I'm from the government and I'm here to gri...help.

On A Woman Tapes Her Street Harassers

I appreciate her last FAQ on the Cards site about discussing the harassment we face with other people, particularly men. A few weeks ago I was at a party where the hostesses had a catcall story and all of the women joined in with recent tales. The men were shocked at how many stories we had from just the last month or so, and how gross some of them were. These were feminist dudes but they really had no idea what we face on a daily basis. It definitely taught me to tell those stories more...I hadn't really seen a point, before, but I do now. They were having epiphanies as we talked about it.

Posted on July 21, 2014 at 4:55 pm 0

On This Is The Day Before 40

I've got a few years left, but still, WORD. Hard not to look at the big supposed-tos with some measure of frustration and lack of control (sorry, nonexistent offspring I was supposed to be done creating at 35, I am not an amoeba). But the small ones become almost badges of honor, don't they? I kind of take comfort in the fact that I still can't say "corduroy" (I know how it should sound, but my mouth likes to sprinkle in extra 'r's for the hell of it). I don't think I would feel quite like me if I ever mastered it.

I think it's the middle-ground ones that really taunt you. I'm close, but can't quite seem to finish the Ikea-to-real-furniture transition. Nothing says "accomplished adult" like taking your clothes out of a ten-year-old, overstuffed, broken Malm dresser!

Posted on July 21, 2014 at 4:11 pm 0

On Iceland vs Greece

Got addicted to skyr when I visited Iceland a few years ago. Did you know that based on the way it's made, it is technically a cheese?

Siggi's, while it was started by an Icelandic native, is a U.S.-based product. True Icelandic-produced skyr can be found at Whole Foods and probably other places under the brand name Skyr. That's what I like best, but it's a rare treat as I usually don't go to WF. I'm satisfied enough mixing fresh fruit (blueberries and peaches FTW) into plain Fage. I'd buy Siggi's instead of Fage if it came in the 35-oz container so I could get one to last a whole week.

Posted on June 26, 2014 at 12:55 pm 0

On Ask a Fancy Person: Entry-Level Expensive, Unwanted Guests and the Gratefulness Feedback Loop

@superfluous consonants

"Dear X,

Thank you for the adorable activity mat, and please accept our apology for taking this long to say so. Timmy really enjoys playing on the mat, and we think of you every time he uses it. During this particularly challenging and hectic year, having such wonderful friends and family has been a stabilizing force for us, and we have felt so grateful to have you even when we have not been able to express it when or how we would have preferred. Thank you again, and we hope you enjoy the picture of Timmy on the mat!

Love, Us

Posted on June 9, 2014 at 2:27 pm 3

On Too Emotional, Too Sensitive, Too Much

One strategy I've found very effective in striking a balance at work is to VOICE how I am feeling within the context of the situation causing the feelings, AFTER I've explained how I'm gonna handle this shit like a boss. Basically my feelings are like a pill that I slather in the peanut butter of professional competence so people will happily allow me to express my emotions. They don't even know that's what I'm doing! They think I'm "brash."

For example, one day last week I had to handle a totally avoidable crisis that REALLY pissed me off. First, I put the wheels in motion to fix the shit, and only when got to a stage where I was waiting for someone else to act did I tell my boss (who, granted, is awesome) how frustrated the situation made me and how I was sick of people jamming me with preventable crises all the time. In that conversation, I said that after I took care of the situation, I wanted to sit down with her and strategize things we could do that might help avoid future problems. So all those feels were layered within a heaping spoonful of corrective action, problem-solving, strategic improvements, etc. Everybody else sees Somebody Who Gets Shit Done, and I don't have to suppress anything. I emote all the time, but people consider me brash rather than emotional (or the dreaded "overemotional") because I do it in a way that is easier for them to accept. It makes a HUGE difference.

Posted on June 4, 2014 at 5:33 pm 1

On 91-Year-Old Woman Sets Marathon Record in San Diego

What a boss. I don't have any desire to run a marathon ever in my life, but I do want the determination and just plain moxie to do my own version of this, at that age.

Posted on June 3, 2014 at 12:19 pm 0

On BLAH Magazine's Spring Issue: Let's Get Equi-Noxious

Really, truly, LOL. Currently feeling well-adjusted and normal and not depressed even a little, and yet this is STILL my fundamental outlook on life: "Haven’t you been through enough? Waking up every day, breathing in and out, sometimes interacting with others, and now the sun is shining?" That damn sun and its relentless rising and making me get up and continuing to shine, UGH.

Posted on May 21, 2014 at 4:39 pm 0

On What Is the Deal With Bees Right Now

My favorite part of the truck story comes per Gawker: "Proving it always pays to be prepared, Delaware State Sgt. Paul Shavack said it was the first time the state had used [its] 'honeybee swarm removal plan.'" Somebody in DE actually thought of everything.

Posted on May 21, 2014 at 4:28 pm 3

On My Battle With My Big Naturals

I've always wished I was smaller, and by the sounds of it I'm not even as big as you. My smaller friends say they wish they were bigger, but after having kids a few of them ceded to me that I was right, at best they're always in the way, and at worst OWOWOW.

My paternal grandmother and both aunts are ginormous. My mom was afraid I'd be big like they were. One aunt was lucky enough to shrink to a normal size in her 30s when she lost some weight, but my grandmother and other aunt were genetically their sizes and unable to do anything about it themselves. That aunt finally had reduction surgery in her 50s; like you, she'd wanted to wait until after she had kids, but in her case it never happened. It took her a long time to come to terms with that, and she bit the bullet after their size started causing pain in and damage to her back and shoulders that would have been permanent. I'm relieved those genes missed me and I sympathize with all the trouble they're causing you. I hope you don't have any more infections, and (not that it matters) I say go for the reduction when the time comes. It sounds like it will be such a benefit to you, since you've wanted it for so long, and I think the message you send your daughter is that you don't have to accept something that's been awful just because it's natural. Body image and cosmetic surgery are such tricky areas to navigate, but it sounds like you've thought a ton about this and that having the surgery, when the time is right, would be the right decision for you. And that's all that matters, really - even when it comes to teaching your daughter, showing her to make decisions carefully and doing what's best for yourself is as good a message as anything else you could teach her.

Posted on May 19, 2014 at 12:42 pm 0

On A Beekeeper's Funeral When the Mourners Included the Bees

This is fascinating! Scientists have increasingly encountered what appears to be grieving behaviors among animal societies, and I'm not surprised that a social creature like bees would have a mourning ritual or behavior of its own. But it's pretty damn incredible that these two instances record bees seeming to recognize the HUMAN version of it by attending a funeral. Can we get an Attenborough-voiced documentary on this, STAT?

Posted on May 14, 2014 at 4:40 pm 0