Saturday, May 28, 2005

Why I'm raising the hypothetical childrens in a cave (Part 1)

No need for this crap in a cave.

Bad cell phone reception there.

Home/ Maker

I just made a skirt. Kinda sorta. To be more precise, I took a pillowcase, cut off a couple inches, sewed a hem-like thing, and snuck some yarn in the hem-like thing to make a drawstring. From far away it looks like it was made by a five-year old girl, and from close-up it looks like it was made by a five-year old boy. But, hey, it's mine. Had I not spent last week ragging on Bust I might be able to say that its DIY aesthetic was really a feminist (post-feminist?) statement, but instead I'll just admit it: I want to know how to sew. I really do. I'm not aiming for a complete Vogue pattern lifestyle, and I'm willing to walk away from the whole hipster-knitter thing with neither bitterness nor longing, but I would like to be able to sew a couple of basics. Curtains, for example, seem like a good place to start. And it'd be nice to be able to rehabilitate almost-perfect things from thrift stores. A begininer sewing machine is cheaper than an iPod, which is also encouraging. So I decided I should start small, and small I started, doing the whole thing w/ my dinky travel sewing kit from the front desk at work, and I may even wear it tomorrow, if the weather and my self-esteem hold.

Here's where I have to be honest, though.

It's not just sewing.

I live in a nesting fantasyland.

I could blame it on the fact that, starting in 2 weeks, Beloved Fiance and I are going to be nomads for 2 months, and I'm experiencing anxiety over our not having a home, but I think it's both deeper and shallower than that. For an empowered career woman with a fairly messy apartment, this is going to be a shocking confession, but I just really like thinking about housework. I don't nearly enjoy doing housework as much, but I find imagining it really soothing. Or watching it on television. Or reading about it. Or really, really reading about it.

In the way that I daydreamed about hanging at the mall as a 10-year-old, or keg parties at 15, now I think about having a washing machine in our apartment. Owing a vacuum cleaner. Painting the walls. Planting a garden.

And, yeah, sewing my own clothes, at least every once in a while.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005


Bleh. I wish I had more interesting things to say about being sick except bleh, but bleh's about where I'm at right now. Got the cold a week ago up in Boston and had been priding myself on dealing with it stoically until Friday night when the bastard decided to whomp me in the head. And chest. And throat. And, for a time, the ears, although that seems blessedly shortlived.

So now I'm a full-fledged snot monster, staying home from work and wishing (as I have on sick days for the past 20 years) that we had cable. Beloved Fiance also has caught said cold and there's an unfortunate run on the sympathy supply in the household. It hasn't yet devolved into an "I'm more pathetic! (cough, cough)" "No, I'm more pathetic! (sniffle, look forlorn)" fistfight, but give us time. He's got the moral highground advantage since I gave the cold to him, but I can do a better job of impersonating tubercular movie stars of the '30s, so I'd put the odds at even.

The only other news of note is that it looks like BF's cousin is getting married this summer (congratulations!) and we'll be attending 3 weddings in 4 weeks. I think this means that when I get better I get to go shopping. That's something to look forward to. Oh, and I'm so totally over Bust magazine. I keep thinking it will be awesome since it's published by former Sassy people and Sassy is one of the big reasons that I made it through the Mean Girls years with a sense of humor and a decent record collection. But Bust, well, it's kind of a, you know . . .

Look, I am absolutely these people's target demographic and that's what sucks me in. Their covers are like a list of things/people/ stuff I've been thinking about (PJ Harvey, Eddie Izzard, Sandra Oh . . .) and they aim to put the femme back in feminist, which is peachy by me. But somehow the actual articles are always really lame. "Hey, doesn't being pro-choice rock?" "Yeah, totally. And I made my shirt out of old napkins." Put it together with the crochet-your-own-vibrator-cozy ads in the back, and I just start to feel very old. I mean, in my book it's dandy to think a lot about women's rights and to want to wear kitschy faux-vint clothes and gobs of eyeliner, but these folks seem to condense the two. And, honey, you're not helping women in the Sudan by cutting your bangs short and wearing a poodle skirt with your tattoo. You're just not. At the end of the day, it's a lot more Suicide Girl than Riot Grrl, and I remember the early '90s too well to buy in.

Sunday, May 08, 2005


I'm sick of meeting ex-Catholics.

I saw the headline yesterday on the front page of the Baltimore Sun, while leaving CVS, and I didn't stop to read it because I knew it would make me mad.

So I waited until today, until I was done having a truly lovely weekend and needed to actually get down to the business of working, to check on it. And the headline, it seems, was right. As the New York Times, in their incontrovertible New York Times way, put it, "Vatican is said to force Jesuit off magazine."

And, yes, okay, maybe they didn't force him off, maybe they just politely said, "Hey, you should move on to other things now," and yes, being a priest means obedience, it means going where someone tells you to go, in the hopes that it's also where Some One tells you to go.

But still, it makes me mad and it makes me scared. The story, in brief, concerns Father Thomas Reese, SJ who was the editor of America magazine (which I'm only familiar with because I liked to roam around the periodical room of my college library. It was under "A," so I found it easily.) Father Reese apparently published articles with pro- and con- positions about things like gay priests and giving communion to politicians who were pro-choice. And now he's not the editor there anymore.


I'm sick of meeting ex-Catholics.

I'm sick of people like Jack Miles who go from writing really fascinating books on theology to writing snide and smug essays about how lame the church is and how glad they are they've left it. I'm sick of conversations like the one I had last night with an intelligent, articulate young woman about how meaningful she found the Catholic church when she was younger but now she's grown up and realized it's wrong and harmful and is so glad she left.

There is such a need in this country and in the world for smart, passionate people (especially clergy and involved laypeople) to debate, discuss, and argue these issues. To press for change while holding on to what is holy. And, if (and I know it's an IF) someone who was doing these things as a priest, is getting censured, I don't know what else to do but be mad.

I'm so sick of meeting ex-Catholics.