Get Over It

I think I should get a bunch of T-shirts saying in big red letters, “Yes, I gave birth at 40.” It’s come up on 3 separate occasions in the past two days, and people just can’t wrap their minds against it. One person went as far as saying, “But that’s not possible!”

My friend told me that her physical therapist asked her how old I am because his friend is the mother of Klara’s friend at school (I know, confusing), and they are all wondering.

I’m too old to care about this kind of thing but it’s getting boring. It’s not even that big of a deal. My grandmother got pregnant with twins at 45, and she thought it was menopause and related weight-gain until the third trimester. The twins are now very active 65-year-olds. My first husband was born to a 42-year-old mother, and my close friend got pregnant by accident at 43 and then again at 46. Both kids are now adults.

It happens. Let’s get over it.

I’m Not Normal

Why can’t I be a normal person and do things in moderation? But no, I have to attack everything like a crazy maniac. Take painting. The idea was to do a little relaxing painting, 30 minutes here and there.

Somehow that eminently reasonable plan transformed into me painting since 8 am today and only stopping because I have a 2-hour meeting I’m getting paid $500 to attend. I’d bring my painting there but it’s rather large (because why would I possibly start with a small, modest project like normal people?) and I’d end up being too conspicuous.

Yes, I’ll post the photo of the painting when I’m done. It’s kind of starting to shape up but there’s a long way to go. I’m doing a grey-black-white palette but the next one will be colorful. If I don’t drive myself into complete exhaustion before then.

Quote of the Day

Friedell believed that an artist of his type needed “a magnetic field” in which to operate. He was well aware that he was surrounded by the kind of people whose only ambition was to cut off the electricity. They were Nazis, and he was a Jew. On the day of the Anschluβ in 1938, Friedell saw the storm troopers marching down the street, on their way to the building in which he had his apartment full of books. He was only a few floors up but it was high enough to do the job. On his way out of the window he called a warning, in case his falling body hit an innocent passer-by.

Clive James, Cultural Amnesia

Video of the Day

If you understand Russian, here’s a gift for you. It’s a conversation between two leading Ukrainian thinkers about the nature of American society. Not only is the analysis brilliant, it’s based on a deeply conservative sensibility. The roasting of wokesters as a messianic cult and the explanation of Obama’s presidency are priceless.

These are people who love America and are sad to see its current turn towards “I have 73 genders and I’m a bigger victim than you.”

What Constitutes a Win?

Let’s say I’m department Chair, and the administration says it’s going to cut 3 of our courses because of the budget difficulties. If I go and tell my colleagues that I lost us 3 whole courses, they’ll think I’m a loser, right? So what do I do?

Obviously, I go to the colleagues and tell them that the administration is cutting 16 of our courses. Everybody is stunned. 16 courses? This is a full third of all our course offerings. Sixteen??? This is catastrophic!

Yes, I say. These neoliberal bastards are rabid. Of course, I’ll do what I can but, honestly, I think it’s hopeless.

Then I go and bravely do absolutely nothing.

The administration takes away 4 of our courses because it’s always worse than what was announced.

I go back and tell the colleagues that we lost 4 courses. They were expecting 16, so losing only 4 sounds like an epic win. They think I’m a hero who defended 12 courses from elimination and eagerly set to cover the comparatively small loss of 4. Everybody loves me and votes to reelect me for a new term.

I haven’t done anything like it, and things don’t work like that at all. Everybody has to fulfill their contractual teaching loads, and the administration would never cut into that. I’m not talking about academia at all in this post.

I’ll let you guess what I’m actually talking about. I only want to add that spin is everything.