I teach Gender and Women’s Studies, so I spend a lot of time talking about gendered representations and how screwed up they are. I read a lot of student papers about how fucked up it is that 98% of the images of women we see have the body type of maybe 3% of the country’s population. I nod, I make my checks and check-pluses, I concur wholeheartedly as students get critical about this stuff, sometimes for the first time. I’ve been teaching this stuff for over ten years, and I have to admit, sometimes it turns into white noise. Continue reading
And finally I was back on the bike after a weekend of moving N. from up the block down and up the stairs to my house, a couple days of freezing rain, and a long holiday weekend in New York with the sister. N. spent her day reorganizing the never-been-organized kitchen, and she gave me a list of things to get from the stores over at Canton Crossing with strict instructions to get myself lost on the way there. I didn’t get lost, but I did manage to figure out where Greenmount Avenue goes if you just follow it down–that desolate place called Old Town Mall. Continue reading
It was a beautiful and empty (for me) Thursday, so I took advantage and enjoyed a ride all over town. I started with a pedal down the hill to meet K. for lunch, sitting outside on Charles Street, swapping stories about how dumb we were as undergraduates and why Baltimore is a siren song. She headed back to work and I headed over to my regular route down the hill, a stop at the museum to inquire as to the membership card that hasn’t come in the mail yet (it should be here any day now, they say) and then snaked my way east, just enjoying the free feeling of the wind up my skirt and easy roll of newly-inflated tires. Continue reading
I spent this most delightful first fall Sunday working on a big project due on Monday and thinking about the exceedingly lovely weekend I had. Oh, and how much I needed a bike ride. So I finished up a draft of the thing in front of the Ravens game, and then it was time to get on the bike for a ride. I headed down the hill to see if I could luck into an Akimbo performance before going somewhere south and east. A volunteer handed me a map, and I snaked my way around to the park at Federal and Calvert to catch the Effervescent Dance Collective. Their performance was delayed by a sea shanty singing quartet that is probably funny if we’re all friends and we’ve had a few (in which case I have no doubt they are amazing), and I wondered about the location of the dancing. And then they danced, and I couldn’t stop smiling, thinking about how clever they were, how free and happy they helped us feel–like when Lily matched her breath to the beat of being pulled up from the water, a sly look–oh, it was so good. I thanked them after–“You just made me so happy inside, thank you”–and then it was back on the bike. I passed a tent on the sidewalk across from the city fueling station on Fallsway. I wondered about why the tent owner’s reclaiming of public space will undoubtedly be criminalized, the home torn down, while the dancers will make me feel just so happy inside. Are we worried the tent is privatising our public space? But wouldn’t we want public space to be used by those with the need for it–I want that in case I need it at some point. Or have we gone so far with our love of private property that we can’t imagine a use that wouldn’t in some way declare ownership? I thought about those and other things on the rest of my ride, over to The Shops at Canton Crossing (it’s still just a Target), up through Brewer’s Hill and down through Highlandtown, up and over and up and over through so many neighborhoods with so many people loving this cooler still-sunny weather. Ravens win!