Monday, September 29, 2008

Maybe I need a gut-punching intervention

When I quit smoking, I swore I'd never be one of "those" ex-smokers. Perhaps though that metamorphosis is inevitable: the sense of superiority that comes with not only conquering an addiction but also not smelling like ass on a daily basis is pretty hard to ignore, especially when someone who has no claim to said superiority seems intent on sharing their ass-smelling sticks with the general public. Nary a day goes by when I don't restrain myself from punching someone in the gut for idly blowing smoke into my face. But I work on a college campus, so them's the breaks I guess. Except that apparently PA public colleges are trying to outlaw smoking at all on campus property. And smokers are pissed.

I haven't read the act itself, and I'm not even sure I think the premise is sound. But the Time article that made me aware of this little gem is making me crazy with the silliness already.

"It's one thing to stop smoking indoors, but who are they to control what happens outside?" says Steve Dugan, a 20-year-old freshman at Clarion University. "To do so is an infringement on our fundamental right to personal choice."
Really? In case you haven't noticed Steve there are infringements on "our fundamental right to personal choice" (what does that even mean, honestly) all the time. It's called living in a society. It may be my fundamental right to punch you in the gut for blowing smoke in my face, and sure I can exercise that right, but there are consequences, which are in place to protect you from my rights as it were. The consequences both of smoking oneself and subjecting others to smoke are well documented. So why does your "fundamental right to personal choice" get to trump my right to lead a life without having carcinogens blown into my face?

Then there is the keeping the children safe argument:

"Do we really want 18-year-old girl walking by herself off-campus at 2 a.m.?" Dugan asks. "All we're asking for is a compromise that considers students' needs here."
Hey, I wanted to drink Stoli on my way to English comp class, and I wasn't allowed to do that, even though I had a drinking problem. Since when do laws or even campus policy have to be ordered in such a way to benefit addicts?

In response to all this, students have been holding "smoke-ins" on all affected campuses over the last week and a half. Because that's a great way to garner sympathy: increase your smelly output. As I said, I haven't read the law, and escaped law school by the skin of my teeth and therefore can't say whether such a thing is actually infringing a bit too much on all those pesky rights of ours. But it would be nice to not have to hear shit like this:

"If I'm going to get in trouble for smoking outside," Slippery Rock University senior Alex McGill told her campus newspaper, "I might as well just light up in class instead of going out in the wind and rain."
So much for diplomacy and compromise. I might as well just start punching people in the gut if I'm going to eventually die from lung cancer due to their carelessness anyway.

I'd like to state for the record that, not only would I have probably said the immediately above when I was a 21-year-old smoker, but I probably would have followed through. And yes, I put the Stoli in an orange juice container and still aced Expos.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Bunnies and calendar anxiety

So maybe Kendra is dating Hank Baskett, or not. Holly is apparently not screwing Cris Angel, which is a shame, because she could have lent him an "H." But apparently all is good at the mansion, except that relationships are "in transition." What, the Viagra's not working any more? Say it ain't so Hef! Where else will I find my trashy-TV fix?

My schedule is filling up crazily again, and although there are several events in the next few weeks that would be pertinent to my class (or my general well-being), I'm already booked those days. Happily however I'll get to see the Sarcasmonauts this weekend, and next weekend I get to hang out with my formative feminists and see some Goya. I am also still harboring the notion of training for a 5K, but we'll have to see if that works out (or rather, whether I will work out).

Finally, I am planning a haircut this Friday, and am considering something Extreme. We'll see if I chicken out before then. I am also in desperate need of a pedicure. If I had thought things through, I probably should have married a nail tech. I guess it's not too late to send Feanor back to school...

No, finally: The new Killers song has got to be one of the stupidest I've ever heard, and I'm a huge fan of ABBA. Are we human or are we dancers? Dude.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Gimme Toxins

I stopped ingesting most caffeine at least five years ago, because of the physical effects it has on me. I still had decaf coffee and tea everyday, and chocolate was never off the rotation, but compared to my full-freight coffee addiction up to that point I effectively kicked the habit. I was sufficiently off the stuff that any full force cuppa would send me into an anxiety attack.

That is, until last month. While on a family vacay, where only my BIL also had a affection for the sludgy stuff and the caffeine-y sludgy stuff at that, I relented and had regular coffee every morning. And the effects were not that bad, such that when I got home and ran out of decaf one morning, I bought a half hazelnut half decaf large coffee from the shop next to my office. And I have been doing so nearly every morning since, destroying not only my caffeine ban but also my determination to only get coffee when I had my reusable mug with me, and to make it myself at home to save money. Sigh. What the drugs will do. Then I made the mistake of cracking open Skinny Bitch, an exercise I do not recommend to anyone wishing to keep a fragile self esteem intact, and they're all like It's Poison And If You Can't Get Through The Day Without It You're A Pussy. Seriously. So now I am an addicted toxic weak polluting mess. With anxiety. Sigh.

Funniest thing I've read in a good while

"As symbols go, the phallus is a yawn... A phallus doesn't give you much to play with, metaphorically, and it doesn't lend itself to multiple interpretations. A hose is a hose is a hose. But the vagina, now there's a Rorschach with legs."
Natalie Angier, Woman: An Intimate Geography

I will most likely have more to say about that after I have my coffee.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Scared again

Thanks technology!

Some more political stuff, confirming my martyr-complex

Aerenchyma sent this Anne Lamott gem along, and it got me thinking that, while I like the general theory, I know far more bad stuff about "them" than I know good stuff about "us." Maybe this has been the problem with politics all along, hmmm?

Jezebel had a slightly less fuzzy (and sheepish) reaction to Lamott's piece, which while somewhat sensible to me nevertheless misses what I believe the main point: positive energy begets positive energy, and we shouldn't lose sight of why we want decent political landscapes in the first place. Negativity only serves to annoy the pig as it were. However, much as I hate Palin's politics, I agree that she hasn't quite reached Voledemort status. Yet.

Finally, just finished reading an article in the Smithsonian about the 1858 Lincoln-Douglas debates, which reminded me that Republicans haven't always been evil, and probably some of them still aren't. It was also nice to read about the origins of a dark-horse presidential candidate out of Illinois coming from relative obscurity to lead the country in abolishing slavery (however reluctantly so). Gives one some hope. Wonder if he was ever a community organizer...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

An Addendum

After watching Michael Phelps flounder on SNL, I have decided that he is, indeed, far too goofy looking to sleep with. Sober.


To say I am concerned about the presidential election is a gross understatement, but eight years of stuff and nonsense has led to not a little bit of political fatigue. I am fatigued. I know that is a bit spoiled of me, since I have the luxury of not paying all that much attention to said stuff and nonsense: I have been blissfully ignoring most politics for the last year and a half, emerging only occasionally to bitch about Iraq or throw an Obama supporter off of my front porch. But now I am scared. I was made to feel a little better this morning by this assessment of polling shortcomings, but then I ended up on Feanor's journal and it hit me. This has happened before. This crazy, no way is a Republican getting elected look how badly they've been fucking up, the people of this country aren't crazy and they are not hateful so no way, totes not getting another Republican... it has happened before. So concern? Doesn't begin to cover it. I picked a bad time to go off my meds.

One of the craziest things when thinking of this election is the timing of something much more important, namely our wedding anniversary. We got married one week and a day after the last presidential election, which may have just saved us from total despair. I had guilt at the time, mostly over all the gay-marriage-ammendment bullshit that went down the same day, and which frankly bothered me more than the re-election (see the crazy/hateful distinction). I am really really hoping that this year we will have many things to celebrate on that auspicious day, and unironically be able to raise our glasses to the nation's union, not just our own.

Friday, September 12, 2008


I have said several times over the preceding weeks that I am pissed at the GOP for putting me in the position of defending Sarah Palin, when I abhor all of her professed policy positions. I am also jealous of how she gets the back of her hair to poof up like that, but I digress. One thing I am not going to defend is their hysteria over Obama's "lipstick on a pig" comment. Anyone who thinks that was tantamount to calling Palin a pig is an idiot who apparently isn't up on political catch-phrasing since 1950. Like this person (note: I only clicked on the link because it read "Flowers: Feminists' Biggest Nightmare" which amused me). I won't even go into the inane idea that women should support a politician just because she has a vagina, even if said vagina doesn't believe it should have the ability to dictate what goes into or out of it- the editorial is so simplistic it is painful to read. So, ok, let's stick to this pig=sexist slam deal. You work at a newspaper. Forgive me for believing you have access to Lexis Nexis. Using just google news I came up with pages of porcine beauty commentary offered by folks from both sides of the aisle, sometimes in the same time frame; it was particularly popular in 2004 during, ta-da! the presidential primaries and subsequent presidental campaign. No one got pissed at Cheyney for implying that Kerry was a pig. It was understood that the commentary was focused on policy, Rudy's joking aside. As for Flowers's assertion that whether or not Obama meant it that way, the crowd took it that way, give us a little credit okay? Some of us are so concerned about sexism that we don't have time to take up arms over bullshit. And not for nothing, Palin already self-identified as a dog. A pig might be a step in the right direction- at least they're cleaner, and don't really enjoy rolling around in mud.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Here we go

Hi, GOP? Yeah, it's only "choosing life" if you have a choice.