Sunday, December 30, 2007

Gender Blank as a superhero

I went here and turned myself into a hero of some sort. I got to choose all sorts of things - skin, nose, companion, colors, insignia and pretty much everything else you see there. Note the hairy legs. And the hair in a low ponytail. And the gray cat. I never wear shirts that fitted, but mostly everything else is spot on. Except the weapons. I'm not into weapons. Also, I don't have an aura of leaves following me around. I don't think.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Saturday cat blogging

Ernie and Gender Blank 12/28/07

Oscar and Ernie goin' at it. Again.

First Weigh-In (Round 2) - 12/29/07

All righty. So I'm a couple days late with the first weigh-in. It took a couple of days to finally convince myself I was going to do this again, and today is Day 1. If you'll remember, my last weigh-in was back in July when I weighed in at 183.2. Then all hell broke loose and I started eating everything in sight. And this morning I weighed in at 197.5. So, that's a gain of 14.3 pounds since July. Shudder.

But I think I'm finally ready to start. Witness the contents of our refrigerator. Not completely empty of crap, as you can see by the labels, but pretty good. If there were no opportunity for eating any crap, I don't think I'd make it.

And here's tonight's dinner, worth 8 points. Mini turkey meatloaf, baked potato, steamed carrots, spray butter. Not a shabby start to this whole thing.

Weight Watchers tells me I should have 24 points per day at my weight, and I'm sitting at 19.5 right now. Much better than I thought I'd do today. I think my typical intake hovers around 40 points or so. I haven't been counting, of course (which was the problem, really), so that's just an estimate. But it's probably pretty close. I don't meet many foods I don't like. Or that I can't cram down, anyway.

So, we're off (again)! I'm looking forward to not feeling bloaty in about a week or so. Gotta give it time to work its way out of my system.

I'm looking forward to next week's report. See you then!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Book Reviews

So, I finally finished The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd. I started it way back at the end of October, I think, so it's about damned time. I liked it from the beginning, but I got sidetracked by having to read a different book for my book club (that review a bit later) right in the middle of it. Also, I only read right before bed, and I had been going to bed long after MonkeyPants was asleep, and it bothers her to have the lamp on, and I haven't yet found a book light that's worth a shit. So, I spent several weeks not reading anything at all and just playing Bejeweled before bed. What I'm trying to say is that you shouldn't take my tardiness in finishing the book to mean that I didn't enjoy it.

Because I did. Like, a lot. So much so, in fact, that I put up with a shitty book light the last several nights just so I could keep reading. I was actually holding the book in one hand and the light in the other, shining down the page as I read because no position allowed by the clip-on feature lit the whole page at once. I might as well have been using a flashlight. But you make accommodations for things you love, and so I did.

If you haven't read it, it's about a white girl whose mother dies when she is young and who grows up being mistreated by her father. After springing her black nanny from jail, the two flee their home and go in search of answers about the girl's mother. They end up staying with three black beekeeping women in a pink house. The story is told against a backdrop of 1964 civil rights struggles in the south and ends up being a story about the feminine divine, the power of sisterhood, and the healing power of love. Which sounds like it came right off the book jacket, but it didn't. I think it came from inside the book somewhere.

Anyway, Sue Monk Kidd is the kind of writer I enjoy. She is inventive with the language, she fully fleshes out her characters, and she believably tells a story from a specific voice - in this case, the voice of a fourteen-year-old girl who she admits is not much like herself at all. The longing and the aching in the book were palpable. I felt that character. I identified with that character despite growing up in the 80s in the white midwest with two great parents. That's how expertly crafted the book was. Two thumbs, way up.

Contrast this with that fucking book I had to read for the book club, which, unfortunately, ended up being The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks. Now, I admit I'm no fan of the romance genre, so I was not excited about the book from the start. Also, I'm not a fan of books that become movies featuring James Garner. Just as a general rule. So The Notebook was going to have to work very hard to win me over.

But, as I'm sure you've guessed by now, it didn't. The story itself was okay for the most part, except that it was a sappy romance with an unbelievable subplot about true love conquering Alzheimer's. It's just that the writing was so different from pretty much anyting else I've read. And by different, I mean horrible. Absolutely uninventive, no creativity, no sophisitication. He did this. Then she did that. Then they went there. Then she said something. Then there was an awkwardly written sex scene. Then they cried. Then she got Alzheimer's. Then he saved her. I think I vomited syrup.

But as bad as the book was, I thought the movie was worse. And here's the weird thing - I was irritated that the movie was so different from the book, and I hated the book! Isn't it a sign of a shitty book when the story has to be changed so significantly to still end up being a shitty movie? Of course, I couldn't say any of this to my book clubbers (all two of them) because the announcement of The Notebook as our selection is what got them there in the first place. No, instead I said things like how different it was from most things I read, how I didn't really enjoy the writing all that much - fairly benign stuff. I didn't want to shit on a book they really liked and risk them not coming back again. My hope is that we can get a group of six or eight so there might be someone else who can shit on a book they really liked so I don't have to do it. And if someone decides not to come back, it will be no big deal. But for this first meeting, I played nicey nice and only sort of gave the book a thumbs down. In reality, it deserved about four thumbs down. But that's just my opinion.

Our next selection is The Devil Wears Prada, which I hope draws a bigger crowd. At least I know I already like the movie. White-haired Meryl Streep. 'Nuff said.

And while I'm reading that, I'm also going to start one of the books we got from Mama MonkeyPants for the holiday. Wanna help me pick? The choices are A Thousand Spendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers, Atonement by Ian McEwan, and Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire.

Also, anyone know of a good brand of book light?

Remember all the stuff about fatness?

Well. Last year at this time I decided to do someting crazy and start an online journal of my weight loss, knowing full well that people I actually know in real life would be reading it. I thought that if people were keeping up with my progress, it would encourage me to actually stick with it. And it did, so yay on me for the brilliant idea.

I reported a weekly weigh-in every Friday, and after six months of doing Weight Watchers (without meetings), walking, and reporting to you folks, I had lost 30 pounds. I was starting to feel good in my body again - strong, athletic, much less likely to die of a heart attack.

And then I moved. MonkeyPants and I took moving week off from Weight Watchers on accounta we knew we'd be eating all kinds of naughty things while in transition. But we sorta forgot to start up again. I started working and found that I didn't have the time to blog like I'd hoped (or, rather, that I was too exhausted to make time for the computer - the desk job was so much more conducive to blogging!). And I didn't feel like cooking at the end of the day, either. And I didn't feel like counting Points. Or walking. And also there are vending machines right upstairs.

So, you see, it was just a perfect storm, and I was the brave captain going down with the ship. There was no fight for survival, no rising fact, there wasn't a whole lot of anything but eating going on.

And so I am both sad and happy to report that tomorrow (or later this morning, actually) I officially start considering going back on Weight Watchers. Happy because I haven't felt this motivated to do anything about my fat ass in awhile. Sad about the twelve-pound (or more) weight gain that is necessitating the motivational search.

I will weigh myself in the morning and report the damage directly to you. Well, first to MonkeyPants, as she is my partner in the whole dance, but then right to you all. And I know that none of you really gives a shit whether or not I am fat, but I will feel more inspired knowing there are witnesses. And by inspired, I mean under tremendous pressure not to disappoint you all by failing, again, to attain a patriarchally-approved body (even while sincerely believing that everything that comes with the Patriarchy's stamp of approval is either illusory or just plain evil - but that's my baggage to haul around...four devoted readers can't erase thirty years of cultural brainwashing as easily as you might think.).

Anyway, I just wanted to thank you all for existing, 'cause without that, I couldn't rope you into the whole witness gig. You don't have to do much, really. Mostly it's just saying "keep it up" and "that's okay" and "you're fucking fantastic" every few weeks. I'm pretty easy to take care of. Unless it's me doing the caretaking.

That felt like a breakthrough moment.

See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Finish the thought

Phydeaux has tagged me with this meme from pidomon:

I at McDonald's...liked reading when I was growing up...wear a thong...thought I'd live in New York...wear navy blue and black together...color my hair anymore because it covers up the gray...slept with a boy...learned to juggle like I promised...sent about eight wedding thank-yous - is eight years too long?

I at Wal-Mart (and wouldn't ever do such a horrid thing if we had more options in this town)...dress to impress - I leave all the impressing to my winning personality...believe in myself enough...wear makeup - I average about once every two years or other people enough...leave the apartment on Sundays

I Cry...when people do nice things for other people...when my students make me proud...and when my students disappoint sappy television shows...when my family leaves...when I laugh too hard...more often than a grown woman should...less than I used to

I Am Not patient as I would like to organized as I could be if I spent a tiny bit more time at the mood to joke...fair to people who subscribe to stupid ideologies...a perfect radical feminist...prepared for the things 18-year-olds say...busy like I pretend to be - sometimes I'm doing a jigsaw puzzle

I Lose...umbrellas, like, all the time...packs of gum...pens I really like...touch with way too many people because I put off writing or calling until the point at which it will be too awkward to write or call...weight, every few years or, unfortunately

I'm people who foam at the mouth to try to get poor women to have babies they can't afford and then treat those women with contempt when they need help affording those poor people who vote for the Burger King giant people who don't ever consider that other people exist in the people who think that Reagan was awesome

I Miss...being uncritical of and excited about nephew, who calls me athletic body...having evenings free...cornfields...Jose Ole mini chicken tacos...good ranch dressing...New York City

I go back on Weight Watchers...hugs...naps...blogs...students to go the fuck home...crossword puzzles...reassurance...more security...winter see Bobbi and pee...plenty of lead time if my plans are gonna be go to the dentist...Phydeaux to kick me in the pants every few weeks

I Should...go back to bed...put more time into about twenty different projects...stop bitching so much...finish The Secret Life of Bees someone I will probably continue to barely better at confrontation than I less television...quit eating meat altogether

I LOVE...Tivo...books - reading them, shopping for them, talking about them, looking at them on the shelf...MonkeyPants...animals who family...eating...PhotoShop... ice cream...bad 80s movies...being pleasantly surprised...having my faith in people restored by silly things...planning junk...saving money...making people laugh...buying things on sale...nature from a distance...getting up early and then taking a nap before lunch...quiet hours

So, I met my challenge of getting this post up within two days of getting tagged. I won't tag anyone else because I would hate to heap that kind of pressure on you, but I encourage you all to play!

Thanks, Phydeaux, for the kick.

Friday, November 30, 2007

The big trip to the City

So, my family drove out to New York for Thanksgiving week, and we went to New York City for a day and a half. And in that day and a half, I took 349 pictures. Well, actually the first two pictures in the set are of my cat, Ernie, sitting on the computer at home. She was just too much sitting there all cute while I was getting the previous 220 pictures off the camera. Much like she's sitting there all cute as I write this. So, I really only took 347 pictures in the City. But that's nothing to sneeze at. Several of them are blurry as hell on accounta the bus would lurch forward just when I pushed the button. And some are dark because I guess I just don't understand cameras. Even with all the helpful little pictures on the dial. Oh well.

The trip, by the way, was fabulous despite getting rained on. My father and I rode on top of that damned bus in the rain and saw the hell out of that town! I was right when I said a few posts back that the sheer magnitude of the place might be overwhelming. But it was strangely unintimidating. The buildings were effing huge, and there were people everywhere, but I absolutely loved the energy. And I was expecting, on accounta of growing up in Iowa and only knowing what the teevee told me about the place, for people to be walking around guarding their shit. But they weren't. I saw several people who would've made great candidates for a purse snatching, just walking along talking on cell phones with their purses and bags dangling over their shoulders on two fingers. In that sense, it looked just like a regular city. Without the capital C. And it didn't smell nearly as bad as I thought it would. So that was good.

The weather was really an interesting part of the whole thing. It was rainy and cold the day we went, but at 5pm, it got noticeably clearer and much warmer. It was like all those buildings exhaled at quitting time, and the rush of heated air and people out into the streets was enough to warm the place up at least twenty degrees. I went from wearing a winter coat, scarf and gloves at noon to walking around in jeans and a polo shirt at 6pm. It wasn't warm exactly, but it was warm enough.

Oh, Manhattan, Old Girl, how I loved thee, and how sad I am to have to admire you from afar until I save up enough money to be able to step on your island again. 'Cause that's one thing that turned out to be just like the teevee said. You ain't cheap.

Anyway, here are some of my favorite pictures from the trip. And Ernie from the night before.


I took this one mostly for my friend Bobbi. It makes me laugh in a very uncomfortable kind of way. You may need to enlarge to see the words in the window to see why.

This is the two-year-old who traveled with us. Effing doll. Other tourists actually took pictures of him with that monkey leash on.

Central Park. We didn't go in very far because we had a lot of shit to cover in a day, but what we saw was nice.

My favorite tree in Central Park

Just a pretty building somewhere on the Downtown loop

This is where I think all my people were hanging out that day.

Empire State Building

Empire State Building looking all Ghostbuster-y

The last one of the Empire State Building, I promise.

'Cause no one ever takes a picture of her ass.

I may post some others after I edit them a bit, but we'll see. This is three posts in two days, after all. I gotta work my way back into the routine slowly.

An update on which celebrities I look like

So I uploaded a way more recent picture, and this crop of people seems to be a bit more representative than last time I tried it. Still no Bette Midler, though.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Okay, Smarty

Care about world hunger? Think you have a big vocabulary? Then go here. The very worst that could happen is that you get a vocabulary test. The best that could happen is that you feed the world. With your brain. I have never felt better about knowing words and junk.

Out of the mouths of freshmen...

Here's one for the quote wall:

"Why would I be drinking in my room? I'm in sweatpants!"

I've gotten a solid two weeks of laughter out of that one. So I guess I should be thankful.

Ah, freshmen.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

My celebrity look-alikes - WTF edition

All I have to say is...WTF? I haven't even heard of five of these people. Most of them are sorta pretty, two of the people on this list are Asian, and one is Meg Ryan. I look similar to exactly none of them.

You know who I get compared to most often? Bette Midler. Strangely she didn't make the list. Perhaps it was the picture I used. Or maybe it's only because I'm funny and swear like a trucker that she comes to mind when people think of me. It's a mystery (although my mother has been told that she looks like Bette Midler, too, so perhaps it's in the genes).

But Meg Ryan? I mean, come on! People who know what I actually look like have to be scratching their heads on that one.

h/t to Portly Dyke

Monday, November 5, 2007

'Cause Phydeaux said I had to post something...

Greetings, dear readers. Sorry to have left you hanging for, as Phydeaux pointed out, over a fortnight. That is clearly unacceptable, and I apologize.

It's just that this job makes me fucking tired. Dealing with 200 freshmen and their decisions makes me tired. Steering a staff of 19- to 22-year-olds who mostly only care about themselves makes me tired. And dealing with 15 mostly-way-younger colleagues makes. me. tired. But I asked for it, and for the most part I enjoy it, so I should quit my bitching.

What I need is a vacation. And I'm gonna get one in a couple of weeks when all these yahoos go home for an entire week and are replaced by my parents, my sister, and my 2-year-old nephew. We'll be hopping a train into New York City and doing all the typical touristy things (Empire State Building, Ellis Island, Central Park, etc.), red buses and all.

For some reason, it makes me teary to think about me, a fat girl from Iowa, standing in Central Park. I grew up across the street from a cornfield that would fit into Central Park several times over, so the magnitude itself is overwhelming. But even more overwhelming than that is the fact that I grew up across the street from a cornfield. In Iowa. In a town of 979 people. And I'll be in New York Effing City, which always kind of represented "getting out" to me. When you grow up in the Midwest in a working class family, going someplace of the caliber (and distance) of New York City is often a dream but rarely a reality. Aside from my mother, I can't think of anyone else I know from my hometown who has been there. So, perhaps I'm just a country bumpkin, but this is kind of a big deal to me.

It will also be my first time on a train. Apparently I don't get out much.

But until that vacation comes (after which I will need another vacation, natch), I will be putting up with all the usual shit. I got to hear my first alcohol violation cases today (not that we haven't had them, but I am new so I wasn't cleared to hear them before this week), and we had a marijuana bust tonight. By the end of the week I will have chosen two new staff members (from a very weak pool), and I am organizing a mocktail party/winter formal for all the freshmen on campus with a budget of approximately zero dollars. Oh, and some kid put popcorn all over his roommate's shit - under his sheets, inside his pillow case, in his shoes - for no apparent reason. What the fuck is that?

To top it all off, our book club selection went from bad to worse. Instead of The Devil Wears Prada, we're going to be reading The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks. Which feels a bit like cheating on real books. Seriously, I feel a little ashamed.

I have a feeling the next alcohol violation will be mine.

P.S. Thanks to Phydeaux for the kick in the pants. Sometimes I need that.

Monday, October 15, 2007

What I'm gonna read next

So, based on all the feedback I got from all of you, I should be reading The Secret Life of Bees next.

However, I'm starting a book club for the freshmen on campus, and I had a whopping one person show up to the interest meeting (and she received a personal verbal invitation from her RD, so she sort of had to come). And we decided, this one student and I, that we needed to pick our first book strategically - with that strategery aimed at getting more people to the first discussion, after which we can introduce some books we'd be more interested in (she actually wanted to start with Shakespeare, but I guided her away from it by saying that'd be a sure club-killer at the beginning, which is probably true, but the real truth is that I don't want to read Shakespeare).

So, for our first book, we're going with The Devil Wears Prada. Simply to get people (women, mostly) in the door. I'd like to say we'd then throw some Wicked and Poisonwood Bible and Middlesex at them, but if they're coming for Prada, they probably won't be interested in Elphaba. But a girl can dream, can't she?

Anyone else read this book?

Just the type of girl I am

What type of girl are you?!!
created with
You scored as Nerdy Girl

Nerdy Girl




Athletic Tomboy




Popular Bitch






Preppy Girl


Yes, big surprise that I'd rank as a nerdy girl. Or a hippie. Or an athletic tomboy. Of course, I'm apparently just as much a loser as I am a tomboy, so whatever. The good news, and my parents would be so proud, is that I'm only 25% slut! (Honestly, I don't think I break into double digits on the slut scale, but I didn't write the quiz. There's obviously someone out there better able to judge my sluttiness, so judge away.)

What type of girl are you? (I can't wait to see just what kind of girl Phydeaux is...)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

National Coming Out Day 2007

I don't really feel like telling my whole coming out story right now (on accounta it's late and I just got done telling it to real live people), but I wanted to have a post to mark the occasion.

So here's the abbreviated version: I've been out and proud (and scared and exhausted and...) since April 30, 1997. For those of you who didn't throw a giant party that day, you may not remember that April 30, 1997 was the airing of the infamous "Puppy Episode" of Ellen - the one where she finally admitted what her mullet had confirmed so many years earlier. I gathered some members of my overwhelmingly Christian campus community together to "Come Out with Ellen" and announced to about twenty people (including some I didn't know) that I was gay. And despite occasional fear and frequent discomfort, especially in those early years, I've pretty much never looked back.

To celebrate my tenth (!) National Coming Out Day, here's a list of people I'd like to thank for helping me along the way:

1)MonkeyPants - I couldn't have made this journey without her love and support and patience and nurturing and humor and laughter and cute face propping me up. One set of footprints and all that. She's the perfect one for me. It's just rules.

2)My amazing family - they've taken MonkeyPants in as one of their own and have given us so much monetary and emotional support over the last twelve years that it's sort of not fair. I usually don't feel like I deserve to have gotten so lucky. Plus, my sister, who is five years younger than I am and grew up in the same small and closed-minded town I did, got a rainbow tattoo on her back when she was sixteen to show her support. How fucking cool is that?

3)PJK - my counselor at college who was the first person to ever hear me come out. She helped me negotiate some very rough transitions and very possibly helped save my life. And she certainly inspired me to pursue a career working with college students. And to top it all off, she performed our commitment ceremony. And wrote me a letter of recommendation to graduate school. She really couldn't get much cooler.

4)Terri - one of the few souls at college who embraced me exactly as I was. She was the first true ally I had.

5)Jess C. - the first woman I knew who wore her hairy legs confidently. She'll probably never know what an impact that had on me.

6)Bobbi and Rachel - the first gay couple we were truly friends with. They accept and love us unconditionally and have been so important in our lives. We're truly lucky to have crossed paths with them.

7)My graduate department - they provided the first true "safe space" for me and helped me find my voice. And then they gave me a degree. And a job. And then they gave my mom a job. So they're pretty much tops in my book.

8)The afore-mentioned Ellen - she took a huge risk - and paid a huge price for it - by being honest and declaring and defending her gayness. She was the first celebrity I ever saw come out of the closet (some had just always been out, some were outed by others...and some just weren't on my radar at that time). She was a huge inspiration for me and helped nudge me onto my path. I probably could have done it without her inspiration, but I don't know if I would have.

9)All the other people who have walked with me on this journey - there are many. I'll probably remember eleven of them as soon as I log off. I hope they all know who they are. And that they're not mad that I forgot them.

Anyway, happy Coming Out Day, everyone! And thanks for lettin' me be me.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

A Republican over Hillary?

Go here to find out with which candidate for President you have the most values in common. There are only eleven questions, so the quiz is far from comprehensive. And there were a couple of questions for which I had two viable answers and one question for which I didn't want to choose any of the available answers. So, I'm not putting a lot of stock into the whole thing and what it means.

And yet...

I found it not at all surprising that my values are most in line with Dennis Kucinich and second most with Mike Gravel. I always seem to gravitate toward the lefty nutjobs who can be politically honest because they have very little to lose for it. What I found most interesting was that the candidate with whom my values are third most consistent was a Republican.

What the effing aytch?

Now, Mike Huckabee is pretty decent for a Republican, but let's get serious, folks. Ain't no way he's better than all but two of the Democrats.

So I tried a little experiment. I went back and took the quiz again and changed the answer to one of the questions for which I was trying to decide between a couple of the available options (mandatory caps on carbon emissions versus investing in alternative energy sources - they both seem important to me). The new results put Bill Richardson as my number three.

And then I tried it again, changing back to my original answer on that question but changing my answer on one of the other tricky ones (does it really matter to me if the candidate has been a governor versus a senator or a representative? Not really). This time Barack Obama popped up as my number three.

And that is comforting to me. It was really messing with a core part of my identity to find myself with a Republican in my top three. So I was pleased that I shared NO values with Sam Brownback, Duncan Hunter, Tom Tancredo, or Fred Thompson. Because they're pretty big tools.

But here's what's most distressing to me after taking the quiz three times. No matter how I changed my answers around, Hillary Clinton never shared more than three values with me*. Out of eleven. Now, I'm no math wiz, but that's pretty bad.

'Cause I really, really, really want to be able to vote my values in every election, but I also understand how important it is to keep Republicans out of office in this next election, which makes me more likely to support whoever ends up being the Democratic candidate. And at this point it's looking like Hillary just may be that candidate. In addition to feeling distressed that I may have so little in common, value-wise, with the next President, I feel a little distressed that I have so little in common with Hillary. Because, for whatever reason, I keep wanting to like her. I want to be able to root for the first viable female candidate for the highest office in the country. No matter how much she disappoints me, I remain unwilling to kick her to the curb. Kinda like I was with her husband back before my feminist sensibilities were so defined. What is that all about, anyway? I keep trying to convince myself that she really doesn't believe the things she says but insists on saying them so she'll get elected, at which point she'll turn into the socialist feminist superhero I deserve to have as my President.

Anyone think that's likely?

Yeah, I didn't think so.

Anyway, go take the quiz and see who you'd vote for if you were voting strictly on your eleven values.

*In case you're curious about my breakdown, here it is based on my last attempt (out of a possible score of 11):
Kucinich (11)
Gravel (7)
Obama (4)
Richardson, Edwards, Dodd, and Paul (3)
Clinton, Biden, Guiliani, Huckabee, and Brownback (2)
Romney and McCain (1)
Brownback, Hunter, Tancredo, and Thompson (0)

Monday, October 1, 2007

Did feminism ever happen?

Wanna barf a little? Read this article from the Iowa City Press-Citizen. That should do the trick. If you're too lazy or scared to click the link, I've done you the supreme courtesy of republishing some of the ickiness right here. Get a load of this.

"I’ve always wanted to be in Playboy,” said [Kim] Mueller, a 22-year-old sociology major from Mundelein, Ill. “I think women’s bodies are really pretty and deserve to be shown off,” she said. “I think it’s empowering for women.”

Where the eff are these young women's minds? Exactly how, I ask, is displaying the most vulnerable parts of the most degraded bodies "empowering" for anyone besides the voyeur? I mean, I think women's bodies are really pretty, too, but taking pictures of them and putting those pictures in a magazine like Playboy does nothing but turn human females with pretty bodies into nothing more than objectified sex receptacles, which is pretty much the exact opposite of empowering. Young women are fooling themselves if they think men are respecting the hell out of their pretty female bodies, not to mention the minds and souls that are part of the package. No, the minds and souls can be easily discarded, leaving nothing but a pretty picture to which millions of men will soon be beating off. Those two-dimensional glossy bodies may get pearl necklaces out of the deal, but they won't be the respectable kind.

In a stunning blow right to the solar plexus of the feminist movement, after initial skepticism and disappointment, Mueller's mother is finally really excited for her daughter to objectify herself. It's every mother's dream, really, so I guess I understand. But it's no big shocker that Mueller's boyfriend "has been even more supportive." In fact, and I know you'll find this nearly impossible to believe, he's the one who heard about the audition and urged her to give it a try! What a nice young pimp he's turned out to be, sharing his girlfriend's body with the world like that. Take this boy home to meet your mother, Ms. Mueller. They both seem to have your very best interests at heart, and I'm sure they'll get along famously.

I'm also a huge fan of Playboy's recruitment tactics, decorating a suite at the Sheraton in black, gold and pink. 'Cause you know as well as I do that the only way to attract a hot college woman is to paint something pink. Actually, now that I think about it, that probably is the best way to attract the kind of women who think Playboy is totally neat-o. They've so easily swallowed the Playboy punch that I'm sure they've been taken in by the Power of Pink, too. I just hope they don't break their stilettos in their enthusiastic rush toward all that empowering nakedness.

Cynthia Kaye, the stylist on site interviewing these young women, thinks this is some sort of resume-builder. “You really do feel like a celebrity when it comes out,” Kaye said. “I think it's something that you take with you.” Yes, it totally seems like something you might take with you, say, to a job interview. Or perhaps to have your teeth cleaned. Sadly, you may have no choice in the matter. 'Cause, unfortunately, your dentist and your potential new boss may have already experienced your celebrity status with you, Miss October. And you just can't put a price on that kind of empowerment.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Gender Blank's Reading Corner

Are you a nerd? It's okay to admit it around these parts. I'm a nerd, and I married a nerd, so it will only make me like you more if you tell me you're nerdy. Not Weird Al nerdy, but into-books-and-intellectual-conversations nerdy. I don't find a pocket protector all that sexy, but I suppose it would depend on who was wearing it. But I digress...

Anyway, if you're into books, you can go here and vote for Book of the Year, as nominated by The Quill for their Quills Book of the Year contest. I admit that as nerdy as I am, I've not read a single one of the books on this list. Because of that, I don't feel it's right to throw in my two cents. But feel free to throw in yours if you've got an opinion.

By the way, I just finished The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. I know this is far from being a new release (I'm only about twenty years behind the times), but it was a recent purchase for me (along with Alison Bechdel's Fun Home, which I have yet to read). I felt I should read it on accounta its feminist underpinnings, but I gotta tellya, I was disappointed in the ending. I hate it when a book ties up the end of the story too neatly (I'm looking at you, J.K. Rowling), but geez Louise! What the aytch happened to these people? We're talking severe subjugation of women here - severely restrictive dress codes, a breeding caste, etc. - so I'd like to not have to infer the main character's fate. 'Cause in the dystopia of Gilead, that fate could have been anything (sorta like in the bizarro dystopia of the U.S. under GWB, where people die 'cause the boyking is too stubborn to admit defeat and I-can't-fucking-believe-they-just-did-that moments happen all too frequently, only this ain't fiction). And the whole academic conference setting of the appendix felt out of place. I'm sure a zillion people liked it, based on the fact that it won some awards and shit, but the ending just wasn't my cuppa tea. Apparently I need a bit more direction. Your thoughts?

Also, what should I read next? I've got Fun Home calling out to me, but I've also had the following books on my interest list, all for different reasons:

Snow Flowers and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
The Hundred Secret Senses by Amy Tan
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
Empire by Gore Vidal
The Arrangement by Elia Kazan
The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards

Anyone read any of these? Your guidance is appreciated. I know it seems that a self-proclaimed nerd ought to have read some of these (and the ones on that other list) by now, but I got a late start. I didn't really start reading until I was in graduate school, so I'm way behind. I gots me some catchin' up to do.

Happy October, all!

What I'm listening to tonight, 9/30/07

Take a listen to this song from "Shine," Joni Mitchell's latest CD. She sounds like a cross between Nina Simone and Billie Holiday. With a little Macy Gray thrown in. Her voice is smoky and sexy, and I simply can't get over it. Rowrrrrrrr!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

How well do you know the United States?

Here's a little quiz fulla questions (only 25) taken from the new naturalization test to become a U.S. citizen. I missed three, resulting in a score of 88%. Not my best work, for sure, but I'm not in jeopardy of getting yanked outta the country or anything. I can think of about fifty people I saw today about whom the same probably cannot be said. And I think I only saw about fifty-two people today.

Oh, if only some of them could get yanked outta the country for being stupid. Is that really too much to ask?

Monday, September 24, 2007

See? I'm all growed up!

You've Experienced 72% of Life

You have all of the life experience that most adults will ever get.
And unless you're already in your 40s, you're probably wise beyond your years.

I especially appreciate how they put a purty picture of a random heterosexual couple at the top of this. 'Cause that, like, totally represents my life experience.

h/t to Phydeaux for the quiz.

Flighty diversion

If you're bored, go here. You can test your virtual paper airplane flinging skillz against the rest of the virtual nerdworld. At the time of this writing, including my dozens of attempts, over 97 million virtual planes have been launched. 97,244,699 to be exact.

My furthest (farthest?) fling was 74.185 meters, which is easily longer than I've ever tossed a real live paper airplane. That puts my global rank at 16,813th. That's right, folks. You're reading the blog of someone who has a global rank in something. Bask for a second in my reflected glory. It's okay.

All right. Stop basking now and go fling your own damn planes. Blessings on the camels of the first person to report a fling that beats mine.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Growin' up. It's about fucking time.

So. I s'pose it's been awhile. Too long, in my opinion, but shit's been happening.

As I may have mentioned about a bazillion times, I hated my job (and most other things) in New Hampshire, so MonkeyPants got a new job and we up and moved to New York. I secured a job as a residence hall director and am now fully immersed in a type of prison wardenry for over 200 freshmen. I'm responsible for leading a team of seven RAs to some sort of residence hall glory and, most importantly 'round here, for busting the shit out of the douchebags who do stupid stuff to the physical structure and the living beings in my hall.

That's right, folks. The girl who just wants to be liked has a job that virtually requires her to be unliked by at least some of the people some of the time. Hell, some of the people won't like me all of the time. But if I bend to please them, then a whole other crop of people won't like me. Catch-22. Nature of the beast. Blah, blah, blah.

I spent the entire month of training crying and asking myself why in the world I thought I could do this job. I, one of the world's biggest introverts, spent a month forcing a smile and an enthusiasm that didn't exist, and my ass was tired and depressed at the end of each and every day. I pretty much gave myself a year at best. 'Cause I wanted a job where I could deal with people one-on-one, not one where I had to get up in front of 200 people at once and talk about all the shit they aren't allowed to do in the place I live. I wanted a job where I could talk about ideas and books, not lobby decorations and dining halls. Things were looking pretty grim.

But then the strangest thing happened. The night before we opened the hall to all the 18-year-olds and their parents, I was overcome with an extreme sense of calm. I thought, all of a suddenlike, "I think I can do this." And then I just started doing it. I knocked off all my scary events (like that all-hall meeting) one by one, and I started being able to breathe again. And I found that I wasn't all that scared to confront students when they were out of bounds. Even when they were only slightly out of bounds, which is pretty good for me. I pegged myself as the type (based on prior experience) who would look the other way for as long as I possibly could, hoping the douchebags would just knock off whatever it was they were doing, just so I wouldn't have to deal with it. Or, more importantly, so I wouldn't make anyone mad at me. As it turns out, I don't give a shit if some 18-year-olds are mad at me. Huh.

I also thought I would hate, hate, hate having to have difficult conversations with my staff members when they were being immature or irresponsible. But I had to do that pretty early on, and that wasn't so bad either. In fact, it turns out that I'm pretty good at it. I broke my wildest mustang in no time flat, just by being direct and genuine. He is by no means perfect, but he is manageable and responsive. To me, at least. Other people will have to break him on their own. I can't save the whole fucking world.

In the midst of this inner transformation, I started carrying a professional bag. It doesn't ride as well or carry as much as my trusty backpack, but I feel that I earned it. How fucked up is that? I didn't not carry a professional bag before because I couldn't find one good enough for me; I didn't carry a professional bag before because I didn't feel I was good enough for one of them. I felt fraudy. Like everyone could tell that I'd rather be carrying a backpack. Like people could sense that I had no idea what the hell I wanted to be when I grew up.

Well. I still can't say with certainty that I know what I want to be when I grow up, but for the first time I feel I'm on the right path to find out. Gender Blank is growin' up, folks. It's about fucking time.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Back among the living

Greetings, all! I just wanted to let you all know that I have landed safely (though not uneventfully) in New York and have finally been granted access to the tubes again. It was a painful week of withdrawal, especially since I didn't have television access for the majority of it, either. Dark times for me. I'm amazed I emerged on the other side, to be truthful. Didn't know that I had it in me.

Actually, I kind of enjoyed the break. I wasn't expected to know anything of or be able to talk about popular culture or political shenanigans from the week prior. I had no idea what everyone in the blogosphere was talking about. I couldn't be expected to act on anything sent to me via e-mail. It must be like what it was like in pioneer days. The only shit I had any idea about was the shit I was actually present for, and if I wasn't present for it, it simply didn't happen. It was a peaceful retreat. Quite boring, but peaceful. Now I get why all the dipshits of the world operate the way they do - it is so much more blissful if you don't know about (or can pretend not to know about) all things over which I so regularly get outraged. Ignorance is bliss, indeed.

But ignorance and bliss ain't gonna do jack shit about changing the world, so it's back to the reality-based community for me. I'm willingly taking the hit to my Bliss Center in order to be a more informed and interesting party guest. And also on accounta shit simply cannot continue as it has been for the last several centuries. And I didn't appear any more blissful to MonkeyPants during my Week of Bliss anyway, so I might as well get the fuck back to work.

Of course, there are several real life things impinging on my bliss right now that reading Shakesville or watching House Hunters wasn't liable to help much anyway. But that's what happens when you start a new job that is completely different from anything you've done in the past. And I get to live rent-free, so I will stop my bitching right about now.

Anyway, I don't know how regular the posting will be over the next few weeks. I'm in training, and then we're training RAs, and then we open the halls and have to deal with all sorts of freshman shit (goddess, I hope not literally, but probably literally). I will post when I can, and when I'm struck to do so (which is often). But the next few weeks will be spotty. Just so you know.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Pirate this blog!

My pirate name is:

Bloody Jenny Cash

Every pirate lives for something different. For some, it's the open sea. For others (the masochists), it's the food. For you, it's definitely the fighting. You're musical, and you've got a certain style if not flair. You'll do just fine. Arr!

Get your own pirate name from
part of the network

I specifically told that damned thing that I don't like to fight. Also, the formatting is all fucked up on this thing everyplace I've seen it. Don't have time to mess with it anymore.


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I'm never watching TPIR again

Drew Carey? Seriously? I can't stand that guy! He's not funny, but he sure thinks he is. That's the worst. I broke up with an otherwise pretty decent person for the same reason. Sure, it came out later that she was a lying manipulator, but at the time I just thought she was extremely unfunny, and her constant attempts to prove otherwise by laughing at her own jokes, ba-dum-bum-style ("HOHhhhhh!"), drove me fucking nuts. It was a break-uppable offense. That's how much funny, or at least understanding funny, means to me.

Which is why I will never watch The Price is Right again. Not that I watched it a whole lot before, but it's off limits now.

But Drew Carey's failure to 'get' funny isn't even the worst thing. No, folks, it's true. There's one thing that trumps unfunny in my book. It's pretty grotesque, but all my sources have confirmed it. Drew Carey supports Republicans. And that, my friends, is virtually unforgivable. There are very few people I know in real life who are Republican-supporters who have managed to stay off my shit list. But they have had to be amazing fucking people in every other respect, or at least be related to me by illegal gay laws, for me to keep talking to them. And then it's only kind of grudgingly. It's like befriending a Death Eater, very nearly. Only they're not killing people. But they are supporting an administration and a party that thinks killing people, so long as they're brown and living above an oil supply, is A-OK. So back to the Death Eater thing.

And there we have it. I refuse to watch shows hosted by Death Eaters. I'm drawing a line. A line I actually drew quite awhile ago, back when I found out Patricia Heaton and Kelsey Grammer were Death Eaters and couldn't look at them the same way again. So, I'm re-drawing the Death Eater line. Zero tolerance from me. I'm trying to protect our country here.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Blog note

Greetings, my lovelies.

I just wanted to let you all know that I will be taking a bit of a blog break over the next week or so. I'm in the middle of moving my household two states away, and this packing shit is kicking my ass. And I suspect that the unpacking, seeing as how it will coincide with starting the new job, will also kick my ass. Just a guess.

So, posting is gonna be light. Or non-existent. But just for a week or so. Or maybe longer, depending on how shit goes.

See you soon!

Oh yeah...any of you have a scanner you love? I'm lookin' to get me one of those, so if you have any recommendations, I'd sure appreciate hearing your advice. I've been a fan of the Epson brand, but I have a tendency to become unnaturally attached to things and thought I might be able to benefit from y'all's perspectives and expertise. I'm lookin' to scan photos and articles, if that helps you tailor your advice.


Monday, July 16, 2007

What I did with my weekend

Wallis Sands State Beach, Rye, NH

For our twelve-year anniversary, MonkeyPants and I went to see the ocean. We figured it might be awhile before we got back there since we're moving out of the state in two weeks. Apparently a gazillion other people were having anniversaries, too. This picture doesn't adequately portray just how many people were at this fucking beach.

The crowd was quite a disappointment after visiting the ocean with my parents in late December when we were the only ones there. Global Warming had given us a beautiful day at the beach in December in northern New England. That time it looked like this:

Those are my parents.

Anyway, there's almost nothing that compares to seeing the ocean and getting a chance to reflect on your own smallness and the world's bigness. I suppose that's scary for some people, but it helps me put things in perspective. Plus, it's cool for two fat chicks from Iowa to be able to look out over something so vast (that doesn't involve corn).

So, happy twelve years, MonkeyPants! Thanks for the ocean!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Dick. I mean Motherfucker.

An afternoon with Photoshop ain't always a happy one.

Friday Weigh In, 7/13/07

Weighed in at 183.2 this morning after having our "free night" a night early. I was 182.8 yesterday, so that's not too much damage. And I was 183.8 last Friday, so that's a loss of .6 this week if we go by today's weight, and a loss of a whole pound if we use yesterday's weight. So, I think I'll use yesterday's weight. 'Cause I fucking can, okay?

And as for our "free night?" Not worth it. Pizza Hut, as it turns out, is much more enjoyable for the people on the teevee than it is in person. We have found that almost every "free night" is a disappointment. It's much better in the anticipation than in reality. I kinda can't believe we used to eat that kind of shit all the time and liked it. It must be part of the fast food addiction or something. Like, when you're in it, you don't notice that everything tastes like shit and makes you feel all bloaty. But after you've been eating food prepared with real, mostly healthy ingredients, you really taste the hollowness of the stuff the corporations prepare for you. Makes you wonder what the hell they're putting in that other shit. I suspect that not all of it is actually food.

Anyway, 214 - 182.8 = 31.2 pounds since January. Yippy skippy, and congratulations to me.

Happy weekend, all!

A little weekend music, 7/13/07

And the iPod shall be called...

Thank you all for your wonderful submissions in the iPod naming game. There were some great suggestions and lots of hand-wringing on my part. It was a tough choice, but I've settled on a winner.

The first suggestion, which came via e-mail, was "Virginia." "Virginia Higgleswiggle," to be exact. But we already have an item named "Virginia" in our collection. It's a handmade, sorta creepy-looking doll that a quilter friend made for me, and we put her in our glovebox for protection on our journeys. I'd take a picture to show y'all, but somehow she ended up in the house, and we packed her already. Maybe in a few weeks.

I liked the suggestion of "Mork" because of the pod reference, but I tried it out and just couldn't bring myself to think of this beautiful creature as a "Mork." Plus, I feel very strongly that this iPod is female (oh, I hope, I hope!), though I haven't had it sexed. For that same reason, "Ishmael" is out. Which is too bad, because Ishmael was one of the only books I actually read as an undergrad on accounta it was one of the only ones I liked. I know the reference was from Moby Dick, but Daniel Quinn's book is so much cooler. Anyway, sorry guys.

I was pretty excited about "Pasha," despite it being derived from a male name. According to Wikipedia, anyway. So I was leaning heavily toward "Pasha" for a significant amount of time. Like at least a day, until MonkeyPants and I were walking into my workplace past a bunch of trees that looked like they had pea pods hanging from them. "Pea Tree," we said. And then we looked at each other and said, "Petrie!" And then she cheated and submitted "Petrie," nearly ensuring that she would win. Very shrewd, that MonkeyPants.

So, "Petrie" it was. For a couple of days. I used the name, but I wasn't really connecting with it. Plus, I thought it was too close to "Petey" (the PDA). But I was willing to let it grow on me, generous host organism that I am.

"Petrie." "I gotta grab Petrie." "Have you seen Petrie?" I tried.

And then one fateful night, which started just like a bunch of other nights, MonkeyPants and I were playing a little Trivial Pursuit. We were deep into an epic battle (being pretty evenly matched in the useless knowledge department but getting shitty questions for pie) when an answer or question with the word "Pip" came up. MP said, "What about 'Pip?'" And I said it was too bad I knew a douchebag nicknamed "Pip" when I was younger. So she said, "What about 'Pippi?'"

I had found it. The Name. Her Name. "Pippi." It feels right.

And if there is any doubt about how cool a name "Pippi" is, let the women at Hoyden About Town explain it.

So, thank you all again for the inspired suggestions. You gave me lots to consider, and I wanted to honor all of you in some way for participating because I appreciate the spirit that each of you brings to GBWI. So, please give a warm welcome to "Pippi Virgina Mork Ishmael Pasha Petrie Longstocking." "Pippi" for short. I couldn't have done it without all of you.

But I'm still not gonna be a circus performer, Amy.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Activism alert - lazy edition

Interested in any of these issues?

Tell Your Representative: Start Bringing the Troops Home
Tell Your Senators: Close Guantanamo
Tell Congress: Save Habeas Corpus, Restore our Constitution
Tell Your Representative: Repeal 'Dont Ask, Don't Tell'
Tell Sen. Obama: Stop Supporting Dirty Coal
Tell Congress: Send Scooter Libby to Guantanamo
Tell Steve Jobs: Unlock the iPhone!
Support Green Energy Legislation
Support Solar Energy in Pennsylvania
Don't Let AT&T Ruin the Internet

If you want to take action on any of these issues, go to ActForChange, the online activism system of Working Assets. Tons of petitions to sign, and you can send letters to your congresspeople with a few clicks. It's activism for the lazy. Right up my alley. I've already told my congresspeople three or four things that are on my mind today, including the fact that I think Dick Cheney ought to be impeached. I also signed the Live Earth Pledge at Al Gore's urging.

Now I need a nap.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Google has a fucked up view of weight

So I added a widget to my Google homepage to track my "moving average" weight. It's called Google15, and their blurb about it reads thusly:

"The Google 15 encourages you to get on the scale every day by calculating a moving average from your daily weight. We then plot this average alongside your daily scale weight and a goal weight that you set--this gives you a better idea of your weight trend by masking most of the day to day noise that variances in water weight introduce."

All well and good, although I'm skeptical of anything that encourages one to get on the scale every day. I mean, I get on the scale every day, and often more than once a day, but I know that's not healthy. I mean, when I'm making decisions about what kind of snack I can eat based on what the scale says at 8pm, that's not right. Rationally I know this. But, as I have found over time, I am not a rational dieter. My overall behavior is pretty sensible and healthy (I am in no way starving myself), but I often have to cycle through some pretty dysfunctional thoughts before settling on that sensible behavior.

Plus, it seems to be calculating the "moving average" over a week's time, giving you today's weight, yesterday's weight, and your weight a week ago. So it seems to me that if you want to filter out the variances in water weight, you should just weigh yourself once a week. Or only "count" it once a week, which is what I already do. And it's what diet experts* recommend.

Anyway, I entered my daily weight over the last week, and because I am three tenths of a pound heavier this week than last, I got the dreaded "Danger! You're heading away from your goal!" message. The goal weight I entered, by the way, was a maintainable and healthy 155 pounds.

But this Danger! message got me wondering about Google's idea about reasonable progress and healthy goal weights. So I added the widget again, put in a goal weight of 95 pounds, and entered my weight for the last two days. I happen to be two pounds lighter today than I was yesterday, on accounta that day to day noise that variances in water weight introduce. I got this message: "Good work! You're on your way to your goal weight." No warning that 95 might not be a sensible goal weight.

Which got me wondering what would happen if I put in a ridiculously low goal weight. Not that I think 95 isn't ridiculous, but I know I live in a culture that thinks that isn't all that unreasonable. Fuckers. Anyway, I entered a goal weight of 42 pounds, and got the Good work! message. WTF? And I forgot to mention that the "submit" button you click after entering your weight says "I'm Feeling Healthy." A healthy 42 pounds.

So, I've determined that the Google15 is an anorexic's dream come true. Something that will encourage every single person, including disordered eaters, to get on the scale every day and tell them that they are making good progress toward even a deathly low weight. How lovely.

Google's description of this revolutionary gadget ends with this gem: "Enter your weight every day and it will give you an early warning if you start to pack on the pounds!"

Message to Google: STFU. Stick to shit you know about.

*I went to to confirm that they recommend a weekly weigh-in (which they do), and I found a link called "Get Your Athlete's Body Back." I thought, "Sweet!" 'Cause I used to be an athlete, and the thing that I hate most about being so overweight is that I don't feel powerful or in charge of my body like I did when I was an athlete. So I was hoping to find some extra special tips for people like me, only to find a picture of a dude with a football and an article about guys who used to be athletes but have put on weight. "The athlete is still there inside you, and you can liberate him," it tells me. And "Men slowly lose muscle mass as the years go by." What about me? My inner athlete is not a dude. But at least it's right about one thing: "Working out with a much younger or stronger guy is a surefire route to frustration, discouragement or even injury." And I can see that. I feel that way about doing most things with men.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

The one with all the swearing

I discovered something last night. In July in New Hampshire, birds start chirping at 4:19am. How do I know this? Well, 'cause I was still awake at 4:19 this morning. Not by choice, of course. I was in bed, the lights were out, and I was trying my damnedest to get to sleep, but shit kept popping into my head. None of it was related, but it was all apparently enough to keep my brain churning until 4:56. Here's a sampling of the shit that keeps me awake at night.

First, via PortlyDyke, a person named Jan calls herself a lifelong Democrat but has a surprisingly small heart. She resents that people make her feel that she "owes" illegal immigrants something. I understand that people feel all sorts of ways about sticky issues, but I guess I just can't help but be disappointed when they seem so fucking proud of a stance that actively shits on people who are already under a heaping pile.

When the fuck are the impeachment proceedings going to start? 'Cause it's about goddamned time. Will the Democrats surprise me and put the good and the will of the people ahead of their own political futures? Please? Will they realize before it's too late that those very futures are jeopardized by their inaction? Just please fucking do something.

And related to that, can we get a goddamned candidate for president who inspires me for once? I'm tired of saying, "Well, I guess I'm behind so-and-so." I want to fucking be behind so-and-so and feel good about it. And not be embarrassed to tell other people about it.

Can Dumbledore really be dead? And who the fuck is R.A.B.?

John Travolta is getting on my last fucking nerve lately. He's adamant that there's nothing gay about "Hairspray," despite its underbelly being gay all over. Wev. And he seems to think that Richard Gere and Tom Hanks owe him something because he passed on some roles they ended up totally owning. And he's a fucking Scientologist, which is just too goddamned nutty to be taken seriously.

It is fucking damp in here. We might as well be camping! But at least it's fairly cool. Especially for July. Fucking global warming. Or cooling. Or whatever. But it ain't right. I should quit using so many paper towels. Ed Begley, Jr. rocks. But I bet he's a pain in the ass to live with. That's what I would be like if I had the money and weren't so lazy. I gotta take the recycling out.

I should not have eaten all that shit today.

Mmm...spinach dip.

Hey! Only two more weeks at my job. Rock the fuck on. I hope they don't try to do anything special as a send-off. I hate special send-offs. A handshake and a "Good luck!" will suffice. Shit. They're gonna do something. And since I'm the goddamned secretary, they'll probably make me organize it. Fuckers.

I need to post something tomorrow. It's been nearly a week. I wish I had something really insighful or rageful to contribute to the blogular universe, but all I got's John fucking Travolta. God, I hate him.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Just the type of liberal I am

How to Win a Fight With a Conservative is the ultimate survival guide for political arguments

My Liberal Identity:

You are a Working Class Warrior, also known as a blue-collar Democrat. You believe that the little guy is getting screwed by conservative greed-mongers and corporate criminals, and you’re not going to take it anymore.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Name this product!

So, I bought one of these the other day. The iPod, not the hand. It was a completely unnecessary purchase, and, frankly, I'm surprised that I didn't have a heart attack at spending so much money. I must have really wanted it, 'cause I was very easily talked into it. And it's hard to talk me into spending money on anything over five dollars.

Anyway, the rule around our house seems to be that if something costs more than $100, it gets a people name. There are a few exceptions, as the television and a few other products are still referred to by their product names. But we've had cars named Ellie, Chuck, Lucy, and Sylvie. My scooter was named B.B. (short for Bella Bleu). The PDA is named Petey. And the Sansa mp3 player is named Santa (pronounced Sanna).

But so far, we haven't thought of a good name for the new iPod, and it's so fucking cool that it deserves a name. Going with the Petey and Santa process (giving names based on product names), we considered Poddy. But its homophonic partner ruled that one out. We also considered Ippy, but that was just dumb.

So, I'm opening it up to you, dear readers, for suggestions. I should be careful about this, as the last time I left something open for a vote it was decided that my next job should be as a circus performer. But I'm taking a leap of faith and putting it in your hands. Don't let me down*.

*Amy, I'm lookin' at you here.

Friday Weigh In, 6/29/07

Break out the champagne, folks, 'cause Gender Blank is 30.4 pounds lighter than she was in January! Wahoooo!

I weighed in at 183.6 this morning. Rock the fuck on. But the best part of it all is the following three things, in no particular order:

1. The last time I went shopping for clothes, I got to look on the non-Fat-Lady side! And I bought two belts, which I wear nearly every day. Not at the same time. But belts!

2. When I see my reflection in glass doors, I can now see the muscle that runs down the front of my shins. What is that, the shin muscle? Wikipedia says it's the tibialis, but you just can't trust that source. I think it's called the shin muscle. Anyway, I can see my shin muscles, which have been hiding out for a few years, tucked away under a nice, thick sheath of fat. Welcome back, girls!

3. I walked up the stairs from the second floor mailroom to my seventh floor office yesterday! In one stretch! By the time I got to the fifth floor I was feelin' it. When I got to the sixth floor, I considered taking the elevator for the last floor. But I didn't want to look stupid or lazy, so I trudged on. When I got to the top, I hung out in the stairwell for a few seconds trying to catch my breath. And I was still trying to catch it as I walked down the hall to my office. And a minute later when I walked to the bathroom. My lungs felt a little like they were about to explode, but what a grand feeling! I haven't taxed my cardiovascular system like that in years! It really did feel like shit, but I felt morally superior afterward, so it was worth it.
What chaps my ass about the whole thing, though, is that some douchebags who are trying to promote health (which is not a bad thing) placed stickers on the front surfaces of the stairs with sayings like "Take the Stairs - Your Heart Will Thank You" and other such shit. Four stairs out of every fucking flight. First, do they think people just don't know that taking the stairs is good for you? We got the memos, and thanks for the heap of guilt. 'Preciate it. But, more importantly, you can only see those stickers if you're already on the stairs! If you really want to lecture people about their health behaviors (which I don't recommend, 'cause it makes you an asshole), wouldn't the elevators have been a better place for those stickers? Kee-rist, people, use some common sense!

Anyway, as they say on Celebrity Fit Club, the scales don't lie. And this morning the scale took one look at me and said, "Congratulations, kid. Y'ain't quite so fat." That scale. She says the sweetest things.

Happy weekend, all!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Who needs men, anyway?

So, it looks like men are slouching toward irrelevance once again. 'Cause, see, researchers in Germany were able to take bone marrow and create something rather sperm-like. Which means, as you could very well guess, that women everywhere will kick their men to the curbs any minute now. Any minute now. Just you wait. Any minute now all those bitches are gonna shit all over the Nice GuysTM who have done nothing but love them and take care of them. Bitches.

MSNBC contributor Brian Alexander is clearly worried about just such a situation. After acknowledging that all the fear-mongering about women making babies without Teh Penis is silly, he still comes out with this gem:

"I just want to know why you women are in such a rush to get rid of us. Sci-fi and fantasy literature are full of all-female societies like Wonder Woman’s home island. New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd penned a friendly little book in 2005 called “Are Men Necessary?” Are you trying to give us a complex or something?"

He goes on to say that men are nearly irrelevant now, what with all the neglect they experience at the hands of women who are interested in something other than men's every fucking desire. But he sees a place for a few lucky fellers down the road. "Frankly, you only need a small tribe of us guys equipped with porn magazines and plastic cups. You could feed us, groom us and give us a little exercise — pretty much like you do now," he says. Isn't it cute how he envisions himself as one of the Chosen Ones we'd keep around, well-fed and plied with porn? What I want to know, among other things, is why after this inevitable revolution women will STILL be expected to feed and groom men. Can women never escape this lot? Fuck you, sir.

He closes by offering a threat to women's currently oh-so-cushy existence, which, as we know, is supplied solely by these Nice Guys. "So ladies," he says, "laugh it up while you can because once those artificial eggs and the artificial womb hit the market, you’ll be buying your own dinners at Chez Francoise."

And he wonders why some of us are in such a rush to get rid of men.

Monday, June 25, 2007

PortlyDyke tagged me...fer real!

Rules (per PortlyDyke): Each person posts the rules before their list, then they list 8 things about themselves. At the end of the post, that person tags and links to 8 other people; then visits those people’s sites and comments, letting them know that they have been tagged, and to come read the post, so they know what they have to do.

It's doubtful that I'll tag anyone, as I hate to be a nuisance, and I realize that not everyone likes to do shit like this. But here are eight random facts about me.

1. I was outed on the evening news when I was in college. Pretty good way to announce something to the world, I guess. This was in November of 1997. There was really no looking back after that.

2. I am horrible at tending to things. This is why I don't garden. Or decorate for the holidays. And why I have six closed (and four scarred) piercings. And an outdated MySpace page. And several abandoned hobbies. I am terribly resentful of things that require any sort of upkeep (except, strangely, for this blog).

3. My first fall-hard crush on a girl came in seventh grade. She was my chorus teacher. And there was one each on my seventh grade and eighth grade volleyball coaches. And my eighth grade assistant softball coach. And then another chorus teacher. And then an English teacher (who had been the eighth grade volleyball coach). A definite pattern. Oh, and I married that last one. Scandalous!

4. When something funny catches me off guard, I laugh real loud like a monkey. People turn their heads at this. Sadly, monkey laughs have been in short supply in New Hampshire. It's lookin' up for New York, though.

5. I have hairy legs, but I watch America's Next Top Model.

6. On my birthday in 2001, I stopped eating red meat with the intention of becoming a vegetarian. I was going to give up something every year until I was offa meat altogether. I never got beyond that first step. There's still hope, though.

7. I can't stand Ben Stiller. Or Bill Paxton. Or Jerry Van Dyke. Can't. Stand 'em. But I love Will Ferrell in spite of myself.

8. My favorite movies to quote are Stand By Me and The Goonies. They fit almost anywhere.

All right. That's it, folks! Please feel free to tag yourselves or leave your peculiarities in comments.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

I heart Shakesville

So, some fuckers have messed with my homies, and I'm prepared to throw down. Shakesville, which occupies the top spot on my blogroll, has been subjected to a DoS attack, and the site has been down for a couple of days. They're working to get it back up as we speak.

The current theories are that said fuckers launched the attack in response to either the post on the Brazilian yogurt company and their fatphobia or the post on how Jerry Seinfeld made light of rape. Of course, they say all sorts of controversial shit over at Shakesville (stuff like how women are people and other crazy shit like that), so it could have been anything that set off the latest Neanderthal attack.

Bark Bark Woof Woof has a roundup of other people writing about the issue. If you care about free speech and kicking silencing fuckwits in the crotch, go give these people some traffic. They're missing their beloved community as much as I am. You can also check out Shakesville's old site, Shakespeare's Sister to get an update and give Shakes and her crew some love.

In the meantime, I noticed some rape joke fights on the tubes on which I need to go weigh in. My work around here is never fucking done.

Friday, June 22, 2007

New blog rating

What's My Blog Rated? From Mingle2 - Online Dating

I made it! I graduated to NC-17! I knew I had it in me.

This latest rating is based on the use of:
fucking (7x)
suck (3x)
crap (2x)
asshole (1x)

I'm still unclear on why "suck" and "crap" are so bad, but I'm proud of the rating, so I'm not going to split hairs.

See ya later, crap suckers!

Friday Weigh In, 6/22/07

Zippity fucking doo-dah, folks! I'm back on the WWagon, and this week's weigh in reflects that. My previous low, adjusted for the new scale, was 184.5. This morning I weighed in at 184.3. And then I raised my arms in triumph. And I prolly did some sort of dance. 'Cause that's what I do. I'm very entertaining.

For those of you who haven't been following the progress, I 'fessed up last week to having fallen off the Weight Watchers wagon (WWagon) and both enjoying and hating it. It was approximately three weeks of food chaos, and the scale didn't keep the secret. Fucking scale.

Anyway, we got back into the groove last Tuesday or so and have been following the plan pretty rigidly. We nearly doubled our walking route and made healthy choices for dinner, and it felt good. I would have been happy even without the dramatic loss this week (which I suspect is partly due to dehydration), but it's nice to get the numerical pat on the back.

So, that makes 2.8 pounds this week and 29.7 overall. I'm shootin' for the 30-pound mark for next week. I don't want to get too far ahead of myself, 'cause last time I did that I managed to gain three pounds over the following three weeks. So, three tenths of a pound it is. Anything more will simply be a bonus.

I hope you'll all be around to celebrate if it happens.

Happy weekend, all!

A little weekend music, 6/22/07

Thursday, June 21, 2007

How did you find me?

So, I was perusing my site stats, and I thought I'd share with you how some people have stumbled upon this site.

For some reason, typing "free slutty trannies" (no quotation marks) into a search engine leads you, eventually, to this very blog. Now, I know I've never typed those words in that order (or even in the same post), and I think I only mentioned trannies once - in my blaming of the Florida town that sacked one of its employees for getting a sex change (or wanting one - I can't remember just now, and I'm too lazy to look). I delight in the fact that at least two people looking for free slutty trannies landed here. Suckas.

But someone also got here by searching for "I hate being a tranny." Which just makes me sad. But I'm glad that person ended up here just the same, and I hope this was a safe and welcoming space.

At least one person ended up here by looking for "assbaggery."

Some budding feminists (I suspect) found me by typing "choosing not to shave" and "painful high heels." You're welcome. Go forth and spread the good word, blamers! I've made a mental note to ask Twisty and some of the others if I get some sort of commission or a finder's fee or something. What's my recruiting quota, anyway? Anyone know?

Of course, people also found me by typing in things that make total sense. Stuff relating to gender or feminsm, food, music, and all the other stuff I typically talk about. I imagine those people find lots of other blogs in their searches as well. And I'm glad to share my travelers with those other blogs, 'cause I'm not selfish.

Except for one. I'm gonna keep the person who searched for "what happens if a person drink antifreeze" all to myself. 'Cause I suspect that person needs a friend. And I need a project.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

My fucking blog rating

What's My Blog Rated? From Mingle2 - Free Online Dating

So, I'm rated 'R' for using "lesbian"* and "suck." Curiously, there was no mention of the eff-word or "assbag" or any of the other colorful phrases I so lovingly craft for my dear readers' pleasure. What the hell do I work so hard for if it's not going to be recognized?

It's kinda like Homeland Security ignoring all my subversive activities. I figure if I'm not on a no-fly list, I'm not doing my job. And if I can't get anything stronger than an 'R' rating on this goddamned thing, I'm just gonna hafta work harder. Please fasten your seatbelts while I ratchet up the vulgar.

Fucking cheers!

*Apparently my very identity is vulgar to some people. Assbags.

Monday, June 18, 2007

All I really need to know I learned from Fraggle Rock

1. There exists a class of people on our society who do all the hard work.
2. There is another class of people who come along and eat that work. And then dance all day.
3. The class of people who do the work is not the class that gets revered; the dancers get their own television show.
4. The Dance Class thinks fat people are ugly and stupid and should be avoided.
5. Be careful of what you throw away. Trash heaps talk.
6. Always plug the holes in your wall. You never know what will come out.

Some of these things are unfortunate but nonetheless true. Some of these things are just good common sense.

Who you rootin' for?

Go here to see how your values and priorities match up with those running (or considering running ) for President of the United States. I was surprised a bit at how mine turned out. Specifically, I was surprised that Al Gore was so far down my list.

This is the second time I've taken this quiz over the last three days. My results were a bit different percentage-wise this time, but the overall ranking is, I believe, identical to the previous ranking. It points to the test not being a perfect metric, as there are only two choices for priority (high or low) and often two opposing choices for answers to the questions, neither of which has much nuance. But the quiz is better than most I've seen, and I encourage its use for entertainment at the very least.

For me, it is making me do some more reading about the candidates, and that's never a bad thing.

My Results:

1. Theoretical Ideal Candidate (100%)
2. Dennis Kucinich (79%)
3. Barack Obama (79%)
4. Alan Augustson (77%)
5. Joseph Biden (71%)
6. Hillary Clinton (70%)
7. Christopher Dodd (68%)
8. Wesley Clark (66%)
9. John Edwards (66%)
10. Al Gore (63%)
11. Bill Richardson (59%)
12. Mike Gravel (59%)
13. Ron Paul (43%)
14. Elaine Brown (43%)
15. Kent McManigal (42%)
16. Rudolph Giuliani (29%)
17. Mike Huckabee (28%)
18. John McCain (25%)
19. Mitt Romney (21%)
20. Tommy Thompson (18%)
21. Chuck Hagel (18%)
22. Sam Brownback (15%)
23. Newt Gingrich (14%)
24. Tom Tancredo (14%)
25. Fred Thompson (11%)
26. Duncan Hunter (9%)
27. Jim Gilmore (8%)

Friday, June 15, 2007

Friday Weigh In, 6/15/07 (The Neighbors Are Evil Edition)

Shit, as they say, happens. And boy did it happen for me the last two weeks. Remember how I said the evil neighbors coerced me into going out to eat Chinese food and then forced a bunch of tasty-but-fatty food into my mouth? Okay, it didn't happen exactly like that, but I swear that's how my memory is trying to recast it.

Anyway, after the Thursday Chinese Episode, all Hell broke loose. We had a combined yard sale that very same weekend, a two-day affair that turned out to be fairly lucrative and concluded with end-of-day dinners out. Pizza the first night. Applebee's the second. And Dunkin' Donuts for breakfast that second day, too. By Monday, we were completely off the fucking wagon. So we just kind of went with it. We travelled to our new town to look at an apartment on Tuesday/Wednesday, and travelling always gives us license to eat horribly. We ate at Arby's, Ponderosa, the Latte Lounge, the Broad Street Grill, Quizno's, and a gas station. But I balanced it all out with a Fuze Slenderize drink on the drive home. Gotta do my part.

Then we played with the neighbors some more on accounta they were fixing to move on Monday, so we invited them up to grill, after which we went to Applebee's for their lava cake. And then a couple days later we had them up to grill again, and to celebrate all of us moving on, I consumed four amaretto sours. And the next night we picked up pizza. Somewhere in all of this, we also had breakfast with them at a local diner.

Not pretty.

I didn't report my weigh-in last Friday because I was embarrassed. Not by the weight, but by the sense of being out of control. It would have been different if all the food had been worth it, but it was mostly crap. Seriously, Combos? Come on. How good can bright orange cheez wrapped in a pretzel be? Meh.

In addition to the Hungry Hungry Hippo eating, we bought a new scale, and it weighs a pound and a half heavier than the previous scale. So not only was I actually heavier from all the food, but the scale read a pound and half heavier than that. So the result looked even worse than it actually was. I didn't feel like explaining it last week, so I just decided to shut you all out. Hope you weren't all left hangin' and shit.

So, what to do now? Well, if the new scale weighed things a pound and a half lighter than the other scale, I was prepared to keep quiet about that and let you think I had actually lost weight over the last two weeks. I'm not proud of that, folks, but it's how I am. But I'm also the type of person who rats herself out after she lies about most things, so I thought I might as well go the honest route to begin with. If I can't be honest with a bunch of strangers (and a few well-chosen and invited friends), well, then I would suck. And I don't wanna suck, so honesty it is. Lucky you.

To adjust for the scale differential, I'm adding a pound and a half to my starting weight. So instead of starting at 212.5, my official starting weight will now be 214.0. And today's weigh-in was 187.1, so that makes...let me see here...26.9 pounds overall. And a gain of 1.6 pounds since the 5/25/07 weigh-in of 184.0 (adjusted for difference in scales).

It hasn't been a good few weeks, but things are looking up. The neighbors got so sick of hanging out with us that they moved away, so now we're back to having no friends to go out with. It's not great for us socially, but it'll prolly be better for our diets. Kind of a shitty trade-off, but whaddayagonnado? Plus, we've secured an apartment in our new town, so we won't have to do any more travelling until the move. So, back on the WWagon we go!

I hope to have more promising news to report next Friday.

Happy weekend, all!