Tuesday, December 30, 2008

R is for Random

I got this meme (and the post title) from my friend velocibadgergirl over at Pardon the Egg Salad

The rules are as follows:
  1. I write 10 things that I love which begin with my assigned letter.
  2. If you want to participate, leave a comment here (with a working email) and I'll assign you a letter randomly (how else could I do it?)
  3. You write about 10 things you love which begin with your assigned letter (and I mean really luuuuurve, not like "oh I think Raid is nifty").
  4. When people comment on your list, you give them a letter, then they do the same crap and we all have love lists.
Velocibadger girl gave me R using her scattergories dice, so, in order of whence they occured to me, here is my list of R things that I love:

1. RAINN - from their website: "The nation's largest anti-sexual assault organization." They gather statistics, educate the public, lobby for funding, provide a national crisis hotline (both on the phone and online), help victims connect with low-cost health and legal professionals in their area, all around, they help victims both directly and indirectly by trying to lower the abomidable rate of rape.

2. Ripe, fresh, juicy red raspberries - zomg teh best fruitz EVAR! I love rasperries so much I incorporated them into my wedding: our cake was flavored white chocolate, with a raspberry puree filling, buttercream frosting and topped fresh raspberries purchased that day from the local farmer's market. (I wish I had a better closeup of the cake on hand but you'll just have to deal with my ginormous clevage if you want to look at the cake).

3. Rice pudding - I like most rice puddings, but my family has a super yummy baked rice pudding recipe that makes my mouth water (and it's super freaking easy to make).

4. Randomness - Srsly

5. Ring - My engagement ring. It is a simple custom-made band of white gold. The center stone is a gorgeouse deep blue sapphire, with two diamond offsets. The stones are at an angle and the ends of the band are fluted around them. I never go anywhere without it.

6. Ruby Soho by Rancid - does that count as double? Nothing like an upbeat punk song about heartache.

7. Rum Balls - I made this recipe that DeeDee posted over at Fiddledeedee. Awesome. Chocolaty and nutty and rummy. And they only took me like 15 minutes to make.

8. Relaxing - What more can I say?

9. Reproducing - or, at least, pretending to ;)

10. Rocky Horror Picture Show, The - Let's do the time warp again! (It's the pelvic thrust that really drives you insane).

Friday, December 12, 2008

Ladies' Man

The town our store is in, because it is like the retirement capitol of the world, has a lot of old people. So a huge chunk of our clientele is old people with foot issues, who may or may not have their faculties intact.

So I was working the store yesterday with LB, and this 800 year old woman comes in with her daughter and granddaughter. She needs special shoes for her foot issues, so LB helped her since he’s kind of an expert in that stuff. They find a pair of shoes for her, but one of them needs to be stretched. While LB is helping her, she’s asking him all sorts of personal questions…like “oh where do you live?” and, “what time do you get off work?”

LB went to stretch the shoe, and while he was gone, she asked her granddaughter something that I couldn’t hear, and the granddaughter says “Well I don’t know, ask her, she’s right there.” I walk up and say “Is there something you’d like to ask me?” “Yeah, who ARE you?” Granddaughter laughs and clarifies that she would like to know my relation to LB, and I said, yes, we’re married.

LB came back and I rung up her shoes and some socks she was also getting. As her daughter was paying, she turns to me and says “What’s your name?” “QueenRandom” “How old are you?” “Twenty-seven.” “Oh! Oh well OK” I think she was surprised by my age; I think she thought I was quite a bit younger. She then looks at my husband, who is in the back of the store and can’t hear us, and exclaims, “I’ll take him!”

LB: Charming the pants off of old ladies since 1980.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

20 Ways of Coming Out as Bisexual

I am not often known for my extreme timeliness, but this post is in honor of National Coming Out Week, which was 2 or 3 weeks ago.

Yeah I rock.

But anyway in honor of NCOW, here it is, 20 ways to come out as a bisexual:
  1. I like both guys and gals.
  2. I'm AC/DC.
  3. My socket accepts both male and female connectors.
  4. I don't limit my love to a single gender.
  5. My attraction and love for a person do not rely on genital appearance (excluding warts and lesions).
  6. Sometimes I like Earl Grey, sometimes I like Lady Grey.
  7. I root for both teams.
  8. I find both long johns and doughnuts equally tasty.
  9. I like both roosters and kitties (think about it).
  10. Angelina or Brad? Yes, please.
  11. I fancy both Martians and Venusians.
  12. I can't "just pick a side." To do so would be to deny half of who I am.
  13. Sometimes I feel like a nut; sometimes I don't.
  14. I enjoy situating myself between the yin and the yang.
  15. On the Kinsey scale, I fall between 0 and 6.
  16. I love the person, not the gender.
  17. At breakfast, I can eat either saussage or muffins.
  18. My extracurricular activities include both pole vaulting and ditch diving.
  19. Innies and Outies are both appealing to me.
  20. I can love a person of either gender, but I love that person just as much and am just as faithful and loyal to them regardless of their gender.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Go Go Gadget Gallimaufry


Well, I had to change labs. For those of you not in science PhD programs, that is a big, hairy deal. Basically? I lost 1-2 years off of my project.

In the end, though, it's a good thing. When I thought about spending another 2 years in that lab? I had panic attacks. I was scared and anxious every day. I was constantly (justifiably) scared of getting yelled at and called names. I had gastritis. My hair was starting to fall out. I couldn't have a conversation without getting defensive. Things were broken beyond repair.

There's so much more, but institutional policies, bla bla, plus, at this point, I just want to move on. I'm not afraid anymore and I want to keep it that way.

Since leaving? My stomach pains have all but disappeared. My hair has grown inches (in just 3 weeks!). My nails are suddenly so healthy I have to cut them every few days just so I can type without being annoyed. My relationship with my husband has improved dramatically, and I once again feel like, uh, gratifying him on a regular basis.

Life is good.

Let's get physical

So I am, like everyone and their brother, trying to lose weight. Not a lot, but started out slightly overweight and I'd like to get a little closer to the middle range of "normal" (according to the docs) before LB and I start trying to conceive (which, at this point, I have no idea when that's going to happen). I've been doing well, in bursts...10lbs gone since April! 10 more to go. Mostly it's a matter of developing healthy habits - eating well, drinking enough water, and exercising, none of which I was doing at the onset.

As a part of this, I've been going to aqua aerobics. It is awesome. It's me and like fifteen sexagenarians. So the other day, we are, as usual, dancin around to popular songs put to an aerobics beat, when the next song comes on. Dust In The Wind by Kansas. To a club beat. NNNN-TSSS NNNN-TSSS DUUUUUUUUUUST IN THE WIIIIIIIIIND NNNN-TSSS NNNN-TSSS NNNN-TSSS NNNN-TSSS And then I died a little inside.

When I finish my class, I head back to the locker room and take a shower. It just so happens that every Tuesday evening at 6:30, the gym gives tours to prospective new members. They pass through the locker rooms generally just after my post-aerobics shower, when I am changing back into my clothes, meaning they are often treated to me in gratuitous amounts of undress. That is how it came to pass that part of my gym routine every Tuesday evening is to flash my bare ass at random (innocent?) bystanders. I may not possess the sense of modesty to cover up, but hey, at least I'm polite enough to turn so they get booty instead of bush.

Deep Thoughts

Celebrity reality shows just wouldn't be the same without Danny Bonaduce.

I can't eat Fun'yns because they remind me of bunions and I'm convinced they'll taste like feet.

Getting out of a wet swimsuit is much more unpleasant than putting on a dry swimsuit.

Do all dogs think dead, rotten bird is THE scent that will drive ALL the ladies wild, or is it just mine?

I can't decide what is a worse wake-up call: Dog breath in my face or cat pouncing on my boob.

I like the word thesaurus. It engenders an image of a giant T-rex with a big ole book for its head rampaging through the jungle.

Dogs Rock

This video
had me tearing up at work...and I'm not a crier!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Book Blog

So, yesterday I started a book review blog, Ecclectic Belletrist. It has a lot of posts right now, mainly because I took all my old facebook reviews and made an entry for each of those. They're pretty short, but in the future I plan on longer, more in-depth reviews. I ready probably 1.5 books per month, so it won't be too bustling. If you do go there, be sure to check this out first, as it has my comment policy and blog philosophy. That being said, here's a list of books I have so far:

We Need to Talk About Kevin

My Sister's Keeper

The Little Prince


The Power of One


The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time



Life of Pi

The Virgin Suicides


The Kite Runner

A Separate Peace


The Bell Jar

A Wrinkle in Time


Brave New World

Lies My Teacher Told Me

The Ocean in the Closet

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Whole new attitude

So. I have had an epiphany. (OK I must stop here to brag that, apparently, I spelled epiphany right on the first try. Go me!). About Grad school, or possibly about my advisor.

See, my advisor and I butt heads a lot. She is a very confrontational, controlling person, and I won't stand for any bullshit. It is very stressful.

But I realized...it doesn't have to be stressful. I care too much what she thinks of me, and it distresses me that she doesn't respect my professional opinion. But I realized...she doesn't trust ANYbody's professional opinions, even those people who have years and years more experience than her. Why should she respect me scientifically when she can't respect her scientific superiors? No, that would be illogical.

When I started in this lab, she pushed for a much closer relationship than I was used to, and I think that was to my detriment. She said she sees her students as her kids. That she wants to protect us from failure. This has fucked with my head bigtime. I allowed myself to think that this was true. It's not. It was a device she used to try to get me to open up to her, and a device she uses to justify her paternalistic behavior towards her employees. In all fairness, I think SHE thinks it's true, but it isn't. Or, to put it another way, if she treats her actual daughter the same way she treats her employees, than she's a pretty shitty parent. But if I can sever this "close" relationship and move towards a professional one, like I had with bosses before here, than I can protect and distance my emotions from her constant negativity. I will never have her approval, nor should I desire it. She is not, and should not be, a parental figure for me. Her approval or respect don't matter. As long as I can finish my thesis and get a decent recommendation letter out of her once I go job hunting, nothing else matters in the meantime. I will no longer let her manipulations, her misreadings of my personality, and her berating my not being perfect bother me. Screw that noise.

And you know what? I've been living with this new attitude for the past week, and I feel great. For the first time in 3 years I feel the knots in my stomach loosening.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Free Association Friday: Pus-filled tonsil edition

Yes folks it's time for another installment of Free Association Friday!

Today's word is: quinsy (n) inflammation of the tonsils, with formation of pus. Root: Greek kyon, dog; anchien, choke.

OK first? EWAH. I could have happily lived my life not knowing that such a condition existed. Thank you, Webster's. Thankyouverymuch.

Also? How do we get from choking dog to pus-filled tonsils? I mean, yes, they both involve the throat area, but other than that I don't see the connection. To my recollection as a dog owner, dogs are not particularly prone to being pus-y. Especially in their throat.

In regards to tonsils, I do not have them anymore. I had a tonsillectomy at age 2?3? Something like that. I used to get very bad sleep apnea, and when the docs investigated, they found that my tonsils were about 4 times the size they should have been. Mom says when I snored she could feel the floor shake. So they got rid of those right quick. I remember waking up from surgery, and I don't remember much at that age. I remember being soooooo thirsty and sooooo lonely, but then they gave me my special blanket (which I named Kiki) and I felt much better. But they wouldn't give me anything to drink. They said I could have a popsicle and I wanted grape but they were out and all they had was orange, and if you remember orange flavor in the early 80's...ew. So I sulkily ate my orange popsicle and that's really all I remember.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

ZOMG Craziness!

So the last week has been just nuts. But first, the good news: Remember how I was going to fail a class because I missed 3 sessions (I didn't even know GRAD SCHOOL had attendence sheesh)? Well, I was just informed yesterday that my petition for late withdrawal was approved. Woot! The email included something to the effect of "This is a one-time get out of jail free card. Savor it!" So that's a load off my back.

But the rest of my week? Pretty shitty.

So for the last 4 weeks or so, I have been feeling pukey along with what LB tells me was heartburn (he's the expert in that, and I personally have never had it before in my LIFE). Then in the last week, I started getting a constant sharp pain in my stomach, like some alien baby was thinking about poking its way out. I took a pregnancy test just in case, and it was negative within like 10 seconds (it's supposed to take 3 minutes), so that wasn't the cause. I figured I caught some bug or something, so I went to the doc. I have gastritis! The precursor lesion for an ulcer! At 26! The doc said the three causes at my age are usually excessive alcohol, excessive caffiene, or excessive stress. We could easily rule out alcohol and caffiene, since I have 1 a week and 2 a day, on average, respectively. Doc asks "Have you been under more stress than usual lately?" to which I laughed sadly and nodded my head. Let's see:
  • The class thing which would have been my first failing grade EVER since that one pop math quiz when I had been out sick in 3rd grade.
  • More work than usual because my advisor has turned in 3 grants in 1.5 months, with one more due in a week and a half.
  • One postdoc had to stop working to wait for his visa to get renewed so A piled half his work on me, in addition to my own.
  • We got 2 new lab members which I have had to train on top of postdoc's work and my own increased work load.
  • A is being a raving lunatic and yelling at everyone for even thinking about maybe placing half a toe out of line or not being supercrazy productive or perfecter than perfect.
  • I have my annual works-in-progress talk, an hour long talk about my research in front of the entire department, on Wednesday and my bi-annual thesis committee meeting the following day.
  • My f-ing WATER HEATER DIED. It had been leaking (slowly) for a while but in the last week decided to leak rather quickly. And everything in the basement got moldy and the cats wouldn't go in their boxes (located in the basement) because the humidity was making their litter wet.
So. Yeah. Bring it the fuck on.

Last night LB and I spent a good 4 hours cleaning out the basement, aided by a window squeegee LB found at his store and a dehumidifier and two fans he borrowed from his parents. It was gross. It was sticky. It was stuffy. But the basement is more than half dry at this point. New water heater is coming in bright and early Monday morning to the tune of $800. Goodbye tax rebate.

Oh yeah and to prevent further flooding? We turned off the water. Because lucky us, we don't have separate hot and cold water shut offs. Nope. Just one. So I filled every jug and tub and nalgene last night. We're manually filling the tank of the toilet for every flush (and now we have to live by that disgusting phrase "If it's brown, flush it down; if it's yellow, let it mellow"), and he's showering at his parent's and I'm showering at the gym. Oy.

So. That's what I've been up to.

To borrow a meme from velocibadgergirl, Listening to: Today I hate everyone by The Perishers.

Friday, May 30, 2008

I picked the WRONG day to neclect to bring a coat or umbrella

Taken from my front porch. That white stuff is hail.
Waiting for the bus? Was not fun.

Max, as usual, tried to escape. I let him, thinking the rain and hail would get him to forever stop asking to go out. I was wrong. His grass-tasting tour of the yard was uninhibited. "Oooh," says Max, "ICED grass. A rare delicacy indeed!"

Friday, May 16, 2008

Free Association Friday

Yes, I'm starting a meme. It's MINE ALL MINE.

OK but not really.

What I'm gonna do, is pull out my good ole Webster's New World Dictionary, open to a random page, and with my eyes closed, put my finger on the page and the entry it's closest to will be my inspiration for my free association. (Hm...wondering if I might need a newer dictionary...mine was published in 1971...holy crap it's 10 years older than me!) After picking the word I will just type away until my fingers decide they're done.

Today's inspirational word is: Immutable

Immutable, as in, this is an immutable law of the universe. What laws are immutable? That husbands are silly. That cats are psychotic but loving. That Thai food is the bomb diggity. Well, maybe not all Thai food, but all Thai food I've had. I once had this dish at a little hole in the wall Thai restaurant on Lake Street in Minneapolis. I ordered my bean dish 4 out of 5 on their 1-5 spicy scale. I should have ordered a 3. I figured, OK this is Minnesota, right? Minnesotans, as a general rule, are pretty intolerant of spice. My mild is my mother's hot. So I figured, OK I like it spicy, so...normally for a Thai restaurant I'd go 3 but they probably dumbed it down for the locals...so I ordered a 4. Which was very good that day...a little much for me but nothing I couldn't handle. But when I re-heated it in the microwave? Did you know that when you reheat chili oil it gets hotter? Yeah me neither. And OMG was my mouth on fire. I had to walk around with it open for a while. But I'm stubborn, right? So I kept eating it because, dammit I was not gonna throw out perfectly good food that I paid my hard-earned money for! Tears were streaming down my face. Gallons of water were consumed (and later pissed out). My fist was pounding the table and my feet were twitching. But, by God, I finished those beans.

If you want to participate, leave a link in the comments!

Monday, May 12, 2008

I am Uteressa, from the realm of Vulvacular

So. I am a gamer. And I happen to be born with a set of genitals that confers the female status. Some people would call me a girl gamer. I mean, yes I'm a gamer, and yes I'm female, but why does there have to be two categories: gamer, and girl gamer? Nevermind the fact that I haven't been a girl for nearly a decade; I think I can very safely call myself a woman.

Gaming is an interesting beast for female gamers, especially those of us who enjoy MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games). The first time I publicly admitted to being a female while playing WOW (in my n00b days), the conversation went something like this:

General Chat - Some Player: There aren't many girl gamers. I'm a girl and I'm like the only one.
General Chat - Me: You aren't! I'm a girl (well I'm over 18 so a woman) and I know other women who game. There's lots of females on WOW.
Private Chat - Some Player: I'm glad to see other girl gamers! Would you like to chat?
...wait 10 seconds...
Private Chat - Some Player: I mean like sexy?
Me (offline): Headdesk

I've seen players who publicly (online) identify as female get harassed as being not as good players (even though it wasn't true), have rape jokes about them told online, or get hit on. After a few experiences as such, I became much more reserved about grouping with other toons (characters) who I didn't know.

I tend to be very protective of my identity now...the only people who know are my guild members. I never go on general voice chat. I just want to play, dammit.

But some female players revel in their...um....femininity? Just today, I ran across a toon named Fallopia and another named Ovaree. Now, I don't see male toons named Vas Deferentia or Testicuole, and I wonder, why would you want to name your character after your reproductive organs? That's a little too...girly? For me. If you want to "come out" as female online, go ahead, more power to you, but naming yourself after your reproductive organs? Hm. Maybe I'm just too private (heh I heart bad puns) or maybe I'm just not the "I am woman hear my uterus roar worship the earth mother goddess wombs rock!" type of person.

To each their own I guess.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

My ass is kinda big news

So this saturday, Freki and I participated in the Paws & Claws Pet Walk. Paws & Claws is the shelter from which we adopted Freki, and I have volunteered there for a while, although not as often as I would like!

Everybody at the dog walk, hangin out

We got there early with a friend of mine who was volunteering to walk one of the shelter dogs. We hung out, got registered, got my t-shirt and Freki's bandana, played a little fetch to tire him out (it didn't work) then we met and walked with two of my coworkers and their dogs. Great fun was had by all.

Tired dog walkin

About midway through the walk, we stopped by a river and Freki begged me to go in, so I obliged.

Freki in the water

He was only mildly upset with me for not letting him off-leash to romp and swim. I tried explaining to him that this is not the dog park, but he didn't understand. He was like "Bitch, please. This is water! There are geese! Little doggies need to PLAY!"

After the walk, we hung out for a little bit to see if we won anything in the drawing, and we did! We got a grab bag of toys, a Sigg bottle for me, and some doggie supplies which were unfortunately too small (which really isn't surprising, Freki is a bit of a beast). I'm sure we can find someone who will use them though.

Afterward, we were both very tired. I dropped the boy off at home, then went out to lunch with everyone we walked with at Pannekoeken. Twas good. After that I went home and napped with Freki. We were both very tired. Max and Milo joined in, just for kicks.

Tonight, as I was preparing to write this entry in fact, and I hear (in babytalk), "Is that Freki? Yeah is that you? Is Freki on TV? You're on TV! And mommy's butt! And leg!" Apparently LB was watching the local news, and we were on TV. I asked, "So did my ass look terrible?" To which my well-trained monkey man says, "No it looked fabulous."

Saturday, April 26, 2008

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Gotta get something up before it's over!

So as many of you may know, I am a survivor of childhood sexual assault. In light of this, I like to do something special every April to raise awareness and combat myths as my contribution to sexual assault awareness month.

In lieu of telling my own story this year, I am going to link to a few articles that are pertinent to it or are pertinent to our culture right now.

I think a lot of people are starting to understand and know the Department of Justice statistic that 1 in 6 women are raped over the course of their lifetime (not including sexual assault that did not include penetration or attempted sexual assault). But not a lot of people know how many rapists there are out there, how this number is terrifying to women and why we live our lives in constant fear of being raped. That number, folks, is 4.5%. Another way of putting it: 1 in 25. If you know 25 men, chances are you know a rapist. I'm pretty sure we all know at least one rapist. They are people we love, people we respect, people we loathe, people who hide their misogyny behind charm, good looks, or chivalry. Think 4.5% is a small number? From Alas, a blog:

4.5% of the men in the United States is an incredibly high number - that translates into over six million men.

If you added up every US citizen who was officially unemployed or looking for work in 2001, that would be less than the total number of rapists.

If you added up every US citizen who is Jewish, that would still be less than the total number of rapists.

If you added up every teenage boy who had any sort of job - an afterschool job, a summer job, working full-time after dropping out, including all of those - you’d still have over a million fewer people then the total number of rapists.

There are twice as many rapists in the USA as there are single mothers.

For every drunk driver who is in a fatal accident this year, there are over 500 rapists.

If you take every doctor and nurse in the United States; and you added them to every librarian, every cashier, every cop, every postal clerk, and every bank teller in the whole country; you still wouldn’t have as many people as the number of rapists in the United States.

To relate the fear that women experience on a daily basis because of these rapists (again from Alas, a blog):

Imagine that one out of 25 men have at some point in their lives attacked and tortured an Oregonian. You don’t know which ones had done it - you just know it’s about one in 25. And they had done it simply because they had wanted to, and they consider people from Oregon to be just that worthless.

Now imagine you were born in Oregon.

How safe would you feel in your daily life? What would it do to your feeling of security and safety, knowing that “only” one out of 25 of the men you stand in line with at the bank, the male cashiers you meet at the grocery, the male cops patrolling the streets, the male students you take classes with and the male professors you learn from, and your male co-workers at the office, has attacked someone like you, because they were like you?
Part of my rape was the involvement of pornography. It was used to show me what to do, who I was. Considering, too, that my attacker was under 18, it probably informed him of exactly what females were good for. Porn is very poor sex education, except in my experience most young men learn about sex, at least vis-a-vis what women enjoy, from porn. Talk about missing the mark. "What does porn have to do with rape?" one might ask. A lot. Check out one angry girl's section on porn myths. Particularly, the sections entitled "Porn is harmless and has no effect on the person using it" and "Porn is an outlet or safety valve for men who might otherwise do Bad Things" are eye-opening; they contains findings from decades of research on the relationship between pornography and misogystic attitudes, sexual aggression and addiction. One researcher found that "The relationship between particularly sexually violent images in the media and subsequent aggression...is much stronger statistically than the relationship between smoking and lung cancer" (Edward Donnerstein). I have ambivalent feelings about porn. On the one hand, a lot of it is disgustingly misogynistic, promotes rape by treating rape as normal sex and enjoyable to the woman, ignores real female sexuality, etc etc. On the other hand, it can be hot to watch two people going at it. In this case, context is EVERYTHING.

Finally, a bit of current events. Something even I failed to consider, when thinking about the War on Terror, is the effect on the female soldiers from the U.S. I figured there would be a huge increase in rape of Iraqi women and girls at the hands of invading and insurgent forces, and there has been, but I didn't for a moment think that this fate would also befall our own soldiers. Indeed, aside from all the KBR madness, it has recently been found that female U.S. soldiers serving in Iraq are more likely to be raped by their "fellow" soldiers than killed in combat. I know, I know, women aren't "allowed" in combat, but this war doesn't have a clear front line, and women are dying in combat nearly every day. That means they are also being raped by their fellow soldiers every day.

Please take some time out of your day to think about these things, without being defensive. Recognize that, if one in six women is raped, and if you include the women who are victims of non-penatrative sexual assault and attempted sexual assault, that means 1 in 4 women is sexually victimized. 1 in 4. Your mother. Your sister. Your daughter. Your wife. Your fiancee. Your girlfriend. Your aunt. Your grandmother. Your cousin. Your best friend. YOU KNOW a woman who has been raped. Sit down and think for a few minutes about how YOU can make this world a better place for all the women in your life, and thank them for being so strong and brave in the face of the worst kind of adversity - physical hatred. Don a teal ribbon, I know I am.

Sexual Assault Awareness Month official website

Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) for survivors, their supporters, and those who want to learn more

What I've been up to

So. It's high time I pick this thing back up again. I am a very bad naughty blogger who needs a spanking.


So. LB and I....bought a store. A shoe store, to be precise. A shoe store in a small whitebred town on the Mississippi. This is what I have been up to for the past...3-4 weeks? Something like that.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Hello, cruel world

I suck.

Less than a month into my blogging and I have already broken my goal of one post a week or more.

In my defense, I was out of town for several days. The vacation from hell of which we shall not speak again. Or possibly shall. Dunno.

I've been in a pretty foul mood since I got back home. Among other disasters from this weekend, I discovered on this trip that my grandmother is losing her mind. She is 86, so she's lucky to have been healthy for so long. But this is the first time I've really had to deal with the idea that she's aging. I mean, she has been getting older for quite some time, but she was very physically and mentally healthy. But now, I'm starting to realize her mortality. I just hope she makes it to my graduation; she can't stop talking about how excited she is to have a PhD in the family.

In honor of my foul mood, here's a list of the 10 things I hate most right now:

1. Banks. They can't do anything right!
2. Sunny days when I have to work indoors.
3. When LBs computer makes our internet not work.
4. My messy house.
5. Mud.
6. Dog poop and having to clean it up after it has been rained on.
7. Waiting in line to spend my hard-earned money.
8. Hypoglycemic attacks (2 in less than 24 hours! Woo!)
9. Shipments that require immediate attention.
10. My bladder, which can hold only a quarter cup worth of liquid.

Well enough of that; I'm getting depressed. So, in an attempt to cheer myself up, here's a list of the 10 things I love most right now:

1. My snuggly puppy and kittens. They brighten every morning.
2. Diet Pepsi. Caffiene without sugar! Woot!
3. My husband, who, after we get in a fight, has learned to always apologize, then give me my space just like I need.
4. A free scrapbook from my friend California K, who also makes me very happy regularly. Its color is what would result if lime and avocado had a baby, and came in a box with sushi packing tape. LB brought it in the house and said, "I have a gift for you, and it's not shoes." I said, "It's SHOES?!" But lo, it was neither shoes nor was it from LB. But it was still fantastic.
5. Teh internets and my T3 work connection.
6. Being able to skip 2 seminars because everybody thinks I'm still out of town.
7. Springy clothes. Like the season, not the metal twisty thing.
8. Honey mustard.
9. When some sweet anonymous soul moves the 10 gallon carboy that I was filling with water for me, thus relieving my back of that hideous task.
10. Shampoo that makes my hair silky and nice smelling.

Aaaand finally I must thank the Ultimate Blog Party 2008 and, specifically, Thrifty Jinxy. I won prize #94, a booklight. I recieved it last week, but, sadly, my dog ate it before I got the chance to use it. Sigh. He's lucky he's so cute.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

If elephants never forget, then I work for a pachyderm.

The mystery of grace

So today I was (as usual) doing too many things at once. Or, perhaps, doing too diverse things at once. I was...reading while walking. I often do this. But I was also planning experiments. I went to turn left around a corner into my office, something I do probably 10 times a day. I misjudged my distance, and ended up turning about a foot and a half too soon. Straight into a wall. People ask me how I can have so many bruises and wonder if I might be abused. No. I just run into walls. Often.

Introducing A

So, at 4:55 PM today, my adviser (A, which does not stand for adviser but for the first initial of her name) frantically comes up to me. I brace myself.
A: Where are those slides you took the pictures of?

queenrandom: *raises eyebrow, for lo, I have taken pictures of 200+ slides since joining her lab 3 years ago*

A: The slides! You took the beautiful pictures! Of the fly eyes!

queenrandom: Ooooooh *remembering those pictures, taken 2 years ago*

A: They are supposed to be above the microscope!

queenrandom: By the Mac, right? Yeah, I put those back from where I got them.

A: Above the Mac?

queenrandom: Above the Mac. *nodding*

A: I can't find them.

queenrandom: *raising eyebrow because I KNOW for a FACT that A rearranged that entire room not 2 weeks ago*

A: I NEED THEM! *runs off in a tizzy*
45 seconds later....
A: *running up to me* I need you to check all your drawers for the slides.

queenrandom: OK, but my bus leaves in like 5 minutes so I have to go now. I'll look tomorrow. *knowing that I won't find them because she was the last person to have them*

A: I NEED THOSE SLIDES. Fine. OK. Whatever. Yeah look tomorrow. Thank you. *runs off in a tizzy*
Scaredy Cat

Ha! I just sprayed Febreeze in my office, while Milo was in here, and he just ran out with his tail tucked between his legs. Evil spraying sound! Something that doesn't smell like sweet, sweet cat ass! RUN AWAY!!!!!

Watch out for that Febreeze. It'll gitcha!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

100 Things

I'm not feeling very creative today, so I'm stealing a blog meme and doing a 100 things about me post. I'm going to try to keep it to things that are NOT already on the blog though :)

1. I have two last names. No, not hyphenated last names. Two. Separate. Last. Names.
2. I have a dent in my thigh. I got it from an infant shot that became terribly infected. The doctors told my mom not to pop it but she didn't listen. Being a nurse, and I suspect almost as science-geeky as me, she measured the amount of pus that came out of it. It was 1 tablespoon.
3. The Tick is my hero, but secretly I adore The Evil Midnight Bomber What Bombs at Midnight.
4. I think dark chocolate is the superior chocolate.
5. My mother has boundary issues. Once, she invited me to a sex toy party. When I was 19. When I vehemently opposed the idea, she persisted. Six months later, she tried again.
6. My favorite number is 4 and my favorite color is blue.
7. I was born on Independence Day. When my mom was in labor, she told my dad, "If it's a boy, we're naming it Yankee Doodle." I am glad I'm female.
8. This is already harder than I thought it would be.
9. I used to have a very flatulent schnauzer named Fred. He went to that great yard in the sky when I was 15. I still miss him.
10. My cat Max likes to decapitate mice. I wish I were kidding.
11. My favorite cuisines are Mexican and Indian. The spicier the better.
12. I often don't know what is socially appropriate. For instance, talking about food right after talking about dead mice.
13. My brother is seriously dating a girl with the same (somewhat unusual) name as me. It's weird.
14. I am a very successful ex-nailbiter. I have not bitten in 5 years.
15. I love garlic so much it should be illegal.
16. I don't like being hugged. I have personal space issues.
17. I don't think ice cream is all that great.
18. I spoil my pets rotten.
19. I used to be a kleptomaniac. No, seriously.
20. I love baking, but I am not so fond of cooking.
21. My hair used to be rather straight, but in the last two years, it decided to get curly. I yell at it constantly.
22. I'm constantly being mistaken for a race or ethnicity that I'm not. A lot of people think I'm Asian, some have thought I was an ethnic Jew, and once, a guy that I had known for a while swore that I was Puerto Rican. My ethnic makeup is actually (in order of degree): French/French-Canadian, Swedish, Irish, Welsh, English and Scottish.
23. My husband is Bohemian (2nd American generation though). I think that's so cool. I used to call him my gypsy until he said he didn't like it.
24. I was once called a cryptotranscendentalist.
25. When I was a kid, I didn't like to eat much, so I would store my food in my (ginormous) cheeks and hide vegetables behind my ears. Mom would find me eating hours later.
26. I went to an all-girls, Catholic high school.
27. I went to a Montesorri school instead of preschool and during my tenure there I learned how to write a few words in cursive.
28. I still have nightmares from this one time in Montesorri when I had uncontrollable diarrhea during song time.
29. I started dating LB when I was 16 years old.
30. I am bisexual. When I came out to LB, he said, "Well I could have told you that." I guess it was no secret (except from myself!).
31. I don't think I'll ever come out to my family.*
32. I am a survivor of childhood sexual assault. I was 4. Never think your child is too young to know about these things, they NEED to!
33. I am also a survivor of attempted murder. I was 10.

34. I have forgiven both of my attackers unconditionally.
35. I think this list has gotten too morose.
36. Speaking of morose, I loved Sweeny Todd. But I hate the songwriter, because that $%&$%@& Johanna song gets stuck in my head ALL THE TIME.
37. I am scared to death of clowns and people with mascot costumes on, for no apparent reason.
38. I have an eyebrow piercing.
39. I talk to myself so much that one of my coworkers once got asked if I was "all there."
40. I secretly love having pets because instead of talking to myself, I can talk to them.
41. I had never seen a satellite in the night sky until last summer. I thought it was a falling star and LB had a good laugh.
42. I think Mel Brooks is a comic genius.
43. I think there is something wrong with my sense of humor.
44. I had braces twice when I was a kid.
45. I have had plastic surgery. When I was a toddler, I was a climber (still am, actually). I had climbed onto the back of the couch, and I slipped between the couch and the wall. I didn't hit the floor though, because my upper lip caught me. So the docs fixed that. I always wondered why that was the one part of my face that wasn't asymmetric in any way.
46. I didn't find out about that surgery until I was a teenager. I was railing on about the evils of plastic surgery when my mom said, "You've had plastic surgery, you know."
47. I was born six months after my parents got married. You do the math.
48. Despite that shaky beginning, my parents are still married, 26 years later.
49. Whenever I talk to my pets, I inappropriately put an "s" on the end of words. "Freki, it's time for your dinners." "Kitties! Do you want some shrimps?"
50. I'm a genius, but you wouldn't know it from talking to me.
51. I'm also the world's biggest ditz.
52. I love stationery and other paper products so much that LB only lets me visit Office Max on special occasions.
53. I used to be a huge tomboy but now I love many girly things, including underwear, shoes, purses and makeup.
54. I'm still conflicted about this, but the conflicted feelings fade with every new pair of shoes...
55. Speaking of shoes, LB is in the final steps of purchasing a shoe store. Closing date is April 1...keep your fingers crossed!
56. I love to read.
57. I didn't used to, until we figured out that I was farsighted. After I got my reading glasses, I became a very avid reader.
58. I think I am losing my hearing, and it terrifies me.
59. I'm really really liberal. Not anarchist liberal, though.
60. I'm pretty ticklish.
61. One of my favorite "everyday treats" is vanilla yogurt with some granola and lots of ripe raspberries.
62. I love hockey. I have a secret plan to marry a hot goalie and then keep LB as my poolboy. LB thinks it's a cool plan because then he gets to be a kept man.
63. I like camping.
64. One of my favorite movie lines ever? "This is not a democracy, it is a cheerocracy."
65. I like to shoot guns. And bows.
66. The first time I ever shot, I was given a .12 shotgun. After I shot it, I fell on my ass. BUT, safety rules firmly in place in my head, I kept the gun pointing downrange at all times.
67. I have thrown a bowling ball backwards. Twice. I was drunk neither time.
68. I'm pretty religious.
69. Heh. 69. I'm also pretty immature.
70. Nothing makes me more mad than when people base their beleifs and lifestyles on things the Bible doesn't say, but they claim it does.
71. Except maybe when people use the Bible/religion as an excuse for hate and discrimination.
72. The color pink makes me twitch with rage.
73. The day I stop leaving my keys in weird places is the day the universe ceases to exist.
74. I'm a lot more sensitive than I let on.
75. I need medication just to be normal. LB and I call my medication my happy pills.
76. In case you're wondering, this is normal.
77. I am a supertaster.
78. Some of my best friends I met online.
79. Sometimes I use weird sentence structure.
80. Neither of my cats is declawed.
81. In my mother's posession is a picture of a little girl who looks EXACTLY like I did at 4-5 years old. The picture was taken nearly 50 years before I was born. She took it to a psychic and asked the psychic only to tell her about the children in the photo (there were like 8 of them), and the psychic picked out that girl, told my mom about her life and death (and was right, when my mom later researched it), and said that I was her reincarnation.
82. I have never met either of my biological grandfathers - one died long before I was born and the other was a deadbeat.
83. If 82 is the last number you saw on this post it's because I accidentally hit publish instead of save before I went home from work.
84. I sometimes talk in my sleep. I have been known to say "Get bublegum for Fred" (my former dog) and "breasts are expensive."
85. I performed in the Super Bowl XXIX halftime show.
86. I hate decorating.
87. No matter how hard I try, I can't manage to get out of bed on time.
88. My favorite flavors are lemon and raspberry.
89. I don't like to eat fish, but I like most sushi. LB is my sushi taster; if he says it's too fishy, I don't eat it. This is a sacred trust.
90. I HATE HATE HATE it when people eat off of my plate without asking. Dude! Just ask and I'll give you a bite.
91. LB and I met when he was my brother's camp counselor. I was a camper. Ooooh, naughty.
92. We discovered we went to sister schools - he went to the all-boys high school right next door to my all-girls school.
93. I stole him from his girlfriend.
94. He said he loved me for the first time on our third date. His hand was still on my boob when he said it. I reciprocated (I mean about the I love you part not the boob part).
95. During our wedding reception, we played White Wedding by Billy Idol.
96. I'm a freaky good boggle player.
97. LB won't play with me anymore, so sometimes I play with myself. Boggle, I mean, you sicko.
98. I like depressing songs that have an upbeat rhythm.
99. My major hope in life is to someday be a grandma. I'd make a kick ass grannie.
100. In my next life, I want to return as a house cat.

*Since writing this post, I came out, but unfortunately, I did so unplanned and drunk.  That is not a good idea.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Ultimate Blog Party 2008! All your friends are doing it!

Ultimate Blog Party 2008

Or at least all mine are.

I just started blogging, oh about a week or two ago, so one of my first blogs was all about me. In short, I'm a doggymomma and a two-time kittymomma, but not a babymomma. I'm a geeky scientist who's trying to cure cancer. I've been married for nearly 5 years to my highschool sweetheart. Thankfully, people have stopped asking us when the babymakin is going to proceed.

Since I don't want to repeat myself too much from last week's post, I'll treat y'all with a general mishmash of the contents of my brain.

Phrases commonly heard in my household

"The cat does NOT want your bone!"
"Would you stop sticking your nose in my ass?"
"Max [the cat] scolded me again."
"Magic ring high-five!"
"Kitty battle!"
"I am NOT a mattress!"
"The cat is spazzing again."
"I dunno, what are you making for dinner?"

Some likes and dislikes

Like: Waking up with a kitty nose in my face.
Dislike: Waking up with a kitty butt in my face.

Like: Sleeping next to my husband.
Dislike: Sleeping under my husband, after he has rolled onto my side of the bed.

Like: Drinking white russians.
Dislike: Puking white russians.

Like: Puppy kisses on my face.
Dislike: Puppy burps in my face.

Like: Snowfall in December.
Dislike: Blizzard in March.

Like: Animals who snuggle with me while I sleep.
Dislike: Animals who use me as a springboard while I sleep.

Like: Ordering pizza.
Dislike: Paying for pizza.

Like: Eating Doritos.
Dislike: Fatty deposits from eating Doritos.

Like: My Thesis Advisor.
Dislike: My Thesis Advisor.

Some Compliments I have received

"You have the most beautiful brain I have ever seen!"
"Hey, baby. You look mean. I like that."
"I love your bellybutton."
"Is that an eyebrow ring? I have never seen anything like that. That's cool!"
"You're a good yeller."
"You would make a great goth."

About those prizes

Apparently, participants in Ultimate Blog Party 2008 are eligible to receive some pretty cool prizes. Normally I'd love some of the baby prizes, but I think LB would freak right out if I started getting baby stuff before we popped one out. On that vein, if I won a prize this year my top 3 picks would be:

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Gary Gygax, We Hardly Knew Ye

Alternate title: Nerd Alert

Gary Gygax died yesterday at the wonderful age of 69. Gygax was reportedly in failing health and while the cause of death has not been confirmed, it's believed to be due to an abdominal aneurysm.

Who is Gary Gygax, you might say? Gary Gygax was a god among men. OK maybe not, but he was a really creative nerd who created Dungeons & Dragons, along with Dave Arneson, and served as the creative drive behind its development through his company TSR. He protected the game from all the Rules Lawyers, insisting, as it should be, that the game continue to be fun and, most importantly, of the realm of imagination.

I'll never forget when I was first introduced to D&D, playing late into the night in the cafeteria pantry after my charges had gone to bed while I was a summer camp counselor. LB, Mark and Chris were my fellow gamers. We played AD&D, and I preferred the ranger. A few short years later, TSR was bought out by WOTC, and I was skeptical. After the 3E release, however, I was ecstatic. I attended the launch at Gen Con, and LB even won and advance copy of the DMG. After the launch of 3E I threw myself into the sorceror class, with a few fighter and rogue characters on the side. Now 4E is coming out soon, and I am once more skeptical, and alas, have not been able to find a consistent gaming group in the past 2.5 years. But over my gaming years I have many fond memories of late nights, slaying dragons, arguing better rules for the magic system, drinking Mt Dew and pigging out on pizza, puzzle-solving and role-playing.

Mr. Gygax fathered an entire subculture of which I am proud to be a part.

So, in his honor, I raise my +10 vorpal mace into the air and loose a mighty battle shout: Gygax forever!

I've got the Dungeon Master's Guide.
I've got a 12-sided die
I've got Kitty Pryde
And Nightcrawler too
Waiting there for me.
Yes I do, I do.

I've got posters on the wall,
My favorite rock group, KISS.
I've got Ace Frehley.
I've got Peter Criss
Waiting there for me.
Yes I do, I do

In the garage, I feel safe.
No one cares about my ways.
In the garage where I belong.
No one hears me sing this song.
In the garage.

I've got an electric guitar.
I play my stupid songs.
I write these stupid words
And I love every one
Waiting there for me.
Yes I do, I do

In the garage, I feel safe.
No one laughs about my ways.
In the garage where I belong.
No one hears me sing this song.

In the garage.


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

In which I introduce myself

So. I'm in the third year of getting my doctorate in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology with a focus in Cancer Biology. For anyone who cares, I study the Ras and TGFb pathways. Mostly I play with embryo- and cancer-derived cells all day long, interrupted by brief forays onto the internet and endless meetings.

When I'm not sacrificing my soul for science, I amuse myself by reading, playing with my furbabies, and bantering with my slaveboy husband, who for the purposes of this blog shall be called Lucky Bastard (LB).

About the animals. For now, I have 3. The first addition to our family was Max Power, who has his own theme song thanks to Homer Simpson. Max is the queen bitch. He gets what he wants, when he wants it, from whomever he wants it, NOW. But he is a benevolent ruler. He rewards my indentured servitude with cuddles and mice which he has hunted down and killed. He's secretly a big loverboy though.

A little under a year after we adopted Max, we adopted a companion kitty for him, Milo. Poor Milo is content at the low end of the intelligence bell curve. His favorite activities include demanding to be petted while you poop and staring off into space for long lengths of time. He is a very sweet boy but is also a bit skittish. He can hold his own in a fight scarily well, and the dog, who outweighs him by 56 pounds, is scared of him.

Finally, just over a year ago we adopted our dog, Freki. He is part black lab, part german shepherd, and part "other". He was rescued as a puppy with his 5 siblings; their eyes were barely open and his mother had been hit and killed by a car. We're very fortunate to have him! He is a very loving dog, with much too much energy and much too much intelligence for us to keep up with. He loves playing in the snow, barking at passersby, and cuddling his baby. He is also a fetch maniac.

Attn “Mr.” Beck: Sarcasm is a poor substitute for logic

So, LB was telling me a short while ago that he can’t stand Glenn Beck, but he hasn’t yet been able to discern why. I don’t normally watch pundit shows of any type, but this piqued my interest, so I have been watching his show instead of flipping past during the commercial breaks of my normal shows. I have been quite able to put my finger on why LB wouldn’t like him, and frankly neither do I. Last night’s episode serves as a prime example of why. Aside from needing anger management therapy, what is truly disturbing about this pundit is his utter lack of any ability to put forth a logical argument. (One could argue that this is true of any pundit from either end of the political spectrum, but I think this one is particularly bad and, frankly, it probably contributes to his rather poor ratings for a conservative pundit).

In his show from Monday, March 3rd, he opened with a rant about Gloria Steinem. In the following paragraphs I will dissect his arguments with respect to logical fallacies, of which descriptions can be found here. But first I’d like to add a disclaimer: yes, I’m a feminist. In fact, sometimes I’m even cranky. I respect a lot of what Gloria Steinem has done to improve the lives of American women, and I even support some of her ideas. I actually disagree with a lot of her positions; I tend to ascribe more to third wave feminist thought as well as many of bell hooks’ theories. Just cuz Gloria and I are both feminists doesn’t mean we think the same. But that’s beside the point. Anyway, I don’t plan on addressing her or her positions here (aside from clarifications); this post is only focused on Mr. Beck’s arguments. Oh, and also, the transcript from which I pulled text can be found here.

On to business.
Well, hello, America.After this past weekend, blood shot right out of my eyes*. I can`t -- Hillary Clinton must be asking herself, "What the hell am I doing? With supporters like mine, who needs political enemies?"

According to the "New York Observer," cranky feminist Gloria Steinem spoke Saturday night at a women for Hillary campaign event in Austin, Texas, where Ms. Steinem shared some choice words for the likely Republican nominee and war hero, John McCain. So here`s "The Point" tonight.
First stop. Not included in the transcript is how Glenn used finger scare quotes (and dripping vocal sarcasm) around the title Ms (and around the word choice, too). I’m not sure what his intent was exactly, however finger quotes in a similar context are often used to denote that the word isn’t real or appropriate. “Mr.” Beck might like to know that the usage and entymology of Ms. as a title for women predates second-wave feminism and is, like Miss and Mrs., an abbreviation of the title Mistress. It had been, for quite some time, used as a title for women not specific to marital status (prior to the 17th century). The use of Ms. is actually a way in which feminism has reclaimed a word that had been traditionally used and resurrected it into the English colloquium. It wasn’t made-up by any means. If Ms. can be put in scare quotes, then, so can Mr., I suppose. This is the first example of his many ad hominem fallacies. That, or "Mr." Beck has no idea how to use finger quotes.
Good news. Gloria is irrelevant. She`s out of touch, but she is enjoying her equal right to be as moronic and idiotic as anybody else. And here`s how I got there.
Another ad hominem fallacy (in bold).

I want you to know I am -- as you can probably tell -- no fan of the 73-year-old Gloria Steinem. Never have been. Never liked her all that much. Has nothing to do with her fight for women`s rights. I support equality for women across the board. That`s the way it should be.** But I differ from Steinem in one important way: I`ve always supported a women`s right to do anything that she wants to do, and that includes staying at home and raising a family. Being a full-time mother is infinitely much more of a full-time job than anything I possibly could do, and I feel it is life`s greatest honor and responsibility. And yet, feminists like Gloria Steinem trash women like that all the time. Steinem and her all-too-aging hippy gal-pals just don`t see it that way. I believe they`ve done more to hurt the self-esteem of those women than men ever did.

Straw man fallacy (in bold). Also a lie. Ms. Steinem has said again (between 20:00 and 25:00) and again (about halfway down, on the question about the “revaluing Economics” chapter) and again that she supports homemakers, she recognizes that they perform necessary, grueling and unpaid work. One of her platforms is that homemakers should be more valued, semantically, economically and socially.

Additionally, this entire section can be seen as an ad hominem fallacy because Mr. Beck’s real point in this episode is to address her quote about John McCain. None of the above has anything to do with that quote.

She also is fervently antiwar. What a surprise! You`re kidding me! A peacenik `60s era radical? No way. Really?
Of course a peacenik is antiwar. That’s the definition of peacenik. “A bean is a legume? No way. Really?”
She was out in full force in Austin over the weekend. She wasted no time laying into John McCain. She said, and I quote, "Suppose John McCain had been Joan McCain and he got captured. The media would ask, `What did you do wrong to get captured? What terrible things did you do while you were there as a captive for eight years`?"
This is a non sequitur. Just because Steinem uses John McCain’s name in an example, doesn’t mean she was criticizing or “laying into” him. Her argument is that a female POW from that era would not be treated the same way as a male POW was.
Unbelievably, the audience laughed.

And then she followed up with, quote, "I mean, hello? Is this supposed to be a qualification to be president? I don`t think so." That was clever. She must have speechwriters. "I am so grateful," she went on to say, "that Clinton hasn`t been trained to kill anybody." Well, you know what? With all of that malicious bull crap, here`s the point you need to know tonight, America.
In bold: again, non sequitur. This actually just a continuation of the previous non sequitur. Italicized: A separate non sequitur; Mr. Beck does not show how the statement is “bull crap” ergo there is no logical reason to believe it is.
You may not want to vote for John McCain, and you know, you may not respect John McCain`s politics, but he has earned the right to be respected for his service and sacrifice to this country, hasn`t he? I can`t even imagine the full extent of his wounds. He lived in a bamboo cage for five and a half years. And they pulled his arms out of the sockets.
This is a false continuum. Saying being a POW is not supposed to be a qualification for president is not saying that he hasn’t earned the right to be respected for being a POW. This might also be considered a straw man.
I believe the time that he spent living in Vietnam prison camps in a bamboo cage probably taught him a couple of things about commitment, about loyalty, about courage. Those sure sound like traits I want in my president. Now, let me be clear. If -- if -- if the liberal thinking is that you can`t take apart John Kerry, you know, for throwing away medals, how could you possibly take apart John McCain for living in a bamboo cage?
In bold: both a false reductio ad absurdum (one doesn’t have to “take apart” Kerry to “take apart” McCain, even though they both served in the military) and a false dichotomy. (Mr. Beck also seems to think that Steinem speaks for all liberals and/or is the only source of liberal thinking. I’m not sure which type of logical fallacy this is, but it’s certainly incorrect). Italicized: The same, original non sequitur/straw man. Steinem never criticized McCain for “living in a bamboo cage”.
You know what? Sorry, Gloria. But in case you haven`t realized, we need selfless Americans like John McCain serving our country. And John McCain ain`t alone. There are countless thousands like him, and they are trained to kill people because people are trying to kill us. Although you`re scary enough to scare away some of our freakiest enemies, I`ll bet.
Another ad hominem (in bold).
Old lady activists may be good at getting applause from progressive political rallies, but they suck at defending our nation.
Ad hominem. Yawn.

I stopped watching at this point, because I figured the commercial break for Futurama was over (I was right). However, when I looked up the transcript for this show, it seemed Mr. Beck’s guest had a much better grasp of logic than he did:
Rep. Heather Wilson (R), New Mexico: I thought that what Gloria said was appalling and offensive to everyone who`s ever served in the military, including the many men and women who have -- have been captured in the service of their country.
This actually follows from Steinem’s assertion that a female POW would not be as respected and honored as a male POW. See, Glenn? Countering your opponent’s argument logically and concisely isn’t that hard. It seems you entirely missed “The Point.”

* I would truly love to see that. I am glad, however, that he did not use the overused, wrong and stupid adjective of “literally”.

** Translation: “I’m not sexist, but…” A nice way to subvert the truth of the following statement, much like “No offense” and “Bless her heart”.

Friday, February 29, 2008

A Day in the Life

You're welcome?

Today I was heading to a seminar. I got on the elevator to the 15th floor, and two important-looking gentlemen got on behind me. ILG1 is discussing where they're going and how to get there, while ILG2, with his Hilton brochures in hand, shuffles through his maps. They exit on the 10th floor. As ILG2 exits and shuffles his maps some more, ILG1 picks up his breif case, turns to me, and says, "Thank you."

I smiled and nodded because words escaped me.


I went to Caribou Coffee to get a snack, because my stomach is informing me that it cannot wait 4 more hours to get more food. As I am entering the line, here reads my inner monologue: "OK. I'll get the Dulce de Leche coffe as a treat but I'll have something healthier to eat. What do they have? Muffins...biscotti...cookies...Oh! Yogurt. I'll have banana strawberry yogurt." I then advanced to the counter and immediately said, with no interruptions from my inner monologue, "I'll have a medium Dulce de Leche and a chocolate chunk muffin." To which my inner monologue replied, "The Hell? We wanted yogurt! Stupid bitch."

Things Heard from the Kitchen

Lucky Bastard was in the kitchen preparing himself a snack.

From the dining room I heard, "Fuck you, spatula!"

I daren't ask.