Friday, June 27, 2008

Full-on summer.

Here's what my life has looked like lately:
Patio patio, beer, beer, patio beer, bike, beer, patio, bike bike, patio bike beer, (work), mosquito bites, beer bike patio bike, jazz/funk.

I'm not complaining at all, mind you, but I am a little bloated and and have a lot of itchy red welts around my ankles. I am very tasty to mosquitoes, siiiiigh.

So about the jazz/funk. I signed up for my sister's jazz/funk class again last week. "Jazz/funk" is a genre which apparently exists only in MN, and it pretty much just means shaking it to a funky beat. Have you seen the episode of The Simpsons where Lisa tries to tap dance and her teacher's only instructions are "tappa tappa tappa"? Jazz/funk is not at all like that, but for the movements that don't really have a name, my sister is calling them "sexy sexy sexy." It's the jazz/funk version of "tappa tappa tappa!" It's kicking my butt a little bit, but in a very good, fun, I'm-not-very-good-at-this-whee! kind of way. Once the session is over, I'll probably sign up for some other thing I don't really know how to do. We ditched our gym membership recently--what with all the biking and running and lovely weather, it was starting to get really ridiculous even to contemplate driving somewhere to go indoors and lift weights.

Last weekend, young Jude went to the emergency room with his little wangskin caught in the zipper of his pants. If this should ever befall you or your loved ones, know that you can cut the bottom off the zipper and simply pull the two sides apart (from the bottom). He is fine.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

I love the innertubes.

Via Jezebel, check out this nifty little service that helps you track your periods and emails you a reminder when you're about to bust out: It's an easy, fresh (in the Kool and the Gang sense of the word) interface and it will be very handy for you if you're reasonably regular and not so handy if you aren't. It's not even very pink!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Some things to love about biking home at twilight:
A belly full of sweet potato fries and beer; the perfect air temperature; the noodly toodling of robins; the neighborhood smells: grills, woodsmoke, the sharp tang of ketchup, sprinkler-wet gardens, late-blooming trees, and inexplicably, manure; roads that seems to stretch out flat but slowly kill your thighs with long, low grades; tiny bugs that glance off your lips and nose and that you miraculously never seem to inhale; lungfulls of delicious air, wide and empty streets; cursing under your breath because that seems to be your most useful response to beauty and satisfaction apart from smiling at everyone, anyone, no one in particular; thinking of the perfect comeback after you've zipped past a teenager who says "VROOOMMMM" when you pass him (comeback=looking him full in the face and singing "ya HEARRRRRRRRRRD!"); the neighborhood cats picking their way along the edges of yards in order to find the perfect place to sit and lord it over everyone; the cutoff tights that make biking in a dress a no-brainer; the magic that makes the ride home so much faster and easier than the ride there.

Monday, June 16, 2008

I know, it's been sort of quiet in the wake of my near-daily posting in May. I do, however, have posts brewing (i.e. in crappy drafts) on the following:
-The Outlander series.
-Feminist blogs.

I've photographed and measured and even written descriptions for 5 dresses for my shop, but haven't posted them.

I have a PILE of crap to type up on my desk--meeting minutes and whatnot--but I have to go to another meeting in a few minutes, so nothing is going to get typed.

I forgot to eat the avocado that I specifically bought this morning to top my Snobby Joe chipotle vegan sausage green bean melange. Now it lolls on my desk near the to-type pile, right next to a very spankable apricot. Don't tell me you've never thought an apricot or a peach looked like a rosy creased bum.

My entire commute was straight into the wind this morning. I have to ride six miles to another meeting after work, and then nine miles home. Please keep your fingers crossed that the wind does not reverse itself to blow into my grille on the rest of my rides. I am only about 150 miles into my bike commuting career and my legs might give out.

I bought $90 running shoes yesterday. They did not make me go any faster.

Also, happy Father's Day to my dad. He asked for scotch and manure for a gift. Whiskey-n-shit.
My dad was big fat 20 years old.

Brings a tear to my eye (UPDATED).

SAN FRANCISCO—It is either the end of the beginning, or the beginning of the end, depending on your point of view. After weeks of preparation—and for many couples, years of waiting—at 5:01 p.m. today, at the close of business, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom will preside over the wedding ceremony of Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon, a lesbian couple who have been partners more than 50 years. When they exchange vows, Martin, 87, and Lyon, 83, who have been together since they moved into a Castro Street apartment on Valentine’s Day in 1953, will become the first same-sex couple to be legally married in the state.


OMG more sniff. You have to go look at the picture.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Come blow your horn.

I've got a photo in the Schmap Guide to England. Schmap is a "beyond the map" publisher of digital travel guides. They seem very cool and useful (uh, unless you want to go to Africa, Asia, or South America, or like any of the former Soviet republics, or vast regions of Canada).

I am also in the current issue of N.E.E.T. Magazine, an online fashion mag, in a little article about green fashion.

Both of these things happened because of editors cruising around on flickr looking for raw materials for their publications, and there I was. The internet is cool.

Also, we won trivia on Monday, no thanks to the round where you had to rank 10 minerals in order of their hardness on the Moh's scale. Sadly my one geology class 15 years ago only helped me out with talc (softest) and diamond (hardest).

Monday, June 09, 2008

I'm mostly Japanese, I really think so.

You will be too, if you use the celebrity face matching bullshit at MyHeritage. This example doesn't really reflect the true extent of my japanesity, though, I'm realizing. I did two other pictures besides this one. This was the only one I bothered to save last night. Anyway.

In way, way, WAY more exciting news, my sister Em has a blog.

It's called Piefinger.

She's posted one entry and it's funnier than my entire blog.

Saturday, June 07, 2008


I am just informally polling here to find out who among you might be acquainted with the term "piefinger." It's like having a green thumb, except with pie.

I'm asking because my sister Em was anointed with the term by some customer in the boxcar diner she worked in one summer in PA. "Who made this pie?" the woman demanded. When Em admitted she'd done it, the woman said, "You have piefinger," like some weird soothsayer.

I think the term is hilarious and perfect. I commissioned Em to make a pie for the Brit's birthday and I was relaying this tale to some friends and a dude from WI did not bat an eyelash when I said "piefinger." A dude from North St Paul wondered what the hell I was talking about, and the Brit only knew about it because I keep bringing up "piefinger."

So tell me, do they have piefinger where you come from?

(I am eating the fruits of Em's labors right now, and it's true: she has piefinger. Her pastry is perfect, and it is humid today, AND she was in a rush.)


What you maybe didn't know is that running a 5K was something I had put on my list of things to do before I kick it, and now I get to cross it off. It feels damn good to cross something off that particular list.

My goal was simply to finish in under 35 minutes with minimal walk breaks--I run at a very conversational pace and don't care about speed because I am not built or wired to be fast--and my time was 32:40, which includes two minutes of walking. So holla.

I have to admit that there may have been a little bit of teary-eyedness afterwards. I have gotten a lot of applause in my life, but never ever for crossing a finish line.
ETA: I forgot to tell you that I saw another great blue heron over my head before the first mile marker. I said thank you.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Don't threaten me with love, baby, let's just go walking in the rain.

I got caught in a cloudburst tonight. There was NO ONE running around the lake, I think perhaps because of the severe thunderstorm warnings they've been tossing around all day and all the crazy lightning I saw on the way home from work, and the thunder crack so loud I actually jumped in my car. But most of it blew over and the weather warnings expired and I was determined to do one more run before the 5K on Saturday, so I went out anyway.

Most of it was fine, even though I was tired (I biked a lot yesterday and my quads are objecting). It was blustery and gray and humid but not raining, and the great blue heron kept launching himself around the lake just ahead of me. I have seen loads of herons in the last few days, incidentally. Or maybe just the same one, cruising around wherever I happen to be. Anyway, a little over halfway around, the wind start whipping the trees and blowing up the lake like some mystical beast was going to emerge from it. That's where my mind was, anyway, because of the Scottish historical fiction I read earlier this week--more on that later. (Also, there's a concession stand on that side of the lake that has some inexplicable signage about the "Snack Ness Monster" on it so, you know, maybe there's something to that mystical beast idea.)

By the time I got to the bridge, it was pouring. I was running hard and grinning like an idiot. I picked up about 10 extra pounds in sodden clothing weight. And I felt like crap, but good, too, exhilarated and hoping that I wasn't going to draw any lightning. Did you know that there was a park ranger who was struck by lightning 7 different times in his life? None of those strikes killed him, either. I think after the third time I'd probably consider changing jobs.

The sink's still full of my wet clothes. The cat's been trying to get a piece of me for hours, and I just made my favorite shake: frozen bananas, soy milk, peanut butter (except with almond butter, a new contender), and cocoa powder. Deeeelicious.

Monday, June 02, 2008


Ganked from Madness who ganked it from Copenhagenize. I would totally use this, especially since IKEA is just around the way, albeit across a bunch of freeways and shit.

The art of being human.

I'm working on a post about the feminist blogs I'm reading these days, and this short article about the concepts of masculinity and femininity just popped up on my feed reader. The author describes an exercise he does with college students, in which they're first asked to toss out descriptions of what it means to be a man, and then the male students are asked to toss out "locker room" descriptions of what it means to be a man while the women observe. Not surprisingly, while the first list is about strength of character, the second list is full of negatives.
The list of traits that we claim to associate with being a man -- the things we would feel comfortable telling a child to strive for -- are in fact not distinctive characteristics of men but traits of human beings that we value, what we want all people to be. The list of understandings of masculinity that men routinely impose on each other is quite different. Here, being a man means not being a woman or gay, seeing relationships as fundamentally a contest for control, and viewing sex as the acquisition of pleasure from a woman. Of course that’s not all men are, but it sums up the dominant, and very toxic, conception of masculinity with which most men are raised in the contemporary United States. It’s not an assertion about all men or all possible ideas about masculinity, but a description of a pattern.

I ask the class: If the positive definitions of masculinity are not really about being a man but simply about being a person, and if the definitions of masculinity within which men routinely operate are negative, why are we holding onto the concept so tightly?
(emphasis mine)

Patriarchy hurts everybody, yo. That's why it's too bad some people still want to say it doesn't exist.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Fiesta forever.

Last weekend, my family hosted a cookout that I failed to blog about because after I uploaded a whole wack of photos I suppose I felt that I had already done my documentary duty. If you look at the pictures, though, you'll basically just come to the conclusion that there was no cookout, only Willa. Only 6 month old fat babylegs.


There were a few other things of note, however, like my brother's new girlfriend, who had the nads to come over and meet the entire family, even though my brother wasn't there (she lives in NY; he's soon to be in Nashville; they're both from here, and have known each other since childhood). And also there was the following bit of dialogue that has been cracking me up all week:

Jude: Come in! It's a fiesta!
Maven: Awesome!
Jude: [confidentially] "Fiesta" is a China word for "party."

I laughed really hard, apologized for laughing, and then corrected his etymology. Oh Jude.

There's more cookout scheduled for today--tis the season!--so I shall provide further documentary services later. Right now I have to drink more coffee, make a rice salad of some description, and go for a little run.