30 October 2014


Geez Louise, this catcalling business is hot stuff on my Facebook feed right now.  Street harassment (usually by men - okay, always by men) towards women is having its nasty side exposed, with videos about how often it happens, online campaigns, and even some airtime on national television.

Essentially, it's gross.  And people need to know its gross.  And stop doing it.

In Bloomington (Indiana), it wasn't ever really a problem, at least for me.  Of course, I wasn't a college girl on campus.  I was a harried-looking mom driving around in a station wagon.  But here in New York, it's a different culture.

I'm still a harried looking mom, only I'm not driving a car - but I am pushing a baby carriage.  So that, in itself, is somewhat of a deterrent.  I do every now and then get some "bless you, mami" - but I take those as "bless you, you poor tired mother" and I will take that.  Also, to my defense, I get those from women, too.  I've been blessed more here in two months in New York than in my entire adult life elsewhere.  People are always blessing children.  I love that.

But I digress.  This evening I got a few minutes to myself to pop over to the dollar store for a few things (read: escape from the babies for 30 minutes!  Run!).  As I was walking out, I got what I would call my first legitimate catcall/street harassment incident.  A young man was standing by the door of the store and said to me, as I walked by (no eye contact, I was thinking about deep tired mother thoughts), "Hey, beautiful."

(death knoll)

This is how the rest of it played out, in script format.  My husband is a playwright, after all:

Liz [turning to look him in the face, slowing only a bit]:  Do I know you?

Guy [looking up, not missing a beat]:  No.

Liz [continuing to walk away]:  So?

Guy [pausing]:  At least I didn't call you ugly.

Liz [raising her voice now, as she is walking down the block still]:  So?

Guy:  Do you want me to call you ugly?

Liz [shouting behind her]:  You don't have to call me anything. (zing!)

Guy:  Whatever!

Me [hollering back]:  Whatever!


I won.  I won that one.  Fair and square.  And I was especially invested as there were two younger women behind me.  I wanted them to know it was okay to call it back.  You don't have to call me ANYTHING.

Now I'm going to relish my victory by ferociously cleaning my front room, imagining with every swipe of the vacuum that I am sucking up the dirt of sexism everywhere.


29 October 2014

#Socktober Plan

Hi this is Olivia again.

I just made a video with a plan for gift bags for the homeless.  We are going to make gift bags and carry them around when we go out and whenever we see someone homeless, we give a bag to them.

We are putting stuff like raisins and nuts and bottles of water and popcorn and socks (of course) and ponchos and maybe a little note.  The note will say something like, "I think you're special."

Here is the video:

Sorry about the noise in the background.  It's my little sisters.  Being loud.

22 October 2014

Hiccups Survey

I wanted to know the different ways that people cured hiccups.  So I asked my mom to post the question on Facebook.  There were more than 50 replies!

My hypothesis was that drinking water from the wrong end of a glass is most popular.

According to my graph, I was correct.  Twelve people answered "drink water from the wrong end of glass."

Here is the graph of my results:

The number one answer was "drink water from the wrong end."  Here are the other answers, in order:

2.  Hold your breath
3.  Drink water
4.  Do deep breaths
5.  Spoon full of sugar/honey
6.  Drink water AND hold breath
7.  Nothing
8.  Being scared
9.  Eat peanut butter
10.  Plug ears and nose and drink water
11.  Other

The "other" list included:

1.  Do a headstand
2.  Poke tummy
3.  Put the hiccups in a paper bag
4.  Drink water with a metal fork in it
5.  Focus on relaxing
6.  Put cotton on your forehead
7.  Put a straw in the air and a straw in the glass of water and drink both at the same time
8.  Burp
9.  Think of ten bald med (adults)
10.  Ask someone what they had for dinner last night
11.  Nurse (baby)
12.   Drink water then hang upside down
13.  Warm socks (wear them, I guess?)
14.  Medicine - laudanum

Thank you to everyone who replied.

20 October 2014

Smartwool & Socktober

Olivia wrote an email to Smartwool.  We are hoping they will send some socks.  Here it is:


Dear Smartwool,
My name is Olivia Davis and I am 8 years old.  I was wondering if you could donate some socks for Socktober.
Socktober is when everyone helps homeless people.  It's called Socktober because homeless people need warm socks in the winter time.
I hear you make very good socks that keep feet dry.  (They are my mom's favorite!)  I think that your socks would be very useful.
I live in New York and there are a lot of homeless people.  I want to help them.

I hope you can send some socks.

Thank you,
Olivia Davis


If you know anybody at Smartwool, put a little bug in their ear.

10 October 2014


Hi, this is Olivia.  I think we should help the homeless because everybody would be more awesome.

I am participating in Socktober this year to help homeless people.  Socktober happens during the month of October - its when everybody helps homeless people.  I got the idea of Socktober from Kid President:

There are a lot of homeless people in New York City, where I live.  I see them sitting on the sidewalk.  I see them on trains sometimes.  I feel sad for them because I think the world should be a better place.

I am asking for your help.

I would like you to send as many new socks as possible to me and other stuff like winter clothes, and blankets and pillows, because winter is coming up soon.  I am going to give everything I collect to a homeless shelter in my city.  I still haven't decided which one, but my mom and I will soon. 

My mom says that if you want to help by sending socks or other items, then either contact her via Facebook or email, or leave a note in the comment section below.

You can also send money and I will donate it or use it buy stuff for the homeless people.  You can tell me what you want me to do with it.

I hope you can help.

Thank you.



P.S.  You can learn more about #socktober here:  http://www.happysocktober.com