Thursday, April 30, 2015


I've actually been, kind of, writing some lately. I mean like fiction, not this blog, which I have obviously still been writing. The problem is, I can only seem to think of stuff to write when I'm busy doing something else. I'll be washing dishes, or working out, or folding laundry, or (most often) taking a shower, and this whole scene will just pop into my head. But by the time I have a chance to write it down, I've forgotten half of it. It's really fucking irritating. The other problem is that once I start thinking about writing, I tend to keep thinking about it, so the same things will keep happening all day. I keep thinking I should just set aside a certain portion of time for writing, either every day, but I just can't ever really seem to find the time to do it. I feel like all of the other shit that I do every day will end up being neglected. I know it probably doesn't seem like it to the outside world, but I really do have a lot of stuff to do every day. Mostly because I'm a crazy person, but you know.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


I don't know why, but when I read a book I have this weird compulsion to read everything. I feel like most people probably don't bother to read things like the acknowledgements. I mean, who the fuck wants to sit and read a list of names that mean nothing to them? Me, that's who. Although I guess it's not so much that I want to read it as it is that I feel like I have to read it. It's not usually a big deal though because usually you can read all of the unnecessary stuff in just a few minutes. However, I have been reading some more famous books recently (you know, those ones I was talking about yesterday that I feel like I should read) and a lot of them have notes, and commentary, and analysis, by various people, and I just simply don't give a shit about that. I just want to read the book itself, not what some other random person might have to say about it. I just started reading Paradise Lost, which is really quite lovely, but the notes on it are literally as long as the book itself, and they're boring as shit! Plus, most of the stuff in the notes I didn't really need explained anyway. I just can't make myself ignore them though, it feels like cheating or something. I'll feel like I didn't really finish the book (which I hate!) unless I read them, even though they are in no way crucial to the story. I wish I could find copies of these kinds of books that don't have all the extra stuff printed in them, then I wouldn't have to worry about it. But alas, I'll probably just waste hours of my time reading mind-numbingly boring shit that I already knew.   
and why?

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

I Used To....

I think I've mentioned this before, but I used to randomly go into these weird funks during which I was just utterly bored with everything about my appearance. I would feel compelled to buy new makeup, or new clothes, or change my hair color, anything to look different than the way I did. Don't get me wrong, this still happens. I am currently fighting with myself over changing my hair again; I honestly think this color suits me the best of any color I have tried, but I'm getting pretty bored, so we'll see what happens. I say this "used to" happen because these feeling of boredom have evolved from something only concerned with my appearance to a deeper feeling about my self. 

I will randomly wake up one day and realize that I need to learn about some particular topic, or master some new skill, or change some aspect of my behavior. This generally results in me 1- Slightly injuring myself trying to do something I don't know how to do, and possibly buying some sort of equipment necessary for said thing. 2- Buying a shit-ton of books, not necessarily because I want to read them, but because I feel I should read them (for whatever reason). And 3- considering (yet again) going back to school and/or taking some sort of online class. 

In case you were wondering, I have purchased about thirty books, and a bo staff, in the past few weeks. I feel that it is absolutely vital that I master the salmon ladder and also learn to do parkour. And I'm seriously considering trying to finish my psychology degree and/or take this online nutrition class I found and/or trying to learn a second language. In all likelihood, the only thing I will actually accomplish is reading the books, which I am quickly working my way through, but you never know I guess.  

Who doesn't love Mitch Hedberg? 

Monday, April 27, 2015


My mom and I finished watching Daredevil about a week ago, and now I'm almost through it for the second time. It's just so good that I had to share with you guys exactly what is so amazing about it.

First of all, it is much darker and more depressing than anything else I've ever seen from Marvel. Which is great, because the only thing I don't like about Marvel is that they aren't usually dark and depressing enough (I'm being sincere there, by the way, I like my superheros sad and tortured. What can I say?)

I got to the confession scene, which is about five minutes into the first episode, and knew that they had me; there would be no escape. I tried to find a video of it on Youtube, so you could see what I'm talking about, but I couldn't so you'll just have to trust me on this.

Anyway, here are some of my favorite things abut the show.

1- There is a much more intense emotionally aspect to it than you find in most superhero shows/movies, which lends to the dark, depressing tone mentioned above.

2- The villain is truly frightening, but still somehow sympathetic. They give us some glimpses int his back-story and thought process, and it makes it so you can't really hate him even while he is doing truly horrible things (like decapitating a guy with a car door, which was exactly as gruesome as it sounds).

3- I think for the first time I have ever seen, the female lead is not the one criticizing the hero's methods. Karen is actually the biggest proponent of using violence, when other tactics don't work out. I thought this was a really cool change of pace from the usual lecturing, guilt-tripping female lead.

4- The interaction between the characters, particularly Matt and Foggy, is so excellent! They feel like people you would want to hang out with.

5- The fight choreography is also excellent. Pretty much every episode has at least one great fight scene.

6- I assume do to the fact that this is on Netflix as opposed to TV, they really took their time with things. The pace of each scene was a bit slower than most shows, which made it feel more real and also added a sense of tension. They even threw in a few scenes that seemed to be intended almost entirely to add artistic value, which I loved and felt contributed real depth to the show.

7- None of the characters felt one-dimensional. Even the villains were likable, to some extent. And even the smallest characters felt like real people.

8- Again because this is Netflix and not TV, they used more realistic language (everything up to, but not including "fuck"). That is something that I find really annoying about most shows. I'm constantly thinking "No one talks like that!" So yeah, no pathetic replacements for cuss words in this show.

9- I think my favorite thing about the whole show though, was Matt's overall attitude about what he was doing. He was trying to help people, to make a difference, to do the right thing, but he also just kind of couldn't help himself. You get the distinct impression that he needed the release of fighting. It also seemed like, the more he got hurt, the more compelled he was to go back and do it again. I liked this because I, personally, am really bored with the whole "reluctant hero" thing. Every other hero is like "I don't want to do this, but I have to." Matt fucking wants to. I like that.
10- Even the opening credits ^ are badass! 
Getting thrown out of a window is just motivation for him.

Sunday, April 26, 2015


On Thursday, when I got home from work, my dad had a video up on Facebook and told me to watch it. At first, I thought it was just a video of some guy doing a salmon ladder. Then I thought "Wait! That's my salmon ladder!" Then, out loud, I said "Who is that guy?!" My dad just told me to keep watching the video. Finally, after I watched him get to one rung below the top, he told me that the guy was one of his coworkers. My dad had talked about building the salmon ladder at work, and when this guy heard him say that it was finished, he just had to try it. So he came home with my dad after work, and got almost all the way to the top. Now I'm super fucking pissed that I can't do it! I kind of thought that it was one of those things that you couldn't just do without practicing it for a while first but apparently not, since this guy had never done it before. Now I know that it's just me, and it makes me really mad!

Also, I bought an SD card for my GoPro yesterday and it turned out I got the wrong one. Apparently it has to be "class 10" whatever the fuck that means. I just couldn't make myself go back to Wal Mart today, so I just ordered a new one online instead. So it's still going to be a while before I can make my first video.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

I Don't Know What I'm Doing

Last night in class, we worked on kicks again. There were three guys there, one of whom I'm pretty sure was the guy who was in the class when I started, but I haven't seen since probably my second class. So that was kind of weird. I ended up working with the Young Girl and her Mom though. It wasn't terribly exciting, but it went okay overall.

Also, I don't think I mentioned before, apparently my Instructor is leaving and the Other Instructor is taking over the class, which is fine since he has been around enough that I'm pretty comfortable with him. Anyway, he taught the class last night and, at the end of class, I'm like 99% sure he was flirting with me. I was really confused by it because 1- I'm fairly certain I am a lot older than him, and 2- I thought he had a girlfriend. Nonetheless, since I am so incredibly bad at recognizing any sort of social cues, I'm thinking the fact that even I saw it as flirting probably means that it really was. Unfortunately, I probably didn't handle it know, because I never do. 
I mean....... I think you are. I think.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Ⓥ Subliminal

I feel like I am constantly noticing, what seem to be, subtle animal rights related messages in movies and TV shows. I always wonder if I only see these things because I want to, or if other people notice them too. I especially wonder if people who are not interested in animal rights are ever affected by them, even subconsciously. At least in the kind of shows that I watch, there is pretty frequently a correlation made between violence toward animals and violence toward humans, or between animal flesh and human flesh. I feel like on some level, that must make people question whether there really is a difference between the two.
I feel like Supernatural, one of my very favorite shows, does this pretty regularly. There was one episode, pretty early on in the series, in which a family had started kidnapping people so that they could "hunt" them, because they had decided that hunting animals was not exciting enough. In a later episode, there was a man who was eating different animals in order to absorb their abilities, and then later had no qualms about doing the same with humans. I feel like seeing that would almost have to make a person question why it is that we draw such a distinct line between killing animals and killing humans. Then, of course, there is Supernatural's frequent use of the term "meat suit" in reference to a person's body. I have always found that quite funny, because I had already come to terms with the fact that there is really no difference between human flesh and non-human flesh, so if animals are considered meat then humans should be as well. I wonder though, how people who have not accepted that fact feel about the term? Does it make them questions their beliefs at all? or do they just write it off as a joke?

A similar situation showed up on the most recent episode of iZombie. A zombie opened a butcher shop, which sells all sorts of exotic meats. The real purpose of the shop though is as a cover for his murder of humans for their brains, which he then combines with the other meats. As soon as I saw this, I thought "That's so great! They're making a connection between killing animals for their flesh and killing humans for their brains!" Then I wondered if that was really what the writers were intending. Were they actually making a statement about the similarity between killing animals and killing humans, or did they just think that a butcher shop would make a good cover for a brain harvesting operation?

To be honest, I don't even think it matters what the writers of these shows had in mind when they wrote them. What matters is how the audience is affected. So I guess what I really want to know is, do things like this make people question the way we treat animals, and the way we separate ourselves from them, or is that just wishful thinking on my part?
^ zombie butcher shop. 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Come and Get Them!

I got my "Virago" pendants finished and I will be selling them, along with a bunch of other stuff, at the Artist Weekend in Morgantown on Saturday, at the Arts Mon building. So if you want to buy one and/or see some cool local artists come check out the Artist Weekend!

I'm thinking I need to make a sign to go with them, to let everyone know what the word means. I'm trying to decide though, would it be better to just give the definition that I am trying to encourage, or should I put both definitions and a brief explanation of what I'm trying to do? I'm thinking about something like this-

The word virago was originally defined as "a strong, brave or warlike woman; a woman who demonstrates exemplary and heroic qualities." Then, over the years, it somehow came to mean "a loud-voiced, ill-tempered, scolding woman; shrew." I think that's unacceptable, don't you? Let's save this beautiful word and change it back to what it once was! 

What do you guys think?  Do you think that will make people want to help me on my mission?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Best Laid Plans

I finally unpacked my GoPro today, with every intention of actually making a video. Well, it turns out it needs a micro SD card that doesn't come with it. That would have been good to know before, like last weekend when I could have bought one. I am going to get one this weekend and I'm really going to try to actually get my introductory video posted sometime next week.

Also, the salmon ladder is finally finished. I took the braces off of it today. I also tried it out.......and fell...and landed flat on my the mud. It was raining this morning, and I thought "You know, I should probably wait until it's not raining to try this." Then I thought "Naaaa." Then I smashed my head into a mud hole. So yeah, it looks like this is going to be even harder than I expected. I knew I would fall, but I thought I would at least land on my feet. Turns out not.
Image me like this, except with mud instead of blood and a bar instead of a harpoon. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


I finally got around to reading Liberator, and it was fantastic! If you haven't heard about it, it's an animal rights themed comic, centered around two activists working to free animals through direct action. In case you're not familiar with the term "direct action", it's the less legal side of animal rights activism. Anyway, I really love the whole feel of the comic, the characters and the artwork were amazing and the stories were quite compelling. It also managed to cover the issues (briefly) without sounding educational, or straying from the story line.

My favorite thing about it though was the way they indirectly (and sometimes directly) made the connection between activists and superheros. This isn't exactly a new concept, there is the whole "vegan superpower" thing from Scott Pilgrim, then there are the tee shirts that talk about vegans saving the world. But I think this is the first time that the idea has been treated seriously. After I read this, I started to think how much these people really are like superheros; especially my favorite kind, which are the ones who are not so much dependent on special powers as they are on dedication and skill. The only reason the general public doesn't think of activists that way is because they see such a huge (and false) distinction between the lives of humans and the lives of non-human animals. Anyone who did these sorts of things in order to free humans from slavery and torture would, without a doubt, be treated as a hero.

Anyway, you should really, really read this. If you're already into animal rights, you will love it! And if you're not, it will give you some great insight into the mindset of activists while still being entertaining.

Buy volume 1 here.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Change It Back

You know a few days ago when I talked about the word "virago" and how it's definition change from a positive statement of a woman's strength to a negative comment about her attitude? Well, the more I thought about it, the more that bugged me. You see, I love words. I especially love beautiful and unique words. I think this is a particularly beautiful and unique word, and I think it's bullshit that it has taken on this unpleasant connotation. So you know what, I'm changing it back! I made a bunch of different pendants with "virago" written on them the other day, and I fully intend to start wearing one as soon as they are finished. And when people ask me what it means, I'm going to tell them that it means a strong, courageous woman. So if anyone wants to help me change this word back to what it should be, I'll have some jewelry available soon. 
Let's undo this!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Almost There

My dad and I finished my salmon ladder today! Well, it's mostly finished; I still have to wait for the concrete to dry, but then it will be done. I also got my GoPro the other day, so as soon as I can figure out how to work it, I can actually (for real) start my video blog. I'll still have to see how terrible I am at the salmon ladder before I decide whether or not I want to film it yet. In the meantime, does anyone have any requests for videos? I'm not really sure how to start this whole thing off.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Not How I Wanted It

We didn't do anything particularly exciting in class last night. We did a little more footwork, a few kicks, and a few elbows. I haven't had a decent injury in two weeks now, and it's a bit disappointing.

I did, however, kick a door in yesterday, which was kind of interesting. I must say, though, it didn't happen the way I would have wanted it to. You see, I keep my pig food inside my dad's shop, and the key to get in keeps getting all gummed up with pig mud and it makes it really hard to get the door open. Well, yesterday it just wouldn't open at all. I tried it over and over again, I tried scraping the mud off the key and then out of the keyhole as best I could.....nothing. Meanwhile, the pigs are shrieking, and stomping, and demanding to be fed. So finally I was just like "Fuck it!" and kicked the door in. Then I had to go back and nail the door jam back together and screw the plate back on. So yeah, not as badass as I wanted it to be.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Ⓥ Veganniversary

I'm fairly certain I have now officially been vegan for ten years. I don't know for sure because, at the time, I didn't know how hard it was going to be for me to stick to it. I sort of expected it to be a gradual process, so I didn't pay attention to the exact date. I do know that it was sometime in the spring after I turned eighteen, so I think it's close enough. I wish I had paid attention to the date though, because it wasn't a gradual process. From the day I decided I wanted to be vegan, I have not eaten a single non-vegan thing (at least not intentionally. There were a few mistakes, some due to my own ignorance and some due to other people's).

I won't claim that it was never difficult, it was at times. I won't claim that I didn't have to make sacrifices, there were definitely things that were hard to give up at first. What I will say is that it is still the one thing in my life that I am absolutely certain of. Never has there been another decision that I have never once had to question. I have doubted, and still doubt, every other choice I have made in my life, even the most basic ones. Not this one though. I think after ten years, I can say with absolute certainty that I will never feel any less adamantly that leading a vegan lifestyle is the right thing to do.

Every year, there is more and more evidence showing the devastating effects of animal agriculture on the animals themselves, the planet as a whole, and on the health of the people who consume it's products. There are also more and more vegan options becoming widely available, all the time. Not to mention the positive changes that I still continue to see in my self and my body, even now.

Sometimes I think back on how much more difficult things were for vegans back when I first started out, and I'm a little surprised that I made it. There were so many roadblocks I had to face back then that simply aren't an issue anymore, the largest of which being my own lack of information on the subject. It was genuinely hard back then, unlike today when it is simply a matter of changing one's habits. Even so, I'm glad I didn't wait. The challenges that I faced in the beginning made me all the more committed to the cause and, if given the chance, the only thing I would change about my experience would be to do it sooner.
See, I actually didn't make that word up. 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

How Did This Happen?

I follow several people on Pinterest who occasionally post obscure words and their definitions. I'm always interested in learning new words, so I tend to enjoy these. One of the words that I found recently was "virago" which was defined as "a strong, brave, or warlike woman; a woman who demonstrates exemplary and heroic qualities." I thought this was a really cool word, so I went to to make sure that it was actually real. (There have actually been instances when I have found words that I really liked only to later learn that they were entirely made up.) Well, it turns out that it is a real word, but it seems that the definition they offered was a bit outdated. The definition was as follows "1- loud-voiced, ill-tempered, scolding woman; shrew. 2- Archaic. A woman of strength or spirit." What the fuck?! How exactly did being a strong woman turn into being a bitch? I don't give a shit! I like this word, and I fully intend to use it with it's "archaic" definition.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


I just finished reading 1984. It was one of those books that I had been meaning to read for years, and I just never got around to it. Well, I finally did and, as odd as this sounds, it actually gave me hope for our culture. From what I had heard about this book before I read it, I gathered that it was all about oppressive government monitoring it's citizens and controlling their lives. In some ways, I guess it was. To me though, it seemed that the much more important aspect of the story was the fact that the people accepted the oppression, and the ways in which "The Party" ensured this acceptance.

One of the most important tactics they used was the invention of a  language called "Newspeak" which was basically a trimmed down and simplified form of English. The goal of this new language was to continuously narrow down the options for expressing ideas until it finally reached the point where it would be impossible for anyone to express any thought or feeling which went against what The Party believed. I found this idea quite disturbing; forcing people to behave in a certain way by gradually decreasing their ability express their disapproval. This is why the story actually made me feel better about our current society. Say what you will about our modern culture, but if there is one thing we do not lack, it is the means to express ourselves.

I remember, a while back, when I heard that the word selfie had been added to the dictionary, I was annoyed. I thought that it was ridiculous that we are making these sorts of seemingly meaningless words official, and I thought it reflected badly on our society as a whole. I started thinking about these new, often blatantly silly, words in the context of 1984 though, and realized that maybe they aren't so bad. When you think about it, inventing new words, new forms of old words, and various abbreviations of words, are all just ways of expanding our abilities to communicate more easily.

xkcd recently made a very good point, on a similar subject.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Not Now, But Soon!

I finally go approved for that credit card I applied for last week. It was a pain in the ass, but I got it. First, I received a letter in the mail from them, saying that my application could not be approved because it was "a duplicate" which is fine, since I did accidentally apply twice, but what about the first application!? Then I got a call from them on Friday, which I didn't see until 7:00. This was super convenient since they are only open from 9 to 5, Monday through Friday. So yesterday, I finally got a hold of them. It turns out they needed to ask me a bunch of (multiple choice) questions about my own life. It was weird and annoying, but at least I finally got the damn thing.

So last night, I ordered a GoPro with my new card, and it shipped out today. Also, my dad and I worked on the salmon ladder last weekend and we are hoping to finish it this weekend. So sometime in the near future I will actually get my video blog going, possibly starting with one of me failing miserably at the salmon ladder. Then again, maybe I should save the humiliation for later......we'll see.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Not What It Looks Like

In the last week, I have had several different people ask me about what year I graduated high school. This probably shouldn't be a difficult or stressful question, but for me it is. First of all, I didn't officially graduate from high school, which sounds bad enough. Second, I am nearly two years older than everyone I would have graduated with. There is a whole complicated reason for all of this, which I always feel the need to explain, but then I realized how long it would take to do that, so I don't. Which, in all likelihood, leaves the person with the assumption that I flunked twice and then dropped out. Normally, I don't give a shit what people think about me, but I hate the idea of people thinking I'm stupid.

I don't know how many of you know this, but I was homeschooled as a kid. Back then, there was this rule that required parents to have four more years of education than the kid they were homeschooling. This means that, in order to homeschool the kid all the way through high school, the parent would have had to graduate from college, which neither of mine had. At that point, my parents had no intention of ever sending me to school, so they wanted to make sure that I would never have to. The solution was to make sure that, by the time I got to high school, I would be old enough (16) to drop out and take the GED. So they waited until I was six to officially declare me as being in kindergarten. This combined with the fact that my birthday is in December, meant that by the time I did go to school, I was well over a year older than everyone else in my grade.  

Then when I got to my senior year of high school, I decided it just wasn't worth it and I would rather get a job instead. So the official story is that I was homeschooled again during my senior year. What I really did was get a job at J.C. Penney. At the time I thought that none of this would bother me because I would have a college degree, but I ended up bailing on that as well. Still, it's not because I'm dumb, it's just because I get bored easily. I actually got pretty excellent grades the whole way through, I just couldn't tolerate all the bullshit.
I don't want people to think I'm Kiki or something. 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Where's My Car?

Yesterday, my sister and I had planned to go grocery shopping and to the mall (groan) so that I could get some new pants, since all of mine are falling apart. She had an appointment to get her hair dyed in the morning though, so I thought I would just sit around and watched some more Daredevil with my mom while I waited for her to get back. Well, it ended up taking seven hours, for some reason that I still don't entirely understand. I finally decided to just go to Fairmont and wait for her there. She finally did get done right before I got there, so we left my car in a parking lot and went to Morgantown. It was a pretty decent day, overall. We mostly accomplished what we set out to do, and got back at a reasonable time for me to feed the pigs. However, when we were about five minutes from my mom's house the though suddenly struck me that "Wait.....didn't I have my car earlier...? Oh right, it's still in Fairmont. Awesome."

Saturday, April 11, 2015

A Pretty Good Friday

Believe it or not, I actually did a normal human thing last night. I went to listen to a band (gasp!). A guy I knew in college, that I hadn't seen for years, invited me to come see his friends' band play at Joe n Throw (which, in case the name seems a bit weird to you, is a coffee shop/pottery studio). It was really nice; we got a chance to catch up a little, the band was really great, and I get to say that I actually did something on a Friday night other than hit people.

I did still go to class, by the way. We worked on footwork, which is important but not especially exciting. It actually worked out pretty well though. I was rather uncomfortable with the idea of going someplace right after class, since I usually get pretty sweaty and gross, but I also didn't want to miss either one. So I just decided to do it anyway, and hope for the best. Since all we did was basically walk funny for an hour and a half, I got to do both without having to go to the show smelling like a foot. So yay!
Also, Daredevil came out yesterday and it is so very fucking good! 

Friday, April 10, 2015

Ⓥ Exposure

In the last few years, veganism has finally been starting to get some real recognition in the media. For a while now there has been a fair amount of coverage about various celebrities trying vegan diets but, for the most part, the discussion has been about the health benefits rather than animal rights issues, and it is presented more as a new diet fad than as a serious lifestyle choice. But it seems that is finally starting to change. It's still a rare occurrence, but animal rights activist have, on occasion, been making appearances in mainstream media.

Recently, Gene Baur, the founder of Farm Sanctuary, appeared on The Daily Show to talk about his new book Living the Farm Sanctuary Life. Personally, I was almost afraid to watch the interview because I kind of assumed that Jon Stewart would just turn the whole thing into a joke, and Gene wouldn't get a chance to really discuss the issues. Don't get me wrong, I love Jon Stewart, but that's just kind of how the show is set up, so that's what I expected. He didn't do that this time though. I mean he did make jokes, obviously, but he also really seemed to be listening to what Gene Baur had to say and gave him a chance to explain the issues. It was great! In fact, I think the most critical thing he said was that we needed a better therm than "meatless meat" which, I must admit, is a valid point; that term doesn't exactly inspire confidence in the quality of the food. He also made a few comments which, I thought, sounded very much like he was considering changing his diet.

I honestly think this interview has the potential to make a great impact. I think the Daily Show is the perfect outlet to get this message out to the proper audience. I've seen animal rights advocates on other news shows before, and I have rarely felt that they were particularly productive. The hosts seldom let the guests finish a sentence and, even when they did get a chance to say something important, I always wondered how many of those shows' viewers actually cared enough to listen. I suspect that The Daily Show's viewers are probably a bit more open to new ideas than the viewers of traditional news shows, and might be willing to give real consideration to what people like Gene Baur have to say. I sincerely hope that those involved in the animal right movement have more opportunities like this, in the future. If they do, we may finally start making some real headway toward a more compassionate world.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

36 Questions Part 2: More Questions

Continuing on the topic of the 36 questions, as interesting as it is to think that you could convince yourself to fall in love with anyone simply by asking each other questions, it seems a bit irresponsible to me. What if you do fall in love with this person only to find that the two of you are irreconcilably incompatible? I, personally, think that there should be another set of questions that you ask first, to ensure that this is someone who you really want yourself to fall in love with. That said, here is my own list of 36 questions that I think should precede the other list.

Set 1

1- What are your thoughts on marriage?

2- Do you want children?

3- Do you plan to travel or stay in one place?

4- How important are material possessions to you?

5- Do you like living with companion animals?

6- Do you like things in your home neat or messy?

7- How concerned are you about germs?

8- What are your feelings on religion?

9- What are your feelings about politics?

10- How concerned are you about animal rights, environmental, and social justice issues?

11- How important is intelligence in yourself and your partner?

12- What are your preferences when if comes to physical displays of affection?

Set 2

13- What are some of your favorite activities?

14- Do you prefer peace or excitement in your daily life?

15- Do you enjoy challenges?

16- What are your feelings about indulgence vs. moderation?

17- Do you consider yourself a fan of anything? If so, what? (Books, shows, sports, etc.)

18- Do you prefer to share things, or keep them separate?

19- Do you consider yourself to be easily embarrassed?

20- How important is it to you to be informed about things that don't directly affect your life?

21- Would you rather live in a house or an apartment?

22- Do you consider yourself a morning person or a night owl?

23- If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be.

24- Do you consider yourself to be ambitious?

Set 3

25- If given the choice, would you rather your life be meaningful or pleasant?

26- How important is it to you to be emotionally open with people?

27- Do you tend to see the world more in terms of absolutes or do you think things are more subjective?

28- Do you prefer your down time to be more productive or relaxing?

29- Overall, how healthy do you consider yourself to be?

30- When you have extra money, do you prefer to spend it or save it?

31- How important is routine, in your daily life?

32- How important is it to you to live up to other people's expectations?

33- Do you prefer to conform to society's standards or to stand out from the crowd?

34- How important is it to you to understand other people's perspectives?

35- How do you feel about social situations?

36- What are your habits with regards to diet and exercise?

Bonus question

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

36 Questions Part 1: Dinner Party

Yesterday my mom and I were talking about The 36 Questions That Lead to Love, based on the study by Arthur Aron et al. In case you haven't heard about it, the idea is that you can make yourself fall in love (or at least develop a strong sense of intimacy) with someone, just by asking each other these questions. There are three sets of questions which are intended to get more personal as you go. The funny things is, as I was reading through them, I felt like I would be fairly capable of providing decent answers to most of them. The ones that I feel like I would have the hardest time answering were the (supposedly) easier ones. In fact, I think the very first question would be the hardest for me; it goes "Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?"

I honestly have no idea whatsoever who I would want to have as a dinner guest. The reason for this is, as you all know, I am terrible at talking to people. So no matter who I invited it would be certain to be an awkward and uncomfortable situation. In fact, there have been times in my life when I was practically in that situation with people who I would have chosen as answers to that question, and I managed to completely waste those opportunities.

If I had any sort of social skills, probably the person I would pick would be Gene Baur, the founder of Farm Sanctuary (who, by the way, I will most likely be writing about on Friday due to the fact that he recently appeared on the Daily Show). I love Farm Sanctuary, and he has done so many great things for animal rights, and I feel like I could learn so much from him. Here's the thing though, I actually did have dinner with Gene Baur back when I interned at the Watkins Glen shelter! He just happened to be in town, and took all of the interns out to dinner. There were only (I think) six of us, so there was plenty of time for each of us to talk to him. But, of course, I didn't.

There was also a time, a few years ago, when some friends and I went out to eat before going to a concert and ended up sitting right next to the band we were there to see. The lead singer, Conor Oberst, is still one of my favorite musicians and at the time was my absolute favorite. I assume most people would have at least said something to them, but again I didn't. I didn't feel quite so bad about that one though, since no one else did either, but still.

So yeah, the person I would want as a dinner guest would be any random person who I might actually have a decent conversation with.

Hooray for awkward dinners. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Isn't That Convenient

You know how I've been doing the once a week animal rights themed posts (the ones with the Ⓥ, in case you didn't know)? Well, the last several weeks, I've been struggling to come up with anything to talk about there. My original intention was to work on them throughout the week so that by the time Friday rolled around I could have them exactly the way I wanted them, and they would be a bit better quality than my regular posts. Instead, I've been spending the whole week trying to come up with something good to talk about, failing miserably, then frantically trying to write something worthwhile about a half-assed topic right before I leave for class. 

So naturally, I was kind of excited when, this morning, a fairly decent topic for my animal rights post suddenly occurred to me. I thought "Yay! Finally I will be able to put some real time and effort into making this one really good!" Then, throughout the rest of the day, I thought of four other animal rights related topics that I want to discuss. This means that, instead of putting a lot of work into one, I will most likely spend the whole week writing bits and pieces of each of them and still end up with a shitty post on Friday. 

Monday, April 6, 2015


This weekend, my dad and I bought (I think) all the materials we need to build my salmon ladder! I'm pretty excited about it. The plan is to actually build it next weekend, hopefully that will happen, you never know. Anyway, the materials were pretty basic and we didn't have to go through too much hassle to acquire them, which was nice. It seems like the process of building it should be pretty straight forward as well, I'm certain it won't be as easy as it should be, but I still I feel fairly confident that it won't be a complete disaster. Of course the real challenge will be learning to use the thing once it's built. It only took me what? two years? to learn to do pull-ups. So I figure I should have the salmon ladder pretty well mastered sometime before I die.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

What's Up With That?

I decided a few days ago to apply for an Amazon credit card. I know, for someone my debt to income ratio, getting another credit card is probably a bad idea. I do have a good(ish) reason for it though. 1- I need to buy a decent camera, if I'm ever going to get my video blog up and running, and they had this deal where you get a $70 gift card with credit approval, which would nearly cover the cost of the camera. 2- I've been going through a shit-ton of books lately, and I keep forgetting how many books I've bought, and how many of the charges have come through, and I think that might be part of the reason I've been losing track of how much money I have in my bank account lately. At least if I put them on a credit card, I would only have to worry about it once a month. 3- You get points back from your purchases, which would probably help me out quite a bit, considering how much money I spend there.

Here's the thing though; I filled out the application and got the "Thank you" message. I just assumed that it was the standard "Thank you" message and closed it, expecting to find an email in my inbox saying I had been approved. By the way, I assumed I would be approved because, despite my lack of funds, I do have excellent credit. I kept checking my email obsessively for the approval message, because 1-I really want my camera, and 2- I'm running low on books, which is not okay! But I never got the email. I waited four days and finally decided that something must have gone wrong. So I applied again. This time I actually read the "Thank you" message, and it said that they couldn't confirm my approval right now and they would be contacting me "in writing" within 30 days. 30 days? Seriously? Who the fuck waits 30 days for anything, anymore? Isn't that sort of the whole point of the internet, that you can do things immediately? So what's the fucking deal, Amazon?
Sorry, this ended up being kind of a long post just for me to bitch about a credit card.

Saturday, April 4, 2015


Last night at class there were several new guys there and I ended up working with one of them instead of one of the other girls. We took turns holding the pads for each other (mostly he held the pads for me, I think because the instructor forgot to tell us to switch until class was almost over) and it worked out really well. When he was holding them for me I didn't feel like I had to hold back, and when I was holding them for him I didn't feel like he was holding back (at least not too much). Plus I got some really nice bruises. It was awesome! It is very seldom that I use the word "awesome" in a non-sarcastic manner; this is one of those times.
Check out my weird, polka dot bruises. 

Friday, April 3, 2015

Ⓥ Imaginary Activism

I find myself going back and forth a lot about whether or not I want to try to be a writer, as in actually write novels. I constantly have all of these ideas that I think have the potential to be good stories, but the process of actually turning an idea into a full book seems rather daunting. I think the thing that has really stopped me from putting in the effort is the fact that I'm not sure how good I would actually feel about it after the fact. I just want what I do to have an impact on the world, to make things better in some way. I'm just not sure whether I really believe that fiction can do that or not.

I sometimes think how great it would be to write books about vegans and animal rights activist; not vegan or animal rights books, but books about other things with vegan and activist characters. I feel like vegans tend to either be 1- completely ignored, 2- mocked, or 3- vilified, in most forms of entertainment, and I find that really troubling. I sometimes think it would really help the cause if there were interesting, likable characters who just happened to also be vegan. But then I wonder how much difference that would actually make. I know I, personally, have been deeply affected by fictional characters, but I wonder whether many other people have or not.

Is it possible to affect change in the real world by creating a fictional world? Would writing characters who care about the fate of nonhuman animals inspire real people to care as well? Would non-vegans even be open to reading about vegan characters? I really don't know. Sometimes I feel like it's worth a shot, and other times I think that I should be focusing my efforts on more concrete forms of activism.
The first example of a vegan character that comes to mind is this guy, and he wasn't much of a role-model for vegans or anyone else. 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Lack of Alternatives

I feel like my entire life has been a struggle to fit myself into a world where I don't really belong. I don't care about any of the things that other people care about. I don't like any of the things that other people like. I'm always feeling bad about myself for not accomplishing anything in my life, but the truth is that none of the things that most people consider to be "accomplishments" look very appealing to me. I commit myself totally to anything that feels important to me, but I just cannot seem to muster the motivation to do any of the things that are necessary to modern life. Why should I go through all the trouble of trying to be "successful" when none of that means anything to me? Well, because that's just life, that's why. So yeah, I should probably work on that.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

I Don't Understand the Appeal

I've told you guys before about some of Impala's weird and inconvenient hobbies. Well, for the last three days, his favorite game has been taking my socks. I take them off when I go to bed, he waits until I'm asleep, then sneaks into my room and steals them. The first time, I woke up to find one sock next to the bed. Impala was sitting right beside me at the time, so I looked over at him and said "What the fuck did you do with my sock?" He took off running downstairs, and I thought it was just because he realized I was irritated at him. So then I yell downstairs and ask my dad if he has seen my sock anywhere, he says "Yeah, I think I he's down here guarding it." So Impala understood that I wanted my sock back and ran back to protect it. 

Then the next two mornings I woke up to find that both socks were gone. Apparently one just wasn't enough. Last night I even caught him trying to take them, when I wasn't quite asleep yet, and chased him out. But I guess he won't be discouraged that easily, because when I woke up, they were gone. I wouldn't even care that much were it not for the fact that he drags them around under the furniture so they get all disgusting, and I end up having to dirty two pairs of socks every day. I'm apparently going to have to strap them down or something.

I told one of my clients about Impala's sock obsessions and she said it reminded her of this Mutts comic. I looked it up, and she was right. I'm pretty sure this is exactly what happens, except that all my socks are black.