Thursday, April 12, 2012

Why I Can't Relate to Ann Romney

I'm probably coming a little late to this party, but today I've been listening to the controversy about Ann Romney giving her husband advice on what women are worried about and Hillary Rosen criticizing her for "never working a day in her life," and Ann Romney criticizing Hillary Rosen for criticizing stay-at-home-moms and the political pundits criticizing Rosen for giving the Romney campaign the "gift" of having women rush to Ann's defense.  

Good stinkin' grief.

Let me be clear:  I am not in any way criticizing stay-at-home moms.  Nor do I believe that having money means that you never experience problems.

But here's the thing.  Staying home with my (hypothetical) kids will never be an option for me.  I don't think I'd even want it, but it will still never be an option.  Having money like Ann Romney's gives you that option, and an infinite number of other options that most of us don't have.  It creates a difference between the Me's of the world and the Ann Romney's that I don't think could ever be overcome.  So HOW DARE she try to speak to the economic concerns of women like the Me's?

And the more I thought about what seems to me to be an insurmountable gap between myself and Mrs. Romney, I began to realize that the same difference exists in many ways between myself and Mrs. Obama.  The two of them -- and Hillarys Clinton and Rosen, and Ruth Bader Ginsberg, and a whole host of other powerful women -- live in a world that doesn't resemble mine in the slightest.  I honestly don't know what those women worry about, but I doubt they worry about paying for gas to get to work, or whether they remembered to turn on the crockpot, or finding time to exercise and do laundry both IN THE SAME DAY.

I was raised by another woman who never had the option to stay home with her kids -- my mother worked every day of her adult life, and continues to do so.  And she was raised by my grandmother, who worked every day of her life.  It doesn't make them any better, or any worse, than those women who can and do make a different decision.  But it makes them women like me.  THEY are the kind of women I can relate to.

And I can't help but think, maybe if the political pundits asked THEM what women are really worried about these days, something might actually get done around here.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

March Reading Round-up

Imagine, if you will, that you find a time machine lying around waiting to be used, and you use it to go back to March 31, 2012.

Why would you use it to go there, you ask?  Because if it was March 31, 2012, I would not be eleven whole days late in posting the March reading round-up.

Gah.  That should tell you something about my March reading, namely that I didn't read anything worth telling you about until it was already April, and we're going to go ahead and sneak some April stuff into the March post because . . . well, because it's my blog and I make the rules!

Okay.  We'll start out with Raising Stony Mayhall, a zombie book, because, don'tcha know, zombies are the new vampires.  If you like zombies, I can tentatively recommend this book, but only tentatively.  In this zombie world, zombies are infected with a virus that makes them temporarily lose their sanity, but after a few days they recover, and are totally sane -- just dead and decomposing.  And that just bugged the heck out of me, because everyone knows it's JUST NOT TRUE.  Zombies are crazy, mindless creatures that eat brains and they shamble, they don't run, and they don't organize into groups that fight for equal rights for zombies.

You know, forget it.  Don't read Raising Stony Mayhall.  Read World War Z, and if you love it, I can recommend some other great zombie books.

Moving on.  I was SO excited about Arcadia.  Lauren Groff wrote a favorite of mine, The Monsters of Templeton, and I just knew this one would be just as good.  If I hadn't expected that, I think I would have found Arcadia to be a good solid book.  It's got hippies, which I like, and hippie commune people, which I LOVE.  But it was kind of predictable, until there was a weird twist near the end that was unpredictable, yes, but also a lame and obvious I-ran-out-of-stuff-for-my-characters-to-do-and-the-book-is-too-short kind of twist.  I wil say, though, that the characterization was great.  I really did care about the main character.  And the portions of the book centering on the commune were fantastic.

At the end of March, spilling over into April, I saw The Hunger Games movie (liked it), which led me to re-read the books (LOVED them), which led me to buy another trilogy which Amazon recomended for Hunger Games readers, called the Chaos Walking trilogy.  First, let me say that these books read kind of like a first, or maybe even second, draft.  An editor realy needed to, well, do some editing.  They're too long, and I got tired of the "we're safe!  But wait --there's the villian behind a tree, so we're not safe!" kind of twists.

But.  The more I read, the more impressed I was by this series.  It's young adult fiction, but with some REALLY adult themes.  The heroes (yes, a bit too much like Katniss and Peeta) try SO hard to do the right thing, and discover that it's hard to figure out what that right thing is, and also that they can't really trust anyone else to tell them what the right thing is, and also that in trying to do that right thing they often do very, very wrong things.  There's alot in here -- politics and class warfare and plain old war and prejudice and free will and truth and I'm sure alot of other themes that I'm forgetting.  As a series, it's a fun read, and it will give you things to think about.  And if you've already read The Hunger Games, it will help with that young-adult-dystopian jonesing.

So, that's March.  Happy reading.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

In Which I Reach Technological Adulthood

I got a grown-up phone for my birthday.  For years, I have been happily using the same phone that my ten-year-old niece has, but I have now graduated to what I understand to be called a smart phone.

Don't ask me what kind it is, because that's too much technological information for me to handle.  It's some kind of Droid something-or-other.  It has a touch screen and I can get on the internet on it, and I can read my Kindle books on it while I'm waiting around in court, and I finally understand how everyone's been "checking themselves in" on Facebook wherever they go.

I find it all to be very exciting.  I shit you not, I tried to check myself in at the Bullitt County Jail the other day, but sadly, it didn't show up as an option and I don't know how to manually enter it.  There must be a way to create your own places, though, because I see people checking in at places like "Our Porch" or "The ______ Farm" or such places.  And somehow, it just seems like fun to me to check in at the Jail.  

Also, I have learned to take pictures with my grown-up phone.  Talia, my good fifteen-year-old friend, showed me how while we were eating sushi the other night.  I'll have to have dinner with her again soon, though, because I don't know how to upload the pictures to the blog.

My boss is trying to get me to start playing Words With Friends, but I'm a little scared.  I like words, alot, actually, but I suck at word games like scrabble.  The words I like never seem to be useful in word games.  "Fortuitous" is one of my favorites, along with "superfluous" and "vitriol," but I'm not sure I could successfully work those into a game.

And I would like to use Pandora to listen to music I like without flipping through  hundred radio stations, but I'm having trouble figuring that out, too.  I tried to make a Carolina Chocolate Drops Station, but for some reason that freaked my phone out and I had to close the app let my phone explode. 

So if you're trying to reach me in the near future, be patient with me.  I'll be trying to respond, all grown-up like, and cussing auto-correct the whole time.