Thursday, November 20, 2008

What Would You Do?

What would you do if you found out you only had 30 days to live? Assuming that there were no financial constraints, how would you spend the last of your time here on Earth? I want to know.

Tropical vacations, skydiving . . . . what do you want to see or do before you die?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Sexual Jealousy? I Don't Think So.

I adore Helen Mirren, for more reasons than just a shared name. She is an amazing actress - there hasn’t been much that I’ve seen her in that I did not enjoy. And this crazy old broad has been known to say some crazy shit, some of it downright offensive – but I always seem to find her bluntness refreshing. But she recently made a comment that got me thinking:

"In a rape case the courts in defense of a man would select as many women as they could for the jury, because women go against women," Mirren says. "Whether in a deep-seated animalistic way, going back billions of years, or from a sense of tribal jealousy or just antagonism, I don't know."

In other words, if you get raped, make sure that there are all men on the jury, otherwise those jealous bitches are going to let the guy off.

While I think she may be onto something in terms of the makeup of the jury and how likely they are to acquit, I think her reasoning is off. It’s not because they are jealous, it’s because they are afraid that they could be victimized in the same way. By blaming the victim (she had too much to drink, or should never have gone back to the guy’s place), they can regain control.

We've come a long way, baby. But despite our college degrees, high-paying jobs, and ball-busting attitudes, men are still physically stronger, and that is a terrifying realization. By transferring the blame to the victim, we can say "Oh, that wouldn't happen to me, because I'd never put myself in that situation." And while it can be empowering on an individual level, it is also devastating to our gender, because we have basically turned the blame on ourselves, instead of putting it where it belongs: squarely on the shoulders of the animals who do this sort of thing.

When I was in college, I developed a huge crush on this guy. We started hanging out and fooling around, but I was very clear with him that I was the “everything but” girl. He tried repeatedly, but I never backed down. One night we were at a party at his house. And of course we were all drinking. I can hold my alcohol pretty well, but for some reason this night was different. And that was the night I became the 1 in 4. And I eventually became part of another statistic – I was one of those women who never reported it.

I blew it off. I dismissed what had happened as no big deal, and just stopped hanging out with him. And I was fine. Or so I thought. But it wasn’t long after that when I started slipping. I was drinking to the point of blackout almost every time I picked up a beer. I slept constantly. I acted out, putting up this fa├žade of toughness that was backed by fear and anxiety. I had wild mood swings. Ironically, I went from being the “everything but” girl to the “anything goes” girl. After all, he can’t rape you if you’re already saying yes. Within 18 months, sweet, kind Helen turned into slutty, drunk Helen - the college dropout.

One day, as I was on the bus on my way to my crappy minimum wage college-dropout job, I overheard a conversation – two girls talking about a common experience – being raped by the same guy. The same guy who had raped me. As it turns out, there were a lot of us, and our stories were remarkably similar. And none of us ever reported him until it was too late. And as dumbfounding as it was that he had done the same thing over and over and never been reported, it was also consoling to know that there were others who understood. For the first time, I didn’t feel alone.

I eventually went back to school and got my life back together. It was made easier by the fact that he had graduated and gone back to Norway. But the ghosts from my past continue to haunt me. I don’t trust men – which explains why, since that night, I have not dated a single guy that I wasn’t really good friends with first. I am fiercely protective of my female friends. I am obsessive about making sure that doors are locked, and I usually leave half the lights on in the house when Ship is out of town. I keep a police-issue Mag Lite under my bed for defense. And I would buy a gun if I had a couple extra hundred dollars sitting around. And I tell myself that I’m okay. Even though I know, deep down, I will never truly get over what happened.



Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Cardinal Rules – And Why You Shouldn’t Break Them

So, first of all, I hope to God that neither of my parents ever reads this particular post. Mom, Dad . . . if you’re reading this, PLEASE STOP NOW!! Really. Seriously. Trust me.

Anyway, I have been single for a long time – so long, in fact, that my ex-boyfriend has now been married for almost two years. As a single woman, I have developed some “rules of engagement” for myself. The first rule: no sex outside the bounds of a monogamous relationship. And I have stuck to that rule for all I’m worth – despite being really tempted on several occasions to break it.

Well, I broke it. And now I’m kicking myself in the ass.

I should probably explain the circumstances. The guy is a friend of a friend who I have known for a while, although on a very casual level. We went camping together as part of a group about a month ago, and we flirted with one another, but nothing came of it. I chalked it up to us both being unrelenting flirts, and left it at that. He’s a really nice guy, very cute (he actually looks the Latino version of my ex, so I guess I have a type), funny, and always good company.

We were drinking and joking around, one thing lead to another, and the next thing I know, we are headed back to my house together. Before I even got home, all I could think was “I don’t know if I really want to go through with this.” But I did. And it sucked.

I will say, with all honesty, that I have a hard time enjoying sex if there isn’t also some sort of emotional connection involved – thus my cardinal rule of no sex outside of a relationship. But there were several other things that really ruined it for me:

  • Asking me repeatedly if I liked his penis
  • Asking me if I had any thong underwear (seriously, I have an ass like Wyoming wide & flat – I don’t do thongs)
  • Using my boobs like those squishy stress relief ball
  • Biting my nipples (yeah, no, that does NOT feel good
  • Various assorted “performance peculiarities”

Then, after all was said and done, he tells me to call him. I'm terrified that he might want a rematch. My breasts will not stand for it – they spent all day yesterday trying to recover, and they’ve threatened to strike out on their own if I try. And since I love my girls more than anything (or at least any other part of my body), I’m going to have to follow the sage advice of one Mrs. Nancy Reagan – and Just Say NO!

I hope I don’t run into him anytime soon.

The Very Definition of Insanity

I wanted to post about this last week when it first happened, but I decided to give myself the weekend to calm down before I wrote this post. I’m still not that calm.

There is a guy who works downstairs from me named Vic. Normally, I would change his name to protect his anonymity, but not this time. Vic is a good ol’ boy – a middle-aged former Marine from Texas who drives a pick’em up truck and owns a Harley. He’s always seemed like a nice enough guy, and I’ve definitely enjoyed his company while taking smoke breaks at work.

Now, Vic is a Republican, and while we generally don’t see eye to eye on politics, I have never held it against him, and actually felt bad for him one day when he was being ganged up on by a whole bunch of his Obama-supporting co-workers.

That all changed on Friday.

We were talking about the election and how Sarah Palin is being offered up as the sacrificial lamb by the Republican party to help explain away McCain’s loss. And I definitely agreed with him that she was sharing too much of the responsibility for the outcome of the election.

Then he told me that I should read “Obamanation” so that I would see the truth about our President-Elect. Supposedly, he was responsible for a civil war in Kenya which killed 23,000 people, but no one ever talks about it because of the liberal media. (Apparently, he’s never heard of Fox News.)

He then goes on to say that he can’t wait until Obama is assassinated. Gulp. Excuse me? Did I just hear that right? I asked him to repeat himself, and he confirmed it. He said that he would never actually do it himself, but that he would be thrilled if Obama was murdered (because America would never impeach its first black president according to him – no matter what Obama did.)

Um. I’m at a loss for words that there are actually people out there in this world who think this way. Am I living in a bubble here? I know that racism is definitely alive and well in the US, but this really blew my freaking mind.

So now, whenever I see Vic, I will be going to smoke elsewhere, even it if means that I have to get yelled at by the Nicotine Nazis.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

America - Fuck Yeah!

I have never been more proud to be an American than I am at this very moment. God bless this great nation of ours, and the wisdom of its people to see through the BS of the hatemongers. And please keep Obie safe - he has a lot of work to do, and we don't need any more martyrs.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

I Voted - Did You?!

I went this morning to cast my vote, and was shocked at how painless the whole process was. I had lofty aspirations of getting up at 4:30 and showering before I went, but that didn't happen, so I dragged myself there with my hair pulled into a haphazard ponytail around 5:45.

When I got there, the line was already about 2 blocks long, and I had that initial moment of thinking “do I really want to do this?” Very quickly, I realized the answer was yes. As I was making my way to the end of the line, a young guy in his early 20s named Matt started talking to me, and we were joined soon after by Melissa, a girl in her mid-twenties – both government employees.

The overall mood was upbeat, and you can tell that everyone was there because they wanted to be. You didn’t hear any of that typical line-waiting complaining – but mostly because the line moved very quickly.

I was so impressed with the staff working my location (Patrick Henry School on S. Highland) – they kept things moving, were very friendly, and that made the experience that much more enjoyable. Within an hour and 15 minutes, I was done and on my way home – feeling a sense of pride for having taken part in such a historic election.

Tonight, it’s over to the Pub with Pita and Professor to watch the votes come in. Regardless of the outcome, I think America will be a better place tomorrow, because everyone seems to have taken a more active role in this year’s election – and that’s what democracy is all about.

So if you haven’t taken the time to vote yet – please do.

I Said I DON'T Need a Nicotine Patch, Damnit!

I know it's just a marketing thing, but on my post about Stranger Than Fiction, I got the following comment:

"The quit smoking medicine chantix is undoubtedly the right medication to relieve yourself from the shackles of nicotine addiction, but this drug meant for triggering off smoking cessation would yield beneficial results for you only when you administer it in accordance with the suggestions of the doctor. Altogether, there are certain other precautionary measures that you need to adhere to while using chantix and all these are detailed elaborately at the website (hyperlink disabled)."

But I guess if you're going to get spammed on your blog, this is better than the ones that tell you how to meet really rich guys or increase your penis size.

The Eve

Well, it's finally arrived. Tomorrow is the big day. I don't normally follow politics very closely. In fact, this will be the first time that I've voted in a national election. I know - I should be ashamed of myself.

I have always considered myself to be conservative. While more liberal leaning on social issues, I am an advocate of small government, the right to own a gun, and keeping my money in my pocket. But something’s got to give.

Our country is in bad shape. And I think it has as much to do with crappy business practices on the part of our banks and major corporations as it does with our attitudes as Americans. We've gotten so used to the rest of the world looking up to us that we've completely lost site of why the rest of the world respected us - our integrity and hard work. We've lost it because we've gotten so self-entitled that we feel like everyone owes us. I see this more and more every day with teenagers. I wonder if our parents felt the same way when we were teens - like our generation was a lost cause. It honestly scares the shit out of me.

And do you know what else scares the shit out of me? Sarah Palin. She terrifies me with her gosh-darned winkin' and her "you betchas" and not being smart enough to realize that she was getting pranked by two DJs from Canada. She's arrogant, and she is a threat to women everywhere. I know that it's highly unlikely that Roe v. Wade will be overturned, regardless of who wins the White House - so abortion rights are not my primary concern. The problem is that she is totally unqualified to run the local library, much less the United States of America! John McCain is a great man - but I seriously question his judgment because of his decision to have Palin as his running mate. Either he has picked terrible advisers, or he seriously thinks that female voters will not be able to look past their own uteruses to see that this woman is not a replacement for Hillary Clinton. (By the way, I am NOT a HRC fan at all, but if I had to chose between she and Palin, Hillary would have my undying support.)

So, tomorrow morning, I will be heading to the polls by 5:30 AM to cast my vote for Barack Obama. Then I'm going to drag my tired ass to Starbucks for my free cup of coffee! And tomorrow night, I will be watching the election coverage from my favorite pub as history unfolds.