Gloria Steinem came to town this weekend. She is awesome. Her advocacy for equality among all genders, races and socioeconomic classes is inspiring. She is 85 years old, brilliant, calm and quick-witted. When she greeted the audience at Nashville's War Memorial Auditorium, only to realize that her microphone wasn't working, she quipped without skipping a … Continue reading Ms. Steinem and the Cable Girl
A Little on the Trashy Side
When I was growing up in Nashville, there was an iconic anti-littering commercial featuring an unsavory motorist chucking garbage out of a jalopy and a song about "Tennessee Trash" playing in the background. In today's inclusive world, I don't suspect you could air a public service announcement equating a human to trash--even as double-entendre. Even … Continue reading A Little on the Trashy Side
“Getting Better All the Time:” Middle-Aged Mom Reflects on Construction College
Thank you to the Nashville Scene for featuring Buttercup's reflections on being a middle-aged mom in construction college with a bunch of men. Boys will be boys, but what happens when the blue humor in the workshop goes beyond the pale? Find out in this week's "Vodka Yonic" column.
Introducing Girls Who Build!
What a delight it was to walk into the Building Construction Technology classroom at Tennessee College of Applied Technology in Nashville -- my alma mater where I spent 16 months with a herd of men -- to find the workshop filled with girls! Organized and led by the women of Turner Construction Company, the inaugural … Continue reading Introducing Girls Who Build!
Mint to Share
Last summer in construction class, I built a tiny (really tiny) house to serve as a neighborhood library. I installed it in the perennial border at the end of my driveway, where at any given moment it holds an assortment of fiction and nonfiction, young adult novels, doggie poop bags for neighborhood canines, and a … Continue reading Mint to Share
Cheers to Plumbing with PEX
Let me tell you about my new bottle opener. It's made with the same technology found in much contemporary plumbing—namely PEX tubing. Short for Cross-Link Polyethylene, PEX tubing is increasingly used in place of copper and other metal piping, because the plastic material is easier and more flexible to install. Rather than soldering or threading … Continue reading Cheers to Plumbing with PEX
New Front Door: Not an Entry-Level Job
My favorite days of construction school are when we take on real-world projects, such as this week's outings to install front doors at two residential construction sites. I admit, I assumed it would be simple to remove an old front door and replace it with a more contemporary style. But after seven hours of heavy … Continue reading New Front Door: Not an Entry-Level Job
Estimating 101: What Are You Worth?
In the weeks leading up to graduation, our building construction technology class is burrowing into the Estimating textbook. That is to say, now that we've learned how to fix and build things, we're learning how to get paid for it. Short of standing on a ladder to trim rafter tails with a circular saw, this … Continue reading Estimating 101: What Are You Worth?
Men, Women & The Karate Kid
Being twice as old as as some of my construction school classmates, I miss a lot of their cultural references. Anything short of fluency in the complete Will Ferrell filmography is a great handicap when dealing with young men, I have discovered. Likewise, a lot of what I say to "the kids" slips through the … Continue reading Men, Women & The Karate Kid