Hocking a Loogie from a Moving Vehicle


This is one of those stories that can only be told on a blog, because it’s a little weird and embarrassing.

When I was a kid, I thought it was pretty cool that my dad could be driving, cough up a loogie, roll down the window (pre-automatic windows), and hock his loogie out of the car. It isn’t something I meditated on or anything. I just thought it was impressive.

So… when I turned 16, I thought I should give it a try. As a teenager, new to driving (I was probably 17 in actuality, because I didn’t really want to drive), I decided to try to follow in my father’s footsteps. I was getting over a cold, so my loogies had some impressive body to them. I coughed it up, rolled down the window, and hocked the thing… and the wind caught ahold of its impressive mass and blew the thing right back into the car. Sorry, Mom – I was driving the Saturn VUE at the time, which wasn’t mine. I promise I cleaned it up as best as possible. Yes, I’m disgusting, and I apologize.

You’d think I would’ve learned my lesson, but every now and then, I’ll cough up a loogie that I’d really like not to swallow, because that’s so gross, and I’ll think, I’m all growed-up now, I’m sure I can do this.

Without fail, I’ve hocked every loogie into the wind, which has blown it back into the car… except for a week ago…

It was possibly the greatest triumph of my life when I saw that thing fly out the window and disappear from my life. I can mark that one off the bucket list! 🙂

The Sexist Nature of Video Games


Of course video games have sexist elements to them – OF COURSE they do. But that doesn’t keep it from irritating me when those sexist elements interfere with my enjoyment of gaming.

RPGs (Role Playing Games) often have romance storylines. RPGs are not linear. Thus there is a ton of replay value and they end up being somewhat similar to Choose Your Own Adventure books. There are tons of variables the gamer faces and he or she makes choices about what characters do, where they go, when, whether they have a sense of morality, and to what extent they build relationships with NPCs (Non-Player Characters) in the game. The choices made throughout a game impact how much NPCs trust the gamer’s character, and what he/she will do.

The romance storyline is almost always a part of this. In order to get a romance storyline working, the gamer has to have his/her character talk to the desired love interest a ton, and say the kinds of things the NPC will appreciate. Additionally, there is also almost always a side quest to complete to really, truly gain the NPC’s trust and affection. This takes hours. I’m not exaggerating. I get that gaming is often viewed as a pathetic sort of thing because of the time it consumes, but I guarantee you’ve spent more time watching tv than have in the past year.

So… the thing about being a girl gamer is that the storylines are set up to be for a dude. Mass Effect 2 is a great example. In it, there are 4 romance options for a dude. All of them are pretty decent. There are 4 romance options for a female character – 3 of them suck.

As a dude, Shepherd can sleep with a woman who has been bio/genitically/whatever engineered to be really sexy and competent. He can also have romance (no sex) with a crazy girl who has tattoos all over her and walks around the ship barely clothed. He can also have romance with an alien whose face you never see because of her special space suit, but she’s got a REALLY human and female shape, voice, etc… He can also talk a lesbian into doing a sexy dance for him in his quarters.

As a female, Shepherd can have a pretty decent romance with a guy who has excellent abs, but kind of isn’t impressive other than that. She can also have an alien who REALLY doesn’t look like a human at all and they have to discuss whether or not their anatomy will even allow for sex. I didn’t play that one all the way through, because it weirded me out a bit too much. She can also have the same alien male Shepherd can have with the very human female shape, voice, etc… She can also have the lesbian.

And, okay, as a female, what I really want out of the romance is not at all the perfect abs, or the animated cut-scene sex. I want to have a character who is important to my character. I want to have the flirtatious dialogue options. I want to have the sense that he’s fallen for my character fully and will never want to be with anyone else. WHY DON’T THEY GET A WOMAN TO WRITE THE FEMALE ROMANCE STORYLINES?!?!?!?!

Why am I on this rant, you ask?

The last thing I did in 2015 is beat Dragon Age: Origins.

Best romance option as a female is Alistair, and I have to say, he is a REALLY GOOD option. He’s well-written, sympathetic, adorable… However, at the end of the game, female Gray Warden either has to die saving him or he dies saving her. There is no option for both of you living unless you pimp Alistair out to a witch who will become impregnated with his baby, which she will raise however she sees fit, without Alistair ever seeing it. Also, you can try to persuade him to marry his half-brother’s widow.

This isn’t a problem when you play as a male character… the romance interests for you don’t end up in either of those messes, or, at least I don’t see any way they possibly could…
I’m just saying… it seems slightly unfair….

Quote of the Day


Forgive me if I’m off a little on this one; I’m doing it from memory.

“There are two things men are always willing to believe: that a woman is weak, and that she finds him attractive.”

I don’t think I’ve ever included a quote from a video game here, but this one made me smile so much that I had to include it. It’s from Dragon Age: Origins. Character Morrigan says it, but you have to talk to her kind of a lot to get her to say it. 🙂

I Found My Bonhoeffer!!!!


The funny thing is that I looked on top of the chair. In fact, I removed everything from the top of the chair to ensure it wasn’t hidden underneath a grocery bag. You see, that chair is my just-walked-in dumping grounds. Everything goes on top of that chair.

As you can see….

   
    
 
I almost moved on to the next book, but I am overjoyed that there’s no need.
Happy Halloween!

Should’ve Just “Liked” It, Shouldn’t I?


Just when I’d told you I was taking a break from blogging, this thing needed to be blogged. *Note: I recognize that I am a fool and did things wrong in this interaction. That’s why it’s funny.

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I don’t understand the Facebook.

When I say that, I mean that my understanding of Facebook is probably similar to a 68 yr old person’s understanding of it.

Here’s the story… I opened up the Facebook, and in my notification box, there was a thing telling me that a girl I don’t actually talk to or even follow had invited me to something.

A Facebook-literate person probably would have looked at the invitation and realized that it was really an attempt to get me to “like” a page so that she could ultimately make money. It was a tactic. It was, “I’m using the word invitation to make it seem like I like you and want to hang out with you, when in reality I just want you to click a button for me so that your newsfeed will get other people to click over to this page and possibly buy something. I’m not actually inviting you to do anything that anyone wants to be invited to do…”

In hindsight, of course that’s what this thing was. In the moment, I totally didn’t get it.

I clicked on the invitation that took me to a page called something like “Wrap it and Frap it.”

I did not understand what I was looking at, but after reading and looking at the pictures of women’s bellies – the consistency of cottage cheese labeled BEFORE… and all Baywatch AFTER – I realized the invitation had something to do with some sort of health miracle wrap that people put around their fat waists… and coffee. I researched the wraps on WebMD, and they basically claim to make you lose weight, but are a waste of money. WebMD says that they may make people look thinner for a day or two, but it’s all water weight, and there are no documented and noteworthy health benefits in any of the wraps people buy and sell.

I went back to the invitation, which, at this point, I thought was to some sort of party where the girl who invited me would try to sell me a wrap, or possibly everyone in attendance would buy and wear the wraps at the party, and then we would drink coffee. With all of the crazy Botox parties nowadays, I genuinely thought I was being asked to hang out with a bunch of ladies I didn’t know, having the water sucked out of my body, talking about how great I’d look and feel when we were done, and paying money to do so.

I found this insulting on about 18 different levels, so I wrote a comment on the page that went something like, “I can’t tell if you think I’m fat, think I think I’m fat, think all women are fat, or what… regardless, I’m going to keep running marathons when I want to lose weight and would like not to be included in things like this in the future.”

This comment, which I didn’t think was all that offensive, and was purely just my rsvp to the invitation, evidently was really offensive. I never think what I’m saying is offensive until others explain it to me. Okay, I knew it was a little offensive, but I thought I was doing a public service by letting this girl know that trying to sell your friends anything that will make them look skinnier is the equivalent of calling them fat. It’s the same as buying them bathroom scales for their birthdays.

In addition to my self-aggrandizing view of my offensive comment, I assumed that this girl knew she would get a few really negative responses to this product, because, well… it’s the kind of thing people like to make fun of. Just last week, a friend made fun of a corset thing celebrities use to try to look thinner. I thought the “Wrap it and Frap it” girl knew that selling anything inherently elicits negative responses.

In hindsight, I realize that this girl has zero work experience and almost no life experience outside of the home and church. She really didn’t know trying to sell things to people sometimes bothers them, and she really didn’t know that people past a certain life stage have submitted to the truth that they will either eat, lay around on the couch, and be fat, OR they will give up foods and couch time enough to lose some pounds. At any given time, complete joy can be achieved through either strategy depending on other life factors. However, people generally stop believing in quick-fixes to the fat problem when they reach… well, about the age this girl is currently at.

It took a few back-and-forths before this interaction turned into a full-out shit-storm, but, of course, it did turn into one.

The girl just kept being all, “Hey – buy the products I’m selling! They’re great! They aren’t about fat; they’re about health. They tighten and tone the skin! Stop being a mean person! Why (attempted rhetorical question)…?”

And I kept being all, “Stop trying to sell to me. My answer to your rhetorical question is actually that I hate these wraps because I think they perpetuate unrealistic standards of hottness and they have no health benefits. Please just don’t include me in the future.”

Also, I kept thinking, but did not write: “Are you really under the impression that tighter and toned skin are related to health in any way that’s more than skin-deep?” (Aren’t I clever?) and “If my skin is tighter, will I live longer? Will I have a lower risk of getting Cancer? Will my tight skin improve my cardiovascular health and decrease my marathon time?” I promise I didn’t get sarcastic like that.

Then, the girl was all, “I’m sorry you have such a negative opinion of me and this company.”

Then, like a teenager about to go into her room and slam the door, she rapid-fired three or four angry comments.

Lastly, she ended with sarcasm and de-friended me.

In retrospect, I wonder if it would have been easier just to click, “Like” and move on to a video of the unlikely friendship between an elephant and a dog…

Top Ten Purchases to Make When I’m Employed


The thing about not having a job is how much more I want to buy things than I did when I had one. Here’s what I want to buy in descending order of desirous intensity:

10.Fancy letter-writing materials – that’s right, snail mail is the way to go!

9. New laptop and/or writing software – this little guy has been awesome. I bought him like four years ago, I think, and he has outlasted many a more expensive, new-fangled gadget. He outlasted my mother’s laptop, which was purchased at the same time. Although, I think what’s slowing him down is the Scrivener. Scrivener is fancy writer software that’s amazing. I already paid for Scrivener once, but  something about the way I saved my manuscript makes Scrivener believe I shouldn’t be allowed the member updates I paid for. I think Scrivener doesn’t like the backups I have on flash drives and external hard drives, because it seems like I copied the software rather than the manuscript… I promise it isn’t about the software. It’s about the manuscript. It would be a travesty to lose years of work. Therefore, I have a ton of copies of it.

8. Home decor – I got the urge to buy or build shelves and other storage or homey things… coat rack, console table, desk, rugs, etc…

7. Ragnar registration – I don’t like having expenses that I know are coming, so I usually pay them when they’re on my mind. However, it seems unwise to pay now… I feel like I should wait, so it keeps being on my mind.

6. Not a purchase, but I have land in North Carolina, and I need to pay the HOA fee for the year, but I keep thinking I should maybe not pay it yet. It’s the kind of HOA that really isn’t going to charge me late fees for like six months, so I don’t want to spend my $ on it until I have a steady income. It bothers me to wait.

5. New clothes. I want fancy red shirts for interviewing, and I want running pants and shorts. Why don’t they ever hand out pants and shorts for finishing races? I have more shirts than I know what to do with, but not nearly enough pants and shorts.

4. An iPhone running armband holder thing. If I’m going to buy in to all this b.s. of mapping my runs and listening to music and sermons, I don’t want to have to hold the damn thing for hours of running (depending on my distance).

3. An iPhone adapter for the car and new speakers for the car so that I can listen to sermons and music I actually like.

2. A new compressor for my car. Now, even when I get a job, I’m not going to buy this because it would be more cost-effective to buy a new car. The compressor at this point is probably about twice the value of my car, so I will continue to suffer in the 100-plus degree temperatures, but a girl can dream, right? Maybe I’ll just buy a new car when I get a job.

1. A dog… I think it’s maybe because I’m not working that I sooooo want a canine companion. I keep going on all of the rescue sites, reading stories about how Molly was left under a bridge and she just wants a family to love. 😦 I want a dog! I want one!

The Dreams of Summer


I have had two dreams about Better Midler in recent weeks. These dreams occurred on different nights, and didn’t seem to be connected to each other thematically (other than the fact that they featured Bette Midler). I don’t remember the first dream very well, and I only remember bits and pieces of the second dream.

I loved Bette Midler as a child. I think this was mostly because of the films in which she acted. For instance, I LOVED the film FOR THE BOYS. I know it’s odd of me to have loved this film as a 10 or 11 year old child, but I did. I think I loved it mostly because I knew there were grown-up things about it I didn’t fully understand, but I also loved the music and the complicated relationships the film portrays. I loved the history. Hocus Pocus is another Bette Midler film that I adored. Big Business and Beaches were also pretty delightful. I used to play with my Barbies (yes, I admit I played with them well into Jr. High and possibly even High School) and I’d have them sing Bette Midler songs on a Fischer Price tape player I had that came with a microphone that was not to Barbie’s scale at all, but imagination can compensate for such things when we’re young.

Anyways, my most recent dream of Bette Midler had the two of us lazing around with nothing to do. I think we were just watching tv, talking, drinking tea, lounging, etc… There was a casualness to our interactions that felt unusual for the fact that we didn’t actually know each other – even in the dream.

However, at one point, I said something complimentary of Bette Midler, and she took it as something that anyone would say to her because she’s sooooo famous, and she told me that she distrusted the compliment’s sincerity. I decided that meant that I needed to gush to her about how wonderful she actually is… I reminded her that no one but her could have been such a touching and sentimental last guest for Johnny Carson AND made a joke upon receiving a Golden Globe Award that went something like, “I’ll show you a pair of Golden Globes…”

Bette Midler was rather impressed with my knowledge of her career, and thanked me for the compliment, realizing it wasn’t coming from just any old fan.

And then I woke up.

What does it mean, I wonder?