A Rose by Any Other Name Might Smell the Same, but It’d be Really Hard to Find in a Phone Book January 16, 2010

Filed under: For the Ladies — Temple @ 6:42 pm

I’ve been getting a lot of mail lately that isn’t for me. I mean, it IS for me, but it’s addressed to the wrong person.

See, I got married a couple of years ago, and I didn’t change my name.

It wasn’t some momentous decision — hell, it wasn’t even a decision, really.

To be perfectly honest, it didn’t even occur to me until the following December. For 6 months I’d been going on as I always had been: using my regular old always-had-it-always-will name in emails and letters, bylines in articles, on my out-going voicemail — everywhere. So it was kind of jarring when we started getting holiday cards addressed to Mr and Mrs His-Name.

I know that no one meant any harm with it — though it’s funny to imagine someone sitting at their desk, licking an envelope and smiling menacingly…”‘NOW I’ll show her!” — but I still thought it was deliciously ironic that people who were so careful in their selection of holiday greetings that didn’t indicate a religious preference, were printed on recycled paper, and purchased from companies that donate a portion of their proceeds to needy children … made the common but blithe assumption that a married woman in the late 2000s will automatically take her husband’s name.

It’s always interesting to me when I stumble across these little contradictions that show we haven’t come as long a way, baby, as we think we have.

I want to be clear here that I’m not condemning someone who does change her name. If that’s what you want to do, then more power to you. I just want it to be a choice, not a cultural automation. Change your name, hyphenate your name, combine them both into something brand new — knock yourself out if that’s what you want to do. Just make sure it’s something that works for you.

When the husband and I are out, we occasionally get asked about the name thing and are culturally compelled to explain ourselves. He likes to say that I had too much invested in my “brand” to change my name. Which, while it’s flattering to think I might have a “brand,” isn’t really true. Because that would then imply that the only reason NOT to change your name is because of your profession.

And the truth is, I just didn’t want to.

I even really like his name. It’s strong, has good consonants, and would totally work.

But it’s not my name.

And for me, this whole thing fails a feminist litmus test when you swap it around and ask if the husband would take the wife’s name.

Until we reach a place where we can ask that question without sounding insane or laughable, then we still have a long way to go.

And until then, it’s not my married name or my maiden name or anything else that defines me by who I’m partnered to.

It’s simply my name. And it’s how you’ll be able to find me for the foreseeable future.


All the reviews since the last time I posted links to my reviews September 14, 2008

Filed under: Reviews — Temple @ 9:01 am

Even though I haven’t been posting all summer, I have been seeing shows and writing about them for our favorite tarty little paper, the Portland Mercury. Unfortunately, there’s more crap than quality out there…and since I actually like theater quite a bit, I don’t love having to write negative reviews. But I just can’t bring myself to suck it like the O or WWeek and tell you, loyal readers, that something mediocre is something great. Insert lipstick on a pig reference here. Or, a slightly clunkier takeoff on that: you can dress a creationist in a naughty librarian costume, but she’s still someone who’ll burn your science textbooks.

From T:BA:08, my favorite of the festival, Lemon Andersen’s Beautiful Struggle
From T:BA:08, Linda Wysong’s Backyard Conversations

From T:BA:08, Daniel Beaty’s Resurrection

Blackbird at Artists Rep

Pylon at Portland Ensemble Theater Company

Third Eye’s craptastic Cannibal! The Musical

NWCTC’s decent Troilus & Cressida

Profile’s mediocre House of Blue Leaves

Speaking of things that are over, the 24-hour Plays at CoHo

The usually rockin Do Jump!’s okay Entusiasmo

CoHo and Cygnet’s kickass 9 Parts of Desire

defunkt’s The Garden Party

Miracle Theater Group’s Oya: Call the Storm

The remarkably awful Scotland Road by Jeffrey Hatcher

Dreamgirls. Enh.

A book review! X Saves the World


Social Networking Sites are SO 2006.

Filed under: facebook — Temple @ 7:45 am

So I know it’s been about 79 years since I last posted…but I thought it fair to re-enter the virtual party with a little PSA. In case any of you were wondering, Facebook is officially over.

I just joined and am having fun wasting craploads of time looking at pictures of people I haven’t seen in 10+ years and their children. I’d stubbornly refused to attend the party for no reason other than that I’d spent a lot of time on Friendster, ok, and I wasn’t thrilled about having to set up another profile especially since MySpace just makes my brain bleed a little every time I land there and I really don’t have the time or platelet count for that kind of hemorraghing, ok?

But Facebook appears to be designed specifically for us aging xers who couldn’t live without our computers but whose brains were actually formed more by words on a page than moving pictures on a flatscreen.

But yeah. Since I’m here now, I’m pretty sure it’s over. Sorry about that, guys. But hey. It’s election season, so at least we can channel our time and energy into that, right?


The Vegetable Killer May 11, 2008

Filed under: garden — Temple @ 7:40 am

It looks like spring is finally here, only a couple of months late. I’m desperately hoping that the reports of 80-degree highs coming later in the week aren’t an indicator that we’re going to launch directly into summer. But, you know, the thing to keep in mind is that at least we haven’t completely screwed up our planet’s weather patterns.

With the new house and yard, I’ve decided to try to plant some things this year. Not like some crazy flower garden — I need a little more direct result than that. What I really want is to be able to grow my own food. Coming from the standard pre-packaged Chef Boyardee childhood, I find the idea that you can go into your backyard and pick out food to eat for dinner so completely bewitching.

Unfortunately, even here in the glorious Northwest where roses grow like weeds, a brown thumb is still a brown thumb. I’ve been nurturing and nursing little plants into life, some from seeds and some from starts, watering and tending … but the graveyard-slash-compost pile grows ever larger. If I didn’t bury the seeds too deeply, it was too shallow. Water too much, water enough? Oh and of course there’s remembering to bring them inside before the overnight, late-season frost. You know, little things like that.

Between trying to keep plants alive and remembering to feed the cats, I think my life-tending skills are stretched to their greatest capacity, and we’ll see how this goes. Adding to the fun, I didn’t label anything–so whatever does end up living, it’ll be a fabulous surprise. “Ooh, cucumbers! … Eggplant? why the hell did I plant eggplant?”

I was out watering yesterday, and the raspberry bushes are starting to show little berries, and one of the tomato plants … couldn’t tell you which one … looks it’s starting to grow fruit, as well. Fingers are crossed and eyes are peeled.

Maybe this’ll work out after all…


With a Name Like Botox… April 4, 2008

Filed under: beauty — Temple @ 6:55 am

It’s got to be, oh I don’t know, TOXIC?!

Botulinum Toxin. You’re injecting botulism into your face. If you don’t want it in your canned vegetable, do you really want it in your forehead?

I just saw an ad for Botox. Their tagline is “freedom of expression.”

Totally reasonable. This is what the founding fathers intended. Free press, free speech, organized militia, and–injecting a deadly bacteria into your face in the relentless pursuit of an unachievable goal.


And I’ll leave you with this: the Botox website’s (ok, fine, here’s the link) first clickable link is the question, “Will I be able to make facial expressions?”

You know, I might be going out on a limb here, but if you have to ask….


Is it REALLY that hard not to be an asshole? April 2, 2008

Filed under: assholes,motivational thinking — Temple @ 5:37 pm

I mean, come on.

What does it take?

A little self-awareness, a little sense that you’re not the hottest shit being plated up at the restaurant of life?

Maybe the ability to turn your own self-image issues into something besides complete derailing of the train to productivetown?

I really hate Wednesdays. It’s like the circus of asshats around here, only none of them do cool tricks and there’s no cotton candy.


Taking the Commuter Train to Circus Town March 30, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Temple @ 9:34 am

It’s A’s mom’s birthday and we’re taking her to see Cirque du Soleil and then going to eat dinner at some restaurant that floats. Being a reviewer for the last year or so, I no longer go to see shows as an extracurricular activity. This’ll be the first performance in months that I’m not bringing a notebook to.

We went to Cirque when they were in town last time, and it was phenomenal. It made me want to run off and join the circus. Except I know I’d end up being a roustabout, not the cool lady dangling from a rope by her ankle.

Since we’re going out with mom and it’s her day and all, and we’re going to the “theatah” (in a tent on a brown site, yes, but still a big fancy show), I’m having a hell of a time deciding what to wear. I have to dress like a grownup most days of the week, and I try not to on weekends. I always feel conspicuously overdressed whenever I wear work clothes to non-work things. But I’m guessing jeans and a Portland Spelling Bee t-shirt aren’t going to cut it.