Professor J's Place

28 February, 2008

To Mary

Dear Mama,

Today is the fourth anniversary of your death. It was a different life for me--almost a world away--and just yesterday.

This weekend at the grand opening party, I thought of you so often. You loved art and music and serving people food. Cousin Butch and his wife Susan were at the party, and they talked about you quite a bit--Butch told me about a coat you bought him fifteen or twenty years ago that he still wears. It was a thrift store treasure, and he loves it. And Susan talked about your cooking and your serving them meals back when Butch was still in law school. They both loved you.

Some people at the party made a fuss over the food I put out--how nice it looked, how good it was. It was all very simple stuff. I kept thinking that you would have done it better. But I was proud. It is one of the ways I like to think that I am like you.

And I am like you. Like you, I love to cook for other people, I love a good laugh, I love to read. Like you, I'll start singing at the drop of a hat, and I can rarely stop until I've sung the whole song. Like you, I love animals, and I talk and sing to them on a regular basis. I love a good bargain, I love to give "the perfect gift," and I love art, poetry, and music. I love. I am a passionate woman.

Like you, I struggle with depression. I am quick to anger. I can misinterpret the most innocent statements or actions. I isolate myself. I am not always easy to live with.

I have not "turned into" you, as we so often joke about our mothers, but I cannot miss seeing you in some elements of my personality.

I miss you so, Mama.



25 February, 2008

The B Word

Remember Elizabeth Dole's comment about Hillary Clinton when both of their husbands were running for president? "I can't say what she is, but it rhymes with 'witch'."

This question is as old as feminism. Why is it that strong, assertive, and most importantly, successful women are called bitches? Why is it that there is no masculine equivalent to that word? Because a strong, assertive, successful man is just a man!

I think Tina Fey may have been taking part in a time-honored tradition: reclaiming an insulting word. Back in the 1980's, lesbians decided that the word lesbian was not an insult, but a neutral descriptor. And dyke? A Dyke is a strong, assertive, political lesbian. If I take that word, you can't hurt me with it. At least that's the idea.

So, for me, Tina Fey was claiming a word that has been used and used and used against women and saying, yes. Yes, I am a bitch. I am a strong, assertive, political woman.

Me too.

Oh, yeah, and she was being funny, too.

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24 February, 2008

Me Too! Endorsing Hillary Clinton

"Women have come so far as feminists that they don't feel obligated to vote for a candidate just because she's a woman. Women today feel perfectly free to make whatever choice Oprah tells them to."

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Grand Opening!

We had the most beautiful day for the opening! It was sunny and warm (in the seventies), and we had a wonderful turn out. The above picture is one of the few minutes I was able to spend with Susan--basically, I grabbed her from out of a group of women and asked one of them to take our picture. I'm always thinking of you, bloggy friends. Aren't we cute in our orange shirts?

The walk in crowd was substantial. It was a gorgeous day and there were three conventions in town. And, we had these guys. . .

Susan hired these two lovely men to play music. They are both established local musicians who often play with Jim Cullum ("Live from the Riverwalk" for you NPR listeners). They played a bunch of jazz standards, and they pulled the people in from all over La Villita.

We also had many people from the arts community and a few of our friends stop in to wish Susan well. She felt loved and affirmed, I believe, which is worth a great deal.

And, I got two offers for catering parties--so I guess the refreshments went off well. Thanks for your good thoughts, friends!

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22 February, 2008

Another Link: For South Texans

If you're anywhere near San Antonio tomorrow, I would like to invite you to the grand opening of Susan's Gallery.

We'll have food, music, and, of course, art. I'll be the one pouring wine, refilling the trays, and generally looking like she wishes she were better in crowds. Do stop by and say hello!

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21 February, 2008

Don't Cry for Me, Argentina

The truth is, I'm very happy.

I am sorry I made it sound like the lack of civil rights is making me sad. I am actually blissed out.

Would I like civil rights? Yes! Do I think it is time for some politicians to grow spines and stand up for my rights? Yes! Do I think it is time for me to fight for my rights as a woman and as a lesbian? Yes!

Thank you all, again, for your support. I would especially like to thank Mrs. G. for sacrificing and having a piece of cake for our love. Personally, after the Valentine's day feast, I went back on Weight Watchers, so no cake for me--at least not for awhile.

love ya!

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20 February, 2008

A Link

Head on over to Minnesota Matron for some of that Old Time Feminism. She reminds me that we've work to be done on many fronts.

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Counting my Blessings

A few years ago, Texas held a constitutional referendum to protect the institution of marriage from the scourge of homosexuality. I expected the amendment to pass. After all, this is Texas. What I did not expect was that the amendment passed with seventy-five percent of the vote. Seventy-five percent. I was hurt.

And both the major candidates for the democratic nomination in 2008 are against gay marriage. They have to be against gay marriage to win. It hurts.

But it helps that when I post about my commitment to Susan, you sweet souls act as witness to our love and promise your support. It really did turn into the virtual Quaker wedding that Jozet proposed. Susan wrote a response to all of you at the bottom of the First Comes Love post in which she says she wants to print out all of your responses to read when she needs to be affirmed that there are sweet, smart, funny, and supportive people out there. It's a good idea.

So, thank you for being my blog community. It means the world to me.

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13 February, 2008

First comes love. . .

Then comes doing our level best to destroy the family.

Susan and I sat cross-legged on our bed last night and swore our undying love for one another. No witnesses, no music, no officials; just two happy gals staring into one another's eyes. I am very happy. It's funny, wearing this ring has made me a little self-conscious; I spent the day feeling like I had a neon sign on my forehead that said, "Look at my finger!" My office mate Mark said he felt the same way after he got married. Symbols are powerful things for English majors.

Now if only I could claim her on my health insurance.

"We learn to love by loving." Iris Murdoch

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06 February, 2008

Holy Shit! I am going to get a job washing dishes for a living!

Excerpt from student paper today:

Being politically correct is a way that we speak here in America so that we don’t offend any whining babies. Only pathetically weak people that don’t have the balls to say what they feel and mean are politically correct [idiots]. Society and the media have made it to where people are now afraid to say what they actually mean. Comedians are now the only people who actually speak the truth about society. Except now even Saturday Night Live wont put anything that is not politically correct for fear that some left wing idiot will throw a fit a make NBC apologize.

At this point in her reading of this cogent argument, my boss said, "does he realize you will be reading this paper?"

Oh yes. And it gets better!

Today’s society has become way to obsessed with how things need to be right and to make people feel better. The correct term these days for garbage man is a sanitation engineer. No, a garbage man is no kind of engineer he has no college degree from an engineer college. There fore he should not be able to call himself an engineer to make himself feel better. If he want to have a respectable job title then he should go to college and earn a degree where he can actually say hes an engineer.

Do I
have to say (sic)?

The one word that completely blows my mind and is absolutely ridiculous is how feminist want women to be spelled, womYn. Are you kidding me? You can’t just decide to change how you spell woman, that’s the most insane thing I’ve ever heard of. Someone needs to either get a life or they need them to find themselves a man.

Need I say more? You can imagine me, sitting at my desk, trying to keep a kind face, and telling my student, who sits innocently--inches from my man-hating, humorless, womynly knee--that he was going to have to rewrite this essay to be an argument, rather than a rant.

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Everything Reminds Me of My Dog: lyrics and credit

Hi all, that wonderful song is by Jane Siberry. Here's a link to the lyrics. I'm sorry I didn't properly cite the song before. I don't know who the lovely Jake is-I found him on you tube.

05 February, 2008

Dog songs

Laura was hoping I had posted The Puppy Song. Well, this isn't it, but I do love it.

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I've missed you

I've been missing for days and days. Heck, I haven't even been reading blogs! First, I was over at Susan's NEW GALLERY helping her get ready to open last Friday. And then I was grading papers like a mad woman, trying to catch up on my work. I'm almost caught up, so I thought I'd drop by to say hi, and I've missed you all.

Okay, and I'm on a Harry Nilsson kick these days. I remember being prostrate on the floor with the stereo speakers inches from my ears listening to this song over and over again. Rock and Roll! (It's almost enough to make you forget about Edwards pulling out of the race).

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