I know all about the busy, busy, busy thing. I get to go into my boss's office with piles of paper and then emerge from the office with bits of paper with things written on them. And then I create more piles of paper which I sometimes carry into other offices and sometimes I send electronically to people. I am currently trying to send as many emails as possible to people who are taking this week off so that they have a nice full email box to return to.
yes, my life is pathetic.
For St. Pat's I went and saw House of the Flying Daggers which disappointed me I think because I had such high expectations. It did not overwhelm in the same way that Crouching Tiger did (which I think is an amazing film) though the whole brothel was pretty amazing looking and the fight in the bamboo forest was something else.
Then I went off to Newbridge to spend an exciting weekend with physicists who are all giddy celebrating Einstein and Hamilton year. Did you know that DeValera was a math teach? There was a physics quiz with physics prizes and talks and a meal with a piper that piped in a cake (which I still think is a bit odd). Though I am bitter. Last autumn I called in every favour I could and arranged: a)tickets to the rugby in cardiff b)babysitting for the weekend c) a place to stay[free!] and d) sourced cheap plane tickets. As such, I am at a loss to explain why I spent the 19th of March in a posh hotel outside Dublin surrounded by unhappy Irish physicists when I could have been so drunk I would be talking welsh in cardiff. And I am holding this grudge until I die (it is going in the memory box with the time my parents shouted at me for digging for dinosaur bones in the flower beds at the front of the house--oh the injustice!)
Easter, alas is a distant memory. There were oysters in Donegal and bad chinese food in Coleraine but not a whole bunch of chocolate for me. The small child, of course, has a plethora of bunnies and not all of them chocolate. I think several are getting married. I suppose the abundance of bunnies makes up for the lack of teeth. Six gone and she isn't that much older than five. Her spelling is quite amusing too.
Best of all, there are already holes appearing in the wine rack. Lent did end early. In newbridge, with the rugby. Some people I work with now tell me I am damned to burn in hell (not the first time I have heard that, strangely enough) but they also claim they get to eat as much chocolate and crisps as they like on St. Pat's Day. and well it never got back on track. 31 days with out alcohol. more than enough.
Next year I am threatening to hold a seder. For a friend's child who wants to know how you meet people of other cultures and backgrounds.
Just for the record, my mother and I assembled most of our furniture.
I don't get it. Now you can read lots of informed (and other) comment at places like Slugger. And well, it's going to be the talking point for weeks. But I honestly am astonished. I also admit I just am not part of the nationalist community here (no matter how you define). I was born in Wales, raised in California and Virginia, nominally attend a protestant church, live in east Antrim, worked for the Alliance Party, current pay check comes from the UK-state. Not that I have anything against a united Ireland. My heart tells me a united Ireland makes sense. My head and check book wonder about how to pay the mortgage as my job doesn't exist in the Republic but I am sure I could find something to do. Anyway, maybe this is supposed to play in the nationalist community. Maybe some people were waiting for the IRA to take responsibility and well, shoot someone. But I can't really see how killing someone makes the killing of the first person okay and alright and restores balance to the world. And I don't see how admitting that your solution is to shoot people is going to help restore your popularity. I just don't get it.
I shouldn't admit this
But as the first language I learned to programme in was fortran, it shouldn't really be much of a surprise (but how do I justify all those years of social science?)
Today's Guilt Trip
It's fun. Everyone can join in. Remember the journey is the the destination. And today's guilt journey involves buying a half price bottle of vintage champagne. What can I say? It was on sale. And the guilt was only lessened with H spent fifty quid on a basketball net. Supposedly for the blessing. Supposedly.
I am feeling guilty. Which isn't that unusual. I am sure I could actually rename this blog as things I feel guilty about and each day we could examine a different guilt. But I do try and keep my neuroses in check. But I despite my reservations, I think I am going to expose my current guilty moment. I have been hanging out at Emily's blog
And well I have been commenting. Which isn't that horrible of a thing in and of itself. But I have been doing a bit of lecturing on feminism. And I don't feel happy about that. No, really. (and don't shake your head at me, Vegas).
I know I shouldn't a) lecture and/or be pedantic and b) shouldn't rise to the bait (for lack of a more eloquent way of expressing myself) of people defining feminism in a way I am at odds with. I mean even feminists manage to define the word in ways I don't recognise (alright I try to be able to see the point of view of just about everybody with the possible exception of Carol Gilligan who quite honestly drives beyond the twist). So I don't know why I thought I should wade in and offer my about $3.57 on feminism, debates in feminism and even today the 30 second version of a history of feminism (yes and I feel fine using that word and don't even need the validation of my paper of choice). But I know deep down inside that nobody cares that much that what they mean by a term isn't an actual reflection of reality. And speaking post-structurally, shouldn't words mean exactly what we want them to mean and thus, in a very alice-way, people who think that feminists are feminazis or something like that are right. That is what the word means. And when I use it my way. I am right and well, this is why there is no truth. But I also decided post-structuralism reached the end of its usefulness when we started to talk about female genital mutilation.
I'm meandering all over the place and not really going any of the places I wanted to go to (Hmm, common narrative problem for me). I have a couple of thoughts that help comfort my guilt. I called myself a combat-boot-wearing feminist over at Emily's and I meant it. It also always reminds me of an argument I had in the back of my college roommate's car in my oh-so-wise second year of university. We were discussing the draft registration. My lefty boyfriend at the time had not registered (he had gone to counselling at Berkeley before making this decision. And just so we show how important his principals were. He did register when he started grad school and had to to qualify for student loans). I was explaining that I opposed the draft because it only required the registration of males. And I wasn't even arguing that I should go into combat. No, I just expressed the idea that in times of emergency, my country should be able to call upon my talents and abilities as quickly as any boy I had gone to school with. My roommate and her boyfriend thought I was nuts and so I believe the term combat-boot-wearing feminist was born. Before I read De Beauvoir(I did that the summer after I got my b.a.). Before I started all those post-grad research degrees.
Which brings me to my meandering second point or rather observation. I didn't do women's studies as an undergrad. I didn't do it even at Master's level. I didn't major in it. I didn't minor in it. I never took a course that could be defined as women's studies (unlike my younger brother who with his roommate took one at university in an effort to meet girls. Andrew is still single). I come to feminism only through my own reading and research and interest. That college roommate gave me The Second Sex because she liked the chapter on women in love (the only bit she had read). It changed my life.* But Vegas, my dear beloved friend, who went to an all women's school and graduate with honours has never read it. This the seminal text of second wave feminism! If feminists and feminist academics can't engage with some of the central arguments how can I expect anyone else? And would I have got to where I am today if I hadn't read de Beauvoir, stumbled across Pateman, sought out Heidensohn (who examined my thesis). Maybe women's studies would have strangled me at birth. But that ignores all the great feminists who inspire me all the time.
*I have to now tell my story of the nices thing every said to me. I was living with the boy who wouldn't register for the draft (he had by then) for the summer with his fellow english (in both senses) grad student. We had drinking lots (quelle surprise!) and the boy had been being pedantic when Stuart looked at him and slurred in a very aggressive way, "Living with you two is like living with Simone de Beauvoir and Jean Paul-Fucking-Sartre." I still have a warm spot for Stuart who used to dance with Howard my bear whenever Howard was in Boston.
Robert Mitchum scares me. Watched Night of the Hunter last night. Scarey.
Lent is still dragging along. I am trying to use it as an opportunity of stock up the wine rack. I have another eight bottles to go (seven if you include the bottle of white that is chilling/freezing out the back door). I think my wine buying/ownership is slowly getting out of hand.
It all started with my first wine rack. It held 12 bottles and was rarely ever completely full. But it did mean I never liked letting it settle below four bottles. Then I gave that rack away, moved to another continent and strangely enough bought a new rack at Ikea (Like you weren't expecting that) which held 18 to 21 bottles. And that was good. However, it meant my palms starting itching around the one case mark. Then I was given another rack. A really attractive metal one. It holds a good 24 bottles. And I kept the Ikea rack. And I now keep the wine segregated by colour (is that morally objectible?). My need to horde wine grows stronger and stronger. I feel so much happier when I have bottles of the stuff. When on the odd occasion the wine over flows and stands up on the buffet. Ideally, I liked to own between 70-120 bottles or so I tell myself. In a proper cellar and I would keep them for years before finding they are perfect to drink and then throwing a party.
But I know if I did have a cellar (which proper secret passages if we are fulfilling my Scooby-Doo fantasies), it wouldn't stop at 120 bottles. Next thing I know, I'd be like Andrew Lloyd Weber selling thousands of bottles because I would suddenly realise I couldn't drink it all in my lifetime.
I did want to buy the blessing a good bottle of wine to cellar ever year and then give it to her at her twenty-first birthday. The H didn't like the idea. Instead, I must admit it is all for me and well, I still don't own enough bottles of wine. Not nearly enough. And we have drunk all the nice French stuff too.
Makes me feel some sympathy for Imelda Marcos.
push/click arrows to scroll.