Madwoman Out of the Attic

a feminist trudging forward in a patriarchal world

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Magnet Poetry

Tonight, to celebrate the birth of a new year, I made Mike play a game with me. My choice was the Magnet Poetry game.

Here are some of my creations, using a word bank of about 200 words and 2 minutes:

(subject: love) Full of song you rise and smile as a slow red ocean.

(subject: romantic evening) The naked flower of night drinks us up together. I slowly believe.

(subject: telemarketers) My dad says the cold song of a monster sounds again.

(subject: winning the lottery) I saw yesterday a sick stormy mountain of joy. Wet emotions thunder through me coldly.

Not bad, eh? I was quite proud of myself!

The Great Exponent Exchange

Yesterday I finally let go of the old exponents I had been clinging to for about 3 years. Jana let me borrow them, and I had put off returning them for the longest time. But though it was painful to part with those exponents, at least in return I got a few of the more recent issues that I had gotten from the retreat a couple of years ago. Jana had accidentally packed them into her bag when we were preparing to leave the retreat, and i had always figured I'd get them from her when I gave back her old ones.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

My hand has gone places...

...I never imagined it would. Warning: stop reading now if you don't like baby poop stories.

We recently started feeding baby cereal. All well and good, until baby stopped pooping 5 or 6 days ago. So we called the doctor and she said we should give the baby a suppository. I have never in my life had any experience with suppositories, so I was quite horrified to read the directions on the box. Mike refused to do the dirty deed, but he did pin the baby down while I inserted. And held it there for 15 minutes. Until he started pooping. Nuff said.

But the saga continues. He really didn't poop that much, so we decided to give him another one last night. Mike got the honors this time. But he didn't have to hold it there very long since baby somehow mysteriously sucked the depository into himself. And then.... nothing. We waited and waited, but nothing came out. We were totally worried about that disappearing suppository, imagining that it had gotten into his small intestines, was clogging his system, etc. But a couple of hours later, poop explosion!

We're hoping all will be.... regular.... with baby soon.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Stay At Home Mom

For the last week, I've played the stay at home mom role. Mike goes to work for 8 or 9 hours, and I watch the baby all day during my winter break. I've discovered that it's not all that fun. For the first couple of days it was fun to go out and shop all day, pushing the baby around. But having spent hundreds of dollars frivolously, I've discovered that one can only go shopping a few days in a row without getting bored. And baby gets beastly in the afternoon, so I try fruitlessly to entertain him and keep him happy until Mike gets home. Yesterday at 4 PM I called Mike to ask when he was getting home because I was done.

Makes me think twice about quitting my teaching job.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Six Word Memoir

On NPR yesterday, I listened to a story about a six word memoir contest that is going on right now. Some of the ones mentioned on the radio were:

  • Fat fired lawyer loves three-legged cat.
  • Big hair, big heart, big hurry.
  • Never should have bought that ring.

So of course, Mike and I had to come up with some of our own memoirs. He came up with a fantastic one for me:

"Three degrees, one baby, still unsatisfied."


I also toyed around with something like this, 'Mormon feminist loves husband, hates patriarchy.'

The possibilities are endless...

Sunday, December 17, 2006

My Talk on God's Love

Today I spoke in church on the love of God. This was a great topic because it is so broad that I was able to hit on all my favorite scripture stories.

My talk seemed to be well received. One old lady actually told me that it was the best talk she's ever heard in church. Whoohoo! That made me feel good.

I was going to post it here, but it's so huge that I think I'll post in in chunks over at Exponentblog.

I should mention that Mike has been a rock for the last few days. He threw his back out a few days ago and has been walking like an old man ever since. And even though he's so incapacitated, he kindly watched baby E all yesterday so I could finish up and polish my talk. And he even took him home teaching today because I wanted to go see the Orange County Women's Chorus right after church. They were fun, but I have to say that they were blown away by the stellar Gay Men's Chorus that also sang a few songs. I've never in my life heard such an awesome version of The Little Drummer Boy.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Global Writeathon for Human Rights

Last night I gathered with some members of my humanitarian group to write letters. Within an hour and a half, we had over 50 done.

December 10 is the anniversary of the day the United Nations adopted its resolution on human rights. In honor of this occassion, people from all over the world gathered yesterday to write for human rights.

We sent letters to prisoners of conscience throughout the world. Like to the blind Chinese man who helped villagers organize to launch a protest against their local government, which was forcing women to undergo sterilizations and abortions. Like to the Nobel Peace Price nominne from Uzbekistan, who is in prison for speaking out against a massacre that was perpetrated by her government. Like to the Evangelical Christian minister from Eretria, who is in prison for practicing his religion.

Our 50 cards and letters may not do much to help these prisoners of conscience, but combined with all the other thousands of letters from all over the world, they may just win these people better food, fewer beatings, and a speedier trial or release. I hope so.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Mike is funny

1. Yesterday, Mike decided he deserved the indulgence of a taco bell run for lunch, and asked me if I wanted anything. I replied "2 tacos, no lettuce, and a small diet coke." Mike's face scrunched up, and he started to complain about the diet coke, saying did I realize that a $1.50 coke was a 500% markup from a can of coke purchased at Costco. He perservered for a while, but I was adament that I love my fountain drinks.

Mike grudgingly in the end decided to buy my diet coke for me. Unfortunately, however, he pulled away from the drive thru window before the lady could hand it to him. By the time he remembered his $1.50 that was so frivolously spent, it was too late to return for it. Hah!

2. We took Evan for his 4 month old checkup yesterday. The doctor told us it was time to start him on rice cereal. Mike replied, 'ok, so we start feeding him Rice Crispies...." The doctor got a good chuckle out of that one and says that she's going to put that in a book someday. I giggled all the way out to our car.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

2006 Family Newsletter

Here's the rundown on our year...

The biggest news is that, in a close vote among some acquaintances, Caroline won control of Mike’s hair for a few months. “Can’t she love me for who I am?” Mike asked in a futile attempt at more votes for his side. Caroline has relished every minute of this control, as she has not appreciated his “3 on the top, 2 on the sides” haircut which he has gotten every month the last decade. Mike, on the other hand, has marveled at the new terminology he is learning. Did you know there is a difference between product and styling?

The second biggest news is that E was born on August 10. He weighed in at 7 lbs. 8 oz., which you wouldn’t guess now given the chunky little legs he has developed since then. He is, for the most part, a good natured little guy. And he is very alert, as you can see in the photos. He likes to be upright and looking around. Unfortunately, he especially likes to look at the television. We have not yet determined whether this was inherited from his mother's side of the family or his father's side of the family. It might be from both. In any event, his two most distinctive traits are his cleft chin (definitely from mom) and his large, expressive eyes.

E is growing fast and enjoying life. His favorite activities are staring at the dining room ceiling fan lights and drooling—not necessarily at the same time. He also enjoys a mean game of patty-cake, which he usually plays with his dad.

You might be surprised to hear that E’s arrival has actually caused Caroline and Mike to alter their schedules. Caroline, who teaches Latin at a local high school, stays home while Mike teaches at UC Irvine in the morning. We then switch, with Mike at home and Caroline teaching during 5th and 6th periods. Finally, we trade off duties at night, with one person usually handing E to the other immediately after E has dirtied his diaper but before that diaper has been changed. Mike did get in enough work before E’s birth to be mentioned in a front page L.A. Times article (3 July 2006) on the economics of happiness. Check it out!

Mike and Caroline both enjoy parenting much more than expected. Mike enjoys the interactions with E: talking to him and watching him develop and mature. Caroline really enjoys the shopping for baby clothes. But it is not all rosy, of course. E’s arrival is forcing Caroline and Mike to confront the different expectations of their children. The sharpest divide is over E’s future. Caroline wants E to grow up and found an international humanitarian organization to save mistreated animals, while Mike wants E to be a game show host. Negotiations remain fierce, and we have asked Jimmy Carter to act as mediator.

The saddest news of the year is that we had to put to sleep our beloved pug Sibyl on November 17. She was the best behaved of our dogs, and we will always remember her passion for licking our feet, how she would “woo woo” when we came home, how her tongue became sandpapery when she slept, and, most of all, her tremendously large under bite. Sibyl is survived by our other two dogs—pug Sophia and half beagle, half chihuahua, and half servant of the devil Eliza. To be honest, we have not scientifically proven that Eliza is half chihuahua, but there is no doubt about her other heritage. Eliza enjoys jogging with Mike. Sophia just does her best to fight off Eliza’s repeated attempts to achieve dominance. Sort of like how Mike used to try to fend off Caroline’s attempts to achieve the dominant status.

Our family wishes you the best for this holiday season. Thanks for your love and friendship.

Happy holidays, and please keep in touch,

Mike, Caroline, and X (that’s E)