May 30, 2010

nerds unanonymous

my name is michelle, and i'm learning to embrace my inner nerd (geek/dork/whatever). it's not that i've purposely hidden it; it just never came up. you know, cheerleaders don't discuss the glory that is captain picard amongst themselves :p

but it appears that the internets have found me out and are insisting that i fully divulge my inner nerdling. so, thanks to miss sophia, i will be doing just that. cause she gave me a fantastically ridiculous award, which i will happily accept :)

the rules: list ten geeky facts about yourself, and pass this award on to your favorite female geeks

1. i'm moderately obsessed with zombies. N and i watch horror movies like they were training videos, making notes of what would work should we find ourselves in the middle of the zombiepocalypse. keep in mind: planning for dawn of the dead zombies is not the same as planning for resident evil zombies so you better cover all your bases. while some are off getting their hair and nails done, i'm working on toning my machete-wielding arms. even the children will get trained; no exceptions

2. i love webcomics. you don't even want to know how many i have bookmarked between two laptops. i'm terrible about keeping up, but i always read every single comic from day one... so really all those bookmarks are to the archives from wherever i left off. it's a lot to read, and i have too many other things in my life to keep up with these days :( the ones i most recently added are something positive and girls with slingshots. funny though that i don't read xkcd because...

3. i adored lord of the rings (did you click the link? ummm ok you might not get that segway...). i admit that when the movies came out, i didn't realize they were based on books. it was high school, and i didn't read the hobbit in middle school like some kids. shut it... i immediately dug out my mom's old copies of the books after seeing the two towers. i asked for, and got, the boxed set of the three extended movies for christmas the year they were released because i needed them. i'm also trying to get my own copies of the books. preferably, first edition, but we'll see

4. i LOVE books. if i could spend all my days reading (or live in the library), i probably would. i read almost any fiction, but i'm still a snob. i won't read grisham, crighton (creighton?) or those ridiculous twilight books. i also hate sci fi novels. don't ask me why because i'm always reading fantasy. they may be in the same section at the barnes & nobles, but i'm not buying a copy. i think i prefer the visuals to be provided rather than using my imagination...

5. cause i do love sci fi. i blame my mother. she got me hooked on star trek, quantum leap and sliders. my dad is the bigger star wars fan, which probably partially explains my dislike for the series (i'm not much of a fan of him either). my star trek rankings: 1) next generation 2) voyager 3) deep space nine. i will always love captain picard/patrick stewart the most; he's right up there with sean connery... i'm also a huge fan of buffy/joss whedon. more confessions: i haven't seen firefly, i didn't like angel and i don't read the buffy comic. angel has been the only joss that i haven't liked. dollhouse was fantastic, and i'm still pissed it was cancelled. fox doesn't know shit about shit. i just haven't gotten around to firefly, but it's in our netflix queue along with dr. horrible's sing along blog (thanks, N)... *pause* while i add quantum leap and seaquest dsv to the queue before i forget... N also introduced me to the awesome that is battlestar galactica. it had it's low moments, but overall it was such a good show

6. i can't stop laughing at this:
it's from the newly discovered (thanks to jordan) historiclols. word to thy mother

7. i <3 technology. i almost became a computer programmer slash psychologist, but i came to my senses. that combo was never going to work out. plus i didn't pay enough attention in C++ (oh yea, i took computer classes every year of high school. visual basic ftw). even though i am more of a software geek, i still find hardware interesting. i love when InSlut has his little nerdgasms over stuff cause he's just so freaking cute (well he's cute all the time, but that's beside the point). plus he doesn't get exasperated when i ask ridiculous questions about whatever he's geeking out over... speaking of geeking over tech (another odd segway), have you heard about glass? if the answer is no, you haven't been paying enough attention to my twitter clearly ;) maybe i'll give you more detail in another blog post...

8. oh yea - my boyfriend's a nerd. that counts, right? i can totally justify it, too :p he built his own desktop, works in IT and is a gamer. oh! and he sent me this for valentine's day:

i date a nerd, which totally increases my nerd cred. and if you ever wonder where 90% of my nerdy links come from, it's him :)

9. i'd probably be a bigger gamer if i had any coordination. i'm the one stuck in the corner shooting at nothing in halo. i'm the one who continually runs sonic off the cliff because i didn't jump fast enough. i'm the one who has never completed a mission in grand theft auto cause it's much harder than picking up hookers (ps - my record is still four hookers at the same time). i'm ok with it. i play racing games (GT, N4S, etc), and that's pretty much it. you wanna challenge me to mario kart, i'm game. i'll zap you with some lightening bolts cause i'll probably always be last

10. did someone say anime? yep, i watch it. adult swim on saturday nights are my favorites. too bad we cancelled the cable or i'd have been watching while writing this post. i got into bleach, blood+, fullmetal alchemist, morbito, death note and cowboy bebop over the last few years purely because of adult swim. even after moving out of my parents house, i would go over on saturdays just to watch my shows. some nights, i'd leave at five am to go home to bed (that's when inuyasha comes on, and i'm not a big fan). my little brother got me blood+ volume one (with english subtitles) a couple years ago, which earned him favorite sibling. he's a bit of an anime/gamer nerd himself; he reads all the books instead. my goal is to watch bleach from episode one; i know InSlut has them so it's only a matter of time

there's my 10 :) time to find out someone else's. i adore these ladies:

amber [nostomanic]
ashley [sleepwalkdance]
brittney [lamidge]
erini [adorkable me]
jenn [free and flawed]
kara [crayons and cylons]
mandi [life in beta]

it's unfortunate my real life friends don't blog publicly. i heart their nerd tweets (and them), too :)

May 28, 2010

standards of excellence

so yesterday i was freaking out about my summer class. our prof sent out an email last week with the syllabus and slides for the first class. she assigned homework to be done by the first class

WTF who does that?! clearly, she's hardcore and will eat me alive before i can say "present"

wrong! she's an adorable little korean woman with a heavy accent and a psych nerd sense of humor. i love her already. not just cause i want to put her in my pocket. she has incredibly high standards, which i appreciate immensely. my last few grad classes have seemed like child's play. presentations are mediocre (who doesn't dress for a presentation?), papers are slapped together and everything might as well be marked with smiley stickers in the margins. i'm always amazed at the caliber of work churned out by some of these people. we're GRAD students; get your shit together. even some of our professors haven't been all there. i had two notable women while i was at loyofuckyourselfla who had no clue what was going on most of the time. don't ask questions because they won't get answered. don't study for the exam because material you need to know for your job will not be on the test. don't worry about being late cause drunky will probably still arrive 10 minutes after you... all sorts of bs that shouldn't have happened to any student at any age. it was ridiculous, and i'm glad (now) i got out

dr. Y is the first professor who has laid out in ridiculous detail what she expects of us. she also emphasized what she considers academic dishonesty, even though it's not considered plagiarism. quoting a million things does not show your understanding of the work and is definitely misrepresenting yourself :p it's also poor writing. if you can't integrate the ideas in your head, you probably aren't integrating all those quotes either. sitting in class last night reminded me of being at juniata. no one ever told us explicitly the quality of work that was expected of us, but you knew that you had to perform to the best of your abilities. i have not been doing my best because i haven't been expected to be my best since i graduated in 2006 (holy fuck, i suddenly feel old)

this is the first class where i already feel challenged. the accelerated schedule is one thing, but being forced to really think about what i'm learning/doing is a happy change from the last year-ish of mindless tasks. i'm finally back where i feel comfortable: making sense out of psychology instead of reciting back what we all already know. here's to real learning again :D

May 24, 2010

where's waldo?

dunno, but i'm still around...ish. here are some updates on that

i have a new waxer. my previous waxer, B, mysteriously left the spa. i say mysterious because i think it'd be inappropriate to grill the staff about where she went and why. so my last wax was done by J, who was a bit disappointing. she's nice, but i think she's newish to waxing. it just seemed like she wasn't 100% sure of what she was doing, and she ended up missing spots. last week, i booked with L and she was wonderful. she even tweezed and trimmed. "i don't want anything coming out of that bathing suit." me either, honey :) she is my new favorite. after deciding i liked her, i compared her to B. similar personalities and waxing skills. i would say they're in their mid/late 50s. J is probably around early 40s. not to be ageist, but i like my women older ;) the older the better

i got my bio grade on friday; a B :D which means i have an excellent gpa this semester. i would like to review my final just to see what i missed, but i'm trying not to be that guy. i'm really happy with my grades so i won't push anyone's buttons... my little sister also had a good semester. she busted her ass and actually did better than me. i was joking that she's officially smarter than me. we're equally smart; i'm just lazier :p summer classes started on saturday, but mine isn't until thursday. i'm feeling meh about it, but it's only monday

speaking of saturday, the chili cook-off was excellent. we got there in the middle of switchfoot's set, which was amazing, and stayed til the end. i'm sure anberlin and the local band were great, too. cage the elephant sounded great, but they could step up the live performance a wee bit. alice in chains was another great one. they're one of InSlut's favorite bands, which was one of the main reasons i wanted to go (and why i got the expensive VIP tickets). the new guy is soooo good. i also enjoyed a few beers and hot dog; boyface had chili dogs. unfortunately, that was about all we ate so when we got back to the hotel, he ordered a couple pizzas. it had just the right amount of grease (plus i'd had a bunch of water at the concert) so i wasn't hungover in the morning. it was like drinking in college again :) my belly didn't speak up until we went to breakfast; it was not in the mood for anything so i had a little of everything... downs of the weekend: asshole who i wished bad things upon, followed by a drunk cry, STP butchering their own songs, struggling to get back to the hotel with a dead phone and a worn out boyfriend and having to do the pee dance on the metro (don't worry. i made it to a potty without incident). i'm putting the day down in the yay column

not much else is going on i guess. i have a new job task, which is temporary until the security team actually has people again. i may actually have gotten a kid a job with the group. fingers crossed that he's interested and interviews well. he's the son of my mom's friend and, literally, just graduated... InSlut is good. it's my turn to stay at his place for our next few visits lol. he has a new roommate, and she's already a million times better than the last pair. she spent the whole weekend cleaning his place; it looks AMAZING. i might just hug her the first time we meet, and that is completely atypical... i'm super excited about two movies. sex and the city 2 (duh lol) and a midnight showing of hedwig and the angry inch. i love campy queer movies, and it's been forever since i've watched hedwig... oh! i also started a tumblr. it's just a baby, but feel free to check it out. further entrenching myself in the internets addiction, while trying out a new platform :)

so yep. that's what's up. how're y'all? :)

May 16, 2010

take that

i am officially not an idiot. i KNEW it!

well... maybe i suspected it a little bit, but loyola really dinged up my self confidence. university of baltimore has somewhat restored my love of learning and not feeling like a complete waste. as of today, i have my first grad school A. it's an A-, but my gpa is over 3.5 for the time being. i'm still waiting for my biopsych grade, which was the course i was really worried about. my goal is to squeak out a C, but there's a chance i could get a low B. i'm not sure how that'll affect my gpa though. i really don't feel like running the math on that. i have to stop the neuroticism somewhere :p in this moment, i am happy that i'm no longer a failed student. UB may not have been my first choice, but this has been my best semester out of four (between two schools/programs) yet

next week starts my summer session, and now i'm looking forward to it. did i tell you what i'm taking? eh, well you get to hear it again :p applied assessment procedures in the summer; learning & cognition and research methods in the fall. luckily, i have background knowledge of all the courses so i'm hoping i won't find them too difficult. at the same time, i need a little bit of difficulty or i'll get bored/complacent. i've already ordered my books (with the exception of research methods, which still has no books listed), and have debating reading them before the semester begins. part of my problem has been making time to read for class and then actually reading. i'm trying not to take on too many additional obligations the rest of the year so i can't give myself the usual "i'm too busy with all this other stuff" excuse. i really need to break that cycle. i'm going to try to finish a book for fun this week (omg book for fun!), and then crack open the book for assessment... lol i feel a little like hermoine at the moment

if only i had her dedication to learning...

so yea. that's what's up in my life. how about yours?

May 6, 2010

known your uterus

it's that time of the month again :) femme writes has become a reoccuring phenomenon thanks to shine and marie. this month's topic is reproductive rights and issues

i may not always be besties with my uterus, but i try to treat it right. i go for my annual exams. i don't insert dangerous foreign objects. i try not to take it for granted. unfortunately, i've had this nagging feeling that my uterus will not be able to live up to my expectations. it's no secret that i have baby fever. everyone's pregnant it seems: friends, coworkers and bloggers. for some it was easy, for others it was a long and scary road. and i'm terrified i am destined to be one of the latter...

so according to the internets, any number of things can go wrong with the reproductive bits: fibroids, endometriosis, endometrial hyperplasia, ovarian cysts, pelvic inflammatory disease, severe menstrual pain, chronic pelvic pain, premature ovarian failure, polycystic ovary syndrome (google at your own risk. some of these can be quite unsettling)... all of which make me feel super awesome on a regular basis :p my previous ob/gyn (dr. G) was close to diagnosing me with endometriosis because i was having crazy horrible cramps during my period. well i've pretty much proven that shit wrong. went off birth control for a bit and stopped having cramps all together for months. i have a history of cysts, but i believe those are also related to my birth control. my mom has fibroids so that's also been in the back of my mind over the last year. this may not be as much of a baby hindrance (she didn't start having issues until a couple years ago), but it still seems horribly unpleasant...

my body hates the pill it seems. i've been on the pill since i was 19. as an experiment (and because i wasn't very active at the time), i stopped taking the pill in 2008. many of the issues i had when on the pill lessened or dissipated, including the death cramps. when i went back on the pill in 2009, i started taking notes. literally, every day i would write in my planner what i was experiencing. when the generic for orthotricyclen was released, it was the best day ever. mostly because of my mood. my emotions were turned up to the max on ortho brand. as i described to a friend, i felt bipolar (rapid cycling) before and during my period. i felt "normal" on the generic. i was pissed when the generic was pulled from the market, and i didn't move fast enough to stock up while pharmacies still had product on site. i took ortho for one month, and that was enough. i've been off the pill again for the last two months

but i'm still taking my notes every month. the goal is to take everything to my current obgyn (dr. J) to discuss. dr. G wasn't able to draw any useful conclusions so i want to review it all with dr. J. i'm hoping she can connect the dots and recommend something better for me. i do want to be on some sort of hormonal birth control. i may have baby fever, but i know full well a baby is not in the budget right now. preventing pregnancy is an absolute must. i always keep a supply of condoms, but i prefer having two methods just in case... the other thing i want to know is if dr. J thinks any of my previous stuff could be indicative of a reproductive issue. i don't know when it's a good time to ask that question, but i'd rather know now if i should be lining up a contingency plan. something i think is a non-issue now could bite me in the uterus later. i might be a tiny bit ridiculous, but i think i'd be more devastated if i were blindsided by my shortcomings*

so what does this have to do with you and women's rights? hmm good question. seems i've gone on a ramble about my crazy body, without making any useful point... perhaps, what you should take from this is to know your body. know what you need, know what you respond to, know how it functions. because if you don't know what it's doing, you probably won't realize when it's doing something wrong. talk with your providers, whether you have a regular ob or visit the planned parenthood when you need to. communication is key regardless of your situation. it may not be your best friend for a week every month, but you should respect your uterus nonetheless. treat it nicely, and one day it'll give you what you want**

*not saying that anyone fails as a cis-woman if not reproducing "normally". i, personally, would feel that i was lacking if my inner bits were dysfunctional
**if you want babies. if you're looking for that lemur circus, you might have to turn elsewhere ;)