The Little Pink Pill

On the way to a meeting this morning I heard a piece on the radio about the FDA’s approval of a drug to increase the libido of women with low libidos. This drug has been up for approval before but was rejected because the FDA said that there wasn’t sufficient evidence that the drug had an impact and it has serious side effects (like a sudden drop in blood pressure that can lead to fainting). After the drug was rejected, a number of people said the FDA was being misogynistic in its rejection because this could help women, it fits a cultural narrative that women have low libidos and they don’t like sex (so why fix the problem), and because there are already a number of treatments for medical problems that cause sexual dysfunction in men. But, I don’t know if we can say the FDA is being misogynistic here. Unless we’re saying they were being unnecessarily paternalistic protecting women who could be benefiting from the terrible side effects (if the ads are to be believed, Viagra also can cause a drop in blood pressure). How medicine is discovered, researched, tested and produced could itself be the problem here. The medical community as a long and storied history of ignoring women altogether. In The First Twenty Minutes Gretchen Reynolds discusses many studies on health and fitness that only looked at male participants. As another example, growing up we were taught signs of how to spot a heart attack or a stroke. It was only when I was out of college that you started to see discussions of how heart attacks present differently in women. I get that women’s sexual problems are often treated as psychological and not medical and having a specific medical intervention could signal a change on how doctors are thinking about women’s sexual health. (I’m not holding my breath on that, though.) Treating women like a lack of sexual desire is all in their head is certainly misogynistic. But, I’m not sure the FDA doing their job and asking for evidence is misogynistic. Society itself doesn’t do right by women and I’m pretty sure that’s not on the FDA to fix. Still, though, this medicine being approved may spur other researchers to consider women’s health (sexual or otherwise) more seriously and that could be the real victory here.

As an unrelated aside: It disgusts me that people are calling this “The Little Pink Pill”. Especially since Viagra is the little blue pill. I can hear you saying, “Isn’t it cute? His and Hers!” No. It is not cute. It is gross.

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The Never Ending Saga of Bureaucracy

I got up this morning with such lofty intentions of sitting down at 9 to transcribe data I have collected for my dissertation. (Recorded linguistic data must go through a little bit of processing before it can be analyzed. The processing often involves transcribing what people say. This is a very tedious process, in particular when you are transcribing a language you don’t speak natively.) But, before I could get started I knew there was an email I wanted to answer. After logging in and responding to that email, I noticed some other emails that were best answered ASAP. I changed my expected graduation date and that entails having to jump through some extra hoops re: deferring loans. So far I’ve talked to two offices (three times. I had to call one office twice). And, now I’ve had to email two different people (possibly from the second office? It’s not actually clear). The issue still isn’t resolved.

And, I still haven’t started transcribing.

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Knitting

In my last post a mentioned that I’ve been traveling. I brought knitting with me, of course I did. I started Deborah Frank’s Dark Passenger.

I haven’t touched it since I started it.

Normally, when I go a long time without knitting, I miss it. But, I haven’t missed it yet. Maybe that is because textile culture is alive and well here in Chiapas and I have spent my days marveling at all the handiwork around me.

Or, maybe it is that I started another pattern that requires I actually read a pattern. The year is more than half over and I was taking a look at the progress I’d made on some goals. I am behind where I want to be in writing my dissertation. According to goodreads, I’m 4 books behind schedule for this year’s reading challenge. And, while I normally knit about 12 projects a year, I’m on track to knit about 8 this year. (Assuming, of course, I actually get back to knitting.)

I don’t know what I’ve been doing this year, but it certainly hasn’t been what I planned to do. Isn’t life funny like that?

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Travels

I’ve been thinking a lot about a few trips I’ve taken over the last decade or so and feeling nostalgic. My sister, Joy Killyjoy, the ’52 Spitfire, and I backpacked through Europe a little more than a decade ago we had a great time. It was the perfect mix of good experiences, kind of crap experiences and fun experiences. I was specifically thinking though, and feeling nostalgic for, some of the crappier parts of that trip. We had a miscommunication with a train conductor and almost got thrown off a train in the South of France. At the time it was terrible. But, since then it has made a great story that we tell other people, that we tell each other when we get together, that we tell. It was an invaluable experience of tripping over language and ourselves and thinking about it always makes me smile. On that same trip, I have a memory of being in an Italian bakery and paying for everyone’s pastries and being completely confused by my compatriots panic that they hadn’t paid! You spend so much time with people on trips like that one that you sometimes forget that there was a time when you all did different things: like college, when you took Italian and your friends took Spanish and Ancient Greek.

I am currently in Chiapas, Mexico collecting data for my dissertation and staying at a hostel. It is a lovely hostel because it is quiet and there is a place for me to work and it is also near where my speakers are. It has also afforded me the opportunity to talk to all different kinds of travelers. Some of them are traveling alone, some of them are traveling in groups. All of them are probably fueling my nostalgia.

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What I’ve been Listening to lately

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The Quarter Stitch

Now that we’ve passed the Solstice and summer has officially begun I’ve been thinking about my summer knitting projects. In particular, I’ve thought about one of the new projects I am hoping to start this summer, The Exploration Station. It has been fun to think about because I bought the yarn at The Quarter Stitch. I stopped by the Quarter Stitch because I was in New Orleans on a trip with my family. A friend suggested I take a look at the Quarter Stitch. This little shop, tucked away down a street from Andrew Jackson’s statue, was totally worth the drop in. I bought two skeins of yarn imported from Wales and some handpainted yarn that is Japanese. This is going to be one international shawl.

hello, beautiful bag of yarn! thanks for being an awesome little shop, @quarter_stitch !

A photo posted by Kate (@filmnoirkate) on

This is a picture of the beautiful bag of wool I bought from the Quarter Stitch. They did such an amazing job rapping it up. I almost didn’t want to unwrap it so I could get ready to knit. I can’t wait to start this project. It is going to be so beautiful. It is wonderful to be able to knit something that reminds me a lovely time that I had with my family.

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It is supposed to look like a heart

 

I have re-caught the tatting bug. So, I took to Pinterest and I found This Christmas tree Celtic knot.  I thought for sure this would be easy. It is just chains and picots. 

I don’t think I got the Celtic knot part right. So, I’m obviously going to have to try again. 

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Summer Knitting

Summer is almost upon us and my summer projects in my professional life are in full swing. So, I decided that I need to consider my summer knitting goals. I always have things languishing on my needles. I am a confirmed startitis sufferer. Sometimes, what you want is a pattern that will be easy and you can just knit it. Boneyard is a pattern like that. But, my boneyard is in winter colors and I can’t think about winter right now. The last one was too brutal and summer just started. So, this summer I have decided to focus on two projects: finishing dreambird (or, as I like to call it My Fallen Angel).

My next summer project is going to be either a Mercury in Retrograde or Dark Passenger made with handspun from local wool spun by my friend Joy Killjoy, the ’52 Spitfire.

And, then, because my eyes are always bigger than my stomach when it comes to knitting, I plan on starting an Exploration Station.

I only expect to finish one of these (and, since that’ll be batting .333, I’m pretty happy with that.) But, I’m excited nonetheless to try and knit all the things!

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One stitch at a time

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I have been working, one row at a time in stolen minutes between statistical models I’m running for my day job, on being a more consistent crocheter. I want to make the stitches tight on the hook but that makes it difficult to get the hook out of all of the loops. So, I go back and forth between making tight stitches and super loose stitches. The goal, by the end of the end head band pictured above, is to find a happy medium. Not super loose but also not impossibly tight.

It is like a metaphor for life. You have to relax a little but you also have to keep on.

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I made a thing!

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I finished my crochet shawl! I love easy crochet patterns! They are my new favorite! As you can see, I need to work on my tension and stitch size. But, first (third) projects have that look about them. (As you can also see, if you’re looking really closely, I have an appointment with the optician next week. Will she go back to contacts? Are there prescription sunglasses in her future? Who knows, ladles and jelly spoons! Stay tuned!)

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When you wrap it around your neck it looks like less of a disaster. Plus, that yarn is just so gorgeous. I had some of it left over, so I’m making a headband so I can practice making consistent stitches. I’m so glad that this pattern was so easy that I could slip it into to stolen moments in this very busy month. And, this was done in perfect time. The weather in Good Ole Buffalo has been really inconsistent. It has gone from the 80s to the 40s. I am so happy to have some happy spring colors to wear around my neck when I’m out and about.
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Thank you, Sarah Knight from Crafts from the Cwtch for hosting this Make along! I am so excited for crochet now!

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