Saturday, February 28th 2004

Returning to the shop
posted @ 6:57 pm in [ ]
I’m going to start back at the shop on Monday, and I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve taken on a great deal of paid research work over the last few weeks, and while it’s fun to get paid to think, learn, analyze, and write, I’ve really missed the kind of problem solving I get to do as a mechanic, and the immediate tangible effect of implementing solutions. Plus, I don’t have to look “professional” or watch my language. I imagine this is going to be my last chance to get paid to do mechanical work, maybe ever. I hope to be able to savor it. The money’s not terrific, but it sure is good for the soul.

Maybe the thing that I’m really looking forward to most is working for my friend Matt, who is also my juggling coach (I’ve gotten pretty good and am currently trying to back up from the wall and maintain ball control). He’s one of very vew people I’ve ever met who processes information in exactly the same way I do: spatially as a tactile learner. Learning stuff from him is almost osmotic. He also worked next to me for six months, understood my frustration with some of the members of management, and saw the quality of my work every day. He also has never treated me like an alien and understands that all I really wanted to do there was get to be a really great mechanic. Now, he’s the shop manager, and so far, he’s really good at it.

So tomorrow I’m going to cut my fabulous long, red nails and have mechanic hands again for the next 6 or 7 months, probably for the last time ever. I’m also going to have to come up with a strategy for being nice to Bobby, which will be a lot harder when I see him several times a week.

Tuesday, February 17th 2004

Enforced Heterosexuality Day update
posted @ 11:38 am in [ ]
I sent out a bunch of e-valentines, as some of you encouraged me to do. Amy thought hers (which included the title, “Happy Enforced Heterosexuality Day!” and encouraged her to have sex with a goat in protest) was quite hilarious. I also got a lot of responses back, which was a lot of fun.

My favorite response came from my friend Calisse, who sent me a “love quiz” valentine in return. It asked me a bunch of questions about her, like what color her eyes were, what her favorite animal was, and what not. I had to guess on a few of those–her favorite color has never really come up in conversation. Then I submitted it for grading. I’m pleased to say that I got 100% on the Calisse Quiz. She’s a fun lady, and has a weekend job as a clown. She makes a damn fine balloon hat, too.

Tuesday, February 10th 2004

An update from the caucus trail
posted @ 10:56 am in [ ]
One thing that my role in the distance learning course has given me is a new dedication to the political process that I haven’t had in a while. I’m liking that the outcomes of the presidential race are not foregone, that it’s a fight. I miss the spectator-sport quality of Massachusetts politics, and this race is beginning to bring it to a national level. My job also obliges me to follow it, which is a lot of fun.

In class, we’ve recently been talking about how the delegate-selection process changed after the 1968 convention, and how it was opened up to allow broader participation among voters. Primaries and caucuses became a lot more important, but now the national party convention is kind of like the newsmedia’s convention. Colorado has a caucus, but it’s not until mid-April. I’ll probably still go, but I can’t imagine there’ll be much to do there by then. My mom, though, participated in the Maine caucuses on Sunday, and I’m posting what she had to say about it because I think it’s cool. Also entertaining is her response to me when I asked if I could post it:

“Okay, sure you can post it. Just be sure that when you do, you’re wearing a nice warm sweater, not forgetting Lincoln’s birthday, and have a clean hankie.” Check! We’re good to go. I’m also wearing clean underwear, just in case.

The Maine caucus was a hoot. Fifty or so people jammed into the mine-oot town library cum fishing license bureau. A stringer for the NYT was there, and she actually got into the next day front page coverage–town of Hope, rural folks, hardy, moose-y, the whole deal. My fab quote about the percentage-apportionment-of-votes-formulae giving us new appreciation for what delegates to the Loyajerga(sp) went through did not, alas, make it into her copy. I voted for Edwards. Most intriguing candidacy. Then, in the second round, I walked over to the Kerry corner. Final tally was (more or less) evenly split among Kerry, Kucinich(sp), and Dean. Maine as a whole went 46% for Kerry, a 20-something chunk for Dean, and gave Kucinich 16%–his best showing thusfar. Maine has an interesting primary/caucus record, having provided both Jessie Jackson and Ross Perot with victories in past years. At the Hope caucus, I restrained myself from getting up and saying that I’d been acquainted with John Kerry since the mid-seventies, watched him run unsuccessfully for Congress three times (John Nash used to feel really sorry for the guy). Worked against him in the Lt. Gov’s race (remember when I wrote for Lois Pines?)–he won that one. Worked for his opponent again — Jim Shannon — in Kerry’s first Senate race. Kerry has hit on me more than once–very polite; he wasnt married at the time–asked me out to dinner. I remember him as leader of Vietnam Vets Against the War. He wasnt always a stiff. I think he’ll be fine. He was never a bad candidate, just didnt connect with people emotionally–wanted the office, but seemed a bit sorry about that he had to wade through a pesky voter-infested process to get it. He has a first-rate mind. Maybe he’ll loosen up, have a good dinner once in a while, dye his hair, inject Botox, and buy a stovepipe hat.

Wednesday, February 4th 2004

Enforced Heterosexuality Day approches!
posted @ 11:24 am in [ ]
My friend Amy calls Valentine’s Day Enforced Heterosexuality Day. Although I do have many gay friends who really like Valentines’ Day, I nonetheless find Amy’s assessment quite entertaining. Still, various websites are currently being very aggressive with advertising about dating services and personal ads. The ones I’ve seen are all straight, and I don’t think that’s right. Furthermore, they’re pretty gross, and I don’t think that’s right either. NO, I do not want to send this goofy-looking guy a flirtatious message. Swear to God! Or her either, thanks for asking, you homophobic pandering agency.

There was one insipid ad I had to wait through before the content I came for would show up, and I actually had to put down my coffee and leave the room. The goofy saps they’d been trying to hook me up with all week long all hooked up with each other. Where to begin?! First, I am not looking for dates / partnership / love / sex / tawdry pairings off, and to assume that I am kind of offends me somehow. Second, all six people were dorky in their own way. Nothing you could really put your finger on, but I found them all totally unappealing, so apparently, not only am I supposed to cheat on my husband, but I’m supposed to do it with some Internet-forsaken goof. Third, it was like they wanted to force me to get involved in their unappealing lives by insisting that I really wanted to get in touch with these idiots. Finally, it was apparently some kinda bait-and-switch scam because they all ended up with each other–I had no chance to begin with, which, let’s face it, is just bizarre. I actually wrote the website folks a message about that one. It did make me think, though, about how much this culture is geared toward selling single heterosexuals crap they don’t need, including each other.

If I weren’t married by now, I probably wouldn’t do it at all, and that is NOT sad! I’m set in my ways and I value my own space and my privacy. The older I get, the less I want to share my space and my inner life with new people on a constant basis. I think the stats about women over a certain age getting married so infrequently is much more of a reflection of women really being their own people than of desperate spinsters who may never Get A Man, like that should be every woman’s life goal. Being your own person is much more important, and I think those stats are actually a pretty hopeful indicator. The purpose of life is not to partner off like some seventh-grade kissing game, it’s to use what gifts you have to create your true life, and to try to contribute something good to your world. Me, I got married too. In some ways, it still surprises me that that’s how my life shook out. It’s so conventional, you know? I expected to be living in a tree or something by now. But hey, so far, so good.

Anyway, I’m entertaining ideas as to what to do for Valentine’s Day / Enforced Heterosexuality Day. I’ll probably make my husband a valentine to thank him for “saving” me from “spinsterhood,” and making “an honest woman” of me and “buying the cow” when he could have just “gotten the milk for free” for as long as I was willing to be some sort of sexual dairy denizen. Or more likely, because he’s cute and I like to play with stationery supplies. Should I otherwise boycott the Hallmark holiday? Should I send out raucous valentines to everyone I know? Should I use the day as an excuse to send valentines to everyone who inspired me to erotic dreams and sexual fantasies this year, male AND female? Certainly M and R and others deserve some sort of credit. The muses got invocations, honors, and snacks. Guys like M and R might consider a bag of Chee-tos a less puzzling tribute, though.

I still have a week and a half to sort this out.