Thursday, December 25, 2008

Still here

Holiday insanity has hit, and is still hitting.

New posts soon, one hopes.

Have a good Krismas everyone.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

What would you do if you didn't have a job?

Jennifer A. Slater explores that in an essay for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

If you’re currently unemployed, don’t despair — set aside a certain amount of time for scouring the want ads, making phone calls and doing your share of worrying — but then take a break from it. You are defined by more than your role as provider or by your occupation for that matter — there’s so much more. Don’t waste this opportunity.

What are some things you’ve always wanted to do but never had time for? Think of things you could accomplish that would make your life easier when you do go back to work. Here are some ideas:

She then goes on to list a series of ideas that will sound terribly familiar to stay-at-home-wives:

  • Cooking - "It became my mission to pore through my cookbooks and spoil my children with home-cooked meals that I had never had the time or energy to prepare."
  • Cleaning - " I cleaned my house! And I’m not talking just hitting the big spots — I mean really cleaned!"
  • Home upkeep - "Like anyone else I have a Honey-Do list. The only problem is, I’m the only Honey in the house"
  • Finishing projects, in her case a book - "This has been one of the most personally rewarding gifts I have received during this drought."
  • Learning new ways to be frugal - "I actually take time now to read the ads for sales and cut out coupons and then plan every week’s meals accordingly. What a concept! I honestly cannot believe the amount of money I’ve saved."
  • Spending time with your kids. - "why didn’t I do this before? Oh yeah, I was always working."
So, cooking for your kids = spoiling them now? Cleaning and maintaining your home is some how special? I can understand finishing a project, but I thought everyone knew about menu planning and saving money. They may not have the time to do it, but they knew about it.

That last one is the kicker for me. Have kids you never spend time with. Why have them in the first place?

She's floored that these things can actually be enjoyable, enriching, and contribute to society. Holy cr*p Batman, it's good to be a housewife!

The only problem being that she's a single mom with three kids, so she has to go back to work. Too bad she didn't think of this before she had them. Too bad the baby boomers (or the feminists or the corporate overlords, pick your arch enemy of the past 40 years) lied to her about how enjoyable, how simply
good, it is to take care of your home and family.

My suggestion to her, if she really doesn't want a husband (which is going to be hard to find with three kids anyway) would be to form a co-op house with some other single parents, of any kind of orientation. Because while those things are fun for you (I know, a shock) they are
amazingly good for your kids. A well-run home, healthy meals, and attention go a long way towards making good kids into good adults.

Take it from the housewives.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Tolerance - Thou Shalt Not Steal

Photo copyright Freedom From Religion Foundation

Missing atheist sign found in Washington state
By Molly Simpson

(CNN) -- An atheist sign criticizing Christianity that was erected alongside a Nativity scene was taken from the Legislative Building in Olympia, Washington, on Friday and later found in a ditch.
The incident will not stifle the group's message, Gaylor said. Before reports of the placard's recovery, she said a temporary sign with the same message would be placed in the building's Rotunda. Gaylor said a note would be attached saying, "Thou shalt not steal."

"I guess they don't follow their own commandments," Gaylor said. "There's nothing out there with the atheist point of view, and now there is such a firestorm that we have the audacity to exist. And then [whoever took the sign] stifles our speech."

According to the Seattle Times, and as seen in this photo:

Copyright Ellen M. Banner/The Seattle Times

The display consists of a small sign over on the left, near a large nativity scene, and there is supposed to be a menorah around there somewhere. So no, no one has driven Christ or Christmas away from anything. He's still right there, front and center. All we want is equal time.

I want to respond to this somehow, I do. But PZ Myers is calling for us all to take the high road and not declare open season on Nativity scenes. The point is freedom of speech is for everyone.

Personally I think it's fear based. When all you have is a myth that you have to misrepresent in order to even imply that it has any morality at all, threats abound.

Maybe posters nearby. It's a thought.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Five rules for being an adult

Five rules for being an adult. By Annie Lamott. With commentary

1. Have nothing wrong with you.
2. If you do have something wrong with you, don't admit to yourself.
3. If you cannot deny what is wrong with you, hide it from others.
4. If you cannot hide it, at least have the decency to not show up.
5. If you insist on showing up, be ashamed.


They sound horrid on first look. But once you get into them, they make sense.

1. Have nothing wrong with you.

You are an adult now. Dealing with your baggage is your own problem. So deal with it. Get thee to a doctor, a shrink, a spiritual adviser, what have you until your issues are worked out. This includes all the issues coming from/dealing with your deity. No one else is going to fix them for you, you have to do the work.

2. If you do have something wrong with you, don't admit to yourself.

If you have yet to do this work, and a situation comes up, emergent or social or otherwise, please try to ignore your issues for the duration and focus on the situation at hand. This means don't bring them up. Do not discuss your deity (including asking everyone to pray), do not discuss your elation/misery over the most recent election, do not comment on your looks or anyone elses, and so on. Don't even think such things if at all possible, so no hint of it will be picked up on by the people around you.

3. If you cannot deny what is wrong with you, hide it from others.

This is the lite version of #2. If you can't stop thinking it for the duration, at the very least don't share. We don't want to know. We have the situation to focus on.

4. If you cannot hide it, at least have the decency to not show up.

If you can't hide it and cannot or will not stop sharing stay home. This goes out especially to those who follow a deity that requires them to pass judgment on others, and those who have body issues that cause them to pass judgment on others. If my size or who I love or the way I dress or the manner in which I raise my children or how I vote or whether or not I submit to anything is something you feel that strongly about, if it is going to be your main focus, just stay home. Don't bother to come out. The adults have a situation to deal with, we do not have time or energy to put into your issue.

5. If you insist on showing up, be ashamed.

You're screwing up life for the rest of us, and making the situation worse. Really, you're acting terribly childish. You should be ashamed.

(h/t to Maggie @ Group News Blog)

Update: According to Maggie Jochild, in the comments here:
The 5 Rules for Being An Adult are sarcasm, folks. She's pointing out how we try to live by impossible, inhumane standards. It's a case of "root out this beliefs inside you and ditch them", because, as she often points out, perfectionism is mental illness.

Because EVERYONE has something "wrong" with them. I read these as a manifesto against self-hatred, especially with regard to the "things wrong" which are utterly visible in our culture, like being nonwhite, being nonmale, being disabled, looking poor, being a child...
It is sarcasm and needs to be rooted out when it applies to such things as being non-white, non-male, disabled and so on. Things that just can't change, that just are.

In my opinion, however, they still apply when referring to such things as prejudice, sexism, homophobia, fatphobia, overt religiosity, and so on.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Well said