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Amusing lesboslang

3 Nov

Cruising around the internet, one encounters quite a bit of entertaining slang. Some of it is geared toward the gay, lesbian and otherwise queerly-inclined folks. A selection, presented for your amusement:

Hasbian:  One who used to be a lesbian. Often can be counted among the Five Allies in Queerland.

Lesbient: A stoner lesbian. “Ent” comes from the tree people from J.R.R. Tolkien’s famed Trilogy of the Rings, in case you didn’t know.

Lesberina: This is pretty much what I wanted to be when I grew up when I was a kiddo. Just guess the definition.

Lesberjack: Urban Dictionary defines this as “a woman who wears plaid to clearly identify herself as a lesbian.” Clearly, though, nowadays, if one isn’t careful with accessorizing, one could be mistaken for a Mere Hipster.

Lesbaru: A Subaru, driven by a lesbian. Urban Dictionary says this has to be a late-model Subaru, but can be driven by any woman. I disagree, Urban Dictionary, particularly since Subarus in the Pacific Northwest are driven by pretty much everyone. Related: We also need a word for Lesbian Pickup Trucks. Ten points to the first person to come up with a clever moniker for that.

Lesbionic: Again, I disagree with Urban Dictionary here. They define it as “something pertaining to two female robots or cyborgs who are emotionally and sexually attracted to each other.” Since there’s no such thing as robots, clearly what they meant to say was a lesbian with bionic superpowers. Duh.

What internet slang did I miss (no offensive stuff, please)? What slang do you use in your own social group that the internet doesn’t know about yet? Tell me in the comments.

Where I am this week

22 Jun

Here’s a video some guy made about the neighborhood where I am habitating this week (brief NSFW-ness due to some harmless mooning). I could probably make some Very Serious Social Commentary here, but I’m pooped so I’ll just let it speak for itself:

Sooo… yeah. Where are you this week? What shenanigans are you getting up to? And um, did you ever live anywhere like Murray Hill? What was THAT like?

I want a trust fund

18 Mar

When I grow up, I want to be blessed with a chip on my shoulder, imbued with a sense of entitlement I’ve never questioned or lived without. I want a trust fund so I can look down my nose at people who desire money. I want to show my scorn for a poor man’s desire by wearing thrift-store clothing ironically. I’ll call myself a socialist, a populist. All my friends will be just like me. I want to assume that I am more intelligent than Steve the janitor by virtue of the sort of work I do, nevermind that his mind, unlike mine, is free to think truly original thoughts while he does his work; whereas my mind is occupied trying to figure out new ways to sell the same old shit, office politics, and the bottom line. I’ll invent dumpster-diving, train-hopping, international travel, and be the first person in history to discover poetry and nature. I’ll buy cases of expensive wine, refuse to cross rivers and train tracks, never leave my neighborhood, call myself a philanthropist, consider graduate school, complain about how hard it is to find good help these days.

Birthday Blowout: Roundup

19 Oct

If you’ve been reading for a while, you know that I insist my friends (really, anyone even remotely proximal) make a big deal out of my birthday. True to form, this year I kept my coworkers up to date on exactly how many days were left before the Big Day. They performed admirably, sneaking in sometime in the night to decorate my messy, messy cube with balloons…


No individual in particular would own up to having done the decoration deed, but I have my suspects who will be repaid in kind with embarrassingly loud and off-key birthday singing next month. To complete my breakfast of champions, Coworker A brought me my favorite type of deep-fried sugary treat, the Almighty Apple Fritter:

My Special Lady Friend sent me some Very Pretty Flowers:

… and my other Special Lady Friend (no no no, not like that) sent me some other Very Pretty Flowers:

You see that red thing on the table there? That’s chocolate. A whole bar of it. Dark. Moonstruck. INSANELY GOOD. And all mine. Chomp chomp chomp.

I also received a tree from my Pops:

 …which has been planted securely in the yard, and I hope someday will grow tall enough to provide some shelter from all the passing thugs and/or hooligans.

I left work early and arrived home to find a couple of SUPER AWESOME packages* waiting for me from Deena, who sent me a bespectacled dog card and two mix CDs** that could not have been more perfect (no, really: I have been listening to them almost as obsessively as I’ve been watching Battlestar Galactica lately):

…and Dani, who sent the ultimate care package of glittery goodness and stickery swellness:

…which I immediately put to work decorating my Lebanese-Mexican Coca-Cola full of rum:

By this time, my adorable mom had arrived after making a Lengthy and Arduous Journey Full of Dangerous Thugs to brig me a delicious homemade birthday cake, complete with sprinkles and pretty pretty candles:

Om nom nom! We scarfed it with some Extra Special Ice Cream, which apparently is difficult to get in Some Parts of This Here State:

And then, to cap off the night, I did a Very Daring Thing. I went from this:

To this:

That’s right boys and girls! I am now a hairless little freak! Or something of the sort. It’s pretty exciting. Be sure to tell me what you think of the change in the comments, lest I think you hate it with a fiery passion that knows no word-y outlet.

One would think that I would be all sugared out, right? Wrong. My capacity for sugar intake is indeed large. The next day, my mom and I undertook The Great Donut Tasting of oh-ten. We went to Heavenly:

which was populated by adorable friendly workers and very wrinkled old men drinking black coffee, and Voodoo:

…which was running refreshingly low on hipsters. We put the donuts to the test:

and determined that while the maple bars at VooDoo are indeed superior, the Cock and Balls are not cream filled, which is disappointing, not to mention false advertising:

The apple fritter taste test (yes, I had MORE apple fritters. They’re delicious, OK?) was categorically won by Heavenly. Much to our chagrin, we did not track down a single bear claw.

The week was rounded out nicely with some actual food from the Farm Cafe with one of my favorite journalism defectors and her be-Beibered ladyfriend, who were kind enough to treat me to dinner, witticisms, AND a dessert with a candle. So fiendishly clever, those two.

All in all,  pretty awesome birthday, with only minimal reminding and whining from me. OK, not so minimal, but hey. If you don’t ask for what you want, how will you get it? Am I right? Huh? HUH? AM I? Of course I am.

*Proof positive that giving strangers your mailing address over the internet is always a good idea. ALWAYS! No seriously, though, you guys rock. Of course you already knew that, right? ^_^
**You, too, can get down with your bad self by checking out the track lists.

Satter’s Hierarchy of Food Needs

4 Sep

Reposted from the wonderful Sociological Images with permission from Lisa Wade

Responding to critics who argue that poor people do not eat healthy food because they’re ignorant or prefer unhealthy food, Ellyn Satter wrote a hierarchy of food needs. Based on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, it illustrates Satter’s ideas as to the elements of food that matter first, second, and so on… starting at the bottom.

The graphic suggests that getting enough food to eat is the most important thing to people. Having food be acceptable (e.g., not rotten, something you are not allergic to) comes second. Once those two things are in place, people hope for reliable access to food and only then do they begin to worry about taste. If people have enough, acceptable, reliable, good-tasting food, then they seek out novel food experiences and begin to make choices as to what to eat for instrumental purposes (e.g., number of calories, nutritional balance).

As Michelle at The Fat Nutritionist writes, sometimes when a person chooses to eat nutritionally deficient or fattening foods, it is not because they are “stupid, ignorant, lazy, or just a bad, bad person who loves bad, bad food.“ Sometimes, it’s “because other needs come first.”

This, this is glorious. Why? Because FINALLY, someone has come up with a succinct counter-argument to foodies who think they simply ‘have better taste’ than hoi polloi. I would love to see a similar argument applied to travel snobs and smug parents.

Hipster parents: The perfect target market

16 Jun

The hipster trajectory has at last closed its own self-obsessed loop and birthed this monstrosity. Enjoy (or cringe, as the case may be):

Red Lines of Portland

12 Mar

I’ve been in Portland long enough that I can safely say I’ve figured out where the red lines are. If you live here, you know what I mean. If you don’t live here, chances are your town has its own borders that nice girls and boys are not supposed to cross.

People say things like, “Harold drives a Ford and lives out by Clackamas Town Center, if you know what I mean.” I have to restrain my sarcasto-reflex to stop myself from responding with, “No, actually, I don’t know what you mean. Unless you’re trying to say that Harold is poor and kind of trashy so that you’ll look better by comparison? But surely that’s not what you’re saying, because gee, that doesn’t reflect well on you.”

This quadrant-ism is so freakishly prevalent that when trying to pick a happy hour location with a coworker yesterday, she laid out her requirements like so: “I won’t go over the hill on the weekends, and I won’t go past 82nd.” This was her way of saying that she is wealthy and hip enough to live downtown, and urbane enough to avoid the suburbs like the plague.

In case any of you are thinking of moving here, I have drawn a map to help you quickly get up to speed on where all the “right” kinds of people live:

As you can see, the city is neatly divided into four parts for convenient segregation of the haves from the have-nots. All political correctness aside, here is how it was explained to me when I moved here: Southwest is downtown (tall buildings, people with smartphones.) Northwest is yuppietown (coffee shops, people with smartphones and skinny jeans). Northeast is the ethnic ghetto, and Southeast is the white ghetto.

If you can swing it, it’s best to live on the west side, but if you absolutely must live on the east side, the rules are as follows: Live above Holgate (preferably above Foster) and west of Powell. Live below 60th, but preferably below 39th. If you live on the West side, your best bet is the alphabet district if you’re inclined to hipsterism (delineated by the hipster glasses, above) or the Pearl if you’re inclined to use a hair straightener. You should probably work downtown in a tall building (see drawing of briefcase), but if you can’t manage that, you can serve $10 drinks at a Northwest bar until you’re30. After 30, people will start wondering if you should move to the East side.

The problem is this: Limiting yourself geographically is also limiting experientially. The same people who refuse to leave the 20-block radius around their condos are the same people you’ll find extolling the virtues of world travel and blathering on about how their trust-fund funded trip to Europe changed their lives by broadening their horizons. As someone who has lived in both Marin County and Oregon’s Illinois Valley, I can tell you that you don’t have to leave the country to have your mind blown by cultural differences.

So what’s the give? Once they’re back in the States these worldly folks are suddenly no longer interested in traversing outside their comfort zones, or meeting people with different backgrounds than their own? Why have the same people who bore me with 12,000 pictures of the natives in Nepal, complete with narrative about the mind-expanding qualities of learning about different cultures, decided that they will only socialize with their own kind when they’re on their home turf?

And – if you live here, what are the neighborhood stereotypes you know of? Longtimers: Have they changed?

Naked Nerds: With your clothes off, no one can tell you read Gaiman

2 Mar

What’s better than looking at scantily clad ladies? An excuse to look at scantily clad ladies! With nerd burlesque, you get to allay your naked-lady guilt by pretending to be interested in them because they like comic books. Just like you, you sweaty, doughy pale thing, you! Epic Win’s marketing gimmick has worked like a charm, and now losers like me know about Batman Burlesque, the latest in a string of ploys to get nerds to come watch strippers.

Just look! They dress up like characters from Batman, then take their clothes off! How original!

Nerd burlesque represents a glorious confluence of sophisticated horribleness. It’s meta-bad:

First, you have the gentrification of stripping that is burlesque. Burlesque is retro and involves elaborate costumery. It’s for hipsters and other college-educated white folk who like to congratulate themselves on their politically correct love for “the female enigma.” Which is a nice way of saying they like looking at boobies, just so long as they don’t have to feel dirty while doing it. And the bonus is their girlfriends get to feel good about the woman-empoweringness of it all. Although how naked performing is somehow better when it’s stylized escapes me. Sure, they’re artistes, but so are strippers. You don’t see them renting space in art houses and touting their Ivy league educations.

Add the nerd factor and you get another thing I hate: The co-opting of nerd culture by the mainstream. I liked nerdhood better when it was still an uncool subculture. Combining hot girls and nerd culture is just repackaging nerdiness as capitalism for fanboys, enabling ticket sales, and giving nerd rags a way to up the hit count.

Related Posts: Naked Women Gots Brains!, Give Me G-Strings or Give Me Death, Indie Yuppies

Down With Smiles

4 Jan

I’d like to introduce you to a little something I like to call The Cityface. I invented it when I moved to The City in order to deal with a phenomenon which I will outline for you forthwith:

I am cruising down the sidewalk, squeezing melons in a grocery store, wending my way through a crowd of Pabst-drinking hipsters wearing ironic and medically unnecessary eyewear, or wandering despondently through the labyrinthine hallways of my office complex, when suddenly, I lock eyes with a total stranger. Like a deer caught in headlights, I do the thing which comes naturally to nice people: I freaking smile. But does this stranger smile back? Oh no. S/he does not smile. S/he looks directly into those dreamy windows to my soul, sees the ineffable beauty that resides there, and glowers.

Despite what mid-century television shows set in small towns would have you believe, this is not a phenomenon limited to The City. It does, however, happen a great deal more often in The City, due to there being significantly less elbow room. Every time this happens, it makes me feel embarrassed: I extended myself in the name of friendliness to a stranger, only to be rejected on the most basic of levels. They have taken the social power away from me, for no other reason than they can. Stupid meanie heads! Thus, I give you The Cityface:

Some call it The Bitchface or The Cuntface, but whatever nomenclature is used, its purpose is to stop smile-rejection in its tracks. I invented it to keep myself from proffering wanton undeserved smiles, and protect myself from power-theft. I wear it in public pretty much all the time these days, and avoid eye contact to fend off smile-temptation.

Given my essentially neurotic nature, imagine my surprise when I discovered that I am not the only one to have given extensive thought to the power dynamics of facial expressions: Shulamith Firestone, in “The Dialectic of Sex: The Case for Feminist Revolution” has this to say on the subject:

“The smile is the child/woman equivalent of the shuffle; it indicates acquiescence of the victim to his own oppression. In my own case, I had to train myself out of that phony smile, which is like a nervous tic on every teenage girl. … My ‘dream’ action for the women’s liberation movement: a smile boycott, at which declaration all women would instantly abandon their “pleasing” smiles, henceforth only smiling when something pleased them.”

I had pretty much fallen in love with Firestone’s giant brain previous to coming upon this passage, but this was the clincher. I, for one, plan to personally take this ‘dream’ action and make it a reality. I know I said my New Year’s resolution was to ‘take more pictures,’ but I think ‘smile less,’ or at least ‘smile falsely less’ will be a more instructive one.

Next up, I will be training myself to not only not smile, but to not smile at people who first smile at me. Take that, jerkfaces! Don’t worry, though: My “sitting on the kitchen floor at 3 a.m. after too many G&Ts” face will remain quintessentially the same.

The tropical isles of wherever

17 Apr

Imported from MySpace blog

Traveling is big this year. Bigger than flats and skinny jeans. It’s even bigger than tunics and leggings. Better than metrosexuality, cooler than emo music and side bangs.

Actually, it’s been big the past couple centuries or so, probably even longer. It used to be the exclusive provenance of the insulated upper classes: trips to Bath to take in the vapors, to Africa for a safari, to St. Barth’s for sailing and lounging, to Paris for debauchery.

It’s still big, and probably always will be. But has it really changed since the days of travel-as-recreation-for-the-upper-crust? Has it actually become any more accessible to people of modest means?

Listen to any white, upper-middle class college student expound on their latest trip du jour, and it will seem as if traveling to faraway places is the sole purpose of life. The starry-eyed youngsters will use overwrought phrases like “life-changing,” “profound,” and “just… just… indescribably beautiful,” when describing their fairly run-of-the-mill overseas adventures. After they’ve exhausted their mediocre repertoire of adjectives, they’ll usually end their monologue with, “You really just have to go, man. You can’t understand unless you’ve been there, know what I mean? Just go.”

Trouble is, most people can’t just get up and “go, man, just go.” Traveling is a luxury. It’s expensive. Therefore, those who travel have means. Bring this up after the conclusion of a lengthy monologue about your friend’s trip to Tibet, and they’re sure to say, “Oh, no! You just have to look for the deals. The other day, I found a ticket to XYZistan in the Caribbean for only $xxx!” God forbid you press for details about how they actually funded their most recent exploit, lest they have to admit that it was, as always, their well-off parents who footed the bill.

So where are these “deals”? Do they actually exist, or are they merely stories told to the have-nots to keep them from rioting? I have a habit of trying to look for said deals — deals to wherever, as I’m as likely to enjoy a trip to Bhutan as much or more than a trip to Kaui — during downtime on the Intertoobz. But I never find them. Plane tickets from San Diego to Peru? $1,200. From New York City to Paris, France? $1,313.

I do these searches partly for amusement, since for the forseeable future, I’ll likely not be able to take advantage of a cheap flight out of New York City without considerable expedinture of time and money, both of which are precious resources in my workaday world. The other part is I’m genuinely looking for a good deal. If I can find an affordable (read: under $600) plane ticket from somewhere within driving distance of my present location to anywhere even remotely interesting, and I have any expendable vacation time (read: uhh, yeah, no) and my work schedule allows (read: it doesn’t) I’m liable to snap those tickets right up and jet off to wherever.

Unsurprisingly, this perfect storm of affordability, available time and convenience hasn’t happened yet. Hardcore travelers might point out that if I were willing to make certain sacrifices (quitting my job, perhaps, and living off my ever-elusive trust fund?) or realign my priorities (bump traveling up above eating food on a regular basis, say, or living inside a moderately climate-controlled, cramped apartment in a town where rents are slightly out of sync with the desirability of the location?) then I’d be able to travel.

The problem with this line of reasoning is that they’re trying to reassign the blame to me. Somehow, it’s my fault that I’m not living the jet-setter lifestyle. Take this a step farther, and suddenly I’m being called closed-minded. I don’t travel because of my “never been nowhere, don’t want to go” mindset. I’m suddenly uninterested in other cultures, won’t try foreign cuisines, hate learning other languages and refuse to “step outside the box, maaan”. People who know me won’t use this flawed logic for the simple reason that they know me and don’t want me to hit them in the face with the full force of my not inconsiderable mass. But I’ve heard it used before on the Other, that great unknown mass of conservative evangelicals, those poor, closed-minded Great Unwasheds, who obviously don’t travel because they don’t want to, not because they simply can’t afford to. Perhaps they have adopted a modicum of xenophobia, but it’s probably more due to poverty than willfull ignorance.

So when I’m subjected to one of the multiannual exaltations from the just-back-from-Mauna Loas, I’m usually struck with a mix of emotions: Jealousy, irritation, and exasperation. Jealousy because I desperately want to be able to travel, but lack the means to do so. Irritation at the speaker’s insensitivity, and exasperation at the utter hopelessness of my — and many, many others’ — situation. It isn’t literally impossible for me to take time off work to travel, but it would result in a number of unpleasant financial situations for me, including but not limited to being fired, falling behind in rent, or having to sell something of value that would make daily life extremely difficult, such as my car.

The way I see it, the only way I’ll ever be able to engage in the level of travel I’d like to engage in (meaning anything beyond what I’ve been doing so far, which is taking short weekend road trips to nearby places) is to a) find a new, far-more-lucrative-but-likely-less-rewarding-and-with-significantly-fewer-pesky-ethics career, or b) find these “deals” everyone brings up in what I suspect to be a feeble attempt to assuage their upper-middle-class white person guilt. But hey, who knows, those deals could very well be out there. Right?

For you, dear reader, in a fit of optimism, I assign this humble task: Find me these travel deals! If you’ve been on the travel-monologue-producing end of our relationship, I demand it. If you haven’t, perhaps you’d like to scout for a deal with me, and we can take that long-awaited trip to the isolated tropical isles of wherever together.


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