Saturday, January 15, 2011

A Very Odd Stance Indeed

Looking around a bit on the Web, I see that I am not the only person bothered by the weird current tendency to have women stand pigeon-toed (with their toes turned in toward each other) in ads. In my opinion, it makes the women look not "cute," but submissive and silly, even rather stupid, and most certainly child-like.

The most recent such depiction I saw was an ad from the Colorado Symphony for a performance by a group called The Airborne Toxic Event. There are five members of the group, one woman and four men. The woman is posed wearing tight black pants and what appear to be black high heels. But she is spoiling any attempt at looking sexy by standing with her toes turned in toward each other. What is even odder is that she is holding a pale green umbrella open over her head. Huh? What the heck is she shielding herself from?

The men, by contrast, are standing in much more self-confident poses. Their feet are
1) rather wide apart (a bit too self-consciously macho for my taste),
2) one leg crossed over the other (maybe a little unstable looking),
3) toes straight ahead, feet a moderate distance apart (okay), and
4) feet a bit closer together, toes turned out (okay).

So what gives with the woman's pose? I actually dislike this silly, degrading look so much that this ad prejudices me against the group as a whole, even though I have never heard of them before.

So good grief, ladies! Straighten out those feet and legs. Stand tall and strong. Look like a woman, not a wimp.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A phrase that really bugs me

This is something of a rant -- my first, but surely not my last -- on this blog.

Tonight on the news I heard the phrase "people who serve their country," and I realized that it annoys me greatly that those words virtually always refer to people who are in the military. But why? To me, that exclusive association is nonsensical.

To my mind, all those who are doing work of any kind well are serving their country, helping to make it better, helping to make the lives of those around them better.

I'm a language tutor, a translator, a writer, an editor, and a weight training instructor. My husband is a tech writer, a programmer, and a writer of both fiction and nonfiction. As an aerospace engineer, he helped put men on the moon in the 1960s and the Viking lander on Mars in the 1970s. Our son was in the Air Force as a medic, and he served well and honorably. But now he is studying for a PhD in Bioinformatics, aiming toward a career in biological research.

To my mind, we have all helped and are helping many people around us. We are good, hardworking, productive citizens. The taxes we pay help sustain the city of Denver, the state of Colorado, and the country. So how are we not serving our country?

My opinion: If we want to talk about people "serving their country" and we are referring to those in the military, then we should say so. "He is serving his country as a member of the Army." "She is serving her country as a member of the Air Force." Etc. But let's not fail to recognize the valuable contribution to the good of this nation that is made by any law-abiding, hardworking citizen. We are all in this together.

New information about our books

It's been a long time since I looked at my own blog, and now I see that there is some information that needs updating.

1) My new, separate website:
David is retaining the old one:

2) My new email address:

3) All of our many e-books on Smashwords, Amazon, etc. (my two books and David's many more) are now just $2.99 each. David and I have become enthusiastic proponents of the e-book revolution. Here is the link to David's blog post called "The Liberated Writer":

4) I have a 4,000-word essay in a new, FREE e-book edited by Beverly Vote, editor of Breast Cancer Wellness magazine. The book is How We Became Breast Cancer Thrivers. It's a collection of 44 essays by breast cancer survivors, women (and one man) who now see the breast cancer experience as a net good.
Here's the link to the book:

5) We have set the same low price for the three fabulous children's books by our friend Brian K. Nash. We have a page for him on our website:
We are in the process of publishing the same three books in print format via CafePress.
I edited the texts and David designed the covers.

6) Over the past couple of years, I've been doing a lot of editing for other authors. So far, I've edited six books for others and have two more books in the pipeline. David and I are so much enjoying publishing our own e-books and Brian's that we are now making ourselves available to help other authors self-publish their books in e-book format.
Details are at: