Monday, December 29, 2008

weddings, rejecting bridal diets, and a resolution

I've been engaged for over two weeks now and I still can't stop looking at my ring. It's so sparkly! I can't get over how gorgeous it is. We've started making tentative plans already because I figure this is one area where getting started early can only be a good thing. We have decided on April of 2010, and are leaning towards having the ceremony on a Sunday. We've ballparked a budget and a guest list. We've even visited one potential site and I can definitely see myself getting married here, and there's the possibility that the other sites we are looking at (after all due diligence is required here) will be even better. I've made a vow to myself to stay away from bridal magazines at all cost. I got a giant dump of Bay Area wedding info from a friend of a friend that is uber helpful--basically I'm just going to go into this with word of mouth recommendations and stay away from the gorgeously shot wedding porn that serves no purpose but to make you feel inadequate so you'll buy more stuff.

Speaking of inadequacy inspired by publications trying to sell ad space, I'm also not going to give in to the traditional bridal frenzy to lose as much weight as possible before the big day. I'll admit it's tempting to do it--after all, it is pretty much the best motivation for sticking to a diet that you could ever possibly have, but I'm going to trust in science and not marketing. Science (and personal history) have basically proven that any weight you lose is going to come back within years, possibly bringing friends with it, and I'm not going to harm my long term health by losing weight to look good in photographs on one day. My fiancé fell in love with and proposed to me looking exactly as I do now.

I am going to cut out booze staring Jan 1 for two reasons: 1) Even though I refuse to diet I figure cutting out those empty calories will help me look a bit sleeker for the big day (maybe even shinier and healthier!) and 2) Adding drinks to dinners out really adds to the price, and I want to put that extra money over the year toward a fantastic honeymoon! I will be making exceptions for wine special occasions like anniversary dinners and birthdays. I'm sort of using it as an excuse to drink things for the next two days though, so we'll see how this goes...

Monday, December 22, 2008

Thinking about the new year

So, looking back over 2008 I have been really really terrible at documenting my existence. This could be viewed as a good thing I suppose, far fewer photographs of me with the singular facial expression that is the only way I like to see myself in photographs (a friend of mine calls it my Zoolander face), my arms wrapped around the shoulders of various people. Maybe I got tired of seeing those photos? Kind of a flimsy argument since I've been really bad about writing text about my life as well.

I've started thinking that I should do the Project 365 for 2009. Honestly, just considering it has sort of changed the way I view the world slightly, and I think getting into the habit of this will be a great way to see the interesting moments in every day. Or I'll just devolve into posting pictures of Echo and Wolverine every day.

So, Jan 1, 2009. It begins. :)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Engagement--text this time

In case the posted photograph of a ring wasn't obvious enough for people, I got engaged on the 11th. It was really sweet and low-key, our nine month anniversary was on Thursday and B. had suggested that we go out for dinner. He took me out to dinner and mentioned that I should save room for dessert because he'd gotten Sprinkles cupcakes (which I love). We walked home and once we got into the apartment (seriously right after, the boy didn't even give me time to take off the giant sweatshirt I was wearing as a coat), he asked "So do you want a cupcake?" I was like "Well, I don't know...I'm kind of full...but I'll take a look at them!"

So he goes into the kitchen and grabs the box of 4 cupcakes and opens them. I look and am all, "That's weird, this one has a button on it!" I guess I sort of figured it was a special holiday flavor with a button shaped candy on top. :) Then B. grabs the button cupcake and gets down on one knee. He said a bunch of things that were really sweet and awesome and then asked me to marry him. I thought I said yes though video evidence shows that I actually nodded vigorously. The special cupcake was actually a trinket box from etsy that was just the same shape/size as a Sprinkles cupcake, and it had a ring inside of it.

B. had champagne waiting and so we toasted to us, called our parents who all seemed pretty thrilled, and then proceeded to geek out over the diamond. I love my ring, it's absolutely perfect, and I'm so thrilled to be able to call B. my fiance.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Engagment Ring


IMG_0036
Originally uploaded by psydereal

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Brad and I with our awesome pilot

Probably the highlight of the trip was our helicopter tour. In one hour you see some of the most beautiful things you have ever in your life. We did our research and went with Jack Harter, a company that flies doorless choppers which made it even better. I was practically hanging out of the thing taking photos.

Waterfall in Kauai


IMG_9501
Originally uploaded by psydereal
We had a spectacular vantage point--a helicopter.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

My love-hate relationship with the Olympics

I love the Olympics. I waited for the opening ceremony last week with huge impatience and was rewarded with an amazing show. Now I know that a few of the elements have been faked, which is kind of unsettling, but was I ever amazed last Friday night! Also, I'm a huge fan of watching gymnastics, it's probably one of my favorite sports. I know what it feels like to swim and to run. I do it at about a tenth of the speed of Olympic athletes to be sure, but I have some sort of analog. My body has never been anywhere close to doing skills that gymnasts do, it's as if they belong to a completely different species as the rest of us.

The hate part comes into play with NBC's so-called coverage of the Olympics. They decided to show some events "live" which I might appreciate if I lived on the east coast or mid-west where indeed, some things are being shown live. Instead, because I live in California I get the worst of both worlds--the events aren't shown live, but I still have to stay up late to see things finish, and wait while announcers fill up airtime as they wait for events occurring in real time. I'm an old 27-year-old lady, I don't want to stay up until 1 AM to see the end of my beloved gymnastics!

If you insist on this crappy format, start it at the same on the west coast as the east. My Tivo can start going at 5, and allow me to skip the crappy synchronized diving (WHY is this a sport?!?) and watch hottie Michael Phelps and gymnastics (the only things I really need to see!) that gets over at a decent hour live?!?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

my head is asploding

The blog of unnecessary quotation marks. I totally need to send them that boat that's always parked outside of Lo's house that's name is: 'Awe'some.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Quel weekend

On Friday evening I know that Echo was around, I picked her up and brought her in from the patio where I was reading and made noises at her. Then I went to the gym, came home and showered, and played some video games. Little cat was all up in my bidness as usual and Echo is generally more reserved, and since I wasn't paying close attention I don't know if Echo was there or not, I have no solid memory of her in those few hours. It would not be unusual for her to have curled up to take a nap at that time of day, so I didn't think anything of it.

Then I went to my friend Katie's and spent a few hours drinking wine and shooting the shit with a few other friends. Dounia drove me home at around 1 AM because I'd had a bit too much wine and didn't want to risk driving. When I got home, I was so exhausted and just fell into bed. I did notice that Echo didn't come to the door, but like I said, Wolvie is so excitable that she is more reserved these days.

Around 5 or 6 AM I noticed that Wolvie was much more demanding of attention than usual, much more. And I noticed that Echo wasn't around the floor by the bed where she usually is at night. So I got up (like Wolvie was going to let me sleep anyway) and started searching the house for Echo. I looked in all of the Echo-sized hiding places and some smaller than Echo-sized. At this point I was pretty convinced that I was much more likely to find her sick/dead curled up somewhere in my apartment and was scared of THAT. After searching it became apparent that she was not in the apartment, she's a giant cat, she can't hide that well.

So I walked to get my car and made some fliers, posted them up around the neighborhood and basically this entire morning has been spent walking around looking for the cat. My neighbor said she saw a cat that meets her description in the garage, looking really scared. If that's true, it means she hasn't gone far, but there are a lot of Echo-lookalikes out there which I discovered on my various tours around the neighborhood. :(

I spent basically all of Saturday looking around the neighborhood for my cat. Both cats are foster cats, and basically don't know how to take care of themselves outdoors. Eventually I decided to pack it in for the night and was feeling very discouraged. At 2 in the morning I heard the screen door make a noise and jumped out of bed, standing there was Echo looking very keen to get in and meowing at me. I was so happy. She's also very happy and filthy from running around in the outdoors. She seems really happy to be home, as happy as cats generally seem, and Wolvie is really stoked to have his friend back. God I'm so relieved!

Friday, August 1, 2008

so....angry....

I was absolutely astounded to read this article about the Health and Human Services plan to deny federal funding to medical organizations that don't "accommodate employees who want to opt out of participating in care that runs counter to their personal convictions, including providing birth-control pills, IUDs and the Plan B emergency contraceptive."

This is absolutely ridiculous. If you do not believe in providing safe and effective birth control to women, you do not belong in the medical field. Period. If you cannot look to the positive effects that access to birth control has had for the health of women and children and see how necessary this is, I don't feel that you are mentally competent to provide me with medical care.

If your religious beliefs are against contraception, that's great. Don't use it yourself. But if you wish to work in the medical profession, you had better not be imposing your morality on people that are counting on you for care.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

getting wolvie from the shelter


Kinda late, but this was one of the first vids taken with our new camera, and shows me meeting our new kitten for the first time.

Monday, July 21, 2008

friends with the ex

Interesting post today on Jezebel about being friend-dumped by an ex because his new girlfriend tells you too. I am conflicted on this issue, mostly because I've been on both sides of it, in a manner of speaking anyhow. I'm pretty sure that none of my exes have ever been forbidden to talk to me by a new girlfriend, though I could be wrong.

The problem I have is when girls who are dating guy friends who you've never been involved with get jealous and beat them (emotionally) into limiting contact with you. A former friend of mine had a crush on me once upon a time. I was aware of said crush and was careful not to encourage it as the feelings were not returned. He eventually got a new girlfriend who I thought was cool for a while. One day my friend did me a favor by picking up my cat from a friend's house when I was super sick, and his girlfriend got super insecure and jealous, thinking that if he would go out of his way to do me a favor he must still have those feelings for me, etc. etc., and he stopped talking to me. It was all super lame and I roll my eyes at the stupid insecure girl for it.

On the other hand, I am generally unhappy when I hear about my current boyfriends interacting with their exes. If they had normal exes, it wouldn't be a problem, but most of these girls seem to be emotionally needy and a little unbalanced. I was chatting with a friend about this and I mentioned that I don't want them taking his emotional energy, that's for me! He told me I was being unreasonable and he compared it to being upset when he spends his money taking a friend out to dinner because he's supposed to be buying dinner for me.

I said that wouldn't be unreasonable if he was taking his friend out to Alexander's for kobe steak every week for no special occasion and paying say because his friend was broke. He would be using money and applying it frivolously toward something that isn't bringing any real rewards. Whenever crazy-ex-girl calls the guy I'm with up and goes on and on about her personal problems with him, he's spending his emotional energy dealing with it when this friendship doesn't have any real upsides.

However, I'm not really an iron fist type, I would never forbid my significant other a friendship or dictate who they can speak to. I generally try to keep the majority of my unhappiness about it to myself (not always succeeding) and trust that it will eventually work itself out and crazy will go away and find someone else's shoulder to cry on. And that usually happens.

As for my own relationships, I don't do friendships with exes. It's not worth it.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

echo grooming wolvie


echo grooming wolvie
Originally uploaded by psydereal
The two cats are getting along swimmingly, voluntarily crawling into the cat carrier together and being darling.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Wolvie plays Geometry Wars



After this we realized that a better name might have been "Player 2."

Monday, July 14, 2008

lovely weekend

It really was, damn good times. Just hung out with the boy for the entirety of it. Awesome aspects included but not limited to: a new wine bar/bistro in downtown Mountain View, lots of movies, pomegranate-vodka cocktails, French food, board games, pinball, Jack Bauer, and cream puffs.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Meet Wolverine!


IMG_0093
Originally uploaded by psydereal
He's a fearless eight week old kitten. <3!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

object lust 1




Brad and I went on a fact-finding mission this weekend for a camcorder to take with us to Hawaii. I saw this baby at Fry's and was immediately drawn because it is one sexy piece of hardware. (However Sony HDR-TG1 is not a sexy name. I will call it Gisele.) We looked around, resolved to do homework, and left--and ended up making the purchase later that day. What happened to my staid not-swayed-by-style boyfriend? I'm not sure but I'm not complaining.

Expect plenty of stupid videos to fill this space soon, once I figure out how to use video editing software! Speaking of, does anyone who reads this know anything about video editing that they'd like to share? I'm a complete novice.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

IM digest

me: d00d i had the yummiest steak last night
i don't know how people can be vegetarian
even when i tried to be for two months earlier this year, i had a swanky-steakhouse exemption
Ben: um...cause some people believe it's morally wrong to kill an animal.
me: nothing is morally wrong when it tastes that good

lily: how could you hate ben gibbard--he made the postal service and the death cabs
me: i hate how condescending his music is
and he's ugly
ilyneko: hes beautiful as a person
and he makes music about the true hurts in life
Note: I don't think that the person who wrote "Someday You Will Be Loved" is a beautiful person.

Brad: Holy crap
Our camera can record at 240 fps for 3 second bursts
I don't know if we'll use it, but that's cool as hell
I see slo-mo kitties in our future

Birthday dinner

I took B out for his birthday last night and I tried to find pictures of some of the dishes we ate but failed. That's too bad because the meal was incredible. We went to Alexander's steakhouse in Cupertino (actually that website has some really awesome food pictures but not of what we had!). In any case, amazing food, wonderful company, god damn shelling out for a meal once in a while is completely worth it.

If you couldn't tell, I'm super glad to have my boyfriend back, even if it's only for a couple of weeks. :)

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Look at Banner!


Look at Banner!
Originally uploaded by psydereal
Part of the awesome banner I put up in B's apartment for his homecoming. We've been watching a lot of Arrested Development. Also, sharks rule.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Budgets. Damn am I growing up?

Over the past few months I've edged toward abandoning my laissez-faire attitude toward personal finance. For the past few years I've basically been operating under the conditions where I have enough disposable income to do most fun things I want, but live in an area where the prospect of buying a place without a second income involved is more or less impossible (and frankly damn hard even when you have someone else helping!). So if I have money to do something in my checking account at this very moment, yay, let's do it! That was literally my only attempt at budgeting. While it's been going all right I suppose, I realized that in the near future I'm going to want to contribute to the down payment on a house. In order to actually save money, I'm going to have to change my approach.

I remembered my friend using online budgeting software a few months ago so I pinged her today to ask what she used. I started my account at mint.com this evening and plugged in most of my accounts, and fiddled with it. Looking at the trends chart, from Feb-now, the largest money-sink in my life is, naturally, the roof over my head. Nothing much you can do about that one. My second largest money-sink is the car. Thank God I just made my final car payment so my expenditure in that category will be vastly reduced despite gas prices.

The final significant category that I've decided to focus on reducing is on Personal Care. This consists of the trainer, the monthly fees for the climbing gym, and bi-monthly visits to a (pricey!) salon to turn my blond hair dark brown. I've decided to ditch the trainer--I feel that I've made a lot of progress and the amazingness of my ass after past year should be motivation to go to the gym myself and do the occasional set of squats and lunges. If I need some help for special occasions in the future, I can add this back into the mix, but for the mean time I'm going to rely on my internal motivation for a while and see how that goes. I'm not going to resort to cutting back on the hair stuff yet, I'd have to be desperate for cash to do that. ;)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Ur doing it wrong!

A blogger-who-shall-remain-nameless asked today, what is the most cliche life lesson you know? I've had this on my mind for some time now, so it's as good a time as any to write about it. The most cliche life lesson that I've been knocked on my ass by is that when you meet the one, you just know. Every time I'd heard that in the past, I had rolled my eyes at such a trite thing, either internally or externally depending on if I was in the line of sight of the speaker.

I'd attributed the cliche to our human brain and its wonderful tendency toward hindsight bias. Of course you're going to say that you always knew the person was the one on your wedding day. No matter what you thought of them as you were getting to know each other, you're going to enhance the feelings through your memory to be greater than they were. Hindsight bias, now that made logical sense to me. Meeting someone and in a short time realizing that you were going to be spending your life with that person? Complete and utter nonsense!

Until naturally, it happened to me. I'm telling you, I'd much rather be wrong and happy than right and unhappy, but I'd always wanted those people to be wrong. I'd always wanted to be better than them, more logical. Alas, it was not meant to be. However, now that I'm here, I wouldn't have it any other way.

This experience, and how much it has differed from ones I've had in the past, hammered home another life lesson, which while not a cliche, I strongly feel should become one--If love is hell, you're doing it wrong.

Bike rage

I did a search for "bicycle road rage" but only seemed to find incidents of car drivers having road rage against cyclists. I am not having an easy time finding people discussing cyclists having road rage! Maybe no one admits to it? Maybe this is because when car drivers road rage against cyclists there are more harmful immediate consequences (like, cyclist death and injury) whereas when a cyclist is overcome by road rage it mostly takes the form of trying to memorize car details and fantasizing about finding them and beating the crap out of them? Not that I would know or anything...

I was biking to work today when every single cop in the city decided they needed to be where I was going. The road I bike on to work is treacherous for bikers at the best of times in this location--you have to cross a lane of freeway-bound traffic to get from one bike lane to another on top of a hill, it totally sucks. At this time however, three lanes of car traffic were smooshed up together on the right side of road to let the police through. No one was moving and I had no bike lanes at all. So I'm weaving through the stopped cars trying to get to a place where everything made more sense and was not absolute chaos when this lady yells out her window "Are you out of your mind?!?!"

I replied. "Maybe. What the fuck do you suggest I do here?" and continued on with my route-finding, while ignoring the (thankfully brief) urge to stop, go back (her car was stopped, she wasn't going anywhere) and give her piece of my mind and possibly break a few laws.

Seriously, I never have these problems behind a steering wheel. I leave that to my little sister who had her license revoked for six months because of an incident of road rage. I might curse at someone who's behaving in a particularly dumbtarded manner, but I never have brief moments of contemplating their death or how I might drag them out of their car by their hair. I'm a very non-violent person normally. What changes when I get on a bike?

One other point--damn do emergency vehicles make things dangerous for bikers! People in their cars hear sirens, panic, and swerve over to the right without even looking! If they don't get dangerously close to hitting me, there's the problem of my lane completely disappearing. It's totally not cool.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Please stop it with the 100 pushups thing!

I don't know what happened but in the past 24 hours I seem to see this thing about training to do 100 pushups everywhere. How did this start? Why does everything think this is a great idea? So here's my PSA for the day: STOP IT.

For one thing, it's a very unbalanced training regimen. If you aren't throwing some rows, lat pull-downs, or pull-downs in there are on a regular basis you're setting yourself up for really buff chest and tricep muscles and little weakling back and bicep ones. While I think that's silly on an aesthetic level, apparently such imbalance also puts strain on your joints and can cause injury.

Also, what is the effing point of getting really really good at one upper body exercise? The only thing you're going to get good at is doing pushups. The second you try to do anything else with your upper body you're going to either fail or be in incredible pain the next day because it used one of the muscles not worked by pushups. There's a reason there's dozens of different versions of pushups, pullups, squats, and lunges. Changing the position of your limbs slightly when you do these exercises works the muscle in a different way or focuses on a different muscle. If the goal is to develop overall upper body strength, you need to do a variety of strength exercises, with (oh yeah) balance. If the goal is just to get really really really good at one pointless exercise, I'm just confused.

So I'm going to go for a swim. If I can't convince you that the 100 pushups thing is dumb, please throw in a few reps of seated rows in there now and again kthnx!

Monday, June 23, 2008

<3

Just found out today, randomly at the gym no less, that there's a new Girl Talk album out. Girl Talk is my hero. They're doing the Radiohead model where you pay whatever you want for the download.

I'm through the second track. <3 Girl Talk.

Weekend at the River


IMG_9156
Originally uploaded by psydereal
I just had a wonderful relaxing weekend at my friend's parent's house in the Tahoe area. It was so nice to be out there. For one thing, the thinner air makes me sleep like a baby, which is nice. It's also been a while since I hung out at someone's parent's house. You just don't do that much when most of your friends are transplants, and it's nice--parents take good care of you, always make sure you are well fed and comfortable. I miss having parents nearby!

The river was fun except for the snake. I was swimming in the river and my friend screams my name. I turn around and there's a snake with coloring resembling that of a rattler in an S-shape right in front of my face! Apparently I handled it rather gracefully, I don't remember exactly what happened I just knew that I got the hell away as fast as I could.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Evangelizing Web 2.0--Fail.

In the past year or so I've really learned to love Google Reader. At first I used it because of several friends of mine that have extremely sporadically updated blogs. I will never check the sites regularly, but if they do wake from their comas to post I want to know about it. Add the feeds to Reader and get notified of updates via the iGoogle widget, and I am golden. Usage started out slow, but my collection of subscriptions slowly grew to encompass most of my reading material and some new discoveries. My favorite part of this is that I can share items and things that I share automagically show up in my friend's feeds as well (not to mention showing up in my FriendFeed). It's gotten to the point that I barely ever leave Google Reader when looking for browsing material, it's all right there which is fabulous.

I lose major geek cred points for admitting this openly, but I'm not really into the whole webcomic thing. I read xkcd regularly, but that's only because it's about my life. B. and I wondered at one point if they've bugged my bedroom because of a few instances where random features of conversations we'd had would show up in the comic the next day. I'm know that I'm supposed to love Achewood but it's too inside-jokey for me, and I'm not going to sit around for an entire day reading back story just to be one of the cool kids.

My dear B. though, is rather obsessed. And I noticed he would check the sites manually daily, which I sought to correct for him. This is a procedure that should definitely be automated. I finally got him to give it a shot, but apparently many of these webcomic sites do not have RSS feeds. My jaw hit the floor. To me, a publisher of web content without an RSS feed is like an opera singer with laryngitis. This can't be true...can it? In any case, my subject was less than impressed with the technology, and my attempt at winning my boyfriend over to the dark side was a spoonful of fail.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Road Rage

I don't really suffer from road rage when I'm driving a car, but I notice that I get the worst case of it almost every time I bike to work. The most recent occurrence of this was last week. I was driving on a two-lane road with no bike lane and keeping a few feet away from parked cars on the side of the road as every biker should to avoid getting "doored." However, some jackass in a silver BMW apparently didn't know that the law gives me as a biker full use of the lane, and decided to honk his horn at me for delaying him for a few seconds. As he passed me, I looked up to memorize what the car looked like and dead serious with no thought said aloud "I am going to find you and fucking kill you."

I then giggled at myself for being so melodramatic, but for those few seconds, I was in a cold rage. Scary stuff. I wonder why this happens to me when I'm on two wheels but not four?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Why are you standing so still?

I gave in to temptation this morning and let myself peek in the lives of some people from the past. I'm not really sure what I wanted to find. Did I want to see the my ex-boyfriend and "the other woman" in domestic bliss to torture myself or something? Or to try to torture myself, as I don't really think it would bother me all that much these days. To poke myself to see if there was still sensation somewhere? I'm not sure what I really wanted, but it was a slight itch, and I was bored, so I scratched it. Of course I was disappointed. I wasn't looking at the right timeslice for drama of any kind. If you stop following these things you really lose the thread, which is the whole point I suppose. Anyhow, it was boring, a total let down. Everyone still seems to be in the same place.

That always happens when I look in on people from the past--they seem to be in exactly the same space. Maybe this is just an affect from the me-centeredness of my universe, but it seems to me that I just can't stop changing. I am so different now from the person I was a year ago, in many different ways. I had changed from the year before as well, and the year before that. At times I feel as if adversity makes us change more rapidly than we would normally, and I think I've faced a bit of personal adversity in the past few years, thus the amount of rapid change. I think all of these changes are a positive thing, I don't regret any of them. I've learned so much and am happy with the person I am and the place I am in my life--extremely happy.

It makes me wonder though--how can all these people stand still when I am moving so fast?

Monday, June 9, 2008

Today's hot topic is...

I have been a Barack Obama supporter from day zero, but watching the coverage of Hilary's concession on Saturday made me feel a little bittersweet. Don't get me wrong, I've been waiting for this thing to be over since Super Tuesday. I don't know, maybe it's the feminist part of me stirring or something. I do in fact feel that the sexism has been a huge issue in her campaign, and I feel bad about that. The things that certain cable pundits have gotten away with saying are pretty terrible. I think Hilary's candidacy has been a good thing for women overall--I think she did pave the way for someone else to win this in the future, and I think learning that sexism isn't as dead as we thought it was might be a valuable lesson.

Pardon my elementary take on the subject, I've never been a particularly good student of feminist theory, but the way I see it, women are (or have been in the past) disadvantaged in three ways: institutionally, culturally, and biologically. We've gone a long way in getting things equal institutionally--I have access to an equal quality of education and equal job opportunities as my male peers. The fact that a lot of women in Generation Y see this as no big deal is somewhat of an insult to the feminists who paved the way for us, but also can be seen as a sign of progress. There are still issues with pay equality, some glass ceiling stuff to work through, but for the most part, we're good there.

As for biology--well, that's kind of a tough one to change. Given the current medical technology, we can't make my reproductive scenarios as equally varied and un-tethered in time as a guy's. Maybe someday. However, this is one of the gender inequalities that most chafes me in my life.

Cultural sexism is what I think was most encountered by the Clinton campaign, and another thing that really bites me in my life right now. The fact is that culture is afraid of strong women. Part of the reason that the campaign went on so damn long is that Hilary was most appealing as a candidate when she was down. The second she was seen as an underdog, as she was seen as picked-on or ganged up against, the voters seemed to rush to her defense, in the same way that Martha Stewart became a much more popular figure after she was knocked down a peg and put in prison. A woman is only appealing when she's down. In the same vein, why is it that a man can raise his cachet with the opposite sex by becoming more successful, while the more success a woman attains she's less attractive in the dating market?

I was composing this entry earlier today but later had a conversation with my boyfriend about a book he was reading, and we started discussing good books in general. I mentioned a few (Memiors of a Geisha and Girls in Trucks) that I remember enjoying recently and he, half jokingly I think, dismissed them as chick books. Why is a book/movie with a female protagonist almost instantly dismissed in our culture as something for chicks? Why are men the default and women the "other"? It's these kinds of cultural things that I feel are the current battleground for fighting sexism. Culture takes a lot longer to change than it takes to pass a few laws, but is several orders of magnitude faster than biology, so I'm somewhat optimistic.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Hawaii

The boy and I are planning a September trip to Hawaii, the island of Kauai to be exact, and I could not be more excited. Unlike most residents of California, I haven't even been once. Boy just left for three weeks in Arkansas for work, which makes me sad, but I'm making the best of it by being all industrious-like.

I've recently re-discovered how awesome libraries are. They're free, and you're not stuck with piles of books you'll never re-read again that you are required to schlepp between apartments. It's fabulous. I found some recent Kauai guides at the local library yesterday, and spent quite a few wine-soaked hours pouring over them and planning out fun things to do on the island. (This was when I wasn't coaching my friend in the finer points of GTA IV and watching him go on cop-killing sprees.)

I wonder if I'm doing myself a disservice by planning things out so far in advance. Will I psyche myself out before the actual trip? I'm going to go with no, I doubt it. I haven't been on a real vacation since Thailand a year and a half ago, so I have the right to be stoked.

Monday, May 19, 2008

What an awesome weekend!


I can barely walk due to a combination of sadistic trainer, uphill hike, and bay to breakers, but it was quite a bit of fun.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Irony

me: i do lots of things ironically

B: Yeah, me too. I'm trying to cut back though
I'm... not sure why.

me: oh is irony dead?
i was wondering that myself
i'd noticed that i'd cut back recently as well

B: Which... oh my god. Plug your ears so your brain doesn't explode

me: haha
go ahead

B: It's kind of ironic. Because the hipster mentality is that once something becomes popular, it's no longer cool. So by discarding irony because it's popular with hipsters...
GAAAAAAAAAAAAAH
The irony is collapsing in on itself. I think our tendency to cut back is born of a desire not to implode
But in so doing, feeds into the irony vortex
Oh god. You can't escape irony
Fighting it only makes it stronger!

me: i love you

B: I love you too.
:)

Coachella, very late

Here's Coachella from the point of view of the iPhone photographs that I sent to my boyfriend as updates over the weekend. I had an amazing time and this is in no way a comprehensive overview. :) Also, these are in reverse order.

Giant inflatable pig over the crowd during Roger Waters' set. This was an epic set by the way. Everyone in the group was completely amazed and surprised at how amazing it was. I was not. I'd seen him perform in 1999 in Kansas City and was blown away then. Good to know not much has changed in nine years.



I was standing right beside Elijah Wood for the entirety of Gogol Bordello's set and managed to get a decent photo without attracting attention and looking like a total stalker. He is an incredibly small person! Apparently he's dating one of the drummer/dancer girls for Gogol Bordello which explains his presence there. I'd never heard of the band before this, but the set was really high energy and a lot of fun.


The Tesla coil.


The outdoor stage while the National was playing as the sun went down.


Silver balloons in the dance tent while Adam Freeland was playing.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Skydiving!

From the better-late-than-never file, I want to write about the experience I had a week and a half ago of skydiving over Monterey Bay. It's one of those things that I had always wanted to do, but I kind of got roped into this accidentally. My friend D sent out an evite for indoor skydiving in a vertical windtunnel, and I was down for that no problem. Only a few people responded positively to that idea though, so D was all, "Why don't we just go for the real thing instead?" At that point it seemed too late to say no, so before I knew it, I was headed down south with five other friends to jump out of a plane at 15,000 feet.

I was a bit nervous while we were hanging around at the hangar. This transferred itself to full on panic when my tandem instructor slapped a harness on me and started explaining what we were going to do. He kept saying things like "Okay, when we get to the door of the airplane you're going to get down on your knee like this, and tilt your head back, and..." and all I could think of was "No I most certainly am NOT!" No one else in my group was really freaking out all that badly, but I was going nuts.

They drove us to the drop zone, as we were in the second group to go up, and when I saw the first group open their parachutes and descend from the sky my anxiety faded away because I thought it looked like a ton of fun. Then we got on the plane, and I was fine. I think that's when others in my group started to get a bit nervous however, watching the person before them jump out of the plane really freaked them out I think.

I was the last person to jump out of the plane, and I was just so focused on walking with another person attached to my back that I didn't watch anyone else fall out of the plane or anything. I got to the door and down on my knee like I was told to on the ground and I don't remember being scared at all, just looking at all that ground below me and thinking "Wow, that's awesome." Then we rocked back and fell out of the plane, whee!

It only felt like falling for a second or two, then it just felt like floating with a LOT of wind. I wasn't falling, the plane was going away. Bye plane! It was pretty cold, I wished I'd had gloves or something. 70 seconds of freefall, then parachuting down, which I thought was super fun and would love to try again, to control the parachute and everything myself.

The adrenaline/endorphin rush lasted for several hours afterwards. I was sitting on the concrete in the sun with my friends afterwards, we were giggling at everything and proud of ourselves for doing it.

I didn't get a video, but David did. Enjoy.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Discuss

(Discussing the article discussed in this blog post)

Maggie: Like boys don't swoon over Obama
please
me: haha
Maggie: EVERYBODY swoons over obama
me: chris matthews gets tingles up his legs
he said so on the teevee
Maggie: there you go
me: yeah, seriously, the biggest piece of evidence in supporting her premise is the article itself
Maggie: Word
me: i think the flaw in logic here is that she's blaming women for being dumb, when it's actually humans who are dumb
Maggie: Congrats, Charlotte Allen. You've successfully proven that women you are stupid
me: Humans: Really evolution, is this the best you can do?
Maggie: Case in point: Multiple editors (probably of both sexes) at the Washington Post who thought this poorly-sourced, pointless ball of ranting was even remotely newsworthy.
Evolution: Ur doin it wrong
me: put that caption on a picture of charlotte allen
as a rebuttal
Maggie: Oooh, now I'm getting to the part where a professional writer bitches that escapist fiction isn't exactly true to real life and, thus, women are dumb.
There's going to be a dent on this desk when my head is through hitting it
me: because men don't read COMIC BOOKS
Maggie: Which totally aren't soap operas + explosions
Wow, the stupid burns.
me: yeah. i thought you'd like that. and by like, i mean enjoy making fun of.
Maggie: Poke Charlotte Allen with sticks!
Ok, I have to get back to making my house a home and caring for men and children now....by which I mean, conduct an interview about the science behind anti-addiction medications.
me: :)
Maggie: You have fun making your house a home, by which I mean programming computers for one of the most successful companies in America

Monday, February 25, 2008

Vegetarianish

Weird moment, I was leaving the apartment and my cat was reacting to this, and I thought about animals we keep as our pets and the emotions they show. This isn't just the familiar tendency of the human brain for anthropomorphizing everything that we encounter--there are studies of empathy in mice. This is pretty dopey of me, but I thought of how cool it is to do something that provokes joy in an animal.

This lead to the thought of video footage I'd seen last week of cruelty to sick cows in a California slaughterhouse.

Oh no, I thought next. I have to be a vegetarian.

I don't want to be a vegetarian. I live in the California Bay Area. Everyone and their mother here is a vegetarian, and when I hear people talk about how they are, or how they can't eat here because things have meat in them, I roll my eyes on the inside. Also, let me state for the record that I have no problem with the raising, killing, and eating of animals for food. Dead animals taste delicious.

What I do have a problem with is raising animals in horrible conditions, torturing them, making them sick, and then eating them for food. I also have a problem (and have for a long time--just not enough to push me over the edge to vegetarianism before) with the environmental impact of eating meat:

According to a 2006 United Nations initiative, the livestock industry is one of the largest contributors to environmental degradation worldwide, and modern practices of raising animals for food contributes on a "massive scale" to air and water pollution, land degradation, climate change, and loss of biodiversity...In addition, animal agriculture has been pointed out as one of the largest sources of greenhouse gases — responsible for 18% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions as measured in CO2 equivalents. By comparison, all transportation emits 13.5% of the CO2.


So today was day one of my trying vegetarianism for the first time in, oh, thirteen years. I'll see how it goes. I hope that I don't become a sanctimonious asshole.

Oh yeah and I'm still eating sushi. I've got to draw the line somewhere.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

the following takes place between 6:00 and 7:00

I'm watching put the window as the sun rises in la over shabby one story buildings, power lines, and fast food restaurants. I still hate the very essence of this horrible city. One thing I do love though--seeing a helicopter rise over the freeway and thinking "dude I bet jack bauer is in there.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Thursday, January 31, 2008

watching people watching 2 girls 1 cup

Slate has a collection of videos featuring people's reactions to viewing the infamous 2 girls 1 cup video. I thought it was awesome. And no, I still haven't watched the video myself. And no, I'm not going to post a video of myself watching it for the first time, though now that I've thought of the idea, I might have to do this. Damn. I thought I was going to be able to get out of watching this.

This reminds me of a conversation I was having with a college friend of mine yesterday. He's been chilling in the backwoods of Morocco for two years doing Peace Corps stuff. His life sounds like the polar opposite of mine. When I asked him what he does with his time there, his reply was "read a little, write a little. sleep a full night. cooking. hanging out at the corner store. take a walk. find some man on the other side of town takes an hour." Apparently he sleeps nine hours a night and twelve is not uncommon. So zen, he plans nothing in advance: "I asked a guy if he could make some deserts we like today and he said something like "god makes all things" which isn't true."

A thought struck me--holy christ, this friend of mine has never touched the glory that is the iPhone. And even more incredible, to me, he didn't know what a lolcat was. I sent him some links and he was incredibly confused. Then came the most disturbing part of the conversation...

s: we are looking at these. and dont really get them.
i do like the one with the cat food. what is this stuff? this is really odd. i thought i was like "cutting edge" to download the new timbaland.
x: it's like, a geeky internet meme
it was my favorite thing in the world for like six months
s: yeah. i figured it was exactly that. which is cool. but that stuff passes us completely. and part of me is like "gosh I really wish I was in on that" and part of me is like "bfd". I kinda feel the same way about the pres campaign, which as you know, is unlike me.
x: oh there will be many many years to be in on that
you'll never get the magic of lolcats, which is a huge loss
but on the upside, you don't have any idea what britney spears is up to
which is a blessing
s: o no. we follow that dumb shit.
x: ugh, seriously?
s: she shaved her head, went to "a place to relax", claimed she was the antichrist, her sister is knocked up, got a tattoo, lost her kids. this stuff, we follow.
x: wow. i find it sad that even in the backwoods of morocco you can't escape this crap
s: this crap, we follow and gossip about. its not that we cant escape, i think its that we like to gossip and its the easiest crap to follow with no deep reasoned discussions of policy


Which is a good point but is there no place in the world to hide?

Monday, January 28, 2008

mad knitting skillz--i has dem


Mad skillz is probably an overstatement. I learned to knit a while ago, and have recently picked up the sticks again to knit scarves for homeless people with a group my friend founded. The picture above is the three scarves that I am waiting to bring to the group when we meet this week. Since I've been recently struck down with a strange illness that makes me too exhausted to do much of anything, I've been knitting a LOT. Usually while obsessing over the Democratic primary elections with (yumm) Anderson Cooper.

Seriously, what is wrong with me? I set out to write a blog post about knitting and politics and I still end up veering towards sex.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Pre-Coachella Homework, Friday

The announcement of the Coachella lineup and tons of new full tracks on last.fm coincided so I've been listening to some new (to me) bands from Friday, but before I talk about that, my first impressions of Friday were that I was absolutely stoked to see...

The National would otherwise strike me as fairly generic, but Slow Show is an amazing track. Stars is my favorite Canadian indie rock band evah! Battles--hooray for math rock! Aesop Rock put out an amazing album last year, Jens Lekman is so damned endearing. Dan Deacon rocked my socks off when he opened for Girl Talk in September. Diplo strikes me as poor man's Girl Talk, but I'll take it.

Unfamiliar stuff I'll be looking forward to checking out at the festival:
Mum - I no longer hold the opinion that IDM is a sourge that should be wiped from the planet, and this is pretty dope. After listening to the entire album--really dope.
Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings - Funk is awesome. The fact that only 30 second samples are available here and I have to put on my pirate hat to sample this stuff is not.
Busy P - Daft Punk's manager? Wow. Must download more.