Seattle Bound

Tomorrow morning I'm off to visit my sister in Seattle. You may recall that she had recently visited me, so it hasn't been that long since I last saw her. Usually, though, I see my sister only twice a year-once during the summer and once at Christmas. I've been out to see her in Seattle twice before, but not in the last two-three years. So seeing her again so soon is a bonus for me. Seattle is a beautiful city and I know why she loves living there. Besides its geographical beauty, there is always something to do there. There are tons of cool resturants and stores. And it's the home of the very first Starbucks! I just wish the city was located 3,000 miles east instead of on the west coast.

My sister is a buyer's assistant for Nordstrom. As a result of working in the fashion industry, she is a total fashionista, and is always dressed really well. All her outfits are complete too-matching shoes, purse, accessories. I'm lucky if I can find two socks that match. I started a new job in February of this year, after having worked at a place where casual dress (jeans, t-shirts) was the norm. I needed a whole new wardrobe for my new gig. My sister sent me a ton of clothes from Nordstrom (she has an amazing discount, and also gets a lot of samples for free) so I would look presentable. If I receive a compliment on something I wear to work, guaranteed it's something she's picked out for me. I have zero fashion sense, and I have no idea what looks good on me. Thankfully, she does.

While in Seattle, she has told me she plans on "dressing me for the fall." Thank God, because while I have a lot of summery skirts and shirts, once the cold settles in (and in upstate NY, it gets COLD), I will have nothing to wear.

So, I will be away from my blog until late next week. When I return, I will be refreshed from a week off of work, and well-dressed to boot. Lucky me.

Knitting the Night Away

I have a confession to make. I love to knit. I came across Crazy Aunt Purl the other day (go visit her blog for a serious laugh. She has about a zillion readers!), and I thought to myself, I'm going to come out of the closet. She's confessed her love for knitting on the internet. In fact, she writes a knitting blog! I too, can come clean. I knit and I'm not ashamed to admit it.

Knitting seems to have this odd stigma attached to it. Or at least it did. Knitting was something you saw your oddball neighbor with 17 cats doing when you went to retrieve the ball you accidentally kicked into her yard when you were a child. Knitting produced those horrible, itchy, too-big sweaters in horrible colors great aunt Harriet gave you as "gifts" for your birthday and for the holidays. Therefore, knitting couldn't possibly be something you enjoyed doing as a hip-n-happening 20-something, right? Wrong. I knit and I love it.

I started knitting when I was a little girl. My great aunt (not Harriet) taught me to knit around age 10, and I knit scarves, baby blankets for my younger cousins, potholders, and many other square or rectangular objects. I was an active knitter until about age 14 or so. Then, I dropped it.

A few years ago, I picked up knitting again. A friend and I took a beginner's knitting class so I could get reacquainted with the sticks, and so she could learn, since she was a Since then, I've knit blankets for friends' babies, more scarves, a poncho, and I'm halfway through my first pair of socks (yay! Something non-rectangular!).

For me, knitting is soothing. I love the fact that I can create something so pretty with just two (or sometimes more) sticks and a skein of yarn. I love the satisfaction of making something with my hands (more or less). It's calming, and allows me to destress after a hectic day. And knitting is apparently the new black. I'm seeing young knitters everywhere. Knitting classes advertised in trendy city publications. Knitting stores sprouting up in shopping plazas.

It's been a hot summer here, and I haven't had the desire to knit too often in the last month or so. But fall is coming, and I plan on knitting my way through it.

Tagged and Tagging

I've been tagged for the first time. Geekwif tagged me on her site for the following meme. I feel so special! Now, I hope I can follow the meme's directions correctly. It seems complicated. Here it goes:

This meme is a way to introduce others to your blog neighbors, just as you would in real life. I'll answer the questions, and tag four others who frequent my blog to answer the same ones. If I tag you, just copy and paste this meme in your blog, and change the answers for the bolded questions. Then, tag four others to do the same. If I tag you and you don't want to be tagged, it's no big deal.

Here are four people I think may be interested in playing:
Andy from The Waning Liberal
Marie from PractiGal
Ramona from Kross-Eyed Kitty
Guppyman from Guppyman's Rant Zone

Geekwif has also asked that I tag Ty at Tongue Tyed as my fifth person, as she wants to see how far the meme will go.

Here are the questions:

When did you move to the neighborhood?

I've only been blogging for about a month. My degrees are in English Literature, and to my absolute horror, I realized a few months ago that I hadn't done any "creative" writing in years. I work as a technical/marketing writer, and all I've been writing for years are computer training manuals and journals. My friend Marie from PractiGal had started a blog awhile back, and visiting her blog also inspired me to start one of my own. So, I started Interrupted Wanderlust to once again write creatively and to express my thoughts and views.

What region of the neighborhood are you from?

I was born and raised in upstate NY, where I still live today. I lived in London for five months following graduation from college, though. And I absolutely love to travel away from the horribly boring part of NYS I live in whenever possible.

What is your favorite part of our neighborhood?

I love blogging because it's an outlet for me. I used to keep paper diaries and journals, but haven't in years. Blogging seems to be an extension of those handwritten pages. I also love connecting with people who happen upon my blog from all over the world. And I love reading about other people's lives and thoughts on their blogs too.

What is your favorite place to visit 'round these parts?

Andy (over at The Waning Liberal) and I have been friends for years, and we used to have very similar political views. It's interesting to read about his views now, though, because he's seriously lost his mind. I kid because I love! FarmGirl's blog is very cool as well. I love her photos and details about life on the farm. In fact, she even inspired a post I wrote about awhile back. And Amy over at Beauty Joy Food has a fantastic blog as well. She covers two of my all-time favorite things: Food and good writing. Marie's PractiGal blog is always entertaining and very well-written. She makes me laugh on a daily basis.

Where would you suggest someone new to your region should visit?

Hmmm... this is an interesting question, since as you can tell from my words above, I'm not exactly enamored with the place I live. If you were to visit here, though, I'd advise you to head about 45 minutes southeast to the Finger Lakes region of NYS. Smack dab in the center of the state are several beautiful "finger-shaped" bodies of water, most of which are surrounded by award-winning wineries. My husband and I used to stay at a B&B on Seneca Lake several times a year (we even got engaged there) and do a wine tour around the lake over the course of a day or so. Beautiful vineyards, views, and of course delicious wines abound here.

Don't forget, the purpose of this meme is to meet new neighbors, so be sure to check out some of the blogs mentioned here.

It's About Time

Earlier this week, Cristeta Comerford was named the first ever female executive chef for the White House. Far be it for me to applaud the Bush White House (something I don't believe I've ever done), but bravo to Laura Bush, who ultimately made the selection (or so it was reported). My question, however, is: how on earth did it take this long to have a female as head chef in the White House?

Throughout history, the kitchen has been an almost wholly female domain. Cooking three meals a day for her family was viewed as a woman's duty, in addition to keeping house and caring for her children-all tasks for which she was not paid, of course. In 2005, there are plenty of men who cook-for their families, in restaurants, on tv. Some even manage to do it while looking extremely...appetizing. But it seems that in the professional cooking arena, as with other jobs that have historically been viewed as "women's work," the greater one's professional success, the greater likelihood it is that that person is a male. Ms. Comerford is an all-too-rare exception to this rule.

Women are seen as nurturing caregivers, and are often primarily responsible for childcare in their households. As such, many women turn to teaching as a profession to make a career out of helping and educating young minds. Yet while many women are teachers, and many serve as school principals, according to this article, only 14% of school superintendants are women. This article states that the percentage of females serving in this role actually reached its previous high of 11% in the 1930s, and then the number began to drop in the 1950s. The number has essentially remained the same for 70 years.

Women have also traditionally served not only as childcare providers in their households, but they've also historically been responsible for the physical well-being of household members as well. Most of the country's nurses are women, yet according to this article, only 25% are doctors (although this number is rising).

It appears that the greater the perceived worth society places on a job function, the more likely it is that that position is held by a male. While women can dominate that job role at home, for free, as soon as the job moves to the public sphere, where a salary is attached, the upper echelons of that profession are domainated by men.

My hope is that Cristeta Comerford's appointment opens more doors to executive chef appointments for women. It's about time.

Semi-Urban Planner

I'm back following my sister's visit from Seattle. We had lots of quality sister time, and I'm very excited because I'm going to see her again in just two weeks, when I head out to the West Coast to visit her.

My sister and I are only 17 months apart (I am older). We're very close, and share a lot of the same interests. However, one area in which we share no similarities became apparent this past week. I am a meticulous planner and she is not.

My sister flew from Seattle to my upstate NY city, and her return tickets were booked from here back to Seattle. However, for two days following her visit here, she and her boyfriend who accompanied her on the trip were visiting his relatives in PA, near Philadelphia. She planned on renting a car in Philly, skipping the leg of the trip from NY to Pittsburgh (where she would change planes and head to Seattle), driving to Pittsburgh and picking up her connecting flight there. This sounded pretty risky to me. After all, once the airline here realized she wasn't on her flight from NY to Pittsburgh, wouldn't they fill her seats with standby passengers?

The day before she was to leave, she called the airline to ensure that she could indeed skip the NY to Pittsburgh leg of the trip. And surprise! She couldn't. She would have to pay a hefty re-booking fee, PLUS purchase two more tickets for herself and her boyfriend from Pittsburgh to Seattle according to the rate of the day, in excess of $1,000. She was quite upset, but then planned on just showing up in Pittsburgh anyway, and giving them a sob story about missing their flight in NY and having drove all the way from NY to Pittsburgh in the hopes they would be let on the plane. What???

About 11pm the night before we were to drive them to PA to visit her boyfriend's relatives, my sister decided to abandon this plan, rent a car in Pittsburgh, drive back to NY (a six hour drive) and catch her originally booked flights back to Seattle. She spent the next two hours scouring the web for a deal, and finally made the booking around 1am.

Simply watching my sister go through this process was exhausting, because it was something I would never in a million years consider doing. I plan everything, every teeny, tiny little detail, when I go on a trip, and the plans are usually completed weeks before we've ever left home. Maps are drafted, restaurants and shops in the city we're visiting are located and noted for reference, travel plans are confirmed and reconfirmed. Nothing is left up to chance. My sister's carefree attitude toward her travel plans made me marvel at her ability to leave so much up in the air. I think I would give myself an aneurysm if I tried the same thing.

When I travel to Seattle to visit her in two weeks, I know I'll have to abandon some of my control issues, and leave more of the visit up to chance. I'm just not exactly sure how I'm going to do that.

Going on a Little Hiatus

My sister and her boyfriend who live in Seattle are arriving tomorrow and staying with us until Wednesday of next week. Because my time will be spent shuttling her around to the various groups of relatives who are all clamoring to see her (she visits only twice a year), I won't have any time to blog until next week.

In the meantime, though, I highly recommend you visit my friend's new blog The Waning Liberal. If you tend to lean left of center, visit the blog and try and to convice him that we need all the support we can get to survive the next three years. And if you lean right, well, you probably have more in common with him right now than I do!

Until next week, friends.

The Drinking Fountain

Before I begin this post, let me say that I consider myself an ardent feminist. I believe in a woman's right to choose. I believe in equal pay for equal work. I believe it's an individual choice whether a woman decides to stay home or return to work after having children, and that she shouldn't be chastized for either. That said, an opinion of something I encountered this weekend has caused at least one friend of mine to question my feminist views. I, on the other hand, don't think my views have anything to do with feminism, but more to do with public decorum. So without further ado, here's what happened.

I attended the wedding of a close friend of my husband's this past weekend. It was a backyard wedding, followed by a reception in the same location. The wedding was attended by about 100 people with many children and babies running around.

A high school friend of my husband and his wife attended. For the sake of anonymity (yes, I am paranoid that someday they'll discover this blog!), I'll call them Jane and Sam. We used to see them every few months or so before they had children, but since they had their two daughters (ages 3 and 1), we see them about once a year. But we enjoy their company when we do see them. A group of about 10-15 of us were sitting around on lawn chairs arranged in a circle following the ceremony. Jane and Sam's daughters were running around playing with the other kids. That's when it happened.

The little one-year girl ran up to her mother and started yanking on her shirt. Jane immediately lifted up her shirt, picked up her daughter and began breast-feeding. A few moments later, Jane set her down, pulled down her shirt, and the little girl tottered off. This happened at least five more times that day. Whenever the little girl was hungry, she ran up to her mom, pulled at her shirt, and had a drink. A quick glance around me following the first "feeding" told me that my friends were shocked and surprised by this. I saw Jane's breast several times that day, and at least a dozen others did too.

I was somewhat disturbed by this. Now, let me say that I believe breast-feeding is a completely natural process. I understand the need to feed your baby, and you're not always going to be home, in private, when baby needs to eat. And if it were a one-shot deal, and Jane's daughter was fussing and crying because it was her eating time, and Jane had fed her once to settle and nourish her, I would have been fine with that. However, it happened more than once. More than four times, actually. And at no point was her daughter crying or fussing. Just thirsty. What actually happened was very off-putting for me, and I think a bit inconsiderate of the comfort level of others on Jane's part.

I believe that simply because a couple decides to have children does not mean that those around them without children (and even some with kids) have to suddenly make accomodations and exceptions to deal with certain aspects of parenthood that might make them uncomfortable. And for me, at least, breast-feeding as Jane did at the wedding, falls into this category. Now, I have seen many of my friends breast-feed their infants, and I've never thought twice about it. However, the setting in all instances was a far less public one-in their homes, in the hospital shortly after giving birth, at my home, in a restaurant booth, and each of these times, my friends acted discreetly. And this wasn't uncomfortable for me at all. But seeing Jane function essentially as a drinking fountain for her walking one-year old made me (and those around me, both parents and non-parents alike, as I found out later that day) uncomfortable.

So, am I a bad feminist? Is my NOW card going to be revoked? What do you think?

Quick Snapshot:

  • 34-year-old writer and
    mother to a daughter
    born in August 2006 following
    IVF and girl/boy twins born in October 2008 following FET. Come along as I document the search for my lost intellect. It's a bumpy ride. Consider yourself warned.

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