Dec 30, 2008

Moving to the Country; Gonna Eat a Lot of Peaches.

Since last Christmas (which was spent with Trevor's family), Trevor and I had been planning on going to California to see my family for Christmas this year. However, we found out sometime mid-December that Trevor would have to work Christmas Day, so that plan seemed like it wouldn't happen. But at the last second, we found out he could get it off (thanks to his ability to make friends with his supervisors), so we rented a car and drove down to California to surprise my family for Christmas. We arrived shortly before Christmas Eve dinner and my mother died of happiness as expected and it was a grand time.

During this trip, Trevor and I spent a good deal of time discussing moving somewhere. Generally to whatever place we happened to be driving through (with a lot of emphasis on Vegas, since we were stuck in traffic there for at least an hour), but the two main factors were: we like warm weather and political/religious/cultural diversity. We do not get those in Utah. We were pretty set on moving as we drove through Nevada and discovered that it wasn't butt-freezing cold ever. I knew we had to move during a tour of Ridgecrest when Trevor expressed amazement at how many non-LDS churches there were in town (in Utah, you're either atheist or Mormon).

I've lived here for almost as long as I've lived anywhere in my life ("here" referring to Utah County; a move from Provo to American Fork doesn't really count as a move, since we still hang out with essentially the same people and the culture and climate are essentially the same). I think the longest I've ever lived in one place at one time was five years between the 6th and 10th grades in Ridgecrest. I'm almost at four-and-a-half years in Utah. And feeling antsy.

Trevor's whole life has been spent in Utah and Salt Lake Counties, so moving somewhere completely different is a little more intimidating to him (I don't mean that in a derogatory way, he's not naive or scared or anything, just inexperienced when it comes to life outside of northern Utah), but he seems to have warmed up to the idea significantly of late.

And so begins the research. Here is a list of things to consider (that I haven't run by Trevor, so maybe he'll differ on some of these, but I think it stands fairly accurate):

Things we care about
  • no/little snowfall (I'm more fond of snow than Trevor, but both of us agree that we would be fine/really happy without it)
  • well-educated population
  • job availability (both of us have the most experience working in the tech industry, but I'm sure we can find good work in any "growing community")
  • affordable housing that is not next door to a crack dealer
  • good public transportation
  • political diversity (liberal-leaning is preferable to conservative-leaning, but anywhere diverse is great)
  • vibrant music scene
  • personality of a town/city (we have several personalities we would be happy with, but we would prefer for the place has to have something unique to the feel of it)
  • air quality/water quality
  • decent amount of things to do (museums, theaters, restaurants, libraries, parks) (outdoorsy/athletic things to do will be taken into consideration as well, but aren't as important)
  • pretentiousness (most pretentious places are probably already ruled out with the "affordable housing" requirement, but it is something that will absolutely not be tolerated)
  • decent population of people in their 20s
Things we don't care about
  • hot weather (both of us are fine with 100+ degrees).
  • professional sports in the area
  • fabulous shopping (decent options are necessary, obviously, but we're fine without a plethora of designer outlets at our fingertips)
  • tax rates of different states
  • physical attractiveness of the general population
Any suggestions?

Dec 23, 2008

Office Christmas Luncheon-rrific

The office I work at has approximately 25 employees. Four of us are female. Approximately three of us are under the age of 30. I am the only female under the age of 40. This has its advantages and disadvantages.

Advantage: I am, by far, the most fashionable person in the office.

Disadvantage: At office events, I tend to stand by myself while a bunch of 45-year-old men talk about whatever 45-year-old men talk about.

I spent today's office party pretending to be occupied with my food, standing near a conversation about college football desperately wracking my brains for something I could say to join their little circle. Eventually I caught wind of a video game conversation across the room and figured I'd have better luck with that (the football conversation was initially chosen because I figured I'd be more likely to have something to say there than in the the house prices conversation or the let's-recall-the-plot-of-every-Bond-film-ever conversation), so I migrated. But even that showed no promise, as the emphasis was on shooter games that came out 5+ years ago, so I'd only heard of a few of them and played none of them. There were brief glimmers of hope from time to time, but the only times games I have played before were mentioned, it was in passing (when a game was described as being "open world, like World of Warcraft", I wanted to scream "I can hold my own in a WoW conversation better than probably any other game! Please continue this thread!", but no such luck). I never said a word.

And now I am back at my desk, as the luncheon continues downstairs. I'd just rather do my job than try to make friends with my coworkers.

Dec 19, 2008

Black Smoke Siberian: Mission Accomplished!

My cat Lyric is a very unique cat in looks and personality. I know most people would say this about their pet, but anybody who knows Lyric knows it's especially true for him. I've been on a quest to pinpoint his breed ever since we got him. Not that I think he's a pure-bred show cat or anything (we got him through PetsMart Charities for $85), but he's unique enough that I've always been pretty sure that he has some pedigree blood in him. I haven't been searching diligently or anything, but for some time now, when I'd get bored with anything else I could do on the internet, I'd read about cat breeds and try to find something that sounded like him.

I had a breakthrough yesterday when I discovered that the cat fancier's term for fur like Lyric's (we've always called it "wolf fur") is "smoke". A smoke cat is a cat with hairs that are white on the inside and colored on the ends (like a natural blonde who dyed her hair darker a couple months ago and hasn't touched up her roots since). I normally refer to Lyric as a gray cat, but the proper term is "black smoke" because his real color is black, he's just missing pigment near the roots. (Cat trivia: cats come in red smoke, calico smoke, tabby smoke, etc. as well).

At this point, I read up on cats that come in black smoke and the description of Siberians jumped out immediately. He seemed to fit the description of the basics (like face shape and build), but when I got into specifics, he seems downright typey. The fur of a Siberian will get much thicker in the wintertime; we've definitely noticed Lyric getting fluffier the last month or so. Siberians are known to get along with other cats and unknown humas exceptionally well; Lyric has never had trouble with this (it took Julius a while to get used to Lyric when we first got him, but none of it was Lyric's fault). A Siberian cat will let you "hold him like a doll"; Lyric totally lets me do this (so much so that I've thought for a long time that he probably has some Ragdoll in him). The clincher for me was that several sites described Siberians as having a "dog-like personality". We've been saying this about Lyric for ages (he is a wolf cat in looks and personality). The only thing that didn't seem to fit: Siberians are supposed to be fairly quiet cats, and Lyric is one of the loudest cats of all time, but that seems minor, as the noise factor wasn't a major part of any Siberian descriptions I read.

I started looking at pictures the internet provided of black smoke Siberians (and compared them to other pictures of black smoke cats, because I'm a carfeul researcher like that), and there's no doubt in my mind that Lyric is very closely related to these (I wish I had a picture of Lyric himself, but I don't have a camera):

A very Lyric position:
A little browner than Lyric, but I bet he looked a lot like this as a kitten:
Santa Lyric:This one looks EXACTLY like Lyric (in the summer), If you told me this is a picture of him, I'd believe you:Old Lyric (especially if he continues his eating habits):
Lyric when he lets his ear hair grow out:

Most of the cats in the pictures above are pure-bred and would easily sell for $900+. Siberians are rare in the US (they weren't imported from Russia until after the Cold War) and the black smoke variety is particularly rare. I'm glad we got Lyric the way we did (saving a cat from euthanization > paying tons of money for a pet). I just love him.

Note: This post is essentially about how great Lyric is and I just want to mention that I love my other cat, Julius Caesar, just as much as I love Lyric. Let nobody accuse me of favoritism. And it may be one of the most common cat types, but isn't he an adorable domestic shorthair red mackerel tabby?(The picture is genuine Julius. Thank you MacKenna and facebook.)

Dec 18, 2008


When I got off work yesterday, I absentmindedly typed "/logout" into the field I was in, waited a good five seconds, realized that nothing was going to happen, looked around in fear that someone had noticed my shame, then logged off my computer in the usual Ctrl+Alt+Delete fashion.

I don't even play WoW that much.

Dec 15, 2008

Ummm...I'm THAT white.

On Friday I hosted an ugly sweater party and I posted about Stuff White People Like. Two days after this, the Stuff White People Like blog is updated with: #118 Ugly Sweater Parties.

Dec 12, 2008

How White Are You?

I recently came across a book titled Stuff White People Like. It's pretty brilliant. Here's the complete list from the book and my honest evaluation of how white I am.
Conclusion #1: I hate how true this is.

Conclusion #2: My ex-boyfriend, Tim Boisvert, is the whitest person on earth. I couldn't believe how many things on this list were things I'd heard him rave about.

Dec 9, 2008

Man, I Feel Like a Woman.

1) I'm having a Christmas party this Friday. As it is a party I'm hosting, there is dressing up involved (what's the point of a party if you wear something you would wear normally?), and "festive attire" is highly encouraged. Meaning the most horribly Christmas-y things you can find. As I was going through my clothes Saturday to see what my options were, I realized I have at least four viable outfit options. I told Trevor about this and he just kind of looked at me and said "You're acting like I should be surprised by this." And then I realized I am the same person that had called him from D.I. just that morning to say "There's this really huge faux fur coat for $12 and I want to buy it because you never know when something like that will come in handy." I'm kind of a huge costume clothes hoarder.

2) You know the cliche scene in many a film/TV program where the woman walks through the construction site and the men are all ridiculous? That happened to me this morning! I was walking to the bus stop through this patch of the road with several men working on it. I heard "Whoop! Brunette crossing!", saw heads whip around at the sound of my high heels on the pavement, and, I'm not making this up, a guy tipped his hat and said "S'cuse me ma'am." It was oddly insulting/flattering, but mostly I just couldn't believe it happened in real life.

Dec 6, 2008

The Poem Game

Recent blog idea from Laura: take your very favorite lines from some of your favorite songs and arrange them into a poem (as described here). I have come up with mine. It's significantly shorter than the other ones I've seen, but I personally feel that the point of poetry is to keep things short. I'm pleased with it:

Circus life. Under the big top world.
So long ago, I dreamt about a city built on rock and roll.
I want to believe in you.
Don't you want to dance? Say you want to dance! Don't you want to dance?
Here we are now. Entertain us!

Phony people come to pray.
I had a plan that was built on thinking too long.
I'm not living; I'm just killing time.
When will we say it aloud?
Even if it's alone.

Dec 5, 2008

The Blogroll (Mammoth Post)

I didn't promise anything worthwhile; I only promised huge and ambitious.

You may or may not have noticed, but my blogroll has grown substantially over the last while. It seems more and more people are jumping on the blogging bandwagon and that's fine with me as it gives me stuff to read when bored at work.

I occasionally get the "So how do you know [whoever]?" comments. And I'm sure there are those who are just looking for something to kill time with occasionally wonder if any of the blogs I have on the list are worth reading. So, as a public service, let me introduce you to all of those on my blogroll:

Aaron and Brandy: Brandy is my first cousin on my mother's side of the family. Yes, that's the side full of hunting stories and fart jokes. They're great. When I was young, Brandy was the cousin a few years older than me that I was always like, "Man, if I could be as cool and pretty as she is..." (I suspect every girl with older cousins had someone like this). Now she is married to Aaron and they have a couple adorable children. Their blog consists mostly of family happenings, which I suppose it what happens when people have children (not that there is necessarily anything wrong with that). Blog recommended for: fellow Davenport relatives who like to keep up with family; people who like pictures of adorable children (including a recent picture of "grumpy eyes" that I think is precious); people who like being disappointed when they go to a blog that had the phrase "fart jokes" in it's description but then find there isn't a single one on the site.

Allison: Allison has been a dear friend and on-again-off-again roommate over the last four years of my life. She is probably the absolute most unique person I have ever met. Seriously. And I've known some doozies. I would try to describe her, but I've never been successful at this. If you know her, you know what I'm talking about. If you don't, you won't get it anyway. She posts fairly regularly, which is appreciated, and the posts generally fall into one of two categories: 1) something randomly embarrassing/hilarious or 2) deep discussions about the purpose of life, etc., that are generally fairly insightful. Blog recommended for: those who know and love Allison; those who are interested in random cultural facts about India (she spent a semester there last year and is going back in the semi-near future and she always has great posts about the people there); people who think there are no truly committed Mormons in the world anymore.

Becky: Becky is a dear friend from back when I lived in Indiana. We both came out to BYU at the same time, but I haven't hung out with her much since high school. However, we will always have making sarcastic comments in seminary. Blog recommended for: those who like to know they aren't the only people who are very single, very broke and unsure of what to do with their lives; those who love Jane Austen (not that she discusses Jane Austen much, just that kind of know who you are); single men looking for a hot Mormon girl (thought I'd throw a plug in there for you, Becky).

Brian and Kristy: Brian is another cousin on my mother's side (fart jokes!). Brian was just a little too old to be my cousin crush (who was obviously Jason Prisbey), but I always liked him because he's a funny guy. And Kristy is his wife who I have always liked quite a bit (and I don't just say these things because you're reading this). When Trevor and I got married, I remember going through the cards and all of them had some sort of mushy something or other on them and the card we got from Brian and Kristy said simply "Rock On!" This, in a nutshell, is why they are great people. And if you are ever unsure if you want to have kids or not and want to be persuaded, read nearly any entry on their blog and you're guaranteed to fall in love with their children and need some of your own. (most recent entry is a perfect example). Blog recommended for: see "Aaron and Brandy"

Cassie: Cassie is another cousin, on my father's side of the family. She is a few years older than me and I spent much of my childhood in her hand-me-down clothes. We've always gotten along splendidly, mostly because we're both smart, fun-loving women (go us!). Shortly after Trevor met her for the first time, I remember he kept on talking about different friends of his he wanted to set her up with, which I think is a great compliment to any girl (it was, of course, mostly because she has excellent taste in music). She has recently gotten herself married though, so sorry to the single friends of Trevor's who are reading this. Blog recommended for: anyone who wants to know what's going on in Cassie's life (fellow Wonnacotts and people with an unnatural fascination with relatives of mine); lovers of good taste; people who like the kind of blog with a wide variety of topics discussed.

Emilee: Emilee and I were randomly assigned to be roommates during our first year at BYU. Good work BYU housing department, you created a monster. We have since had many an adventure together, and I will always consider her one of my best friends. There are really not that many genuinely funny females in this world. I have been blessed to have known a few great ones, though, and Emilee is right up there. She moved to Texas this last summer, and as she is pretty much the opposite of Texas, you know there is going to be some good commentary. Blog recommended for: people who squeal just thinking about how cute cats are; lovers of all things luxe; those interested in a woman of well-rounded intelligence.

Erin: I used to work with Erin back in the Heritage days. We have been dear friends since the day when she confessed to me: "Andrea, I saw your blog on facebook and spent several hours last night reading it and now I know everything there is to know about you." I, not to be outdone, soon did the same, and came to work knowing everything about her. It's one of those friendships that would probably have been more of an acquaintance if technology wasn't there to aid us. Ah, technology, how I love you. Anyway, Erin is the most-often-posting-est person on this list, and for that she ought to be congratulated. Most of her life now consists of taking care of her newborn child, so...good luck with that Erin. I do not envy the lack of sleep you are experiencing. Blog recommended for: friends of mine who like to whine about me not posting enough (Go look at Erin's blog! There's something new there! Pretend it's me if you like!); those interested in the daily ins and outs of being a young new mother; lovers of witty commentary on music, family, etc.

James: James is the only ex-boyfriend of mine who I still have amiable relations with. We went to Prom in high school together when I lived in Indiana (how cute are we!). He's typical of a boyfriend of mine: into music and computer stuff and sweeter than you'd think upon first meeting him. He lives in Seattle now, because he has a smart computer person job there. His blog is pretty basic and fairly "this is what's going on in my life" and not updated as often as it could be, but otherwise amusing. Also, I love that the link to my blog on his is called "mormons having fun". Blog recommended for: anyone who appreciates a random (and I'm talking random) youtube music video from some song you haven't heard for a while embedded in a post; nerd boys; people who appreciate the charm of a lot of "uhh...", "hmmm...", etc.

Jason and Kris: Jason is a high school friend of Trevor's and Kris is obviously his wife. They also have a tiny daughter, who is pretty cute. Whenever I think about Jason, the first thing that comes to mind is "Jungle Japs". Though I was not there on the occasion when he misread the "Jungle Japes" Smash Bros level, the story is told pretty much every time we play on that level. He will forever live in infamy. Blog recommended for: people interested in what life is like for a young Utah family (...I know, these are getting lamer by the second, but you try to come up with three things for 20 different blogs); people who really like exclamation points (notice every single post title ends in one...); those who want more material to make fun of Jason with (aka Trapper).

Jenn: Jenn is another dear coworker from the Heritage days. Loud, sassy fun-loving sort, but not brash by any means. While I was dating Trevor, she was always the one to ask "How're things with your boy?" And was always a good person to talk about the ups and downs of a relationship with. Also, I'm pretty sure she likes every kind of music. Which is something some (aka my husband) may scorn, but since I'm like that as well, I say "good girl." Blog recommended for: people who hate Utah; people looking for a good blog meme; those who appreciate a loud-burping woman (not that you'll get to hear her burp on her blog, unfortunately, but she's definitely that sort).

Jonny and McKenzi: McKenzi is a friend from the BYU days (and roommate during one of those years). She and her husband Jonny are two of the nicest people you will ever meet. I'm not kidding. The very nicest. Their blog isn't updated very often, but I've just noticed that they have another blog they run,, that is more interesting. On that site they answer questions about the LDS church that readers submit. While this kind of thing generally makes me wary, Jonny and McKenzi are both intelligent people who give well-thought-out answers and are also very clear that their site is not in anyway connected with actual church leadership, so more power to them. Blogs (both) recommended for: people interested in what life as a Mormon is really like (and would rather ask them than me, I guess); people who had lost hope that there are good people in this world; BYU students.

Laura: A good example of how awesome Laura is: her two most recent blog entries have been about freaking Buffy the Vampire Slayer and they're both highly amusing and more insightful than you would expect. Laura and I have been friends since early elementary school and she has always been one of the most intelligently hilarious people I have known. She also deserves the largest share of the blame for my blog's existence. Nearly four years ago, I started a blog that she was pretty much the only reader of. And now well look at how far I've come: I get about 20 visits a day on this site, and only 18 or so of them are me (me thinking "maybe somebody left a comment...please...need...validation"). But enough about me. Laura is great. She is now adventuring in Australia, because she's just that cool. Blog recommended for: people who believe life is epic, if a little dull; review readers; anyone who can appreciate that after a photo tour of her apartment, comes: "Now, the question I know you are all thinking is 'Well, this seems fine and dandy but how will you fare in the event of zombie apocalypse?'" followed by a complete analysis (aka anyone who would be friends with me).

Mark and Heather: Heather is my cousin, and Cassie's sister. I also wore a lot of her hand-me-downs as a child. She's married (to Mark, obviously) and has a baby that's pretty much adorable (I know I keep saying everyone's children are adorable, but it's just true every time). Also you should note that on a recent post they totally used the date idea I gave them (go me!). Blog recommended for: Wonnacotts and Wonnacott lovers; single people who secretly enjoy the agony of reading about an adorable happily-married couple; people who like pictures of cute children and still have the energy to look at more after all the other friends that have them on their blogs.

Melanie: This is up there on my list of highest-recommended blogs. Melanie is very good at taking everyday events amusing/interesting/meaningful. We have been friends since a fateful game of Jenga in late 2004. We were roommates during a ridiculously fun period of my life, and she was a major contributor to it all. She is now a psychology graduate student at Utah State, I don't see as much of her as I would like, and her blog is a nice dose of Melanie for me. Blog recommend for: those of our generation who enjoy hearing about other's experiences with facebook, Twilight, Outkast...all the important things we live with every day; people who enjoy playing the "guess what song this blog title is taken from" game; fans of the Muppets.

Monique: Monique was my roommate for the last semester before I was married. She's a total sweetheart and pretty to boot! My favorite feature of her blog is that she starts with a quote every time. These quotes are sometimes from famous people, sometimes from literature, sometimes from scripture, sometimes from The Office, etc. She is a woman of varied interests. Down-side is: she hasn't posted in a couple months (Where are you, Monique? You think you get a boyfriend and can neglect my need for things to read on the internet? What do you mean he's more important?). Blog recommended for: people who appreciate a well-balanced blog (good balance of pictures and writing, good balance of topics...she's actually done this better than pretty much anyone I know); lovers of old school glamour; friends and family of Monique (duh, I know...).

Nishi: Nishi has been my friend since that fateful day when I was asked to help the new kid make her prayer rug in Mrs. Campbell's 7th-grade world history class. The new kid turned out to be a fun girl who had just as horrible of a fashion sense as I did in those days. But I don't want to talk about that. Or think about it. Ever. We have grown up into beautiful, successful women, thank you very much. She's a really good friend, and somehow always knows better than anyone else what's going on in my life even though we don't speak nearly as much as we ought to. Blog recommended for: people who would definitely buy tickets if N'Sync ever reunited to tour; 22 year-old girls who thought life would be simpler once they moved out of their parent's house, but found it's much more complicated; those that think 3-4 months is fine between postings.

Rachael: Rachael wins the silver medal for the Andrea's friend who most often posts on his/her blog contest. This is in part, I'm sure, because we both share a strong tendency to procrastinate. We've been friends since junior high and spent many a good time...uh...what do we even do? Like...quizzes in Seventeen or something. Anyway, she's a dear friend and one of the few people from the high school days that I keep in regular touch with. She has also recently gotten engaged, so it's wedding plan time in her life. Blog recommended for: people who appreciate a regular poster; people who, while Mormon, can't quite understand the BYU lifestyle (she goes to the one in Idaho); sarcastic people.

Trapper: This is not on my blogroll for obvious reasons. But deserves an honorable mention.

Travis: Travis is one of Trevor's old roommates. Technically he was never Trevor's roommate during the period of time when Trevor and I were dating, but you'd never know that by looking. We'd come home from church every Sunday and there would be Travis, who had obviously just let himself in, sitting in the living room watching football with something cooking in the microwave. I always liked him; he's a funny guy. His blog is rarely updated, but there are definitely treasures in there. It's generally more philosophical than anything else, which can be interesting. Blog recommended for: those who enjoy rather personal revelations about how someone else sees the world; people who only read blogs every few months and enjoy the relief of "oh, I didn't miss anything in all that time"; girls who like the sensitive type.

Trevor: Trevor, as I would assume you know by now, is my husband. He's great. And his few blog posts are great. But few. Every once in a while we have the "Why don't you post more?" "Because nobody reads it." "That's because you don't post often enough." discussion to no avail. I just skimmed over all of his old posts, though, and each one is a treasure. And to comment on his most recent post: we had even gone so far as to skim through the Wikipedia articles on the major Australian cities to decide where to live (and decided on Perth) (this was decided before Laura was living in Australia, but she would have been the first consulted upon a McCain victory). Anyway, if you want to do your part for humanity, I would encourage you to post a comment on Trevor's blog to let him know that people do care what is on that site. And then he'll probably be more disinclined to post because he hates being told what to do, but so be it. Blog recommended for: people who like to hear a furious young man rant about the majority of things around him; those who enjoy an epic tale of bravery, romance, betrayal, and glory over a tankard of ale; lovers of fine cheeses.

Valerie: Valerie is an old friend of Allison's who I had heard many great things about before I met her and seen a few times, but didn't really get to know until we ended up roommates the summer of 2007. Valerie will always be a part of the Trevor and Andrea love saga, because he totally asked her on a date when I was her roommate. But that is a tale for another day. Valerie is the sort of soft-spoken sweetheart person that is always nice to have around. And then every once in a while she pops out with something utterly hilarious. She has since gotten married, moved to Canada, and gotten knocked up to boot. Blog recommended for: those who think a certain woman named JuDene in Mesa, AZ is the greatest thing to ever happen to this earth; people interested in the details of day-to-day pregnant life (This used to be Erin's role, but her child has been born. Luckily Valerie got pregnant just in time that the all important position of Andrea's blogging pregnant friend was never vacant...way to take one for the team, Valerie); that group of guys who think anything having to do with Canada is hilarious for some inexplicable reason.

Note #1: If anyone reading this blog is a dear friend and/or a person craving attention and has a blog not represented on this prestigious list, please let me know and I'll be happy to review your credentials and make a decision from there.

Note #2: Family/couple blogs are all represented with the male's name first and the woman's name second. This does not mean I'm some sort of sexist. My initial thought was to put the name of the person I was closest with first in each case, but that provided two problems: 1) some would have a man first and some would have a woman first and what if someone thought I was just being sloppy? and 2) someone might be offended that they were not first in the list. (I do realize that in reality the chances of someone noticing these things are slim and the chances of anyone caring is even slimmer, but better safe than sorry.) I also thought that perhaps going with a last name might be appropriate, but the mix of first and last names on one list seemed like a full out crime against organization. I needed uniformity and the only other option that would provide uniformity was putting the woman's name first, which makes me feel like some sort of radical feminist. So, tradition ruled. Though now that I think about it, on all of the couple blogs represented, the woman definitely does more posting than the man. Oh well. Remind me to avoid ever making friends with a gay couple with a shared blog.

Note #3: Blogs are listed alphabetically so that nobody accuses me of favoritism.

Note #4: One can be removed from the blogroll by doing one or more of the following: 1) Provide me a written request. 2) Go longer than one year without posting. 3) Consistently write posts that are mean-spirited/offensive (this has only happened once). 4) Change your blog to a private setting (which I realize Aaron and Brandy are about to do, at which point they will be removed).

Note #5: This quote kept running through my head as I wrote this, since it describes several of the people on this list: "It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both." But I've realized that's pretty much a really dumb line. Charlotte wrote what in the book? Three words? Does it kind of sound to you like E.B. White just wanted his friends to read that and think "Oh, I know someone else who's a true friend and a good writer! I better appreciate him!"?

The Important Side of Politics: Michelle Obama's Inaugural Ball Gown

This morning I watched a slideshow of potential designs for Michelle Obama's inagural gown. My thoughts:
  • You can tell designers are excited to have someone so young and slender in the White House again. After several years of long sleeves and trying to disguise waists, everyone is jumping all over themselves to design for Mrs. Obama.
  • White is a really good color choice. So classic and it looks fantastic on dark skin. Reds and purples also seem to suit Michelle's coloring really well, but we've seen her in a lot of that already. Anything too red-white-and-blue-y is a really bad idea.
  • Watching the slideshow and trying to guess who the designer is is a fun game. Even if I only got four right (the easy ones: Oscar de la Renta, Betsey Johnson, Isaac Mizrahi, Zac Posen).
  • I think my favorite is Diane von Furstenberg's. I kind of hate that it's a wrap-dress, since that's so cliche from DVF, but I kind of love that it's a wrap-dress, because it's such a unique idea for a formal gown. And it pretty much captures subtle sexy, which is what the occasion calls for, in my opinion.
  • I think all these people that are expecting Michelle Obama to be the next Jackie O. are going to end up disappointed. She makes smart fashion decisions, but I really don't see her becoming a fashion icon. She is too...normal (normal isn't quite the right word, but I can't think of anything better).
  • Several of these gowns (particularly Carolina Herrera's and Monique l'Huillier's) are beautiful, but too red carpet. An inaguaral gown should be a little more conservative, in my opinion.
  • In writing this, I obviously did some research on inaugural gowns throughout history and was surprised to find that one of my absolute favorites is from 1909. Mrs. Taft's dress is lovely. I would wear it today.

Dec 4, 2008

Sexist Me (Still not the mammoth post)

I try to be a fair-minded person. I pride myself on my openness to new ideas and understanding stance toward ideas I don't agree with. But today, in a moment of introspection that came while reading the wikipedia article on Courtney Love, I realized: I'm a pretty sexist person.

It is, of course, naive to think that women and men are exactly the same and it is natural to treat them differently in some respects, but in this one aspect of my life, I think I have probably crossed a line into sexism.

My problem is this: I expect a lot out of women. A lot more than I do from men.

Example: I was hanging out with a couple recently, and the male was smoking a certain illegal substance. I thought little of it, as I had seen this happen on many an occasion, but the second the female in this couple took a hit, I felt a little shiver of revulsion. The same shiver of revulsion that I feel when I'm around a woman who swears frequently.

A different, but similar, shiver of revulsion strikes me when a woman is poorly-dressed. A poorly-dressed man causes no reaction.

I look down on a woman who reads romance novels and other woman-reading rubbish, but a guy who reads a trashy sci-fi or fantasy novel gains immediate forgiveness, when it really is the literary equivalent of Taken By The Viking.

I trace this to five main factors:

1) As a female, I assume that other females can do anything I can do. This doesn't mean that I think I'm really great, just that the things I'm good at should be easy for other women as well. I find zero appeal in any sort of substance abuse, so any sort of drug or alcohol abuse in a woman makes me go "Oh come on, why would you do that? You know it's not healthy/smart." I was raised in an environment that instilled a great deal of politeness, so when I see a rude woman I think to myself, "Common courtesy should be natural for you!" When a male tells about his latest experience on mushrooms, I think, "What a troubled soul." When a male is rude, I think, "Must be a guy thing."

2) The media (in an effort to not be seen as sexist, I'm sure) tends to portray women as more caring, more insightful, and often more intelligent then men. Lois is a normal, kind person, while Peter has a Squeeze-It for a brain. There is probably just as much sexism toward women in the media as toward men, but growing up in the culture I have, I immediately see the sexism toward women and denounce it. The sexism against men is more subtle (example: you notice that a scene suggests that women are too dumb to realize all this guy wants is sex and say to yourself, "that's not really an accurate portrayal", but you don't notice the other message: all men want is sex).

3) Despite all politically correct campaigns against it, cultural and biological human nature will always tell us: it is more important for a woman to appear attractive than a man. This one actually doesn't bother me too much. Men are under more pressure to make money, etc., I'd rather be under more pressure to look pretty and under control. Sorry to you radical feminists out there (I say as if I, Miss "I hope someday to have a rich husband so I can be a stay-at-home mother with lots of fabulous dresses and high end makeup", have radical feminist friends).

4) I feel that any woman who makes a fool of herself makes the rest of us look bad. Sometimes I want to scream, "Listen, you've had a couple drinks, just stop! Don't you see that each drink after this chips away at the fragile reputation for respectability and intelligence woman have in this world?"

5) While I am happily married, I'll still never entirely shake the "all women are competition and all men are potential mates" mentality. It makes me look for the imperfections in women and the bright side in the men.

Now that I've recognized this flaw in my life perspective, I'm interested in trying to change how I look at things. I can't decide which way I'd rather go, though. Should I hold men to the same high standards I hold women to? Or should I loosen my standards on women? Naturally, the best answer is find a happy medium, but when making a conscious effort to change something that comes's just too much work if I don't pick one direction.