Wednesday, June 25, 2008

lookit, a book review.

Shere Hite - Oedipus Revisited: Sexual Behaviour in the Human Male Today

I think the first - and possibly most important thing - is that this book is basically a much shorter, slightly discursive summary of The Hite Report on Male Sexuality (Hite does these batshit huge "reports" on sexuality, building on and refuting parts of Kinsey's work, and as such is quite the Name). So... it can feel a little skim-y, like there are huge chunks missing even though it's a decent-sized book (although if the female sexuality version is anything to go by, the actual Report is a fucking tome, and not the fun kind). It is, however, readable enough; it's a bit disappointing in parts. Excuse me while I go academic, but it falls into the trap of being heteronormative and perhaps a little masculinist - Hite doesn't delve into gay sexuality or kink, nor does she consider reflections of race or class on sexuality, so her portrait can appear a little two-dimensional and limited (which leads to a criticism of generalities, although I'll kick myself in the foot by acknowledging that you have to generalise a little, and it's easy to generalise too much when you've only got so much space to deal with).

Oedipus Revisited is an interesting book, that deserves a bit of time - thankfully it's written in such a way that it is easy enough to pick up and put down, giving the reader time to reflect. I don't think it aims to be definitive; it presents a simplified version of the findings and then extrapolates a few theories. Hite's approach to the intertwining "normal" male sexuality (the myth she's spent the first 250-odd pages systematically trashing) and politics is compelling although not a particularly new one; politics is power, power is identity, and identity is sexuality, gender, race and class, to simplify things. It can appear a little jarring, the first time you're confronted with the idea, but Hite takes a little time to explore the idea (although I think she assumes her readers are familiar with the idea to begin with)

Hite is clearly more familiar with female sexuality (The Hite Report on Female Sexuality was first published in the mid-70s), and a lot of Oedipus Revisited is concerned with male reactions to female sexuality, which is mildly irritating, although equally interesting; I'd have liked more on the societal junctions and less on the clitoris, but at the same time the presentation of the myth vs reality is illuminating. My biggest criticism is that Hite assumes her readers are familiar, not just with her earlier work, but with the basics of gender theory, but Oedipus Revisited is still an interesting and informative read - if you want to take the time to digest it.

And now, back to the hook.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

awsum smoothieness

Apparently I'm going through a food-fixation. Fuck you, crochet. Hello tasty snacks. I blame G and his passive-aggressive cupcakes yesterday - I now want to make food and feed people. I started with a casserole, which is simmering gently on the stove - it's middle-eastern influenced (with added sausagey goodness) and I intend to eat it with couscous later.

But my inspiration, my drive, was to make my own breakfast smoothie, a la marks and sparks. It fucking well worked too. Here goes:
  • punnet of rasperries
  • handful of blueberries (or more, if you want)
  • pint of yogurt. I used this organic vanilla-flavoured nonsense, but according to the daily fail all women are snobs, so I'm only doing what my nature forces me to do
  • bit of milk, to make it runny
  • handful of oats

Shove the whole lot in a blender, whizz until the noise ceases to be entertaining and grates instead. Consume with relish.

Then blog about it.

Monday, June 16, 2008

further to that...

My uni appear to be actually helpful. I have an appointment tomorrow, only an initial one, but as I sent the email just after writing that post there... oooh, positivity. Proactiveness. Other good things beginning with "P".

G and I are making passive-aggressive cupcakes for his work later. yay.

all hail the nhs

So, last week, in my continued search to not go fucking mental, I went to the doctor to ask if he'd be so kind as to give me more prozac (and also make it easier for me to get said prozac, as getting an appointment is more or less impossible). He gives me a four-week supply and a single repeat prescription. Now, considering I was previously getting six months at a time... is he not being a little, well, irritating? I did explain that getting an appointment was difficult and monthly prescriptions were expensive (several times) but he's selectively deaf. Actually, I think he's just deaf.

I also asked if he could refer me to see a shrink on the nhs, as I'm too broke to pay for one myself. He asked if I'd seen a therapist before; yes, but my last uni only provided short-term therapy, I was recommended something long-term but couldn't afford it. Hence me asking again... and he looked at me like I'd grown another head. He demanded to know why I wasn't in therapy already (I thought "I've not been able to afford it" answered that) and variations on the same question several times.

Persistence paid off. I got a letter from the therapist at the local large clinic. Apparently, I can have an appointment between 10 and 1 on a Wednesday. If I ask nicely and promise to not be too much trouble (and, obviously, if my job doesn't mind me taking two hours off in the middle of the day to go sit in a room and be told "you have issues").

Can anyone else say: *head/desk*

Saturday, June 07, 2008

So, I locked myself out today. Fuckin' geniarse that I am. My Brother the Boy Wonder had the spare key, but would he hand it over? Would he fuck. He's in a rehersal - fair enough. Can I come over about six? (I'm due to meet Caz and Pav in town). He might not be in. When will he be in? He doesn't know. I'm locked out, you little toad!

Dad to the rescue. He was near Boy Wonder anyway, so he picked up the key and drove it up to me. Yay Dad, you have your uses. And I still got to have a very nice natter with Caz and Pav, at the ever-wonderful CCK and now I'm home, inside, and Indigo is still asleep.

Monique is going back to Holland on Tuesday (boo) so on Wednesday we had a pre-rowing lunch in Neal's Yard, a wander about, and hit the docks about four - it was still perfect weather and glass-like water. We took photos of the boys afterwards:

Then yesterday Rory and I went shopping for G's birthday presents at Forbidden Planet (after teaching, natch) and I ended up in CCK... and bought books. I'm going to try and write reviews for their forum, and Alan very kindly gave me his wife's email address, as I'm going to ask about doing my dissertation on Spaces of Kink. Naturally.

Currently on the hook:
the skully scarf/shawl, and the second stripey sock. I'm off to watch atlantis and drink soup, because G has gone to see the Foo Fighters, and will bring me back Dave Grohl as a souvenir.