Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Women are...

I guess you know the saying "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus". But I have to admit, I don't see the point in it. I mean, wherever we've come from, we're all living on Earth, aren't we? And we should learn to live here together, because during the next couple of decades/centuries/millennia I don't see us leaving Earth and colonizing new planets.

So yes, there's differences between men and women ... but then, there's also differences between men and between women. We're not all alike (which would be quite boring), we're individuals. I do not consider myself an average woman (see title of my blog...) and neither do I think "all men are alike" (unless I'm in a really, really, really, really dark mood - but in this case I'm not really seeing women any more positive).

I do consider myself a feminist and don't think men are better than women in any respect, but on the other hand I don't think men are worse than women on the whole. There's always some ... but that goes for everything. I want to be seen for what I am: a computer fan, an avid reader, a real bitch sometimes, a movie freak (when there's a good movie out to see) and, last but not least, a woman, too. But that's not the first thing people should notice about me - as I didn't choose my gender, but a lot of the other things which define me.

The same goes for me - mostly - when it comes to men. Of course, I can recognize a man when I see him ... I'm short-sighted, not blind. And yes, I like to see a man with a good-looking ass as much as every woman. But then, I don't really care if men stare at a good-looking pair of tits. Why should I?

But the moment I actually meet a man (not just look at him in passing on the street or somewhere), I don't see him as a man first, I see him as a human being. And I expect the same when it comes to me.

And this is why I, like E, don't dig "Female Supremacy". To me, it's the same thing we've already had (Male Supremacy) all over again, only this time it's the other half of mankind doing it. Women suppressing men isn't any better than the other way around. Living works best with nobody suppressing the other person. And I don't mean BDSM here - that's usually wanted by both parts, so it's not suppression ... it's submission. I mean women who really seem to dig the idea of men being nothing but slaves or suchlike. That's a great fantasy, but it's not something I like to see in reality. Which is why I write such a fantasy myself ... well, I've had a little writer's block lately ... but don't really want to see it around me.

What I really, really do hate, is putting everyone - men as much as women - in a box, saying "this is what you are", without really getting a close look beforehand. I hate it when people say "women are..." or "woman do..." or "women think..." (but you can also use "men" instead of "women" here). I'm a woman, but I don't like shopping for clothes and shoes, I don't like love stories on screen or as books, I'm really into computers (and horror movies - expect something about two Japanese werewolf-movies soon) and I'm not afraid to admit I like manga/comics/animated movies. There's many stereotypes that don't fit me, like the ones mentioned above or, for example, chatting over the phone with a friend for hours every day. Yes, I do chat with my best friend Heike every now and then, but it's rarely over an hour and it's usually not more often than once a week (and we don't live very close, the phone's the fastest way to get together for us).

So whenever I hear someone (quite often a man) comment "that's so typical for women", I really want to scream! There isn't a "typical" for men or women and we'd all be better of if we finally realized it!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Just what I always knew:

Your Score: Serious Cat

47% Affectionate, 19% Excitable, 53% Hungry

Hungry for knowledge in any internet forum, you demand decorum. Any off-topic remarks, absurd statements, or tomfoolery on the interweb is deeply frowned upon by you. Truth has no room for drollery.

To see all possible results, checka dis.

Link: The Which Lolcat Are You? Test written by GumOtaku on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test

Why is it always me?

In accordance with one of my last posts about Harry Potter I could claim this headline to be a quote from one of the movies (no. 2 actually where Neville says that after having been hung onto the chandelier by a bunch of pixies - and no, I didn't keep that in mind for ages, I watched the movie on DVD again last weekend ... and I have a good memory). But that's not what I mean. What I mean is: Why do I always happen to find jobs that turn out to be a nightmare after a couple of weeks?

I had a little nervous breakdown this week about work, on Tuesday, actually. I was completely down on my nerves and in tears before going to work because I still hadn't managed to get one fucking contract (and yes, I know I'm not cursing regularly in this blog ... and usually not out loud in real life - what can I say? I felt like it) after more than a week of phoning. But by now I'm more than ready to curse my bosses instead, because by comparing myself with the other colleagues and our work, I know I'm doing alright. By now I'm just angry about this new job for various reasons.

The first is the whole issue about our quota. I'm aware that quotas are necessary in work life. You have to know how much success can be expected of you. If you meet it, you're doing the right job, if you don't meet it, you're definitely not the right person for the job you're doing. But setting a quota that nobody of us has been able to meet the least up till now (9 to 10 successes are supposed to be our final quota, currently 5 a day would be expected), makes the whole thing a bit dubious. Let's face it, most of us still have a problem with meeting a quota of 5 successes a week! And I seriously doubt by now it's only our problem. Sure, we haven't been doing this job for ages ... we're all still learners to a certain degree, some of us more, some of us less. I'm sitting beside a rather young woman (24 if I remember it right) who has never worked in a call centre before. She still hasn't made a success. I've managed 1(!) and I've been working as a telemarketer for over 3 years. The colleague beside me has some successes from a special action (where people get something for free - in my area of Germany it's not too hard to sell something for free), but apart from that, she doesn't have a lot of successes either. None of us has (even our absolute champion gives out more info-mails and website-addresses than she makes contracts). But I do have the lingering feeling we're looking at another "conference" tomorrow. And I hate that, which brings me to the next thing I hate about my new job.

It's those goddamn conferences. We're getting them about once a week or so - and always after our regular hours. As we're working from 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (and in a small town in Germany you can be glad to find a supermarket that's open until 8:00 p.m.), conferences after work can easily mean not leaving the company until 7:00 p.m. Now, I'm in the lucky situation to have a car and live in the same town where my job is (it's about 10 minutes by car from where I live). Most of my colleagues aren't. Apart from one of them who lives even closer and has a car, they all either commute or don't have a car, meaning they either need someone to drive them or they have to take a bus. There aren't many busses leaving the area where I work after 6:00 p.m. I personally do my shopping on Fridays after work - which would work out nicely without those damn conferences. I could work around them, if I knew beforehand when they are supposed to be held. But at work it goes like this: it's two minutes before you're scheduled to leave office. You smell the relative freedom of the upcoming weekend (and I will have spare time at my hands this weekend, as my friend Heike can't come, unfortunately). You're watching the windows clock for the glorious moment when it will show 6:00 and you can leave. And then the boss comes in and tells everyone that we will be meeting in the conference room in two minutes, please. That makes me want to puke ... or to curse ... or to simply leave as if I hadn't heard anything. Because it means to those who travel by bus: hope that someone is prepared to drive you into the city centre, so you can catch a train or a bus to the opposite side of town where you live. It means to those who travel by themselves: say good-bye to an early weekend or the chance to keep an appointment or do your weekly shopping. It also means hearing about not fulfilling the quota again ... but I already covered that issue, I think. And if you're extremely unlucky, it'll be a single discussion, meaning that each of us goes in separately and has to face three(!) bosses and tell them everything. I, personally, don't see the point in that - it only makes the whole thing take longer. Well, maybe there is some good thing into it for the bosses: we can't gang up on them this way. But the next time it happens, they won't face the pleasant person I usually am at work. The next time I'm going to say it all.

Then there's the addresses. Currently we're phoning addresses from a website - and calling them outdated would actually be flattery. Half of the companies doesn't exist any longer, the other half consists of small businesses that have all the work they need and don't want or need advertising. Today we got addresses from another website in an Exel-file. Unfortunately half of them are the ones we've already gotten as printouts before. So they're not really getting better. For a website that centers around normal customers, why phone computer companies that mostly deal with other companies. For a site called "coupontip", why phone craftsmen, lawyers or doctors? But we do it ... and especially the doctors (which are on two different, very long lists and in two or three different Exel-files) are slowly getting annoyed. I can't blame them, if I got phone by three or four people from the same company in two or three days, I'd get annoyed, too. Even Ghandi would have gotten annoyed about this, I think.

Then there's the work hours and breaks. When I had my interview, it was working 9 to 5 with a paid lunch break. Now it's working 9:30 to at least 6:00 with an open ending, no paid lunch break (but that's not my main problem) and no paid breaks which the law insists on. We're mainly working while looking at the computer screen and a German law insists people doing that get 5 minutes of paid break every hour (except for the last of the day) to relax their eyes. We don't have them. If I, for example, take a toilet break - and while talking for 8 hours a day, you need to drink a lot ... and thus pee a lot, too -, it's time I don't get paid for. That means I should work approximately 30 minutes a day longer just because you have to relax for a moment every now and then - oh, and empty your bladder before you explode. If there weren't that law, I would have to live with that, I think. But there is that law and I won't just ignore I get cheated.

I'm simply fed up with some things. Like the quota ... or the conferences ... or the breaks we're supposed to have, but don't get ... or the unorganised kind of work that's done, makes us do worse than we could ... or the people we don't get over the phone, but talk into looking at the website and who get in on their own then (at least three people I've phoned in the past two weeks have done so). There will be another conference soon, I can see it (even without my tarot cards). Then they will meet a nice, one-person gang. If they fire me, then so be it! I don't care about my records any longer. Once I've finished my course and become a web-master they're of no importance any longer.

I will not always back down! They wanted a more aggressive person and they're going to get it!

EDIT: It's over, I said what I had to say and they fired me. Two weeks until I'm really unemployed, though, and I feel like a winner. I shocked them and I played the statistic-believing boss like a harp. What else can you hope for?

I'm free! Buahahaha!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows or why I hate spoilers

Yes, I admit it, I'm a real "Harry Potter" fan. And as a "Harry Potter" fan whose English is good enough to read the English version of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows", I bought it right on Saturday when it came out. Now about the reason why I do hate spoilers.

I finished the book in record time - less than 6 hours for a little over 600 pages. Yes, that's fast, even for me - and I'm a fast reader. But no, I'm not going to spoiler. If you want to know what happens without reading the book, I'm sure you can find enough other sites on the web where people do spoiler.

I personally liked the book, but in a forum where I post regularly, a lot of people have been unsatisfied with the story and the outcome. But then, I'd like to see the story everyone likes. Still, for a Severus-Snape-fan like me, the book was good reading.

But the real tragedy for me was not in the book, it was on TV while I was still reading. I had the TV going in the background - I do that a lot, I'm a single and it makes the flat less silent. So while I was finishing chapter 5 or 6, a news magazine was on screen, telling me the ultimate outcome (which I won't tell here). Well, I kept on reading, but the thrill wasn't as strong any longer - which was exactly why I had refrained from reading the last few pages of the book first. Then a news anchor from Swiss TV had to tell me - growl. But still, the outcome says little about the things happening in between - and volume 7 changes quite a lot of what you have thought about some characters. Some people get pictured in a better light, others look a little less brilliant in the end. But knowing Miss Rowling (yes, I know she's married again), I did expect something like this would happen. And I'm currently considering changing my avatar in my favourite forum to this picture:

Currently it's this one:

After the last volume, I'm proud again to be a fan of Severus Snape. But then, I personally can cheer on Darth Vader (even before we knew Anakin Skywalker in person) or even, on a dark day, Voldemort himself. Go, Voldy, go!

What can I say? The good guys just don't really work for me.

But back to why I hate spoiler. I hate it when somebody tells me the outcome before I have read/seen it myself. Where's the point in that?

I created a spoiler thread at the forum, because with all the arguments and bets about the outcome of volume 7, I gathered a lot of people would want to know the end, especially those who don't want to read the book anyway. (The absolute end of the book, the final word, I will tell you: "well". But "all's well" or "nothing's well"? That's not mine to tell you.) But I did it properly, with a spoiler-tag (which means everything in between is hidden and will only be shown to people who press a button on screen). Th

is way, people have to decide whether they want the spoiler or not. If they do, I provide information about Harry's fate. If they don't, I will not force them to read it.

I personally also found the book very inspiring and currently I am working on a "Harry Potter" dystopia that won't feature Harry at all. Sounds

strange? Sure, but the main idea was born before I read the latest novel. I like such "what if" stories. That's the way I work. Or the way it works for me...

On the other hand, some people might say, that, in the light of the recent events, this avatar (created quite some time ago for "Potterpuffs") even features a spoiler.

But whose? Read the book to find out.

Now, should I be happy or sad?

After I'd seen the evaluation of their blog both at "E is for" and "A Dom's Life for Me", I decided to test my own blog. It's not as expensive as theirs, but it's still worth more than I earn in a month (1,8something $). Now I'm not sure whether I should be happy or sad about this.

It's not the worth of my blog as a such ... I don't really care about it and thanks to Sitemeter I know some people are reading this. What I could find depressing is that my blog seems to be worth more than the job I do regularly for 8 hours or more. I mean, I've always stated I don't love being a telemarketer, but I do it to survive.

On the other side, having a blog that's worth almost 2,000 $ definitely is a good thing. It means I'm doing something right.

I know why my blog isn't rated as high as those of Elisabeth or Kate. I'm not mainly writing about one topic ... people tuning into my blog must be prepared to encounter surprises. I'm not really reliable as far as my topics are concerned, but then, that's me. I am reliable at work or when my friends are concerned, but I'm not only concentrating on one topic. That's not me, my mind is too broad for such a thing. (Or I'm just not concentrating enough ... whatever you like more. Well, on second thought, the latter is more probable.)

But then, someone must like being faced with surprises regularly or nobody would be reading my blog. And as long as there's at least one person checking this blog once a week (there's definitely more than one person doing this currently, I get a regular statistic once a week, every Monday), I'll go on writing.

Friday, July 20, 2007

No Words

Sometimes gestures and thoughts say more than a thousand words (especially if your jaw is wired shut):

Wouldn't it be nice if every employee in the world liked her/his boss just as much as Captain Dupree obviously likes Gil Wulfenbach at that moment (even if it's not com-pletely mutual)?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

It's too damn hot at the moment

37°C (that's 99°F) were found in my area of Germany during the last weekend (from Saturday to Monday, actually). For me, that's too damn hot. 25°C (77°F) to 30°C (86°F) is quite normal during the summer where I live. 30°C to 35°C (95°F) are reached sometimes.

But 37°C is high, too high for me. I personally like temperatures between 20°C (68°F) and 25°C. That's warm enough to leave your home with just a t-shirt and some pants. At the same time it's not hot enough to be unable to concentrate.

Of course, the youngest colleagues at my new job like it that hot. But then, they are young and thus less influenced by the weather.

I'm not in the habit of checking the data on wetter.com regularly, but today I did - and luckily it seems as if we're getting temperature between 20 and 25°C soon. It's been getting cooler since Tuesday already. Now I just have to hope it won't be too hot when my friend Heike visits me the Saturday after the next. We want to go on a shopping spree in my hometown and hot weather would make that rather hard.

Once I've managed to sell my first book for a few millions, I'm going to move somewhere with less high temperature - I'm thinking "Scotland", if I'm honest.

What I don't get about Harry Potter

First of all: I'm a fan of the novels and movies - as should be obvious from my previous post on this topic. I really like the story and the characters (although I still favour Harry dying at the end of the last novel - that's such an interesting way to end a story). What I don't get about it is the reaction of some people - especially religious people.

I can at least grasp the basic principle behind damning the stories because of the magic. After all, the Roman-Catholic church did burn witches in the past, they obviously don't like magic at all (or maybe just women using it ... but your guess is as good as mine on this subject).

So I can, to a certain degree, understand why religious people might think that "Harry Potter" could convert people to Occultism or Satanism (although I don't see why ... in the novels you have to have a special talent to use magic, it's not as if everyone in the streets could do it). I don't agree with that idea, but I can understand where it comes from - or maybe some people just don't like bestsellers ... who knows?

But there seem to be people who draw a link between Harry Potter and Jesus.


Can Mr. Potter - as good as his magical abilities may be - walk on water? I don't think so.

Was he a virgin birth? Nope, the only virgin birth I've come across lately was Anakin Skywalker - but that's a different story.

Did he do or say anything that might link him to Jesus? Not when I last checked.

Yes, he does have a special place in the Wizarding World, both for being the first person who survived a fatal curse and for being the person who seemed to vanquish the Dark Lord Voldemort as a child. But that doesn't turn him into the Son of God. He's the son of James and Lily Potter, two more or less normal people (depending on whether you ask their friends in the Wizarding World or Lily Potter's sister Petunia and her family).

He also seems to be destined to either kill the Dark Lord one day or be killed by him (the prophecy would work both ways, more about the outcome of the story on Sunday, when I'm finished with the last novel). That does make him a hero, but a hero isn't necessary a divine being. While gods and demigods have always been portrayed as heroes (from Hercules, who's a demigod, over Thor, who's a god, to Beowulf, who's not divine, but nevertheless a superhuman hero), the same goes for normal people.

If I were a conservative Christian, I'd worry more about George Lucas' work: there are people who have turned "Jedi" into a religion. I haven't heard of any "Potterism" lately.

So why worry about it? Because there's a lot of people reading the novels? In that case "Discworldism" or "Middle-Eartism" (God, does that word look scary...) are just as likely to happen - and if I add TV programs and movies to the list, I could probably give you new religions enough for the next 2,000 years. But I won't. Play the game for yourself, if you want to.

"Harry Potter" has managed to pull a lot of kids and teenagers back towards books - and any book that can - in a time with that many other media - do that should really be cherished and not condemned. The story is good and still interesting after six novels - and for me interesting enough to count the days until I will be able to go to the bookstore of my choice and buy volume seven. The story has given many people who don't read that much a good reason to pick up a book every now and then. It has inspired five good movies by now - movies without the usual Hollywood actors (as the largest percentage of the actors in the movies is British, not American).

Novels are no reality, they are not supposed to be. They are fictional and only meant to entertain. Everybody who sees more in them should seriously consider talking to a psychologist.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Harry Potter 5

Yes, I could have found a wonderful headline for this post. But what's the point in it? I doubt there's a lot of people around who don't know who "Harry Potter" is and are not aware of the new movie. Well, there probably are some, but not many.

Anyway, I went to see the new movie on Saturday (as I work now, I don't have the time to see such a long movie during the week) and I liked it. There's going to be a lot of talking about this movie in the future, I don't doubt that one moment (and unlike Professor Trelawny I actually am sure I can predict this right), but the point is that no movie will ever be liked by everyone. And the more fans a story already has, the more people are going not to like it, that's human nature.

There are changes in the story, naturally. But the changes fit with the main story, even though they change some details.

Nevertheless I was positively surprised at the new characters the last movie brought. Dolores Umbridge was just as dislikeable as I remembered her from the novel (but then, I'm always wary of people who like pink that much...). Bellatrix Lestrange was even more mad than I would have expected (but Mrs. Bonham Carter does a great Bellatrix, that much is for sure). The same goes for Luna Lovegood who appears to be day dreaming, but has an astonishingly fast grasp on what goes on around her.

By now the story surely has left the younger kids far behind. It's suitable for ages 12 and up in Germany and thus the youngest "Harry Potter" fans will have to wait for a couple of years before they'll be allowed to see it.

Everything has gotten pretty dark already - and it won't get any lighter in the future, that much is for sure. When everything started in movie number three, a lot of people complained, but by now they seem to have gotten used to it. It's only logical, after all, as the same goes for the books, too.

My advice for you, if you want it, is to go and see the movie for yourself. You might like or hate it, but to decide on whether of the two it is, you have to watch it yourself.

My last week

I know I haven't written many posts last week, but that was mainly because I was too busy learning about my new job - and about the power of my voice, but more about that another time.

We're getting much more training for this job than I ever got before and, even though I would claim I've understood everything, we still have to do a lot of practicing before we reach 100 percent. Nevertheless, I'm sure I will make it.

On Saturday I helped my mother with a garage sale, but for me it's just sacrificing a morning - I didn't make much money last time and even less this time. Nevertheless, this is something better done with a partner and my father isn't very good at it, so I do it - mostly for her.

On Saturday evening, finally, I went to the movies to see the new "Harry Potter" which I liked very much - though I'll write another post about it.

This week is going to be a bit like last week, I think. We still won't be able to really work, at least for Monday and probably Tuesday. Our places aren't completely build right now. Nevertheless, we'll be able to use some other people's desks for work, at least for a while. And after a couple of weeks of full work, we surely will appreciate having some spare time at our hands.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Starting a new job - again

After only two months of unemployment I've found a new job rather quickly this time. Since Monday I'm working for a new company with a novel concept for small businesses.

First of all I have to admit that currently I don't plan on working in telemarketing any longer than absolutely necessary (in other words: until I've finished my course and official am allowed to call myself a web-master). But after two days of work - or rather training for work - I have to admit that this new job seems alright to me. My future colleagues (we're the first telemarketers the company has hired; after all, it has been founded in April this year) seem quite nice and it's the first time I've heard the bosses speak positively about the telemarketers (which normally are the bottom feeders in any company I've been to before). After all, they claim, we're the first contact any of their customers has with the company. So we should get all the training necessary to represent the company well. I see myself unable to deny the truth in this statement.

I feel quite sure I won't regret choosing this job (and the alternative wasn't worth thinking about it, anyway). I've got a contract for 12 months at the moment (enough to finish my course) and with a little luck I could even change the department and become one of the many web-masters and web-designers working in the production department. And even if it doesn't work that way for me - I'll be a web-master then and that's better than just being a telemarketer. I can surely find a better job afterwards.

I think I might have stumbled over one of the few descent companies around. But I'm careful. Sometimes it takes a while until you see the dark side of a new workplace.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

A boy has grown up

Ever since the late 80s and early 90s there was a boy around people could play with - wherever they were. I'm talking about the Game Boy, of course.

Nintendo really hit a gold mine with their first hand-held console. Unlike other hand-helds that were sold at the same time, the Game Boy caught on. Soon there was hardly a kid's room without it. And from then onwards teenagers and children could torture their surroundings with strange beeping sounds and pretend not to have heard their parents scream for them to do something.

But as much of a success as the Game Boy and his descendants (the Game Boy Color and the Game Boy Advanced) had, they still were considered 'for kids only'. Some grown-ups had them, but they usually didn't admit it. (I'll owe up to having had a Game Boy and still owning a Game Boy Advanced, but then, I'm not your usual grown-up.)

Last year Nintendo has done it again and brought out another hand-held - but this time it's not just for kids. The Nintendo DS still is a hand-held console (and unlike its rival, the Playstation Portable, it can't do anything apart from playing games), but it's a grown-up variety.

First, there's the look. Unlike the first Game Boy (a grey brick with a green screen), the Game Boy Color (a slightly smaller brick with a dark screen and a variety of possible colours) and the Game Boy Advanced (originally a deep violet thing with a screen that was a bit too dark for comfortable playing, later on a smaller white thing with a flip-up screen that was a bit better), the DS looks good.

It looks a bit like those very elegant and very expensive cell phone/palmtop combinations you can buy. It's got smooth lines and a high-gloss surface - and you can buy it in black, white and pink (woohoo, somebody is trying it again - and with the cute "Nintendogs" they're even making it). It's got two screens, one of them a touch screen. The graphics are really good by now, too (although they were quite good on the GBA, too).

But the touch screen is more than just a gimmick - it's the real reason why grown-up have started to openly use the DS. It allows for more difficult games to be transported on that platform (like the second "The Settlers" soon). Adventures are just as possible as ego-shooters, strategy games, edutainment and other stuff. While the DS can't play movies, it surely can entertain.

And given the fact that someone wanting to watch videos everywhere will more probably spent his/her money on a new iPod, it's no real surprise the DS is doing so well.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

A woman's mission in life?

Yes, I know, it's a biological fact. I, as a woman, am theoretically able to give life to another human being. And unlike a man, who will at the outmost spent ten minutes or so with the task at hand, I have to invest a minimum of ten months to it. (Even if I decided not to raise the child myself, it's another biological fact that pregnancy takes full nine months, so the child is born at the end of month nine or the beginning of month ten.)

I know - at least while I'm not looking at mankind through my most pessimistic pair of glasses - that children are necessary to ensure mankind has a future (although, in my darkest moments, I sincerely doubt we should have a future).

And I know that to keep the level of humans on our planet, every woman should at least have two children, mathematically speaking. That would be one to 'replace' her and one to 'replace' the father(s) of the children. (And, of course, every man should at least father two children - though it's not necessary to father them with the same woman, as vice versa.)

But with mothers in other countries usually having loads of children, I personally look at myself and think "naw, don't bother with it, nobody would want to have you as a mother anyway" on a regular basis. Fact is, I'm not good with children, I don't feel the biological clock ticking (even though, as a 30+ I probably should), I don't have a relationship (and don't desperately want one) with a dependable man and, finally, I have decided as a child (yes, even before I became a teenager) that I didn't want to have children. I feel very grateful whenever I watch a woman with three or more children and think: "There goes one of the children I've never had and it looks happy."

Unlike the ideas you might get when watching the media these days - where you could get the impression that the "dying out of Germans" and the "climate change" are the only problems left in the world - forget people dying of starvation, forget wars, forget social injustice, that's all nothing compared to those two problems - this isn't a "problem" of the modern world. I sincerely doubt that the "climate change" is only made by humans (as ice ages and warm periods have been seen on this planet ever since it started to get some kind of atmosphere). And I can't really feel sorry for a people that doesn't really do anything nice for families dying out.

Statistically, there's not more women forgoing to propagate than there were fifty, hundred or two hundred years ago. There's more women in numbers who do it, but then, there's more people on the world now. We - those who are not having children - still are a small group ... at least when you only count those who don't want to have children. If you count all those who don't have any children, it's different. That's because a lot of young women these days would like to have children, but fears for their future. If I can't find a job to finance my children - and my friend/lover/husband can't either - then how am I going to make sure they ever get a chance for a good life later on?

As I pointed out various times before, most young women these days don't forgo having children because they're egoistical, but simply because they fear for their children's future. And you simply can't call a woman egoistical who cares about an unborn child. But what I find even more disturbing, is the fact that politicians like to reduce the whole mission of a woman in life to give birth to children. Is that really all? Are we just there to make sure the name of our husband is carried on?

I say "No!", because I'm sure if that were all, nature would have given us the same mating cycle other species have gotten. That way we couldn't help it, but have one child after another. But we are able to willingly forgo pregnancy (even before the pill - not sleeping with a man still is the only secure way not to become pregnant, after all).

In the past there was the principle of "maiden, mother and crone" as the three states of womanhood, but that doesn't necessarily mean a maiden can't immediately become a crone - it only means those looking after fate (whether it's the Greek/Roman mythology or that of the Vikings or that of other societies) are always a young woman, a middle-aged woman and an old woman - maiden, mother and crone, no matter what they are called. Most mythologies know the virgin goddess (like Athena in Greece or Vesta in Rome). So, even in old societies, not all women were supposed to have children, some had other missions in life.

A woman should not be judged on her biological parts any more than a man - if a man's only mission in life isn't fathering children, then a woman's only mission in life isn't giving birth to them!

Problems with self-confidence

You thought that would be another post about me, didn't you? Dead wrong!

Sometimes I think we Germans have a serious issue about self-confidence. We seem to think we can't do anything on a high level: writing books, producing movies or exporting products. The strange thing is: we actually can. But what we are most unsure about (and criticise most) is our ability to produce good movies or TV shows.

What made me think about this was finally watching another movie produced in Germany (well, by Germans ... like most movies these days it wasn't just done in a studio). I had avoided the movie before for two reasons: first of all it deals with characters I've known from childhood (it's based on a radio play series[although it's not broadcasted by a radio station, you can buy the stories on cassette - and by now probably on CD, too, but that was after my time]) and secondly I only heard bad critics about it.

Admittedly the movie is not like the radio play - but that's to be expected. There's a lot more comedy in it than I remember from those stories (but then, it's been ages since I last listened to them). And the actors play their roles well (even though one of them most of the time doesn't appear on scene in person, as he's playing a ghost that's been done with CG).

After watching the movie, I wondered why the critics had hated it that much ... until I reminded myself of the fact that it was a German movie and they were German critics.

We Germans have a strange idea of culture. We don't respect pop culture, for one thing. We call it 'trivial culture' instead and look down on it. That's probably why we don't produce movies that live up to international standards - well, mostly. We want to produce important cultural movies - and those usually are boring for the greater audience. We can produce good comedy (as some of those movies were even successful abroad), we're good when it comes to TV series about crime-solving (even though I'd personally say the British are better than us...) and we could make good action movies and suchlike, too - if we finally managed to get rid of our definition of "culture" and could embrace the large field of pop culture as our own. Unfortunately that's not going to happen.

Strangely enough we do have a lot of TV shows, books, movies and suchlike that fall under the heading of "pop culture". But we don't appreciate them - at least not openly.

We're one of the few countries that still produces pulp magazines in large quantities (everything from love stories to horror and science fiction). So we really do have writers who are able to write those stories - quite often rather quickly - and seem to have free capacities for other books, too. (Jason Dark [real name Helmut Rellergerd] is writing the most renown and longest-living horror pulp magazine "John Sinclair" all alone, but apart from one novel a week, he's also producing cheap paperback stories at a rate of one a month and has created another series of paperback novels that come out less frequently and deal with the same basic topic, but another character. People my age might remember the "Ghostbusters" starring in two Hollywood comedies. He also thought up that basic story. As I said, he's working a lot, as is his colleague Wolfgang Hohlbein.)

So why does a country in which a lot of people obviously read such magazines on a regular basis (they wouldn't be produced if there wasn't an audience for them) look down on them? Because they're not high culture, of course, which in Germany is considered the only real culture. And that's the reason why we are unable to put up a decent international movie production. We're getting into our own way ... and all the good actors, producers and other movie workers leave us for Hollywood. Admittedly, "Babelsberg" (the largest studio in Germany) is not "20th Century Fox", but that's not necessary. We could still play with the big kids, if we put our minds to it.

I hope that one day we realize how much we miss by dismissing everything that's not high culture as unworthy. It'll be a shame to waste our potential.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Paris without an end

I would never have guessed I would one day write a post about Paris Hilton. It's not that I hate Paris Hilton - I don't care about her at all. But reading about her almost every day (although I only read the online news, usually) has made me want to comment on her.

From the very beginning I've never grasped the 'idol' that was Paris Hilton. She's rich, so what? She's an it-girl, so what? That's nothing other people aren't as well. Apart from being wherever the Paparazzi were, she never did anything important.

She has no talent for music, she can't act (at least not in a movie - see "House of Wax"). She's never done anything that would warrant the interest the public has in her life. But everywhere there's Paris: Paris going to a party, Paris getting arrested, Paris going to jail, Paris leaving jail, Paris going back to jail, Paris finally leaving jail again, Paris' old mobile number earning a young student loads of trouble. You just can't escape her.

I don't think Paris is as vain and empty as most people believe she is. She has been building up quite some fame - and quite some money for herself. You can't do that when you're stupid. So I suspect she acts like this on purpose, but is far more intelligent than she seems.

That doesn't really make it any better. Admittedly, we have a "prototype" of Miss Hilton in Germany, too. Verona Feldbusch (now Verona Pooth) also made a lot of money by making the people think she was stupid, but she never took it as far as Miss Hilton does. But then, she put up her act in Germany, we're less interested in what our celebrities do, on the whole. By now, she's happily married and has a son. She's still working in the public, but she has dropped most of the 'stupid girl'-act by now.

But Paris is different, by the way it looks. I doubt she'll grow out of her current reputation soon. And it's a shame, if you want my view. There's a lot of good things she could do, both with her money (as she'll inherit a lot of money from her parents one day anyway) and with her name. But she doesn't do it. She seems to be too wrapped up in her "naughty, little girl" idea to turn away from it. And thus she's wasting a good opportunity.

And I wish I could spent more than one day without reading something about Paris Hilton. It gets on my nerves!

What I hate about temporal employment agencies - update

I've not been working for the temporal employment agency I wrote about last time for more than two months, but they still get on my nerves. So here's an update.

More than two weeks ago I phoned them and asked them to sent me my documents - as it's a one and a half hours trip by train and not much shorter by car. No response. More than one week ago I sent them a letter, asking for the same thing. Today, two days before I start a new job (as I mentioned in the letter), they sent me a letter pointing out that they never sent those documents via mail and I have to go there to pick them up. How do they expect me to do that, for Christ's sake?

I start working on Monday and they've had my letter since the 29th. They've had ample time to write me or phone me before, while I still had the time to do as they ask. Instead they've written me on Thursday - knowing perfectly well that the earliest possible day I'd get the letter would be Friday, the last day they'd be in their office before I start working. And in Germany, you should calculate two or three days before a letter reaches the person it was sent to. So they had to expect it would either arrive today (as it did) or on Monday (as mail is not delivered on Sundays in Germany).

That really gets me aggressive, more than "Killerspiele", more than "Hartz IV", more than "Size 0" and other stuff I can get quite aggressive about. Because this is about me, not about society or politics or other stuff. It's about me and my life - which isn't that easy anyway and gets even harder because of companies that claim they do it because stuff vanished, but in reality probably just want so save a fucking 1.45 €. If documents really vanished before, the easiest way to be safe would be to sent those the way I sent them the letter. It's a bit more expensive than a normal letter, but then the letter isn't just put in the mailbox, it's delivered personally and the person taking it has to sign a little postcard which the sender gets back. That's about as safe as anything can get.

As I start working on Monday (and can hardly take half a day off in the first week), I'll be forced to sent my father, equipped with a warrant, to pick the stuff up for me. And I still didn't get my days of vacation paid (six days which I earned, but never was able to take). I'll have a very close look at my reference - and if they dare to give me a bad one, I'll go to court because of it. I'm not afraid to do that and I suspect even just calling an attorney in would be sufficient to teach them a lesson.

If you've guessed by now that I'm really pissed off about them, you're absolutely right. I'd love to unleash my dormant inner femdom and personally teach them a lesson - but that would only lead to trouble, so I'll keep her tied up and do it the regular way.

If I ever, in my whole life, for the rest of time our universe will last hear about this agency again, it'll be far too soon.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Here's the solution...

Now here's the solution to the game from Tuesday:

1) True. I got my own library card at age 7 and used it to a great extend until I started studying, afterwards the books in the public library didn't go along well with my taste in books.

2) True. I've still got the books about comic design and stuff, but my drawings have never met my standards. I can draw, but it wouldn't be good enough for a comic book.

3) True. I've been to Paris by bus in my 10th year at school with the whole class, I've been travelling by train and car and even boat, but never by plane. And I haven't been abroad much, anyway.

4) True. My English improved a lot after I started reading English books in 10th grade. But in fifth I was kind of a hopeless case when it came to English.

5) Wrong. Although Mr. Cruise was the teen idol of my generation, I never found much in him (unlike a friend of mine who almost papered her room with his posters). If I would be forced to name any actor I was a fan of then, it would have to be Mr. Leonard Nimoy. But I was never a classic fan-girl.

6) True. It's sad, but my mother lost a child 10 years before I was born. My parents never ever knew what gender the child would have had.

7) True. A man named Max Hoffmann took 'responsibility' for most of my grandmother's children (although in reality not two of them probably have the same father). He never came back from Russia (probably settled down there somewhere instead of coming back and paying for all 'his' children). We have no idea who my father's father really was - and my father doesn't even have real documents about his birth, because his family fled from Eastern Prussia at the end of the war.

Some more interesting things about my family: I was born at the same day as my mother's grandfather, only almost 100 years later. And my cousin's son was born just one day before my birthday, 17 years later than me.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Is the surname the most sacred thing in a relationship?

(Still from the movie "Mona Lisa Smile")

The discussion has been going on ever since emancipation started. Is it anti-feminism when a woman takes her future husband's last name? And what is the point in keeping her own? The two girls above had not to worry about it, but why is it such a topic today?

Looking back into European history (and the 'surname-problem' is mainly something European people - and those with European ancestors - seem to be concerned about), it's not hard to see why men always wanted their wife to take on their name. Of course, it's also a problem for other societies, but there the discussion about it has not arisen yet.

We are a society with patriarchal root - "family" and "ancestry" have always meant the man's family and ancestry. The main problem with this from a practical point of view is that a man can never be 100 percent sure whether or not his children - and heirs - really are his. Up until the relative modern means of in vitro fertilisation, a woman on the other hand could be sure that every child she gave birth to really was hers.

In the past a family with a lot of members was a 'good' family, so it was only logical to include all the women into the men's families. That way they - and their children - automatically enlarged their husbands' families. But unlike in Arabian countries, where a man had to 'buy' his wife (or wives), in Europe the woman's family had to 'pay' the man for marrying her.

When seen with the eyes of 'revenue', the Arabian way is more logical. As the woman and all the children will be a part of the husband's family, it is only right to give something to the wife's family as a compensation. In addition a man has to prove he's got enough money to sustain a family - and to keep up the woman's current lifestyle. The European way is a little less logical - and in addition in a way it's even more insulting to the woman. An Arabian has to pay for getting a woman - and her possible offspring. A European on the other hand gets money for being so gracious as to take care of a woman. In the first case the woman is worth something (sometimes quite a lot), in the second she is worthless (and thus her family has to pay to get rid of her). That's, of course, not what it was originally about, but it's how it could be interpreted.

But back to the topic. Among the first thing the feminists did was claiming that taking a man's last name after a marriage was a patriarchal thing and would not be tolerated any longer. But what can be done against that?
1) Everyone keeps his/her own name. The German state would frown upon this, because it makes it so difficult to see who belongs to whom ('belongs' here does not mean 'being owned by', but rather 'being connected to'). Nevertheless, it would be the most logical way (and the children could take either name, depending on their gender).
2) The man takes the woman's last name. That's not the most logical way, either. That way we could, of course, create a matriarchal society in which only female bloodlines are preserved. The European soul on the whole frowns on that, too, because it's unheard of.
3) Everything stays the way it is. The woman takes the man's last name and we're done with it. But that's unacceptable to a lot of feminists.

At the time the movie from which the picture above was taken is situated, there wasn't any discussion about the whole 'surname-issue'. And most girls went to college not to get a good job, but to find a good, respectable husband (therefore not choosing an area they could make a lot of money with, but rather arts or something else that was defined as 'feminine'). Luckily those times are past. A woman going to college today mostly doesn't go for a "Mrs." before her name, but for a good education that will grant her a better job (although she can get married any time, if she wants to). But the moment she actually decides to get married, the whole discussion starts.

In Japan - not the most advanced country as far as feminism and emancipation are concerned - the 'surname-problem' is solved completely different (and was for a very long time): Not the gender decides on the name, but the influence and position of the family. The member of the family with less influence and a lower position takes on the name of the other partner, no matter whether this partner is male or female.

But, of course, that's not a solution for the Western world. We continue to argue about this - as if it were the most important thing, in a society with that many divorces. I personally can't see the point in it, because a women usually gets her last name from her father - thus it comes from a man, anyway.

We're still not completely equal to men, so it seems a little petty to discuss about such an irrelevant thing as a last name. There's more important things to fight for.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Abysmal Luck

... and other stuff about me.

As I wrote yesterday, I have a few days of vacation left before I start my new job. But I can't enjoy them the way I normally would. Above me they're obviously seriously changing the flat - and they start doing that by starting up the drill at 8 a.m. (and I'm a lazy night-owl who likes to sleep in and won't be able to do that during the week for quite some time now). They couldn't start doing that next week when I need to be up and about at 8 a.m.? No, the obviously couldn't.

My course on web-mastering on the other hand works out fine - I get extremely good marks and I get on quickly enough, too. Afterwards I will start learning about Flash-programming. That ought to be fun, too.

Oh, and the large staples of books and DVDs in front of my printer have shrunken ... I finally put most of the stuff away today - hooray!

The solution to my little meme from yesterday will be posted on Friday, just in case one of you is interested.

The Money Principle

... and its problems today.

I've stumbled over this topic by watching TV ... again. I was surprised at the many things the people in a discussion had to say about money.

To me money is a means to an end. I live in a world in which not everyone can produce everything necessary alone. Therefore I need to buy products and services. And I sell a service myself as an employee - my work. (Technically speaking a person's work could also be seen as a product, but for me a product is something you can touch ... and I can't 'touch' work, but I can give it to my employer by working for the company.) Money simply is there to control the exchange of services and products.

But I know there's many people in this world who see it differently. They see money as something important in itself. They don't want to make money in order to live off it, but simply so they have it. I can't really see the point in it. What can you do with money you just own? Take a daily bath in it like Scrooge McDuck? Not today, while the super-rich keep their money on their bank accounts. It's not even 'real' money, it's just 'virtual' money, an admittedly large sum on a piece of paper or a screen (depending on your favourite way of checking your account).

I personally would like to make a huge sum of money (for example by selling a book), but I would like to make it so I can live off it for the rest of my life, without having to worry about employment, without having to rise early (as I like sleeping in and working late into the night on my stories or other stuff). I would just like to have enough money to live modestly, in a small flat or apartment of my own, with enough money to take a trip abroad every once in a while. That's my idea of being rich, actually. Having enough money to live my own way without having to worry about the future.

But that's not how a lot of other people see it. Making money is supreme to them. It doesn't matter how many lives might be ruined by closing down a factory or "downsize" a workforce (yes, we have that word - or at least a variety of this - in Germany as well, just as the thing it stands for). If it were not illegal, they'd even sell drugs (and who knows, maybe some of them do it...) or commit other crimes, just as long as it means making more money.

But what's the point in this? Well, I wanted to show the position money has in our lives today. There's a lot of people who don't like this at all (I don't understand the way the money-makers worship their bank account, but I see the point in money) and point out the dark sides of it. (And everything, including religion, has a dark side, believe me. If you can't see it, it's not because it isn't there, it's because it's well hidden.) There's the whole "downsizing"-issue, of course. Then there's the people who are addicted to shopping (one of the first addictions science has agreed on that doesn't feature a substance, unlike addiction to alcohol or tobacco or the drug of your choice).

Some just try to make people choose better what to do with their money, others claim that mankind should shun money on the whole. But while the first suggestion has its merits, the second one won't work. And this is why:

The first societies probably didn't have anything like money, that's right. They traded services and products for services and products. The problem with that is that sooner or later you reach a point when the whole exchange-business doesn't really work any longer. The bigger the group gets, the more products and services are needed. Then, at some point, people realize that trading one for the other gets problematic. That's the point when they find something they can use as an ultimate product to trade - and in a way that's where 'money' starts.

Not all great societies had money the way we understand it (bits of metal and later on pieces of paper). But all of them know some kind of currency, some kind of ultimate product which to trade in for services and other products.

The Aztecs, just as an example, didn't have pieces of metal and paper, but they had cocoa-beans and cotton blankets. The beans were used for smaller stuff and the blankets for houses and suchlike. Of course, those were more practical than coins and banknotes. You could brew a nice cup of hot chocolate from your small change and sleep under the money you'd gotten for your house. But the principle is the same.

You could, actually, use feathers of various birds as currency, provided someone thinks they're valuable. And in a society which doesn't see copper, silver and gold as valuable, our currency would be utterly worthless.

Of course, money hasn't always played the important role it plays today. In medieval times, for example, most people had next to no money and 'paid' in products a lot, just as the first societies had. But money was around, the poor just didn't get much of it. In Christian societies money was considered 'dirty' and 'evil', but it was seen as a necessity (otherwise, how would you explain to the people on your land that the church wants one tenth of their harvest?).

In medieval times, Christians weren't allowed to lend money for a percentage, that was left to the Jews (and one reason for their bad standing in society). The only Christians who were allowed to lend money for percentage were the Templars, actually, the first 'bankers' of Europe. They invented the first 'traveller's cheque' and most royals of Europe were in their debt (which probably was the reason for their fall ... sometimes people consider it easier to kill off all their debtors instead of paying them).

Right up to the industrial revolution, money wasn't all that important. The rich people had it, but didn't think much of it, the poor people didn't have much of it, but didn't mind, because they were waiting for their afterlife anyway. The industrial revolution brought forward what we call "capitalism" and that might be the reason why so many people are desperate to get money and don't think there's such a thing as "too much money" around. "Capitalism" is nothing else than making money for money's sake. So maybe Marx wasn't completely wrong, only his solution obviously (look at China and the former Soviet Union) doesn't work.

But what choices do we have? We can't stop using money, not until we're all going to 'fall back' into the times of our ancestors (and I mean those who hunted mammoths somewhere in the showy plains of Europe...). We can't really stop people from worshipping money either (as they won't listen to religion today the way they did before the industrial revolution). We can stop "downsizing" and other effects of capitalism - or rather we could, provided the governments were ready to work against those giving them money (i.e. the companies) for once. We have declared selling drugs illegal, just as stealing, murdering or injuring. We could declare "downsizing" illegal, too.

But most of the changes can't be forced by a government, they have to come from inside - or rather insight (beware, I'm starting to work with puns - bad things will happen, the Apocalypse can't be far away). I think we'll overcome that one day, once we've 'matured' enough as a species.

When? No idea. But don't bet on living to see it...

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

I accept the challenge

Okay, it's been a while since I've done the last 'game' while blogging (that has been sometimes around Christmas during my "No bitching between Christmas and New Year"-resolution). So I decided to do this one which I found at "E is for...".

Seven facts about me - one is wrong. Just hazard a guess:

1) I had my first own library card at the age of 7.

2) I've tried to learn how to draw comics during my teens, but never was satisfied with my abilities and went for writing instead.

3) I've never been riding an airplane in my life (up until now).

4) I was extremely bad in English when lessons started in fifth grade.

5) I was a Tom Cruise fan when I was a teenager.

6) I should have had an older sibling, but the child was stillborn. It would have been 10 years older than me.

7) My father has no idea who his real father is - but it isn't the man whose last name he and I bear.

I'll post the solution on Friday.

Wondering about TV

Okay, I admit it, I'm currently probably watching too much TV. But as I start working in a new job next week, I feel I'm entitled to enjoy the little vacation beforehand. After all, being unemployed isn't the same as being on vacation. But what I've been watching shows me that TV seems to get worse and worse.

I don't mean the TV series, they aren't that good, but they aren't that worse either, just mediocre. Admittedly, we're getting too many daily soaps (considering that 20 years or so ago the first weekly soap was aired and every critic predicted a quick end ... it's still running), but that's an international trend, I think. At least we get German daily soaps now, not just the imported stuff from the United States or Latin America (which, I know, aren't daily soaps as a such, but "tele novelas" that only run for a certain number of episodes - they can still seem endless in the middle). That doesn't necessarily make the new stuff better (I'm not a fan of daily soaps myself, anyway), but at least it's a little bit closer to German reality this way. Not that the stories or characters seem very realistic to me...

What I mean when I'm talking about TV-programs getting so bad, I mainly mean the reality TV and the talk shows.

Talk shows have been digressing for years. The great hype was at least 15 years ago and the 'good' (or at least interesting) topics have been dealt with by now. These days it's just who slept with whom, who has fathered that child and so on. If you can predict the outcome of a show after two minutes, then what's the point in watching?

In addition, the number of reality formats has increased considerably. There are some which aren't 'real' reality, like all the 'court shows' that have bloomed over the last couple of years (and are getting fewer and fewer by now). Then there are formats with 'real people' - shows about family upbringing, about three or four people fighting to get one job (of course that makes people fear about not getting a job much more then) and so on. The only good thing all those formats have brought is the genre of TV shows about those formats.

One of the worst has inspired me to do this post: "Frauentausch". The show basically is about two women changing their families (something I find quite dubious anyway) for a certain number of days (ten, it seems - I've only seen a couple of them, mostly during my times of unemployment, because they have reruns in the morning). Apart from the fact that a lot of the matches don't 'match' at all (sending a woman from a large city to a family living on a farm and vice versa, for example), the whole idea of a woman - quite often with young children - just going away and a new woman coming into the family, is quite strange.

I don't really see the point in it, too. Families are different, that's a simple fact of life. Every family works differently, too. Of course, there's quite a difference between a woman with one child living in four rooms somewhere in Berlin, for example, and a woman taking care of her own business and three children in a small town somewhere in Bavaria. It would be strange if their lives and days were alike.

And of course there's a lot of 'drama' happening in the show. Women are missing their children, children are missing their mothers, husbands are missing their wives (or at least they're missing their partners, the couples don't necessarily have to be married) and the other way around. This, too, is one reason why I find this format stupid.

Then there are at least two formats about professional cleaners going into peoples homes to teach them how to clean everything right. Apart from the fact that most working people can not spent hours cleaning their homes, the whole idea of exposing the 'dirty secrets' (in this case in the real meaning of the word) to the audience isn't my cup of tea either.

My rooms certainly aren't that clean either, they'd probably find a lot to clean there as well. But first of all I'm not a great believer in disinfecting everything (and the fact that I'm rarely getting some sort of infection and don't have any allergies I know of, apart from a slight one to sunlight, seems to prove I'm right), and in addition I happen to like my flat the way it is. There might be some dust on the TV set and other surfaces, but I don't see the point - or want to take the time - to do a complete cleaning every week. Once a month is enough for the dusting - of course, I hoover my rooms once a week and clean my toilet even more often. Everyone has a different view on what's important. On my list dusting is at the bottom together with cleaning my windows (and ironing, but luckily I have few things to iron).

There are other formats I find a bit dubious, even though they have more useful information (like one about families in debt). But then, a lot of those formats probably work that well because people don't see certain things as normal. My mother taught me how to cook and how to iron (and do all the other things of my household) - I can even sew and knit (though I'm not doing it regularly). A lot of the young women these days don't get that kind of education. In addition, my mother also taught me how to do all those small repair jobs around the house, too. She really believed in teaching her daughter how to take care of a home herself - without a man around. But she couldn't get me to do a regular dusting as often as she does it...

I really wonder why TV stations spent so much money on making those shows instead of doing some good TV movies themselves - or at least buy some good TV movies and shows somewhere else.