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I was rather useless yesterday and watched far too much TV as I knitted and organized 3 months worth of papers and bills, and did my taxes. One thing I keep running across is sensationalist reality TV. I know that reality TV is by it's nature sensationalist, but when it's being used to perpetuate stereotypes, and turns more and more to "other-shaming" it stops becoming entertaining and becomes uncomfortably exploitative to me. MTV, TLC and A&E are the worst culprits, with shows like "I Used to Be Fat" where the people profiled and their families very literally conflate fat to badness, laziness and ugliness. The message is you can only be pretty if you're skinny. And who watches MTV? 14 year olds. Great message guys. TLCs horror-fests of "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant" and other such shows take a scolding tone to the women as if they "should have known" they were pregnant, when their bodies didn't change and they had none of the symptoms of pregnancy. And then there's A&E's hardon for addictions, including hoarding. It's public shaming on the largest scale. I have no idea why people agree to be on these shows when they're setting themselves up for ridicule and judgment. I understand that it "raises awareness" of an issue, but really? It's ridiculous.
 
 
 
 
 
 
I'm listening to the Prairie Home Companion Joke show, and am amused by how many of these jokes I would have not gotten when I was 10. It's way better as a grownup. I was reminded that when I was little my mother had a Powdermilk Biscuits shirt. I'm so tempted to get one.

You all know that Jon and I are planning on brewing our own beer when we finally move in together. And now we have a pipe dream of maybe opening a brew-pub. We'd use local meat and veggies, and do a farm-to-table, nose-to-tail approach. There is a serious lack of that type of place in the Schenectady area. Of course this is about 5-10 years in the future, but it's worth thinking about now. It's fun to dream.

We're going to make friends with a local meat farm and see if we can talk our way into helping butcher so that we can learn. Progress on picking out a CSA is progressing. We've decided on a work CSA so that we can get to know the farmers. I'm lucky in NH because my mom knows everyone, but in NY I won't. I kind of want to be these guys. Mom told me I need to get involved with Northeast Organic Farmer's Association, NY and then Jon sent me the link today as he's poking at the internet. He's a hippie like that.

Jon kind of wants goats. I love goat cheese and goat meat, but I know how smart goats are, and I don't want to deal with the insanity and brains of goats. Also, people who have goats are WIERD. We can't have chickens in Schenectady county, or in Albany proper, although I think they're allowed in Troy. At some point our house will include: us, 2 cats (Mystique and Jon's cat-to-be-gotten-soon) a pit bull rescue mutt, and small humans. Depending on how much land we have and the rules of the town we may have goats, chickens and/or bees. There will definitely be a veggie garden with at least 4 raised beds and then herb gardens and flowers around the house.

I'm debating starting a Blog of Adventure, about this whole "get a license, get a job, move in with the boy, hopefully get hitched, have kids and a business together" project. My friend Bird did it with her awesome blog Roughing It where she talks about her awesome gay wedding and her adventures in pets. And she has a dog blog called Flying Dingo Go read her, she's hilarious.
 
 
 
 
 
 
I think I'm getting the creeping crud. I felt enough like poo last night that I didn't go to martial arts. I had pho and tea and went to bed early-ish. (11pm instead of my normal 12am) I woke up this morning with a headache, and vague body aches and nausea. Not bad nausea, but enough to notice. My headache has not gone away. This is annoying. I made an appointment with my chiropractor for Monday because I'm feeling all busted from lots of traveling and then falling the other day on the ice. Hopefully that will set me to rights, because otherwise this means flu, and that would just blow.

On another note, I am amused by how many things I have gotten Jon into. To date he is hooked on NPR, the GEARED goth music podcast, snazzy button down shirts (he had a penchant before, but now he has someone who will tell him he looks good), top hats, and encouraged him into the mustache wax adventure. He in turn has gotten me into Alan Watts books, The Malazan Book of the Fallen series by Stephen Erikson, and various other philosophical books. He also understands that I have no brain when I get out of work and tend to not be able to read philosophy. And together we watch a ton of Criminal Minds, Bones and strange movies.
 
 
 
 
 
 
It's snowing. It does that in New England people! Apparently they've decided that all "non-essential" personnel from my organization can stay home, but clinicians are considered essential. Whatever. I left my house at 7:30am, walked in the door at work at 8:40am. I took the train, and it usually takes me 90+ min to get here. Not today, bus and train were deserted. I win. I am also wearing jeans in a giant FU to corporate because there's no way I'm wearing nice clothes when the snowbanks that I have to climb over to get to the bus are up to my knees. There's 6 inches of snow here where I work, but there's over 18 15 miles Northwest where I live. I dug my Sorrels out of the attic so that my feet stay warm and toasty and then put on dress socks and flats when I got here. I feel like I'm back in 4th grade, wearing boots and bringing indoor shoes.

Fear Factory came onto my Ipod as I was walking in, and I decided that I need to make a Metal station on Pandora. So now I'm happily listening to Fear Factory, Pantera, Slipknot and the like. It seems wonderfully subversive to me. :D

I'm supposed to go either snow-tubing or xc skiing this weekend in Albany. Tubing is $25, but skiing is free, so I think I'd rather go skiing.
 
 
 
 
 
 
I went the the gym yesterday, and in between doing dead lifts and lunges etc I also tried a set of very light bench presses. I did 3x8 at 45lbs and my shoulder didn't hurt! Yay! I'm not going to make bench press a regular part of my routine because I don't need those muscles for throwing, but it's nice to know that my shoulder doesn't suck as much as it once did. I can also deadlift 165 for a set of 8 now, and will go to 175 next time, but my grip tends to fail at these weights so I need to replace my straps. I'm up to 95lbs in power clean, and 135lbs in squats. These are all the end weights for sets of 4x8, and 4x6 respectively. At some point I need to do a week where all I do is max out so I can start working on a percentage program.

I go to a Golds Gym. It's kind of full of meatheads. I like it because it's got a very big selection of free weights and squat racks. However I kept wanting to yell at the guys who were grunting loudly, clanging their weights, dropping their weights and otherwise being ogres. If you can't control your weights, you're doing it wrong. Also, don't do lat pulldowns behind your head. You'll tear your rotator cuffs. And keep your heels down when you're doing squats. I don't care if it damages your ego to have to go lighter. Keep them down or you'll fall over and hurt your back.

I was really lightheaded after doing one set of back extensions and decided to call it a day. Good thing I did: I checked my messages and had one from Erik saying that the start time for the self-defense class was 5, not 6 like I had originally thought. I rushed home, took a 5 minute shower, dumped some protein and lemonade mix into my nalgene and grabbed a granola bar and rushed out of there. The documentary is called A Girl and A Gun. It was an interesting shoot. I was starving by the time I got home though.
 
 
 
 
 
 
The great thing about having a partner who's on Twitter is that I get all the benefits of "hey this is cool" without getting 90 million useless tweets to sift through.

--See and vote for sexiest geeks of 2010 on Wired.com

- Flash Mob Jewish Wedding at the Prudential Center. Not the way I would choose to get married, but very cute.

I was supposed to go hang out with my little sister for the first time in about 6 months but she cancelled on me because she has to babysit her nephew. Boo. I should go lift instead, but motivation is low when it's cold and snowy out and my room is nice and warm. (Yay space heaters!)

Tonight I'm going to go assist with a video shoot for a Not-Me! Project. A documentary filmmaker is coming to film a class on using firearms as self-defense. There will be some pro-gun and some anti-gun people in the class, and we're going to be working on figuring out how to do verbal boundary setting, confirmation of bad intention and what someone's trigger to act would be in a variety of situations. What would you do if you were walking down a street at night with low lighting and there was someone sitting on a stoop/bench and you had to walk past them? What if he/she stood up and came towards you? All of that is stuff that we're going to be working on. We've been working on scenarios for the past 2 weeks.


Related to the Not-Me project is possibly the most effective way I've seen yet to end street harassment. Not Interested. It doesn't matter what he or she says, "Not interested" effectively shuts it down. It doesn't ignore the behavior, but it's not aggressive.

Our biggest challenge as a teaching group is getting past the taboo of hurting someone. I plan on asking every group I teach (when I start teaching)"When is it ok to hurt someone?" just to get them thinking about the fact that if you decide to really defend yourself you will end up hurting someone. Erik has been getting frustrated because so many women can't seem to be aggressive, but as a white male martial artist (albeit one in a wheelchair), he doesn't realize that women tend to be conditioned to avoid conflict and aggression. There are negative social consequences when we act out violently, even when we choose to defend ourselves. Getting past that barrier and helping them understand that in cases of survival it is ok to harm someone else is the biggest and most important step in teaching self-defense. Also getting Erik to shut up for more than 10 minutes and to make the classes way more action-oriented and less lecture will go a long way in having people learn things I think.

I'm debating starting a blog, but I don't know really what I'd blog about. Maybe war stories from work?
 
 
 
 
 
 
So my youngest brother just graduated from college with a BS in Communications and Social Media Marketing, and is looking for a job. He'd ideally like to work for a video game company, because he's a big geek and loves video games, but really he's willing to take any Social Media Marketing job that pays decently and gets him out of New England. He has the most insane memory for all things media and can quote something after having heard/seen it once.

So I put this to you, my fabulous and creative Flist: do any of you know anyone who's hiring for entry-level positions in this field? He has some experience but not the 3-5 years industry that most people are looking for.

In other non-related news, I developed a headache 20 minutes after I got up this morning and it hasn't gone away, not even after the application of caffiene. Grr.
 
 
 
 
 
 
I'm trying to figure out what I want to do for my next knitting project. It has to involve no new yarn, so I'm pretty limited. I was looking for glove patterns, because the yarn I want to use is too scratchy for a scarf, but it's really pretty and I need new knit gloves. As I was poking around I found a pattern for Tardis Gloves redstapler I'm looking at you :p.

I have 1/2 half of a scarf warp wound, that I should probably work on winding the rest of, but the idea of threading the loom at 20 ends per inch is a bit daunting right now. Meep.

I sealed the windows in my room, the studio and will get to the upstairs bathroom and maybe some of the living/dining room windows today. It's been in the 20s recently and I'm tired of waking up in a 55* F room. It makes showering very very cold.

No word yet on the job that I interviewed for last week. They said they'd check my references and get back to me with when they want me to come back for another interview/shadowing day. I'm guessing it's going to be after the holidays at this point.

I keep skipping out on the gym, and I really shouldn't, but it's so SO hard to get motivated to go when its cold and dark out, and I'm tired and hungry. Oh well.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dear Bank of America Phone System,

Fuck you. I've gotten to talk to a real person no less than 3 times, and each time I'm in the middle of my conversation and you cut me off and kick me out. I have full service on my phone, it's just you who sucks balls right now. I'm trying to get them to reduce my interest rate, and apparently that's code for "kick her out of the system repeatedly." Argh!!!

No love and lots of spite,
~~Me

In other news, trying to find a car is hard, and trying to find an automatic is even harder. However, walking into a dealership and saying "gimme a manual transmission, roughly 100,000miles under $10k" may make the sales people actually pay attention to me rather than brush me off, because I'm not some stupid kid who doesn't know anything about buying a car. (well I know nothing about financing, but I know about cars) Jon and I are planning on starting the car shopping next weekend when he comes to visit. Yay!
 
 
 
 
 
 
It's almost 5pm, and I still haven't heard about new job. Boo.

This post really kind of sums up how I feel about many very-outspoken Lefties who thought Obama was close to a diety and expected huge sea-change in a matter of weeks, despite huge opposition from not just the right but the middle too. Letter to a Whiny Young Democrat


I'm at work. I'm off-kilter. My kids are awful today, and I have a new intake. Yay.