The cutest thing I've ever seen

I wish I had known Ruby when I was seven.


Blogging advice

Today a friend emailed and said, "We're good, tho. busy... and somehow I have to (want to) figure out how to fit blogging into all this madness! (Advice?!?)"

It seems to me that I'm the worst possible person to give advice about blogging, seeing as how, counting this post, I've blogged a total of three times in the month of September. Blogging is a terrible idea for a busy academic, for so many reasons. It can't help me professionally, but it could certainly do damage if I inadvertently wrote the wrong thing here on this very public forum. It takes time that I seem not to have, and that I should probably be spending either on professional endeavors or on my family. It's self-indulgent. If it doesn't do damage to my career, it could easily make me seem ridiculously obsessed with baby pictures and bean pie.

And yet, I do really love having a blog. I love the fact that it's a nonprofessional public forum where I can say what I want to say. Part of the reason I went into academia, of course, is because I have things to say and I like getting to say them, and the blog provides a different venue for that. I enjoy being self-indulgent. I love the continual gratification and feedback that the comments provide--it was such fun to see what you all had to say about the idea of a class about anti-feminism. I like getting to practice non-academic writing.

So, despite the potential drawbacks, I not only continue to blog here at Baxter Sez, but I've agreed to be a blogger at Girl with Pen. Once a month--on the third Tuesday of the month, in fact--I'll be coming up with something intelligent to say about women's bodies: reproductive rights, representations of women in the media, violence against women, or the demands of motherhood and career. I think this is going to be a fun challenge, and I'll be joining a great group of bloggers. I'll be sure to post links here. And I promise there will be no mentions of bean pie.



For reasons that I won't go into here, the Women's and Gender Studies Program where I work may start offering a class in something like Anti-Feminist Rhetoric, or Anti-Feminist Cultural Discourse--something like that. I actually think this could be a very lively class. It would be interesting, and certainly very educational, to read texts by folks who either don't believe that inequality exists, or don't believe that it's a problem--or even folks who argue that women aren't fully human.

Thoughts on must-read texts?


The food of my people

Although I was raised in a puritanically healthy household, I feel that the food that defines my cultural heritage is only partly whole wheat carob chip cookies, quinoa, and lentil casserole. The other part of my food heritage is the kind of thing we've been eating this weekend. We're in Cookeville, and the Fall Fun Fest is happening. So here's what I've eaten in the last 24 hours:

  • Barbecued ribs
  • Brisket
  • Funnel cake
  • Two Ralph's butter twists (seriously the best doughnuts anywhere in the world)
  • Polish sausage sandwich with peppers and onions
  • Part of a crazy tater (an entire sliced up deep fried potato)
  • Funnel cake (another one)
  • Bites of Trey's deep fried Moonpie and my dad's deep fried Twinkies
I was remembering that when I was a kid, when we went to the fair, we were allowed to pick one sweet thing to eat. I would agonize over what to get, since most of the time sweets were strictly rationed. Sometimes I'd opt for the cotton candy (big, but not much substance), and other times I'd pick the funnel cake (smaller, but denser). One unfortunate year, for reasons I can't remember, I picked a caramel apple. I quickly realized that this was a rip off: there was an apple in there, and I was allowed to eat apples any day of the year!

This is a story I've told many times, but when I was recounting it today, my dad said, "You forgot the ending. When you ate all the caramel off and discovered the apple, you gave it to me, and I bought you a funnel cake."

Of course he did. I don't know why I didn't remember that, because it's entirely characteristic of my dad. And so this weekend that's the part of my heritage I've been celebrating.