Apr 30, 2008

heard while watching really bad sci fi

Posted by Mary |

Life Lesson #1: Don't go on vacations with dumb asses.
--Jennie, on the probability of the semi-attractive
characters surviving the night after they see
weird lights in the sky and their RV breaks down

I like to think that my experience with role-playing games
gives me an advantage if aliens attack.

--Jennie, trying to justify her nerdiness

The best part of the whole movie was the Peldon,
and she didn't even get probed.

--Me, hoping Jennie wouldn't notice that I was
making us watch really, really bad sci fi
(for the record, it was the Brown Peldon)

R.I.P. spring

Posted by Mary |

I was late to work this morning because I had to swing by the church and pay my respects to spring. It is officially dead.

I woke up to pouring snow. I didn't know snow could pour, but that's really the only way to describe it. And yeah, I'm happy that my new boots are suddenly practical. And awesome. A full 360 degrees of awesomeness, to be exact. But I'm still getting sick of winter. Bring on spring!

And on a side note: This photo is taken from the lovely deck of my lovely house. It shows my lovely boardwalk leading out to my lovely sauna. I've decided that I am not going to move out of the house when the lease is up. Instead, I am going to find two new people to share the house with, and will keep on rocking the 70s house and sauna.

Apr 28, 2008

heard at dinner

Posted by Mary |

Artichokes are the lobster of vegetables.
--Tom, dissecting
his food

You don't tell us you have dessert and then give us fruit.
Just ... just ... fuck you!

--Me, recalling
Jennie's previous "desserts"

I'm a little red-faced, but I'm not afraid to admit when I've done something dumb.
I was posting a survey on one of those dastardly social networking sites, and one of the questions was "When do you shower?" and I said I shower at the gym. Today I realized that the person who wrote it probably wasn't from Alaska, and probably meant "time of day" not "day of the week." For the record, I shower in the morning, but only gym mornings.

Apr 25, 2008


Posted by Mary |

1943 Guide to Hiring Women

The following is an excerpt from the July 1943 issue of Transportation Magazine. This was written for male supervisors of women in the work force during World War II.

Eleven Tips on Getting More Efficiency Out of Women Employees: There’s no longer any question of whether transit companies should hire women for jobs formerly held by men. The draft and manpower shortage has settled that point. The important things now are to select the most efficient women available and how to use them to the best advantage.

Here are eleven helpful tips on the subject from Western Properties:

  1. Pick young married women. They usually have more of a sense of responsibility than their unmarried sisters, they’re less likely to be flirtatious, they need the work or they wouldn’t be doing it, they still have the pep and interest to work hard and to deal with the public efficiently.
  2. When you have to use older women, try to get ones who have worked outside the home at some time in their lives. Older women who have never contacted the public have a hard time adapting themselves and are inclined to be cantankerous and fussy. It’s always well to impress upon older women the importance of friendliness and courtesy.
  3. General experience indicates that “husky” girls – those who are just a little on the heavy side – are more even tempered and efficient than their underweight sisters.
  4. Retain a physician to give each woman you hire a special physical examination – one covering female conditions. This step not only protects the property against the possibilities of lawsuit, but reveals whether the employee-to-be has any female weaknesses which would make her mentally or physically unfit for the job.
  5. Stress at the outset the importance of time the fact that a minute or two lost here and there makes serious inroads on schedules. Until this point is gotten across, service is likely to be slowed up.
  6. Give the female employee a definite day-long schedule of duties so that they’ll keep busy without bothering the management for instructions every few minutes. Numerous properties say that women make excellent workers when they have their jobs cut out for them, but that they lack initiative in finding work themselves.
  7. Whenever possible, let the inside employee change from one job to another at some time during the day. Women are inclined to be less nervous and happier with change.
  8. Give every girl an adequate number of rest periods during the day. You have to make some allowances for feminine psychology. A girl has more confidence and is more efficient if she can keep her hair tidied, apply fresh lipstick and wash her hands several times a day.
  9. Be tactful when issuing instructions or in making criticisms. Women are often sensitive; they can’t shrug off harsh words the way men do. Never ridicule a woman – it breaks her spirit and cuts off her efficiency.
  10. Be reasonably considerate about using strong language around women. Even though a girl’s husband or father may swear vociferously, she’ll grow to dislike a place of business where she hears too much of this.
  11. Get enough size variety in operator’s uniforms so that each girl can have a proper fit. This point can’t be stressed too much in keeping women happy.

Apr 24, 2008

heard at lunch

Posted by Mary |

Wow, you're mean and egotistical.
I guess I am rubbing off on you.

--Me, to Stefani

Our beloved student employee Stefani will be leaving ARSC today. Something about graduating and wanting a real job. I don't know. I wasn't paying much attention, since she wasn't talking about me. Eh, I'll still see her at The Pub tonight. Fairbanks is too small for us not to run into each other, hopefully a lot!

Apr 23, 2008

sad green thought

Posted by Mary |

I think all my hippie, if-it's-yellow-let-it-mellow tendencies get ruined by the fact that the automatic toilets at work flush at least twice every time I enter the stall.

Which is to say that I'm back at work after the previous post.
IUD lessons learned:

  1. I need a special card to fill prescriptions, which I did not have when I went to Fred Meyer.
  2. Vicodin did not touch the pain. Hence the day off from work yesterday.
  3. Vicodin makes me ill. Only a tub of Alka Seltzer and my iron will kept me from getting sick last night.

Apr 22, 2008


Posted by Mary |

For your own health, do not read this blog entry.
Seriously, we are entering into the TMI zone.
No, for real. I'm going to talk about things like cervixes.
Well to hell with you, then. You were warned.

Of all the things I'll miss about my ex-boyfriend, I think I'll miss the vasectomy the most. No, it's not a dignified way to start this post. Please reference the above warnings. Anyway, neither of us had any desire for children. Zero. Zip. Zilch. And other words meaning "none" that begin with a Z. In the end, though, he made the decision and I just reaped the benefits.

Back on the single scene, I find myself jumping through hoops. The first hoop is the whole do-you-ever-want-children issue. Because I'm not looking for a relationship, but it makes no sense for me to get involved with anyone with long-term potential if we disagree on this one very big issue. I am 30 years old. I do not want children. People tell me that I am too young to make such a decision, and that I will change my mind. I say: Bullshit. I'm pretty sure that when a 21-year-old breeder announces that she loves kids and wants to have, like, four, no one tells her that she is too young and will change her mind. In our society, it is acceptable to want kids, but unacceptable to not want them. Why?

I believe the prevailing idea is that it's selfish of me not to want kids. Somehow my greatest gift to give this world comes from my uterus, not my brain. I'm told that children are my legacy, that they will take care of me when I'm old, that I will never know greater love than the love of a parent for a child. I happen to think that my talents are greater than the ability to conceive, and that I might leave this world with some other legacy. Perhaps I'll design a kick-ass font. All I know is that I don't think I need to contribute to the genetic pool in order be remembered after I am gone. And I can't hold out hope for children taking care of me in my old age. This is America. This is why we have nursing homes and the state of Florida. How often do you really hear about elderly folks moving in with their children? By the time I'd need them, my kids would be busy raising families of their own to take advantage of the obvious opportunity to get revenge for their upbringing. And as for love? Well, I have been well and truly loved in my life. My parents put up with more shit from me than they should have, but they loved, love and will continue to love me. I have a sister who has been there for me for 30 years even when we hated each other, and a brother-in-law who makes me happy because he makes her happy. I've had boyfriends who loved me and friends who loved me and a cat who is kind of whorish and will love anyone, but I secretly believe that she loves me above all others. And in return, I have loved back. If you've ever been the object of my love (or even my affection), you know that there is nothing I won't do for people I care about. I will drop everything (including a cooking project) and go pick up a friend who had her heart broken, then force her to crash a party at the Curling Club because it will cheer her up. I will defend my friends' rights to speak their minds and maintain their opinions, even when they completely conflict with my own. I will be the one who comes to visit you when you cannot leave the house. In short, once you are inside the inner circle, you can count on me when you need me.

So if it's not love and not a legacy and not security, then what is it that drives people to reproduce? I think that it's often selfishness, or an attempt to correct another area in their life where they are unhappy. I don't expect this opinion will be popular. Many of my opinions are not. But I've always thought that people need to be truly happy as a single person before they get into a relationship. It therefore follows that people should be truly happy in a relationship before they add another person to that relationship. But this is often not the case. Babies don't keep couples together - they drive couples apart. I know of friends who seemed to have the ideal relationship until they had kids, and now they bicker. A child is a physical, mental and financial strain, and if you're not strong enough to deal with it, the strain will break you.

As far as my reasons for not wanting kids, they're pretty simple. 1) I don't like kids. 2) Kids would negatively impact my chosen lifestyle.

I really don't like kids. They cry and poop and puke, often all at the same time. When a baby cries, my womb does not twinge. I do not think that someone needs to find out what's wrong and comfort the baby. I do think that someone needs to stop the crying. Several of my friends have kids, and I imagine that as I age more of them will join in. My friends' kids are OK. I can handle them in small doses. When they cry, I can hand them back or I can leave. They're also made up of approximately 50% genetic material that I have already approved of. And I think my sister will pop a few kids out sometime soon. In fact, I hope she does. I will give those kids Pixie sticks taller than they are, and noisemaking toys, and make them run in lots of circles, and then give them back. No, seriously, let me babysit them! To recap: Kids of friends and family = OK. Kids of people I don't know = likely to work my nerves.

And I know that "my chosen lifestyle" sounds all gay. But the fact is that if I had children, I'd have to constantly put their needs and desires before my own. I'd have to buy a house in a good school district and save my money for orthodontic work. I wouldn't be able to run away to foreign countries for weeks at a time. I'd have to utter phrases like "Make your poopies in the potty." I'd have to make my life revolve completely around theirs. And I just can't do that. Not now. Not ever. I am a person who craves alone time. Who enjoyed having the house all to myself for the weekend because it allowed me to get some thinking done. Who needs privacy and quiet.

So those are my arguments against kids, and the reasons why I look for men who do not want kids. But finding a man who doesn't want kids is only part of the problem. There's also the second hoop. Remember the whole vasectomy issue? Well, without such drastic measures, sex is fraught with land mines. Condoms are the sanest choice, since they also provide protection against diseases. But condoms can break. Or in the heat of the moment, you can forget. I know, I know, I can hear your lectures from here. Let's not pretend this is an ideal world, OK? This is the real world, and shit happens. And when it does, it leaves me in a bad spot. I can't do hormonal birth control. I'm crazy enough as is. But the fear of pregnancy is always, always on my mind. And having had to take Plan B recently has made me realize that I need a long-term solution. Ironically, despite all my arguments against having children, I'd have to persuade doctors to have a tubal ligation. People still think I might change my mind. So yesterday I met my new best friend, Mirena, aka the Baby Blocker 2.5.

And now we truly get into the TMI. Because, yes, I got an IUD. I got one because, no, I do not want children. And I'm at home today because, dear God, it hurts. I knew going in that the insertion would be painful. I didn't know that it would cause me to nearly pass out, or to lose all feeling in my face, or would make my ears vibrate, or make me shake uncontrollably on the table for a few minutes. I unfortunately didn't know I'd need more than just my health insurance card to get my Vicodin prescription filled. I didn't know that the pain would continue the next day. And despite all that, I'm still glad I did it. Thanks to a state-sponsored program, I only paid $150, which works out to less than $3 a month for the next five years, which is how long it will last.

So now that birth control is off my mind (and forever lodged in yours if you ventured this far into the post), I can stop worrying about babies and start worrying about other things. Like the fact that the guy I started dating a month ago has become my boyfriend. And that scares me, but not as much as the fact that he's not planning on staying in the state. Knowingly getting involved in a relationship with an expiration date is not a good idea. I am aware of the fact. But I can't ignore the way he makes me feel when I am around him. There was an instant sense of ease around him. Things are effortless, even though, on paper, there's a lot of effort involved right now. I imagine there will be more posts and more angst over this man in the future.

Apr 19, 2008

cleaning up

Posted by Mary |

Time for a little spring cleaning, of the blog variety. I tided up my links and finally updated my library. I should probably put the same effort into my house, but I'm sick.

Actually, I'm feeling heaps better today. I woke up this morning without the sensation of my throat swelling shut. I think lots of rest and an early evening nap yesterday did me good. Those of you who know me well may wonder just how damn sick I am to be taking a nap. I am not a napper. Naps leave me feeling groggy and disoriented, often unaware of either the time of day or my location. I can wake up at 6 a.m. and feel annoying chipper, but if I wake up at 6 p.m. I am a crankypants. However, I've located a master napper, a sleep sensei, if you will, who has been patiently guiding me through the process of napping. The road is not easy, but it is rewarding.

Apr 18, 2008


Posted by Mary |

Who is Patient Zero? Who got me sick?

I started coughing a few days ago, and have now devolved into a general lethargy and the feeling that my throat is swelling shut. I came home from work early yesterday and opted to stay home today. I'm not quite at the point of crawling into my ancient Grateful Dead shirt and moaning that I'm dying, but it's close.

Of course, the truly sad part to all of this is that I seem to have passed the germs on to the new man, thus eliminating the chance of pressing him into servitude for the duration of my illness. I think that the first sickness is a good test. Does he offer to get you mugs of tea? Gently kiss your feverish brow? Smile bemusedly as you predict your imminent demise? However, when you have passed the germs on, the best you can hope for is no accusatory glares while he coughs up a lung.

The much-neglected cat is enjoying some quality time with me while I am home sick. She alternates between crawling under the blankets and trying to lay on the laptop. I anticipate she will try to lay on my head when I watch a movie. If she's lucky, it will be a Bollywood and she can lay on my head for three hours.

Apr 13, 2008

heard at sci-fi saturday

Posted by Mary |

They got divorced?
They got married?!?
--Rachel, who should really watch all of
BSG 1-3 before trying to join in for Season 4

Apr 10, 2008


Posted by Mary |

I love conferences. Especially the kind that have leftover food all day long.

The new guy I’m dating? Yeah, his dog totally likes me more than him. Example: We went back to his place last night, and when we walked in the door, she jumped around in circles for a bit, as IGs are wont to do, but then came and begged me to pick her up.
The downside to all this is that she finally managed to lick my face when I was distracted. I do not like animals licking my face, mostly because they have the flexibility to lick almost their entire bodies. I know where that tongue has been!
For now, though, I am gloating and enjoying the canine lovefest.

Apr 7, 2008

may the force be with me like a motherfucker

Posted by Mary |

I take great pleasure in the following video.

Apr 2, 2008

my type of humor

Posted by Mary |

Heard in the office:

I'm not sure if this is justified....
It's not. It's flush left.