Thursday, February 26, 2009

What's in my purse?

Oh, pardon. who's in my purse.... Missy, what are you doing here????

Stop asking stupid questions and take me for a walk!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

New Hillary and the women's rights

When Hillary Clinton went to Asia as a first lady in 1995 she made a passionate speach for women's rights.
Now, when she went to Asia as a secretary of state, women's rights weren't nowhere on her agenda. They fell offer to climate change and the economic crisis.

Just two weeks before the International Women's Day, women, as always, are supposed to stand back to "more important" issues, as if sexism and scarcity of women's rights in most of the countries of the globe were nowhere in the same class as racism, as climate change, as economic crisis.

Shame on you, Hillary!

Ladies, do you still regret she was not elected president? She would have been the first woman president to abandon women! Not what we deserve!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

World Cat's Day...

... is today, February 17th ... at least in my home country.
So today my blog is devoted to my two little Puertorican amores, Fortuno (yes, he has the same name as Puerto Rico's current governor, but not for political reasons) or Lucky, the former jungle cat - and Carina, or Sweetie, the former airport cat.
Yes, they are both fully Spanish-English bilingual, including their names.

They love sharing their cat bed , especially when it is freshly laundered, still warm from the dryer and generously sprinkled with cat nip.

Otherwise Fortuno, a male that he is, loves to nap his days away in my recliner. However, unlike most other males I know (including Rascal, who can appropriate my entire bed, stretching across it!) Fortuno leaves enough space for me, to share the recliner with him. A generous, friendly cat!

Sweetie, or The Sweetest Thing in the World on the other hand, not always deserves either her name or her nickname. Once I found her in my refrigerator and now... what are you doing in the garbage bin, Sweets?? This is not a place for a well behaved kitty, you know...

Yeah, she knows, but she does not care...

Monday, February 16, 2009

Good Grief or how to be - or not to be - a good widow.

Valentine's Day is a cruel holiday .... since so many people are not only excluded, they are brutally reminded, just how ALONE they are.

I have been a widow for almost 17 years now, so I have gotten used to it and treat being alone as not only normal, but enjoyable ... at least every now and then... and, anyway, nobody living with cats can ever feel truly alone.

Yet, every year at Valentine's my heart aches for all who are recently widowed, recently divorced, recently brokenhearted.

This year around Valentine's I happened to read this debut book by Lolly Winston about a recently widowed woman.

The book is well written, thoroughly entertaining and .... I learned a lot from it about grief I did not know about.

I learned that for many grief might be a totally overwhelming feeling, causing a total falling apart, a total collapse.

I used to suspect that the high drama of a debilitating depression, of falling apart with grief, was - consiously or not - just for show: a way to get more attention ? more support?

I learned I was wrong. I learned that many, may be most, people are unable to show the world a stiff upper lip and keep their grief under wrap, no matter how hard they try.

Are they more - or less - human for that? Are they more - or less - gracious as widows ?

Thanks, Lolly Winston, for introducing me to grief the way I have never known it. Thanks for letting me understand other grieving people better.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The symbol of love?

Quick, how good are you in floriography (?), that is deciphering the meaning of flowers you give - or receive?

Here is an updated guide

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

But are they emancipated enough?

A friend from Sweden called me yesterday, seriously alarmed: her daughter was planning to move to Singapore.

I did not, at first, get the cause of her alarm. Singapore is a vibrant, interesting city. Yes, it is very expensive to live there as an expact, terribly hot, terribly humid and terribly overcrowded, like most cities in Asia, but it is sort of civilized (save for their penal code, with its crudely medieval punishments like caning etc.) and could be fun. So what's the problem?

Her daughter is single... and a corporate executive... a single (heterosexual)female corporate executive.

"Who is she going to date there?" her mother asked me.
"Will she ever have a chance to marry, perhaps have a child, if she lives there"???

Now I understood her concerns.

If her child was a guy, a single male corporate executive, there would be no problem.
He would have plenty of opportunities.
He could date Asian women, be they ambitious corporate executives (there is a growing number of them, there) or old-fashioned (= professionally unacomplished) gals.

Most cultures in Asia - like in Latin America - have that in common: their lack of emancipation. Even a veneer of emancipation, if exists, is still (?) very, very thin.

Not good places for truly emancipated and professionally accomplished women to have a work-life balance, I had to admit.

And no, my friend's concerns have nothing to do with race (at least I hope they don't).
They are all about culture, ingrained, badly traditional culture, defining women as subservient (though sometimes luxurious) appendages of men.

Are there Asian or Latin men emancipated enough to truly appreciate a professionally accomplished woman? Without - subconsciously - expecting her to serve him: put a dinner on the table, make sure that the house is clean, in short to manage the household in addition to managing her job? Instead of equally sharing the household management duties with her?Hmmm. Very, very few, I am afraid.

Such culture clashes are still happening even in Europe and in America, where emancipation often seems only skin deep, despite it being proclaimed for a lot longer than in other parts of the world, so long that it already should be the norm, should feel obvious to all concerned... but, sadly, it is not.

I still remember vividly my own failed attempt at forming a relationship with a cultivated (I thought), highly educated and worldly American. On the surface, we had lot in common: interests, world outlook, wanderlust... but not the level of emancipation.
I could hardly believe my ears, when he proposed... with a disclaimer: he would be the decider. He would give me every consideration, he said, but he would be the decider.
At first I thought it was a joke, so caveman it sounded, and I laughed, amused. But he was serious, a barbarian at heart, despite all his education and his polish of civilization and worldliness.

So what a chance my friend's highly emancipated daughter would have at any personal happiness living in a very nonemancipated culture???

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Planting time

Groundhog day is behind us. So it looks like a planting time on my balcony...