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You like me! Of course, you probably don't know me very well.

Archive for July, 2014

just a girl

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

I had my ‘low voltage’ meeting for the house today. What does that mean? Excellent question, perceptive reader. Apparently, it means all the wires in the house that aren’t carrying electricity. Phone, ethernet … um, security. Speaker wires.

I’ve loved every part of the house planning so far, but this part sucks. I want to care about this stuff because it’s the most ‘home of the future’ of all of the things I get to decide, but I just don’t. I can put speakers LITERALLY wherever I want. I can put cable and ethernet ports like, everywhere. I can build conduits into the walls so that I can mount TVs on them with no wires drooping down. I can make the house beep or scream when doors and windows open, or put a motion sensor on the main floor that will tell me if anyone bigger than Agnes is walking around down there.

The thing is, I’m a simple woman.

That is dumb. I wish I hadn’t written that, but, you know, posterity. Grow and learn. Etc.

I’m not a simple woman but as far as household science goes, I want the internet and a variety of screens with which to access it and the fanciest kitchen ever. The size of those screens? Eh. Don’t care. Crockett was always trying to justify a bigger TV in our basement. He put tape on the wall in the size of the screen that he wanted. I don’t know what the end game there was, but he had a plan, I’m sure. I suspect he could have actually bought the bigger screen and I would only have noticed because the tape would have been covered up. The sound coming out of those screens? I have the subtitles on most of the time anyway.

So I’m torn. I want my house to be badass and magical. I just don’t want it to be speakers, I guess. Or security. Or ethernet. (I mean I’m putting ethernet in the rooms (I think) of course). What other magical things could there be? What could make it feel like my house could be dropped at Epcot Center and fit right in?

Perhaps I’m setting the bar slightly too high.


let’s drink and talk about

Saturday, July 19th, 2014

I just watched The Internship without writing out my thoughts in list form. I apologize for that (sort of), but I have some damn thoughts now. You know, to make up for it.

HBO Go has been showing off about this movie about two old guys who go to Google for a summer long internship program thing. They’ve been showing us (in us I’m including those of us who literally pay for cable just for HBO Go because I don’t even have my cable box hooked up (and it’s not because I can’t figure it out because I fixed my iPhone screen myself you guys!)) previews for ages, and I googled when they’d finally show me the whole movie (googled for real, not a pun) and found out that it was coming online at 6 pm tonight so at 6:03 tonight I was pushing play.

Being a single lady has made me extremely exciting.

First of all, this movie is obviously a commercial for Google. I tried to find out if Google was involved in the making of and couldn’t nail it down, but if they weren’t then Vince Vaughn and the other screenwriter super duper want to work there. Or want to bang the owner. Or something. In summary, two men in their forties (?) get into this summer internship program and bring real life skills to a group that is otherwise comprised entirely of kids who fit into one of many nerd stereotypes. And Google is awesome.

I didn’t like Google when I went there for an interview day thing. The movie has been said to be accurate by actual interns who work there, and based on my very short experience I don’t see any reason to disagree. The movie makes a big deal of the free food and the nap pods. It also acknowledges that people who work there don’t necessarily leave campus, which I found appealingly honest, since everything they offer in the Boulder office seems designed to negate any excuse (other than children) for setting foot outside during … ever. Still, in the movie the jobs at the end are the holy grail. It could be any company, but it’s Google. It’s a real company and Vince Vaughn actually says, “It’s ranked as the number one company in the country to work for”. Owen Wilson actually says, “Picture the greatest amusement park you’ve ever been to as a kid.  Now imagine nothing like it and a million times better”.

Bechdel test wise (two named women talk to each other about something other than a dude), total failure. I’m going to say there are three named female characters, but they sure as hell never talk to each other. Mako Mori test wise (named woman gets her own arc that isn’t in support of a dude’s arc), I’m going to say pass. There’s a girl (used intentionally, she is meant to be a girl) on the main characters’ team who struggles with issues of intelligence and embracing her sexuality and while romance is sort of the climax of her arc it’s not necessarily the whole story. I buy it.

I haven’t even gotten to my main topic yet, btw, so you might want to get up to pee or something. Or get some wine. I’ve had some.

Here’s my thesis. Finally.

Older men are supposed to be disappointed in themselves to be attractive now.

Vince Vaughn’s character has a weird issue where he can’t do anything right all the way to the end. Owen Wilson’s character, when told by Rose Byrne’s character that she ‘didn’t expect to like him’, says ‘I didn’t expect for you to like me either’. The movie gives us a tiny bit of back story on Vince. Terrible credit, house foreclosed on, etc. Nothing at all on Owen. We don’t know what’s back there – failed marriage(s)? Widowed? Perpetually single? Gigantic douchebag for all of his thirties?

The whole movie is about them alternately falling down and shoring each other up.

When I was in ninth grade, I finally got to date Ben. I had been in preteen-love with Ben since I moved to that school district – so, like, TWO YEARS. He’d been in preteen-love with my best friend for awhile in eighth grade and they’d dated and every day had been like a serrated knife doing a tango in my intestines.

Pre-teen love is pretty fucking brutal.

When I was in ninth (actually, maybe tenth?) grade, somehow Ben came around. I think he’d gotten less cool and I’d gotten cooler. Possibly the half shaved head he was rocking had gone out of style. Anyway, the WHOLE TIME (I’m talking weeks here) that we were dating, he would talk about how I was definitely going to leave him because he wasn’t good enough for me.

Then I left him.

It was a lot because it was high school, but it was partially because I was tired of listening to that shit and he sort of convinced me that it was true. He wasn’t good enough for me, dammit. You know who was good enough for me? The kid who was living with his aunt and uncle because he got expelled from his home school district for drugs and fighting!

Ah, high school.

I have this sense that that’s changed, though. It might just be for 35+? But now I think men are sort of expected to state that they’re not good enough. Movies have definitely set the expectation, but I’m perpetuating it. I’m listening to shit from male friends now that fourteen year old Emma would have found vomit worthy. (Fourteen year old Emma pretended to puke a lot.)

If this is an expression of insecurity that men have always had, then I embrace this disclosure. Everyone should be able to tell their friends and romantic partners when they’re feeling like they’re not good enough.

If this is some entertainment pendulum that’s just swinging away from men hiding their emotions, I guess I embrace that too.

It feels like neither, though. It feels like a move on the part of the entertainment industry to bring in more female viewers without actually bringing in more women’s stories. See, if men go through emotional upheaval, then why would we need to cast more women?? Cause what ladies like is the feeeeeelings.

Men having emotional arcs: good. Them doing it at the expense of more fully realized female characters: bullshit.

I don’t have a lot more evidence for this theory, but I’ll collect some and get back to you.




ask me about my IUD!

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

Or don’t. I mean, you can, if you’re curious, but that was more of a lead in to the fact that …

Drum roll please…

Wow I just realized this sounds like I might be leading up to a pregnancy announcement. Since I moved in April … actually timeline wise that would kind of make sense for me to be announcing that.

Oh, no, totally not having a baby. I am aware of that because I have an IUD and more accurately because this week I was bleeding in a way that if my uterus had been a nose a doctor likely would have insisted on cauterizing it.

Yes, I know, gross. Whatever. It happens to half of us.

Actually. I just looked this up. Based on an average period length of 5 days, an average cycle length of 29 days, and periods from age 12 to age 50, roughly 334 million women are swimming in shark week at any given time. So there’s ‘it happens to half of us’ vs 4.7%  of the world like RIGHT NOW.

So, yeah, you can say gross but there’s a one in twenty chance that the person you’re talking to is bleeding from their girl parts.

(Yes, I went to grad school for stats. No, you cannot show that last statement to my advisor and insist that she confiscate my degree.)

The whole point of this meandering diatribe is that I wore a white linen skirt, on the heaviest day of my period. It worked out fine but I was never comfortable.

I’m a crazy mofo.


literal money literal mouth

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

The company that gave me the great mortgage that is allowing me to buy my new house is one of the 100 companies that are currently suing the government about the contraception mandate.  The family that owns the company said “the mandate, which would require them to provide employees with coverage for birth control, would violate their religious beliefs.”

I am very very unhappy about that for several reasons, the first of which is that WOMEN ARE GODDAMN PEOPLE who have SEX and don’t need to be allowed to do so, they just can. Without worrying about having babies. I don’t care of it’s monthly or morning after.

The second of which is that this is going to suck for me.

First, let’s be clear: I’m being a tiny bit dramatic about how much the broker choice affects me. The builder of my new house lets me choose whatever broker I want, but they offered a bonus thing if I chose one of the two they parter with. A five thousand dollar bonus. I don’t NEED that five thousand dollars in that I literally can’t buy the house without it, but I do kind of need in in that it doesn’t make as much (*cough* little – because let’s be honest this is an unreasonable purchase all around) financial sense for me to buy the house without it.

So I originally had the choice between two mortgage companies that would allow for the bonus thing. I called them both and one guy seemed sleezy and kind of disinterested and sent me two quotes and was like ok let’s do this. The other asked what was important to me and whether I wanted to focus on a lower down payment or lower monthly payment and suggested a way to use the bonus money to sort of pre-buy some of my debt in a way that’s not quite a down payment and made a huge difference, so I went with that guy, obviously.

That guy is the guy that works for the anti-woman company.

I want my mortgage from the nice guy. He’s not an owner or a shareholder or anything. I don’t want to email him and tell him that he’s not in fact going to make any money off of me because I don’t agree with his company’s social policy.

I don’t want to email the nice guy’s boss to tell her or him why I left.

I don’t want to email my builder to tell them that one of their partner companies is problematic. I don’t even know if I should, but if several people do maybe they’ll say something to the mortgage company.

I want to just shut up and acknowledge that none of these things are going to make a difference. I want to take my nice mortgage and keep thinking about and getting angry about and sometimes writing about feminist things.

OBVIOUSLY I am going to do all of the things I said I don’t want to do, because I hate feeling guilty and I love feeling righteous. I already emailed the crappy guy to say hey this is what the nice guy did (not in those exact words) can you possibly do the exact same thing? He was crappy about it (shocker) and said (not in these exact words) that he already wrote me off and would need to reactivate my something something and get back to me.

I think that none of these things make me a good feminist, and I feel awful about them before I’ve even done them! But not as awful as I’d feel if I didn’t do them.

I can’t even tell where I am with this. I can’t tell if I’m doing the right thing or if I should be canceling my contract for the house and holding a sign outside the mortgage office. It’s a mess.

I’m really mad at my mortgage company.

the worst way to waste a lip balm

Monday, July 7th, 2014

Last night, for no reason that I’m able to pinpoint, I was thinking about the first boy that I ever kissed that I didn’t particularly want to kiss. This is not a terrible story, have no fear. At worst you’ll leave it shaking your head and saying ‘Oh Emma, honey’.

I was fourteen or fifteen and his name was Seth and we were in a play together in Boulder. Weekdays I would walk a mile down the side of the mountain that I lived on and catch a bus, and then I’d walk another mile to the theater where we rehearsed. It was an old building, a round one that looked like  the top half of a geodisic dome, and it had no air conditioning.

Seth had lived in Hawaii before he came to Boulder. I think his father may have been in the military? He wore camouflage clothes (can I repeat, I was fourteen or fifteen) and had red hair and that’s all I remember about how he looked, but I was crazy about him the way a young teenage girl can be crazy about someone with no actual reason. He flirted with other girls in the play, but somehow, one day, he called me at home and asked if I wanted to go see a movie with him.

This part still embarrasses me residually. Like, I don’t think it SHOULD have been embarrassing, but I was so ashamed at the time that it’s literally still with me a little bit. He said the movie was at 9:30 and asked if I could get a ride, and I thought he meant in the morning because I WAS FOURTEEN AND WHO GOES TO A 9:30 PM MOVIE? I asked my dad about getting a ride and he was a little surprised at how early the movie was, so I looked it up and discovered that of course there was no 9:30 am show of whatever the heck we were supposed to see. So I called Seth back. I don’t remember what I said but I lied. For sure. Whatever I said had the gist of ‘I can’t go out at night after all let’s hang out during the day’. And then blushed for the next ten hours straight just thinking about how wrong I’d been.

So we met at Scott Carpenter park in Boulder instead and hung out and when we were in the trees by the river I realized he was going to kiss me and I didn’t want him to. My stomach felt bad – not flippy bad, but dread bad. I didn’t know what to do, so I let him kiss me.

He wasn’t my first kiss, but he may have been my second. Chris, in eighth grade, was my first kiss. The order from there gets a little fuzzy.

After we kissed (probably chaste and quick, I certainly don’t remember otherwise), I told him I actually had to leave and I walked a bunch of blocks to the mall and went to a department store and bought a four dollar tub of flavored lip balm because I didn’t want to feel like I was kissing him anymore. Four dollars was a serious investment for me.

We never went out (and definitely never kissed) again.

Here’s what I think about now. I wonder which part and how much of what happened had to do with whatever expectations I’d already fully internalized? Did I feel guilty about being attracted to someone? I was a goofy, poorly hair-cutted, badly dressed kid, and I hadn’t had a lot of experience with someone liking me back. It’s possible that I was feeling the beginnings of what actual desire would look like and it freaked me the hell out.

Of course it’s also possible that I realized that I didn’t actually like him for whatever reason. Any reason. And that I couldn’t say no because I didn’t know how girls did that. I’d certainly never seen it happen in school, or movies, or on tv or in books.

I didn’t have Katniss kissing boys or not kissing them and being ok with both. (I also didn’t have Bella being literally THE WORST. Who knows what would have happened if I’d embraced her as a role model.) I didn’t have the internet, so I sure as hell didn’t have or even Rookie. I’m sure my mom would have given me strong advice, but I didn’t ask.

I used that balm almost compulsively for the whole rest of that day, and then could never bring myself to use it again.