April 30, 2010

Oil Spill

Among the bones of cormorants...

Turned on the TV at my dad's house to watch some mindless Friends episodes while waiting for people to get home so we can go to lunch, and Fox News is on. Way to go, dad.

Usually I hate Fox news, but some woman and man were discussing the oil spill off the Gulf of Mexico and saying how devastating it is for the environment. The images were horrific. Black waves crashing on the shore, thick puddles pooling around rocks, drowning cormorants and making flight impossible even for the birds who spend their lives in water. The woman was going on about how precautions that could have prevented this spill were blatantly ignored, how this is possibly even more devastating than the Exxon Valdez spill, and how marine animals can't even come up for air for miles and miles and miles of ocean. Dolphins and whales living in the Gulf will drown because they can't get up through the thick oil for air, schools of fish (including tuna) will be devastated when the oil clogs their gills, and cormorants, (endangered) brown pelicans and other water birds are stuck on land with oil in their feathers. They can't eat, they can't swim, and they can't fly.

And then they talked about tourism. Though that is a valid argument, I can't help but think who the fuck cares. Miles and miles of environmental devastation, and they're talking about when people want to go to the beach in Louisiana. There's still long-term effects in Alaska, still remnants of the oil spill more than 20 years later. What is the Gulf of Mexico going to look like in 20 years? Or 10 years?

So, since this has happened in the past, it's one of the most devastating things we can do to our oceans, and it's preventable, why oh why does it keep happening? Who says, "Oh it's no big deal, it'll be fine," when shit like this goes down immediately afterwards? Something needs to change.

April 28, 2010

Pay My Bills!

Though it feels really good to see my credit card statement below $3k, my savings over $1k, enough in my checking account to cover rent and another paycheck on the way, I do sometimes wish I wasn't spending my nights working a second job. Sometimes I wish I had parents giving me money every month to live. Sometimes I wish I had a boyfriend who paid my rent.

I've made choices the last few years that got me where I am now. If I moved back in with one of my parents when I graduated college I could have lived rent free until I found a job and built up savings. Or if I moved in with The Ex (not that he would have agreed...) when I was laid off I could have lived cheaply. Or if I found a full time job at a desk somewhere I could have a consistent paycheck and probably have my card paid off by now.

I chose to stay in San Diego when I graduated. I chose to live alone. I chose to work at a non-profit, outside, doing something I love. But when I'm working nights driving students to PB or downtown, when they're all dressed up and smelling nice, to go have fun is kind of depressing. I've never really had the cute clothes, nice perfume, or sexy shoes like other girls have, and rarely did I ever have the money to go out drinking and dancing. Oh, there was a time when I was working a lot at shuttles and went out and bought fancy foods, but that was a short time that seems so far away now. And it's not that I really care about dressing up and going out every week, because I don't. I just want to not count every dollar I spend on the rare night I can go out. I knew when I graduated that I wouldn't be making much money, and now I know it's more important to my overall happiness that I enjoy what I do for a living rather than be able to buy nice things. I just hate the worry and the penny pinching.

Since Blogger decided about an hour into me having ads that I abused the privilege (before the ads were even up... thanks Google) I'm not making any money from this blog. So, I am accepting cash donations to My Personal Fund. Money will go towards paying rent for myself and the kitty, providing us both with sustenance, fueling my car so I can continue making my own money, and maybe occasionally buying a pair of jeans (I have 2 that fit) or a t-shirt that hasn't been through the wash ten dozen times. Leave me a comment and I'll direct you to my bank account. Thanks!

April 23, 2010

Follow-Up: Palm Oil

Possibly preggo Borneo rhino!

See? This is why palm oil isn't so great for the environment.

A very rare Borneo rhino (the article says the Borneo rhino is the rarest of all rhinos, but it also says there are 30 left... there are only 7 Northern white rhinos left) was spotted on remote camera traps in Malaysia. The good news is she may be pregnant. The great news is two calves were spotted earlier.

We've brought animals back from the brink of extinction before, but no matter what we do and how much effort we put into saving a species, it does no good if there's nowhere for them to live... Unfortunately for these rhinos, there's not a whole lot of space for them to begin with.

April 22, 2010


This just in: boobs cause earthquakes.

Yes, boobs.

The only antidote: take refuge in religion.

I'm not sure which one of those statements makes less sense. Some hot shot Iranian prayer leader made the logical leap from immodesty to earthquakes. Think I'm kidding? Here's the dude's actual quote:
Many women who do not dress modestly ... lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which (consequently) increases earthquakes. -Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi
(I was curious to know what was omitted with the ellipses; I think it's "and behave promiscuously".) Sedighi says in order to reduce the number of earthquakes, we must adapt our lives to Islam's moral codes. This, surely, is the only way. Doesn't this remind you of when tribes thought the rumbling of a volcano meant they had angered the gods and only the sacrifice of a young virgin into the volcanic opening could appease them and save the rest? What happened when they sacrificed a virgin and the volcano still spewed fire all over them? Maybe that's the New World version of Sodom and Gomorrah: they were so bad that nothing could be done to save them.

Luckily for us, there's an antidote to the madness: show as much boobage as possible on April 26th. The theory is that if this religious leader was told by God that boobs (or immodesty in general) cause earthquakes, then we should be able to cause a massive earthquake if we all pitch in and dress like the skanks we are (American women: if this isn't your call to arms, what is?). If there is an earthquake, then it's official: boobs cause earthquakes. If not, maybe that dude isn't getting his information from a good enough source. I'll be sure to show my, um, support on April 26th (and if I get called in to work I will be as immodest as possible in my tucked in khaki).

Come on, women, show your boobies! Join the Facebook group here.

April 15, 2010


Looks like things are over before they ever really started for me. Turns out I'm ineligible to apply for other positions at the Society because I got a written warning for tardiness, even though the instance that pushed me into dangerous territory shouldn't have counted against me. The photo caravan position closes tomorrow, and I'm stuck in Flightlines until the end of July.

(Which, actually, is an interesting date. July 26th [or 27th?] is when I would be free of these restrictions and able to apply for other positions. That's also the one-year anniversary of The Break-Up. Dunno why, but that seems significant.)

The policies that are preventing me from applying for the job I'd do anything to get back are conspiring against me in the worst way. I wasn't hired into Flightlines until 3 weeks after I was laid off from photo caravans. Because of that gap, I was a new hire, rather than a department transfer. Because of that, my probation was 6 months instead of 3 months. During that probationary period I was cross trained in another department, and clocked in using a different machine. That machine didn't record my first swipe of the day, and that instance was my 4th instance of being tardy (even though I was there on time and the woman training me can vouch for that). Because that was my 4th instance of being tardy I got a formal written warning, which goes in my file and prevents me from being eligible for other positions for 6 more months. So here I am, thinking my tardies are cleared by May or June and my probation is done 2 weeks ago, and I'm stuck until the end of July, when summer is in full swing.

This morning I felt a little depressed, considering everything. Carrying around the dread of the department lead coming back doesn't help- if it weren't for him I might actually enjoy my job. I applied for a couple outside positions, got wrapped up in this damn book (it literally sucks you away from everything), and thought about why I feel so trapped.

At the very least I have a job. Two, actually. I have a job that I'm moving up in (at least a little bit), that pays the bills, that has some of the best coworkers I've ever had, and that keeps me active outside. And it won't end come fall. I need to hang on to those thoughts, hang on to anything that will keep me from remembering how happy I was last summer and how misfortune kept me from returning to it.

When I break it all down, though, I realize what I'm most frustrated with is being reminded that I still have no direction in where my life is going. Feeling mediocre at life is depressing. Even if I'm a guide, even if I'm a guide in photo caravans, I'm still giving tours at a zoo. I'm not the vet I dreamed of being when I was little, I'm not the journalist I dreamed of being in college. And now I don't have any dream at all.

Someone push me in the right direction, please. Tell me of something I can do that I won't get bored with, something that makes me happy, something that matters, something that pays the bills. I know I'll never be rich... but I at least want to be happy doing something worthwhile. Help?

April 13, 2010

Moral Pharmacy

Sometimes we get all excited about a job or idea and run with it before really considering the options. When my sister was quite young she wanted to be an architect. She drew beautifully and had an uncommon appreciation for buildings at the age of 7. She's since given up that idea, but in her young mind she figured it would just be days of drawing buildings and putting her name on them. Seems like some pharmacists romanticize their professions while forgetting about the controversial aspects of the job.

Not that it stops them.

Stories of moral pharmacists crop up all over the place. One won't sell a woman Plan B, another won't refer her to a place that will, and now we have a whole pharmacy devoted to Christian morals. It's called Divine Mercy Care Pharmacy. Or at least it was, before it went out of business. Turns out there aren't enough good Christians in Virginia. Or just not enough good Christians who don't use make-up, birth control or cigarettes. Or porn.

When I was little and learning about the dangers of cigarettes I vowed that if I ever ran a store I wouldn't sell them. It horrified me that people paid for packs knowing all the awful things that would happen to your lungs. But then I got a job at a pharmacy... and I sold cigarettes for $5 a pack. I also sold pregnancy tests, condoms, alcohol, loads of make-up, and scandalous magazines. I still hate cigarettes but that's not going to stop me from telling someone else to not smoke, and it certainly won't stop me from doing my job and selling a pack or two or three to a paying customer. I knew when I accepted the position of cashier that I would be ringing up all sorts of items, and it wasn't my place to judge or refuse. The only restrictions I had were to not sell alcohol to minors or drunk adults and to report any child porn coming through the photo lab. Pharmacists should realize that it's not their job to judge or refuse, and pharmacists that refuse to do their jobs and fill prescriptions should be reprimanded.

At least the Divine Mercy Care Pharmacy was honest about it's offerings. But it was right across the street from a full pharmacy and around the corner from a KMart, and people decided to make one trip to one store, rather than one trip to Divine Mercy for anti-depressants and one trip to KMart for lipstick. Because it just makes sense.