Saturday, December 10, 2011

Save the Chickens!

Why, Chik-Fil-A? WHY? [insert obnoxious wailing here]

Because I've apparently been living under a rock for the last year, I'm just now finding out that Chik-Fil-A is against equal rights for the LGBT community. If you've ever read my blog (and I'm sure you've read EVERY post), you know that I'm fiercely behind equal rights for the LGBT community. So this news, in short, pains me.

Now, people are trying to split hairs and say that the Chik-Fil-A organization, WinShape, is not anti-gay per se. They just donate money to organizations that happen to  be against equal rights for the LGBT community. 

Really, people? That's how you're going to spin this one? That's like saying the KKK isn't racist, it's just pro-white. 

I guess it's perfectly acceptable to ignore the statements made here, here, here, here and...wait for

Fine, let's ignore the VIDEO EVIDENCE and say that Chik-Fil-A and WinShape aren't anti-gay. Let's just say they're for marriage being only between a man and a woman. That's fine. You're still not getting a penny more of my hard earned money. Sorry. 

I love Chik-Fil-A. Love their food, their service, even the cow. I go there at least once a week for breakfast, lunch, dinner, a medium to large sized Dr. Pepper with light ice. I'm so recognizable at Chik-Fil-A in the mornings, they know to put strawberry jam in the bag with my egg and cheese muffin. 

I'm really going to hate to see you go, but I can't allow my money to be donated to organizations like those listed here. It breaks my heart. Now I'm going to have to find a new place for my lazy morning breakfast AND deal with the nasty attitudes. I could just make my breakfast at home, but, dammit that's unpatriotic! Anti-American! Anti-Jobs! 

So, dear reader, I implore thee - join me in saving the chickens, won't you.  

Monday, November 21, 2011

Team Bella

So, I'll just come right out and say it.

I, Grad School Escapee, am a Twilight fan.

Don't judge me.

I like the books that the hipsters love to like ironically. I've seen all of the movies to date, and I'm firmly on team Bella, though Jasper could easily sway me.  I wasn't that excited about the wedding scene in the film, because, let's be honest - I'd already read about it. Twice.

Why is this important? It's not, I just wanted to grab your attention.

As the semester comes to a close I find myself having more spare time and doing absoultely nothing with it. I sit around, a lot, and think about how much I'd rather be sleeping.

I've gotten lazy. And the realization of this doesn't sway me one bit. It's like I'm 12 a year old boy. I just want to sit around eating and playing video games. WHAT'S HAPPENING TO ME?

Fear. That's what. Somewhere along the way I let the constant articles and news reports about the futility of graduate school and PhDs sway me. I let the statsitics for recent graduate employment get under my skin. I let the fact that my English prof told me she had to search for a job for two years after getting her doctorate before should could find one in academia bother me. She had to wipe the asses of small children and wait tables to make ends meet.

Wipe. Asses. Children. No thank you. This is exactly why people should approve the genetic modification of fetuses. That way - they'll come out potty trained. I'm not wiping anybody's kid's ass.

And you better pray you never get me as a waitress. Your order will be wrong, your silverware dirty. And, NO, you can't have any fresh lemon to squeeze onto a napkin to clean it off. You want clean dishes? EAT. AT. HOME.

Suffice it to say, I need to nip this laziness in the sparkling bud. If Stephenie Meyer can build a multimillion dollar empire with books about constipated, sexually repressed teenagers, dammit I can, too!

Whether I decide to return to graduate school is beside the point, because it will not get me a job. I will. The MFA, or any other technical/terminal degree only serves to make you more knowledgeable of your field. At the end of the day, you get the job, not your degree.

I never cared about all of those "once in a lifetime" opportunities before, or those "extremely competetive" programs. I applied and hoped like crazy that I would get them. But I was never so scared that I didn't even try.

The fear is getting to me now because this matters. This writing matters. Being published matters. And the fact that I might fail at something that actually matters scares me shitless. Maybe I should see if my English prof has any friends that are in the adult wipery business.

And, on that note, adios compadres!

Sunday, October 23, 2011


I've been absent since my date with half naked gay men in Atlanta, and, because I know you were left with a void that not even vodka could fill, I came back.

I'll pause while you rejoice and send in the clowns.

Last week I had the pleasure of forcing myself to leave the lustful arms of my wanton bed and go to an Outspoken! seminar being offered at my shiny new campus. I'm glad I chose abstinence for the day - Jennifer Baumgardner was amazing.

She discussed very intimate details concerning her life as a woman that happens to be bisexual, including discovering who she was and her first experience with a gay woman - an experience that earned an exuberant "gay people rally are better at this stuff." And by "this stuff," you're old enough to know that I mean orgasms.

Not a bad perk, eh [insert elbow nudge here].

In all seriousness, the highlight of my night was when she said, "A movement based on love is eventually going to defeat a movement based on hate."

I just thought I'd share that with you. I can't do an "it gets better" video, but I can share with you my thoughts on the subject.

I hate that we live in a country that likes to trot out its freedoms and unceasingly remind any American that speaks out against, well, anything how lucky they should be to even be here. I hate that I live within the confines of society that has created an environment where gay bashing/bullying is acceptable. Our leaders (politicians or otherwise) have created this situation by the mere fact that they continue to express how "wrong" it is to not like a member of the opposite sex.

Regardless of how you feel about the subject of being gay, you have to recognize that a community that is based on discrimination and hate is wrong. You have to recognize that when teens are killing themselves due, in part, to gay bullying that something has to change.

Teach your kids tolerance of people that don't look, act or think like them. Teach yourselves that the world isn't going to fit into your narrow worldview. Speak out against hate when you can and however you can. But don't just sit back and do nothing while the hateful create a world that goes against the basic tenets of love and acceptance.

We can all change the world if we first change ourselves.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Would you like a bit of fairy dust with that?

The beach gods thwarted Mr. Discovery's and my attempts to make it to Mexico this weekend. So, as a consolation prize, we went to Atlanta instead. I thought, we'll dine, we'll drink and we'll...well - there's really nothing that can top drankin now is there?

So, we saddled up the horse, and made haste toward Hot-lanta. Sunday morning, I wanted brunch. I wanted waffles. And not just anybody's waffles - Gladys Knight's waffles.

I waited an hour for them.

It was not worth it.

But, it was worth this

And this

And this

I must say that this 

made me tear up a little. 

Because I braved the 1 hour wait time at Gladys Knight's (cold and tasteless) chicken and waffles, I got to see this year's Atlanta Gay Pride Parade. It was my first parade, my first gay pride event, and my first time seeing a drag queen in person. It's fitting that I lost all those virginities on the Lord's day. I'm sure He's happy that my world is  now complete. 

I thought it beautiful to see so many men and women, straight, gay, lesbian, out and proud - supporting their community and supporting the people they love. Members of the armed forces marched in uniform. As a recovering Air Force brat, that makes me happier than I can ever hope to articulate. 

To see churches out supporting the unions, nay, the marriages of people who love each other restores my faith in religion a tiny bit. Notice that I did not say "restores my faith in God." My faith tells me that God and Jesus love and loved without exclusivity. Heathen that I am, sinner that I am, I find solace in that.

I must say that my experience at Ms. Knight's restaurant was further sullied by the behavior of the gentleman that brought us our food. Seeing that I was enjoying watching the parade from the window (I'd even switched seats with ye olde balle and chain to get a better glimpse) his entire demeanor changed. He all but slammed my food down in front of me. And according to eye witness testimony from one Mr. Y.E.O Chain, he could be heard saying "so fucking sad," presumably in reference to the LGBT community marching within his field of vision.

If we put half the energy we dedicate into hating those that are not exactly like us into creating a world of peace, acceptance and love - just imagine the sort of world we'd have.

I wonder how that young gentleman would feel if he were somehow transported back to the 1960's and had white men and women saying the same things and expressing the same distaste if he were marching down the street, fist in the air proclaiming his own pride in being both beautiful and black. I wonder...

As a black woman I can't fathom hating someone for something as simple as who they are attracted to. First, I've got more important things to do - like live my own f*cking life - than worry about what goes on in another person's bed. (Unless that other person's bed involves Mr. Y.E.O Chain. Then we've got WWIII on our hands. But, I digress). Second, I'm too aware of my own history, and how it is deeply mired in the struggles my people endured to simply be recognized as intelligent human beings deserving of a world that, if not accepting of them as a people, accepted their right to social, political, educational and occupational equality. that sounds familiar.

Seeing what I saw this weekend made me realize that I talk a "whole lotta shit" as the saying goes. So, I'm planning to offer whatever I can to the local LGBT cause to fight North Carolina's attempts to prevent marriage equality within this state.

I leave you with this:

Happy Coming Out Day everybody!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I had a baby...

And its name is English.

Dear God I never realized how much college was like having a baby.

It cuts into your sleep (1-3 naptime included).

It sucks up ALL of your money.

It makes you wonder why it was ever a good idea.

And you often consider giving it up for adoption.

Closed adoption.

BUT! I daresay I love it. I've been so busy that I didn't hear Herman Cain say that African-American voters are all brainwashed. Which also means that I didn't say that he's a complete ass for implying that we colored folks (please note sarcasm) are somehow incapable of thinking for ourselves - someone must have planted all of these ideas about equal rights, healthcare for all, fair taxes, etc., in our heads. Because the only way to believe in such "socialist" ideals is to be brainwashed. And obviously, rejecting Republican politicians means that we are close minded. We clearly live in a world where being republican and open mindedness go hand in hand.

Nope. I didn't say that at all.

I've also been too busy to notice how the media (much to the conservative right's glee) pounced all over the Chris Christie (non)ordeal. While the world was so focused on this man's (nonexistent) potential presidential run, the republican's were doing....Oh, wait... We don't know because everyone needed Mr. Christie to say for the hundredth time that he would not be running for president.

Nope. Didn't notice that at all.

I didn't notice North Carolina's decision to put the gay marriage amendment to the state constitution to vote in 2012. I also didn't say that it'll be a cold day in hell before NC gets any more of my tax dollars if that amendment passes.

Nope. Not at all.

Suffice it to say that I've been living in a bubble, content to ignore the world for a time as it falls apart around me.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Smells like Noob spirit.

I never get used to the sweaty palm, NASCAR heart, gut clenching anxiety that the first day of school solicits. Especially when I’m the new kid in a sea of veteran “scholars.” Their faces scream “NOOB!” when I walk past.

While dwelling on these thoughts I realize…I’m lost. Shit.

Do I ask the prestige level veteran “scholar” or do I take out the dreaded map?

Neither. I wander around, walking into and out of building after building in the molten swamp that is NC weather.

Hot. Cold. Hot. Cold. Sweaty. Less Sweaty. Sweaty….

Finally, I give up and with campus map in hand I seize a fellow soldier...soldiering on through the warzone. “For the love of God man! Tell me where the dwelling known as Denny should….dwell…”

He points. “Go left.” And with a hook of his finger “left again.”

I make it without dying. I’m the first person in the room. I find a seat in the corner, afraid that my Christopher Columbus routine has caused me to smell of perspiration.


Just another day as the new kid.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Remember: it's very important to button your pants

I know you all have been anxiously checking your phones, inboxes and Facebook pages – eagerly awaiting the arrival of the blog detailing my adventures as a newly minted member of the work force.  Brace yourselves people – you are about to delve into the vast depths of a brilliant, nearly mind shattering…mind

I give you: Newly Minted Member of the Work Force takes on office orientation module day!

9:05 – What!? The radio doesn’t work? What the f*ck am I supposed to listen to now?

9:10 – Begins humming most awesome theme song of all time – dum dum dum dum dadum dum dadum. [An octave higher now] dum dum dum dum dadum dum dadum. (There, now you’ll have it stuck in your heads all day).

(And by the way, the song is linked here in case you didn't catch it)

9:12 – Mmmm…Chai tea. Very robust, indeed. Note to self: try green tea at lunch.

9:20 – Manager (who is perfecting her skills as a future assassin) scares the hell out of me by sneaking into my cube. 

9:21 – Note to self: if customer turns out to be wrong refer them to Lessons must be learned.

9:20 – Revelation! Office orientation modules always have pictures that follow the same recipe
1 person of color – black or Hispanic. Preferably female with curly hair to further ambiguity of race
1 Asian – male or female (most people think they all look alike anyway)
1 Nondescript brown person that draws the eye, forcing the viewer to ask him or herself – is he from the Middle East? Spain? Egypt? Did he just come back from a beach vacation?
1 -2 white people, usually (if not preferably) male. This does two things – ensures that women know they’ll never break the glass ceiling, while giving them some nice WASPy flesh to fixate upon.
Note; Any person of color should be smiling. It creates a feeling of familiarity and  rids the viewer of any initial feelings of distrust.

9:25 – I begin to fantasize about gouging out my eyes with a hot spoon thereby preventing further torture at the hands of the diabolical office module device.

9: 49 – Cicade flies into window. I briefly toy with the idea of pledging my immortal soul to one in exchange for his aid in my escape.

9:54 – Have my pants been unbuttoned this entire time?

10:00 – F*ck! It’s only 10!?

10:25 – Thanks to inconsiderate employees who congregate outside of my cubicle for their daily (and extensive) water cooler chats I learned that placing a Dixie cup over your newborn boys… ahem, manlihood, will thwart his nefarious plan of peeing on you as soon as the diaper comes off.

10:26 – I plot the demise of Water Kooler and the Gang.

12:47 – Finally receive work from sneaky manager.

2:15 – Random, nondescript, flour colored male walks over and introduces himself

2:24 – Tries to remember individuals name and figure out why he had such a funny look on his fa – OH MY GOD HAVE MY PANTS BEEN UNBUTTONED, IN PLAIN VIEW OF THE FREE WORLD, THIS ENTIRE FREAKING TIME!?

2:47 – Remembers to try green tea. Thoughts:
Holy Shit that’s green
Why is it so funky looking? Like split pea soup? Who the hell thought to split peas anyway? I guess the same person who thought of pulling on the dangly bits of a soy bean…..Wait, I was doing something.

2:48 – Tea finishes. I sniff it. Thoughts:
                That smells like wheat grass and ass.
                Ass grass.
                Wheaty ass grass – yep, that’s it.  

2:49 – I taste it anyway. Thoughts:
                Oh God. That tastes exactly how I imagined wheaty ass grass would taste!

2:49.5 – I add sugar (A tablespoon or ten). Taste. Thoughts:
                Oh sweet Lord, now it just tastes like sweet wheaty ass grass. People actually drink this shit?

2:53 – Douse mastication/consumption vessel in water.

3:34 – Taste green tea again. Why do I keep doing this to myself.

4:00 – Liberation of the weekend persuasion. 

Moral of this story, readers? Be careful with post lunch gestation liberation (otherwise known as the release of the post lunch food gut) and never, under any circumstances, should you ever drink green tea.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

The sheer size of the cojones on the US Government never ceases to amaze me.

Debt ceiling.

Ceiling of Debt.

Consider it to be the stop light on our government’s spending – more of a guideline than a real rule. Oh, haven’t you heard? You don’t REALLY have to stop at red lights. Those are more like yield signs.

Of course I’ve been reading all about the red light on spending, and getting up and watching the news to see how “talks” on Capitol Hill have progressed, and having debates with myself about it while in the car on the way to work. (Oh, haven’t you heard? I am now GAINFULLY employed – but more on that later.)

Of course I’ve been watching MSNBC (gag), CNN (cough), and really any other news outlet that I can get my hands on.

Why, as I’m sure you’ve heard, even Don Lemon’s upset about the situation.

As you watch this video, ask yourself a series of questions: do we want the truth from our news reporters? And, if so, why are we upset when they try to dig through the bullshit to get to said truth? We complain and complain and complain (just in case no one heard it the first  2 times) about politicians that beat around the bush so much that you forget what the actual question even was – but when someone comes along to try to Hulk Smash their way past that – they’re bad reporters. Screw that. Don Lemon – I tip my hat to you. Sure he was rude. But what's worse? A rude reporter, or a congressperson that sits on his or her ass all day doing absolutely nothing, but still taking home a 6 figure salary? I don't pay Don Lemon. I pay congress. I could give a damn about Mr. Lemon being rude. 

He hit the nail on the head. The American people want something done. Period. At this point, I’m not even sure if any of us actually care WHAT gets done. We just want something to BE done. But that is, naturally, just my opinion. 

They were hired to do a job. They positioned themselves as worthy candidates. They showed up to the interview, paid their dues and we chose them. Some of us weren’t happy with that choice – but, hey, majority rules and all that.

Now, they sit on Capitol Hill, day after day doing nothing. They’re leaned back in their chairs (chairs that WE paid for, mind you) with their feet kicked up on their desks, eating their foie gras and nurturing their principles. But they keep TELLING us that they’re hard at work. And we’re just supposed to be at ease with that.

They keep saying “we’re working for the American people,” but they aren’t! They’re working against us. They hear our complaints, our requests for compromise, our belief that it would be best to increase revenue AND cut spending – but still they’ve done nothing! Congressmen and women are supposed to listen to what WE are saying and transfer our grievances/desires to the Hill. They are not supposed to take them, parcel through and decide what they like the best and then transfer to the Hill.  

We are telling you to stop being pansy asses and cut spending and raise revenue, but somehow 
our desires go ignored.

Ignoring the voices of the people you claim to work for and calling it principles is like ignoring the will of God because you “know better” and still expecting to get into heaven.

Please stop doing what you think the Tea Party, the Republicans or the Democrats think you should do – and do what NEEDS to be done.

Differentiate between wants and needs. You’re adults; you should be able to do that. If you can’t, then resign. If you can’t, you clearly are not old enough for this job.

And, America – stop blaming everything on President Obama. He had 535 people to help him get this country where it is.

You can find their names here:

If they don’t shape up, and do something about not only this debt ceiling, but every damned thing else – I say that we all go to our human resources departments, grab the pertinent tax forms and decrease our withholding to 0.

If that doesn’t send a message, I don’t know what will.

Friday, July 22, 2011

When a good night's sleep just ain't enough.

If you listen closely you can hear my eyelids as they scrape shut over my sandpapery eyeballs.

I’m way too exhausted for someone that sits around and watches Golden Girls and 3rd Rock from the Sun all day. (In addition to The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency and Breaking Bad). Watching TV (with a critical eye, of course, is SO tiring. Especially when you’re watching Wilfred – a show that I can only assume is some twisted person’s idea of what happens when Stewie Griffin grows up and replaces Brian.

But I digress.

I think I’ll blame my current bout with lethargy on the heat wave that’s gripping the country. I could fill a river with all of the water that’s been leached from my fleshy cocoon over the last few days. And, adding insult to aqueous injury - my AC doesn't work. 

I could also blame it on the book that I haven’t worked on in weeks. I get tired just thinking about all the work I have to do to make the story make sense.

Or I could blame it on the fact that the people who we elected to run this country are running it straight into the f*cking ground. I read today that Speaker Boehner (pronounced bow-ner. Don’t  let him fool you, folks) walked away from debt talks today. Oh. That’s classy. Also, very adult of him. I love the message it sends – when you don’t get your way, walk away, pout, bitch and moan and all your problems will be solved.
I keep hearing about the fact that PRESIDENT Obama (notice the emphasis on the “president” there. Some of you seem to keep forgetting that he’s the president and should be addressed as such) hasn’t personally come up with a deal/proposal of his own.

I ask you, America (i.e. all 7 of my followers) what difference would it make if President Obama had come up with a deal of his own? How many deals have both sides walked away from? What’s one more? Would it make you feel better if Mr. President had come up with a deal just for congress to walk away from it?

I ask you, America – if both sides have walked away from multiple deals, multiple times, what makes you think that a plan that was devised by the President himself would be any different?

But, of course, I’m looking at this WAY TOO LOGICALLY. Let’s ignore the fact that in 11 days the United States’ credit is going to be as worthless as an education in Atlanta. Please, let’s focus on the fact that President Obama has yet to come up with a plan in the face of countless other (apparently) unacceptable plans.

Or, maybe I’m just exhausted because I’m tired of hearing about how tax laws and the current tax rates in this country are somehow stifling job creation. Jobs aren’t being created because employers have realized that they can get the same amount of work done with half the employees. “How have they done this?” you ask? It’s simple. People are scared shitless of losing their jobs. So they’re staying at work later, taking less pay, and doing double the work just to be able to feed the families they never get to see because they work so late. (Of course, I’m making assumptions. You can trust me though. I was almost a doctor).
Jobs aren’t being created for numbers of reasons – and I won’t catalogue them here. Why? Because all you have to do is turn on the news to find out why. Read a book. Read a newspaper.  I just wish (which is something I do every single day) that our elected officials would stop making it seem like lowering/not raising taxes is somehow going to result in this explosion of new jobs.

It won’t.

Perhaps I’m exhausted because I’m tired of the hate in the world. My heart goes out to Norway today. I think of those families that got phone calls today. Phone calls that relayed messages of loss and heartbreak.
Why do we, as “civilized” human beings, as the “more intelligent” species, hate each other so much? Over things as simple as religion? Skin color? Who we love?

Is the value of a person’s life and happiness so negligible?

If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other – Mother Teresa

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

High on the sense of life


I admit it.

I’ve started watching the news again. [Excuse me while attempt to give you the courtesy of looking ashamed]
I had the extreme pleasure of seeing Rick Santorum on CNN’s American Morning (click the "On TV" tab CNN doesn't link you to the video directly). He talked about jobs, creation of jobs, President Obama, and – of course – gay marriage.

I hated everything he had to say.

I don’t want to start with references to how he skirts direct questions and blames everything on President Obama – because all politicians do that.

I don’t want to start with his discriminatory views on marriage. Besides, I don’t think I could do it better than Dan Savage. And we all know that Rick Santorum doesn’t like gay people and doesn’t want them to have the same rights that we straighties have. (Even if he has pulled the infamous “some of my closest friends are gay” card. I think I’ve seen him hanging out with a few black people, too.)

I want to start with his take on job creation. Ugh. Job creation. It’s become a pop term. It’s like crack to the current presidential candidates. At a loss for what to say? Just sprinkle “job creation” liberally throughout your speech and everyone will be so high on the idea of a paycheck that they’ll forget that you’re a complete ass who has no idea how to run this country.

Luckily for me, I took some Benadryl this morning – it’s a special formula designed to block histamine and bullshit. I think I’m going to be pretty drowsy for the next few months.

Especially since Santorum supports a “0 rate tax” plan for business (more on that in a sec).

He feels that when the government “takes more and spends more the American people have less.”

How are we determine what “less” is? Sure, less money on my paycheck – I wholeheartedly agree. But let’s think about where that money goes – i.e what it’s spent on. It goes to social security, something we all benefit from. It goes to Medicare and Medicaid. It goes to repair the roads that I have to drive on. It goes to schools and the teachers in those schools. It goes to the men and women that have sworn to serve and protect, to preserve and fight for the fundamental rights that all Americans are granted. Oh, and those people with the water hoses that run into BURNING HOUSES to save lives.

I think I can give up a little extra in my paycheck for those services. Do you?

Santorum goes on to say that Obamacare should be repealed. That we should repeal the Sarbanes-Oxyley act (an act to protect American investors). That we should repeal “big chunks of Dodd-Frank,” (enacted to ensure consumer protection and greater accountability in big business). He further cites the EPA and FDA as being evidence of an “explosion of the regulatory process” on the part of the current administration. In short, he says there is TOO MUCH regulation and it’s encumbering business and its growth.
Whew. That was a mouthful. But, hold on to your butts, ladies and gentleman, we aren’t done yet.  Santorum’s answer to fueling job growth in this country is to, you guessed it, CUT TAXES.

I’ll pause while the masses rejoice.

He wants a 0% rate of taxation for corporations and individuals that manufacture in this country. What they’re manufacturing, I’m not sure.

Here’s my issue with this 0 rate taxation plan – well beyond the obvious ZERO FREAKIN DOLLARS IN TAXES. Job creation does not equate with job maintenance. What’s to stop these companies from opening a few manufacturing jobs on American soil, getting this tax break, and then firing these workers? I hope there’ll be a clause for that.

What’s to stop them from creating (for arguments sake) 5 manufacturing jobs in the US and 35 in India? Wouldn’t they still qualify for the break since they’ve indeed created American manufacturing jobs? Will there be a clause for this? Or is that too much Regulation for Santorum?

What’s to stop them from hiring American manufacturers, and firing American employees in a different sector only to ship jobs of said sector overseas? Sure, manufacturing jobs have been created – but other’s have been lost. AND this company still gets the tax break.

I’ll pause as the rejoicing ebbs.

Jobs have been created. Great. Incentives have been given to big business to create said jobs, great. But, our wonderful government has now lost out on a big chunk of tax revenue that would ordinarily (in a more perfect world) go toward bringing the budget deficit down. You’ve now lost out on money that’s used to fuel all of those wonderful programs I noted previously.

And, what’s possibly even more frightening – does this tax break apply to manufacturing companies or companies with manufacturing capabilities? For instance, companies that devote 100% of their time to manufacturing versus those that only devote 3% of their time to it.  Will they only apply the 0 rate of taxation to that 3% of earnings?

I guess it doesn’t truly matter since companies that bring in BILLIONS of dollars are getting away with paying 1.1% in taxes (in addition to gratuitous Capitol Hill ass kissing, and quite possibly corporate murder). Those programs I mentioned before aren’t being funded by these guys.

But wait, unfortunately there’s more.

When asked how he felt about putting tariffs on imported Chinese goods, for example, he said that it would increase costs for workers and that what we need to do is engender incentives. Okay – I agree with him on this point (SHOCK! SHAME!).

We all know that part of the issue of job creation in this country is demand. People aren’t spending because they aren’t working and big companies therefore cannot “afford” (as they say) to create more jobs. So, if we put tariffs on imported goods (especially those sorts of goods that can be (and are being) manufactured right here in the good old U.S. of A), the cost will go up and give American buyers an INCENTIVE to buy American products. Thereby fueling money into the economy and those businesses. Thereby giving said business the INCENTIVE to create more jobs.

I think I’m a little high on all the sense this is making.

Excuse me while I run off to locate some tasty treats.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Why hello, Jesus! Long time, no see.

My health (and quite possibly my immortal soul) dictates that I should not watch the news every morning.  It drives up my blood pressure, feeds my as yet undiscovered brain tumor, widens my gastric ulcer and makes my eye twitch – rapidly. Also, my anger as a result of watching the news scares my boyfriend.

Because of this, I know I’m (more often than not) late with the political news. However, Rep. Todd Akin’s infamous words of the past week resonate with me.

As I’m sure you’ve all heard by now, this individual feels that “at the heart of liberalism is a hatred for God.”

Cue firestorm of outraged liberal media.

Cue religious leaders coming forward and denouncing the comments.

Cue liberal Americans standing proud as Christian citizens who love God.

Cue me, wondering where the hell I’d been for the past week.

Honestly, it’s a bunch of bullshit. If you love God, then love God. You’re love of Him will either define your political leanings or it won’t. I don’t personally believe that at the core of any ideology is a love for, or a hatred of, God.

What I do believe is that the average human being has their own established beliefs, ideas and leanings and that they use religion as a means of fueling those ideas. How many times in the history of the world has a religious text been twisted to suit the needs of one explosive group or another?

In the end, I try not to define myself as a conservative or a liberal.  I do, however, define myself as a person who believes that we help those in need.  That we aid the poor, feed the hungry, clothe the naked – essentially take care of those who cannot take care of themselves.  Take a gander at Matthews 25:31-46. I don’t take those words lightly. I don’t think they are there just because they look pretty in red.

For the most part, the people you accuse of hating God are the ones that are the most vocal about upholding the programs that ensure that our uninsured get medical aid, that our hungry get food, that our naked get clothed and that our rich don't continue to get rich off the backs of people that can't even afford to put enough gas in their cars to get to work. Hatred of God indeed.

I'm going to need you to man up and not take the pansy way out by saying you were referring to "ideology" and not people. If the average person is defined by their political ideology and you feel that liberalism is defined by a hatred of God, doesn't that mean that you believe that some liberals, on some level, hate God? Or, at the very least, that they are okay with adhering to a realm of thought that his defined by a hatred of God? (Which, let's just face it, is just as bad.)

Of course that's not what you meant! 

Rep. Akin – I know who I am. I know what God defines me and I know what political leanings define me. But, whether I’m conservative or liberal – I take offense to your assertions. Perhaps if you spent more time focusing on the core tenets of the Christian philosophy and less on the foundation of the liberal ideology – you’d be a better representative.

If you wanted to debate the fundamental differences between conservativism, liberalism, pansy-ism and backbone-ism - perhaps you should have become a professor of the political sciences. 

Oh, and if any of you were wondering: 

Conservative - adj. disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditional ones and to limit change.

Liberal - adj. favorable to progress or reform, as in political or religious affairs.

I guess I'll be a liberal today. 

Thursday, June 30, 2011

If only job hunting was like "The Most Dangerous Game...."

Two months later and the job search continues. 

I actually fell asleep while filling out an application today. It’s that bad.

I need a job. And not the way most American’s need a job.  I need a job the way a crack fiend needs to sell stolen copper pipes to support his habit.

Like Donald Trump needs to invest in a barber.

Like Michelle Obama needs to run for president.

Okay. I’m done.

In all seriousness – I desperately need money, and not just because I like the way it smells.  We make  money to spend money. I need a paycheck so that I can *know* that my portion of rent will be covered. That my half of groceries and utilities will be paid. 

I need to know that I can go back to school and not have to take out $12,000 in loans to cover tuition, fees, books and room and board. Besides, isn’t that how we got into this mess in the first place? Borrowing and borrowing because we could?

I know that there are millions of other American’s out there that are in my position. Waking up and dragging their lumpy asses to their computers to sit and stare at indeed/careerbuilder/jobs/snagajob/ and send out resume after resume. I know I’m not the only one out there with 8 different resumes and 25 different cover letters on her hard drive.

There are countless others that get up and walk around, searching for “we’re hiring” signs, and walking into business after business requesting to speak to managers.

I know I’m not the only one that watches the employed thinking, “I could do that way better than her. Why does she have a job and not me?”

It really crumbs my toast.

I hope and I pray and I prope because that’s all I can do.

And I try not to worry too much about where I’ll be in two more months. It’s so damned hard though. I don’t want to regret going back to school because of a swirling eddy of debt.

I don’t want to regret not going back to school because I was too afraid to accrue said debt.

Ack. Back to job hunting I go.  

Shia LaBeouf's a screamer.

Trust me on this. I witnessed it first hand. Go see Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon if you don't believe me.

And, while I'm on the topic, this movie took my breath away. It's the first movie I've seen all summer that was amazingly shot and well written.  I was very impressed with the action choreography, the animation, the story. You will be too. I give it an A (an not just because I got to see LaBeouf's 'O' face.)

Go see it.


(Besides, you might be treated to a gorgeously edited preview of a mission that's apparently still impossible to complete.)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

She's Baaaaaaack!

It's been about two months since I last posted here, and as I never officially let the blog go - I've decided to come back.  Below you'll find something I posted as a note, but just recently decided to make more widely available. Hopefully this marks the beginning of my return to le public blogosphere. 

As I lay here agonizing over what profession I want to choose for my life, it occurs to me that life would be vastly easier if nurses would simply put post-it notes with predetermined jobs on them on our foreheads when we’re born. But I guess that sounds too much like communism, so I here I sit, contemplating my existence and what it means to be a broke, black woman in 2011 who can’t even afford to shop at Victoria’s Secret semi-annual sale.

I constantly agonize over my decision to leave graduate school – which for a science major is as close to a “cushy” job as one will ever get straight out of college. Sure, $22,000 a year with health and dental sounds great (especially to the unemployed and uninsured), but when you find out that you spend 40 soul sucking hours in a dungeon missing everything but the second coming and the invention of zombies, and that your insurance DOES NOT COVER the cost of the zombie vaccine, you start to think that maybe homelessness isn’t as bad as it sounds.  Add to that the near absolute certainty that you’ll have to devote 10-15 more hours of your precious, precious time to training the undergraduate drones AND deduct 6-7 years from your already short life (when compared to vampires, werewolves and politicians) you come to the realization that life is too fucking short and $22,000 is not enough fucking money.

And, if you’re at all like me, you’ll pack up (most) your shit and leave, only to sit in a dark room all hours of the day placing application after application while waiting for the cicadas to come and carry you off to their baby making farm (get on your knees and thank the heavens if it’s not cicada season where you are).  Then, you’ll start to think that maybe leaving grad school wasn’t the most informed decision.

I’ve contemplated a job as a stripper - I mean, given it serious thought.  All the way to mimicking the dance moves I think a stripper might employ.  But, that job may not be the best for me – I sometimes find it hard to shower due to the sheer amount of naked skin involved.  I also chased my boyfriend (who has a cold) around the room with some Lysol spray last night – so one might suppose that I’ve got an issue with germs.

Yep, stripping is out.

So far, I’ve applied to be your local cable guy (testicles optional), delivery driver (car not included), pizza maker (mustache required), waitress, test-tubey drink girl (no, you can’t have the test tubes), administrative assistant/secretary/receptionist, animal lab tech (aka “will endure being pissed on by mice for pay” tech), call center phone person, pharmacy tech (because I loves the drugs), and the list goes on.

At this point – I’m ready to stand on the busiest corner in the city holding a sign that says – will drink gasoline and fart fire for money.

But, until Kinko’s finishes my sign, I’m still sending out applications to any place that’ll have me. I hunted down some local bakeries, citing my love of baking and my desire (but financial inability) to attend the local school of the culinary (pronounced kew-linary, say it with me now) arts. I’m hoping some kind soul will have pity and enough income to award me a part time job. 

In the meantime – this is part one of my semi-autobiographical story, tentatively entitled – “Drinking Gasoline and Farting Fire: or, how I survived my escape from graduate school.”

Friday, April 22, 2011

Here's to you Todd Rokita - upholding the laws of the land.

I received a letter from congressman Todd Rokita quite some time ago and never posted my response. I read an article this morning declaring that the Indiana state senate has passed a bill that would de-fund Planned Parenthood. Apparently supporters don't want to "fund an organization that provides abortions." Apparently, the work that they do that extends beyond providing abortions isn't worth funding either. You'll find my response to Mr. Rokita below. 

Dear Congressman Todd Rokita:
I received your letter in response to my request to vote against defunding Planned Parenthood today and I must admit that I’m deeply saddened by it. I understand that you are someone that firmly believes in the rights of the unborn and I applaud you for standing by it.  What I don’t applaud, however, is that fact that you are misleading your constituents.  Planned Parenthood is barred from using federal dollars to pay for abortions, Congressman Rokita. As a leader of this country I would think that you would have educated yourself on this fact before attacking the funding that is afforded Planned Parenthood. I do not believe that taking away their funding is somehow stemming the tide of abortion.  Nor I do believe that they are “actively encouraging the practice” of abortion. Have you or a loved one ever been to Planned Parenthood? Have you or they seen any behavior that “actively encourages” abortions? How do you legally define active encouragement? I can assure you that during my visit to a Planned Parenthood facility, I was never once “actively encouraged” to have an abortion.
If you seek to decrease abortions in this country, why would you start with agreeing to cut funding to an organization that provides birth control to the uninsured? Why would you attack an organization that provides screenings and healthcare to women and men who would otherwise not be able to afford such services? You want abortion to be stopped, yet you are attacking one of the very organizations that work to teach communities about proper birth control, and the prevention of pregnancy. Does that make sense to you, as someone who is smart enough to become a congressman? Planned Parenthood is not also known as Abortions R’ Us. Planned Parenthood is about more than performing abortions – a service that is legal in the United States of America.  It is about providing men and women with cancer screenings, yearly check-ups, STD panels, etc. 
Employees in the healthcare profession do not get to pick and choose who they will or will not help.  Would it be acceptable to you if a doctor decided against performing life saving surgery on a patient because they did not agree with the person’s choices in life? Healthcare professionals are not being forced to do anything. They are doing their jobs. If they do not want to do their jobs, they can find another one.  I highly doubt that anyone is forcing healthcare workers to perform abortions “against their will.” Anyone that does not want to perform or participate in an abortion has the right to not do it. Their employer also has the right to relieve them of their position, considering that they are not fulfilling their oath and promise as a healthcare worker and employee. It’s all about choice.
I do not believe that our government should infiltrate countries and strike down innocent and defenseless men, women and children, but my taxes still pay for wars do they not? As an American citizen I benefit from the rights afforded me in the United States constitution while understanding that I may be subject to laws and taxes that I may or may not like, and have to endure the leadership of politicians that I do not like. I don’t get to pick and choose which laws I will obey, just as I do not get to pick and choose what programs my taxes will fund. You, dear congressman, also do not get to pick and choose which laws you will enforce and which taxes people have to pay.  This is the country we live in and the one that you’ve chosen to lead. Either accept it, or get out of office.
I understand your desire to protect the rights and lives of the unborn. But what about the rights and the lives of the people that put you in office? Unless, of course, you believe that the people that put you in office do not benefit from the services of Planned Parenthood. Roe v. Wade protects a woman’s right to choose. Until that is no longer true, you have an obligation to uphold the laws of this land whether or not you agree with them.  You also have a duty to stop propagating the lie that Planned Parenthood is using the hard earned money of taxpayers to pay for abortions.
Please be assured that I will always fight for and abide by the rights and laws of this land, whether I agree with them or not.
Thank you for contacting me. Please keep in touch. I’d love to read about your version of the truth in the future.

Kristen Reynolds
Educated Constituent

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

On why graduate school is currently so pointless to me.

I graduated from Johnson C Smith University in 2009, firmly believing that I had the world in the palm of my hand. I didn’t have all the answers, but up until that point I’d asked all the right questions, and followed the itemized list that littered my path to success. I knew that whatever I wanted to do, I could do. I’d grown up surrounded by a loving and encouraging family, immediate and otherwise. I’d always been told of how proud I made them, how happy they were that I was graduating first high school, then college. My mother and father had instilled in me a deep sense of self-worth and made sure that I knew that I was capable of greatness.
When I arrived at JCSU in 2005 I was surrounded by young men and women from increasingly different backgrounds, that were my age, that had some of the same dreams – but that were so completely different from me it was astounding. I thought I would be around young people that would openly discuss the problems of the world, the state of Black America, the sort of people that would let go of petty high school tendencies and seek to better themselves. I hoped to better myself, and I like to believe that I did – but there are days that I am not so sure.

When I arrived at Purdue in 2010, I thought I would be surrounded by young men and women from increasingly different backgrounds, that were my age, that had some of the same dreams – and who would give me the sort of environment I believed I missed out on in college. I found myself quickly disenchanted with my life as a graduate student with respect to both social and educational aspects. Who was I helping? How was I helping them? Were my services at a lab bench, trapped in a dungeon-like lab for 8 hours a day (when I was only being paid for 4) really doing anything for anyone? I tried to tell myself that it was. I tried to tell myself that getting a PhD would allow me to be a better professor (as I wanted, and still would like, to teach at the college level). I had a plan – get a PhD, endure a post-doc, return to my alma mater, liberate the department chair position from the clutches of whichever professor currently held it, and create the department that I should have had when I was there.

But, I’ve grown to realize that I am meant to do so much more. I see the increasing need for mentors in the Black community. I see the need for constant encouragement of our young people – a funny thing for me to say since I am only currently 23. As I move further along in my education, I see less of me: outspoken Black men and women who envision a future for the world that is better than that which they found. Is it because I didn’t look, or because they simply aren’t there? Either option would result in the same – there should be more.

While a student at JCSU I only did a small part. I mentored for a year – and it was the most fulfilling job that I ever had the pleasure of taking part in. I cried when I couldn’t get a student to see how beautiful she was, when she couldn’t see what I saw. It broke my heart to see her in such pain. I wanted her to eventually get to the point where she could look in the mirror and say “I’m brilliant and I’m capable of anything. That alone makes me beautiful.” Did she ever get there? I don’t know. I failed her. I didn’t take the time to keep in touch. I left JCSU and I left her.

This realization wracks me. It makes me realize that our schools and our communities need a network of mentors and educators that will be willing to be dedicated to a life or lives for the long term. We need a network that will partner with middle and high schools in our community and mentor our growing children. I hear children every day talking about their dreams of being business executives, athletes, doctors and lawyers. JCSU has students that are on that very path. JCSU has graduated people that have embraced these very professions – who live in Charlotte and the surrounding areas. We need to connect the professionals with the students. Give them an opportunity to see a world that exists beyond their front doors. Give them an environment akin to the one in which I was cocooned – a family of people that are constantly saying not only, “you can do this,” but also, “you will do this.” A network of people that is unwilling to see their young people give up. A network that will have a hand in creating a generation that will enter graduate and professional schools, and graduate from them surrounded by people that look like them.

I propose this to you, Dr. Carter, because as a young woman of 23 I am unfulfilled with life. I know there is so much more that I can do for this world than sit at a lab bench all day. I can use the power of my experience and my words to help guide someone through their high school careers and into a college one. I envision a program that will raise money to fund scholarships for children to attend college. A program that will teach them about the different avenues they can pursue in life. One that will have a hand in increasing the literacy rates within the Black community. One that will as a byproduct, see the numbers of young Black men and women graduating from high school and beyond increase. I believe that JCSU and its students can do this. I would like to work with you, our current and past students to make this dream a reality so that we can help our young children live theirs.

We start with one school, with a few children. We ask them, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” We ask them, “How do you think you get there?” And we help them achieve those goals. We help them study for their exams. We use our science majors to help them learn the differences between meiosis and mitosis, or English majors – the differences between adjectives and adverbs. Most importantly, we don’t just work with them for a year. We work with them for as long as we are able and as long as they are willing. I believe in this, I believe it can work because I have seen it work. I know personally what mentorship has the potential to do. I hope that you can see this dream as a reality as well. I hope that we can work together in the very near future to make this happen.

Kristen Reynolds

Wednesday, March 30, 2011 so freakin' close!

It’s done.

The program has been alerted, my one potential lab has been alerted. I’m sure everyone in my cohort knows at this point, not that their knowing is at all important.

I’m leaving. Moving on. Going home. Blowing der popsicle stand.  And all that anyone can ask me is, “why?" and "what are you going to do?”

Well, for starters, I’m going to reintroduce my pasty white (black) flesh to sunlight through copious usage of shorts, skirts, sleeveless tops and sandals – something that is anathema in any reputable lab – and I only deal with labs of repute my friends. Next, I’m going to lay out by the pool and do and think about nothing. But, most importantly I’m not going to do this.  

I’ve decided to leave. That’s as far as I’ve gotten. It’s not like there’s some random person sitting outside on one of Purdue’s many corners handing out tickets to life. I’ll know what I’m doing when I get there.  The possibilities, much like the inherent stupidity of our government, are endless.

That being said – I feel like I’m 10 again. “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Well, when does one officially “grow-up?” Only time will tell.

I could be a pastry chef and open a kick-ass sinfully decadent bakery.

I could go to law school and be a lawyer as sexy as Hank Moody's defense attorney.

I could go back to school and get a degree in English.

Or maybe one in Political Science (shudders – science).

Or maybe I’ll just kick back and relax for a bit, replenish the old pool of self confidence. Rediscover who I am.

This year has stripped me bare. Graduate school has a way of creeping in and eroding the very fiber of your being. It’s a silent killer. Aided only by the astounding ability of civilized people to pounce on their peers at their weakest moments.

I have got a month left here, and I can’t say that I’ll be terribly sorry to see the end of this journey or the end to explaining why I’m leaving. (Because I can. Because I want to. Just, because.)
Though, thanks to my mother and her brilliance, I can now fire back with “why are you staying?” I don’t think anyone has legitimately stopped to ask this question. Or, what’s more, if the answer is even worth it.

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Idiot's Guide to Flying

I’m REALLY starting to hate flying. 

The undressing in the security line. The unpacking of my painstakingly packed carry on materials. The looks that people give me when they see my socks. (What? They’re socks. They covered my feet. They did their job. Don’t judge me).

The fact that people *still* don’t understand the concept of putting their freakin purses on the floor in front of them to save room for the rest of the poor peons that couldn’t afford $600 to check their bags.
The jackass that *still* doesn’t know that you have to remove your shoes, keys, laptop, cell phone, jacket, kidney.

Or the one that doesn’t know that water is always considered a liquid – and 3 ounces did not magically morph into 16. Throw it away.

No, I don’t want to dissect your snot – so please don’t sneeze on me.

I do not want to feel your hot, emphysema laden breath on the back of my neck, so please don’t cough on me.

The only person I allow to be that close to me is my boyfriend, so please find your way out of my personal bubble.

I paid for 1 seat. You paid for 1 seat. Neither of us paid for an extra quarter or half of a seat. Please keep your arms, legs and various extremities inside the plane and your ONE seat at all times. This isn’t kindergarten – sharing is no longer important.

Though, some rules of kindergarten still apply – like washing one’s hands upon leaving the bathroom.

And, as an add-on to the rule above, don’t lick your finger with an exaggerated SLURP SLURP SLURP before turning every single page of a shared magazine. Especially one that you drench in your spit and put back in the seat pocket. C’mon people. Have a little care with what you put in your mouth. You have no idea what person wiped their ass, didn’t wash their hands and then did the same SLURP SLURP SLURP routine with that exact same magazine. Sheesh.

And please, for the love of God, pack some gum if you’re going to eat anything even remotely flavored with onions.

Maybe it’s just me, but unbuttoning your shirt and applying deodorant in the MIDDLE OF THE AIRPORT just seems wrong. Though, that could’ve been the onion smell. Maybe that guy should’ve, oh I dunno, ventured to the restroom and slapped a little soap on those pits before covering it up with Old Spice or whatever it is stinky men wear these days.

And last, but not least, if you don’t like the above rules – take a freakin’ car. 

And, yes, I realize this has nothing to do with grad school....directly. But, think about how much the average grad students flies. Conferences, training, visits to home or the "grad student exclusive" asylum. You'll want to print this out and share it with the airport masses. 

Until next time. 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

And you all said the Mayans were crazy!

Gather round boys and girls. I’ve got a secret to share. I, (Ex)Neuro(Ex)Science(Forever)Geek, have discovered the secret to instant and continued success in the laboratory. This highly volatile secret was discovered yesterday evening as I stumbled my way through an experiment. 

First I discovered that I failed an exam. An exam that I hadn’t studied all that much for, but that’s not the point. I prayed to the exam gods before taking the exam and did they come through? No! Apparently the other students got there before I did.  Though, from a philosophical perspective – my F was such a great F, my score so low, my F so magnificent in its F-ness, that it could technically be described as an EPIC F-ing WIN. (Think about it….)

Second, after returning to lab and discovering that I had enough cells to perform my experiment, and successfully navigating my way through the murky mire of methodical (love the alliteration) steps, I had a wonderful morning. Well…wonderful if we hop in the DeLorean and erase that F from existence (and ignore my astonishing foray into philosophy).

Third, I discovered that my successful navigation would’ve put Christopher Columbus to shame. Let’s face it – the man had no clue what he was doing. HE THOUGHT HE WAS IN INDIA FOR CRIPE’S SAKE! A TOTALLY DIFFERENT FREAKING CONTINENT! So, in paying homage to the big (or little – I don’t know how tall he was) C.C., I discovered that I’ve been using the wrong solution in my cells for about 3 weeks now. To add insult to injury, some of my samples weren’t treated properly – and naturally those samples were the samples that I absolutely needed.


For those of you not in the science world – trust me. It’s frustrating. I’ve done three rotations – count em. Don’t worry. I’ll wait – and not one of them has turned out ANY results. I know, I know. It’s science. Shit happens. But does shit have to happen through three rotations? I would like, for once, for something to work. I’m in the second to last week of my rotation. I’m literally out of time to get this right. But hey, now that I know The Secret – Purdue will be calling Einsteinisha before the month is out.

Which brings me to The Secret.  My mentor, seeing my frustration, shared with me something only the absolute best first year students get to learn. Apparently – The Secret to success in the lab is SACRIFICE! My mentor said that they typically sacrifice mice, but I say – go big or go home! Think about it! Are you a graduate student? Do you want to spend 5 years toiling in a dungeon-like lab to churn out a degree? I’d say no. So, rather than sacrifice mice – I say sacrifice the undergrads! They’re in the way anyway. Clogging up the buses, taking our spots in the Starbucks line, guffawing about what they did over the weekend with all of their “free time” (whatever the fuck that is) and fucking up the grading curve! Sacrifice an undergrad (or two, maybe three to be safe) and you’ll be out of grad school in no time. If nothing else, you’ll feel better. I do.

But let’s just keep this between us, okay.

And, remember, with great power comes great responsibility. 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

My tax dollars don't pay you to hate and discriminate.

It’s 1 o’clock in the morning and, as usual, my brain assumes that’s the perfect time for writing. It’s one of those nights when “more tired than Katherine Heigl in a romantic comedy” just doesn’t seem to cover it.
 I find myself awake pondering the plight of the world – its incessant need to hate, its undying ability to spread that hate.  I wonder how we got here. I wonder how we ever get to a point where hatred is acceptable. Especially when it’s sheathed in the name of God.

The Indiana House of Representatives voted to pass an amendment banning same sex marriage.  This decision has had me quite perplexed for a few days, and I’m only just now finding myself calm enough to adequately respond.  Representative Eric Turner has been quoted as saying, “The basic unit of society is the family, and the cornerstone of the family is marriage. Marriage is and should be between one man and one woman."

Who gets to decide what marriage is or isn’t? Is that a power that “we the people” have given to our government? To define what makes a marriage and what constitutes family? If so, can someone please point out where the U.S. constitution allocates that right, because I damn sure haven’t seen it.

The people that voted for this amendment say that they are NOT writing DISCRIMINATION into the constitution. IF you are saying that marriage is EXCLUSIVE to one man and one woman, does that not exclude any other sort of relationship? Is that not, therefore, discrimination? Apparently our elected officials have a different grasp of what constitutes discriminatory activity. It was once acceptable to outlaw interracial marriages as well. But, maybe I’m comparing apples to oranges and I just don’t realize it. Maybe the prevention of marriage between two people who clearly loved each other in the early to mid 20th century is totally different from the prevention of marriage between two people who clearly love each other in the 21st century.

If I told you that marriage should only be between people from the same social class would you accept that? No, you wouldn’t. Why? Because it’s arbitrary and, as we all know, you can’t help who you love. 
Marriage is what you make it. Marriage, for some, is the ultimate testament of love. Marriage, for others, is a death sentence. But at least they get to make that choice.

Who does “same-sex” marriage harm? Is it murdering your child? Is it stealing your most prized possessions? Is it selling drugs at the local high school? If my gay friends get married, will a deadly earthquake occur halfway across the world and somehow wipeout 6 million people? Will it somehow prevent you from living your day to day life? 

How about a little perspective people. Marriage is not a gift to be doled out like candy on Halloween. It is a right, as inherent as the right to vote.

So, dear Rep. Turner – if you want to maintain the cornerstone of the family, you should probably start by realizing that families, like marriage, are what you make them. Family is what I choose it to be, not what my government tells me it is. Family is born from love and love does not only exist between one man and one woman. The Indiana state constitution is no place for your prejudices. Please keep them to yourself. 

Monday, February 7, 2011

You've got problems? I've got solutions.

I feel like every word I type here is under scrutiny. Which is odd, because I only have a few (dare I say loyal?) followers. I hate that the words of one, single, too scared to put a name to the face person make me hesitant to do something that I love – write.

I started this blog because I wanted to share my experiences with future and current graduate students. I found that when I had nothing else to turn to, this became my outlet.

When the stark reality that I was officially in a long distance relationship hit me, I wrote about it. When I realized that the person that’s been by my side for the last 5 years was no longer there – I wrote about it. When I started failing my classes and FUBARing lab – I wrote about it. When I realized that I didn’t quite fit in – I wrote about it. And I put my name and face to everything that I wrote.

I stand by it.


I’m making a very difficult decision in my life. And I’m displaying it for all of the world to witness. I don’t know if that’s ballsy or not – but I do hope that someone out there will benefit from this.  I hope that someone out there will read something that I’ve written on these pages and walk away with the firm resolve to be whoever they were meant to be. Someday, in the potentially very near future, you will be faced with making a life altering decision. And that very same decision will be influenced by the (often unsolicited) opinions of others. And those opinions will make you stop and question everything that you’ve done and said up until that point. Finally, when you think you’ve weighed every option, every pro and con, Some Random (dare I say negative? Unhappy? Eager to spread the misery around?) person will come along and offer their “expert advice,” and you’ll be back to square one.

Don’t let it happen. You are who you are and you have to live with the decisions you make.  Naturally, we seek the counsel of those that are closest to us, but at the end of the day the decision is yours and yours alone. Do you want to wake up 10 years from now and have to say “I did xyz because Some Random told me I should?” That is a recipe for regret.

I came. I saw. I conquered the “what if” beast. When I leave, and trust me I’m counting down the days, I won’t have to ask myself “what if I’d gone to Purdue?” I’ll already know what it was like. I won’t be so busy agonizing over my past, and I’ll be able to focus on the here and now and on the future.

It’s very easy for Randoms to offer their opinions when they aren’t the ones that have to deal with the consequences. It’s very easy for anyone from the outside looking in to say what is or isn’t right or wrong. Whatever happened to live and let live? If you don’t like it, then don’t YOU do it. But don’t begrudge me my right to do so. Don’t believe in gay marriage? Don’t marry a gay person. Problem solved. You don’t believe in abortion? Don’t have one. Problem solved. Don’t like the content of a novel because it’s too racy/violent/whatever? Then don’t read it. Problem solved. Don’t like the idea of dropping out of grad school?





Problem solved.

Let’s stop making controversy where there is none.  And let’s stop believing that the facelessness of the internet somehow gives you the authority to act like a complete asshole.  

But, most importantly, let’s have a little more compassion for one another - for those that we do and for those that we don’t know.

If you’re reading this, and you’ve got a crazy difficult decision to make in your life – I hope you find the strength you need to do it. I hope you find the resolve you need to do it. And, most importantly, I hope you do it for you because you’ve got to live your life. No one else can do that for you.

I leave you with a quote that a friend recently reintroduced me to:
"Your right to swing your arms ends just where the other man's nose begins. Oliver Wendell Holmes