Category Archives: rants

Easy come, easy go.

Lets see now, where to start, where to start…

Ok, lets start with the present and work backwards, shall we?

MONEY: 

My stupid effing car is acting up yet again. This time around its the mass air flow sensor for the fuel injector.  It shorted out, apparently.  Stalled out just as I was getting off the exit on my way to work Monday morning, and sputtered and groaned the rest of the way.  $612.00.  AND since I was in the shop anyway, I bumped up my month-old appointment to get my rear brakes done as well, so the total is going to be $912.00. Plus tax. Maybe its time to buy a newer or better car.

I bought a bike and some video games over the weekend.  I bought the bike to satisfy a long-time longing to be on wheels again.  I used to love riding, but when I graduated college and moved here, my bike did not move with me.  Now, I have a simple, one-speed cruiser with straight handlebars, in a blue 50’s retro style.  Schwinn legacy cruiser for the Googlers.  I also bought the necessary accessories and saftey crap.  $220.00 (Pics forthcoming)

Video games were an impulse buy: Diablo 2 and WOW battlechests.  Oh, and a wireless router. I got sick of all those damned vinyl-covered cords all over the damn place. $150.00

Mid-may, my car’s driver side window fell through the door. Apparently the bolt holding it up broke.  I also replaced windshield wipers and a brake light. $300.00 ($200 for labor).

First weekend of May, I went up to Northampton MA for a gay pride parade and barbeque with a bunch of friends. My GPS got lost at the last intersection and I had to be fetched, and then, my key got stuck in the ignition, which in turn was stuck in the ON position.  Had to disconnect the battery from the starter in order to shut down the car.  My friends helped out with AAA and rides. The ignition cylinder had to be replaced and new keys made.  $500.00.  Towing was free, because I have awesome friends.  I still stayed and enjoyed the parade and my friend’s  company.

 

My hard-won savings is quite rapidly diminishing. I hate that the money I put aside for the car is actually being used for the car, and I also hate that its being used up so fucking fast.  Stupid american-made piece of shit.

 

Lets move on to HEALTH:

A lot has been going on on the health front.  No, I’m not sick, as far as I know. I was just finally getting around to seeing specialists for a bunch of chronic discomforts that have been afflicting me for quite some time.  Most recently, I went and saw a dermatologist to get my crap skin looked at.  I’ve had problems with painful infections in certain sensitive areas since my early teens, as well as sensitive skin and run-of-the-mill acne.  So now I am on mild oral and topical antibiotics.

Unanticipated bonus?  These antibiotics seemed to have cleared up my sinuses, which have been congested and drippy since 2006.  I had actually forgotten what it is like not have post-nasal drip.  Last week, I woke up, sprawled on my belly, and felt the strange sensation of cool morning air FILL my nose.   Can I smell better?  I don’t know, I hope so!  Despite that, this season’s wet and humid weather is still aggravating my asthma, alas.  But life without postnasal drip is awesome.

It’s true, what they say, that (for any value of “IT”) you never know how good you had it until it is gone, but I think you also can’t know how good it IS until it comes back.

Beginning of May, I had a physical done. Bloodwork, third degree, pokes and prods, the works.  Even though I’m a fatty mcfatterson with “horrible” BMI, the only blip in my health metrics is my cholesterol. Slightly elevated, which considering my family history and lack of exercize, doesn’t suprise me at all.

Mid-April, I had my thyroid looked at.  It felt firm and lumpy to me, so the doc sent me to get an ultrasound, and they found several nodes, two of which were suspicious-looking.  So a biopsy was done, which sucked balls, I tell you, BALLS. I had the strangest reaction after the procedure was done.  Emotionally I felt fine, relieved that it was over. Then I started getting the shakes, deep tremors in my hands and knees. Then, for no reason at all, tears started spilling out of my eyes.  Even though the only emotion I felt was embarrassment. What the hell was I crying for, yanno? The procedure didn’t even hurt all THAT much. (They injected the area with local anesthetic, lidocaine.  All I felt was pressure and a slight achey discomfort, as if they were prodding a new bruise.)  The only explanation I could come up for it was my lizard brain hijacking my limbic system to express the pain at the violation my body knew it felt. Either that or it was a tension-releasing catharsis response to denied fight-or-flight instincts.  Personally I like the former explanation better.

The results from the biopsy showed everything is fine. My body isnt trying to kill me yet. So that’s the good news.

Up next: dating updates and a bike ride/tour!

 

 

 

 

 

The Duty to Care

Look down and see
The beggars at your feet.
Look down and show
Some mercy if you can.
Look down and see
The sweepings of the street.
Look down, look down
Upon your fellow man.
–A song from the show Les Miserables

Earlier this week, the inestimable junior senator from Kentucky, a Libertarian and Tea Party darling, and a self-certified ophthalmologist, equated the notion of a right to health care with that of enslavement of medical professionals.

“With regard to the idea of whether you have a right to health care, you have realize what that implies. It’s not an abstraction. I’m a physician. That means you have a right to come to my house and conscript me. It means you believe in slavery. It means that you’re going to enslave not only me, but the janitor at my hospital, the person who cleans my office, the assistants who work in my office, the nurses. … You have a right to beat down my door with the police, escort me away and force me to take care of you? That’s ultimately what the right to free health care would be,” – Senator Rand Paul.

(emphasis mine) Quote source: Andrew Sullivan

Here’s a video: Rand Paul Expresses an Opinion

I am shocked, nay—appalled that a physician trained at a reputable medical school (Duke University) would so cavalierly suggest that the Hippocratic Oath is mere fluff, that it is permissible for a medical person to pick and choose whom he (or she) will so deign to “take care of.”  Appalled that a physician would claim the right to deny care to anyone he deems unworthy of his vaunted expertise, for whatever reason he may contrive.  Appalled that he would suggest that being required to do his job is enslavement.

No, Rand Paul.  It is not enslavement to expect you to do the job to which you voluntarily signed up for when you became a physician.   It is not enslaving doctors when we expect them to take care of people that need to be taken care of.  It is not enslavement when we expect them to do their jobs, to be doctors.  It is certainly not enslavement to try and create a system that will increase access to doctors and nurses and medicines for everyone who needs it.

For you see, Rand Paul, every person in this society has a role to play—such as parent, teacher, plumber, homeowner, soldier, student, banker, factory worker, senator, and physician.  All these roles come with privileges and obligations.  Let’s call these privileges ‘rewards,’ and these obligations ‘duties.’  When you adopt a role, you assume the duties as well as the rewards of that role. Taking up duties, by definition, means you relinquish certain liberties you may once have enjoyed. This is true no matter what role you take, whether as parent, plumber, soldier, doctor, or as senator.  When you become a parent, you exchange the liberties of “me time” for the duties of raising a child.  When you become a homeowner, you exchange the liberties of financial freedom for the duty to pay down your mortgage. When you become a physician, you exchange the liberty of seeing only those you want to see for the duty to give care to all who come to you as patients.  When you became a senator you exchanged the liberty to speak for yourself for the duty to speak on behalf of all those people you represent—including those who disagree with you.

To say that you should not be forced to meet the obligations expected of your role because that infringes on your personal freedoms–that is tantamount to me telling my boss that I’m not going to do my paperwork because being required to so do so infringes on my liberty, my right to choose how I wish to do my job. Guess what, Rand Paul, if I ever dared say that I would rightly be fired, because we do not get to reap the rewards of duties not performed.

Perhaps you forgot the Hippocratic Oath?

  1. I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant
  2. I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.
  3. I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures [that] are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism.
  4. I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.
  5. I will not be ashamed to say “I know not,” nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient’s recovery.
  6. I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given to me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God.
  7. I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person’s family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.
  8. I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.
  9. I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.
  10. If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.

I wish to repeat #9 again, because it bears repeating, Mr. Rand Paul:

I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.

To be a doctor is to take on the duty to care, Rand Paul.  It is not enslavement. Do you even know what slavery is, Rand Paul?

Slavery is not just the absence of liberty.  Slavery is the commodification of a person’s body, of all his or her abilities as well as life.  Slavery is denying a person his or her personhood; denying a person the right to speak or vote; to literally sell a person’s body for money. Slavery is taking away all power a person has over his or her life.

When bodies are treated as commodities—that is slavery. When a body’s health becomes a source of revenue for others—that is when liberty is at risk; for it is when bodies become infirm that choices become restricted. When you deny a person access to health care, you deny them agency over their bodies and their health, and thus over their lives. You deny them the ability to make choices. That is more like slavery than requiring or even just expecting doctors to perform their Hippocratic duties ever will be.

Having a duty to others is not slavery, Rand Paul. When you conflate the two, you render the term and history of “Slavery” meaningless. You invalidate the entire notion of a social contract.Which I hasten to point out is the intellectual basis of our entire political society.  Our Founding Fathers—the very men you Tea Party ideologues so revere—built our Constitution on the concept of a social contract.  Which you now, with careless hyperbole and disregard for history, mock.

For shame, Rand Paul. Shame.

A Few Brief Notes On How Not To Piss Me Off.

Dear Persons of Irritating Comport;

1. If I am more than a few paces behind you, please don’t bother holding the door open for me.  Seeing you waiting for me to step through makes me feel like I have to hurry and walk faster or run, and that kinda pisses me off.  And then I am expected to be thankful for your courtesy? Yeah, that pisses me off too.  Also, despite my apparent helplessness, I DO, in fact, know how to make doors work.

2. If you must have a conversation, please do not do it in the middle of the lane of traffic.  Having to squeeze myself pass your yammering asses–yeah, that kinda pisses me off.

3. If I am walking, please do assume that I have somewhere to go.  Do not stop me and then precede to “regale” me with your version of “small talk” or “chit chat”.  If you see me edging away, take that as a cue to shut up. Being trapped by your flapping maw kinda pisses me off.

4. As much as being pissed off gives me something to write on my blog, I really don’t like being pissed off.  It pisses me off.  So please try not to Piss me off.

Thank you for your consideration.

Eggs and the Homogenized Mass.

This morning, while eating my eggs, I had the distinct pleasure of watching John Boehner talk to George Stephanopolos about the looming government shutdown. It wasn’t long at all until my eggs lost all flavor.

Thanks for ruining my breakfast, John Boehner!

Dear Political Persons of Any Stripe, but particulary Speaker Boehner;

Please refrain from uttering the phrase “The American people want/do not want…” while rationalizing your political ideology. It is patently untrue; you do not speak for all Americans. We are not some homogenized mass which you can use to justify pushing your political agendas. When it comes down to it, only the President can really speak for all of us, but even the President would be remiss to do that, because Americans are, once again, not a homogenized mass.

Really, you can only claim to speak for your consistuents, the people whom you are elected to represent, but even then, like the President, you cannot really speak for all of them, for like the rest of the country, your consistuents are not a homogenized mass whose opinions perfectly sync up with yours.

For that matter, while I am on the subject, just because you were elected by a majority of the voters or electors in your district, does not mean that the people of your district, or even the people who voted for you, approve of every single thing in your agenda. It is quite possible, even likely, that any particular voter will agree with you on one thing but not on another.

See, people vote for you, not necessarily because they think you’re the bee’s knees, but perhaps because they think you are a better alternative than your opponent. Being the victor of a campaign does not constitute widespread approval of your platform. Winning an election does not and never shall constitute a mandate, no matter how wide the margins of your win. Being elected does not mean you no longer need to “listen”–if I may be so generous as to use that word–to what your people think.

Therefore, Mr.Boehner and other sundry political persons, you cannot, not ever shall claim the right to speak for everybody.

Most emphatically not yours,
Rachel

Ice Suffices

SOME say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To know that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.
—-Robert Frost, 1920

[Run-on sentence alert!]

Okay, so far, this winter sucks more than previous winters. I just spent two and a half hours digging my car out of a snowy tomb. The first blizzard we had, after Christmas, dumped about a foot, which hadn’t completely melted by the time the smaller storm last Friday dumped about 8 inches–none of which really melted at all, because its been in the damn low 20s all week. And NOW, last night and this morning we had another major snow storm that dumped TWO goddamned feet on top of that. I had snow piles–from the plows, the shovellers, and the sky–snow piles no less than 4 feet high surrounding my car. I had a gracious neighbor help me out the last two hours of my digging, but that first half hour alone was quite daunting. I looked at it and wanted to crawl into a drift and die.

I know the poem up top really has nothing to do with winter’s crappy tendency to be an asshole, but well, winter IS an asshole, and it hates us all. The world is supposed to end next year, and I think it will end by glaciers crushing us beneath their weight: they did it 11,000 years ago–they can do it again. I’m not kidding. Snow is piling up faster than it can melt!

Ice, people!! Ice!!! It suffices!
Doom!

On the plus side, it was another snow day. I watched the first season of Big Love on dvd (rented from a local library) and now I am warming up my frozen legs (I sank into snow thigh-deep, people!) in a hot bath. Thank goodness for baths and bathtubs. I may never get out. All I need to make my time in here more perfect is alcohol, chocolate, and a man. And a fireplace with a crackling fire would be nice too, but that’s even less likely than summer starting tomorrow. I would be content with just the alcohol and chocolate. And the man.

A DELIGHTFUL Chat Last Night. Also, Teal Post.

Okay, so I was on OKCupid last night, cleaning up my message box and stuff, when this guy, who shall henceforth be called DudeBro, pinged me and asked to meet this week. Well, I have plans this week, and I told him it wasnt a good time, that maybe after the holidays would be better and he gets all huffy, and says “if we cant make a date, than its not worth trying.” (this was the third such attempt on both our parts–we had both been busy). And I’m like, “ok, then, sure.”  Then a short few minutes later he replies “You never intended to go out with me anyway, did you?”

So here I’m feeling a little ambushed, and thinking, yanno asshole, I don’t owe you anything, and furthermore, if this is how you act over THIS, then I’m glad we aint ever gonna meet.   So I tell him “Actually, yes I would have met with you, since I enjoy meeting people, but I also suspected that we might also not be a good match.”

And the following conversation-cum-argument ensues:

DudeBro:
it was nice [chatting with] you
And, if by chance, you have any suggestions as to how I can improve my profile, or myself to be more appealing
I’d love the help

Rachel:
🙂 ok
I actually dont think theres anything wrong with you profile–its good, IMHO. I gave you four stars, after all.

I’d love to know why I suck so bad , tho

hey just cuz things dont work doenst mean you suck

Last night one of my friends made out with me in front of the entire grad student bar, then went home to fuck some other dude.
and everyone noticed
she did this, because nobody thinks of me as the guy to go home with
they think of me as the lame friend who takes care of them and is nice
she didn’t mean to humiliate me
this is my life
one of my best friends back home
a friend who was my roomie like a decade ago

hmmm. [Translation: oh jesus christ]

always came to me with my problems, married (and divorced) one of my best friends back home
that dude, last time I saw him, he was making jokes about how my, at the time, girlfriend, who was all like, pushing to get married, would probably go home with another dude
So, the bottom line is, I’ve done a lot of stuff right
I’m getting a PhD at Yale, I’ve published twice in the top conference in my field
a place where professors are dying to get a single publication in
I’m on the regular list of reviewers for the top science journals in robotics
and now I’m so depressed that this is my life that I can’t even go on to finish my PhD or bring myself to wake up in the morning
and just a few minutes ago, a girl I said hi to on this site too like, a full 30 mins describing to me why she thought I was a loser, when I’d basically only said hi and said “oh, you’re not going to say hi back, oh well”
so, obviously I’ve done something very wrong
if even my friends think it’s okay to just treat me like a loser
and don’t understand when I don’t want to spend time with them
or why I’d rather be at home alone than go to the bar and deal with more people telling me how awful I am, and isn’t it cute that I’m the dumbass that gets drug along with all of the worthwhile people.
Anyway, thanks for being nice about the whole matter, and sorry for being a bit shocking

[Thinking it might be a good time to extricate myself from this conversation] well I dont know anything about you or why you have the issues you have and i definitely cant fix them for you or even begin to tell you what youre doing wrong. Seriously I hope things get better for you. Also, plese dont ever fall for the “nice guy bullshit” ok? that shit pisses me off.

I’m quite aware of the nice guy “bullshit”; it’s totally true [GAH! shit, here we go.]
What about me appealed to you

your intelligence and your gusto for what you do.  that youre not a shut in
how I knew it wouldnt go far—you travel too much and are a Christian. I cant see myself in a serious relationship with either a Christian or a Muslim  I will hang out with and be friends with religious folks. but I grew up in evangelical communities and frankly those people turned me off on LTRs with the religious folk

Perhaps I shouldn’t list my religion, I’m not like, a door knocking asshole

no, its important thing to list. and there are plenty of christian women who want to date christian men
and ONLY christian men

Not really
winning for an occasion is important
this.. what I have, it sucks
I’m not looking for a frigid bitch who doesn’t put out [nice, way to show your misogynism and what you REALLY want]
and I’m not interested in an evangelical psycho either
most christian women aren’t nutters like that

no they arent! lol thats why you shouldn’t hide your religion

k  I’d appreciate something more helpful than this “there’s someone for everyone” stuff
I want to win for a change

dating isnt a competion

There are guys who get to go to the bar
and they go home wioth a girl
and fuck her
and me
I get the girls who are done with that
they’re like “I had crazy group sex all through my 20s”
now I want a guy who can pay for my fucking obnoxious kids and take care of me

[all you want is to get in some girl’s panties? really? and whats wrong with the “girls who are done with that?”] girls are not “goals” to be “won” and if thats how you approach it, ladies will pick up on that and the decent ones will see that as a sign of disrespect and you’ll be shut out, *snap* like that

that’s irrelevant [fuck you asshole, how dare you ask for my opinion and then tell me its irrelevant?]

also, stop thinking you’ll find some chick at a bar barflies suck

I never said I treated women like that
I said that I’m tired of losing the game of life

no, you said you want to “win”

doesn’t matter, the girls who win don’t like me either
I do want to win
I have guy friends who get to do that shit
I just want a few months of my life where I get to do that shit
and women are all over them, and they DO treat women like shit
or, not really
They just don’t treat them all serious and committed
and the women eat it up

right you think its a competion–your comparing youself to what sounds liek DOUCHBAGS

they EAT UP that all of the other girls want them
I’d rather be a douchebag than be me [oh REALLY?!]
Like I said, you never took the prospect of me seriously, I want to be a guy who women take seriosuly

well if thats the way you think, then I wish you luck, but I cant and wont help you

why not?
maybe I don’t want to “dominate” women, I just want to be a guy that women like
to not look back on my life when I’m old and be like “well, I was a sucker, and women treated me like that, and I lived my loser life and now I’m in my shitty dirt-hole
it doesn’t seem like an undreasonable goal

your perspective on dating, life, guys and girls, all that stuff—its both disrespectful to yourself and women, adn I wont have a part in it

I’m not disrespectful
how am I disrespectful?
There’s a difference between saying “man, I’d rather be like that guy” and being disrespectful
I’m just saying that I want to be the fun, cool guy for a change

you honestly think that ranting aout how all girls want is douchbags, and youd rather be a douchbag so you can get some ass–er, a RELATIONSHIP–and getting mad when the girls you try to win over arent buying it or repsonding to you because youre playing by all the rules or waterever–thts not being disrespectful?  girls dont owe you or anyone sex or relationships

you’re putting a lot of words into my mouth
I said I’d like to be the guy who gets it
not that anybody owes me
and that some guys get it
and I don’t
and I’d like to know how to be different
I didn’t say anything of the nature of that I’m a creep who does a bunch of weird shit to get girls
or that women owe me sex
you said that
or rather, that I said it
I asked how I could be a more interesting guy
how I could be a guy who you WOULD like
what separates me from that guy

and the fact that you dont understand how what you say can be taken in the way I interpret it–as disrespectful and counterintuitive–really should make you think.

no, I do, but I think that you’re just in this mode of having bought into the idea that if a guy wants to do better with women, then he must be a creep that he wants to do better with women because he doesnt’ deserve to do well with women that what separates the cool guys from the losers is evolutionary
and that trying to buck that is wrong

No, I think that when you say you want to be a douchbag instead of a”loser” like you think you are, just so you can get sex and a realionship as a bonus–THAT makes you look and sound like a creep.
dating is not a game
sex is not a game
GIRLS are not a game

there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be the guy who gets the girl
and if I’m unhappy with myself, wanting to change is okay too

nor are they and nor shall they EVER be treated as one.

you’re putting words into my mouth
listen, you AGREE that some guys are better with women than others, right?

youre stiulll not getting my point, and maybe im not making it well, but the fact is–I think your way of thinking of the whole thing is your problem

I don’t think so
I think that you’re not listening to what I’m saying

and with that., good night. and good luck.[translation: fuck you again, you asked for my opinion and you completely dismiss what I try to tell you? You’re way too stuck in the bullshit “I’m a victim” to even be receptive to another point of view.] 

And here is where I sign off from the website.  What follows is everything he posted to my message box after I left. Everything in red is my pissy mental retort.

that you WANT it to be something else, something that you saw on tv or something
k, bye
Sorry that conversation went so poorly, because I really would value your input, and I think that if we could get on the same page that you’d actually be quite helpful [No, you want me to be on your page, and that wont work, because your page is WRONG]
but I also think that your life experiences tell a very different story from mine [yeah, I dont surround myself with douchebag “friends” or think I should be like them; I dont surround myself with girls (or guys as the case would be) that have no reciprocating interest in me; and I dont resent other people when I feel rejected.]
See, I’ve always been very nice, very loyal to my friends, a hard worker I GENUINELY care about other people, and their problems
But, I can’t help but notice that the treatment that I receive, the output, what I get out of my life, isn’t very good  now, you might think that wanting what those other guys get is douchey
but I don’t. I think that it’s natural
there’s nothing wrong with wanting people to like you and respect you,
and to get the things that make them happy
this doesn’t mean objectifying women,
but last night, my FRIEND, someone who still considers herself someone that I’d confide in, humliated me at the bar and didn’t even THINK about it
it was just the natural order to her
and when I go home for christmas, the people back home will think the same of me
you don’t have to objectify women, or consider them points in a game to want better for yourself than that and when I turn down my friends invites to parties and stuff, they really don’t get it,
and they don’t get why I don’t have fun when I’m there but think about it, my BEST relationships, the ones that are the POSITIVE ones in my life are ones where people think I’m that crappy
and I’ve done a lot with myself
Surely you wouldn’t think I’m a douche JUST for the fact that I want people like me, respect me, and women sleep with me
but WANTING those things, makes me a douche in your opinion [yeah, actually–you’ve basically spent the better part of 90 minutes begging to get laid by anyone, and for decent girls to pay attention to you. yeah, you’re acting like a douche.]
anyway, that’s all I had to say, maybe you’ll see it my way and choose to help me.

Um, yeah. No. I wont have anything to do with a misogynistic 30-year old child with a NiceGuy(TM) complex–I wont ever see it his way and I wont ever help any dudebro be a douchebag just so he can get some ass.  And I wont ever accept some dudebro asking me for my opinion on something and then completely dismissing everything I say in favor of his own vastly superior male point of view. I got two links for those “Nice Guys.”  One, youre actually not that nice at all, and Two, you’re being treated like a loser because you’re acting like one.  You want a relationship with a woman? Ditch the people in your life that make you feel like shit. Dont take rejection personally.  Ditch the Nice Guy issues and be a GOOD GUY.  Develop the Triumverate of Attraction:

  • a) good communication skills; if you’re interested in a woman, let her know. do not be shy, or ambigous. Speak–verbally and non-verbally–with clarity and intent.
  • b) be respectful; understand and respect that people have thoughts and motivations that you will never know; and don’t expect anything from anyone; and don’t take shit personally.
  • c) have a good personality: be confident. be funny. be relaxed. have fun. Be interested IN HER, and what she has to say,  and SHOW her what makes you interesting.

And for gods sake, don’t ever think of dating, sex, relationships, or OTHER HUMAN BEINGS as just a game. Nothing is a game–life is not a competition, and success is not measured by the notches on your belt.  And if trying to live a life like that makes you unhappy, then just stop . Really. STOP.

 

The “Gift” of Hearing.

So, I was channel-surfing the tv earlier, and came across Extreme Home Makeover doing their make-you-cry shit.  Only this time, it was for the Oregon School for the Deaf.  Now don’t get me wrong here–I’m glad OSD got a a new dorm; deaf schools have been in decline for a long time, ever since mainstreaming became widespread.  So its good to see deaf people get something good coming their way. Lord knows we aren’t all so lucky.  The only thing is, with this episode, they made way too big of a deal about deaf kids getting hearing aids.   “Oh my goodness, HEARING AIDS! Isn’t that wonderful?  They can hear now! Oh happy day!  Birds!  Music! Now, they can be like US!”

Patronizing shit like that pisses me off.  Look, I wear hearing aids, and I’m glad to have them, and I know those kids probably are too,  but do you really have to act like hearing–or not hearing–is the most god-damned interesting or important thing to think or talk about? Honestly!

Heres a cluebat. Its not.  Hearing aids are tools.  Not even the most important tool. What are our most important tools?  Our eyes.  Our hands.  Our sign language.  Our friends and family.  These are what we use to get on in the world, these we use to connect to people.  These are what define us.   Hearing aids–and the limited range of hearing they give us–are but a minor aspect of our lives.  They complement our use of eyes, hands, language, and social networks.  They do not replace them.   To act as if giving us this thing is the greatest thing ever is to completely dismiss the wealth of experience and depth of life we already have.

The best thing you can do for deaf people is not giving them “the gift of hearing”, its treating us as if IT DOESN’T MATTER WHETHER OR NOT WE CAN HEAR.

Because, for a great many of us, it doesn’t.  We don’t give a fuck.  And we would appreciate it if you would stop obsessing about our so-called disability.  We are people first, for christ’s sake.  Accommodate us.  Respect us.  Love us.  But do not patronize us.

 

 

 

 

 

A Conversation with Jazz

Sometimes Jazz and I keep each other entertained via email during the day. I like to think we are keeping each other sane. I had a fun time chatting with her today and I thought I would share some of the crazy shenanigans she gets us started on (yes Jazz, its all your fault.)

Rachel:

I need to blog something, but I never feel motivated anymore. I’ve got several drafts in my head, bumping into each other and making babies, but whenever I get home, the vast brain-suck that is the internet stops me from releasing those thoughts into the wild.

Internet=brain-eating vortex
Brain-eating=Zombies
Internet=Zombies?

Jazz:

Your logic is, if not impeccable, then interesting to say the least…
So don’t go onto the inners when you get home. Just go onto wordpress (or wherever you blog) and let ‘er rip. Then shut down the innerz and read a book instead.

Like I should talk! When I get onto that thing, I’m doomed.

Rachel:

I am hurt–HURT, I say!–at the implication that my logic is not both IMPECCABLE and INTERESTING. Not to mention, mind-blowingly revelatory!

The implications of my discovery are astounding, woman! Why, it means that the apocalypse happened 15 years ago and WE DIDN’T KNOW IT!! We are coccooned in illusion while our bodies rot and our brains feed the Undead. AND it means that AL GORE IS THE ANTICHRIST!!

ZOMG!

Jazz:

Wha?!?!?! you didn’t know Al Gore was the Antichrist?

I’ve always liked that term: antichrist… as opposed to the prochrist? As opposed to a poor naive slightly insane fool who thought he was the son of god?

Methinks the antichrist has got to be a good thing.

Now put that in your zombie brain and chew on it.

Thanks for chatting with me, Jazz! Your wit is a life-saver in so many ways.

In other news, my computer acquisition plans are once again put on hold–and for the same goddamned reason as it had been put on hold the last four goddamned times. The car. The blasted CAR, that damned American-made money pit on wheels.

First it was an electrical problem (May 2009). Then the PassLock(TM) antitheft-starter relay (December 2009). Then it was the brakes (April 2010). The last time it was a stupid car accident caused by my own damn stupidity (May 2010). And NOW, with just 10 days remaining in plan D, the engine light comes on and something weird starts happening while accelerating. Some sort of jump or slip when it reaches 15, 20mph.

Once again, there goes my hard-won savings. LE SIGH.

Truly, I am cursed. My karma is bad. The universe mocks me. Maybe I make too many Al Gore or Apocalypse jokes.

Missives from the Malcontent.

Dear Republicans:
You had over a YEAR to propose better alternatives to Democratic plans on Health Care Reform–not once did you ever say “Hey guys, I got a better idea! Instead of this, let’s do this;…” Instead you assholes spent a YEAR with your arms folded shouting “We demand compromises!” And when given compromises, shouted “NOnononoNO.”
Its pathetic how you collectively decided that political manuvering was more important than taking care of the needs of the American people.

Way to be the obfuscating, hyperventilating, obstructionist, self-serving assholes, G.O.P. “Party of No.”

Congratulatingly,
Rachel

*****

Dear Congress;
As much as I enjoy a good heckle (which is to say, not at all), especially of the kind seen in the British House of Commons, it is not the type of behavior that is acceptable for our legislators. I dunno about the rest of my fellow citizens, but I for one, expect mature, rational behavior from grown adults. Not disruptive shouting of the likes of Randy Neugebauer or Joe Wilson.

And while it has thus far been only childish Republicans engaging in this behavior, I ask you not to let it become just another way to play politics.

Once again, please kindly cease and desist.

Votingly,
Rachel

*****

Dear Tea Partiers:
Why don’t you do us all favor and repeat history by tossing yourselves into the Boston Harbor, you hateful bigots.

Disgustedly,
Rachel

*****

Dear Rushie-baby;
Put up or effin’ shut up.

Gloatingly,
Rachel

Coping with Cars and Art and Work.

Okay, here’s the deal with my car:

For the past couple months, I’ve been experiencing a no-start issue, which manifested only on cold mornings. What would happen is that upon turning the key in the ignition, everything would power up; the lights, air, dashboard controls, wipers, everything, but the engine itself would simply…not. No cranking, no turning over, only complete silence. But then, it would start up again 10 to 15 minutes later. At first, I thought it was an old battery, but when I had it tested at Sears and again at Pep Boys, the battery was perfectly fine. So I knew it was an electric problem of some sort.

I finally did some research online, and it turns out that this is a common problem with certain GM vehicles equipped with the Passlock(TM) antitheft device. From what I can understand, what’s happening is that some gel or oil inside the ignition begins to degrade in cold weather with age. This degradation causes the ignition switch to perform less-than-optimally, and creates a “bounce” signal that the Passlock(TM) device interprets as a hotwire job, and it immediately shuts off the ignition sequence.

In other words, its a fucked up design. And what REALLY pisses me off is that GM won’t recall it because its “not a safety issue.” They won’t even pay for the fix–which is replacing the ignition switch, and if that fails, then the Body Control Module–because they apparently aren’t legally required to do so, even though half the vehicles equipped with this device have this problem eventually.

Cost for the fix: $300.00 to start, more if the BCM needs replacing.

GM has got a fucking racket with this shit. Imagine it: half of the vehicles with the passlock POS will fail and need replacing, to the tune of $300 or more EACH. Of course the honchos at GM aren’t going to recall this crap–its making them millions of dollars in what basically amounts to EXTORTION.

In any case, I’m getting my POS car fixed tomorrow night. Yay me.

And I’m never going to be buying a GM vehicle again. Ever. As much as I would like to support the American economy with my American dollars, if I don’t have a car I can rely on–if I don’t have a company I can trust–then I’ve wasted my money. My best bet is to buy a Honda next time.

Is it any wonder why GM went bankrupt, if this is the kind of shenanigans they pull on their customers? Shame on you, GM!

In other news, I am working on my creative-think mindset. I’ve gotten back into working on my old Nano book, from Novemeber 2008, working on characterization. The reason why it stalled all those months ago is because I knew absolutely bupkis about my main character. How can I write a story about some lady if I don’t even know her motivations, right?

I am also working on painting a self-portrait to incorporate the phrase Ars requiret totum hominem. I’m painting it as a reminder to myself that no matter how difficult it sometimes is to remain motivated, art and writing is still something I want and need to do, and in order to do it, I need to put all of myself into doing it.

I gotta get back to work now. Oh and get this, the bosses are cracking down on internet and cell usage now. Even though no one is slacking off and letting work pile up, they’ve decided that we can’t have our shit anymore.

I don’t see the point really. The work is getting done, its getting done right and on time. What does it matter if people sometimes fill in the empty times (and they DO happen) with a little internet filler?

If I were a boss, I’d let people have a life too.