On the Road Again

Another day, another ambition abandoned.

I started a new blog, Asana Year, about two weeks ago, intending to do, and blog, yoga on a daily basis.

Hahahahahahahhhaa, I hear you say.

Actually, that was me. I know my propensity for what my fellow Ravelers call “startitis” – great ideas with inadequate follow-through. I knew it when I started the site, just like a few others I’ve made – and some I’ve joined.

It started with Geocities. I have a long history of aimless Internet presence.

To which I say: So frikkin’ what?

I love order. I find it comforting. I want to compartmentalize my life until it ticks happily along without my interference or maintenance.

Life just doesn’t work like that.

If I am disordered, or haphazard, or neglectful of my ambition-of-last-week, OK. As I have occasionally proven to myself, I do come back to previous endeavors. If my focus is elsewhere, fine. If this is the way my mind works, devouring interests in fits and starts, then that’s what I’ll go with.

I discipline myself to concentration and persistence in my job, 40 hours per week. If the rest of my mental exercises are scattered as a result, let them scatter.

Chances are they need it.

Observed: Power Dynamics

This is apropos of nothing, except that Notorious, Ph.D. demanded requested that I actually write something.

I went to Commercial Coffee Venue today, and chose a comfy chair to occupy with my drink and my knitting, which was in a loose grouping of three such chairs, but was more removed from the other two. While I was enjoying that bit of free mindspace, a couple of people, a young man and a young woman, came into the room, looking for a place to park themselves. The young woman took the further comfy chair, and the young man balked at the selection, and then made an attempt to sit down anyway. What followed was done in a language I didn’t understand, but body language told it: he didn’t seem to have a strong preference (not having immediately taken one of the many open tables), but seemed to disagree with her choice. She acted apologetic, got up and went to a table he indicated several times during the quiet exchange.

I don’t know what their story is. I couldn’t have said what was actually going on, whether either one had reasons beyond simple preference (comfort, for instance) that informed their differing choices. All I can say is that he was not the least bit deferential, and she was almost entirely so. It was to me a pantomime of power dynamics, power which he wielded, and to which she yielded.

Random Tasty Food

Cook 1 c. quinoa in 2 c water flavored with 1 tsp chicken bouillon until quinoa is tender but not mushy (just turned translucent).

Meanwhile, saute half an onion, half a bell pepper, and about 1 c diced potatoes in 1 Tbsp olive oil and 1 Tbsp butter in a large skillet. When the vegetables start to brown, add 1 Tbsp minced garlic. Saute further until potatoes are tender. Add about 1 tsp dried basil, 1 can black beans (drained) and 1 c frozen corn. Add cooked quinoa and stir lightly. Heat thorough and eat lots.

Quick Hit: Political Progress

I am happy to say I can now officially update my numbers re: the demographics of the United States government: Sonia Sotomayor was sworn in as a Justice of the United States Supreme Court Saturday.

The numbers again:

Supreme Court:

  • 5 women, 4 men
  • at least one per racial group**
    • White, non-Hispanic
    • Black/African-American
    • Hispanic/Latin@
    • Asian
    • Native American/Alaskan Native
    • Native Hawai’ian/Pacific Islander
    • Other***
  • One justice would have a disability
  • At least once justice would be LGB, and preferably another be T/I

Current gender demographics: 1 woman, 8 men 2 women, 7 men
Current racial demographics: 1 African-American (a man), 8 white non-Hispanic 1 Hispanic/Latin@ (a woman), 7 non-Hispanic whites.

What the gov’t should look like

If the demographics of the U.S Government really represented the demographics of the U.S. Population*:

Supreme Court:

  • 5 women, 4 men
  • at least one per racial group**
    • White, non-Hispanic
    • Black/African-American
    • Hispanic/Latin@
    • Asian
    • Native American/Alaskan Native
    • Native Hawai’ian/Pacific Islander
    • Other***
  • One justice would have a disability
  • At least once justice would be LGB, and preferably another be T/I

Current gender demographics: 1 woman, 8 men
Current racial demographics: 1 African-American (a man), 8 white non-Hispanic

House of Representatives:
(Assuming 437 representatives, to amend the omission of D.C.****)

  • 248 non-Hispanic whites (124 women, 124 men)
  • 66 Latin@/Hispanic (33 women, 33 men)
  • 62 Black/African-American (31 women, 31 men)
  • 22 Asian (11 women, 11 men)
  • 31 “Other”*** (16 women, 15 men)
  • 4 Native American/Alaskan Native (2 women, 2 men)
  • 4 Native Hawai’ian / Pacific Islander (2 women, 2 men)

Current gender demographics: 75 women, 360 men.
Current racial demographics: 27 Hispanics, 5 Asian Americans, and one Native American; 402 white non-Hispanic.

U.S. Senate:
(Assuming, again, 102 senators, likewise including D.C.****)

  • 57 non-Hispanic whites (29 women, 28 men)
  • 15 Latin@/Hispanic (8 women, 7 men)
  • 14 Black/African-American (7 women, 7 men)
  • 5 Asian (3 women, 2 men)
  • 7 “Other”*** (4 women, 3 men)
  • 2 Native American/Alaskan Native (1 woman, 1 man)
  • 2 Native Hawai’ian/Pacific Islander (1 woman, 1 man)

Current gender demographics: 17 women, 83 men. Highest number of women to date.
Current racial demographics: 2 Hispanics, 1 Japanese-American, 1 Native Hawai’ian and 1 African-American (all men). 95 non-Hispanic whites.

Now, if you’re really into your number crunching and fact-checking, you’ll probably see that my numbers for white representatives (in whatever branch) are just a bit low, in comparison to the current population estimates. I started with ensuring representation for the smallest groups (Native American/Alaskan Native and Hawai’ian/Pacific Islander), rounding percentages up to the nearest percentage point, and taking those points away from the largest group, non-Hispanic whites. This is especially fair considering the historical over-representation of whites.

I also erred on the side of women for each group with an odd number of percentage points to divide, as women have also been underrepresented, especially women of color.

Thing is, this doesn’t even get anywhere near making redress for the centuries of non-/underrepresentation that women and people of color have endured in this country during its relatively short history.

As you can see from the current numbers, we have a long way to go before even reaching equal representation, let alone redress. Of course, by that time, non-Hispanic whites will no longer be a majority but a plurality, if that; maybe we’ll have a government that actually *looks* like the rest of the nation does by 2050.


* U.S. Census estimates for 2007, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_the_United_States, with regards to race and gender. I haven’t figured out how to account for sexuality/orientation/gender identity yet, as they are 1) complicated and 2) not all accounted for by the U.S. Census.
**As defined by the U.S. Census, which is problematic at best.
*** This is a census category. No idea what groups this includes.
**** These proportions would change even more were one to include all U.S Territories in representation. I haven’t done, but it could be accomplished.

WTF: 30 Ways To Get Fired On Twitter

Okay, most of these were pretty self-explanatory. This one, however, doesn’t make any logical sense at all:

sexualharassment

Stating you were sexually harassed IS NOT “threatening to sue the company”. If your bosses fire you or threaten to fire you because you report being sexually harassed, they are breaking federal law (in the U.S., at least), in which case, the person harassed must file a claim with the EEOC.

Way to misunderstand the tweet, dudes.