Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Mensquito Magnet

My family has always joked with me that I have really sweet, sugary blood... because I tend to attract mosquitos from MILES away to come and nibble, suck, splurge and otherwise binge on the goodness that is, well, me. They appreciate it - means less itching and scratching for them. I've loathed this quality for as long as I can remember! 

For some weird reason, I seem to have the same effect on creepy, weird and awkward men! Case in point - Jumpsuit Dude (JD). I stopped in Watertown for a bite to eat and pulled into the wrong drive for the little supermarket. I parked towards the back of the one lot and walked down the little hill to where the supermarket was - attracting the attention of JD, who commented "Don't go breaking your ankle there, miss." --- um, sure? He holds the door open for me and disappears towards the back. I do my usual "what-the-hell-can-i-eat-in-here-this-food-is-gross-and-not-going-to-buy-it" routine, landing on a Noni Berry (metabolism) drink and some grapes and banana chips. Shhh, it's lunch to me! ANYWAYS... while walking around the store, JD is in line placing his order and tells the lady behind the counter "I'll take that girl in green as well," then winks at me! I tell him "I'm not for sale!" and he's all "That's okay, I was planning to just TAKE you anyway!" 

As if things could get more awkward... I am seized with a case of clumsies and drop the container of grapes all over the floor. A clerk comes out to help me clean up (and doesn't charge me for it either - nice!), making the comment "No problem, miss, I'd rather turn those into wine anyway." JD is behind me now... telling me to be careful and to not let things get away from me, that he wouldn't get away from me. 

CREEPY. Seriously... talk about disgusting. JD is this older man, overweight and wearing this navy blue jumpsuit. His hair was balding... his face has the nice wrinkles of a man who laughs a lot, but EWW creepy! I'm sorry.. but in WHAT universe is it okay to tell a woman that you will "take her anyway" - and talk about how you'd toss her in your refrigerator truck and no one would notice! 

I am SO sick of attracting these persons to my personal space. I do NOT want it. I do NOT want to attract any such attention. What will it take for me to just... be a person in the store, not some object to ogle or to attempt to purchase with flattery or idiotic musings? I'm so sick of this shit. It doesn't help the more disordered parts of my mind... I don't feel safe in this world as it is, let alone when genuine creepy people (cue JD's slimy grin to flash on your screen) take an interest in me!!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Snowwinds and Whirlflakes

The forecast originally called for inclement weather on Monday and Wednesday, thus planning to drive to Philadelphia on Tuesday (tomorrow). Except some goon decided to hold off on the snow on Monday and pile it all in on Tuesday, squeezing out some from Wednesday too. It looks like I've got a LONG day tomorrow. Hrumph! 

No forecaster could predict the whirlwind that has become my life. After spending the summer attempting to rid myself of my oldest demon, I find myself once again staring down the dwindling reflection in the mirror. I spoke with my team from the summer and have been approved to start Day again on December 15th. Yup, that's right everyone, I'm going back to the land of Jason's Deli and Black Truck Guy.  This means in the next THREE weeks, I will need to accomplish the following:

  • Trip to Philadelphia for Thanksgiving
  • Lake George meet-up with friends
  • Last volunteer meeting of the year = party
  • Auditions for The Vagina Monologues (I'm casting)
  • Three productions of It's Sad, So Sad, When An Elf Goes Bad
  • Write the semi-annual report for the grant
  • Terminate with my team up here
  • Get my doctor to fill out the appropriate paperwork
  • Find a place to stay in TN
  • Arrange a medical leave from work
  • Find a vet with sleeping pills for my cats
  • DRIVE down to Nashville, TN
There's more to that list... but yeah, exhausting! Oh, and it'd probably be wise to stop some of the mayhem that is my life... but yeah, that's why I'm going back, right?!?!? I feel like a pick-up truck with it's tires spinning in the mud, going no where fast. There's so much to do and so little time to do it in. 

The funny part? My Fruity suggested I "relax and try to eat regularly" --- umm... let's be real here. Anxiety = not eating; stress = not eating; disorder = not eating; mayhem = not eating... I can agree to regularly not eat... other than that, I'm not sure what's going to happen! 

I am trying so hard to just let go and give this over to the universe. I have to trust that it will be okay... but I'm a planner of planners. It's not like me to make impulsive decisions, and since a week ago I was keeping mum about the whole struggling thing... THIS is a radical change in a very short period of time. I really hope I'm doing the right thing!!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Like... like... NO!

I have a personal pet peeve that is exacerbated when meeting with students afflicted by limited vocabularies - involving the use of the word "like" as a filler phrase while the brain considers other rhetorical options for communication. Translation? I like hate it like when, like, people like, overuse the word like, like, ya know?

I met with a student today who used like over 50 times in 2-3 minutes. It was distracting from what she was trying to say - with that teeny-bopper phrase assaulting the neurons in my brain (specifically, the ones located around my ears, behind the ones that contain my ability to smell out chocolate from over 100 feet away). Although I was tempted to pull out a piece of paper and start a tally, I decided that would not be conducive to supporting this individual as she needed in the moment. Somehow, I do not think telling her "It's not your fault, you didn't deserve this, but you DO have a serious vocabulary impairment that is 100% your fault - and I feel blonder having spent 30 minutes with you" -- I just don't think that's going to facilitate trust or emotional recovery. 

When I become a professor, I am going to keep track during oral presentations that I assign. I will allow a person 10 inappropriate uses of the word "like" before beginning to deduct points for each additional infraction. I will then give them a score based on the presentation and a second score that is reduced by the total number of "like" offenses. The final grade? Will be an average of these two scores. I will allow the student a chance to correct him or herself - if the student can master their second oral presentation without surpassing their allowance of "like" - then they may have the original grade before the "like factor" was added into the equation. If not... perhaps they will call me a bitch, but they will learn a lesson in proper communication! 

Like, like, oh my god, like Oh Mm Gee! for like realz yo? Like, she's like, a total like bitch!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

And then there were three...

That's right everyone, I have now submitted my FIFTH application to graduate schools. I took a hiatus from applications while attempting to maintain relative control over my department at work - training, meetings, crisis situations, discovering my desk underneath all those papers, meetings, assessment projects, rewriting student worker positions, negotiating budgets and more meetings. In fact, today was my first day in... three weeks? Maybe longer? 

Don't break open the champagne just yet... I still need to print out the paper materials and take them to the post office tomorrow. Then there's that detail of 3 other schools remaining to apply to before I'm finished this task. The challenge in all this? Winter has come with her full fury! It started snowing a few hours ago and isn't supposed to stop until Tuesday. My printer is at work... so no printing until I dig my car out and get to campus. When will that be? Tomorrow morning, bright and early. No such thing as snow days up here unless it's a certifiable blizzard. And I'm not talking DQ specialities.

Hmmm. Highlight of the day? Making my own peppermint hot cocoa and sipping on that while looking out at the cold world and playing with the kitties. I spent the morning engaging in various crafting projects - HEAVEN! I decided not to participate in the various things I was supposed to do today, opting for a 24-hour period in my own home instead. It's needed! 

I'm having a few folks over on Wednesday, so cleaning should happen at some point. Knowing me... it'll be... Wednesday? before this happens. Sounds about right. I'm not so much lazy as just overly busy. And overly tolerant of dust and fur and dishes in my sink. Anyone know how to train a cat (or two) to chip in around the house???

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Over the 200-day hump!

As I sit here in my bed, bundled up with my brown jersey knit sheets and bright red goose-down comforter, I think longingly about my future home. I don't know where it will be at this point, but it WILL be warmer. I never thought that I would be someone who moved from one place to another because she couldn't take the heat (or lack thereof) - I never thought weather patterns were THAT important to a given location. Then I moved to upstate New York.

This area is gorgeous, I will not argue against that point. The river is just 5 minutes walking from my apartment. Fall is one of the most beautiful (albeit short) seasons of the year. The small town ambiance is refreshing on days when you need to start your car 15 minutes early, leaving it running while finishing up the last emails at work, before slowly creeping your way home along Highway 11. The store owners know you by name and remember your orders, and people honk at you because they are saying "hello," not because you are doing something irritating or annoying. 

Sounds like paradise, right? Except for that tiny detail called SIX MONTHS OF WINTER. I miss the sunshine and warm weather, the ability to walk around barefoot outside and the feel of luscious blades of green stuck between your toes (without fearing frostbite). I miss the days of lounging in a neighbor's pool while sipping on a frozen drink, closing your eyes beneath the blanket of the air that encases you in summer-lovein' freedom. I am a child of the sun who made the mistake of living in Winter Wonderland.

Sure, snow is pretty. But when it falls from October-April... that's just a bit much for me. It is ANOTHER gray day for me. Forecast? Chance of sun on Sunday (and yes, I appreciate the irony of that) - in a week of solid gray. Mixture of rain, freezing rain, sleet and snow. Few things are colder than rainy 35 degree days. Oh wait, except for January-February here when the HIGH is around 0 degrees. 

But... (for there is always a but)... today is the first time I am over that 200-day hump! I have just 199 more days of living in this arctic region. Just 199 more days of waking up with goosebumps racing up and down my body and the windows of my apartment steaming up as the thin pieces of glass attempt to keep the persistent chill from entering my warm home. 199 more days of living off cups of coffee, tea and diet hot cocoa, bowls of soup, oatmeal and grits, and plates of hot sandwiches, pasta dishes or homemade pizza. 199 more days. About 169 of them will be wintery ones... giving me 30 days of random "Indian Summer" weather that teases the summer souls like me with warm breezes zipping through our hair. 

199 more days. Take one down, pass it around.... oh wait, wrong song.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Flee Markets

Nope, not a typo. I have often wondered about the whole "flea" bit in these fantastic second-hand stores. I was curious about the reference to the pesky biting critters that once wrecked havoc on my oldest child (domestic short hair) about a year ago. Why the glamorization of those parasites? Or was the term comparing shoppers, such as myself, to these fleas? Before taking offense and sending myself into a tizzy, I decided to consult the internet expert herself, Wiki Pedia.
Flea Markets: The origins of the term are disputed,[9][10] but some have observed that buyers and sellers may be as active as fleas,[11] or that the original people and goods were infested.
What? Something that Wiki doesn't know?!?!? I was shocked and appalled! Okay, so perhaps it was that my own purchasing behavior of flitting from booth to booth in search of bargain buys mimics the energies of a hungry flea jumping from animal to animal, questing after the best bite. Hmmm. Mix that up and you get Best Buys and Bargain Bites. As the former is already taken by the techno-geeks, perhaps I could start up a new restaurant chain? Maybe have a flea market on one side and a delicatessen on the other?

Or not.

We could transform the Flea Market into an acronym - so people go to the F.L.E.A. - Formally Loved Everyday Artifacts - market. Or... we could snobbify it by saying "I'm going to the fillet market" while looking down on anyone that doesn't understand what we mean by this phrase.

Or, more simply, I would like to propose a universal switch from "flea markets" to "flee markets" - it has the same exact ring to it, but a lot less itchiness. With the economy in a downward spiral, people are fleeing the fancy department stores (and Wall Street) in search of the best product at the lowest cost. Makes sense to me.

Monday, November 10, 2008

What part of OFFENSIVE did you misunderstand?

Dear Facebook,

I would like the thank you for providing your users with options to rate the advertisements that appear on the right-hand side of the page. Soliciting feedback to tailor the ads to the user is a fantastic idea and I truly commend you for doing so. My question to you is - why do you refuse to listen to this feedback????

I am sick and tired of clicking on the little "thumbs down" icon and selecting "offensive" just to be inundated with MORE ads of the same nature, or worse, the exact same ad. Just in case you are confused, let me refresh your corporate memory about the definition of offensive:

Offensive –adjective
1. causing resentful displeasure; highly irritating, angering, or annoying: offensive television commercials.
2. unpleasant or disagreeable to the sense: an offensive odor.
3. repugnant to the moral sense, good taste, or the like; insulting: an offensive remark; an offensive joke.
4. pertaining to offense or attack: the offensive movements of their troops.
5. characterized by attack; aggressive: offensive warfare.

6. the position or attitude of aggression or attack: to take the offensive.
7. an aggressive movement or attack: a carefully planned naval offensive.
We can look at this one together. The very first definition there? The example is about offensive commercials. Remove "television" and replace with "Facebook" and you have my case in the middle of Dictionary.com. This is NOT rocket science here. This is me, someone trying to remove negative body image talk from her vocabulary, thoroughly pissed off at the overabundance of diet propaganda staring back at me on my Facebook page.

I suggest creating a filter. It's especially obnoxious when I click on various groups associated with recovery from eating disorders and find myself reading information about "Oprah's Diet Success" or "How Top Models Stay Thin" -- I appreciate irony as much as the next educated person, but the juxtaposition of these issues is, well, offensive.

So please, either remove the option for users to rate your ads, or DO SOMETHING about the feedback we provide.

This is all.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Succinct is Supreme

Looking for socioculturalpolitical ramblings? Sorry, you will need to read another blog tonight. This rant is purely self-serving.

I had an evening meeting tonight that kept me away from home several hours longer than desired. I walk into the living room space of the church that allows us into their space for this event, and sit down on the squishy brown leather couch. There are a few others present - but not one member of the leadership! Two of the four officers eventually saunter into the room, bringing our meeting to decorum without offering the slightest of explanations for their tardiness. 

The evening disintegrates further when one woman goes into explicit, eccentric detail about an idea - literally pulling out a book and beginning to read to us excerpts from a manuscript. The question eliciting such a response? What age group do you think this performance is designed for? When someone asks you a question, please give them a DIRECT answer. Although YOU may feel the need to justify said answer with a complete rhetorical analysis of the question and complete memoir of the author (including the missing chapters), we do not. 

In conclusion: 
- People want sound bytes, not manuscripts
- Learn to be succinct
- Do not waste other people's time!
- Think before you speak
- Save your ramblings for someone that actually gives a crap
- Can't find anyone? Consider therapy.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Proposition Octophobia

Lately, I have experienced random attacks of sexuality-induced anxiety, moments of absolute panic, delusions of two people walking down the street hand in hand without criticism, nightmares about a large white men in robes standing in the corner of my bedroom (and he's not Santa Claus!), and heart palpitations beyond the effects of my regular four cups of coffee (w/ 2 packs splenda, 2 bits French Vanila). I considered calling up my doctor, then realized that my condition is an acute case of Proposition Octophobia - Fear/Anxiety about Proposition Eight.

The country is celebrating Tuesday's electoral return as a victory and a national outcry for change. I'm as ecstatic about Obama's success as the next liberal democrat, but I'm not ready to pop open the champagne in honor of progress. Tuesday brought this country hope, but it also brought us homophobic bigotry and institutionalized discrimination. On May 15th, 2008, the California Supreme Court overturned legislation limiting marriage to heterosexual couples only as it would violate the equal protection clause of the California Constitution. LGBTQ couples were allowed to enter into marriage for nearly 6 months - and are now banned from doing so again.

Gay marriage was voted upon and banned in the states of Arizona and Florida, and Arkansas took the issue of discrimination one step further by prohibiting LGBTQ couples from adopting or fostering children in their state. Because we clearly have a country with an OVERabundance of people adopting and fostering - no shortage there, oh no!

I have many, many issues with banning gay marriage. I am outing myself more and more these days, minds well do it here. I identify as bisexual, though I'm currently more interested in women than men. No one has the right to tell me that I cannot marry the person of my choosing with his or her consent. No one has the right to CRIMINALIZE intimate moments between me and my consenting partner, or tell me that I am not capapble of adopting or providing foster care to a child in need. If I can do this a single woman, why would my ability to do this suddenly change if I enter into a relationship with another woman? Wouldn't our total ability to care for that child increase, not decrease?

Here's what really gets me. What if... what if the California Proposition challenged the right of two people to marry if they are of different races??? Or if your combined IQ is less than X. Or if one of you is HIV positive. What if we replace "queer" with "black" - what would happen then? The person who wrote the proposition would be tarred and feathered... or at least sued for every last penny his or her family ever owned throughout time. Why then, does this country allow for the blatant discrimination of citizens based upon their sexuality???

Also, to borrow from a friend of mine who recently spoke at my university, if it's the "sanctity" of marriage people are trying to protect, perhaps they should focus on reducing the DIVORCE rate instead of banning others from entering into holy matrimony.

Thursday, November 06, 2008


It's the dawn of a new era, a season for change, a climate of hope. Not only have we elected the first African American to the US Presidency, but I've also decided to start a blog for my random psychological wanderings! That's right folks, there is now a forum to explore the complicated, sometimes delusional meanderings of my mind. Are you worried yet? I sure am!

I hope to use this blog as a forum for discussion, a space for challenging political and social institutions, and a vehicle to use my voice in a world where I am too often kept quiet due to the potential implications such an outcry would have on my financial well being. (Or, in laymen's terms, a space to rant away without repercussions at work!) 

What type of Bohemian am I? I'm the sort of person who adores the color black and would prefer to wear at least something black every day. Even if it's just cat fur from my oldest "child" - a feline friend who lives with me currently. I am a feminist that believes in true equality for all people - not increasing the amount of prejudice and discrimination, but through truly eradicating the various "isms" that suffocate our world today. I am an advocate and an activist - I cannot sit still and watch injustices happen around me. Ever since I can remember, I've been the girl that asks a thousand questions and refuses to take "because I said so" as a valid answer. I'm also an out pagan and gladly engage in spiritual conversations with people from all faiths. Lastly, I'm the type of bohemian that is applying for a PhD for Women's Studies or Sociology because I want to do more. 

I'll close with a favorite quote that comes to us from the Goddess: If that which you seek you find not within yourself, you will never find it from without.