Random Blog A Musing Farf: July 2007

Tuesday, July 31, 2007


I obsess about my weight. I love when a male companion opens up a car door for me and almost never insist on splitting the check with a date. I believe that Husband can be absolved of a multitude of sins if he brings me flowers and I would sit in the dark for weeks if my building super did not change the ceiling light bulb. Romance novels make me cry. I am a feminist.

Peg recently posted a contest in which the rules were to write a blog post about what you would like to teach the next generation about feminism. My answer is the same as the advice my dad once gave me when I dressed in a ridiculous outfit to impress some friends: Be true to yourself.

I coo over babies and puppies. I still harbor the dream of owning my own pony. I also love sports and have strong opinions on the state of the NY Giants offensive line for next season. I have no idea how much money we have in the bank or if Husband invests in stocks, but I love my job as an attorney and as I write this, Husband is doing the housework.

Feminist. That word somehow developed as derogatory or insulting. I was raised by parents who refused to cater to gender stereotypes and never told me I could not do something just because I happened to be born female, but at the same time, when I proclaimed myself to be a feminist in high school, my mother looked puzzled. “Are you going to stop wearing bras and shaving your legs?” she asked.

And then in college, to prove I was a feminist, I refused to wear anything pink, announced I would never get married (and if I did, I most certainly would not be changing my name), and stopped wearing make-up.

I became invested in politics and worked for EMILY’s List, convinced the path to equality involved getting more pro-choice women elected to office. I remembered that I look really good in pink. I went to law school and was singled out in my trial advocacy class for my litigation skills. I wore make-up during the final presentation. I joined Haven Coalition and got married. I changed my last name immediately.

Husband and I would like to have children. And I want our children to grow up making their own decisions and not being held back because of their gender. If my son wants to be a ballerina and my daughter a construction worker, that is fine by me. And if my son only plays with GI Joe and my daughter loves Barbie, that’s okay too. As long as they are doing something because it is what they truly want and not want society tells them to want. And then, no matter the connotations, they will be feminists.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


I swear I didn’t mean for it to happen. We were only supposed to be a short-term foster home until a long-term home could be found. But, the weekend turned into a week, which turned into a month and then, it was too hard to say good-bye. And not just for us, Tiki the Wonder Dog had fallen hard for his new friend and separating them just seemed cruel.

So, we are keeping Cody.

How could we not? There are so many reasons for not keeping a second dog (time, expenses, training regimes), but none were so overwhelming that we could let go.

And, when you see Cody and Tiki together, it is clear that he chose us as much as we chose him.

I have volunteered at a variety of different places: I have spent time on political campaigns; I helped run a pro-choice group which provides shelter to women coming to NYC for second trimester abortions (Haven Coalition); I delivered food to homebound people living with HIV/AIDS (Food & Friends); but none of these have been as emotionally rewarding as my involvement with NYC Shiba Rescue.

Why is this group different from others? I am not sure. At first, I thought it was because the people involved seemed to really care, but that’s not a fair statement because the Haven folks were some of the most dedicated people I have ever met. Then I thought it was the one-on-one interactions, but I had that with Food & Friends as well as Haven. But then I realized. I give people a lot of credit for being able to persevere during tough situations. The women who used Haven’s services were able to come from all over the country (and even Puerto Rico and Canada) to NY in order to obtain abortions. The folks to whom I delivered food to through Food & Friends were all able to live independently despite the advanced stage of their illness. I admired them and felt good being a part of making their lives better, but it most cases, I knew that the people I was helping did not care if it was me or someone else helping them. Dogs are different.

Also, when Cody was removed from the shelter and brought to our home, he immediately attached himself to Husband. He follows Husband everywhere and when Husband goes into the bathroom and closes the door, Cody positions himself outside to wait. He spent three weeks at my parents’ house (aka Grammy’s Fresh Air Fund for Dogs) while we were in Europe, but you have never seen a living being as excited as Cody was at Husband’s return.

And there is the difference. In return for rescuing Cody, I got more than the fleeting good feeling you get for helping someone for a few hours or an evening, I got a dog who greets me like a soldier returning from war when I run out to get the newspaper. I have a playmate for Tiki and a dog who when I was sad this weekend, planted himself on my lap and kissed my face. Really, what I got was a constant and unlimited supply of love.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


I am not a bad person. I am human and make mistakes, but I am not a bad person.

Lately, I have made more than my share of mistakes: I missed a lunch meeting with Sister because I screwed up resetting my watch after returning from Europe; I forgot the date of a charity event that a good friend spent a long time planning and at which I was supposed to volunteer; I lost a bracelet which was borrowed from a colleague. It has not been my best week.

All three of the above people had very different reactions to my errors and response to my apologies ranged from, “It’s okay, don’t worry about it,” to two days (and counting) of silent treatment.

Do I feel bad about these things? Certainly. But, despite what some people would have me believe, none of these events make me a bad person. Careless? Yes. A little scatterbrained? Totally. But a bad person? No.

Does this seem elementary to you? It actually took me several days before I could come to that conclusion. And, Saturday night, as I cried about all of this, it took Husband to remind me that people express anger and frustration in different ways, but I can not judge myself simply by others reactions to my errors.

While anger and frustration is part of any deep friendship, it is not supposed to consume you. Friends make mistakes. They don’t hold grudges and they, after time, even learn to laugh about a bracelet having relocated to Poland.

I have apologized, owned up to my errors of the week and offered, where appropriate, some kind of payment. There is nothing more I can do except remind myself that everyone makes mistakes a someone who holds me to an unobtainable standard of perfection will never really like me. It’s not who I am. I forget stuff and people who really love me for who I am understand that.

I guess the point is that it’s okay to be upset with someone else, but if that someone else is someone you truly care about, you get over it and decide the friendship is worth more than even a silver bracelet.

Monday, July 23, 2007


Since I am too busy reading Harry Potter to blog, I thought this would be an appropriate piece to run from Mara, my guest blogger for the day.

Enough. Harry. Potter.

Seriously. All the papers here, the news programs, the high street shops, are overflowing with Harry Potter, or "HP7" as the bloggers have dubbed thephenomena. The headlines are enough to make me pull out my hair -

- Harry Potter and the internet spoilers
- Harry Potter and the all-night blog
- Harry Potter and the supermarket giant
- Harry Potter and the Asda apology (Asda, a Wal-Mart affiliate, is actually selling the book at less than the wholesale price - local bookshop owners are queuing there to buy copies).

Then there's the teaching assistant who quit over a child wanting to read the book in class. A Pentecostal, she feels the book glorifies witchcraft. And remember the McCann family? They were thinking of putting bookmarks with little photos of their daughter Madeleine in all the copies of the book. And how dare the big, bad New York Times print a review of the book ahead of the embargo? Let's talk about it, while reprinting the review in full. Do theHarry Potter books encourage reading in children or diminish it? My personal two favourites are a UK gambling organisation (Brits bet on anything)announcing they had stopped taking bets on whether or not Harry dies in thebook as his demise would bankrupt their company, and the fact that Childline, a UK help line for children, has laid in extra staff to cope with children's grief should some of their beloved characters die. They havetaken this measure due to the floods of extra calls that occurred upon the break up of the British boy band Take That.

Seriously people. Seriously!

Don't get me wrong. I get it. This book means a lot to a lot of people. Heck, I was disappointed when I came to the end of the Chronicles of Narnia, The Chronicles ofPrydain, even the All of a Kind Family series. And myhusband, who is an avid reader of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series, buys each book as soon as it isavailable, devours it like a starving man and lies back sated before gloomily remembering that it will be two years before the next book. But this is different. Children were camped out along the high road outside Waterstones last night. So were adults. Adults! I've read one or two of thebooks, and seen a few of the movies, but I always wondered at the men and women in suits I saw commuting to work reading a book with cartoons on the cover when I tend to be embarrassed if I read chic lit anywhere other than on the beach, or US Weekly anywhere other than the doctor's office.

Know what? There are two wars on at the moment that the UK is involved with. There is a newly elected prime minister. We're expelling Russian diplomats for refusing to extradite a murder suspect. Ministers left and right are admitting to smoking marijuana as the country decides whether or not tore-re classify pot back to a B from a C misdemeanour. Israel has released 255 Palestinian prisoners. Rupert Murdoch is buying the Wall Street Journal, for crying out loud. There are real, serious things going on in the world.

But wait - is that the point? Have I just discovered the Harry Potter appeal? Is the reason grown men and women spent last night lined up outside booksellers wearing pointed hats, wigs, capes and wands due to the fact that the lovely world of quidditch, magic and wizards and where good (so far) always triumphs over evil just a little easier to bear than one where we're in two wars, violent crime and emergency room visits are up due to the newly extended bar opening hours in the UK, millions of Americans don't have healthcare, and the Democrats have yet to present us with a viable candidate for 2008?

Mind you, I am not judging the Potter-ittes, or Rowl-oholics, and I very much respect JK Rowling, a single mother who, as one of the wealthiestpeople in the world seems to be one of the more reticent and down to earthof the nouveau riche. Certainly an obsession with a series of books doesn'thurt anyone. I just want to understand what about the boy-wonder wizard ismaking people of all ages on several continents swoon in the same fashionthat the Beatles once inspired. I may never understand. In the meantime, Iplan to spend today not standing in a line at a bookshop, enjoying thesunshine with my television off - though I have to admit that my husband was one of the 2.2 million people to pre-order the book on Amazon.com and it is currently sitting on our table untouched as he plays with our daughter. I hope that all this Potter-philia has given those infected with it a welcome respite from the world at large and enables them to return to us, reinvigorated, on the morrow.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

I'M BACK!!!!

It’s been almost three weeks but I have now returned from my European tour. I have to say, as wonderful as the accommodations were, it is nice to be back in my own bed with my own pillows. It’s also nice to see my doggies. Oh, yes. I said “doggies.” After not much discussion and lots of snuggles, Husband and I decided that Cody was as much a part of our family as we were and there was no way we were giving him up. I went out today and bought a new bowl, dog bed, retractable leash for the country and Cody is not officially one of us.

Europe was amazing. Poland was rich in history and the wedding was beautiful. Husband’s fluency was incredibly helpful in France and the best part of London was seeing Mara, Justin and the world’s cutest baby. Even Husband was totally charmed by the baby and constantly wanted to play with her – even at 3am. I imagine that will quickly change if we have one of our own.

The downside of coming home after a long vacation (other than the huge amounts of laundry) is that your body takes forever to figure out what time it is. Despite working until 11pm both Thursday and Friday nights (oh, yeah, the other downside is the tremendous amount of work the piles up), my eyes popped open at 6am and I could not fall back asleep. I am exhausted and cranky because now. Husband is napping, but my fear is that a nap will just increase my jet-lag so I am trying very hard to stay awake. Grrr.

Monday, July 02, 2007


This is it. The moment I have been waiting for. I am about to turn off my work computer and head home. While that is exciting enough in itself, I am even more excited by the fact that I will not be back for two weeks while I jet around Europe – first Poland for a wedding and a little Jewish heritage, then to meet up with Photogenic Friends in Paris and finally, office to visit Mara and her amazing family in London. No work, no cares. I can’t wait.

Also, likely no blogging. I am not seeking out entertainment other than spending time with Husband and reading some good books. If there is internet access, then I will post. But, I am not going out of my way to do anything and pretty much disconnecting in order to relax. Yippee!