Tuesday, October 28, 2008

My mom (has no grasp of reality)

It's kinda surreal to talk to my mom, who is so deep in denial that she has created an imaginary world in which I'm not getting married. We just had the following conversation: (tenuous connection to reality part in bold)

*blah blah stuff about job interview, got to talking about the housing market near where my parents live*
mom: Yeah the housing market is really bad, but I think it's going to get to it's lowest point next year and then start going up after that

me: well that's great, cause I'm planning on buying a house next year or the year after!

mom: well banks aren't giving out mortgages as much, and you need to have money in savings to have a big downpayment

me: well between the two of us we have close to $XX,XXX in savings...

Mom: Nah you don't want to buy a house. You should get a condo! That would really be better for you and what you need

Me: Yeah but I want a house- I'm probably going to have kids in a few years, and arn't condo's usually apartments? I want a place that I can keep for a bunch of years that has enough room for kids

Mom: Yeah you don't want a house, you want a condo. How are you going to take care of a house all by yourself? What are you going to, go out and mow the lawn by yourself?

me: [suppressing comments about gender roles]: But I'm not going to be living by myself, I'm going to have a husband, remember?

mom: whatever, we can't talk about that

me: Well...he's still going to be around..

mom: well we can't talk about that stuff, because then there's just bad feelings and we shouldn't talk about that

me: well, I get bad feelings when we DON'T talk about him. Plus is it really a good idea to just deny reality like that?

mom: well it's not denying reality, I just don't want to talk about it. if you want to talk to me then you can't talk about him ever

me: .....

mom: well I have to go put some clothes in the dryer, have a good night, bye

Over the past two months I've talked to my mom on the phone 3 times. The first was right before rosh hashana- I called her to wish her a happy rosh hashana. I deliberately called her while I was walking to my class, so that I could only talk to her for a few minutes. This was after several months of not calling or talking to her at all (the last time before being when I called to say I was engaged).

I talked to her for all of 3 minutes that first time, didn't mention B, and at the end she was like "Well, I'm really happy you called, it was good to hear from you."

So of course that immediately sent me into fantasies, whereas since she said she was happy I called that means one day she would accept me and B. Since she didn't hate me enough to not pick up the phone.

See how I just set myself up for disappointment there?

Anyways, the next conversation set me straight when I mentioned something about wedding dress shopping and she talked over me. But just because I hate myself, I thought I would give her a call and another chance today. And then the above ensued.

Also when I mentioned that I got the interview, and the school it was at, she was all "why would you want to work THERE." Great mom. Not sure if that's just because she's a bitchy person in general, or because she sucks at being a mom, or because she doesn't want me to live near her.

Anyways, I guess I have nothing to say to her anymore, since in order to talk to her I have to pretend like B doesn't exist. Can I return this mom and get a new one?

I have a job interview!

I got my first job interview for a professorship job! It's next week Thursday, and I just found out so I'm running around trying to put together a job talk...

It's for my absolute last choice in schools...it's a third tier school that is about 20 minutes from my parents house. Yet it's the only school that wants to interview me so far, so I'm going to go in with an open mind. But man..living near my parents, that doesn't sound so awesome. But maybe the school will rock, and just cause I live near my parents doesn't mean I have to hang out with them...in fact, maybe by living close to them they will feel more pressure to accept B?

Monday, October 27, 2008

photo update

nothing new to report really. I'm really tired of working and need a vacation.

So instead of a post, I give you a photopost of recent photos from my camera

Got this shirt in the mail today, which inspired photo taking and thus photoposts. I'm totally going to be rockin this shirt tomorrow. I wonder if I can get away with wearing it to class under a suit jacket...

Every Saturday morning me and B make bacon and eggs for breakfast (sometimes with toast of some kind) and have breakfast together. Here's breakfast from a few weeks ago

Sometimes breakfast comes with a mustache

B's kitty and my kitty love each other now!

Foo the ninja cat trying to sneak his way onto my recent trip to Maryland! He is one crafty ninja cat..

Some bell peppers I got at the farmers market

Monday, October 13, 2008

Religulous and wedding dress shopping

Me and B went to see Religulous this past Saturday. We got there for a 3:30 showing, but according to the box office person, even though all the websites on the internets had said it was showing at 3:30, and the box office itself had a sign that said it was showing at 3:30, this was all a lie and it really wasn't showing until 6:30. I was vaguely suspicious that she was religious and trying to stop people from seeing the movie.

Anyway, we had driven about 45 minutes to get to this movie, so we decided to go to the nearbye mall to kill time until the 6:30 showing. We had a lovely (very) late lunch at the cheesecake factory, and then walked around the mall. B graciously humored me in dress shopping, which I'm sure wasn't fun for him. We checked out two stores- Macy's (where all the dresses were basically short cocktail dresses) and this "formal dress and prom" store that had all sorts of prom dresses and a bunch of wedding dresses hidden in the back. Since I don't think I want a big poofy white wedding dress, I was mostly looking at the prom dresses.

From this trip I have successfully concluded that a) all wedding and prom dresses come in size 6 or 8 only, which i will never fit into and b) there is no way in hell I am getting any sort of dress that looks like a prom dress. Everything there was poofy and glittery and shiny...after looking around for a while and trying to picture myself in a big glittery poofy dress, I've decided there's definitely no way I can wear anything like that and not feel like a complete fool. So I'm back to square one on the wedding dress front...although I have a new idea of going to an indian clothes store and getting a Ghagra Choli or something, as I always love indian embroidery and styles...

After the mall we went to see religulous. First of all, we were the youngest people there by at least 15 years. Apparently young folk arn't down with Bill Maher or Atheism? I'm pretty sure 90% of the audience were Jewish, since they laughed the hardest at all the jewish jokes. Also they all looked like old Jewish couples.

The movie was mostly focused on Christianity, had a tiny bit about Jews and Mormans and Scientologists, and a little more about Muslims. Like anything having to do with Christianity, I was a bit alienated and couldn't relate to some of what they were saying, since I didn't grow up in that belief system. This movie is definitely not going to change any religious people's minds, and will probably just anger them. But I don't think it's aimed at changing people's mind, I think it's aimed at the 15% of Americans who are not affiliated with any type of organized religion. Preaching to the choir mostly.

Then again, I am the choir, and I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. Three things really stuck out for me:

1) When Bill Maher met with this Jewish guy (I think in Israel) who ran a shop of devices that could be used on shabbas through religious loopholes. Basically, this dude was an inventor, with all sorts of things that let you use electricity on Shabbas, but not actually break shabbas- like a phone you could dial somehow without breaking shabbas, an oven timer, a shabbas elevator, and a wheelchair that you could move with air pressure.

Back when I was orthodox, that stuff never sat right with me. It was all exploiting loopholes, but seemed to violate the spirit of the religion. Maybe that's because I grew up thinking electricity was a horrible thing to use on Saturdays, but I have a clear memory of taking a Shabbas elevator once (an elevator that stops and opens on every floor, so you can use it without pressing the buttons) and even though I was going to the 20th floor of some building, and even though my parents said it was ok, I felt very very uncomfortable using it. It seemed hypocritical in some way, like so much of judaism does to me know- that people are following the letter of the law so closely that they forget the big picture.

2) When he was talking to 2 ex-mormons, Maher asked them why more people didn't leave the religion. They talked about how it was social suicide, that if you left your parents and family wouldn't talk to you, and none of your friends would talk to you. I was reminded once more of how much I feel I have in common with ex-mormons, and how much judaism and mormonism has in common, at least socially- although the message differs, the method of enforcing it is the same.

3) When he met up with this guy who 'used to be gay' and is now married with 3 children, and runs one of those places where gay people who want to be straight go to fix themselves or whatever. Those people make me so sad...can you imagine hating yourself so much that you would willingly go to a place to 'fix' you of yourself? I guess if you are of the opinion that gayness is wrong (like alcoholism or something) this seems like a good solution, but from my more liberal position, the people who go to these types of places are the ones who have deep psychological problems. I know some people are forced there by their parents...but I know of someone like this who went voluntarily..he dated a (male) friend of mine for several months, and then after he broke up with my friend he became a born again christian, and went to one of those anti-gay brainwashing places. All I can feel in these situations is pity.

Meanwhile, some religious people on some other blogs I read were deeply offended by this movie. And it is probably deeply offensive. But if you think about it, religious beliefs ARE ridiculous. That doesn't mean that religion isn't helpful to people, and doesn't enrich a lot of people's lives. But the two are not mutually exclusive, and just because you don't like someone pointing out the ridiculousness of your religion, doesn't mean they are wrong.

My (blogging) friend's reaction to this movie, which was mostly anger, reminded me of a friend I had in college who took a bible studies class. The class talked about the documentary hypothesis (the hypothesis that the bible was compiled from 4 different sources). My friend, who was an orthodox jew, and had taken this class in the hebrew department assuming that it would agree with his viewpoint, was very angry about this hypothesis. So angry that he was talking about organizing some type of protest against the professor. And I think that is a common response to your fundemental life views being challenged by scientific evidence..you have to either reject the views on which you have built your entire life, or accept that those views are wrong. Faced with that decision, I think most people would get angry at the person who callanges their views, because that anger protects them.

Anyways, I have some more to say about my personal life- including talking with my mom around 2 weeks ago after I wrote that long blog post about it- but I think I'll save that for another post.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Dissertating is aging me

I can't help but notice this glaring new white (not gray, WHITE) hair on my head. I know it's new because it's only about an inch and a half long, and given that I grow about half an inch of hair a month, that means this one represents approximately the time I have spent working on the first chapter of my dissertation, which is due on Monday.

Oh dissertation, you have caused me to grow a white hair at the tender age of 26. How many more white hairs will I have by the time I finish?

On the brighter side, this may mean I am going to have white hairs (like my mom) and not gray hairs (like my dad). IMO white hair is a lot more attractive and cool looking than gray hairs. On the not so bright side, I think my mom started getting white hairs in her late thirties, so it seems I am considerably ahead of schedule.