bunnyjadwiga: (no)
Just when I think I've acclimatized to the wretchedness of Mid-Atlantic states ability to deal with winter weather-- I find out I'm wrong. Guys? They've invented these cool civil engineering tools like SNOW PLOWS, SALT, and CINDERS. You should try using them.

In particular, New Jersey State Department of Transportation increasingly reminds me of the Original Evil Ex-Boyfriend ('Never date a man whose mother calls him Ratnose'); no matter how far I lower my standards, they nevertheless fail to achieve them by a significant amount.*

The roads strongly resembled Noises Off as played by a mediocre community theatre Gilbert & Sullivan troupe.

In particular:

  • Parallel processing is good. Parallel snow plowing is clearly a plot to reduce the excess population.
  • What would possess UPS to put a double-trailer truck westbound on 78 tonight?
  • There is nothing short of disaster relief that requires shipping earthmoving equipment or Army trucks as Oversize Loads on a night like this.
  • Mr. Volvo, I don't care how safe your car is, if you dodge between my car going thirty-five in one non-existent lane and the next car over going thirty-five in the other non-existent lane at fourty-five miles an hour, you might want to aim for MORE THAN A CAR LENGTH of space?
  • Yes. You are a bus. You are bigger than me. Please not to be budging into my lane with randomly. I am not amused.
  • Playing 'hunt the lane' is not a fun game.
    Finding out where the edge of your lane is by the rumble strips in the shoulder is really not fun.
    Having the rumble strips under your right-hand tire and the right-hand tires of the car in front of you in the same rut as your left-hand tires gives a sensation remarkably like being IT in elementary school kickball.
  • There are almost no circumstances where it is a good thing for the alley behind my house to be clearer than every state and interstate highway on my way home.
  • Quote of the night: "I'm from Pennsylvania, buddy! In order for me to be able to merge in front of you, the front end of your car has to be significantly behind the back end of mine!"

* Ratnose once managed to show up THIRTY-SIX HOURS late for a date.
bunnyjadwiga: (Emotions)
Ladies & gents, my friends, I'm posting general stuff here but please, please don't take anything I say personally this week. This is the Historical Week Of Bunny Purgatory and Myxomatosis (see Philip Larkin http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/myxomatosis/ , but fortunately, it should work out all right if I *do* "keep quite still and wait"). Hopefully once we get past Horrible Anniversary #4, on the 17th, my bizarre grouchy malaise will have left me. I apologize in advance for everything I may forget, screw up, or offend this week, though I promise to try NOT to.
bunnyjadwiga: (floor)
Someday, I hope to move closer to my work.
This will entail moving to New Jersey.

Most of the time, I have become acclimatized to this, and even to the fact that I will not be able to afford moving to the really nice quaint bits. I'll be driving along, and I'll even forget that I'm in New Jersey. (Look, I learned to drive in Lancaster County Pennsylvania. It took me ages to get over the urge to pull over and wait until the cars with New Jersey plates had all passed me.)

And then, I'll have to drive somewhere I don't know, and suddenly, there it'll be again. In big blinky lights. I, it says, AM NOT FROM NEW JERSEY.

It's true. I'm from Central Pennsylvania and before that from North-Western New York State, and it shows in more than my tendency to try to figure out what kind of grain that is growing by the roadside. In the New Jersey Pine Barrens. *shakes head*

hm...

Jul. 12th, 2007 03:17 pm
bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
At some point I need to blog about "the dangers of setting up an autonomous process in one's own brain." There are dangers, and they are very real. One absolutely should neither hack nor system administrate one's brain (or psyche) without acknowledging that hacking an early Macintosh wired to a bomb with a dead-man switch is far safer, not to mention a cleaner way to go.
bunnyjadwiga: (Bartleby)
Last week I finished reading Transcendental Wife: the life of Abigail May Alcott, by Cynthia H. Barton (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1996).

What I was most struck by was the combination of entitlement and almost co-dependence on Abby's part. She left her parents' home on bad terms with her father and stepfather, and eventually married a penniless educator; she stood by him and raised his children and supported him emotionally and sometimes financially for years. And yet-- she comes across as demanding, critical and whiny. Barton points out how hard it must have been for Abby to take charity from family and friends-- but she didn't just ask for it, she demanded it, perhaps because she couldn't bring herself to do it any other way.

She struggled with her husband's principles, and the financial ruin that brought them to repeatedly, but she stood up for him and believed that she and her children should live in poverty rather than ask him to compromise his principles. She seems to have been almost pathologically devoted to her nuclear family as a cohesive unit, and unable to tolerate outsiders, but she forced herself to endure (crankily and probably being very difficult to live with) con-sociate living arrangements and the taking in of boarding students time after time.

It sounds as if she struggled with what we would label depression, but I'm increasingly confused about what we wouldn't label depression any more. Still, the anger management issues combined with her mistrust of herself, and her own voice, seem to have loomed large in internal family life. By Barton's (and by Bronson Alcott's) standards, she seems to have adopted a somewhat attachment-parenting outlook to raising her girls. She said of her oldest as an infant: "I have no rules save one great one-- to do what she indicates to have done- and she is so reasonable that I find no difficulty." Later on, as Louisa suggested in Good Wives, she seems to have had more trouble, especially as Bronson required a serene house; Bronson took over some childcare over her objections.

Eventually Abby did rebell against being destitute, and took various jobs, including that of an early social worker, in order to feed her family. Sometimes her charity endangered her family (as when they contracted illness from a client), but at least there was money coming in and Abby was living according to her principles, while Bronson lived according to his. It doesn't appear that Bronson was lazy, putting a good deal of physical labor into various self-sufficiency exercises; but philosophy tempted him away and left work for Abby. Eventually, Bronson learned that he could make a living at 'giving conversations' (speechwriting?) and things were more comfortable.

But I agree that Abby's troubles do seem to have to do with struggling to find her own voice and come up with a way of life which accomodated her own needs and principles as well as those of her husband and family. I do think that Louisa very much admired her mother, even if she wasn't the kindly Marmee of Little Women, and I was interested to see what (roseified) elements from Abby's life that Louisa used in Good Wives, such as marrying the kind Professor, keeping a school, Fruitlands/Plumfield, and the struggle over childraising.

I also noticed how reading this volume brought to the forefront of my mind my struggles to live my life without asking other people to compromise their principles, especially when it affects my homelife and workload. Hopefully I am not quite as snippy as Abby was; but I have less to do than she did, and more individual voice.
bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
"Well, it seems like a miracle to be able to look forward - to - to see all the minutes in front of one come hopping along with something marvelous in them, instead of just saying, Well, that one didn't actually hurt and the next may be quite bearable if only something beastly doesn't come pouncing out."
-- Dorothy L. Sayers, Busman's Honeymoon

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