Contrary to Burger King’s celebration of men being revered for
shoveling food into their mouths, Lean Cuisine molds women as such: a
group of woman brag to each other about how shitty their dinner was
last night. “Last night I had a half bag of microwave popcorn.” “I ate
three leaves of lettuce.” “I just ate right out of the cat’s litter
box.” But lo- the uppity one deigns to speak- “I had a delicious meal
that actually tasted good.” Astonished, she must then pacify her
friends, ready to eviscerate her for her audacity. “Relax, girls! It
was just a Lean Cuisine! A shitty frozen microwave dinner. I mean,
Jesus, you don’t think I’d actually enjoy eating, would you?” And then
they all giggle and discuss the latest corset styles and what it would
be like if they had the right to vote.
You'd think the greatest moral imperative for women was to eat as little as possible. All of my friends are like this. I lost ten pounds, they tell me. I'm on a diet, they say. My hips are too large, they confide. I do not care. I like my food and I don't care who knows it. And people love to eat at my house 'cause I love to cook.
This is a comment I made on Barbara Ehrenreich's blog: Mr. Nardelli [overcompensated CEO of Home Depot] ought to be told that the newish Home Depot here in Hilo,
Hawaii, is crappy. No one knows where anything is. Employees can't
answer your questions because they are too busy stacking shelves. Or
they stand outdoors blocking the entrance, smoking, trash talking, or snapping gum.
When you ask where to pay or how to work the damn automatic checkout,
they stop talking on the phone to their friends for a moment so they
can impatiently point you to where you should go. If anything bothers
you, it's your fault and you get that exasperated look. You are given
to know that your presence in the store is interfering with employee
activities, which involve a lot of hanging out.
The place was good when it opened, but now nothing is run as it should be there, since the trainers left.
I don't really blame these people; they are young and unused to this
sort of work and probably not being paid much, but surely when you're
putting out a lot of money for goods, you'd like a little helpfulness
and courtesy. They really need better training and supervision so they
can do a good job.
When this enterprise goes belly-up, it will be considered the fault of
the workers, not of their slipshod bosses, too busy floating around on
their yachts to mind the store. This is a disaster, because Home Depot
has always had such a good reputation for service. Not here.
We have gone back to Ace Hardware and other suppliers, because they are
so much nicer, and we can get most of what we need from them.
When that blast of red from the Home Depot sign disappears from the modest Hilo skyline, I will not weep.
I copped this from Crooks and Liars: Check out the sly smirk that a photographer caught after Bush had given his mea culpa speech. We are supposed to believe that his errors are of style, not substance. The newest Repug talking point is that the Clinton marriage is in trouble. Dean and Chris Matthews duked it out. Dean just said it's gossip, we've got other things to think about--gas prices, the war, global warming--while Matthews kept trying to get him to lose his composure. But Dean stuck to his guns and won the debate. Time to grow up, America.
I was just kvetching to a friend, M., about my artistic notions. I said that the world is full of decorative objects that have no meaning. But it isn't the decorative part that is so deadening. After all, aren't the very decorative works of Matisse full of life? Here is Matisse's famous quote:
What I dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity devoid of troubling or depressing subject matter, an art which might be for every mental worker, be he businessman or writer, like an appeasing influence, like a mental soother, something like a good armchair, in which to rest from physical fatigue.
Jessie Lawson's paintings are like that, but they derive their peaceful qualities from her struggles. There is nothing facile about them. Matisse detested facile or superficial work. What M. said was, "Matisse's work comes out of a tradition. The kind of work you object to has no tradition." Derivative, yes, culturally important, no. Of course under Matisse's narrow paradigm ungainly and ugly things cannot be considered art. But as M. says, "You have to tear down fences sometimes." That is what the abstract expressionists and pop artists did. Surprisingly, their work with the passage of time has lost its shock value, and the formality and beauty of their work have become apparent. So maybe Matisse is right after all.
My real concern with my friend who criticized my montages was that our relationship had stagnated as we got older. Now it seems that we can move ahead in a more honest way. I thought that when I got old that I wouldn't have to change my life any more. That is turning out not to be true. Stagnation is a danger of old age that I have to fight in myself and others. Another danger is of rejecting and being rejected. It takes some dedication and tolerance to accept the changes in others caused by illness, disability, cognitive loss, dark moods. I have been lucky so far, but that luck could change tomorrow. Some of my friends have had a very hard time. Denial works to stave off the realization of old age, and those who successfully practice it may not confront their reality until the very end. That doesn't work for me. There is a lot to be said on this topic about the often ineffectual ways we deal with old age. Family members can help or hinder. I have had to fight stereotypes of what a wife, mother, and grandmother is supposed to be in order to win through to the relationships I want. It is easy to live on the surface of life, although it involves a lot of labor in the way of living up to expectations. All the busyness gets in the way of being with each other. I enjoy hanging out with my granddaughter, but usually there is too much going on. I hope to be spending more time with her in the future.
I was having so much fun with the photomontages, but I made the mistake of asking a friend of mine who fancies himself to be quite the photographer what he thought of them. Now what I was asking was if he thought they were fun to watch, did they amuse him, was it good for him. He thought I was asking him about the quality of my photography! In the most insufferable patronizing way, he said if I applied myself and worked it it, I might be able to come up with something that was worthwhile. He totally missed the point. Now this gentlemen does nice work, but his subject matter is banal: fields of flowers, mountain scenery, waves on rocks, exotic bazaars, etc. They reflect his cautious tastes. That's not my intent, obviously. Hey, I'm just amusing myself and amusing you, I hope. I have nothing to prove. I can't take his other hobby, golf, seriously either. Such kerfluffle about techniques and scores. Aren't we chasing a little ball around the grass? I know he won't read this, because he considers my blog a waste of time. Grr. How many more people am I going to have to give up on in my life? These are people I have known for 30 and more years, and they seem to be going bad on me. It's like they are out to thwart any joy or spontaneity in me or anybody else. They have turned into sourpusses, which is a symptom of old age, especially in men. I've been real nice about all this, but I guess I'm done. Gotta get some younger friends or jollier older friends. Thank goodness for the wonderful Salalalee, who left my life for so long and is now back in it.
Note to Westerners: Aim to be HUMAN first -- not Übermenschen.This posting on Jennifer's blog is a consolation to me right now, because I am under attack in my personal life, and this is like ESP. Thanks, Jennifer.
Rate Your Students.com says so much about the animosity existing between undergraduates and professors in higher education today. Professors and other teachers go to a lot of trouble to get educated, love their subjects, and I would say that they almost always do their best as teachers and scholars. The students they encounter, however, often are just trying to get by. I think it's the system. But I do not know of a better one.