November 29, 2009

It's Alive!

After 6 days of hand wringing and lots of reading, my computer works again. At first I thought, well, what do I really use my computer for anyway? Facebook, Fark, CNN, paying bills... Shit, that last one is kind of important.

And writing. Turns out when my blog is unavailable I kind of freak out and feel trapped, which doesn't help the feeling of "I'm so stressed out I could drive my car into a brick wall." But I won't do that. No, I'll take my stress-induced cold, continue working every hour I can finagle and continue writing about whatever is pissing me off this time.

And until I get a new computer sometime next year (ha) I may have more typos involving the letters "t" and "h"... Don't ask, I feel like a retard as it is.

Did a lot (and I mean a lot) of thinking this week. I'm tuning in to my non-visual memories more, especially smell and sound. Sawdust makes me feel like I'm a kid about to get something new. Smoke from a fire gets me excited. Timpani and trumpet takes me back to the band room. And then, suddenly, a simple experience reminds me of a dream I had. I wanted to create an elephant sanctuary where unwanted and uncared for elephants could live out free, dignified lives. I spent 3 hours this week hosing down bird cages, even going in with a crowned crane (which was freaking awesome), and realized that's what I want to be doing. The smell of sawdust meant that something I was getting was a cage or fence for a pet. Feeding and cleaning up poop is just a part of getting to know an animal, and it's not even really a downside. You learn things you wouldn't otherwise learn, like the hornbill is obsessed with her ball and is very aware of her surroundings at all times.

In reading "Mister Zoo" I realized it's OK to be very passionate about animals and conservation, because you can do great things for the world. I always felt a little on the outside, so when I shared animal information with people it was always a weird fact or related to humans in some way. But animals are interesting on their own to me, and now that I'm working in a place surrounded by like-minded people I'm learning to come out with it a little more. And I feel comfortable doing so. Kind of like that link I posted in the second paragraph.

November 19, 2009

You'd Like It A Lot More If You Didn't Have Any

OK so I've used this image before. It's just too good.

I hate money.

Stupid economy only makes sense when it's working. When it's failing it seems silly. We work for money so we can buy a place to live, clothes to wear and food to eat. We don't grow our own food anymore, dig our own wells, make our own clothes (unless you're a wanna-be fashion designer), or build our own homes. We don't barter our skills with our neighbors, we work for useless paper bills that we trade for things. What if we didn't value those thin green slips of paper so much? What if the gold they represent wasn't as precious as the food we fill our stomaches with or the roofs over our heads?

It kind of makes life seem a little pointless when you look at it that way.

In a good economy we're happy to work for a fair wage so we can spend our extra time with the things we care about: our homes, our families, our hobbies, our charities, our art (ha, say "our art" three times fast). But in a sucky economy we have to budget every cent; we can't spend what few dollars we do have on anything outside of the absolute necessities, which means the people whose jobs have little to do with absolute necessities might lose them, which furthers the cycle of people having few dollars to spare.

My work has a great fund available for employees willing to give back to the organization, and it's a fund I'd love to be a part of. But even a mere $2 per pay period or a one-time donation of $5 is too much for me to donate. You know where that $5 goes? It's the fee my bank charges me to transfer money from my savings account into my checking account when my credit card company causes the minimum payment to double based on a technicality. Had my last payment gone through one day earlier I would not have had a double payment this month. Or, had my paycheck come through one day earlier I would not have needed to transfer money at all.

Congratulations, Lindsay. You officially can't afford rent next month.

November 15, 2009

Plus One For Dogs

Cutest soldier you'll see all day.

Over a year ago an Australian dog went missing in Afghani desert and was presumed dead. Until this week.

Sabi, a black Australian lab, isn't just a dog. She's a highly trained bomb sniffer working for the Australian Special Forces in Afghanistan. Sabi is as much soldier as any human working alongside her and she undoubtedly saved soldier's lives by detecting bombs. She became separated from her handler during a battle in harsh desert and went missing, being apparently "incarcerated by enemy combatants."

Even the fucking Taliban recognized this ordinary looking dog as a valued soldier and jailed her rather than shooting her on sight. She was apparently kept in decent condition, too, as she "showed no signs of stress," greeted strangers like any lab would (with a slobbery tongue), and appeared healthy. An American soldier recognized her as a bomb sniffer rather than as an enemy combatant (which I assume means the Taliban might use dogs to deliver bombs to their enemies), and rescued and returned her to her rightful post.

My point in all this: everyone who came across Sabi could tell she wasn't just some dog. The Taliban knew she was a valuable member of the Australian Special Forces and kept her and the American soldier could tell she was a bomb sniffer and returned her home. It's awesome that the dogs used to help human soldiers are really treated like soldiers; they save countless human lives in terrible places and make soldier's jobs easier and safer, and it's wonderful they're celebrated.

EDIT: Oh, and this will make you cry.

November 10, 2009

"The One"

I don't think this movie is about soul mates...

There was a time in my life I believed in soul mates, the idea that every person has one perfect match somewhere in the wold. Now it just seems silly. There could be any number of people I'm compatible with and the decision to spend a lifetime with just one person is a bigger deal than we think.

Whenever a woman says she just knows her boyfriend is The One I gag a little. Honestly, you'd have to be silly to know you're going to marry a person after a few dates, and love at first sight? Please. Sure, there may very well be an instant connection, something that physically drew these women to their men, but love?

Not only is that an insane notion, but it's just kind of sad. The fun of dating is getting to know each other, learning about similarities and differences, and if you spend that time silently evaluating everything the dude says in order to assess your future together you miss out on the fun of actually dating. I've always pitied the girls (and women, as I get older) whose goals are to find a husband and have kids. There's a big difference between hating singleness because you need a husband and being fulfilled and happy with yourself enough to want someone to complement you. Though I understand wanting a family and there being a certain window of opportunity in which to act, looking for The One person out of over 6 billion who will make your life a fairy tale is simply retarded.

At least one friend of mine has a rubric: date Future Husband for 2 years, be engaged for 1, be married for 2 or 3 years, have 3 kids 1-2 years apart, and do it all by age 35. She should be dating her Future Husband now, and that puts an insane amount of pressure on her. Another friend of mine was convinced for the longest time that she would never marry and would spend her life caring for her mother, mostly because she was in her 20s and had never had a boyfriend. Now she's practically engaged to her only boyfriend. When these situations happen women are less likely to leave a sour relationship for fear of not fulfilling the plan or disappointing others. When I look at my old high school and college friends' marital statuses, the ones who put marriage and kids at the top of their list of life goals are now fretting over finding The One before their ovaries dry up, while the ones who didn't really care one way or the other and enjoyed simply living life are engaged or married.

But maybe I'm not the right person to be complaining about this; my lack of desire to procreate, thus the lack of urgency women in their 20s and 30s might feel, makes it hard to fully empathize. My shortest relationship was for 2 years, so naturally there were discussions about the future. Boyfriend #1 was convinced that I was his soul mate, that we'd have 2 kids and I'd stay home to raise them; when I broke it off I suspected a proposal was around the corner. On the opposite end of the spectrum, in over 5 years with The Ex there were a few hints of "maybe we'll end up together" followed by "after we break up and I get to experience being single again." Neither boyfriend was The One. But again, I don't believe in The One.

November 6, 2009

I Love The Internet

There is no explanation.

Seriously. It never ceases to amaze me. Below is a list of "fun questions to ask your boyfriend." This is posted on, which claims to be "intelligent life on the web." The questions are copied directly from the site: all grammar and sentence structure errors belong to the author, who claims to work as a freelance writer since writing is her passion, though she clearly has a limited grasp of the English language. I've answered these fun questions (in italics) as a male version of myself, if a Theoretical Girl were to ask me them.

1) If you were a geometric shape what would you like to be? Triangle. But I like saying rhombus.
2) Would you like to have more relationships in the same time?
Polyamory isn't my thing. Are you trying to see if I'd cheat on you? Sneaky sneaky...
3) If you were a bird or an animal what would you like to be?
OK, this is a legit question, but I also really love animals. I'd totally be an elephant. Or a peregrine falcon, if I had to pick a bird.
4) Do you like love games like master – slave, doctor – patient, teacher – student?
Sexy!!! (Sounds like someone likes watching porn.)
5) Which is the song you can associate with my image?
For my Theoretical Girl? Hmm... Finding Out True Love Is Blind. Your little Asian friend, well she can come if she wants.
6) We are at a party and you see a nice girl but you don’t have the opportunity to talk to her. What do you do to make her aware that you like her, without hurting me?
You want to have a "hot chick at a party" policy? If I don't even get the chance to talk to her I may just have to wait until the next party, when you and I will conveniently be having a "rough patch" and then I'll talk to her and nab a number. Oh wait... are you polyamorous? Is that where this is going?
7) You meet by chance a girl friend of mine at the disco. She is very happy and she is flirting with you. What are you doing?
OMG you are polyamorous! Dirty, sneaky you. Wait, why the fuck am I at a disco? Is this the 1970s and you want a three way? Is your friend hot?
8) I discovered you telling a lie to me. How do you react?
9) We are together at night, in the mountains, in a remote forest house. Will you wear pajamas?
WTF? I will most likely wear plaid flannel pajamas (shut up, they're comfortable) because it will most likely be frickin' freezing, but I'd take them off if there was a nice fire, a blanket and you naked (assuming you, Theoretical Girl, are hot).
10) Would you like to perform a strip-tease number for me?
Answering as a guy, I do not see how this is sexy. (Answering as my true womanly self... only if you don't laugh.)
11) You are alone in my house. What will you do?
Probably go through all your e-mails. Or masturbate. Or eat your food. Depends on how long I'm alone in your house.
12) What would you cook for me?
Mexican. Always Mexican. (Mmm, Spanish rice is done!)
13) Would you like to tattoo my skin for you?
You want me to give you a tattoo? Where in hell is that a good idea?
14) Would you like me to wear all the time mini skirt or to have a generous neck opening?
I would like you to have a better grasp of sentence structure and English in general. You can only be so hot before I'd blow my brains out to escape your lack of communication skills.
15) What would you like to change about myself?
Aren't we supposed to love each other for who we are, not for what we want to change?
16) When will you declare your eternal love for me?
Love is not eternal. We're all gonna die someday.
17) What should I have to love me forever?
See #16. Also, maybe you should start loving others and you'll be loved in return. Stop being so whiny and selfish.
18) Do you have the patience to come with me when I’m buying a dress?
I don't even have the patience to buy a dress for myself. Oh, wait, I'm a dude... Um, probably not, honestly.
19) Can you make friends easily?
Used to have kind of a hard time with it but the last few years have proved fruitful.
20) How can you describe yourself in a sentence?
It would be nearly impossible to describe my being in a simple sentence, and I really do not feel like writing a complicated sentence at the moment. I'll give you 1 word for now: sarcastic.
21) Would you like to spend a night with me in the forest?
Weren't we already in the mountains and I was in pajamas? Now you want a tent? Actually camping doesn't sound half bad right now...
22) What would you do if a bear came up to you and we were together in the forest?
What kind of forest are you taking me to? If we're in a monitored camp site the bear is probably just sniffing around for food and as long as we don't bother it it will go away eventually. You don't keep snacks in the tent do you? Because if you do I'm going to change my answer to #21.
23) How can you imagine that forest with bears and a girl who needs your help?
Who the fuck are you, crazy Theoretical Girl? Am I Tarzan here to rescue my helpless Theoretical Girl from a big bad bear in the forest? Is this supposed to be a sexy role playing thing or do you really hope to be rescued from a bear?
24) What flowers would you like to offer me?
And now I have to offer you flowers after saving your sorry ass from a fucking bear??? Who ARE you?
25) If you saw a field full of flowers would you pick a lot of them for me?
You're officially batshit insane. I would not pick you any flowers. I would run far, far away.
26) What would you do if we are on the beach and a lot of other girls are there top less and they are friendly with you?
If you see my answer to #25 it would really not be a problem.
27) What kind of horses would you like riding?
What kind of question is that? I don't really care what kind of horse I'd ride.
28) Which is your favorite childhood hero?
You mean who... I didn't have a childhood hero, dammit.
29) Do you like to describe what you see in the clouds?
Yeah, like when I was 5.
30) Would you like to write an adventure novel about us?
No. You're batshit crazy. And no one would buy that.
31) Do you tell your friends what we are doing together?
I've probably already told my friends you're batshit insane and to stay far away from you. Why does this matter, again?
32) Would you like to build a sand castle with me on the beach?
Hells no.
33) Would you like to have a bath with me with pink and yellow rose petals?
This question is just too insane I can't even come up with a response.
34) Would you like to have a glass of champagne with me?
Mmm... I do like champagne. But not you.
35) Would you like to make love to me on the carpet, in front of a fireplace?
Are we in the woods? Have I just rescued you from a bear? Am I wearing pajamas?
36) Would you like to be able to repair my computer?
Not at all, actually. I'll show you how to do cool shit, but I'm not in charge of fixing it because you're a dumbass and spilled soda on it.
37) Can you tell me in a few seconds what is a brick useful for?
Other than throwing it at your face, no.
38) Would you like to be together characters in a SF movie?
Science Fiction? Really? Please, stop asking questions like this and go study English.
39) Would you like to spend our honeymoon on a remote island?
Sure, that way I can kill you and there will be no one to ask questions.

Oops! That is not fun anymore! You should never ask your boyfriend a question related to marriage. So let’s go on…
Oh really.

40) Can you find easily 10 words rhyming with pencil?
How about instead of finding lame rhymes you practice grammar.
41) Are you able to explain what have I dreamt last night?
My dream last night involved The Ex dying. Which I just realized now... (Yay for a question being productive in a completely different manner than it intended.)
42) Do you consider yourself a happy person because you’ve met me?
No, Theoretical Girl, I do not consider myself happy because I've met you. I consider myself happy because I built myself a happy life.
43) Do you like answering questions to kids?
Actually yeah, I kinda do.
44) Would you like to imagine that I am a black panther and you are a poor hunter?
Is this another one of your creepy sex games?
45) Would you like to give me my breakfast in bed?
No. You'd get crumbs everywhere.
46) Can you imagine making love to me and eating strawberries and grapes?
Though I love sex and I love eating, I don't really care to have sex and eat at the same time.
47) Will you feed me with them?
I'm getting a very creepy vibe from these questions...
48) What would you do if you were Robinson Crusoe?
Probably kill you.
49) What kind of music would you like to listen to with me?
Anything to get you to stop talking.
50) Do you think that we have met before, in another life?
Frankly, no.

Some things are just too funny or too stupid to pass up.

November 5, 2009

The Amazing Human Being

You wish you were this awesome.

People really are amazing creatures. We're so interesting because we're so different from other living beings and because we have the ability to consider ourselves as puzzle pieces in our world (which, as far as we're aware, we don't share with other species).

We walk upright all the time, balancing on two proportionately tall legs. We are the only species to be perfectly vertical and it amazes me we don't eat shit more often. (Ever watch a baby learn to walk? You freak out if his chubby legs start to move too fast because you know a faceplant into the floor is seconds away.) We can even run pretty quickly on our two legs, holding objects in our hands, and usually we catch ourselves so we don't fall to the ground every time we trip.

We have pets. The descendants of wolves and lions walk through our living rooms, beg at the kitchen table, cuddle in our beds, play with our kids and protect our territories. I remember sitting at the kitchen table one day and our big dog walked by, tongue lolling and scoping the room for something interesting. She passed the cat who was unworried and asleep on the couch and didn't even acknowledge the quinea pig in his cage on the floor. I was surprised by my amazement that we have these creatures so involved in our lives, creatures who would never otherwise have such interactions.

We value individual lives. Elephants also value individual lives (they will recognize a relative or friend after decades apart and bury the dead of not just their own family members, but unrelated elephants and sometimes other species), but only people will mourn the loss of an individual so much that their lives simply stop. Some women are so upset by the loss of a fetus or child that they cannot bring themselves to get pregnant again and their relationships are destroyed. Some people are so moved by the loss (or perceived loss) of an individual that they put their own lives at risk by actively seeking revenge.

We value our species above all other species. We even value our subspecies above all other subspecies. (OK, I know most of us would like to think we're not racist and we value everyone the same, but I bet most people at least think their respective country is the best.) Our population has gone from 1 to almost 7 billion in just 200 years. If any other species had gone through this significant of a population increase we'd have culled them. But we believe our safety and comfort is more important than an entire species existence, simply because we're human.

We value worthless rocks. Only when a functional economy exists is money worth anything. Should an apocalypse or alien invasion or zombies come and wipe out all but a few thousand humans, those few thousand humans may very well be doomed to become extinct if they don't know anything about staying safe, finding edible food and clean drinking water, or raising the next generation without modern conveniences. What good is money and gold if you're alone and can't tell the difference between poisonous plants and edible ones?

People consistently amaze me the more I watch them and the more I learn about the other species we share this rock with. If you, dear reader, have an interesting or amazing observation about our unique species please share so I can learn and be amazed even more.