The Animal Kingdom

August 29, 2007

Last night, my partner saw a snake in his basement office.

His comforting words included, “Maybe they’ll eat the mice!” (I just discovered the droppings Sunday) and “I think I saw a black widow, too!”

Meanwhile, our darling but possibly dimwitted dog spends his hunting hours attacking the FLIES.

We need a cat.

And a hotel room.

And did I mention: ACCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Evolutionary Leftovers

August 27, 2007

I was just skimming the article “What Evolution Left Behind on Humans,” all about the appendix and the tailbone and other features that we once used but now don’t, and found these interesting notes that working women might find useful:

  • Male Nipples
    • Lactiferous ducts (the lobes of the mammary gland at the tip of the nipple) form well before the the testosterone is released that causes a fetus to be a male. Also, men have mammary tissue that can be stimulated to produce milk.

Hold on… men can NURSE? First of all, I want to know if they ever did – no mention of how these were ever useful in this article. But heck, who cares if they did in the past or not – let’s get them going now! Let’s get men bonding with the babies and sharing some of the responsibility and pleasure of that intimacy – why not? Can you imagine how that would revolutionize our entire society? I’ve read about African tribes where the men let the babies dry-suckle on what my husband has gotten our daughter to call their “man-boobs,” but I didn’t know they could be PRODUCTIVE. Let’s get this going!!!!

Body Hair

    • Most of your body hair serves no function (though some think otherwise). Eyebrows keep sweat from going into your eyes, and male facial hair may play a role in sexual selection. Armpit and pubic hair help deal with moisture but beyond that it does us no good. Your arm and leg hair are just the remains of a once fully covered body of hair.

    If you’ve ever felt guilty for not just being natural and letting your leg hair grow (me), then this piece of info can assuage that guilt! It’s not necessary! It’s an heirloom! Get that laser surgery done – take it all off!

    Pregnant in the Office

    August 23, 2007

    Yesterday I found out one of the women in my office is also pregnant and due five days before me. This is great, except that:a) She is super skinny, and this is her first, so while I already look like a balloon, her “bump” is barely visible

    b) She has super great clothes, and will now have super great maternity clothes, and I will not be able to get away with looking crappy without being in stark contrast to her.

    These are perhaps superficial contrasts, but come on, everyone’s going to see the two of us and make judgments, and I’m going to feel ridiculously fat, old, and ugly next to her. Boo hoo. Yes, I’m feeling sorry for myself.

    3) Working and being pregnant and a mother is – surprise! – A LOT of work. All I want to do is sleep, eat, puke, and cry.

    I am looking forward to Mom’s Night Out, March 2008! Yay!

    Fallen Soldier

    August 23, 2007

    This is the second story I’ve heard about the government obstructing justice for murdered soldiers. This one is a young woman. It is so sad. Please take a moment to read and even send a message to your local representative about the issue.

    It could be our daughter, our son.

    Our Sidewalks

    August 23, 2007

    I just saw a Book of Joe post asking ‘how walkable is your neighborhood?’ – apparently there’s a website where you can get this calculated – and I was reminded of my earlier fury.

    Dominion VA Power inserted new power line poles up and down our dead-end street and then disappeared, leaving masses of hard, rocky, dirt around each pole that are so large they cover the entire sidewalk. This means that if you’re pushing a stroller, riding a wheelchair, or just walking, you can’t walk on the sidewalk. You have to go off into the road or try to brave the little hill – which my daughter did last night, consequently falling down.

    I’ve complained with the city, and sent an email to the power company, but I’m totally incensed that this situation ever happened in the first place. I mean, not only is it bad for us walking on the street – but don’t they want to cover their own butts and avoid being sued when someone falls or gets hit when having to step into the road? Grrrr.

    Help Your Career – Post to this Blog

    August 22, 2007

    Okay, maybe not this one, but according to an article I just read, branding yourself online is the way to go with finding a job, which includes the following:

    • Review books at and that are relevant to your area of expertise.
    • Submit articles to article banks and web portals that relate to your functional area/passion.
    • Claim your profile or start one at, and They are free.
    • Post comments to blogs that are relevant to how you want to me know.
    • Of course, for most people, having a blog is the ideal way.

    I don’t know about you, but this sounds like a lot of BORING work – sometimes I just want to read something without having to comment or review it, you know? Just the reading part takes a lot of time.

    Still, notice what I’m doing right now…

    Dolls, the Dilemma

    August 22, 2007

    The issue of dolls is one that is just beginning to crest its presence into my life.

    Because I want to raise a child who thinks of herself first as a person, not as a girl, I’m very conscious of giving her a range of options for toys and activities and clothing, not just the pink ones.

    Still, because I’m a girl, and a fairly girly-girl at that, unless I change myself, I realize I’m not going to do anything to dissuade my daughter from emulating me by wanting nail polish on her toes, walking in my high heels, carrying a purse, brushing my hair, and yes, pushing a stroller with a doll in it, the way I do with her.

    Here’s some random, incomplete thoughts:

    1) The Barbie vs. Bratz debate continues – and I find myself definitely on the Barbie side, though I have no intention of ever getting J. one (now). I grew up with tons of Barbies, involving them in elaborate, melodramatic story lines fit for daytime soaps. One could argue that the fact I am girly is due to this Barbie exposure, but one could also go stick a plastic doll pump up one’s nose (ha ha). But seriously, I’m glad Dora exists, and the other female kid cartoons, because I want there to be non-sexy models for my not-even- two year old!

    2) I was thrilled to see a recent post on PNOC by a woman getting her son a babydoll. Now, if only every boy would get a dollhouse, too. How we raise our sons is just as important as how we raise our daughters, because if we have a bunch of aware, liberated girls running around and a bunch of caveman boys, we’re going to have a lot of very angry people (already do!).

    The dollhouse thing came to mind recently when someone said to a boy, “There’s J’s dollhouse, she has one because she’s a girl.” I cringed. What does J do in the dollhouse? she cleans it, she puts people to sleep, she washes the babies in the tiny bathtub… All domestic chores that she’s learning are fun – well, shouldn’t boys learn these are THEIR duties, and learn how to do them, so that when they marry later it’s instinctive behavior? Then we wouldn’t have these debates about what it means to be a wife, and whether wives need wives…

    3) I got to pick out my first babydoll when I was little, and the one I selected happened to be “black” – I thought she was the prettiest. What do we do about providing our children with dolls of color?

    4) I think I assumed I would never buy my daughter a babydoll at all, because I didn’t want her to grow up to believe that being a woman-person was only possible or made valid by procreation. But, since I’m having a baby soon, and I want J. to get used to the idea, and I’ve read books about it, I did buy her one. And it seems like every other little girl her age has one. And I guess, to a certain extent, there’s no getting around the fact that I’m a mother, and if my daughter wants to be like me, she’s going to want to be a mother, too.

    5) But lord, what’s up with this thing about girls really do like pink??

    I’d love to hear thoughts on this!