Monday, July 09, 2007

I don't know why, but Blogger isn't letting me type in a title this morning. Maybe that's all for the best because I'm going to cover a lot of ground, probably.

First, I want to say a word about what has become a conversation with Jaime O'Neill. I've decided not to reprint any of our further e-mail exchanges here, mostly because we went on some really interesting tangents. In particular, we talked a bit about the corporate food culture and how it is that we export our beauty and "health" standards to the rest of the world.

What I'm struck with the most is that I feel that this person is a generally good guy. I know this may upset a few people, so let me say that I am in no way defending what he said. My perspective on this person and others like them is that they are clueless about the realities of people in other shoes. It's a perspective I grew up around having been raised in the overly polite and silently racist Minnesota.

My tack has been to be able to assess who it is that is open to learning about new perspectives, and who is just going to remain clueless. And, my sense, with this one is that he is open to new ideas, even ones that challenge the status quo.

I admit that I have also been more inclined to favorably view his response because in the past I have written similar letters to another columnist here in the Bay Area who style is similarly over the top and who tends to have a pointed anti-fat bias. From said columnist, I have never received a peep. Maybe next time, I'll have to send it simultaneously to his editor, I don't know.

On a related matter, I watched Monster House on Friday night and I'm pondering a blog post about it. In the interest of time, I think I'll leave that to another day.

Now on to the really exciting stuff! What I did this weekend, by spinsterwitch.

Friday was a busy day as Fridays often are, but I did get the chance to take a nap in the afternoon. I went shopping after seeing clients on Saturday, and bought a pair of Mary Jane Crocks. They rock.

I met up with S in the evening. He and I went to a restaurant in Temescal called Tanjia. It's been there forever, it seems, and is really wonderful. It's a 5 course meal in which you choose your main entree. Harira (lentil soup), salad, bastilla (OMG NUMMY!!!!), chicken couscous & lamb w/veggies for entree, then fruit and fried bananas with sweet mint tea. We reclined on couches and had the place to ourselves for most of the meal. I belly danced a bit for S before anyone else was there, then when the belly dancer came out to entertain us all later in the evening, I got up and joined her, inspiring others in the audience to try as well. It was a wonderful evening.

The next day we slept in, then hied ourselves off to John Hinkley Park to see Women's Will perform Romeo & Juliet. Women's Will is a Shakespeare theater group comprised of all women who present one play a year for free in the Bay Area parks. I've seen them before, but I really loved this venue. It was a fun performance.

S and I spent some time wandering the park after the play. We played on the seesaw which can be a little challenging because I do weigh considerably more than S. It was pretty funny the way we worked it all out. But let me just say that gripping a seesaw with one's thighs is a little painful after awhile.

Then I went home, ate some dinner and watched a little television in the evening before going to bed.

A good weekend. How was yours?


Anonymous said...

Hi, I have to take objection to your characterization of Minnesota as "silently racist". I spent the first 32 years of my life in MN, I married and am still married to a man from India that I met in MN. I have been away from Minnesota for 3 years now and still miss it. Please don't paint all Minnesotans with the same brush. That's damaging. --Julie

Hippy Chick said...

I loved Monster House - curious to hear what you thought. Glad your weekend was fun - looking forward to seeing you Wed!By the way, I don't think you generalized Minnesotans, I think you expressed yourself (on YOUR blog)as speaking from your own experience of growing up there.

Anonymous said...

Of course, we all have a right to our opinions, on OUR blogs, or anywhere else, and my opinion stands. She said MN is "silently racist". She didn't say "sometimes". Sounds like a generalization to me. I live in Chicago now, and I can tell you, I have gotten looks regarding my interracial relationship here, in Europe,and in Asia. Racism is everywhere. But I would not deign to suggest that Chicago is racist. You know what I mean? Racism usually consists of a small group of idiots. But I know from experience that when you stereotype a place or a thing it can be hurtful. And as someone who loves Minnesota, that hurt. --Julie

spinsterwitch said...

Julie - I actually love MN, too, but my experience was that people did not speak about racism, at least not before I left in the early '90s (and I will concede that things change, including the racial makeup of the Twin Cities which does force people to face their own prejudices). I went to an inner city school, in which racial tension was very high - and never addressed. I remember driving through Little Earth, and invariably having people with me make comments about the people who lived there. I remember the desecration of the Kosher kitchen in the Jewish student house at U of MN, and talking about it with a friend later who said, "If we don't talk about racism, then it's not an issue."

MN is one of the places in this country that has the lowest minority rates. It is one of the places that people living in white privilege need to be less challenged. As I said, I concede that that might have changed, but my experience from growing up there was one of "silent racism." (P.S. Racism is not just about individuals or small groups, racism is an institutionalized attitude which accords certain groups privilege and others none.)

Hyde said...

I love that you inspired multiple belly-dancing attempts!

Sounds like an awesome weekend.


Hyde said...

PS: I had the same problem with creating a title but I got it to work by clicking near the top left of the title box--almost right on the upper line of the title box.

Hope that helps!


Anonymous said...

Hi Spinsterwitch,
I see where you are coming from. I hope you don't think I meant to start an argument. And, absolutely, there is institutionalized racism. But for every idiot, there's many more loving, caring, and accepting people--and Minnesota is full of those. But, yes, in MN there is a silent culture where things just "aren't discussed". You have to admit, tho', that racism can happen anywhere--where you live, where I live. I have a lot of stories from my own experience. I wish I didn't, but I do. The only way to not go insane from it all is to focus on those who are loving and accepting. But racism should be challenged--I totally agree with you there. It's a vile and painful issue. --Julie