Monthly Archives: May 2009

Stuff Rachel Fucking Hates

Proposition 8. This is all I’m really going to talk about this week, because I really fucking hate it. It would be easy for me to not fucking hate it; I’m dating a boy, and I’m not planning on getting married anytime soon, and even if neither of those things were true I live in a state where same-sex marriage is legal. But despite all that I care a lot about this, and here is why: Because no matter where you are in the country or the world and no matter who you are currently dating, it’s a slap in the face for any gay person to be reminded that there are still people out there who think we are a danger to their families, harmful to their children, and a threat to the nation. It’s even worse to be reminded that those people have the legislative power to control important aspects of our lives, and we don’t. I care because even if you don’t care about marriage – and a lot of people don’t – states with anti-gay marriage laws have higher rates of anti-gay hate crimes. They’re less likely to have GSAs in high schools, or support systems for gay teens. This means more murders like the ones of Matthew Sheperd or Duanna Johnson; this means more disproportionately high suicides of gay teens. I care because it’s absolutely awful to me that some people care more about what their child might learn in health class than they care about another child’s emotional health and physical safety. Lastly, I care because as someone who does live in a state where same-sex marriage is legal, I know that none of the things that the yes-on-8 campaign says were true. Nothing has changed about anything our children are taught in school; amendments about marriage are about marriage only, and not curriculum. No churches have been forced to perform marriages that they object to; same-sex marriage is a purely legal privilege. No Catholic churches or charities have had to close; there have been changes, but that comes from the revelation of child abuse, which has nothing to do with GLBT rights.

And even if none of this applies to you, you should care about Proposition 8 too. You (and here I am assuming you are a straight person who has so far been relatively unconcerned with this debate) should care because you know gay people, you care about them. Even if you don’t think you do, you’re wrong. They are your mailman, your graduate school thesis advisor, your kid’s teacher, your coworker, your boss. You might not know they’re gay, and maybe you won’t know until they lose their job for it or until they have to go into counseling as 14-year-olds because the bullying is so bad. But when you do something like vote yes on Prop 8, or even something like not particularly caring about Prop 8, you are hurting all those people immensely. And even if we pretend that somehow, you live in a bio-bubble of straight people, this still matters to you. When the government starts making decisions about who does and doesn’t deserve to marry, it hurts your relationships. If you’re married now, or planning on ever doing it, doesn’t it bother you to know that it’s not actually a legitimization of your love, but just your winning a popularity contest of whose relationships are most socially acceptable? And doesn’t it make you uncomfortable on some level that legislating anyone’s morality is okay now? I feel like it should. Maybe this marriage issue doesn’t affect you, but it sets a precedent of one group of people being able to decide things about another group’s life based on what makes them comfortable. When something that does matter to you comes under their scrutiny – the shows you like to watch, or the school you want to send your kid to, or the career you want to pursue – it won’t feel so benign.

That’s all for now, folks. I promise I will hate some other, more varied stuff next week. But to be honest, I’m still going to be mad about this for a while.

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Stuff Heather Thinks is Super Great

The Chairman on Iron Chef America. The episode I caught this week was only the second I’ve ever seen, but I cannot get enough of the Chairman. (A sample line might be, as he whips his head around to stare at the camera, “The secret ingredient is… ZUCCHIIIIIINI!!”) The intensity he exhibits toward the competitions somehow makes a show about cooking, an activity I generally find slow and bewildering, so addictive that I suddenly understand why people watch the Food Network. To all of you out there I once ridiculed for that, I am sorry.

Writing. Haven’t had the time or motivation to do it since finals, really. Then I started a new story this week and remembered, again, why I love what I do.

Lost. After swearing in frustration last January that I would never watch it again, that it was never going to answer my questions and continuing to watch was simply an exercise in masochism, I caved last weekend after hearing the hype over the season 5 finale. I’ve spent a few days catching myself on this season and hoo boy, is it good again. As predicted, the moment I stopped watching was the moment they began answering some mysteries. (Though not, of course, all of them; that would be silly.)

The May 25 Dinosaur Comic. “Today we focus on Ryan North, Esq., one of the greatest men ever to place speech bubbles into the mouths of dinosaurs frozen into the same positioning for eternity… and one of the only men in Canada to save the interwebs by doing so.”

My cousin the Kid Wonder. Took him to a movie tonight, the new Disney/Pixar, and for ice cream.  Such a good time!  What wasn’t such a good time was listening to the Top 40 station in the car and finding out that not only does he, at ten years of age, know all the words to Jamie Foxx’s “Blame It,” but he likes it so much he had me crank up the volume. Regardless to say, this was disconcerting (slash still is).  But hey, when I was his age I listened to the Spice Girls — and we all know how dirty they were.  In several years he’ll look back on this song and be shocked at all the innuendo he missed, but for now he’s young enough just to spoof it on the playground  (“Blame it on the juice, blame it on the juice, blame it on the a-a-a-a-a-apple juice!”).

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truth in advertising

Thesis Pages: 9

A thing that I like to do sometimes is keep track of what Google tries to sell me in my Gmail window depending upon what emails I’m looking at. Like, when I email my friend Megan it has a strong tendency to advertise yarn and win-your-ex-back books; Meg and I really don’t talk about knitting all that often, and I haven’t tried to win an ex back in years, but that’s what Google thinks I need in my life. Sometimes I use my email account to store important information, just so I’m able to access it from any computer. Like lately I’ve had a copy of my thesis so far saved as an email draft, so that if I have a few minutes free at my job I can work on it. For the purposes of science and sharing, here are the ads that Google has put next to that email.

DO YOUR HANDS GO NUMB

What does the internet try to sell you? I’m curious.

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decision day

I wanted to write something about how the California Supreme Court decided to uphold Proposition 8 today, but I recognize that I’m too upset right now to be adult about it. So instead, I’d like to direct you to the things that supported or educated me way back in November when this was all first happening. For gay people, I’d recommend reading this open letter written by Sinclair of Sugarbutch Chronicles. Back in the saddle, people. For straight people (and everyone else, really, it’s very moving), I ask that you watch Keith Olbermann’s Special Comment on Prop 8, embedded below. Even though he is an old straight white man and even though I don’t particularly enjoy his show, I thought then and still think now that this was exactly what the straight people of California needed to hear, and a much-needed reminder for the queers that not everyone around us is crazy.  Have a good day, everyone. Try to do something nice for yourself.

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oh the excitement

The Sims 3 is coming out.
The Sims 3 is coming out!
The Sims 3 is coming out!
The Sims 3 is coming out in one week! Oh man oh man!!  Let me check the website for enticing promos and system specs.

…My laptop is three years old, so it is apparently incompatible with the game.  There is actually a statement on the site that says “Heather, your model of laptop is just too frickin’ old.  Get with the times.”

This is heartbreaking.

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reading update

Two books down, seventeen to go.  Or make that twenty-one to go, because I thought of more I’d like to read:

  • How This Night is Different, Elisa Albert [ahh, what a good title]
  • The Family Diamond, Edward Schwarzchild
  • Brookland, Emily Barton
  • Then We Came to the End, Joshua Ferris [rounding out the list with an even better title!! Joshua Ferris may as well have tied a dollar onto a fishing line and dangled it in front of me.  Even if I were to have thought of a title this excellent, I could never use it because he got there first.  This must be how Wes Mantooth felt about Ron Burgundy.  “I hate you, Burgundy –– but Goddammit do I respect you.”]

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Stuff Rachel Fucking Hates

Unpleasant surprises. There was a time – a more innocent time – when I thought that getting to share a bed with someone was sweet and comforting and wonderful. This is still mostly true, but it has also led to finding out some things that no one should ever have to know about themselves; there is a reason you are unconscious for them. A few years ago I woke up to someone informing me “Did you know you sleep with your eyes open sometimes?” Now every time I’m done with a nap I wonder if I spent the last half hour looking like a giant creepy doll at best, and corpselike at worst. A few weeks ago my boyfriend asked “Did you know that you grind your teeth?” and now it’s all I can think about. I can’t stop grinding my teeth, and I can’t stop thinking about how I can’t stop grinding my teeth. This is ridiculous.

Incorporating ambient noise into your music. I didn’t used to have a problem with this until I started listening to my iPod in the car. Now every time I hear a buzz, click, beep, or grinding sound, I panic and think it is my twelve-year-old car breaking down. Not okay.

Being old. I used to feel like I was a 75-year-old trapped in a 20-year-old body; my penchant for cardigans, tea, library employment, and compulsive baking all seemed to point in that direction. Lately, though, I have felt like a 75-year-old trapped in a 75-year-old’s body. My back is killing me, my legs are tired, and at any moment now I may develop rheumatism. Last night I begged my physical therapist mother for a massage, and afterwards she frowned sternly and said “I don’t like the consistency of your back, Rachel.” Are backs even supposed to have a consistency? The most strenuous things I do all day are sit in traffic and shelve books. The women at the library who are actually 75 are doing better than me. I am embarrassed.

Suspense. Oh goodness California Supreme Court please repeal Prop 8 please.

Losing at Scrabble. But it is all I ever do ever. Ugh.

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