Friday, March 28, 2008

The Big Break LPGA Fangrrrl Report

Nth in a series of "where are they now?" posts about my favorite women golfers from The Golf Channel's reality series The Big Break.
Name                            Season  As of 2008...
Danielle Amiée III Last played FUTURES 2004
Rachel Bailey VI FUTURES-E
Felicia Brown III Last played FUTURES 2000
Tasha Browner III Last played FUTURES 2005
Jeanne Cho-Hunicke V LPGA-C, FUTURES-E
Debbie Dahmer III Pacific Ladies Tour founder
Divina Delasin V
Nikki DiSanto V-VII
Jan Dowling III Last played FUTURES 2005; Women's Golf Assistant Coach, Kent State University
Jo D Duncan V Director of Golf Instruction, Norwood Hills Country Club
Bridget Dwyer VI FUTURES-E, Cactus, Pacific
Pamela (Crikelair) Garrity III-VII Last played FUTURES 2006; Real estate agent in Florida
Ashley Gomes VI-VII FUTURES-C, Pacific
Dana Lacey V FUTURES-E
Kim Lewellen V-VII Last played FUTURES 2006; Women's Golf Coach, University of Virginia
Laura London VI-VII Cactus
Becky Lucidi V LPGA-E (Q-School)
Annie Mallory VI Cactus
Kristy McPherson VI LPGA-C
Cindy Miller III-VII Last played FUTURES 2006
Valeria Ochoa III-VII Last played FUTURES 2005
Ashley Prange V FUTURES-E
Katie Ruhe V Last played FUTURES 2006
Sarah Lynn (Johnston) Sargent VI LPGA-C, FUTURES-E
Sarah Sasse-Kildow III Last played FUTURES 2006
Kristina Tucker V FUTURES-E
Liz Uthoff III Last played FUTURES 2004
Karen Stordahl-Utrecht VI
Julie Wells V Last played FUTURES 2007
Season IX, Kāʻanapali, starts April 15!
Lori Atsedes                    IX      FUTURES-E
Dana Bates IX
Courtney Erdman IX FUTURES-E
Adrianne Gautreaux IX Last played FUTURES 2007
Samantha Head IX FUTURES-C
Christina LeCuyer IX FUTURES-C
Tina Miller IX Last played FUTURES 2007
Sophie Sandolo IX
Cirbie Sheppard IX
Elizabeth Stuart IX FUTURES-C

Thursday, March 27, 2008


When I talk nowadays to prospective Smithies about the college's amazing offerings, I can't help but feel a twinge about the chances I didn't take advantage of myself. Being the sort of person who goes after what I want (no! really?), I have a tough time getting my brain around the notion that some opportunities really have, permanently, passed me by.

A#1 biggest regret was failing to take a junior year abroad. It didn't occur to me that grownups don't just get to take years abroad later. At the time, I felt I had good reasons for not going. In my sophomore year, I went through a pretty rough estrangement from a family member, as well as some financial problems, and my Smith housemates became my replacement family and primary sources of support... I couldn't face the thought of never seeing half of them again. (Unfortunately, the ones I most relied on were already seniors and I had to cope with their "loss" during my junior year anyway. Denial is a sad, sad thing.) I also wouldn't have been guaranteed a space in my house upon return, and it didn't seem worth the risk. Considering how close I still am to so many Hopkinites, and how important it was for me to graduate with them, this might have been an OK decision after all. I suspect I'd make the same choice again given the same circumstances... but I can't help wishing I could have had it all, can I? :)

The other big regret was that I never made it into any of Smith's famous a cappella singing groups. I auditioned for two... the Noteables, as a youngster, where I went in unprepared, was terrified, quavered pathetically, and deservedly wasn't called back... and the Smiffenpoofs, later, where I prepared my heart out, sang my heart out, got called back, sang my heart out again, and didn't get picked anyway. That one hurt. Music was a big part of my life at Smith anyway, and if I hadn't had time to sing in the College Choirs for Jessel Murray or sing in Darshan with Cindy that probably would have been a great loss as well and I wouldn't even have known any better. But when my first-year recruits get into singing groups and immediately excel and are embraced by an amazing musical community, I can't help but wonder how it might have been to be a superstar myself. :)

However, I'm not sorry I quit the parli debate team as a first-year... I got all the good I was gonna get out of that one after I met my debate partner Heidi, and I still have her. :)

Strangely enough, I'm also not sorry I didn't get selected as a first-year-alum Head Resident, even though that was probably the most devastating thing ever at the time. I literally cried for days. It felt like a repudiation of me and my very Smithiness, and I do still wonder what it was about me that wasn't good enough. But nearly everything good in my life now was made possible by the fact that I was forced to find other avenues after graduation. If Smith suspected I was trying frantically to delay growing up, they were right, and I owe them my thanks for giving me the shove I needed. (But if they think I wouldn't have been a good HR, they can bite me.)

Which reminds me, I do regret that I wasn't able to return to my Grrrl Scout troop at the Clarke School after graduation... in spite of not picking up the HR post (with its cushy free rent and modest stipend), I had made certain promises that I'd move back to Northampton, get a menial job, live in poverty, and keep my commitment to those wonderful girls. I didn't, and worse yet, I was too cowardly to make any serious attempt to contact them over the summer to tell them so. That was uncool, and it does leave me with much to atone for... somehow.

No, we shouldn't wallow in regret, but once in a while we have to remind ourselves to live. :)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

So much for more short entries more often.


Gender bending and breaking

The NY Times had a great, detailed article on the subject of F2M transgendered students at women's colleges ("When Girls Will Be Boys", March 16). This is a topic with which I was already slightly acquainted on account of Smith's SGA changing some important charter document to gender-neutral language a year or so ago, baffling we alums who were under the impression that Smith is still a women's college (it is).

The article mentions that colleges are dealing with trans issues more directly nowadays specifically because "adults who wished to transition historically did so in middle age. Today a larger percentage of transitions occur in adolescence or young adulthood."

I was inclined to some eye-rolling about all this before, but the NYT article brought me up short a little bit by pointing this out:
"In a sense, transgender and genderqueer students could be said merely to be holding women’s colleges to their word: to fully support women’s exploration of gender, even if that exploration ends with students no longer being female-identified."
Oh, right. That Women's Studies major I did, it said something about all that.

(Pwned! By the NY Times! On the subject of gender conformity! Oh, the shame.)

Anyway, I've read and heard now a few different attempts to explain or understand this new trans* generation:
  1. It's a natural extension of postmodern feminism, in which the very foundations of gender (and, often, biological sex itself! I've done it!) are seen as social constructs open to be questioned. (In other words, it's my fault. :) )

  2. It's a fad. Possibly a dangerous fad, given the longer-term implications of hormones and even surgeries. Being queer, being "bi-curious", getting pierced, whatever, no longer edgy enough... so trans* is the next envelope-pushing idea. (In other words, it's my fault. LOL.)
Something kinda strange occurred to me the other day, though, when I started putting this together with the huge amounts of reading I've been doing lately on the marketing of gender roles.

I guess I can't substantiate, but I believe, that our culture is imposing gender roles on children a lot more than was commonly done in the 1970s and 1980s. Even parents and aunties who don't want to participate actively in this phenomenon are fighting an uphill battle (see "Unisex Baby Hell", December 2006). Just yesterday on outside the (toy) box was this:
" wonderful nanny recently told me about a friend who asked her pediatrician what to do because her son kept asking for a stroller. Not a boy with a stroller! Someone DO something!"
What if, by pressuring our very youngest children to conform to restrictive gender roles, we're sending them the message that if they are interested in anything remotely gender-nonconforming, their only solution is to become a conforming gender?

What would that mean? If gender roles are constructed, does that make it a bad thing to want to uphold the construct but just switch to a different one? Don't we go into a culture war with the culture we have? I've even heard it suggested that those who transition might even be selling out the rest of us who nonconform in the bodies we were born with! I don't think that can possibly be the case... it's not like extremely conservative/traditionalist types love trans* people for upholding all of their preconceptions about gender. :D

I wonder what the complementarians think...?!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The great thing about democracy is, the people always get exactly the government they deserve

I follow a bunch of blogs where people are freaking out about Hillary's alleged/apparent scorched-earth primary campaign strategy: she cannot win, they say, and yet she's so desperate to win that she's willing, maybe even happy, to take down Obama and the entire Democratic party with her by a variety of last-ditch efforts.

Certainly it is the case that at this point in the primaries, negative campaigning against either Democratic candidate will just save McCain money in the general election... we're doing the work for him.

And it does appear that Hillary is increasingly eager to go negative.

So, a few things.

I'm an Obama delegate, and in our February caucuses I confessed that I was conflicted in my choice, and felt a little disloyal to my fellow women's college alumna. But I chose Obama based on his integrity, the promise of a positive campaign, and the quality of his rhetoric. (I actually think those things will be more important than policy specifics, although I believe his policy specifics are of high quality also.) This is feeling more and more like the right choice.

However, if Hillary continues on this path, and if we Democrats allow it, then we deserve to lose in November. We deserve the humiliation of (yet another) defeat on the heels of the catastrophically disastrous GWB presidency. We deserve to be shamed in a Mondale-Ferraro '84 kind of way (apt, isn't it?). We deserve four (eight! sixteen!!) more years of Republican rule and the conservative-stacked Supreme Court that comes with it.

Isn't democracy great?

Monday, March 24, 2008


I might have worked out a plan to time-share an iPod Touch for my Europe trip.

Background: I'm a smartphone addict. Unfortunately, I'm a stupid smartphone addict, as I got myself stuck in a long-term contract with a Palm Treo 700wx (reasonably OK) through Sprint (has served me well for years, but that was pre-smartphone).

With Sprint, no MMS, no native voice dial (they disable it so they can charge you to use their crappy dial-in-to-voice-dial service), can't upgrade from WinMo 5 to WinMo 6 on this phone, and worst of all, CDMA. So I'm planning a monthlong trip to Europe, I can no longer imagine life sans smartphone, mine won't work overseas, and an unlocked/global smartphone just for one trip is obscenely ridiculously expensive. Now what?

Enter the Touch. I happen to need a new iPod anyway, having finally outgrown my 4G 2gen green Mini. The newest version of the Touch is 32G, making it big enough to be worthwhile as an iPod, and it has wifi. As far as I know, wifi's wifi the world around. Safari browser, Google Maps... exactly what I use my smartphone for. Everything but the phone. Now I can get a cheap cheap unlocked/global GSM phone/SIM to use for phoning, and carry the Touch for browsing. Hunting for free wifi hotspots definitely isn't as on-demand as EVDO/EDGE, but this still seems like a reasonable tradeoff. Heck, that might even be a long-term plan for home.

Except for the $500 part. Ouch. $500 for "I hope I might find a few hotspots to use it at"?

Enter the timeshare. My good friend and hopeless gadget addict wants a Touch, but needs to unload his 80G 5gen classic iPod. Did I mention I need an iPod? Did I mention my smartphoning needs here at home are attended to for at least the length of my long term contract?

"Can I sell you my iPod at a cut rate so I can buy a Touch?"

"Hmm. Can I borrow your Touch when I go to Europe?"

"I can use the iPod then, right? Sure!"


And maybe somebody who's been a very good kid hoping for an iPod of her very own would have use for a 4G 2gen green Mini....

Update: Got it!! And, LG and I are in negotiations for a labor-based payment for the Mini.

Up-update: Chuck jailbroke my native voice dial! Thanks Chuck!!

Friday, March 21, 2008

The 2008 elections on whatever planet this is

Red/blue (or, this week, black/white) visions of America, blah blah, whatever.

Back when there were still televised debates going on amongst both Republican and Democratic candidates, the most striking thing was (especially when they'd each run one on the same day) how it truly seemed like each party's candidates were talking about a completely different country than the other party's candidates.

The various media moderators didn't just allow it, they encouraged or perhaps even fostered it, by asking questions from two completely different countries as well. Or planets. Or something.

So this is the problem we have. Yes, Americans are hopelessly incredibly polarized, myself often included, but it isn't just that we disagree over the issues. We disagree about what the issues are. That's hard to reconcile. Someone from the "other side" passionately wants to work together on a solution to Problem X, but I strongly don't even believe X is a real problem, so no, I really don't want to put another moment into thinking or talking about it. Now what?

That's before we even get to all the things I'm passionate about in this election cycle that, apparently, nobody believes are real problems.

I took the cute "which candidate is right for you?" match quiz on a while back, and on pretty much every single question, the correct (according to me) answer wasn't available on the list of choices, and "this question is asinine and I despair for our country that you're even asking" wasn't an option either.

In the spirit of more and shorter posts, I might hold forth later on what my favorite election issues are.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

You can hit the delete key and be thought a fool, or hit forward and remove all doubt.

I've made out like the problem with all the email forwards is how politically biased, disrespectful, "offensive" they are, but that isn't really the biggest problem with them. The biggest problem is that forwarding me a political hack job email, or a tiresome hoax, or even pictures of cute kittens, proves to me that you are an idiot. And when people I otherwise love very much turn out to be idiots, well, that makes me sad.

See also: