Playing hooky… kinda…

 

I’m a responsible girl — so, for me a playing hooky day started with teaching and fulfilling my obligations… sigh..

I didn’t call in sick or anything, but I decided to be non-productive.  The big event I’m organizing is on the way.

My classes can wait — and I needed some nap time, so I took it — and I don’t feel at all guilty about it.  So there!

Seen anything cool lately? A challenge!!!!!

So I am looking for ideas on places and events that you have been to and think would result in cool pictures.

Yes, the Himalayas are very cool  and would most definitely be awesome……….not going to happen though.

So what do you do for fun? Where within reason is a great time. Could be a building, could be an old farmhouse, maybe a fantastic place to take pictures of an approaching storm…………no rules……..all reasonable suggestions considered.

The prize……………one 16×20 custom print with shipping and handling.

I can’t promise you will want to hang it on your wall, but I have been known to take some good snaps.

Send your ideas to: patty.steck@gmail.com

Neat girl vs. Sweet girl…

I’ll never forget a debate van trip many years ago when a male debater exclaimed, a bit in sarcasm and a bit in surprise, that “women are people” — ummmm, yea.

This article got me a thinkin…about women my age and younger and their relationship with feminism. It’s also an interesting peek into Mormon female culture without being a negative stereotype.  What struck me about this article, besides the message that sweet girls get married early and nice girls explore the world for a few years before getting married at 25, was the way those roles seemed to be transmitted and clarified by the author’s mother.  The author is Mormon and so is her mother — those roles are both relatively acceptable in Mormon culture, so the question wasn’t exactly one of one being better than the other, but rather one of classification of the girls.

I was not raised Mormon, but Hubby was and my in-laws are a good Mormon family.  I was raised by a mom who was between first and second wave feminism… a bit too young to be among the pioneer generation (my Great Aunt Kay was a staunch first-waver), and not quite young enough to be of the “burn your bra, men suck” club… perhaps her younger sibling was that for a while…

As a result, I have a kind of different relationship to feminism than many women my age or older.  For me, feminism has been a constant message in my life — ‘you can do whatever you’d like’ — grow up, do “boy stuff” if you want etc. without the negative message about men that seems to pervade second-wave feminism.

I also learned by example that, to quote mom, “you don’t die from being tired.”  Which she said often when we’d complain about long work shifts etc… and we knew that she was speaking from example, in that she was a nurse who worked nights, weekends and holidays to support me and my sister.

Mom is also the epitome of a ‘lifelong learner’ who loves to read, think, analyze and explore the world of ideas.  I’m sure I got my philosophical bent from her.  I also know I got my book obsession from her, so she owes an apology to anybody who has ever helped me move :).

As a result of my upbringing, I see folks in different categories — Instead of “sweet girl”, I think “didn’t go to college, married young, had kids” — which many of my friends did — vs. “went to college, maybe I’ll get married sometime” — which was a choice other friends made.

Oddly enough, I’m a living example of the confluence of those categories — a “married at 21 but no kids, went back to college at 24 (I think..) — Ph.D kinda girl.”  Maybe I moved back and forth between the categories or maybe I made my own up as I went along.  Maybe I’m more like the third-wave feminists than I even see… making my own choices and getting along.

As Andy said to me last night, “remember, it’s  your life” — and, he’s right — but, the life that’s mine is the result of a lot of influences shaping me, teaching me and supporting me — so — while it’s my life to lead and make decisions about — I’m also a reflection of both my mom and my times — my feminism.

City of Orono

This is where I went to High School. Despite being a bit of a clown and a malcontent, I suppose it was an ok place to go. I was more or less safe and there was at least one interesting field trip.  I had some unique challenges to my social life having a family member being on the staff, but over all I wont complain.

The City of Orono does not pass the leftyconcarne litmus test.

After the big concert the other night I went to a restaurant and found a copy of the local paper. On the front page was a story about the city taking a family to court for installing a small and quiet wind generator in their yard.

He had applied for a permit and was denied for inexplicable reasons. He built it anyway and is now in hot water heated by green energy.

The last big story out of Orono was the neighbors all up in arms over the purposed building of a treatment facility for folks with eating disorders. I guess the residents are afraid of 70lb girls?

There may come a day when you rich gravy sucking wankers may want to be known for something other then exclusive real estate…………….like culture and common decency.

Back to my school:

Congratulations Orono Mens Basketball…………….State Champions!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A Photo that makes me happy…

This one makes me happy because Summer is almost here….

One of my favorite things about our apartment is the deck.  This is a photo of my feet on the deck, probably last August or so…

The deck faces mostly east — so, by afternoon it’s shady.  Most days it’s kind of breezy too, so I can be out there unless it’s ungodly hot — and in Minnesota it’s rarely hot enough to drive me inside.

Right in front of me is my container garden.  I decided last year to only have two big pots of plants — that way I could water them with one trip outside with the watering can.

I grew a combination of basil and catnip in one — and flowers in the other.  A bit of whimsy and a bit of useful — the cats especially enjoy the catnip.

I’m sitting in one of my comfortable deck chairs — and there’s probably a tall glass of iced tea on the table you can’t see.  I’m probably checking facebook or (pretty likely) texting with Andy out there.. I also do a lot of on-line course development on the deck.  It’s a good place to read, relax and work.

I had a CD/ipod player out there most of the summer, so my ipod was more than likely playing a mix of my favorite tunes as I watched the neighbors come and go.  There is a bird’s nest under the upstairs neighbors’ deck, so I probably had some bird company as well.

Immediately below my deck is the apartment parking lot and a wet spot we call the “plough” — a combination of the words pond and slough.  To the right is an abandoned golf course, which has now gone wild.  The high grass is home to a number of creatures including fox, possum, squirrels, water foul and deer.

Early spring around these parts is kinda rough going weather wise… we’ll get snow at unpredictable times, then mud and brown crap all over the place when the snow melts (if it ever melts this year).  As late as May we’ll have those lovely piles of black dirty ice/snow that persist in corners of parking lots — kind of as a reminder that winter is never far away.

I love summer in Minnesota — it’s green, glorious and fleeting.  This photo reminds me of summer, thus I had to share it on an early spring day.

Qualified Zoologist in the Bronx?

The T.V. was on in the other room today and I heard about this.

I don’t know what the qualifications and education are like for Zoologists, but I would recommend they ad a class on not letting one of these escape.

OBVIOUSLY!

What I miss about Colorado…

Mostly, the sky… There’s a blue quality to the sky in Colorado that we just don’t see in Minnesota.  Of course I enjoy the mountains, but I also love lakes (I grew up on one… so water is kinda my homeland…) —

But — take a look at the color of the Colorado sky above.. and compare it to the Minnesota sky below…

This is Lake Superior…

There’s a depth of blue in the Colorado sky that we just don’t get at lower elevations.

I also miss the intensity of the stars in Colorado — especially in Estes Park, they were so bright and intense —

Of course, we’ll go back — if only for Frozen Dead Guy Days — but, until then I’ll miss the Colorado sky.