Friday, November 25, 2011

Things I Know Nothing About Episode 3: American Football

In the spirit of Thanksgiving and in light of recent scandalous events, I think it's time I talk about American football. I'll tell you right now that I don't care for it, which I'm sure is not surprising due to my gender. It should be noted as well that I am an American soccer fan, which means a few things right from the start:
A-I call it Soccer, but I still resent the fact that American Football is called Football.
B- I don't actually follow soccer that closely because I don't have cable and I'm too lazy to pursue such things online.
C- I do not find American football players even remotely attractive.
My experience with American Football is limited. I sometimes watch the Super Bowl, mostly because I like an excuse to eat chicken wings and pizza at the same time, but the idea of making that a weekly habit is really pretty disgusting. I've never been able to actually sit through a game because I find the amount of stopping and starting really annoying and even at the best moments I find the action dull. I know that the players are big and strong and a few of them can run fast and throw far and jump up in the air to make catches, but I am generally unimpressed by what goes on in football. In soccer the best players are always finding new and clever ways to get around their opponents. People do unexpected and brilliant things to get the ball in the back of the net. In football the most interesting thing that ever happens might be that a man holds and ball and doesn't get knocked over by the other men. It is a feat of physical strength but when was the last time someone did something fancy and intelligent? Could have been yesterday seeing as I don't watch football but I guess my point is that the options available to football players don't leave a lot of room for personal creativity. Maybe someone will devise a neat play but the basic moves on an individual level are pretty limited. Throw. Catch. Run. Block. Occasionally kick. Sometimes dance. If you are a football fan please refrain from sending me a description of what actually goes on. I could look that up myself. Obviously I have no interest in filling valuable  storage space in my brain with such nonsense.
So that's my feeling about American football generally, as a sport. Now let's talk about the oddity that is College football. My college did not have a football team. Well, we had a club team that would probably yell at me for saying that, but c'mon seriously we don't have a football team. We have a pretty big deal of a hockey team but their presence isn't particularly pervasive on campus. I happily ignored the UVM athletic department for my 4 years there as well as the additional year I spent in Burlington. They're really only a big deal for people who care about Hockey. Colleges with big deal football teams seem to have a bit more of a "mania" factor coming into play. 
This American Life recently had a show in relation to the child rape scandal at Penn State where they interviewed some current students and community members as well as replayed some interviews they did in 2009 when Penn State was ranked as the #1 party school in the country. The impression I got was that a lot of people who have some desperate need to feel like they are a part of something bigger end up at these kinds of schools. Of course there are people who are there to learn and just take that electric sports buzz in the air as an added perk, but it seems like its just not somewhere you go if you're not planning on being into football. Surely not every  girl in leggings and a hoody*  who partakes in tailgating actually gives a shit about football. I get it. Drinking and screaming can be fun. You could also be doing better things with your time, though, and when an entire student body is wrapped up in the success or failure of the team it seems like a morale catastrophe would always be lurking around the corner. Now, if someone on your teams coaching staff has been raping boys in the locker room and the rest of the staff seems to display some amount of ambivalence about this, I can imagine that it would pretty much run the educational end of things into the ground. It all makes sense. However, the fact that a school can operate in this way is (and I think this is becoming my new catch phrase) completely fucking stupid. 
I know that football makes a lot of money for these schools and funds other programs. I know that football fan alumni donate lots of money. To challenge the supremacy of football at a place like Penn state is to bring on a whole world of trouble. Isn't it just a little silly though that American public universities make a habit of undermining higher education in the name of a sport that NO OTHER COUNTRY IN THE WORLD CARES ABOUT? If we were still America, Lord and Master of Universe, I wouldn't take issue with the college football system, but obviously we are not. We could be trying a little harder to make our college educated population a bit more...competitively intelligent. 
I didn't go to a sports centric school, but I did go a public university and I got the impression that the administration didn't really care how smart it's students were . College could have been more challenging and I would have figured it out. I was grateful that I only had to take one math class but I wish I had the option of taking more math without it potentially affecting my GPA. My opinions on education are an entirely different and time consuming subject though. This is football I'm talking about and it just seems like a silly thing to make a priority of when we as a country are perceived as being a bunch of dum dums. The Ivy League is obnoxious as fuck but its students, who are not necessarily any more capable of learning than any other student, do tend to be more motivated to retain their elite intellectual status. All college students could (and in my opinion, should) carry that attitude, but football works against an intellectually driven lifestyle. Furthermore, because football is so tied in with mainstream American culture, and because mainstream America views intellectual elitism in a
negative light, the institutionalization of football fandom at the University level is a pretty backwards system. But that's just the opinion of a person who doesn't care about football. I'm sure all you superfans could offer precise and intelligent rebuttals to my assertions. Or you would tell me to go fuck myself and then order Dominos. Both are perfectly valid responses.
*Leggings and a hoody with nothing covering your butt is not cute. You don't look super casual and easy going. You look like your thought process was "well I want to be comfortable but I still want grimy dudes to look at my butt."

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Boston, New York, and Kowloon

Here is how My long weekend went:

Woke up at 6 expecting to leave for Boston by 7:15 with my Mom and Dad. Turned out to be more like 7:38.
Manned the passenger seat and DJ responsibilities.
Hit some nasty traffic but arrived at our hotel in Woburn, Mass at around noon.
Picked up my sister at her loft in Everett and proceded to Ikea. This is where I lost track of all senses of time and reality in general. Ikea will do that.
Went back to Everett because there was too much traffic to make it all the way back to Woburn and into Boston by 7:30 for my sister's senior concert/project/performance at Berkeley. Played with cats until it was time to leave.
More traffic. Helped my sister carry things. Hung around the main lobby reading posters and looking like a tool for an appropriate amount of time.
Concert 7-30-8:15ish. Very good.
Back to Everett. Champagne, etc...
Here's where things get interesting. We went to dinner at Kowloon in Saugus, Mass.  Kowloon is described by Wikipedia as America's largest Asian dining complex. The menu has nearly 300 items including all kinds of Chinese, Sushi, Thai, American, and Italian. It is enormous and there are fountains and a boat and in the boat there was a band and what appeared to be some kind of highschool dance. So we were sitting there listening to this really cheesy cover band playing such numbers as "White Flag" by Dido and "Play That Funky Music" and watching a bunch of highschool kids dancing as if they didn't realize they were in the middle of a 1200 seat dining facility. It was surreal.  This from Wikipedia "Diners can choose from a number of themed dining rooms including the Volcano Bay Room, the Tiki Lagoon, the Mandarin Room, the Thai Grille, or the Hong Kong Lounge. Private events and a comedy club use the Luau Room". Also there was a Trivia night going on. It was loud and the food gave me a pretty wicked stomach ache but it was an experience worth having.
We got home at around 11 and I plugged in my phone which was almost dead from trying to take video (did not come out) and went to bed.
I woke up at 6 because my bus was scheduled to leave at 8:30 from South station and I didn't realize that were were really only 10 minutes away.
I got dressed, packed up, and promptly left my phone charger in the wall before we left the room. I wouldn't realize this til later.
We ate our horrible continental Breakfast and departed for the station. We arrived at about 7:15.
There is nothing to do in South Station so I sat and played with my phone for a while.
I was the first in line for my bus and I had booked well in advance so I had a high boarding number. I only had a small bag so I was the very first to board and sat near the front of the bus where I wouldn't get sick.
It was an express bus, but somewhere in CT we stopped at a Burger king for 15 minutes. I stayed on but almost everyone else got off and came back with Cheeseburgers. I will eat fast food when I feel like it, but I was slightly car sick so the smell of 30 Jr. Whoppers didn't quite agree with me.
I made it to NYC without incident, though, and my lovely boyfriend was there to greet me.
We hopped a subway to the Upper West Side and I dropped off my stuff, called the girl whose apartment I was going to see, and then we went to a late lunch at a diner.
I was set to see the apartment, Which was on Lexington between 100th and 101st Street at 4:30 which meant busing it cross town from 96th street and then skipping over a few blocks.
The apartment and the girl were both nice enough and I love the location but it's still up in the air if the apartment will actually be available in the spring. I felt very proactive and adult for having set up the meeting in the first place.
I walked on 96th street for a while before realizing (meaning that I called my boyfriend he told me) that the cross town bus running E-W leaves from 97th street because it's 1 way through the park. Hey, I'm not a New Yorker yet. I'm still learning.
When I got back we went to the Whole Foods on Columbus and picked up some ingredients for Stir Fry.
We made and ate dinner.
We watched Inception on demand. I hadn't seen it before but I was tired from traveling and I kept falling asleep and waking up confused.
We went to midtown for lunch and some light shopping. I made a huge mess trying to eat soup dumplings and Phil made no mess at all and I felt stupid.
It was a beautiful day so we walked back uptown through central park and coveted other people's dogs.
We had dinner,enjoyed some downtime, and then went out for a drink at Dive Bar.
Our first round of beers were really terrible. The second round was better. We ate chips.
My train was at 11:30 and I needed to buy snacks and a new phone charger so I could listed to Bossy Pants by Tina Fey on the train so we got there at 10:15ish. This was way too early. The track number didn't post til about 11:31.
I spent 9 hours on a train. My audio book only lasted 5.5 hours. I developed a terrible headache and didn't eat anything for the entire ride.
I got into Waterbury at about 8:20. I had told my parents 8:30 so I waited for a bit.
I got home at around 9 and ate several servings of Pasta, watched episodes of Parks and Recreation and Community and fell asleep.

Ta daaaaaa.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Phone blog

I'm blogging from my phone tonight because I've already
Sat down in front of the tv and I really
Don't want to get up. Enjoy some pictures from my phone. They're all of my dog. Except for one...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Problem Chronically High Self-Esteem

I have a sticky note on my computer at work that says "Do you KNOW that?". The reason for this sticky is that I have a habit of presenting information as truth that I haven't actually double-checked. This isn't because I'm lazy. It's just that I kind of have a history of being right about things so when I "feel" that my instincts are correct I sometimes don't take the time to doubt myself. Most of the time this works in my favor but when I am freshly off of training at a new job I have to remember to curb this behavior just a little bit. I still assume that I'm right most of the time but unless I can see it in writing somewhere I just quietly think my right thoughts and don't say them out loud unless I check with a supervisor. That's what the hold button is for.

Monday, November 14, 2011

One of the Rules

In case you wondering I didn't work out at all on Sunday because on Saturday night I drank so much that I had to puke. On Sunday I was useless, but on the upside I barely ate anything. It has been a good long while since that has happened. Over a year.  Before it was just coincidence but now I am instating a rule for myself that I am only allowed to get puking drunk once a year, if at all. Also, whatever alcohol it was that did the trick is off the menu for a while. This instance was interesting, because was happened was that a friend of the family's came over with the idea of having some wine and chatting with my parents and I. So the more we talked the more we drank and the more we drank the more we talked and before we knew what was what several bottles of wine were gone and we were cracking into the liquor cabinet. Out came the rum and the midori melon liquer. I can never stay mad at white wine so I'm going to put the blame on the rum this time. Luckily, I know for a fact that I am not incapable of getting that drunk on dark and/or expensive beer because I can't drink it fast enough or afford very much of it so my trip to Boston/NYC next weekend isn't in too much trouble. In the mean time I'm going to take a little break from the sauce. If you need me to do any complicated problem solving now would be the time.

A couple rules in writing:
 In regards to drinking related vomit:

-If I have puked in the past year it is unacceptable for me to drink aggressively.

-If I have puked within the last 7 days and I tell you this, and you still try to get me to do shots, I am going flick you in the temple.

-If I have puked in the last 7 days and you try to get me to drink Tequila of any kind I am going to punch you in the sternum.

In general:

-I have outgrown whatever impulse used to tell me that PBR and other comparable beers are worth it. 

-Margaritas are not my idea of an awesome time because A)I don't like tequila and B)I don't like slushies.

-If a party leaves your floor sticky and you're not in college you could probably be making better choices.

-I always prefer Grapefruit juice to Orange juice both in mixing cocktails and in general life.

-I'm a sipper, not a chugger. Get off my dick about it already.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Morning VS. Evening Workouts

In a quest for a healthy routine I have yet to decide whether I prefer to workout in the morning before my day has begun or in the evening when my day has ended. Because I am only working three days a week right now I have allowed myself those days as off days or light core and stretching days. This I always do in the evening after I've showered and before I go to bed. For all out sweat-til-I-stink shred sessions, though, there are certain pros and cons to take into consideration.

If I exercise first thing and then shower right afterward it is a great way to wake up and get going and then be free to pursue the day as I wish. I always feel really good on days when I workout in the morning. The downfalls here are that sometimes I am tired and cranky in the morning and coffee messes with my stomach. Usually if I can just make myself workout in spite of my morning brain's objections I end up perking up and having a productive workout. Getting to that point can be difficult, though, when I know I'll have time to workout later. Another issue is that I always need to shower after a good workout and depending on what my plans for the day involve it is sometimes possible that I would have to shower twice in one day if I work out in the morning. This isn't the end of the world, but it bothers me.

When I work out in the evening it is usually before dinner, and preferably before cocktail hour. I am never too tired to workout in the evening on days when I don't work early and I think I tend to be more motivated to push my limits in the evening. A good workout followed by a long shower followed by comfy sweats and a glass of wine is one of my favorite small pleasures in life. The downfall here is that if I am out later than say, 6:00 PM,  or if I am in charge of cooking dinner and it's something time consuming, I sometimes lose motivation and skip right to the wine bit. Then there are the times when I get home and I just really want a drink and it's only 4:30 and the idea of waiting 'til after a workout and a shower is more than I can cope with. When I have a drink at 4:30 it usually means that I've had a trying day and am done being productive, whether I realize it or not.

Tonight was an evening workout night and I am in my softest, baggiest sweatpants and hoodie, I'm still  warm from my shower, and my quads are  slightly tingly in a well-worked but also well-stretched kind of way. It's pretty great. I almost didn't work out tonight though. My dad and I spent most of today trekking up rt 100 between Waterbury and Morrisville (with a detour to Hyde Park) looking for an affordable, not hideous sleeper sofa that is big enough to fit two people but not too big to fit in a smallish space. It was just looking at couches and I wasn't driving and we only made three stops but for some reason this kind of thing makes me crave hard liquor mixed with more hard liquor. I refrained, though, and now I'm feeling quite pleased with myself.

What I am trying to decide is when I want to work out tomorrow. I like to keep a consistent schedule but I don't really know what I'll be doing tomorrow so working out in the morning seems like a safer bet. I'm considering working out twice and making the morning something that doesn't demand a shower afterward so at least I won't feel completely shitty if I don't end up working out later. If it were warmer out I would run in the morning, do a quick jump in and out kind of shower thing but I just don't run outside in November. It makes my throat feel like its bleeding and despite the fact that I've devoted an entry blog entry to exercising I'm not actually a fitness freak. I just don't want to get fat and there are other ways to accomplish that than forcing myself to go running.I actually enjoy weight training and resistance cardio and I really DON'T like running so unless I'm getting fit for soccer I really don't feel the need to go there. The ski season will be here soon enough and because of my race background I can't turn in a way that isn't a workout unless I'm skiing bumps but then that's even more of a workout in a different way. To summarize: Fuck running. Actually that wasn't really my point. It was just one piece of information that goes into my decision making process. Seriously though, fuck running.

Now I will drink wine and try to devise tomorrow's itinerary. As soon as the mountain opens and I start working the waffle hut I'll be down to only 1 day off a week so I feel it's necessary to be proactively self-indulgent on my days off in the meantime.

Here is a picture from when I was in much better shape than I am at the moment. In my current defense this was after my freshman year at college when I had no personal income, spent a lot of time worrying (stress kills my appetite) and a meal plan that mostly depended on the cafeterias which A)didn't have any food that I ever wanted more than a tiny bit of B) did not hold hours which were congruent to my strange sleep patterns and C)served food that may or may not have contained potent laxatives. Also, in the spirit of full disclosure, I have never boxed as a means of exercise. I was just posing with the gloves because I fancied they made me look badass.

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Exisistential Implications of Living At Home

Because this is my first time living at home full-time since highschool, certain parts of my brain seem to have reverted to various states in my psychological development. For instance I often have dreams about missing the bus and being late to school. What you should know is that I never took the bus in high school because I went to private school and there were no buses. I never took the bus in middle school because my father worked at the school I attended. I rarely took the bus in the later years of Elementary school because my school was on the way to the school where my father worked. So what is the deal, brain? Can't you dream about being late for work? Must I dream of the schoolbus, an image so essentially linked to my early childhood? What gives?

People from high school to whom I haven't spoken in years have also begun appearing in my dreams. I run into them in a random place and they tell me that they have always hated me, or that I really hurt their feelings but won't tell me what I did. In one of these cases I followed up in real life on facebook and asked the person if they have ever hated me and they said no, but I resent the dream none-the-less.

Another side effect of living at home, or maybe of just having too much free time, is that I seem to be revisiting my hyper-existential phase, circa 2004. I'll be lying in bed listening to audiobooks with one hand on the opposite shoulder and I'll start thinking things like "wow my shoulder feels weird. Everyone has shoulders. Mine are just MY SHOULDERS. That is weird. How weird is it that I even exist. Tooootally weird. I wonder if everyone else thinks its weird that they exist, too. What if they don't? What if I'm the only one who thinks this way. Oh god. OH GOD.  What if I think too hard about this and go crazy. What if I'm already crazy and I'm going to wake up in a padded room?..". Etcetera. Etcetera. Etcetera. This was my default mode when I was a sophomore in high school and that was fine. I really didn't have anything better to be doing with my brain but these days I have to get sleep so I can wake up and be good at my job and it's just not convenient to be worrying about how weird my shoulders are. And if I happen to start thinking about my cardiovascular system, or my lymphnodes, or even my bladder? Forget about it.

One important thing I've done this summer is get my hair back to what I think is my natural hair color. In 8th grade I bleached it out completely white and dyed it pink and I never really stopped dying it from that point on. Then this summer I decided I was going to revert. I'd been doing dark reddish brown for about a year so I had to bleach it again and then dye it darker and then wait for it to grow and then try to match my roots and so far I think I got it right. As big life changes and my adulthood loom I'm  trying to improve the things about myself that are a product of bad decisions made in the past (there is more to it than hair but I don't really want to go into all of that). Not that having dyed hair is such a bad thing (I usually look awesome no matter what so it doesn't really matter) but to me it represents all of the inauthentic behavior that I've exhibited since I came into basic self-reflective consciousness (for most girls this is around 12 or 13). For a few years now I've been feeling particularly at ease with who I am and my hair was the last remaining indicator that I have any possible identity issues. That was a bit of an aside, but my point is that in the midst of my success at focusing in on my authentic self and taking the steps I feel are necessary to get to that state, it is really fucking annoying to be having dreams about missing the bus to elementary school at night, and thinking like an adolescent ding dong in my downtime. At least I have a boyfriend. Who knows what kind of mess my brain would be if I had boys to worry about. I'd probably forget that I was 23 and start finding 17 year olds attractive again. Gross.

The good news is that I am much better now at many things, such as cooking and mixing cocktails, than I was last time I was living at home so I have a few things to fall back on when I feel myself starting to think about everything in terms of how weird it is that it exists. Also, I took  Into to Philosophy, Intro to Psychology, and a Literary Theory course based on the writings of Husserl and Levinas so I pretty much have my intellectual bases covered if I really need to delve into the specifics of shoulder weirdness.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Things I know Nothing About. Episode 2: Christianity

Today's Image Brought To You BY Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal.

I have never read the bible or any other religious text other than a few short passages. I have never been to a religious service. I keep an open mind because I know that it is arrogant to do otherwise but my gut reaction to everything that organized religions have to say about the human experience is "Nope. Not true." or "Nope. Didn't happen.". I am not an atheist (arrogant) or an agnostic, exactly. My feeling is that there could be a god but I really don't care. It makes no impact on my life one way or the other. (Note: I do think that as per Occam's Razor God really isn't the best explanation of our universe because once you accept creationism you are left with the lingering questions of "Well what the fuck is it then? Where does it live? How? Why?". The Big Bang for all that we don't understand is much simpler.) I'm going to go right ahead and say that heaven and hell are obvious constructions aimed at controlling the masses and they absolutely do not exist. That's not arrogant it's just reasonable. I am going to limit my discussion here to Christianity. It would be a really long blog if I were to open up the field.

On History: In the early days of structured civilization religion made sense because medicine was terrible and in order to keep societies running people really needed some incentive to behave themselves. I don't know all of the origins to every stupid rule in Judaism or Christianity  but I will give the benefit of the doubt and assume that most of them had some logical basis once upon a time. Over time, however, because any structured system will inevitably  allow power hungry sociopaths to rise in the ranks and start making decisions, what was once a few little white lies aimed to keep people in line became a conspiracy of absolute bullshit designed to put money and power into the hands of these sociopaths. It seems to me that anyone with half a brain who took European History in High school would come to the same conclusion but, apparently, to the Faithful, history is there to be ignored.   

A few Thoughts on Things That Christians Care About:

Homosexuality: Anal sex in a time without proper plumbing or toilet paper was probably really bad for society. We have Charmin, condoms, and water free sanitizer now. Get over it.

Pre-Marital Relations: Marriage used to be a practical way to make sure that men were helping to raise their offspring. Now Marriage is more of a symbolic way to take advantage of bureaucracy. Divorce rates are too high to worry too much about it anyway. Legally men aren't allowed to knock up a lady and take no responsibility so marriage is more or less redundant in that sense.  I think it's pretty clear at this point that teaching abstinence doesn't. fucking. work.

Abortion: You're only allowed to have a problem with it if you support the proliferation of birth control. I'm pro-choice but I also believe that NOT getting pregnant isn't all that difficult.

Teaching creationism in schools: Why do we even consider this as a valid option? 

A summary of my thoughts on modern Christians:

If a person needs to believe in God to get through the day I fully support it. 
If a person takes it a little further but actually acts in the spirit of Jesus I would be an asshole to take issue with it. 
If a person believes that all of America needs to live by their Religious beliefs then that person should be kicked in the taint and sent to a walled-in commune. 
If a person uses their faith to justify hate then they should be airlifted to the top of an active volcano and left there.
If a person believes that evolution in a myth they should be sent into Gorilla territory to fend for themselves.
If a person doesn't believe in abortion or birth control they should be killed, not because I hate them so much, but because there are too many people on the planet and if we can't use birth control or have abortions than SOMEONE'S gotta take one for the team.

Final thoughts: In America it is extremely taboo to criticize someone's religious beliefs. I take issue with that. Just because you were told to believe something when you were little and didn't have a choice doesn't mean it isn't completely fucking stupid. Maybe the reason America is floundering is because we tolerate too much stupidity in the name of religion. I'm not saying it shouldn't be allowed I'm just saying I wish it were more socially acceptable to tell people on a regular basis that their belief system makes no sense.

Today's images are all courtesy of Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

White People Problems!

I work in reservations for a ski resort. People get SO UPSET about tiny details of their trip..soooo upset. It's my job to make them feel better so I can take their money. Although I might seem like a unrelenting misanthrope, I am actually really good on the phone when it comes with dealing with enraged, irrational people. I am calm, I am pleasant, and I never let my sarcastic snarky side interlope on my demeanor.  My strategy is to always sound amenable but to NEVER apologize for things that aren't real problems unless they are actually my fault. I figure I can help set a standard for the customer service/hospitality industry, and that standard is one of competence, a pleasantness, and an ongoing relationship with reality. "Sir, I am SO sorry that we cannot guarantee a wood burning fireplace for your multi-thousand dollar vacation, would you be at all open to accepting a gas burning fire place instead?" is not the kind of thing you will ever hear me say. I'm not going to come right out and say that your first world problems don't matter to me, and I will do what I can to meet your needs, but if your needs are absurd I'm not going to apologize for not being able to meet them.

Here, just for the record, are things that I don't consider real problems within the context of a multi-thousand dollar ski vacation (or in any context, really):

-You can't bring your 4 piece matching set of Bernese Mountain Dogs with you.
- You may have to sleep in a Queen sized bed rather than a King
- Your toddler who is really too old not to be potty trained can't be in the ski school because we don't require our employees to wipe your kids ass.
- Your tiny sportscar might get stuck in the parking lot.
- You just beat cancer (OK so this is a real problem, but not one that requires me to book you a room when don't have any availability)
- We can't guarantee good weather for your vacation, nor will we refund the cost of your tickets if you found the conditions "a bit slick".
- You're really "more of a west coast person"

I'm sure I'll think of more of those as I gain more experience in my job. Also, I am aware that I am in fact a white person and one with a whole lot of not-so-real problems of my own, but if I started thinking that way I would be so paralyzed by the feeling that none of my complaints are justified that I would probably have to be institutionalized.

Oh and just so you know, the slope side pub being really crowded when you come in for lunch isn't a real problem, either, but I won't discount you for that one because I don't think I can stop myself from complaining about it either.

I wanted to find a funny picture to accompany this post but I searched way too long and came up with nothing so, NO PICTURE. sorry.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Getting It Over With

The time change has me a bit out of sorts and today was my first day out of training mode at work so I'm feeling a little worn out. I'm insisting on writing a blog, though, because blogging is like exercise and if I take consecutive days off I'll eventually lose steam and stop altogether. I like blogging so I'd rather that not happen. I don't have anything of particular interest to share. I worked from 8-4. I was nervous all day because I'm new at my job but it was actually really slow so I was nervous and bored at the same time. I either really need a drink or a major injection of caffeine right now. I guess it depends if I feel like I need to be productive today. I can tell that if I continue writing it's not going to be very much fun for any of us so I'll go work through these questions on my own time.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Why I Believe that Louis C.K is Important

As a 23 year old female with a healthy body image and no kids it is strange to me that I often see my own world views reflected in the comedy of Louis C.K (Including "Louie", his show on FX).  Many of his jokes revolve around masturbation, 40 something male body issues, and the general grossness of being Louis C.K. I am not middle aged and I am not a dude so I understand that this aspect of his comedy isn't really FOR me. However, Louis C.K and his television alter-ego both seem to live in a world in which nothing is sacred, and that is the same world where I spend a lot of my time. Be it sensitive race and gender issues, suicide, his ex-wifes nipples, or his daughters vagina, Louis C.K is always ready to strip away expectations of what is politically correct and present a jovial middle finger to all that is good and decent. 

Unlike other comedians I don't get the sense that his aim is to be subversive just for the sake of being subversive. In fact, I get the feeling that he doesn't really care what he may or may not be subverting through his comedy. Pointing out and exaggerating all of life's absurdities doesn't necessarily mean that he has any kind of social agenda. Then again, he might. I don't actually know him.

I know that I am not the first person on earth to find Louis C.K funny. He is a very popular comic and he has his own show and it is widely understood that he is very good at what he does. I guess my point is that his particular approach to comedy is one that I think more people should try to adopt in their approach to life whether they're trying to be funny or not. One can be happy and productive in this world without allowing important issues in life to take on such gravity that you can't get around them or see through them.

Louis C.K talks a lot about how disgusting he is. Maybe he is particularly disgusting but what he is also doing is reminding us that we are ALL disgusting. It is hard to consider humanity precious when we so frequently debase ourselves in the name of our most unrefined instincts. The inability to laugh at one's own grossness is the main cause of shame, and shame breeds all sorts of unpleansantness. I realize that many people are simply incapable of this kind of unburdened self-reflection because maybe they are Catholic or grew up In Evangelist Land or simply have no sense of humor. Those people are doomed to a life of misery one way or the other so I try not to ask about how they're going to react to things. The answer is always "Irrationally". Still, I think instead of having the President address the country every few months maybe Louis C.K should do it instead. Humanity is not precious or  sacred and neither is America. It's all in our heads and the sooner we accept these things the sooner we can get on with it and deal with what we've got instead of worrying about how great things could be.

OK. That's all. No conclusion. The End.

Someday I might do some research and actually take notes during Louie or Louis C.Ks standup and write a more formal essay about this because the more I write the more I agree with myself. This is a daily blog though and I really don't have the time to get all scholarly on you.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Melungeons and Other Things About Which Bill Bryson Taught Me

 Did you like my very awkward but grammatically correct title? I'm not a huge fan of grammar.

Bill Bryson is one of my favorite writers. I am currently reading The Lost Continent and have previously read Notes From a Small Island, I'm a Stranger Here Myself, A Walk In The Woods, In A Sunburned Country, Shakespeare: The World As A Stage,and A Short History of Nearly Everything. I have yet to get to Neither Here Nor There, The Life and Times of The Thunderbolt Kid,  At Home, and a few others. I would highly recommend everything that I've read so far.

Today in my reading I learned about the Melungeons- an Appalachian hill people of mysterious decent.  Wikipedia has all sorts of things to say about them but I'm going to give you Mr. Bryson's take. He's a smart guy and I trust him.

"The Melungeons (no one knows where the name comes from) have most of the characteristics of Europeans- blue eyes, fair hair, lanky build- but a dark, almost negroid skin coloring that is distinctly non-European. They have English family names-Brogan, Collins, Mullins- but no one, including the Melungeons themselves have any idea where they came from or what their early history might have been. They are as much a mystery as the lost settlers of Roanoke Island. Indeed, it has been suggested that they may be  the lost settlers of Roanoke."

Well, I don't know about you but I think that is pretty dern interestin'. Bryson's writing is always full of these neat little tidbits. A Short History of Nearly Everything is, in fact, almost entirely comprised of such things. For instance, and I'm just flipping to a random page here, this tidbit:

"When Emerson poetically noted that mosses favor the north side of trees )"The moss upon the forest bark, was pole-star when the night was dark") he really meant lichens, for in the nineteenth century mosses and lichens weren't distinguished. True mosses aren't actually fussy about where they grow, so they are no good as natural compasses."

I can't tell you how many years I wasted believing that I could find my way in the woods without a compass if I needed to. I mean, it was never a problem, but imagine if I had tried!

Did you know that the man who discovered Uranus wanted to name it George, but was overruled? This was in 1781. Did they not HAVE the word "anus" then?

In my personal copy, which I have leant to my boyfriend and am still hoping he'll read someday, I have post-its on every other page indicating especially interesting or amazing facts. The copy I have now is one I happened to find lying around somewhere and I can't seem to find my favorite passages so I'll leave it at that. Without quotes, however, I can tell you a few ways in which this book has changed my life:

If I allow myself to think about asteroids for too long I get really nervous.

I understand that my bipedalism is vitally connected to my intelligence so I try to take advantage of it.

I am permanently annoyed with the fact that we call Dinosaurs Dinosaurs. I always knew it was a misnomer but I didn't realize that it was one assholes fault.

I am never going deep sea diving.

I know how and why wind works, which has really cemented my resolve that natural disasters should not be referred to as "Acts of God".

I spend more that a healthy amount of time thinking about rhino sized guinea pigs.

In short, Bill Bryson books are a gift that keeps on giving and if you like my blog I highly suggest that you go read his books. Also, if you're looking for presents for me I will list here again the books I want and need:

At Home
The Life and Times of The Thunderbolt Kid
Neither Here Nor There
Made in America
Bill Bryson's African Diary
Bryson's Dictionary of Troublesome Words: A Writers Guide to Getting It Right
Bill Bryson's Dictionary for Writers and Editors
A Short History of Nearly Everything: The Illustrated Edition (Might be expensive but I'm sure you can find one used on Amazon (:  )

I will eventually buy these myself if you don't but I'll wait til next year. Books are good gifts and they can be bought used. I don't need clothes and if someone bought me used clothes I think I'd be a little sad unless it was like a vintage leather coat or something.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

I'm An Adult, Dammit!

I am a grown ass woman (kind of) and sometimes I feel like my current circumstances relegate me to this post-adolescent netherworld in which I get no damn respect. This could be because of my baby dimples or the fact that I don't have my drivers license, but I'm going to go ahead and assume it's because people "just don't understand." Being in my 20s and living at home might seem like a retrograde move, but I'm actually doing a very sensible thing. I think it's time that someone gave me my official "Grown Up" badge already.

The facts, or the facts as I have chosen to interpret them:

Prior to this summer I have been living on my own and working to support myself since 2008.

I pay for my own vices...unless someone else is partaking as well. By vices I mean alcohol.

I am living at home because I have student loan debt and I want to save money so I can afford to go to Grad school without having to crawl into a black hole of financial obligation. I would ideally like to pursue a Masters in Corporate Communication but I still need to look into more programs.

 I am working the ski season as a seasonal employee so I don't have to quit a job as soon as it suits me and sully my reputation.

I want to move to NYC so I can set up NY residency and go to a CUNYgrad program for a reasonable cost. And because I really like it there and I like my boyfriend and all of that. I have already taken steps toward sorting out housing even though I won't be moving til next May.

I do my goddamn taxes!

I haven't shopped in the Juniors section at Macy's for like, 2 years.

I rarely feel jelous of anyone anymore.

My hair is almost completely back to it's normal color. I'll have plenty of time to dye it when I start going gray.

I am not, nor have I ever been, attracted to Justin Bieber or Taylor Lautner.

Everything on the CW is terrible.

I am willing to admit that I was a complete tool until I was about 17. 

I understand that talking about 90s television shows to any great extent other than in a 1 on 1 situation is neither interesting nor indicative of my intellect.

I don't take my menstrual cycle as license to be a complete cunt to everyone.  That being said, I sometimes find other reasons to be a complete cunt to everyone. If I didn't I would go crazy at least twice a year.

I have ads on my blog. That's smart. You should click on them. I think I just violated my terms and conditions though.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Doodles #1

I drew these while watching Felicity, but I don't think one has much to do with the other. I wanted to do something mildly creative because I have to go sort, fold and organize clothes for several hours.

Tomorrow I'm going to start taking phone calls at work. I'm still technically in training so I don't have the power to ruin anyone's life just yet but I'm still a bit nervous.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Phrases That Bother Me #1

"If There's One Thing I Can't Stand" There is always more than one thing a person can't stand

"Needless to Say" Then why are you saying it?

"In So Much As" This is a stalling phrase that people use when they don't really know what they're trying to say.

"For All Intents And Purposes"   Smacks of jargon.

"As Far As I'm Concerned" If you are beginning a sentence this way then I think you already know that you're about to spout some bullshit. I do it all the time.

That's all for now. I didn't have a very eventful day but I did move into "my" new room. There are too many errant piles of crap to be excited about it.

Random picture time.