Friday, March 28, 2008

Work? You Call This Work?

I’ve been feeling a little guilty about how wonderful my work situation is these days. Just yesterday, I found myself sitting outside in the sun reading about sex all day . . . and getting PAID for it. That’s right, paid for it. Now, before you start to wonder if I’m employed by someone who puts those sketchy ads in newspapers (And who could blame you? I DO live pretty close to “The Valley,” the U.S. epicenter of porn production), let me tell you – I’m doing a developmental edit of a Human Sexuality textbook. All on the up-and-up. [Insert your own corny phallic joke here.] The authors are neat people too. Case in point, this passage from a “Menstrual Health Care” box regarding tips to alleviate cramps in the “Female Sexual Anatomy, Physiology, and Response” chapter – “2. Apply Heat. A Heating pad or hot-water bottle (or, in a pinch, a cat) applied to the abdominal area may help relieve cramps; a warm bath may also help.” I just love that parenthetical. I guess I can now add one more entry to my list of Zoe’s redeeming qualities (Zoe is my cat, for those who may not know).

Friday, March 21, 2008

More Details About Rebuilding Together's May Project

From the executive director of Rebuilding Together Ventura County, Frances Prince:

“CALLING ALL VOLUNTEERS”

Simi Valley Rebuilding Day

What is it? We will work on 4 - 6 homes in Simi Valley, repairing steps and handrails, cleaning windows, painting, installing grab bars, doing yard work, hauling away trash, and so much more! We will have lots of work for all of our regular (unskilled) volunteers as well as professional laborers.

Where and when is it?

Date: May 3rd, Saturday

Time: Registration opens at 7:30 AM, Work starts at 8:00 AM

Place: Exact addresses not known. Will be in Simi Valley. (We will send exact locations and directions as soon as they are determined).

What will be provided:

Breakfast will be there for you.

LUNCH WILL BE FROM IN AND OUT BURGER

Afternoon snacks will be provided also.

Lots of bottled water.

AND T-SHIRTS FOR ALL VOLUNTEERS

If you bring any of your own tools (e.g., gardening tools, etc.) be sure to mark them well with your name. We will provide ladders, tools, paint, and everything else you will need.

PLEASE:

1. Let us know if you have any specific skills.
2. Let us know what kind of work you like to do (i.e. paint, landscape, clean-up, etc.).
3. If you want to work on the same house as a family member or friend, let us know.

March Madness

Anyone college basketball tournament averse (or just plain old oblivious or not interested) and who may have a guilty obsession with celebrity fashion faux pas, this link is for you! These outfits give madness a whole new meaning. Now you don’t have to feel left out of all the bracket fun!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Silent Movie Benefit

Matt and I first learned about the silent film benefit on Catalina Island when I took him there on a day trip for his 30th birthday. Ever since, we’ve planned on going back to catch it. And, every year, for one reason or another, we haven’t been able to make it. I was very disappointed to find out today that, this year, they’re holding it on May 17th, the same day we’ve scheduled our Ohio wedding reception. (C’est la vie, eh?) They’re featuring the art deco classic Metropolis by Fritz
Lang, so try to catch it if you can! It won't really make up for missing the benefit, but we'll be recording some silent movies off of TCM as consolation. They have Silent Sunday Nights @ midnight (EST).

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Lamentations of a Non-Vegetarian

I often feel pangs of guilt when reminded that animals often die for the sake of my diet. It’s all too easy to pick up a package of meat at the grocery store and disconnect myself from the processes necessary to get that package there. I don’t eat pork, but, sadly, not for ethical reasons; I just don’t like the taste of things like ham and bacon. And I’ve never been a huge fan of red meat; in fact, I did without it for 15 years. But I’ve never been a vegetarian. On paper, it seems like an easy enough decision to make, but, from time to time, I have fierce hankerings for a medium-rare filet mignon, a boatload of sushi, or chicken fresh off the grill. I wish I could be bigger than my cravings, and this is one of my eternal inner shames. Who knows, some day that shame might get the better of me and I’ll turn over a new vegetarian leaf (har-har). In the meantime, I’ve decided the least I can do is make sure I do the next best thing – eat meat less often and purchase only meats and dairy products from companies/farms that operate using humane practices. It’s not the ideal, but at least it’s something. And I share this thought with you in case it encourages you to do the same. (Apologies to my vegetarian friends who are the choir to my preaching.)

Thursday, March 6, 2008

International Women's Day

Women have made great strides over the past century to achieve equal rights, opportunities, and protections against maltreatment. I’m very grateful to the brave and brilliant women who have come before me who blazed that trail, making it possible for me to live the life that I do. On Saturday, International Women’s Day, I think we should all take a moment to appreciate those women – both the famous and the personal female role models in our lives – and perhaps make a commitment to take action on initiatives that will further our progress. It can be as simple as calling your aunt and thanking her for teaching you that women can be successful in the science professions or calling (301-443-1083), writing a letter (address below) to, or e-mailing Robert McSwain, Director of Indian Health Services, to demand quality health care for Native American and Alaska native women (1 in 3 is raped in her lifetime).

Sadly, it’s easy to take for granted all that has been achieved in the name of women’s rights, especially in the United States where things aren’t anywhere near as bad as they still are in many other regions of the world (e.g., dangerous, life-threatening female genital cutting is still practiced in the name of tradition in some regions of the world). We can’t forget that our fellow women come from all countries, all walks of life, and many of them do not yet enjoy the rights, opportunities, or protections against maltreatment that we do; and we can’t forget that, even though we may have made great strides in the United States, we still have obstacles to overcome here as well, like the “glass ceiling” in the workplace. In short, our work is not done, sisters!

IHS Address:

Indian Health Service (HQ)
The Reyes Building

801 Thompson Avenue, Ste. 400
Rockville, MD 20852-1627

Additional info on events and actions can be found via the following links:

Amnesty International’s Women’s Human Rights

National Organization for Women


Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Famous Feminists


Test your knowledge of famous female feminists.