Thursday, March 11, 2010

"Nothing's tougher than asking you to hand me my wolverine glass full of strawberry milk."

It's spring break, for just about everyone but me it seems. I've been doing so much homework this week (in preparation for next week, Hell week) and been working all day every day, but that's ok. Tomorrow's a holiday! So at least it's a short week.
My boss had to fly home to Australia suddenly on Tuesday. Pray for her, and her family. Apparently she found out before Christmas that her brother has melanoma, and at the time he was planning to have some treatments. But his cancer has advanced too far, and so she's flown home to be with him for the end.
I feel really bad, because in some ways this has been a boon to me. All that homework I mentioned earlier? I've been doing it at work. There's not much to be done, and since it's spring break it's been quieter than normal. I think, tops, there have been about five people in each day this week. (I'm going to propose next year that we shorten our hours even more, because this is ridiculous.) I've also been getting to watch a lot of Hulu. That, and I've been reading my book a bit.
I'm reading a really great new book, by the way. It's called "Bonk" by Mary Roach, and it's about the science of sex. And in a lot of ways, the history of scientific sex research. Very entertaining, because of her style. She says in the forward that she's sure she's a running joke at the San Francisco library for interlibrary loaning articles about such topics as the use of vacuum cleaners in autoerotic asphyxiation. (When I was working in ILL, the oddest request I remember getting was for an article about belly button lint. Apparently it mostly travels up from one's underwear.) I find it really funny that we attribute a symbolic women's empowerment move--Kegel exercises--to someone who vigilantly denied the need for clitoral stimulation as a means of achieving orgasm. The guy was a product of the fifties, and basically hated Kinsey and all of his research about women's orgasm. He didn't have a problem with it, he just agreed with Freud that any woman who needed clitoral stimulation was "stuck in childhood", and needed to be vaginally re-oriented. (Notice, these theories were put forward by men. It's really sad how many women bought into them, however.)
I also didn't realize that the 20's and 30's were relatively open, sexually. At least as far as research and acceptance of the topic. Then the fifties took a few giant leaps backward, no surprise there.
Lastly, I didn't realize there were so many people on sites like the Yahoo Clown Fetish Group (by her count, 642). I don't think anything, in my entire life, that I've thought about, on any topic, could be quite as bizarre as some of the things that have internet sites and even their own special type of porn. But rather than making it all sound weird, Roach approaches the topic as something silly and funny, which is why it's such a great book.

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