Slacker

It has recently been brought to my attention that I haven’t been blogging. I guess I haven’t been very inspired lately. I haven’t seen someone publicly urinate in MONTHS and all the irritating people at work have been on vacation. I know, all excuses. It’s terribly pitiful of me to hide behind such weak bullshit.

Well enough is enough! It’s the holidays, dammit. Plenty of ridiculousness in the world to jabber on about this time of year. Speaking of, I’m currently watching Carrie Underwood shit all over my television as Maria. Don’t get me wrong, her singing is lovely. But with every line she speaks it feels like my soul dies a little bit. Now I feel like a dick for saying that, because she seems like the sweetest thing. I will from here on out only refer to her as Carrie Underwood-bless-her-heart.

I think I’ll have to let my disappointment in the Sound of Music fester until it culminates in the most epic game of Cards Against Humanity ever. If you haven’t played yet, do so immediately, if not sooner. But don’t play with nice people. Make sure they’re assholes. But a very specific brand of asshole. The kind of asshole that makes you sometimes feel a little bit uncomfortable laughing with. That’s the ticket. And it helps if you’re an asshole too. Trust me. But don’t invite Carrie Underwood-bless-her-heart. Get Sarah Silverman instead.

Silver linings

Well, I stayed up to the bitter bitter end last night, knowing that the inevitable conclusion would be a government shutdown. Alas, I couldn’t stop thinking with a tiny wee kernel of hope that something magical would happen, and my friends and I would keep getting paid. But that didn’t happen, so I went to work as normal (but in my comfiest clothes) to shut the place down for the foreseeable future.

I’m angry at all the assholes on the Hill that are playing with people’s lives because they refuse to budge an inch. I’m upset that their stubbornness could make paying bills and next month’s rent questionable at best. I’m panicking about money and instability and I assume my panic will increase every day until I become a spikey ulcer ball of DOOM.

But also, while I was trying to figure out how the hell to change my voicemail message this morning (I haven’t touched it in 6 years) one of my favorite janitors came in, finishing up his duties for the day. He said “How you doin?” I replied “Oh, you know…”

Know what he said? “Well there is one good thing. We are furloughed, but we’re not laid off.” This sweet man who probably doesn’t make nearly enough money reminded me of how much worse it could be. And he’s right, dammit. Yes, it will be fucking tough this month for a shit ton of people. Particularly those government workers that are living paycheck to paycheck every month when things are good (like me! and my awesome janitor!). But it’s nice to remember that at it’s worst, (and I’m sure it will get worse) this is also temporary. So thanks, dude, for the perspective. I needed it today.

So, onto the silver linings list. Because fuck Boehner and his cronies.

  1. I get to knit as much as I want. Think of how many Xmas presents I’ll get done! Which is good, cause I won’t be able to afford anything
  2. Gaming! I can start working on that Medal of Honor game I got on the cheap, and work off some frustration!
  3. It’s October, so it’s scary movie month! I can watch all the Netflix scary movies I can stomach!
  4. I can catch up on my reading that I’ve been needing to.
  5. I can exercise whenever the hell I want instead of after work, forcing me to have dinner much later than I would like to.
  6. I can prepare for my next Cocktail Hour Flicks podcast, which I normally have to take care of at the very last minute.
  7. I get to receive unlimited comfort snuggles from my favorite fuzzy creatures.
  8. I can write more Dear Bitch columns that I’ve been meaning to.
  9. And last, but not least, I still have my job, I still have my job, I still have my job (repeat as necessary)

Experimenters

I just did a podcast on some lesbian movies over at Cocktail Hour and before the show was even posted, people had already begun talking about how Kissing Jessica Stein was not a lesbian movie. It was a bisexual movie. Ok yeah, Helen is kind of bisexual. Although I’d argue that she just likes sex with who/whatever (what is that, pansexual? I’m bad at labels). But yeah, Jessica is pretty damn straight. And many many lesbians HATE this movie because she’s “an experimenting straight girl.”

It’s not an unknown fact that many a lesbian has been in a relationship with a straight girl that was just “experimenting” and ended up ultimately going back to guys. Which seems to be the crux of why so many lesbians “don’t trust bisexuals.” Because they’re gonna leave you for a man! (Don’t get me started on bisexuals being untrustworthy. It is unbelievably judgmental and pisses me off, and we’d be here all day because some of my favorite humans are bisexual. )

I think a lot of this comes down to human nature. We all need to find a reason why someone left us. When you’re dumped you think “what is missing about me that this person has found somewhere else?” Then, when you have a specter you can spew all your vitriol at, we feel better. We think “oh this happened because she’s experimenting and really likes dudes.” Instead of seeing it as “this person (human, get rid of the pronouns) just wasn’t that into me.” You get hurt, brush yourself off, and move on. Now this can get harder if you end up dating several women in a row and the same thing keeps happening. I would argue that your problem could stem from not being able to see “this person might be an asshole” red flags. It wouldn’t hurt to look into.

Let’s say I date a girl (I wouldn’t, I’m married, but you get the point) and we connect really well, have a great time together, make each other laugh, things are GREAT! But, I’m not that sexually attracted to her. But I want to be. I want to be in a relationship with the girl because she is just stellar. So I try. I like her a whole bunch, but it doesn’t work out because I’m not that interested in that way. Does that make me a bad person for trying? Maybe, it’s completely subjective.

Straight girls do this too! I’ve seen it many times. A friend of mine dates a guy that’s just super nice. It doesn’t last, because she’s not that into him. But she’ll try, dammit. Is she an asshole? Is she a girl that just likes to experiment with nice guys before going for a motorocycle ridin’ bad boy? Does that question even matter?

This is what I think. I think that 100% of dating is experimenting. You think “I’ll just try on this person and see if they fit.” If it’s a nice fit, you’ll keep them around. If it’s a nice fit, but “ugh I just wish this sweater didn’t have these fucking useless pockets” then you’ll wear it until the pockets drive you fucking crazy. It’s possible the sweater you’re looking for absolutely has to have a penis, but how the hell are you going to know that for sure unless you try? I recognize I probably went with that analogy too far, but you get what I mean. Sexuality is just really confusing for a lot of people.

I think we’re getting angry at something that doesn’t need it. I don’t think we need an entity to blame. Will it make you feel better to say “she only left me because I’m not a man”? Maybe. Does that make a single bit of difference to the situation? I don’t think it does. The fact is, she tried you on, you didn’t fit. And that’s ok. Cause you’ll fit someone else like a glove, trust me.

I think the attitudes toward a more fluid sexuality is changing. It seems like that to me, anyway, just from conversations I’ve had with people. But I’m sure I’ve probably pissed off a bunch of lesbians already anyway, so I’ll stop here with a hearty happy Wednesday!

The Lightning Story

As I mentioned in my previous post here, I have a lightning story. And I totally told the internets I would tell the story, and then promptly ignored it for weeks. Yeah, sorry about that. I’m sure the 4 people that read my blog will forgive me. So, here we go!

It was in my second summer digging in Belize with the Maya Research Program, where I was doing my master’s research. We were digging on these big-ass hills, which were the highest points for miles around. It was beautiful, I learned a ton, and had a blast that summer.

Me, in a chultun

Me, in a chultun

One day, a storm was coming and we had to make a decision. Did we climb our asses all the way down the hill (it’s a big fucking hill) or just wait out the rain under the tarp until it passes? The crew chief (Sarah) and I talked things over with our super excellent worker Eugenio and decided that it looked like it would pass, no big deal. Then, it got much much worse. The rain was kicking it up sideways and felt like it would blow us right over. Not the first time for that, but this particular time, lightning suddenly strikes the adjacent hill. I look at Sarah and our eyes go huge. She yells “everybody, get down the hill!” And we scamper our asses as quick as we can all the way down that steep-ass hill. However when we get to the bottom, there’s a barbed wire fence that blocks easy access to the field that held our truck. Now this fence is usually a bit tough to get under in the best of circumstances, so the first person to shimmy under always turns to hold it up for the rest to get through.

The first person in this instance was me. I crawl under as flat as I can and instinctively turn around to grab the bottom wire to lift up. As soon as I do, I recognize the mistake I made. And before I could finish the sentence “Don’t grab the fence” and pull away, the fence gets struck by lightning. Sparks are flying all around my hands and it bounces off me and through everyone on the crew, ending up with poor Eugenio. Next thing I know, I’m 5 feet away from the fence and we’re all on the ground, with one of the volunteers (Diana) wailing uncontrollably. I stare in horror at Sarah, silently saying “what the fuck just happened.”

Lightning keeps striking all around us, so Sarah starts pushing Diana (whose poncho melted to the fence) under the wire, and I pull her to my side. Everyone hurries the fuck up to get to the other side at this point and we half-carry Diana through the field. We have to stop every 10-15 feet and stay close to the ground, because lightning is striking all over the fucking place. We finally get to the truck and we hightail it back to camp. Diana, Eugenio and another volunteer (Robbie) were the only ones on the crew that had any lasting effects. I merely got an infected finger by getting jabbed repeatedly by the barbs on the fence when I couldn’t let go. Robbie felt like shit for a few days and Diana had a numb leg for at least a week. But everyone else was able to go right back to work the very next day. Including Eugenio, who had a terrible headache for weeks after (we were a bad-ass crew).

The lightning crew

The lightning crew

The next day on-site, a couple caballeros come up the hill to let us know the farmer that owns the site would be adding another fence around the top of the hill to extend the cow grazing. We were understandably peeved, seeing as this would force us to get under TWO fences in the event of a storm. They agreed to ground the fence and we went down that hill countless times for the rest of the summer during every storm that got remotely close.

They say once you’ve been struck by lightning, it follows you. And that people that get struck are more likely to get struck again at some point in their life. I have always assumed that if you get struck by lightning-odds are you are putting yourself into the position that already increases your chances. Therefore, yeah, you could get hit again. But I swear once that happened, every lightning storm had strikes really fucking close to me for YEARS. Once that same summer, it was a clear day in the lab in Belize, and that loud shotgun sound indicating it hit really close slammed all around us. The next summer, I kind of went nutso when the volunteers weren’t taking a sudden storm seriously and I screamed at them while chasing them out of the jungle until they did (not one of my prouder moments). When we were having dinner towards the end of that season, it seemed like lightning was all around us. And once I got back home, I was driving home when lightning struck a telephone pole 20 feet from my truck.

So yeah, storms freak me the fuck out now, and probably will for the rest of my days. I’m better now than when I was, but for the longest time after, my arm would get all tingly and weird during every storm, and I’d panic a bit. These days they just make me uncomfortable and I avoid windows, but I no longer panic (mostly).

Overall, it was terrifying, but it ended up being a great bonding experience for that crew (and for Sarah and I). I got a tattoo to commemorate the event, and a good campfire story to tell for the rest of my days. All’s well that ends well.

Dating disaster, this time with chicks!

One to Nothin

A human made a joyful link-up where people could share their amusing dating disasters, so I thought I’d join in. Cause HOLY SHIT I GOTS A DOOZY.

Ok so, when I moved to DC I was already pretty sure I wasn’t straight. I started noticing that I had virtually no real interest in any guy that I dated and never was really sad at all when we broke up. There was also the fact that I kept going to the record store when I thought that one chick was working…

So anywho, I get to DC and decide “ok that’s it, I’m gonna date a chick.” At that point I didn’t consider myself gay yet. It’s like when I smoked, I didn’t consider myself a smoker if I was just bumming cancer sticks. Not until I bought a pack of cigarettes did I consider myself a smoker (don’t worry mom, it only lasted a year, I promise). So, I just hadn’t bought the lesbian pack of cigarettes yet.

I signed up for Match.com and decided to throw my hat into the gay ring. Started chatting with some girls, things looked promising. One girl was attractive, had a twisted sense of humor, and seemed interested. We made a date. She knew I had never been with a girl before, so she decided we would tour the gay wonders of DC. I didn’t really think that was necessary, as I wasn’t interested in any sort of orientation, I just wanted to potentially-at-some-point make out with a lady.

She picked me up (which was probably a bad idea, she could’ve been a murderer, after all) and almost immediately answered the phone and proceeded to talk to her sister for a half hour whilst driving us into town. When she eventually hung up, she told me she needed to be careful, because she was on probation. Why would you think she’d be on probation? Oh, because she got arrested for assaulting her ex-girlfriends coke dealer at a bar downtown. Always one to see the silver lining, I thought, “at least she’s honest?”

We eventually get to the first stop of our date, a tasty sushi restaurant. I then notice that she doesn’t look at me for the entirety of dinner. Is there something hanging from my nose? I go to the bathroom to check. Nope, I look totally normal. Ok, it’s not that. She also doesn’t ask me a single thing about myself but does say that she is exhausted because she was up until 4 am having sex with a friend of hers she went home with from the bar last night. Boy oh boy, this is getting fascinating!

We move onto the next stop, the only girl bar in DC. We sit down, get a beer, and two girls sit down almost immediately so that one of them could hit on my ‘date.’ I recognize that this date is already awful, but come on! She’s still theoretically my date! After that, we head back to Dupont Circle so she can introduce me to a sex shop where they sell whips, chains, and all kinds of interestingly-shaped inserts.

We leave pretty soon and go to a dance club, where she lets me know that the bathrooms to the right are for drugs, those to the left are for sex. I asked “which ones are for pissing?” She either didn’t hear me over the thumping bass or didn’t think it was very funny.

We then just stand on the balcony watching people dance for about a half hour. No talking. I’m assuming so that I could get acclimated to ‘our people’ and how grinding works? I pull the “gosh I’m tired” line so she will take me home. Cause at this point holy fucking shit am I ready to leave. On the car ride home she tells me about how she got electrocuted once on one of her ‘cable guy’ jobs (did I tell you she’s a cable guy?). For the record, she’s the one that called herself a cable guy instead of a cable girl.

Sorry, I digress…back to her being electrocuted. I immediately think “Hey! Something in common! I can bring up a similar instance and she would likely ask me something about it, right???”

I say “I was electrocuted too, when I was digging in Belize and got struck by lightning.” Now that sentence has at least 3 instances of potential questions. Such as: “Oh you were in Belize? Oh you did archaeology? Oh fucking lightning??? WHAT WAS THAT ALL LIKE?

But nope, she went right back to talking about herself. I got home and she called me the next Friday asking if I wanted to do anything. I was understandably confused and responded “I honestly didn’t think you were at all interested.”

Her: “But why would you think that?”

Me: “Well you didn’t look at me the whole time, didn’t ask me a single thing about me, and I assumed you weren’t really interested in anything serious since you said you had slept with someone the night before our date.”

Her: “Are you pissed? My friend that I just texted our convo to said you are pissed.”

Me: “I promise you, I am not pissed. You asked why I would think you weren’t interested and I told you. I actually have no feelings on the matter.”

Her: “Oh man are you pissed.”

Me: “Well this is accomplishing nothing, have a good day!”

And that was my introduction to dating girls. I like to think my wife is glad it didn’t turn me off from girls for good, but you’d have to ask her that…

I’m surrounded by assholes

Sometimes I just have one of those days. Where absolutely everything breaks, spreadsheets refuse to open, network goes down, and idiots find me…every…five…minutes.

Today is one of those for me. Where every little thing culminates into an amalgam of fuckitude that can not be fixed by a lunch trip to the yarn store for carbon fiber needles. Yes. Carbon fiber (swooooooon).

My most irritating problem today would be a human whose troubleshooting capabilities seem to lack any sound logic or reason, and you could probably keep them occupied for hours by just putting a large paper bag over their head. Give that person a fancy machine that has buttons and settings and boy oh boy!

Honestly I’m shocked this human can figure out how to put pants on in the morning without assistance. I picture this human walking around the apartment building, going from door-to-door holding a pair of pants. Human knocks on first neighbor’s door, and this is what I imagine would happen.

Human: “Excuse me, but my pants just would not go on.”

Neighbor: “I don’t understand, you’re holding them right now.”

Human: “Exactly. I am holding them, and I want them on, but I can not get them on.”

Neighbor: “I don’t get it, what’s stopping you from putting your pants on?”

Human: “Well, I reach over with the pants in my hand, see, but when I come back up they are not on.”

Neighbor: “Did you try putting your foot into the pant leg before coming back up?”

Human: “No, I just assumed they would already be attached to my leg.”

Neighbor: “Holy shit.”

That is the best way I can describe what it is like working with this human.

Running and fun things

I am still not failing at running, and I am actually enjoying it! A bit of a hiccup a couple days ago. It was as unpleasant as Satan’s ballsack outside and I felt like I was gonna vomit up the too-big lunch I consumed. Ended up walking almost half of the time. It was a bit of a downer, since I felt like I lost some progress. But then I ran on the treadmill and ran another 5k today and kicked it’s ass! Here’s hoping I don’t die next month in my Dirty Girl mud run. It is outside…

But I will have some new (and old) friends with me, so together we will dominate it! But overall, I have been losing some inches, bitches! I spent last week at the GCLS conference in Dallas, so I was worried it had knocked me off track from my fitness goals, but I actually got up early to work out while I was there, so the bbq didn’t defeat me! I win, Texas!

Oh yeah, the GCLS conference. If you want to hear about some of the shenanigans (and see me rap to Baby Got Back) go over to Cocktail Hour. I actually lost my voice from talking and laughing so much. Which, as many of you already know, I am already a chatty Cathy. And for me to talk so much that I strained my throat, that is some pretty impressive shit. I got to hang out with most of my Cocktail Hour family, who I have come to love dearly. Including meeting Cheri the Rev for the first time. It felt as if we had just seen each other and it was no big deal, which says a lot about how much I already like her. And her wife is awesome.

I also got to hang out with Bev Prescott, who I wish I could carry around with me and take her out when I’m sad. She’s delightful. Although, I might be a bad influence on her language. Sorry about that, Bev’s wife…

Another delightful human that I finally met is Georgia Beers, award winning novelist and kick-ass keynote speaker! Sorry, Georgia, but you are required to be my friend. There’s just no getting out of it, so don’t even try. Her wife is also deliciously snarky, my favorite kind of human! There’s just too many people to list that I loved hanging out with, so if I laughed with you, you’re one of them. Can’t wait to go next year and super glad I’m gonna be able to bring the wife.

Until then, bitches, I will continue working out and losing inches, so I’ll be prepped and ready for next year’s dancefest! And plotting my karaoke choices, of course…and knitting projects…