Love in the Time of COVID-19


For the record, I did not grow up in a household of doomsdayers… but I did grow up in a household that, in my memory, was always in a position to hunker down for two-plus weeks without needing to go anywhere.

I’m not really sure if it was just a matter of hating to be without something we needed or desired, but we always had what I, as an adult, have considered to be an excessive amount of everything. Cheerios. Toilet paper. Frozen chicken. Shampoo. Dog food. Tylenol. Ice cream. Bacon. And, though not exactly a survival necessity… books and movies.

I’ve also always been drawn to the post-apocalyptic genre. I’m the type who has had a plan for the zombie apocalypse since I was probably 12 years old… or whenever it was that my dad first had me watch The Night of the Living Dead. Also, I might be making this up, but I believe he once told me where to meet him and my mom if the local Air Force base was ever bombed. We’re slightly-pessimistic planners, and seemingly made for hunkering down during a wide-scale pandemic.

Recommendation: There’s a 2007 2-episode movie-thing on Amazon Video called Pandemic. It stars Tiffani Amber-Thiessen and will feed your COVID anxiety while also making you wonder what Kelly Kapowski is doing nowadays. And, hey, check out the rest of the cast… not the worst I’ve ever seen.

Eric Roberts, Faye Dunaway, and Tiffani Thiessen in Pandemic (2007)

Now the excess of my childhood no longer seems excessive, but has become a comforting and helpful thing. When I think back on my up-bringing I have generally hated how it shaped me into a compulsive hoarder, but now, my ridiculous personality quirk has magically equipped me for the current and unforeseeable TP shortage in ways that I never would have fathomed. In my possession, I have 24 containers of tic tacs… that I purchased before Americans thought anything of Coronavirus.

Carmex, coffee beans, and organic caramel sauce galore! I’m not saying I’ll be healthy or happy with what I have if the ish really hits the fan in coming weeks. I may, for instance, end up drinking organic red pepper salad dressing for entire meals, but in the apocalypse calories are calories. Besides, I have enough Flintstones Vitamins to stave off scurvy for a year, probably.

On a more sobering note, I signed into my first Zoom class today to do a test run before the University of Arizona goes online tomorrow, and my professor predicted that education has now changed forever. He’s usually right about such things. He started switching us over to online classes weeks before anyone in the U.S. was talking about any shutdowns. I think he’s probably right. But it’s sad. I’ve always believed education should be conducted in person and by people.

I’m supposed to be graduating in a couple of months, and though I suspect my official end of law school won’t be delayed, I doubt there will be a ceremony. On the one hand, that’s sad, but on the other hand, I’ve never really liked making a fuss about things anyway. What actually concerns me is the Bar exam. I’m supposed to be taking it in July… hopefully they can make that work somehow.

Another prediction of my professor is that grading of the Bar and our regular classes will be rather gentler than usual, with a bit of a grace period for people to get used to new processes. One can only hope.

I also have to say that COVID-19 has not put a damper on my love life just yet. I decided to get back to online dating mere days before the panic started, and I wouldn’t want my subscription to go to waste, so instead of the routine coffee or dinner for a first date, I’m meeting up with potential mates for nice walks outside. It’s actually rather sweet and far less awkward than many of my first dates of the past. After all, it is Spring… the sun is shining and if it worked as a time for Bambi and his buddies, perhaps I can become delightfully twitterpated even in the time of COVID-19.

Dark humor and sarcasm aside, I hope everyone is staying safe, adjusting to the isolation, and finding some peace in the pandemic. Keep calm and carry on never had more meaning to me than it does right now.

Is this What Mansplaining Is: Non-lawyers Who Keep Telling Me What It’s Like to Be a Lawyer


Sorry to write about specific people, but it still bothers me that when I told my dad I was going to apply to law school, he said, “You know that’s competitive, right?”

No way… really? I thought it was going to be a piece of cake! Every movie I’ve ever seen makes it seem like anyone could do it.

“You know it isn’t always being in a courtroom and doing trials. There is a lot of paperwork.”

Again… really? I’m shocked!

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Text conversation with new guy… who I have yet to meet, by the way…

Him: “Are you in summer break at school?”

Me: “Yep, although it’s more exhausting to me than being in school because with internships it’s more like the ordinary grind of a normal work week. There isn’t much flexibility in the schedule and it’s a lot of time sitting at a desk.”

Him: “When are you doing your internship? How much longer do you have ahead of yourself? You know that once you graduate you will have no life and will be working 70+ hours a week right?”

Me: (Blinks several times)…

Me: …

Me: …

Me: (Blinks again)…

 

 

It takes every bit of humility in me not to find the most sarcastic, biting retort and send it to him.

 

Funny thing… every dude I have met online tells me that he once wanted to be a lawyer, but he usually decided it was too hard either before even taking a practice test for the LSAT or just after taking one. I met one guy who did some paralegal stuff, then took the LSAT and got a low score, then gave up. The one I met who got the furthest along the law conveyor belt dropped out after his second year of law school. (All of these choices are completely valid, by the way… it’s fine not to be a lawyer. It’s not for everyone.)

 

So, question: why on earth do all of these dudes think they are in the right position to tell me what it will be like for me once I graduate? Plus, they always do it in this manner that’s marked by a condescending benevolence, where they act like they are doing me a favor. It’s as if I have completed two years of law school, but somehow am wearing rose colored glasses. Like I am just a precious, naive, delicate flower who needs a man with less education under his belt (and little or no legal education or work experience) to swoop in and save the day.

 

Is this what mansplaining is? I haven’t really got it figured out when the word mansplaining fits. It fits here, right?

 

 

 

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. 🙂