Thursday, September 24, 2009

Facebook and online sharing

I clicked on this article on msn the other day titled: “Why you should snoop on your spouse online.” It caught my attention for several reasons. The first is that the radio show I listen to during my morning commute talked about it the previous day. They posed the question of what you would do if your partner asked if they could read your email—just so they felt assured. There were mixed responses. Those against it cited the issue of trust and those for it or who didn’t care said they had nothing to hide.

The guy who wrote the article above, a sex therapist and relationship counselor makes some interesting arguments against the notion of internet privacy in a relationship. He says that the internet is a new technology which has brought a different dimension to relationships, and a greater threat of infidelity (especially the emotional kind) and the rules of conduct have not really been established. He says that sometimes snooping is the right thing to do; and while he agrees that privacy should be respected, there must also be an “open-book-nothing-to-hide” policy.

It is probably a little different for couples who are just dating, but I know a lot of married couples who are totally open about that kind of thing: they know the other’s passwords, they answer the other’s cell phone, and maybe even share a Facebook page. My husband and I are pretty open (though I don’t want him to read my blog—teehee). I know his passwords and he knows mine; he rarely gets on my email account (I think), only if I tell him to read something specific. I get on his once in a while (not as much as he seems to think), usually to check what time he plays soccer on Sunday or to read something he said was funny. We leave our phones lying around. I have access to his bank account (because I pay bills), he complains that he doesn’t have access to mine—he knows where I keep all that info and he doesn’t pay bills, but if he wants to get on—go for it.

I kind of like the “nothing-to-hide” camp, I would be a little wary of a husband who wanted to keep everything secret, who locked his phone or computer or who was adamant about not sharing his password… but at the same time I might bristle a little if I thought he were rummaging through my emails or phone contacts in a suspicious way, but if he is, I have no idea and there is nothing interesting anyway.

Of course this is the same relationship therapist who days earlier suggested “unfriending” your spouse on Facebook because it brings a degree of banality to the relationship and detracts from the sense of mystery (for which he was brutally barraged with nasty emails and that is why he felt compelled to further explain his views on online dangers).

The other reason the article caught my attention is that it reminds me of the history of me and the hubs on the infamous Facebook…

Though I am not on Twitter, I AM (hemming and hawing) on the infamous Facebook. And no I am not 13, ok! I had little clue and even less interest in social networking sites until fairly recently. My hubs, caved to pressure from his native country of Chile, where apparently, Facebook is all the rage. All of his friends and family from Chile were telling him he absolutely had to get a Facebook page… and so he did.

This is mostly funny, because if you knew my hubs at all, you would know that he rarely can be bothered to return an email. His family usually emails me or at least copies to me so that they know someone will read their precious words and get back to them. My husband is a very flaky correspondent—that’s just how he is—you have to accept it and love him anyway. So, I asked to check out his page, to see what the fuss was all about. He obliged. I suggested he upload a picture for his profile. He said: “Oh, can you do that for me?” Then I said he should upload some pics of the kids and he said "Oh, can you do that for me?" I told him he had to accept so-and-so’s friend invitation… and he said… you guessed it: “Oh, can you do that for me?”

So I mocked him mercilessly for days about being on Facebook (because he is not 13 either and because it was just one more way for him…. To NOT keep in touch with people). I mocked him while I happily updated his profile, accepted invitations, and invited his friends and family to share the online love. It was like our shared Facebook page and it was beautiful.

And then he got an invitation to friendship from an old girlfriend from high school. This mostly didn’t bother me except once back in Santiago he had been catching up with her on the phone, while I waited at his house (for over an hour!), and he shared a little too much with her (I thought) about his feelings about our (mine and his) relationship—which crossed some little line in my mind and really bothered me…and I ended up leaving in an (outraged) huff (am I coming off as too dramatic?)

So the Facebook friendship didn’t really bug me until he got a Facebook message from her basically telling him that she never stopped loving him blah blah yadda yadda. Ok, that bugged me and I told him that it bugged me. I mean, what the crap, man??? That is the kind of stuff that you keep to yourself because you are married and the guy you are still pining after and secretly hoping for some sign of reciprocation is married and it’s INAPPROPRIATE… but maybe it’s just me.

So the hubs says: … “What are you doing on my Facebook anyway?”

(Ok, Ok, so maybe I shouldn’t have read a personal message…)

So I said very apologetically: “You know what? Keep your stupid Facebook page, I am going to get my own, and I am going to upload tons of cute pics and who is going to keep your page up? And I am NOT going to invite you to be my friend.” (because I am really petty like that! Haha).

And that is how I ended up on Facebook! (and I did eventually let him be my friend)… (and I invited a sort of ex to be my friend just to chap his hidebecause I am petty like that—sorry, I hope I haven’t let you down).

Isn’t that a heart-warming story?

Ok, so now that you know how fun it is to be married to me, where do you stand?: open-book or ok with online secrecy? Somewhere in the middle with limits and boundaries?

Facebook friends with the significant other or not? (honestly, I think it depends on how “banal” your Facebook page is, but that is another post because this one is already soooooo loooong).

Monday, September 21, 2009

As soon as I finish choking...

I will share the wisdom I have amassed in my

35!!! years of life

Do you ever feel too old to be where you are (wherever that is; whatever that means)

...and simultaneously...

...feel too young to have gone through all you have gone through and done all that you have done?

hmmmm... too deep for a Monday.

So pick your poison: chocolate, wine, Dairy Queen fries dipped in ranch... and celebrate a little in my honor.

As a bonus, if you come over I will give you a cupcake!*

*Note: I can safely offer to share my cupcakes only because I am pretty sure none of you lives close enough to take me up on it!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Words you love to hate

So I heard, on "Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me" the other day that the most hated word in the English language is...


... really, moist?

Sagal, the host, said it was because of how it sounded...

... really, moist?

That word doesn't bother me at all, sometimes it is a very useful word.

I thought the researchers were crazy, but then I read this post. At the end, the blogger clearly expresses a dislike for the word moist.

The only word in the English language that I really don't like (that I can think of) is the "c" word. I HATE THAT WORD in any context used by anyone.

But I can't think of a word that I dislike just because the sound of it.

What words are like fingernails on the chalkboard to you?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Fall... Slowly

(One of my favorite Fall pics from the pumpkin patch last October)

There were a few years, back when I was young and fanciful and hopping hemispheres that I skipped Fall for a few years:

Summer --left for Ecuador where it is always summer-ish

Came back for Christmas--stayed in Oregon for winter, spring, part of summer and then left for Chile.

Arrived in Chile for winter, spring, summer, went back to the U.S.

Visited the U.S. briefly for spring, spent much of the summer in Europe and flew back to Chile... where it was winter, spring, summer... and finally a FALL!

I have been thinking about Fall, lately. It is perhaps my favorite season. I like Spring, but Spring is more hustle and bustle. Spring is action and energy whereas Fall is...not. Fall is something else: slow and relaxed, a period of winding down and making yourself comfortable for Winter.

Here, in Texas, it is hard to say that we get a proper Fall, which is somewhat unfortunate. I would be happier living somewhere with a true Fall--but that will come later. We don't start getting clean, crisp mornings in September, our trees take a long time to finally lose their leaves and without much of a show. But we have glimpses. It is finally below 100 degrees... consistently. This week, temps have not risen much above 83 or so. The days are marked by big heavy dark billowing clouds, cooler breezes and big heavy rains. It is not the rain of summer, it is the rain of fall and that makes me happy (though it was still warm enough for the kids to go puddle-jumping.)

I don't know if we experience seasons on a psychological plane or if there is a biological component, but it is like my body can feel it is time for Fall, even if the temperatures outside won't necessarily cooperate... I won't be able to break out the sweaters for a few months (until about November.) But I still want to eat soups and stews and make homemade bread.

I found a recipe on a blog for a French version of mulled wine , which I am now dying for and will make as soon as we have an evening where it drops below 70. (It looks a little like the "recipe" for Vino navegado in Chile-yum).

I am also wanting to try a recipe I found in a magazine for pumpkin flan--doesn't that sound Fall-esque? (no link sorry, but if anyone wants the recipe I can send it)

Monday, September 7, 2009

Mr. Fix-it

What is it about a man who is smart and sensitive, but can also fix things, that is so darn sexy?

Our water main sprung a leak last week. So hubs got some supplies at Home Depot, broke out his tools and shovel and got to work. He even gently moved the family of toads that lives there to a shovel-safe spot. How sweet is that?

As I was snapping a few pics he asks:

He: Are you taking pictures just to make fun of me?

Me: Yes, knowing how to fix the water main is so mock-worthy… you LOSER!

He: Are you just taking pictures so you know how to fix a leak after I die?

Me: Nah, I’ll just call someone…

Sheesh, where is the trust around here?

Also sweet this week…

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The very long post where I talk about many things and then decide who will narrate my life story...

It has been a rough week-and-a-half in some respects. Getting back into a rhythm is always hard, especially when it involves getting up at 5:30 in the morning--it is hard to make that rhythmic. But I teach at 8:00 and there was nothing I could do about it.

I guess the good thing is that I am up and at the U early and end up with a lot of time to work on finishing my dissertation.

The tots lasted exactly 4 days in their care-center before catching the first of many colds--nothing serious, just runny noses, but still, 4 days! My husband caught it too. If we all come down with the swine flu I just may go crazy.

I applied for graduation and managed to achieve the hardest part of finishing the process: scheduling my dissertation defense (where I presumably face my 5 committee members to negotiate just how much more work I need to do to get their necessary signatures). This feat of enormous magnitude involves choosing a day and time when at least 4 of your 5 members can physically be in a room together. The day we could all agree to work into the schedule was Friday, November 13th. That's right! Friday the 13th. Thankfully, I am not superstitious, but even if I were, in Spanish cultures it is Tuesday the 13th that is unlucky, so I'll just go with that.

I have spent much of the rest of my time in front of SPSS on the computer, up to my eyeballs in numbers: the statistical data from the study I conducted. I am happy to report that I was able to run all of the tests myself: ANOVAs, MANOVAs, Chronbachs alpha, Pearson's product-moment correlation coefficient.

The funny thing about all of this quantitative data analysis is that I think I am really more of a qualitative gal. I had actually planned on conducting focus groups or interviews as well. Then it hit me: between organizing, conducting, transcribing coding, content analysis, etc.... that I would NEVER finish. Besides, I have tons of data with just the quantitative and it really is easier to analyze in some ways (but you miss out on a lot too).

OK, now I have lulled any readers off to sleep... CLAP CLAP!

Well, wake up because I have something to tell you. To lighten up moments of my day (when I am not in front of the computer and sneaking looks at blogs I read) I have been listening to podcasts on my 15-minute walk from the parking lot to my office. Really, the only one I listen to is "Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me" from NPR (National Public Radio). It is not the program most people are referring to when they snootily "station-drop" that they were listening to NPR and heard something ever-so-informative-- so don't be frightened (I am kidding).

So "Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me" is a news quiz show where they take funny stories, quotes and such from the news and turn it into a hilarious radio game-show. Listeners call in and play and there is a lot of funny chit-chat. It has a slightly liberal bent (which is fine by me, if you were wondering), but I love that they make fun of everybody. There is something about the way the host, Peter Sagal, delivers the lines that makes me burst out laughing (as I saunter down the street). It is exactly my kind of humor. I have also listened to it while running, but the laughing interferes with my panting (just kidding--the breathing is under control)

There are also some other very funny people on the show, who make a "panel" of sorts, Paula Poundstone is one of my personal fav's. If you have never heard it, click on the link when you have an hour or download a podcast and listen to a show--you will not be sorry!

I saw a question on someone's blog a while back (maybe Pioneer Woman?) asking who you would want to narrate your life. I can say, without a doubt, that it would be Peter Sagal.