Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Actual Physical Signs of Growth!

So, my seeds themselves didn't do too well - most packed it in fairly quickly - but we do have two tomato plants growing - FROM SEED! Amazing! honestly, it's sort of pathetic how exciting that is. Moreover, our tomatoes from seedling are growing like the clappers, our broccoli is suddenly doing well (albeit being ravaged by bloody snails) and - WE HAVE A PEPPER! An actual, honest-to-goodness serrano chile pepper is in our garden, growing, right now. It feels... ridiculously good, actually. Photos to come.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Slowly, Surefootedly

I did a maybe-five-minute run outside this morning. Not much, I know; but I am slowly, surely, recuperating from a knee injury that has seen me cease football, squash, and weightlifting - the only guaranteed forms of exercise I will do. Swimming I lose the will for, after a while; and I hate spinning/elliptical/biking. Yuck. So getting my body back to strength, endurance, and able to run for just half an hour, that's all I want. Physical therapy every week is definitely getting me more defined, stronger, but I'm still not quite where I want for running - partly, I think, because I've been too scared to really push my knee for fear of breaking down again. So when yesterday we went for a very brief run and it really hurt, albeit not locking in the old way, I felt defeated and miserable.

But today, we tried again, and there were twinges, but nothing like yesterday; and I am hopeful that a little bit, more or less every other day, is going to build my legs up so that half an hour is the norm. Fingers crossed. Because the tiredness, the muscular exhaustion, the sweat and satisfaction from running, as I feel right now, is hard to beat.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Sitting Down to Enjoy My Holiday

Recently we took a jaunt back to the Motherland for a week in the Lake District, with a bit of London Town and Sheffield at either end of the trip. It was spectacular - ridiculous weather, wonderful eating, albeit far too brief and certainly nowhere near enough time with family and friends. Still, the camera got a bit of a workout and here are some of the best photos from the trip.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Leafy Goodness

I used to mock TOH for his salad-eating. Not, of course, because there is anything wrong with salad-eating; it's more that I think it's a little misleading to say you had a healthy salad for lunch when that involves two types of cheese and two different types of (usually sauced, i.e. pesto or curry) chicken. I'm just saying. But that mocking is haunting me as my new favourite lunch has shaved parmesan* and sesame-caramel walnuts. Hmm. But yum. Puts me in mind of one of my favourite Overheard quotes ever:

11AM There Can Be No Obesity without Denial

Office girl #1: I don't like lettuce.
Office girl #2: You don't eat lettuce? Why'd you get a salad?
Office girl #1: Because I need to lose weight! I'm getting fat!
Office girl #2: What else is that in your salad?
Office girl #1: Chicken.
Office girl #2: Grilled or fried?
Office girl #1: Ummm... Fried...
Office girl #2: Uh-huh... Is that cheese I see in there?
Office girl #1: Yes!
Office girl #2: And are those Bacon Bits?
Office girl #1: Shut up! And no, it's real bacon!
Office girl #2: And you aren't gonna eat the lettuce?
Office girl #1: I will stab you with my fork! Go away!

8220 England Street
Charlotte, North Carolina

via Overheard in the Office, Nov 13, 2007

*at least today I persuaded my server I only needed one scoop, rather than the yummy but excessive three I got yesterday...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Because the Gays Can't

There is an interesting piece up on Jezebel, the second in a few months, about whether or not it's right/wise/good to abstain from/boycott marriage because gay couples can't get married. Most of the comments that I read came from those who are violently against this boycott/abstention, for reasons that seem to boil down to:
  • It's pointless / meaningless - you're not going to change the heterodominance by not getting married in solidarity (and you can change the institution from the inside - no really! - where the implication seemed to be, although I may be a tad sensitive, that only married people can talk about marriage seriously and change society's views on it)
  • Gay couples do not need to be patronised by you straight couples
  • I want to / I enjoy it / I love my partner / I loved my partner who needed immigration status with me / financially it made sense (which is particularly difficult, I think - this arguments often ignores the fact that it's a privilege gay people can't enjoy - loads of gay couples "want" this, and it's not a valid reason until you acknowledge that it didn't affect your decision to get married, but then, if it's how you stay together/what you've always wanted, who am I to tell you not to do it? It's not up to me to order your priorities).
  • The country club metaphor (i.e. I don't want to join a club that excludes gay people) doesn't work for marriage because it's so integral to modern life
  • It's a copout by couples who don't actually want to get married and who are using gay discrimination as an excuse (see second bullet above)
The last one I think is particularly interesting point. Friends who don't quite understand why I have such ambivalent feelings about marriage have seized upon gay marriage because it makes more sense to them, and is less of a rejection of their lifestyle, I think - the Brangelina reason makes sense and fits into their thinking about this situation because it is at least familiar.

I think it's possible to have a more nuanced position than these, though. I do have ambivalent feelings about marriage, and the prohibition on gay marriage fits in with those feelings - gender prescription and roles, etc., which I have vaguely mentioned here. But it's not as if when gay marriage becomes legal in NY I'm running straight to City Hall, dragging TOH behind me to finally give in. It's just that it's yet another reason why I am unsure about whether marriage is right for me. And that ambivalence would be less likely if we had more nuanced, less prescriptive roles for "husbands" and "wives," which, I believe, would occur with legalisation of gay marriage. So for me, it's not the country club metaphor, but the army metaphor. I would not join the armed forces if they prevented gay people from openly serving; on the other hand, I have very ambivalent feelings about the armed forces (although I do see the point of a professionalised military and have no desire to remove it completely), and am unlikely to sign up, ever, anyway - but that is in part because of a macho culture that rewards things that I do not want to reward, in the way, I think, that marriage can reinforce gender roles and stereotypes. So it's a mutually reinforcing problem, and not quite as clear cut as the abstainers and anti-abstainers make out.

I also have to say that I have a lot of misgivings about weddings and their gender presentation in general. So this article I found amusing, if unsubtle...

UPDATE: Interesting follow up about going to the "inside" and enjoying the privileges...

Wednesday, June 09, 2010


This year I am determined to do two things that will hopefully enrich my life and make me a little happier and a little less manic. One is to get myself up earlier every morning. I want to use this time to do the garden. I think I need the extra creativity and feeling of production, of doing something with my hands that creates an end product. As it is, we've been barbecuing and watering and enjoying the blooming garden, watching the growth of the tomatoes, the strawberries, the roses, the cucumber. It's pretty exhilarating. Things seem to be changing constantly; I love it. Here are some photos of the fruits of our labours for your enjoyment.

Monday, June 07, 2010

In the Hood

One of the selling points of our neighbourhood was that we would be closer to a lot of people we love (despite leaving behind some others although, admittedly, not many - upper Manhattan is, frankly, deserted these days in comparison to law school days). This weekend I bumped into a friend twice on the same day, and another while I was dashing to see the Atlantic Avenue tunnel. And then we ended up in the same restaurant as another friend who was dining with her in-laws there. It was a nice reminder - as if we needed one - that our new locale has been very good to us thus far, and continues to be. Not to mention the dollars we spent in local bars and restaurants over the past week - a starker contrast couldn't be had. But that's for another post, forthcoming when a) I have a card reader so that I can put up some photos and b) when I have a little more time for such procrastinating.