Saturday, December 26, 2009

And now for something completely different: A Blog About Something I Hate


That is, other people's hair. That is, the hair of other people lying around, in drains, on my coat, on the internets, in commercials, drawn into my favorite cartoon. I've never dry heaved at a commercial until Anthony Sullivan began hocking the Turbo Snake on late night tv. I've never come closer to turning off an episode of The Venture Brothers than when Dean picks up and plays with a hair clog from the shower.
In the past, if someone else's hair got on me, I would freak out and look away while making someone else remove it from me. Occasionally, this still happens, but years of working in retail where far more disgusting things (like cash) are handled on a daily basis kind of desensitized me to at least that. But I have a very strong visual/visceral connection, so when I see an image of hair falling to the floor while a guy sits in a barbers chair in an H&R Block commercial and asks if a hair cut is a "job hunting expense", I just about lose my shit. Yeah... it's a problem.
This all started probably when I was 9 or so, and my sister's long black hair was everywhere. Vacuuming wasn't yet part of my chores, but if I had known this would reduce the amount of hair that was, literally, everywhere, I would have taken up the habit a lot sooner. Needless to say, a big deal was made about the mess. Somehow, I internalized this and began avoiding hair. Then, of course, there were all of my friends who had long, frizzy hair in junior high and high school -- I, personally, cut my hair very short at 12 and later at 15, and since haven't ever had it longer than my chin; the shortness, combined with the color (RED!) helps me to not freak out over my own hair.
Of course, all of this is made even more idiosyncratic because I live with a dog and human who each have full heads and backs of hair. Pugs shed more than just about any creature this side of Alpha Centauri; the Schmoogie, thankfully, not so much. And I'm lucky enough that having to clean hair clogs out of drains is a thing of the past -- living with Kia, as bad as that was on its own, was made infinitely worse by the fact that she never bothered to clean anything, let alone hair from the shower drain... I once had to dig a giant, dishwater-blonde hair clog out with a chopstick while wearing nitrile gloves.
Don't mistake me, I don't mind hair that maintains some delusion of continued life -- I suppose you could say that my aversion to hair is similar to the aversion of others to corpses -- and I'm certainly no germaphone germaphobe, I just don't like looking at, touching, being touched by, or having to acknowledge the existence of discarded strands or clumps of hair. (Actually, I don't like being touched by living hair either -- if another girl in a club swings her hair around and touches me with it, I will throw down. You assault me with your uncontrollable hair, I will assault you with my fists. That's how irrational I am about this!)
So, I don't know, would people please stop putting little clumps of hair on the damn tv. It's really starting to get under my skin... ew. Now I'm gonna have nightmares about hair under my skin. Great. Thanks usually harmless colloquialism.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Who the hell are women trying to please?!

Over at Street Carnage, there's a preview of a photo spread from next month's V Magazine where an industry standard sized model (size 0) and a plus sized model (size 12) go head to head in a pose-off. I think this is pretty cool, but at the end of the article we see this picture, plus a nice little post-script.

PS: I thought this picture was boring when I first saw it but I couldn’t stop thinking about it for weeks. The National Average one is irrelevant because midwestern fatsos skew the “figures” but how about the part where women’s ideal is not the male’s ideal? Who are they trying to please?

I'll tell you who: themselves.
Contrary to popular belief, women don't actually exist solely to please men. I know, it sounds crazy, but women see themselves differently than men, and this is going to sound even crazier: a lot of the time, the way a woman dresses, does her hair and/or makeup, and the general effort that she puts into her appearance isn't to please anyone but herself.
"WHAT?! You can't be serious!" shriek the menz and radfems alike. (The radfem admonishment is followed promptly by a call of naievete on my part, letting me know in that radfemsplanation tone that I am simply blinded by a society that seeks to keep me pretty in order to please men. I don't buy it.) I am 100% serious, and I'll give you one reason why: my hair is not naturally red. Most of the people I know wouldn't really care whether my hair was red or brown, and the attractive elements of my personality aren't impacted by the color of my hair. So who in god's name am I trying to please by having red hair? Myself.
There is an element of conditioning going on here too, though. There are a lot of women out there who think that they want to be a size 8 because the media tells them that the only way anyone would ever find them attractive is if their dress size is in the single digits.
Finally, the "national average one" isn't irrelevent. What this image does is show women who are a size 16 what they look like. The size 16 woman in this image isn't ugly or hugely obese. As a woman who is a size 14, I struggle with my body image, but I see this woman (and yes, I know she's been photoshopped), and I think, "oh, I guess I'm not so horribly fat afterall!" and my body image improves. Wow, you mean... wait, could this entire article not have been for the male gaze at all?! Yes, that's exactly what I'm getting at. The "national average one" is, in fact, the most relevant image in the entire spread.

Friday, November 20, 2009

There is no Messiah until I see some freaking zombies

For the edification of those who are not Talmudic scholars, here's the way I understand the Rabbinic view of life, death, and the after-life:
  • 1. You are born; your life begins when you take your first breath; life begins at birth, not conception so I'm not a murderer by virtue of having continued to have periods after becoming sexually active.
  • 2. You live.
  • 3. You die.
  • 4. When you die, your "soul" leaves your body to go to the great Bingo hall in the sky (or something -- basically your soul does whatever a soul does when not bound to a body), and your body goes into the ground. This is just temporary though. Dante said that the Jews slept in the vestibule of Hell until the Judgment. But Dante was probably an anti-Semite. I'm pretty sure that when Jews die they go play Canasta and MaJohng with other dead people.
  • 5. Then the party is over cause the Messiah has arrived and is all judgmental and whatnot. My Rabbi said that the Messianic times are gonna be "pretty rough", so when he told me that your body and soul get reunited and won't necessarily look the way you looked when you were alive my mind went to one place, and one place only: zombies. It doesn't matter why this happens, (but you can read the Talmud to find out), but just contemplate it for a while. Think about all the things you know about the supposed "end of days" and the [second, if you're a Christian] coming of the Messiah. Dogs and cats sleeping together, crises of biblical proportions, yes? And ZOMBIES. If there's another way bodies and souls can get reunited and still preserve this view that the Messianic times are gonna be as bad as Rabbinic tradition says it will... I'd like to hear about it. Cause I'm really not interested in leaving my MaJohng game to go be a freaking zombie. Messiah or no Messiah.
  • 6. Permanent afterlife - if you were good, you get the good stuff, if you were bad you get burned and turned into ashes that everyone walks on for eternity (which, for the truly evil, I can't imagine a better permanent afterlife than perpetually staining the soles of the righteous). Which is followed by
  • 7. ???
  • and finally
  • 8. Prophet.

All that being said, I should point out that there is no real consensus among Jews on anything the after life. Whether it exists. What happens. Whether there will be zombies at some point. This is just my take on a centuries-old idea that some Rabbis came up with while studying the Torah. It may or may not have any bearing on what actually happens.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Comment Policy

It occurs to me that I need to make a post about comments.
First of all, please leave me your feedback. Pretty much all comments are published, (exceptions noted below), and I want to foster conversation. It's important that there be other opinions out there aside from mine.
That being said, I have a few guidelines for comments:
*If you compare anyone or anything to Hitler or the Nazis (unless we're having a discussion of Hitler or Nazis), your comment will not be published. As a Jewish person with distant relatives (and a boyfriend whose Polish great-grandad) were exterminated by Hitler and the Nazis, I find it distasteful and insulting to compare anyone, short of an actual mass-murdering fuckhead to someone who attempted to wipe not only my people, but several other peoples from the earth. It's not okay.
*Ad hominem attacks are generally discouraged, unless you do it in a very clever and funny manner that is completely relevant to the topic at hand.
*Flame baiting and flame wars will not be published. I don't tolerate that kind of shit when I have the option to avoid it.
That's pretty much it. So, keep it civil, but lively.

Monday, November 16, 2009

You know what would be awesome? If Troy Garity, the guy playing the porn-star/patient on this week's episode of House had actually done porn. Now, maybe he has and it's just not listed (wouldn't be surprised if that's the case), but it would be nice. It would be really cool too. Porn actors are actors too. Especially since the writers just happened to use this as an excuse to make the case that monogamy=commitment. When it doesn't.

Abandoning Objectivism

I read Atlas Shrugged in college with the intention of doing one of those ARI scholarships, but I never managed to write the essay. In fact, it took me 9 months to read the damn book, and I still haven't read all of the John Galt Manifesto. I used it as an example of a manifesto in a class I took Freshman year, but never read the whole thing.
Now, it's really late so I have to be honest here: I loved Atlas. It was so emo. So self-centered and self-important. So much like I was at the time, and the sex scenes were pretty hot too. I also enjoy the way Ayn Rand writes fiction, which is strange because I can't get past page 106 in Master and Margarita or even past the first paragraph of any Dostoevsky. (I can't even read modern fiction from Russia, despite how awesome the Nightwatch movies are.) Rand's style, while traditionally Russian (read: long and overly-detailed, with a slow-moving narrative) allowed the book to take on a life of its own for me. Francisco was played by Antonio Banderas; John Galt by Michael Shanks; Christian Bale was Hank Rearden; and I, at the ripe old age of 19, was Dagny having all that dirty, shame-embracing sex with those older, more successful, more powerful men who really, truly understood what Dagny did not: you have to destroy civilization to really save it.
Ah, what a load of bullshit. It's so funny how this person who was educated in a public system funded by the blood, sweat, and tears of everyone in the country (Rand moved to the United States when she was a kid, mind you, so the majority of her education took place here), emphasized this idea of "every man for himself". It's even funnier how, despite the fact that she claims each of the characters was self-taught in their given field, everyone who reads that book whether they admit it or not knows that the greatness of each of these great characters was won on the backs of poorer, dumber people.
Hank Rearden could never have built his Rearden Metal without people to work in and manage his factory. And someone was managing the money that his wife squandered.
Francisco's fortune was based on exploitation of the noble savages of Central America who, whether they actually count as people or not in Rand's world, built the empire that Francisco inherited rather than earning.
Even John Galt had some form of learning, had some form of acquired knowledge that allowed him to build his amazing motor. Without the contributions of previous scientists, Galt (Tesla) would never have done what he had cause he would have needed to waste his entire life developing 300,000 years worth of human technology. You don't go from fired-clay pots to a sonic lock in one lifetime. It's not possible.
And no matter how much she loved trains and civil engineering (which, on its face defies the entire point of the philosophy espoused in this 1069 page tome -- civil engineering in a "one for all and all for me" society? Preposterous! Figure it out for yourself!), Dagny Taggart couldn't survive without a man. Whether it was Daddy, her brother, Francisco, Hank, or John (hell, she probably banged Ragnar too, but that part got edited out so that Rand could keep the book under 1500 pages), Dagny was never "one for all and all for me" because of her inherent inability to function as an independent person because of that damned uterus. It all comes down to the line about how she knew that she didn't deserve John's affection. Dagny made herself less because she was always trying to live in a way that made a man want her. She fucked up her life, threw away her father's company, and shamed herself into intellectual submission. For what?
Rand doesn't go into what happens when all the lights go out in New York City. She doesn't manage to extrapolate that the completion of her "Objectivist" philosophy is absolute anarchy -- oh wait, actually she does, but it's totally a good thing cause that cuts out the rabble. The idea of a person being paid what they are worth is fine, but most people don't develop any monetary worth on their own. You're either born into wealth (like all of the protagonists in Atlas), or you gain it through schooling, the most effective form of which is through the public school system (and yes, I'll admit that I am over-looking the failings of public school, because that's not my frakking point here). Public school brings the most amount of knowledge to the greatest number of people, and those people will grow into their potential in ways that would be impossible if the only option was private schooling.
Libertarianism is fine for some things like drugs and sex, but the only way to maintain a truly free society is with a social safety net that includes public school and various social programs that keep people from having their potential actively denied them because they had the bad luck not to be born a Taggart. The bottom line is, there's no such thing as a "Self-Made Man". He doesn't exist. Each person in a society is only as free as the least among them. It may not be ideal for someone who likes to think of themselves as being completely independent, but it's true: injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
More to the point here, Objectivism is silly because it pretends to be "objective" when it's really subjective. Promoting selfishness above all else is not objective, because acting solely in your own interest requires a subjective point of view. Utilitarianism is far more objective than "Objectivism", because the reality is (when things are viewed objectively) the needs of the many do outweigh the needs of the few; at least until we get skin color and external versus internal genitals involved. That's why we put people in jail. That's why we go to war with countries that are smaller than us and don't really have nuclear weapons. That's why the Cold War was a cold war, because if it became a hot war everyone on the planet would have died so that some guy in either Moscow or Washington could prove his dick was bigger.
By lacking significant forethought and objectivity, Ayn Rand made a mockery of her own philosophy of selfishness. No one saves the world by building little canals along their front lawn, and even if Dagny did get to live happily ever after in Galt's Gulch everyone there lacked the ability to be objective enough to see beyond their own needs and thus lacked the ability to affect significant change and save the world. They merely sat idly by, fiddling while Rome burned.
Good book though.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Introducing the Post-Modern Chef

I've put up a food blog for recipes and such. Post-Modern Chef!
While I possess some impressive skills in the kitchen, all of my chef-training has been in the form of eating. I have a strong sense of taste and smell, and sense-memory, so it's easy for me to put different flavors together in my head before making those flavors into food.
Of course, in my domestic goddess duties, I pretty much can't make many traditional recipes. Most of what I'll post here will be free of gluten, wheat, spelt, eggs, dairy, cane sugar, cranberries, and/or garlic, because those are the dietary restrictions I'm presented with at home. That means that a lot of the recipes here will be helpful for those with these allergies, and some recipes can be modified for those who follow vegan dietary restrictions.
It should also be noted that because I cook by feel, most of the measurments are going to be approximate, and on the low side. Remember, you can always add more, but you can't take stuff out.
Anyway, bon apetit!

Friday, November 13, 2009

In defense of Carrie Prejean

Renee at Womanist Musings is absolutely 100% right and 0% wrong. Shaming Carrie Prejean, beauty queen or not, right-wing-tool or not; for a solo sex tape is hypocritical on the part of the left who are criticizing her.
First of all, by making a video of herself masturbating, Carrie is promoting a health body image for young women in the sense that it's okay to touch your vagina, but is also helping (whether she knows it or not) promote safer sex for teens. Believe it or not, abstinence is only one of the ways to prevent, with 100% certainty, unplanned pregnancies. Mutual masturbation is another method. Especially if you're separated by a video screen.
Is Carrie Prejean a hypocrit on this subject herself? I don't know. The only thing I've heard her moralizing about is gay marriage. I've never heard her say anything about teen sex, or masturbation. Is she a bad person? No. Is she dumb? Maybe. But neither of those are even remotely relevant to this issue here.
We've all been teenagers at some point, and while some of us had better self-control, or different ideas about what was an appropriate exchange between a 17-year-old girl and the object of her affection, it's no one's place to condemn Ms. Prejean for this. It's bad enough that her mom was in the room when the video was shown as a means of getting her to back down. It's even worse that Carrie Prejean's 15 minute fame-timer seems to be stuck on 14:49. But do we, on the left, really need to sink so low as to continue to make this an issue? Not just an issue of shaming an allegedly dumb, allegedly biggoted beauty queen, but an issue of hypocricy.
I make it my mission to enrich the lives of women. Now, keeping her in the news may be enriching Carrie Prejean, but what kind of a message is it sending to young women? Think about that before you go moralizing about this whole incident. And if that doesn't work for you, imagine what you would feel like if something explicit you shared with a boyfriend or girlfriend at the age of 17 was suddenly all over the internet. We've all done something like this, so shut the hell up and get back to running around like your hair is on fire on other issues... like the economy. Carrie Prejean didn't do anything wrong.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Keep digging, Glennykins

Glenn Beck says:

"...It's hard to know what anything is worthy anymore. You have to think like a
German-Jew in 1934 for or, um, maybe 1931."

I face-palm. That's just too offensive for words. Nevermind that he was trying to scare people into supporting his sponsors. Nevermind that he gets a paycheck for saying stuff like that.

Monday, October 26, 2009

This is too funny

I got a comment this morning on an old post. Anonymous writes:
Obama really is a "fascist" and also a believer in one world communism. Also, "feminism" really is a form of Marxism. You can check my claim out for yourself. The proof is all over the internet.
See what I mean? Fucking hilarious. Especially since "proof" and "internet" are kind of mutually exclusive... not unlike fascism and communism.
Keep it up Freepers.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Sparklepony reward motivator

I am working on a personal challenge this quarter (in addition to my Star Consultant goal), which involves booking 5 appointments each week of the quarter.

I will go to the Fluevog store and put these shoes on layaway. Each week I do my 5 by Friday, I will put $20 toward my shoes. This means that in 10 weeks I will have my shoes paid off. It just so happens, that there are approximately 10 weeks left in the quarter!

And nice new red shoes for the holiday season!!! I'll be putting a picture of these shoes on my MK board to help motivate me, and in the meantime I'm spreading the word because when you tell people your goals, they become more real and seem easier to reach.

My question for you is: is there a goal you need to set? A prize you want to reward yourself with? Go for it! Share your goal and get to work!

Sunday, October 4, 2009


Looks like McDonald's will now be serving patrons at La Louvre. Some art lovers consider this a "sign of the apocalypse", but I disagree. I think McDonald's belongs at La Louvre. An installation piece that, more than anything else represents the culture of today. A "McCulture" if you will. In the tradition of Andy Warhol, McDonald's has taken something great and unique, mass-produced it and made it available to everyone with 99 cents in their pocket. Warhol did this and died a very rich man.

Allow me to break down my theory here.

Pop art was what some might call a "travesty". It elevated something as banal as a soup can to the level of the Mona Lisa and people ate it up. Warhol's cynical genius created a movement that is still going today. He used the skills that he had (marketing) to make people want his work and want him. There's nothing special or interesting about an 8 minute film of a man sleeping. There's nothing original or thought provoking about off-color reproductions of images of Marilyn Monroe. Unless you view it as a commentary on the comodification of our culture.

Now, if you believe as I do, that the purpose of art is to create something that shifts the view of your audience to be more sympathetic to your perspective by showing them exactly what you see, McDonald's is one of the greatest art franchises of the 20th century. McDonald's has created a real-life performance piece about the comodification of our culture. Not only that, in being so ubiquitous within our culture it has created a "McCulture", changing our slang. Kids meals are Happy Meals. Burgers are Big Macs. A teenager's very first job (often in food service, often at McDonald's) is a "mcjob". Giant houses that go up in a matter of weeks are "mcmansions". In a sense, McDonald's has continued the work of Andy Warhol, (and Marcel Duchamp before him), in making an art out of making chumps of everyone around them.

It's impressive and hilarious, but as I've already said, very little exemplifies contemporary culture more than McDonald's. As such, I believe it belongs at La Louvre. Centuries from now, art history students will look back at our culture and, just as we look back at the Renaissance and only see Michaelangelo and Titian; they will see Warhol and McDonald's. They won't know that we didn't think of McDonald's as art, much the same as people of the 17th and 18th centuries didn't really think of the contents of their cathedrals as art. That's not the point. Michaelangelo changed the way the world viewed itself. So did Warhol.

So has, arguably, McDonald's.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Apparently my opposition to Glenn Beck interferes with my objectivity

Guess what, America: I am not objective.

Another big surprise: neither are you.

Blogs are not news outlets. Bloggers are not journalists, although sometimes we pretend to be, and bloggers have been known to break big stories. People don't read blogs for news -- at least they shouldn't, that's what newspapers are for -- they read them for commentary, with two purposes in mind:
  • To agree with it.
  • To find something wrong with it so you can disagree with it.
No one who reads a blog does so expecting objectivity. Well, maybe some people do, but they haven't been around the internet very long.

Let me tell you a little secret: I know that the frog was fake. I also know that Markfrog is a stuffed animal. Go figure, a stuffed frog would be upset about a fake frog being thrown in a pot of boiling water by an FM shock jock who pretends to cry on camera while trying to make an incoherent point which is only made to incite people. He's a clown, remember?

But apparently, my opposition to Beck makes me a bad reporter because it compromises my objectivity. But, aside from the observation of Yom Kippur, beginning tonight, Glenn Beck and I have something in common.

NEITHER OF US IS OBJECTIVE. Never have been, never claimed to be. Well, maybe he has, but that just makes him a fucking liar on top of everything else.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Glenn Beck is no longer invited to observe Yom Kippur with me

I don't think that Markfrog would appreciate me sharing the holiest of the High Holy Days with a frog-murdering, point-blowing douchebag.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Frivolity with a side of Beefcake

I podcast the Stephanie Miller show and listen to it during my 3 hour bus commute from home to my Yoga Teacher Training. On today's show, either Hal Sparks or Emmy-award-winng Jim Ward mentioned that President Obama has been overheard saying "Jesus, I wish they'd stop grabbing my ass."

This set me off in a bizzare direction wherein I began trying to figure out which biracial-man-to-whom-I-shouldn't-be-attracted is hotter: Barack Obama, our first not-wholly-white President or the half-human-half-alien who is old enough to have wooed my gran, David Bowie.

Each has his incredible points, and each has something about him that makes me blush. President Obama is, of course, the President and while power is sexy, elected officials aren't supposed to be hot. He's also intelligent, knows how to take and make a joke, and we've all seen those pictures of him on the beach. Hello!

Meanwhile, David Bowie is 62, which means that even by the "half-your-age-plus-7" rule I'm too young for my crush to be okay. But as he ages, Bowie just keeps getting more and more attractive - which is only confirmation that he's not wholly human. Plus, that voice! Generations of women, now have swooned for Bowie, but I am honestly stumped here.

Do I go with the 60-year-old double malt whisky, or the 40-year-old special reserve rum?

What do you think?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Glenn Beck invites followers to partake in Yom Kippur fast

This is interesting:
Those of you who have read my blog at all might be able to tell that when I first heard about this I was enraged. Furious. Who does Glenn Beck think he is trying to politicize the highest of the High Holy Days?! The most important holiday in Judaism?! You know, something like this:

But then I got to thinking about it... what is Yom Kippur really about? It's not about excluding people, it's not about giving Glenn Beck another 30 seconds on his 15-minutes-of-fame clock, it's about atonement.
Everyone does things that they aren't necessarily proud of of which they are not necessarily proud; everyone has something inside their heart for which they seek atonement. Even non-Jewish people like Glenn Beck. We Hebrews aren't alone in our need and desire to look within and see what we did in the last year that was fucked up, what needs work; how we can do things better next time. So, with that in mind, and the fact that he will be in the Seattle area this weekend, I would like to invite Glenn Beck to my house to break the fast on Monday. I don't want to talk about the "state of the Republic" or politics at all. If he is really interested in sharing in the experience of Yom Kippur, I invite him to do just that. Come with me on Monday to services at my temple, join me for the breaking of the fast.
After all, it's not like he doesn't politicize important Christian holidays, so why should I be upset when he does to Jews what he does to his fellow Christians? And since I have always been invited into the hearts and homes of other Jews when celebrating the High Holy Days, it would be terrible of me not to extend that very courtesy to someone else.
So, Mr. Beck, Mr. Beck's people. Drop me an email and we'll talk. The only thing I ask is that you don't cry on me.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Get 'em while they're young?

Interesting thing happened to me today. I was sexually harassed by a couple of 15-year-old boys while walking my dog. As they were walking up behind me, they started doing the 15-year-old equivalent of cat-calling, which I ignored because it was impotent and unoffensive. However, it was clear that they were trying to get my attention the way male humans attempt to do when they see an attractive female human.
Anyway, my dog stopped to do some dog thing and the boys passed me. As they walked by one of them said of my tits "I bet they're fake anyway." I laughed. "Oh please," I said, "you're like half my age." Then I thought to myself, I wish they were fake. There would be so much less upkeep and I wouldn't have to worry about them sagging down to my knees when I'm old. (It later occurred to me that by the time that starts to happen there will be a Mary Kay product that prevents such things from happening.)
The whole experience got me thinking though, why are accusations of fake-tit-ness considered an insult? I mean, who gives a shit? This isn't my real hair color, (and at the moment it's pretty obvious), but no one would try to insult me by saying "I'll bet that's not your real hair color" (they might point out rudely that my roots are showing, but I already know that thankyouvermuch), especially as retaliation for ignoring his advances. Yet somehow I'm supposed to be insulted by someone who isn't even old enough to drive thinking that my tits are fake? I don't get it.
The implication, of course, is that only slutty bad girls would have fake boobs. And of course, it's not okay to be a slutty bad girl (whatever that means anyway), so it's okay for 15-year-olds to try to hit on you if you look like a slutty bad girl. Had they been a couple of years older, had I not had my dog, they might have been more aggressive (in which case I would have had to take off my Mary Kay pins and defend my honor by busting some skulls and calling the cops).
It's fabulous, really, this thought process that goes on in the minds of some men and boys. You're obviously a slut in a good way so I'm gonna hit on you, but if you ignore me you're a slut in a bad way so I'm gonna tell you what I really think about you. These guys don't understand that we already know what they think of us the moment they start harassing us in the street. We know the second a douche-y little wanna-be gangbanger (and we're talking white kids from the suburbs, so he's more of a wannabe-Shadey than anything else -- which is also amusing for a kid from Lynnwood) starts trying to pick us up in that douche-y little wanna-be way: he thinks that because I'm wearing a skirt, or because I have big tits (that fwiw, are 100% my own fat grown in that part of my body because that's what my genes demanded), I'm a piece of meat.
The funniest thing, though, is that this kid wasn't more than 15. I can see a 25-year-old thinking that he might have a chance so why not say "hey hott stuff" or something inappropriate like that, but 15? Really? First of all, illegal. Second of all, I wouldn't even want to touch him because boys that age have a hair-trigger ifyouknowwhatImeanandIthinkthatyoudo. Third, I'm gonna have to be at least 55 before being half my age will be an acceptable criterion for a guy to whose sexual advances I respond. Finally, where the hell did a 15-year-old work up the chutzpah to hit on a fully-grown woman? Video games? Rap music? Or is it just one more example of the asshattery going on in the world this week? The quadfecta of douche-y diatribes is completed by this little pip-squeak? Well, at least he accomplished something.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Godwin's Law

Dear Internet,
You and I have had some problems in the past. Remember that time you hosed up my computer because of that one bug in IE7? Or that time in college when I put up those scandalous photos? Or that other time in college when I put up those other scandalous photos? We've been through a lot, but mostly we've gotten through it for two reasons: feminist blogging, and old episodes of the Muppet show sliced into 9-ish minute segments posted on YouTube.
Lately, though, there's been some things going on that I just have to call you to the floor for. There's been a lot of talk of Nazis lately, and I'm not talking about the actual Nazis who killed 6,000,000 Jews, 2,000,000 Polish people, 3,000,000 Russians, 1,000,000 Gypsies (or Romani), 250,000 mentally and physically disabled people, 15,000 homosexuals, 5,000 Jehovah's Witnesses (as well as lots of German dissidents, socialists, and other people who aren't counted on the handy little chart on the Holocaust Wiki page). No, those Nazis aren't be discussed so much these days, it's more like asshats like this guy, comparing sex workers to Nazis. Or any number of bed-wetting, Glen-Beck-watching Freeper Morons who keep painting Hitler mustaches on pictures of President Barack Hussein Obama. (Just click the link and hit CTRL+F and type in "nazi" and you'll be able to navigate the handily documented Freeper quotes.)
Now, Internet, we both love each other, and if you want to talk about sex workers being horrible people who prop up the patriarchy by engaging in teh secks with teh menz for teh $$$, fine. Let's have a discussion. You can start with how inherently bad money is because it, too, props up the patriarchy since capitalism is essentially one great big game of "who's got the biggest wang!". You may feel free to continue to tell me how engaging in sex for money objectifies all women by proxy because when one woman does something, all women do it -- which, I assume, is where the myth that "all women are bisexual" came from. But the second that you start saying things like "Nazis used to give certain Jews jobs and power over other Jews in the concentration camps, therefore any woman who engages in sex work is just like one of those Jews that betrayed the others to find favor with the Nazis"; your're doing less for the conversation and more for the perception that you are, in fact, an accessory one might wear on one's hind-end.
And if you want to talk about President Obama's policies, feel free. You can say whatever you want about how certain policies of the administration. Hell, if you want, you can say that he's just as bad as George W. Bush for continuing the war in Afghanistan, and not putting pressure on congress to repeal at least some of the more egregious aspects of the Patriot Act. But the next time you utter a string of words that include "Obama" and "Nazi" without the words "calling President a" and "makes no sense"; you are again doing less for the conversation and more for the perception that your sole purpose, Internet, truly is the browsing of porn.
Internet, Godwin's Law is now in effect. Quite simply, "that overuse of Nazi and Hitler comparisons should be avoided, because it robs the valid comparisons of their impact". I'm just as guilty of it as anyone else, and I understand where the desire to demonize one's intellectual opponents comes from -- especially on emotional issues. It's easy, when discussing these topics (sex work, health care, Governor Sanford's continuing governorship), to allow your emotions to run away with you; humans are not logical creatures, we are inherently emotional creatures, so the first place we go is emotion. We seek to get others to our way of thinking by appealing to their emotions. Appealing to their love of their granny, appealing to their hatred of brown people; appealing to their deep-seated instinct to call women who enjoy sex "dirty, dirty whores".
I'm not saying that you can't continue to love your gran, hate the Mexicans in the kitchen of every restaurant you've ever been to, and stroke your mighty internet-cock while insinuating that women who like sex deserve whatever poor treatment they get IRL. I'm not saying that at all. All I'm saying is to edit out the bit about them being Nazis before you post your comment. Barack Obama isn't a Nazi (by the way, fun fact, the Nazis killed people of color too). Sex workers aren't Nazis. The only people who can rightfully be called Nazis are Nazis and neo-Nazis. That's it.
I mean, if you're watching skinhead porn, that's one thing, but Oz has been off the air for 10 years, so it's time you got over it. K?

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Apparently Canada is bankrupt (according to a questioner).
Inslee: congress members will use public option.
Questioner: if you oppose a public option, give up your medicare, public schools, and all other gov programs" (and someone behind me keeps screaming "NO WAY!"
ans... It has the ability to reduce costs... Not a government takeover... Funded by premiums by ppl who choose public option."
Inslee: public option is fundamental to healthcare reform. "I have seen what happens when people don't have choice... Those ppl are prisoners to their pl
Reform: bans "pre-existing conditions", prevents insurers from charging women more; creates public option; insurance premiums cannot be more than 12% of income
lly what we do in the state of washington"
Proposed paying for it: savings on waste, fraud and abuse: 56%; repeal Bush tax cuts: 12%; "there are very substantial savings to be had if we do nationa
Rep Inslee is pro-reform. Says we can't afford to do nothing.
Liveblogging today from Jay Inslee's healthcare town hall. Have cameraman in case I'm able to ask my question, in the meantime I'll keep updating via the

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Yeah, it's a little warm

"Don't melt," my best friend warned me on Sunday. Sunday, which was about 10 degrees cooler and, when the humidity was under 50% still.
Yesterday was pretty warm, I will say that. The temperature gage in the car said it was 103 at one point (but I'm pretty sure it didn't really get above 95 ambient temp). So, I wore light clothing, cotton undies, and sunscreen. I, for one, was fine with the heat (still am, we're in Day 2 of the Extreme Heat Advisory), but I've noticed a few people aren't.
But that's just how things are in this area. If it's raining, some not-insignificant portion of the population is whining about the rain. If it's cold, some portion is whining about the cold, and the anchors on the news are asking the weather man when it's gonna warm up. If it's overcast and 65 degrees, some portion is whining about there not being enough sun. If it's sunny and warm, some segment is whining about how it's too hot or too bright or too... humid. Because in Seattle, most people can't tell the difference between humidity and sweating.
I've figured out why this is: Seattle is full of people who always need something to complain about, and the weather is a perfect topic because you can't do a damn thing about it except either enjoy it or whine about it. (Personally, I'm more interested in complaining about the complainers than this gorgeous weather!) So, it's the same people who keep saying "it's too hot" or "it's too cold" or "I hate the rain", wah wah wah. The SAME PEOPLE! All the do is whine. And you know, I can't handle it, Seattle! Grow up! If you don't like the fact that we have seasons here, move somewhere that doesn't like California or the Yukon Territories!
Anyway, this so-called Heat Wave (and as much as people on the East Coast or in the Midwest or especially the South will tell us that we're whiny pussies for thinking that four days of 90+ degree heat and 50%+ humidity, it is unusual for the area), is actually quite pleasant for us sun worshippers who really only live here because this is where our families settled down. Of course, once it's over, we're gonna whine, wondering where the sun has gone.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Why do poor people get to have things?

I encounter this argument constantly when discussing social issues. Some right wing asshole will whine about how a woman using food stamps to buy her groceries is clacking away on her Blackberry with her recently manicured nails. "I can't afford that $400 phone, so how can someone on state assistance afford it? Shouldn't they be putting that money into their grocery bill?"
Or -- and this one is my favorite, I encountered it while I was in college full time, working two jobs, and receiving food stamps so that I could pay my rent and feed myself -- "do you have a cell phone? internet? cable? Surely you could use the money for that on food instead of using my tax money".
People who have never been poor don't understand one basic aspect of being fucking poor: you get really good at getting shit for free. Using my own example, I had a cell phone and internet access, yes, my parents paid for my phone, and I was using free dial-up from a service that offered dial-up to people for free without any sort of registration. I made plenty of sacrifices (this was in 2006 people! I was still using dial-up until 2007!), and actually wasn't spending money on these things.
And of course, the woman with the newly manicured nails and "expensive" cell phone (this example I heard on a radio show once), probably got the phone for free when she signed up for the cell phone plan, and there are other ways to pay for a manicure than with money. Maybe she had a girlfriend who worked in a nail salon and offered her a trade. Maybe she worked in a nail salon making minimum wage and one of the perks of her job (a perk that didn't do anything to feed her children) was free manicures.
People who have never been poor make a lot of assumptions about people who are poor. A lot of them. Chief among those is that poor people aren't allowed to have nice things. Ever. It doesn't matter where it came from (a gift from a parent or relative? free gift with purchase? it's actually one of the shittiest phones offered by the company she signed up with?), poor people aren't allowed to have nice things. They should sell those things and use that money to feed themselves. Except that there aren't a whole hell of a lot of things that you can do without phone or internet access (or a car if you live in a 'burbs), but still you hear the whining "why are poor people allowed to have things?"
It's actually really annoying to have someone who has no clue about your circumstances try to lecture you on what your priorities should be. My income is pretty minimal right now, but I have to have a phone so that I can keep in contact with my customers. I have to have internet access so that I can maintain my business. It's not right to make assumptions about someone circumstances when the only real qualification you have to lecture someone on priorities is having a little bit more disposable income.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

A commentary about car commercials

Kia, the South Korean car company, has a new commercial out. I don't know if you've seen it, but the basic gist is that the company has been around for 15 years. C'mon, what do people anthropomorphise more than their cars?
I would say that there's some kind of cultural divide going on here, but I'm pretty sure that's a load of crap because we all know that an American ad agency came up with that commercial. Which makes me wonder if American ad companies really know anything about Americans. Seriously, what were you like when you were 15? I know what I was like, and I do not trust a car company that is willing to boast about being 15.
At 15, you're way past the cute phase. Not only that, you're not far enough past puberty that your body has evened itself out. Acne, hair's still uneven, you're all awkward. Yeah, those are all qualities I want in a car. The upholstry's in places it's never really been before, the car's got acne; sure it's got a GPS unit, but all it ever says is "you're not the boss of me!" Your car hasn't acted this way since it was three, and the worst part about it is the thing's not even old enough to drive!
Awesome. A car that's not old enough to drive. Do you really want to advertise that?

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Michael Jackson, the undisputed King of Pop, died today. I was doing a color facial, when I got a text message from a friend. Later, when I was outside BS-ing with my client (and very good friend) when her fiance came outside and told us it was confirmed, he was dead. When I got home, I played "Thriller" on the big stereo.
Because I can't post the video, which is undoubtedly the best music video ever, it's in the link. But here's a group of prisoners in the Philipines practicing the Thriller dance.

Now, I know, not everyone loved MJ like I do, (and some are downright creepy in their devotion, I just love his music), but today is a sad day in music as we know it.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Jon&Kate plus divorce lawyers

It seems like everywhere I look lately, whatever source isn't covering the shitstorm in Iran (it's like a sandstorm, but with bullets and protesters screaming, in Farsi, "Death to the Dictator"), is babbling on and on about Jon and Kate Gosselin of that terribly-horribly-awful really bad show, "Jon & Kate plus 8" (which has evolved into "Jon & Kate plus 8+, Jon's mistress, Kate's temper, and divorce lawyers) -- j'accuse Yahoo! News.
What I don't understand about this whole thing, is why these people have subjected and exploited their children to be on the teevee, knowing full well how the lives of multitudes of child actors have turned out (only "Blossom" has had a productive life). But what really baffles me is why people care so much about Jon and Kate Gosselin.
For those who are better at avoiding entertainment news than I am, Jon had an affair, Kate got her picture on the cover of some rag spanking one of her dozens of children and that child "screaming in pain" (according to the Entertainment Tonight clip that was played on The Soup this week), and they're going to allow their messy divorce to be fodder for their stupid tv show.
First of all, this isn't interesting, *coughYahoocough*, everybody's family is fucked up. I've been through tons of dramatic family bullshit, but I don't think it should be on the teevee to entertain people whose lives are temporarily not that fucked up. Secondly, they're not providing a service, they aren't providing an example. And instead of delivering even the entertainment value of a day time talk show or soap opera, all that's really going on for the audience is plain old fashioned schadenfreude, the most amusing and ironic part of which is that they show is owned and aired by the ABC/Disney "Family" channel.
I don't know how exploiting your children and the pain of your partner for your own personal celebrity and gain equates to family values in a post-9/11 world, but I do know that despite whatever drama goes on in my family at least I have the character not to allow the falling out to go down on live television. There's a possibility that all of this is just a publicity stunt, or that those children are just actors, and Kate is really a washed up soap actress teevee who got plastic surgery after her last remaining Daytime Emmy disintegrated from exposure to sunlight; that Jon is just a reject from American Idol who managed to get a really good agent... but still. What the fuck, America?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Haven't posted in a while...

To my loyal readers: I apologize.
I haven't had a lot of time to blog cause I've been working the MK business and enjoying the sun. OMG. Sun. In SEATTLE of all places! (And in completely unrelated news, started my Yoga Teacher Training.)
But, in case you've been living under a rock (or don't use the Twitters), here's the Tweet-Stream for the demonstrations and whatnot going on in Iran. All I can really say is: INTENSE. There's a lot of random chatter, but the images and videos are ...just read it. #IranElection
I'll try to generate some content in the next couple of days in regards to domestic issues (I'm gonna leave the Iranalysis to the experts).
For now, I must escape into Mythbusters.

Monday, June 1, 2009

I have never had an abortion

I just want to be upfront about it. Never having been through that does not make me better or smarter or more catious than those women who have been through it. It doesn't make me more righteous in the eyes of some deity who may or may not give a fuck about the contents of my uterus. I have never had an abortion, not even a pregnancy scare. I've been lucky. I got a good education, and I had a mom who was open about the whole birth control thing.
However, I have made the choice. If I ever did become pregnant I would have an abortion. There are a number of factors, and I assure you that it's not a decision I made lightly, but it is my choice to make and no one else's. Similarly, I do not have the right to make that decision for any other woman.
Why, exactly, did I just tell you that? Why would I post something so private on the internet like that? Especially this topic?
Well, ladies and gentlemen, we can't stay silent on this topic. The women I know who have had abortions didn't come to those conclusions lightly, and they shouldn't be shamed for undergoing a legal proceedure that made it possible for them to be the women they are now. They are, and were, in the words of Dr. George Tiller, "emotionally, mentally, morally, spiritually and physically competent to struggle with complex health issues", and shouldn't be treated as though they are or were anything other than that.
I went to the vigil for Dr. Tiller in Seattle tonight. The sun shown on all of us there: women and men, of all ages, creeds, and colors. Some children were enjoying the opportunity to walk barefoot in the wading pool at Cal Anderson Park. All of these people are pro-choice, anti-violence, and believe that women have the right to make up their own minds about what goes on in their bodies and it's not a question of whether abortion is moral or not, it's a question of who we value more, who contributes more: the woman with the uterus, or the zygot/fetus that inhabits it. Do we value women who are not only able to create and sustain human life, but also contribute to society as entrepreneurs, comedians, scientists, educators, and yeah, moms? Or do we value a glob of cells that can do nothing and be nothing without the woman inside whose uterus that glob of cells becomes human?
As a society, we need to decide which is more important. For me, women are more important. And I'm pretty sure you feel the same way, whatever your moral givings or misgivings are in regards to abortion. Most people in this country think that abortion should be legal at least some of the time. Those who don't are often times liars and full of shit, because they'll also back the forced sterilization of women of color, or forced abortions for the women who are essentially slaves in the Marianas Islands (*coughcoughTomDelaycough*). Those who don't believe that women are more important than globs of cells will kill doctors. That's not pro-life.
Most people frame this as two-sided issue, but as it is with many complex issues (such as healthcare), there are far more than two sides. The main groups in this are pro-choice individuals (callously called "pro-abortion" by some), pro-life individuals, and the anti-choice wing-nuts with whom pro-lifers are often confused. Being pro-life does not mean that you are a wing-nut who will kill a doctor for your ideology; it doesn't mean that you picket doctor's offices and health centers and try to intimidate women into not having their abortions.
Being pro-life, actually, is pretty similar to being pro-choice. Most pro-life people that I know seek to protect the life of the mother and the future-child. They believe in preventing unwanted pregnancies just like pro-choicers do, but think that adoption is a better solution. The pro-life people that I know do, however, think that there are some circumstances where abortion is at least an understandable action to take (although, they may not like the idea).
The thing here is that people who are pro-life have a lot more in common with people who are pro-choice than those who are anti-choice. Pro-choice people value life. Anti-choice people don't. The assassination of Dr. Tiller should be evidence enough of that. In fact, you can be pro-life and pro-choice. It's really easy, you just say "I believe that whatever a woman does with her uterus and its contents are her business", and if you want to add "I personally would not have an abortion", that's completely up to you, but it's time that we came to a real consensus in this country and decided that, in reality, a woman contributes a whole lot more to society when her right to bodily autonomy are recognized and encouraged.
As I've said before, if you don't like abortion, don't have one. I'm pretty sure most people reading this are enlightened enough to realize, however, that their experience isn't universal and that whatever they feel is the morality or immorality of abortion, the truly moral thing to do is to respect women's rights and not let anyone else choose for them either abortion or carrying a pregnancy to term.
Now say it with me, I know you can do it: whatever a woman does with the contents of her uterus is her business.
If you're pro-life too, add that last bit.
And, oh yeah, sometimes women who have abortions would rather have kept their pregnancies, but those pregnancies went awry. So don't judge a woman who has had an abortion.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


While I'm glad that someone is finally writing about this most obvious fact of poor life, it's so fucking obvious I'm kinda pissed at the class privilege that comes out in this article. Groceries cost more in poorer areas of town; not having a washing machine means you have to pay to do your laundry -- if you live in an apartment building that has a washer/dryer on site, not only do you have to pay the electricity to run the machine, you also have to pay for use of the machine; transportation costs more and EVERYTHING takes longer to do. Time is money people! And most middle class people don't realize these facts of poverty.
Just read the article.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Oh boy! Class privilege survey!

How many privilege-steps would you have to make?

Step into Social Class (this is an updated version)
A Social Class Awareness Experience
Will Barratt, Meagan Cahill, Angie Carlen, Minnette Huck, Drew Lurker, Stacy Ploskonka
Indiana State University
© 2007

(NOTE: it is taken for granted that you are in college or did attend, since this test was first given to college students.)


An activity designed to help the participants gain awareness of the vast range of social class that exists within themselves and others. This has been updated based on the wide range of feedback we received as this was becoming a popular experience.


A big room with space to move for all participants
Chairs to sit for discussion


Pay attention to how you feel. Angry, sad, happy, winner, loser . . .
No talking – we will talk about this a lot when it is over
Line up here and take a step forward of about 1 (one) foot or one foot length for every fact that applies to you.

For blogs, bold the following facts that apply to you:

Part I, when you were in college:

Father went to college
Father finished college
Mother went to college [She dropped out before I was born and finished via correspondence courses when I was in high school.]
Mother finished college

Have any relative who is an attorney, physician, or professor. (no blood relatives, but do have in-laws) [Well, was a lawyer...step relative...]
Were the same or higher class than your high school teachers
Had more than 50 books in your childhood home
Had more than 500 books in your childhood home

Were read children's books by a parent
Had lessons of any kind before you turned 18
[Voice, junior high]
Had more than two kinds of lessons before you turned 18
The people in the media who dress and talk like me are portrayed positively [I don't know how to answer this... yes and no]
Had a credit card with your name on it before you turned 18
Your parents (or a trust) paid for the majority of your college costs [I wish]
Your parents (or a trust) paid for all of your college costs [I wish]
Went to a private high school
Went to summer camp
Had a private tutor
If you have been to Europe
Family vacations involved staying at hotels [But they were few and far between]
Your clothing was all bought new before you turned 18
Your parents bought you a car that was not a hand-me-down from them
There was original art in your house when you were a child [It was my art.]
Had a phone in your room before you turned 18 [I even had a cell phone a month or so before I turned 18]
You and your family lived in a single family residence [Eventually]
Your parent(s) owned their own house or apartment before you left home
You had your own room as a child [Most of the time.]
Participated in an SAT/ACT prep course
Had your own TV in your room in High School
Owned a mutual fund or IRA in High School or College
Flew anywhere on a commercial airline before you turned 16
Went on a cruise with your family
Went on more than one cruise with your family
Your parents took you to museums and art galleries as you grew up [Pacific Science Center REPRESENT!]
You were unaware of how much heating bills were for your family [I did know, however, that there was a time when a lot of our food came from a food bank.]


What were the feelings that you had during this experience? Were you angry? -- Honestly, no. I was shocked at some things because I wondered if anyone actually got to go on multiple cruises, and own an IRA or mutual fund as a child. I suppose if I had done this with other people I'd gone to college with I might have reacted differently.

Part II, in childhood:

If your body does not bear long-term signs of malnutrition.
If you had orthodontia.
If you saw a doctor for anything other than emergencies or school-mandated shots. [Frankly, I consider not being able to walk an emergency, but chiropractic is a luxury... as is having a mother who has some clue about medicine]
If you heated your home with clean-burning fuels or had properly vented heating.
If you grew up in a house without vermin.
If you had running water.
If you had a basement or foundation under your house.
If you had an indoor toilet.
If your parents and immediate family were outside the criminal justice system.
If you yourself remained outside the criminal justice system.

If your parents had a new car.
If you never went barefoot so that you could ’save your shoes for school.’
If your parents never argued in front of you about having enough money for food to last out the month. [Aaand another step back because I only had the one parent who cried silently in her room because she was scared about not having enough money for food to last out the month.]
If you ate hunted and fished meat because it was a recreational activity rather than as the major way to stock a freezer.
If your laundry was done at home in a washer rather than in a lavandaria. (Laundromat.)
If your hair was cut by a professional barber or hair stylist instead of your parent.

31 privilege points! Go mom!

Daisy wonders why the test doesn't seem to care about family relationships. I have to say that I was kind of insulted that the test assumed that my parents were together in order to argue in front of me about money. Now, not all of the bolded points were true for me throughout my entire childhood, (there were fleas in one of the houses I grew up in; for most of my childhood we lived in multiple family residences and moved around a lot for various reasons), looking at this I have to recognize that I was very lucky as a child, and have been since.

The other thing is that my mom had the opportunity to be extremely resourceful. Yes, we technically went to museums because my mom made sure that we were members of the Pacific Science Center, and going there was a real treat; we were also involved in Girl Scouts (which I was told, as a kid, was also a privilege) so we were able to go on educational outings for a reasonable price with my troop (but I usually missed out on school field trips because we didn't have the money, but I only learned that that was the reason years and years later when I started being able to connect the dots), and because my mom was troop leader, I'm certain that she often organized events that were more affordable in consideration of our circumstances as well as those of other girls' whose families were in similar straits.

So, I don't know... privileged, yes. Lucky, yes. But there wasn't a second that I took it for granted. I even remember looking at the prices of things before I told my mom that I wanted it. Now, I recognize how lucky I was because I didn't really know what was going on most of the time.

Anyway, them's my thoughts... feel free to share your own.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

I'm not sure what this means

Should I feel old, cool, or some other emotion when a line from an Offspring song is used as the subtitle of a story on the Rachel Maddow Show?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A break from random blogging for some content

I can't tell you why the only content I've been posting today are images and little snippets that only really amuse me; I can't tell you because I don't know. I'm having a slow day... and not slow as in the day isn't going by very fast... just mentally deficient and sleepy so I'm baking a loaf of bread and sitting around the house because it's been a while since I've done either of these things.
Another thing I haven't done in a while is put in my two cents about some things that I've been hearing a lot about on the televisions and internets (aside from swine flu, which the CDC has now confirmed 9 cases in Washington state with another 36 "probable" cases -- I'm still not worried, frankly and my advice remains: wash your damn hands).
So, I'll start with Justice Souter's impending retirement. President Obama has to appoint a woman to replace Souter. That's pretty much all I have to say. I've been working too hard lately to pay much attention to judicial nominations, but I'm sure that you are bright enough to have your own comments on Souter below.
Next: Asher Roth. I was over at my non-maternal twin's house last week and heard the song "I love college". Now, as far as hip-hop and rap go, I don't know Akon from Wy-Clef (although, I totally dig the studio versions of Kanye's "Heartless"), but I know a douchebag when he brags about getting a drunk 19-year-old naked (and as memory serves, when I was 19 that was no big feat... hell, it still isn't). Racialicious has an even more in-depth take on this guy than him simply being a douche: he's presenting his white upper-middle-class privilege rapper style as an alternative to blackness. There's a quote of Roth where he goes so far as to say:
“Culturally, Em[inem] was almost a black guy. My background is more stereotypically white.”
Make of that what you will (white=not poor, not picked on, privileged), but personally, I'm pretty fucking offended. I don't know what this guy thinks he's trying to say, but the majority of poeple living in poverty are white (because the majority of the population is white, dur), so when he says "stereotypically white", I really don't know what he's trying to say except that he thinks he's better than people whose backgrounds aren't "stereotypically white", whatever that means.
Finally, last week, Iowa Congressman Steve King wasted some valuable tax-payer time ranting about various kinds of -philias as a reason why Congress shouldn't pass the new Federal Hate Crimes bill (named for Matthew Shepard). Well, take a look...

Now, King wants to exempt pedophiles from being dubbed a "protected class" under new hate crimes legislation because, as we all know, pedophile is a sexual orientation. (And he can't follow the rational thought on the other side.) I also don't think it dignifies a congressman to call someone's sexual organs "plumbing" on the floor of the House of Representatives.

Feel free to throw in your two cents on any of this in the comments...

Dear World...

Dane Cook is not funny. Please stop giving him comedy specials, lead roles in movies, and any recognition whatsoever because he is not funny and hasn't been since 2001.
Thank you.

And now for something completely different

Monday, May 4, 2009

Monday Doggy Blogging

Stew, and his dad, are both natural skeptics (although, it's hard for a pug to be skeptical), so everything I say is met with this expression.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Oh no! Swine flu in Washington! Everybody PANIC!!!

Oh wait, not really. 14 suspected cases.
May I remind you that as of July 2008, the population of Washington State was 6,549,224. If we round up to 7,000,000, 1 in every half million people in the State of Washington may have been infected thusfar. That is, if those cases of swine flu really are swine flu. According to the CDCs' website on this thing, there haven't been any confirmed cases of swine flu in the state of Washington yet.
Moreover, there have been 141 confirmed cases in the country, with 1 death. That is a less than 1% mortality rate, and this thing isn't exactly spreading like wildfire. It's been going on for a week and we've had fewer than 150 confirmed cases. In a week. That's not very much, if you're at all familiar with air-borne pathogens.
Okay, so, let's do some math here.
We'll say the population of the US is holding steady at 300,000,000 (three hundred million), and we'll say that there really have been 150 cases. That means 1 person in every two million people in this country has caught the swine flu.
Now, two million is 2,000 thousands. So what do these numbers mean? I'll use some local examples.
  • Safeco Field, where the Mariners play, holds somewhere around 50,000 people. So, if you cram four people into every single seat in Safeco Field, ONE PERSON in the entire four-times-over-capacity staduim will be infected with this swine flu.
  • In the city of Seattle, (population just under 600,000) less than one third of a person would be infected.

So, yeah, as the numbers currently stand, one in every two million people in the whole country has swine flu. And, I know, with more people infected, the rate of infection will go up, of course. But let's just say that the virus capable of causing a pandemic is a teeny-tiny-teeny-little underacheiver when it only infects 141* people in 5 days. I'm pretty sure Wilt Chamberlain spread faster than that.

That's not to say you shouldn't take precautions. You should ALWAYS wash your hands with hot water and soap, and if you're immune-compromised you should do it more often. Keep the rest of your body clean, including your fingernails, and if you bite your fingernails (like my Schmoogie does) FUCKING STOP IT! It's gross, and you're going to get sick.

Take your vitamins, get enough sleep, cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, eat a balanced diet, and all of those other things your mom got on your ass about when you were a kid. Moms are the CDC's infantry, you know. Also, don't lick or kiss your classmates or coworkers (especially if they are sick), and again, wash your damn hands. (Most people don't seem to realize that our hands touch everything, and that everything everywhere is covered in germs. I repeat: YOUR HANDS ARE COVERED IN GERMS.)

So, enough with the panic, alright? The Seattle Erotic Arts Festival is this weekend. Go enjoy some penis art instead of freaking out about a virus that is affecting 1 in every 2,000,000 people in this country.

*Yes, I realize I am flaunting my American privilege by with this statement. There have been 331 cases in 11 countries, according to The Who... I mean, the WHO. Now, I don't have a calculator big enough to figure out how many billions of people that is per case (bearing in mind that there are 6 billion plus people on this damn planet, and over 200 countries). So, when we look at the global outlook on this stupid thing, we find that the panic is even less founded than previously thought. Just wash your goddamn hands, okay?

Monday Friday Doggy Blogging

Glamor pug! Digital image (natch), photoshopped for the Ye Olde Pugge on a Chaire look (in the photography world, we call that sepia toning). This'll be going in my "what I did over the weekend" file. But it's just so adorable (a-DOOR-AH-bluh) I had to post it today... plus I didn't post any Stewart on Monday cause I was really busy being away from my computer.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Laura Ingram: ingesting hormones is bad for you

Listen to Jessica Valenti on *shudder* Ingram's show here. Note to Jessica: you go girl.
Near the end, Ingram goes on a brief diatribe about how taking birth control pills is bad for women because they're ingesting hormones everyday (but of course, because pregnancy is "the natural course of the human body" the havoc played on a woman's hormones is not bad for her -- which I guess is why ...nevermind, another subject for another day). Taking pharmaceuticals that synthesize hormones is bad for you.
I have two kinds of hormones I take daily. Birth control is one of them. The other is a naturopathically prepared synthesized thyroid hormone. One of these pills will prevent me from having to deal with the side effects of a condition that could leave me paralyzed. The other keeps me from losing my focus, getting migraines, keeps my energy level from dropping, and helps treat certain depression symptoms. Now, if you're a doctor, you're gonna know which one is which, but if you're Laura Ingram, I'm guessing you don't know which is which.
But that's not my point. My point in taking birth control is that I don't want to have children, and while it also helps to prevent a condition that could leave me paralyzed (because I have a hole in my spine and having something growing in my body right on top of the place where that hole is could have severe ramifications for my health), I don't really have to justify it. I don't want kids. I just happen to have medical reasons for that as well, and taking those hormones, while it may have an effect on my body at some point in my life is actually less dangerous to my overall health (and I suspect this is the case for a lot of women) than a pregnancy would be.
Now, the second part. The second hormone pill, Levothyroxine...
Our bodies make hormones naturally. During our entire lives, depending on stress level, diet, exercise level, and natural bodily chemistry, our hormones fluctuate. A woman has a cycle of hormone fluctuations and this is what causes various things to occur in our bodies that lead fertility and the much maligned and feared period. Hormones regulate everything in our bodies from the reproductive cycles (for each gender), to level of aggressiveness, even cravings for specific foods. Everything in the body is regulated by hormones. My body doesn't make enough thyroid hormone (which regulates, among other things, metabolism), and as a consequence makes too much thyroid stimulating hormone, called TSH, and that leads to a whole bunch of shit going on in my body including some of the symptoms listed above. So, every day I take a pill with a synthetic hormone called Levothyroxine in it which helps my body to regulate my T3 and T4, and make sure that I'm not producing too much TSH. I have a condition called hypothyroidism, and while it is mild (thank GOD!), not taking that synthetic hormone actually would do more damage to my body than taking a synthetic hormone.
So, once again, Laura Ingram doesn't have a fucking clue what she's talking about. Now, she might say "that's not what I meant!", because, well it isn't. Telling people that taking birth control pills could give you cancer (which I'm pretty sure there's no data to back up) is just another way of taking reproductive options away from women -- especially young women. There are some forms of birth control that are bad for you, (depending on your individual chemistry, your age, whether you smoke, blah blah blah), but a blanket statement like "taking synthetic hormones is bad for you" is not only demonstrably false (see above), but advice like that can actually hurt people. But of course, Laura Ingram is not a medical doctor (again, thank GOD!), so no one would take her advice seriously, would they?
I freaking hope not. I, for one, will be continuing to take my birth control to prevent pregnancy and to manage symptoms of what I think might be endometriosis; and I will also continue to take my thyroid pills every day. Because I know that not taking these synthetic hormones (which my body produces, but not in great enough amounts to do what I need the medicine to do) every day will in fact harm my body and quality of life more than whatever side effects may or may not be associated with taking synthetic hormones every day.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Friday Feminist Fuck You[r delicate sensibilities]

I belong to an internet community of really smart people with big egos, and in that internet community, we discuss all kinds of topics including female health issues. Recently the thread has been active. We've been talking about pap smears and other procedures that prevent cervical cancer, as well as menstruation and endometriosis. So one of the guys on the board comes into the thread and posts a "vomit" emoticon.
This is offensive for two reasons: first, the thread is called "female health issues", but because this man feels a sense of entitlement (not only to all areas of the board, but that everyone is entitled to his opinion) he feels it's not only necessary but acceptable for him to express his displeasure at our discussing our sexual organs as they exist in circumstances that aren't sexy. If you're a woman, you're probably not surprised by this. In fact, you're probably used to it, but that doesn't make it any less offensive.
Secondly, the discussion of the penis occurs throughout our culture (and message board) and is very rarely restricted to one thread on a message board. If the guys on the board wanted to talk about prostate health, it'd go into the general health thread. But not only are the women expected to keep discussion of our anatomy restricted to a single thread, we can't even be respected in that single thread and it becomes necessary for random penis-possessor to barge in on our conversation with a vomit emoticon. (And frankly, there was nothing even remotely graphic in that particular discussion. Certainly nothing vomit-worthy.)
Men pull this kind of shit all the time. The mere mention of a period, (any period, even the grammatical kind) is likely to cause a man to cringe. Posting "Woman issues. Ow." as my status on Facebook got me a "TMI!!!" and admonishment to step away from the crackberry from my boyfriend. Now, he's got more inside information than the average person who keeps up with my Facebook, but still. Yes, everyone knows what I meant by "woman issues", but it's certainly not too much information to post that I'm in pain. Which I am. And it pisses me off. (I won't even go into how "woman issues" only means one thing but "man issues" can mean anthing from health problems related to the male sexual organs to dating drama and daddy issues.)
So, to all those who are offended by my anatomy performing some other function than pleasing you, fuck you and your delicate sensibilities. I bleed. Get over it. And no, I'm not over-reacting cause of hormones. You're being an asshole.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Visit for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Couple of things: poor Jessica. I know 3 against 1 is the model for conservatives versus liberals on cable, but holy shit, that was hideous. I'm surprised she was able to restrain herself from screaming over the other three women (actually not that surprised, Jessica's teevee persona is pretty even-keel), since they kept talking over her. I mean, how fucking rude is that?

Second, I don't get why the other gal couldn't even look at, let alone directly address Jessica. She was using the John McCain debate technique... I'm surprised no one was called "That One".

Finally, that shit at the end about "what girls do with their bodies have consequences for the rest of their lives"... that's why we should teach about contraception. Duh. And, uh, doesn't what anyone, regardless of gender, do with their bodies have a consequence? Or am I wrong in thinking that boys have to face up to consequences too?


Monday, April 20, 2009

Monday Doggy Blogging

Sometimes Stewie is a very wistful dog. Earlier today, as momma was watchin' her stories, all he wanted was to go for a walk. And I snapped this picture with my Crackberry, without him even knowing.
We did go for a walk. He enjoyed it very much. Especially the part where we stopped at the doggy store and he got three cookies and some water.
Now he's asleep, and I'm watching Rachel Maddow and drinking a beer.
Welcome summer. Please, stay a while.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Play nice or get out

Lots of drama, (via).
Okay, let's start at the beginning with some vocab: "cis" or "cisgender", (if I am understanding it correctly by way of context as well as this post on Feministe), means that your genetic gender and the way your mind perceives itself gender-wise match up; cisgender people are people who are not transgender or otherwise gender-queer. For a lot of people (including those who are offended by the term), being cis means you are "normal", and I think that perception is what's causing a lot of the drama in Feminist Bloglandia.
For some reason, some people just don't understand that pluralism applies to everybody. If we get to live in a pluralistic society and have whatever sexuality we feel is normal or natural, that means everyone else does. And it doesn't stop at sexuality or religion or racial issues, it extends to gender. The funny thing is that feminism started as a gender issue, yet radical feminists are the last people to get on the gender-plurality bandwagon, and stop being assholes to people whose gender doesn't fit in with the binary gender our culture has forced upon us because our biology (mostly) limits us to one or the other.
The issue is that some feminists think that trans women aren't women. They get offended at the idea of a woman who was born male using the women's restroom. They think that the woman who was born male really is still male, and so will act like a man, and of course the transwoman, who identifies as a woman, who dresses as a woman, who experiences society as a woman -- who sometimes experiences society on even worse terms that ciswomen because she gets the sexist end of the stick from men and the cissexist end of the stick from some women -- is a woman. Period.
We've got all of this shit floating around about what makes a "real" man, what makes a "real" woman; but the large and small of the whole thing is that if you identify as a man, you are a man and if you identify as a woman you are a woman; if you identify as something other than a man or a woman, you are something other than that. And believe it or not people, there are those out there who identify as neither male nor female, or as both; those people exist and they need to be acknowledged as part of society and as part of feminism. Feminism isn't just for women who were born female, who were born white, who were born middle class. Feminism is for the betterment of all women everywhere, and that happens to have a pretty cool side effect (in theory) of making the life better for everyone else who do not identify as women.
The real issue here is prejudice... and well, outright hate in some cases. We can't do this. As feminists we can't do this. Those of us who are not transgender/genderqueer need to educate ourselves rather than expecting people who are transgender/genderqueer to do it, thereby othering them (either purposefully or subconsciously). After we get educated, we need to reach out to trans and genderqueer people and tell them we are sorry for excluding them from feminism and from society. These women (and men) are women and men. They experience society differently from cis-people, but part of that is because we make them. That's not fair.
And I'll tell you something about forcing someone to experience society differently because you think they deserve it: it's not okay. Men have done it to women because "god" made them bigger and stronger. White people have done it to non-whites because "god" advanced their technology faster so they could colonize the rest of the world. Straight people have done it to gay people because someone's god somewhere said that being gay was "an abomination". And now cis feminists are doing the same fucking thing to trans and genderqueer feminists (as well as poor, nonwhite, etc feminists) because god has made it so their brains and biological gender are the same? Come on. We feminists rail against sexism in all of its forms... but when we start acting like assholes because the people we're being sexist against were born male -- this is okay?
Newsflash: it's not. Sexism is wrong. Racism is wrong. Homophobia is wrong. Transphobia is wrong. Cissexism is wrong. We can't play this game, feminism. We can't cut people out like this. It's only going to make our job as feminists harder and our world uglier for all women.
People don't get to be treated well because they were lucky enough to be born "normal"; you treat people well because it's the right thing to do.