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29 January
identity | politics
link : thoughts (1) : track it (2) : in feministy stuff

I'm struggling with the idea of this week's We Have Brains question: What does it mean to be queer and a feminist?.

I tend to ask questions when I'm not certain how to answer them, rather than because I have something specific to say. So. I've been contemplating this germ for a few days. This is what I think.

I think it's about identity.

That's the intersection.

but wait! there's more


27 January
war. huh.
link : thoughts (1) : track it (0) : in generally political stuff

Here's the thing.

I'm a leftist, yes. But I am not always anti-war. In fact, I wouldn't even say I'm ever anti-war, because that statement implies that I think war is just a bad thing, period.

And I don't think that. I think war can reap political and economic benefits. I know the legitimate threat of war can solidify someone's commitment to diplomacy.

I have to say that I'm a little angered by certain perspectives that assume that women are inherently anti-war. Here's why: the assumption that I'm anti-war because I'm female presumes one of two things. Either I am female and therefore grander, softer, less warlike - or I am female and therefore a victim and not a perpetrator. The latter is, in part, true. Women are still more likely to be non-combatants, to be innocent bystanders. But, active participant or no, both men and women are killed in war (more men than women, commonly). People are the victims of war.

Maybe a government by women would be less warlike. Maybe we're actually soft, fur-lined pouches. I don't think so.

In any case, I'm simply ambivalent about going to war. I thought bombing Afghanistan wasn't necessarily the appropriate retaliatory act, but that at least it might benefit the Afghani people (that remains to be seen). With Iraq, I suspect some mode of violence will ultimately be called for. I think that action could have some benefits, even as it further destabilizes the Middle East.

What I don't support is unilateral action in a global environment. I find it uniquely frustrating that conservatives - pundits and individuals alike - assume that calling for cooperation with, say, the U.N. is a stall tactic. It's just the proper way to behave on the playground.

Ah, but you don't get to be a pundit by playing well with others.


21 January
raising your voice
link : thoughts (1) : track it (0) : in generally political stuff

Kerri asked via comments the other day what I thought people could do to make their opinions heard.

Here are some of those ways.

Stay informed
Track your congressperson's voting record. It's readily available online for the US Congress and for most other democratically elected officers in the US and elsewhere.

Join citizens' action groups related to your primary political interests. I keep up to date on events via FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting), Citizen Works (Green Party), NOW & Feminist.org (Feminist Majority Foundation), and Planned Parenthood. Most political groups have websites and mailing lists you can join without even joining the organization.

Get your news from at least two different sources in at least two different media. I use CNN, NPR, and the Guardian. And, of course, Lisa's We Have Brains news posts. Plus the Daily Show and The Onion (hey, news can be funny!).

Read books. Read lots and lots of books. Magazines, too. And blogs. Never stop researching and reconsidering.

Ask stupid [and not so stupid] questions.

Hold your government accountable
Vote. In every election. Your vote is your most obvious opinion.

Write letters. Email letters. Call people. Not only your congressperson, but any other elected official and any company whose products you consume. Tell them when they're doing well or poorly on a specific issue. Remember that you're their customer, and remind them of that fact.

Join a letter-writing collective like Progressive Secretary. Get friends to join. This amplifies the power of your voice by delivering the same message from several different people.

If you feel strongly about something, go to protests, conferences, and demonstrations. If you can't take the time, send money to the organizers so someone else can go in your place.

Become a dues-paying member of the organizations you most strongly agree with. That increases their clout as political action groups - the more people they count as members, the more power they possess.

Buy products from companies that support your political views. There's a host of information on the internet about companies' social and political contributions that you can use to feed your shopping habits.

Share your opinion locally
Start a blog. Start a zine. Start a book group. Join a group. Start something that you share with other people. It will promote discussion, allow you to develop your opinions, and potentially convert others to seeing things your way.

Don't hesitate. Yes, there are some situations in which expressing a political opinion is inappropriate (mid-meeting at work, for instance), but don't be afraid to tackle political subjects when the occasion arises with friends, family, even vague acquaintances.

Wear your opinion. T-shirts, bumperstickers, and buttons are obvious signs of your affiliations.

Honestly listen to people. Don't just wait to tell your opinion - hear what others have to say, too. It's surprising sometimes how much people actually agree when they think they're disagreeing.

Got other suggestions? Post them in the comments. That's a means of sharing your opinion, too.


healthy weight week
link : thoughts (0) : track it (0) : in fat & health stuff

I didn't know it was Healthy Weight Week until I read it on Tish's blog. But there it is!

It turns out I'm already quite well prepared for the week. We just bought a load of healthy groceries to get us through next week (admittedly less because we were thinking "healthy" than because we were thinking "too poor to eat out" - probably from the sushi we ate last week). And I'm registering for some dance classes via the local parks and recreation service.

I'm also doing some other things on a mental health note that aren't quite worth mentioning, but are helping me get motivated to get over a sticky spot (it's semi-work-related, thus exclusion from blog).

In any case, I urge you all to go out and do something good for yourself this week. Something as simple as walking around the mall.


19 January
women and the state
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Kerri's question to the world at large this week: Do women benefit or suffer from the State?

I think a lot of the way this question can be answered depends on how one defines and views the concept of State. How do I define it?

  1. A nation with non-physical boundaries

  2. A collective government (cooperative or authoritarian) that defines rules and priorities for that nation

Given this [possibly oversimplified] definition, I tend to believe that people in general benefit from the existence of a state. Why? This may be cynical, but I think people tend towards territorialism and aggression in the absence of limits and structure. My vision of a world without nations is one in which civil war becomes the order of the day. Shifting that aggression to a national level, and placing the decisions of territory into (generally) the hands of more than one person is, in my belief, better for the daily survival and productivity of the individuals who make up a nation.

You might disagree. You might think that the idea of nation creates territoriality on its own, and that people are inherently peaceful. I just don't feel that either history or individual interaction bears out that theory.

Collective government sets up a "state" (in the sense of governors) apart from and accountable to the people. Even the most authoritarian states must ultimately have the approval of the governed in order to govern. This approval can be achieved with fear, but in most modern states, it's achieved by a combination of acculturation and exchange. We accept government because we're taught to, because it delivers tangible benefits, and perhaps simply because we need and want it.

Are women served by the tangible benefits of government? Yes. And no. Women benefit from welfare systems, public education and health provisions, and a range of other state-sponsored programs that vary from nation to nation. Women may also suffer when the collective voice of women is overwhelmed by other voices, making the state less accountable to us - for instance, when pharmaceutical companies use campaign funding and lobbying to speak louder to legislators than individual women do (thereby allowing potentially dangerous products to remain on the market longer).

I think the way to ensure the state remains accountable to everyone is to continue to demand accountability. In a republic, this is best achieved by making your voice louder by joining others - not by eschewing your voice as is common in America. The modern Western state requires active citizenship, and I think a lot of the failures of our state to support its people are due in large part to our own passivity.


18 January
the beauty issue
link : thoughts (2) : track it (0) : in feministy stuff

I read in some book (I think in "Unbearable Weight", but this is the disadvantage to reading three books at a time) that the idea of beauty and fashion as self-inflicted feminine torment or delight originated in the seventeenth century. The root of the idea is that women are slight of mind and corporeal and therefore vulnerable to such trivial concerns - it's part of the whole "weaker sex" concept.

Considered in that light, fashion, even modern fashion, doesn't seem quite so innocuous. It sounds as if we, as women, are still blamed for the excess of time and money spent in pursuit of fashion. I don't mean only the pursuit of a "perfect" body - but rather, the amount we spend on the products and processes that constitute a merely acceptable, presentable female appearance.

This is some of the time and money I spend each year so that I may go to work in the corporate world:
1. Daily shower and hair wash: 62 hours
2. Daily hair grooming, just enough to look "smart": 41 hours
3. Hair products to facilitate 1 and 2: $300
4. Skin care & make up application, just enough to look "smart": 25 hours
5. Skin and make up products to protect face from office air while looking clean and flawless: $500
8. Hair cuts and sandal-season pedicures: $750
7. Enough clothing to ensure no obvious repetitions in two weeks, all seasons: $900-1200

These are all activities in addition to the standard grooming activities expected of a man (shaving, showering, teeth and hair brushing), and includes none of the purely frivolous beauty expenses in which I occasionally indulge. And I'm not even particularly "high-maintenance" (though women will note from the dollar amounts that I spend more than absolutely necessary on some products).

Thing is. If I did not spend this time and most of this money, I would be seen as less capable, less concerned about my work (and myself), less promotable and less employable. I would make less money. That's the nature of the corporate, mainstream, work world. The arena in which men and women are generally able to make the most secure money, and the arena in which men's earnings are still 25% higher than women's.

In other words. The beauty issue, often dismissed as only appearance-focused, is damned well an economic issue, too. And it's not something women inflict on ourselves. Reduced to a simple form, it's a cultural and economic demand placed upon women (and certain men) by society at large (which is, of course, made up of both men and women).

[I should add, by the way, that this is far from my most well-thought-out argument - even when edited, it's quite reductive, partially because it's primarily a response to a couple of books. Given my empirical knowledge of women who dislike the perceived requirement that a woman follow certain grooming routines in order to do something basic like go to work, I do disagree with the idea that feminine grooming is biological and not social.

In any case, upon re-reading, I realize that this post failed to convey its point, namely: while "serious" feminists have a tendency to reject the idea of beauty and fashion as frivolous, the elements that go into a "professional" feminine appearance do result in significant economic ramifications for many women.

Now, stop talking about this one. I'll say something more articulate on this subject later.]


17 January
link : thoughts (2) : track it (0) : in artsy stuff

I felt a need to answer, from an artistic perspective, a post I happened to run across about the needlessness of perfection. I disagree with the notion of perfection as focused on the "little things"; I think that's a small definiton of perfection.

That small definition of perfect relates to what I find so bad about so much theatre. Realistic theatre is often, in fact, so much about the small details of things (relationships, particularly) that failing in any detail means complete failure. If your play is an old man and his daughter on a park bench having a normal conversation while the actors move like normal people, the minutiae of their relationship had better be not only perfect but compellingly so if your goal is for me not to be snoring.

Ah, that was a complete sidebar. I hate the sort of theatre that is actually about realistic detail.

What I mean to say is that the effort of perfection is a key element of artistic endeavor. Art is shallow without it. But the artist's definition of perfect is not as simple as "the little things". It's the totality of the thing, the art product. The great finality of your effort.

It's pursuit. It's struggle and effort. When an artist strives for perfection (which is, most likely, unattainable), her work (the idea) keeps moving after the final product. Great art gives you the feeling, as the audience, that it's still moving forward as you watch it. Getting that impression from a static medium is astounding; getting it from theatre or dance is what gives those arts transformative power.

In seeing the pursuit, you see the work of the thing. You see the art behind art.

I tend to generalize this to life. Dedication to the effort is what makes it worthwhile. Like the idea of flow - changing yourself by pushing at the limits. It's hokey, but it's still valid. And that's the larger definition of perfect.

[Link from Provenance Unknown via Nonsense Verse via Blogsisters. All highly recommended.]


16 January
weirdest email ever
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I rarely post anything completely trivial (ah, shut up if you disagree). But I just had to share this crazy email.

It purports to be from the son of a dead Congolese dictator. Is this the new generation of spam? African despots?

In any case, I was amused, and slightly saddened. Read on, if you dare, to see the body of the email.

but wait! there's more


15 January
invest in healthcare companies
link : thoughts (2) : track it (0) : in work & money stuff

Because I just realized that my yearly raise (small, based on me not having worked long at my company) combined with increased health insurance premiums means that I'll make less this year than I did last year.

And unlike car and house insurance, which allow you to choose to be more or less insured (say, my old car is only insured for anything it runs into), in most situations you can either choose to be insured or not. Take whatever the cost is, or take nothing - no exceptions if you only go to the doctor once a year.

I know that the healthcare companies in which my old mutual fund invested some of my contributions are the only ones from that fund posting anything vaguely resembling profits, but I'm still peeved.

So now I understand why my small company changed insurance providers every year - we always got new customer discounts, so I never paid anything out of pocket for the privilege of being insured. Now I'm paying stupid money for myself and my partner, and he doesn't even use his health insurance. We should have kept him on his cheaper, less comprehensive coverage. It was stupid to think big company provided health insurance would be a good idea.

[Of course, I have to add - later, feeling less miffed - that I make perfectly fine money to begin with, and that things could be much worse.

I mean, I could be poor. I could be working three minimum wage jobs (same thing, right?) Or I could have had ten percent of my salary taken away and converted to "incentive" pay.

Also, I saw a woman wearing cow-printed fleece booties at the office yesterday evening.]


14 January
dessert is back
link : thoughts (2) : track it (0) : in food

I've seen three different pizza companies advertising three different free desserts with your pizza since coming home tonight. [We keep the television on during most of our waking hours - being of that generation of latchkey kids who did homework in front of the television, we're more productive at other tasks with noise and color in the background.] And it's only 7:30!

Most fast food and takeout places have always offered some form of dessert, but the fact that the pizza places are eagerly inventing new desserts and advertising them loudly (as part of the pizza wars, I suppose) indicates a rekindled enthusiasm for the dessert experience.

I heartily approve. I don't exactly approve of the cinnamon pizza, but I like the idea of dessert - of eating fully for the pleasure of eating and extending the time you spend in your dinner partner(s)'s company. It's a sign of a healthy attitude towards food - neither as the enemy or the savior, simply as something to enjoy.

It's a good thing I renounced my fatness in that last entry. I mean, a fat person admitting to liking dessert? Appalling! A sure sign that I'm a crazed eating machine.


the new a-prime
link : thoughts (2) : track it (0) : in generally political stuff

I'm starting a new language. I'll call it a-prime. You can use it with e-prime if you like. The two languages are quite complementary (and hey, by using both, you could be simultaneously communicating in three languages).

a-prime will abolish the use of the words "they" and "we". It's increasingly becoming a word that angers me. There's little room in "they" or "we" for dissent. It's the most convenient way to lump individuals, with individual opinions, into one dismissable or laudable group.

This morning I read a comment that Kell posted on the We Have Brains topic for the week. It was an eloquent comment that demanded respect for people who don't want to see porn or any aspect of the sex industry. But it had one tragic flaw - the continual use of the word "they" to refer to anyone who supported porn, as if all persons who consume porn or work in the sex industry have one, single platform. And all of those people, of course, are all about in-your-face comments designed exclusively to anger those who disagree. It was, suffice to say, a comment that has put me temporarily off reading a blogger whose writing generally excites me.

There is no one "we" of pro-sex feminists. No one feminism, no one fat accceptance movement, no one queer movement, and no one "pro-porn camp". There are individual voices that might unite in one message but do not share one overwhelming agenda.

If belonging to any of these groups requires me to accept these "we's" and "they's" people love to toss around, I'll renounce them all here and now: I am not fat, I am not a feminist, I am not queer, and I am not anyone's "they" or "we". I am one person with a set of opinions that may or may not coincide with yours.


13 January
education and elitism
link : thoughts (0) : track it (0) : in artsy stuff

Last night on Inside the Actor's Studio, Kathy Bates rather randomly got all angry about congressfolk calling PBS elitist.

I really like Kathy Bates. I mean, her movies are mostly those "real emotion" chick flicks that I mostly hate, but I just plain like her. She's neat.

Still. I think PBS is elitist. Public broadcasting and public radio depend so greatly on their audiences that they have to cater to the Maslovian idea of art as a privilege of the privileged (or at least, the comfortable).

It's like regional theatre, which is primarily supported by donors and season ticket holders - not by the ticket-buying public. So, regional theaters treat the art they produce as part of an event, the discriminating palate's dinner and a movie. This is why regional theatres do so well in restaurant districts (or, better yet, by having a stylish and expensive restaurant on the premises). Regional theaters sell what they can.

It sounds like treason against art, but it's just how things are. They do what they can to stay afloat another day. They play A Tuna Christmas in hopes that it'll make enough money to fund something more real. And sometimes, they lose sight of real in endless loops of Tuna Christmases, because real is so far away and it costs so much just to make it through a season.

I didn't understand this when I worked at a regional theater. Now I do, and it breaks my heart.

Public broadcasting networks are in the same situation. They must sell their product as part of a rarefied experience in order to make it seem worthwhile, to make donating seem worthwhile. I find this even sadder than the current regional theatre situation in this country - because PBS isn't selling entertainment masked as High Art; PBS sells education. And in selling it thus, subtly sends the message that eduction is only for the comfortable, the wealthy.

Then again, I'm not sure anyone actually benefits from the education public broadcasting can offer. Not in its current state, at least. Its earlier, more heavily state-sponsored (in the era of Reagan and Bush The First, no less) incarnation was quite another animal.

And television and radio are government subsidized. Subsidized, but not for educational purposes. They're subsidized in the form of FCC controls, meaning that there can be no such thing as true independent television or radio. You can't buy a camera and decide you'd like to produce guerilla television, except in the narrow confines of the local public access station.

All of this, to me, points to a need for more state-sponsored art and education. Of course, it will never happen in an America so fixated on independence. But it sure seems to work well for all the American experimental theatre artists who took real theatre to France.


the sex industry
link : thoughts (1) : track it (0) : in sexually liberated stuff

This week on We Have Brains, we finally sit down and talk about that oft-discussed feminist topic: the Sex Industry.

[It's so much fun to capitalize, isn't it? Makes it seem like That Horrible Industry That Might Devour Us Whole.]

I unloaded some of my random thoughts on pornography/erotica a few weeks ago. So as not to bore those of you playing the home game, I'd suggest you read them: here (if you're interested). Suffice to say - I see no reason why women shouldn't actively participate in porn. Creating and consuming, both. So, why aren't I doing more of either? Quite honestly, I'm one repressed chica. I hardly even talk big when it comes to things sexual. But I am working on it.

I'll also add to my previous comments, that I believe the only difference between "porn", "erotica" and "erotic art" is taste. Many people may disagree. Here, on this blog, they're all wrong, and I'm right. If it titillates you, call it whatever you want. It's all the same to me. Well, that's not entirely true - I've seen some sexy art that actually challenges the psyche enough to meet my definition of art - but it's rare as hell.

So. Given that. Pornographers are entertainers. In my book, that's equivalent to being Disney, or the guys who make Grand Theft Auto. Entertainment is a vehicle for release - of whatever in you needs releasing. Entertainment is okay. Television is okay! Porn is okay! All of these things can, at times, cross lines for different people, can turn offensive. Different people have different lines. Ergo, no one line can be drawn culturally (much as I'd like to draw my own and line people up on either side of it).

What I'm trying to say is - porn is no more dangerous to the psyche than any other form of entertainment. Any form of fun can turn dirty, but that does not justify keeping people away from it via legislation or cultural stigma.

Okay. Porn topic over. For now.

Let's talk about sex workers. I have yet to meet even one sex worker who feels degraded and exploited by her work. Whether they be phone sex operators, prostitutes, or strippers, every woman I've met who represents some aspect of the sex industry has chosen her career and largely enjoys it. Now, admittedly the sex workers I've met have all been American, and that makes a big difference.

But I will not sit by and allow other people to declare these women's voices null because they don't fit some sort of stereotype of the victimized woman forced into a life of degrading sex. We cannot ignore the viewpoints of the people who are actually doing the work we theorize about while we theorize about their work. [Dr. Seuss would be so pleased with that sentence.] That's just plain patronizing - and more importantly, it leaves out one of the most valuable perspectives on the discussion - it's like talking about the "Woman Problem" in 1910 without talking to a woman.

So, what have I heard from these sex workers? This. Sex is fucking empowering! Why do you think fat folk are so keen to prove their sexiness? Because they know that being sexual is a source of power and satisfaction. Sex can be deeply spiritual - and I don't just mean the high you get from sex with someone you rilly rilly luv - sex is one of the most basic human desires, and sex work in all its forms can tap into a certain primal male/female identity for some people. And hey, if you add the often very nice money you make while doing it - well, that's a pretty good case for sex work.

That's not to say that there are no sex workers who feel they've been exploited. Simply that it's not fair to assume they all are when that isn't their experience of their own situation. That robs people of self-determination. That is, in my book, anti-feminist. Just as it would be for me to assume that the handful of strippers I know represent all strippers ever.

When we talk about The Sex Industry without talking to the people who are the industry, we continue to marginalize that work. We fail to understand its appeal. We guess. And we gloss over critical issues like the need for healthcare and other benefits for sex workers. In short, we make ourselves stupid and narrow-minded.


12 January
a television show i'd like to see
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A half-hour variety show hosted by John Goodman and featuring a variety of differently sized people as weekly guests and cast members. With cute, round funky dancers. The Phat Girls, perhaps?

We could call it "John Goodman's Bootay". Lots of advertising potential - "Spend your Friday Night with John Goodman's Bootay"; "Have you seen John Goodman's Bootay?"; "Get naked with John Goodman's Bootay".

It would have both the utterly bizarre ironic quality of the Daily Show and the bonus of regular-sized people on television.

Hey, I'd watch it.


link : thoughts (0) : track it (0) : in feministy stuff

My perspective on football is, at best, shallow. I watch football occasionally because I feel like I have to be aware of things like the Super Bowl commercials - so I can go into work that Monday and follow conversations.

Of course, I don't have to watch football. But I do occasionally, for other people. Family, mainly. I read while they watch, glance up now and then for a snide remark (even more fun this year, as my company sponsored a bowl game and I got to be all patriotic about that).

But, Roni's post on We Have Brains last week reminded me of one of the things that bother me, as a feminist, about sports. More specifically - about gym class. I wonder if the reason I don't care that much about many sports is that I've never really played them. Even basketball and volleyball. My sex-segregated gym classes (last experienced many years ago in middle school) gave us different rules than the boys learned, different rules than we might see played on television.

Only baseball, which I actually experienced for myself by playing and by going to live games, seems like lots of fun to me.

I suppose that helps to keep sports a primarily male arena - it's a "male bonding" thing, right? That'd be perfectly fine. But I don't know - few of the men I know choose to bond over sports of any form, and I mostly saw my dad enjoying the games on his own or with me.

So I guess my answer to this question is - as a feminist, but mostly as a person who doesn't dig the sporting events - I think of sports-watching as a community-building event. It's something I do for family or friends, not for myself. But it's not something I think is inherently anti-woman.


08 January
seven ten seven
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I did it. I'm not finished with it yet (not close, even), but I have at least the skeleton of my new design domain up and functional.

Seven Ten Seven Design

Criticism is welcome.


good on the tv
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Check it out: Jennifer Weiner's "Good in Bed" is going to be a sitcom. That's one darn cute book. We already know I liked it.

And, while I know a lot of people would say a woman who wears a size 16 is normal (eh, they're probably right), it will still be a huge step to have a woman starring in a sitcom who is larger than sitcom size. That's probably why I find that goofy Sara Rue so cute - sure, she's not really fat - but she's television fat, so she's a stand-in for the rest of us.

Point is. Rather than get into the exhausting debate of how fat is enough (shining counterpart to the usual "how fat is too much" argument that it is), it's okay to celebrate the idea of showing a woman who isn't television thin becoming happy with her body in the most normal medium of them all - the situation comedy.

I, for one, am thrilled.

[Link via Big Fat Blog.]


07 January
2002 in review
link : thoughts (1) : track it (0) : in books & tv & internet stuff

I haven't posted anything in several days because I had to sit and
think about the year that just ended. Oh, absolutely.

Well, not really.

But, hey - the guys (plus girl sitemaster) of a certain local band are doing
this year-in-review thing, so I shall, too.

So. A list of things about 2002.

but wait! there's more


01 January
i buy yet another domain
link : thoughts (0) : track it (1) : in books & tv & internet stuff

Today, while the boy was off in a crazy small town, I built a whole new site. It's not live yet, but it will be soon.

It's the next iteration of my design site. There's more to be done (of course), but I'll tell you where to find it soon.


what are you doing new year's, new year's eve
link : thoughts (1) : track it (0) : in vaguely personal stuff

Next year I think we'll do new year's eve old school. You know, with idiot drunks on my sofa. I have no strong feelings about what one should do on new year's eve.

But this year was lovely. Basic family stuff. Only not my family. Rather odd.

I did, however, get to spend a fantastic afternoon at Little Five Points with Rev 9. For those uninformed, Little Five Points is not, as Rev and others might lead you to believe, a single beacon of funkiness in the dark of Georgia. It's more a consolidation of funky subcultures onto a couple of blocks. Those things exist elsewhere in the state, just not in concentration.

Also, Atlanta (or the north of Atlanta, which is a sprawling tangle of suburbs) has something vaguely akin to Koreatown. I forgot to tell her that.

Rev introduced me to Charis Books, which has to be one of the better independent bookshops I've seen. Now, all those book recommendations I give everyone have a great independent shop to point to, as Charis also ships. My local indie bookstore does not ship and carries many idiotic diet books. [Speaking of shipping books, if you ever want to borrow anything, I don't mind mailing books to people. Especially if it fostered some sort of land mail feminist book club.] And I've just started reading Bodies Out of Bounds, which is providing ballast at a time when I need to feel secure in my transgression as a fat person. There's something I have strong feelings about, new-year-wise: this reshaping the body thing that everyone "resolves" on. And then gives up on, in most cases. Bah. But I have ballast. Even if it is somewhat hung up on the word "discourse".

I don't know if it was the added extravert energy of being with someone new and fun, or simply the constant cycling of stores in funky areas of town, but there was much more excellent than usual shopping to be had on Tuesday. There's a store that sells masses of bellydance gear (which I fully intend to purchase in the event I've actually progressed dance-wise by the time we return for our summer visit). It was a nice reminder of how much my job, in addition to being enjoyable most times, enables all the happy bits of my life. Job good.

In any case, Rev does a spot-on and very funny summary of our lunch and shopping trip. Also, I went to the zoo on Monday. Pandas have thumbs.

Life. Is alright.


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