Saturday, February 27, 2010

Woman's World


"I don't take orders from a woman, I quit." Those words were uttered last week by a young male worker and I am still in shock. In today's work world, women are everywhere. And when I say everywhere, I mean everywhere--from taxi drivers to doctors and every field in between. In all aspects of business life, females are successful. We show up in all levels of the professional world. Not only are we employees and supervisors, we are CEOs and owners of companies, too. Yet, the old ignorant bias still exists.

I try to wrap my head around how someone could say those words and I find that I can't. If either of my two sons even uttered those words I would have disciplined them in a nuclear way. How scum sucking ignorant do you have to be to say that to a woman's face?

Yes, there are still glass ceilings that women have to shatter. It's better now than it's ever been, in my opinion. I'm not blind to the fact that a lot of women do deal with discrimination in the workplace, some successfully, some not so successfully. But having a woman boss is commonplace in many fields of business. It's not that unusual anymore.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, "In 2008, 59.5 percent of women were in the labor force, and this share has been relatively stable over the past several years."

"In 2008, women accounted for 51 percent of all persons employed in management, professional, and related occupations, somewhat more than their share of total employment (47 percent).

So how can this young man say such a stupid comment? I don't know. Maybe it boils down to how they were raised. If they were raised in a household where the wife was subservient to the husband, stayed at home, told that being a "housewife" was the proper way for a woman to act, then I could see the problem.

Being a "good" wife/mother does not mean you have to stay at home, clean the house, raise the kids and not work. Yes, home life is incredibly important, but in this day and age, there has to be a balance. The economy has made it so that both husband and wife must work to maintain a decent life.

You have to respect what women bring to the workforce. We don't weaken it, we strengthen it. We bring empathy, understanding, intelligence, and multi-tasking skills that only benefit businesses and employees.

We've come a long way baby, but apparently we have a long way to go.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Random Origin Thoughts


My brain is always chugging away thinking, thinking, and thinking some more. Random things flitter here and there. At times, it can be quite entertaining what I think of--and today's thought were manila envelopes. Why are they called "Manila?" I said to myself, "Self, learn today why they are called this." And that's what I did when I got home.

The handy dandy Interwebs (which doesn't always tell the truth) educated me on the origins of manila envelopes. I bet you didn't know it's origins. I know I didn't know it until tonight.

The manila component of the name comes from manila hemp or abacá, from which manila folders were originally made. "Manila" refers to the capital of the Philippines, one of the main producers of abacá.

Or so they say. lol.

I don't know. I guess the explanation sort of makes sense to me. Why do we call things the thing we do? What's the point where someone said, "I shall call this steak. Or "from this moment on, I shall call this 'bowel movements. "

I crack myself up.

If you've ever found yourself wondering where words "come from," you might want to check out this site:

With it, I learned the following:

1690s, capital of the Philippines, gave its name (with altered spelling) to manilla hemp (1814), original source of manilla paper (1873).

The dates beside a word indicate the earliest year for which there is a surviving written record of that word (in English, unless otherwise indicated). This should be taken as approximate, especially before about 1700, since a word may have been used in conversation for hundreds of years before it turns up in a manuscript that has had the good fortune to survive the centuries.

According to this site, the word steak comes from:

1440, "thick slice of meat cut for roasting," probably from O.N. steik "roast meat," cognate with steikja "to roast on a spit," and ultimately "something stuck" (on a spit); related to stick (v.).

Maybe I should pronounce it with an accent--something from Monty Python or Shrek. "I'll take my 'steik' well dunnnne please. And make sure it dunnit stick in the barbie when you cook it."

By the way, constipation is an older word than bowel movement. Go figure?

Sometimes, it's a bit scary in my brain.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Smells like an Onion, Feels Like a Fair


I always have an instant sensual memory when I happen to smell onion rings. Tonight, I was picking up dinner at a local hamburger place and Jerry wanted onion rings. From the moment I put the bag in my car and I smelled the rings, the image of the Kern County Fair crossed my mind.

I can close my eyes and visualize walking along the paths with the booths selling corn on the cob, gargantuan hand dipped corn dogs, and mouth watering cinnamon rolls. But it's the smell of fried onion rings that brings those images to mind. Not the smell of corn on the cob or the other items.

Warm, summer nights, the bells and whistles from the midway and trying not to sneeze from the hay bales all these cross my mind. Cowboys, wanna-be cowboys and gang bangers alike walk around the kid goats, bunny rabbits and beautiful horses.

I remember grabbing the boys when they were younger and making goofy faces for the photo booth. We eagerly awaited the strip of photos and made fun of each other. It was geeky fun and I wouldn't trade those memories for any amount of money.

I have to say I do miss the Kern County Fair. We haven't yet gone to a fair here in San Antonio. They hold theirs in February and I just can't gear myself up to go to it. I need my fair at the end of September, beginning of October for it to be a "true" fair.

I think I will just close my eyes and sniff the onion rings and remember times past.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A High Note


I can still remember the talent show in high school. They had a special assembly where those who wanted to perform could sing, dance and play instruments. I had a fantasy of getting on stage and singing my heart out. Only one problem--I can't sing worth squat. In fact, I've been offered money not to sing.

A girl can't catch a break. Even with my lack of talent, I still had dreams of singing. Barbra Streisand, Helen Reddy (lol), and Carole King I was them all at one time or another. Heck, for a couple of months in 1976, I WAS Elton John. I would play my cassette of Crocodile Rock over and over again to learn the lyrics. This was before the Internet. I didn't have the ability to quickly look up the words of a song I loved. I have to focus my time and energy on memorization the hard way. Stop and rewind. Stop and rewind.

Benny and The Jets, Honky Cat, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, and Daniel rocked my bedroom. I'd wrap my hand around my hairbrush and screech out the songs--out of tune, and slightly painful to the ears. But I loved it.

I can still watch a musical and dream that I am the lead singer. I'm the one mesmerizing the crowd and the roar of the crowd is for me and what I'm doing.

Hey, a girl can dream.

I remember when rock was young
Me and Suzie had so much fun
holding hands and skimming stones
Had an old gold Chevy and a place of my own
But the biggest kick I ever got
was doing a thing called the Crocodile Rock
While the other kids were Rocking Round the Clock
we were hopping and bopping to the Crocodile Rock

Well Crocodile Rocking is something shocking
when your feet just can't keep still
I never knew me a better time and I guess I never will
Oh Lawdy mama those Friday nights
when Suzie wore her dresses tight
and the Crocodile Rocking was out of sight

But the years went by and the rock just died
Suzie went and left us for some foreign guy
Long nights crying by the record machine
dreaming of my Chevy and my old blue jeans
But they'll never kill the thrills we've got
burning up to the Crocodile Rock
Learning fast as the weeks went past
we really thought the Crocodile Rock would last

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Different Sound

On cold, clear nights as I drove along Highway 99 in Central California I would occasionally catch strains of dialogue and music from a different world than my own. Pumping out 50,000 watts of unique sounds, KTNN-AM haunted me when I was lucky enough to hear it. The station is located in Window Rock, Arizona.

It was a song that first caught my ear--sung in another language. What I first thought was Russian (It was completely foreign to me) was actually Navajo. Drums, chants and a rhythmic movement made me smile. I had no idea what they were singing about--I just knew I liked it. The deep, male voices touched an inner spot in me and I felt an instant karmic kinship. It's goofy, but true.

They played a mixture of modern county music mixed with Native American songs. The night I first caught its signal the radio announcer spoke in Navajo. I didn't have a clue what was being said. It made me envious. I wanted to know what it meant.

It motivated me enough to go out and buy a couple of cds of Native American Chants and music. I still have the cds. I like listening to them when I can. I especially enjoy the flute music.

One called "Beyond Words - Native American Flute - by Wolf," is haunting and is completely relaxing. I could easily see myself getting a full body massage and listening to this cd.


It brings to mind another time, another world where buffalos roamed free across the plains and Native Americans controlled their lives and didn't answer to white men.

I can close my eyes and feel transported.