Friday, July 29, 2005

The Problem with Flickr

The problem with trying to host images with Flickr is that they only give you two or three sizes of the appropriate sort, one too big, one too small.

Crappy. Need to host elsewhere.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

This Logo is a Work In Progress

Teaching myself Photoshop here at work. The logo's a work in progress. I'm having oodles of fun over here, so watch for changes and logo clean-up.

Santorum On the Daily Show


I'm so confused at how guys like Santorum can say this stuff with a straight (ha ha) face. It's a step away from saying people who have sex with people of the same sex aren't actual people, they're fake people. I find it incredibly surreal.

I don't know how long people can just nod along with the crap before they start realizing what's actually being said. I'm waiting for the Great Masses (the 52%) to wake up and go, "Hey, wait a minute! That makes no sense!" Read the rest:

Santorum: No, no. Again, what's society's purpose in marriage? Society's purpose - the reasons civilizations have held up marriage is because they want to establish and support and secure the relationship that is in the best interest of the future of the society, which is, a man and a woman having children and providing the stability for those children to be raised in the future.

Stewart: Wouldn't you say though and with that same thing and I completely agree, although I always thought the purpose of marriage was a bachelor party but that's beside the point. (laughter) But wouldn't you say that society has an interest in understanding that the homosexual community also wants to form those same bonds and raise children and wouldn't a monogamous, good-hearted, virtuous homosexual couple be in society's best interest raising a child rather than a heterosexual couple with adultery, with alcohol issues, with other things, and by the way, I don't even need to make that sound as though a gay couple can only raise a child given failures in other couples.

Proving It's All Just the Same Shit

Oh, the shock, oh the horror.

I bet that without the manly label, it would have cost 50 cents more.

I'm Not Sure Why I Find This So Cool. But It's Cool.

Condensation clouds:

The clouds appear for the same reason that clouds always form, namely, that the air has cooled to the point that the ambient water vapor condenses. Flows around bodies and wings always change the temperature and pressure of the fluid. It is well known that lift is caused by pressure differences on top or bottom of a wing or body so that it ought to be obvious that the pressure varies from point to point in a flow around an object. The fact that the temperature changes can be seen by noting that most fluid flows and nearly every aerodynamic flow are frictionless. In the language of thermodynamics, the flow is said to be reversible or loss-free. Read More


(via boingboing)

Looking for a Toilet?

You know those annoying communting days when you're stuck on a train platform and wishing to hell you knew of a public toilet that was open that early in the morning? Or, have you ever been a tourist stuck in the middle of a tourist trap, wondering how the hell to navigate through the hawkers to find a public toilet?

Well, if you live or travel through Australia, no worries (mate - oh, god, I had to say it!). Much like a useful transit map, Australia's got a Public Toilet Map.

No shit (I'm in a mood this morning, gee).

(via justine)

Signs You've Stayed Too Long At Your Job

Should I feel bad that I pretty much have experienced all of these? Put a star by the one about getting angrier...

You have a lot on your mind, just not work. The work doesn't challenge you and time hangs. "Boredom is a big factor," Hollander said. "When it's just a job, it's time to leave."

Things change, not to your advantage. The boss you got along with so well leaves, or worse, takes on a new favorite employee. Eventually that person gets layered in above you on the corporate ladder, intercepting your access to the boss, taking over plum projects and moving you out of the decision-making loop.

Hollander describes this as "death by a thousand cuts." The change is subtle at first, but your loss of status compounds over time.

Your boss takes you for granted. You do something well and you get pigeonholed as the company expert in that area. Or you're no longer seen as having potential for new projects. Or, just as bad, you're known as the good corporate citizen who'll do whatever you're asked – including relocating multiple times.

You pigeonhole yourself. Hollander knows top performers who stay at their jobs because they don't believe they could succeed elsewhere. "The longer you're at a place, the more you think your success depends on your environment," she said. Or you lose confidence that you can do anything else.

Your mood ranges from angry to angrier. No matter how well-regarded your work is or once was, if you develop a reputation as a depressing crank, colleagues will distance themselves. And that isolation can make you more vulnerable in a layoff.

You feel like hell. Unhappiness can undermine your health, said Paul Spector, professor of industrial and organizational psychology at the University of South Florida. Early signs of excess stress: stomachaches, headaches and insomnia.

(thanks, B)

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Ah, Yes. I Remember This Feeling

With regular gym workouts comes, once again, regular aches and pains. When I first started taking martial arts classes, I was sore for three months.

No kidding.

Let's hope the recovery's quicker this time.

In any case, hot damn, it's nice to be moving again. I really like being strong. I've missed this.

Rape Spam Rant

As a woman who travels a lot and has well meaning parents, I get these "you should be scared shitless!" e-mails all the time, you know:

I allude to those rape-avoidance-tips emails, the kind written by “the police department” and sent by your well-meaning friend, warning you to always look under your car for attackers (or up in the trees for ninja attackers!), and to stroll around town with your keys sticking out of your white-knuckled fist.

You remember these ones, eh?

Luckily, Twisty ranted about it, so I don't have to:

The subtext [of rape spam], of course, is:

“You should be scared shitless! You were born female, and rotten luck that is, because that means you are pretty much there for the taking whenever the fancy strikes, and nothing you can do will actually prevent some psycho shitbag from sexually assaulting you, and we really can’t help you by doing anything that will actually make a difference--like giving stiffer sentences to sex offenders or castrating known rapists with jagged bits of metal or suggesting to boys that a woman is not obligated to screw them just because she smiled at'em--so, just to make sure you feel like the entirely powerless speck of dirt you are, here are a few half-assed tricks we all know don’t work--like, 'practice screaming into your pillow,' or 'never go out alone'--but probably you ought to just be too scared to ever leave the house again, even though rape is most likely to occur in your own home by some fucktard you already know. Oh well! That’s the good old patriarchy, the social system of misogynist barbarians! Sucks to be you!“


And I must say, I'm very happy to see the increasing use of the word "fucktard" around the net.... It's just such a useful word for so many, well, fucktards.

Why Are There So Many Tampons in Our House?

Why are there so many tampons in our house? I was digging around for more pads in our bathroom cabinet this morning, trying to clear space around the boxes and boxes of tampons tumbling out of the cabinet and spilling onto the floor. Why are there so many tampons in our house? I don't use them. My roommate hardly ever uses them. Yet we have amassed 4-5 boxes of tampons and have no pads left but the diaper-like overnights.

Alas, terrorist bombings have not yet reached Chicago (knock on wood), so it's not like we've got any local wounds to staunch, either. But I suppose we'll be prepared, in any case.

Why are there so many tampons in our house?

I need some more coffee.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

An Open Letter to Viagra Guy

Do you really need to listen to sports scores and track the minute by minute countdown (from 60 minutes) of the shuttle launch on the speakers of your computer without using headphones and then narrate your experiece for the rest of us at 8 o'clock in the morning when some of us, who require 8-10 hours of sleep, only got 6 last night because their landlady was showing the apartment until 9 o'clock at night and me and my roommate went out to see a movie?

Do you need to comment on every drawing that comes back from Jonas and tell us how hard and tough it is cause he's such a stickler for actually making sure you get the drawing right? Do you have to sit in this shared space (there are four of us in here) and call you pharmacist for more Viagra prescriptions and haggle with your credit card company about late charges and tell us all about how tough it's going to be for you to get to the bank after work, like the rest of us don't have lives, too? Can you do this on your lunch break, or outside from your cell phone? Are you just a closet exhibitionist who gets off on that sort of thing, intruding on the personal spacing-out of others that gets them through their work days?

I despise sitting back here. I can't fucking wait until these goddamn uploads are done and I can disconnect from this T-1 connection.

Monday, July 25, 2005

I Hate My Job, Monday Edition

The coffeemaker at work is broken.

You'd think this would be enough tragedy for one day. I'm stuck here in the back of the office with a bunch of architect temps, including Viagra Guy, who felt it neccessary to call his pharmacist from work and request that they give him more Viagra pills because, "I have more activity than other people." He also just talks a lot in general about things like the weather, droughts, and local sporting events. He bores the crap out of me. I keep my headphones on and the music loud and ignore him as best as possible.

I've been stuck here in the back because we have a lot of uploading to do, and we have a cable connection back here, so I'm uploading from two computers a laptop and a desktop. I hate this job. I hate the repetition. This isn't even my goddamn project, it's someone else's, and yet, *I'm* the one stuck on two computers? What the fuck is up with that? The laptop is now giving me shit this morning, and I have to keep restarting it. I'm irritated at work, I hate this job.

I spent all weekend packing and moving stuff up to the 3rd floor apartment. Me and Jenn had a short window on Friday, and were hauling stuff up two flights of stairs in 90+ degree heat until nine at night. All in all, I'm happy about the move and love the upstairs space, but I'm ready to just get all that shit done. Hopefully the current tenant will move out a littl early and I can haul more stuff up during the week. B will be in town this weekend to help.

And let me tell you, 1642 books is all well and good until you have to pack them up and haul them box by bloody fucking box up two flights of stairs. We hauled about 1500 books on Friday.

To help alleviate some of this stress, I've finally joined a gym again, a much more local one, that's got kickboxing and pilates classes as well. That's a big load off my mind. I've been missing gym work, and I know that's been seriously wearing on me these last few months.

I'm also bleeding like a fucking lamb at the block, but hey, I'm bleeding. Got my follow-up PP appointment on Friday, which'll be nice. Still happy with the IUD; when I look at my other options (weight gain, depression, mood swings) compared to these ones (blood and pain), the blood and pain really isn't so bad. Motrin works wonders.

I'm behind on a lot of other stuff (writing, reading, Arabic), but I've been so stressed out this last week I just really don't care. This week, of course, I'll need to start caring, and particularly once the move is finished, things need to get back on track.

Ce la vie.

Friday, July 22, 2005

It's the Weekend


Beer... beeeeerr... must... have.... beeeeeerrrrr....

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Am I Fat Or Sexy? (Implying One Can't Be Both?)

Interesting experiment by Marie Claire magazine:

We photographed a gorgeous, size-14 model in a neutral pose and made the unretouched photos into two mobile billboards. Then we gave each billboard a vastly different message: one confident ("I think I'm sexy. Do you?"), one unsure ("I think I'm fat. Do you?"). We asked everyone who saw these billboards to visit and tell us what they thought. Here's how 4,000 people reacted.

Is it the Weekend Yet?

No? No?

Someone called the house this morning at 5am - THREE TIMES. Finally, on the third call, someone with a slight Irish accent actually replied to my angry "HELLO!!!" and said they'd been trying to fax something three times ("I KNOW!!!" I said), and wasn't this New York?


Like many Brits, he was deeply apologetic, but my alarm was going off in twenty minutes, and fuckity fuck fuck fuck.

I'm so ready for the weekend. Where are you, Friday?

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Thoughts on Roe

If they have the balls to do it, it might go something like this:

1) The legality of abortion will get kicked back to the states, so blue states will have the procedure, some of the bigger red and mostly southern states won't, and I'll be smuggling in terrified pregnant teenagers from Indiana into Illinois and fending off further homegrown terrorists bombing health clinics. We'll have our own underground railroad. How charming.

2) Abortion is totally illegal, and we get 1.9 million more unwanted children every year. This will likely go the way of Prohibition, so we'll have ten years of women dying on tables and in back alleys and trying to self-perform abortions. Ten or twenty thousand dead women a year should do it; get a million real, live women who are now dead and talk about *their* deaths in front of a higher court, and we'll go back to allowing legal abortion. Of course, a lot of women, maybe you, your sister, your wife, your girlfriend, will have to die to get that to happen, but hey, that's politics.

It's not like politics are personal or anything. I mean, after all, this has nothing to do with me, or you, or anybody else.

Just politics.

In the meantime, there's a war on, the country's a bazillion dollars in debt, and most people don't have health care. I'm so glad we've picked something like this to spend all of our time and money on, instead of letting a quite good law continue to provide a quite good service that results in less death and complication than actual pregnancy.

When are we going to go after the real villains? Why am I the terrorist?

Thoughts on Food Addiction

Though I’ve never been a classically small person (which I’m generally OK with), I put on about 70 lbs between the ages of 16 and 18, due mostly, looking back on it, to getting on and then off the pill. Add in some depression (also partly caused by the pill) and a bad relationship, and I ballooned. It was an issue of never-ceasing hunger, the feeling that no matter how much I ate, I was still unsatisfied, still looking for something more and better.

I’d been an overeater before that, but all those triggers at once turned me into a raving lunatic, and that’s the period when my binge eating really took off. At 16, I had a car, and made my own money, so I could run into a convienence store and feed my cravings at all hours. The binges were definitely triggered by high stress, and the overeating was largely pill-based.

What I did to slough off all that excess pill and depression weight quickly so I could move around in my own skin again was to get on the Atkins diet. I lost 40lbs in four months (and kept that off because I’d merely gotten back to my set point anyway) and got up the self-confidence to go ahead and go bike riding several days a week and up my exercise routine in a “fun” way – not thinking of them as workouts, but just days where I’d go out to have fun.

By the time I hit college, I was down a total of 60lbs, and after the first couple months of college, I lost another 10lb and was at my fighting weight of about 175lbs or so. That meant going to the gym 3-6 days a week for 30-60 minutes. By that time, I’d modified my diet so I was eating wheat bread, lots of fruits and veggies, meats of all sorts, and as summer rolled around and I started bike riding a lot, I had no trouble going out for ice cream and pizza once a week.

What I remember most about my time in Alaska is how happy I was, and I know a lot of that had to do with my diet, and all that bike riding. Add that to the fact that I had a boat load of money and not a care in the world, and yea… I was damn happy.

The trouble is that I’ve been raised with bad habits, and during times of high stress, I still haven’t found another way to deal with that stress besides eating. I’ve gotten better in that I don’t binge eat so much anymore (my project for the year), but I’ll still turn to shit food when the going is tough, as I did in South Africa. As I’ve done the last couple of months (though every time I do it, it’s to a lesser and lesser degree. This is a positive sign!).

But I’ve gotten stressed and lazy, and I can’t afford new clothes, so I’ve gotta cut back for a bit to get things under control. When my world is out of control, my eating goes there too, and I have to cut it quick before it becomes an issue again.

I’m cutting my drinking down to a couple beers or some whiskey one night a week, which always helps, and I’m back to reasonable low-carb (brown rice and sweet potatoes are OK), no sugar. I’m on day two of this, and today was the office “bagel break” which turned out to be a heaping tray of danishes.

I hate this place.

The cravings are always the worst the first few days after I’m trying to break my white bread and sugar addiction. I wanted to dive into the whole platter of danishes and spend the rest of the day eating.

The problem with me and sugary sweets available on demand is that I can never eat just one, or half of one. I’d love to be one of those people who could just cut down portions instead of eliminating nearly an entire food group and all sugar, but I’m just not. I have to go cold turkey. There are certain foods I’ll binge on, and I have to avoid those at all costs, or I’m going to be dropping money I don’t have on new, bigger, clothes I can’t afford.

I think I’m beginning to move into the watching-my-weight-for-economic-reasons place. Which, actually, is pretty damn cool. I’m not hating myself. I don’t feel I’m unlovable just as I am, I just realize that if I don’t get a handle on myself again, I’m going to have to buy new clothes.

And this morning on the bus, I noticed that the world was looking a little clearer than usual, a little brighter. I recognized the feeling, because it was what I had in Alaska when I was really taking care of myself. Ah, sweet happiness, a clear head.

I always feel better when I cut out processed food. It really sucks, goddammit, because damn, it’s so good to eat that food. So, so, good. But then there’s this feeling, this great high I get when my body’s running a little cleaner, and damn, I don’t want to eat those danishes if they take this away…

The sad thing is that knowing, intellectually, that the crap food won’t make me feel any better, in fact, will make me feel worse, doesn’t help with the actual physical craving for a thing. It’s like I have a gaping black hole inside of me waiting to be filled.

And it’s going to take a week before those cravings subside. And it’s a bitch of a week.

Perhaps the biggest lesson I've learned as I've gotten older is that everything is changeable. Getting back into a rut doesn't mean you're doomed to stay there. Many states are temporary. You get back up and start going again, you get to the place you want to be.

Falling isn't dying. It's not over until you're dead.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Kids Aren't For Everyone

Continuing with the subject of having kids...

Unless you're absolutely wild about the idea, you probably shouldn't. I must say I admire those who do, but you better be clear about what you're getting into.

Stuck In NY

All five flights out of La Guardia Sunday night were cancelled due to weather. They didn't finally give into this, of course, until about midnght, when we'd all been suffering through unannounced gate changes and assurances that flights would get out at some point, which is why we sat through 7 or 8 hours of waiting time in the airport instead of taking the 10 hour bus ride to Chicago. People were so pissed of that the desk agents had to call security.

Got rescheduled for 3pm on Monday (missing work I can't afford to miss), got delayed again at the gate, got out onto the tarmac and waited, then heard air traffic control had put a stop on all planes going into Chicago. We spent nearly an hour sitting on the tarmac. Me and the girl next to me had been at the airport the night before, and we were pretty much resolved to spending yet another night in NY. I love B and everything, but I seriously couldn't afford to spend any more time in NY. We got to sit around on Monday and snuggle and eat pizza, but missing another day of work for Tuesday...


Anyway, miraculously, we got clearance to go ahead and go over the big storm that was blocking Chicago from the northeast, and the pilot navigated through no problem.

Long weekend. Wish it could have been longer, actually. I need a new job. Got a call from a woman at Washington Mutual who saw my resume on (this really does work - I've gotten three or four calls from people through just posting a resume there) who wanted me to work out in Vernon Hills.


No. It's the loop or nothing, at this point. I want a shorter fucking commute.

And more money.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Off to NY

Off to NY for the weekend...

Thursday, July 14, 2005

It's Like Genderfucking, Only With Sex

Alleyrat rant:

Many people have come to accept the notion of homosexuality but have a much harder time with bisexuality because it suggests a type of sexual flexibility or fluidity they find threatening. It is also much harder to pin people down into sex/gender categories if they tell us they are bisexual. We have our "gay man" category neatly figured; we've got our "lesbian" category; now we've got some new gender-related categories like the metrosexual, so we can sort out the dapper straights from the dapper gays; we've got "lipstick lesbians" for the femme dykes. But with bisexuals, it gets confusing. If John has a boyfriend one year, we see him as a gay man. But then, who is he when he shows up the next year with a girlfriend?

Bisexuality threatens the comforting straight/gay and man/woman binaries. (And the identity politics built around them). But it is also only the very beginning of sexual diversity. The simple fact is that sexuality is infinitely more complicated than which dirty pictures get you hard/wet, and the fact is that any one person's sexuality can shift over time or circumstance. And that it's sometimes impossible to tease out where gender and sexuality diverge.

For example: One of my high school boyfriends confessed to me, a few years after we broke up, that he had been getting blow jobs from an apparently "straight" friend of ours. The friend would come over, the two would smoke some weed, and then the friend would get to work on my ex. The Ex said that "if you close your eyes, it's just the same as getting it from a girl". But it wasn't, not really. Because (my hunch is) that this was an act that grew out of their particular friendship, their particular intimacy, their particular chemistry with each other. And it probably felt excitingly dangerous and taboo. And for my ex, more invested than our friend in thinking of himself as "straight", receiving felt like an okay, straight-ish thing to do. But giving would not have.

How do things like that fit into our rigid little categories of "straight" or "gay" or even "bisexual"? I don't think they do. I think the categories are almost worthless. (Except as community building and organizing/political strategies. Identity politics, again).....

So my point is: sexuality is not reducible to visual arousal, or even arousal. It's not reducible even to sex, or whom we have sex with. And sexuality is infinitely more complicated than these narrow little categories we have, as a culture, created for ourselves. Labels can pin people down, make them feel trapped, defined. "Bisexual", as a label, is the most open category. Though people tend to assume that a "true" bisexual would have equal desire for men and women (and if not, well, that means they're actually straight, or gay!) at least the bisexual label gives people room to move around in. Maybe I should start identifying as bisexual, as a political move. Maybe we all should.

Amen to that.

Read the rest.


You know, this empty iced tea glass looks a lot like an empty beer glass, with bits of foam and everything.

I can dream.

Raising Children, or Lack Thereof

I've been thinking a lot about raising children. Not because I'm all that hot on having any, but because of this post over at Bitch Ph.D. and because of a comment one of my first readers made about a draft of the fantasy saga.

I've got a female-dominated matriarchy as one of my major countries, where men only make up about a third of the population at best. When my buddy asked, "So, where are all the children in Dhorin?" I prepared to explain that that's why they had so many slaves. The slaves stayed home to take care of the kids, and women got raises and advancements depending on how many kids they had, and the social system was set up so they had this prime birthing window so they could take time off to nurse kids, and then...

And then...

The trouble with being stuck with the whole "women want to be equal" instead of "let's revolutionize this society so it's better for everybody," is that you get stuck, again, with "male" being the norm. So instead of revolutionizing the workplace so we've got onsite childcare, or better, can have kids hanging out acting as interns at the workplace and functioning as members of society instead of subordinates, we just figure, hey, the parents will work and just hire somebody to take care of the kid, like a wife.

One of the big jokes between me and Jenn is that we're both so busy that we need a wife to do things like change lightbulbs and pick up mayonnaise.

And I was reading about kids in Rome, how they were dressed like "little adults" and had to function as adults by the age of 10, and I was reminded of my great grandfather, who was orphaned at 10 and who supported himself shoe-shining by the time he was 13. Infantilizing kids in the Victorian age, I guess, just made it more acceptable for a woman to spend 20 years raising kids instead of five or ten, you know, until they could go out and function in society.

In Durban, the department secretary sometimes brought her child to work with her on those days she and her husband weren't able to juggle childcare. The kid was maybe 2 or 3, and played quietly on a blanket, surrounded by toys, in the department office. Profs and grad students would come in to say hi, and the secretary could do her work at her desk and watch her kid. It didn't hurt anybody at the department, and I'm sure it was good for the kid to get out and be around other people.

We had a paper presentation once where the presenter brought her baby with her. Unfortunatley, the baby was pretty whiny and upset at being up there; it sure would have been nice if the conference room had a cradle or something she could rock the baby in with her foot while she lectured.

Yea. I'm being serious.

What's wrong with it? Shouldn't children be fully integrated into society? Isn't treating them second-class keeping them acting like "kids" far longer than they would otherwise? I know that the more people treated me like an idiot, the more I knew I was going to be able to get away with. In high school, if teachers treat you like you're four, you'll do just the amount of work they expect, and you'll produce it like a four year old. Why should I work harder? It wasn't like I was being treated like an adult.

And I realized I was doing that fantasy matriarchy all wrong. Why should they hide their kids at home? By the time the kid's five or so, they can function in society. Kids were being sent off to knight training and Roman schools at that age. Why can't we ask the same of modern children? Why can't we tailor institutions so that we can integrate our desire to raise families with our desire/neccessity to work?

Kids in Dhorin would be shipped straight off to schools and jobs at 5 years old. The lucky ones would likely apprentice to their mothers or mothers' friends and be ushered through the halls of the capital, running notes and errands and acting like "little adults" - and being treated that way.

If you want to change basic ideas about how society works, try altering assumptions about the place of children, and the separation of private and public life.

You might come up with something really different. Well, different to 21st century America, anyway.

I Am Not An Overly Friendly Person

There's this guy at work who keeps trying to be overly friendly with me, and talk to me while my headphones are on, and be generally polite and say hello every morning. This is usually fine if it's just a regular "good morning," but I'm not somebody you want to try and have a conversation with at work if I hardly know you and don't interact with you often.

It took me nearly a year before I felt comfortable idly chit-chatting with Cyllia the secretary and the regulars here. I take a loooonnng time to warm up to people. That's just who I am, and I tend to keep things as business-like as possible for as long as possible. I'm not at work to make friends. I'm at work to work, and write, and blog, and play Insaniquarium.

I am not here to make idle chit-chat when I'm half-awake and grumpy.

Also, I am drinking ice tea this morning instead of coffee.

That's enough to make anybody anti-social.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Random Alaska Picture

Perhaps I just need a vacation

Ohhhhh Sweeeeeeeeet

Unless you fit yourself up with an IUD, I don't know that you'll really know just how sweeeeeeeet this is to contemplate.

I'm not looking forward to next week.

(via feministing)


And also, I've decided that for Christmas I'm going to get a tattoo.

Or another loop ear peircing.

But leaning toward tattoo.

Celebrate the push to 30.

Another Wednesday Night

I'm sitting here in bed listening to Tom Waits and sending off my resume rather randomly to admin and project assistant jobs posted on

Damn, I remember when making $32K a year sounded like a lot of money.

Then, of course, I picked up a bunch of student loans.

Funny how that works.

I'm out of beer, which is a good thing. The last two weeks, my roommate and I have been coming home and imbibing every night of the week. It's time to lay off the sauce on weekdays.


I also just finished eating my last chocolate bar for some time, and my last bagels for some time, as well.

I have become soft and doughy, and though the morning weights are keeping up the muscle strength and definition in my arms, my endurance is for shit. And I feel guilty and shitty about it, because this isn't who I want to be, physically. I want to be stronger and leaner, and instead I've been stress-eating for the last, what, four months?

Yea. I can feel it.

The IUD is settling down; I can go jogging without getting some irritated pinching at the end of it. Yea, I admit, a lot of this backsliding physically has had to do with physical stuff. It makes sense that making a big change in your life (in my case, beginning a relationship after six years off) is going to have a big upheaval of an adjustment period. As we get more comfortable as a couple, I get more comfortable too (as does he - we've both let a lot slide while working on this relationship, and we're just getting to the point where it looks like we can breathe comfortably without worrying that the other person will jump ship. Lots of strong feelings on both sides).

And it's time to stop with the stress eating and drinking.

I'm on a long road, I have been for some time. The curse of knowing exactly who you want to be, exactly what you're gunning for, is that when you're not that person, you get pretty pissed off at yourself.

I don't need to eat three bagels. I do need to get back to running my three miles, and I miss my boxing classes more than I can say. Money issues are getting smoothed out at month's end as well. I have a terrible, terrible, way with money, and I've been using a credit card I'm technically not supposed to be using in order to go out for comfort-food lunches.

I need to concentrate on my other comforts.

Like, say, writing.

I'm down to 0 stories in the mail, and though the fantasy saga is currently sitting with an agent, I've gotta fucking get these other novels done so I can get a bunch of shit moving at once.

And I need to be stronger. I need to be smarter.

I realize it's a long road, but I've gotta get off my ass every goddamn day in order to be the person I want to be.

It's a fucking killer, because it hasn't been a couple days, or a couple weeks, it's been more or less four months, and in order to jolt myself out of the bullshit routine, I need to dramatically alter a bunch of shit at once....

You know, like giving up coffee.

That would certainly be something.

It would certainly be a start.

Do you know some Exec.Assistants make 65K a year?

Why the fuck didn't I get *that* job?

Need to work on that shit.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Good Morning, Chiklits

Downside to heading to the beach for a day and bringing a Kelly Link book?

I misjudged my flipping-over rate (it was just so much more comfortable to read while lying on my stomach).

Hence, one of those nasty sunburns on the backs of the knees, the small of the back, the backs of the shoulders...


Sitting all day at work will be FUN!

Something more substantial later...

Monday, July 11, 2005

Book Launch: Bodies in Motion

My local writing colleague, Mary Anne Mohanraj, has a bunch of book-related events going on here in Chicago, including a reading at Women & Children First Bookstore, which, as I learned today, has been having a shitty sales summer now that the local Borders has opened up.

Swing by and show some support for Mary Anne's excellent story collection and the coolness that is Women & Children First.

Sweet cover, eh?

Fuck It, I'm Going to the Beach

Blew off work completely.

I'm going to the beach with a blanket, a copy of Kelly Link's Magic For Beginners, Singularity Sky by Charlie Stross, a notepad, and fucking enjoying myself.

But before that, I'm going to go buy some pancakes at the local pancake house, deposit my tax refund, and buy something decadent from the Women & Children First Bookstore.

This whole worklife 8-5 bullshit just doesn't do anything for me. It's not what I want. I don't know how much longer I can work a shitty job.

The Madness That is My House

It has been a hellish weekend here at hacienda Chicago. My roommate awoke this morning to realize she'd overslept and missed her plane flight, and I overslept so I could miss a couple hours of work because it fucking blows and we both did a bunch of rollcoaster stuff with our respective partners this weekend.

We look and feel like about eight kinds of shit, and are terribly, terribly late, overrtired, and overstressed. You know: life.

So, what's new?

Sunday, July 10, 2005

The Rhysling

My buddy Greg Beatty won the Rhysling award for best SF short poetry.


Britain's Response:

Carry on:

ReaderCon Notes

Matt Cheney's got notes from ReaderCon up:

Day One

Day Two

I gotta get to more Cons. World Fantasy's in Madison this year...

Saturday, July 09, 2005

It is 3pm, and I Have Just Gotten Up

Well, fuck.

The bank and post office are fucking closed now, and I had errands to run.

Have I mentioned how exhausted and sleep-deprived I was this week?

Dammit. I need another three days for sleeping.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Today of All Days

Because it's not the veil that makes them what they are, it's the girl inside.

Looking For Heroines

Well, I think she picked a pretty shitty lot.

But yea, shiiiiiit. We need better scripts. Something Michelle Rodriguez could be in.... yea....

Whiskey, Writing, Link Dump

"Tableaux of women pounding grain decorate the dimly lit lobby of the Rwandan parliament, but in the debating chamber inside there is a less familiar sight: rows of women MPs are seated on the black leather chairs alongside the men."

Next up after God's War, I'm going to look into writing a novel that involves me doing a lot of research into the genocide in Rwanda. It's been an interest of mine for some time.

"Boys should be taught in single-sex schools with strong male role models to help a 'lost generation' of fatherless young men find their way in life, the Tory leadership contender Liam Fox says today."

I've never been a fan of the single-sex school idea. I think it helps form a really strict gender polarity that ain't good for anybody involved. In real life, we've gotta interact with many different people, of different cultures and genders. The sooner we get used ot it, the better.

And, to be honest, being a "lost generation" likely doesn't have much to do with whether or not you went to school with boys (note the implicit assumption that only men compose this "lost generation").

"Shoes," Sheila Jeffreys says, "are almost becoming torture instruments. During a woman's daily make-up ritual, on average she will expose herself to more than 200 synthetic chemicals before she has morning coffee. Regular lipstick wearers will ingest up to four and a half kilos during their lifetime." We are talking about Jeffreys' latest book, Beauty And Misogyny: Harmful Cultural Practices In The West, and she is in full flow about the horrors of what she calls "the brutality of beauty".

What I enjoy about really, really radical feminism is that I can pick and choose what I want to pull away from it, look it over, interrogate it, say "Cool, that's interesting, I can use that," or "shit, she's a dingbat," and move on.

You've got to have voices from the far side of every debate acting as anchors for the rest. Radicals are fun.

Ok, back to drinking and writing. Still behind. Got some good stuff done today, but... yea... still behind.

And feeling nicely buzzed.

Ah, Friday.

Friday Beer Blogging

I am bleery and sleep-deprived and behind, and writing like mad, and I MUST catch up on my writing schedule this weekend and must continue to work, work, work... ehhhhhh

Lots of work. I got another agent nibble for the fantasy saga, which is nice only insofar as it's in play again, which is... cool.

In the meantime, I need to be halfway done with God's War by August 15th.


But tonight, I will take time out for some beer, which is healthy.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

You Gotta Love the British

The BBC has published a copy of a statement from a Islamist group claiming responsibility for the attacks.

I like the part: "Britain is now burning with fear, terror and panic in its northern, southern, eastern, and western quarters."

Who do they think they're kidding? "Britain is now burning with the desire for a cup of tea and wondering if they'll get tommorow off work" would be far more accurate.

Choose Wisely

I'm still behind on the writing. Back later.

"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender."
- Winston Churchill

"Freedom is what you do with what's been done to you."
- John-Paul Sartre

"The truth of that matter is, if you listen carefully, Saddam would still be in power if he were the president of the United States, and the world would be a lot better off."
—George W. Bush, second presidential debate, St. Louis, Mo., Oct. 8, 2004

A Little Cultural Bias At Work, or No?

Some people are attracted to women; some are attracted to men. And some, if Sigmund Freud, Dr. Alfred Kinsey and millions of self-described bisexuals are to be believed, are drawn to both sexes.

But a new study casts doubt on whether true bisexuality exists, at least in men.

There are about three gaping holes here that don't hold water for me.

Oh, *Now* They Raise Their Vigilance

Wouldn't it have been a little late if theirs were coordinated with ours?

I feel like it's the 1980s all over again.

And I do feel it's neccessary, once again, to point out that terrorism is a tactic, not an adversary. You can't fight terrorism any more than you can fight a forward charge.

Name it. Stop turning these people into nebulous, faceless groups of "evil doers." Tell us what they're pissed about, what their motives are, let us listen to them, because the more we know about them, the better we can fight them. Otherwise, you're just waving words around, and we're off to bomb another small desert country.

Rolling blogging news from across London as it comes in.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Notes & Quotes

I am horribly behind on just about everything, chiklits.

Need to finish a chapter of the fantasy saga (book 2), and a chapter and a half of God's War in order to catch up. Also need to edit a paper for my brother.

I am also feeling really, really, sleep deprived.

The new head manager for the office has also started cracking down on employee hours, i.e. no more of our "fuck it, not much going on, I'm outta here at 3pm," thing, which is fucking ridiculous, because, of course, it doesn't apply to Yellow or Blaine. I know for a fact that Yellow works here *because* of the flexible hours. So, when things are slow, they'd prefer we just stay here all day playing Insaniquarium instead of saving them money by going home?

The fuck?

Take away my flexibility, and I'm not particularly sure why I'd work here. I'm a writer. I'm here cause I can take a writing day whenever I want to, and come in late on days when my boyfriend's in town.

Fuck it, honey, it ain't worth it if you take that away.

I'll go somewhere else where they pay me enough to care.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Stuff You Coul Be Reading

Hot damn, Kelly Link's story collection Stranger Things Happen is now available for free under a Creative Commons license... If you like what you read, why not go out and buy a copy, or check out her new one? I plan to.

And the uber-scarily taleted Simon Owens (21 and rocking the house) has another short up a Chizine (I still maintain he's just peaking early, dammit. Someday he will not be young and talented, just talented). Check it out.

I Accidently Saw "War of the Worlds"

Did anyone else assume we'd gotten past that whole "mankind," "man," "where no man has gone before" stuff with Star Trek the Next Generation? I mean, I really thought that narrators in the future would mention, also, that women did things, built things, and genernally contributed to the formation of society, seeings as women, like, have babies and design buildings and drive forklifts and such. Women: doing everything men do, and breeding for the cause, too!

I mean, really.

But anyway, if you suck it up through the Morgan Freeman narration, this is a great little summer adventure movie.

Yea, you heard me right.

Forget a minute that Tom Cruise is the lead (I wish they'd cast somebody else - he's a celebrity who's gotten to the point where he's so much "a celebrity" in my mind that it's difficult not to just be like, "Oh, Tom Cruise), and appreciate Dakota Fanning and Steven Spielburg as a director, and go along for the fucking ride.

It hits my pet interests of course: war, genocide, apocalyptic scenerios and how they bring out the worst and (sometimes) the best in people. Speilburg knows how you make a good action flick: always bring it back to the characters. It's about the people, not the special effects (though the effects are fucking stellar). Focus on the story, the journey of these people caught up in extraordinary events. He's great with suspense, tension.

Spielburg may spend a bit too long focusing on all of the grouped military shots, but hey, he after directing so many war movies, I think he just couldn't help it.

Cruise plays an incompetent asshole pretty well (does this surprise anyone?), and it's fun to watch a sort of anti-hero fill the hero role.

Unlike some other people, I didn't have so much trouble with the ending: hell, they stayed true to the original in that sense. What ya gonna do?

I will say that the cynic in me wanted it to end with the father & daughter cowering on the stairs after Cruise takes steps to ensure their survival. I love that idea as an ending shot. But then, I adored the original ending shot of "28 Days Later" when the two women - hefting shotguns - swing through the double doors of the hospital and into the great unknown.

I enjoy just being left to dwell on how far human beings will go to protect their kin, and speculate about how well they'll do in the long run.

But hey, it's Spielburg. Everybody's gotta live, gotta maintain the happy family unit.

Ah, well.

It was a good ride. I was pleasantly entertained.