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Showing posts from July, 2008

The Office: The one about gender politics and complex communication around the coffee pot

On a Monday years ago I walked into the office at 8 a.m. like I did every day of the work week. Never mind how many years or which office because it doesn't really matter; it could be any office at almost any time in the last 20 years for almost anyone.

I dropped my things at my desk, and shuffled to the break room for a cup of coffee. This is how we always started our days, especially Mondays, when you needed to ease back into the work "family" and work frame of mind.

Everyone gathered near the coffeepot, always standing, never sitting, that way, if the boss walked in, you could pretend you'd only been there for a minute, just getting a cup of joe, not gabbing over cup number two 10 minutes later.

That morning I walked in and two male colleagues were standing in front of the pot. They were, as usual, speaking in numbers, which meant sports. Then they said stroke, and I knew they meant golf. I didn't give it a second thought.

As usual I had to walk up, pause and hope…

I might be rockin' the stereotype, but that doesn't mean that's all there is

I'm girlie. I worry whether my face is shiny (oops, need to reapply a dusting of mineral powder) and my lipstick is still fresh and not on my teeth (quick glance in mirror, possible fast reapplication). I like my clothes to be flattering, well-coordinated, and au courant. I apologize too much for things that aren't my fault and need no contrition.

I scan the gossip rags in the supermarket aisle, tear up at tender moments, choke up in emotional dramas (such as Hallmark commercials), read chick lit and women's lit, and leave most of the yardwork and tech stuff to my husband.

I am not a big sports fan (excluding hockey, but I don't follow it and store stats in my head like my husband does, and, according to my husband, worst of all, I've been known to applaud a brilliant play even if done by the opposing team).

In short, in many respects, I am a shining model of the female stereotype.

This has been bothering me for a while, and I've been remiss in figuring out why, …

Bygones & Apologies in advance because there will be name dropping (and photos) (the BlogHer '08 recap post, part 1 of ?)

Okay so here is the ultimate irony: Me, aka Wordy Van Wordster, could not use my words due to having no voice. I went to BlogHer '08 with a bad case of the croup. In grownups this is called laryngitis and meant I was often so hoarse I had to use hand signals and sign language. Here are some important and good lessons from that:

a. Women are awesome at interpreting and reading minds. If you have to go without a voice, do so in a group of women. They will know exactly what you mean, and if not?

b. They will have pen and paper in their purse so you can write.

c. Also, women are fabulous at covering for you and keeping up a good conversation so that even if your sole contribution is impassioned nodding, you still feel like it was the best chat ever.

d. All waiters in San Francisco can read lips.


I had a ridiculously good time at BlogHer '08.

Rumors of (silent) girlie squealing and excited hugging were not at all exaggerated.

It's lucky I lack almost any social hangups or filters bec…

What to read for the next week...the one about the Best Blog Posts

Hi friends...I'm traveling for a bit so won't be doing my usual lengthy ruminations about the pursuit of a well-lived life.

So I wanted to use this space to promote other blogs and posts. Add yourself, your friend, a recent or an old post...any post you think other people should read.

Make sure in the text you put a brief description and make sure your link goes to the specific post. Add yourself as the person who made the suggestion and why you're suggesting in the comments, if you want (so everyone make sure to check comments).



Thanks and have a great weekend everyone!

Copyright 2008 Julie Pippert. Do not reprint or reproduce without permission.
Also blogging at:
Julie Pippert REVIEWS: Get a real opinion about BOOKS, MUSIC and MORE
Julie Pippert RECOMMENDS: A real opinion about HELPFUL and TIME-SAVING products
Moms Speak Up: Talking about the environment, dangerous imports, health care, food safety, media and marketing, education, politics and many other hot topics of concern.

Welcome BlogNosh Magazine visitors! Plus! A few points of interest...

Welcome visitors from BlogNosh Magazine! Thanks for dropping by. Feel free to leave your thoughts about my article here or click here to the original. I hope you have a look through my other posts or come back again. If you don't mind, leave a link to your spot and/or your email. I like to get in touch.

Many thanks to Mommytime at Mommy's Martini for her sharp editorial work. :)

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Are you going to BlogHer? Just a day or so away! If you are going to be there Thursday afternoon, some of us are going to the Frida Kahlo exhibit at the SFMOMA and then on to Bicuits & Blues on Geary for dinner and music. Don't worry---we'll make it back in time for the People's Party! We do have to make reservations in advance for the exhibit and dinner, so contact me at j pippert at g mail dot com if you are interested.

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Tell me something good...

God bless Tori & Dean for their Home Sweet Hilarity

God bless Tori Spelling, largely for the times she oh-so-unknowingly entertained me.

Let's start back a bit here. The suckitude of this day knows no bounds. It sort of follows a week that steadily drove itself downhill, domino fashion. I started out with great intentions of all I'd accomplish this week only to watch said intentions go up in a flood of water. Just. don't. ask. Suffice it to say, we have to put a new ceiling in our living room. Uh uh! I said just. don't. ask.

So this morning, I went for a bike ride to take a box of vegetables to my friends' house. (Also best to not ask.) She made the mistake of asking me that simple question, "How are you?" I told her. Five minutes later I realized my voice had hit a level only dogs can hear and her kids are staring at me in horror. "Uh uh uh," I stammered, "I'm so, so sorry, um kids, I was just, you know, frustrated..." so the eight year old reached out in sympathy and said, "I k…

Autism, Deafness, Down's Syndrome, and more: Are these children broken and in need of fixing? A Hump Day Hmm for July 9, 2008

When Patience was a baby, her colic didn't end at three months like everyone promised it would. My mother and sister, both more experienced at mothering than I, insisted I ask about reflux, again, despite my doctor's continual waving of her hand dismissively. I finally got the doctor to listen and we did get a reflux diagnosis. Ah blessed quiet, blessed sleep. Unfortunately it took over six months and by then we were half delusional from stress and exhaustion. But never once did I question medical intervention because something was wrong and that created a quality of life problem, therefore it needed to be fixed.

I watched a friend from playgroup get a patch for a lazy eye for her child, another get glasses for her toddler, another baby needed a helmet for a skull not growing correctly, that baby needed surgery to correct a hernia, this toddler was getting tested for developmental delays...from birth, we learn of human imperfection.

Here, in our culture, we don't rely on sup…

Lakshmi's Story: The ethics of deciding when someone is broken and needs fixing, and the broader societal implications

Her name is Lakshmi Tatma and she was born in October during the festival for the Hindu goddess Lakshmi. The night before she was born, her mother dreamt of the goddess, who represents prosperity and wealth (worldly and spiritual). She believed it was a sign that her soon-to-be-born child would bring good fortune.

The Tatma family looked forward to good fortune. The rural area of the Indian Behar province where they live is a largely poor region with little access to things we take for granted, such as medical care, stores, and other modern conveniences. Life there is, as National Geographic said, ". . .untouched by the 21st Century."

Due to the poverty and lack of medical care, infants often die or, if sickly or deformed, are sometimes left in fields to die.

This might have been Lakshmi's fate, because she was born with four arms and four legs---the result of an undeveloped parasitic twin.

Her mother was so shocked to see her new daughter that she fainted, but I got the i…

Not another post about patriotism and July 4th

1976. The red white and blue year. Year every school kid in America could spell and define Bicentennial. Pop rocks in our mouths and fireworks in the sky year. Sneaking Dr. Pepper at Shelley's house because the rest of us weren't allowed to have it---I was never sure if it rotted teeth or stunted growth or both. The year of the rocket and the satellite---rockets in Ireland and satellites to Mars. Rocket fast airplanes shook the clouds and earthquakes and punk rock shook the world. Election year. Leap year. Equal rights. Women's rights. Vietnam was finally over, and back then over meant over to me.

We said the Pledge of Allegiance every morning in school, and learned about the Constitution and why we should be proud of the USA. I played Betsy Ross in the school play. Back when schools had plays and social studies.

We shook shook shook our booties, which somehow in our minds meant the little socks we wore on our feet, the ones with balls on the back. This misunderstanding ripp…

Soul food feast: A Hump Day Hmm for July 2, 2008

For the Hump Day Hmm this week, what do you do to feed your soul? What renews you? How does that fit in with the cultural protocol?

Write about it, link that post back to here, and add your link to the list below.

Old or new, all posts welcome...as long as they are on topic. (Not to be mean but definitely enforcing this boundary, I will delete links not related to the Hump Day Hmm and spammers, review the policy on the right sidebar.)