Monthly Archives: January 2018

aziz ansari and “babe”

I ran seven miles this morning, the last of which was mostly uphill.  However, the hardest twelve minutes of my day were definitely stretching.  Stretching is seriously no joke.  I’ve been diligently spending 12 minutes three times a week, so basically 30 minutes a week, stretching.  It’s become increasingly obvious how incredibly inflexible I am, a product of the fact that I do almost nothing that requires flexibility.  Running, biking and swimming don’t, and spending a significant portion of my day sitting at a desk obviously doesn’t help.  Anyway, I’ll be repeating the sit and reach test in two weeks, so I guess we’ll see if I’ve made any progress.

In other news, I’m very curious what people think of the article in babe about a woman’s unpleasant encounter with Aziz Ansari.  I should start by saying I don’t know much about Ansari.  I’ve never seen him in any shows.  I only know he did Parks and Recreation because I googled him.  I’m not into comedians, and I really don’t care about him in particular.

My take is that he sounds boorish and inept.  It sounds like a bad date.  But this woman allowed him to take her clothes off.  To use the age-old phrase, what did she expect?  If I go home with a man and allow him to take my clothes off basically immediately, I expect that he’s going to want to have sex.  That doesn’t mean he has a right to sex by any means, but it’s a bit unfair to be surprised by him wanting it.  She also gave and received oral sex on multiple occasions during their “date.”  If I were in her situation, I would leave, and I would be upset, and I would not go out with him again.  That’s basically what she did.  (The worst night of her life, though?)  But was what he did assault?  In my opinion, absolutely not.  Was it sexual misconduct?  That’s a bit of a new term, likely invented to address this very article.  I don’t really even think it was necessarily misconduct.

As a feminist, I don’t think a woman should ever be forced into sexual acts that she doesn’t want to participate in.  That means men (or woman) should not use their greater physical strength or other types of power they might possess, such as a position at work, to induce a woman into sexual acts she’s not interested in.  However, I feel that adult women are capable of expressing what they want and don’t want, and I don’t find it flattering or helpful to suggest that a man should have to repeated ask a women, Do you want this?  How about this?  And this?  I’m 100% comfortable with “no means no.”  I don’t think we need “yes means yes.”

From the article:

“I just remember looking in the mirror and seeing him behind me. He was very much caught up in the moment and I obviously very much wasn’t,” Grace said. “After he bent me over is when I stood up and said no, I don’t think I’m ready to do this, I really don’t think I’m going to do this. And he said, ‘How about we just chill, but this time with our clothes on?’”

If you keep reading, they do get dressed, and then he starts hitting on her again.  And then she leaves.

This editorial in the NYTimes summarizes my feelings pretty well.

I’ve read many women who are infuriated by Ansari’s behavior and consider it unambiguously sexual assault.  That is not my perception at all, and I’m curious if I’m an outlier or what.

Winter running gear

Winter is upon again, and that means cold, dark, rainy running.   Last Christmas, I wrote about winter running attire.  Honestly, at this point, I consider myself something of an expert on running in Seattle weather conditions at this point.

Shirts

  • Sugoi Half Zip I love this top.  It’s got a nice little zip pocket that’s just big enough for my running gloves, a true half zip (not a quarter zip masquerading as a quarter zip), comes in bright colors, and has long sleeves with thumb holes.
  • Lululemon Swifly LS Tee  I finally hopped on the Lululemon swifly bandwagon.  Honestly, this one is not worth the full list price ($80!) but I do like that I can wear is just as easily to work as on a run.  It shows up in basically every wash cycle I do.
  • I still own and run in the shirts I mentioned a year ago, so they’re holding up well.

Tights

  • Nike Epic Lux Tights  I bought a pair of these (not in this pattern) after seeing my favorite runner wearing them on the cover of Runner’s World.  I’m not sure I’ve ever done that before, but the tights are great for weather around 40 degrees.  And I LOVE the pattern.
  • My Sugoi Mid-zero tights still get a ton of use.  I wish they’d sell them in some more colors.

Rain jackets / vests

  • Lululemon Like The Wind Vest  I was hesitant about buying this since it’s water resistant, not waterproof, but it has turned out to be a great buy (one sale).  I get a ton of use out of it on days when it’s in the low 40s and it’s raining lightly to moderately.  (We get A LOT of days like that.)  That’s too warm for a full jacket, and this vest if great.  I wore it for the Seattle Half, and it was a great choice that day, too.
  • Amphipod Xinglet Vest  Last winter, I tried running at work on the darkest days, or treadmilling it at the Y.  We had really lousy weather last winter, but it’s been a bit better this winter, so I’ve been out in the dark a lot more.  This really lightweight reflective vest is small but, according to my husband, really improves my visibility.

Other

  • 12 in 1 Headband  This guy has proved surprisingly useful, and it makes me look slightly less ridiculous than my other running winter headbands.

The year in review: Books

According to Goodreads, I read 65 books this year.  I read 69 last year, so I’ve become pretty consistent now that the kids are a bit older.  I’ve loved reading since I was about 6 years old, and it’s just always been something that brings me happiness and peace.  Lately, I’ve really been enjoying trying to share this with L and B, and a few of the books this year were read to the girls, mostly L.

5 star books of 2017:

  • Chemistry by Weike Wang
  • When Breath Becomes Air Paul Kalanithi
  • Running With The Buffaloes Chris Lear (best running book ever)
  • Where’d You Go Bernadette? Maria Semple
  • Full Tilt Dervla Murphy

Honorable Mention:

  • Best Running Book: How Bad Do You Want It? Matt Fitzgerald
  • Other best running book: Running: A Love Story Jen A. Miller
  • Best beach read: Big Little Lies Liane Moriarty (I recommend the audio book)
  • Best memoir: Hillbilly Elegy  J.D. Vance (I liked this more than I expected)

Isla’s Books

The best ones:

  • Heidi Johanna Spyri
  • Anne of Green Gables L.M. Montgomery
  • The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • James Herriot’s Treasury For Children James Herriot
  • On The Banks of Plum Creek Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • By The Shores of Silver Lake LIW
  • Little Town on the Prairie LIW
  • These Happy Golden Years LIW

I loved so many of these.  James Herriot was perfect for Bri with beautiful illustrations.  I adore The Secret Garden and Heidi (and they have quite similar stories in a way.  Isla just loves Laura Ingalls Wilder.  We’re currently working on the first of the sequels to The First Four Years.

Others:

  • Over Sea, Under Stone Susan Cooper
  • The Boxcar Children  Gertrude Warner
  • The Trumpet of the Swan  E.B.White
  • The Family Under The Bridge Natalie Carlson
  • Betsy-Tacy Maud Lovelace
  • Lots of Little House on the Prairie Books.  Like, really, lots.  Maybe the whole series?  I can’t remember when we started reading it for the third time.
  • The First Four Years LIW