October 3rd, 2005


Pictures from BP

I got the pictures from Bletchley Park up here, finally. It was my favorite day of that whole trip. Enjoy. (Also there are a few Herrod's pictures at the end, and that was nice, too.)

Could Be Better

It has not been my most stellar afternoon. The checker at Byerly's saw my big bag of apples and asked what I was making, and I told her I was doing baked apples with hazelnuts for the dessert for a friend's birthday. She thought that sounded good, and then she said, "And where do you all go to school?"

To. School.

YARRRRRG! Twenty-seven, people! Twenty-seven! I don't even think I look like a young 27. I don't think I look like an old 27, either. I think most people, without conversational context (which sometimes throws people off) would look at me and think mid-late-20s. Maybe early-mid-20s or early-mid-30s depending on how I was dressed. But just automatically assuming I was a college kid, that there was no other possibility? PSYCHO.

Do only college students eat baked apples, and I just missed the memo?

So I finished the errands and came home and set the groceries on the kitchen table as I was unloading them. Saw a box with my name on it and squealed, "I Arthur!"* Cut it open to get out the contributor copies for a nonfiction project I worked on, and when I lifted the books out, it turned out that they were the only thing keeping our kitchen table from falling over and spilling groceries every which way. This has never happened before in the six years I've been putting groceries on that kitchen table.

I bought 18 eggs. We managed to keep 5.

Also, it is what my mother calls "muggy" out. It is humid, and it is hot. And we don't want to turn the furnace off and on and off and on, so we haven't turned it off and turned the AC on. The leaves are falling, the yard is at its best...and it's over 80 degrees. BLECH.

Also I am exhausted from a very small set of errands, which is not new, but it's not more fun for lasting awhile.

So. Yah. I have had more stellar afternoons, is what I'm saying. The books, however, look great, and they spelled my name right, and I hung out with timprov for awhile, and markgritter and I are going to have a dinner date. So really, it'll be a fine day overall. Just -- frustrating.

And you?

*Combination of "The Tick" and a typo on the packing slip of my first box of author copies ever. What, like you don't have moments of being a semi-literate cloned snot monster?
good mris pic

On Peg's gender post

I've been thinking about pegkerr's post about her identity as a woman ever since she put it up lo these days ago. The main conclusion I've come to is that I have an extremely strong sense of myself as feminine. I don't mean that I consider whether what I'm doing is feminine and try to hold to an external ideal of womanhood, but the opposite: everything I do becomes Stuff Women Do to me by virtue of me doing it.

In the right atmosphere, it can be a really powerful feeling to be walking gender integration. You can stand at the door of some classrooms and pull your foot in and out: "You're integrated! You're not integrated! You're integrated! You're not integrated!" My girl cooties trump all your cootie shots effortlessly. They are mighty, mighty cooties.

So all sorts of things with grace or beauty, ethereality or curves: meh. None of it got very solidly associated with gender for me, because it was so clear that People Vary was the principle in operation.

We joked about my friend Jeff in high school having a portable right-of-way: when Jeff was on his foot, pedestrians had the right-of-way, and when Jeff was in his truck, vehicles had the right-of-way, and we suspected that if he'd gotten a pogo stick, jumpers would have had the right-of-way. I guess I feel that way with femminess. Mine is with me always. If I start taking things apart to tinker with them, taking things apart to tinker with them becomes femmey, and the rest of the world will just have to deal with that.

My most solid sense of What Women Do is that women do What Needs Doing. That is also my most solid sense of What Men Do: it is a grown-ups thing, not a gender thing.