Thursday, June 26, 2008

Just a random thought that I wrote to a friend. He said, "that's funny."

I was walking up 40th and I saw a girl holding a guy's hand; the girl wore a shirt that said "Friends are forever, boys are whatever." I didn't think of it at the time, but I should have punched her in the face. I don't know exactly how, but I think it would have helped.

And then I showed it to Jamie and she said, "It's like bros before hos!"

Hoes, right? or Hos. Hoes. Hmm.

So, now question: Is it possible to be friends with someone you're dating?

Answer: Yes, if they DON'T SUCK AT LIFE!


I haven't really been friends with the guys who were my boyfriends because they "weren't themselves" around me.

Me: Oh, dear! Well, be yourself!

Guy: I can't.

Me: Why not?

Guy: Because then you won't like me.

Me: Um... but you don't know that.

Guy: Yeah I do.



Yay, I feel better now!


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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Return to the Wild West in Texas w/ Castle Law

People are wondering, does the Castle Law, which protects property owners from civil liability for shooting people who break in, encourage folks to "shoot first and ask questions later"?

What I want to know is, does it make burglars and rapists think twice?

Let's talk about burglary as a profession. It's worked for some people (Celina Kyle - Catwoman, particularly). But, as with various jobs, such as transporting nuclear waste and working in correctional facilities, there are on the job risks.

In the case of burglary, one of those is getting shot.

Now, if a person NOT ONLY knows that by breaking in to someone's home or business that s/he might be shot/maimed/killed, but knows that there's a pretty damn good chance that bullets will fly, and that person still breaks in, does that person bear any responsibility for his/her injury?

Abso-f'ing-lutely yes.

I do think violence should be avoided if possible; I'm not into chasing after burglars to "get them back," but if a person is confronted by an intruder, or if a person sees that someone else is likely to be hurt by an intruder, why let it happen if the police aren't there yet?

Guns are scary. Even so, I love Texas even more today. ^__^

Side note: I've met Senator Jeff Wentworth, who authored the Texas Castle Law. I know people who know him. Nice guy. Just an interesting side note, that's all.


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Douchewad HS Teacher

According to the school's website, he's still on the social studies faculty. Dammit.

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The USA is big.

And there are different points of view that are prevalent in different locations. It's a country made up of cultures that vary not just by people's foreign origins but by region.

Having said that, I wonder why I'm surprised that in random places like Los Angeles and Arizona and Illinois or Indiana or someplace (I forgot, oops) there are reports of high school teachers being fired for being too "Afrocentric" (LA) and for saying "I honk for peace" (upper midwest). I should note that I suspect that the news source I got this from is rather left leaning and that the whole story was not told.

Even so, this firing of teachers for such reasons would not likely happen in central New Jersey, where I went to a public high school. This is how I know.

Senior year I took an AP history class. The teacher, Mr. C., spent a large percentage of class time lecturing vehemently on the following points:

1) socialism and communism are better than capitalism (they only fail miserably because of how they're implemented);
2) spending lots of money on national defense is ridiculous (if only I could reproduce his sneer in writing!);
3) any economic problems are due to policies of Republicans (changes in interest rates and the destruction of the NYC WTC have little or no effect; also, it's easy to tell which president caused which effects because changes in the economy occur immediately after new policies are introduced - okay, he never explicitly stated that second part, but he couldn't refute the challenges of his students when they brought that up);
4) poor people only vote for Republicans because they are ignorant (I'm glad I learned that one so I could explain it to my Republican extended family - descendants of PA coal miners and VA/TN farmers).

I also learned a lot about him:

1) his goal in life is to learn about himself (How very deep and helpful on a large scale);
2) his career goal was to teach one class at a university in North Carolina and spend most of his time reading on the beach (Work? What?);
3) his advice to his high school aged daughter on sex was "don't get pregnant" (Not, "don't engage in acts that could lead to pregnancy." How much sense does it make to say to a teenager, "don't have this outcome," without focusing on the cause of that outcome?);
4) if his daughter were to get pregant he would "take care of it," which he said meant she would have an abortion - no choice (because surgery is a GREAT form of birth control for a developing woman).

At the end of that year, this teacher was given some departmental award. Lame.

Fortunately, I did get college credit for the course - by studying an AP test prep book I bought at B&N.

This teacher was sometimes challenged (usually by me), and sometimes by students who studied economics and cited facts that disproved his assertions. He was FANTASTIC at saying, oh, you're right about this, but, blah blah blah subtle subject change are you placated now by me admitting you have a point, okay, let's move on. It made my brain hurt. I wished we could have devoted more classtime to debate - a little truth and common sense in class would have been nice.

There were two days I helped a club faculty advisor with work and showed up to Mr. C.'s class late. The second time I walked in late, he called me out in front of the class and chastised me for avoiding class. I replied, indignantly, with something to the effect of, "Well, maybe if you taught the subject matter you're supposed to teach, this class would be worth coming to." I never got in trouble for that.

I really should have tried to take the bastard down. I really don't think it would have worked. I'm pretty sure I complained to various guidance counselors but I guess it didn't seem like a big deal to them, or like something they could do anything about. I should have taped the guy. Dammit. I hope he's retired, getting fatter on a beach somewhere and NOT TEACHING ANYONE.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

It's like they know who I am!

Obligatory Disclaimer: Only click the above link if you aren't ridiculously sensitive to racial generalizations about white people.

Quote: If you wish to gain the respect of a white person, it’s probably a good idea that you find an obscure and debated grammar rule such as the “Oxford Comma” and take a firm stance on what you believe is correct. This is seen as more productive and forward thinking than simply stating your anger at the improper use of “it’s.

To prove how correct this is, I am so aggravated that I can't use smart quotes to fix the incorrect (missing) quotation marks around "it's"! <-- Look at me being all British!

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Okay, one more thing

Totally unrelated to post of <5 href="">

"This cultural pressure to put others' needs first, ignore one's own gut feelings, and avoid asking for what one wants has traditionally harmed girls," says Jenn Berman, a California family therapist who wrote "The A to Z Guide to Raising Happy, Confident Kids." "Despite the fact that she enjoys the positive attention and accolades that people pleasing brings, the more a girl pushes her own needs and desires underground to please others, the more likely her own self-esteem will suffer."

Okay, so that means... girls need to stop being lame.

It might also mean that I am a defective girl, which makes me happy. Man, I was a pain in the ass as a kid. According to this article, boys start off more difficult, whereas little girls are easy and then get difficult as pre-teens. Well, as a tot I wasn't as ridiculously rambuctious as most of the boys I knew, but my mum says I went through my teen years during my terrible twos.

I may have mentioned this, but a college friend said that in HS, she had her friends would drag race at 3 am and not realize the obvious potential injury. This explains why I had a limited social life in HS - because I was the one saying, um, you need those brain cells, it isn't music if there's no discernable melody, and that abandoned building is full of asbestos, so why do you break in?

That makes me sound more responsible than I was (Homework from last week? Oh, it's here somewhere, hang on... Can I still get credit?). But, I kind of feel better being able to look at these things that are generally true about child/teen development and say yeah, I just was weird growing up.

But not THAT weird - I think plenty of girls have the "why do I have to do what you say?" attitude at a young age. (I mean really, how smart are most adults? Kids can often figure out when grown ups are full of shit - and then they have to decide if they'd rather obey and try to get along, or call them out on it). And plenty of girls like climbing tress and jumping off stuff! Although some of those girls can still be the "let's try to please the grownups/other kids" types. It's funny - I don't remember kids being specifically like that, I just remember them doing things I didn't understand. I guess these silly but probably real gender things explain a lot of that.

I guess the differences between boys and girls can be represented with a Venn diagram, but a funky wavy one... like, imagine overlapping amoebae... somehow that image satisfies my brain.

Anyway, the point is, it's annoying but somehow helpful to real these articles, even when they really don't describe me. Or some other people. Well, everyone's an exception somewhere!

OH, and: "One area where girls do less well in school concerns spatial learning, such as geometry. Girls may use different parts of their brains to process space perceptions."

Geometry was the EASIEST math ever for me (except that joke class probability and statistics)! I would have gotten an A if I had bothered to study proofs... how did I know that would end up being like the entire class? (See? Not that responsible.) And I did so well on those stupid spacial questions on placement tests that I got put in higher math classes than I was ready for when I moved. (How does knowing what the backside of a cube looks like translate into me jumping into an algebra class when I've never used negative numbers? Silly!)

In other news, we've found some sort of Earth sized planets:

Aliens are just around the corner!


The Answer

Question: (See header.)

Answer: Go to grad school. Yay!

I'm actually getting really excited. This blog might be defunct by fall of 2009, if I get my shtuff together.

I sort of have a plan, now that I've decided to study creative writing.

1) Have lunch w/ Lou's mom on the 23rd and ask her how her MA (MFA?) in creative writing helped her land her jobs as an editor, what kind of classes she took, what the editing field is like, how to "break in," was she a TA in grad school, how well did her education prepare her for her career, etc.

2) Track down my alt's guild leader, who just got his MA in CW, and ask him about current programs, how he selected his, what his courses were like, etc.

3) Use this information in researching more grad programs, and decide if the areas in which I'm looking (DC, TX) have the programs that are best for me (there are some REALLY GREAT programs there). I definitely need something where I'll have the opportunity to take a class or two outside of fiction, like non-fiction, editing, linguistics, even a foreign language (which is actually a requirement at George Mason).

4) In the meantime, continue working on my portfolio. Schools seem to want something around 30 pages of 1 or more short stories. Depending on each school's requirements, I plan on sending in one "real world" story and one fantasy story. That way, if they hate fantasy/sci-fi, they can just reject me right off the bat. :) That'll save time.

5) Take my GRE prep course and take the GRE in time for January app deadlines!

6) Don't spend a lot, because these programs only take between 10-15 students, so I will have LOTS of app fees. Crapz0r.

Um, there's more, but lunch is basically over. Gonna work a little while my corn souffle, bison burger patty and Texas ranch beans settle and then go for a walk. And maybe pick up a salad for later. Because yes, I am always hungry.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The tables have turned!

Well, no. But I will be on the other side of the table, so to speak.

Today I am interviewing someone to join our team. My manager said, you've been in the position about 5-6 months [OMG, she's right, WTH], and you know what it takes to be successful [I do? SWEET!], and we need to know if this applicant is someone who will work well in our department, so, here are some questions to ask...

I'm gonna ask her how she would rate her appreciation for/knowledge of 80s music on a scale of 1 - 10. 'Cause yeah. No, I'm not lying.

Yesterday, one of the product managers asked me to proofread a book that's getting published Wednesday (tomorrow). We were kinda backed up on emails and down to two team members, but I thought, copy editing? F-CK Yeah! Or something like that. And despite how my blog looks sometimes, I'm actually really good at it (do YOU know the proper comma usage for a parenthetical statement, hmmm? I hope so). Yeah, I'm just lazy here, but whatev. I worked on a different book a few months back and got recommended (W00t!) and even praised, which makes me want to memorize The Elements of Style so I can live up to that.

I ended up spending almost 4 hours on the damn thing because the punctuation was crap. Now, it's only something other company employees will see, BUT there were photocopies of pages our students will see, and I was like, THIS is supposed to explain that math problem? This isn't even English. What is this construction? It's not even something recognizable, like Ebonics. Who talks like this?

I'll stop ranting now because I can't even remember the phrases (blocked them out to maintain my sanity, I think). But yeah, the book couldn't go out like that. I only did one chapter (yes, 4 hours, I am not kidding. I had to make all kinds of decisions that I really didn't think I would have to make, so I sat around being like, so I really want to be a comma Nazi? How much of a comma Nazi do I want to be? Well, if I put one there, I have to go back and put them in those similar situations... I was trying so hard not to overdo it. So hard. Editors argue about commas all the time, and follow some rules and dismiss others to avoid having like, 10 commas in a sentence - how many more could I have correctly added to this one? Do you know?). I suggested to the product manager that she use that chapter as a guide for the others. We'll see. I wish I could be a part time copy editor here - how much would that rock? It would totally lighten the burden on my current department, which takes complaints. :)

But commas and split infinitives aside (I left the split infinitives. This is not Latin, this is English, and I do not want to end up in an institution)... Yeah, I'm happy. Now I get to add interviewer and copy editor to my resume. W000000000000t! (That's short for We OOOOOOOOOOOOwned that other Team over there, yes, we certainly did).

Now to prepare for that interview. Ha, I'm nervous. C'mere, stress ball.


Thursday, June 05, 2008

I just got hit on in a really weird way

Stop me if you've heard this one. A girl goes to a sports bar on her lunch break with a group of coworkers. The place is PACKED, and the girl decides to dine elsewhere, as baseball doesn't really interest her. On her way out she sees the greeter guy and his coworker and she could swear the coworker just said something to her. She turns around, and over the too loud music she can hear him say that he's fishing.

"What?" she asks.

He approaches and extends the headset in his hand. "I'm fishing for hot" is all she can make out of his mumbling.


"I'm fishing for hot women!" he says, finally enunciating well enough to be understood over the sports bar clamor. He taps her arm with his headset. "Wanna grab on?"

She must look angry, because he backs away as he waits for a response.

"That's... a new one," she says, too hungry to think of a witty response. She turns and exits.


I wish I could have joked around with the guy, but I don't respond well to jokes/being hit on/almost anything when I'm ravenous. I just kind of stare. And then walk towards food. Eh well, didn't want to encourage him.


I don't want to talk about boys. I want to think up some obstacles for my antlered girl in the story I'm writing for my PORTFOLIO! Because I'm going to GRAD SCHOOL! To study CREATIVE WRITING!

I'ma try to buy my coworker Louis's mom lunch and talk w/ her. She got her masters in CW and is an editor now. Bc I really need this to be practical, somehow. OMG. I wonder if she was a TA. I need to make a list of questions!

Or sip my turkey orzo soup and go back to work, bc lunch is over.

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Monday, June 02, 2008


I have this friend Ben from high school art class who I sometimes run into on the train platform. We sit together on the train and giggle about ostriches.

Today we wrote a haiku:

Ah, plastic pillow
I want to use it for sleep
Makes my ears vibrate

It was relevant at the time.

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