Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Hamburgers: A Gateway Vice

I had fabulous lunch with Z the other day (one of the three excellent friends I got out of the divorce (layoff) with The Company Which Shall Not Be Named). Ok, lunch (the food) was mostly just ok, but the company was fabulous, and the conversation was inappropriate (as usual). After all, this is the man who is consistently considered a "nice guy" and assumed to be innocent as well.

Don't get me wrong, he IS extremely kind: a stellar example of friendship and caring and all that shit. But he's a sneaky fucker who hides a seriously sick sense of humor and dirty mind under a fedora and an "I'm a nice guy" smile. I mean, the man RULES at Cards Against Humanity. He's pretty much just awesome. For example: he recently threw the following into an email to all of us: Once again my penis is more trouble than it's worth. Which is a bummer because in general we get a long pretty well, it's just sometimes I am very disappointed in him. Then again sometimes I do things that assuredly make my penis be disappointed in me. So I guess we are even.

Luckily,  HE remembered what we talked about that day and thus saved this post, because I have the memory of a fucking gnat and needed his help 20 minutes after the conversation to remember.

Anyway, we were discussing 50 Shades (which will not die!) and why it's so horrid. In true random fashion, I received this as an explanation for his openmindedness. No, that's not a single word. Yes, I did just write it that way.

I hated hamburgers until I was 14. I don't know why: I just didn't like them. Then at drama club I had a McDonald's hamburger because I was starving and it was the only thing available, and it was awesome. AWESOME. Why the fuck didn't I like these things??

I learned my lesson: now I'll try anything once, because what the fuck, I love hamburgers!

Of course, this began a whole discussion on what sorts of things have been tried in our sordid pasts. Z's is more sordid than mine, believe me, but those are his stories to tell if he wants to. Let's stick with mine for now:

Weed*: I've been a participant at a Renaissance Festival now for over a decade. I've had plenty of opportunities to smoke pot, but I have to say: WEED + HAY FEVER = BAD BAD BAD HEADACHE. Fail, people. Fail. I can't even be around it. Also, I think pot smells like death (I also think lilies reek of death, so don't take my word for it): like rotting sweet things. Ish.

Alcohol: Yeah. My viking heritage HOSED me on this one, because I really like the taste of a good whiskey or mojito, but my body doesn't process it well. Sigh. Once (again, during Fest, because it's a wonderfully bad fucking influence on me!) I polished off a smaller bottle of Captain Morgan myself. This was not long after Husband and I moved in together (not married yet). I spent that night on the bathroom floor, naked, alternating between sleeping with my cheek on the nice cold tile or hugging the toilet like a goddamn lost love. Husband? He checked on me once or twice...and kindly threw a towel over me in case I got cold. He said later it wasn't worth helping me back into bed because he knew I'd just end up back on the bathroom floor anyway. He was right. But he doesnt' get hangovers at all so he irks me anyway. I still drink, but the Captain isn't welcome anymore and I rarely get more than tipsy. Sigh.

Sex: My ancient past is pretty boring, actually. For as much as I write about stuff other people tell me and even things I've done, I had the totally normal, boring enough high-school-boyfriend experiences and such until much later. And (SURPRISE!) much of my shocking exposure to alternate relationships (open marriages, polyamorous groups, summer flings) came my first few years working at fest, because it's generally a pretty nonjudgmental place. After seeing the successes and failures out there in various formats, I'm a firm believer that the best romantic relationships are those where both partners trust enough to let it all hang out, if you will, and experiment. All the different aspects to that would build a blog all by themselves, so let's just leave this as: the older I get the more open minded I am, which likely is why people tell me all their weird relationship kinks and issues. :)

Ultimately, anything can be a mind-opener. Age, experience, mistakes: learning a lesson that opens you to all new possibilities can't be a bad thing.

Hamburgers and Ren Fest....what's opened YOUR mind to the possibilities in life?

*I'm a bit of a control freak, therefore no other drugs have ever appealed to me. Call me crazy, but I like being in charge of my actions. Hell, I don't even get tipsy outside of my house unless I KNOW certain people are around to watch my back. Paranoid? Sure am!

PS: Fail, spellchecker. I beg to differ: Mojito is indeed a word. And a fucking tasty beverage, too.

Friday, July 27, 2012

UPDATED AGAIN (WTF?): Um, That's MRS. Titts, Actually.

Once again it's nearly time for the MN Renaissance Festival to begin. I've worked at Fest now for twelve years. I've been a t-shirt-and-mug-pusher, a beer wench, a balloon blower, a calligrapher, a gate guard, and even an entire BAND for the bellydancers (that's right, I OWNED running that ipod, bitches).
And still after all that time, I'll be "Mrs. Titts." Because my husband's been at Fest every season for over 20 years, and at least 95% of the regulars don't know his actual name: just his nickname. Of course, those who DO know him outside of that environment often call him Titts anyway, because he doesn't usually answer to his actual name out there. Snort.

A side effect of my introvertedness is that a lot of people often don't remember my name (he does introduce me as ME, people): they just remember I'm Titts's wife. It would grate on my self esteem a little, except that I generally don't want to know all those acquaintances we only see at Fest anyway: I have all the drama and relationship-sustaining duties I can handle. Ha!

However, should I start that sex/relationship/advice blog I keep thinking about, it'll decidedly be "Mrs. Titts" related, because I can't make that shit up. Perhaps "That's MRS. Titts To You."

Ideas? Thoughts?

In other news, Husband (lordy, I should just start calling him Titts here so he has a nickname instead of an office title) is either amused or baffled because I put "hair doodies" as an option on my birthday list. More about birthdays later, I'm sure, but he's been hounding me about the word "doodies" all day. It's probably not even a word... NOPE! According to spellchecker it's not. Fuck you, spellchecker.

UPDATE: To clarify, I'm pretty happy as Mrs. Titts in general. :) The people who make it through the first border of STAY-AWAY-FROM-ME all know my real name, and I'm quite happy they've remembered, but I'm just as happy having an alternate name in a place with so many random people. It's a buffer. I use it as such pretty shamelessly. The week or two before Fest is just a little weird as I work on putting on "Mrs. Titts." It's a like corset...perfect in certain situations, but it's not all I wear. :)

What the hell. Clearly I wrote this post REALLY poorly, judging from the snarky responses I've gotten. This post is about me being a big weenie and hiding behind my husband's amusingly inappropriate nickname at a place where I 1) don't know NEARLY as many people as he does and 2) often get overwhelmed by too many peeps, anxiety kicks in, and I don't always want to be known by every goddamn participant and patron on the grounds.

This post is NOT about whether you know my husband's real name. If you've known him since you were kids, went to school with him, have been to our house, have fucked him, have had drinks with him outside of fest...etc etc etc etc OF COURSE you know his real name. Good for you! The fact remains there is a large Fest population I don't ever see or know outside of that microcosm...and to them I'm perfectly happy to remain Mrs. Titts. In case you missed the point, that's what I was writing about.

Also, it's apparent that not only was this particular topic a fail humor-wise (that's cool, I can't always be funny) it was also a pretty epic fail for my anxiety, since I've been irritated over this all goddamn day and rewrote crap here a zillion times.

FYI: I exaggerate. A lot. Get used to it.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Why Kristen Stewart isn't the devil

I made some fantastically stupid mistakes in my teens and twenties. I managed to stay out of jail and brothels, but I still had plenty of asshole moments. For instance: I skipped 90% of my lecture hall classes for the first two years of college. I tried to have a one night stand with a guy my friend introduced me to (fail, but that's another story). I stayed in a relationship where I was never the girlfriend (always just a friend) and rarely given affection or romance. Stupid. There are a LOT of examples...

And when I was 22, I cheated on my boyfriend with the 41 year old Scottish driver I met on my tour of Ireland. That's right. I was 22, he was 41, it was a fun vacation fling, and it resulted in the end of my relationship when I got home. Because I was stupid.

I'm remarkably lucky: not only because I was able to make mistakes and learn from them, but because I didn't have to deal with international idiots during the fallout.

Over a decade later, I can look back and say "dumbass, why didn't you END a broken relationship before you fucked someone else...for their accent...and why fuck someone for an accent anyway?" (DAMN Scottish accents: that's some powerful stuff!) Because I learned from my mistake, and forgive my younger self for being a stupid asshole. I also don't have a zillion Twitterers attacking every aspect of my life under a microscope. I don't have TMZ following me, slavering for photographic evidence of any misstep I make and broadcasting it to the world.

People, even celebrities, are human. Humans fuck up, regularly. A LOT of those fuck ups are relationship and/or sex driven. Human nature is to focus on the most salacious public falls from grace, but the sick fascination we have for barely-out-of-teen mistakes is really pretty disgusting.

Honestly, I'm not a fan of the Twilight crap (again, another post). I'm also not a huge fan of Kristen Stewart's work, although I DO want to see her Snow White. *shrug* I highly doubt she gives a hoot whether I enjoy her acting or not. I also (GASP) don't give a SHIT who she sleeps with, whether that person is married or not, and whether she breaks up with her boyfriend over it. Why? Because I don't know her, I don't know the circumstances of her life or relationships or anything other than what Huffington Post, US Weekly, TMZ, and Twitter have posted. Shockingly, I don't think any of them are all that accurate...and to be fair, I don't care.

But, the level of horrible things I've seen said about this 22 year old is just...gross. I think public skewering for something so fucking stupid, so trivial in the scheme of everyone else's lives, is 100% asshole behavior. There are six people's lives ACTUALLY involved in this stupidity: everyone else needs to focus on stuff that actually matters in life.

Like how to get Kevin McKidd or Gerard Butler to show up at my door...

Monday, July 23, 2012

I'm not a sex therapist, but I play one occasionally (Not on TV)

This post is likely ok for work, but not safe for prudes or children. If you're either, go away.

I'm an introvert.If you're a Meyers Briggs aficionado, I'm usually an INFP...meaning I'm an introverted intuitive feeling perceptor (I don't remember what the N means, and I'm too lazy to look it up). What the fuck does that MEAN?

It actually sucks energy from me to be in a big group of people, causing quite a bit of anxiety and frustration on my part (because I often WANT to be social, but I sort of suck at it). This occasionally makes me a horridly out-of-touch, no-I-hate-people-right-now sort of friend. Those I'm lucky enough NOT to drive away with my regular bouts of STAY AWAY FROM HUMANS* are coincidentally the friends willing to help as well as needing help. Those inner circle types are few in my world. I digress, as usual, and likely you've stopped reading because you thought this was a sexy post. Ha!

It means people who need to disclose their issues gravitate to me, whether they know me or not. Now to be fair, strangers usually talk to me about relationship issues and leave sex out of the conversation. Random taxi drivers tell me ALL about their recent breakup during the hour long drive from Denver to the airport. I'm not making that up.

Friends and acquaintances have a fascinating mix relationship and sex issues, and they all talk to me about all of it. Cheating, love, crushes, marriage, divorce, sex, kink, the whole shebang. (indeed the word "s/he bang" was intentional. Because I'm clever. Occasionally.)

Seriously, it happens so often I've considered starting a sex advice blog (on an "adult" blog, obviously). This is occasionally awkward, often hilarious, and occasionally inspiring.

Well of COURSE I have an example.

A friend once came to me about her love life because she had issues orgasaming during sex and thought there was something wrong with her. This isn't unusual: happens to a LOT of women, but the reason why she has trouble trusting men enough to relax was...different. Her (ex)live-in boyfriend woke her up one night in trouble, needing help. Innocent to the different forms of kink in the world AND mostly still asleep, imagine her surprise when she found him stuck to the living room furniture, pants around his ankles, terrified and begging her to take him to the hospital.

He was into anal, you see. Receiving as well as giving, although she didn't know about either at the time, even after living together for over a year. He'd fastened a large dildo to a table and backed himself upon it while she slept unknowing in the other room. Apparently this had been going on for quite some time with no mention of his needs to her, and no, he wasn't closeted: just experimental.

Unfortunately, he'd heard that putting mustard on the dildo "increased sensation." In reality, it hurt like a motherfucker and he swelled so much he couldn't disengage and needed help, and emergency room visit, and soon after a new apartment. And she was a little screwed up by the various facets of the fiasco for many years. I gave her some recommendations (which worked, because I'm shameless and awesome) and as far as I know all is well with her husband (NOT the mustard dildo guy).

Today, however, the Universe gave me the what-for, possibly in response to my recent non-review of "mommy porn." I put on the sex-talk-hat for a different friend. This one has been married quite some time to a woman who's consistently had problems with sex, no matter how he woos her and tries. And he does try, diligently. He loves her buttloads** and wants a good, full marriage with her, but things have been lacking for quite some time. Well, whose marriage hasn't gone through desert spells on occasion? But when the "spell" lasts for over five years there's a goddamn problem. Seriously.

Well, apparently 50 shades of...ugh...is helping and he needed some ideas on what to do, because of course he's never read it. I considered referring him to Secretary, but honestly that may be over the top to start. Instead, I was inspired to write some seriously excellent scenes for my current novel AND I referred him to a couple fun sections at Fantasy Gifts. Because we all start somewhere, and discovering your spouse is a horny woman after reading smut should be fun, right?

*I feel I should qualify my "stay away from humans" statement because it doesn't include my husband, ever. In fact, I knew he was going to be my mate exactly when I realized that even when I want NO ONE around, I still want him around. And ten years later I still do, and he still puts up with my shit, so all is well and I can be SAST (super amateur sex therapist) for other people. Yay!

**Nope, I sure don't know exactly how much a buttload is, nor what multiples of that would be. I could've used a nicer term for loving someone a lot, but...why?

My knee is no longer jerking.

It took me a few days to think through my reactions to the Aurora, CO shootings and NOT write a knee-jerk-reaction post. I saw much of the following (in a zillion variations) over the weekend on Twitter, Facebook, and various news outlets:

1) "Why were there children at an R-rated movie at midnight anyway?"
2) "This is why we need to ban all guns!"
3) Add security to movie theaters!
4) Politicians using the shootings as a platform to speak for or against guns, for or against religion, etc.
Let's cover all four, shall we?

1) Today there are a bunch of "don't blame the victim!" posts and articles on blogs, CNN, and HuffPo. The thing is, while asking why children were in the theater in the first place is indeed blaming the victim, I can't claim I didn't think the EXACT SAME THING when I first heard a 3 month old was injured and a 6 year old shot. I spent quite a bit of time considering why that was the first thought that popped into my head, because in general I loathe when parents bring toddlers/babies into an adult movie. Not because babies distract me: because it's not good for them. I've asked pediatricians in the past: movie theaters are BAD BAD BAD for babies: it's too loud for their little eardrums can cause hearing damage. It's overly stimulating, and there are a myriad of viruses/germs floating around. I can't help thinking all those things whenver I see babies and toddlers in a midnight R rated showing (and it happens a lot), so it popped in my head right away. However, I immediately killed off that thought, because it has nothing to do with the victims of the shooting. Really. And blaming the parents for their kids getting shot is just mean.

My not-professional-at-all opinion why so many people went there first: it's easier to focus on one small, trivial detail than it is to face the bigger horror. Because what happened is terrifying, it could happen anywhere, and there's no way to stop it, predict it, or prevent against it. Therefore, compartmentalizing the entire tragedy and thinking "maybe the kids wouldn't have been hurt if they hadn't been there" is a knee-jerk reaction. You may not be able to stop the asshole thoughts from popping in your head, but you don't have to share them, either. Have a little self control.

2) Gun control (and the lack thereof) are ridiculous at this stage of the grief process. And make no mistake: the nation is in shock: anger and grieving are part of the national process. However, jumping on the "BAN GUNS" or "GIVE EVERYONE GUNS" bandwagon right now is insensitive and stupid. It does NOTHING for the victims, it doesn't bring justice or stop the shooter today, and it doesn't actually get anything accomplished at this stage. It's fucking RUDE to start politicizing before the victims families are even notified, and all the media "debates" (Piers Morgan, I'm looking at you) about whether gun control would've prevented the shootings is nothing more than using a tragedy to get ratings. Gun control is a sticky issue in this country with many valid reasons on both sides of the fence (and good lordy that's a post of its own, so that's all I'll toss out there for now).
3) This morning MN news announced new "security" measures in local theaters, including no face masks, no fake weapons (as part of costumes), and no "costumes that make patrons uncomfortable.) I find this ineffectual and ridiculous, as well as COMPLETELY open to anyone's interpretation of "uncomfortable." No fake weapons? Sure. What about real ones (MN has conceal and carry laws)?
4) Using the shooting to expound a hate-filled discussion by people angry and helpless to do anything to assist the victims only creates a national feeling of fear and hate. Is a national lynch mob really what we need right now? A Texas representative immediately used the shooting NOT to say he was sorry for the families and victims, but to immediately attack non-Christians by saying "not believing in God allowed this to happen." Really, asshole? I didn't pray enough/he's an atheist/she's a Buddhist so we're to blame for this? Fuck you.  That's just the worst level of slimy politicking possible. 

Knee-jerk reactions don't need to be shared with the world, particularly if they're asshole-blame-the-victim responses. No one expects that level of tragedy. This situation is heartbreaking and terrifying to me because a fanatic cannot be stopped, and this guy is as much a fanatic as the Norway shooter a year ago. Label him insane, psychopathic, evil...whatever label he ends up with after psychoanalysts are done with him, no one could've predicted this guy would go into a crowded theater in full body armor and start killing people. Killers like this are NOT LOGICAL, they have no empathy, they have no feeling of responsibility or respect to their fellow humans. That makes them unpredictable, vicious, and violent. What if the terrifying reality is that there is no way to make sense out of him? What if there IS no way to logically predict or prevent these actions? What if there is no cause, other than the shooter's own nature?

It's easy to try to assign blame: blame the victims for being there, blame the theaters for allowing him in, blame society for allowing guns or removing God or whatever you want. Every instance of blame avoids the real issue: a man for reasons of his own decided to take lives, create chaos, and ruin our sense of security. HE'S to blame for this, and he should be punished as well as permanently removed from society so he can never harm another person again. How about instead of spreading negativity and nastiness, we all try to do something REAL to help, like paying medical bills or taking care of the victims' houses or funeral costs, or blocking the asshole Westboro picketers from the area? That's positive and helpful.

In the meantime, all my thoughts are with the victims and their families, who were in no way at fault for this asshole's rampage and in no way deserved what happened. I hope the survivors are able to heal and move on as best they can.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

UPDATED: Dirty Yodaisms and Holy Balls

Someday I'm likely going to have to pay these people for the shit they come up with to entertain me during the day.
Indeed, in an attempt to make me laugh inappropriately during meetings today, I received the following text messages:

Z: Coworker X told me a bit ago that he would rather have sex with me than the project manager. I said it's mostly because of my butt.
Me: Well that's fair, I suppose.
Z: I told X he could be big spoon. I'd be his big teddy bear.
Me: ...since he's quite shorter than you, I find that unlikely. Big spoon, I mean. Never asked if X is a butt man or not.
Z: Yeah no, he'd be like Yoda on my back. All men are butt men, Jess.
Me: Heehee...Yoda.
Z: But a Yoda trying to have sex with you. "Inside you I will go."
Me: Oh good lord, that started a whole string of dirty Yodaisms in my mind.
Z: "Daddy, is who I am."

Yes, I DID edit his name...and a couple of the Yoda-isms that I deemed too gross to read again myself. So there.

In a similarly fucked-up-yet-hilarious conversation, I received this from C the other day:

Oh hey, that reminds me I'm supposed to talk to you about seeing if we can use your contact within the viking cheerleader organization to get them to come to work The Company Which Must Not Be Named for an afternoon. To boost morale. This a request from an employee of The Company Which Must Not Be Named. So it didn't sound as skeezy coming out of his mouth as it does typing it out. Holy balls, does it sound terrible typing it out. (BTW, that's Pope Balls, Rabbi Balls, Buddha Balls, Ganesha Balls, Jesus Balls, God's Balls, Dali Lama Balls - in case you're wondering. Really the Ganesha ones are the best. Because those are holy elephant balls.)

In other news, there's a cell phone battery somewhere in the backseat of my car. Scale of one to cancer, how bad would it be if I just let it stay back there?"

I told her since it's likely to be 10,000 degrees (this was Monday and therefore MN had a heat index advisory of The Fourth Circle of Hell) and said battery could potentially explode, it was closer to butt cancer than one, and I'd likely try to find the battery.

Much discussion that day regarding other Holy Ball options: Odin's Balls, Loki's Balls (which are tricky, mind you), various other Gods' in various pantheons, as well as whether Wiccans had Blessed Tatas instead of Holy Balls, however since there are male deities in Pagan/Wiccan belief systems we decided both Blessed Tatas and the Kernos/Green Man/etc balls counted.

I love my peeps, indeedy: we're equal opportunity offenders.
PS: spellchecker refuses to acknowledge "Yoda" as a word. Fail!!
PPS: I sincerely doubt any Vikings cheerleaders would bother with The Company Which Must Not Be Named.
PPPS: There IS another person on these daily email chains, but he generally doesn't say much and sort of lurks like a damn shark, waiting until he can deliver the occasional grammatical smackdown.

UPDATE: It occurred to me after I posted this that while there were a few Yodaisms I edited out, I'm sure this would be a fabulously hilarious exercise in general. Therefore, if you have one, add it to comments!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Why I Bellydance (This is not a funny post. You probably don't want to read it).

So I'm six feet tall. This has relevance, promise. By the time I was in fourth grade I was taller than everyone else AND I was getting boobs, because nature decided I needed multiple targets for the bullies in school. Since I was about eight I've been a pretty consistent failure at being a feminine female. I've lost count of how many times I've been called "sir," regardless of makeup or the fact that I have a DD chest.

Model material, you may say...after all, aren't a lot of supermodels tall and boobaliscious? Not this girl: my body wasn't my friend. It still isn't. I've been overweight since I was young and really overweight since college. A lot of that is the same (boring!) body-hatred-punishment bullshit that I KNOW is happening but have a hard time getting over. It doesn't need to be analyzed here, because really, how fucking typical do I want to be?

I don't expect to be Marilyn Monroe or Lana Turner, sexpot extraordinaire. I don't expect to be Kate Moss either (good lord, I like food people, not drugs). Hell, I idolized Hepburn (Katherine, duh) and wanted to be Ripley. But I'd really like to love my body and work with it instead of feeling like I'm locked in constant battle with my mortal enemy. Seriously, your mortal enemy in this mortal life really shouldn't be the FUCKING BODY you pilot.

Ah well, I'm a work in progress. Aren't we all? I focus on it for a while and get lazy or distracted and decide "fuck you world, I don't care if you think I'm pretty/thin/womanly or not," but that's not the answer: ultimately it's the love/loathing dichotomy that needs to change.

Luckily, I've found one (legal-to-view-in-public) physical thing can do something pretty damn cool that a lot of women can't or don't. I can bellydance.

I found Middle Eastern dance a decade ago when I couldn't take my eyes off of Aliyah Sahar at the MN Renaissance Festival. Inspired and terrified, I LONGED to be able to move my body in that graceful, sensual way. I longed for the joy of movement and the utter joy of being female that bellydancers have.

And I found it. Over a remarkabe ten years, not only did I get to learn from Aliyah but managed (bafflingly) to become her friend, and both occurrences have been constant bright facets of my life ever since. (I'm not saying that to get free classes, FYI.)

Bellydance celebrates the female body in the best possible way, and even though it's incorrectly thought of as akin to stripping, bellydance is all about harnessing female energy and powerful beauty, regardless of a woman's size, age, race, or class. I adore the female friends I've made in the community and the support I've received even though I'm not a size 2. I adore the acceptance and encouragement and even the sparkly/jingly/makeup/girly aspects. I adore that no matter how hard class is, no matter how awkward I feel or gangly I am, for at least moment every time I dance I feel like a beautiful woman.

After a decade of awkward classes, stilted performances, frustration, joy, solos, and teaching I feel like I can say: I'm a bellydancer.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

"I rather like my lady bits - certainly enough so that I don't want to purposefully electrocute them."

Apparently some of those shoes/stuff/clothing "membership" sites (which are really just another way to fill your inbox with crap you'll rarely buy but are fabulous time-wasters at work) also hock discount "personal massagers."

Discount sex toys. DISCOUNT.

My good friend recently signed up on a clothing-membership site. For clothes. Today she said "Why am I being stalked by sex toys?" after receiving an ad from said website for discount massagers. Incidentally, this is the same friend who drove past a discarded pink dildo lying in the street by her house.

Let's explore the reasons this is ridiculous, shall we?

1) When a girl signs up for shoe/purse/dress ads, she expects to get shoe and dress ads. Since when are vibrators and dildos considered essential wardrobe items? Granted, they could be considered an accessory... if they weren't, why create lipstick-tube-sized vibrators you can keep in your purse for those "I'm so bored/horny I may as well do this" occasions? But still...not your standard wardrobe essential.

2) Why IS she being stalked by toys? Is the universe trying to tell her something rude and pornographic? Is God suggesting she get it on more? Is someone trying to drop not-so-subtle hints? I suppose she'll never know, but it does provide a shitton of baffled amusement, so that's something.

3) Three things you never ever want to hear about your personal appliances: Secondhand, Refurbished, and Discount. First two have an EWW factor so high...all I can say is if you buy used toys you likely deserve what you get. Sorry, but common sense people. Common sense.

Discount implies there's something wrong with said toy, so I said who wants defective electrical near their hoo-ha? (Why do I feel a sudden foreboding, like I just opened a can of BDSM potential I can't possibly want to read? Please don't answer either of those questions...)

She responded with "that's pretty much where the opinion that discount vibrators are not the way to go begins with me, yeah. I rather like my lady bits - certainly enough so that I don't want to purposefully electrocute them. I'm just not the kind of girl who's generally up for self-genital-mutilation. I mean, nothing else - clean up's a bitch."


PS: spellchecker doesn't recognize "Massagers," "shitton," or "hoo-ha" as words. Mwahahaha.
PPS: Thanks to you peeps who provided me with fabulous blog fodder today. :)

Monday, July 09, 2012

I fought the Con and the Con won

Fourth of July weekend in Minnesota doesn't generally involve BBQs, beach, or patriotic shenanigans for the hubs and me: for the past decade or so we've spent every 4th at CONvergence, the best, craziest, most fucked up, weirdest gathering of people I usually see all year. It's fabulous and mental, even more so than Renaissance Festival. And by the end of both events I'm peopled-out for about ten months.

The past few years I haven't had much of a good time (parties were boring, panels weren't interesting to me personally, couldn't justify the cost of hotel and a badge), so I went badgeless and staked out a table at the hotel bar (where we don't need no stinkin badges!). Acting as a spider queen (or a hooker, I guess) letting all the peeps I want to see come to ME between parties worked perfectly for my anxiety AND my lazy nature. Win!

From 7pm to 3am I drew them into my snarky web, had a wide variety of fucked up conversations, and people-watched.
  • Had dinner with a fabulously loud group of totally normal-looking people at TGIFridays. 90% of the other patrons were in various states of costume disarray, so for once we all looked totally normal. The Friday's staff were...unimpressed..in general. Neat!
  • Saw various versions of ...unfortunate...choices of costuming. Con is one of the few places everyone is generally accepted regardless of size, and I love that about it. However, a badly fitting costume that squishes and bulges where it shouldn't flatters NO ONE, and this particular Poison Ivy looked more like bulbous Poison Oak. Sigh. If she'd gotten a green leotard ONE SIZE bigger it would've been a really cool Ivy on a curvy chick. Costume fail, Ivy. Costume fail.
  • A friend of mine had Darth Vader in the crack of her ass. No really! (she'd converted a t-shirt to a skirt, and conveniently DV was in the middle, happily bouncing from cheek to crack to cheek as she walked).
  • I pointed out that the same friend sat on Vader's face every time she sat down. Husband wondered if that's why Vader has a breathing problem.
  • Various Tardi (that's right, Doctor Who-ers: I'm declaring multiple Tardisses are "Tardi") and Daleks ran the gamut from FUCKING AWESOME to "Why is that girl wearing a tin foil unicorn horn on her head. Wait, that's a Dalek? WHAT?"
  • Got in a near-argument about classism and minorities. Argumentor pissed me off by saying all arts (music, writing, art, etc) should be free and we should go back to the Patron concept. As a writer, fuck you, artists deserve to be paid for their effort. As a historian, no, you uneducated twit, poor people indeed did NOT have it better in Ancient Greece or Rome. Don't believe me? I pointed out that she can't sell herself into a ludus to pay off her student loans through Gladiatorial games these days, nor can her boss whip her for calling in sick one day. All in all, not cool: Con is for serious arguments about Star Trek, which Doctor was the best, whether Xena is still relevant (Callisto was there, so Xena IS still relevant!!), and which party has the best booze. 
  • SAVED from a lingering cranky mood from serious argumentative people when I noticed the giant Pac Man and Ghost were both wearing kilts. Because why not?
  • Arthur, King of the Britons and his knights (complete with coconut-clapping and skipping) randomly trotted their way around the Con, followed closely by the armless Black Knight.
    • If you don't understand this reference, stop reading this blog IMMEDIATELY and go watch Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Then explain to me which rock you've been sleeping under for the past 30+ years. Seriously.
  • Played Cards Against Humanity with Caprica 6, Zelda, and a few other fantabulous people. If you've never played, DO IT, but only if you're amused by offensive things. I am, because I'm inappropriate. Examples of the "answer" cards I received: Assless Chaps, Glen Beck attacked by crab spiders, which swarm out of his eyes, Twinkies, tentacle porn. The game is terribly wonderful and it's likely I'm going to hell for being so damn entertained. We'll have a game table there, too, I'm sure.
  • Sighting of Jayne Cobb hats, various versions of Hoban Wash, way too many Hunger Games characters, a plethora of men in Heroine drag (the theme was Women of Sci-Fi, therefore I saw far more hairy-chested Leias than brain bleach could possibly scrub away).
  • Possibly the cap on the evening: our friend Robert in red boxers wearing...a pink, fur lined "boat" around his body held on by suspenders. That's right, Robert came to Con as THE LITTLE MAN IN THE BOAT.
For the first time since my first date with my husband, I was out until 5am, had a fabulous time, and didn't quietly get crabby from the crowds. I call that a win, and I owe my fun to my most excellent friend who were willing to hang out off and on all night and my husband, who often has to pry me out of the house with a crowbar. My hiatus from Con is likely over...I had enough fun to justify pre-registering AND getting a hotel room for next year after three or four skipped Cons. Your wily seductions win, Convergence. See you next summer.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

UPDATED: Warning: This Post Contains Coworker GIBBERISH

Writing doesn't pay any of my bills: I write because if I didn't I'd wither away into bitterdom. Yes, I just invented a word. I'm that awesome. Or mental. Probably mental.

In my I'm-paid-to-sit-at-this-computer hours, I'm a business analyst in the medical insurance industry. Sounds boring as hell, doesn't it? Sometimes it is (generally those are days when you get multiple blog posts during the day and I'm on twitter/facebook/interwebz WAY more than I should be). Case in point: I'm writing about 10,000 UAT (User Acceptance Testing) test cases for software functionality.

Ok, I'm exaggerating. It's 1,000. I'm not kidding. Sound exciting? It's not. At all. It's tedious and nitpicky, but still better than starving my dogs to death, so I do it.

Sometimes it's challenging, interesting, and even a little fun even though I'd always rather be writing.
Or watching Xena: Warrior Princess.

Or bellydancing, which is the only hobby I've ever had that pays a little bit, and that's a neat little bonus to the fun of it. But being inherently lazy, usually I'd rather be watching Xena.
The past few years I've had a couple higher-stress gigs (one required a lot of travel which I bitched wrote about plenty already), but they were small companies with a "family" feel to them (if your family is high-drama and a lot of work). The current gig is delightfully low-stress: partly because I'm a contractor (therefore I don't EVER work over 40 hours because they'd have to pay me overtime) and partly because it's a large company with all the requisite bureaucracy.

And the requisite gossipy, snarky personalities. During all that time with nerdy developer-types I forgot hilariously annoying that many women working in the same space can be.

Of COURSE I have examples, silly! These are all from the same girl who I can only assume is a spoiled brat attention whore simply because she's so fucking loud and repetitive I'd like to ball-gag her that her inane comments make it through my headphone-filter. Oh sorry, was that snarky?
  • I hate when I see people treating their kids like pets: kids shouldn't be on leashes, that's just cruel. Because clearly she's never lost a child anywhere and is a judgy bitch.
  • It's like $100 for cable and internet. I'm not paying for HBO when all I watch is "The Young and the Restless" on Soap Network every night.
  • I can't believe you lost your kid! What kind of parent ARE you?
  • NAME REDACTED put an APB out on her kid in Macys! (please include a bitchy, snotty tone and loud self-important giggling when you read this for full effect).
  • NAME REDACTED! LEASHES ARE FOR DOGS, NOT KIDS! (In caps because she yelled it. Repeatedly. I'm only partially kidding when I suggest ball gagging her.)
  • Name Redacted, my elbow just burst. Can my elbow burst?
  • OMG YOU HAVE TO GET THEIR FRIES (again, yelling and went on about Smashburger fries for a good 10 minutes. Irritating, actually).
  • Well I'M not coming in early! Upon the supervisor asking for volunteers to work on authorized overtime. Said supervisor replied, "We already know that, Twit Coworker Name Redacted. You said so three times. We heard you."
  • UPDATE: Why are you always isolating me? (upon discovering the person across from her cube is moving out) Supervisor: "Oh Twit Cowroker Name Redacted, if we were going to isolate you we'd put you in a padded room. Or the basement where no one could hear your whining." Fucking AWESOME.
In other news, the new Starbucks guy gave me a fork with my oatmeal today. A fork with my oatmeal. WTF?

To fix my day I've ordered 4 Unicorn Fart Lip Balms from Etsy. They smell like thin mints. Fucking tubes full of AWESOME. Also, Etsy may be the devil...
This whole post was totally random and if you made it this far I love you a lot. And you may need some professional help...just sayin.

UPDATED: Unicorn Farts are on their way! WOOT!

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

I am Immodest and Uppity.

It took me a few days to blog about this because the whole situation just utterly pissed me off. Bear with me.

Recently some jackass on Facebook posted a meme that said (paraphrased, because I refuse to spread that meme around): "Dear Girls, If you don't want the attention of pigs, don't dress immodestly. - Real Men."

None of my friends resposted it, but in one of those convoluted "friend of a friend" things FB likes to pull, I saw a pretty vehement comment my friend Heather left on someone's wall and was curious. Yes, it's stupid and falls under "meaningless facebook bullshit" that I should've left alone: I don't know this guy (although he's apparently part of the Renaissance Festival community up here, so we've likely crossed paths before) and I can't fight every dumbass who posts sexist shit, right? Well I'm not always smart enough to stay out of trouble. I agreed with Heather's comments and pointed out a few things of my own, and he told me to DROP IT. So it's ok to post something demeaning and sexist on a public form but it's not ok to opine about it. Alrighty then.

Call me an immodest, uppity woman but I'm going to talk about it anyway, jerk.

1) "Dear Girls." Does the creator of this crap want a woman, or a girl? Addressing it to girls instead of women implies that "real men" don't want a "real woman" who can stand up for herself, take care of herself, and deserves the respect of an equal. Instead, it is a condescending power-grab by someone who needs to immediately put women in their place as "mere" girls who need guidance. Am I reading too much? Maybe, but it strikes a chord with me anyway.

2) The behavior of pigs. Calling a man who treats a woman like a piece of meat, like she's his property, like she's only a sex object infantalizes men AND demeans women. Men are responsible for their OWN feelings and actions, and should be called out on shitty behavior instead of dismissing it as "men are pigs." Grow the hell up and act like a person, not a rutting animal.

3) Immodest. Oh good gods, the reaction this one gives me is just boiling over. First of all, what gives this jackass the right to decide what exactly is "Immodest" dress OR behavior? Does he control the way women express their sexuality, their beauty, or their feelings? No, and he has NO RIGHT TO. What one woman considers modest another may consider risque, and vice versa. What one woman considers sexy another may consider frumpy. But this goes SO far beyond clothing.

Modesty/Immodesty is a control used to shame women into allowing their sexuality to be ruled over by male-dominated society. Too radical feminist for you? Well, that's the way it is...if you need examples: Victorian table skirts were invented to keep men from being "inflamed" by legs that would remind them of a woman's legs. The SlutWalk movement started whn cops told female college students not to dress slutty in order to not get raped, as though clothes would stop a rapist. The hair wraps/veils/etc insisted upon by various Abrahamic religions SO MEN WON'T BE TEMPTED by a woman's beauty.

Let's not even get into the recent "war on women" examples in American politics. Really...that's a post of its own.

Modesty/Immodesty is a way to blame women for the shitty behavior of some men: a rapist wouldn't have gotten you if you hadn't worn a skirt (or jeans that outline your shape, or a tank top, or a mumu for crying out loud). You wouldn't get whistled at on the street if you weren't hot. Men wouldn't grab your ass/boobs/etc if you didn't have them out in public displayed in that t-shirt/tank top/bikini.

As advanced as America is on the rights of her citizens, we still have quite a ways to go before we get to social equality. Woman are different than men: I don't dispute that. We're often raised with different mores, often deal with things differently, and often are both stuck in "approved" roles. I support women who choose to fill a traditional role because that's what they're called to do. I also support women who choose to be CEOs, astronauts, scientists, even sex workers as long as that's what they WANT to do.

What I don't accept is a culture that allows "boys will boys" behavior while shaming women using sex. I don't accept that men can't control themselves in the presence of a woman. I don't accept that a REAL MAN will treat a woman like meat because of what she's wearing or how she acts, because REAL MEN treat women like respected equals regardless of their dress/wealth/class/station in life.

THAT'S a real man. I know they're out there. I married one.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Wolverines are real and they don't melt at the zoo.

Last weekend we took my cousins to Valleyfair (the local attempt at a Six Flags) and the Minnesota Zoo. Last weekend the heat index was eighty-bazillion degrees* and you needed gills to breathe. It was a whirlwind of teenage-girl-excitement, highlights listed here:

A pretty cute Brazilian boy asking me for the fifteen-year-old's name saying "she's beautiful" and following her (possibly stalking) through Valleyfair. Said boy was nineteen, and my cousin was ridiculously gorgeous in her inappropriately-tiny bikini. Sigh. I thanked the Gods yet again that I don't have kids after worrying about whether she could fend off an attack herself for two hours. Yes, I may be paranoid.

Also, I burned my scalp, but my legs are still fishbelly white. So I'm itching my head like a madwoman but could blind anyone looking at me in a swimsuit. I apologize for the horrible grammar in the last sentence...I have no excuses.

We discovered a FABULOUS squid-eating-your-head hat at the gift shop, which has absolutely NOTHING to do with Valleyfair (particularly since Minnesota is pretty goddamn far from any ocean). I tweeted it to The Bloggess. Unfortunately I suck at twitter in general...I'm not even sure I did it right, to be honest. I'm sort of a perfect storm of technology fail.

We took the girls to have sushi and Japanese food at a local Teppenyaki place. The fifteen year old loved hers...the thirteen year old made an ishy-face to everything except the noodles and fried rice. Anyway, the check came and we didn't have our usual argument over who had to pay (or, who had to sign the credit card slip, since it all comes from the same place): my husband took it. And did his math wrong. And gave the server a 32% tip. He felt too bad to tell the very excited waitress "no, I meant to give you less." I knew none of this, so when waitress stopped me to say thank you and "you make me SO Happy" I was a little weirded out. Ah well, in the scheme of things we managed to accidentally make someone's day, so that's neat.

Thanks to my extra weight and my pasty-white Norwegian heritage, I spent the entire time on the Northern Trail at the MN Zoo with a tomato-red face and a dripping forehead. Who else can claim to have a dripping forehead? I looked like a heavy chef in one of the Food Network contest shows who drip sweat into their masterpieces and offer the dishes to the judges, only were I a judge I'd reject any sweat-laden dish on principle alone. Really people, you have to use different cutting boards for raw and cooked meat and you can't wipe your fucking face so your forehead juice doesn't get in the potatoes? It's possible the tomato-redness was leftover scalpburn from Valleyfair.

Anyway, my husband thought I was about to have heatstroke (I felt FINE people, just a hot and squishy, but no signs of actual heat exhaustion) and bought me water by the camel pens. Even the damn camels looked at me all judgy from the middle of their pond, because the humid MN summer isn't as comfy for them as desert heat so they were all lounging in the water. Mocking me. Bitches.

I told him the sweat was fat melting and let's get going before he embarrasses me further, but damn if I didn't catch him watching me until we got back into the AC. It's not love, people..it's his determination NOT to have to carry his wife back to the car. Also, I was fine. Sheesh.

Overheard by a woman at LEAST my age who should fucking know better (thanks you public education? I don't know):  "You mean Wolverines are real? I thought that was just the guy from Xmen!" I may have snickered too loud when she said "No really, I thought it was a fictional guy." Luckily, I was still melting so probably looked way too slimy to bother fighting. I mean really, I could've slid out of anyone's grip at that point. And sweated on them. Gross.

*maybe the temp was actually around 93 with a high humidity...you know what? It felt like eighty-bazillion, so I'm sticking with that. I'm not a scientist, after all.