Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Taking lazy to a new level

This is a conversation I had with my brother (aka Bro):

Me: You're 2 on my speed dial list because I call you more than anybody else.
Bro: You're number 3 on mine because it is the easiest one to reach.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Things I Learned in Texas

Sorry to go so long without posting. Gus and I have been in Menard spending a wonderfully relaxing Spring Break with my family.

Weeks with my family are almost always interesting. In fact, we are a group of rather zaney people. Throughout the week, we went through old boxes from my Grandma Pierce's house. Here are a few things I learned about my family while searching through these boxes:

1. My brother and I have been liberals from a very young age. We came across a list of laws we had made for our play country when we were in Kindergarten and 2nd grade. My brother has the complete list on his blog. It includes such things as gun control, welfare, and laws against any form of racial discrimination. I think another conclusion that can be drawn from this is that we were brainwashed early.

2. My dad's extended family was also a bit nuts. For example, Dad's great-uncle, Dude, has an interesting life story that I learned this week. He was married twice, both times to a mail-ordered bride. The first bride sent him a picture of her pretty young friend claiming it was a picture of herself. When he went to meet her, she was an old, unattractive woman, but he married her anyways because he felt sorry for her. Not surprisingly, they ended up divorced, but she remained a family friend even after he married his second mail-ordered bride. Not ironically, he died in a car wreck on his way to marry a third mail-ordered bride. He was one of my dad's favorite relatives.

3. The home I grew up in was obtained for our family through a marriage of convenience. An old doctor (about 99 years old) told my great-grandmother that he would give her his house if she would marry him and take care of him.

4. My great-grandmother would buy anything on credit. She once hid behind a piano in our house when a creditor came to collect some late payments. When her location was accidentally revealed, she claimed she was dusting behind the piano.

5. When my grandmother and Aunt Doe were younger, they always wore high heels and took pictures with dogs, so some of my own obsessions are starting to make more sense.

6. My grandmother was constantly cutting out random newspaper articles. Tucked in a stack of my old drawings from her house, we found an article about a new over-the-counter drug for yeast infections. This makes me feel better about always e-mailing people articles I think they should read.

7. Unrelated to my family or grandma's boxes, I also learned this week the BJ's best friend, Josh, has unresolved issues of animosity towards the wives of his friends due to the multiple times I have slaughtered him in boardgames. This was satisfying beyond words.

It was a really great week. I love learning things about my family because, as odd as it sounds, it helps me understand myself a little better. Gus also enjoyed the week, although he did have a few bodily difficulties. Primarily, he only "relieves" himself after Sienna, so on our way down to Menard he went over 24 hours without going number one or number two. I was a little worried about him. But of course, the best part of traveling with Gus is watching the workers in drive-thrus ooh-and-aah when I'm getting my food and being stopped about ten times by random strangers who are wanting to know what in the world that dog is. It was definitely a good trip.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Word vomit from Rush Limbaugh and how I became a feminist

Words flowing from the bottomless pit that is Rush Limbaugh's mouth generally disgust me. There's no nice way to put it. Unfortunately, sometimes it is hard to entirely avoid the man. The other day, I heard this extremely unfortunate quote from Limbaugh: "Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of society." I was so angry about this that I decided to jump on a soap box. So welcome, reader, to my soap box.

After a few Sunday morning Bible classes that focused on women in the church, I have really been examining my views on feminism and my own role in society and, more importantly, the church. After one particular class where my feminism flared out a little more visibly than usual, I was asked by a fellow classmate what my father is like. Basically, she was trying to figure out the roots of my feminism. The more I thought about her question, the more I realized a startling discovery.

Limbaugh's gross misrepresentation of feminism is unfortunately not uncommon in our society, but after contemplating my church friend's question, I came to realize something that truly defies society's feminist stereotype: I realized that the three strongest feminist I personally know are all men. I am speaking of my father, brother, and husband. Let me explain.

Nearly everyday of my youth, my father told me how great I was. In fact, his parenting technique reminds me of Tina Fey's acceptance speech at the Emmy's last year when she thanked her parents for "somehow raising me to have confidence that is disproportionate with my looks and abilities. Well done. That is what all parents should do." He constantly told me that I was just as smart as my brother (which he was wrong about, but I don't hold it against him). The expectation in my house was clear: I, the daughter, was equal in ability and potential to the first born son. Take that, our ridiculous patriarchal culture!

Then there was my brother. He's an English major. I don't think I have to say much else. To sum it up, the guy is a raving feminist who has constantly affirmed both my artistic pursuits and my intellectual development.

And, of course, there is BJ. BJ is a preacher who not only allows, but encourages his wife to pick apart his sermons every week without getting insecure about his manhood. He stands in the kitchen while I cook and talks about deep, complicated theological issues that most people would only talk about with other Bible scholars. Essentially, he seems to think I have a highly developed brain that can withstand all sorts of intellectual vigor. I appreciate that. And the best part is that he helps with the dishes after dinner, and we usually talk theology then, as well.

So Limbaugh and all who prescribe to his way of thinking on this issue, feminist are not just a bunch of "unattractive women". Feminist are women of all levels of attractiveness who believe in the equality of the sexes and men who are secure enough in their masculinity to accept this equality. That is who a feminist is.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

To my ACU friends

Even though it has been nearly two years since I graduated from college, old running jokes still pop up in my head from time to time. This is especially true of my freshman year when so much of my time was spent with my brother, his friends Will, and the Fat Tuesday girls. So, anyways, tonight at church we sang "There's a Stirring," a nice, normal praise song sung at many churches across the country. But instead of thinking about the emotions that should be "stirring" in me while listening to this song, I immediately thought of Will and diarrhea. I'm not going to go into why I thought that or how any of it is connected. The point is, I thought about Will and diarrhea tonight at church, and that is disturbing.

So I'm wondering, to all of my college friends who read this blog, do these memories creep up on you, which memories have remained the clearest, and are they as disturbing as the ones I find myself remember? I will make me feel better if I'm not the only one.