Thursday, March 27, 2008

Random Country # 31

It's vacation time! I just bought my tickets last night.

Come mid-May I'll be packing my bags and visiting Emira in Bosnia!

Woo hoo!

Sunday, March 16, 2008


My friend Rachel and I had a chick-flick night on Friday. We ended up watching a movie with a significant "girl power/girls are all princesses/you can do anything you want" message. At one point, they all gather together for a pink slumber/bachelorette party, go mattress surfing and sing a song about sisterhood.

Not a big deal , right? I mean, what else do you expect from a movie with the word's "Princess" and "Diairies" in the title? These types of messages have become so ubiquitous in society that they don't really even register to me any more. I mean, girls are vulnerable right? They need to be nurtured and empowered before setting sail into that scary sexually charged co-ed school/workplace/life in general unless you life in a convent.

I've seen this movie before - and let me say that I DO like it - but this was the first time I noticed how heavy-handed a message it really carries. For the first time in my life, I started to question the hidden implication. I mean really, it was so over the top, I was surprised there weren't unicorns and fluffy bunnies floating around. Think "Enchanted" but without the tongue in your cheek.

This feeling was further underscored by my Saturday morning ritual: sunshine, coffee, pancakes, pajamas and Hannah Montana (relax, this was by accident. Last week it was 'Saved By the Bell'). Unsurprisingly, her show also underscores the "girl power" message.

I got to thinking - where are all the "boy power" messages? How come little boys don't get together and celebrate their burgeoning manhood with bibi guns and Xbox marathons? Who celebrates THEM as they go out into the equally scary world?

I guess one could argue that, as the incumbents, boys/mini men already have a social mandate that highlights their worth and ability to rule the world. Sure, I don't argue that point.

But, don't boys need just as much direction and guidance and slumber parties and empowerment to make smart decisions as little girls do? In the advent of us telling girls they can do ANYTHING, who is teaching the boys how to power-share with equanimity?

It's guess easier to market unicorns and fluffy bunnies.

And then, this evening, I'm in the middle of this fabulous book: Fragments of Grace: My Search for Meaning in the Strife of South East Asia, by Pamela Constable. She writes about the dowry system in India:

When I arrived in India, I started a folder of news clippings on cases of dowry violence [...] by the time I left, the folder was bulging. [...] A pregnant woman of twenty-six hung herself from a ceiling fan after her husband, a police officer, and his relatives repeatedly harassed her over demands for a $5,000 dowry. A man shot his wife dead because her parents had given them an Opal sedan and he wanted a Honda. An eighteen year old wife was starved, burned, and finally beaten to death by her in-laws, who demanded more money and a motor-scooter.

Uh-huh. That says MOTOR SCOOTER.

Yes, teaching girls to value themselves is important. But so is educating others as to their value, outside boy baby-making machines. I guess it hit me this weekend: You can't accomplish this buy in with excessive, over the top, in your face, obnoxious messaging. Yes, it's easier to advertise unicorns and fluffy bunnies, but you can do it without alienating the other 50% of the population.

Otherwise, what you'll have is one very angry, pink unicorn shouting in a corner while the rest of the world wants to put it down.

St Patrick's Day lesson

If someone pours you an "Irish Car Bomb";

Run away.

Run, run, run, run, run away.

......Sweet lord.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Zombies are Definitely the New Ninja vs. Pirates

This link, here, is good for a laugh. And a Zombie Plan.

At last night's MN Roller Derby (so. much. awesomeness.), we discussed that Cabela's might also be a nice alternative to Super WalMart. There's hunting gear, freeze-dried food and an aquarium stocked with fresh fish (which you can then drink after you've eaten all the fish!). I didn't think about the toilet situation, but there's always the roof.

I also like the plan I read on teh interweb however, because it suggests:

...Make sure you have some girls. Preferably hot chicks, but in the absence of those some tough biker babes would work.

Now here, presumeably is where I can be of service. I have a uterus, which, ostensibly (although I haven't tested it yet) works. And even if it doesn't, by the time I figure that out, it will be too late.

You have no idea how releived I am. This means I can resign from gun-toting nursing school. My place in Cabela's is secured!

It's going to be a good day. I knew these hormones were good for something.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Too Much Time On My Hands

Sometimes I worry that I have worked to amass a set of essentially useless skills. One of my few measurements of success - and recent recurring cocktail question - is whether or not I (or any of my soft-bottomed friends) would survive in a post-apocalypse nuclear fall out.

After watching 'I Am Legend', both the HMF and I readily agree that we would be dead within hours, should we be left to our own devices. I mean, I can barely use a can opener - what if I had to hunt and skin my own food? ...AND, what about fighting off zombies?

As a side bar, my friend Ann explained to me this weekend that she and her boyfriend already have a zombie survival plan: they are going hole up in a Super WalMart - all the food, ammo and medical supplies you need. Think about it. (She's right!)

Ok, so anyway, back to my useless life. Here are a list of skills I perceive needing in post-nuclear holocaust world:
Gun safety/operation/target practice
Car mechanic
Ham radio, morse code
Rock climbing/Rapelling
Veterinary science - chickens, goats, pigs
Sewing my own clothes
Being able to suture a wound or set a broken bone
Flying an airplane
Siphoning gas
Starting a fire without a match

Here is what I am reasonablly skilled at:
Use my credit card, and return items on said credit card
Take my car to the mechanic
Check email

See? Not much good. While I believe my pioneer fore-fathers would have hands down been able to live in the aftermath of a nuclear fall out - I mysefl am screwed.

Sigh. There is SO much to worry about.