A blessing and a curse

Keep feeling fascination … and you end up with a blog.

When love calls, send it straight to voicemail June 28, 2008

Filed under: Funny — tiffanyfox @ 4:54 am
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Who doesn’t love a good cringe-worthy voicemail? Back when I was a newspaper girl, I used to save the voice recordings from all the crazies — felons calling collect from San Quentin, angry old women who couldn’t find the crossword puzzle, lunatics who were convinced that a flying saucer was circling Applebee’s right that very minute.

I also have a personal collection of voicemails on my mobile phone, calls I listen to every once in a while for a jolt of nostalgia. The sleepy message from my husband after he had just woken up and was missing me. The sheepish message from my husband after he had acted dumb. Messages from my mom, mother-in-law, grandfather, nephew, all sounding happy and anxious to talk to me.

But never have I received a voicemail as outstanding as this one. The honesty, the pathos … it tears at my heart and makes me yearn for a brighter day, when when men won’t be afraid to tell women “how it’s gonna work” and which psychiatric drugs are dealbreakers, even before the first date.

I really, really hope she called him back because, like he says, he is one of the few men in the city who has nothing wrong with him. Let the romance begin!

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Girlfriend got sold June 27, 2008

Filed under: Media — tiffanyfox @ 6:09 am
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Pashe Keqi, a 78-year-old Albanian woman who lives as a man.There I was, innocently waiting for my soy mocha at Perks, when I spied this article on the front page of the New York Times.

“For centuries, in the closed-off and conservative society of rural northern Albania, swapping genders was considered a practical solution for a family with a shortage of men. Her father was killed in a blood feud, and there was no male heir. By custom, Ms. Keqi, now 78, took a vow of lifetime virginity. She lived as a man, the new patriarch, with all the swagger and trappings of male authority — including the obligation to avenge her father’s death… Pink flip-flops were her only concession to femininity”

The thing is, although she took the credit for it, she’s not the one who did the revenge killing: Her nephew did. And he was killed in return. Would her culture not allow a woman, even if she was posing as a man, to commit a revenge killing? Maybe she didn’t have it in her to kill precisely because she was a woman?

And how is it fair that she has to act like a man and remain a virgin? Isn’t unlimited sex (with impunity) one of the perks of being a man? Talk about a raw deal.

 

No time like the present

Filed under: Uncategorized — tiffanyfox @ 5:51 am

Came across this beautiful quote from Elizabeth Gaskell’s “Cranford” at The Happiness Project:

GaskellI never knew what sad work the reading of old letters was before that evening, though I could hardly tell why. The letters were as happy as letters could be—at least those early letters were. There was in them a vivid and intense sense of the present time, which seemed so strong and full, as if it could never pass away, and as if the warm, living hearts that so expressed themselves could never die, and be as nothing to the sunny earth.

That’s the thing about the present moment, though: It never passes away.

 

Gandhi vs. Orwell: Ultimate smackdown

Filed under: Sprituality — tiffanyfox @ 5:40 am
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I read Orwell’s Reflections on Gandhi on the train ride home last night. I was surprised by his dismissive tone — I always thought of Gandhi as someone beyond reproach — but Orwell was a Brit living at the end of the colonial era. I suppose one should attribute his bitterness to the agony of defeat (and at the hands of a half-naked, emaciated lawyer, no less).

At any rate, after reading the essay, two things came to mind: 1) Why can’t there be balance between humanism and sainthood? Must one choose between the ascetic life and the life of pleasure? 2) Can’t we trust our intuition to guide us in our decisions, to lead us to choices that will serve both man and God? It’s pretty simple really. Many of us do this every day. If our gut tells us that something is wrong on any level —  human or cosmic — we re-evaluate our sense of direction and gain the proper footing once again. Gandhi

One could argue at this point in our planet’s history that the lifestyle Orwell found so distastefully “sanctified” is actually the more humanistic approach. Vegetarianism is sustainable, celibacy prevents overpopulation, and choosing to love humanity over any single man or woman will bring the whole world together. Apologies to Orwell, but I’m a meat-eating married woman who’s trying to get pregnant, and I’m still pretty sure Gandhi had it right.

 

From the department of sanitation…

Filed under: Media — tiffanyfox @ 5:26 am
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Mike and I listened to an episode of “This American Life” last weekend about the Ten Commandments. Each commandment was represented by a story, and “Thou Shalt Not Kill” was told from the point of view of a chaplain in the military. He said one of the soldiers in his unit wanted to talk to him about all the killing that was going on in Iraq. Apparently, the soldier had no idea that he would actually be shooting at real, live human beings because he’d only been trained to shoot targets.

At first, I was appalled to think that a soldier wouldn’t put two and two together and realize what he’s signed up for. Does he think they give him a rifle so he can shoot at prairie dogs? Exactly what does he think war is? But then I read something like the following, and my disgust is directed elsewhere:

“Almost halfway into 2008, the three network evening newscasts have shown 181 weekday minutes of Iraq coverage, compared with 1,157 minutes for all of 2007.” (NYT, June 23)

It’s no wonder he thought it was all just rainbows and unicorns.

 

Four things June 26, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — tiffanyfox @ 6:52 am

Who knows where this meme originated (my bookmarks have failed me).

Four jobs I’ve had
1. Newspaper reporter
2. English teacher
3. Barista
4. Nanny

Four movies I can watch over and over
1. Napoleon Dynamite
2. The Apu Trilogy
3. The Godfather
4. The Wizard of Oz

Four places I’ve lived
1. The tiny town of Arcata, Calif.
2. The tinier town of John Day, Oregon
3. The tiny village of Bogo, Cameroon
4. San Diego

Four TV shows I love
1. Jeopardy
2. The Office
3. Lost
4. The Daily Show

Four places I’ve vacationed
1. India
2. Thailand
3. Italy
4. Cambodia

Four of my favorite dishes
1. Chicken tikka masala and aloo gobi
2. Soy chorizo and egg breakfast burritos at the Naked Cafe
3. Tom Kha soup
4. Pho

Four sites I visit daily
1. Deli.cio.us
2. Yoga Journal
3. The New York Times
4. Google

Four places I would rather be right now
1. India
2. Argentina
3. Iceland
4. Hanging out, getting to know Levi

 

You don’t have to believe everything you think

Filed under: Uncategorized — tiffanyfox @ 6:15 am
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In yoga, the brain is symbolized by the moon.From Yoga Journal: “It might seem strange to us that the yogis place the seat of wisdom in the heart, which we typically associate with our emotions, and not the brain. But in yoga, the brain is actually symbolized by the moon, which reflects the sun’s light but generates none of its own. This kind of knowledge is worthwhile for dealing with mundane affairs, and is even necessary to a certain extent for the lower stages of spiritual practice. But in the end, the brain is inherently limited in what it can know and is prone to what Patanjali calls misconception (viparyaya) or false knowledge of the self.”