Unadultered Love

She sat on the floor near the teacher, her long legs tucked under her orange and white gingham dress. The teacher set up the 4 year old we were watching. As the girl got nervous, the teacher asked if she should do the introduction to the piece. The little girl nodded. As the teacher’s bow touched the strings, there was a sudden intake of breath from the floor. The first note rang out and Soleil forgot to breathe. She sat perfectly still as the teacher and the 4 year old played a duet.

For 30 minutes Friday, we watched a violin lesson. And when it was done, Soleil said "And next time I will play!"

Yes, baby. Next time, we will have a violin for you. It may be too big at first, but we will have one for you!

Her eyes shown for the rest of the night as she spoke to everyone she knew about her violin lesson.

This, my friends, is something to see. When your child finds something to love and you can just watch the euphoria go through them. This is love. 


My car was hit yesterday. It was the most unexpected collision. There a was driving down the road between Lexington and Belmont (which I never know the name of because each town here HAS to change the name of the street when it gets to them. “ooh! look! Main street!” “No! we want to call it “The Great Road”” “NO! It’s the “Really Nice, But Not So Great Road” in our town”) Anyway, Here I was, just driving along and THUNK… A golf ball came flying out of the country club and nailed my side door. Good Lord! Luna and I both jumped about 20 feet! I watched the offending object bouncing along in the road and all I could think was “Golf balls bounce?”



I actually have 5 pages of my 8 page paper! I am so proud of myself. I need to add FIGURES because we all know that FIGURES make the difference. They fill space! And they are FIGURES! Because NOBODY wants to just read 8 pages of text on spacecraft operations. Trust me on that. We want to see FIGURES! Now I just have to find some…FIGURES! that is! 

I just spell checked this post and I had ONE WORD misspelled. Which one? and. Yes folks, I can not spell the simple conjunctive word and.


Bobby’s words– Continued

I realized that my time pressures on meetings and other items prevented me from fulling getting out my thoughts yesterday.

Here is the full paragraph from "Double Play" by Robert B. Parker

The culture presented premenopausal women to us as girls. In the movies married men and girls slept in separate beds. In the movies men would fight for these girls, die for their girls. In the movies girls would scream for their men, tremble for them dress their wounds, cry for them, wait for them. Love was everywhere, Passion was everywhere. Devotion was everywhere. Self0sacrifice abounded. Sex was nowhere. Except that the girls were sexy. And they were everywhere, on the radio, in the movies, in the magazines, in the ads. The songs. "To spend one night with you, in our own rendezvous." The lingerie ads, bathing suit ads, stocking ads, car ads, canned ham ads,beer ads, hair tonic ads, aftershave ads. All of them fresh and clean and sweet and perky and crucifyingly desirable. 

You see, it’s not just that woman are called "girls". They are presented as girls. What does "girl" mean to you? To me? I see my children, my girls, young and free. Innocent. Needing guidance. They aren’t ready for the real world where people die in the blink of an eye. The world where the color of your skin, the name of your deity, the language you speak, the form of your genitals matter. They just see people. You treat a person the same no matter what. These girls still need protection, they need love. They need someone to take care of the boo-boos, the physical and the emotional. They need someone to help them explore their self confidence, to teach them that mistakes are okay and that we are all failures at times. And that it is okay.

A woman? To me this is an adult. A person who has learned about the blatant unfairness of life. A person who can care for herself. A Person who can navigate the world and make her own choices.

The issue is not just calling women "girls". The issue is treating women like girls.

Steve (hi Steve!) wrote:

think you’re over-analyzing this.  Men are often referred to as ‘boys’ or ‘guys’ just as women are known as ‘girls’ or ‘gals’.

If there was that much of a problem with equality, Hilary Clinton
wouldn’t be neck and neck with Obama for the Democratic nomination.

Maybe I am over analyzing this. But I think I am not. I work in a field filled with men. A recent Sky and Telescope article discussed a wonderful discovery by a female scientist. She chose to leave the field. Her adviser, one of the great solar system scientists had made it clear to her that woman can not balance a family and science. Where do you get that attitude? Where? You suddenly have children and the science leaves your brain?

I hate to point out the obvious, but Hillary is not going to win the nomination. That is becoming clear. Why are people telling her to quit? Why has NO BODY asked Obama to drop out if this were equal? Why are there questions about Obama’s religion and background and then what Hillary is wearing tonight? Just like voting rights, we will put a minority first, females second.

We only passed Title IX in 1972! this is in my lifetime! This means women of my generation are really the first to truly believe that we have a chance to be considered equally as men for positions. And yet, when I first got hired in my first astronomical job out of college I had a PhD scientist say to me "I hear you got hired because you’re with Jay. I worked to get hired." My jaw dropped at this, especially since I was interviewed separate from Jay and my interviewer had no clue that Jay was coming here. The thoughts are still out there:

Girls aren’t as good as men in some fields

Girls need men to protect them

Girls should be careful to go out alone, it’s too dangerous

Girls can’t fight in combat.

Girls have "monthly problems" that prevent them from doing what a man can.

Think about these. They are out there. They are still out there.  

And Parker is right, women as just as sexual creatures as men are. But that, my friends, is a whole other post. 

Bobby’s words- What does “woman” mean?

I have been reading. Jay picked up several books and left a few Robert B. Parker books. He left one called "Double Play"

This is one of Robert B. Parker’s best books. It deviates from the Spenser novels in that the main character is new to the reader. We don’t quite understand Burke’s history. The story is simple. An 18 year old ships off to war, he returns barely alive. After recovering, he finds his life in shambles and takes a job boxing. Slowly this job evolves to a "persuader" for people to pay their gambling debts to being a body guard. After being fired from one job, he is offered a very difficult assignment: Be the bodyguard for Jackie Robinson, the first black player in the National League.

If you are familiar with the Spenser books, then you know Parker’s style. His heroes are stiff in business and soft in bed. They love their women, but know how to distance themselves from the job. In the Spenser series, the sidekick is Hawke, a large black man whose street smarts and fighting style compliments Spenser. Hawke is no dummy, he is well read and well heeled, when he wants to be.

This book explores a whole other side of the black and white culture. It is fascinating to read how Burke and Jackie get along, work together, hail cabbies, eat together.

Interspersed in the story are chapters that are simply labeled "Bobby". It took me three of these to realize that Parker was referring to himself. These chapters are oddly disturbing. They change the story. The views of the culture after the war and the culture during the war were disturbing. Hearing how his parents wouldn’t sell their home to a Jewish family because it would "betray the neighbors" was upsetting.

But I think Parker nailed it with this quote:

The culture presented premenopausal women as girls 

This phrase has stayed with me. Is this the problem we have in our society with female equality? That men think of women as no more than large girls? Is this what people who are now in their 60s and 70s were taught? How about in the 50s and 60s? I think late 60s was the change. 

I am not a girl. I am a woman. I have change my own tire (with the right tools). I can take out the trash. I pump my own gas. I put up drywall. I do not kill spiders, but that’s a phobia, not a female thing. I bleed once a month for a week and live. I don’t need protection from a man, I need love and companionship.

Today, what does woman mean? I hear people call women "girls". "Girls’ night out" (No! Women’s night out! I am not a girl!) "The girls and I are getting together." "The girl at my office."

What does woman mean? I am careful to call any female over 18 a woman. She is legally an adult (except for drinking because our country is insane), she’s a woman. What does woman mean to you?

So what to do?

I had a really rough week last week. I even lost my ATM card on top of everything I wrote about.

I decided to send the letter to my friend. If you know me, you must know, it was Crazy H that I wrote to.

See? Right there, this should give you some indications that I should do something. I am not sure what. You see, I’ve known Crazy H forever. When I say forever, I mean since we were 4. We ended up in the same dance class. We were friends in elementary, middle, high school. We talked via phone in college (pre-internet days, I am such a fossil).

I stood by her in many tough times, many of her own making. I could give hundreds of examples, but I’ll start with a simple one. When Jay and I decided that we couldn’t put off the wedding any longer, we made plans. Well, Crazy H got engaged too! And we were looking for a house. So were they! We had a few tough issues, this was back in 1997 and the market was heating up. We managed to get our bid accepted for the third place we offered on. Crazy H and Kobi? They offered on a place and took it for above the asking price because they were afraid that they would not get it. We low balled and moved up, they highball and got it.

I think they moved about the same time we did. We got married. They got married 2 months later. We stayed at our house for 5 years. They bailed after 2 because Crazy H "couldn’t take it anymore". Yes, the condo they bought was in a building that needed work. The previous treasurer had run off with money (did they look at the books before buying? NO) They decided, to make her happy, to cut and run. They sold and rented a place for a year. Now, the market was heating up in Boston around then. They used the extra money from the sale for debt, and then racked up more debt.  Then I got alot of "I wish we had what you have" from her. Sigh…

Finally, they decided they could buy again. Unfortunately, instead of investing their proceeds from the condo, they had spent it and they could not afford much. They bought a small 3 bedroom in a nearby town. We called it their POS house. It is getting better, but it is still so small that I am not amazed that the 4 of them sleep in one room still. We supported their move. We supported and helped with house construction/destruction. But I still get little snipes "oh your house is so much more grown up!"

But this is of their own making! We have chosen our lifestyle. They have chosen theirs. Can’t she see that? No. "Bad" things happen to them. "Good" things happen to us. Sigh.. This is but ONE example


So I sent the letter. I had originally said that we needed to talk and that I might have to walk away from the friendship. But Jay read it and we talked. We decided that I am not ready to walk away. So I changed that line. I don’t think she gets back from her trip until tonight. But the next question is what is she going to do? I know she will first be "shocked and upset" that I feel this way. Tough. get used to it. We do need to talk and deal with this. I miss having my crazy friend to talk to. Yes, she has flaws. We all do, but right now, this friendship is a one way street, and I’m the road.

So I wait. And see what happens.


About that paper?

Yes, well, I am kinda blowing it off right now.

I know, I know, I will get back to it soon.

I need to world to slow down a little. I survived yesterday (still not sure how). Jay had a major breakthrough on his data for his talk and we discussed the view graph slides and BANG! He has one kick ass talk for Spain now! Yippie! However, he got a call this morning from the hospital. He DID break his finger, so keep it splinted for 4 weeks.

My parents are in and settling in for their long stay. Don’t get me wrong, I love them, but sometimes, family needs to be far away, you know what I mean?

Luna’s still a little out of it. She has an ear infection and fluid in the other ear. Lovely. She told me yesterday that she needs to take 1 teaspoon of the medicine. I asked her how she knew and she said that’s what the doctor said. Oh great! She’s paying attention to the world! This could be good or bad! On the other hand, she’s walked into two walls in the last 12 hours. Methinks she’s having some perception issues.

I am also contemplating sending a letter to a friend. She has blown me off lately. Of course, she has blown off her family, kids, husband and everything else lately because she has taken A JOB. Not that she hadn’t worked out side of the house before, but suddenly this JOB is the only thing in her life… Sigh… I am torn between ignoring this or working it out with her.

Anyway, I should do this paper, eh? It IS my ticket to France in June!


Busy buzzy busy

I have all sorts of posts and ideas floating in my head. 

Last week, Julie Pippert wrote about "can we really tell our kids they can be whatever they want to be?" I want to write on that.

I have at least 4 posts in my queue that I am working on.

BUT, my parents arrive in 1 hour

my car is 10 miles away at a doctor appointment for Luna, who has been having headaches and an ear ache since the concussion

I have a spacecraft command load review at 2pm 

I have a 3 hour Girl Scout Brownie leader training tonight (because they aren’t offering any over the summer)

my country’s 500th anniversary to plan, my wedding to arrange, my wife to murder and Guilder to frame for it; I’m swamped.  Oh wait… That’s the Princess Bride….

Anyway, Jay’s 42nd birthday party is Friday! I have requested that everyone include a question for which the answer is 42. We have some pretty clever ones!

More later.