Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Living Vicariously

I know a lot of travelers like this.

War. Booze. And Unrequited Love. ::snicker::

"You must remember this, a kiss is still a
kiss". Your romance is Casablanca. A
classic story of love in trying times, chock
full of both cynicism and hope. You obviously
believe in true love, but you're also
constantly aware of practicality and societal
expectations. That's not always fun, but at
least it's realistic. Try not to let the Nazis
get you down too much.

What Romance Movie Best Represents Your Love Life?
brought to you by Quizilla

War, Booze, and Impossible/Unrequited Love. Doesn't get much better than that!

Calm Before

Fall is my favorite time of year. All those pumpkins, falling leaves, coat weather, dry and sunny days. I pick up my pumpkin on Saturday.

A Softer World

I love this guy. He oozes cynicism.

Check out:

Political Assasin
Robot Boyfriends
Abortion Party
Robot Wife
Terrorist Cell

Stuff That Pisses Me Off

If America were Iraq, what would it look like? This is great.

And, from the Guardian: "Poll Giving Kerry Lead Stirs Controversy." Funny, how it's only the polls that give *Kerry* a lead that stir up controversy, huh?

And, you gotta give props to Southern Africa:

MANZINI, Swaziland - Bus conductors in Swaziland vowed on Friday to assault and rape female passengers who wore miniskirts, sparking outrage among women’s groups in the conservative African kingdom.

“We will teach these women respect. We will fix them with our brush handles,” Simon Ndwandwe, a bus conductor from Manzini, said at the bus rank on Friday.

A bus conductor calling himself only Licandza said: “Women who wear miniskirts want to be raped, and we will give them what they want.”

What I love about stories like the above is the bullshit factor. All those skimpy skirts - those men just couldn't contain themselves. Men are such uncivilized animals that they can't contain their lustful urges when staring a woman's legs. Oh, don't feed me this bullshit. It's not only insulting to women, it's insulting to *men*. Call it what it is: asserting male power over women so that men can feel better about themselves. And if you think rape is "no big deal" (something tells me that the sort of guys who say that wouldn't be so quick if asked whether or not they thought being gang-sodomized was their idea of a great time) consider this: the HIV/AIDS infection rate in Swaziland is 38.6% - the highest in the world next to Botswana, who gets the prize with 38.8%.

What always interests me with these gang rape cases, as well, is that many men actually find that they can't get physically aroused, so they end up using things like the above (broom handles) or bottles or something else lying around to assault a woman. I've read of this happening in Vietnam as well, when US soldiers felt that they had to participate in gang rape in order to seem like "one of the guys." The problem was, they really didn't get off on it at all, and couldn't "perform." It's not about the sex. It's not about feeling lustful cause you can see a woman's legs.

Anyone who says it is is lying.

Snapshots From My Worklife, 4

Going out to lunch with the guys is always a fun affair.

It doesn't happen often, as I'm a woman and a glorified admin., but when it does, I have a good time. Last week I went out with Yellow, Blaine, Dee and Jose (one of the architects). We went out to this italian deli (their favorite spot), where we got these olive-oil soaked sausage rolls heaped in cheese and jalapeno peppers. They came in 6in, 9in, and 15in sizes. Blaine, being the ex-football star, got the 15in. The others not only ate 9in subs, but opened up a couple bags of chips, and we all chowed down while Blaine and Yellow and Dee gossiped about all the other guys in the office and talked about how incompetent they were.

I was sitting there with my own 6in oil-soaked sub (which I actually didn't even finish), enjoying the nice full, heavy feeling of eating a greasy spoon meal, and watching these guys eat. It was weird. I imagined sitting at a table here with a bunch of women, and watching them eat this stuff with such reckless abandon. It's something you just wouldn't see unless they were, maybe, a group of truck drivers, or very young. When you see women out together, they're like as not either eating salads or splitting dishes with one another.

Nobody's ordering a 15in sub.

It's not like these guys are skinny. They're all pushing middle-age (Yellow's the youngest, at 33), and every year after 25, the average person gains half a pound of fat and loses half a pound of muscle as the metabolism decreases. Again, this isn't "all," just "average." So these are big guys I'm sitting around eating with, and being there, just... eating, and watching people eat without reserve was sort of... well, it was different. It made me realize how little I hang out with guys anymore (my friendship circle in Alaska was almost exclusively male).

Here I was sitting with guys who were about my size (Dee, Jose, and Yellow are either my height or within an inch or two, and though Yellow pretends to be in good shape, he's got a little pot belly he likes to hide by wearing baggy flannel shirts - women aren't the only ones with image problems, I suppose, but I doubt that pot belly keeps him up at night), and I suspect that only Blaine weighs significantly more than I do, like, by 20lbs or so (Dee and Yellow might weigh a little less than me, but again, not by more than 20lbs or so).

It was the first time I didn't wish I was any smaller. I felt totally average. I liked feeling like these guys were physically my equals - if not in terms of upper body strength, then in terms of mass.

And I thought - why do I still have to feel the female compulsion to be smaller, when it's so obvious that I'm not and never will be anything close to the 5'4, 140lb female average? I want to eat the occasional sausage roll, subsist mainly on eggs and meat and mixed vegetables, and not feel guilty when I go out for Chinese food on Fridays. I just couldn't imagine any of these guys ever feeling bad for eating Chinese food. Why? Because women are supposed to be more forgiving in their assessment of datable men (the guys in my office are overwhelmingly hetero)? Because men are *supposed* to be big? Supposed to take up more space? Be stronger? Be stronger than what, exactly? Why are women who're the same size as guys so scary?
Ha. My worklife.

Fighting & Stuff

Had a good class last night. It was the second "special class" of the month, that is, our usual scheduled programming was replaced by Muay Thai. It was fun, and I had a great partner. She was a frickin' Amazon (5'10 about 190lbs), and after assuring me I wasn't going to hurt her, I pumped up the amount of power I was using in our headlocks and knee strikes, and when we broke, she was hopping up and down and grinning, "We're both really strong!" she said, "This is great!"

So, we kicked the crap out of each other, and I suspect I've got some bruises. It was great.

In any case, I've also found that the monetary difference between "unlimited classes" and "two days a week" for our MA school is $24. For some reason I had a whole other set of monetary increments in my head. I'm definately switching to full-time classes next month.