Snow Day

Self portrait, January 28, 2009

Lily Peacock: Snow Day, January 28, 2009

I have shit to do, but I’m avoiding it because it’s a snow day (2nd in a row!). Snow days are cool, especially when Mr. Peacock is snowed in too, and I’m not just talking about friction here, though that’s wonderful too. Better…well, okay not better, but just as fun as all the friction and keeping each other warm is the beer we get to drink in the middle of the day and all the talking we do before we get to friction-izing each other.

He’s had some “click” moments lately, both with regard to our relationship and with regard to patriarchy. He used to be somewhat of a patriarchy defender. He actually said to me at one point during our first year that it was natural that I do the house work because I was better at it. We should all act on our strengths, he used to say. Lately he’s been getting it. My full-time job has started AND I’m in grad school, leaving him with all the work I used to do, which I think it part of it. But it’s more than just that. Lately he’s been talking about ideas he has about what masculinity and maleness mean.

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Mini-blog roundup

First of all, you HAVE to read this. And look for Part Two. I cannot recommend it enough. It sent the same shock waves through me that this and this did.

Okay, then read this, for reinforcement. Consider it the colonic. Yes, I know, it’s a bit like Charmaine’s vitamin regimen in United States of Tara (have you seen Showtime’s Sunday line-up? Total patriarchal wet dream…), but do it anyway.

Meet Chuck Donovan

This is the central reason that my half-developed brain does not resort entirely to cynicism: I have been blessed. By blessed, I mean specifically that I have been subject to extraordinary experiences in my life, game-changers if you will, the stuff of literature.  Not a single one of them has been spiritual or divine, or supernatural. These extraordinary experiences are the result of people taking action to address problems-in short, people working for solutions. One such person was Chuck Donovan and his presence on this earth ought to be marked in prose, because a person this generous is worth remembering.

I met Mr. Donovan when I was just 13 years old. My mother and I drove what seemed like hours to a facility for girls in the east end of Louisville, KY from our apartment in the south end. In reality it’s probably a 45 minute trip, but I was in serious danger of mentally checking out at the time, so everything in my memory still seems distorted. Let me give you some backstory. Right after turning 13 I had my only un-suicide attempt, which is to say I took some pills and told someone within five minutes in total fear of death. I didn’t want to wait too long. After that I took another stupid risk, running away from home and hitchhiking all the way to our former hometown of Houston, Texas, a thousand miles away.

I still can’t believe I did that. I was so young and I really had no idea what I was doing. Intellectually I couldn’t imagine ever being a woman, but in my heart I already felt like one. I always led with my heart then. I “felt” the importance of striking out, and saw no reason why I should be denied that control. The concepts of legality and age were unknown to me, not that I’d have cared much if I’d known. I was then,   as I am now, determined and often intensely focused. Into this madness came a facility called Maryhurst, a Catholic group home for “troubled” girls, where my mother and I had that appointment wherein I was introduced to Mr. Donovan.

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Saturday Around the Web & Final PUMA Musings

Edited

From the Well, That Didn’t Take Long department: Marketing and sexism dominated the election cycle last  year, and no one was more responsible for that than Barack Obama himself. Thus is the irony of Ty, the toy company, thinking it was perfectly acceptable to capitalize on the Obama’s success by marketing their daughters as dolls. Michelle, I hear, is pretty pissed, which is the proper response here. Good for her. And lay off her wardrobe, peeps. That kind of shit is petty and is itself sexist, unless you’ve honestly been commenting on Barack’s suits, shoes and ties for all these months. Yeah, I thought so.

Blue Lyon has been working over the hamsters at her place, prolifically blogging some damn fine posts in the last few days. I suggest just wandering the front page for whatever catches your eye, but I was particularly drawn to Low Hanging Fruit and her redirect to Random Thoughts from Reno’s post on expanding prostitution in Nevada. What can I say, sister-girl, except: fuckity-fuck-fuck!

Ever heard of dedicated spinsterhood? I hadn’t, until Margaret Jamison started blogging about it at The Fabulous Kitty Glendower’s A Room of Our Own.

Which reminds me, late in December, Murphy posted the most fabulous post on Virginia Woolf’s essay A Room of One’s Own that I have ever read. She absolutely nailed the misapprehension and the truth of it. Perfect. Go read it.

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Her Own Revolutions

For your diversionary pleasure…some creative nonfiction.

***

She did not want to go. Why had she even agreed? Yes, she would be getting out of her comfort zone, she remembered now, though it suddenly seemed like a very bad idea. Copping out is worse than failing, she thought as she drove the remote highway to Maria’s house. She let the scenery calm her, meditating on the deep reds and orange of oak trees imbedded in the now dead wooded areas. They were the last trees to lose their leaves this year, and they stood like stark flames against the brown and gray dappled background.

Her anxiety crept back as she exited I-64. She did not know how the evening was going to go. She felt as if she were betraying something, as if she were headed into the heart of an enemy camp. It’s just church, she thought, but she had not been to church in nine years, and it had been fifteen years before that since she attended services regularly. She did not have fond memories of the occasions, in fact, she felt as if religion had had a crippling effect on her psyche, and she had fought long and hard to separate herself from it, longer still to mend the broken heart that comes with accepting the possibility that there is no god.

She’d managed to make it to Maria’s house, her first visit there, and she’d only made one wrong turn. Maria was waiting for her at the end of the street perched on a metal highway guard that was placed oddly on the side of the alley-sized entrance to her street. She was wrapped in a maroon fleece jacket that set off her auburn hair and dark eyes.  “You wanna ride?” Amy asked through the open window.

“The length of three houses? Sure.” Maria chuckled, opening the car door. Continue reading

I’ve been tagged. Oh, joy.

toe-tagSeriously, I don’t mind; I just can’t resist a good, sardonic title. Heh. Soooo, long about six weeks ago, the smart and groovy (in that order)Red Queen from Elizabitchez (best name ever) tagged me, and I forgot all about it at a very busy time in my life. I’m still pretty busy, but then Cyn at Double Jointed Fingers (also smart & groovy) tagged me again today. SO, here I am sharing personal information ’bout me that not many people know. There’s an award attached to this thing somewhere, but it got lost along the way. Here’s what Heidi Li had to say about it when she got tagged, which I think bears repeating:

Apparently, some in the Pumasphere are playing the following game: if tagged we are asked to write six things about ourselves AND tag six other bloggers to do the same, as part of way of supplying some diversion for those who will be sauntering the web with care over this weekend.  So, in name of community building and camaraderie:

Without further ado, useless trivia about yours truly. Continue reading

What Every Woman Should Know About Coretta Scott King (and Josephine Baker)

What Every Woman Should Know is a bi-weekly series on American Women’s History at The New Agenda. This article has been cross-posted.

“There are a lot of people who would love to relegate me to a symbolic figure and that’s it. I have never been just a symbol of anything. I am a thinker. I have strong beliefs, and I try to be an example of what I believe in.”

— Coretta Scott King, 1993

coretta-scott-king-with-jesse-jackson

Coretta Scott King’s place in history may be forever shadowed by her great husband, Martin Luther King, Jr., whose life’s work we celebrate today. But her life’s work is every bit as important, and in some surprising ways made his work possible. Today, as we recognize the impact Dr. King’s work has had on our country, it is also worth looking at her life to see her contribution, both to his work as he lived and to his legacy after he died, as well as to her work for social justice. Not many people are aware that Coretta Scott King was also a visionary when it came to Civil Rights, and unsuccessfully fought to expand the movement to include women’s and gay/lesbian rights. A little known fact is that she also tried to tap Josephine Baker to head this expanded movement. Perhaps, considering her long list of accomplishments, we should petition Congress to make the third Monday in January Martin Luther and Coretta Scott King Day.

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