Sunday, February 28, 2010
I've been traveling for about two weeks, first on our youth group mission trip to Brooklyn, and then to Phoenix for the meetings of the Commission for Women, which I moderate. I had internet access, but only intermittently, and blog-writing was just not a priority. I'm back now, but guess what? I start jury duty tomorrow. So, who knows when I'll be back into regular posting. But I popped by to note one thing: being essentially without the news for two weeks is an odd thing. I have NO IDEA what's going on in the world right now. And while it's pretty easy to get back into the swing of work, catching up on the wider world is like waking up with no coffee after a long, much-needed, deep sleep: it takes a while, and it isn't pretty.
Posted by Stacey at 6:27 PM
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Today I went ice skating.
We've decided to do this staff bonding thing at church where we do activities together once a month, and this month it was ice skating. I think of myself as a fairly good skater. I've been doing it all my life. In my family, when you can walk, you learn to skate. I used to coach my brother's hockey team. However...
I am now TERRIBLE.
This is not an understatement. I felt like I had never been skating before in my life. And I could blame it on a number of factors - it's been at least a couple of years, I was in rented figure skates rather than my own hockey skates, they weren't sharpened, blah blah blah - but the fact is, I can't skate very well. I am stiff and jerky and awkward. I got better with time, I loosened up, but this is not second nature anymore. Suddenly, I am afraid of falling.
So afraid that it makes me stiff and jerky and awkward...which in turn makes it more likely that I will fall, because seriously - it's a little difficult to be fluid and graceful when your knees are locked and your toes are curled up inside your skates in panic about catching a toe pick and doing a header onto the ice.
I wonder when this happened, when I began to fear falling, getting hurt, failing. I wonder why that seems to be about much more than skating.
Posted by Stacey at 2:54 PM
Monday, February 08, 2010
Thanks to the wonder of Super Bowl advertising, I have finally figured out why it is so difficult to have a satisfactory relationship with a man: they use a thin veneer of depressed apathy to mask their seething anger that they have to be coerced to wake up, go to work, clean themselves and their homes, and be courteous to the people around them, and their trade-off for all this emasculation is - wait for it - a DODGE CHARGER.
First of all, if you can't wake up, care for your pets, keep up basic hygienic practices, bring in an income, and put your underwear into a laundry basket without my intervention, kindly scamper back to your cave and leave me alone. But if all you get in exchange for a life of such utter desperation is a car, and the car you choose is a Dodge Charger, well. My respect for you is such that I might just ask you to carry my lip balm.
I think this might have been the Super Bowl commercial that annoyed me most, but it's kind of hard to choose. One scene of men marching around in their underwear while being encouraged to return to their grunting neanderthal roots is kind of indistinguishable from another, as are the women portrayed as nagging harpies. Much was made of the Focus on the Family anti-abortion ad, which I thought was a little odd and out of touch with their target audience but tastefully done. What really disturbed me was the Focus on the Family-esque views of masculinity, femininity, gender roles, and relationships that permeated the rest of the advertising - right down to a painfully stereotypical gay couple slapping each other over Megan Fox (one of the best parts of my evening was that I was sitting in a room with people who asked, "Should I know who that is?")
In case my sarcasm isn't dripping loudly enough, I don't actually believe that men are incapable of being functional adults (although some of them insist on proving me wrong), which I believe to be a more important question than whether they're capable of being masculine, whatever that means. Speaking of which, when I think of a "manly man," the first image that pops into my mind is totally of a guy wearing Dockers. "Wear The Pants" indeed.
Posted by Stacey at 11:13 AM
Wednesday, February 03, 2010
A friend shared with me today the lyrics of a traditional Irish song called "Grace," which I will now share with you:
As we gather in the chapel here in old Kilmainham Jail
I think about these past few weeks, oh will they say we've failed?
From our school days they have told us we must yearn for liberty
Yet all I want in this dark place is to have you here with me
Oh Grace just hold me in your arms and let this moment linger
They'll take me out at dawn and I will die
With all my love I place this wedding ring upon your finger
There won't be time to share our love for we must say goodbye
Now I know it's hard for you my love to ever understand
The love I bare for these brave men, the love for my dear land
But when Pádraic called me to his side down in the GPO
I had to leave my own sick bed, to him I had to go
Now as the dawn is breaking, my heart is breaking too
On this May morn as I walk out, my thoughts will be of you
And I'll write some words upon the wall so everyone will know
I loved so much that I could see his blood upon the rose.
Now, I realize this is supposed to be touching, and that I'm probably supposed to swoon while I think something like, "Oh, isn't this so sad, he loves her so very much, but must leave her for a higher calling from which he will never return." A lot of Celtic music, which I enjoy a great deal, is written on the theme of the couple tragically parted when the man marches off to kill the English. (I don't truly know if that is what this song is about, but I can make a reasonable assumption based on the fact that the song is Irish).
Well. I can be as sappy as the next girl from time to time, but please. How many songs do there need to be in which a man avidly declares his love in one breath, and in the next announces that he loves his country/his honor/his friend Padraic more? There is always something the 'hero' loves more, that keeps him from sticking around and being reliable for this woman he's tied down with his declarations and promises and rings. How is that romantic? Having actual obligations and deciding to stick it out even though you can't be in the same place is one thing. "I love you....but now I'm going to demonstrate the higher value that I have for adventure and impressing my friends by ditching you, and hope that you find it manly and honorable" is another.
No, I'm not feeling cynical or bitter today, why do you ask?
I am pondering a song declaring a long list of things that I love more than any person, which I will somehow make out to be a love song - except that it won't work, because somehow it's not so romantic when it's a woman who is more committed to her work, friends, country, whatever. Bah. Until that song gets written, listen to this:
Posted by Stacey at 11:10 AM