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Archive for July, 2009

Today has been a lovely day. After a rough time at work yesterday and a particularly exhausting week, I am for some reason in the best of moods today, even better than my usual Friday perk. I’m so cheerful, even, that a cat call this morning did not ruffle my feathers. In fact, I rather appreciated it!

This is remarkable because I have long despised the cat-calling tradition. You might recall the disgusting remark a Chilean friend of mine received, but a cat call doesn’t have to mention female genitalia to make me want to punch the caller in the face. I hate them all! I hate the objectification, I hate the vulgarity, and I hate what they do to women. When I lived in the DR, I stood out like a sore thumb with my blond hair and pale skin — apparently a beautiful sore thumb, because there were few men who would not toss me a piropo when I walked by. It made me crazy! But I came to a point in the summer when I resented the men who ignored me, too. That’s a horrible feeling, desiring the attention that, when you get it, you despise.

Once, our bus driver Chicho and I were standing on a corner in Santo Domingo waiting for our herd of teenagers to return from shopping, and every woman that walked by received a glowing review from Chicho (one of my favorite men in the DR, mind you). I’d finally had it. “Chicho!” I scolded. “How can you do that? You know how much it bothers me.” And he said, “If I don’t tell these women they’re beautiful, they’re going to go through the rest of the day wondering why I thought they weren’t beautiful. I am doing this because if I don’t, they’ll feel bad!”

You know what? It’s kind of true. Cat-calling (such a mild term for such an offensive act) is sexist and disgusting and treats women as objects, but women get used to it, and they learn to expect it, even want it. That makes me as angry as the cat-calling itself.

In Chile one night, my friends Karina and Malena and I stood on Karina’s grandma’s balcony and threw piropos down at the men who walked by. Simple stuff like “!Que rico!” and, for the men walking with girlfriends, “!Sueltala!” It was fun, but it made us feel no better to exact our revenge as the objectifier than it does to be objectified.

What was different this morning? My objectifier, who was passing out some sort of flier that I didn’t want, said, “Full respect, but you’re so beautiful.”

It was still disrespectful, I suppose, that he was seeing me as an object. Or was it? At the very least, he was acknowledging that I might find his comment disrespectful, and I appreciated that.

Also, can I blame him? Because here’s what I looked like this morning:

Oh, I kid. I said I was blond, after all! That’s Aishwarya Rai, whose image is the first that came up in a Google search for “most beautiful woman in the world.” One day, perhaps my photo will appear in its place. But for now, damn, baby, she’s hot!

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Love stories.

I present to you a series of heartwarming animal love stories. I suspect that at least one of these is a hoax, but that does not stop me from crying like a little baby even on repeated viewings.

First, from Croquette, this lovely tale of a dog and a duck (click here if the embed doesn’t work):

Embedded video from CNN Video

Which reminded me of the (possibly a hoax) old classic about Toby the beagle. I believe you can get the idea here even if you don’t get the Spanish:

And I found this today. It might take the cake.

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I know it’s old news, but as someone partly responsible for it, I need to comment. Sarah Palin just could not take my teasing about her absurd “Runner’s World” photo shoot and did something even more absurd: She resigned as governor of Alaska!

Now, there is some talk around town of this being a move toward a bid for the presidency in 2012, but I can’t see how quitting her job before she’s served even one term could help her get another, bigger job. I wonder if it’s that old is-Trig-her-son story rearing its head again. On the other hand, Chris is pretty sure she’s going to become a talk-show host.

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Sharing circle.

Excuse me. Pardon my absence. Life is just so hard! For example, last night Chris and I impulse-bought $40 worth of Mega Millions tickets and had a delicious dinner of kobe beef and peppadews while we decided what we’d do with our $59-million-in-cash winnings, then watched two hours of “America’s Got Talent” (and does it!) and the lottery. We were devastated not to win even one measly dollar. It was a really rough night.

Once things calm down a bit, I’ll be back to blogging. For now, I am passing on a couple of things Chris has shared with me today. Perhaps this will hold you over till I have a chance to post the adorable video I took yesterday morning of Arthur lapping at the bathroom faucet.

First, this was once our very serious candidate for vice president, whom we all took very seriously. A few things to note:

1. She loves to run, but she probably loves her country even more, as we can see from the perfectly draped American flag. (Also, I’m pretty sure she’s wearing dark nylons. Her legs are way too tan.)

2. She is a really good stretcher. (She seems to have removed the nylons for this picture.)

3. She has really good hair. I’m serious. I’d give many things to have that hair.

So I get the article part and why she’d want to keep herself in the public eye. 2012! Keep the dream alive! And obviously “Runner’s World” is in it for the page views (photo galleries are good for that, my colleagues tell me) and probably knows it’ll get an extra lot of them because of how ridiculous the thing is. But I simply cannot understand how Sarah Palin — or her people, whom she pays to help her make good decisions — agreed to do this photo shoot. In various running-related poses. Wearing makeup and hairstyles totally inappropriate for running. Complete with costume changes!

Moving on, this blog is almost “hilarious” as my own.

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