Monday, April 14, 2014

How Did I Lose The White Rabbit?

Today we have 65 degrees in Michigan. Tonight we'll plummet to freezing. Tired of waiting for real spring to stick around, I decided to put out the forsythia in front of the dollhouse, and a little late, the Easter eggs and baskets as well. I have a box of seasonal decorations, and not there is the White Rabbit. Also not on the grass in front of the house is the White Rabbit. How can I lose a white rabbit? If I had picked it up to put away, it would be in the box. It's not. Nor is it on the floor under the dollhouse. Not hiding in the bushes. When I started looking for the hole in the landscaping, and heard Grace Slick singing "one pill makes you larger, one pill makes you small" I decided to step away from the Missing White Rabbit. In a little while, I'll be laughing. I think. I hope. Go ask Alice.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

63-year-old Woman

That's my age. I don't see me in media of any kind, at the grocery store checkout on a magazine cover (unless it's the rags with bad pictures of celebrities and the "cancer" with a question mark headline), or on the internet. I just googled "women photos 63 years." And I got double digit million results with celebrities who are supposedly aging gracefully. Cher? Gracefully? I searched again using google Advanced Search, and asking for none of the words celebrity, celebrities. Here are the top 7 results.
1) East New York 76-year-old woman apparent victim...
2) 63 year old woman kills teen who tried to rob her
3) 63 year old Chinese woman gives birth to twins
4) 63 year old woman loses 250 pounds
5) I am a 63 year old woman. Am I too old for buccal fat removal?
5) This woman is 63 but looks 45
6) 63 year old woman dead after 70 year old brother shoots her
7) At 102, she changes oil, spark plugs on her 82 year old car.

No wonder I'm cranky.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Finland vs Russia Hockey Coat of Arms

In celebration of the Finnish hockey victory over Russia at the Sochi 2014 Olympics, I have redone the Suomi Coat of Arms. Bit of history - when the tsar ruled Finland, he insisted that the lion (ordinarily carrying a sword) be flipped to point away from Russia. Clearly the tsar didn't have enough to do. If the lion had been carrying a hockey stick, who knows?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Sunday, February 2, 2014

What's A Girl To Do?

Writer Holly Robinson's (no relation) blog post on January 26, reposted on Huffington Post on the 27th How Old is Too Old for a Main Character? is a response to a Fay Weldon article in the NY Times Sunday Book Review A Writer of a Certain Age which is unfortunately blurbed on google the author remembers when looks started to matter in publishing.

Weldon claims–in writing right out in front of everybody–that women want to read books about their younger selves. Hogwash. I read books about women of all ages, men of all ages, horses of all ages, dogs, history in all ages, wars in all ages. Weldon cannot possibly know what women read. That's men that want to be their younger selves, Ms. Weldon. No woman I know would go back if given the opportunity, but every one of my brothers would. Robinson writes that yes, more women than men buy books, but more under 45s buy books overall. That does not mean that the women under 45 are all reading fiction featuring 20-something women. The Bowker link Robinson uses doesn't go to Bowker, so I'll look that up later. But this may be like the more cat food is bought than baby food trope. Yes, under 45s may buy more books. Parents buy children's books, buy gifts. Regardless of genre, Weldon is out of shape stating what age female character any woman wants to read.

And how infamously addicted we are to facing facts bravely about how unmarketable older women are. Both women indicate that they are okay with the status quo–because they have to be. Robinson takes a moment to talk about her older female in her book, and writes that she will continue to write women of all ages. But both women writers sigh when mentioning that agents will tell you not to write older women because publishers won't publish those books. What's a girl to do? is implied, but nowhere written. Robinson goes so far as to share with us what a nice guy her agent is. Weldon's unforgivable action is that she is a teacher and she warns her girl writing collegiates away from writing older women. With this she moves from facing facts bravely to being a spokesperson for the patriarchy. You can give a nod of complicity assent to the ongoing exclusion, suppression and outright prejudice against women creatives, but you damn well better not teach it to the young women launching their lives. That's how we got suppressed in the first go.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Can I Get a Refund on This New Year?

New Year's Eve Day, Dad woke up and couldn't breathe. 911 called. He'd had an acute pulmonary edema. The ambulance wouldn't take him to the VA, so he went to another hospital we don't know. I had a terrible cold, so after he was squared and wired in the ER, I called my sister to take my place. I left my brother home alone, having called his companion to get him to come downstairs to go out. My neighbor was on alert, thank goodness. Dad was in the hospital until Sunday, when I went to pick him up, with my brother who hates hospitals. The doctor hadn't filled out the discharge papers, and the oxygen order hadn't been written so we had a long wait. It took 3 women to get my father in a wheelchair. Heads up for all who witness this: there is no way you can get anyone out of the car who cannot walk. When he was in the car, it dawned on me. The aide said "call the fire department to get him in the house." Another clue. Don't do this. Got home in the snowstorm to a sidewalk and parking lot not shoveled yet. It took 8 firefighters and 2 policemen to get him in the house in a blanket carry. No help during the storm. The attending physician had let him out without the new heart medication, and it took from Sunday to Thursday to get that written. Couldn't reach the VA to talk with his primary care physician. Couldn't reach the home health people. Somehow we got through the week, including an episode of delusion and panic in the middle of the night twice. And then I started getting crazy, too. Now we have 5 people who are contingent employees of the home health organization, which means the person coordinating the schedule is me. The person emptying the urinals, and supervising the walker use is me. The cafeteria was open 24/7 until I put a stop to that. No soft boiled eggs at 2:30 a.m. My sister came over Friday and I was able to go to a hotel to stop my head from spinning. But I could still hear Dad calling me. My brother is disoriented, the dog is disoriented, and we're all confused and tired. My sister took the dog because he was barking all night. I am dreaming of a vacation. A week. It will take 2 days to stop hearing voices, 2 days to sleep, and then I can have a really fun time. For now, I'm working hard to maintain my sanity.

Friday, January 3, 2014

You Watch Your Phraseology

Picked up Yes, I Could Care Less by Bill Walsh today. The subhead is how to be a language snob without being a jerk. Got as far as page 2. Introducing us to the concept of common usage, and that some words we consider incorrect are just nonstandard, Walsh then chooses to admonish us: Language change is inevitable, so why not lie back and enjoy it? The first chapter title is are people just careless? I already have the answer to that. The last line I read made me feel sick. I don't know any other reference, or colloquialism or dialect or usage that could relate to any other understanding of the phrase. I am bloody sick of this sort of thoughtlessness. My mother, when she did explain the reasoning behind whatever punishment had been meted out, would talk about how balls start rolling. Let this go, and then there's more, because clearly it's okay through common usage to pass on this, and that pass gains momentum and here we are with every state in the US, and the government of same, trying to take rights away from women. There are cat fights on twitter and facebook about slut walks and slut shaming, which only tells me that women have jumped into the fray in a way that helps nobody. We have had a decade of more women's rights reversals than in any other decade in history, and a contributor to this affront is letting phrases like this continue to live. Women are hypervigilant, and if we're not, we damn well better start being. For me today, it's refusing to read a book that uses that thoughtless and foul reference.  Some thinking person needed to have taken that phrase out. Thanks, Mayor Shinn, for the title of this post from Meredith Wilson's The Music Man.