Bull

My Existance Also Continues

By: Rachel Womek

Greetings Constant Readers! You must be Constant indeed if you are still reading this blog!

Yes, shit has happened and is continuing to happen. Kiki and I went to Egypt, I came back from Egypt, My “Bob” caved out from under me, I got a new “Bob”, I have read a few books and watched a few films; I am too lazy to list them at the moment though.

How was Egypt? It was great and interesting. To sum it up: We arrived, slept, explored, ate falafel, got hustled, saw the pyramids,went to a protest, walked on the Nile, went to Alexandria, smoked Hookah, went to the mall, slept more and then I came home.

I am sure I may have something more amazing and “profound” to say in the future but that about sums it up for now!

Goals: Write the blog

Categories: Bull, Goals, Life, Procrastination, Uncategorized, Work | Leave a comment

Regarding: “Gay Is Not The New Black”

By: Rachel Womek

Normally I don’t respond to this sort of nonsense but this blog was recommended to me by a Christian friend of mine and I couldn’t resist penning a response. This blog is so offensive and rife with inaccuracies I don’t even know where to begin. At the beginning seems the rational choice…In this rebuttal I will examine and refute the following arguments made by the author of this essay. The first claim I will address is that there is no historical basis for same-sex marriage (Baucham, 2012). in fact there is. The second argument presented in this piece that  I will refute is that the fight for same sex marriage is not a civil rights issue (Baucham, 2012). The third fallacy presented in this panoply of misinformation is that members of the LGBTQ community are ineligible for minority status due to the richness of human sexuality that defies simple definition (Baucham, 2012). Baucham’s fourth argument is nothing more that absurd semantics, a desperate attempt to skirt around the entire issue (2012). In his fifth argument the author further entangles himself in garbled and unintelligible reasoning. He repeatedly refers to logic without seeming to grasp the concept in any of its forms (Baucham, 2012). Finally he surrenders any shred of credibility he may have otherwise clung to with that infamous Christian Right argument (Baucham, 2012). Gay marriage is a Civil Right and I will demonstrate that fact conclusively.

 

According to Baucham the struggle for marriage equality is a strategy the purpose of which, among other things, is to “ undermine thousands of years of human history” (2012, para 1). This statement could not be more inaccurate, from both a historical and an anthropological perspective. Michael G Peletz of the American Anthropological Association Elaborates:

 

Heterosexual monogamy, though statistically common (at least as an ideal) both historically and cross-culturally, is by no means the only form of marriage that human societies have seen as viable, legitimate, or sacred. The historical and ethnographic record is replete with evidence documenting the existence of heterosexual marriages entailing polygyny, polyandry and what are sometimes referred to as polygyandrous arrangements (such as used to exist among the Nayar), as contributors to this AN series noted last May. Also well documented for many societies in the world are same-sex marriages that enjoy sanctified legitimacy and occur “alongside” heterosexual unions that they neither threaten nor undermine (2006. para 2).

This author is therefore uncertain what portion of human history Baucham is referring to. Perhaps, post-Catholic European history? Considering the enormity of human history one can only guess that some extreme historical localization has taken place, either that or Baucham is simply ignorant of history beyond that of industrialized North America and Europe. Regardless, there is simply no basis for his historical precedence claim.

Next Baucham goes on to claim that marriage equality is not a civil rights issue (2012). According to the Oxford-English Dictionary the definition of Civil Rights are: “the rights of citizens to political and social freedom and equality”. Is Baucham’s claim therefore that members of the LGBTQ community are not citizens? Is marriage not a political and social freedom? Would the right to marriage not give same-sex couples a footing of equality with different-sex couples? There is no interpretation of this definition that allows same-sex marriage to fall outside the net of a civil rights claim. Citizens, Homo sapiens, are being denied something. That something is the right for their union to be recognized by the government and access to the benefits that recognition entails. Same-sex marriage is a Civil Right, to deny it one must redefine the term. Perhaps add the word heterosexual in front of the word citizen?

The next inane argument presented by Baucham is that there is no test for gayness. In his own words:”The first problem with the idea of conflating ‘sexual orientation’ and race is that homosexuality is undetectable apart from self identification” (2012, para 5).May I point out the obvious? Neither is heterosexuality. I for one feel a great relief that humans don’t walk around with signs on our foreheads that say: Hetero, Homo, Bi, Trans…etcetera.(Although that might expedite the mating process…) May I point out something else? Sexuality is a biological construct, race is a social construct. While homosexuality and bisexuality are rampant across the animal kingdom “race” is unique to humanity. The American Anthropological Association has this to say about the concept of race:

Historical research has shown that the idea of “race” has always carried more meanings than mere physical differences; indeed, physical variations in the human species have no meaning except the social ones that humans put on them. Today scholars in many fields argue that “race” as it is understood in the United States of America was a social mechanism invented during the 18th century to refer to those populations brought together in colonial America: the English and other European settlers, the conquered Indian peoples, and those peoples of Africa brought in to provide slave labor (1998, para 3).


Contrary to Baucham’s claim it isn’t so easy to determine what “race” any given individual belongs to. Our interpretation of phenotype may have little or nothing to do with an individual’s genotype, ancestry, ethnicity, or identity. That humans have a tendency to consider individuals with a different phenotype than their own as Other is a great barrier to human equality. As is the current tendency to view those with different sexualities as Other. No matter how you swing it the result is social disparity. Absurdly enough Baucham goes on to state:  “Should a man who isn’t a homosexual (assuming we could determine such a thing) but tries to enter a same-sex union be treated the same as a woman who isn’t Native American but tries to claim it to win sympathy, or casino rights, or votes?” (2012, para 7). This psuedo-argument represents such convoluted reasoning and misdirection this author feels she would be remiss not to mention it. The obvious difference is that the hypothetical woman claiming to be Native American would be motivated because she perceives some sort of benefit from the deception. What would be the benefit of maintaining a deception of homosexuality?

And, really? The ol’ Pedephilia argument? Really? Pedophiles can rape the same sex, they can rape the opposite sex. Does it really matter? Nobody is condoning pedophilia. Rape is rape is rape. The rape of a child is a truly horrific thing and has nothing to do with consensual sexual behaviors between morally conscious adults; absolutely nothing.

The next set of arguments presented in this argument are so ridiculous that they would be laughable did they not highlight a deep seated bias against all non-heterosexual people.

An additional problem with the “gay is the new black” argument is the complete disconnect between same-sex “marriage” and anti-miscegenation laws. First, there is a categorical disconnect. Miscegenation literally means “the interbreeding of people considered to be of different racial types.” Ironically, the fact that homosexuals cannot “interbreed” shines a spotlight on the problem inherent in their logic (Baucham, 2012, para 8).


Once again Baucham, seems to be missing the point entirely and throwing in a few nonsensical assumptions to boot. The parallel is that inter-”racial” marriages used to be illegal based on an irrelevant factor, the “race” of the individuals in question, today same-sex marriage is illegal in many states due to an irrelevant factor, the sex of the individuals in question. See the comparison? The nonsensical assumption is that the purpose of marriage is to breed. People reproduce all the time and they seem to manage it just fine without marriage. Conversely many married couples never reproduce. While reproduction can be one purpose for marriage the primary purpose in industrialized Western society seems to be that combination of affinity and sexual attraction commonly labeled romantic love. With romantic love as the primary purpose of marriage there is no logical (ah, there it is and notice the correct usage under the Oxford-English dictionary definition: “reasoning conducted or assessed according to strict principles of validity”) reason why it should be encompass only different-sex couples.

Oh, no wait, there is a reason…because the Bible says so. Must I illuminate the glaring flaws in this line..I hesitate to say reasoning…let’s just say the flaws in this thought process. It is just fine to be a Theist, it is just fine to be a Christian…lots of people manage to be Christians without promoting prejudice and regulating other, morally conscious, non-violent, human beings to second-class citizens who don’t deserve the same rights as us heterosexuals on our religious high-ground do. The Bible says a lot of stuff…and guess what? A lot of it is shit that not even the most hard-core Christians follow. Here’s some sage Biblical advice not many Christians are lining up to follow:

Give beer to those who are perishing, wine to those who are in anguish, Proverbs 31:6 (NIV).  If two men are fighting and the wife of one of them comes to rescue her husband from his assailant, and she reaches out and seizes him by his private parts, you shall cut off her hand. Show her no pity. Deuteronomy 25:11-12 (NIV). Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard. Leviticus 19:27 (NIV).

Get the picture? I could go on but I think I’ve made my point.

The case presented by Baucham in his essay: Gay Is Not The New Black is riddled with misdirection, convoluted interpretations of logic, and blatant inaccuracies. His argument has no legitimate basis in either global history or science. Neither does it have a basis in a religion that holds the texts that are attributed to what Jesus is said to have taught as the ultimate word of God: So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12 (NIV).

References

American anthropological association. (1998). American anthropological association statement on “race”. Retrieved from http://www.aaanet.org/stmts/racepp.htm

 

Baucham, V. (2012) Gay is not the new black. Retrieved from http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/2012/07/19/gay-is-not-the-new-black/

 

Civil rights. (n.d). In Oxford-English dictionary online. Retrieved from http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/american_english/civil+rights

 

Logic. (n.d.). In Oxford-English dictionary online. Retrieved from http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/logic

 

Peletz, M, G. (2006).Discourse of opposition to marriage equality.Retrieved from http://www.aaanet.org/press/an/infocus/marriage/peletz.htm

Categories: Bull, Free Speech, GLBT, Life, Social Equity | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Goddamned Particle And a Rant About Confusion Over What Is and Is Not Science

By: Rachel Womek

I have a few more musings on the Higgs particle. So those of you who read the article I posted last time know that the Higgs us the particle that gives mass to everything in the universe, if you didn’t read that article here is a brief explanation.  This essential property which allows matter to exist as we know it, including you and me has caused the term God particle to describe the Higgs. Unfortunately this nickname has caused some to mistakenly assume that the Higgs may be evidence for a deity, while you Constant Readers no doubt know better, for the record let me me state that this is absolutely not the case. When Noble prize winning physicist Leon Lederman wrote his book The God Particle he joked that what he really wanted to call the book was The Goddamned Particle…because the particle was so goddamned hard to find…but for obvious reasons couldn’t. Peter Higgs, for whom the particle is named for, is also not a fan of the nickname. I’d wager the majority of physicists aren’t.

The reason for the frustration is that for the religious layperson with little to no interest in science the moniker is very confusing and misleading. The name can even be seen in more than one misleading way. On the one hand it can be seen as evidence for a God, which it isn’t, or on the other hand the name could be seen as an insult to religion. Either way the misconception simply detracts from the wonder of the actual discovery.

Let me make this clear: physicists are asking HOW not WHY. Why is not science and is not relevant to the discovery.

When science and fundamental religion mix people get hurt and confused. Confused as to what exactly science is and what it does. Science is the exploration and description of reality and we explore and describe using the scientific method. According to Webster’s science is:  “knowledge attained through study or practice,” or “knowledge covering general truths of the operation of general laws, esp. as obtained and tested through scientific method [and] concerned with the physical world. Furthermore science is always falsifiable. Which is why I died a little bit inside when I saw Darwin’s Black Box by Michael J Behe sitting next to Origin Of Species at a used book store this morning. A book full of non-falsifiable conjecture and ambiguity does not in any circumstances deserve to be given any sort of credence as established scientific theory. Especially when they seek to bypass accepted methods of legitimately seeking an answer and publishing their findings in scientific journals yet somehow managed to get their work included in a section with real science.

I handed the book over to the perplexed clerk and informed him it did not belong in the evolution section.

Don’t get me wrong I am not at all anti-religion, I am an agnostic and I follow a religious practice, but religion is not science and it should not claim to be.

Categories: Bull, Life, Nerd | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Delicious Science, Honest Abe Kills Non-Sparkly Vamps, Books Are Heart-Cockle Warmers And How ‘Bout Those Elections?

By: Kiki Keane and Rachel Womek

Science, delicious, delicious science. I (Rachel) watched a great Ted Talk by Brian Greene earlier about string theory and the multiverse. My favorite thing he said was that the multiverse is “a great cosmic bubble-bath of Universes”, grab your rubber duckies people! I also watched some stuff with Richard Dawkins whom I like a lot, even though he is a bit extreme. He’s not a big fan of agnostics like me, but I can forgive that for his snarky attitude, and I love snark. That is why I am friends with a certain journalist.

I’ve been watching these because I am petsitting and largely deprived of going out for long periods of time, playing Skyrim, and I already finished my book. Sadness.

Last night I did go out and see two movies though, not something I normally do, and I am happy to report that I did so without getting a migraine. I saw Prometheus and, with Kiki, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. They were both good, in completely different ways, and I would recommend either.

Sadly, my (Kiki) life is not very exciting. This week was spent mostly in isolation watching Psych and the news. Last night I decided to go back to the land of the living.  As Rachel mentioned, we went to see Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (from here on out, ABVH). If you know me at all, you that I am 1) Snarky 2) A Purist and 3) A Party-pooper, especially when it comes to messing with history, my favorite things and/or my childhood. I admit, ABVH was entertaining. I enjoy fictional gore, vampires (not the sparkly kind), general badassery and Rufus Sewell’s big Brown (Hazel?) eyes and husky voice. But I LOVE Abraham Lincoln and history with a passion that I cannot fully express in words and to mess with my beloved president and history, creates in me a kind of eye-twitching irritation. The historical party-pooper in me wants to shake people and say, “Is nothing sacred?” On the other hand, as someone pointed out to me, this might be the only way that people will learn about Honest Abe, which is a sad commentary on our educational system.

In my isolation, I also did a lot of online shopping, mostly in the free Kindle book department. I love free books. Just wish they were “real” books. Nothing warms the cockles of the heart like the smell and feel of a beloved book, or any book, really.

So, how about those Egyptian elections? Here’s the latest from NBC Nightly News.

Categories: Books, Bull, Elections, Free Speech, Life, Media, Nerd, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Breed Specific Legislation is Bullshit

By: Rachel Womek

Humans are inherently biased. We are racist, sexist, heterosexist, ableist, classist and many other forms of prejudiced. Humans are also biased towards other species of animal; we can get really specific. Today I am talking about Breed Specific Legislation, prejudice towards certain breeds of dog, which, in many places, is supported by law. This bais may include, but is not limited to:

Akita

American Bulldog

American Pit Bull Terrier

American Staffordshire Terrier

Argentinean Dogo

Boxer

Bull Mastiff

Bull Terrier

Cane Corso

Chow Chow

Doberman Pinscher

Rottweiler

Shar Pei

Or any dog bearing even a slight resemblance to the aforementioned breeds. One town, Fairfield , IA, has banned all these dogs and more, any dog over 100 lbs, German Shepherds and Belgian Malanois (The top breeds used for police work).

Basically BSL is the doggy version of Eugenics. Dog attacks happen, they happen from so called “bully” breeds and they happen from breeds considered to be “family dogs”: Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Collies, Border Collies, American Cocker Spaniels, Daschunds and Chihuahuas; to name a few. Dogs can bite. Dogs are domesticated carnivorous predators. If you look at the occurances of dog bites 99.9% of them occur due to negligence or blatant cruelty on the  part of the owner. Dogs don’t get socialized and taught how to behave towards people, dogs don’t get supervised when around strangers or children, dogs don’t get secured on leashes when outside, they don’t get confined within property properly. Thus dog bites happen. A severe dog bite can come from a Pit Bull or it can come from a Miniature Poodle: and yes small dogs can inflict big damage.

The legislation we need is for more responsible dog owners, not restrictions on certain breeds.

When a dog gets euthanized  for defending his caretaker against her wife-beating asshole husband there’s a problem.

When a little girl’s therapy dog is imprisoned for two years under constant threat of euthanasia simply for being a “Pit bull Type dog” there’s a problem.

The American Humane Association has this to say about BSL:

American Humane opposes legislation that seeks to ban a particular breed of dog. Such laws provide a false sense 
of  security as all dogs, when improperly treated or trained, can present a risk to public health. Breed-specific legislation that outlaws specific breeds of dogs
can increase the danger to the community by spawning black market interest, indiscriminate and irresponsible breeding practices,
and subsequent overpopulation issues.”   
                   

 

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An Accounting, New Goals, Syria And Punctuation Personality Types, Or Why Rachel Is Now Called Wednesday And Why Kiki Can’t Find The Glasses On Her Face…

By Kiki Keane

Apologies for our long absence. Rachel and I were busy (Rachel) and lazy (me). Well, that’s not entirely true. I’m going to take a dig at Rachel simply because she’s not here to defend herself. You see, Rachel has been busy this week, but there was a day were she could have blogged, but she decided instead to play Cards Against Humanity into the wee hours of the morning… Actually, it’s not much of a dig. Rachel would the be the first person to confess that she chose a game over blogging.

Anyway, enough of that. I am here for our weekly accounting. Rachel is busy running around and doing things that self-sufficiant adults have to do. Put simply, Rachel accomplished 1.5 out of 3 personal goals and is 1 for 1 in the collective category. As for me, I accomplished 1.5 out of 4 and a perfect 1 for 1 for the collective! In truth, however, things are little more complicated than that, at least as far as Rachel is concerned. Let me explain.

Rachel:

Rachel finished one whole goal, which was to watch two movies. She watched The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Swedish version) and The Yacoubian Building. The other two goals (reading two books and being optimistic) were only half accomplished. Rachel read one book: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. As for her optimism… Well, she’s decided that I am the best judge. My ruling is as follows: 3 out of 6 days. She wasn’t optimistic in the strictest sense, but she did try to crack a few jokes while practicing Arabic. And there were a few moments were she wasn’t all doom and gloom. Some days I am tempted to call her Wednesday.

So you see, the tally isn’t exactly 1.5 out of 3. For all I know, Rachel might think she was pretty optimistic everyday. Until I learn to read minds (it’s on my Bucket List) I will have no idea what goes on in her dark, dark mind…

New Goals:

1) Read 1 book 2) Study Arabic 3) Cling to the remnants of her sanity

Kiki:

As always, I was a lazy lady this week. I think sometimes that I was born in the wrong class in the wrong century. I am much more suited to the life of country lady of yore. One who lays on an uncomfortable looking couch staring dreamily into the distance or being fed grapes by very handsome, very stupid man.

Moving on…

I watched The Yacoubian Building, which was my one fully accomplished goal. I even returned it to the library on time! I read one book, which was also called The Yacoubian Building (my halfway finished goal). I forgot to call the visa people. Every. Single. Day. I would only remember at night (like right now) when it was to late to call, which would cause a small panic attack (like I’m experiencing right now). So there went goals 3 and 5. I feel like I shouldn’t make “not panicking” a goal, since I panic a lot. Everyday. Sometimes multiple times a day. It’s hardwired into my DNA. It’s what I do. And I’m REALLY good at it. But, I hate it. So, I’m going to keep making it a goal and maybe one day I will successfully not panic. It’s funny though. I’m always much more calm when I’m traveling and have no idea what I’m doing. I only panic before I go…

As for reading 1984… well, I had to take it back to the library (I renewed it to many times) so I was unable to finish it. However, I will check it out again (and finish it!) as soon as I read one of the other library books I have stacked at the side of my bed. Which leads me to the half unfinished goal: reading a book relevant to my trip. Now, The Yacoubian Building is an Egyptian novel. So technically I could argue that I accomplished the entire goal, but that’s not what I had in mind. When I wrote “one relevant to my trip” I meant non-fiction and while I have read a good 200 pages of a couple of different non-fiction books about the Middle East, I didn’t finish a single one.

New Goals:

1) Read 1 novel and a book relevant to my trip 2) Study Arabic 3) Call the Visa people 4) Read two magazine articles a day 5) Not panic

Collective Goal(s):

1) Study Arabic together

Because I Haven’t Wasted Enough of Your Time…

I came across this today. It’s called Your Punctuation Personality Type, in which you can find out what your favorite punctuation mark says about you. It’s made up, of course, and I completely disagree with most of them because I see those punctuation marks differently. For example, I really love and abuse the ellipses. I like what it says or doesn’t say. I love that it leaves so much unsaid and that you, the reader, get to decide all that is in the … I think it shows a healthy respect for the unknown. This is what my personality type is according to the post: An indecisive and flighty person. You lose your train of thought easily. You are a follower and like to let other people take the risks. You often misplace your keys or spend ten minutes looking for the glasses you’re already wearing. Indecisive? Yes. It’s not because I can’t make a decision, but because I like adventure and because I really don’t care most of the time. Flighty? Maybe. I don’t forget the glasses on my face and I NEVER misplace my keys. Okay. I forget them sometimes, but only if I haven’t driven my car for a few days. Follower? Certainly not. Not unless there taking me to the ice cream shop or leading me to chocolate. I may not be a “leader,” but I’m definitely a risk taker. I am, after all, about to embark on a journey that could get me killed or imprisoned or just be an epic fail.

My other favorite punctuation marks are the parentheses and the exclamation point. I over use them. A lot. I don’t wholly agree with the personality assessment for these marks either, but they are half right. I am sarcastic, though I prefer the term “snarky,” and I am a very affectionate drunk, though I can sometimes be mean. It depends on what I’m drinking.

I also have great respect and am in awe, really, of the semi-colon. Mainly because it’s so powerful and so often misused.

Okay. Enough about the punctuation. How about some news? I’m only going to mention Syria because I have things to do and the sun is quickly setting.

It turns out that Syria’s regime is ‘wobbling’ and is descending into a civil war. Apparently it’s less like Libya and more like Baghdad. Here’s Richard Engel’s report on Nightly News yesterday and the bit he did with Andrea Mitchell today. Also, Russia seems to be giving the regime helicopter gunships.

Categories: Adventure, Books, Bull, Goals, Journalism, Life, Media, Nerd, Punctuation, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Finished Book, A Diatribe Mixed With Self-Loathing And The Passing Of A Write…

By Kiki Keane

I have finally finished a book! I don’t know what’s been wrong with me the last several months. I used to be able to go weeks without turning on the TV and now channel surfing is the first thing I do upon waking. Taking the TV out of my bedroom hasn’t helped because of this new fangled thing called a computer, which has access to this other new fangled call the internet, which has all kinds of things to help you waste your time. Also, the computer has this awesome little device that allows you to watch DVDs. I am torn between loving technology and the ease with which it allows you to access information and hating because it is so distracting and has made the world so…fast. We know so many things and yet have no time to actually learn. I mean I would probably do pretty good on a current events quiz (as long as it had nothing to do with celebrities). I do watch and read a lot news. But does knowing equal learning? Also, I haven’t learned any of things I set out learn six months ago. Six years ago I was translating a chapter of the Odyssey after only studying Greek for a year (one hour three times a week for two semesters). Given that I could do that, shouldn’t I be farther along in Arabic than “a blue chair”? Yes! And why am I not? Because I can’t look away from the screen. Not the TV screen. Not the computer screen. And not the smartphone screen.

Okay. I’m done with my diatribe and self-loathing now.

On to the news.

Alright, I know that many important things have gone on in the world today: Another massacre in Syria, Russian lawmakers backing $9K fines for protesters, more protesting in Egypt, the anniversary of D-Day, etc. And these stories are important and should be acknowledged, studied and passed on. But for me, the news of Ray Bradbury’s passing is the one that I am most drawn to and the one that has occupied my thoughts the most today. Bradbury is the only writer that has ever, really, truly scared the s*** out of me. I still have nightmares twenty years after reading The Illustrated Man, which had the particularly disturbing story called The Veldt. More than that, though, Bradbury gave me one of the two mantras I live by: “You can’t try to do things; you simply must do them.” I say it whenever I go into a new situation. I used to think the implication was that you had to succeed at what you did. And maybe that was what Bradbury meant. But I choose to interpret it this way: You can’t try, you must do, but that doesn’t mean that you will succeed in what you do. The doing is the success.

I will leave you with this link to a nice bit that Neil Gaiman wrote about Bradbury.

Categories: Adventure, Books, Bull, Destopias, Goals, Journalism, Life, Media, Nerd, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sad Goodbyes, Goals Accomplished (?) And New One’s Made, Or We Are To Tired And Cranky To Come Up With A Better Title…

By: Kiki Keane and Rachel Womek

It is goal time again!

Rachel:

I hope you are doing well Constant Readers because my week is sucking. Yesterday my favorite tarantula passed away for no discernible reason and tonight I have to entertain both my sisters and their friends even though all I want to do is curl up with my book and curse society.

I got 1/2 of my goals accomplished. I read Prey by Michael Crichton and I Blogged about GLBTQ. I did not watch a movie nor did I post photos to the blog. Shame on me.

New Goals:

1)Read two books 2) Watch two movies 3) Be optimistic

Kiki:

Okay. If this were a society in which people were flogged for not doing what they say they are going than I would be in deep doodoo. Normally, I at least have my movie goal to make feel like I’m not a total failure, but this week…well…I should be flogged. However, I was a social butterfly ALL DAY LONG on Sunday (I hate being social), so I should get some points for that. Right? Right?

I did accomplish the collective goals, though. I studied Arabic and now know about 10 simple sentence structures, which would be useful if I could just remember the damnable words! I also got two vaccines on Tuesday: finished the Hep B series and started the Hep A. I’ll be done with my Typhoid vaccine tomorrow (I went for the pill option because it lasts longer).

New Goals:

1) Read a novel and a book relevant to my trip 2) Watch a movie 3) Call the Visa folks 4) Finish 1984 and 5) Not panic

Collective Goals:

Study Arabic

Categories: Adventure, Books, Bull, GLBT, Goals, Life, Nerd | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Noteworthy Blogger, Mediocre Haiku And The Tragic Reality Of Ignorance In America’s Youth OR Why Kiki Will Become A Hermit Soon

By: Kiki Keane and Rachel Womek

Greetings Constant Readers from the hazy nebula of our collective imagination!

First of all we would like to issue a shout out to a great blogger and a personal friend of Rachel’s. The Desert Scientist, an entomologist who blogs primarily about the environment, the flora and fauna of New Mexico and Women Scientists. He regularly features the biographies of different female scientists. We commend him for bringing the scientific contributions of these often overlooked scientist to light and for educating the public about the oft ignored creepy crawlies. Rachel, at least, loves reading about reptiles, insects and arachnids! He’s also a pretty darn good photographer.

Rachel has been doing a few Haiku, with the goal of one a day. So far it hasn’t been going quite that way. Some days she writes none and others she will jot down several she has been collecting in the vast and largely unexplored reservoirs of her mind. O.K, O.K, maybe I am getting a little carried away. They are not anything special; just my way of exercising a tiny bit of creativity and enabling me to do a small bit of writing each day. We can’t all write impressive novels like Kiki (haha!)

Rachel’s Haiku:

Beneath the mountian

Poppies consume the desert.

Carpeting yellow.

 

Clear morning reveals

Coral colored blossoms.

Thorny cactus plant.

 

Marching brown army,

Ants invading the kitchen.

Stay away from my stove!

 

As for me (Kiki), well…I’ve done very little this week. Since I am unemployed I have vast amounts of time on my hands so I thought I’d take the opportunity to do something creative and productive. Hence, the novel. Sadly, when it comes to me, vast amounts of time leads to laziness. Basically this means that I have done very little this week. I have written maybe three hundred words of my novel (it should be about 1600 a day). I have not practiced Arabic and I have not read a single word of anything. Not a book, not a poem, not a newspaper.

I did, however, manage to get my lazy butt out of bed to see The Raven yesterday. I was pleasantly surprised. It is not a cinematic masterpiece, but it was worth the money. Also, it was sufficiently gruesome. Later I rented A Dangerous Method. It was pretty good, too. I enjoyed the acting, which is saying something. I would recommend both.

I also saw sat down with an old friend for the first time in nearly ten years. We had a great deal to talk about. One of the things we talked about was the dismal state of affairs we are in when it comes to what the American people know about history and about books. For example, my friend mentioned that according to a survey, most young people did not know that the movie Titanic was based on a historical event! How could they know about the Titanic? It may not be favorite historical tragedy (and yes, I understand how creepy it is to have favorite historical tragedy), but it was huge! Also, I mentioned that Longfellow and Emerson were mentioned (not nicely) by Poe in The Raven. Actually, it was suppose to be funny. I was the only one that laughed. I’m sure the friend I went with knew who those illustrious men were and why it was funny, but there wasn’t peep from anyone else. This saddens me. Is this were we are headed? Where reality stars and football scores are more famous and more important then our tragedies and triumphs, our great men of letters? Really? I don’t think I want to be part of that world. Maybe I should just become hermit.

Rachel would like to add that I’ve been trying to become a hermit for years! It is easier said than done. I have one more haiku to bore you all with it is one I just wrote while Kiki was zealously typing away. This is something I saw today between Las Cruces and Hatch.

 

Men baling green hay;

Sweet scented under the sun.

Last days of April.

Categories: Bull, Feminism, Life, Media, Nerd, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cleaving and Other Joys

By: Rachel Womek

I got a shiny new toy today: a Henkels Stainless Steel Cleaver! A knife to meat all my cleaving needs; which are more extensive than you might think. I spent about 45 minutes cleaving 11 lbs of meat and separating it into little plastic freezer baggies. The meat is not even for me but for the little curly-tailed, dog-shaped, demon I am enslaved to. All that cleaving will keep her in raw meat for about 6 weeks! (Be satiated Master!!!) I am calling my new knife Mr. Cleavy.

Another happiness stems from the  end of school in a few weeks! Hurrah! I need only survive a brief span longer before the rescue plane arrives to sweep me off to summerland!

Cool morning outside.

Within the austere classroom

I long for freedom.

 

Another thing getting me through is the new season of Game of Thrones. Overall I am enjoying it immensely, although I am a bit disappointed with some of the choices/deviations they are making. If it comes together smoothly in the end I will be pleased.  Is Gwendoline Christie not perfect for Brienne? Excellent casting choice there.

Wish me luck Constant Readers, for a successful end to the semester!

Categories: Adventure, Bull, Dogs, Life, Media, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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