Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Where's their Dad?

If your facebook feed is anything like mine it's probably full of this picture:

This woman, Maria Kang, has gotten an incredible amount of flack for this picture of her Janet-rivaling abs and her three sons. The criticism accuses her of being a bully and largely says things like, "How much of your valuable time, after blogging, debating, working, working out, facebooking etc do your three very young children actually get?" (quote from a comment from a The Bump article). Some of my friends have also questioned (via facebook, of course) if she spends enough time with her kids.

Which brings up two of my largest fears around having children: (1) the fact that parenting is still seen as women's work and (2) our culture's insistence that women (particularly moms) can't do anything right.
We're too fat, too skinny, too clingy, too focused on ourselves...the list goes on. And for some reason all of it is fair game for public criticism.

So, my first question is: Where is there dad (or mom as the case may be)? I have no idea what this woman's sexuality is or if she even has a significant other but I think it's a more interesting conversation in the context of hetero relationships.

Seriously, if this was a dude with Mark Mcgwire arms perched up there with 3 toddlers would he get the same criticism? Would people just assume he had a wife at home to take care of the kiddos? What if Ms. Kang has a stay at home husband? Does that change anything?

National politicians work famously long hours and yet no one criticized Obama for running a country and having nice abs. You remember this don't you?

Romney was governor and then ran for President while raising five children...I never heard people question whether his family was getting enough attention.

Now, sure, I can hear people justifying my examples with words like "public sacrifice" and "greater good," but give me a break, we all know that's not what's at play here. I shudder to think what fox news would say about a mother or young children running for presidential office. Even if you want to stand by the logic you are then forced to say that a woman's happiness isn't equally important. That motherhood requires her to abandon her own happiness, ambition or free will in a way that is different from the requirements put on a man. And finally (an most problematically) that she is not capable of deciding for herself what is good for her and her children and to balance those priorities accordingly.

I've never met Ms.Kang. For all I know she could be a terrible parent...but I'm not willing to conclude that just from a picture of her abs. For now, I am standing by women (and particularly, moms) and defending their right to make their own choices. I stand firmly on the side of trusting women to make the decisions that are best for them and their families. And I continue to point out the sexism inherent in the way we criticize women compared to the way we criticize men.

Or, you know, maybe we just hate skinny bitches.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013 depicted by my camera phone

You know, just an electrical fire (aka homeless man saves the day!). 

A few weeks ago, amidst the chaos of starting a new job, Truman's office building decided to catch on fire. Thankfully, there's a gas station next door and a homeless person lives next to it (he does some cleaning for them in exchange for a place to sleep next to the building...I guess that doesn't actually make it him "homeless" maybe just under-housed?) and he saw the fire and quickly called the fire department. By the time we got down to the office the electrical box was chard by the fire was out.

Olivia: World's Cutest Dog

If my phone records are correct, I average about 3 pictures of Olivia a day. Here she is sleeping in. If you are friends with me on facebook, you know that Olivia recently celebrated her 10th birthday. The big 1-0! I made these doggie cupcakes in honor of her big day. Olivia seemed to like it, Truman said they tasted terrible.

Quick Trip to Seattle 

I visited Seattle for the first time last week. I was there for less than 48 hours for work meetings and didn't even bother bringing a real camera (gasp!). I actually didn't even leave the hotel except for the last hour before heading to the airport so that I could go see the market. I did get some phenomenal macaroni and cheese but overall it just wasn't long enough to play tourist. Hopefully I can visit again soon. Yes, the last picture is of the inside of the airport. So far, Seattle wins the prize for prettiest airport.

There was a dog on my train ride into the city. I took it as a sign that it was going to be a good trip. Even if the dog did seem pretty darn scared of public transit.

Speaking of dogs...

Meet Toby!! No, he's not ours. But he almost was. I found him wandering down a pretty busy street on my way to work last week. Kudos to Truman for being such a great sport that morning. Not everyone is quite as amused when their wife drops a random dog off at 9am. The flaw in my great rescue plan was that while I had time to pick up the dog off the street, I didn't actually have time to locate it's owner. Turns out it's really a multi-part project.

Truman took Toby in and played referee so that Olivia and Roxy didn't beat up on him. Toby even got the honor of accompanying Truman to a business meeting at starbucks. Turns out he's a pretty chill dog that lives just down the way from us. We Truman located his owners and had him safely back in his own dog bed before I got home from work. Note to pet owners: put a collar and tag on your dog, it's just good practice.


When I was online dating I had a very strict height requirement of 5'11 for the men I dated. I have no idea how, at a  mere 5'10, Truman slipped through my rigorous screening process (but I'm glad he did). And before you judge me too hard for being shallow I'd just like to's online dating for heaven's sake, it's inherently a little shallow. Also, I happen to like wearing heels.

Anyhow, height is something we continue to joke about so I found it supremely funny that when we went to the free day at the Museum of Nature and Science (and yes, we were the only ones there without children) this pretty questionable measuring tool declared Truman to be 5'11.

19 All Over Again 

Our friend Ian, in a stroke of genius, decided to pick up some Yellowcard tickets. This band was a favorite of mine in college and they recently released a 10-year anniversary edition of the CD that was a staple in my 1992 Corolla. They played the whole cd (record?) in order and it was pretty freakin' good. Also, they didn't look old which is always nice. I forgot how much fun pop punk shows are and the wonderful thing about going to the same show you went to in college is that it evokes some of those same feelings...but with a healthy dose of nostalgia. I went to a New Found Glory show a few years ago and Yellowcard was the same kind of carefree fun that only pop punk that you listened to in high school and college can be.  It reminded me of the quote I had on my door in college:
"After the song finished, I said something. "I feel infinite." And Sam and Patrick looked at me like I said the greatest thing they ever hear. Because the song was that great and because we all really paid attention to it. Five minutes of a lifetime were truly spent, and we felt young in a good way. I have since bought the record, and I would tell you what it was, but truthfully, it's not the same unless you're driving to your first real party, and you're sitting in the middle seat of a pickup with two nice people when it starts to rain." 
- Steven Chbosky, Perks of Being a Wallflower.