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here's how you know you did ur job...

... When you irk someone powerful and they NOTICE and then more or less spank u publicly in front of 100s - and to do so, they have to stake out a position that is ENTIRELY legally untenable.

so on one hand - yay! success! woo hoo!!

on the other - ow.

I think the key is to remain calm and interested-looking even while being flogged. Of course, it helped that I was too busy twittering online to realize i was being flogged in the physical reality :) so the enormity didn't sink in at the time. My sweet helpfulness never once faltered - which might actually have made the spanking worse, now that I think about it.

And of course since I still have to work with this individual (even if only from a safe distance) I cannot exploit their misstep. I'm right, they're wrong, and all pointing that out would do is to create an exponential level of problems - problems, plural, compared to the current problem in the singular.

SOMETIMES IT SUCKS BEING A GROWN-UP. But I don't want to be in the right as much as I want to get shit done. Effectively. So there it is, I took one for the team.

The team did say thank you, though. So it's not like this is all bad :) I am just blowing off steam.

bullshitters v. hypocrites

A coworker and I had a very funny discussion about this topic the other day. We prefer bullshitters. They look you in the eye, grin, roll out their line of crap, and if you fall for it, that's your problem. Bullshitters know they are full of crap. Hypocrites don't. Hypocrites are pretty sure, in fact, that they alone know how the world should work, and they're determined to shove their warped version of reality down your throat.

Often, a sense of humor is what makes all the difference. Hypocrites often don't have much of one, or it's fairly limited if they do. They also react poorly to having a sense of humor turned on them. Bullshitters will take that sense of humor, though, and raise you one... which upon reflection, leads me to another realization - bullshitters often have some element of risk-taking in their profile. Hypocrites, rarely, unless they are also fanatics, in which case you just want to back away slowly.

FYI

I did actually finish the book! And now I am so done. Other people are looking at it, and I know I should care, but I don't. I'm over it. On to so many new things.

economy

I was talking to my Dad the other day, and the economy came up. He grew up in wartime years, and was the child of parents who survived the Depression. I asked him if there was anything my husband and I could do to better take care of ourselves economically, during this slowdown.

"Nope," he said. "Bad things could definitely happen, and lots of them probably will, but you two make good decisions. I'm not worried about you. And this is just part of life."

Which really helped.
probably everyone caught it that the Supreme Court struck down the Wash DC gun ban yesterday. Here's the first thing I missed - there are actual cities in this country WITH gun bans? (Talk about cultural differences. That never occurred to me.)

So anyway. I was listening to NPR yesterday, and you'd have thought the sky had fallen and we were headed for civil war over this court decision. It was the first clear ruling on the second amendment. Depending on who you talked to, it would throw all gun laws in this country into doubt. Whether this is because gun advocates will try to take a mile once given an inch, or because the opinion was written in a really vague manner (which means, shitty, as in open to way too much creative interpretation) - I could not for the life of me tell.

So I switched to the country stations. There I got the opposite. Glory glory halleleujah praise be we are saved. Keep in mind this is in a state with a very popular conceal carry law. No one's right to carry a gun has ever been significantly trampled in this part of the Midwest that I am aware of.  In fact, most people I know own guns. To my knowledge, no problems - but you'd think they'd just emerged from the valley of oppression.

Isn't the reality a little bit more in between? Like all our rights, having rights to bear arms doesn't mean you get to go crazy with it. You can't do that with free speech or the right to assembly or any of it. There's limits on those things (like it or not) Basically, your rights can never create a situation of danger or oppression for someone else. Gun rights doesn't mean a lack of gun control, I don't think. Does it?

Am I missing something?

Jun. 7th, 2008

there's that little thing of working  a more than full time job... and there's the thing of still being committed to writing that mmffmfmfm book... so here I sit. naturally, procrastinating via LJ. thanks to everybody for writing things I can procrastinate by reading.

I am hitting the same roadblock on the book that I have now hit in draft 3, 4, and 5 (keep in mind that it was due at the end of draft 2). and today's the day to power thru it because I simply ain't got time to mess with this anymore. I'm so desperate that I am just making things up. which is what writing is, really, although no one like to admit that we all like to think that there's a plan in there somewhere. but there's not. and if there is it's rarely conscious.

really I would just like it to be over. I passed the the third book deadline last week. After you've missed a few of those, you're really calm about it. the first was high drama. now it's just like yep! there went another. What are they going to do to me? I made the big mistake of voicing that in my husband's presence. Pity him, he's lived with this since 1997, more or less.

He said, "Baby, it's more a matter of what I'm going to do to you. Or what I won't."

Holy shit!

:) so here I sit. Yep, yep. Today is definitely the day to power on through.

Jun. 4th, 2008

just needed a place to store this link - opponents of evolution try new strategy (NYTimes).

hi everybody! miss u all!

eating words

Dear friends (of all on/offline varieties) - i'm so sorry I never let you bitch! I'm so sorry I have such a low drama tolerance and that I can handle usually only about five minutes of venting before I am incredibly rude and then smile at you and say "well, that's done, so now how are you going to fix it?" and thank you for never smacking me when I do that. I am also really, REALLY sorry for the times when I said - "Ok, x did y at least eight times to z, and so you never thought x would do y to YOU?" Ditto mega mega sorry for ever saying - "OK, you've told me this story a lot, it's a repeating pattern and you know it and you're not stopping it so you must be getting something out of it, right? so why are you bitching? and why are you telling it to me again?"

Dear friends. thank you for never hitting me over the head and dropping me off a cliff. Also, here is your revenge - all these sentences can now pop rudely out of YOUR mouths. now it's me. all those years of order and now my life is like rollerblading along the edge of freaking chaos. Yeah. So much for responsible emotional management skills. That's a lot easier when you live a limited, low-risk life. When it comes to revolutions, who really ever remembers to wear a helmet?

Needless to say, husband is laughing his ass off too. At the same time he kicks my butt out of the door every morning. bless him. And if I do want to vent, I get out the duct tape and immobilize him for five minutes, till he gnaws it off and runs like hell.

that was probably a really inappropriate joke, wasn't it.

the shooting stuff is going great. i'd be a big fan of a ladies night (no guys allowed type of ladies night) at the the gun club every once in a while, though. I don't see that happening at ours. As far as becoming little orphan annie no wait annie oakley other annie, I can actually kind of group the first five shots.

Then my hand gets tired.

duck and cover

at work today, for some reason, I am shooting live rounds. trying so hard to rein it in. At what point do you cross the line from speaking straight and applying common sense - to being a bitch?

hello, monday.

getting hit on

this is all just venting :)

as most folks know, I worked at home for years. Recently that changed. It's been an adjustment. I'm not used to people, I'm especially not used to a LOT of people all talking at once dear lord jesus, I'm not used to a lot of things.

In particular, I'm not used to getting hit on. When you don't leave the house very often, getting hit on is not a problem. however. I now spend a fair amount of time in a very heavily male environment, as one of very few women. In order to survive this dynamic, I have had to reach way, way, way back into the mists of memory to remember a few important things about how that whole line of bullshit works.

Number one. Don't kill anyone who hits on you. Society frowns on this. My boss would frown on this. My husband would also be displeased if I ended up in prison. Sadly, as a woman you are not usually allowed to defend your honor through violence. Just how it goes. Tough for me because my first reaction to getting hit on is typically anger. You dumb fuckers, I'm wearing a wedding ring. What don't you understand...?

While that five second surge of fury might feel good, any more of it is dangerous and, worse, not productive. So then I move on to my fallback position, which is to analyze. The theory is that the better I understand something, the better I can prevent and or strategize to deal with it.

The following are my conclusions. I have to admit, I have thrown in data gathered from having brothers and from being a fly on a wall around my husband's coworkers and friends. First, though, some disclaimers:

1) It is important to acknowledge all the good guys out there, married and single, who simply do not hit on women. thank you, guys, for being respectful.
2) There's also guys who couldn't hit on a woman if their life depended on it. Whether they're too nice, too shy, too scared, and/or all of the above, it just wouldn't cross their mind. Side note: These guys are best served by meeting women through networks of mutual friends. If they go out on their own, they get snapped up by what I think of as barracuda women. Ouch.
3) There's guys who are lazy and let women hit on them. They too often end up with barracuda women. Just like a single woman who is not at least somewhat proactive stands a good chance of ending up with a barracuda man. If you sit around and wait, you are being a little too passive. Think of it this way: You can grab a Hershey's bar at a convenience store. Sure, it's nominally chocolate... or you can get off your ass and go find the good stuff and have a MUCH more satisfying chocolate experience.
3) There's guys who just aren't interested in women.
4) There's guys who just aren't in any way interested in YOU as a woman.
5) Men can talk to women without hitting on them (yes, even when they meet in a bar), and men and women can legitimately be friends.

So. Those disclaimers actually cover a huge group of guys, whom I am NOT going to excoriate below. Note - almost all of the above applies to SINGLE people who are actively looking. Why married people hit on anyone is beyond me.

Women. This is what you need to know about guys who are hitting on you. They do it mainly for two reasons: (1) they think you are accessible in some way, and/or (2) hitting on you can raise or otherwise influence their status with the male pack, which is what they really care about. Note - all this is not about YOU. It is about THEM.

For example, let's consider what "accessible" does not cover. Girls, listen up - "accessible" does not mean "hottest woman in the room." I realized this many eons ago. Physically, I'm nothing special. I do have a personality and I am fairly intelligent, but I'm usually very quiet when people first meet me and it takes me a while to warm up. I am no porchlight that draws the moths, yet also not a piece of poop that draws flies... you get the point. I'm average (and also old, and also obviously happily married) yet I still get hit on. Even when there are much more attractive and available women around.

I know. If you are a chick, this is not what we're taught. Women somehow think that a guy hits on them because they are prettier than other women around them. That's a myth. If I remember the dynamic correctly from my single days, in a bar situation a guy is hitting on you pretty much just because he thinks he might get laid. This reasoning is rarely flattering to you. This might mean he thinks you look - not pretty - but desperate enough to fall in bed with him, because he probably believes, in his heart of hearts, that he's not such a great catch himself. Or he may be distracting you so his friend can hit on your friend. Etc.

Accessible can also mean emotionally accessible (not just physically possible). He might be lonely and bummed and you are a friendly face - you're not TOO pretty, not too threatening - and he just wants to talk to someone not-guy, for a change. Also, it is a sad fact that only way some guys know how to get a normal conversation started with a woman is to first act like a dick and hit on her.

I know.

So that's the meaning of accessible. Let's turn to the second category of why men usually hit on women (and those two categories are not mutually exclusive, BTW) - because of what it means to their own status in the pack.

This is what drives me insane.

OK. Scenario. Working environment. Lots of men, all jockeying for status in one way or another. Some have it already. Some don't. Some want it. Some have it, maybe, kind of, but aren't sure.

Throw a woman or two into that mix, and this is how it will break down. 10% of the guys won't even notice. 70% will, but they just sit back and watch how the following plays out - as the other 20% mentally sort the women, rating them against each other, figuring out the highest value catch (based on a calculation of looks, job description, clan/ job allegiances, etc.), and then jockey around and use the women as status symbols in their own pack politics. What they are trying to do is in an extremely basic human currency - they are trying to establish access to that female. That may mean something as simple as wanting information that she might control. Whatever. They hit on her as part of that process. It's really about power, not sex.

That 20% particularly makes me crazy. Primarily because it's very difficult to choke them off. They usually are players, and highly skilled at boundary behavior where you can't really call them on stuff without sounding paranoid or egotistical. They tend to be the guys who are trying to move up, or who are insecure about their status re other men in some way (this can include closeted gay guys).

Also annoying: men who anti-hit on you. Meaning they would actually like to hit on you (they perceive you as a high value female, for whatever reason) but absolutely cannot cannot cannot take any action to gain access - politics, religion, marital status, whatever, there's a barrier. Men who want power hate barriers. If they see a conduit to power that they can't take advantage of, then it makes them furious and then they act like utter shits (always fun for the woman).

Throw into the whole mess - married women. I have concluded that we get hit on for additional reasons. Primarily, when it comes to the kind of scum who hits on married women (especially those interested in sex, not just power) these guys tend to have commitment problems. For those guys, married women are pretty safe. They also seem to think that if you are married, you hate your spouse, your life, and haven't had halfway decent sex in years. (Pretty big fallacy, morons, BTW.) If a married woman gets hit on sexually, then, the premise behind it is often monumentally insulting.

Which brings me full circle to wanting to karate chop anyone who hits on me!

I just reread this and cackled. I'd like to remind you of all the disclaimers at the beginning - all the times that none of this shit EVER happens, all of the actual nice people who are out there, etc. I'm just super-sensitivized to the crap because I have pretty much avoided people for the last several years. Back out into it, I always feel like a crystal glass that someone just tinged with a spoon. Always vibrating. Presumably that will wear off.

Wow I feel better. Now I'm going to go play in the garden.

EDIT: forgot one! In the category of guys who normally don't hit on women - the men who get bowled over with a wave of pheromones, then listen to themselves in utter horror as an entirely unexpected dumb line rolls out of their mouth, aimed in the direction of a probably inappropriate female. Had it not been for the hormones fizzing through the air, they sure wouldn't have said that.

I have to admit, those guys are fun to watch. It's usually someone strait-laced who pulls this complete booboo.

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