Thursday, April 22, 2010

Too long for Facebook.

First full day of work: complete! Yesterday was half work/half volunteering, so it didn't really count. Since no one was in and I don't have real ownership of any tasks yet it was pretty boring, BUT I ended the day with a Communications Committee meeting (which I think I just became an honorary member of), and it looks like I'll be picking up some cool projects, so I'm excited. Also, I had no idea non-profits were so... touchy-feely? Everything is about outcomes and respectful listening and follow-through, it's kind of funny.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

This is why I have unlimited texting.

The fact that this whole conversation took place via text message cracks me up, as well as the fact that we bother to spend time and energy discussing Paul Constant's Slog posts. I cleaned up a few formatting things, but this is essentially verbatim.

Jon: I'm getting really tired of Paul Constant. All he does is whine about how nothing is good enough for him or even worthy of existence, and never gives any reason. Just because he says so.

Me: I like the why-this-book-sucks posts.

Jon: Except his reasons for the book sucking is that he doesn't like it. Especially the third one: "No one should like this book." Sorry I don't live up to your high standards, asshat. How about a "Useless Food Paul Constant Likes to Eat" column.

Me: I think you're being oversensitive.

Jon: No I'm not. He constantly belittles anyone that doesn't agree with him, yet never gives any good reason why I should [agree with him].

Me: Have you read any of those books? Do you have a differing opinion of them based on reading them yourself?

Jon: Why does that matter?

Me: Why are you saying his opinion of the book isn't valid when you have no basis for a differing opinion?

Jon: I didn't say it wasn't valid. It's the way he dismisses any idiots who (inexplicably) disagree.

Me: Why are you arguing about this with me instead of posting it on one of the posts? Paul Constant's audience is not people-who-would-like-those-books, it's people-who-like-to-discuss-the-death-of-the-printing-industry-as-evidenced-by-books-like-this. I think the dismissive attitude is appropriate for the medium and the content.

Jon: I'm not trying to argue. I'm sharing my feelings. You argued :)

Me: Well, my feelings are that you are wrong :)

Jon: I'm wrong that be belittles anyone that doesn't agree with him? I think that's plain to see.

Me: You're wrong that belittling crappy things is something to get upset about.

Jon: God, I don't care if he belittles crappy things. It's that he belittles anyone who might not think it's crappy (for example). He belittles large groups of people on a regular basis, and it's always because they like or are interested in something that he thinks is stupid.

Me: AND??

Jon: And he generally has no reason to think it's stupid other than "like, duh"

Me: So you want him to be more respectful of things he thinks are stupid? Then we'd have another Jen Graves, aka snore city.

Jon: No, you're not listening. I want him to stop thinking every stupid opinion that he has is gospel, and that people that disagree aren't necessarily morons. "This book sucks" I don't care about. "No one should like this book" = unnecessary jackassery. I could get into his constant baseless barbs at "truthers" but I probably have more to say than this medium can handle.

Me: What isn't moronic about Truthers? While putting down their agenda, he also gives them press at all, which ultimately does them more good than harm.

Jon: Because he lumps them all into one giant wingnut category. There are perfectly reasonable truthers.

Me: Like who? What's reasonable about it?

That's all so far. Perhaps I will receive Jon's dissertation on the validity of the Truth movement later on. It's worth noting that Jon is not the only person in my life who likes to argue with me about Paul Constant's Opinions. Whatever, I like him. Hate away, Paul.


The conversation continued, but it wasn't crazy or interesting at all. I realize, in retrospect, that the conversation to this point also wasn't interesting, but oh well. It's worth noting that this is about as much as Jon and I ever fight - about something silly, via text. That's one reason I'm still madly in love with him (after a year and a half!).

Friday, August 15, 2008


Well, I didn't post any other assigments besides that first one, but do you really want to read my villanelle or other poetry? Didn't think so.

This is the story I turned in for my final. Yep, I read it in front of the class.

I'd like to emphasize that this is FICTION. It is NOT based on me and Jon, except for the conversation in the restaurant, which mostly happened (but for different reasons... remember my procedure? We had to be creative). The thing about the labels is also true; I'm sort of obsessed. Everything else is made up. I'm completely comfortable in sex shops, and I would never throw a washcloth away like that.

Without further ado...

“Something New”

I bought the corkscrew that will open the wine that will enable me to get screwed--in the butt. Is there irony in this? At the time I couldn’t decide, but in retrospect I recall that irony is dependent upon intent, and since my intent was for things to head that direction, it’s not ironic. The only irony is in the connotation of unscrewing to get screwed, and that’s a little too obvious to seem clever.

“Let’s get drunk and try something new,” I said, and watched his eyes widen. Suddenly we were co-conspirators, rather than sullen dinner companions. He leaned forward, half-whispering, “Oh yeah?” I saw the beginning of the first smile elicited in nearly an hour.

“Do we have what we need?” he asked, genuinely, finally interested in the conversation.

“It’s all taken care of,” I replied, thinking of the parcels in my purse. “All we need is the wine.”

“You don’t have to, you know.” He’s so sweet.

“I know, I want to. It’ll be fun.”

“We’ll go slow. You’ll have control.”

“I know.”

We moved on to other topics; mutual acquaintances, vacation plans. An upcoming visit to his mother was mentioned, but the subject was quickly changed. We did not order dessert.

“Will there be anything else, sir?” the waitress asked.

“No, thank you, we’re ready to call it a night.”

Liberated by a signature, we fled the restaurant and headed to the grocery store for the wine. There were plenty of knowing looks and giggles; like it was new again. I was excited, but a voice in my head nagged: Is this what you’ve come to? Buying his interest with butt sex?

That afternoon’s trip to the Love Emporium had been an adventure in itself. I approached the door apprehensively, then paused, stood up straight, and took a deep breath. Pretend you belong here. I entered and tried to appear as casual as one can look when confronted with breast-shaped cake molds and double-ended black dildos. Wandering the aisles of restrictive cuffs, nipple clamps, glass phalluses and anal beads, I realized that this place didn’t sell “love”; it sold trust. Which is a good companion to love, sure, but I love plenty of people--I’d have to really trust someone to let him near me with one of those things.

Finally, I found what I was looking for: lube. To my dismay, there were easily fifty different varieties. In the supermarket, I’m the person who spends ten minutes looking at toothpaste, reading every bulleted list of features, carefully comparing the active and inactive ingredients of each brand. Mayonnaise, peanut butter, vanilla extract, anything: I read every label before placing it in my cart, and this is for things I merely intend to put in my mouth. Lube labels lacked the convenience of a well-marked box filled with nutrition facts, but they did include ingredients, giving me somewhere to start. Having an aversion to words containing more than fifteen letters, I looked for shorter lists comprised of things I could at least attempt to pronounce. I felt confident that under no circumstances did I want anything flavored, which ruled out a significant portion of the store’s inventory. Anything in a brightly-colored or obscenely-shaped bottle was also out. I picked up a small, discreet, dark-brown bottle; it read “Gun Oil” in a bold, masculine font. Of course! I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of this before: pick a gay one. If it was good enough for them, it was good enough for me. I quickly paid and left. The trip to Crate and Barrel for the corkscrew was significantly less notable.

He knew nothing of my afternoon errands as we walked into the grocery store, hand in hand, to make what should have been an easier purchase.

“What kind of wine do you want? Maybe something Australian?” he asked, examining a bottle.

“I don’t care, you pick,” I answered, tired of making the decisions.

“How about a pinot noir?”

“Too dark.”

“Cabernet Sauvingnon?”

“Too many letters.”

He frowned. “I thought you didn’t care.”

“I don’t care. I just want you to pick something that I like.”

“I’m not a mind-reader.”

“I don’t want you to read my mind. I want you to know what I like.”

His frown deepened. “You can be inconsistent, and I don’t like making assumptions.”

“I’m inconsistent?” I volleyed. “At least that’s better then being completely predictable all the time.”

“What’s wrong with knowing what I like? There are worse crimes than repetition, you know.”

Nothing is as unforgivable as being boring, I thought, but I didn’t say it aloud. I knew I only half-believed it, anyway.

He picked up another bottle. “Shiraz?”

“I think I want a GSM, actually.”

He looked at me, half-smiling, half exasperated. “Why didn’t you just say that to begin with?”

“I didn’t realize it until I knew I didn’t want any of the others.”

By the time we arrived home, the grocery store storm-clouds had dissipated, and the mood was again one of anticipation. He put some music on, and we started kissing on the couch. He had one hand in my hair as the other rubbed my back, getting lower and lower until I pulled away, suddenly aware of the mechanics of our endeavor.

“I’ll be right back, okay?”

I locked the door to the bathroom behind me. I needed to make sure everything was… welcoming. I sat down on the toilet, but nothing happened. I bore down a little; still nothing. This probably wasn’t something I could force. I stepped out of my underwear, then stood and grabbed a washcloth from under the sink, ran it under the tap, and added soap. One foot up on the counter, I washed every nook and cranny. Unsure of what else to do, I threw the washcloth in the garbage and washed my hands.

He had lined up the purchases on the counter, and was looking at them intently: the lube, the wine, the corkscrew.

“I feel like I should take a picture,” he said.

“Please don’t,” I said. “Are you going to open that?”

The first glass went down fast. I poured myself a second, grabbed the bottle, and we headed into the bedroom to pick up where we left off.

“So, uhhhh…” He was clearly aroused, and looking forward to our inevitable conclusion. “Are you ready?”

I finished the last of my third glass, having purposefully outpaced him. “Yep, let’s go.”

He applied more lube than is probably reasonable. I thought about how easy it would be to poop the next day. That’s not sexy. Sex acts shouldn’t inspire thoughts of defecating.

“Alright, last chance to back out. I promise I’ll only be a little disappointed if you don’t want to go through with it,” he said, smiling.

I want to say we didn’t do it.

I want to say that instead we decided to talk about the fact that sometimes I cried for no apparent reason, or that he could go three hours without saying a word to me even though we were in the same room, or even that sometimes I longed for the awful, salty freedom of sliding my hand into the waistband of another man’s pants. We could have addressed any number of the tiny horrors we committed each day which ate at what we both once heralded as our penultimate, all-consuming love. Instead, we had sex. You know… the Catholic way. And it was good. Perhaps not as cathartic as a long, honest conversation (or the classic talk/cry combo), but it wasn’t just the naked Band-Aid I had been afraid it would be. I’d put it along the lines of a cheaper, more-orgasmic Ropes course. Our well-rehearsed routine was technically proficient and achieved the stated goals, but trying something new reminded us of what had been missing for quite some time: attentiveness. Professionals on the internet may make it look easy, but this act required care, and focus, and the ever-elusive communication. It was a start.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Yes, yes, yes, yes, YES.

Those who know me well know how I feel about birth control: bad idea. I don't mean contraception is a bad idea; contraception is basically the best idea EVER. But hormonal birth control methods (pill, patch, ring, shot, whatever) have always sounded suspicious to me. Why do women think we can keep our bodies in a perpetual artificial state and suffer no consequences? I fully support everyone doing their part to prevent unwanted pregnancies, and I believe in the right to have access to all forms of birth control. I just think we can't possibly know the long-term effects of gobbling up hormones, individually and as a species, and wish people would consider more natural methods.

Thankfully, research is finally backing me up a bit. Thank you, Science.

(Thank you, Nick, also, for posting this article.)

Original article:
http://www. livescience. com/culture/080812-contraceptive-smell. html

By Jeanna Bryner, Senior Writer
posted: 12 August 2008 08:04 pm ET

Birth-control pills could screw up a woman's ability to sniff out a compatible mate, a new study finds.

While several factors can send a woman swooning, including big brains and brawn, body odor can be critical in the final decision, the researchers say. That's because beneath a woman's flowery fragrance or a guy's musk the body sends out aromatic molecules that indicate genetic compatibility.

Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes are involved in immune response and other functions, and the best mates are those that have different MHC smells than you. The new study reveals, however, that when women are on the pill they prefer guys with matching MHC odors.

MHC genes churn out substances that tell the body whether a cell is a native or an invader. When individuals with different MHC genes mate, their offspring's immune systems can recognize a broader range of foreign cells, making them more fit.

Past studies have suggested couples with dissimilar MHC genes are more satisfied and more likely to be faithful to a mate. And the opposite is also true with matchng-MHC couples showing less satisfaction and more wandering eyes.

"Not only could MHC-similarity in couples lead to fertility problems," said lead researcher Stewart Craig Roberts, an evolutionary psychologist at the University of Newcastle in England, "but it could ultimately lead to the breakdown of relationships when women stop using the contraceptive pill, as odor perception plays a significant role in maintaining attraction to partners.

Sexy scents

The study involved about 100 women, aged 18 to 35, who chose which of six male body-odor samples they preferred. They were tested at the start of the study when none of the participants were taking contraceptive pills and three months later after 40 of the women had started taking the pill more than two months prior.

For the non-pill users, results didn't show a significant preference for similar or dissimilar MHC odors. When women started taking birth control, their odor preferences changed. These women were much more likely than non-pill users to prefer MHC-similar odors.

"The results showed that the preferences of women who began using the contraceptive pill shifted towards men with genetically similar odors," Roberts said.

Pregnant state

Based on the work by Claus Wedekind, a University of Lausanne researcher who preformed similar studies in the 1990s, Roberts suggests a likely reason for the pill's effect on a woman's odor preferences. The pill puts a woman's body into a hormonally pregnant state (the reason she doesn’t ovulate), and during that time there would be no reason to seek out a mate.

"When women are pregnant there's no selection pressure, evolutionarily speaking, for having a preference for genetically dissimilar odors," Roberts said. "And if there is any pressure at all it would be towards relatives, who would be more genetically similar, because the relatives would help those individuals rear the baby.

So the pill puts a woman's body into a post-mating state, even though she might be still in the game.

”The pill is in effect mirroring a natural shift but at an inappropriate time,” Roberts told LiveScience.

The results are detailed in the current issue of the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.

Friday, July 18, 2008

My New Blog.

Well, a new blog I am affiliated with, anyway. It's Dana's blog.

It's basically the best idea Dana has ever had. We write two-word phrases (four-letter words, natch) on her fingers, then take a picture of it and post it, with a brief explanation. The first day showcased the iconic "Thug Life," then Dana got creative and came up with "Taco Bell." I'm the Art Director, which means I draw the words on her, and take the pictures. I've also come up with some of the knuckle phrases. "Head Lice"? That one was all me. The forthcoming post (I don't want to ruin the surprise) is my favorite yet, and I wrote the blurb explaining why it was such an important choice. The credit for the phrase is all Dana, though.

If you can think of any sweet knuckle phrases you'd like to see written on Dana, please pass them along.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Yay school.

Right, quickly: Had my procedure, everything is fine. Also, I did tell my mom about it, she was very supportive. I still don't have internet at home, and have very limited access at work, so... I exist only in the real world, for the most part. Sad, but also liberating, as I no longer feel the need to hit "refresh" every few minutes when I do happen to be on a computer. I've completely stopped Slogging, am rarely on myspace, and as you can see don't do much updating here. It's just a phase, I'm sure.

The biggest thing going on for me right now (aside from hanging out with Jon all the time, because I'm one of those people who falls in love and stops calling her friends) is the Creative Writing class I'm taking. It's basically great. Almost everyone in the class seems to want to be there, which makes a huge difference. There's a real sense of camaraderie when we discuss our pieces, and I love it. With that said, I'm going to include my first assignment, a short dialogue in the style of a one-act play (not that I'd expect anyone to act it out, the point of the assignment was writing dialogue and making believing characters that the reader/listener cares about). Sorry subscribers, I don't know the blogspot equivalent of an "lj-cut," so it's going to be long.

"The Forever Girl"
Cecilia; 30 years old, dark hair, business-casual dress.
Tom; 35 years old, tall, conventionally attractive, wearing a suit.
Setting: Mid-scale hotel room, not fancy, not dirty. Both sitting on the made bed, both fully dressed, except for Tom’s jacket, which has been hung on a chair. Her purse is on the desk, above which hangs a mirror.

Cecilia: So, she’s "the one?"

Tom: She fucking better be. I asked her to marry me, didn’t I?

Cecilia: Don’t swear at me. You never used to swear at me.

Tom: (Stands) I didn’t swear at you, I swore to emphasize how insulting your question was. What’s your problem, anyway?

Cecilia: What’s my problem!? I’m not the one who walked in and announced I was getting married with as much gravity as if I had said I was buying a new couch.

Tom: Well, it is like buying a couch. A slightly used couch, that I’m keeping forever.

Cecilia: You’re disgusting.

Tom: Oh come on, that was funny. I’ve never known you to be sentimental, Cecilia. You’ve picked an odd time to start.

Cecilia: Well excuse me for not being overwhelmed with joy at your connubial bliss.

Tom: Impending connubial bliss; we’re not married yet.

Cecilia: Same difference. I want my records back, by the way.

Tom: Your records? Jesus, Cee. (Sits) Nothing is changing, I’ll just have a ring on my finger. I can take it off before we meet if it bothers you that much.

Cecilia: Nothing is changing!? Everything has changed. You’re changing everything, and you act like it’s nothing.

Tom: Don’t be so dramatic. I’m marrying Angie because she’s put in the effort, because she deserves it. She’ll be a great mom and she’s not afraid to host Thanksgiving dinner. She’s everything a man could ever desire, and she’s given me her loveliest years. So I’m giving her half of my assets. It’s only fair.

Cecilia: You’re revolting.

Tom: If that were true, you wouldn’t be here.

Cecilia: (Making eye contact) If she were everything a man could ever desire, you wouldn’t be here.

Tom: (Pregnant pause) Fine. She’s all a normal man should desire. I need a little more. That’s why I have you. (reaches for her hand)

Cecilia: (Withdraws hand) Had me. I don’t sleep with married men.

Tom: Oh for crying out loud. What’s the difference? I was with her when we met, it didn’t stop
you then.

Cecilia: She was your girlfriend then. Now she’s your fiancee, soon to be your wife. I refuse to be the "other woman."

Tom: (Gently) Cee, you were always the "other woman."

Cecilia: (Staring ahead, refusing to meet his gaze) Not like this.

Tom: (Tom looks thoughtful. He stands and paces the room slowly) I had no idea you could possibly care about this so much. I thought we understood each other.

Cecilia: Funny, so did I.

Tom: Did it really never occur to you that I might marry someone else? You couldn’t have thought that I was going to propose to you.

Cecilia: Don’t be stupid, of course not. Not any time soon, anyway... I mean, no, I don’t want to marry you. Not actively. But I guess I saw more romance in our liaison when it didn’t end with your swearing loyalty to someone else before God and your mother.

Tom: But that’s what I’m saying; we don’t have to end with that. It circumvents that entirely, because the two are unrelated.

Cecilia: Unrelated!? Incredible. (Stands) So, if you thought that you and I understood each other, do you think you and Angie understand each other? (Paces contemplatively)

Tom: Of course. We’ve lived together for years. We’re practically symbiotic.

Cecilia: So she knows about me? Knows about us?

Tom: Are you kidding? Of course not.

Cecilia: (Sarcastically) What, she wouldn’t understand?

Tom: You know perfectly well why she doesn’t know about us. I’ve never met a girl who was that understanding.

Cecilia: Well, maybe she’ll surprise you. Maybe she’ll still want to marry you when she finds out.

Tom: I guess I’ll never know, because she’s not going to find out.

Cecilia: Oh? What makes you so sure?

Tom: (Looking her in the eye) Because I’m not going to tell her, and you’re not going to tell her, and no one we know is going to tell her.

Cecilia: You’re never going to tell her.

Tom: That’s the general idea of an affair.

Cecilia: (Sits on the bed, bouncing a little. Mischievously) And what if I tell her?

Tom: (Nears Cecilia and kneels to meet her eye level) You won’t, because you wouldn’t get anything out of it. It would do absolutely nothing for you. You hate scenes, you don’t like emotional women, and most of all you couldn’t stand being marked as a woman scorned. You would look jealous, and you would look weak. And that’s not the Cecilia I know. That you are neither of those things is why I couldn’t stay away from you.

Cecilia: I liked you because you were emotionally unavailable and good in bed.

Tom: A match made in heaven.

Cecilia: (She breaks his gaze, and stares ahead as she lets the sadness well. Tearfully, more to Fate than to Tom) Why does this always happen to me?

Tom: (Rises and sits next to her on the bed) I can’t answer that for you.

Cecilia: I’m always the temptation, the private conquest, the secret. I’m never THE girl, the bring-home-to-mom girl, the Forever girl.

Tom: Maybe not everyone is made to be that girl. Maybe you’re meant for something else. You don’t strike me as the white-picket-fence, happily-ever-after type, Cee.

Cecilia: (Absorbs what Tom said. Collecting herself, she stands and walks over to the desk, looking at herself in the mirror) You’re right, I should have expected this. You can marry whomever you like, it makes no difference to me.

Tom: And what about us?

Cecilia: There is no "us."

Tom: I thought you might say that. I’ll miss you like crazy, you know.

Cecilia: (Turns to face him) You’ll cope. I need you to leave, now.

Tom: (Stands, crosses the room to her and takes her in his arms. He leans in to kiss her, but she
turns her face).

Cecilia: Now.

Tom: (He releases her, and removes his jacket from the chair, putting it on) That’s more like the woman I know. I’ll have my assistant drop those records off . They’re great recordings, you have good taste.

Cecilia: I know. Goodbye, Tom.

Tom: Take care, Cee. (He opens the door, turns to look at her, then exits, closing the door behind him)

Cecilia: (Turns to the mirror and smooths her hair) "White picket fence." Of course I don’t want
a white picket fence. That’s the most boring idea of forever I’ve ever heard. If that’s what he thinks "happily ever after" is, she can have him. (Picks up her purse and exits, without looking back)

It looks like the italics on the stage directions didn't copy. I'll try to fix that later, but for now I'm posting it as-is. The assignment is due tomorrow at 6, so I don't have a lot of time to make edits from feedback, but if you have a suggestion between now and like 5 pm tomorrow, please post it. Obviously, "It sucks, rewrite it," wouldn't be a particularly helpful suggestion;I'm more looking for small changes in wording to make it sound more natural, or anything someone thinks needs clarification.

That's all for now. Our next assignment is poetry, so in the near future I'll be posting some of that, looking for help. Poetry is not a strength of mine and I'm a little nervous, but also excited to hopefully improve my skills.

OH. And I have the dates for Maine: August 27th - September 2nd. Not very long, I know. But, Jon is coming with me! He's going to meet my family and see where I grew up and it's basically a big deal. So I'm excited for that.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

And I'm back.

A few people may have noticed my complete disappearance from everything. As was touched upon in the never-finished B-word entry, that was due largely to a broken foot and a new boyfriend. It was extended by moving out of my house (where I lived for three years) and into an apartment with Dylan in lower Queen Anne. That was a month ago. I don't have any good excuses for the last month, other than my internet access at work being severely restricted. Yeah, it sucks.

For the most part I've been settling into a routine of housebound-coupledom. I've been reading a lot, since there isn't internet at my new apartment yet (we're lazy), and I spend most of my time at Jon's, where the only thing to do really if he's on the computer is to read. I've been reading A. M. Homes, first The Safety of Objects, then Music for Torching, and I just finished The End of Alice. I bought Things You Should Know as well, but I forgot it at home. If you've read her, you know that she specializes in suburban dystopias (which is almost redundant, anyway), and is generally a pervert. After filling my head with affairs, death, supreme unhappiness, unlikable characters, and the half-mad musings of a blood-thirsty Humbert Humbert knock-off (The End of Alice really wasn't very good. Maybe someone who hasn't read Lolita could possibly enjoy it, though "enjoy" probably isn't the right word), I feel like I need a brain bath. Hers is a consciousless, cum-stained, hate-filled, self-involved universe, and I feel infected somehow, like I couldn't possibly be happy with anything, ever. It's gross.

I'm debating whether I want to read the last book of short-stories just to get it over with and put her away once and for all, or if I need a break. It's a short book. I'll probably just read it. And then I need to find something vaguely hopeful to read, before I give up on humanity. Any ideas? Not The Audacity of Hope, thanks.

What else. Nick has been at BEA for the last five-ish days, and all of his reports from there (which include high-rise hotel rooms and meeting Alec Baldwin) have made me unconsolably jealous. Why don't I attend celebrity-dotted parties? Why don't I ever go anywhere new? Why don't I have a real job? These are not nice questions to answer. In fact I'm thoroughly disgusted by the answers to all of them.

My most notable accomplishment of late was volunteering at the Emerald City Comicon, which earned me the opportunity to gawk at Jamie Bamber, who plays Apollo on BSG. I also walked by Will Wheaton on numerous occasions. I could have met either of them, but didn't have anything to say, so I decided against it. I guess I'm not as big of a geek as I thought.

This part is slightly personal and not meant to alam anyone: my once-robust health has noticeably declined, and I've been to the doctor more times in the last three months than I had been in the last three years. Aside from the foot troubles, I went in for a lady exam, and had an abnormal pap result. This was followed by a colposcopy (which is a terrible thing to endure and I don't recommend it to anyone; though I hear dying of cervical cancer is worse, so, your call), and I just received word on Friday that I have CIN2, which requires further treatment. It's not cancer, but it can turn into cancer if not removed. I'm 24 and I feel suddenly very mortal. I've possibly expressed my premature-death daydreams to some of you, but that's generally more a fear of Final Destination-type accidents involving log trucks, stray bullets, or improbable electrocution. I've very rarely considered the possibility of my body turning against me and taking me down from the inside; yet here I am. I'm squeamish about medicine in general and things involving my reproductive health specifically, so this is essentially the worst thing ever for me to have to go through. Well, disembowelment would be worse. But that's filed with my above, fanciful death scenarios. This is much more... realistic.

I haven't told anyone in my family (I don't think they read my blog? If I'm wrong, well, surprise!), mostly because I don't want to answer any questions about it or have them be worried about me. Assurances from my doctor and internet research concur in the estimation of this diagnosis as both not-terribly-serious and entirely-treatable, but I think my this-only-happens-to-other-people sense of entitlement has kicked in and is making me feel victimized by the universe. Rather, I'm allowing it to make me feel victimized by the universe; I'm not so far gone as to not take ownership of my feelings. Phew.

Moving on: I'm feeling homesick for Maine and my family and have just started planning a Summer sojourn, but it's being complicated by the fact that I would like for Jon to come with me and meet everyone, but he has work-related issues with the time and length of the trip I'd like to take. Some resolution should be found soon (I may just go alone, obviously), and I will of course announce as appropriate when any dates are set.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Making good.

Receptionist = me.

Dana R. Larkin says:
what do you think about ween? band for pretentious college students or awesome?
Receptionist says:
Dana R. Larkin says:
no, seriously
Dana R. Larkin says:
i'm trying to form my opinion and therefore, need you opinion to make my own.
Receptionist says:
Well... I have an ex who's way into them, and he's not what I'd call pretentious. Actually, I know a few people I respect who really like Ween.
Receptionist says:
But... they can go both ways, for sure.
Receptionist says:
I've never been super into it.
Receptionist says:
But I can appreciate how random and awesome some if it can be.
Dana R. Larkin says:
ok, cause i don't want to start liking them more only to be shunned. i mean, it's not like they're dave mathews band or anything,
Receptionist says:
Receptionist says:
Dana R. Larkin says:
ok, good.
Receptionist says:
I've never heard of anyone being shunned for liking Ween.
Dana R. Larkin says:
i don't know man, they really do make me think of, like, uber cool college kids.
Receptionist says:
I mean, maybe if you only listened to like, Ween, and Mr. Bungle, and Blood Brothers, and experimental noise, shit, then there could be a problem.
Receptionist says:
But, you mix it up.
Dana R. Larkin says:
well, obviously.
Dana R. Larkin says:
i mean, i listen to r. kelly.
Receptionist says:
I don't think JUST liking Ween has ever nominated someone for shun status.
Receptionist says:
Dana R. Larkin says:
okay, then it's settled. i like ween.
Receptionist says:
Dana R. Larkin says:
i have a whole bunch of them on my ipod, but haven't ever really listened to it. but, i'm going to now.
Dana R. Larkin says:
please make sure to tell everyone you know about this conversation we just had.
Receptionist says:
Will do.


"B" Words.

(Note for anyone who commented on the last entry: I finally wrote back. Sorry for the delay)

I've been dealing with a few "b" words lately.



And... "Boyfriend."

"Bitch" is, I feel, an appropriate term for everything that's going on right now. For one, there's some turnover going on at work, and it basically makes everyone super cranky pants and constant complainers about everyone else. I mostly try to stay out of it, but it's all going to trickle down to me at some point, which I'm not excited about. That alone wouldn't be such a big deal, but it's on top of some other things, such as the fact that I'm moving. Yep, moving.

I've lived in the same house for almost three years, and I have a lot of stuff. It is also a huge mess (one of the reasons I'm excited about moving - a smaller place will have less surface area that requires washing!), and contains many things that belong to none of the people currently living there, because it's been occupied for so long and never had a proper mucking-out. Leaving that house is a daunting task, and I'd probably be freaking out more overtly if it actually felt real. I left a message for my landlord, but I haven't communicated directly with him yet, so it still feels a little abstract. That'll change soon.

Dylan and I have applied for an apartment together, which is awesome, but also brings with it a host of issues. For one, the decision that we were all leaving the house was a little sudden, and neither of us were financially prepared for it, meaning we had to borrow some money from our dad. I HATE BORROWING MONEY. I don't have any credit cards for a reason: I don't like spending money that isn't mine. Having to suck it up and ask for money was hard, but necessary. I've never really asked for money from my parents before (other than "Hey, if you want to help with school..." but that's more implying I could use some money than it is asking for it), but at least I only needed like $200, which I can pay back quickly. Dylan, on the other hand, has asked for money before, plus they're just way harder on him than they are on me, so I've had to hear a lot lately about how irresponsible Dylan can be. Yeah, I know. But he can also be responsible. Maybe we could assume the best before we assume the worst? But that's hard to point out when I also need a hand-out. I'm not in a moral-superiority bargaining position.

Most of you know by now that my foot is broken. Yeah, it sucks. Yeah, I have a stupid cast that my stupid friends wrote stupid things on. Yeah, my armpits hurt like a motherfucker.

When I first broke it, I thought the whole thing was kind of funny. It was 4 am, I was at home with my drunk roommates having a "dance party," and I was jumping up and down to "Flagpole Sitta." Some of you know why the last part makes it take the cake on ridiculousness. I was all hobbled, and could hardly get out the door of my house to go to the doctor, since there were video game cords everywhere. Hilarious, right?

There's obviously more to say, but I started this at lunch and need to get back to work. Will update later!

Friday, March 7, 2008


I lost my virginity at 18, after graduating high school, and I had kissed five people up until that point. I didn't need a list (I could recite everyone I had kissed in chronological order until the number reached around 20), but I had one. The list had the boy's name, as well as symbols signifying "how far" we went. Also, everyone I kissed received a journal entry (so quaint!). So, numbers were big to me. HUGE. Anyone I dated, I wanted to know their numbers as well - how many he had kissed, how many of them gave head, how many he slept with. Since my numbers were pretty low and I mostly dated guys who were a little older and little more experienced, sharing wasn't a big deal. But, once I hit six, I started to worry. My last boyfriend, who was two years older than me, had only slept with four. Was I a slut?

The next sexual situation I was in was with a friend with whom there was no chance of dating, since he lived in Maine and I live in Seattle. We were hanging out one day, and he kissed the back of my neck while we were in a toy store. My entire body responded, every hair on end, a current running through my spine. We couldn't get back to his house fast enough. When we were naked on his bed in the light of the afternoon sunshine, he said I was beautiful, and I believed him. I felt perfect in that moment. It was electric, one of the most arousing experiences of my life. And I stopped it short for the sake of a number. (We never went all the way. He has a serious girlfriend now, and once she found some old racy correspondence of ours, so he had to stop talking to me because it made her uncomfortable, regardless of the fact that we live on different coasts. But irrationally jealous girlfriends are another topic.)

A few months later, I had sex with someone else, and it was lousy. I had wasted an opportunity for GREAT sex for the sake of the number, then had mediocre sex with someone I had no intention of dating, or even sleeping with again. I felt defeated. I still had a higher number, and not even a good story to show for it. As anyone who has experienced phenomenal sex knows, it's an unrivaled experience. What had I passed it up for? I then vowed to never let myself miss another opportunity. (That was later revised to not allowing myself to miss an opportunity except for the sake of monogamy, but that's another story.)

I still kept the list, more for curiousity's sake, but I didn't allow fear of adding to it to interfere with whom I chose to sleep with. Now, I'm not proud of everyone I've slept with, and I would take a few back in the light of hindsight. But the lion's share, I don't regret one bit, number be damned.

This last Summer, I stopped updating the list. At first I panicked: was that really someone I wanted to be? I remembered with horror the first female friend who told me she honestly had no idea how many men she had been with. Then I thought about it more. I consider myself to be a sex-positive person, and I think the double-standard of males with a high number of sexual partners versus females is ludicrous. Tucker Max doesn't know how many people he's slept with, why should I? (Note: it's nowhere near as many as Tucker Max. I'm double-digits, not triple ((double-note: why do I feel the need to clarify?))). Also, I prefer to date a guy who has had many partners - he tends to have more sexual skill, be more confident in bed, and be more adventurous, all things that I value.

Rather than be afraid of how someone else would react to my number, I thought about it this way: Do I even want to date the kind of guy that would judge me for something like that? The answer was no. A relationship is about mutual respect, and trust; if my past makes him feel insecure, that's his problem, not mine. I would rather weed out guys who are uncomfortable about that sort of thing than pussyfoot around someone else's prejudices.

This was originally written in response to a question about whether "notches on the bedpost" really mattered, which he asked in advance of his own blog post on the matter. I don't think of his general readership as my peer group, so I want to ask you the same thing: What are your thoughts on numbers? Do you keep track? Do you ask? Does how many people someone else has slept with affect your opinion of them?

(PS- the timeline of my experiences with the "friend" is a little off - it made more sense this way, in order to maintain flow as well as to protect his anonymity.)