Friday, June 29, 2007

For their "best of" issue, the local daily newspaper asked local artists to compose and perform songs related to the area. The genres and quality vary, but regardless of listenability, I think it's such a cool idea! Link

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Do hairy legs conform to the dress code?

I haven’t completely figured out the dress code for my workplace yet. Different people dress with different levels of formality, and I haven’t yet determined if we all can wear casual clothes or if only the admins and techs can get away with it. I’m fairly confident that I can dress down, too- so the standard dress code would be what a typical Delmartian would wear around town (a couple of ticks up from my standard wardrobe). I’ve been dressing up slightly more than necessary, largely because the clothes I own are split into two categories: ratty-clothes-I-wear-all-the-time or nicer-clothes-I-used-to-wear-to-meetings-and-conferences. The first set is out, so I’m working with the limited options provided by the second until I find some work-appropriate summer clothes that I actually like.

The new mystery I’m trying to solve is whether Unshaven Female Legs can be accommodated within the dress code. At my last job, I held off on wearing shorts or short skirts until I witnessed someone else (a man, of course) bare their Unshaven Legs, but after that I had no compunctions about displaying my own leg hair. Here, though, the workplace is less casual, and while I have indeed observed Men with Unshaven Legs wearing shorts, I have not seen any women wearing shorts at all.

At the company picnic last week, I was torn between exposing myself as one of those radical man-hating feminists who ignore their personal hygiene, or maintaining the nonconfrontational persona I’d been cultivating during my first few weeks on the job. I’d decided to go with shorts, but ended up changing into jeans just because it was cold- and it was a bit of a relief. So my Unshaven Legs have yet to be exposed to my coworkers.

Why don’t I end this silly dilemma by doing something crazy like shaving my legs? The main reason is my philosophical opposition to removing body hair- I feel that the standard of beauty that shuns body hair infantilizes women, and I will not be a part of its perpetuation. It could be argued that keeping my legs covered is of no use in subverting these norms, so I might as well just shave them, but I feel that displaying shaven legs would be expressing compliance with the standard. It’s like the difference between allowing other people to assume that you are, say, a Democrat, and going out and buying a Hillary ’08 shirt to perpetuate their error.

(I did shave under my arms last year for Brianna’s wedding, because the only dress I could dig up for it was sleeveless and I didn’t want to attract more attention at the reception than the bride. I still felt disgusted with myself.)

I also don’t want to spend the time or money that body hair removal entails, and the environmental impacts of the increased use of water/ soap/ razor blades/ plastic packaging are unacceptable to me. (Dan and I are currently bickering about the environmental costs of his facial hair grooming.) I’m truly taken aback when I hear playground chat about getting waxed every month, and when I see shaven legs it feels like I’ve entered some strange alien culture. Unfortunately, it is the one I live in, and I need to decide exactly what I’m willing to give up to subvert it. Even though I realize how piddling my “sacrifice” would be, it’s never easy to give up privileges….

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

spotted little goat

today was C's last day of school, and he had a half day. A was up at nana's house, so after lunch (and a game of Stratego of course) we decided to go for a bike ride to the local market to get some mozzarella for the pizza last day of school dinner...

while getting my bike out of the shed, I noticed a doe (a deer, a female deer) behind our back fence, only about 10 yards away. I was surprised that she didn't run away, and appeared to be really curious about what I was doing.

After I remembered that we didn't like deer currently (see previous posts about how they're eating the strawberries and lots of other plants at night), I clapped my hands a couple of times loudly and told it to "git!" That universal signal of unwantedness should have gotten it to leave, but it had more important things to worry about.

Luckily I called C over to see the deer up close, and it was then that we noticed the strange sound coming from the direction of RTTR's yard. Sounded like a creaking swing to me, just Rowan on the swing probably... but it wasn't that. Cadao said it sounded more like a cat. I can't really spell it, but it kept repeating, a descending "mainnnnnnngg"over and over. Luckily C still has his little kid powers of observation, and is somewhat patient with me, because he kept pointing, "don't you see the fawn--right there!" "Where?" "right there!" "where?" "Right there!!" (In my defense, I was looking for a standing fawn, and I thought it would be in the neighbor's yard).

But it was a little spotted fawn, in the corner of our yard right by the back and side fences, behind the big oak and the lily hill and under the ferns. The fences are about 4 feet tall, and this little guy (I swear it had tiny antler nubs, and was also the size of a baby goat--a little longer and taller but not as heavy as the groundhog that lives under our shed--hence the goat reference) couln't make it over that fence without a boost in my estimation. How did it get in? probably under or next to the very rickety gate next to the shed, since as soon as we got up close--first time we've been within 2 feet of a fawn!--it bolted straight for that gate.

This is where it almost turned tragic; it head-butted the gate (I'm telling you, this was half deer, half goat animal from a fairy tale; maybe it didn't come IN our yard at all on it's own, but was birthed right there in our yard a couple days before, and the mother just left it there in hiding to go and find food...which she did in our pea patch, strawberry patch, scarlet runner beans... The lily hill is so tall we would never have noticed the fawn, I didn't even when looking right past it, and Paco is even less observant than I am).

So anyway, it head-butted the gate, which, unfortunately, fell over right on the little deer. I ran over to remove the gate from it's poor crushed little body, but luckily, it was magical goat-deer hybrid , because as soon as I lifted the gate up, it kicked it's heels and bounded right towards its mother and both of them ran off through the back to the woods on North street, no doubt. It didn't even seemed phased or stunned for a second, let alone injured... wow! thank heavens (and I definitely have to fix that gate now).

So far that means just this spring in our yard we've had a newborn fawn, adult deer (based on the browse evidence listed above), a woodchuck the size of a riding mower, a large garter snake that doesn't slither away from people but goes toward them, squirrels, chipmunks, lots of insects, slug infestation, and plenty o'songbirds including our beloved Phoebes. The other year we had a black bear right behind our fence (the wall of green grows TALL in the spring/summer in our yard!), and supposedly there was a Fisher running through that general area this winter...

Not too shabby for the edge of town.

What's happening in your backyard?

Happy Summer Solstice tomorrow!


Saturday, June 16, 2007

In which C indulges my imagination

C: That cloud is shaped like a bishop.
S: Maybe someone's playing an enormous chess game in the sky.
C: (slightly embarrassed for me) Well, that's fun to pretend, but I think the water molecules just formed into that shape.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

I've been drowning slugs in beer (Dan says it wouldn't be too bad a way to go), catching and releasing about 10 more a night, and replanting zucchini. I'm covering the strawberry plants with a tarp at night, but there's really nothing I can do about the scarlet runner beans. (Neither human nor dog hair has worked in the past.)

We're still getting one strawberry per person each day, plenty of lettuce, and enough radishes for Dan (since no one else wants to eat them-- I planted them because they look so cool. The "Easter egg" variety ranges in color from pale pink to deep purple.) The carrots never sprouted, so I'll replant as soon as I can.

The peas have blossomed and are begining to produce; a couple of our still-tiny tomato plants have also blossomed.

Still no food at the local farmer's market- maybe next week?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Dan and I had an excellent time at my 10-year college reunion-- we had considered cancelling the trip because of my sadness and stress and exhaustion, but are glad we decided to go. The University plied us with food and drink all day Saturday, and after dinner we went to Alex's (the same as always, except without the smoke) where an alum's bored spouse entertained himself by serving me some kind of fancy tequila all night. I think it may have been the first time Dan and I have had more than six hours all to ourselves since A was born, and it's the first time I've been away from her for more than 12 hours.

It was so great that we thought we should start doing it LOTS, but A apparently disagrees; she gave my parents a horrible night. Even our dog was high-maintenance, so I doubt we'll have access to any overnight babysitters for a while....

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Last night, slugs ate much of what was growing in the fenced-in part of the garden, and deer ate more than half of the leaves of the strawberry and scarlet runner bean plants from outside the fence. I did manage to harvest four miniature strawberries, so at least we had a tiny drop of sweetness after Noah's funeral.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Deer in road leads to fatal crash on Mass Pike
My cousin was one of the unlucky ones. Goodbye Noah- we love you.