Friday, December 29, 2006

Friday Random Ten: Dead Saddam Edition

The list this week doesn't actually have anything to do with him, but I'm watching the coverage as I write this, and felt like I should at least mention such a piece of news, even though I don't really have much to say. I feel weird about the fact that he's dead. I don't really have an opinion on the death penalty as a policy issue, but it makes me feel weird, because it's the ultimate premeditated killing. Somehow, it's strange to be notified in advance that at X time, a person will be dead. Especially when it's someone who is such a cultural figure like Saddam. He's a kind of celebrity, and he was publically, openly put to death.

It's weird. That's all I know to say about it.

Anyway, the list, which I started making in my head this morning, is themed "songs with weird time signatures", because rock (which is what I listen to almost exclusively) is heavily skewed toward 4/4 with a steady tempo. With help from Wikipedia:
  1. Pink Floyd - Money: in 7/4. Conducted as pairs of 3/4, 4/4 measures, at least the way I always heard it with the triplets, and that's what the sheet music says, although David Gilmour calls it 7/8, and according to music scholars, it's technically in 21/8!
  2. Blood, Sweat, and Tears - And When I Die: I can't find anything on it, but it sounds like a mix of 4/4 and 3/4 to me, changing with the different tempos. (tempi.)
  3. Jesus Christ Superstar - Everything's Alright: one of my favorite 5/4s.
  4. Mission: Impossible Theme - not the modern version: also a 5/4, we did it in band and it was pretty nifty.
  5. Jethro Tull - Living In The Past: 5/4.
  6. Jethro Tull - Thick As A Brick: 6/8. Crazy fluteman is all about the fun time sigs. The article calls it as partially in 10/8, but doesn't say if I'm right on the 6/8 for the rest. But damnit, I can hear it! It sounds medieval.
  7. John Carpenter - Theme from Halloween: 5/4. I heard this thing way too much when I worked at Six Flags during Fright Fest. A fun change from the usual location music, which I heard so much of that I'd hear it in my dreams.
  8. Peter Gabriel - Solsbury Hill: 7/4.
  9. Styx - Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man): 7/4 in some of the keyboard solos. I also think some of the opening keyboard work is either in 6/8 or heavy on triplets.
  10. Beatles - All You Need Is Love: the verses are in 7/4.
Bonus America from West Side story: split 6/8, 3/4.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Friday Random Ten: Leaving On a Jet Plane Edition

Early, since my interwebbing will be iffy this weekend.
  1. Prince - 1999 - because as long as it's not, in fact, 1999, I decided that you can legitimately party like it's 1999
  2. Jello Biafra and Mojo Nixon - Plastic Jesus - Martha, if you ever see this, it's for you.
  3. Violent Femmes - American Music
  4. Miami Sound Machine - Turn the Beat Around
  5. Killers - Somebody Told Me
  6. O-Zone - Dragostea din tei - in Hungarian
  7. Sean Paul - Get Busy - might as well be in Hungarian
  8. Presidents of the USA - (twofer) Lump and Peaches - Lookout! (ninjas appear)
  9. Jason Mraz - Curbside Prophet - I never noticed before, but he mentions SpaceGhost!
  10. Fergie - Fergalicious - she's expanding the reach of her fascist Fergtatorship
Bonus track: Jimi Mistry - Chori Chori Gori Se - I swear this man is the Venga Boys of Bollywood. Seriously, listen to it, and tell me that doesn't sound like the same semi-truck horn accent. Plus, it's got steeldrums!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Friday Random Ten Not On Friday: Middle of the Night Edition

I never remember about this until I read everyone else's the next day.
  1. Disturbed - Land of Confusion
  2. Kelis - Milkshake
  3. Outkast - Hey Ya
  4. Miami Sound Machine - Turn the Beat Around
  5. Beatles - Helter Skelter
  6. Boomtown Rats - I Don't Like Mondays
  7. Peter Gabriel - Big Time
  8. Cranberries - Zombie
  9. Eve 6 - Inside Out
  10. Rolling Stones - Sympathy for the Devil
And Jon and cat pic: Jon communes with The Loki.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Your mother's a tracer!

So there's a vehicle that I see parked near my office building frequently. Along with its multiple "Character Counts" bumper stickers (which I'm told are from a local elementary school program, but I remain suspicious), it has one that says "I don't believe the Liberal Media".

And my first thought was, good for you, van owner! You shouldn't believe what the liberal media tells you, for the same reason you shouldn't believe what you're told by, say, a blue dragon wearing rhinestone pants. Because, to quote Banky Edwards, they're both figments of your fucking imagination!

Johnny Hart, why did you have to start sucking?

B.C. comic for today, Pearl Harbor Day (here)

OOh, look, Americans are sellouts for not boycotting products from a country whose ass we kicked and whose leaders that fought us are likely all dead by now! Not to mention the fact that lots of Toyotas are built in Ohio, and Americans own stock in it!

WTF, mate, WTF.

(My parents own a bunch of B.C. collections from the '70s or '80s, and he didn't used to be a weird conservative nut. Sad times for my comic pages when all that started.)

Saturday, November 18, 2006

FRT: I don't understand 'Friday' edition

Seriously, self, wtf?

  1. Fergie - Fergalicious
  2. Electric Six - Gay Bar
  3. Beatles - Baby You're A Rich Man
  4. Tenacious D - The Pick of Destiny
  5. Genesis - Land of Confusion
  6. Boston - Peace of Mind
  7. U2 - With or Without You
  8. Jim Carrey as The Mask - Cuban Pete
  9. John Mayer - Waiting On The World To Change
  10. America - Horse With No Name
And in lieu of catblogging, bunnyblogging, from my visit to BunTown! (a family farm in my area lets you visit with the pet rabbits they raise.)

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Friday Random Ten: A Capella Edition

Shower singing and car cd player dying singing made this list, as noted. Yes, I know it's Saturday night. I have trouble keeping track of what day it is.

  1. Rush - Closer to the Heart (stereo died)
  2. Jesus Christ Superstar - Everything's All Right (in the shower)
  3. They Might Be Giants - Istanbul (Not Constantinople)
  4. Seekers - Love Potion #9
  5. Chi-Lites - Are You My Woman
  6. Joe Walsh - Life's Been Good
  7. Rob Paravonian - Pachelbel
  8. Peter, Paul, and Mary - If I Had A Hammer
  9. Yes - Your Move/I've Seen All Good People
  10. and this time it's actually relevant instead of a running joke - Don Quixote - Man of La Mancha (not Scott Bakula this time; I just got 'Don Quixote' as an e-book from Project Gutenberg, and though I haven't started it yet, the song got stuck in my head)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

I am a lightswitch.

It's an inelegant metaphor, but I just figured out something that I'd been struggling with in attempts to understand myself. Where the ideal functioning of the mind is kind of like a dimmer switch, mine's a plain up-and-down. Now, this isn't so much the part that's new - my ex always told me that I saw everything in black and white, that I took everything to extremes, and in some sense he was right. I always hated it when he said that, and really wished I could deny it, though, because the way he said it always carried this implication of, you don't see the shades of gray, therefore you don't understand nuances, mature minds can deal with complexity and nuance, therefore, you're immature. It always felt like a veiled insult, whether he meant all of that or not, but I knew that the surface description was accurate. So it hurt. A lot. It was just one more way in which he thought I wasn't grown-up enough to take care of myself.

But, to pun on my metaphor, a lightbulb went off for me today - a train of thought I'd been teasing out since I last talked to my counselor about not being a good enough person (I promise the connection will be explained further in) finally reached the key step - I remembered that I tend to go to extremes, but suddenly realized that this was not, in fact, indicative of an inability to understand complex nuanced ideas, but a reaction based on seeing too many shades of gray and not knowing how to process them. The more I learn about ADD, the more I hear that our issue isn't, for many, a true deficit of attention; though it appears that we aren't taking in information around us, the real problem, at least the way it looks from inside our head, is that we can't process and decide what information to pay attention to and what to discard.

It hasn't solved the problem of what to do about it, but realizing that being a lightswitch doesn't make me immature or stupid made me feel better, and made me more able to understand what's happening in there.

To give an example, I like Revenge of the Nerds. But I feel like a bad person, because I shouldn't, because there's an implied rape-by-deception scene in there that's treated as comedy. I feel like I should condemn the movie, never watch it again, reject the people who made it, and not be friends with anyone who likes it. But I'm not willing to do that, so therefore I am condoning rape. The same thing happened, only worse, when I found out that the guy who makes Girls Gone Wild is a rapist, being that my parents own those stupid things. I wasn't willing to disown my parents, and I should've. My counselor said that that was going too far, and that it was a reasonable decision to choose my longstanding loving relationship with my parents over making a statement (in my case, before people jump on her for not being enough of an activist), but I couldn't accept that, because I felt like I was just making excuses. How could I claim to oppose rape when I can't even be strong enough to cut ties with my family over their having unknowingly given money to a rapist?

Yes, I know it seems silly spelled out like that, and that's why I said it that way. My mind was telling me that the nebulous opinions of people who may not even exist - the people I would hope to prove myself to and hope to help by doing so - were worth more than my love for my family and theirs for me. She says not wanting to never speak to my family again was a good reason, but I felt like it was a weak-willed excuse coming from a person - me - who was deep down a truly hateful person, and that the excuse was just my way of covering my ass.

So since then I'd been thinking about it, especially thinking about what would motivate me to think this way. I thought about how sometimes I feel like I don't actually care, I just care about not being a bad person - kind of how there are people who have racist feelings, but don't voice them not because they care about stopping racism but because they know that saying things like that in polite society gets you ostracized. This got me thinking that maybe I worry so much because I'm afraid that if I don't keep a tight rein on myself, I won't care at all, or that I'm trying to make up for not disowning my family or whatever by CARING SO HARD!!1!1!!

But that doesn't really solve anything, does it? And as she pointed out, what would rejecting my family really do, anyway, other than make us all unhappy? It wouldn't actually make the world a better place, and one could argue that it'd make the world a slightly worse place because we'd all be miserable.

But not everything is that straightforward. And here's where the light switch fits in. Once I start seeing nuances, I see all of them, including ones that may not be there, and I don't trust my own judgment about what's real or not, and what's worth it or not. So in an attempt not to leave anything out, I just go all the way with it, and then hate myself for not being able to live up to a standard that no one's asking me to meet. But I can't tell for myself where the actual bar is, because of the cognitive overload. My default settings are that either everything's a fair reason to continue to do what I do - this is the off position, as I can't consciously not care, it only happens when I'm distracted from myself; or everything's an excuse and I'm just a horrible person. And the more I learn about liberal and feminist politics/philosophy/social work, the bigger the wattage that comes on when something flicks that switch.

I can't live in the dark, but the 3zillion watt bulb is burning my eyes out. I need to learn how to decide for myself where the bar is, and what counts and doesn't (obviously, misogyny is bad, and equality is good, but does that mean I can or cannot watch Law and Order SVU without guilt?). To flog the metaphor one last lame time, I'm hoping that the counseling can teach me how to install a dimmer switch on my brain.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Friday Random Ten: Found my Classic Rock MP3 CD Edition

I thought I'd lost the cd I put all of my classic rock mp3s on. Again. Nicely enough, I found it in my mp3-cd enabled portable, and it was even labeled!

  1. Ohio Players - Love Rollercoaster
  2. Kinks - Lola
  3. Led Zeppelin - Misty Mountain Hop
  4. Billy Joel - A Matter of Trust
  5. Guess Who - No Sugar/Mother Nature
  6. Blood, Sweat, and Tears - Go Down Gamblin'
  7. Mason Williams - Classical Gas
  8. Fifth Dimension - Age of Aquarius
  9. Who - Happy Jack
  10. Wings - Jet
And cat pic:
He's currently taking up my whole lap, napping.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Bet you didn't think I'd actually make a list

After all the fighting between Molly and Jill, I threatened to make a list of all the things that feminists are not allowed to do or like/must hate themselves for doing or liking. I’ve been thinking about this for days, but now I have something to credit it to that’s a little less depressing than “all the ways that being aware of feminism reminds me that I am a terrible person”.

So here we go, kids! (Includes self-indulgent commentary on whether or not I do it, or why it made the list.)

  1. Wearing makeup. I’m not good at it, so I rarely wear it, but I do own a lot of it.
  2. Dyeing your hair. Or fancy styling. I’ve had highlights, dyed my hair over almost black (which since I’m chocolate brown already, didn’t do much), and own cherry-red gloss dye. I also have hair down my back, but I don’t heat-style due to lack of coordination. Which leads us to:
  3. Body hair removal. I go through phases. I also take requests if I think it’s for decent reasons (i.e., my partner dislikes underarm hair on anyone, including himself; he doesn’t like me going out showing hairy legs because he has to deal with the aftermath of me feeling like everyone is looking at me funny. No, the meds don’t stop the paranoid.)
  4. Wearing heels. As long as they’re below a certain point, I like the different sensations of balance. Reminds me of marching band. I think it’s related to how I always wanted to dance in toe shoes – for me, heels require precision of movement, and I like it.
  5. Wearing skirts, especially if they’re short. I don’t wear anything leg-baring very often anymore, because I don’t like having to do the prep work (see #2), but I do like my long skirts.
  6. Liking girly colors.
  7. Getting married, especially if it’s to a man. I’m cutting it close here – I’m not married yet, but I do live with a man.
  8. Any sex with a man, but especially giving head. Bad straight girl, no cookie.
  9. Not opposing porn. I don't want to get into details, but around here some of it's for heckling and some isn't.
  10. Thinking the burqa photoshop (link goes to a critique, not the original post) made a good point. I’m white, so I’m not allowed to have an opinion, because by default, I’m already a racist. (It’s offensive for white people to think they have anything to say about race issues. For the record, I’m not saying they said this – I got this from a message board I used to go to.)
  11. Watching Keith Olberman.
  12. Watching Revenge of the Nerds. Funhouse scene.
  13. Watching Kevin Smith movies.
  14. Liking Star Wars.
  15. Liking Star Trek.
  16. Liking Indiana Jones.
  17. Well shit, I’m not going to name every movie in the world just to beef up my list. You get the point.
  18. Having cats, apparently. Does it help if my cat votes for liberals? (yes, he’s a – wait for it – DemoCat. Blame Jon for that one.)
  19. Having a Citibank credit card, shopping at Walmart, eating meat, and driving a car. Oh, I’m sorry. Those belong on the list of progressive reasons why I hate myself.
  20. Cooking, sewing, or doing any other hobbies that are ‘women’s work’. I knit and crochet, do a little sewing (mostly modifying stuff I have or very basic construction, like making a skirt by turning a piece of fabric into a tube with a drawstring waist), and cook every once in a while.
  21. For a while there, I was convinced I had to disown my parents because they own Girls Gone Wild videos (the guy who makes them raped at least one of the 'stars'). I called my mother a rapist. I love my parents a great deal. This was a hide under the bed day.
Well, I think that gives us a good start. Let me know if you come up with additions, and I’ll put ‘em in.

And just so it’s clear, I’m not defending my doing any of these things. I truly do hate myself for each and every one of them (except the cats), and I’m not being snarky. It puzzles my therapist, even, how someone can hate themselves so much and not self-destruct, but I told her I was just too selfish to die.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Friday Random Ten: Awesomely Bad Edition

As posted in comments at Feministe:

This Random Ten is composed solely of vh1’s awesomely bad songs (from here), numbered by their rankings, with commentary:

  • 39. Informer - Snow
    The moral of the story, based on what we deciphered on a long car trip: never bring your Atari to summer stock theater or Lou Diamond Phillips will slap you in the face and take all your Gak.

  • 29. I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That) - Meat Loaf
    What is ‘that’? We think it might be ‘lose weight’. I've seen Meatloaf skinny. It’s bad news.

  • 23. Thong Song - Sisqó
    I just like to say thong th-th-thong thong.

  • 20. Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American) - Toby Keith
    Why does he want to sodomize people with boots, anyway?

  • 19. You’re the Inspiration - Chicago
    You know your relationship’s in bad shape when ‘your song’ is Chicago’s “Hard For Me to Say I’m Sorry”. Which has very little to do with this song, but it’s a funny story.

  • 17. I’m Too Sexy - Right Said Fred
    I’m always in favor of absurd satire in song form.

  • 10. The Heart of Rock & Roll - Huey Lewis
    If Sir Mix-a-lot can have a traveling shoutout song, who’s to criticize the News?

  • 7. Party All the Time - Eddie Murphy
    For the love of god, Eddie, why?

  • 5. Ice Ice Baby - Vanilla Ice
    Because anything less than the best is a felony.

  • 3. Everybody Have Fun Tonight - Wang Chung
    I know what a Wang Chung is!

  • and bonus: 1. We Built This City - Starship. All humor aside, this is one of my favorite songs.

    and cat in shower pic:

    Friday, August 04, 2006

    Friday Random Ten: I don't recognize anyone else's music

    I wanted to play too, after seeing the Feministe and Pandagon kidz doing it.
    So, my horribly out-of-touch list:
    1. Reel Big Fish - Beer
    2. Reel Big Fish - Hungry Like the Wolf
    3. Beastie Boys - Intergalactic
    4. Fatboy Slim - Weapon of Choice
    5. Chemical Brothers - Rockefeller Skank
    6. The Who - Baba O'Riley
    7. The Venga Boys - Venga Bus (or whatever the hell it's called)
    8. SR-71 - Right Now
    9. Sir Mix-a-lot - Big Butts
    10. PDQ Bach - Grand Serenade for an Awful Lot of Winds and Percussion (5 parts)

    and of course, as always, the bonus track is Scott Bakula's Man of La Mancha!

    and here is a cat pic.


    Sunday, July 30, 2006

    And she wants to bone Joe McCarthy.

    Why I have three Ann posts in a row, I'll never know. I'm sure you've already heard about how she proclaimed that Bill Clinton must be gay because he likes to bone lots of chicks so I won't go into that aside from saying what?
    Quote from an interview with her, on McCarthy:
    Joe McCarthy, she said, was "a totally studly guy. He was a big bear of a man. Big, handsome man. Yes, McCarthy really would have been perfect. He was funny, he was big, he was studly, he was a boxer. Very solid on the issues. Really knew how to tick off liberals. He gets bonus points for that." She laughed. [NY Observer, archived here at Free Republic, sorry, only source I could find.]

    Anyway, point was, go read this book to learn more about the Soviet spy-hunting era - there were lots of them, but they were gone by the time Joe got there - and to get nasty chills about just how crazy he was.

    Oh, and just so I don't have to make another post about miss crazypants, she's been going around making fun of Rahm Emanuel for being a trained ballet dancer - go to her site to check it out, it's on the front page right now. Apparently that has something to do with how well he can work in politics? Oh, excuse me, she says it makes him a wussy faggy girlyman.

    She's once again proved to me that on top of everything else that's wrong with her, she has horrible taste in male esthetics. Because damn. Dancers work their asses off, and male dancers are some of the most toned and sleek men out there. To me, that spells HOT. Not faggy. HOT. Think about it. A guy who can lift you up and toss you around, and is probably more flexible than you are. No gross bulging veins on those muscles. Not to mention the kind of stamina and muscle control you end up with...

    ~fans self~ OK, I better get back to work before I get too distracted :)

    Keep out of the reach of children.

    They put Ann on the top shelf. Can't have kids thinking real people actually behave like that.

    Monday, July 17, 2006

    I think you can see Ann Coulter's poon.

    Wonkette covers it. Or doesn't, as the case may be.

    I never actually thought she was secretly a man. I just think she's evil. And her books stare at me when I'm in Borders. Jon had to promise me that she can't get me through the tv.

    Oh my god I hate Tom Coburn.

    He's on CSPAN repeatedly referring to embryos as young humans. Tells a story that a kid asked him why we fine people for hurting bald eagle eggs but fund people to 'kill young humans'.

    He just had a chart talking about how if we kill embryos, we could kill the next JFK, MLK, Mother Terea, and Ronald Reagan. I think lots of people have already covered how this is RETARDED.

    Then he goes on to say that the stem cell debate isn't a faith issue, but then slips up and says embryos are 'sacred'.

    He claims he wants cures, and that people have to leave the country to get adult stem cell cures, and why are we killing young humans when we could be giving people these cures here except I don't want to fund that either?

    I think he also tried to say that mitochondria are life. That is actually true in a way - scientists think that they used to be another organism that had a symbiotic relationship with early cells and were pretty much permanently taken in to the cells' makeup - but I really doubt that's what he meant, because he would've had to explain it, and he sure didn't. I just know that because despite my humanities degree, I'm a science nerd at heart.

    You know that these people screaming about the babies that we aren't actually killing are going to take full advantage of the cures once we find them. It doesn't count when it's us, right?

    Pretty much everyone in the public supports the research. The public hears the argument that a cell is more important than a person and doesn't buy it. My god, Bill Frist supports this bill! But Sam Brownback and Tom Coburn (I tuned in just as Brownback finished up, sorry) went on tv and said that liberals want to kill your babies so they can protect the bald eagles, and that that somehow relates to stem cells but we swear, not Jesus. No, there's no Jesus here, except for the Jesus that's here.

    So I ask you:

    What the hell is Tom Coburn's problem?!

    When the Congressional Record or other transcripts become available - I'll check back tomorrow - I will link to and post exact quotes from the crazy bastard. 'Til then, you'll just have to settle for the word of a baby-eating liberal, amirite?

    Thursday, June 15, 2006

    More tips that make you think I'm weird.

    - Don't be afraid to mix stuff when it comes to beauty products. Obviously try a little first, but it's great for finding ways to use up stuff you weren't going to finish off. Like I mixed a foaming soapy cleanser with some lotiony alpha hydroxy cleanser because one was too greasy and the other too drying. Result!

    - In that vein: have makeup that's too dark in tone but otherwise right? try mixing a little of it with cornstarch powder (for powdery things or if you want to thicken the consistency), zinc oxide cream (look for it near the sunscreen - it's that surfer-nose stuff - or in the baby section as it's the primary ingredient in diaper rash cream), or milk of magnesia. Note that milk of magnesia is a bit drying and is really good for treating zits and soaking up oil, but it's going to (still) be liquid; the zinc oxide comes in an oil base, but doesn't leave a visible oil finish and is an anti-inflammatory agent (hence the diaper rash cream), so the oil shouldn't at all rule it out for oily-skinned kids - I love it on my oil slick of a nose - and! it'll give you a bit of extra sun protection.
    Anyway, the point is to get something that'll keep its white pigment and can go on skin.

    - If you buy condoms, and can shop online/have things shipped to you, Amazon has fantastic deals. I just bought these - 2 36-count boxes - for 26.38. That's less than 37 cents a condom. At stores around here, they're $12 for 12. And (curse you Amazon!) they're even cheaper now than when I bought them last week - $19.99 for the 72! And they're often in the 'free super saver shipping' deal. So you can afford to stock up, especially if you have a favorite model.

    Monday, May 29, 2006

    Small crazy animals.

    So, are opossums more easily confused by moving vehicles than, say, squirrels? I saw one in the street the other night, and it didn't seem to understand how to get out of the way of the car, even though the vehicle had come to a complete stop. It kept running back and forth over about an 18 inch area until about 2 minutes later it finally made up its mind. Maybe they really are just kind of dumb.

    Sunday, May 28, 2006

    Yay for life hacks, or, I'm a cheap lazy hippie.

    - Calcium chews work just like Tums on indigestion as they've got the same major ingredient. They're not cheaper, but if you already have some, you don't have to double up purchasing/storing products. Obviously Tums supply calcium as well, but the chews are tastier and often have other supplements in them as well that are just nice to have.

    - You can get basic jewelry, such as sterling silver chains or small hoop earrings, for ridiculously cheap at craft stores. Look in the jewelry findings for fun bits.

    - Put a bucket under the shower while you're waiting for the water to heat, then use it to fill your washer. If you can spare the space, you can keep it in there while you shower off to the side and collect even more water - I can get 2 5-gallon bucketsful on days I wash my hair (it takes more shower time).

    - Just about any soap or detergent can be used for laundry - leftover shampoo, extra dish soap, whatever. Good as long as your water isn't ridiculously hard and unsoftened for laundry; in hard water, soap can be a bit annoying. This works because laundry soap is, aside from the additives like brighteners or bleaches, just a variation of the detergents in non-'soap' body cleansers. It's all similar chemicals. If you're using actual bar soap, make sure it's powdered as fine as you can get it, or mix with borax or washing soda. I'll be back to add a recipe link later, but it's easy to google for - homemade laundry detergent should find it.

    - Assuming it didn't make your skin hurt or anything, and you don't have anyone to give it to, use up rejected face cleanser on your body. More efficient than throwing it out.

    - Hair conditioner can be shower lotion, like that fancy olay kind; shave gel; or fabric softener, on natural fibers especially .

    Saturday, May 13, 2006

    And I don't even read comics...

    But I do read Tom. My banners, showing my allegiances in the upcoming Marvel Civil War (whatever the hell that is):


    Edit: one more!

    Friday, May 12, 2006

    New bite-size post categories!

    I realized I don't post often enough because I think I don't have enough to make a full post, so I've decided to start also making little bite-size posts more often on various things not deserving of an essay. For example:

    Random Facts I always wanted to know:

    On air-exposed surfaces, sperm has a lifespan of 1/2 hour to a few hours, based on how long it takes for the semen containing it to dry completely. So, the 'wet spot' is potentially fertile, but only until it dries. (And it's pretty unlikely to transmit even when it's wet anyway, but that's beside my original point.)

    My ass must smell like candy today, because everywhere I went, people were constantly up on it. I was in Walmart, and every time I tried to walk somewhere, there was someone right behind me. And never the same person, so it's not like I had a stalker. I've never had this problem in heavily-populated urban areas, so it makes me think that here people just aren't used to there being as many people as there are - like we've had a population increase to urban levels but without a corresponding change in the personality of the city.

    Random Questions
    Can cats smell people pheromones, or identify through their more sensitive sense of smell hormonal changes, or ID male vs. female humans by smell? More specifically, do you think my cat can tell that I'm female vs. Jon is male, and can he ID my menstrual cycle? Our girl kitty seemed like a 'daddy's girl', whereas Loki, Norse Cat of Mischief, is a 'mama's boy', and I'd love to know if any of that had to do with male vs. female smells.

    So, like that. Also, I'm getting into life hacks - will edit with links to good sites later - and so that's going to be a category. Mainly I want to start writing more even if it's in smaller chunks. Let me know if it's working for you.

    I wanna go dutch with Jesus.

    I just figured out something that bothers me about the concept of Christianity (as opposed to its implementation, which is what usually bothers me)by getting reacquainted with a cheesy forward from my grandma - the one about donuts, in case you've seen it, where the professor demonstrates salvation through donuts and pushups and i really just want to move on to my analysis because damn.

    Anyway, what bothers me is this: Jesus died for your sins, just like the pushup kid paid for your donuts. But I was raised to pay my own way. In Christianity, that's not an option, and that makes me uncomfortable. In some sense, when someone pays for you, you feel an obligation, like you owe them something in return (you know, like they say about buying a woman dinner). I don't feel comfortable being obligated to my God - it feels like it cheapens the spiritual experience. I don't expect everyone to feel this way, as I know I have a freakishly overdeveloped sense of guilt (another reason why Jesus doesn't work for me, because damn, by my very existence I've just tortured someone and killed them), but it weirds me out. I want a religion that has you take responsibility for yourself. I'd rather pay for my own sins, no matter how much suffering that leaves me with, because at least that way I'm not stuck with the weight of a debt I can never repay.

    Sunday, April 16, 2006

    I've got your number now, Ayn Rand.

    I found it.

    'It' being the point at which, at least for me, the layout of Ayn Rand's Objectivism breaks down.

    Objectivism is one of the philosophies that (until now) I knew was off - could just feel it - but that I couldn't find the flaw in the logic. It was all consistent, and the premises made sense, but the conclusion was just plain wrong. Around my house, this is known as the Austin Powers phenomenon - you know, "Yes... Yes... No! No!" I get the same thing with Plato.

    But I found the flaw. So there, you crazy Alan Greenspan-boning Russian.

    The philosophy basically lays out like this. (My summary from reading the summary in the back of the Centennial edition of Anthem.)

    1. What's real is real, and our job is to perceive it. Creating your own reality by perception = wrong.
    OK, though I'm not sure I completely agree, this doesn't set off any bells. Go on.

    2. We are reasoning creatures, and the best way to deal with everything is through reason (since our job is to perceive stuff and figure out what to do with it). We must be free to use our reason as we see fit, and therefore guide our lives as we see fit.
    Same response.

    3. Therefore, we make our own choices. We are the captains of our own souls, so to speak. Therefore, everything that happens to us is of our own making - there is no such thing as a victim of circumstance - and therefore there is no place for altruism or charity, because that just subsidizes people who chose to make bad choices.
    Ding ding ding! We have a winner!

    There's a part 4, but it has to do with art and I don't care because I found the break point. Here it is:
    You get where you are by making choices. Those who have crap lives just made bad choices so fuck them.
    How do you learn to make good choices? You are taught, either through life experience or through schooling of some kind.
    How do you get this experience and education? By learning from mistakes; by, say, going to school.

    But how do you get into the school?

    There's always a gatekeeper, whether physically or in an abstract sense. People who are poor and have crap lives don't get to learn to make good choices because they can't get the education/experience they need. They're kept out, by lack of resources, prejudice, what have you. They can't, say, make good choices with money, because they don't have enough to pay for school to teach them how, and they don't have enough to survive making mistakes and losing it.

    That's what a true liberal (in all senses of the word) social safety net, both economically and culturally, is for. It helps people bypass the gatekeepers so that they can learn how to make choices. It's like the large-scale version of not punishing a kid for mistakes made in the process of learning. You can see it in job training programs, public education and healthcare, and welfare (when done right): not punishing people for being born poor. You can see it in making abortion, adoption, birth control, emergency contraception, and sex ed widely available and accessible: not punishing people for having sex. Because shit happens in life, and the world isn't fair. And if Ayn hadn't been so scarred by the Bolshevik Revolution, I expect, as she's clearly clever, that she would have made the connection.

    So there, Ayn. I win. You can't make my brain hurt any more.

    Wednesday, March 01, 2006

    Sing with me: Well done, sister suffragettes!

    I was reading AmandaPandagon's post on Disney's Mary Poppins, and its portrayal of Mrs. Banks, the Victorian 'suffragette' (yes I know this is old, but I've been stewing on it for a while), and I had to have my say.

    O venerable Amanda, I don't agree with you. Maybe I always just saw what I wanted to see, but I never saw Mrs. Banks as an indictment of feminism or the suffrage movement.

    For me, Mrs. Banks is a dilettante, a lady who lunches who'll pick up whatever the new trendy hobby is. This one just happens to be suffrage, but I can picture her previously being involved in things like seances and flower arranging in the same fashion.

    However, where Amanda and her sources see this as a straight condemnation of the movement, as something just silly rich women did for fun, I see it as a point of development for Mrs. Banks and the people around her. Thanks to Mary Poppins's [can you tell I hate AP style on this one] magic, she learns that it's more important, both in general and to the suffrage movement to be a mother to her children. She learns to be an activist instead of just a dabbler. She learns that change begins at home, and that though it's fun to chain yourself to the paddy wagon, she can have more impact by saying, look, I'm a sensible woman, and I want suffrage, so clearly this is what sensible women want.

    I especially see this in the scene at the end where she takes her 'Votes for Women' banner and makes a kite tail from it. I think that, rather than that being an image of giving up her ideals to her family symbolised by throwing away the banner, it shows her development - she's not hiding her feelings from her husband, or limiting her 'activism' to just what she does with her rich friends. She says that her banner is 'a proper tail' for the kite, and the scene of it on the kite has it fluttering, extended so that you can clearly see the printing. She's flying her ideals over the city for everyone to see.

    I think this has a relationship to the larger concept of feminist revolution, the idea of having mothers on board. No matter who else is in your revolution, because of our ingrained feelings about mothers and child-protectors, if you've got mothers on your side, it's a lot harder for your opposition to denigrate you, because how tacky and unfeeling and taboo to attack mothers!

    It's kind of like Jon said to me once: when a man runs for president, if his wife isn't politically involved, it's considered hideously bad form to attack her as part of your campaign, because in the minds of the traditionalists you're probably trying to reach, the First Lady is untouchable until she brings it on herself (Hillary for example).

    It's the same for feminist movements. We want suffrage, we want equality, we want rights, not just for a bunch of 'nutjobby lesbian manhaters' or whatever the stereotype is in the minds of our opponents, but for mothers, and for the children of the future. By having mothers as a visible part of your movement force, you can take advantage of the "American as Mom and apple pie" traditionalism and use it for your own purpose - to point out that treating women as second-class citizens is un-American. Everyone's got a Mom somewhere, and who wants to have to go tell their mom that they voted to oppress her and keep her as chattel?

    I know we don't want to have to rely on the lines of tradition to chage stuff, but it may help.

    Oh, and just because I'm a crazy nitpicker, I think the line is 'Our daughters' daughters will endure us", as in, will live on after us in the changes we've made; I always thought as a little one, until I learned that meaning of the word, that the daughters would have to put up with listening to stories of 'back in the day'!

    Indignant on God's behalf

    I saw another stupid bumper sticker today that read, "Thank God Joseph and Mary were pro-life."

    And I realised that this type of sentiment - and I doubt they realise this - implies that they think God is some kind of blithering idiot.

    Now, stay with me on this one. Regardless of whether you take the story at face value - Mary was a virgin impregnated by the Holy Spirit - or a more interpretive one - my personal belief being that Mary got pregnant her first time, and God chose the child to be His - God wanted the child born and chose Mary for His purpose. So, to suggest that Jesus could've gotten aborted were Mary to get pregnant today implies that God's too dumb to pick someone who wanted a child rather than leaving it to chance. And of course, the fact that any number of things can happen to a fertilized egg between fertilization and birth, none of which would be anyone's fault, suggests that either God kept trying, or God knew what he was doing.

    Same holds for people who try to claim that abortion is bad because omg what if we abort the Second Coming of Jesus? God knows we have free will, and he knows not all eggs make it into babies, whether through human intervention or not. So, if he really wants Jesus to be born, or born again, wouldn't you think he'd cover all his bases?

    Monday, February 13, 2006

    Death By Cheney

    Shamelessly drawing traffic from Jon to show a fun graphic I didn't even make, I just stole from my message board:

    Tuesday, February 07, 2006

    Catblogging: new trend?

    So I've noticed that my favorite bloggers often take breaks from their usual schedule to post catpix. In that grand tradition, here is my catkid, Loki the Norse Cat of Mischief, who is sitting in my lap right now--->

    <---And this is the little catsister he never met, Mooshi. She passed away at a young age from feline leukemia.

    I like to think that she sent Loki to keep an eye on us for her because of how he picked us out. We were at the shelter, wanting to adopt a cat, because we were so lonely without her, and were following around this little brown tiger, trying to make its acquaintance, when Loki came up to me and took my arm as if to say, no, come play with me instead. We figured it was a sign, made friends with him, and brought him home.

    Monday, January 23, 2006

    Blog For Choice Day: Because Corinna doesn't know where I live any more

    So I know I missed the date, and I hear you were supposed to sign up or something? but I decided that, like every other boring small-time female blogger with a story, I'd tell my story of experience with abortion. Don't worry, it's short and comparatively unemotional, as I am a CYBORG!

    (The title refers to a crazy anti-abortion group leader who went to the same college I did. Note that crazy is a separate qualifier; we always felt that having her as a spokeswoman undermined her cause. She liked to hand out fetus dolls, and everything in her life was a reference to her political views. She despises Jon and, as he lives with me, with my paranoid imagination, I always pictured her as someone who would smile while throwing a Molotov cocktail into my house.)

    All right, on with the show. I was 20. I had been with my ex for 3 years at that point. We had lost our virginity together back at 18, and were planning on getting married after college. But all was not well. Basically, this was around the time that our respective 'crazy's started to really manifest, and we fed off each other, and there was fighting, and crying, and accusations of saying things that the other person had no memory of saying and why the fuck would I say thats and well, bad things. We went on vacation together over the summer, while we were each at home from school with our respective families, which put me a 10 hour drive away from him, and 5 hours from our vacation, the drive to which was an adventure in itself.

    When I finally arrived at our destination, I was so relieved and um, excited, to see him, that I forgot all about the birth control I had had to make a detour and buy as I'd forgotten my diaphragm at home, and we spent three days using the wishful thinking method. It was prime time for baby, too, so I found out 10 days later I was pregnant.

    I found out the day after my period was due, as I used to go like clockwork. Fortunately, we'd discussed it long before, and I knew that abortion was the best choice, between the situation, the medication I had been taking at the time, and the fact that any extra hormones in my system make me want to kill myself (yes, literally). My mother was with me when I found out, a fact I think he never forgave me for, that I went to her first.

    After some debate about logistics (which city do I go to, as I'd have to go back to school six hours away in a few weeks), I scheduled with PPChicago for RU-486.

    Then the arguing began.

    Both my family and his were aware and supportive - his mom and dad took care of me while the pills were doing their thing. But when I decided that I wanted to change my appointment time so that I wouldn't have to miss the first day of the semester driving 3 hours to Chicago, he flipped. He got it into his head that I wasn't taking this whole thing seriously enough, as I was still going about my life, not freaking out or grieving for a stupid mistake like he was. He didn't think I was acting traumatized enough! He was 100% with me on the choice for abortion, but he didn't understand that I wasn't upset, because he was. I respect his feelings immensely, but there's no reason I should be expected to feel the same way when I don't. I felt like I had an alien life-form in me, and I wanted it OUT. I think if I ever want to carry a pregnancy intentionally, I'm going to need counseling, not because I'm scarred, but because IT WAS FUCKING CREEPY.

    Well, words were had, tears were shed, and we made it to D-Day intact. When we got to the building, they wouldn't let him in, because he'd had his ID taken as part of a speeding ticket stop. So in I go, give the lady my check for $450, and head down to the bunker for ultrasounds, blood tests, counseling, and meeting with the doctor. I felt bad sitting in the room with the women coming out from sedation, with me all chipper in my khakis and jacket, just because I had more time and money to avoid surgery. The doctor was vaguely creepy, but in a reassuring way - he struck me as someone who'd been doing abortions for a long time, possibly illegally before Roe, and who would continue to do so regardless of the law, not out of high-minded principles, but just because it was his job. He seemed kind of like he'd seen too much, but didn't quite know the right tone for a perky unafraid little suburbanite.

    They gave me the pills and the instructions, and the painkillers and the phone numbers, and sent me home with instructions to expect the nurse's call tomorrow and to return for a followup in a month. Off I went.

    Funnily enough, this is the anticlimactic part. Everything went to plan; I didn't even need the codeine they gave me - the heavy-duty ibuprofen was enough. I saw a small bluish shrivelled balloon emerge from my vagina, thought, hey, that's what I saw on the ultrasound, didn't expect it to be blue, wrapped it up and set it in the trash. Gave a prayer (or as close as I come to it) that I've repeated almost every day in the 4 years since: Thank you, God, for not making me carry this child.

    My ex and I broke up 4 months later, and finally separated almost a year to the day after.

    I see children, or think of how old mine would have been, and I feel an incredible sense of relief. I wasn't ready to carry a child. I don't know if I ever will be. And thanks to being a white suburban middle-class girl in America, I didn't have to. I'm not sorry.
    And I'll be damned if I'll let anyone take that away.

    A postscript: Oddly enough, I ended up sharing the fact of it with Jon on our first date. Not something I'd usually do, but it just seemed appropriate, and it was.

    Sunday, January 01, 2006

    the PATRIOT Act ate the balls I don't have*


    - You cross a military base while driving back and forth to work. When you pass it, and realize that 'War' by Edwin Starr is playing on your mix cd (in between 'Stayin' Alive' and 'The Final Countdown'), you apprehensively change the track.

    - You realize that by talking about the PATRIOT Act on your blog, you're just asking for it.

    *as I'm female; in honor of the 'Ate My Balls' website series.

    How you know the PATRIOT Act is getting to your mind, man.

    1. When you see that the nice old man who always stops and says hi to you at your lame retail mall job has a 'citizens to defeat Hillary' card in his wallet and you start to think he's out to get you.

    2. You worry that the government is going to make you 'disappear' after spying on you through your cat's microchip ID ('Lo-Jack for cats').

    More to be added as they arise.