Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Flitting in and out of memory

On Saturday it will be two years since my friend Bevin left us, and I've been thinking about her a lot this week. She keeps passing before my mind's eye, talking, laughing, moving in that purposeful way she had. I see her welcoming holiday guests in her family's old house, joking around with my dad, pressing a drink into my hands.

In my favorite quote from Orlando, my favorite Woolf novel, she wrote memory is the seamstress. The gist of it is that we have no idea which images memory will link together for us, or why they come in the order they do. So that while standing folding laundry, or waiting for my coffee to heat up in the microwave, I might be so overwhelmed by Bevin's image flitting before me that I'll start to cry, wondering what might have been. What's left is to be thankful for what was.

Monday, February 27, 2006

More proof that "race" is a societal construct

Twin girls, one very pale, blonde, and blue-eyed, and one dark-skinned with dark eyes, born to parents who are both half black and half white.

Mixing up those genes produces some surprising and lovely results. How much more proof do we need that what we think of as "race" is just an idea invented ages ago by primitive proto-Republicans to keep people divided?

Back on the sauce

Anyone care to place bets on whether the Chimp-in-Chief is drinking again?

The official police incident report states: "[The unit] was requested to
cover the road junction on the Auchterarder to Braco Road as the President
of the USA, George Bush, was cycling through." The report goes on: "[At]
about 1800 hours the President approached the junction at speed on the
bicycle. The road was damp at the time. As the President passed the junction
at speed he raised his left arm from the handlebars to wave to the police
officers present while shouting 'thanks, you guys, for coming'.

"As he did this he lost control of the cycle, falling to the ground,
causing both himself and his bicycle to strike [the officer] on the lower legs.
[The officer] fell to the ground, striking his head. The President continued
along the ground for approximately five metres, causing himself a number of
abrasions. The officers... then assisted both injured parties."

Friday, February 10, 2006

The Peanut's day

Thursdays are my work-at-home days, so the Peanut stays home from day care and hangs out with me and, thank God, her babysitter, without whom I could not get a single thing done. It's fun because I have a little more time to play with her, feed her, etc. than I normally get during the week. So this was our afternoon yesterday: each time I managed to settle down to the computer, I would hear the pitter-patter (which is actually more like a thunk-thunk) of tiny Peanut feet coming down the hallway. Every 20 minutes or so she would get up from whatever she was doing in her room with the sitter and walk to the dining room, where I work, to check and see if I was still there.

And I know she's coming because I hear "Mama, Mama, Mama" all the way down the hallway. Which is great fun, especially since for so long, all she said was "Daddy."

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Pre-35 wardrobe: Tiny T-shirts and bare-midriff jeans. Post-35 wardrobe: Housecoats.

Yesterday I read in the Globe that Talbot's is taking over J. Jill. Apparently the two clothing chains are among the major specialty stores "for women 35 and over." Which I think I agree with, particularly in the case of Talbot's, whose offerings often veer towards the stodgy. In fact, I'd say Talbot's key demographic is professional women around age 50. J. Jill, however, sometimes features fairly hip-looking items (at least as I define it, which may not be saying much). I could easily see women in their early 20s wearing much of the J. Jill stuff.

Which is why it's so interesting that the Globe insists on characterizing the joint venture as aimed at older women. ("The combined companies will make a big footprint in the apparel market for older women, overtaking Ann Taylor, which had about $2 billion in sales last year...")

Now, Ann Taylor and J. Jill are hardly the places you go if you are a grandmother looking to buy a new housecoat. But apparently, those of us who shop at stores like these are stuck in the "older" category -- which is now defined as "over 35." Well, that's nice to know.

Do the people who write these stories, and the business analysts they quote, think that women morph directly from bubblegum-popping sylphs in ass-exposing jeans to dumpy matrons in dowdy suits? Why, in American society, are women shoved into such absolute categories? At 37 I'm not "young" anymore, so I must be "old."