Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Monkey See Monkey Do

Today my small group leadership class was pretty hilarious. Somehow, on the topic of nonverbal group communication, the focus shifted to homosexual tendencies of the males on campus to "hold each other and whisper sweet nothings in each others ears."

While my Prof was quite visually recoiling in his disgust, there was one brave soul who stood up for the baffling enclave and compared it to a football team. Like football players who also display homosexual acts (grabbing a guy's ass, etc), it is accepted because they are a part of a team and as such, their masculinity is pre-estalished. Likewise, because the group of guys on campus have lived in one of the campus dorms, there is a shared history--a bond, if you will--that establishes the same team-like mentality.

It was really nice to have that explained to me.

Then, the topic got a little confusing. Another reason these guys do it is because they are wary of interacting with the opposite sex. That's right. Because the girls on campus are so aggressive and demand a "ring by spring", any interaction with a male is practically a date. Guys have realized that many girls on campus do, indeed, talk to their friends after a social interaction (i.e. a "Hello" in the caf) and they sit together to analyze what he meant.

One girl in the class clarified this point by saying that one of her friends quite literally would have a single conversation with a male and come up to the dorm and say, "Well, I don't know if it would work out because he doesn't want kids."











Before you get excited that I am frustrated with women "accepting traditional gender roles", calm yourself. I am a feminist. I believe in equality for each gender if the person's skill set is viable but I also believe that women are not men. Period. For the most part, women do not make as much as men because they do not negotiate their salaries, they do not pit companies against one another in a kind of bidding war for her employment, and women are typically not as aggressive in the workplace as men.

Because I believe that, I know that when I enter the workplace, I will fight against the kind of passive acceptance many women have because I know that employers will never give the best card first. You have to fight for that shit.

[on a side note--to a degree, men have to fight for this, too. attaining a fair wage is not a gender-mutual issue because employers want to pay people as little as possible!]

To the point--I was surprised when I heard that guys are afraid to interact with women because they seem desperate. Quite honestly, it is that trend with women on my campus exercise, and it makes me mad to know that I was right.

No wonder guys don't talk to me when I try to engage in what I intend to be strictly friendly conversation--they think I am desperate for an engagement. It further hinders my quest to be friends with them because I am thick. Of course, thick women are ALWAYS hard up for a man in their lives.


Stupid desperate girls, throwing themselves on guys when I want to have a guy friend to distract me from drama-laden estrogen-bearing psychos!

Ugh. Just...ugh.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Martin Luther King Jr. is a Pervert

People say the craziest things. Here are a few little dandies that I've had emailed to me:

"If you sometimes feel a little useless, offended or depressed...always remember that YOU were once the fastest and most victorious little sperm out of millions."

"Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak."

"We'll be friends until we're old and senile. Then we'll be new friends!"

"I don't care if you lick windows, take the special bus, or occasionally pee on yourself...you have in there, sunshine, you're friggin' special!"

My favorite, though, is from a paper I read at work. I wrote it down verbatim because it was just THAT good:

"I attract a lot of perverted men whom tend to ask if I am a stripper. The answer is no, and little do they know that I have a passion for dance, drastic makeup, heels, and tattoos."

Believe it or not, this last quote was embedded in the intro of a paper about Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I have a Dream" speech.

In his fight for equality for all, do you think he was considering the future of exotic dancers?

Friday, November 21, 2008

An Article and a Half

I have subscribed to a few newsletters from Slate magazine because I appreciate the point of view and stories the site puts forth. Usually, I skim over the newsletter about Culture (See: "Culturebox"), but in my inbox today was a paragraph of this following article, and it so compelled me that I had to read it all.

It's effing hillarious.

"The J. Crew Catalog Destroyed My Spirit--Why mailmen give up."
By Paul Collins
Posted Thursday, Nov. 20, 2008, at 6:59 AM ET

Illustration by Mark Alan Stamaty. Click image to expand.It's a discovery worthy of a murder mystery: In a parking lot in the mountains outside Santa Cruz, Calif., a truck is found abandoned, the keys still hanging in the door. Inside the police find … a note? A body?

Not quite. Try 13,000 pieces of undelivered mail.

The recent discovery in Bonny Doon, Calif., of a former mail carrier's old stash was not exactly unprecedented. There's also the recent arrest of a Detroit postal carrier who squirreled away 9,000 pieces of mail into a storage locker, a work dodge worthy of a Seinfeld plot. A week earlier, a postman was nailed for hoarding 27,000 letters in Leeds, England; the week before that revealed a postal hoarder with 20,000 letters in Frankfurt, Germany. ("[He] didn't deliver mail addressed to himself either," a police statement dryly noted.) And all of them were dwarfed by the North Carolina postman who admitted in August to filling his garage and burying in his backyard nearly a tractor trailer's worth of undelivered junk mail.

But the hoarding and abandonment of mail is a phenomenon that extends at least back to 1874, when Providence, R.I., postman Benjamin Salisbury was caught throwing mail into the ocean "to avoid the trouble of delivery." Some things don't change much; a Long Island postman used the same MO in 1954, when he blamed a bum leg from the war for forcing him to dump his mail off a local pier. The scheme kind of worked … until the tide came in.

In 2006, the last year the U.S. Postal Service released figures, there were 515 arrests and 466 convictions for "internal theft." That figure includes abandonment and hoarding cases, where the motive has remained constant since the days of penny postage: A worker gets overwhelmed or simply disinclined to finish his route. "It's not a huge issue," Agapi Doulaveris of the U.S. Office of the Inspector General told me. "We work on referrals."

And there's the rub: For a referral to happen, first someone has to notice.

The deliveries affected are often what the U.S. Postal Service now terms "standard mail"—and what the rest of us call "junk." With the railroad-driven growth in catalogs, postal abandonment stories were already common by the 1880s. The New York Times complained of mailmen burning their bundles and in 1883 ran the immortal headline "To Deliver His Letters Some Time" after the discovery of a mailman's old stash in the basement of an Upper East Side saloon.

For a mail-sack slacker, there's a dark allure to hoarding junk. Think about it: If someone's first-class mail with paychecks or credit card bills doesn't show up, they're liable to complain. But if the umpteenth Eddie Bauer catalog doesn't arrive, well … who's gonna notice?

So, who does notice? The discovery of hoards follows some common narratives: They've been caught by meter readers, by housesitters feeding a rabbit for a vacationing postman, and by state troopers making traffic stops. A number of "dead-letter cars"—old clunkers filled up like a junk-mail piƱatas—have been discovered by mechanics and used-car dealers. And a number of cases are broken after the stashed mail catches fire: In 1974, back-to-back cases a week apart yielded 1,200 sacks of mail in a Louisville, Ky., attic and another tractor-trailer load in a burning attic in suburban Connecticut.

Discovery becomes more likely in cases where a rogue carrier indiscriminately tosses both first-class mail and junk. In 1978, the postmaster of Roxbury, Conn., was retired after postal inspectors in a late-night raid found letters in the central office's trash cans. Among the locals, both Arthur Miller and William Styron were missing mail. "I have had over the years a large amount of mail for a well-known writer—I guess that's the term," Styron mused afterwards to the New York Times. "And in the last year and a half I've been saying to myself, 'Well, is my stock declining?' "

All these cases, however, bow before the Chicago mail scandals of 1994. Ranked dead last among cities in postal customer satisfaction, that year Chicago found itself on the receiving end of hoard stories seemingly every week. Letters burning under a railway viaduct, letters rotting under a porch, letters stuffed into a dumpster: The stuff was even found hiding at the post office itself. The post office, indeed, was as much a problem as the individual carriers: "Complaint lines might ring as often as 85 times without being answered. …" noted reporter Charles Nicodemus. "Mammoth mounds of undelivered mail were found at several stations—including one pile 800 feet long, nearly the length of three football fields."

It seemed an almost inevitable coda when, five years later, a final Chicago stash caught fire in a home and took down its mailman with it.

To be fair, the problem is not peculiar to the United States. Postal hoards turn up everywhere from Norway to Malaysia, where a postal worker caught hoarding 21,255 letters complained, "Why should I deliver the letters when I am being paid less than 500 Ringgit?" He might have taken a lesson from Italy, which gamed the practice to squeeze some money out of it: In 1974, the Poste Italiane was caught selling new mail to paper-pulp plants for $14 a ton. "Most of the mail has now been turned into cheap cardboard suitcases," the Times of London reported. Shamed by the resulting outcry, the postal service then resorted to stuffing letters into unofficial "ghost trains" that circled the country without any destination.

True to form, though, the most spectacularly eccentric cases come from Britain, where in 2004 one Staffordshire carrier achieved a monumental stash of 130,000 pieces of mail. Far from simply being too tired to carry their mail, British carriers have given excuses ranging from low blood sugar to the post-traumatic stress of having served in Northern Ireland. Most memorably, last year a cross-dressing carrier in Leeds took revenge on local yobs by tossing their mail after they made fun of her newly acquired lipstick and heels.

But when one hears of a Yorkshire postman who filled every room of his house with 35,000 undelivered letters, it's hard not to find a more universal parable of the overwhelming reach of modern communication and consumerism. The carrier, Rodger Parkinson, seemed almost relieved that his mail stash was discovered.

"I'm glad in a way," he told his judge. "It needs sorting."

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Corn Diet

When I was 13, I was helping my mom make hamburgers and while we were cooking them, I saw the fat bubbling around it and blood seep out from the sides. After finding out more information about the packaging, processing, and handling of cows, I gave up meat altogether...until I found chicken. Given that every diet requires some source of protein, I embarked on a chicken frenzy. I love chicken. It's not as fatty as beef, does not bleed, and since it does not gave to be ground up into stringy tubes to eat, like ground beef, I appreciate the whole packaging of chicken breasts, thighs, and wings.

But today, I read this article: http://health.msn.com/nutrition/articlepage.aspx?cp-documentid=100220333>1=31036

Seems like no matter what kind of protein we eat, it's fortified with corn. Given the indigestible nature of the vegetable, I question the value of eating meat. If I eat a chicken that is basically a cob of corn, I don't receive any nutrients from that.

Maybe the only way to make sure we're eating food that will benefit our bodies will be to eat things that do not live off other things. Plants can't be corn-fed, and beans aren't made from animals, so hello protein.

I want to buy a few acres of land in an unpolluted carpet in the sky where I can plant fruit trees, raise chickens, and have a vegetable garden. Maybe I'd even have a cow so I could have some milk and cheese. Then, I would know exactly what I was eating.

I think farmers should learn about being responsible stewards of their trade. One thing I can't figure out is how they are losing money--corn is dirt cheap. They feed their animals with corn. They sell the animals to McDonalds and Burger King. Where is the lost money?

This is a stupid topic. I hate things. God, damn it all! Just give me a chicken that eats what it's supposed to eat so I can eat it. The food chain is the only hierarchy I care about, not the game corporations play with the working class. Those dirty bastards.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Cute as Less Than a Quarter

I love the Cake Wreck blog. I truly do. Not only does it provide me another thing to do besides checking my email all day, but I feel justified in liking it, even though I only have one reason.

Ahhh, cake blogs.

Something happened to me the other day that I thought was really funny. I went to Stater Brothers to get some brownie food stuffs for the STD meeting today (yeah, I'm making peanut butter-chocolate brownies), mainly because I needed to get change from my this-needs-to-last-me-till-I-get-paid-$20 to do laundry. I was paying for the chocolaty peanut butter goodness and it came out to be $-something.22

Twenty two cents--great! I will have change for laundry! I thought. I gave the guy, Owen, my $20 and waited for the change machine to spit out my .88 cents. Instead, Owen handed me $9.00

I know I am bad at math, but I knew this was not the correct change.

"It was 22 cents, right?" I asked Owen.
"Don't worry about it," he said. "I've got it."

I looked into my wallet and saw the pennies and dimes and change that were not quarters, frustrated with my need for quarters to do my laundry. So, I handed him a dollar and said that he didn't need to do that because I needed change.

Then he handed me four quarters. I needed quarters.

"Have a good day," he said with a smile, and it wasn't even said in the fake way cashiers say it. I told him to have a good one too and took my bossy self to my car and thought about why he was so adamant about covering the .22 cents.

Then I figured that either he wasn't in the mood to do heavy subtracting, or he saw me and thought Owen, this is a pretty girl. Let her know she is special, and take care of the piddly change on her bill. Twenty-two cents? She's worth it.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Turning Points

Hehe ^_^

Prop 8 passed.

Anyway, I used to be really on top of my homework. Now it's sucking me back into its never-ending depths. It's like one of Rosie O'Donnell's dresses: just fold after fold of material to get through.

I want a new car.