Bionic Mamas

you're not losing a vagina, you're gaining a son


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Breadwinner Woes

For the umpteenth time, I’m contemplating leaving my university job for the for-profit world, mainly because while my current job is interesting/helps people/provides occasional international travel, it barely pays a living wage. (This makes my handle on this blog a bit of a joke, although at least my wage is one we can live on, unlike Baby’s. She makes kind of a zombie, undead wage)

So right now I’m staring at a byzantine job application for a consultancy. You know the kind of application: please tell us why we’re wonderful, please tell us why you’re wonderful, please be different from everyone else out there, make us an online portfolio, write us a bunch of crazy essays, etc., etc. (Let me pause and say, WTF, I’m not applying to Vassar here folks).

I’m wondering, should I put the work into this? Sometimes I believe that I’ve been in the academic world for too long, and I’ll never be able to get an interview at a real firm. And if I do get hired, it will probably be in my contract that I’ll have to use ‘words’ like ‘impactful’ on a regular basis.

Here’s how far I’ve gotten:

Why I am wonderful:

Because I’m secretly a unicorn, a care bear, and a vampire combined. My superhero name is The Sparkle Menace.


A Super Duper Worker!


Why you are wonderful:

Because you have money.

Why I am different from everyone else out there
(see point one)

What inspires me:
Interesting art! Great novels! Not your dopey firm! Have you heard of
hubris? No? I know it’s an older word than ‘impactful’ but I think it’s still in the dictionary, and in modern usage . . .

Ok, possibly I’m not ready to do this application yet . . . .


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Thinking of England

Inspired by Twangy Pearl, Sugar presents an artist’s rendition of last Tuesday’s inspermination:


Note, please:

– Funny Socks
– Good Luck Thumb Ring on left hand
– Comfort Items Worthy Of A First-Rate Nerd: a hardback, high-ish brow, dystopian novel (quite excellent, by the way — and while it is grim, I was at least reading the chapter titled “Pollination,” which seemed apt), cell phone, and trusty journal. With pen. You never know.

Your wonderful well-wishings were folded up and tucked in the book. I got them out at the word “tenaculum.”

But wait, you say. Didn’t you need those buoying comments precisely because Sugar wasn’t able to accompany you? How does she know what it looked like?

Well, because on this snowy evening, I have just now been re-enacting the scene on our living room couch*. Yes, I put the socks back on and everything. The Society for Creative Anachronism‘s got nothin’ on us.

Next time someone asks what exactly it is lesbians do, perhaps I will tell them about this.

Happy Snow Day, everybody. Check out what the other kids are up to on Mel’s Show and Tell.

*NB: our couch does not have stirrups. Fear not. Also, full disclosure: I was really wearing a zip-up cardigan, like the nerd professor I am.


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A Good Day For Scones

Hello, dearies. Is it snowing where you are? It is here, but so far there isn’t enough for sledding yet, which is WRONG. And I’m getting a cold. Maybe.

Mel mentioned her attempts at making scones without heavy cream, and it reminded me of Sugar’s yummy ginger scones, which don’t call for it. I asked for the recipe to share with Mel, and Sugar said she’d make them! Things are certainly looking up around here.

Sugar’s Yogurt Scones

(recipe clipped by Sugar’s mom from…some book on bread, and adjusted a bit here and there. This is half the listed recipe, as it makes too much for us and doesn’t keep all that well. This way makes 8 large scones.)

1 1/2 c flour (or use half whole wheat)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
4 Tbs butter (1/8 lb, if you buy it in big chunks the way we do)
1 packed Tbs brown sugar
1/2+1/8 c firm yogurt
1 egg
1/4 c …stuff. The recipe calls for raisins or currants, but since raisins are less than awesome and my body treats currants like DEADLY POISON DO NOT TAKE INTERNALLY ALERT POLICE, we use crystallized ginger and nuts, ideally pecans. (We’re out of pecans, though, so today we’re trying flax seed.)

1. Preheat oven to 400. Lightly grease baking sheet.

2. Sift dry ingredients (flour, soda, powder, salt) together. Cut butter into brown sugar (food processor or pastry cutter) until uniformly blended, resembling coarse meal.

3. Beat yogurt with egg. Make a well in the dry ingredients; add yogurt and “stuff.” Mix minimally (“with swift, decisive strokes.” Hot.) until well-blended.

4. Drop by rounded quarter measures onto cookie sheet. [And then it says to brush them with egg, which we never to. When I wheedle, Sugar sprinkles turbinado or other fancy sugar on top. Today, I wheedled.]

5. Bake 12-15 minutes.

Makes 8.

It’s taken me longer to type this than it took Sugar to mix up the batter, that’s how easy we’re talking (or how slow I type). Pictures to come when eating commences! Yay!

ETA:

Here! This photo taken shortly before the scone died a glorious death in my mouth. YumYumYum. Flax seeds are fine — inoffensive, but not a huge flavor addition. But I like how they feel when I bite them with my front teeth.

Sugar's Yogurt Scone


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True Confessions

And now, for your TWW entertainment, results of a quiz link I found buried in starhillgirl’s archives.

I’m going to lose a lot of lesbian points when I tell you that I got this result (instead of Toni) by admitting that yes, I do find the spelling “womyn” hilarious and unsophisticated.

I don’t drink much herbal tea anymore, either. (But I do still have cats and quite a number of Dar Williams albums. No need to confiscate my credentials.)

[If you have no idea what this quiz is about, here. Also, thanks for being a terrific ally. I love you even you’re straight 😉 ]

You Scored as Sydney

You are Sydney! You know that most people are too foolish to make the world a better place, so you’re not looking for a better tomorrow — you’re looking for some new clothes and a little respect in the academic world. You can be self-important, so be sure to hug your girlfriend and thank her for putting up with you.


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What We’re Weeping Over, Sunday Edition

Have you already watched this? I’d seen it pop up on friends’ Facebook pages, but hadn’t taken the 4 minutes to watch it for myself until today. It’s from testimony in Maine concerning marriage equality.

“What do you think our boys fought for at Omaha Beach?”

For me? You fought for me? Oh, man, I’m tearing up all over again.

The old folks are all right.


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Book Fair Betrayal

If you’re as nerdy as I am, perhaps you remember with a similar fondness the Scholastic Book Fair. Ours was around this time of year, as I recall. Parent volunteers would set up table after table after table of books in the GYM — double-bonus, since that usually meant no dodgeball for at least one day. My mother could usually be convinced to take me to the fair after school (massive understatement — apples don’t fall far from trees, and the woman is OBSESSED with books), but even if your parents weren’t the sort who understood why you HAD TO HAVE that shiny copy of The Boxcar Children or Sideways Stories from Wayside School or Harriet the Spy — a new copy, of your very own, a perfect rectangle that you would be the first to peel open — the school would lean on them to send you with a little spending money for the day your class went to the fair. (Triple-bonus: book fair, no gym, and less time in class.)

Scholastic makes money hand over fist at these things (and gives less back to the host school than they used to), as one would expect with a captive and coerced audience, but it’s hard to begrudge them a little profit for something as all-around good as the book fair.

Which is why it made me so sad to read this:

You have to wonder why an organization dedicated to getting students to read would decide to make censorship such an important part of their work. You also have to wonder why one of the leading organizations dedicated to helping students learn would decide to wallop a giant blow of discrimination toward gay and lesbian families and children of same-sex parents.

But that’s what Scholastic Books is doing by banning a book from its book fairs simply for the fact that the book contains a girl character who has two lesbian moms. The book in question is Lauren Myracle’s book Luv Ya Bunches, a new book that wittingly covers the trials, tribulations and friendships that a group of young girls go through in school.

Teh Gay Agenda?

And yes, the book is definitely, no question about it, being censored because it dares to suggest that not all children grow up in heterosexual households. Scholastic is up front about that:

The company sent a letter to Myracle’s editor asking the author to omit certain words such as “geez,” “crap,” “sucks,” and “God” (as in, “oh my God”) and to alter its plotline to include a heterosexual couple. Myracle agreed to get rid of the offensive language “with the goal—as always—of making the book as available to as many readers as possible,” but the deal breaker was changing Milla’s two moms.

“A child having same-sex parents is not offensive, in my mind, and shouldn’t be ‘cleaned up.'” says Myracle, adding that the book fair subsequently decided not to take on Luv Ya Bunches because they wanted to avoid letters of complaint from parents. “I find that appalling. I understand why they would want to avoid complaint letters—no one likes getting hated on—but shouldn’t they be willing to evaluate the quality of the complaint? What, exactly, are children being protected against here?”

And here’s where I get all misty (am I pregnant or just PMSing???) and fall in love with Myracle a little bit:

“Over 200,000 kids in America are raised by same-sex parents, just like Milla. It’s not an issue to clean up or hide away,” says Myracle. “In my opinion, it’s not an ‘issue’ at all. The issue, as I see it, is that kids benefit hugely from seeing themselves reflected positively in the books they read. It’s an extremely empowering and validating experience.”

So here’s what we need to do:

1. Sign this petition at Change.org

2. Especially if you’re a parent whose kids will have a book fair (or who just love Scholastic Books), let Scholastic know why appeasing a few testy weirdos who hate everyone who isn’t just like them is a bad business decision.

Investor Relations
Strategic Development
(212) 343-6741
investor_relations@scholastic.com

(Thanks to Mombian, Change.org, and The School Library Journal for writing most of this post.)

(Also: If, like me, you’re wondering whether or not I have been knocked up, I feel I should let you know that I’m up at 5am on a Sunday not to begin walking across the fields to church but because I’ve been throwing up much of the night. Gross. I sure as hell better be pregnant.)