Tuesday, April 30, 2002

Important facts: Why We Need TBIO
Thanks, Sheri, for pointing us to that Turn Beauty Inside Out campaign. Here are some "shocking facts" I got off their site.
-- Eighty percent of 10-year-old American girls diet.
-- Girls are disproportionately affected by eating disorders and cultural demands for thinness.
-- More than five million Americans suffer from eating disorders.
·-- Ninety percent of those afflicted with eating disorders are adolescent and young adult women.
-- Fifteen percent of young girls have substantially disordered eating attitudes.
-- Between elementary and high school, the percentage of girls in the U.S. who are "happy with the way I am" drops from 60% to 29%.
-- The number one magic wish for young girls age 11-17 is to be thinner.
-- Millions of young girls, influenced by a culture that equates success and happiness with thinness, begin dieting to be accepted. (all the above statistics from The Body Image Project at www.justthink.org)
-- Between 1996 and 1998, teenage cosmetic surgeries nearly doubled from 13,699 to 24,623, according to the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons. www.newswecanuse.com
-- Thirty-nine percent of women in film are portrayed as “thin” or “very thin.” www.childrennow.org
-- At least 58% of women in the movies make or receive comments about their appearance. www.childrennow.org
-- In movies, 31% of women are shown primping, grooming, or otherwise fixated on their appearance, where only 7% of men are shown doing this. www.childrennow.org
-- Girls and women are underrepresented in movies. Only 37% of all movie roles are for girls or women. www.childrennow.org

I believe that we BlogSisters can serve as role models for girls of all ages who need support in going against the flow of the images of what females "should" be presented by commercial world. I would like to suggest that BlogSisters join the campaign in some way. Maybe on May 15 we each can post about TBIO and link to the site. And also put some kind of major announcement on this site. Any other suggestions? (I don't know how to import graphics into here, but maybe one of our more talented sisters could design something we can feature on May 15? Just a suggestion. What do you all think?)

Turn Beauty Inside Out Day

View from the Pocket
Girls Take on Hollywood by Declaring May 15th as "Turn Beauty Inside Out Day"
"New Moon (Magazine) wanted to show the world that we had a different definition of beautiful in mind," explains Ruth Young, a 12-year-old member of the board. "Beautiful means being caring, kind, outgoing, [a] dream achiever, and living for yourself. Basically, it means being a strong and beautiful girl on the inside."

Hello Blog Sisters
I just spent the last hour reading the first day of posts and comments here. WOW, I'm impressed. I found out about BlogSisters through Elaine. The only thing I'm sorry about is that I didn't find you gals sooner. I read a post that referred to Heather loosing her job because of her blog. Heather has signed off from dooce.com; as of April 22 she will no longer be blogging under her real name. She said her site had caused too much damage to her personal relationships. In the last couple of months I have been communicating with people I've never met in "real life", and in some ways I've shared more of myself online then I do with my "real life" friends. Maybe it's not that I've shared more as it is that I've shared different things. The internet is a great place to toss around ideas, concepts, theories, and even try on new ones to see if they fit. When I first started blogging in November of last year, I didn't tell anyone about it, including my lover. I did a lot of blogging about the ups and downs of my relationship. Now in hindsight, I think I should have been much more straightforward with my lover. Oh sure we all need a private [wine] now and then, but I was over the top. You might say, how over the top? I'm really an introvert, and blogging was kind of like discovering how the other half lives. I'm rambling; it's getting into happy hour, so I'm off. WAAAaait this is where I ramble semi regularly.

eat ice cream to fight illiteracy

I don't like product endorsements, but this is kinda different. If you go to Baskin-Robbins tomorrow night, they'll not only give you a free scoop, they'll donate books to kids. It's a great cause...and the yummy free ice cream doesn't hurt either.

Monday, April 29, 2002

Dreams do come true

It seems as though us single girls are going to finally get our chance. ABC is now looking for candidates for Bachelorette. I wonder, is this a ploy to broaden the suckers field for Bachelor II or is this a sincere attempt at trying to marry off a swell gal off who just isn't having any luck with the available men out there?

Whatever it is, I'm turning in my application now. Not.

did I mention....

...that the reporter described blogsisters this way: "somewhat of an "Oprah Online" blog, where women communicate on a variety of topics, from current events to personal health to the latest fashions."

why didn't he just say "hygiene."

hmph again.

(oprah online? will this boost our google search results?)

dumbing us down

I was doing my latest vanity search (on my name, on google, you know), when I came across a recent blogging article by E. Michael Rudman, and... WHAT DO YOU KNOW!? We're mentioned! That's the good news. And it really is good news--I appreciate the reporter taking note of us.

The bad news was... of all the posts he picked to focus on was... well... you'll see. I mean, we've discussed some heavy shit here, and wouldn't ya know a male reporter would "position us" in our first online reference, with one blast of the keyboard, as ladies who talk about fashion.


Well, as I said, let's look at the silver lining. People are reading what we're writing here--what YOU guys are writing here--and that's always refreshing to know. More women are asking to join every week, and that's totally exciting. Still.... maternity fashion... over the posts about dealing with our own mothers... alcoholism... the middle east... hmph. Let's all have a tea party and relish our five seconds of fame (she says with a wink).


Sunday, April 28, 2002

Time to get my pyramid-building pants out of storage.

I'm not too crazy about a periodical that promotes books by my arch-nemesis, Peggy Noonan. However, and whatever the motivation for this, the NRO has published the following article: Primary Document | Saudi Telethon Host Calls for Enslaving Jewish Women. In it, "prominent government official cleric" Shaikh Saad Al-Buraik is quoted as saying (I added the italics),
Muslim Brothers in Palestine, do not have any mercy neither compassion on the Jews, their blood, their money, their flesh. Their women are yours to take, legitimately. God made them yours. Why don't you enslave their women? Why don't you wage jihad? Why don't you pillage them?
Al-Buraik also happens to be accompanying Prince Abdullah in his visit to the U.S.

I wonder if he might be that elusive "someone" who requested that no women direct the Prince's flight into Texas earlier this week.

Saturday, April 27, 2002

Mechanics and tigers and bears, oh my!

This is my very first Blog Sisters post, so please bear with me...

Just experienced a classic, "You're just a girl so shut up and pay up," moment at the garage. I merely wanted a summarization of my car problems so that I could discern what needs to be fixed first, considering the $800 quote I was just issued. Apparently, elementary car mechanics is too heady a subject for a mechanic to discuss with a woman. Granted, I'm not weeping into my latte over his attitude; rather, I'm worried about getting ripped-off.

Seems like the best way to avoid this would be to educate myself on the basics, learn the lingo, etc. So, I picked up Car Smarts by Mary Jackson.
Erma Bombeck always made me laugh with her wry comments about womanhood and motherhood. She lost her fight against cancer back in 1996. Just after she found out that she had cancer, she wrote this:

I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for the day.

I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage. I would have talked less and listened more.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded.

I would have eaten the popcorn in the 'good' living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.

I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.

I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television and more while watching life.

I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn't show soil, or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I'd have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, "Later. Now go get washed up for dinner."

There would have been more "I love you's." More "I'm sorry's."
But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute...look at it and really see it ... live it ... and never give it back.

Stop sweating the small stuff.

Don't worry about who doesn't like you, who has more, or who's doing what. Instead, let's cherish the relationships we have with those who do love us.

Thursday, April 25, 2002

Women in Australian History

Yesterday was Anzac Day, so Adam had the day off, and he and I went to the National Maritime Museum for a few hours.

One exhibit we went through tracked the passage of water sports and the way people were involved with them throughout history. This is where I encountered the persona of Annette Kellerman. The symbol/ idea/ archetype of the mermaid in her many guises has been sort of a personal one for me, having lived near or on the ocean for almost my entire life, so Kellerman really attracted my attention because she's often dressed up as one.

First an athlete and vaudeville performer, then later a beauty queen and actress (I believe I read that she won the first beauty pageant ever), Kellerman was interested in health and body image. Defying restrictive Victorian custom, she devised a type of female swimsuit that was easier to move in and wear, but was considered scandalous at the time. I find it interesting in these days that women often find the modern swimsuit oppressive, because it is revealing and we are insecure of our bodies' shape and appearance. In Kellerman's day, her new revealing swimming costume was actually freeing. There's a brief online article about her here.

Another exhibit told the story of Matthew and Ann Flinders. Matthew was the explorer to first call the Australian continent "Australia" and led the first European expedition to circumnavigate the continent. On his way back home, he was imprisoned on the Isle of France (Mauritius) as a spy. He and his wife, Ann, were married for thirteen years, and were only able to spend less than five together in person. Their letters to each other were moving, especially to a girl who knows what it's like to be vastly separated for long amounts of time from the one she loves. ;-) Here's an excerpt from a draft of a letter from Matthew to Ann while he was imprisoned:
The arrival of thy letters forms the greatest epochs in my present monotonous life, and I sigh for them as for the most desired of blessings; next to the liberation which should permit me to fly to thy arms, they afford me the greatest happiness I can receive. The improvement in thy health, the constancy of thy affection, and the continued kindness of our friends to thee, are the subjects which I call to my aid, to keep off that depression of spirits which so many causes are ever ready to excite, and I receive consolation from them. Cease not then, my best beloved, to write often if thou wouldst preserve me from distraction.

[Added Later...]
The museum's blurb on Matthew and Ann Flinders, and the blurb on Annette Kellerman, along with some memorabilia, from my pictures yesterday.

"Can this man fuck his way out of a paper bag? Maybe not, but he recycles!"

Speaking of baching it: have we invited Heather Havrilesky to this shindig? If not, we should.

Go Jan!; Two wrongs...

Wow, how wonderful to know we are part of the scholarly discussion.

Regarding Esta below: it is indeed lamentable at some twisted level I haven't quite come to terms with yet - since I deplore the concept of the show in general - that ABC's next round of tripe is going to be "The Bachelor" again, and not "The Bachelorette." The show's message boards have batted this around - see here and here, for example. The recurring argument made about why The Bachelorette wouldn't make it is it wouldn't have as broad an audience - that is, men only watch this show to ogle, while women watch for the drama, suspense, etc. I think (straight) men (of a certain limited intellect) might still watch the reverse version for the same reason they read those "how to really please a woman" articles - on some subliminal level, they'll want to see what it takes to "capture the flag."

Wednesday, April 24, 2002

BlogSisters featured in research paper.
Several of us have been quoted in a research paper, "Weblogs: An Opinioning Opportunity for Women," developed by Jan Carroll, a student at the University of Wisconsin--Eau Claire as part of her program in technical writing major, web emphasis. She had contacted various female webloggers and asked them to fill out a survey; many of the respondents were BlogSisters. I had an opportunity to read a draft, and you can be sure that we are very well represented. The paper takes a unique look at the technologies to which women have had access to express their opinions, from sewing machines and typwriters to weblogs. There is no doubt that we BlogSisters are carving out our own territory on the web. And we have only just begun, so keep on posting. Of course, we think that Jan should get an A+.
Following up on Esta and tv, posted below
First of all, let me say that I don't watch the Bachelor or any or any of the reality shows. I'm beginning to prefer the world of Ally McBeal more and more. And I'm bummed that it's approaching it's demise, although it really was running out of plot lines. And, as you know, I'm really going to miss Jon Bon Jovi. I watch too much tv also. It's how I escape -- whether it's Alias or Ally, Gilmore Girls or Buffy, it's all a much different reality than the one I live in and that's fine with me.

As for men, I repeat that I am a female chauvinist, and until a few years ago, serial monogamy served my purposes well. Of course, I had already done the other -- marriage, kids, etc. -- so I figured "I'm entitled." I don't pretend to understand men at all, although I think Camille Pagia got it right when she used how they piss as a metaphor for how they do everything. But, as one woman novelist I once read wrote (or at least something pretty close) "I am always fascinated by the hydraulics of the penis."

Speaking of penises, I just skimmed though Camille Paglia's Vamps and Tramps, the first chapter of which is entitled "The Penis Unsheathed." As usual, she melds scholarship with clever verbiage. But if you've seen one Paglia, you've seen them all.

in which i reveal that i watch too much tv

Speaking of degrading films, has anyone been watching The Bachelor on ABC? I've avoided it on principle, but saw a bit about it on the Today show this morning. Katie Couric made a valiant effort to hide how appalled she was. I suddenly wondered if we'll ever see a show where one woman has oodles of men preening and competing in an effort to get her to marry them. My coffee nearly shot through my nose at the mental image. Kind of like on Ally McBeal Monday night (I'm kind of surprised no one's yet mentioned that it's being cancelled) where Heather Locklear showed up with two husbands, and everyone wigged out. Best line of the show: "What's her defense?" "She's entitled". My question: why would anyone want two? I've never been married, but even having one boyfriend at a time is more than enough of a headache...

Tuesday, April 23, 2002

Linda Lovelace died yesterday.
(I'm double posting this because it belongs here but I wanted it on my own blog as well.)

She died in a car accident. But that's not my point. Linda Lovelace's most famous and most degrading movie, Deep Throatwas the first porno movie I ever saw. It was on a double bill with The Devil in Miss Jones in the only movie theater in Gloucester, Maine.

One summer weekend in the mid-seventies, a female elementary school teacher friend of mine and I left our husbands with our kids and took off for a weekend on our own. We wound up in Cape Anne, Massachusetts, where we did some sightseeing, including discovering that Harry Chapin's song about "Dogtown" was based on real and really weird stuff. On our first night there we were so tired that we crashed after dinner (and wine, of course) and then set out the next day for Gloucester. Well, what can two married women do in the evening after dinner in a town where they don't know anyone? Heh. Go to the movies, of course. We had a choice of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid or a double porno bill. Neither one of us had ever seen a porno movie, and no one in town knew who we were. It was a chance we couldn't pass up.

Years after, Linda Lovelace revealed the horrors that she endured as her (then) husband proceeded to get her hooked on drugs and caught in a spiral of prostitution and personal brutality. That was the reality. But for two young naive married women off on a weekend away from their every day real worlds, the fantasy was too intriguing to pass up.

It is important to know the difference between fantasy and reality.


In my last post I said my friend LP sent me that, and well for the simple fact that I am a human, and I have one to many Lauren's in my life, I made a mistake. So, this is me, saying....Lauren Bailey, or LB this blog was for you!! (and I am really sorry!!)

Monday, April 22, 2002

Sister Poems

Ursula Fanthorpe, 1984.

Women Laughing

Gurgles, genderless,
Inside in the incurious womb.

Random soliloquies of babies
Ticked by everything.

Undomesticated shrieks
Of small girls. Mother prophesies
You'll be crying in a minute.

Adolescents wearing giggles
Like chain-mail, against embarrassment,
Giggles formal in shape as
Butterpats, or dropped stitches.

Young women anxious to please,
Laughing eagerly before the punchline
(Being too naive to know which it is).

Wives gleaming sleekly in public at
Husbandly jokes, masking
All trace of old acquaintance.

Mums obliging with rhetorical
Guffaws at the children's riddles
That bored their parents.

Old women, unmanned, free
Of children, embarrassment, desire to please,
Hooting grossly, without explanation.

My bestfriend in the world sent me this because when she read it the first thing she thought of was me, and blogsisters, so to save on words....LP this blogs for you.

Friday, April 19, 2002


Although they read a bit differently out of context like this, I thought y'all might like these lines: (from Damned Women, by Baudelaire -- click here for the whole poem)

"Virgins, demons, monsters, martyrs, all
great spirits scornful of reality,
saints and satyrs in search of the infinite,
racked with sobs or loud in ecstasy,

you whom my soul has followed to your hell,
Sisters! I love you as I pity you
for your bleak sorrows, for your unslaked thirsts,
and for the love that gorges your great hearts!"

Thursday, April 18, 2002

Here's an interesting question from Annessa:
Hey, I have a question for you bloggers out there: If you had the opportunity, would you participate in a group 'blogger's vacation'? Like if a bunch of us were to go somewhere fun (cruise, Virgin Islands, etc.) as a giant group? Kind of like SXSW, but without anything productive to come out of it? I'm not saying anything's going to happen, but if enough people say yes, I'm thinking about setting up something. Let me know.

Check out Annessa's site and think about all going on a non-blogging vacation together. Post your thoughts here. I'll tell Annessa to check the comments.
A different female's perspective
I don’t remember where I first heard Camille Paglia speak. I think it was on the old Phil Donahue show. What I do remember is being totally enthralled by her perspectives on just about everything. Hated by both radical feminists as well as right-wing “fascinating womanhood” females, dismissed by most men because of her intense, confrontational, opinionated style, and shunned by many of her peers because of her controversial convictions about sexuality and morality, Camille is just the kind of woman that gets my attention.

I posted a long ramble on my own site about the opinions of this controversial thinker and writer and invite you to take a look and see what you think about what she has to say.

Wednesday, April 17, 2002

Just some small questions...

Does anyone believe in love at first site? Does anyone really believe that there is one "soul mate" for all of us.

The back ground as to why this queston is being asked:
I think I have found mine. I am not saying it was really love at first site, but I do think I have found my soul mate. I have never been in love until now, and its wonderful. I think I have found the person that is my soul mate....ok that is an understatement, I know I have found my soul mate. Just wanted to know if any of you believed in that.

Tuesday, April 16, 2002

Is the Net taking up too much of our time?

Apparently, about one in 10 couples who go to Relate for marriage counselling, blame the Internet for the breakdown in their relationship.

The report goes on to say that: “Both men and women complain of becoming Internet "widows" as their partners spend hours at the computer downloading software or looking at pornography.”

Does spending too much time online/ chatting/ playing games eat into our family’s time?

Are we indulging in a form of cybercheating if we spend a lot of time chatting with people of the opposite sex, when there are other things to be done? Or should we spend that extra time with our partners, building our personal relationships instead?

Where does one draw the line?

Should we be more careful as to how we spend our time online?

What do you think?

Would your relationship suffer if you found your partner/ spouse was spending too much time online? Time that you wanted to spend with him/ her?

Do you know anyone who has personally gone through a relationship breakdown because of this reason?

If you have something interesting to share, please post it, instead of commenting.

If you’re not a member of the fairer sex and reading this and would like to justify your position and what you feel about it, please feel free to use the comments or email me.

Monday, April 15, 2002

OK. I admit it.
I watch Ally McBeal. I've seen every episode since it started. I love the show. I love Vonda Shepard and her vocals. I have all of the show's sound track albums. But most of all, these days I just luuuuvvv Jon Bon Jovi in his portrayal of Victor. So fine; I have a severe case of arrested development where he's concerned. But I don't care as long as I can feast my eyes on that incredible beautiful young man. Yum. Yum.
The Shadow Knows
This afternoon in posting on my own blog, I wound up rambling onto the issue of our “dark side,” our “shadow side.” I wanted to link to something that explained how I view that psychological concept, and so I Googled over to this site, which ended with the following:

My own experience with the dark goddesses has taken me down a path of several goddess myths and stories. I have struggled with and overcome an inferiority complex over body image (Medusa). Most recently, I have been working with Lilith, trying to incorporate her (heretofore forbidden) drive for freedom of expression and assertion of sexuality into my thinking and lifestyle. I look forward to working with Hecate, the Crone of Wisdom, when the time comes. I'm enjoying every minute of it; the feeling is like an opening flower. Each instance brings new light into my life, as well as a greater feeling of wholeness.

Polarity is undeniably a part of this world. The dark side is all around us, everywhere we look, in everything we experience. As the Christian Bible says "To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven." It follows by simple observation that all seasons are not right for all things; some are to be put aside, hidden, taken from the light into the dark for a time. Yet they remain a part of everything, a part of the whole, resting until the time in the great cycle to appear again.

And then as I was making dinner for my mom, I thought about posting something about “shadow,” and then had this weird deja vue thing that I had done this before and that Tish, on her fatshadow.com blog had linked to the yoni.com site before. Except it never happened.

So I’m going ahead and bringing up the “shadow” up here, because I think that Kali, and Lilith, and Hecate – in the Jungian archetypal sense – have a great deal to teach us. Years ago, I spent several years in therapy getting to know an love the Lilith in me. Got a lot of good poetry written out of that experience as well.

I’m wondering if any of the other BlogSisters have ever done these kinds of explorations of their “shadow” sides as a way of getting to know yourself better and change self-defeating behaviors. ???

Saturday, April 13, 2002

I think it's time for a joke.

An Irishman, a Mexican and a blonde guy were doing construction work on scaffolding on the 20th floor of a building. They were eating lunch, and the Irishman said, "Corned beef and cabbage! If I get corned beef and cabbage one more time for lunch I'm going to jump off this building."

The Mexican opened his lunch box and exclaimed, "Burritos again! If I get burritos one more time I'm going to jump off, too."

The blonde opened his lunch and said, "Bologna again. If I get a bologna sandwich one more time, I'm jumping too."

The next day the Irishman opened his lunch box, saw corned beef and cabbage and jumped to his death. The Mexican opened his lunch, saw a burrito and jumped too. The blonde guy opened his lunch, saw the bologna and jumped to his death as well.

At the funeral the Irishman's wife was weeping. She said, "If I'd known how really tired he was of corned beef and cabbage, I never would have given it to him again!"

The Mexican's wife also wept and said, "I could have given him a taco or enchiladas! I didn't realize he hated burritos so much."

Everyone turned and stared at the blonde's wife.

“Don't look at me, he makes his own lunch."

Friday, April 12, 2002

Let Us Mourn
Today another young Palistinian woman blew up her own life and the life of 6 others. I mourn the deaths of those who are the victims of those two testosterone driven madmen. And, I wonder, if I were a young Palestinian woman, what would I do? And if I were a young Israeli woman, what would I do? Two rights, two wrongs. I mourn the thwarted dreams of women at the mercy of power-hungry men.

Thursday, April 11, 2002

random question

Throwing this out in the wild hope that someone can help: I'm looking for resources (big or small, in-depth or pithy) on the anthropological theory of pilgrimage. The idea behind the theory: you're a kid in the society, you move into a dangerous liminal stage when you don't fit in anywhere, you go on a pilgrimage to find your identity, you come back and take your place in the group. This happens everywhere, all over the world, and can be religious or secular (although you hear more about it happening in religious settings). The only resource I've been pointed towards is "Regeneration Through Violence" by Slotkin, but I'm not sure that's what I'm looking for. Anyone know of something more pertinent? Many thanks...

In response to Valerie's post on Drunk Driving

I had to respond to your post Valerie because if i left a comment it would have been way too long.
My father lost his license for two years after being caught drink driving, this was many years ago, and i'm horrified to say that he still continues to flout the law continuing to drink and drive. The worse part is that he abuses alcohol, heavily, putting other peoples lives at risk as well as his own without a thought. I remember years ago in my teens criticising him heavily for the risks he was taking and i continually received a devil may care response, he seemed to think he was infallible, and that i was nagging him!!? Interestingly my mother never said a word.
I even recall him being so drunk one evening that he crashed the car in a ditch in the mddle of nowhere, walked home and then got friends to drive him to the place so he could retrieve it, no police involved. He was lucky. I was however not sympathetic when he eventually lost his license and made it plain, but it made no difference, i can't help but view it as arrogant.
I can't say Valerie whether its men more than woman, or older people more than younger people.......who take it upon themslves to drink and drive all i know is this, it is unforgiveable and irresponsible.
Will they only take responsibility for their actions when a tragedy occurs, but then it will be to late.

Wednesday, April 10, 2002

Drunk Driving

I've been thinking about drunk driving since this morning, when my father (whom I unfortunately live with) called to tell me he got a DUI while working out of town.

Now, I know they say young people are more responsible for drunk driving. But it seems to me the older generation thinks they're invincible when it comes to alcohol. Shouldn't a 50-year-old man know better than to drink and drive? Shouldn't a 50-year-old man be mature enough to take responsibility for it when he gets caught? I'm 21. I know better. I knew better at 19 when I became legal (in British Columbia).

Anyone here have any experience/wisdom on this? Can I be totally sexist and say men are more likely to drink and drive?
Walk a little in their shoes
Wonderchicken linked to this great article about Japanese women, their shoes, the way they walk, and where they're walking toward. It's a long piece, but very interesting. Do you walk uchimata or sotomata?

Better Late Than Never

Hi everyone. So I signed up for Blog Sisters when the site became active, but I didn't quite get around to posting anything until now. Let me introduce myself, and beg forgiveness in my slackness. I'm Annessa, I'm 26, and a single mom. Here's my current site, and one day soon (maybe), annessa.net will be my main site.
I work at a publishing company in Jacksonville, Florida as the production coordinator. Basically I make sure we have the correct text for each book that we do. I like my job for the most part, but still wish I could be a rock star. My daughter turned four last month, and she is absolutely wonderful and funny. As for me, I'm pretty witty sometimes, sarcastic beyond belief, in a quandary about a man, and I'm quite fond of commas and run-on sentences. I write the way I'd talk to you in person, I practically wave my arms about (makes typing really hard). I'm looking forward to writing on here, and I promise to try to make this a regular thing.
So Greeting and Salutations, and thanks to Jeneane for making this possible!

Tuesday, April 09, 2002

Just saying hi.

I would like to introduce myself........i'm Em, just 30 and as English as could be with a little Irish thrown in. Shaken and stirred with equal measures of confidence, craziness, itchy travelling feet, desire for knowledge, down days, up days topped off with taking each one as it comes, well it works for me? Too often i try to run before i can walk, i guess you could put that down to an impatient soul but i'm working on it.
I spend my days working as a Sport Studies Technician although exactly how i fell into this career escapes me but its an enjoyable job with a great deal of freedom to pursue my MA in social sciences. Where i'm going isn't particulary important i never make life plans just immediate choices but i suppose that comes under my 'feet first, think later' personality trait.
I'm looking forward to joining in and following the adventures of Blogsisters along with posting on my own site boudoir along with contributing towards BadsamaritanNext. No harm in a little shameless plugging is there?
Hello to you all.

Monday, April 08, 2002

Our once a month or whenever we think of it call for blog sisters

Anyone we should list in the sister roll who's not already there? Let me know. Or any invites you'd like me to send out for fresh voices and views? Always looking for those too.

Going to bed now. The count down has begun. My tour of duty as single working mother (for the next three months) begins in 31 hours, when my husband jets off to Hong Kong, where he'll be staying and playing until July. He's been so busy finishing up this latest recording project, it's like he's already gone. And I hate it. After 16 years of marriage, I feel like I'm riding on one wheel without him.

Engineering Children *with* Disabilities?

This story leaves me in a quandry. I don't like genetically engineering children either way--wonderchild or physically challenged. I think that's where I come down on this issue. There are plenty of hearing children within deaf homes that learn the same kind of identity things this couple is hoping for. Kind of a mind bender, considering the whole family is deaf. But seeking out a deaf sperm donor? Wshew!

Time Travel

Dr. Mallett has a motive that's not unfamiliar to my own.

"Since his father, a heavy smoker, died at the age of 33 when Mallett was 10 years old, Mallett has longed for a way to travel back in time to warn him about the dangers of cigarettes."

Can you imagine going back, or going forward, through time, the things you would try to undo or not undo. Certainly sparks the imagination to think that it might be a possibility.

Saturday, April 06, 2002

An Oral History of Female Vietnam Vets

This is from 1999, but it is such a stunning trip through voice, womanhood, and trauma that I thought I'd give the link.

"For eight years, my husband didn't know I was a vet," says Agnes Feak, who participated in an air evacuation of Amerasian children called Operation Baby Lift. "I kept my mouth shut when I came home. He found a photo of me in fatigues and said, 'Who's that?' And I said, 'That's me.'"

A computer-generated poem based on Blogsisters.
Try doing one from your own blog by clicking here.

Blog sisters a Fractured Fairytale... Spending
the team who I agree with
my hands and
suddenly, I need to
the comment Hello! Wow!
I just found my own engine in
difficult Sometimes personal statement of people. she had a
freshman in blogging Is
nothing She was that, damned jar
posted by Anita Bora at least
as I went to say,
Except Hello to women who
buy that? on your
self. and her
own but its to
change me.

Act 1, Scene 1

A great mother-daughter moment from Sharon O. over on wordwhores. Anyone who can *not* relate? I think she depicts the art of conversation control quite eloquently!

How Creepy Is This Shit?

Thanks to Pet Rock Star for this link, which is about as creepy as it gets--can you imagine your spouse fessing up one day that this is how he found you? eeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Pet Rock's Shannon Campbell says:

"This company will gather background information, then stalk, and then invent a 'coincidental' meeting between a man and the woman of his dreams. How much? The least you can expect to pay is $78,000. The won't accept 'missions' from ugly people or women, they won't talk to the media, and they won't disclose where their offices are located. You also can't tell anyone you used this company."

For that, I'm adding Ms. Campbell to the sister roll.

Hey, Sister, Go Sister, Go Sister, Go Sister

In honor of sisterhood...

A mascott of sorts. Sister Mary Blogger, Eh?

Thanks, ebay.

"she is in excellent condition as she has been kept in a glass display case." (haven't we all?)


I know that I blog about teenagers today a lot, but its only because I don't understand them, and I am one . I am watching MTV's Spring Break. I don't understand the obsession with drinking, and having "sexual relations" with total strangers. I would not like to go to a beach, hook up with some guy that I meet in a bar the night before and then not remember who he was the next day. I don't see how that even comes close to a good time. Sometimes I wonder if I really am a teenager. I understand that everyone needs to have their wild and crazy days when they are young, but there is such a thing as going a little to far with it.

I say all of this because I am currently on my spring break. I know people that are going to PC beach, and I know people that are having parties, but me...I am going to stay at home. I don't think you have to go get drunk and do drugs to have a good time. When I go on a trip I like to remember it, and I like to be able to remember what I did. (and who I did it with) There is no reason at all for anyone person to "hook up" with 5 people in the same night, with all of the STD's that are out there its just not a safe thing. Wakeing up for a whole week with some guy, and a hang over is not my idea of a good time.

Sometimes, I think I am the strangest teenager in the world. Then I wake up and realize that I am the luckiest teenager in the world. I know that I don't have to go out and party and get drunk to have a good time, and that I don't need to be with every guy in the world to be popular. I also know that I am a strong woman, and I don't need to prove anything to anyone. I am my own person, and nobody can change me.

That idiot dorkvak is at it again

And trying to be funny. It doesn't work. This time he even takes a jab at us. We're in good company though. He's messing with RageBoy too. The least he could have done is link. Fucker.

"5. Jargon. Pepper your text with words like screed, grok, gonzo, meme, and other bloggerisms to show that you are a hip and with-it blogger. Women bloggers should use the word sister a lot."

Dorkvak (I call him this so as not to boost search results on his actual last name) ought to be familiar with jargon. His writing is full of it. And so is he.

Friday, April 05, 2002

Teenaged girls and their weight

I was at school yesterday, and I noticed how skinny most of the girls in my school are. (at least those that are not with child) I don't understand the fact that they can think that looking sickly all the time is beautiful. I am not saying that all skinny people are sickly, but if you were to see the girls at my school you would wonder what was going on. I am not picking on skinny people here, this was just an observation that I made yesterday. I would put money on it, that if you were to ask every girl in my school if she has ever been on a diet or suffered from an eating disorder that way over 60% would say yes. I have a friend that was a healthy size 10....which is what I am...her parents, ok so her mother, thought that she was to big and that she should loose some weight. Her mother paid her $50 for every pound she lost. She is now a size 2. She was a really pretty girl before, and now she just looks sickly. Me being a teenaged girl myself if worried about all of this. Why are the girls today so obsessed with their looks? I just don't get it. I am the kind of person that if you don't like me for who I am on the inside then why do I want to talk to you anyways? I also don't get the fact that the guys like their girls skinny. I am not a big girl...but for the guys at my school I am. If you are not a size 2 to a size 5 then you are to big. I am very happy with the way I am, and I am not going to change it for anyone. I like the way I look. I will never understand the reason girls think they have to be small. I also hate going shopping. Its like to be a teenager you have to wear all this small tight fitting shirts and skirts, that are not really shirts at all....they are strings and zippers. Fashion today is something I really don't get. Its the smaller the better. I was shopping with my mother and we were looking at baby cloths...my mother wants a grandchild, from my married and older sister not me, anyways even the baby cloths are smaller and there were things that I would not put my child in it was too...old for a baby to be in. I will never understand that....the obsession with being older than you really are.(and when you get older don't most people wish to be younger??) Can anyone tell me why that is? And can anyone tell me why the youth of today is so obsessed with weight and how they look? Can anyone help me wiht any of this?

Thursday, April 04, 2002

Pot Calling Kettle

This is likely to be a long one. It is a day for breaking things. I broke my coffee maker. Then I slammed my coat in the car door, not realizing until I reached for a cigarette that I had actually slammed my coat *pocket* in the door, thereby shattering my cigarette filter. I spilled water all over the inside of my car. And that was before 11 a.m.

So lets see if I can break some more stuff.

In searching up blog sisters on google, I came across a couple of entries I had missed when they were originally posted. Shame.

This one by Ms. Yourish on 3/24 is a response to a post I made in blog sisters' first 24 hours of life (when we were jeered as much as linked to). One of our early critics was Brigitte of eaton web, whom Elaine refers to in this post, which elicited my intense emotion.

Meryl takes exception with what I feel was a valid defense of this blog in her critique on the debate, saying among other things:

-"The defensiveness, the perceived insult and lashing out at having one's intent questioned is what registers."

-"It is also important to note that Brigitte maintains the Eatonweb Portal, one of the most influential portals in Blogdom. I'm not saying she would refuse to list Blogsisters because of the above comment--I doubt she's even read it--but in one short, cutely-titled post, Jeneane Sessum manages to put down both a fellow Blogsister and a woman whose portal lists nearly 4,000 blogs--of which Blogsisters is not yet one. A short trip to look around Eatonweb instead of flinging insults might have been the more constructive thing to do."

-"If bloggers want to be taken more seriously--if bloggers think they should be treated with the same respect as professionals--then they need to start thinking about applying some simple rules of logic and civility to the debates that can rage across blogs."


First of all, I defended this blog and my effort at making it happen and ensuring its successful lanch. Absolutely. Guilty on the "defensive" count. Cop to it. Wouldn't change a thing if I had it to do over again.

Second all, I have looked at the eaton web portal, quite extensively in fact, before, during, and after my response to Brigitte's initial critique. Just so we're straight, I don't temper my voice or my thoughts based on the popularity or influence of the person I'm challenging. Nice that she spends so much time on the portal. Couldn't care less what she thinks of me. Don't know why she has an issue with me, but some of what I've seen after that initial post makes me think she does. And for the record, I don't care.

A response to Meryl's third comment, ya give respect, ya get respect. You mess with my family--online or offline--you get a mess back.

And for the record....

What Meryl doesn't mention is that eaton web posted more on 2/28. Try this on for size:

"...when you follow a link from a good weblog and the content is less than desireable, you feel that you've wasted 5 minutes and have a right to complain about that waste. usually in the form of commentary about the content or poor writing. if i had followed that blog sisters link from doc searls website, i would have been considerably more irritated at the time waste. each weblog has a certain trash factor, the better the weblog and the more your interests coincide with the author's, the lower the trash factor."

And more:

"oh wait, nevermind. i have my explanation. it's the 'it's' in a popular weblog so it must be interesting, important, exciting, new, attention worthy, ' phenomenon. Doc Searls linked to blog sisters. presumably for the catchy tag line. sigh. 2 days of reading weblogs again has made me realize why i cut back so drastically in the first place."

Now let's remember, the blog's like a day and a half old at this point, having zoomed to number 3 on daypop. I'm working like hell to get everyone on the team who wants to be, to fix the template, to add all the links, to hurry hurry, to thank those who linked to us. And some of the first WOMAN blogged feedback I read was eaton web's initial jab:

"I look at Blog Sisters. at first, i thought it's purpose was to link to all the current female webloggers. but, i couldn't believe that someone would be attempting to list ten's of thousands, if not hundred's of thousands, of people. so i spent the next 15 minutes scanning through all the posts trying to figure out the purpose of the site. all i could gather was that it was a weblog devoted to women's issues. why is this so highly linked? there's 2 day's worth of content. half of which are posts about who linked to them and how high they are on daypop. what am i missing?"

How would you feel? How would you react? And be honest.

love/hate relationship with technology

How's your computer situation working out, Elaine? I guess if you respond to this, we'll know the answer. I ran into my own trouble last night -- some members of a youth group with which I work had just finished creating a newsletter last night, and we hit the satisfied "save"...only to have the computer crash and lose all our work. Revelation: I love blogging and the benefits the Internet brings, but I hate computers. Hate them hate them hate them. I want to stomp them into plastic bits and throw them out the window.

Sorry (sheepishly), just had to vent...

Tuesday, April 02, 2002

Rage, Blame, and Voice, and the Dark Side of Femininity

I have no TV right now, and it's driving me crazy. But that's a digression, or an introduction, because it has to do with my point. So anyway, I'm watching these old X-Files episodes I've taped to keep myself from snapping (I know, I need help), and this one came on that I've always liked, because it (to me) sort of captures what the X-Files was meant to be about, which is human nature and its mysteries, not really aliens or the supernatural.

So in this episode, there are a bunch of mysterious deaths, involving ravens, broken mirrors, and vicious claw marks. Something primal is scaring people in reflections and killing others in a quiet small town. Turns out the killer is really a meek little housewife, taking notes from Martha Stewart, cooking eggs benedict for breakfast. Her husband has been wanting out of the marriage for several years, and has begun to sleep around, but she clings to the marriage and lives in denial, repressing her rage at her husband's infidelity and unwillingness to stay. She physically transforms into a horrible figure, perhaps suggesting a manifestation of Cathubodva or the Morrigan, accompanied by ravens, horrible to look at. She is the dark, destructive, feminine force. But she can't stand to see her own dark side (hence all the broken mirrors, which spontaneously burst as her image slides across them), it drives her insane. Mulder says something about this at the end of the episode (I can't remember the exact words) to the effect of, "It [her anger] had to come out somehow."

Women today, in much of Western culture, are not allowed to have a dark, destructive voice that is healthy. We live in denial, we hide our dark sides. (And here I'm not attempting to say, by excluding mention of men, that they are or aren't allowed to have dark sides. In some ways, this is true for both genders as we become more "civilized" in the worst sense of the word, but I especially think it true for women.) We are allowed to be birth, but not death; healers and nurturers, but not warriors or defenders; we are the "gentle" sex, we are quiet, subdued. Somewhere inside, rage bottles up, and pops out in ways that are unhealthy to us and those around us.

To tie in something that probably doesn't fit, it always seems to me that it's angry mothers who start ridiculous lawsuits. That's a huge generalization, but I read this article today sent by a friend. It's very anti-gaming in tone, which bothers me, because even though I'm not currently an active gamer, I am an avid one. The article describes a lawsuit of a woman against the makers of the game EverQuest, blaming the game for her son's suicide. It's the age-old argument about the "evils" of fantasy-- people are unhappy with their real lives, so they burrow into fantasy as some sort of wish fulfillment to hide from reality. Obviously, I don't agree with that assessment, but I want to get back to my main point, because I could go on and on about what I think fantasy really is. ;-)

Utlimately, when I read this article, for me it begs the question: what is really this woman's goal? Does she think that warning labels about a game's addictiveness will really solve anything? What got left out of the story? This woman is in battle mode, she's raging, angry (and right to be angry about her son's death), but to me her need for a scapegoat seems like a stretch (I don't really see how the game is specifically at fault, people can use anything as a tool for their addictive behavior). In what ways is she in denial? In what ways did she try to be the good nurturing mom and fail? Is she embittered that her son turned to an online game instead of her? Has she become something she can no longer bear to look at objectively?
Techiesisters -- I need your help!
OK, this is where you find out what an total idiot I am when it comes to these stupid machines. I don't know what I did to my computer, but here's what's happening (and I hope one of you might be able to tell me if there's something I can do to fix it before I haul it ito the shop and have to be offline for a week. urrggh). I have Windows 98 and a pretty hefty Athlon processor.

When it's booting up, I get a message that it can't find a file needed to run a windows application -- SYSTEM.INI -- that it's no longer listed and I should try uninstalling the associated application and then reinstalling it. And a couple of lines down it says "vesecp.vxd." I have no idea what the "associated application is or what I did to mess it up. Then it says I can click on any key to continue booting up without that application, so that's what I do.

And then as the desktop is coming into view, there's a little window with a searchlight that says it's looking for E_SRDVO3.exe. Huh? Of course, it can't find it, so I cancel out of that window. And things boot up.

I know that, whatever it is, it's affecting my ability to use my printers. I went and dowloaded (again) the drivers I need, but that wasn't the solution. I'm not really sure how to uninstall and reinstall my Epson printer/scanner software program -- that's how clueless I am. If anyone has any suggestions, can you just email me directly???? I am sooooo frustrated! Sigh. Thanks.

mid-twenties crisis

I am so glad that Esta mentioned the mid-twenties crisis. (Maybe for some it comes at a different time). I recently had my 25th birthday. This was very hard for me. Before, each birthday meant a keg party with tequila shots and gal pals. This year was my first "grown-up" birthday. I don't know why, but I felt like I couldn't have a kegger again. Also, I am having purse issues. Am I a hippy or am I a professional woman? I don't know. How come which purse I choose has to say so much about me. Am I making such a personal statement of who I am by the purse I carry? I'm trying to choose what car to buy after graduation... am I a Mini Cooper or a Jetta? These may be bad examples. Finding the courage to think an talk is extremely difficult. Sometimes I am so overpowered by fear that I don't even try to ask myself how I feel or what I think. Too afraid to think! As for finding my voice, I agree that blogging is highly beneficial! I am going into a profession, the law, where being able to speak up is very important. However, currently I am not very confident with what I have to say. Whenever I post a thought and someone posts a comment, it's sad but its almost validating... Incidentally, I am very excited about now being a part of the Blogsisters conversation! Maybe I will become closer to finding my voice!

Women and voice continued

Esta, yes this is just what I am going through. I too started writing with poetry, first published at the age of 12, albiet a poem about my horse (who was then my four-legged safehouse). But it was the beginning of a journey that has taken me until my near 40th year to come to grips with and just begin to understand. (I guess I am a late bloomer).

And it has taken the Internet to rekindle this voice that I buried for so long. Now that it has been unleashed, I am changing physically, emotionally, and spriritually on so many levels it's frightening to me. Who am I? I thought I knew. Happy to remain in the background. Anxious of the unknown. Secure with my own fears. These things were familiar, if not healthy. And suddenly, I find myself staring into an abyss that was me, and my heart is broken, my head is spinning, I am liberated and terrified at once. I write, I change. I change, I write. Blogging is the tool this day--setting free prose and poetry and words and emotions I had lost touch with, thought better left untouched.

In some ways, this is all so uncomfortable, and in other ways, it's so natural.

And I still don't think most men bloggers are going through this same thing. I would love to understand their journeys but few tap into where they have been in relation to where they are headed. Mike Golby does. And Marek does, to name two. And to me, their journeys are different from ours. They speak in more global terms--they seek to fix the world, while I seek to fix myself; they carry into their blogging global burdens and prescriptions for the future, while I focus on personal burdens, mainly from the past. Their release is often violent and outwardly chaotic. My release is one of inner turmoil, and my journey stems from the inside outward.

The cultural and gender implications in blogging and burgeoining voice--that I once thought were bull--may in fact be astounding.

No wonder my head is spinning.

learning to talk cont'd

I started this as a comment to Jeneane's message, but it got too involved, so here we are. Jeneane, I think you've tapped into what is for many of us the core of why we blog...I know I've talked at length about voice on my site (I think "found my voice" was even my tagline, briefly). Personally, I've been drawn/driven by Toni Morrison's writings -- she deals with this topic quite frequently. For many women, finding voice may not be as obvious as finding a consciousness of self and the reality of choice. I feel like I only really started to think coherently about what I was doing with my life until my mid-twenties (aided by supportive sister-friends and therapy -- has anyone else been through the mid-twenties crisis?). The pressure of going through life without thinking, of doing what I thought I "should" do, created a profound depression. Finding the courage to think and talk -- and not just that, but to rant, angrily or cheerfully about anything and everything -- is a drug, and it (along with friends, faith, family, and lots of practice) is changing my life. And yes, Elaine, blogging helps...

Monday, April 01, 2002

woman and blogging role

Lately, I've been thinking about women's roles--as wives, mothers, workers, and so on. All of the recent discussion here has me thinking. And when I think, I start to write things down, which I'm doing here without much forethought or planning. I've said I'm not a feminist. I don't believe in generalized pro-woman speak. But still...

I'm thinking about women and blogging, especially thanks to the discussions we've been having here. We got flack in the beginning of this excursion called blog sisters from some not wishing to be 'defined' by gender, which is not what I think we are doing here. Still, women bloggers are different, aren't we? I think we are, in some very important ways, ways that I see connected specifically to voice and the release of voice.

As women, the historically the more repressed sex (at least in American history), blogging offers us something special. A chance to experiment with voice, to define voice, and finally to release voice.

Repression undone.

Having come from a family where chatty girl children were reminded they should be seen and not heard, where male children were cherished, given free rein, given the benefit of the doubt, "believed" above all else, I'm coming to grips with the meaning behind the evolution of my own personal voice during my first four decades on this earth. What is happening--has happened--to me through blogging is very significant in my personal journey to find and release my own voice. In fact, I don't think I had my own voice until I started blogging.

Is it different for men? I think so. I think, on the net, until now at least, men have been the default. They have an inherent credibility here, their voices found an immediate home here. I don't think we as women had it so easy. We had to work a little harder, speak a little louder, yell some, maybe stamp our feet, take risks, and say to our online neighbors: We're here. And we're not just talking about weight loss, and we're not just chatting about parenting, and we're not just here to shop. We are thinking, we are shaping, we are creating, we are catalysts.

We are changing and we are change.

Repression comes in many forms, steming from the universal, the global, the local, even the familial.

Voice repressed is at the root, I think, of much unhealth. Much distress. And I think women, and with them other minorities, stand to risk and gain more from blogging--from the discovery and release of voice--than we have even yet imagined. We've only just scratched the surface.

Such is my journey anyway. You?

Plan your April fools jokes....

Since my now boyfriend and I have been talking, my pastor who set us up has been pushing marriage. So, today...I played a little joke on my pastor. I called him, all excited and told him that Wesley and I were going to get married. He just about fell out! He knew after about 5 seconds that it was a joke, because Wesley had called him all upset and told him that I had broken his heart. So, needless to say he knew that it was an april fools joke. I just felt that it was really funny....I guess next year I am going to have to plan things a little better.
Another giggle for the formerly married.
The CIA had an opening for an assassin. After all the background checks, interviews, and testing were done there were three finalists; two men and a woman.

For the final test, the CIA agents took one of the men to a large metal door and handed him a .45 Revolver. "We must know that you will follow your instructions, no matter what the circumstances. Inside the room, you will find you wife sitting in a chair. Kill her!"

The man said, "You can't be serious. I could never shoot my wife. The agent said, "Then you're not the right man for this job."

The second man was given the same instructions. He took the gun and went into the room. All was quiet for about five minutes. Then the man came out with tears in his eyes. "I tried, but I can't kill my wife."

The agent said, "You don't have what it takes. Take your wife and go home."

Finally, it was the woman's turn. She was given the same instructions to kill her husband. She took the gun and went into the room. Six shots were heard, one shot after another. The agents heard screaming, crashing, and banging on the walls. After a few minutes, all was quiet. The door opened slowly and there stood the woman. She wiped the sweat from her brow, and said, "This gun is loaded with blanks. I had to beat him to death with the chair.”

What to do with teenagers when roller skating gets old? SkyZone!

As the mother of a teenage daughter, figuring out activities that give ME a break, are nearby, don't involve computers and cell phones...