Sunday, November 2, 2014

6 Problems You Only Encounter If You Are Addicted To Books

You know who you are. The one who slinks away into the book isle of the grocery store just in case they have one that might look good. Or the one who can justify getting a Barnes and Noble membership because you spend so much there that the 10% you save will more than pay for the fee. I feel ya. I am one of you (as is evident by the three full book cases and four full boxes of books in storage). Here are some of the literal worst things that can happen:
Shutterstock
Shutterstock

1. Buying a book that looks awesome, then realizing that it’s the third book in a series (you haven’t read) when you sit down to read it.

Really, it doesn’t get much worse than this. You get all hyped up about getting a new book that you are excited to read. Then you get home, and have to do other things. You pick up the book before bed, turn the title page and BAM! The dreaded “Other books in this series:” page appears. And yours in quite a ways down on the list. Is it even worth it at this point? (Spoilers: Yes.)

2. Accidentally moving your bookmark.

We’ve all been there. You roll over in the middle of the night and accidentally roll onto one of the books you have in bed with you (don’t judge). The next morning you wake up with the book mark by your hand and the book by your feet. NOOOOOOOO. You spend the next ten minutes trying to find where you left off in the story.

3. The broken spine snap.

I may be too careful with my books, but I try not to break the spine on them. Partly because, you know, when you are tired, you get kind of lazy while turning the pages. And if you accidentally let go with a broken spine, the pages snap back to where the break was and again, you spend the next ten minutes trying to figure out where you were in the story.

4. Buying more books than you can read.

The Japanese have a word for this: Tsundoku. I, and many of my friends, have a huge list of books that are in the queue to be read. But no matter how many you have waiting you always have to buy more. And the only thing suffering is your bank account (and maybe your fridge).

5. Reading books just because you liked the movie.

The book vs. movie debate is one I am very passionate about. I truly think that they should never be compared since they are totally different mediums of story telling. It’s like comparing apples and pineapples. They are both fruit, they have similar names, but the differences are so vast it’s not worth pitting them against each other. Though, we have all fallen into the trap of loving a movie and find out a book exists before hand. And by the time we are done with the book we hate either the movie or the book because one or the other was just down right better at getting the story across.

6. Being stuck without an “emergency book.”

I always carry a book around. And I have one in the car. Just in case. You never know when you are going to be stuck somewhere and need a book. And it is the worst having to kill time with nothing but candy crush and almost-used-up data to keep you company. 

Originally Published on Thought Catalog  

Saturday, August 30, 2014

I Went to School in the Rape Capitol of America

Trigger warning for discussion of rape, slut-shaming and victim blaming.
The day Jordan Johnson was pronounced not guilty for the rape of a young Jane Doe was the day everything changed in Missoula, Montana. Suddenly, victim-blaming and slut-shaming not only because socially acceptable, but encouraged around the small town of 70,000. In case you didn’t hear the story, University of Montana in Missoula was one of the schools that started the Title IX and inaccurate reporting craze. We are the town that was so lovingly dubbed “The Rape Capitol of America.” The story is one that has been heard over and over again over the last few years, but most people stepped forward after the Department of Justice got involved in my school.
I was raped by a locally-famous-in-his-own-mind guy roughly two years before any of this got out. As a victim, I knew it was in my best interest to not go to the local police, as there were already rumors about how poorly they treat women in the town. And since the prick wasn’t a student, I knew the school wouldn’t do anything to help me. There was always subtle slut-shaming happening — I mean, it’s impossible to escape the rape culture. But for the most part, I was pretty proud of my town and how progressive it was.
That is, until Mr. Star-Football-Player™ was accused of raping one of his lady friends. The town erupted with anger at this girl. “How dare anyone accuse the quarterback of the beloved Griz football team of doing something so horrible.” “This is Griz Nation! We don’t want any little girls crying rape because she feels slutty and disrupting the football team! Let’s kill the bitch.” “Little bitch was probably asking for it! I’ll show her what rape is!”
Let’s just stop for a second. I seriously heard all this and more while walking across campus, coming out of not just males’ mouths, but those of other women. Girls would claim to know who the girl was, and then talk about how short her skirts were, or how bad her grades were, like that somehow mattered.
Johnson eventually got off on the basic argument that because he didn’t understand what consent was, he didn’t violate the clear lack of consent present. Because she didn’t scream or fight. Because she just lay there and took it. The town lit off fireworks they were so happy about the ruling.
This, clearly, pissed off the local feminist community, a community I was very lucky to have found after my rape. They helped me acknowledge that what happened to me was rape, and that it was nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, they encouraged me to be loud and never stop talking about it. It was hard for all of us, as victims or survivors, to see what Jane Doe was going through. She had no voice. And our voices (those of us not afraid to speak up), were being stifled in a big way. Every time the word “rape” was mentioned, someone had to intervene about how Johnson was innocent and more men like him are probably innocent because bitches like to lie – or whatever crazy idea they had about why rape isn’t real – unless it’s little boys and girls being raped. Then it’s real. Or stranger rape. Or forced rape.But friend rape and partial rape and wanted rape (?) aren’t real. These, again, are all things I heard.
The feminists in the town decided that they would show their support however they could for this girl that none of us (to my knowledge) knew. We took to Facebook and created the page ‘We are ALL Jane Doe.’ We all took pictures of us holding up signs with that on the front. The community support was amazing. It made me personally feel like we had finally found a tiny voice and that people were listening. The local newspaper contacted ever admin for the page to try to get an interview, though I believe we all declined. We were all a little afraid of getting our names out there as Johnson haters. Several of us received rape threats and were called every nasty name in the book.
Watching the town turn so dark right before my eyes made me constantly afraid. I was having flashbacks fairly consistently with all the news coverage, and with the young men so hopped up on testosterone, ready to defend Johnson, I started carrying not one, but two cans of pepper spray when I walked my dog at night. I imagine that there are other women out there going through the same thing as me right now. They either ARE Jane Doe, or afraid to become her, or are dealing with the constant news coverage of something horrible their school did which may cause the PTSD symptoms to increase. But what I want to get out there to those ladies is: You are never alone. Find the community in your area. Go online. Any of us at We are ALL Jane Doe will listen to your story. But never be embarrassed or ashamed, and never ever stop talking about it.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Pick Up Lines for Women that Work IRL

1. "You look familiar. Do I know you?"

I know this sounds silly, but it totally works. It will make the guy feel kind of guilty for not recognizing you and it opens up the conversation for possible mutual interests. It has worked 100% of the time for me.

2. "CanI buy you a drink?"

Classic, I know. Women hear this all the time. But men? Men hardly ever get a drink bought for them, so it will make them feel really special.

3. "Why aren't you dancing?"

This really only works at a dance club kind of place. It shows the guy you noticed him and it gives you a chance to invite him out to dance with you.

4. "That's a really cute shirt/tie/shoes..."

Again, women hear this a lot but men don't get complimented as much so it will boost their ego right off the bat.

Originally on Listicle!

Monday, May 19, 2014

How Nicktoon Shows Ruined Our Generation

I suspect that most of you Gen Y folks out there, like myself, grew up being plugged into the various shows Nickelodeon had to offer. Saturday mornings with Rugrats, Hey Arnold!, and Ahhh! Real Monsters. After school with The Amanda Show and Keenan and Kel. And (if your parents weren’t there) watching as much Ren and StimpyAngry Beavers, and Rocko’s Modern Life as possible. My parents didn’t like me watching those shows. As a kid, I couldn’t possibly understand why, but now, watching them again as an adult, I fully agree with my parents. Most of what Nickelodeon showed in the ’90’s was perverse and disrespectful and it ultimately ruined us plugged-in Gen Y kids.

1. Ren and Stimpy:

I feel like I should save the best for last (since this single show is case and point), but I figured I’d start with a heavy hitter. I have very vivid memories of me at my cousin’s house watching this show when I was 5. No child should watch this show. It features a gay couple (which is totally fine), but makes them so slap stick and disgusting that it trains us (the viewers) to not respect any sort of relationship like the one Ren and Stimpy hold. The homosexuality wasn’t hidden – from simulate anal sex to saw dust ejaculation, it makes a mockery of homosexual relationships and encourages the viewers (the 5 to 10 year olds) to do the same.

2. Rocko’s Modern Life:

This is another show that features a homosexual relationship that is openly mocked. This show is just as bad in that respect as Ren and Stimpy. Though, it ruined Gen Y in other ways as well. One way is it minimizes and makes fun of sex work and sex workers. Rocko has several jobs throughout the show as various forms of sex work; phone sex operator being just one. It taught us that sex work is easy and fun and cute and funny. It also taught us that sex workers shouldn’t be taken seriously. Another way this show ruined us is the constant unhealthy eating. It’s something all these shows have in common. All the characters are seen eating fried foods or snacks or sweets which makes the viewers want to do the same.

3. Rugrats:

This show is mostly harmless. It has fun plots and good morals (and it even teaches children about other cultures and religions!). But the focus of most plots is of the children going behind their parents back to do whatever it is they want. I wish I could count how many times Dede shrieked, “Where’s Tommy!” in the series, but alas, I don’t have enough fingers and toes for that. Shows such as these taught us that being disrespectful of our parents was normal and OK.
Bonus: The Amanda Show (and most other non-animated shows on Nick):
These shows were the worst at teaching kids disrespect. The Amanda show didn’t come around until I was roughly the same age as the main character. It showed skit after skit of kids disobeying, making fun of, ridiculing and pranking the parents. It made disrespect of elders cool.
That disrespect that these shows taught us in varying ways is what made us who we are today, a culture of lazy and rude animals. Our parents came out of the ’70’s, so they wanted us to know we were individuals with out own minds and free will, but in their lax way of raising us, they forgot to tell us that this is now how children, and subsequently adults, should act. We can’t go around doing whatever we want without fear of consequences. We can’t bully and disrespect the people around us for fun or because they are different. Dick and fart jokes aren’t funny. It’s not cute to be stupid. Intimate relationships are not yours for the judging. And we should really stop eating so much crap. We were the first generation to truly be plugged in. We would give up play time for TV time, and it sure didn’t do us any favors in the long run. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

I dont write enough, so here's some shitty poetry

Bacon: An Ode


Pre-packaged bits

of young

fat

pink and gray

pigs

spending days 

and

days

and weeks

in splintering

wooden pens

just eating

and

eating

and shitting

all so I

can have my

delicious

 brown

bites of 

fried fat

pig.


Tessa

We would go on walks.
She would dance, and sing and 
twirl around old lamp posts,
in tune with the rain drops,
knocking against the concrete.

“Oh!” She would say, as her
hand slips from the poll,
revealing black paint chips
stuck to her like new swim 
trunks- 

just tighter than normal, so
they don’t fall off. 

We would go on walks.
I would watch her red hair cling
 to the back of her wet neck like 
a roller coster, as she spun in 

yellow light, her face glowing 
like a jelly fish at the bottom
of an old ship wreck, stopping
to admire


broken Dresden china.







Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Misconceptions about Living in a Rural Area.

1. We ride (insert barnyard animal here) to school/work/funerals/etc.

This is mostly false. I mean, sometimes we ride our horses around town — and there is a law that requires public schools to care for them while in class in a lot of small towns, but have you ever tried riding a cow or goat? It’s nearly impossible. Cows are too stubborn to move and goats just want to eat your clothes!

2. We don’t have indoor plumbing

New-fangled flushing toilets are pretty new to me. I had to hike 50 feet from my wood cabin to pee till I was 10 years old and If I was lucky, I would have the crap scared out of me before I even got to the outhouse by a mountain lion or a bear. But in all seriousness, my hot water heater sucks.

3. We still use dial-up

Do you really think anyone under the age of 70 really has the patience for dial-up any more? Wifi hot spots are few and far between (and 4G? yeah right. Maybe next year), but I’d rather go hiking in the middle of winter in my undies than use dial-up again.

4. We fly places on geese

To misquote Monty Python for my own purposes: How can a 10 pound goose carry a 100 pound person?

5. We still use candles as lights

I guess this is along the lines as the indoor plumbing. Just because most rural areas are dark in google maps doesn’t mean we can’t light the place up when we need to- but usually we just use our apocalyptic forest fires to light the house- no use in wasting precious candles.

6. We are all narrow-minded bigots

Granted my state does consistently go red in national elections, the college towns tend to be more forward-thinking. I met more drag queens while I was in college than I did when I went to the east village. Just because most of us know how to kill our own food doesn’t mean we don’t also agree that all people should be equal regardless of race, creed, sex, gender, sexual preference or religion.

7. We all talk like hillbillies:

Well y’all, I’m sick an’ tired of hearin’ this one. But really, I do have a bit of a drawl (which I’d like to think is endearing and not moronic), but I most of us speak just as well, if not better than the more civilized parts of the country. Our lives here may be just a bit slower paced than people who live in cities, but we get along just fine. In fact, a lot of us would like to go back to a simpler time that is closer to the assumptions we hear how we live. You can lead a person to wifi, but you can’t make them turn into video-zombies. I’d take fresh air and a cool mountain breeze over my smart phone any day. Except Fridays- that’s when ANTM is on.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

5 Ways to Escape an Awkward Situation

Another post originally published on thought catalog:

1. Start dancing (pt. 1):

Potty dancing that is! No one will question you if you sneak off to the bathroom (or outside for a cigarette) if you do the potty dance for a few minutes. Though it only gives you a few minutes of reprieve lest you want the group to think you’re pooping. Your return after 20 minutes would perhaps make the awkward situation more so when the conversation suddenly turns to bowl movements.

2. Drop a contact: 

I’ve seriously tried this one several times and it works 100% of the time. And I don’t even wear contacts. All you have to do is shriek, grab your eye and say, “Shit! My contact fell out!” If anyone questions you, accuse them of not ever listening when you talk (“How could you not remember that I went to the optometrist last week?!), and they will shut up and help you look. Once everyone is searching the ground, just back away slowly and take off. By the time the realize you’re gone, you will be half way through your second glass of wine and able to deal with them again.

3. Point and run: 

My favorite in College was to scream, “To the ballroom!” while pointing in a random direction then taking off. Everyone is so confused that no one follows you.

4. Convulsions (not recommended): 

Drop to the floor and start convulsing for a few seconds, get up, and excuse yourself saying that you forgot to take your medicine and need to go. Again, no one will question it. But you could end up in the hospital, and that isn’t fun. So I don’t recommend it unless the situation is dire- like meeting your boyfriend’s ultra-conservative parents.

5. Start dancing (pt.2): 

This one is more fun. Grab an invisible animal of your choice and start waltzing all while singing “I’m dancing with a grizzly bear (or whatever animal you want to dance with)!” You can just waltz yourself right out of the group- and you will seem to crazy for anyone to want to follow. 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Why FWB is bullshit.

Has anyone ever has a successful friends with benefits (FWB) experience where everyone came out just as happy, if not happier than they were before? No? I didn’t think so. Maybe it’s just the people I know, or the places I’ve lived, but I’ve never seen that kind of “no strings” relationship work out for the best then have the two split amicably. Here’s why:

1. Science: 
It’s only natural for stupid chemicals to get released when you sleep with someone. Now, I’m no scientist- but this shit is pretty well know. I think I learned it in seventh grade sex ed, to tell you the truth. Those chemicals make you feel closer to the person that you just banged, simulating “love”. It makes sense for survival. Just think if a tiger broke into you apartment, it would be helpful for you to have an ally (that would also want to protect your potential child that doesn’t exist, again, thanks to science). But as it turns out, you two aren’t in love with each other, but you start acting stupid because one of you just want the other to feel the same, then shit gets weird and one of you changes your phone number and blocks you on facebook and... see- nothing good comes of it. 

2. Reason:
I’d like to believe people are reasonable creatures. I’m proven wrong often, but it hasn’t caused me to give up hope yet. We all know, deep down, that sex is something important. I’m all for safe and consensual sex with whomever you chose to sleep with (free love, man), but we are built to use it to propagate the species, to form strong bonds within communities and ultimately, it’s our key form of survival. So we have tens of thousands of years of nature we are trying to fight against when we sleep with someone and expect absolutely nothing to happen. That just seems unreasonable. Most of us know that going in to it. We know there is always that chance that we will feel something for the other person when the other person doesn’t. We know that the other person may feel something for us when we don’t. We know that nasty emotions such as jealousy and resentment are totally plausible (to the point of expect) in these situations.

As you can see, there is a bit of evidence stacked against the idea (I’m sure there’s more, but carpal tunnel is acting up). I’m sure someone somewhere has made this kind of FWB bulls* work out before, but I have yet to see it. Maybe I’m just a bitter person surrounded by equally bitter friends, but I kind of view a successful FWB relationship like I view God: If I don’t see it for myself, right in front of me (preferably singing show tunes), it doesn’t exist no matter how much you believe. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

I, like many other millennial's, am hella lazy but...

Here's a post. It originally appeared on Thought Catalogue (link at the bottom)

6 Things never to say to an Asexual

Asexuals are a vastly underrepresented section of the population. Even as I type this, my spellcheck doesn’t know the word “asexual”. With roughly 1% of the population identifying as asexual at any given time, it’s high time that people learn how to interact with someone who is asexual, because you’re likely to run into one eventually. And when you do, here are some things to never, ever say to them:

“Asexuals don’t exist.”

I hear this all the time. It’s usually the first thing out of any person’s mouth. I usually just want to say back, “Really? Huh. I was always worried I wasn’t real. Now I know for sure. What does that say about you, since you talk to people who don’t exist?” Sadly, I often here this uttered from people who give the “Sexuality is fluid” speech every time you get a little drunk and they try to kiss someone of the same sex. Apparently sexuality is only fluid if you actually feel sexual attraction. Otherwise you’re as real as the Easter Bunny.

“Are you sure you’re not just gay?”

This one gets me every time. “OH SHIT, SON! I never thought of that! All this time my lack of sexual desire was really just a deep-seeded, repressed sex drive towards people of the same sex! DUH!” Um. Just no.

I bet I could make you want it.”

Not only is that super rapey, but what makes you think you are special enough to change my sexuality just by showing me your glorious dong? I have found that straight men have the hardest time accepting that not every women could possibly want to sleep with them (or anyone).

“How do you know if you’ve never tried?”

How do you know you don’t like having sex with dogs if you’ve never tried? Or people of the same sex? Or alligators? Go try the alligator one and get back to me with your answer.

“How could you not want to fall in love!”

This one is more interesting because it delves into the different brands of asexuality. A lot of asexuals want to find love just as much as the next person. Some, the aromantics (another word my spellcheck doesn’t know), don’t feel romantic attraction either. Try explaining this to someone who can’t wrap their head around the concept of no sex drive. It’s like trying to explain astrophysics to a dog. Though I think the dog has a better chance of catching on.

“Maybe you’re just sick.”

Ah, the feigned concern. You’re right, maybe I do have a debilitating disease that makes me some sort of sex-deprived monster. Or maybe I just feel things differently from you because, you know, different people are different. But thanks for just wanting me to be normal as to not hurt your brain.
As with most kinds of ignorance, a lack of education is really the main issue asexuals are dealing with. If more people were aware that this a real thing and not just a phase or a disease, it would be much easier to come out to friends and family and not be looked at like a crazy person. If even my computer doesn’t recognize the word, it’s a major issue that deserves awareness. Another word my computer doesn’t know: heteronormativity.  But that’s a whole other issue.

Alright. Well, there you go. More ramblings soon.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

An introduction

Hi all (or, you know, the two of you who may actually read this). My name is J. I have a degree in creative writing and am putting it to fantastic use with my serving job. I need an outlet to write and am vain enough to hope others might read it. I'll post some of my published crap and some unpublished crappier-crap. Alright. I'm out. Enjoy these puppies: