January 30, 2011


Well this is just inappropriate.

I may never understand why people get so concerned about how other people have sex. It seems like everyone has an opinion on what everyone else should and should not be doing. Even corporations.

Chick-fil-A has come out against homosexuality. The restaurant chain is involved with several religious and family oriented groups (including Focus on the Family, which reminds me of Peta for kids) and has explicitly come out and said they "do not accept homosexual couples" at Chick-fil-A's charitable retreat.

But don't worry, gays, you can still order food from the restaurants. They're not going to refuse your money, after all.

And then there's the professionally religious. Bishops have warned married couples to not get too carried away by sexual pleasure, but to remember why you're having sex in the first place. And it's not because it's a way to express your love and passion for one another, unless that's just a byproduct of making babies. The article basically says "we know we said only sex outside of marriage was bad, but anal really isn't going to make babies, and that's our whole thing with the gays, so how 'bout you guys just stick to missionary?" It also describes how married couples should lead chaste lives. Not celibate, chaste. I can't help but picture those Mormon sex clothes that have small holes at the genitals so procreation can occur but you won't get a whole lot of mental stimulation from looking at your wife's naked body. 'Cause that's nasty.

Couldn't find the picture I wanted, so there's this. Also, there's a lot of mormon gay porn out there.

The bishop goes so far as to call pleasure a byproduct of sex:
"Though pleasure may be present, some acts are a misuse of sex when they fall short of what God intended."
Oh yeah? If God intended pleasure to be a mere byproduct of sex why would He have created an organ that does nothing but give sexual pleasure? Plus, certain foreplay acts make sex more enjoyable for each person and make the whole making babies part even better. How do we know God didn't intend that? Lastly, how is a bishop, a supposedly celibate and single individual, giving sex advice to married couples? Giving sex advice is hard enough (well, giving real sex advice is hard, not the bullshit opinions everyone and their mom seem to give out), and it has to be near impossible if you've never experienced it, especially as a married man.

I wish people would just leave others well enough alone. If someone is looking for help or advice he or she will seek it out. The rest of us don't need to go giving our 2 cents to anyone within ear shot. That's my 2 cents, anyway.

*I love the shout-out to Fark.

January 28, 2011

United States Of Beer

Isn't that a fantastic headline?

People with a lot of time on their hands, who get bored, sometimes have genius ideas. Introducing, the United States of Beer:

If you click the link you'll quickly see just another reason the great state of California is superior to all others: Stone. Though, to be fair, other California beers are equally delicious, but Stone has made quite a name for itself.

A closer look at this map makes me curious about other states. Nevada is best known for FourLoko, apparently, but it was created in Ohio/Illinois. And it isn't beer. Which must mean Nevada is lacking in the general beer department. Utah has a beer called Epic, which sounds, well, epic, but it's Utah, so the maximum alcohol content is 4% and anything stronger can't be purchased on Sundays. (Most Stone beers start at 4% and you can buy them on Sundays. But I guess that's what makes California so crazy.) Also, Wisconsin claims Miller but North Dakota claims Miller Lite. My stereotypical opinions of Alabama are not helped by this map, but the map makes a good case for going to Hawaii.

I also learned there are beers out there, in this country, that I can't even pronounce. So enjoy this map, fellow beer drinkers, and maybe we will be inspired to take a beer road trip across the country. Just as long as we skip Virginia.

January 27, 2011

Positive Thinking

I can go here any time I want.

I've got it pretty good.

It's very difficult to live in such a beautiful part of the world and not appreciate life. Going to the beach and seeing the bright sun setting over waves and dogs in January, having Balboa Park so close to my spacious apartment, living in the center of urban San Diego, living in a city others dream of visiting one day, having such an intimate knowledge of the things to do every day makes me feel very alive.

I really don't have a whole lot to complain about. (Not that that ever stops me.) Sure, I could use a job that provides full-time work, regular working hours, and a decent wage. But I do like my job, so it's not all bad. Plus, I can feel the next opportunity almost as if it were tangible. It's right there. Any day I'm going to get a phone call and I'll rock the interview. Every day that passes just means it's getting closer to that day.

But in the mean time, there's plenty to keep my spirits up about life outside employment.

1. San Diego is awesome. I've been asked why I don't leave and move closer to my family but I couldn't imagine leaving my city for my hometown. I'll leave someday, I know that. But for something better. For San Francisco, New York, London, Seattle, Zurich, or even Granada.

2. My friends are the best. I have so much support from them and their faith in me is the best form of encouragement. It's great to know that on any (albeit rare) night I'm off and have nothing to do a quick phone call can change everything. I've also been wearing a bracelet a student gave me to remind myself that I have a positive effect on others. I feel like Jim Carrey in The Mask: "You love me, you really love me!" God, I would stop breathing from laughing so hard at that movie.

3. I got ZOONOOZ in the mail. I've been getting annoyed at the previous tenant not forwarding her mail, but getting that magazine with a giant picture of my favorite crane on the cover made me super excited. It's the little things.

I want a dress modeled after this bird.

4. My high school boyfriend joined Facebook. His profile picture is super punk/emo, with long hair in front of his face, black clothes, insecure smirk and sarcastic comments on all photos, and 2 albums of him posing with his punk girlfriend (the one who apparently cheated on her boyfriend, his best friend, with him), making hard core hand gestures. I know it's been, like 7 years, but damn. I dated that. But it does make me feel pretty good about myself.

5. There has been some good new music out lately. One of San Diego's radio stations, FM 94.9, plays a good amount of underground and new music that hasn't hit the mainstream yet, and most of it is pretty amazing and ends up hitting the mainstream. It's also a good feeling to listen to a song, think how much I like it, and then realize it's by an artist I already liked.

6. Finally, training for this half marathon feels incredible. Every week I run further than I've ever run in my life, every week I'm breaking my own record, every week I'm doing more than I thought was possible with my body. I wasn't ever really a runner, but would sort of jog around just to get some exercise on occasion. Having this goal (and for a cause I'm all for) forces me to not quit, blisters be damned. Facing every week knowing I have to run 7 or 8 or 9 miles (up to 11 next month) is daunting, and then on top of that after every peak I have to keep building up to and passing that mark in preparation for the next peak. But then I do, and I feel amazing. My legs are looking good, and if I have to have big thighs at least they'll be muscular. 13 miles still sounds really hard, but I'll be wearing this epic (orange!!!) shirt with the marathon logo, will be running alongside 3,000 others and will get a participation medal at the end, which will encourage me to just not stop. And maybe after I've done this half marathon a full marathon won't feel so impossible.

Plus, little fuzzface here has been extra loving lately.

January 24, 2011

Carry You

How can you be anything but peaceful when this is your home?

There was a line to a Jimmy Eat World song I could never bring myself to sing. I know the words to almost every Jimmy song and love to belt them out (when I'm alone in the safety of my own car with the windows rolled up). But "Carry You" held one line I deliberately skipped:
"I could never be the one that you want, don't ask
Well, here's to living in the moment
'Cause it passed."
Every time I sang that song I skipped that line. Somehow I felt that by singing it I would be acknowledging what I knew deep, deep down: the boyfriend and I weren't right for each other. Before actually breaking up, and due to a nasty comment on his end, I spent a week as a single girl. It was an amazing week and I didn't miss him at all. That week I sang every word to "Carry You." It was strangely and symbolically liberating.

Yesterday, had I stuck it out or had (like he thought for whatever reason) it just been a break, would have marked 7 years together. Coincidentally, last night I used a pile of old papers, including a few things from that relationship, as kindling in my friend's fireplace. Two such papers were letters from The Ex's BFF from way back when we were friendly. He was a bit too friendly at times and rereading those letters felt... sort of wrong. It reminded me, burning them, how much things can change in a short time.

Listening to Jimmy songs yesterday, spending time watching the sunset at Dog Beach, burning that pile of old memories and bank statements from an account that no longer exists gave me the strength that you're supposed to get from weekends that we seem to have forgotten about. I remembered yet again why I love Jimmy Eat World songs so much: each album's theme magically applied to exactly what was going on in my life at the time. This is probably just me reading into a band I simply like the sound of, but it sure feels like a huge coincidence that the albums came out in the order they did, and it could partially explain why the latest one just hasn't resonated with me very much. Regardless, it's comforting to have something as basic as a band stick around in my heart for such a long time while simultaneously bringing up memories from the past. It puts a positive spin on some of the negative feelings I once held and now makes me feel a little bit stronger for having dealt with it all.
"You better choose your words carefully
Because I'm not your anything."

January 23, 2011

Subliminal Advertising

You know you gonna buy that Hershey's syrup.

I think Facebook is trying to tell me something.

A while back Facebook decided the ads on profiles should be somewhat relevant. If you didn't like an ad you could remove it and were given a list of reasons to choose from to state why you didn't agree with the ad, from it being irrelevant to it being spam. So it's gotten a little better. At least now I'm not seeing ads for getting pregnant (but then again, now my status is single; at least Facebook isn't encouraging single motherhood).

But, now it seems Facebook thinks I need a boyfriend. Here's a sample of the ads on my profile:

Are you simple or sexy? Take a style quiz to determine your perfect fashion preference. I'm not sure I need an online quiz to determine if I'm simple or sexy. Everything I own is comfortable; there is nothing in my closet (except for one pair of heels I bought for a Halloween costume) that is fashion before comfort. The website is all about shopping celebrity and designer fashions and analyzing your style. Is this suggesting I need to update my style if I have any hope of getting a boyfriend? Kind of feels like it, especially when the next ad I see is:

Make him addicted to you. Learn the "secret psychology" to making a man fall in love with you and hooking him into a long term relationship. (Facebook says I've been single too long.) The website is run by a married woman who claims these secrets helped her save her relationship and turn it into a 20-year marriage. And you could too! All you have to do is sign up for membership and you'll attract men like magnets. There was a similar ad a few weeks ago promising to hook your man forever just by saying one thing. I couldn't help but guess that one thing was "I swallow." And if these tricks fail, there's always:

Earn a UCSD MBA. If you can't go slut and the "secret psychology" doesn't work there's always the nerds. Go for higher education and maybe you'll meet a nice man in class. It's like what college for women used to be before we realized we kick ass: go to college to spend some time not living with mom and dad, graduate with an engagement ring and spend the rest of your life forgetting anything you might have learned in those 4 years. But you can't go all CEO because ball busting women are just not sexy. However, these methods for grabbing your man could fail, and you might as well give up. Hence:

San Diego bucket list. At the very least I can live a full life doing fun things in my city alone. Manless. But there's one saving grace. The URL includes the words "living social," which tells me it's yet another means of meeting potential men. However, when I go to the website I find the best daily deals for Washington DC. Um, Facebook? I live in San Diego. I've never even been to Washington DC. Or Washington state, for that matter. I'm not looking to meet a man not in San Diego. If I were, well, I think everyone knows that story.

January 14, 2011

Dear World

I found this the other day and it inspired to write my own short, honestly sarcastic letters.

Dear World,
See how "world" is singular? See how I didn't say "dear worlds"? Yeah, we just got the one. Let's stop fucking it up.
I dunno about that whole living on the moon idea.

Dear Tibia,
I just bought fancy new shoes. Why do you still hurt?
The half marathon is only 2 months away

Dear Rich Relatives,
If you can fly half way across the country for funzies a few weeks in advance you're not living day to day.
Living paycheck to paycheck sucks

Dear Eczema,
You're early this year! Now please go away.
I would like to get laid

Dear Half Marathon,
Did it have to be on Daylight Saving Time?
I work nights

Dear Students,
The "wash me" in Spanish on my window was funny, the dick was not.
Grow up

Dear Economy,
Soooooo when's that whole "looking up" thing gonna go down?
Job hunting is a full time job

Dear Neighbors,
You have the biggest parking spot. Is it necessary to encroach on ours? Could you learn to park within your lines?
I'm going to dent your passenger door

Thanks, World. I feel better.

January 5, 2011

When I Travel

I've used this before, but it's just really cool.

Apparently I need to travel.

The students I work with are in a constant flux, always coming and always going. Sometimes the going is really sad. I meet people from many different countries and I want to visit them all. Some students feel so convinced that I'll visit them that they tell me all the things they'll show me when I come. When. Not if. Maybe it has more to do with their often limited grasp of tense, but I do get a feeling of certainty from them. When I visit Italy, when I visit Panama, when I visit Switzerland, they'll show me around, returning the favor.

So, I need to start traveling. I do want to visit all those countries and more. I've met wonderful people from Holland, Spain, Brazil, Korea, Japan, Germany, Taiwan, Sweden and some very interesting ones from Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Turkey. The cool thing is every student who's told me I should visit their country really means it. I would have a couch to crash on for the night, a personal tour guide for the day and I'd see someone I thought I'd never see again.

I've been wanting to teach English in another country... maybe Switzerland? Or Spain? Or England? Does England even take American teachers? While I'm there I could take extra time to travel Europe. Then maybe Brazil for the World Cup. Then maybe Panama for Carnavales.

Any one have a hundred thousand dollars or so I could use?

January 3, 2011

Old Year, New Year

Not too many people had a terrific 2010, it seems. On occasion I visit The Frisky, purely for entertainment. They have a section called, "Mind of Man," where their male bloggers write about dating from the man's perspective. John DeVore's writing is generally spectacular: well thought out, articulate and insightful. Here's an excerpt from his article on what he learned during 2010 called, "New Year's Resolutions Are For Suckers":

The heart is a haunted house. Love is the bait and the hook. In a way, everyone is an orphan Lego searching for the right brick to click to. A six-foot long chocolate brown couch made out of teddy bears can bring about a modicum of happiness. Facebook is not reality. Texting was invented to increase misunderstandings between lovers and friends, and therefore, comedy. There are friends who will take a bullet for you, and sometimes they’re the ones who shot the gun in the first place. Taking responsibility for your actions sucks, but it’s better than prescription-strength sleeping pills. Pillows smell so much sweeter when they’re scented with her face. Wet jeans are the most uncomfortable thing in the world. Tax accountants are wizards. In a zombie apocalypse, a shovel is as useful a weapon as a chainsaw. Lady Gaga’s music isn’t terrible. Moths are just goth butterflies. If you’re not prepared to be carbon frozen to save your friends, you’re not a man.

This past year, I also learned that one cannot fail forever.

Pretty damn poetic, Mr. DeVore. I agree with every word, even that line about Lady Gaga ("Paparazzi" is kind of catchy) and especially that line about texting. And I take serious comfort in his last line. It's time to stop failing.

January 1, 2011

Airline Woes

This photo really doesn't make me feel sympathetic towards TSA agents.

The hot topic in the news now is how the TSA sucks at doing their job. An editorial in The Guardian described a few worst-case-scenarios in which passengers were moved to tears after being mistreated by TSA agents. Women have stories of TSA agents touching their labia, even their clitoris, while doing a standard pat down. Some were so horrified during the procedure that they broke down and cried, but the pat down must go on.

With all the negative press the TSA is getting, it's a little surprising (ok, maybe not all that surprising) that they're continuing on as if nothing is the matter. As if the TSA knows exactly what we're all saying about them and is pressing on even stronger just to spite us because they know we're powerless against them. That they'll grope and prod a little bit more because we whine and complain about it.

Which sucks.

However, a small ray of hopeful sunshine has graced the world of air travel. More airports are considering switching from TSA to private security. Executives are starting to realize that passengers are very stressed when moving through airports and that's bad for business. If passengers don't get that dreaded pit-in-the-stomach feeling going through security, aren't waiting in line for hours, and don't feel violated they might be a little less apprehensive and a little more willing to fly. Granted, for some people who fly very often there really isn't much choice, and granted there will still be the same security measures, like scanners and pat downs. But if employees can be fired on the spot for inappropriate behavior and if their profits depend on getting the job done right it shouldn't feel like a rape.

And speaking of rape, there are plenty of people who have had traumatic sexual experiences who couldn't handle being treated in such a way, in public. Is there job training for those situations? What does an agent do when a woman is shaking and in tears while spread eagle for a pat down? Letting her off the hook would pose a security threat, as any person could try faking terror, but continuing could send her to therapy or cause her to never fly again. And even people who have never had any sort of traumatic sexual experience feel highly uncomfortable with the intrusive searches. Whether or not airports move towards a private security company, there needs to be a method that will appease the TSAs security standards and make passengers feel comfortable. Unfortunately, because we're left with the choice of fly or don't go where we want to go, we feel helpless and are forced to put up with extreme violations.

Maybe the TSA and airlines can share a new year's resolution: make flying safer and more comfortable for passengers.