Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Let's go Ladyparts, Let's go!

You guys you guys you guys!

So, when I said "the fates have aligned to create a vag-theme in my life this week," what I really meant was "OMG I AM SO TOTALLY EXCITED TO GO OUT IN PUBLIC WEARING A VULVA ON MY SHIRT ON THURSDAY!"

Let me explain. One of the best things about being in policy school is that all of my school friends get geeky about the same stuff (You should have seen the Facebook status updates on Sunday night after the House passed the health care reform bill. Yes, I was up drinking wine and watching the Senate debate/vote. Wasn't that what everyone was doing? No?)*

Sometimes the policy-geekiness really pays off. For example, one of my friends from school is really active in the reproductive rights field here in the Twin Cities. She is also a beer-and-cheese-loving Wisconsinite with a penchant for cutthroat competition. And what do you get when you cross the Midwest with fundraising for reproductive rights?


Yea, you read that right. There is a pro-choice resource center here in the Twin Cities that is holding a "Pro-Choice Bowl-a-Thon" to raise money for their organization. Basically, you make a bowling team, try and get people to sponsor you in the weeks leading up to the event...and then you bowl. The event is historically fun and a wee bit crazy - there are always great team names and general shenanigans. When my friend got word of the event she signed us up for a team instantly. Then we had this conversation (basically):

Friend: So, you have to be on our bowling team to raise money for this pro-choice organization. Our team name is The Lady Parts.

MWK: What? Okay...

Friend: Oh, also we are getting pink t-shirts with a cartoon vagina (sssh. vulva) on them and each team member has to come up with a slang word for"lady part" that will be their nickname and go on the back of their shirt.**

MWK: Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeesssssssssss!

So, this Thursday, just in time for Vagina week, I will be sporting this lovely frock*** while bowling my way to greater reproductive freedoms for one and all:

(Cooter was my go-to term all through high school, although I have no idea why. It seemed fitting to use it for my shirt.)

Isn't she lovely?

Wish me luck!



*Sometimes I wish that I was a little less obvious in my political leanings on this blog, because I would like everyone who happens to read it to feel welcome and respected. But...I'm a policy student! I have opinions! However, if you happen to disagree with some of the political leanings that I not-so-subtly-allude to please know that you are still welcome around here. Unless you are a Tea Party person. Then you can F*%K off.
** I know, I know, technically this is counter to my goal to make people accept the word vagina. But! My male friends are going to be wearing t-shirts with vaginas on them that say things like "Bits and Pieces" on the back. That is too good.
*** We got the shirts this weekend, and I'm not gonna lie, I have been really excited to show them to you (and to reveal my Lady Part code-name).

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Conversations at Our House: Vagina Edition

Ever since I took "Women's Health and Reproduction" in college I have had a little bit of a pet peeve about the misuse of the word "vagina." People use it to mean the whole shebang, when really the vagina is just the canal on the inside. All the outside business falls under the umbrella term "vulva." It is an incredibly hard speech pattern to break, actually: even though I know better I still use vagina as a catch-all term, mostly because it is sorta embarrassing to get all technical in everyday conversation.

So, you know, the vagina is sorta just hanging out there, not taking up much space unless it is, um...in use. My friend A and I refer to the actual vagina as "a potential space."(Insert (heh heh) very offensive joke about what it is a potential space for here.)

D$ has heard this conversation/monologue several times, and yesterday as we half-napped on the couch we had the following conversation.

MWK: Bla, bla bla vagina week, bla bla bla "potential space."

D$: So, you're saying the vagina is, like, a construct?

MWK: No! It's an actual thing, duh.

D$: But you just said it was a "potential space." Doesn't that imply that it isn't there until something is inside of it?*

MWK: What? No! The vaginal walls are there! And maybe a little bit of space.

D$: But those are vaginal walls, not the vagina.

MWK: It's the same thing. It's like your throat. Does your throat not exist unless there is something inside of it?

D$: There is my esophagus! The vagina is totally a construct.

MWL: Shut up.

long pause

D$: If a tree falls in a vagina, does anyone hear it?

Epilogue (Several hours later):

MWK: If you aren't nice to me I'm totally going to quote your tree question on the blog.

D$: What? What is wrong with asking rhetorical questions about the vagina?

*D$ doesn't really have such offensive thoughts about the vagina. He was just trying goad me.

Friday, March 19, 2010

I got nothin' but love for ya

Jehara, a lovely book-reading lady gave me this blog award right before I left town last week. This made me very happy and also very nervous because, as those of you who are foolish to have me on your reader know, I can't even get through a week without accidentally publishing something when I didn't mean to.* ** Although I've been posting less frequently lately I've been thinking about this little blog a lot. I've been making plans to write more and make it better, so it meant a lot to me to know that someone likes it. It also terrified me, but I digress.

And of course I will share the love. You see, this blog award has rules. They go like this:

1) Put this on your blog
2) Choose 15 other newly discovered bloggers that you love and award them with this
3) Send them a message/comment to let them know.

Well, because I am bad at rule-following and because this is the Internet and you can't stop me I am going to modify these rules a little. Mostly because I have been waaay to busy to discover anything new lately, so some of these blogs will to be old hat to both me and the rest of you.

I mean, duh. I realize this is like a stoner saying they like the Grateful Dead.*** But it makes sense to start with the biggies, no? I wouldn't have made it through the wedding planning process without this blog. And I don't think I would have started my own blog, either. APW was not only an incredible wellspring of wedding sanity, it taught me that blogs can be an incredible source of community and support. I still read this every damn day, and it isn't even on my reader.

Sigh. The woman behind Peonies and Polaroids is so goddamn talented and lovely that I almost want to hate her (I mean this in the nicest way possible). But then she calls someone the dogs bollocks and I realize, "Oh shit! Me and this girl could totally get down." Also, she taps into the love I had for my childhood bunny, whose fabulous name I will someday reveal to you. And she makes me feel better about worrying incessantly, because if someone with that much talent, humor, skill, and general awesomeness can worry excessively and still live her life than I just might be able to make it.

Gorgeous blog, great writing, beautiful photos. On top of being intelligent, funny, smoking hot, and incredibly accomplished, agirl is hands down the most supportive blogger I have encountered since starting this blog. She runs with the Big Dogs of the wedding-and-marriage-blog-world but always has a kind word to say or a interesting thought to comment, even to the newbies like me. I am in awe of her and owe her about ten thousand Internet hugs.

This girl reads, and loves it. And I love this about her. She always has intelligent and thought-provoking things to say about the books she is reading (Her discussion on "Good Girls" and the use of the word "sorry" was particularly insightful for me, an over-apologizer). A fabulous choice for a binge-reader like myself. Plus - SHE MADE SAMOSA CASSEROLE! I had no idea that this was even possible and she gets a million bonus points for informing me.

My real-life best friend and I call each other Wifey (she refers to me as "our wife" when she talks to D$) so I don't throw that moniker around lightly, but I have NO problem extending this nickname to Ms. Wifey Wiferson. A fellow newlywed trying to figure out what it means to be married, and doing so with all kinds of grace and humor. I can't wait to see how the new house comes together.

I think I linked to this blog from either APW or ESB originally. About two weeks ago I thought, "Hmm...I wonder how old this blog is?" and since then I have been voraciously reading the entire archives, staying up way later than is normal and avoiding assignments to get all the way through. So far I am on April 2009 and I STILL LOVE IT. Hilarious, colorful - Persephone is a lady I would like to have a drink (or ten) with.

Kitties! Delicious Food! A smart woman making her way through graduate school while building a life with her new husband! What's not to like? Nothing, I tell you. Nothing.

All right, this one is a little rand-o. But what can I say? I love this man, and I love his freaky little cat Winston. Rich fulfills my need for pop culture in a glorious way - don't even get me started on the Beyonce GIFs.

I know this woman from a different context, and I am so glad that she has started blogging again. She writes mainly about dating in what she calls "The time when people of our age wander around and don't commit to anything, even though what we truly want is stability and a family." As someone who is just now moving away from that stage and into more serious commitments, I enjoy her perspective, wry observations, and good-ass writing.

Again, I found this blog through APW. The writing on this blog just kills me; Mrs. Basement has an extremely strong voice that I only wish I had. She and her wife/partner are going through a ton of difficult things in their personal and professional lives and she documents it all with a passion and an honesty that I find compelling. I also have my fingers crossed for them and their baby-making endeavors.

First of all, I want to bury my face in her little girl's belly. Second of all, I want to tell you that this blog is perhaps the best thing you could possibly read if you are despairing of your ability to get married and have children while retaining your own personality and existence (both as yourself and as a partner to your spouse). She is thoughtful and joyous (without being pollyannaish) about marriage and motherhood in a refreshing and heartwarming way.

Another on the list of smart, hardworking, newlywed blogger ladies. She has great insights on navigating a new marriage and a new home. Plus, she has the guts to talk about fights with her husband on the Internet and she shares my deep love for Sonicare toothbrushes.

Seriously! Who knew there were so many smart newlywed graduate students in the world? Mrs. S lives in a house she is helping build and getting a PhD in Education Policy (bless her soul). Although this would be enough to keep anyone's brains busy, Mrs. S usually has an interesting question or thought she is happy to discuss with us Internet-folks.

Clearly, with a title like that I don't need to explain the source of the awesomeness. But I will say that since starting her blog (which is scary enough) this women has also opened her own Etsy shop to sell the jewelry she makes (including a ring similar to the one she made for her husband as his wedding band). As someone who can't make dinner for her husband without fear of being judged for failure, I am in awe of her spunk and go-get-'em-ness.

Although I am not Christian and wouldn't know how to help a cow give birth, I sometimes think that "Blind Irish Pirate" and I might share parts of our brains. Maybe it is all the time I spent with horses as a kid, or the fact that I am also driven to rage during yoga classes. This blog always has thoughtful essays on important topics, interspersed with lovely little images to make you think or smile. Ba Ram Ewe indeed.

Phew, that's done. All 15 of you are rad-ass individuals who inspire me to do better. Thanks.

One last thing: I know I said I was going to stop being self-undermining, but I have to say this. I am giving awards to a few people who feel like Big Dogs of the Internet to me. Wonderful ladies (and one dude) whose blogs I read but on whose blogs I rarely comment because I feel shy. And part of me feels like it is awkward to give an award to a blog when you don't comment on it. But I am taking a deep breath and doing it anyway. Because I lerves you. I really do.

Vagina week resumes tomorrow.

*I am working on this. I promise. Please don't go!
**Or without ending a sentence with a preposition.
***Meg, if you read this: YOU ARE IN NO WAY LIKE THE GRATEFUL DEAD. At most, you are like Cherry Garcia ice cream: cool, delicious, and something I wish were at my house a lot. Is that creepy?

Vagina Vagina Vagina

I have decreed that the following post is about marriage...if only because D$ is the one who sent me this article.

Yep. D$ sent me an article about tampons. Apparently, Kotex is "hoping to break down the stigmas and embarrassment surrounding feminine care products" in their marketing of a new product "U by Kotex."* However, they were informed by three different TV networks that they couldn't use the word "vagina" in their advertisements. When they substituted "down there" for "vagina" two of the three networks still rejected the ad.**

As a response (or maybe not as a response, but as a part of their general campaign), Kotex released the following video.

Now, I realize that this video, and the whole "U by Kotex" campaign, is really just another advertising shtick. And by talking about the ridiculousness surrounding feminine care products they are simply trying to tap into another market. (I can just see them, "But how do we get those damn frank-ass feminists to buy our products? How?). And they still aren't saying vagina. But. I really like that video.

Excuse my while I go put on my white spandex.

*By posting this, I am promoting something I really hate: the purposeful misspelling of words. Please note that I do not approve of the use of "U" for "you", or any other purposeful misspellings.
**I'm almost happy about this. Because, I mean, "Down there?" Really? How childish can you get, people?

WARNING: It might turn into vagina-week around here, so watch out. The fates have aligned to create a Vag-theme in my life this week and it is highly likely that I will be sharing it with you all. After I get around to the blog awards I have been neglecting, of course.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Spring Breather

After a grueling week of midterms and meetings and angst I am leaving for home for a few days. I'm neutral (read: freaked out) about this; as you know there is a lot going on at home these days. But there will be a wedding of a very old and a very dear friend. There will be dog-snuggling. There will be wine-drinking and book-reading and relaxation.

And there will be greenery. Oh, spring! Here I come.

I'll be back next week y'all.

*Special wave and hello to Jehara for making me so happy today! I will share the love when I get back next week.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

To Bam-Bam the pug dog

Oh, Bam-Bam.

The minute I saw there was a pet adoption our local Petsmart, I knew there would be trouble.

But I had no idea there would be you. Those hideous bug eyes. That intense underbite! I have no defenses against a dog as endearingly ugly as you. Wearing that red vest (it said ARF on it!) and shaking your little curly-q butt at me in the dog shampoo aisle.

You almost got me. I could just see you in our little apartment, Bam-Bam, snuggled in between the cats (I am sure they would learn to love you). You had me at ARF.

We had an intense few minutes there, Bam-Bam, and I'm sorry I couldn't take you home. You really would have fit well at the end of the bed (or, you know, as the small spoon in a cuddle pile).

See you around, Bam-Bam. Don't let the man get you down.

*Paintings of dogs that are not Bam-Bam from here.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Self-Care, Schmelf-Care

You know what is really good to do?

Eat a piece of chocolate cake EVERY NIGHT at 9:30 p.m. right before you go to bed. It is even better to use the extra frosting to slather the whole side of the piece, so that no bite is devoid of frosting. This adds extra health factors.

You know what else is really good to do? Sleep in instead of going to the gym three days in a row. And then go out for Jucy Lucy's*, french fries and cheap beer with your husband even though you are so bloated from your lunch that you have to do the "try to fart" dance in the car on the way to the restaurant. (Bonus points for making your husband think you are leaning over to cuddle him when really you are just trying to get your ass higher in the air).

The best thing to do, though, is after all of that to go home and binge-read WPM blog archives until after midnight, resulting in feelings of not-worthiness and another morning where sleeping in wins out over exercise.

Oh - it is also best to do this one week before you have to fly home for a wedding that will be attended by many long-legged sorority girls who will have better outfits than you.

This is guaranteed to put you in a good mood ladies. Guar-an-teed. If by a good mood you mean fat-feeling and self-loathing, that is.

* For those of you not in the Midwest, a Jucy Lucy is a hamburger that is formed around a chunk of cheese. So the hamburger is cheesy from the inside out, resulting in the most delicious, cheesy- oily goodness that man has every created.