My latest hair donation. Someone needs it more than I do. And 2013 feels like a fresh start year. Click picture to learn how you can donate your hair.
Tags: bicycle, feminism
About four and a half years ago, I bought myself a bicycle. It didn’t take very long for me to fall in love with it, and with cycling in general. I loved how I could hop on and glide through the streets of Oakland, getting almost anywhere I needed to go, without much concern for traffic or parking. I didn’t have to worry about being harassed as I waited for the bus. I loved that I could go, go, go without having to worry about refueling. Flying down the bike lane was exciting, and I also felt like I was a part of a special club. In short, it helped me feel independent and free.
And of course, I’m not alone in my sense of freedom upon a bicycle. The bicycle is often held up as a key component of the changing culture in the 1890s. Women took to bicycles as they were experiencing greater access to public life, and riding changed fashions of the days, as women began to dress to accomodate riding. They were also affordable for many people, and “in 1897 alone, more than two million bicycles were sold in the United States , about one for every 30 inhabitants.” I agree, that “cycling is inherently feminist.” I’m proud to be a part of this tradition, just as I am proud when vote or support women owned business.
Let me tell you what I think of bicycling. I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel.” ~ Susan B. Anthony, 1896
Cycling has also been shown to be a great vehicle for improving physical and mental health. (Pardon the pun) I have always felt that cycling has been great for my personal health and wellbeing, even though at times it can be a harrowing experience. It’s exhilarating, it’s fresh air, and it’s movement. All good things for body and soul.
My bicycle has become very important to me. It does feel like an extension of myself.
So, I was absolutely heartbroken when I found that my bike had been stolen on Monday night. This is all that’s left of her. I’m crushed.
So much so, that I went out and got myself a brand new bike right away. I don’t want to live a bicycle-less life ever again.
I think she’s so beautiful.
Today was the best day of my entire fucking life! No bullshit. No sarcasm.
Tags: Baseball, San Francisco Giants, World Series, World Series Champions
If you go back to the beginning of the year, in the blog’s archives, you’ll see that I called this in January. Sort of.
Tags: classism, costume, Halloween, misogyny
Yesterday was Halloween, a holiday which I am increasingly falling out of love with. There’s the pressure on girls and women to sex it up. There’s also the issue of cultural appropriation costumes. All of this over the last couple of years has started to take a little bit of the joy out of one of my favorite holidays.
However, I did dress up for work yesterday, and my costume of Zombie Lenore & The Raven tied for third place (with Robert Smith from The Cure) in the office popularity costume contest.
First place was awarded to a co-worker whose costume consisted of a Disney princess gown and wig, pillow for a baby bump, a baby doll, a cigarette dangling from his lips, and a half full bottle of Jack Daniels. He (a middle class, straight, white, cisgenerder man, for what it’s worth) called it “Snow White Trashed.”
Holy misogynistic, classist trope, Wonder Woman!
Now, you may think that by taking offense to this costume, I am over-reacting, but I don’t think so. It perpetuates a stereotype of working class women that is repulsive. It holds it up, and it points a finger at it, and it laughs at it. (Not with it. At it.) That stereotype is that the working class woman is too stupid and too lazy to better her situation, and it’s bullshit. And if you’re me, that caricature is ever more offensive, because at a point in time, that was what my probable future looked like. I was a working class girl, from a working class family. My grandparents were migrant farm workers. My parents were enlisted in the Navy. We didn’t have much. I grew up in an working class neighborhood, and I was educated in California’s desperately underfunded public schools. There was a time when my parents thought I couldn’t make it out of high school without getting “knocked up.” They had no idea how we would pay for me to go to college, if I could get accepted, other than enlisting like they had, and getting a G.I. bill. I grew up afraid of my future. Fear was my motivation.
My story is not the Horatio Alger myth. This is not about my boot straps. When I think about the working class women who haven’t managed to achieve the “American Dream”, I know that it’s not because they are lazy or stupid. For some of us, it worked out. For most of us, it did not. I graduated high school near the top of my class and horribly ignorant. I can say that when you’re ignorant, you do not know that you’re ignorant until someone or something slaps you in the face with it. For me, that happened in my first year at a university that I somehow managed to get accepted into. It was only then that I learned the damage that my public school education had done, that I didn’t know anything about learning, and that I had been the victim of a system that rewarded me for doing the bare minimum, and passed me into the world without any knowledge of how to succeed. I got mostly A’s in high school simply because I was there. The overworked, underpaid teachers who don’t have the time, the resources, or the energy at the end of the day are not to blame. The young people in the schools are not to blame. The system is not set up to help anyone succeed, the teachers or the young people, especially not the young women. It is an institution that is broken, and the ill prepared students it churns out have little with which to build a future any different from their parents, nor the skills with which to fix institutions.
It wasn’t just the public schools, though. My parents didn’t know what I wasn’t being taught. My father was never good at school, and would tell you that he did just enough to keep his grades high enough to play football and baseball. With a batting average above 400 in his senior year of high school, he thought he his future laid in professional baseball. When he was not picked up by the Giants, he enlisted in the Navy. My mother tried college, but after a year of struggling with it, she enlisted, too. My siblings had children early, and some of them dropped out. I was the only one who went straight to college from high school. My family was not the kind of family that knew what successful education looked like. All they knew was hard work. They taught me hard work, but they didn’t know how to teach me to have more for myself than what they had, raising a family on too little, and working too hard. When you don’t know what you don’t know, all your left with is what you do know. All you know to teach your kids is what you know. They did the best they knew how to do, and I don’t fault them for it.
So, maybe you think I’m over-reacting. Maybe you think I’m too sensitive, or too easily offended. I think that you just don’t understand what it is to fear that trope, to fight against it, and to try to live it down. I don’t have the luxury of laughing it off or not being sensitive to it. I know Snow White Trashed all too well. I might have been her, and if I had, so fucking what. Being poor doesn’t make someone bad, stupid, pathetic, or lazy. I was as lucky as I was smart and determined. I did not get pregnant. I graduated from college. I got a nice cushy internet job. The stars aligned.
There but by the grace of god go I.
Tags: crazy single girl life, dating, dating test, rules
So, here’s the thing – it’s come to my attention that I could probably benefit for being a bit more selective about who I go out with. In fact, I’ve been flat out, point blank told that I’ve been dating morons who are well beneath me. In an effort to help myself choose more wisely, I’m compiling a list of standards, a list of real or hypothetical situations and characteristics which would eliminate fellas from my dating pool. Some of this shit may seem pretty obvious, but I’m just trying to be, um, comprehensive. It’s kind of like a true or false test to determine a dude’s value as a potential date. There is no curve, and this test is pass-fail. This is 100% of your grade. I reserve the right to add more questions as I see fit at any time.
And so, I present, the test! I will not date you if:
- You are so drunk while you are hitting on me that you don’t notice that you’re dribbling or drooling beer down your chin and onto your chest.
- You do not have some sort of occupation (doesn’t necessarily have to be a 9-5 type job or even a job – you could be a student, for example).
- Your pick up line is “I have a really good job”.
- You live with your parents.
- You introduce me to a group of your friends as ‘my girlfriend’, but later claim to have nothing but platonic feelings for me.
- You ignore me.
- You don’t listen to me.
- You have a hobby that you insist that I adopt as a condition of our dating.
- Your favorite band is Limp Bizkit, Korn, Hoobastank, Creed, Coldplay, or Linkin Park.
- You work in law enforcement.
- You try to sleep with my friends behind my back.
- You’re mean to my cat.
- You’re married.
- You already have a girlfriend.
- You already have a boyfriend.
- You are in the middle of a divorce.
- You get arrested on our first date.
- You have no idea who Lloyd Dobbler is.
- You think making fun of me is a form of flirting.
- You are constantly giving me mixed signals.
- You haven’t read at least two books in the last six months.
- You have an issue of Maxim in your bathroom.
- You voted for George W. Bush.
- You try to get me to make-out with a girl so you can watch.
- You ask me if I have a Brazilian.
- You have a child out in the world that you’re not helping to raise.
- You don’t want to wear a condom.
- You come on to me so hard that I feel a little frightened.
- You knowingly try to hit on me the same week that I got dumped by some other dude.
- You don’t want to see my favorite movie at least once, even though you think it will probably be totally lame.
- You don’t like “kids’ movies”.
- You say my friend is ‘weird’.
- You say my friend is ‘gross’.
- You ask for a foot massage on our second date.
- You hate or fear children.
- You say something to me that is so absurd and ridiculous that I feel obligated to start a tumblr based on it.
- You refuse to meet me halfway.
- You act like you might be into men, but refuse to admit it.
- You scare me.
- You scare my friends.
- You want to put me up on a pedestal or treat me as a trophy.
- You are not supportive of my goals.
- You insist that I get into a serious, monogamous relationship with you immediately after I meet you without giving me a chance to get to know you first.
- You so much as mention that you might want me to change a single molecule of my body in any way.
- You try to move in with me without being asked.
- You use my toothbrush.
- You leave the bathroom door open while you’re using it.
- You over share about how you’re carrying baggage from your ex from ten years ago the first time we have a conversation.
- You give unsolicited advice and then get angry when I tell you that I have the situation under control and don’t need your advice.
- You offer me your phone number, and then get upset with me for calling you.
- You say “you’re not how I expected you to be from reading your blog”….. Seriously, get the fuck out!
EXTRA CREDIT: You could get an immediate pass if one of my close girl friends gives you the thumbs up. Let’s face it, their bullshit-detecters are much better than mine.