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#87 Do what you love.

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Thought I was going to skip the Maggie Mason post today, didn't you? In favor of all-kitties-all-the-time? I thought so too, but it turns out I found a low impact one.

Consider your passion. Could you make an entire blog about biking, digital cameras, relationships?
...
Choose a subject you're passionate about and consider devoting yourself to it. You may not want to be a professional blogger, but you're more likely to maintain your blog in the long term if you're posting about things you care about.

This makes me think of a couple of things. The first and most obvious is Heroine Content. My HC co-blogger Skye and I are both dedicated to feminism and anti-racism, and both love action movies, and out of those passions, Heroine Content was born. It's honestly the most fun I've had blogging--I'm energized by it, I'm proud of it, and I think it's a great resource.

There are also a couple of other passions in my life that I think would make good single subject blogs--specifically, dog rescue and thrift shopping. I've been thinking about how to go about focusing more intensively on those two things, and hope to figure out a way to do that in 2008. I hesitate to just jump right in and start two more blogs, but that may be the best thing to do. What do you think?

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#12 Play favorites.

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There is nothing wrong with offering recommendations, but it's possible that the world could live without another extended review of The Godfather. If you don't have time for a full-blown analysis, or if it just seems unnecessary, consider starting a brief list of the media you think readers should check out. Just name a few of the movies, books, magazines, or songs that have affected you.
...
Jason Kottke (www.kottke.org) does an impressive job of tracking the media he consumes on separate pages of his site. For movies (www.kottke.org/movies), he offers ratings, and a review here and there. For books (www.kottke.org/books), he displays thumbnails of the covers and offers a review of each. By organizing his picks so thoughtfully, he's created a deep resource, one post at a time.

I've actually been attempting to do this, in several ways, for just about as long as I've been blogging. I love to write reviews, I love to read other people's reviews, and sites like Kottke's really are a fantastic resource. However, Kottke writes code and I don't, so I find it's more reasonable to use outside sources to keep track of what I am reading and watching, as well as posting one-off reviews here. So here's a list of the resources I have to offer, even if they aren't as well-organized or comprehensive as the example:

Goodreads
: This was mentioned before, it's where I keep track of what I've read, give ratings, and post reviews. However, the reviews are mostly also posted here, in the Books section of the blog.

Heroine Content: At HC, my friend Skye and I post reviews of action media (mostly movies) looked at specifically through the lens of feminism and anti-racism. We've been doing it for over a year now, and we're building up a pretty fair library of reviews.

Movies: Right now, I just post non-HC movie reviews in the Movies section of the blog, but I'm hoping to find a resource something like Goodreads or organize that a bit better in 2008, particularly because I don't review everything I watch here. Suggestions welcome. My movie tastes can also be sampled in the ubiquitous Netflix queue, but please keep in mind that it is a joint effort between Mark and I, so there is a lot on it for which I am NOT responsible.

There are also reviews in the TV section and the Baths section here.

As not to leave this post totally without new content, I offer a list:

My Top 5 Heroine Content Heroines:
1. Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2, Judgment Day)
2. Tank Girl (Lori Petty in Tank Girl)
3. Jane Smith (Angelina Jolie in Mr. and Mrs. Smith)
4. The Lady (Sharon Stone in The Quick and the Dead)
5. Diana Guzman (Michelle Rodriguez in Girlfight)

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That's the link for everyone's netflix queue. If you go to community and then Invite friends it will give you a url. like this:
http://www.netflix.com/BeMyFriend/PbgojnTjIme2ggvIq3F5

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#27 Show some love.

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Another really great suggestion from Maggie Mason for today:

...the people around you are doing worthy things--raising healthy kids, perfecting a signature mixed drink, making a fresh start. Write little profiles of your friends, counting up the reasons you respect them or the times they've surprised or impressed you.
You can interview them, or just write up a paragraph or two. Tell us who your friends are, and why you picked them to be a part of your life.

God, where to begin? I know some fairly outstanding people...they are identified here only by nickname or initial, just to be sure, but they should all be very proud of who they are.

My friend Scand is a roller derby star. This impresses me in all kinds of ways. To begin with, roller derby is just so freaking cool, and I'm impressed that she is physically able to do it and do it well. Beyond that, though, I think roller derby has in some ways been in facet through which she's come out of her shell, met new people, and taken on a new and fun persona, and I admire that. She's gone through a lot of changes in recent years and her life has taken some turns that weren't expected, and she's not only dealing with all of that with amazing good grace, she's embracing it and making having fun a priority for herself. I kind of want to be her when I grow up.

In the past few years, a whole passel of my friends have become parents, and they are all damn good at it. I admire all of their parenting for different reasons. My friends S. and T. really thought hard before becoming parents, went through a lot to do so, and make parenting a priority in every part of their lives. They take being parents seriously, and recognize that it is important work. My friends N. and Z.Z. are very different kinds of parents, but are no less admirable. They have perfected balance, living their lives and concentrating on their careers while also being wonderful examples of both parents and partners. The Princess and C-Man are newer to parenting, but it is already clear that they, too, will be role model parents. They display outstanding patience and an unrelenting dedication to allowing their child, even at his very young age, to be his own person. All of these people have fantastic kids, with whom I am privileged to spend time.

I admire my friend The Libertarian Librarian for her insistence on living her life on her own terms, whether that means never having a monogamous relationship, or refusing to sleep when it is dark and be awake when it is not, or having off-kilter ideas about what is and what is not breakfast food. This kind of faith in ones own ideals is hard to come by, and I'd like to have more of it myself.

There are many ways in which my friend Me inspires me, and her long-distance running is only one of them. It isn't so much her determination or her stamina that impresses me as it is her patience, her willingness to build slowly towards her goals. She's shown this in so many areas of her life, but working her way up to running for tens of miles at a time is the one that makes the most apt metaphor.

Some of my friends are couples, and some of those couples have relationships from which I draw encouragement and by which I am inspired. B. and E. have been through a lot together, including marriage, unemployment, the death of a parent, financial problems, and the birth and raising up of their little girl. They have always shown respect for one another and it has always been clear how much they care about each other. That is inspirational, and has only become more so as their daughter has grown into her own person and their twosome has become a threesome. I'm also inspired by T. and E., who are brave enough to know that family is what you make it, and yes, you can choose your own family and build it in the way you choose.

I have admiration bordering on unhealthy envy for my friends Nij and Gany, who are both going after the degree I wanted to go pursue when I left undergrad, but didn't have the courage or the willingness to make sacrifices. Watching them do it makes me believe I can, but only if I can display the dedication they've shown.

My friend H. is the smartest person I know, and he manages to wear the mantle of that intelligence without being a pompous ass. He doesn't talk to me like I'm stupid, even when I'm being stupid. He doesn't underestimate others' capabilities, nor does he downplay his own. There is, I think, extreme confidence in that.

Finally, there's Mark. Mark who has done so, so many things for me, about whom I admire more than I could ever put here. Perhaps more than anything, though, I am forever grateful to him for teaching me to love dogs, and for providing such a fantastic example for how to properly integrate them into your life. Even if our relationship ends terribly (which I have no reason to think it would), I will always have that, and it's the best gift I've ever been given.

I am lucky indeed to know these fine people.

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sadly i have to wake up vaguely early now. but still getting in before 10am is a struggle.

Your honesty and generosity are always an enormous inspiration.

Can't wait to see you and Mark!

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#64 Get dibs.

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I have to say, this is one of my favorite of Maggie Mason's ideas:

I'd like to collect decaying mansions and move them all to one neighborhood so I can repaint them and plant trees in the front years. Unfortunately, I don't have a few million laying around for my mansion collecting just yet, so I'll have to settle for perusing real estate ads and whimpering.
Start your own virtual collection of items that are too unwieldy or too expensive to collect in real life. What your passion--airplanes, modern art, pricey jewelry--pick twenty pieces for your online collection and rotate them out as the mood strikes you.

How cool is that idea?

I took several days to think about what I wanted to virtually collect. Art is really tempting--I mean, since it's virtual, I could have anything I wanted! Or dogs--I could get representatives from 20 breeds if I only had to virtually feed and walk them! But at the end of the day, what I'd really like to collect is historical artifacts. Stuff that I absolutely agree should be in a museum in real life, but should live in my house virtually.

So here is my virtual artifacts collection, or at least a start to it:

1. Original report from the first U.S. women's rights convention, Seneca Falls, New York, July 19-20, 1848.
Currently housed at the Women's Rights National Historical Park at Seneca Falls.

emma goldman photo2. Portrait of Emma Goldman, circa 1890ish. Currently housed at the International Institute for Social History, Amsterdam.

3. Letters between Mother Jones and John Mitchell, 1902. Currently housed at the American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives.

suffage parade program4. Program for the 1913 Suffrage Parade. Currently housed at the Library of Congress.

5. Thomas Edison's film of Annie Oakley, 1894. Currently housed at the Library of Congress.

6. Woody Guthrie's "This Machine Kills Facists" guitar. Currently housed ?soviet poster

7. Soviet propaganda posters, Bokshevik Era, 1917-1921. Housed all over, though rare.

That's probably enough, to start. Don't want to get greedy.

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Do you see a common thread? If you are a librarian you DO get to keep cool stuff. And get paid to do it. Muahahahahhha! My pretties!

Now this is a great idea! But first I have to go out and get a bigger hard drive.

Stopping in to say hi after seeing you on the Bayou's 10 Texas Blogs You Should Read list.

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#32 Break it off.

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Today Maggie asks:

What are your relationship deal breakers? Some folks are annoyed if a date shows up ten minutes late. Others look for something weightier, like a felony records. Have you ever rejected someone over something that seems insignificant to your friends? Or do you have selective blindness for red flags?

This is an odd question for me, since I've been in a relationship for so long. What would be a deal breaker in a relationship that is ongoing is a very different question than what would be a deal breaker for a new relationship. Mark would have to do something pretty awful to break our current deal, but newbies wouldn't get so much slack.

If I were in the situation of starting something new, there are things I'd be picky about. The first thing that comes to mind is that I'd want someone who was already pretty set in his or her career and through with school. I'm willing to do what I'm doing now (being the one with the "grown up" job and all that) for Mark, but I'm not sure I'd be willing to do it for anyone else, at least not at this stage. In fact, to take it a step further, I would want someone with a solid financial future. I have a hard time seeing myself beginning a new relationship with someone at this point if s/he were not financially independent.

Beyond the money/job stuff, non-monogamy would be a deal breaker for me. I'm just not interested in non-exclusive relationships. Too complicated, too many factors, too much work. If that makes me a stick in the mud, so be it.

Finally, my pets are a deal breaker. They are 100% part of the deal if you want to be with me, and you have to no only tolerate them, but be actively interested in them. No exceptions.

The rest of my deal breakers are probably pretty obvious. I couldn't be with someone who was anti-choice, or pro-death penalty. I likely couldn't be with someone who worked in a field I consider morally repugnant. I'm over needing men to be taller than I am, or having age limits on who I could have a relationship with (aside from the obvious need for an adult). I'm open to all genders and races.

For some reason, though, this is a thought experiment I can't particularly get into. I guess it's because the idea of being in a relationship other than the one I am in just holds no appeal to me. This is, I think, a good thing.

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#36 Swallow your pride.

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Maggie suggests:

Scan in photos of you in a uniform with an awkward haircut, offer up the choicest yearbook inscriptions, or tell us about your top-three suspensions. The more miserable you were, the more endearing you'll become.

I've already regaled you with pictures of my unsavory past, but yearbook inscriptions? That's brilliant. I just happened to find my yearbooks recently, too, so lets see what we can find in there...all misspellings and sad grammar from the original.

1994:

Hey grace, Have a great year. I don't have any deep thoughts so party.

Hey neighbor, I love homework don't you. Just joking anyway friends forever & have fun yo only got 3 year left, they go by quick.

Hola Graciela! By the way--how the hell do you pronounce that name? I just want to say that you're a super-crazy/good friend. May all things come your way. Today and always. If you want to laugh just think of those 3 years at school you've left. You'll start laughing at once, I guarantee ya (good advice ha?) Let's have fun, lot's of fun I mean, this year. Stay the way you are. --Well, take care--cause I don't...

1995:

Hey Gracey. I like your hair it matches you. In the light its shiny and pretty but if you catch it just right its dark and scary. Don't worry about what people think and Tony can just kiss your ass. But if you need to scream at someone you can scream at me.

Hey Grace Stay spontanious, raise Hell, and get in lots of trouble, but don't take Sandy with you. Your a bad influence. Just kidding you're a great friend and have helped me allot. Thanks.

Grace. You flat chested over grown volleyball player. Now your cool kind of ya right. Your a good friend.

1996:

Hey word up, Hows every thing going last year sucked this years going to suck. and I would like to say Snatch

Grace, Well it's the last year that you will be in high school. You are the most gentle giant that I know. Have fun Grace.

Yo Grace. Even though we have different political views you're still pretty cool.

1997:
My senior yearbook is completely unsigned. If I remember correctly, we got our yearbooks the following fall, so I probably had that one mailed to me when I was already at Reed or something.

Looking through these makes me feel like everyone hated me in high school. Which may or may not have been the case, I honestly don't know (or much care). I should say, though, that none of the comments I choose to reproduce here were from particularly lose friends. I kept the close friends' comments private, just because as stupid as they may sound now, they were heartfelt.

I wish I had a way to see what I wrote in other people's books. That would likely be funnier. I thought I was awfully smart back then and probably tried to be profound. Gah.

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#45 Ante up

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Bit of a cheat today, as this is something I already do. Maggie Mason suggests:

Do some research and point your readers to a few worthy charities. While you're at it, explain what their donations would accomplish for the organizations you list. Then put your feet up and bask in the warm glow of self-satisfaction.

I do this every month, and already did it for December, so I'm not going to reiterate. Click on the "Giving" link on the sidebar (under categories) to see all of the past charities I've highlighted. I will give this reminder, though: if you give before January 1, you write it off on your 2007 taxes.

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#61 Collect the greatest hits

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In her 61st suggestion, Maggie instructs us to collect some of our best ever blog posts into a list. Here's mine:

February 26, 2004: Won't you be my neighbor?

She'd call all the time, asking us to run to the store for her, and later to come up and rub her feet.

June 3, 2004: In defense of the lazy

As far as I am concerned, good work ethic means taking pride in the job you are doing, getting what needs to be done and done well, and doing things that need to be done without being specifically intstructed to do so. Period. Busy work does not require good work ethic.

September 20, 2004: Patriot

Well, I'm not going. Not because I don't think things might not be more pleasant elsewhere--they certainly might be. Not even because I don't believe the sky is really falling right now, I think we're just in a trough and things will get better again, even if we have to endure four more years of Shrub first. Because this is my country and goddammit they are not going to chase me out!

January 7, 2005: Watching my town die

About a year ago, I was talking to my mom on the phone. Often, mom's phone calls can be summarized in list form: "Who Died," "Who Got Sick," "Who Had a Baby," and "Who is Pregnant" are the usual categories, with a fair sprinkle of "Who Got Married" and "Who Got Divorced." This was a "Who Got Sick" list.

January 16, 2005: Self-respect

I've wondered quite a bit, over the years since this happened, if it showed a lack of self respect that I didn't quit on my own. I've also wondered if, given the time to think it over, I would have quit on my own eventually. I'd like to think I would have, but I was 14, you know? I've also come to realize that of all of the things that were yelled at me during this experience, it wasn' being called a worthless cunt or a stupid bitch that dug the deepest--it was being told that I have no self-respect.

March 1, 2005: Fat

I'm fat, but I'm not part of their tradition. My arms may look just like my mom's, but she wears her's without a thought, as part of who she is, while I try to hide mine. I don't revel in the things my body can do, and I certainly don't use it to make my living. I eat with shame, guilt, petulance, but never gusto. And I wonder, since I'm never going to be skinny, if I can learn to be fat like them?

November 15, 2005: The legacy of the mirror and the speculum

Which, of course, made me think of my cervix. Because really, who were more into cervixes (cervi?) than 1970s feminists?

November 18, 2005: The Man in Black

I loved Cash's booming voice and Willie's smooth one, and it took me many more years to realize that Kris Kristofferson really doesn't have much of a voice at all. I really believed Waylon was a cowboy, and I was more impressed than scandalized when somebody told me The Hag had spent time in the penitentiary. Looking back on it now, I doubt my parents intended me to see these men as heroes, but I certainly did.

January 23, 2006: Grace's feminist canon

My friend T. recently asked me for a list of my favorite feminist books, to use for a book review website project he's putting together. Unable to contain myself with the joy of this task, I put together a fairly comprehensive list (though I edited it down quite a bit). It was so much fun, I thought I'd share it here.

May 12, 2006: Chick lit

There are people, I'm sure, who will argue that books about romantic relationships (always heterosexual, always ending in marriage) are just what woman want to read. I don't buy it. I think that's what we're taught to want to read, from Jane Austen through Jennifer Werner. And it's not enough. We're selling ourselves short, both as readers and as writers. Relegating ourselves to chit lit. Which is downstairs, by romance.

June 20, 2006: My life in dog years

That may well make me the crazy dog lady, but so be it. There are worse things to be.

June 22, 2006: Rules of responsible dog ownership

And that your dog, no matter how great you think s/he is, is not an exception to this rule.

July 18, 2006: More on the Willard Suitcase Exhibition

As far as I know, she died in the state mental hospital. She never got to mother her babies. She never got to make her own decisions. She lost her freedom, and then she lost part of her brain.

January 10, 2007: Pain in the House

The topic of this pain doesn't go away. It peaks and wanes, but it's always there, and not just as a reason for House's drug addiction, but as a topic in and of itself.

April 4, 2007: Yet another treatise on thrifting

We're killing ourselves with our own consumption. Creating these mountains and mountains of trash that isn't trash at all, until we're all buried under it, and all the time buying more and more new stuff.

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#14 Watch your language.

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Miss Maggie says:

"What are the words you love, or the phrases you wish would come back in fashion?"

Oh, there are many. I tend to use the occasional colorful phrase myself, due mostly to a childhood spent around people who use colorful phrases. So here are some that I use that I think everyone should:

  • Built like a brick shithouse.

  • Gone pear-shaped.

  • Crik (for creek)

  • Rig (for car or truck)

  • Batshit crazy.

  • Like a red-headed stepchild.

  • Busy as a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest.

Others, that I don't use myself, at least not yet, but wish would come into fashion or back into fashion, are:

  • On the job (for having sex)

  • Fisticuffs

  • Fortnight

What about you?

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I use red headed stepchild frequently. it's the best! I also use fisticuffs. And sody! I love sody and say it all the time!

We speakers of British English use "fortnight" all the time. I had to train myself not to use it in the US, because it's not universally known here.

I still say "scared the tar out of [someone]". Also, "Heavier than a dead Okie" was one of my grandpa's favorites, 'cause that's where my grandma's family was from (and she was twice his size), tho it's harder to use without offending.

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#62 Hit the stacks.

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In this suggestion, Maggie directed me to LibraryThing, where, if one is so inclined, one can catalog and categorize one's books, as well as getting suggestions based on what you have, writing reviews, etc. Even I am not up to the level of time-wasting it would take to add every book I own, but I did add all of those I have read in the past year, with the intention of keeping it up as I read. My bookshelf is here. I like this more than my previous way of tracking my reading, if only because I don't have to alphabetize it myself. Now if I could just find a way to keep a "to-read" list on it, I'd be all set.

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Library Thing is fun, but I like Goodreads.com more. I'm addicted.

Oh, that is cooler! I'm totally using that now.

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#23 Define your inscrutables.

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Maggie says:

"Is nothing sacred? Well, not really. You're the type who puts it all out there--relationship details, depression-med doses, dark family secrets. With all that online information waiting to be discovered by your stunned parents, you might be surprised how much readers still don't know about you."

She goes on to say:
grace's handwriting sample
(The picture shows a sample of my handwriting, saying the following: "They wouldn't recognize your handwriting on a note, be able to discern your laughter in a group, or even know how tall you are. Take a photo of your handwriting, show readers your wardrobe, or record a short clip of yourself humming a tune. You've covered the big topics, now get to the details.")

So there's my handwriting. As for wardrobe, here are some pictures of my underwear and sock drawers, post re-organization:

underwear drawer

sock drawer
(The photos are of my very organized underwear and socks.)

The humming isn't going to happen. Trust me, you're better off.

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#2 Fess up.

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Today Maggie Mason suggests the following:

"All readers need an occasional dose of schadenfreude, so fess up. How do you fail? Do you consistently kill plants? Keep getting fired? Always take the last cookie? That's the stuff, friends. To err is human, but to share? Divine."

In many ways, it feels like the majority of what I write here is about how I fail, so I'm not sure I have anything really new to report. As you already know, I'm terrible with money and falling even deeper into debt, even though I have plenty of income. My self-discipline is truly lacking. I eat very poorly and don't exercise. I never floss. I've become a procrastinator in recent years. I snore. I have dandruff. I have a really poor sense of direction. I'm forever making big pronouncements and grand plans and not following through on them. My ability to navel-gaze is legendary. I fidget uncontrollably. I snort when I laugh. I an incredibly cranky when tired. I require pharmaceuticals to keep an even keel in general. I am a disaster in any sort of outdoor sporting situation.

Is that enough schadenfreude? I could go on all day...

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#58 Think back.

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Today's Maggie Mason idea:

"Tell us what you were doing during the major historical events of your lifetime. Here's a brief timeline of U.S. history to jog your memory. What were your thoughts when you first heard the news?"

  • President Kennedy assassinated.

  • The Beatles appear on The Ed Sullivan Show.>

  • Martin Luther King, Jr. assassinated.

  • Robert Kennedy assassinated.

  • Man walks on the moon.

  • President Nixon resigns.

I'm skipping those, for the obvious reason--I wasn't alive when they happened.

  • President Reagan shot: This was in 1981, so while I was alive, I wasn't old enough to remember it.

  • Challenger explodes: This is my first clear political memory. It happened in 1986, when I was in first grade. I remember watching some coverage of it on a TV in our classroom (and this was back in the day when having a TV in your classroom was a big deal, especially if it wasn't tuned to "Reading Rainbow." I don't clearly remember my exact thoughts, but do remember that there was general sadness in particular because a teacher, Sharon McAuliffe, died in the explosion.

  • Berlin Wall falls: This I remember much more clearly--it was another TV-in-class occasion. It happened in 1989, so I was 10 and I think in 4th grade. My most clear memory, however, is of the song "Winds of Change" by the hair band Scorpions, which was released the next year. Everyone would get very kiddie-serious when that song came on and pretend to be thinking about the wall.

  • Persian Gulf war: This was 5th grade, and I mainly remember everybody in my town hanging flags all over their stuff. And lots of what I now see as racist jokes, but didn't quite identify as such at the time. I don't remember being scared by the war, or even particularly interested in it.

  • Rodney King riots: This is where I start getting political, at least a little bit. I'm in 6th grade, I'm arguing with my classroom teacher about abortion (how completely inappropriate is that?) and I'm starting to have the guts to call people on their racist tripe, of which there is a lot. I think this is about the time I started getting into political arguments at home, too. As far as the riots themselves go, though, it was really removed for me. I was a kid, I knew NO people of color, and it all seemed...vague. Like something I'd see in a movie.

  • Waco, Texas standoff: This happened in 1993, when I was in 8th grade, but I don't remember it at all. It just flew under my radar, I guess.

  • Oklahoma City bombing: The was '95, my sophomore year in high school. My clearest memory is of that photograph of the fire fighter holding the baby that was all over the newspapers. It seemed like that picture was everywhere for months. Honestly, though, I was living pretty far inside my own head at this point and wasn't much on paying attention to what was going on around me.

  • Presidential election recount: Wow, big jump. This happened in 2000-2001, during my last year of college. I remember this VERY clearly. First, we had an election results party that included a drinking game wherein you took a shot of tequila every time a state went to Bush and a shot of Jack Daniels every time one went to Gore. Simon and I went to bed thinking that Gore had won and woke up and found out he hadn't. And then it dragged on and on and on. I supported Gore in the recount, and really thought and still think that Bush's victory was ill-gotten, but what was more important to me then and now was that it was even close, and that the Democrats couldn't find someone more sympathetic than Gore to put up. I also remember discussing this a lot in class, particularly with my favorite professor, who is Iranian and has some pretty strong feelings about sham elections.

  • 9/11 attacks: This happened my first year out of college. It's the weirdest thing. I never ever turned my TV on when getting ready for work at that time--I always listened to music. Yet, for some reason, I turned my TV on that morning, just in time to see the second tower fall. I called Mark and woke him up to make him turn on his TV to watch it. Then I went to work, and everyone in the office spent all day trying to get in touch with friends in New York. My boss finally sent everyone home in the early afternoon. At the time, I was in no way concerned about the greater implications of the attacks--I just wanted to know my friend Mychy, who was working at the Fed not far from the towers, was OK.

  • Iraq war: Too recent to look back with nostalgia of any sort--all I've got is rage. Lots of protests, including an amazing one in Portland that really made me feel like I was actually part of something. A feeling that no matter what we did, it was going to happen anyway, and it was going to be bad. Had no idea how bad, thought.

  • Columbia explodes: Honestly, this didn't register too much for me. As an adult, I am very very suspicious of the space program. I simply don't think it's a good use of time or money. Which isn't to say I don't feel badly for the astronauts who were killed on the Columbia, but this didn't inspire a huge mourning or anything.

  • Hurricane Katrina: This was really, really awful. Really personal, and close to home. Austin was full of refugees, survivors, and they needed a lot of help. More than any other "historical event," Katrina made the world feel small and dangerous. I'm still not over it.

  • Dick Cheney accidentally shoots his friend in the face: This was just funny. Still is, actually.

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Quick note - the school teacher in the Challenger disaster was Christa, not Sharon McAuliffe. She grew up in my town and the library building was rededicated in her honor. Such a shame!

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#1 Reign supreme.

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Today, on my first day of post-NaBloPoMo freedom, I've decided to give myself a new blogging task, in order to keep myself writing daily for the next bunch of days. A couple of birthdays ago, my pal and fellow blogger The Princess got me a copy of Maggie Mason's No One Cares What You Had for Lunch: 100 Ideas for Your Blog. I read the book immediately, but didn't actually use any of it for blog fodder. Well, now seems as good a time as any to start. So, without further ado, I am going to work my way through Maggie's 100 blog suggestions. As the book is broken up into segments for 15-minute blogging, 30-minute blogging, 60-minute blogging, and longer blogging/more serious "writing," I won't be doing the entries in order, but I will be keeping track of which ones I've done and attempting to do them all. Starting now, with #1.

Maggie writes:

Your cousin wears a red dress to your grandmother's funeral. The guy in the Porsche takes up two spaces at the front of the lot. Your boss enjoys scheduling meetings so she can arrive thirty minutes late.
All of us should just learn to tolerate stupid people. But what if we didn't have to? If you ruled the world, things would be better, at least in a few small ways.

If I ruled the world...

  • You could mail international packages from the Automated Postal Center.

  • I'd have veto power over everyone's fragrance choices.

  • Pet ownership would require passing a test, and be available only through adoption, no for-profit intentional breeding.

  • The work week would be 30 hours, flex-time.

  • Afternoon naps for adults would be normal.

  • Nothing would ever start before 10am

  • You could actually live off minimum wage.

  • Not cleaning up after yourself would be a prosecutable crime, on par with theft or assault.

  • Bad coffee would not exist.

  • There would always be something good on TV.

  • Everybody would have access to a good library.

  • I'd be referred to as "Her Most Esteemed Badassness.

Ah, an auspicious beginning...

2 Comments

I agree with every single one.

If there was always something good on tv, how would you get to work?

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