Sunday, September 28, 2008

blogs are for gloating, right?

I went to a craft store today to help my mom pick out a frame for a print (it's of a painting of pretty off-reddish dishes and yellow/greenish background ish). The frame she had selected was waaaay too purply, so I helped pick out a better one. The lady who worked there said, "How are old are you now?"

Me: [stupidly] Uh, how old am I?
Lady: Yes, you. How old are you?
Me: 24.
Lady: Can I give you an application? You have a good eye. Come work here with me.
Me: Um, do you have benefits? A full time position?
Lady: No, we don't have any full time positions. You can start part time!
Me: Sorry, I need full time.
Lady: You would be good at it! You have a good eye!

So, apparently I have a good eye.

I also miss doing artsy-craftsy things. But I need a full time job. This current part time business is only temporary. Yeeees.

Time to work on short stories for grad school apps! I feel like I don't have a chance at getting in. Damn small programs. Anyway! That's no excuse not to work at it. Here I go!


Monday, September 15, 2008

I dreamed about Sarah Palin, too!

I'm so glad I'm not the only one.

I dreamed that I went to Alaska, I think to interview Sarah, and it was cold and snowy, of course, and things were fine and the Alaskans were all nice and then we went to the supermarket. And some local little girl was like, let's look at the candy row! (She was too blonde to be Piper.) I was feeling jetlagged in the dream (maybe it was that general dream confusion) and I left my purse in the shopping cart as we went to look at a huge wall of candy. Then, Sarah approached me angrily, carrying my open purse, and asked why I had candy stuffed in there. I tried to explain that I didn't even like the candy that was in there and I had left my purse unattended, but she scolded me! I woke up before I could finish explaining that someone had framed me. I felt so bad b/c these little kids (I think Piper was there, but these local kids kept showing up randomly to see what was up with Sarah) looked at me like I was horrible, and I KNOW one of them set me up!!!

Silly dream.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Do participants at least have to be screened for STDs and craziness?

Some of the craziest people want to be therapists: "The woman, who has earned a bachelor degree in women's studies and now wants to start a master's degree in marriage and family therapy, is hoping the bidding will hit $1 million."

I guess this student's women's studies classes didn't teach her how not to completely demean and devalue herself. Oops!

Um, yeah. So, if you ever go to family therapy, ask your therapist if she ever auctioned her virginity. I think I would consider that a deal breaker.

After working in customer service for a year, and after reading this article, I just want to stand up and scream, "HEY OUT THERE! PLEASE STOP DOING STUPID THINGS, OKAY???"

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Life, liberty and such, but not baggy pants

Um. WTF?

I believe that, to an extent, Americans have the right to look stupid. We don't have the right to walk into a Subway naked and order a sandwich, but we should be able to display our cute plaid boxers. Even if doing so makes us look like tasteless morons and makes people like me want to scream, "What the FUCK is wrong with those people?"

Similarly, Americans have the right to burn our flag. It is idiotic to burn the symbol of the ideals and laws that allow us to peacefully protest, but we do and should continue to have the right to do it.

Why? Because, when people let 8 inches of their boxers stick out of their ill-fitting pants or burn the stars and stripes, it sends a clear message that these people are morons, which helps the rest of us avoid them. Why outlaw something that provides such a convenient service to a majority of Americans?


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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Blaaah, politics

It's aggravating how little people know about the candidates they don't support.

This is aggravating because it allows them to believe stupid rumors without checking other sources.

Kind of like that "OMG, Obama is a Muslim!" email that went around a few months ago. Honestly, I didn't look much into that because it sounded so stupid, but in perusing various websites of various points of view, I've read that he does/did have one Muslim grandmother and lived in Indonesia as a child. Well, gosh, he must be a terrorist. No.

There have been a LOT of crazy rumors about Palin, such as the "Trig is really Bristol's baby!" rumor, which is clearly disproved by photo evidence. Silly people grasping at straws.

Then there's the librarian controversy. Anti-Palinites will say "She wanted to ban books!" Pro-Paliners will say, "She just talked to the librarian about what books and mags kids should be able to access!" Anti-Palinites say, "She fired the librarian for disagreeing with her!" Pro-Paliners will say, "No, she didn't She asked the librarian to resign bc they had some ideological dispute and the librarian openly supported her political rival, which has been reason enough for presidents to toss out people appointed by previous administrations. But she actually didn't end up firing her." That could still sound bad, depending on how you interpret it, but it's definitely a lot better and more accurate than the soundbytes!

I tend to be wary of those who seem really conservative, but it doesn't seem like Sarah's a wacko, and I'm finding myself thinking the attacks are exagerrated manifestations of the left's fear of far-right conservatives. And these "controversies" sound so much like small town bullshit. They're all worth looking into - we should know what she's been up to and where she stands - but we shouldn't freak out and assume too much, like, "OMG, she'll ban Harry Potter!" or something silly like that.

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Monday, September 08, 2008

Apparently I am not fazed by much

I've never been a person to jump when people sneak up behind me. The only times people have successfully freaked me out have been when I've been uptight and nervous about something, and those instances are rare. In the past couple weeks, 2 of my coworkers have tried it.

Me: Um... what are you doing?
Coworker: Uh... I was trying to sneak up on you and scare you. I guess it didn't work.
Me: Nope, you fail. Hee hee!

So, today when some guy pushed past me to escape from a restaurant with a stolen soda, I just kinda backed up half a step, looked at him, looked at the restaurant employee who had a hold of his wrist, wondered why the thief was holding several flat, empty paper bags (now I can't remember for sure if the drink-stealer was holding them or if the cafe employee was, but I think he was), wondered vaguely how much my shoes would hinder me if I pursued him, watched a second employee follow closely behind, figured they could handle one skinny guy, darted past the open door to the window to watch them drag him back in, noted a white rag and bottle with light purple liquid inside in the hand of the second employee, paid for my food, and left.

So, I think he was trying to steal a purple soda/juice drink. Not sure what was up with the little, empty brown paper bags.

By the way, the guy was in a nice mauvey dress shirt and totally didn't need to steal that purple soda.

I wonder if it's a bad thing that I don't react more. Like, when I see that things are falling, I hesitate. If it's breakable I may go for it, but usually, I'm like, eh, it'll survive. That's why I suck at volleyball - I'm like, oh, the ball. There it went. Of course, I'm scared of the ball, so that may have something to do with it... :)

Yeah, I'm glad that other employee was close behind because I don't know if I would have helped. Probably not. Even though with the first employee slowing him down I totally could have taken the guy down. He was small, skinny and unarmed! Oh well. Then again... maybe I would have. That's a little scary. Or maybe I'm just a little scary. :)

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Saturday, September 06, 2008

Quitting my job!

Well, not really. Going part time - part time near home, possibly still part time here. That means part time benefits, but oh well. I don't care if I make any money right now - I just want to do something I like - TEACHING! It's the only job I've liked since graduating college, so I'm gonna start teaching a few classes later this month.

Right now, I'm in transition, waiting for the HR director to BE IN THE OFFICE WAAAAI! My manager is very supportive of me still working here part time, which is good, b/c I think I'll need the hours.

This seems like a somewhat risky move, but I think it's the right one. I need more time to write and work on grad school apps so I can actually go somewhere with my life. And not be a crazy zombie girl anymore.



Banning sexism in ads in the EU?

I get fairly annoyed at "Look at my boobs!" ads, no matter what they're advertizing. They don't endear me at all to the companies using this type of advertizement, but apparently they work - at least, they get people's attention, kind of like those annoying "Stop staring at me! Advertize here!" posters. It would be nice if they'd just disappear, but should the government ban them? Do the Europeans need the government to save them from their shallow masses?

Eva-Britt Svensson thinks so. Ms Svensson said: "Gender stereotyping in advertising straitjackets women, men, girls and boys by restricting individuals to predetermined and artificial roles that are often degrading, humiliating and dumbed down for both sexes."

Um, no, actually, this individual isn't "restricted," but thanks for your concern. Of course people are influenced by ads, but that's one of those things your kindergarten teachers and parents teach you when you're little - it's on TV... it's in an ad... it's not REAL. We nevertheless go through phases (the stupidity of youth) when we think these images mean something, and some of us never leave ("OMG, my Prada bag is so out of season! What will the neighbors think?") - but changing ads won't eliminate the problems of obsessing over a particular vision of womanliness/manliness because the ads were never the source of these attitudes - the ads just reflect ideas that are already out there.

Clearly, these ads don't work for everyone, like Svensson and me. If enough people say, hey, we're annoyed, the advertizers will choose new campaigns to appeal to more people (like Dove does). The solution should come from the people, not from on high.

And anyway, what if such restrictions were to go into effect? Would only men be allowed to advertize skillets? What happens when THAT becomes a gender stereotype? "Oh, you know, men and their skillets!" Who knows.

Svensson also said: "Gender stereotyping in advertising is one of several factors that have a big influence in efforts to make society more gender equal. When women and men are portrayed in a stereotypical way the consequence may be that it becomes difficult in other contexts to see women and men's resources and abilities."

Well, if you look more at ads than reality, sure, it could be difficult to see men and women as individuals with overlapping skill sets. And THAT is a problem. But controlling what people are exposed to isn't going to make them better at seeing through the stereotypes.

I'm curious to know what Svensson's idea of "gender equal" is. Does she really mean "gender equal" or "gender same"? I don't think she could be called a "difference feminist" - the feminists who acknowledge inherent differences between men and women. I guess in her perfect world, 50% of construction workers would be women - anything less would be "unfair" or the product of some enforced patriarchal blah blah blah.

The important thing is to make it so that when people want to cross the usual gender lines, they can and can do so without being harrassed. That's why we have anti-discrimination laws, which basically tell people not to be douchebags, and help women break into new fields in the REAL WORLD (as opposed to in ads). The more the real world changes, the more 1) ads will change, and 2) ads that are sexist won't be able to hold people back because fewer people will buy into what those images represent.

By the way, prohibiting ads that show sexist (including, OMG, people in traditional gender roles!) images is not the same as prohibiting discrimination. Anti-discrimination laws make it less difficult for people to do what they want - they don't FORCE them to break out of certain molds. That's the problem with Svensson's idea - its real world equivalent is some government official telling a stay at home mom that she's a bad influence on society and had better put her kid in day care and get a job. Or telling a construction worker that he has to give up his job, and starve himself so he can fit into skinny jeans because his current job and body represent that old kind of manliness.

Fortunately, the Advertising Standards Authority isn't buying Svensson's plan: "The Advertising Standards Authority however had said there are already checks in place to prevent 'discriminatory or harmful' material. A spokesman said: 'Although the ASA supports the overall objectives of the report... the approach suggested is inflexible and impractical.'"

What Svensson SHOULD do is start her own campaign - some "think outside the box" ads with women as breadwinners and men as stay at home dads and women building houses and men sewing (aside: there is TOTALLY nothing unmanly about sewing. At all.) Instead of trying to control what's out there to be seen, Svensson should join in the conversation and compete fairly for the attention of the people.

In conclusion, fuck anti-freedom totalitarian fascists. The end. ^__^

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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Oy, Biden

The columnist writes: ..."The same question came to mind during Joe Biden's speech Wednesday. The Democratic vice presidential nominee also talked about "America's promise," but he defined it differently. For Biden, it's about what his working-class parents told him "about how anyone can make it if they try."
Now we're getting somewhere.
Then Biden got tangled in his own contradiction. He talked about his dad who, when he fell on hard times, would tell his son: "Champ, when you get knocked down, get up."
Then he lamented that he had "never seen a time when Washington has watched so many people get knocked down without doing anything to help them get back up."
Wait a minute. Who said anything about government helping folks get back up when they get knocked down? Is that what Papa Biden was talking about? It sounded like he was saying people should get themselves back on their feet.
I'm a big fan of getting back up, personal responsibility, educating yourself, making good choices, and getting over the idea that the world owes you a living.
I'm also keen on people not playing the victim, not feeling a sense of entitlement, and not fearing competition. And when you're struggling in a tough economy, you don't give up or lay blame or ask for a government bailout, you work harder.
Those are my principles -- but they carry a dose of pragmatism. I can't remember the last time I saw government do something right. As a 41-year-old, I'm part of a generation that learned not to wait for government to save you because you could be waiting a long, long time."

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Thank you, Barack!

Obama tells people to lay off on attacking Palin about her pregnant daughter. Go Barack! I'm still not voting for you because you're a socialist. But you made me smile today by being a decent person.

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Knew it

Oh, shut up. Leave it to the Times to put a negative slant on a working mom when that mom is conservative. Nicely done, scumbags.

I wonder if, in this case, we should think of Sarah as the working Dad and Todd as the working Mom. Of course Sarah will be crazy busy! I hope her hubby will have more time for the kids. I'm gonna keep an eye out for info on this subject.

Of course, no one bitches about men in politics who leave their kids halfway across the country with moms who work. Never, ever.

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Monday, September 01, 2008

Silly Arguments

Remember, back in the primary days, when some Republicans/conservatives, like those who supported Romney, said McCain was weak on the economy? You know why they said that? Because McCain's been known to support Democrats on economy related things.

Now, I've heard a couple of my office dems refer to McCain's lack of economic understanding. It's like they're taking over an argument they heard people use to criticize McCain - but I think they may have gotten used to hearing it from Republicans who find McCain too liberal on economics! It's silly how talking points travel, isn't it?

Moving along to Palin, who so far seems like a reasonable human being (yes, she supports the idea of bringing up creationism in school alongside evolution, but has also stated she won't push for it - if this is true, that would make her a reasonable person in that she doesn't push her religious beliefs on others. In other words, she can hold beliefs without feeling it necessary that everyone around her agrees with her).

So, we're hearing, on TV and IRL, about Palin's lack of experience. It's interesting how people in my office like to say this right after they've announced they know nothing about her. It's even more interesting how it's been asserted that Republicans can no longer criticize Obama for his limited experience because of Palin's limited experience. This claim has been made many times already. But is it true? Or does it mean neither side can bring up the inexperience issue? Nope:

Bob: Oy, Palin has like no experience.
Sam: Yeah, experience is really important to me.
Bob: And McCain's old. What if he dies and Palin becomes president?
Sam: Wow, you're right. I don't know if she's ready for that. I don't think I should take a chance on her becoming president. I guess I'd better vote for O- oh, wait.

So, if experience is your main concern, you can either vote for a guy with little experience for president, or a guy with a lot of experience who has a running mate with little experience who could possibly become president at some point... after being VP... and gaining experience. Take your pick.