succumbing to peer pressure

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Good lord, I am so full of chocolate and alcohol. A White Bear taught me well, and I know that baking should be accompanied by the consumption of much wine (or whatever's handy). [I tell that story about you making cookies, deciding the cookies would be good with brandy in them, then deciding you would be good with brandy in you, all the time]

I wiped out on my bike yesterday. I'm fine - it was an embarrassing display of my typical grace and coordination. I had already stopped the bike and was attempting to get off it, walk over to the bike rack, and lock it up, when my foot got caught on my back wheel, toppling bike and me over into some bushes. What was weird is that this happened right in front of several people, not one of whom asked if I was ok. Initially, I was relieved, since my ego was more bruised than my body, but after thinking about it a minute, I was sort of surprised. I mean, I did a full on face plant, ker-splat! flat on the ground, and no one even pauses?

Friday, April 07, 2006

Crap. I've upset one of my friends. In a totally legitimate yet shouldn't really be a big deal kind of way. Friend told me they were upset, I apologized, should be the end of it. Yet...the incident happened over dinner last night, and although I didn't realize at the time what had happened, I definitely spent the dinner feeling out of place and came home in a real funk. Had one of those full-of-self-doubt evenings and spent some time consciously reminding myself that, darn it, people like me. It sucked. So now, confirmation that something did indeed go wrong last night makes me feel less insane, but I can tell that I'm all disproportionately screwed up about things now. I can't tell how much of it is me being wimpy about confrontation of any sort and how much of it might be pent-up upsetness spewing out. If it's the latter, obviously I need to do something...but given how vaguely upset I am right now, I can't really put my finger on specifically what my problem is. Fuck.


"I feel like despite your rhetoric, that compassion and common sense have been left far behind during your administration," Taylor said, standing in a balcony seat and looking down at Bush on stage. "And I would hope from time to time that you have the humility and grace to be ashamed of yourself."

(go watch the video - it's Joe Citizen giving President Bush a piece of his mind, calmly and eloquently. It's really quite satisfying.)

Thursday, April 06, 2006

I just downloaded and printed a pdf version of an article from the Harvard Law Review from 1889. Technology is awesome.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

It officially feels like summer - Braves game was on the radio during my drive home tonight. Also, came home to a house that smelled like...reading. Yes. Reading.

Went to see Crash tonight with the Boy (it's still showing at one theater in town; how this is possible while simultaneously on dvd, I don't know. but the nice lesbian couple who showed up after us convinced them 4 was a large enough number to make turning on the projector worth it). The movie was good. Very thought provoking, moderately heavy-handed, and thoroughly timed with all the other stuff percolating in my brain. I swear, I'll get to it...just not tonight.

Since I seem physically incapable of getting any real work done today, why not play catch-up on my blog? I'm still wrapping my brain around what I want to say about -isms and subtlety, so meanwhile I'll finally get around to bringing attention to this article that Sid posted in comments ages ago. Now this is a father's rights issue I can get behind (unlike the one I was bitching about last month). The asymmetry of mother's vs. father's rights when adoption is the issue at hand is an excellent example of places where we can work toward a more equal (utopian) set of rights between men and women, especially where children are involved. In general, men really do get the shaft when it comes to putting babies up for adoption. Several states have the appearance of 'due diligence' requirements when it comes to locating/informing the father, but the vast majority of these really are in appearance only. Now, this is where the double-edged sword comes in. Because certainly it would be trivial to modify these laws in such a way that women end up the screwed party. i.e. inability to locate a biological father, either because he genuinely is impossible to find or because he has chosen to make himself impossible to find, ends up forcing a woman to raise a child she either does not want or cannot manage to raise. But surely there is some reasonable middle ground here. Choosing adoption by definition leaves approximately nine months to dedicate to searching. Here's where better laws about enforcing paternity tests, tracking down deadbeat parents, and financial support from the government for such activities help everyone out. The other side of the make-it-harder-for-men-to-walk-away coin is logically make-it-harder-for-women-to-conceal-paternity (again, with loopholes for abusive relationships).

Another badly needed modification to some states' adoption laws is that claiming paternity and denying a mother the ability to give your child up for adoption goes hand-in-hand with you raising that child yourself. Some states actually allow a father to both stand in the way of adoption and refuse custody of the child. Hopefully, I'm not the only one to whom that seems totally bass-ackwards.

Now, I do have to side with Dan Savage slightly, when he says that men get orgasms, women get pregnant. Meaning that, regardless of the emotional relationship, men should know when a physical relationship has occurred with the possibility of creating a child, and should take some responsibility for claiming paternity. In some states that means signing up with a father registry for every sexual partner you have, which, I'll concede, seems unreasonable to me.

Monday, April 03, 2006


In the MARTA station yesterday a nice young black man stopped at the foot of the escalator and gestured that I should go ahead of him. My first thought: I wonder if he just wants to stand behind me so as to have better access to my luggage for pick-pocketing? I could try to justify this knee-jerk reaction by contextualizing - as someone loaded down with suitcases on public transportation in a major city I did make a nice target for petty thievery, and therefore it is reasonable to be aware of one's surroundings. But I know my brain was reacting to the color of his skin.

This, and something my brother said over the weekend, will eventually lead up to a larger post on -isms and the subtle and insidious ways they get expressed everyday.