Yes, I’m quite passionate about my laziness.

[title links]

Apparently today is Blogging Without Makeup Day.  Rock on.

These are from St. Patty’s ’09…so I probably do have a few more wrinkles by now; the quantity of zits is unquantifiable in comparison…let’s see…anything currentish?

February in Florida:

Mkay, just for comparison purposes (week prior in Germany).

Total vanity shot.  Flash obscures how yellow my teeth are.  Heehee.  Trick is to make it look like you’re NOT wearing makeup.  Not easy.  Or much fun.  So I rarely bother.  I feel phony when I do.

I encourage y’all to participate.  Should be easy for most of you.  Cheers!



  1. Silly tee shirts on a Friday at work
  2. Some wicked-looking unidentified flower blooming in the backyard
  3. How I feel like a totally different person when I wear a watch
  4. Power point presentations.  Gag.  But done!  Ish.
  5. New friends – “What is really interesting, is a man with a future and a woman with a past.”  (Oscar Wilde) 

Teaser Tuesday!

Yes, it’s Thursday.  Wut of it?  Been meaning to do this for much too long.  Via Amelia Witherspoon via MizB, or maybe the other way around.  I’m all hopped up on goofballs due to the Man Cold!  Good times.  I empathize, Poor Little Bunny.  Suffice it to say, I’m not a real champ about being sick.  Yeah.  That was a long time ago.

Let’s try this again.  One more time, with feeeeeling.  And…the book.  Yes, I bet it will help to have the book handy for this.  Give me just one…second.  This thing made it to and from Germany with me, I better still be able to find it in my own bedroom!  Ahhh….HA!
Okay.  The rules (via Amelia @ 1,000 Dog Eared Pages):  
  1. Grab your current read.*
  2. Let the book fall open to a random page.
  3. Share with us two (2)** “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  4. Share the title and author of the book, so we can investigate on our own if we like the teaser you’ve given!
  5. Please avoid spoilers!

*To keep this feature periodic, I will be using both teasers from current reads, and from books I’ve read before, but haven’t discussed on this blog.

**Quantity of sentences may vary, depending on how long it takes to finish the thought within those line parameters. Teasers should still make sense!

And now, how I will break the rules (shocking, I know):  the only way I can ensure a non-spoiler with this one is to limit “random” to the pages I’ve already read.  Because I haven’t gotten very far.  Apparently, (SPOILER ALERT, or so I hear) there’s a murder.  But I still haven’t gotten there yet.  STILL.  I KNOW.  Given how long this book is, two sentences likely won’t do it.  Oh wait, Amelia already asterisked this for me.  D’oh.  Onward!
Oh, sweet.  I swear I didn’t fix this purposely, but it’s a good one.  Close to the section that made me want to tease this book on a Tuesday to begin with!  Drumroll, please….
From page 26 of The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky, translated from the Russian by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky (The NYT Book Review says, “One finally gets the musical whole of Dostoevsky’s original.”):

In the realist, faith is not born from miracles, but miracles from faith.  Once the realist comes to believe, then, precisely because of his realism, he must also allow for miracles.  The Apostle Thomas declared that he would not believe until he saw, and when he saw, he said:  “My Lord and my God!”  Was it the miracle that made him believe?  Most likely not, but he believed first and foremost because he wished to believe, and maybe already fully believed in his secret heart even as he was saying:  “I will not believe until I see.”

Yummy, huh?  I’ll spare you the footnote endnote on Thomas, I bet you can google him for yourself if need be, but I can’t resist also giving you the blurb on the back, perhaps more so to entice myself to read further, faster.  It’s definitely not boring, but there are a lot of endnotes to get sucked into and I get sleepy when I hold a book.  Shhhhh.  Old habits die hard.

The Brothers Karamazov is a murder mystery, a courtroom drama, and an exploration of erotic rivalry in a series of triangular love affairs involving the “wicked and sentimental” Fyodor Pavlovich Karamazov and his three sons – the impulsive and sensual Dmitri; the coldly rational Ivan; and the healthy, red-cheeked young novice Alyosha.  Through the gripping events of their story, Dostoevsky portrays the whole of Russian life, its social and spiritual strivings, in what was both the golden age and a tragic turning point in Russian culture.  [paragraph break.  Blogger (even in draft!), you confound me.]  This award-winning translation by RP and LV remains true to the verbal inventiveness of Dostoevsky’s prose, preserving the multiple voices, the humor, and the surprising modernity of the original.  It is an achievement worthy of Dostoevsky’s last and greatest novel. 

What the hell, I’ve come this far.

“[Dostoevsky] is at once the most literary and compulsively readable novelists we continue to regard as great…The Brothers Karamazov stands as the culmination of his art – his last, longest, richest, and most capacious book.  [This] scrupulous rendition can only  be welcomed.  It returns to us a work we thought we knew, subtly altered and so made new again.”  – Donald Fanger, The Washington Post Book World

“It may well be that Dostoevsky’s [world], with all its resourceful energies of lifele and language, is only now – and through the medium of [this] new translation – beginning to come home to the English-speaking reader.” – John Bayley, The New York Review of Books

Mkay, I think they said it well.  And without music videos!  Now.  Pedicure.  I can do this.  Hopefully.  I should probably eat first.  Fooood.   What’s for dinner?

The Idiot Kings

You know what’s hard to do without consistent internet and phone service?  My job.  Also not helping, this whole mess.  I needed to google force majeure today, right?  No problem…OH, but…er…shit…okay, whip out the cell phone, call Mike.  Request info via email.  Email takes 20 freaking minutes to come through…I have no patience for this shit.  Hey, IT guy!  Gimme your iPhone!  Bluh.  I’m constantly facetiously planning to do him violence…but I realize it’s not his fault that big corporations don’t give a shit about customer service.  I was one of the last three cars in the parking lot tonight, and the Time Warner dude was just pulling into the parking lot.  At least I was on my way out.  Incredibly annoying day.  Followed by incredibly annoying traffic jam on the way home that I would know damn well is going to be RIGHT THERE if I stopped to think about it.  But who has time for that?  Stopping and thinking?  No sir, not for me.  Grrrr.  
Oh well.  What else can one expect on a Monday after such a lovely weekend?  I do believe I was just recently bitching about cheap beer…and now the fridge is full of very non-cheap beers that I did not even purchase.  That just doesn’t seem right.  Good times.  Bonus leftovers?  I’m a lucky, lucky girl…for the most part.  In the beer, friends, and family categories anyway, I’m golden.  And brown.  And pale.  And a little green, too!  The refrigerator is positively brimming with lurve.  Me, too, for that matter.
We bought plane tickets today!  Woohoo!  Not going to Europe, so there’s even a fat chance that we’ll have on-time, non-cancelled flights and EVERYTHING.  Pahaha.  I’m excited despite myself and my still-semi-recent travel exhaustion.  Mike’s brother’s wife finishes her residency near the end of June in Albany, to be directly followed by moving to Baltimore (Johns Hopkins, you go girl!  Shit.  I still can’t pull that off), so we’re going upstate (I can’t really pull that off, either) for her graduation or whatever you call it, then helping them move via U-Haul or the like to Baltimore, then flying back home.  Not exactly my idea of a vacation overall, but Mike’s birthday falls just in line to party it up for one night in B-town (okay, I need to stop that), so…LET’S DO IT.  As much as I’ve come to loathe driving, and as much as Mike hates flying, it seems like an excellent compromise for a mini-sorta-vacation without having to pay for accommodations, at least.  I’m a sucker for new places, even if they’re not exactly your typical ideal getaway spots.  It will be mad fun!     
Found this in the above mentioned traffic jam.  I love how Doughty gives a little story about each song:

Very old song, actually–something I played acoustically in my apartment for years, changing the lyrics from time to time to suit whatever shitty predicament I was in. Occasionally I’d try and interest my band in it, but it failed to capture their imagination. The initial title was “Luv Gangsters.” “The Idiot Kings” was the prospective title for a novel about a band I used to want to write–that would’ve been the name of the band.

I don’t know, we were rehearsing before the last tour before we went in to make I.B. and suddenly everybody liked the song and there it was. And then, while we were on tour and playing it live nightly, fucking Alanis came out with that “everything is fine, fine, fine” song, I saw the video standing in the lobby of the Phoenix hotel in S.F. and starting saying No, no, dear Lord, no…That’s when we started devoting time in the set to explaining how Alanis and the C.I.A. were stealing ideas from my mind.

I hated the Luv Gangsters part, so I actually wrote the batting in the light/reptile-lidded eyes part while we were at the Power Station with David Kahne. Like, desperately, in two minutes, just blurted out this verse. Kinda dig it, actually.

Everything is going up.

Everything is going as planned, yeah.

Everything moves along.

Everything is fine, fine, fine.

Oh I could be

Condemned to Hell for every sin but littering.

I could

Slip on the East River and crash into Queens all


I’ve seen the

Cops and the robbers, and I know they dance the same.

I’ve seen a

Half a zillion girls and haven’t spoken to a single one of


Batting in the light,

My reptile-lidded eyes.

And all this strung end to end,

Is wider than the mind.

And this cool I’ve been playing I have been

Playing too long now my

Capacities are dwindling ’til they’re

Gone Gone Gone.

Baby can I change my mind?

I just want to change my mind.

– not undecided lathers, rinses, and repeats.
[format kinda stolen again from ms. mimi smartypants.  She will make you laugh if I didn’t.]

More Tales of Travel, and a Happy Homecoming

So, where was I?  Oh yes, just about at the point where I pretty much didn’t know where I was, who I was, what time it was according to either a clock or my body, or what the hell was going on.  The first time I went to Germany back in September, we flew on a Saturday, arriving Sunday morning, so we had that day to adjust a bit before going into work.  This time jet lag kicked my ass.  Likely because we flew on a Monday, arriving Tuesday morning, then went straight to the hotel (okay, not straight.  We somehow got rather lost and to compound things I completely lost my ability to read a map, assisted by the fact that German freeway signs don’t indicate which direction you’re heading, only confirm that YES, I KNOW I’M ON THE EFFING A3 or whatever, and even knowing your vicinity on the map, I swear the little cities or towns on the signs were not in fact marked on the map!  Also, driving in circles on zero sleep does nothing for my already nonexistent sense of direction.  Stellar combination.  GPS would be a must if I ever have to do this trip on my own.), dropping bags, and going directly into work.  Disorienting to say the least.  But after slogging through that day I did reset pretty quickly, thankfully.

The hotel we stay in has a little recreation room in the basement with a self-serve bar (you just write in the book what you drink, so innocently quaint) and a pool table and a kitchen the guests can use, so for Saturday night we had invited the guys from the lab over and had asked Walter, proprietor of Allegria, our go-to Italian joint in town, to cater the affair.  Good, good times.  The hoteliers and a couple other international guests (British and Brazilian coworkers, their Swiss counterpart had already departed) joined us, making for a raucous evening lasting until nearly 3 AM…knowing I had to get up by 6:30 at the latest to not rush to make my flight out.  We’d procured for the night four bottles of red from Walter, plus a white from Seligenstadt, plus the president of our host company brought another bottle of red, plus the pony keg of local brew the Brazilian and Brit had purchased when the places for sledding they tried to patronize since the Brazilian had never seen real snow were closed due to too much snow (?!), and we went through all of it but the sad bottle of white, to my very fuzzy recollection.  I definitely overindulged, and apparently they were talking about the things I said the whole next week (my coworker stayed another week after I left).  I broke every rule of things you’re not supposed to talk about in polite company.  Sex, drugs, rock and roll, politics, religion….oh, it was SO fun!  Incredibly refreshing to meet and converse intently with non-Americans willing to believe that not all of us are ignorant cowboy-hat-wearing-Bushies.  Also, lemme tell you (and then stop using lemme as a word), inebriated packing the night before an international flight makes for hilarious what’slefttowearbecauseIknowbetterthantoevenunzipthatthing options the next morning as well as a great guessing game of whatthefuckispackedwhereinhere when you get to your destination.  Though I actually managed to leave nothing behind in Germany that I’ve missed yet.

But yes, the destination!  A couple of days before I left for Germany, I got a call from my best girlfriend.  She and her husband had sat through one of those nightmare timeshare spiels where you get the free two-day cruise to the Bahamas, and at the last minute he couldn’t go, and it was supposed to be for her 30th birthday celebration.  Since I was already flying back to the US the day before the cruise departed, I figured, hmmmm, let’s see what the cost is to change my destination on the return flight…would be a crazy last minute vacation for which I’d be burning a few to several vacation days this early in the year, but this is pretty much the one friend I have in the world I’d totally inconvenience myself for, because I know it would mean the world to her, and she’s probably one of only a few people on earth that would do the same for me, so again, eff it.  Let’s do it!  I changed my flight to arrive in Orlando instead of Dayton and thanks to Airtran was able to get a flight home the day after the cruise for less than $100 – and oddly enough did NOT get tagged for extra security investigation due to booking a one-way flight.  I guess borrowing and checking her gargantuan suitcase so as to not have to ship some stuff back home was a good thing after all.

In addition to the ridiculous amount of cold-weather clothing I’d crammed into my tiny suitcase for a week in Germany, I had Mike ship a couple boxes of shorts, goofy T-shirts, sunblock and flip-flops down to my friend’s house in Florida.  She picked me up at the airport with a smaller suitcase for me already packed with my stuff and headed to her Granny’s house in Tampa for the night.  This additional stop was due to her not having a passport and not being able to find her birth certificate, one of which is needed to go to the Bahamas.  Angel that she is, she got up at the butt crack of dawn to go to the Vital Statistics Office in the county of her birth to procure her documentation and left me to sleep a bit AND left me a hot cup of coffee to wake up to on the counter.  She rocks, lemme tell ya.  Shit, stop that.

So we truck it down to Ft. Lauderdale to get on the cruise ship.  The cruise itself was…tacky, to be diplomatic about it.  I think they run these two-day-ers just for the poor saps who get the free trips, and you definitely get what you pay for.  The food was pretty bad, and there certainly weren’t mounds of it available at all hours as you typically hear about cruise food.  In fact, we didn’t realize that you had to make “reservations” for dinner, so the first night both places tried to turn us away.  This was patently ridiculous.  Two restaurants open, and they know how many people are on the ship, but you won’t seat me because I don’t have a little yellow ticket?  Time to bust out the evil eye (thanks, Mom!).  We got seated.  You still had to go pick up your own appetizer, soup, salad from the buffet, but then they brought the entreés.  Neither of us even took a bite.  Her prime rib looked like gelatinous leather, and even though I was up for trying the oxtail on my pasta, I somehow don’t think that would have been its best representation.  We walked away and called it a night.  After I went down to the other restaurant and made sure we had reservations for the next night, as absurd as that was.

The other absurdity of the cruise was that they were filming a reality TV show on this ship.  One of the crew finally (they acted as if there were actual celebrities involved, or some real need for secrecy) told us the name of it:  The Booze Cruise.  To be seen on something called Tru TV.  Thankfully, not the footage from this actual cruise; this is all just for the pilot.  Phew.  Glad there was no accidentally signed waiver that’d get my face on TV association with that!  So there are a couple dozen early-twenty-somethings in huge dark sunglasses and crooked baseball caps (pet peeve, pet peeve!) doing everything imaginable to prove just how cool they are.  So cool.  Girls in teeny tiny dresses and five inch heels falling into walls (drunk or not, this wasn’t a huge cruise liner – you could definitely feel the motion of the ocean.  Yes, I said that), crew meetings in the ice cream shop, directing these fools where to be at the appointed times, confessional interviews, the whole nine yards.  We got a good laugh or six out of it.  This guy was apparently the “star.”  I’ll spare you the video of him and his buddies doing the Electric Slide.  It must hurt to be so cool.

Finally, we get to the island.  Originally we were supposed to go to Nassau, but they’d apparently changed the itinerary without telling any of the guests, and we went to Grand Bahama Island instead.  Freeport and Lucaya, specifically.  We could not have cared less, but there were some people that had paid to swim with dolphins and whatnot in Nassau, and they were PISSED.  Can’t say I blame them, but again, you get what you pay for.  I’d have paid a lot more than a plane fare change fee for this:

Color not altered.  It’s true what they say!

I could wax rhapsodic for days on how divine it was to have a day of this in the midst of an Ohio February, but it still wouldn’t do it justice.

I’ll eventually get to an aside about the crazy deep conversations longtime friends who don’t see each other very often get into on road trips (saw more of Florida on this trip than I ever likely will again), but to wrap up I will just show you this:

Awwww.  He bought me flowwwwers.  And cleaned the howwwse.  Kind of funny, because after my first trip to Germany, I kind of got a little (okay, a lot, a metric fuckton) bent out of shape when he suggested that he not park the car at the airport and just pick me up at the door.  OH HELL NO.  JUST NO.  I JUST GOT OFF A TRANSATLANTIC FLIGHT PLUS GETTING HERDED THROUGH CUSTOMS THEN ANOTHER DOMESTIC CONNECTION, COME INSIDE TO BAGGAGE CLAIM AND CARRY MY HEAVY FUCKING BAG AND DON’T MAKE ME ASK YOU TO DO IT!!!!  Yeah.  I was a real bitch about that.  But I guess it’s a fight we won’t have to have twice.  I learned him good.  He even got me a super sweet corny and sappy (my favorite kind) card for Valentine’s Day, which we don’t really even ever celebrate.  Smooches.  It’s very, very nice to be home.

Welcome Back

Ahh, it feels so good to be home.  Since I never took time to even say here that I was leaving, lemme recap for the record – though, what a sad, lacking record this has become.  We’ll just blow right past that.  Again.

First, a week in Germany for work.  And it was definitely work.  It’s hard to imagine having lived amid different circumstances in which I’d be employed in actual sweaty, physically exerting labor most days of my life.  I think I might snap.  Even though there definitely is something to be said for the feeling of satisfaction you get from working up a good sweat with a hard day’s work (yes, I hear the same can come from a good workout.  Exercise and I are not really tight.), it’s a little disconcerting where my mind can wander when I don’t really have to think much or at all about what I’m doing.  Terribly amusing at times, but people there probably think I’m crazy if they noticed me hunched over a floor drain wearing a hairnet and my ridiculous yellow polka-dotted rubber rain-boot-esque safety shoes that don’t do a damn thing to keep me from slipping all over the oil and water covered floor, scrubbing enormous lab vessels and various equipment in 80°C (that’s 176°F!  That will scald you.  A lot.) water with an enormous goofy slash guilty smile on my face.  What’s with this girl?  She’s enjoying that way too much.  Seriously.  Good thing I have to think about my day job.

Of course we managed to cram in some fun.  Since I didn’t fly out until Sunday this time, we did have Saturday to goof off.  We checked out the Everything’s-a-Euro Store.  Typical dollar store stuff, except that Germans are just not prudish Americans.  I love it, the sheer tackiness.  Right next to the toy aisle, a bunch of novelty stuff you wouldn’t see in an American dollar store:

Hot for Hours.  The way to the body is through the stomach.
An apron…for your manly midsection…dripping with…strippers?  Don’t cook without one.
There were also naked lady ice cube trays.  I admit to buying one.  
And these. Glow in the dark love dice. Love is a sensual game! One die has has kiss, touch, lick, suck, massage and tickle. The other has lips, neck, breasts, ears, nipple and a question mark. On the back of the package: Playful and erotic…bring more fun to bed. Drop the dice, because they determine where to go.  Adults only.  Most people’d come home with a beer stein. Not me. I don’t know why it’s funnier in German, but I just couldn’t walk away and leave them unpurchased.
Some things just don’t translate right.

Then we took the ferry into Seligenstadt.  It’s impossible to come near to accuracy in describing how old and beautiful it is.  I took almost 200 photos, most of which are on facebook already, but here are several of my faves:

Flood levels.  Highest (top of the doorway), 1342.
Herb garden inside the monastery
Apple tree gardens

Dogs must remain outside. Of the fancypants coffeeshop. That put my latte in a glass-glass without a handle, rather than a mug. Good thing my hands had already been scalded all week to insensitivity.

Eve and Adam

Phew. That’s enough for now. I’ll come back for the second leg of the trip later. If I blog it all at once I may never blog again. And we wouldn’t want that now, would we.

A Noted Difference

I’ve been kicking myself for not writing up any more of my experiences in Germany sooner after getting home, because the details do indeed fade fast.  Also kicking myself for not writing anything at all lately, but let’s just gloss right over that, mkay?  So.  Yesterday as I was dicking around on Facebook I got a reminder of one thing I definitely meant to mention at some point, but first I’ll drag you through a few other things I noticed this same evening.  After work we were out driving around looking for somewhere to have dinner, somewhat aimlessly, and of course happened upon a pizzeria slash Biergarten.  I’m telling you, it’s lovely, how these places are just everywhere, like Micky Ds are here.  Also, it’s kind of hilarious what they’ll put on a pizza over there.  Tuna?  Erm, no thank you.  Peas?  Weird, but I’ve seen stranger.  Mussels?  That would probably actually be good, but I’m a little strange in that I will eat shellfish in almost any form, anywhere.  Which is taking quite a chance on food borne illness, really, but that rarely stops me.  Anyhow, we eventually found somewhere to park and made our way into the outdoor dining area.  This place was so perfectly charming in a stereotypical European as seen by an American kind of way that I actually did jot down a few notes, so let’s see if I can make heads or tails of them.
Dog.  Oh, yes.  The dog in the Biergarten.  Germans are definitely dog-lovers, at least as commonly as we are here.  How cool is that to be able to take your not-a-seeing-eye-dog dog to dinner with you?  Obviously, not something you’d want to do every single time or with all dogs or at a fancyish place, much like with children, but still.  Cool that they don’t have to just say NO DOGS, because people are generally able to make a correct judgement call as to whether their dog could handle such a thing.  Imagine that.  Let’s see, what else?
NS Biergarten…?  Oh yeah.  This was kind of funny.  So we’re sitting there, maybe halfway through our first glasses of Rotwein, settling in while we wait for our appetizers, and I pull out my smokes.  You can’t hardly smoke in public anywhere in the US anymore, so I do my automatic scan of my surroundings, hoping there isn’t a baby at the table behind us or anything (because I’m not THAT much of an asshole, I try to be as considerate a smoker as possible, if there is such a thing), and I notice that NOBODY is smoking in this Biergarten.  Hmm.  I thought it unlikely but perhaps possible that we’d stumbled into the only non-smoking Biergarten in the country, figured it was better to ask than get kicked out or reprimanded.  No ashtrays on the tables or anything, so I refrain until I can ask the server if smoking is even allowed.   The server naturally looked at me like I was crazy, looked around the open air eatery, and said, Of course, we are outside.  And brought us an ashtray.  Alrighty then.
Phone as light.  What the hell?  Between trying to read my own handwriting and trying to remember what I intended these notes to bring to mind, this may be an exercise in futility.  Oh yes, this was a nice example of how friendly and helpful nearly everyone we encountered was.  When you purchase a pack of cigarettes in Germany (and maybe across the EU, I don’t know), at least some brands come with a one Euro coin nestled into the packaging.  I think this was explained to me at some point as some sort of compromise on the tax situation for tobacco products, but the details are of course fuzzy and it’s not at all important to this tidbit so I’m not googling it.  Just seems an odd arrangement – here, we’ll PAY YOU to keep up this habit that’s killing you slowly.  Anyway, this one Euro coin got dropped onto the ground or pushed off the table or something, and what the hell, it’s not a penny, so we’re ducking our heads under the table trying to find it in the quickly falling darkness, and a woman sitting at a nearby table offers her phone to illuminate the situation.  We never found the coin, but…yeah, this isn’t much of an anecdote.  It’s nice when people are nice, I guess, and it didn’t seem like something an average American would generally offer to obviously foreign travelers in a restaurant here.  Moving on.
Playground.  Very kid friendly.  On one side of the biergarten there was a little play area for kids with a sandbox and some toys and a tire swing and a little clubhouse for climbing adventures.  I didn’t see any kids actually playing in it, but one little boy did walk over in a huff, kicked a toy into the sandbox, and ran away.  Must have been a bad day at the office.  Or he has an ongoing conflict with this guy:
Also near the play area, a peach tree.  Struck me that it had probably been growing there for quite a long time, sort of an example of how European cities function and form so much more intuitively than at home.  They don’t have limitless space as we seem to think we do here, so restaurants and shops spring up and grow more naturally in the places where people live and work every day; they’re not contrived constructions in the middle of enormous parking lots or endless strip malls that obliterate any possible reminder that the land used to be…natural; people can walk or bike to where they’re going, not drive inconvenient distances to convenience stores.  It’s nice.
Also growing up the poles of the clubhouse – hops.  That they probably use.  To brew Bier.  I get such a kick out of something so simple.
Onto Bier, and the thing I meant to mention originally.  We happened to be drinking wine, but most of the other people seemed to be enjoying some of the local brews, including one woman on the other side of the dining area – who also happened to be breastfeeding her infant.  And in a stunning development, she wasn’t surrounded by an angry mob insisting she cover up and saying she shouldn’t be allowed to have a beer.  I feel like I should qualify this observation with all kinds of obvious statements that drinking to drunkeness while breastfeeding is bad (though pump and dump is an option, surely).  Um, duh.  She was having a beer with her evening meal (don’t know if it was Guinness, though probably not in Germany, which has long been an old-wives-tale-type of home remedy to increase supply), not doing kegstands or using a beer bong, but just the sight of such a thing would enrage a lot of people in the US.  Never mind that things like this are available or the other seemingly obvious point – unless she’d had a few drinks already, the alcohol in that beer being currently consumed is not yet anywhere close to being in the breastmilk being consumed right then and there.  Not a big fucking deal, right?  Still, here she’d immediately be branded BAD MOTHER.  IRRESPONSIBLE DRUNK.  Or worse, which is what I saw on Facebook yesterday.
One of my friends (really good friend, actually, so it’s bothering me that I didn’t say anything about this comment that I’m trying to get to, bear with me) serves in a local Mexican restaurant that’s somewhat locally famous for it’s particularly potent version of a margarita, called a Bad Juan.  I do know from experience that these things will knock you on your ass.  One is fun, two is plenty, three is asking for it.  It being a helluva hangover.  Apparently there was a woman in the restaurant breastfeeding while consuming one of these drinks.  Now, I can sort of see the distinction between a single beer and a really powerful drink made with hard liquor and a lot of it, but it still pissed me off for some reason to read her being called SKANK for such a thing.  Now, maybe she is a skank; frankly I don’t want to think very long or hard about what the requirements for earning such a name would be, and if you want to be a skank that’s probably just fine with me.  I’m not trying to defend what may well have been a very poor choice, not knowing that woman or anything about her parenting other than the fact that she had one Bad Juan while breastfeeding, but I have been trying to figure out what I think of this whole women’s happiness is declining thing.  It’s never just one thing, but if feminism is at all a factor by increasing awareness of every day instances of misogyny, I think anti feminist shit like that said and done by women about or to other women is certainly to blame as well.  It certainly made me less happy.