Category Archives: Random musings

Our Better Angels

I recently started a new job, and while there are some growing pains I’m finding it to be a generally fabulous experience. My new role has allowed me to look at some recent events in a lens that I haven’t exercised for a while.

I have been seeing so much in the news about the inflammatory behavior of Kathy Griffin, debates on NPR (which is where I get most of my news) about the place comedy has in the political landscape, and so much more. The theme I’m picking up – and I got this especially from a fabulous dialogue on NPR on my way home the other day – is that it really feels like a lot of folx out there are not appealing to their better sides. Jokes about children, the disabled, and other vulnerable populations are fair game. Behavior is designed to shock, and not in a good way. This is not a good thing, this is not okay, this is not normal.

We certainly can appeal to the best humanity has to offer. I think of the podcast I’ve started to listen to religiously – Stuff Mom Never Told You – and their recent episode on policing women’s speech (Mom, this is the one I was talking about the other day!). Bridget and Emilie talked about how women say “sorry” not just to apologize but also to express empathy. Maybe instead of apologizing about apologizing we should be saying to our male counterparts “Apologize more!” In this case, expressing empathy for our fellow human beings is a good thing.

CARING ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE IS A GOOD THING!

This is a short post, so I just want to conclude by encouraging you to be the best version of yourself. Because, if you’ve been reading me for a while (if you haven’t, welcome! I’m glad you’re here) you know how strongly I subscribe to the notion that “we all do better when we all do better.”

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Homeland is a Feminist Issue

If you have been reading for a while I’m about to confirm something you have probably noticed.

If you’re new here, welcome! I’m glad you’re here and I’m glad you’re about to learn something new about me.

Tackling current events is not something I normally do here, in a public space. It takes me so long to process them and come away with anything of substance that it doesn’t feel worthwhile. Here, in our 24-hour news cycle where tiny and insignificant details are rehashed at length and then forgotten.

But this time I must share something that I’m grappling with. I must so that I can make sense of it myself and hopefully so that you don’t feel alone if you’re grappling with the exact same thing.

What I’m talking about is not earth shattering. I know that. The fact that I am grappling with this is reflective of my extreme privilege.

I am talking about going to the theaters this evening, this weekend, maybe next week, to see Wonder Woman.

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For weeks, I have been thrilled that an action movie with a female lead was coming to theaters. I have been determined, in my small way, to show movie studios that films with female leads can succeed in a huge way. Representation matters, and while I know there are lots of white women on the screen they’re not kicking literal ass and taking names

So when I saw this article in my Facebook news feed damning women who don’t care that Gal Gadot is a Zionist I was alarmed. That those who don’t care aren’t “real feminists.”

Here’s what I know about Zionism. Zionism, at its core, is the belief that the Jewish people are deserving of a homeland. I do not believe that this is wrong. There is not a single thing with longing for home.

There is something wrong with terrorizing women, children, families who already live there. The means the Israeli government uses to claim their homeland is not okay.

I am not a diplomat, but I believe there must be a way to for both groups to peacefully have their homes.

Maybe I am naive, but Gal Gadot’s use of #stopterror and #coexist means she is committed to working toward peace.

What is a “real feminist” supposed to do in a situation like this? Should such a person support the glimmers of more representation on the silver screen? Or is the better thing to boycott the film in solidarity with the people of Palestine?

There are no easy answers – not for me. Maybe there are for you and if there are, I envy you. I will see Wonder Woman, and probably walk away feeling empowered. And I will also do what I can to advocate for a peaceful solution so that both the Israelis and Palestinians can have their homeland.

Yes, I Do My Nails

As I have completed my first semester of graduate work, I am finding that one thing I really miss about my undergraduate work was the opportunity for long periods of really solid introspection. When you’re studying a field as personal as gender it’s critically important, in my opinion, to examine your own beliefs really hard. That being said, having had so much practice in looking into myself to examine my own beliefs also means I can do it a lot more efficiently. One goal I’ve developed recently is to develop a really solid regimen of self-care acts that I can do indoors. I love living in Minnesota, and I’m not likely to go anywhere any time soon, but there are months spent indoors because of the frigid weather we experience here.

All of that being said, it’s hard to identify new acts of self-care when you’re suffering from a lack of self-care. So while the weather is warm I am trying some new activities and also some new products.

At this point I want to stop and say that this is a product post. I’m not getting anything out of this except to share some things I’m trying with you. Heck, one of the people doesn’t even know I’m doing this!

First, I have started dabbing (sometimes literally) into essential oils with DoTerra. My DoTerra lady is April, and she is amazing. She takes educating people about the products very seriously and I appreciate that because essential oils are still a little “new age” for me. You can visit her here.

Second, I have started doing my nails. This is pretty big for me for a few reasons. Nail polish was a banned substance in my home growing up (to many TV paint jobs) so while my friends were perfecting their mani game I was biting my nails down to the beds. I developed tricks to numb the pain in my fingertips, sometimes bringing ice cubes to bed with me. I don’t want to get gross, but after a bizarre infection robbed me of my thumb nails and one of them grew back in kind of a weird shape. It looks like a trapezoid. With my complicated relationship with my fingernails, I was really excited to try Jamberry about a year ago. My amazing friend, Kate, was having a launch party and so I bought some wraps.

I was just as disappointed as anyone to discover that I hated them. In hindsight, I think it was that I was at the end of my pregnancy and basically hated everything. It had nothing to do with the wraps and everything to do with me.

Upon having this realization, I decided to try Jamberry again. I got a mini-heater  and some wraps (okay, full disclosure, Kate had some extra ones and she graciously sent them to me with absolutely no expectation that I would do anything like this or even become a Jamberry enthusiast. She is an amazing friend).

It is, with a few manicures under my belt (or should I say, on my fingers?) that I share with you my haphazard process for doing my nails!

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First, rather than washing my nails specifically I usually just wash my whole hand vigorously.

Second, I put lotion on my hands. That mini-heater can really dry out your skin and the wraps don’t stay on as well if you moisturize immediately after.

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Third, I pick out my wraps. I usually pair up something kind of zany with a solid wrap.

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Fourth, I apply the wraps as recommended. I struggle to use nail scissors on my right hand so I trim the excess wrap down with nail clippers.

Fifth, I feel really excited about my finished manicure!

20170516_205755.jpgIf you like the manicure I have pictured here combine Sarape Sunset and Metallic Chrome Silver.

 

What do you like to do for self-care during those times when you’re stuck inside?

Leading Lady

What a week it’s been! I was privileged to be the recipient of the “Metromorphosis” Award at work for leading with patience, perseverance, and good humor in the midst of change. Suddenly I find myself being reminded almost daily that I’m the most senior member of the team and it is both gratifying and uncomfortable. I guess you just rub long with these two feelings as well as you can.

The semester ends next week and I am excited to be sharing one of my projects! We are traveling to Utah to visit my family, so next week will probably be another quote and then you’ll get a “real” post.

I’d also like to invite you over to The Relationship Blogger to talk about spoons.