Sunday, December 30, 2007

Thank you, Anonymous Googler

I didn't know that my blog would come up first if you search, "bloody human toss," but now I do. And I think I'm better for it. Sorry you didn't get what you were looking for. Better luck next time.

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Friday, December 21, 2007

Pros & Cons: Getting Fired

Pro: Plenty of time to wrap xmas presents!
Con: You returned most of them to pay your bills

Pro: You no longer have to go to a job you can't stand
Con: Not having any structure in your day can be scary

Pro: You're still young and cute enough to wait tables
Con: You have to put up with douchey cat-calls if you want good tips

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Be a good employee

Or, how I can maintain some semblance of good humanity in my job search.

Have you ever thought about what you're actually trying to accomplish at work? Besides getting a paycheck, making your boss happy, making your clients/customers happy, etc. I used to work for a company in a particularly soulless industry. Our goals were plain: create situations where our undeserving clients could make even more money than they already have. We helped no one and did no good in the process. It was disgusting.

Besides my more pressing needs, like eating, getting laid, and not getting evicted, I really, really, really don't want to work for the same kind of clients again. I just need to know that my 40 hours (more like 50-60 if I'm honest) are contributing to something that matters to me. It's a little Gen Y, I know, but I can't help it if everyone has spent my whole life telling me that I'm special and that I should do what makes me happy.

Luckily my skillset is easily transferable to the non-profit sector. I'm also lucky to live in NYC, where tons NPs have corporate offices. Everyone says that NPs don't pay very much, but not very much > nothing! Also, I'm willing to sacrifice a few thousand in take-home pay if it means that I'm making a real difference blah blah blah bleeding heart, etc.

For the past 6 months, I've felt tremendously hypocritical. I try to be a good human and think of new ways to do so, but only on my own time. Then I go and spend like 11 hours every day getting paid to do just the opposite. It was getting hard to reconcile the two halves of my life into something I didn't hate. Does that make me naive? Over-idealistic? Probably. But honestly, there are enough people out there who are only concerned with getting paid. I don't need to be one of them.

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Saturday, December 15, 2007

Talking to myself

I'm 22, just a babe really. Or so I like to think. Sometimes I get caught in a moment where I remember something from years ago and then think, I can't believe I even have memories from years ago! I recently got my high school's newsletter in the mail, complete with donation request. First, I'm just incredulous that I graduated 4 and 1/2 years ago and second, they must be crazy to ask me for money fresh out of college. I don't even know how they found my address, but anyway.

I started thinking of everyone I used to know. It was really weird. Then remembered how NOT a good human I was. Ugh! High school girls are such bitches and I was no exception. And so if I could talk to my 17 year old self, this is what I would say:

  • Dump him. You're way better and he's dragging you down. I promise you'll find someone awesome in a couple years.

  • Also, the way you dumped that kid sophomore year was entirely too harsh, bordering on cruel. On his birthday? In front of all his friends? BITCH! (But ohhhhh so satisfyingly funny. He was pretty creepy.)
  • Remember how you sometimes felt the need to bust your ass to get an A when a B would've been just fine? SUCH A WASTE OF TIME. You'll make the same mistake in college. You'll know by then that your GPA is pointless, but that's not going to stop you.
  • Lay off the fucking partying! Christ! What are you even trying to prove?

  • Just kidding. You're not hurting anyone. In fact, you still look back on your 17th birthday with furtive exhilaration.

  • I totally can't believe you got away with writing that in the yearbook! Also, he gets fired anyway.

  • Take a good look around. You'll be back exactly twice after you go off to school and if you ever think about giving up and coming home, this is where you'll probably end up. We both know you can do better.

  • Your sister turns out way hotter than you. Sorry, but if you think you're jealous of all the attention she gets now, you're definitely in for it later.
  • Swimming in the lake turns out to be way more fun wearing all your clothes than anybody thought. You'll regret that you didn't do it enough.
  • Stop ignoring all your friends when you get a boyfriend. It's a really shitty thing to do and they WILL get mad about it.

  • Some people will always be douchebags. You don't have be.

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Friday, December 14, 2007

Pros & Cons

My college friends made endless pros & cons lists. They are helpful for making difficult decisions, but also to alleviate boredom and recognize when things are awesome and/or sucky.

Pro: Christmas Presents!
Con: The inevitable ill-fitting sweater

Pro: Cheap Wine @ Trader Joe's
Con: Makes my liver hurty

Pro: AIM/gchatting/txtng
Con: Can't see my friends in person

Pro: WGA strikers still sticking it to the man
Con: Reality TV

Does anyone have any good pros & cons?

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Monday, December 10, 2007

Don't be that guy

(Note: I edited this post like a day after I posted it because it felt a little bit like an overshare. The main idea, however, is still intact.)

I knew a guy in college and he was a DICK. It was clear to me that he hated women. He was always making rude comments and inappropriate jokes and all the guys would laugh and think he was being so risqué. No one ever said anything when he crossed the line, probably because none of the guys wanted to be that guy, the one who looks like a pussy. Or maybe they thought he was just kidding and didn't really believe all the stupid shit he said.

(What do you tell a woman with 2 black eyes? Nothing! You already told her twice! Ha!)

Then one night after a bunch of us went out to the bars, he somehow made it back to my dorm room. (No wonder college age women are at the highest risk of sexual assault!) I try to give everyone a fair shake, even if it's obvious that they suck at life, so we chatted for a while. When I was ready to go to sleep, and for him to leave, he decided that he wanted to stick around. Things got ugly and I ended up having to physically fight him to get him out of my room. Ugh what a douchebag.

No harm done, however. I'm tough.

The thing is, this fuckstick never should've been going out with us at all. I didn't like him one bit and neither did most of the guys I knew. But he persisted in being his douchey self and everyone else persisted in not telling him that he was a misogynist asshole.

So imagine my delight when in my Google Reader appears a perfect blog post with everything I've ever thought to say to those guys who don't want to be seen as that guy. Here is a small excerpt, although it's really worth it to read the whole thing - and then forward to like everyone you know.

"‘Cause the thing is, you and the guys you hang out with may not really mean anything by it when you talk about crazy bitches and dumb sluts and heh-heh-I’d-hit-that and you just can’t reason with them and you can’t live with ‘em can’t shoot ‘em and she’s obviously only dressed like that because she wants to get laid and if they can’t stand the heat they should get out of the kitchen and if they can’t play by the rules they don’t belong here and if they can’t take a little teasing they should quit and heh heh they’re only good for fucking and cleaning and they’re not fit to be leaders and they’re too emotional to run a business and they just want to get their hands on our money and if they’d just stop overreacting and telling themselves they’re victims they’d realize they actually have all the power in this society and white men aren’t even allowed to do anything anymore and and and…

I get that you don’t really mean that shit. I get that you’re just talking out your ass."

From Shapely Prose via Zombie Z.

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Sunday, December 9, 2007

Why I love Keith Olbermann

Found this via YBNBY. It's over 8 minutes long, but soooo worth it.

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Friday, December 7, 2007

Fiscally responsible charity

A while back, I lamented on my lack of knowledge of charities, namely which ones are worth giving to. Jean Chatzky wrote an informative piece in Money Magazine with some answers from a dry, financial perspective. She says, "Fiscally sound groups are more likely to be effective." So right. Now if only I understood WTF else she's talking about.

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Internet Volunteerism II

I (unshockingly) passed the background check! Now I've got a lot to do before I can volunteer for RAINN's online hotline. It's a total of 40 hours of training, stretching all the way into February. Here's what I have to do next:

1) 10-hour online tutorial about rape and sexual assault
2) 10-hour online training program specifically about the Online Hotline
3) 14-hour in-person training which will be held on February 2-3, 2008.
4) 6-hours of supervision

It all sounds so intense and probably very uncomfortable. But y'know what? I'm excited! It feels good to have a goal with clearly laid out steps to achieve it. I'm going to start this weekend. Relevant updates to follow.


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Thursday, December 6, 2007

Light reading

The 49th Carnival of Feminists is up at Days in a Wannabe Punk's Life and there's almost that many entries! I've only been able to skim through (stupid job taking up all my damn time), but I've gotta say there are some great posts in there! Tamil was also gracious enough to include my 16 Days of Activism inspiration post. Go check it out!

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Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Watching you watching me

I've been messing around with Google Analytics lately. I wanted to give a shout out to some particularly awesome readers in:

-Irvington, NJ
-New York, NY
-Hamtramk & Detroit, MI
-Atlanta, GA
-Manchester, United Kingdom
-Taejon & Seoul, South Korea (Hi Mike!)
-Hobart, Australia

Thanks for your loyalty and/or extended visits.

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Monday, December 3, 2007

My NYC Subway Hero

I've been kinda stressed out lately, no more than anyone else really. So I haven't really been eating regularly and I'm getting over a cold. This morning I was crammed, sardine-style into the downtown 5 train when we hit some delays. The normally 3-4 minute ride from 59th St to Grand Central stretched over 10 minutes and I was getting hot. And weak. And...

Fade to black

I woke up on the platform at Grand Central (SRSLY EEW). Someone put down a newspaper, which I very much appreciate. There was an annoyed-looking MTA worker in an orange vest standing a few feet away and a woman crouching over me. Everyone else blurred past me, hurrying to get to work on time.

The woman called me Sweetie and asked me if I was alright, what day it is, who the president is, etc. She helped me up, walked me upstairs and bought me a juice after I incoherently explained that my blood sugar was a little low. Then I realized I didn't have my bag with my wallet/cell phone/ipod inside. She was carrying it for me.

As my disorientation cleared and I felt I could get on by myself, I asked her name. "It's Aida," she said, "and I hope you feel better." And then she left. I just stood there for a minute, incredulous that a complete stranger would take time out of her morning commute to help me, just when I was really questioning my faith in humanity.

Thanks Aida.

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Sunday, December 2, 2007

Internet volunteerism

A few days ago, I mentioned a non-profit that I really like and support: RAINN. Like I said, it's so easy to say you're against rape and sexual violence. It's not so easy to be proactive in fighting it. Feeling motivated and inspired, I took my own advice and went to RAINN's volunteer page and applied to be an online support staffer.

It works like IM basically, which all my friends and I still use every day. (SRSLY, I've had AIM since I was 13 and briefly messed around with ICQ, Yahoo & MSN messengers, but we all know AIM is king.) RAINN's online hotline works a little differently in that it is a wholly self-contained system. Everyone has to go through the RAINN website, which is helpful because it's secure and free and anonymous. Someone who has been sexually assaulted for example, can just log on and talk to a trained volunteer and get some help.

I feel really good about this. In an increasingly digital world blah blah blah people my age and younger are communicating and finding information online blah blah blah. According to RAINN, 80% of victims of sexual violence are under age 30 and they are exactly the demographic this online hotline is shooting for.

So I submitted an application and now I have to wait to be contacted if they want me so I can set up a training session and then wait for a background check. Hope those youthful indiscretions don't come back to haunt me! (jk jk jk) I haven't heard back yet, so we'll see.

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Saturday, December 1, 2007

16 Days of Activism

With little mainstream fanfare, 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence started on Nov 25th, which was International Day Against Violence Against Women. Dec 10th, International Human Rights Day is the last day. The idea is that female rights are human rights and these 16 days of activism should be linked.

While I'm a little late to the party, I'm starting to take a huge interest in the feminist agenda. Here's why: I know a lot of weak women. I know women who literally turn their lives inside out (even to the detriment of their mental health) because they want to keep a man. Women who choose abusive men over their own children because they don't want to be alone. Women with no education, working minimum wage jobs and barely providing for their kids as single mothers. Women who don't even know that they deserve better.

The thing is, as much as I'd like to grab them and shake some sense into them, I never do. I think, hey, I know you're trying to support your kids, but you're not doing them any favors by being so miserable. Or, HEY! Wake the fuck up! Look at your life! You married an asshole and you need a fucking divorce!

But I don't say anything because it's hard. Because it's not really my place. Because when you're poor and uneducated, the last thing you want to hear is some uppity college grad lording her success over you and telling you how to live your life. Because I don't want to deal with the tears or the denial or the anger or any of the emotions really. Because if you act like nothing is wrong, you can't be held responsible for the consequences.

I've been feeling a lot of regret about this lately. I know that I can't control anyone else's actions. I can't make sexual predators, wife beaters, and child molesters change their ways. I can't force anyone to pursue an associate's degree. But I never tried. Sometimes sins of omission weigh more heavily than the ones we actually commit.

16 Days of Activism has inspired me to do what I can. And I can do a lot. I can call
CPS and report abuse. I can research good divorce lawyers and counselors and offer recommendations. I can speak up when I know there's a problem and not shuffle it under the rug. I can keep trying when I meet resistance and accept that rocking a very delicately balanced boat will often lead to some things going under.

Now if you will excuse me, I have some phone calls to make.

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