My, My

This week really wore me out, one thing after another. Tuesday I did the whole caucus thing, not so much because I’m feeling particularly political, but because I wanted to see what it was all about. I think this year’s caucus isn’t representative because so, so many people showed up. It wasn’t really what I’d expected at all. I thought we’d just go to one side of a room or another and call it good, and that was certainly part of it, but there was also a lot of rambling, inarticulate “debate,” most of which was either vague (“Obama has charisma!” “Hillary has experience!”) or inflammatory. People were rude to each other. It was uncomfortable. This part of grassroots politics is not for me.

On a related note, I’m a little bit bothered by the fact that Hillary Clinton is running her campaign using her first name only (well, not only, but that’s what’s all over her campaign “gear”). I can see that she might not want to affiliate quite so much with Bill Clinton, but the fact remains that he is her husband, and Clinton is her legal last name. Also: I wonder whatever happened to Hillary Rodham Clinton? I guess in some ways maybe “Hillary” is her most stable name — she was a Rodham for 28 years, and has been a Clinton for 32, but she’s been a Hillary all along. It just seems strange to listen to people talk (myself included) about candidates, using either their full names or their last names, and then to throw in “Hillary.” It feels a little informal, a little disrespectful, but then it’s what she’s doing herself (check out her biography).

I wonder how much identity is in a name, and I wonder if I’ll change mine when the time comes… I used to think definitely not, but as I see friends go through the process, I feel less strongly. It used to feel like part of a transaction — like a woman suddenly belonged, in name, to her husband and his family, and no longer to her own. In real life I know that’s not the case… And some things are about more than individuality, like having a family unit — mother, father, and children — with one name. I wish we had some system like the Spanish, where children take on both their mother’s and father’s names (I just spent some time cataloging images by Diego Rodriguez de Silva y Velazquez, AKA Diego Velazquez)… Alas, we don’t… And honestly, it’s not really worth worrying about right now.

On a somewhat related note, I was working with a tech guy in one of the classrooms today who had a ring tattooed onto his left ring finger. I guess that’s one way of making sure it never slips off. Or maybe it was just cheaper?

Wednesday I had a few people over for a dinner meeting — I made the polenta squares, and they turned out pretty well. They definitely take about an hour and 15 minutes, rather than the 45 minutes the recipe calls for. And I ended up turning on the broiler at the end to speed things up. The vegetarian chili turned out well, too, I think. I felt a little awkward, like I was forcing weird vegetables on meat-and-potatoes people. They said they liked it, though, and I need to not worry about whether or not they actually did and just take the freaking compliment. Sorbet did not happen — we had a very simple ice cream (rice dream for me) with fresh blackberries.

Last night my mom was in town, and I went to dinner with her and a couple of her coworkers. They’re all teachers, and have the funniest stories about their students… It was fun.

Anyway… I’m feeling better, and the mouth infection has subsided. And I feel like I should tell you that I actually do really like my primary care provider, it’s just such a pain in the ass to get through her various lines of defense and actually see her. I feel like she’s open-minded about my dietary needs (no, I don’t have celiac disease, but I am much, much better without wheat). And even the nurses are just doing their jobs. I just don’t like when I feel I’m not being taken seriously, and that was the main issue on Monday…

So glad it’s the weekend.

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