found in a notebook

I was looking for an empty notebook when I found these odd notes, presumably from 2008 when The Fox and I were living in Birmingham, England.  For our private 4th of July celebration we visited Scotland, stopping in Kilbride which is where his family is originally from.

As for the comments about Admiral Nelson, I can only say that we were humored to see references to him everywhere we went in the UK.   For some reason I thought these particular notes worthy of writing down.  The handwriting is unsteady as if I were in a moving car.

(1st page)


Laroch Bark

Nelson joined the navy @ 13, made lieutenant at 19, captain at 21.

5′-5″ or 5′-6″
above average for the time,

been shot in belly & head.
Blind in one eye & missing pas WT arm.

(not sure what “pas WT arm” means)

(2nd page)

ass end of Piddlehinton
out in East Kilbride

(Maybe I was trying to come up with the British version of “out in Bumf*ck Nowhere.”)


March 20, 2012 at 12:54 pm Leave a comment


…every time the library e-mails a “Courtesy Pre-Overdue Notice.”

JUST CALL IT A DUE NOTICE.  As in, “On this date your library books are due.”  The words “pre” and “over” are redundant.  Unneeded.  Unnecessary.  Pointless.  You get the picture.


February 19, 2012 at 8:21 pm 2 comments

The Patriarchy is so 20th Century

I’d like to introduce a new term for use in social and political discussion:  Kyriarchy.

Kyriarchy: Somewhat newer term for the system of interlocking oppressions, both gendered and otherwise, in society. It is intended to acknowledge that different forms of oppression interact in a wide and complex system of interactions, in which a person can simultaneously be privileged in some dimensions and oppressed in others. Sometimes abbreviated as “the system of everyone oppressing everyone.”

This is to replace the common usage of Patriarchy.

Patriarchy: Somewhat outdated term for the system of gendered oppression in society that defines gender roles and punishes those who fail to conform. Referring to the male-dominated nature of society when it was coined, it has since been criticized for implying a unidirectional oppression that fails to accurately describe the complex nature of the problem.

I’m taking these definitions from a blog I follow, No, Seriously, What About Teh Menz.

I think many men have a knee-jerk reaction when they hear the term Patriarchy.  And justly so.  Although many aspects of our society are based in Patriarchy, it doesn’t accurately describe the society we now live in.

There are certainly times when I have experienced sexism, but they are only part of my experience as a person.  I have to acknowledge that I have benefited from other aspects of the Kyriarchy.  I am a woman, but I am a white, hetero, able-bodied, educated, physically attractive woman (one can argue against that last one I suppose), and have many advantages because of it in both small and larger ways.

Kyriarchy is also applicable to discussions of racism.  Racism exists within a larger framework.  When I think of my upper-class educated black friends, for example, we have to acknowledge that their experiences are part of a wider web of social and economic interactions.  I would not suggest that they have not experienced racism, but I also don’t think it’s fair to say they have been Oppressed.  As Ivy-league educated people with really good jobs (as a partner in a law firm or working in computer science) traveling in influential circles, the effects of racism are not as great as they are for people growing up in the inner city – people who have not just one “strike against them” but many strikes.

The idea of the Kyriarchy also encompasses Ozy’s law:

The principle that it is impossible to form a stereotype about one of the two primary genders without simultaneously forming a concurrent stereotype about the other. Or, more simply, misogyny mirrors misandry.

This is an idea I would like to see men and woman embracing.  For every girl being guided to fit into a mold of pink toys and doll houses, there is a boy being punished for or prevented from enjoying those things.  While I do think that women still have a long way to go to achieving full equality, sexism is only one part of a complex system of -isms.  Kyriarchy removes the War of the Sexes aspect to sociological discussions.  It helps remind us that we are all in this together and that hierarchies are damaging and disadvantageous to everyone.

Being against the Patriarchy is so 20th Century.  It’s 2012 – come on people now.  We can all fight the Kyriarchy together.

February 18, 2012 at 6:58 pm Leave a comment

Annoying Sheep

I haven’t posted any sheep in awhile.

Saw it first on Animals Being Dicks.


February 1, 2012 at 9:03 pm 2 comments

Another reason to love Japan

Internet Vending Machines!

It’s no secret that Japan is the country of vending machines… but this is new: Tokyo-based beverage company Asahi Soft Drinks took the wraps off a vending machine that not only offers drinks but also sends out Wi-Fi signals within a 50m radius.

The Wi-Fi will be available for free, is accessible with multiple devices, without registration, and for anyone to use (meaning users won’t have to buy any drinks to go online through the machine). It’s possible to use the web for about 30 minutes before the machine cuts you off (re-connecting is possible, however).

What a perfect compliment to Coffee in a Can!

Now you can serf the internet while drinking Wanda Wonderful Coffee.

The first is always tasty.

January 11, 2012 at 12:27 pm 8 comments

I used to live there.

For about a year I lived on the third floor of an apartment building on Polish Hill in Pittsburgh.  That was the only place I ever lived alone.  I loved that apartment despite its many flaws, like the horrible bright red carpet and the constant hum of the traffic on the bridge.  The entrance was through the backyard and up a staircase.  There was an open air back porch although I didn’t use that much.  The kitchen floor sloped significantly which was not unusual for buildings in Pittsburgh.  The floor evened out in the living room then sloped the other way in the bedroom.  The best part was an enclosed front porch overlooking the Bloomfield Bridge.  I spent a lot of time chilling there with my giant cat Oliver.

Oliver has lived with my mom for the past few years.  He died last month.  I miss the kitty!

A friend sent this article this morning.  I’m glad all the people are okay, but humored that the building is considered worth $300,000 – in a real estate developer’s dream!

Fire Ravishes Polish Hill Apartment Building

A raging fire in Polish Hill was so intense that firefighters had to back out of the building and the people who live there still cannot get back in.

A neighbor that first spotted smoke billowing out of the windows on the second floor of the six-unit apartment building on Bethoven Street.

At first, the other tenants had no ideathey were in danger.

Note the article says “Bethoven Street.”  That is because the street signs say “Bethoven” instead of “Beethoven”.  This due to some long ago clerical error.  Citizens were always trying to get it changed but others would fight back with a “That’s how WE spell it” small town mentality.  I wish I had a picture of the street sign.  I do have a mixed cd labeled Bethoven No.3 that I just ran across last week.  I guess that’s what I’ll be listening to today.  While living there I remember rediscovering the band Letters to Cleo, whom I had liked in high school but not really understood.  It made more sense sitting watching the traffic on Bigelow Boulevard.

Just living on a Sunday morning,
got my toast and tea and I’m warm and
I just thought I’d think about.
All the things to get and keep getting,
never enough not enough and never ending.
I just thought I’d think about….
And it might be…

The comfort of a knowledge of a rise above the sky
but could never parallel the challenge of an acquisition in the
here and now, here and now.

Growing in the overgrown backyard were silver dollar plants which my grandmother, who had recently passed away, used to keep dried in vases.  I had never seen them living before.

I don’t have many pictures from when I lived in Pittsburgh, but I did make friends who are close to this day.  Cheers to Polish Hill and goodbye Bethoven Street.

December 15, 2011 at 2:38 pm 12 comments

My new girl crush: This woman

I had no idea I’d been so limited.

November 15, 2011 at 11:44 pm 1 comment

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