Monthly Archives: March 2007

because gender in our society is not superficial, installment 2

Kathy Sierra recently cancelled an appearance at the O’Reilly’s Emerging Technology Conference in San Diego and “suspended her blog because of death threats she received on her blog and threats of violence posted on other blogs, she said.”

It’s the latest variation on a theme, showing how misogyny manifests itself in our culture. I really And I really mean misogyny – the fierce hatred of women, and the actions misogynists justify by their literally obscene hatred. The best assessment I have seen so far for succinctness and eloquence comes from Robert Scoble as well as the comments that follow the post. If only more men, and perhaps a few more women, would take note of what many of us have managed to live with as largely background noise. What happened to Ms. Sierra is not unusual – it’s the natural extension of a culture where women are hated, making any action and threat against them “acceptable”.

This has been another installment of “because gender in our society is not superficial“.

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Filed under anger, Blogging, civility, communication, Feminism, gender representation, harrassment, men, misogyny, sexism, violence, violence against women, women

“Jan, you’re a feminist with a capital ‘femme'”

This assessment came from a supportive colleague back in my start-up days when I closed a rant about the webgrrls on staff who believed Feminism equalled nose-piercings, liberal use of blue nail polish and quoting Camille Paglia as brilliance incarnate, with a stomp, a deskslap and “No, that is not feminism. That’s the freedom to be distracted by exercises in bad taste and judgment. I’m a Feminist, with a capital F!!!”

I don’t back down from what was admittedly a pissy statement, and would note that pissy does not equal feminist either. I do acknowledge the kinder way my colleague reminded me of the dismissals I met in my own women’s studies classes based on appearances, but for a different reason – that my conventionally attractive appearance rendered me suspect. We’re (still) humans, I guess, and we all have to work against our instincts for instant acceptance and dismissal.

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Filed under anger, Anger_Rants, communication, connections, Feminism, Friends, gender representation, honesty, men, misogyny, public discourse, public experiences, sexism, Uncategorized, women

recent remarks from the toddler

“Now I feel very, very better.” – immediately following a dose of Children’s Motrin

“The doctor has a lot of bushes!” – his response to the landscaping next to the parking lot for the medical building

“Go to sleep, go to sleep, go to sleep little mommy” – his first lullaby to me :)

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Filed under children, funny, kids say the darndest things, mother, Motherhood, toddler, Toddlerhood

heartsick, inspired

Some thoughts on the Edwards’ press conference yesterday, which left me somber and not a little heartsick.

A counselor mentioned the unusual, strange public-ness of the announcement. I agreed with her, but took exception from the perspective of media – that in the current media climate, they made the best decision they could, to be proactive (even if coerced) rather than reactive; to communicate privately to those close to them first, and then present a brave (and loving) face to the public.

Regardless of politics, their union is nothing short of inspiring. They love and respect each other, they celebrate the best of each other, their example is one that would serve any aspiring couple.

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Filed under 2008 elections, cancer, children, courage, Elizabeth Edwards, Grieving, heartbreak, heartbreaking, inspiring, John Edwards, loss, Love, marriage, Motherhood, Politics, public discourse, public experiences, public relations

soy and rice alternatives to dairy – summaries, updated

Upon discovering Ben’s allergy to milk protein (casein), I began a search for non-dairy foods including milks, “cheeses”, “yogurts” and frozen desserts.

Milks were the easiest to find; Ben is not fussy and will drink any soy or rice milk put before him. Even if it is not “vanilla” flavored. We like Silk, but usually buy Costco’s Kirkland Organic Vanilla by the case.

Yogurt-like foods were also appealing to him, more appealing than they were to me. Whole Soy & Company, Silk (Whitewave), and TJs all have fruity and vanilla variations, which have been universally enjoyed. Silk Live! Smoothies (a soy yogurt and fruit base) are as good as dessert.

Cheeses are not worth the time. Not only do most soy and almond “cheeses” taste horrible, they also contain casein, which is what we were trying to avoid in the first place.

Most of soy/rice dessert products we tried were modeled on ice cream. For our purposes, we usually stuck to vanilla so we could compare items.

Double Rainbow Mango & Vanilla combo (sorbet and soy cream): A nice combination. The mango sorbet is superb, and couples well with the vanilla soy cream. Gums help the mouthfeel, and mango helps offset sweetness.

Rice Dream, Vanilla: Smooth but dense. Very burnt caramel, burnt sugar flavor. Sold in pints.

So Delicious, Vanilla: A wonderful substitute for vanilla ice cream. Ben has no idea what he’s missing in flavor, and the mouthfeel is also decent.

So Delicious, Chocolate: Ben loves it, but I pass. The problem with many of the non-dairy chocolate frozen desserts I have tried, including sorbets, is that there is this taste of cocoa powder. It lacks the integrated texture and flavor that marks a good chocolate ice cream, and leaves me longing for, well, butter.

I’ll revisit this topic when I hve some other good stuff to report. Perhaps a survey of the world of “Not” Dogs!

UPDATE: Run, don’t walk, to your grocer’s frozen case to get a box of Tofutti Cuties. These are frozen dessert sandwiches, modeled after ice cream sandwiches and with a soy-cream filling. Most of the parents at Ben’s daycare had no idea they weren’t eating vanilla ice cream sandwiches, and the size is just right for little ones. Both the chocolate and vanilla varieties are great.

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Filed under casein allergy, delicious, dessert, Desserts, ice cream, lactose intolerance, milk allergies, soy, soy cream, soy desserts, store-bought, vegan desserts, vegetarian


A short hailstorm pelted the skylights, sounding more like gravel shooting out of a lawnmower. The rapid shower of tink tik tink tink led me to hit the mute button on my phone, sparing my colleagues the background noise and my commentary.

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smackage! (v., Jadish)

In college, a friend gave name to a decade-old practice of mine to coin my own expressions and use them in regular conversation. (I had recently explained how I characterized guys who were unappealing, explaining the degrees of undesirability, and the factors that made one worse than the other. Clearly the outputs of a young mind discovering coffee.)

He decided I needed to make my own turns of phrase an official language, and borrowing from my college nickname (an initial combo that implied burliness, smokes and whiskey, and which appealed to me for the cognitive dissonance it caused), he called my language Jadish.

I think of it now as I sneak peeks at the Senate floor voting on the repeal of one totalitarian and odious provision of the Patriot Act ( 94-2 in favor of repeal!), and want to shout out “Smackage, gweebos! Smackage!”

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Filed under 2008 elections, argot, funny, Patriot Act, Politics, senate, slang, US Attorneys, US Congress, Voting

Why I (heart) Pat Leahy

He appeals to all of my innate “Cut the crap!” tendencies, and he wields a big old scimitar. And sometimes, like today on the Senate floor while explaining a newly discovered verb tense, he almost cracks himself up.

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Filed under "past exonerative", 2008 elections, funny, Irish-American, New England, Politics, senate, US Attorneys, US Congress

why I look forward to the end of the day

Ben had been a co-sleeper from 90 minutes after his birth until 18 months. Those early hours were blissful –  7 in fact, lying on Mama, who was riding a tidal wave of oxytocin. Throughout the 60 hours of my hospital stay (yes, 60 hours from admission to discharge with a c-section in between), he always slept on me or curled in my arms.

Post-hospital, we continued to co-sleep, but it was far less blissful. He grew and thrived; I disintegrated, as only someone who gets 3 hrs total sleep a night could do over a period of 18 months. A overseas work trip broke the night nursing and co-sleeping habits for good, except for one piece.

Every night, cuddles are the way Ben finds his way to nite-nites. We now read books, we sing, sometimes we even play catch with a soft Red Sox “baseball”. But when the lights go out, we curl up in the toddler bed and invite the night under the covers.

Sometimes, we pull the duvet over our heads – it’s the water, and everyone knows hippos sleep underwater. Sometimes there is a panic over whether each of us have a toy (puppies, mama cows, or the tiger and cheetah cubs), but always, we are curled up tight and warm. I tell him how much I love him, kiss his hair on the crown of his head, and listen for the telltale changes in his breathing.

No matter what has gone on in my day, what triumph, defeat or slog occupied my waking hours, the smell of my little boy’s hair and his little body in rest reset me, put the clocks at zero hour, and make clear the best part of my day is here, in the luminous evening. The day has passed, but the very best thing is still here.


Filed under co-sleeping, mother, Motherhood, sleep, son, toddler, Toddlerhood

Earning votes, one blog at a time

A few days ago, I posted about the woman who ran for the House in my district in 2006. During her campaign, I had supported her here at the table, with money, and chimed in on our NPR affiliate when a columnist for the Seattle Times made some condescending remarks about what she perceived was her right to run, based on experience. And she lost it in a real squeaker.

Anyway, I was grousing about the celebrity bloggers who heard about her bid to run again in advance of her constituents.  Well, you could have knocked me over with a feather when the candidate appeared on my blog, and even exchanged kind emails offpost. I was impressed by that kind of responsiveness, particularly when the candidate does it herself. Kudos to you, Darcy.  Run, run, run! And those of you in WA-08, check her out.

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Filed under 2008 elections, Politics, US Congress, Voting, WA, WA-08