Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
First, showing off on the slide and then....
WALKING! He's up to about 10 steps any time he darn well pleases. We love it - and we love him.
Aside: heard today from Waffles while we were rearranging the play room: "I am going to use the restroom, but I want you to know I won't be resting."
That kid totally cracks me up.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Yeah, I watched this right after I had a nice lunch in my warm home with everything I need to maintain a lovely daily life all around me.
This is why I HAVE TO DO MORE and I HAVE TO BE BETTER and this is when I really deeply and truly understand privilege. It's all connected. This makes me a better person. It's a gut punch today, and I needed it.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
The truth is, I don’t have any control over the privilege I was given. I was born white, female, into a middle class family with college education, home ownership, and Catholic sensibilities as a part of my family heritage. I didn't get to choose this family of my birth. I'm not bad for being born with it, and at the same time I MUST realize what this means when I live with all of the benefits of my privilege but PRETEND that I'm not privileged. Confused? Yeah, this is work. Let me say it simply: I'm not bad for having privilege, but not being able to give up my privilege (as in, stop being white) is not a ‘get out of jail free’ card for any bad behaviour or for reliquishing responsibility for both personal awareness and action.
Finding a balance between accepting my privilege and fighting against it is not easy. I struggle with it on a daily basis. I've been working in these posts to talk a little more clearly about this really complex topic. I am working on my own understanding and of privilege and working to understand what insititutional privilege is and how it benefits and normalizes white experience.
Here's the challenge: privilege is perpetuated in part by the silence of people when one of their own group does something racist -whether subtle, covert, or overt. This can be an inappropriate joke, or someone admitting that they committed a crime against a non-privileged person. It can be an assumption about a person, a dismissal of a person's opinion or simply ignoring a person. Don't do it. Don't think it. Don't say it. And work your stuff - and don't give up. Fix it.
While it’s a good thing for me to be engaging in this, I remind myself that I cannot expect to be praised or rewarded for my efforts; oppression may be a new experience for me, but it’s something people of color live with every day of their lives.
WHEN YOU ARE NOT PLAYING TENNIS OR SLEEPING
1. Learn how to wield the remotes (yes, there are more than one)
for maximum viewing pleasure
2.Become engrossed no matter how mundane the show. In fact,
the more ridiculous, the more juvenile, the more just plain 'ol
silly, the better to view.
3. Perfect the art of napping between scenes and during
EQUALS ONE CONTENTED FINN AND ONE ADORING ETHIOPIAN
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Friday, March 13, 2009
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
1. Articulates his thoughts and feelings with sounds that don't require moving his lips.
2. Disassembles tampons every time we are in the bathroom. I should put those in a locked cabinet.
3. Picks rocks out of the ficas pot (used to keep the cat from mistaking the tree pot for a litter box) and tucks them all around the house. Oh, first he gnaws on the rocks - this is an awful noise.
4. Eats dogfood and drinks dog water.
5. Helps fold the laundry by unfolding everything.
6. Helps wipe his round little bottom during diaper changes with his hands.
7. Throws food during every single meal (we have to stop laughing when he does this).
8. Prefers fruit to all other foods and YELLS during meals for more fruit.
9. In public bathrooms when I am taking care of my own needs his hands promptly go right into the toilet.
10. Pulls off his bibs
11.Goes for his junk the minute he is naked.12. Eats toilet paper and baby wipes.
13. Is indiscriminate about where he kisses the animals (this can and does include rear-ends)
14. to be continued.....
Monday, March 9, 2009
Clean feeders plus new suet and thistle (not to mention the addition of a novel cedar block filled with "bark butter") has yet to attract much attention from feathered friends, a fact which has been vexing me more than it probably should. All of this centers, I think, around the "mix" feeder, which I usually fill with "premium blend" from Wild Birds Unlimited; it has historically been the gross tonnage leader in bird traffic. To say it is popular among our winged residents is like saying that Wisconsinites have a small interest in dairy. I had expected that new thistle and suet plus the new bark butter feeder would become big hits once birds who came to the ever-popular "mix feeder" figured out there was tasty food for them at these alternative locations. However, the mix feeder has been unexpectedly quiet over the past two weeks, something which I have been puzzling over. This morning, I got up with Blueberry at 6:30am with great expectations (that slice of the morning usually a prime time for birds); there was no bird traffic over a 10 minute period, which caused me to shake my head repeatedly as Blueberry and I played with his noisy toys. I went to look at the mix level to see if it was lower than yesterday, hoping that birds were, perhaps, eating at unsupervised opportunities. It was then that I spied a funny looking "ball" on top of the seed. Puzzling. More puzzling yet was the fact that the ball was moving. Much to my amusement, I found a furry, fat and unbelievably contented field mouse enjoying a private dining experience inside the house-shaped feeder. I surmised it had apparently climbed up the cords I fashioned to stabilize the feeder in heavy wind. What's more, the feeder I thought was "half-full" was mainly adorned with empty sunflower shells, undoubtedly left over from a number of relaxed, happy meals for the pesky mammal. I watched him exit the feeder about 15 minutes later to make certain I knew how he was accessing the food stores; he did, in fact, use the stabilizing cords to make his getaway. I took the feeder down, cleaned out the well-masticated bird mix (plus a moderate amount of hidden mouse droppings, which would certainly affect the appetite of all but the most desperate of avian friends) then rehung the feeder with sparkling new mix and without the cords which served as a causeway to the rodent food court. The birds will just have to get used to the swaying, I guess. Once again, I'm filled with guarded anticipation.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Kazillions of darling observations about Blueberry
Classism and Elitism
Cultural definitions of beauty
Leg shaving and armpit shaving
Boyfriends and how much do we have to have in common?
Hair Products and Perfumes
Job searching and resume writing
Books we are currently reading
Movies we want to watch
Skinny Jeans and Kapow Shoes
The value of travel and our family privilege
Grandma's Poker Chips
Myles and Maura and California fashion
Baby Toys and Birthdays - Blueberry is 1 next week!
Post Prandial Slumps
Art and Osteology
...and in small font becuase it was so funny and risque; hair houses (yeah, you know what I'm talking about)
Vagina Monologues and the following related inquiries:
If you were a vagina, what would you wear?
Pubic hair - to shave or not to shave
Demistifying women's body parts
*all of this in less than 48 hours of fabulous time with my girls
Friday, March 6, 2009
Thursday, March 5, 2009
In a very good piece in the Huffington Post, Abby Ferber discusses class and race and their intersection. She criticizes calling Michelle Obama a middle class woman (even if she does wear JCrew - check out the outfit prices in her article). On the topic of race and class Ferber states, "Even in the face of legal and political gains, there is no evidence to suggest that the racial economic divide is decreasing. And the reality is that during economic downturns, minority communities suffer first and worst. Economic gains made by people of color are generally only very recent gains, and thus most tenuous and vulnerable. They are much less likely to have inherited wealth from previous generations to soften the blow during a crisis." She points to the following statistics to undersocer her arguement:
·The racial gap in median family incomes gap narrowed only slightly over the past 50 years ·Black households are twice as likely as whites to have a negative net worth or none at all
·Less than 10% of whites but almost ¼ of all Black and Latino households live in poverty
·The unemployment rate for blacks remains twice that of whites, unchanged since the early 1970s
·From 1970 to 2007 the gap between home ownership rates for whites and blacks actually grew, and is now being compounded by the current foreclosure crisis.
You want more? Take a look at these charts to hammer down our troubling economic disparities.
Don't get me started on the Wage Gap. I'm tempted, but I'll hold off today in favor of ....reading my book.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
But, I really started this post to respond to Clare's concerns about class. She raises a good point - and points to class as a concerning "ism" in the discussion. Class and race do intersect. In fact, I am certain that there are mutual influences of class, race, and gender on individual lives. There is a preponderance of evidence that suggests, however, that class does not trump race. There is a very active dialogue "out there" about this very topic. One resource that is worth considering is this piece on "Racialiscious." The author states: "Class and race and two different things which encompass a wide range of experiences and scenarios. They build upon each other. Just like there is no one universal race experience, there is no one universal class experience on any side of the divide. Being upper-class and black is still different from being upper class and white. Being lower-class and white is a different experience from being black and working poor." It's a great piece. Really great. And it's not long - you might want to check it out. The comments are similarly interesting.
Finally, after you do your own investigation, check out this youtube lecture by Tim Wise. He is one of the country's leading anti racist lecturers, and he's a white man. (If he was a black man his comments would be considered to be "whining and complaining" and THAT'S a whole 'nother topic!!) Anyway, I think Tim Wise is worth an hour of your time while you're doing something that allows you to listen. He talks about class and race in a way that really makes sense. Plus, hes' straight forward and intense. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UJlNRODZHA