Monthly archives: July 2012

world made by hand by james howard kunstler

A world made by hand—the words first send visions of people sitting around knitting and doing handcrafts and then, perhaps more accurately and in the sense that it is used in the title of Kunstler’s book, of having a hand in creating a new society.  Agency!  Without it the world may feel secure in some way, stable, but thoroughly out of reach.  I want to have a say in how the little world I live in works.  Today society is set up in a way that makes individual agency practically null, that makes change something that has to be fought [...]

frankfurt’s sachsenhausen: welcome to the monkey house

Left: The Frankfurt skyline. Sachsenhausen is a part of the banking capital. Photo (cc) flickr user Moe_
THIS is part 18 in a series about the year I spent au pairing in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. If you’d like to catch up on the rest of the series, check out the index here.
Frankfurt’s Sachsenhausen is a curious place. Though the moniker technically applies to an entire city section—residents, shopping, and everything in between—when you hear people talking about Frankfurt Sachsenhausen, they’re usually talking about the pub district, a concentrated city block of often touristy bars and clubs, a micro city with [...]

people of strasbourg! people of zurich! people of schopfheim!

Today I turn 30. In celebration of three decades on the planet we (The Battenkill Ramblers) will be playing three shows in three countries. To be honest, this was actually a coincidence.  But it does make a nice little trio of threes doesn’t it?  If you are interested in attending any of the shows, there is more info on the flyers below, or on our website.
I approach 30 with my usual birthday attitude.  That is: “holy shit, I’ve made it another year!”  Rather than wallow in the thought that I am getting old, I prefer to celebrate the fact that [...]

monday morning

Sitting at the little red-tabled-clothed table in my Wagen, I face the door.  The door is open.  Outside on the terrace Baby Pickles gurgles in her little seat, watching the trees and sucking on the ear of a beige rabbit.  Katey Sleeveless is playing, and the day is starting, much to my surprise, with a feeling of completeness.  Everything is in its place.
I’m in my Wagen this morning because I want to hang some shelves.  But the boards are too long, I need a jigsaw, and the rest of the world is asleep.  When the world wakes up, I will [...]

kids and learning gender with feminist frequency

While I’m on the subject of genderized kids stuff, I wanted to share this awesome (and disturbing) video from Anita Sarkeesian of Feminist Frequency.  Anita regularly makes videos discussing feminism in relationship to pop culture, particularly movies and television.  Anita’s next proposed project is a series of videos about women in video games.  Can’t wait to see it.  I like to watch these little tidbits while I’m nursing Baby Pickles to keep the brain rot away.

What do you think?

gender schmender: babies and gendered clothing

“Is it a boy or a girl?” It’s a question I am asked a hundred times a day when I leave home with Baby Pickles. At first I wondered why gender was so important to strangers, but then I realized that really, if you want to interact with a parent and baby there really are only a few not-super-personal questions open to you.  It’s a perspective that makes the constant chorus of “boy or girl?” a little less irritating.
Still, babies’ gender is inordinately important to a lot of people, many of them parents.  I’ve seen people at the flea market [...]

book obsession reaches new heights

I have become possessed.  If you’ve been reading Click Clack Gorilla for a while, shit, even if you’ve been reading since my last post about a book, then you know I’m an avid reader.  And for reasons I cannot quite pinpoint, that avid love has geared into passionate obsession mode in the last few weeks.  I want to be reading all the time, and when I’m not reading I want to be talking about books.  Or reading articles talking about books.  Or listening to podcasts talking about books (actually, just one podcast, Literary Disco, but I’d love to hear about [...]

conversational magic, brine, and 32 degrees fahrenheit

Being an expat can be magical. Yup.  And not in any sort of “it was the best of times” way.  No, as an expat, you’ll find yourself performing conversational feats you never thought possible. Because the grass is, if not greener, at least a lot more interesting on the other side, you, as a diplomat from another side, will find yourself able to make descriptions of the most banal, commonplace daily activities interesting. Your friends at home will listen intently to stories that, when told in their home country, put them to sleep. But because you went grocery shopping/used the [...]

the year of the flood by margaret atwood

Why exactly has it taken me so long to read any Margaret Atwood books?  It’s a question I’ve been asking myself ever since I realized that she’s written a shit ton of post-apocalypse, dystopian stuff.  An educated guess would point to potential writer-reader soul mate-dom.  But a feeling has kept me away for years, a feeling that I wouldn’t like her work, appearances be damned.  With no hard evidence to support that feeling, and a sneaking suspicion that I might have just made it up, I decided to finally give her work a try.  And so my last trip to [...]