Tuesday, September 27, 2005

No wonder I have no time

Recently I was pondering my schedule. As my local readers are well aware, I manage to stay fairly busy. In addition to a full-time job (where I'm STILL putting in 50 hours a week thanks to the start of semester) and several committees/boards/activist groups, I also do things to stay active. So...on Tuesdays and Thursdays I have volleyball (until the middle of October). Wednesdays are about to become AIDS Walk meetings again. When I have Family Planning meetings, they are on Mondays. Fridays are, of course, bowling nights. Saturdays are fairly booked up for the next month or so. So what's left? Occasional Mondays and weekends. With folks coming to Laramie to research for local productions of "The Laramie Project," the drag show, and the occasional bridge night (yes, I am old enough that some of the professors have decided it's time for me to learn bridge), I'm booked. This weekend I am heading to Denver for tattoo #3. I'm very excited, as I've been thinking about this one since I got #2 a little over 2 years ago. But it means another day where I'm not at home, slaving on the yard or house. Anyone want to mow my lawn for me before it snows? Patch up the fence? Find and plug the leak in the hot tub? I'm such a bad homeowner. Thank gawd I'm not still a student, or I'd be SCREWED!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Adventures in Hair Removal

So we are now one month away from the big drag show. Last Saturday the sisters met to film the video introduction to our show. This meant the first shave. Armed with a full can of shaving cream (obtained for free from Mary Kay because I dragged Mandy along to a party) and a 12 pack of Bic Sensitive Skin Razors, I began the adventure. Into the shower we go (please note the use of black boxes and "blur dots" to protect my privacy and your vision) where we do the usual shampoo, conditioner, facial cleanser routine. I then opened the razors with a smile, lathered up an arm, and set to work. Now, boys have this tendency to be more hairy, even on our arms. I know...shocking, isn't it? Each razor pass would clear about an inch or two before clogging up. As you might imagine, it was a long process. I finished one arm just as the hot water was running out completely. Thank goodness I started early. After drying off, I used a trimmer to knock down the rest of the hair to more managable levels. I waited a while for the hot water heater, a large one to be sure, so that I wouldn't be dealing with shaving and goose bumps. As my crack team of make-up experts (Tessa and Gina) pointed out, they are NOT a good combo. The rest of the shaving went fairly well. I was very impressed with my legs...minus the slight speed bump cuts I got on my knees...which are tough to deal with! Two showers, several hours, and 5 razors later, it was done.

So the process of shaving was interesting enough. But the sensations and introspections are even more so. First of all, it just feels ODD to not have hair someplace you normally do. Drying off with a towel, putting on clothing, or just the breeze moving past your body feels completely foreign. In some respects, it feels like a heightened awareness...you simply notice things more consistently because it feels different. In other respects, you lose sensation. Hair is connected to nerves and skin, and is part of a complicated system of our body. We become accustomed to feeling the air movements on our hair.

And so I started to think...it took me hours to get ready. Now granted, most women aren't starting from the level of hair I possess, but it's no wonder it takes so long for them to get ready! This is so much fricking work! Shave, moisturize (VERY important), dress. Then it's time for make-up! That took quite a while, though to be fair I was learning and could go much faster now that I know vaguely what I'm doing. And I kept thinking what if I get pulled over wearing this make-up? What if I get a flat and have to change a tire? What will the guys at work think next week if they notice I'm now hairless on my arms and legs?

The sheer volume of expectations, insecurities, and taboos about femininity and masculinity is overwhelming. Girls must shave themselves all over, men must not. Make-up on a means X, but Y on a female. So take a moment today and think about how we put so much emphasis and meaning on something as mundane as hair. I think you'll be surprised, and knowing most of my friends...a little outraged at the gender rules bullshit.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

It's official

I'm going to be an auntie! Sue and Mark are expecting. The due date is May 18th. Here's the proof:

This means that I will not be going to Holland for the holidays. I will instead be saving to get there in the summer, so I can begin corrupting my niece or nephew. And yes...I've already threatened to buy a drum set. HeeHee!

UPDATE: This is apparently the 4th test she's taken. It's the one from the doctor's office, after doing 3 at home. ;) The baby shall be named Elizabeth Ashley (Ella for short) if a girl, and Alexander Damian if a boy. But don't tell the Dutch...tradition there says you don't tell the names before the baby's born. Who knew?!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Dinner with the Prez

So tonight I went to a reception at the house of our interim University President, Tom Buchanan. First let me say that I always respected Phil Dubois and felt he truly had UW's best interests at heart. UW is in a MUCH better place now that it was when he arrived, and he deserves a lot of the credit for that. I didn't agree with every decision or intitiative, but the results are impressive when one takes a step back. I also attended a number of social events and receptions at Phil's house, and always enjoyed myself there.

Tonight, however, was different. Catering staff and the ever-popular open bar were there. So were about a dozen members of PACMWA, the President's Advisory Council on Minority and Women's Affairs...and a few spouses or partners. Tom and his wife Jacque do not live in a palacial estate. They have a simple yet elegant home on the south side of Laramie's tree area. The menu seemed VERY elite, especially for a vary small group of people and an invitation that called for "casual dress." Prawns, quesadillas, crudites, chocolade creme dessert cups and tartlettes. There was also an Ahi tuna parfait, with diced bell peppers, eggs, and topped with a small scoop of cavier. Nice spread, eh?

And yet, it was the oddest thing...it was the LEAST pretentious event I've been to in ages. Tom answered the door in blue jeans. We were impressed by the two beautiful carousel horses in the living room. We were AMAZED when Jacque told us that Tom MADE them...carved from solid wood. He was gracious, genuine, and...above all...human. We moved outside to the backyard for conversation. Francisco talked a bit about his sabbatical in Chile. We teased Beth about the fact she's just starting a semester long sabbatical. We rejoiced in the fact that Arietta is back from two rounds chemo, and laughed when she informed us her hair has grown back enough that she woke up with bed head the other day. We talked about the tornado in Wright, Hurricane Katrina, and our general digust with W. It was a group of friends enjoying each other's company, even if we didn't all know each other well.

I hold out great hope for UW with Tom in charge. I sincerely hope that he throws his hat into the ring...and gets the job permanently. I leave you with the comment that gave me the most to think about tonight. Tom told us when he was asked to step in as Interim President, he had only two conditions. The first was that he would not have to move, just to have a bigger house in which to hold events. The second was that he didn't want a UW car. He told the trustees that he and Jacque each had a car, and only a two car garage. Neither of them wanted to park their cars on the street just so a UW car could sit in a garage. He also told them that the money either a car or home would cost could be better spent buying someone out of a class or paying for another part-time lecturer's salary. Apparently his time as the VP of Academic Affairs is not lost on him. What do you think? Someone with priorities worthy of a university President?