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In times of stress, I cook.

I've been really tense this past week, for a number of reasons, some of which I'm aware of and some of which I'm probably not. (It doesn't help that it's "the holidays." Quite honestly, having free time drives me insane. I have never, ever dealt well with it.)

Anyway. So I have been cooking. Apparently I've been on a mushroom-and-onions kick, because a fair number of things I made involved those particular ingredients. As does the following recipe. it does not have a title, because I basically threw it together one evening. I'm sure someone else has already invented it, though. It makes for a fairly good snack, unless you eat almost all of it, in which case it qualifies as dinner. (I can attest to that.)

Recipe for Thing-I-Made-While-BoredCollapse )

Now I am going to go see if my gingered lemon bars worked out. (They also gave me a chance to make crystalized ginger. That was kind of awesome. Now I have to figure out what to do with the ginger syrup I have left over...).

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Advice?

I'm thinking of getting something along the lines of a PSP/Nintendo DS. Thoughts/advices/recommendations?

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MS Word 2007

Ok people, particularly people-who-know-more-about-this-shit-than-I-do, i.e. almost everyone:

So, yet again, my coworkers have decided that I am more "tech savvy" than anyone else there (??!) and have therefore put me in charge of "tech stuff."

Basically, this means that I've come up with a list of rules to follow, mostly regarding the shared drive (rules go something along the lines of "be nice, children, and do not delete other people's stuff. Do not touch other people's stuff. Also, name your bloody files clearly!")

Something I've been thinking about: getting everyone to save Word docs in 97-03 format rather than 2007 format (i.e. .doc rather than .docx). And it occurred to me to wonder whether you all felt that this is ultimately useless, or whether it makes sense because sometimes one deals with people who do not have Word 2007 and can't access .docx files....

Basically, I just want to know if I'm making sense with this rather random requirement.

Thoughts?

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As some of you know, the grad school I really, really, really want to go to is UT Austin, which coincidentally also happens to be the ONLY school that offers a certificate specifically in book and paper conservation and allows you to get a MLS at the same time. (The other two schools I've heard anything good about just offer a degree in conservation and are more focused on art restoration than book and paper specifically; in fact, one of them doesn't actually offer a specialization in book and paper at all, since their book conservator is now in charge of the entire program and doesn't have time to teach. From what I heard, she feels that the Austin program covers that area very well, and that people interested in book/paper conservation should probably go there.).

You'd think, with all of this, that the conservation program at Austin would be pretty safe. Guess again! They haven't accepted new students this year, and the future of the entire program is in jeopardy. This email was sent out today by someone at the Library of Congress to one of the main mailing lists for librarians/conservators:


I just thought I'd throw this up here in case anyone was interested in joining the horde of conservators and librarians writing letters/emails on behalf of the program. As I said, it really is a very good program, and one of the only ones of its kind in the entire country. It would be a shame to have it end so ingloriously.

FYI

I just learned that the link for "Goodnight & Go" on the mix cd was broken. It is now fixed and the song can be downloaded.

That is all...!

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*hauls out soapbox*

I should be asleep right now, but I was only lying in bed fuming about this so I thought I might as well get it off my chest.

So I was over at Feministe this evening, and came across a post on potential legislation banning the wearing of a burqa in France (since it's degrading and all, y'know).

I don't know why I expect more from feminist blogs, but apparently, I do.

The author (whose posts I'm sure I've read and enjoyed in the past, and who I'm sure didn't actually intend to come off the way she did, to me) started off with a caveat:

I’m personally of the mind that calls for women to cover their bodies because the female form is somehow inherently tempting or representative of sex are misogynist, regressive and certainly out of line with the most basic tenets of feminism. But women make choices about the way we dress for all kinds of reasons — sometimes to follow a religious tradition, sometimes to be perceived as attractive, sometimes to be invisible, sometimes to just cover our bare asses. Most of our motivations aren’t feminist or anti-feminist. When it comes to religious requirements especially, we know that outlawing certain garments in public doesn’t make women shed the offending item of clothing; it just makes women refrain from public interactions.

Maybe I'm wrong about this. I could be. But... I think there's an assumption there as to *why* women are called upon to cover their bodies. And I won't say she's not right about that about 98% of the time, but I do think there's a whole other aspect to the entire thing she's missing. And it's easy to miss, when you haven't lived in a formerly colonized country, or been part of a religion that is widely villified. Part of the reason it's important that *women* wear a burqa is because burqas are seen as not only religiously conservative, but culturally conservative. It's part of a power struggle that's been going on for a couple hundred years. A fair number of Muslim countries have experienced colonization and war, which means the culture has been under attack -- and the people have been under attack (think rape and the way it's used not just against women but against the men who are powerless to protect "their" women). It's a classic abuser pattern isn't it, control over women as a means to restore a sense of masculinity -- but it makes sense, because that's how the "masculinity" was taken away. And a burqa doesn't just maintain control over a woman; it also represents that woman's rejection of the (usually Western) colonizing culture.

If you think I'm overthinking this, you need to see a cricket match between Pakistan and England some time. There is a lot of resentment.

And that’s precisely what will happen here. Outlawing the burqa won’t make women who cover themselves decide to walk outside in a sundress; it’ll just mean that women and girls won’t leave the home as much. The women who are supposedly victimized and imprisoned by some pieces of cloth will instead be prisoners in their own homes and communities.

It’s also no shock that the offendingly modest piece of clothing is one worn primarily by immigrants from Africa and the Middle East.

Empowering women doesn’t come from limiting what women can and cannot wear in public. It comes in part from giving women — all women — wide access to the public sphere. You don’t have to like the burqa to realize that outlawing it will have a hugely negative impact on women.

Here's the other assumption that annoys me: that these women will just submit. I mean, there's no concept of the idea that it can't be bloody easy now, can it, wearing a burqa in France? Even now, when it's legal. It makes me wonder about the reasons these women wear burqas. Do some of them wear burqas in defiance? They very well could. The burqas could be a sign of agency, rather than a symbol of the lack thereof. We're talking about a minority in a culture that sees them as exotic, strange, faintly deranged, dangerous... whatever. Nothing positive, certainly. A culture that doesn't respect them. (Remember that article some months back, on a white woman's experience taking off her hijab?) Mightn't you want to hang on to what you've got of your culture even more strongly than you might already? Maybe I'm just generally overly combative, but I can imagine myself doing just that.

Here's the other thing: I'm tired of constantly reading Western feminists talking about these issues. I really am. Not to say that they don't have a right to, but it doesn't seem like there's much input from the women who are directly concerned. And it's not like they're hard to find. Muslimah Media Watch has an index of Muslim women bloggers, for instance. And going through their archives, it looks like there's been a lot going on in France that really doesn't make this news very surprising, but I don't think many of the major feminist blogs have covered any of it. It's frustrating, because I know how hard the blogs try to get a diverse set of voices there, but at the same time it seems as though they tend to promote the same set of blogs and link to the same people much of the time, leaving minority voices somewhere on the sidelines.

Right. Now I will end this doubtlessly badly written rant and hopefully actually get a couple of hours of sleep before tomorrow...

(Sorry, Steph; I really don't have it in for Feministe but I was really upset!)

Dancing While the Sky Crashes Down

It's mix CD time again!

(Because I have *so* much else to do, it just seemed appropriate to spend a few hours obsessing over music.)

I meant to have a theme but it seems there really isn't, except these are the songs that have been resonating for a while. The zipped file was sadly too large to upload, so you'll have to download the songs individually, which I know is tragic and annoying but can't be helped.

Here's the song list, with comments.Collapse )

Please note that there are no Magnetic Fields songs on this mix. It took a lot of restraint (and some rule bending -- Stephin Merritt is the main force behind The Future Bible Heroes, after all) but I did it!

eta: It occurs to me I should have really themed it for Pride. But that would have meant taking a lot of these songs off; I've definitely got songs that would fit better with that theme. Le sigh. Missed opportunities, what? Maybe next year...

On clothing.

Part of my brain feels I should be being productive today instead of sitting in front of the TV watching British murder mysteries and doing cross stitch stuff. But I honestly can't bring myself to do anything because being lazy FEELS SO GOOD.

At some point this weekend, there will be GRE studying and the writing of emails and possibly some catching up with friends. And groceries and cooking for the week. Maybe even laundry.

But for now, I am not getting off this couch. I was on my feet almost all day the last two days. Getting to sit down and do nothing makes me feel absolutely blissful.

Am I intimidating?

No, seriously, I want to know. Do you find me intimidating? Did you ever? Why?

(Brought to you courtesy of a few conversations I've had where people have mentioned that they either find me intimidating, or did when we first met. I've never thought of myself as being particularly intimidating, and I'm kind of curious if this is a more common first response to me than I realized.

scarlett_savage , you are exempt from answering because we've already discussed this one.)