and realize my job is easy.
— Sean Carroll (@seanmcarroll) July 21, 2014

Whither carbon capture.

One way of reducing crop waste is eating crops rather than feeding them (to livestock).

No-kill milk is more humane, but even more environmentally destructive. But few things are as environmentally destructive as beef.

There were always mixed feelings about investing in space.

GMO labeling is simply about transparency and respecting people's right to know about their food.

Language gives us tools for politely requesting and demanding.

I have mixed feelings about "what not to say" lists. Really, it depends on the list (and you'll note that some of the items are contradictory, which reinforces the point that it mostly comes down to the individual person). An adoptive-mom friend of mine loved the "what not to say to adoptive parents" video, if not the list; it resonated because people say that $hit. I've rolled my eyes at that STFU-parents' link to the "what not to say to new parents," which included "how is your wife doing?" as a no-no (with a snarky "how the f* do you think"-ish reply). I mean, c'mon. I've recently struggled with what to say to two friends, one whose father has been ill and one who, herself, has been badly injured. It's kind-of good to be aware of what kind of statements are considered unhelpful, even though they're not obviously so. In the latter case, I've almost been apologizing for reassuring this friend, and I've made it clear that I'm not questioning or invalidating her own reactions, but I'm just trying to help her take the long view, because all she can see now are the struggles of early recovery. So lists like that *can* be helpful, but some are just not that valid.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Big Monday roundup and ramble

Why do people have to hate on the border children?

African economies are finally developing (away from extraction, etc.).

This is the best description of basic Alzheimer's science I've seen.

We don't want to incentivize doctors to cut corners.

I flat-out agree with Ross Douthat about policing parents. I just wish he'd written more about affordable childcare.

Nobody is in a place to tell anyone else what's important to them. That said, Arthur Brooks points out that we're happier when we focus on people and meaning, not status and material things.

It's been hard to keep upwith the rash of articles on the environmental impact of food (especially burgers--actually, especially cheeseburgers). Of course, Tom Philpott also got in trouble for his piece on almond milk (though more for the headline slapped on it, which, admittedly, wasn't helpful). He did acknowledge that industrial-scale dairy production is a pretty nasty business.

See also these infographics on hunger.

You really don't have to worry about electromagnetic frequencies. But you should check out these life forms that feed directly on electricity.

We have so much gender/male-gaze stuff to talk about that I don't even know where to start. Maybe with Glendon Mellow's piece on the importance of gaze (NSFW). Next, see this woman's efforts to point out to cat-callers that she's not interested in their observations and evaluations (she's just existing for herself; not wondering what they think). See also Rebecca Traister's excellent piece, where she reiterates that we don't care what you think, and we're not grateful for even genuinely well-meaning appraisals. And Jezebel's that basically excerpts from Traister's, but emphasizes the IDGAF battle cry. It essentially comes back to what I posted last week: nobody gives a shit about your boner.

And because it apparently still needs pointing out, brains and stylishness are not mutually exclusive.

***
Pandora, your predatory ads are backfiring. And, no, Shady Grove Fertility Clinic (by way of Pandora) I am not worried that time is running out. So you can *stop* trying to convince me that I should be by asking three times in one hour.

To make it stop, I turned off Pandora and went outside to weed (actually, thank you, Pandora; I'd been procrastinating). And while I weeded, I checked in with myself to make sure I really wasn't "worried," because if I wasn't, why was I so angry? Because I resent your being in my face about it. In part because I know other people are sensitive about it, and I resent it on their behalf.

If I wanted to have a baby at all costs, I'd take steps to have a baby. The least appealing option for me would be the Lori Gottlieb plan (marry some jackass who may turn out to be as much of a child as the child you're marrying him to have). I have friends who've done that, and they're not happy. They just have an extra child, in adult form. I could do it; I get hit on very regularly. But I choose not to. Getting impregnated through a fertility center is a less unappealing option, and more power to those who go that route, but I just don't want it enough. I like my life enough. Having a child is not so important to me that I'd want to do it alone. I have enough to do as it is. There's also the whole "why bring a child into this world" argument, which is certainly prevalent around now (I won't link to the Jezebel piece on it because I quibble with too many of the details, even though I appreciate the overall message). I don't think all that is enough to stop me from considering bringing a child into this world, but I'm certainly not going to go out of my way to do it. But if I do, the last place I'd go is Shady Grove Fertility Clinic.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Tuesday roundup

India's sanitation crisis.

There's human rights abuses in your shrimp and god only knows what nightmares in your pork. But Jezebel still opts to take cheap shots at vegans, taking the story of someone who got to the point of eating nothing and portraying it as an example of the dangers of veganism. But Erin Gloria Ryan redeems herself with this PSA:
One of the more irritating aspects of that sort of comment is that the people making them are 100% convinced that the worst thing a man can say to a woman is that he doesn't want to have sex with her, that the most important thing to a woman is how their weens feel about her. Why else would they wear makeup? Heels? Why would they slather on sunscreen every morning?
Guys, guys, guys. It's not for you. More often then not, women do it for each other. No one gives a shit about your boner.
***
This (from Carolyn):
Everything, everything I advise is easier said than done... Finding ways to leave painful things behind us is hard. Finding words at a tense moment that help vs. hurt is hard. Accepting what we’ll never achieve, whom we’ll never be, what we’ll never be given, what we can’t expect, is hard. Admitting when we’re at fault is hard. Accepting when we’re blameless but will suffer anyway is hard.
There's a difference (that this article fails to make) between competitive best and personal best; you may never be the best at something if the innate talent's not there, but you can get pretty good at it--which is its own reward if it's something that interests you. Funny that the article does mention juggling; I learned to juggle, and anyone can learn to juggle, with practice.

Oh, dear (see the last line indeed, which will put your day in perspective).

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