Monday, January 30, 2006

Happy Chinese New Year

The Year of the Dog, that is.

Or as the Peanut would say, the Year of the Woo-Woo. She can't say dog, but likes to try to say "woof woof." It just comes out as "woo-woo." Which is how I think of dogs now. When I see somebody walking their dog, I think, oh look, a woo-woo. This is how parenthood damages your brain.

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From Salon's Broadsheet:

Funny women a turnoff for most men

We all know men are intimidated by smart women. Now there's proof that they're threatened by funny women, too. A study published this week in the scientific journal Evolution and Human Behavior claims that while men might appreciate witty women, they don't want long-term relationships with them. Why? Because "men see being funny as a male thing," Rod Martin, author of study, told the Independent.

The study, based on interviews with hundreds of men and women in their 20s, found that one-half of the men did not want a partner with a sense of humor.

"The idea that men are more interested in having an audience rather than sharing banter doesn't really surprise me," British comedian Meera Syal told the Independent. "Women see men with a sense of humor as dangerous and sexy, while men see it as threatening. Basically, what it comes down to is that humor is a mark of intelligence."

Not surprisingly, the study found that men were willing to put aside their prejudice against clever women for hookups and short-term flings. So funny ladies, if you're looking for more than a one-night stand, just keep your mouth shut and laugh at whatever he says.

-- Lori Leibovich

Friday, January 27, 2006

Friday lit. blogging: yet more Woolf

Since I'm posting all these e-text links this week, here is the link to the online text of Orlando.

Best. Novel. Ever. I mean it.

‘Life and a lover.’ Then laying her pen aside she went into her bedroom, stood in front of her mirror, and arranged her pearls about her neck. Then since pearls do not show to advantage against a morning gown of sprigged cotton, she changed to a dove grey taffeta; thence to one of peach bloom; thence to a wine–coloured brocade. Perhaps a dash of powder was needed, and if her hair were disposed—so—about her brow, it might become her.

Then she slipped her feet into pointed slippers, and drew an emerald ring upon her finger. ‘Now,’ she said when all was ready and lit the silver sconces on either side of the mirror. What woman would not have kindled to see what Orlando saw then burning in the snow—for all about the looking–glass were snowy lawns, and she was like a fire, a burning bush, and the candle flames about her head were silver leaves; or again, the glass was green water, and she a mermaid, slung with pearls, a siren in a cave, singing so that oarsmen leant from their boats and fell down, down to embrace her; so dark, so bright, so hard, so soft, was she, so astonishingly seductive that it was a thousand pities that there was no one there to put it in plain English, and say outright, ‘Damn it, Madam, you are loveliness incarnate,’ which was the truth.

Even Orlando (who had no conceit of her person) knew it, for she smiled the involuntary smile which women smile when their own beauty, which seems not their own, forms like a drop falling or a fountain rising and confronts them all of a sudden in the glass—this smile she smiled and then she listened for a moment and heard only the leaves blowing and the sparrows twittering, and then she sighed, ‘Life, a lover,’ and then she turned on her heel with extraordinary rapidity; whipped her pearls from her neck, stripped the satins from her back, stood erect in the neat black silk knickerbockers of an ordinary nobleman, and rang the bell. When the servant came, she told him to order a coach and six to be in readiness instantly. She was summoned by urgent affairs to London. Within an hour of the Archduke’s departure, off she drove.

Virginia Woolf would be proud

Women say no to war! Petition here. Signing would be a nice way to celebrate the anniversary of VW's birth this week.

Reading Three Guineas would be another.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Jan. 25, 1882

124 years ago today, Virginia Woolf was born. What a lark! What a plunge!

My own brain is to me the most unaccountable of machinery - always buzzing, humming, soaring roaring diving, and then buried in mud. And why? What's this passion for?

Friday, January 13, 2006

"The Office"

If NBC ever puts out "The Office" on DVD, I'm buying every episode I can get my hands on. Because I have worked for Michael several times. Often he was female, but I remember him well. I have also worked with Dwight, who has also sometimes been female, but always creepy. Hands down the best show on TV right now (aside from the Daily Show of course).

How we '80s kids know we're getting old

While Mr. Fraulein and I were in Los Angeles over the holidays, we were able to take in a few movies, thanks to the abundant free babysitting that was available. During "The Producers," my blood started to run cold as I realized what it was that was bothering me about Matthew Broderick. He didn't look right. The skin on his face looked all crepey and loose.

This, of course, was because my image of Matthew Broderick is frozen in time from "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," which came out in 1986. When I was a junior in high school.

Which was 20 years ago, for Christ's sake.

When the Peanut finally sees the John Hughes movies (on some digital format which probably doesn't even exist yet) they will be quaint, musty oldies, if they aren't already.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Once upon a potty

Today we got the shocking news from our pediatrician that in just three more months, we have to start potty training the Peanut. For some reason I didn't think this would come up so quickly, but apparently 18 months is the age to start. I guess we will have to get "Once Upon a Potty." On one level this is disturbing, but on another level, this means, some day not too long from now, no more diapers!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

We're Delta Airlines. How can we make your trip more irritating?

Well, we are back from Los Angeles, where the Peanut had her whirlwind tour of Mr. Fraulein's family. She particularly enjoyed spending time with her Popo (grandma in Chinese), who never stopped feeding her, and her Ye-ye (grandpa). She also had fun with her aunts and uncles and her five cousins, ranging in age from 9 to 19. It's amazing to me how mature they all look since the last time I saw them. Smart, gorgeous kids all.

Delta, as I've mentioned in previous posts, seems to delight in spreading misery, but what are you going to do? This is just how air travel is these days. You stand on line, awaiting the chance to take your shoes and coat off so they can be separately X-rayed, even though I don't think this serves any real security purpose. You think you'll be fed, just because you're traveling all the way across the country? I don't think so. You'll carry a sack of enough food and water to carry you through any contingency (What if we miss the connecting flight and get stuck in the airport for days, and can't face the prospect of eating McDonalds?) -- and you'll like it. Did you say you wanted to board the plane first, just because you're traveling with a 15-month-old? Nice try. Perhaps you can shove the elderly passengers out of the way with your stroller, because it doesn't look like they get assistance anymore either.

Oh, and would you like your luggage to make it onto your connecting flight? Delta can't quite handle that challenge. It's not like they've been in this air travel business for very long or anything. But luckily, they do have a 24-hour delivery service, so our misplaced bags made it back to our house the next morning.

So no real harm done. But it amazes me that the airlines seem not to do one damn thing to make your trip go more smoothly. It's like they deliberately try to make it as difficult as possible to travel, and then they wonder why they're all in Chapter 11.