Saturday, December 31, 2011


Happy new year everyone! (Why do we always capitalize it? Shouldn't it really only be a proper noun if we're wishing people a happy New Year's Day, not good wishes for the next year? Anyways.)

I had a great night. I've started a new tradition for midnight on the 31st. I'm going to positively assert myself and get rid of any romantic relationships that aren't doing me any good. Potentially romantic relationships that aren't going anywhere. And setting boundaries for people who seem to have none. Out with the old, in with the new!!

It's a new year and it's a great time to set goals for oneself. My therapist and I have been talking a lot about making positive choices and being appropriately assertive, because I have a tendency to hold back and bite my tongue so I can mull over interactions and insure that i don't say anything I don't mean. (I know this sounds pretty contrary to the tone of my blog, but while I am outrageous and honest in real life I generally try much harder to no be offensive than I do while writing on here.) I think it's pretty important to not go crazy with this idea- you can't just start yelling at people who cut you in line at the grocery store or receptionists who put you on hold for personal phone calls- but I also think that it's healthy to make your feelings, and their magnitude, known.

If you disagree, I invite you to think of it in terms of energy. My therapist says that emotions are energy and by keeping in anxiety and negative feelings you are just wasting energy on them. At first, I did not agree. My dad always warns me to restrain myself during social conflict and to never "burn bridges". For a very long time I did just that. The most striking example of this in my life is the collection of interactions between myself and a guy after we ended what was, for both of us, our longest and most serious relationship to that point. He broke up with me in a manner that I found unfair (and a bit stalkerish) and couldn't give a reason that satisfied either of us (I know now we aren't compatible, but at the time, I don't feel like either of us really believed that). I was so angry and hurt, because we had been planning a future together for a long time, and I felt that all of the sudden when it was finally time to move toward that future, he was ditching me (and yes, this was the summer during which three of my friends got married).

I was so angry and hurt that I didn't know what to do with my emotions. But I purposely was not in the least bit mean to him. I tried so very hard to be nice, and cordial, and even when I insisted that we talk because I needed closure I restrained myself and didn't say what I really wanted to, the things that had hurt me the most.  I did not want to burn that bridge; he was friends with my friends, we had been friends before we dated, etc etc etc.

So how did it turn out? We haven't spoken in person in over a year. I never get invited to the parties that all of our mutual friends who were more his friends then mine throw. I try to send an email once a year to ensure things won't be awkward when we do run into each other, but it doesn't seem to facilitate anything very much.

I've often wondered if it would have been any different if I really had said all those things I had wanted to. Had been mean to him and released some of my anger and sadness. Could it have turned out any worse? I doubt it. And maybe somehow getting things out in the open would have been a relief for both of us and made things better in the long run? I don't know but letting out some of that energy I kept inside as anger with a few sentences may not have made a huge difference between us in the long run but could have eased my personal pain a great deal, not only by letting go of it but also allowing me to feel that I had chosen to reject him also, and was at least partially in charge of my own fate (which is a whooooooole 'nother important issue!)

Which brings us to my new year's resolution!

Starting this year, on December 31st, I am going to slough off any emotionally parasitic, mentally damaging, or time-consumingly wasteful relationships with men. Can only find the time to call me back on YOUR time (ie three days after you said you would)? Discarded. Telling me you can be a supportive, platonic friend and then making jokes about jacking off to my picture? Expelled from my life. Constantly justifying your shortfalls by citing traumatic past/present events but unwilling to acknowledge that I hurt too? Dumped into the trash heap (not even worth recycling!) Anyone else want to step up for a try? Blaming your dedication and hours on the job for your lack of commitment? Come on now. I'm a fucking GRAD STUDENT. You cannot be busier than I am, and I'm making time for YOU. Shed from my realm of caring.

It's like spring cleaning, only in January. I told one guy that my resolution is to not put up with people who are rude and disrespect me, so it was nice knowing him. Another I told that he cannot treat me in ways that he knows are going to upset me anymore, even if he thinks that expressing his sexual desires is healthy for him. (He can keep expressing them to undergrads, but not to ME.)

And I don're regret either of those one bit. If you have some old, moldy, emotionally dysfunctional guys (or girls! for all you males out there) then get rid of 'em. I'm sure that the amount of energy you've spent on them up to now is quite enough.

V3 wishing all a happy and healthy start

Friday, December 30, 2011


So I was thinking.

In my (relatively) short experience on this earth so far, there have been multiple predictions that the apocalypse is coming. The world, at some point, will indeed end... which means that there is a fair chance that it will coincide with the prediction of someone or other, who (and whose followers) will then end up thinking they were RIGHT... unless of course it's instantaneous...but still it would really bother me that they would just be right by chance. It being the end of the world and all I guess it wouldn't make much difference but since we're talking about things cosmically here I just feel like it's not fair.

Um, yeah.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Dumb things that guys say

 "Just go with it."

 "I don't want to put a label on what we have."

 "I want things to develop between us organically."

 "When you do that it reminds me of my ex."

  "I wish we lived in the 50's because they had better music." (And when reminded that women generally weren't involved in the sciences at that time: "You could be a nurse!")

 "I just don't want to upset my mom."

 "I don't understand why it's a problem that I'm sharing a room with her during the trip."

 "I don't know why you don't trust me."

 "I'm not going to put any more into this relationship that you are willing to." (Keeping in mind, of course, that they never acknowledge how darn much we put in...)

 "I just don't want to feel tied down."

 "I don't want to resent you for not letting me achieve my goals."

 (Of a flirty female coworker) "I really think you would like her if you got to know her."

 "You look cute, not sexy."

 "Why you don't like my friends??"

 "We can hang out in my room."

 "You would be pretty if you lost some weight." (Props to Tina Fey!!)

 "I wish things could be the way they were in college."

 "Well everybody knew they were going to get engaged next."

 "I don't want the guys to think I just do whatever you want."

 "This sounds like a line but honestly ...(fill in the blank)."

 (On issues of intimacy) "I want to but what if our parents found out?"

 "I would invite you in, but I don't want to upset you."

 "I'm a student too... a student of life."

 "My dog won't cuddle with me... will you come over and do it?"

 "It's ok if you don't want to go out tonight, I'll just cry myself to sleep. Only I don't have any tissues so can I come over and use some of yours?"

 "I wouldn't know... I'm awful with women." (Followed by a wink, this suave statement deserves a solid soc in the face.)

 "I couldn't take your name if we got married... that would make it look like I'm submissive to you."

 "Thanks for the offer, but that's not going to help."

  "You cat's not really as cute as you think she is." (CLEARLY a lie motivated by bitterness.)

 "This (fill in the season during which your relationship has been developing) has been the worst of my life."

 (To a bro) "You complete me." (They think its funny, but it's SO not.)

 "I didn't get you anything for Valentine's Day/our anniversary/Christmas because we said we weren't going to spend too much money."

and of course the classic: "I think you're overreacting."

Virtue is its own reward, kinda.

As of right now, this very moment, I am done with being nicer to people than they deserve.

I believe in being kind. I believe in doing good deeds and that good things will come back to you. This sort of karma springs from the satisfaction personal growth and from the knowledge that you have contributed in enriching the world, even if only a tiny bit. Notice that I didn't say that doing the good thing is satisfying in itself; it is the result (or the hope of a result) that is connected with the positive feelings. My bottom line is that you should only be so nice.

Whoa, hey now! It seems like I did a complete 180 there, doesn't it? First I'm promoting selflessness and now I'm saying look out for ol' number one! Well, yeah. I've believed for a long time that you can only take care of others and give to the best of your abilities if you also take care of yourself. To be at one's peak, they must be care for physically, emotionally, spiritually, financially and what have you. You're going to be tired if you don't get enough rest, grumpy if you don't get enough love, listless if you don't make time for peace.

Along the same lines, you cannot expect yourself to give the best of yourself to people who don't respect what you have to give. That in itself is a sign of self-respect. At least that's how I feel. Yes its good to take the high road. But if you have to repeatedly take the high road to prove to someone how mature, or kind, or whatever you are, then you're still defending yourself and indirectly validating the accusation that you don't posses these qualities. Stand up for yourself! It's ok to tell someone they've hurt you, or are being disrespectful or even mean. I try to take the high road virtually whenever possible (aside from venting about the various social mishaps recounted in this blog) but after a while it just starts to take a toll. Sometimes I have to ask myself why I'm wasting so much energy to avoid making a retort when it only forces me to hold all that anger inside. The anger has to go somewhere, either damaging me or exploding out, unwarranted, in another situation. Why am I emotionally isolating myself and holding such a high standard for my actions? The problem with this is that I inevitably apply these standards to others.... which they can never live up to.

"Protect your heart" is a piece of advice my friend often recites. These are wise words... but the practice of it by either not doling out pieces or deflecting attacks is easier said than done.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Things that are safe

This is a picture of my favorite piece of lab equipment. It's a TROPIC-AIRE space heater that sits next to my desk. It's easily the most powerful space heater I've ever come across, and I initially wondered how it got hot so quickly. Then I realized that it's actually a piece of 1950s experimental technology to test alternative heating sources. Instead of using electricity to heat wires or fluid as in most modern space heaters, THIS baby opens a portal to Hell, letting the heat flow through to wherever you've placed the heater. Obviously there are a few drawbacks, which is why the phrases, "Demon alert!" and "CLOSE THE PORTAL!" are commonly used in my office.

Actually the demonic element isn't as much of an issue as the space heater itself. It's definitely one of those objects that some might call "well-loved". It's missing the control knob, for example, but in all honesty that's not that big of a deal anyway because even when it was attached it spun all the way around without affecting the temperature.

This baby is turned to MAXIMUM HEAT all the time! ...And I mean all of the time quite literally. There is no off switch. This is convenient for those of us who don't appreciate lengthy preparation times to set up equiptment. Just plug it in and watch it go! You'll only get shocked about half the time (since the wire doesn't have a grounding prong).
The lack of a grounding isn't that big of a deal because I have it plugged into a power surge protector that I found on the Free Table in the hallway. I can't believe that someone was going to throw this priceless antique away.

Although come to think of it, it makes sense that surge protectors don't work with this model of space heater, since it's not generating its own heat. The real problem is that the heat of hell is SO hot that sometimes it carries down the wire and causes that to heat up as well. But for your heavier plastics this doesn't become a problem for upwards of 15 minutes.

For the record though, if you hear the fire alarm, don't just assume it's a drill.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Believing is reality

I have a set of sticky notes up on the wall in my bedroom. They've been there for years. When I first placed them there my significant other of the time found them offensive. The notes read: You can try to change a person, but you can't change their true motivation.

I can see why my boyfriend was upset at this statement. It seems to fit as a passive-aggressive retort, applicable to so very many of the arguments that couples normally have. And yes honestly that was one of the reasons why I had written it originally- even if this guy had chosen to spend both weekend days with me for example, it would have only been because he felt guilty or forced, not (at that point) because he sincerely wanted to, and that made me angry.

But that guy is long since gone, and the sticky notes stay. Now the anger has drained out of them and the lesson remains. I am reminded to consider the motivation of a guy who wants to see me again. Is it sincere? If so, in what way- is there something besides physical attraction between us? Is he on the rebound and just want to be in a relationship? Is he being non-specific because he's insecure himself or just not interested?

As if trying to discern these questions weren't enough, my own motivation also comes into play. There is the obvious question of whether my desire for a relationship colors the way I answer the questions in the preceding paragraph. Another problem is that it really is difficult for one to change their own motivation, even if they want to. My end goal is to be in a fulfilling, serious relationship. But sometimes I forget about the "fulfilling" part and only focus on the "being in a relationship" part. I admit that this has caused me to make excuses for guys who don't have it together, or might be rude, or not affectionate. Am I really ok "just going with it" with a guy I really like , or am I willing to forgo the label of an official relationship because it's better than nothing? Am I ok with the possibility of long distance or just not ok with choosing to be single again?

Sometimes I simply can't discern my motivation from my decisions because they are too entwined. And trying to balance these things can create an endless teeter-totter that may never really pan out, or a situation where you can never tell if you really made the right decision. I guess the key is to keep it all in mind and do the best we can. Then, we may not always be happy but can at least be comforted that we did not make them blindly.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I had a bad day and just had a intense flash of rage induced by the Pillsbury star cookie commercial. Are.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Life questions

Why does watching 5 minutes of Hoarders cheer me up while 30 minutes makes me depressed?

In addition, why am I eating this??'s Ghirardelli's's dark chocolate brownie mix with chocolate sour cream frosting. I made a 13x9 tray.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Ways to embarass yourself


.... if you're a guy.

10. Do something manly and vaguely dangerous. Make sure you insist that you can do it yourself if anyone offers to help. Break something expensive in the process.

9. Do something manly and vaguely dangerous. Make sure you insist that you can do it yourself if anyone offers to help. Injure yourself in the process.

8. Drink excessively while aggressively assuring your significant other that you're only "a little buzzed." Attempt to walk across the room and break something expensive in the process.

7. Drink excessively while aggressively assuring your significant other that you're only "a little buzzed." Attempt to walk across the room and injure yourself in the process.

6. Eat something that you've taken out of the garbage and when someone accuses you of eating trash, insist that it isn't trash because "it was sort of on top."

5. Break up with your long-term girlfriend so that you can have the freedom to hang out with the "bros" whenever you want. Then, stand by as every one of the bros gets engaged in the next two years.

4. Drunk text any girl, for any reason.
As a bonus, make sure the drunk text is a non-sexual message, and then apologize the next morning with the excuse, "I was SO drunk. And horny."

3. Repeatedly pester a female acquaintance to participate in somewhat suspect activities such as night hikes and "hanging out" -in your room. Continue these offers even after you both agree that you should just be friends. Then, long after she stops answering your texts, manage to "coincidentally" run into her by frequenting a venue she told you about. Ask her if you know each other (HAH) and tell that you didn't recognize her and she looks beautiful; after she gives a neutral response, sit at a table about ten feet away where you have a clear view of her. Start telling the staff how pretty you think she is. Make sure she tells one of these staff go-betweens in no uncertain terms that she finds you both unattractive and irritating. Act surprised if she moves away when you move to the table next to her and ask what's wrong.

2. Don't wear a belt to work, such that when you bend over while looking in the hallway fridge and your ex girlfriend turns the corner, she is offered a full an unobstructed view of your sixteen year old boxers. Just stand there and blush/gape after you realize she's politely asking to get by.

1. Be yourself.

(Also nominated were: "Admit to having seen The Notebook or The Last Unicorn" and "Pick out your own outfit for an interview.")

**Please note: all of these examples are fictional, even if they seem extremely specific and you know the person who did them.