Wednesday, September 30, 2009

It had to be done

This conversation occurred about two weeks ago on OKCupid, but it's so ridiculous, I had to share it here. I'm not printing the guy's username NOT because I think he deserves privacy, but because I don't want him to think he's really popular when a bunch of people go to look at his profile after reading this conversation.

Guy: Hey :)

Guy: you're really cute

Me: Excellet way to begin a conversation.

Me: *Excellent

Guy: lol thanks i try to make a good first impression :)

Guy: so what are you up to?

Me: Trying to fix a computer.

Guy: oo thats the best

Me: No, it is not. When you pay $400 to have a computer fixed, having to then fix it yourself is actually not usually considered "the best."

Guy: lol well yeah

Guy: i was attempting sarcasm

Guy: i guess it doesn't translate well when your typing

Me: Yes, I noticed that earlier.


While stuck at work till 7:15 pm,* I've had some thinking time.

I hate being a woman. But I don't. I guess that doesn't make sense, at least on a surface level.

What I guess makes sense is that I hate being a woman in context. I hate that being a woman in the context of the place and time in which I live, means that I'm less than a person. My very anatomy means that many men feel completely entitled to do whatever they want to me, say whatever they want to me. It's assumed that I'm weak, a little stupid, obsessed with my looks, overly emotional, and totally baby- and boy-crazy. I don't have the full autonomy and authority of a human being because I'm not a human being: I'm a woman.

I don't hate being a woman in terms of the things that make me a woman: in my case, my body and genitalia. I'm fine with those things. In fact, the only times when I hate those things are when I hate being a woman in context, in the context where fat is evil and women have no hair except on their heads and MAYBE a landing strip, and where even my toes have to be "sexy."

But actually being a woman? I don't mind menstruating. I have a strange desire to see my own cervix (as yet unfulfilled, nooo!). I only dislike my breasts when I'm trying to exercise and they are nothing but in the way. If you take the gender out of being female, I don't really think it's even remotely crappy; I like it.

So I hate being a woman, but I don't. And if you're confused, or you have some sort of problem with this, then whatever, because I don't. And if you don't think that I should hate being a woman at all, then maybe you need some feminist eye-glasses or something because DAMN, it's not a nice world out there for people born without large enough penises.

*I'm at work because I thought I could let my particles sit in dye for more than an hour. The result was that the suspension was purple, not pink, and that the particles wouldn't centrifuge down (I'd like to think that they melted or something). So I had to do it again. It involves several 10-15 minute centrifugations and 2 1-hour parts. I will not get home till 8:30.

Stupid headlines

Boston Globe: Women line up to support Coakley

Why is it stupid?

Article is about: specific politically powerful women who are supporting Martha Coakley; that these women don't just want to see a female MA senator, but that they actually support her political positions; how complex it is when women run for office (I would add, when women run for office in a sexist government system ZING--otherwise, it wouldn't matter that Coakley is a woman, duh).

What the link text implies: that women are voting for Coakley because they're women and she's a woman, and we're so excited to have a female candidate, we're obviously going to vote for her (because only men voted for Obama in the Democratic Primary, and Sarah Palin enabled McCain to win the presidency in a landslide victory).

All this bullshit aside, I'll be voting for Martha Coakley because I think she's an impressive candidate, because her support for victim's rights is absolutely necessary in the senate, and because she's a woman. That's right. If I didn't agree with her positions, I wouldn't vote for her. But between her and a man with similar political stances, I'd pick her all the way.

Why would I do something so "reverse sexist?" Well, check out this little blurb from Wikipedia!

There have been 37 women in the United States Senate since the establishment of that body in 1789. Women were first elected in number in 1992. Today, 17 of the 100 U.S. Senators are women. Thirteen of the women who have served were appointed; seven of those were appointed to succeed their deceased husbands.
Wow. Women are super-well represented! I mean, since only 17% of the population is female, it makes sense that only 17% of the senate is, too. Isn't it funny that there have been fewer female senators than seats available in the senate? So if you had every single female senator throughout history sitting on the senate now, the senate would be 37% female. Oh, and look how many were elected! And how many succeeded dead husbands!

So if there's a qualified female candidate, I'm voting for her. And Martha Coakley is AWESOME.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

No free passes

It's not exactly a secret that Roman Polanski was arrested on a 32-year-old rape charge this past week. It's also not exactly a secret that he's guilty, or that he was convicted.

People are blogging/editorialing/etc-ing their brains out, the results ranging from "He's Roman Polanski! An ARTIST!" to "Um, he raped someone; why didn't he serve a sentence?!" Needless to say, I'm on the latter end of the spectrum.

If you're going to argue that Polanski wasn't guilty, or that he didn't know what he was doing, or that since the survivor just wants everything over so she can live her life so we should let the dude, go, or anything like that, this ain't the place for you (and how the hell did you even find this blog anyway?).

So much that I agree with and believe has already been said. However, there was one point that I think needs to be said again, one that I've recently discussed with friends.

If you've experienced personal tragedies, you do not get a free pass to do whatever the fuck you want.

I'm well aware of Polanski's personal tragedies (I do not count "exile" to France to be a tragedy; comprehensive health care AND French food?! And no jail time?! Not exile). He survived the Krakow ghetto, and his parents were put in concentrations camps. That's awful. The Holocaust? It sucked. And I'm not saying that because I'm trying to minimize it (helLO, I'm JEWISH), but because I could go on and on about how it was an atrocity, but you'll get bored because you already know.

His wife and unborn child were murdered by Charles Manson's crew. I'm familiar with the case because of my morbid fascination with murder cases. It was awful.

But these tragedies do not give you a free pass to rape someone. What, does his victim now have permission to murder someone? Does that mean that anything Polanski does that's unlawful shall be excused because man, his life totally sucked? Does he get a freebie to destroy someone's life because, well, he made some awesome movies?

PLEASE, people. Think of the absurdity here.

While it's completely okay to struggle with appreciating someone's accomplishments, mourning their losses, but still being disgusted with their behavior and holding them responsible, it is not at all okay to make excuses.

Roman Polanski survived the Holocaust while losing family members; his wife and child were brutally murdered. He's managed to create some critically acclaimed films. And he raped someone. He raped a child. She did not consent; she said no. It wasn't even one of those so-called "gray area" cases. Real, horrible, no-ignoring-it rape.

But, you know, it's TOTALLY unfair to arrest the guy and hold him responsible for what he did. Remember, bad things happened to him, so he can do bad things.

I have weird dreams

I do.

Last night, I dreamt that I was back at Tufts for another semester. I had moved in with two other girls; one of them didn't really want to socialize with anyone, and the other one was really nasty. Magically, though I then had to move because of a housing mistake, and then I was living with two attractive guys. Interesting. When I told my mean roommate that I had moved out, I did a terrible job of explaining that it was a ResLife decision; instead, it sounded like I had gotten the hell out of there because I hated her. So she was mad.

But I didn't have time to deal with that! Nor did I have time to flirt with my new housemates. I had a philosophy class! That met 5 times a week! And was taught by the guy who played the Devil on Reaper! But I didn't know where the class was being held, nor did I have the books! So I went to the bookstore and got a 3 subject notebook! I couldn't get the books because I didn't know the title of the class, or the class number. So I ran downstairs to find a computer, and a bunch of my friends were there! And I asked to borrow a laptop! But I was already 30 minutes late for class and thinking that maybe I just shouldn't go!

I should not be allowed to dream.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Who invented this holiday?!


Loki's in a fantastic mood today. Which just makes things more annoying. I haven't eaten since 4 pm (we're breaking the fast at 5, at least).

I almost threw up last night; I'll try not to make the mistake of taking meds on an empty stomach again.


Friday, September 25, 2009

Goooood morning?

At 6 am this morning, I awoke to a very distressed bird who had, as he does quite rarely, fallen while he was asleep. So I could hear him falling down and flapping furiously, trying to get back on a perch, but obviously very, very scared.

By the time I got to the cage, with no glasses on in a dark room, I then couldn't find him. I couldn't even find his swing, which was weird (yes, I eventually found it; it was just farther back in the cage than I'd expected while blind). I finally found Loki sitting, soaking wet, in his water dish.

After he calmed down, I went back to sleep for a little longer before getting up for work. And I totally dreamt that I was still living in Carlisle, and that we had Lady, Kiwi, and Loki, except we had two Kiwis and two Lokis and Lady was not amused.

More on male entitlement in the dating scene

I was thinking more about entitlement this morning while I was on the train, specifically about why it's so prevalent in hetero-dating, and why some guys take rejection so badly (KB, not referring to you; more referring to some of the guys that KJ has tried to reject).

In our culture, men are at the top (white, straight, cis, upper-middle-class men especially, but when we're men and women, men rule). Men are promoted more often, get jobs more often, get higher pay. If there are more men than women at a college, it's normal, but more women than men is a crisis. Men aren't expected to do as much cooking, cleaning, laundry, or child-rearing as women are, and when men do participate in such traditionally female housework and don't completely fuck up, they're praised beyond measure. Men can have a family and a career, while women are made to feel as if they have to pick one.

And then there's male entitlement to women. But now, men aren't in charge. In fact, no one's really in charge; it's not as if there's a boss trying to decide who to promote, the guy or the girl. In hetero-dating, there's no boss. Either you both want to date, or you don't date. And while there are a ton of different social expectations and pressures that might shift the balance of power out of balance (for example, the socialized fear that many women have of being single), in the end, women have a lot of autonomy. If we aren't interested in going out with you, sleeping with you, or being in a relationship with you, then none of those things is going to happen, no matter how much you believe that you are entitled to any of those things.

Once again, I'm talking about mainstream hetero-dating and my experiences with it. I'm not even going to go near same-sex dating, not because I don't think it's worth writing about, or because I think it's less than hetero-dating, or even because I don't think my readers would be interested. It's just that I've gotten some experience hetero-dating, most of my friends hetero-date, and I've never, ever same-sex dated. So I don't know how male entitlement works in, say, a male same-sex dating scene, or whether there's entitlement between women when it comes to dating. I'm not qualified to talk about it.

Back to entitlement; how does it manifest itself?

From what I've experienced, it manifests itself in several ways.

1. Expecting a "Yes"

That means, expecting no rejection when sending a message/IM, when asking for a date, when asking for a second date, when asking for sex, and so on. That doesn't mean that if you hope for a yes, you're an entitled bastard. But when someone says, "No thanks," to your message, and you--oh, I don't know--tell them that they're shallow/stupid/a bitch/etc. for saying no, that's entitlement talking.

2. Expecting entertainment and equal interest

It's one thing to expect or desire equal interest in a relationship, but I'm talking about, say, a first IM conversation. I'm not the only person who's had someone IM her who says right off the bat: I'm bored; entertain me. Talk to me. And when you, understandable say no thanks? Yeah, you're the bad guy.

3. Demanding that you answer questions

Demands can be subtle. I consider it a demand when someone asks or tells you to do something with the expectation that you will do it. So when a guy messages me, promising that he's awesome and that my parents would love him, and then tells me at the end to feel free to tell him anything and everything about myself, that's entitlement. How else do you have the nerve to ask a stranger to tell you everything about herself? KJ doesn't just get crap like that; guys also demand that she tell them her ethnicity (no, really. They demand it. It's mind-boggling). Both of us have been "asked" to defend our feminism. lolnothanks.

4. Ignoring your preferences

Many dating sites have you to either describe the kind of person you're looking for, or to give some idea of what kinds of people you'd like to get messages from. So if I say in my profile, "Please don't message me if you're going to say things like 'how ru babe,'" I'm--surprise--trying to convey that I'm not going to be interested in guys who would say things like that. And yet when guys do talk to me like that, and I'm not interested, suddenly I'm the bad guy. I'm shallow if I reject a much older man. KJ is shallow if she doesn't want to date someone who lives two hours away. Basically, any woman is shallow if she won't date any guy who comes her way. Awesome.

5. Ignoring what you actually say

Sometimes, when someone says something that's disappointing, we might wish they had said something else. But you know what's obnoxious? When a person just ignores the thing you said that they didn't like and pretends you never said it. Context?

First conversation--
Guy: I'd like to take you out for dinner sometime.
Me: Sorry. I'm really busy.
Guy: I understand. Do you have a few hours free, say, Friday?
Me: Uh, no. I'm really busy.
Guy: I understand. Just a few hours. I know a great restaurant.
Me: Seriously, I'm not free.
Guy: How about Tuesday?

Now, you might say, "But Stephanie, you weren't being honest! If you don't want to go out with the guy, just say no thanks."

And then I'd point out to you that I'm still not sure why a guy I don't know is asking me out to dinner during the first conversation (yes, this actually happened, during the first and only 10 minutes of conversation I had with the guy because I blocked him). And this guy that I don't know not only thinks it's appropriate to ask me out to dinner after talking to me for ten minutes, but he also expects me to find time in my very busy schedule to have said dinner with him.

Was I busy or just brushing the guy off? Both. If I'd been on a date with the guy before and liked him, or if it were a guy I've been chatting with for a couple weeks and we finally wanted to meet in person, I would probably have said something like, "I'm really busy right now, but I think I might have some time next Thursday." Because at the time, I was actually, legitimately busy. Trying to study for finals, write papers, get ready for my last semester. I actually wasn't free for a few hours.

And if this were the only time a guy expected me to go out with him, regardless of what I was saying, I'd say, "Weird guy." But he's one of many.

Male entitlement is weird, probably because I don't get it. I've got privilege, that's for sure, but I don't think I feel entitled the same way that some of these guys do. I mean, I'm not really sure (privilege, I think, is easier to examine). But either way, I'd like to feel respected and not annoyed all the time while dating.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Online dating: Red flags and deal-breakers

I finished pretty much all the work I've had to do today. Obviously.

I have two friends who also use the same online dating site, and I keep mentioning them both in my posts. I figure I should give them nicknames. So, my male friend shall be now known as KosherBeef, and my female friend, of fame, shall be known as KeyboardJockey. I'll be abbreviating them KB and KJ. So, there's that.

I was talking with KB earlier today about deal-breakers, and then about things in people's profiles that were not deal-breakers, but that were such serious indications that this wasn't someone we wanted to date that we didn't stay at their profile much longer.

While talking about deal-breakers, we discussed the ways in which deal-breakers are different from person to person, and the difference between a deal-breaker and a red flag. For example, drug use is a deal-breaker for both of us, as is a long-distance relationship, or someone who does not have a college degree (isn't working one either, and has no intention of ever getting one). For him, dating older women isn't a deal-breaker, while for me, 4-5 years older is the most I'll do for now (if you're a 30-year-old guy, why the fuck do you want to date a 23-year-old? What are we going to have in common?). Smoking is a deal-breaker for me, while KB said he'd date a girl who was trying to quit. (Correction, 9/25: "And you left out an important part in the post about deal-breakers...I said I'd date someone who's trying to quit as long as she isn't smoking by the time I kiss her.") It's interesting.

What bothers me is when a guy will try to convince me that my deal-breaker isn't fair to him. You know, because what I want doesn't matter. Or I have no idea what I want. Or he's perfect for me, and my silly little shallow, unfounded deal-breakers are getting in the way of true love. But do you really think I haven't thought about my deal-breakers? Am I not allowed to be able to say "no thanks" when I'm not interested? Can I help that, oh, being 45 makes you less attractive to me? Should I have to date you because you've decided that what I want or don't want is silly?

KJ has experienced this, as I've noted before, when a guy insisted that she was letting distance get in the way of true love. He was trying to convince her that driving hours out of her way was worth it because they would fall in love if they dated. So, not only was distance a deal-breaker for her, but the guy was being such an ass, it was obvious that she had made the right decision in saying, uh, NO THANKS.

KB and I also talked about red flags. One of my favorites was one he's found twice: Too many references to Harry Potter. One of mine is the list of books a guy has read. If he doesn't have at least 2-3 that I'm familiar with, and that I consider good books, that's a red flag. If it says, "I only read WWE magazines," then that's a deal-breaker.

When it comes to deal-breakers, sometimes you do have to rethink them. Currently, I'm not interested in dating someone younger than I am, whereas before I graduated, I'd barely dated anyone older than me. Now, it's not that I think younger guys are icky; it's that I've graduated, and I'm looking for another "young professional," or a grad student, someone who's in the same boat as I am. And as for older, as I get older, it gets less weird, but if you're 30 ... I don't know, it just feels strange. And if I'm not comfortable, then I'm not going to date you.

Things not to say to me: Online dating mistakes

There's very little for me to do today at work, so whatever, here are some more thoughts on online dating.

1. It's actually not a compliment when you comment on my appearance.

But who doesn't like a compliment? Well, I like compliments, but having a guy tell me I'm cute isn't always one. Do I like being told that I look nice? It depends on the situation. And I can tell you right now that if the situation is that a guy IMs me on the dating site and mentions that he thinks I'm cute, then it's not a compliment.

I'm actually not very insecure about my looks. I find that the pressure to be thin has much more bearing on my life than any other look-based pressure. Is it because I'm pretty, or is it because I'm not that pretty, but I'm also not that insecure? I mean, I have nice hair that's a nice color. I've got nice eyes and I know how to use eyeliner. I've got straight teeth that are white enough considering that I'm not a celebrity. My skin, except for this summer--what the hell?!--is normally very clear. I used to be really insecure about body hair before realizing that I don't care. Weight is only a problem because it's a problem for everyone else, I've found.

So, when someone says I'm pretty or cute, my first thought is, "Yes, I know. Who the fuck cares?" I mean, it's a given that you think I'm moderately attractive because I don't think I've ever messaged a guy that I didn't think was moderately attractive. Once when I was struggling to write a first message to a guy, a friend pointed out that I shouldn't say, "I hope to hear back from you" because, well, of COURSE I hope to hear back from him, or I wouldn't message him in the first place. So, first off, if you tell me that I'm cute, that tells me that you're not that bright; you've just told me something that is already obvious.

Secondly, I hate that I'm supposed to take this as a huge compliment. Since the media is constantly telling women and girls that we're just never good enough, we're supposed to get really excited when a guy says, "You're passing excellently." I just don't see that as a compliment, especially when my body and appearance aren't things that I feel are that important in terms of accomplishments and abilities. Guys who comment on my looks, I've found, are not at all interested in where I went for my B.S., my interests, or my musical abilities. I have to pass if I don't want to endure stigma and harassment; I didn't have to work my ass off to get into a great college, graduate from said college, or become so talented at the flute.

Finally, there's male entitlement: I said you were cute, now go out with me. Yeah, no.

2. Giving me your contact information during the first couple conversations/messages, especially when we're not planning to meet up is weird.

This is a bit tricky to explain. I'm not talking about when, after a few messages back and forth, someone says, "By the way, if you ever want to talk on AIM, here is my screenname." I'm talking about when a guy sends me a first message and includes his phone number and screenname. I'm talking about when a guy gives me his info during the first IM conversation. I'm talking about when a guy gives me his phone number and tells me to call him. And I'm especially talking about when a guy does any of these things and either implicitly or explicitly lets me know that he wants me to give out my information. One common way, actually, that guys have tried to get my screenname, is by claiming that they hate using the site's instant messenger. I tell them that the reason I like the site's messenger is so I don't have to give my screenname to someone I don't know!

Why does it bother me? I consider the site a safe place to meet someone, or at least safer than going to a bar or giving someone my personal contact information. If I get to know you, and we're both interested in seeing each other, then sure, let's swap numbers so we can call each other if we're going to be late. But by giving and asking for contact information immediately, you're being presumptuous. You are basically saying to me, "I don't really care if you like me or not because I want to date you and soak up your attention." It also tells me that this guy is going to probably think that if I go out with him, I'm promising more than the date.

3. You do know that I can tell when you've read my profile, right?

Some guys like to message me without actually reading my profile. It's not exactly difficult to figure that out. A lot of guys give themselves away by IMing me, and then, when it's clear that I'm not bubbling over with conversation, try to find ways to keep the conversation alive. The best way to do that? It's to look at my profile, find a fact about me, and put that into the conversation. So, if they haven't been logged as viewing my profile before, and then they look during our conversation, I can put two and two together. And usually, it means that the guy looked at my photo only.

Sometimes, a guy does look at my profile, but just to see the other pictures I have (you know, to make sure I'm not fat, which I am, so joke's on them). I can usually tell when they have nothing else to talk about, seem to know nothing about me, and even ask questions that are answered on my profile. I also can tell when a guy hasn't read my entire profile (I can't prove they haven't read any of it, obviously) because I explicitly state, near the end, that if you're not going to at least attempt to write in proper English, you shouldn't bother. So when I get all those guys who ask, "hey how ru," I know what happened.

4. Some people ask really stupid questions.

Like, really stupid. One example that comes to mind immediately is, "So, what brings you to the site?" When I get that question now, which I do, frequently, I either respond, "That's on my profile," or "Why do you THINK I'm on this site?" One guy actually answered with a really sappy, kind of stupid response, something like, "To find that one special person, etc. etc.," and I replied, "I was going to say, to date people."

Another guy asked if I would consider dating non-Jews. That question, I think, is less stupid (especially since it's not a completely pointless question, and it demonstrates that he read my profile) than the above question, but stupid nonetheless. If I wouldn't date non-Jews, don't you think I would have said something else where I list who shouldn't message me? I was so specific there, you'd think I'd have been specific about whether or not I'd date a non-Jew. Also, I actually took a lot of offense at the question, although it's hard even now for me to explain why.

Another fun question, similar to the first one, is "So, how's this site working out for you?" Well, my profile says I'm single, so do me a favor and reconsider the question.

5. I'm not interesting in seeing your junk.

This is another reason why I don't give out my screenname immediately anymore. I'm not interested in seeing your penis. I know, it's shocking, since I'm sex-positive, which obviously means that anything goes with regards to sex (if you're not hearing the sarcasm, then you need to get more familiar with my writing). But really, I'm not interested. In fact, I consider it harassment when you send me naked photos unsolicited.

6. Like P!nk says, I'm not here for your entertainment.

It's not my job to keep you from getting bored. And it's not your job to keep me from getting bored either, but unlike you, I seem to know that!

It's happened to me and it's happened to plenty of my friends: you get an IM from someone, and after two seconds of conversation, they tell you that they're bored, or even bored and at work (and apparently instead of doing something like blogging about annoying online dating mistakes, they've chosen to make an annoying online dating mistake). And then they get annoyed when you don't put on a clown suit and hop around for their pleasure.

If you're bored, there's plenty else to do on the internet besides waste my time.

There are plenty more annoying mistakes I could put on this list, but I'm spent for the time being.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Problem with Freakonomics

I'm currently reading the book Freakonomics, and I'm almost finished with it. So far, I love it, but my love for it is conflicted.

1) There is an error regarding statistics about sexual violence, and the way those statistics are briefly discussed is highly problematic. By making the generalization that women's health advocates lie about how many women are assaulted, Levitt is undermining the credibility of women's health advocates and the anti-violence movement. Additionally, he's using the right number with the wrong description. He says that the proclaimed statistic is that 1 in 3 women is the victim of rape or attempted rape. The real 1 in 3 statistic is much broader, indicating the number of women who will experience an escalated form of sexual violence (which includes rape and attempted rape, but also completed and attempted sexual assault, child abuse, and relationship abuse of all kinds).

I'm not making the claim that Levitt is a jerk, or that no women's health advocate has ever lied before. But in a culture and society where violence against women is condoned, where rape myths run rampant, and where victims are further victimized for speaking out, he should have been much more sensitive about that material. No excuse for that.

2) In examining parenting, Levitt is really examining the intersections of race and parenting. And while I find it fascinating, and I also want to see the race gap made non-existent, I'm uncomfortable with the general detachment I get from the writing. I need to have some other race conscious people read this book and see if they have similar feelings. I'm just thoroughly uncomfortable reading a white guy talk about race. I also hate that the adjectives "black," "white," "Hispanic," etc. are used improperly as nouns. We're not blacks, whites, or Hispanics (I use Latin@, but I didn't write this book), just like we're not gays or straights. We're PEOPLE. Black PEOPLE, white PEOPLE, etc.

Again, the authorial intent is probably benign. But this language perpetuates the idea that we are our markers. If you have dark brown skin, you are "a black." Nuh-uh. Doesn't sit well here.

Entitlement: or Why I hate dating

I date. I use an online dating site. I've had eh success with it. I do not believe that people should or shouldn't date/use online dating sites, nor do I think that there's something wrong with anyone who is looking for a significant other or a fun night.

That said, the dating environment has some huge, huge issues, ones that I'm not going to let go. "If you have a problem with it, then don't date!" you might say, or think. Or, how about this: if there are widespread issues with dating, how about we FIX them, yes? And one thing I'd like to fix, just about right now, is entitlement.

This post isn't meant to be a ridiculously comprehensive textbook on entitlement in dating, to be taught in sociology and women's studies classes 'round the globe. Instead, it's meant to briefly-ish discuss the lived experiences of myself and a friend of mine, both of us single, feminist women in our early twenties. My friend blogs about her experiences with online dating on her website,; I highly recommend it.

So, what's entitlement? If a woman believes a guy should pay for a date because she agreed to go out with him, that's entitlement. If a guy demands that a woman explain her ethnicity during the first few moments of a conversation (you don't think that happens? Read my friend's blog), that's entitlement.

From what I've learned, male entitlement occurs far more frequently than female entitlement. It seems to stem from the myth of the Nice Guy and the Desperately Insecure Single Woman.

The Nice Guy feels entitled to your attention. Why? Because he's a NICE GUY. He paid for this dinner! He didn't tell you that you were ugly! He was super duper sweet and perfect! So why is your clothing still on?!

The Desperately Insecure Single Woman is, as you might expect, not only desperately insecure about herself, but acutely aware of her unacceptably single status. She must find a man (not a woman, obviously)! So, if that guy over there messages you, you have to get excited. I mean, a guy is paying attention to you! And if he wants you to talk to him because he's bored, talk. After all, if you don't treat this guy like a king, then he will stop being kind enough to ignore all of your HUGE, unacceptable flaws, and then you will stay single and die single and be a complete failure.

Now, we also have the Playa Guys (who, if they pay attention to you, obviously you should be flattered because they only go for Hot Chicks; therefore, revert to fawning behavior to keep his attention), or Shy Nerds (who, if you're not interested, harp on you for being shallow for not falling head over heels for them, you awful person, you!). Women can also be Shy Nerds, who have to hide all the Shy Nerdiness in order to impress guys, or they can be Out of your Leaguers, who still have to deal with male entitlement.

Oh, and if you're a bi woman, guess how many guys are going to ask you whether or not you'll have a threesome?

Does everyone fit into a category? Well, no. No one really does. But you see the patterns. In the heteronormative dating world, women have to be nice to men to avoid being stuck a spinster. Never mind whether or not we actually LIKE being single, or having ... standards. Or like women.

The way I most frequently experience male entitlement in the dating scene is my reluctance to come right out with how I feel about the guy. So far, "how I feel about the guy" has always been, "I'm not interested in going out with you," or "I'm not interested in another date." However, after years of being socialized, along with my female peers, to be accomodating to people, especially to men, I find it very difficult.

I worry about being called names, or otherwise harassed for saying, "No thanks." When on an actual date, sometimes I worry about assault. I don't feel paranoid about it, but the threat is always there, just like when I walk alone at night. And sometimes, I really just don't know what to say in the moment.

Here are some of the ways I've experienced male entitlement, more specifically:

- being told by a guy I had dated only a few times before I tried very hard to shake him off, several months after I'd last spoken to him, that I should go to an event so that there would be someone he knew there

- several times, I've had a guy IM me through the dating site who tells me he is bored and then gets annoyed with me for not entertaining him

- several times, I've had a guy IM me, and either the first or second thing he says is a comment on my appearance, which he expects must be taken as a compliment

- a few times, before I changed my profile (where I was much more explicit about being a feminist), men IMed me or messaged me, insisting that I defend my feminist beliefs (once, I was told to "prove" my senior project, which I had not yet begun to research)

- some men have asked for a date within five minutes of IMing me, and when I have said, "No thanks," or "I'm sorry, I'm busy," they've persisted (one guy in particular kept asking me out when I told him I was busy every day for the next month. I wasn't lying either; I wanted to go out with him originally, but I was really that busy. When he wouldn't stop pestering me, I had to actually tell him outright that if he messaged me one more time before a specific date, I wouldn't ever go out with him; he never messaged me again)

- a guy will ask questions about my bird, talk about how much he likes animals, and then be peeved when I do not seem interested in the conversation

- men who are older than my top age range will message me anyway and then give me a hard time when I say no thanks

Of course, if I complain about any of these things, I'm told to either change my profile, be nice to these guys, just ignore everything, or stop dating. Or how about this whole entitlement thing goes to hell, please?

Lately, I've been trying to stop the whole, "I want to tell this guy to fuck off, but I don't know how." Once, when a guy IMed me three nights in a row and bored my brains out, I finally just told him that I wasn't interested. That's worked other times, too.

My friend, who blogs about her experiences, gets more crap than I do, probably because she's black and bi (and I am straight and as white as anyone could possibly be). She has guys who persistently tell her that she needs to give them a chance, who demand to know exactly WHAT kind of black she is. She gets white guys who tell her they want to date a black woman, but then deny the racist implications of their desires. Really, check out her blog,, since it'll give you a much better idea of what she has to deal with than I ever could. I think one of the messages I got is blogged there (it was so hilarious, I couldn't stop laughing the entire rest of the day).

So far, it looks as if our standards have prevented us from graduating into that elite, special class of woman: the Woman in a Relationship (which, as you can guess, is totally like being a Disney Princess!). But I'd rather be single and laugh about it than actually date someone who doesn't meet my reasonable and reasonably selected standards.

After all, if falling in love with you means that I will ignore that you're a high school dropout who smokes a pack a day, only reads WWE magazines, lives three hours away, voted for Bush and McCain, and thinks feminism is for lesbians, how am I supposed to ignore that IN ORDER to fall in love?

Run, run, run

One occurrence is just that: a one time deal. In order to be sure of something, such as the results of an experiment, the results must be reproducible.

For example, being able to fit into my capri pants? The first time, it was a one time deal. The second time, it looked a bit more like the first time wasn't a fluke. After washing them, sticking them in the dryer for too long, and then still having them fit, it seemed more likely than not that I had lost enough volume in my ass and thighs to fit into them for reals.

And now, running. Two weeks ago, when I got to the gym, there were too many people doing circuits, so the trainer had me go on the treadmill first. MISTAKE. I ended up feeling energized enough to run, not walk, and by the time the trainer came by 10ish minutes later, I was past half a mile and wanted to see how far I could run.* I ended up running for 20 minutes and going about 1.3 miles (needless to say, I got my ass kicked more than usual during circuits afterwards).

Then, last week, I went for a treadmill run after circuits, mostly because I felt guilty about driving to and from the train station earlier (normally I walk the mile there and some of the mile back). I ended up only being able to run for about 3/4ths of a mile, but it was because when I stopped for some water, I got a massive cramp in my side.

Last night, I went for my victory lap (which is that I call any run that I do because of an occasion, such as a holiday, birthday, or last day of classes). I ended up going for 20 minutes, 1.3 miles again. So, we'll have to see if I can keep this up.

In other news, my car is at the shop, and I have no idea when it'll be back. I trust the Auto Body, so I'm not worried about the car getting fixed to perfection. But I had to cancel the gym for tonight because I have no way of getting home (if I, say, run the 1.3 miles to the gym, that's fine, but I'm not going to be able to run home after, and I'm not walking for 45 minutes through a bad neighborhood at 8 pm). This makes me sad because I just started tracking my calories on, at the recommendation of my aunt, and circuit training burns WAY fucking more calories than running does. Burning more calories = eating more calories. So yeah.

I need to either cut or paint my nails tonight, or else.

* Last June through August, I was jogging regularly, and I ended up almost being able to run 5k. But very suddenly in the middle of August, my calves began to burn intensely whenever I ran, or even rushed up the hill to get to class or took the stairs too quickly. I wasn't ever able to get the pain checked out by a doctor, but eventually, I hypothesized that the pain was caused by weak muscles (my thigh muscles are much stronger than my calf ones), and bad shoes (I never bought new running shoes; I'd just use my mom's old ones). So, with new running shoes and stronger calves, things are improving.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


I'm 23 today!

Today's agenda: two talks (although I think this might mean free breakfast and free lunch), quantifications, starting up cells, then heading home. Going for a run (victory lap), vacuuming, cleaning the bathroom, dropping off my car (and seeing Carol Ann!).

May this year be better than the past.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Car accident

I was in a car accident today. A few things to get out of the way:

1) I am fine. There were no (human) injuries in the accident. My neck hurts but it's been hurting me all day and was not worsened by the accident.

2) I am not at fault for the accident.

3) A cop was called to the scene, and there were several witnesses; I have all the necessary information to get my car fixed at no cost to me, with no increased premiums.

4) My car can be driven just fine.

So, what happened?

I went up to Reading to visit my flute teacher, and on the way back, I decided to stop at the grocery store (Market Basket, because it's cheap!). After I finished, I put my groceries in my car and then got ready to back out of the spot. The person in the spot across the aisle from me, though, was also backing out to leave, so I let them go first. I knew they were leaving because I was looking behind me while trying to back out, and I saw their whites were on. Before I could back out, another car pulled in.
I began to pull out, but the car that had just pulled in was then straightening out. After they had pulled out and back in twice, I thought they were done; their whites weren't on. So I backed out.Just as I was putting my car into drive, I realized that the car was REVERSING. AGAIN. INTO ME. So I beeped as quickly as I could, since there wasn't enough time for me to get out of the way. They did not seem to notice.
They hit my driver's side rear door. I then parked and opened my door to get out as they pulled back into the space. THEN THEY BEGAN TO BACK OUT AGAIN, while I had my door open! People yelled, though, and the driver realized that I was there.

Out of the car came three very annoyed women. The asked, "What, did you hit us?" I explained, "I had been waiting for you to back out, and I thought you were done, so I backed out." I pointed to my vacated space.

"Obviously I wasn't done!" said the driver. She pointed to her car. "I was still straightening out!"

"Were you looking behind you?" I asked, trying to stay calm/not cry about the massive damage to my beautiful, recently purchased car.

"Of course I was!" she answered indignantly. Her companions were going on about how I should have waited for them to be finished.

A woman who had been parked next to me had seen the accident, and she came over when she realized that the other women thought it was my fault. As she explained to them that she had seen the whole thing and that they had backed up into me, a young man from Market Basket, who had been bringing in carts, came to me to ask if I was okay and if I would like him to call a cop (I thanked him). Soon, the cop arrived, in time for the three women from the car that had hit me to complain to him about the witness who had confronted them.

The cop looked at the damage, asked what had happened, and heard the story from me, two witnesses (the woman and a different MB employee), and the three women from the other car. He looked at the damage and asked whether or not I could drive my car sideways. I answered, "Of course not," not realizing that he was asking in order to demonstrate the absurdity of the situation: I could not be at fault because it was impossible for ME to have hit THEIR car, based on the location of the damage.

The three women kept going on about how rude one of the witnesses was, how obvious it was that they were still straightening the car out, and how I came out of nowhere and should have waited for them to finish. Meanwhile, the cop collected everyone's information and proceeded to write a citation for the other driver. 40 minutes later, after calling my mom and totally crying like a baby, I got to go home with a massive dent in my car.

I'm very thankful that the MB employee went and called a cop, and that the witness was not only very kind, but also very firm about standing her ground. She didn't need to do it, and with the culture of inactive bystanding we all live in, I really appreciate what she did. I'm also grateful that the cop was understanding and, well, correctly assigned fault.

I would be upset either way, especially since my car was new and my birthday is Tuesday. But what was really the part that bothered me was the way that the other driver and her companions insisted that it was my fault, when it, legally and logically, was not. Yes, when it comes down to insurance, I'm in the clear. But when someone hits your car and then refuses to accept responsibility for it, it's pretty hard.

The most annoying part is this: when you are in reverse in a typical passenger car, you are supposed to (legally, actually) turn around and look through your car, out the back window to make sure you do not hit or run over anyone. You aren't supposed to check your mirrors instead, and you certainly aren't supposed to NOT look. Since I was looking out the back of my car earlier, I could see that the other driver kept straightening their car; I could tell because I was looking!

The driver said that 1) she WAS looking, and 2) she did not see me. But only one of those statements could possibly be true. So either she saw me and went anyway (not only ridiculously unlikely, but who would DO that?!), or she did not look behind her while backing out. Considering that she didn't even realize she'd hit me and continued to straighten the car (after all, she backed out a second time and almost hit my open door), I'd bet my left ovary that she just wasn't looking. She deserves a citation; that's reckless driving, and had, say, a PERSON been walking behind that car, they might have been killed.

So, I'm fine, although very angry and emotionally shaken up. I'm not looking forward to having to do all the work necessary to have my car fixed, although I'm going to do it ASAP. And mostly, I'm just really, really heartbroken every time I look at the damage. It's ugly.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Thoughts on the Annie Le case

It bothers me to write about this case. I think that Annie's family, fiance, and friends probably just want this nightmare to end. So I feel like, by writing about the case, I'm doing a disservice to Annie and her family. But the case has been bothering me.

When I first shared the case with a friend, she seemed surprised at the amount of publicity, especially considering that Annie had been missing for only a couple days at that point. Finally, she asked the question I knew what bothering her: was Annie white?

Missing white woman syndrome refers to the obscene amount of press coverage devoted to missing white women (more coverage for blond, attractive, not-shit-stirring ones). People disappear all the time, unfortunately, but you don't always hear about them. You're more likely to, however, if it's a white woman who's gone missing.

Was Annie white? Well, she was light-skinned, but she was of Asian, not Caucasian descent. My friend and I found this puzzling. If she's not white, what does this mean? Does this mean that MWWS actually refers to skin color and not ethnicity (color being actual color, and ethnicity being, say, Caucasian, African, Asian, etc.)? Or is there something else about her? Is it because her wedding was coming up? Because she went to an elite, Ivy League graduate school? I'm not sure what her fiance's ethnicity is, but based on his last name, he is probably white; is that why? Does it have anything to do with the myth of vulnerability of Asian women?

I'm not trying to suggest that we shouldn't be concerned with missing women, white or not. But in a culture where missing white women get all the coverage, my friend and I were confused. However, we were glad that people were looking for her. No missing person should be forgotten solely based on race.

Thanks to my intersecting identities as sexual assault survivor/scholar and total forensics/true crime documentary junkie, I made some predictions to another friend of mine regarding the case. I understand that the thought of me making predictions seems insensitive; however, I see it as part of solving the case and recognizing where violence comes from. After all, if something becomes predictable, then we've found a pattern that perhaps we can address.

As for the predictions, I told my friend the following: the murderer would probably be a staff member, although maybe another student. He would be male. He would either have absolutely no relationship to Annie, or such a relationship would be professional only, and not remotely close. I also predicted that the murdered probably was angry because of a real or perceived rejection from Annie, who probably had no idea that she was in any danger from this person she barely knew, or knew not at all.

Why? First off, it's easy to predict that the murderer had to have been Yale staff or faculty, or another student; no one else can actually access the building. Even before her body was discovered, it made sense that she was still there; no security camera saw her leave. Unless there was an elaborate kidnapping, we would have seen her leave. So that eliminates, within reason, anyone who didn't have access to the building.

Once her body was discovered, that fact was cemented, and I suspected staff. I don't think a student or faculty member would have thought to put her body there, and since she was in the lab's animal facility, I figured we were looking at animal staff.

Why do I suspect this particular relationship or lack-thereof between Annie and her murderer? There do not seem to be any other reasonable motives in this case. None. However, violence against women so often hinges on male entitlement to women that it was the first thing that came to mind.

Now, an animal technician has been arrested and charged with Annie's murder. All I can get right now is that police are calling the murder "workplace violence." Well, that's specific, thanks! However, I consider this more evidence to support my predictions. We'll have to see.

I want to see justice for Annie and for her family. Violence sucks.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Yahoo! FAIL

Headline on my Yahoo! homepage:

"Prosecutor: Anti-abortion sign angered gunman."

What the headline says to me: Some guy was SO PISSED about someone protesting against abortion that he SHOT them! Man, those pro-choicers are VIOLENT!

What actually happened: It's not clear why the gunman shot the anti-abortion activist, although from one student's quotation (that he could understand someone spitting on or punching the victim, but not shooting him), it appears that the gunman might have thought it was inappropriate to demonstrate with a poster of a dead fetus outside of a school. But it's not really clear. In fact, I don't really think that that's what caused murder.

And considering that this same guy then went and murdered another person, someone NOT involved in protesting abortion (interesting). Oh, and he was going to murder someone else, but then he got arrested.

I don't consider it very good journalism to report that this case is another example of someone being killed over the abortion issue. I think it's an example of a very violent, angry, dangerous person murdering people because he felt that it was okay for him to kill whomever he wanted. That's not the same thing. GOOD JOB.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

More on hashtag drama

It keeps going.

It's been a couple hours since Twitter realized that there was some shit going down with the trending topics and took down the Supernatural related ones. However, it's still going (#supernatural and #inkripkewetrust are still trending). And in more ways than one.

A good friend of mine tweeted the following earlier in the day:

"Lol at idiots trending #godishere. #Luciferiscoming is about a show. Morons. And God isn't anywhere BC he doesn't exist."

She got a response just now, hours after her tweet; she RTed it with her own comment:

LOLOLOL IS THIS WHAT GOD'S LOVE IS? RT @incrediblebaby: @(myfriend) you should kill ya'self for saying God doesnt exist. jus pittiful."

This isn't just some difference of opinion. Like I said in my previous post, this is a silencing technique. In case you disagree, let's examine each tweet.

My friend was laughing at all the people trending #godishere because the vast majority of them were reacting to the hashtag #luciferiscoming without actually understanding the meaning behind the hashtag. In much the same way that some Christians considered it their duty to vote for Kris Allen on American Idol even though they'd never seen the show, many considered it their duty to knock down the #luciferiscoming hashtag.

Considering that the #luciferiscoming hashtag is inherently secular due to the fact that it's referencing a television show, I find it inappropriate to have it bombarded by religious opposition. In a culture where atheism and secularism are constantly attacked as "against American values," I don't see the #luciferiscoming hashtag as offensive or oppressive; instead, I find the #godishere hashtag to be those things, in an effort to silence everyone else.

As for my friend's opinion that God isn't here because he does not exist, that's her opinion and one that she's more than entitled to. Believing in a god is a matter of personal opinion. There is no evidence proving or disproving such entities, and so it is not appropriate to claim that a person is wrong for believing or not believing. End of fucking story.

The response that my friend should kill herself for even saying that God doesn't exist isn't just inappropriate or offensive. I would actually consider it something that should violate the Twitter terms of service (it unfortunately does not). What this young woman is saying to my friend is, "You should be so disgusted with yourself for saying that God doesn't exist, you should end your own existence. You don't deserve to be alive for saying such a thing."

My friend's RT pretty much got it right; for someone who believes in God so much shouldn't even think to say something so cruel and horrible to someone. It's absurd.

But it's not absurd to this woman, who has decided that she has the right to silence my friend by telling her to commit suicide, who has decided that no one is allowed to voice the opinion that there is no God or gods.

Hashtag drama!

Oh man, there's some hashtag drama going on at Twitter right now. Warning: Spoilers for the TV show Supernatural.

Tonight is the 5th (and, I think it's been confirmed, final) season of the CW drama Supernatural. The show stars Jensen Ackles and Jared Padelecki as Dean and Sam Winchester, two young men who are raised as hunters of supernatural beings by their father, who was devastated by the death of their mother, murdered by ... a supernatural being.

The show is essentially a route 66 road trip horror movie, except it's a story, not just, "Okay, let's do all these gruesome stunts and come up with a story!" While the violence isn't minimal in any way, the gore certainly is; much like older suspense movies, Supernatural relies on your imagination to create violent images. Otherwise, I'd have a lot of trouble watching the show (I'm NOT a fan of any kind of horror or violence or anything).

In last season's plot arc, Dean and Sam were trying to prevent the Apocalypse (I know, I know). Survey says? Sam was actually tricked into bringing it about. OOPS. Last we saw the brothers, they were sort of freaking out because, uh, Lucifer was on his way up.

Today, in honor of the show's season premiere, two of the top trending topics at Twitter (aaah, alliteration!) are #supernatural and #luciferiscoming. I saw the latter before I saw the former, and it was plainly obvious to me what it was referring to. My friends who are not family with the show also knew, although it required a bit of digging. So, where's the drama?

Apparently, a lot of at least moderately devout Christians on Twitter did not get the memo. #Godishere (with the capitalization) is also a top trending topic. I checked it out, and while there were a few joke responses to the hashtag (#Godishere so look busy!), most were either condescending messages about how Supernatural promotes Satanism, moans and groans about how #Godishere and yet we still have horrible, blasphemous shows like Supernatural, or just the hashtag repeated over and over and over.

What bothers me about this isn't that some people don't like Supernatural, or don't want to watch because of the premise (or the whole "some demons can be good, and some angels can be bad" thing). It doesn't bother me that some people believe deeply in a god. What bothers me is that the #lucifer hashtag refers to a fictional character in a TV show, and a shitload of people who do not watch the show have decided that it's not okay to have a hashtag with the name Lucifer in it, or one that says he's coming.

I'm not going to tell people not to get offended; that's not something that can be controlled. But I will ask them to rethink their actions, or to consider LOOKING UP the hashtag before assuming that we're all heathens or something.

As long as Christians are a dominant social group, I view this action as a silencing technique. I have every right to not believe in a god, or to be excited about the premiere of a show in which Lucifer and the Apocalypse play a role. If Christians were, say, an oppressed social minority, perhaps I would feel differently. But right now, that's not the case. I'm not going to be silenced.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Thoughts on abortion

I'm ridiculously pro-choice. I have plenty of friends and acquaintances who are also ridiculously pro-choice, as well as many who are conservatively pro-choice and some who are anti-choice. I'm not going to spend time here arguing about what "side" is the "right" one.

I've been thinking a lot lately about parenthood, probably because I've been thinking about adulthood in general. A lot of people in my age group (early 20s) have already gotten married; I've had several confusing moments on Facebook where either I'll see a friend name I don't recognize and find out that it's a female acquaintance who changed her last name when she got married, or I'll see that a male acquaintance has gotten married and his new wife has changed her last name. Some people have kids already. Meanwhile, I'm beginning my career. I'm not trying to set this up as me choosing between family and career. I'm just realizing now that my next boyfriend might turn into my domestic partner/husband, that my next degree probably will turn into my specific career, and so on and so forth. So, yeah, adulthood.

I recall that when I was younger, I figured I would want kids when I was older. When I hit my late teens, I was sure that wanting kids was something that would eventually happen. And hey, I like kids. Teaching is a fun job. I'm good at classroom management. I like spending (limited amounts of) time with my little cousins.

But can I imagine kids 24/7? I doubt it.

Even more than that, I can't imagine dealing with an infant. It's bad enough when I don't know what Loki wants, and if he's annoying me, I can stick him in his cage. Plus, he's technically an adult.

I used to think that if I got pregnant unintentionally, but I could afford to support a child, I'd go through with the pregnancy. Now, I think not so much. I've grown up thinking that you need "good" reasons to abort a pregnancy, like lack of finances, or the general "not a good time in my life" that I figured I'd use during school. But now I'm starting to realize that when you don't really want kids, or you don't want to be pregnant, there isn't a good time in your life to go through with it.

So, there's that whole part: Because I don't want kids, there is no "good" time to not abort an unintended pregnancy.

But even if I change my mind, and I do want kids? I'd go with those awesome foster parent commercials ("You don't have to be perfect to be a perfect parent. Thousands of teens in foster care would love to put up with you"). There are so many kids out there who are in foster care. I'm not trying to suggest that every foster parent is evil and I have to save all these kids (after all, then I'd be a foster parent and therefore evil as well). But I'd much rather have a kid through foster care than through my own biological functions.

Which brings me to this: Giving birth is, quite simply, a bad idea for me. I'm at risk for diabetes and I'm trying to improve my health as it is. My body can't take the strain of pregnancy. I'd also rather not suffer the effects of birth on the vagina. I just don't want that. So even if I change my mind and decide, "Baby time!" I'm going with adoption. This body can't take a biological baby.

Besides, there's nothing biological about me I'd like to pass down. Not that I'm self-hating, but what's there that's so important? Besides, feminism isn't biological :-p

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Only moms are parents--DUH!

On, there is a section of the site called BoMoms, or sometimes just Moms. The section is devoted to resources for parents and (female-blogged) parenting advice.

Obviously, this can't be called the Parent section. This is the MOMMY section. Becaue only moms are parents.

Rude things people do

Waiting in a metered parking space in the train station lot so that the person you're dropping off can sit and relax in the car before the train arrives/while you're waiting to pick someone up in the morning (maybe).

Some of us, when we drive to the station, are trying to park our cars so we can go to work. Just drop the person off and leave (normally, it's not raining/too hot/too cold while these people sit there, waiting). And if you're picking someone up, pull over behind already-parked cars. Because it's RUDE to take up a metered space when you're waiting ... when someone else needs to park there before the train comes.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Happy September!

Highlights of the first day of the best month:

- realizing that my birthday is three weeks from today

- finally thinking of a birthday present to ask for*, and then buying it myself (purse; got it at Payless)

- forgetting to buy Lysol for the tissue culture water bath (crap!)

- surprising my supervisor by actually getting things done without her realizing (bwahaha)

- not being able to access Gmail and frightening myself by how much I rely on it

- clearing out completely my entire Tufts student email account (sad!)

- finding some stuff I'd sent to Rob while performing the above action (yes, I still had "sent" emails from 2007)

- meeting the really nice new member of the lab!

- working at the institute for three months

- running 0.7 miles on the treadmill (0.6 solid) after an intense working without having my calves go crazy

- almost puking during my work out and run because I ate too soon beforehand

- dunking Loki in the tub (not to scare him, but he's like a cat when it comes to baths, and this is the only way I can get him to--accidentally--take one).

- finished the rainbow cake!

- was asked to cross-post "Language" at DeeplyProblematic (seriously, this was the highlight of my day, above the 0.6 miles)

Not bad for the first day of the best month.

* Recently, I've begun to sit and think of exactly what I want for gift-giving occasions; I don't like to ask for anything I don't need, or that I want, but won't really use. I think last year, I asked for a gift certificate to Whole Foods, TheraBands for my shoulder, a flash drive, and a 4th gen iPod Nano, which I explicitly stated was the last thing on the list, since I already owned two iPods.

This year, I've considered asking for a toaster oven, a George Foreman/-esque grill, a new mattress, or a massage appointment, all of which I've decided are not things I want. I realized on the way home that the pleather straps on my (free with $75 purchase) Frederick's of Hollywood tote were actually going to break off soon--one in particular is hanging on by some threads. The purse isn't useful anyway; I can't find anything that goes into it. But I needed a new one now, not in three weeks. Maybe I'll ask for one anyway (maybe Vera, but I hate Vera ... why is Vera so useful and terrible at the same time?!); this Payless one is bound to fall apart soon.

Oh, wow, I went nuts in my footnote. OOPS.