Nearly a decade ago I was at a very large party on a wooded property where there was a bonfire the size of a garage and a local heavy metal band was playing. There were a lot of people from the local trade school; including a young woman just out of secondary school who was training to be a welder.
This woman was was in a class of younger students and we shared the same shop facilities but we didn’t know each other beyond introductions and exchanging niceties in passing. She was the type of person who liked to say vulgar things to shock people. It wasn’t a big deal to most of us. She was taking her first steps into the bigger world and I believe this was just her way of appearing or feeling tougher. A lot of people do it.
Anyway….about the party:
I was sitting at a table near the generator when to my surprise she sat down across from me. Most of the crowd was older. I said hello and asked her what her connection to the party was. She casually said that she was there because she was f$&*ing the drummer. This sort of thing might shock Mom and Dad when they hear their child say this but to anybody who has done a little living it wasn’t much. Without missing a beat I said that I was too and perhaps that kind of made us family. I received a look so sour that it could curdle milk at 40 feet. Needless to say our conversation was over at that point.
I haven’t seen her ever since that party but she had a certain spark that tells me she probably grew up to be a formidable person and is probably very good at whatever she’s doing now. I have been in her position in a similar situation and it was a wonderful learning opportunity. I hope it was for her too.
I was writing some goofy prose on a website and though I won’t share it here I will share this thought about what I have written:
My words are daft and oft obscene but i must stick to my rhyming scheme.
I’m on a job hunt right now and had a question for my wife about how to word my status as a jouneyMAN welder; government sites often say I’m a journeyperson and it sounds wrong to me. My wife is the the feminist in the family and often my conscience too so I asked her to weigh in. This is what she offered: Journeyman is fine and journeyperson will make me sound like a mush-head….she also added that no confident woman should be afraid of a masculine default.
My experience is that the masculine default in English is often regarded as some patriarchal tool of oppression. I was taught to use a masculine default when I learned English at home and it caused me trouble a few times in school and later in life. I also remember when I was in secondary school there was a debate about using a neutral pronoun in Swedish(hen) that paralleled the criticism of English. I don’t know what direction that eventually took.
What’s funny is that I have never heard a complaint about the masculine default in French…ever.
I grew up in a remote part of Vancouver Island known for the number of cougar attacks on people but I’m referring to predatory older women in this post.
Yesterday, at the dollar store, I was propositioned by a cougar. It happens sometimes when I’m out without my wife but mainly in dollar stores for some reason. I said that I was happily married (she said that she was too!) and politely excused myself. I don’t believe in being rude in dismissing such a proposition because the extreme brazenness of it likely stems from extreme loneliness.
If you stop to think about it, you probably don’t listen to death metal for the same reason that you don’t listen to opera: Not understanding the vocals.
Sharpening knives was one of my chores growing up and I loved doing it. When I was a teenager I went to work for Mr. Oyama and learned a different way of sharpening the knives we used to butcher fish; our methods were virtually the same as in this video. You don’t need to understand Japanese to get something from it: