Friday, March 30, 2007

A little weekend music, 3/30/07

Friday Weigh In, 3/30/07

Wahooo! I hit the 20-pound mark today! I actually hit it yesterday, but it held today for the official weigh-in. So, I'm at 192.5. Rock on.

I have lost the equivalent of 2.4 gallons of water. Or the equivalent of 9,080 dollar bills. Or the equivalent of 16 cantaloupes. Whatever that's worth. Do they use the cantaloupe as a unit of weight anywhere in the world? If not, they should. Except that not all cantaloupes weigh the same amount. So, scratch that.

Anyway, I'm 20 pounds lighter, and Chris is 23 pounds lighter. Our floors are happy, I'm sure.

Happy weekend, all!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Progressive agenda in Iowa

The Iowa Senate voted 32-17 to include sexual orientation and gender identity among the classifications protected under Iowa's civil rights law from discrimination in housing, employment, lending, education, public accommodations and other areas.

"Today, we have the opportunity to reaffirm that in Iowa, job performance is what counts, not what you look like, not what church you attend, not how old you are, or who you love," said Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, D-Council Bluffs, floor manager for Senate File 427. "This is a proud moment. It's time we did this in Iowa."

Of course, the 17 opposed to the bill had to trot out their special brand of wingnuttery for the occasion. Sen. Nancy Boettger, R-Harlan, is afraid this will be opening the door for - gasp! - cross dressers teaching in public schools. Because with, oh, you know, budget cuts, childhood obesity, kids killing each other and themselves, poverty, and the widening gap between the haves and have-nots at all levels of education, a male teacher in a skirt (or a female teacher in pants?) teaching kids not to hate themselves and each other ranks right up there with the biggest threats to young people.

Sen. Paul McKinley, R-Chariton, opposed the bill not because he's a bigot - it's never because they're bigots - but because, he says, discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity simply isn't happening. "We're establishing a solution to a problem that simply does not exist," he says. He cites the fact that businesses are having a hard time recruiting quality workers to their open positions as support for the assertion that this discrimination is imaginary. Right, and the U.S. military isn't casting out gay people in the midst of their recruiting crisis, either. But, you know, those companies are just watching out for themselves. We gays do steal office supplies. And never refill the paper in the copy machine. Better to have no workers at all than the trouble-makin' pansies. Am I right?

And, as always happens when oppressed people are about to step out from under the thumb of the Patriarchy, the religious conservatives have weighed in with their usual "But if I can't hate him out in the open, now I'M being oppressed!" claptrap. Chuck Hurley, president of the Iowa Family Policy Center, says the bill "will trample on religious freedoms to show preference for homosexuality and trangenderism. It is absolutely about granting special rights." When will we gays stop tryin' to get special rights, already? Like the right to not be harassed or killed for being gay, or the right to not be fired from a job we're perfectly competent at simply for being a tranny, or the right to not be denied housing because we're good decorators, or the right to visit our partners in the hospital or any of the 1,138 other privileges conferred by marriage. You're right. That's just asking way too much. I get carried away sometimes and start thinking I'm a fully fledged human. I promise to remember my place in the future. We got Logo. That's enough.

But cheers to the Iowa Senate anyway for addressing this nonexistent problem that will lead to the demise of civilization as we know it. Let's see if the House votes for total world destruction, too. Governor Chet Culver will certainly sign this heathen bill into law if given the chance. That man is just evil enough to do it!

Monday, March 26, 2007

A step in the right direction

Rene Portland, head coach of the Penn State women's basketball team, has resigned. Why is this good news? Well, because she's a discriminatory homophobe, that's why. She and Penn State recently settled a lawsuit filed by a former player who accused Portland of racial and sexual discrimination. The player, Jennifer Harris, alleged that Portland pressured her to look more feminine and to change her appearance. Penn State agreed that Portland created a "hostile, intimidating and offensive environment."

In addition to the treatment of this particular player, Portland has admitted to using homophobia as a recruiting tool. She told the Chicago Sun-Times in 1986 that she tells prospective players that she "will not have [homosexuality] in my program" and that the players and their parents are "so relieved."

I gotta tell ya, I totally love it when members of minority groups use the platforms they're able to gain to step all over members of other minority groups. As a high-profile woman in the male preserve of sport, you'd think she'd be a bit more sensitive to irrational ideologies and the devastating effects they can have when institutionalized. Alas, she wasn't, and now she's leaving.

Let's all wish her a gay farewell, shall we?

Friday, March 23, 2007

A little weekend music, 3/23/07

Friday Weigh In, 3/23/07

194.0 today. That's 1.5 pounds this week and 18.5 pounds overall. Chris says I've gone from looking "fat" to looking simply "overweight." I'm not entirely sure how much of a distinction there is, but I'll take it.

I was thinking the other day about how I'm starting to feel like I own my body again, instead of the other way around. It responds quicker to my demands than it had been, which is good if I am to keep thinking of myself in some small way as an athlete. There is really nothing so frustrating as thinking your body can do things only to have your body prove you wrong (e.g., jumping completely over a puddle versus landing still in the splatter zone, getting safely across the street ahead of the oncoming traffic versus making that traffic slow down on accounta you're not as fast as you thought, etc.). A delightful change, for sure.

And thank you, anonymous commenter, for the kind comments last week. Do I know you, or are you just nice to random people on the intertubes? Either way, thanks!

Have a great weekend, all!

Your tax dollars hard at work

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Hating women's faces

So, the helpful folks at The Photoshop Roadmap kindly showed us how to hate what our faces look like as they age enough to learn how to digitally alter them (hey, it's cheaper than surgery!). Everyone, women especially, ought to thank them for their step-by-step instructions on how to look fuckable in perpetuity.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Women's History Month, now with woman-hating!

Okay, so it's true that I love lists. It's something about ranking and ordering and organizing that appeals to the part of me with OCD. Plus, they appeal to the lazy part of me that can't be bothered by full sentences and transitions. I like to list things I've already done on my to-do lists, just so I can cross them off and feel productive. Yes, I like lists.

My favorite lists are end-of-year pop culture lists like this one, but that's for another day.

What's biting me right now is that MSN made a list of barrier-busting women in honor of Women's History Month (which is right now, by the way). All the usual suspects are present: Susan B. Anthony, Betty Friedan, Eleanor Roosevelt. This is all well and good. Not enough opportunities to celebrate great women, I say. But the part I just can't figure out is why anyone thought it would be a good idea to also publish a list of "10 Women Who Make Us Cringe."

Now, I'm not saying that there aren't people of all stripes out there who make me cringe. There are. Several of the people on MSN's list are fine examples. But why - oh, why? - would you publish something like this in conjunction with your celebration of women? Did you feel the need to make sure all of us little ladies kept our proper place in mind? Did you think we might get some fancy ideas from your celebration of the barrier-busters and try to strike a blow for empowered women, Goddess forbid? Yes, I suppose we should thank you for the lead shoes. Those Women's History Month balloons almost carried us away!

The most insidious part about this list, if one has to choose a worst part about something that is entirely shitty, is that it is written by a woman. I'm sure that was MSN's way of making the list slide down a bit easier. See? A woman said it! It's not sexist! It's the old "My Black friend says the same thing" trick of deflecting accusations of bigotry. I'm not swallowing, thankyouverymuch. (On a side note, I doubt they would celebrate Black History Month by including a list of "10 Black People Who Make Us Cringe")

So, a message to Joanne Bamberger: the Patriarchy doesn't need your help. Women experience enough hatred from the outside. We don't need it from within our own ranks, too.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

New toy

Some whiz kids at Dartmouth created a website called Entertonement, on which you can find tons and tons of sound clips from movies, video games and other stuff. Just tryin' to see if it works. A little Anchorman...

Friday, March 16, 2007

A little weekend music, 3/16/07

Here's a little blast from the past. All songs are from my junior high days.

Friday Weigh In, 3/16/07

This morning I weighed in at 195.5. That's 17 pounds overall. I'm in a new (old) pair of jeans. My tight jeans are not so tight anymore. And my comfortable jeans are falling down. Suh-weet.

Gotta give a shout out to myself this week for my calm in the face of a food disaster. See, on Wednesday I forgot my lunch at home. I packed it, and I was pretty excited about it. That's what I do now. I get excited about lunch. Anyway, I left it on the dining room table and didn't realize I didn't have it until I was over halfway to the bus stop. If I had gone back to get it, I would have missed the bus and would have had to wait another half an hour. Luckily, I had some money with me, so I figured I could just get something at work. The visions of the yummy illicit lunch I was planning were extremely fun to entertain. Normally I would have treated this as an excuse to eat whatever I wanted, and I was thinking of Au Bon Pain. And not a sensible Au Bon Pain sandwich, either. The good stuff.

But when I got to work, I went to the cafe to see what was available. I was secretly hoping it was all bad and that I would HAVE to eat something bad. But instead, I picked out a turkey, lettuce, and tomato sandwich on wheat bread, some baked Lay's chips, and a Light & Fit peach yogurt. I felt good about it, and I wasn't even sad that I wasn't going to be eating the fun stuff. I found myself actually looking forward to the turkey sandwich. And the yogurt, which I normally don't like. I amazed myself, let me tell ya. I didn't think I had it in me. So, a shout out to me for my diet amazingness. Who knew?

Anyway, have a great weekend, all!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Snack time is educational

I just thought I'd share with you some tidbits of wisdom that my cubes of Laughing Cow light Swiss cheese imparted to me this afternoon.

1. To put on one pound of weight, you would have to eat 11 pounds of potatoes.

2. In Egypt, about 10% of the workforce is under the age of 12.

3. Worker ants, always female, carry up to 50 times their own weight.

4. More coffee is consumed in Sweden than in any other country.

5. Cats cannot taste sweet things.

6. Japan has just 2,400 shopping malls compared with 43,000 in the U.S.

7. A microwaved baseball will fly further than a frozen baseball.

8. All babies are born colorblind.

Now you know.

The votes are in

So, the completely scientific survey results are in, and it looks like my next profession will be...Circus Performer! I think the same person voted for that seven times (thanks, AP).

So I'm thinkin' if I'm gonna do this, I'm gonna do it right. I don't want to be out there reinforcing gender stereotypes (being blank of gender myself, natch), so I'm gonna have to pick something a little gender-bendy. Somethin' people wouldn't expect. Having only been to a circus once, and on accounta the fact that said circus was assembled on the practice football field on my school lawn and was consequently very small, I'm not exactly sure about all my options here.

As it turns out, there are things called "highly-specialized circus talents" and "less-specialized circus talents." A quick perusal of the talents in each category has left me a little confused. For examle, a stilt walker, which I would guess is fairly specialized, is considered a "less-specialized talent," while bearded lady is considered "highly-specialized." Now, it's true that I haven't met any real bearded ladies in my life (except for Mrs. P), so maybe I just need to get out more. But it seems to me that a genetic predisposition, which is the only listed requirement, is not a talent. And it certainly isn't a "highly-specialized" one. I mean, I am genetically predisposed to sweat a lot, but I don't consider myself talented because of it. If people are going to pay money to stare at the bearded lady, they should be marveling not at her talent but at her courage. It can't be easy to be a bearded lady, what with all the stares, snickers, derision and open hostility I'm sure she faces for not conforming to the feminine beauty standard. It's hard out here for a bearded lady! Due to the fact that I don't have the necessary genetic talent required, though, I'm not gonna become the bearded lady. But I am gonna be her friend.

The other "highly-specialized" talents include trapese artist, tightrope walker, and fire breather/eater. They all sound interesting, but let's face it, folks. I'm lazy. And anything that will require the kind of training it takes to have a highly-specialized circus talent probably just isn't in the cards for me.

Dropping down into the less-specialized tier, we have clown, unicycler, juggler, and acrobat. I've tried juggling. Some wonderful friends of mine tried to help me with a personal goal to learn to juggle by buying me some juggling balls and an instruction booklet. I can get two balls in the air, but that third one gets me every time. I even tried with lemons and avocados when I worked at a grocery store, but it was a senseless waste of food, so I quit. And clown is out on accounta I went to high school with a girl whose life dream it was to become a famous clown. This girl also ate paste and crayons. So I'm thinking if she could be a clown (which she does part-time, I think), it's not really something to be proud of. I have a bum elbow, so acrobat is out, too. But unicycler I think I can do. I mean, I ride a mean bicycle and can even go for a few seconds with no hands. How hard can unicycling be?

If, on the off chance the unicycling thing doesn't work out, I guess I could be a ringmaster. Or the bus driver. I have an office job, so I know I can sit for long periods of time. Plus, I could invite the bearded lady to ride shotgun so we can be BFF.

Anyway, I want to thank all of you who voted for investing time into my future. I really appreciate it. I'll let you know when our circus is comin' to town.

Why my next car will be a Toyota

Friday, March 9, 2007

A little weekend music, 3/9/07

Friday Weigh In, 3/9/07

Man, today was another squeaker! Perhaps I'm just always meant to be surprised on Weigh-In Fridays, but so long as the surprises are good ones, I can live with the mysteries.

I weighed in at 197.0 this morning, bringing the total to 15.5 pounds over 9 weeks. I am averaging 1.6666666 pounds per week. I don't really notice that much of a difference in how I look, but I can definitely tell in how my clothes fit. Jeans fresh out of the dryer are actually at their most comfortable (aside from the scorching-hot buttons). I'm getting excited about the clothes I will be able to fit into pretty soon. They will be a nice change from my usual 4-outfit rotation. The people I work with will be pleased, I'm sure.

Gotta give a shout out to Chris, too, who has lost 19 pounds. Also, she does all of the official dinner planning and counting, which is no small chore. Plus, she has spent quite a few hours finding, printing, and assembling Weight Watchers recipes into a splatter-proof cookbook/binder. Look out, World! There is no stopping this woman!

The next thing (and I say this every damned week, but I really mean it this time!) is to start exercising. Chris' typical excuse - that she has too much going on with the job search to add exercise to the mix - has passed its expiration date (yahoo!), so she has vowed to start walking. I think I will join her. Or follow her, as we can't both walk on the treadmill at the same time, and it's still four fucking degrees here, so I doubt we'll be going outside. Although, it's supposed to warm up over the weekend, so anything is possible. Even exercise.

All right, friends...I hope you all have safe and happy weekends!

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Blog Against Sexism Day

Blog Against Sexism Day

Sexism sucks. See previous blog posts for more specificity. And treat yourselves like rock stars today. Minus the drugs and STDs.

Here are some things you can blog about today if you're so inclined (list courtesy of

*Data on women’s/girls struggle for equality has gone missing in the Bush Administration. The current administration continues to engage in a pattern of omission, distortion, and spin when it comes to information about women and girls. Data on the Department of Labor website has gone missing and the FDA continues to block approval of Emergency Contraception despite research findings that support its use.

*Women are still underpaid. Women earn only 77 cents to every dollar earned by men. (Former MA democratic Lt. Gov. Evelyn Murphy is doin great things to shake this up…check out Also, can 1 million women against WalMart be hallucinating? This is serious!

*Women are still massively underrepresented in the sciences. Despite substantial gains in the number of women pursuing graduate degrees in the sciences, women currently earn only 20% of all PhDs in computer science, less than 27% in physics, and only 17% in engineering. Studies show that women in science experience discrimination and double standards (sorry Larry Summers, but its really true.)

*There are too few female tenured professors. Despite the fact that women have been at least half of all college undergraduates since 1978, women represent only 36% of all tenured faculty nationwide, and only 13% of doctoral granting universities boast women presidents. Many women in academic settings report discrimination.

*Women are underrepresented in corporate leadership. Women have made up more than 40% of the workforce since 1977, and are currently almost 50%, yet only 9 women are CEOs of Fortune 500 companies.

*Too few women lawyers make partner. Women have been 40% of all law school students since 1995, and over half since 2001, but are only 15% of partners in law firms nationwide. Many female lawyers attest to double standards and discrimination.

*Media: Stereotypes Abound!

*Men still dominate the airwaves, music industry, film industry, etc, and are most decisionmakers and critics (often with a silent or not so silent male perspective.) Women make up only 11% of the national experts on Sunday morning political talk shows, and only 6% to 7% of the repeat guests. No major record label is headed by a woman. Most major film studios are headed by men, and nine out of ten music videos are produced by men. For the most part, women need to be sex objects and to be young to be successful in music and to some extent, films, TV. (Men,not so much…can you say Sean Connery? Harrison Ford? Woody Allen? David Letterman? Larry King?.) Women are chosen/allowed to direct only 5 - 7 % of major Hollywood films, and rarely are nominated for or win major awards for directing (despite \nsome very talented female directors out there.) This is not just Hollywood insanity….it’s workplace discrimination.

*Women are poorer. Women constitute about 70% of the world’s absolute poor – those living on less than a dollar a day. In the United States in 2004, there were 20.1 million women living below the poverty level. Worldwide, women’s access to resources and education still lags behind boys/men due to double standards.
Slavery still exists! Women and girls are the majority of the 800,000 to nearly 4 million people trafficked (bought and sold as property) internationally every year.

Some food for thought and discussion!

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Because rape is so very fashionable

So, some knobs at Dolce & Gabbana (actually, Dolce and Gabbana themselves) thought this ad was a good idea. Gabbana claims that the ad does NOT depict a rape scene and suggests that we interpret it as an erotic dream or a sexual game.

Now, if the woman in the ad were looking lustily into that dude's eyes - the dude who is wearing dark sunglasses and pinning her down, by the way - I could maybe buy it a little. Then it might just suggest that she's a little slutty. But she's not looking lustily into sweaty dude's eyes. She's looking to the side, and she doesn't look happy. Perhaps she's looking for an escape route.

But aside from that, the woman is also pushing up on those strappy spiked heels in a pose that looks a teeny bit like she's trying to push herself back away from the dude. It's not an invitational pose, anyway.

And then there are the creepy, sweaty men standing around watching the activity, suggestive of a gang rape. Six-pack dude is already half naked and is clearly interested in something.

Perhaps some people's "erotic dreams" or "sexual games" involve rape fantasies, but I would venture a guess that this is only true because advertisements like this suggest that rape is just another sexual (and sexy) act. It's not. It's about overpowering and degrading women (and sometimes men) with the metaphorical and literal phallus. It's about putting women in their place. It's about telling women they are nothing more than a collection of holes and that access to those holes is to be controlled by others. There is nothing erotic or game-like about it. Not for the rapee, anyway.

On a side note, who the hell wears high heels with a swimsuit anyway? Do men hate women's bodies so much that high heels are called in to "fix" the way those bodies look at all times, even in swimsuits? 'Cause it's men who design this shit, and even when it's women doing the designing and wearing, it's still through men's eyes we're all trained to see women's bodies. Like our very own deeply-imbedded Patriarchy-tinted sunglasses.

Hey, maybe that's what the sweaty dude is wearing.

Done deal

All right, folks. The deal is sealed. Except for the signature on the contract part. Adjustments were made to the offer, and while it's not exactly what we were hoping for, it's acceptable. And was accepted.

So, we're moving to upstate NY so MonkeyPants can have her dream job at her Dream College! This college was her number one pick last time around, but they didn't call her for an interview because the position wasn't a match. They remembered her application and were hoping she would apply for this position. And then the universe kept putting things in line, kind of like a slowly-closing Ziploc seal. Yellow and blue make green, and we're gonna be New Yorkers!

I've wanted to be a New Yorker for awhile now. I was hoping to be a New York, New Yorker, but this will do. And even though saying you're a New Yorker makes people think you live in The City, I'm gonna say it because a) it's technically true and b) it makes me sound way cooler than saying I live in upstate New York. Plus, we'll only be three and a half hours from Manhattan and will visit there occasionally, so yadda, yadda, yadda I'm a New Yorker!

Perhaps now that I will be one of her constituents I will finally get Hillary to listen to me. She's got some 'splainin' to do about her Iraq position. Maybe when all the 2008 Presidential Hoopla dies down, after President Gore extracts us from the Middle East Mess, Hillary and I can discuss where she went wrong.

Happy Wednesday, all!

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

One ends, and another begins

Dear readers,

I know so many of you have been sitting around obsessively hitting your refresh button, just hoping I would post something today about the job search. To reward your diligence, I will not disappoint.

The search, my friends, is over. Chris has received an offer that she's planning to accept, pending a slight alteration in the salary. Which means, if said alterations result in a satisfactory number, that we will be moving to New York!* This college has courted her pretty heavily, so we fully expect that the salary offer will be raised to an acceptable level. The department chair wants Chris so badly that he offered to do the negotiations on her behalf. I like this guy already!

So, now that Chris' search is over (or her "tour," as we were calling it), mine begins. I've started looking at area colleges for interesting positions, and I'm considering going back to school. At this point, anything could happen, which is a bit scary and doesn't help us determine when we can/should move. I had blocked it out, but now I remember how much this part of the process sucks! Not as much as Chris' interview process, but sucky in its own right.

Anyway, perhaps you can help me out here:

What should I be when I grow up?
A secretary (please don't vote for this one!)
An athletic director
A librarian
A circus performer
A slam poet
A residence director
A waitress at Applebee's
A truck driver
A kept woman
A Pussycat Doll
Free polls from

*Specific details will be given after the offer has been accepted.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Is John Edwards fabulous?

I'm just gonna throw this out there: I'm fabulous. There's just no way around it. Sure, I have my flaws, but on the whole I'm pretty great.

That's why I can't figure out, no matter how much brain juice I lose to the effort, why someone as unfabulous as Ann Coulter would reference me (and all my equally fabulous homobrothers and sisters) when trying to knock John Edwards down a few pegs. I mean, there are lots of ways you can tar candidates, several of which deal specifically with their job performance or political philosophies.

Setting aside for a second that it's inappropriate to talk about a candidate's sexuality in the first place, what I really want to know is why insinuating that someone is gay is the worst of all possible insults.

The reaction to Coulter's comment has betrayed the deep-seated homophobia on all sides, conservative and liberal. They're all absolutely beside themselves, waiting for their opportunity to grab the spotlight long enough to take Coulter to task. Only in their zeal to be the Righteous Ones, they're doing no favors to the gay community.

The overall tenor of their comments seems to be, "How dare she call John Edwards gay? That's beyond insulting!"

But is it? Really? I don't mean to suggest that what Coulter did was acceptable in any way. Her use of the word "faggot" alone was over the line. And her intention to smear is absolutely contemptible. But her actual insinuation? It's only bad to call someone gay if you believe being gay is bad. And that's why the "liberal" reaction to this has been so disappointing. The affront here was not to John Edwards. It was to the gay community.

Edwards could have scored some points if he had pointed this out. He released a statement saying that "in America, we strive for equality and embrace diversity" and that Coulter's use of an anti-gay slur was "un-American." I agree with him on that point - "faggot" is undeniably hate speech. But he didn't say that her use of gayness as the ultimate bogeyman was offensive. I might have let him slide with his mild implication of such if he hadn't also released this:

Can you help us raise $100,000 in "Coulter Cash" this week to keep this campaign charging ahead and fight back against the politics of bigotry?

Yes, because when there's a decision to be made between lifting up a community and trading on the very thing you're denouncing to raise a boatload of money, we know on which side politicians of all stripes will come down. If the Edwards campaign really believed that Coulter's comments were offensive to the gay community and not just to John Edwards, they'd donate every dollar of that "Coulter Cash" to gay organizations.

Now, that would be fabulous!

Friday, March 2, 2007

A little weekend music

Friday Weigh In, 3/2/07

Greetings, dear readers!

It is with much excitement that I announce that the scale was very kind to me this morning. I wasn't sure how it might go, as it took me most of the week to work the sodium from the Chinese food out of my system. Consequently, I spent most of the week pissed off.

But this morning, I nudged the scale awake and waited for the zeroes to settle. Then I stepped on up and waited anxiously for the judgment. And, I gotta tell ya, I don't really feel that judged today! The scale told me that I weigh 198.5, winked, and wished me a good day. I could tell she was proud. As was I.

So, that makes a total of 14 pounds since my first weigh-in on January 9. Feelin' good. Not as winded by small energy expenditures. My coat fits much better. But my pants are kinda falling down. The nice thing is that I bought a bunch of clothes for my body at this weight before we moved to New Hampshire, and most of them still have tags on them on accounta I hated this place right away and started gaining weight almost immediately. I'm calling this first 14 pounds my "New Hampshire weight."

Now, if I could only lose New Hampshire...I might have an update on that next week.

Happy Weekend, all!