"it was a musical thing, and you were supposed to sing, and dance while the music was being played."

I've been working, so not posting. But two things I ran across today coincided in a nice way on an attitude that I *try* to take toward my own life, so I thought I'd pass them on. It's all a bit 'stop & smell the flowers'-y, but whatever. Sometimes we need reminding.

First, this meditation on the idea of non-attachment, from the Marbles blog:

Practice (abhyasa) and non-attachment (vairagya) are the two core principles on which the entire system of Yoga rests.

Practice is having an attitude of persistent effort. The essential companion to this is non-attachment, not being attached to what it all looks like, how it is suppose to go, what it is, or who it is. This is the balance.

And, then this, which was flagged by my friend tricia, who embraces life in a way we should all try to emulate.



all riled up

Is everyone aware of the buzz that's going on about this post by Shirky re: how women need to man-up or face eternal second-best-ness? It was forwarded to me by a friend, and I read it not knowing that the author is a man. It rubbed me the wrong way anyway, but now that I know the gender of the author I'm annoyed by it all over again.

There are a lot of responses to the article bouncing around, but I think my overall attitude about it, and this kind of sentiment in general is pretty well captured in this post, in which the author says:
Personally, I'm just not that interested in acting more like a dude for the chance that my work gets more widely recognized or that I get paid more to do it...
And in agreeing with that, I'm not saying that I'd accept less out of some sense of righteous indignation and refusal to be mannish, but rather that it does not occur to me that I would be worth any less in my own natural behavior and presentation, and it is only when presented with articles like Shirky's that it occurs to me that I could feel otherwise.

This gets to my general feeling about the place that 'feminism' has come to for women of my generation, which is, for better or for worse, that we have been gifted by our mothers the luxury to assume that we can achieve whatever we want, simply because we want to, not because we are "strong enough", or have learned to navigate a man's world. It is our world, we are shaping it, and defining our own roles that have not necessarily descended directly from feminist stereotypes.

The kicker then, comes when you have to face the cold hard facts that there aren't as many women CEOs, 77cents on the mans dollar, etc. etc. But more women are graduating from college, and just today NPR reported that women are increasingly the breadwinners in the family. To me this indicates that things are still in transition, and as more women of my generation climb the corporate/intellectual/academic/political ladder, with our blasé lack of apprehension that we can achieve our goals, then the men of the workplace will simply be swept along with the tide. At a time like this is seems more than backwards to prescribe "act like a man" to a young woman entering the workplace.

A person very close to me has been struggling with a workplace issue that, at least on the surface, smacks of a bunch of dudes taking advantage of a nice, smart young woman and getting her to do nine times the work at ten times less pay. My advice to her all along was to get in their faces and demand what she deserved. She's confident and ballsy and did it and it is finally starting to pay off. So, yeah, by Shirky's standards, this is an example of how being aggressive can help you to get ahead. But seriously? Is that where we want to end this discussion? Because to me it seems like the message in that is that the aforementioned crappy working environment will/should stay the status quo, and best of luck to all of us who have to deal with it, may the best man-impersonator win. I'm crying foul on that. That may be the way things work in some companies, but I refuse to believe that is the best way to run things overall, and it seems to me that in our globalized, multicultural world, the spoils are eventually going to go to those companies/employers that inherently value the contributions of workers with diverse strategies for getting ahead, not simply reinforce white-dude stereotypes.

Hegemony is hegemony, but the women of today are aware enough that we approach things differently than our male counterparts-- trust us, we have had the results of sociological studies dangled around us for years, and bringing it up again and again seems counter-productive to me. Let the interia of my generation's enthusiasm carry us over the dam toward a new workplace norm.


roll, bounce!

E & C took us skating!!!



having a hard time wrapping my head around...

GMC Envoy
Illinois Plate:
Big Anheuser-Busch sticker on the back window.



the plan, for now.

Finish one thing every day.

Pro: Crossing lingering items of the list.

Con: Once the day's Thing is Finished, the feeling of triumph quickly morphs to lack of motivation to continue working on anything else.


the other BIG thing

So, in my list of things about 2009 that, when all was said and done, weren't entirely horrible, I made one glaring oversight. I neglected to mention that my first manuscript, the one I've been submitting and re-submitting for longer than I'd really like to think about right now, has finally been accepted for publication! I got the news on Christmas Eve, so that was a pretty rad Christmas present. It was provisionally accepted while I was in China, baring a few minor revisions that, given my crazed fall of oral exam-taking and grant-writing, took me WAAAAY too long to complete, but whatever. It's done and accepted, and I should get the proofs in the next few weeks. I'm excited and nervous to finally have it out there in the world, but mostly just relieved that I can once and for all remove it from my to-do list. And start citing it in the two other manuscripts that I have underway. Here's to seeing my name in print! Hooray!

4 inches


storm front

please snow please snow please snow please snow


prime real estate

Share & share alike.

It is COLD here.


sayonara 2009

For weeks now I've been planning my farewell speech to 2009. A thanks-for-nothing, don't let the door smack you on the way out kind of thing. I was done with 2009 about a month before it was over. I spent much of Dec just biding my time until 2010. 2009 chewed me up and spit me out. I was more stressed, frazzled, anxious, tired, etc. in 2009 than I ever thought possible. I was glad to see it go.
But the problem is, every time I try to write about all the ways that 2009 screwed with me, I come up short with the realization that all in all, a lot of good came of it too.

Sure, taking my qualifying exams was brutal. But I passed them!
Sure, taking them while searching for, buying, moving into, and renovating a house was kind of an insane move. But we have a house! Our house! And it is rad.
Sure, going to China by myself to try to salvage my research project was trying at times. But come on, two months in China! I made wonderful friends and saw amazing things, and all-in-all it was a great trip.
My classes were stressful, but I passed them and learned a lot.
Writing my huge grant proposal while my advisor was on sabbatical was challenging, but also kind of creative and fun, and fingers-crossed maybe it will actually get funded.

Some other things about 2009 that didn't suck at all:
-my sister moved to the STL. This is awesome.
-we found a kitten that likes to wrestle with our dog. This is the cutest thing to ever happen anywhere, ever.

So, there it is. Despite my best intentions to give 2009 what-for, I have to concede that I have come out of it all in one piece.

Dear 2010, May you be a gentler year.