keryx: (Default)
I have to write this story down. It's not only adorable, but emblematic of my family.

Last Friday, when you may or may not have been celebrating Christmas, my mother got up and read the paper. As people often do. She came upon an article about a family with several dogs who'd ended up in a lousy financial situation through a combination of injury and the generally lousy-ness of the economy. The article mentions that the dogs eat a lot - seems all of them do! - and the family is worried about providing for them.

Mom decides we need to take them our "spare" dog food - that is, several large bags and some cans. And, because she is herself, we have to a) do it immediately, that morning, before we go to the annual xmas movie... in an hour, and b) she's not coming with us. People tend not to believe this, but my mother is shy. Introverted, too. She's great at organizing people and making them feel comfortable, but if you look really closely, you can see that it takes effort.

I should mention here that we only know what neighborhood they live in and vaguely what their vehicle looks like. Also, I'm not sure I've yet put on pants when she issues this decision.

So. Dad and I get dressed, by which point mom has a fully developed plan and is already executing it. We all load up the van, and we locate the neighborhood. I read the newspaper article in the car, so we'll at least know the name of the family when we show up at their doorstep. We then drive around until I spot the family's vehicle, and dad goes and tells them we have dog stuff for them (also a small offering for the people), which the dude, dad & I all drop off at their place in about 5 minutes.

Total elapsed time on this entire project? About 40 minutes. Half of which is driving. No big production, no hand-wringing, no pushiness in the direction of the dogs and people we - I hope - helped. And then we went to the movies.
keryx: (anna puppy)
Seriously. Check out the local news article about the rescue's puppy mill dogs. Awesome. I come by it honestly.

If you want a golden, when these dogs are all healthy they'll be swell little dogs, too.
keryx: (anna puppy)
My parents have figured out how to use eBay to sell stuff donated to their rescue. On the off chance any of my LJ friends are the sort of raving dog fans who feel the need to have dog pillows, dog mugs, etc. - well, then. Check out their eBay store for cute dog memorabilia that supports a good cause.
keryx: (Default)
I think this may be interesting to those of you who think about class privilege and class in general, which is probably most of y'all. )

One of the big class-based predictors of academic success is supposed to be the presence of books in your house. My parents both came from factory-working families, but were avid readers (mom read magazines, but was also in school for most of my lower school years, so lots of college textbooks, while dad read assloads of fiction). Both of my parents shared books with me, and I don't just mean the books themselves but conversation about them.

I don't know why I felt the need to point that out, except that a) I was always a big nerd and b) I am now an equally big yuppie. So the research is right in my case.
keryx: (kills fascists)
And, also, just, from me, a wish to treat yourselves and your bodies with tender, attentive, active appreciation. It doesn't matter if your choices are different from mine, I'm wishing that for you. (from [ profile] susanstinson, here)

I got mommed when I went home for the holiday. I don't mean that my mother pushes her perspective or agenda on me in any way, but simply by being my mother her stuff with her body reflects back at me & almost always gets me questioning myself. And rarely in a good way.
keryx: (Default)
When I was 4 or 5, I really wanted a twin. Other than that, I don't recall having a strong desire to have siblings when I was young, and the idea is so foreign to me that I can't even imagine what it's like to be an adult with adult brothers and/or sisters. I imagine I might worry less about what caring for my parents might entail as we all get older - it's more a concern as a single only child, though.

A couple of times recently, people have implied that being an only child somehow sucks, and I'm curious if this is a widely held opinion.
[Poll #1082682]
keryx: (carnival)
My oldest friend, [ profile] snidegrrl, is a day older today.

Happy birthday!
keryx: (pomegranate)
I forgot to get a photo of my dad's dog tattoo, which is awesome. But this is mine.

keryx: (win at life)
I just made the second best pancit I've eaten in my life. And I grew up on Norfolk naval base, so I have eaten a lot of pancit. The best pancit evah? Made by a place in the food court at Waterside. No, really.

Anyhow. Pancit always makes me think about this. About half of my friends until they booted me out of public school in 3rd grade were half-Asian. Half-Filipino, half-Korean, half-Samoan, half-pretty-much-anywhere-there-was-a-US-naval-presence. It wasn't until like college that I realized that was one seriously complicated racial situation, naval housing. Military housing is where the blue-collar folk live. All these boys who join the Navy in their teens, travel around the world, meet exoticised Asian women, bring them home and have cutting-edge (given that you couldn't take a non-white warbride home until the sixties or seventies or something) multi-racial families while retaining pretty conservative working class views on the world.

The military is interesting like that. I wonder how much of my own perspective is colored by growing up with normal being... you know, that.

Of course, at the time, I was FIVE. So what I knew was that all my friends' moms, unlike mine, could cook. They made pancit and lumpia for kids' school things - white people dig pancit. Even my non-cooking midwestern mom picked up a few Filipino recipes.

recipe for second best pancit, in case you're interested )

food thing

Jun. 6th, 2007 10:39 pm
keryx: (Default)
From all my femjays.

What I ate as a kid... or rather, what I remember eating as a kid. Except for my mom's idea of breakfast and my very very sketchy attempt at early vegetarianism, I think we ate okay. I realize reading this that we kinda always put an emphasis on eating well (that is, not so much healthily as tastily), so it makes sense that good food is still a big part of my overpaid yuppie budget. I hadn't really thought about how big a role restaurants play in my family memory. Or how much my kitchen is modeled on my dad's cooking.

When mom and I went out shopping, we'd split a Happy Meal. It was a huge treat. Dad would take me for hash browns at breakfast, and we got those lemon-shaped lemon drops when we had to go to the base together for something. I think, actually, that they sold those at the package (liquor/beer) store. And when mom was out of town, we'd cook all the smelly seafood and green veggies we wanted. Or we'd go places that had specific food associations. The Pottery in Williamsburg had this "pottery meal", which was a mini loaf of bread, mustard, a sausage & a thing of sharp cheese. I remember eating a lot of pineapple at friends' houses (I had a handful of half-Pacific Islander friends).

er, sorry... this is long )


Feb. 12th, 2007 01:55 pm
keryx: (Default)
My throat hurts. I was totally fine, and then went from hey, my throat feels funny to aieeee, the pain in like four hours yesterday.

I must be getting old or soft or something, too, because I am totally happy that my sick didn't catch me until after the Mom'sbirfday trip to simple life porn to buy quilts and eat German food this weekend. And possibly more put out about missing work than missing my hipster Sunday night plans. I hope everyone else had a blast, though.

The yupster playground by my parents, where we took the dogs yesterday, has a miniature rock climing wall and this awesome gymthing that looks like a tensegrity structure. Mom thinks other grownups don't play enough, but it seems like most everyone I know plays all the time.

Maybe I'm just cool like that. But probably not.
keryx: (builders)
There's an interesting article up on Feministe about Kids (girls) and designer clothes in specific and beauty consumerism in general.

Articles like the one Feministe references always sorta bother me. You get people talking about how kids live, and so many of us become stupid.

I disagree with a lot of the comments people make about kids trying to act adult (like Oh, noes, they have Sidekicks and I never had such things and Aieee, the clothes are too sexxay) - those kinds of comments seem upset that kids are different from us-as-kids; they almost seem jealous, you know? They're not growing up too fast so much as they're growing up differently. Kids have always modeled adults, and I'd much rather see an eight year old having conversations just like mom's on her phone than watch her be "just like mom" making dinner and taking care of kids. I think feminism is directly and positively contributing to that change.

Not that Feministe doesn't have a point about introducing consumerism to kids early - I think that's a sign of how much most popular media are driven by the market, though. Kids want to buy stuff cause that's what we think adults want, too. I don't think it's any more appalling coming from a 4 year old than it is coming from me (and yes, I am appallingly stuff-driven at times); the problem isn't specific to kids - they're just imitating what they think adults do.

And of course people reporting on these changes in kids' behavior aren't saying "hey, check out the advances of feminism!" or questioning why we as a culture value stuff acquisition over, say, critical thought - no, they want to show either a) how cute or b) how spoilt kids are. They're neglecting to see children as individuals or even a force/trend/whatever.


Jul. 13th, 2005 11:33 pm
keryx: (factories!)
There is a lot of "folk art" in Amish country that I think of as akin to simple life porn. Like, look at the cute leetle girl in her bonnet with her fuzzy animal! How quaint that she won't go to school beyond 8th grade! It just feels exploitative.

So, I think of all cultural fixation on things Mennonite and Shaker and whatnot as sort of a pornography of simplicity. But there may be more to it - that there's something in this other culture that appeals to our idea of ourselves as living more shallow, technical lives than we want. And maybe we'd like a little more slowness, a little more craft. To be able to spend months with our family sewing a quilt or something.

Cause as a culture we don't really allow for much craft. There's very little interpretation of our own work (not just our jobs, but all work we do) or others' as the work of craftsfolk. Can you even imagine a culture where table bussers and cashiers and computer programmers were all expected to think of their jobs as a meaningful craft - something they could perfect and control? I think that'd be swell.
keryx: (anna puppy)
Also from that barn in Michiana. [ETA: Really, I'm not kidding, it's a cute effing picture!]

Behind this cut is a picture of a thrice lifesize dimensional wooden cow. How can you not click! )
keryx: (giant peach)
While we were in Michiana, we stopped at this sorta touristy sorta Amish place that had this odd fleamarkety thing in an old barn.

And this is what we saw there )
keryx: (tummy)
From the dude, I wish I'd written that department, [ profile] thealicia_w wonders how to breed self-hate out of kidlets.
keryx: (Default)
The comments on one of [ profile] snidegrrl's posts got me thinking about how we choose to educate our kids (among other things). Her post is actually about gender assumptions and childrearing, but she brought up a question a lot of you parents (and potential parents) could help me answer.

What is the best way to educate children if you don't want them indoctrinated to think things like "girls are pretty", "boys are strong" and "everybody's white and has exactly one mommy and daddy"? I'm not talking about - despite what some people may immediately think - using your child as a political tool; rather, I'm thinking about protecting our kids so the choices they make aren't based on the "norm" but on what they want.

I tend to think that homeschooling is the answer (for a variety of reasons), but I don't have kids or even plans for them. So, I'm curious. For those of you who've given this more thought, what do you think are the best schooling options for your [real or hypothetical kids]? And why?

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