Friday, April 27, 2007

Lizard Love!

Nothing says good friday afternoon like checking on the peonies and nearly bumping into this:

My son wanted to know if he could touch them. I said, "Not now honey, I think they're busy."

Monday, April 23, 2007

World's Largest Coconut Orchestra

In all the somber news of the past week, what better to focus on than this little tidbit:

5,567 people "clip-clopping" in time to the Python classic, "Always Look On The Bright Side of Life."
And yep, they set a new Guinness World Record.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Cottage Eye Candy

Attention male readers:
You might just want to skip this one.

I like to look at other people's houses. I do. I love peeking behind shower curtains, opening medicine cabinets, etc. Yeah. I'm not proud. Over the years I've learned to refrain at times(like when I might be discovered), but I still think about it. But it's not just the hidden stuff behind closed doors--I love to look at how people put things together, at the decor of their home and the innovative (or not) things they've done to put their stamp on their place.

So, I love when magazines feature real homes, little peeks into what people actually do with all the crap they buy and drag home. I love looking on ebay or real estate sites and looking at the virtual tours of other people's houses. Voyeuristic? Yes.

The other day I stumbled across this website,The Old Painted Cottage, which features cottage/shabby chic stuff for the home (which, given my penchant for the 1970's, is a style I can appreciate but certainly never do myself). What intrigued me was the whole section of "Cottage of the Month" photos. Ooo. Peeking into people's personal spaces, seeing how they arrange things and what colors they use--even if it is not how I envision my own space--I love seeing it. I get ideas and also the ever present thought: "These people must not have children, dogs, or tipsy house guests. All that McCoy pottery would be shattered if they did." (If you do happen to look at the section, be sure to scroll to the very end of the page, where there is a photo archive for the past year.)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Chastity Chic?

You know, having a daughter means you start think about all sorts of things that you might do together--reading girly stuff, painting nails, playing Barbies, having a tea party,etc. Still, it would never occur to me to plan for a Purity Ball. No. Not going to happen.


Okay. You saw it, didn't you? The girls in ballet dresses floating around a white draped cross? Okay. Now continue reading.)

I first read about these occasions in O magazine and was both repelled and intrigued by the phallic imagery of fathers holding swords over their daughters heads whilst pledging to protect their chastity until the proper beau came along. The idea of virginity as a father's possession seems archaic--and yet apparently, many people find this patriarchal idea appealing because, as the Generations of Light Ministry website (the originators of the first ball in 1998) states, "The whole point of the covenant is about the purpose from a father's heart," Lisa Wilson said. "It's about is responsibility as a father in his heart and mind to model a righteous standard to his daughter, a standard of integrity, honesty, wisdom and discretion." (as quoted from The Gazette, 2001.) Hmmm. I can understand the desire for fathers to be positive role models to their daughters. Sure. But this is no simple father-daughter bonding activity if you ask me. The girls wear elaborate gowns and attend a fancy ceremony where they are given rings by their fathers, rings that symbolize that their virginity belongs to their father alone. They sign contracts to seal this pledge, and then they celebrate by dancing and eating WEDDING CAKE. Umm, is it just me, or does this sound sick and rather incestuous?

The girls are as young as 10 or 11, but some are teenage to early twenties. Most are home schooled and some even vow to never even kiss a boy before marriage. There's a great article from Glamour (yeah, quit smirking) that details the movement and has this disturbing insight into some of the young participants:
"Randy Wilson’s 19-year-old, Khrystian, is typical: She works at her church, spends most weekends at home with her family and has never danced with a male other than her father or brother. Emily Smith, an 18-year-old I meet, says that even kissing is out for her. “I made a promise to myself when I was younger,” she says, “to save my first kiss for my wedding day.” A tenet of the abstinence movement is that having lovers before marriage often leads to divorce. In the Wilsons’ community, young women hope to meet suitors at church, at college or through family connections."
You can read the rest of the article here:Jennifer Baumgardner's Would you pledge your virginity to your father?.
Essentially, these girls are expected to enter into father arranged marriages with nothing more than their pure thoughts to guide them... which sounds to me like it could lead to divorce pretty quickly.

So, what about these mysterious boys who are supposed to appear out of the proverbial woodwork (or pew, be it as it may) and sweep Daddy's little princess off to the hardcore reality of the marriage bed? I guess they don't need to worry about their purity... at least not until they are Daddies themselves and want to control and stunt their little girl's journey into adulthood.