Sunday, July 19, 2009

The vacation thus far.

We've been to New York and New Jersey, seen several friends and lots of family (and one performance of "Mary Poppins"), and had unbelievable cat drama that began within a few days of leaving and that seems to be continuing. As I write this, my friend is on her way to the emergency animal clinic with one cat who, my friend says, "sounds like she is crying" and seems to have injured her leg. Previously, my other cat gave this friend such a hard time when she tried to give her her thyroid medication that we had to call around - from the east coast - to find someone in the Twin Cities who could do this for her. (Thank goodness, we found someone.)

It has been a very exciting - and expensive - vacation. I think we will have to stay put after this. I'm hoping things will calm down because I am worried about my furry babies.

Other highlights:
* I rode the subway - by myself - for the first time in about a decade. They don't use tokens anymore. Who knew?
* I saw the new Harry Potter movie. It rocks. And I've hidden the people on Facebook who are complaining about how much they don't like Harry Potter and are not going to read the books or see the movies. Blah blah blah. I'm going to see it again.
* Bean met two very friendly dogs this week and has come a long way toward being less afraid of dogs. I also spent some serious thought considering whether or not we should get a dog. Perhaps my cats's issues are simply psychic freakouts about this possibility.

We leave tomorrow at 8:00 am. I'm up now, waiting to hear back from the vet. It's going to be a short night.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Christina Hoff (yawn) Sommers

"All books have mistakes, so why pick on the feminists? My complaint with feminist research is not so much that the authors make mistakes; it is that the mistakes are impervious to reasoned criticism. They do not get corrected. The authors are passionately committed to the proposition that American women are oppressed and under siege. The scholars seize and hold on for dear life to any piece of data that appears to corroborate their dire worldview. At the same time, any critic who attempts to correct the false assumptions is dismissed as a backlasher and an anti-feminist crank."

Eyeroll. Yawn. More eyerolling. It would be nice if the Chronicle would stop soliciting anti-feminist diatribes from Sommers and Daphne Patai - whose own works on feminism are littered with inaccuracies and anecdotally-based conclusions - and would instead ask some actual feminist scholars to write about feminist scholarship. In the meantime, read Tenured Radical's excellent response.

U-Haul mystery.

Some of you know that Mr. Plain(s)feminist and I are about to become first-time homeowners. That process might be something I should blog about at some point, though I suspect that most of my readers have already become homeowners and would not be surprised by the things that surprised us (such as closing costs - ouch!). Many of my friends are already on their second or third houses.

Anyway, in preparation for our upcoming move, I decided to pick up some file boxes so that I could unload and then get rid of some filing cabinets that we don't really need any longer. I had a really good experience with U-Haul boxes (sturdy and just the right size) the last time we moved, so I looked up U-Haul on the internet and set off for one not too far from me.

When I got there, the address was printed in big numbers on the building, and there were storage and U-Haul signs, so I knew I was in the right place. However, there seemed to be no front to the building. There were two doors; one was a heavy, single door, set between two loading docks, with a sign above it that read "Sales." The other was a heavy, double door, next to a dumpster, and opened onto another loading dock. Both were windowless doors that looked like employee or back entrances. There was one window in the building, but there was shelving set against it on the other side. Both doors were locked. I felt certain that I was at the back entrance of the building, but when I tried to drive around to the front of the building, I found that there was no way to get there. The driveway ended and was blocked by a large dumpster. The building itself was set on a block next to a railyard, and the street did not go all the way around the block so that the southern and western sides of the building were inaccessible.

I finally sat in the parking lot and called the number I had gotten off the computer, which remained busy each time I called. Then I called the number on the side of the building and got an answering machine. There were plenty of cars in the parking lot, so I assume that they were open for business. But how their customers were able to get into the building to do any business, I will never figure out.