apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (LSD)
It's something I've been thinking about lately: that even though I get tired of the wank, and the arguing, and the accusations of bigotry/scrambling for the 'more progressive than thou' brownie points--I'm actually grateful these discussions go on in fandom.

I started thinking about this when someone at [livejournal.com profile] fail_fandomanon made the edifying comment: "It's men who start wars: women are more sensible than that." And rather than +1 and LOL and giggle and sigh and say "Oh, those men!": women actually disagreed! The giant pile of anonymous gender police who jumped on the thread to respond was probably (definitely) overkill for such a naive and ridiculous comment, but by the time the fourth person mentioned "gender essentialism" I was suitably impressed. Because outside of my own academic experiences and this journal, I'm never privy to a conversation where someone can mention the term "gender essentialism" and assume that people following along will know what they're talking about.

In my own life, I have very intelligent and liberal friends, but still I find myself sucked into conversations based on the premise "But I like it when my husband opens the car door for me." (And for the record: you are allowed to like it, and he is allowed to do it. Feminism is not about who opens doors and who crosses their legs and who does the weekly shopping. It's not about the door: it's about gender roles, and learned helplessness, and this fallacy that women can't take care of themselves when men are around. What matters is not whether he wants to open the door for you or not, but whether he buys into those stereotypes or not, and to what degree. The point is, basically: that door-opening is not a reliable marker of quality in males. In short: forget about the door! It's not about the goddamned door!)

Fandom can be an impossible and frustrating echo chamber of wank and disagreement, but at least these discussions are going on! Sure, unreasonable shouty people get an unfair advantage in the debate, but amidst the endless sturm und drang at least these ideas are out there.

I'm glad that slash writers are called out for ignoring women and fetishizing gay men, and that het writers are called out for ignoring LGBTQ people and perpetuating misogynist stereotypes. I'm glad that while people are complaining about the awkwardness of gender neutral pronouns, gender neutral pronouns and when to use them is being discussed. And asexuals. And POC. And global tragedies. And appropriating cultures. And fetishes. And any measure of stereotypes and hot button issues I'd have to go out of my way to seek out in my offline life.

Do I agree with all of the arguing that goes on? Do I think that it doesn't occasionally do more harm than good? No. But I truly, honestly appreciate that it's out there. I just wish I knew a better way to drag it out into my offline life.
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Doctor Who...the hell cares?)
As I might have mentioned, the topic of my research paper is how the proliferation of the internet has impacted people's sexuality and sexual behavior. In order to come up with research articles, I spent a lot of time searching various sex-related journals for use of the word "internet". (This was the best method I found; all attempts to narrow or focus my search ended with no results.) Since my search methods were less than precise, I've spent a lot of time browsing through unrelated journal articles. Combined with the research for my paper, I've learned a few things, namely:

  • A LOT of scientists have studied the practice of condom-less sex among gay men. Seriously, during my research I thought about creating my own Research Paper Drinking Game where I would down a shot every time I came across the word "barebacking".
  • "Autassassinophilia is a paraphilia (i.e. "fetish") in which a person is sexually aroused by the risk of being killed." I have no idea how to pronounce that.
  • Social scientists REALLY enjoy coming up with cutesy article titles. Some of my favorite examples: “Signed, Sealed, Delivered ... I’m Yours”: Calibrating Body Ownership through the Consensual Mastery/slavery Dynamic; the elegantly simple Hey stud: Race, sex, and sports; and the enigmatic Silver 'porn bullet' for information technology industry?
  • Studies regarding the use of pornography and other sexually explicit materials are still disturbingly biased toward male use.
  • Apparently sex, and especially porn, is bad, yo. Not all of the research agrees, but man: it is difficult to find good, comprehensive research that focuses on normal, healthy, positive sexuality.
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (PiMP)
Highlights from my trip to Indianapolis to attend my future sister-in-law's wedding shower:

Here! )

How was everyone else's weekend?
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (PiMP)
I may be losing my mind.

I got one of those emails from Facebook that says somebody wants to be my friend. (I turned off all other notifications, as I can't be bothered.) The person's name: Stell de Galan. I'm sorry, WHO?!

Figuring this was either some kind of hoax that was going to infect my computer with cyber clap or one of those Facebook mega-users who just spend their day friending thousands of random people, I deleted the email.

And then because it's after one o'clock in the morning and I am insane, I started to THINK (always a bad idea): what if I really do know this person? What if it's an old high school classmate who's now a transvestite and this is their drag name and by ignoring them I am being horribly intolerant and bigoted and sending them into a spiral of depression? So I googled the name, and came up with: you got it, the Facebook entry. I tried to read it (without logging in), because again, CYBER CLAP, but since I am special and somehow managed to change my computer's default language to Spanish (and don't know how to change it back), I only understood about half of what the entry said.

This is the point where I realized I need to go to bed. I will possibly have to delete this entry in the morning, because between this insanity and the epic post of DRUNK, jam, and family drama I am not coming off well this weekend.

Ooh, update! I refreshed the page, and this person is "friends" with a friend of mine from college, so I can ask her what the deal is with this person (and if she has contracted cyber clap).

Good night!
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Good books)
I didn't go into work today, because it's a slow time of year for us, and I don't have enough students on Thursdays. It's nice to have a day off, but I really need the money! Things really need to pick up soon, and I need to get some more high-paying private students.

Instead of spending my day off productively, doing homework, laundry, planning for this dinner party I'm supposed to be hosting this weekend, and a million other things I need to do, I have spent it shopping and surfing the internet. I finally bought some bras that fit properly (that I tried on before buying), so that was good, but then I also bought "jeggings" (jean leggings. I know, the name irritates me, too.), which is bad, because I don't necessarily need them. (But they do look hot under my boots, so...)

Last night I had a dream where I was in a class, and there were a couple people at the back of the room being rude and talking. The lecturer was just ignoring them, so in the middle of his Power Point presentation I just stood up and shouted at them: "COULD YOU JUST SHUT UP PLEASE!" Then I offered to go out in the hall with the guy and fight him. He didn't take me up on it. (He could sense I'm a badass, oh yeah!)

The teacher wanted to talk to me after class, and I was forced to admit that I might have overreacted just a tiny little bit. I said, "I was just really frustrated." He said, "Yes, well it's not your job to monitor the class." I said, "I know, that's why I was frustrated: you should have done it!"

Even in my dreams I have no tact.

Link to my Sherlock fan mix is here.

Book Meme Day 08 )
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Default)
What happened to Day 02 you ask? Meh, it was lame.

Day 02 - A book or series you wish more people were reading and talking about
Day 03 - The best book you've read in the last 12 months:



Looking for Alaska cover

It's really hard to remember what I've read in the past year. I read a lot of books, and 12 months is kind of a long time. The last novel I read that I really enjoyed was Looking for Alaska by John Green. (He of Nerdfighters fame.)

However, while I enjoyed this book tremendously, I really don't think it deserves all the hype that surrounds it.

Hear me out, nerds!

Cut for Spoilers of a Moderate Sort )
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Omelette)

  • Writer's block is a bitch.
  • My ass hurts. (The parking on campus sucks, and there is no finding a spot where I don't have a 15 minute uphill walk to class. I'm not really complaining about the walk, since I need the exercise, but the boots I was wearing have worked ass muscles that were not ready for the wakeup call they got.)
  • The financial aid office is pissing me off. Any OTHER hoops I have to jump through to get my loan before you pile on ANOTHER late fee?
  • I seem to have arranged a dinner party that features three happy couples, and ME! The single friend! (I hope to God my only single friend that lives in the area is going to be free that night.)
  • Along those lines, I may have a date soon! (We're working out details.) His name is Jeremy, and he's in social work. (There are men in social work?! GET THE FUCK OUT!)
  • I love how slow work is right now; I don't ever have more than three students at a time. It's GLORIOUS! My bosses are freaking out, though; that's not so good.
  • I forgot my keys to the building and had to call my boss to let me in. *facepalm*
  • Other than my keys, I keep feeling like I'm forgetting something, ALL THE TIME. I may be losing my mind. (Again.)


So, how are y'all???

I've decided to edit this entry rather than create a new one, because I just found a 30 Day Book Meme on [livejournal.com profile] rewindclunkplay's journal and...BOOKS! You guys know I have to do this, right?

Enable me... )
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Gashlycrumb Tinies)
I really need to stop reading Anon memes. *slaps own wrist*

The one I've been reading lately has run out of fandom wank to talk about, and it's now GrudgeMatch 2010: U.S. vs. THEM! I haven't read most of the hatestorm on there, but I did start (innocently) reading a thread wherein someone (I suppose innocently) asked what everyone thinks about people who went to Oxford or Cambridge. At first, the replies were along the lines of: "I don't care where they went to uni" or "Most people from Oxbridge are dicks but some of them are OK."

Then someone compared the American university system to the sixth form in the UK, and all hell broke loose: Americans defending our education system (while simultaneously denigrating other education systems) and everyone else (mostly British) slamming the American system in snide and irritating ways. There's a handful of people trying to have a reasonable debate (contrast and compare: this is better because, this is worse because), but they're naturally drowned out by the chorus of lunatics.

I was tempted to reply several times, on each side of the debate: it's demonstrably accurate to say that the U.S. system of education falls far behind those of other countries. On the other hand, you can't paint the entire country with the same brush, as we don't really have national standards and our education is controlled by local governments (part of the problem), so there are many amazing U.S. schools out there. Despite the flaws in our system, the U.S. does still manage to churn out important research, technology, innovation, art, etc.

I held back and didn't say anything, though. Why bother? I don't want to be associated with the obnoxious Americans who root for our country as if it were a sports team, nor do I want to be associated with the apologists who insist the first group is "making us look bad" and "THIS IS WHY THE REST OF THE WORLD HATES US!"

The rest of the world doesn't hate us! (Well, in general; specific countries/people hate us.) The rest of the world has opinions about how we behave and use our influence on other countries and economies. They have opinions about how we use our military, it being the largest in the world. The rest of the world would like to be able to engage us in intelligent negotiation and debate as if we were a nation of FRICKIN' ADULTS.

By and large, I think we are a nation of Frickin' Adults (how's that for a quote?); I just wish all of the discussion and debate wouldn't skew towards the shoutiest people with the most extreme opinions.
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Default)
delicious boots

Note to self: you are not allowed to buy cowboy boots. You do not, in the strictest sense of the word, need cowboy boots. You have to buy books for school, and gas for the car so you can get to school and also to your job so that you can buy more books and gas. It doesn't matter that they're on sale and quite a good price and they actually have your size and OMG LOOK HOW GORGEOUS THEY ARE! None of that. Now put your debit card away, and move on.

Ahem.

So anyway, for the first time in a long time, I have an idea for an original (not fanfic) story. The more I think about it, the more I'm falling in love with the idea, but I'm a bit nervous about starting it for a couple of reasons:
Reasons and more behind the cut! )

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